Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

Do you really know what Democracy is?

A minor peeve of mine in American politics is the allegation that conservatives don’t know what Socialism is. Granted, conservatives attribute a lot of problems in our nation to socialism. From a more generalized perspective, Marxism, Socialism, Communism, and Fascism all hold to the ideal that society needs to be controlled by government. A standard feature of this type of thinking is that government knows best, and if anything is to be accomplished in society it can be accomplished only by government. This view can be summarized in one term: Socialist.

Contrast this with some other generalizations you find in America. To some, all sodas are called “coke” (though this trend seems to be dying away). Another common example can be found in just about every household in the nation. Do you know what this is?

bandage

If you call this a “Band-Aid” you are wrong. This is a bandage, or more specifically an adhesive bandage. “Band-Aid” is a brand name of bandage just like Coca-Cola is a brand name of carbonated beverage.

Band-Aid

Technically, to be accurate, we should simply use the term bandages. But, practically speaking, it’s okay to call all bandages “Band-Aids”. We play this same semantic game in politics with another concept: Democracy.

Technically, the United States is not a Democracy. Democracy is direct government by the people. We either show up to a meeting and offer our input, or we don’t show up and we don’t have a voice. Direct government by the people means you have to personally participate to have input into anything. That’s simply not feasible in a large nation spread over thousands of miles (though technology might change that – over 200 years after the American form of government was installed).

The logistical difficulty in Democracy is why we have elections. We elect people to represent us and our interests so we don’t have to spend our own time, every day, doing “the people’s business”. We send our representatives to meet together and handle government business on our behalf. In America we have representative Democracy. There is a word for this type of government; it’s called a Republic. If we’re going to be sticklers about the accuracy of the term “Socialism” we should be equally strict about the term “Democracy”. If what conservatives often call Socialism isn’t really Socialism, what liberals call Democracy isn’t really Democracy.

But we’re not often concerned with semantic accuracy. We can say conservatives don’t understand Socialism, but likewise we can say liberals don’t understand Democracy (especially since by “Democracy” liberals often mean government makes decisions with or without our consent). In fact, liberals don’t understand conservatism either, and seldom are honest enough to care to.

Liberals have a backwards understanding of many things in life. Their views on conservatism are merely par for the course. It’s very easy to find out what liberals think conservatism is since many definitions of the term and the concept are written by liberals. The trite, myopic, and intellectually dishonest view of conservatism held by liberals is typically something like a group of control freaks who don’t like change. Aristocracy is sometimes a term liberals might use to describe conservatism. The problem is, in the real world all political power is like this regardless of ideology.

All political power seeks to preserve itself. Which is another point where liberals are confused; they don’t know the difference between preservative and conservative. Power is very much like an addictive substance. That’s why, as we say, power corrupts. Communism seeks to preserve itself. Socialism seeks to preserve itself. Monarchy, aristocracy, and dictatorship all seek to preserve themselves. But preserving power is a bit different than preserving other things. For power to be preserved it must be expanded. How does power get expanded? Ironically, political power is expanded by being concentrated.

The preservation of power naturally encourages the concentration of power – gaining more power and keeping in the hands of the few. This is something conservatives despise. Conservatives abhor aristocracy. Conservative ideology demands the dispersion of political power, not its concentration. The concentration of government power inevitably means the loss of autonomy among the people. But when they talk about this common sense fact of power, you can probably guess what liberals call conservatives: anti-government. To the modern liberal more government is good a thing. So in fact, it is liberals who want concentration of power – aristocracy. Conservatives are constantly talking about getting government out of people’s way and what they mean by this is the opposite of the concentration of power. Liberals, on the other hand, often feel free to take liberty with other people’s rights – just as an aristocracy would.

So why does conservatism demand the dispersion of power? Because conservatism recognizes, among many other things in life, that good and evil actually exist. Conservatism does not pretend all things are equal. Some things are better than others. Some decisions are good, and some not so good. Things in life are not all equal, which makes it very important for power to be limited. In the view that good and evil exist it is natural to resist and fight evil. Preventing it is even better; thus the impetus to prevent the concentration of power.

One of Conservatism’s prime imperatives is the avoidance of waste and abuse. In fact, liberals do actually have an example of conservatism where they are willing to be at least somewhat intellectually honest: environmentalism.

Environmentalism commonly includes the imperative to avoid wasting energy or abusing resources. That’s why we call it “conservation”. Environmentalism seeks to conserve resources (avoid waste) in order to preserve our environment (avoid abuse). But, unlike political conservatism, environmental conservatism follows a liberal methodology of enforcement: taking liberty with other people’s rights by concentrating power in the hands of the few. Thus, where political conservatives seek to avoid the over use of power, environmentalists, and frankly all modern liberals, prefer the over use of power to compel people to do what liberals think people should do.

What environmental conservatism and political conservatism share is a desire to preserve something by conserving something else. Political conservatism seeks to preserve liberty by conserving political power (avoiding its abuse). But liberty can be abused as well, thus conservatism seeks to limit liberty only where it becomes destructive. Of course, these notions are quite subjective, thus not so simple to navigate.

Liberalism, on the other hand, also claims to preserve liberty by avoiding abuse. But liberalism seems to focus on limiting the abuse of liberty by means of concentrated power. It is not conservatives who tried to restrict sodas in order to “protect” people’s health (a measure which did not survive). It is not conservatives floating the idea of mandatory voting as a means of “helping” people. It is not conservatives infringing on people’s right to defend themselves under the guise of preventing gun violence (gun control supporters easily make themselves look anti-self defense). It is not conservatives who thought increasing government bureaucracy in healthcare or mandating health insurance was a good way to improve healthcare. It is not conservatives who keep regulating fossil fuels into astronomically high prices with ethanol and taxes. It is not conservatives who keep regulating tobacco products out of the marketplace while touting weed should be legalized. It is not conservatives creating and enforcing politically correct speech codes all across the country, limiting what people are permitted to say and punishing them for the slightest transgressions. It is not conservatives redefining bedrock notions upon which civilization itself is built.

A common issue where liberals think they really know what conservatives believe is gay marriage. But, as is typically the case, liberals are wrong. Liberals tend to believe ideas are so malleable that anyone can make any idea into anything they want. Liberals trumpet the notion of redefining things. As mentioned above, to the modern liberal the constitutional right to free speech has been redefined to include an ever expanding list of things people cannot say – because being free from unpleasant words is somehow better than being free to express those words (a lesson quite the opposite of one society has taught conservative Christians over the years). To the liberal, believing marriage means one man and one woman is equivalent to preventing gay people from loving or living with whom ever they wish. Which is simply not the case, as is clear for anyone willing to actually think about it for themselves. But to the liberal, as of last year, to still believe something about marriage that billions of people believed only two years ago is now bigotry. In fact, conservatives commonly favored expanding civil unions to accommodate gay activists. Instead, liberals demanded the government usurp a religious institution to redefine marriage and pretend the new definition is what marriage really meant all along (which is in direct contradiction of the separation between church and state liberals so frequently claim is such an important aspect of a free society).

Conservatism is not about resistance to change or keeping things “the way they used to be”. Conservatives freely embrace well vetted ideas. But fast, untested change automatically meets great resistance for two reasons. First, untested change means we don’t know what the consequences will be. Wanting good change is one thing; wanting any change and pretending it will be good is very different. We don’t know what consequences untested change brings and that means change could be bad even if unintentionally so. That’s asking for trouble. Massive cultural change ought to be good and good change requires thorough consideration over time. Second, fast and untested change on a massive scale is how tyrants get into power and cement it.

Even the battle against slavery was not fast, untested change. Slavery was an abuse of power and a distortion of reason and decency. It was not progressives who fought against slavery in the US; it was conservatives who wanted to end an abuse of power. Slave owners saw slavery as about property rights; abolitionists saw slavery as about human rights. Likewise conservatives want to put an end to abortion, for the same reasons they wanted to put and end to slavery. Preserving freedom demands conserving power. Abortion supporters view abortion as about women’s rights; conservatives see abortion as about babies’ rights and the abuse of power over them.

The liberal perspective of freedom often results in restricting what people are allowed to do or say or even believe and it does so by demanding more power concentrated in government. For liberalism, dealing with problems requires more government programs and more laws. To conservatives, this looks like oppression. The conservative perspective of freedom is meant to restrict the harm unfettered power or unfettered liberty can inflict on society in general while dispersing power from government and leaving as much liberty as possible for the individual. For conservatism, dealing with problems is best left to individuals and groups navigating tough decisions in a respectful way which does not infringe upon other people’s right over themselves. Similarly, conservatism holds compassion is the responsibility of the individual, not the state, and that self-inflicted harm or harm we may inflict on others is best dealt with by avoiding it (recognizing the consequences (good and bad) of our own decisions). To liberals this looks like oppression.

So the next time someone talks about Democracy but uses it wrongly, it’s probably not worth the trouble to correct the mistake. But if some liberal hack spouts off about conservatism, if possible remind them they don’t know what they are talking about. You can use Coke, Band-Aid, and Democracy to help drive the point home.

Filed under: abuse, american, bias, bullies, civil rights, conservative, culture, environment, ideology, left wing, liberalism, oppression, philosophy, progressive, right wing, separation

A tale of two conspiracies: Planned Parenthood vs Hillary Clinton

You may have heard the grand jury investigating Planned Parenthood regarding the events portrayed in the scandalous baby-parts videos has, as of yesterday, indicted not Planned Parenthood, but the group who recorded the videos. The announcement is a bit short on details.

“Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson announced Monday that Center for Medical Progress founder David Daleiden was indicted on a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record and a misdemeanor count related to purchasing human organs.”

So Daleiden gets in trouble for purchasing the baby parts, but Planned Parenthood suffers no penalty for selling them. Hmmm. Also mentioned in the article is the charge of tampering with “a governmental record” which is not named in the release.

LifeNews.com was diligent enough to mention (back in August of 2015) that one of Planned Parenthood’s board members works in the D.A. office who conducted the investigation. And what response do we hear from abortion supporters about this possibility of a conflict of interest? The allegation of “conspiracy mongering”.

Now whether the presence of the board member really did affect the nature of the investigation remains to be seen. But given the money and power involved in the cushy arrangements between Planned Parenthood and government, it is not at all difficult to see a high likelihood of tampering in this investigation – especially when you consider the nature of the videos.

The videos were analyzed by a group of “experts” commissioned by Planned Parenthood. According to the New York Times:

“A thorough review of these videos in consultation with qualified experts found that they do not present a complete or accurate record of the events they purport to depict,” the analysis of a private research company said.

Rest assured the private company hired by Planned Parenthood to review the videos are “qualified experts” who just happened to reach precisely the conclusion Planned Parenthood wanted. Hmmm, no conflict of interest there either, right?

Contrast this situation with Hillary Clinton’s current email scandal. As of this writing the FBI is supposedly poised to indict her soon. But what do we hear out of leftwing circles? Allegations of tampering with the investigation.

The top Democrat on the House Select Committee on Intelligence suggested Sunday that congressional Republicans are manipulating the inspector general who recently reported about new “top secret” information found on Hillary Clinton’s private email system.

California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff argued that several Republican committee chairmen are investigating Clinton’s use of the private system as secretary of state while “actively campaigning” against her.

“I think the inspector general has to be very careful not to allow himself to be used by one political party against the other in a presidential race,” Schiff told “Fox News Sunday.”

Of course credibility of either conspiracy largely depends on political ideology. Although, it’s not like government investigations have ever been tampered with before.

But these conspiracy theories apparently are not equal. Rest assured we will be told the allegation of conspiracy in the Planned Parenthood investigation is empty. But the allegation of conspiracy to “get Hillary” will of course be treated as legitimate. Because that’s how news media works today – overtly taking sides before all the facts are known, and ignoring the facts that are inconvenient for one side.

abortion, bias, corruption, criminal, elitism, government, ideology, indoctrination, judiciary, justice, news media, pandering, politics, scandal

Filed under: abortion, bias, corruption, criminal, elitism, government, ideology, indoctrination, judiciary, justice, news media, pandering, politics, scandal

Report: 2015 Saw ‘Most Violent’ Persecution of Christians in Modern History

original article: Report: 2015 Saw ‘Most Violent’ Persecution of Christians in Modern History
January 20, 2016 by THOMAS D. WILLIAMS

The brutal, worldwide persecution of Christians during the past year makes 2015 “the most violent and sustained attack on Christian faith in modern history,” according to a watchdog organization that has been monitoring Christian persecution for decades.

Open Doors, an organization founded in 1955 to assist persecuted Christians, publishes an annual “World Watch List,” documenting attacks on Christians and ranking the most hostile national environments for believers.

“The 2016 World Watch List documents an unprecedented escalation of violence against Christians, making this past year the most violent and sustained attack on Christian faith in modern history,” Open Doors CEO David Curry said at the rollout of the list.

Persecution in “continuing to increase, intensify and spread across the globe,” he said.

At the top of the Watch List, for the 14th consecutive year, stands North Korea, where an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 Christians are imprisoned in labor camps. Carrying on as one of the last holdouts of Communist totalitarianism, North Korea bears a particular hatred for Christians, who are a constant reminder of accountability to a higher power than the state.

“Christianity is not only seen as ‘opium for the people’ as is normal for all communist states,” the report says. “It is also seen as deeply Western and despicable.” During 2015, thousands of Christians living in North Korea were forced to renounce their faith or flee under threat of death.

As in the case with last year’s report, the vast majority of countries experiencing acute Christian persecution are Muslim nations. In 2015, nine out of the top ten countries where Christians suffer “extreme persecution” had populations that are at least 50 percent Muslim, a phenomenon replicated in 2016.

The 2015 report found that “Islamic extremism is by far the most significant persecution engine” of Christians in the world today and that “40 of the 50 countries on the World Watch List are affected by this kind of persecution.”

The 2016 list places Iraq in second place, immediately after North Korea, with horrific Islamic violence dominating news headlines during 2015. Throughout the year, Christians were forced to flee their homes by the thousands or be killed.

Just this week, the United Nations released an extensive report on Islamic State violence in Iraq, and estimates that ISIS currently holds some 3,500 people, mostly women and children, in the country.

The report, jointly issued by U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq and U.N. human rights office in Geneva, declared ISIS atrocities in Iraq to be “war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide.”

Some of the crimes described in the report include executions by shooting, beheading, bulldozing, burning alive and throwing people off the top of buildings.

The other nations making the top ten in Christian persecution are Eritrea, Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Iran, and Libya, all of which have Muslim majorities.

The report underscores the geographical extent of Christian persecution, and Curry highlighted the global nature of the problem, noting that it has become more acute not just in a few isolated regions, but “in every continent in every country.”

“The levels of exclusion, discrimination and violence against Christians is unprecedented, spreading and intensifying,” Curry added. “Christians, longing to stay in their home countries, are being forced to flee for their lives and for their children’s lives,” he said.

abuse, anti-religion, bias, bigotry, bullies, christian, crisis, discrimination, extremism, hate crime, ideology, intolerance, oppression, tragedy

Filed under: abuse, anti-religion, bias, bigotry, bullies, christian, crisis, discrimination, extremism, hate crime, ideology, intolerance, oppression, tragedy

Poop Nazis

original article: Poop Nazis
Dec 14, 2015 by Mike Adams

Matt Walsh is among the best conservative writers in America. I appreciate his insights on a number of issues. I was especially happy when he wrote about the recent race debacle at the University of Missouri (Mizzou). However, I think his correct observations about the veracity of certain alleged hate crime claims were supplemented with an incomplete analysis of their causes. I write today to offer some additional insights, if not incites.

First, as Walsh points out, if someone made a swastika out of fecal matter, it would not have been an example of anti-Semitism. Just as someone covering an American flag in fecal matter would have been expressing anti-American sentiment, a poop swastika would have been a statement against Nazism. In other words, the rise of a Turd Reich would have been a statement against the Third Reich. Of course, people who write messages with their own poo are seldom led by reason. The same is true of those who concoct stories about non-existent poop crimes.

Second, none of this is relevant to the Black Lives Matter movement. Black civil rights leaders – all the way from Farrakhan to Jackson to Sharpton – have long been openly anti-Semitic. It’s been that way ever since Martin Luther King was assassinated. In fact, Black Lives Matter should apologize for attempting to build a phony civil rights movement on the foundation of a very real Holocaust.

Given their obvious illegitimacy, what can be said about the causes of these contrived incidents? Matt Walsh believes the cause is simply immaturity. But I think immaturity is just another effect from a common cause. That common cause is better described as narcissism. It is a growing narcissism that I have been dealing with for 45 semesters as a college professor.

When I first became a professor in the early nineties, the universities had just started implementing speech codes. These codes promised students they had a right to be free from being offended. It didn’t take long for the most self-absorbed students to demand that the university make good on the promise of an offense-free environment. I’ll share just one early and salient example.

In 1993, the first time I taught Introduction to Criminology, a black student was offended by my explanation of Social Disorganization Theory, which is a theory of juvenile delinquency. She thought the theory was anti-diversity because it implied that ethnically diverse neighborhoods were less cohesive and thus more likely to experience crime. She announced in class that I had offended her and demanded I stop teaching the theory. It was a harbinger of things to come.

In more recent years, our university administration has supplemented the speech codes with campus “safe spaces.” They have also printed up “ally” stickers for faculty members to put on their doors. That way, if the KKK suddenly appears on campus attempting to lynch blacks, feminists, and homosexuals, the students have a place to run and hide.

But that hasn’t happened. Instead, leftist students have started trolling Facebook pages looking for comments they deem “offensive” or that make them feel “unsafe.” Some actually file complaints with the Dean of Students about faculty and student speech expressed on social media. In other words, students actively seek out dissenting opinions made off campus, pretend to be offended and threatened, and then use the false claims to get authorities to intervene and restore their sense of comfort and safety on campus.

Like their Marxist professors, they seek global domination. They want to turn the entire world into one giant safe space where only their ideas are disseminated. If Matt Walsh had it right and all of this was simple immaturity we could expect students to grow out of it. But none of these students ever contemplated feigning offense in order to silence dissent before going off to college. In other words, it is not something they failed to grow out of (like ending sentences with prepositions). It is something they grew into with the help of campus leftists.

The combination of this new generation’s narcissism and the old generation’s ideology is potent. The only good news is that leftist students have started going after the jobs of leftist administrators who refuse to accede to their demands.

Hopefully, some day history will be revised to say that one Marxist consumed many.

abuse, bias, bullies, censorship, corruption, culture, diversity, education, elitism, extremism, free speech, hate speech, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, marxism, nanny state, oppression, political correctness, progressive, racism, relativism, scandal, unintended consequences

Filed under: abuse, bias, bullies, censorship, corruption, culture, diversity, education, elitism, extremism, free speech, hate speech, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, marxism, nanny state, oppression, political correctness, progressive, racism, relativism, scandal, unintended consequences

The Clintons are a war on women

Possibly the most famous sexual predator not in prison is named Bill. No, not Cosby, his name is Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton is a war on women. Any widely accepted definition of abuse of women should include the former philandering president. So how do we square Hillary’s recent comments on hearing, believing, and supporting abused women with Hillary’s own efforts to utterly destroy any woman who accuses her husband of sexual predation? Watch The Run Down address the particulars of the question.

buse, campaign, civil rights, corruption, cover up, criminal, culture, Democrats, elections, elitism, ethics, feminism, fraud, government, hypocrisy, ideology, pandering, politics, propaganda, relativism, scandal, sex, tragedy, victimization, video

Filed under: abuse, campaign, civil rights, corruption, cover up, criminal, culture, Democrats, elections, elitism, ethics, feminism, fraud, government, hypocrisy, ideology, pandering, politics, propaganda, relativism, scandal, sex, tragedy, victimization, video

New Survey Exposes Threats to Free Speech on Campus

original article: New Survey Exposes Threats to Free Speech on Campus
October 28, 2015 by Haley Hudler

On Monday, Yale University’s William F. Buckley, Jr. Program released a national surveymeasuring U.S. college students’ attitudes towards free speech on campus. The results were troubling.

The 2015 Buckley Free Speech Survey, which was conducted by pollster McLaughlin & Associates, sheds light on how students view topics including the First Amendment, intellectual diversity, academic freedom, campus speech codes, political correctness, and trigger warnings.

At first glance, some of the findings seem to bode well for campus free speech. For example, 95 percent of the 800 college students surveyed said that campus free speech is important to them, and almost nine in ten (87 percent) agreed that there is educational value in listening to and understanding views and opinions that they may disagree with and are different from their own.

However, upon closer examination, the survey reveals some alarming insights into the anti-free speech mentality on college campuses today. Here are just a few of the highlights:

  • Nearly one-third (32 percent) of students could not identify the First Amendment as the constitutional amendment that deals with free speech. 33 percent of those who correctly identified the First Amendment said that the First Amendment does not protect hate speech.
  • More than half (51 percent) of students are in favor of their college or university having speech codes to regulate speech for students and faculty.
  • 72 percent of students said they support disciplinary action against “any student or faculty member on campus who uses language that is considered racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise offensive.”
  • 49 percent of students said they have often felt intimidated to share beliefs that differ from their professors, and exactly half (50 percent) said they have often felt intimidated to share beliefs that differ from their classmates.
  • 55 percent of students said they are aware of “trigger warnings,” and 76 percent of these students favor their professors using them.
  • By a 52 to 42 percent margin, students believe that their institution should forbid people from speaking on campus who have a history of engaging in hate speech.

While these results are disconcerting, they are not surprising. Indeed, they illustrate many of the campus behaviors FIRE President and CEO Greg Lukianoff and best-selling author and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt recently critiqued in their cover story for The Atlantic, “The Coddling of the American Mind.”

You can check out the full results of The 2015 Buckley Free Speech Survey on McLaughlin & Associates’ website.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the survey was released yesterday. The release date was Monday, October 26. The Torch regrets the error.

censorship, culture, diversity, education, extremism, free speech, hate speech, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, political correctness, progressive, study

Filed under: censorship, culture, diversity, education, extremism, free speech, hate speech, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, political correctness, progressive, study

Fiorina Destroys CNN’s Cuomo for Pushing Planned Parenthood Propaganda

original article: Fiorina Destroys CNN’s Cuomo for Pushing Planned Parenthood Propaganda
December 11, 2015 by Kyle Drennen

In a hostile interview with Carly Fiorina on CNN’s New Day on Friday, anchor Chris Cuomo accused the Republican presidential candidate of inciting violence with her criticism of abortion provider Planned Parenthood: “Do you feel any sense of regret about how you characterized what was going on at Planned Parenthood after the attack in Colorado? Because of what the man said, which seems as though he was influenced by some of the rhetoric that was coming out of you and others that painted a very ugly picture, an unfair one, about Planned Parenthood?”

Fiorina eviscerated Cuomo for his nasty slander: “Oh, please, really, Chris? Look, nine videotapes have come out about Planned Parenthood. It is very clear what they have been doing….this is a typical left-wing tactic, to try and shut down the truth by silencing people. This has happened over and over and over again.”

Cuomo contemptuously replied: “The question doesn’t go away. The videos were edited, you know that. The scenes that were depicted – ” Fiorina cut him off with some facts: “Actually, I don’t know that. There has been forensic evidence of those nine videotapes over and over again. There have been reports that say they are not edited.”

He insisted: “Of course they were edited. Of course the videos were edited.” Fiorina remarked: “It’s amazing to me that we’re still having this conversation.” Cuomo argued: “No, no, no. Let’s be careful about what we’re saying. Of course they were edited.”

Cuomo was clearly relying on Planned Parenthood claims that the videos were deceptively edited in some way. However, as The Federalist pointed out, an objective analysis found the tapes to be “authentic and show no evidence of manipulation.”

Cuomo continued to rant: “There were scenes and pictures depicting horrible things that nobody should want to see that weren’t authentic and weren’t germane to the conversation within the video. We had the guy on here, he couldn’t justify it. Now you had somebody who went out and killed in the name of that.”

Fiorina again blasted his assertion that conservative criticism of Planned Parenthood caused the Colorado shooting: “Really? Okay, I don’t recall, Chris – careful, you’re a journalist. I don’t recall anybody in the pro-life community celebrating this tragedy. I don’t recall any of that happening.”

Pointing to the abortion provider’s own change in policy in the wake of the controversy, Fiorina explained: “Planned Parenthood several weeks ago made a quiet little announcement that they would no longer accept compensation for the sale of what they call fetal tissue. That’s about as close to an admission as you can get. In fact, it is an admission….I don’t understand why Planned Parenthood would make an announcement that they’re no longer accepting compensation.”

Cuomo ran to their defense: “To clarify a policy that was used to villainize them when they felt that there was no need to do that. That’s what the head of the organization says.”

That parroting of Planned Parenthood talking points led Fiorina to observe: “It’s clear what your opinion is, Chris. It’s clear what your opinion is.” Cuome snidely asked: “What’s my opinion, Ms. Fiorina? What do you think it is?” Fiorina declared: “Well, I think you’ve bought the Planned Parenthood line, hook, line and sinker. So, good to know that.”

See the video and full transcript.

abortion, bias, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, news media, progressive, propaganda, relativism, scandal

Filed under: abortion, bias, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, news media, progressive, propaganda, relativism, scandal

Media CENSOR Poll Showing Majority Support Defunding Planned Parenthood

original article: Media CENSOR Poll Showing Majority Support Defunding Planned Parenthood
December 11, 2015 by Katie Yoder

The media rushed to cover a recent poll showing majority support for federal funding of Planned Parenthood. But when another poll surfaced with the opposite findings, journalists looked the other way.

Days before the U.S. Senate voted to defund Planned Parenthood, a nationwide poll conducted by Robert Morris University (RMU) showed a majority supported defunding the nation’s No. 1 abortion provider. In contrast to other polls, 53.3 percent of respondents agreed with the GOP position in regards to Planned Parenthood. The difference, according to researchers, was the question wording.

student

Earlier this week, for example, a USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll found that 58% were against eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood. National media hyped the story, from Cosmopolitan to TIME.

The questionnaire asked participants, “Do you think federal funding for Planned Parenthood should be eliminated – yes or no?”

But the new poll conducted by RMU showed different results – by providing a more detailed question.

“Congressional Republicans favor shifting Planned Parenthood federal funds to community clinics that perform the same services, but do not perform abortions,” the RMU question read. “Would you say you support or oppose this plan?”

The poll found that “A majority, 53.3 percent, strongly or somewhat supported the plan, while 31.5 percent were strongly or somewhat opposed.”

RMU Professor of Political Science Philip Harold commented on the different poll results.

“One of the cardinal rules in polling is to clearly indicate the alternative in the question and a poll question that doesn’t do this is flawed,” he said in a press release. “Because the wording of this poll reflects the actual proposal, it is more accurate.”

In an exclusive comment to the MRC, Professor Philip Harold, who conducted the poll, explained that while journalists had access to the poll results, they chose not to report on it.

“Press releases were sent to national reporters and was posted on PR Newswire,” the professor stressed. “In the past, results from the RMU Polling Institute have gotten traction on political topics but not this time.”

The press release outlined surprising results that should have been reporter bait:

“Democrats (47.3 percent) are more likely than Republicans (15.4 percent) and Independents (33 percent) to oppose the Congressional Republicans’ plan. However, 42.7 percent of Democrats in the RMU poll support the GOP plan.”

Professor Harold called the findings “astonishing” because the question noted that the plan belonged to “Congressional Republicans.” The RMU poll also discovered that that nearly one-third of participants who identified as pro-choice supported the Congressional Republicans’ plan, according to the press release.

abortion, bias, culture, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, news media, progressive, propaganda

Filed under: abortion, bias, culture, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, news media, progressive, propaganda

Reclaim Christmas

Many of us have fond childhood memories of Christmas. That, above all, seems to be the reason Western culture continues in the typical Christmas traditions such as gift giving and tree decoration.

But these traditions are becoming somewhat of an oddity. It is increasingly common to see the word Christmas replaced with any number of substitutes, such as festivus party, holiday tree, seasons greetings, and more. That’s in addition to the retail worship Westerners engage in and the obsession with Santa Claus – really, why is Santa garb EVERYWHERE? With the leftward march toward a more pluralistic society we curiously find “pluralism” to mean religiously neutral rather than tolerant. Believing in Santa is okay, but believing in God is just too much for our enlightened society. But that is an oddity in itself: a religiously neutral push in a society that is not religiously neutral.

I’m not talking about the growing theophobic animus (though that is an issue worth discussing – check out what religious plurality looks like in Hong Kong, for example). I’m talking about those who want to practice Christmas traditions in a way that is honoring to the real “reason for the season” rather than fall prey to consumerism. I’m talking to those who want to focus on the true meaning of Christmas – Jesus, the Christ.

And that brings us to the rub. While most people say Christmas is about something noble like spending time with family, they act like Christmas is really about gifts. And that’s not the only contradiction involved here. On the one hand we hear about greedy businesses staying open at odd hours (even intruding into Thanksgiving day); on the other hand many completely ignore the fact that PEOPLE WILL SPEND THEIR MONEY AT THOSE TIMES! Businesses are open for business because they know people will shop.

No one is forcing people to go out and spend their money. But many people pretend the “evil corporations” are making them do it (probably because blaming corporations is easier than being honest). In my family we refuse to shop on Thanksgiving day. It’s not difficult at all. Some of us don’t go shopping on Black Friday either. If you can’t stop yourself from shopping on Thanksgiving day it’s you who has a problem, not “capitalism”.

The mass hysteria that happens in the Christmas shopping season is a problem. The tragic stories of greedy shoppers should be eye opening. Greed is a part of the Christmas experience, especially in the United States. But so is giving. (What could be more Christian than giving?) If we want to redeem Christmas how do we get away from the greed but keep the giving? After all, every year I hear someone say it is better to give than to receive. And that’s true. And a mentality of giving is much better for society than a mentality of getting.

A friend of mine had a great idea about this, one which you could try next year. It’s a different tack on giving, but we still get to give. Imagine instead of being gift-based, the giving can be service-based. Here’s how it works.

Everyone in the household (or extended family, or other type of group) take a few strips of paper. On each strip, write one request you would like someone to help you with. A one-time gift of service can be of almost anything – within tasteful limitations of course. It could be helping to rake the yard, or learning how to cook a special dish, or learning how to change the oil in your car, cleaning out the garage/basement, setting up that annoying tech thing you can’t get to work, or anything you would like someone to help you with. You choose, it’s your request – a one-time gift of service written so anyone around the house during this time of year could serve you.

We all have varying skill sets. So keep than in mind when writing your requests. Chances are at least one of them can be met by someone in the household. Instead of putting gifts under the tree you can decorate the tree with acts of service that others could give to you. Imagine colorful service requests adorning the tree, where the “gifts” you receive have meaning specifically for you, and avoiding the stress of the commercial cattle run of shopping. On Christmas day you search the tree for acts of service you can give to others – and you don’t have guess about what they might want.

And you can modify this idea to your liking. One physical gift plus the gifts of service might work for you and your family, or what ever variation you want. Keep in mind, though, the purpose of this idea is to move away from the “getting” or shopping frenzy and move into a “serving” frame of mind.

Remember when I said many of us have fond memories of Christmas? If you’re capable of reading this chances are you’re aware the Christmas season can be a painful time of year for many people. If you can make the time, think of gifts of service you could offer to others outside your home. The neighbor who lives alone, or that person dealing with a stressful situation, or the retirement home you never visit, or the soup kitchen.

Imagine how Western culture could be different with adults who grew up with a mindset of service rather than a mindset of presents. You can start a new tradition, one which builds a stronger community. Think about it over the next 12 months. You might find next year’s Christmas has more “Christ” in it than you ever imagined.

culture, family, ideology, philosophy, religion

Filed under: culture, family, ideology, philosophy, religion

Yale couple flees classroom amid free speech chill

original article: Yale couple flees classroom amid free speech chill
December 08, 2015 by FoxNews

Anti-free speech demonstrators at one of America’s most vaunted universities have claimed a pair of scalps – a husband-wife duo who say teaching is too much trouble in a campus climate “not conducive to civil dialogue.”

Yale University professors Nicholas and Erika Christakis, who both have always gotten overwhelmingly positive reviews from students, said they have had enough, after an email she sent sparked a campus-wide controversy that soon pulled him in.

“I have great respect and affection for my students, but I worry that the current climate at Yale is not, in my view, conducive to the civil dialogue and open inquiry required to solve our urgent societal problems,” she said in an email to The Washington Post.

“I have great respect and affection for my students, but I worry that the current climate at Yale is not, in my view, conducive to the civil dialogue and open inquiry required to solve our urgent societal problems.”

– Erika Christakis, Yale professor

The affair began in October, when Erika Christakis, a psychology professor and associate master at the school’s Silliman College, one of a dozen residential communities, sent out an email defending the right of students to wear costumes which may be “culturally appropriating.” That spurred outrage and led to one student confronting Nicholas Christakis on the campus quad and berating him in a shocking episode that was caught on video that soon went viral.

The video showed Nicholas Christakis, a physician and professor of social and natural science, calmly trying to reason with a student who was screaming at him for not keeping students “safe,” as others snapped their fingers in a trendy sign of approval.

Erika Christakis said she will quit teaching indefinitely and cited a campus atmosphere not “conducive to the civil dialogue and open inquiry required to solve our urgent societal problems.” Her husband said he would not teach scheduled classes in the spring, and would take a sabbatical.

Neither Yale officials nor the Christakises responded to requests for comment.

“I don’t have much to add to her decision,” Yale Dean Jonathan Holloway told The Washington Post, adding that as a lecturer, Christakis is paid per course and can decide whether to teach each semester.

The school is ultimately responsible for the chill on free speech, according to Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

“While Yale did eventually get around to issuing a statement in favor of free expression, it’s hard to imagine that Erika or Nicholas Christakis would have decided to quit teaching at Yale and take a sabbatical, respectively, had Dean Holloway or President [Peter] Salovey consistently shown their support for free expression through their words and actions on campus,” said FIRE’s Robert Shibley.

The issue of free expression on campus has come into sharp relief on several campuses, with students calling for “safe zones” and speech codes where words and deeds deemed offensive are barred. Erika Christakis provoked outrage when she sent an email to Silliman residents questioning the desire to find offense in Halloween costumes.

“Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious… a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive?” Christakis wrote. “American universities were once a safe space not only for maturation but also for a certain regressive, or even transgressive, experience; increasingly, it seems, they have become places of censure and prohibition.”

He husband later apologized for his role in the controversy in a heartfelt mea culpa delivered in his own home.

“I have disappointed you and I’m really sorry,” he told about 100 students gathered in his living room last month, as Holloway and other university administrators stood by.

“I’ve spent my life taking care of these issues of injustice, of poverty, of racism,” he said. “I have the same beliefs that you do … I’m genuinely sorry, and to have disappointed you. I’ve disappointed myself.”

In a related matter, Yale announced it could soon follow Harvard and Princeton and change the administrative title both Nicholas and Erika Christakis hold, as “master” evokes imagery associated with slavery.

“The word ‘master’ can evoke thoughts of slavery and other forms of subjugation, and it has made me at times quite uncomfortable to be referred to as ‘master,’” Nicholas Christakis said in a letter to students at the beginning of the year.

abuse, bullies, censorship, culture, education, extremism, free speech, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, oppression, progressive, protests, scandal, unintended consequences, victimization

Filed under: abuse, bullies, censorship, culture, education, extremism, free speech, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, oppression, progressive, protests, scandal, unintended consequences, victimization

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