Is This, Well, Er, Logical?
At the same time the…(opponents of Palin) were declaring themselves affronted beyond all endurance, and declaring that women were far too independent, too diverse, and too clever to move as a herd in any direction; they were also asserting, on behalf of all women, that all women would surely reject this cynical, ham-fisted ploy (McCain’s selection of a VP candidate).
So we have here individuals “too clever to move as a herd” who should…do exactly that.
The Absence Of Principle
Obama has put himself in the same box with McCain: he, too, is an enemy of free speech and freedom of the press.
Some basic ethical principles apply, and the first is simple: if you disagree with someone’s legislative proposals, you do not have the right — and should not have the ability — to prevent him from publicizing his viewpoint. The intensity of your disagreement is irrelevant; even if you feel very strongly about the matter, the sheer force of your disapproval does not grant you the right to censor your opponent.
Most of the world disagrees. That is why Liberty is so precious: it is rare. And it is fragile. It is the highest accomplishment of Western Civilization, and many in Old Europe do not celebrate its sophistication and importance. Truth (regarding which the staff of the PenPo has considerable experience): throughout the “developing” or “third” world, Liberty is hardly understood at all, and almost never practiced.
In the USA, the issue that has revealed Obama’s fascistic lunge to censor his opponents is firearms legislation. As the PenPo has already reported, the junior senator from Illinois has taken every possible position on firearms, and consequently cannot be trusted to be candid.
Be clear about this: firearms legislation and the second amendment to the federal constitution are not under discussion here. Whatever your view, it is literally beside the point. The issue is Liberty.
So if you hate firearms and want them all confiscated and destroyed, do not make the mistake of thinking that your dream is so sacred that it must be considered here and now. By the same token, if you are a gun nut and think it should be legal to own rocket-propelled grenade launchers, put your fanciful agenda aside for the moment and consider the fundamental issue of censorship.
Barack Obama’s campaign is trying to silence the National Rifle Association’s latest ad campaign using strong arm tactics by threatening them with possible legal action if they run the ads….
To clarify: Obama is not saying he will sue in civil court, but that he will tell the federal government to revoke the licenses of broadcasters. His lawyers are claiming that running NRA ads is illegal.
Here is the legalese that tells TV stations they are breaking the law:
Failure to prevent the airing of “false and misleading advertising” may be “probative of an underlying abdication of licensee responsibility.” Cosmopolitan Broad. Corp v. FCC, 581 F.2d 917, 927 (D.C. Cir. 1978).
Of course the judicial decision quoted is an absurdity, but it still may serve as a reason for the FCC to lift a broadcaster’s license. Not everything always goes perfectly once an enforcement agency with quasi-executive and quasi-judicial authority decides to act. (Lyndon Johnson abused the FCC to enrich himself; the FCC is not and never has been above politics.)
But the decision is “an absurdity”?? Of course it is. The other guy’s ads and campaign statements are always false and misleading. Always. He’s the other guy!
The attempt to involve courts in sorting out the wheat from the chaff in campaign statements is, at base, moronic. The judicial process is mocked by such legislation and regulations.
Continuing with edited quotes from the above source:
So basically, stop running NRA’s ads, or your broadcast license could be in jeopardy. They detail the WaPo’s FactCheck.org repetition as proof. This is Chicago politics…. This is not how a free society is supposed to function.
UPDATE: Bitter has more.
This attempt to intimidate broadcasters is part of a pattern of misbehavior that betrays Obama’s fascistic sensibilities. This informative article deserves to be read in full. Teasers:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, one of the most powerful members of Obama’s party, has clearly stated her desire to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine. When asked if she’d allow a vote on Indiana Republican Mike Pence’s anti-Fairness Doctrine legislation, Pelosi shot back, “No. The interest in my caucus is the reverse.”
Can the public really trust an Obama administration to resist a Democratic Congress’ efforts to revive the censorship measure? Considering that Senator Obama hasn’t stood up to his own party in any substantial way thus far, it’s unlikely a President Obama would magically adopt the practice.
Beyond the hypothetical, the Obama campaign’s actions betray speech-muzzling impulses. On numerous occasions during his general election campaign, Obama has sought to silence, rather than engage and refute, his critics.(Emphasis added.)
An example, again from the above source:
…Kurtz had been conducting thorough research into Barack Obama’s extensive ties to the radical Left, including the fraudulent get-out-the-vote group, ACORN. Kurtz’s latest project involved investigating Obama’s connection with unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers; specifically, their collaboration on a left-wing education “reform” organization called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.
Hours before the (radio) show (on which Kurtz was to speak) aired, (show host) Rosenberg’s producer, Zack Christenson, called Obama’s Windy City headquarters to offer airtime to challenge Kurtz’s claims. The Obama campaign declined, opting instead to fire off a hysterical Obama Action Wire email to supporters, encouraging them to inundate Rosenberg’s station with complaints and demands that the Kurtz interview be axed. The email branded the mild-mannered, Harvard-educated Kurtz a “right wing hatchet man,” and a “slimy character assassin.” Almost immediately, enraged callers began bombarding the radio station’s switchboard. Their prevailing message was summed up by one woman, who angrily stammered, “We just want this to stop!”
The tactic is vaguely reminiscent of Nazi Brownshirt intimidation. It worked, and it has been repeated (see the referenced article).
“Not an official part of the Obama campaign,” you say? Wrong. See this. It’s a bit surprising it has not been taken down, but when you literally do not believe in free speech and a free press, you aren’t ashamed of things like this.
(Yes, the Penguin Post has taken a couple of screenshots, and copied the web page.)
You may not have any opinion at all regarding firearms, or you may think “gun control” means being able to hit what you are aiming at. Whatever your views, how do you stand on questions involving free speech and press?
The Penguin Post devoted an entire issue (Number 23) to the reasons why John McCain is ethically unqualified to be president. In matters of freedom of speech and press, Obama surpasses his GOP opponent’s authoritarian impulses.
As the PenPo has made clear, McCain and Obama attack Liberty from different directions.
McCain leads a cabal whose motto is, “With freedom of speech and press must come responsibility.” As insane as that notion is, it still attracts the thoughtless, unschooled and unwary.
To impose responsibility, McCain wishes to regulate the activities of certain types of individuals and organizations, sometimes on the basis of when they are active. He does not care what is said — he just wants nothing said by some people some of the time. He is a cop who profiles people, and then gives the ones who don’t fit his profile a Get Out Of Jail Free card. He believes that by passing a law, he can filter the exchange of information to the benefit of society. That is to be an even-handed, balanced, objective filtering, of course. Its impersonal, bureaucratic nature makes the government a force of Nature, a Kafkaesque nightmare of rules and regulations and decrees and penalties imposed by agencies.
It’s a horror. Those instrumentalities of the government will be quasi-judicial, quasi-executive, and quasi-legislative. They will be and already are faceless, unaccountable, virtually independent entities whose zealotry and bigotry will be impossible to keep in check.
This mechanistic Utopian fantasy could hardly be more impractical and unhelpful. Its naive assumptions and ability to ignore reason qualify it for display in The Nut and Crankcase Museum of Mankind’s Self-Deceptions, one aisle over from the War On Drugs terrarium.
And Obama? He’s a thuggish, egotistical thought cop. He wishes to silence those who disagree with him, or who reveal facts that embarrass him. His reaction to Liberty is downright feral: whatever hurts or startles him becomes his target.
Like the wily community organizer he is, Obama reflexively resorts to the police power of the government and/or the fury of the mob to intimidate selected opponents into silence. His lust for power is much stronger than McCain’s. It’s entirely in character for him to give his acceptance speech in front of a faux Greek temple (and earlier charm the Berliners “vor der alten Litfasssaeule,” as those folks might say). Ethically, the scrubbed elitist is a knuckle-dragging throwback, a child of old-style Chicago machine politics.
Though an opponent of the free exchange of information, Obama nevertheless has the virtually unanimous backing of the news industry. How could that be? Remember a fact the PenPo has long been at pains to demonstrate: the press does not believe in freedom of the press. It believes in the license of the press.
While both McCain and Obama genuinely want to do good (so did Franco and Mussolini, so do the murdering jihadis, and so does that mink in the pen over there), Obama deceives himself into thinking that his policy can properly be an extension of his tastes, personality, preferences and proclivities. His abuses of the power of high office will be idiosyncratic and sharply focused, while McCain’s abuses already are scattergun blasts striking friend and foe alike.
Whatever shall we do?
As the bartender said to the stranger, “Name your poison.”
Nitrogen accounts for 78 percent of the gas in the atmosphere, but molecular oxygen, the O2 that we breathe, is the runner-up, at 20.94 percent. The remaining 1 percent and change falls into the “other” category, predominantly water vapor but also argon and hydrogen gas; CO2 accounts for just 0.04 percent.
Note, please: that means that the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that has been produced by human activity amounts to two one-thousandths of one percent of the gases surrounding us.
You never heard Al Gore say that, and you never will.
The Penguin Post has collected all its articles on anthropogenic global warming into a special number. Setting aside false modesty, the staff of this newsletter declares this anthology a total demolition of the lies, nonsense and junk science that dominate the current mindset of politicians and the news media.
This special number of the PenPo is an invaluable resource because it includes numerous references supporting its contentions. Those references range from popular articles that generalize the subject to dense, arcane scientific papers that the layman can not be expected to understand. Whatever level of discourse or disputation is involved, this special number of the PenPo addresses the issues.
Respectfully submitted: you might consider ordering a copy of this special number, and seeing that it comes into the hands of your correspondents. It is a powerful counter to the gullibility of journalists, self-proclaimed eco-gurus, and others who are simply unaware of the facts. If it were widely available, some genuine progress might be made toward a rational energy/climate policy worldwide.
Your requests for copies are invited.
The Taliban is begging for serious trouble in Afghanistan. The quintessential Islamofascist organization has the upper hand at the moment, but is extraordinarily vulnerable to US responses. The question, then, has to be, why are the jihadis willing to take the risk now?
There are at least two underlying reasons. First is the suicidal religious foundation on which the Taliban stands. These men are fanatics who know their creator demands that they fight and will reward them richly for eternity after they die in battle. The fourteen-hundred years war is scripturally driven.
Second, the Taliban leaders fully expect the USA to pull out of Afghanistan sooner rather than later. Ignoring the status of Iraq, Islam’s warriors still believe that Uncle Sam will fight until it hurts, and then walk off. As reported in previous PenPo numbers, most Muslims in the world believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim, will be elected, and will end conflict with expansionist Islam.
Ideally, whoever wins the White House should undertake a new strategy in Afghanistan. Here are some suggestions that make a great deal of sense. Unfortunately one must purchase a couple of DVDs in order to get all the details, but that’s not a gimmick: the videos were made to document US strategy and tactics in Iraq. They are valuable enough as what they are. The notion that they are instructive for the conflict in Afghanistan is secondary, and perfectly reasonable.
As the staff of this newsletter has had no opportunity to view the DVDs, it would be unfair to say the videos slight the role played by air power. That said, one must add that there is a distinct shortage of air support in Afghanistan at present. If the USA is serious about whipping the Taliban, this will have to be addressed.
How long will it take to crush the jihadis’ invasion of Afghanistan? Under optimum conditions, and assuming the military leadership is as good as that provided by Petraeus in Iraq, less than a year. That’s barring, of course, further obfuscatory malice (“willing suspension of disbelief”) from posturing ideologues.
The real question is, what are we in for if we don’t defeat the Taliban?