Mark Steyn: “In this case the government of the United States is the gunrunner,” Steyn said. “That is basically what is happening here. There would be no guns running to these Mexican cartels if the United States government hadn’t instituted a program to facilitate it.”
Steyn noted the lack of media outrage compared with other scandals in the past.
“Now real Mexicans are dead,” he continued. “Does the president of the United States, does his attorney general, does CNN, does The New York Times, does NPR — do they not care about dead Mexicans?
“I mean, forget the United States Border Patrol guys that were killed about these ‘Fast & Furious’ guns. Real-live, or previously live, citizens of third world countries — the kind of people that NPR, The New York Times claim to love — are dead because of this.”
“Why isn’t that a national scandal?” he pleaded. “This is absolutely a — Iran-Contra didn’t rack of that kind of body count. Watergate didn’t rack up that kind of body count. Sarah Palin’s daughter’s boyfriend’s mother, or whatever stupid story they were chasing around Wasilla for months, that didn’t rack up a body count. There were hundreds of dead Mexicans from a gun running program run by the United States.”
Precisely because it was done by Liberals. As I have said before, Liberals can do anything they want, it’s you who oppose them that have to live with moral grounds.
Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals: Rule 4: Make opponents live up to their own book of rules.
But you don’t have to. And thus you handicap your opponent with morals and ethics when you don’t have any. Simple.
And then you have the media on your side willing to do your bidding. And judges who will rule for your ideology rather than the law.
What could be better. 🙂
PASS THE BILL
Here’s the real silliness of all this. The Obama plan would permanently raise tax rates in order to pay for a temporary tax cut.
Kinda like Obamacare’s 10 years of taxes for 6 years of service so as to pay “balance” games.
In other words, taxes are going up, not down, as far as the eye can see under Obama’s program.
And here’s more silliness. The White House and Senate Democrats want a 5.6 percent surtax on millionaires, which is supposed to pay for the entire stimulus package. And don’t forget: The Obama budget would raise the Bush tax rates for people making over $200,000, while the Obamacare budget would substantially increase payroll taxes that apply to investors. On top of that, the Obama budget would lower the value of numerous personal deductions.
So the top personal tax rate would move to nearly 50 percent under the Obama plan. Now do the incentive math. At a 50 percent tax rate, successful earners, investors, and small-business owners would keep only 50 cents on the extra dollar earned. Under current law, however, at the 35 percent top income-tax rate, they would keep 65 cents. So if the plan goes through, it would mean a 23 percent reduction in marginal incentives. This in a stalled economy where job creation doesn’t keep up with a rising population and is less than half the necessary level to shrink the unemployment rate.
Of course, the individuals and families who would suffer the greatest tax-penalty increases are the ones who are most likely to invest and run small businesses. In fact, Treasury data show that over 80 percent of millionaire tax filers reflect small-business income. Why demonize them? This is what Gov. Chris Christie meant when he said President Obama is sending a “demoralizing” message.
This tax attack is the latest assault from a White House that is making a sharp populist shift to the left. It coincides with a president who trashed Bank of America for raising debit-card fees in response to a Dodd-Frank price-control edict, and who suggests that banks do not have an inherent right to profit. It’s in league with a president who is throwing in with the Wall Street protesters. And it’s a sorry sign that the White House doesn’t understand that anti-capitalist nostrums will not solve our economic problems.
How about unleashing a wave of free-market capitalism, which has proven to be the best path to prosperity?
Unfortunately, Team Obama will have none of it. (Larry Kudlow)
Instead, we have communist anarchists “occupying” the news so no one has to talk about this but we can hear the incessant and incestuous drum beat of “corporate greed” and “evil millionaires” and “greedy capitalists”.
Vote for Team Obama, because they will fight “Corporate Greed”! 😦
<<barf bag on standby>>
September 12, 2011 — University of Wisconsin @ Stout
Oh, Mal. This is classic: tough, macho, but also Mal’s way of saying that he is a man who plays fair. It’s also funny, in context, because the character probably didn’t really mean it. In my perfect world, the UW-Stout campus would have been so overwhelmed with the memory of the super-awesomeness of Firefly that the administration would have canceled classes so every student could study the DVD box set.
But that’s not exactly how it worked.
Like overzealous Alliance officers, UW-Stout administration officials just could not let Mal be free. Instead, they called the cops on Professor Miller to tear down the poster. Miller was contacted by Lisa Walter, the chief of police/director of parking services, and informed that “it is unacceptable to have postings such as this that refer to killing.” She also warned the astounded professor that any future such posts would be removed and would cause him to be charged with disorderly conduct.
You don’t have to be a First Amendment lawyer to know that posting Mal’s quote or even that super-scary death-oriented quote from The Princess Bride is a far cry from any legal definition of disorderly conduct. And Miller, like a true browncoat, did not take this lying down. On September 16th he posted this:
Censor that, Alliance stooges!
Of course, that’s exactly what UW-Stout did. In a feat of intentional misunderstanding of the kind that is unfortunately all too common on campus, the university reinterpreted Professor Miller’s protest as being essentially pro-fascist and advocating violence. The police tore down this poster, too, with Chief Walter claiming this time that the problem was that the poster “depicts violence and mentions violence or death.” She went on to say that “it is believed that this posting also has a reasonable expectation that it will cause a material and/or substantial disruption of school activities and/or be constituted as a threat.” Seriously.
I am frequently impressed by the level of creativity people show in justifying their desire to quell criticism of themselves. This one deserves some kind of Rationalization of the Year award. Essentially, what Walter is saying is this: “I’ve chosen to understand your poster implying that my actions were reminiscent of evil governments that in the past have killed people to mean that you have announced your plan to kill people, as that interpretation works out well for me.”
These days, people are quick to uncritically evaluate any claim that someone else might be a threat for some reason and give leeway to the authorities accordingly.
No one was threatened by the Firefly poster, and no reasonable person would understand the second poster to be anything other than a rebuke of Walter’s heavy-handed action in the first place. The university overreacted to a poster and then decided to double down rather than admit error when the professor decided to make fun of that overreaction.
Professor Miller has twice been censored in a way that the Constitution would never allow, he has been threatened with punishment, and he’s being investigated by the university’s threat assessment team. My organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), has written to protest, but so far UW-Stout has refused to back down. Miller faces a meeting on Friday with the dean to discuss the threat assessment team’s “concerns.”
As Patrick Henry once more or less said: “Give Mal liberty or give me death!” Which would have, of course, made him guilty of disorderly conduct at UW-Stout.
Sept 27th: This was not an act of censorship. This was an act of sensitivity to and care for our shared community, and was intended to maintain a campus climate in which everyone can feel welcome, safe and secure.
September 28, 2011: The chancellor of University of Wisconsin-Stout (UWS) has declared that he will not defend faculty First Amendment rights from censorship.
Oct. 4, 2011—Under pressure from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), national media, and actors Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin, the University of Wisconsin-Stout (Stout) has reversed its censorship of theater professor James Miller’s poster featuring a line from Fillion’s character in Joss Whedon’s television series Firefly. Campus police had threatened Miller with criminal disorderly conduct charges, and he was reported to the “threat assessment team.” After Stout censored his second poster, which stated, “Warning: Fascism,” Miller came to FIRE for help.
To understand the importance of this as a First Amendment issue, one needs to closely examine what happened. A university’s Chief of Police/Parking Enforcement Officer, ignorant of the context of the quote, took it upon herself to remove not one but two posters without ever asking their context or purpose. The professor honestly expected his First Amendment rights would not be infringed, but the school’s Chancellor cowered behind bureaucratic zero tolerance policies and did just that.
Whether or not you agree with how the professor responded, the police chief clearly overreacted to something she misinterpreted. You can read the full exchange of those emails at FIRE. Nothing about the poster of a fictional TV Space Captain is intended to “cause others to fear for their safety”; in fact, it is the opposite of a threat.
Dr. Miller sent the administration the relevant clip from Firefly’s pilot episode Serenity. The context of the quote is an homage to fair play and a code of honor that obviously prefers non-violence.
Adam Baldwin (“Jayne”): This is precisely the issue with freedom of speech; words are subjective and can be interpreted differently by separate individuals. Sometimes this is done unintentionally, sometimes with malice, which is why the act of deciding what’s NOT free speech is ripe for abuse. The UWS administration’s stated desire to “promote a campus environment that is free from threats of any kind—both direct and implied” may be well-meaning, but its meaning amounts to nothing. How does one set a universal standard to determine what is an implied threat or in what context speech may “refer to violence and/or harm”? As Dr. Miller pointed out in his email response to police chief Lisa Walter, would this also apply to “a poster from Hamlet? Or a news clipping about Hockey players that commit violent murder?”
When asked if he knew of any other examples of such posters or signs on campus, Dr. Miller replied that while he wasn’t aware of any prior attempts at censorship, a “Kill Bill” poster from the popular Quentin Tarantino film was prevalent on campus earlier in the year. Some quick research finds the poster was actually a parody of the Kill Bill movie, as part of a campus-wide protest held in February against Governor Scott Walker’s budget bill.
Oddly enough, police chief Walter was not at all concerned with the reference to killing or to the weapon of violence depicted in those posters. In fact, she was quoted in this article at the time as being rather complimentary of the activities.
“The neat part of working in a university is that folks get to have their voices heard, and we try to make sure that it’s done in a manner that’s orderly and doesn’t disrupt the rest of the operations too much,” she said.
Walter also pointed out that the university’s union officers are not included in the exemption Walker provided to other law enforcement officers, firefighters and the State Patrol.
“He did not exempt UW police, Capitol police and, I believe, DNR wardens,” she said. “They will lose their ability to negotiate and have a union negotiate other work-related — other than salary. If the bill goes through, they will be without a contract — and without a union — on March 15.”
Is this because the police chief was not only overseeing security at the protest but also voicing her vested political interest in the highly controversial issue at hand? It seems clear that she was immersed in the context of that poster.
Words are subjective, indeed.
American Universities and colleges today are now, by design, overwhelmingly leftist in their belief systems and political activities. Students and faculty alike frequently glorify monstrous leftists like Mao Tse-tung and Che Guevara. To some, they are socialist revolutionary heroes, while to others their image alone is testimony of mass murder and oppression.
When Ward Churchill was fired from his job as Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2007 for engaging in research misconduct, scholars insisted that Churchill was singled out for his political views, most notably his statements about 9/11 in which he “referred to the ‘technocrats’ working at the World Trade Center as ‘little Eichmanns.‘” There continues to be an outpouring of support for Churchill from the academic community, many of whom have stressed that Academic Freedom must be staunchly defended.
Whither tolerance and intellectual diversity?
The University of Wisconsin-Madison was recently ordered by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to pay nearly $500,000 in legal costs to a student group that claimed its First Amendment rights were violated when the student government rejected a portion of its funds because they were earmarked for religious worship. Badger Catholic, a student Catholic group that conducts various religious and spiritual activities on and off campus, sued the university, which claimed that funding some of the group’s activities would “amount to an illegal endorsement of religion.” The Appeals Court disagreed with the University and the Supreme Court recently declined to hear the case. It’s been hailed as a victory for freedom of speech and religious expression on college campuses. $500K was lost because, rather than protecting the fundamental rights of its students, the school chose to discriminate against their activities purely because of the group’s religious beliefs.
While the flap over the Firefly poster may seem trivial, it is anything but. This incident and UWS’s ego-driven, bureaucratic response provides a teachable moment. It should make us pause and think about how easily our freedoms can erode, in the arbitrary name of protecting others’ feelings.
It’s one thing to ensure that students and faculty are physically safe, but when we surrender to the Wordsmiths what may or may not offend someone or make them uncomfortable, we are helping to pave our own Road to Hell.
“Sure as I know anything, I know this – they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, ten? They’ll swing back to the belief that they can make people… better. And I do not hold to that. So no more runnin’. I aim to misbehave.” – Mal Reynolds, Captain: Space Boat Serenity
The irony of a situation in which the character of Malcolm Reynolds–a man who risked life, limb, and loved ones to fight censorship in the movie Serenity–is at the center of a fight over whether or not something is censorship is not lost on this Firefly fan.
Just remember the Liberal Motto: Don’t do as I do, Do as I say. 🙂
You can’t stop the Signal, but you can try and muddy it up so bad no one can see it easily. That’s the Left in a nutshell.
Browncoats 1 Alliance 0 🙂