Monthly Archives: April 2014

I suppose I have to weigh in on Donald Sterling, since everyone else is doing it…

1. I have no opinion on what the proper punishment should be for something like this. 

2. Sterling is a racist asshole and I’m glad he’s being outed for that. 

3. This is not a First Amendment issue. The NBA can ban whoever it wants.

4. All of that being said, it’s not inappropriate to ask what kind of precedent this sets and where that precedent can lead. Professional sports leagues are not exactly bastions of tolerance. The Left can mock all they want, but the slippery slope question is a legitimate one. Does this mean that anyone associated with the NBA now gets a lifetime ban for racist/bigoted remarks? How does this apply to players? What about homophobic remarks? As Andrew Johnson points out:

In a post disingenuously titled “Fox News Reporter Is The Only One Who Seems To Have An Issue With Donald Sterling Ban,” HuffPost Media’s senior editor Jack Mirkinson goes after Wei for not following script with the rest of the media in asking “questions [that] were about things like how Silver himself was feeling, or why the NBA had overlooked Sterling’s racism for so many years.” On his show, MSNBC’s Ed Schultz accused Wei and Fox News of finding a way to “stand up for a racist billionaire.” Wei’s question obviously did no such thing: She wasn’t even questioning Silver’s decision, but rather inquiring about the possible ramifications of the precedent set (that privately expressed remarks could be grounds for life suspension). Along with race, one of tangential elements to the Sterling saga has been privacy, and it’s not unreasonable to suggest the NBA has set a problematic standard.

There are some good reads on all of this. Over at The Federalist, Denny Burk writes the necessary piece on what should be a pretty obvious point: why what the NBA did was right and what Mozilla did was wrong. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar makes a good point in this TIME piece. It’s good that Sterling was punished, but why the hell did it take so long? Why was this the last straw? Sterling has been behaving badly for years. Jim Geraghty also has important stuff to say in this quick blog post. 

As I stated above, I have no opinion on the proper punishment the NBA should mete out for something like this, so I’m going to focus on the issue of privacy, because I think it’s the most interesting part of all of this. I do find it troubling that we seem to be getting into a habit of banning people based on things like political donations and private conversations. Dennis Prager makes a good point in this column: If we’re going to start punishing people based on their private conversations (although, as Prager points out, Sterling’s racism went beyond that) we’re going to be banning a whole lot of people.

That these comments are racist and therefore contemptible goes without saying. But the incident raises other issues that are not as clear as the racism in Sterling’s comments. And at least as important. One is the increasingly common release — and acceptability — of private recordings and videos. Take the video released last month of a married congressman engaged in a passionate kiss with a married member of his staff. This was a security surveillance video. Isn’t the only reason for the very existence of surveillance cameras to catch criminals? Why didn’t the release of such a video shock the media and the country?… Similarly, recordings of private speech must also remain private unless they pose a danger to others. When the media report private conversations that pose no threat of violence, they encourage more and more people to record and release private conversations. That, far more than the NSA’s trolling of billions of phone calls in order to identify terrorists, poses a real threat to privacy. Where are the civil-liberties groups and libertarians on this issue? Now, the second issue: How important to the public are the private remarks of public individuals?…Yes, the private remarks attributed to Sterling are racist and awful. But the growing acceptance of leaks of people’s private non-criminal behaviors and comments — and the consequent judgment of these people — will ultimately injure society far more than who owns the Los Angeles Clippers.

A.J. Delgado makes some good points on this front, as well:

We learned this weekend that Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team, allegedly made disgusting and bigoted remarks about African-Americans. At best, they are hair-raising, cringe-inducing, and downright repugnant. You may need a paper bag to puke in while listening. It is no surprise that the nation is outraged. But privacy is also an issue of hefty importance. In only a few short years, privacy as we know it has fallen by the wayside. Digital communication (e.g., emails, texts) means most private interactions are ripe for disclosure, even when clearly intended to be confidential and even when both parties represented themselves as respecting that confidence. Privacy journalist and Cato Institute fellow Julian Sanchez tweeted in the midst of the chaos, “Actually tend to think the right response here is; ‘It’s none of your business what I said or why during a private phone call’.”
…Much in the same way the justice system refuses to consider evidence obtained without a warrant, why should our conscience allow us to indulge a story involving the betrayal of someone’s privacy? Whether the individual holds loathsome views is irrelevant. There is something unsettling about complicity in breaching a fellow human’s (basic?) right. Were Sterling’s comments appalling? Of course. But they were said in a private communication. Surely that must count for something? Then there is the problem of rewarding bad behavior. Adding kindling to the Sterling controversy only rewards the immoral actions of a person who leaked a tape to the media, possibly out of revenge or for financial gain, definitely in the midst of a lawsuit involving not only Sterling but his long-suffering wife.

Bernie Goldberg argues that punishing people in this way is exactly what we should be doing…


So what lesson should we take of the public flogging of Donald Sterling, as deserved as it was? How about this: If anyone – an accountant, a garbage man, an MSNBC host, a college professor, an attorney general, a president, a truck driver . . . anyone! . . . says something racist in the privacy of his or her home, and if it somehow becomes public information, that person should lose his or her job and his or her livelihood – because racist words cannot be tolerated in America, not in 2014. I understand that Sterling had a high-profile job and that the NBA is pretty much a black league. So his dumb remarks were especially hurtful. But if we want to stamp out racism, what better way than to hold everybody accountable for what they say – no matter where they say it?

Bernie goes on to make an additional point, which I think is incredibly important…

I am confused, however, about why there is no universal condemnation of athletes who father children in every city in the league. Or of athletes who beat up their girlfriends. Or of athletes who drive drunk and kill people. I guess none of those things warrant the moral outrage that bigoted words uttered by a foolish old man in private warrant.

Actions are more important than words, in my opinion. If saying hateful things gets you banned for life, than beating people up (an actual crime) probably should, too. 

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What’s the Left up to today? Moral posturing and false equivalence

There was much pearl clutching and kvetching on Twitter last night over a “botched” execution in Oklahoma. My response was something like this: “Which prisoner died after the botched execution? The one who shot a teenager and buried her alive? Or the one who raped and murdered an 11-month-old baby? People are apparently very upset that one of these guys may have suffered before they died, but I just can’t get too sad about it.” The Left, however, was up in arms, which is interesting considering…

Even liberals I really respect (like Jeffrey Goldberg) surprised me with their absurd moral posturing and stunningly stupid false equivalences. Sonny Bunch has the definitive article on all of this:

Last night, Oklahoma was scheduled to execute two individuals. The second execution was to be of a man who raped and murdered an 11-month-old girl. That execution never took place because the first execution—that of a man who was involved in the murder and burial alive of a 19-year-old woman who walked in on a robbery—ran into some difficulties. The state was using a new lethal injection cocktail and, it seems, the poor murderer suffered a bit before expiring of a heart attack. I want to highlight two reactions to this “botched” execution. The first was an absurd bit of moral lunacy, the second a more nuanced and interesting question. The moral lunacy first: Anti-death-penalty advocates seized on this instance to post charts such as this one that purport to show the United States is just as bad as China and Iran because we execute criminals and they execute criminals and all executions are obviously the same. The suggestion that the United States taking decades to execute first degree murderers and Iran hanging gays from cranes and China murdering political dissidents is in any way similar is an idiotic bit of false moral equivalence, one that proves the deep unseriousness of a certain segment of the anti-death penalty contingent.

There are legitimate arguments against the death penalty, but if yours involves comparing America’s executions of brutal murderers to Iran’s (and others) executions of gays and political dissidents, you’re not very smart. It’s an intellectually retarded argument.

The way the media treated this story was also telling. They treated a doctor killing babies by snipping their necks as a “local crime story” but treated a murderer suffering during his execution as a national scandal. And as Sonny Bunch tweeted…

AG Conservative also made a good point…

David Harsanyi and Mark Hemingway provide the two best arguments, in my opinion, against capital punishment…

Bunch also expresses my view on capital punishment at the end of the linked article above:

I believe the studies that show the death penalty does nothing to deter crime, yet support it anyway, as I believe there are some crimes so heinous that there can be no forgiveness from society. This plays into my whole theory of the judicial system, which is that we should imprison fewer nonviolent offenders, rehabilitate those prisoners who can be rehabilitated, and severely punish the rest. I also think we should probably execute fewer people and heighten the standards of evidence required before an execution can be obtained.

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Your Morning Cup of Links

You guys

Ever feel self-conscious eating out alone? Moomin Café in Tokyo has recently gone viral because gigantic stuffed animals are seated across the table from solo diners in an attempt to reduce any discomfort.

BmTixwLIUAAqqSu

That’s right.

With two governors already currently in prison, Illinois goes for the trifecta.

It’s been a banner week for the NBA.

Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal is under fire for mocking a disabled fan’s selfie. The retired athlete posted a picture on Instagram of his own contorted face next to Jahmel Binion’s selfie…With missing teeth and abnormal hair growth caused by the rare disorder ectodermal dysplasia, the Michigan man is used to getting bullied — but Shaq’s mockery was too much to bear. He considered Shaq his basketball idol and respected the former high-profile athlete’s charitable works and advocacy for disadvantaged children in America.

The word “fiesta” is racist, apparently.

Another ridiculous politically-correct brouhaha has broken out at Dartmouth College, America’s most hopelessly and disturbingly fragile Ivy League school. This time, the fracas is over a fundraiser for cardiac care that the Phi Delta Alpha fraternity and the Alpha Phi sorority had planned to jointly sponsor, reports Campus Reform. Problems arose because a single student, junior Daniela Hernandez, was offended by the party’s theme of “Phiesta.” As a result, the soiree, which was scheduled for Saturday, has been canceled by the presidents of the respective Greek organizations. Had the party happened, it would have included a live band as well as virgin piña coladas and strawberry daiquiris. There would also have been burritos, chips and salsa, and guacamole. The cash raised at the event would have gone to benefit cardiac treatments. However, Hernandez’s deep offense about racial insensitivity was enough to call it off…Phi Delt president Taylor Catchcart explained why the Greek organizations folded. “We felt that the possibility of offending even one member of the Dartmouth community was not worth the potential benefits of having the fundraiser,” he said. This incident is one more in a long of episodes that pretty clear prove that Dartmouth is slowly going insane as an institution.

ONE PERSON made that happen. ONE. If this generation ever needs to seriously defend the First Amendment, god help us.

So, the Democrats’ plan this week is to blame winter for the economy grinding to a halt in Q1 (because we’ve never had winter before) and to change the First Amendment to restrict political speech. Brilliant! The UK economy grew 30 times faster than the U.S. economy in the last three months. In Canada (where they don’t have winter, obviously) their GDP grew 2.5% in February. What do the UK and Canada have in common? They’ve spent the last several years moving away from their socialist tendencies and getting their fiscal houses in order. We are doing the opposite.

Of course. Term limits? Pfft. Illinois politicians stay in office until they go to jail. Everyone knows that.

 Your Wednesday cry: University of Alabama student dies in tornado while saving his girlfriend’s life.

RUH ROH

Previously unreleased internal Obama administration emails show that a coordinated effort was made in the days following the Benghazi terror attacks to portray the incident as “rooted in [an] Internet video, and not [in] a broader failure or policy.” Emails sent by senior White House adviser Ben Rhodes to other top administration officials reveal an effort to insulate President Barack Obama from the attacks that killed four Americans…[Susan] Rice came under fierce criticism following her appearances on television after she adhered to these talking points and blamed the attack on a little-watched Internet video. The newly released internal White House e-mails show that Rice’s orders came from top Obama administration communications officials…Also contained in the 41 pages of documents obtained by Judicial Watch is a Sep. 12, 2012 email from Payton Knopf, the former deputy spokesman at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. In this communication, Knopf informs Rice that senior officials had already dubbed the Benghazi attack as “complex” and planned in advance. Despite this information, Rice still insisted that attacks were “spontaneous.” The newly released cache of emails also appear to confirm that the CIA altered its original talking points on the attacks in the following days. Then-CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell is identified as the person who heavily edited the critical fact sheet.

As Noah Rothman notes, this is pure vindication for the few reporters (Jonathan Karl, Sharyl Attkisson) who actually tried to investigate the Benghazi scandal.

Yet another member of the Obama administration has been caught lying to Congress.

Newly released documents are fueling GOP questions about whether EPA put politics ahead of policy by publishing a controversial climate rule so late that it will allow red-state Senate Democrats to dodge a difficult vote. The records also contradict the congressional testimony of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, who told senators early this year that her agency had submitted the rule to the Federal Register “as soon as that proposal was released.” But in fact, EPA didn’t submit the rule to the Federal Register until Nov. 25, more than two months after the agency released it to the public. And the Federal Register didn’t publish it until Jan. 8. The delay means that the soonest congressional Republicans can force a vote on repealing the rule is January 2015 — months after the vote would pose a tricky political dilemma for some Democrats seeking reelection.

Sonny Bunch on the unbearable pointlessness of Ezra Klein’s VOX DOT COM.

Osama bin Laden is apparently pretty popular in Brazil.

Football fans heading to Brazil this summer for the 2014 FIFA World Cup may be in for a surprise when they stumble across the “Ousama Bin Laden” bar in Sao Paulo – a local watering hole that has attracted international media attention over its name. The establishment, named after the late al-Qaeda leader, is run by an apparent Bin Laden lookalike, Ceará Francisco Helder Braga Fernandes. He had opened the business years ago, but renamed it after the September 11, 2001 attack on New York City, the Guardian reported. It is located “just down the road” from the official FIFA Fan Fest venue in Anhangabau…Brazil is home to about a dozen establishments named after the late al-Qaeda leader, including a restaurant called Bin Laden and Family.

An Auschwitz survivor is searching for his long-lost brother on Facebook. Nina Strochlic reports:

Menachem Bodner last saw his twin brother at age 4, when he was liberated from the infamous Auschwitz laboratory of Dr. Josef Mengele. Now, armed with proof that his brother also survived, he’s watching his search go viral online. It’s most likely that Menachem Bodner last saw his identical twin in 1945, in Dr. Josef Mengele’s gruesome Auschwitz laboratory. He was 4 then and doesn’t remember his time in the notorious death camp. But in the 68 years that have followed, Bodner says he’s “always” been certain he was one of a pair. He just didn’t have any proof until this past year. Now, he’s searching for Jeno, a man who probably looks just like him, and who has a distinctive “A-7734” tattoo on his forearm. And 1 million Facebook users are helping him look…Until last May, Bodner didn’t even know that his own name was once Elias Gottesmann. Now he knows that. And he knows for certain that he has a twin—thanks to the Nazis’ dogged, pathological documentation of their crimes. Ayana KimRon, a professional genealogist in Israel, found the evidence, clearly written in a record put together by the organization Candles, of twins who were “identified as having been liberated at Auschwitz or from a subcamp”:

A-7733, Gottesmann, Elias, 4
A-7734, Gottesmann, Jeno, 4

In early March, after months of dead-end trails and fruitless posts within the Jewish and genealogical communities online, KimRon decided the campaign needed a broader audience. She created a Facebook page titled “A7734,” posted a black-and-white shot of a young boy and a caption with his tattoo number, and asked for any clues into his whereabouts. Within 24 hours it had gone viral, and a within a week, the photo has had 23,000 shares, 1.13 million views, and hundreds of comments from readers offering resources, prayers, and words of encouragement.

Chicago has joined NYC’s e-cigarette ban idiocy.

Islamic extremists are now crucifying people in Syria.

In 1973, Salvador Dali made a lavish cookbook, full of erotic illustrations and sensual recipes.

A chilling WaPo piece on Boko Haram, the worst people on earth.

American idiots: a bunch of dumb socialists chased a bunch of Uber cars in Seattle as a form of protest.

A mob of people, dubbed The Counterforce, allegedly ran through the streets of Seattle on Saturday night, chasing down Uber cars and detaining them in traffic. This is prompted by the assumption, according to the site, that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is a “sociopath” and that his company is destabilizing and undermining African immigrant communities in Seattle. “Dozens of cab owners are currently threatened by the unrestrained expansion of Uber, and if the company is allowed to discard any regulation, multiple families will lose a significant portion of their monthly incomes when Uber overtakes the smaller taxi services,” the manifesto reads. “In the cannibalistic utopia of the free market capitalists, this is the normal way of things. In their world, everyone must live on their knees so that the Uber Men may be great.”

Morons.

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Video of the Day

Indeed. Forget about these two losers and focus on the harmful policies that actually effect the lives of minorities.

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April 29, 2014 · 8:23 pm

Afternoon Links

Jesus H. Christ. These people NEVER STOP.

University of Utah supporters could soon be singing a new fight song for the first time in over a century after the student government voted on a resolution to change the lyrics of “Utah Man” because of its sexist and racial overtones. Members of the Associated Students of the University of Utah (ASUU) alleged that the title and some of the lyrics are “problematic” and could lead to “feelings of exclusion” for some students, specifically minorities and women. Instead, it asks the university’s administration to replace those portions of the tune with broader, more politically correct terms…The male-centered lyrics could lead students who “do not identify as men or being a man” to feel excluded from the campus community, the resolution states. Additionally, members took issue with a lyric in the first verse that states “Our coeds are the fairest.” The resolution argues the line is “supporting a hierarchy built on complexion and skin tone, privileging a light or ‘fair’ appearance.” Alison Boyer, a member of the ASUU Assembly, said that not changing the song is “allowing hurtful speech to be perpetrated” on campus. Another member, Lydia Owens, compared keeping the current song to opposing interracial marriage and denying women’s suffrage.

OH COME ON.

I’m not covering the Donald Sterling saga much, because I’m tired of the “Racist/Homophobe/Sexist of the Week” news cycle. There’s actual news the media could be covering (like the VA scandal) instead of this circus. Sterling is obviously a terrible person and his racist behavior (this isn’t the first instance, by the way, although the NAACP has given him awards regardless) is abhorrent. However, I’m not sure why everyone is so obsessed with this stuff. There are real problems in this country. If a politician said this, I would care a lot. But I just don’t care what random private citizens think about stuff. Some people are assholes. This is not news. If the owner of an NFL team said something like “women shouldn’t have the vote”…I just don’t care. Although, I suppose the shock people experience when someone says something like this is a good thing. It’s good because it’s shocking. Because no one talks like this anymore (thank goodness). So, when we hear it, we are stunned and repulsed and it’s a big deal. Anyway, I think Scott Shackford makes a good point here:

For some folks, the most important question was: What political party does Sterling belong to? There’s nothing about this scandal that suggests Sterling’s political affiliation means anything whatsoever. Nevertheless somebody tried to tag him as a Republican, prompting former Reason editor and current National Review Editor Tim Cavanaugh to point out his very short history of political donations (two whole candidates) is to the Democrats. (Update: Mother Jones notes that he is nevertheless registered as a Republican). That means the Democrats are racists unless they all take to the press and thoroughly disavow Sterling, right? No, no it doesn’t. And it wouldn’t say anything about the Republican Party had he donated to two Republicans. Running alongside the constant engine of Internet outrage at the behavior of the political opposition is the rush toward guilty by association, even when it’s not relevant to any sort of policy proposal or connected to the political platform by any party. The line of argument appears to just be “X did a bad thing and X is a [Republican/Democrat] and therefore his party is [racist/hypocritical/corrupt/et cetera]. Every major political figure of that party must publicly disavow him now! Right now!” This is exactly what happened last week when it turned out Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who had been fighting with the Bureau of Land Management over grazing on public lands, had said racist things. It prompted some stupid musing about whether everybody who opposed government power was racist and political figures who otherwise supported Bundy’s efforts to disavow his comments. J.D. Tuccille has previously responded to this sort of absurd, ahistorical argument; everybody should read what he had to say. When Democratic Calif. State Sen. Leland Yee was arrested on suspicion of corruption and participation in an international gun-running operation, I saw outrage from the right over the fact that his political affiliation was not in the headline of the story and was buried further down, not mentioned in the lede. Tweets declared that if Yee had been a Republican, his political affiliation would be right up there. The outrage was further compounded when his story, an outrageous tale of a progressive gun control advocate’s hypocritical double-life, failed to get much national attention. Would the same had been true had he been a Republican? The analysis of Yee coverage is an important piece of media criticism, but watching these online debates makes me want to ask conservatives and libertarians: Is the problem that conservatives and libertarians are all being tarred by their worst adherents or is the problem that progressives aren’t? Yee’s alleged corruption and hypocrisy is outrageous; but does anybody really think there’s any possible way to reflect his sins upon the entire Democratic Party? Of course not, because abuse of political power is not unique to either party, even with the sexy gun twist…The problem is that the power exists, not which party has control of it. Perhaps it’s because I’m such a “pox on both their houses” kind of guy, but I really don’t see what conservatives and libertarians hope to gain by trying to fight fire with fire here.

Scott is correct. But I think a lot of conservatives/libertarians, like myself, emphasize political party when a Democrat behaves badly because the other side does it constantly and I don’t believe in unilateral disarmament. I think sometimes people need a taste of their own medicine. I’m not willing to shut up while the Left paints half the country as racists because of what one rancher said. The political parties of these people matters not at all. But it does to the media. If the guilty party is a Republican, that fact is in every damn headline. If he/she is a Democrat it doesn’t even make it onto the page. So when someone on the Left says something awful, I’m going to point out that they’re a Democrat. When the Left plays fair, I’ll play fair.

Oddly enough, I think Mark Cuban says it best regarding Sterling:

“What Donald said was wrong,” Cuban said. “It was abhorrent. There’s no place for racism in the NBA, any business I’m associated with, and I don’t want to be associated with people who have that position. But at the same time, that’s a decision I make. I think you’ve got to be very, very careful when you start making blanket statements about what people say and think, as opposed to what they do. It’s a very, very slippery slope. Again, there’s no excuse for his positions. There’s no excuse for what he said. There’s no excuse for anybody to support racism. There’s no place for it in our league, but there’s a very, very, very slippery slope. If it’s about racism and we’re ready to kick people out of the league, OK? Then what about homophobia? What about somebody who doesn’t like a particular religion? What about somebody who’s anti-semitic? What about a xenophobe? In this country, people are allowed to be morons.”

Bill Maher (who is an idiot on most things, but is quite good on free speech) said something similar on Twitter yesterday:

As Reason notes:

Cuban…raises a series of interesting questions, including whether private conversations should have public consequences of the sort we’re dealing with here…To this point: If Sterling didn’t have a long and unsavory history regarding racially charged issues (NBA legend and former Clippers GM Elgin Baylor sued him for wrongful termination and discrimination; he settled a case charging him with discriminatory housing practices), the tape might not have been as explosive. One of the implications of Cuban’s comments is that many players, coaches, and team owners would be in trouble if homophobia were raised to the level of racism as a disqualifying set of beliefs. Despite the recent announcement of an openly gay current player, the league is widely regarded as a hotbed of anti-gay animus. Cuban’s point, which I think he makes with clarity and with the best of intentions, is that chasing out bad ideas is never as easy as it seems at first blush.

Great piece by Dana Perino on the Left’s disgusting, hypocritical attacks on a gay Republican congressional candidate.

Let’s pretend you’re a screenwriter assigned to develop a character to run for Congress in California in 2014. You need a compelling story, so you make him an orphan at 13 – wait, even better his dad leaves the family two weeks before his mother died – and then social services splits up his brothers and sisters leaving him alone in the world. Despite those challenges he perseveres, putting himself through a top-tier college and then building and selling two multimillion-dollar companies. Thus financially secure, he decides to dedicate himself to public service and runs for City Council. In his first term he works across party lines and four years after his first election he passes major pension reform that saves the city money and protects the retirement savings of thousand of people. For good measure, you make him openly gay and in a committed relationship, the first to feature his partner in campaign literature. He’s the perfect candidate to send to Washington, D.C. and, of course, he’s a Democrat, right? Wrong. The real story proves that truth is stranger and sometimes better than fiction. Your character already exists in Carl DeMaio of San Diego – except that he’s not a Democrat, he’s a (gasp!) Republican…DeMaio has been the target of homophobic attacks. But where are those attacks coming from? It’s not always from the far right social conservatives you’d expect; rather, it’s been from DeMaio’s left – the liberal and Democrat-affiliated groups that you’d think would be proud that an openly gay successful businessman has decided to run for office…”I’ve found more tolerance, acceptance and inclusion from social conservative groups who have to reconcile that I’m a Republican who happens to be gay…versus the intolerance the LGBT leaders see me as a gay man who happens to be a Republican,” DeMaio said. As the race heats up and DeMaio gains in the polls ahead of the Republican primary on June 3rd, the LGBT groups have gone from silence about his candidacy to actively working against him.

Read the whole thing.

New York City’s absolutely batshit, absurd, Orwellian ban on e-cigarettes is officially in place. So ridiculous...

Vallone and 42 of his colleagues demonstrated their confusion by voting to treat vaping like smoking, meaning e-cigarettes will be banned from bars, restaurants, and other indoor spaces open to the public, along with outdoor locations such as parks and beaches. Although that arbitrary edict may relieve the discomfort of politicians bewildered by a new technology, it probably will mean more smoking-related disease and death, the opposite of their avowed goal. The New York Times called the meeting during which Vallone expressed his dismay at metal tubes that resemble cigarettes “one of the most scientifically vague and emotionally charged health committee hearings in recent memory.” New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley supplied the scientific vagueness, admitting there is no evidence that e-cigarettes pose a threat to vapers themselves, let alone bystanders. Still, he said, “I certainly can’t guarantee that that is safe.” But the real problem with e-cigarettes, according to Farley and other supporters of the ban, is that they look too much like the real thing. “E-cigarettes threaten, in my opinion, to undermine enforcement of the Smoke-Free Air Act,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said…”Because many of the e-cigarettes are designed to look like cigarettes and be used just like them, they can lead to confusion or confrontation.” You might think that people of ordinary intelligence would pretty quickly learn to distinguish a burning stick of dried vegetable matter from an e-cigarette, which contains no tobacco and produces no smoke. And once they learned the difference, they could explain it to the New York City Council.

Chicago politics: the gift that keeps on giving.

Facing up to 15 years in prison and stripped of his U.S. passport, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s former city comptroller ordered his wife this week “to get him a fake birth certificate from Pakistan for a passport,” according to court records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times. Now, Amer Ahmad is on the lam, and a judge issued a warrant Friday for his arrest…Ahmad — who has continued to live in Chicago since resigning from his $165,000-a-year City Hall post last summer — pleaded guilty in December to being part of a large kickback and money-laundering scheme when he was Ohio’s deputy state treasurer. The crimes occurred before Ahmad joined Emanuel’s administration in April 2011. An outside investigation that City Hall commissioned to review Ahmad’s conduct revealed no criminal wrongdoing by Ahmad or his staff. That investigation cost Chicago taxpayers $825,000. In recent months, Ahmad, 39, had become physically and verbally abusive toward his wife and three children, ages 7, 6 and 2, and had been undergoing psychiatric treament, his wife wrote in her petition for the order of protection.

Sonny Bunch tells the Left to GET OFF MY LAWN!

The thing that annoys conservatives the most about liberals when it comes to economics isn’t so much that they disagree. People disagree all the time about all sorts of things, but disagreement alone doesn’t tend to get the blood boiling. No, what annoys conservatives about liberals is the stunning and blatant hypocrisy in virtually every pronouncement that they make. For instance, remember when the Obama administration announced it was going to crack down on unpaid internships?…There are any number of problems with ending unpaid internships, of course—the largest one being that such opportunities for unskilled employees will simply vanish, thus closing off an avenue of entry into a preferred profession for those lacking experience—but liberals don’t care about pesky little things like “unintended consequences.” What’s right is right! And what’s right is increasing the minimum wage and paying interns! Except for interns that, um, work at the White House, apparently. They can still be paid zero dollars…Then there’s unionization. We’ve been told again and again that the cards are stacked against employees, most of whom are abused by their corporate overlords. If only they unionized, they could have a better life! But winning unionization elections via secret ballot is relatively difficult, so the left has pushed for “card check” campaigns that would unionize a business once a bare majority of individuals sign cards announcing they want to form a union. Media Matters, for instance, has been pretty insistent on the awesomeness of pro-card-check legislation…Of course, when Media Matters employees wanted to form a union, the company’s big shots decided that card check is okay for manufacturers and grocery store workers but totes terrible for liberal watchdogs…Again: Most conservatives totally agree with David Brock and the other fat cats at Media Matters. They should have the right to demand a secret ballot election! Employees shouldn’t be subjected to the intimidation and thuggish tactics that card check campaigns invite. What grates isn’t Brock and Co’s decision. What grates is the hypocrisy of it all…Conservatives are tired of being preached to about money in politics by politicians and hacks and flacks that swim Scrooge McDuck-style in pools of money provided by environmentalist billionaires and union slush funds. We’re sick of being lectured about inequality by explainers living in million-dollar condos and columnists who earn six figures a year lecturing about the dangers of wealth in their spare time. It’s getting boring to hear the left whine about the minimum wage and unpaid internships and the awesomeness of unionization even as it fights tooth and nail against the implementation of any of these things. In other words: practice what you preach, bros. And until you do, kindly mind your business.

Obama’s executive order work edicts are causing businesses to flee military bases. Hmmm, I seem to remember some people predicting this would happen. Byron York reports:

The fight over the minimum wage, which President Obama and Democrats hope to make a centerpiece of this year’s midterm elections, comes down to two simple arguments. Obama says low-income working Americans deserve a raise, while Republicans say raising the minimum wage would cost jobs. It was a mostly theoretical argument until Feb. 12, when Obama signed an executive order raising the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors to $10.10 an hour from $7.25…Obama’s order does not take effect until January 1, 2015. But there are signs it is already having an effect — and it is not what the president and his party said it would be. In late March, the publication Military Times reported that three McDonald’s fast-food restaurants, plus one other lesser-known food outlet, will soon close at Navy bases, while other national-name chains have “asked to be released from their Army and Air Force Exchange Service contracts to operate fast-food restaurants at two other installations.” Military Times quoted sources saying the closures are related to the coming mandatory wage increases, with one source saying they are “the tip of the iceberg.”…The administration is making it very expensive to do business on military bases, and not just because of the minimum wage. Under federal contracting law, some businesses operating on military installations must also pay their workers something called a health and welfare payment, which last year was $2.56 an hour but which the administration has now raised to $3.81 an hour. In the past, fast-food employers did not have to pay the health and welfare payment, but last fall the Obama Labor Department ruled that they must. So add $3.81 per hour, per employee to the employers’ cost. And then add Obama’s $2.85 an hour increase in the minimum wage. Together, employers are looking at paying $6.66 more per hour, per employee. That’s a back-breaking burden. (Just for good measure, the administration also demanded such employers provide paid holidays and vacation time.) And one more thing. Military contracting laws do not allow businesses to raise their prices above the level prevailing in the local community. The fast-food operators can’t charge more to make up their losses…”Given the business model typical in the fast food industry, this increase in the cost of labor dramatically disrupts the profitability and viability of food service operators” on military bases, Beland wrote. “The increased labor burden resulting from the new [wage structure] eliminates any profit the operator might otherwise realize and puts him in an impossible business dilemma.” Beland wrote that Navy exchange officials estimate that 390 fast-food concessions in the U.S. and territories will close because of the increased costs. “Closure of these facilities would result in loss of work for nearly 5,750 contracted concession employees who are currently gainfully employed,” Beland wrote. And that’s just for the Navy and Marines. The Army exchange system is much bigger, and including the Air Force, could affect as many as 10,000 more jobs…It looks like the president’s critics were right.

Our President is an economic retard.

U.S. senators have removed the requirement for disclosure of ‘noncombatant civilians’ killed in drone strikes, at DNI James Clapper’s request. Not a good move, in my opinion.

Not the Onion: Saudi Arabia criticizes Norway over its “human rights” record. Of course, Saudi Arabia has a very, very different definition of what “rights” are…

Saudi Arabia has criticised Norway’s human rights record, accusing the country of failing to protect its Muslim citizens and not doing enough to counter criticism of the prophet Mohammed….The gulf state called for all criticism of religion and of prophet Mohammed to be made illegal in Norway.

Charles C.W. Cooke takes on E.J. Dionne’s unbelievably stupid column on Georgia’s gun law. He addresses Dionne’s objections one-by-one:

If individuals carrying their firearms into bars resulted inevitably in shootouts, we’d be seeing it already. We’re not. In every state except Louisiana and Montana, it is already legal for concealed-carry permit holders to take their firearms into restaurants that serve alcohol (Montana allows only open carry in restaurants serving alcohol). Only 16 states explicitly prohibit people who are carrying from entering bars…Notably, Dionne fails to mention that every single state in the Union has rules governing how much permit holders may drink while in possession of a firearm and that many states prohibit consumption at all…Georgia’s new law does not mandate carrying in church, but merely allows individual businesses and churches to establish their own rules. Before passage, it was illegal in Georgia for churches to allow their congregants to carry; now it is up to the churches…The law wipes out the regulations that prohibited those “pesky” individual business owners, libraries, school districts, and church leaders from setting their own guidelines. It is little short of astonishing that Dionne would attempt to characterize a state provision that leaves these questions up to each organization as destroying local variation when they do precisely the opposite: fracturing the regulations even further and expanding individual control. Had the state made it illegal for private businesses and local governments to prohibit firearms, he would have a point. It didn’t. He doesn’t.

Next, Charles addresses the ridiculous panic over the new airport rules…

If you “connect through Atlanta” then, by definition, 1) you’ll be safely on the other side of the security checkpoint, after which one is not allowed to carry a firearm; 2) you won’t have access to any firearms you’re transporting, because they’ll be checked; and 3) this provision doesn’t apply to you because you won’t be interacting with the TSA at all. Forget the silliness: All that this law does is prevent flyers who forget that they are carrying firearms — a common occurrence, according to the TSA — from being prosecuted. It does not allow travelers with firearms to take them through security. It does not exempt them from the usual checks. It does not give anyone “a break.” Judging by his agitation, Dionne appears to believe that Georgia’s allowing permit holders to carry in airports is peculiar. It is not. Federal law prohibits firearms from being brought beyond the security checkpoints in all U.S. airports, but most states do not extend this rule to the common areas. At last count, only eleven states forbade visitors from bringing their guns into the non-secured areas in airport terminals.

On to Dionne’s objection to taking guns “into government buildings that don’t have screening devices or security guards.” Cooke responds:

This makes sense only if you presume that 1) buildings without “screening devices or security guards” are at less risk if they put up a “gun-free zone” sign than if they don’t, which is absurd; that 2) allowing concealed-carry permit holders to go into government buildings makes those permit holders more likely to shoot up government buildings, which is absurd…If Georgia’s government buildings have been safe up until this point, there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that they won’t continue to be safe after this law has been implemented. This is emotional nonsense, nothing more and nothing less.

Cooke concludes:

Over the last 25 years or so, the opponents of the right to bear arms have shown a remarkable willingness to behave as if every new law represented a return to the Hobbesian state of nature. It made some sense for the critics of concealed carry to forecast shootouts in the street in 1987, because there was little evidence either way as to what would happen if you trusted people to carry arms. Now such claims are preposterous. A couple of years ago, Illinois’s governor, Pat Quinn, reacted to the idea that his state might become the 50th to permit “private citizens to carry loaded concealed handguns in public places” with the prediction that Illinoisans who “bump into somebody accidentally” at “the grocery store” would “assuage their anger” with their weapons. He made this prognosis after 49 states had already demonstrated that such things simply do not happen, and after the gun-crime rate had fallen consistently for two decades. Those among us who would prefer that the various levels of American government base their firearms laws on reason rather than ignorant and overwrought emotion have a duty to ensure that the likes of Quinn are laughed at mercilessly for their delirium.

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Music Monday

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April 28, 2014 · 4:47 pm

Your Morning Cup of Links

Toyota is moving their headquarters from California to Texas for the obvious reasons.

Tim Teeman has a wonderfully mean review of Dr. Jenny McCarthy’s new book.

Goddamn it.

Al-Qaeda’s top bomb-maker — one of the world’s most wanted terrorists — is believed to be alive and well despite a special forces raid in Yemen intended to eliminate him. Ibrahim al-Asiri, 32, whose “malevolent creativity” at building tiny bombs that bypass airport security is the reason millions of people have to endure body scans before boarding planes, may not even have been at the camp that was targeted by the US-Yemeni strike a week ago. It is likely that Nasser al-Wuhayshi, the deputy leader of al-Qaeda and the chief of its affiliated wing in Yemen, was also unharmed in the offensive.

Fucking absurd. The UK’s speech laws are shameful.

Paul Weston, co-founder and leader of the GB Liberty party and a candidate for Member of the European Parliament, was arrested Saturday, hauled off in a police van, and could face two years in prison. All for reading a passage from Winston Churchill’s book, The River War, regarding Islam…Mr Weston, a candidate in the 22 May European Elections in the South East, was arrested on 26 April in front of Winchester Guildhall for quoting in public a passage critical of Islam written by Winston Churchill, using a megaphone…He spent several hours in a cell at Winchester Police Station, after which the original charge of breaching a Section 27 Dispersal Notice was dropped and Mr Weston was “re-arrested” for a Racially Aggravated Crime, under Section 4 of the Public Order Act, which carries a potential prison sentence of 2 years. He was then fingerprinted and obliged to submit to DNA sampling, following which he was bailed with a return date to Winchester Police on May 24th.

It’s only Monday, but I’ve already found my Unusually Stupid Primate of the Week. When WaPo’s resident dolt, E.J. Dionne, discovers Google and looks up the gun laws in the other 49 states he’s going to be in for a serious shock. As I noted on Friday, Georgia’s new law catches them up to much of the rest of the country. Also, concealed carry permit holders tend not to go around shooting people. Criminals do, and they don’t seem to care about laws. But don’t confuse E.J. and his fellow Leftists with the facts.

The truth about “Game of Thrones” and “medieval” baby names.

Et tu, TIME?

Behold, the worst person ever.

A woman who hit three teenage boys on bikes while driving, killing one and injuring the other two, is suing the dead teen for the emotional trauma she suffered. Mother-of-three Sharlene Simon, 42, is also suing the other two boys and the dead boy’s family for $1.35 million in damages due to her psychological suffering, including depression, anxiety, irritability and post-traumatic stress.

WHO DOES THAT?

Why do we want to squeeze cute things?

Seeing something cute actually does bring out aggression in us, according to a paper presented at Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s annual meeting in New Orleans last Friday…The study’s researchers, led by Rebecca Dyer, a graduate student in psychology at Yale University, dubs the phenomenon “cute aggression.” “We think it’s about high positive-affect, an approach orientation and almost a sense of lost control,” she said. It’s so adorable, it drives you crazy. But for the sake of thoroughness, researchers did a second experiment to test whether the aggression was simply verbal, or whether people really did want to act out in response to wide-eyed kittens and cherubic babies. Volunteers were given bubble wrap and told they could pop as much of it as they wanted. When faced with a slideshow of cute animals, people popped 120 bubbles, whereas people watching the funny and neutral slideshows popped 80 and 100 bubbles respectively. Dyer’s suggests that one reason we have so much pent-up aggression over cute pictures is that seeing something cute, like a baby, drives us to want to take care of it. But we can’t reach through a photograph to cuddle it, so we get frustrated — and then aggressive. Another possibility is that it’s just too much of a good thing — sometimes we portray an onslaught of positive emotion in a negative way, like when you’re so happy you cry. Dyer speculates that giving positive emotions a negative spin might help us regulate that high energy.

College used to be the point at which you were recognized as an adult who needed to be able to deal with adult situations. I guess now we’re delaying the onset of adulthood to some later time…maybe indefinitely. As usual, Michael Moynihan says it best...

Being so behind the times, I only just discovered the neutron bomb of censoriousness masquerading as concern: the “trigger warning.” This is, roughly, a label that would accompany an article, film, song, book, or piece of art warning potential viewers that the content might make them upset or uncomfortable (often the point of art) and thus trigger memories of a traumatic event. The examples of this latest explosion of hypersensitivity are too numerous to recount, but a few should suffice. According to The Wire, a University of North Carolina student named Liz Hawryluk “asked the DJ at a local haunt, Fitzgerald’s Irish Pub, to stop playing Robin’s [sic] Thicke ‘Blurred Lines,’ because it ‘triggers’ victims of sexual assault.” The bar panicked (they are anti-sexual assault, after all) and fired him. Unfortunately the song hasn’t yet been banned by presidential fiat, so the risk of trauma reignition remains. At the University of California, Santa Barbara, the student senate, which appears to be staffed by the only people in the solar system dumber than actual senators, passed a resolution to “begin the process of instituting mandatory ‘trigger warnings’ on class syllabi,” flagging books that could make students feel uncomfortable. One student arguing in favor of the measure commented, with all the grace and wit of Soviet bureaucrat, “I’ve been in this kind of situation before — it sucks; we should pass it.” The poison is spreading, with even less intelligent students across the country demanding their schools take action. At Rutgers, an opinion piece in the student newspaper demanded that “trigger warnings” be affixed to various great works of literature, fearing the tender souls sleeping through English classes might confront difficult social issues:

“For instance, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s critically acclaimed novel, The Great Gatsby, possesses a variety of scenes that reference gory, abusive and misogynistic violence. Virginia Woolf’s famous cerebral narrative, Mrs. Dalloway, paints a disturbing narrative that examines the suicidal inclinations and post-traumatic experiences of an English war veteran. And Junot Diaz’s critically acclaimed work, This is How You Lose Her, observes domestic violence and misogynistic culture in disturbing first-person narrations.”

And this stuff isn’t dribbling only out of the mouths of undergraduates. Oberlin College codified the trigger warning into its teacher guide, telling professors to “avoid” triggers in their classrooms. “Triggers are not only relevant to sexual misconduct, but also to anything that might cause trauma,” faculty are told. “Be aware of racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, and other issues of privilege and oppression.”…I have often argued with conservative friends that the final ledger on political correctness wasn’t all negative. The casual racism once found in polite company, while certainly not eradicated, is almost unthinkable today. But my unilateral declaration of an end to the kulturkampf was depressingly naive. Because language cops are like pornographers: The stuff that was once seen as extreme has become quotidian, demanding that it be replaced with something even more extreme and confusing. All of this is the unsurprising result of teaching soft-headed but well-intentioned college students that if we can control language, we can control behavior. But these handy phrases-as-argument both skirt and ultimately suffocate real debate, often demanding feelings be valued above reality (This recent Huffington Post headline says it all: “Anti-Vaccine Mom Feels Bullied”).

Our gazillion-dollar F-35 plane is supposed to be basically invisible when flying over enemy turf. Turns out, Russia can see it. Awesome.

Kyle Smith has a spot-on, funny column on Picketty’s “Communist Manifesto: Part Two.”

On the Left it’s been received with such a case of the hot-and-heavies that you can think of it as “50 Shades of Grey” for the Acela-corridor professional intellectual statist. “Oooh, hit me with the income-inequality chart again, please!”The book is “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” by the ridiculously far-left French economist Thomas Piketty. As its title makes obvious, it’s an unabashed sequel/homage/reboot of “Capital,” Karl Marx’s logically challenged bible of income and wealth redistribution. Neo-Marxism is all Piketty is about… Esquire calls it “the most important book of the twenty-first century,” with its breathless writer Stephen Marche adding, “If I were a Republican policy-maker, if I were the Koch brothers, if I worked for Goldman Sachs, ‘Capital in the Twenty-First Century’ would frighten me more than anything at Occupy Wall Street.”Yes, Lloyd Blankfein is still biting his nails about those capitalism-endangering Occupy kids! He only made $23 million last year. It’s like saying, “I’d like to introduce you to my new friend Kermit … He’s even scarier than Elmo.”The original “Capital” argued that it was unfair that owners of companies (like Karl’s layabout buddy Friedrich Engels, whose family owned the factories in northern England that generated the profits that Engels gave Marx, enabling “Capital” to be written in the first place) got rich doing nothing when factory workers were doing all the labor. Marx argued — this was scientific fact, in his imagination — that this imbalance was bound to be redressed someday. In fact, low-skilled labor was never valuable and will never be well paid.Piketty recasts the argument: As Krugman wrote in The New York Review of Books, “Piketty shows, however, that even today income from capital, not earnings, predominates at the top of the income distribution. He also shows that in the past … unequal ownership of assets, not unequal pay, was the prime driver of income.”And we should be enraged about that because … why? You can almost hear Krugman and his acolytes — the Krugtrons — say it: Because behind every great fortune is a great crime. Because from each according to his ability, to each according to his need. Because it’s not fair! So? Piketty’s book — call it “Capital II: The Wrath of Karl” — calls for a worldwide income tax of 80 percent on the rich, plus a wealth tax. Which means, I guess, that even after you have worked hard, saved up, paid all your taxes and brought home the Maybach, you’re supposed to sell off a wheel every year to pay yet another tax for having it. So, yeah, there’s still only one road to the top of the Amazon bestseller list, and it’s sheer escapist fantasy, preferably aligned with adolescent magical thinking.Piketty admits his book is “utopian,” and as you may remember from eighth grade, utopia means “nowhere.”…Taxation as a weapon of confiscation? Hot stuff to the beardy fellows in the tweed jackets with the patched elbows. Outside the faculty lounge, though, it doesn’t even pass the laugh test.But then again, Piketty doesn’t get out much. He admits in the book that he has barely left Paris in the last 17 years, except for a few brief trips. Not France: Paris. Paris is smaller than The Bronx. It has as much intellectual diversity as a staff meeting at Mother Jones…Just as no Democrat holding anything but a safe seat wanted to be seen as too cozy with Occupy, Piketty’s proposed solutions to the “problem” of wealth and income inequality are too out-there to be cited by any Democrat hoping to compete on the national stage.We can only hope Hillary Clinton is dumb enough to agree with the Krugtrons that now is finally the moment to call for a hammer and sickle to be added to the Stars and Stripes.Sorry, neo-Marxists: Americans, to the continuing surprise and exasperation of those who consider themselves our intellectual leaders, don’t particularly see why we should hate the rich…Americans have an intuitive grasp of how the marketplace works: It’s trickle-down economics, and it’s fine. You’re an electrician or a roofer or a mason, some hedge-fund type buys three properties down the road because he’s going to tear them down and build a mansion in their place, and what do you see? You see dollar signs, not class jealousy. So what if he’s rich? Some of his money winds up in your pocket. He makes the numbers dance on Wall Street but you get richer too, and after you spread the money around the stores in town, your neighbors do too. When the Monopoly Man comes to town, everybody wins, from the monocle maker to the top-hat salesman.

Spain to search for author Miguel de Cervantes’ remains.

Forensic scientists in Spain have announced plans to search a Madrid convent for the body of the 17th Century author, Miguel de Cervantes. Ground-penetrating radar will be used to try to locate the remains of the celebrated author of Don Quixote…Scientists say they will start searching for the famous author in the Convent of Trinitarians, Madrid, on Monday. He was recorded as having died on 22 April 1616 and was said to have been buried a day later in the convent’s church. The precise location of his burial, however, is not known. Forensic scientists say the ground and walls of the oldest part of the convent would be the focus of the search, using ground-penetrating equipment to map objects under the earth.

Jim Geraghty on the Left’s war against the culture of gun owners.

Permit me to begin with what might seem like a silly observation from the National Rifle Association’s Annual Meeting in Indianapolis late last week: there were a lot of men with beards. Yes, the crowd is more diverse than you might think, and plenty of women. But the meat-and-potatoes of the NRA Convention crowd is meat-and-potatoes men. Big guys. Tattoos. Guys who work with their hands. Guys who hunt. Farmers, truck drivers, engineers, construction workers, soldiers, retired veterans, law enforcement, firemen…You could drop these guys back in time to 1950, or 1900, or 1850, or 1776 and most of these guys would be able to function pretty well. They can hunt. They can fix engines and build giant machines, put up houses, operate heavy machinery. Most of ‘em are strong. They’re all over the spectrum, but many of them have great skill (marksmanship and tracking, obviously) and keen minds (engineering, mechanics, material sciences). A lot of military experience. They know the world around them well beyond the most distant Starbucks…Most of the NRA Convention crowd is the distilled essence of anti-metrosexualism…A lot of Progressives seem really, really bothered by Those Guys; I don’t know if Progressive women or men fume about them more…They want to change the culture of gun owners, not just the laws they must obey. I’m sure you can imagine other communities that would not react with warmth if you appeared one day and announced, “Hi, I’m here to change your culture!” I’m sure most of these progressive gun control advocates think that one of history’s greatest crimes was the way that European colonists changed and in some cases eradicated the cultures of native peoples… but in the here and now, they see absolutely nothing wrong with going forth, encountering people who live differently from them, and declaring, “these savages have to be civilized!” In short, these progressives are intolerant of diversity…Progressives and lefties scoff that the gun is much more than a tool to these people, and make references and/or crude jokes to Freudian psychology. But I suspect that many gun owners would agree that a gun is indeed a symbol. It’s a symbol of who they are, how they see themselves and what they stand for. They aren’t willing to rely solely on someone else for their own protection. They’re independent; they can pursue animals of the wild and return with food. Looking back in history, you see serfs, servants, and slaves are rarely armed because of the possibility of rebellion and uprising; owning a gun is a statement that “I will never be subjugated.”…Obviously, this doesn’t fit well in a progressive worldview that aims, whether they realize it or not, to restore an aristocracy. And here we have another example confirming Jonah’s assertion that the Left is the aggressor in the culture war. “Those Guys” may laugh at Metrosexual America, but you rarely if ever see them argue that America must be purged of its metrosexuals. Nobody goes into New York City and Los Angeles and argues that the men there ought to change their ways and do more traditionally manly things…But progressive America really, really wants to change “Those Guys.”

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