Free Speech: I find your lack of faith disturbing, America.

May 24, 2015
x

Do we need a refresher?

Via Tom Nichols, here’s Charles Cooke on the results of a survey showing a majority of Democrats and a significant minority of Republicans effectively favor repealing the 1st Amendment:

Depressing news from YouGov:

“YouGov’s latest research shows that many Americans support making it a criminal offense to make public statements which would stir up hatred against particular groups of people. Americans narrowly support (41%) rather than oppose (37%) criminalizing hate speech, but this conceals a partisan divide. Most Democrats (51%) support criminalizing hate speech, with only 26% opposed. Independents (41% to 35%) and Republicans (47% to 37%) tend to oppose making it illegal to stir up hatred against particular groups. Support for banning hate speech is also particularly strong among racial minorities. 62% of black Americans, and 50% of Hispanics support criminalizing comments which would stir up hatred. White Americans oppose a ban on hate speech 43% to 36%.”

What’s disturbing is that the speech in question doesn’t directly incite violence. It doesn’t urge people to go right now and burn the shops of those unliked people “over there.”

Rather, the “hate speech” referred to is a vague term (1) meaning “hurtful things you said that I don’t like.” To give a personal example, I’m very clear regarding my dislike for Islam: I think it an antisemitic, misogynistic, and bigoted faith with aggressive imperatives that lead it to demand supremacy over other faiths and to make war on their adherents until they submit. I have serious questions about whether it is or can be compatible with liberal, post-Enlightenment societies, at least with regard to Muslims who choose to live it as Muhammad intended.

For some, that would qualify as “hate speech”under the standards of that survey, because I would be “stirring up hatred” against Islam, though I would never advocate violence against Muslims, no matter how strong my criticisms of their faith. As Cooke explains, that standard is nevertheless exactly what would get me in trouble in the UK, where free speech protections are dying on the vine under the assault of laws such as the Public Order Act.

That a majority of the self-identified adherents of one of our two major parties would favor laws to criminalize the expression of thought — and that a large portion of the supposedly conservative party would agree with them! — is profoundly disturbing. I hope, indeed, I pray, that this is simply because people agreed with something they thought “sounded reasonable” and didn’t think through the implications thereof, rather than indicating a fundamental change to something that has made us, as a nation, truly exceptional.

Otherwise, we’re in deep trouble.

RELATED: While a number of Republicans have lost their way when it comes to free speech, let’s not forget that it was the Democrats who actually proposed an amendment effectively gutting the 1st Amendment.

Footnote:
(1) This is a great analysis of the increasing calls in the MSM for censoring free speech. Well-worth reading. (h/t Charles Cooke)


(Video) In which Ted Cruz owns a “reporter” on Gay rights

May 23, 2015

Senator Cruz isn’t my first choice for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, though I’ll happily vote for him if he is. However, he gets an unqualified high-five from me for putting this shill for Democratic National Committee talking points in his place:

Pardon me a moment… smiley dance smiley cheering smiley thumbs up

Few things tick me off more than the progressive Left’s hypocrisy on women and Gay rights: silently ignoring the hideous abuse both suffer under Islam while creating fake controversies here at home.

Go, Ted!


Marco Rubio has the right idea on terrorism

May 9, 2015
Marco Rubio

Don’t let the baby face fool you.

 

The senator from Florida has a reputation of being a pop culture fan. It’s one of those things that make him, I think, the best communicator in the Republican field. So, when describing his strategy for dealing with jihad terrorism, it’s not surprising he quoted the movie Taken:

He added, “When people ask ‘what should our strategy be on global jihadists and terrorists?’ I refer them to the movie ‘Taken.’ Have you seen the movie ‘Taken,’ Liam Neeson? He has a line, and this is what our strategy should be, we will look for you, we will find you, and we will kill you.

I’m down with that. None of this “we need to understand them and the root causes that make them do these things” crap. It’s all too plain what drives groups like al Qaeda, al Shabab, and Ansar al Sharia.

Islam, its need to be supreme, and its use of war and terror to fulfill that need.

Anyway, points on the Public Secrets scoreboard for Marco Rubio.


#Obamacare Chronicles: Ohio Medicaid expansion costs $3 billion in first 15 months

April 30, 2015
Kasich 2016?

Kasich 2016?

Well, this should be a big help to Governor Kasich’s potential presidential campaign. Nothing like a budget-busting entitlement to advertise one’s bona fides as a fiscal conservative:

Americans’ tax burden is already $3 billion heavier because of Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare.

By putting more able-bodied, working-age childless adults on Medicaid than Kasich projected, Obamacare expansion is reducing incentives to work and threatening traditional Medicaid recipients’ access to care faster and at greater cost than anticipated.

After Kasich expanded Medicaid unilaterally, a state panel approved $2.56 billion in Obamacare spending for the expansion’s first 18 months. The money was meant to last until July, but it ran out in February.

Kasich’s Obamacare expansion cost $323 million in March — 84 percent greater than estimates revised just six months earlier.

Using monthly figures released by the Ohio Department of Medicaid, the Republican governor’s Obamacare expansion cost slightly more than $3 billion from January 2014 through March 2015.

Kasich’s Obamacare expansion is on track to cost more than $4 billion by the end of June.

With federal taxpayers on the hook for all benefit costs and Ohio facing a growing state share in 2017, Obamacare expansion may soon consume 10 percent of Ohio’s budget.

Governor Kasich rammed through the Medicaid expansion after the legislature declined to do so. In other words, placing his will above that of the people’s elected representatives. And what has his superior judgment brought the people? Costs far higher than expected. Right now, they’re spread across the backs of taxpayers in all 50 states. (Gee, thanks, Governor.) In a few years, however, the federal subsidies decrease and an increasing portion will be born solely by the taxpayers of each state. As the article points out, that could amount to 10 percent of Ohio’s budget, just for Medicaid. (And if the history of government entitlements is any indication, that figure is low.)

Massive cost overruns and a huge open-ended burden on state finances. Heck of a calling card for a spot on the Republican ticket, John.


Kasich for President? Er… No, thanks.

April 24, 2015
Kasich 2016?

Kasich 2016?

There’s something about the Ohio governor I just don’t like, and I think the words “sanctimony” and “arrogance” have something to do with it. In The Washington Examiner, Philip Klein explains why limited-government conservatives should say “no” to John Kasich:

A 2012 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court made it easier for states to reject Obamacare’s costly expansion of Medicaid — as many governors prudently chose to do.

But in February 2013, despite campaigning on opposition to Obamacare, Kasich crumbled under pressure from hospital lobbyists who supported the measure, and endorsed the expansion. When his legislature opposed him, Kasich bypassed lawmakers and imposed the expansion through a separate panel — an example of executive overreach worthy of Obama.

Kasich cloaked his cynical move in the language of Christianity, and, just like a liberal demagogue, he portrayed those with principled objections to spending more taxpayer money on a failing program as being heartless.

“Why is that some people don’t get it?” Kasich asked rhetorically at an October 2013 event at the Cleveland Clinic, which lobbied the administration heavily for the expansion so that it could access a stream of money from federal taxpayers. “Is it because they’re hard-hearted or cold-hearted? It’s probably because they don’t understand the problem because they have never walked in somebody’s shoes.”

Ugh. That’s a cheap shot worthy of Obama, Reid, and Schumer. It couldn’t possibly be that one opposes the expansion of Medicaid because it represents a looming fiscal disaster for states that do enlarge the program. It couldn’t be because Medicaid has been shown to be no better than having no insurance at all, and that it increases the strain on emergency rooms. Nor could one reasonably object on principled limited-government, constitutional grounds, since the entire Obamacare project represents an anti-constitutional monstrosity.

Nope. It had to be because you’re a callous monster. But thank God John Kasich has the heart you lack, you Grinch.

There’s another problem, too. It’s that Kasich has, like Obama, shown the instincts of a tyrant. No, he’s not had anyone carted off to camps nor had himself crowned king, but his decision to expand Obamacare slapped in the face the principle that laws should be written by the people elected by The People to write them. In other words, the legislature. Article 2, section 1 of the Ohio Constitution reads, in part:

The legislative power of the state shall be vested in a general assembly consisting of a senate and house of representatives but the people reserve to themselves the power to propose to the general assembly laws and amendments to the constitution, and to adopt or reject the same at the polls on a referendum vote as hereinafter provided.

In other words, the power to write, amend, and repeal laws was granted by the people of Ohio to the legislature and reserved to themselves — none was granted to the governor. Yet, when the elected representatives of the people declined to expand Medicaid, Ohio’s chief executive –not “chief lawmaker”– forced his way around them to do it anyway. Like the old saying goes, it may have been legal, but it sure wasn’t right. That’s the “tyrannical instinct” I was talking about.

And if that gives you an uncomfortable feeling that reminds you of the shenanigans used to pass Obamacare, you’re not just imagining things. Having experienced enough of that under Obama, I don’t want to go through it again when “President Kasich” decides he knows best.

Thanks, Governor, but I’ll pass.


I like a lot of what Carly Fiorina has to say, but…

April 16, 2015
"On the attack"

“On the attack”

I like the relentlessness of her attacks on Hillary Clinton, hitting Lady Macbeth again and again on her record and her hypocrisy. The former Hewlett-Packard executive is the only (almost-) candidate in the race (so far) who can do that without exposing herself to the “sexism card.” That’s takes away one of Hillary’s main ways to dodge any difficult question. Here she is, for example, on the Left’s (and Hillary’s) “selective outrage” over corporate CEO salaries:

She also rapped the Democrat’s recent attack on CEO pay. “I find the selective outrage of the left kind of interesting. They don’t seem to be outraged by the salaries that movie stars make. They don’t seem to be outraged by the salaries that sports stars make. They don’t seem to be outraged by a lot of salaries except for CEOs,” she said.

True enough: they’re happy to fly to California or New York and schmooze the wealthy glitterati (including sports owners). Their salaries are apparently pure as the driven snow. But the head of an investment bank or industrial firm? EVIL!!

Funny, though, how she’s willing to take their money. Perhap’s she has the “Royal Touch” that heals cash payola of its evil the moment she lays hands on it.

Anyway, back to Carly Fiorina and my hesitation. I’d be more comfortable with her as a potential POTUS if she had first won a lesser race, including the Senate race she lost against the eminently beatable Barbara Boxer. If the “feisty Fiorina” I’m seeing now had shown up then, I think she might have taken it. Clinton is likewise eminently beatable, but if Fiorina were nominated and her 2010 version showed up…

That said, and while I don’t doubt the sincerity of what she’s saying, I think Carly Fiorina is running more for vice-president than president.

Still, for however long she’s in the race, it will be fun to see her kick Her Majesty in the shins again and again.

smiley popcorn


Why am I so critical of Rand Paul as a potential nominee?

April 9, 2015

Phineas Fahrquar:

Honestly, I think every candidate, including those I like, should be subjected to this level of vetting during the primaries. Obama was elected by people who practically declared it a hate-crime to talk about and explore his past. Let’s not do the same thing again, on our side.

Originally posted on agconservative:

Some people have noticed and asked me why I am so aggressively critical of Rand Paul as a potential candidate, and I think it’s only fair that I give an explanation. I’ve made it no secret that I have preferred candidates in this race, but that really isn’t the reason I am so actively interested in pointing our Paul’s deficits (even as compared to several other potential candidates who I see as weak or not preferable: Jeb, Cruz, Christie etc.). The real reason:

Back when Obama started running in 2007, I noticed a concerning phenomenon where he would say things that conflicted with his past positions but a lot of voters and the media refused to challenge them. These new positions clearly weren’t his real views, but they were perceived as such by many uninformed voters. I actively tried to tell my moderate Jewish friends that Obama was not pro-Israel…

View original 586 more words


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