Why the Culture War is Ruining
Journalism, Academia & Charity
A couple of decades ago, I was invited to a conference on the anniversary of the birth of Isaiah Berlin. One of the speakers was the George Orwell professor of a British university. But his ideas were the opposite of Orwell. Orwell was a great patriot. On the contrary, this guy's definition of a nation was any random lines drawn on a map–no preconditions. He was no patriot. I guess a nation having values is invalid now. Also, Orwell was an anti-radical socialist, author of the amazing anti-radical Animal-Farm, and a milder, anti-totalitarian socialist who admired the United States. In contrast, the endowed professor had the opposite ideas and real politics of Orwell. After I challenged him on these modern "Progressive" (leftist) points, nobody spoke to me for the rest of the conference, because they just assumed what he said was true.
The War on Conservative Minorities
Members of both political parties use sharp elbows to rough up and discredit the opposition, but the media are supposed to call "foul" on the worst abuses. But when the media are ideologically opposed to conservatives -- especially minority conservatives -- the abuses sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Take what happened last week to New Hampshire state representative Marilinda Garcia, who announced she would challenge incumbent Democrat representative Annie Kuster in a highly competitive district that has switched party control in three of the last four elections. Democrats were clearly rattled by the 30-year-old Garcia's entry. Democrat-party communications director Harrell Kirstein said she would inevitably be part of a "reckless race to pander to the same extreme right fringe of the Republican Party that forced the federal government shutdown."
Only Some of Our Young Are
Now Independent Americans
I often worry about today's young growing up in a country where everybody is liable to be under secret government surveillance, with nearly all of these Americans never having violated any law. How much expectation of individual constitutional liberty can these young citizens have? But now I am somewhat heartened by the results of a recent (reliable) poll by Quinnipiac University described in a Nov. 18 lead editorial in the New York Post: "In 2008 and 2012, millennials -- voters between ages 18 and 30 -- came out in a big way for Barack Obama." But now, "something's changed. The poll has young voters disapproving of the president by a 54 percent to 36 percent margin ... Only 43 percent of the under-30s say the president is honest and trustworthy. By contrast, a majority -- 51 percent -- say he's not." Moreover, "60 percent of young voters disapprove of the way the president's handling the economy.
Are Millennials Turning Their
Backs on the American Dream?
The Daily Beast
Historian Frederick Jackson Turner spoke of "the expansive character of American life." Even though the frontier was closing, Turner argued, the fundamental nature of Americans was still defined by their incessant probing for "a new field of opportunity." Turner's claim held true for at least a century--during that time, the American spirit generated relentless technological improvement, the gradual creation of a mass middle class, and the integration of ever more diverse immigrants into the national narrative. Yet today, many consider this modern period of "expansiveness" to be as doomed as the prairie frontier culture whose denouement Turner portrayed. Nothing makes this clearer than the perception of a majority of middle class Americans that their children will not do better than them, with as many as pessimistic about the future as are optimistic.
Left's War on Minorities,
The Poor & Working Americans
Discover the Networks
The policies of the socialist left, under the banners of "social justice," "equality," and "compassion," have inflicted catastrophe in many forms--poverty, moral decline, criminality, violence, illness, and death--upon countless millions of people. The programs and policies that led to these disastrous outcomes were often promoted by "progressives" as expressions of high-minded "liberal" idealism that promised to improve the living conditions not only of people in great need, but also of those in the middle class. Leftists view their own prescriptions for all manner of social ills--e.g., racism, sexism, homophobia, intolerance, greed, alienation--as solutions uniquely rooted in enlightenment and decency. (By contrast, they portray conservative social policy as the outgrowth of selfishness, greed and mean-spiritedness.)
Raped & Buried Alive, Girl Crawls Out of Grave
The Times of India
A teenage girl was buried alive after being raped in Pakistan's Punjab province, prompting a court to order a probe into the brutal attack. Siddique Mughal, a resident of a village in Toba Tek Singh district, located 225km from Lahore, told police that his 13-year-old daughter was abducted by two unidentified men while she was going to a seminary for Quran lessons. The men took the girl to a deserted place and raped her. They believed she had died during the assault and buried her by the roadside, Mughal said. However, the girl regained consciousness and dug her way out of the mud covering her. She raised an alarm and caught the attention of a passerby , who took her to a nearby rural health center. As police were not cooperating, the Lahore HC chief justice's complaint cell took notice of the incident and directed the district and sessions judge of Toba Tek Singh to probe the matter.
TX Football Program Says No More
Trophies for Just Showing Up
The Keller Youth Association Football Program in northern Texas will not be handing participation trophies to their players this year. They say it's because awards should be earned. "Going forward participation medals or trophies will be going away. KYA Football board feels that giving participation medals or trophies isn't sending our children the right message," the association wrote. "Life does not give you a participation job or medal, life makes you earn everything you get." President of the Keller Youth Association Whit Green thinks the football board's decision was the right one. "We support the decision of our football program to stop giving participation trophies, in conjunction with rewarding achievement," Green said. Used in recent years as a way to motivate children and celebrate their effort, participation awards have come under fire in recent years.
Brunei Introduces Death by Stoning Under Sharia
The London Telegraph
The Sultan of Brunei on Tuesday announced the phased introduction of tough Islamic punishments including death by stoning for crimes such as adultery, in the monarchy's latest step towards conservatism. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah - one of the world's wealthiest men - said in a speech that a new Sharia Penal Code which has been in the works for years had been gazetted on Tuesday and would "come into force six months hereafter and in phases." Based on the details of particular cases, punishments can include stoning to death for adulterers, severing of limbs for theft and flogging for violations ranging from abortion to consumption of alcohol, according to a copy of the code. "By the grace of Allah, with the coming into effect of this legislation, our duty to Allah is therefore being fulfilled," said the sultan, now 67 years old.
Bill Would Hold Florida Parents Liable for Bullying
The lawyer for George Zimmerman said Friday that he is drafting a bill that could hold Florida parents liable if their children takes part in online bullying. Mark O'Mara wants to provide law enforcement a tool to use to combat the disturbing trend, Shawn Vincent, a spokesman from his office, said. "We would hope that the law would never have to be used," Vincent said. "But we feel that a law of its kind might influence parents to keep an eye on what their child does online." O'Mara's office said the announcement was not made solely as a reaction to this week's arrest of two Florida girls, ages 12 and 14, who are accused of bullying 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick who committed suicide. The girls were arrested on stalking charges. The sheriff in the case, Grady Judd, from Polk County, said he is considering charges against one of the girl's parents because they are in "total denial."
Future of Affirmative Action at Stake in Michigan Case
The Washington Times
Affirmative action proponents go to the Supreme Court on Tuesday to argue that a ban on discrimination can itself be discriminatory. The justices are slated to hear oral arguments in a case out of Michigan, where voters in 2006 approved a constitutional amendment prohibiting racial preferences at public colleges and universities. But a federal appeals court ruled that enshrining that ban in the state constitution violated the federal Constitution's Equal Protection Clause by elevating the issue beyond the normal legislative process. Those who support preferences say writing a ban into state constitutions means treating them differently than any other group, such as alumni or students from a specific geographic region. But opponents say it would be bizarre if a color-blind policy could be struck down because it was discriminatory.
US Army Defines Christian
Ministry as 'Domestic Hate Group'
FOX News Radio
Several dozen US Army active duty and reserve troops were told last week that the American Family Association, a well-respected Christian ministry, should be classified as a domestic hate group because the group advocates for traditional family values. The briefing was held at Camp Shelby in Mississippi and listed the AFA alongside domestic hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis, the Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam. A soldier who attended the briefing contacted [FOX News] and sent a photograph of a slide show presentation that listed AFA as a domestic hate group. Under the AFA headline is a photograph of Westboro Baptist Church preacher Fred Phelps holding a sign reading "No special law for f***." American Family Association has absolutely no affiliation with the controversial church group known for picketing the funerals of American service members.