Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Usually, Americans love a good underdog story. After all, there’s a reason Sylvester Stallone made about 9,385 sequels to the original feel-good underdog “Rocky” movie. And how many kazillions of kindergarten teachers have read their students The Little Engine That Could, the story of the train that through sheer willpower (“I think I can”) made it up the hill?
Well, how about the little country that could? Tiny but miraculously mighty and influential, Israel, about the size of New Jersey, is surrounded on all sides by enemies that want to wipe it out, but even while being constantly forced to defend itself, Israel has created a “flower in the desert” – a fertile agricultural oasis, a thriving business community, innovative technology, and unparalleled (in the Middle East, especially) human rights. That’s an underdog story that Americans could learn to love, and this week there’s a way to “show the love.”
This week (Wednesday, March 30) is “Go BIG Day” – with the “BIG” being Buy Israeli Goods. Israeli food, wine, clothing – whatever you’re in the market for, you can probably find a way to purchase an Israeli version of it, either in-person or online. StandWithUs, an organization that exists to promote awareness of Israel’s unique contributions to the world, is inviting the world to “stand with them” and support Israel – with the pocketbook.
Why a “buycott”? Well, it’s in response to the misguided and ongoing boycott of Israeli goods and services that has been widely publicized, aided by a media that, like the distracted teacher on the playground, never sees the initial punch of the bully, but only sees the response of the victim.
The initial bully’s punch, of course, includes life in certain parts of Israel, where rockets fall with alarming regularity. The response – fences, security checkpoints, etc. – have led to charges of “apartheid,” and as any good leftist knows, good people must fight against apartheid. Never mind that Israel is the only human rights-friendly democracy in the Middle East – the push is on to de-legitimize the Jewish state through boycotts, divestment and sanctions – the so-called BDS movement.
BDS manifests itself in some ways that are more amusing than dangerous. For example, performers like Elvis Costello, Dustin Hoffman, Meg Ryan, and Santana all cancelled appearances in Israel “in support of the Palestinians.” Because they’re all just dumb Hollywood types, we can’t get too excited about their opinions or political activity.
Other activities are more sinister: Israeli athletes being excluded from international competitions. Israeli professors disinvited from academic and scientific conferences (this one’s particularly appalling, considering Israel’s immense contribution to modern day technology). American free speech rights being used to prevent Israeli free speech, as happened during last year’s outrageous shout-down of Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren at UC Irvine.
BDS focuses on isolating and crippling the Jewish state through a misinformation campaign, and efforts, primarily campus-based, to endanger Israel’s very survival through economic pressures. BDS organizers have called on the largest retirement funds in the world to divest themselves of all Israeli-related investments, and pro-Palestinian activists can be counted on to support and rally for such divestment. But the real genius of the BDS movement is its focus on individual action – particularly individuals of college age.
College kids tend to be idealistic – they want things to be right in the world, and they are itching to do “something” to further those ends. That statement applies equally well to both conservative, pro-Israel students and leftist, anti-Israel students – but the problem is, due to the media, leftist faculty, and the general softening of mental faculties inflicted by the public school system – there are lot more of the latter than the former on any given campus.
Israel is the little country that could, and did, and does — even providing humanitarian aid to places like Japan despite its own and constant troubles. Israel deserves America’s unwavering friendship and support. And it deserves better from American college students, who need to educate themselves on Israel’s contribution to the world – as opposed to the “contributions” from those who seek to destroy it.
So. Boycotts suck. Buycotts are cool. Wednesday, March 30 is Go BIG day – BIG for Buy Israeli Goods. Do a little shopping and do some good in the world! Find out how, where and what here.
Posted by The Evil Queen at 9:51 AM
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
It was just ten minutes. Ten minutes sitting in the cafeteria to have a cup of coffee. The TV, I noted with some irritation, was on CNN, which I gave up watching a long time ago. But how bad could it be to sit and watch for just a random ten minute period?
Bad enough that I was fully reminded of why I stopped watching it.
The anchors were discussing their Facebook page, where people were posting comments on the President's speech, which begs the question - do only morons watch CNN? Or do only morons post on CNN's Facebook page? They quoted someone who said - I kid you NOT - that Obama's approach to Libya was "genius." No counteracting comments were reported, as the anchors discussed how their viewers were "buying" the "Obama Doctrine" a lot more than the "Bush Doctrine." Um... okay.
Well, I could have written off one segment, right? But the very next story was an exercise in yellow journalism. As a professionally-trained journalist, this type of reporting is deeply offensive to me. The story: A Utah state legislator is pushing to grant work permits to illegal aliens. So, the reporter talked to the legislator, focusing (as is only fair) on the reasons he supports the bill. Things went downhill from there. We had the requisite "hidden identity" interview with an illegal alien who we are informed has an MBA (wonder who paid for that) and is now "paying taxes." (If she's paying taxes, why does she need a work permit? I'm a little confused.) Anyway, the point is, this is no criminal or even an agricultural worker. This is an MBA, darn it, and there she is, in tears, because it's all so unfair.
Lest you think the reporter would skip over the other side of the story, fear not. She found a Utah Tea Party member who she allowed to comment on his opposition to the bill - for about 7 seconds. Then, instead of shedding more light on the subject by having him expand on his concerns, she asked this important question - "how far would you go to stop this bill?" Needless to say, Tea Party man did NOT say that he would kill anyone, but that doesn't really matter. Because the reporter's very next stop, in the story, was a return to "brave legislator" talking about how he's received death threats for promoting the work permits.
See how that works? CNN can pretend it told both sides of the story, but 90% of the story was sympathetic to the pro-illegal alien side, and the tiny bone thrown to the Tea Party member was tainted by the clear implication that he and his kind issue death threats.
And all I did was watch for a mere ten minutes. Ten minutes!
This is the network that is broadcast in many places of business, because it has been successful, to some extent, in branding itself as a nonpartisan alternative to MSNBC and Fox News.
It is not.
Posted by The Evil Queen at 12:20 PM
Friday, March 25, 2011
What is there not to love about Rahm Emanuel? He’s the proud owner-operator of one of the foulest mouths in politics, he doesn’t have to live in a city to win its mayoral race, he’s linked to countless cases of political corruption and he’s given the world one of the most overused phrases in politics: Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste (NLAGCGTW).
Ol’ Rahm did us all a favor, in a way. That phrase has been a leftist modus operandi for years, but Americans were largely unaware of the strategy until Rahm let the cat out of the bag.
The Left’s reaction to one of the most potent natural disasters to ever strike a Western nation – the earthquake and accompanying tsunami that has devastated Japan – is merely the latest proof that, for leftists, Rahm’s Law is on a par with one of the ten biblical commandments. (Come to think of it, it’s way more important than biblical commandments, since leftists break those with frequent and casual disregard.)
Leftist reaction to this event-of-biblical-proportions has ranged from crass opportunism to bald-faced deceit to unhinged hysteria. Welcome to the Japan Edition of NLAGCGTW:
No more nukes? How about no more lies?
5. Nuclear energy is safe
This response could not have been more predictable.
As Japan raced to ensure its nuclear reactors were contained, the drumbeat from the “no coal-no oil-no nukes-know nothing” crowd heated up. These are the permanent Fantasyland residents who want us to power our world with sunlight, cool breezes, and magical pixie dust. For this granola-for-brains crowd, any excuse to shut down nuclear power is a good one, because they simply refuse to consider facts.
For instance, the fact that Ted Kennedy killed more people than Three Mile Island ever did.
Here’s another interesting one. By living your life in Denver, Colorado, you are exposed to more radiation (because of radon) than people in New York City. If all those people were forced to move to New York, 4800 lives could be saved! (Of course, different perils await in the Big Apple – can you die of high taxes, for instance?)
Anyway, this kind of reality-check is woefully underutilized by our friends in the “old media,” who have been shamelessly parroting the leftist talking point that Japan “proves” we need to get rid of nuclear power plants. After all, this is Japan’s Chernobyl! (Line best delivered with breathless and alarmed sincerity.)
So let us take a moment to actually consider the facts about Chernobyl, the worst nuclear disaster in history by far. Dr. Jay Lehr, science director at the Heartland Institute, explains:
“(At) Chernobyl, where there was no containment structure… 10 years later when all the facts were in, there were less than 10 fatalities from that explosion – only people right near the plant were affected by the radiation. A thousand people got leukemia, 998 were cured… It was predicted that tens of thousands of people would get cancer… this never happened. This is not an atomic bomb and people don’t understand a nuclear reactor is something very different than an atomic bomb.”No one is denying that being killed in an explosion in a nuclear plant (well, being killed in any explosion, actually) is horrible. Nor is radiation poisoning an attractive fate. However, as Dr. Lehr pointed out, nuclear power plant accidents are not akin to atomic bombs; nor are the results similar in any way, shape or form.
That isn’t stopping the Leftmeisters from attempting to make hay with Japan’s nuclear plants, however. Keith Olbermann, ranting to the minuscule audience that reads his pathetic Fox News-mocking blog, said that nuclear power plants are “doomsday machines.” Doomsday machines! Keith – are the transformer robots coming to get us, too? Good grief. No over-the-top hysteria or fearmongering there!
There is a great deal of common sense out there for those calm and intelligent enough to consider it. I invite Olby and his legion of fans (all 37 of them) to consider this – or this, written in language that even a leftist can understand. Hey you guys, it has colorful pictures, too – always a plus!
Next: Biggest damage? Reaction to the reactor. Here’s another fact to help you win every argument on the nuclear crisis in Japan…
4. The two biggest casualties of nuclear fearmongering: mental health and the reputation of the U.S.
Let’s start with our world reputation, which the old media informs us is much better under the soothing ministrations of Dear Leader. But as he has shown throughout his relatively brief time in the Oval Office, President Obama seems far more interested in appeasing our enemies than playing nice with our friends. And Japan is – was – one of our best friends.
These reports did not receive much attention, at least in the old media. One wonders why not? Both the BBC and a newspaper in Singapore reported a fairly significant piece of political gamesmanship in a story headlined “Japan rejected early U.S. help on nuclear disaster”:
“According to the unnamed senior (Japanese) official, U.S. support was based on dismantling the troubled reactors…”So, the United States government put a condition on offering help, and that condition was to permanently cripple the country’s electrical generating capacity? To score “greenie” points?
Well, the State Department has denied the original story. But as other bloggers are pointing out, it certainly bears investigating.
The other big casualty of the reactor story? Peace of mind. There is a price to be paid for the needless hysteria generated by a media only too happy to conjure up images of Hiroshima. And we have seen this price paid before, as pointed out by writer Paul Gregory, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. This is from his discussion of the authoritative report on Chernobyl published in 2005:
“Strikingly, the report labels the mental health impact of Chernobyl as ‘the largest public health problem created by the accident’ and partially attributes this damaging psychological impact to a lack of accurate information. These problems manifest as negative self-assessments of health, belief in a shortened life expectancy, lack of initiative, and dependency on assistance from the state.”Gregory goes on to note that the current rash of irresponsible media reports will likely create an even worse mental health impact for the Japanese people, as the press feeds upon baseless statements like that of the European Union’s energy chief, who described the situation as “an apocalypse.”
“The media also pounce on pronouncements like radiation ‘twenty times normal’… no one bothers to explain what twenty times more than about zero actually means in terms of health risks.”There will be no real life tragic consequences as the lefties fantasize – in fact, there is significant evidence of the opposite, as Ann Coulter reported this past week.
But there will be real life tragic consequences from the hysteria:
“Consumers throughout the world will now fear Japanese products. The Japanese people will conclude that they face a life of poor health, in a suicide-prone society. There may be a rash of abortions, such as in the wake of Chernobyl, as expectant parents fear birth defects. Countries like Germany, confronted with a politically powerful anti-nuclear power lobby, will shut down their nuclear reactors at huge costs.”He’s right about Germany. And he’s probably right about the rest of it, as well.
Next: Let science speak…
3. Despite reports to the contrary, global warming is not the cause of every earthly disaster
No scientists are postulating a link between global warming and earthquakes. Because if there were, they’d be on the front page of the New York Times and all over MSNBC. Instead, we have “scientists” like these geniuses taking to Twitter to share their wisdom with the world:
“An earthquake with an 8.9 magnitude struck Japan… and some say climate change isn’t real?!”Yeah! Who can possibly not connect those two dots!
“Events like the Japan earthquake and tsunami MUST keep climate change at forefront of policy thought”Because back in the old days before evil people started driving cars and using spray deodorant and stuff, there were no earthquakes! Oh, wait…
Anyway, this guy wasn’t a believer – UNTIL NOW:
“Never really believed all this global warming talk, but after the earthquake in NZ and today in Japan. Maybe we’ve ruined the world.”And – as if you needed another example of the propaganda that passes for education in today’s public schools – consider this poorly written and emotionally charged message:
“While Japan witnessed an earthquake we were talking about the problems that global warming leads to in school. Think. Pray. And change.”Perhaps it wasn’t poorly written, and he really did mean they were talking about the problems that global warming leads to in school – like not studying real science, and an inability to think critically. But hey, he’s advocating prayer in school. Something for everyone!
Next: Throwing away our money won’t make the world a safer place…
2. Spending money we don’t have won’t make us safer
The very worst kind of political posturing, after a tragedy, is to accuse one side of wanting it to happen – or causing it to happen, as the leftists did with the Giffords shooting and their persistent attempts to pin that on the Tea Party. The Japanese earthquake was only hours into the history books when the Democrats pulled out this particular dirty playbook again.
Senator John Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) called the disaster a “cruel wake-up call” to Republicans who had targeted the federal agency (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA) that operates the National Weather Service. Rockefeller said that cuts to NOAA prediction programs “would endanger lives.”
You know who else used this kind of propaganda? Why, the Weather Service Employees’ Organization (Union)! I didn’t even know there WAS a Weather Service Employees Organzation, but there is. And they’re pissed that those Republicans want to cut any of their funding. The union’s president had an entirely predictable response:
“The number one mission of the National Weather Service is to save lives,” said Dan Sobien. Well, that may well be, but the number one mission of the Weather Service Employees Organization is to grab as many taxpayer dollars as possible, which is, ironically, exactly the same mission as EVERY public sector union.
The media – SHOCKINGLY – came down on the side of the unions as well, with ABC’s Bill Weir discussing how that darn House of Representatives had voted to “slash funding” for the Hawaiian tsunami warning center. His colleague Clayton Sandell produced an even more biased report, asking the proverbial loaded question to a Democrat only too happy to help connect the bogus dots:
“Sandell to Thompson: If NOAA’s budget gets cut, are people’s lives more at risk?Oh, those poor coastal residents… left shivering in fright at the thought of the next tsunami, after the wicked GOP has cut all funding for the tsunami warning system. It’s a compelling tale, no doubt.
Congressman Mike Thompson (D-California): Absolutely. This is important stuff. It’s public safety. It’s an investment in our everyday lives.
Sandell: Republicans counter that it’s up to NOAA how it spends its budget, as residents along the coast wonder how bad the next tsunami might be.”
It’s also 100% BS. Here’s what the “reporters” failed to tell us, according to the Media Research Center:
“…the funding ‘slash,’ which is only proposed and is far from implementation since it hasn’t even passed in the House, is not for any specific program inside NOAA and is for a reduction of just 7 percent, which hardly means all of NOAA’s programs must be shut down since NOAA would still be able to spend 93 percent of what they spent in the previous fiscal year.”They might, however, have to cut a few union perks, which is probably what has the “weather union goons” all up in arms and angry enough to imply that OUR LIVES ARE ALL IN DANGER if they have to undergo even a tiny budget cut.
By the way, OUR LIVES ARE ALL IN DANGER can be filed in the same category as IT’S FOR THE CHILDREN (filed under Lies, Union).
Next: What it’s really about…
1. It’s all about Japan – not all about you and your pet issues, dear leftists
Let’s find out what Chris Matthews (aka Tingles) is thinking about this topic!
Well, apparently the very FIRST thing he thought was – good grief, thousands of people could be dead! No, that wasn’t it. What is the best way for Americans to help Japan? Still not quite right. Oh, YEAH. This was it:
“Was this sort of a good opportunity for the president to remind everybody that he grew up in the United States and Hawaii?”Exactly! What any worshipper of Dear Leader should be thinking at all times – how does this (or any) situation affect Him?
A few days later, when the president had indeed taken Tingles’ advice, a guest on the show noted it, which resulted in much tingly pleasure:
“Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Well what was interesting to me was, the way the President noted his personal connection to Japanese culture, having been raised in Hawaii, which has a heavy influence of, Japanese culture, he’s familiar with it. I think it affected him personally. And so, in terms of the, the humanitarian response of trying to help Japanese I think he has been as fast and, and correct as you could possibly be.
Matthews, closing the show: Gene, thank you for reminding us the President was raised in Hawaii! That the influence he felt was of the Japanese-Americans and living in Hawaii and not of the Mau Maus, which some of his more insane critics have brought up.”Yes, I confess that the word “insane” certainly popped into my head while watching this exchange.
Leftists are funny! And by funny I mean desperately pathetic.
Need further proof? The incompetent mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villagairosa, is a Democrat (duh) who never met a camera (or a female TV reporter) that he didn’t love. Last week he blasted state Republicans who are trying to block tax hikes in an effort to save jobs in California’s sinking economy, calling it “absolutely outrageous” that they would “abdicate their responsibility, sign on to some ideological pledge that says they won’t raise revenues.” Because after all, Democrats do not believe in ideological pledges, except the one they take to protect public sector unions at all costs. And then the good mayor used this verbiage, referring not to the taxpaying families who are drowning in a sea of California red ink, but apparently to families of teacher union members:
“This would be a tsunami when you think about the devastating impact on families…”Yup. Failing to raise taxes in California would have exactly the same effect on union teachers as the tsunami had on the town of Sendai. Except for that their homes wouldn’t be washed away and they wouldn’t die. Other than THAT, it’s EXACTLY THE SAME and that’s why I’m so proud Mayor Villaraigosa is MY mayor – he knows how to keep the focus where it belongs: on him and his agenda.
One more leftist response deserves to be noted. And that is the unspeakably vile denunciation of people like Glenn Beck – for the crime of praising the Japanese for the lack of looting. As my colleague Chris Queen points out, a Vanity Fair editor named James Wolcott (proud old media icon) applied the most tortured logic possible to twist Beck’s heartfelt tribute to Japanese society into a racist screed. According to Wolcott, what Beck (and any other conservative) really mean when they praise the calmness of the Japanese people is that black people are looters and that’s why Japan is looter-free.
Apparently Wolcott is blind to his own racism in bringing this up. So allow me to set you straight, James buddy. People don’t loot because of their skin color. They loot because they weren’t brought up to respect other people’s property – a concept with which you leftists should be entirely conversant. The reason the Japanese aren’t looting isn’t because they’re not black; it’s because they’re not disrespectful.
— — — — —
You gotta hand it to ‘em. Nobody wastes less of a crisis than a strident leftist – and the more unhinged he is, the more he can twist the crisis/panic to his own nefarious ends. Sadly, the Japanese disaster provides no exception to this rule. Rahm must be very, very proud.
Posted by The Evil Queen at 1:59 PM
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Just signed the kids up for the Timothy McVeigh Memorial Soccer Tournament. What, you say? That’s inappropriate and offensive! Why would a youth organization name an event after someone who killed and injured a bunch of people?
Roger Kimball over at Pajamas Media makes this point in reporting on the Wafa Idris soccer tournament at a West Bank Palestinian youth center. Wafa Idris was the first female Palestinian suicide bomber, and in that role killed an 81-year-old man and injured 150 more Israelis. (By the way, there is no Timothy McVeigh soccer tournament. Nobody in this country thinks he’s worth memorializing, which definitely puts us on a higher moral plane than the residents of the West Bank.)
But allow me to ask what Kimball asked: Ever heard of this Wafa Idris? If you did, ever hear how the Palestinians thought she made a nifty role model for the kids?
Betcha didn’t. Because we rarely hear about ANY of the atrocities perpetrated against Jews in Israel. We hear lots of outrage against Israeli checkpoints, but not outrage against the terrorist threats that motivate them. My own high schooler, taking a summer class at a major university, was taught about the evil of Operation Cast Lead, where Israel sent bombs into Gaza, killing hundreds of Palestinians. But the instructor never mentioned the provocation that led to Israel’s action: the thousands of rockets fired into Israel’s southern cities. (My daughter, knowing a little about Israel, noted that provocation in a class discussion. For her trouble she earned the enmity of the professor and the profound disinterest of the rest of the students, who astutely observed that discussing that aspect would buy them nothing.)
I bring this up because it is people like that instructor, and (most of) the American media, and leftists in general, who bear some responsibility for one of the most horrific crimes (barely) reported in some time – a crime that I fear is being buried under the avalanche of horrifying news from Japan. And indeed, as terrible as Japan’s situation is, this crime cannot be overlooked, and Western leftists do bear responsibility because they have been silent about Arab incitement while castigating Israel over every response. This has indeed created an environment in which the most militant Palestinians feel justified in this sickening and revolting crime:
A young couple and three of their children murdered – stabbed and carved up – in their own home. One of the children a 3-month old baby girl. The bloodsoaked bodies found by another child returning home.
I urge you to spend three minutes watching this gutwrenching video about the incident – and I warn you that it is terribly graphic.
But this is a terribly graphic crime. And it is an outrage that this video was taken off both Youtube and Facebook. The deadly silence continues.
The BBC and New York Times have both focused on how Israel’s response to the killings – which is to announce it will no longer delay in building new homes for settlers – will cause problems in the peace process.
Building homes hurts the cause of peace, but stabbing an infant gets a pass?
The loons who were trying to link the Tea Party with Jared Loughner at least had one thing right, which is that IF there HAD been a climate of hatred, and IF Loughner HAD been saturated with that hatred, then this would have been at least partly the responsibility of the Tea Party. Of course, it wasn’t and they weren’t.
But Western journalists and leftist professors are creating – by their selective reporting – a climate where this atrocity, and others like it, can take place. A climate where Palestinians distribute candy afterward, to celebrate what one of them said was the joy that “is a natural response to the harm settlers inflict on the Palestinian residents in the West Bank.”
And what harm was 3-month-old Hadas inflicting on them? That this story is being relegated to the internet is a disgrace to American journalism.
Posted by The Evil Queen at 2:51 PM
Howling, whining, and other assorted agonies. It was not just union goons who lost in Wisconsin this past week. It was not even just the teachers union that lost in Idaho! No, some of the most passionate temper tantrums over the last few days were on Capitol Hill where Rep. Peter King convened his long-awaited hearings on radical Islam in the United States.
We had rude and angry outbursts! We had tears! (Which were later proven to be entirely manufactured, but what can you expect from someone who thinks the Constitution is a racist conspiracy.) And of course, we had remarkable displays of civility courtesy d-baggery.
Ah, the Left is so predictable.
The idea of the hearings is to shine a spotlight on the extent of radicalization in the American Muslim community, and to consider how the government might prevent more terrorism against Americans.
Horrors! Why, oh why, would anyone think this “descents into McCarthyism” – this “singling out of a single religious faith” – could possibly be acceptable, here in America?
Well… here are five good reasons. Unleash them on your leftist friends when they engage in the ever-so-tired leftist lunacy of demanding to know why we’re not having hearings on radical Christians, or radical Buddhists, or whatever.
First up: It’s not for everyone. Oh, wait… yes it is.
5. Islam wants to impose Islam on everyone
What is it with leftist philosophies? Why do they all want to take over the world? Communism, Socialism, Environmentalism – none of these movements are content messing in their own backyard. No, they all have to try to pull the rest of us along with them. Someday, there is bound to be one heck of a conflagration when full-on secular totalitarianism meets full-on Islamic totalitarianism, which also seeks to impose its will on… well, on all of us.
Proof of this oppressive viewpoint is… well, everywhere. A particularly concise example? Comments from Sheik Nasser bin Suleiman Al-Omar on Al-Jazeera television a few years back (did you call your cable company to make sure you’ve got Al-Jazeera? Sam Donaldson says it’s the one to watch! And you’re sort of paying for it already!). Anyway, the good sheik said this:
“Whoever is familiar with the Sunna and the Hadith knows that a battle against the enemies of Allah awaits on the horizon, in which the Muslims will be victorious. This is confirmed by the reliable hadiths, as well as by reality… Islam is making steady progress in America… twenty-five thousand people have converted to Islam every year since 9-11, and an even larger figure was mentioned in the New York Times.”The sheik went on to detail how Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. Author Gregory Davis spells it out clearly:
“Islam's message to the non-Muslim world is the same now as it was in the time of Muhammad and throughout history: submit or be conquered. Islam is less a personal faith than a political ideology that exists in a fundamental and permanent state of war with non-Islamic civilizations, cultures, and individuals. The Islamic holy texts outline a social, governmental, and economic system for all mankind. Those cultures and individuals who do not submit to Islamic governance exist in an ipso facto state of rebellion with Allah and must be forcibly brought into submission. The misbegotten term ‘Islamo-fascism’ is wholly redundant: Islam itself is a kind of fascism that achieves its full and proper form only when it assumes the powers of the state.”Why is this religion/political system, with its stringent Sharia requirements, attractive to anyone – especially people raised in the liberty-loving West? Davis opines:
“Islam combines the interior comfort provided by religious faith with the outward power of a world-transforming political ideology. Like the revolutionary violence of Communism, jihad offers an altruistic justification for waging death and destruction… The areas in which Islam is growing most rapidly, such as Western Europe, have been largely denuded of their religious and cultural heritage, which leaves Islam as the only vibrant ideology available to those in search of meaning.”Indeed. I think the founders had something to say about the interplay between liberty and a virtuous people, but that is a discussion for another day. For now, it is sufficient to point out that Islam is all about global dominance:
“One of the common elements to all Islamic schools of thought is jihad, understood as the obligation of the Ummah to conquer and subdue the world in the name of Allah and rule it under Sharia law.”In other words, they want to impose their religion on everyone. That is to say, the Hindu, the Taoist, the atheist, the Tom Cruise follower. E.v.e.r.y.o.n.e.
Now we often hear some poor soul, miseducated in our public schools and crippled in the critical thinking department (paging Rosie O’Donnell!), insist that we have just as much to fear from “radical Christians”; that Islam is no different from Christianity, because Christianity would like to see everyone become a follower of Jesus.
Ah, but Christianity cannot be forced (despite a few regrettable historic attempts) because by its very nature it involves individual free will to embrace or reject a relationship with God.
Dear deluded leftist clinging to this “Christians want to take over the world too” argument, I invite you aboard the reality train. Think: Where is there a Christian nation? A theocracy whose government IS the Christian faith? (You can’t count Vatican City!) America is perhaps closest to that possibility, due to our heritage and the sheer number of Christians. Yet, despite the strong cultural and historic ties to the Christian faith, we are a pluralistic, democratic republic with “separation of church and state.” The Christians, with ample opportunity to “take over” – did not. So again – where are the scary “radical Christians” who want to force everyone to believe the way they do?
In leftist imaginations, that’s where.
Where are the scary radical Muslims?
Right here, increasingly. And that’s why Peter King is not having hearings on radical Lutheranism, or radical Baptism, or radical Episcopalianism.
You see, when a belief system of any kind wants to take over the world – that’s something we SHOULD be talking about.
Next: Western civilization, the United States, and Israel… what do these have in common?
4. Islam wants to destroy Western civilization in general, America in particular, and don’t even get them started on Israel
Along with an indisputable goal to conquer the world, Islam holds a particular contempt for the West and the United States. Some of that is completely understandable.
But seriously. The hatred for America and its liberties has been obvious for a very long time. The Nation of Islam, as reported in the New York Post in 2002, has been virulently anti-American.
“Malcolm X dismissed his American passport as signifying ‘the exact opposite of what Islam stands for,’ and Louis Farrakhan announced that ‘God will destroy America at the hands of the Muslims.’”Author and speaker Daniel Pipes has compiled a somewhat chilling anthology of quotations that make this West-hatred pretty clear to anyone open-minded enough to actually absorb the meaning.
A few choice morsels:
“May Allah destroy America and Britain…”
“Allah has told us to make atom bombs. America is telling us not to. Who should we listen to O Muslims, Allah or America?”
“If we were united and strong, we’d elect our own emir and give allegiance to him… take my word, if 6-8 million Muslims unite in America, the country will come to us.”Ismail Al-Faruqi, who taught for many years at Temple University in Philadelphia, spoke longingly of conquering America for Islam:
“Nothing could be greater than this youthful, vigorous, and rich continent (of North America) turning away from its past evil and marching forward under the banner of Allahu Akbar (God is great).”Pipes also writes of Omar Ahmad, chair of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR, of course, is irrefutably linked to Hamas terrorists, despite the willful blindness to that fact of certain top law enforcement officers in Los Angeles (*coughLeroyBacacough*). But I digress. Chairman Ahmad said this:
“Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran… should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.”They keep telling us, but we don’t seem to want to listen. History tells us, too. Islamic armies attempted to conquer all of Europe many hundreds of years ago. And Islam didn’t become more peaceful. It simply got defeated. But hey, big points for persistence. Because centuries later, the Ayatollah Khomeini would state:
“Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers… we shall export our revolution, to the whole world. Until the cry ‘Allahu Akbar’ resounds over the whole world.”That cry resounded in a German airport just a few days ago.
They hate America, they hate the West, and holy cow (holy pig?)… do they EVER hate Israel. Oh, and Christians. From Hamas, an overtly terrorist group that many leftist Americans can’t quite bring themselves to denounce, comes this little tidbit:
“These Christians and Jews, these descendents of monkeys, now rule in all the nations of the world, but their day, too, will come. Allah! Kill them all, do not leave even one! It is the fate of the Jews and Christians to be slaughtered by our hands. We have taken upon ourselves to fulfill our obligation to society and to torture them because torture is the fate of the Jews and the Christians. No Jew and no Christian is innocent. All Jews and all Christians must be killed.”Are we getting a clearer picture of why Islam, of all religions, is being “singled out” for the spotlight treatment?
A quick tour of the world’s “great” religions turns up no other faith calling for the destruction of entire groups of individuals, as well as entire countries (nor is any other faith telling unbelievers to “convert or die”). The leftist weenies crying about this can boo-hoo all they want and scream “McCarthyism” – but the U.S. can’t fight the threat if they don’t have the cojones to admit it IS a threat.
Next: Putting women and children first… first to suffer, anyway...
3. Islam’s treatment of women and children is disgraceful
No “feminist” in their right mind (and personally, I don’t think most of them ARE in their right minds) could possibly in any way, shape or form support Islam. The Islamic fundamental disrespect for women morphs into a number of increasingly ugly manifestations, the evidence of which is again, all around us.
I’m all for modesty, a concept lost on much of the Western female population. It would be great if American women and girls did not dress in such a way as to distract men and boys from thoughts of anything other than sex.
However, the idea that the mere existence of a female form should prevent men from going about their daily business is just the first step in a series of justifications for demeaning women individually and as in general. The idea that nothing but the eyes should be visible in public (and even those eyes can be dangerous) is a necessary prelude to the idea that it is acceptable to taunt, grope, or even rape a woman who is not adhering to that most restrictive dress code. After all, she asked for it. This viewpoint also dehumanizes men, by the way. If you tell a boy he is an animal who cannot be responsible for his basest urges, that is what you will get.
This entire philosophy is rooted in the concept that women by their very nature are somehow lesser or evil, and that men must protect themselves against them. When that is the foundation upon which you are building male-female relations, things are going to go very, very wrong. How wrong?
Ritual genital mutilation of young girls is perfectly acceptable because you know how women are – if they can feel sexual pleasure, think what whores they will become. Wifebeating is also perfectly acceptable – and proof of such teaching (and practice) is not difficult to obtain. Finally, there is the ultimate misogyny: honor killing. When a women (or girl) has pissed off a male family member one too many times, she's butchered. That does happen in other cultures, too; it’s just not considered “honorable.”
Even if these perversions of human relationships were confined to Muslim nations, it would be cause to speak out. The fact that these crimes are now taking place – regularly – in the West, and that Muslims are calling for Sharia law so that these atrocities can be defended… well, that is another reason Peter King is having hearings. We have this evil among us now, and we must call it for what it is. One study of family violence in Britain, a nation more heavily infiltrated by Muslim thinking than America, found that women married to Muslim men were eight times more likely to be killed by their husbands than any other woman in Britain.
Imagine if a new faith or worldview emerged that insisted that “people of color” were dangerous, and really should be covered from head to toe, save their eyes, when out in public. This new faith had its own laws and court systems, and wanted the right to abuse people of color as part of its religious freedom in this country. Would we stand by and allow this faith’s legal system to become part and parcel of our American system of jurisprudence? Well, I certainly hope not. I would hope that some states might even pass laws to make certain that this new legal system could not gain a foothold in our system that so carefully attempts to protect individual rights and dignity. I would hope that states that pass such laws protecting our judicial system would not be mocked by leftists. Hmmm.
A quick word for the “all religions oppress women” crowd. Please, please put on your little thinking caps and move beyond the knee jerk rhetoric. A faith that proscribes certain roles for men and certain roles for women is not the same as a faith that denies the full humanity of one or the other. The Bible teaches that “there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” This was fairly revolutionary talk at the time the book of Galatians (3:28) was written, by the way. Human nature has often led to abuse of women, but not all faiths enshrine that in teaching. Not all faiths count the testimony of a woman to be significantly less valid than that of a man.
Ritual genital mutilation of young girls is not the only abuse of children inherent in Islam. But how can a faith cherish children when its Prophet, by example, participated in forced marriage and child rape? Such abuse of young children is unchecked in the Muslim world, justified by some of the philosophy to which I referred, above. By way of contrast, Jesus warned his followers (Matthew 18:6) that interfering with a child’s healthy development would lead to dire consequences. (Please file that one under: “Radical Christianity”: Why Hearings Are Not Needed.)
Quite possibly the most egregious child abuse in the Islamic world is the pervasive inculcation of hatred in very young minds. How do you get an otherwise healthy young man (or woman) with their whole life in front of them to strap on explosives and blow themselves up? This is how:
(Want your kids to experience this kind of cultural education? Well, that’s another argument for getting Al-Jazeera on your cable plan as quickly as possible!)
Of course there are the avowed relativists who insist that all religions produce young terrorists. Like Ezra Klein, the Washington Post’s idiot boy columnist (he’s the one who finds the Constitution long and full of hard words). Klein produced another gem of moronic greatness last week, in discussing the upcoming hearings, when he drew a parallel between radical Muslim terrorists and American school shootings, perpetrated by young Christians.
Here’s a quick test to determine if “young Christians” are perpetrating your next shooting incident. If they cry out “Jesus is Lord” right before they start shooting, then we will have something to talk about. Until then, can someone please find Klein some anti-psychotic medication?
Next: Somewhere over the Islamic rainbow…
2. Hey, gays! THEY WANT TO KILL YOU.
Yeah, there are many Americans (and mostly Christians) who do not support your right to redefine marriage to allow for same-sex unions. Again, I implore you to grab that little thinking cap again. Here’s a quiz.
One of these things is not like the other:
1. People expressing distaste for your sexual practices
2. People opposing same sex marriage
3. People questioning whether children do better in traditional vs. gay families
4. People shooting you, hanging you, or hacking you up in little pieces
Were you able to spot the one that doesn’t belong?
I am not the first person to point out that gays who wish to define themselves primarily by their sexual orientation should be the first ones in the pro-Israel, anti-Islam line. You have to know who your allies are, and who your enemies are. The leftist gay community has this all messed up, and they will be among the very first to pay a terrible price should Sharia take hold in this country. That, again, is another reason that high-profile hearings on this topic are both relevant and instructional.
And for those “Christianity is just as bad” numbskulls: the fact is that Judaism and Christianity, both of which teach against homosexual behavior, nevertheless uphold the dignity and protection of every individual. That is abundantly evident in the countries most closely aligned with these faith traditions (the U.S. and Israel).
As author Peter Schweizer points out, while Judeo-Christian values are compatible with democracy…
“Why not Islam? The answer lies deep within the root of these faiths. Christianity is an individualistic faith which is based on the belief that the individual has a direct pipeline to God, and that each individual has value. After all, each individual was created in God’s image. Given that foundation it is easy to see how representative government developed. Islam does not have an individualistic view of faith, or the value of the individual.”Respect for the individual. Again, when one hops on the reality train, the picture of who is really threatening gays emerges clearly.
Next: There is a (good) reason that Muslims want to live here
1. Islamic nations are terrible places to live
Let’s stay on that reality train a little longer. Leftists who have been brave enough to come on this journey – stay calm. Breathe deeply. I am about to present a concept with absolutely no politically correct sugarcoating, and it might be difficult to swallow. Bear with us.
Muslim countries are barbaric and backward.
Whew. That was hard even for me to get out. But come ON. Certain faiths have made the world a better place. They have provided fertile soil for human advancement in art, science, literature and government. There is a reason Western civilization has been a dominant global force. There is a reason Western countries have led the world. These are places that invent technology, build skyscrapers, and have flush toilets. There is a reason that Islam, historically, has not been able to subdue the West.
I know, I know. The Muslim contributions to the world during the Islamic golden age. The problem is, that golden age occurred where there were significant populations of Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians, among others. This mixing of cultures meant that the Muslims who contributed to the golden age were “free thinkers” who were willing to build upon other great thinkers (of ancient Greece, for example). What’s more, many of those free thinkers were attacked and condemned by Islamic purists. Ex-Muslim Syed Kamran Mirza offers a comprehensive treatment of this topic. A comment on his site sums up neatly what happened as “pure” Islam took hold:
“Where there was no yearning for knowledge and striving for advancement, barbarism reigned, as for example in the burning of the contents of the great library at Alexandria by the invading Arabs. As the percentage of Muslims in the general population started to increase (through conversion due to conviction, intimidation… or desire not to pay the jizya tax) the belief that the Koran was the ‘only book’ worth reading and that it contained all knowledge increased, and subsequently the golden age vanished.”Mirza discusses the “greatest mind of the Islamic golden age,” a famous Persian physician, philosopher and scholar, Ar Razi. He was condemned for blasphemy and his philosophical works destroyed during a “revival force of back to Islamic darkness.”
Back to darkness.
Look around the world at this very moment – there are many countries that are ruled either in fact or in theory as Islamic nations. Is their way of life, their culture, their day to day experience, superior to that of the West? Is it equivalent, oh dear leftist who so wishes us all to be exactly the same? Would you want to live there?
Look, even Bill Maher recognizes this point. If Bill Maher and, say, Sarah Palin can agree on something, can we all just acknowledge that it’s fact?
But the factual existence of this “darkness” is what gives us, here in America, the motivation for holding the Peter King hearings. We do not wish to deny entry to immigrants from these majority Muslim nations, many of whom want nothing more than to escape that darkness. They are among America’s fiercest supporters and defenders. They are the Muslims who have been supportive of the hearings, because they, more than anyone else, understand what’s at stake. They came here to escape a system, to escape the violence, to escape the hatred – they don’t want it seeping into the fabric of American life.
However – not all Muslim immigrants come with that mindset, as has been clearly demonstrated. How do we make that distinction? How do we welcome people who wish to place a higher priority on liberty and democracy than on a religion, while protecting all of us from those who come with a more sinister agenda – those who wish to impose a faith-based totalitarianism that would annihilate the American way of life? I wish I had a good answer… but the question must be asked, and that is precisely the heart of the King hearings – despite the unfair, irrational, hostile, toxic and somewhat hysterical opposition to them.
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I highly recommend taking a few minutes to read Gregory Davis’ excellent outline of all things Islam at the Jihad Watch website. Mark Humphrys’ site is also interesting. Both will greatly enhance understanding of the issues at hand. As an aside… Davis explains that their scriptures, while generally teaching the value of truthfulness, specifically encourage deceit when it suits the “big picture”, i.e. the jihad mission. Obviously, this doctrine makes it impossible for open and honest dialogue between Islam and the rest of the world. How can you trust someone who believes it’s okay to lie to you? Kind of a sobering perspective on any “pro-Islam” testimony at the King hearings.
Posted by The Evil Queen at 2:18 PM
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
One might make a case that this article is unnecessary. After all, who could possibly be supporting public sector unions after the shenanigans we’ve seen in Wisconsin and elsewhere this past few weeks? Legislators fleeing across state lines to avoid doing the job taxpayers elected them – and are paying them – to do (and they’re not exactly sleeping in their cars during their illicit vacations). Public schoolteachers calling in sick and encouraging their students to picket on their behalf (instead of going to class). Taxpayer-funded doctors unethically and fraudulently writing notes to excuse public workers from their jobs. Union thugs whacking young women Tea Partiers (more on that ahead). What a sordid mess.
Nevertheless, many of our friends and acquaintances aren’t educating themselves on the true goings-on in Madison and other current hotspots around the country. Or worse yet, they’re getting their news on it from the MSM, or the likes of Jon Stewart.
So it’s our job, those of us who love liberty and the free market and the rule of law, to school ‘em. All we need is a little well-honed rhetorical ammunition to stock our intellectual arsenals (I just love to use that vitriolic weapon imagery, although I must defer to the unions on this one – they are the masters).
ANYWAY. Here are ten facts – facts that won’t change the minds of the leftist true believer who worships at the altar of Big Government and honestly thinks the state can run our lives better than we can. But these ten facts just might give the unaware and undecided some much-needed food for thought.
Starting with: History is fun!
10. History proves we don’t need public sector unions, and the folks in Wisconsin are lying about it
I hate it when kids say they hate history. To me, that’s a stinging indictment of whoever was teaching them history, because history should be fun. History is just stories, and what could be better than that?
Those stories are particularly compelling when they illuminate the present. The history of public sector unions is crystal clear, and the Left is being wildly dishonest in their approach to it. The president of Madison Teachers, one Mike Lipp, offered this “historical perspective”:
“(For Governor Walker) to include gutting law that was put into place in 1959, signed by the great Gaylord Nelson, granting public employees the right to collectively bargain, is ludicrous.”Huh? As Rich Lowry points out at National Review Online, “why would anyone in 2011 think of changing a government practice put in place in 1959?” Especially when it was signed by the great … who was that again?
What a ridiculous argument. But at least Mike Lipp wasn’t hysterical, like this lady:
Okay, that part with Obama at the end was just a joke. But don’t you feel like yelling out an “Amen” to the crazy lady? IT’S FOR THE KIDS!! Because if she can’t suck quite as hard at the public teat, we won’t have weekends. Or something.
Now let’s talk reality and the truth (refreshing, I know!).
All the historical arguments we’re hearing in support of unions – every last one of them – are related to the relationship between labor and the private sector. Not the relationship between well-paid government workers and THEIR employer – which is YOU.
President Kennedy is the one to blame for lifting the federal ban on government unions back in 1962, but it wasn’t because government workers were poorly paid, or suffered in adverse working conditions. It was because the traditional labor unions were losing power, as Jonah Goldberg points out, and JFK saw how public unions in states like Wisconsin were putting Democrats in power.
“The plan worked. Public union membership skyrocketed and government union support for the party of government skyrocketed with it. From 1989 to 2004, AFSCME — the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees — gave nearly $40 million to candidates in federal elections, with 98.5% going to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.”98.5 percent! (More on that ahead.) Anyway, THAT is the true history of why we have public sector unions.
So if someone tries to tell you it’s because workers were dying in the mines, or we needed weekends – that’s a bald-faced lie.
Next: Why public employees should never be able to strike…
9. We are the employers
Government exists to provide a framework for free enterprise to flourish. Our government was never intended to be a producer of goods and services as much as it was intended to facilitate production in the private sector. Many conservatives believe that the services government does provide should be limited to those related to safety, like military and police functions. So when public sector unions infuse their self-centered collective bargaining demands, they jeopardize the safety of our society as a whole. This cannot be allowed, and it is why many government workers are forbidden, by law, from going on strike (which as we have seen does not stop them, when a militant union is involved).
What’s more, even when government workers are fulfilling a function that can (and maybe should) be privatized (education comes to mind), they still should have no right to withdraw that function from their employer, because their employer is all of us.
Ronald Reagan understood this quite clearly. Here he is ‘splainin the facts to a bunch of hardheaded (and soon to be ex-) air traffic controllers:
Ah, but our beloved President Reagan is not the only president to make a meaningful contribution to the issue of public sector unions. Consider what another president had to say – and this wasn’t an argument against strikes, but an argument against ANY collective bargaining in the public sector:
“All government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public-personnel management. The very nature and purposes of government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with government-employee organizations. The employer is the whole people…”That, my friends, was what President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had to say. Mr. New Deal himself. That’s a wee bit o’history that you probably won’t see quoted in the NYT.
We are the employer. You and me. So don’t let anyone try to frame the argument in terms of “corporate greed” (which is exactly what they’re deceitfully doing). The only greed evident in THIS debate is that of the money-grubbing unions. The real employer – the taxpayer – you, me – we are not being greedy. Is it greedy to tell the kids you can’t take them on a European vacation when Dad just lost his job? That’s not called greed. That’s called responsibility.
Next: The criminally-selfish circle of money and influence…
8. Public unions PLUS Democrats MINUS taxpayer interests = unending river of fun money for everyone (well, everyone except the taxpayers)
The formula mentioned above is one being applied in many states, municipalities and of course at the federal level. Public sector unions “bargain” with the government for wages and benefits, but the folks representing the government at the bargaining table end up being those representing primarily Democratic politicians (remember that 98.5% figure, above?) who give the unions everything they want in exchange for untold riches being funneled back to the Democrats in power at election time. By the way, there is no seat for the taxpayers at this bargaining table, even though it is their money that is at stake. So the unions ask for more and more lavish entitlements, which the Democrats are only too happy to provide from the public coffers, because they know the union will then line their pockets come campaign time.
The results of all this largesse back and forth between the public unions and the Democrats? The results are the jaw-dropping budget deficits in all those states, municipalities and counties (and countries) with public sector unions. The Democrats (primarily) have thrown taxpayer money at the unions in the form of outrageous wages and benefits (more on that, later), then benefit personally at election time (more on that, later, too).
The leftists clearly understand how this system works – why do you think there’s such an outcry? No less a liberal luminary than Watergate “uncoverer” Carl Bernstein is calling Governor Walker’s action a “very political, demagogic move by a governor who knows that the Democratic Party subsists to some extent on union contributions.” To which we would add – what does he mean “to some extent”? It’s their mother’s milk! This is why Walker is, as Carol Platt Liebau puts it, an anathema to both the unions and the liberal politicians.
Jonah Goldberg sums up the problem neatly:
“And this gets to the real insidiousness of government unions. Wisconsin labor officials fairly note that they’ve acceded to many of their governor’s specific demands… but they don’t want to lose the right to collective bargaining. But that is exactly what they need to lose. Private sector unions fight with management over an equitable distribution of profits. Government unions negotiate with politicians over taxpayer money, putting the public interest at odds with union interests and, as we’ve seen in states such as California and Wisconsin, exploding the cost of government. The labor-politician negotiations can’t be fair when the unions can put so much money into campaign spending. Victor Gotbaum, a leader in the New York City chapter of AFSCME, summed up the problem in 1975 when he boasted, ‘We have the ability, in a sense, to elect our own boss.’”Indeed. And keep in mind – WE are the real boss that is being supplanted. This is positively criminal behavior. It’s corrupt. It’s a racket. And it’s why Scott Walker is a hero for trying to dismantle it in his state. It robs all taxpayers to benefit the few who happen to be employed by the government. And as much as the Left tries to cloak this in class warfare terms – Americans are not buying it.
Next: Another factor in this corrupt and evil formula…
7. Union members are given no choice
At the risk of repeating myself, allow me to quote New York Post columnist Michael Walsh, discussing the vast sums of money discussed in our previous point:
“Where does that money come from? From union members’ dues. In what is effectively a criminal enterprise were it not for the moment legal, public-union leaders negotiate ever-larger pay and benefits from the very politicians to whom they then kick back ‘campaign contributions.’ All at taxpayer expense.”But Diane, you say. You already went over this. Yes, I did. I just wanted to reiterate the “criminal” aspect before making the next point, which is that THESE UNION DUES ARE COERCED BY FORCE FROM UNION MEMBERS. These aren’t voluntary donations from union members who are 99% Democrats themselves. These are union dues removed from public union members’ paychecks before they ever see the money. Mona Charen has a good description here:
“Through collective bargaining, unions negotiate with elected officials for wages and benefits. They then get the state to collect union dues for them by withholding the dues from public employees’ checks. With the accumulated cash, the union then makes campaign contributions to the favored public officials. Neat.”She goes on to quote labor historian Fred Siegel:
“Ending dues deductions breaks the political cycle in which government collects dues, gives them to the unions, who then use the dues to back their favorite candidates and also lobby for bigger government and more pay and benefits.”Do you think every one of those public sector employees wants to have dues taken out of his or her paycheck? Do you think if the dues weren’t removed from their paychecks automatically, that quite a few of them might fight for the right to opt out? Do you think every one of them agrees with the politicians their unions push? What about the teacher whose forced union dues paid for attack ads against her conservative politician husband – do you think she was on board with that?
You know the answers to all of these questions, and so do the Democrats. That’s why they’ll flee over state lines before acting on the clearly defined will of the people (as per the 2010 elections). Special interests don’t relinquish their privileges without a fight, as Carol Platt Liebau notes.
This is at the heart of the reason the union organizers are camping out at the Wisconsin Capitol. Linda Chavez spells it out:
“The unions are afraid that if the state doesn’t deduct the dues from members’ paychecks and turn them over to the union, the members won’t pay up. The National Education Association alone will receive $358 million in its share of union dues nationally this school year — virtually all of it taken automatically out of teachers’ paychecks and turned over to the union by their government employer… Walker also wants to give state employees the right to vote on whether they want to be represented by a union — and if so, which one. But the unions don’t like that either. They want workers to have the right to choose union representation, but they seem scared to death that the issue might actually be put to a vote every year.”This is one thing that unions are not lying about – it really isn’t about this year’s budget. It’s about power and who’s going to control the purse strings. It’s really an issue of right vs. wrong. Is it right to force people to give their money to causes with which they disagree? To force a wife to give her income against her husband?
Clearly, this is a cycle that needs to be broken. It does not even represent the best interests of the union members, many of whom will have NO PENSIONS AT ALL if some type of Walker-ite reform is not implemented and soon. Union bosses have been in bed with Democratic politicians for far too long, and it’s time to break up this illicit romance. All politicians, of every political stripe, are supposed to serve we the people, we the taxpayers – not, as Liebau notes, their megalomaniacal fantasies of being some type of government overlords.
Next: And lest there be any confusion whatsoever about which politicians, of which stripe, are benefitting from this corrupt system…
6. This is a 100% Democrat, big money racket
Okay, not 100%. Like we said earlier, some figures put it at 98.5%. Whatever. Writer Michael Walsh says:
“Unions such as the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the National Education Association (NEA) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) give hundreds of millions of dollars to Democrats — some $171 million in 2010 alone. They give almost nothing to Republicans.”That’s a pretty accurate figure. Almost nothing. Keep that fact in mind the next time someone tries to tell you that one party is as bad as the other. Not on this point, my friend, and this is a pretty darned important point, as it cuts to the heart of the integrity of our entire system. You can blame the Republicans for one thing, however, and that’s for not making a huge stink about this corrupt cycle a long time ago. Why is it only the Tea Party that has emboldened action?
Anyway, the Wall Street Journal did “out” AFSCME last fall – AFSCME being the primary public employee union (outside of teacher unions). The very largest spender in the 2010 election – yes, Californians, bigger than Meg Whitman – was AFSCME. The number one spender in all state elections is public employee unions. And of course they are supporting the party of Yes-You-Can-Have-More (if not the party of Actually-You-Can-Have-Everything). The party that is cheating the American taxpayer while lying to the public sector union employees. No – we canNOT have it all. Nobody ever can. It’s one of those lessons we were supposed to learn in kindergarten.
Next: But aren’t our teachers worth it?
5. Public sector employees are making 45% more than you are. Is that right?
You may love your kid’s teacher. You may even have a favorite postal worker, or (although this is hard to believe) someone at the DMV you like. But do these people deserve to make an average of 45% more than people teaching private school, or delivering packages for UPS, or pushing paper inside some insurance company office? Well, are private school teachers doing a 45% worse job than public teachers? Does UPS do a 45% worse job than the Post Office? Is your insurance company receptionist 45% less surly than the lady at the DMV? I think we all know the answers to all of those questions, don’t we? So why do these public employees get the gold-plated treatment? Listen to Linda Chavez again:
“Public employees pay less for their health care and receive far more generous pensions, often without making contributions to them. Teachers, who are among the most heavily unionized public employees, also have tenure rights — which make it difficult, if not impossible, to remove incompetent or underperforming teachers.”Ah, yes. Linda brings up an important point, which we will return to a little later. For now, let’s look at a few numbers in more detail, courtesy of the Department of Labor, via Carol Platt Leibau:
“…when it comes to hourly wages, the average in the private sector is $19.68 per hour; for workers in state and local government, it’s $26.25. While 74% of private-industry workers receive paid sick leave and 8 paid holidays per year, 98% of state and local government workers have paid sick leave, along with 11 paid holidays yearly. And 99% of government workers have retirement benefits (with the same percentage enjoying medical benefits), compared to 74% and 86% respectively of private sector employees. Finally, in the private sector, an average of 20% of medical premiums are paid by employees, while state and local government workers pay only 11% on average. By almost any measure, it pays to work for the government – subsidized by taxpayer money and unconstrained by the economic discipline imposed on the private sector by the need to compete — rather than as a taxpaying employee in a private enterprise.”Working for the government used to be called public service. It can no longer be referred to as such, under these outrageous circumstances.
Side note: This undue burden on private business is a huge part of the reason are economy is in the tank. Why should business have to compete for workers with an indulgent Uncle Sam (or state or local governments)?
Next: But like I said, aren’t our teachers worth it?
4. The service we are getting from these top-paid government employees… sucks.
Unionized public employees provide crappy customer service. Like all blanket statements, that one has its exceptions. Rare as a coherent comment from Khadafi, but yeah, I’ll grant you, out there somewhere there might just be a unionized government worker who gives a damn.
There is no incentive for excellence when, for all intents and purposes, you have unlimited job security. This is the reality of human nature, and it applies to every last one of us. When we think we can get away with something we shouldn’t do – we are more likely to do it. Period. End of discussion. There aren’t even any exceptions to that blanket statement. It is just, simply, Truth.
Unions violate the natural competitive individual spirit, providing disincentive to excel, produce and maximize potential, and instead incentivizing mediocrity. Why go the extra mile when we can get there off someone else’s effort? With public sector unions, since the workers indirectly command influence over the people who write their paychecks, supervisors have far less direct say or evaluative input into the performance or productivity of their employees.
We all almost intuitively understand this. And that’s because we’ve all been one of the 500 people in line at the DMV while workers chat with each other at the copy machine. We have seen firsthand what virtually iron-clad job security does to customer service and the work ethic.
You can’t fire a lazy, underperforming or incompetent unionized government worker without spending a considerably large amount of time, money and effort. Which is part of the reason going to the DMV is such a nightmarish experience. And part of the reason why the line at the post office is so long. And part of the reason why your kids can’t read.
That last one is particularly galling. You may have heard of the so-called rubber rooms, where teachers accused of wrongdoing or incompetence were sent to spend day after day knitting or playing cards while receiving full pay and benefits. Some of them lingered in the rubber room for YEARS. An appalling waste of taxpayer money, no doubt – but one could argue that the rubber rooms are a better location for incompetent teachers than the classroom.
Those teachers in Wisconsin who are so up in arms about having to contribute a bit toward their own health benefits (like the rest of us do)… the ones who called in sick and forced schools to close… well, the Department of Education says that 2/3 of their 8th grade students cannot read proficiently. TWO THIRDS. This is despite the fact that Wisconsin spend more per pupil than any other Midwest state. Well, it may be BECAUSE they spend more per pupil, because the spending isn’t going to help kids learn to read. It’s going to pay for those gold-plated benefits.
It’s not for the kids. It never has been, it isn’t now, and it never will be – as long as teachers are unionized.
Next: The unions show their true colors with outrageous thuggery…
3. Your arguments are suspect if you have to resort to goon behavior to make your points
Writing this article, and trying to include the latest examples of union thuggery out of Wisconsin (and other states) has been an exercise in working with moving targets. I would no sooner get the latest episode into my notes than another would be reported. And the hits – sometimes literally – keep comin’.
Like this goon, who hit a young woman who caught his classless comments on video as he demonstrated outside the offices of FreedomWorks.
Other union protesters made sexually degrading comments to female lawmakers at the Kansas statehouse. And if they’re not busy attacking women, union members also enjoy attacking minorities who aren’t marching in leftist lockstep. Like the black Tea Party member asked if he has any children that he claims. Or the man told he is a bad Jew for not supporting the unions.
In Idaho, where you’d think conservatives would be shown a little more respect, the school superintendent (who has proposed some truly courageous education reform) has had his car trashed and his mother harassed. His mother! And the union had the sheer effrontery to demand HIS apology, for calling them “thugs.”
They are really unhappy when Fox News shows up, because Fox News tells all the sides of the story, and they only want their side told. So Rupert Murdoch’s network must be shouted down at all costs.
It’s called projection. When party A accuses party B of something that party A is really guilty of. Insert “unions/Democrats” as party A and “Tea Party” as party B, and I think you’ll see what I’m talking about. I’ve just posted, on one little webpage, more evidence of thug-like behavior than the Tea Party was ever accused of.
Astroturfing? It was not happening at the Tea Party rallies, but it’s happening here.
Violent rhetoric and nasty signs? Ditto.
As Michelle Malkin masterfully demonstrates, these people did not read the president’s civility memo.
Note to union goons: The ends do not justify the means. Morality means something.
Side note to union goons: Some of your protesters are certifiable.
Next: Is there a connection between the unions and socialists or communists?
2. There is an absolutely indisputable link between public sector unions and socialism/communism
This isn’t really surprising. Public sector unions, in particular, represent a microcosm of socialism, in that wealth is redistributed. It is taken from producers (taxpayers) and given to deadwood (DMV workers).
Another word for this is theft. Stealing productivity of one person or group actually serves as an incentive to underproduce for both groups. Again, that natural tendency to follow the path of least resistance.
That’s the philosophical proof. But let’s get down to reality.
Mike Imbrogno is an executive board member of AFSCME. At a recent meeting of the International Socialist Organization, he issued a veiled threat against Wisconsin governor Scott Walker.
Yeah, yeah, all kinds of leftists are threatening Scott Walker. The most important point is, he was at the INTERNATIONAL SOCIALIST ORGANIZATION. He also writes for a fun little website called SocialistWorker.org, where he penned this:
“This battle won’t be won in the offices of these right-wing pigs. It will be won by framing these political questions in the streets.”It’s not just one guy. Socialist groups have been marching in Madison since the protests started, and the unionists are being supported by groups like the Maoist Revolution Communist Party and the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party. Read all about it here.
Of course, America’s own favorite socialist group, Obama’s Organizing for America group, was right there at the beginning, stoking the fires in Wisconsin… an effort reported in the Washington Post, which made it difficult for Obama & Co to deny when they tried to back away from their involvement as the rest of America indicated this wasn’t their definition of hope and change.
Next: NEWSFLASH! The media completely misses the point…
1. The taxpayers ARE the working people of America
I understand the Green Bay Packers are very popular in Wisconsin, so it’s really a slap in the face to hundreds of thousands of fans that team captain Charles Woodson issued a statement supporting the union protesters:
“I was proud when many of my current and former teammates announced their support for the working families fighting for their rights in Wisconsin…”Newsflash, Charlie buddy. The working families of Wisconsin are the ones getting screwed by these unions. There are way more of us than there are of them. Why aren’t you supporting our rights?
I guess I can’t be too hard on a stupid football player. He has his own union, after all, because heaven knows his big kazillion dollar salary needs union protection. Or something.
But where is the media in all this? They are completely missing the reality that the people of Wisconsin – as well as most of the people in America – just voted for people who would take on the unions. In some cases, the candidates in question (like Scott Walker) were crystal clear about this during their campaigns. They were voted in to do this job for the taxpayers – but the media can’t wrap its pretty little head around that fact. George Stephanopoulos actually went to bat for the unions with Scott Walker. Meanwhile, celebrities spew on about saving the middle class, while ignoring the fact that (a) we are not a class system society and (b) even if we were, most of the middle class DOES NOT BELONG TO A UNION.
The mainstream media is not questioning this idiocy.
We also don’t see them reporting on the costs of these protests to the Wisconsin taxpayers (thanks to the right wing blogs, we at least have the information).
Journalists are supposed to act as the “fourth estate” – ferreting out and reporting on corruption and lies. But they are missing virtually every aspect of this union story: from their failure to draw parallels on the civility issue, to their failure to question union talking points, to their failure to tell the story, at least on occasion, from the taxpayer perspective.
But what else can we expect from the media but a giant FAIL. After all, they tried to keep Scott Walker from being elected in the first place, as a union spokesman revealed during the election.
This is an ugly story, bound to get uglier. Especially since the media (apart from Fox News, Rush, and the blogosphere) is not doing its job. It falls to us, as individuals, to insert some sanity into the arguments. These ten talking points deserve wide dissemination. Take them to Facebook, Twitter, and the office water cooler (but be extra careful at work). Let’s start winning hearts and minds with the truth.
Posted by The Evil Queen at 9:44 AM