Posts Tagged ‘sleight of hand’

Race, Nanny State, Confusion

New Year’s eve I caught a clip of ABC’s Deborah Roberts (20/20) interviewing Michael Oher, the subject of the movie The Blind Side. (It must have been a recap of the year’s stories, because the interview is a year old, corresponding to the movie’s release.) What captured my attention was her asking Michael Oher about black people refusing to see the film. It seems they were offended by the story of a rich, white family rescuing another black kid from the poverty of the ghetto, perpetuating the notion it’s the only means for escape.

The disconnect is stunning — even for a journalist.

Let me connect two simple and obvious dots.

• Liberals, including the most prominently recognized black “leaders,” promote the nanny state. Their message: it is fairness, even justice, for the government to “lend a hand” to those “less fortunate.”

• Liberals, including those same black “leaders,” promote taxing “the wealthy” to pay for the nanny state. This too falls under the same asserted “justice.”

Don’t blame me, but those same black leaders have made this into a racial argument. Black people, many of them poor, must be propped up, when it’s really about poor people, many of whom happen to be black. (This oft-used sleight of hand suggests correlation == causation.) The issue has been hijacked, the perpetrators doing the bidding of their Democrat plantation owners. A black isn’t even authentically black if they don’t buy the agenda that they need help from the state. I didn’t say it; they did.

Now, connect the dots. They’re offended that the Tuohy family would provide help directly, of their own initiative, but demand the same family give more money for the government to provide the same help (sans the effectiveness). Am I the only one who sees through this stupid three-card Monte game?

I’m glad blacks are offended at the suggestion they’re lost without help. They’re right. They are as capable as anyone. But why the denial that it’s their own poverty pimps selling them the lie that they are lost? Where does government help come from if not the same rich people (many whiteys) causing them such angst?

And what about the oblivion surrounding a journalist asking such a question?

(Hat tip: Paula Mooney, at the Cleveland During my search, I found details about the 20/20 piece in her article. Her politics are unknown to me, so I don’t want to unfairly associate her with mine, but she expressed discomfort with the question as well.)

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CAIR lies

CAIR is not about improving relations between Muslims and the rest of America. It is about shutting down any and all unflattering speech, truth be damned, using lies and intimidation. The latest:

“NPR should address the fact that one of its news analysts seems to believe that all airline passengers who are perceived to be Muslim can legitimately be viewed as security threats,” said CAIR National Executive DirectorNihad Awad. “Such irresponsible and inflammatory comments would not be tolerated if they targeted any other racial, ethnic or religious minority, and they should not pass without action by NPR.” [source:]

Juan Williams did no such thing. He did not say anything about security policy. He simply expressed, with honesty and some obvious discomfort, his own personal fear. He neither suggested it was legitimate, nor that it should form the basis for any policy. He has been an outspoken critic of “racial profiling” in public security policy, sometimes against all reason. For him to be tarred in this manner proves just how fearful the left is of some truth, from any quarters.

The claim that similar comments would not be tolerated regarding other races and religions, coming from a group that tolerates vile anti-semitism in its own ranks, is laughable. There is an unending litany of bigoted speech targeted at Christians and Jews.

Compare this episode to discussions of the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic church. By CAIR’s standards, talking about an endemic problem in the church was “irresponsible and inflammatory.” One notable difference: the vast majority of non-pedophilia-tolerating Roman Catholics rose up to clean up their own mess, starting with honest self-criticism, and without trying to shut down discussion–even from outside their faith and way out-of-bounds. When the vast majority of “peace loving” Muslims stand up in similar fashion, instead of cowering behind the skirt of the thought police, the disquiet felt by 100’s of millions will begin to dissipate. Shutting down criticism and remaining otherwise silent on the sidelines won’t cut it.

I’m not a big Juan Williams fan.  Some have suggested he has softened his liberal opinions over the years. I don’t see it that way. He has become more Pavlovian in his defense of Obama, more willing to unthinkingly avail himself of talking points brewed in the incestuous pot of liberal groupthink. For someone as intelligent and capable of independent thought as he has proven himself to be, this is sometimes maddening.  He does, however, deserve credit for fearlessness to engage in debate. He presents himself in venues likely to be hostile to his views and does battle.

During those exchanges there may be hostility towards his political beliefs, but never any directed towards him personally. This is the way a pluralistic society is supposed to carry on political debate. Far too few on the left seem capable of this engagement (and some on the right as well), opting instead to discredit people, not their ideas, in an effort to shut them up. CAIR, darling of the left, deftly wields this sledgehammer, does it while pretending to sing Kumbaya, and rarely is called on their deceptions.

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Another Media Lie About the Tea Party

The more liberals fear someone, or some idea, the bolder their lies become. I had the misfortune of stumbling across Paul Begala on CNN Wednesday night and he lived down to expectations as usual. His riff was about the Tea Party in particular, conservatives in general, and hypocrisy he perceives in them regarding fidelity to the Constitution.

But what bothers me — and it’s not just Christine O’Donnell, I think, who can plainly — who can plainly plead ignorance as a defense — but across the conservative movement, there is this schizophrenia, this claimed fidelity to the Constitution, when, in fact, they want to shred a whole bunch of it.

As you pointed, they want to repeal the 17th Amendment, the direct election of senators, the 16th Amendment, which allows an income tax. They want to change the First Amendment to ban flag- burning. They want to allow school prayer, which change the First Amendment. They want a balanced budget amendment, a line item veto amendment. They want to change the 14th Amendment, so that people who are born here, some would not be citizens.

I could go on. They want to ban same-sex marriage and put that in the Constitution. So they — they don’t really like the Constitution. It’s a little like saying — say you get married, and you’re on your honeymoon, and turn to your wife and you say, honey, I love you, but you need a butt job, a boob job, liposuction. Could you put this wig on?

I mean, you know, if you love the Constitution, love it or leave it alone.

This is at best ignorance and at worst willful deception.  I’ll bet on the latter, and that he’s banking on the CNN audience not detecting the sleight of hand, and knows the CNN hosts will never challenge him.

What conservatives abhor, and liberals admire, is the shredding of the Constitution by unelected, unaccountable judges. Conservatives also loathe, and liberals love, politicians who take an oath to uphold the Constitution, then spend their time in office subverting its intent.

This inspired document contains its own provisions for legal modification. Only a dolt, or a liar, could support those who ignore and circumvent the Constitution, claiming this inanimate object is a living thing pliable in their hands, then refer to those seeking to follow the legally prescribed process as wanting “to shred it.”  Mr. Begala might glance in the mirror before tossing his tired and predictable cheap shots–and plead ignorance himself.

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USA Network’s Characters Welcome

USA is one of my favorite networks.  With TNT and A&E, they keep TV tolerable given the dearth of worthwhile programming on the big networks. Besides their own original programs, the time blocks devoted to reruns of a single show, and broadcasting new episodes twice the day they first air also work for me.

But I scratch my head every time the Characters Welcome commercial is aired.

It is unfathomable to me how dividing us by focusing solely on our differences brings us together. That is a pernicious lie.  To be clear, I do believe our differences can and should be acknowledged, celebrated, and leveraged to make us all more complete.  The whole is greater than the parts when it is assembled and functioning in concert.  Dismantling the whole into its component parts discards that value. Sadly, some would rather control separate objects.

It may be a fine line, but not a distinction without a difference.  “Multiculturalism” as they preach it really isn’t, or at least not as advertised. It draws attention to what separates us and ignores what brings us together. It might more appropriately be called “motley-culturalism.”

If the goal is to dignify the worth of everyone individually and not to antagonize by pinpointing our differences, the focus should be fixed instead on what we share in common. The same God breathed life into each of us — Jew, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist, black, white, male, female, young, old, short, tall … all of us.

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Talk so cheap it’s worthless

On Saturday, President Obama fired back at former Vice President Cheney, referring back to his inauguration day speech as proof his administration is on a war footing.   A post from Paul Mirengoff at Power Line under the title “The limits of self-reference” points out the President’s unusual insistence that his spoken words should be dispositive.  Not that it is unusual Obama would attach great importance to himself and his rhetoric, but that the actual execution of policy is so completely contradictory.

These quotes bracket an article worth reading with the contrasts it draws between the inaugural speech and subsequent policy actions.

So there you have it: if Obama’s rhetoric has, at one time or another, employed the word “war” in connection with words having some relationship to terrorism, then he must be waging war on terrorism.

If Obama wants to convince an increasingly skeptical public that he takes the fight against terrorism seriously, he needs to change both his posture and his policies. Referring to past speeches won’t do the trick.

I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Mirengoff, but would take it a step further. This President is so busy trying to pretend he is all things to all people, and has given so many speeches in furtherance of the sleight of hand, that his talk isn’t just cheap. It is worthless.

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