Freedom is rarely killed off by people chanting “Down with Freedom!” It is killed off by people claiming that the greater good/the general will/the community/the proletariat requires “examination of the parameters” (or some such cant phrase) of individual liberty. If the criterion for censorship is that nobody’s feelings can be hurt, we are finished as a free society.
Where such arguments lead is just a long-haul flight away.
The regime of Hugo Chavez and his successor, Nicolas Maduro, in Venezuela, used to be the toast of such darlings of the American Left as Naomi Klein, whose 2007 book “The Shock Doctrine” praised Venezuela as “a zone of relative economic calm” in a world dominated by marauding free market economists. Today (as was eminently foreseeable 10 years back), Venezuela is in a state of economic collapse, its opposition leaders are in jail, and its constitution is about to be rewritten yet again to keep the Chavista dictatorship in power. Another regime where those who speak freely land in jail is Saudi Arabia, a regime lauded by Women’s March leader and sharia law enthusiast Linda Sarsour.
Mark my words, while I can still publish them with impunity: The real tyrants, when they come, will be for diversity (except of opinion) and against hate speech (except their own).
Niall Ferguson, British Historian
Go here to read the rest.
This is too hilarious:
Several professors on Grounds collaborated to write a letter to University President Teresa Sullivan against the inclusion of a Thomas Jefferson quote in her post-election email Nov. 9.
In the email, Sullivan encouraged students to unite in the wake of contentious results, arguing that University students have the responsibility of creating the future they want for themselves.
“Thomas Jefferson wrote to a friend that University of Virginia students ‘are not of ordinary significance only: they are exactly the persons who are to succeed to the government of our country, and to rule its future enmities, its friendships and fortunes,’” Sullivan said in the email. “I encourage today’s U.Va. students to embrace that responsibility.”
Some professors from the Psychology Department — and other academic departments — did not agree with the use of this quote. Their letter to Sullivan argued that in light of Jefferson’s owning of slaves and other racist beliefs, she should refrain from quoting Jefferson in email communications.
“We would like for our administration to understand that although some members of this community may have come to this university because of Thomas Jefferson’s legacy, others of us came here in spite of it,” the letter read. “For many of us, the inclusion of Jefferson quotations in these e-mails undermines the message of unity, equality and civility that you are attempting to convey.”
The letter garnered 469 signatures — from both students and professors — before being sent out via email Nov. 11. Signees included Politics Prof. Nicholas Winter, Psychology Prof. Chad Dodson, Women, Gender and Sexuality Prof. Corinne Field, College Assistant Dean Shilpa Davé, Politics Prof. Lynn Sanders and many more. Asst. Psychology Prof. Noelle Hurd drafted the letter. Continue reading
Coming soon to a state near you. The California Assembly has designated August Muslim Appreciation Month. Here is the text of the resolution:
WHEREAS, Freedom of religion holds distinction as a cherished right and a foundational value upon which the laws and ethics of the United States are based; and
WHEREAS, Enriched by the unparalleled diversity of its residents, the State of California takes great pride in supporting individual religious freedoms and is strengthened by the many varied religious, political, and cultural traditions of its diverse population, including those Americans who practice Islam; and
WHEREAS, The history of Islam in this country dates back to before its founding, originating with African slaves who brought their Muslim beliefs with them to the Americas and who later contributed in numerous ways to the founding of the nation, and there are today millions of Muslim Americans, both immigrant and native-born, of diverse backgrounds and beliefs; and
WHEREAS, The United States benefits greatly from the expertise, patriotism, and humanitarianism of Muslim Americans, who represent 10 percent of America’s physicians, helping to heal hundreds of thousands of Americans each year; who have long distinguished themselves as courageous and dedicated members of the United States Armed Forces, fighting and sacrificing in every major war from the American Revolutionary War to present-day conflicts; and who regularly contribute to the health and vitality of their communities, giving food to the hungry, sheltering the needy, and providing inexpensive or free health services, among other community services; and
WHEREAS, The earliest Muslim immigrants to California mostly worked on farms and made significant contributions to early agricultural efforts, and since the abolition of the national quota on immigration in 1965 by the passage of the Hart-Celler Act, more and more Muslims have migrated to California, with approximately one million Muslim Americans currently residing in communities throughout the state, the highest number in the United States; and
WHEREAS, Similarly, there are currently more than 240 mosques in California, more than any other state in the nation, and the people of California and the greater United States benefit from the several large Muslim religious, educational, charitable, advocacy, and empowerment organizations that operate within the state, as well as from the countless prominent Muslim community leaders who distinguish themselves professionally as business owners, law professionals, doctors, engineers, teachers, and farmers, among numerous other valued professions; and
WHEREAS, Although the majority of Muslim Americans within California and throughout the nation strive to promote peace and understanding between all faiths, identities, and nationalities while upholding those values and principles that define the American people, they have nonetheless been forced to endure harassment, assault, and discrimination since the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, and during the year 2015 alone, there were approximately 174 reported incidents of anti-Muslim violence and vandalism in the United States. It is therefore appropriate to acknowledge and promote awareness of the myriad invaluable contributions of Muslim Americans in California and across the country, and extend to them the respect and camaraderie every American deserves; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, That the Assembly joins communities throughout the State of California in recognizing the month of August 2016 as Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month, respectfully acknowledges the rich history and guiding virtues of Muslim Americans, and commends Muslim communities in California for the lasting positive impact they have made, and continue to make, toward the advancement of the state and the nation; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.
The website Creeping Sharia has noted some 50 contributions by Muslims to California over the past year:
- California: Muslim earns 15 years in prison for trying to join ISIS
- California: Two (More) Muslims Convicted of ISIS Terror Support in Anaheim
- California: Muslim Woman at LAX Threatens to Bomb America (VIDEO)
- California: Muslim gets 12 years in terrorism case
- San Bernardino terrorist’s friend linked to Muslim group arrested for 2012 jihad plot
- Brother of San Bernardino terrorist, 2 others arrested for immigration fraud
- 17 Muslims Detained, Released After Chanting Allah Akbar, Firing Rifles, Shotguns Near San Bernardino
- California: Muslim “Refugee” Indicted for Attempt to Support Islamic Terrorists
- San Diego: Brother of Muslim Killed Fighting with Islamic State Lied to FBI, Charged
- Muslim attack on California university campus was ISIS-inspired
- California: Syrian immigrant gets 8 years for lying about his Islamic terror ties
- California: Muslim named Jihad arrested after bomb threat on cop shop
- Los Angeles: Father, Shehada Issa, killed son for being gay
- California: Muslim Uber driver arrested for raping woman after driving her home
- California: Muslim indicted for attempting to join Islamic terror group
- Black Muslim Chases, Tackles White Trump Supporter After San Jose Rally
- Egyptian on Student Visa Facing Deportation for Death Threat Against Donald Trump
- California: “I would die and kill for Allah” – Muslim arrested for attempted murder
- California: Father of Jihad Suspect to Muslims: ‘Don’t Even Think About Telling Govt’
- Muslim Students Trap, Bully San Diego State’s Jewish President
- Muslims Terrorize Jewish Students at UC-Irvine Movie Screening, Police Rescue
- Muslims force California school system to remove forced conversion of Hindus to Islam from history
- Jewish Woman Forced to Hide From Muslim Thugs at UC-Irvine
- California: Muslim arrested in online threat to UC Santa Cruz
- UC Berkeley students: Chattanooga jihad justified, nothing to do with Islam
- Cal-Berkeley Student’s Article “On Leaving Islam” Retracted…Fearing Muslim Violence
- California: Muslim Pleads Guilty to Providing Material Support to ISIS, Lying on Passport
- California: Muslim fugitive caught, files lawsuit over hijab removal
- San Diego: Iraqi Immigrant Couple Enslaved Maid in Their Home
- California: Saudi ‘threatened to kill staff who watched him being pleasured by male aide’
- LA: Saudi prince arrested after bleeding woman seen trying to escape compound, more victims come forward
- California: Cafe Countersues Muslim Women Fraudulently Claiming Discrimination
- San Diego School Board Approves Creation of Islamophobia Propaganda Plan
- Huntington Beach (CA) school makes 7th graders sing “Believe in Allah! There is no other god”
- San Diego School District Expands Sharia Lunch Program
- San Diego: Taxpayers now funding Muslim’s halal school lunches
- California school district enforces sharia, bans drawings of Muhammad, keeps Islamic indoctrination
- California: Muslim stabs 4 on UC Merced campus before shot dead
- Phone records show imam at San Bernardino terrorist’s mosque knew killer’s, lied about it
- San Bernardino Jihadist’s Father Knew Son Supported ISIS, Told No One
- San Bernardino jihadists buried by mosque members in Islamic ritual
- California: Saudi at Culver City mosque linked to 9/11 attack
- LAPD Chief Panders at Terror-linked Mosque Named in Missing “28 Pages” (VIDEO)
- Sharia compliant: No Islamic landmarks harmed in “Independence Day” sequel
- Hollywood Chooses Swank Sharia-Owned Hotel Over LGBT Boycott
- Video: Muslim Prayers Take Over Streets of Downtown Los Angeles
- California: After trip to Morocco, son shoots mother, cuts her heart out
- Anaheim: Two (more) Muslims Arrested Trying to Join Islamic Terror Group, Wanted to Die Martyrs
- California: Muslim arrested in sexual assault on 13-year-old girl inside her home (video)
- Los Angeles: Muslim clerk caught giving undercover lottery officer $75 instead of $75K prize
The Department of Homeland Security is fully on board with the policy of the Obama administration of let’s pretend that Islamic terrorism does not exist:
A new Department of Homeland Security report urges rejecting use of Islamic terms such as “jihad” and “sharia” in programs aimed at countering terrorist radicalization among American youth.
The Homeland Security Advisory Council report recommends that the department focus on American milliennials by allocating up to $100 million in new funding. It also urges greater private sector cooperation, including with Muslim communities, to counter what is described as a “new generation of threats to the Homeland related to the threat of violent extremism.”
The funds would be used for hiring experts and new social media programs and technology to influence young people not to join terror groups.
“The department’s CVE efforts are an attempt to protect our nation’s young people from extremists who prey upon the Millennial generation,” the report says.
“The department must reframe the conversation to reflect this reality and design a robust program around the protection of our youth, which must include predator awareness and an understanding of radicalization. In doing so, our citizens will be better equipped for this threat.”
Under the section on terminology, the report calls for rejecting use of an “us versus them” mentality by shunning Islamic language in “Countering Violent Extremism” programs, or CVE, the Obama administration’s euphemism that seeks to avoid references to Islam.
Under a section on recommended actions on terminology, the report says DHS should “reject religiously-charged terminology and problematic positioning by using plain meaning American English.”
Government agencies should employ “American English instead of religious, legal and cultural terms like ‘jihad,’ ‘sharia,’ ‘takfir’ or ‘umma,’” states the June 2016 report by the Council’s countering violent extremism subcommittee. Continue reading
Apparently Omar Mateen was questioned by the FBI three times, twice in 2009 and once in 2014. The two times in 2009 were because Mateen liked to flaunt his jihadist sympathies to his co-workers. In 2014 it was because Mateen had established contact with Moner Mohammad Abusalha, the first American born suicide bomber in Syria. Go here to read all about it. Matteen’s father, Seddique Mateen, is a nutcase who is a supporter of the Taliban and who claims to be the head of the provisional government of Afghanistan. Go here to read about it. Oh, and Mateen worked as a security guard for a company that supplies security to federal buildings. If you are wondering why Mateen was not kept under surveillance, you simply do not understand that Islam is a religion of peace and we simply cannot keep under surveillance an American muslim, even when he gives every sign of not only being in sympathy with Jihadists but also makes verbal threats to kill various people. This is official policy. Since this is so, rather than deal with the root problem, that more than a few muslims in this country are in sympathy with the Jihadists, attention is instead now directed to non-issues like gun control. The speech of President Obama yesterday is typical in that regard: Continue reading
That seems to be the only commandment that some Catholics apparently think is important:
Some of the faithful hoping to practice their Christianity at the church of St. Anthony in Ventimiglia were surprised when they were told by Caritas volunteers they couldn’t recite the rosary and would instead have to pray in silence out of respect to migrants who are living there.
Caritas is ostensibly a Catholic charity, although much of its resources are spent on facilitating mass migration to Europe; the organisation even boasts that it contributes to and seeks to influence European Union (EU) “asylum” policies. Caritas reports that they have been distributing 600 meals a day to migrants in Ventimiglia.
After one of the female parishioners requested that the migrants be taken to another church so that she could recite the rosary, the parish priest, Don Rito, appeared and accompanied her and the other visitors to another church.
The Northern Italian town of 55,000 people has recently been overwhelmed with hundreds of migrants. More than 50 Africans have been crossing into Ventimiglia every day, hoping that from there they will be able to enter France. Continue reading
This is beyond parody. Harvard decided that it would be a grand idea to give students talking points for the holidays so that they could follow the politically correct line on various topics.
Harvard has advised students to lecture their non-Ivy-League relatives on liberal values in a bizarre set of holiday placemats to take home over Christmas.
The laminated cards raise some likely hot topics that lesser-educated family members may raise at the dinner table, then offers a suggested response.
Covering such complex issues as police brutality, racial divisions, and the Syrian war, one of the sections tells students to say: ‘Racial justice includes welcoming Syrian refugees.’
One question to be braced for is: ‘Why are black students complaining? Shouldn’t they be happy to be in college?’
In response, the worldly scholars should ‘calmly’ explain: ‘When I hear students expressing their experiences on campus I don’t hear complaining.’
Students are also told what side to take on the issue of murdered black teenager Tamir Rice in 2014 – an issue which continues to divide the country.
To make it through the spate of pesky questions, Harvard advised, students should ‘breathe’ and ‘listen mindfully’.
After a furor was raised about it, Harvard made “a sorry we were caught” response:
Thomas Dingman, dean of freshmen, and Stephen Lassoed, dean of student life, said in a letter to students on Wednesday: ‘We write to acknowledge that the placemat distributed in some of your dining halls this week failed to account for the many viewpoints that exist on our campus on some of the most complex issues we confront as a community and society today.
‘Our goal was to provide a framework for you to engage in conversations with peers and family members as you return home for the winter break, however, it was not effectively presented and it ultimately caused confusion in our community.’ Continue reading
“Quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat“
My favorite living historian Victor Davis Hanson has a brilliant post on the rot that infects the West:
Sanctuary cities illustrate how progressive doctrine can by itself nullify the rule of law. In the new West, breaking statutes is backed or ignored by the state if it is branded with race, class, or gender advocacy. By that I mean that if a solitary U.S. citizen seeks to leave and then reenter America without a passport, he will likely be either arrested or turned back, whereas if an illegal alien manages to cross our border, he is unlikely to be sent back as long as he has claims on victimhood of the type that are sanctioned by the Western liberal state. Do we really enjoy free speech in the West any more? If you think we do, try to use vocabulary that is precise and not pejorative, but does not serve the current engine of social advocacy — terms such as “Islamic terrorist,” “illegal alien,” or “transvestite.” I doubt that a writer for a major newspaper or a politician could use those terms, which were common currency just four or five years ago, without incurring, privately or publicly, the sort of censure that we might associate with the thought police of the former Soviet Union.
Faithful readers of this blog will recall a recent post about low morale in the Army. Go here to read about it. Now we have this story which succinctly demonstrates why the morale is plummeting.
On Monday, Army ROTC cadets at an Arizona State University campus were reportedly pressured into participating in an event allegedly designed to promote awareness of sexual violence against women, the Washington Times reported. The event, according to reports, required cadets to walk around campus wearing red high heel shoes.
Last year, the Times said, the Army encouraged cadets to voluntarily participate in what was billed as “Walk A Mile in Her Shoes.” This year, however, cadets weren’t given much of a choice, according to many reports. Visitors to Temple University Army ROTC’s Facebook page and other social media sites made it clear the event wasn’t exactly voluntary.
“They were threatened with negative counselling (sic) statements and OERs if they didn’t participate,” one person said on Facebook. “It was pretty much ‘do this or we’ll kill your career before it even starts.’”
“Attendance is mandatory and if we miss it we get a negative counseling and a ‘does not support the battalion sharp/EO mission’ on our CDT OER for getting the branch we want,” one cadet said on social media. “So I just spent $16 on a pair of high heels that I have to spray paint red later on only to throw them in the trash after about 300 of us embarrass the U.S. Army tomorrow.” Continue reading
Well this is interesting. Jonathan Chait, uberliberal, writes an article for New York Magazine decrying political correctness:
But it would be a mistake to categorize today’s p.c. culture as only an academic phenomenon. Political correctness is a style of politics in which the more radical members of the left attempt to regulate political discourse by defining opposing views as bigoted and illegitimate. Two decades ago, the only communities where the left could exert such hegemonic control lay within academia, which gave it an influence on intellectual life far out of proportion to its numeric size. Today’s political correctness flourishes most consequentially on social media, where it enjoys a frisson of cool and vast new cultural reach. And since social media is also now the milieu that hosts most political debate, the new p.c. has attained an influence over mainstream journalism and commentary beyond that of the old.
It also makes money. Every media company knows that stories about race and gender bias draw huge audiences, making identity politics a reliable profit center in a media industry beset by insecurity. A year ago, for instance, a photographer compiled images of Fordham students displaying signs recounting “an instance of racial microaggression they have faced.” The stories ranged from uncomfortable (“No, where are you really from?”) to relatively innocuous (“ ‘Can you read this?’ He showed me a Japanese character on his phone”). BuzzFeed published part of her project, and it has since received more than 2 million views. This is not an anomaly.
In a short period of time, the p.c. movement has assumed a towering presence in the psychic space of politically active people in general and the left in particular. “All over social media, there dwell armies of unpaid but widely read commentators, ready to launch hashtag campaigns and circulate Change.org petitions in response to the slightest of identity-politics missteps,” Rebecca Traister wrote recently in The New Republic.
Two and a half years ago, Hanna Rosin, a liberal journalist and longtime friend, wrote a book called The End of Men, which argued that a confluence of social and economic changes left women in a better position going forward than men, who were struggling to adapt to a new postindustrial order. Rosin, a self-identified feminist, has found herself unexpectedly assailed by feminist critics, who found her message of long-term female empowerment complacent and insufficiently concerned with the continuing reality of sexism. One Twitter hashtag, “#RIPpatriarchy,” became a label for critics to lampoon her thesis. Every new continuing demonstration of gender discrimination — a survey showing Americans still prefer male bosses; a person noticing a man on the subway occupying a seat and a half — would be tweeted out along with a mocking #RIPpatriarchy.
Her response since then has been to avoid committing a provocation, especially on Twitter. “If you tweet something straightforwardly feminist, you immediately get a wave of love and favorites, but if you tweet something in a cranky feminist mode then the opposite happens,” she told me. “The price is too high; you feel like there might be banishment waiting for you.” Social media, where swarms of jeering critics can materialize in an instant, paradoxically creates this feeling of isolation. “You do immediately get the sense that it’s one against millions, even though it’s not.” Subjects of these massed attacks often describe an impulse to withdraw. Continue reading
They began by controlling books of cartoons and then detective books and, of course, films, one way or another, one group or another, political bias, religious prejudice, union pressures; there was always a minority afraid of something, and a great majority afraid of the dark, afraid of the future, afraid of the past, afraid of the present, afraid of themselves and shadows of themselves.
Ray Bradbury, Usher II (1950)
John C. Wright, Science Fiction author and a convert to Catholicism, laments the ruin wreaked on Science Fiction by leftist ideologies and pathologies:
Establishment SF is Politically Correct SF, in that it pays slavish homage to all the tired tropes and foolish dogmas of Political Correctness. With its emphasis on collective rights, victimology, and radical egalitarianism, there is no place in the PC SF universe for things like heroes, adventures, inventors, exotic locations, space princesses, or technology portrayed as beneficial.
Politically Correct SF is astonishingly parochial, because it is always assumed that the society of the future will be caught in the grip of the selfsame political controversies as the Victorian Age, which is the age when this worldview was first formulated by Marx. Hence, for all other SF stories, the future differs from the present. For PC SF, the future is just like the past, and nothing changes.
One of my more cherished photos is of my three kids when they were little riding a camel. The kids had a great time and the camel was gentle, obviously well cared for and very patient with the kids. My bride and I had taught them about camels and they loved being able to ride on one. It was therefore with some interest that I glanced at the latest example of moronic political correctness on campus:
Students at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota have cancelled an event to celebrate the end of the year after complaints that bringing a camel on campus could offend those of Middle Eastern cultures.
The “Hump Day” event, put on by the Residence Hall Association (RHA), was supposed to be “a petting zoo type of atmosphere” in which students could hang out and take photos with a live camel. According to Aaron Macke, the group’s advisor, the camel is owned by a local vendor and trained for special events.
But the event was subsequently cancelled after students took to Facebook to proclaim their concerns. The students said they were concerned about the money spent on bringing the camel to campus—around $500—and the implication that it would be racially insensitive to Middle Eastern cultures.
The Facebook group called “Protest Hump DAAAAAAY!” had more than 100 RSVP’d attendees before it was deleted on Wednesday.
“RHA’s goal in programming is to bring residents together in a fun and safe environment where all people can enjoy themselves,” RHA president Lindsay Goodwin said in a statement on RHA’s Facebook page. “It appears however, this program is dividing people and would make for an uncomfortable and possibly unsafe environment for everyone attending or providing the program. As a result, RHA has decided to cancel the event.” Continue reading
Nothing is so unworthy of a civilised nation as allowing itself to be governed without opposition by an irresponsible clique that has yielded to base instinct.
From a White Rose resistance pamphlet (1942)
I am happy that Dale Price is back to blogging on a fairly regular basis since it gives me a renewed opportunity to
steal borrow blogging ideas from him. He turns his attention at his blog Dyspeptic Mutterings to the insane purge going on within science fiction fandom of anyone who has political beliefs that do not coincide with the politically correct bromides du jour:
Orwellian group-think comes to real-world science fiction writing.
The farce that is the courtmartial of mass killer Major Nidal Hasan is wending on its way with the military judge restricting evidence of Hasan’s jihadi motives:
Prosecutors will not be allowed to enter evidence that Nidal Hasan intended to commit jihad in his mass murder spree at Fort Hood nearly four years ago, the judge in the court-martial ruled yesterday. Col. Tara Osborn also struck from evidence the correspondence between Hasan and al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki, although she did allow prosecutors to use records of Hasan’s Internet usage and search histories at the time of the shooting.
For my sins no doubt, I have spent the last 31 years as an attorney. I have done more than my fair share of criminal defense during that time. I cannot express adequately just how ridiculous this ruling of the court is. Hasan has already admitted in open court that he was the shooter and that his motivation was jihad. I can only assume that the true motivation behind the court’s absurd ruling was the same motivation that caused the administration to classify Hasan’s multiple murders as being workplace violence.
This courtmartial circus is merely the culmination of Hasan’s entire involvement with the Army during which he may as well have been wearing a sign saying “ENEMY COMBATANT”. His superiors knew that Hasan was at best deranged and at worst a soldier for the jihadis. The soldiers that Hasan murdered did not die because Hasan made any attempt to conceal what he was and is, a jihadist, but because his superiors cravenly did not wish to stand up against him for fear of harming their own careers and being accused of anti-Islamic bias.
NPR of all places has an excellent report showing that before he was assigned to Fort Hood from Walter Reed, that his superiors knew that Hasan was a likely threat:
When a group of key officials gathered in the spring of 2008 for their monthly meeting in a Bethesda, Md., office, one of the leading — and most perplexing — items on their agenda was: What should we do about Hasan?
Hasan had been a trouble spot on officials’ radar since he started training at Walter Reed, six years earlier. Several officials confirm that supervisors had repeatedly given him poor evaluations and warned him that he was doing substandard work.
Both fellow students and faculty were deeply troubled by Hasan’s behavior — which they variously called disconnected, aloof, paranoid, belligerent, and schizoid. The officials say he antagonized some students and faculty by espousing what they perceived to be extremist Islamic views. His supervisors at Walter Reed had even reprimanded him for telling at least one patient that “Islam can save your soul.”
Participants in the spring meeting and in subsequent conversations about Hasan reportedly included John Bradley, chief of psychiatry at Walter Reed; Robert Ursano, chairman of the Psychiatry Department at USUHS; Charles Engel, assistant chair of the Psychiatry Department and director of Hasan’s psychiatry fellowship; Dr. David Benedek, another assistant chairman of psychiatry at USUHS; psychiatrist Carroll J. Diebold; and Scott Moran, director of the psychiatric residency program at Walter Reed, according to colleagues and other sources who monitor the meetings.
But psychiatrists and officials who are familiar with the conversations, which continued into the spring of 2009, say they took a remarkable turn: Is it possible, some mused, that Hasan was mentally unstable and unfit to be an Army psychiatrist?
One official involved in the conversations had reportedly told colleagues that he worried that if Hasan deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, he might leak secret military information to Islamic extremists. Another official reportedly wondered aloud to colleagues whether Hasan might be capable of committing fratricide, like the Muslim U.S. Army sergeant who, in 2003, killed two fellow soldiers and injured 14 others by setting off grenades at a base in Kuwait. Continue reading
But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews indeed a stumblingblock, and unto the Gentiles foolishness:
Saint Paul: 1 Corinthians 1:23
The current administration has certainly emboldened bigots. Case in point:
Audrey Jarvis, 19, a liberal arts major at the northern California university, said she had no choice but to seek a “religious accommodation” in order to wear the cross. Her lawyer said she deserves an apology, and the school seems ready to oblige.
“It’s amazing in this day of diversity and tolerance on university campuses that a university official would engage in this type of obvious religious discrimination,” said Hiram Sasser, an attorney with Liberty Institute, which is representing Jarvis.
Jarvis was working for the university’s Associated Students Productions at a June 27 student orientation fair for incoming freshmen when her supervisor told her to remove the two-inch-long cross necklace, according to Sasser.
Sasser said the supervisor told her that the chancellor had a policy against wearing religious items and further explained “that she could not wear her cross necklace because it might offend others, it might make incoming students feel unwelcome, or it might cause incoming students to feel that ASP was not an organization they should join.”
“My initial reaction was one of complete shock,” Jarvis told Fox News. “I was thrown for a loop.”
Jarvis said she is a devout Catholic and she wears the cross as a symbol of her faith in Christ.
“I was offended because I believe as a Christian woman it is my prerogative to display my faith any way I like so long as it is not harming anyone else,” she said. “I was very hurt and felt as if the university’s mission statement – which includes tolerance and inclusivity to all – was violated.” Continue reading
There is an old saying in the military: once is an accident; twice is carelessness; third time is enemy action. Faithful readers of this blog will recall this post here about an Army briefing which labeled Christians, including Catholics, as extremists. Another incident has arisen this week.
An officer at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where my brother was stationed when he was an Armor officer in the Army, recently sent out a 14 page e-mail to subordinates which makes for interesting reading. Here is the e-mail from Lieutenant Colonel Jack Rich:
Subject: Domestic “Hate Groups” (UNCLASSIFIED)
Many events have been taking place across the country – just want to ensure everyone is somewhat educated on some of the groups out there that do not share our Army Values.
When we see behaviors that are inconsistent with Army Values – don’t just walk by – do the right thing and address the concern before it becomes a problem.
We need to make sure that we maintain our standards – starting with reception and integration. Continue reading
Horace Walpole once famously observed that the world is a comedy to those who think and a tragedy to those who feel. The times in which we live certainly gives support to the sometime accuracy of that maxim. My favorite living historian, Victor Davis Hanson, helps buttress the point:
What explains these contradictions in our wide-open but prudish society? Decades after the rise of feminism, popular culture still seems confused by it. If women should be able to approach sexuality like men, does it follow that commentary about sex should follow the same gender-neutral rules? Yet wearing provocative or inappropriate clothing is often considered less offensive than remarking upon it. Calling a near-nude Madonna onstage a “hussy” or “tart” would be considered crude in a way that her mock crucifixion and simulated sex acts are not.
Criminal sexual activity is sometimes not as professionally injurious as politically incorrect thoughts about sex and gender. Former New York governor Eliot Spitzer — found to have hired prostitutes on a number of occasions during his time in office — was given a CNN news show despite the scandal. But when former Miss California Carrie Prejean was asked in the Miss USA pageant whether she endorsed gay marriage, she said no — and thereby earned nearly as much popular condemnation for her candid defense of traditional marriage as Spitzer had for his purchased affairs.
Critics were outraged that talk-show host Rush Limbaugh grossly insulted birth-control activist Sandra Fluke. Amid the attention, Fluke was canonized for her position that federal health-care plans should pay for the contraceptive costs of all women. Yet in comparison to Fluke’s well-publicized victimhood, there has been a veritable news blackout for the trial of the macabre Dr. Kermit Gosnell, charged with killing and mutilating in gruesome fashion seven babies during a long career of conducting sometimes illegal late-term abortions. Had Gosnell’s aborted victims been canines instead of humans — compare the minimal coverage of the Gosnell trial with the widespread media condemnation of dog-killing quarterback Michael Vick — perhaps the doctor’s mayhem likewise would have been front-page news outside of Philadelphia.
Modern society also resorts to empty, symbolic moral action when it cannot deal with real problems. So-called assault weapons account for less than 1 percent of gun deaths in America. But the country whips itself into a frenzy to ban them, apparently to prove that at least it can do something, instead of wading into polarized racial and class controversies by going after illegal urban handguns, the real source of the nation’s high gun-related body count.
Not since the late-19th-century juxtaposition of the Wild West with the Victorian East has popular morality been so unbridled and yet so uptight. In short, we have become a nation of promiscuous prudes. Continue reading