Around the Web

Donald Douglas is not convinced that legalizing “medical” marijuana in California is the way to go.

We rightly insisted upon total denazification; we rightly excoriate those who now attempt to revive the Nazis’ ideology. But the world exhibits a perilous failure to acknowledge the monstrous history of Communism.” Indeed.

Crappy Capper is keepin’ it classy.

Three, two, one: aww

I’m sure that Planned Parenthood and the public schools’ idea of “comprehensive” sex-ed. includes warnings about this danger…not.

On the FdL Reporter’s Opinion Page, a clarion call for a real pastor. (Complete with hate-mongering lies from idiots like Scooman, as usual).

Lastly, the other side of the story behind one of the most famous scenes in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Harrison Ford always shoots first.


Reporter Editorial: In Defense of Ann Wentworth

My latest in the Fond du Lac Reporter:

I haven’t read the books Ann Wentworth objects to.

Maybe they’re inappropriate for middle school, maybe not (though author Julie Halpern’s comment that Wentworth is “full of hate” certainly reflects poorly on her book’s worth).

But Wentworth’s critics don’t seem to have read them, either—they just hate her for raising the subject at all.

Parents should absolutely judge whether schools should expose their children to certain content, and when they’re ready for it.

Schools making it easy for children to stumble upon controversial material in its care rob parents of that choice. Promoting independence and free inquiry is great, but that hardly means schools must or should provide every topic or author imaginable.

Parents troubled by certain material are condescendingly told to “take care of that within their own families” (translation: if we give your kids questionable stuff, it’s your problem), but why shouldn’t parents who want their kids introduced to more adult subject matter be the ones to take the initiative and go to the public library or Waldenbooks?

Yes, some kids mature quicker than others, but communities shouldn’t shy away from setting parameters for what’s generally appropriate for certain age groups. People will naturally disagree on the details, but that’s democracy — better to let each side argue the merits and let the chips fall where they may, than to stigmatize the open discussion of ideas, especially where our kids are concerned.

Indeed, demanding wholesale indifference to what schools should put on their shelves is much closer to thought control than anything Wentworth has done.

Wentworth has been smeared as not taking responsibility for her own child’s upbringing, but the opposite is true: This whole controversy arose because she’s more attentive than the rest of the town. Even so, no one parent can possibly know the content of every single book in the library; that’s supposed to be the responsibility of the people stocking the shelves. It seems to me normal people would be grateful that she’s alerted them to the possibility that maybe that job isn’t being done.

And don’t be too quick to assume that the job is being done right in Fond du Lac. In April 2007, I was part of a small group of local Republicans that was permitted to examine the district’s library database. We found that left-wing books outnumbered right-wing books four to one, including “The I Hate Republicans Reader,” by Clint Willis and books by fraudulent filmmaker Michael Moore and fringe philosopher Peter Singer, who says “killing a newborn baby is never equivalent to killing a person.”

The School Board was not interested in rectifying the bias at the time. If they have done so since, I am not aware of it.

It’s no surprise that the School Board doesn’t care about Wentworth’s concerns, but it is shocking that her petition calling for a new content rating system and a committee to examine book content has received a paltry 30 signatures.

Really? A city of more than 40,000 people only has 30 interested in closer scrutiny of controversial material in our schools?

Ask yourself why none of Wentworth’s critics have said, “These books actually are age-appropriate, and here’s why.”

The first answer is that you’re not supposed to question the Fond du Lac School District. Ever.

Second, lots of parents don’t like to be reminded that someone is paying closer attention to their kids’ education than they are, so they choose to instead tear her down as a bad parent. Fond du Lac should be so proud.

UPDATE: As usual, the comments are a treasure trove of unintentional hilarity – ultra-partisan hacks Pan “Cobweb1780” Zareta and DelScorcho ignore what I write and instead thoughtlessly snipe about partisanship and “censorship.” Ever notice how rarely liberals even make an effort to argue honestly?

Obama: The Pro-Infanticide Candidate

Covered in my latest letter to the Fond du Lac Reporter:

After an Illinois hospital left a newborn who survived an abortion to starve to death in a closet, the state senate considered legislation protecting the rights of babies born alive during attempted abortions (SB1082) in 2001. Barack Obama opposed it. Now he says he would have voted yes if the bill included language guaranteeing it wouldn’t be used someday to undermine Roe v. Wade.

He’s essentially saying that newborns dying of starvation matters less than the legal standing of Roe, which is horrible enough (remember, reversing Roe would NOT ban abortion—it would just restore the people’s right to vote on abortion policy). But incredibly, the story gets even worse: we now know Obama is lying about his motivations.

In 2003, Illinois lawmakers tried again, now with the very language Obama claims was the original dealbreaker (Senate Amendment 001). At the time, Obama chaired the health committee, which unanimously added the language—only for Obama to vote no anyway, killing it before it reached the senate floor [PDF link]. It shouldn’t surprise us, then, that he recently told Pastor Rick Warren that figuring out when people have human rights was “above his pay grade.”

This is every bit as evil as slavery. It’s shocking that a United States Senator could so callously disregard both his first duty (“to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men”), and basic human decency and compassion—and appalling that a mainstream political party could nominate such a man for the presidency. All Americans—liberal, conservative, and independent—who have any sort of conscience should be utterly disgusted by this man. Obama doesn’t want to heal the sins of the past—he just wants to trade them for brand-new ones in the future.

Aside from his above lie, Obama and his apologists have deployed a full-blown revolving door of excuses for his vote.

They claim Illinois law already had sufficient protections in place for born-alive infants. But that’s not true; the law in question, as Ramesh Ponnuru notes, said only fetuses of “sustainable survivability” would be protected, so any fetus deemed “pre-viable” would not be protected—SB1082 was intended to clear up any ambiguity.

They have argued that there was no evidence what Jill Stanek alleged actually happened. But according to a US House Judiciary Committee report, another Christ Hospital nurse, Allison Baker, gave consistent testimony, and the committee found:

When allegations such as these were first made against Christ Hospital, the hospital claimed that this procedure* was only used ‘‘when doctors determine the fetus has serious problems, such as lack of a brain, that would prevent long-term survival.” Later, however, the hospital changed its position, announcing that although it had performed abortions on infants with non-fatal birth defects, it was changing its policy and would henceforth use the procedure to abort only fatally-deformed infants.

* meaning, as described by the report: ‘‘induced labor’’ or ‘‘live-birth’’ abortions, a procedure in which physicians use drugs to induce premature labor and deliver unborn children, many of whom are sometimes still alive, and then simply allow those who are born alive to die.”

The Illinois Department of Health and Human Services failed to act on the charges not because they thought they weren’t happening, but merely because “abortion procedures” and “the rights of newborns” were beyond the scope of their office.

According to the National Right to Life Committee:

Obama’s defenders now (August 19, 2008) insist that the Illinois Born-Alive Infants Protection Act was not needed because, they claim, Illinois already had a 1975 law “that requires doctors to provide medical care in the very rare case that babies are born alive during abortions.” They fail to mention that the law covered only situations where an abortionist decided before the abortion that there was “a reasonable likelihood of sustained survival of the fetus outside the womb.” Humans are often born alive a month or more before they reach the point where such “sustained survival” — that is, long-term survival — is possible or likely (which is often called the point of “viability”). Moreover, this already-weak law was further weakened by a consent decree issued by a federal court in 1993, which among other things permanently prohibits state officials from enforcing the law’s definitions of “born alive,” “live born,” and “live birth.” To read or download the consent decree, click here.

Obama has also expressed indignation at the implication inherent in the legislation that doctors would ever do such a thing to a newborn. This is an idiotic reason to oppose a law—society makes laws precisely because some people will do wrong; one might as well be offended at speed limits in school zones because they imply a driver would ever drive irresponsibly with children present. But it’s also meaningless because, again, Christ Hospital admitted it, and the Committee report also found evidence of similar incidents elsewhere in the US and in other nations. Clearly, not everyone licensed to practice medicine is a saint.

They say bills Obama opposed had language “clearly threatening Roe.” That language? “A live child born as a result of an abortion shall be fully recognized as a human person and accorded immediate protection under the law” (emphasis added). Come on, nobody with any self-respect can parrot this one with a straight face. It specifically refers to children who have already been born, which is exactly where most pro-choicers tell us they draw the line anyway.

They have also said that “even if the federal and state versions had identical language, they would have very different consequences. The federal government doesn’t have a law regulating abortion, so Congress could pass a ‘born alive’ measure without actually affecting anything. But Illinois has an abortion law that would be muddled by changing the definition of a person with full rights.” Please, do we really have to go over how transparent and stupid this one is?

They claim the bill was part of a package deal which went further, but as NRLC legislative director Douglas Johnson notes, “Obama confuses these bills, which were entirely separate. They had sequential numbers, but they were not in any way linked. To call them a package is a tactic to try to reach out and grab issues in an attempt to divert attention from this one.”

And then, of course, it’s kinda hard to get past what Obama said at the time.

Further coverage:

Jill Stanek’s blog
Life with Obama” and “Life Lies” by David Freddoso
Why Obama Really Voted for Infanticide” by Andrew McCarthy
Dead Weight” by the National Review Editors
Red State Obama and ‘Infanticide’ (though it should be noted that Fact Check does not devote the same level of detail to the claim Illinois already protected newborns as it does to Obama’s dishonesty, which they have confirmed is false)

These will be ignored or decried by the shameless propagandists whose ideological bias is so deep that not even infanticide can reawaken their consciences, but cries of “right-winger” or “theocon fundie” are no substitute for providing and refuting facts.

Facts are stubborn things. The evidence is clear, and the bottom line is this: Barack Obama was presented with the scenario of live, newborn, babies being starved to death by the very doctors who delivered them—and decided the continued possibility of this happening was preferable to a nonexistent threat to the logic of Roe v. Wade.

Hating Religious Expression

In today’s Reporter, Rachel Diech whines:

Is it just me or is it every time I read The Reporter’s editorial section, there’s always someone spewing rants about God?

It’s just you. God and religious values are a recurring topic every now and then, but you’ll need more than that if you want to characterize them as “spewing rants.”

I’m so sick of Christians forcing their beliefs down my throat. Can we just give a little bit of a rest when it comes to religion, please!

What the heck were you expecting from a page labeled “Opinion”? Its entire point is for people to express their OPINIONS. Religion is something people have OPINIONS about, for and against. Disagree with specific beliefs? Write about it. But unless you’re willing and able to offer more than vague crap, your complaints are nothing more than bigotry.

If I wanted to be preached at about God, I would go to church. I don’t want to read it in my newspaper.

Get off your high horse and grow up. Maybe church would do you some good…

The Content of Obama’s Character; UPDATE: Now with Kos Feedback!

My latest letter to the editor:

A recent letter asked, “Why does everybody have such a problem with a member of a minority achieving a position of either prominence or power in our society?” as if racism is why voters really oppose Barack Obama. That’s completely false, and this voter opposes Obama because of his utter lack of competence, courage, and character.

Competence: Iran and North Korea’s nuclear pursuits, and the desire of Islamic jihadists for nuclear weapons, make today’s world very dangerous, yet Obama pledges to cut investments in missile defense. He also voted against the recent bill preserving our intelligence-gathering capabilities, which received broad bipartisan support, passing 68-29.

Courage: On June 4, Obama said Jerusalem should remain Israel’s undivided capital. But after a single day of Palestinian complaints, he backpedaled, now saying the Jews and Palestinians will have to negotiate it for themselves. Such cowardice leaves little doubt that Obama would fold like a house of cards in his no-precondition, direct talks with Iran’s Ahmadinejad.

Character: No responsible father who values honesty could possibly expose his children to the foul lies of Jeremiah Wright. And nobody with a shred of decency or compassion could reach Obama’s extremes on abortion. In Illinois he fought against legal protection for fully-born babies who survived their abortions. Even after being separated from their mothers and gaining full physical independence, Obama thinks these children should be starved to death. Delivery-ward nurse Jill Stanek testified twice before Obama for born-alive infant protection, offering her firsthand experiences and pictures of premature births. She says her efforts “didn’t faze him at all.”

Conservatives are judging Obama not by the color of his skin but by the content of his character. Unfortunately for him, that’s a contest in which he doesn’t stand a chance.

UPDATE: It seems I’ve
made a new friend on the Daily Kos! Unfortunately, Pan Zareta’s refutation is so devoid of substance it’s laughable. If you’re out there, Pan, I’d be happy to clear up any confusion you might have; comment away!

Fran Roeseler: "Really" in the Tank for Obama

In response to Mom’s criticism of Michelle Obama, local Messiah shill Fran Roeseler makes a shoddy attempt at damage control:

For you people out there (and some TV media too) who feel the need to lash out at Michelle Obama for her comment, use some com
mon sense (if that’s possible). Quit reading more into what she said just so you can “nitpick.” There’s ridiculous and then there’s “really ridiculous” and you people are being “really” ridiculous.

Common sense tells (should tell) you that one can be proud of one’s country and then when having a more personal reason (or reasons) one can be “really” proud. It doesn’t mean one isn’t already proud. Do you “get it” now?

I “get” that you “like” to “use” quotation marks “excessively”…

Michelle Obama has a husband who is running for president. Yes, I’d certainly say she could now be “really” proud. And if you’d listen, you’d know she already was proud of her country before now. Start to “really” listen.

America has a “good man” with an honest desire who is running for the nomination, a “good man” who wants “positive change” for this country. I’m not referring to John McCain. America wants, America needs change.

A “good man”
who thinks babies that survive late-term abortions should be left to die. A “good man” whose new politics seem an awful lot like business as usual. A “good man” who’s still left some questions about Tony Rezko unanswered. I don’t know what “good man” means to you, but as far as I’m concerned, this ain’t it.

For the recent writer who was critical of Michelle Obama’s comment, when you wrote your letter you neglected to add the word “really.” I’ve noticed some TV media neglecting to add the word “really” too. Keep in mind that Michelle is “really” proud of her country now. Get it?

First, Lady O has said this
more than once, and the other time it was she who “neglected to add the word ‘really.’” Second, I could just as easily say you’re nitpicking—how do you know she was proud of her country before, just less so? How do you know she didn’t simply throw in “really” for emphasis? Third, and most important, this line is just the tip of the iceberg—there’s more evidence that Mrs. Obama is extremely bitter and ungrateful towards her country. Oh, plus the fact that her husband just suggested that we can’t currently say we’re “proud to be American.”

Oh and by the way, Senator and Mrs. Barack Obama would be a “really” welcome change in the White House after “the What” currently there. A “really, really” welcome change!

Better luck next time, Fran!

Proud to Be an American

Mom writes in today’s paper:

I don’t ever remember a time in my adult life that I wasn’t proud to be an American.

My parents started out with nothing, worked hard all their lives, raised 10 kids, giving us not all we wanted, but all we needed, and are now comfortably retired. I’m proud of my country.

I can go to the church of my choosing, or not go, and no one is hauling me off to be stoned. I’m proud of my country.

I can stroll lazily through any park at any time and see children of different races playing together. I’m proud of my country.

I didn’t have the money to go to an Ivy League school, but through hard work and determination, other doors opened and we’ve made a wonderful life, and I’m proud of my country.

I’ve been taught and understand the sacrifices our soldiers have and still make around the world to keep us safe and spread freedom and hope. Watching soldiers and vets march in parades still makes me cry and makes me so proud of my country.

There are always challenges and disagreements I’ll have with my fellow countrymen, and I’ll never understand why some don’t believe the rights of the Constitution belong to the preborn, but I have the right and the freedom to protest and work for change. As society changes, we’re finding that some of those changes are not what’s best for the human soul, but we are a work in progress and I have faith that good can win out with enough love and devotion. I am so proud of my country.

Michelle Obama is just now, for the first time in her life, proud of her country. Is this really what we want in our White House?

Peg Freiburger

Three Strikes; You’re Out!

My latest in today’s paper:

Last month, I noted that
Glenn Perry’s letter highlighted a problem within our schools: political partisans who advance left-wing agendas in the classroom. Two educators and one student challenged me, yet they actually support my thesis, if unintentionally.

First, none of them can get the basic facts straight. Local teacher
Dan Sitter characterizes my objection as “there were some liberals…that felt the Iraq war was a big mistake.” UW Madison student Brent Schmitz suggests I characterized Fond du Lac High School as “full of” liberals. Professor Omer Durfee of Northern Michigan University writes, “since you supposedly received such a poor education.”

All of this is wrong. I credited my “many outstanding teachers,” and noted there were “some” “liberal fanatics” and “hyper-partisans”—NOT teachers who simply held liberal views (Indeed, I’ll be the first to say several of my good teachers were liberal).

Second, their own liberal prejudices inadvertently shine through in their writing. Mr. Sitter surmises that my “self-righteousness” must be caused by that predictable left-wing boogeyman: “radio hosts spewing hate.” Professor Durfee simply rails on that I’m a “neocon,” that “King George” Bush is a liar, and plays the Nazi card. Nope, no left-wing bias here…

Lastly, Mr. Schmitz says I seem “to devalue debate and disagreement,” and imagines I propose some sort of ideological purity test for school employment. These are lies, and I believe he knows it.

Three people may not make a pattern, but it doesn’t speak well of our educational system that it employs and churns out such intellectual laziness, bias, and dishonesty; and that theirs are the only voices we seem to hear from the educational community on the matter. Silence really is deafening.

The Lovefest Continues

Ah, yes, dear Mr. Freiburger and his
little neocon fantasies. What do you have to say about the fact that Iran curtailed its nuclear weapons program in 2003, yet King George just recently acknowledged the same fact?

The “fact” our lib-of-the-day refers to is actually a National Intelligence Estimate—which,
according to Alan Dershowitz, “falls hook, line and sinker for a transparent bait and switch tactic employed not only by Iran, but by several other nuclear powers in the past.” This, by the by, would be the same Iran that’s still doing this. And this. And this. Yeah, I really feel good about giving these guys a clean bill of health.

President Bush has been caught in a lie. Or is it a situation for people like you, Calvin, that you think the president’s own intelligence “cooked” the intelligence?

First, no he hasn’t. Second, what does “you think the president’s own intelligence cooked the intelligence” even mean? Is it a vain attempt at wit?

Maybe this quote by Herman Goering (he was a Nazi, in case you don’t know, since you supposedly received such a poor education at Fond du Lac High School) at the Nuremberg Trials can explain it better for you:

Such a poor education? I never said anything of the sort. Shouldn’t we expect
a college professor to read a little more carefully, and get the basic facts right when he attacks someone?

“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding to the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to greater danger. It works the same in any country.”

Predictably, our friend sees Nazis around every corner. Never mind that the attack, and the continuing threat, are all too real. It figures.

On second thought, I’m trying to talk logically to a neocon.

“Trying” being the operative word…

Is This the Best You Can Do?

And another vain attempt to demonstrate the error of my ways, this time courtesy of Brent Schmitz:

Mixed metaphors aside, Mr. Calvin Freiburger seems to think that Fond du Lac High School is full of evil liberal educators that are out to indoctrinate your children in their evil liberal ways.

It’s never a good sign when the falsehoods start in the first sentence. I wrote: “I was blessed to have many outstanding teachers. But I also encountered some teachers who were precisely the kind of liberal fanatics Rob Hynek warns us about.” Does that sound like I’m claiming FHS is “full of” them?

My own experience at the same school paints a far different picture. As an AP political science student, I was a witness to several informal issue debates in which the participants were two teachers. One of them I would describe as liberal, and the other was a conservative Gulf War veteran. Both were excellent teachers and great friends.

Their discussions were always polite and focused on the merits of a particular position; the debate never became personal. These exchanges taught me that through debate and argument that the best ideas are found. It is through discussion that we develop and reinforce our own thoughts and philosophies. It is also in these exchanges that our minds can be changed.

Good for him. However, just because he had certain experience with certain teachers doesn’t disprove the fact that I had different experiences with different teachers.

Mr. Freiburger seems to devalue debate and disagreement within the American political sphere. Evidently, only conservative teachers are worthy of community support and funding, as per the veiled threat he makes at the end of his letter.

This is an absurd mischaracterization of what I wrote, and I challenge Mr. Schmitz to back it up with a single one of my words. Only teachers who do their jobs—liberal & conservative alike—are worthy of community support & funding. Teachers who use their authority to advance any personal agenda—liberal & conservative alike—are not.

In a few months, I am going to graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (yes, that liberal bastion) with a degree in political science. It is clear to me, as a student of politics, that oftentimes in the political debate we are so busy hurling partisan insults that we lose sight of what is at stake.

If Brent really cared about the integrity of debate, he would debate my actual words, not mischaracterizations.

In this case, the education of more than 2,000 students at Fond du Lac High School is in the hands of many teachers, some liberal, and some conservative. Just like America. And that’s the way it should be.

If that were the case, there’d be no problem. But that’s not what we’re talking about, Brent. Read a little closer next time.