Civil Rights

Nihilistic and repulsive comments by NOW President Terry O'Neil

Why are the relativists always the first to cast judgment on the religious, while the religious reserve judgment not so that their own beliefs will remain unchallenged, but because they either fear the reaction of those they’re judging or are trying to “judge not, lest [they] be judged” themselves?

Take a comment recently made by National Organization for Women (NOW) President Terry O’Neil upon learning that CBS will run a commercial during the Super Bowl paid for by Focus on the Family about Heisman winner Tim Tebow’s mother’s decision to oppose her doctor’s recommendation to abort Tim for medical reasons.

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Remnants of old racism

Experience is all too often given short shrift. All too often, the ones who don't have it belittle the value of life’s and work's hard lessons.

But sometimes those who have accumulated those lessons haven't learned as much as they should. The comments by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in 2008, that Barack Obama would succeed because he was "light-skinned" with "no Negro dialect," are a case in point.

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‘System’? What ‘system’?

So let's get this straight: Federal officials say they had responded to modesty concerns by blurring out the images of those airport security devices that see beneath a traveler's clothing.

But doesn't that also defeat the purpose of these "Body Scanners," which is to detect what danger might be hidden under the layers?

Don't you just hate it that those troublesome privacy advocates raise a ruckus about the obvious potential for abuse and embarrassment? They get in the way of those who only want to protect us from dangerous terrorist lunatics.

Well here's another idea that might enhance that effort. Let's work on the ridiculous incompetence that pervades the ranks of those who have mismanaged their billions of dollars and near-authoritarian powers.

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The Constitution’s dark side

The original intent of the Founding Fathers who drafted United States Constitution was to minimize the impact of government tyranny on the people. There was a clear bias toward small government and local governance. Thomas Jefferson was clear that governments that govern the best govern the least. As a result, the Constitution imposed significant constraints on ability of the federal government to govern.

It is difficult to have a strong, principled leader in the U.S because there are so many checks and balances among the three branches of government (legislature, judiciary and executive) and federalist system. In order to pass legislation it takes much compromise, even among members of the same party. It's much easier to govern in a European-style parliamentarian system where these checks and balances do not exist. The parliamentary party in control doesn't have to pass muster with an independent executive who has veto power. Nor a Supreme Court that can over rule the constitutionality of any law. Nor a Constitution that says that all power not explicitly delegated to the federal government belongs to local government or the people.

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Empty promises on 'Don't ask, don't tell'

The Hill's A.B. Stoddard discusses President Barack Obama's position on "Don't ask, don't tell" and answers questions about potential moves the White House will be making in foreign policy now that the president will receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

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Gates Revisited

If you want an interesting take on the Professor Gates hullabaloo, read Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson’s piece this week. In it, he argues that Cambridge, Mass., locals should be used to interacting with proud macaronis like Harvard professors because, well, they’re smart and doggone it, they know it. But I don’t buy that “Big Cheese” line of reasoning. Just because Ivy League professors teach students to question authority doesn’t mean they now have license to flaunt it.

Robinson then ignorantly presumes to place himself on the doorstep of Gates’s home that evening. He opines, “Apparently, there was something about the power relationship involved — uppity, jet-setting black professor vs. regular-guy, working-class white cop — that Crowley couldn't abide. Judging by the overheated commentary that followed, that same something, whatever it might be, also makes conservatives forget that they believe in individual rights and oppose intrusive state power.”
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Obama: His Own Best Crisis Manager

This piece is also published in The Washington Times.

President Obama did the right thing and some quick damage control when he went himself to the White House press room Friday to admit that he had inadvertently "ratcheted up" the issue of the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. He had fueled the controversy when, Wednesday night, he stated that the "Cambridge police had acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home."
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Class Warfare in America

Just when most Americans were beginning to feel that we had reached a significant milestone in our racial history, we must confront the story of the professor, the police officer and the president of the United States.

That’s right, Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and President Barack Obama thought it appropriate to insult and mischaracterize an entire profession after Cambridge, Mass., police responded to a burglary at the professor’s home.
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Respect

The first step toward tolerance is respect and the first step toward respect is knowledge.
— Henry Louis Gates Jr.


Respect is a two-way street.

What happened in Cambridge is regrettable, but it is also a teaching moment.

Harvard Professor Henry Gates prefers to teach an old lesson: that racism is alive and well in America. But teaching that old lesson doesn’t necessarily move us forward.
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Avoiding Prisons

At a sentencing hearing in Toronto last week, the lawyer for two theater producers, both convicted of forgery and a $400 million fraud, made a provocative plea to the sentencing judge. Rather than imprisoning the two felons, he proposed, the judge should send them on a lecture tour of 65 Canadian schools to teach theatre students about their craft, and — I’m not making this up — "avoidance of unethical conduct." They would do the latter at six universities that teach business ethics. The judge will decide in August whether to agree to this proposal, or impose the legally circumscribed 10 years of imprisonment for fraud and 14 for forgery.
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