Category Archives: Liberty
John Kass writes at the Chicago Tribune:
The lie we were told as kids was this: The end of American liberty would come at the hands of the political right.
Conservatives would take away our right to speak our minds, and use the power of government to silence dissent. The right would intimidate our teachers and professors, and coerce the young.
And then, with the universities in thrall, with control of the apparatus of the state (and the education bureaucracy), the right would have dominion over a once-free people.
Some of us were taught this in school. Others, who couldn’t be bothered to read books, were fed a cartoon version of the diabolical conservative in endless movies and TV shows. The most entertaining of these were science fiction, sometimes with vague references to men in brown shirts and black boots goose-stepping in some future time.
Women would become handmaids, subjugated and turned into breeders. And men would be broken as well. The more lurid fantasies offered armies of Luddites in hooded robes, hunting down subversives for the greater good.
But the lie is obvious now, isn’t it?
Because it is not conservatives who coerced today’s young people or made them afraid of ideas that challenge them. Conservatives did not shame people into silence, or send thugs out on college campuses to beat down those who wanted to speak.
The left did all that.
It’s there in front of you, the thuggish mobs of the left killing free speech at American universities. The thugs call themselves antifas, for anti-fascists.
They beat people up and break things and set fires and intimidate. These are not anti-fascists. These are fascists. This is what fascists do.
Some wear masks to cover their faces, or hide bike locks in scarves and swing them at the heads of any who disagree. They’re all about intimidation. And intimidation on a national scale, so angry and violent, is a fascist thing of the left.
Many liberals — journalists, senators, television comedians and others — are properly appalled at what their political children, born of the hard left, have done. Many liberals have warned about this, and so many must wince as the fruits of their labor turn bitter in their mouths.
But they are also complicit, because they’ve taken advantage of the anger and energy of this hard left fascism to leverage their own politics. And Democratic operatives still hope to use this emotional frenzy and muscle for political gain in the next elections.
What is the cost for all this?
Free speech, without which there is no republic.
American universities were once thought to be the last great refuge of ideas, where ideas could flourish and be challenged and debated. But today, the university is the place where liberty and ideas go to die.
The American university is where intellectuals with dissenting views are silenced — even physically assaulted — by mobs. And administrators sit by and watch, afraid to anger those mobs.
What has been the general liberal response to Americans who insist on speaking after being threatened?
Annoyance. The response sounds like this: Hush. Go away. Come back later when it’s quiet. Why cause trouble? Shhh.
Right-wing provocateur Ann Coulter has been silenced at Berkeley, where the free speech movement was born. And other intellectuals, including Charles Murray and Heather Mac Donald, have been silenced at other colleges, attacked by mobs.
If the left agrees with your views, you may speak. If the left doesn’t agree, they will shut you down. This is America now.
Some liberals also have seen their careers ruined by mob rule. Those two professors at Yale, a husband and wife, come to mind. She told Yale students not to worry if some other student wore a sombrero as a Halloween costume, that there were more important things to worry about than political correctness and a student wearing a sombrero.
But a Yale student, a woman, a minority, screamed in response, weeping in hideous self-indulgent theatrics captured on video. And all of this caught fire on the internet and sparked the virtual mob on social media. The professors, the husband and wife, with decent records and obvious care for the intellectual development of their students, were shamed out of Yale.
And all educators across the country took note.
University administrators have made a show of wringing their hands. But they’re hypocrites. They’re part of this. They are of the same cloth. They allowed this seed to bloom. They watered it, by giving in to the young who demanded a safe space from intellectual challenge.
Safe spaces are not about learning or critical thinking. Safe spaces belong to education camps, where future bureaucrats are trained in the Orwellian shaping of language and the culling of threatening ideas.
The universities molded the federal education bureaucracy, which turned out teachers that shaped the minds of American children. And some of those children are in college now.
Surveys suggest that many young Americans think the First Amendment should be amended so as to not allow offensive speech. So the students have learned their lessons well.
All speech challenging the status quo is offensive — to the establishment. And free speech is what American liberty is about.
Unless, of course, you’re of the hard left, and can hunt free speech at American universities and crush it.
That’s not fiction. That’s not fantasy. And it is not a lie. It’s happening now, in the United States.
We can either have “peace at any price” OR we can have freedom. There is no in between.
“When you booked the concert in Greenboro, the laws in North Carolina were just as they are today: In public facilities, people had to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that corresponded to their biological sex. Why, then, did you agree to come in the first place? Why cancel the concert when things today are just what they were six months ago?”
Dittos to Michael Moore …
Mark Steyn — Closing statement at Munk Debate on Global Refugee Crisis [3:22]
H/t Frankly the Nut who remarked, “I’d rather juggle chain saws than debate Mark Steyn.”
Two Americas By Bob Lonsberry – Dec 9, 2013
The Democrats are right, there are two Americas.
The America that works, and the America that doesn’t. The America that contributes, and the America that doesn’t.
It’s not the haves and the have nots, it’s the dos and the don’ts. Some people do their duty as Americans, to obey the law and support themselves and contribute to society, and others don’t.
That’s the divide in America.
It’s not about income inequality, it’s about civic irresponsibility. It’s about a political party that preaches hatred, greed and victimization in order to win elective office. It’s about a political party that loves power more than it loves its country.
That’s not invective, that’s truth.
And it’s about time someone said it.
The politics of envy was on proud display last week as the president said he would pledge the rest of his term to fighting “income inequality.” He notes that some people make more than other people, that some people have higher incomes than others, and he says that’s not just.
It was the rationale of thievery.
The other guy has it, you want it, Obama will take it for you.
It is the electoral philosophy that gave us Detroit. It is the electoral philosophy that is destroying America.
And it conceals a fundamental deviation from American values and common sense. It ends up not being a benefit to the people who support it, but a betrayal. The Democrats have not empowered their followers, they have enslaved them – in a culture of dependence and entitlement, of victimhood and anger instead of ability and hope.
The president’s premise – that you reduce income inequality by debasing the successful – seeks to ignore and cheat the law of choices and consequences. It seeks to deny the successful the consequences of their choices and spare the unsuccessful the consequences of their choices.
Because, by and large, the variability in society is a result of different choices leading to different consequences. Those who choose wisely and responsibly have a far greater likelihood of success, while those who choose foolishly and irresponsibly have a far greater likelihood of failure.
And success and failure can manifest themselves in personal and family income.
You choose to drop out of high school or to skip college and you are apt to have a different outcome than someone who gets a diploma and pushes on with purposeful education. You have your children out of wedlock and life is apt to take one course, you have them in wedlock and life is apt to take another course.
Most often in life our destination is determined by the course we take.
My doctor, for example, makes far more than I do. There is significant income inequality between us. Our lives have had an inequality of outcome. But, our lives also have had an inequality of effort. Whereas my doctor went to college and then gave the flower of his young adulthood to medical school and residency, I got a job in a restaurant. He made a choice, I made a choice. And our choices led us to different outcomes.
His outcome pays a lot better than mine.
Does that mean he cheated and Barack Obama needs to take away his wealth?
No, it means we are both free men.
And in a free society, free choices will lead to different outcomes.
It is not inequality Barack Obama will take away, it is freedom.
The freedom to succeed, and the freedom to fail. And there is no true option for success if there is no true option for failure.
The pursuit of happiness means a whole lot less when you face the punitive hand of government if your pursuit brings you more happiness than the other guy.
Even if the other guy sat on his arse and did nothing.
Even if the other guy made a lifetime’s worth of asinine and shortsighted decisions.
Barack Obama and the Democrats preach equality of outcome as a right, while completely ignoring inequality of effort. The simple Law of the Harvest – as ye sow, so shall ye reap – is sometimes applied as, “The harder you work, the more you get.”
The progressive movement would turn that upside down.
Those who achieve are to be punished as enemies of society and those who fail are to be rewarded as wards of society. Entitlement has replaced effort as the key to upward mobility in American society.
Or at least it has if Barack Obama gets his way.
He seeks a lowest common denominator society in which the government besieges the successful and productive and fosters equality through mediocrity.
He and his party speak of two Americas.
And their grip on power is based on using the votes of one to sap the productivity of the other.
America is not divided by the differences in our outcomes, it is divided by the differences in our efforts. And by the false philosophy that says one man’s success comes about unavoidably as the result of another man’s victimization.
What the president offered was not a solution, but a separatism. He fomented division and strife, he pitted one set of Americans against another.
For his own political benefit.
That’s what progressives offer. Marxist class warfare wrapped up with a bow.
Two Americas, coming closer each day to proving the truth to Lincoln’s maxim that a house divided against itself cannot stand.
(Note: This has been circulating in emails as having been written by former football coach and current ESPN college football analyst Lou Holtz. The URL above is the original 2013 publication by radio talk show host, columnist, author and conservative political commentator Bob Lonsberry.)