Hours before Barack Obama gave his monotonously predictable 2014 “State of the Union” charade, an event of potentially enormous consequences occurred in the State of Wyoming, which reflects a groundswell of sentiments from the American Heartland. By a three-to-two vote, the Wyoming Supreme Court overturned Senate File 104, an outrage perpetrated by the state legislature in 2013, which had negated the position of Superintendent of Public Instruction, and consigned its powers and duties to an appointee of the governor. Immediately on its passage last year, Cindy Hill, the current Superintendent of Public Instruction, had filed suit seeking to have the measure overturned. Though previously upheld by a lower court, the Wyoming Supreme Court completely nixed this outrageous governmental power grab. For the moment, the people of Wyoming can celebrate victory over a contemptible effort to demolish the rightful separation of powers, as inarguably spelled out in the Wyoming Constitution, and which is itself deliberately reflective of the same concept in the U.S. Constitution. While many throughout the nation have remained blissfully unaware of the ongoing drama in Wyoming, this issue is of enormous consequence to the good people of the Cowboy State. Furthermore, the principles involved could generate far reaching fallout across the rest of the nation. On that basis alone it is worth the watching. Though it is far too soon to declare victory in the battle to rein in an out of control state government, a fundamental course correction is now a possibility, which would enormously benefit the citizenry on several fronts. For starters, Superintendent Hill can shortly resume her programs which were designed to bolster academic performance among Wyoming children, and which enjoyed enormous success on that front. Improving education for the children of the state was and still remains her top priority. To her dismay, these sentiments have not been generally shared by many entrenched bureaucrats and their political accomplices, who long ago recognized the universal appeal of promoting “education,” ostensibly for the sake of the children, while exploiting it to gain access to the largest money pipeline in the state budget. And from that pipeline, far too many in government, whose only asset was having the right connections, could benefit personally, without returning anything positive to those young people in the classrooms whose educational well-being was supposed to be paramount. Yet the impact of the High Court’s decision will ultimately reach far beyond the state education department. From its inception, SF104 was a crucial component of a significantly larger plan to further subjugate Wyoming schools to such despicable federal encroachments as Barack Obama’s “Common Core” program. Of course that underhanded effort to reinvent public schools as indoctrination centers for the leftist agenda came with plenty of federal dollars dangled as an incentive to comply with it. And among those in government whose goal it is to reap as much monetary gain from the system as possible, Superintendent Hill, with her aversion to federal entanglements and her focus on teaching children, posed an infuriating roadblock. Consequently, the backers of SF104 recognized Hill as a political enemy and after having removed her official educational authority, shamelessly pursued her personal destruction. In this area as well, their sordid efforts have been completely thwarted. Several audits of her department have not only failed to turn up even the slightest indications of wrongdoing, they have instead proven that the conduct in her office has been above reproach. Another pathetic politically motivated attack was a fishing expedition contrived by RINO governor Matt Mead, and headed by lawyer Cathy MacPherson. In like manner with the many financial audits, the MacPherson committee failed to unearth any plausible evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Hill or her staff, despite embarrassingly juvenile efforts to concoct and magnify inconsequential events into defining breaches of propriety. On the political front, the ongoing drama in Wyoming and the new twist resulting from the State Supreme Court decision, promise to become even more interesting as time goes on. Unwilling to accept the chicanery of the entrenched “Ruling Class” or to accept their antics sitting down, Hill made the decision to run against incumbent Mead for the governorship of Wyoming in 2014. If successful in her bid for the state’s highest office, she would be in a far better position to clean up the thoroughly corrupted and ethically compromised departments within state government. Of course those caterwauling the loudest of the menace she represents are essentially spotlighting their culpability in the bloated and exorbitantly expensive mess that too much of the Wyoming state government has become. Interestingly, key players who spearheaded the education department takeover have been tight-lipped in the wake of the State Supreme Court decision. Governor Mead directed his comments to the administrative aspects of restoring Hill to her rightful post, while “Republican” House Speaker Tom Lubnau declined comment. And according to a news report of the high court’s decision, many of the bill’s sponsors likewise “declined comment.” Those terse rejoinders do little to cloak the abject panic undoubtedly ensuing among the Wyoming Republican “Establishment” behind closed doors. Clearly, the proponents of this transparent governmental power-grab had no expectation that both Superintendent Hill and the people who elected her in by an overwhelming majority in 2010 would be so unshakable in their defiance of such brazen efforts by the legislature and the governor to nullify their vote. Having invested their political fortunes (and more) in the expectation that the firestorm would quickly die down, these hapless politicians began to get nervous as it became evident that the citizenry was not going to passively submit to this subterfuge. Hence the relentless efforts of the ruling class to regain its esteem by discrediting Hill, all of which have been properly interpreted by the Wyoming people as proof of complicity. Amid all of the celebration over the January 28 court decision, it must be understood that this milestone does not represent total victory, but should rather be construed as a clarion call to stay the course. The self-serving political establishment, whether in Wyoming, across America, or inside the Beltway will not passively acquiesce to a challenge from the lowly peasantry. If Wyomingites, or any Americans intend to see their nation restored to its constitutional foundations, the struggle to that end must be enduring and uncompromising. But under such auspices they will prevail. Christopher G. Adamo is a resident of southeastern Wyoming and has been involved in state and local politics for many years. He writes for several prominent conservative websites, and has written for regional and national magazines. He is currently the Chief Editorial Writer for The Proud Americans, a membership advocacy group for America’s seniors, and for all Americans. His contact information and article archives can be found at www.chrisadamo.com, and he can be followed on Twitter @CGAdamo.
Congress is about to consider a massive attack on the U.S. Constitution, on the constitutional powers of Congress and the 50 states, and on U.S. sovereignty. This attack is marketed to the public as "free trade," but it is really a devious plan to make us kowtow to international tribunals under the pretense of "harmonizing" our laws with global trade.
This plan was hatched and worked out in secret, and even members of Congress were denied access to the negotiations and documents. President Barack Obama was obviously lying when he boasted that his is "the most transparent administration in history."
The formal titles of this upcoming travesty are the two trade treaties called the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. hahaThey are cozily wrapped in a Richard Nixon-era procedure known as Fast Track, which authorizes the president to make foreign deals in secret, and then demand that Congress take a quick vote approving many thousands of pages without debate or amendment.
This peculiar procedure is not only undemocratic but un-American. Ask your members of Congress, why would you give Obama any more dictatorial power than he already has manifested by his illegal changes to our welfare, immigration and Obamacare laws?
The trade negotiations were developed under military-style secrecy. If congressmen want to see TPP’s 30,000-word intellectual property chapter, called Article QQ, they can do so only by entering the inner sanctum without pen, pencil or paper, according to Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y.
Understanding what the treaties do is made difficult by their lengthy and immensely complicated wording. The text is crammed with figures and details that make no sense to anyone who lacks specialized knowledge.
Most Americans believe that the poor job market, especially for young people, is our biggest current problem, and congressional action to promote faster economic growth should be Congress’s No. 1 priority. But all evidence and past experience conclusively prove that free-trade treaties create jobs in foreign countries, not in the United States.
In the words of the old saying "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me," it is shame on every congressman who votes for another phony free-trade treaty, and it’s bordering on insanity to give Obama any more executive power that what he has already so flagrantly misused.
While Obama has publicly urged corporations to do "insourcing," his administration sent taxpayer money to the Philippines to train foreign workers to speak English so they can take jobs in U.S. call centers. The U.S. Agency for International Development financed a program called the Job Enabling English Proficiency to train 23,000 people in the Philippines to fill U.S. jobs, and 500,000 call-center jobs have been outsourced to foreigners since 2007.
One of the most devious parts of these trade pacts is that they will force the U.S. and other participating countries to "harmonize" food-safety standards. That means we and others will be required to use the lowest-common-denominator standards of all the dozen participating governments.
This could require us to import seafood, beef and chicken products that don’t meet basic U.S. food-safety standards. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration would be powerless to shut down imports of unsafe feed or food ingredients and, if it tries, multinational corporations can sue the U.S. government for loss of profits.
Vietnam government officials are excited about the recent visit of Walmart Vice President Ignacio Lopez, who was looking to buy low-priced goods, including processed farm produce. With a minimum wage of an estimated 28 cents per hour, Vietnam is in a position to sell food and apparel rather cheaply.
The trade agreements specify that the federal government is required to use all possible means, such as preempting legislation, lawsuits and cutting off federal funds, in order to force the states to comply with TPP rules made by non-Americans. Ambassador John Bolton has warned us to beware of the danger of losing our sovereignty in a web of international agreements and organizations.
Bill Clinton promised that North American Free Trade Agreement would produce "more exports and more jobs for the United States," but instead we now suffer a $60 billion to $70 billion annual trade deficit with Mexico. Similar phony sales talks about free trade with China resulted in a 2013 trade deficit of $316 billion, and our goods deficit with South Korea has risen to over $17 billion.
Free trade continues to mean foreigners get jobs, investment and prosperity, while we are the losers. One can only hope that the conservative Republicans who fell for those false promises have learned their lessons.
Phyllis Schlafly is a lawyer, conservative political analyst and author of 20 books. She is the co-author, with George Neumayr, of the New York Times Best-Seller titled "No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom." She can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com. To find out more about Phyllis Schlafly and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Website at www.creators.com.
Phyllis Schlafly is a lawyer, conservative political analyst and author of 20 books. She is the co-author, with George Neumayr, of the New York Times Best-Seller titled "No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom." She can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Phyllis Schlafly and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Website at www.creators.com
COPYRIGHT 2014 CREATORS.COM
Several years ago, I was consulted by a young woman who was 33 weeks pregnant and was on her way to Kansas to get an abortion. I informed her of the multiple options available to her outside of abortion, and she decided to go through with the pregnancy even though the child had hydrocephalus and would require neurosurgical intervention a few weeks after birth. She kept the baby and loves the beautiful child that has resulted.
A couple of decades ago, I came into the pediatric intensive care unit on morning rounds and was told about a 4-year-old girl who had been hit by an ice-cream truck and was comatose and exhibiting little neurological function other than reactive pupils. I tested her pupillary reflexes, and both pupils were fixed and dilated. The staff indicated to me that this was something that must have just occurred. I grabbed the bed and, with some help, transported her quickly to the operating room for an emergency craniotomy. I was met along the way by a senior neurosurgeon who told me I was wasting my time and that, at best, we would end up with someone in a vegetative state.
Nevertheless, we completed the operation, and a few days later, her pupils became reactive, and she eventually left the hospital. I saw her a few years ago walking through the hospital with her own 4-year-old little girl. She was neurologically fully intact and told me she had become somewhat of a celebrity because of the experience I just related.
What do these two stories have in common? They both involve precious lives that easily could have been discarded.
My entire professional life has been devoted to saving and enhancing lives. Thus, the thought of abortion for the sake of convenience does not appeal to me. I personally have met several people who told me their mothers had considered abortion but happily decided against it.
Most of us instinctively want to protect helpless creatures and sometimes go to great lengths to do so. The television commercials about abused animals are poignant, and as a society, we sometimes delay or cancel large construction projects to protect an “endangered” insect, amphibian or fish. Yet many of us turn a blind eye to the wanton slaughter of millions of helpless human babies, who are much more sophisticated than some of the other creatures, when nothing is at stake other than the convenience of one or both parents. I am not saying we should abandon our efforts to save baby seals and a host of other animals. I am saying: Shouldn’t we consider adding human fetuses and babies to the list?
Watching the human fetus develop is awe-inspiring. In less than three months from conception, the little hands and feet are quite recognizable, and distinct facial features characterize cute but very tiny human beings. From Day One, neurons of the brain are proliferating at a rate that will yield a staggering 100 billion neurons by birth. In a matter of nine months from conception, we have a living, breathing, eating, vocal human being who just two months later is socially interactive.
Some people oppose having pregnant women view ultrasonic pictures of their developing babies because they do not want an emotional bond to develop. Careful, unbiased contemplation, however, might yield the conclusion that such bonding is essential to the survival of mankind. Successful farmers nourish and protect their growing crops, and if conditions threaten their crops, they do what is necessary to protect them. Rather than attack the analogy, think about how much more precious a human life is than a stalk of corn.
It is important to try to understand the emotional state of young women seeking an abortion. Instead of judging and condemning them, we need to provide compassion and support. They need to be provided with easy access to adoption services and information about assistance available to them if they decide to keep the baby. I have visited many warm, inviting facilities around the country that exist solely for the purpose of helping these young women.
It is equally, if not more, important to reach these young women before they become pregnant. Forget about those politically correct people who say all lifestyles are equal, and inform those young women about the true consequences of out-of-wedlock birth for those who are not financially independent. We need to make sure they understand that they can provide a much better life for themselves and their children when they plan ahead and value themselves appropriately.
As a society, we cannot be afraid to discuss important social and moral issues. Our heritage as a nation is built on compassion, forgiveness and understanding. Courage is also vitally important, because those who stand on godly principles and values will be attacked. Attempting to characterize love and compassion for human life as a “war on women” is deceitful and pathetic. We the people must stop allowing ourselves to be manipulated by those with agendas that do not include regard for the sanctity of life.
Ben S. Carson is professor emeritus of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University. To find out more about Ben Carson and to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2014 THE WASHINGTON TIMES
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When U.S. Army Sgt. David Chambers left for his first Afghanistan deployment, he told his mother how he felt about his fellow soldiers.
“I leave one family to go to the other,” Sgt. Chambers said.
During his combat tour, which lasted from June 2010 to May 2011, Dave and his Stryker Brigade teammates were struck by an enemy improvised explosive device.
“They were in a transport vehicle when they hit (the IED), so it got blown over,” Dave’s mom, Julie Chambers, told The Unknown Soldiers. “(Dave) had injuries to his ear and shoulder, but nobody was severely hurt.”
The incident was a harrowing reminder of Julie and her husband Mike’s initial fears about their youngest son’s 2009 decision to enlist.
“We didn’t want him to join the Army,” Julie, who noted that Dave chose a dangerous infantry assignment, said. “But we knew there was nothing we could do … Dave wanted to be in the Army. We just had to love and support him.”
As a young boy growing up in Hampton, Va. — where his family still lives — Dave and his older brother, Steve, always seemed to be playing baseball and exploring the neighborhood.
“He liked to be active, even at that age,” Dave’s mom said. “He liked to work out and run.”
The only quality Dave lacked as a youngster, according to his mother, was consistent focus. That all changed once he chose to serve his country.
“The Army was made for Dave, and I would never thought it before I saw him (after boot camp),” Julie explained. “He just loved it.”
Even after a difficult year in Afghanistan, Dave showed no trepidation when he found out that his Fort Lewis-based unit would deploy a second time.
“He enjoyed his first tour, which scared me to death since his ear was already torn up,” his mother said. “I was scared about what Dave was doing.”
Almost immediately upon Dave’s November 2012 arrival in Afghanistan, the team leader noticed stark differences between his respective deployments.
“It was stressful there … there was a lot of fighting every day,” Julie explained. “He said ‘it’s just constant, not like the first time.'”
Dave was appalled by the enemy’s brutal treatment of civilians.
“The Taliban doesn’t care about these people,” said Julie, paraphrasing her son’s words. “They’ll kill them.”
On Jan. 15, 2013, Dave sent a Facebook message to his mother before heading out on a mission.
“I’m OK, mom,” he wrote. “Don’t worry.”
The next day, Julie received a knock on her front door and received the news she had been dreading since her son originally joined the Army. Sergeant David Chambers, 25, had been killed while serving in Afghanistan’s volatile Kandahar Province.
The details of the tragedy were excruciating, but also crystallized the dedication of the fallen hero and his unit. While leading a combat patrol, Dave stepped on an IED that resulted in devastating injuries to his arms and legs. The soldier walking behind him, who was also hit, rushed to care for his team leader before worrying about his own injuries.
For two hours, Dave’s teammates did everything they could to keep their wounded brother alive. After a courageous struggle, Dave succumbed to his massive wounds.
“I know that was hard on them,” Julie said of her son’s fellow warriors. “But they all said they would have given their lives for Dave.”
Speaking the day after the one-year anniversary of Dave’s death, Julie recalled her son’s funeral procession. Braving a snowstorm, hundreds of supporters came together to warm a grieving family’s heart.
“Sidewalks were just lined with people,” the fallen hero’s mom said. “It just made me understand that people appreciated his sacrifices.”
The day before we spoke, Julie received a call from the soldier who survived the Jan. 16, 2013, IED attack that took her son’s life.
“He’s just missing Dave,” Julie said. “He said (Dave) was the best team leader he ever had.”
While the void left by the passing of Sgt. David Chambers will never be filled, his loved ones will always be grateful to the fallen hero’s second family.
“The Army was so good to us,” Julie said.
U.S. Army Sgt. David Chambers poses for a picture with his parents, Julie and Mike Chambers, during a family weekend at Georgia’s Fort Benning. Chambers, 25, was killed in Afghanistan on Jan. 16, 2013. Photo courtesy of the Chambers Family.
Tom Sileo is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of “BROTHERS FOREVER: The Enduring Bond Between a Marine and a Navy SEAL that Transcended Their Ultimate Sacrifice.” Written with Col. Tom Manion (Ret.) and published by Da Capo Press, “BROTHERS FOREVER” will be released in spring 2014. To find out more about Tom Sileo or to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2014 CREATORS.COM
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a politically entrenched synod of special interests. These fat cats do not represent the best interests of American entrepreneurs, American workers, American parents and students, or Americans of any race, class or age who believe in low taxes and limited government. The chamber’s business is the big business of the Beltway, not the business of mainstream America.
If you are a business owner who believes your country should strictly and consistently enforce its borders and deport illegal immigrants who violate the terms of their visas, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce doesn’t represent you.
If you are a worker who believes the feds should punish illegal aliens who use fake documents to obtain jobs instead of rewarding them with “legal status,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce doesn’t champion you.
If you are a parent or educator who opposes top-down federal education schemes such as Common Core that undermine local control, dumb down rigorous curricula and threaten family privacy while enriching big business and lobbying groups, the U.S. Chamber od Commerce doesn’t speak for you.
If you are a taxpayer who has had enough of crony capitalism and publicly funded bailouts of failing corporations, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce doesn’t work for you.
Last year, the chamber poured more than $52 million into K Street lobbying efforts on behalf of illegal alien amnesty, Fed Ed Common Core programs and increased federal spending. This year, chamber bigwigs are paving the perilous pathway to GOP capitulation. The left hardly needs to lift a finger against tea party candidates and activists who are bravely challenging the big government status quo. The chamber has already volunteered to spend $50 million subsidizing the Republican incumbency protection racket and attacking anti-establishment conservatives.
Allow me to say, “I told you so.” In 2010, when President Barack Obama hypocritically attacked the chamber for accepting “foreign donations” just before the midterm elections, many on the right rushed to the group’s side. But as I warned then, the purported enemy of my enemy is … sometimes my worst enemy. Barely three months after their Kabuki campaign fight, Obama and the chamber had already kissed and made up.
The chamber joined hands with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations on a joint campaign to support Obama’s increased government infrastructure and spending proposals, stuffed with Big Labor payoffs.
The chamber is one of the staunchest promoters of mass illegal immigration, and joined with the AFL-CIO and American Civil Liberties Union to oppose immigration enforcement measures.
The chamber opposed E-verify and sued Arizona over its employer sanctions law.
The chamber supported a pro-Obamacare, pro-TARP, pro-stimulus, pro-amnesty Democrat in Arizona over his free-market GOP challenger.
The chamber supported the George W. Bush/Obama TARP, the Bush/Obama auto bailout and the billion-dollar, pork-stuffed stimulus.
This isn’t about letting the best ideas and businesses thrive. It’s about picking winners and losers. It’s about “managing” competition and engineering political outcomes under the guise of stimulating the economy and supporting “commerce.” What’s in it for the statist businesses that go along for the ride with Obama and his team of corruptocrats? Like they say in the Windy City: It’s all about the boodle — publicly subsidized payoffs meted out to the corruptocrats’ friends and special interests.
In the case of Common Core, the chamber has made common cause with the left-wing, corporate-bashing Center for American Progress in a new Baptists and Bootleggers coalition. They are seemingly strange bedfellows who both profit from increased federal government intervention. For giant corporate publishers, such as Pearson and other big-business ventures backed by the chamber, it’s all about cashing in on the public schools’ Common Core captive guinea pigs in testing, teaching, data collection and data analysis.
For big government advocacy groups, such as CAP, it’s all about diminishing state, local and parental control over local education and curricular decisions; expanding Washington’s regulatory reach into the classroom; and ensuring the perpetuation of the Fed Ed bureaucracy.
When businesses get in the government handout line, it’s not a “public-private partnership.” It’s corporate welfare. Venture socialism. Whatever you call it, it stinks as much under Democrat administrations as it does under Republican ones.
Always beware of Washington business-boosters wearing false free-market facades.
Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies” (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is email@example.com.
COPYRIGHT 2014 CREATORS.COM
At a time when more and more Americans are coming to an awareness of how evil abortion is, President Barack Obama, the most fiercely pro-abortionist president in our history, is digging his heels in further.
This week, he made his annual statement glorifying this hideous practice on the anniversary of the infernal 1973 Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, which greatly restricted abortion laws.
Obama’s statement was as unapologetic as it was grotesque, celebrating an abominable procedure that ought to be outlawed — not glamorized, as the left does with it. Before you accuse me of hyperbole, be advised that Democratic National Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz wished Roe v. Wade a happy 41st birthday. “Happy”?
Obama said, “Today, as we reflect on the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, we recommit ourselves to the decision’s guiding principle: that every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health.
“We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable health care and her constitutional right to privacy, including the right to reproductive freedom.
“And we resolve to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, and continue to build safe and healthy communities for all our children, because this is a country where everyone deserves the same freedom and opportunities to fulfill their dreams.”
No one is trying to interfere with women’s autonomy over their own bodies, except when another body and life is involved. It is sheer sophistry and misdirection to argue that abortion opponents are on a crusade against women’s liberty. This formulation conveniently — and repugnantly — factors out of the equation the innocent child involved.
It is dishonest for Obama to couch this issue in terms of women’s health. Most pro-lifers, in fact, acknowledge an exception in those rare cases when the mother’s life is in danger. Women’s health isn’t the issue, and pro-abortionists know that. The only thing interfering with a woman’s “choices about her … health” these days is Obamacare. If maximizing health care choices were what is driving Obama, he would repeal Obamacare.
Nor does abortion have anything to do with privacy under any stretch of the English language; I don’t care what the misguided Supreme Court said to the contrary in 1973. No amount of rhetorical legalese on “emanations” and “penumbras” can pollute our common sense into believing that a woman has a right to terminate the life of an innocent child she is carrying as a matter of constitutional privacy. No wonder some people have contempt for lawyers.
Obama has the audacity to talk about safe and healthy communities for all our children? Aborted babies are children, and Obama and his pro-abortionists are not making any of them safe. Indeed, since Roe, an estimated 55 million babies have been snuffed out in the name of women’s choice and health and now children’s safety? Now that’s chutzpah! The number of babies killed in abortions in New York City in 2010 (83,750) would fill the seats in MetLife Stadium, where the Super Bowl is scheduled to be played this year.
But perhaps the most offensive sentence in Obama’s statement was the last one, in which he attempted to fold the right to abortion into the American dream. Has he no shame? No amount of presidential spin will alter the irreversible fact that 55 million Americans were never given an opportunity to fulfill their dreams. How could any human being believe that preserving legal protection for other human beings to terminate the lives of yet other human beings is giving them an “opportunity to fill their dreams”? Are some people so dark-hearted that they consider killing babies an opportunity to fulfill dreams?
It is high time that people who can still find their moral compass through the nihilistic morass that is corrupting our culture start speaking out and quit allowing the left to turn our values, our language and, yes, our sanity on their heads. Postmodernism and moral relativism will lead to the destruction of all three, as the late Malcolm Muggeridge prophetically observed.
Some other civilizations, Muggeridge noted, were destroyed by external forces, but Western man has “had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense. Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer. Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over — a weary, battered old brontosaurus — and became extinct.”
David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book, “The Great Destroyer,” reached No. 2 on the New York Times best-seller list for nonfiction. Follow him on Twitter @davidlimbaugh and his website at www.davidlimbaugh.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2014 CREATORS.COM
There’s a catfight on magazine row in New York, sort of. There’s nothing lady-like about it. Jezebel magazine is the online gladiator, a feminist David with sling and arrows aimed at gorgeous women in expensive clothes. Vogue magazine, the target, is the glossy Goliath of svelte high fashion with lots of blush and eyeliner. This time, Goliath wins.
For readers who have a blurred focus on the popular culture, the issue goes to the latest phase of American feminism, which has been diminished to debating media nudity and the aesthetic appeal of the chubby female body, so revealed.
Jezebel paid $10,000 for raw photographs that would prove that Vogue trimmed the curves of face and form of its February cover girl, Lena Denham, the writer and star of HBO’s popular and seedy sitcom “Girls.” Hannah, the show’s protagonist, abundantly exposes the folds of her naked belly and fleshy bosom. Few readers expected to find her image in Vogue, but women of imperfect bodies have rallied to her defense. When Jezebel posted Vogue’s unedited photographs of Lena, it got millions of Internet hits, but many viewers were outraged that Jezebel had lost its feminist edge by trying to put the newest feminist heroine to shame. Fat chance. Jezebel soars, Vogue roars.
If all this should be relegated to the department of feminist trivia, we can pause for a moment to appreciate founding feminist Gloria Steinem, closing in on 80, for moving on with the times. While Jezebel was decrying Vogue’s exploitation of women, the founder of modern feminism was talking to women in India who face rape and violence in everyday life, no matter how they dress or what they look like. To be “nude and safe” in public is fantasy. Ours is an imperfect world where gangs of young men become violent to prove their manliness and superiority, and such violence happens all over the world.
American women, with their ascending triumphs, are in another “stage of awareness,” which testifies to the popularity of the show “Girls.” No pop cultural phenomenon can be emblematic of the female culture, but “Girls” captures the overripe and restless boredom of educated middle-class women with a premature approach to dealing with life’s disappointments. It’s very sad. If “Sex and the City,” the sensation of several seasons ago, was about fun and fantasy, single women liberated with money and careers in a fashionable hedonistic life style, “Girls” is about young women who live a tawdry sex life, dress in dowdy thrift-store hand-me-downs, live in shabby digs bearing (and baring) it all, and trying to persuade themselves that they’re living an exciting life in the latest phase of sisterhood.
The sexual revolution of women who fought the hard early fight, delivered a heady change for privileged women who lived through it, along with the pain of discovery that nobody can have it all. That revolution, a creative challenge, is decades old.
Lena Dunham exposes the inheritors of that revolution, the millenials who live without glamour, glitz or even something to rebel against. They smoke, drink, take drugs and have casual hookups with impunity, and they’re bored out of their minds with no other purpose in their lives. In the first season of “Girls,” Hannah, the writer and narrator, envies a college classmate whose boyfriend kills himself because at least he gave her something tragic to write about.
One of Hannah’s friends dumps a guy who loves her because he’s too nice, too smart, too competent for her to love back. When he’s successful and finds a new girlfriend she languishes in an obsession over her mistake. Episodes take place in an abortion clinic, a seedy bedroom, a bar where men brawl as in the old movie westerns. One female character fakes a pregnancy to get back the man who abandoned her. Hannah’s boyfriend, whose name is Adam, has no paradise to lose, but he’s his own snake in the grass.
Lena Dunham is not “the comic equivalent” of Bob Dylan for her generation that Vogue boasts she is, but she touches a nerve worth thinking about. Why has the sexual revolution turned tawdry and trite, bringing grief to so many single women who find it hard to find meaningful work or a mature mate. Liberation in this scenario depicts a life of despair, insecurity and ennui, whether the character is fat or thin, clever or dull, dressed up or dressed down. Life without style.
Lena Dunham the author can be an acute observer of her generation, a creative workaholic far more successful than any of the characters she draws. What does that tell us? You’ll probably find the answer in Vogue, not Jezebel.
Write to Suzanne Fields at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Suzanne Fields is currently working on a book that will revisit John Milton’s “Paradise Lost.” To find out more about Suzanne Fields and read her past columns, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2014 CREATORS.COM
It is 41 years since the Supreme Court handed down the Roe v. Wade decision, effectively legalizing abortion everywhere in the United States. Ever since, it has been a source of controversy — and confusion.
Some of that confusion is owed to the fact that the opinion was written by Justice Harry Blackmun, the only one of America’s 112 Supreme Court justices to sped most of his prejudicial legal career defending doctors, as counsel for the Mayo Clinic. Doctors, not women, were the targets of abortion prosecutions.
As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted last year, Roe “wasn’t woman-centered, it was physician-centered.” And, as she has noted, abortion law was already rapidly changing when the case was decided in January 1973.
In the five years before Roe, 16 states with 41 percent of the nation’s population had liberalized their abortion laws. When the decision was announced, almost every state legislature was beginning its session, and many likely would have passed similar legislation.
The result has been that abortion has become a national political issue. Initially, the abortion issue split both parties. More recently, it has come to define them.
Today there are few pro-life Democratic politicians or pro-choice Republicans. In Europe, in contrast, where abortion has been legalized with varying restrictions, it has seldom been a matter of partisan controversy.
Amid the controversy, public opinion on abortion has remained relatively constant for many years and fully endorses neither the pro-life nor pro-choice positions.
In the unlikely event that Roe v. Wade were overturned, perhaps a few legislatures — Utah? Louisiana? Guam? — would prohibit all abortions. But not many. It’s hard to criminalize behavior that people have been told is a right, even one as vaguely defined as Justice Blackmun’s “privacy.”
Witness the resistance to prohibition of gun ownership, albeit opponents on this issue have a constitutional text guaranteeing the “right of the people to keep and bear arms.” Gun ownership continues, and so will abortion.
But with this difference: Gun sales have been booming during the Obama presidency, but the number of abortions has been declining for many years. The peak abortion rate per population was reached in 1981, according to the pro-abortion rights Guttmacher Institute, whose data are accepted on all sides.
As population rose, the absolute number of abortions increased to a peak of 1.6 million in 1990. Since then, the number declined to 1.2 million or perhaps below.
Guttmacher analysts blame this on restrictive laws. They note that 35 states require parental notification or consent for minors’ abortions and that Congress forbids Medicaid funding of abortions.
They point out that court decisions forced 17 states to fund abortions for low-income women and four more states do so voluntarily, and that 20 percent of women receiving abortions report they got Medicaid funding. Allow it in other states, they imply, and more women would choose abortion.
Further restrictions imposed by states since 2010 — requiring counseling, banning abortions after 20 weeks, cutting Planned Parenthood funding — may further reduce the number of abortions.
But these restrictions are in line with public opinion that, as my American Enterprise Institute colleague Karlyn Bowman has documented, has remained steady over many years.
Most Americans think abortion is wrong and should be illegal in some circumstances. Somewhat more believe it to be morally wrong than morally acceptable.
Very large majorities would allow it for physical health reasons and in cases of rape. But very large majorities also favor 24-hour waiting periods, mandatory counseling, parental consent and husband notification.
Very large majorities also oppose second- and third-trimester abortion and support the 2003 federal law banning partial-birth abortion.
These opinions are rooted in the recognition by most Americans that abortion ends a human life.
Abortion advocates have long argued that a woman should have control over her body. But these people, many of whom argue that conservatives ignore science on other issues, ignore science on this one.
Science tells us that the fetus and the mother have different DNA, that they are separate people and not part of the mother’s body, over which advocates insist she have control. A fetus is not the equivalent of a mother’s fingernail.
Sonograms, unavailable in 1973, reinforce that impression. Their availability may be making abortion less attractive to young women.
The murder conviction of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell showed that restrictions on abortion clinics are needed and are not just “a war on women.”
Justice Blackmun thought he settled the abortion issue forever. Forty-one years later, the debate goes on.
Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2014 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER
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CNN anchor Jake Tapper blandly admitted the obvious in a radio interview with conservative host Hugh Hewitt. The same reporters that insist their former Republican Party favorite Chris Christie is ruined for 2016 by traffic jams on a bridge are letting Hillary Clinton skate for embassy-security neglect that led to four dead government employees at Benghazi.
Why would so-called watchdogs of government suggest Clinton is a shoo-in in 2016 as if Benghazi never happened? Tapper strangely suggested that Benghazi always seemed like more of a White House scandal than a State Department scandal, and I don’t blame him, because Clinton didn’t grant him an interview.
“Hillary Clinton was on her way out, and you know, I can’t tackle her,” he said in self-defense. “I haven’t had a chance to interview her since Benghazi happened. I don’t even know, has she done interviews? I think she did some interviews on her way out.”
That’s awfully coy. In fact, after Clinton’s ridiculous “what difference does it make” defense a year ago, lapped up by media lapdogs as some kind of “riveting” triumph, she quickly granted interviews to ABC, CBS and NBC. All three networks now pounding away at Christie were, and continue to be AWOL on Hillary. They have punted the chance to be watchdogs.
The most infamous one we remember is Steve Kroft’s joint Barack Obama-and-Clinton interview for “60 Minutes,” when Kroft asked two questions on her Benghazi testimony. First, “You had a very long day. Also, how is your health?” And second, “Do you feel guilty in any way, at a personal level? Do you blame yourself that you didn`t know or that you should have known?”
This allowed Clinton to express regret for her “personal loss” and insist against all the evidence that she was tremendously interested in embassy security.
On NBC, State Department correspondent Andrea Mitchell interviewed her pal Clinton, but they only showed snippets in two news accounts. Don’t blink, or you’ll miss the Benghazi seconds. Clinton said, “Well, Benghazi went wrong. You know, that was a terrible example of trying to get the right balance between being in a threatening place or not being there.”
Mitchell had one question: “But in retrospect, shouldn’t a cable warning of a security threat from an ambassador in a conflict zone, shouldn’t that get the highest possible attention immediately?” Clinton responded, oh well, maybe next time: “Well, that’s what we’re hoping to make sure does happen in the future.” Then it was on to Clinton’s work for women’s rights around the globe.
ABC’s interview of her was performed by “Nightline” host Cynthia McFadden, a perennial Clinton toady. McFadden informed America that Clinton was “doubling down” on her Senate testimony. McFadden began: “It seemed as though you lost your temper at the hearing.” Clinton said anyone trying to hold her accountable was using a “partisan lens.”
“When someone tries to put it into a partisan lens, when they focus not on the fact that we had such a terrible event happening with four dead Americans, but instead, what did somebody say on a Sunday morning talk show? That, to me, is not in keeping with the seriousness of the issue and the obligation we all have as public servants.”
McFadden softly nudged: Does she regret the “what difference” comment? Hillary repeated herself about the Sunday show questions and added: “I believe in transparency. I said, you know, let the chips fall where they may. Put it all out there. And I don’t want that to be politicized.”
Please laugh at the “transparency” part, but always pay attention when a Clinton says you can’t proceed with a “politicized” line of questioning. It means you’re getting dangerously close to asking them a tough question. On these occasions, none of the interviewers wondered what some reporters have: If Clinton believed in transparency, why didn’t she do the Sunday morning shows after Benghazi instead of Susan Rice? For that, we can turn to Bill Clinton’s draft-dodging language: She was “maintaining (her) viability within the system.”
In fact, most journalists really don’t feel Hillary Clinton should be held accountable. Time magazine had a cover story titled “Can Anyone Stop Hillary?” Nancy Gibbs, now the managing editor of Time, was asked on MSNBC by Mitchell how long Clinton can delay making the official declaration for the White House. Gibbs responded, “I think she can postpone it almost longer than anyone we have seen. It allows her to not have to answer every controversy that comes up, the latest obviously being the Benghazi report today.”
Gibbs told Mitchell that only Hillary can stop Hillary. That must be because her liberal media bootlickers can’t muster one tough question about how she mismanaged embassy security in Libya. They, too, always seem to be interested only in maintaining her viability within the system.
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. To find out more about Brent Bozell III, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2014 CREATORS.COM
The conventional wisdom in Washington was succinctly expressed in a recent Washington Post article, “The GOP’s Uphill Path to 270 in 2016.” The Electoral College, claims Dan Balz, now gives the Democrats a decided advantage that will be hard for the GOP to overcome. He correctly noted that many formerly Republican-leaning states have shifted to the Democratic column.
On one level, Balz is correct. There has been a massive shift in the state-by-state leanings over the past two decades. From 1968 to 1988, the Republican candidate carried an amazing 34 states five or more times. During that stretch, only Minnesota and Washington, D.C. were equally secure for the Democrats.
Things have looked entirely different over the past 20 years. Since 1992, 21 states went for the Democrats five times, while only 19 stayed in the GOP column that often. Importantly, the solid Democratic states now include big states like California, New York and Illinois.
The reason for the change, however, was not because of some magical transformation in particular states. It was a shift in the national mood.
During the 20 years of Republican dominance, the Democratic candidate reached 50 percent of the vote just once and fell as low as 38 percent. Over the past two decades, the GOP candidate has reached 50 percent of the vote just once and fell as low as 37 percent. The simple message is that if a candidate or party does better in the popular vote, the Electoral College will follow.
Look at it this way. President Barack Obama won the popular vote by four points in 2012. Consider what would happen if a Republican candidate were to win the popular vote in 2016 by a single point. The GOP would gain an average of five points per state. Applying that gain to the totals from our most recent election, the Republican would then have 266 Electoral College votes and four states would be toss-ups. If any one of the toss-ups broke for the GOP, the Republican would win.
Take it a step further. If a Republican were to win in 2016 by the same four-point margin that Obama enjoyed the last time around, you would expect the Republican to rack up about 331 Electoral College votes. Not surprisingly, that’s virtually the same as Obama’s total with a four-point popular vote victory.
It’s obviously way too early to know who will be the Republican nominee in 2016. But we do have a good indicator of which way the popular vote might go. Perceptions of Obama will set the tone for the next election.
If his job approval ratings stay as low as they are today — or drift lower — it will be virtually impossible for any Democrat to win. Obama would be as much of a drag on his party’s candidate as George W. Bush was in 2008.
If the president’s numbers rebound a bit but stay in the mid-40s range, it will be difficult but not impossible for a Democrat to win.
For the Democrats to be favored in 2016, Obama’s job approval rating will have to soar dramatically over the next three years. Republicans who snicker at that prospect should not dismiss it. If the economy kicks into high gear and the health care law somehow becomes popular, the president’s numbers will indeed soar.
Barring that, however, Obama’s weakness is likely to give any qualified GOP candidate the upper hand entering the 2016 election.
To find out more about Scott Rasmussen, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2014 SCOTT RASMUSSEN
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