NRB vs. FrumForum: Gee, I Wonder Who’s Telling the Truth?

David Horowitz and David Swindle have decided to can one of NewsRealBlog’s contributors, Alex Knepper. Knepper, who also contributes to David Frum’s FrumForum, claims that he was punished because “Horowitz is not interested in posts that take Ann Coulter to task over the war in Afghanistan,” and Frum eagerly repeats Knepper’s claims, taking them as—surprise!—more evidence that right-wingers are circling the wagons around their “extremists.”

David Swindle responds to Knepper’s allegations here, explaining that the tone of his Coulter critique, not simply the act of critiquing her, was the issue with his final NRB submission, and that either way, he wasn’t simply fired over a disagreement over tone—it was the last in a string of disappointments (including some, um, interesting views about sex) from Knepper. Knepper fires back here.

As NRB’s editor, Swindle is in a much better position to respond to the specifics if he so chooses than I am, so I’ll leave that to him. But I do have a couple thoughts about which side has more credibility.

First, the idea that NRB can’t take criticism of Coulter is preposterous. I should know—my very first post for the website did just that.

Second, the website is extremely comfortable with passionate disagreement among contributors on a lot of issues, many of which are arguably bigger than what somebody thinks about a particular pundit. A few examples:

Third, as I pointed out last week, we already know that David Frum’s standards of honesty are scandalously low – up to and including REPEATING SLANDER against people if it supports Frum’s agenda. Until Frum owns up to his past misdeeds, every word that appears on FrumForum should be read with extreme skepticism by the handful of readers who still waste their time there.

This is What Losing an Argument Looks Like

Even if you aren’t violent, you are fanning the flames, inciting those that may be on the edge. There is more at stake here than whether someone is for or against the issue. There is the rule of law. This misogynistic thinking imitates Sharia law. This is America.

Blogosphere Tip of the Day: if your opponent can’t respond to your arguments with anything other than lying, hysterical hatred, you’re allowed to declare victory, and there’s probably nothing to be gained from a continued dialogue with said sore loser.

How the Teachers’ Unions and Democrats Scam Taxpayers

Charles Lane, in the Washington Post:

By now, you’ve probably heard about the urgent teacher layoff crisis that threatens public education across America. Due to shrinking state and local budgets, up to 300,000 teachers could be laid off, with devastating educational consequences for our children, such as burgeoning class sizes. The only cure is $23 billion in fresh federal deficit spending, rushed through Congress as part of a bill to fund U.S. overseas military operations. “The urgency is high,” President Obama warned congressional leaders in a June 12 letter.

Don’t believe the hype.

Start with that scary number of 300,000 teacher layoffs, which has been bandied about in numerous newspaper articles. The sources for it are interested parties: teachers unions and school administrators, whose national organizations counted layoff warning notices that have already been sent out this spring and extrapolated from there. Notably, however, even these sources usually describe the threatened positions as “education jobs” – not teachers. That’s because the figures actually include not only kindergarten through 12th grade classroom instructors, but also support staff (bus drivers, custodians, et al.) and even community college faculty. And 300,000 is the upper end of a range that could be as low as 100,000. Nationwide, there are about 3.2 million K-12 public school teachers.

Moreover, springtime layoff notices are a notoriously unreliable guide to actual job cuts in the fall, because rules and regulations in many public school systems require administrators to notify every person who might conceivably be laid off — whether they actually expect to fire them or not. As the New York Times recently reported: “Everywhere, school officials tend to overestimate the potential for layoffs at this time of year, to ensure that every employee they might have to dismiss receives the required notifications.”

Given these facts, it’s unclear how the bill’s supporters came up with its $23 billion price tag. It works out to about $77,000 per job saved in the 300,000-layoff scenario, but $230,000 per job if only 100,000 jobs are at risk. Maybe that’s why the bill’s fine print allows states to spend any excess funds left over from education hiring on other state employees. By the way, the bill distributes funds to states according to how many residents they have, not how many threatened layoffs.

Read the rest here.

Why Let Reality Get in the Way of a Good Meme?

When we last left Self-Defeating Left-Wing Zealot Scott, he was making an ethically-challenged fool of himself over abortion.  This evening, while browsing Boots & Sabers (which I really need to get back in the habit of reading more often – sorry Owen!), I came across the following comment from our pal:

Many conservatives eschew expert opinion in the first place, so what’s the big deal?  Everything from CBO reports to scientific opinion—it just doesn’t matter because you can’t trust those eggheads.  Me, I’m a big fan of learning.  I like to acknowledge someone else’s expertise and learn from it.

Again, the only proper response is:

For good measure, background behind his bull about the CBO can be found here & here, and about “scientific opinion” here.

Pot, Meet Kettle

At NewsReal, Kathy Shaidle has an early contender for Most Ironic Story of the Year: “Michael Moore says Fox News edited clips to make President look bad. (No, really.)

There’s “Not Such a Thing” as Radical Islam?

Earlier this week, the always-slimy Alan Colmes was in rare form trying to defend Attorney General Eric Holder’s surreal inability to utter the phrase “radical Islam” (emphasis added):

COLMES: Because there’s not such a thing as radical Islam.

KELLY: What?

COLMES: It is not Islam. It is not part of the religion. People are not doing this in the name of true Islam.

KELLY: Nobody’s saying they’re doing it in the name of true Islam.

COLMES: Why don’t we say that when somebody bombs an abortion clinic, or Scott Roeder, who kills an abortion doctor, is radical Christianity? Why isn’t there a great movement to say, ‘you gotta call it radical Christianity’?

[…]

KELLY: It’s not Islam. No one’s condemning Islam. It’s radical Islam.

COLMES: Then don’t use the word…to attach the words of those religions to that act is wrong…they’re not Islamic; they’re not acting according to Islamic doctrine […] It’s religious bigotry! [...] This is a political ideology, not a religious ideology. They are attacking us on political grounds, not religious grounds.  They are misusing Islam, and to use the word ‘Islam’ to try to apply to them because it satisfies our need to demonize a religion, is absolutely wrong, and bigoted…why are we so hung up on words?

Why are we so hung up on words?  I don’t know, Alan—go ask the guy you voted for.

Good gravy, where to begin?  First, let’s tackle the nonsense about how attaching “radical” to something is a smear.  Actually, Alan, it turns out that lots of people use the phrase “radical Christianity.” And y’know what?  I don’t blame ‘em!  It’s not anti-Christian to say there are radical versions of, or strains in, Christianity; it’s anti-Christian to say that “radical Christianity” IS “normal” or “true” Christianity.  I suspect most people with an above-toaster IQ would recognize that saying “radical” before a religion’s name is meant to distinguish what you’re talking about from the religion as a whole.  That Colmes needs something so elementary explained to him is clearly an indication that either he’s getting paid way too much, or I’m getting paid way too little. (Of course, Colmes’ blog is chock-full of whining about people using the word “radical,” but he has no qualms about identifying “radical tea partiers”…)

Second, Colmes and Holder are awfully certain that the jihadists can’t possibly be operating from an even remotely valid interpretation of the Qur’an.  Unfortunately, anyone who’s actually studied Islam in any depth can tell you, that’s not such a safe bet to make.  I think I may be forgiven for suspecting neither Alan Colmes nor Eric Holder has studied the matter as carefully as, say, John Quincy Adams and Winston Churchill.  Of course we should acknowledge that there are lots of moral, peace-loving Muslims, but it needs to be acknowledged that, at the very least, it’s not at all obvious that the jihadists are the ones on flimsy theological ground.

At the risk of again stating the obvious, it’s important to accurately identify your enemy so you understand his goals, motivations, and level of rationality, and you can respond accordingly.  But I guess hoping the United States Attorney General would understand that sort of thing is too much to ask.

RedState vs. Riehl World View on Rand Paul

Erick Erickson: disingenuous.

Dan Riehl: spot-on.

Mexican President Slanders AZ; Republicans React Pretty Much How You’d Expect

Here is Republican Senator Orrin Hatch’s response to Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s condemnation of Arizona’s new immigration law:

The state of Arizona is stepping in where the federal government has failed. It is trying to stop waves of illegal immigrants, many of whom are dangerous gang members and drug and human traffickers, from crossing into its communities. It’s inappropriate for a head of state to question our laws, especially when the state of Arizona only acted in the best interest of its citizens and with the support of seventy percent of its people.

Boy, don’t strain yourself, Senator.

Hatch could have mentioned that Calderon’s characterization of the law as “introduc[ing] racial profiling as a basis for law enforcement” and a “human rights” violation which “opens the door to intolerance, hate, discrimination and abuse in law enforcement” is, as Byron York’s reporting on the law reveals, so dishonest as to border on slander.  For instance:

Obama ignored the law’s specific stipulation that any check on a person’s immigration status can only come after a “lawful stop, detention or arrest” when a person is suspected of breaking some law — that is, as Arizona lawmakers explained in a footnote to the bill, it must come “during the enforcement of any other law or ordinance of a county, city or town or this state.”

And even after meeting that standard, the law directs that police meet a “reasonable suspicion” standard before “a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person…” The phrase “reasonable suspicion” means that there must be a number of specific factors that an officer can cite before taking action, and the law specifically says that prosecutors “shall not investigate complaints that are based solely on race, color or national origin.”

And even with those safeguards, the law specifies that if the person involved produces a valid Arizona driver’s license, or other forms of identification specified in the law, then that person is immediately presumed to be in the country legally. In other words, the whole question of legal or not legal becomes moot once the person produces a driver’s license — a common experience for nearly every American, regardless of his or her race or ethnicity.

He could also have mentioned that, not only is Calderon partially responsible for the hardships Arizona is trying to address, but that Mexico’s own immigration laws are far more draconian and “intolerant”:

– The Mexican government will bar foreigners if they upset “the equilibrium of the national demographics.” How’s that for racial and ethnic profiling?

– If outsiders do not enhance the country’s “economic or national interests” or are “not found to be physically or mentally healthy,” they are not welcome. Neither are those who show “contempt against national sovereignty or security.” They must not be economic burdens on society and must have clean criminal histories. Those seeking to obtain Mexican citizenship must show a birth certificate, provide a bank statement proving economic independence, pass an exam and prove they can provide their own health care.

– Illegal entry into the country is equivalent to a felony punishable by two years’ imprisonment. Document fraud is subject to fine and imprisonment; so is alien marriage fraud. Evading deportation is a serious crime; illegal re-entry after deportation is punishable by ten years’ imprisonment. Foreigners may be kicked out of the country without due process and the endless bites at the litigation apple that illegal aliens are afforded in our country (see, for example, President Obama’s illegal alien aunt — a fugitive from deportation for eight years who is awaiting a second decision on her previously rejected asylum claim).

– Law enforcement officials at all levels — by national mandate — must cooperate to enforce immigration laws, including illegal alien arrests and deportations. The Mexican military is also required to assist in immigration enforcement operations. Native-born Mexicans are empowered to make citizens’ arrests of illegal aliens and turn them in to authorities.

– Ready to show your papers? Mexico’s National Catalog of Foreigners tracks all outside tourists and foreign nationals. A National Population Registry tracks and verifies the identity of every member of the population, who must carry a citizens’ identity card. Visitors who do not possess proper documents and identification are subject to arrest as illegal aliens.

A foreign head of state hypocritically slanders American citizens before our own legislature – to the applause of one of America’s two major political parties – and the best the other party can muster is “inappropriate” (maybe an “unfortunate” if we’re lucky).  As usual.  Looks like the GOP’s not about to kick its habit of pulling defeat from the jaws of victory any time soon.

The Paul File Continued (Updated)

The following is an addendum to my recent NewsReal posts about Ron & Rand Paul’s disgusting relationship with radicalism and their dangerous misrepresentation of facts on all things national-security and foreign-policy related:

During the 2008 Republican National Convention, Ron Paul held a counter-event, & the campaign invited crackpot Jesse Ventura to speak there. Ventura’s tirade about what “really happened” on 9/11 was met with wild applause by Paul’s audience.

On 9/11 Truther Alex Jones’ show in 2007, Paul claimed, “if you have a 9/11 incident or something like that, they use that to do the things that they had planned all along.”

In January 2008, Paul’s Midland County, MI, campaign coordinator was one Randy Gray, who happened to moonlight as “a longstanding active and vocal organizer for the Knight’s Party faction of the Ku Klux Klan.”  The campaign did not comment on the controversy, but did scrub all traces of Gray from their websites. Read the rest of this entry »

Lincoln Derangement Syndrome

Somebody named JD Longstreet is very, very upset that Southerners and Southern history are not given the respect they deserve in the media, schools and commentary class (hat tip to Ol’ Broad).  Given the Left’s infernal obsession with casting conservative views and traditional American values as racist, I would be inclined to sympathize with him…except for the fact that his post rapidly devolves into an unhinged, duplicitous tirade that is guilty of the very historical revisionism Longstreet claims to oppose.

Because I apparently didn’t have enough better to occupy my time with tonight, I decided to conduct a closer examination of this post.  Click on through to check out my findings – if you dare: Read the rest of this entry »

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