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.

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: Continue reading

Bias & Censorship at the Fond du Lac Reporter

Groups and websites like NewsReal and the Media Research Center do great work holding the big dogs of the mainstream media—the New York Times, CNN, the networks, NPR, etc.—accountable for lies and sleaze, but there is another manifestation of media bias that gets far too little attention: local media.  My mother, Peg Freiburger, recently wrote an editorial to our local paper, the Fond du Lac Reporter, about legislation giving Planned Parenthood greater influence in Wisconsin public schools.  The letter’s path to publication raises serious questions about the objectivity of America’s most influential newspapers.

It responds to a February 12 news report, yet wasn’t published until April 2.  That’s because Mom originally submitted it on Feb. 14 (the original version of the letter appears below the fold).  She waited until March 1 for it to be published or for reaction from the Reporter, which she never received, then emailed an inquiry about the letter’s status to Managing Editor Michael Mentzer.  No response.  She waited some more, then sent a second email to Mentzer on March 10.

Mentzer finally responded a couple days later via phone.  Incredibly, he claimed the editorial staff felt “uncomfortable” printing the allegations in her latest editorial, that she needed to provide more evidence, and that the line, “It is pathetic that in Fond du Lac we have a county health officer and a county board…” cut too close to slander and libel.

At Mentzer’s request, Mom resubmitted the letter on March 16, this time with a link for her every claim.  She did not hear back for the next several days, and resubmitted it on March 22.  On March 23, Mentzer responded, stating he hoped to run it in the next several days, though election letters had priority.  On April 2, it finally appeared—under the title, “Planned Parenthood makes money on birth control,” a name that conveniently downplays the letter’s main objections to Planned Parenthood, and the organization’s connection to Wisconsin public schools.

This is perhaps unsurprising, given that Mentzer has in the past advocated greater government power to punish those who “distort information” in public.  But since when do local newspapers in general, and the Fond du Lac Reporter in particular, vet or take responsibility for the content of independent opinions?

Answer: they don’t.  Personal attacks on private citizens, slanderous mischaracterizations of opponents’ beliefs and actions, and factual claims that range from demonstrably false to at least debatable have always run rampant in the Reporter.  This is to be expected—the very point of an opinion page is to represent all the points of view in a community, to let the readers duke it out amongst themselves.

Click here for many examples of what the Reporter has traditionally published; here are some of the most blatant rhetoric that goes far beyond the content of Mom’s letter, which the powers that be initially thought too objectionable to print:

Rea Dunca, 6/14/06“How are these people [opponents of same-sex marriage] different then from Muslims who blow up hundreds of people in the name of Allah?”

Leah Woodruff, 7/7/06“Just when it seems that Fond du Lac is accepting its growing diversity, people start writing racist letters directed toward hard-working, law-abiding citizens.” [In response to a 7/5/06 letter by Elizabeth Van Bommel, which argued not for racism, but against illegal immigration.]

Brent Schmitz, 8/8/06“Why then, does Mr. Fountain use the quote to try to force his religion on suffering and dying Americans who need the cures this research can provide?” [In response to Steve Fountain’s 8/4/06 letter, which argued against embryonic stem cell research using this quote, and making no reference to religion.]

Julie Labomascus, 9/10/06“I wish to thank the two ladies who wrote the letters about 1950s morals and the male/female union. Both of you probably intended these letters to be serious, but they were so full of inaccuracies that they were the funniest things I’ve read in a few weeks. Thank you again for the laughs.” [This is the letter in its entirety. The author makes no effort to demonstrate what inaccuracies she’s referring to.]

Peter Cloyes, 11/28/06“I have nothing but contempt for the parents who are trying to have the book [I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou] removed from the [Fond du Lac High School] curriculum. They are clearly moronic bigots.” [The parents objected to the book’s explicit rape scene, not its racial aspects.]

Call the opinions of local officials “pathetic,” and the editor gets cold feet.  But calling your fellow citizens bigots?  Accusing them of factual inaccuracies you don’t even list?  Comparing them to terrorists?  No problemo!

Mentzer’s “concerns” about this letter’s conduct seem like cheap excuses not to publish a strong conservative opinion about a serious local controversy, not a real, consistently-applied quality control policy.  Does he really mean to suggest that the Reporter fact-checks every single opinion piece it prints?  If this was the norm, very little would ever be published on newspaper opinion pages across the country!

It’s safe to say that many people who don’t read the New York Times, USA Today, or the Washington Post do read their local papers.  And who keeps an eye on them?  How often does bull like this go on nationwide?  If Mom hadn’t pestered Mentzer with follow-up emails, would her letter ever have seen the light of day?  How many conservative views are snuffed out because their authors are less persistent, or because newspaper editors are more bold in their censorship?

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”  Likewise, the apathy of the people is the Left’s best friend.  Media bias, educational indoctrination, corruption in local government, or leaders who disregard the interests and values of their community—it all happens and continues because inattentive, unconcerned populaces let the powerful get away with it.  And if all politics is local, then we can’t expect real, lasting change at the national level if we don’t open our eyes and demand standards in our own communities.

Continue reading

How Not to Argue Abortion (Updated)

I initially figured Capper was a shoe-in for the “Most Embarrassingly Self-Defeating Blogger in Wisconsin” Award—misattributing comments to people based on nothing but a first name, then digging in your heels when called on it seems pretty hard to top.  But we have a new contender for the crown: our old pal Scott Feldstein.

Veterans of Wisconsin blog debates know Scott well as a foul-mouthed, hypocritical leftist who would rather conjure up dishonest, unconvincing reasons for ignoring & dismissing opponents’ views rather than actually debating them.  In December, this charade devolved into an even more pitiful form: not only rationalizing why he shouldn’t believe his opponents’ claims, but fabricating reasons to suspect that his opponents don’t even believe their own beliefs!

His “reasoning” was—you’re gonna love this—pro-lifers don’t really see abortion as a human rights issue, because if they did, they’d all oppose abortion in rape/incest/life-of-mother cases, too, and they’d also support the sex-ed and condom distribution policies Scott likes; but because they don’t, it’s really all about controlling people’s sex lives.

Of course, Scott was confronted (by me and others) with credible arguments against all of this (by the way, here’s the latest counter-example to his anti-abstinence studies), but remained “skeptical.”  Mind you, he couldn’t offer any good reasons for his skepticism, but proceeded to flaunt the nonsense anyway, as if he’d done…well, something to prove any of it or refute his opponents’ objections.  As Allahpundit once said of Dingy Harry Reid, “like a two-year-old who’s just crapped on the carpet, he’s curiously proud of it.”

(Oh, and he also demanded to know what Planned Parenthood lied about, then when I told him exactly what Planned Parenthood lied about in painstaking detail, he ignored it for a hundred-something comments.  ‘Cuz he’s such a stickler for the truth.)

But it gets better, my friends.  Oh, does it get better.

This week, abortion came up once more on Boots & Sabers.  Allow me to quote verbatim, so we can all revel in the majesty that is Scott’s madness:

If you believe—as you say you do—that a 3 month fetus is the legal and moral equivalent of a toddler, then you would either a) be storming the abortion clinic like Rambo to kill the murderous individuals who work there, or b) you’re a pathetic coward who wouldn’t risk his life to save roomfuls of innocent children from death. Of course there is a third explanation: You do know that 3 month old fetuses are not the moral and legal equivalent of you and me.

So, lemme get this straight: unless you also believe in abandoning the political process and the rule of law and killing abortion doctors, you don’t really believe in an unborn baby’s right to life.

There’s really only one way to respond to that:

Make no mistake: These aren’t sincere questions that Scott would stop asking if only someone would give him a good answer.  He’s simply displaying a common tactic of left-wing hyper-partisanship: the need to attribute the beliefs of one’s opponents, no matter how sincere or well-argued, to any sort of ulterior motive other than the stated motivation, no matter how specious the evidence.

If Scott truly believes what he’s saying, then his ideology has so fully warped his mind that his capacity for rational, objective thought is completely gone.  But I suspect he does know better.  I think it’s all propaganda: he’s supporting a heinous practice, recognizes somewhat the odiousness of his position, and will throw out whatever he can to deflect moral judgment and make the other side the villains.  Indeed, he deployed this gem of a point as a way of not answering The Family Guy, who noticed he described abortion as “sad and distasteful,” and asked the obvious follow-up: “If it’s nothing more than a lump of tissue, then why is it sad? Are you sad when you have a wart removed? It too was alive.”

Either way…pitiful.

UPDATE: As if we needed another indicator of how messed up the left-wing, pro-abortion mind is, consider the following: Scott says that because humans develop incrementally, meaning that in the period between just-conceived zygote and just-delivered newborn, increasing moral consideration should go along with increasing complexity (he also voted for a guy who had a a problem with those just-delivered newborns, but I digress).  He also says that “a 12 week pregnancy can be terminated for any reason at all.”

Okay, so at 12 weeks, it must not be very developed or person-like, huh?  I mean, it’s not like it would have any of the biggies, like a heartbeat, a fully-formed brain, or the capacity to feel pain.

Oh, wait.  It has all of those things.

Something seems to have failed rather significantly in Scott’s efforts at drawing “reasonable” distinctions.  How do you think he’d respond to that?  If you guessed “dodge & deflect,” give yourself a cookie.

Pitiful.  And monstrous.

The Liberal Playbook: Gay Marriage

The Reporter has published my latest commentary on civil unions in Wisconsin, predictably bringing angry liberals out of the woodwork.  It’s interesting to note how predictable, one-note, and disinterested in what’s actually said, these guys generally are, and it’s important for conservatives to know what logical fallacies, sleights of hand, and personal attacks to expect when stepping into the ring with a liberal.

Take, for instance, the assumption that religion plays a leading role in my opinion, despite never being mentioned.  Liberal orthodoxy dictates that virtually no conservative opinion, especially on social issues, can possibly be held in good faith, so there must be an ulterior motive—in this case, hatred of gays and religious dogma.  Liberal orthodoxy further dictates that the slightest hint of religion (real or otherwise) in an opinion or discussion is something to be feared and immediately disqualified from consideration.

The other main objection is that, without civil unions, gays are denied equal rights.  I reject this premise entirely, for several reasons, the short version being just as I said in the article: “Many of the so-called rights gay couples are allegedly denied, such as hospital visitation and power-of-attorney related issues, are either already available to gays, easily achievable without creating new government relationship statuses, or were created to aid couples raising children on just one parent’s income, and are thus irrelevant to gay couples (as well as to dual-income straight couples).”  Moreover, I say “so-called rights” because most marriage benefits are not “rights” at all, but rather provisions offered as part of a contract.

I made clear that same-sex marriage was not the issue at dispute in my letter—the main topic was this measure’s constitutionality.  However, you’ll find that same-sex marriage advocates tend to struggle with the concept of “staying on topic,” and will completely skip your argument, instead jumping straight to why you’re evil for not supporting gay marriage.  If you refuse to let them change the subject and insist on staying on topic, you will be mischaracterized as either ducking the question or admitting defeat.

Regardless of whether or not you actually said anything demeaning towards homosexuals, no matter how much you insist you also want gay people to be able to visit their ailing partners in the hospital, you should still expect condescending lectures about how gays are people too, how homosexuality is predetermined (both propositions I accept, by the way…not that these armchair psychiatrists care), etc.  You will be psychoanalyzed with utter certitude, your opinions attributed to fear, hatred, or ignorance.  References to violence against gay Americans, black segregation, and even al-Qaeda will be thrown about with reckless abandon.

How do they know?  They just do.  They care, you don’t.  Bigot.

Also be prepared for raw hatred & childishness, such as casual references to “half-baked turd[s] of imflammatory mush” (this gem, incidentally, is from the author of the Daily Kos entry linked above, and once responded, badly, to another of my letters, noteworthy for its hypocrisy: she claims she doesn’t “want to write in anger.”).

You may even have outright lies told about you, and you may see long-simmering grudges boil over—bravely aired behind veils of anonymity, naturally.  “FDL54935” says:

Mr. Freiburger got his 15 seconds of fame since his parents went WAY overboard on a school issue. The man (Calvin) is one of the weakest writers in this community. If my sources are correct, he is barely making it through community college. I know times are tough and this is an issue that needs to be debated, but please limit editorials to those with an IQ over 75.

The issue to which our zip code refers is the case when a Fond du Lac High School teacher complained about my saying “God Bless America” over the school intercom, which the administration subsequently lied about.

Now, maybe Mr. Code was misled by news outlets that falsely reported my family was angry over the school’s speed in handling the matter, rather than their dishonesty.  Maybe he’s been lied to by propagandists whose sham reporting completely distorts the incident.  Then again, perhaps he’s the one doing the lying…after all, he’s angry enough about it to lie about my education, citing “sources” that probably don’t exist.  The real school I attend isn’t a community college, is nothing to sneeze at, and I think making Hillsdale’s Dean’s List for the second year in a row is a little better than “barely making it through.” (By the way, if you have the audacity to defend yourself by citing such facts, you can probably expect to be accused of bragging at some point, too.)

Hmm, it almost makes you wonder whether or not FDL54935’s got some kind of personal connection to the Fond du Lac School District…(crazy thought, I know.  The educational community is much too professional for that sort of thing, right?)

Hatred, anger, condescension, childishness, demonization, and persecution are all the rage (no pun intended) among the modern American Left, including the gay marriage movement.  For some liberals, I suspect, the root cause may be an insecure need for self-affirmation; for others, it is a manifestation of the liberal impulse to delegitimize opposing speech as soon as possible, to give it as little consideration as possible.  The Left wants to intimidate, not deliberate.

Don’t let them.  Don’t let yourself be shamed or silence by a movement that’s not exactly pure as the new-fallen snow itself.  Never apologize for believing that marriage matters.

Must-See Video: Steven Crowder Exposes CanadaCare

Pajamas Media’s own Steven Crowder takes a trip up north to get an up-close, undercover look at Canada’s nationalized health care to answer the big questions: Is it cheaper?  Is it more efficient?  Does it help people?

Er…not exactly.

His findings aren’t pretty, to say the least.  There’s a reason that, as Crowder pointed out, even “the father of Quebec medicare” has changed his views and now says the system is in a “crisis,” which he believes requires “a greater role to the private sector so that people can exercise freedom of choice” to alleviate.

Every American needs to see this video.  Share it with friends, family, anyone you can.  It’s accessible, comprehensive, and eye-opening—just what we need to cut through the Left’s spin and the media propaganda on the joys of socialization before they demolish health care on our side of the border.

Movie Review: “An American Carol”

Lots of conservatives (me included) got excited back when David Zucker’s An American Carol was announced.  As a fierce, openly conservative film from mainstream Hollywood talent, it sparked hopes that it could bring conservative messages to segments of the population the Right doesn’t normally reach and bring about a larger conservative presence in American pop culture.  Unfortunately, it didn’t do all that well commercially.  I’ve seen it a couple times now, and have some thoughts on what worked, and what went wrong.

To recap for those unfamiliar, An American Carol tells the tale of a sleazy, America-hating director who has been recruited by two bumbling al-Qaeda terrorists to produce a recruitment video, but the spirits of past American heroes (plus, uh, Trace Adkins) intervene to teach him some much-needed lessons about the price of liberty.  Will Michael “Malone” come to his senses in time to foil the jihadists’ latest plot?

An American Carol does a few things right.  For one, the casting is absolutely superb.  Kevin Farley looks just like Michael Moore, and perfectly captures the boorish, self-serving creep (albeit far more likeable than the real thing).  Chriss Anglin makes a great John F. Kennedy, both looking like the president and capturing his distinctive voice without descending into parody.  Kelsey Grammar’s portrayal of General George S. Patton is confident and cantankerous, and while it won’t dethrone George C. Scott’s legendary performance anytime soon, it doesn’t need to—this is a comedy, not a biopic.  Jon Voight delivers an outstanding, albeit criminally brief, performance of President George Washington that’s so somber and dignified that I’d love to see Voight star in a Washington biopic.  Robert Davi is strong as the jihadists’ ruthless leader, and his two bumbling underlings provide lots of laughs (“All the really good suicide bombers are gone!”)  The supporting cast does fine, Bill O’Reilly has a couple amusing appearances as himself, and there’s Leslie Nielsen.  If you don’t love Leslie Nielsen, there’s something wrong with you.  The likeable cast keeps the movie going even through some of the weaker jokes.

There are plenty of laughs to be had—this is from the guy behind Airplane! and the Naked Gun movies, after all.  Most of the best material revolves around the two Taliban twits, and my favorite part of the movie was a simply brilliant sequence involving zombies (I’ll say no more so as not to spoil it).  Funny one-liners abound, and, of course, it’s just not a Zucker movie until bad things happen to children with severe medical problems.  On the other hand, the idea of a musical number featuring a pack of hippies-turned-academics certainly has potential, but its execution soon becomes almost painful.

Unfortunately, the film’s effectiveness at conveying a message falls flat.  Often the caricatures of left-wing fallacies such as appeasement, academic indoctrination, and anti-Americanism are so clichéd, unsympathetic and over-the-top that they come across as wooden, transparent, and sometimes even juvenile.  The dialogue put in liberal mouths is often little more than left-wing bumper-sticker lines strung together, with the worst offenders being an early conversation about war between Malone and his military nephew, and a talk show where Rosie “O’Connell” pushes her crackpot theory that “radical Christianity is just as dangerous as radical Islam.”

These caricatures lack the subtlety and natural flair that superior political satirists like Paul Shanklin, the Onion, and (even to some degree) the writers on the Daily Show and Colbert Report have mastered (I think this was the same problem that plagued Fox News’ short-lived Half-Hour News Hour).  It’s easy to knock down a straw man, but it’s not effective—I didn’t find Malone’s conversion to patriotism convincing because I didn’t find the film’s arguments persuasive, and I doubt anyone who doesn’t already know the underlying principles and arguments would be persuaded either.  And aside from entertaining, wasn’t that the point—to get the other side of the story into mainstream entertainment?  Keeping that in mind, conservatives shouldn’t be discouraged by An American Carol’s lack of success.  It still remains to be seen how a truly excellent, openly conservative film would fare at the box office, one that better balances silliness and substance.

An American Carol isn’t a bad movie—strong performances and classic Zucker wit make it an enjoyable 83 minutes, and conservatives will get a kick out of how mercilessly it skewers all manner of left-wing idiocy.  But sadly, it fails to be significantly more than just that—a right-wing guilty pleasure.

Climate Change Dogmatists Circle the Wagons as the “Consensus” Unravels

Two recent pieces on global warming merit your attention.  First, Michelle Malkin covers the Obama EPA’s suppression of an internal report on increasing concerns “that EPA and many other agencies and countries have paid too little attention to the science of global warming. EPA and others have tended to accept the findings reached by outside groups…as being correct without a careful and critical examination of their conclusions and documentation.”  Why?  Because its “comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision.” So much for “an unprecedented level of openness in Government”…

Second, the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel sums up how the trumped up global warming consensus is collapsing all over the world:

In April, the Polish Academy of Sciences published a document challenging man-made global warming. In the Czech Republic, where President Vaclav Klaus remains a leading skeptic, today only 11% of the population believes humans play a role. In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to tap Claude Allegre to lead the country’s new ministry of industry and innovation. Twenty years ago Mr. Allegre was among the first to trill about man-made global warming, but the geochemist has since recanted. New Zealand last year elected a new government, which immediately suspended the country’s weeks-old cap-and-trade program.

The number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe now counts more than 700 scientists who disagree with the U.N. — 13 times the number who authored the U.N.’s 2007 climate summary for policymakers. Joanne Simpson, the world’s first woman to receive a Ph.D. in meteorology, expressed relief upon her retirement last year that she was finally free to speak “frankly” of her nonbelief. Dr. Kiminori Itoh, a Japanese environmental physical chemist who contributed to a U.N. climate report, dubs man-made warming “the worst scientific scandal in history.” Norway’s Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize winner for physics, decries it as the “new religion.” A group of 54 noted physicists, led by Princeton’s Will Happer, is demanding the American Physical Society revise its position that the science is settled. (Both Nature and Science magazines have refused to run the physicists’ open letter.)

The collapse of the “consensus” has been driven by reality. The inconvenient truth is that the earth’s temperatures have flat-lined since 2001, despite growing concentrations of C02. Peer-reviewed research has debunked doomsday scenarios about the polar ice caps, hurricanes, malaria, extinctions, rising oceans. A global financial crisis has politicians taking a harder look at the science that would require them to hamstring their economies to rein in carbon.

Be sure to read the whole thing.  There have always been more dissenters among scientists than dogmatic, angry lefties would have you believe.  Now that their house of cards is collapsing all around them, we can only expect them to get more shrill and defensive.

Standing Up to Pro-Abortion Persecution (Updated)

Unsurprisingly, the guy campaigning for an even more liberal GOP seems to be taking the side of the demagogues using George Tiller’s murder to savage and silence the pro-life movement.  First, he uncritically links to a Gawker post characterizing Bill O’Reilly’s coverage of the Tiller case as a “holy war” and “jihad.”  Then, he and the rest of New Majority’s editors lend credence to the pro-choice hate campaign, lecturing us that “a broader self-examination is called for if we wish to claim in good conscience that our hands are clean of the next victim’s blood.”

Sorry David, but my conscience is clean.  I’m not going to accept blame for conduct that I’ve always opposed, that I’ve never presented as legitimate, carried out by a man with a history of antigovernment fanaticism and possible mental illness long before he ever saw an episode of The O’Reilly Factor.  I’m not going to pretend abortion isn’t evil just because the Left demands it.

And neither should any other pro-lifers.  This is not the time to cower in a hole and wait for it all to blow over.  Because it will never blow over.  This is what the Left is—hateful, lying, and tyrannical to the core.  Deep down, most of ‘em know better, as my rundown of their blatant double-standards shows.  They will use anything they can do delegitimize challenging speech and destroy those with whom they differ.  Appeasing them (or their enablers like Frum) is an exercise in futility.

Instead, the pro-life movement should be turning the tables on their persecutors, making an issue of how disgraceful it is to blame millions of good-natured Americans for the actions of one man.  The best defense, in this case, is a good offense, aided by the fact that we have the truth on our side.

UPDATE, 7/7/10: The old New Majority links have been fixed.  They now link to the articles at FrumForum.

George Tiller Murdered, Libs ALREADY Using Death to Smear Pro-Lifers (Updated Hypocrisy Rundown)

George Tiller, the infamous Kansas abortionist (and old pal of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius), was murdered today at his church.  A suspect is in custody.  The pro-life community is denouncing the crime, as well they should—evil though George Tiller was, he was also a human being living in a nation of laws.  Vengeance is not the same thing as justice, and we simply cannot permit people to take the law into their own hands.  His murder was un-American, un-Christian, and certainly not pro-life.

That won’t stop the propagandists of the Left from using this crime to demonize the pro-life movement—indeed, scumbags on the Daily Kos and Huffington Post are already claiming this is indicative of a broader threat of right-wing, fundamentalist terrorism (thanks, Department of Homeland Security!).

What do the facts really show?  NARAL’s own statistics on pro-life violence (PDF link) cover both the United States and Canada during the time between 1977 and 2007.  According to them, there have been:

– 7 murders
– 17 attempted murders
– 41 bombings
– 171 arsons
– 82 attempted bombings & arsons
– 574 fake anthrax letters
– 92,000 “acts of disruption” such as bomb threats & harassing calls

Assuming none of the other cases were counted among the “acts of disruption,” that’s a grand total of 92,892 acts of pro-life extremism in two countries over three decades. That sounds like a lot, but consider the following. About 99% of the acts come from the “disruption” category, and we should question exactly what constitutes a “harassing call” in NARAL’s view—I highly doubt they only counted truly violent or uncivil calls; chances are there are quite a few in that number which only consisted of arguing abortion’s morality and/or offering to pray for their forgiveness. Say what you want about the productivity or decorum of such calls, but they certainly can’t be described as malevolent in any way. Also, NARAL puts the bomb-threat number at 596, which means the overwhelming majority of the pro-life extremism in general, and of the disruptions in particular, consists of lesser acts.

As for the incidents of actual violence and genuine threat, each is inexcusable & deplorable, and no pro-lifer should tolerate them in any way. The good news is, the fanatics make up only a tiny sliver of abortion foes—consider that Pro-Life Wisconsin alone boasts the support of 14,000 families (and that many pro-lifers only belong to one of a state’s multiple pro-life groups given their differences on things like rape exceptions), and that 51% of Americans call themselves pro-life, and the serious, honorable pro-life movement easily dwarfs the unhinged.

Besides, when was the last time a liberal decided that eco-terrorism or animal-rights extremism discredited the central arguments of the environmental or animal-rights movements?  How about how Muslims who flirt with violence reflect on claims of Islamophobia?

The truth is, none of this really matters to the Left.  After all, you can never let a good crisis go to waste.

Update: Predictably, Andrew Sullivan piles on, including implying that Bill O’Reilly is partially culpable (and, incredibly, denying he did anything of the sort just hours later), and the genocide lobbyists at NARAL lecture pro-lifers on the need to denounce the murder, regardless of the fact that they already have.  To his credit, Alonzo Fyfe does the right thing.  A couple of his readers, though…

Update 2: More extremism for which the Left has a different standard:

– The Black Panthers

– The Nation of Islam

– The utterly wretched Keith Olbermann

– The hate-filled antiwar protests of the Bush years

– The most unhinged of Proposition 8’s opponents

Rhetoric about killing President George W. Bush, including an entire movie devoted to the sick idea

– Left-wing violence against American soldiers (let me be clear: I am referring to the Flashback links Michelle Malkin has compiled, NOT to the man who killed a soldier today, whose motive we do not yet know)

Slashing tires to sabotage your opponents’ grassroots efforts

– Actor Alec Baldwin’s tirade about killing Rep. Henry Hyde and his family

– Vile cartoonist Ted Rall

– Columnist Julianne Malveaux saying, “I hope [Justice Clarence Thomas’s] wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter, and he dies early, like many black men do, of heart disease

– Sen. Ted Kennedy’s famous rant about “Robert Bork’s America”

– Then-Sen. Obama’s racial demagoguery on the campaign trail

– Charming blogger Amanda Marcotte in the employ of presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards

Wildeyed intolerance of global warming skeptics

The movement to abolish slavery had its share of violence, too.  For instance, John Brown famously advocated, and participated in, armed insurrection.  Yet somehow I don’t think anybody would take that fact as evidence that the slaves should never have been freed.

And lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that President Barack Obama’s statement about Tiller’s murder, in which he reminds us that “However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence,” comes from the same man who had no problem with unrepentant terrorist William Ayers.