Archive for July 23rd, 2012

Profile in Folly

July 23, 2012

 

I came across this opinion piece in the Houston Chronicle, which grants John McCain a profile in courage for his opposition to an investigation of Huma Abedin, a Deputy Chief of Staff for Hilary Clinton who may have some links to the Muslim Brotherhood.

In the 1950s, Sen. Joe McCarthy and other paranoid anti-communists saw Reds under the bed – and in the State Department. Today a fringe group of conservatives believes similarly that Islamic fundamentalists have infiltrated the deepest recesses of the American government.

In refuting such an aspersion made by Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., against a State Department official, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has struck a profile in courage that should encourage other conservatives to distance themselves from crackpot conspiracy theories.

On Wednesday McCain defended Huma Abedin, a Muslim-American who serves as deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. In a letter to the inspector general of the State Department, Bachmann and four other Republican representatives had warned that Abedin, a longtime Clinton aide, “has three family members – her late father, her mother and her brother – connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations.” The letter was one of five sent to inspectors general of various agencies citing “serious security concerns” about Muslim Brotherhood penetration.

Now, as it happens, those paranoid anti-Communists were absolutely correct. There really were Communists in the State Department who really were spying for the Soviet Union and really were trying to influence policy. Joe McCarthy was right. The problem with Sen McCarthy was that he was something of a bully and a buffoon who brought discredit on a very important cause. After fall of the Soviet Union, the KGB archives were briefly opened for inspection and McCarthy and others have been vindicated. If anything, US counter-intelligence agencies were not paranoid enough.

The Soviet Union is gone and China is trying to become, well whatever China is trying to become, not doctrinaire Communist at any rate. We have nothing to fear from Communism anymore. This does not mean we have no enemies. As incredible as it may seem, there really are people in the world who hate America and seek to do us harm. Where would I get such a crazy idea?

 

I can’t imagine.

The Muslim Brotherhood is an organization dedicated to setting up Sharia Islamic rule wherever they can. They are close to gaining power in Egypt, and other Middle-Eastern nations, and they do not like the United States. They are smarter than al-Qaeda, though, and while they are willing to use violent terrorism when necessary, they are aware that violence is often counter-productive, especially in Western countries. Therefore, many members of the Muslim Brother prefer to use what they call “stealth jihad”, that is slowly and quietly gaining control of a country’s institutions with the ultimate aim of imposing Shariah.

It might be easy to dismiss this, and the Muslim Brother does not have the resources or sophistication that the Communists had. Fewer well educated Westerners are likely to become enamored with an Islamist organisation than they were with various Communist Parties. Still, it would be foolish to ignore the very real threat that the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists pose. Perhaps as foolish as pretending that the Soviets were no threat.

Numa Abedin apparently has relatives who are members of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is likely that she herself has no Islamist sympathies but it is not paranoid or foolish to investigate the matter, nor is it being an islamophobe (whatever that is exactly) to suggest that anyone with connections with an organization hostile to the United States not be permitted access to any classified material. John McCain is not being courageous here. he is being a fool.
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Rush Limbaugh & Elton John BFFs?

July 23, 2012

 

 

According to this article I read in Politico, Rush Limbaugh and Elton John have formed a rather unlikely friendship.

To the shock of many (given the gap in their political ideologies), Elton John performed at Rush Limbaugh’s wedding in 2010 and, in a new interview with USA Today, the performer opened up about his friendship with the conservative talk show host.

John’s hope of eroding stigmas has led him into some unlikely alliances. After he agreed to perform at Limbaugh’s wedding in 2010, the two men bonded over music and formed a friendship, despite Limbaugh’s conservative views.

“He sends me the loveliest e-mails,” said John. “What I get from Rush privately and what I get from Rush publicly are two different things. I’m just trying to break him down.”

So is the on-air Limbaugh just an act? The interview seems to suggest that. Traci Watson, who conducted the interview for USA Today, writes John believes that “his friend Rush Limbaugh doesn’t truly oppose gay marriage.”

Why is it so hard to imagine that two men with different politics can nevertheless respect one another and even be friends? Why is it so easy to assume that anyone who has differing opinions must be evil incarnate. Judging from the reader comments, there are far too many people who put politics above everything else, especially simple decency. This seems to be more of a problem on the Left than on the Right, perhaps because for many on the Left politics is a sort of substitute religion.

 

Chick-FIl-A Bullied

July 23, 2012

 

One of the reasons that I have opposed same-sex marriage, aside from the absurdity of the issue, is that I am certain that the activists supporting same-sex marriage will not be content with legalizing it but will insist that everyone, including churches, support it. I believe that churches which refuse to recognize same-sex marriage or to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, in other words denominations which uphold Biblical, Christian teachings, will find themselves harassed and bullied until they give in.

With the exception of the Church of Latter-Day Saints over proposition 8 in California, and the Roman Catholic Church in general, this has not happened, yet. But if you look at the trouble that fast-food restaurant Chick-Fil-A is in because its president and CEO Dan Cathy is opposed to same-sex marriage and does not happen to believe that homosexuality is the most wonderful thing ever. Keep in mind that no one has accused Chick-Fil-A of refusing service of discriminating against anyone. This is only about their political and religious opinions.

First, Jim Henson’s company has severed all business relations with Chick-Fil-A.

Last Friday, the company behind beloved shows such as “Fraggle Rock,” “Labyrinth,” and “The Muppets,” severed ties with Chick-Fil-A due to the fast food chain’s CEO’s opposition to same sex marriage.

According to “Muppets” fan site ToughPigs.com, The Jim Henson Company had partnered with Chick-Fil-A to feature Jim Henson’s Creature Shop toys — “essentially a plastic tube with cut-out features for customizing your own puppet” — in their kid’s meals from mid-July until August 18th.

However, on Friday, the Jim Henson Company posted the following statement to their Facebook page:

The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-Fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors. Lisa Henson, our CEO is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD.

It would seem that the Jim Henson company’s celebration of diversity and inclusiveness does not include celebrating and including diverse opinions. If you do not toe the politically correct line, than they won’t do business with you.

I can’t actually argue with this decision of the Jim Henson Company. They are a private business and are free to associate with whoever they want. It is a different matter when a government official discriminates against a business or person because of their opinions. Such is the case with the mayor of Boston.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino is vowing to block Chick-fil-A from bringing its Southern-fried fast-food empire to Boston — possibly to a popular tourist spot just steps from the Freedom Trail — after the family-owned firm’s president suggested gay marriage is “inviting God’s judgment on our nation.”

“Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion,” Menino told the Herald yesterday.

“That’s the Freedom Trail. That’s where it all started right here. And we’re not going to have a company, Chick-fil-A or whatever the hell the name is, on our Freedom Trail.”

Chick-fil-A has been swept up in a growing national controversy over company president Dan Cathy’s remarks questioning gay marriage and lauding the traditional family.

Chick-fil-A did not respond to multiple requests for comment. But the company released a statement yesterday saying it has a history of applying “biblically-based principles” to managing its business, such as closing on Sundays, and it insisted it does not discriminate.

“The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender,” the statement read. “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

But that isn’t cutting the mustard with Menino. He said he plans to fire off a letter to the company’s Atlanta headquarters “telling them my feelings on the matter.”

If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult — unless they open up their policies,”he warned.

He is not going to deny Chick-Fil-A a license because their business does not comply with the appropriate health and sanitary ordinances, but because he does not happen to agree with the opinions of their CEO. This is a gross abuse of power on the mayor’s part. Anyone who supports this action by Mayor Menino ought to consider that any power or privilege you grant to someone you support, can be used by someone you oppose. What if a mayor or governor announced that they would seek to prevent a “gay-friendly” company from doing business in their city or state. The same sort of people who cheer Mayor Menino on would have a fit. And yet, it works both ways.

Voltaire is supposed to have said, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it!”. The Jim Henson Company and Mayor Menino say rather,”I do not agree with what you say, and I will do my best to make your you don’t say it!”. These actions are nothing but shameful bullying meant to enforce politically correct opinions.

I can see, in the not too distant future, officials threatening to shut down, and people boycotting churches who do not agree to  same sex marriage. If they can harass a private businessman for merely stating his opinion, they will certainly harass churches. So much for freedom.

 


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