Friday, November 27, 2015
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D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

There is Nothing Correct About "Political Correctness" -- It's Really Political Intimidation


November 19, 2015 --

Consider, first, the following examples of our transformed national mindset as suggested by recent events on college campuses.

Thomas Jefferson, in his First Inaugural Address, called for tolerating "error of opinion...where reason is left free to combat it." It seems, to LPR, that Jefferson's counsel has been tossed aside for this: Where correct opinion has been determined, dissent is error and cannot be tolerated.

In years past, this cry could be heard at children's playgrounds: "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never harm me."

Today, LPR believes, "names" are considered as harmful, if not more, than sticks and stones.

Once, it could be said that the freedom to swing a fist ends where another person's face begins.

Today, add to that the following: someone's freedom of speech ends where another person's sensitivity begins.

Mark Twain wrote this in his notebook: "Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense." In our transformed nation, irreverence creates unsafe spaces and must surely be suppressed.

Roger Kimball, discussing recent moves against free speech at Yale and the University of Missouri, in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, November 14-15 "The Rise of the College Crybullies" -- referred to "the mendacious gospel of political correctness, according to which reality must take second place to ideology." For LPR, the adjective "mendacious" placed next to the term "political correctness" suggests an oxymoron. Something that is "correct," after all, is free of error. How can something that is free of error be mendacious?

LPR agrees with Mr. Kimball that ideology, not reality, guides the adherents of the political correctness gospel. But what is the aim of those laboring in the groves of political correctness if not to silence dissenting views as error that cannot be tolerated? Kimball concludes his op-ed by citing Aristotle's emphasis on "courage" as "the most important virtue, because without it you cannot practice the others." Kimball added: "Courage has been in short supply on American campuses." LPR would add that courage has also been in short supply in Washington, D.C., where the Republican leadership in Congress has capitulated in "cringing" manner -- borrowing an image from the Kimball piece describing the Yale administration's response to student demands--to the forces of leftist ideology or, stated differently, to political intimidation.

"A vote that represents free will is never wasted"
-- David Zukerman

Red Line

Shouldn't France Take the Lead? And How About the United Nations?

November 19, 2015 --

U.S. media reaction to the November 13 terror attacks in Paris --that is to say, on French soil -- included calls for President Obama to act against ISIS.

New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin has called on the president to act or resign. French President Francois Hollande has termed the terror attacks an "act of war" and has vowed that France will be "pitiless" in responding to ISIS. He has asked the United States and Russia to cooperate in the war with ISIS. Some time ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that the Obama administration work with Moscow to combat ISIS.

With news of an Obama-Putin meeting in Turkey, November 15, LPR thought that the president decided, finally, to reject the counsel of Russophobes in his administration and join Putin in fighting ISIS. Still, it was in Ankara, April 6, 2009, that the president, addressing the Turkish parliament, said: "The United States is not, and will never be, at war with Islam." He reiterated this statement in his speech at Cairo University, June 4, 2009. In Cairo, however, President Obama added that the United States "will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security." (On August 20, 2014, President Obama, in a statement on the barbaric beheading by ISIS of U.S. journalist James Foley, indicated that his administration will do what is necessary "to protect our people. We will be vigilant and we will be relentless." After making this statement, the President went off for a round of golf.)

If President Obama is reluctant to accept President Hollande's call for the United States and Russia to joint the anti-ISIS coalition, is it because he does not regard ISIS as a threat to U.S. security -- or is it that he is concerned about giving the appearance of being at war with Islam?

The terror attack on France was barbaric. But this is not the first instance of atrocious conduct from ISIS forces, merely the latest. Where has the United Nations been, since ISIS took control of large areas of Iraq and Syria, acting ruthlessly and contrary to all norms of civilized behavior: murdering prisoners, killing non-Muslims who would not convert to Islam, enslaving women. Until now, has the UN Security Council determined that ISIS is not a threat to international peace? Is the United Nations concerned only with demands from the Palestinian Authority to pressure Israel into submission? Where is the international consensus on putting an end to ISIS?



Red Line

Avoiding Reality

November 19, 2015 --

Hillary Rodham Clinton, at the Democratic presidential debate, November 14, refused to declare that we are at war with "radical Islam." She said, "I think we are at war with Jihadists."

LPR would inquire: what is the concept of "jihad" if not an expression of "radical Islam?" "Radical" by one definition, means departure from the usual or traditional.

Why should candidate Clinton, President Obama -- anyone, have a problem with calling ISIS an expression of radical Islam. Is ISIS a departure from traditional Islam -- or isn't?


Red Line

Forsyth on the Current Situation

November 19, 2015 --

Bob McManus, writing in the New York Post, November 16, suggests that Frederick Forsyth's novel, "The Day of the Jackal," offers insight "how an international assassin goes about his work." For insight on how a jihadist murderer gets droned, see Forthsyth's "The Kill List."


Red Line

The New York Times Joins the Fight against ISIS

November 19, 2015 --

The New York Times, in its lead editorial, November 16 -- "What Will Come After Paris" -- declared, "The Islamic State must be crushed...."

The editorial, as LPR read it, lacked a sense of outrage towards the perpetrators of the coordinated acts of terrorism in Paris, November 13, murdering more than 130 people, injuring many others. The editorial did, however, express concern that "The terrorist attacks in Paris...would "intensif[y] the raucous xenophobia of far-right nationalists ever ready to demonize Muslim citizens, immigrants and refugees, and shut down Europe's open internal borders."

It is not clear to LPR, however, that the Times would crush ISIS by military means, or would prefer a bombardment of legal papers against ISIS forces.

LPR has no difficulty with the strong New York Times opposition to demonizing Muslims. LPR does wonder why The New York Times insists on demonizing conservatives -- and the government of Israel.

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Red Line

Another Jefferson Thought From His First Inaugural, March 4, 1801

November 19, 2015 --

(Recommended to Republican presidential candidates, as it would likely be of no interest on the Democrat side)

"[A] wise and frugal Government, which shall refrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned."


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November 19, 2015 --

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