Category: Free Speech

Mitt vs. The Donald: The Donald Loses

By , March 3, 2016 10:49 am

I Have No Tolerance for Zero Tolerance

By , December 31, 2014 8:59 am

Here are 10 reasons why.

Cute Kittens and Lying Memes

By , November 30, 2014 8:31 pm

Posted without just one comment: If it weren’t for memes and kittens, there would be no Facebook. The menace of memes: how pictures can paint a thousand lies

Cross posted at GregoryTaggart.com

Why I Post What I Post

By , March 3, 2014 1:17 pm

In light of my recent posts on Arizona SB1062, the bill that Gov. Brewer vetoed the other day, I feel I need to be clear: I don’t hate gays or lesbians. I am not a homophobe. As the saying goes, I have friends (and relatives) who are gay or lesbian. I wish them well and, for the most part*, support them in their quest for equal rights. My religion challenges me to love all people. I try to do that. Most of the time I succeed.

No, my posts—and posts like them on other subjects—come from a deep-seated belief in the value of religious liberty and from an ongoing frustration with those on the left who label my side, the conservative/religious side, “haters,” “deniers,” “misogynists,” “fascists,” “homophobes,” and “racists,” among other things. I know in my heart that I’m none of those things, and I’m confident that all or the vast majority of the conservatives/religious people I know are not. Thus, I’ve made up my mind to push back whenever I see those on the other side of an argument cavalierly throw around such evil epithets posing as reasoned argument.

I want to stress the word “cavalierly.” I am not a Pollyanna. I realize there are people–people on both sides of the aisle–who are, in fact, haters, deniers, misogynists, fascists, homophobes, and racists. When they act out on those traits, they should be called out. That said, it seems that the best way to do that is on a case-by-case basis rather than to label an entire groups of people unfairly and, generally, for political purposes.

That is all.

*I support traditional marriage, again not out of any animus towards the LBGT community but out of a belief in the nature and purpose of marriage that I won’t go into here. I do support civil unions.

Cross posted to GregoryTaggart.com.

Another Headline that Doesn’t Deliver

By , September 4, 2013 11:26 am

I am not an Obama fan. Never have been. But neither am I a fan of headlines and taunts that promise one thing and deliver another. Case in point, the headline at this link and the text beneath it. Compare them with what the President says in the video at the same link.

Note how he even refers to the press conference in which he originally talked about the red line: “When I said, in a press conference, that my calculus about what’s happening in Syria would be altered by the use of chemical weapons . . . ”

Only someone who willfully tries to misunderstand what Obama is saying in that video–the press conference in Sweden–could write the headline and accompanying text. In short, the claims at the link are bald face lies.

Folks, we’re in serious times. We’re at the brink of possible war. Lives are at stake. So, sure, hold the President accountable for what he says and does about Syria, but don’t make stuff up. Now is not the time to score political points based on a willful misunderstanding (aka misrepresentation) of what your political opponent says.

And yes, I’m fully aware that the current occupant of the White House and his sycophants in the media have done similar things to his opponents. Shame on all of them, red and blue.

Now, Now Guys . . .

By , August 27, 2013 11:24 am

So I was involved in a little tit for tat last night and this morning on Facebook. Kind of a he said, he said thing, only all our Facebook friends could read what he said about what I said and what I said about what he said and so on. And the rhetoric became heated as rhetoric can on Facebook.

And then a mutual friend who had been observing the back and forth spoke up.

Greg, Rodger. Please. You are both intelligent, thoughtful people, and my friends. I enjoy these discussions, but not this one.

And that’s all it took. I shut up (okay, I didn’t shut up, but I started posting about other things) and Roger went his way. And our little Facebook corner of the world was peaceful for a moment or two–or three. Who knows?

Which reminded me of one of my proudest moments as a father. My son David was a student at Timpview High School in Provo, Utah and a member of the track team. Among other things, he put the shot.

Well, one evening a bunch of parents and I were standing around the shot put area as our sons competed. Must have been 10 or more of us. And there was this kid in the ring, and he foot faulted and let loose a string of profanities.

Nobody said anything.

Next time he was in the ring, same thing. Foot fault, profanity–F-words, S-words, and other words.

Nobody said a thing.

Next time, same fault, same flurry. But this time someone finally had had enough.

David. My son. He called the kid on his language. Told him to clean it up or go home.

And that was that. Peace reigned in our little corner of the world for a moment or two–or three. Who knows?

The power of one. In most circumstances, that’s all the power we need.

Silent Cal Speaks Up about The Declaration of Independence

By , July 4, 2013 7:24 pm

The more I read about Calvin Coolidge, the more I like him. Next on my reading list is Amity Shlaes’s biography, Coolidge. But for good reading on this special day, his speech commemorating the 150th anniversary of The Declaration of Independence is worthy of your time and thought, especially this paragraph.

About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.

Happy 4th of July!

Let’s Just Cut Down Some of the Trees. One Tree Actually. That Big One Over There.

By , December 31, 2012 12:40 pm

Is “Giv{ing] Up on the Constitution” on your list of resolutions for 2013? It’s on Louis Michael Seidman’s.

I get his point, and I disagree with it. I like that the Constitution has been a drag on powerful presidents, finger-in-the-wind senators, a sometimes capricious judiciary, and an often fired-up citizenry. It had its flaws in the past, has others even now, but the Constitution also has mechanisms to correct those problems. It’s also worth mentioning that the Constitution has little or no bearing on much of what passes for law nowadays. In other words, not every legal issue is a constitutional issue.

In any case, to Professor Seidman, I’d respond with the words of Robert Bolt–through the mouth of Sir Thomas Moore–in his play A Man For All Seasons:

More [to his soon-to-be son-in-law William Roper]: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ‘round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?
This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down (and you’re just the man to do it!), do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

Even Mr. Seidman acknowledges some good things in our Constitution: free speech, equal protection, things like that. He’d like to keep them. And so would I. But how secure would those rights be without a Constitution? Not very, I worry. They’re under attack even now. Fish in a barrel they’d be if we amended the Constitution out of existence.

Problem Solved!

By , December 21, 2012 8:18 am

If you read one thing (no, 850 things, actually) read the reviews of the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer on Amazon and let the holiday cheer begin!

Banana_2012-12-21_0814

The first two are priceless.

No More Winning for You, Mr. Banana!
For decades I have been trying to come up with an ideal way to slice a banana. “Use a knife!” they say. Well…my parole officer won’t allow me to be around knives. “Shoot it with a gun!” Background check…HELLO! I had to resort to carefully attempt to slice those bananas with my bare hands. 99.9% of the time, I would get so frustrated that I just ended up squishing the fruit in my hands and throwing it against the wall in anger. Then, after a fit of banana-induced rage, my parole officer introduced me to this kitchen marvel and my life was changed. No longer consumed by seething anger and animosity towards thick-skinned yellow fruit, I was able to concentrate on my love of theatre and am writing a musical play about two lovers from rival gangs that just try to make it in the world. I think I’ll call it South Side Story.

Saved My Marriage
What can I say about the 571B Banana Slicer that hasn’t already been said about the wheel, penicillin, or the iPhone…. this is one of the greatest inventions of all time. My husband and I would argue constantly over who had to cut the day’s banana slices. It’s one of those chores NO ONE wants to do! You know, the old “I spent the entire day rearing OUR children, maybe YOU can pitch in a little and cut these bananas?” and of course, “You think I have the energy to slave over your damn bananas? I worked a 12 hour shift just to come home to THIS?!” These are the things that can destroy an entire relationship. It got to the point where our children could sense the tension. The minute I heard our 6-year-old girl in her bedroom, re-enacting our daily banana fight with her Barbie dolls, I knew we had to make a change. That’s when I found the 571B Banana Slicer. Our marriage has never been healthier, AND we’ve even incorporated it into our lovemaking. THANKS 571B BANANA SLICER! Banana slicer…thanks to you, I see greatness on the horizon.

And then there is this product insight:

Angle is Wrong
I tried the banana slicer and found it unacceptable. As shown in the picture, the slices is curved from left to right. All of my bananas are bent the other way.

Who Should You Trust? Certainly Not the Headlines.

By , December 13, 2012 8:59 am

Instapundit sports the following post today:

Instapundit_Strangle_2012-12-13_0844
Click on the link, and you find yourself on the Forbes website, with an article of the same title as Instapundit’s link:

Harvard_Strangle_2012-12-13_0847

Trouble is, you’ll read in vain to find anything in the article that says Harvard is strangling satire, likewise in the Harvard Crimson article the Forbes’ article links to. Upset about the satire in question? Yes. Calling people in to question them about who carried out the satire? Yes. Strangling? Hardly. That may come, campus speech codes being what they are, but in this case, it hasn’t yet. In any case, isn’t that the intent of satire, to goad superiors and stir up the masses?

Beyond satire, there’s a lesson in this: Don’t trust headlines. Typically authors don’t write them. Apparently, headline writers are often more interested in being provocative than they are in being accurate. And unfortunately, sometimes they (or their publications) have an agenda, one that relies on you and me to read no further than the headline and one or two paragraphs.

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