Wolf Pangloss's Fish Taco Stand

"But, reverend father," said Candide, "there is horrible evil in this world."

"What signifies it," said the Dervish, "whether there be evil or good? When his highness sends a ship to Egypt, does he trouble his head whether the mice on board are at their ease or not?"

"What, then, must we do?" said Pangloss.

"Hold your tongue," answered the Dervish.

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Location: Edge City, Titan

11 October 2007

Why Are Conservative Women Getting Smeared?

Since the Bill Clinton inspired, George Soros funded MoveOn.ORG smeared General David Petraeus with an unusually inexpensive full page ad in the New York Times, the Hillary Clinton founded, George Soros funded, neocommunist propaganda organ Media Matters has had a successful couple of weeks getting its smears of non-Leftist commentators out into the marketplace of ideas. Bill O'Reilly, who is not all that conservative but more of an verbal street fighter, was viciously attacked over a clumsy and weird sounding comment about Sylvia's Restaurant. Rush Limbaugh, was smeared over the Phony Soldiers comment. Now the female conservative pundits are getting their turn in front of the Left's spittoon. Ann Coulter is under fire for speaking her Christian beliefs. Michelle Malkin is under fire for opposing SCHIP and doing reporting that the biased media won't.

The Ann Coulter Thing
I respect Aussie Dave a lot so it was a surprise to see him angry and torqued up about the Ann Coulter issue. Here is a partial transcript from the October 8 episode of The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch (more at Aussie Dave's site)
DEUTSCH: Let me ask you a question. We’re going to get off strengths and weakness for a second. If you had your way, and all of your — forget that any of them –

COULTER: I like this.

DEUTSCH: — are calculated marketing teases, and your dreams, which are genuine, came true having to do with immigration, having to do with women’s — with abortion — what would this country look like?

COULTER: It would look like New York City during the Republican National Convention. In fact, that’s what I think heaven is going to look like.

DEUTSCH: And what did that look like?

COULTER: Happy, joyful Republicans in the greatest city in the world.

DEUTSCH: No, no, no, no, but I’m talking about this country. You don’t want to make this country — it’s not about Republicans. I’m saying, what would the fabric of this country look like? Forget that the Republicans would be running the show.

COULTER: Well, everyone would root for America, the Democratic Party would look like [Sen.] Joe Lieberman [I-CT], the Republican Party would look like [Rep.] Duncan Hunter [R-CA] –

DEUTSCH: No, no, no, I don’t want — I’m not talking about politically the landscape. What would our — would we be safer? Would people be happier? Would they be more –

COULTER: We would be a lot safer.

DEUTSCH: Would there be more tolerance? Would there be — would women be happier, would the races get along better? The Ann Coulter subscription — prescription. What — tell me what would be different in our fabric of country, because –

COULTER: Well, all of those things.

DEUTSCH: — I can give — I can give you an argument there would be more divisiveness, that there would be more hate –

COULTER: Oh, no.

DEUTSCH: — that there would be a bigger difference between the rich and the poor, a lot of other — tell me what — why this would be a better world? Let’s give you — I’m going to give you — say this is your show.

COULTER: Well, OK, take the Republican National Convention. People were happy. They’re Christian. They’re tolerant. They defend America, they –

DEUTSCH: Christian — so we should be Christian? It would be better if we were all Christian?

COULTER: Yes.

DEUTSCH: We should all be Christian?

COULTER: Yes. Would you like to come to church with me, Donny?

It goes on from there. I think you can see where this is going. Deutsch bugged Coulter, who was trying to be diplomatic, to truthfully state her beliefs so that he could express outrage at her for her faith.

And Aussie Dave didn't like it.
A number of commenters and other bloggers do not see the big deal with Coulter’s comments, nor why I should find them offensive. I find them offensive because they are offensive to any non-Christian. She has every right in the world to believe what she wants. But she deserves to be criticized for uttering such insensitive things.

Even if what she said is an accurate representation of Christian theology, saying this in a public forum is no less insensitive or offensive to non-Christians.

Don’t get me wrong. The Ann Coulters of the world are not the big threat to our freedoms and way of life. But that fact does not preclude her being deserving of criticism. After all, there’s a difference between feeling offended and feeling threatened.

Ann Coulter is a big girl and she can defend herself. But I can't help sticking up for someone who I believe to be unfairly attacked. My response is:

Judaism is a religion for one chosen people who must obey the Law perfectly to reach Paradise. Jews do not proselytize. Gentiles have a hard time converting. Christianity, on the other hand, is a universal religion, following the theology of the Son of God and a Jewess, that offers salvation and Paradise to everyone who believes and acts in good faith. The religion is built on Jewish foundations but it offers salvation to Jews and gentiles alike. When it first started it was a Jewish sect that only tried to save Jews. Christianity quickly expanded its outreach to gentiles as well as Jews. You should not feel insulted that Christians see Jews the same way they see gentiles. Practically speaking, it's not like Christians are going to impose dhimmi status on you. Christians want you to enjoy the benefits of Christianity, not least because salvation is achievable by imperfect humans in Christianity, but almost never achievable if the Mosaic Law must be obeyed perfectly for an entire lifetime.

Ann Coulter was asked a question about her personal beliefs. She was hounded into going beyond the inoffensive answer she gave first. So she responded truthfully with Christian beliefs and Deutsch became outraged that he didn't like the answer he hounded her to get. He continued to hound and twist everything she said to make her sound as bad as possible. As if he didn't expect to hear what he heard. He's dishonest. Now people are bothered because he hounded her into honestly explaining her Christian beliefs. Good grief! Life is too short to get mad at BS like this.

To those who, like Aussie Dave, take offense: Perhaps you are saying that Christians should stop believing the Word of God because it bothers you. Or perhaps they should just never tell you truthfully what they believe, even if you hound them to get a truthful answer. Neither of these are going to happen, and you might as well get used to it. Certainly Ann Coulter is not going to hide her candle under a bushel basket, especially when she is being pressed by a hostile interviewer.

The Michelle Malkin Thing

In a rare veto, George W. Bush rejected the 140% increase in SCHIP that both houses passed last week. The Democrats paraded out a brother and sister who were injured in an automobile accident and helped by SCHIP. Media and the leftosphere were swayed by the emotionally compelling story of these injured children. Congressional Republicans were silent. Since no media had done any reporting on the Frost family, the rightosphere filled in the blanks. They were promptly accused of smearing the Frost kids. Michelle Malkin was then blamed for the comments on her site, and has become the focus of a great amount of leftist bile.

I found on a site that is usually pretty intelligent a typical rant that begins like this.
Via This Modern World, I ran across a story that seems to have been generating an enormous amount of angry ranting in the right-wing assholosphere.

Classy. When a post starts like that the reader can tell a rant is on the way.

There is a moment of clarity:
Democrats invited a 12-year-old boy, Graeme Frost, to deliver their response to the president's weekly radio address.

Now, I have my own qualms about this kind of emotive political message-making: I don't know why rational adults can't have a reasonable discussion about social policy without having to push the sympathy button.

But then gets back to blaming it all on Republicans.
Right wing bloggers have been harassing the Frosts, calling their home numerous times to get information about their private lives.

One of those apparent blogger-stalkers, it seems, is someone called Michelle Malkin, who has gone probing around the Frosts' property and who, at her blog, makes all kinds of unfounded speculations about them. I've never heard of her before but she's a nasty piece of work, and undoubtedly for this reason she seems to have become some kind of right-wing super blogger. And part-time cheerleader. Or something.

Summing up...
Apparently, the only thing the far-right can come up with in fighting this issue is to launch a scummy personal attack on a family and indulge in a lot of back-patting self-aggrandisement that seems to have resulted more from reading Atlas Shrugged than paying much attention to reality.

Substantive. NOT. More like ad hominem attacks.

I replied:

Here's the problem with your rant. The Frosts are already eligible to receive SCHIP assistance. The changes were intended to roughly double the funding of SCHIP. The Frosts were really irrelevant to the question of whether to raise funding. It makes sense to do some reporting about SCHIP so that people can know whether to ask their representatives to support the increase or not. That is after all the raison d'etre of representative government, no? Participation based on knowledge of the facts?

Since the newspapers and television were not doing any reporting on the Frost family, who placed themselves front and center in the debate for their own reasons, it fell to bloggers to do the reporting. Malkin did not stalk the family. She drove past their house (in a part of town where most houses sell for about a half million) once to see what it looked like from the outside so she could report on its rough value. Not a half million house, she reported. She talked to someone at or near the dad's place of business. He's having financial difficulties and the person she talked to is a rabid Marxist, she reported. That's it. I cannot speak for others who may have called the family at all hours. That's one of the rotten irritations that comes with sudden fame.

This family made about $45,000 last year. The average American family makes about $50,000 a year. They are barely under the average yearly income. And they already qualify for SCHIP. Yet the democrats want to double the spending on SCHIP. Who will benefit then? This is a valid question. And the answer is that more than poor kids will benefit. SCHIP has no asset testing. And it counts 25 year olds as kids. If a 25-year-old living on his own has millions of dollars in a trust that is appreciating at a million dollars a year, but has a declared taxable income of $15,000, then he is already eligible for SCHIP. He doesn't have to buy insurance. The state will give it to him with money taken from people who are poorer than he is. People who buy their own insurance with their own money. People who take responsibility for their own life. With the funding doubling, the opportunity for this kind of gaming the system gets even worse. If the funding doubles, most likely the average American family will now be eligible for SCHIP. The result will be that employers will drop their employees' children from insurance rolls and throw them on the mercy of the government, which is funded by taxpaying people who have their own financial issues. This puts the average American parent in the position of having one insurance plan for self and spouse and a different insurance plan with much more red tape for children, plus when the wife gets pregnant all her care gets thrown to the government insurance. Plus the average American is paying taxes (as the smoker tax won't be sufficient) plus a handling fee to the government to provide this hellish separate and unequal insurance plan for their children. The result will be worse care for children and pregnant women than for adults who are employed.

The revenue stream that is supposed to fund this growth in the program is also worth studying. The plan is to add $.65 a pack to cigarette taxes and raise other tobacco taxes by some 1200% (12 times). Is that revenue stream going to be steady, or is it likely to dip once the punitive taxes take hold? And who will pay? The overwhelming majority of smokers in the US make little enough money that their children would already be eligible for SCHIP if they had them. The limits for SCHIP will go up if funding goes up. The government is taking money from poor people to give it to less poor people, while skimming a handling fee off the top. Now is this a sensible plan? What happens when tobacco taxes don't pull in enough money? It comes out of the general fund. In other words, there is no clever way to fund this without raising the deficit. Thus the increase in the program needs to be evaluated on the basis of the increased program, not the chimera of clever taxation.

And that takes us back to doubling the program and splitting the insurance coverage in average American families with the kids getting the short end of the stick. Plus increasing the lure for trust fund babies and millionaires to shelter their earnings so they don't have to buy their own insurance. But haven't we already been over this ground? Isn't this the reason why lowering the tax rates increased tax revenues, when people with money stopped sheltering income and simply paid the tax that they believed was now fair? Plus they put their money into more productive investments and made the economy, and their own situation, more efficient. Result being growth.

I haven't even gotten into the reason why an emergency appendectomy in the Bahamas costs $3,000 while one in the USA costs $23,000. Hint: Lawyers such as John Edwards.

The bottom line is that SCHIP is a complex issue. It needed to be reported on truthfully. It wasn't. It was reported on as a Marxist class struggle, with emotional appeals. Bloggers filled in the blanks. You have been getting the emotional appeal of proponents without any facts to ground them. If you hadn't responded to the emotion then you wouldn't be a good person. But now that you know a little more about the facts, perhaps you can see where the emotions were truthful and where they were a swindler's ruse.

He responded by calling me a troll and archly fisking my comment.

That is the state of bipartisan debate in 2007.


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Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.

                Matthew 7:15-16