Leftist hatred on display
By Bill O'Reilly
There is a chance that before this presidential election year is over, somebody is going to get hurt. Knowing that partisan hostility is boiling over in America, the Secret Service is tense because the candidates are exposed when they campaign in public. Hatred is definitely in the air, and the media is partially to blame.
The enormous success of the Fox News Channel has created a bitterness unprecedented in the American press. CNN has been dethroned as the cable news leader and NBC News, which runs two cable outlets, is far behind both Fox News and CNN in the ratings. Some estimates have Fox News making six times as much money as MSNBC. General Electric, which owns NBC, has seen its stock price remain stagnant for the past six years, a humbling fact for the corporate giant.
And then there is ideology. Traditionally, the so-called mainstream media has leaned left. Retired anchormen like Walter Cronkite and Tom Brokaw now openly discuss their liberal beliefs, and former CBS commentator Bill Moyers is a flat-out far-left zealot.
So it comes as no surprise that Fox News, which gives equal time to conservative thought, is despised by many in the liberal press. Not surprisingly, that hostility has now carried over into the political arena.
Last spring, the Democratic presidential candidates informed the public they would not participate in a debate sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus and Fox News. People like John Edwards and Governor Bill Richardson, who had frequently appeared on FNC and were treated well, suddenly informed the nation that the network was unfair and unbalanced. This blatant falsehood was stunning.
The reason the Democratic candidates boycotted Fox News was that the far-left Internet crazies told them to do it. Websites like the Daily Kos and Media Matters, which spit out anti-conservative hatred everyday, made it clear to the Democrats that anyone dealing with Fox would be punished. The creepy radical-left organization MoveOn.org, which raises serious money for liberal candidates, seconded the motion.
It is worth noting that the Republican presidential candidates have not played that game, appearing on ultra-liberal MSNBC and every other news network.
Anyway, I saw the anti-Fox hatred firsthand when I traveled to New Hampshire last week. Fox News vehicles have been vandalized, FNC correspondents cursed, and all Fox News personnel are cautious. Although the far-left nuts are generally the problem, some supporters of Congressman Ron Paul are also out of control.
At a campaign rally for Barack Obama, one of his staffers attempted to block a Fox News camera from photographing the Senator. This was a blatant assault on press freedom, and I had to remove the man from in front of the camera. You may have seen the pictures on TV. In the subsequent coverage of the story, not one media outlet criticized the Obama staffer-not one. Had he interfered with a CBS News crew, I believe the story would have been reported quite differently.
Senator Obama has been respectful to Fox News and the incident was not his fault. But the Senator and all the Democratic candidates should understand the unhealthy climate some of their supporters have created, and they should do everything they can to discourage this kind of garbage.
And here's the kicker: A recent study by George Mason University about the campaign thus far named one network which has been the fairest to all the candidates... Fox News.
A reader who drew my attention to the above column writes:
Before reading O'Reilly's short column, note that Tuesday while my friend and I were crossing the street in downtown Manchester, there was a group of young people holding political signs (don't recall whether it was Hillary or Obama) at the other side of the street. When we crossed and came near them, one said to us quite audibly in an ugly tone, "Fascists!" Our sin in their eyes? Well I'm not positive, but my friend was wearing a sports coat. Other than that, I can't place exactly what it might have been about us that might have brought forth this uncalled for outburst.
Leftists appear uncomfortable dealing with issues using thought, logic, facts and debate but rather prefer to strike out. My friend and I probably could have kicked their asses, but we just continued on our way.
Martin Luther King Jr.
By Bob Parks
As usual, Martin Luther King's birthday, liberals have distorted thus his message, in order to justify their ownership of his legacy. Let me be frank to the left in America: slavery is over. The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., doesn't belong to you. His words are his, and when you shape those words to fit your agenda, you're showing the disrespect expected but which will not go unanswered.
Last year, during a morning assembly in a Massachusetts school, kids obviously reciting the sentiments of their teachers claimed that the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was for, among other things, gay marriage. A couple of years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Alveda King, Martin Luther King's niece, who lived through the civil rights movement with her uncle. She understands him more than those who wish to usurp his message for their own agenda.
She once said, "If he would have championed gay rights today, he would have done it while he was here. There was ample opportunity for him to champion gay rights during his lifetime, and he did not do so. His daughter, Elder Bernice King has been recorded as saying, "I know in my sanctified soul that he did not take a bullet for same-sex marriage."
There are some other facts that must be taken into account. Now while some assume Dr. King must have been some kind of Marxist, the last time he registered under a party umbrella, Martin Luther King Jr. registered as a Republican, as were his parents.
Some speculate if Dr. King were alive today, he'd be vilified as an Uncle Tom for not supporting, among other things, Affirmative Action. If you remember, Dr. King wanted all people judged, not by the color of their skin, but the content of their character. That means if you want to get a job, you need to be qualified for that job. That means going to school to get educated. Getting an education is not "acting white" but preparing oneself for a productive future.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was not a liberal. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s message was one of hope and optimism. His message was clear and doesn't need some radical misinterpretation to justify liberal activity. Leave his words as he delivered them. He doesn't belong to anyone. Celebrate the man as he was, and judge him on the content of his character, just like everyone else
The waning influence of the '60s -- A comment from Australia
I think that the article below makes some interesting points but I also think that it considerably overstates the importance of generational effects. Ordinary people got on with their lives much as before during the '60s, regardless of the bees in the bonnets of the intellectual lightweights who thought they were so wise. The State where I live (Queensland) was run in the early '60s by the very conservative "honest Frank" Nicklin and only ill health caused him to retire. He had no trouble winning elections.
In 1968 he was succeeded by another member of his conservative party -- a determined squasher of disorderly student protests, Sir Johannes Bjelke-Petersen -- and Sir Joh got big approval ratings for his very conservative policies -- ending up running Queensland for nearly 20 years. In 1974, he gained a remarkable 59% (actually 58.97%)of the popular vote -- just a tiny touch above what Ronald Reagan got (58.8%) in 1984. In a Western democracy, those percentages spell "landslide" -- and the landslides concerned were for very conservative candidates.
One is left to argue that the educated elite were much more affected by the '60s and that their role in running things amplifies the effect of the '60s. That may be true to some degree but to get to rule anywhere they still had to be voted into office by ordinary people so it still comes back mainly to how the views of ordinary people vary from generation to generation
One of the interesting and important things about our new Prime Minister, culturally as opposed to politically, is that he is our first post-baby boomer leader. Technically he may have been born at the very end of the boomer cohort, but he is in no sense a child of the 1960s. During the pivotal year of 1968 -- the year of the Paris student riots, the Tet offensive in Vietnam, the Cultural Revolution in China, the anti-Vietnam War demonstrations in the US, the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia - Rudd was still in primary school.
Even if you regard the '60s as finishing in Australia at the end of 1975, Rudd escapes them. He was still at high school. At university he was not a radical activist but a Christian activist and a nerdy, hard studying student.
Perversely, it was the post-baby boomer generation that John Howard always thought he stood a good chance of winning, whereas the baby boomers were permanently sour on a conservative such as him. We have all been influenced by the '60s, of course, but the hard-core baby boomers got the most direct radiation damage.
Culturally, the '60s were very toxic. I have always felt about them much as W. H. Auden felt about the '30s:
I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade.
The '30s bore some resemblance to the '60s in that substantial numbers of intellectuals defected from the Western tradition and threw their lot in with the extremist and mad ideology of Marxism. In the '60s, many repeated exactly this error, but many also embraced a far wider series of cultural disorders than just Marxism.
But the contrast between the '30s and the '60s is more instructive than the similarity. The '30s, for all their treachery, produced some genuinely great art. Think of the writers you associate with the decade: Graham Greene, George Orwell, Evelyn Waugh, Anthony Powell. These were genuinely great artists. Now name me a similar list from the '60s. You can't. Very little work of any artistic consequence emerged from the '60s. Instead it was a decade of destruction and nihilism, of self-regard so intemperate and unqualified that it tore art apart, as it tore apart most cultural values.
The very worst of the '60s occurred on Western campuses, which became scenes of violence, riots and intolerance. The key idea of the '60s was to abandon all restraint. Very few of the decade's gurus had the intellectual courage to think through what the abandonment of restraint really means. It means, in the end, the pure glorification of power.
For civilisation is all about restraint. So, too, is art. Sometimes a conservative period can be followed by a creative liberalising reaction. This is really what happened when the liberal Edwardians succeeded the conservative Victorians. That is partly why Edwardian literature and art, and the literature and art from just after that period, remain so attractive. They were created by people who were rebelling against a previously conservative period, but their rebellion was a restrained rebellion, both in method and intent. It did not imply the abandonment of restraints altogether, or of standards.
In Australia, certainly, the '60s do not stand in relation to the '50s as the Edwardian period stands in relation to the Victorian. For a start, the '50s were a period of incredible creative energy in Australia -- Patrick White, C. J. Koch, Hal Porter, Randolph Stow, Morris West, John O'Grady all began publishing in the '50s. Martin Boyd published three of the four novels in his magnificent Langton tetralogy then. Quadrant, the most cosmopolitan and sophisticated small magazine in Australian history, was born in the '50s.
When baby boomer activists of the '60s say how boring and provincial Australia was in the '50s, they are either saying that they did not know Australia very well in the '50s or simply that they themselves were boring and provincial.
The radical '60s, as they played out in Australia, were completely derivative of the US, a pale imitation of radical chic from New York and San Francisco. Even in the U.S., the '50s are being much re-evaluated, not least through David Halberstam's fascinating book on the subject a few years ago.
Of course, there were elements of the '50s that were objectionable, in Australia as in the US, especially the greater tolerance of racism. But the characteristic response of the '60s was not problem-solving. Instead it was a wholesale rejection of everything that Western culture had consisted of until that point. There was an authentically Orwellian inversion of language and meaning. Marriage was patriarchal oppression. Hallucinogenic drugs were a path to higher consciousness. Sexual exploitation was freedom. Liberal politicians were fascists. Communist totalitarians were liberators.
And for most of the leaders, and many of the practitioners, of '60s culture, the whole universe became entirely self-centred. The only thing that counted was "authentic" experience. There was no such thing as truth, the only question was whether it was true for you. Standards of any kind were regarded as oppressive, academic standards most of all. It is not overstating things to say there was a kind of madness abroad in the culture in those days, not a whimsical eccentricity but a wilful, self-indulgent, nihilistic and destructive madness.
Much that is wrong with our culture today --- especially the hatred of the Western tradition among many intellectuals and the self-obsessive, critical sterility of much academic theory -- comes directly from that time. One of the qualities most hated under the '60s ethos was sound and orderly process. Thus if you had a grievance at university, real or imagined, you didn't pursue it in the normal way, you smashed in the vice-chancellor's office.
An insistence on good process is an inherently conservative virtue. It is telling that Kevin Rudd has promoted himself so much as a politician of good process. His promise during the campaign of so many inquiries and reviews and panels and commissions can be lampooned or criticised as ineffective. But it can also be seen as the promise of sound, perhaps exhaustive, process to deliver sound policy.
This is merely one of the ways in which Rudd shows himself to be alien to the spirit of the '60s, which was above all a desperately impatient and intemperate spirit. That Rudd is so much the polar opposite of that spirit, even emphasising his conventional religion as opposed to the militant and intolerant secularism of the '60s ethos, is, literally, a blessing. The '60s are dead at last. Let's dance on their rotten grave.
The article above by GREG SHERIDAN appeared in the "The Australian" on January 19, 2008. See also Australian Politics
A Catholic cardinal who hates devout Catholics
A British cardinal, of course
It has been a busy Advent and Christmas season for the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. He has, in a space of a few months, outraged, shocked and disgusted a surprisingly broad cross section of his flock. Polish immigrants, noted for the vibrancy of their Catholic faith; Catholic pro-lifers who have held the line for decades in the fight with little help from the hierarchy; and Catholic traditionalists who have spent decades living in near-exile from their own Church, have felt the back of Cormac Cardinal Murphy O'Connor's hand recently.
He started the season early with his official rejection in November of Pope Benedict's document removing the power of bishops to block the celebration of the pre-Vatican II rite of the Mass, an issue that has broad connections to acceptance of Catholic doctrine in a variety of areas, including moral issues.
Traditionalist Catholics are almost universally pro-life and pro-family, whereas many of those who have actively fought against the re-instatement of the ancient liturgical practices have also consistently championed a "progressive" Catholicism that rejects the moral law, particularly in sexual morality.
By the end of December, a week after his Christmas homily in which he urged Britons to be more accepting of immigrants, Murphy O'Connor had blasted Polish immigrants who are pouring into Britain in search of work.
In a homily, the Cardinal who heads the Catholic Church of England and Wales, urged the Polish community to learn English and integrate into local parishes. He claimed the Catholic Church in the UK was in danger of dividing along ethnic lines. The comments shocked both the Polish Catholic community and Catholic observers who have seen the influx of devout Poles as a desperately needed boost to sagging attendance and the increasingly grim outlook for the future of the Catholic Church in this country.
With photos appearing in the Telegraph of Poles kneeling devoutly on the sidewalk to hear Mass broadcast outside an overcrowded church, it is perhaps unsurprising that Polish leaders responded to the Cardinal's comments saying they felt "violated" and "spiritually raped". The comments made many Catholic commentators wonder aloud just what kind of Catholic immigrant the Cardinal would prefer.
But Britain learned just before Christmas what kind of Catholic their Cardinal does think is suitable. His real coup de grace, and perhaps his largest insult to the most faithful Catholics in the country, came at his unconditional reception into the Church of the man SPUC head John Smeaton identified as the major "architect of the Culture of Death" in this country: Tony Blair.
Cardinal O'Connor received Blair in a "private" ceremony in the Cardinal's own residential chapel. Neither the Cardinal's office, nor Blair's offered any explanation or retraction of the former Prime Minister's long record of anti-Catholic and anti-life policies.
To add insult to injury, an unnamed "Church source" presumed to be close to the Cardinal's office, had even chastised critics in the Daily Mail for daring to question the Cardinal's Christmas-week generosity. The Mail's source said, "Whatever he previously believed or did is a matter for individual conscience."
But the pro-life community, particularly its Catholic contingent, are so wearied by the decades of flaccidity, compromising and temporising and outright irreligion of its religious leadership, it hardly bothered to give a collective sigh of disgust. Among the pro-life Catholics of my acquaintance, the response was largely a quick shake of the head and a sickened laugh. In Britain's Catholic Church this latest outrage from its leadership was nothing more than business as usual.
At the same time, the odd news that Catholic attendance at weekly church services had, for the first time since the Reformation, outstripped that of Anglicans brought forward headlines like "Britain has become a 'Catholic country'" from the Telegraph. But the notion brought only sour and grim amusement to many British Catholic bloggers who have faithfully chronicled the growth of secularist anti-Christian hostility in British society, heavily abetted by the BBC's virtual monopoly on broadcast media. Despite the wild suppositions in the mainstream media, those who have been keeping track know that the news reflected only the continuing general collapse of British religious adherence.
The truth is simply that the native British have abandoned Christianity. It is easy to see what has alarmed Cardinal Cormac. The Poles are, quite simply, making him, and the Church he leads, look bad.
The robust, generous and stalwart faith of these people, tested through generations of brutal Communist suppression, has given them an ability to see through the fog of nonsense that has emanated out of British chanceries since the 1960's. And the Cardinal knows it. It is clear that the divide between the faith of the Poles and the dreary, watery, and half-hearted British Catholicism, content to allow the last dregs of its faith and devotion slowly to evaporate, is greater than one of language.
It is evident that whatever the Catholic leadership of this country has been doing for the last four decades, it has not been a boon to British Catholic faith or practice. If Cormac Murphy O'Connor is aware of the condition of his Church, he has chosen an odd way of expressing his concern by chastising the new Polish faithful for their very faithfulness.
Maybe the Cardinal should try a different tack, and take his own advice and accept the contribution of these people.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
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