A Bama Blog
News and views from the Right side of Bama
Audemus jura nostra defendere
Friday, October 31, 2008
On this day:
On Wayne Parker, the First Amendment, and the Fairness Doctrine
In the race for U.S. Representative from Alabama's Fifth District, I'm supporting Republican Wayne Parker over his Democratic opponent, Parker Griffith. That's because Parker's views on the proper role of the federal government are most closely aligned with my own. And it's in spite of the fact that the Parker campaign is running an ad that I believe clearly and intentionally distorts Griffith's recent comments on the threat posed by radical Islam. It's also in spite of this:
[Huntsville Times] The Republican National Congressional Committee sent a letter of complaint to WAAY-TV on Tuesday stating its unhappiness with the local ABC affiliate for not airing an ad it produced in support of District 5 candidate Wayne Parker. ...You can read the NRCC complaint to WAAY-TV here. It warns that:
Buck said Tuesday that by not airing the commercial, the station was treading on the committee's First Amendment rights.
"Regardless of how WAAY would like to see this campaign turn out, voters of the 5th District deserve a media that gives both sides an equal voice," Buck said.
"WAAY's obscene decision to deny voters the right to hear Parker Griffith's own words doesn't change the fact that Griffith believes America's greatest enemy is America. Voters should have the opportunity to listen and judge for themselves whether they share Parker Griffith's dangerously nave and insulting world view."
Your station must not chill the fundamental First Amendment right of the NRCC to engage in a robust and open discussion of Parker Griffith's record and position on critical issues such as those addressed in the advertisement. Your station's obligation to operate in the public interest is furthered by providing all participants in the political process an opportunity to discuss issues of public importance. If the Griffith campaign wishes to respond to our advertisement, they may purchase time on your station and make their case directly to the voters. Your station, however, must not be used as a vehicle to suppress legitimate political speech, especially when it comes to an advertisement containing accurate statements about a federal candidate, and in this case, made by the federal candidate himself.That's absolute bull-hockey, and if the folks at the NRCC think otherwise, they should pick up a copy of the U.S. Constitution sometime. The limitations of the First Amendment extend only to the powers of Congress and the federal government. (And if the doctrine of incorporation is correct, also to the powers of state governments via the Fourteenth Amendment.)
The First Amendment explicitly protects the freedom of the press against government encroachment. Is WAAY-TV not a member of the press? If it is, then how is it that its FCC license - granted under a law made by Congress - forbids it from speaking or not speaking as it sees fit?
If anyone is threatening First Amendment freedoms here, it's the NRCC. The letter continues:
Federal law requires your station to operate in the public interest. Your station's decision to air the attached NRCC advertisement serves the public interest. The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech under the First Amendment has its fullest and most urgent application to the discussion of public officials and their public policy positions and actions.That sort of reasoning turns the First Amendment against itself. Privately-owned press organizations like WAAY-TV have a constitutionally guaranteed right to air or not to air whatever political messages they want. Period. Reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine is part of the Democrats' platform, not ours. Let's keep it that way.
Artur Davis is a true statesman
Thursday, October 30, 2008
On this day:
Anne Rice: Called out of darkness
Anne Rice is no longer an atheist. In fact, she has just released a memoir of her journey home to the Catholic faith of her childhood, in addition to the first two novels in a four-part, first-person account of the life of Christ.
"My objective is simple: It's to write books about our Lord living on Earth that make him real to people who don't believe in him; or people who have never really tried to believe in him," she said.
She pressed the point: "I mean, I've made vampires believable to grown women. Now, if I can do that, I can make our Lord Jesus Christ believable to people who've never believed in him. I hope and pray."
Here's a fascinating and moving interview with Ms. Rice, courtesy of NRO's Between the Covers.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
On this day:
No radical left behind
Fox News reports:
The Annenberg Challenge and the Woods Fund of Chicago funded numerous controversial groups while Barack Obama served on their boards between 1995 and 2002, an analysis of their tax returns shows.
In 2001, when Obama was a part-time director of The Woods Fund of Chicago, it gave $75,000 to ACORN, the voter registration group now under investigation for voter fraud in 12 states.
The Woods Fund also gave $6,000 to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ, which Obama attended. The reason for the donation to the church is unclear -- it is simply listed as "for special purposes" in the group's IRS tax form.
It gave a further $60,000 to the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University, which was founded and run by Bernardine Dohrn, the wife of domestic terrorist William Ayers and, with her husband, a former member of the 1960s radical group the Weather Underground.
Other controversial donations that year included $50,000 to the Small Schools Network -- which was founded by Ayers and run by Michael Klonsky, a friend of Ayers' and the former chairman of the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist), an offshoot of the 1960s radical group Students for a Democratic Society -- and $40,000 to the Arab American Action Network, which critics have accused of being anti-Semitic.
Monday, October 27, 2008
On this day:
Meet Rashid Khalidi, another friend of Obama
Here's Andy McCarthy:
Let’s try a thought experiment. Say John McCain attended a party at which known racists and terror mongers were in attendance. Say testimonials were given, including a glowing one by McCain for the benefit of the guest of honor ... who happened to be a top apologist for terrorists. Say McCain not only gave a speech but stood by, in tacit approval and solidarity, while other racists and terror mongers gave speeches that reeked of hatred for an American ally and rationalizations of terror attacks.Read the whole thing.
Now let’s say the Los Angeles Times obtained a videotape of the party.
Question: Is there any chance — any chance — the Times would not release the tape and publish front-page story after story about the gory details, with the usual accompanying chorus of sanctimony from the oped commentariat? Is there any chance, if the Times was the least bit reluctant about publishing (remember, we’re pretending here), that the rest of the mainstream media (y’know, the guys who drove Trent Lott out of his leadership position over a birthday-party toast) would not be screaming for the release of the tape?
Do we really have to ask?
So now, let’s leave thought experiments and return to reality: Why is the Los Angeles Times sitting on a videotape of the 2003 farewell bash in Chicago at which Barack Obama lavished praise on the guest of honor, Rashid Khalidi — former mouthpiece for master terrorist Yasser Arafat?
At the time Khalidi, a PLO adviser turned University of Chicago professor, was headed east to Columbia. There he would take over the University’s Middle East-studies program (which he has since maintained as a bubbling cauldron of anti-Semitism) and assume the professorship endowed in honor of Edward Sayyid, another notorious terror apologist.
The party featured encomiums by many of Khalidi’s allies, colleagues, and friends, including Barack Obama, then an Illinois state senator, and Bill Ayers, the terrorist turned education professor. It was sponsored by the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), which had been founded by Khalidi and his wife, Mona, formerly a top English translator for Arafat’s press agency.
Is there just a teeny-weenie chance that this was an evening of Israel-bashing Obama would find very difficult to explain? Could it be that the Times, a pillar of the Obamedia, is covering for its guy?
Gateway Pundit reports that the Times has the videotape but is suppressing it. [Read Gateway Pundit's update here.]
Back in April, the Times published a gentle story about the fete. Reporter Peter Wallsten avoided, for example, any mention of the inconvenient fact that the revelers included Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, Ayers’s wife and fellow Weatherman terrorist. These self-professed revolutionary Leftists are friendly with both Obama and Khalidi — indeed, researcher Stanley Kurtz has noted that Ayers and Khalidi were “best friends.” (And — small world! — it turns out that the Obamas are extremely close to the Khalidis, who have reportedly babysat the Obama children.)
Nor did the Times report the party was thrown by AAAN. Wallsten does tell us that the AAAN received grants from the Leftist Woods Fund when Obama was on its board — but, besides understating the amount (it was $75,000, not $40,000), the Times mentions neither that Ayers was also on the Woods board at the time nor that AAAN is rabidly anti-Israel. (Though the organization regards Israel as illegitimate and has sought to justify Palestinian terrorism, Wallsten describes the AAAN as “a social service group.”)
Perhaps even more inconveniently, the Times also let slip that it had obtained a videotape of the party.
Fox News has more here. Mona Charen comments further here.
There's no early voting in Alabama
That's the good news. The bad news is that it may not be that way for much longer.
As if we needed to do anything to make voter fraud any easier in this state.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
On this day:
The coming liberal supermajority
Christopher Buckley speaks to NRO
See Christopher Buckley's interview with Peter Robinson on NRO's Uncommon Knowledge by clicking the links below:
Part 1 Christopher Buckley discusses (sort of) his new comic novel, Supreme Courtship. What was his motivation? “I thought, the Supreme Court … why not?” What is his method? “I am a plotter,” says Buckley.
Part 2 Christopher Buckley discusses POTUS as acronym and erectile dysfunction. He also chimes in on the new media — Wolfe’s “billion-footed beast.”
Part 3 Christopher Buckley, former presidential speechwriter, rates the speechifying of Obama, Biden, McCain, and Palin.
Part 4 Christopher Buckley reflects on life with WFB, from Friday-night sails to a father’s fear of wasted time.
Part 5 Christopher Buckley talks about politics, Republicans, the war, spending, McCain, Obama, and American life.
Friday, October 17, 2008
On this day:
John McCain: Funnyman
If he doesn't win the election, he should try his hand at stand-up comedy. Here he is at the Al Smith dinner last night.
Has anyone heard from John Edwards recently?
From the Mobile Press-Register:
Baldwin County sheriff's deputies arrested a man dressed as a woman late Wednesday evening after the man attempted to break into a Foley beauty shop just to get a look at himself in the mirror.
Deputies said [the man] was wearing a blond wig, was dressed to look like the shop's owner, and explained that he had just wanted to sit in the shop owner's chair and look at himself.
Why we need Voter ID
Six Alabama counties have more enrolled voters than people of voting age.
The Birmingham News reports:
I suspect that a well-known, highly partisan community organizing group has got something to do with this. That group - which has been in the news quite a bit recently - is called the Democratic Party.
The counties that have more people on the voting rolls than they do voting-age residents, according to a News analysis, were Conecuh, Greene, Lowndes, Perry, Washington and Wilcox.
The highest percentages were in Greene and Perry counties. Both had more people on the voting rolls than voting-age residents, even when only the active voter list was taken into account, and not the inactive list. Under state law, people who don't vote for four years are moved to an inactive voter list. Inactive voters are removed from the rolls if they don't vote in two consecutive federal elections and don't respond to attempts to contact them by mail.
(Unlike other states, it doesn't appear that ACORN is involved in fraudulently registering voters here in Alabama.)
On "social justice" in education
Sol Stern provided a more detailed treatment of the social justice movement and its educational goals here, claiming that "teaching for 'social justice' is a cruel hoax on disadvantaged kids." The article is from 2006, before most of us had even heard of Barack Obama. It doesn't even mention his name. But it does show how Bill Ayers's views on social justice have permeated education school curricula across the nation:
One by one, the education schools are lining up behind social justice teaching and enforcing it on their students—especially since they expect aspiring teachers to possess the approved liberal “dispositions,” or individual character traits, that will qualify them to teach in the public schools. The National Council on the Accreditation of Teacher Education [NCATE], the main accreditor of education schools, now monitors how well the schools comply with their own social justice requirements.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
On this day:
William Ayers: Education reformer?
Sol Stern, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute who is currently writing a book on Bill Ayers and "social justice" teaching, writes for the Wall Street Journal:
Sadly, the education establishment has done much more than the media to bring Bill Ayers's views on education reform into the mainstream. Take a look at the curriculum of almost any college of education in the country and you'll find that the views of Ayers and his co-ideologues are taught as gospel. A commitment to promoting "social justice" is practically a prereq in most of the nation's education schools today, including at my alma mater - the University of Alabama. The UA College of Education Faculty Handbook states:
One of the most misleading statements during the presidential debates was when Barack Obama claimed that William Ayers was just "a guy in the neighborhood."
But that piece of spin is nothing compared to the false story now being peddled by Mr. Obama's media supporters that Mr. Ayers -- who worked with the Democratic nominee for years to disperse education grants through a group called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge -- has redeemed his terrorist past. In the New York Times, for example, Frank Rich writes that "establishment Republicans and Democrats alike have collaborated with the present-day Ayers in educational reform."I've studied Mr. Ayers's work for years and read most of his books. His hatred of America is as virulent as when he planted a bomb at the Pentagon. And this hatred informs his educational "reform" efforts. Of course, Mr. Obama isn't going to appoint him to run the education department. But the media mainstreaming of a figure like Mr. Ayers could have terrible consequences for the country's politics and public schools.
We require future practitioners in all areas to develop an informed understanding of the nature and purposes of education; to engage in the ongoing processes of reflection and dialogue that are at the heart of professional practice. These abilities, together with a respect for diversity and a commitment to social justice, empower our graduates to be leaders and agents of change for school improvement.And so my concern about Barack Obama's long association with Bill Ayers is not because I believe that Obama endorses Ayers's terrorist acts. I know that he doesn't. My chief concern is that Obama either shares or sympathizes with Ayers's views on education, society, and "social justice."
Ayers is a radical among radicals, and when a respected public figure like Barack Obama lends his own credibility to such a person's life work, I think it's fair game to bring it to the public's attention.
Take the TV Theme Song Quiz
I got 7 out of 10. Hey, that's passing.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
On this day:
Obama's abortion extremism
Robert P. George describes in detail how Obama's record is pro-abortion and not merely pro-choice.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
On this day:
The Chicago Annenberg Challenge under Obama and Ayers: Ideology trumped education
NRO's Stanley Kurtz is doing the meticulous poring-over of Chicago Annenberg Challenge records that the mainstream media has thus far refused to do. Here's a taste from his latest article:
It looks like Jeremiah Wright was just the tip of the iceberg. Not only did Barack Obama savor Wright’s sermons, Obama gave legitimacy — and a whole lot of money — to education programs built around the same extremist anti-American ideology preached by Reverend Wright. And guess what? Bill Ayers is still palling around with the same bitterly anti-American Afrocentric ideologues that he and Obama were promoting a decade ago. All this is revealed by a bit of digging, combined with a careful study of documents from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, the education foundation Obama and Ayers jointly led in the late 1990s.
Friday, October 10, 2008
On this day:
Monday, October 06, 2008
On this day:
Yes, things are bad
That's why I'm thankful for cool heads like Jim Manzi.
McCain hits back at Obama on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the financial mess
And it's about time. Here's McCain, from a speech today in Albuquerque:
My opponent has invited serious questioning by announcing a few weeks ago that he would quote -- "take off the gloves." Since then, whenever I have questioned his policies or his record, he has called me a liar.
Rather than answer his critics, Senator Obama will try to distract you from noticing that he never answers the serious and legitimate questions he has been asked. But let me reply in the plainest terms I know. I don't need lessons about telling the truth to American people. And were I ever to need any improvement in that regard, I probably wouldn't seek advice from a Chicago politician.
My opponent's touchiness every time he is questioned about his record should make us only more concerned. For a guy who's already authored two memoirs, he's not exactly an open book. It's as if somehow the usual rules don't apply, and where other candidates have to explain themselves and their records, Senator Obama seems to think he is above all that. Whatever the question, whatever the issue, there's always a back story with Senator Obama. All people want to know is: What has this man ever actually accomplished in government? What does he plan for America? In short: Who is the real Barack Obama? But ask such questions and all you get in response is another barrage of angry insults.
Our current economic crisis is a good case in point. What was his actual record in the years before the great economic crisis of our lifetimes?
This crisis started in our housing market in the form of subprime loans that were pushed on people who could not afford them. Bad mortgages were being backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and it was only a matter of time before a contagion of unsustainable debt began to spread. This corruption was encouraged by Democrats in Congress, and abetted by Senator Obama.
Senator Obama has accused me of opposing regulation to avert this crisis. I guess he believes if a lie is big enough and repeated often enough it will be believed. But the truth is I was the one who called at the time for tighter restrictions on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that could have helped prevent this crisis from happening in the first place.
Senator Obama was silent on the regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and his Democratic allies in Congress opposed every effort to rein them in. As recently as September of last year he said that subprime loans had been, quote, "a good idea." Well, Senator Obama, that "good idea" has now plunged this country into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
To hear him talk now, you'd think he'd always opposed the dangerous practices at these institutions. But there is absolutely nothing in his record to suggest he did. He was surely familiar with the people who were creating this problem. The executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have advised him, and he has taken their money for his campaign.
He has received more money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than any other senator in history, with the exception of the chairman of the committee overseeing them. Did he ever talk to the executives at Fannie and Freddie about these reckless loans? Did he ever discuss with them the stronger oversight I proposed? If Senator Obama is such a champion of financial regulation, why didn't he support these regulations that could have prevented this crisis in the first place? He won't tell you, but you deserve an answer.