Category Archives: Politics

Truth Can No Longer Be Spoken

Last week, I wrote about Molly Norris, the Seattle cartoonist who made a declaration that April 10, 2010 should be known as “Everybody Draw Mohammed” day.  This poor woman is now on a designated Muslim “hit list,” according to our FBI, and has to go into hiding for the rest of her life.  The American-born Muslim imam Anwar al-Awlaki (the guy who allegedly inspired the Fort Hood massacre) singled out Molly Norris as a “prime target,” saying “her proper abode is hellfire.”

Our government isn’t protecting her.  Moderate Muslim groups are not protecting her.  Her free speech rights have evaporated along with her life as she knows it:  friends and family and job are gone as she has to “go ghost.”

Well, this situation keeps happening all over America.  The New York Times reports that some Harvard University faculty members and students are objecting to a plan to honor an alumnus and editor of The New Republic, because of a blog post he published this month that said Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims.  The editor, Martin Peretz, asserted that among Muslims led by the founder of the proposed Muslim Community Center near Ground Zero in New York, “there is hardly one who has raised a fuss about the routine and random bloodshed that defines their brotherhood.”  He went on to say he wondered “whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment, which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.”

Let’s look at his assertions.  For which one is there evidence of an untruth?  Are there not suicide bombings and attacks all over the world perpetrated by Muslims on innocent Muslims as well as innocent Westerners?  Is there a profound moderate Muslim movement which is aggressively attacking the so-called radicals?  Are moderate Muslim groups protecting the speech – no, forget that – the very life of Molly Norris?

It has gotten to the point in America that truth cannot be spoken if it offends somebody or their agenda.  Let Abdelnasser Rashid, president of the Harvard Islamic Society debate Mr. Peretz and provide facts and information to refute his claims.  That is the American way.

I am gratified to inform you Harvard issued a statement that Mr. Peretz’s assertions were “distressing to many members of our community, and understandably so,” but it would not revoke the honor.  Hallelujah.  “It is central to the mission of a university to protect and affirm free speech, including the rights of Dr. Peretz, as well as those who disagree with them, to express their views,” the statement continued.  At least one institution in America is still standing up for what is inherently American:  freedom of speech.

I am worried though some imam will respond to Harvard’s refusal to be intimidated by issuing a fatwa for Mr. Peretz as exists for Molly Norris. 

That is our world today.  Face it.  Deal with it.

Fatwa Issued Against Seattle Cartoonist

I feel so very sorry for Molly Norris.  She is the Seattle cartoonist who, tongue in cheek, made a declaration that April 10, 2010 should be known as “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.”

As you may know, Islam does not permit renditions of Mohammed.  Worse than putting pressure on her newspaper to fire her for her insensitive comment, she is now on a “hit list” – that’s right…a fatwa has been issued by the Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, the imam who’s been indicated as inspiring the Fort Hood, Texas massacre as well as the plot by two New Jersey men to kill U.S. Soldiers.  Anwar al-Awlaki singled out Molly Norris as a “prime target,” saying “her proper abode is hellfire.”

The FBI Special Agent, David Gomez, told reporters that “We understand the absolute seriousness of a threat from an Al Qaeda…and are attempting to do everything in our power to assist the individuals on that list to effectively protect themselves and change their behavior to make themselves less of a target.”

She has been told to “go ghost,” meaning moving, changing her name, and wiping away her identity.  Her life, as she knows it, is gone, or her life will literally be gone.

Our government is not going to protect her; she’s out on her own, a target of religious bigotry and tyranny.

Granted, this was a blatantly offensive comment — I know something about being offensive without specifically intending to do so – but when an American is put on a hit list by a religious leader of a community that argues it is pro-peace, it makes one wonder if words are meaningful when actions are contrary to those words.

I call on all Muslims around the world to crack down on Muslims killing Muslims, and Muslims killing infidels.  This is not civilized and cannot be negotiated with.  Only other Muslims can force their brethren to value free speech and opposing opinions, even objectionable ones…especially objectionable ones.

The Thought Police Are Coming For You

I’ve been sitting “shiva” for the past four weeks after I issued my apology for using a word on this radio program that I should not have used.

I’ve let the hounds of fury misinterpret and misrepresent my apology, as well as my decision to end my syndicated radio program at the end of the year.  I’ve been asked why didn’t I strike back?  Frankly, with folks like Al Sharpton and Howard Stern and Wanda Sykes and organizations like Media Matters, the NAACP, and the Urban League (to name only a few) pelting me with insults, calling me a racist, saying “good riddance”…..it was hard to get a word in edgewise.

But after my vacation, I’m all refreshed, and now it’s time to start putting a little civility back into this debate and clear up a couple of misconceptions.

First:  I am not leaving my radio program to be free to say the “N word.”  A lot of folks out there have reported that that is my intent!  That when I said I wanted my First Amendment rights back, it was for the right to say that word.  Can you believe that?  That’s wrong!  You won’t hear that word out of my mouth.

Second:  While I said something that offended some people, I took ownership of it.  I apologized (as you folks who listen to me every day know) and accepted responsibility – something others who are now attacking me have not done in their own lives, or don’t do until their PR agency tells them “You better!” so they go into rehab and all is forgiven.

Just this past week, Wanda Sykes was on Larry King.  Wanda Sykes (I call her an “offensive comedienne”) was the one who last year “joked” in front of President Obama that she hoped Rush Limbaugh’s kidneys would fail.  I find that incredibly offensive – i.e., to wish someone sickness and death.  She never apologized for that, and she was never asked to apologize for that.  She referred to Rush Limbaugh as the “20th hijacker” – again, I find that offensive and she never apologized.

Well, on Larry King, Larry asked her to “weigh in” about me.  I don’t know why Larry would do this, or why Wanda is an expert on me, but that’s TV.  It’s all about ratings.  So Larry asked Wanda about me, and this is what Wanda said (I’m quoting):

“I didn’t know that black people ever called her show or even listened to her show.  Black people don’t listen to Dr. Laura.  That’s a white people thing.  That’s a white people thing.”

Personally, I find that an offensive comment, and perhaps even a racist one.  It makes an assumption about a group of people, and that’s what racism is.  More importantly, it’s an inaccurate comment.  Contrary to Wanda’s uninformed opinion, I get calls and letters every day from people of all colors.

Now, I don’t see the Urban League, NAACP and Media Matters trying to shut down Wanda Sykes, who represents blacks badly, and I don’t see them demanding advertisers boycott her TV shows or asking stations and networks to punish her.  But you do see those organizations mobilizing to shut me down, shut down Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Andrew Breitbart – shut us all down, because we say something that apparently offends them.  No, it’s really about disagreeing with them.

I was very pleased to see this posting on the University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications website.  This was put there by UNC Professor of Journalism Leroy Towns, a professor and research fellow.  On August 19 – two days after I appeared on Larry King – Professor Towns wrote this:

Make Sure Your Attitude is Politically Correct

Here’s further evidence the right of free speech is being replaced by The Right Not to Be Offended.

Talk show host Laura Schlessinger used the N-word (that’s the media-inspired euphemism for the real word) several times in her radio show. She immediately came under attack from the ultra-liberal group Media Matters and from critics in the media.  So she apologized and quit her radio show.

[Now even Professor Towns got the facts slightly wrong.  I apologized.  Then I was attacked, and then I announced I am leaving my radio show.  Now back to Professor Towns.]

That wasn’t good enough for Media Matters, according to the Associated Press:

”Media Matters’ Ari Rabin-Havt said the apology wasn’t accepted because his group was concerned about Schlessinger’s overall attitudes toward race, more than just the N-word.  And those attitudes weren’t addressed in the apology, he said.

There you have it.  Got attitude?  The thought police are coming for you.  Posted by Leroy Towns.

“The right of free speech is being replaced by the right not to be offended.”  That’s pretty serious stuff.  And it doesn’t start with the government.  It starts when small interest groups – groups that are supported and aided by political parties – decide they are the guardians of what is “politically correct.”  That’s how it started in Germany.  That’s how it started in Communist China.  That’s how it is right now in Iran.

So when I speak about leaving syndicated radio at the end of the year to regain my ability to speak freely, it is so I can speak freely without worry of saying something that will offend or disagree with some group of people (disagreement is offensive to some groups of people) and then having the collateral damage of advertisers, agencies and radio stations being threatened and attacked for supporting me.
 
So, I will stand on my own, ready for the slings and arrows, because I’m committed to helping you folks do and be better in your lives.

I want to emphasize one more time that what I’ve been dealing with for the past 30 years in the public arena are activist groups and politically motivated individuals taking exception to my differing point of view, who reframe it as “she’s offensive.”  Whether it’s my opinion on abortion, day care, “shack-ups,” intentionally having babies out-of-wedlock, time and again, people pretend to take offense at my opinion, but, in reality, merely want to shut down an opposing point of view.
 
And I promise you, I may be standing on my own, but I won’t be shut down.

Tempest in A Teapot

An Oregon middle school teacher has publicly denounced the Tea Partiers – a grassroots political organization which opposes many of President Obama’s health and financial concepts and actions – as “a loose affiliation of racists, homophobes and morons” among more offensive names.

The school district placed him on leave, pending the conclusion of an investigation by the school district into whether he used school hours or computers to work on his anti-Tea Party website, and if his political activity was appropriate behavior for a teacher of middle school students.

The teacher had announced his intention to embarrass Tea Partiers by attending their rallies dressed as Adolf Hitler, carrying signs bearing racist, sexist, and anti-gay epithets, and acting as offensively as possible, according to FoxNews.com.

The Oregon Tea Party organization is quoted as saying that the teacher doesn’t need to lose his job.  He just needs to have sensitivity and anger management training.

I think they’re just being politically correct.  He should be fired for sure.

He has the responsibility of teaching and role-modeling the proper behavior for a citizen in a democracy.  Attempting to embarrass and destroy an opposing point of view is not part of the democratic process, in spite of the fact that it seems like the main means of discourse in our society at present.  And it has to stop   somewhere.

He could have had his students do a project, learning about the positions of the Tea Party movement, and to critique them, with pros and cons as they see them (in spite of the fact that most kids their age pretty much just parrot what they learn at home).  Nonetheless, debates and critical essays are what he should be teaching, not “search and destroy.”

I hope he is fired ASAP.   Let that be a lesson!

John Edwards’ Co-Conspirator in Betrayal

By this time, you all know that former Presidential hopeful John Edwards is not longer hopeful about too much.  According to press reports, Elizabeth Edwards has left him.

After the Clintons and many other high profile power couples’ personal issues with marital problems and affairs, I think we’re all pretty numbed and crass about it all.

This blog is not about affairs – it’s about another form of betrayal. 

Andrew Young was a former aide of the Edwards’ who was personally intimate with them and a co-conspirator in John Edwards’ tacky affair and secrecy surrounding his illegitimate child.  In fact, in addition to harboring the bimbo in his home, Andrew Young tried to take the credit for this baby to keep his boss in the limelight in a more positive way.

All of this has now hit the fan, and these three are no longer speaking.  Andrew Young has written a “tell-all” book, “The Politician,” which goes on sale this week.  He maligns Elizabeth and John and even goes so far as to say that they both conspired to use her cancer diagnosis to promote John’s campaign for President.  I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it just sounds so disgusting that I can’t wrap my mind around it. 

What a despicable character Andrew Young is!  First, for benefitting from his relationship with the Edwards family (with privileges, opportunities, trust, bonding, financial compensation, power and friendship), and then making money by betraying their confidences when he was a definite co-conspirator in everything they did (which he now criticizes).  People who do that are scum.

Years ago, Eddie Fisher also wrote a tell-all book about the women he was intimate with, including Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor.  Why they, or any of the other women, had anything to do with that toad is beyond me, but they did.  He did a “kiss and tell” book.  Disgusting.  All to make a buck.  He betrayed the tender confidences of women who once cared about him.

I ran into him while he was on his book tour, and we were both appearing on a television interview program.  He dared to come up to me to cheerfully introduce himself.  I cut him short, saying I knew who he was, and that he was a disgusting human being and obviously not a gentleman for the book he wrote and now was hawking.  He looked stunned, and that made my moment!  I turned my back on him and then slowly, deliberately walked away.  He was trying to say something to me, but I just didn’t care.

Instead of buying Andrew Young’s book demonizing Elizabeth and John Edwards, spend that money on buying some good children’s books for your local school library.

The Value of Honesty

As children do in general, when I was a small child, I lied to my parents when I got caught doing something I shouldn’t have, or not doing something I should have.  The reason why lying is so popular among children is that it is their attempt to keep out of trouble and avoid punishment.

After a while, as children mature, they learn that lying is worse than the dumb thing they did (like eat all the potato chips before their parents’ party started), because it hurts the relationship by destroying trust.  In addition, lying brought consequences – dire consequences in the old days (spankings) and stupid consequences in the present (loss of cell phone privileges for a few days), or none at all (when parents are just too busy).Nonetheless, the value of honesty (as demanded in the commandment not to bear false witness) has been a cornerstone in this country’s value system about measuring character in individuals.

We already have way too many “role models” who actually make superficial lifestyles, drugs, casual sex, and domestic violence attractive to our children, making it harder and harder to tell them “That’s wrong to do, and if you do it, you will be publicly embarrassed, and your life will get off track.”  There isn’t much in society to back that statement up anymore.

I am soooooo glad I don’t have a young child at home anymore.  Sitting at breakfast last week, watching the so-called news, I looked up to see Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd say (and I paraphrase) that the line in the federal stimulus bill which would have given over $100 million in bonuses to AIG executives – the ones responsible for the company’s demise – if they were promised before February 11th, was nothing he knew about.  “When I left work after writing that part of the bill…that sentence wasn’t there.”

I sat there “chewing” on his statement, wondering what gremlin snuck into his office and typed that sentence while he was home in the bosom of his family.  My question was answered within seconds as a second news clip was shown with him admitting the HE was the gremlin, but then he threw the White House under the bus with, “They made me do it.”

Now I am mortified.  “I didn’t have sex with that woman,” and “I didn’t’ write the sentence that stole money from Americans to give bonuses to high-ranking losers” have entered the ranks of the story about George Washington admitting to his dad that he cut down the cherry tree.

I could see my kid right now…”Ah, mommy, what’s the story here?”  You said lying was bad, and bad things would come of it, like at least looking bad, but he’s still going to be a Senator tomorrow.”

Millions of you out there have children who saw what I saw.  What are you going to say to them about corruption at the highest levels that ultimately gets just a “wink and a nod?”  What about all those courses in school where “character matters?”  Where does it matter in public anymore?  Some of you can fall back on “God knows, and for all eternity, it WILL make a difference.”  I like that a lot, except children don’t think long-term, nor do they dwell on the importance of what they can’t see.

Asian countries have it right – they threaten people with the anger and shame of their ancestors.  America has it wrong.  It would seem to children that the only really important quality needed to become a public figure is to not give a damn about right and wrong or what people think, or that a lie is anything but an expedient tool with no meaningful consequences.

Oh, yeah, the White House is acting all outraged about the AIG bonuses at the same time it is apparently the source of the benevolent donation to the failed executive fund of AIG.  Is this what they mean by the “trickle down” theory?

Were I to have a child by my side this morning, I would say:  “Beloved child, when you read history books (and not the purged ones you get at school, but real history books), you will see that success and honesty are not necessarily bed partners.  Nonetheless, never do anything you would be ashamed to have your kids know you did or have them do.  I would rather you lost everything you worked for, rather than lose your soul.”  I figure the more you tell kids this from the day they’re born to the day you die, we’ll have some people in this life we can trust.

America’s Dismal Political Knowledge

The Pew Research Center tested the public’s political knowledge earlier this year by asking 1) which party had the majority in the House of Representatives; 2) the name of the United States Secretary of State; and 3) who is the Prime Minister of Great Britain.

The survey found that about half of Americans knew that the Democrats have a majority in the House of Representatives, but only 42% could identify Condoleeza Rice as Secretary of State.  Only a little over 25% of Americans could name Gordon Brown as the Prime Minister of Great Britain, and only 18% of the public answered all three questions correctly.  Got that?  Fewer than 1 in 5 Americans could answer all three questions correctly!

This is why candidates for leader of the free world go on television comedy shows like Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show, and the David Letterman Show to reach the public.  Dignified presentations obviously don’t make much of an impression on the electorate.

It was interesting to note which groups scored the best on this survey.  In terms of getting all three questions correct, regular readers of The New Yorker and Atlantic magazines scored the highest, at 48%.  Listeners to NPR were next at 44%, followed by viewers of Hardball (43%) and Hannity & Colmes (42%).

Rush Limbaugh’s audience was next at 36%, followed by viewers of The O’Reilly Factor (28%), and the audiences for Larry King, CNN, and Fox News all came in at 19%.  Now here’s a surprise – out of all those who got the three questions correct, 9% of them were regular readers of The National Enquirer!

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Recently, I received an email from one of my listeners.  I thought it was so funny I had to share it with you.

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

SARAH PALIN:  Before it got to the other side, I shot the chicken, cleaned and dressed it, and had chicken burgers for lunch.

BARACK OBAMA:  The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a change! The chicken wanted change!

JOHN MC CAIN:  My friends that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

HILLARY CLINTON:  When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure right from Day One that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road.  But then, this really isn’t about me.

GEORGE W. BUSH:  We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

DICK CHENEY:  Where’s my gun?

COLIN POWELL:  Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

BILL CLINTON:  I did not cross the road with that chicken.  What is your definition of chicken?

AL GORE:  I invented the chicken.

JOHN KERRY:  Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken’s intentions.  I am not for it now and will remain against it.

AL SHARPTON:  Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.

DR. PHIL:  The problem we have here is that this chicken doesn’t realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he’s acting by not taking on his current problems before adding new problems.

OPRAH:  Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I’m going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed access to the other side of the road.

NANCY GRACE:  That chicken crossed the road because he’s guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN:  To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

MARTHA STEWART:  No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going.  I had a standing order at the Farmer’s Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level.  No little bird gave me any insider information.

DR SEUSS:  Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I’ve not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain, alone.

GRANDPA:  In my day we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

BARBARA WALTERS:  Isn’t that interesting?  In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart-warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its lifelong dream of crossing the road.

ARISTOTLE:  It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

JOHN LENNON:  Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

BILL GATES:  I have just released eChicken 2008, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook.  Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken 2008. This new platform is much more stable and will never crash or need to be rebooted.

ALBERT EINSTEIN:  Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

COLONEL SANDERS:  Did I miss one?