Tag Archives: Tea Party movement

The pen is mightier than the sword, and the liberals own all the dictionaries.

Alan Korwin, gun expert and author of After You Shoot: Your gun’s hot. The perp’s not. Now what?, argues that ‘Birther’ is the new ‘N’ word:

“Birther,” used by the media with impunity, is a derogatory slur, the equivalent of the “N” word used for another group to cast them as sub-human.

You apply this new “N” word to a huge group of politically-active Americans who’ve raised legitimate questions on a legitimate topic.

 These Americans remember Sen. McCain was grilled by a Senate committee over the same issue — eligibility. The man currently in the White House, for reasons that remain unclear to this day, avoided such reasonable scrutiny. These people ask, “Why?”

These citizens noticed that when Obama refused — flat-out refused — to release relevant documents you let him slide. These people noticed that when papers finally emerged, after unconscionable delays, irregularities were so great even amateur sleuths could spot them. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office found remarkable inconsistencies that point to deliberate fraud.

To demean and ridicule such socially-conscious, politically-active Americans with their own “N” word violates journalism’s codes of ethics (AP, NY Times, SPJ) that require you not only to be unbiased, but to avoid even an appearance of bias. Inflammatory use of this offensive denigrating smear and “birther bashing” announces your prejudice loudly.

Of course, Mr. Korwin is already being attacked for stating his opinion.

 

Alan: You are so naive. Don’t you know that the liberals own the English language? Tea partiers can be called terrorists and teabaggers, but you can’t say that Birther is like the N-word. Heck, liberals are even changing the 5,000-year old definition of marriage.

Calling George Orwell. The Ministry of Truth is standing by.

As the old saying goes, the pen is mightier than the sword. You may have some guns, but they own the pen, the paper, and the dictionaries.

 

I’m not birther, by the way. But I do I think Congress should require proof of eligibility before the presidential election. For that, I am often called a birther.

More important, it is a shame how skepticism has become so vilified. (Also see global warming.) Remember the halcyon days when one presidential candidate (John Kerry) said that dissent was the highest form of patriotism and misattributed it to Thomas Jefferson. Oops!

But we need to remember that dissent is only patriotic if you are a Democrat opposing a Republican administration. Off to the Ministry of Truth for me.

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Supporters of Liberty Are Always Attacked

Members of the tea party have been called tea baggers, extremists, racists, and Nazis by opponents of the grass-roots pro-liberty movement. While this shows the lack of “civility” of the left, supporters of liberty are always attacked for their beliefs.

Socrates spent his life fighting for freedom of speech and freedom of religion and became a martyr for these causes. In 399 BC, Socrates was charged and put to death for disbelieving in the official Greek pantheon and for corrupting the youth of Athens. But Socrates had also angered most of Athens for praising Sparta while the two were at war with each other, insulting the intellectuals of Athens by claiming he was the wisest man alive, criticizing the leaders of Athens, and arguing against democracy. Admitting that he enjoyed stirring up trouble, Socrates said at his trial: “For if you put me to death, you will not easily find another, who, to use a rather absurd figure, attaches himself to the city as a gadfly to a horse, which, though large and well bred, is sluggish on account of his size and needs to be aroused by stinging. I think the god fastened me upon the city in some such capacity, and I go about arousing.” [Plato, Apology 30e.] Socrates’ criticism of ancient Athens’ political system and leadership got him killed.

Demosthenes fought bigger government, higher taxes, and political corruption in ancient Athens. But he is best remembered for his opposition to Philip of Macedon and his son Alexander the Great. For years, Demosthenes spoke constantly against Philip, but had little success gaining allies. Nevertheless, Demosthenes demanded action, arguing it is “better to die a thousand times than pay court to Philip.” [Demosthenes, “Speeches” 9.65.] When Philip finally marched against Greece, his army easily won the battle and occupied Thebes but spared Athens. When Philip was assassinated, Demosthenes again attempted to form alliances and encouraged the territories under Macedonian control to rebel. But Philip’s son Alexander marched on Thebes, which immediately submitted to him. Thebes and Athens rebelled yet again upon mistakenly hearing that Alexander was dead, at which Alexander destroyed Thebes and placed Athens under Macedonian control. When Alexander the Great died, Demosthenes again tried to rally the people for independence, but Antipater, Alexander’s successor in Greece and Macedon, defeated the Athenians in battle, forced them to dissolve their government, and Demosthenes committed suicide before he could be arrested and executed.

Cicero was one of the most powerful men in ancient Rome and its Senate. Cicero fought for property rights, arguing “I do not mean to find fault with the accumulation of property, provided it hurts nobody.” [Cicero, De Officiis 1.25.] Cicero also fought against government-provided welfare, abolition of debts, and redistribution of land and wealth. But he is best remembered for his fight against imperial power. In his quest for power, Julius Caesar asked Cicero to join his Triumvirate with Pompey and Crassus, but Cicero declined, fearing it would hurt the Republic. When Julius Caesar was assassinated, Cicero as leader of the Senate and Mark Antony as consul and leader of those who supported Caesar became the two leaders of Rome. Cicero opposed Antony and made a series of speeches against him, known as Philippics for the similarity of his speeches to those of Demosthenes against Philip of Macedon. Mark Antony formed the Second Triumvirate with Octavian, Julius Caesar’s heir, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, a former consul and strong supporter of Julius Caesar. They immediately sought to exile or kill their political opponents, especially Cicero. Cicero was captured on his way to the coast, where he had hoped to escape to Macedonia. Cicero’s capturers “cut off his head, by Antony’s command, and his hands — the hands with which he wrote the Philippics.” [Plutarch, Parallel Lives Cicero 48.6.]

Cato the Younger was a very stubborn man who vehemently opposed corruption, demagoguery, and immorality. In the Senate, Cato focused especially on taxes and wasteful government spending. When Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus created the First Triumvirate, Cato was an immediate opponent. Cato opposed Caesar’s first major proposal to distribute public lands to the people. “No one spoke against the law except Cato, and him Caesar ordered to be dragged from the rostra to prison.” [Plutarch, Parallel Lives Cato 33.1.] Though the Senate disagreed with Cato’s position, they forced Caesar to free him from his unjust imprisonment. Seeing the growing tyranny, “Cato warned the people that they themselves by their own votes were establishing a tyrant in their citadel.” [Plutarch, Parallel Lives Cato 33.3.] But the people refused to listen to Cato and continued to support Caesar. Ten years later, Caesar and his army crossed the Rubicon, thus declaring war on the Roman Senate. The Senate fled and Caesar chased after them. Seeing that Caesar had won and knowing Caesar would have him executed, Cato committed suicide.

When you are attacked for supporting liberty, know that you stand on the shoulders of giants. And let us thank God and country, for we live in a society in which we have freedom of speech and in which the supporters of government tyranny can do no more than insult their opponents.

An obvious defense of Scott Walker against the smears

Protestors in Wisconsin have compared Governor Scott Walker to Hosni Mubarak. But it’s not just the protesters. Even former Rep. David Obey (D-WI), a 41-year veteran of the House, said:

“All I know is that last week, when people were asking where Mubarak was — whether he had gone to Sharm el-Sheikh or Paris — I was saying he was ensconced in the governor’s mansion in Madison.”

Let’s compare the two.

  • Hosni Mubarak was an autocrat who ruled over Egypt for 30 years without fair elections and no checks and balances on his power.
  • Scott Walker is the duly elected governor of Wisconsin. He has been in power for a month and a half. He cannot enact any laws without bills first being passed by the state legislature.

The comparison is laughable. But then again, these very same people have compared Scott Walker to Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. Some even say he is Mubarak and Hitler combined.

As one who has been called a Nazi for supporting the tea party (I am an active member of the North Phoenix Tea Party), I know what it feels like. And for those who don’t know, I’m an orthodox Jew. If you are going to insult somebody, at least be tactful. These attacks against Governor Walker are tasteless, historically inaccurate, and make the protesters look bad. But then again, maybe the protesters are bad…

Baseball analogy for tea party “victory”

To follow up on my post Has the Tea Party accomplished anything yet?

Over the last two years, the Democrats have scored a lot of runs. They hit a grand slam with health care reform. Another home run with stimulus spending. Another with financial reform. They racked up one run after another.

Finally, the tea party movement struck out the Democrats in spectacular fashion (the biggest electoral turnaround in 62 years) and the top half of the inning is over. Now, it is the tea party’s turn to try and score some runs. But the limited government side is trailing 37 to zero (government spending excluding defense is 37 percent of GDP).

The GOP now controls the House of Representative, but it does not yet have Senate or Presidency. So the tea party movement has a man on first base. But it’s in a deep hole, down by 37 runs, and has to start scoring runs in abundance.

I’m sure you can see why I am not too excited by the tea party “victory” of November 2. Yes, the tea party movement, which didn’t even exist two years ago, stopped the Democrats from scoring more runs, but to win you must score runs of your own. In this respect, the tea party has not accomplished anything.

Has the Tea Party accomplished anything yet?

Many people talk about the success of the tea party movement. While we did something remarkable in the 2010 election, we have not really accomplished anything yet.

I recall this chart of total government spending excluding defense over the last 100 years.

Click on image to zoom in:

In 1910, government at all levels spent about 7% of GDP. Today it is about 37%. Do you see what the tea party has accomplished so far? NOTHING!!!

At best we slowed down the rate of growth or maybe even stopped it. But we have yet to reduce it by a single percentage point after it rose seven percentage points in just two years.

Many in the tea party movement claim that Obama is the worst President ever. Yet, the GOP won just 54.2% of the two-party vote, maybe slightly higher if you add in Murkowski’s votes. The Republicans won 240+ seats, but that’s less than the 257 seats the Democrats won in 2008. Against the supposed worst President in history, that’s all the tea party could accomplish?

I don’t mean to minimize the biggest electoral shift since 1948… OK, yes I do. These accomplishments are meaningless unless they are used for something bigger. I will not be satisfied until I see the vast majority of Americans voting for republican government (small ‘r’ intentional) and that trend line of government moving down instead of up. When that happens, I’ll talk about our accomplishments. Until then, I’m too busy working for the cause of liberty to brag about winning a few seats in Congress.