Matthew McConaughey Preaches Conservative Values, Gets Standing O

College students are used to being told that the world owes them something and the odds are stacked against them. Matthew McConaughey thinks that’s a bunch of junk and told them to stop acting like victims. He got a standing ovation for it.

The whole speech is good, but his number one piece of advice was this:

LIFE’S NOT EASY…don’t try and make it that way. It’s not fair, it never was, it isn’t now, it won’t ever be. Do not fall into the entitlement trap of feeling you are a victim, you are not. Get over it and get on with it.

McConaughey is exhibit Q for why it’s imperative for non-liberals to better engage the culture. Rush Limbaugh says something like this and it gets dismissed. McConaughey says it and it’s in People Magazine. Keep it up!

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

How The Left Uses ‘Racism’ And ‘Sexism’ To Silence The Right

Ever since the junior senator from Illinois announced his candidacy for the presidency eight years ago, those who have criticized his politics and his ideology have been pummeled with a charge of “racism.” It’s been the perfunctory, knee-jerk response – devoid of intellectual integrity or factual relevance – to avoid the substantive issues, while attempting to simultaneously stifle dissent and silence critics. And it’s clear from early indications, with regard to the 2016 presidential race, that the same modus operandi will be employed against those critical of Hillary Clinton. Only this time, it will be gender based – the charge of sexism.

During the Obama tenure, the charge of “racist” has been unavoidable to any who were critical of the president. Whether it was criticism of Obamacare, lack of transparency, fiscal profligacy, inscrutable foreign policy, class-envy fomentation, and anti-capitalist policies, it didn’t matter. Regardless of the logic, data, facts, or strength of argument, if you opposed the administration’s policies and initiatives, you were a racist. At least according to the sycophants, who were either oblivious to logic, data, or facts, and had an empty logical quiver from which to fire back with anything except blanks.

And what’s pathetic, from a free speech, open discourse, and cogent political discourse perspective, is that it worked. The millions of Americans who flocked to Tea Party rallies, Glenn Beck confabs, and other conservative functions were successfully labeled “racists” because of their opposition to the liberal, destructive policies of the administration. It didn’t matter what color, race, creed, or socio-economic status they hailed from; they were all racists.

For some reason, the fact that the policies propounded and foisted on the nation the past six years are not race-based seems lost on the vapid purveyors of the “racist” tactic. Big government, massive debt, onerous regulations, expansive government control, and the concomitant loss of personal liberty are naturally opposed not because they might be advanced by someone of a certain color, ethnic background, or native language. They’re opposed because they’re antithetical to the founding principles of our republic! It matters not who is foisting the destructive policies and ideology on the nation; it matters that they’re distinctly anti-American. Conservative Ben Carson’s current lead in the crowded GOP primary race underscores that fact.

What’s brilliant about the tactic is that you don’t have to worry about any facts, data, or common sense to employ it. Just by hurling the accusation, several things have been accomplished with one fell swoop. 1) The argument has been misdirected, so it’s no longer about the policies or the substance of the disagreement; it’s now whether the dissenter is truly racist or not. 2) It neutralizes and diminishes the objections of the dissenter; for now, the greater issue is whether he is in fact racist, or not. And 3) it successfully stifles dissent, since no one, probably even real racists, likes to be called one; so why go out on a limb and face the probability of such an accusation?

And now it appears that Hillary Clinton supporters will use the same tactic. Just last month, a pro-Hillary group, self-dubbed the HRC Super Volunteers, warned journalists that they were going to be watching vigilantly how the media reports on Hillary’s campaign. Group member and co-founder John West was thoughtful enough to serve as an early warning system on the words that cannot, I repeat, cannot be used to describe the probable Democrat candidate for president. According to West, “polarizing,” “calculating,” “disingenuous,” “insincere,” “ambitious,” “inevitable,” “entitled,” “over-confident,” “secretive,” “will do anything to win,” “represents the past,” and “out of touch,” are all apparently sexist code-words that the media are not to use when describing the candidate.

According to West, “Already we have seen the coded language of sexism and innuendo used by major news outlets and we are not happy.” As a student of language and etymology, I have to admit I was unaware those words and phrases were definitionally sexist.

But alas, I shouldn’t let myself fall into their misdirection and accusatory trap. It’s not that those words are sexist, it’s just that they’re so accurately descriptive of the presumptive Democrat nominee that using the terms will earn the consternation of Hillary devotees, hence justifying accusations of sexism. By couching those terms in a sexist context, they can as easily avert factual criticism of Hillary as they did in protecting Obama. Just like the accusations of “racism,” it has nothing to do with what is true or what is factual; it has everything to do with ensuring electoral success and neutralizing the opposition by attempting to shape and control the language.

Those of us who are bitter clingers to our freedom, our liberties, and the principles the nation was founded on shouldn’t allow ourselves to be rebuffed or silenced by the non-thinking Alynski devotees who utilize these nefarious and polarizing tactics. And remember, if that’s their primary tool to fight back with, you know that logically you’ve already won because their only defense is casting aspersions ad hominem.

There are two things even more disturbing than a group attempting to regulate political speech. One, that the liberal-biased media may well comply, and play their game; and two, that for a large segment of our unenlightened and uninformed electorate, their “sexist” tactic will work.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

An Open Letter To Marco Rubio: I Am Ashamed I Ever Worked On Your Behalf

Mr. Rubio,

I have read your opinion piece published on May 10, 2015. I understand that this is your opinion, but I am puzzled how you can hold these opinions and still claim to be conservative member of a party that claims to be supporting the Constitution.

Specifically, you claim that the Patriot Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act are essential to the protection of our “national security” and that we must continue these clear violations of our 4th Amendment and our Right to Liberty to keep us “safe.” To the contrary, with these “permissible” intrusions, we have seen a massive increase in power of government in general and the power of the executive in particular, increased control over the people, and a decreased respect for the Rights of the people throughout America. Faisal Shahzad, the Boston Bombing, and the Garland Shooting are clear examples of when the government was continually monitoring these “terrorists” and still allowed the violence to occur; so tell me again how critical it is to do away with the 4th amendment?

You claim that “Bulk metadata includes phone numbers, the time and duration of calls — nothing else. No content of any phone calls is collected.”  You contradict your own claims in the very next sentence: “The government is not listening to your phone calls or recording them unless you are a terrorist or talking to a terrorist outside the United States.” (emphasis mine)  What you are truly telling America is that the government IS listening to our phone calls AND recording them–but “trust us, it’s only when we think you are a terrorist.”  I’m sorry, sir; I cannot garner that much trust for my government–and you should not suggest you expect it.  May I remind you that on two separate occasions, the DHS and DoD have declared the definition of “terrorist” to be so broad as to include many within the Republican party!

“Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are…rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”  This report also claims “return of military veterans…could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks. “ DHS Office of Intelligence & Analysis Assessment April 7, 2009

“Nowadays, instead of dressing in sheets or publicly espousing hate messages, many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place.” January 2013, DoD Training on Extremism

Knowing that these are the OFFICIAL definitions of a “terrorist,” how can you possibly expect Americans to trust this government with such a gross violation of our Liberties?

Your statement that “Despite recent court rulings, this program has not been found unconstitutional, and the courts have not ordered a halt to the program” is disingenuous at best and borders on complete propaganda.  Production of just one case contrary to your claims shows your dishonesty. I will give three:

On March 15, 2013, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston declared that the Patriot Act section 2709 “violates the First Amendment and the separation of powers principle…The government is therefore enjoined from issuing NSLs under 2709 or from enforcing the nondisclosure provision in this or any other case.”

On December 16, 2013, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon entered “an order that bars the Government from collecting, as a part of the NSA’s Bulk Telephony Metadata Program, any telephony metadata associated with their personal Verizon accounts and (2) requires the Government to destroy any such metadata in its possession that was collected through the bulk collection program.”

On May 7, 2015, a three judge panel consisting of Circuit Judges Sack and Lynch, along with District Judge Broderick, ruled that the National Security Agency program that is systematically collecting Americans’ phone records in bulk is illegal, stating that “the telephone metadata program exceeds the scope of what Congress has authorized and therefore violates § 215.”

In these three court cases, we have seen that actions taken under the Patriot Act have been deemed unconstitutional and illegal, bulk metadata collection has been ordered to a halt, and the National Security Agency’s exercise of section 215 of the Patriot Act has been deemed illegal.

Mr. Rubio, you then try to justify these false claims by clarifying that “In fact, this program has been found legal and constitutional by at least 15 federal judges serving on the FISA Court on 35 occasions.” This is simply more propaganda intended to deceive the public. Who are the FISA Courts?

  1. They are federal courts appointed by the federal government whose only job is to review “applications submitted by the United States Government for approval of electronic surveillance, physical search, and other investigative actions for foreign intelligence purposes.”
  2. “Most of the Court’s work is conducted ex parte as required by statute, and due to the need to protect classified national security information.”
  3. Consideration of the Constitution is secondary to national security needs. (See Rule 5(a))

So let’s get this straight, Mr. Rubio: you expect the American people to be comforted by the fact that 15 federal judges, appointed by the federal government, whose rules and procedures by definition place national security over the Rights of the people, and whose judgments are held in secret with no accountability, have determined the government’s actions to be legal?  Tell me again how you believe in the bedrock principles of America. One of your flowery speeches quoting the founders while you pander to real conservatives who haven’t figured out who you are should do nicely.

You claim that “There is not a single documented case of abuse of this program.”  Not a single “documented” case of abuse in a system shrouded in secrecy, hidden by “national security” claims, conducted ex parte, protected with gag orders? Wow! That indeed is impressive. I would find your argument more credible if you simply start yelling, “I AM OZ; pay no attention to that man behind the curtain, you young whippersnapper!”

Your Alinsky-like use of threats of future violence puts you in dubious company, to say the least. Don’t you guys get tired of trotting out some boogeyman to scare the people into trading Liberty for a false sense of security?  Every attack that gets through your vaunted dragnet is used by you as proof that we need to sacrifice more and more liberty. Somehow, we are supposed to believe that the reason some nutjob blows something up is that the people are too free!  Your opinion (demonstrated by your rhetoric) that the Constitution is outdated, that the founders were ignorant fools, is the very thing I labor to combat every day. I am ashamed of ever having worked on your behalf. You have been a sincere disappointment to say the least.

Here are some words that you, Mr. Rubio, should take to heart: “The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it.”  John F. Kennedy

You, sir, are a cheerleader for the very thing JFK wisely warned Americans to guard against. I don’t care whether you call yourself Senator or President; your used car sales pitch for security is not worth my son’s Liberty. And you, sir, ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Sincerely,

KrisAnne Hall

www.KrisAnneHall.com

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Phony ‘Conservatives’ And Britain’s Cultural Collapse

The usually astute Heritage Foundation commentator Nile Gardiner calls the win by the Conservative Party in Britain a defeat for socialism. Yet, Conservative Party head David Cameron ran on a platform boasting that “we have protected the National Health Service, with 9,500 more doctors and 6,900 more nurses, and ensured generous rises in the State Pension.”

Based on this precedent, we can anticipate that Republican Party politicians here in America will one day run on a platform of making Obamacare more affordable, rather than seeking to abolish it. This, then, will be defined as the “conservative” position.

The coverage of the recent British elections has demonstrated that the term “conservative” has lost much of its meaning. It’s time to take a hard look at what the term has come to mean in Britain and how it is being distorted and transformed here.

In addition to the Conservative Party’s embrace of socialist programs, the Cameron government, which has ruled Britain for five years, has embraced Islamic immigration to Britain, going so far as to pay more deference to global Islam than traditional Christianity. Demonstrating this bias, the supposedly “conservative” government in Britain banned American anti-Jihad activists Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer from the country. Geller and Spencer had intended to rally opposition to the Islamization of the West. Spencer called Cameron, who has labeled Islam “a religion of peace,” as the “dhimmi appeaser.” The term means a non-Muslim who accepts Muslim dominance.

Cameron and his Conservative Party have also embraced the legalization of homosexual marriage. The Conservatives’ 2015 manifesto says, “Our historic introduction of gay marriage has helped drive forward equality and strengthened the institution of marriage. But there is still more to do, and we will continue to champion equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people.”

We can easily anticipate the Republican Party going down this road in the United States. In fact, the publication Politico notes that GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush is among those trying to “have it both ways” on homosexual marriage. “While he publicly maintains his opposition to same-sex marriage, reaffirmed over the weekend by a surrogate he sent to Iowa, Bush is sending signals that he may be more accepting of ‘marriage equality’—the strongest signal, perhaps, coming when he referred to the issue using that term favored by LGBT advocates—than he’s able to let on,” the publication reported.

It noted that Bush has hired a communications director, Tim Miller, who is openly gay, and his inner circle of staffers “have all expressed strong support for marriage equality, including Mike Murphy, hired to run his messaging shop, who wrote about the GOP’s need to evolve on policy following Romney’s defeat in 2012.”

Jeb Bush is shaping up to be the David Cameron of the Republican Party.

In Britain, the changes keep coming, now at an astounding rate. Andrea Williams of the British group Christian Concern says the Cameron government has not only “destroyed marriage” by redefining it to include homosexual couples, but it is also pursuing liberal policies in other areas. For example, she says the government has liberalized abortion and refused to outlaw abortions on the basis of the sex of the fetus. She says that in Britain nurses and teachers have been suspended for wearing Christian crosses, judges have been replaced for refusing to place children in homosexual relationships with two fathers or two mothers, and Christian street preachers are being jailed for “offensive” comments. “We have no leader at the helm of any of our main parties, whether it’s the Liberal Democrats, the Labor Party or the Conservative Party, who are speaking a moral vision,” she says.

Another British group, the Christian Institute, confirms these ominous trends and warns that “…here in the UK religious liberty is being increasingly challenged…Street preachers have been arrested. Christians have lost their jobs for answering questions about their faith or for taking an ethical stand. Christians in business have come into conflict with equality laws and faced fines for holding to the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.”

Commentator Charles Moore had warned in March 2015, “Socially conservative moral views are now teetering on the edge of criminality, and are over the edge of disapproval by those who run modern Britain.”

In arguing that “Britain is at heart still a conservative country,” Gardiner of the Heritage Foundation was talking about a country that no longer exists. His only reference to Britain’s cultural collapse came in his observation that Cameron had “alienated many grassroots supporters with highly controversial ‘modernizing’ policies such as backing gay marriage and increasing spending on foreign aid, both deeply unpopular with the Conservative base.” In fact, as we have seen in the statements quoted above, the conservative base has been betrayed on a host of issues. Today, even free speech is at risk in Britain.

In the U.S., it appears that big money is driving the Republican Party to the left, along the same path taken by Britain. The Politico article quoted earlier noted the influence of hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer, who has decided that since his own son is gay, the Republican Party should embrace the homosexual lifestyle and homosexual marriage. The publication said that Bush is determined to win Singer’s personal support, and added that “other billionaire bundlers like Seth Klarman and Dan Loeb, another hedge funder known for asking any candidate who enters his office where they stand on gay rights,” are also looking for Republicans to finance and push their pet causes.

As these developments unfold, it will be up to conservatives in the media and the think tanks to shine a light on the attempted takeover of the Republican Party. That will be much harder to do if the conservative media become part of the problem and go AWOL on the need for a moral vision to save the country.

In this context, Guy Benson, the political editor of the conservative Townhall.com website, has announced that he is a practicing homosexual. Benson, a supporter of homosexual marriage, is a Fox News contributor who appeared on Megyn Kelly’s Fox News show to discuss coming out of the closet through a footnote in his new book. “I think it’s very brave,” Kelly told him.

Fox News has been a major financial backer of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, a group that featured a male stripper at its recent New York City fundraiser. However, Townhall.com’s parent company is a Christian firm, Salem Media Group, which has refused to comment on whether Benson will retain his influential position within the company. The company describes its mission as “targeting audiences interested in Christian and family-themed content and conservative values.”

This article originally appeared at AIM.org and is reprinted here with permission.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Scalia Defends The Constitution, Questions The 17th Amendment

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia reaffirmed his commitment to defending the Constitution while speaking to the Federalist Society in his home state of New Jersey on Friday.

Scalia, the preeminent conservative firebrand of the court, told the audience it is the structure of the government under the Constitution and not the liberties guaranteed under the Bill of Rights that makes us free.

As reported by The Daily Signal: “Every tin horn dictator in the world today, every president for life, has a Bill of Rights,” said Scalia, author of the 2012 book Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts. “That’s not what makes us free; if it did, you would rather live in Zimbabwe. But you wouldn’t want to live in most countries in the world that have a Bill of Rights. What has made us free is our Constitution. Think of the word ‘constitution’; it means structure.”

Congress passed the first ten amendments to the Constitution, which became known as the Bill of Rights, during the opening months of its first session in 1789, largely following those proposed by the “Father of the Constitution,” James Madison. They were ratified by the states and became the law of the land in 1791.

Scalia argued that without the division of power created by the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, which guarantees freedom of speech and religion, the right to bear arms, protection against unlawful search and seizures, and trial by jury of one’s peers among other rights, would just be paper promises with no mechanism to enforce them.

“The genius of the American constitutional system is the dispersal of power,” he said. “Once power is centralized in one person, or one part [of government], a Bill of Rights is just words on paper.”

Scalia stands on firm ground with his observation. James Madison wrote in Federalist 51 that the best bulwark against government tyranny is structuring a system where “ambition must be made to counteract ambition.”

He observed: “In…the republic of America, the power surrendered by the people is first divided between two distinct governments [federal and state], and then the portion allotted to each subdivided among distinct and separate departments [legislative, executive, judicial]. Hence a double security arises to the rights of the people. The different governments will control each other, at the same time that each will be controlled by itself.”

Scalia noted that the most profound departure from the dispersal-of-power structure established under the Constitution was passage of the ratification of the 17th Amendment in 1913, which changed the method of the election of U.S. senators to the popular vote rather than by the state legislatures.

The Founders intended the House of Representatives to be the “people’s house” with elections every two years, while senators served for six year terms–their constituency being the state legislature. This ensured that senators would have no incentive to trample on the state government’s authority through federal action.

The Constitution created a federal government with certain enumerated powers, leaving all the remaining authority to the states and the people. Scalia and many other critics believe the federal government has usurped broad authority in powers left primarily to the states.

“What a difference that makes,” Scalia said. “When you have a bill that says states will not receive federal highway funds unless they raise the drinking age to 21, that bill would not pass. The states that had lower drinking ages would tell their senators, ‘You vote for that and you are out of there.’”

Repeal of the 17th Amendment is one of the proposals in radio talk show host Mark Levin’s bestselling book Liberty Amendments.

Regarding interpretation of the Constitution overall, Justice Scalia is an originalist. In other words, he believes that it is not up to courts to re-interpret the nation’s governing document, but follow what the Founders’ intended. If the Constitution or laws generally need revision, it is up to the legislative branch to do so. “When we read Shakespeare, we have a glossary. We don’t think the words have changed there, so why do we think they have changed in the Constitution?” the justice has told audiences in the past.

Justice Scalia is currently the longest serving member on the Supreme Court, having been appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1986. Anthony Kennedy is the only other Reagan appointee still serving on the high bench.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth