3-10-12 Hodgepodge

Saturday, March 10, 2012


A group of conservatives has started a petition to the FCC to take Bill Maher off the air. Fortunately, it seems to be failing, in terms of its signature count so far. It reads, in part, as follows:

If those who oppose Rush Limbaugh are going to make a petition to pull him off the air for one derogatory thing he said. It only makes sense that we actually pull people off the air who add nothing to the national dialogue but derogatory and inflammatory language.
While I can understand wanting to make such a petition, what kind of message does it send? If it garners enough signatures, it looks like "We're all censors now," to recast a phrase from the start of the so-called Great Recession, when both parties supported government "bailouts". If it fails, it looks like nobody really cares about the selective outrage leftists are showing towards Rush Limbaugh (not that his slur wasn't outrageous).

Weekend Reading

"Like the singsong mocking of a little child, 'I know something you don't know,' the sad truth is that some adults never outgrow this immature stage." -- Michael Hurd, in "Being Contrary Is Not Self-Esteem" at DrHHurd.com

"Highly doubted and dangerous, the new emerging markets might end up surprising us all, just as Latin America and the BRICs have over most of the past decade." -- Jonathan Hoenig, in "Give Greece a Chance" at SmartMoney

"In truth it's Mr. Geithner who seems to suffer from amnesia, although you can't really forget what you never learned in the first place." -- Richard Salsman, in "Five Financial Reforms That Would Prevent Crises and Promote Prosperity" at Forbes

"If the Catholic bishops had previously opposed ObamaCare and supported free market health care reforms on principle, they would now have the moral high ground to argue for religious freedom." -- Paul Hsieh, in "Free Market Lessons from Contraception Fight" at PJ Media

My Two Cents

The quote from the Hsieh piece reminds me of a column by Senator Jim DeMint who, although "pro-life", ended up saying the following: "The problem is not how the federal government is abusing its new power in this instance, but that the government -- indeed, a single person -- suddenly wields this power at all."

I Think I Agree

A sportswriter, commenting on Arsenal F.C.'s nearly coming back from the dead in the the UEFA championships, says the following:
[Manager Arsene] Wenger, just maybe, was seeing evidence of a new team of excellent competitive character but shaped by his most basic beliefs in how football should be played. ...


If Wenger can persuade his owners to see the importance of making more than nominal attempts to re-sign Robin van Persie, if Jack Wilshere comes back as whole and potentially masterful as he left, we might have evidence that the club was indeed right, and so many of us wrong, to believe that the best of the manager's work was not consigned to the past.
I recall how shaky the now-superlative goalkeeper was last season, and am no longer seeing the kinds of mistakes caused by mental weakness among some of the younger players that plagued the team last season. The team, as inconsistent as it has been this season, is currently fourth place. It would be ludicrous for the owners not to support Wenger.

-- CAV


Paul Hsieh said...

Thanks for the link to my PJM piece!Ch

Gus Van Horn said...

Thanks for writing it!


Anonymous said...

Hi Gus,

When the contraception controversy first erupted Paul's point was the first one I made. Of all the radio commentators, only Glenn Beck made a passing reference to the fact that Catholic institutions had supported Obamacare and had largely made their own bed. But he then, on the excuse of "Religious Freedom" opined that they should not be required - absent their support for repealing Obamacare - to lay in it.

For in the final analysis, exempting Catholic institutions from this requirement is the same exercise as exempting labor unions and politically connected businesses from the onerous provisions of Obamacare while supporting its enforcement on the rest of us. This is not equality under law.
It is to say, essentially, that while the Catholic church is allowed to complain and seek redress for violations of their "Religious Freedom" although they engineered the basis for it, they are somehow exempt from the moral shaming that should follow from their violating the rights of contract and association of their fellow citizens that followed from the Catholic support of Obamacare.

Their right of association (disguised as religious freedom) and contract with their employees does not trump my right of association and contract. Yet to listen to the Conservatives, there is no connection.

Wasn't it Leonard Peikoff that pointed out that you cannot claim a right for yourself while simultaneously advocating for its violation in another?

c. andrew

Gus Van Horn said...

On you last point, I am not sure, but attempting to do that betrays an inability to think in terms of principles or a contempt for same.

Mark Lindholm said...

Was it a slur? I don't think so. He simply asked if someone who spends a grand a year on birth control is a slut. And if someone who wants others to pay for them to have sex is a prostitute. Was it outrageous? If so, then we should be outraged at just about everything.

Gus Van Horn said...

Fine, then we're left to conclude that he's wasting his time personally attacking a single advocate of birth control subsidies -- or that he was implying that any woman who advocates a subsidy for birth control is a slut, which is absurd. Not to excuse this, but in our statist political milieu, most people don't give the notion of subsidies a second thought.

Rather than launch a personal attack, Rush could have noted that all medical subsidies are wrong and made a positive stand for individual rights. That strikes me as far more important (and interesting) than focusing on the sex life of some college student.

Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, you write: "Fine, then we're left to conclude that he's wasting his time personally attacking a single advocate of birth control subsidies -- or that he was implying that any woman who advocates a subsidy for birth control is a slut, which is absurd."

Actually, she said it can run up to $3000 for a person's time in law school, so usually up to $1000 a year, not that she needs $1000 a year for birth control. Moreover, Limbaugh's comment shows remarkable obtuseness of how the pill works, whether due to ignorance or deliberately so as to insult her, since it's not like a condom, one use and done but taken continuously, and the costs would thus be the same regardless of how many sexual partners she had. Furthermore, her testimony was explicitly about women who needed oral contracetives to treat medical disorders; this should be covered by medical insurance but se claims this was not always so.

There were much more serious problems with her testimony that she should have been slammed for--in fact, it was not testimony to Congress at all but testimony in an empty room solicited by Pelosi, if what I have read is correct, and it was not under oath, but was filmed and broadcast in such a way as to deceive the viewer into thinking it was.

Gus Van Horn said...


Thanks for filling in some missing detail: I was relying on reports of the incident. Limbaugh's attack was more ridiculous than I thought.


Mark Lindholm said...

I disagree that Rush was focusing on the sex life of a college student. He actually spent 3 days dissecting the ridiculous circus sideshow that was her "testimony". The "student" herself is a professional activist who was disingenuously arguing for Obamacare by conflating a right to contraception with a mandate for insurers to cover contraception. And I thought Rush did a great job of illustrating the idiocy of it all. Then some leftists took a weak joke he made in the course of his arguments that used a HORRIBLE WORD, and they jumped on it in order to evade his argument and to ratchet up the hysteria that those who oppose Obamacare are in fact women-haters who want to deny abortion and contraception rights.

Rush inspired outrage in me over the Fluke testimony. I'm sure he wasn't the only one exposing it for the sham it was, but he was the only one I heard it from. Certainly never heard it from the media, who immediately put her on a pedestal and assigned her victim-of-patriarchy status.

But your outrage is directed at Rush, just the way the media and the left want it. Let's keep talking about what an asshole Rush is, while socialism is snuck in wholesale under cover of "insurance".

Gus Van Horn said...


How has my desire that Limbaugh didn't waste time on this person's sex life (when the story was plenty outrageous without it) lending credence to the idea that insurance equals socialism?

Anyone can search my blog -- or raise the issue in a comment -- and discover I oppose government meddling in medical care, and I am here opposing censorship.

Even assuming that Rush was perfectly justified in everything he said, the petition I mention is a bad idea.


Mark Lindholm said...

I'm aware that you oppose socialized medicine. But the media is framing a narrative around Limbaugh being a misogynist and Sandra Fluke being a victim, rather than portraying the real story, which I previously described in broad strokes. And your comments on the matter suggest that you are willing to swallow their narrative and accept their premises. Regardless of your well-reasoned views on socialized medicine, it is false narratives like the Fluke/Limbaugh story that are used to dupe the public into acceptance of Obamacare.

Did you familiarize yourself with the full context of Limbaugh's remarks, and with the press conference that inspired them, before writing your post? Or did you consider that unnecessary?

Gus Van Horn said...

Where would a reader with half a clue and any initiative at all get the idea that I now regard Rush Limbaugh as a misogynist? All I said was that he did not need to call this woman a slut to make his point. I haven't heard the actual radio show, but I think I know enough about it to say that much.

If my acknowledging such a point makes the public more likely to swallow Obamacare despite everything else I and others have said, then our goose is already cooked.

I give most people more credit than that.

Anonymous said...


I was listening to Limbaugh when he started the Fluke thread in his program. Initially, I figured he was doing his textbook "illustrating absurdity by being absurd" but as it went on, I thought it might be an "undocumented" media tweak. And then he went on. And on. And on. I was thinking, "Geez, Rush, give it a rest." It was like listening to a comedian who didn't quite get the audience response he wanted, so he doubled down. And again. And again.

Of course, the Left is going to paint this as misogyny. That's what they do. Rush knows this and usually is as adept as toreador waving the red cape and watching, Bugs Bunny-like, as the Leftist Bullsh*tters crash into the walls of the arena. Not this time. He got the horns. An epic fail, to use the modern parlance. Hence the apology.

And speaking of false premises, this is NOT an issue of religious freedom. It IS an issue of right of contract and right of association; Religious freedom is a subset of the second and their religious institutions' relationship with their employees and students is an example of the first.

Right of association and contract; Two rights that Catholic institutions like the US Catholic Bishops' Association and St. Vincent De Paul have spent at least two decades advocating for their abrogation in the medical realm. They thought they had covered their moral bases with the Stupak Amendment, but, big surprise, Obama isn't an honest politician. He didn't "stay bought."

The Catholic church's antics and the Republican support for them are of the same moral caliber as the Labor Unions' and Pelosi's Pals' opt out of Obama-care along with the crony support of the Democratic Party.

The Catholic church bemoans the use of government force to contravene their moral principles after allowing their subsidiary institutions to advocate and assist the imposition of government force to contravene MY moral principles. What goes around comes around.

There is only one legitimate "Road to Redemption" here. The Catholic institutions should repudiate their support for the initiation of government force against innocent parties and advocate for their general repeal. That resolves the twin issues of their being coerced in the moral realm as well as advocating for the coercion of others. One gains no moral credit for demanding a liberty exception for oneself while continuing to support the abrogation of the liberty of all others. If the Republicans had one iota of moral sense, they would have required this of the Catholic Church. As it is, the Republicans have no more claim to being champions of liberty than do Obama, Pelosi, and Reid.

c. andrew

Gus Van Horn said...

Thank you, Mr. Andrew, for filling in more detail.