Walter Hudson is a political commentator and co-founder of Minnesota's North Star Tea Party Patriots, a statewide educational organization. He runs a blog entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of Minnesotan conservative commentary. Follow his work via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
It’s official. A controversial petition effort has succeeded in San Fransisco. This November, the city’s voters will decide whether or not to ban infant circumcision.
If the measure passes, circumcision would be prohibited among males under the age of 18. The practice would become a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or up to one year in jail. There would be no religious exemptions.
This would be the first ban of its kind in the United States. It would undoubtedly trigger litigation from religious groups alleging a First Amendment violation. Circumcision has religious significance for Jews and Muslims. read more…
Leftists still don’t get the Tea Party, and neither does the Republican party establishment. Reuters recently reported on a private meeting which took place between several Tea Party activists and House Speaker John Boehner. The mood was less than cordial.
One of the 25 or so [Tea Party] leaders, all from Boehner’s district, asked him if Republicans would raise America’s $14.3 trillion debt limit.
According to half a dozen attendees interviewed by Reuters, the most powerful Republican in Washington said “yes(…)”
That answer incensed many of the Tea Party activists, for whom raising the debt limit is anathema.
Young workers, the lifeblood of any economy, are set to flee New York in droves.
A new Marist College poll shows that 36% of New Yorkers under the age of 30 are planning to leave New York within the next five years – and more than a quarter of all adults are planning to bolt the Empire State.
The New York City suburbs, with their high property values and taxes, are leading the exodus, the poll found.
Of those preparing to leave, 62% cite economic reasons like cost of living, taxes – and a lack of jobs.
Labor unions claim to champion the Worker, confronting management in pursuit of “fair” compensation. However, the real enemies of organized labor have always been competing non-union workers.
We need look no further than the word “scab.” This pejorative reference to someone who crosses a picket line was coined for a single purpose, to coerce behavior through intimidation.
That’s the only way a union can function. The only way to prevent people from filling vacancies left by strike is to – well, prevent them. That is why conservatives tend to oppose organized labor, not because there is anything inherently wrong with collective bargaining, but because we detest coercion. read more…
The Tea Party stands as a moral challenge to the status quo. It’s not a third-party movement. It’s an extra-party movement. It’s not political. It’s philosophical. It is a manifestation of the market, an example of how free minds and free will seep through the cracks of the established paradigm to fulfill unmet needs.
Although it did not manifest in rallies and town halls until 2009, the seeds of the Tea Party were planted 15 years earlier. Republicans took control of Congress in 1994, propelled by the Contract with America. The sweeping reforms Republicans pledged to attempt were largely unsuccessful, an outcome they could lay at the feet of President Clinton. Nonetheless, the perception among rank-and-file conservatives was that the Republicans failed to deliver.
Republican credibility was further eroded when the party held both the White House and Congress during the presidency of George W. Bush. After years of listening to pundits suggest that Democrats were the sole driving force behind ever-expanding government, conservatives watched in awe as Republicans drove the ship of state 180 degrees away from every principle they ran on. read more…
When President Barack Obama announced to the world that Osama bin Laden was killed by American forces in Pakistan, he made sure to distinguish the Al-Qaeda leader’s career of terror from any religious affiliation.
… the United States is not –- and never will be -– at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader;
Conservative talk radio host Bill Cunningham, who was on the air at the time of Obama’s announcement, took the president’s claim further and suggested that Bin Laden was not a Muslim at all. Such remarks are based upon the premise that Islam must be “perverted” or “distorted” in order to justify violence in its name.
Editor’s Note: This list post is presented as part of NewsReal Blog Weekend Double Feature. The original of this list can be read here. Check out the other half of this double feature — Walter’s list on the political themes in “Star Trek” here.
Science fiction and fantasy have always been ideal genres for exploring controversial political, religious, and philosophical ideas. The absurdity of circumstance in which such stories are set serve to detach an audience from reality, creating a kind of hypothetical laboratory for exploring thoughts which might be rejected elsewhere.
As a libertarian conservative and a life-long Star Wars fan, I was somewhat taken aback by 2005’s culminative installment Revenge of the Sith. Politics had dominated much of the prequel trilogy, but had been kept within the context of the story. Sith was different, as New York Times film critic A. O. Scott noted.
Mr. Lucas is clearly jabbing his light saber in the direction of some real-world political leaders. At one point, Darth Vader, already deep in the thrall of the dark side and echoing the words of George W. Bush, hisses at Obi-Wan, ‘If you’re not with me, you’re my enemy.’ Obi-Wan’s response is likely to surface as a bumper sticker during the next election campaign: ‘Only a Sith thinks in absolutes.’
The practice of infant circumcision, which carries particular religious significance for Jews, may be outlawed later this year in San Fransisco. A ballot initiative is underway which would ask voters whether to prohibit the practice in November.
The proposed new law would make it a misdemeanor to circumcise a person before they are 18-years-old.
“We don’t come at this from a religious angle,” Lloyd Schofield told the San Francisco Examiner. “We feel this is a very harmful thing. Parents are guardians. They are not owners of children. It’s a felony to tattoo a child.”
The effort is being taken seriously in light of last year’s ban of toys in McDonald’s Happy Meals. That move was enacted by the San Fransisco Board of Supervisors and provoked even leftist commentator Jon Stewart to call the city a “nanny state.” read more…
Is it possible that PETA, an organization which has equated the eating of animals to the lynching of black Americans, has something in common with the Tea Party? I wondered when I received an email from a fellow Tea Partier which had originated from the radical animal rights group.
House File (HF) 1369 and Senate File (SF) 1118, which are currently making their way through the Minnesota State Legislature, could subject whistleblowers to criminal prosecution for their efforts to expose animal abuse on factory farms. If passed, these bills would penalize those who report and expose cruelty to animals and would put them at risk of being charged with a misdemeanor or even a felony, sentenced to pay heavy fines, and ordered to serve jail time. This legislation is a desperate attempt by agriculture industry giants to prevent consumers from learning the truth about how animals on factory farms live and die.
As PETA presents it, these bills appear to attack freedom of speech. By saying they “penalize those who report and expose cruelty to animals,” PETA makes it sound like speaking against a factory farm will become a criminal offense. Were this true, the Tea Party would indeed find itself allied with PETA against these bills. read more…