Hyperbole is what ails America

Watching Michael Moore and Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello on Bill Maher’s show reminded me how alike the fringes are.

Left and right, they share a victim’s mentality, along with an inflated sense of their own importance. The sky is always falling, and they never let facts get in the way of a partisan talking point.

To wit: the canonization of Troy Davis, deemed innocent, or guilty, by activists who haven’t bother to study the case. I’m opposed to the death penalty morally and practically but I’m not convinced Davis is innocent. I was bothered that even the slightest of doubt was dismissed.

Likewise, I’m troubled by the blowhards who choose certitude over study. Their minds can’t be changed because they’re never wrong. And increasingly their delusion dominates the narrative.

“I encourage everyone I know to never travel to Georgia, never buy anything made in Georgia, [and] to never do business in Georgia,” Moore said on his website this week.

The Academy-Award winning filmmaker and best-selling author also called on his publisher to pull his memoir, “Here Comes Trouble,” from every Georgia bookstore.

If Grand Central Publishing doesn’t pull the 427-page book, Moore said he will “donate every dime of every royalty my book makes in Georgia to help defeat the racists and killers who run that state.”

Think that’ll influence anyone? And let’s say the boycott was successful. The ones who would be most hurt by it are the working poor Moore claims to represent.

Morello, a self-avowed Marxist, would take it a step further, creaming at the thought of an armed rebellion that he can watch from the comfort of his pricey Hollywood Hills estate.

Time to rage against the extremists, left and right.

Judge them by their friends

If Bill Ayers was an issue, then Michele Bachmann’s associations also deserve scrutiny. Meet Bradlee Dean:

On his radio show, he’s alleged that gays were responsible for the Holocaust, and that gay men will, on average, molest 117 people “before they’re found out.” He’s also suggested that extremist Muslims who call for the execution of American gays are morally justified. “If America won’t enforce the laws, God will raise up a foreign enemy to do just that,” Dean explained. “[Homosexuals] play the victim when they are, in fact, the predator.” He has since clarified that he does not support executing gays, and that his remarks were intended as a brotherly warning to gays to change their ways.

There’s no quitting crazy

Is that you, World Net Daily? Remember me? Boone Wing. Central State Hospital. 1999-2003. You haven’t changed a bit.

WorldNetDaily Exclusive
A tale of two birth certificates Breaking News
‘Rosetta Stone’ documents provide comparison
–WND

WorldNetDaily Exclusive
Aligning birth certificate statements, evidence Breaking News
Descriptions of document have varied by witness
–WND
WorldNetDaily Exclusive
Graphics pros challenge Obama birth certificate Breaking News
Layers of images found in released computer document raise doubts
–WND
WorldNetDaily Exclusive
Is the name of Obama’s birth hospital somehow phony? … Breaking News
Rumors swirl about entry in latest certificate issued by White House
–WND

Good thing James Frey isn’t writing about Muhammad

Disgraced author James Frey, in a new tome chronicling the Second Coming of Christ, depicts the Messiah as “an active bisexual who supports his prostitute girlfriend when she aborts her first child.”

Replace Jesus with Muhammad and I think you can guess the consequences in places such as Kandahar. While forcing Frey into hiding might count as a good thing, innocent lives would likely be lost.

I bring this up not to to indulge in theological superiority but to consider the impact of such religious fervor on American foreign policy. Wishing it weren’t so and trying to rationalize the inexcusable gets us nowhere.

It’s also instructive to note the violent reaction to the idiot Florida pastor’s Koran burning was pretty much contained to Afghanistan. If, as Bachmann Palin Overdrive claim, Islamic extremists have taken over in Egypt (they heard it on Rush), why did they pass on an opportunity to stir up a frenzy? That’s what they do.

Note how our politicians tend to a.) minimize the threat posed by Muslim fanatics or b.) exaggerate their influence.

Rhetoric is not irrelevant

I haven’t vetted this, and I’m reluctant to comment until all the facts are in. Still …

UPDATE: Jesse Kelly was Giffords’ opponent in the Nov. election. Can we at least agree this kind of posturing is, at best, absurd? I salute his service, but I don’t recall Ike driving around with a pistol in his crotch when he ran for political office.

How long ’til the NRA says, “If only the congresswoman was packing heat…”

Amateurish, but worth noting

Re: The attempted car bombing of Times Square:

The location is also adjacent to the Viacom building, fueling speculation that it might be linked to the company’s controversial South Park cartoon which recently depicted Prophet Muhammad in a bear suit.

Speaking of radical Islam, Bill Maher makes my point:

Not all fundamentalists are the same

HuffPoster Diana Butler Bass, writing about the “South Park” imbroglio, ably disproves her point.

I can’t and won’t defend the Revolutionmuslim website. But violence against those who depict the Divine is not just an Islamic problem. It is worth pointing out that Christianity has a long history of violence against visual depictions of Jesus, the saints, and God. In 1987, Serrano’s Piss Christ provoked death threats and violence from Christian fundamentalists and conservative Catholics across the U.S. and Europe and caused political outrage on two continents. In the 19th century, American Catholics were regularly targeted by Protestant mobs for “worshiping” statues while Protestant ministers lost their positions if they placed visual depictions of the crucifixion, Mary, or the saints in their churches. Two hundred years before that, Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan army smashed religious artwork in English parish churches. During the 16th century Protestant Reformation, followers of Luther and Calvin looted cathedrals and convents carting off valuable paintings and statues to burn them in public squares.

While I don’t dispute that some assorted fanatics threatened Serrano’s life, such a response was not sanctioned. And there was no recent precedent, like the brutal murder of Theo van Gogh (referenced by Revolutionmuslim).

Bass notes a “religious-moral superiority” by Western culture, and what’s wrong with that? Western culture doesn’t condemn women to life under a burka, or execute gays using a method of hanging designed to cause a slower, more painful death by strangulation. That’s the past. In countries like Iran, it’s the present.

I detect a whiff of religious-moral equivalence in Bass’ thesis.

Score one for the fundamentalist thugs

COPENHAGEN – Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who has been attacked and repeatedly threatened over a drawing of Prophet Mohammed, has been placed on indefinite leave by his newspaper “for security reasons,” he told AFP Thursday.

“It is forced vacation but it looks a lot like I’m being retired,” the 75-year-old cartoonist said, adding that he himself still had an “insatiable desire” to work.

We all lose when Dark Ages preservationists get their way.

Keep your theocratic hands off my free society

Memo to Muslims offended by South Park’s depiction of their prophet:

I’m offended that your religion facilitates the third-class treatment of women, and death for gays. And don’t tell me both sides could learn from the other — it’s all on them. Live in the Dark Ages if you want, but keep it to yourself.

Blogger Bilal el-Houri has seen both sides first hand in the Middle East. He says no matter how “cruel” the South Park episode is, “it should be a wake up call to Muslims around the world about how they are being portrayed, and instead of grunting and calling for boycotts and other actions, “they should begin by respecting free speech” and they should ask themselves, “why?”

Amen.