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Results tagged “political correctness” from IngeMusings

Don't Forget the Holocaust but Try Not To Talk About It Either

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After Germany's World War II defeat, the shamed postwar German government banned Nazi symbols on everything from flags to model airplanes, in an attempt to suppress Nazi sympathizers--although the need to forget that they allowed the Holocaust on their soil probably played a role in banishing swastikas and iron crosses from their sight.

Others, especially in the United States, want to remember the Holocaust and keep pointing to its atrocities so that mankind might not make the same mistake. Whereas the German anti-swastika laws even ensnare anti-fascists, who, for example, might display a swastika being smashed to pieces by a fist, Americans have been more common sense in their approach.

Like the Germans, however, sometimes we can overreact to the subject of Nazism and the Holocaust and try to stamp it out of existence altogether.

While it's poor form to label your political opponents Nazis, fascists, and anti-Semites simply because they disagree with you, sometimes it's appropriate if certain clinical definitions are met.

True, Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies is at play, which states that as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of someone calling someone a Nazi or Hitler approaches one. If you use this Reductio ad Hitlerum attack, you've probably lost the argument.

However, that's not to say that you should never use it. In fact, if we can never mention Nazism or Hitler aren't we bound to forget it, and isn't that exactly what we don't want to do?

The Left disproportionately benefits from Godwin's Rule, because, let's face it--Hitler was a socialist. The Nazi Party was the National Socialist Party. They believed in big government, big education, big social programs, and top-down social engineering.

Now, that's not to say that all socialists are like Hitler because Hitler was a socialist. To say so would be to introduce a fallacy to the discussion. However, if Hitler liked socialist policy X (or libertarian policy Y), then it would be fair to point that out so that people might realize, "oh wait, maybe this is a bad idea."

Unfortunately, if someone makes that point now, they are attacked as poisoning the debate.

A Catholic bishop in Pennsylvania found himself in that position recently when he said Hitler and Mussolini would have loved to have a powerful government-run education system.

The bishop made a comparison between the interests of the public school system and totalitarianism, while discussing what he sees as a lack of school choice in Pennsylvania.

"In the totalitarian government, they would love our system," McFadden said. "This is what Hitler and Mussolini and all them tried to establish -- a monolith; so all the children would be educated in one set of beliefs and one way of doing things."

He said the "H" word, and the Anti-Defamation League and the ACLU jumped on it.

McFadden's comments drew immediate criticism from the Anti-Defamation League and the American Civil Liberties Union - which complained that the bishop had raised the specter of the Holocaust.

You'd think the Anti-Defamation League, of all groups, would not want to stifle criticism of Hitler's policies.

"The Holocaust was a unique experience.  It does not lend itself to inappropriate analogies.  We have an obligation to protect the memory of those who suffered because of it from those who would distort it and undermine and trivialize the history of the Holocaust, however inadvertently.  Our role should be to honor those who fought to defeat the murderous Nazis, and not to inappropriately draw reckless comparisons."

But in this case, the analogy is true. Hitler and Mussolini wanted state-run education that promoted the state. It's not inappropriate. If the ADL wants people to remember the Holocaust, than it should want to remember what sort of conditions made it possible. Government propaganda was one important factor.

It's also appropriate to point out that the Catholic Church would benefit financially from a voucher system that promotes more school choice. Dollars that would be spent on public schools would instead be attached to students that went to Catholic schools.

Adults need to be mature enough not to shut down a debate when the H-word is mentioned, or when schools are attacked, or when it's pointed out that non-profits might be motivated by money.  Not being able to talk about certain things merely ensures they'll occur again.

Planned Parenthood finds Ventura County gay sex ed lacking

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Ventura County school districts aren't in compliance with state sex education laws, Planned Parenthood found in a tri-county audit. Apparently, we aren't employing enough gay-themed material in the classroom.

"Seventy-seven percent of the districts fail to incorporate information that is appropriate and accessible to LGBTQ students and students with physical or mental disabilities," Planned Parenthood stated in its report.

LGBTQ is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and "questioning" (I had to look that last part up because it's impossible to keep up with left's penchant for creating euphemisms).

Furthermore, Planned Parenthood noted that "only six districts completely cover healthy image, which includes sexual orientation, gender roles, self-esteem, and positive body image."

It sounds like our schools aren't pandering to homosexuals enough.

But lest you think our educators aren't doing their jobs, rest assured that 100 percent of schools do not "teach or promote religious doctrine" in their sex ed programs. What a relief!

Star stays politically correct

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No, there's no such thing as illegal aliens to the Star--at least you wouldn't think so by reading its coverage of the biggest social shift in the United States in decades. Twenty million illegal immigrants didn't come across the border--but 20 million "undocumented" ones did. Consider this excerpt from an article called "County's Latino population continues to increase."

He suspects the Census Bureau did a better job in 2010 than in the past at reaching out and counting Latinos, including undocumented immigrants. The 2010 Census did not ask for a person's legal status. A 2006 study by the Urban Institute estimated there were as many as 50,000 undocumented immigrants in Ventura County.

"Illegal aliens" is too offensive, so everyone caved an now we use "undocumented immigrants" or "undocumented workers." Continuing that trend, what term will be pressured to use next? Undocumented citizens?

To its credit, sometimes the Star uses "illegal immigrants," which is a fair term. It's accurate.

But "undocumented" is often a lie--many times illegal aliens have plenty of documentation; it's just stolen or fraudulent. In other words, it's illegal.

The root of all this wordplay obviously is to stifle debate on illegal immigration. If we can't agree on a label, or if we agree on a label that minimizes the problem, it's tough to discuss it.

The Star is, in effect, taking sides when it uses the preferred language of one side of the illegal immigration debate.

Star falls victim to PC Police

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Nestled into President Obama's soaring rhetoric in his State of the Union address Tuesday night were these words:

One last point about education. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of students excelling in our schools who are not American citizens. Some are the children of undocumented workers, who had nothing to do with the actions of their parents....

Now, I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration. And I am prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows. 

Of course, "illegal alien" use to be the technical term, but the PC Police have so vilified that label that it sounds harsh now. Politicians, pundits, and yes, news publications have opted in recent years for the much softer sounding "undocumented workers."

However, the name change is just crafty political spin. Are undocumented workers here really undocumented? No, many of them have fraudulent or stolen documentation. Are undocumented workers really workers? Many of them are, but many of them aren't.

Many undocumented workers, then, are neither undocumented nor working. But the Left wants you to think that every one here illegally is a hard-working person who just happens not to have documentation.

There is a more accurate phrase for these people to encompass the ones that are hardworking and documented, but also those that have fraudulent documentation and aren't working. 

Illegal aliens.

One hundred percent of them are here illegally and are aliens from another country. That's a much better phrase to use then the political left's misleading "undocumented workers."

So when I read this in the Star about Elton Gallegly's reaction to the the president's speech, you can imagine what I thought about it:

"What do we do with the 20 million (undocumented workers) that are here already and are taking American jobs?"

The parenthetical phrase obviously is an editorial addition to Rep. Gallegly's statement. The article continues:

Obama also made the case that children of undocumented workers should be allowed to attend school in this country. 

In the Star's defense, it did use the label "illegal immigrants" later in the article, which is a fair term.

But it shouldn't let itself be bullied by the PC Police who want to engineer the reportage of news stories regarding illegal aliens to pave the way for a pathway to citizenship. That's a controversial topic, and the Star shouldn't use one side's preferred language when reporting on it. 

Passengers revolt against TSA ahead of holidays?

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Americans will be heading to the airports this week, and some may be surprised with the new TSA full-body scanners and pat downs.

People are split--some say it is a necessary security precaution to catch terrorists; others say it's an unwarranted invasion of privacy.

"But at this point, TSA in consultation with counterterrorism experts have indicated to me that the procedures that they have been putting in place are the only ones right now that they consider to be effective against the kind of threat that we saw in the Christmas Day bombing," President Obama said.

Really, that's the only way? If a terrorist wants to do something, he can get past our "feel good" security checks. Meanwhile, passengers are delayed, inconvenienced, and sometimes humiliated.

I can guarantee you that if you stationed me at the security line in a blue shirt I could reduce the risk of terrorism to almost nothing and at the same time inconvenience very few passengers.

The reason I can do this is because I'm not politically correct. Political correctness, manifesting itself as a fear of offending a particular group of people, has forced us to implement policies that cost billions of dollars and fail to make us safer.

If 100 percent of airplane terrorism was committed by young Norwegian males, I'd give them extra scrutiny. It has nothing to do with racial or religious bigotry--it has to do with common sense.

Unfortunately, the Left abandoned that decades ago and we'll all suffer because of it this holiday season. 

Tea Partiers head to Arizona for buycott

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A couple dozen Tea Partiers, including Carla Bonney, will head to Arizona for Memorial Day to participate in a "buycott" and show their solidarity with sane immigration policy and states' rights.

As honest people know, when you have the facts, your opponents have no choice but to resort to ad hominem attacks, distractions, and attempts to silence them.

So Tea Partiers are called racist when they support a law that does little more than reaffirm existing federal laws--laws that are being willfully ignored--by people who haven't even read it.

However, race has nothing to do with it--it's a matter of the rule of law. The Democratic Party, which expects millions of illegal immigrants and their families to be future Democratic voters, and the Republican Party, which historically has been scared to death to do anything about the porous border because they don't want to be called racists, have let the problem fester and it's already permanently transformed the country for the worse.

This week, the U.S. Government released a warning that terrorists may be attempting to sneak across the southern border. Anyone with common sense knew that this was a possibility years ago, Factor in the drugs and some hardened criminals crossing the border, and you have a public policy problem of epic proportions.

It manifests itself in right here in Ventura County, where gangs have taken over neighborhoods and shootings or stabbings are daily headlines.

We have out-of-control political correctness and people that are too willing to play the race card to attempt to shut down any attempt to solve the problem to partially blame for the violence, drugs, and social upheaval we're experiencing.

Reid-iculous: another victim appears before the American Inquisition

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Harry Reid is publicly humiliated about his private remarks on Barack Obama's race in 2008. But sacrificing him on the altar of Political Correctness serves only to feed this modern-day Inquisition with fresh meat. As tempting as it is, Republicans should avoid beheading the Democrats' with their own blood-stained sword.

Torquemada found it easy to brand heretics--a certain keyword or a slip-of-the-tongue might be enough to destroy any man who threatened the existing power structure. After all, that's what the Inquisition was about--preserving power by silencing the opposition through coercion. Often, the heretic was led into a public area where he was persuaded to perform an auto de fe, a ritual involving a public confession and reaffirmation of faith--after which he was executed.

This American Inquisition is the same strain of censorship masking as racial piety, without the violence of its shameful Spanish counterpart, but it performs the same function--to silence opposition. The story is the same, but the stage is different.

Now, when someone violates the orthodoxy--he is no longer called a heretic. Instead, the shouts of "racist!" echo in his ears. No longer is he carted to the town square for an auto de fe--instead a press conference is held where the accused apologizes for his sins and reaffirms his loyalty to the politically correct dogma.  Afterwards, his private life is spared but his public life is burnt at the stake, consumed in a blaze of camera flashes.

Republicans are the preferred prey of this Inquisition, so the desire to wield this powerful weapon in retaliation is understandable, if not justifiable. Certainly they are correct to point out the double-standard of those that would condemn Trent Lott but defend Harry Reid's remarks. If Reid needs a defense for anything , it's for his disgraceful performance as a senator--the man is as corrupt as they come and is not fit for public office.

But branding him as a racist sullies the accuser, not the accused. He made a private, off-the-cuff remark using an antiquated word that was popular for the first half of his life. He said something insensitive and foolish, but racist he is not.

The favorite victims of the American Inquisition must resist the temptation to perpetuate it.  Attack the unjust institution; don't grant it legitimacy by using it to hurt your enemies.

This blog attempts to add perspective and context to local and national politics, through a variety of disciplines, such as history, economics, and philosophy--all tempered with common sense. About the author

Eric Ingemunson's commentary has been featured on Hannity, CNN, NBC, Inside Edition, and KFI's The John and Ken Show. Eric was born and raised in Ventura County and currently resides in Moorpark. He earned a master's degree in Public Policy and Administration from California Lutheran University. As a conservative, Eric supports smaller government, less taxation, more individual freedom, the rule of law, and a strict adherence to the Constitution.
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  • NostraDemus: Eric: Well said, Sir.. And I could not agree with read more