Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Shills, Shrills, and Leftist Ills

I wonder if there is such a thing as a "Liberal Shill" or a "Left-Wing Shill"? I never hear anybody ever talk about them. Is it because there aren't any? Or again, are conservatives in general more objective?

I've been reading leftist comments on the web -- and I note that anyone who has an opinion that opposes one of theirs is a "Right-Wing Shill" or a "Republican Shill." They love to label and throw what they don't like in the "it would be ludicrous not to ignore these people" pile.

Of course, somebody calls a lefty a "Liberal" and he'll scream "labels! libels! labels!"

I heard someone interviewing soldiers in Iraq on NPR last night. The interviewer, it seemed, went out of her way to make sure to get an equal number of soldiers saying they would vote for Kerry as would vote for Bush.

The story didn't say it, but it leaves the impression that military folks are evenly split between Kerry and Bush. I understand the equal-ness in air time and all, but what I want to know is... what's the truth? Are Military voters more likely to vote Bush than Kerry, or not?

The right wants us to believe that the Military leans heavily Bush, while the left wants us to believe that they're all unhappy over there and don't believe in what they're doing. Which is true?

My suspicion is that the first position is the correct one, but it flies in the face of the left's position that Big Bully Bush threw our boys and girls over there unprepared and armorless and they're not happy about it. I think that NPR wants us to believe that it's more evenly split so that we can buy the argument "Support Our Troops. Bring 'em Home." I suspect if they really were evenly split, it would have been mentioned for sure -- but that could have been refuted by a poll. Rather than take the poll themselves and report an answer they don't like, they opted for the more subtle approach -- air 4-6 interviews, evenly split Bush/Kerry and just leave the impression.

A friend recently went ballistic over a headline in the St. Louis Post Dispatch that proclaimed that the Archbishop of St. Louis declared a vote for Kerry would be a mortal sin. Not only was she pissed at the Bishop, she was pissed at the Post Dispatch, saying she'd never buy the paper again because they put that story so prominently on the front page.

So I suppose this means she stands firmly against the First Amendment, and for supression of news she doesn't want people to hear.

However, she was apparently also for the First Amendment, as she decried it as a violation of the "separation of church and state".

So here's the first amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Note, just for the record, that the words "separation", "church", and "state" do not appear anywhere in there.

First, the Church cannot make laws. It cannot use the power of the state to throw you in jail or in fact do anything to you if you refuse to do what it says. The government does not support or refute the church's position, which is clearly one of the intents. The Church is free to peaceably assemble people and say what it wants.

So where's the problem?

She said the Church should lose its tax-exempt status for speaking its position on the race for the Presidency. I didn't push her, but I wonder how she feels about labor unions telling their employees to back Kerry (tax exempt) and the Muslim Cleric who recently stated that it was the moral responsibility of all American Muslims to vote for Kerry. I'm sure she was fine with that (although she'd probably have to back down from that in a public argument because it's such a ludicrous double-standard).

That's where the Left wants to take the country.

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