What It Was Like Being Engaged to a Hollywood Liberal

Once, in the land of Los Angeles, I was engaged to a Hollywood liberal. Alec Baldwin was his name and the time was 1982 to 1983. Alec was charming and funny and quite persuasive. I loved him and consider him a friend today.

The church had already been booked for our wedding, the dress purchased and the invitations addressed when we mutually decided to cancel the wedding. Heartbreak of enormous proportions ensued.

Ironically, politics was not the reason for our split, yet the reason for our split led me, well, both of us, to higher ground. There was a Divine purpose in our relationship and it has positively impacted the way I live my life today.

Political discussion was a challenge, however. When I was in the early stages of dating Alec, I read an article by William Safire. In the article he called for young Republican leaders to step forward and be of service. Enthralled, I called Alec and told him how inspired I was. There was a long pause on the phone. “You’re a Republican?” “Yes,” I responded enthusiastically. He then muttered something along the lines that he would try to not hold it against me.

As a young twenty year old, I sat around dinner tables in Hollywood and experienced zero tolerance for any of my beliefs or political perspectives. I liken it to being put in a corner wearing a dunce hat. (I want to make clear that I am not singling out Alec in this regard.)

I silently observed that I believed in American exceptionalism, they did not. I believed that though we may not be a perfect country, in Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s words, “show me a better one.” They believed in better ones. (Interestingly, they did not move.) I loved Ronald Reagan. They hated Ronald Reagan. I was the proud daughter of a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. They ran to Jane Fonda’s parties. They were part of the hip crowd. I stayed home – alone.

I learned that their viewpoints were different from my own. I could accept this. I could not accept their intolerance for another person’s point of view. It was blatantly wrong. I walked away from those years a fighter for justice with a keen ear for hypocrisy. My lens became wide angle instead of zoom.

I believe now, as I did as a twenty year old in Hollywood, that tyranny is the biggest threat to our inherent, unalienable rights. My freedom of political speech was shut down during years amongst the Hollywood elite. Thus, I realized something of intrinsic value that reached beyond party politics–the necessity for reason and that learned reason is more powerful than dogmatic rhetoric.

The art of reason is the vital component of freedom of speech and it is our responsibility to maintain it. In order to reason we must be willing to hear other points of view, to have the confidence to not be threatened by them and to be willing to have a tempered and reasonable debate both in our national politics and within our own personal spheres.

All the dogmatic, hot, and insensitive jargon spewed forth by ideologues in both parties smothers the flame of liberty and darkens our horizons. Prejudiced passions muddy the water within the political parties themselves. Often judgments and statistics, which defy reason, are thrown out into the general populace with no thought of the impact on the individual human being. And it is the individual human being who votes–not statistics. All Americans are entitled to their point of view.

As I reflect on my twenties with Alec and Hollywood, I recognize that nothing has really changed. We are still a society that often balks at or stifles reason. Reason is missing in our nation’s schools and colleges, reason is missing in our culture and reason is missing in our own political discussions–often for the rise of a political party.

We are Americans. May we speak with one another, not at one another. The world is imploding around us, let it be a reminder that it was our founder’s willingness to reason that built the foundation for our liberties. It is upon this reason that our liberties will prevail.

Janine Turner, actress, author, speaker, political pundit, founder of Constituting America. Her new book, A Little Bit Vulnerable on Hollywood, God, Sobriety & Politicsis available for pre-order now and in bookstores September 30.

Source: Breitbart Feed

Farage: ‘We Pose A Threat To The Entire Political Class, And I’ll Drink To That’

DONCASTER, United Kingdom – Nigel Farage has “parked his tanks on Labour’s lawn” in a speech that threatened the “entire political class”. The Ukip leader took to his feet on the second day of the party’s annual conference in Doncaster.

Farage talked about how the conference would be a “broadening of our policy base” delivered through Ukip’s “excellent new spokesmen and spokeswomen”. He talked about how the country already knew that that “we love Europe, but hate the EU” and how the party want to “control and quality and quantity of immigrants coming to the country”.

But he also talked about his views on foreign policy, which he described as “a total and utter joke”. He claimed that David Cameron’s attempt to support the Syrian opposition meant that “we were talking about arming the very people we might be bombing on Saturday”. He also claimed that the country had failed to “deal with the home front” of radicalisation in school and hospitals.

On the referendum he said the promises made to Scottish voters “were not legitimate and not done in my name”. He went on to cite tuition fees as an example of broken promises to England. He said “we believe that English MPs only should vote on English laws.”

Farage said that fighting both the Conservatives and Labour was vital because Northern England had become a “one party state”. He also suggested that the lack of opposition in towns like Doncaster had led to the widespread problem of child abuse. He claimed that Labour had produced a failed multi-cultural model and were now “more afraid of being branded racist than they were of dealing with this evil”.

He claimed that both parties were guilty of “arrogance and complacency” , he also invited the audience to give a “big round applause to Nick Clegg” whom he publicly thanked for inviting him to the two European debates in March.

Farage said: “This party is not about left or right, it’s about right and wrong”. He finished off by saying: “The message is clear, if you vote UKIP you will get UKIP”.

Source: Breitbart Feed

Oxford Study Proves The Virtues of Selective Education

A new study by an Oxford academic has found a greater concentration of poverty in schools has a negative effect on pupils there, both rich and poor. Professor Steve Strand discovered a difference in GCSE results of 25 percent between children who qualified for free meals and those who did not at schools rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. The study also found that children from relatively wealthy families perform worse at schools with large numbers of disadvantaged pupils.

These findings make a mockery of one of the supposed justifications for ridding the nation of its grammar schools: namely, that less capable students benefit from working alongside brighter children. In fact, the opposite is true – which is worth remembering next time you hear a parent hailing the diverse mix of kids at their local comprehensive. Diverse in background they may be, but when it comes to academic achievement, it’s likely to be a choice between dumb and dumber.

Professor Strand’s findings are unlikely to go down well with the Left, but it will take comfort from his opinion that teachers are not to blame for these disparities. He believes that poor children do less well in education because “they have parents who are more stressed, less able to afford educational activities and resources, and less well-placed to help them with their school work”.

So, apparently, parents are largely equal in their willingness and ability to help their children, but differ in their opportunities to do so. Better-off parents have time to kill, whereas cash-strapped ones are too busy making ends meet to spare a thought for their kids’ education.

This will come as news to stressed-out families busting a gut to give their children a better life. Apparently, all that striving, achieving and supportive parenting just goes to show how easy they have it. And what about those hard-up parents who still find time to help with their children’s school work? Are we supposed to dismiss them as the exceptions who prove the rule? I dare say such parents would take umbrage at the suggestion that they are freaks.

What can’t be denied is the link between poverty and poor performance at school. The Left will naturally conclude from this that greater redistribution of wealth is required to militate against the effects of poverty. But making people better-off does nothing to affect their attitude to hard work and achievement. On the contrary, when Big Brother fills people’s pockets with money they did nothing to earn, it blurs the lines between effort and success.

The attitude a child takes to school is more important than any help they receive outside of it, and this is something they generally pick up from their parents. Perhaps the reason that children from poor families fare less well at school is that they lack a positive influence from their parents. Perhaps their parents’ low incomes result from the choices they have made, and maybe, because of their own experiences, they fail to see the value of learning as a key to self-improvement. It could be that they would rather take refuge in the Left’s theories of social injustice than encourage their children to prove them wrong.

If this is so, and assuming Professor Strand’s evidence is correct, then two obvious conclusions can be drawn. Firstly, selective education (e.g. grammar schools) is necessary to ensure the brightest pupils maximise their potential and ensure they are not dragged down by less willing or able students. Secondly, trying to end the cycle of failure through state handouts is counterproductive and only encourages attitudes that are antithetical to academic achievement.

Conservatives have known this for a long time, but the Left has consistently refused to face facts, preferring to ply low-achievers with government lollipops as compensation for their ‘mistreatment’, and regarding standards as arbitrary things that can be lowered without any negative effects.

It wasn’t always this way. Once upon a time, the British Left shared common ground with conservatives on a variety of issues. Both recognised the value of effort and ability, both had similar views on what excellence looked like, and both understood that our values and customs were largely about best practice rather than prejudice.

The Left wanted to help the working classes enjoy the same benefits as the rich, but not any more. If it isn’t warding the masses off the evils of wealth and convenience, it’s trying to persuade them that a state of bovine dependency is better than all that ambition and self-improvement nonsense.

Boomer intellectuals of the post-war era decided that hard work was for suckers, standards were a sham, and self-restraint an affront to their egos. To this end, they began defining down the criteria of success, instead of helping people lift themselves towards it.

The result is the kind of spiteful anti-elitism we find in our schools and in society as a whole today. As long as people can be encouraged to believe that anything is good enough, they will never understand the true meaning of success, and will be denied the tools required to achieve it.

Source: Breitbart Feed

Benghazi Security Officers Debate Dem Congressman

Kris Paronto and Mark Geist, two security officers who were in Benghazi on the night of the September 11, 2012 terror attacks debated Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) after Smith and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) denied that a stand-down order was given on the night of the attacks, and Schiff suggested that the Paronto and Geist were only trying to promote their book.

Paronto reiterated that he and his colleagues were told to stand-down saying “the semantics of the words we’re playing with here are ridiculous. The order was given, it cost lives … I want to say to Mr. Smith, was he there that night with us?”

Smith clarified that “the reference that I made was to the folks in Tripoli. I was making no reference whatsoever to the annex in Benghazi. There’s two stand-down orders that are out there. One was for the special operations team that was in Tripoli. One planeload of people did go from Tripoli to Benghazi. A second was considering going. Some of the special ops guys wanted to go and they were told not to. They were told not to because they felt they needed to secure the situation in Tripoli. That is what I was referring to. Those people were not told to stand down.”

He also distanced himself from the comments made by Schiff that Geist and Paronto’s intentions were merely to sell more books declaring, “I wouldn’t say that at all.”

“He [Schiff] attacked us, we’re not the enemy” Geist responded, with Paronto adding “it doesn’t matter if it was by you, then should have stood up and said ‘you know what, that was incorrect, that should have been said.'”

Smith also turned to the issue of the Station Chief referred to as “Bob” telling Paronto and Geist’s group to wait before going to aid the besieged consulate, remarking “it seems to me what Bob was deciding in that situation wasn’t, ‘no, under no circumstances do we not want to help these people,’ he was making a command judgment call as to what was the highest risk. Now he may well have been wrong, and you gentlemen make a very good argument for that, but the argument that he said ‘no we’re just not helping them,’ he was making a judgment call about what the best thing to do was there.”

Both Geist and Paronto also stood by their assertion that the attack could not have been a spontaneous protest, “you do not bring RPGs to a protest,” Paronto stated.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

Source: Breitbart Feed

Democratic Candidate Plagiarized Another Democrat’s Plagiarized Jobs Plan

BuzzFeed reported Thursday that Susan Wismer, the Democratic Party’s gubernatorial nominee in South Dakota, has been caught plagiarizing from the already plagiarized jobs plan of the party’s Wisconsin gubernatorial nominee, Mary Burke. Wismer also plagiarized from the Democratic Party’s gubernatorial nominee in Texas, Wendy Davis.

Until this plagiarism of a plagiarized plan story broke on Thursday, Wismer liked to point out the similarities between herself and Burke of Wisconsin.

On her campaign website, for instance, the lead story in her news section cites an article published in the Washington Post last month, which reported that “Mary Burke made Wisconsin history Tuesday. She and South Dakota’s Susan Wismer — both of them Democrats — this year became the first women since 1970 and likely ever to secure a major-party nomination for governor in their respective states, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.”

Unlike Burke in Wisconsin, who doubled down when her plagiarism was discovered and declared she would proudly leave her jobs plan unchanged, Wismer in South Dakota appeared to display some shame at being caught.

“We will be making any changes necessary [to the campaign documents],” a Wismer spokesperson told BuzzFeed, adding that the plagiarized passages “will be taken care of.”

Wismer herself was somewhat less apologetic.

“This isn’t academia. This is politics. We all do what we can to save time,” she told the Sioux Falls, South Dakota Argus Leader on Thursday.

The instances of plagiarism first identified by BuzzFeed on Thursday (shown below) are numerous and blatant:

Mary Burke’s Jobs Plan:

She knows how to make responsible decisions that keep a balance sheet in the black while creating jobs because she’s spent her career doing it. Scott Walker has taken a different approach. Despite making historic cuts to education, he’s turned a projected budget surplus into a deficit, and state spending has shot up by $4.6 billion.

Susan Wismer’s Campaign Document:

As an accountant, Susan knows how to make responsible decisions that keep a balance sheet in the black while creating jobs because she’s spent her career doing it. This governor has taken a different approach. After making historic cuts, he took a $127 million dollar budget surplus and padded his reserves rather than giving back what was cut to areas desperate for funding.

Mary Burke’s Jobs Plan

Mary believes Wisconsin schools should be among the best in the nation—and she knows that making historic cuts isn’t the way to do it. She’ll work every day to strengthen our public education system, from K-12 to our technical colleges and university system.

Susan Wismer’s Campaign Document:

Susan believes South Dakota schools should be among the best in the nation and making historic cuts isn’t the way to do it. Susan will work every day to strengthen our public education system– from K-12 to our technical colleges and university system.

Wendy Davis’ Campaign Document:

Wendy Davis will build a well-trained workforce of teachers by engineering guaranteed pathways to careers in education and ensure ongoing support by raising teacher pay to be in line with the rest of the country.

Susan Wismer’s Campaign Document:

Susan will build a well-trained workforce of educators and ensure ongoing support for them by raising salaries to be on par with the rest of the country.

Wendy Davis’ Campaign Document:

When responsibly invested, economic development funds can help bring new businesses and jobs into the state, promote innovation, and encourage technological advancements. But under the wrong leadership and without accountability, too often they become giveaways to special interests and insiders that drain valuable resources from essential investments like our schools and increase taxes on working Texas families.

Susan Wismer’s Campaign Document

Susan knows that the best businesses for communities are usually local businesses. When responsibly invested, economic development funds can help create new businesses and jobs, promote innovation, and encourage technological advancements. However, under the wrong leadership and without accountability, too often they become giveaways to special interests, corporations, and insiders that drain valuable resources from essential investments.

Wendy Davis’ Campaign Document:

As Governor, Wendy Davis will:

Promote transparency, accountability, and responsible investment of economic development funds to ensure they actually create jobs, as well as encourage innovation and development that benefits all Texans.

Susan Wismer’s Campaign Document:

As governor, Susan will promote transparency, accountability, and responsible investment of economic development funds to ensure they actually create jobs and encourage innovation and development that benefits all South Dakotans. She will establish strong, independent oversight of our incentive funds. Susan will ensure transparency and accountability of tax exemptions.

Mary Burke’s Jobs Plan:

The Walker administration has taken a different approach. Rejecting hundreds of millions of our own federal tax dollars means our money goes to cover health care in other states, and leaves us paying more as a state to cover fewer hard working Wisconsinites. It’s an example of what happens when you put politics ahead of progress. And it’s just wrong.

Susan Wismer’s Campaign Document

The Daugaard administration has rejected hundreds of millions of our own federal tax dollars, money that is covering healthcare in other states, and leaves us paying more to cover fewer hard-working South Dakotans. It’s an example of what happens when you put politics ahead of progress.

Mary Burke’s Jobs Plan:

Mary will overturn the current administration’s refusal to accept the federal expansion of Medicaid, bringing hundreds of millions of dollars of our taxpayer money back home to our state, where it belongs.

Susan Wismer’s Campaign Document:

Susan will overturn the current administration’s refusal to accept the federal expansion of Medicaid, bringing over $272 million of our taxpayer money back to South Dakota, while providing 48,000 South Dakotans with access to affordable, preventative health care.

Breitbart News requested a comment from the Wismer campaign but has not received a response.

There have been no reports yet that any other Democratic gubernatorial candidates have plagiarized Wismer’s plagiarization of Burke’s plagiarized plan. But with another 40 days still left until election day, it is still too early to discount the possibility of a third generation of campaign document plagiarization among Democrats this cycle.

Source: Breitbart Feed