10.31.2009 0

The WIRE: We Have Ways to Make You Talk

  • On: 11/30/2009 11:12:45
  • In: Slapshot

  • We Have Ways to Make You Talk

    Monday, November 23, could well turn out to be a Red Letter day for the Far Left. On that day, the ultra-liberal Baltimore City Council, by a 12-3 vote, passed the first law in the country requiring non-profit organizations to advertise what they don’t do.

    Like Hawthorne’s scarlet letter, this one, too would an emblazoned “A.” Though, not for “Adultery” – but for “Abortion.” Or, perhaps, more precisely, “Authoritarianism.” Because on the evening of November 23, Baltimore’s City Council – acting as an eager handmaiden to Planned Parenthood – put the full power of Big Government on the side of gutting the First Amendment by forcing pro-life centers to advertise that they do not advocate abortion.

    For limited government proponents, the primary issue is not about abortion. It’s about a chilling foray by government autocrats into oppressing Free Speech not by proscribing — but by prescribing — what must be said. As Carol Clews, of Baltimore’s Center for Pregnancy Concerns put it, “This legislation may serve as serious encouragement to those who would like to see organizations saddled with more laws and restrictions.”

    And for the major media, the story is not about an isolated assault on four, underfunded pro-life centers in the ragtag town of Baltimore. It’s about what many political analysts now see as a historic test case to determine just how far the state is willing to go to dictate the words – and eventually deeds – of those who run afoul of Big Government’s stand on controversial issues.

    According to Baltimore’s new law (awaiting only the signature of pro-abortion mayor, Sheila Dixon), pro-life centers must post prominent signs outside their establishments announcing that they do not advocate abortion. Should the state decide that the signs are not big enough, these charitable centers – providing free food, clothing, counseling, and care to pregnant women wanting to keep their babies – would be fined $150 a day. In short, enough to shut them down.

    Lest anyone think it’s simply a “truth-in-advertising” issue, the City Council, itself, put the lie to that canard. It rejected out of hand an amendment requiring that Planned Parenthood post equally conspicuous signs advising that they do not provide food, clothing, counseling, or care for those wanting to remain mothers-to-be.

    So, the intent of the law is clear: Authoritarianism. And it doesn’t take too great a stretch of the imagination to envision the day when the Far Left turns its new-found powers of government coercion on churches failing to advertise that they don’t advocate sin.


    “And, what else don’t you do?”

    The Battle of Baltimore: Editor’s Footnote

    The WIRE has it on the very best authority that MSNBC medical maven turned abortion zealot harpy Nancy Snyderman was all set to do a feature piece on the above story when something suddenly went awry. In fact, she had already invited a pregnancy center exec to face off against a Planned Parenthood honcho when MSNBC minions frantically called at the last moment to abruptly cancel the set-to.

    So, one wonders: What went awry? A broken camera? The Rapture? The peacock died? Or, perhaps — just perhaps — the higher ups at the declining cable menagerie suddenly realized that even the normally nescient Dr. Nancy couldn’t spin the Big Government/Planned Parenthood assault on Free Speech speciously enough to convince viewers that the First Amendment was a trivial matter, after all. Code Blue on that one, Doc.

    The Lighter Side: Mushing the Wimp

    Among television aficionados, “Jumping the Shark” is a popular term for TV shows that have – almost invariably with a single episode – worn out their welcome in America’s living rooms.

    The term comes from the unfortunate 1977 episode of “Happy Days” when The Fonz, fully attired in his black leather jacket, straps on water skies and leaps over a man-eating shark. Already in decline, the show went from happy to sappy, with this episode hastening its demise.

    Fast forward three years to March of 1980, when the Boston Globe ran an editorial criticizing then-President Jimmy Carter for his speech the previous evening taking Americans to task for a general malaise and admonishing them to exercise more self-discipline.

    When the editorial hit the streets on the bitter cold morning of March 15, it inexplicably bore the now-infamous headline: “Mush from the Wimp.” Though its author, the late Kirk Scharfenberg had meant it as an inside joke, the headline appeared in 161,000 copies of the Globe before being pulled from publication. And, it helped hasten the end of Jimmy Carter’s reign of error.

    Perhaps, the time has at last come to commemorate the Scharfenberg headline with its own place in political history equally as esteemed as The Fonz’s “Jumping the Shark.” Perhaps, there is a moment in a failing presidency so absurd in and of itself that it becomes symbolic of a botched reign and deserves to be afforded the moniker “Mushing the Wimp.”

    And if so, The WIRE would like to nominate the picture of a beaming Barack Obama eagerly greeting a gate-crashing Michaele Salahi as that moment in what is quickly becoming the deepening Obama debacle.

    Somehow, the picture seems to symbolize a presidency where inappropriate style has come to dwarf insignificant substance. Whether giving an I-Pod to the Queen of England, embracing Hugo Chavez, running around the world apologizing for all things American, or embarrassing the Prime Minister of Japan by bowing until his nose touches the tiles, Barack Obama has become a walking, talking definition of all that is awkwardly and ostentatiously inappropriate.

    In short, on the evening of November 24, gaily bedecked in black tie, tails, and patent leathers, Barack Obama “Mushed the Wimp” – and his failed presidency now has a symbolic Threshold Moment by which to mark its ineluctable decline.

    November 24, 2009: Barack Obama
             “Mushing the Wimp”


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