The Pillars of Modern American Conservatism

By Alfred Regnery
First Things

Over the past half century, conservatism has become the dominant political philosophy in the United States. Newspaper and television political news stories more often than not will mention the word conservative. Almost every Republican running for office—whether for school board or U.S. senator—will try to establish his place on the political spectrum based on how conservative he is. Even Democrats sometimes distinguish among members of their own party in terms of conservatism.

Although conservatism as we know it today is a relatively new movement—it emerged after World War II and only became a political force in the 1960s—it is based on ideas that are as old as Western civilization itself. The intellectual foundations on which this movement has been built stretch back to antiquity, were further developed during the Middle Ages and in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century England, and were ultimately formulated into a coherent political philosophy at the time of the founding of the United States. In a real sense, conservatism is Western civilization.

The basic foundations of American conservatism can be boiled down to four fundamental concepts. We might call them the four pillars of modern conservatism:

The first pillar of conservatism is liberty, or freedom. Conservatives believe that individuals possess the right to life, liberty, and property, and freedom from the restrictions of arbitrary force. They exercise these rights through the use of their natural free will. That means the ability to follow your own dreams, to do what you want to (so long as you don’t harm others) and reap the rewards (or face the penalties). Above all, it means freedom from oppression by government—and the protection of government against oppression. It means political liberty, the freedom to speak your mind on matters of public policy. It means religious liberty—to worship as you please, or not to worship at all. It also means economic liberty, the freedom to own property and to allocate your own resources in a free market.

Conservatism is based on the idea that the pursuit of virtue is the purpose of our existence and that liberty is an essential component of the pursuit of virtue. Adherence to virtue is also a necessary condition of the pursuit of freedom. In other words, freedom must be pursued for the common good, and when it is abused for the benefit of one group at the expense of others, such abuse must be checked. Still, confronted with a choice of more security or more liberty, conservatives will usually opt for more liberty.

The second pillar of conservative philosophy is tradition and order. Conservatism is also about conserving the values that have been established over centuries and that have led to an orderly society. Conservatives believe in human nature; they believe in the ability of man to build a society that respects rights and that has the capacity to repel the forces of evil. Order means a systematic and harmonious arrangement, both within one’s own character and within the commonwealth. It signifies the performance of certain duties and the enjoyment of certain rights within a community.

Order is perhaps more easily understood by looking at its opposite: disorder. A disordered existence is a confused and miserable existence. If a society falls into general disorder, many of its members will cease to exist at all. And if the members of a society are disordered in spirit, the outward order of society cannot long endure. Disorder describes well everything that conservatism is not.

The third pillar is the rule of law. Conservatism is based on the belief that it is crucial to have a legal system that is predictable, that allows people to know what the rules are and enforce those rules equally for all. This means that both governors and the governed are subject to the law. The rule of law promotes prosperity and protects liberty. Put simply, a government of laws and not of men is the only way to secure justice.

The fourth pillar is belief in God. Belief in God means adherence to the broad concepts of religious faith—such things as justice, virtue, fairness, charity, community, and duty. These are the concepts on which conservatives base their philosophy.

Conservative belief is tethered to the idea that there is an allegiance to God that transcends politics and that sets a standard for politics. For conservatives, there must be an authority greater than man, greater than any ruler, king, or government: no state can demand our absolute obedience or attempt to control every aspect of our lives. There must be a moral order, conservatives believe, that undergirds political order. This pillar of conservatism does not mean mixing up faith and politics, and it certainly does not mean settling religious disputes politically. It also does not mean that conservatives have a monopoly on faith, or even that all conservatives are necessarily believers.

Each of the four pillars is closely related to all the others. Liberty, for example, is considered a gift of God and must be protected by the rule of law. The rule of law itself is dependent on the natural law—a transcendent law reflected in every orderly and civilized society, demarcating good and evil. Tradition and order are best reflected by our common law—a law developed over centuries by reasonable people in their everyday lives, which sets the rules for social order consistent with the past. And tradition is an important dimension of belief in God. What could demonstrate tradition and order more fully, for example, than the Old Testament and the history of the Jewish people, or the doctrines of the Christian Church?

Conservative Coalition Eliminates Huckabee, Santorum, Perry, Among Others

Editor’s Note: The following is a satire written for the purpose of providing a concrete strategy for the conservative movement to assure that the Republican Party not only does not field another lackluster, losing candidate in the 2016 presidential election, but instead nominates a highly electable candidate with the right qualifications:

October 1, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Conservative Coalition

Today the Conservative Coalition trimmed a current governor and two former governors, a former senator and a billionaire from the Republican presidential nominee sweepstakes.

Gone from contention for the GOP’s presidential nomination are ex-governors Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former New York Cong. Peter King and Donald Trump.

A still badly overcrowded Republican field remains in contention amidst plans to steadily pare it down in the months to come.

Remaining Conservative Coalition candidates are Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Marco Rubio, Dr. Benjamin Carson, Carly Fiorina, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush, current New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, and former New York Gov. George Pataki did not meet, nor did they express any interest in, participating in the Conservative Coalition competition.

U.S. Senator Rand Paul chose not to participate in the Conservative Coalition.

Now in its first go-round, the Conservative Coalition is an effort to narrow down the conservative field of candidates in time to ward off growing strength by a candidate who turns off the GOP’s conservative base. This is the plan to prevent another losing candidacy in the mold of weak candidates Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney, all of whom failed to ignite the party base in their losing and unimpressive campaigns.

Conservative Coalition participants agreed to the winnowing down process in the interests of allowing a competition within the greater competition to assure the emergence of one strong conservative candidate with the best chance of winning the party nomination and ultimately the presidential election.

The next elimination date is December 1, 2015, when the coalition field will be cut down to four. After that, any candidate generating single digits in a state primary agrees to drop out.

The final decision to narrow down to one conservative candidate will occur March 1, 2016. Criteria will include a weighted combination of reputable national polling results, primary victories, and fundraising.

Some 40 additional GOP candidates, largely unknown, were also eliminated in today’s Conservative Coalition announcement.

The Conservative Coalition will issue the results of the next cut-down on December 1. Please consider supporting the Conservative Coalition and participating in the strategy to select a winning, conservative candidate with the right values and plans for America.

Memorial Day Arizona: Thank You, Courageous Veterans

Failure to Disclose $26 Million in Bribes an “Oversight” Says CEO

JohnRecent revelations that the Clinton Foundation neglected to report over $26 million in payments from major corporations, universities, foreign sources and other groups was characterized as “a mere oversight” by Foundation Chief Executive Officer Donna Shalala.

The Foundation has raised more than $2 billion dollars over the years its been in existence,” Shalala pointed out. “The $26 million everyone is hyperventilating over is relative pocket change amounting to barely 1% of the total. It’s on a par with a Congressman failing to report a free vacation from a lobbyist or a waiter forgetting to report all his tip income to the IRS. It’s no big deal.”

Others aren’t so sure it isn’t a big deal. Peter Schweizer, author of the book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, wondered “why a Nigerian newspaper paid former president Bill Clinton $500,000 for a speech. And if it was all legit, why was this payment among the $26 million the Foundation ‘forgot’ to report?”

As everyone knows, the Clintons were flat broke when Bill’s term as president was over,” Shalala said in response. “Why should anyone begrudge him earning a little money from sharing his wisdom on the talk circuit? Isn’t it time that the harassment and persecution of one of America’s great families come to an end?”

Bush Defends Warrantless Government Surveillance

While one GOP presidential candidate filibustered legislation extending the National Security Agency’s (NSA) authority to spy on Americans, another alleges that “there’s not a shred of evidence that this surveillance has violated anyone’s civil liberties.”

GOP presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ken) spoke for 10 hours on the floor of the Senate contending that NSA’s warrantless violations of privacy are unconstitutional. “The Fourth Amendment was intended to protect us from unreasonable searches,” Rand argued. “It calls for government to obtain a warrant from a judge based on ‘probable cause.’ The gathering of massive amounts of private information without such warrants flies in the teeth of the Amendment’s prohibition. We should be abolishing this intrusion, not extending it.”

Prospective rival for the Republican nomination, former Florida Governor JEB Bush disagreed, calling the NSA “a virtual guardian angel watching over and protecting us. I just can’t buy the argument that we have anything to fear from our own government. They’re on our side. We need to give them all the power and tools they say they need to keep us safe.”

Bush said that “the fact that the only people killed so far based on information gathered by the NSA are enemies of our government ought to reassure everyone that as long as they behave themselves they have nothing to fear. So the government knows who you phone, email and tweet. So what, as long as you’re not doing anything wrong why should you care? I don’t find the so-called scare phrase ‘Big Brother is watching you’ particularly frightening. The whole idea behind the NSA originated with my big brother and he’s a swell guy. We should be glad that he helped develop a program to watch over us.”

Hillary Defends Benghazi Lies

Evidence that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was informed that the assault on the Benghazi Consulate and murder of Ambassador Stevens was a planned terrorist attack before she went public with the misleading cover story of a video protest gone bad failed to dislodge her from defending it.

Sure, we knew within hours of the Ambassador’s death that the attack had been planned at least 10 days in advance, but for us to have publicly acknowledged this would have put the country into even greater danger,” Clinton maintained. “Remember, this attack occurred just two months ahead of a presidential election. Our first priority was to counteract the domestic insurgency being led by Mitt Romney. Staving off this attempt to overthrow our government was more important than adhering to some quaint notions of honesty.”

Clinton characterized the bogus video-inspired-uprising story as akin to President Roosevelt’s feigning surprise at Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. “Imagine the damage that would have been done to his government if he hadn’t seized control of the narrative,” she hypothesized. “By diverting attention away from our lack of preparedness and onto Japan’s treachery he was able to rally the American people and save his government. Why shouldn’t we have emulated a man most historians agree was one of our greatest presidents?”

In related news, Clinton’s presidential campaign manager disputed press claims that her motorcade reached speeds in excess of 95 mph on the way to a fund raiser in Iowa. “While the media vehicles following the motorcade may have sped, we did not,” Robbie Mook asserted, attributing the quick transit time to “our use of new technology allowing us to travel using a ‘worm hole’ through hyperspace. The confusion afflicting those still confined to normal three-dimensional space is understandable.”

Candidate Says “Everything Will Be Free When I’m President”

Self-described socialist and candidate for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders promised voters that “everything will be free when I’m president.”

In a country as rich as ours it is shameful that mere lack of money should block anyone from having all the good things of life,” Sanders said. “No one should be stigmatized by having to grovel to qualify for food stamps or be denied entry into college because they can’t afford it or don’t have good high school grades. Anyone who wants to eat should simply be permitted to take food from a grocery store or restaurant. Anyone who wants to go to college should be allowed in, no questions asked.”

Payment for all these freebies will come from a confiscatory tax on excess assets and income. “Only pure arrogance drives the notion that people who are smarter and harder-working should get more than those less well-endowed by nature or nurture,” the Senator contended. “Just because you are lucky enough to inherit intelligence or learn to be enterprising from the good example of your parents doesn’t mean you earned it. A person born to stupid and shiftless parents isn’t at fault for his lack of effort. Why then should his rewards be contingent on the exertions he doesn’t make?”

Every human being is entitled to an equal share of the Earth’s bounty,” Sanders declared. “Ensuring an equitable distribution is government’s responsibility. Voters can count on me to fulfill this responsibility.”

Pay Hike Needed to Boost Congress’ Morale

Several Democrats, including Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md), made the case for higher compensation this week citing “the low morale among those of us in the legislature who can only salivate at the sums being hauled in by ex-presidents and others for trifling amounts of work. As members of a body of 435 we won’t have the same name recognition. We won’t be invited to pontificate on sundry topics for piles of cash.”

Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla) seconded Hoyer’s remarks saying “we need to get a bigger piece of the pie now! We pass laws doling out billions to important constituencies, yet we get dinged for accepting gratuities in exchange. It’s just not fair.”

Hastings went on to complain that “the $174,000 annual salary is barely four times the median household income in this country. It’s humiliating for members of the ruling class to have to scrape by on such a pittance. Plus, if our salaries were higher those hoping to influence policy would be encouraged to up the amounts they pay for our efforts to deliver the goods.”

Hoyer also warned of “a possible exodus of the best and brightest from public service if we don’t take action to increase the rewards. The loss of human capital from the departure of legislators who have served for decades would be catastrophic. Congress would likely degenerate into a body staffed by short-term citizen-legislators instead of long-term professionals who dedicate their lives to wielding power for the common good.”

Kerry Calls for Stricter Government Regulation of Internet

In a speech in South Korea US Secretary of State John Kerry called for government to play a bigger role in what goes on the Internet. Kerry advised that “we take a lesson from what’s going on in North Korea. Sure, there are a lot of things wrong with the way Kim is governing his country, but that doesn’t mean everything he’s doing is a mistake.”

A key positive in Kim’s policies is the government’s larger role in filtering what the citizens of North Korea can see and hear from the Internet,” the Secretary maintained. “Antisocial content that could undermine his people’s contentment is severely dealt with. Positive messages aimed at raising the people’s sense of well-being are encouraged. This helps boost the people’s faith in their government.”

There’s some good lessons we in the West can learn from Kim’s model,” Kerry argued. “Granted, we wouldn’t want to resort to executing every dissident, but there are less bloodthirsty methods of enforcing compliance with the values and practices that will help stamp out the evils of racism, hate speech, and sedition that infest the unregulated Internet that currently prevails in the United States.”

Kerry concluded his remarks with “a wish that the independent Federal Communication Commission will not let President Obama down by allowing an unwarranted respect for freedom of speech to cloud their judgment.”

A Satirical Look at Recent News

John Semmens is a retired economist who has written a weekly political satire for The Arizona Conservative since 2005. He says working on his satires is one of the ways he tries to honor the liberties our Founding Fathers tried to protect. 

Please do us a favor. If you uses material created by The Arizona Conservative, give us credit and DO NOT change the context. Thank you

Homosexual Group Wants to Deny Children Their Mother or Their Father

Equality Arizona is beginning a new effort called Project Jigsaw: Connecting Every Child with a Loving Family. The purpose is to “create an environment where all couples, regardless of sexual orientation or gender, have the opportunity to provide a stable, loving home for a child.” Through adoption.

Those are the talking points.

Here is the truth. There is a lot more to it than Equality Arizona is saying. It’s the quality of the home environment that counts the most. It means everything to children in their formative years.

Adopting children into the homes of either two men or two women is not in childrens’ best interests. Sure, we understand some same-sex couples want to raise children, but let’s ask the children who have already been through this experience.

They are telling us it was not a good way to grow up. Far from it. Katy Faust says so. Dawn Stefanowicz says so. Meg says so. Heather Barwick says so.

Read what Dawn said:

My biggest concern is that children are not being discussed in this same-sex marriage debate. Yet, won’t the next step for some gay activists be to ask for legal adoption of children if same-sex marriage is legalized? I have considered some of the potential physical and psychological health risks for children raised in this situation. I was at high risk of exposure to contagious STDs due to sexual molestation, my father’s high-risk sexual behaviors, and multiple partners. Even when my father was in what looked like monogamous relationships, he continued cruising for anonymous sex.

Governor Doug Ducey also made some noise recently about just putting children in any loving home. He and others are making a big mistake if they don’t take a deep look at the history, the social science and the personal testimonies on this.

The average homosexual relationship lasts 18 months — hardly a “loving home” or conducive to the stability young boys and girls need.

We have more than enough fatherless children in America. Our prisons bear the result of that. No two women can offset the absence of dad. No two men can offset the absence of a nurturing mom. The kids are not all right.

And we just saw another example of domestic violence with two female pro basketball players who beat the snot out of each other and then quickly got married to try to assuage law enforcement.

Homosexuals also engage in far more risky behaviors than married male-female couples. Like drug abuse. And alcohol abuse. AIDS, of course, is much more prevalent among homosexuals.

A majority of male homosexuals were sexually abused as children. Many girls also struggle with same-sex attraction because of the unhealthy home environments they were raised in.

So now you want to take people with deep-seeded personal issues and mollify them with all kinds of rights and complicate their problems by giving them custody of children?

It makes no common sense. Arizona, Governor Ducey, CPS, adoption agencies, do not repeat the mistakes with young, sensitive, impressionable children. It is not like you are operating in the dark with no credible information to base your decisions on. We know the results in advance if you go down this road. Stop. Think about it. Forget political correctness.

One more question for the governor and any other elected official: is it worth scoring political points at the expense of children whose lives will be put at risk.

No.

Every child needs a mom AND a dad. No alternative can substitute for this fact. Children raised in the homes of married mom and dad do better in every physical, emotional, social, and educational level. Every one. This is not debatable.

Feds Warn Lenders Not to Deny Loans to Welfare Recipients

By John Semmens – Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News

JohnThe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) warned financial institutions that they could be prosecuted if they deny home loans to persons subsisting on welfare benefits.

CFPB Director Richard Cordray asserted that “placing ability to repay ahead of need is contrary to federal regulations. Just because a person cannot support himself or herself doesn’t mean he or she should be excluded from the benefits of home ownership. Every person has an inalienable right to own a home. Lenders have a moral obligation to help people achieve this right.”

For banks to argue that the risks of default and foreclosure should preclude certain persons from obtaining loans places profit over social justice,” Cordray said. “Those who attempt to implement such injustice will face consequences. Fines or even imprisonment await anyone who would defy us in this matter.”

Cordray went on to question “whether requiring loans to be repaid even makes sense. Housing costs would be lower across-the-board if the burden of repayment could be lifted from those unable to afford it. Banks have billions of dollars and could easily absorb the losses from non-performing loans. If they should become insolvent the Federal Reserve would, as it has in the past, just create more money to bail them out.”

In related news, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering eliminating in-person interviews for Food Stamp applicants. Secretary Tom Vilsack explained that “forcing applicants to meet face-to-face is unnecessarily humiliating for them. I mean, having to look a government official in the eye and ask for help is intimidating. It might deter some from even seeking aid and try to make it on their own. By allowing applicants to simply phone-in a request for Food Stamps we can better maximize the volume of aid we provide.”

Global Warming Activists Demand Media Stop Calling Unbelievers “Skeptics”

The Citizen Engagement Laboratory (CEL) wants news outlets to stop using the term “skeptics” for those who question the global climate change meme. Instead, those who fail to adhere to the accepted view are to be universally referred to as “deniers.”

CEL Director Ronald Deibert complained that “using the word ‘skeptic’ makes opposition to our theory of global climate change sound reasonable. It implies that their assertion that evidence is needed to prove that mankind is the source of climate change deserves a hearing. It implies that the science of global warming is not settled, that differing interpretations of the data are permissible. Is this something we should allow?”

If we can eliminate the term ‘skeptic’ and uniformly replace it with ‘denier’ we can cast these doubters into the ranks of those who don’t deserve to be heard,” Deibert declared. “’Denier’ connotes an air of unjustified disbelief. No one need pay attention to the rantings of ‘deniers’ like those who deny that the Holocaust ever took place. Why should those who deny the reality of man-made climate change be treated any better?”

Deibert says he fears that “if we allow unacceptable views to continue to pollute the debate it will be that much more difficult to gain broad public acquiescence for the sacrifices we all must make to combat the threat. The slightest smidgen of doubt could derail the taxes and regulations necessary to avert disaster.”

Dean Claims Jesus More Leftist than Democratic Party

This week, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean claimed that “Jesus was more to the left than the Democratic Party. Look, Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple. We Democrats are content to merely tax and regulate them.”

If you listen closely to Jesus’ words about rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, it seems clear that all the money properly belongs to the government,” Dean maintained. “Democrats haven’t gone that far. We still permit people to keep some of the money they earn.”

You know, Jesus didn’t work a steady job,” Dean observed. “While he was traipsing about the desert he was living off of handouts. Yet, the so-called ‘religious right’ assails those who accept handouts as a way of life today as shiftless and parasitic. Maybe it is they who are out-of-sync with Jesus’ message.”

In related news, President Obama castigated churches, saying that “those who focus more on abortion and gay marriage than eradicating poverty are out-of-step with Jesus’ teachings. Jesus urged people to give away their wealth. If Congress would adopt more progressive taxation the government could help make this happen.”

Can we be so sure Jesus would have condemned abortion or gay rights?” Obama wondered. “It seems to me that Jesus cared a lot about women. Why wouldn’t he care about their reproductive health? And didn’t Jesus spend a lot of time in the company of the apostles—all men? He never married as would have been normal for a Jew in those days. Can we be sure that Jesus himself was not gay?”

Obama Calls for Change in How the Media Reports

Citing the “especially grievous slant that FOX gives to the news,” President Obama called for “better policing of the public airways to prevent this intellectual pollution.”

When I see how FOX is constantly undermining what I am trying to do for America by pointing out every flaw and defect of my policies I feel sorry for America,” the President said. “How can our people be joyful if their TVs are parading so-called failures in front of them in their own living rooms?”

The abuse of freedom of the press and freedom of speech for the purpose of destroying faith in government is seditious,” Obama contended. “We should not sit by and let this go out of some reverence for the outmoded ideas of America’s founders. New times require new rules if we are to promote the general welfare.”

An idea that is starting to gain some traction inside the Administration is to employ the Federal Communications Commission to “fact check” all news broadcasts. “We owe it to the American people to ensure that the news they receive is accurate,” said FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler. “No one has the right to inject inaccurate information or disloyal opinions into the nation’s communication system. The FCC has a wide range of tools it can and should use to clean up what is broadcast, transmitted, or posted to the web. My biggest regret is that we let things go too far and had to be reminded by the President to do our duty.”

Senator Says NFL Priorities “Screwed Up”

The announcement that the New England Patriots and Quarterback Tom Brady would be penalized for cheating drove Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) into a frenzy.

I find it stunning that the NFL cares more about how much air is in a football than it cares about a racist franchise name,” Reid raved. “No one need have known about the under-inflated balls. Covertly tipping the scales is simply business-as-usual. By going public with this scandal the NFL has ‘shot itself in the foot,’ and to what end?”

The much more serious offense is the refusal of the Washington team to change its name,” Reid argued. “Correct opinion concurs that the name ‘Redskins’ is an insult to Native Americans. For the team owners to persist in swimming against the tide of history in this matter can only lead to bad results.”

Potential “bad results” that Reid claims to foresee include “massive lawsuits filed by aggrieved Native Americans, government seizing the team from the owners, and street riots like we’ve seen in Baltimore.”

Bush Would Use Obama Immigration Order to Extort Legislation from Congress

Potential candidate for president and former Governor of Florida JEB Bush told FOX News’ Megyn Kelly that “unlike some other GOP presidential contenders, I would not move to immediately undo President Obama’s executive action granting special privileges to illegal immigrants. Instead, I would refuse to revoke it until Congress passed appropriate enabling legislation. In any case, the American voter can count on me to see that legalizing those in this country illegally will go forward with or without legislation.”

Bush acknowledged the shaky legality of Obama’s executive action, but averred that “doing the right thing is more important than confining policy to narrowly circumscribed authority. I could not, in good conscience, do nothing simply because there is no statutory authority for the action I deem morally necessary.”

The candidate said he hoped “my willingness to go beyond what the law allows will help set me apart from those who would allow themselves to be limited by the constraints of immoral laws. The American people need a leader who is not afraid to stake out new ground and to chart a path that others can follow. Congress will be invited to come along if they cooperate, but I will not allow them to apply the brakes to what needs to be done.”

In related news, JEB characterized his endorsement of big brother George’s Iraq War as “basic self-preservation. When we were growing up George always used to bully me if I crossed him. It didn’t matter whether he was right or wrong. If he didn’t get what he wanted he’d beat me up.”

While it would seem that the era of big brother George beating up little brother JEB must have long passed, the younger Bush alleges that “emotional scarring led to my knee-jerk statement in support of my brother’s invasion of Iraq. I’m just hoping that every little brother who votes will understand my reaction and forgive my fumbling of this issue. For the record, knowing what we know now, it’s clear that Syria is the place we should invade.”

A Satirical Look at Recent News

John Semmens is a retired economist who has written a weekly political satire for The Arizona Conservative since 2005. He says working on his satires is one of the ways he tries to honor the liberties our Founding Fathers tried to protect. 

Please do us a favor. If you uses material created by The Arizona Conservative, give us credit and DO NOT change the context. Thank you.

Study: How the Broadcast Networks Have Deleted Hillary’s E-Mail Scandal

From the Media Research Center

Deputy Research Director

Hillary Clinton’s official presidential announcement was a golden opportunity for networks to demand the former Secretary of State respond to unanswered questions about her e-mail scandal. Yet in the flurry of coverage since her official rollout (April 12 – April 20) the e-mail scandal garnered a total of just 3 minutes, 53 seconds* on the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) evening and morning shows.

Even a new angle on the e-mail scandal – the New York Times reported April 14 that Clinton never responded to a congressional inquiry [in December of 2012] that “directly asked” if she had used a private e-mail account – failed to re-ignite the interest networks initially showed when the scandal first broke in March.

Over the past five weeks, all three broadcast networks have essentially walked away from covering the ex-Secretary of State’s secret extra-governmental e-mail server and the possible loss of crucial documents needed by the House Select Committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks, with coverage on ABC, CBS and NBC’s morning and evening news shows falling by more than 93 percent from the levels seen in early March.

When news first broke that Clinton improperly used her own private e-mail account, the Big Three networks actually jumped to cover the story, filling their evening and morning shows with a total of 124 minutes and 55 seconds of airtime (NBC: 53 minutes, 51 seconds; CBS: 36 minutes, 39 seconds; ABC: 34 minutes, 25 seconds) within the first two weeks (March 3-16) of coverage that encompassed Hillary Clinton’s March 10 press conference.

But despite pundits and journalists like NBC’s Chuck Todd insisting that Clinton’s press conference “didn’t satisfy her media critics” a look at the coverage in the ensuing weeks shows they lost a lot of their interest in the story.

In the third week, (March 17-23), the networks reduced their coverage of the latest Clinton controversy to just 1 minute and 59 seconds (NBC: 23 seconds; CBS: 29 seconds; ABC: 1 minute, 7 seconds).

In the fourth week (March 24-30), the stunning news that Clinton’s own attorney admitted her server had been wiped clean caused a brief spike in coverage — but even that development generated just 11 minutes and 14 seconds of airtime (ABC: 1 minute, 32 seconds; CBS: 4 minutes, 48 seconds; NBC: 4 minutes, 54 seconds).

By week 5 (March 31-April 6) the story was virtually non-existent drawing just 1 minute and 16 seconds total coverage. (ABC: 0; CBS: 29 seconds; NBC: 47 seconds).

During week 6 (April 7-13), anticipation of Clinton’s official announcement, and the announcement itself on April 12, caused some reporters to bring up the e-mail imbroglio but even then the bump was minor, as it garnered just 5 minutes and 1 second of coverage (CBS: 1 minute, 38 seconds; NBC: 3 minutes, 15 seconds). Former Clinton administration press spokesman George Stephanopoulos’s network (ABC) could only manage just an 8 second mention.

And when the e-mail controversy was actually brought up in Clinton announcement stories, it was framed as an annoying issue those pesky Republicans refuse to drop. NBC’s Chuck Todd, on the April 10 Nightly News, noted: “Well, Republicans are trying to do everything they can to hit her and hit her hard. E-mails is something that they want to hit her on. Rand Paul who, of course, announced this week used a lot of his speech to try to go after Clinton and go after on ethics and things like that.”

Even though unanswered questions still persist (Why was her private server wiped clean? Was there incriminating evidence in those e-mails regarding the Benghazi investigation or Clinton Foundation donations? Could a foreign nation, like Russia, have hacked her server?) the networks have essentially discarded the story, reducing their coverage to just a total of 2 minutes and 11 seconds (CBS: 14 seconds, ABC: 42 seconds, NBC: 1 minute, 15 seconds) by the seventh week.

CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley may have signaled the decline in interest when he dismissed the controversy as something that would fall along partisan lines. On the evening of Clinton’s March 10 press conference Pelley huffed: “Well, it’s one of those stories that gets Washington hyperventilating. Today, Hillary Clinton explained why she used private e-mail to conduct official business as Secretary of State….The partisans are going to believe what they want to believe. There’s no chance any minds were changed there today, so what difference does any of this make in Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination?”

The waning interest in this latest Clinton controversy actually follows a familiar pattern of the networks initially covering Obama era scandals (IRS, Benghazi, VA) only to drop them like a hot potato and sadly seems to validate the Clinton strategy of stonewalling until they and their allies in the media can claim a controversy is old news and move on without ever really getting to the bottom of the story.

*UPDATE: An earlier edition of this story read: “Yet in the flurry of coverage since her official rollout (April 12 – April 20) the e-mail scandal garnered a total of just 7 minutes, 12 seconds on the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) evening and morning shows.” That sentence has now been corrected to read: “Yet in the flurry of coverage since her official rollout (April 12 – April 20) the e-mail scandal garnered a total of just 3 minutes, 53 seconds on the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) evening and morning shows.”

Lesbian Athletes Punished for Domestic Violence

ESPN.com reports …

WNBA stars Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson were suspended seven games each today for their domestic violence arrest last month — the league’s longest ban in its 19-year history.

WNBA president Laurel Richie said the league “takes all acts of violence extremely seriously” in handing down a suspension that represents more than one-fifth of the 34-game regular season. Richie called the players’ actions “unacceptable.”

“Brittney and Glory’s conduct is detrimental to the best interests of the WNBA and violates applicable law,” Richie said in a statement. “We also understand that people make mistakes, and that education and training are as important as imposing discipline.”

The players were arrested April 22 on suspicion of assault after they fought in a home they recently bought. Griner pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct and entered a diversion program. The assault charge was dismissed. She must attend 26 weeks of domestic violence counseling. All charges will be dismissed if she completes counseling. Johnson’s case was transferred to county court and is still pending.

The league spent the past few weeks investigating. The WNBA said Johnson pushed Griner in the shoulder and she responded by pushing her in the back of the neck. The confrontation escalated to include wrestling, punches and the throwing and swinging of objects. The 6-foot-8 Griner received a bite wound on her finger and scratches on her wrist; the 6-4 Johnson received a scratch above her lip and was diagnosed with a concussion.

The Arizona Conservative found this research on the prevalence of lesbian domestic violence, which could become more common in our state if the judicial activism that forced same-sex marriage on Arizona holds up on appeal …

Dr. Suzana Rose, author of the “Lesbian Partner Violence Fact Sheet,” says:

Partner violence in lesbian (and gay) relationships recently has been identified as an important social problem. Partner or domestic violence among lesbians has been defined as including physical, sexual and psychological abuse, although researchers have most often studied physical violence.

About 17-45% of lesbians report having been the victim of a least one act of physical violence perpetrated by a lesbian partner. Types of physical abuse named by more than 10% of participants in one study included:

Disrupting other�s eating or sleeping habits
Pushing or shoving, driving recklessly to punish, and slapping, kicking, hitting, or biting.
Sexual abuse by a woman partner has been reported by up to 50% of lesbians.
Psychological abuse has been reported as occurring at least one time by 24% to 90% of lesbians.

Lesbians abuse their partners to gain and maintain control. Lesbian batterers are motivated to avoid feelings of loss and abandonment. Therefore, many violent incidents occur during threatened separations. Many lesbian batterers grew up in violent households and were physically, sexually, or verbally abused and/or witnessed their mothers being abused by fathers or stepfathers.

In lesbian relationships, the “butch” (physically stronger, more masculine or wage-earning) member of the couple may be as likely to be the victim as the batterer, whereas in heterosexual relationships, the male partner (usually the stronger, more masculine, and wage-earning member) is most often the batterer. Some lesbians in abusive relationships report fighting back in their relationship.

This is What Progress Looks Like

By Cathi Herrod, President, Center for Arizona Policy

The country took a significant step forward yesterday when the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 36 – the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. On a 242-184 vote, the House approved legislation sponsored by Arizona’s Rep. Trent Franks that would prohibit most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Following the vote, CAP’s General Counsel & Vice President of Policy spoke with the Arizona Republic about this historic vote:

“‘Allowing abortions at that stage is inhumane,’ said Josh Kredit, vice president of policy for Center for Arizona Policy, a conservative social-issues group that supported the bill.

‘This is a great day for America and Arizonans,’ he said, noting a report from the Arizona Department of Health Services that 137 abortions were performed after 20 weeks of pregnancy in Arizona in 2013. ‘This law will literally save lives.’”

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act prohibits abortion after 20 weeks because of the overwhelming evidence that preborn children can feel pain at this age. What’s more, abortion at this stage of a pregnancy presents serious risks to the health and safety of women.

The bill now heads to the Senate, where it faces stiff opposition. No matter what happens though, the significance of this bill passing out of the House cannot be overstated. The pro-life movement is making great progress in D.C. and in states throughout the country.

I want to thank all of you who took action and contacted your representative in support of this bill. Below is how Arizona’s delegation voted on this bill. If your representative voted for HR 36, please send them a note thanking them. If they voted no, I encourage you to send them a message letting them know you support life and this common sense legislation.

Mr. Santorum, I Voted No; I Vote for a Conservative Coalition

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum just dropped me a line, asking me to tell him whether or not he should run for president. You might be interested in my response:

Dear Mr. Santorum,

Thank you for contacting me for my opinion. I must tell you that I voted “no.” You are a man of integrity and honor, and I respect you greatly. I was very glad you won the Iowa Caucus in 2012. However, we have too many candidates on the GOP side carving up the support and the campaign money. It is time to yield to new candidates like Dr. Carson and Sen. Cruz this time around. The best thing you and several others can do is to build a conservative coalition and do all in your power to see that one strong conservative candidate emerges to take on and defeat party elites like Jeb Bush. We need a strong candidate who will have the wisdom and courage to move a stagnant, declining nation ahead in the next eight years. The Democrats have badly damaged American and sent our trajectory spiraling downward. I hope you will sacrifice your own ambitions and emerge as one of the leaders of the conservative coalition on behalf of the nation that is so starved for a leader with integrity who will put America first. You can accomplish more as a non-candidate this year to help assure one strong leader emerges who is right for America at this time. Thank you for your consideration.

God bless you and your family. God bless America.

Your friends at The Arizona Conservative