The Conversation

Culture: Cultural happenings and discussions.

Religious respect watch

Feb 18, 2013 9:11 PM PT

It seems like it was only yesterday that liberals suddenly turned into staunch defenders of religious dignity.  The President had a story about "spontaneous video protests" to sell, there were demonstrations by angry Muslims around the world, and presto!  Suddenly the rank-and-file Left was following Obama's lead, and wondering if maybe this whole "freedom of speech" thing was over-rated.  Why, maybe speech that insults the feelings of Muslims shouldn't be so "free" at all.  Blog posts pondering the wisdom of either voluntary or mandatory censorship to avoid another "Innocence of Muslims" YouTube video fracas blossomed across the left side of the Internet.

Oh, but it's not just Muslims, our liberal friends assured us!  They were super-concerned about insults to all religions.  They grew quite haughty when reminded that they've actively stepped forward to defend "edgy" artists who defamed Christian and Jewish beliefs.  No, this wasn't just a special liberal fear of violent Muslims, or the Left opportunistically hitching a ride on Islamic rage to bash its domestic adversaries.  This was noble and universal religious tolerance!

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The violent videogame witch hunt continues

Feb 18, 2013 11:45 AM PT

The big push to blame videogames for the Newtown massacre has been bubbling along beneath the far higher-profile effort to push gun control laws.  Now comes an oddly-written story in the New York Daily News which repeatedly asserts that shooter Adam Lanza might have been trying to "replay a scenario" from one of his favorite games... without telling readers which game, or scenario, he was supposedly replaying.  

That's a rather suspicious detail to omit, isn't it?  The claim is made several times during the story, and there's a photo of a scene from "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2" accompanied by a legend which asserts that game is "among one [sic] of the violent video games being associated with gun violence in minors."  But the reader is given no empirical evidence to evaluate the assertion.

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Am I Crazy?

Feb 15, 2013 10:40 AM PT

One of my preoccupations is what I would posit is an attempt to create a soft aristocracy in this country. I do not think you have to strain your minds to think of many examples of leftists (and even less-malignant liberals) overtly pining for a formal recognition of semi-official superior status and a formal recognition of the inherent Right to Rule that members of the elect should have.

And now Lady Pelosi, responding to the possibility of a Congressional pay cut, responds:

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Deodorant Maker's Airport "Stress Test" Prank - Funny or Over the Top?

Feb 14, 2013 8:03 AM PT

People often tell me that I have a relatively good sense of humor.  But if someone tried this on me at an airport, I don't think it would go over very well.  Airport security and the experience of spending time in airports is already as unnecessarily stressful as it can be.  You pull a stunt like this on me to sell your deodorant, and it might become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  (Just kidding, TSA - please, no patdowns next trip).

Nivea’s weird airport terrorist prank

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A Holiday More Commercial Than Valentine's Day - Anti-Valentine's Day

Feb 13, 2013 9:05 AM PT

This year I've seen a lot more cynical responses to Valentine's Day.  At least two restaurants I've recently visited -- PJ Clarke's in D.C. and Virtue in Alexandria, VA -- are offering "Anti-Valentine's Day" specials.  Presumably it's to make singles feel more comfortable about going out on Valentine's Day. 

In addition to the cynics, there's also a push to celebrate your "independence" and singlehood.  From the blog "Diva - news and views for women":

Valentine's Day is best known as an occasion for cupid-struck couples to celebrate their love. But many singles are adamant to make the best of the day by spending it with their best friends and loved ones.

Recently single, Lina Sinclair will be spending Valentine's in a girls' night out.

"I am celebrating my independence. There is no reason why I should not have a good night out on Valentine's Day, even if I am currently not romantically involved," said the 21-year-old flight attendant.

Quality Assurance editor Chong Lee San believes that Valentine's Day is to be celebrated by all, not just those in relationships.

"My best friend and I are just using the day as an excuse to do something special, to spend quality time together doing something fun," said the 25-year-old.

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Dorner Fans Cheer Him On Twitter As Gunbattle Goes Down: 'Fight The Power', 'Go Dorner Go'

Feb 12, 2013 4:43 PM PT

Christopher Dorner, the former LAPD officer suspected of shooting five people and killing three in Southern California, has barricaded himself in a cabin near the 7 Oaks area near Big Bear. According to reports, Dorner broke into the cabin, and tied up the couple who was living there and stole their white Dodge pickup truck.:

Dorner crashed the truck and exchanged gunfire with the officers as he fled into a vacation cabin, where he was quickly surrounded by San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies, the source said.

The source said one deputy was wounded as Dorner fired out of the cabin and a second was injured when Dorner exited the back of the cabin, deployed a smoke grenade and opened fire again in an apparent attempt to flee. Dorner was driven back inside the cabin, the source said.

Candy Martin, owner of the 84-year-old cabin, said she  turned on the news and saw her cabin surrounded by police. It appeared Dorner was in the main cabin that is on the property with six smaller cabins.

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GOProud gets shout-out in PA school

Feb 12, 2013 12:18 PM PT

This photo was recently shared on GOProud's Facebook group.  GOProud is an organization of gay and straight Americans seeking to promote freedom by supporting free markets, limited government and a respect for individual rights. (Full disclosure: I am on their board.)

The student who snapped the photo wrote:

Look what I found in the halls of my high school!

Don't know what the occasion is but this month there are pictures of inspiring people and organizations all over the ceilings and I was so pleasantly surprised to see GOProud!

Flabbergasted actually especially in a fairly liberal school and all the way in PA.

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