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Friday, September 30, 2005

Morning in America

Today’s piñata of the left is Bill Bennett, which must mean it is a 10% day – the 10% of the days that they do not attempt to piñata President Bush.

All we see is a quote which says that Bill claimed “aborting 100% of black babies will reduce crime”. Never mind that it is true (because aborting 100% of any higher crime group will reduce crime because the crime rate is highest in the black community, which has the highest percentage of urban and poor members – the true indicators of likelihood of crime), or that no one mentions that the abortion rate in the black community is astronomically higher than any other group (which should make the crime rate lower than in other races, right? Whoops.) What is ridiculous, yet typical, is that Bill Bennett was not proposing the idea or even claiming it was reasonable – but the left and the media would have you believe that he was.

A discussion of what was said is here, at the Morning in America website. I actually heard the quote, because I have become more of a fan of Bill Bennett over the past two months. He is always respectful, courteous, and sounds like he is genuinely interested in what the callers talk about, whether it is Beltway politics or their casserole. Plus, he keeps to the “Socratic method of discourse”, which involves candor, courtesy and logic. All three are very appealing to me.

Anyway, the quote. It came from a suggestion about how reducing abortion could raise the GNP because we would have more taxpayers. Bill replied that such logic is faulty – you can no more link abortion to GNP than you could say that aborting 100% of black babies would reduce crime – because neither have any kind of causal relationship. In fact, Bill noted that the idea of trying to credibly link such morally reprehensible nonsense was the subject of a recent book, to demonstrate that logic and reason are seldom the order of the day – along with the lack of morality.

Of course, the left never mentions such context. The Washington Post claims they couldn’t reach Bill, who said on the air today which numbers that the Post has for him, and that they never called. I have linked above to Bennett’s interview on Hannity and Colmes above. Here is the transcript excerpt at Media Matters, which ain’t a right-wing site. Ignore the bold print, and read what isn’t bold. Clearly Bennett is pointing out that the idea is stupid. ABC News also tries to claim it was a racist comment, but at least they posted Bennett’s reply: In an interview with ABC News, Bennett said that anyone who knows him knows he isn't racist. He said he was merely extrapolating from the best-selling book "Freakonomics," which posits the hypothesis that falling crimes rates are related to increased abortion rates decades ago. "It would have worked for, you know, single-parent moms; it would have worked for male babies, black babies," Bennett said.

All of which are true. Duh.

Here’s my proof that the left does not seek to tell the whole story: I’m about to surf over to the Cranky Liberal and see if he has posted on this. I’m sure he has. While he can and often is a reasonable argument presenter, I’ll wager first that he has not put the full context in his post, and second that he has not linked to a full transcript. He likely will leave out the words “That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do” and the final quote “So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky. “ These quotes demonstrate Bill’s own position – that such attempts to connect abortion to GNP or crime are impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible, and out in left field.
My comment will have the results.

What’s the real issue? Only liberals are allowed to discuss race. How silly. The black population has a higher crime rate – it also has a higher rate of babies born to single parents and the highest abortion rate. Why conservatives don’t publicly point these out as problems and what the solutions are – compared to the welfare state that doesn’t work and has made the problems worse – is evident in this episode.


  • Cranky did not post on Bill Bennett. I'm off to Kos for the test.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 9/30/2005 10:22:00 AM  

  • Kos is a vile place. Besides that, they merely had the quote without the original caller's position, and titled it "Bennet Gambler and Racist", thus insisting that he is - but the first commenter on the relevant thread made my point, even though he thought he was disparaging Bennett:

    Hell, I'll go him one better (3.25 / 4)

    If you want to reduce crime 100%, launch the nukes and kill everybody.

    Can I be a TV intellectual now?

    People don't think anymore.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 9/30/2005 10:28:00 AM  

  • It’s almost getting to the point where the best assumption of the truth is the opposite of what we hear in the MSM.

    By Blogger David M. Smith, at 9/30/2005 12:03:00 PM  

  • Hammer, my friend,

    I beseech you, as I have before, to consider something. It is sooo easy to settle into the Socratic method of enjoy the luxury and pleasantry of candor, courtesy, and logic; indeed, it is a very appealing manner of discourse for me as well---believe it or But when Rome burns or when barbarians are gathering at the gate, we must not allow ourselves to be mired in discussions concerning merely the sex of Angels.

    Let's see if I can better encapsulate what I mean. Not many people in this country care one whit about refined discussions of freedom and justice---their desires and strengths lie elsewhere. They do, however, understand a raw fight with a clear victor---fought in language they understand and appreciate. We're not engaged in a struggle to win to our side the minds of self-called philosophers and self-thought great thinkers (for have you ever, honestly, converted to your side even one "Mark" or "Cranky Liberal'?)...we're engaged in a struggle for the hearts and minds of the American more concerned---and quite rightly so---with his everyday living than with armchair discussions over tea. Give them meat!
    We may wrinkle our nose at places like Kos...but we dismiss them at our peril. I'm afraid the defense of democracy and freedom will require of us things we'd rather not provide---but must nonetheless. So...enjoy the courtesy and logic whenever you can, but for a man of your intellect and insight, it's almost a calling to engage in a manner most effective.
    Give'em MEAT!

    By Blogger David Hunley, at 9/30/2005 01:44:00 PM  

  • Hammer,

    I am so sorry you are disappointed that we at the CLP did not discuss Mr. Bennets remarks. However, we have bigger fish to fry in Tom Delay...which you have acknowledged. I suppose Mr. Hunley is correct in that you will never "convert" Cranky, myself or many others of the intellectual left to your "faith-based" worldview and the fight does really lie in the apathetic masses. However, let's not forget how fickle the masses are, and with the GOP showing such leadership (lack of) and corruption these days, 2006 is practically in the bag for the Demoncrats. Not to even mention the price of gasoline these days. I do find Mr Hunley's negative comments so intriguing, as if those on the right have such philosophical/intellectual minds that are so superior to those on the left, please, give me a break. The one thing we have in common though, is that we are engaged in our political process and we pay attention to what's going on. Sure there is a knee-jerk reaction on our part sometimes, but no more than the right does todefend what they see as right in the world. Politics is how we decide what we are going to do and from what I see from the right-wing reactionaries these days, the only campaign slogan the Demoncrats are going to need is "Hey, we aren't them".

    By Blogger LiberPaul, at 9/30/2005 02:43:00 PM  

  • Just read this, from a liberal no less:

    By Blogger LiberPaul, at 9/30/2005 03:30:00 PM  

  • ”2006 is practically in the bag for the Demoncrats.”


    Might be the best Freudian slips I have ever seen. : -)

    I see no reason to believe the 25 year political trend in America will reverse. Democrats keep moving to the left, Republicans keep moving to the center, and Republicans continue to win elections.

    As much as I would love for a few leaders to emerge from the Democrat party, I don’t know who it would be. Where will the new Bill Clintons come from?

    Lousy Republicans continue to win elections because the alternatives are worse. It will take more than a Delay pseudo-scandal, a Rove pseudo-scandal, and a pathetic MSM for the trend to reverse.

    By Blogger David M. Smith, at 9/30/2005 05:03:00 PM  

  • Hammer,

    I think that your defense of Bennett is a little hasty. It seems like an “us against them” stance…i.e. he’s on my team, therefore I must defend him. Allow me to explain.

    Bennett’s said: But I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could -- if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.

    You wrote: These quotes demonstrate Bill’s own position – that such attempts to connect abortion to GNP or crime are impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible, and out in left field.

    With all due respect, that’s not what he said. According Dr. Bennett, the “thing to do” which he described as “impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible” was abortion (in this particular case, he’s condemning mass infanticide). Such condemnation has consistently been his position, which is fine. But look closely at what he said: “I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime…” and “…but your crime rate would go down.” Bennett was clearly linking blacks—as a racial group—to crime. As Rush would say: words means things.

    You agreed with him: Never mind that it is true (because aborting 100% of any higher crime group will reduce crime because the crime rate is highest in the black community, which has the highest percentage of urban and poor members – the true indicators of likelihood of crime)

    I don’t dispute the statistical probabilities, and yes, poverty is perhaps the leading indicator of criminal behavior, but you, Bennett and others seem to presume that potential, unborn black babies are predestined to be criminals, or at least have a higher “likelihood” of crime. Following that logic, society would be better served by simply executing all poor adult males of every race (as males commit the vast majority of violent crime, regardless of race). This too would be grossly immoral, but at least some of the ones executed would presumably be ‘guilty’ of a capital crime, as opposed to, say, innocent black fetuses that have yet to draw their first breath. My point is that blanket statements based upon race are dangerously close to racism: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.

    Look, the fact is that we’re dealing here with correlation, not causation. So why not suggest that Dr. Bennett emulate Christ, by judging individual hearts and minds, instead of making gross generalizations that stink of what Bush calls “the soft bigotry of low expectations”? Also, what’s with the quick defense of foolish and inappropriate statements, instead of simply acknowledging their inappropriateness? In my view, those types of statements ought not to ever be defended…no matter who has made them.

    By Blogger Robert, at 10/01/2005 05:00:00 PM  

  • Mr. Smith,

    Demoncrat wasn't really a slip, I always refer to them like that on more religious sites (for fun), but I first saw that on But, I think you are right to some degree, that the GOP canididates have looked better on paper than many Demoncratic candidates have. I disagree with the "moving to the left" part in general. Some issues the Dems have moved left on, but overall, I think the basic platform is the same as its been.

    I just want guys in power that will use data and common sense to make decisions, not some strange ideology driven manifesto. Both sides are to blame for that. Let's look at the reality of a situation, experiment a little and go with what works best for the nation.

    By Blogger LiberPaul, at 10/03/2005 09:48:00 AM  

  • Hi liberpaul,

    Most issues only fall under the left/right divide because the Democrats hold one position and the Republicans hold another position. The soul of the Democrat party today is for unrestricted abortion rights which are a radical left position. The majority of Americans want some restrictions including parental notification. The other left positions of the Democrats are gun control, anti-war, affirmative action, and social programs. A person can support any four of these positions without being a radical leftist, but the Democrat party leaders are not moderates in any four of these areas. Didn’t Senator Kerry embarrass you when he went duck hunting during the election?

    I am not a pragmatist. I want freedom, even if freedom means a little more chaos. However, I think you are right about most people. Most people would like to see a government that is fair and efficient. As bad as the Republicans have been, and are, the Democrats do not offer an alternative. I will take what I can get because I know there are a few Republicans who still believe in freedom.

    I would love to see Democrats, Republicans, reporters, celebrities, and commentators, to all develop a little common sense. However, I have no realistic expectation that common sense will all of a sudden break out. No trend lasts forever. At some point, the Democrats will retake control, or a new party will emerge. Neither is on the horizon for the next election though.

    By Blogger David M. Smith, at 10/03/2005 12:07:00 PM  

  • It's funny how the party that wants to keep all abortions legal is "radical" but the party that tries to keep women away from the Morning-After pill is nice and moderate and just wants a few little tweaks.

    ...and the two sides continue to dig their trenches even deeper...

    Twenty years ago both parties were more moderate than they currently are, mostly because the South had yet to really forgive the party of Lincoln. Today the two parties are more clearly defined.

    If you pretend politics really do lie along a left-right spectrum you'd expect the 'left' party to center around the 25 percentile and the 'right' party to center around the 75 percentile leaving both parties to the extremes of half of all Americans. That's pretty much what we see. It's even worse if you assume there is an independent, moderate middle aligned with neither party.

    Back to Bennett: I've never liked the man, but I adore his close friend Jack Kemp. For that reason, I've always given Bennett a bit more benefit of the doubt than I normally would.

    By Blogger Mark, at 10/03/2005 12:42:00 PM  

  • Mr. Smith,

    I hear you on the "abortion, gun control, anti-war, affirmative action, and social programs" only because that is how the MSM portrays things. I have no problem with restrictions on abortions (not to the degree our right-wing friends would like); I think gun-control is the dumbest thing the Demoncrats ever latched onto; I am anti-war unless we get invaded (more libertarian than anything else); but I do like affirmative action to some degree partly because we actually have a black middle-class now; social programs, now I am not sure what to think on this other than if it's working and we are getting a return on the tax expenditure, then its worth it, otherwise, to hell with it.

    There are plenty of Demoncrats who beleive in freedom and I am one. Freedom in all areas too. The problem I have had with Repubs is their definition of freedom seems to be a bit different than mine. Theirs seems to be a freedom of "I have the freedom to tell you how to live your life". Look at what they have done, held-up approval of Plan-B Emergency Contraception (why????), pushing abstinence only sex-ed in schools (cause we know teens won't do it if we tell them not to, just like the War on Drugs), trying to teach religion in public school science classes. I mean come-on, what kind of freedom is that? THE GOP is just as screwed-up, they are just in the opposite direction. When the GOP actually embraces fiscal conservativeness and drops the social conservativeness I will have respect for them, until then, they seem to be a bunch of religious zealots trying to impose their faith through government.

    By Blogger LiberPaul, at 10/03/2005 01:50:00 PM  

  • Robert,

    You've made a couple of interesting observations. I've read your comments several times, and I have to go with Bennett (and Hammer pretty much, too) on this one. Yes...I suppose you could extrapolate the comments to racism if you go beyond the statistical probabilities---but that doesn't appear to me to be even the implied intention.
    It shouldn't be called racist to look at a set of statistics past and present and then hazard a guess as to the future based on that look.
    The point I'd like to quibble over with both you and Hammer, is the seemingly unquestioning acceptance of "poverty" as being an accurate indicator of potential criminal behavior. I don't think it is. There are just too many instances of poverty around the world that doesn't lead to high rates of crime. There must be something else at play here.
    I'd suggest that the factor at play is the sense of perceived oppression. Although we can argue endlessly whether or not anyone is, in fact, oppressed---it is the perception that I'm talking about here. If you're under the impression that you're oppressed---and that impression is aided and abetted by the so called "leaders" of several groups---then it is too easy to give yourself a license to act irresponsibly. Someone is just getting their just desserts, even if it just happens to be an innocent old lady getting her purse snatched.
    We've got to have someone with the courage to say " doesn't matter if dhunley is the most racist person're getting no where (and may actually be playing into his hands)...when you engage in activities that are clearly against the law; when you engage in behavior that is clearly self-destructive; and when you DON'T take steps to improve yourself that are clearly beneficial.

    But, I'm with you here! "emulate Christ, by judging individual hearts and minds"! Uh...I think I do anyway. I'm not too comfortable with the "judging" part...I want no part of'm more comfortable with the "love the individual" part of Christ's message.

    By Blogger David Hunley, at 10/04/2005 12:04:00 PM  

  • Because we see what we want to see. The answers to anything lye somewhere in the middle. Anyone who says something controversial (even if it is correct) is quickly quoted out of context and attacked--you know?

    By Blogger Teresa, at 10/04/2005 12:21:00 PM  


    Check out what Sir Cranky had to say about Bill Bennet, you will be pleasantly surprised. Read the post dated today 10/5/05.

    By Blogger LiberPaul, at 10/05/2005 03:12:00 PM  

  • Liberal Paul, You assume Hammer will be pleasantly surprised at TCL saying something sensible! I wonder why? Is that because it doesn't happen very often or something? Just a toss-in before I continue.

    "Superior" is never a word I would attach to the concept of intellect---it's far too subjective. I'm curious, though, about what parts of my post you considered "negative"! I certainly didn't intend for them to be. But be that as it may, if you consider that post stand by because, although they are not negative any more than the truth can be negative, you're gonna LOVE the comments in this post.

    While I have already said I would never use superior in conjunction with intellect (because both conditions are too fuzzy and subjective), I will say that, as a whole, the "right" is more logical, exercises more restraint, and is more honest than the left. You don't have to go too far to find support for this notion.
    Consider the brouhaha over the remarks of an individual who has no official role within the Republican Party; Bill Bennett. Then consider the brouhaha (as in, lack thereof) from those same people to the comments made by people like Dean, T. Kennedy, Pelosi, Schumer, Byrd...and on and on...and THEY'RE the leaders of the democratic party. Where's the logic in that? People on the left have to plumb deep to divine racist remarks in Bennett's comments---yet what were they doing when Dean make his "kitchen help" comments? They were sitting there bobbing their heads is what they were doing. Where's the logic or restraint in either instance?

    And how about closer to home? I dropped in BIO and sure enough, first thing I saw was something from The Cranky Liberal that just defies logic. The poor man doesn't even seem to realize he was describing democracy and capitalism. And if he noticed the irony of using jargon from the lexicon of a phenomenon that created the richest man on the planet, he didn't let on.
    How about honesty? Well...again BIO displays an excellent example of the lack thereof. What's this "Don't DeLay...Convict Tom Delay" business? Do I even have to mention the concept of presumed innocence that is the basis of our legal system? Not to mention the ridiculousness of the charges. Of course they'll be dismissed...and most of the left know this but they hope that the whiff of indictment will do what they haven't been able to do through the court of opinion---bring down DeLay. Methinks they underestimate the hammer---but we'll see.

    Then there is the piece that trips the idiot bit in all three categories. Check out "...faces of 2000". Do you think it would do any good to point out (to the person who posted that nonsense) the comments of leaders both foreign and domestic (from T. Kennedy, to Kerry, to Chirac, to Clinton) who said the same things Bush said after viewing the same intelligence? Nope...not a bit. Yet he calls it "lies" by Bush.
    The fact is, the left (which I'll not consider you a part of at this point since you said you leaned libertarian, and there are many places in which I can live comfortably with a libertarian---I just don't trust'em much since their Terri Schindler Schiavo stand.) but the left have to seek their manic scream material from the fringes of the conservative position...and even then they usually have to dress'em up some; while all the right have to do is turn to the editorial page of most newspapers.

    By Blogger David Hunley, at 10/07/2005 04:53:00 AM  

  • Mark...about this:

    "It's funny how the party that wants to keep all abortions legal is "radical" but the party that tries to keep women away from the Morning-After pill is nice and moderate and just wants a few little tweaks."

    Why am I not surprised that you would find it funny that someone who opposes abortion would also oppose the morning-after pill? After's logical; so of course, to you it would appear "funny".

    By Blogger David Hunley, at 10/07/2005 04:53:00 AM  

  • Hammer...about this:

    People don't think anymore.

    Don't despair...these kind of people have been always been around...whether they call them selves loyalists/torries, socialists, communists, elitists, or progressives. They are all of the same mind---they dislike a free people making decisions for themselves and feel compelled to "guide" them to a "better way" for their own good! They use scare tactics like looming mass starvations, personal salvation, global cooling, global warming, poverty, class warfare, environmental try to frighten people into accepting their "guidance".
    Fortunately, they have always been of the minority...and that is why the LAW is so important to them; they can't get their way through persuasion (people are just too stupid don't cha know :). All we have to do is keep the laws at bay by sticking to the constitution and we'll be fine.

    By Blogger David Hunley, at 10/07/2005 09:11:00 AM  

  • LiberPaul,
    I couldn't find anything on Bennett dated 5 October at the CLP.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 10/11/2005 05:01:00 PM  

  • David,
    My goal is not to "convert" the LiberPauls of the world to conservative thought. It is to convince those who are less radical that my positions are merely worth considering.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 10/11/2005 05:01:00 PM  

  • I listened to the Bennett quote the other day and changed mind. Before I was defending Bennett in just this one instance. After all, I use extreme examples all the time. It is perfectly natural in my mind to take what seems like an extreme example from one side and flip it around in a way the other side can understand. So I've been defending Bennett's quote.

    But recently I actually heard the recording itself. Bennett really seemed to focus more on how well his counter argument would work than the extreme stupidity of his counter example. The tone of voice, the inflections, the whole thing sounded very bad.

    I've never considered Bennett a racist before and I'm not ready to say it now, but man, what Bennett said really was worse then just another extreme example tossed out for comparison.

    By Blogger Mark, at 10/13/2005 07:05:00 PM  

  • Mark,
    Did you hear the whole two minutes, or just Bennett's response? It makes a world of difference. I had been listening to the show, and it didn't even register on the meter. Stuff that Rush, Hannity, and Ingraham say does - but this was not such a case.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 10/14/2005 11:02:00 AM  

  • Man I;m glad I get such great air time here. It's nice to be thought of in such high esteem.

    And for those of you who didn't bothe to read what I said, I took issue with my fellows for taking Mr. Bennet out of context. Shame on them.

    And Hunley, don't you have anythign better to do that write about me? Not that it isn't flattering and all - but it's silly. As for Tom DeLay and presumed innocence, yep I'm all for a jury having to follow that rule, and I'm all for his day in court. I am not going to be on that jury so i can display my wishes loud and clear not can't I? A man can hope can't he?

    However before we go off about how poor Tom deserves to get a fair trial and all that, I think we can all agree that Tom will get the best justice money can buy in this country. Even if Earle found a dead body, a gun in TD's hand and a video tape might he;d be hard pressed to get a conviction now wouldn't he?

    By Blogger Cranky Liberal, at 10/14/2005 10:34:00 PM  

  • Hammer,

    I wish you well my friend.

    By Blogger David Hunley, at 10/16/2005 08:25:00 PM  

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