Ben Shapiro from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sat, 23 Feb 2019 20:00:58 -0800 Ben Shapiro from Creators Syndicate 366a67db1535c677b7ced32f3099baf6 3 Lessons From the Jussie Smollett Hoax for 02/20/2019 Wed, 20 Feb 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>So, Jussie Smollett was lying.</p> <p>The "Empire" actor claimed that when he was walking home at 2 a.m. in Chicago, in the midst of the polar vortex, he was accosted by two assailants, both of whom shouted anti-gay and anti-black slurs at him. They then attempted to throw a noose around his neck and pour what he thought was bleach on him while shouting, "This is MAGA country!" he says.<p>Updated: Wed Feb 20, 2019</p> b35806970f8eabd2d4f82e9ef5a7944b The Republican Pouncing Problem for 02/13/2019 Wed, 13 Feb 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>In the past few weeks, prominent Democrats have endorsed infanticide; admitted to dressing in blackface; called for an end to fossil fuels, airplanes and farting cows; and trafficked in open anti-Semitism. None of this is a serious problem for many in the media. For members of the media, the <i> real </i> story is that Republicans keep pouncing.</p> <p>Two weeks ago, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam stated in an interview that he favors legislation that would allow a woman to abort a baby at the point of dilation and then added that in certain cases in which a baby would be born alive, the baby would be kept "comfortable" while parents and doctors decide what to do with it. This seems rather radical. Here was the Washington Post's take, as said in a headline: "Republicans seize on liberal positions to paint Democrats as radical." The positions, you see, are ackshually mainstream. It's just that Republicans <i> seized </i> on them and <i> painted </i> them as radical.<p>Updated: Wed Feb 13, 2019</p> e70262a30ef18cf2449da0b4605c1f66 Baby Killing Is Fine. Yearbook Photos Are the Problem for 02/06/2019 Wed, 06 Feb 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Last week, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam was hit with a shocking blast from the past: a photo on his medical school yearbook page of a man in blackface and another man in a Ku Klux Klan outfit. Northam quickly apologized for the photo, then said he wasn't in the photo and then admitted he had once worn blackface and dressed up as Michael Jackson for a dance contest. He nearly moonwalked at a press conference before his wife gave him a look that could curdle milk.</p> <p>For this sin &#8212; the sin of an old, disgusting, racially insensitive photo &#8212; Northam now finds his political career on the skids. As of this writing, he's hanging on by his fingernails, even as his lieutenant governor struggles with dicey sexual assault allegations.</p> <p>The same week that Northam found himself in hot water, he endorsed a Virginia bill that would have broadened the ability of women to obtain an abortion up to the point of birth. Virginia Delegate Kathy Tran, a sponsor of the bill, stated in defense of her legislation that women would be able to obtain an abortion during <i> labor </i>. Northam then defended the bill, adding that if a baby were born alive during such an abortion &#8212; he assumed that the abortion would be due to "severe deformities" or "a fetus that's not viable" &#8212; then the baby could be "kept comfortable" while the family and the doctor decide its fate.<p>Updated: Wed Feb 06, 2019</p> 9fb13c17e41194281c067aaa9efd32c3 The Democrats' Radicalism Problem for 01/30/2019 Wed, 30 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>President Trump is deeply unpopular. According to RealClearPolitics, his favorability ratings now stand at just 41 percent &#8212; near-historic lows. This means that Democrats have the upper hand heading into 2020. All they have to do is <i> not </i> be radically insane.</p> <p>And they just can't do it.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 30, 2019</p> c4b3954c08468508106a6779900d9c41 Factually Incorrect Cannot Be Morally Correct for 01/23/2019 Wed, 23 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p>A few weeks ago, the Fresh Face of the Democratic Party, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., gave one of the great defenses in the history of politics. Accused of fibbing and twisting facts to meet her radical agenda, Ocasio-Cortez explained, "I think that there's a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually and semantically correct than about being morally right." Her statement was widely derided. But it is indeed the mantra of today's politics. The narrative must be preserved at all costs &#8212; even the cost of the truth.</p> <p>Take, for example, Ocasio-Cortez's ridiculous statements this week on the state of modern America. She explained that her plan to radically restructure the American economy is necessitated by the fact that "the world is gonna end in 12 years if we don't address climate change." She added: "And your biggest issue is how are we gonna pay for it? And like, this is the war &#8212; this is our World War II." Now, put aside her Nostradamus-like assertion regarding the incoming apocalypse. The important part followed: "How are we saying, 'Take it easy,' when the America that we're living in today is so dystopian with people sleeping in their cars so they can work a second job without health care and we're told to settle down."</p> <p>Now, when President Trump describes America as a dystopia rife with crime and suffering, the media point out that America is hardly a hellhole &#8212; we're the most prosperous country in the history of the world. But when the charming AOC uses her false depiction of America to press for higher marginal tax rates, we're supposed to buy her story.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 23, 2019</p> 73090b9080b3499f3ac5042e6e56bf0c When Checks and Balances Fail for 01/16/2019 Wed, 16 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p>In February 2017, Dr. Christopher Duntsch became the first surgeon in American history known to be sentenced to prison for botching a patient surgery. A licensed neurosurgeon, Duntsch left a string of deaths and maimed bodies in his wake: He was accused of causing the death of two surgery patients and leaving 33 others permanently damaged. His patients left their lives in his hands; he left them paralyzed or dead. </p> <p>The checks and balances that were supposed to contain Duntsch failed utterly. His medical school licensed him but didn't require the preparation necessary to instill competence. Hospitals suspended him but didn't report him. The medical board could do nothing without forms filed against him. Patients were left without recourse.</p> <p>When checks and balances fail, damage is usually the result.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 16, 2019</p> 91a4db5346bd60cd50ae5f95f32d7325 The Scientific Experts Who Hate Science for 01/09/2019 Wed, 09 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p>This week, the American Psychological Association proved once again that it is a political body rather than a scientific one. This isn't the first time a major mental health organization has favored politics over science &#8212; in 2013, the American Psychiatric Association famously reclassified "gender identity disorder" in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, calling it "gender dysphoria" and then explaining that living with the delusion that you are a member of the opposite sex is not actually a mental disorder at all. That ruling was based on <i> zero </i> scientific evidence &#8212; much like the original DSM-5 classification of pedophilia as a "sexual orientation" before it was renamed "pedophilic disorder" under public pressure.</p> <p>The latest example of the American Psychological Association's political hackery concerns the topic of "traditional masculinity." In the APA journal, it announced that it had released new guidelines to "help psychologists work with men and boys." Those guidelines suggest that "40 years of research" show that "traditional masculinity is psychologically harmful and that socializing boys to suppress their emotions causes damage that echoes both inwardly and outwardly." The APA explains that "traditional masculinity &#8212; marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression &#8212; is, on the whole, harmful. Men socialized in this way are less likely to engage in healthy behaviors." </p> <p>Never mind that traditional masculinity &#8212; a masculinity geared toward channeling masculine instincts of building and protecting, rather than tearing down &#8212; built Western civilization and protected it from the brutalities of other civilizational forces. Never mind that traditional masculinity protected femininity and elevated women to equal status in public policy. Traditional masculinity is actually just men sitting around and eating burgers while grunting at one another about football, all the while crying on the inside because they have been prohibited by society from showing their feelings.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 09, 2019</p> a28207bf962e7176841f8b2bf3a156a4 2019: The Year of the Wokescolds for 01/02/2019 Wed, 02 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>2018 was a chaotic year. It was a chaotic year for the markets, for domestic and international politics, and for social mores. 2019 promises more of the same, if the end of the prior year was any indicator. And it promises something else: the continued rise of the Wokescolds.</p> <p>Wokescolds are the new representatives of moral panic. We've seen plenty of moral panic before in the United States, from worries about violent video games, to concern about allegations of sex abuse at day care facilities. But never have we seen a moral panic of the stunning breadth of today's woke moral panic. It's a moral panic that insists we change fundamental characteristics of our society, from biology, to language, to politics, to religion, to romantic relations, to art, to comedy. <p>Updated: Wed Jan 02, 2019</p> edc4fd3f7f54774d9ab0471f34d6041c The Left's War on Parenting for 12/19/2018 Wed, 19 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Last month, the New York State Education Department made a crucial decision: Commissioner MaryEllen Elia handed authority to local school boards to veto the right for private schools to operate. Those school boards must now determine whether private schools provide an education "substantially equivalent to that received in district public schools." According to Jewish educators Elya Brudny and Yisroel Reisman, "The state government now requires private schools to offer a specific set of classes more comprehensive than what students in public schools must learn." This isn't a problem for Jewish schools alone &#8212; Catholic schools in New York have bucked the legislation, with James Cultrara, executive secretary of the New York Council of Catholic School Superintendents, explaining, "We simply cannot accept a competing school having authority over whether our schools can operate." </p> <p>Now there's a case to be made that the state has an interest in children learning basic secular studies, and to that end, Cultrara has called for an objective standard for evaluating whether or not schools are properly educating their students. That case is far stronger in a welfare state, in which insufficient education often ends with the public bearing the brunt of such failures.</p> <p>But there's also a case to be made that parents are the best sources for judging which educational standards their children should obtain &#8212; and that attempting to force-feed education to unwilling students and parents at threat of legal peril is a massive imposition on freedom. It's also unlikely that a broadly applied standard of education will succeed in raising standards across the board. The public school system hasn't been able to achieve that even absent religious conflicts.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 19, 2018</p> 32d01a1b05eaa8d576fa65a7438b2e35 The 'International Community' Isn't a Community for 12/12/2018 Wed, 12 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Very often these days, we hear about the wonderful richness of the international community. Americans are chastised for failing to go along with the international community on climate change; failing to follow the consensus of the international community on health care; failing to mirror the priorities of the international community in foreign policy.</p> <p>But <span class="column--highlighted-text">here's the reality: There is no international community. There is merely a group of states motivated by self-interest. </span>Sometimes those self-interests overlap. Other times they don't. But let's not pretend that the international community somehow maintains a sort of collective moral standing merely by dint of numbers. In fact, precisely the opposite is often true.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 12, 2018</p> e4c81e64e185856c7f196739fb8d67ef Policies Have Consequences for 12/05/2018 Wed, 05 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>This week, France set itself on fire; the stock market tumbled; and news broke that low-wage employment tumbled in the city of Seattle. What do these three headlines have in common? That policies aren't wish lists &#8212; they have real-world consequences.</p> <p>Begin in France, where the so-called "yellow vests" &#8212; a group of anti-tax protesters dressed in safety vests &#8212; tore up Paris. Rioters defaced the Arc de Triomphe, burned cars and attacked police with stones. They were protesting the exorbitant fuel taxes pursued by French President Emmanuel Macron, taxes designed to curb climate change. The fuel tax rates in France are already estimated to be a whopping 64 percent on unleaded fuel and 59 percent on diesel fuel. The riots resulted in the French government backing down, with French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announcing, "No tax is worth putting in danger the unity of the nation." By polling data, more than 70 percent of French voters support the yellow vests, and Macron's approval rating has dropped to an anemic 23 percent.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 05, 2018</p> 716f8ce54df82b4a8730c17bcd9b62c7 'Medicare-for-All' Is No Health Care Cure-All for 11/28/2018 Wed, 28 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>This week, congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., tweeted out a letter from Spectrum Health to one Hedda Elizabeth Martin. The letter described the clinic's rejection of a heart transplant for Martin based on lack of a "more secure financial plan for immunosuppressive medication coverage." The clinic added, "The Committee is recommending a fundraising effort of $10,000." Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, "Insurance groups are recommending GoFundMe as official policy &#8212; where customers can die if they can't raise the goal in time &#8212; but sure, single payer healthcare is unreasonable."</p> <p>First off, Ocasio-Cortez is simply incorrect. The letter itself isn't directly from the insurance company but from the clinic. It declined to perform the heart surgery because the patient didn't have the ability to pay for the medications necessary to prevent organ rejection by the immune system. Furthermore, deductibles on insurance that would cover such drugs under Obamacare would certainly surpass the $10,000 requested by the clinic. <p>Updated: Wed Nov 28, 2018</p> a9c339b0acbb95a7f93b04a760f12c98 The Ungrateful Nation for 11/21/2018 Wed, 21 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Here are a few facts about America. </p> <p>The unemployment rate among those with a high school education is 3.9 percent. The poorest quintile of Americans have seen their post-tax incomes increase 80 percent since 1979, according to Congressional Budget Office data, and post-tax and transfer income for that quintile has skyrocketed 32 percent since 2000. The upper-middle class in America constituted 13 percent of the population in 1979; as of 2014, it constituted 30 percent. According to Pew Research from 2015, when it comes to standard of living, "The U.S. stands head and shoulders above the rest of the world. More than half (56 percent) of Americans were high income by the global standard ... and 2 percent were poor."<p>Updated: Wed Nov 21, 2018</p> b2a175b638cfe43bdd755ada6b1165dc Nationalism and Patriotism Don't Have to Be Opposites for 11/14/2018 Wed, 14 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>On Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke at a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. There, he took the opportunity to slam President Trump's "America First" nationalism. "Patriotism," Macron said, "is the exact opposite of nationalism: Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By putting our interests first, with no regard for others, we erase the very thing that a nation holds dearest, and the thing that keeps it alive: its moral values."</p> <p>This statement has a sort of European charm. It's also false. And dangerous.<p>Updated: Wed Nov 14, 2018</p> 800e636c0a24ac3767701a789a96ba89 The Myth of Obama, the Myth of Trump and the Reality of Elections for 11/07/2018 Wed, 07 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>In the aftermath of this week's midterm elections, in which Democrats gained 34 House seats and lost an additional three Senate seats, an odd emotional disconnect took place. Democrats, who had just won control of the House, seemed disappointed in their victory; they had expected a sweeping tsunami to carry them from Arizona across Texas and through Florida. They seemed borderline despondent that their extraordinarily dislike for President Trump hadn't translated into historic gains. Meanwhile, Republicans, who had just surrendered the speakership to Nancy Pelosi, were somewhat giddy; they immediately paid homage to President Trump for his stunning work in preventing Democrats from marking up big wins in Florida and Ohio.</p> <p>All of this seems somewhat misguided. </p> <p>The disparate reactions of the two political parties are predicated on a foundational myth about modern American politics: the myth of Barack Obama. According to the Obama Myth, once upon a time, America was divided between red and blue on the basis of right-left politics. Then, along came President Obama, who won two sweeping electoral victories, forging a coalition of intersectional identity groups in emergent demographic groups and utterly reshaping the electoral map in a permanent way.<p>Updated: Wed Nov 07, 2018</p> 7a7b62654795bf75742b46c4a57b9f7b When We Broaden the Definition of Incitement, Freedom Suffers for 10/31/2018 Wed, 31 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Over the past week, we've heard the media pitching one particular narrative nonstop: the story that President Donald Trump's rhetoric has resulted in increased violence. We heard it in the aftermath of a spate of attempted bombing attacks against Democratic targets by a Floridian nut job, and we heard it in the aftermath of a shooting attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue by an outspokenly anti-Trump white supremacist.</p> <p>Is there truth to the charge?<p>Updated: Wed Oct 31, 2018</p> ffd27c12f79ef84ba7ad8da169f59230 How Democrats Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Federalism for 10/24/2018 Wed, 24 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In today's polarized political environment, I'm often asked how I think America can come back together. My answer is pretty simple: we learn to leave each other alone. I didn't like President Obama much; folks on the left don't like President Trump. I wanted President Obama and Democrats interfering as little as possible in my life; Democrats presumably feel the same about President Trump and the Republicans. So, here's a solution: the founders' solution. It's called checks and balances, federalism and localism. </p> <p>For too long, the Democratic Party has operated under a certain assumption: The tides of history are in its favor. Aggregation of power to the federal government, usurpation of power by the judiciary, centralization of power in the executive branch &#8212; all of that would redound to their political benefit. And for decades, they were largely correct: Not only did the federal government continue to grow but federal policymaking also shifted consistently leftward, with brief points of stagnation during eras of Republican rule.<p>Updated: Wed Oct 24, 2018</p> f65c5411a11276a3805df6839a8d93a0 Democrats Know They Can Always Count on the Media for 10/17/2018 Wed, 17 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>This week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., in preparation for a 2020 presidential run, decided to fight back against President Trump's brutal nickname for her: Pocahontas. Trump, you'll recall, labeled her Pocahontas because for years, she has claimed Native American ancestry. Not only that, she claimed repeatedly that her mother's Native American ancestry drove her parents to elope after her father's family refused to welcome her mother with open arms thanks to their bigotry. As it turns out, Warren could never provide any evidence of Native American ancestry &#8212; even though she spent years labeling herself Native American while at the University of Pennsylvania Law School as well as Harvard Law School.</p> <p>On Monday, Warren decided she'd had enough. She released a video of her family members discussing her claims of Native American background. "Native communities have faced discrimination, neglect and violence for generations," Warren intoned. "And Trump can say whatever he wants about me, but mocking Native Americans or any group in order to try to get at me? That's not what America stands for."</p> <p>She accompanied that video with her supposed proof of Native American background: an analysis by professor Carlos Bustamante of Stanford University in which he explains that it is <i> possible </i> that Warren had a Native American ancestor anywhere from six to 10 generations ago. That would have made her anywhere from 1/64 to 1/1,024 Native American. The study was based not on Native American DNA but on Mexican, Peruvian and Colombian DNA.<p>Updated: Wed Oct 17, 2018</p> 7ffd66580ac07b1ff7636f9b15609fa6 What Do We Have In Common? for 10/10/2018 Wed, 10 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>America stands at a precipice.</p> <p>It's a moral precipice of our own making: We're not facing any external existential threat, or any serious economic crisis. Nonetheless, we're at each other's throats in a shocking and unique way. At least in the 1960s, serious issues divided us: the national attempt to grapple with legally enshrined racism, the sexual revolution, the Vietnam War. We have no such excuse now. Yet to view the sheer chaos surrounding the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh is to realize that we may simply have nothing in common anymore, other than our sheer blind luck at having been born into the most prosperous, free, productive country in world history. <p>Updated: Wed Oct 10, 2018</p> 03404746bbefce71070ba1708ec82d96 Should You Believe All Accusers? for 09/26/2018 Wed, 26 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>This week, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was eating at a restaurant with his wife, Heidi Cruz, when he was suddenly accosted by a group of "anti-racism activists." These activists grilled Sen. Cruz on whether he believed the three-decade-old sexual abuse allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump's pick to replace former Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. "Do you believe survivors, sir?" one of the protesters asked. The group then began chanting, "We believe survivors!" in increasingly vociferous tones. Eventually, Cruz and his wife were forced to leave the restaurant.</p> <p>The question was, of course, improperly formed. It assumed facts not in evidence, namely that every allegation against Kavanaugh is true. By labeling all of those making claims "survivors," the protesters simply asserted the conclusion of a case they had yet to make. The question isn't whether one ought to believe "survivors" &#8212; of course one should. The question is whether everyone who alleges sexual abuse is, in fact, a survivor of sexual abuse.<p>Updated: Wed Sep 26, 2018</p>