Kathleen Gilbert


Progressive rule #47: When all else fails, remove clothing

Kathleen Gilbert

One of these days I would like to sit in on one of those gatherings where this conversation blossoms among progressives disillusioned with the lack of progress on an unpopular initiative, such as animal rights or global warming:

“Blimey, Jim, I don’t know what to do. The public just doesn’t seem to care enough about [insert progressive agenda here]. The polls keep slipping ... I’ve just been racking my brain and I can’t figure out how to get ‘em revved up again.”

“Well Bart, sometimes it takes a little extra push to help people see the TRUTH of the matter. Make them see the REAL SITUATION in all its urgency, know what I mean?”

“I know, but…we’ve already used all the really scary words. ‘Crisis,’ ‘deadly,’ ‘danger,’ ‘abuse,’—they’re getting old. We’re running out of—”


“What, Jim?”

“There’s only one thing left to do.”

And then, somehow, taking everyone’s clothes off ends up being the logical conclusion.

In a recent photo essay, the magazine Der Spiegel called Greenpeace’s chilly 2007 demonstration an example of “sexing up” the debate - others may call it a bizarre phenomenon that, on top of appearing strangely cult-like, seems to have very little to do with sex.

These demonstrations have, unfortunately, caught on among progressives. They’ve famously been almost indispensable to PETA in a more sex-saturated form for about 20 years. While the topics range between anything from the war in Afghanistan to offshore drilling, a quick survey of these unsightly protests finds one thing in common: none of them are for conservative causes.

While nakedness occasionally has something to do with the progressive topic at hand, it’s usually a stretch. The point, leaders admit, is to detonate “mind bombs” - graphic images intended simply to shock, to intstill an emotional reaction in their favor. No other meaning necessary.

But even if progressives don’t think they’re sending a message, they are. The mere fact that they think it’s a great idea to throw around naked human bodies as a convenient media tool is, so to speak, extremely revealing. Bodies indelicately slumped over tree branches. Naked women “shrink wrapped” in meat packages, others crammed in “chicken” cages. Why is this shocking?

Why, because it’s portraying people as things, and not people. And they see nothing wrong with this.

Another perfect example of this vast blindness to human dignity erupted (ha) in the incredibly disturbing video promoting the UK-based 10:10 campaign last October. Portraying schoolchildren and others very realistically exploded into flying chunks of flesh and drenching traumatized onlookers in gore was supposed to be met with giggles. Funny, right?

Once again, the climate change crowd realized something, but not quite profoundly enough. “Oh yes, show people being brutally killed - THAT will get attention.” Sure it will. But why does such a thing get attention? Because your average person likes other people, thinks that people have intrinsic value, and doesn’t want them to die. The disturbing thing is that it took the 10:10 campaign three tries to apologize in a way that made them appear remotely aware of how a normal person reacts to radical objectification of other people.

Even if they never do quite get it, I hope progressive activists realize just how naked these shock campaigns render their own numbness to the dignity of the human person. Anything to make them put their clothes back on.

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Media blackout: Reporter says HHS mandate ‘just a weird idea I don’t think anyone’s talking about’

Kathleen Gilbert

A Daily Beast reporter who sat down with a religious conservative at the Republican National Convention last month gave us all a peek at just how effective the media blackout on the HHS mandate has been.

In a live broadcast, the interviewer asked businessman Foster Friess what the deal was with conservatives’ “obsessive dislike” of President Obama. Friess’ top answer, of course, was the fact that the administration has forced virtually all religious employers across the country to cough up coverage for free birth control, sterilizations, and abortifacient drugs under threat of severe fines.

“That’s just a weird idea that I don’t think anyone’s talking about,” was the reporter’s bewildered response.

Apparently the 125,000+ citizens pouring onto the streets of 160 American cities last spring and summer didn’t make an impression: aside from an NPR article, mainstream media coverage of the events was basically nonexistent. A third rally has been set for Oct 20.

Friess tried to explain the seriousness of the problem by likening the mandate to forcing a Jewish deli to carry pork. “It’s an issue of freedom. Should that decision be made between employer and employee, or should it be a government edict?” said the businessman.

Unfortunately, the communication rift between persons of faith and the religiously disinclined can be rather difficult: Friess didn’t appear to make a dent.

One only hopes that the court fight of Christian arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby, fending off a $1.3 million-per-day fine, will force a chink into mainstream coverage, illuminating the vast discontent plainly visible on countless bulletin boards - not to mention voices and furrowed brows - in parishes and churches across the nation.

But that may be hoping too much.

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‘Ugly black babies’ abortionist an avid Democrat donor

Kathleen Gilbert

In a development sure to provide a headache for Democrat leaders, it has been revealed that the North Carolina abortionist caught on video explaining how his practice aborting “ugly black babies” is a boon to taxpayers is a regular blue donor.

“I don’t wish to pay for the baby with my money,” Ashutosh Ron Virmani told pro-life activists with Operation Save America in remarks caught on video and published July 30. “Go ahead and pay for them. Let me see you go ahead and adopt one of those ugly black babies.”

The Washington Examiner’s Timothy Carney on Tuesday noted Virmani’s political leanings are well-established.

Records show the Charlotte-based Virmani has given several donations since 2000 to the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, as well as $1,000 to John Kerry in 2004 and $250 to Hillary Clinton in 2008. Barack Obama does not appear on the list.

Historically, Democrats have an embarrassing record on civil rights: the party opposed civil rights for African Americans, including uniform opposition in Congress to the 14th amendment granting blacks civil rights. The party is also the sole founding party of the Ku Klux Klan: the 1915 Klan propaganda film The Birth of a Nation was described by its director as intended “to revolutionize northern sentiment by a presentation of history that would transform every man in my audience into a good Democrat!”

In September of last year, black pastor and civil rights activist Rev. Wayne Perryman filed a lawsuit against President Obama and the DNC in U.S. District Court for its history of racism against blacks, which he notes has never elicited an apology.

“Any organization that has such a racist history and receives 97% of the African American vote (after doing all they could to deny blacks the right to vote), should willingly apologize without being forced do so through a lawsuit,” said Perryman. The activist said he was “convinced that Democrats will only apologize if the media, or the courts (with public pressure) will force them to do so.”

“The man who authored the book: The Audacity of Hope, now has the ‘audacity’ to refuse to apologize for his political party and their racist institutions, that took the lives of millions of his own people,” he said.

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Should women taking the pill pay $1,500 more in taxes?

Kathleen Gilbert

...Given the severe environmental effects of hormones from the pill ending up in our water supply, one Forbes writer thinks so, based on the costs of upgrading and operating sewage treatment facilities to remove the hormones:

[T]he proposal is that sewage treatment systems should be upgraded to deal with this. ...

Look purely at the running costs of such a system, some 10% of the capital cost. That’s £3 billion a year for England and Wales, and in that country there are some 2.5 million women using the pill. That looks a little low to me so just to make the math easier we’ll say 3 million. Or the running costs alone of such a system will be £1,000 ($1,500) a year for each and every women who uses the pill to regulate her fertility.

As for having the pharmaceutical manufacturer foot the bill, Worstall calls it “near insane” to think Big Pharma would countenance such a financial burden on the pill. After all, “given that the pill is free” in the UK, as will be the case soon in the US, the sewage bill would “just [mean] that the taxpayer is going to pay.”

But we already have a cultural climate that dictates who should pay for such measures: the polluter.

BP has to pay to clean up the waters of the Gulf after Macondo: we all think this is just and righteous. ... Which brings us to: well, it is women taking the contraceptive pill who are causing this pollution. ... This really is pollution and yes, we do have this general assumption that the polluter should pay for having polluted.

We cannot charge BP for killing fishies through pollution if we don’t also charge others who kill fishies through pollution, can we?

Worstall concludes that contraception isn’t bad in itself, but “there are a number of alternative methods, various barriers, creams, sponges, IUDs, which do not carry this environmental cost,” that women should pursue.

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