Organizational Incompetence


There’s a bit of a buzz about a significant portion of the crowd walking out on a speech by Barack Obama yesterday. While people walking out on the President of the United States is, and should be, news, it may not be the important part of the story.

The event where the President spoke was a campaign rally for Anthony Brown, the Democrats’ candidate for governor of Maryland. Last night, I happened to meet a young person who had been a volunteer campaign worker at the rally. The event had been disorganized, and the level of mismanagement soured that volunteer on politics. The volunteer bitterly expressed a desire not to get involved again.

Given that one of the main campaign issues that Brown faces is his mismanagement of Maryland’s disastrous rollout of its Obamacare website, a disorganized high-profile campaign event reinforces the impression that Brown is a lightweight bumbler.

In a couple of weeks, we will find out if that will be enough to overcome the Democrats’ registration advantage in Baltimore, Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, and their cemeteries.

Slip, Sliding Away


You remember all that talk about how legalizing gay marriage wouldn’t require priests, ministers, or rabbis to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies in violation of their religious beliefs. There wasn’t going to be any slippery slope, or so we were told.

Two ministers in Idaho are facing up to 6 months in jail and up to $1000 in fines for each day that they continue to refuse to perform a same-sex wedding that a gay couple requested last Friday.

Truthiness and Social Pollution


WaPo reports that the National Science Foundation is funding a project to analyze Twitter data to detect what the project researchers deem as “social pollution” and to study what they call “social epidemics,” memes that spread throughout pop culture. The “social pollution” targeted includes “political smears,” “astroturfing,” and other forms of “misinformation.”

Hmm. A government-funded initiative is going to “assist in the preservation of open debate” by monitoring social media for “subversive propaganda” and combating what it considers to be “the diffusion of false and misleading ideas”? The concept seems to have come straight out of a George Orwell novel.

Read the whole thing.

The feds are spending your money to monitor your political speech on Twitter. There may be a better way for you to spend your cash. Tar and Feathers are available from Amazon.

Tyranny Checked


Bryan Preston reports over at PJ Media that Houston Mayor’s Annise Parker’s subpoenas seeking sermons and other communications by church pastors related to resistance to the Houston “equal rights” ordinance allowing, among other things, men to use women’s restrooms will be “clarified.” In other words, the PR cost of her heavy-handed thuggery is too great.

Actually, asking for sermons should not be a problem. After all, sermons are generally public proclamations. The real problem is that internal church communications are also sought, and that may cross the line defined by pastoral counseling privilege.

When the people in the gay rights movement were essentially focused on their right to be left alone to do things in private, their cause had some traction with folks who didn’t agree with their private behavior. Now that some LGBTQs demand that their public behavior be allowed or even endorsed, there is increasing resistance. The need to resort to bullying such as Mayor Parker’s subpoenas shows the inherent weakness of their cause.

UPDATE—Stacy McCain has some comments here.

Houston, We Have a Problem …


… with the First Amendment. A group of Christian ministers is suing the Houston city government over a so-called “human rights” ordinance. The Houston Chronicle reports that

[c]ity attorneys issued subpoenas last month during the case’s discovery phase, seeking, among other communications, “all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession.”

Glenn Reynolds notes that they wouldn’t do that if they feared beheading.

If I were subject to such a subpoena, I would file to have it quashed as the Houston preachers have. If I had to respond to the subpoena, I would probably have to provide my copies of the Bible because of passages such as Leviticus 20:13 or Romans 1:26 … 32. I’d also have to turn in my copy of the Quran because of passages such as 7:80 … 84 which refers to the Biblical story of Sodom and cites homosexuality as a graver sin than adultery.

Hmmmmm.