When I hear today’s frequent calls for civility, I’m reminded of Rodney King’s plaintive appeal, “Can we…can we all get along?” After all, King was a thug but, when he made his statement, seemed wholly sincere. This means that most contemporary political figures who call for civility share one certain commonality with King. One of those who likely was sincere was Betty Ford, who has managed to make such a call from beyond the grave. Laid to rest this week, she had instructed two statists, Cokie Roberts and Rosalynn Carter, to send a message about conservative incivility. Writes Michael Kimmitt at American Thinker, "Mrs. Ford wanted me to remind everyone of the way things used to be in Washington," said Roberts…. "I wouldn't be at all surprised if she timed her death to make sure she could convey the message of comity during this week when it seems so badly needed."
On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives failed to pass the Better Use of Light Bulbs (BULB) Act. Though the vote was 233-193, which normally would have been enough, the measure required a two-thirds majority for passage. While House Republicans may still try to adopt the measure by simple majority, most expect that it will not pass the Democrat-controlled Senate. The BULB Act would repeal Subtitle B of Title III of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which ultimately bans incandescent light bulbs. The Kansas City Star reports:
Yesterday, California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed the controversial bill requiring all public schools in the state to include a social studies curriculum on the contributions of gays and lesbians. The bill has unsurprisingly drawn criticism from a number of groups, including SaveCalifornia.com. Senate Bill 48, proposed by Democrat Senator Mark Leno, passed the California Senate by a vote of 23-14, then moved on to the Assembly, where it passed on a 49 to 25 vote. According to The Blaze:
On November 2, 1889, the Dakota Territory ceased to exist, becoming the states of North and South Dakota — or so the history books tell us. According to 82-year-old Grand Forks, North Dakota, resident John Rolczynski, however, his home state may not legally be a part of the Union at all. Rolczynski, described by Valley News Live as a “stickler for details,” discovered in 1995 that the state constitution does not require the Governor and other executive branch officials to take an oath of office to defend the U.S. Constitution. Article VI of the U.S. Constitution specifically requires “all executive … officers, both of the United States and of the several states, [to] be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution.” The discrepancy between the two constitutions, Rolczynski says, calls North Dakota’s statehood into question.
On Thursday, July 14, 2011, a young Cuban who tried to stow away inside the landing gear of a Spanish airliner died during the nine-hour flight from Havana to Madrid. It was, ironically, Lenin who invented the term “voting with their feet” during the Russian Civil War to describe people moving into areas controlled by the Communists. Collectivists have never found occasion to use that term again. The flight of Cubans out of their horrific prison camp nation to anywhere else is a 60-year-old story. Fidel Castro inherited a nation that was among the most prosperous in the Western Hemisphere. Although there was much to dislike about Fulgencio Batista, the Cuban leader whom Castro ousted, there was also much to admire about Cuba before Castro.  
The people of Great Britain have had enough of the European Union and its growing financial difficulties. In fact, according to a recent poll, if they had a choice in the matter, the British would leave the EU as soon as possible. The ongoing financial crisis in Europe has already resulted in plans for a costly bailout for Greece — and the staggering cost of Greek socialism appears to be simply one installment of a much more costly proposition of rebuilding the economies of several member states of the European Union. Now, the bailout’s political cost is beginning to come due in Britain. A July 13 story for the Daily Mail reports that public opinion is decisively opposed to continued membership in the EU:
Six above-the-fold headlines in the space of just three days speak volumes about the liberal-left’s campaign strategy leading up to Election Day 2012. All were widely reported, although they covered issues of lesser stature than the $14 trillion economic impasse-cum-sink-hole that dominates newscasts. This makes the six headlines all the more revealing of liberal Democrats’ end-game, no matter who technically wins the presidency or a few congressional seats.  
The man often irrelevantly identified as the “black motorist” who indirectly caused 1992’s race riots in Los Angeles, which left 53 dead and $1 billion in property destroyed, was arrested again early this week. Last week, police collared Rodney King, the man who wanted to know why we all just can’t get along, yet again for driving under the influence. Under the influence of what, we are not given to know. Maybe it was alcohol, maybe it was marijuana. But we do who was arrested. Rodney King. King became the poster-child for police brutality when four Los Angeles cops beat him with batons after he charged them in an alcohol-fueled rage following their stopping him after a high-speed chase. Videotape of the beat down surfaced on television news.  
On Tuesday evening, President Obama was being interviewed by Scott Pelley, who asked the President whether he could guarantee that Americans would get their Social Security checks if the debt ceiling weren't raised: Can you tell the folks at home that, no matter what happens, the[ir] Social Security checks are going to go out on August the 3rd? Obama:  Well, this is not just a matter of Social Security checks. These are folks on disability and their checks. There are about 70 million checks that go out each month. Pelley: Can you guarantee, as president, that those checks will go out on August the 3rd? Obama: I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven’t resolved the [debt] issue, because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.
To the voluminous body of evidence that the television and film industries are comprised of doctrinaire leftists determined to promote their political program via these media, we can now add Ben Shapiro’s recently released Prime Time Propaganda. This work is at once too long and too predictable, it is true. But in spite of its vices, it would be unfair to begrudge Shapiro the commendation for the service that he supplies — namely, a much needed reminder of the variety of typically subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways in which Hollywood routinely attempts to invite sympathy from consumers for causes that they would otherwise reject. My intention here, however, is not to review Shapiro’s book. Rather, I wish to say a couple of things about the relationship between art and politics that he, among legions of others, addresses.
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