Posts Tagged: Fear


13
Oct 10

Double Standard: Fox Fear Mongers About ‘Ground Zero Mosque’s’ Foreign Funding, But Defends The Chamber’s

Following ThinkProgress’ investigation revealing that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce takes money from foreign corporations into the same account it uses to fund attack ads, Fox News personalities and conservative pundits have rushed to the right-wing business group’s defense. Former Bush advisor (and current Fox News contributor) Karl Rove and former RNC chair Ed Gillespie, who together have started their own shadowy attack outfits, have been some of the Chamber’s staunchest defenders. They have tried to paint the business lobbying behemoth as an innocent victim, while reflexively — and baselesslyattacking the Center for American Progress Action Fund, ThinkProgress’ parent organization.

The Chamber and its defenders on Fox repeatedly claim there is “not one scintilla of evidence” supporting the foreign money charge, and thus have declared the allegations a groundless “smear.” But as the Daily Show with Jon Stewart pointed out last night, these same pundits had a very different view of undisclosed foreign money just two months ago when they were apoplectic about the Islamic Community Center near Ground Zero and its supposedly nefarious foreign funding.

Playing back-to-back clips of Fox personalities alternatively fear mongering about the mosque’s alleged foreign funding, and dismissing that of the Chamber, Stewart adeptly points out the hollowness their defense of the business group:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
(C) Spot Run!
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity

Of course, Fox’s parent company News Corporation gave the Chamber $ 1 million just last month.

Meanwhile, the Chamber and the media have still failed to explain away key concerns raised by the ThinkProgress investigation. Mainstream media reports have focused almost entirely on so-called “AmChams,” but these entities represent only a small piece of the puzzle and have been used as a red herring by the Chamber to distract from the real concern — direct donations from large corporations headquartered abroad. If Fox’s personalities spent as much effort hyperventilating about the Chamber’s foreign funding as they did about the Islamic community center’s, maybe the Chamber would be forced to finally disclose its fundraising and clear up the supposedly fraudulent charges leveled against them.

ThinkProgress


13
Oct 10

Fear and Stasis

By John Samples

The Obama administration’s attacks on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce looks a lot like a three day story on its final day. The national media had its doubts, and even Democratic operatives decried the gambit.

Why did the administration go after the Chamber? The politics are not hard to figure out. The actions of the Obama administration mobilized the Republican base. At the same time, the President and his party have been losing the support of independents for a year or so. Their only hope of limiting the electoral damage was to rally the Democratic base who are discouraged and divided.

But the Democratic base might agree about what they don’t like and fear: business, money in politics, and foreigners or at least, foreigners spending money on politics. The attack on the Chamber of Commerce appealed to all three. The administration hoped that fear would engender hatred and hatred would bring people to the polls to vote against business and the GOP.

The most surprising part of the attack was the rather naked appeal to anti-foreign bias (see Bryan Caplan’s discussion of this concept here). Most people think of Democrats as friendly to undocumented foreign workers. But Democrats are first of all egalitarians; for them, the whole point of politics is to help the oppressed and harm the oppressor.  They do not favor undocumented foreigners because they believe people have a right to free exchange, borders notwithstanding. Instead, Democrats see undocumented foreigners as victims of oppression by American businesses. Foreigners who have enough money to spend on elections are oppressors in the egalitarian mind.

Obama promised hope and change. He and his party now want to maintain so far as possible the political status quo (that is, their control of Congress).  To do that they are trying to prompt fear and hatred among their most loyal voters. The new motto of the administration appears to be: fear and stasis.

Of course, the administration had no evidence the charges were true and argued that the Chamber should be seen as guilty until proven innocent. All in all, the whole affair suggests desperation and a complete loss of constraint in pursuing a political end. It suggests, I think, conduct that used to be covered by the word, Nixonian.

Fear and Stasis is a post from Cato @ Liberty - Cato Institute Blog


Cato @ Liberty


12
Oct 10

Chamber of Commerce VP: When did Hopenchange turn into fear ‘n smear?

Attacks.


Answer: Pretty much on day one, no? Obama’s always needed a villain for his messianic passion plays. At first it was Rush Limbaugh for saying “I hope he fails,” then it was the health-care townhall “angry mobs,” then it was Fox, then it was the tea party, then John Boehner, then Palin, now it’s the [...]

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10
Oct 10

Iraq: Christians fear escalating persecution from Islamic jihadists

The persecution is ascribed in this article to the jihadists’ identification of the Christians with the occupying forces, but the mention of “forced taxation,” i.e., the jizya prescribed for Christians and others in Qur’an 9:29, hints that the jihadists’ antipathy toward Christians has to do with Islamic theological principles, not solely with “occupation.” “Iraqi Christians fear escalating persecution as US forces withdraw,” from Deutsche Welle, October 9 (thanks to AINA):

As US forces continue to withdraw from Iraq, many fear a return to sectarian violence once they’ve gone. Iraqi Christians are particularly fearful of the removal of the main barrier between them and their persecutors.

Their churches are burnt-out husks and heaps of rubble. Their businesses are targeted by extremists. Their leaders are kidnapped and assassinated. The Christian minority in Iraq, once a community left in peace to prosper, continues to be under threat from a campaign of persecution which has forced as many as 500,000 Christians to flee the country.

During the reign of Saddam Hussein, the estimated 1.4 million Christians - many of them Chaldean-Assyrians and Armenians, with small numbers of Roman Catholics - were generally left alone if they didn’t oppose the government and they lived in relative peace with the country’s Sunnis and Shiites.

Some, such as Tariq Aziz, Saddam’s foreign minister and deputy prime minister, rose to the highest levels of power.

Things changed after the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq toppled Saddam’s regime. Christians became a target of violence when Islamist groups and ordinary Muslims angered by the military action began seeing them as the enemy, associating with them with the “crusaders” - the invading armies of the United States and Britain.

Tensions over their religious ties with the West and their differing beliefs to the strict Islamic majority, which had been simmering for years, spilled over as the occupying forces dug in.

“Iraqi Christians became caught up in the overlapping violence and multiple conflicts unleashed after 2003,” Dr. Kristian Ulrichsen, an Iraq expert at the London School of Economics and Political Science, told Deutsche Welle. “They became exposed to the similar patterns of kidnappings, extortion, beheadings, rape and forced taxation that affected all other communities as the erosion of central government control left a security vacuum that was exploited by organised and opportunistic criminality and anti-occupation resistance groups.”

“In addition to this, Christians specifically were targeted by Church bombings and assassination attempts owing to a perceived association with the aims and intentions of the occupying forces.”…

Jihad Watch


10
Oct 10

Iraq: Christians fear escalating persecution from Islamic jihadists

The persecution is ascribed in this article to the jihadists’ identification of the Christians with the occupying forces, but the mention of “forced taxation,” i.e., the jizya prescribed for Christians and others in Qur’an 9:29, hints that the jihadists’ antipathy toward Christians has to do with Islamic theological principles, not solely with “occupation.” “Iraqi Christians fear escalating persecution as US forces withdraw,” from Deutsche Welle, October 9 (thanks to AINA):

As US forces continue to withdraw from Iraq, many fear a return to sectarian violence once they’ve gone. Iraqi Christians are particularly fearful of the removal of the main barrier between them and their persecutors.

Their churches are burnt-out husks and heaps of rubble. Their businesses are targeted by extremists. Their leaders are kidnapped and assassinated. The Christian minority in Iraq, once a community left in peace to prosper, continues to be under threat from a campaign of persecution which has forced as many as 500,000 Christians to flee the country.

During the reign of Saddam Hussein, the estimated 1.4 million Christians - many of them Chaldean-Assyrians and Armenians, with small numbers of Roman Catholics - were generally left alone if they didn’t oppose the government and they lived in relative peace with the country’s Sunnis and Shiites.

Some, such as Tariq Aziz, Saddam’s foreign minister and deputy prime minister, rose to the highest levels of power.

Things changed after the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq toppled Saddam’s regime. Christians became a target of violence when Islamist groups and ordinary Muslims angered by the military action began seeing them as the enemy, associating with them with the “crusaders” - the invading armies of the United States and Britain.

Tensions over their religious ties with the West and their differing beliefs to the strict Islamic majority, which had been simmering for years, spilled over as the occupying forces dug in.

“Iraqi Christians became caught up in the overlapping violence and multiple conflicts unleashed after 2003,” Dr. Kristian Ulrichsen, an Iraq expert at the London School of Economics and Political Science, told Deutsche Welle. “They became exposed to the similar patterns of kidnappings, extortion, beheadings, rape and forced taxation that affected all other communities as the erosion of central government control left a security vacuum that was exploited by organised and opportunistic criminality and anti-occupation resistance groups.”

“In addition to this, Christians specifically were targeted by Church bombings and assassination attempts owing to a perceived association with the aims and intentions of the occupying forces.”…

Jihad Watch


8
Oct 10

Eboo Patel in Washington Posts forgets about jihad terrorism, blames “fear of Muslims” on antijihadists

Eboo Patel has a used car to sell you. “Nine years after 9/11, a debate about Islam,” by Eboo Patel in the Washington Post, October 4 (thanks to all who sent this in):

How is it that fear of Muslims in America is actually higher nine years post 9/11? Watching Christiane Amanpour’s special on Islam Sunday provides plenty of clues.

Patel, you see, wants to fool his eminently foolable Washington Post readers into thinking that If there is any actual suspicion of or negative feelings toward Muslims in the United States, it is the fault of people like Franklin Graham and me. He would prefer that you not think about Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood jihadist; Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Christmas underwear jihadist; Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, who killed one soldier and murdered another in a jihad shooting outside a military recruiting station in Little Rock, Ark.; Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square jihadist; Khaled Sheikh Mohammed and Osama bin Laden on 9/11; the London jihad bombers of July 7, 2005; and so many others.

The most striking voices in the debate were Amjad Choudry [sic! Patel is referring to Britain-based jihadist Anjem Choudary] and Reverend Franklin Graham. Choudry wore a regulation size beard, looked menacingly at the television camera and declared that the flag of Islam will one day fly over the White House. He knew full well that he was playing the scary Muslim figure from central casting. His message: Islam requires me to dominate you.

“He knew full well that he was playing the scary Muslim figure from central casting.”

Franklin Graham talked about church-burnings in the Sudan, the dangers of Sharia law, and the purpose of mosques as vehicles of conversion and domination. In other words, he agreed with Amjad [that is, Anjem]: Islam requires Muslims to dominate others.

Patel is here attempting a sleight-of-hand: Graham discussed church burnings in the Sudan, Sharia’s oppressive features, and mosques as vehicles of conversion and domination. See? — says Patel — he’s just like Anjem Choudary (although Patel does manage to spell Graham’s name correctly, so at least in that they differ). He doesn’t mention, of course, and apparently hopes that you won’t bring to mind the fact that it wasn’t Franklin Graham or Anjem Choudary who burned churches in the Sudan. It wasn’t Franklin Graham who used mosques to preach hatred; to spread exhortations to terrorist activity; to house a bomb factory; to store weapons; to disseminate messages from bin Laden; to demand (in the United States) that non-Muslims conform to Islamic dietary restrictions; to fire on American troops; to fire upon Indian troops; or to train jihadists.

When that kind of thing is known to have gone on in mosques, and when Muslims implementing Sharia in Saudi Arabia and Iran have victimized non-Muslims and women, people aren’t thinking that “Islam requires Muslims to dominate others” because Franklin Graham or Anjem Choudary told them so; they can see with their own eyes. And no amount of smoke blown into those eyes by Eboo Patel and his ilk can ultimately obscure the truth.

There are Muslims who go on television representing Islam and non-Muslims who go on television representing “Why you should fear Islam” and they are saying the same scary things. Is it any wonder that many Americans, whose first conscious experience with Islam was 9/11, are thinking: “I’m scared of these people.”

The idea that people saying “scary things” on television makes Americans “scared” of “these people” is as ridiculous as it is condescending. Americans are not that stupid, Mr. Patel. Manipulative talking heads, Muslim or non-Muslim, are not the problem in this: Nidal Hasan and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and Faisal Shahzad and innumerable others are. But for Eboo Patel to face that, he would have to face up to the reality of the Islamic texts and teachings that inspired those jihadis. And that is a reality that he seems determined to obscure.

What about the moderate Muslims?

Daisy Khan, leader of a group called the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), explained that she was moved by the events of 9/11 to leave her corporate career to start an institution to grow the moderate voice in Islam. She has led Muslim youth and women’s events all over the world. One of the “fear Islam” panel members was unimpressed. “How do we know you are not a secret radical?” he asked.

A blunt but apposite question, given Daisy Khan’s dishonesty about whether or not this “community center” would be a mosque — she has said so in the past in my presence, but has now adopted the line that it is not a mosque, with no explanation for or acknowledgment of the change. Moreover, her husband, the Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, is an open proponent of Sharia, and calls for restrictions on the freedom of speech in his book What’s Right with Islam. These things should cause concern for free people. And that Patel would hold the likes of Daisy Khan up as an example of a moderate Muslim doesn’t speak well of him, either.

The imam of a Muslim community in Murfreesboro, TN pointed out that Muslims had been a visible part of Murfreesboro for 30 years and not one member of the community had been involved in a single crime in that time. Recently, the community’s mosque construction site had experienced vandalism and arson, likely because of the fear of Islam cutting through the culture. Robert Spencer’s response: Muslims have a pattern of fabricating such things, and perhaps the imam was making this up as well.

Do Muslims fake hate crimes, or is this just an invention of that greasy Islamophobe Spencer? From “CAIR’s Hate Crimes Nonsense” by Daniel Pipes and Sharon Chadha:

  • CAIR cites the July 9, 2004 case of apparent arson at a Muslim-owned grocery store in Everett, Washington. But investigators quickly determined that Mirza Akram, the store’s operator, staged the arson to avoid meeting his scheduled payments and to collect on an insurance policy. Although Akram’s antics were long ago exposed as a fraud, CAIR continues to list this case as an anti-Muslim hate crime.

  • CAIR also states that “a Muslim-owned market was burned down in Texas” on August 6, 2004. But already a month later, the owner was arrested for having set fire to his own business. Why does CAIR include this incident in its report?

  • CAIR lists the March 2005 lawsuit filed by the Salmi family for the firebombing of their family van as one example of a hate crime report it received in 2004. However, the crime named in the lawsuit occurred in March 2003, was already reported by CAIR in 2003, and should not have been tabulated again in the 2004 report.

  • CAIR reports that “a home-made bomb exploded outside of the Champions Mosque in the Houston suburb of Spring, Texas,” staking its claim on eyewitness reports that on July 4, 2004, “two white males” were seen placing the bomb. We inquired about the incident and found that Spring’s sheriff department could not locate any police files about an explosion. Further inquiries to the mosque and an e-mail to CAIR both went unanswered. There is scant evidence that any crime even occurred.

  • CAIR notes that “investigators in Massachusetts are still investigating a potential hate-motivated arson against the Al-Baqi Islamic Center in Springfield.” However the case was long ago ruled a simple robbery, news that even CAIR’s own website has posted. The Associated Press reported on January 21, 2005, that prosecutors determined the fire was set by teen-age boys “who broke into the Al-Baqi mosque to steal money and candy, then set the fire to cover their tracks.” The boys, they clarified, “weren’t motivated by hatred toward Muslims.”

  • CAIR describes what happened to a Muslim family in Tucson, Arizona: “bullet shots pierced their home as they ate dinner in October 2004″ and two months later their truck was smashed and vandalized. But the only evidence that either incident was motivated by hate of Muslims is the Dehdashti family itself, not the police. Detective Frank Rovi of Pima County Sheriff’s Department, who handled the shooting investigation, said that according to the neighbors, the desert area by the Dehdashti house was often used for target practice. Neither incident was classified as a hate crime and both cases were closed by February 2005, long before the CAIR report went to press.

  • Of twenty “anti-Muslim hate crimes” in 2004 that CAIR describes, at least six are invalid – and further research could likely find problems with the other fourteen instances.

    Would Eboo Patel really say, in light of all this and more, that it is unreasonable for non-Muslims to be suspicious when a Muslim claims that he has been the victim of a hate crime? How many times must we submit to being fooled?

    There you have it in a nutshell. The forces of intolerance scream from the rooftops, “Islam is about domination”. The forces of moderation are questioned with the intent of delegitimizing them (they’re either just liars, or liars and secret radicals).

    Well, Patel, it would help if you could come up with an example of a “force of moderation” who wasn’t a public and demonstrable liar like Daisy Khan.

    Patel then proceeds to build a “fear bomb,” to hoodwink his hapless readers into being afraid to resist the advance of Islamic supremacism:

    How do you build a fear bomb? Here’s how:

    1) A high-profile event like 9/11 that raises fears and suspicions of a religion and a community.

    2) People like Amjad Choudry [sic!] who claim to represent that religion and community who look scary and say scary things.

    3) People who claim to want to protect everybody else who point to people like Amjad Choudry and say, “See, he represents Islam. Told you they were scary.”

    4) A deliberate campaign to delegitimize humanizing, moderate voices.

    This is all so patently dishonest. If Eboo Patel really wants to present himself as an alternative to the person he persists in calling “Amjad Choudry,” he needs to counter Choudary’s influence in the Muslim community. Then if non-Muslims see that the “humanizing, moderate voices” are really doing something among Muslims to neutralize Islamic supremacists and jihadists, and to counter their appeal, it will be a lot harder for anyone to make the case that “Choudry” “represents Islam” — which of course I have never said anyway.

    And that Patel would also praise the likes of Reza Aslan, a Board member of an organization that can’t think of a single move the U.S. should take to counter the actions of the Islamic Republic of Iran, is telling as well:

    The role played by Reza Aslan in the conversation was hugely important. He made a few compelling key points. Number one: Islam is a huge religion with a long history. Saying all of its adherents are about one thing - domination - is the very definition of bigotry.

    This case would be a lot easier to make if the people Patel praised weren’t so unsavory. Daisy Khan and Reza Aslan are the voices of reason and moderation? Then we are indeed in trouble. Aslan is a Board member for the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), which has clear links to the Islamic Republic of Iran, and he has called for the U.S. to “squeeze a deal out of” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    Number two: people like Franklin Graham and Amjad Choudry say they’re on different sides of the debate, but really they represent the same position (and ought to go have coffee together and leave the rest of us alone, as Reza colorfully suggested).

    Finally, people like Robert Spencer who seek to intentionally delegitimize moderates are advancing a not-too-subtle form of racism, and their ideas will join anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism in the dustbin of history.

    I don’t “delegitimize moderates.” They do that all by themselves. Daisy Khan said at a Lower Manhattan Community Board meeting that the building was a mosque. I was there. Then she said on ABC News that it wasn’t a mosque. I am supposed to trust her now? And Reza Aslan is part of a group that seems to have numerous links to the bloodthirsty Iranian mullahcracy. Moderate?

    And this business about anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism, in which Patel echoes Aslan and the latest talking points that are making the rounds among the Islamic supremacists, is supremely specious. Jews and Catholics weren’t shooting people at military bases, or hijacking planes and flying them into skyscrapers, or setting off bombs in their underwear on other airplanes, or trying to blow up Times Square, etc. etc. etc. There is simply no comparison between concern about Islamic supremacism and jihad and nativism, which was baseless and indeed racist.

    Patel’s agenda is clear, and the Washington Post ought to be ashamed of itself for publishing him — that is, if it had any shame.

    Jihad Watch


    7
    Oct 10

    Fear – of Greenspan

    style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 10px;"> href="http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/Greenspan-10-6-18.jpg"> class="alignnone size-full wp-image-36600" title="Alan Greenspan" src="http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/Greenspan-10-6-18.jpg" alt="" width="175" height="240" />

    If economic sages were judged the same way major league baseball hitters are, Alan Greenspan hitting .333 would deserve the attention he garners. In recent months the former Federal Reserve Board Chairman struck out badly twice on what in economic terms could be considered batting-practice fastballs. But in today’s at-bat, a persuasive column in the Financial Times, the old Maestro finally connected.

    As Greenspan observes, “ href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4524339a-d17a-11df-96d1-00144feabdc0.html">Fear Undermines America’s Economy.” Fear of inflation. Fear of deflation. Fear of higher taxes. Fear of generalized governmental foolishness.

    Uncertainty, of course, is inherent to the economy: Uncertainty about a new product offering, uncertainty about market shifts and trends. What drives an economy forward or holds it back is how businesses view uncertainty and how they react to it. As Greenspan notes, American businesses today react in fear and their reaction is to stand pat. id="more-44518">

    In economic terms, the opposite of fear is confidence. There is opportunity in uncertainty, profit in uncertainty. Uncertainty need not be a bad thing. The uncertainty may be between good and better. When businesses are confident, they see uncertainty and they see possibilities. They plan and build for the future. They hire for the future. They push research and development for the future because they are confident that in the future the market will reward them. Confidence is the true liquidity of the marketplace.

    As Greenspan observes, fear reigns today. What he doesn’t mention is that businesses have reason to fear, which brings us to Greenspan’s two previous dismal policy at-bats in recent memory. In an interview for Bloomberg back in July, Greenspan said Congress should let taxes on families, businesses, and investors jump on January 1 by letting the 2001/2003 tax cuts expire. To review the bidding: The economy is floundering so much the Federal Reserve is anticipating a return to aggressive stimulus despite the heightened threat to new asset price bubbles and eventually to higher inflation. Facing such a weak economy, Greenspan thinks we should raise taxes. Most Americans instinctively know that’s foolish. Strike three, Mr. Greenspan; find some pine.

    Another great source of fear is current and projected federal budget deficits and what they mean for credit market conditions, the U.S. credit rating, and taxes. The U.S. is on a collision course with a painful fiscal reality. This was true before Obama became President, but Obama’s spending surge and fiscal non-stimulus put the pedal to the metal.

    And Greenspan’s take? Greenspan advocated for the fiscal stimulus to boost the economy. Somehow the idea that taking money out of the economy by increased federal borrowing to put money back into the economy led Greenspan and many others to believe this little fiscal alchemy meant the economy would strengthen. Late in 2009, Greenspan href="http://www.bloggingstocks.com/2009/12/17/greenspan-wealth-effect-reduces-need-for-more-stimulus/">backtracked a bit when he said we did not need so much fiscal stimulus because the wealth effect of global stock market recovery was more powerful. He was worried the economy would pick up steam too quickly. Right.

    In mid-2010, as the evidence built up that neither the stimulus nor the wealth effect was working, Greenspan admitted that “ href="http://www.businessinsider.com/alan-greenspan-2010-7">it’s very hard to know what stimulus does.” And in September he admitted that the stimulus was much less effective than he expected because “ href="http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2010/09/15/greenspan-fiscal-stimulus-worked-far-less-than-expected/">very large deficits concurrently crowd out capital investment.” Not to put too fine a point on it, but, well, duh.

    When government spends more by borrowing more, the private sector spends less by borrowing less. A sage should have known this. He does now, apparently.

    Fear. Fear of government policies that raise taxes on a weak economy. Fear of budget deficits and credit market crises. Fear of a regulatory onslaught from the Obama Administration. And one more thing: fear that Greenspan will continue to take his policy swings and we’ll see his batting average fall steadily.

    The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.


    7
    Oct 10

    Democratic firewall shows fear of GOP wave’s amplitude

    Gnarly.


    Democrats have begun bragging that Barack Obama and other party leaders have begun energizing their base and ramping up GOTV efforts, pronouncing that they will hold the House and Senate, and that January 2011 will see advancements on the Pelosi-Obama agenda.  Their money speaks louder than their words, however, as Reid Wilson reports at Hotline.  [...]

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    5
    Oct 10

    Fear The Beard

    103859050

    A reader writes:

    San Francisco Giants' closer Brian Wilson's beard seems to have started some sort of phenomenon with Giants fans.  "Fear the Beard" has become the rally cry for their NL West Championship run.  I'm wouldn't quite consider myself a Sullivan-level beardophile.  But I have to say that I am impressed.

    Facebook fans made a gallery of photos. Money shot here. Above photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images. For the record, I fear no beard.





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    The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan


    2
    Oct 10

    Fear of Being Wrong on the Internet

    Eugene Volokh, responding to emailed queries as to why he and his fellow Conspirators are not writing on a controversial subject recently in the news, explains:

    I can’t speak for my colleagues, but here are three things I’m scared of:

    1. Looking like a fool when I opine on a topic about which I don’t know enough, and thus get the facts or the analysis wrong.
    2. Getting facts or analysis wrong, even if I don’t look like a fool.
    3. Falling yet further behind on my various other responsibilities, as a result of taking the time to learn enough about a complicated, controversial, fact-rich question so that I can opine on it without being wrong.

    I think the world would be a better place if people were more scared of things 1 and 2.

    But where would the blogosphere be with that attitude?




    Outside the Beltway