Who we are and why we do it
“When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – When you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – When you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – When you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – You may know that your society is doomed.” – Ayn Rand
As for the who:
Political Arena is directed by Editor in Chief Chuck Norton and our contributors. Norton has a BA with honors. He studied communications, journalism, political science, law and economics.
Norton’s work has been quoted and/or linked to by National Review, The Torch (www.thefire.org), WordPress Top Posts, The Warroom, NeoNeocon, Pajamas Media, Gateway Pundit, Breitbart’s Big Hollywood, and The Anchoress. He has been attacked by the Huffington Post, Daily KOS, Climate Progress, and Think Progress.
The contributors to this site are dedicated to explaining the values of free and fair markets, and of liberty tempered by restraint and personal responsibility, because our schools and universities are often subversive to those aims. If you doubt it, ask a public grade-schooler when the last time he was given a lesson on how and why capitalism works to raise the standard of living for people.
Our goal is to explain the news of the day, along with complex economic, political, and global security issues in such a way that the average working man or student can respond to.
We aren’t hard core conservative, but we are traditional in our biases and premises. Every media outlet has an agenda and/or a point of view; we are just honest enough to tell you what ours are up front. We are diligent to keep a check on our own biases and premises. We are not interested in drinking anyone’s Kool-Aid.
We have criteria for what we report on and it usually boils down to this; what we find interesting and what goes under reported by the elite media. If a story gets well reported by the elite media and they do a fair job reporting it odds are we will not cover it. We know that readers like you come here because you want to see what the elite media either buried in the 13th paragraph or decided not to tell you at all. If the elite media covers a story with certain aspects of it emphasized, we are likely to emphasize the other parts of the story.
The why is important because recent history has demonstrated that for far too many people the reasoning and purpose of the First Amendment completely escapes them. Quite frankly, the First Amendment is under attack as is objective truth itself. How is it that one can leave high school having a basic understanding of freedom of speech and then leave graduate school with a Stalinist’s view of it?
Without debate and without criticism no administration and no country can succeed, and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solan decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy and that is why the press was protected by the First Amendment. – JFK
Other civil rights leaders for various reasons refuse or can’t take a stand or have to go along with the Administration. That’s their business! But I must say tonight that I know that justice is indivisible! Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere! – MLK
I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small degree of it. – Thomas Jefferson
Here is the other reason why, professors and administrators who behave like this:
And those who behave like this even at the home of Columbia Journalism Review:
That is why our motto is “audacter per claro” – translated it means ‘boldness with clarity of mind’ because we prefer clarity to comfort.
Why Are Conservatives So Mean?
You wont find the most graceful use of rhetoric or even perfect grammar (after all we are publicly educated), but what you will find is some competent news and analysis.
Petition to redistribute GPA’s
The Broken Window Falacy:
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Another reason that Political Arena exists is because of problems like this one:
David French via National Review:
Teacher: We hate you. Now give us your kids so that we can turn them against you.
Over at the Alliance Defense Fund’s Academic Freedom File, my colleague Jeff Shafer has written a fascinating blog post analyzing the intellectual roots of academic efforts to stigmatize Christianity and divorce kids from their religious upbringing. It begins:
The late American philosopher Richard Rorty (d. 2007) in describing his assessment of the role of university professor wrote: “When we American college teachers encounter religious fundamentalists, we do not consider the possibility of reformulating our own practices of justification so as to give more weight to the authority of the Christian scriptures. Instead, we do our best to convince these students of the benefits of secularization.” The re-education imperative is one that he, “like most Americans who teach humanities or social science in colleges and universities, invoke when we try to arrange things so that students who enter as bigoted, homophobic, religious fundamentalists will leave college with views more like our own.” Rorty explains to the “fundamentalist” parents of his students: “we are going to go right on trying to discredit you in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable.” He helpfully explains that “I think those students are lucky to find themselves under the benevolent Herrschaft [domination] of people like me, and to have escaped the grip of their frightening, vicious, dangerous parents.”
In fact, some of our student clients have heard simplified versions of this very sentiment, and I can distinctly remember my own southern, religious upbringing being venomously caricatured during my law-school days. The fact that my father was a math professor who earned his PhD. (a real-life Good Will Hunting) in a mere ten months was irrelevant compared with his status as an elder in a very conservative evangelical church. I had to be “rescued” from my own heritage.
I stubbornly resisted rescue, but many students — eager for acceptance and feeling isolated — give up, surrendering to the dominant culture and feeding an academic beast that demands conformity, in speech and belief.