Introduction: Kellie Fiedorek

Ex Deserto is pleased to announce our 2nd new addition in less than a week, Kellie Fiedorek.

Kellie is a soon-to-be graduate from Ave Maria School of Law, and Ex Deserto is honored–and proud–to have Kellie on the team. We eagerly look forward to her participation. Kellie’s bio is below and will be permanently posted along with the other authors’ at the bottom of this page.

Welcome, Kellie!

Kellie Fiedorek graduated from the University of Dallas in 2006 and will graduate from Ave Maria School of Law this May. Last summer, she received the Blackstone Legal Fellowship in conjunction with the Alliance Defense Fund (Scottsdale, AZ) and worked for CareNet in Lansdowne, VA. She has worked as a legal extern for Americans United for Life since August. She is the Special Events Chair on the Moot Court Board and is a member of Lex Vitae. Kellie will take the Florida Bar Exam this July.


God Love Her

The more I read, and the more I see . . .

World Net Daily

. . . the more I fall head over heels in love with Miss California, Carrie Prejean.

What’s so tragic, though, is that so many people are so unconditionally supportive of the utter disgust that is Perez Hilton (think Duessa exposed).

How irrelevant celebrity society has become — how out of touch Hollywood culture is with the rest of us — that it would applaud a man who calls a sweet little girl a “b—-” and a “c—” simply because she had the courage to cut against the politically correct grain of the fashion world.

A beauty queen, and God love her.

This Week’s Leading Ladies

Though I am generally not a follower of pop “culture” (not having a television makes it rather easy to avoid), I found two stories rather interesting this week.

The phenomenon of Susan Boyle, a 47-year old, unmarried, unemployed, devout Catholic from an unknown Scottish village seemed to miss the point. Can she sing? Of course. But what if she couldn’t?
The three judges on the panel seem to have had this revelatory moment where they saw that the “true worth” of a person is not in her outward appearance, but in something else. The problem lies in them finding that the “something else” is her ability to sing well. If Susan Boyle couldn’t sing, her worth as a human being would be unchanged. If she was attractive, her worth as a human being would be unchanged.
As millions of Americans and others around the world pat themselves on the back for recognizing Susan Boyle as a person, they are in reality recognizing her for what she can do. One judge remarked that before Ms. Boyle sang, the crowd was likely being “cynical.” What is cynical is that the praise is not for Susan Boyle the person, but for Susan Boyle the singer. It is a signal of the utilitarian mindset running rampant throughout the culture–you are valued for what you can do, produce, sing, write, draw, etc. and not simply because you are a human person with innate worth and dignity.
How interesting it was, then, when the tables were turned. Miss California–a woman who is attractive by general consensus, has won beauty pageants before, etc.–gave the “wrong” answer by stating that she believed marriage was between one man and one woman. Immediately, her beauty was worth nothing, her performance the rest of the night did not mean a thing. Rather, she was judged according to one answer and her stance on one issue. She was valuable only insofar as her beliefs mattered to the judges.
Of course, Miss California was a good representative of her state because her beliefs matched the beliefs of a majority of California voters, but apparently that was not good enough. Even outward appearances could not save Miss California, Carrie Prejean, from being subject to the utilitarian code: if you are not actively furthering our agenda or you cannot produce what we value, you are not worth it.
This week in pop culture can only alert us to the fact that the culture war is still in its infancy. The value of a human life is greatly misunderstood when you must have a talent or you must say the right thing. It only goes to show how far we’ve strayed from our nation’s founding documents: “We hold these truths . . . that all men are created equal.”

Reduce Government, Reduce Corruption

In this video, produced by the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, Cato Institute flat tax guru Dan Mitchell argues that reducing the size of government will reduce corruption.

Similarly, Larry Kudlow argues that the Obama administration is on track to fundamentally change our free market system into one of statist corporatism: a system in which government controls who wins and who loses. This Washington Post article shows how some have already benefited from the initial forays into such a system.

For fun: Dan Mitchell, twice a graduate of my alma mater, is wearing a tie featuring the UGA mascot.

Planned Parenthood Wants to Educate Your Children

Readers: Below is a message from Planned Parenthood. Although written by me, it probably encompasses the general thought process and mission of the organization.

A verse comes to mind: “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are savage wolves.” – Matthew 7:15.

***Important Message from Planned Parenthhood***

Attention Parents:

It has come to our attention that many of you are not raising your children correctly. In fact, many of you are blindly sending your children out into the world without giving them a proper education. It’s sad to see such smart children excel academically, but have no knowledge of the outside world of sexual experiences. These same children are plagued with unwanted pregnancies, STDs and other problems that *you* the parent did not inform them of. You, parents, tried to shelter them from the frightful world of illicit sex, pornography, and prostitution. You wanted to protect them from themselves and their own natural beings. Instead, you should have educated them to indulge in their passions safely, not control them. We will fix that mistake.

Lest I receive hateful, judgmental correspondences from ill-informed right-wing radicals, let me tell you about who we are and then, what we will do. We are the nation’s largest and “most trusted” voluntary reproductive “health care organization.” Clearly. More than 5 million people pass through our doors. Nearly a quarter of them are your teenagers. (1)

We mean no harm; our interests are truly benevolent. We believe everyone has the “right to choose” when or whether to have a child, that “every child should be wanted and loved”, and that “women should be in charge of their destinies.” (2) We are woman’s choice; we are pro-choice. We chose when, where, how, or if you are to have a child. We are god. We bless the indigent with condoms and birth control pills.(3) We shower tweens with pamplets explaining sex. (4) We show them how to undermine you. (5) We will educate them. (6)

As you can see, we are quite active and growing. In fact, under Barack Obama, we have seen an influx of capital and educational “clinics”. (7) But let us make one thing clear: we will abort your children. We will teach your young ones. We will succeed in indoctrinating through the gaps of your sheltering. And you will let us do it. You will help us do it. Together, we will raise the next generation of America.

To the Future,

Planned Parenthood





5. “Before you psych yourself up to talk to one or both of your parents about getting tested for sexually transmitted infections, think about how they may react. If you think they might freak out, you may want to wait to have this discussion until you’re all ready for it, or you may want to pass on it.
In this case, you could turn to another trusted adult — maybe someone at your school, another relative, or someone from a local family planning center.”

6.”Below is a list of classroom activities. There are also additional classroom activities on our teen education site”

7. Statement released after the President rescinds “Mexico City Policy”

Framing the debate (and maybe criminalizing it)

Earlier this week I was struggling to decide what my first post here at Ex Deserto would be about. I toyed with notions of doing something comical or satirical, but I was pretty stumped for a couple days. Then, a bit of random web-surfing, and recent events here on campus at USC, proved, shall we say, inspirational. Ex Deserto is here to be an outlet for public policy debate, so what better way to introduce myself than with some comments on the framing of that debate.

This topic sprung to mind because for the third time in the last six months, our GOP Law Society board at USC was defaced. This time, our autographed picture of Governor Mark Sanford was torn down. Two other incidents occurred right before and after the election, and included someone tearing down a poster congratulating President Obama for his victory. The fact this occurred not just at an institution of higher learning, but at a law school, where the principle of reverence for the law is supposedly being ingrained, is especially disgusting.

Of course, conservative voices facing opposition on college campuses is all-too-familiar. From Ann Coulter dodging pies, to David Horowitz being shouted down, stories of right-thinking speakers and events confronting intimidation and violence are legion.

A similar scene played out on the campus of UNC Chapel-Hill last week, when a speech by former Congressman Tom Tancredo was cut short by shattered glass and mob tactics that forced police to taser at least one individual. As a cameraman filming the event walked outside, protesters could be heard chanting, “We shut you down! No racists in our town!” Regardless of your feelings about Tancredo’s position on illegal immigration, or anything else, such tactics are chilling.

Strangely, the scene is bereft of attacks by right-wing student groups on leftist speakers. I say “strangely,” because to listen to recent media coverage, the right-wing is a cauldron of hatred and ignorance, just waiting to erupt into violence. Attempts to make Timothy McVeigh the poster-child of conservative thought are getting a bit long in the tooth, so the christening of new boogey-men is in order.

Framing Pittsburg murderer Richard Poplawski as a “right-winger” is only the most insidious and recent example. Stories about his bloody firefight with authorities, which left three police officers dead, consistently refer to Popwalski being animated by a fear of “the Obama gun ban that’s on the way.” The fact Popwalski’s swastika tattoo is clearly visible in many of the pictures accompanying these stories seems lost on commentators. Come to think of it, the fact Popwalski appears to have lived a goodly portion of his life in an anti-Semitic, conspiracy theory-induced haze is also lost on them.

It doesn’t register because it doesn’t fit the template, because the woolliest wilds of the anti-Semitic/conspiracy-theory fever swamp are located on the left. (Yes, that’s a link to the Dailykos FAQ, where Markos, owner of the largest left-wing site on the Internet, admits he had to institute a “purge” and put in place a ban on 9/11 conspiracy theory diaries just to stem the madness.)

The reaction to the Tea Party phenomenon, at once dismissed as so much FOX News “astro-turfing,” and yet also a frightening flexing of “fringe” muscle, is another example.

This naturally leads to two questions, “Why?” and “Where is all of this going?” The incidents at USC and UNC provide an answer to the first question. Once conservative voices are painted into the corner of hatred, ignorance and bigotry, attempts to silence those voices become far more palatable. This leads to increasingly bold actions by those on the left, taking the form of everything from mob tactics to petty vandalism.

Last week we also got an inkling about the answer to the second question, in the form of a thinly veiled smear of almost every facet of the conservative movement from the Department of Homeland Security. Tim already mentioned this disgrace to public service, but it deserves some special attention. Treat yourself to a gander at this bad boy, ten pages chocked full of, shall we say, “potential.” (For an interesting comparison, note the DHS’s report on Left-Wing Threats, which catalogues actual threats of radical left-wing groups like the Earth Liberation Front.)

It’s hard to see trash like this as anything but the dangerous, albeit clumsy, first salvo from the Obama administration in the fight to frame the debate. We’ve seen this tact before, in the debate over “hate crimes” legislation.

The point is not to debate, but rather to make the act of debating the left unacceptable, first socially, then legally.

Introduction: Jacob Davis

As noted a few weeks ago, Ex Deserto is in the midst of bringing on some new authors to add fresh perspective, innovative ideas, and challenging discussion. Our newest addition is Jacob Davis, a 2L at the University of South Carolina School of Law in Columbia, SC.

Ex Deserto is honored–and proud–to have Jacob on the team. We eagerly look forward to his participation. Jacob’s bio is below and will be permanently posted along with the other authors’ at the bottom of this page.

Welcome, Jacob!

Jacob Davis is a member of the Class of 2010 at the University of South Carolina School of Law. He is a member of the 2009/2010 Moot Court National Team, President of the GOP Law Society, Senior Vice President of the Federalist Society and Secretary of the Christian Legal Society. Mr. Davis graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Political Science. While in school he was a member of Sigma Iota Rho International Studies Honor Society, and worked as both a news columnist and viewpoints contributor for The Daily Gamecock, USC’’s student news publication. He has also been published in The State newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina. He and his fiancé, Stephanie, attend Ebenezer Lutheran Church when in Columbia, and Messiah Lutheran Church when they are in Charleston, South Carolina.