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Conservatives Need to Stop Viciously Attacking Each Other

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I heard about this bizarre occurrence of a very conservative Catholic historian going after a very conservative Catholic journalist, making him out to be something different, and was so jarred by his statements, which have significantly hurt the journalist’s career, that I thought it needed to be exposed. The left is already doing a good job of destroying conservatives, including threatening conservative organizations into canceling their employees, a significant problem in recent years. So why are we going after our own so viciously?

 

Dexter Duggan writes for The Wanderer, a conservative Catholic publication and the oldest national weekly Catholic paper in the U.S. Previously, he worked with Catholic historian and professor James Hitchcock when they were both contributing editors at the National Catholic Register. Hitchcock referred favorably to some of Duggan’s articles in his own column.

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So Duggan was shocked when Hitchcock published a book called Abortion, Religious Freedom, and Catholic Politics in 2016 that misconstrued multiple things Duggan had written. The book purports to be a review of opposing Catholic views on abortion, but Duggan says it is really just an attack on two Catholic news sites, the National Catholic Reporter and Duggan’s conservative The Wanderer. Hitchcock said The Wanderer doesn’t regard abortion as a crucial issue, which isn’t true, it’s a core issue for the publication. Much of the problem with the book is Hitchcock ignores all the pro-life reporting Duggan and others at The Wanderer have done promoting the pro-life cause, pretending it doesn’t exist. 

 

Duggan says, “Despite the broader-sounding title, much of the book is an attack on The Wanderer, including me as one of its writers.” He said Hitchcock has effectively gotten him portrayed as “a traitor to the pro-life cause and a bad-faith ‘Paleoconservative,’ neither which is true.” Of 20 pages that address Duggan, Duggan says only one thing about him is accurate.

 

Hitchcock said Duggan gave “unqualified support” to a “fanatically pro-abortion” politician. He was referring to Duggan’s writings 40 years ago about Barry Goldwater. But Duggan had a very nuanced, typical conservative pro-life view of Goldwater; he wasn’t an avid supporter of him at first due to his mediocre record on abortion in the Senate, but after Goldwater pledged support for a Human Life Amendment, winning the endorsement of nationally renowned pro-life doctor Carolyn Gerster, Duggan warmed up to him. After Goldwater safely won reelection to his last term in the Senate, and started reverting back to a less pro-life position, Duggan called him out for it in his articles. When Duggan wrote about Goldwater back at that time in 1981, Hitchcock had nothing but praise for his writing.

 

Duggan says much of Hitchcock’s criticisms of him bizarrely consist of taking quotes from people Duggan was reporting on and attributing them to Duggan instead. Hitchcock attributed a remark critical of John McCain — who Hitchcock apparently really likes, which is strange considering McCain’s mediocre record on pro-life issues as well as other issues — to Duggan that was actually made by Rob Haney, a Phoenix conservative activist who is also Catholic and known for his dislike of McCain. McCain angered Arizona Right to Life over his advocacy of taxpayer-funded fetal stem cell research.

 

Duggan explains,  “Hitchcock reached all the way down to the 30th paragraph in my story in the September 19, 2013, Wanderer, to harvest that harsh comment likening McCain to ‘a mad scientist.’ Hitchcock wasn’t just grabbing for the first words he saw, but read deeply into the story for a nugget that suited his deceptive tactics.” When Duggan quoted a couple of political strategists predicting that conservatives would defeat McCain from getting reelected one year, Hitchcock attributed the quote to Duggan. 

 

One of Duggan’s articles quoted a Washington Times reporter describing Sarah Palin, “she is eager to campaign for Republicans, independents, and even Democrats who share her values on limited government, strong defense, and ‘energy independence.’” Hitchcock twisted it to say, “In 2009 Duggan placed his hopes in either conservative Democrats, a possible third party, or Sarah Palin.” Duggan said this was part of Hitchcock’s effort to make The Wanderer look like it shirks Republicans. 

 

The Global Catholic Network EWTN interviewed Hitchcock twice about his book. EWTN promoted the book and offered to take orders for it from the audience. Hitchcock portrayed himself as an authority on The Wanderer, saying he regularly read it and marked it up. Duggan said this was deceptive, considering Hitchcock ignored so much of The Wanderer’s coverage that contradicted his cherry-picked examples.

 

Duggan tried in vain to get the publishers and EWTN to correct the errors. He sent eight certified letters to EWTN about the errors, but they blew him off. He’s offered to appear on the network to explain his side, but they ignored his request. The Chips n Salsa show invited him on instead where he told his story. Hitchcock has only responded to him once, in 2019, with four curt sentences accusing him of being a bad Catholic. 

 

Duggan has now been fighting to clear his name for over four years. Hitchcock’s book is widely circulated among Catholic conservatives, used as a textbook at 167 institutions around the world. It’s not clear why Hitchcock launched such a vicious attack on his former colleague. It may be due to the fact Hitchcock was a former Democrat, so he aligned more with McCain and less with Goldwater.

 

Duggan has such a wonderful, humorous style of writing that reading about his struggles pushing back against this attack is quite amusing. But it’s not funny because it’s destroying his reputation; many within the audience he caters to have heard about the criticism and are inclined to distance themselves from him. EWTN and the current publisher of Hitchcock’s book need to do the right thing and issue corrections. Four years of damage to Duggan’s reputation and thousands of dollars spent by him on attorneys all due to enabling a grudge. Contact Taylor & Francis and tell them they need to correct the wrong.

 

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Rachel Alexander is a conservative political writer and pundit. She is the editor of Intellectual Conservative and a recovering attorney. She was ranked by Right Wing News as one of the 50 Best Conservative Columnists from 2011-2019.



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News

In-N-Out Burger Serves Customers, not San Francisco

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In-N-Out
Photo credit: Andrew Weibert

In-N-Out Burger just served San Francisco an everything burger, animal style. It’s heartening to see an iconic restaurant chain stand up to government overreach—and in an ultra-liberal enclave, to boot.

Here’s how it went down. San Francisco issued an edict to force bars and restaurants to verify customers’ COVID vaccination papers before allowing entry.

In response, In-N-Out Burger dutifully posted the city’s vaccination requirement on its windows. This placed the onus where it belongs—on their customers. This is as far as a private company need go.

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However, San Francisco sees things much differently. They closed down the city’s only In-N-Out Burger location, on Fisherman’s Wharf. As a result, the burger chain issued this statement:

“Local regulators informed us that our restaurant Associates must actively intervene by demanding proof of vaccination and photo identification from every Customer…. We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government. We fiercely disagree with any government dictate that forces a private company to discriminate against customers who choose to patronize their business.”

San Francisco’s beef shouldn’t be with In-N-Out Burger—it should be with its unvaccinated citizens. If the city chooses to order an unconstitutional vaccination requirement for bars and restaurants, they should enforce it, not the bars and restaurants. They’re private businesses, not COVID cops.

Burger bouncers

In-N-Out Burger trains their associates to cheerfully ask customers if they’d like to add fries and shakes to their meals, not to question them about controversial vaccination mandates. Additionally, they shouldn’t be required to make their associates act as bouncers to eject unvaccinated customers.

As an aside, America is one of the only nations on Earth that requires vaccination passports. Most if not all other countries require immunity passports, which include the vaccinated and those who are unvaccinated yet have degrees of natural immunity after being infected with the coronavirus.

The San Francisco In-N-Out Burger mess perfectly illustrates what should be happening all over America. Private business is not an arm of local, state or federal government. We’re all dealing with the pandemic—why compound the problem by attempting to force private businesses to enforce governmental mandates?

It makes one wonder how San Francisco leaders failed to see this coming. Can any serious person imagine cheerful, smiling, In-N-Out Burger associates making effective burger bouncers? It’s ridiculous for any city to expect restaurant employees to provide vaccination enforcement.

This smacks of more than mere incompetence. Did the city truly expect bars and restaurants to comply? If so, this seems like autocratic (and dangerous) arrogance.

If San Francisco wants to enforce vaccination inspections, they should do it themselves on the sidewalk in front of bars and restaurants. Closing restaurants that don’t force their employees to act as muscle for the city is poor leadership.

Given In-N-Out Burger’s wild popularity, it’s safe to say that most customers want their locations open. If some side with San Francisco in closing the restaurant and forcing associates to be vaccination police, they can get lesser burgers elsewhere.

Smart business

It’s called freedom. And clearly, it’s in short supply in places like San Francisco. Kudos to In-N-Out Burger for making a stand.

Here’s hoping other private businesses will take heart in In-N-Out Burger’s sound and smart business sense and stand up to one-size-fits-all autocrats. If they do, it’s likely that most of their customers will continue supporting them and they may even gain new ones.

Smart and principled businesses take risks for the right reasons. In-N-Out Burger is right to defy San Francisco. Prediction: By refusing to discriminate when serving its customers, they’ll sell even more burgers, fries and shakes in the City by the Bay and in their other 368 locations across America.

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Business

Pandora Papers, a box of trouble for whom?

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Pandoras box seems to be a well-known metaphor in today’s culture. It is often used to represent unknowingly opening a box of wop-ass. The Greek origins are a little more complex.  Pandora was the first human woman, a gift from the gods. She was made from earth to be lovely as a goddess. With the gift of speech to tell lies, and the mind and nature of a treacherous dog. She was given a golden crown of animals and sea creatures. Pandora was blessed with grace, desire and caring to weaken her limbs.

Pandora was the first woman to live among mortal men, first bride and great misery. She was destined to live with men in times of plenty and to desert them in hard times.  Her name means both “she who gives all gifts” and “she who was given all gifts”. In the mythology she opened a jar that belonged to her husband that contained every misery that affects man to today, but managed to close it before hope was able to escape the jar.

Which brings us to the latest document leak from the International Consortium of investigative Journalists or ICIJ. This is the latest of leaks following the Panama papers and the Paradise papers. ICIJ claims this is the largest leak of tax haven information ever. The 11.9 million financial records include information on 330 politicians and high level leaders, including 35 country leaders. For two years over 600 journalists from 117 countries helped to follow up leads exposed by the leak.

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Top leaders with homes in Malibu, Monti Carlo, and high rise towers in Dubai. Investments in sugar plantations, polluting factories, and even a hospital. Secret companies and Trusts to hide assets from taxes and their people. ICIJ likes to point out that this money could have been used to help build roads, hospitals, and schools. They also imply the money comes from ill-gotten gains. Pointing out that hiding money is also used during drug smuggling, human trafficking, bribery, and international terrorism.

In an effort to seem like actual investigative journalists they do mention that nothing they were fed was illegal.  They failed to mention that the tax regulations in every one of the countries involved are written by the rich themselves. Mostly by those not uncovered by the Pandora Papers. Something the 600 seemed to have over looked during their two year investigation is any tax avoidance from the United States. Funny thing that.

To find out why you need to look at who the International Consortium of investigative Journalists is and who finances them. It turns out the group was founded in 1997, they claim to take no public funds only donations. Their largest donors happen to be Soros, thru the The Open Society Foundation. Now needless to say Soros is not going to admit what each one of these people did to stop his march towards one world government headed by Soros and company, but we can speculate.

Tony Blair, supported the American action in Afghanistan. King Abdullanh met with and supported Israel. Vladimir Putin would rather not have a one world government telling him how to run Russia. Shakira no stranger to wokeness had the gall to disagree with the Conovirus imprisonment and demanded children be let outside into the sun and air. You can bet that each one of the targets of this dump had somehow displeased those supporting the great reset.

Each one of these thought they had found a beautiful tax haven not knowing it was she who gives all gifts and conversely she who is given all gifts. By selectively revealing that it is worthwhile to spend money to hide income from those who did not earn it is telling. Besides highlighting that taxes are too high for the services provided. Telling that not one American is mentioned. Telling that the “journalists” didn’t discover how politicians in government get rich on civil service salaries. Not one mention of the heads of NGO’s (non-governmental agencies) have found that the poor are very very good for them. How about a peek into how many of the 1.5 million tax exempt organizations in America are just a tax dodge.

We will wait with the patience of Job for the International Consortium of investigative Journalists to do some real investigating.

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