How Much Disrespect Is Too Much?

And now to an interesting little controversy in my own backyard.

First, the video:

And then the story.  From the Seattle Times:

In Monday’s incident, Officer Ian P. Walsh grabbed the arm of a 19-year-old woman who tried to walk away from him after he stopped her for jaywalking on Martin Luther King Jr. Way South near Rainier Avenue South. A pedestrian overpass was nearby. As he was trying to handcuff the woman, the 17-year-old girl intervened, grabbing and pushing Walsh, who responded by punching her in the face.

And this isn’t the first incident of its kind in Seattle lately.

Auditors who oversee complaints against Seattle police officers have repeatedly expressed concerns about jaywalking stops and minor street confrontations that escalate into physical altercations, and they say better training is needed.

Diaz said that although police officers hold a dangerous job and need citizens to act civilly, the department needs to take the “extra step” of maintaining good relations with the community. Police say they ticket jaywalkers because a number of people in Seattle have been injured and killed dashing out into traffic in areas where drivers can’t see them.

Because if you say “Please”, criminals and their associates will be happy to submit to authority.  Of course, with a crowd like that, if someone had grabbed Officer Walsh’s gun and decided to ventilate him, they would be perfectly justified in doing so, because he didn’t take the “extra step” of “maintaining good relations with the community”.

Of course, this is also feeding a complaint that a blind man could see coming from 100 miles away…

Leaders of Seattle’s African-American community called Walsh’s punch an overreaction, while also criticizing the 17-year-old’s behavior. Both the girl and woman are black, while Walsh is white.

Maybe they need to think a little harder about the 17-year-old’s behavior.  It seems to me that the “Static Rule” was in play here.  Perhaps it was because I went to school with and worked with the sons of the police officers back in the mid-Michigan community where I grew up, and therefore I was familiar with what they did before the became police officers that would make me think long and hard about interfering with a police officer who is clearly trying to subdue and cuff a suspect.  Police have a tougher job than most, and they really shouldn’t have to deal with attitudes from teens that they are trying to arrest. And it is the little things that are blowing up into these confrontations in Seattle right now.

In a 2006 report, Pflaumer [Seattle P.D. Civilian Auditor 2003-2009] wrote that she found it “distressing to see how many of the excessive force complaints begin with minor street confrontations: Over jay walking, possible impounding of a car, or even, in one case, refusal to show an officer a ‘receptacle’ for disposing of dog waste.”

Pflaumer noted that citizens “often do not show officers respect or attention” when confronted over minor offenses.

“When they verbally challenge or disregard orders given, it often leads officers to respond more harshly than warranted,” she wrote.

The solution?  “De-escalation training”, and a lot of second-guessing by people who weren’t present.

Last year, a new auditor, Michael Spearman, who had served as a King County Superior Court judge, cited similar concerns. “What stood out most often was the number of instances in which citizen/officer contact escalated from innocuous to the use of force situation,” he wrote in a report.

Spearman, who left the job after being appointed in March to the state Court of Appeals, noted that on many occasions, the initial contact stemmed from a jaywalking allegation that escalated when the citizen failed to comply with an officer’s order to stop.

In some cases, Spearman wrote, the failure to stop resulted from inattention or bad judgment and, in other instances, from a belief — right or wrong — that the officer was motivated by racial bias. He also urged the Police Department to intensify the training of officers in de-escalation techniques to minimize the use of force.

“Certainly, when an officer observes a jaywalking or other minor infraction, there is some obligation to make an effort to either cite the offender or in some way encourage compliance with the law,” Spearman wrote. “However, whether the use of force in this situation is a best practice is questionable.”

I like Judge Spearman.  While I have never tried a case before him, I have attended CLEs at which he lectured, and he has consistently demonstrated the demeanor and the character that I expect a judge to exhibit.  However, I think he gets this wrong.

In a crowd like the one in the video above, the officer already has to have his senses heightened that much more than normal, because he has to be watching not just the suspect, but the other people all around him.  It would be easy for this to go badly, and the 17-year-old could have just as easily been an aggressive male, or someone determined to grab the officer’s sidearm.  We charge these officers with enforcing the law.  That means the little ones as well as the big ones.  The 19-year-old may have thought it silly to be stopped for jaywalking, but it isn’t just about her.  There is a reason that there was a pedestrian overpass in the background, and it wasn’t so someone could get killed and cause significant property damage by crossing the street illegally there.  It makes a tough job that much tougher.  When the officer is in that situation, he or she needs to be able to deal with interference in a direct manner that sends a clear message and discourages other bystander participation. 

In a state where we just recently buried 4 officers killed at the same time in my community earlier this year, you wouldn’t think that this would be such a difficult concept to grasp.

The President Thinks We’re Stupid…

…in fact, he’s counting on it.

That can be the only explanation for a speech that didn’t fail to disappoint this evening.  Maybe his regular teleprompter was on vacation. Or maybe yet more talk about action simply fails to satisfy.  Or maybe linguistic slight of hand isn’t convincing on this subject when his advisors forget to tell him to take off his golf glove.  It’s so hard to say.

“Good evening. As we speak, our nation faces a multitude of challenges. At home, our top priority is to recover and rebuild from a recession that has touched the lives of nearly every American. Abroad, our brave men and women in uniform are taking the fight to al-Qaida wherever it exists.”

 Of course the recession is nothing compared to the economic effect of insane borrowing to create more government jobs, and the incalculable damage that will be wrought by the burdens of Health Care “Reform”, and Cap and Tax.  And I haven’t figured out why its ok for you to play golf while those brave men and women fight, and even come home in boxes, but not when your predecessor did it.  Why is that, Mr. President?

“And tonight, I’ve returned from a trip to the Gulf Coast to speak with you about the battle we’re waging against an oil spill that is assaulting our shores and our citizens.”

You can try to ascribe a motive to it, but it remains a natural phenomenon.

“On April 20th, an explosion ripped through BP Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, about 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Eleven workers lost their lives. Seventeen others were injured. And soon, nearly a mile beneath the surface of the ocean, oil began spewing into the water.

Because there’s never been a leak this size at this depth, stopping it has tested the limits of human technology. That’s why, just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nation’s best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge, a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and our nation’s secretary of energy. Scientists at our national labs and experts from academia and other oil companies have also provided ideas and advice.”

A plug for the expertocracy.  Lovely.  Are we naming names so they can be tossed under the bus later, or am I supposed to be reassured that a physicist turned politician is trying to determine how to stop a leaking oil well a mile beneath the sea?

As a result of these efforts, we’ve directed BP to mobilize additional equipment and technology. And in the coming weeks and days, these efforts should capture up to 90 percent of the oil leaking out of the well. This is until the company finishes drilling a relief well later in the summer that’s expected to stop the leak completely.

Which I’m sure BP resisted right up until The Government™ stepped in and told it to do something that might help mitigate a public relations nightmare for them.  Of course, this does nothing to explain why you turned down offers of help from other governments who made sincere offers to mobilize their own specialized resources designed to do just that days and weeks ago.  And why is BP drilling a relief well, anyway?  Is there something that you have likely been told that would make your tough talk seem all the more foolish and staged?

“Already, this oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced. And unlike an earthquake or a hurricane, it’s not a single event that does its damage in a matter of minutes or days. The millions of gallons of oil that have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico are more like an epidemic, one that we will be fighting for months and even years.”

Made much worse than it had to be, not just by Federal inaction, which was considerable, but also by a failure to approve state mitigation and prevention efforts in a timely fashion.  Never has “We’re from the government, and we’re here to help” sounded so much like a cruel joke.

But make no mistake: We will fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused. And we will do whatever’s necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy.

Make no mistake.  I knew this speech would be good for at least one “make no mistake”, your now infamous preface to saying something insincere or condescending.  As for making BP, there is that whole dealio with, um, you know…the law, which already makes BP’s obligations in this matter perfectly clear, with or without general tough talk from you.  And as for the rest, why start now?  Over 60 days, Mr. President.  That’s a lot of golf and fund raising.

“Tonight, I’d like to lay out for you what our battle plan is going forward: what we’re doing to clean up the oil, what we’re doing to help our neighbors in the gulf, and what we’re doing to make sure that a catastrophe like this never happens again.”

If you’re doing what you can, then we should resign ourselves to black beaches and dead marine life for the foreseeable future.  And preventing any further offshore drilling isn’t an answer either.

“First, the clean-up.

From the very beginning of this crisis, the federal government has been in charge of the largest environmental clean-up effort in our nation’s history, an effort led by Admiral Thad Allen, who has almost 40 years of experience responding to disasters. We now have nearly 30,000 personnel who are working across four states to contain and clean up the oil. Thousands of ships and other vessels are responding in the gulf. And I’ve authorized the deployment of over 17,000 National Guard members along the coast. These servicemen and women are ready to help stop the oil from coming ashore, they’re ready to help clean the beaches, train response workers, or even help with processing claims, and I urge the governors in the affected states to activate these troops as soon as possible.

Because of our efforts, millions of gallons of oil have already been removed from the water through burning, skimming, and other collection methods. Over 5.5 million feet of boom has been laid across the water to block and absorb the approaching oil. We’ve approved the construction of new barrier islands in Louisiana to try to stop the oil before it reaches the shore, and we’re working with Alabama, Mississippi and Florida to implement creative approaches to their unique coastlines.”

Why did the approvals take so long?  The EPA is an executive agency.  You could have cut a lot of red tape with one of those executive orders you’re so fond of.

“As the clean-up continues, we will offer whatever additional resources and assistance our coastal states may need.

Now, a mobilization of this speed and magnitude will never be perfect, and new challenges will always arise. I saw and heard evidence of that during this trip. So if something isn’t working, we want to hear about it. If there are problems in the operation, we will fix them.

But we have to recognize that, despite our best efforts, oil has already caused damage to our coastline and its wildlife. And sadly, no matter how effective our response is, there will be more oil and more damage before this siege is done.”

You didn’t really think that looking over BP’s shoulder and screaming “plug the hole” while the stain grew unabated was really going to prevent damage to the coastline, did you?

“That’s why the second thing we’re focused on is the recovery and restoration of the Gulf Coast.

You know, for generations, men and women who call this region home have made their living from the water. That living is now in jeopardy. I’ve talked to shrimpers and fishermen who don’t know how they’re going to support their families this year. I’ve seen empty docks and restaurants with fewer customers, even in areas where the beaches are not yet affected.”

At least you didn’t whine about doing it in the rain this time.  I guess the focus group analysis that said “wussy” stung a bit.

“I’ve talked to owners of shops and hotels who wonder when the tourists might start coming back. The sadness and the anger they feel is not just about the money they’ve lost; it’s about a wrenching anxiety that their way of life may be lost.”

No thanks to you and your merry band of incompetents.

“I refuse to let that happen. Tomorrow, I will meet with the chairman of BP and inform him that he is to set aside whatever resources are required to compensate the workers and business owners who have been harmed as a result of his company’s recklessness.”

I don’t recall any details that support the claim of recklessness.

“And this fund will not be controlled by BP. In order to ensure that all legitimate claims are paid out in a fair and timely manner, the account must and will be administered by an independent third party.”

Law, meet non-practicing lawyer.  Non-practicing lawyer, meet law.  I know, you read about these kinds of things in law school, and therefore must think them to be quite extraordinary, but it really isn’t a new concept, Mr. President.

“Beyond compensating the people of the gulf in the short term, it’s also clear we need a long-term plan to restore the unique beauty and bounty of this region. The oil spill represents just the latest blow to a place that’s already suffered multiple economic disasters and decades of environmental degradation that has led to disappearing wetlands and habitats.

And the region still hasn’t recovered from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. That’s why we must make a commitment to the Gulf Coast that goes beyond responding to the crisis of the moment.”

Aaaaannnnddd the implied dig at your predecessor.  Brilliant. 

“I make that commitment tonight.

Earlier, I asked Ray Mabus, the secretary of the Navy, who’s also a former governor of Mississippi and a son of the Gulf Coast, to develop a long-term Gulf Coast Restoration Plan as soon as possible. The plan will be designed by states, local communities, tribes, fishermen, businesses, conservationists, and other gulf residents. And BP will pay for the impact this spill has had on the region.”

Which is what the law requires.

“The third part of our response plan is the steps we’re taking to ensure that a disaster like this does not happen again.

A few months ago, I approved a proposal to consider new, limited offshore drilling under the assurance that it would be absolutely safe, that the proper technology would be in place and the necessary precautions would be taken.

That obviously was not the case in the Deepwater Horizon rig, and I want to know why. The American people deserve to know why. The families I met with last week who lost their loved ones in the explosion, these families deserve to know why.”

Nothing is absolutely safe, Mr. President, and only fool believes otherwise.  As for what was and was not the case, I suggest that you consider the declaration without facts you made after the arrest of your buddy Skip Gates.  Your certainty in the lack of facts there left you with egg on your face, and since the Deepwater Horizon had only recently received a government award for its operations, it sounds a lot like you throwing a bunch of dead oil workers under your famous death bus.

“And so I’ve established a national commission to understand the causes of this disaster and offer recommendations on what additional safety and environmental standards we need to put in place. Already I’ve issued a six-month moratorium on deep-water drilling.”

Because gasoline isn’t expensive enough.  We know.  We heard you the first time.

“I know this creates difficulty for the people who work on these rigs, but for the sake of their safety and for the sake of the entire region, we need to know the facts before we allow deep-water drilling to continue.”

Because there is no disaster, no harm that can’t be made worse by government determined to pass inane tax bills masquerading as energy bills, and who would gleefully use an accident to make that a reality.

“And while I urge the commission to complete its work as quickly as possible, I expect them to do that work thoroughly and impartially.”

Because if the hatchetjob is too quick, people might ask questions.

“Now, one place we’ve already begun to take action is at the agency in charge of regulating drilling and issuing permits, known as the Minerals Management Service.

Over the last decade, this agency has become emblematic of a failed philosophy that views all regulation with hostility, a philosophy that says corporations should be allowed to play by their own rules and police themselves.”

After all, there is no aspect of life that cannot be made more costly and burdensome with regulation.

“At this agency, industry insiders were put in charge of industry oversight. Oil companies showered regulators with gifts and favors and were essentially allowed to conduct their own safety inspections and write their own regulations.”

Probably because prize-winning physicists know so much more about about the oil business, and can therefore craft regulations that achieve their stated goal while imposing the lease onerous burdens and costs on an industry that affects every aspect of daily life.

“And when Ken Salazar became my secretary of the interior, one of his very first acts was to clean up the worst of the corruption at this agency. But it’s now clear that the problem there ran much deeper and the pace of reform was just too slow.

And so Secretary Salazar and I are bringing in new leadership at the agency: Michael Bromwich, who was a tough federal prosecutor and inspector general. And his charge over the next few months is to build an organization that acts as the oil industry’s watchdog, not its partner.”

Yay!!!!  Another Harvard Lawyer!!!  Whatever did we do without Harvard Lawyers to tell us how we’ve been doing it wrong?

“So one of the lessons we’ve learned from this spill is that we need better regulations, better safety standards, and better enforcement when it comes to offshore drilling. But a larger lesson is that, no matter how much we improve our regulation of the industry, drilling for oil these days entails greater risk.”

More than it should, actually.  but that’s what happens when The Government™ won’t let us drill closer to shore, or in much of our on land oil reserves.

“After all, oil is a finite resource. We consume more than 20 percent of the world’s oil, but have less than 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves. And that’s part of the reason oil companies are drilling a mile beneath the surface of the ocean: because we’re running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water.”

No, we aren’t, as the USGS and MMS data show.  Seeing as they are part of your “team”, you really shouldn’t be saying things that are so easily proved wrong.

“For decades, we have known the days of cheap and easily accessible oil were numbered. For decades, we’ve talked and talked about the need to end America’s century-long addiction to fossil fuels. And for decades, we have failed to act with the sense of urgency that this challenge requires.”

And for decades, or technology has improved, allowing us to access more and more previously unrecoverable oil.

“Time and again, the path forward has been blocked, not only by oil industry lobbyists, but also by a lack of political courage and candor.”

The only path that is being blocked is the path that says The Government™ gets to spend millions in taxpayer dollars developing “green” technologies of its choosing, once again deciding who will win and who will lose in an industry, and using the power of the public purse to make it so.  What is astonishing is that you really don’t expect us to see this for the incredible opportunity for graft and corruption that it is.

“The consequences of our inaction are now in plain sight. Countries like China are investing in clean-energy jobs and industries that should be right here in America. Each day, we send nearly $1 billion of our wealth to foreign countries for their oil. And today, as we look to the gulf, we see an entire way of life being threatened by a menacing cloud of black crude.”

Of course, the Chinese are also buying hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil, and the fact that they are clearly jockeying for blue water supremacy in the Pacific shouldn’t be cause for concern.  I’m sure our military aircraft will be powered by solar panels in the future.

“We cannot consign our children to this future. The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean-energy future is now. Now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash America’s innovation and seize control of our own destiny.”

I agree.  Inexpensive, domestically controlled and produced energy will be vital to our future.  And we have those resources, but have been prevented for decades by conservationists and environmental wackjobs from making use of the incredible bounty that we sit atop.

“This is not some distant vision for America. The transition away from fossil fuels is going to take some time. But over the last year- and-a-half, we’ve already taken unprecedented action to jump-start the clean-energy industry.”

The transition from fossil fuels will take as long as it takes us to get to $7 a gallon gasoline.  Then the blackouts and prohibitive energy costs, and higher food prices can combine to winnow away the most vulnerable of us.  I’ll miss Granny, and the poor folks down the street, but the savings to Medicare and Medicaid should be tremendous!

And there’s the “unprecedented”.  I dare you to step in front of a microphone and NOT use this word when you are applying it to yourself or your administration, Mr. President.  If you could do that even just once, that would be unprecedented.

“As we speak, old factories are reopening to produce wind turbines, people are going back to work installing energy-efficient windows, and small businesses are making solar panels. Consumers are buying more efficient cars and trucks, and families are making their homes more energy-efficient. Scientists and researchers are discovering clean-energy technologies that someday will lead to entire new industries.

Each of us has a part to play in a new future that will benefit all of us. As we recover from this recession, the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of jobs, but only if we accelerate that transition, only if we seize the moment, and only if we rally together and act as one nation: workers and entrepreneurs, scientists and citizens, the public and private sectors.”

The public sector makes a dandy leech.  Not such a good innovator or wealth creator.

“You know, when I was a candidate for this office, I laid out a set of principles that would move our country towards energy independence. Last year, the House of Representatives acted on these principles by passing a strong and comprehensive energy and climate bill, a bill that finally makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy for America’s businesses.”

Demonstrating once again that there is a difficult gulf between the government declaring something, and it actually being reality.

“Now, there are costs associated with this transition, and there are some who believe that we can’t afford those costs right now. I say we can’t afford not to change how we produce and use energy, because the long-term costs to our economy, our national security, and our environment are far greater.”

Because making the most of our resources at the same time, rather than clinging to silly notions that solar panels alone will save us is just crazy.

“So I’m happy to look at other ideas and approaches from either party, as long as they seriously tackle our addiction to fossil fuels. Some have suggested raising efficiency standards in our buildings, like we did in our cars and trucks. Some believe we should set standards to ensure that more of our electricity comes from wind and solar power. Others wonder why the energy industry only spends a fraction of what the high-tech industry does on research and development, and want to rapidly boost our investments in such research and development.”

How dare we be “addicted” to our cars, air travel, shipping goods and food to stores where we can buy them, rather than having to grow them ourselves, and having heat and air conditioning.  How silly of us.

“All of these approaches have merit and deserve a fair hearing in the months ahead. But the one approach I will not accept is inaction. The one answer I will not settle for is the idea that this challenge is somehow too big and too difficult to meet.”

Yes, because fair hearings are important.  Unless I don’t want to hear it.  I won, you know.

And inaction is not acceptable.  I couldn’t stay in the Oval Office and do my job.  I heard about the spill, and I decided that inaction wouldn’t be good.  You’d be surprised how much better I felt after sinking some tough putts.

“You know, the same thing was said about our ability to produce enough planes and tanks in World War II. The same thing was said about our ability to harness the science and technology to land a man safely on the surface of the moon.”

No, it wasn’t.  Instead, they rolled up the sleeves, sharpened their pencils, got their slide rules clicking, and brought the P-51 Mustang from the drawing board to flight in less than a year.  We cranked out Liberty Ships and yards of ammunition, and we did it without bitching, whining, blaming other people, or doubting ourselves.  It wasn’t easy, but it was never impossible.  But it also wasn’t done by saying “Screw Petroleum.  I want a ray gun.” either.  But thanks for reminding us of the American Exceptionalism that you have been so eager to talk down at every opportunity.

“And yet, time and again, we have refused to settle for the paltry limits of conventional wisdom.”

Just conventional politicians. Like taxes and stupidity, they too, will always be with us.

“Instead, what has defined us as a nation since our founding is the capacity to shape our destiny, our determination to fight for the America we want for our children. Even if we’re unsure exactly what that looks like, even if we don’t yet precisely know how we’re going to get there, we know we’ll get there.”

I don’t want the same future you want for my children.  I don’t want them to settle for second best, a fading star in a world that hates and despises us.

“It’s a faith in the future that sustains us as a people. It is that same faith that sustains our neighbors in the gulf right now.

Each year, at the beginning of shrimping season, the region’s fishermen take part in a tradition that was brought to America long ago by fishing immigrants from Europe. It’s called “The Blessing of the Fleet,” and today it’s a celebration where clergy from different religions gather to say a prayer for the safety and success of the men and women who will soon head out to sea, some for weeks at a time.

The ceremony goes on in good times and in bad. It took place after Katrina, and it took place a few weeks ago, at the beginning of the most difficult season these fishermen have ever faced.

And still, they came and they prayed.

For as a priest and former fisherman once said of the tradition, “The blessing is not that God has promised to remove all obstacles and dangers. The blessing is that He is with us always,” a blessing that’s granted “even in the midst of the storm.””

Of course, hearing from the President who still hasn’t chosen a church more than a year into his presidency, but considered God a partner in the effort to ram through health care reform brings a grin to my face.

“The oil spill is not the last crisis America will face. This nation has known hard times before, and we will surely know them again. What sees us through — what has always seen us through — is our strength, our resilience, and our unyielding faith that something better awaits us if we summon the courage to reach for it.”

No, the biggest crisis we face is your continuing presidency.  But it is evidence that prayers are answered.  Jimmy Carter can sleep better knowing that he is no longer the worst President in recent memory.

“Tonight, we pray for that courage, we pray for the people of the gulf, and we pray that a hand may guide us through the storm towards a brighter day.”

I pray that someone in your administration can actually step up, and start doing what you should have been doing all along.

“Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.”

If only I could believe that you meant it.

Appeasing Ignorance

“There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.”–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“No people in history have ever survived who thought they could protect their freedom by making themselves inoffensive to their enemies.”– Dean Acheson

A freind of mine said something disturbingly flavored with the taint of truth today:

I predict that a time will come in the very near future when black becomes the new n-word. It will be considered the equivalent of calling someone a nigger if you call them black.

Write it down:
June 11, 2010

Well, we haven’t reached that point yet, but we are getting close.  Who could forget this stunning display of political correctness in action?


Now this wasn’t all that long ago.  And this guy is still says it is racist.  Why?  Because it’s “black”.  Duh!

And the “explanation” only gets stupider the longer he talks.

Where to begin?  Do we start with the idea of perpetual victimhood that requires not only the purported victim to identify something that victimizes them, but also requires others to find victimization on their behalf like the famous addition of the word “Boy!” to Congressman Joe Wilson’s outburst “You Lie!” as the President stood before Congress and…well, lied?  I know I saw the clip numerous times, and I never heard the word, but seeing as how I’m not “enlightened” enough to shovel shit write for the New York Times, like the correspondent who claimed she heard it nonetheless, maybe there is a secret ability of such people to hear things never said.  She didn’t say Congressman Wilson was thinking it, but the implication was there just the same, and he was tarred with it, as the following controversy demonstrated.

This pretending to know what people are thinking and not saying would be reprehensible enough…we can expect a certain level of conduct in the daily discourse of civility, but this tacit notion that some people have a right to declare their knowledge of what people they don’t like are thinking, and ascribing these unsavory thoughts to people who have never said them smacks of a craven cowardice seeking to avoid an honest discussion.  And yet the rest of society entertains this notion that the victims have a right not to be offended by things that were never said, or by how they wish to interpret them, rather than the plain (and sometimes stated) meaning of the speaker.  And like many good intentions, it can lead us to places we don’t want to go.

So today, as I drove home from the office, I heard this story:

Once is a coincidence, twice is a trend.  And once again, a card that has been on the market for three years has been pulled from the market to appease the ignorant victimhood of the a civil rights group that has clearly lost its way.  Reading the news story only made it worse.

It is a graduation greeting from Hallmark that says, “Hey world, we are officially putting you on notice.”

Members of the Los Angeles NAACP did take notice. As characters known as “Hoops” and “Yoyo” banter on, African American leaders hear offensive language.

“And you black holes, you are so ominous. Watch your back,” the card vocalizes.

“That was very demeaning to African American women. When it made reference to African American women as whores and at the end, it says ‘watch your back,’” said Leon Jenkins of the Los Angeles NAACP.

Who knew the study of the Universe could be so racist? I never suspected that Stephen Hawking was actually “very demeaning to African American women”.  Of course, seeing as he’s actually a British subject, one might reasonably ask if his intent was actually to be very demeaning to the female British population of African extraction.  And it only gets more embarrassing from there.  He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.  Who will Barack Hussein Obama throw under the bus for this? 

Once the claws were out, the NAACP decided to flex its muscle.  And once more, concessions were made to appease the offended.

When Hallmark was reached by phone, they said the card is all a misunderstanding. The card’s theme is the solar system and emphasizes the power of the grad to take over the universe, even energy-absorbing black holes.

The card company says the card speaks about the power the grad will wield.

“The intent here is to say that this graduate is not afraid of anything,” explained Hallmark spokesman Steve Doyal.

But that’s not what some people heard.

Meaning be damned.  This was about POWER, damn it!

Hallmark is now notifying all of its stores to pull the card. Walgreens and CVS are doing the same.

“In any situation where there is a circumstance that we need to be sensitive to, we try to learn from that experience,” said Doyal.

Ok, it is about a greeting card company.  I get it.  They are in the business of catering to emotion.  That’s how they make their money, but really.  They have a card that features the phrase “”Black Hole” a term first used in 1967 to describe a cosmological phenomena that was first theorized in 1783.  What the Hell else do you call a gravity well so powerful that not even light can escape?  The 2011 Budget?  And now it is offensive?  I don’t recall the boycotts and picketing of this:


Truly, the opposition to the use of the phrase is ridiculous.  Black people do not have ownership of the word “Black” like they have taken the ownership of the word “nigger”, a word that no one and everyone have simultaneously determined that is automatically racist and evil if someone who isn’t black utters it, but perversely acceptable and celebrated if it passes the lips of a black person.  (And I use the word “black” because not everyone in this country with black skin considers themselves “African-American”.  I had a Haitian classmate who got very offended when anyone called him “African-American”. )  This hypocrisy aside, there is a marked difference.  The former is a word that defines a color, and therefore is used to describe any number of things that have that color as a characteristic; the latter was always meant as a derogatory term, even if at one time, it was not used to refer to blacks.  That said, it should be apparent to many readers that this isn’t just a case of political correctness gone amuck in the hands of people who have conflated “advancement” with “victimhood” and its thuggish cousin, “denunciation”, it is a symptom of a soft tyranny that is characterized by such petty displays and enthusiastic endorsement of dubious notions such as “hate crimes” which seek to make crimes more criminal by inferring intent based on the race or sexual orientation of the victim.  These notions rob all Americans of the genius and promise set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  In a world with hate crimes legislation or protests based on a descriptive word, there can be no equality before the law, because such things make some people “more equal” than others.  This perversion is pernicious.  It is pervasive.  And it will criminalize your thoughts, even if authority cannot know your thoughts, because they will be attributed to you regardless.  And even the well-meaning will learn that appeasement doesn’t work, as the last line of the story tells us:

However, NAACP members say they do not want to see the card on store shelves ever again.

This kind of victimhood, much like the license of the Congress and the Administration to blame their own shortcomings and failures of leadership on George W. Bush, must be revoked.  If they are not, they will destroy us.


Thin Skinned Community Organizer Bristles At Being Called A Socialist

John Ward has a piece at the Daily Caller on President Obama’s Commencement Speech at the University of Michigan in which he displays his now-famous sense of irony to decry the demonization of both sides of the American political spectrum.

The choice bit:


More on that new book by Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliott at No Sheeples Here: The Manchurian President: Barack Obama’s Ties To Communists, Socialists And Other Anti-America Extremists

The Real Barack Obama website has an interview with Elliott. Here is an excerpt:

For decades Obama has surrounded himself with a large number of radicals of many stripes. It does truly boggle the mind.

Elliott: We discovered a lot of socialists of many stripes, including Marxists and Maoists. Although never claiming to be one of them, Obama is certainly a fellow traveler in that he was, and still is, constantly surrounded by them, and has been more than willing to share political space and ideology with them.
Pundita: Was there a specific alliance, or set of alliances, in Obama’s personal or political life that caused you to revise your initial view of him? If I recall your initial view was that he was a fairly typical corrupt Chicago Machine politician.

As Marxist professor Manning Marable wrote in the December 2008 ‘Socialist Review,’ a lot of people working with Obama have a background in Marxism and socialism and communism. Obama, Marable says, is a “progressive liberal.” However, he writes, Obama “understands what socialism is.”


Sounds Good To Me…

Yep. This sounds like a good idea…not for any particular reason, just sayin’.

I’m for it.

Rush Stands Athwart The Narrative And Yells Stop

As the nation remembers the Oklahoma City bombing on its 15th anniversary, the left seizes the opportunity to link  Timothy McVeigh to conservative protesters, today. This is a tactic, Bill Clinton had some success with.

John from Powerline reports:

Bill Clinton appeared at a symposium on the bombing sponsored by a left-wing think tank and linked the mad bomber to today’s opponents of the Democrats’ radical agenda.

Just before the symposium, in an interview with the New York Times, Clinton elaborated on the theme:

“There can be real consequences when what you say animates people who do things you would never do,” Mr. Clinton said in an interview, saying that Timothy McVeigh, who carried out the Oklahoma City bombing, and those who assisted him, “were profoundly alienated, disconnected people who bought into this militant antigovernment line.” …

Rush Limbaugh is having none of it, and reminds listeners what it was that inspired Timothy McVeigh to commit his terrorist act…hint: it wasn’t talk radio:

Via Weasel Zippers:

Limbaugh Blasts Clinton: What Was The Cause Of The Oklahoma City Bombing? Talk Radio Or The Waco Invasion?…


Signs o’ The Times

A billboard spotted on I-35 in Wyoming, MN:


And this mysterious billboard was spotted on I-29 north of Kansas City:

We know…

Both pix via The Corner.

NPR confirms that the first billboard pictured above is not a photoshop. (I wasn’t thinking it was, myself…):

…our friend Bob Collins at Minnesota Public Radio assures us he’s seen it with his own eyes:

There is a billboard along I-35 near Wyoming, Minn., with a huge photo of former president George W. Bush and this question: “Miss Me Yet?”

Now, the push is on to find out who paid to have it put up.


A new billboard has been spotted!


Wet blanket!


Mystery solved…(partially).


Well, Well, Scott Brown Wasn’t Stiffed By The Republican Party, After All

But you knew that, already, right? Because I reported as much on December 30, when everyone else was saying that the Republican party was not giving him adequate support.  Hey, I heard it from the horse’s mouth.

FYI: I listened in on a conference call with Brown, yesterday, and was surprised to learn that those rumors about the GOP leaving him in the cold were greatly exaggerated. In fact, “Don’t believe everything you read” is a direct quote from Brown. He wanted us to know that the GOP wasn’t stiffing him. But he is being greatly outspent by his well connected opponent, MA Atty Gen Martha Coakley, who has special interest, and  union $$$ backing her.

Now Ed Morressey is reporting:

NRSC, RNC quietly moved money into Massachusetts last two weeks

This was a brilliant move by both the NRSC and the RNC.  They didn’t fall into a Democratic trap by trumpeting their involvement with Brown, who wanted to show as much independence as possible.  Coakley and Obama spent Sunday making Brown look like a tool of the Tea Party movement and the GOP national machine, but it was Coakley getting bailed out by Democratic heavyweights from outside Massachusetts.

Incidentally, in that post, I also linked to that hunky Cosmo spread of Brown, which I found whilst googling, the first blogger to notice it, (it was from a Sept. issue), not that I got any hat tips out of the deal. Hmmmph.

Linked by Michelle Malkin’s Buzzworthy, thanks!


Various And Sundry Items

I’m having a hard time coming up with something/anything to write about. Not that there’s any lack of  newsworthy items to write about – I seem to be suffering from bloggers block. Part of it is because of the constant interruptions of having the kids at home, and the time I spent taking down my Christmas decor, today.

But most of it is the fact that so many things are happening - there’s almost too much news, and I don’t even know where to start, or what to say. I despair because there are so many other bloggers  out there who have already said it better than I can, anyway.

So I’m in a funk…which hopefully won’t last long.


But in the meantime…I thought you might enjoy these bizarro headlines:

Man, clad in underwear and sandals, kills deer with stick

Can’t a guy push a shopping cart full of bongs down the street?

Lincoln police: Man put cat in washing machine

Police: Resident Fires Warning Shot As Partially Nude, Mumbling Man Approaches Him


Then there’s this.

I didn’t want to make a huge deal out of it… I’ve noticed those lines on the side of Obama’s head, before…and didn’t think much of it – chalked it up to a bad haircut, but now that they mention it,  it does looks like scar tissue, and the Freepers are asking if Obama’s had brain surgery


On a sort of related note…not related to brain surgery per se, but perhaps to Obama’s brain – People are wondering what’s happened to the golden boy’s noted oratory skills.

Neo Neocon says Suddenly, Obama’s not so fluent any more:

Obama was always a fluid if vapid speechmaker, although his off-the-cuff statements featured a lot of hemming and hawing. But I’ve noticed something that seems new: hesitancy even when he speaks from a prepared text.

Obama now seems to go off-teleprompter more often—perhaps because he’s been critiqued so much for its use—and when reading from notes on a lectern he stops and starts, as well as using a tennis-match-like repetitive back and forth movement of his head.

What’s more, Obama’s disfluencies have an odd cadence, coming at times that seem unnatural, as though he’s distracted and not even thinking about what he’s saying but rather merely reading it from a text he’s never seen before. Is he nervous? Lying? Nervous about lying? Nervous about being caught in lying? Aware that the gift he’s relied on his entire life is going or perhaps even gone, now that he needs it most?

Vanderleun has noticed it, too: The Emperor’s New Speech Impediment

And the Anchoress has lots to say about it, as well: Obama and Doing vs Being – UPDATED

My own two cents: I think Obama is very good at reading inspiring sounding but not necessarily meaningful words with a commanding voice. He is most comfortable with the teleprompter, as apparently, he has excellent vision, and prefers to  read the words with a level head. Now, he’s learning on the job how to read from note cards, but the main problem for him is, the subject matter. The main issue he’s been dealing with recently, is just not that alluring to him. Now he has to deal with stuffy-old, real-world problems while he’d rather be dealing with hopey-changey stuff, like; saving the economy by making sure everyone in the country has health insurance, or saving the world from horrors of the climate by taxing us all into oblivion. That’s why I think his most recent speeches have sounded robotical, perfunctory, and flat.

He’s just not that into the whole GWOT dealio.


On a totally unrelated note. Did anyone else notice a dearth of Christmas lights, this year? Reeko emailed:

My family drove an entire loop around Dallas and through downtown on Christmas night. Several generations in the vehicle, and we all commented that this year, there were sparse Christmas decorations and lights out everywhere. Most glaringly unlit was the downtown skyline. None of us had ever seen the skyline that dark at Christmas!  We even drove down to City Hall to see the usual “festivus” type park ornaments etc, but nada. nothing. zip. This year, there were not a single jinglebell or wreath or anything on any city light pole or building that we saw except Nieman Marcus. For those who don’t know, Dealey Plaza is never decorated, out of respect for its solemness i suppose, yet even the Bank America building had their distinctive green lights TURNED OFF! the only other times that folks in my family remember the skyline building lights being turned off was after tragedies such as 9/11 and the JFK assasination.  yet OFF they were… ditto the Fountain Place (the pyramid-like building that was almost bombed back in September), Elm Place, Plaza of the Americas, Magnolia, Adolphus… the only lighted building was the Renaissance Tower with its distinctive white cross pattern – nothing else like their usual Christmassy red and green. Even the Reunion Tower Ball was just solid white – no intricate patterns playing, flashing around like during a Stars or Mav game, or any of their colored lights…

I  noticed a general Christmas morass, this year, too.


Thanks for the linkage, to my blogging sister, Pundette, a fellow sufferer of writer’s block.

Heh…Obama’s scar got the Zipster’s attention, too. Says he has a surgery scar just like it…


The Nefarious Left-wing Cabal Behind Climate Research (UPDATED)

Real Climate November 20, 2009, The CRU hack:

More interesting is what is not contained in the emails. There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research, no grand plan to ‘get rid of the MWP’, no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no ‘marching orders’ from our socialist/communist/vegetarian overlords. The truly paranoid will put this down to the hackers also being in on the plot though.

How interesting. Never mind the dubious veracity of most of that…nobody reporting on Climategate had even mentioned George Soros…. but now that they’ve mentioned it:

Daily Tech: September 2007, Update: NASA, James Hansen, and the Politicization of Science

In 2006, Hansen accused the Bush Administration of attempting to censor him. The issue stemmed from an email sent by a 23-year old NASA public affairs intern. It warned Hansen over repeated violations of NASA’s official press policy, which requires the agency be notified prior to interviews. Hansen claimed he was being “silenced,” despite delivering over 1,400 interviews in recent years, including 15 the very month he made the claim.  While he admits to violating the NASA press policy, Hansen states he had a “constitutional right” to grant interviews.  Hansen then began a barrage of public appearances on TV, radio and in lecture halls decrying the politicization of climate science.

Turns out he was right. Science was being politicized. By him.

A report revealed just this week, shows the ‘Open Society Institute’  funded Hansen to the tune of $720,000, carefully orchestrating his entire media campaign. OSI, a political group which spent $74 million in 2006 to “shape public policy,” is funded by billionaire George Soros, the largest backer of Kerry’s 2004 Presidential Campaign. Soros, who once declared that “removing Bush from office was the “central focus” of his life, has also given tens of millions of dollars to MoveOn.Org and other political action groups.

Certainly Soros has a right to spend his own money. But NASA officials have a responsibility to accurate, unbiased, nonpartisan science. For Hansen to secretly receive a large check from Soros, then begin making unsubstantiated claims about administrative influence on climate science is more than suspicious — it’s a clear conflict of interest.

Just sayin’.

Hat tip: Jackstraw


Another Soros link is Fenton Communications:

…a left wing PR operation that promoted the Alar scare and other bogus health scares, and are the people who created the infamous “General Betray Us” ad attacking General Petraeus.

Real Climate, is a Fenton operation.

Among many other Democrat front groups as their clients, is

In fact, the same names listed for ‘Real Voices’, Fitzgibbon and Mulkey, show up on countless press releases, such as this and this and this.

But Fitzgibbon, Mulkey and Fenton Communications don’t stop there. They are also behind ‘Win Without War‘ which is another front group for

So, like ‘Win Without War,’ the group calling itself ‘Real Voices’ is almost certainly just another Moveon front. Which means that the ‘real voice’ you hear is that of the billionaire Bush—hating megalomaniacal crackpot, George Soros.

FrontPageMagazine has a good profile of the uber-radical David Fenton, here.

A pertinent tidbit:

The radical Left owes a great debt of gratitude to David Fenton. He has mixed Neo-Marxist ideology with junk science, trial lawyers, labor, progressive millionaires, politicians, and radical policy wonks to construct a complex, moneymaking left-wing advocacy empire. Fenton Communications reported billing $6 million dollars in 2002, and will likely make much more this year with high profile clients like The Heinz Family Foundation, the aforementioned Open Society Institute and

A complete list of Fenton Communication’s clients, here. (pdf: page 5). A veritable who’s who of left wing organizations.

According to Fenton’s own website,

For the past few years, Fenton Communications has worked with the United Nations Foundation on a number of their global initiatives to meet the most pressing health and environmental challenges of the 21st century.


Fenton helped publicize and cultivate speakers for the UN Foundation’s briefing at the United Nations to explore following the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, which brought together leaders in the political, scientific and diplomatic communities to find common ground on the crucial issue of global warming. Among the speakers we helped to secure was Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE).

People like Steve McIntyre, Anthony Watts, Lord Monckton, and Chris Horner have been fighting this Leftwing environmental onslaught for years, and the tide may be beginning to turn in their favor…but is it too late?


Roger L. Simon has started a Climategate Facebook page, if you’re on Facebook, you can join here.

Viscount Monckton on Climategate: ‘They Are Criminals’ (PJM Exclusive);

What have the mainstream news media said about the Climategate affair? Remarkably little. The few who have brought themselves to comment, through gritted teeth, have said that all of this is a storm in a teacup, and that their friends in the University of East Anglia and elsewhere in the climatological community are good people, really.

No, they’re not. They’re criminals. With Professor Fred Singer, who founded the U.S. Satellite Weather Service, I have reported them to the UK’s Information Commissioner, with a request that he investigate their offenses and, if thought fit, prosecute. But I won’t be holding my breath: In the police state that Britain has now sadly become, with supine news media largely owned and controlled by the government, the establishment tends to look after its own.

In his strongest statement to date, Monckton said Saturday on the Alex Jones Show:

Monckton said that those who are threatening to shut down economies, bankrupt nations, and deepen the problems of the third world by implementing draconian policies in the name of global warming should be indicted, prosecuted and imprisoned “for a very long time”.

“The fraudsters and racketeers from Al Gore to the people at the University of East Anglia who have been making their fortune at the expense of taxpayers and the little guy,” should be criminally charged, said Monckton, in response to the climategate scandal.


FYI: Another nefarious one-worlder committed to a “new world order” through junk science is Maurice Strong, of  Oil For Food scandal fame.

MORE on Fenton:

Get a load of this from October 2008:

David Fenton’s Photography on Exhibit in NYC

On October 30th, the Steven Kasher Gallery in Chelsea will open the exhibition David Fenton: Eye of the Revolution, a look back at Yippies, Black Panthers, Be-Ins, Weathermen, the Chicago 7, tear gas, protests, and the years that changed America forever. In conjunction with the exhibition, on November 8th the gallery will host a panel discussion on the legacy of the 1960s, good and bad, with SDS Founder Tom Hayden, former SDS leader Bernadine Dohrn, former Black Panther Jamal Joseph and photographer David Fenton. Moderated by Josh Marshall, Editor and Publisher of Talking Points Memo. 3:30-6 pm.

Still in his teens in the late 60s, underground news photographer David Fenton–now CEO of a major public interest communications firm–photographed the passionate street protests and calculated mass media tactics that still shape U.S. politics and culture today. His photos appeared in anti-war and counter-cultural publications around the world, as well as in The New York Times, Life, Look, Newsweek and many others.

Fenton possessed both a police press pass and behind-the-scenes access to the leaders and celebrities of the era. David Fenton: Eye of the Revolution will feature over 75 photographs, including rare vintage prints. Join Fenton on a countercultural journey from Washington, D.C. to New York City, Oakland and Chicago with stops at Columbia, Yale and Berkeley looking at Civil Rights, the Peace Movement, Black Power, Women’s Liberation, Gay Rights, Hippies, Police Riots, Yippies. Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Bobby Seale, Huey P. Newton, Allen Ginsberg, John and Yoko, Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, Weathermen Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, and the pig who ran for President.

Since his employment at Liberation News Service, Fenton’s protest-driven view of the world has evolved into Fenton Communications, the nation’s largest progressive communications firm. With clients including and Nelson Mandela, he is still pushing for change in the tradition of 40 years ago.

Full circle.

Editors note: I changed the title from “The Nefarious Funder Of Climate Research” to “The Nefarious Cabal Behind Climate Research” to reflect the changes in the post due to updates. For some reason, WordPress wouldn’t allow me to use <strike> in the title, even though I’ve done it before.


Via Ed Morrissy, Hot Air: Oddly enough,  the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit now admits they threw out the raw data on which much of their theories on anthropogenic global warming are based.

“The AGW movement has been exposed as a religious belief and a political cash cow, not science”.

And I would add, a means to an end.


Flashback:Bush’s Final Press Conference – When He Said He Was More Concerned About The Country Than Being Popular

Watch it and weep:

In certain quarters you can be popular by blaming  every middle Eastern problem on Israel….(thank you for not doing that).

Or you can be popular by joining the international criminal court…(Thank you for not doing that).

I guess I could have been popular by accepting Kyoto, which I felt was a flawed treaty….(Thank you for not doing that!)

And in terms of decisions I’ve made to protect the homeland..I wouldn’t worry about popularity. (Thank you!)

What I would worry about is the Constitution, and putting plans in place that make it easier to find out what the enemy is thinking…(the enemy being actual Islamic terrorists, not domestic political opponents)…

The anti-Bush will go along to get along, the best interests of the country be damned. But at least he’s popular…at least with some.

Bush wisely sums up: I’ve heard all that…most people around the world…they respect America….and some of them don’t like me, the writers… I understand that – that’s part of the deal. But I’m more concerned about the country, and how people view the United States of America (what not himself?!) and they view us a s strong, compassionate people who care deeply about the universality of freedom.

Compare to Obama, who shows such implicit hostility to his own country’s pre-eminence in the world, and never tires of regaling foreign audiences with examples of our (not His!) shortcomings and failures, real and imagined.mostly imagined.

As Always, The Left is Dealing From The Bottom Of The Deck

“Angry mob”, “racists”, “extremists”, “unAmerican”, “right-wing terrorists”, “astroturf”, and did I mention “racists”? Especially racists. All these words are being used to describe opponents of Obama’s policies, and sadly, not just by the ignorant troglodytes of the left-wing blogosphere, but by leaders of the Democrat party.

At the moment, we are seeing an uptick in accusations of racism. While the President pretends to stand above it all, everyone from Jimmy Carter to Maureen Dowd, to Maxine Waters to Janeane Garofalo are flagrantly employing the race card. Why? It seems that the more unpopular Obama’s policies get, the more the card gets used.


Rush Limbaugh just quoted the NYTs article  on his show: As Race Debate Grows, Obama Steers Clear of It: “B.S.”! , he says, the Obama administration is behind it!

We can’t really say that for sure, but we can point out that we saw the same tactic used during the campaign.


It was used quite effectively against the Clintons, and let’s not forget this oft repeated, groan inducing line he used during stump speeches:

June 20, Jacksonville Florida:

“We know what kind of campaign they’re going to run,” said the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. “They’re going to try to make you afraid. They’re going to try to make you afraid of me. ‘He’s young and inexperienced and he’s got a funny name. And did I mention he’s black?’”

Nobody but Obama was mentioning that he was black. We were mentioning his troubling radical background, and radical, far left/communist supporters and associations. Just as we are, now. You can see this concern reflected in tea party signs like these:

obama socialist


socialism destroys

socialism not the change

So some of the savvier race-baiters started equating the word “Socialist” with the “N word”.

I’m told denizens of lefty blogs lament that the tea party protests get more attention in the media than their protests did. Yes, seriously.

Never mind that it took only a small handful Code Pink crones to bring out a media stampede of sympathetic coverage wherever they went. Never mind that now that Obama is the President, their puny protests are no longer covered. The media  covered left wing protests extensively, and studiously avoided covering them in a negative light. Literally hundreds of tea parties have taken place since Obama took office, and most have been  ignored. The tea parties that have been covered have been subject to scathing criticism.

Members of the left-wing media (we no longer call them MSM) go out of their way to seek out the more extreme members of conservative protests, and then those are often grossly mischaracterized as this black gun aficionado was on MSNBC.

Tea party critics in the media are appalled by the Obama/Hitler comparisons which are done primarily by Democrat Lyndon LaRouche supporters.

Where were these critics during the Bush years, when Bush was compared to Hitler on an almost daily basis by the left? What was one of the left’s favorite nicknames for President Bush? Bushitler?

The Bush/Nazi theme was standard at all anti-Bush protests:


Where was the media when protesters’ signs reflected their demented, violent, deathwishes against the President?


I don’t remember anyone in the leftwing media having much to say about the hardcore extremism on display at anti-Bush protests.

But they are working overtime to portray Obama’s opponents as racists.

Charles Krauthammer called it “the last refuge of the liberal scoundrel”.

Baldilocks calls it an “all purpose cudgel” :

I would say that those who hurl the racism epithet toward critics of President Obama don’t expect the charge to make sense. Sense isn’t necessary due to the fact that the racist label has become such an effective destroyer of careers and reputations in the last thirty-five years, the accusers expect the charge to have the same power that it has had over that time period. It’s the Tar Baby of tar babies, ironically enough, and woe to the white human being who is unfortunate enough to be stuck to it.

For the sycophants of President Obama specifically, crying racism has become an easy way to avoid addressing  his long-articulated leftism, his incipient fascism, his lawlessness, his mendaciousness and his general executive incompetence his studied indifference toward adhering to proven executive practices, even his own stated methods.

But what happens when the weapon is used too much?

Victor Davis Hansen believes this ploy will result in another 5% drop in the polls for Obama:

In the wake of Joe Wilson’s crude outburst, many network commentators (and Jimmy Carter, of course) are weighing in on the new racism that supposedly explains 1) rising opposition to Obamacare and 2) the president’s sinking polls. I think this is a disastrous political move to save a health-care plan that simply has not appealed to a majority of Americans. I suspect it will result in another 5-point poll slide.

To prove their charge, those who allege racism would have to show empirically that the present angry rhetoric eclipses what was said about and done to Bush. It does not yet.

We don’t see the word “hate” used in mainstream publications like The New Republic and the Guardian, as it was during the Bush years. (Even worse, really unspeakable things were done to Bush in novels and films.) “You lie” is about on par with the past statements of a Rep. Pete Stark or a Howard Dean (“I hate Republicans”), or the booing Democrats at the 2005 State of the Union. The extremists at the demonstrations are in smaller numbers so far than those who turned out against Bush and the Iraq War. A senior figure like John Glenn or Al Gore has not called the current president a Nazi or brownshirt.

Rasmussen reports that only 12% of Americans believe that racism is behind the opposition to Obama. But that won’t stop the Obamanuts from using the race card.

Signs o’ The Times

It’s about time someone made a video about this:

Hat tip: RS McCain at the American Spectator

Front Page Of US Consulate In Jerusalem Website Devoid Of Jews

Powerline calls this, “wishful thinking” on the State Department’s behalf:


Not a single mention of Jewish people on the front page of the US Consulate Jerusalem website? What does this tell you?

Discover The Networks describes the Palestinian Authority, thus:

Since 1994, when almost all Palestinians living in Israel came under the autonomous and independent control of the PA, the economies of the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been crippled by the Authority’s despotic rule. By 2003, the West Bank’s GDP had shrunk to about one-tenth of what it had been in 1992 — a result of the PA’s misappropriation of more than $5.2 billion into the personal accounts of Arafat and his lieutenants and militias. The Second Intifada, which began in September 2000, also contributed to the sharp deterioration in Palestinians’ living standards. The poverty rate nearly tripled, from 20 percent in 1999 to 55 percent in 2003. Once-prosperous commercial towns became economic basket cases.

As early as 2001, the Government of Israel had designated the PA as an “Entity Supporting Terrorism.” In 2004, Papal Nuncio Msgr. Pietro Sambi described the Palestinian Authority Constitution as the “framework for a totalitarian Islamic terror state.” In April of that year, Arafat told the German magazine Focus that he was prepared to share power with the terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad in a new leadership structure that would operate in parallel with the Palestinian Authority. Arafat had released many members of both groups from PA jails.

After Arafat’s death, he was succeeded as the leader of both the PA and Fatah by Mahmoud Abbas, a.k.a. Abu Mazen.

Isn’t it nice to know that the US government supports the PA to the tune of 200 million, this year? Especially in light of this:

In July 2007 it was reported that in recent years two PA officials who were Fatah members had stolen tens of millions of U.S. dollars that had been earmarked to help Fatah ward off the aggression of its rival, Hamas. One of those officials, Mahmoud Dahlan, had smuggled $27 million and invested much of it in construction projects in Dubai. His associate Rashid Abu Shabak, former chief of the Palestinian Security Services, had smuggled another $25 million. Palestinian Finance Minister Salam Fayyad’s office reported that of some $60 million in U.S. aid that had been deposited in a bank account for Fatah’s exclusive benefit, only $7 million was not stolen. Dahlan and Shabak both fled the Gaza Strip prior to Hamas’ takeover of the region and all its U.S.-backed Fatah security compounds in June 2007.

Hat tip and screenshot via: Weasel Zippers

Saying Farewell To Some American Heros

Here’s a tribute to our military fallen for the week ending June 13, 2009:

There was no all star guest list for Staff Sgt. Beale’s funeral, but my friend Reeko of the GI Woodshop passed this information along:

Nowadays, one can be led to believe that Americans, (outside of the military) no longer respect honor, or honor sacrifice.Let it be it known that there are many places in this land where people still recognize the courage and impact of total self-sacrifice. Killed in action the week before, the body of Staff Sergeant John C. Beale was returned to Falcon Field in Peachtree City, Georgia, just south of Atlanta, on June 11, 2009. The Henry County Police Department escorted the procession to the funeral home in McDonough, Georgia.

A simple notice in local papers indicated the road route to be taken and the approximate time.

The link above below is a short travelogue of that day’s remarkable and painful journey.

Watch this if you wish to have some of your faith in the American people restored.


It seems the Army has promoted John Beale to Sergeant First Class (E7) according to the DoD press release:

Michelle Malkin paid tribute, yesterday,  to another soldier, who was killed in Afghanistan over the weekend.

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