The Bookworm Beat 8-26-15 — the “gruesome GoPro” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265The revolution will be televised — thoughts on the shooting in Virginia

Back in 1969 or 1970, during the height of the 1960s era upheavals, Gil Scott-Heron wrote a poem/song claiming “the revolution will not be televised.” The lyrics implied that the media would be so anodyne that, while revolution was on the streets, those watching their TVs would see only pabulum. What Scott-Heron couldn’t perceive was that, thanks to technological advances, the revolutionaries would create their own television spectacles. We see that most dramatically with ISIS, which enjoys filming and televising its trail of murder, rapine, and destruction, as well as with the American activists who turn life’s frictions into catalysts for riot and revolution.

And today we saw something that managed to have roots both in a protest against life’s friction and in ISIS’s sadistic voyeurism: It turns out that Vester Lee Flanigan, the man who murdered TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, and seriously injured Chamber of Commerce representative Vicki Gardner, (a) committed the murder in part because Parker allegedly made racist comments before Flanigan and Parker ever worked together and (b) GoPro’d the murder:

Murderer's eye view Flanigan Parker

The revolution will be televised, and it will be the revolutionaries, especially the sadistic voyeurs, doing the televising.

Oh, and because the usual suspects have used this horrible murder as ammunition in their war on the Second Amendment, you might want to have as your own talking point the fact that gun crime has dropped 49% since 1993, something the vast majority of Americans do not know.

Donald Trump and Univision’s Jorge Ramos

I do not like Trump. I do not believe he’s a conservative. I do believe he’s a megalomaniac. I sincerely hope he burns out soon, so that more serious candidates (my current faves are Cruz and Fiorina) can get their rightful place in the limelight.

Having said that, I totally understand why people are so enthusiastic about Trump’s demagogic candidacy. Part of it the support comes from people’s sense that a lawless administration needs to be reined in about illegal immigration.

Incidentally, I just made an important point, if I do say so myself. Contrary to Leftist claims, those who support Trump are not xenophobes, trying to lock Hispanics out of the country. They are, instead, ordinary lawful citizens who are horrified by the fact that the current executive branch in this country is willfully violating laws that Congress passed to preserve this country’s sovereignty. It’s not racist to ask your government to enforce its own laws. But back to Trump….

What people like about Trump is his absolute refusal to play by the PC rules that Leftists have long used to stifle conservative speech and action. Ramos was out of line to use his Hispanic heft to muscle into a speech at the Donald’s press conference, and the Donald rightly put him in his place. Then, when Ramos played by the rules and waited his turn, Trump again put him in his place by answering in straightforward fashion questions about the border, pnce again blogging Ramos’s speechifying.

Leftists are bullies who work hard to control speech and thought through whatever means are available. In Trump, they’ve met an even bigger bully than they are.  While I’d hate to see Trump in the driver’s seat at the White House, it’s a pleasure to see him out bully the Left on the campaign trail.

Daniel Pipes on the possibility that Tehran rejects the deal

To those of us watching Obama work hard to hand billions of dollars and unlimited nuclear capacity to the Iranians, it seems inconceivable that the Iranians might reject the deal. Moreover, if that were to happen, I think most of us would have, as our instinctive first response, the thought that it’s good to see Obama humiliated in such a way.

Daniel Pipes, however, argues that the possibility is real that Tehran could reject the deal and that, absent some careful groundwork, if it were to happen, it could have unpleasant ramifications, not for Obama, but for Israel and other opponents of the deal:

Leaders of fanatical and brutal government such as Khamenei’s invariably make ideological purity and personal power their highest priorities and he is no exception. From this point of view – its impact on the regime’s longevity – the deal contains two problems.

First, it betrays Ayatollah Khameini’s vision of unyielding enmity to the United States, a core principle that has guided the Islamic republic since he founded it in 1979. A substantial portion of the leadership, including Khamenei himself, hold to a purist vision that sees any relations with the United States as unacceptable and bordering on treachery. For this reason, Tehran has long been the world’s only capital not seeking improved relations with Washington. These rejectionists disdain the benefits of the deal; they refuse it on grounds of principle.

[snip]

Second, Iranian opponents of the JCPOA worry about its eroding the Islamist values of Khameini’s revolution. They fear that the businessmen, tourists, students, artists, et al., perched soon to descend on an newly-opened Iran will further tempt the local population away from the difficult path of resistance and martyrdom in favor of consumerism, individualism, feminism, and multiculturalism. They despise and dread American clothing, music, videos, and education. Khamenei himself talks of the U.S. government seeking a way “to penetrate into the country.” From their point of view, isolation and poverty have their virtues as means to keep the Iranian revolution alive.

[snip]

Back in the West, opponents of the deal will, of course, rejoice if Khamenei rejects the deal. But his doing so also presents them with a problem. After claiming that Obama has given away the store, they must confront the awkward fact that the Iranian leadership turned down his offer. As Obama emerges as an apparent hard-liner who protected American interests and out-bargained the bazaar merchants, their argument collapses. His accusation about their “making common cause” with the Iranian rejectionists will look newly convincing and terribly damning. Israel’s prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, currently in Obama’s dog house, is especially at risk of being dismissed as foolish.

To avoid this fate, the deal’s opponents must immediately prepare for the possibility of an Iranian “no.”

Read the whole thing here.

The 14th Amendment is not intended to extend birthright citizenship to people who are here illegally

The 14th Amendment’s reference to birthright citizenship was intended to give American blacks citizenship. Blacks did not come to America voluntarily. Whites brought them here forcibly, and then kept them captive. The least America could do was make them and their children citizens of this country.

The 14th amendment was not intended (a) to provide an incentive for people to make a voluntary illegal journey here and then to use the subsequent birth of their children as an anchor to stay in perpetuity or (b) to entice monied people to come here solely for their child’s birth, before returning to their own country. It’s not complicated; it is, instead, a grotesque perversion of our Constitution to hold otherwise.

I actually have thought a fair bit about birthright citizenship because my father was the child of a German Jewish woman and a Polish Jewish man of Romanian decent. His mother had been in Germany for centuries and was a German citizen. His father was a legal immigrant in Germany, but retained his Polish citizenry. My father, although born in Germany in 1919 to a German mother, was a Polish citizen. That’s why, when he and my mother sought to immigrate legally to America in the 1950s, it took him years to get a visa — America wasn’t thrilled at the time about getting more Polish residents. I always thought it was unfair to my father, that he was born in Germany to legal residents, but was a Pole.

The same does not hold true in my mind for people who should not be here in the first place. They weren’t invited, they weren’t forced here, and they didn’t follow the legal process to get here. They are, to my mind, non-people under American law and they should not get any of the benefits that either the law or the constitution extend to people born here, invited here, forced here, and legally welcomed here.

Of course, the media is doing its best to hide from everyone the fact that birthright citizenship is not the reward for every cheat who enters this country.

Yet another blow to the legacy of Franklin Roosevelt

Okay, the story below isn’t really a blow to the legacy of Franklin Roosevelt, because a media that (a) worships Roosevelt and (b) isn’t going to let Americans get a glimpse into the sordid side of Roosevelt’s personality and presidency will never cover it.

The fact is, though, that Roosevelt was either a racist or an exceptionally petty man — or both. Certainly Roosevelt didn’t care that Jews were being slaughtered. He didn’t integrate the WWII military. And he refused to congratulate Jessie Owens in 1936:

Back home, ticker tape parades feted Owens in New York City and Cleveland. Hundreds of thousands of Americans came out to cheer him. Letters, phone calls, and telegrams streamed in from around the world to congratulate him. From one important man, however, no word of recognition ever came. As Owens later put it, “Hitler didn’t snub me; it was our president who snubbed me. The president didn’t even send a telegram.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, leader of a major political party with deep roots in racism, couldn’t bring himself to utter a word of support, which may have been a factor in Owens’s decision to campaign for Republican Alf Landon in the 1936 presidential election. FDR invited all the white US Olympians to the White House, but not Jesse.

“It all goes so fast, and character makes the difference when it’s close,” Owens once said about athletic competition. He could have taught FDR a few lessons in character, but the president never gave him the chance. Owens wouldn’t be invited to the White House for almost 20 years — not until Dwight Eisenhower named him “Ambassador of Sports” in 1955.

The gay rights movement is not the same as the civil rights movement

I have to admit to being surprised (rather pleasantly) to see the New York Times run an op-ed from someone pointing out that the gay rights and civil rights movement are not the same. John Corvino is a philosophy professor, so his writing made my eyes role into the back of my head (I could almost see my brain), but I appreciate his careful effort to explain that, while the movements share similarities, they are not the same and that it’s an error to impose draconian government speech restrictions on those who, for reasons of faith, aren’t anxious to embrace gay marriage. Indeed, Corvino makes an argument I’ve been making for years, which is that the civil rights movement saw individuals protesting government conduct while the gay rights movement is using the government to enforce private conduct:

When civil rights laws were passed, discrimination against blacks was pervasive, state-sponsored and socially intractable. Pervasive, meaning that there weren’t scores of other photographers clamoring for their business. State-sponsored, meaning that segregation was not merely permitted but in fact legally enforced, even in basic public accommodations and services. Socially intractable, meaning that without higher-level legal intervention, the situation was unlikely to improve. To treat the lesbian couple’s situation as identical — and thus as obviously deserving of the same legal remedy — is to minimize our racist past and exaggerate L.G.B.T.-rights opponents’ current strength.

Leftists are so damn smug

I’ve had the link to this video on my spindle for about a week now. In the elapsed time since I first tagged it, but didn’t get the chance to write about it, it’s gone viral, even to the point of Ellen Degeneris sending out a tweet. In it, a father videos himself celebrating the fact that his little boy got a “Little Mermaid” doll at the toy store.

Why did I tag it to bring to your attention? Because the father is so smug. Smug is not the right response to a personal family decision. Instead, it’s apparent that this guy knew precisely what kind of traction this video would get and desperately wanted his 15 seconds of fame.

Leftists are so damn greedy

You’ll know without my comments what to make of a lawyer saying that blacks and other oppressed people should steal from big retailers, because the fact that retailers have insurance means that it’s not a crime. Separate from the immorality and racism of what he says, he needs an economics lesson courtesy of Bastiat.

Even Israel supports sharia law

One of the hallmarks of a free society is free speech. One of the hallmarks of a sharia society is that, whether through word or deed, you’re not allowed to criticize any aspect of Islam, especially the pedophile prophet. Yet in Israel, a free country chronically under attack by the pedophile’s followers, the government enforces sharia on Islam’s behalf:

Israeli police arrested a fourth person for calling Mohammed a pig. Avia Morris, the first person arrested described being taunted with cries of “Allahu Akbar” and “Kill the Jews” along with signs of support for ISIS. But it only became a legal matter when the twenty-year-old woman retorted, “Mohammed is a pig.”

Daniel Greenfield has a great deal more on Mohammed’s piggishness and on Western government’s enthusiastic willingness to become an arm of the sharia police when speakers point out Mohammed’s many, many failings:

The response to Muslim violence has been greater extremes of censorship. There is a direct connection between the amount of protective censorship imposed on any criticism of Islam and Islamic violence. The Clinton administration rant about Tatiana’s cartoon took place after the World Trade Center bombing. And yet it would have been unthinkable then to lock up a Mohammed filmmaker, as Hillary and Obama did after the Benghazi massacre. Each new atrocity creates new momentum for censorship.

The Israeli police behave the way they do because the authorities are desperate to keep some kind of peace and it is always easier to censor, arrest and control non-Muslims than Muslims. That is also why the authorities in European countries are far more willing to lock up those who burn the Koran or criticize Islam than the Salafis who patrol the streets as Sharia police and call for a Caliphate.

This is not tolerance. It’s appeasement. It’s cowardice and treason.

Need I point out that these are the same governments that are entirely comfortable with Christs in urine, Marys in elephant dung, and horribly antisemitic pictures of Jews?

No matter how nice Obama makes with Cuba, Cuba is still a nasty place

We have diplomatic relationships with all sorts of nasty regimes. What’s disgusting about Obama and Co. is that they’re pretending that Cuba isn’t a nasty regime. Cracked, of all sites, points out that the Left is lying — Cuba’s a bad place, let by ugly, violent people.

Income inequality and poverty are not the same thing

Writing at Forbes, Harry Frankfurt makes a very important point in response to hysterical screams about income inequality, all of which end up with demands for government mandated wealth redistribution:

It isn’t especially desirable that each have the same as others. What is bad is not inequality; it is poverty. We should want each person to have enough—that is, enough to support the pursuit of a life in which his or her own reasonable ambitions and needs may be comfortably satisfied. This individually measured sufficiency, which by definition precludes the bur­dens and deprivations of poverty, is clearly a more sensible goal than the achievement of an impersonally calibrated equality.

[snip]

It is not inequality itself that is to be decried; nor is it equality it­self that is to be applauded. We must try to eliminate poverty, not because the poor have less than others but be­cause being poor is full of hardship and suffering. We must con­trol inequality, not because the rich have much more than the poor but because of the tendency of inequality to generate unac­ceptable discrepancies in social and political influence. Inequality is not in itself objectionable—and neither is equality in itself a morally required ideal.

Ben Shapiro and my sister sort of agree

My sister is a rather indifferent libertarian who pays as little attention to the news as possible. However, we had a conversation when I spoke about the fact that voters cannot make informed decisions when the media deliberately hides data. My example was the Planned Parenthood videos showing Planned Parenthood facilities engaging in the sale of human body parts in a way that (a) appears to show them violating laws against profiting from that sale; (b) appears to show them failing to notify the women having the abortions what will be done about those body parts; and (c) makes it clear how revolting the traffic in fetal body parts really is.

When I described the videos to her, my sister was horrified. Libertarian she may be; secularist she may be; government out of my womb she may be — but she understands that there is a moment when that fetus is a viable life and at that moment she believes, as do most Americans, that it’s murder to vacuum it out of a woman’s body and kill it without a damn good reason for doing so. Although she won’t watch it, she would find herself agreeing with Ben Shapiro’s video:

More climate lies

Just in case you wanted to know, NOAA committed the usual acts of climate-based scientific fraud with Oklahoma temperature data.

If you need some inspiration today…

Corporal Todd Love will inspire you.

Dubai — impressive or disgusting?

I’m not a fan of conspicuous consumption, so I find Dubai’s excess disgusting. Having said that, it’s disgusting in a kind of fascinating way.

Did any Leftist initiatives ever actually benefit the poor people, women, and minorities?

good-intentionsMy son has a hard time waking up in the morning and, over the years, I’ve fallen into a bad habit: When he doesn’t emerge from his room, I head up the stairs to remind him to wake up. Last Friday, I got my exercise heading up those stairs five separate times. This morning, I thought to myself, “My God! I’m acting precisely like a Leftist, depriving my child of the opportunity to take responsibility for himself.”

When I woke my son up, I said “This is the last time I’m coming upstairs this morning. If you fall back asleep, I will not wake you up and, when you’re finally ready to head to school, you’ll walk there with a note from me to the office explaining that you overslept.”

“Really?” he asked incredulously.

“Really,” I answered.

My son came down to breakfast in record time.  It turned out that by allowing him to rely on me, I’d preventing him from being able to rely on himself.

Thinking about the inadvertent damage I was doing to my son with my well-meant efforts to get him off to school in time, I then started thinking about Leftists, who claim to act for and represent the other 99%: the poor, the people of varying colors and sexual indentities, women, etc. And what I asked myself was this: “Do any current Leftist initiatives actually benefit the people Leftists claim to serve?”

So far, my answer to that question is “no.” As of my writing this, I’ve come up with the following list of Leftist cause célèbres (which is not in any particular order), and the deleterious effects they have on the Left’s claimed constituency:

1. The anti-GMO movement

As the Left phrases it, they are saving the world from Frankengrains and other foods that will destroy the earth, all in the name of Monsanto’s enrichment. In fact, the historical ignorance behind the movement is staggering, since humans have been messing with animal and plant genetics since the beginning of human kind.

[Read more…]

The Bookworm Beat 8-18-15 — the “Hillary is toast (and other stuff)” edition

Woman-writing-300x265Hillary is unfit to be president

My friend Scott, the same one who wrote this excellent time line and analysis about Hillary’s criminal malfeasance, continues to follow the Hillary saga closely. In a recent email to me, he wrote:

I can pretty much assure you, I and everyone else who ever held a security clearance and dealt extensively with classified documents did a spit take when we heard Hillary conducted all of her email as Sec. of State on a private address and server. That she would be involved with not just classified information, but the most classified secrets of our nation was inevitable.

Go here, watch former CIA Agent turned CNN analyst Bob Baer just rip into Hildabeast as unfit to be President. He’s right.

I agree with Scott, and have only this to add: I think that the more that is revealed, the more it’s clear that she’s unfit to be president. It’s not just that she’s paranoid, arrogant, dishonest, spent too much time sending personal emails on the job, and didn’t give a hang about America’s national security. The underlying problem, one that should be apparent even to her fans, is that she’s dumb as a post. Can we really have someone this staggeringly stupid in the White House?

The recent revelation about Hillary’s offsite server only adds to the impression of someone with a low two-digit IQ.

Oh, and Scott adds that Eugene Robinson unintentionally sums it all up for the left.  “He bemoans her decisions, dispenses with her excuses as ridiculous, then says that she’ll be our next President, but we won’t love her quite as much as could have.  And I love how he mentions having classified data on her server as a ‘technical violation of the law’ while still crediting the charge of ‘partisan witch hunt.'”  Says Scott, “I so detest people who are not intellectually honest.”

[Read more…]

[VIDEO] How important was the South’s “peculiar institution” to the Civil War and why does it still matter today?

The Stone Wall, Fredericksburg

The Stone Wall, Fredericksburg

Following our trip to Virginia, Maryland, and Southern Pennsylvania, a trip that took us to Fredericksburg, Manassas, Gettysburg, and Antietam, we’ve been watching Ken Burns’ The Civil War.  The documentary, which I failed to follow back in 1990, is somehow much more interesting now that I’ve seen the stone wall in Fredericksburg, the Bloody Lane at Antietam, and Little Round Top and the site of Pickett’s charge in Gettysburg.

One of the difficulties for me in watching the documentary, which focuses pretty tightly on the battles, is that it’s hard not to root for the South.  I don’t mean that I’m rooting for slavery, God forbid!  I mean that, army qua army, up until the last year of so of the War, the South was a plucky little fighter that, with fewer men and supplies, managed to do amazing fighting.

Moreover, in the War’s early years, while all generals were horribly profligate with their troops, the South’s generals had the virtue of being less wasteful with the men in their charge than the Union generals were.  What General Burnside did at Fredericksburg was criminal — that it, it was criminal right up until Pickett and Lee did the exactly same thing at Gettysburg.  Moreover, by 1863, Lee and Pickett had even less excuse to do what they did than Burnside, because they ought to have learned from Burnside’s own experience.

The fact is that, although the South was fighting dashingly and pluckily, it was doing so for a dreadful, completely immoral cause:

[Read more…]

Talking with David Johnson, a Civil Rights icon

David Johnson book coverMy days often don’t go as planned, but it’s a rare pleasure when the deviation from the plan lands me in a guided tour of the past given by a true Civil Rights era icon.  I’ve known David Johnson for many years, first as one of my neighbors and then, funnily enough, after he moved out of my neighborhood as one of my Mom’s neighbors.

Here’s what I knew about David until a couple of years ago:  he’s a lovely, courtly, kind, and intelligent gentleman who used to be a photographer. In 2013, though, on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C., I learned a bit more about him: he was Ansel Adams’ first African-American student and he was a man with a camera at the heart of the Civil Rights movement. He was therefore invited to be an honored part of the anniversary festivities in Washington.

To tell you a bit more about David, let me share with you a brief passage from a longer article at Apogee Photo Magazine, which ran a very nice article about him.  This passage picks up after David’s childhood in Jim Crow Florida and after he’d served in the Navy during WWII:

Fueled by his love of photography Johnson broke a racial barrier at age 19 in 1946. Living in Jacksonville, he saw an article in the local paper announcing that Ansel Adams, already a nationally renowned photographer, would head the photography department at the California School of Fine Arts. Johnson wrote to Adams, requesting permission to join the class and stating that he was a Negro. In Adams’ reply, he admitted Johnson to the school and added that his race did not matter. When Johnson enrolled, Adams welcomed him into his home, where Johnson lived during his photographic studies. Adams counseled him early, “Photograph what you know best.” This wise advice led to Johnson’s enduring and wide-ranging chronicling of African American life.

As the selected accompanying photographs attest, Johnson’s photographs document African American culture of the last six decades, including the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s and the poignancy of daily life. His work also celebrates individuals in politics and culture. When employed by a local newspaper, he photographed many celebrities, including Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, A. Philip Randolph, Paul Robeson, Jackie Robinson, and the poet Langston Hughes. He also captured entertainment idols, such as Nat “King” Cole, Eartha Kitt, blues singer Ruth Brown, and jazz guitarist “T. Bone” Walker.

Equally compelling are Johnson’s images of ordinary African Americans. These speak today—a young boy sitting pensively on a fence; weary civil rights marchers in Washington, DC; a father watching his daughter on a carousel. As forceful are images of a man lounging in a shop doorway, proud deacons at a storefront Baptist church, and children of two races delighted to pose together, oblivious of their different skin colors.

Wow!

Anyway, I was visiting at my Mom’s retirement community today when I ran into David in the hall. He invited me into the library to join him in looking at the book that his wife wrote about him a few years ago: A Dream Begun So Long Ago: The Story of David Johnson, Ansel Adams’ First African American Student. Standing beside me in the library with the book open before us, David explained to me the story behind each picture, and what a rare and lovely spread of pictures it is.

[Read more…]

Observations about two recent opinion pieces addressing blacks in America

baltimore-riotYou’ve all heard, of course, about the professor who calls reason itself a white male construct:

A philosophy and religion professor at Syracuse University gave an interview to The New York Times Thursday in which he critiqued the notion of pure reason as simply being a “white male Euro-Christian construction.”

Prof. John Caputo was being interviewed by fellow philosophy professor George Yancy for the 13th installment of an interview series Yancy conducts with philosophers regarding racial topics.

Given its emphasis on first principles and abstract thought, it may be tempting to view academic philosophy as a turf where the race of participants matters little, but Caputo says that’s entirely untrue. In fact, race is of central importance, and it’s proven by the mundane phrases philosophers use.

“‘White’ is of the utmost relevance to philosophy, and postmodern theory helps us to see why,” Caputo says in the interview. “I was once criticized for using the expression ‘true north.’It reflected my Nordo-centrism, my critic said, and my insensitivity to people who live in the Southern Hemisphere. Of course, no such thing had ever crossed my mind, but that points to the problem. We tend to say ‘we’ and to assume who ‘we’ are, which once simply meant ‘we white male Euro-Christians.’

Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water — reason is what differentiates us from stone age people and blessed us with the longest, healthiest, most productive lives in the history of the world.  But because it’s from white males, it’s bad.

[Read more…]

The Bookworm Beat 6-29-15 — the “house divided against itself” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265My dog woke me early, which bothered me at the time but now seems like a good thing, since I can get a little blogging in before the work day begins. Without further ado, a few posts I think are worth you time:

On Democrats and racism

If you read one thing today, you have to read Jeffrey Lord’s open letter to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz asking her when Democrats are going to confess to and apologize for the fact that racism is their legacy to America — and one that they pursued aggressively for more than a century.

After you’ve read it, if you won’t turn yourself into a pariah amongst family and friends, share it around. After all, two can play at the Alinsky game, but for conservatives, the Alinsky game is one in which each individual conservatives must be an activist, because there won’t be a media/Hollywood conglomerate around to do the heavy lifting.

[Read more…]

The Bookworm Beat 6-24-15 — the “midnight ramblings” edition

Woman-writing-300x265I should be heading for bed, as it’s after midnight, but I’m so thrilled to have a moment to myself that I can’t resist a little blogging. I’m feeling especially smug (and tired) tonight because my heroic 1:30 a.m. efforts yesterday were the difference between success and ignominious failure on a big motion. Damn it all! I deserve some time to write.

Anything you can be I can be better….

My favorite military humorist, Lee Ho Fuk has taken the Rachel Dolezal mantra — “anything you can be I can be better” — to a whole new level:

[Read more…]

The Bookworm Beat 5-20-15 — the “I’m still standing” edition and Open Thread

Woman-writing-300x265Unlike Rand Paul, who is standing for a filibuster against the Patriot Act, my “standing” has to do with the fact that, after a long afternoon of shopping and doctors with my mother, I am still upright and reasonably coherent. His feat is the more admirable one or possibly the more lunatic — I can’t decide. While I think that one over (and please feel free to chime in with your opinions), I offer the following for your reading pleasure:

Honoring vets

Bruce Kesler, retired Marine extraordinaire, has a message of immediate concern to veterans and their supporters. Check it out here.

[Read more…]

The Bookworm Beat 5-14-15 — “Just another busy day” edition and Open Thread

Woman writingAnother day where life got in the way of blogging. Hope these interesting articles compensate for the long silence.

What’s she got to complain about?

It’s already old news that Michelle Obama — Princeton and Harvard grad, highly paid (but still useless) lawyer; and jet-setting President’s wife — thinks herself very poorly used by the American system. To hear her tell it, she’s been chewed up and then spit out on a filthy sidewalk, where crude, rude, KKK-type white people have ground her remnants into the dust. I just have a few links about this and a comment.

Link One: Writing at Allen West’s site, Michele Hickford has the perfect commentary about Ms. Obama’s whines.

Link Two: Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin (and yes, it’s funny that the whiner and the skewerers are all named Michelle) neatly deconstructs all the lies behind Michelle’s complaints.

Link Three: Wolf Howling points out that Ms. Obama is just one weapon in the race hustlers’ arsenal.

Wolf Howling also alludes to an important, and extremely sad, point: Ms. Obama may be lying about her facts, but she’s not lying about her emotions. This Ivy League-educated,  spoiled, pampered, private-jetted darling genuinely feels as if she is a victim. It turns out that the only thing worse than having to listen to Michelle Obama is actually to be Michelle Obama and to live within that unhappy, resentful, beleaguered brain.

Hollywood wants you — but you shouldn’t want it back

Early this week, I wrote about all the horrid, distasteful people who populate my TV screen lately. Robert Avrech, who is someone with a much greater understanding of Hollywood’s inner workings made the same point in an article he wrote last December:

Sadly, most series on the air and in development are unsubtle messages formulated by postmodern Holly wood writers, producers and executives. This is no longer mere propaganda, but a clarion call for a new national morality. It is a world where women do not need husbands to raise children, as in Playing House, where the most anticipated marriage on TV is between two men, as in Modern Family and where the ties that hold a family together are murder, rape and plunder, as in Vikings. The protagonists of The Americans, a Cold War drama, are a ruthless but attractive Soviet couple working as spies against America. In the hit Netflix series House of Cards, a Washington D.C. power couple, played to silkily sinister perfection by Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, lie, cheat and murder their way into the White House. Blessedly, these repugnant American Borgias have chosen not to have children. But the show’s writers would have us believe that theirs is a glorious union.

In the new Hollywood lexicon, the family is a unit held together not by traditional family values, but by gangster ethics.

Read the whole thing.

Global warming is real — provided you ignore all the facts proving that it isn’t

The global warmists are getting increasingly shrill in their insistence that the earth is on the verge of boiling us all to death, and that anyone who denies it is a flat-earther who, in a just world, would be burned at the stake for heresy (if only burning at the stake didn’t increase the atmosphere’s already deadly carbon load). Being ignorant, these hysterics do not understand that, historically, global warming has always been a blessing for mankind, increasing available water and crops, and allowing people to focus on cultural advancement. Global warming would be a good thing.

Of course, there is no global warming. More likely, there is going to be global cooling, thanks to a very quiet sun — and global cooling has always meant famine. We in America might be able to weather a famine (especially if we can agree that humans matter more than Delta Smelt), but more fragile economies are going to be in desperate trouble.

By the way, if a warmist challenges you about the assertions I just made (no warming, probable cooling), you could point that person to 22 inconvenient facts about our climate.

Oooooh, Luuuuucy!

Another piece of old news is Mark Halperin’s embarrassingly racist questions as he tried to prove to Hispanics that Ted Cruz is really a coconut — brown on the outside, but totally white-racist-male-chauvinist-pig on the inside. However, even if it is old news, if you haven’t read Fausta’s response to Halperin’s nonsense, you’ve missed something fine.

Halperin, faced with attacks from the Left and the Right, did an “I’m sorry you’re offended” apology. And Cruz, cleverly avoiding his reputation for snarkiness, responded with an extremely gracious “you have nothing to apologize for.”

The First Amendment’s death continues apace

Victor Davis Hanson keeps getting better — which is impressive when one considers how good he was to begin with. The whole time I was reading his article about the Left’s steady deconstruction and destruction of the First Amendment, my head kept bobbing up and down, like one of those nodding dog toys you used to see in the windows of cars. If you read it, you’ll nod too:

Apparently there is no longer a First Amendment as our Founders wrote it, but instead something like an Orwellian Amendment 1.5, which reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press — except if someone finds some speech hurtful, controversial, or not helpful.

Cowardice abounds. When artists and writers mock Mormonism in a Broadway play like the Book of Mormon or use urine or excrement to deface Christian symbols, no Christian gang seeks to curb such distasteful expression — much less to kill anyone. Every religion but Islam knows that its iconography is fair game for caricature in the United States; none sanctions assassins. Jihadists seek to make this asymmetry quite clear to Western societies and thereby provide deterrence that gives Islam special exemption from Western satire and criticism in a way not accorded to other religions. And they are enabled by Westerners who prefer tranquility to freedom of expression.

When will Kirsten Powers realize she’s a conservative?

For many years, as I slowly realized that I was no longer aligned with Democrats, I still thought of myself as a Democrat, albeit a smarter, more informed one. It took a while for me to figure out that my values were completely inconsistent with today’s Democrat party and that, rather than honoring myself by remaining a Democrat, I was demeaning myself.

Kirsten Powers still considers herself a Democrat, but I suspect that, as she looks at toxic Democrat-led policies on America’s college campuses, she may eventually want to leave that identity behind too:

The root of nearly every free-speech infringement on campuses across the country is that someone—almost always a liberal—has been offended or has sniffed out a potential offense in the making. Then, the silencing campaign begins. The offender must be punished, not just for justice’s sake, but also to send the message to anyone else on campus that should he or she stray off the leftist script, they too might find themselves investigated, harassed, ostracized, or even expelled. If the illiberal left can preemptively silence opposing speakers or opposing groups— such as getting a speech or event canceled, or denying campus recognition for a group—even better.

Self-identified “moderate” Muslims sound surprisingly extreme

I was talking with a friend today about American blacks and the way they resolutely refuse to involve themselves in their own salvation, preferring to blame white people and then to look to the majority-white government system for succor. Every time I spoke broadly about “blacks,” my friend reminded me that the majority of American blacks are just like me: hard-working, honest, and decent. It’s only the noisy ones who are engaged in black-on-black killings, drug use, single motherhood, and rioting.

My friend, as usual, is correct.  Thinking through my rhetorical laziness, I realized that the reason I keep lumping all blacks together, as if the disgraceful minority represents the completely ordinary and respectable majority, is because whenever the minority acts up, the majority, instead of castigating those self-destructive behaviors, supports the behaviors, joining in the constantly repeated chorus of “It’s not our fault; it’s whitey’s fault; now give us money.”

My friend then reminded me that speaking up isn’t that easy. Blacks who step off that plantation are subject to vicious racist attacks that would do the KKK proud — except that these attacks come from Democrats. (Oh, wait!  The KKK was also Democrat, wasn’t it?  It seems as if the Democrats, no matter where they stand politically vis a vis blacks, always keep a closet full of disgraceful racist taunts at the ready.)  As a closet conservative in my community, I know precisely how difficult it is to stand against your community, especially when you’re raising children.

This is all by way of introduction to the concept of “moderate” Muslims. Those who speak out sound remarkably like the fanatics. And those who don’t speak out . . . well, it’s difficult to know whether they agree with the fanatics and so-called moderates, or if they’re simply scared to death.  After all, an ISIS sword is even more devastating than a Democrat’s racial slurs.

Our profoundly weak economy

Progressives I know insist that the American economy is in great shape and invariably point to the stock market as proof. They seem incapable of understanding that years of low interest rates, steady money printing, and quasi-fascist crony capitalism have disconnected the stock market from the economy. The stock market no longer proves anything at all, except that those who know how to operate the political system can still get rich.

Given how weak our economy is, and how dangerous the money policies are that drive the illusion of prosperity, it’s small wonder that a well-known economist says that the next recession — and there will be a next one — will be devastating.

Our Leftist Pope

A few years ago, I said that Pope Francis, no matter how nice a person he is, is a hardcore Leftist product of Liberation Theology.  Sadly, recent events prove that I do not stand corrected.

You can tell she’s a Christian because….

Barronelle Stutzman, the gal whom Washington State has been intent upon destroying because she refused to provide flowers for a gay wedding, got a chance to have her say in the Washington Post. You know how you can tell that she’s a Christian? It’s not just that she makes a compelling case explaining how she can be friends with gays while still standing behind her freedoms of speech, religion, and association when it comes to being forced to provide her artistic services for a ceremony that runs counter to her mainstream faith.

No, the real reason you can tell that Stutzman is a true Christian is that, when she speaks of the man who turned her over to the Nazi branch of the Washington State political correctness police, she still calls him her “friend.” Stutzman either has her tongue firmly in cheek, or she is a woman who takes seriously the Christian notion of turning that same cheek.

Anyway, please read Stutzman’s article. The conclusion sums up what every American should understand about freedom:

In Washington, Rob and Curt have the right to get a marriage license. But that doesn’t mean that the state should be able to force people in the creative professions like myself to create expression celebrating the ceremonies. We all have different viewpoints about how to live our lives. One thing I’ve loved about our country is that we protect the freedom of artistic expression and the right to disagree over these kinds of issues without one side being threatened by the government over it.

But whatever the state says and however they want to try to punish me, they can’t change my faith. What happens in my business or my life is in God’s hands. Having a clear conscience means much more to me than any amount of money or my business. Rob and Curt have their beliefs about marriage and aren’t being stopped by the state from living them out. I only ask for the same freedom.

Watcher’s Council forum on events in Baltimore

The following is how Watcher’s Council members and their friends view events in Baltimore. Good stuff, as always.  I’m embarrassed that I didn’t participate, but the forum is a weekend event and, all too often, my weekends are given over to family matters:

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: What’s Your Reaction To The Baltimore Police Being Criminally Charged?

Wolf Howling :I outlined the basic facts of the case here on my blog.

Three days prior to the arrest of Mr. Gray, a memo was sent through the Baltimore City Police Department mandating that suspects being placed into the police van be placed in a seat and secured with a seat belt. Mr. Gray was simply lain on the floor of the vehicle. Mr. Gray continued to complain and act agitated while in the van. At some point, and perhaps twice, he requested medical aid, which requests were ignored. Within 30 minutes, Mr. Gray was taken from the van by paramedics where he expired a week later as the result of an 80% severing of his spine at the neck. There were no other injuries to Mr. Gray. As Bookworm Room has pointed out, there is some basis to suspect that Mr. Gray’s reported prior exposure to lead may have left him particularly vulnerable to the type of injury that caused his death.

On 1 May, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced that six Baltimore City Police officers have been arrested and charged in the death of Freddie Gray. Of the six officers, three are white, three are black, one is a woman. Two of the officers have been charged with crimes relating to wrongful arrest. Three others have additionally been charged with involuntary manslaughter. The driver of the police van has been charged with second degree murder.

So, on the facts above, what is my reaction to the police being criminally charged?

As a threshold matter, Freddie Gray deserves justice, period. That is beyond question. It will certainly mean civil damages for his death. Whether his death involved criminal wrongdoing such that others deserve punishment is a separate question. Equally, those involved in Freddie Gray’s death are entitled to justice. They need to be prosecuted to the degree to which they are culpable, and spared any punishment if they are not.

There is not enough information yet to say for certain if the ends of justice are being served by the arrests of these six officers. My initial reaction, and I dearly hope that I am wrong, is that a lot of this is nothing more than a sacrifice to the racial grievance industry. This is not a planted evidence case, nor a case of brutality by the arresting officers. If they wrongly arrested, that would, in the normal course, be a matter for internal discipline as well as open the officers up to civil suit. But now a wrongful arrest on these facts is being used, in at least three cases, to end careers and criminally prosecute police officers? It appears that all three of them are the white officers, by the way. That seems utterly outrageousjust on the facts available. Indeed, it seems a lynching, no less than that which happened to Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson.

Likewise, charging three officers with involuntary manslaughter, just on the known facts and the lack of established policy regarding transport, seems as if it is quite a stretch. It is far less of a stretch to the extent the charge of involuntary manslaughter is based on failing to timely render aid, if such aid was requested and may have in fact saved Mr. Gray’s life. But it is not clear which evidence is being relied upon to support each charge against each individual.

Lastly, the driver of the police van, a black officer, has been charged with second degree murder. He, having sole custody of Mr. Gray from the time Mr. Gray was placed in the van until he was removed, injured, by paramedics, is likely at least guilty of involuntary manslaughter. That said, a charge of second degree murder, which requires some degree of intent or extreme recklessness, is likely an overcharge, just on the basis of the known facts.

So my reaction is mixed. At least one of the indictments – and perhaps as many as three – are or may well be warranted based on the available information. Several seem like nothing more than a lynching to satisfy the Al Sharpton wing of the left, who would dearly like to turn this into an indictment of racism and police brutality with which to, somehow, blame the right.

Baltimore City is a model of left wing urban governance and has been a social laboratory for nothing but left wing social policies for the past half century. The fact that Baltimore City, as well as its Police Department, are wholly owned subsidiaries of the left, and indeed, are led by minorities, is meaningless to the developing narrative. Already, Joan Walsh of Salon is tweeting that “there is no debate that tragically, black police officers often absorb the attitudes of their colleagues.” Shades of white Hispanics. The left will do anything to insure that whatever comes out of the Baltimore riots, it will not be a platform for rational discussion of the problems besetting Baltimore and inner city blacks. And if justice actually occurs in Baltimore — justice for Freddie Gray as well as the six officers — I am afraid it will be purely by accident.

 JoshuaPundit : I’m sorry…it must be my depraved sense of humor but listening to Marilyn Mosby announce the charges as the crowd reacted like someone had just gifted them all with big screens made me laugh almost as much  as the videos of ‘reporters’ getting beaten up and mugged and still describing their assailants as ‘protesters’  afterwards.

Mrs. Mosby is an elected official (as is her husband, Councilman Nick Mosby, who demanded  the Baltimore PD  ‘stand down’ as the rioting broke out) whose offices depend on the votes of a city that is 68% black whom mostly see this issue through a racial prism. Regardless of what color they are, the police, even black cops, are seen as the enemy. She wasn’t going to make the same mistake the mayor and president of the city council (both black) made of calling the rioters thugs and  then having to grovel and walk back their statements. The video of Baltimore Council president Jack Young appearing with a herd of Bloods and Crips toapologize and refer to the rioters as ‘misdirected youth’ makes me chuckle just thinking about it.

The sad part is the jobs that will be lost, the houses that were burned and the long miles people who live in the neighborhood  and were simply trying to work hard and keep things going  will have to travel to buy groceries or find a pharmacy thanks to these ‘misdirected youth.’ And imagine trying to sell a house here and move to a better neighborhood now.

State Attorney Mosby referred to the arrest as ‘illegal’ and used the term ‘false imprisonment’ in her remarks. OK,  but it seems to me that a number of the criminal charges involved are motivated by a political desire to appease the Mob and will be modified significantly later. And I understand that.

But what we have here, not to be harsh, was  a career criminal whose rap sheet included multiple arrests for things like burglary, assault and lots and lots of drug trafficking arrests.  As a matter of fact, Mr.Gray had an upcoming trial coming up this month based on a December arrest for  selling narcotics. He was a known drug dealer talking to someone on the streets in a fairly crime ridden area when he saw the police and took off running.

Chances are he was pursing his chosen career and realized that a fresh bust could affect his out on bail status, his coming trial and his chances of a plea bargain, so he simply went to try and dispose of his stash before he was caught.  Given his reputation, there was definite probable cause and since Baltimore, like many jurisdictions allows suspects to be held 72 hours before being charged,  I can’t see his his arrest as illegal since he could have been interrogated and the area could have been searched while he was in custody.

The main thing the police seem to be guilty of at this point is not securing Gray in a seat belt in accordance with a general order that came out 3 days before the incident,  and maybe  with getting him a medic in a timely manner. That could certainly be called  that negligence, but murder two? Among other things, the prosecutor will have to figure out some way to establish intent for that to stick.

Of course, if the trial’s held in Baltimore, the jury will be composed of those ‘protesters’ and their allies and will likely resemble a carbon copy of some of the old Jim Crow jurisprudence we keep hearing about.  Or if it’s held elsewhere and some or all of the police are acquitted, it can be used as more fuel for Seething Racial Grievance. So it’s a win-win either way if you take my meaning.

The Glittering Eye : think there’s been a rush to judgment. I understand the states attorney’s motives but whether because she’s inexperienced or ambitious or for whatever reason the theory of the case one would take from her public statements have painted her into a corner that will make it difficult to obtain convictions, particularly on the more serious charges. Note how many of the legal experts have pointed that out.

On the broader question the lynch mob mentality that has set in , not merely on the part of the demonstrators and rioters but on the part of the media and public officials is deeply concerning. We can only imagine the reaction that will occur if these officers are acquitted. That shouldn’t be the case. The presumption of innocence should always be paramount.

I don’t know what happened to Freddie Gray but neither do the demonstrators or the states attorney. We need to keep an open mind until we hear statements made under oath and read official statements on the forensic evidence. I’m beginning to fear for the republic.

Laura Rambeau Lee,  Right Reason : Maryland State Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced criminal charges against six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25 year old black man who died, apparently after suffering lethal injuries while in their custody.

Her announcement came after a night of rioting, looting and violence that left the city reeling and seething in racial anger for several days. It appears to have been a rush to judgment on her part to alleviate the demands of the mob.

In a city with a large black population, black female mayor, and black prosecutor it kind of rings hollow to allege systemic racism is to blame. We should be looking at the Democratic social policies that have run the city for nearly half a century.

When a society makes it easier for people to live on welfare, food stamps and cheap housing than strive to better themselves, the result is another generation of Democrat voters to keep the free stuff coming. The left cries for more money, that not enough funds are going to help the poor. Baltimore has one of the highest amounts of education funding per child in the country. More money does not equate with a good education. No amount of money will help the people living in the poor neighborhoods in Baltimore, or any city for that matter.

This is not systemic racism. What we are seeing is systemic destruction of the family. The left is bent on destroying America by attacking traditional values, instilling feelings of entitlement for perceived grievances, withholding valuable education children need to better themselves, and making them believe they are victims in a country where opportunities do not exist for them.

As we have seen so many times before, it may just come out that the police are found innocent of the charges. What then? The left will never permit a real discussion on the issues facing poor black families in America. In reality, they are slaves to a system created to maintain and grow the power of the left.

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD : Marilyn Mosby delivered a clear message when she stepped in front of the cameras to announce charges against six Baltimore police officers at a surprisingly early stage in the investigation.

Mosby deftly framed the serious charges leveled against the officers in a seemingly political context. On one hand, she promised Freddie Gray’s family that she would fight ceaselessly to bring about justice in the case. At the same time, she made it clear that she is not the avenging angel of the African-American community. As in every constitutional democracy, one is considered innocent until proven guilty in the USA.

Well, there you have it.

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, andyou won’t want to miss it.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

The Bookworm Beat 5-9-15 — the “I’m not all here” edition

Woman writingThanks to the miracle of modern technology, despite the fact that I’ll be celebrating a family event this weekend, I can still feed my blog. If some shocking headline happens over the weekend, I probably won’t have a lot to say about it, but I can definitely keep you current about yesterday’s news!

More on Shy Tories

Nate Silver, who nailed the 2008 and 2012 elections, had a total fail when it came to predicting the 2015 British election that saw the Tories gain an easy victory, despite poll results showing that Labour would win. Silver offers a few arguments in his own defense. The funniest is his claim that “everyone else was wrong too.” As every high school kid knows, that’s not a good defense.

What Silver finally admits, though, is that voters lied, just as they did in 1992:

The most obvious problem for all forecasters was that the polling average had Labour and the Conservatives even on the night before the election. This was not just the average of the polls, it was the consensus. Nearly every pollster’s final poll placed the two parties within 1 percentage point of each other. Based on the polling average being level, we predicted Conservatives to win by 1.6 percentage points on the basis of the historical tendency of polls to overstate changes from the last election. This kind of adjustment is helpful for understanding how the 2010 result deviated from the national polls on election day, as well as the infamous 1992 U.K. polling disaster, when the polls had the two parties even before the election and the Tories won by 7.5 percentage points. The Conservative margin over Labour will be smaller than that when the 2015 totals are finalized, but not a lot smaller (currently it is 6.4 with all but one constituency declared). So our adjustment was in the right direction, but it was not nearly large enough. Part of the reason Fisher did better is that he applied a similar adjustment, but made it party-specific, leading to a larger swingback for the Tories than for other parties because of that 1992 result.

Since I’m always averse to hiding my light, such as it is, under a bushel, I’ll provide a discrete hyperlink to my post yesterday, in which I said exactly the same thing; namely, that 2015 is a repeat of the “Shy Tory Factor.”

The really important thing — and it’s something that all honest, decent people should ask themselves — is why do conservatives feel compelled to hide their political views?  I don’t know about England, but perhaps it’s because, here in America, we get audited to death, not to mention the insults, the cars that get keyed, and the harangues attacking conservatives as evil people.  All of those are good reasons to lie in public and, in the privacy of the voting booth, to do anything we can to return some semblance of sanity to our world.

I think Nancy Pelosi is getting senile — really

My 92-year-old mother is mostly compos mentis, but she definitely has times when, as my sister says, “She boards the magical bus and doesn’t get off.”  She’s still absolutely certain that, when she was in the hospital a few years ago recovering from a minor surgery, the nurses roused her in the middle of the night and insisted that she spend the rest of the night helping them run their online clothing catalog business from the nurses’ station. Nothing will convince her that this didn’t happen, including the fact that she knows that her computer skills are so nonexistent, she hasn’t even mastered email.  That’s just one of dozens of moments that have seen Mom part ways with reality.

I’m wondering if 75-year-old Nancy Pelosi hasn’t boarded that same magical bus.  It’s really the kindest reason I can think of for her claiming that Hamas is a “humanitarian” organization based upon assurances from Qatar:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says the United States must look to Qatar, an ally of the terrorist group Hamas, for advice in resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

“And we have to confer with the Qataris, who have told me over and over again that Hamas is a humanitarian organization,” she told CNN’s “State of the Union” with Candy Crowley.

The only other explanations for Pelosi’s delusion statement about Hamas as a humanitarian organization are that Pelosi is dumber than a rock or that she’s a very evil woman who considers the Devil her partner in the dance. Calling her senile is really the kindest thing one can do.

American kids are not morons, but Nicholas Kristof is

I’ve enjoyed attacking Nicholas Kristof before, since he’s the kind of Leftist who never lets facts slow him down. No wonder, then, that I enjoyed a post at Sense Made Here, in which Eugene explains that, whatever else Kristof is, he’s not smarter than an 8th grader.

The death of our Republic?

Wolf Howling uses the fact that the federal government is forcing schools to allow kids to pick whatever gender they want when it comes to bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams as an opportunity to ruminate about the way a passive legislature, a power hungry White House, an aggressive administrative system, and activist judges are all working together to destroy the republic that the Founders created for us.

You’ll get depressed reading his post, but you should still read it. After all, the only bulwark against all of these evils is an informed public.

The only people for whom black lives don’t matter are black leaders

A few days ago, I did a post saying that, since blacks insist that everything whites do or have done is destructive to blacks, blacks might want to stop demanding our help and try to rebuild their culture without white interference. I even had proof that Martin Luther King felt the same way I do, at least when it came to responsibility (and for more on the subject of responsibility, you can go here):

Martin Luther King on black self-help

I now am certain I’m on the right track with my suggestion, because Daniel Greenfield has said much the same thing (emphasis mine):

Baltimore has the fifth highest big city murder rate in the country. The four cities ahead of it are Detroit, New Orleans, Newark and St. Louis. All these cities have something in common. Not racism, but race.

The killers and the dead are black.

The murder rate in Baltimore stood at 37.4 to 100,000 people. There have already been 63 murders this year. Fifty-six of the victims were black. Of the 16 murders in the last 30 days, 14 of the victims were black.

If black lives really mattered, then black violence would matter. But that would mean taking responsibility for a broken culture which few leaders in the black community are ready to do.

Hillary the incompetent

In a politely worded public letter to the American media, Peter Wehner explains that Hillary’s ability to hop a plane while Secretary of State has nothing to do with core competency:

Not only is Mrs. Clinton not “hyper-competent,” she is not even minimally competent.

What exactly are her brilliant achievements? Is it HillaryCare, a substantive disaster that led to a political disaster (the Republican sweep in the 1994 mid-term election)? The multiple ethical problems she’s encountered during her years in politics? Here fierce opposition to the Petraeus-led surge in Iraq long after it was obvious it was succeeding? Perhaps the Russian reset? Referring to Bashar Assad, the genocidal dictator of Syria, as a “reformer“? Or maybe her masterful handling of the Iranian Green Revolution, relations with Egypt, Libya, Israel, the attack on the American diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Poland, the Czech Republic, the “pivot” to Asia and countless other failures during the first Obama term?

What exactly are her achievements – her concrete, tangible, exceptional achievements – as First Lady, senator, and secretary of state? They don’t exist. In fact, the things she has her fingerprints on have, much more often than not, turned into disasters. The case that her supporters put forward on her behalf — she has flown nearly a million miles, visited more than 100 countries, read briefing books (!) and had tea with local power brokers (!!) – highlights just how pathetic her achievements are.

Hillary is not competent, and it will be a shame if the American voters are flimflammed into thinking she is.

Did you know that Antoine Lavoisier met his end on the guillotine?

I did not know that, but it’s true. It’s a reminder never to mix science and politics.