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.

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Martin Luther King on the need for blacks to take responsibility

baltimore-riotYesterday, I had a rant:

“Fine, we, the white collective, screwed you. We screwed you 200 years ago, and 100 years ago, and 50 years, and last week. We seem incapable of not screwing you. So why do you keep looking to us for help? Look to yourselves. Fix your own communities because, according to you, whatever we touch, we turn to dross. The fact is, you can’t grow up until you cut the apron strings, especially because, by your own definition, your white American Mommy is toxic.”

Of course, once one says that, rather than the black community pulling itself up by its own bootstraps, all that happens is a renewed press for reparations.  But still, the reality in communities is exactly the same as it is when you sit in the therapist’s office and he intones (usually to your irritation), “Only you can help yourself.  You have to want to change.”

It turns out that Martin Luther King got there before I did:

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Reparations?! Again!?

Slavery in AfricaIt appears that Barack Obama and his cronies may be set to put reparations for slavery back on the national agenda. I don’t have anything to say on the subject, but that’s not because I don’t have strong opinions. It just that, a few years ago, in a post as current today as it was then, Wolf Howling said exactly what I would have said if I could think and write as well as he does.

Obama’s remarkable consistency when it comes to “respect”

obama gives us the finger_thumb[41]I’m sure someone’s said it before, but Obama is remarkably consistent in his approach to everything.  For example, he believes that people who have been subject to systemic disrespect become violent or criminal.  If you show them the respect they need, they will stop behaving in that way.  He therefore believes that his job as America’s leader is to correct systemic disrespect which will, in turn, cause them to give up their bad behaviors and embrace good ones.

I believe in respect too.  My feeling is that you respect people by demanding of them the same good behavior you demand of yourselves.  That’s not the Obama way, though.  Just a few examples should suffice:

I believe that African-Americans are not doing well because Democrat policies infantilize them and encourage them to be helpless victims rather than people in control of their own destinies.  I believe that the best thing we can do for African-Americans is to offer them a free market, equal opportunities under the law, and the right, finally, to be free from government meddling, whether that meddling is badly or well intentioned.

Obama, however, believes that all problems in the African-American community — from poverty, to single motherhood, to crime — come about because America’s predominantly white society has failed to respect blacks.  He further believes that the way to confer respect on them and encourage future good behavior is perpetual welfare and insulation from the consequences of their own actions.  That hasn’t worked out well.  Black unemployment and crime rates (especially racially-associated crime rates) are up.

I believe that Hispanic illegal immigrants are law-breakers, cheat people who are playing by the rules, destroy the legal American working and middle class, and allow tyrannies to continue in their native lands by siphoning off the working population and sending back cash.  I believe that America, a nation of immigrants, should continue to encourage people to come here from foreign lands — but we should do so on our terms, not theirs, in order to protect our borders, our sovereignty, our public health, our crime rates, and our economy, and so as to disempower those Latin American nations that profit by sending us their labor and taking back our cash (cash that could have been in legal American hands).

Obama believes that illegal immigrants are being denied the respect.  It is this disrespect that makes them “live in the shadows.”  Obama further believes that the way to confer respect on illegal Hispanic immigrants, thereby bringing them out of the shadows, is blanket amnesty (which automatically erases that shadowy “law-breaker” status), followed by welfare. With this level of respect conferred on the illegal immigrants already here, he hints to Americans that the flow of illegal immigrants crossing our borders to demand our respect will stop.  It’s worth pointing out that the more “respect” Obama shows illegal immigrants who are already here, the more of them keep flowing across our borders.

And of course, I believe that the Iranian Republic is a fanatic, tyrannical Islamic theocracy that has, since its inception, dedicated itself to the complete destruction of Israel, the Islamic takeover of America, and control over the Muslim Middle East.   To this end, it has spent the past 36 years fomenting Islamic terror and revolution the world over.

Obama, however, sees a nation disrespected and misunderstood.  He believes that the root cause of its violent, genocidal, world domination attitude is that it has been subject to this emotionally hurtful lack of respect and understanding.  The same craving for respect has powered its nuclear ambitions.  Obama’s answer to Iran’s bad behavior is to treat the root cause:  Give Iran respect.  And of course, in Obama-land the way to give respect to a fanatic, genocidal, terrorist nation is to give it unfettered access to nuclear weapons.  Obama is remarkably clear in his believe that, once it achieves its nuclear ambitions, the sense of respect this will confer on Iran will cause it instantly to lay down the same nuclear weapons it just perfected.

Obama is quite obviously an ideological fool, who is blinded to the realities of human nature, most specifically how humans react to power, incentives, and punishments.  Don’t confuse that for stupidity, though, his handling of Israel has been masterful since the very first day of his presidency.  He has moved Israel into increasingly smaller boxes to the point at which Israel is now locked tightly into a box with a very large target painted on it.  I’m with the Commentary editors in that I see no good outcome here.

Oh, and one more thing:  Obama clearly grew up feeling that he, a mixed-race American child in Indonesia’s anti-American streets and Hawaii’s ultra exclusive enclaves, didn’t get the respect he deserved.  The way he responds to this root cause problem remarkably parallels his take on Iran’s response to a lack of respect:  He punishes his enemies and has no problem with the possibility of their annihilation.  Indeed, as I mentioned vis-a-vis Israel, he seems to share with Iran those same genocidal urges that seem to be the last resort of those feeling disrespected.

In other words, when it comes to  his own enemiestrying to change their bad behavior by showing them respect is a concept that goes right out the window.

[VIDEO] You’ve got to hear this: A rant on black culture and Democrats that ought to go viral

This gal identifies herself as “Honestly Speaking” and, boy, does she speak honestly. She tells “her people” that she’s not a “race traitor” for demanding that black people listen to their best angels, rather than their worst demons. She also explains, with great detail, why she’s a Republican. I wish there where millions of this lady all across America:

Hat tip: Navy One

The Bookworm Beat 12/6/14 — Saturday sweep-up edition, and Open Thread

Woman writingA cold has been making the rounds in my neighborhood and it finally caught up with me. I don’t feel particularly ill, but I feel congested and quite desperately sleepy. I had a great deal to do today, and mostly managed to re-read Agatha Christie’s Mrs. McGinty’s Dead, which wasn’t too taxing (and, thankfully, I’d forgotten whodunnit). I’ve now roused myself enough to clean the kitchen, do the laundry, and share with you a few browser tabs I still have open from yesterday:

The all-around best post about the Rolling Stone’s journalistic malpractice

I’ve shouted my opinion about Rolling Stone’s UVA rape story from the treetops (“It didn’t happen that way!”), and I’ve linked to several posts that agreed with me, only they did so more thoroughly, more elegantly and, most importantly, from more prominent platforms than mine.  These combined voices forced Rolling Stone to admit to gross journalistic malpractice.

Of all these bully-pulpit loud voices on the subject, my favorite is Jonah Goldberg. Writing before Rolling Stone walked back its story, Jonah Goldberg had this to say:

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The Bookworm Beat (11/19/14) — It was a dark and stormy day edition (and Open Thread)

Woman writingThat global warming sure has caused global cooling with a vengeance. My thoughts are with all of those who are suffering the brunt of this blast (or vortex?). Stay warm and safe, please.

Here, I’m happy to say, it’s raining! Considering that Marin is constantly hovering just a few gallons away from water rationing during this drought, rain is always good news. Equally good is the fact that it’s supposed to rain for another day, and then rain again in five days. Woo-hoo!!!

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A very funny video about American blacks that highlights the horrible thing mainstream American culture has done to them

Happy face sad faceCaped Crusader sent me a video that simultaneously made me want to laugh and to cry.   Of course, it’s funny that the guys being questioned by the camera man cannot come up with the answer when the answer is embedded in in the question. It elicits the same slightly smug laughter that I always felt watching Jay Leno’s “Jaywalking.” “Boy, those yokels sure are dumb! Ha! Ha! Ha!”

 

Watching these guys, though, with the backdrop of Ferguson in my mind quickly killed my laughter, though, and simply depressed me. I got even more depressed when Tom Elia emailed this little tidbit: Ferguson, Missouri, which in 25 years has shifted from being a slightly white minority enclave of St. Louis to a primarily black majority community has as its second biggest revenue source the fines and penalties paid into its municipal court:

A report issued just last week by the nonprofit lawyer’s group ArchCity Defenders notes that in the court’s 36 three-hour sessions in 2013, it handled 12,108 cases and 24,532 warrants. That is an average of 1.5 cases and three warrants per Ferguson household. Fines and court fees for the year in this city of just 21,000 people totaled $2,635,400.

The Daily Beast cites the above data to show that it’s in the police’s best interests to have an adversarial relationship with residents in Ferguson, and that’s true. But it’s also a reminder that, since the Civil Rights movement effectively came to an end in 1964 when the Civil Rights Act federalized the movement, it’s become big business to keep blacks institutionally victimized.  Worse, it’s a business in which blacks are complicit.

Let me say here and now that there is absolutely nothing genetically inherent in blacks that leads them to their disproportionate representation amongst the ranks of the violent, the uneducated, and the fatherless. These are cultural traits, not hereditary ones. Moreover, contrary to multicultural mythology, cultural is not fixed. It can change.

The problem we face now is that, since the 1960s “Great Society,” the political and social culture in America, all of which hew Left, have consistently told blacks, “You don’t need to change. You’re perfect as you are. It’s we, the whites, who need to change.” In other words, blacks are the ultimate fulfillment of the self-esteem movement that started in California and picked up steam to infect the United States.

The self-esteem movement tells children that, no matter what, they’re wonderful. It sets no goals, offers no examples, makes no demands. It just says, “You’re wonderful.”

What sounds wonderful in theory proves to be disastrous in fact. Rather than creating a “wonderful” generation of self-confident, moral, self-disciplined, ambitious, strong young people, we’ve created a generation of self-satisfied yet insecure, morally weak, undisciplined parasites. Not all of them, of course, with those saved from the movement having either been home schooled or raised within a home environment that hewed to more traditional values.

Telling many of the latter type of homes are filled with people who, in Charles Murray’s words, don’t preach what they practice.  Within their homes, they drive their children to succeed; in the public forum, though, they dare not tell anyone, especially minorities, that the secret to success in America is to work hard at school, to work hard at work, and to stay on the right side of the law.

American blacks are the ne plus ultra of the self-esteem movement. All criticism of them is banned, including self-criticism. They cannot reform their self-destructive behaviors, because they have been programmed to be narcissistic: they are completely armored against their sins, so armored that they cannot even modify their behavior to blunt what they see as the consequences of inimical behavior from their “enemy” — with the enemy being all people and institutions that are not black and that, therefore, can be blamed for the desperate plight in which American blacks find themselves.

I wrote the above words on Friday, meaning to publish them on Friday and then, when that fell through, meaning to publish them on Saturday. Clearly, I missed both of my self-imposed deadlines. My first duty is to my family, and my family has been demanding. In a way, that’s a good thing, because I had the opportunity to add to my thoughts on this subject.

Tomorrow, the Watcher’s Council will publish a forum asking council members to predict whether a grand jury will indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who allegedly shot Michael Brown. I’m going to give you a preview of the answer I sent the Watcher, since it’s really a continuation of the thoughts I was developing here:

I hate to say this, but I think whether Officer Wilson is indicted depends on the jury’s racial composition. I can’t say what a majority white jury would do, because I don’t have the evidence before me. However, sadly, I have no doubt whatsoever that a majority black grand jury would issue an indictment for first degree murder.

This leads me to a different issue. Back in 1939, when Hattie McDaniel was the first black woman to win an Oscar for best supporting actress as Mammy in Gone With The Wind, she made a brief speech:

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, fellow members of the motion picture industry and honored guests: This is one of the happiest moments of my life, and I want to thank each one of you who had a part in selecting me for one of their awards, for your kindness. It has made me feel very, very humble; and I shall always hold it as a beacon for anything that I may be able to do in the future. I sincerely hope I shall always be a credit to my race and to the motion picture industry. My heart is too full to tell you just how I feel, and may I say thank you and God bless you.

It later turned out that the studio wrote those words for McDaniel, especially the bit about her sincere “hope I shall always be a credit to my race,” a line that deeply humiliated her.

I can understand McDaniel’s humiliation about having any words put in her mouth, especially words that emphasized her race, but I’ve never found the notion of being a credit to ones race distasteful. Perhaps that’s because I’m Jewish, and we Jews, like the blacks, have always been the “other” race.

What one Jew does always has the potential to be a negative stereotype applied to all people. Thus, I found Bernie Madoff’s frauds disgusting, because they destroyed people’s livelihoods, but I also found them embarrassing because, as a Jew, I hate it when a fellow Jew feeds into a negative Jewish stereotype.

One of the things I find so incomprehensible about modern American blacks is that they do not impose standards on their fellow blacks. There is no expectation of a self-correcting mechanism. If you’re a black who does bad things, you’re not someone who brings shame on the black community. You are, instead, just another victim, along with the black teens you’ve killed, the Korean or Indian store owners you robbed and pistol whipped, and the whites you injured or murdered in a “knock out” game. The black community, rather than denouncing a drugged-out, weaponed-up, murderous black teen as a disgrace to the race is embraced and has his image printed on t-shirts.

Thinking about it, what I’ve just said isn’t a different issue at all. It explains why I’m certain that a majority- or all-black grand jury would indict the Ferguson police officer in the blink of an eye. As far as they’re concerned, blacks are always the victims no matter how degraded or violent their behavior. And if it’s always someone else’s fault, an indictment against whichever “someone else” happens to be available is a no-brainer. Racial pride, rather than bringing with it high standards, means no standards whatsoever.

I wrote the above words about violence, but they apply with equal weight to education — a concept that has me circling back to the video that opens this post.  America has never heeded Frederick Douglas’s words just to let the black man be:

Frederick Douglas Do Nothing With Us

Instead, having transported African-Americans to this shore, we’ve meddled relentlessly, not just with their persons, but with their culture.  What began as an enslavement of their bodies has continued as an enslavement of their souls.  They are as chained by this perverted “self esteem movement” as they ever were by whips and overseers.  Because they are relentlessly told that they can do no wrong, they are forever foreclosed from the insights and opportunities that would enable them to do things right.

I’ll leave you with Bill Whittle’s indignation about the realities of black life — both as victim and as criminal — about the political system that refuses to acknowledge this reality, and about the race mongers who, along with prisons and townships, profit mightily from a black culture willfully denied insights about itself so that it can change its culture for the better:

Fundamentally, it is not racist to tell African-Americans: “You are just like me. Your life will always be buffeted by forces beyond your control, but I believe that, like me, you came into the world with drive, intelligence, and the capacity to be a moral person. I agree that many of you live in desperately awful environments, but you have it within in you to rise above that and move beyond it. Study hard, work hard, obey the law, and don’t let cretins, whether in your community or in law enforcement or anywhere else, cause you to fall off the path of hard work and righteousness.”

It is racist, though, to tell blacks: “You’re black, so you’re helpless.”

The Bookworm Beat — August 16 Saturday Night Special

Woman writingYesterday, the phone or the doorbell rang every 10-20 minutes all afternoon and evening. We had a rotating cast of characters for dinner, one of my dogs hid for the day, and the other dog barked itself into laryngitis. I have no complaints, as I like a social house, but there’s a lot to be said for just a little less sociability.

Today has been relatively quiet, so I was able to do six loads of laundry and take care of a good 300 emails. I still have my snail-mail inbox to clear out, but overall I feel remarkably productive. The dogs are happy too.

I don’t know if a review of the news will result in any happiness, but it’s still a task I feel compelled to perform.

Ferguson reveals seemingly intractable problems in modern American cities

The more I read about events in Ferguson, the more I know that two principles I hold are correct, even though I don’t know how much either principle applies to the specific events in Ferguson. The first principle is that the police are and should be people’s servants, not their military masters.

Separating military and police

The second principle is that the “wilding” that blacks turn to when the police offend them solves nothing about their dismal situation throughout America’s Democrat-controlled cities, but definitely makes it reasonable for police to seek protection behind military gear.

Police brutality and Slim Jims

This is a nasty chicken and egg dance, with blacks complaining (illogically, but it still drives their behavior) that police brutality drives them to resist arrest and run riot through cities, effectively destroying their own communities, and police complaining (more credibly) that with blacks running riot, the only way a sane person would become a police officer is to bury himself behind massive armor and weaponry.

Mark Steyn certainly finds much to blame on both sides of the dispute raging between Ferguson’s blacks and its police force.

Even as cops and blacks blame each other, both should be blaming Democrat/Progressive Big City politics

The only place that neither blacks nor police are looking in order to place blame is the one place that ought to be blamed: The urban Democrat/Progressive political machine. Kevin D. Williamson, who has traveled to most of America’s major cities, the vast majority of which are Democrat-run and being run into the ground, explains just how badly the Progressive experiment is playing out in these places:

Progressives spent a generation imposing taxes and other expenses on urban populations as though the taxpaying middle class would not relocate. They protected the defective cartel system of public education, and the union money and votes associated with it, as though middle-class parents would not move to places that had better schools. They imposed burdens on businesses, in exchange for more union money and votes, as though businesses would not shift production elsewhere. They imposed policies that disincentivized stable family arrangements as though doing so would have no social cost.

And they did so while adhering to a political philosophy that holds that the state, not the family or the market, is the central actor in our lives, that the interests of private parties — be they taxpayers or businesses — can and indeed must be subordinated to the state’s interests, as though individuals and families were nothing more than gears in the great machine of politics. The philosophy of abusive eminent domain, government monopolies, and opportunistic taxation is also the philosophy of police brutality, the repression of free speech and other constitutional rights, and economic despair. Frank Rizzo was not a paradox — he was an inevitability. When life is reduced to the terms in which it is lived in the poorest and most neglected parts of Chicago or Detroit, the welfare state is the police state.

I would recommend Williamson’s article as a must-read and, if your Leftist friends can be brought to read something published in — gasp! — National Review, it’s an article that you should share with those who haven’t already seen the conservative, individualist, small government, small-l libertarian light.

Resisting arrest is asking for trouble

Bob Weir, a former police officer, explains that “brutality” is not an unreasonable response to get from a police officer if you make the decision to resist arrest.

And of course, there’s always the media to fan the flames

Sadie send me this image, along with some of her pungent, trenchant commentary:

The media's role in all this

A reprise of the Trayon Martin summer hit of 2012. Rev. Al and Rev. Jesse once again, play themselves. Benjamin Crump, Esq. has been recalled to the stage. Rioters, looters and extras, against a backdrop of staged outrage are seen running, dancing, shouting – looting included. Audience members and media are encouraged to bring a cell phone to record the experience.

Ferguson is making for some pretty strange political bed fellows

A young Marine friend of mine (who grew up in an incredibly liberal Marin household) posted this excellent Matt Walsh article saying that the police officers aren’t to blame for the anarchy in Ferguson. A young entrepreneur I know here in Marin, whose Facebook posts hew liberal, but who has a libertarian streak, liked the article, commenting that you have to “suck up reality.”

Events in Ferguson are making for some strange political bedfellows. Perhaps we might see a paradigm shift coming soon….

Obama, the bored, disaffected, disenchanted, disengaged American President

I’m not a Joe Scarborough fan, but I agree with Pete Wehner in thinking that Scarborough was correct when, on the Hugh Hewitt show, he stated that Obama has simply checked out of the presidency. Although motives are irrelevant — all that matters is the fact that Obama’s not playing president any more — Wehner still speculates as to his motives, and I still find the speculation interesting:

What could possibility explain this attitude? It may be that Mr. Obama was drawn to the job not for the right reasons but because he viewed the presidency as a new mountain to climb, a prize to win, as a way to feed his unusually large ego (even for a politician). It may also be that Mr. Obama, with his presidency crumbling, is like a petulant child who wants to pick up his marbles and leave. He was fine serving as president when he was adored and well liked; now that things are going south he appears to have emotionally “checked out,” to use Scarborough’s phrase.

The curse of the golf course

Daniel Greenfield has noticed that Obama starts wars when he’s on vacation near a golf course, while bad actors seem to time their bad acts to coincide with Obama’s golf game. The incessant golf games, which once were a sore point only for grumpy conservatives, are beginning to dismay everyone.

There’s something unseemly about our president’s obsession with golf. Of course, the golf games are perfect fodder for political cartoonists, who see the golf course as a metaphor for Obama’s singular absence from and disinterest in a world in flames around him. Don’t believe me? Just check out Steven Hayward’s cartoon round-up for the week.

The terrorist negotiating strategy

No, I haven’t forgotten poor, beleaguered Israel, even though I chose not to lead with it in this round-up.

My very first item about Hamas put me strongly in mind of Jeff Dunham’s Achmed The Dead Terrorist, whose catch-phrase whenever things don’t go his way is “Silence! I kill you!”

Hamas has now issued an ultimatum regarding its peace talks with Israel.  Paraphased, it amounts to “Accept all our conditions or we kill you!” Last I heard, that’s not how good-faith negotiations are supposed to work.

The world doesn’t care about dead JEWISH kids

A bereaved Israeli mother, whose teenage daughter died in a terrorist attack during the Second Intifadah, reminds us that the world doesn’t inevitably shed tears when children die in war. For example, when her precious daughter was one of hundreds who died in attacks deliberately targeted at Israeli/Jewish children, the world had nothing to say.

The IDF has a photo-gallery summing up this summer’s war

The IDF has collected 17 photographs summing up the reality of the Israel/Gaza war. Some of them show the bombs bursting in air over Israel and how frightening and destructive those bombs are, Iron Dome notwithstanding. Others show Gazan residents lined up as useful idiots and human shields for Hamas, as well as the fact that Israel treats these poor fools with incredible decency. Still others show the depth, breadth, and imaginative destructive power of the Hamas armory in Gaza.

It’s like a joke . . . “This Travis County D.A. walked out of a bar, dead drunk….”

The Rick Perry indictment is a joke. That’s no surprise to me, frankly.  Travis County is famous for its corrupt legal system.

Back when I was in law school, three Texas Supreme Court judges were under investigation for accepting bribes. Indeed, at our annual musical review, which spoofed the movie Grease, I distinctly remember that one of the songs had lyrics that referred to a scam in which attorneys appearing before the court had bribed the judges with lavish trips:

We go together like V&E [Vinson & Elkins], F&J (Fulbright & Jaworski), and Jones & Day
We’re graduating and going on to sweat and cram for the July bar exam
We’ll clerk for judges and
Fill their briefs with legalese, and Vegas trips with attorneys.

I mean, jeez, if an Obama stalwart like David Axelrod is unimpressed by the indictment, you know it’s shaky. For more solid legal reasons, Eugene Volokh also thinks the indictment is unsustainable. So good for Rick Perry to fight back, and I hope he fights back hard.

For those of you new to this story, Rosemary Lehmberg, the Travis County D.A. got arrested for drunk driving, pleaded guilty, and served 45 days. I’ll let Duane Paterson pick up the story:

Rick Perry thought her to be a disgrace, and wanted her to resign. She didn’t. So he took the next step and threatened to veto funding for her office. In response, a grand jury handed down an abuse of power indictment for coercive use of a veto late this afternoon. So the woman who was belligerent and intoxicated stays, Rick Perry is the bad guy and needs to go. Right. Got it.

By any standard, Lehmberg’s behavior was disgraceful. She pleaded guilty to a .23, almost .24, blood alcohol level (almost three times the legal limit), was oppositional with the arresting officers, and tried to use her political heft to avoid the charges.

Here’s the arrest video:

And here’s the video of her doing her “do you know who I am and who my friends are?” routine:

And for those who aren’t conversant with that blood alcohol level, Ace has a handy-dandy (and funny) cheat sheet.

Gene Simmons fights back against political correctness and in favor of immigrants learning English

I hate Gene Simmons, the KISS rocker. (It was the snake-like tongue that did it for me. I hate the tongue in Miley Cyrus too.) However, I very much admire Gene Simmons, the American immigrant who courageously speaks truth to political correctness. His latest outburst is about the criminally wrongful act of insisting that immigrants to this country shouldn’t be forced to learn English.

As a sort of aside about political correctness, my daughter said that she tried to watch Robin William’s movie Hook. She thought that the premise — Peter Pan returns to Neverland as an adult — intriguing, but hated that the casting was manifestly done to meet a racial quota. There were carefully calibrated numbers of Asian, black, white, and Hispanic boys. She said “The acting was awful, even for a 90s movie, so it was obvious that they didn’t choose the best actors; they just chose actors to be the right race.”

All I could do was agree with her. I found the movie unwatchable back in the day and for the same reason. I added, because I can never resist moralizing, that political correctness destroys everything it touches: art, humor, free speech, creativity, education, etc.

What patriotism used to look like in the mainstream

Back in 1970, John Wayne hosted a July 4th special celebrating America. Can you imagine something like this being made nowadays for mainstream TV, staring mainstream stars? I can’t. It’s simply impossible to imagine:

Modern feminism has nothing to do with freedom or equality

My wonderful sister-in-law reminded me of a Tumblr site I’d meant to mention, but then forgot. It’s called Women Against Feminism, and has women explaining why they feel empowerment comes about when they’re not feminists.

I was speaking to a young Swede today who expressed surprise that I chose to stay home as much as possible to raise my own children, rather than go to work and have the state pay for some other women to raise my children. He said that, because of “equality” women are expected to work. He was even more surprised when I suggested that forcing women to work is just as bad as the old days, when women were refused the right to work. Both deny women the freedom of choice. That thought had never occurred to him.

Pictures

(Thanks to Caped Crusader for this amazing picture round-up.)

The Tea Party Conspiracy

Hamas speaks to Israel and CNN

Obama tells tales about Iraq

Slavery in Africa

Emperors foreign policy

Eisenhower on total security