Friday morning round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesRoger Simon is a little wrong when he talks about A&E’s decision to fire Phil Robertson violating the First Amendment.  Only government can violate the First Amendment.  Having said that, Simon is right about everything else, insofar as it boils down to this:  What we are seeing is the ascendency of the thought police who, through coercion, lies, threats, and economic pressure are stifling speech, thought, and religion in America.  Just because it’s not the government doing it doesn’t mean it’s not a bad, a very bad, thing, and that’s true whether or not you agree with Robertson’s statements.

Funnily enough, the media wasn’t bent out of shape at all back in the day when Al Sharpton called someone “a faggot” on air.  It’s not just the stifling political correctness, it’s the hypocrisy.

Incidentally, just as an aside here, Robertson was mostly quoting from the Bible.  Are the PC brigade, aided and abetted by the American media, now saying that all Biblical references are homophobic and must be banned.

A surprising source supports Robertson:  Harvey Levin, a gay, Jewish editor at TMZ who, to his great credit, fully understands what’s going on and is honest enough to admit it.  I doubt Levin and I are on the same page about many things, but today I admire him.

Claudia Rosett talks about the incredible dislocation that comes with being thrown off her insurance, including the problem of finding a new doctor.  What I haven’t seen anyone talk about is the disastrous burden being placed on doctors as they lose their old patients and, in one fell swoop, have to deal with dozens to hundreds of new patients.  The office work on new patients is overwhelming:  collecting medical history, doing the first (always long) exam, creating brand new files, dealing with new insurance claims, etc.  This is going to bury doctors and it’s going to lead to wait times that make Cuba and Britain look good.

Two on Obamacare:  Obama is no longer even hiding the fact that his illegal ukases are intended to help Democrats hide before the next election.  There is some humor to be derived from his desperate flailing.  His latest illegal directive is that the people who got kicked off of insurance they like are now allowed to purchase “catastrophic insurance,” which gives them less coverage for more money.  That’s bad enough, but there’s a funny part to it:  Obama claims he has the right to issue this rule because the law gives him power to issue emergency rules for man-caused disasters — and in this case, the man-caused disaster is Obamacare itself!

 

Is the New York Times trying to start a race war?

For the MSM, the George Zimmerman thing has turned out to be a bust.  With the exception of the fact that Trayvon Martin is still dead, everything the MSM first reported about the case has proven to be untrue.  Right about now, you’d think that the media would be engaged in some soul-searching and apologizing, but that assumes that MSM members have souls and consciences.  If you’ve made that assumption, you’ve proved, once again, that when you assume, you make an “ass” of “u” and “me.”

Because the media’s first effort at fomenting a race war seems to have failed, with only a few hapless white people suffering mob beat-downs, the MSM has gone back to the drawing board.  The first effort in the “if at first you don’t succeed” strategy is a New York Times article about a killing in Georgia.  Again, a white man shot a young black man.  I hope you appreciate how beautifully the Times uses passive voice in the first paragraph (emphasis mine):

LYONS, Ga. — Norman Neesmith was sleeping in his home on a rural farm road here in onion country when a noise woke him up.

He grabbed the .22-caliber pistol he kept next to his bed and went to investigate. He found two young brothers who had been secretly invited to party with an 18-year-old relative he had raised like a daughter and her younger friend. The young people were paired up in separate bedrooms. There was marijuana and sex.

Over the course of the next confusing minutes on a January morning in 2011, there would be a struggle. The young men would make a terrified run for the door. Mr. Neesmith, who is 62 and white, fired four shots. One of them hit Justin Patterson, who was 22 and black.

The bullet pierced his side, and he died in Mr. Neesmith’s yard. His younger brother, Sha’von, then 18, ran through the onion fields in the dark, frantically trying to call his mother.

The dead boy’s parents are wondering why they didn’t get the full Al Sharpton treatment. Reading through the article, you discover that there are two reasons.  First, a year ago, when this tragedy unfolded, Al Sharpton and his cadre hadn’t yet figured out that they could get substantial mileage out of a white on black killing.  Second, it’s too late now, because the actual facts are out there, and they don’t leave either the race hustlers or the MSM much with which to work.  Even the Times acknowledges that the known facts run counter to the “white people are murderous KKK/Nazi killers” meme:

Still, like so many other crimes where race might be a factor, this one is not so clear-cut. Mr. Neesmith says he felt threatened. He says he aches for the parents but believes none of this would have happened if the young men had not been in his house when they should not have been.

“I think about it every day. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever been through,” Mr. Neesmith said as he stood in the doorway of his home. “In two minutes it just went bad. If you ain’t never shot nobody, you don’t want to do it, I’m telling you.”

In the backyard, a pool was ready for neighborhood kids — both black and white — who he said loved to come over after school for a swim. Mr. Neesmith, a former school bus driver, and his late wife had been foster parents to dozens of children.

They took in a great-niece, who has a black parent, when she was a baby. She is now 19 and admitted to investigators that she invited Justin Patterson to their trailer home that night, timing it so Mr. Neesmith would be asleep. The two had been flirting on Facebook and in texts.

When Mr. Neesmith pulled the young men out of the bedrooms, he threatened to call the younger girl’s grandfather, according to court documents and interviews. He asked the two, who both have young daughters, why they were not home with their children. He ranted and waved the gun around.

So the brothers made a run for it. By all accounts, while the younger one struggled to unlock a side door, the older one shoved Mr. Neesmith.

Let me summarize those unclear facts:  Neesmith has raised a half-black child (or would she be white/black?) and his home was a meeting spot for both black and white youngsters.  He thought he had a break-in (explaining the gun), then he noticed that the child he was raising was doing sex and illegal drugs in his home (explaining the anger), and then one of the two young men (i.e., not one weeny little guy, but two young men) in his home started pushing him around.  Further investigation showed that the other girl was 14, adding statutory rape to the illegal conduct within his house.

Given these facts, why in the world does the Times say, “like so many other crimes where race might be a factor”?  (And equally importantly, why doesn’t the Times say, more correctly, “As with some many other crimes in which race might be a factor”?)  It turns out that the Times had to do some reaching:

That race played a significant part is not hard to imagine here in a county that was named after Robert Toombs, a general and one of the organizers of the Confederate government. A black woman has never been named Miss Vidalia Onion in the annual festival that begins Thursday. And until last year in neighboring Montgomery County, there were two proms — one for whites and one for blacks.

What!?  No black Miss Vidalia Onion?  My God!  The whole county should be sent to jail.  And separate proms?  Well, clearly a white person is going to kill a black person.  Especially a white person who is raising a black-white person.

With too much time having passed by, and too many facts instantly available in a small Georgia community, Al Sharpton and the MSM race hustlers never had a chance.  The bereaved parents will have to mourn their child’s passing without benefit of race riots on his behalf.

Incidentally, I’ve been paying attention over the past couple of weeks to the crime stories in the San Francisco Chronicle.  Sadly, they have included several reports tell about people of color who were shot,* one while he was pushing his child’s stroller.  Strangely, none of these stories have excited comment in the larger, national media, nor has Al Sharpton dropped by to offer his condolences.  I leave you to figure out why the telling silence.

___________________________

*Oceanview is a primarily minority neighborhood, so I’m making an educated guess that the man who was shot was a minority.

The real message behind the race hustlers’ manipulation of the Trayvon Martin killing *UPDATED*

The usual crowd of race hustlers, including Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the New Black Panthers and Barack Obama, have been making as much hay as possible out of Trayvon Martin’s death.  Clearly, they think that this episode has ballot potential in November.  I can see only one way in which it does have that potential, and I’ll get to that in a minute.  But first, a few reasons why I think their ham-handed attempt to paint America as a racist nation will be a bust.

First, in terms of characterizing America as a racist nation, the fact that we have a black president kind of, sort of, a little bit, makes it stupid to try to paint a whole nation with the “racism” brush just because a big Hispanic man in a bad neighborhood pulled a gun on a big black guy in the same neighborhood.  That’s true whether the killing was motivated by self-defense, insanity, or racism.

Second, people are beginning to catch on to the media’s games.  In a way, it’s useful that the Martin killing followed on the heels of the Toulouse massacre.  It’s a reminder that the media has a few templates for murder:  When a black person dies at the hands of a non-black person, it’s a front-page racially motivated crime.  When a non-black person dies at the hands of black person, it’s a bottom of page 27 story.  And when a Muslim kills people while shouting “Allah is great,” Islam has nothing to do with it.  Here, the media is sticking to its narrative with regard to both the Martin and Mohammed stories, despite pesky little details that put the lie to the media narratives.

Third, this was a one-person crime.  Zimmerman didn’t belong to a White (or Hispanic) Supremacist movement.  He wasn’t a corrupt small town sheriff.  This wasn’t just another in a long line of racially motivated murders in the same community.  It’s awfully hard to make a serious case for institutional American racism based on a sordid neighborhood dispute.

Fourth, crying “racism” is losing its impact.  I read the other day (and I can’t remember where) that every time the President dips into the strategic oil reserves, the price of fuel drops.  But here’s the kicker:  With each successive release of oil from the reserves, the price drop has less staying power than it did during the previous release.  Within an ever shorter time, fuel prices return to the price at which they were before the President used the reserves.  In other words, the market is getting smarter at recognizing that the sudden influx of oil is a Band-Aid fix that doesn’t repair the deep problems with our oil supplies — so prices remain the same.  With the racism cry, there’s a similar phenomenon:  Americans are getting smarter at recognizing that the sudden screams of racism have nothing to do with the fact that America is, overall, a non-racist country, something that is true regardless of pockets of racism that may pop out here and there.

There you have it:  four very good reasons why the bleats of “racism” are not going to convince Americans that they are still deeply racist and that they must reelect Barack Obama to continue to expiate their sin.

However, I’m not sure directing manifestly false insults at the America people is really going on here.  I think the New Black Panthers gave the real game away when the announced a bounty on Zimmerman’s head (dead or alive.)  What the race hustlers are telling Americans is that, if they don’t reelect Barack Obama, there’s going to be rioting on the streets, and that those who haven’t gotten with the pro-race program, can expect to have a bounty placed on their heads (dead or alive).

This isn’t about racism; this is about threatening American voters.

That’s all.

UPDATE: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton, who has a real knack for connecting the dots, has collected all the dots into a single post and come to pretty much the same conclusion I did.

The Trayvon Martin killing, while sadly generic, is twisted into a platform for the Left’s usual crew of race mongers *UPDATED*

Sequestered here on the Left Coast I hadn’t paid any attention to the Trayvon Martin murder.  Today, though, it forced itself into the forefront of my brain.  As the media spins the story, it’s a horrific case of a very wholesome, very young black man cruelly executed in a “safe,” “white” neighborhood by a ferocious non-black man (sold by some as white, admitted by others to be Hispanic), with the man clearly acting in a racial fury.

Here are reports on some other racial fury the story, as the media sold it, has stirred:

Fla. shooting stirs memories of civil rights era

Sharpton, seeking to relive his glory days, gets involved.

Farrakhan, seeking to relive his glory days, gets involved.

High school students, seeking to relive their elder’s glory days, get involved.

What’s missing from all this racial hysteria in Obama’s America is the truth.  I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that the truth does not involve a wholesome black boy, in a “safe,” “white” neighborhood, randomly killed for being black by a non-black man.  Instead, the truth involves a very large black kid on a five day suspension from school, in a dangerous, mixed-race neighborhood, pounding a Hispanic man into the ground.  Whether the Hispanic man was sufficiently in fear of his life to justify a self-defense shooting remains to be seen.  What’s clear, though, is that the media narrative is a lie.

I leave it to all of you to figure out why this story was the platform for the big lies.  Is Obama’s base quietly deserting him?  I don’t think the numbers support that.  Is the media trying to deflect attention from more significant stories about Obama Administration failures and malfeasance?  This seems like a peculiar way to go about it.  Were Sharpton and Farrakhan bored and looking to stir things up a little?  That, actually, I can believe.  These men are increasingly marginalized by the younger generation of agitators.  Perhaps these are the last roars of the old lions.

UPDATE:  For those who thought I was being reflexively anti-Obama when I made reference to “Obama’s America,” I wasn’t.  Right on cue, Obama waded in, with language more temperate than he used when the Henry Louis Gates story broke, but still obviously siding with the race mongers:

“If I had a son he would have looked like Treyvon,” Obama said shortly, addressing the victim’s parents. “I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness that this deserves and that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”

Obama is now, and always will be, a racist: that is, he views everything through a racial prism, and seems unable to believe or understand that, for most people, race is only one small part of the myriad biological, genetic, and social factors that make them who they are and that guide what they do.

Obama and socialism

I warned people close to me (mother, sister, etc.) that Obama was a socialist and they laughed at me and (quite lovingly, because they’re my mom and my sister) called me “extreme.”  I wonder if they would have laughed at Al Sharpton too, now that he’s finally let the cat out of the bag:

Al Sharpton isn’t the only one coming out of the woodwork.  David Leonhardt, writing with the New York Times’ approving imprimatur, spells out precisely what’s going on:

For all the political and economic uncertainties about health reform, at least one thing seems clear: The bill that President Obama signed on Tuesday is the federal government’s biggest attack on economic inequality since inequality began rising more than three decades ago.

Read the rest of Leonhardt’s euphoric socialist economic polemic here.

Stop me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the liberal media and the pundits go ballistic when all of us said that Obama’s statement to Joe the Plumber about “spreading the wealth” was a purely socialist notion?  They just think it’s a good thing that it should be the government’s responsibility to, hmm, let me see if I’ve got this right: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”  Quiz those pundits and media-crities and they might suggest some authors for that famous expression.  Was that Adam Smith who said that?  No.  Reagan?  No.  Jefferson?  No.  Tell me that it was Karl Marx, the founder of modern socialism, and I bet they’d be surprised.

Finally, all the pieces have come together, and the MSM is still urging us to avert our heads and not to listen.

I’m sorry this post is incoherent, but I’m irritated, and still trying to get my thoughts organized right now.