Sunday, September 30, 2007
The characterization of Mugabe as a good man gone wrong extends to popular culture as well. ...
But this popular conception of Mugabe -- propagated by the liberals who championed him in the 1970s and 1980s -- is absolutely wrong. From the beginning of his political career, Mugabe was not just a Marxist but one who repeatedly made clear his intention to run Zimbabwe as an authoritarian, one-party state. Characteristic of this historical revisionism is former Newsweek southern Africa correspondent Joshua Hammer, writing recently in the liberal Washington Monthly that "more than a quarter-century after leading his guerrilla army to victory over the racist regime of Ian Smith in white-minority-ruled Rhodesia, President Robert Mugabe has morphed into a caricature of the African Big Man."
But Mugabe did not "morph" into "a caricature of the African Big Man." He has been one since he took power in 1980 -- and he displayed unmistakable authoritarian traits well before that. Those who were watching at the time should have known what kind of man Mugabe was, and the fact that so many today persist in the contention that Mugabe was a once-benign ruler speaks much about liberal illusions of African nationalism....
All the participants in the Rhodesian war used vicious tactics. But Mugabe displayed a particular ruthlessness that ought to have indicated what sort of ruler he might one day become. In 1978, four black moderates announced that they had reached an "internal settlement" with the white regime, paving the way for democratic elections. One of these leaders, Ndabaningi Sithole, dispatched 39 envoys to meet representatives of Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo, another guerrilla leader. The envoys were captured, murdered and, according to Time magazine, "their bodies were then laid out by the guerrillas in a grisly line at the side of the road as a warning to local tribespeople."
The following year, in protest of the election that then-Premier Ian Smith had organized with black leaders willing to lay down their arms, Mugabe's organization released a death list naming 50 "Zimbabwean black bourgeoisie, traitors, fellow-travelers and puppets of the Ian Smith regime, opportunistic running-dogs and other capitalist vultures." During those elections, Mugabe and Nkomo's forces killed 10 black civilians attempting to vote. Mugabe's men also blew up a Woolworth's store and massacred Catholic missionaries.
And of course the NYT Times, careful to maintain it's record of being the mouthpiece of every Marxist dictator in the planet had this to say:
"Mr. Mugabe has quickly established himself as an African statesman of the first rank."
The media already had its villain -- Rhodesia's intractable whites -- and portraying Mugabe as just another African strongman bent on turning his country into a one-party dictatorship would have complicated the story of good versus evil.
Massacres In Burma?
Burma: Thousands dead in the massacre of the monks dumped in the jungle
Thousands of protesters are dead and the bodies of hundreds of executed monks have been dumped in the jungle, a former intelligence officer for Burma's ruling junta has revealed.
The most senior official to defect so far, Hla Win, said: 'Many more people have been killed in recent days than you've heard about. The bodies can be counted in several thousand.'
Mr Win, who spoke out as a Swedish diplomat predicted that the revolt has failed, said he fled when he was ordered to take part in a massacre of holy men. He has now reached the border with Thailand.
If this is true it serves as a lesson. Revolts can be successful if the rulers are prepared to give up power. But if the regime is ruthless enough, revolts will fail.
More Jokes My Brother Sent Me
2. The Constitution
3. The Ten Commandments
C O W S Is it just me, or does anyone
else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our
government could track a single cow, born in Canada
almost three years ago, right to the stall where she
slept in the state of Washington? And, they tracked her
calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 11
million illegal aliens wandering around our country.
Maybe we should give each of them a cow.
T H E C O N S T I T U T I O N
They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq.
Why don't we just give them ours?
It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it has
worked for over 200 years, and we're not using it
T H E 1 0 C O M M A N D M E N T S
The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments
posted in a courthouse is this: You cannot post "Thou Shalt
Not Steal," "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery," and "Thou
Shall Not Lie" in a building full of lawyers, judges and
politicians...It creates a hostile work environment
More Jokes My Brother Sent Me
Number One Idiot of 2006
I am a medical student currently doing a rotation in toxicology at the poison control center. Today, this woman called in very upset because she caught her little daughter eating ants. I quickly reassured her that the ants are not harmful and there would be no need to bring her daughter into the hospital. She calmed down and at the end of the conversation happened to mention that she gave her daughter some ant poison to eat in order to kill the ants. I told her that she better bring her daughter into the emergency room right away.
Here's your sign, lady. Wear it with pride.
Number Two Idiot of 2006
Early this year, some Boeing employees on the airfield decided to steal a life raft from one of the 747s. They were successful in getting it out of the plane and home. Shortly after they took it for a float on the river, they noticed a Coast Guard helicopter coming towards them. It turned out that the chopper was homing in on the emergency locator beacon that activated when the raft was inflated. They are no longer employed at Boeing.
Here's your sign, guys. Don't get it wet; the paint
Number Three Idiot of 2006
A man, wanting to rob a downtown Bank of America, walked into the Branch and wrote this, "Put all your muny in this bag." While standing in line, waiting to give his note to the teller, he began to worry that someone had seen him write the note and might call the police before he reached
the teller's window. So he left the Bank of America and crossed the street to the Wells Fargo Bank. After waiting a few minutes in line, he handed his note to the Wells Fargo teller. She read it and, surmising from his spelling errors that he wasn't the brightest light in the harbor, told him that she could not accept his stickup note because it was written on a Bank of America deposit slip and that he would either have to fill out a Wells Fargo deposit slip or go back to Bank of America. Looking somewhat defeated, the man said, "OK" and left. He was arrested a few minutes later, as he was waiting in line back at Bank of America .
Don't bother with this guy's sign. He probably couldn't read it anyway.
Number Four Idiot of 2006
A motorist was unknowingly caught in an automated speed trap that; measured his speed using radar and photographed his car. He later received in the mail a ticket for $40 and a photo of his car. Instead of payment, he sent the police department a photograph of $40. Several days later, he received a letter from the police that contained another picture, this time of handcuffs. He immediately mailed in his $40.
Wise guy........ but you still get a sign
Number Five Idiot of 2006
A guy walked into a little corner store with a shotgun and demanded all of the cash from the cash drawer. After the cashier put the cash in a bag, the robber saw a bottle of Scotch that he wanted behind the counter on the shelf. He told the cashier to put it in the bag as well, but the cashier refused and said, "Because I don't believe you are over 21." The robber said he was, but the clerk still refused to give it to him because she didn't believe him. At this point, the robber took his driver's license out of his wallet and gave it to the clerk. The clerk looked it over and agreed that the man was in fact over 21 and she put the Scotch in the bag. The robber then ran from the store with his loot. The cashier promptly called the police and gave the name and address of the robber that he got off the license. They arrested the robber two hours later.
This guy definitely needs a sign.
Idiot Number Six of 2006
A pair of Michigan robbers entered a record shop nervously waving revolvers. The first one shouted, "Nobody move!" When his partner moved, the startled first bandit shot him.
This guy doesn't even deserve a sign
IDIOTS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD:
I live in a semi-rural area. (probably Weyauwega , Wisconsin ) We recently had a new neighbor call the local township administrative office to request the removal of the Deer Crossing sign on our road. The reason: "Too many deer are being hit by cars out here! - I don't think this is a good place for them to be crossing anymore."
From Kingman , KS
IDIOTS IN FOOD SERVICE:
My daughter went to a local Taco Bell and ordered a taco. She asked the person behind the counter for "minimal lettuce." He said he was sorry, but they only had iceberg lettuce. He was a Chef?
Yep...From Kansas City
I was at the airport, checking in at the gate when an airport employee asked, "Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?" I replied, "If it w as without my knowledge, how would I know?" He smiled knowingly and nodded, "That's why we ask."
Happened in Birmingham , Ala.
The stoplight on the corner buzzes when its safe to cross the street I was crossing with an intellectually challenged coworker of mine. She asked if I knew what the buzzer was for. I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red. Appalled, she responded , "What on earth are blind people doing driving?!"
She was a probation officer in Wichita , KS
IDIOT SIGHTING :
At a good-bye luncheon for an old and dear coworker. She was leaving the company due to" downsizing." Our manager commented cheerfully, "This is fun. We should do this more often." Not another word was spoken. We all just looked at each other with that deer-in-the-headlights stare. This was a bunch at Texas Instruments.
I work with an individual who plugged her power strip back into itself and for the sake of her own life, couldn't understand why her system would not turn on.
A deputy with the Dallas County Sheriffs office no less.
When my husband and I arrived at an automobile dealership to pick up our car, we were told the keys had been locked in it. We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the drivers side door. As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked. "Hey," I announced to the technician, "its open!" His reply, "I know - I already got that side."
This was at the CHEVY dealership in Canton , Mississippi !
A Saudi man divorced his wife for watching alone a television programme presented by a male, an act he deemed immoral, the Al Shams newspaper reported on Saturday.
The man, whom the paper did not identify, ended his marriage on the grounds his wife was effectively alone with an unrelated man, which is forbidden under the strict Islamic law enforced in the ultra-conservative kingdom, the paper said.
Men in Saudi Arabia have the authority to divorce their wives without resort to the courts.
But that still allows them to watch The View.
I’m beginning to think the time has come to see more of this. So long as MSM “reporters” are acting like George Soros-funded attack ads in pancake makeup and mousse, there’s no reason for Republicans Reps to provide them with on-air access.
If the media is no longer interested in even pretending toward objectivity and fairness, why should Congressional representatives continue to lend legitimacy to this theater of the (odiously and obviously) absurd?
I have long maintained that if you allow yourself to be used as a verbal punching bag by the Drive By Media you should stop. It's not true in politics that you don't care what they say about you as long as they spell your name right. It is foolish and counterproductive to get suckerpunched by the media.
How do you know you'll get suckerpunched? The odds are good that anyone in the Drive by Media is a liberal and is not interested in making you look good. Some may be strive for fairness, but they all have their biases, that is human nature. So there should be a few rules for Conservatives and Republicans (they are not the same) if they are asked to be interviewed.
First, if in doubt, refuse.
Second, if you are going to appear, do a practice session beforehand. It is amazing but true that most politicians are not usually very good at debate. The floors of the House and Senate don’t really lend themselves to give the kind of debate you get in the British House of Commons. Here we have speakers reading their prepared remarks to mostly empty chambers.
There are some exceptions. Newt Gingrich is an excellent debater for our side; Barney Frank is also very good. Most are awful. That is why it’s a mistake to go into an interview without thorough research on the person doing the interview, the topic for discussion, a thorough practice session with someone who will throw you hostile questions and a willingness to shoot back. Showing weakness, being defensive or appearing flustered signals the reporter that he can close in for the kill. Fire back and there is a good chance you will either cause the reporter to back down or at least make the interview a draw.
Finally, the public image of the Drive By Media is now tarnished sufficiently to allow a Conservative to run as much against the media as against his opponent. It may sound Machiavellian, but there may be a good campaign strategy that can be built around branding your opponent as a lapdog of the local – and often hated – media monopoly and then running against the media organs. If the Left can run against effectively against Big Tobacco or Big Oil, how much more effective can be a campaign against the "elite, effete snobs.”who look down their noses at the “little people like you from their gilded palaces who try to tell you what to do and think everyday.”
So we have a discussion what it mean when Ahmadinejad claimed that there are no homosexuals in Iran, and furthermore that
a current professor at Columbia has argued that there are no homosexuals in the entire Arab world, except for a few who have been brainwashed into believing they have a homosexual identity by an aggressive Western homosexual missionizing movement he calls "Gay International."
I always like reading the comments that follow, such as:
Elliott, thanks for the correction. On your other point, Ahmadinejad also clearly didn't mean that no one in Iran ever engages in homosexual activity. But he actually goes less far than Massad, because he just claims the category of homosexual doesn't exist in Iran. Massad acknowledges that it does exist in the Arab world, but claims that it has nothing to with self-actualization/realization, and everything to do with Western cultural imperialism, against which oppression of homosexuals is apparently just proper cultural self-defense.
But in the end I am reminded of this joke I posted recently:
A priest, a lawyer and an engineer are sentenced to death. The priest is asked whether he would like to face the guillotine face up or face down. He chooses face up. The blade starts down and stops inches from the priest’s neck. Thinking it is a sign from God, the executioner sets him free.
Next it’s the lawyer’s turn. He also chooses face up and the blade again stops just short of his neck. He too is set free.
Last, it’s the engineer’s turn. Like those before him he chooses face up. As the executioner reaches to release the blade, suddenly the engineer blurts out, “Wait, I think I see your problem!”
There is in certain professions a dreamlike escape from reality.
Justice Clarence Thomas has written an autobiography called My Grandfather's Son. The book ends with his swearing in as a Supreme Court Justice. It covers in detail Thomas's confirmation hearings, in which he was accused at the last minute of sexually harassing Antia Hill years earlier. Hill had not complained about Thomas's behavior at the time or for years thereafter (there was no mention of any of this when Thomas was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals), and her allegations were unsubstantiated. Yet 48 Senators voted against his confirmation.
The Washington Post, however, seems taken aback that Thomas has written uncharitably of those who tried to assassinate his character. Here's how Robert Barnes, Michael Fletcher, and Kevin Merida begain their story about Thomas's book:Justice Clarence Thomas settles scores in an angry and vivid forthcoming memoir, scathingly condemning the media, the Democratic senators who opposed his nomination to the Supreme Court, and the "mob" of liberal elites and activist groups that he says desecrated his life.
The Virginian Pilot, Paul Krugman and Blackwater
That's why I was struck today by Krugman's full throated attack on Blackwater as an illegal, murderous and unnecessary group of killer thugs and the Pilot's front page story on Blackwater. The link I provided is to a website called "Economist's View" since the Pilot does not have Krugman's rant on it's online website.
What was ironic is that earlier today I found an article that went into great detail about the NY Times' hired goons in Iraq terrorizing an Iraqi citizen , beating him and threatening him with death. The man is unfortunate enough to own a building next to the Times HQ in Baghdad.
I wonder if Krugman will comment on "his" thugs in next week's column.
Virginian Pilot's View of Diversity
recently discussed the importance of reflecting the myriad aspects of diversity in our pages. The presentation was part of a larger company-wide "Leveraging Difference" initiative.
The panel was composed of
an African-American female feature writer, a white female sports writer and Kim, a male South Korean native
Do you see any group that is not represented in this "diversity panel" at the Virginian Pilot?
I'm sure that Marvin Lake would say that this group represented enough diversity.
Like a said, Marvin Lake looks like a nice guy. A very "diverse" person.
Labels: Virginian Pilot
It seems that the local management of the NY Times office in Baghdad has been making death threats against a man trying to open a store in property he owns next to the building rented by the NY Times:
Friday November 14th, about 1:30PM - Ali went to our property adjacent to your Baghdad office with two workmen. Per a previous understanding with your security guards he parked where they told him to park about 30m distance. He then walked to our property and entered the house with his two workmen. Up to this point Ali's actions were with the knowledge and permission of your guards.
A few minutes later Basim arrived in front of the house and dressed down the guards for allowing Ali access. At this time Ali was inside our house and the guards and Basim were outside the house. The conversation was audible through the windows. Ali then came out to investigate the disturbance.
Basim began shouting at my brother. He used foul language. At some point Basim grabbed a rifle from a guard, pointed it at my brother's head and said "I shoot you and shoot your car if I see you here again." Ali replied "There is no law that prevents my access to my property." While still holding the rife to my brothers head, Basim replied "Let the law protect you" and knocked my brother to the ground.
Basim concluded by stating "You Iraqis, there is no way to talk to you except by using force"
Susan Sachs, the chief of the NY Times bureau has apparently shrugged her shoulders, "whatever" and walked away from this violent confrontation.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Fellow students, distinguished faculty, and honored guest; I'm Emily Peterson of the Enormous State University Student Union, and I would like to welcome all to another exciting and educational installment of ESU's Distinguished Guest Lecture Series. Today we are honored to present the remarks of His Excellency Gromulak, Overlord Chieftan of the R'Qqharbian Cess-Mutants.
[raucous applause, cheering]
Before we begin, I would like to remind all of you of the audience ground rules. First, please turn off all cell phones and pagers. Second, expressions of intolerance -- placards, demonstrations, coughing, or sudden movements of any kind -- will not be tolerated. Third, His Excellency has requested that all non-mutant Wo-Mans in menses cycle conceal themselves beneath an R'Qqharbian Shroud of Disgrace, which are available in the ballroom lobby. Your cooperation in following these rules will ensure a learning environment of open free speech. I would also remind you that violators will be escorted from the hall. To present Mr. Gromulak, please welcome President Whitworth.
[smattered applause, hisses]
ESU President Sandy Whitworth
Thank you, Emily. Some twenty-five years ago, when the first R'Qqharbian mutant beings emerged from the sewage treatment plant on West Campus drive, I was a young First Amendment scholar at the ESU School of Law. It was a dark era, with voices across Collegeburg calling for confrontation and conflict with our new campus neighbors. These voices grew louder after the unfortunate hostage misunderstanding of 1986. These were the voices of irrational fears - fear of community diversity, fear of the multi-mandible Other, fear of paralysis venom, fear of being dragged beneath a sewage pit to serve as a mutant egg-host. But I also remember with pride how the ESU community banded together to fight for Cess-Mutant rights. We held teach-ins. We surrounded the treatment plant to prevent the draining of the R’Qqharbians' habitat. We created ESU's prestigious Center for Subterranean Mutant Studies. Together we showed that peacefully coexistence could be achieved through dialog, underderstanding, and an occasional gift of livestock carcasses.
It is with that same sense of pride that I welcome all of you to today's lecture. As you know, this event has not been without controversy. Many of the same voices that sought to confront out Cess-Mutant neighbors 25 years ago, like Campus Security Chief Ray Warren...
Fuck you, Ray!
He is now in the process of defending the fake documents Dan Rather used to "prove" George Bush shirked his Texas Air National Guard duty. He is doing this by attacking Charles Johnson, creator of Little Green Footballs, who was instrumental in proving the Rather documents were fakes.
Charles - perhaps the pivotal blogger in the unmasking of Rather for having duplicated the forged document, supposedly written on a period Selectric, with Microsoft Word and then matching his creation and the copy perfectly with a gif file - appropriately laughs off Blumenthal's accusation with the back of the hand.
But I would like to add a bit more - because I am probably among the few people on the planet who actually knows both men. I had dinner with Blumenthal back in the Eighties when a mutual friend, thinking we had things in common (we did then), introduced us. Charles, as many reading this are aware, I came to know through blogging and the formation of Pajamas Media.
So here's my take:
What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the most classical cases of projection I have ever read. Sidney Blumenthal - the consummate insider, a man who has not changed his world view or Beltway allegiances for decades - cannot conceive independent citizens like Charles Johnson exist. It has to be some kind of orchestrated plot, some nefarious clandestine campaign, because that is the way Sidney knows life to be. But, luckily for the rest of us, it's not.
So what's the accusation Sid Vicious is making?
Within minutes of the conclusion of the broadcast, conservative bloggers launched a counterattack. The chief of these critics was a Republican Party activist in Georgia. Almost certainly, these bloggers, who had been part of meetings or conference calls organized by Karl Rove's political operation, coordinated their actions with Rove's office.
Which is so looney, it leads to a post back in 2005 by Tim Blair which is laugh-out-loud funny
ROVE'S BRILLIANT PLAN
Democrat congressman Maurice Hinchey, speaking on CNN, persists with the idea that Karl Rove devised the fake Rathergate memos:
It doesn’t take an awful lot of imagination if you’re thinking about who it is that might have produced these false documents to try to mislead people in this very cynical way. It would take someone very brilliant, very cynical, very Machiavellian, and it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to come up with the name of Karl Rove as a possibility of having done that.
Is Karl Rove truly that brilliant? Using contemporaneous reports and several eye-witness sources, this site is able to reconstruct the events of last August at Evil Rove Headquarters, located many miles beneath the earth’s surface:
(Rove enters the Chamber of Destruction and greets his assembled operatives)
Rove: Gentlemen. Ladies. Mr. Gannon. Mr. Murdoch.
(Various responses: “Hiya!” “Howdy.” “G’day.")
Rove: People, you have done good work. You have tirelessly attempted to undermine John Kerry’s bid for the presidency. And yet the latest polling shows that Kerry may still win.
(Murmured complaints: “Dang!” “This is soooo not happening.” “Can’t compete with a Magic Hat.")
Rove: Silence! I cannot tell you how much this disappoints and angers me.
(An assistant appears at Rove’s side with a baseball bat. He is waved away)
Rove: But now is not the time for fault-finding, or skull-crushing. Now is the time for action. Serious action. In fact, the most serious action it is possible for us to undertake.
Murdoch: You don’t mean ... ?
Rove: Yes. It is time for us to deploy the Doomsday Device.
(Several reel from the table in shock; two are ill)
Rove: Mr. Gannon, please fetch the Device. And put some pants on, for God’s sake.
Gannon: Y-yes sir. Right away, Mr. Karl, sir.
(Gannon exits the room; the anxious conspirators listen as the sound of several vaults being sequentially opened echoes throughout the Chamber. Presently Gannon returns, carrying a briefcase)
Rove: Open it.
(Gannon enters the security code—DAILYKOS—and the briefcase springs ajar. Looking away in fear and torment, he nudges the briefcase towards Rove)
Rove: And now it is time. Time to unveil our most hideous, most perfect plan. (Rove grips the briefcase with both hands) Do you people truly know of the evil that man can attain? Do you know of the Dark Lord’s majesty? Do you know of a terror so sublime that any lesser atrocity—Salem; the Holocaust; our coming assassination and cannibalism of the Pope—will from this point on make you giggle like little girls? Behold!
(Rove removes from the briefcase several sheets of paper. He studies them intently; every eye in the room is trained upon him. Finally, Rove speaks ...)
Rove: This is the frickin’ Doomsday Device? A bunch of bogus National Guard memos? What the hell?
Clarence Thomas: Well, what we thought we’d do, see, was hand these over to the media and ...
Rove: Oh, come on! These are dated 1972 but they’re in Microsoft Word! Hellloooo! You think anybody in their right mind will fall for these? Oh, look here; you haven’t even changed the default settings! Why, I could type these up at home!
Ann Coulter: With respect, sir, the plan was to ...
Rove: Plan? Plan? Listen, legs, this plan wouldn’t fool a Kennedy! Or a crack-addicted homeless person! This so-called plan wouldn’t rate a segment on Air America! This plan I’m looking at wouldn’t be posted at Democratic goddamn Underground! This half-assed, retard plan isn’t worth the ...
Hugh Hewitt: Actually, we were thinking of giving the memos to Dan Rather.
He begins his argument with a headline which carries a message, but reads strangely for someone who is a professional writer:
“Multiply sense of betrayal by 388 years.”I read that and went “Huh?” But knowing Mr. Pitts, I intuited his meaning and it goes something like this:
“Black people have been oppressed by white people in this country for 388 years and we continue to be oppressed and you will have to make it up to me!”
He uses the events at Jena to prove his point that black people continue to be treated unfairly in this country. He may have a point, but unfortunately for him, Jena is not a good example.
To begin with, he describes the attack of the white youth by six black youths this way:
“they gave a white kid a black eye and knocked him out.”Well, no, that’s not exactly what happened. According to the witnesses, the six knocked the white kid out and then proceeded to stomp him while he was unconscious. The Shreveport Times reports:
According to court documents, someone hit Barker from behind, knocking him out, then others began to kick and stomp his "lifeless" body. He spent about three hours in a local emergency room for treatment of injuries to his head and face.The same article gives us an insight into the history of one of the attackers, a football star by the name of Mychal Bell who has a history of committing violent crimes. But as is often the case with sports stars, he was given a pass by the school and his coach. We need go back no further in our memories than O.J. Simpson and Michael Vick to understand that star athletes are often protected from the consequences of their actions, and as a result sometimes commit violence.
And regarding Barker’s injuries, they apparently cost the family $12,000 which is more that the cost to treat a black eye.
Mr. Pitts’ grievance – and the grievance of those who marched in Jena and wrote articles in support of the “Jena Six” – is that the punishment of the defendants was too harsh. That seemed reasonable based on the way the crime was characterized by Mr. Pitts: a schoolyard tussle with the victim getting a black eye. But now that more information has gotten out, it seems that Mr. Pitts is trying to carry his argument with a lie. And the previous record of one of the defendants becomes much more important.
Writing as “Patterico” an LA prosecutor says this:
As a prosecutor, I can tell you that the most important factors in the treatment of any criminal defendant are (1) the seriousness of the current offense, and (2) the nature of the defendant’s prior criminal history — with a special focus on similar actions.There are some other pieces of this puzzle in Searching for Facts. Could the infamous nooses have something to do with a football game and not race?
It is not a “minor” detail that a person charged with a violent crime has a criminal history, including four previous violent crimes.
The square at Jena High School has been known for the center of school spirit and/or pranks for many years. I've seen everything from "funerals" of opponent football teams to the tree and surrounding area covered with toilet tissue. Jena High School is known for themed activities surrounding football games. This particular week, JHS was playing a team in which the mascot is Cowboys! Hence, the nooses in the tree..."hang'em high!" Not for one moment did the thought of racism cross my mind or the majority of the others. It was football season. We were playing the cowboys. The kids, girls and boys, wore boots to school and had a western themed pep rally! Nooses = cowboys and horse theives in my world. Maybe I've watched too much Gunsmoke, but racism was not even a thought. Due to the reaction of ADULTS in the black community, not the kids at the school, the boys were suspended. The entire punishment for those boys was never published because of the confidentiality of the issue. However, the boys were suspended. They and their families were required to go to counseling. The boys had hours of community service. The boys and their families continue to receive threatening phone calls, but yet no one has addressed that issue.
I doubt if Mr. Pitts would even entertain the thought. Perhaps because I have not been drenched in racial defensiveness all of my life, when I see a noose, I think of Western movies. When Mr. Pitts sees a noose he sees a black lynching. In fact, he is paid to think of blacks being lynched, but more on that later.
Mr. Pitts correspondent then refers to examples more recent than 1619 to point out that racism is now a two way street:
You sound like the typical Black guy crying ''victim.'' Leonard, you list instances of Black injustice and I'm sure there are many. However have you forgot about O.J.? He got away with murder Leonard. He killed his white wife! . . . Or how about Sharpton and the Brawley case? . . . Or the Duke case. . . . I could go on and onMr. Pitts replies:
Anyway, you were one of a number of readers who wrote to remind me of Simpson. If the point of your reference to him, Tawana Brawley and the Duke lacrosse case was that the justice system has repeatedly and historically mistreated whites, too, on the basis of race, I'm sorry, but that's absurd. Not that those cases were not travesties. They were. And if those travesties leave you outraged, well, I share that feeling.
Why are those cases “absurd?” Was OJ acquitted because he was innocent or because the black jury decided that they were not going to convict this particular black football hero? Wasn’t the whole Tawana Brawley hoax about race; about white guys attacking a black girl because of her race? Wasn’t the Duke Lacrosse rape-hoax about furthering a theme of rich white jocks versus poor black women? If it was about something else, why did a rape case in Durham, North Carolina end up on the national news with banner headlines in the NY Times?
OK, Mr. Pitts says, those cases may have been travesties. And he shares that feeling. Then perhaps he can refer me to articles that he has written that provide evidence that he shares the feeling. That should not be too hard for a race writer writing about some of the highest profile race-charged cases that occurred while he was working up to his Pulitzer.
The sad fact is that there is money to be made in the race business and that’s the reason it’s not going away anytime soon. Jesse Jackson has made millions for himself and his family by the simple expedient of extorting it. So has Al Sharpton. And Mr. Pitts is making a very good living writing about the plight of the black man. Every time they can find a case, or manufacture a case, they will because that’s the way they make a living.
Unfair? Not really. Not if they have to manufacture a national case out of the “Jena Six” and have to lie to make it.
UPDATE: For a fairer review of what happened in Jena, try reading another black columnist: Jason Whitlock.
Now we love Mychal Bell, the star of the 2006 Jena (La.) High School football team, the teenage boy who has sat in jail since December for his role in a six-on-one beatdown of a fellow student.
Thursday, thousands of us, proud African-Americans, expressed our devotion to and desire to see justice for the “Jena Six,” the half-dozen black students who knocked unconscious, kicked and stomped a white classmate.
Jesse Jackson compared Thursday’s rallies in Jena to the protests and marches that used to take place in cities like Selma, Ala., in the 1960s. Al Sharpton claimed Thursday’s peaceful demonstrations were to highlight racial inequities in the criminal justice system.
Jesse and Al, as they’re prone to do, served a kernel of truth stacked on a mountain of lies.
There are undeniable racial and economic inequities in our criminal justice system, and from afar the “Jena Six” rallies certainly looked and felt like the righteous protests of the 1960s.
But the reality is Thursday’s protests are just another sign that we remain deeply locked in denial about the path we need to travel today for true American liberation, equality and power in the new millennium.
The fact that we waited to love Mychal Bell until after he’d thrown away a Division I football scholarship and nine months of his life is just as heinous as the grossly excessive attempted-murder charges that originally landed him in jail.
Reed Walters, the Jena district attorney, is being accused of racism because he didn’t show Bell compassion when the teenager was brought before the court for the third time on assault charges in a two-year span.
Where was our compassion long before Bell got into this kind of trouble?
That’s the question that needed to be asked in Jena and across the country on Thursday. But it wasn’t asked because everyone has been lied to about what really transpired in the small southern town.
read the rest....
A Marine Corps sergeant is suing the 16-term congressman for alleging “cold-blooded murder and war crimes” by unnamed soldiers in connection with the deaths of Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha.
The deaths became known in May 2006 when Murtha, who opposes the Iraq war, said at a Capitol Hill news conference that a Pentagon war crimes investigation will show Marines killed dozens of innocent Iraqi civilians in the town in 2005.
The judge refuse to throw the case out saying
You’re writing a very wide road for members of Congress to go to their home districts and say anything they choose about private persons and be able to do so without any liability. Are you sure you want to do that?” Collyer said, adding later, “How far can a congressman go and still be protected?”
Collyer said she was troubled by the idea the lawmakers are immune from lawsuits regardless of what they say to advance their political careers.
Here's from Rush Limbaugh's own website. Anatomy of a smear.
And HERE are the real enemies of the troops, in their own words. Scroll down to read what Dick Durbin said, equating our soldiers to
Nazis, Soviets in their Gulags, or some mad regime, Pol Pot or others...and Tom Lantos as he accuses General Patraeus of lying, saying about his testimony:
"I don't buy it."...and this from Rush:
How about Jack Murtha blanketly accepting the notion that Marines in Haditha engaged in wanton murder of innocent children and civilians?
Of course, every war has it's stories of atrocities and some are actually true. Mackubin Owens led a Marine company in Viet Nam and comments on some of the atrocity stories that Viet Nam engendered.
And who can forget John Kerry's testimony to congress about our troops in Viet Nam. Before Congress he testified that soldiers
... raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Ghengis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam
And, he said, these were not isolated instances, but deliberate policy.
It's a good thing that John Kerry is a successful gigolo, because he is not successful as a man or a human being.
UPDATE: It now appears that ABC Reported on ‘Phony Heroes' Three Days Before Rush Limbaugh Did
Where was ABC when Media Matters was putting out lies about Rush?
Nazim Kaziakhmedov was probably still reveling in his promotion. He’d only arrived in Moscow from his work as a head prosecutor in Makhachkal, the capital of Dagestan, in May to join General Prosecutor Nikolai Batmanov’s team of senior investigators for “especially important cases.” That was only the first step in Kaziakhmedov’s rise through Russia’s legal bureaucracy. A few weeks ago he was tapped to join the Kremlin’s newly created “Investigative Committee,” which under the chairmanship of Aleksandr Bastrykin was to make Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov’s very public anti-corruption campaign a reality.
But Kaziakhmedov’s career as an anti-corruption investigator was abruptly cut short Thursday night. As he was leaving the Caucasian restaurant “Bakinskii Dvorik,” a man 30-35 years old, 5’9”, dressed in all black with a black baseball cap, unloaded three rounds into Kaziakhmedov’s body. One in his stomach and one in the chest. One “control shot,” as they say in Russian, to the head. The weapon was left at the victim’s side. The killer was nowhere to be found. One need not be a fan of the Sopranos to recognize that this was a contract killing.
For the meaning, read the rest.
Before I go to bed tonight, I will pray hard to Lord Buddha that I will wake up as a Japanese in the morning. All my life, I have been a Burmese and I have always thought that all the human lives have equal values in this world after reading “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”. It was a rude awakening for me and I only realized it in the last few days.
Matter of fact, I just learned that a Japanese life is worth more than thousands of Burmese lives. It is evident from the reaction of the Japanese government after a Japanese journalist was killed in Rangoon. The Japanese government has long been aware of the fact that Burmese people go through these abuses at junta’s hand everyday. Summary executions, forced labor, forced relocation, forced conscription of child soldiers and many other atrocities. But Japanese government has been indifferent in their policy of engaging with the military junta and supporting them.
Suddenly, even the Deputy Foreign Minister is going to Burma for an investigation for the death of the Japanese journalist. Please don’t misunderstand me, myself along with all the Burmese appreciate the efforts of Nagai San to expose the living hell that the Burmese live day in day out, to the outside world. Our condolences go to his family. It is sad that an innocent Japanese life had to be lost because the government of Japan had ignored all the facts for decades knowingly.
I will also pray for all the other Burmese to wake up as Japanese tomorrow. Lord Buddha please have mercy on all of us Burmese and let us wake up as Japanese tomorrow.
He replied with a reminder of reality:
The hard truth is that no one is going to save you. The UN Declaration of Human Rights is only as good as the Burmese people can make it. Nobody at Turtle Bay will so much as cross the street to enforce it. That the Japanese foreign ministry has taken an momentary interest in Burma is nice, but make no mistake, their focus will be on the fate of the dead Japanese journalist. You will be part of the scenery.
You are alone. Still you have yourselves. Whatever sham your government has become you the Burmese are men. Aid may come to you but it would be unwise to count on it. You have nothing but your own manhood to rely upon. On it rests your slender chances for freedom. Upon it depends your dignity. From it shall spring the law. Not international law, drafted over petit fours and coffee in Brussels but law that springs from you. By the consent of the governed.
You will be lonely, but there is no help for it. I would be dishonest if I said that the road to freedom was anything else but long, wearying and full of pain. But I know that is the road that you long to take. "Death and sorrow will be the companions of your journey, hardship your garment, constancy and valor your only shield." That is the path which you will embark upon, because as men you can do no other.
I have no strength of my own to give you and will only say this: may the Lord Jesus Christ and the Lord Buddha guide you. And lead you to your home.
And that's the truth.
Ann Coulter seems to be the first writer to guffaw over Lee Bollinger's statement that Columbia University has a "long-standing tradition of serving as a major forum for robust debate..." There is no such tradition, and very little debate at Columbia, particularly if one of the proposed debaters or speakers happens to be conservative.
Last October, Columbia radicals stormed a campus stage, knocking over furniture, creating pandemonium and preventing speeches by Minutemen leader Jim Gilchrist and a colleague. Nobody seemed very upset about this, least of all Lee Bollinger, who issued a tiny bleat about free speech before referring the issue to a committee where it languished for three months. Awakening briefly on Christmas weekend, the committee administered an undescribed slap on the wrist to an unknown number of unidentified members of the censoring rabble and there the matter ended.
Read the rest.
From the comments:
A priest, a lawyer and an engineer are sentenced to death. The priest is asked whether he would like to face the guillotine face up or face down. He chooses face up. The blade starts down and stops inches from the priest’s neck. Thinking it is a sign from God, the executioner sets him free.
Next it’s the lawyer’s turn. He also chooses face up and the blade again stops just short of his neck. He too is set free.
Last, it’s the engineer’s turn. Like those before him he chooses face up. As the executioner reaches to release the blade, suddenly the engineer blurts out, “Wait, I think I see your problem!”
Tom Rider said he was frustrated by the red tape he had to fight to get authorities to launch a search for his wife more than a week after she disappeared.
Bellevue police took the report right away, but when they found video of Tanya Rider getting into her car after work, they told her husband the case was out of their jurisdiction and he should notify King County, he said. Tom Rider said he tried that, but "the first operator I talked to on the first day I tried to report it flat denied to start a missing persons report because she didn't meet the criteria," he said.
Authorities said they followed procedure in the case.
"It's not that we didn't take him seriously," Deputy Rodney C. Chinnick said. "We don't take every missing person report on adults. ... If we did, we'd be doing nothing but going after missing person reports."
Eight days trapped in a car, injured.
During the segment report on GMA it was mentioned that her husband did not notify authorities until four days after she was last scene. The husband then appeared live with (I believe) a King County police officer, and Diane Sawyer asked the husband about this. The husband responded to the effect that the report was not accurate he called earlier but was told by the authorities that her wife is an independent woman and can go where she pleases. Sawyer did not press the King County official about this issue.
Then-Secretary of State Collin Powell made the case in 2003 in front of the United Nations that Saddam was providing al Qaeda safe haven in Iraq. As evidence he alleged that Abu Mus’ab Al Zarqawi was an al Qaeda operative in northern Iraq.
For those who want to chastise the invasion of Iraq as misdirected and having nothing to do with al Qaeda, it became important to establish that Secretary of State Powell and the Bush Administration were “lying” to the UN.
Since it is now painfully obvious that the Bush administration is incapable of defending itself from even the most scurrilous attacks, it falls on others who believe in the problem of Islamofascism to make the case to the American people.
But new reporting from an important Pakistani journalistic source close to al Qaeda leadership confirms that Abu Mus’ab al Zarqawi was an al Qaeda operative sent by Usama bin Laden to Iraq to fight US forces.
He was definitely not in Iraq to fight against Saddam Hussein. This new revelation puts the Saddam regime and al Qaeda on the same side against Coalition forces in the initial invasion.
There is so far no specific information from this new source as to whether both parties orchestrated their activities. However, it dispels claims by war opponents that Zarqawi was not al Qaeda before the war and that he was in Iraq to fight Saddam.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Let me summarize the fantastic work that the Internet Anthropologist has been doing. You may remember a couple of months ago a report that al Qaeda and its' affiliates had abandoned their training camps in Pakistan along the Afghan border. The initial report caused quite a blog storm but soon the mystery was forgotten. According to AI, which links to references for all of this, the US got fed up with not being able to reach al Qaeda inside Pakistan. Then a few months back the US government told the Pakistani government that we had the coordinates for twenty-nine terror training bases and in a week we will be destroying them (perhaps on Cheney's visit this summer). The intent was to drive the terrorists from those camps so we could get to them.
It worked. That's why those camps emptied out.
So the US left the terrorists an escape route into Tora Bora. Once they had detected a large group of al Qaeda at the fortress and the likelihood of High Value Targets as determined by large scale security detachments, the US dropped the curtain on the escape routes back into Pakistan. We have been pounding the hell out of them for weeks in near complete secrecy.
When Cindy Sheehan was still a darling of establishment liberals, they defended her increasingly batty statements by saying, in the words of Fox News’ Juan Williams, “she’s an American, she has the right to her opinion.” Absolutely, and I have the right to my opinions, too. But somehow I’m anti-free speech when I voice them.
This whole line of argumentation is a sign of intellectual weakness or cowardice. Take, for example, that mossy cliché “I may disagree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it!”
The only reasonable response is, “Who gives a rat’s patoot?” If I deny the reality of the Holocaust, or insist that “2 plus 2 equals a duck,” or that I can make ten-minute brownies in six minutes, responding that you may disagree with what I say but will defend my right to say it is a shabby way to sound courageous while actually taking a spineless dive. How brave of you to defend me from a threat that doesn’t exist while lamely avoiding actually challenging my statements.
Similarly, there’s been a lot of high-minded gasbaggery over this elusive idea of “academic freedom.” A more selectively invoked standard is hard to come by. Somehow, when former Harvard President Larry Summers, one of America’s most esteemed economists, told a group of academics that the distribution of high-level cognitive abilities may not be evenly spread out among men and women, activist feminist professors got the vapors and claimed, from the comfort of their fainting couches, that their hysteria could only be cured by Summers’ head on a platter. But Ward Churchill, a penny-ante buffoon who seems to have downloaded his Ph.D. from cheapdegrees.com, compares the victims of 9/11 to Holocaust planner Adolf Eichmann, and suddenly academic freedom demands Churchill keep his tenured job forever, at taxpayers’ expense.
More to the point, academic freedom wasn’t at issue in the Columbia case. Unlike Summers and like Churchill, Ahmadinejad wasn’t trying to explore the truth. Holocaust deniers aren’t truth-tellers, they are deliberate liars and hucksters. Ahmadinejad didn’t want “dialogue,” he wanted propaganda points. He was there as the mouthpiece for a dangerous, oppressive regime. But many opponents of the Bush administration think the Iranian regime has been inappropriately demonized, and the Columbia crowd thought they could help defuse tensions. The irony is that Columbia’s decision backfired, and the university actually magnified that alleged demonization.
But let’s not forget that Columbia didn’t have the courage to say honestly that it wanted to dabble in foreign policy and controversy, not free inquiry. Saying it was all about free speech doesn’t make it so.
The “Jena 6” have repeatedly been held up as heroes by much of the race-based community and called “innocent students” by the national media. Some of these students have reputations in Jena for intimidating and sometimes beating other students. They have vandalized and destroyed both school property and community property. Some of the Jena 6 have been involved in crimes not only in LaSalle Parish but also in surrounding parishes. For the most part, coaches and other adults have prevented them from being held accountable for the reign of terror they have presided over in Jena. Despite intervention by adults wanting to give them chances due to their athletic potential, most of the Jena 6 have extensive juvenile records. Yet their parents keep insisting that their children have never been in trouble before. These boys did not receive prejudicial treatment but received preferential treatment until things got out of hand.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Atlas Mugged: How a Gang of Scrappy, Individual Bloggers Broke the Stranglehold of the Mainstream Media
The twentieth century was the high point of mass culture—or “the overculture” as some call it. Any culture that could produce Citizen Kane, Casablanca, and The Honeymooners can’t be all bad.
But eventually, the connection between media elites and their audiences began to fracture. Though apocryphal, the line frequently attributed to Pauline Kael of the New Yorker in 1972 sums up the growing chasm between the overculture—particularly the media—and its audience: “I don’t know how Nixon won. No one I know voted for him.”
By the early 1970s, mass media had reached its zenith (if you’ll pardon the pun). Most Americans were getting their news from one of three TV networks’ half-hour nightly broadcasts. With the exception of New York, most big cities had only one or two primary newspapers. And no matter what a modern newspaper’s lineage, by and large its articles, except for local issues, came from global wire services like the Associated Press or Reuters; it took its editorial lead from the New York Times; and it claimed to be impartial (while usually failing miserably).
Screw off … tell me what you would do now!
A new movie called "The Kingdom" shows Saudis fighting terrorism alongside FBI agents. That's certainly what we'd like to see. But like the flick, it's pure fiction.
Unfortunately, too true.
Labels: Islamofascism; Saudi
The Belmont Club has a comment worth reading:
In George Orwell's classic novel, 1984, Inner Party member O'Brien tried to teach Winston Smith that the struggle to control history is over. It is what the Party says it is. Today the Daily Telegraph reminds us that this dictum is truer than ever.
So DynCorp's 'shoot rate' was around one mission in a hundred in 2005, and around one mission in 150 in 2006. Blackwater's shoot rate was about twice as high, so if we average the shoot rate for DynCorp over the two years (one incident per 125 missions) then double it and round down for good measure, that gives Blackwater a shoot rate of one incident per 60 missions.
I don't know about you, but I find those figures – both for Blackwater and DynCorp – staggering, even allowing for the fact that there must be other incidents where convoys come under attack, but keep going without returning fire.
I was under the impression that every time a convoy left the Green Zone it was like the scene in Mad Max II where the fuel tanker (no spoilers in case you haven't seen it) driven by Max leaves the good guys' compound. I pictured insurgents leaping off buildings on to the roofs of SUVs, IEDs going off left, right and centre, and suicide car bombs and RPGs coming from every direction.
Where did I get this impression? From watching the TV news and reading the mainstream news websites. It's almost as if… as if… the media is exaggerating how bad things are in Iraq!
What I remember most was not the Liberal bias toward communist tin pot dictators and their murderous thugs. What I remember most is the stupid determination by the reporters for networks like CNN and NPR to pronounce Latin names with a Latin accent. The people would be chattering on about the wonders of the socialist paradise being constructed by the Ortega brothers - in middle American English - and every name would be pronounced with a Spanish accent.
It bothered the hell out of me.
John Derbyshire has a good short article on this topic that is a joy to read.
The indispensable Michael Kelly, writing in the New York Post (12/8/99, p.41), deplores the silence of the U.S. government in the face of a massive ethnic cleansing currently under way in Kosovo, this time "conducted by the Albanians against their ethnic Serb, Croatian, Roma and Muslim Slavic neighbors". I certainly share Mr Kelly's indignation; but-- excuse me-- who the heck are the Roma?
The question is rhetorical: having been given the novels of George Borrow (Lavengro, Romany Rye) to read at an early age, I happen to know that rom means "man" in the Gypsy language. The Roma are the Gypsies. How many other people know this, I cannot guess, but I feel sure it is not many. So why confuse us like this? Why not say "Gypsy"?
There is more of this going on. A scholarly e-group I belong to recently featured some exchanges about a people called the Saami. This one I didn't know and had to ask: "Saami" is the new, PC-certified name of the Lapps. Further east, the Samoyeds are now "Nemtsi". Meanwhile, down in Africa, Hottentots are "Khoi" while Bushmen must be called "San". What will now become of my party piece, reciting the silliest word in the German language: Hottentotenpotentatenstantenattentäter-- "one who assails the aunt of a Hottentot potentate"?
Read the rest.
This thought was brought about by the recent stories coming out of Burma.
First "Star Wars" is Ridiculed, Now It's Too Good. I wish the Virginina Pilot Would Make Up Its Mind.
Keep that in mind.
Well, its a few decades later. What is the concern today by “experts” trotted out by the same Drive By Media? The headline in the Virginian Pilot tells us:
Are these physicists claiming that the system we have developed don’t work? That’s what I thought as I clicked on the link from Pilotonline.com. But no, here are today’s experts:
A number of top U.S-based physicists have concluded that the Bush administration used inaccurate claims to reassure NATO allies about U.S. missile defense plans in Eastern Europe.
They say the planned Polish-based interceptors and a radar system in the Czech Republic could target and catch Russian missiles, thus threatening Russia's nuclear deterrent.
Now the system that they said could not be built is too good!
The USSR was adamantly opposed to the US developing an anti-missile defense system back in the day. And the Virginian Pilot published all the anti-missile development stories that it could find from the wire services and from the NY Times.
Today the USSR is gone but the Russians are adamantly opposed to the installation of the system in Poland. And the Virginian Pilot is again publishing the stories that follow the Russian line.
Coincidence? We report, you decide.
As a side note, if you believe in manmade global warming, keep the lesson from the development of the anti-missile system in mind. “Experts” quoted by the drive by media are generally the “experts” that reflect the biases of the editors of the paper.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
A local delegate has asked Democratic Gov. Timothy M. Kaine to re-think his appointment of the head of the Virginia-based Muslim American Society to the Virginia Commission on Immigration.
Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Woodstock, wrote to Kaine earlier today, saying he was concerned about the appointment of Dr. Esam S. Omeish, a Northern Virginia physician and the group’s president, to the panel. The commission was created earlier this year to study the impact of illegal immigration on the commonwealth.
The Muslim American Society has significant ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, a group founded in Egypt, Gilbert said. “It is unfortunate that the Governor would choose the leader of an organization such as this to represent many the freedom-loving Muslim citizens of Virginia on this important commission,” Gilbert said.
“While the Muslim American Society claims to be the innocent face of peaceful Islam in America, their history and teachings tell a much different story. Unfortunately, it is a story about which all Americans have become much too familiar — that of the promotion of a global Islamic state. The questionable origin and teachings of this group should give the Governor some serious concerns about his recent appointment. Even though this organization has a savvy public relations machine, the public face that it projects may disguise some very troubling hidden intentions.”
Click on the link to see Omeish at an August 2006 rally in Washington DC, wearing a kaffiyeh and delivering a virulent anti-Israel rant. This is the man the governor of Virginia chooses to advise him on immigration policy.
“It trashes the reputation of a well-respected Muslim leader based on hype and hysteria,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations. “It unfolded just the way I thought it would. Bloggers use any opportunity they can to marginalize American Muslims and their leaders. It’s political theater.”Thank you Ibrahim, we do our best. Idiot!
Shuster: A Dose of His Own Medicine [Stephen Spruiell]
The intolerably smug David Shuster, hero of the liberal blogosphere, devised a little pop-quiz for Rep. Marsha Blackburn when she was on MSNBC a few days ago:SHUSTER: Let's talk about the public trust. You represent of course a district in western Tennessee. What was the name of the last soldier from your district who was killed in Iraq?
BLACKBURN: The name of the last soldier killed in Iraq from my district? I do not know.
SHUSTER: OK, his name was Jeremy Bohannon. He was killed August the ninth, 2007. How come you didn't know the name?
The whole spectacle made for disgusting television. Shuster dragged this poor kid's body out on stage and shoved it in Blackburn's face, then sat back with a look on his face like he was enjoying a post-coital cigarette.
Turns out it wasn't even the right body:
As it turns out, Pvt. Jeremy Bohannon — the soldier whose name Shuster attacked Blackburn for not knowing — had not, contrary to the MSNBC reporter's claim, lived in her district.
A Media Blog reader who discovered this information on Newsbusters and e-mailed Shuster received this response and forwarded it to us:the story was about blackburn's hypocrisy... it wouldn't matter whether the soldier's name was David shuster or Crazy Water. she didn't know the name, period.Who cares what the dead kid's name is, right? The story is about Blackburn's hypocrisy. She came on the show to denounce MoveOn.org's "Betray Us" ad, but she didn't know the name of the last soldier killed from her district! And that's hypocritical, because...
Why? Actually, that's not hypocritical at all. Hypocrisy is saying something when in reality you believe something different. Not knowing the name of the last soldier killed from your district is, at worst, laziness, and, at best, a deer-in-the-headlights moment on national television.
Hypocrisy is pretending to care about the death of an American soldier, when really he's just a prop in your gimmicky audition for your own show on MSNBC.
And from Newsbusters we get a broader picture. Shuster is apparently forced into an apology (a la Dan Rather?) and it isn't the first time he has embarrassed himself.
This was hardly the first time that Shuster has played fast and loose with the facts to suit his liberal viewpoint. Some of his biggest blunders:
Last month, he called the Larry Craig scandal a "moral insult" to Hurricane Katrina victims.
Shuster collaborated with left-wing fabulist Jason Leopold to spread false stories about the Bush admin.
Giving play to wild accusations of "voter intimidation" in the 2006 elections (in case GOP won them)
Relying on skewed, left-wing sources, Shuster falsely predicted that Bush aide Karl Rove would be indicted in the Valerie Plame investigation.
Paper, Scissors, Rock
Does the evolution of society remind you of the game: paper, scissors, rock? It does me.
An article on Townhall.com by Terence Jeffrey is entitled: Get the ACLU Out of Our Bathrooms.
It involves a suit which the ACLU filed in support of a “man” who decide that he was really a woman. Before he got a sex change operation he was hired as a bus driver. The bus company had made arrangements to have its drivers use … but here, I’ll let Jeffrey explain:
After he was hired, however, Etsitty informed his supervisor that "she was transsexual and that she would be appearing more traditionally female at work." This posed a logistical problem for the bus company. It had arranged for its drivers to have access to the public restrooms at certain businesses along its routes. Would Etsitty use the male or female restrooms?
Etsitty informed her supervisors, according to the court, "that she had some kind of written direction that required that she use female restrooms." The supervisors told Etsitty "they were concerned about potential liability from co-workers, customers and the general public as a result of plaintiff, a biological male, using female restrooms." The company let her go, notifying her, as reported by Findlaw, that she would be eligible for rehiring "once she completed the surgery."
Etsitty sued, citing a federal law that bans discrimination based on "sex."
In the ACLU's view, not only was Etsitty's anatomy irrelevant, so, too, was the right to privacy of anyone who happened to be in a women's room Etsitty might use. "(N)o court has ever held that there is any legal right to privacy that would be violated simply by permitting a transgender person to use a public bathroom that corresponds to his or her gender identity," said the ACLU.
Besides, even if privacy was an issue in public restrooms, the ACLU suggested, the architecture in such facilities protects it. As Etsitty had explained to his supervisors, according to the ACLU, his anatomy would be shielded from others using the women's rooms "because there are stalls for privacy."
Alas, the ACLU published this brief two years ago -- apparently failing to anticipate that Republican Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho would someday seek to withdraw his guilty plea for engaging in "disorderly conduct" in a men's room stall.
In a brief submitted this month supporting Craig's claim, the ACLU argued that what the senator is alleged to have done in an airport bathroom is free speech protected by the First Amendment -- no matter what some guy seeking a little privacy in the next stall might think about it.
"The government does not have a constitutionally sufficient justification for making private sex a crime," said the ACLU. "It follows that an invitation to have private sex is constitutionally protected and may not be made a crime. This is so even where the proposition occurs in a public place, whether in a bar or a restroom."
But then the ACLU went a step further, arguing that there is not only a right to solicit sex, but also to engage in it, in a public restroom.
Ok, so we have the court deciding whose rights trump whose.
When I enter a bathroom, I don’t expect total privacy, in other words I don’t other men to leave, but I don’t expect women to walk in. Most people still do not flaunt their excretory functions. I have to admit that the idea of having women walk in does not bother me much. But I would think that women may object if men walked into the ladies room. Perhaps I’m wrong about this and I would be interested in female responses.
I admit I would be bothered by sexual activity in the bathroom since I don’t think that sex is a spectator sport, at least for most people; or unless you have been invited to an orgy or asked to pay to watch.
So the ACLU, and the court system is now tasked with the momentous decision of whose rights trump whose. The person who walks into a bathroom in the expectation that he or she will meet only other people of the same gender, or people who are anatomically of an opposite gender but feel they have the right to use the bathroom of their choice for excretory or sexual activity.
Of course this right vs. rights extends beyond the bathroom.
Does a half-delivered baby have the protection of the law that another second or so would give it, or can it be killed with impunity at the whim of its mother aided by an abortionist?
Can a white kid expect the law to punish the people who knock him unconscious and kick him while he’s on the ground if his six assailants are black, or do the black kids deserve to get a slap on the wrist as long as the white kid doesn’t die and two nooses were found on a tree near his school several months before the assault?
Can law firms make their partners wealthy by filing class action suits using fake science because we have to protect American’s precious rights to have access to the courts?
Should we be willing to accept a terrorist attack every few years because we refuse to give the government the power to use data mining to intercept communications traffic between terrorists, since calls between innocent parties may be included in the data that’s mined?
Should a tin-pot dictator who provides weapons to terrorist which kill American servicemen and women, and who is developing nuclear weapons which he promises to use to destroy Israel be invited to speak at an American University to demonstrate our commitment to free speech?
Paper, scissors, rock. Whose rights trump whose?
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Here's how the Virginian Pilot covered it.
Police investigating videotaped attack on Ocean View teen
I'll be in touch with the public editor who believed the paper was slow in covering the Jena 6 because it was not a local story. Will white racists stage a march in Norfolk? Tune in and see.
gays, haircuts, nooses. some denial required.All of the hysteria over Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speaking at Columbia University is so tiresome for so many reasons....
So says Glenn Greenwald, who despite the topic, can't seem to find the space to utter a single word about the savage executions of gays in Iran (much less their overall plight.)
Notwithstanding my penchant for "gallows humor," I'm irritated enough by all of this that I'll even supply a picture of an execution of gays in Iran:
[for the uninitiated, Glenn Greenwald is a tiresome Leftist homosexual with a habit of sock puppetry]
There is much more: click on the link for the rest.
Election 2008: MoveOn.org once crowed that it had bought and owned the Democratic Party. With the Senate now blasting its tactics, that's an open question. But not, apparently, for Democrats running for president.
The Senate voted 72-25 on Wednesday to stand up for the integrity of America's leading military field commander, Gen. David Petraeus.
Everyone knew what it was really about: MoveOn's big-bucks ad in the New York Times that outrageously attacked Petraeus even before he gave his report to Congress on the Iraq War's progress.
MoveOn.org's Sept. 10 full-page ad childishly played on the field commander's name as "General Betray Us," in a pre-emptive bid to obscure any potentially positive news about the war getting out.
The Senate's nonbinding resolution was simple enough: It expressed "full support" for the general returning from the field of battle and "strongly" condemned "personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces." Given that they voted 81-0 to confirm him less than a year earlier, it was a reasonable gesture.
MoveOn's ad disgusted average Americans across the country. Even the Democrat-dominated Senate couldn't halt a vote to condemn it. A quarter of the Senate, however, did refuse to condemn the attacks, and curiously, that included all Senate Democrats who seek to become the military's next commander in chief.
Sens. Hillary Clinton and Christopher Dodd voted against the symbolic measure. Sens. Joe Biden and Barack Obama had other things to do that day and abstained from voting.
That's peculiar. Democrats like Clinton are perfectly capable of voting against radical leftists when their stunts step over the line.
Last summer, for example, Dodd sponsored a bill condemning Venezuela's leftist president, Hugo Chavez, for his shutdown of TV station RCTV as millions of angry Venezuelans protested in Caracas. Clinton, Obama and Biden signed on as co-sponsors.
If they hadn't, they might have looked as though they were in the dictator's pocket.
That's why these same Democrats' failure to condemn cheap-shot ads against Petraeus is worth a closer look.
MoveOn.org is the sort of radical group that ought to be on a park soapbox instead of driving the U.S. presidential debate.
But two things change that equation:
One is that MoveOn.org claims to have 3.2 million members. These leftists represent a committed segment of the Democratic voter base, whose support is important to winning the Democratic nomination next year.
MoveOn.org claims that its average member contribution is $40. For a Democratic candidate to dare sanction the group, no matter how boorish its actions, there are consequences. Result: MoveOn.org can act out as wildly as it likes, driving the party left — and it will.
Second, MoveOn.org has gotten financing from the deep pockets of billionaires such as George Soros, who pledged it $5 million in the past and implied he would give more if that's what it took to win elections. That's not his only cause. He funds a network of organizations that have critical uses to the Democrats, such as a think tank closely associated with Hillary Clinton's supporters and ex-aides called the Center for American Progress, and plenty of others.
Small wonder that the MoveOn.org organizers feel confident to carry on. The group's organizers claim to confer with Democratic representatives or their aides in Congress every morning.
MoveOn's leaders declared in a 2004 e-mail that its cash contributions ensure its control of the Democrats: "Now it's our Party: we bought it, we own it, and we're going to take it back."
With a slew of senators who won't even condemn their worst excesses in a mere symbolic vote, it's hard to dispute that statement.
The Left: The smear ad published against Gen. Petraeus has drawn attention to its sponsor, MoveOn.org. But the fingerprints of the group's chief financial backer, George Soros, were all over it. Who is this man and what is he up to?
To read Soros' own spun story, he's a Jewish survivor of Nazi-occupied Hungary who pulled himself up by his bootstraps, studied economics in England, became a U.S. citizen in 1961 and made a multibillion-dollar fortune as a financier who pioneered hedge funds.
Over the years, Soros has written books giving his philosophical take on global affairs and acquired a reputation as something of a "stateless statesman." He calls himself a philanthropist and has given away $5 billion of his now $8.5 billion fortune through his principal vehicle, the Open Society Institute. The institute, in turn, has passed cash on to far more radical groups, such as MoveOn.org.
Financier George Soros, 77, with a fortune estimated at $8.5 billion, uses some of it to fund radical groups like MoveOn.org.
But Soros is no hands-off donor. According to the Open Society Institute's Web site: "Despite the breadth of his endeavors, Soros is personally involved in planning and implementing many of the foundation network's projects."
Soros says he gives away about $400 million annually.
It's an admirable picture, but "philanthropy" may be the wrong word. Unlike, say, Bill Gates, who really does put the bulk of his charity into helping the world's poor through medical services, Soros tends to fund pressure groups and foundations he misleadingly characterizes as promoting "civil society" and "democracy."
The image gives him moral cover to manipulate democracies whose voter verdicts he opposes.
Tearing Down America
The first groups Soros supported back in the 1980s did play a role in undercutting the rickety communist regimes of Eastern Europe. But his motives seemed less than idealistic. All Soros groups tend to tear down tyrannies rather than build up democracies.
And since 2003, tearing down what he views as the "fascist" tyranny of the United States, as he has put it, is "the central focus of my life."
Through networks of nongovernmental organizations, Soros intends to ruin the presidency of George W. Bush "by any legal means necessary" and knock America off its global pedestal. "His view of America is so negative," says Sen. Joe Lieberman, who, like Gen. David Petraeus, has been a target of Soros' electoral "philanthropy." "The places he's put his money are . . . so destructive that it unsettles me." Soros' aim seems to be to make the U.S. just another client state easily controlled by the United Nations and other one-world groups where he has lots of friends.
Best known among these groups is MoveOn.org, a previously small fringe-left group to which Soros has given $5 million since 2004. Bulked up by cash, the group now uses professional public relations tactics to undercut the Iraq War effort, with its latest a full-page New York Times ad that branded Gen. Petraeus "General Betray Us."
It ran Sept. 10 in the New York Times, the same day Petraeus delivered his progress report on the surge in Iraq.
MoveOn.org previously put out ads depicting Bush as a Nazi, something that certainly echoes Soros' sentiment.
"We have to go through a certain de-Nazification process," he told this year's Davos conference in Switzerland.
Moving On To The Far Left
MoveOn.org was also pivotal in getting Howard Dean elected chairman of the Democratic Party in a bid to push the party to the far left.
Soros acolyte Arianna Huffington is on record as advocating that outcome. Berating Democrats for their electoral losses in 2004, she wrote: "Have these people learned nothing from 2000, 2002 and 2004? How many more concession speeches do they have to give — from 'the center' — before they realize it's not a very fruitful place?"
Soros also has financed spin outfits such as Media Matters that specialize in providing distorted conservative political statements as grist for leftist politicians and media.
Media Matters (and MoveOn.org) succeeded last year in denying incumbent Lieberman the Democratic nomination for Senate in Connecticut and effectively drove the moderate out of his own party. Net result: Fewer Democrats, including today's crop running for office, are willing to challenge any Soros-financed pressure group.
Money & Elections
Soros' efforts go beyond spin. He has also bankrolled groups involved in the manipulation of elections, an activity that has increased since his money came into the picture. Two groups — Americans Coming Together and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now — were sanctioned recently by the Federal Election Commission for fraud.
Soros pledged $10 million to ACT, which has since been fined $775,000 for illegally funneling $70 million set aside for voter registrations to Democratic candidates.
He also gave at least $150,000 to ACORN, the left-wing group best known for pushing minimum-wage hikes, marching for illegal-immigrant amnesty and harassing Wal-Mart. ACORN has been accused of voter fraud in 13 states since 2004 and was convicted of falsifying signatures in a voter registration drive last July, drawing a fine of $25,000 in Washington state.
Soros says he has ended funding to voter-drive organizations, but he still heads a secretive rich-man's club called "Democracy Alliance" that has doled out $20 million to activist groups like ACORN.
It's also noteworthy that the Soros-funded MoveOn.org advocates "paper-trail" electronic voting in the U.S., the same kind used in Venezuela, where allegations of electronic fraud and ballot secrecy violations have ended confidence in the system and sealed Chavez's dictatorship.
Soros additionally finances groups best described as helpful to terrorists. Since 1998, he has given the American Civil Liberties Union $5 million to empower criminals, including lawsuits on behalf of terrorists' "civil rights."
Soros' Open Society Institute gave $20,000 for the legal defense of radical attorney Lynne Stewart. She was convicted in 2002 of abetting jailed terrorists after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Soros is also involved in the financing of a 9/11 memorial at ground zero, the World Trade Center Memorial Cultural Complex — which critics say blames the U.S. for 9/11.
"Bush says (the terrorists) hate us for what we are, not what we do, and I think that's false," Soros told an audience at UC Berkeley last year.
He has handed $3.1 million to the left-wing Tides Foundation, which funds organizations, such as the Sea Shepherds, Earth First! and the Ruckus Society, that have condoned or engaged in eco-terrorism.
On the international front, Soros-backed groups have undercut important U.S. allies, including Israel and Colombia, which have aligned with the U.S. rather than the U.N.
Both see their sovereignty as non-negotiable, view victory over their enemies as an absolute good and refuse to become failed states — all anathema to the thinking of Soros. His Human Rights Watch repeatedly attempts to portray both nations as pariah states.
One World Government
Soros additionally finances groups supporting the interests of one-world government. While he has criticized the United Nations occasionally, he favors U.N. dominance in world affairs, sees the European Union as a model for "open society" and has called for a global central bank.
Anyone who doesn't agree with this vision, or who doesn't fit cozily into his multilateral model, gets a visit from Soros-backed groups.
MoveOn.org, for example, led the charge to keep John Bolton out of a permanent seat in the U.N., and Bankwatch piled on to topple Paul Wolfowitz at the World Bank.
In fact, pick any cause that seeks to weaken the U.S. and it's hard not to find Soros' name on its list of financial backers. Most of these causes are financed by relatively small amounts, but that's all that's needed to make trouble.
And without the cash, countless bad ideas would have no presence in American political debate at all.
What keeps these groups on cue, and Democrats in line, is the prospect that any funding from Soros can be stepped up to massive levels. It's probably no coincidence that Soros was a big backer of campaign finance reforms that have allowed nominally nonpartisan groups like MoveOn.org to strike with the kinds of tactics they are using.
Soros usually doesn't offer up or endorse specific candidates for office. His chief aim seems to be tearing down Bush, driving the Democrats to the far left and enforcing party discipline through fear. In fact, he seems to like keeping Democrats guessing whether or not he's offended.
The strategy seems to be working. No Democrat had the courage to cross MoveOn.org after its libelous Petraeus ad. On Thursday, a symbolic vote in Congress censuring MoveOn.org for the Petraeus ad passed, but with the notable absence of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Election looming, neither wants to cross Soros' MoveOn.org.
Soros himself does not believe in victory in Iraq and wants to keep America from achieving it.
"The war on terror cannot be won," he has said.
Democracy: George Soros is known for funding groups such as MoveOn.org that seek to manipulate public opinion. So why is the billionaire's backing of what he believes in problematic? In a word: transparency.
How many people, for instance, know that James Hansen, a man billed as a lonely "NASA whistleblower" standing up to the mighty U.S. government, was really funded by Soros' Open Society Institute , which gave him "legal and media advice"?
That's right, Hansen was packaged for the media by Soros' flagship "philanthropy," by as much as $720,000, most likely under the OSI's "politicization of science" program.
That may have meant that Hansen had media flacks help him get on the evening news to push his agenda and lawyers pressuring officials to let him spout his supposedly "censored" spiel for weeks in the name of advancing the global warming agenda.
Hansen even succeeded, with public pressure from his nightly news performances, in forcing NASA to change its media policies to his advantage. Had Hansen's OSI-funding been known, the public might have viewed the whole production differently. The outcome could have been different.
That's not the only case. Didn't the mainstream media report that 2006's vast immigration rallies across the country began as a spontaneous uprising of 2 million angry Mexican-flag waving illegal immigrants demanding U.S. citizenship in Los Angeles, egged on only by a local Spanish-language radio announcer?
Turns out that wasn't what happened, either. Soros' OSI had money-muscle there, too, through its $17 million Justice Fund. The fund lists 19 projects in 2006. One was vaguely described involvement in the immigration rallies. Another project funded illegal immigrant activist groups for subsequent court cases.
So what looked like a wildfire grassroots movement really was a manipulation from OSI's glassy Manhattan offices. The public had no way of knowing until the release of OSI's 2006 annual report.
Meanwhile, OSI cash backed terrorist-friendly court rulings, too.
Do people know last year's Supreme Court ruling abolishing special military commissions for terrorists at Guantanamo was a Soros project? OSI gave support to Georgetown lawyers in 2006 to win Hamdan v. Rumsfeld — for the terrorists.
OSI also gave cash to other radicals who pressured the Transportation Security Administration to scrap a program called "Secure Flight," which matched flight passenger lists with terrorist names. It gave more cash to other left-wing lawyers who persuaded a Texas judge to block cell phone tracking of terrorists.
They trumpeted this as a victory for civil liberties. Feel safer?
It's all part of the $74 million OSI spent on "U.S. Programs" in 2006 to "shape policy." Who knows what revelations 2007's report will bring around events now in the news?
OSI isn't the only secretive organization that Soros funds. OSI partners with the Tides Foundation, which funnels cash from wealthy donors who may not want it known that their cash goes to fringe groups engaged in "direct action" — also known as eco-terrorism.
On the political front, Soros has a great influence in a secretive organization called "Democracy Alliance" whose idea of democracy seems to be government controlled solely of Democrats.
"As with everything about the Democracy Alliance, the strangest aspect of this entire process was the incessant secrecy. Among the alliance's stated values was a commitment to political transparency — as long as it didn't apply to the alliance," wrote Matt Bai, describing how the alliance was formed in 2005, in his book "The Argument: Billionaires, Bloggers and the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics."
Soros' "shaping public policies," as OSI calls it, is not illegal. But it's a problem for democracy because it drives issues with cash and then only lets the public know about it after it's old news.
That means the public makes decisions about issues without understanding the special agendas of groups behind them.
Without more transparency, it amounts to political manipulation. This leads to cynicism. As word of these short-term covert ops gets out, the public grows to distrust what it hears and tunes out.
The irony here is that Soros claims to be an advocate of an "open society." His OSI does just the legal minimum to disclose its activities. The public shouldn't have to wait until an annual report is out before the light is flipped on about the Open Society's political action.