Archive for the ‘Racial Tension’ Category

“The March Was All About Inclusion…”

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Bob Herbert of the New York Times seems to have had this column in transit somewhere, in the moment in which I hit Publish on my own murmurings. You’ll have to take my word for it that I had no idea what he was doing.

What an amazing job of proving my point. I almost feel like I should send him a check. Summarizing: Freedom of speech is a credit to society, but only when it is bestowed upon the cool people. It isn’t for everyone. Whoever Bob Herbert doesn’t like, needs to sit down and shut up.

And he starts out heading in the opposite direction, recalling wistfully the events of the “I Have A Dream” speech:

The sale of liquor was banned. Troops stood by to restore order if matters got out of control. President John F. Kennedy waited anxiously in the White House to see how the day would unfold.

It unfolded splendidly. The crowd for the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” grew to some 250,000. Nearly a quarter of the marchers were white. They gathered at the Lincoln Memorial, where they were enthralled by the singing of Mahalia Jackson and Joan Baez. The march was all about inclusion and the day seemed to swell with an extraordinary sense of camaraderie and good feeling.

I wonder if he’s capable of seeing the dichotomy. Let’s just take what follows this and discard a few paragraphs…and fast forward to the end. Let’s just say Mr. Herbert has a fair-weather friendship with the concept of inclusion:

Facts and reality mean nothing to [Glenn] Beck. And there is no road too low for him to slither upon. The Southern Poverty Law Center tells us that in a twist on the civil rights movement, Beck said on the air that he “wouldn’t be surprised if in our lifetime dogs and fire hoses are released or opened on us. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few of us get a billy club to the head. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of us go to jail — just like Martin Luther King did — on trumped-up charges. Tough times are coming.”

He makes you want to take a shower.
Beck has been advertising his rally as nonpolitical, but its main speaker is Sarah Palin. She had her own low moment recently as a racial provocateur, publicly voicing her support for Laura Schlessinger, radio’s “Dr. Laura,” who went out of her way to humiliate a black caller by continuously using the n-word to make a point, even after the caller had made it clear that she was offended.

Palin’s advice to Schlessinger: “Don’t retreat — reload.”

There is a great deal of hatred and bigotry in this country, but it does not define the country. The daily experience of most Americans is not a bitter experience and for all of our problems we are in a much better place on these matters than we were a half century ago.

But I worry about the potential for violence that grows out of unrestrained, hostile bombast. We’ve seen it so often. A little more than two weeks after the 1963 March on Washington, the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham was bombed by the Ku Klux Klan and four young black girls were killed. And three months after the march, Jack Kennedy was assassinated.

My sincere advice to Beck, Palin and their followers is chill, baby, chill.

Cognitive dissonance, thy name is Bob Herbert.

You know, I could get behind this if what Herbert was trying to say was something like “there was camaraderie and good feeling in 1963, and yet a little while after that a church got bombed and JFK got assassinated so I’m worried about what will happen in the wake of Glenn Beck’s rally because this time, there isn’t even a feeling of camaraderie.”

Camaraderie and Good FeelingBut that isn’t what he is saying. If he was saying such a thing, he would collide head-on with the facts…or they would collide with him. Blogger friend Gerard has a post up, nothing big mind you, but the photos and stats make it look as full of camaraderie as anything else, to me.

But no, that’s a bunny trail because Bob Herbert didn’t say any such thing. He lost track of his own point, which was supposed to be: MLK, JFK and Lincoln were giants, Glenn Beck is some kind of slimy viper guy or whatever…and the slithering reptile guy has to be shut down or else we’ll have violence. Like, uh, what we had right after this other thing I was talking about, that deal from 47 years ago with all the “camaraderie and good feeling.”

Well, he hasn’t offered much evidence to prove his own point but he’s certainly proved mine. When liberals start going on about what a wonderful country this is and how glorious all our freedoms are, you better watch it because you’re hearing from a hyperliberal. Bob Herbert is a hyperliberal, and hyperliberals very often say the exact opposite of what they mean. Inclusion? That means — as Herbert has manifestly demonstrated — that someone is about to be excluded, or should be.

This is a good occasion, I think, for me pull up what’s been brewing in my smartphone: How to figure out what a hyperliberal (like Bob Herbert) is trying to tell you. Just like “It’s not me, it’s you,” the true meaning behind every statement is pretty much precisely backwards from the way it’s presented.

1. When a hyperliberal starts to talk about a rational and friendly exchange of ideas, it means he’s going to start a screed that uses the word “stupid” a lot.
2. When a hyperliberal starts to wonder why we all can’t just get along, he’s about to start attacking somebody.
3. When a hyperliberal starts to talk about the wisdom of treating all races equally it means he’s about to discriminate.
4. When a hyperliberal starts to talk about the virtues of tolerating dissent, it means he’s about to smear anybody who disagrees with him.
5. When a hyperliberal starts to talk about the ominous consequences of our ballooning deficit, he’s going to want to spend a lot of money on something.
6. When a hyperliberal insists that women should be treated exactly the same as men, it means he’s going to want women to be protected from the consequences of bad decision-making, and men to be punished just for being men.
7. When a hyperliberal starts to talk about a woman’s choice, he’s going to say flattering things about women who make a choice the way he wants them to make the choice and he’ll say nasty things about women who make a different choice.
8. When a hyperliberal starts to talk about what makes the country great, he’s talking about things that allow you, or encourage you, along with everyone you know, to behave like a complete asshole.
9. When a hyperliberal starts to talk about the freedoms we take for granted you’d better be careful, because he’s about to start pushing a bunch of laws that will deprive you of freedom.
10. When a hyperliberal starts to talk about putting together a society “that works for the benefit of everybody,” the society he starts describing always has rules that are designed to bring harm to certain groups of people.
11. When a hyperliberal starts to talk about social justice, he wants everyone to enjoy exactly the same standard of living except himself and his friends who are supposed to get whatever it takes to make them happy.
12. When a hyperliberal starts to talk about fairness, what he’s really talking about is adjudicating every dispute that comes along in favor of the person who is more female, more gay, less Christian, or whoever’s skin is darker.

Bob Herbert, thank you for proving in such gaudy detail so much of what I’ve been saying about people like you. You want a society that is constantly improving, albeit already perfect, and works for everyone. But you don’t want everyone in it. And you don’t want freedom of speech, or any other freedom for that matter, for everyone.

It really makes me wonder what you guys are planning to do with the rest of us.

Update: From Freedom’s Lighthouse, by way of Gateway Pundit, some words from the woman Bob Herbert would like, in all his frenzied spirit of inclusiveness, to exclude and silence.

Because of his feelings of proxy embarrassment for her? Out of a desire to avoid unnecessary bloodshed her irresponsible words might unleash? Or out of a shaking, quaking, palpitating fear of new ideas?

Form your own opinion. I’ve formed mine.

Update: Lisa Fritsch, writing in American Thinker, addresses more of Beck’s critics whose words are of much the same kind as the distinguished columnist Herbert:

The Reverend Al Sharpton, the Reverend Walter Fauntroy, and the Reverend Timothy McDonald have been recently quoted in an uproar over Beck’s 828 rally this weekend. They are suggesting that Beck is “hijacking” Dr. King’s dream. Says Reverend McDonald, “To use this weekend when we remember that great march on Washington in 1963 as a pretense to give credence to their cause and their agenda is insulting. We were there.”
If we want to skip the nonsense and cut to the chase, it all boils down to this. The reverends had no plans on 828 of 2010 to honor the legacy of the “I Have a Dream” speech with a rally, a parade, or any such celebration of the sort, and now a white man is showing them up with a non-political rally honoring servicemen and paying tribute to Dr. King by talking of peace, love of country, and honor. Glenn Beck is doing what they did not have the foresight, the will, or the heart to do. They have not lived up to the dream, and these reverends have not forged ahead in victory and giving justice to the 828 date.

The reverends, having been there, should be standing with Glenn Beck, but they don’t, and here is why: Their dreams differ greatly from those of Dr. Martin Luther King. They don’t share his vision of peaceful solidarity, equality, and standing hand in hand in unity and love with brothers and sisters of every race. If the reverends shared those dreams, ironically, they would be overjoyed that Beck — who is white — is holding a non-political rally of honor on this date.

I’m sorry to say it, but our honor is blemished. We have all these organizations and individuals who pretend to be laboring toward our unity and instead thrive on our division, discontent and strife. Anyone with more than half a working brain knows it.

And we have to do all this waiting for them to be exposed. They’re provoked just right, they open their big stupid mouths and reveal themselves to be what they are…I suppose they have no choice, really. But here we are. It’s August 28. Everyone understands Sharpton and McDonald have created for themselves a livelihood that would come to an end if we were ever to achieve true racial unity, and they know it, and conduct themselves accordingly. It is impossible to deny, even for a fraction of a second.

But next week, it will all be forgotten. As recently as this month, Sharpton was the go-to-guy for Dr. Schlessinger’s public relations problems. His opinion, inexplicably, was somehow worth something.

We’ll be right back to that again. I think. And if we go right back to that again, it is, pardon the expression, a huge black eye on all of us. As long as people like him continue to enjoy stature we will not have racial unity, because we’ll be demonstrating there are some within our society who continue to have an effect on what we are shown, and they don’t really want it or deserve to see it. We will be, for all practical purposes, proving that racial animosity continues to rake in the bucks. Yeah, I went there.

Hey, we’ve been sold C.A.L.W.W.N.T.Y. on this thing for a very long time. And for every single day of it, the race warlords yell “jump” and the cable teevee networks say “how high?” So I’m hoping Beck’s rally promotes some real change. I’m hoping the fears some people have that careers will be hastened toward the inglorious ends they deserve, because of this thing, are realized.

You may say I’m a dreamer…but I’m not the only one…

Dr. Laura to End Her Show

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

The complete “racist rant” is here, for now, but I had a dickens of a time trying to find it. Better hit the play button while you can…with the understanding, which is obvious anyway, that the “N” word all spelled out is used repeatedly so it would not be appropriate for a delicate audience.

She’s being taken down by an essentially anonymous force here, which is winning only because it is anonymous. Consider the point she was making: If you take it upon yourself to use that word all spelled out, you’re in big trouble if you’re white but you can probably get away with it if you’re black, especially, if you’re a “black comic.” Then, after specifically lamenting this double-standard, she took the initiative — as a white person — and used the word when nobody else had.

Okay, so she’s toast. But you can’t toast her without proving her point. She used the word only as a phonetic repetition, directing it at absolutely nobody…and she’s not surviving this. There is not going to be a Shirley Sherrod event in which it is realized she was “taken out of context,” and we need to have a “national dialogue” and look “how far we still have to go” — none of that. She’s white, she used the word, she’s dead…right after she just got done saying what? That if you’re white, and you use the word, you’re dead.

This is not a defense. It was stupid to go there, when “The N-Word” works just fine for the point she was trying to make. And from the sounds of things, it seems “Jade” and her husband have a neighbor who repeatedly uses that word…although she didn’t come out and confirm this, I don’t think. I’d like to have known more about that. What kind of rube is on a first-name basis with a mixed-marriage couple, and regularly uses that word around them?

Well, here’s what Al Sharpton has to say about it, since everyone was wondering about that or something:

Immediately after the end of this footage, the host Mr. Cooper was heard to say “Hey waitaminnit, you faked a rape scandal! Get the hell off my show right now!”

No, that didn’t happen. That’s what would happen in a sane world. It didn’t happen here.

Sharpton says Schlessinger is wrong. The word is wrong no matter how it’s used or who is using it; her tangent about blacks voting for Obama, is something of which the Rev. specifically disapproves. And if Rev. Sharpton disapproves of something, of course, your career should come to a close.

All the smart people accept this. But if you accept it, of course, you have to support it. And who wants to live in a world like this, is my question.

Mayors do not have Sharpton’s power. Governors do not have his power. Presidents and Prime Ministers do not have his power. There is no finesse or delicacy to go with that power; none is needed, for it is the power to destroy, not to preserve or create. There is no accountability involved in this power either. There is no “Sharpton campaign” to drive Dr. Laura off the air. The situation is most adequately expressed in passive voice, with an object and not a subject: Dr. Laura is losing her place, because she said something dumb.

Which can only mean Dr. Laura was correct.

Sharpton says the word is wrong no matter where it’s used or how it’s used? I’d not be surprised at all to find out the good Rev. uses it in private. He’s certainly the last name on any list of mine, or very near the bottom of such a list, of people who perceive the world in any kind of color-neutral way. And I’d much rather have Dr. Schlessinger take my kid somewhere for a week, than Rev. Sharpton.

I’m speaking for myself, but I doubt like hell I’m alone in that.

We have built a code of cultural norms, in the mode of a collective, which would not find support in a single sane individual, ever. The first question a sane individual would ask, is “Are these cultural protocols working well and doing what they’re supposed to be doing?” Well, this doesn’t impress me as an effective way to banish racism or ease racial tension…and it doesn’t look to me like the code is having that kind of an effect.

But by all means, let us stand passively by as Wrecking-Ball-Al continues to demolish some more careers, while the rules about who can say what are written by those among us with the very lowest character. Let’s all allow it to happen, with my blessing, since we’re gonna do it anyway.

Why Isn’t His Word Good Enough?

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

Wow, look at all the flak coming at these guys. This has nothing to do with race. It’s a war against the individual, and a rather craven one. Instructions are being broadcast about who to believe and who not to believe, and the people putting the instructions out won’t even take any responsibility for issuing them.

“It’s a powder keg, folks. People should not play games with it.”

Hat tip to Urban Grounds.

Cards, Cards and More Cards

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Race Card Is Maxed Out
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

Via Gerard.


Friday, August 6th, 2010


One of the most perverse things about Obama is that, when he’s trying to get tough with the opposition, what he says about them is often the best clue to what he’s actually doing, or planning to do.

Case in point—his latest declaration about the Republicans:

…[T]hey’re betting on amnesia. That’s what they’re counting on. They’re counting on that you all forgot. They think that they can run the okey-doke on you. Bamboozle you.

Like many of Obama’s most revealing remarks, these were made at a Democratic fundraiser, this time in Atlanta. And the word “bamboozle” is an especially nice touch, harking back to a famous scene in Spike Lee’s film “Malcolm X,” a reference that would most likely be recognized by a great many people in his Atlanta audience.

I said the speech appears in the film; Malcolm X never actually said the words in real life. But since movies about history have largely become a substitute for history, these cinematic words may be more famous than any the historical figure of Malcolm X actually uttered. The movie context was a speech made by Malcolm in Harlem, on the subject of the white man. Rest assured that Obama is aware of the racial code he’s employing, and what it means to many of the black people in his audience.
And this is what Obama does—sows the seeds of racial hatred while maintaining a facade of plausible deniability.

[NOTE: Obama has been called on this before, during the 2008 campaign, when he used “bamboozled” and “hoodwinked” repeatedly to describe the actions of opponents.]

Because code words are an essential ingredient when you’re healing an ancient racial divide.

Remember The Sixth Sense when the stepmother is caught on video poisoning the little girl? She says something about not wanting to hear the soup tastes funny, just swallow it anyway. You need to eat it all up to get well again. It’s one of the more jaw-dropping scenes of the film — people want to put off the potty breaks until later. It’s engrossing, and it’s sickening.

Well…that’s pretty much what’s happening here. Racial tension is the disease, Obama is the cure. He’s just our long-awaited living, breathing, medicinal balm. Except when He isn’t.

Color Me Unimpressed

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

“Have you ever seen such a bunch of self-righteous, ass-covering prigs? They don’t care what we do; they care what we get photographed doing.”


So the armies of humility are lining up on the left & right of the blogosphere, as well as cable-teevee-pundit-land and Planet Newspaper, to apologize for driving Shirley Sherrod out of a job. I’ve reviewed the forty-three minutes myself, and although the seamy footage makes it clear this is still less than what actually took place, it’s undeniable that the spirit of her remarks is different than what I thought. So do I have some crow to eat?

Eating CrowPerhaps just a smidgen. A wing. A foot, maybe. Well, let’s get it choked down. Clean your plate when crow is on it, for if you leave leftovers you should expect a steady diet of it.

My words:

The wasp is dead, the nest remains.

Ms. Sherrod, according to her own words, was a Little Hitler. Check that chart; third column, fourth row, the Petty Tyrant.

Can there be any doubt we still have some petty tyrants?

The nest does remain. Sherrod’s wasp is dead, but it has been dead for a very long time now. That was the point of her speech. The edited version makes it seem that there is something very different going on. My assumption that no context could leverage the spirit into something different, was somewhat rash. Partly correct, partly incorrect. Ultimately, I have to admit I placed an excessive abundance of faith in the edited version. Got snookered. Might as well admit it.

So now Breitbart has some ‘splainin’ to do? No, not at all. In fact, his point stands, and rather solidly. The whole point to showing it in the first place was to examine this claim that the Tea Party has racism in its ranks, and needs to do a more forceful job of policing its own. It is an argument of “don’t criticize your brother for the splijter in his eye when you have a beam in your own.” This point is actually strengthened by the events of the last 48 hours. The NAACP was able to confront its accuser, release the footage, use the media to entice the public to pay attention while the iron was still hot. And as frosting on the cake, they were able get another lie out there about Fox News being responsible for Sherrod’s sacking.

Such a dizzying, dazzling assortment of privileges for the NAACP! I wonder, if the footage had been about a Tea Party member saying equally racist things, would that informal coalition have been similarly indulged? Do I even need to ask the question.

So yes, I was “snookered” about Ms. Sherrod as a person. My crow-eating begins and ends there. Her comments about her own behavior stand, monument-like, as a testament to institutionalized racism. And how reformed is she, anyway? As John Hawkins points out, this is open to question. From all the evidence we have about her, there really isn’t much to indicate she’s ready for a post-racial world. It remains an unsettled issue, one to which I do not assign much weight, but one that is besieged with suggestive noise on all sides. There is doubt, and I’m not inclined to grant her much benefit of the doubt.

But let’s grant it all anyway. She realized she was being a horse’s ass, cleaned up her act, and that’s what happens to all the racists in these agencies? The entire story is kaput because of Ms. Sherrod’s Scrooge-like conversion? I don’t think so.

And this gets into the actual point that I don’t see anyone making anywhere. It has to do with the two halves of that part of humanity that thinks about these things.

My half says that individuals have rights, and these rights are regularly violated by institutions like the NAACP.

The other half, which has all of the voice, all of the time, says the institutions are the ones with the rights. People just gum things up. The institutions are perfect, or can be made that way by means of identifying the contaminating people and tossing ’em overboard. Let’s call this the Vilsack Doctrine.

This is why I’m being somewhat stingy with my apology. To me, it was never about Shirley Sherrod. Firing her was just a bizarre, wrong-headed move, and it would remain that even if the footage was exactly what it appeared to be. Adam and Eve bit into the apple, humanity has been corrupted and corruptible ever since, and institutions that are made out of humanity are no better than the people who build them and work in them.

If I’ve got a terrible problem with keeping my farm, and I’m describing my plight to some pencil-pushing bureaucrat who decides I’m acting superior to him just because my skin is white — that black bureaucrat is well within his rights to think such a thing. You get to think mistaken things. We don’t have a government that regulates that.

So President Jealous of the NAACP can grandstand and spread more lies, and Vilsack and Obama can apologize…all they want. These fine gentlemen still miss the point. The point is that the “Could Be Construed As” standard is unattainable and irrelevant. It is not impropriety, it is not the appearance of impropriety — we’re never going to solve a single problem by ending the careers of people who become tainted by it, no matter what the color of their skin happens to be.

I am thankful that the heyday of this risible ritual has now passed, or at least I think it has. Today, if you asked most people about it and had an honest discussion about it, a consensus would emerge that agrees with my notion: You don’t fire bigots. You prove them wrong. Even if they have supervisory authority; we do not sentence people to losing their livelihoods and becoming wards of the state because of the appearance of the thoughts in their heads — this is not the way America was supposed to work. If you find your career is heading into a cul de sac because you happen to be working for a sexist or a bigot or a homophobe, that means you have a boss that hates you. It’s unfortunate, but welcome to the real world. It’s gonna happen to you again. It’s happened to me. It happens to everyone. Go work for someone else.

I’m not trying to be insensitive with that remark. What I’m pointing out is that we’ve tried the other method…the Vilsack method. Gave it a good go for a few decades. It has been a net loss, a failed experiment. It’s made people fearful for their jobs and their careers, and this has given them motivation to do all kinds of whacky, stupid, free-market-killing stuff.

Know how bad that can get? Last “sexual harassment training” I was forced to attend, they said something I found interesting and it’s probably the same thing they said at yours: The intent of the offender doesn’t matter, it’s the perception of the accuser that decides everything — and “these rules are put in place to provide a workplace that is comfortable for everyone.” SAME BREATH.

So a whack-job paranoid stranger with a random vendetta can end your career at any second. By bitching, the easiest thing in the world to do. Boy that really makes me feel comfortable. How ’bout you?

Worst of all, people don’t worry too much anymore about getting fired for genuinely screwing things up.

It’s called political correctness. And future generations will look back on it, I’m convinced, the same way we see fourteenth-century bedside-bloodletting.

Update: Andrew Breibart’s comment on it:

All I’m seeing is people right now seeing blood in the water and coming after me. And the amount of half-truths and falsehoods that are out there in the pursuit of taking me down because they perceive that I’m a threat, it’s astounding.
I believe that I’m held to a higher standard. If this video showed a picture of a Caucasian talking in the exact same way but talking about a black person with an audience affirming and clapping that behavior, the reporter would be getting a Pulitzer Prize right now.

Say what you want about the man, but he’s right about this. All of it; every word.

And it isn’t defensible.

Imitation is the Sincerest Form XXXI

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

As the Hopenchange Presidential administration was still new, and impressing and bewildering us all as they unleashed one wild scheme after another, I struggled to find a way to comprehend what was happening. Who are these people who believe in “stimulus”? And do they, really? How come our new President continues to campaign for a job He’s already got?

And then I figured it out: They have an “underpants gnome” mentality. I suppose all good salesmen do. Step One, we make you do what I want you to do, or I do what I would ordinarily do anyway; Step Two, ??? — and Step Three Profit.

I have not looked back on this theory of mine with any regret or doubt. In the one-year-plus since I wrote that, pretty much everything Obama and His apologists have done, falls into this. Step One, pass a health care plan that puts Obama’s buddies in charge of all the decisions…Step Two, ??? — Step Three Profit. Step One, pass cap and trade, Step Two ??? — Step Three, the damn hole will somehow be plugged.

Now, I don’t know if James Taranto reads my blog. I’ve always operated from the assumption that hardly anybody ever does. But how then do you explain this gem which appeared in the “Best of the Web” column yesterday:

The vice president’s description of the administration’s political strategy reminds us of the business plan of the Underpants Gnomes from “South Park”:

Phase 1: Legislation
Phase 2: ?
Phase 3: Victory

I’ve been robbed, but I’m not calling the police. I’m quite flattered.

Of course, today the administration has been ensconced for exactly a year and a half, and it has become cumulatively difficult to figure out what might be the best example of Underpants Gnome thinking in the eighteen months.

It’s a tough call, but I think I’d nominate the beer summit.

1 – The three of us sit down at a table and drink beer together
2 – ?
3 – Racial animosity healed forever throughout the land

Racism Test

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Received via e-mail earlier today. Short and sweet. Logic unassailable, indisputable and unanswerable.

Do You Like Him Any Better Now?


Then You’re Not A Racist.

Cross-posted at Cassy’s place.

Update 7/26/10: Welcome, fellow readers of Nealz Nuze.

“There Will Be No Apology”

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Tom Bevan, Executive Editor of RealClearPolitics:

“There Will Be No Apology”
By Tom Bevan

Those are the words of the mother of Matt Dariano, one of the five kids at Live Oak High School in the San Francisco Bay Area who were sent home for having the temerity to wear American flag tee shirts on the “Mexican heritage day” of Cinco de Mayo.

“There will not be an apology,” Mrs. Dariano told the camera crew outside the school. “Matthew is part Hispanic, OK? He’s an American. So, no, there will be no apology from any Dariano.”

Guess who else uttered the exact same phrase last year? James Crowley, the white Cambridge cop who arrested black Harvard professor Louis Gates, Jr. and was singled out in a nationally televised press conference by President Obama for “acting stupidly.”

On July 23 of last year outside his home, a reporter told Crowley that Gates had asked for an apology from him for his handling of the incident.

“There will be no apology,” Crowley replied.

After a beat, the reporter followed up: “Is this now and ever, ‘no apology,?”

“Yes,” Crowley replied flatly.

The fact is, Americans are increasingly fed up with the racially divisive, politically correct insanity pulsating through the country today. After years of being pressured and browbeaten by the left-wing PC police about what they can say, do, think, and wear, many Americans have had enough. And they’re especially furious with being asked to apologize for things that aren’t or shouldn’t be in the least bit offensive.

The idea that high school kids anywhere in America would be called the principal’s office – let alone that they would be asked whether they should apologize – for wearing clothes bearing the image of the United States flag, is a perfect case in point.

It’s the kind of insanity that rankles the sensibilities of millions upon millions of Americans, and has them cheering when someone – whether a Cambridge cop or a Bay Area mother – stands up, refuses to back down, and says, “there will be no apology.”

I wrote once that this habit of looking at ourselves, and at each other, making decisions based on what we are rather than on what we do, is the cause of everything that is wrong with the world.

It seems lately we have started a habit of trying to get people to apologize for this. For being what they are, rather than doing what they do.

I notice too, lately, we’ve got an awful lot of people walking around projecting an image of struggle — they’re just trying to get along, trying to make their own way, just wanting to be left alone to live life as they see fit. But when you inspect the details you see this isn’t true. They want to mold and shape the entire world around them into a certain thing, at least all of the world that is within their earshot and line-of-sight. The lesbian who just wanted to go to a school dance — but wanted to wear a tuxedo — that’s a perfect illustration of what I’m talking about.

Griping about an American kid wearing an American flag at an American school, in America, because it happens to be Cinco de Mayo, that’s another illustration. You don’t get to say “I just wanna be me and I just wanna do what I wanna do” when you’re griping about what someone else is wearing. Nor can you wear something, designed to communicate a message, or to advocate something, or to recruit to a cause. To air the complaint that people aren’t allowing you to live your own life, you have to maintain an apathy about the decisions of others, and you can’t be trying to influence them. Call me unreasonable, but I insist on this.

Can we make that an iron-clad rule? Please? It’s only logical. Either you’re practicing non-interference and asking that it be returned to you in kind…or you’re trying to foment change. You can’t have both of those, you have to pick.


Thursday, March 18th, 2010

This is a dust-up from last week, but it’s worth talking about:

“So much time is taken up with addressing hoodlums, with kids who don’t want to be in school. We are talking about a small number of children.” — Janet Clark, Pinellas School Board chairwoman

Ever since school started this year, John Hancock Middle School in St. Petersburg, Florida has become more noteworthy for school brawls than academic excellence. Indeed, with over 60 arrests this year, the school gained a reputation as a hotbed of juvenile violence. One teacher openly wondered if it will take a death to get those in charge to do something to establish a safe and secure learning environment. What to do has been foremost on Ms. Clark’s mind.

As one former Washington DC bureaucrat can attest, it’s not what you say, but rather what other people think you’ve said that matters.


That, to me, right there, is what is ridiculous about this. And you know who is reviewing this? Nobody. You know who owns that standard, who is ready to take the credit for putting it up…to say “yes, I am me, and I think that’s a swell idea”? Nobody.

It is the way it is. Don’t question it. You know why? Because it makes untalented people very powerful.

Just imagine historians studying this seventy-five years from now. They’ll have YouTube…they’ll have all kinds of electronic archives full of digitized news clippings, visual aids for sexual harassment courses.

What do those courses say?

“These standards and guidelines are put in place to ensure a more comfortable working environment for everyone.”


“The important thing to keep in mind, is that it is not the intention of the person who spoke that matters — what matters, according to our rules, is how it was perceived by the person who complained.”

Get the impression this is one of those situations in which the word “everyone” doesn’t quite have the same meaning as you’d expect it to? Someone’s a ninny — just go with it, because you know if you round up a thousand people, one or two are going to be a ninny who complains about just freakin’ everything —

And the ninny sets his or her sites on you because of something you said. Aw you didn’t mean it, but it doesn’t matter. It’s up to the emotional vibrato emanating from the person who received (or overheard). That person is God, according to these rules that are owned by nobody. The ninny. Ninnies have godlike powers now.

That’s what happened here:

The outrage was initially voiced by some fellow members of the school board. Mary Brown, one of those members, had this to say about Clark’s use of the word hoodlum:

“They might be disruptive. They might be in gangs. They might be many things, but they are not hoodlums. I feel that that statement showed insensitivity to our children, and it certainly did not offer good guidance to our staff.”

Now Ms. Clark is getting blasted fellow board members, community activists and from the local NAACP chapter. Kobina Bantushango of a group calling itself the Uhurus says the word is racist and Clark, who is white, must step down.

Is the word racist? Well…

According to Michael Adams an academic who has studied slang, the word has no racial connotations, at least in its original and formal dictionary definition.

Stop it again. Right there. Yes, I know the next statement qualifies this…and I don’t care. Etymology says no, history says no, dictionary says no.

On my planet, Earth, that settles it. Not because my skin is white, but because I have red blood. Because I’m a non-weird non-alien human creature who cares about facts. That’s why you don’t want reckless folks like me making the rules I guess.

Anyway. It seems this story has a happy ending. Ms. Clark responds:

“I am not going to resign or step down and I don’t even think I’m going to apologize for using the word. We can’t continue making excuses when children don’t behave and disrupt the educational environment for teachers and students. That’s all I can say on that matter.”

Pretty awesome. It would have been better if Ms. Clark lashed out directly at the “Could Be Construed As” standard…just so future historians will see someone had something to say about it and we weren’t all so willingly living under a cadre of lawyers. In my mind that’s what this story is all about. Not black-and-white, not hoodlums, not dictionaries. That absurd standard we got going because we somehow thought our lawyers weren’t quite rich enough and our society wasn’t quite unstable enough. The idea that has no owner. The standard that has no signatory, because no one will fasten a name worth defending to something so patently absurd.

But if nobody else is doing that, I guess I can’t expect her to. That’ll have to be left up to relatively anonymous bloggers rattling away on their minibooks, in their underwear, on the living room couch, early in the morning.

That revolution is going to be an ugly one. Hope I live long enough to see it. The “Could Be Construed As” standard. It will be rated alongside the Spanish Inquisition, drawing-and-quartering, ducking stools and Roman crucifixions.

No offense intended to Spanish Inquisition people or Roman crucifixion people out there. Go construe somewhere else.

“Some Other Race” – “American”

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Because that question is unconstitutional. Or at least extra-constitutional. Casting ballots against this ongoing absurd silo-ing endeavor has proven to be futile. They just overrule our mandates in the courts and continue to silo us.

Hat tip to Smitty.

Blumenthal’s Bad Day

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Barbequed by Breitbart.

Hat tip to Allahpundit, who provides a brief run-down of the antecedent events, and points several times to Patterico for a more thorough one.

When all the points you have to make are accusations, and every single accusation has a question mark at the end, something is terribly wrong.

Lee Doran provides a decent background as well:

Because Lack of Diversity is Always Evil

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

More proxy offense taken on behalf of total strangers. Great stuff.

Hat tip once again to blogger friend Gerard.

Update: As one of the commenters over at his place points out, there are more black people at tea parties than there are at MSNBC. Pot, meet kettle?

If there is, as is often said, “still some racism out there”…how long would you have to stay quiet about it, if you made a point of waiting for the racism to come along that knows darn good and well internally that racism is what it is trying to be, and doesn’t have to have its own motivations explained to it by a pasty-faced blowhard hypocrite like Olbermann? If we’re supposed to do something to those people…educate them…convert them…banish them…the greater priority would be placed on the conscious and deliberate ones, right? Wouldn’t that just make sense?

What is this obsession with racists who need to be told they’re racists? “Look around at the other people marching with you”? Good heavens. I can see it now. “Hey! That feller on the teevee is right! Ah’m out here with a bunch o’white folks just like me! Ah’m a racist and Ah dunno it!”

Don’t give up — oh, sorry. That is your day job. How sad.

Slightly Related: Basil at IMAO puts Dramatic Chipmunk up against Dramatic Olbermann:

Call it a draw?

Glenn Beck Absolutely Destroys Chris Matthews

Monday, February 1st, 2010

And the funny thing is, Beck does not demand Matthews be taken off the air, see his career brought to a sudden, inglorious end. Quite the opposite.

But he does make the point rather brilliantly, that this comment of Matthews’, before any & all others, m-u-s-t be considered to be what we are supposed to mean when we use that word “racist.” If Chris Matthews is not one, then there are none.

“He views everything with race in the glasses.”

Like I said before. Matthews is a libby, he’ll survive it just fine. Being a left-winger is sort of a license.

Hat tip to Good Lieutenant.

“One Scotch Away From Being Run Burgundy”

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Regarding Chris Matthews’ moment, Jon Stewart…uh, comments.

Coffee, keyboard, be careful. I came pretty close to spewing there.

Look closely for me to say “I forgot Chris Matthews was an asshole for an hour.” My forgetfulness moment might be coming soon. It might…or, it might not. I’m thinking not.

From Ed Morrissey at HotAir.

Update: Had this in my notes as well: Matthews “clarifies” himself.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Yeah, we’re getting past it alright.

Seriously: What a jerk. We’re past it all, in the sense that if you have nothing to say and you just want to showcase yourself as a lovable wonderful human being — particularly if you’re feeling the need to put up such an illusion — you can babble away some nonsense about race when race doesn’t have a goddamn thing to do with anything that’s going on. Therefore, we’re past it all in the sense that it is a regular phenomenon for racists to call non-racists racists.

Well news flash, buddy: We’ve been “past it” in that sense for a very, very long time. All Obama’s really done, there, is spread that poisoning a little bit thicker. Nobody anywhere has “come together” in this post-racial age on a damn thing. Nobody’s moved past a damn thing, at least, whoever hadn’t gotten over something by January 20, 2009, certainly hasn’t gotten over it since then. Where’s the exception to that? Point it out. I’d like to see it.

Our interracial harmony, our constructive thinking, our zeal to solve all the problems that have ailed our nation…under this President, thanks to puffed-up talking heads like you, these things are all moving in the general direction of a lawn dart. You deserve some credit for providing just one of many examples.

These self-important boobs are congratulating the rest of the nation on “getting past” our historical strife, very much the same way a woman of some significant social structure might congratulate a rival on losing some weight — if she’s set out with the purpose of being a real rancid bitch. Classic backhand-compliment, Desperate Housewives stuff. “Oh sweetie, you’ve lost so many of your chins! Just two to go!” Just pure bile. The very purest.

But, same ol’ story…he’s a libby, he’ll survive it.

The Lott/Reid Double Standard

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Yes, that part of it matters, the rest of it does not. I think this whole thing is stupid, I thought it was stupid in aught-two when the last Majority Leader was being boiled in oil over it.

But this part of it does matter.

Top Republicans called for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to step aside Sunday — and accused the Democrats and the media of holding the GOP to a double standard on matters of race.

In an interview with POLITICO, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (R-Texas) said it would be “entirely appropriate” for the Nevada Democrat to relinquish his leadership post over comments about Barack Obama’s skin color and lack of a “Negro dialect.”

And like Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele and Senate GOP Whip Jon Kyl — both of whom also called for Reid’s resignation Sunday — Cornyn suggested that any Republican who said what Reid said would be under attack from Democrats, leading African-Americans and the media.

“There’s a big double standard here,” Steele said during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“What’s interesting here, is when Democrats get caught saying racist things, an apology is enough. If that had been [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) saying that about an African-American candidate for president of the president of the United States, trust me, this chairman and the [Democratic National Committee] would be screaming for his head, very much as they were with Trent Lott.”

The double-standard doesn’t injure just the one political party upon which it is so clearly focused. It is toxic to the entire issue. It reveals that showing respect to a particular ethnic group, and driving from the seat of power anybody who can never show that respect — has nothing to do with anything. The whole exercise in phony righteousness is just a way to push favorite political agendas.

Al Sharpton, the vocal civil rights leader who has inserted himself in the middle of many of the biggest racial fights over the past 25 years, said that while Reid “did not select the best word choice in this instance,” the Nevada Democrat should not be forced to step aide.

Surely the power to dictate unilaterally who will & won’t be unmade by such a thing, is at least as formidable a weapon as the power to determine who will be made.

What’s the very best argument anyone, anywhere has to declare that Reverend Al is worthy of kingmaker stature? The very best one? Can’t wait to see it.

Update: As Lee Doran points out, all these reports that President Obama has accepted Reid’s apology, shouldn’t matter for squat. Obama was not the sole target of Reid’s racist comment.

Is Your President Racist?

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Gerard saw a real Newsweek cover, and it got his mind wandering about what might be coming out next week.

Feeling guilty yet?

Thanks to the Guilty White Liberals

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Lloyd Marcus, writing in The American Thinker:

Thank you very, very much. You see us poor helpless inferior blacks, and you want to help us using your superior intellect. After all, we could not possibly succeed in this racist, homophobic and greedy country without your assistance.

I first met you guys in the 70s when I attended the prestigious Maryland Institute College of Art on a scholarship. A black kid from the ghetto, I found myself amongst white kids from well to do families. I worked a part-time job to cover my books and art supplies. You guys did not have to work.

And yet, I remember many conversations about how you would never bring a child into this “freaking world” and how “freaking screwed up” this “freaking country is”. You told me how “freaking selfish” your “freaking parents” were and how they only cared about “freaking money”. Then, you drove off in your convertible given to you be your “freaking parents” as I stood at the bus stop.
In closing, you libs, please keep up the good work. With your continued diligence, we minorities and most Americans will not have to work or be responsible for anything. Your president is in the process of confiscating the wealth from those greedy rich white SOBs and redistributing it to us. Right on!

Now, if I can just figure out how to tie my shoes all by myself. But if I can’t, I know you libs are there for me. Fighting back tears of overwhelming gratitude, again, I thank you.

I recall President Obama got some props this last winter for doing His part to help fight this mindset. He got a lot of positive comments from people about this, and even one or two in casual conversation from me. Finally, a powerful message that a good plan for a young man, of any color, is to learn to take in information, form educated opinions, address people politely, be firm if necessary, but courteous whenever possible. Keep your anger off the table, and there’s no limit to what you can accomplish. It was a good message.

But the war against the individual, the war against personal independence, continues. And so the President has emerged as something of a disappointment here, not that I’m terribly surprised. The year has brought us, from the White House, just a handful of proposals…gargantuan ones, more a truckful than a handful, but still just a handful. Of the three or four of them, the common theme is that government should take care of things so individuals don’t have to worry about them. Just worry about hating who we tell you to hate, but help us pass this bill so you don’t have to worry about things that really should be your concern.

Standard democrat fare, in other words.

Hat tip: Rick.

Update: Blogsister Daphne has more words for the liberal race-baiters. Perhaps it belabors the obvious, but as is to be expected in her quarters it is exceptionally well written and well worth reading:

Do you people really see color? Is ethnicity your baseline of identification or cutline for judging another human being? Have we regressed once again to this foul level of dealing with one another on nothing more than the basis of race? Maybe I’m naive, but I find this whole color tone thing incredibly ignorant, bizarrely retrograde and seriously repugnant. I have never judged a man by the color of his skin. I have been an equal opportunity lover, wife, mother, friend and family member to the whole crayon box of humanity. Color doesn’t make the man, integrity does, always has in my book. I proudly claim membership in Bill Whittle’s Tribe.

I am speaking to liberals and black democrats here, you’ve taken our national discussion down to the level of Jim Crow and you ought to be ashamed of yourselves. What in the hell are you doing? Turning back the clock forty years to make political hay is worth stirring this ugly shit back to the surface, instigating people’s natural instincts to categorize and separate across color lines? Do you have fucking rocks in your head? Do you really think this is wise?

They Must Be Angry White Men

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

We’re reaching back, or rather digging down, into our “stuff for blogging” stack. There’s some great stuff with a thick layer of dust on top, that has not yet made it into the scroll.

This is a wonderful bit of creative writing from Neo-Neocon:

Obama’s race is the gift that keeps on giving. It will continue to do so until we see the unlikely spectacle of hordes of Angry Black Men rising up against him. That’s the only thing that will get those poor Angry White Men off the hook—and maybe not even that.

The fact that the opponents of health care reform speaking up at the town hall meetings are clearly motivated by extremely substantive issues other than racial hatred of Obama is irrelevant to Michael Crowley. In fact, many of them are also at least as furious at Congress and the person of one White Woman Nancy Pelosi, as well as a number of Very White CongressMen.

But repeat after me: they are White. They are Men. They are Angry at Obama. They are Angry White Men.

And don’t let the fact that some of them are women confuse you, either…

It goes on like that, and keeps getting better.

This kind of touches on a provocative nugget I dropped into this morning‘s post, which I might very well be repeating a few more times in the weeks and months ahead. Hell, I might have it embroidered on a cloth and hung on a wall:

It is a prerequisite now, before one steps up to a debate to oppose carbon cap-and-trade bills, to offer the ritual disclaimer “I believe global warming is a serious problem and that it is caused by man.” The data no longer back this up…When liberals step up to a debate to insist that taxes should stay high and be pushed higher…they do not labor under any social necessity to say “I believe the Laffer Curve is real,” the way their opponents have been similarly nagged to say “I believe global warming is real.”

In a sane universe, if you were required to profess any particular opinion just to be taken seriously, that opinion would be a lot closer to “The Laffer Curve is real” than “global warming is real.” But the verbal talisman — the modern Speakeasy passphrase — in our world it has to do with global warming.

Let’s face it. Liberals today have complete control over our prevailing notions about what’s a sensible thing to say and what’s just plain nuts. And rationality and logic haven’t been deciding those things for us. Those things have been decided by this: Liberals make a demand of us, and we grant the demand no matter how asinine and silly it is. So that maybe we aren’t called racists.

What kinds of things have we decided are nuts and stupid and crazy this way? Stuff like…maybe it’s a bad idea to elect a President because He happens to show a lot of personal charisma, when He doesn’t discuss any specifics of what He’s going to do when He gets into office. Or…if the Constitution says we have a right to keep and bear arms, golly gee, maybe we do. Or…if we want to turn the economy around, maybe we should liberate businesses from taxes and regulations, rather than piling on more.

You know. Really wild, radical, crazy hateful stuff. Yeah.

They’re White, They’re Men, They’re Angry

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Inspired by the latest Michael Crowley column, Neo-Neocon figures out what’s really happening…

Obama’s race is the gift that keeps on giving. It will continue to do so until we see the unlikely spectacle of hordes of Angry Black Men rising up against him. That’s the only thing that will get those poor Angry White Men off the hook—and maybe not even that.

The fact that the opponents of health care reform speaking up at the town hall meetings are clearly motivated by extremely substantive issues other than racial hatred of Obama is irrelevant to Michael Crowley. In fact, many of them are also at least as furious at Congress and the person of one White Woman Nancy Pelosi, as well as a number of Very White CongressMen.

But repeat after me: they are White. They are Men. They are Angry at Obama. They are Angry White Men.

And don’t let the fact that some of them are women confuse you, either. Those women (for example, Sarah Palin) are Angry White Men too, albeit honorary ones. After all, there is no Angry White Man more racist than an Angry White Woman.

And the fact that there are even a few Angry Black Men speaking out at the town halls against Obama’s health care reform plan is irrelevant. For example, although Kenneth Gladney—who may or may not have been physically attacked and beaten at a town hall meeting by a black Obama supporter and SEIU member—is unquestionably a black man, and unquestionably a vocal opponent of the President’s health care reform, for the purposes of our discussion we will consider him an Angry White Man too.

After all, since Obama’s approval rating among black Americans remains steady at 95% (the only group in which it hasn’t declined), that most definitely makes Gladney an outlier. He’s been branded a liar as well by the Left. What could be Angrier and Whiter and Manner than than an outlieing liar?

But Michael Crowley, although white and a man, and rather angry at the Angry White Men who are angry at Obama, is not an Angry White Man. That’s because he’s on the Left and an Obama supporter, so that makes him immune to the charge.

Crowley’s not to blame for fanning the flames of racism, either. Anyone who cries “racism” against Obama opponents, even if he writes an entire column emphasizing their white race, can’t be a racist himself because he supports Obama, who in case you haven’t noticed (and Obama and Crowley and the Left will make sure you notice, every step of the way) is black.

Of course, if we wanted to get really technical, we might say that Obama is half white and half black. And he’s a man. So, when he gets angry, does that make him an Angry Half-White Man?

Don’t be silly. Obama never gets angry.

The Catch-Phrase Pool

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

Ah, yes…go get ’em, Andy:

Predict the number of times you’ll hear these garbage platitudes after the White House Beer Summit has convened, and give yourself a prize. Just don’t make it a beer prize, it’ll remind you too much of the whole “mommy scheduled a play date, so I have to go” feeling that this thing has:

“Steps in the right direction.”
“Still a long way to go.”
“Constructive dialogue”
“History of racial profiling”
“Equal responsibility” (Ha!)
“Mutual understanding”
bonus points for…
“Innovative forum”

My mother, who passed on in the year this liberal/conservative melee stuff was just starting to get exciting, in her more vibrant days trained a jaundiced eye especially on the lawyer/bureaucrat phrase “at this particular point in time.” And then there are all the Obama excuses, “Failed policies of the Bush administration,” “Going to take a long time to clean up this mess,” “Only been President a very short time,” “Worst economy since the Great Depression.”

But on the issue of race, there is “healing,” “unity,” “shameful past,” “diversity” and “come to grips.”

You need twenty-four to make a Bingo card.

Memo For File XCI

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

This blog, which nobody actually reads anyway, is named after a mathemetician, library administrator and brainy-guy who lived around two hundred years before Christ and figured out the size of the earth without the benefit of telescopes, spaceships or any other such gadgetry. This was not a disciple of Aristotle or Plato or Socrates; he was the head honcho of the Library of Alexandria, and had just about as much business measuring the planet’s size as…well, as a software engineer has figuring out that liberalism is bad for you. He figured out the size of the planet on which we live, and he did it by peeking into water wells. He made do with what he had, and used careful, responsible thinking to figure out and validate a fact about something much bigger than he was.

Eratosthenes LogoAs such, this blog’s primary obsession is with a point-of-view about life itself: Information is to be taken in, worked over, and harvested into yet more information, by whoever among us possesses the mental skills do it. It is not to be cloistered behind ivy-covered walls, for the consumption of elites who periodically emerge from behind the walls to tell the rest of us what to think. We all have the responsibility of maintaining an inventory of what we know, versus what we do not know, and from that inventory figuring out what’s really going on. And, from that, figuring out what to do about it.

And so the time has come to opine on the Gates affair. You have already heard the background. Professor Henry Gates, a professor of Ethnic Studies at Harvard and a personal friend of our President, was questioned by a policeman inside his own home after breaking into it. The policeman was called by a well-intentioned neighbor who observed Gates and his driver forcing a door that had jammed shut.

I’ll leave the rest of the background to Leonard Pitts, who in my opinion has done a wonderful job of accurately recording all the facts, those which are in dispute as well as those which are not, and drawing all of the wrong conclusions from them.

The incident began when Gates, returning from a trip to China, found his front door jammed. When he and his driver tried to force it, a neighbor, thinking it a burglary, did the right thing and called police. [Sergeant James] Crowley responded, finding the driver gone and Gates inside. There are two versions of what happened next.

Police say Gates refused to comply with Crowley’s order to step outside, initially would not identify himself and became belligerent, yelling that Crowley, who is white, is a racist, that he didn’t know who he was messing with and that this was only happening because Gates is black.

Gates says he promptly produced his driver’s license and Harvard ID, that the officer refused to provide his name and badge number, and that he could not have yelled anything because he has a severe bronchial infection.

This much is not in dispute: Gates was arrested after providing proof he was lawfully occupying his own home. The police report says he was “exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior in a public place.” That being his own front porch. Small wonder the charge has been dropped.

And here, Sgt. Crowley’s defenders would want you to know he is not some central casting redneck, but an experienced officer who has led diversity workshops.

On the other hand, Gates is hardly Sister Souljah himself. Rather, he is a man who did the things African Americans are always advised to do: work hard, get a good education, better yourself, only to discover that in the end, none of it saved him. In the end, he still winds up standing on his front porch with his wrists shackled.

Pitts, here, is guilty of peeking into one water well but not the other; he reaches whatever conclusion he wants to reach, relying on his personal sentiments rather than reason and logic. He fails to realize — there is a reason people are pointing out Sergeant Crowley works his diversity training workshops, and that reason is because Professor Gates was railing away about the Sergeant’s passionate racism. Crowley’s resume does not resoundingly falsify this; but it certainly deals the theory a blow, from which it never actually recovers. As such, it is revealed to anyone paying attention for what it is. The product of the overactive imagination of an Ethnic Studies professor with a giant chip on his shoulder. None of this matters to Pitts, who is arguing — essentially — that because Gates works in a prestigious university and relies on a cane to walk, dang it, he must be in the right here.

Not that too many other folks are doing a better job thinking this thing out. Last week, President Obama made sure we’d be talking about this for awhile, when he responded at length, Leonard-Pitts-style, to a question about it. During a press conference about health care.

I said Leonard-Pitts-style, and perhaps that is unfair to Mr. Pitts. Pitts had access to all the information, or at least, honestly thought that he did; President Obama, on the other hand, conceded that He didn’t have all the facts, but made up His mind anyway:

The final moments of President Obama’s press conference last week have gotten the most attention, and some of the president’s supporters have wondered whether his big-footed interference in the Harvard professor’s melodrama has overshadowed his push for health-care reform.

But the president’s response to Gatesgate actually sheds a lot of light on his approach to health care and other issues, for this reason: Obama adopts his positions before knowing what he is talking about. To be fair, Obama admitted as much, at least as far as Gates was concerned. “I don’t know all the facts,” he acknowledged, before launching into a lecture (later retracted) about the “stupidity” of the Cambridge police (while misrepresenting what had happened).

How could he not have known all the facts? Press secretary Robert Gibbs mentioned on Fox News Sunday that the Gates matter was one of the issues the White House press operation had briefed the president on before the press conference. Numerous accounts of the imbroglio were available online — though the president need only pick up the phone to get all the information he wants.

He didn’t want information. He preferred his comfortable, prejudiced view.

This is worth bearing in mind as the country takes a good, hard look at the president’s plans for health-care reform. On the day he announced support for embryonic-stem-cell research, Mr. Obama also signed an executive memorandum declaring that in the Obama administration, “We [will] make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology.” And yet, his health-care proposals — or rather the congressional ideas he has endorsed — seem to skirt facts and evidence at every turn.

A leader for our times?

Well, perhaps so. We all have this tendency to make up our minds that the earth is as flat as a pancake, before we’ve peeked into our first water well. From then on, as the evidence rolls in the most common error is to select said evidence. Cherish whatever substantiates this pre-selected conclusion of ours, and discard whatever may contradict it outright, or pose a simple challenge to it. This is the First Instinct fallacy, and it holds an appeal to us because it makes it easy to think we can sort of bumble into the right answer to something, and formulate a plan just as beneficial to our interests as something else constructed only with a lot of stewing and mental effort. It makes all this hard work seem unnecessary. Just go with your gut, and that’s probably right.

Well there’s a price to be paid for that: You have to wait around for someone to travel around the world in order to know how big it is. Of course, you can speculate uselessly on that to your heart’s content. Up with your side, down with the other guy’s side…you can think what you want. But you might have to backpedal. You might have to go the Obama route. You might have to resort to silly platitudes to get the shining spotlight off you, and issue your calls for a national dialogue. The disadvantage there, of course, is that platitudes eventually wear out…or at least, they might. Weren’t we all calling for a national dialogue on race right after Obama’s pastor was revealed to be a racist asshole? Yes, it seems like just yesterday. We were congratulating The Holy One for another fine speech, and suddenly everyone stopped talking about Jeremiah Wright and “God Damn America.” We stopped talking about race, too, at least in ways that might have any effect on the Obama campaign other than to help it along. National dialogue my left nut. That’s just a mantra, nothing more.

Professor and Cop: PossibilitiesHere’s the trouble with the way we’re processing this.

First of all, the one thing you can do before any of the information rolls in, is to make a list of the possible conclusions. That’s quite justifiable, and even preferred. There aren’t too many: Professor Gates is in the right, or Sergeant Crowley is in the right. Add to that this popular “mixed bag” thing a lot of people are conjuring. It’s brain-dead, but there’s legitimacy to it as a possibility. They’re both equally wrong; they’re both wrong, but Gates is more wrong than Crowley; they’re both wrong, but Crowley is more in the wrong than Gates. That’s three, in addition to the two obvious extremes. Five total. Strong verdict for Gates because Crowley is a racist dickhead, milder verdict for Gates, toss-up, milder verdict for Crowley, strong verdict for Crowley because Gates is a troublemaker.

Well here’s the trouble. And this is what our “national dialogue” really has to address, in my view. I haven’t refined these possibilities overly much, opting instead for a big-pixel, thirty-thousand-foot view. But look what we have happening here: Our nation, and therefore our modern society that is a part of it, is burdened with this history of oppressing persons of color. Enslaving them, segregating them, discriminating against them, engaging in nasty shenanigans to keep them from voting when they should’ve been able to, and arresting them for nothing. And because of that, we sometimes act in haste to try to abjure any notions that any individuals among us might be racists…save for those who are advancing something we’re trying to stop. It’s the thirty-thousand-pound napalm MOAB of our modern times. Get this ordinance dropped, and your enemy disintigrates. Love the smell of napalm in the morning.

And so the Gates affair is a rather handy lesson for us. It puts the big reveal on what a wonderful job we’ve done, closing our eyes to the truth.

It’s the last of those categories, you see. The idea that the cop can be completely in the right, and the professor could have been completely in the wrong. Most of the folks who’ve already commented, have been caught off guard. In their haste to be exonerated from this lingering suspicion of racism, it has become popular to lop off that wholly legitimate conclusion even from the list of trivial possibilities. Something must have been wrong with what the cop did. There must have been an error made somewhere!

Trouble is, all of the evidence that has been wandering on in to view, be it at a quick trot or at a slow plodding, once it’s verified the bulk of it seems to support that final conclusion, that Professor Gates is as racially prejudiced as any American has been in modern times. Most problematic in this evidence is the report that Gates, once drawing his own conclusion that he was being unfairly hassled because of the color of his skin, nevermind whether that was with justification or not — started mouthing off at a cop. This is where my sympathy falls away. You don’t do that, regardless of the color of your skin. You just don’t get to walk away from that. And how did Gates draw these conclusions, anyway? It seems to say a lot more about Gates himself than about any situation in which he found himself. He has a personal complex about this stuff, and once finding himself being questioned by a policeman, injected race into the situation when nobody else had.

So at this point, the logically strongest conclusion is this: that Professor Gates created this incident.

It has become an unfortunately widespread weakness to close one’s eyes to this as a possibility, though, and therefore to any evidence that might lead to it. All too often, that has been eliminated, then First Instinct takes over. This is a disservice to Sergeant Crowley and to police everywhere, especially police who serve in urban areas periodically unsettled with racial tension. Too many among us fail to see that on an incident-to-incident basis, the officer on the scene just might have handled things properly. It’s possible. It is a possibility. We just can’t see it, because we’re too busy being sensitive. The cop must be wrong, somehow; a little, or a lot, but he must have done the wrong thing. Now let’s round up some facts to back that up.

We all know that’s not the way to go about this. But many are going to be preoccupied by pointing out it isn’t my place to be bringing any of this up. I’m a six-foot protestant white guy with all his limbs and twenty-one digits. This is none of my business.

Just like it’s none of a library administrator’s business to figure out the world is 40 thousand kilometers in circumference.

I can see how, in the minds of some, that might appear to be a legitimate thing to point out. But…it doesn’t make the world flat, now does it?

Cosby Shocked

Friday, July 24th, 2009

And not like Captain Renault. Really shocked…

On a Boston radio program this morning, Bill Cosby suggested that President Obama spoke too soon on the controversial arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates.

“I’ve heard about five different reports [on the details of the arrest],” Cosby said on Boston’s WZLX. “If I’m the president of the United States, I don’t care how much pressure people want to put on it about race, I’m keeping my mouth shut.”

“I was shocked to hear the president making this kind of statement,” Cosby said referring to the president’s remarks during last night’s press conference.

The comedian appeared to have dialed his comments back a bit in a later interview on Boston’s FOX 25 television station. Cosby cautioned those from coming up with their own conclusions, but gave the president some leeway.

“People who have not been there, people who don’t know are beginning to have their own personal feelings, but they weren’t there,” Cosby said.

“Does this include the president?” asked the FOX25 reporter.

“It includes everybody,” Cosby said. “[But] I would have to take into consideration that he lived in Cambridge for some time so he may know more than he’s saying about situations of that sort,” Cosby said.

Cosby isn’t alone in giving President Obama some benefit-of-doubt on this; white guy James Taranto, in yesterday’s Best of the Web, was charitable as well.

Let’s dispense with one common criticism of the president: that he should have refrained from commenting on the subject at all. “It’s the kind of question to which a president would normally reply with something like: ‘That’s a local police matter, I don’t know the details and I know it will be worked out responsibly,’ and move along,” says National Review’s Yuval Levin. “Very odd behavior for a president.”

True, this started as a local police matter, but by the time Obama was asked about it, it had become a contentious national debate. As he is the first president who is black, Obama’s views on a subject involving race relations were bound to be of interest and to carry considerable weight. And Obama evidently did have a strong interest in the matter. According to Politico, his answer to this question was the only point in the press conference when he “came alive.” (The rest of the conference was devoted to some policy issue or other.)

On the merits, we’d say Obama got it right. He expressed sympathy with Gates’s position while expressly declining to endorse the charge that the arresting officer had racially invidious motives. When the president made a general statement about racial profiling–a statement that is certainly debatable, but he, like everyone else, is entitled to argue for his side in a debate–he was careful to note that he was speaking “separate and apart from this incident.”
It is important…to distinguish between the initial altercation and the subsequent public debate. In the former, Crowley was in a position of authority and thus bore a greater responsibility than Gates, who was merely a private citizen. But in pressing the matter now, it is Gates who is exercising considerable authority: the intellectual authority of a pre-eminent scholar of race in America, and the moral authority of a black man demanding equal treatment in a country with an acknowledged history of atrocious racism.
On Tuesday Gates told the Boston Globe: “If [Crowley] apologizes sincerely, I am willing to forgive him. And if he admits his error, I am willing to educate him about the history of racism in America and the issue of racial profiling. . . That’s what I do for a living.” Gates is trying to be magnanimous. He doesn’t quite succeed, does he? Still, it’s not an unattractive offer. Lots of people pay big bucks for a Harvard education.

But a true scholar devotes his life to acquiring knowledge, not just imparting it. Crowley may have something to learn from Gates, but Gates may have something to learn from Crowley, too–about the challenges of police work and the vulnerabilities, both physical and psychological, that sometimes lead cops to act overzealously — even stupidly — when citizens challenge their authority.

Taranto’s dazzling display of even-handedness is a classic illustration of how sometimes too much effort put into so-called “balance” can be antithetical to effective, clear-headed thinking. Sometimes, to be blunt about it, it isn’t necessary to see both sides. Sometimes it’s counterproductive to see both sides.

That might seem harsh, and it is…but it isn’t illogical. To support the point, one has only to step out of that realm, which is narrower than most people think, in which negotiation is appropriate. Think about situations involving wildlife. Forces of nature. Cars. So many of us possess an immediate understanding of the situation of crossing in a crosswalk without looking both ways. We understand this because our mothers forced us to understand it: If a car also isn’t looking, and you’re not looking, and you’re in the crosswalk but the car flattens you like a pancake, why yes indeedy you’ll have the right-of-way. You’ll be “right.” Dead right.

My point, here, is that Professor Gates had exactly the same “right” to get surly with a cop, as a child has to cross a street without looking.

Taranto’s got it backwards here. Yes there is a professional expectation placed on the police officer that isn’t placed on the civilian. But for the civilian’s own welfare, he is placed under an expectation of sorts as well, just like the negligent and oblivious child crossing the crosswalk. He needs to be behaving responsibly, for his own sake, or else facing the consequences — as do we all.

Professor Gates failed to show this minimal, utilitarian level of personal responsibility. He mouthed off at a cop. I’m not mouthing off at any cops. If I do, I do not expect to get away with it. I would expect to get arrested for disorderly conduct, or worse, and in my case I would expect the charges to stick. Just like, if I cross a street without looking, getting flattened (or at least honked at) would be the very first thing on my mind. Responsible people of all colors think that way.

But that’s all a little bit wordy. We’ve been criticized by some of our more loyal readers lately for being too wordy. So let us snag this one biting comment left by Doug, over at Gerard’s placethis guy speaks for us.

Gates could have dispelled all the bad air by just saying, “thanks for stopping by officer; here’s my lisence, I live here.” Then he should have shouted out to his neighbor, “Good looking out neighbor; it’s me, Skip.” And then invited her (and the cops) over to his next Bar-B-Q. Done – settled with good cheer all around, in less than a minute and a half.

Instead we get Gates having the time of his life playing the poor black victim of police brutality. Here’s a guy that America has showered with every reward, living and working at the top of the game in academic USA. Yet that is not enough; this insecure little wart needs his radical 60s street cred; he gins up a big racial confrontation with a man who is just trying to do his job.

Flipping s**t at cops even in the best circumstances (there really are no best circumstances) is just not a smart thing to do…

We’ve got no sympathy for this guy. None at all. And I daresay, there is much to criticize in the way the debate about this situation is shaping up. Too many people are seeing the light…like Bill Cosby, as an example…and then they do this “gotta say something in favor of the other side” thing, like if they take the no-sympathy-at-all angle and are too puritan about it, they’re afraid of becoming a pariah in some social circle that will become valuable to them at some later time.

They may very well be right.

But like I said. Balance is not always desirable for clear thinking. At least, in some situations…and this is one of them. Professor Gates is a crybaby, an attention whore, and worst of all he’s a bad example — to millions and millions of people who are, in fact, watching. Learning all the wrong lessons.

Oh, and President Obama? Cosby’s first set of remarks, were right on the money. This was not a matter fit for comment by a true President of the United States. You’ve just been demoted. You are no longer the President who just so happens to be a race hustler. That was last week. This week, you’re a race hustler first and foremost, who just so happens to have wheedled his way into this gig as President.

The Macho Response

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

UglySo Gerard sent us a link in an offline, to a politically-incorrect blog out in the Bay Area…and we hadn’t checked it out too long before it became an imperative to slam it into the sidebar.

There is an occasional picture that is not quite appropriate to an office environment, although I’m not sure this by itself justifies a “NSFW” warning…language isn’t fit for family viewing. The ideas are definitely dangerous. Unsuitable opinions. Terrible taste. Pictures of strange ugly creatures. Yup, we’re cousins, alright.

And this link, which we got here, is definitely not to be missed. It’s one of my favorite subjects: Our continuing efforts to somehow motivate the limousine liberals to live up to the same standards they slap down on the rest of us…and our ongoing failure in this effort, as they continue to impose their aristocratic, stratified, two-yardstick solution on society…

You know all those fevered editorials they churn out over there at the New York Times editorial board? Like, for instance, the hot fury published on June 30 wonderfully titled “Firefighters and Race.”

In this jewel the Times editorial board makes its displeasure plain in the very first sentence, huffing that the Supreme Court decision in favor of the New Haven firemen has “dealt a blow to diversity in the American workplace.” This was followed by a July 14th column by Times columnist Dowd titled “White Man’s Last Stand,” to which we will return shortly.

But first, let’s get the meat into the stew. You can just smell that sizzling hypocrisy, can’t you?

It seems the “American workplace” (to use the Times description) that is the New Haven fire department has a higher percentage of minorities than the American workplace that is…yes indeed… the New York Times editorial board its very self. To be quite specific:

• The New Haven fire department, according to press accounts, is 43% black and Latino. Or, if you prefer the term of art, 43% of the fire department is “minority.”

• The New York Times editorial board, according to the information provided by The New York Times, is — wait for it — 12% black and Latino. Or, again, 12 % “minority” if you prefer the term.

• The New York Times Op-Ed page team of columnists, an elite group of which Ms. Dowd is a star, is 19% black and, again according to the Times listing of its Op-Ed page columnists, 0% Latino.

That’s right. At the core of the beating intellectual heart of the left-wing establishment where such things are studied with the detail of Talmudic scholars, the New Haven fire department is doing more than three times better on race than the very liberal elites who have set themselves up as its sniffy critics. Perhaps instead of seething about “Firefighters and Race” the Times would have been better served by pondering “Editorial Writers and Race.” Or perhaps: “Too Black to Write; New York Times Column Writing and Race.”

One set of rules for Manhattan, and a different set of rules for everybody else.

Our society-at-large hasn’t been getting serious about tackling that particular problem because we’re too worked up about the planet on which we live getting too hot to sustain life, due to our not being taxed enough. The responsible thinker cannot help but wonder if the two problems are not somehow related. Anybody know off the top of their head what the annual net carbon footprint is of the New York Times? Just throw me a hint. For all I know they could be printing it on every damn page; I seldom-to-never read the thing.

But I’m certainly gonna read this “Macho Response” guy.

Condescending and Godawful

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Not sure where to put the hat tip because it’s going up everywhere. But I first found out about it at Cassy‘s place.

This Californian really wants an explanation. What was the intent here? I suppose I should be thankful my hippy-dippy Senator was sufficiently savvy to skirt past saying “this is what your kind of people are supposed to be thinking”…takes some skill to retreat back from that brink, after such a determined and speedy march toward it. Think she got the toothpaste back in the tube? Perhaps. But not elegantly.

It’s nice to see someone pay a price for identity politics. But it’s shameful to see how much damage is done before it happens.

With apologies to William F. Buckley, I daresay we have a more racist bunch of thugs in charge of the really big decisions, than we’d have if we simply went through the first two thousand names of the Boston phone book. And no, that’s not a compliment to Boston. I’m just thinking we put a lot of effort into something with our electoral process and we’ve managed to achieve the exact opposite.

Chuck DeVore 2010.

Best Sentence LXVII

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Ann Coulter, once again, snags the Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) award. She could make a clean sweep of these things in her sleep. Writing on the now-famous Ricci v. De Stefano case, which was decided in favor of the plaintiffs by a 5-4 vote on Monday, she concludes

[Justice Ruth Bader] Ginsburg and the other dissenters made a big point of pretending there was some flaw in this particular test. None adopted [nominee Sonia] Sotomayor’s position that unequal test results alone prove discrimination.

This suggests that a wise Jewess, due to the richness of her life experiences, might come to a better judgment than a Latina judge would.

There are other such gems in there, including one ongoing theme that has long been one of my favorites: How hyper-liberal legal professionals, such as ham-and-egger lawyers, ambulance chasers, county superior court judges, appellate judges, legal pundits, et al…out of some supposed sense of inner decency…continue to saddle other professions with bizarre rules, regulations, codes and taboos that dare not come within a hundred and fifty yards of their own mahogany doorways.

They’re vultures. Which means you can’t really blame them. It’s contrary to a vulture’s nature to scrape a bone only halfway clean. Them getting away with it — that’s our fault.

Republicans Should Stop Being Bigots

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Interesting argument put out by this San Diego Union Tribune editor-guy.

Republicans have a good case to make to African American voters about how the GOP is the real party of empowerment and opportunity, and how the Democratic Party is only interested in empowering itself at the expense of minorities. So much so that it will attack those uppity enough to think for themselves.

On education, for instance, Democrats side with mostly white teachers’ unions against black parents who want their children’s schools to be held accountable for student performance — finally purged of what a Republican president called “the soft bigotry of low expectations.” The educational reform law, No Child Left Behind, has the support of the NAACP, but is fiercely opposed by the teachers’ unions.

Many African Americans also find appealing the GOP’s adherence to personal responsibility, lower taxes, smaller government, and traditional moral values.

But Republicans never get around to making that case to the black community, because too many of them are busy making jackasses out of themselves and coming across as thickheaded, insensitive, and mean-spirited racists. The election of the first black president only made matters worse, as some conservatives, particularly at the local level, responded to this historic event by taking political discourse into the gutter with jokes and sophomoric stunts that don’t amuse but offend…

After the bullet list, he tosses out the meaningless bromide that “Republicans don’t have a monopoly on racism.” That’s Rule Number Four, you’ll recall, from How To Motivate Large Numbers of People To Do a Dumb Thing, Without Anyone Associating the Dumb Thing With Your Name Later On: “Make a Big Show out of Conceding Points That Don’t Really Mean Anything.” Makes you look all even-handed and what-not.

Trouble here is, the bromide is not meaningless. The dust-up between Hillary and Obama last summer was heated, sustained, and showcased in a most unflattering light the condescending attitude the central liberal-democrat power structure has toward minority groups, both female and of-color. The comparison being made, therefore, is between Republicans — who can name as their fellow party members, some isolated individual head-cases possessing some appallingly poor judgment — and democrats, who seem to be philosophically determined to use anyone non-white and non-male as sort of a political fuel. Their message seems to be “Ask not what your political party can do about the injuries you’ve suffered as a minority, ask instead what the injuries you’ve suffered can do for our party.” We know from last year’s melee that that there’s some kind of a complex “Superdelegate” hierarchy involved with these minority classes, almost like something out of Dungeons and Dragons; blacks have more “hit points” than women, but just barely.

This Navarette fellow seems to have lost track of his own argument. He’s trying to make the case that there is some asymmetry between how Republicans and democrats treat minorities. But according to the evidence he himself brings to the table, the demeaning remarks exist on both sides. The beneficial legislation that offsets the political damage done by such demeaning remarks — also — exists on both sides.

The difference? It seems to me the democrats who are in charge now, when they talk about becoming a color-blind society they can’t possibly mean it. Witness the 5-4 Ricci decision by the Supreme Court earlier this week. Barack Obama’s nominee replaces the retiring Justice Souter, who was one of the dissenting four; in fact, Judge Sotomayer contributed to the prior ruling on this case, which was overturned. The case was all about stopping a promotion exam in the middle and changing the rules if & when it looks like the wrong people are winning. It was all about setting up a routine promotion process as a heated contest between whites and non-whites — artificially injecting into the process a sense that what’s good for this race over here, must be bad for that one over there. And, also, a sense that if your skin is the wrong color, and you play by the rules and “win,” it becomes necessary to have a do-over.

That the Supreme Court lowered the kibosh on this, has ticked off the folks who won the elections eight months ago…and it’s ticked ’em off mighty well. The democrat party approach to this seems to be that this was not a good decision by the Supremes, and it illustrates why we need more liberals nominated to the High Court. So we can keep playing favorites. We’re not, in spite of all the platitudes so ritually tossed out, ready to get “past it once and for all.” These are not sins “of the past.” We have to keep a thumb on the scale.

I think that’s the real divide. What are these wild-eyed crazy bigoted conservatives saying about it? That you shouldn’t change the rules in the middle of the game; if the test scores came out a certain way, you should just let them stand. That if your skin lacks pigment, you still have the same right to petition your government for your grievances as anybody else. Gosh, y’know…I think to a lot of people, that just makes sense. It’s not that extreme of a position.

So I agree with the Navarette editor guy. Except I would amend the advice, slightly, to say Republicans should get rid of their bigots. Their judgment seems so questionable that their assets as political decision-makers, must be doubted. Maybe once they are kicked out for good, they can join the democrat party…which seems, from where I stand, ready willing & able to consume all the poorly-thought-out racial and gender stereotypes, that any twisted and diseased individual cares to put to paper or voice.

They can afford to so consume. They aren’t called out on it.

Week Ending June 12, 2009

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

Do you realize what an incredible week this has been? I’m ready to go ahead and call it right now: In the months and years ahead, when Republicans and democrats try to figure out when the national scene all turned around, there will be bipartisan agreement that the fickle wheel of fortune did its spinning in the week ending June 12, 2009. That is when the Republicans really returned to power; when the democrats really fell out of it. When mainstream America figured out the Obama experiment was, in all the ways that mattered, a complete failure. Time to absorb the lessons of reality and let the tender bloated easily-bruised ego receive the punishment that had been coming.

There is, I confess, some wishful thinking involved in that. But that’s not really a bad thing. Every triumph against the odds, in human history, has started with that. And there certainly have been some. I’ll presume, for the thinking reader, no listmaking is necessary to bolster that point.

Let us instead fixate our list-making obsession on the week just departed. And in doing that, let us start with the big kahuna:

David Letterman’s sad, pathetic, stupid joke. Does Letterman have a Republican plant on his writing staff? The damage done here was incalculable. The joke delved down deep into what everybody knew, in their dark subconciousnesses, and brought it bubbling up into the light where it all had to be consciously acknowledged: How humor itself has been re-defined in the early part of the twenty-first century. Blue-blood super-liberal Manhattan comedian makes a conservative look like a buffoon, and the rest of us give a courtesy laugh. Even though it’s NOT FUNNY. This has been a seriously powerful weapon in the liberal arsenal, because if you respond to this the way a reasonable person does — roll your eyes — in our modern, twisted culture, you’re a die-hard lunatic extremist. In a more reasonable environment it is acknowledged that it takes a die-hard lunatic extremist to do the laughing.

The punchline simply didn’t pack any humor. Nobody’s waltzing into a bar and saying “Hey, didja hear the one about Alex Rodriguez and Sarah Palin’s daughter?”

What Letterman did, was wake up the “mainstream” Americans who don’t give a rip about conservatives or liberals — but who could’ve easily been suckered into voting liberal with some well-placed signals that Republicans are subhuman, beneath contempt, it’s okay to abuse ’em so it certainly should be alright to vote against ’em without bothering to study up on the issues. Well from here on out, maybe that will still work, but I think America will have a little bit better idea of what’s being done to it now. And that can’t be good for the plan.

Elsewhere on the Manhattan-lib fashion-plate front, Katie Couric’s ratings plummeted some more, and fellow fashion-plate blue-blood Manhattan-lib Jon Stewart actually had the balls to made fun of her about it.

Paul Krugman, seldom correct but never in doubt, tried to lead a charge against right-wing hate by fastening the identity of the Holocaust Memorial shooter to the conservative movement. And everly ambitious, he thought as long as he was at it he’d try to revive some credibility for that discredited Homeland Security report. He failed on both counts; as is usual for Mr. Krugman, his point failed when it was discovered the facts simply weren’t on his side. Hating George Bush, hating John McCain, being a registered Maryland democrat…these are not traits that typically apply to conservative-movement agitators. But they applied to this nutburger who’s supposed to be our new icon for conservative hate. Swing and a miss.

By now, there had arisen an urgent need to prove what was supposed to have already been proven seven months ago: that the democrats were innately nice folks, and there was something about human nature that made Republicans inherently mean. Typically, democrats like to pursue this with an objective of purity: Everything anybody does that is nice was inspired by a progressive movement somewhere, and every anecdote about man’s inhumanity to man has some conservatism in it somewhere. The Letterman joke all by itself was plenty enough to upset that applecart, so now the effort was to recover the sentiment through saturation. President Obama’s former Pastor and spiritual advisor Jeremiah Wright demonstrated his impeccable timing by choosing this as the week for his comments about talking to his former spiritual pupil: “Them Jews aren’t going to let me speak to him.” Good one! That guy we elected President to start our new Hopenchange good-time rock-n-roll chapter in history, who’d inspire us all to do better and love each other — he received spiritual counsel from this bigot for two solid decades. Republicans tried to warn ya. Ya didn’t listen. It was, and is, a reality. Yet another reminder.

And the week was still young.

Ah, but our country certainly knew what it was doing. We had a skeptical, energetic and free press filling us in on what was going on, and letting us come to our own decision about who would get our vote. Right? Well…hope you didn’t put too much faith in that. If you did, it might have come as a bit of a shock when Evan Thomas went on record to say President Obama “is sort of God.” Chris Matthews agreed. Yup. Real balanced and objective, there, gentlemen. I don’t understand why anyone ever doubted you. They must have been a bunch of unreasonable, lying, irrational, bitter angry conservatives.

Perhaps this is why — also this last week — a San Francisco Chronicle editor said “Obama and the fawning press need to get a room.”

After all that, the solid meat is still just ahead of us. Remember back in January when, if the world went to war and caught fire, you’d never have heard a single thing about it because the news was all filled up with stories about Michelle Obama’s gowns, Barack Obama’s ten balls (!), and hope was in the air? About how much the economy sucked but it was all going to get more better because we had our hopey changey iPresident now and He was going to fix everything? Nowadays the hardcore liberals, the mildly liberals, and the main-street guys who don’t care or say they don’t care — still defend that because hey, it’s only been five months since then. Give Him a chance! He’s trying His best! It’s too early, and He inherited all this! Well…sit down for this one…now, according to Rasmussen, by a six-point margin Republicans are more trusted than democrats on economic issues. Yup, that’s from this week too.

Now how’d that happen? I see a link between that story, and the one about the study from Ohio that found conservatives are more open to opposing arguments than liberals. Call me Pollyanna, but I think even the Main Street folks who don’t give a crap about any of this, intuitively understand that you can’t make good decisions in life if you already have your mind made up about something before you gather the facts. What I’m trying to say is that people want to follow a good leader, they know in their guts what a good leader looks like, and they don’t want to see someone locked into a mindset and with that mindset, a narrow field of options from which to choose for any given situation. Which, ironically, is what the democrats keep saying, citing reasons why conservatives can’t be trusted. But it turns out, in reality as well as in public opinion, liberals are the narrow-minded ones. This was aptly demonstrated when the study hit the innerwebs, and some cloistered communities of liberals aired their reactions to it. It typically looked something like this.

It’s not news to anyone who’s really been paying attention. But liberals are not open-minded, they’re not receptive to all points of view, they’re not willing to listen to new ideas, and they damn sure aren’t tolerant of anything called “diversity” unless, by diversity, you’re referring to monochrome concentrations of dark skin.

President Obama also thought He would demonstrate His impeccable political timing. Now that the country He was supposed to be leading was showing its reservations about investing in Him all this godlike power, He thought He’d appoint a czar to limit executive compensation at private firms. Now, He may have found it politically expedient to limit the effects of this to corporations accepting taxpayer funds in the form of bailout programs…and He may want to promote that…but you just can’t get around that it raises serious questions about the relationship between government and the private sector. And how long would such a policy remain limited to bailout firms? We’ll have to wait a few weeks for the polls to come out, I think. But my gut says most people are on my side on this thing, or at least, are similarly concerned. This is an alteration of the fundamental relationship between our government and the people it purports to govern. The party hacks get to decide if I’m making too much money, and cut me off at the knees if they think I’m getting as big as they are? What country is this again?

The point is, I thought it was Obama’s predecessor who was supposed to be making us ask that question.

Affirmative Action was in the news this week. You know what that is, right? That’s where, if your racial makeup is caucasian and you try to make something of yourself, you are artificially injured to help make up for the abuse that was heaped on persons of darker skin in times past. It’s a tit-for-tat thing. No wait…it isn’t…supposedly, it’s an effort to help the disenfranchised and underprivileged, and it’s entirely color-blind, any thoughts muttered to the contrary are purely hardcore right-wing agitprop. It’s long been my impression that a bare majority of the country does support Affirmative Action, but because and only because they believe that last summation. In other words, by a bare majority, we are on board with helping the underprivileged but we do not want special race-based privileges to apply. So it was further damaging when it came out that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayer ‘fessed up that she is an “Affirmative Action baby” in comments released by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Affirmative Action baby…as in…her test scores were not comparable to her classmates’ test scores. She leapfrogged ahead in line because of her racial background. Her statement that says that.

Is America on board with that kind of Affirmative Action program? An outcome-based one that confers the same prestigious position — Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, in this case! — upon members of beneficiary-groups with mediocre achievements, as it would upon a boring-old-white-guy who can offer spectacular achievements? Don’t forget, across all racial classifications, mediocre people vastly outnumber spectacular people. So what are the ultimate consequences of this? More to the point, could the country possibly become worried about such consequences? Want to have your next brain surgery done by someone who’d never been called on to truly distinguish himself, except by his or her race? Does Main Street USA’s support for Affirmative Action extend that far? Maybe we’re about to find out.

Congressman Barney Frank…whom nobody thinks is a Republican…demonstrated that much-lauded progressive-liberal patience and tolerance for diverse points of view during a live television interview. Wonder if they factored this in to that above-mentioned study.

And then we had that progressive-liberal respect for the rule of law demonstrated by our Climate Queen — yeah, that’s another matter, our liberals-in-charge want to control our weather. Climate czar Carol Browner apparently violated the Presidential Records Act.

So the picture’s pretty complete — as it has been for awhile, but in this damaging, damaging week, it was pencilled in, painted in, tinted, shaded, and framed to perfection in such a way that the apathetic mainstream centrist voters can understand it. And understand it well. These people are in power, uncontested, out of control, as closed-minded as any Republican has ever been, hateful, intolerant, impetuous, as pissy and resentful as any loser of elections has ever been. They are as dim and incurious as George W. Bush has ever been. They cannot get along with anyone else, even their own. They cannot deal with important decisions because they cannot deal with facts. They just want to have power over everybody else, and that’s all. Well, that and accumulate magnitudes of personal wealth as lofty and imposing as what they would deny to others.

The only thing missing from this week…and this may have happened too, if I missed it…was the usual, regularly “scheduled” embarrassing gaffe from Vice President Joe Biden. Other than that one cherry on top, everything else was there this week.

Small wonder that Biden’s old contender for the #2 spot, apparently felt so justified in saying I told you so.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

Bob Herbert, Nailed Again, This Time by Blogger Friend Phil

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Phil bags ‘im and tags ‘im. If you’re familiar with Bob Herbert, you know this doesn’t take much. A work by Bob Herbert is a work of pure bile. Leaning hard on the negative. Hate, hate, hate. Even in the New York Times, there isn’t much like it…it’s an entire career built on one statement taken out of context in one of Ronald Reagan’s speeches from 29 years ago. Simply amazing.

The subject this time? What else. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, and the powerless but hated right-wing white males who have the temerity to speak out about it, specifically, the not-elected-or-appointed-to-anything Newt Gingrich and the not-elected-or-appointed-to-anything Karl Rove.

Phil’s spent more time on it than I have available to me here, and I don’t feel up to the task of excerpting. But this quote summarizes things nicely:

The deal is, the Republicans as a rule (far, far more than the Democrats) have been for equal treatment, and have been demonized in the past 30 or so years as being racist for not wanting to go beyond that and elevate minorities to a special status. It is not the Republicans being inconsistent. It’s the Democrats buying minority votes and convincing them that they are dependent on Democrats to keep those mean Republicans from putting them back under the boot.

I am not saying there are not racist Republicans, nor am I saying all Democrats are, or were, racists. Lefties can point to examples But you can’t ignore the numbers and the trend over our history.

What causes it? Goodperson Fever. People who define the postmodern liberal movement are in a great big hurry to showcase, over and over again, that they see all other persons as “equal”…they can never demonstrate that to the rest of us enough to feel satisfied…and the reason this thirst is unquenchable, is because that which is being so repeatedly proven again and again, is not true. These people are miserable if & when we have both a code and a culture that recognizes all classes as equal. That makes them supremely unhappy. All these classes have to be special in some way. We have to have a Year of the Woman, a Year of the Queer, a Year of the Disabled Person, a Year of the Differently Colored, et cetera. Nobody is ever fully respected…just as a person. Nope. There have to be special privileges to “make up for the errors of the past.”

Their sailboat is becalmed if the waters ever become truly smooth, and they damn well know it. They want the interclass jealousies and infighting to continue.

Now if you woke up a genie after two thousand years and let him live in one wing of your house for a few weeks…or if you rescued an alien who crashed here in a spaceship…seriously, how would you explain this to your houseguest? Affirmative Action plans and programs all over the place to help out those disenfranchised classes that can’t get a fair shake without ’em, and yet the most prestigious occupation in our entire country is occupied by a black dude. People screaming by the millions, “hooray, it’s true, anybody can do anything!” — but nobody dares to say “So when do we get rid of all these programs?” Your houseguest, who for purposes of our hypothetical possesses all of the critical-thinking faculties required, but is completely foreign to our recent history, would suggest the obvious to you and you’d be forced to agree. Someone is in charge of these little wrinkles in our society, and whoever it is wants us to keep fighting across class lines. What do you do when you want roof shingles to line up? What do you do when you want panels of sheet metal to fit in with each other? You erect one beam across the full length of the structure, and then you nail or rivet the units to this common bond. We don’t do that with our people. We’re opposed to doing that. Every class has to have its own beam or plank. It’s a rule. We don’t really want the nirvana we are supposed to be desperately and endlessly seeking. Or if we do really want it, we haven’t been grasping for it in the right way. We’ve been putting foxes in charge of the chicken coop. We’ve been appointing dividers to the task of unifying us.

And we’ve been putting rabble-rousers in the position of “informing” us, too. Bob Herbert is one of the most prestigious columnists, in our nation’s most prestigious newspaper.

And all he does is peddle hate. It’s as if his position exists solely to make blogs look more worthwhile.

Liberals Acting Just Like Archie Bunker

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

When Sonia Sotomayor made her comments about white guys, she was simply displaying what nowadays passes for mainstream dedicated-lefty thinking…which means it passes for mainstream thinking on behalf of us all.

Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases,” she declared. “I am…not so sure that I agree with the statement. First…there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life. [emphasis mine]

Better to have this thing done by that ethnic group than a bunch of white males, better to have that thing over there done by this group over here than a bunch of white males…et cetera. It’s not the same reverse-discrimination I remember from years ago, which sought to make the point it was someone else’s “turn” and left things at that. The message had to do with fairness and equality. Nowadays it has more to do with suitability. And differences. We like to talk about how little sense it ever made, to allow the white males to do anything. We w.a.s.p.’s have weaknesses other groups don’t have. Weaknesses, vices, phobias, we’re ignorant, we’re greedy, we’re cowardly…we lack empathy.

The next step after that is when someone calls you on your racist bullshit, you backpedal like crazy. So we’ve seen this stuff Before Sonia, and we’ll see it long after she’s confirmed. Or withdraws. Whatever.

James Taranto, writing in Best of the Web, notices something even more skewed. And I don’t know how you can top this. Today’s liberals behave exactly the way Archie Bunker used to behave…for laughs.

It reminds us of an exchange on an early episode of “All in the Family,” which we caught as part of a retrospective aired earlier this week on the TV Land cable network. Archie Bunker and the Meathead are arguing over a brochure advertising a slate of candidates for local office:

Archie: What’s the matter with this? I call this representative government. You’ve got Salvatori, Feldman, O’Reilly, Nelson–that’s an Italian, a Jew, an Irishman and a regular American there. That’s what I call a balanced ticket.

Meathead: Why do you always have to label people by nationality?

Archie: ‘Cause, how else are you going to get the right man for the right job? For instance, take Feldman there. He’s up for treasurer. Well, that’s perfect. All them people know how to handle money. Know what I mean?

Meathead: No, I don’t.

Archie: Well, then you got Salvatori running for D.A. He can keep an eye on Feldman. You know, I want to tell you something about the Italians. When you do get an honest one, you really got something there.

Meathead: Aw, c’mon, Arch.

Archie: Well, then here you got O’Reilly, the mick. He can see that the graft is equally spread around, you know. You got Nelson, the American guy. He’s good for TV appearances, to make the rest of them look respectable.

Like Sotomayor, Archie is not propounding a theory of racial or ethnic supremacy but describing the world in terms of culturally contingent stereotypes. He is engaging in identity politics.
Today, you can easily imagine a conservative uttering the Meathead’s earnest query: “Why do you always have to label people by nationality?” But somewhere along the line, liberalism lost its ideals and adopted Archie Bunker’s theory of representative government.

There was an elegantly veiled undertone of preaching in this show, for those who are too young to recall. The message was always crystal-clear: Only a cigar-chomping rube from Queens would stoop so low as to think ethnic groups have characteristics that separate them from other ethnic groups. It doesn’t matter if you hold one group to be superior to another (which, pointedly, Bunker doesn’t do in the exchange above). Simply believing in such differentials is enough. Because we’re all the same.

Sotomayor went further than Archie Bunker, though, since her comment made it quite clear that she holds white males to be inferior. Sure her primary point was that the white males have missed out on some kind of experience(s), not that they would be white, or male. But the whiteness-and-maleness was somehow worth mentioning.

The whiteness-and-maleness accentuates the inexperience…or it is more of a hindrance to rendering a reasonable decision than the inexperience. Does it matter which one? Either way, the whiteness-and-maleness, in her mind, is obviously some kind of liability.

So go ahead and confirm her. Just bear in mind, though, that she represents exactly the mindset that, in a day long gone, “everyone” was so eager to leave behind. Since, y’know, when you’re walking in circles, it’s important to at least recognize that’s what you are doing.