This time it's regarding Bill Bennett's words on the radio. Of course, today's Wilmington News Journal has the headline "Bennett: Black abortions would lower crime."
Which certainly is a head-turner and causes one to say either "Huh?" or if you're already predisposed, "I KNEW it!" (that Bennett, like all Republicans, are racist). Of course, you can bet your bottom dollar that that's just what AP and the News Journal want people to believe -- hence, the headline. Because if you actually take the time to read the article, it says
He went on to call that "an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky." Responding later to criticism, Bennett said his comments had been mischaracterized and that his point was that the idea of supporting abortion to reduce crime was "morally reprehensible."
Amazing, ain't it? I won't argue Bennett's supposed facts because I don't know if they're accurate or not. But Bennett should know by now that that kind of anti-PC talk will ONLY get him in trouble. Check it -- get Republicans and/or conservatives in trouble. For instance, from the News Journal page where the Bennett article was located, I did an article search for Charles Rangel's anti-Bush comments where he compared the president to the notorious segregationist Bull Connor. After using keywords "Bush Bull Connor" and "Charles Rangel," the seven day and archive search turned up ZIPPO.
And some people still scoff when people bring the "liberal media"?
Just caught another laugher on this matter. "Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and other Democrats demanded an apology" regarding Bennett's comments. Wait a sec -- Harry Reid?? The same Harry Reid who ripped [black] Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas earlier this year as an "embarrassment" to the Court, and said his opinions were "poorly written" -- saying that they appear to be more along the lines of an "eighth grade dissertation"? And, then whose "evidence" was so remarkably laughable that even the all-Democrat Congressional Black Caucus said that Reid had "crossed the line" in his criticism of Thomas?
Yep. That Reid.
Selective. Moral. Indignation.
UPDATE: Tim Graham right on target:
I think the fascinating thing about the Bennett story (and it IS a news story, in the WashPost and AP and ABC) is how effortlessly a Media Matters scooplet like this goes from David Brock-land to Democratic press secretaries to the media "mainstream." Can you imagine an MRC or AIM transcript moving so effectively from Republican press release to Washington Post? No. That's why they're called the liberal media.
Then there's the whole issue of black leaders like Jesse Jackson Jr. taking offense. The media clearly does not respond when black leaders like Julian Bond say conservatives are a racist "crazed swarm of right-wing locusts." Or when Al Gore pandered to them by suggesting conservatives "use colorblind the way duck hunters use their duck blind. They hide behind it and hope the ducks won’t figure out what they’re up to." Those quotes didn't make the news pages of the Post.
UPDATE (10/2 at 11:30): Jeff Goldstein has more. He says:
Bennett clearly was aware of how his words might be used, but that awareness could not prevent misuse. For Bennett to have avoided the “major failing” politechnical identifies, he would have had to avoid the subject altogether. And to do so is to trade intellectualism for the kind of circumspection that has the practical effect of chilling free speech.
To those who pro-gay marriage people who scoffed -- mocked -- the idea that gay "marriage" would lead to marriage "rights" for polygamists: First Trio "Married" in The Netherlands.
John Rosenberg had a couple good posts today that made me either shake my head or chuckle. First, he details how a [white] Tennessee lawmaker was called "racist" because he caused a minor ruckus when he was excluded from the state's Black Legislative Caucus. Rep. Stacey Campfield later, on his blog, used excerpts from Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech -- which were responded to with death threats! And no wonder:
Experts on race and hate groups said Campfield hit a nerve when he used King's words to take on a black institution. It's the same tactic white separatists often use, said Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center.
"Very typically these days we see white supremacists, hate groups, trying to use the words of King and other civil rights leaders to try to advance their agendas," Potok said.
In another thought-provoking post, John reports on the controversy surrounding requiring photo IDs in order to be able to vote. Recently, the "bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform issued a report recommending that all voters nationwide present photo IDs by the year 2010," but this doesn't sit well with, um, "activists":
"If the court says this [Georgia] law is constitutional, there is no doubt in my mind that other states across the South will follow suit . . . .[T]his would be returning to the Jim Crow era," said Georgia state Representative Tyrone Brooks, president of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, one of the plaintiffs in the suit.
Georgia has what many consider to the strictest photo ID law (for voting) in the country. I had opined many, many times what the Commission has recommended. If the Left, in particular, is so distressed about voter fraud, you'd think requiring ID would be a good thing to do. But, in reality, the Left isn't distressed about it. They only get worked up over electoral conspiracy theories where electronic voting machines somehow "add votes" in Ohio for the candidate they don't want elected.
On the education scene, Kim Swygert brings us a story that will only serve to further lessen the public's view of public education:
Students say they hear a lot of profanity on television, and a high school easing its penalties for swearing now says television is where they should look for model language. Boca Raton Community High School students used to be suspended from school for cursing. But school administrators found that last year, some of their best students were getting suspended, sullying otherwise clean records.
This year, Principal Geoff McKee said students caught swearing would get a less severe penalty...Students have been told to model their choice of words on television newscasts. The newscasters improvise without using profanity, McKee said.
"It's the only place where they work to have language that's acceptable to all," McKee said.
Amazing how Kim has to point out what a friggin' principal (who probably makes close to -- or over -- $100K) can't (or won't):
Simply amazing that McKee doesn't suggest students model their language habits on their home life. This makes one of several assumptions, all of them ugly: (1) that parents cuss so much nowadays that children are forced to turn to TV to learn proper English, (2) that children don't listen to their parents at all, but will listen to TV, or (3) that children are home so little but glued to the TV so much that newscasters are their best role models.
If the penalties for cursing were essentially abandoned at my school or district, I'd consider it abandoned for me, too: "Where's your f***ing homework, huh?" "Do your god***ed work, NOW!" Or maybe this: "No, 'F' doesn't mean 'fail,' it means 'f***ed up' -- as in what you did on that test!!"
Yeah, a guy who spent over five years in a North Vietnamese prison camp -- a "warmonger."
I just wish McCain would have given her a tongue-lashing similar to that he reportedly gave to Charles Keating when he impugned McCain's integrity.
Greg has more.
"DeLay Says He Is Innocent of Charges" is the ABC News headline. Well, duh. What do you think he'd say?
A Texas grand jury on Wednesday charged Rep. Tom DeLay and two political associates with conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme, forcing the House majority leader to temporarily relinquish his post. A defiant DeLay insisted he was innocent and called the prosecutor a "partisan fanatic."
Does all this sound familiar?
Speaking of which, on my local WDEL talk radio station this afternoon, snide lefty co-host Gerry Fulcher berated [conservative] partner Rick Jensen for saying that Bill Clinton was impeached. "He was NOT impeached," Fulcher insisted. Ger, Ger, Ger -- for a talk show host to not understand basic civics! C'mon! Clinton was indeed impeached. He wasn't convicted.
Semi-update: Just got back from taking the daughter to dance class. Had Hannity on the radio. He actually said "When Democrats can't win elections, they indict Republicans." Geez, didn't Democrats say exactly the same thing about Bill Clinton's impeachment? (Yes, Gerry, impeachment.) Elsewhere, the "Great One," Mark Levin, thinks the case against Delay is "outrageous."
Stephen Spruiell, a con who doesn't like Delay, says "this indictment is totally phony."
Another semi-update: Brit Hume on Fox just noted that the dude bringing the indictment against Delay (Travis County DA Ronnie Earle, a Democrat) once had Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson brought up on assault charges! He was laughed out of court on that, BTW.
Via Greg, I came upon this Boston Globe site which has their picks for Best 50 Sci-Fi Shows of All Time. From what I can see, there's no direct link to the entire list in one shot, so you have to go through each one. And sheesh -- so far I just saw "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" at #47?? You've just gotta be kidding!
#40 is a childhood fave of mine, "The Thunderbirds" -- those marionette puppet action figures with some of the coolest rescue vehicles ever!
#38 is "Batman" -- the one with distended-bellied Adam West as the Caped Crusader.
#37 is "Space: 1999" which was simply one of the coolest shows of my youth. Our moon gets blasted out of orbit and becomes a space ship in its own right.
#35 is the original "Battlestar Galactica." Started off HOT fresh off the "Star Wars" craze, then quickly fizzled. Not to worry -- the remake is way better as it's magnitudes more realistic and gritty.
#31 is "Alien Nation," a series I started off digging but quickly became disillusioned with. The movie, starring James Caan and Terence Stamp was kick-ass. But would we really allow aliens to live among us as naturalized citizens without knowing all about them?
#29: "The Six Million Dollar Man." Yet another childhood fave. Wouldn't last very long today with the ridiculous slow-motion use of Steve Austin's bionics, that's fer sher. Still, you just hadda groove to Steve tangling with Sasquatch and that sexy Stefanie Powers in silver spandex!
#24: "Wonder Woman." A young teen watching a [totally hot] Linda Carter in that ... outfit? 'Nuff said.
#21 is "Quantum Leap" which wasn't one of my fave sci-fi shows, but definitely one of my wife's. I'd watch it occasionally because of her, and many episodes were very cool -- especially when Dr. Beckett traded places with a poor black man in the South.
#18 is "V," the miniseries-turned-series which featured a lizard-like race attempting to subvert humanity, take our water, and use humans for food. Ridiculous premise when you think about it, but good fun at the time.
#14 is the first entry of "Star Trek" shows -- "Voyager." I was a regular viewer of the Federation ship's adventures in the distant Delta Quadrant (especially when Jeri Ryan's Seven of Nine character joined the cast), dug most episodes, but hated the series finale with a passion.
#13 is the original "Outer Limits." WAY ahead of its time by any stretch of the imagination.
#10 is "Sliders." When Jerry O'Connell's Quinn Mallory discovers how to open a dimensional portal to other Earths, that's where the fun begins. Began on network TV then migrated to original SciFi Channel episodes where it really got cool. The "Cromags" are one of the cooler concepts in sci-fi TV -- on one alternate Earth, a Neanderthal-Cro Magnon offshoot becomes the dominant human species, discovers sliding, and starts a dimensional war.
#9 is one of the funniest damn shows ever -- "Mystery Science Theatre 3000." I discovered this back in 1989 on the Comedy Channel (now Comedy Central) and was immediately hooked. A human (either Joel Hodgson or Mike Nelson) and two nutty robot companions waste away their days stranded on a spaceship by watching terrible movies. And we get to watch too -- and listen to their hilarious wisecracks all at the same time.
#7 is well deserved -- the original "Twilight Zone." Two episodes that freaked me out were the second season's "The Invaders" where a lone woman battles several-inch high spacemen, and the first season's "Time Enough At Last" which features Burgess Meredith as a librarian with any and all the books he loves to read at his disposal (after a nuclear war), but he drops and smashes his reading glasses!
#4 is the "X-Files." I dug many of the episodes, but it eventually grated on my nerves as I struggled -- and I mean struggled -- to put together just what the hell was going on. One of the coolest episodes: where the "Pusher" -- who can will others to do his bidding -- takes control of Mulder. Also has a character with possibly the coolest name in all sci-fi: "Cancer Man."
#3 is currently my fave sci-fi show of all time, "Star Trek: The Next Generation." After a fairly weak opening season, the show soared. The third season was probably the best, featuring the classic Borg two-parter where Jean-Luc Picard becomes one of the nasty cyborgs. My personal fave episode is "The Inner Light" where Picard lives an entire life in the span of 25 minutes thanks to an alien probe of a long-dead civilization. He's at his acting pinnacle here. And, three of the original series' characters make guest appearances -- McCoy on the movie pilot, Spock (now an ambassador) joins Picard and Data on Romulus for a killer two-parter, and Scotty is picked up by the Enterprise-D on a friggin' Dyson Sphere, of all things. (And no, the Enterprise-D doesn't seem interested in the greatest artifact the Federation has ever discovered -- they're too interested in Scotty! YEESH!)
#2 is the new "Battlestar Galactica." In a word, "wow."
#1 is the original "Star Trek." A safe choice, to be sure, but it ain't one of my favorites, remarkably. Still, repeated viewings of "City of the Edge of Forever, "Mirror, Mirror" and "Balance of Terror" kick major sci-fi backside. And, as the commentary states, "Yes, perhaps it didn't feature the best acting, or most compelling story plots, but it was a show that set the standard for future space epics since. The show is also more popular today than it was when it first ran on air. The show went on to inspire several movies, several spinoffs and hordes of fans.
As for omissions, I agree with Greg that leaving off the classic series "The Prisoner" is a travesty. And that other Star Trek entry, "Deep Space Nine," deserves a spot if friggin "Buck Rogers/25th" and "Xena" are on there! In addition, another classic Brit show, "UFO," was way ahead of its time -- it had chicks in mini-skirts with purple hair! What's not to like? And my sleeper pick (also omitted): "Max Headroom."
... like this? There are plenty of real Repubs against the war, after all.
Here's my answer: It's 'cause they're nuts!
I caught some of Dan Rather's appearance on C-SPAN last night. I don't think I ever heard a dude talk so much yet say so little. Obviously, the "Rathergate" phony Bush National Guard document thingie came up. Dan's response?
"The facts of the story were correct. One supporting pillar...was brought into question...no one has proven whether it was what it was purported to be or not....the story is accurate."
Oh, brother! That sure doesn't sound much like Dan from Sept. 2004.
Then, later, Danny adds this gem:
"It's been one of television news' finest moments," Rather said of the Katrina coverage. He likened it to the coverage of President Kennedy's assassination in 1963. "They were willing to speak truth to power," Rather said of the coverage.
Yep, now that we've found out that all that "truth to power" about rapes, killings and "tens of thousands dead" in New Orleans post Katrina was wildly exaggerated and even outright lies, who can think of a "finer moment," eh?
(h/t: The Corner.)
Check out this pic of newest leftist celeb Cindy Sheehan getting arrested in front of the White House today:
Geez, I hope that's not why she has a smile on her face....!
UPDATE: Greg has info on Sheehan's selfishness. She has so friggin' much, she's beginning to tick off even the lefties!
Salvador Allende's sad ending: He was fund-backed by KGB and got killed by a Cuban Agent!
"The fact is that Allende was not a suicide, he was not killed by the military that took the power in September, 1973. During their assault against La Moneda palace, Chilean president was cowardly murdered by one of the Cuba agent [sic] that were in charge of his protection" says Eduardo.
Allende was frightened by the military and wanted to surrender. Before he could do this, he was killed.
Early this month a new book by KGB archivist Vasili Mitrokhin revealed that Allende, and other leftist leaders in Latin America received money from KGB.
I'm the last to trust a book out of France (hell, one of their best sellers was one that claimed 9/11 was a fake), so I'll take a wait-see attitude on that one. Oh, and Hube -- you won't like this nugget: Costa Rica's José ''Pepe'' Figueres received $300,000 from the KGB for his 1970 presidential campaign and $10,000 afterward.
"This U.S. administration -- the current government -- is a terrorist administration, not all U.S. governments. I entertained the best of relations with the Clinton administration, and I consider myself a good friend of former President Carter. ... This administration invaded Iraq. According to Pope John Paul II, it is an illegal war, an immoral war, a terrorist war. The U.S. has bombarded entire cities, used chemical weapons and napalm, killed women, children and thousands of soldiers. That's terrorism. ... This [present U.S.] government is a threat to humanity. I have confidence that the American people will save humanity from this government -- they will not allow it to [continue to] violate human rights and to invade countries. ... Regarding who is in the White House, it's up to you, the American people. Think it over. A government with so much power that it can start a war and destabilize a country but doesn't take care of its own people. Now, before the hurricane, they knew that Katrina was coming, and the government did not evacuate people. In Cuba, when they know a hurricane is coming, chickens, hens and people are all evacuated."
Of course, Hugo is just Castro lite, but ... chemical weapons? Napalm? Doesn't care for its own people? Was the Clinton admin. "terrorist" for its illegal war in Kosovo?
Oh, and Hugo buddy -- before you offer cheap or free oil to our "poor," take a gander at your own country's standard of living first, eh? Try using that lush oil revenue to shape things up. Maybe you can actually do it without resorting to an oil-rich, Saudi-ish authoritarian government.
What's that? You are instituting an authoritarian government?
John Rosenberg picks up on a very interesting -- not to mention scary -- theory of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution by Judge Guido Calabresi, former Sterling Professor and Dean of the Yale Law School who was appointed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals by President Clinton. Calabresi believes that
the 14th Amendment is entirely remedial and stands for the proposition that to give equality, you may need to treat some people differently.
Neat, huh? It gets better:
Calabresi also opined that, unlike the First Amendment, the 14th Amendment contains a psychological catch that suggests individual groups cannot flaunt their differences, "we will go out of our way to give you equality, but don't act too differently." The framers of the 14th Amendment, Calabresi believes, were writing with the First Amendment in mind, hoping that our society would one day reach total symmetry between the "we" and "they," so that 1st Amendment level of equality, with full "flaunting" privileges, would be reached by all groups in our society.
We have an e-mail in to our favorite legal blogger, Xrlq, for his take. We'll keep you posted.
Aaron Broussard, who was famous for a few minutes on "Meet the Press" a couple weeks ago for his breakdown about a woman who died while "waiting" to be rescued in post-Katrina New Orleans, is back on right now defending what he did -- that is, plainly embellishing and even lying about a tragic story for obvious political reasons -- and deflecting blame every which way. He just now stated that the nursing home owners who are currently up on charges for abandoning patients under their care should face "Western justice" -- they should be "strung up."
Incredible. Host Tim Russert was the epitomy of WIMP. He didn't challenge Broussard whatsoever. He just let him go on and on and on.
Zombie has the proof.
UPDATE (9/25 at 10:12am): Catch any of the Washington DC "anti-war" rally yesterday on C-SPAN? Even further proof the Left has no chance. The motley bunch of speakers were so ridiculously far to the left that despite Bush's major problems of late, despite his rock-bottom poll numbers... they make Bush look like an incredibly reasonable Einstein for cripe's sake. I watched a bit in the afternoon and again (on repeat) in the late evening, and ... whoa. Some notables I saw speak were Cindy Sheehan, Ramsey Clark and Jesse Jackson. Here's what I garnered from the smattering I witnessed:
The Gay Patriot notes that Iraq War protests are shrinking.
UPDATE 2 (10:47am): Michelle Malkin has some, er, interesting photos from the rally.
UPDATE 3 (9/26 at 5:14pm): Malkin has even more photos.
I just had to catch the finale despite whatever other plans I had. Simply put, the finale was based directly on a popular two-parter from the original 1979 series -- "Pegasus." In it, the Galactica and the "ragtag fugitive fleet" miraculously discover that another Battlestar -- the Pegasus -- survived the genocidal Cylon attack on the Twelve Colony homeworlds. Being that the Pegasus didn't have the responsibility of protecting the civilian fleet, it and its crew were free to pursue hit-and-run attacks with abandon against their robot enemies. In the original, Commander Adama (Lorne Greene) was Pegasus Commander Cain's superior, and eventually essentially relieved Cain of duty when he refused to follow his orders. In the new version, Cain is an admiral and thus Adama's superior.
The Pegasus crew right off the bat comes off as a bunch of sadistic yahoos. Immediately I'm thinking, "Why are they being such dicks to the only other humans alive anywhere?" Commander Cain (who was played by Lloyd Bridges in the original) is played by the [quite hot] Michelle Forbes, who gained sci-fi notoriety by her recurring role as Ensign Ro in "Star Trek: The Next Generation." She quickly assumes command of the fleet, and orders Galactica crew members (notably Apollo and Starbuck) reassigned to the Pegasus. Adama ain't happy about it, but he too has to follow orders, after all.
Elsewhere, Cylon "expert" Gaius Baltar goes to examine Pegasus's only Cylon prisoner -- a copy of Baltar's love, Number 6. Now here is where "Battlestar" starts to lose me, philosophically and even morally. OK, I get what creators David Eick and Ronald Moore are trying to do. They want to distinguish humans from machines -- the capacity for compassion, pity, and even mercy. (I mean, how else can one explain why Boomer is friggin' still alive?) When Baltar enters the Pegasus's brig, we see the copy of Number 6 lying on the floor -- obviously injured ... from abuse and torture. Baltar's "psychic" Number 6 proceeds to lecture Baltar on how "wrong" it is to have her on that condition, and later Baltar delivers a soliloquy on how he will "free" her of her predicament.
(UPDATE: National Review's Jonah Goldberg agrees that "Pegasus" was "frackin' awesome.")
(UPDATE 2: Thanks, Jonah, for linking to my review! Welcome, The Corner readers!)
But that's only for starters. Back on the Galactica, Pegasus' chief interrogation officer arrives at Sharon's (Boomer's) cell, accompanied by two heavily armed guards. He shows her a spy photo of a mysterious Cylon craft which Pegasus and Galactica are preparing to attack. Sharon claims she doesn't know what it is, and, well, that's just the wrong answer! The interrogator (Lt. Thorne) begins beating the living snot out of her, and then, amazingly, prepares to rape her! Tyrol and Helo get wind of what's happening, and quickly hightail it to Boomer's cell. (Tyrol and Helo both have had, um, "relations" with the quite sexy humanoid Cylon in the past.) Upon entering the cell, one of the two grabs Lt. Thorne, throwing him hard against the deck -- his head striking a large bolt in the process. He's dead.
Tyrol and Helo are taken into custody by the Pegasus guards, taken back to the Pegasus, and their fate is determined by one person -- Admiral Cain. The sentence? Death. Back on Galactica, Adama is furious, demanding a full tribunal hear his officers' cases. Refused. Ultimately, Adama orders several Vipers (the ship's fighter craft) to go to Pegasus to "get" Tyrol and Helo. Cain responds in kind. The cliffhanger is first rate: each Battlestar's squadron of Vipers head toward each other in a stand-off.
Back to why the show "loses me." As I mentioned back when:
Commander Adama (played awesomely by Edward James Olmos) was almost killed by one such Cylon in last season's cliffhanger, but here we are well into the second season and we still have the human higher-ups trusting and listening to some of these genocidal robots! Yeesh. Let's see -- there are only some 47K humans left out of billions, but instead of destroying any Cylon we meet, we're gonna "try to understand them." And by keeping them around, they eventually cause us hell. Give me a break.
"Pegasus" only serves to reinforce this notion. Are we really supposed to feel pity and sympathy for the Number 6 copy lying there helpless? (If you've seen the first part of the pilot movie, you'll recall that Number 6 strangled an infant girl in her stroller!) Would humans really still trust and listen to a race (of machines) that committed planetary genocide twelve times over, killed numerous refugees since, almost killed Commander Adama, and have been shown to torture captured humans (back on the virtually wiped-out homeworlds) for their DNA and reproductive cells? In my view, it's highly doubtful. This is why I found myself thinking that Admiral Cain and the Pegasus were doing things the way they should have been done, for the most part. In other words, they don't f*** around. None of that "let's elect a new president" BS and reinstall a "democratic" government. (And the president is the former secretary of education!) I mean, if anything is an emergency situation that calls for martial law, leading only 46K survivors out of tens or hundreds of billions is it. Even when Tyrol and Helo were sentenced to death unilaterally by Cain, I could understand it -- she told Adama that this is a wartime situation where officers obviously had acted treasonously. Certainly, the right thing to do would have been to inform Adama of what had happened and to seek his counsel on the matter. But, Cain's in charge. She didn't have to.
Creators Eick and Moore are either very obtuse about human nature -- or sly as foxes. Although I found myself frequently concurring with Cain and co., you just can't help feel at least a pang of guilt and pity for the tortured Number 6 and later on, Boomer. Is this the creators' attempt to demonstrate how humans are ultimately "superior" beings -- because of their ability to feel compassion etc. -- despite all that has happened to them? Will such be "the power that wins a galaxy" to paraphrase Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers, where the human interstellar infantry adamantly refuses to leave any fellow troopers behind enemy lines, no matter what it costs them?
We will see.
UPDATE (1/7/06): See post on second part of this episode here.
Really? Check this out: President Bush Is ‘Our Bull Connor,’ Harlem’s Rep. Charles Rangel Claims.
Comparing President Bush to the Birmingham, Ala., police commissioner whose resistance to the civil rights movement became synonymous with Southern racism, Rep. Charles Rangel said yesterday of the president: “George Bush is our Bull Connor.”
Mr. Rangel’s metaphoric linkage of Mr. Bush to the late Theophilus “Bull” Connor — who in 1963 turned fire hoses and attack dogs on blacks, including Martin Luther King Jr., demonstrating in favor of equal rights — met with wild applause and cheering at a Congressional Black Caucus town hall meeting, part of the organization’s 35th Annual Legislative Conference.
Yesterday’s town hall meeting was a highlight of the four-day conference, which today will feature an anti-Iraq-war forum with a roving, protesting anti-war mother, Cindy Sheehan; a prominent New York black activist, the Reverend Al Sharpton, and a former president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Kweisi Mfume. The conference culminates in a gala tomorrow evening.
Mr. Rangel, a Democrat who has represented Harlem for almost 35 years, spent his portion of yesterday’s forum reminiscing about the civil rights struggles of the 1960s, and calling on his audience to undertake similar action today, inciting them to “revolution” after the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina and particularly its impact on indigent blacks in the Gulf Coast region.
The storm, he said, showed that “if you’re black in this country, and you’re poor in this country, it’s not an inconvenience — it’s a death sentence.” Denouncing Mr. Bush for waging “a war that we cannot win under any stretch of our imagination” instead of providing for those devastated by the hurricane, Mr. Rangel left his audience with a parting thought.
“If there’s one thing that George Bush has done that we should never forget, it’s that for us and for our children, he has shattered the myth of white supremacy once and for all.”
As James Taranto aptly notes, exactly how will this benefit the nation -- and specifically Democrats and the Left?
The civil rights movement succeeded--with great difficulty at that--because it appealed to the consciences of white Americans. This was a matter of practical necessity: In a democracy, you cannot bring about change without appealing to the majority. But it was also a matter of the uncomplicated rightness of the desegregationist cause. Winning equal rights for black Americans required overcoming a lot of history, prejudice and fear, but it didn't require overcoming any compelling arguments on the other side, for there were none.
By contrast, issues of race and poverty in America today are far more complicated, involving questions of personal responsibility, governmental ineffectiveness and corruption, and the racial attitudes of blacks as well as--indeed, we'd argue, considerably more than--those of whites.
Rangel's simple-minded approach is utterly inadequate to the task. He suggests President Bush is a racist, notwithstanding Bush's having made poverty a priority. He describes blacks as a passive, downtrodden population, then urges them to "revolution"--but who does he think would support such a revolution?
The answer is, some [misguided] blacks and some [misguided] guilty white liberals. And this will benefit, as I noted, virtually no one. Democrats and liberals will not gain anything since this "approach" will be anathema to the vast majority of Americans, and Democrats already have a lock on the African-American vote. As noted countless times on this blog already, preposterous charges of racism cause good people to just stop listening. This "Boy who Cried Wolf" situation will only serve to harm blacks in the long run because whites and others will be so desensitized to the "racism" cry that when real racism shows its ugly head, no one will listen. Or worse, care. And the primary culprits for this sorry situation will people like Rangel, Sharpton and Jackson.
Hube sends me a link to the following: [Historically black] Delaware State University students face overcrowding.
Maybe Delaware State will attribute these oversized classes to ... racism? "This problem began two years ago and has steadily gotten worse," said Lee Streetman, associate professor of sociology. Well, let's see -- George Bush was indeed president two years ago -- 2003 -- and as we all saw in New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina, he "just doesn't care about black people." Kanye West said so, after all. So, maybe we can blame him?
The average class size at DSU is supposed to be in the mid-20s, officials said. Say whaaat?? Mid-20s for a university? And there Hube is teaching middle school where he reports his average class size is -- wait for it -- 34! Maybe we can blame George Bush for this, too.
Then there's this article where DSU alumni want university president Allen Sessoms axed. Albert Outlaw (great name), alumni association president, said the current administration, led by Sessoms, "is not building on the university's legacy as a historically black college" and has instituted policies "eroding the quality of academic instruction." That sounds racist! Sessoms must be a racist!!
Among the association's concerns: a lack of black administrators... Sessoms must be a racist!!
"He has at times made disparaging remarks about the university, its faculty, staff and students. ..." Since DSU is predominately black, this must mean Sessoms is racist!!
"Your actions and statements, both public and private, clearly demonstrate that you are not a proponent of the mission of Delaware State University specifically, and historically black colleges and universities generally [sic]," the letter stated. Sessoms must be racist!!
Oh yeah, sorry -- Sessoms is black.
As I noted earlier over at Rhymes With Right (it's owner, Greg, is evacuating his home of Houston in anticipation of Rita), what's next -- that Hurricane Katrina is worse than the Big Bang?
Here's another instance: CNN's Soledad O'Brien (she must be a hot property with that incredibly multicultural moniker, a nice Latino-Irish one) said this past Tuesday that
"It is a sad thing to watch military veterans cry as they tell you the beheadings in Baghdad were less horrific than what they saw as 30,000 people marched from the Superdome through a shopping mall and onto buses to who knows where."
O'Brien didn't ID exactly who made that insane comparison. And no wonder -- it most likely didn't happen.
French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy visited the new Holocaust museum in Jerusalem's Yad Vashem on September 8 and asked why British Jews "were not also murdered."
Needless to say, Douste-Blazy's question was met by his hosts with amazement. "But Monsieur le minister," Le Canard quoted the ensuing conversation, "England was never conquered by the Nazis during World War II."
The minister apparently was not content with this answer, which, according to the magazine, was given by the museum curator, and persisted, asking: "Yes, but were there no Jews who were deported from England?"
Looks like this dolt surrendered his intelligence much like his country surrendered during the war in question.
(h/t: Dissecting Leftism.)
.... and you bitch because they're not diverse??? Talk about friggin' obscene:
The Red Cross has been praised for its tireless efforts assisting storm victims in Middle Tennessee. But there are concerns in the black community that the organization lacks diversity, especially in an effort helping mostly black evacuees.
The Red Cross Shelter in Franklin opened its doors to storm victims last week. It’s only one of two shelters in Middle Tennessee. The other is in Nashville.
Both shelters are in suburban areas, and the volunteers are predominately white, while the evacuees are almost all black.
Some members of the African-American community say that’s not good enough. “When you're different and you're the lone person, you do feel different. When you're in crisis you like to have some familiarity there,” says Joyce Searcy with the Bethlehem Centers of Nashville.
Feeling "different" as opposed to say ... feeling not dead??
The cult of multiculturalism has officially reached the zenith of absurdity, I'm here to tell 'ya.
Roger Kimball weighs in on the debate. His view is pretty much on par with mine.
Wolf Blitzer to former CNN owner Ted Turner: [Was] there was any "malicious" intent in the federal government's delayed response to Hurricane Katrina?
Stephen Spruiell has a multiple choice question for Blitzer:
Has CNN's belligerent response to Hurricane Katrina been:
B) A desperate attempt to improve ratings
D) Just dumb
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, whose country has no official diplomatic ties with Israel, spoke before the American Jewish Congress Saturday night saying that "his country would take steps to build ties with Israel as the Middle East peace process progresses."
But that didn't satisfy the notoriously overly sensitive CAIR, Council on American-Islamic Relations:
“I strongly believe that there should be no relations with the state of Israel before a comprehensive peace settlement is established, which is satisfactory to Palestinians and after Israel adheres to all United Nations resolutions and international law,” said Nihad Awad, executive director of CAIR.
Yawn. Maybe if virtually every Muslim country didn't want to annihilate Israel 'ya just might get some of what you want, Awad. It gets tiresome. Now go complain about Burger King's ice cream wrappers, asshole.
And Musharraf had better be careful. Remember what happened to poor Anwar Sadat for his peace efforts with the Jewish state.
Maybe Howard Dean will put forward this "notion" sometime in the not-so-distant future:
Pocatello weatherman Scott Stevens is thoroughly convinced that Hurricane Katrina was a terrorist attack committed by Japan or maybe Russia driven to the New Orleans coast to take down the U.S. economy. He also says the United States attempted but failed in its counter-measures to defend itself against her wrath.
Of course, Dean would say Bush knew of this in advance, or that the Bush administration's policies brought this new type of WMD upon ourselves....
UPDATE (9/22 at 7:37pm): Pocatello has resigned as weatherman -- so he can devote more time to "unraveling the conspiracy" of Katrina.
And that's only for "minority" groups. I commented on several other blogs that I thought the hub-bub about the recently revealed Flight 93 Memorial was way overnblown. But ever notice the criticism in cases such as this is either ignored or redirected back at ... the critics?
Contrast that to this, where Burger King is pulling ice cream off the shelves because some of its packaging resembles Arabic letters that mean ... "Allah."
The Corner notes:
Meanwhile, Inayat Bunglawala – the leader of the Muslim Council of Britain and a prominent member of Prime Minister Tony Blair’s task force to “tackle extremism,” praised the “sensitive and prompt action to prevent any hurt being caused to the religious sensibilities of others."
If both designs had remained, here's one difference of what might have happened: Some Americans would still be pissed off in the former case, but the debate would be centered in the media, old and new. In the latter, there would be a fatwa issued, some Burger King franchises bombed, and worse, some people killed.
The buffoonery of the insulated Left, that is. Today it's milksop NY Times columnist Paul Krugman who states -- wait for it -- that "the reason America is more conservative than most countries-specifically, the reason it favors smaller government-is that it is bigoted." (Link -- direct NY Times link requires paid subscription.)
Fortunately Roger Clegg dissects such nonsense. He says
How does one respond to a line like, "George W. Bush-who, like Mr. Reagan, isn't personally a racist but relies on the support of racists," except with "Paul Krugman-who isn't a moron but whose column is enjoyed by morons"? Except that this response gives Krugman too much credit.
He also points out that in the book America in Black and White, it shows that
the percentage of Americans who say they dislike African Americans is lower than the percentage of those in European countries who say they dislike their principal domestic minority group. In the U.S., that is, 13 percent say they dislike blacks; in France, 42 percent say they dislike North Africans.
Ah yes, those "enlightened" Europeans. The same Euros whose press delights in our Katrina ills, but whose own recent natural disaster death toll was only much worse, but ridiculously more avoidable.
Here's a transcript of the Hitchens-Galloway debate. Just remember though, it's nothing without the nuance and emotion of actually watching it!
I managed to catch the Christopher Hitchens-George Galloway debate last night on C-SPAN2. Despite the fact that I think Galloway is a morally corrupt blowhard, I'd certainly be willing to concede the fact if he won the debate. He did not, however. Galloway, for those who don't know, is a [far-left] member of the British House of Commons and one of the leading opponents of the war in Iraq. A few months back, he testified before our own Congress regarding the UN Oil for Food investigation. In the debate, he just didn't listen to Hitchens, instead sticking to his talking points religiously. For example, he chastised Hitchens repeatedly for his anti-war stance (against Iraq) back in 1991, and his subsequent "flip-flopping" for being pro-war now -- calling him "inconsistent." The problem is that Hitchens had addressed this fact early on, saying he "learned from his mistake" (his stance on Iraq in '91) and indeed had written extensively about it.
In addition, Galloway looked absolutely silly when denouncing the US and the UK for "creating" the suicide attackers of 9/11 (the debate was in New York!), drawing resounding boos from the crowd. But that's minor compared to his yelling and screaming about this "fact," when all the while Galloway has a record longer than John Holmes' johnson of applauding and supporting middle east dictators such as Saddam and Syria's Assad (which Hitchens dutifully pointed out each time Galloway returned to this particular rant).
I expected more from Galloway, much more. He dissected congressional interrogators when he testified before them months ago, making them look pathetic. I knew that Hitchens was a talented writer and debater, but I figured George would give him a decent scuffle. Not even close.
Ironically, another far-left conspiratorialist, Greg Palast, rips Galloway -- this time for suggesting that author Salman Rushdie should expect the Islamic death sentence that was issued against him for his book The Satanic Verses:
During his debate with Salman Rushdie at the recent Edinburgh TV Festival, someone asked George Galloway if television should broadcast an adaptation of Rushdie's novel, Satanic Verses. According to Rushdie, Galloway replied, "If you don't respect religion, you have to suffer the consequences." Holy Jesus! This was, unmistakably, an endorsement of the death-sentence fatwa issued against Rushdie by Ayatollah Khomeini…The Honorable Member of Britain's House of Commons has become the new love-child of American progressives for his in-your-face accusations about our own government's mendacity in sending our troops to war in Iraq. I myself quoted Galloway with admiration. But the man who saluted the "courage" of Saddam Hussein in 1994, who today can't and won't account for nearly a million dollars in income and expenditures for a charity he founded to buy medicine for Iraqi children is not, friends, the best choice as our anti-war spokesman.”
That's for sure.
Back on Monday, Minister Louie Farrakhan stated "I heard from a very reliable source who saw a 25 foot deep crater under the levee breach. It may have been blown up to destroy the black part of town and keep the white part dry."
Never mind how one sees a 25 foot deep crater under a massive flood (what, was he scuba diving?), and never mind that Farrakhan is a certifiable nut. But now, Air America hosts Chuck D. and Rachel Maddow not only refused to condemn the minister, but hung out there that Louie may have a point:
"You cannot blame people for coming up with conspiracy theories," Chuck D. said. "They look on television and see that the government is four days late in saving people [who are] supposed to be their citizens. I can't say [that Farrakhan is wrong] unless I know for sure what's the actual facts and what's actually false."
"Conspiracy theories don't necessarily help but you have to understand where they come from," she said. "They come from people feeling like this disaster had a real racial component. I mean, it was a majority-black city that was absolutely abandoned by the country."
(h/t: Michelle Malkin.)
How pathetic is this quote?
"George Bush needs to stop talking, admit the mistakes of his all around failed administration, pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans and Iraq, and excuse his self [sic] from power."
Yep, that's Cindy Sheehan. If "occupied New Orleans" doesn't evoke even the slightest chuckle, then even the slightest sense of humor you don't possess.
Let's just go over what's happened in the past week:
1) The Palestinians destroyed the standing buildings that used to be synagogues.
2) Hamas blew a whole in the security fence and the border between Gaza and Egypt was open to uncontrolled traffic both ways.
3) So many arms came into Gaza that the prices for weaponry and ordnance dropped precipitously.
4) There are indications that Al Qaeda is planning or has set up a base in Gaza.
5) The Egyptian army did nothing to stem the tide of the traffic either way ensuring that the security situation would deterirate.
6) Once again (or more) Abbas said that he'll confront Hamas. (He sounds like Annie. "Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Tomorrow ....")
Were any of these outcomes unforeseeable?
Nope. Not even for people with myopia.
Doh! After President Bush's speech Thursday night, ABC's Dean Reynolds hit the Houston Astrodome's parking lot to get reaction from [black] evacuees. Despite Reynolds' best goading, none of those interviewed blamed Bush -- but instead blamed local officials.
"Did you harbor any anger toward the President because of the slow federal response?"
Connie London rejected the premise: "No, none whatsoever, because I feel like our city and our state government should have been there before the federal government was called in." She pointed out: "They had RTA buses, Greyhound buses, school buses, that was just sitting there going under water when they could have been evacuating people."
"Was there anything that you found hard to believe that he said, that you thought, well, that's nice rhetoric, but, you know, the proof is in the pudding?"
Brenda Marshall answered, "No, I didn't," prompting Reynolds to marvel to anchor Ted Koppel: "Very little skepticism here."
Reynolds pressed another woman: "Did you feel that the President was sincere tonight?"
She affirmed: "Yes, he was." Reynolds soon wondered who they held culpable for the levee breaks. Unlike the national media, London did not blame supposed Bush-mandated budget cuts: "They've been allocated federal funds to fix the levee system, and it never got done. I fault the mayor of our city personally. I really do."
Guess that's what happens when you go beyond the insulated edit rooms of the MSM broadcast booths and get a little spontaneous, eh? Welcome to the real world, Dean.
UPDATE: Katherine Kersten of the left Minneapolis Star Tribune has similar evacuee stories.
Chris Matthews on Hardball Thursday night proved that either he's just the typical insulated limousine liberal, or he believes that Republicans -- actually, Americans in general -- are big time racists:
[Newsweek's EVAN] THOMAS: I think people resent the idea that the president was somehow racist. I mean, the charge, which was made certainly on the left and by a lot of people, that somehow he overlooked the poor blacks of New Orleans, that-people-a lot of voters resent that charge and think that is just not true. I think it's probably-it's not true. But that-that I think accounts for some of those numbers.
MATTHEWS: But, you know, if you look at the numbers between white and black America, was race a factor in the lack of urgency in the response? Seventy percent of black Americans polled in our-in "Wall Street Journal"/NBC poll say it did a role.
MATTHEWS: And only, what, 30 percent of whites agree with that. So, whoever is right, whoever is wrong, there's a difference, a total difference in perception here.
THOMAS: Yes. Well, of course, it's one of those racially divisive issues. Personally, I don't think that Bush was slow to respond for racial reasons, but I can understand why people would feel that way, because they were slow to respond. And you can always try to find...
MATTHEWS: Do you think the country was less upset? Suppose we did digitalized the faces of all the people who were in that crowd of the Convention Center, out in the street begging for help, and all those people turned out to be white people by some digital manipulation. Do you think the country would have had a different reaction to those people's plight than the fact that they were all black? Do you think the country would have had the same reaction if they were all white people?
THOMAS: I think so, yes. I do.
MATTHEWS: Well, I don't.
MATTHEWS: That's just my view. That's just my view. I won't ask you, Norah. You're a journalist, or a straight reporter. I think the reaction would have been completely different if all those people were white down there.
MATTHEWS: I think there would have been a lot more sympathy from white people.
"A lot more sympathy from white people"...? Has Matthews even seen a fraction of the massive outpouring of aid, both public and private, going to New Orleans? Nevertheless, Matthews' belief is that America remains an invariably racist and bigoted country. Unfortunately, that means 'ol Chris is just like, well, see here.
UPDATE: Heather MacDonald has more. She notes:
While the race-mongers try to stoke blacks’ suspicion of whites, the public is showing that it regards all Americans, whatever their color or economic situation, as brothers and sisters. That people are giving so feverishly in spite of the competing images of looting by the flood victims and the reports of murder and rape is even stronger proof that racism has lost its grip on the American mind: the givers are refusing the bigot’s reaction of impugning an entire race by the loathsome behavior of a few.
She also has Carol Moseley-Braun's, defeated Illinois senator and first black woman in the US Senate, assessment of the Katrina response:
Braun compares the government’s Katrina response to anti-black lynching riots during Reconstruction. “Those who survive [Katrina] will have stories no less chilling than the stories passed down the generations from survivors who fled the night riders in the late 1800s”—in other words, New Orleans blacks waiting for evacuation were subjected to malicious massacre by the authorities.
But, of course, there's a problem:
The unstoppable charity towards New Orleans’s largely black survivors is so massive that even the racial demagogues cannot completely ignore it. Braun acknowledges that “the heart of the people has been touched by this tragedy in ways unknown a century ago.” So Braun is forced into an untenable distinction: the government is racist, but the people are not. This is quite a turnaround for the political and cultural elites. They have always looked to the government to protect blacks from the redneck American public’s racism—through the imposition of racial quotas in hiring, contracting, and college admissions, among other endeavors. Now it turns out that the public doesn’t need all that mandated affirmative discrimination: they see blacks as fellow human beings, not as some inferior “Other.”
Braun’s tortured distinction between a prejudiced government and a charitable people is, of course, absurd: if the public is color-blind in its compassion, its elected representatives will be, too. She offers no theory for why public officials would have held onto race prejudice while the public discarded it.
Hey -- if the right to an abortion is a "decided matter" among society today (sort of like how John Roberts recently stated in front of his nomination committee), then why isn't the Pledge of Allegiance?
Speaking of abortion, a judge in Michigan yesterday declared an anti-"partial birth" abortion law unconstitutional. How is it "unconstitutional" when Roe vs. Wade itself allows states to regulate abortions in the third trimester? (And partial birth abortions are just that -- the baby is friggin' being born.) And, indeed, the Michigan law stated "A doctor could not do D&X unless it was necessary to save the mother's life or to avoid an "imminent threat" to her physical health," which appears to utterly satisfy the stipulations of Roe.
This is a perfect example of how the judiciary thwarts the other branches of gov. It doesn't merely "check" their power, it eclipses it. The Michigan law seems to perfectly address the confines of Roe, yet a judge says "the law places an 'undue burden' on women's right to choose an abortion." That's NOT what Roe stipulates. It's what this judge BELIEVES. In other words, he's substituting his belief system over and above what the SCOTUS determined over 30 years ago.
What better way to thwart argument and debate than ... to simply declare it so. Once again, it's Dana Garrett:
"The case is so clear and unambiguous against Bush it is remarkable that purportedly objective people would even entertain for a single moment that the issue is substantially debatable." (Link.)
Get it? Just like here, phony intellectualism sure doesn't equate to facts. (Garrett believes that a House report on the Katrina disaster unequivocally pins all the blame on, you guessed it, George W. Bush. And if you don't think so, well, see the quote above.)
Of course, whatever LA Governor Blanco and NO Mayor Nagin have to say is, well gospel. But in the real world, in yet another instance of the governor being clueless and yet lashing out at everyone else is shown here. She screams at FEMA now for "moving too slowly in recovering the bodies" that are floating around the now-receding flood waters. However,
Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesman David Passey said the state asked to take over body recovery last week. "The collection of bodies is not normally a FEMA responsibility," he said.
Yesterday I saw that Christopher Hitchens was going to debate rough-edged Brit George Galloway today at 7pm ET. I got to the website where it was to be streamed, but .... it now says it started at six, and when I clicked on the stream link I was informed that they had already reached their bandwidth limit.
UPDATE (9/15/04 AT 3:53PM): Cool! The debate has been archived here. And, the donneybrook will be televised on C-SPAN2 Saturday, Nov. 17 at 9pm ET.
"U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled that the pledge's reference to one nation "under God" violates school children's right to be 'free from a coercive requirement to affirm God.' The judge has granted legal standing to two families represented by an atheist who lost his previous battle before the U.S. Supreme Court."
I'm no lawyer, but back in 1942, the SCOTUS ruled in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette that students were not required to say the Pledge at all. It seems to me the judge merely wants to make a "statement." Which certainly isn't surprising.
I recently caught David Boies, attorney for the Gore camp in the 2000 election debacle, saying that he believes the case will ultimately fail as it makes its way up the appellate ladder.
Here's one thing I don't get from the article:
Karlton dismissed claims that the 1954 Congressional legislation inserting the words "under God" was unconstitutional. If his ruling stands, he reasoned that the school children and their parents in the case would not be harmed by the phrase because they would no longer have to recite it at school.
Huh? Isn't that a contradiction?
UPDATE: Xrlq, always a must read on matters like this, has more.
Amid the chaos and confusion that engulfed New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina struck, a congressman used National Guard troops to check on his property and rescue his personal belongings — even while New Orleans residents were trying to get rescued from rooftops, ABC News has learned.
On Sept. 2 — five days after Katrina hit the Gulf Coast — Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., who represents New Orleans and is a senior member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, was allowed through the military blockades set up around the city to reach the Superdome, where thousands of evacuees had been taken.
Military sources tells ABC News that Jefferson, an eight-term Democratic congressman, asked the National Guard that night to take him on a tour of the flooded portions of his congressional district. A five-ton military truck and a half dozen military police were dispatched.
Lt. Col. Pete Schneider of the Louisiana National Guard tells ABC News that during the tour, Jefferson asked that the truck take him to his home on Marengo Street, in the affluent uptown neighborhood in his congressional district. According to Schneider, this was not part of Jefferson's initial request.
Wellll, hey -- I mean we're already out here, right? Come on guys, help me out, eh?
"I think his is very similar to the position of Pope John XXIII." -- Ken Livingstone, mayor of London, on Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a Qatar-based imam who is banned from America because of his alleged support of suicide bombers.
The mayor conceded that the imam did not condemn "and may be prepared to endorse" suicide bombings in Israel because the Palestinians "only have their bodies" as weapons.
La. drawing up charges for flood deaths is the AP headline today.
The arrest of two nursing-home owners in the deaths of 34 people marked the beginning of what prosecutors said Wednesday is a large-scale investigation into whether New Orleans-area hospitals and other institutions neglected their patients during Hurricane Katrina's onslaught.
The Louisiana attorney general's office said all of its investigators have been pulled from other tasks to work on the Medicaid Fraud Unit, the team whose work led to homicide charges Tuesday against the husband-and-wife owners of the flooded-out St. Rita's nursing home in Chalmette.
A thought here: If the owners of this nursing home can be brought up on charges for abandoning those under their care, can Mayor Nagin and Gov. Blanco be brought up on similar charges? After all, for example, they didn't get anyone to drive all those buses that could have been used to evacuate thousands of people. Nagin has said (paraphrasing) "Who were we to get to drive them? They all wanted to escape with their families." Well, OK then. Can't the same be said of this nursing home's owners? After all, the article continues:
Authorities said the toll would be lower if nursing-home owners Salvador and Mable Mangano had heeded warnings to evacuate their patients as Katrina came ashore Aug. 29.
"The pathetic thing in this case was that they were asked if they wanted to move them and they did not," Foti said. "They were warned repeatedly that this storm was coming. In effect, their inaction resulted in the deaths of these people."
It'd be lower, too, if Louisiana authorities had used those buses to get the less fortunate out, right? And weren't Louisiana authorities "warned repeatedly that this storm was coming"? Didn't, "in effect, their inaction result in the deaths of people"?
See what I mean?
... they're racist.
Middletown Historical Society members, who organized the parade, said they were flabbergasted by Register of Wills Diane Clarke Streett's claim. They said they went out of their way to accommodate Streett, who signed up late and did not have her own car to ride in.
"I think we went above and beyond," said Dick Smyth, parade chairman. "I just feel like the Middletown Historical Society has been slandered."
Festival leaders said they bent the rules to accommodate Streett. The parade's registration deadline was Aug. 1, but when Bawa called Smyth on Aug. 2 to say Streett wanted to be in the parade, Smyth faxed her an entry form. He sent a second form Aug. 3 to be sure she got it. Later that day, he received a completed form and a note asking for placement in an open car because Streett did not have transportation.
"It's our policy not to provide vehicles," Smyth said. He made an exception, arranging to borrow a car and secure a driver for Streett. "We didn't do that for anyone else," Smyth said.
Yet another example of how the "R" word -- somewhat of a modern-day Scarlet Letter -- continues to lose its potency. If you want people to take racism seriously -- and I mean most people -- don't come off as an idiot, frankly. Along this line, James Taranto yesterday noted how recent poll results about Katrina and race reflect that most people just don't buy the whole "racism played a role" bit. He says:
The truth about race that Katrina illuminates, then, is that, at least when it comes to matters involving race, black Americans are extreme political outliers. This is why attempts to play the race card are politically futile: They have to appeal not just to blacks, but to a substantial minority of whites. The Gallup poll results makes clear that the current racial appeals are not resonating with whites.
Does this then mean that [white] America is invariably racist? Certainly not. When real racism raises its ugly head, the vast majority of whites (and all) Americans will fight it. But, as a caveat, unfortunately it's the race hustlers who invoke the "R" word at every conceivable instance who need to look in the mirror when real racism may not be taken as seriously as it should. Sadly, it's the 'ol "boy who cried wolf" scenario.
Jim Pinkerton has an excellent piece on the "return" of the mainstream media.
Court TV anchor and former judge Catherine Crier has a beef with the American Right in politics:
The extreme Right has conquered the executive and legislative branches of government, but it has not been able to bring the federal courts to heel…yet. Undoubtedly, this group has a prodigious impact on the Supreme Court and the other federal courts, but it wants so much more. Its leaders have taken an entity that innately resists politics and turned it into a highly politicized battle zone. They seethe over this unelected, independent third branch of government, the last bulwark between the American people and their attempted coup. That some federal judges have proven well educated, fair, and unintimidated by these voices and methods has further stymied their best-laid plans. The extreme Right may control a good part of the castle, but they have yet to breach the citadel. Only, make no mistake, they mean to bring every last wall crashing down.
And if they manage this, what will they do?
Most of them would like to see the United States under biblical law. Comparable to countries like Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, all of which live by Sharia (the strict Islamic code of the Koran), America's right-wing fundamentalists seek a nation governed by Old and New Testament scripture. Born-again Christianity will supplant the Constitution.
No doubt there are quite a few rightist nutcases that wish exactly this. But Crier is absolutely nuts if she thinks the "The extreme Right has conquered the executive and legislative branches of government." Extreme right?? Bush's administration and the Republican Congress may have a few "extreme" members among them but they have hardly "conquered" those branches of government. "Conquered" implies they took over by force (which I'm sure is what Crier wants readers to believe. That, or via some "devious secret plot" -- see Election 2000 and 2004 for the moonbat theories.) Obviously, all the aforementioned were elected. And since they were elected, how exactly can they "attempt a coup"? Aren't they following the Constitution by proposing (Bush, that is) nominees to the Supreme Court and lesser courts? Don't they have the constitutional right to try to mold the judiciary to their political beliefs -- as every president and party has done throughout American history? And claiming that these Republican-dominated branches wish to put the U.S. under "Biblical law" isn't even worth a serious response because it's just utter garbage.
Crier offers nothing but histrionics at its worst.
... because it may offend Muslims. That's what British PM Tony Blair's advisers are, well, advising Blair -- "scrap the Jewish Holocaust Memorial Day because it is regarded as offensive to Muslims."
A member of one of the committees, made up of Muslims, said it gave the impression that “western lives have more value than non-western lives”. That perception needed to be changed. “One way of doing that is if the government were to sponsor a national Genocide Memorial Day.
“The very name Holocaust Memorial Day sounds too exclusive to many young Muslims. It sends out the wrong signals: that the lives of one people are to be remembered more than others. It’s a grievance that extremists are able to exploit.”
Let's not forget about how it's exclusive to many young Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and Shintoists!!
Of course, the real problem is that too many Muslims have this thing against Jews -- and Israel in particular. For instance, Ibrahim Hewitt, chairman of the charity Interpal, said: “There are 500 Palestinian towns and villages that have been wiped out over the years. That’s pretty genocidal to me.” Ah yes, but look between the lines as you must! How many people were killed in those "500 towns and villages"? Why were the villages razed? Was it because of the mere fact that their residents were Muslim -- akin to the reason Nazis used to destroy Jewish areas and murder six million of their number? Of course not. Villages in so-called Palestinian areas were razed in direct response to continued terror attacks and collaboration against Israel. Warnings are given to get away from areas to be wrecked. This is hardly "genocidal." All Hewitt and those like him offer are weak excuses to eliminate Holocaust Day -- because they are still imbued with irrational hatred of Jews and the nation of Israel. And you know what that sounds like? The party that ran Germany from the early 1930s to 1945.
Some fresh happenings since our last update:
A couple more things she says. A bit later in hte segment she gets into a semi-argument with [CNN's] Miles O’Brien, and he’s pointedly asking her exactly WHEN she asked the President for troops. She gets frustrated and says she didn’t even know what day it was the, she was confused, but Miles presses her.
But it doesn't matter! It's George Bush's fault!! Be sure to watch the video linked above.
Man named "Bob": What I would like to happen? I would like for them to give us at least $20,000 apiece so we can, you know, get our life together. You know, we didn't ask to come on that bus, slave. It's like a slave ship. It's just like, you know, back in history, you know, they put us on a slave ship. They separated us from our family. They did it--you know, just modern-day slavery, you know? Just give us what the f--- we deserve. (Link.)
Sounds like an A+ student of the Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton/Randall Robinson School of I'm a Victim Give Me What [I F***ing] Deserve. (Robinson runs the foreign version of the school, by the way!)
Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu on Sunday's "Fox News Sunday":
Landrieu: "And I intend to find out why the federal -- particularly the response of FEMA -- was so incompetent and insulting to the people of our states."
[Host Chris] Wallace: "Senator Landrieu, I want to ask you -- and I'll ask you both, but let me start with you -- about the local response. Was it incompetent and insulting for Mayor Ray Nagin to order a mandatory evacuation, but then to leave buses -- and we have a picture of them -- hundreds of buses idle, so that they could be flooded, instead of using them to get people out."
Landrieu: "Well, Chris, I was there, as you know, through the whole ordeal with state and local officials, and was right there with Louisiana Democrats and Republicans, city council members, police chiefs, mayors, the governors, and could watch what Haley Barbour was doing and Governor Riley in Alabama.
I am not going to level criticism at the local level."
Well, of course not! They're your fellow statesmen and they're all Democrats! Here's some more (pathetic) excuse-making by Landrieu:
"Mayor Nagin and most mayors in this country have a hard time getting their people to work on a sunny day, let alone getting them out of the city in front of a hurricane. And it's because this administration and administrations before them do not understand the difficulties that mayors -- whether they are in Orlando, Miami, or New Orleans -- face."
"In other words, this administration did not believe in mass transit. They won't even get people to work on a sunny day ..."
[To Wallace's question about all those buses sitting idle, eventually flooded]: "And because the mayor evacuated the city, we had the best evacuation between Haley Barbour and Kathleen Blanco of any evacuation I've seen. I'm 50 years old; I've never seen one any better."(!!!)
[To Wallace's point that 100K people were left behind in the city]: "They did a hundred thousand people left in the city because this federal government won't support cities to evacuate people, whether it's from earthquakes, tornadoes, or hurricanes. And that's the truth."
Just keep remembering folks: No matter what, it's George Bush's fault! Just as the nuts on the Right blamed Bill Clinton for every imaginable ill, it's the loons on the Left that are in full force now.
Garrett certainly has no lack of humility when it comes to his knowledge (even when it's incredibly faulty), so it's curious as to how he doesn't realize there's a thing called federalism involved in the United States government. And, yes, Garrett puts the blame on President Bush for the Katrina disaster. But China, being an autocratic one-party communist state, can do virtually what it wants when it comes to its populace. If George Bush utterly ignored the rights and powers of the Louisiana governor and New Orleans mayor, he certainly could have effected a much quicker evacuation of the Katrina-affected area (by the way, if you happen to be reading, Dana -- note the uses of "effect" and "affect"). But if that did happen, you can bet your bottom dollar that Garrett and every other leftist moonbat would be screaming to high heaven about "Dictator George," which is what they've been calling him all along anyway! But no -- Bush honors the concept of federalism, and, well, it's still all his fault (and he's still a dictator). It'd be funny if it wasn't so damn sad.
That being said, let's take a gander at China's "success" in saving lives/ responding to natural disasters such as typhoons/hurricanes:
And there's plenty more here (.pdf file).
How could China not have prepared adequately for all those floods?? (Especially since it's not noted if they were caused by typhoons or not -- if it was just a massive amount of rain from a general storm, that's even potentially worse in terms of planning!) Oh, and did I mention that 85,000 people died (no, that's not a typo) in 1975 when a dam burst amid a typhoon (sort of like, y'know, levees breaking in a hurricane) in the Henan province of China? Did I also mention we only found out due to one book about Chinese disasters in 1998 -- because such disasters were considered "state secrets" by the Chinese government? Ah ....
Those all sure sound like "successes," don't they? Oh, and don't bother bringing up the fact that China is much more heavily populated than the US. So what? All that means is that China has to plan and operate better in order to save lives. They obviously haven't done that much. But maybe this recent 1 million strong evacuation demonstrates that China is finally "getting it." 'Cause their [recent] past history is, frankly, abysmal.
The federal government's response to Katrina, that is. That's what Jack Kelly of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette argues:
It is settled wisdom among journalists that the federal response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina was unconscionably slow.
“Mr. Bush’s performance last week will rank as one of the worst ever during a dire national emergency,” wrote New York Times columnist Bob Herbert in a somewhat more strident expression of the conventional wisdom.
But the conventional wisdom is the opposite of the truth.
Jason van Steenwyk is a Florida Army National Guardsman who has been mobilized six times for hurricane relief. He notes that:
“The federal government pretty much met its standard time lines, but the volume of support provided during the 72-96 hour was unprecedented. The federal response here was faster than Hugo, faster than Andrew, faster than Iniki, faster than Francine and Jeanne."
For instance, it took five days for National Guard troops to arrive in strength on the scene in Homestead, Fla. after Hurricane Andrew hit in 2002. But after Katrina, there was a significant National Guard presence in the afflicted region in three.
Journalists who are long on opinions and short on knowledge have no idea what is involved in moving hundreds of tons of relief supplies into an area the size of England in which power lines are down, telecommunications are out, no gasoline is available, bridges are damaged, roads and airports are covered with debris, and apparently have little interest in finding out.
So they libel as a “national disgrace” the most monumental and successful disaster relief operation in world history.
Protein Wisdom has lots more.
The media wants to show dead bodies in New Orleans:
In an e-mail to CNN staff, CNN News Group President Jim Walton said the network filed the the lawsuit to "prohibit any agency from restricting its ability to fully and fairly cover" the hurricane victim recovery process.
Does anyone recall CNN or any other media outlet filing lawsuits in order to show people jumping from the World Trade Center towers?
"We believe in everybody's right to protest -- just as long as you BELIEVE WHAT WE DO!!!"
Is CNN turning into a White House talking points machine? First, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi got her panties in a bunch when CNN anchor Kyra Phillips asked her some tough questions (to which Pelosi retorted "If you want to make a case for the White House, go on their payroll"); now, madcap DNC chair Howard Dean does the same thing to Wolf Blitzer:
BLITZER: Do you agree with the first lady [her comments about Kanye West and the president "not caring about black people"]?
DEAN: No. I do not think that this president cares about everybody in America.
DEAN: I know Judge Roberts loves the law. I'm not sure he loves the American people.
Dean later accused Blitzer of "recycling 'Republican spin machine stuff.'"
Speaking of Wolf, the poor dude made a really un-PC slip the other day.
Jonah Goldberg reminds us that in 2003, 19,000 people in Europe -- 15,000 in France -- died because of a heat wave.
Huh? In "enlightened" Europe? Where were the governments?? Those governments are way more centralized, too!! Pshaw...
UPDATE: Where was Bill Clinton during the 1995 Chicago heat wave that killed 1,000 Americans? Didn't he CARE? What a DISGRACE!!
Sorry we missed yesterday! Here's a pre-weekend round-up:
The Red Cross was ready. I got off the phone with one of their officials. They had a vanguard, Brit, of trucks with water, food, hygiene equipment, all sorts of things ready to go where? To the Superdome and convention center. Why weren't they there? The Louisiana Department of Homeland Security told them they could not go. They told them you cannot go there. Why? The Red Cross tells me that state agency in Louisiana said, look, we do not want to create a magnet for more people to come to the Superdome or convention center, we want to get them out.
In Katrina's wake, Louisiana politicians and other critics have complained about paltry funding for the Army Corps in general and Louisiana projects in particular. But over the five years of President Bush's administration, Louisiana has received far more money for Corps civil works projects than any other state, about $1.9 billion; California was a distant second with less than $1.4 billion, even though its population is more than seven times as large.
Doh! And Senator Mary Landreau sure doesn't come off looking too good. Punch President Bush, indeed.
To seize control of the mission, Mr. Bush would have had to invoke the Insurrection Act, which allows the president in times of unrest to command active-duty forces into the states to perform law enforcement duties. But decision makers in Washington felt certain that Ms. Blanco would have resisted surrendering control, as Bush administration officials believe would have been required to deploy active-duty combat forces before law and order had been re-established.
And you can just imagine if Bush did "seize control;" Kathryn Jean Lopez opines:
I can't help but to think that Blanco and Nagin and Oprah and everyone else would be outraged that the Bush administration forced people out of their homes like a DICTATOR if he pursued a going-over-Blanco's head strategy. Bushitler! He'd still be KKKKarl--their storm troopers moving people against their will and forcing them into concentration camps. Which, of course, is not a reason not to do it--because the Left would go bonkers, that's a permanent state. But it's ridiculous to think that that really would have been the Congressional Black Caucus's preferred solution. They had not preferred solution. Other than having impeached Bush months ago so the storm would have never hit.
Indeed. As the Times notes from a senior WH official:
"Can you imagine how it would have been perceived if a president of the United States of one party had pre-emptively taken from the female governor of another party the command and control of her forces, unless the security situation made it completely clear that she was unable to effectively execute her command authority and that lawlessness was the inevitable result?"
One of my favorite bloggers, Xrlq, takes on real racist comments and thought here. And it's not what you may think (i.e. liberal racists). Be sure to read the comments, too.
If you ever want to argue with Xrlq, be sure to have all your facts and then some!
Race was a factor in the death toll from Hurricane Katrina, Howard Dean told members of the National Baptist Convention of America on Wednesday at the group's annual meeting. He also decried the use of the term "refugee."
Better late than never with the moonbat rantings I suppose, Howie.
"No wonder [Bob Denver's] dead. Bush left him on that island."
Denver, you may know, played Gilligan on "Gilligan's Island." He passed away the other day.
(Via The Corner.)
Yesterday, Philadelphia opened its Parkway Northwest High School for Peace and Social Justice as a new "magnet" school, and as an "alternative" to the two new military academies which have opened recently.
Educators there say the school's mission is not to teach students to lobby against the war in Iraq but to preach antiviolence and educate students on peaceful ways to resolve local and global conflicts - a critical message in a city plagued by gun violence.
Starting this school year, Parkway Northwest will add the peace theme to its rigorous academic curriculum at the request of community activists, who sought an alternative to the district's two military academies.
Community "activists," yet they won't "teach students to lobby against the war in Iraq"? Yeah, right. The Pope's Jewish, too. And how is this exactly an alternative to the military academies? Do those schools teach that war is the only way to resolve "local and global conflicts"? Please!
"We have a city in which there's bloodshed every day. We have a world in which there are lots of conflicts and wars. The need, it seems to us, is to strengthen our peacekeeping and peace-thinking skills," said Shelly Yanoff, executive director of Philadelphia Citizens for Children and Youth, which sought a peace school.
The implication is that the military academies are somehow contributing to a culture of violence [in Philly]. Ridiculous.
Representatives of several antiwar groups are serving on the school's advisory board, and posters in the school halls make clear that war is not the favored course of action on this campus.
"War is not the answer," read a blue sign with a white dove. "Peace is Patriotic. No War on Iraq," said another.
Whoops! You've already lied, then, 'cause above, we were told "Educators there say the school's mission is not to teach students to lobby against the war in Iraq..." And again, the implication is that military academies believe that war is the answer!
Ninth and 10th graders will take "HIPHOP" (Help Increase Peace, Healing Our Planet) during their first morning period; the class will teach conflict resolution, self-awareness and multicultural sensitivities.
Leave it to nutty educators to come up with a new acronym. And anyone acquainted even a little bit with public ed. knows exactly what "conflict resolution, self-awareness and multicultural sensitivities" means!
"It is something that is going to help me as a teacher," said Shannon Jones, a chemistry and physics teacher. "I can learn peaceful tactics and strategies, and I can implement some of my Christian principles and values in a peaceful way."
"Peaceful tactics and strategies" .... for teaching chemistry and physics? What kind of stuff was she teaching before -- how to make a homemade nuclear device? Oh, and watch that profession of "Christian principles" stuff! You're still in a public school and the ACLU will come after you faster than Cindy Sheehan looking for a news camera!
Here we go for hump day:
It is now generally accepted in liberal-left circles that the federal government's response to the New Orleans horror was not rapid enough because the majority of the victims were poor — and especially because they were black.
This is just about as incendiary and horrible a thing to say as can be imagined under these circumstances, and given the circumstances one might have thought a little bit of evidence would be required to offer some support for it. There has been none offered, save for a couple of captions on a couple of photographs released by news agencies that seemed to suggest white looters were just helping themselves to necessities while black looters were committing crimes ....
... People used to joke about "white liberal guilt" when it came to race. But there's no guilt here. White liberals feel righteous because they believe they are faultless here — that they and only they care about suffering. They are instead assigning blame to other white people, white people who disagree with their ideology of victimization.
And so they use the basest slander at a time of tragedy to make themselves feel just peachy about their enlightened, loving and deeply moral beliefs. Well, isn't that special.
Indeed. Just check out the nuts at Delaware Watch, Atrios and the DU for proof.
Yeesh. Let's just go with the date instead of "part [whatever]." Here's a round-up of happenings today:
I've been combing the big three cable news outlets (CNN, Fox and MSNBC) and surprise! -- only on Fox have I yet heard any criticism of local and state officials voiced/questioned. This isn't to say there haven't been any on the other two, but I haven't seen any.
On the contrary, on CNN especially, the anchors and reporters seem to be going out of their way to either bash Bush or egg others on to do so. Around 3pm EST, CNN's Christiane Amanpour actually said "... the local and state authorities did all they could ..." while adding that the rest of the world is essentially laughing at us. Later, another CNN reporter offered an op-ed on how Bush is in "image control." Yet another brought up the parish leader who broke down on "Meet the Press" yesterday. Meanwhile, MSNBC highlighted a Mississippi paper editorial that blasted the president, reading it word for word. Wolf Blitzer's CNN "The Situation Room" could be named "The War Room" at this rate.
UPDATE: The Panel on Fox's "Special Report" is discussing what the mayor and governor could have/should have done.
UPDATE 2: Ye Gods. A reporter actually asked Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush if the levees in N.O. were intentionally opened up.
Michelle Malkin shows just how nutty the Congressional Black Caucus was in screaming and yelling about the use of the term "refugee" in describing those leaving New Orleans (and elsewhere):
refugee: n : an exile who flees for safety.
Sounds pretty damn logical, doesn't it? Especially, too, after the same friggin' term was used for those escaping Hurricanes Andrew, Charley, Frances, Ivan ... and so on.
UPDATE: I suppose I could have put all these recent posts into a "Hurricane Politics, part 5" entry. But I didn't. Oh well.
Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu threatened physical violence against the president -- or anyone else who criticizes local officials for their response (or lack thereof) to Katrina:
Today she promised to literally "punch" anyone, "including the president,"who continued to question the local response to the tragedy, considering the gross federal misconduct.
Appearing on ABC's "The Week" TV program this morning, Senator Landrieu still appeared to be smarting from President Bush's comments, during his national radio address, that state and local bore a fair share of blame for the slow response. On a copter tour of the area, Landrieu said that if she heard any more criticism from federal officials, particularly about the evacuation of New Orleans, she might lose control.
"If one person criticizes them or says one more thing - including the president of the United States - he will hear from me," she said on the ABC program. "One more word about it after this show airs and I might likely have to punch him. Literally."
Yeah, that will help.
Check out this National Geographic article from a year ago that describes what could happen to the Big Easy if a big hurricane hit.
Flanked by a personal photographer and entourage, Sean Penn snagged a boat and headed into downtown New Orleans in an attempt to rescue stranded flood victims. But apparently he forgot to plug a hole in the boat:
Penn who is known for his political activism, was seen wearing what appeared to be a white flak jacket and frantically bailing water out of the sinking vessel with a red plastic cup that eventually was not enough for the Academy Award winner.
Reports note that "one bystander taunted the actor saying, 'How are you going to get any people in that thing?'"
Penn would get more kudos for his efforts if he'd axe the obvious perception that it's all about him. I mean, personal photographer and entourage?
Check out this ABC poll. You'd think (like I certainly did) that George Bush would soon drop to around a 25% favorable rating after the hurricane debacle and corresponding media coverage last week. Not so, apparently. Here are the results of the three main questions:
In terms of "Bush's handling of Katrina" overall, the country is perfectly divided (surprise!), 46%-47%, positive-negative.
The U.S. soccer team is the first team to qualify for the World Cup from their North/Central American and Caribbean division. They did it by beating arch-rival Mexico last night, 2-0.
Costa Rica is still alive to make the most popular sporting event on the planet, too, defeating Panama 3-1.
Contrary to too many Americans' views, soccer ("football" everywhere else in the world) is an exciting and prolific sport. I love it. I was a goalie back in school, and my brother-in-law was a trainer for the U.S. team at the 1990, '94 and '98 World Cups. Still, it can't supplant my fave all-time spectator sport, American football. (That's what the rest of the world calls our football ... y'know, the one with the helmets, shoulder pads, etc. ...!)
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist has died.
Obviously, liberals aren't despaired because of his passing, just what will follow.
UPDATE: Spoons predicts bad things for Bush and his nominee to replace Rehnquist.
Britons face racial abuse in New Orleans.
(No, I don't really think they should be charged with hate crimes, but just imagine if the reversed occurred.)
The National Education Association, the nation's largest teacher's union, constantly rips the feds (George Bush, in particular) that the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law is an "unfunded mandate." I have a problem with unfunded mandates myself, and I'm not going to address the particulars of the NEA's gripes against NCLB. But if the NEA is so concerned about such mandates, why does it constantly pass resolutions such as these:
B-19. Education of Refugee and Undocumented Children and Children of Undocumented Immigrants. The National Education Association believes that, regardless of the immigration status of students or their parents, every student has the right to a free public education. The Association further believes that students who have resided in the United States for at least five years at the time of high school graduation should be granted amnesty by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, granted legal residency status, and allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship.
Arizona and New Mexico have recently declared states of emergency because of major problems with illegal immigration. States in the southwest continually decry the fact that they must pay for the education and healthcare of illegal immigrants -- out of state coffers. But illegal immigration is a federal matter. The feds certainly aren't doing much about the border, so if they demand that states pay for illegals' education and healthcare, they ought to provide the cash, right?
Unfortunately, the NEA has an obvious problem reconciling this philosophical conflict. It wants the feds to pay for NCLB, yet at the same time wants illegal immigrants granted the same "right" to education as citizens -- a "right" that states must for. An "unfunded mandate." Of course, the NEA could come out and say that the feds should pay for these illegals' education in those states (or, at least give the money to the affected states). Wisely, it hasn't done so (explicitly, yet).
La Shawn Barber rips the feds for their hurricane response (or lack thereof). I don't share many of her thoughts (get off the Clinton bashing already! He's there to help!) but I do agree that the feds could definitely have done a better job responding to the disaster.
You've probably heard about 'em by now. He's certainly entitled to his opinion (just like he is about the origin of AIDS and crack cocaine), but the fact is that George W. Bush could have his DNA genetically altered to become of African descent, and African-Americans still wouldn't like him.
The soon-to-depart the blogosphere Arthur Chrenkoff has an excellent round-up of Katrina-exploiting looney leftist quotes.
Included: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. blaming the disaster on conservatives' rejection of the Kyoto Treaty (even though the thing was rejected by the Senate 95-0; sounds pretty bipartisan to me); Germany's environmental minister Jürgen Trittin essentially agrees with Kennedy, saying "America’s president shuts his eyes to the economic and human damage that natural catastrophes like Katrina inflict on his country and the world’s economy;" and then there's my personal favorite -- Russell Shaw at the Huffington Post says
Would New Orleans and the nearby Gulf Coast be suffering so terribly today if President Carter beat back Reagan in 1980?...
I am wondering if those voters in Louisiana and Mississippi who helped polluter-allied Reagan win in 1980 would have found themselves fated differently under a second Carter term. If Carter came in, we could have had an alternative fuels program and tighter auto emission standards in effect by now.
Hurricane Camille, to which Katrina is often compared, was a stronger storm, and it slammed into the US Gulf Coast at a time when enviromentalists were screaming and yelling about the new friggin' Ice Age.
Arthur also notes:
Bush diverted the money away from flood-proofing New Orleans - Two problems with that – New Orleans has been on notice since the previous devastating hurricane Betsy in 1965. Bush has been in the White House for only the last five of these past 40 years, so one might as well blame every other President since LBJ for not doing enough – and then ask, why should all the blame be laid at the feet of the feds, instead of sharing it with state and local authorities?
UPDATE: Hmm. Looks like the governor of Louisiana didn't order a mandatory evacuation until Pres. Bush personally appealed to her to do so! Doh!
UPDATE 2: Quote from Col. Michael L. Brown, then-deputy director of the Louisiana emergency preparedness department, after a hurricane worst-case scenario drill in N.O. last summer:
[Brown] told the Baton Rouge Advocate newspaper that, in a worst-case scenario, there would be only so much government agencies could do.
"Residents need to know they'll be on their own for several days in a situation like this," Brown, who is not related to the FEMA director, told the paper.
UPDATE 3: Yeah, these wouldn't have helped get people out of N.O. Godd***ed George Bush!
... Politakid, a Delaware-based blogger who's a [public] high school junior. But you might not realize that when you read his stuff -- extremely well thought out and written!
Also, "Gooch," a part-timer over at Hube's old site, will be popping in here now every now and then.
After wafting through numerous e-mails, I saw that Hube informed me that the usual cadre of "Blame Everything on Bush" nuts are busy over at Mike's Down With Absolutes. Sheesh. I suppose it's not surprising that these loons blame everything on Bush and co.; after all, they want the feds to do everything, so I suppose they're sort of consistent. But maybe you can ask them just what the hell we need mayors and governors for as the first line of defense against disasters ....
For some excellent counter-balance to the nuts, be sure to scoot over to The Corner.
... with a neat little racial quip to boot.
Ryan Cormier just spent some time at Delaware's Rehoboth and Dewey beaches, and his final News Journal installment lists the things he likes best and worst about 'em. Check out #2 on the "don't like" list:
The lack of diversity. Moving from Wilmington to Rehoboth Beach, it's impossible not to notice that this town -- and Dewey Beach especially -- seems to resemble a Wonder Bread amusement park.
Thanks, Ryan, for epitomizing the "enlightened" elite journalist to a tee. Does anyone really think the average joe considers "diversity" when they head to a beach resort? "Let's see, I have two weeks off in July ... Dewey Beach has great beaches, great people, great food ... ah, forget it. It's too white." And "Wonder Bread amusement park"? I wonder if someone wrote "Soul Food Compton bar-b-q" that the WNJ editors wouldn't immediately flag that little diddy, omit it, and then lecture the writer on "sensitivity."
That being said, this statement shows that Ryan obviously didn't get around a lot while he was at the DE beaches. He admitted he hated the boardwalks, yet that is probably the place that showcases "diversity" best down there. There's little "shortage" of it. Most likely Cormier based his silly little statement on his Dewey bar hopping.
Oh yeah -- I forgot to mention: Rehoboth is a[n] [inter]nationally recognized resort for gays and lesbians. I'm sure the gay community is justifiably outraged at Cormier's "lack of diversity" comment, too!
As one who is always open to new facts and figures, one thing that galls the hell out of me is folks who claim to "know" so much, consistently let you know it, throw in snide remarks that belittle your supposed lack of knowledge/facts ... but then offer up some real whoppers that can only make 'ya laugh.
Case in point: Dana Garrett over at Delaware Watch. First, back in early August, he made the extraordinary (extraordinarily wrong, that is) claim that Costa Rica once maintained
... death squads that were responsible for the mass killings and disappearances twenty years ago of peasants, trade unionists, human rights activists, leftists, just about anyone suspected of not toeing the government’s line...
His "proof"? A single line from a Counterpunch (yes, that Counterpunch) article from 2002. That's it! Unfortunately for this article (and Dana), this "fact" couldn't be more ridiculously wrong. Just scope out what a [far-left] former professor of mine thinks of Dana's "facts." Even a cursory examination via Google or a trip to your local library will prove Garrett's "facts" as utterly laughable.
But being wrong is certainly OK, though. It's just that Garrett's problem is not only that he's wrong, he's snide and arrogant about it. Because he thinks he's right. He has the "facts" -- no matter what.
This phony superior intellectualism has more recently extended into a discussion of the middle east. All the while yelling and screaming that he is only "REPORTING THE EVIDENCE," and that "it’s a practice that [he] highly recommend[s]; it’s quite liberating," Garrett offers up these boners in the following discussion:
Hube: Dana: Your Israel points would have a lot more merit but for the fact that the entire Arab (or Muslim) middle east wants the country destroyed. Annihilated. Obliterated.
Garrett: Your statement is nothing but pure bunk. In the 1980s the Arab League offered Israel full diplomatic recognition if it withdrew to its 1968 borders and that proposal followed a 1976 UN Security Council resolution setting out the same terms, a resolution that had the support of the Arab states in the UN and even the PLO, but was opposed by Israel & the USA. Actually, these terms have been offered many times and they have always been rebuffed by Israel and the USA.
Followed by the inevitable: Look, neither you nor I invent the facts, but you should at least have the intellectual integrity to report them accurately.
Unfortunately, Dana, you do invent facts. (But don't worry -- you do indeed have the intellectual "integrity" to report these invented facts accurately!)
Here's what [Israeli] Benjamin Kerstein (who runs the blog "Diary of an Anti-Chomskyite," which should sufficiently irritate Garrett as it is) said via e-mail about Garrett's claims:
I don't know what to tell you, it's just a bunch of outright lies. I know of no '76 offer of recognition from anyone, and as to what authority the UN would have over the situation anyways is beyond me.
Indeed. Further research shows no Arab "peace" offer in the 1980s that offered "Israel full diplomatic recognition" by all Arab states if it withdrew to 1967 borders. Saudi Arabia put forth a plan in 2002 whose main points were:
Garrett also claims that Israel "provoked" its Arab neighbors to attack it in 1948, 1967 and again in 1973:
You were wise to frame that in terms of “attack” and not “provocations to attack.” Otherwise Israel isn’t looking very good.
Kerstein rejects that (rightly) thusly:
There was some cross border firing between Israel and Syria before the Six-Day War (1967) and between Israel and Egypt before the Yom Kippur War (1973), but they can hardly be called "provocation" on the part of Israel; they were part of long wars of attrition predicated on the Arab rejection of Israel and desire to destabilize her. If any country besides the participants can be accused of provoking these wars it would be the USSR. In '56 Israel attacked first because of its fear of [Egyptian president] Nasser's massive shipment of arms from the USSR.
Indeed again. And at that time, the U.S. did not provide Israel with the massive military assistance (that it does today) to counter the Russian aid. Oh, did I mention the closing of the Suez Canal itself to Israeli shipping? Further, this does not include the fact that Nasser had also closed off the vital Strait of Tiran to Israeli shipping in '56 (he did it again before the Six Day War, too).
Actually, I made a slight error when I said that Israel was attacked three major times (1948, 1967 and 1973). In 1967, Israel attacked first. But, for Mr. Garrett, who's so preoccupied with "provocations," consider:
While Nasser continued to make speeches threatening war, Arab terrorist attacks grew more frequent. In 1965, 35 raids were conducted against Israel. In 1966, the number increased to 41. In just the first four months of 1967, 37 attacks were launched.5
Meanwhile, Syria's attacks on Israeli kibbutzim from the Golan Heights provoked a retaliatory strike on April 7, 1967, during which Israeli planes shot down six Syrian MiGs. Shortly thereafter, the Soviet Union-which had been providing military and economic aid to both Syria and Egypt-gave Damascus information alleging a massive Israeli military buildup in preparation for an attack. Despite Israeli denials, Syria decided to invoke its defense treaty with Egypt.
On May 15, Israel's Independence Day, Egyptian troops began moving into the Sinai and massing near the Israeli border. By May 18, Syrian troops were prepared for battle along the Golan Heights.
Nasser ordered the UN Emergency Force, stationed in the Sinai since 1956, to withdraw on May 16. Without bringing the matter to the attention of the General Assembly, as his predecessor had promised, Secretary-General U Thant complied with the demand. After the withdrawal of the UNEF, the Voice of the Arabs proclaimed (May 18, 1967):
"As of today, there no longer exists an international emergency force to protect Israel. We shall exercise patience no more. We shall not complain any more to the UN about Israel. The sole method we shall apply against Israel is total war, which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence."
An enthusiastic echo was heard May 20 from Syrian Defense Minister Hafez Assad:
"Our forces are now entirely ready not only to repulse the aggression, but to initiate the act of liberation itself, and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland. The Syrian army, with its finger on the trigger, is united....I, as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation."
On May 22, Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to all Israeli shipping and all ships bound for Eilat. This blockade cut off Israel's only supply route with Asia and stopped the flow of oil from its main supplier, Iran. The following day, [U.S.] President Johnson expressed the belief that the blockade was illegal and unsuccessfully tried to organize an international flotilla to test it. (Link.)
I'd ask Garrett: If you're suddenly surrounded by a group of thugs in downtown Wilmington, DE who're intent on killing you, would you wait for them to strike first, or would you make the first move in an attempt to save your own life? Would the law recognize your [possible] life-saving preemptive attack as legitimate self-defense? The answer is yes, it would.
I know this post won't change Garrett's mind. Folks like him are already so consumed by such a sense of self-righteousness and superiority that virtually nothing can dissuade them that they are, well, wrong.
(Thanks also to Dave Gerstman for his contributions.)
UPDATE (12 April, 2006): See here for more.