Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Killing Honor Students and the Elephant in the Room
Now, in 2009, many of us need to see the video of 16-year-old Derrion Albert being beat to death at least once to understand it’s no longer just the police and white people of whom we need to be afraid. It’s also each other.From the post, I assume Cummings is black. I haven't watched the video and don't plan to. I won't link to the video either, although Cummings does.
Eleven days before the beating death of Albert, 15 year old honor student, Amber Robinson, was fatally stabbed in West Chester, OH, a suburb of Cincinnati, trying to stop an attack on her boyfriend. This incident lead to more violence at her school which included a student's jaw being broken.
The elephant in the room is black on black violence. Frequently, simply broaching the subject makes one the target for charges of racism. Yet, hundreds of liberals, maybe thousands, will travel to Jenna, LA to protect black juveniles who nearly beat a white student to death from racist prosecution. Of course, as I've argued many times, the left doesn't want minorities to be truly free and equal. The left want minorities to believe they are the victims of racism and other social evils and must depend on the liberals for relief.
How bad is black on black violence? In 2008 3,024 blacks were murdered, 2,722 by other blacks. (230 were murdered by whites.) The KKK never approached these numbers. Compared to whites, who make up a much larger proportion of the population, 3,643 were murdered, 3,036 by whites and 504 by blacks. Yes, blacks killed over twice as many whites as whites killed blacks.
Anyone whose been more than slightly aware of the news and social issues the past few decades, or less, knows that much of the black culture has violent undertones. Plexico Burress, wide receiver for the NY Giants, is in prison for carrying a gun with which he accidentally shot himself. In 2002, NBA player Jayson Williams shot and killed his chauffeur in his house. The violence of the rap/hip-hop music world would require an encyclopedia.
Yet, none of this receives the attention that supposed racial incidents that offend the sensibilities of liberals. Bill Maher attacks Drudge because Drudge uses the headline "POLL HELL: OBAMA NEGS RISE." As we all readily see, if you change the "E" in "NEGS" to an "I" and insert "GER" before the "S," you have a racial slur. Yes, you can stretch the racism meme that far, or farther.
Some think using the astronomical term "black hole" is racist. Others think the word "denigrate" is racist. "They have raised us to be ashamed of our blackness. It's in the language too. Take the word denigrate - denigrar - which is to be less than a negro." Some also think using the word "niggardly" or reading a book on how Notre Dame defeated the KKK are racist.
Yet, while blacks kill each other high rates including their best and brightest, much effort and attention focuses on trivial, misunderstood or distorted words and harmless actions. But, this keeps the black man down and on the left's plantation. Just where they want them.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Wherein I Agree With Micheal Moore. Really!
Being the open-minded, intellectually curious guy that I am (and too lazy to get up and change the channel), I listened to Moore and Ratigan. Despite Moore's use of the term "teabagger" (maybe he's having fantasies), I found myself agreeing with everything he said unless I wanted to argue meaningless semantics.
Moore asserted that politicians, both sides, were willing to change the rules of banking that allowed the financial crisis because of the money the politicians receive from banking institutions, Plus, he points out many also get jobs once out of Congress. He recommends forbidding Senators and Representatives from ever being lobbyists as well as be forbidden from working in certain industries for at least 10 years.
Moore also describes his experience of going out and meeting middle class and upper class people who believed in the system, worked hard, had success and then got screwed. He points out the anger just under the surface and seems to give at least some credibility to the "teabaggers" as does Ratigan when he mentions "valid anger and rage." Ratigan also speaks of the current system as being designed to commit "generational theft" and Moore agrees.
Speaking of the broken democratic process, Moore asserts that if the process is so broken that it doesn't hear the people, doesn't let them in, doesn't allow them to run for office because they don't personally have the millions to run for Congress, we can't expect "a pleasant way." He recommends publicly financed elections with a short, defined campaign period.
Making this point, Moore comes close to thoughts I've had for a long time. That is, why should either party be able to forbid anyone from voting in their primary if the cost of the primary election is publicly funded? I wouldn't mind having elections which are a preliminary/run-off format. For instance the top three candidates from the preliminary face-off in the final election with no division by party lines.
Moore and I disagree on many issues, I'm sure, but not on the issues discussed in this interview. I see some hope. Maybe we can get some change.
Watch the whole interview and be and sure the clip about Timothy Geitner at the very end. It starts out "Geitner has been a failure at pretty much everything he's done in his life."
Has Nancy Pelosi’s Fear of Political Violence Been Realized?
Video HERE and HERE.
I saw more violence in protests at the University of Tennessee during the early 1970s, and that wasn't much. But, nothing like this happened in the Tea Party march on Washington, D.C. In fact, in D.C. the marchers left the place clean as a whistle.
More on the G20 violence from the LA Times Blog. "The protesters started throwing rocks at police and police cars, and dragging trash containers into the middle of the street to block traffic. No surprise, the police fired canisters of pepper spray, white smoke and some rubber bullets into the crowds." Curiously, Glenn Reynolds quotes this paragraph as, "The peaceful protesters started throwing rocks at police and police cars, and dragging trash containers into the middle of the street to block traffic. No surprise, the police fired canisters of pepper spray, white smoke and some rubber bullets into the crowds. . . ." What happened to the word "peaceful" between Reynolds' visit to the LA Times and my visit? I'm more inclined to believe the LA Times removed it than Reynolds misquoted it.
The greater question: What will Nancy Pelosi have to say about this actual political violence?
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Left Wing Hate Can't Wait
Today "New York" magazine entered the frenzy of hating with an incredible superficial story that includes this:
Though it's too early to conclude that the man, 51-year-old Bill Sparkman, was targeted in an act of anti-government violence, that is an angle that authorities are currently looking into. And if that turns out to be the case, it wouldn't be all that surprising, considering the sheer volume of vitriol directed at the federal government and the Obama administration these days by conservative media personalities, websites, and even members of Congress.Yes, it's too early to conclude, unless your hurling hate at the right wing while invoking the spirit of Nancy Pelosi.
Mr. Sparkman's body was found hanging from a tree with "fed" scrawled on his chest. He was working with the Census part-time and was also a local teacher. Being a lifetime native of Appalachia, I can attest that their is plenty of anti-government sentiment. But, little of it is tied to left wing/right wing politics and plenty of it is tied to moonshine, drugs and other illegal stuff. Watch Robert Mitchum in Thunder Road, much of which was tour de force for Mitchum.
Indeed, I've been through Clay County, Ky driving to and from Lechter County where my ex's cousins grew up and her brother went through alcohol rehab to avoid jail tie for DUI. Those of us with common sense know you don't wander off the beaten path in those hills, literally. Trekking through the woods and accidentally coming across a still, marijuana patch or meth lab means almost certain death. Many bodies disappear into the depths of an old coal mine. Unfortunately, census work requires going places I would avoid.
More knowledgeable and thoughtful people realize that Clay County (and Appalachia) is far from your typical metropolitan area.
A census worker found hanged from a tree with the word "fed" scrawled on his chest met his end in a corner of Appalachia with an abundance of meth labs and marijuana fields - and a reputation for mistrusting government that dates back to the days of moonshiners and "revenuers."The article also points out previous incidents in which census workers were attacked.
At this point, police cannot say whether Bill Sparkman's death was a homicide, an accident or even a suicide.
Appalachia - particularly eastern Kentucky - has long had an image of being wary of and sometimes hostile toward strangers. Incidents such as the September 1967 shooting of Canadian filmmaker Hugh O'Connor - who was gunned down by an enraged landowner while making a documentary on poverty in nearby Letcher County - have done nothing to dispel such notions.
University of Pittsburgh sociologist Kathleen Blee, co-author of a book about Clay County, says that when she heard of Sparkman's death, she initiallywondered whether he had stumbled across a marijuana plot.
Pot growers seeking to avoid federal forfeiture statutes often plant their crops on national forest land and have even been known to booby-trap plots with explosives and rattlesnakes.
In 2000, a Milwaukee-area man was charged with battery for allegedly trying to shove a 74-year-old census worker down a flight of stairs. And in 2002, a Sacramento businessman was sentenced to a year in prison for violently dragging a 68-year-old widow off his property as she tried to explain the count's importance.Those attacks must have been the work of left wing haters, especially the one in the heart of liberalism, California, as Bush was president then.
A very strange group, the left wing haters. They profess to hate hate and to want to stomp it out. But, they spew hate at every opportunity.
P.S. "Thunder Road" is a must see movie. I watched it in the theater and at the drive-in, plus on DVD, enough times to proudly proclaim I've watched it several times more than any other movie. The theme song is a classic, and, yes, that is Robert Mitchum singing.
No one is cooler than Robert Mitchum. One of the first popular songs I memorized. And, I've driven the actual roads on which this story occurred.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
In Support of Social Injustice
Social justice is a term, generally applied by the left, to describe a society with a greater degree of economic egalitarianism, which may be achieved through progressive taxation, income redistribution, or even property redistribution, policies aimed toward achieving that which developmental economists refer to as equality of opportunity and equality of outcome.Today, the social justice Medusa reared her ugly head. Additionally, if you read the linked paragraph, the writer is wrong or lying about nearly everything said in the paragraph. One of those lies in the immigration issue. Contrary to the host of liberal lies, a strong majority of Republicans support a path citizenship for illegal immigrants. "When given three choices for how to deal with the 12 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, 62% of Republicans said 'They should be required to register, meet certain conditions, and eventually be allowed to apply for citizenship.' " Liberals love the imaginary conservative, straw man argument because without lies, they have nothing.
Social justice proponents support all sorts of injustice. Economic egalitarianism means taking from those who earned, or whose parents earned on their behalf, and giving it whomever the social justices feel like. Equal outcome provides such a hilariously absurd notion that I find it hard to believe that anyone is foolish enough to publicly support it. But, we have the parents who think every soccer game should end in a tie. (Kids are never fooled by this.)
Today, in Tucson within the Tuscon Unified School District, we find another warped version of social justice.
The board is calling for a two-tiered form of student discipline. One for Black and Hispanic students; one for everyone else.Funny how egalitarianism and treating people unequally go hand in hand.
With the goal of creating a "restorative school culture and climate" that conveys a "sense of belonging to all students," the board is insisting that its schools reduce its suspensions and/or expulsions of minority students to the point that the data reflect "no ethnic/racial disparities."
From the section of the 52-page plan titled "Restorative School Culture and Climate," subhead, "Discipline":
"School data that show disparities in suspension/expulsion rates will be examined in detail for root causes. Special attention will be dedicated to data regarding African-American and Hispanic students."
The board approved creating an "Equity Team" that will oversee the plan to ensure "a commitment to social justice for all students."
The happy-face edu-speak notwithstanding, what the Tucson Unified School District board of governors has approved this summer is a race-based system of discipline.
Hat tip to Darren.
Three Dog Night asks some good questions.
During my life, I've found no evidence that the carers of social injustice cared any more about people than the rest of us. There is solid evidence that the conservatives actually give more than liberals. I've noted three patterns in much liberal "giving." First, what is given is first taken from someone else and involves little, if any, personal sacrifice. Next, the "giving" and supporting the "giving" brings great ego gratification to the "giver," even though they are only giving something taken from someone else. Lastly, they can be as harsh and uncaring as anyone else.
How can people be so heartless
How can people be so cruel
Easy to be hard
Easy to be cold
How can people have no feelings
How can they ignore their friends
Easy to be proud
Easy to say no
And especially people
Who care about strangers
Who care about evil
And social injustice
Do you only
Care about the bleeding crowd?
Just give me social injustice where we are all judged by the same laws and rules, where those who work harder and longer earn more. Give me a world where Bill Gates earns more than his gardener, where those with more talent and ability, who develop it and use it, are rewarded. Heck, give me a world where the fittest thrive, have more offspring and, over time, the human race becomes smarter and stronger. A world where Harrison Bergeron would be allowed to perform unfettered.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Why All Non-Liberals Are Stupid Racists
At Shrinkwrapped, a practicing Psychoanalyst, psychiatrist explains the persistent racist charges as a reaction formation.
One great hope for the American black community, implicitly recognized and understood by black and white Americans alike, is embodied in the smart, extremely articulate, good looking black man who has a beautiful family and the consummate political skill to gain the highest office in the land. If Barack Obama is now found to have feet of clay, or far worse, if his presidency fails, this would be a disastrous blow to the community so identified with him. For many blacks, and a great many liberal whites, the unacceptable thought, handed down from the racists of the past, is that blacks are not as smart as whites. Their accusations of "racism" toward anyone who criticizes President Obama's policies is a reaction to the worry that President Obama will prove to be an ineffective President, thereby confirming their worst (mostly unconscious) fears.At PajamasMedia, Frank J. Fleming offers a different take on why liberals are still so angry and yelling racism.
Long ago, the first Psychoanalyst made a brilliant interpretation when he declared that "Methinks the lady doth protest too much", capturing the core of the defense of reaction formation. In a reaction formation, the unconscious unacceptable thought presses upon the conscious mind and threatens to become conscious; the internal censor rejects the idea, forces the thought back down into the unconscious, and covers it with its opposite equivalent. (The unconscious says, "I hate my baby brother and wish he was dead so I could remain the most important" and the Censor, in order to protect the Conscious mind, horrified by such thoughts, responds, "I don't hate my brother! I love my baby brother to death!")
The accusations of racism whenever the President is criticized have taken on a Shakespearean tenor: the unconscious says, "President Obama is failing to convince people of his ideas; maybe he, and by extension all blacks, are not so smart" and the conscious mind reels and replies, "No, he is the smartest, he is the One, and the only explanation for his failings is that those who oppose him do so because they are racists!"
Methinks they protest too much.
See things from their point of view. The most fundamental principle liberals have is that they are all very, very smart, and everyone should listen to them. Nothing angers them more than something that challenges them to reexamine that core tenet.Being somewhat skeptical of psychoanalysis and psychiatry, I tend to agree more with Fleming's take. These interpretations are not mutually exclusive with the other as well as agree with a point in DSL's post the other day where he discusses some of the thoughts of "His name and his alone we refuse to type." The untyped one said:
This was the best chance they could ever possibly imagine, and it’s already pretty much over. Liberal ideas are still in the ghetto. While conservatives can still openly call themselves conservatives and argue directly for things they like (such as gun rights and free markets), liberals still have to run from their label and never dare say out loud the things they want, such as socialism and single-payer health care. How could liberals not see this coming? Are they not as smart as they think?
Having to even contemplate such a horrible possibility is enough to drive a liberal mad.
So they lash out. Since they are obviously so smart (obviously!), the only reason anyone could oppose them is that the person is stupid and evil. Thus everyone protesting must be a stupid racist. It’s the only conclusion possible without having to reexamine the central tenet that liberals are super smart and should totally run everything. And if you were under the delusion that you were surrounded by stupid racists who won’t listen to your obviously smart ideas, wouldn’t you be pretty angry all the time?
There is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today.Truly the words of someone convinced of his moral and intellectual superiority.
One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages.
Will any liberal/leftie read these words or the words of the other writers to whom I refer and gain any insight or enlightenment? I doubt it. Why would they listen to a bunch of racists?
Friday, September 11, 2009
the same way public colleges and universities...
“It would also keep pressure on private insurers to keep their policies affordable and treat their customers better, the same way public colleges and universities provide additional choice and competition to students without in any way inhibiting a vibrant system of private colleges and universities.Like most of his statements, there is no basis in reality, it just sounds good. Look at the chart below published this past July.
I have used this example many times. Government is a heavy player in higher education. More students probably attend public universities, colleges and community colleges that private ones. How's this worked out for keeping costs down? The answer is obvious.
Using the University of Tennessee, my alma pater, and one of the least expensive state universities in the country, as an example you can easily see the skyrocketing costs. My first quarter was summer of 1969 and I paid $110 in tuition which works out to $330 a year in tuition. Books might cost as much. Housing could be found for under $100 per month. A person could pay their way through college making minimum wage or a little more. I did.
Now, a full-time undergraduate can expect to pay $6,850 per year in tuition and fees at UT, more that 20 times the cost 40 years ago. That's over $761 per month for the 9 month school year and doesn't include books, or room and board. One would have to work just under 105 hours at the present federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to earn $761 before taxes and other withholdings. If you make a little over $20 an hour, you can earn that in a week.
Obama refers to "my plan" as if he has a plan. The only plan on the Democratic side I know of is the plan the House passed. Obama didn't author that plan, it's not his. His plan doesn't exist except in his imagination. He's blowing smoke and those who fall for his empty rhetoric are inhaling.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Lies, Damn Lies and a Little Pseudo-Science
Recently, steve2 launched a discussion into misleading statistics. Coincidentally, I came across
an excellent video on how common mistakes in statistics mislead juries that I found through Right on the Left Coast. (It's strictly coincidental that the example Peter Donnelly uses involves a doctor.) In this case, the mistake was the difference in a murder conviction and being found innocent.
Also discussed in the video are the possibilities of a series of head, head, tails vs. head, tails, heads while flipping a coin a number of times, such as 100 consecutive flips. A twenty minute video but keeps you entertained as well as informed.
I found this page of12 puzzles on misleading statistics gives a good overview of various ways statistics can mislead. Are octogenarians the safest of all drivers? Read and find out.
Looking into the realm of pseudo-science we unexpectedly find forensics. The cover story of the August, 2009 issue of Popular Mechanics is CSI Myths: The Shaky Science Behind Forensics. After years of all the various CSI episodes and versions, we thought murderers could be identified from vapor left behind from their breath. It turns out much of what we've been led to believe was solid science isn't.
The faulty identification that sent Brown to prison for 15 years may seem like a rare glitch in the U.S. criminal justice system. It wasn’t. As DNA testing has made it possible to re-examine biological evidence from past trials, more than 200 people have had their convictions overturned. In approximately 50 percent of those cases, bad forensic analysis contributed to their imprisonment.It turns out forensic science was not developed by scientists and often has little scientific foundation.
On television and in the movies, forensic examiners unravel difficult cases with a combination of scientific acumen, cutting-edge technology and dogged persistence. The gee-whiz wonder of it all has spawned its own media-age legal phenomenon known as the “CSI effect.” Jurors routinely afford confident scientific experts an almost mythic infallibility because they evoke the bold characters from crime dramas. The real world of forensic science, however, is far different. America’s forensic labs are overburdened, understaffed and under intense pressure from prosecutors to produce results. According to a 2005 study by the Department of Justice, the average lab has a backlog of 401 requests for services. Plus, several state and city forensic departments have been racked by scandals involving mishandled evidence and outright fraud.
But criminal forensics has a deeper problem of basic validity. Bite marks, blood-splatter patterns, ballistics, and hair, fiber and handwriting analysis sound compelling in the courtroom, but much of the “science” behind forensic science rests on surprisingly shaky foundations. Many well-established forms of evidence are the product of highly subjective analysis by people with minimal credentials—according to the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors, no advanced degree is required for a career in forensics. And even the most experienced and respected professionals can come to inaccurate conclusions, because the body of research behind the majority of the forensic sciences is incomplete, and the established methodologies are often inexact. “There is no scientific foundation for it,” says Arizona State University law professor Michael Saks. “As you begin to unpack it you find it’s a lot of loosey-goosey stuff.”
Visiting the blog of my longest blog friend, Cousin Pat at Hurricane Radio, I found a tragic example of failed forensic "science" from New Yorker magazine. This is the story of Cameron Todd Willingham convicted for setting his house on fire and killing his children in the process. Willingham refused to cop a guilty plea in exchange for life in prison rather than a death sentence. Maintaining his innocence, he refused.
Cousin Pat, not actually my cousin, points out the New Yorker article as "what real journalism looks like." Indeed, it is. A well written tragic story. The last paragraph:
Just before Willingham received the lethal injection, he was asked if he had any last words. He said, “The only statement I want to make is that I am an innocent man convicted of a crime I did not commit. I have been persecuted for twelve years for something I did not do. From God’s dust I came and to dust I will return, so the Earth shall become my throne.”Did Texas execute an innocent man? It sure looks that way.
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