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Join Me and Mary Grabar Nov. 3 for a NAS-Sponsored Lecture: Weather Underground in the Ivy Tower

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You Are Invited!

Weather Underground in the Ivory Tower:

Transforming Education from Kindergarten to College

A lecture by Mary Grabar and Tina Trent

Free and Open to the Public

Sunday, November 3, 2013, 2:00 p.m. — Refreshments Follow Lecture

The Solarium, 321 W. Hill Street, Decatur, GA 30030 (Oakhurst Neighborhood)

Since emerging from hiding in the 1980’s, former Weather Underground and Black Panther terrorists who once bombed police stations and robbed banks now use college and university campuses to advance their radical politics.   Mary Grabar and Tina Trent, both Ph.D.’s and former college instructors, will speak about the toxic influence of “tenured radicals” on higher education.

Mary Grabar will tell the story of how Weatherman Bill Ayers’ vision of education as classroom-based “revolution” has become the dominant teaching philosophy in schools of education, including Common Core.

 Tina Trent will discuss how the embrace of radical politics by women’s studies departments has led to a campus-based feminist movement that is increasingly anti-law enforcement and actually opposed to efforts to address violent crimes against women through traditional legal channels.

This lecture is made possible through the generosity of the Devereaux F. and Dorothy M. McClatchey Foundation and sponsored by the Georgia Chapter of the National Association of Scholars.

 All are welcome for an afternoon of stimulating discussion.  Drinks and refreshments will be served.  Free parking is available in the parking lot and on the street.  Handicapped accessible.  For additional information, contact tinatrent1@gmail.com.

Tina Trent and Mary Grabar to Speak at Dawson County Tea Party September 10

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That’s tomorrow night!  Please join us.  We’ll be speaking about Common Core and the Sixties radicals who took over K – 12 education in America.  Here’s the link, and I’ve copied the address below:

 

Bring a Friend and Join Us
Sept.10th at 7:00 PM

From Riots in the Streets to the Takeover of Education

45 Years of the Weather Underground’s
War Against America

You will hear the violent past and the almost unbelievable stories about the Weather Underground and how the organization still influences our lives today.

Listen to Tina Trent and Mary Grabar as they speak the truth about the Weather Underground leaders and how those same people “reformed” our educational system and the Common Core movement. They will explain how bomber Bill Ayers and other terrorists were able to evade law enforcement officials for nearly 40 years while morphing into so-called esteemed professors at America’s elite colleges and universities.

Mary Grabar will explain how Ayers’ close associates now promote similarly radical ideas through the Department of Education and the Common Core program.

 

Mary GrabarMary Grabar
Tina TrentTina Trent

Lakeview Center (Map)
2057 Dawson Forest Road
Dawsonville, GA 30534.

On Live Fire Today

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You can hear me speak about the late, great patriot Larry Grathwohl with Larry Pratt on Live Fire, the radio show of Gun Owners of America.

Larry Grathwohl R.I.P. “Their way of life is not mine”

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Larry Grathwohl has passed away.  

 

When I was in high school, I read Larry’s book, Bringing Down America: An FBI Informer With the Weathermen.  I got it out of the Poughkeepsie public library.

And it changed the way I felt about the Sixties radicals that my teachers, and much of society, wanted me to admire.

Many years later, I was honored to meet Larry at a conference sponsored by Cliff Kincaid of America’s Survival.

I was also honored to re-release Larry’s book this year, and we spent some time on the road in Florida introducing the book, and Larry, to new audiences.

Here is the last paragraph of Larry’s book:

The Weathermen’s government will be one of total control over each individual in the society. In Weathermen terminology, this new society will be “one people working in total unity.” This means an elimination of all the individual freedoms we are accustomed to having; it was my absolute belief in the freedoms offered by our form of government that drove me to fight the Weathermen in the first place. Even though I am no longer in the underground movement where I could help prevent violence before it happened, as in Dayton, Detroit, Madison, and Buffalo, while creating as much disunity as possible, I am still working against Weathermen and other radical conspiracies. Their way of life is not mine. 

Larry was a sweet and decent and very wise man.  He risked his life to protect us from murderous adolescent Marxists like Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.  Doubtlessly there would be family members of police and soldiers who would be without their loved ones tonight if Larry had not infiltrated the Weather Underground and exposed their crimes.

Many of us are in shock tonight.

–Tina Trent

Brandon Darby writes about Larry at Breitbart

Jim Simpson on Larry at Pajamas Media

 

 

 

Bringing Down America: An FBI Informer With the Weathermen, and a Plea to Police Witnesses

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Larry Grathwohl’s book about infiltrating the Weather Underground is now available on Amazon in Kindle format, and pre-orders for hard copies can be made at the book’s website.  The hard copies should be available for sale within the next few days.  Larry is touring Florida in May, then hopefully in Atlanta, and he is available for interviews.

We are especially interested in hearing from police officers who were attacked by the Weathermen during the Chicago Days of Rage or who were targeted by their fire bombings and other attacks on police.  These stories are being suppressed by the academic establishment and especially PBS, which is trying to make the Weathermen out to be self-sacrificing cultural heroes fighting only for “peace.”  We need to tell the truth about them, their ties to foreign terrorist groups, their violence, and their real plans to imprison and “re-educate” ordinary Americans using Maoist brainwashing they used on their own cult followers.  It is a disgrace that schoolchildren are being taught to look up to these murderous lunatics.

Here are links to some of my previous blogging on the Weather Underground, Susan Sarandon (who plays the Kathy Boudin figure — as heroine — in Robert Redford’s vile and dull paean to the Weathermen, The Company You Keep)  and other sickening cop-killing radicals:

(Weathermen) Marilyn Buck, Cop Killer: Five Less Than Six Degrees of Separation From Barack Obama 

(Sarandon) Aesthetic Tragedy, New York Times Style: Mime Panic Buttons Defunded in California

(Sarandon) Rwanda and Columbine: The Politics of Forced Reconciliation

(Sarandon) Tina Fey Defiles Memory of Murdered Actor and Mocks Male Victims of Child Molestation While Denouncing “Hate Speech”

(Sarandon) The “Benjy Brigade”, Part 1: Boston’s Finest Mount an Attack on an Elderly Victim of Rape

 

(Weathermen) Something Else Barack Obama and Bernadine Dohrn Share, Besides Secrets with Terrorist Bill Ayers . . .

. . . they find vicious murders of women pretty funny.

Bernadine Dohrn in December 1969, joking about the Manson family murder of Sharon Tate:

Dig it! First they killed those pigs and then they put a fork in pig Tate’s belly. Wild!  Offing those rich pigs with their own forks and knives, and then eating a meal in the same room, far out! The Weathermen dig Charles Manson!

Barack Obama in October 2012, joking about O.J. Simpson’s attempt to flee justice after murdering his wife Nicole:

“You didn’t know this, but for all you moms and kids out there, you should have confidence that finally somebody is cracking down on Big Bird,” Obama said, alluding to the famous O.J. Simpson chase scene. “Elmo has been seen in a white Suburban. He’s driving for the border.”

Sharon Tate’s blood on her living room wall

Nicole Simpson’s blood on her backyard walkway

Who jokes about things like this?

Sharon Tate was nearly nine months pregnant at the time she was killed.  She had been stripped and tortured before death, a rope strung around her neck and hung from a beam.  She begged the killers to temporarily spare her life, kidnap her, and let her deliver her baby before they killed her.  They laughed and killed her anyway.  She was buried with the body of her deceased son cradled in her arms.

After Tex Watson stabbed Tate to death, Susan Atkins stuck her finger in Tate’s wounds and wrote the word “pig” on a wall with her blood, an act that delighted Bernadine Dohrn when she heard about it.  Dohrn and other Weathermen adopted a four-fingered “fork” salute to signify the act of stabbing Tate in her pregnant stomach.

Still not funny: Dohrn, now a “Children’s Rights Law Professor,” smiling with her FBI Most Wanted poster

 

 

How to Escape the Corryvreckan Whirlpool

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There are days when the weather seems to have blown a fuse, and everything’s skin temperature and slightly damp, and your mood mimics the atmosphere: malaise.

But then something shows up in the post to cheer you up.  I received a delightful piece of hate mail yesterday.  It’s nice to see people making an effort.

The letter is from “Steven,” who claims to be a professor of English and Media Studies but wishes to conceal his real identity.  This raises an obvious question: wouldn’t a professor of media studies know that his e-mail can be traced to the CUNY (CCNY) server from which he sent it?  I’m no Steve Jobs, but even I get that.

I actually sympathize with Steven’s technological pratfalls.  The internet remains mysterious to me, too.  It feels like a sentient yet alien creature living in my house, even inside of me.  We sometimes forget the uncanny nature of modern electronic communication.

Gregor Samsa, having a bad morning

One of the unpleasant uncannyness-es of the internet is its ability to blow past all the social barriers that once defended against unwanted intimacy.  The last thing we need today is more intimacy: we are already practically living in each other’s tonsils.  A dear friend of mine who went a little unhinged while writing her dissertation (an entirely ordinary thing, and she did it charmingly) took to calling language “a virus.”  For a long time, I politely nodded at this, while secretly wondering what the heck she was talking about.  But I think I finally get it.

I am a quotidian thinker: un-theoretical, literal, plodding, and slow — a soil person, not a fire or light person.  In my earth-clumped mind,  Language is a virus means that the antibiotics we currently have won’t work against it.  This is all the more reason to long for the days when one could live like the characters in I Know Where I’m Going!, a movie I recommend to “Steven” to cheer him up, because the very fact of my existence appears to have gotten him very, very, very down.

It’s a nice movie to watch when you are tired of words, because, throughout the entire film, the characters can hardly hear each other, for the wind is howling so loudly.

Among its many virtues, I Know Where I’m Going! introduces the uninitiated to the existence of the Corryvreckan Whirlpool.  Once you know that the Corryvreckan Whirlpool exists, the earth feels like a different place.  Here is some interesting trivia I did not know until I consulted Wikipedia.  If language is a virus, Wikipedia is the herpes of the internet.  But, a good herpes:

In mid-August 1947, the author George Orwell nearly drowned in the Corryvreckan whirlpool.  Seeking to focus his main energies on completing a novel destined to become the dystopian classic Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell had fled the distractions of London in April 1947 and taken up temporary residence on the isolated island of Jura in the Inner Hebrides.

On the return leg of an August boating daytrip to nearby Glengarrisdale, Orwell seems to have misread the local tide tables and steered into rough seas that drove his boat near to the whirlpool. When the boat’s small engine suddenly sheared off from its mounts and dropped into the sea, Orwell’s party resorted to oars and was saved from drowning only when the whirlpool began to recede and the group managed to paddle the distressed craft to a rocky outcrop about a mile distant from the Jura coastline. The boat capsized as the group tried to disembark, leaving Orwell, his two companions, and his three-year-old son stranded on the uninhabited outcrop with no supplies or means of escape. They were rescued only when passing lobstermen noticed a fire the party had lit in an effort to keep warm.Orwell completed a first draft of Nineteen Eighty-Four about three months after the Corryvreckan incident, with the final manuscript not finished until late 1948.

And here is an excellent story by Robert McCrumb that goes into more detail about Orwell’s encounter with the Corryvreckan Whirlpool.  Every detail of this event grows more interesting as you examine it: the great author misreads a text and nearly drowns for it; Homeric oars must be resorted to when the engine falls off.  Don’t you feel better about the world knowing that passing lobstermen are responsible for the existence of a great literary classic denouncing totalitarian intellectual oppression?  Lobstermen plucked Orwell from the sea!

Somewhere inside, a tremendous unifying metaphor lurks.

Anyway.  Onto Steven.  I think I finally understand why reading his letter made me think of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis.  It’s the tone.  One of the difficult things about reading Kafka is the unpleasantness of his main characters.  Even as you witness them suffering horribly, you find yourself inching to the door to escape their elemental whininess:

I’m wondering, Dr. Trent, whether this is blog is a template or if you penned the directions for comments: “Please be nice and tolerant, don’t offend. Thanks!”

I ask because the level of vitriol in your writing seriously undermines your arguments. The problem with allowing emotion, especially anger and contempt, to drive your arguments is that it conveys your fanaticism and leaves your readers convinced your mind was made up before you even began your research.

Now, I have to thank Steven for bringing this information to my attention.  I am obviously deeply opposed to niceness and tolerance, and I had no idea that my readers were being subjected to such a demand when they deigned to weigh in.  Yes, Steven, this blog is a template.  And I intend to obliterate those comment directives as soon as I figure out how to use the internet .

I also like the use of the word “vitriol” here, but I wonder if the sentence wouldn’t have been stronger if Steven had left off the word “seriously.”  Merely undermining my arguments seems work enough, and I don’t think there is such a thing as unserious undermining.

Or is there?

I do not, however, intend to abandon fanaticism, anger, or contempt.  I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with them.

Here, that strange and creepy thing about the internet rears its head: Steven assumes a troubling intimacy with me.  It would be easy just to make fun of his hapless efforts to sound rational and objective — allowing emotion, especially anger and contempt, to drive your arguments — but there is something darker underneath all the academic foppery.  There is an ugly need to control people, to get into their heads and classify thoughts as appropriate and inappropriate, politically correct and incorrect.  Orwell would have quite a bit to say about Steven, if he stooped to bother, but my immediate thought upon reading his letter is of the quotidian, earth-clot sort:

Do not date this man.  He is an asshole.

Or maybe he’s just a tenured professor of media studies.  Some jobs, my clever husband said to me, warp all but the strongest personalities.  Steven continues:            

It’s quite possible that your opinions about the people and events you discuss have serious validity, but the value I attach to your blog is not one you will likely appreciate: I’m going to use it to teach my college media and English students the perils of attacking your readers with furious opinions and political agendas while you call them “facts.” Over the years, I’ve learned how easily they see through hysteria and propaganda, so I expect they’ll have no trouble deconstructing and discrediting a significant portion of your postings.

Again: would anyone want to date this man?

I am worried about the literacy of university professors.  Steven says he teaches media studies and English.  I certainly wouldn’t sign my name to something this inflated and vapidly aggressive and sanctimonious; then again, I wouldn’t write it either.  But stepping back from — oh, content and intent — shouldn’t university professors be a bit better than this at expressing themselves?

In the third brief paragraph of a tiny letter, Steven commits the “serious” redundancy again.  Doubling a redundancy does not minimize it, for good diction does not operate like the Federal Reserve.  What is “serious validity”?  Something is valid, or it is not.  I should note here that the post Steven criticizes is about terrorist Judith Clark and her apologists at the New York Times.  In the imaginary universe of the Times, and apparently Steven’s CCNY classroom, murderers like Clark are actually love-muffins spreading sunshine from their prison cells because the people they killed were pigs who aren’t really human, just cops.

You have to trot a bit to keep up here.  Shedding your moral consistency helps.

the value I attach to your blog is not one you will likely appreciate

Oh no.

I’m going to use it to teach my college media and English students the perils of attacking your readers with furious opinions and political agendas while you call them “facts.”

Steven is going to teach his students about journalistic ethics by anonymously attacking a stranger with inappropriately personal comments.  Do you want to know more?  I know I do:

I’ll leave an additional observation here as well. How many times have you addressed poverty and molestation as a cause of crime? How many articles have you written on police deceit, abuse and corruption? How often have you criticized corrections policies designed to exact revenge and ignore abuse instead of combat recidivism? Until your perspectives prove a more balanced approach to these issues, I will assume you argue for a rigid and unforgiving and, incidentally, deeply anti-Christian approach to crime.

Apparently, I have not criticized policies the appropriate number of times, nor have I scribbled enough on deceit.  I have failed to balance my voice in ways that satisfy our Steven.  He will punish me for being rigid and awaits my rehabilitation.

Sounds like someone needs to spend a little less time pawing over Fifty Shades of Grey.

But, seriously.

It is sad to imagine anyone spending classroom time performing coarse and hysterical deconstructions of blog posts.  And I say that as the author of blogposts.  So, on the off chance that Professor Dunderpants’ students are reading this, let me offer a gentle suggestion: Your school is not giving you a quality education for the money.

If you want to get really depressed about how much money and time you are wasting, I suggest you read an actually unnerving (borderline uncanny) blog — The Last Psychiatrist, specifically his two-part posting, Hipsters on Food Stamps, ought to bring the sensation of malaise barreling down on even the cheeriest sort.

I realize that it’s getting late in the post, and I haven’t said anything yet directly in response to Steven’s criticisms of me.  In keeping with his tone, I suppose I could just argue that I’m being a very disobedient little girl today, but I’m going to offer a bit more.

It doesn’t seem as if Steven actually disagrees with the serious validity of the people and events I discuss.  What he seems to want to do is to ignore my arguments about people and events and deconstruct my writerly identity instead.  This is what far too many people in the academy do all day long.  Rather than teach their students valid things about people and events, all of which takes work, they engage in the masturbatory rituals of deconstruction, which — despite the magic vocabulary involved — generally boils down to one very simple chant:

I am better at social justice than you are.

This is all Steven was writing to me to say.  He felt entitled to say it anonymously because he was speaking for a mob.  I am better at social justice than you are is the only intellectual contribution some tenured faculty make throughout their entire careers these days.

Here’s something else Steven’s students should know: education should be about things that exist somewhere other than your phone, or your professor’s warped and outsized ego.

Beware the Corryvreckan Whirlpool.

The American Election Through the Politically Incorrect Looking Glass

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1.  My favorite overseas editorialist is Kevin Myers of the Irish Times.  He has to be overseas — imagine if anyone wrote this in America:

THE quadrennial invitation from the US embassy arrived yesterday: it is for me to enjoy American ambassadorial hospitality while watching television coverage of the presidential election. . .

. . . virtually all the Irish guests will be supporting Barack Obama, because he’s a Democrat, which indeed he is, and also because he’s “black”, which he isn’t: though even if he were, to elect someone because of his race is as stupid as rejecting him on the same grounds. . .

Now, it goes without saying that all US presidential elections are contests between two certifiable lunatics, who freely want to embitter their declining years with the Middle East, and Afghanistan, and North Korea and that outdoor madhouse, the EU.

And of course, their running mates are two slightly lesser lunatics, though with this slightly sinister dimension to their ambitions: both probably — if only deep in their sub-conscious — dream of a certain Texas school book depository moment, followed by a dramatic swearing-in and a state funeral wherein their heroic, steely-eyed modesty is probably sufficient to win the next election. (Psychiatrist, anyone?)

However, we need such lunatics, just as we need other lunatics to push their wrists through u-bends in lavatories in late December, as we need other lunatics to clean outside windows 20 storeys up on windy midwinter days, and other lunatics to wander over minefields with metal detectors. And so on.

But that said, there’s something pretty disturbing about politicians’ desires to rule other people’s lives, with their apparent addiction to the degrading ignominies of the electoral process.

Which is why I’d vote for any politician that says he wants to do less for me, and meanwhile, he’ll be as invisible and as silent as possible: hence my instinctive support for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

I also like their honesty: they’re both openly religious men.

I’m not sure whose religion is more absurd, the one that believes that a lost tribe of Israel ended up in the US around 400 AD, and that the new Eden’s going to be in Missouri — sorry, chaps, I’ve been to Missouri, even Louth is more likely — or the one that maintains that the body and blood of Jesus are eaten every time one takes communion.

Yet funnily enough, liberal critics of Republicans’ religious beliefs never mention Mr Obama’s.

It’s not that media bias is debatable in the United States: it is so vast that one needs to be separated by an ocean to detect the edges.  You can read the rest here.  Myers hasn’t weighed in since the election.  But here is his ‘Equality’ is the Feminist Right to Whinge for while you’re waiting:

Why do so many women claim to seek what they do not really want, namely, equality? They don’t want the equality to become steeplejacks or coalminers or lumberjacks or deep-sea welders half a mile under a North Sea oil rig. They want equality in banking and in medicine, but only provided that they don’t have to keep anti-social hours . . .

Have you ever heard of anything being “offensive to men”? Of course not . . . is it actually possible to be a militant feminist and a caring nurse? . . .in universities, feminists have turned petulance into an academic discipline and sulking into scholarship. So the simple fact that women haven’t risen to the top of everything is not related to the lack of those hormones that make men into billionaire bankers, commandoes, racing-drivers, mountain-rescuers, lifeboat men, murderers, muggers, football mobs and rapists, but to that transparent but impenetrable silicate horizontality, the Glass Ceiling . . . [women] generally don’t do chess or portraiture, or higher maths or aligned parking or astronomy, and they invent almost nothing, even feminine-hygiene things. . . Ah, here come the sisters, with their gelding shears, and no, they didn’t even invent those either.

If we all talked this way, we’d probably get along better in the long run.  But to give an indication of where we’re heading instead, Myers recently found himself charged with “Breach of Principles” for another editorial he wrote:

Ombudsman John Horgan found the article was in breach of Principle 2 (Distinguishing Fact and Comment) and Principle 8 (Prejudice) of the Code of Practice for Newspapers and Magazines . . . The Ombudsman found the newspaper had failed to “distinguish adequately between fact and comment”, and the breaches were “capable of causing grave offence”.  A number of other complaints relating to truth and accuracy were not upheld.

~~~

2.  I keep waiting for American conservatives to adopt Peter Hitchens, as liberals did his brother.  He can be choleric and not always in an interesting way, but he understands American conservatism far better than many of its native spokespeople.  Immunity to political correctness seems to be thriving everywhere but here despite the lack, elsewhere, of the speech protections we enjoy.  Why is that?

Here is Hitchens on our election:

A Louse versus a Flea. Who really cares about the US Presidential Election?

You can decide which is which. It’s about the only thing in doubt.  My interest in US politics has been fading ever since I lived there, and saw it at first hand. But it sank to near-zero during the last Presidential election, when the Obama campaign became a showbusiness frenzy, devoid of reason and much more like the early, screaming years of the Beatles than like a bid for office. Yes, we can what, exactly?

I actually felt slightly sorry for Mr Obama. I had first heard of him during the previous election, in 2004, while on a visit to the pleasant town of Normal, Illinois. There was some talk, in the Illinois media, of him as a possible future star.

He had sounded modest and humorous, acknowledging that, in the age of Osama bin Laden, the name ‘Barack Obama’ might be a handicap. I thought of getting in touch with him, as one sometimes does, but put the idea to one side and never did anything about it. I doubt if anyone would have been much interested. . .

[J]ust over four years ago, I went to Chicago and, with some useful help from American-based colleagues, set out to find out a bit about Barack Obama. It wasn’t devastating. I failed to uncover the full truth about Obama’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright, being more interested in his apparent friendship with William Ayers, the former ‘Weatherman’ . I found that Obama was very much part of the unlovely Daly machine in Chicago, that his voting record in the Illinois State Senate was far from courageous, and basically that we wasn’t a very distinguished or experienced person.

It was pointless. The marketing men, and the machine men had got hold of him by then, offered him all the kingdoms of the world and swept him up into the world of bright TV lights where ( as so many otherwise unqualified people do) he glowed with a sort of electronic virtue. I think he is an intelligent person with some self-knowledge, and I do sometimes wonder if he ever regrets allowing himself to be turned into a brand and a star. But if so, it is too late. How can anyone, transformed in this way ever come back to the status of ordinary husband, father, colleague and friend? They go off as human beings to the nominating convention, or wherever the key moment is, and they never come back again.

But by then there was no audience for critical stuff. John McCain was obviously a loser, and himself not that attractive. I wouldn’t have minded if it had just been a rational decision to go for the younger, more modern guy. I wished that skin colour didn’t matter. But as the election approached I found I just didn’t care very much if he won or not. I just knew, when he did so, that his victory was a victory for multiculturalism and its allies, but so what? This only confirmed the direction the Republic had taken under Clinton, and which George W. Bush had done nothing to reverse, while he busied himself with idiotic foreign wars.

For a proper conservative, American national politics is a desert. You can choose between declared liberals and neo-conservatives who are liberal on all important issues. And that’s it. Or there’s dear old Ron Paul, who is another sort of liberal, really.  But he’s not important anyway. There’s nobody who is really socially conservative, above all nobody who will act (it’s decades too late anyway) to end the lax immigration politics which have revolutionised the country and will render it unrecognisable within 30 years. There’s nobody who will rescue the married family, or protect and recreate manufacturing industry so that ordinary people have proper honest work to do again, or reform the schools, or devise a foreign policy that actually makes the country safer.

What absolutely amazes me about this election is the way that leftish commentators try to build up Mitt Romney as some kind of conservative monster. If only he were. But his own record shows otherwise (and I might add, his running mate, whose name I can never remember, is a keen student of Miss Ayn Rand, another liberal) . . . the ‘Romney is a raging conservative’ claim must be an effort to make a dull contest between two mediocrities, for an over-rated office that isn’t really all that powerful,  appear more interesting than it is.

I shan’t be waiting up for the results. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

If that’s not enough for you, click here.

What’s The Difference Between A Bunker and a Padded Cell, Again?

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This appeared in the mail this morning:

Some thoughts on the election:

1. They totally stole the election. It doesn’t matter. Get over it.

There is a significant fraction of the liberal left that genuinely
believes everything they read in the Nation, even the articles the
people who write for the Nation don’t really believe. These people
will tell you there is no voter fraud in this country. They are, of
course, morons.

The movement people, when they are being honest (don’t expect to see
this on television), will tell you that voter fraud is a necessary
evil, because any serious effort to eradicate it would have the side
effect of depressing minority turnout and unfairly prejudice their
candidate. They also seriously think that laws against voting by
felons are racist and evil and thus worthy of civil disobedience.
These people created a regulatory system around elections (or lack
thereof) that may very well have won the election for Barack Obama.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It doesn’t matter. The economy is in shambles and Obama barely phoned
in a campaign without any real policy substance other than a vague
promise that we will continue to move “forward” towards a progressive
utopia. He should have lost big. See below.

2. Like it or not, there is now an Obama mandate.

You will see a lot of people talking about how this was a close
election. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that Obama got
re-elected with a left of center platform in terrible economic times,
with control of the Senate. One of two things will happen. Either the
economy will improve and he will get to pretend he did something other
than hand out a lot of candy while we waited out an awful business
cycle. Or the economy will get worse. But it is increasingly obvious
that even a continuing shambles in the economy will not help the
Republicans.

Romney would have done better in the elections if he had spent the
entire election cycle in a motel room smoking crack with Ukrainian
prostitutes. The Republicans will not learn the right lessons from
this, but they will inevitably respond to it. See below.

3. The Obama Mandate is to sacrifice our future on the altar of entitlements.

The worse things get, the better it will be for Democats. The
Republicans have been running for years on the notion that working
people have to protect their interests against a parasite class of
entitlement recipients. But this platform has always papered over the
fact that a huge proportion of entitlement recipients are retirees,
and as the bad times get worse it papers over how many of the ordinary
working majority, of every race, class and creed, are dependent on the
government.

Moreover, people increasingly realize a hard truth about
bureaucracies, which is that unserious attempts to “reform” them
usually end up hurting the class of law abiding and generally worthy
recipients without significantly reducing abuse.

The establishment take-away from this election will be that Romney
lost because he was too “extreme” about entitlement reform, so you
will in the future see Republican candidates proposing increasingly
minor “reforms” as a way of paying lip service to voters who care
about entitlements, without scaring the rest of the population. This
is a stupid strategy that everyone will see through and treat with the
contempt it deserves.

Entitlement reform has been an obvious necessity in this country for
decades. The old saying about socialism is that eventually you run out
of other people’s money. What they don’t talk about is how dire things
look when you do run out of money, and how long it can take. And this
electorate seems entirely content to play this out until the bitter,
bitter end.

4. Bill Ayers won this election.

After Obama and control of the Senate, the big winners in this
election were marijuana and gay marriage. The culture wars are over,
and conservatives decisively lost.

To the small extent that this election was not about Republicans
having a losing message on entitlements, it was about the fact that
Republicans aren’t and have never been cool. I’m not talking about
messaging any more, I’m stating a fact.

Being cool didn’t use to be a requirement for public office. But it is
now. A significant fraction of the American population would rather
die than be associated with anything they think of as being uncool.

I don’t by any means intend this as mere disparagement. Being cool is
about actual substantive positions in our society. It is cool, for
example, to have gay friends or even be gay and to have generally
positive feelings about gay sex.

And that’s cool with me. The problem is we’re talking about culture
here, and culture isn’t friendly to nuance. Culture is tribal. So if
you say, like the Republican party, “We love gay folks, but…” — you
lose. And the solution is to either keep losing or capitulate and
always be the party that used to be homophobic and probably secretly
still is.

You heard a lot of talk last night on Glenn Beck’s internet
“television station” about how we have to reform education because
this all happened in our schools. On the one hand, they are right.
Bill Ayers lost the revolution in the 70s and won it back school
district by school district in the 80s and 90s. On the other hand,
even if it were realistic to suppose that conservatives could possibly
do something to change the status quo in education in this country, it
still takes generations to make a difference that way. This may be the
only way forward, but it’s not going to win the White House in 2016.

And it still doesn’t address the part of this that is about the
entertainment industry.

5. This election was primarily about race but really had nothing to do                                                               with race.

I predict that in the next election the Republican candidates will be
Rubio and probably a Catholic white ethnic like Chris Christie (not
kidding here) against Hillary Clinton and some cool kid that no one
has ever heard of like, say, Huma Abedin. Clinton will win handily.

Talk about race in this country has become a shorthand that liberals
use to talk about entitlements (see above) and the culture wars (see
above). It has very little to do with actual racism, or any
definition of “racism” that is not simply premised around whether you
agree with the Democrats about entitlements and the culture wars. I
have known serious racists in my life. They look and behave nothing
like Mitt Romney. Most liberals actually understand this but pretend
not to understand it because they think it’s funny.

The Republicans are desperately upset about this dynamic, for two
reasons. The first is the fact that they are not, actually, racists.
The second is the realization that race is being used, unfairly, as a
way of constantly rubbing their nose in the fact that they have lost
the two key battles they somehow cannot admit to themselves they have
lost (again, entitlements and culture).

The obvious move is to try and find or manufacture as many hip, young,
minority candidates as possible. See, e.g., pretty much everyone on
Glenn Beck’s network except Glenn Beck. This is a distraction, in the
same way that trying to get younger people to vote Republican by
posting stuff on Twitter is a distraction. People don’t actually vote
based on bullshit and pandering. They vote for what they believe in,
and they don’t believe in what the Republicans are selling.

6. Libertarians are going to leave or take over the party.

Romney was, if we are being honest, a pretty lame candidate. I grew to
like the guy in the debates, but the truth is no one was especially
excited by him. Setting aside how he was portrayed by the left, people
on the right saw him as a bland, centrist candidate whose primary
audience was not plutocrats (those people voted overwhelmingly Obama)
but older, affluent and suburban — those people rightly perceived by
everyone as being on the losing end of current history even as they
are tirelessly propped up by the left as oppressors of the “99%”.

Again, not saying the winning strategy is to go out and find someone
cool. My point is, the fact that people turned out for Romney was a
combination of libertarian money, Tea Party anti-Obama sentiment
(which is in substantial part libertarian) and old people going to the
polls and pulling the lever for “R”. Look for the libertarian money to
either dry up or insist on a very different relationship with the
Party going forward.

The left would have you believe that the Tea Party is a bunch of bomb
throwing radicals who also happen to be boring suburban white folks.
Neither is true. The Tea Party is what’s left of the religious right
mixed up with genuine non-religious conservatives. And libertarians.

Libertarians are an interesting and rapidly growing segment of
society. They embrace socially “liberal” positions out of some
combination of an obscure desire to find a way to be right wing and
cool at the same time (see, e.g., Matt Kibbe’s desperate sideburns)
and genuine ideological commitment (see, e.g., David Koch’s support of
gay marriage). They have an essentially neoliberal economic philosophy
but little else that is recognizeably “conservative,” if that word
even has any meaning any more.

They are popular among the young folk and have more in common
philosophically with the significant libertarian fraction of Obama
voters than they do with the core of traditional Republican voters.
They may leave. If they stay, expect the Republican Party to be
increasingly unfriendly to conservatism as an increasingly empowered
libertarian movement within the Party attempts to save the brand from
the taint of association with stodgy old people who go to church and
don’t want their children to smoke pot.

7. Forward, into the past.

It never mattered much who ran on the Republican side. Both parties
are controlled by people who define themselves in terms of an
international elite culture that doesn’t care about this country
except in a fundamentally cynical way. Both parties depend for votes
on a population that increasingly depends on entitlements of various
types and is well aware that no meaningful alternative is being
presented to them. Both parties depend for votes overwhelmingly on
people who are not meaningfully interested in things like civic
virtue. This is what history teaches us happens to democracies. I
don’t have a policy prescription but I will say this one unfashionable
thing — don’t think the way out is through democracy any more.

Go read Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the
Roman Empire. I’ll wait. Or I guess you could just re-watch Battlestar
Galactica.

All this has happened before, and all this will happen again.

 

Eugene Genovese, R.I.P. — Making Crooked Things Straight

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Gene Genovese passed away today.  I was lucky to share a part of Gene’s last years with him and his wife, Elizabeth Fox Genovese, in their home.  I worked for Betsey until her brave death in 2007.  I therefore was witness to one of the great intellectual love stories of our age.

Betsey and Gene started out as prominent Marxist intellectuals and ended their journey as passionate spokespeople for the rebirth of Catholic conservatism.  A perfectly natural path.  Betsey, of course, was the one who led Gene back after “fifty years in the wilderness,” as he wrote in Miss Betsey, his memoir of their marriage.

At the end of that book, Gene wrote:

What everlasting life means I have no idea.  At the risk of contradicting these words, I pray that Betsey and I will be blended spiritually, much as our ashes will be blended in that urn.  We are told that in Heaven we shall see the face of God.  If allowed to enter Heaven, I shall see Him in her smile.

I’ll leave it to others to recount Gene and Betsey’s significance as intellectuals.  I got the delightful parts: watching Gene slip into expensive Italian leather loafers to somewhat uncomplainingly walk the inaccurately named Labradors, Patience and Prudence; watching the two of them spend the morning writing together, then share lunch of good wine, bread, cheese, and salami, then write some more . . . watching in bewilderment as two of the smartest people in the world mistakenly rooted for the wrong New York baseball team.

I also saw the extraordinary passion that carried the two of them through Betsey’s years of suffering at the end of her life.  Gene worried so much, and she worried about him worrying: it was an object lesson in endearment.  He brought the T.S. Eliot book Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats to read to her at the hospital: the smartest people in the world with the exception of their choice of baseball team found simple joy in cat cartoons after inspiring the intellectual exodus from Stalinism.

Gene and Betsey’s friends will remember evenings at Nino’s being regaled with Sinatra and martinis, pickled eggplant and stories of their first date.  Some of us will also remember lunches at Roxx Tavern, where the men out front marveled at Betsey’s persistence and the sight of two people so perfectly in love.

What Gene and Betsey taught me was that you can, you must, stop your life and take a different path once you realize you have been traveling the wrong one.  They were smart enough to be grateful.  We should all have such faith.

New From Mary Grabar: Bill Ayers and the Common Core

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See Mary’s report at Accuracy in Media today:

Terrorist Professor Bill Ayers and Obama’s Federal School Curriculum

Watcher’s Council, Canadian Free Press, Brian Wilson in Toledo

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The protesters are arriving in Tampa (with their pipes, bricks, and tedious adolescent agitprop).

I’ll be on Brian Wilson’s drive-time radio show — Talk of Toledo, 1370 WSPD — on Friday between 4 and 5 p.m. to talk about the protesters.

Media who would like to schedule interviews with me about the protests can contact this website: tinatrent2@yahoo.com.  I’ll be reporting from the protests all next week.

My report for Accuracy in Media, Soros-funded Marxists to “Occupy the RNC” , is getting coverage in Canada Free Press and also on the facebook page for the anti-RNC protesters.  Thanks, Brian Madsen, for your pithy rebut!

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m happy to report that I got an honorable mention at Watchers of Weasels this week — thanks!  I also have a commentary on the effect of immigration amnesty on my small farming town on this week’s Watcher’s Forum.  Here is the commentary, followed by the forum for this week:

Illegal Migration And What To Do About It

Each week, the members of the Watchers’ Council nominate one of their own posts and a second from outside the Council for consideration by other council members in a contest for the week’s best post.

Subcribe to Watcher of Weasels via the following RSS syndicators:
 Add Watcher of Weasels to any feed reader

Watcher’s Council Nominations – ‘Legitimate Rape’ Edition
JoshuaPundit on Aug 22 2012 
Council Submissions:
 Honorable Mentions
Non-Council Submissions

They Shoot Police Horses, Don’t They?

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The Tampa media is busy churning out pleasant stories about all the “creative” and “peaceful” protesters descending on the city.

To get the whole story of what’s coming to Tampa, see my special report up at Accuracy in Media today:

Soros-funded Marxists to “Occupy the RNC”

I’ll have a longer post up later.  For now, two questions:

Do you really think they’d bother dressing horses up like this, in Tampa heat, if the protesters really intended to be “peaceful”?

And, is it OK for vegans to kick horses, so long as they don’t eat them?

How to Whitewash RNC Protesters: The New York Times’ Magic Optic

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The New York Times has begun its serial misrepresentations of the protests aimed at the Republican National Convention in August.

“Tampa Restricts Protests” screams the Times headline.

Of course it does.

They’re reporting through their own freaky version of rose-colored glasses.  That changes the appearance of things.

Below the headline, Times reporter Colin Moynihan manages to troll through twenty paragraphs while only once briefly mentioning the violence and vandalism perpetrated by protesters in the past — and reasonably anticipated again this August.  In his telling, the protesters are innocent lambs being persecuted by society: society is the one throwing trash cans through the protesters’ windows.  The effect is weird.  He’s asking people to believe that the city of Tampa simply woke up one morning and decided to spend millions of dollars to randomly oppress people.  You know, non-Republican, protester people:

During the last three Republican national conventions, police officers have arrested hundreds of people as the gatherings have drawn thousands of protesters objecting to the party’s positions on a range of issues, from wars to the economy to the environment.

Police have arrested hundreds of people.  Why?  Because they objected to positions?  Is that really why they were arrested?

Even for the Times, this isn’t reporting.  It’s an infomercial for the protesters.

The infomercial continues:

[T]his time around, the protesters planning to gather in Tampa the last week in August hope their ranks will be swelled by the Occupy movement, whose members have said that they see the party’s expected nominee, Mitt Romney, as the embodiment of a financial system that favors the rich and corporations over ordinary citizens.

“The embodiment of a financial system that favors the rich and corporations over ordinary citizens.”  The protesters couldn’t have said it better themselves.  Oh, wait.

Tampa isn’t restricting the protesters: the city is bending over backwards and paying pirate’s ransom to Occupiers, “resistRNCers” and other assorted muggers in the impotent hope that, given enough candy, they won’t try to burn the city down.  It’s an unhealthy business, this shelling over of cash and prizes to people because they’re threatening you.

Tampa spent $57,000 to set up a special spot for protesters, along with scores of other expenditures that would be entirely unnecessary if the protesters really intended to obey laws — like the rest of us.  The federal government is spending $100 million of our tax dollars to ensure that violent thugs don’t disrupt peaceful, pre-election gatherings of Republicans and Democrats in Tampa and Charlotte.  So who’s really being “held hostage” and “silenced”?  It’s the public, forced to pick up the tab for all these planned temper tantrums.

Meanwhile, reporters keep mic-checking ornate fantasies about the protesters’ suppression of speech meme:

Protesters . . . said that officials may be using the specter of disorder to justify heavy-handed tactics. They added that over the last few years the authorities in cities where large protests took place have appeared to follow a script that includes pre-emptive detainment, indiscriminate mass arrests and infiltration of protest groups.

I’d like Mr. Moynihan to explain why none of these innocent and peaceful protesters would go on the record and let him use their names in normal quotes, instead of this weird, talk-through-the-reporter’s-hat ventriloquist act he’s performing.

The Occupy model of demanding special access to public property and special privileges — at the threat of destruction — should have schooled public officials to stop “negotiating” with them long ago.  It won’t work, either: after months of earnest and pricey negotiations, wasting our time and money, the protesters are merely changing their URLs and ramping up their threats.  But you won’t read any of that in the Times.  The newspaper sort-of quotes the non-named protesters claiming that they’re not going to commit acts of violence — oh no, not them:

The resistRNC Web site includes a “Notice to Law Enforcement Spying on Us,” which states that the group is not planning violent actions.

Well, if they and the Times say so, it must be true.  Except . . . this snippet doesn’t really capture resistRNC’s zeitgeist.  The resistRNC website actually states that the group, whoever they are, is committed to a “diversity” of tactics, a term which specifically references violent protest.  This silly double-talk signals that violence is expected and that these protesters have committed themselves to supporting violent actions by other protesters.  Here’s the part the Times didn’t quote:

  1. Our solidarity will be based on respect for a political diversity within the struggle for social, economic and environmental justice. As individuals and groups, we may choose to engage in different tactics and plans of action but are committed to
    treating each other with respect.
  2. We reject all attempts to create divisions among our movements. We agree to not publicly criticize other parts of our movement or cooperate with state or media efforts to portray good protester/bad protester.
  3. The actions and tactics used will be organized to maintain appropriate separations of time and space between divergent tactics. We will commit to respecting each others organizing space and the tone and tactics they wish to utilize in that space.

The resistRNC website is directly promoting actions that do not respect the protest guidelines painstakingly negotiated by front-groups and their lawyers with the Tampa City Council.  That means the protesters are planning to break the law . . . unless there’s some third option I’m too semantically obtuse to grasp.  The resistRNC site is also intentionally provocative and threatening, listing hotels where conventioneers will be staying and plotting the sites on a map.  Why didn’t the Times mention that?

Here, not deflected through the Times’ magic optic, is the way the protesters describe themselves.  Sorry in advance for their potty mouth:

You are either for Justice, or you are in our way.  Our target is the power elite, who are fucking over every one of us, and its worse for the people of 3rd world countries as well as the environment.

We are not concerned with the police, who should be fighting for us, or the right, who should stand with us, unless you attack us.

We do not tolerate a threat to our protesters no matter where it comes from.  Self-defense is accepted under our banner of non-violence.

Well, that sounds friendly.  I can understand why reporter Colin Moynihan took them at their word.  Of course, he was also super-busy not finding things out about the one protester he quotes extensively, the Reverend Bruce Wright.  According to Moynihan, Wright is a peace and justice activist planning some event promoting the poor:

[T]he Rev. Bruce Wright, of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, said that he was arranging for an encampment called Romneyville to be set up on private property, where he said the city’s rules will not apply.  “We are looking at it as kind of a refuge,” Mr. Wright said of the camp, adding that on the first day of the convention it will be used as a staging ground for a march meant to highlight the problems of poverty, unemployment and homelessness.

Gosh, you’d have to spend thirty seconds or more googling Wright’s name to learn what locals down here already know about him.  You can read about him here and here and here.  But through the Times’ magic optic, he’s just the hero of Romneyville.

This is far from the first time the paper of record got snowed by some guy they didn’t vet first.

You’d think they’d learn to use that thing called the internet.

But sometimes I can understand not wanting to stare the truth straight in the eye.  You never know what you’re going to find there.  Again, language — and optic nerve — apologies in advance:


Join CODEPINK and V-Day to bring your vagina to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL August 27-30!  
Together, we will bring our resilient, creative, powerful vaginas to Republican fundraisers and to the convention hall. We’ll also take part in the Coalition March on the RNC and other peace and justice actions. 

Sunday, August 26
1-8pm: CODEPINK Convergence and Activist Training Camp 
Location TBA

Monday, August 27

10am: Coalition March on the RNC

Permitted Rally and March

Perry Harvey Sr. Park, 1200 N. Orange Avenue

3-5:30pm: March for our Lives
Join the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign for a march to stop home foreclosures and the criminalization of the poor and homeless. 

11pm: Roving Radical Dance Party

Stay tuned for more events coming on August 28-30!

 

The Occupy Movement’s War on Cops: Coming to Tampa?

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Last year, before the Occupy encampments fizzled, it was surely a comfort to parents of college-age “Occupy” protestors that police officers remained near the camps, where drug abuse and overdoses, violent fights, criminal acts of vandalism,and multiple sexual assaults were among the revolution’s few fruits.  Protestors churlishly claimed that police alone pose a threat in their utopian tent cities, but scenes of Occupiers smashing store windows or recoiling in shock as police processed yet another suicide at a Vermont camp told a different story:

Police comfort distraught Vermont Occupier after suicide at camp

When nirvana tips over into chaos, the adults must step in.

The police presence at the camps cannot have been similarly comforting for parents and spouses of police.  Their loved ones spent days and nights trying to keep order in volatile settings where hatred for police was openly celebrated, so openly that posters of cop-killers Mumia Abu Jamal and Lovelle Mixon were ominously affixed to tents.  Mixon, a convicted child rapist, gunned down four Oakland officers in 2009 as they sat eating breakfast; he is now an annointed hero of the Occupiers.

Atlanta Occupiers re-named their entire encampment after cop-killer Troy Davis, who shot a policeman in 1989 as the officer came to the aid of a homeless man Davis was pistol-whipping.  Impervious to irony, the Atlanta Occupiers thus re-christened a park where homeless people loiter after a man who bashed a homeless man, rather than naming it after the police officer who gave his life to try to save that homeless man from Davis’ violence.

The intensity of venom the Occupy protestors direct at street police, and not at the elected officials or even police chiefs, is part of an intentional strategy to incite and amplify confrontations with police and then scapegoat police for the ensuing incidents.  This is a well-worn activist strategy, one that relies on both a complacent media eager to report “clashes” between protestors and police, and on elected officials eager to curry favor curry with the activists and constituent groups that support them.

The strategy worked perfectly for Occupiers in Atlanta, New York City, Chicago, and Oakland, where Mayors Kasim “Not-What-I-Seem” Reed, Michael “Egg Cream” Bloomberg, Human Lizard Rahm Emanuel, and the buffoonish Jean Quan pandered to protestors one day, then demanded police action the next.  This was a low-stakes game for mayors but a high-stakes one for the street-beat cop who had to confront the protestors’ entrenched feelings of cop-loathing and entitlement.

While mayors and editorial boards postured, scolding the police one day and then wondering why they didn’t stop store-looting the next, the seasoned activists behind the visible Occupy encampments created no-go zones for the police on public property.  This disturbing development, like others, was accepted by authorities with barely a whimper, even when the result was serious crimes such as rapes.  Where were the feminist activists decrying Occupiers’ efforts to discourage rape victims — and witnesses — from cooperating to capture sex criminals?  Where were the allegedly pro-woman council members, and mayors?  The Occupiers’ strategy of creating ostentatious “safe zones” for women rather than using all their resources to unambiguously cooperate in capturing sex offenders placed them in the company of the disgraced football coaches of Penn State.

Quarantined tents for women to sleep in . . .

. . . while being watched over by designated monitors to prevent sexual assault in public parks: was this the utopia the Occupiers imagined?

Actually, it was.  A few raped women, and men, was apparently not a price too high to pay for striking another blow at law enforcement (in activist argot, the “fascist police state”).

Behind the visible faces of the Occupy movement — students worried about repaying their loans, aging peaceniks, and drug-addicted hangers-on — there was a wide range of professional activist organizations united in principle and practice.  The principle is dismantling capitalism, and the practice is delegitimizing capitalist institutions.  While the street protests have largely gone away, and it is not yet known if there will be disruptions at the Tampa Republican National Convention, these activists are doing precisely what they have always done: plotting the next surprise attack in their ongoing revolution against Western Civilization.

The professionals occupying the Occupy movement will continue to do so even as the movement itself disperses like a thousand cockroaches scattering before the arrival of the bug man.  Long before the first tent went up in Zuchotti Park, Angela Davis’ Critical Resistance “cop-watch” organization was teaching activists to writhe and scream for the cameras while being handcuffed, and the anarchist collective Ruckus Society was publishing how-to manuals with detailed instructions for invading buildings, disrupting mass transit and cargo movement, and maximizing chaos in the streets, while the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Lawyer’s Guild, and the A.C.L.U. continued their tradition of defending such lawbreaking.

To wit, check out the poorly-named AdBusters, which is really one big advertisement advertising against advertisements by others . . . while its well-heeled editors direct the Occupt “revolutionaries” from very nice lofts elsewhere.  But they’re ironic, you see:

In its own sweet way, our movement is now moving beyond the Zuccotti model and developing a tactical imperative of its own: Small groups of fired up second generation occupiers acting independently, swiftly and tenaciously pulling off myriad visceral local actions, disrupting capitalist business-as-usual across the globe.

The next big bang to capture the world’s imagination could come not from a thousand encampments but from a hundred thousand ephemeral jams… a global cascade of flash encampments may well be what this hot Summer will look like.

Meanwhile, tents are up once again in Tahrir Square and youth from Quebec to Auckland toMoscow to Oakland are rising up against a future that does not compute.

Stay loose, play jazz, keep the faith … Capitalism is crashing and our movement has just begun.

for the wild,
Culture Jammers HQ

While the Tampa City Council pretends that they are negotiating with the ACLU to ensure orderly and “fair” protests at the upcoming Republican convention, Adbusters is busy recommending that these protesters join forces with the most violent and radical groups for the next phase of the revolution.  Conveniently, they publish their numbers, so the Tampa politicians don’t need to, like, Google them or anything:

Decide for yourself which groups you respect then call them for a chat or send them an email or a tweet. Ruckus Society is at 510-931-6339,ruckus@ruckus.org, @Ruckusociety; Rainforest Action Network at 415-398-4404,answers@ran.org, @RAN… Let’s nudge our friends back into the Occupy camp . . .

While it has become a cliche to say so, every one of these activist groups enjoys funding from George Soros, who not only provides millions to the legal organizations listed above but also donates hundreds of thousands of dollars to subsidize the Ruckus Society’s workshops teaching rope skills and building invasion techniques and the virulent anti-police rhetoric from Critical Resistance and the dozens of groups coordinated through the Center for Constitutional Rights’ Movement Support Coalition.

The police have always stood on the front lines against such groups, while the rest of us have the luxury of watching from a distance.  The Occupy protests are merely the latest battleground in an ongoing war on police.  What will happen in Tampa in August?  With the Mayor and members of the City Council playing patty-cake with the ACLU, rather than behaving like adults and representing the taxpayers who fund them, only two things are certain:

It’s going to be hot, and when the cops aren’t busy handing out water bottle to protesters, they’re going to be under attack by them.  What should the rest of us do?  Make sure the people we elected remember the difference between a cop handing a protester a water bottle and the protester throwing a bottle of something else back at the cop.  It’s simple, really, but somehow the politicians just don’t get it.

The Last Call

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Watch this . . . and understand what Britain once was, and still is, and what we might one day no longer be, too . . .

The Last Call To Attention.wmv – YouTube

Watcher’s Council

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Last night, I passed a milestone of sorts by speaking about crime in Sarasota, Florida.  More specifically, the topic was George Soros and his support for the “criminals lobby.”  No, there’s no missing apostrophe: Soros lobbies for criminals and for emptying the prisons.  This is the cause most likely most dear to his heart, though it often gets short shrift as people explore the rich panoply of his anti-American ambitions.

Who wouldn’t want to empty prisons, so long as there were no criminals in them to begin with?

{post removed for technical problems}

 

In Accuracy in Media: Happiness is a Global Tax

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My article about a very frightening new holiday, Pursuit of Happiness Dayis up at Accuracy in Media.

 

 


 

“[T]his is the most insanely massive violation of the law that I’ve seen”

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That’s Tampa Chief of Police Jane Castor talking about income tax fraud in the Tampa Bay area.

We have a great police force in Tampa.  When Chief Castor says the problem is uncontrollable, Congress needs to listen.  From the Tampa Tribune:

Tampa’s tax refund fraud is getting national attention this week as a city police detective is set to testify before a U.S. Senate subcommittee about what the police chief says “conservatively” amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money being stolen in the Tampa Bay area alone. . .

Based on what he’s seeing in the streets, [Officer Edwin] Perez said, the fraud is “ten times as bad this year” as it was last year.

“Out in the street, everybody is doing it,” said Chief Jane Castor. “We’re hearing stories about high school kids doing this. It’s just incredible.”

Perez said he’s found a 16-year-old on his way to school with a list of names, dates of birth and other identifying information for use in tax fraud and a 76-year-old man with a laptop computer case stuffed with debit cards pre-loaded with money suspected to have been obtained through tax fraud.

Because of the scope of the fraud, Perez said, he was nervous when he filed his tax return. “I knew right away I had to file as quick as I could,” Perez said, and he did. But he wasn’t able to act fast enough to beat the crooks.

“I’ve been in law enforcement for 28 years,” Castor told reporters, “and this is the most insanely massive violation of the law that I’ve seen.”

I don’t write about white collar crime very often, but Tampa is the epicenter of a lot of low-level, high-yield financial fraud.  Medicaid fraud is endemic.  Fake pill clinics, fake back-pain doctors, and other fake medical services seem to fill every other storefront.  Auto insurance is expensive here because of faked hit-and-run fraud.

And the feds aren’t doing enough.  Why?  The Secret Service is partnering with local police; the Postal Service is on the case, but prosecutions aren’t happening.  Hundreds of millions of dollars are being stolen in my community because leaders in Washington can’t get their act together and focus on crime.  I don’t think I need to articulate my feelings about this as I sit down to do my family’s taxes:

[Chief Castor] said criminals are getting the information they need to commit fraud by paying people who work in businesses where personal information is kept, including medical offices, schools and assisted living facilities. Perez [a victim himself] said his best guess is that someone got his wife’s information from a medical office.

Castor said the fraud is too extensive for local police to manage. “It’s no-win situation,” she said. “We could put our entire police force on this now, and we’re not going to keep up.”

Perez said, as a street cop, he constantly sees the fraud – known in street parlance as “TurboTax,” after the popular online filing program. “In one of every seven stops that we make, we’re going to find something that has to do with TurboTax,” he said.

Castor said the media coverage has gotten the attention of lawmakers and IRS officials in Washington. Three IRS officials flew down to Tampa last week and met with the chief.

Castor said the IRS seems to understand the problem and says it’s putting additional filters in place to block fraudulent refund checks from being sent. But Castor reiterated that the existing filters don’t seem to be working.

For example, the IRS says it screens for multiple refund checks being sent to the same address. But in one case, Castor said, police documented more than 200 refunds being sent to a single address.

“They have made some changes, but the insurmountable hurdle still is in place,” Castor said. “They still cannot share information with law enforcement. That needs to be fixed. … But I don’t want anyone to lose sight of the real problem here. It starts at the filing. It has got to be fixed.”

Today, the U.S. Senate Finance Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility, chaired by Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, will hold its second hearing on tax fraud. This one is slated to include testimony from Tampa police Detective Sal Augeri, who has led the department’s tax fraud investigations.

The committee is considering legislation introduced by Nelson last year that the senator says will help victims get their money more quickly when their refunds are stolen.

Senator Nelson needs to do more than this.  Of course the victims need to be reimbursed.  But why isn’t the Justice Department down here fixing the problem?  Oh yeah, they’re busy . . .

From the DOJ Homepage: The Affordable Care Act was enacted on March 23, 2010 . . . This law has become the subject of several lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the provision requiring Americans who can afford it to maintain basic health insurance coverage. The Department is vigorously defending the law in these cases.

Defending the Affordable Care Act
You know what would make healthcare more affordable?  Prosecuting Medicaid and Medicare fraud.  Prosecuting tax fraud.  Prosecuting crime, instead of punishing the law-abiding by not punishing crime, which breeds contempt for the law, which leads to 16-year olds stealing people’s IDs and getting other people’s tax refunds, then getting a slap on the wrist in juvenile court.  But story gets much, much worse.  From the Tampa Bay Times:

Tax fraud thief steals identity of slain Tampa police officer

TAMPA — Months after police Officer David Curtis was slain on duty, his widow tried to file her tax return. But the electronic filing wouldn’t go through.

Someone had stolen the identity of the officer and filed a fraudulent return.

A year later, Kelly Curtis still has no resolution. On Tuesday, her ordeal was a subject of a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing on the pervasive tax fraud problem.

“It’s just so frustrating,” she told theTampa Bay Times. “Here Dave’s ultimate sacrifice is being taken advantage of again.

“And I’ve just been thrown something else on my plate that I’ve got to deal with. Sometimes I just throw my hands up in the air and say: ‘No, I’ve had enough. I can’t deal with this.’ ”

David Curtis and fellow Officer Jeffrey Kocab were fatally shot June 29, 2010, during a traffic stop in East Tampa.

The Tampa Police report that they arrested 47 tax fraud suspects but could not prosecute a single one of them for tax fraud, because the IRS cannot share information with the police.  So the rest of us have a choice: we can demand a change in these laws, or we can keep hemorrhaging money to criminals.  And make no mistake about it, one type of criminality breeds other types:

Tax fraud is leading to violent crime in Tampa . . . People are getting rich off these schemes, he said, and other people know it. There have been armed robberies and home invasions targeted at these fraudulent filers, police say.  An attempted homicide last week in Tampa is rumored to be motivated by tax fraud, [Tampa Detective Sal] Augeri testified.  Tampa police Chief Jane Castor told the Times robbers are looking for cash and jewelry — “the proceeds of the tax fraud.”  “People on the street know who’s doing it,” she said. “And they want to get a share.”

This should bother you as you pay your taxes this year.  A lot.  Meanwhile, at least it’s an object lesson in the connection between white collar crime and street crime, and an object lesson for all those who whine that our federal prisons are filled with otherwise innocent drug users.  They aren’t.  They pled down from other crimes:

On Monday afternoon, a federal judge in Tampa sentenced one tax fraud participant to more than 15 years in federal prison. Perhaps underscoring how difficult it can be to bring tax fraud charges, the defendant was not charged with or convicted of tax fraud.

Tarrantzton Barr pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.

Barr admitted that he and his cousin, Patrick Shaw, used nearly $40,000 worth of fraudulently obtained Treasury checks to try to buy the kilo from an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration in May. Shaw has also pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentence.

Where is the leadership in federal law enforcement?

Maybe if we changed the name of the offense from “tax fraud” to “bullying,” somebody in the White House would do something.

 

Meet Me at CPAC

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Come see me at CPAC booth 1919 and pick up a copy of my report on George Soros and the Occupy movement.

Police Murdered in 2011: How They Served

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Hat Tip to Lou . . .

2011 began with the murder of Deputy Sheriff Suzanne Hopper in Ohio.  January 1, Deputy Hopper was shot while photographing a crime scene.  She left behind a husband and four children.  Another officer was shot but survived.

According to her boss, Sheriff Gene Kelly,

Hopper once went six straight years without calling in sick and often put on charity events for the Special Olympics and other causes . . . Her personnel file is filled with accolades and commendations and always service before self.

By the end of January, four police officers were murdered in Florida during a week in which at least fifteen officers were shot:

[1/24/2011] In just 24 hours, at least 11 officers were shot. The shootings included Sunday attacks at traffic stops in Indiana and Oregon, a Detroit police station shooting that wounded four officers, and a shootout at a Port Orchard, Wash., Wal-Mart that injured two deputies. On Monday morning, two officers were shot dead and a U.S. Marshal was wounded by a gunman in St. Petersburg, Fla.  On Thursday, two Miami-Dade, Fla., detectives were killed by a murder suspect they were trying to arrest.

Sgt. Thomas Batinger, St. Petersburg, Florida “just wanted to serve”

Two years ago, Sgt. Baitinger served as mentor for a student at Gibbs High School. Catherine Smith, the former family and community liaison at Gibbs, said he stood out among the 100 or so mentors who volunteer each year. “Some police officers, you know, seem to have like a hard exterior,” Smith said. “This man was just so nice.”  When the sergeant showed up, usually carrying a McDonald’s bag, the student’s face just glowed. “He loved him,” she said. “When that young man came down and saw the sergeant, oh my goodness, it was like he saw his father.”  His hobbies were golf and poker.

Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz, St. Petersburg, Florida “one of the best people I ever met”

He is survived by his wife, Lorraine, 40, and his children: Caleb, 12; Haylie, 8; and Calen, 5.  He was on his way home after his night shift with his police dog Ace when he responded to a call for backup . . . It was like him to go. Just flip through his personnel file down at the police station. . . The night before he died, Yaslowitz helped his neighbor haul new furniture inside.  “He was a great guy, I’ll tell you,” said [Herbert] Kane, 77. “A great father, too, and a great husband. I never heard him even argue, ever. They were a great family and I’m just sick about it.”

Detective Roger Castillo, Miami-Dade, Florida “passionate about his job”

To the residents of his well-kept Davie street, fallen Miami-Dade police Detective Roger Castillo was the type of neighbor you wanted to have around. He was the dad you’d see on the front lawn, tossing around a football with his boys. The one who brightened up the cul-de-sac with Christmas lights and inflatables. A helping hand if you were struggling with a fix-it job. “If I’m fixing something, if he passes by, he will ask if I need help, do I need to borrow tools?” said Andre Jean-Louis, a real estate broker . . . On Thursday, as the tragedy unfolded in Liberty City, Castillo’s relatives and neighbors monitored the news and hoped he was safe. Slowly, through phone calls and text messages and hesitant knocks on the door, they learned that their friend was gone. “They stole him,” neighbor Lisa Tuffy said. “He made this world a better place.”

Detective Amanda Haworth, Miami-Dade, Florida “just a beautiful person”

Twenty-three years after she joined the Miami-Dade Police Department, Amanda Lynn Haworth, 44, was fatally wounded, along with another detective — both of them members of an elite team that served arrest warrants on violent suspects. Haworth, a single mother and police detective, loved her job, but was most devoted to her 13-year-old son, her stepmother said. “She took him everywhere she went,” said Diane Haworth, 66. She last spoke with her stepdaughter on Monday, she recalled. “She was just so sweet, so very sweet,” her stepmother said . . . she often played baseball with son, Austin, in their backyard, neighbors said. “Her son and her work were everything to her,” said neighbor Bernardo Gonazalez. She was a big fan of the Weston Red Hawks — the team her son played for — and attended all of his games. “She was just a beautiful, beautiful person,” Gonazalez said.

Why were Amanda Haworth and Roger Castillo killed?  Because the justice system failed them.  Not once, but a dozen times.  Because every previous time police risked their lives capturing the thug who murdered them, some lazy judge or overwhelmed prosecutor let him go:

[Johnny] Simms, 22, had been in trouble since he was a teen. Officers first arrested him at 14, for larceny. In all, Simms was arrested 11 times before he was an adult on charges including burglary and auto theft, state records show. He received house arrest in some cases, while others were dropped. His tattoos mirrored his lifestyle: a gun, flames, and the words “savage” and “10-20 Life.” In October 2005 and December 2005, Simms was arrested for separate armed robberies, one with a pistol and the second with a rifle. Prosecutors did not file charges in either case. In 2007, Simms — who also goes by “Sims” — went to state prison for a different 2005 armed robbery and auto theft. He was released in February 2009 on probation. Simms violated his probation when he was again arrested in June 2010, this time for robbery with a deadly weapon and selling cocaine. He pleaded guilty and Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Julio Jimenez sentenced him to one year in prison plus five years’ probation.But Simms served only one month because he had earned credit for time served earlier in a Miami-Dade jail. He was released in September 2010 on five years of court-mandated “administrative probation,” a low-level form of supervision that does not require regular check-ins with authorities. Simms hadn’t been out a month before he was again implicated in a violent act. According to Miami homicide detectives, Simms shot and killed Cornelious Larry, 27, on Oct. 16 in the parking lot of an Overtown apartment complex, 1535 NW First Pl. Miami police say Simms shot Larry to death after the man began yelling and cursing at Simms’ sister. Simms fled on a bicycle. Detectives searched for him for 12 days before Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Diane Ward signed an arrest warrant. The charges: first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Simms had been on the lam since.

Yadda, yadda, yadda.  Shoot, rob, burglar, shoot, beat: get off free.  Our highest law enforcement officials in the Department of Justice grandstand about “alternatives to incarceration” and “emptying the prisons.”  Our sensitive academics whine endlessly about America the police state as if thugs like Johnny Simms aren’t getting away with murder after murder, abetted by lousy criminal fetishists festering in courtrooms until good cops end up in caskets.

February

Detective John Falcone

Detective John Falcone, Poughkeepsie, New York.  Wrestled a three-year old from a man repeatedly charged with domestic violence who had hunted down her mother and killed her moments earlier.  Thanks to Detective Falcone’s sacrifice, the infant survived.

Detective Falcone is survived by his parents.

March

Alain Schaberger

Alain Schaberger’s life began in Vietnam and ended when Officer Schaberger responded to a domestic violence call in Brooklyn, where a repeat felon with 28 prior arrests, mostly for robbery and burglary, pushed the young man over a railing to his death.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg referred to Schaberger as a “quiet, gentle soul” who dedicated his life to service.  “Alain knew a lot about grief,” Bloomberg said of the former Naval officer who joined the NYPD in July 2001. “One of his first assignments as a police officer while he was still in the academy in the days after 9/11 was to go to checkpoints around Ground Zero and help the families who came there to cope with their horrific losses. He brought a lot of comfort to those people.”  Addressing Schaberger’s family, including fiancée Shoshone Peguese, Bloomberg said, “I think he would tell you to remember not the last tragic moment of his life, but the many wonderful moments that came before it.”

 

Schaberger was a 10-year NYPD veteran who was born in Vietnam. He came to the U.S. when he was 5 years old with his father – an Army vet who worked as a civilian guard at the U.S. Embassy when Saigon fell in 1975 – and Vietnamese mother.  Raised in East Islip, L.I., Schaberger grew up on tidy block of single-family homes and played basketball at the local public school. . . Schaberger often returned to East Islip to visit with his parents and sister, Tracey, a nurse with two kids, neighbors said.  “It’s tragic. It’s unbelievable,” said neighbor Mitchell Greif. “He was a great guy from a good family. He was always pleasant and polite. His parents are devastated.” Schaberger’s mother – a hairdresser – and father were too distraught to speak with reporters.  “It’s a shame,” said Bill Conley, 59, an electrician who has lived next-door to the Schaberger family for 25 years. “It’s always the good ones that die young.”

April

Jonathan Schmidt

Officer Jonathan Schmidt

A policeman who died in the line of fire trying to save his sergeant’s life has been labelled a hero.  Officer Jonathan Schmidt, from Trumann, Arkansas, shoved his superior out of harms way when a gunman unexpectedly opened fire during a routine arrest.  He was able to return fire on Jerry Lard despite the fact he was shot in the neck and bleeding. The father-of-three then begged for his life. . . Schmidt worked as a night patrolman so he could spend days with his three children.  He had a 12-year-old daughter and sons aged ten and 18 months. Schmidt recently received a commendation for saving an infant’s life by giving the child mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.  Trumann School District Superintendent, Joe Waleszonia said: ‘He wanted to clean up this community. He wanted it to be as safe for the community as it could be.

May

Kenneth Gary Vann

Sergeant Vann was assassinated while stopped at a red light: his patrol car was struck multiple times.  A week later, the killer was caught by police.  He had randomly chosen to kill officer Vann.

Sergeant Kenneth Gary Vann

[During the investigation] Detective Louis Antu, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, said the mood was somber but dedicated at the command post Sunday. Many officers, including Antu and the sheriff, were out of town for the three-day Memorial Day weekend, when they were called back to Bexar County.  “We’re not robots; we’re all taking time to reflect,” said Antu, who joined the Sheriff’s Office with Vann. “But it was a terrible killing, and everybody wants answers. We’re working for the family, to bring them justice.”  Antu said the two men were “kids” when they joined the Sheriff’s Office. Vann was an excellent officer who loved his job and family, Antu said.  Vann was married to sheriff’s Sgt. Yvonne Vann and leaves behind two sons, ages 19 and 15, and a daughter, 25, from a previous marriage, officials said.  Ortiz was at his hunting lease in Rocksprings when he heard about Vann’s death.  “We’re real saddened by the randomness of this incident; there’s really no rhyme or reason,” Ortiz said. “It’s very difficult because we don’t have anything new, but we’re not going to rest until we find the guy who did it.”

June

Kurt Wyman, daughter born the day of his murder.

Deputy Sheriff Kurt Wyman

Whitestown, NY — Fresh out of high school in 2005, Kurt Wyman joined the Marine Corps Reserve. Activated in 2008, he served seven months in Iraq and won the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.  Wyman also became an Oneida County sheriff’s deputy in 2007. He rejoined the sheriff’s office when he returned from overseas. In 2010, he was rookie of the year. He twice was awarded the Sheriff’s Grand Cordon Medal, which recognizes outstanding achievement by a detail of officers.  “His commitment not only to his country but to his county is second to none,” Sheriff Robert Maciol said.  Wyman demonstrated his commitment to the ultimate degree Tuesday. The deputy, 24, was hit by a shotgun blast as he and two other officers tried to take an armed man into custody after a six-hour standoff in the rural town of Augusta. He died after being rushed to St. Elizabeth Medical Center.

Wyman left behind his pregnant wife, Lauren, their 18-month-old son, his parents and a sister.

His wife gave birth after hearing of Wyman’s murder.  That’s June.

July

Officer Brent Long

Officer Long and his canine partner Shadow were shot while serving a felony warrant.

Shadow survived.

A fallen police officer’s K-9 partner is now being honored. Fallen Terre Haute Police Officer Brent Long’s family cut the ribbon on Shadow’s Trail in Terre Haute. Shadow served alongside Officer Long on the force. The trail is beside Brent Long Memorial Way. It’s part of the expansion of the city’s trails and a way to honor the police dog’s service. “They did a good job for our department and to have Brent’s memorial way here and Shadow’s Trail right next to Brent, they’re partners even after Brent’s gone,” Terre Haute Police Chief John Plasse said.

August

Jeremy Henwood, San Diego

Jeremy Henwood, a captain in the Marine Corps Reserves and police officer for the San Diego Police Department, was shot and killed, Aug. 7. He had walked into a fast food restaurant to buy something to eat and also buy a meal for a 10-year-old boy who happened to cross his path. Moments later, while sitting in his patrol car, a man drove up beside him and fired the fatal shot. Henwood was 36.

Officer Henwood, moments before he was shot

Henwood served as an enlisted infantryman before going on to Officer Candidate School to receive his commission with the Marine reserves. The Canadian-born hero became a United States citizen in order to receive his commission with the Marines.  He deployed twice to Iraq, and after his third deployment – this time to Afghanistan as a company commander with Combat Logistics Battalion 2 – Henwood returned to the U.S. in February to continue serving as a police officer with the SDPD.  During the memorial ceremony, Henwood was posthumously promoted to the rank of major.

September

Lt. Joseph Sczcerba

18-year veteran New Castle, Delaware Lt. Joseph Sczcerba was stabbed to death while attempting to subdue a rampaging offender.  Lt. Sczcerba and his wife performed volunteer work at a variety of places.  His service to the community was memorialized by seventy local culinary school students who baked 10,000 cookies in his honor and delivered them to police officers.  6,000 people attended his funeral.

October

Derek Kotecki: His loyal canine wouldn’t leave his side after he was shot.  He wanted a “noisy” funeral.

Patrolman Kotecki and K9 Benny
Lower Burrell, PA, Patrolman Derek Kotecki was shot and killed while investigating reports of a wanted man at a local fast food restaurant. The man was wanted for a shooting ten days earlier and for threatening police officers during the previous week.  As Patrolman Kotecki and his canine, Benny, approached, the man suddenly opened fire. Patrolman Kotecki suffered a fatal wound. The subject then fled but was approached by other officers as he attempted to climb a fence behind the restaurant. He was killed during an exchange of shots with the responding officers.  K9 Benny was uninjured but had to be muzzled after refusing to leave Patrolman Kotecki’s side.
Patrolman Kotecki had served with the Lower Burrell Police Department for 18 years. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Officer Thomas Babinsack, one of five people to eulogize Kotecki, said they had talked about the aftermath of such a situation while driving to a memorial service in April 2009 for three Pittsburgh officers gunned down in a SWAT siege.  They discussed whether it was respectful to use their flashing lights and sirens in a funeral procession, and Babinsack said he’s since learned the protocol is to use lights but no sirens — which police vehicles observed on their way to Kotecki’s funeral. But Babinsack said Kotecki wanted something else.  “Tom, I want you to promise me something: If something ever happens to me, I want everybody to know I was here,” Babinsack remembered Kotecki saying. “I want the fire trucks and police and ambulances going with lights on and sirens.”  “He wanted a parade and he’s going to get one,” Babinsack said from the pulpit of the noisy funeral procession that was to follow.

 

November

James L. Capoot: a life lived very well.

Officer James Lowell Capoot, 45, of the Vallejo Police Department was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 17, 2011 in Vallejo, Calif. A loving and devoted father, husband, son, brother, uncle, officer, coach, neighbor and friend, Jim lived a full and extraordinary life.  Born Nov. 2, 1966 in Little Rock, Ark., Jim attended local schools in Little Rock and graduated from John L. McClellan High School in 1985, where he was a distance runner on the cross country and track teams. Jim enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at age 18 and was stationed at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, where he met the love of his life, Jennifer Eileen DeCarlo. The two were married at St. Basil’s Catholic Church in Vallejo on Aug. 29, 1987.  Jim left the Marines in 1989 but remained on Active Reserve through 1993. In 1990, he joined the California Highway Patrol and began his career as a peace officer. And, in 1993, he joined the Vallejo Police Department.  For 19 years, Jim distinguished himself as a Vallejo police officer while endearing himself to the Vallejo community. He served as a motorcycle officer, motorcycle instructor, driving instructor and SWAT officer. He received two Vallejo PD Medals of Courage, one Life-Saving Medal and many other department commendations. And, in 2000, Jim received the Officer of the Year Award.  Jim coached the Vallejo High School varsity girls basketball team and in his second year led the Apaches to a 25-7 record and a Sac-Joaquin Section Division II Championship. Jim left the Apache bench in March 2011 to bring into his home the two children of close friends who were killed in a motorcycle accident in January.

December 20

John David Dryer, tended horses, his son.  Shot during a routine traffic stop.

John David Dryer found his calling as a teenager when he nursed to health a horse that had become entangled in barbed wire.  He turned his grades around, earned his veterinary science degree from Ohio State University, opened his own successful practice — and then became a police officer. . . . At home, Officer Dryer was a doting father to his autistic son, Benjamin. In an interview with the Post-Gazette in 2000 about training bloodhounds, he said his son gave him motivation.  “My son Ben, who is 5, was very sick when he was born. In fact, a couple of times I thought I was going to lose him,” he said. “I think this is why I want to search for missing people, particularly children.”

December 21

Another Tampa Bay Cop in this bloody year: Arnulfo Crispin.

Since Crispin was shot the night of Dec. 18, [Carlos] Cortes and Officer Julio Ruiz have been by his family’s side, offering any assistance they could.  Both officers learned more about their friend and why he always had a big smile on his face.  “His family has been so humble and so giving,” Ruiz said. “They put people and family before themselves.” Cortes agreed.  “It’s a large family and they don’t have that much,” he said. “At one point, they asked my wife and I to come and eat with them. They didn’t have a lot of food, but they made sure we had something to eat. They don’t have much, but what they do have they will give to others.”  That mentality explained a lot about the officer they knew.

Crispin’s parents

Before leaving the family’s house Tuesday night, the officers gave the large family their phone numbers and promised to keep in touch.  Although Crispin can’t be replaced, Ruiz said, the Crispin family has “gained 235 brothers and sisters at the Lakeland Police Department.”

December 29  

Chicago Officer Clifton Lewis: “he took me in as his child”

The off-duty Chicago police officer slain in a West Side convenience store Thursday night had just gotten engaged on Christmas Day, family friends say.  Clifton Lewis, 41, an eight-year veteran assigned to the Austin District’s tactical team, was pronounced dead Thursday at Stroger Hospital, officials said. Two men had walked into the M & M Quick Foods about 8:30 p.m. at 1201 N. Austin Blvd. in the Austin neighborhood, shot the officer, and then grabbed his gun and star and fled, sources said. . . . Lewis . .  has received 81 commendations for his police work, had proposed to his girlfriend, Tamara Tucker, only after asking her 18-year-old son, Keyonta Thomas, for permission. On Christmas morning, Lewis pulled her son aside and asked for her “hand in marriage,” said Thomas, 18.  “I am just at a loss for words,” said Thomas, who said he saw Lewis as a father.  “He was just as a father (to me)… He took me in as his child.”

Addendum: Special Agent John Capano of the ATF was killed yesterday as I was writing this.  He was on his way to pick up prescriptions for his ill, 81-year old father when he encountered an armed robbery at the pharmacy.

James Capano had planned to celebrate New Year’s Eve at his son’s house.  The family is grieving the death of James Capano’s wife of 57 years, Helen Capano, mother of John Capano. She died of cancer on Dec. 18.  James Capano said his son had volunteered to share his explosives expertise with military personnel in Iraq.  “He knew what he was doing, and he was the best one they had,” James Capano proudly said.  A tearful Rep. Peter Kingconsoled the elder Capano on the blood-stained sidewalk outside the pharmacy New Year’s morning.  King’s wife was slain agent’s fourth grade teacher.  “I’ve known John Capano for years,” King said, recalling giving Capano an award for bravery during a four-month tour of Iraq and Afghanistan.  “He had a unique personality, a great personality,” King said. “Everybody loved him.”

James Capano, Agent Capano’s father.  His wife, Agent Capano’s mother, died two weeks ago

Capano was the last officer killed in the line of duty in 2011, bringing the total to 163, 66 of which were gun killings.  Thousands of other police were shot or attacked but survived.
Assassination-style killings — where assailants randomly shoot an officer or lie in wait for unsuspecting targets, are on the rise.  Is cultural anger directed at police — by idiotic Occupy protesters, among others — contributing to an atmosphere in which police are targets?  I think the vast majority of responsibility for the presence of dangerous offenders on our streets lies with the courts and civil rights activists who have succeeded in creating a consequence-free world for criminals.  But every little bit of scapegoating counts.  In 2012, it’s time to start speaking up for cops.

 

Recent Publications in Dissident Prof, The Soros Files, and the Pittsburgh Tribune [and Real Clear Politics]

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I’m posting regularly now at Dissident Prof, a site run by the fabulous Mary Grabar.  Here’s my first post:

Occupy Wall Street — For College Credit

I published a guest editorial in the Pittsburgh Tribune on Sunday:

Occupiers War on Police

 

Real Clear Politics picked up the piece and has a good list of others, here.

And I’m continuing to write for the Soros Files, a project of America’s Survival (here’s the link: http://sorosfiles.com/soros/)

~~~

Occupiers everywhere. When I was up in Washington recently, I was walking through one of the Occupy sites and accidentally stepped on a rotting apple tied to a string, which was attached to a bamboo pole.  “Oh no,” said the pole’s possessor, “you’ve crushed the goddess.”  He seemed serious, though very polite given that I had just gotten most of his belief system stuck to the bottom of my shoe.  He gathered up the remaining pieces of his crumbling yet sweetly-autumn-redolent metaphysics in a paper cup and cradled it while cheerfully and patiently explaining to me that only Ron Paul can preserve a truly originalist interpretation of the Constitution.

I couldn’t help but to like the young man.  I hope he’s OK.

Next, two unlikable, anorectic-looking people wearing urban motley and ominously bearing a flipboard and magic markers (not magic like the apple, just regular magic) made everyone gather in an ampitheatre-ish shape.  The meeting was supposed to be non-hierarchical but ended up being much more hierarchical than any real meeting because we were all forced to endure a long and repetitive lecture from Thing One and Thing Two about how they weren’t acting as “leaders” but as “leaderless facilitators” before proceeding to run the meeting with their iron (actually, hennaed and grubby) fists.

That, my friends, is the pure essence of thought-control: being forced to participate in the illusion that someone isn’t doing precisely what they are doing to you as they keep doing it while demanding that you repeatedly agree that they are not.

And this is what the future will really look like, if, by some colossal societal fail, the Occupiers ever get their way.  The future will look like a giant human resources meeting where the usual petty cubicle fascists control the whiteboard and waste your time while telling you they are doing so for your self-improvement.

Sort of like real human resource meetings.  Only, at these future Occupy human resources meetings, nobody will be allowed to zone out into the deep inviting pool of their Starbucks, contemplating the work piling up on their desks, or that hot guy in accounting whose mid-morning shadow makes your spine-crushing control-top pantyhose entirely worth the pain — there will be none of that, because boredom and whimsy are just two of humorless collectivism’s many enemies.

Instead, at dystopian future Occupy human resources meetings, everyone will be forced to participate continuously in the expression of their views, so long, that is, as their expressions are the same expressions expressed by the whiteboard-wielding, iron-fisted, anti-hierarchical movement non-leaders.

Also, after the Occupy human resources meetings, nobody will be getting back to work because there will be no more jobs, only more human resource meetings.

And that’s what I saw at the Occupy Movement.

The Gods Who Lied: Noam Chomsky, John Silber, Joe Paterno, and the Variations of Bad Education

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I haven’t been able to muster the equanimity to find much to say about the Penn State football coaches who covered up at least one child rape in the name of the sanctity of college stadium shower stalls.  The spectacle of students rioting because some football coach is finally being held slightly responsible for serially abetting a child rapist — well, that’s a little too res ipsa loquitor to require much embroidery.  And if the administration doesn’t expel everyone involved in attacking cops and toppling vehicles, well, that’s how much a Penn State diploma is worth these days.

But the case did remind me of another where it was the administration itself doing the victim-persecuting-symbolic-lynch-mob thing.  That school is Boston University, which prides itself, of course, in residing on a much higher pedagogical plateau than Penn State, which explains the tony sophistication they brought to their lynch mob.

At Boston U., rather than knocking over anything as pedestrian as a minivan, President John Silber and esteemed lunatic Noam Chomsky joined hands with scores of other useful idiots throughout academia and the media to shove the elderly victim of a sadistic rapist under every available bus.  For years, until she died.

First, they showered convicted rapist Benjamin LaGuer with literary awards and honorary degrees, because, you know, he’s a rapist who said he was being persecuted while writing execrable poetry.  Rapists are second-fiddle to cop-killing terrorists in the literary award circuit: thus, LaGuer has won only one PEN award, while terrorist Marilyn Buck won three, and terrorist Susan Rosenberg four, for their execrable poetry.  But Silber et. al. made up for this dearth of aesthetic recognition with a sort-of in-house degree mill for LaGuer while he lobbied for his freedom.

That’s how much a Boston U. degree is worth these days.

Then DNA technology improved to the point where LaGuer’s test came back positive, and his guilt in an unusually horrific assault was confirmed.  But instead of apologizing to the victim, whom they had personally, viciously, systematically destroyed, John Silber came up with another excuse for freeing LaGuer from prison.  He testified that LaGuer believed so strongly in his own innocence (and thus not incidentally his victim’s perfidy) that he should be freed because of his belief in himself as a persecuted non-rapist, even if he was, in reality, a non-persecuted real rapist.

Then, having having thoroughly salted the earth of pedagogical integrity from Cambridge to Logan International, Silber wrote some book about ethics and moved on.

The kids at Penn State should be expelled for knocking over that van.  That may or may not happen.  Joe Paterno may or may not face real consequences, rather than fake ones in the form of weepy sports columnists expressing hurt feelings.  But everyone involved in the Benjamin LaGuer case — from Silber, to Chomsky, to Deval Patrick, to Henry Louis Gates, to Eli Weisel, to Barbara Walters, to William Styron, to all the reporters who bragged about being “pen pals” (what is it with that word?) and members of the “Benjy Brigade” while pretending to report on the story, have faced absolutely no consequences to date.

And that’s a real crime.

Here are my previous posts on the LaGuer case.  The information in Wikipedia and other sources is dissembling to the point of sheer dishonesty:

The “Benjy Brigade”, Part 1: Boston’s Finest Mount an Attack on an Elderly Victim of Rape

The “Benjy Brigade,” Part 2: After the DNA

The New York Times Manufactures a DNA Scare

Benjamin LaGuer. Brutal Rapist Identified by DNA. His Famous Friends are Still Trying to Blame the Victim.

Today, I am in the Daily Caller

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In this article by Matthew Boyle about the Marilyn Buck case.

CVMR Will Return Soon

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. . . when the hard drive gets replaced.

Leaving Paradise, More Work Than Expected

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More paperwork to leave paradise than I’d thought.  Crime Victims Media Report will resume on May 10.

Goodbye backyard:

Moving On

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Crime Victims Media Report will resume next week, with new topics:

  • Florida’s fight to lift the statute of limitations on child molestation.
  • Atlanta’s Rodney King Riots
  • What New York City’s council speaker Christine Quinn Won’t Tell You About Hate Crimes Prosecution

Radio Program on Eric Holder

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Thursday morning, 9 a.m. (Eastern), I will be on the Doc Washburn show, WFLA Panama City talking about Attorney General Eric Holder.

Three Strikes Laws: The Myth of Jerry DeWayne Williams and His Pizza Slice

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As California begins emptying prisons over the protests of voters, a powerful coalition of anti-incarceration activist groups are declaring victory over the quaint notion that people should be punished for crime:

Prison reform advocates such as Jim Lindburg, a lobbyist for the Friends Committee on Legislation, hope that the state’s first significant corrections-policy change in decades ushers in a whole new mind-set on crime.  “There’s really nothing scientific or magical about the length of prison sentences,” Lindburg said. “Those are political calculations made in a political environment. It seems preposterous to me to suggest that letting people out a little bit early is going to have any kind of (negative) impact on crime rates. I think we just need to change the way we think about public safety.”

Well, actually, there’s already been at least one disturbing crime committed by one of the first men released a “bit early,” so scratch the “no negative impact” thing.

Also, there’s nothing “magical” about the length of prison sentences.  To the contrary, imprisonment works in the most mundane and predictable way: it keeps non-reformable offenders away from fresh victims for a set amount of time, and schools others in the consequences of offending again.

What hubris, accusing the public of “magical thinking” because they want offenders off the streets.  Why is it that those who trumpet loudest about their own peace-loving natures and non-hierarchical ways always come off as angry, insufferable elitists?

The Friends Committee on Legislation of California  (FCLCA) , guided by Quaker values, advocates for California state laws that  are just, compassionate and respectful of the inherent worth of every  person.

Make that the inherent worth of offenders, full stop.  Oh please, just do it.  You know you want to.  The Friends do not waste their breath or stationary advocating for the inherent worth of people who aren’t convicts, or ex-cons.  Ditto all those activist nuns getting their jollies on death row.  There’s no thrill in standing alongside ordinary people who fear for their safety — no thrill, and generally no microphones, either.

~~~

As the anti-incarceration movement gears up to exploit the financial crisis, expect more mass early releases and the gutting of three-strike and other recidivism laws.  Consequently, alongside all the faux-Buddhist arguments about one hour in prison being the same as 100 or 1,000 days (the real magical thinking), academic cheerleaders have now exhumed that all-time sorriest argument against three strikes laws: the fake-life-for-stealing-a-slice-of-pizza guy.

Why fake?  Because Jerry DeWayne Williams didn’t get life.  He didn’t serve 25 years under three strikes.  His sentence, like the sentences of 25% to 45% of the offenders who qualify for three-strikes, was downgraded to a “second-strike” offense . . . because judges and prosecutors have that discretion and use it every day.

Here is professor Jennifer Walsh, writing in late 2002:

[S]tatistics indicate that discretion in three strike cases is invoked frequently and consistently. A 1998 survey of California District Attorneys revealed that prosecutors in urban jurisdictions use discretion in approximately 20-40 percent of eligible cases [now higher] . . . An evaluation of judicial discretion exercised in San Diego County found that judges exercised discretion in 29 percent of eligible three strike cases. They were also 100 percent more likely to use discretion if the triggering offense was minor. Moreover, judges were more likely to strike a prior strike if the defendant had no history of violence and no history of weapons possession or weapons use.  Perhaps most reassuring is the data that shows that in San Diego County, over half of the initial third strike filings that involved a minor third strike offense were later downgraded to second strike offenses. This exercise of discretion by prosecutors and judges prevented these defendants from receiving the enhanced sentence when they were perceived as undeserving.  Findings like these confirm that the judicious exercise of discretion under the California three strikes law creates a safeguard for defendants who are technically eligible for the mandatory sentence, but whose past and present conduct is considered to be outside the spirit of the law.

Read that paragraph carefully, because you’re not going to see it in the news, where reporters simply cut and paste rhetoric from various activist groups, wildly misrepresenting the law itself.  Professor Walsh notes that those subjected to California’s three-strikes law generally had violent or serious crimes as their third offense:

State statistics indicate that the third strikers in prison include 294 for murder; 34 for manslaughter; 1,408 for robbery; 356 for assault with a deadly weapon; 416 for other assaults or battery; 136 for rape; 241 for lewd act upon a child; 136 for other sex offenses; 83 for kidnapping; 776 for residential burglary; 288 for possession of drugs for sale; 191 for sale of drugs, 28 for manufacturing drugs; 356 for weapons-possession; and 25 for arson.

First and second offenses must be for serious or violent felonies to trigger the enhancement, another little-noted fact.

But facts simply don’t matter to the activists.  If facts mattered to them, they wouldn’t be holding up Jerry DeWayne Williams as an example of a person who was sent away for 25 years for stealing a piece of pizza, because he wasn’t.

And it’s very much worth asking why criminologists and reporters cling so eagerly to this one story, repeating it endlessly when it is not true in the first place and is also decades old now: can’t they produce a better tale of woe?

But it gets worse.

This week, the Los Angeles Times ran a bizarre feature on Jerry DeWayne Williams.  The gist is that Williams is a victim of three-strikes even though he was not subjected to it.  It is apparently enough that the law exists for Williams to continue to feel victimized by it.  The reporter calls this serving a “life sentence” of having to abide by the law:

“I walk on eggshells,” [Williams] said. “Any little thing that I do, I could be back for the rest of my life.”

Strangely, however, not even that claim holds up under scrutiny.  Williams has received lenience repeatedly since the pizza incident, a fact that neither he nor the reporter seem to view as a contradiction of his profound feeling of victimization.  One of his subsequent crimes was even a threat of violence:

in September 2003, his girlfriend called 911 and reported that Williams was verbally abusing her. A police officer arrived to find Williams moving out after a fight and demanding $150 he had paid toward the bills.  As the officer looked on, Williams told his girlfriend: “I’m going to put a bullet in your ass if I don’t get my money.”

A prosecutor and a judge let him off:

Williams, who was unarmed, was arrested and charged with making a criminal threat, a felony that could have landed him back in prison for life. But Kings County prosecutors did not treat the crime as a third strike. Williams pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor and was released from jail after 17 days.

And then he immediately broke the terms of his probation upon leaving prison, again with no consequences:

As part of his sentence, he was barred from leaving Kings County without permission. Nevertheless, Williams moved to Moreno Valley to live with another sister. An arrest warrant was issued and remains active.

And then again:

Since landing in Moreno Valley, he has been arrested once — for being drunk in public — but was released without charges being filed.

How on earth does the reporter square such facts with his depiction of Williams as a desperate, haunted man peering nervously over his shoulder, terrified of the slightest slip-up?  He was not afraid to violate his probation.  Twice.  He was not afraid to threaten to murder someone — in front of a policeman.  He doesn’t sound particularly frightened at all.  He sounds as if he knows that he can avail himself of a passel of silk-stockinged civil liberties attorneys any time a knucklehead cop dares to take him in for attacking a woman, or some other offense.

He sounds as if he knows that his notoriety has placed him above the law.

In one of the many courtrooms, Williams has been sentenced in, a prosecutor “unfurled a computer printout of Williams’ criminal history that extended from his outstretched arm to the floor,” and yet Williams is not behind bars.  Considering the gang and drug activities that consumed his earlier years, the threat of three-strikes has probably saved his life, but he is far too busy whining to be grateful.

~~~

What the criminologists and the activists will not admit, will not acknowledge, let alone discuss, is this: for every Jerry DeWayne Williams, there is a John Floyd Thomas, arrested repeatedly in California over the span of more than two decades for sex crimes and burglaries but released repeatedly, to rape and (now we know) kill again.

Jerry DeWayne Williams may owe his life to the three strikes law, but it did not arrive in time to save the lives of the thirty women in Los Angeles Thomas is now suspected of raping and strangling.

Thirty murdered women.

Funny, you never hear Quakers (or most criminologists) talking about that.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To read more factual material about California’s three-strikes law, go to the Three Strikes and You’re Out: Stop Repeat Offenders website.  Rather than trumped-up anecdotes and accusations of fascism, you’ll find data on California’s three-strikes offenders, statistics on use of judicial discretion, examples of dangerous offenders who would have been out of prison, but for the law, and studies evaluating the effect of the law on California’s crime rate.

Crime Victims Media Report Will Return Dec. 28 — No, January 4

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Crime Victims Media Report will return in its new format Dec. 28 (sorry, January 4). Merry Christmas and happy holidays.

Interesting Editorial on Criminal Defense by Judge Dan Winn

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Hat tip to Dan, who passed along the following must-read editorial from the Rome News-Tribune on funding criminal defense.

I found this editorial in today’s paper and thought you would like to read it. I do not know anything about the judge but it sounds like an interesting proposal and a fair assessment of the anti-capital lawyers.  — Dan

Judge Winn has many interesting things to say about the problems with our current system of criminal, and especially, capital defense.  I would add that in other Western court systems, the responsibilities for criminal defense are more frequently spread out among lawyers, as they used to be here.  Unfortunately, in some of those countries, they’re moving closer to a system like ours, with its abuses, excess, and “cult of the defense bar.”