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How I Got the Way I am

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I was a VISTA in Atlanta way back in the early 1990s.  And, as I’ve related in the past, when I discovered that the nonprofit to which I had been assigned by VISTA was basically pocketing more than $100,000 in public “AIDS outreach” funding while not even performing the inanely simple task for which they had been wildly overpaid in the first place, I got my first taste (but not my last) of the shocking corruption and race profiteering that drives the entire “social justice” “nonprofit” world.

Why race profiteering?  When I went to the regional director of VISTA to report this fraud, the director told me that I could not go to Health and Human Services to complain because I was a white female and my boss was a black man — and that simply wasn’t done in Atlanta.  His words, not mine.  I was offered a bribe instead: accept a transfer to another VISTA work site in exchange for keeping my mouth shut.

The bigger lesson, and the one that took years to sink in, was that this wasn’t corruption committed in defiance of the goals and intentions of the social service industry.  The corruption was the system working the way it was intended.

Incidentally, I took the transfer but still reported the fraud.  Nobody ever got back to me about my complaint.  One hand washes the other, and then they dump the dirty water all over the taxpayers’ heads.

Back in 1992, the Department of Health and Human Services didn’t care what my VISTA boss did with the $100K they gave to him for “AIDS outreach” because the act of giving it to him was all that really mattered to them.  It wasn’t their money, after all.  It wouldn’t be coming out of their paychecks if they did not bother to invest it sanely or supervise it properly (though that’s a fun idea).  They were the government, which meant that all that mattered to them was that some PR hack could get up in front of a bank of microphones and intone that Health and Human Services was “achieving justice” by “doing something” through “diverse” and “culturally sensitive” “education” and “community outreach.”

Twenty-odd years later, the same stale jargon is being intoned by the same hacks speaking into the same microphones in the same room, only they’ve added the word “sustainability” to every other sentence, like a nervous tic.  And the latest and biggest

But that’s not the worst thing to come out of the last twenty years of social justice-flavored governing.  The worst thing isn’t that some half-addled, grey, government bureaucrat is still ladling out wads of tax dollars to crooked two-bit 501-c3s for ridiculous “outreach” programs involving condoms and bananas and classrooms full of befuddled ESL students.

Vile Things

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Tragedy and Farce

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The tragedy of the Obamacare ads.

 

Any politician who does not take a hard look at this is not preparing himself or herself for the electorate.

 

Hillary Clinton  and others in the Sixties — they had a great deal of ability.  they worked hard.  they had a norm.

How to Research School Systems

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This is the most extraordinary website, put together by Vance Joachim. It is a template for deep understanding of school expenditures

Fear and Loathing at the Georgia House of Representatives Education Committee Meeting

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It was 1:52 when Brooks Coleman (R-Duluth) swaggered to the chairman’s seat at the center of the top row. He grasped the microphone and peered out into the meeting room — his room — at the education lobbyists quietly swarming in from the hallway. Education lobbyists are complacent creatures, so long as you don’t touch their health insurance bennies, and Brooks had good news for them: the Governor was going to hand over more money to the schools, which meant that every lobbyist sitting in the room pulling a taxpayer-subsidized paycheck to lobby for more taxpayer dollars for education was going to receive even more taxpayer dollars for even more lobbying for more taxpayer dollars. It was a beautiful circle, tax dollars begetting lobbyists begetting tax dollars. Brooks knew how to deal. The governor was the sugar daddy, but in his committee room, Brooks was the Governor’s bag man.

He looked around nervously. No sign of the giant insects that had followed him all summer, squawking their gibberish about federal encroachment on state education, and data mining, and agendas infiltrating the curriculum, and unelected private foundations taking over the schools. Geez, when you listened to the insects talk about the evils of mega-curriculum-textbook-testing conglomerates, they sort of sounded like leftists, but they were definitely right-wing reactionaries.

The insects didn’t want Brooks to take free money from Bill Gates. Who wouldn’t want a billionaire’s free money? Especially when it was for the children.

The New York Times’ 50-Year Lie About The Murder of Kitty Genovese

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The New York Times is the paper of record when it comes to telling lies.  The Times’ denial of Stalin’s crimes in the service of propping up Stalin is arguably the bloodiest international lie of the twentieth century.  In domestic news, this honor belongs to a single crime story: the Times’ coverage of the murder of 28-year old Kitty Genovese in 1964.

How could newspaper reporting on one crime — even horrific as it was — be so important?

The answer may be found in the story the Times made up about Genovese’s murder.  Their tale of 38 witnesses who purportedly did nothing as they watched from windows as a young woman fought off her attacker for thirty minutes before dying shifted responsibility for the crime off Genovese’s black killer and onto her white, middle-class neighbors.  In 1964, in the wake of the JFK assassination, with black neighborhoods threatening to explode with race riots, and crime rates rising throughout the city, the public apathy story was precisely the type of crime story the New York Times wanted to tell.

Whereas the real story, the story of a black predator out seeking another woman to torture and kill, and not only a woman but a white woman, and not only to kill her but to kill her and then rape her dead body, was a story the Times would bury for fifty years.

A.M. Rosenthal made his career with the story he made up about who was “really responsible” for Kitty Genovese’s murder.  He  was so proud of the work he did that he instantaneously enshrined

Times editor A.M. Rosenthal was commiserating with Police Commissioner Michael Joseph Murphy when Murphy suggested that the Genovese crime would fit a story both men wanted to tell about “public apathy towards law enforcement.”

was picked up by other news organizations and quickly spread around the globe.  Genovese’s neighbors in Kew Gardens, Queens, were condemned by politicians and on editorial pages “as far away as Istanbul and Moscow,” according to one Times retrospective.  At home, the tale of the guilty 38 set off mass public soul-searching.  Clergymen denounced Genovese’s neighbors from the pulpit. Sociologists invented theories about “bystander apathy” and set to constructing psychological experiments to test ordinary citizens for “Genovese syndrome.”

The story of 38 neighbors watching and ignoring the cries of a dying woman was entirely untrue, but it served the purposes of Times metropolitan editor (later news editor) A.M. Rosenthal so well that Rosenthal continued to defend it despite revelations debunking his version several times: in the Daily News in 1984, by district attorneys involved in the prosecution, and even in the Times itself in 2004.  

No part of Rosenthal’s story was true: there had never been 38 witnesses.  Only a few people witnessed the first brief attack, among them Robert Mozer, who did not stand silently but opened a window and shouted at Winston Moseley, who then ran away.  Two people did call the police.  Genovese stumbled to the back of her apartment building and entered the foyer, where the second attack occurred in sight of only one witness, a friend of hers who panicked and sought help before calling the police.      

 

In 1964, Rosenthal was looking for shifting responsibility for the crime away from Genovese’s killer and onto her neighbors   Mostly it was  a boon for journalists and other thinkers, who made it into a personal drama.  And it made Rosenthal’s career. within a few months published book, highlighting his personal

academicians rushed in with studies, clergymen denounced.  the 38 — and by extension their class and race — were denounced.  spawned and industry of studies.

bystander guilt was extremely useful in 1964.at the time, crime exploding, racial violence especially

and this is where the Times really shone.  less noticed but equally as important roots theory.  fifty years.  most bloody years.

keeping up the original lie was hardly necessary once the movement took off, but the Times being the Times, they clung to it stubbornly, even as it was disproven.  These people disproved it.

The neighbors, who became internationally notorious, were accused of being worse than

this story is not true.  but it doesn’t matter it wasn’t true, because the Times wanted it to be that way.  This is what the editor of the Times said in his book.

In 1964, crime rising.  Nobody knew how much it would.  By 1968, it was a crisis.  Murder shot up 78%, rape, etc.

Times lies still percolate — still people out there wanting to make symbols of the worst horror out of the neighbors — the mirror.  Seeing in the mirror.

But of course these people don’t mean their mirror.  they mean people who live in modest houses looking in their mirrors, while the Times holds up the mirror for them to see.

 

Rosenthal said this in his book, too.  he said the people in Kew Gardens came to represent asll that was horrible in human rights, and the Times represented the fight for human rights, so he was right and did not have to change anything he wrote.

He rewrote and rewrote that book and kept on lying and excusing himself and blaming the neighbors, even as evidenced olled in that he was wrong.  Finally the Times had to admit that the book wasn’t true, but in try Times spirit they didn’t put it that way — they suggested that there were alternate realities, gently, they let him drift on lying.  The expendable people were the neighbors, and Kitty — the killer and the reporters were too good for this world of facts.

The Times was not interested in crime, they wee interested in social justice.  Social justice for them meant promoting root causes theory.  The Gebovese case gave editor the perfect opportunity to promote it.  It was as if tyne story was delivered to him to promote a theory, and it probably was.

This is how he remembers int in his memoir.  He says they didn’t care.  And they didn’t publish stories about rape, and they didn’t talk about race, though they would have if the crime had fit.

The Times said a lot of disturbing things about crime, but they felt they were fighting a justice cause.  there was no doubt, not in 1964, not decades later, not as people were cut down.

The neighbors were the problem.  First they didn’t care, then they cared too much,.  First they stayed, then they left.

The criminals were never a problem though, and the Times conformed to this for decades.  Made a hero out of her killer, abetted by what they left out of the reporting. — the rape, the sex crimes.  The race hatred.  In 1977 they said , in 1978 they let him say she was racist.  he was hero, misunderstood, she was a racist, she became one of the neighbors, responsible for her own death, like her neighbors.

The killer was a  hero but the neighbors were human rights offenders.  The killer was a victim of human rights offenses, but they were still guilty in 1970.  By then the paper was running ediotirai8als by the kilelr and sociologists were teaching generations of students they they were the real killers, the real human rights violators, while he was misunderstood.

In the universities and newsrooms, the twin theories played out from the crime — roots causes, and bystander theory.

This story designed to shift blame from criminals and onto society.  Sociologists took it up eagerly.  Bystander guilt designed to create guilt among bystanders.

Other side of the coin was root causes theory — which begets critical race theory.

Times story was not even true.    They were looking for such a story.clung to a story that shifts responsibility for the crime away from Genovese’s killer and onto her neighbors,

This account is not true.  The Daily News debunked the Times “bystander” story thirty years ago, and in 2004, even the Times grudgingly reported that it was untrue.  But the theory was true, and the hero was the reporter, and facts would not change this. It’s too important Rosenthal would say until his death.  What he was really saying was that he was too important, that the reporter and the killer were too important.

The lies the Times published in 1964 about Genovese’s murder ushered in the era of blaming society, and simultaneously not blaming criminals, for the existence of crime.  It is impossible to quantify the damage done by projecting blame away from offenders and onto the public, but in the decades that followed, millions of innocent people experienced life-altering and life-ending acts of violence thanks to this fable newsmen spun.

 

After Times made the lie, academicians eager to repeat it.  But the root causes theory preceded Genoovesae.  Rosenthal waiting for an opportunity to exploit it.

You can see this in his book.  Before Genovese was killed, the Times was already engaging in social engineering regarding crime, focused on race.

Fantasy already shilled by Hollywood — 12 angry men, etc.

It was focused on race, but the next quarter century would take its toll in the black community.

In 1977. the Times went even further.  they published an editorial by the killer.  This didnt happen in a vacuum. In 1977 there were X murders in NYC.  By 1988, there were Y.  The bloody toll of those years can be attributed to a judiciary that acted in philosophical agreement with the Times.  Thousands died, hundreds of thousands crippled, maimed, Millions lived lives defined by fear.  Values of neighborhoods crumbled, not because of white flight, but because of what made whites — and everyone else who could afford to get out, flee.

Still the Times did not waver.

When the story went viral, so did the philosophy.

Times’ coverage of Kitty Genovese’s murder may be its .  Genovese was murdered by a serial rapist-murderer of women, Winston Moseley, in 1964.  The way the Times told the story, however, it was not Moseley but Genovese’s neighbors who were to blame for her death.  The neighbors were to blame, the Times claimed, because they failed to alert police as they listened to Genovese scream and plead for her life.

The story of blaming KG neighbors for her murder represents a moment not just in journalism but in criminal justice, where blaming criminals was subsumed by blaming society.  Offenders and rioters were turned into victims, and real victims — raped women, shopkeepers, innocent bystanders, people trying to flee chaos, were identified by the intrepid reporters as the really guilty ones.

It is difficult to quantify the harm that has been done under this banner.  This theme has spread from journalism to academia, where is flies under the banner of sociology.  Root Causes birthed racial politics which led to radicalized law enforcement, hate crimes laws, but mostly abandonment of people to criminals.

Times’ ur text is book written and rewritten for decades now, with the latest new introduction admitted in a Times review to still fail to get to the point. As it is written, it is as good an example as any of the fetishistic imprint of the mindset.  Not one but four different rewrites and still obsessing over their feelings of being saviors.

If criminals are one subset misrepresented by the Times ur-lie, then journalists are the other: they misapprehend themselves as upholders of justice.  They have not become more accurate thanks to that misrepresentation.  In order to maintain this apprehension, they have needed villains they could win against.  The residents of Kew Gardens have been in their sights for fifty years.

Kew Gardens residents vilified in sociology handbooks.  Worldwide symbols of evil (note example).  Of course movies made about them.  Broadway plays.  Entire arsenal of hatred.  Their guilt has been expanded to an entire class of people — those who fled chaos of city.  First they were blamed for not responding, and since they they have been battered with accusations for responding to crime.

In contrast, Moseley stands for criminals granted special status, from NPR stories to freedom.

And so we’ve had fifty years of unacceptable crime rates denied, blamed on society.  And release of one after another criminal celebrated by the Times.  The special destruction wrought by this story, told to elevate journalists and criminologists above ordinary people and morals that involve punishing criminals, is the real victim.

 

Blame everyone and don’t blame the offender — a theme that lives on in contemporary movements against bullying.

Ultimately, the Times elevated Winston Moseley and AM Rosenthal above truth and the victim.  In order to do such an audacious thing, such and unlikely morality tale, they needed an excellent and outsized villain.  They found one where they are usually found — in the innocent bystanders who wanted nothing more than to live in safety and peace.

 

being a reporter does not mean never having to say you’re sorry.  doubly so for editors.

 

 

Lying About Innocence: The Central Park Five Were Guilty

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This is not a story about the Central Park Jogger.  She was one of the victims of the five men being feted by Bill DeBlasio and handed $40 million dollars

 

Nicole Simpson and the Central Park Jogger were victims of vicious racist lynchings — the Central Park Jogger did not ask for fame and Nicole Simpson did not ask to have her throat cut.  At the mayor’s mansion in New York, thugs and rapists are greeted as heroes but the Central Park Jogger would not be welcome.

But the racism does not end with the $40 million.  Generations of schoolchildren are being taught to hate the Central Park Jogger.  NPR is using our tax dollars to spread hate about her.

 

 

 

Power and the Naturalization of Political Speech

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I just finished up a response to the IRS regarding a nonprofit that has been in limbo for more than a year because the IRS is saying that they are not behaving like a nonprofit in the ways that they oppose Common Core.

The situation is too complex to go into here, and we will be discussing it more in the near future.  But going through the process of justifying

 

Roadmap to Lie City: The New York Times Pushes a Fable About Crime and Immigration

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Dependably, Frances Robles of the New York Times is providing the journalistic justification for the President’s current lies about the border crisis.  Gangs attacking children, the Times claims, is the notable factor suddenly driving waves of illegal immigration over the southern border.

The Times does not care much for crime victims on this side of the fence, unless a very specific formula may be met: the victim must be a minority — sexual, racial, or otherwise — and the offender must be a white person, dating preference heterosexual.  If that stage can’t be fully set, a “white Hispanic” or sexually ambiguous, meth-addicted redneck will do in a pinch.

Most importantly, minority-on-minority crime, like the current bloodbath in Chicago, must be denied.

But crime in foreign vistas lack the American handicapping.  And so the Times happily volunteered to paper over the chasm between the President’s claims about gang-driven migration and the facts on the ground.  “Fleeing Gangs, Children Head to U.S. Border” ran the headline of Robles’ piece.  In it, he offered mealy-mouthed acknowledgements of other “causes” of  the current youth migration, but only to clear the stage to discuss crime:

Many children and parents say the rush of new migrants stems from a belief that United States immigration policy offers preferential treatment to minors, but in addition, studies of Border Patrol statistics show a strong correlation between cities like San Pedro Sula with high homicide rates and swarms of youngsters taking off for the United States.

It couldn’t be that “swarms of youngsters” take off from certain cities because word spreads locally of immigrants successfully clearing the unprotected American border, could it?

There is no denying that Honduras is currently the “murder capitol” of the world, and San Pedro Sula in the murder capitol of Honduras.  But it has held this ignominious title for several years.  Nor do migration rates rise and fall with rates of violence in the city.  According to the Times, “homicides dropped sharply in 2012 after a gang truce in neighboring El Salvador,” but rates of unaccompanied minors traveling from San Pedro Sula to the U.S. has

 

 

 

Chiefs of Police Agree: After Ferguson, Throw Cops Under the Bus

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The shooting of a black youth in Ferguson, Missouri by a police officer brought out the usual racial agitators, like Al Sharpton, who are keen to capitalize on other people’s tragedies.  For Sharpton, the destruction of businesses and neighborhoods by looters is merely a good week.  But for other, less visible

Absent from the vast, mostly fictional literature being produced online about the Ferguson case is any understanding of the various political pressures rained down on cops by their superiors in City Hall, especially by chiefs of police.

Chiefs of police are often purely political animals, especially in big cities where they are appointed by the sorts of people who become big-city mayors and city councilmen, ie. people who ideologically side with anti-law enforcement activists, not with law-abiding citizens, and certainly not with the police who work under them.

Many of these Chiefs of Police belong to PERF, the Police Executive Research Forum, where academics work hand-in-hand with Police Chiefs (“Police Executive” means Chief or other high administrators).  PERF takes a lot of money from the Department of Justice, and so it reflects the priorities of the DOJ (other taxpayer funding comes to PERF indirectly, through dues paid by member officers).

And while it is not completely fair to characterize PERF as the sort of police research organization that Eric Holder would create if it didn’t exist already, this characterization isn’t entirely unfair, either.  PERF spends a lot of time addressing allegations of race discrimination by police officers while simultaneously covering up politically incorrect facts about race and crime.

For example, a recent PERF report discussed the flash mob phenomenon at great length without once mentioning race as an element in any such mob violence.  Yet when activists declare some action by the police to be racist, PERF often parachutes in to reinforce the official line coming from the DOJ, which is always to placate activists, regardless of short or long-term costs to crime-ridden communities or to the police.

Doubtlessly, if flash mobs of white people were randomly attacking black pedestrians, PERF wouldn’t busy itself papering over the race of the offenders and the victims.

PERF is also one of many well-funded public-private mouthpieces promoting the status quo in the enforcement of hate crime laws.  They’ve played this role since Eric Holder and Bill Clinton partnered with PERF on hate crime law enforcement in the 1990’s.   So if you think hate crime laws are not being enforced equally, you can thank PERF for helping create that selective enforcement.

This week, PERF had a meeting in Chicago (where else?), apparently to think up ways to systematically give in to the rioters and malcontents in Ferguson demanding police officers’ blood.  According to the Reuters report of the meeting, which may or may not be accurate (if it isn’t, one would expect a correction from PERF, though I doubt one is forthcoming), the chiefs who met in Chicago are in perfect agreement with the rioters, never mind that the case has not yet gone to the courts:

The chiefs said that they had to lead a cultural shift in policing – emphasizing the importance of de-escalating potentially violent situations – that is often resisted by the rank and file who fear appearing soft on crime.

This statement alone is a top-down and very cynical betrayal of the men and women serving under these police chiefs.  Is “appearing soft on crime” really what the “rank and file” fear when they step out of their patrol cars in dangerous situations?  Is fear of bad statistics really what stands in the way of beat cops understanding the “importance of de-escalating potentially violent situations”?

No, this is claptrap being invented by officials who have decided to ride a cultural anti-cop wave by throwing their own employees to the wolves.  Fears about “appearing soft on crime” afflict the number-crunchers in city hall and the political appointees with lots of gold braid on their uniforms, not the cops who go out to patrol the streets.  Patrol officers have more practical and immediate reasons for wishing to “de-escalate potentially violent situations.”  For example, they want to go home after their shifts; they want to have a job tomorrow, and they will have to come back to the same street corner some time soon, so they have a vested interest in keeping it as violence-free as possible.

The Reuters report on PERF continues in the cop-bashing vein:

The chiefs said that even though a police shooting might be ruled justifiable under law, they had to hold officers to higher moral and ethical standards to satisfy the community.

“All it takes is one that doesn’t do the right thing, and we need to step up and separate that officer from employment and pursue criminal charges. We had a frank discussion about the leadership it takes to do that,” said [Dallas Police Chief David] Brown.

So in order to “satisfy the community,” Chief Brown would subject the cops under him to the “moral and ethical standards” of the protestors marching in the streets — in other words, to the moral and ethical standards of Al Sharpton.  Police in Dallas who serve under Chief Brown should take note: no longer will you be judged based on the law itself: you will be judged based on what “the community” demands, or more precisely what Al Sharpton demands.

Note that the chiefs of PERF did not decide that they themselves needed to do anything differently.  Instead, they sloughed off all responsibility for crises like the one in Ferguson on men and women low in the ranks.  This sort of behavior from putative leaders is a disgrace and a complete inversion of what leadership is supposed to entail, but it also should not be a surprise.  In cities like Chicago, where PERF was meeting, the Chief of Police is a corrupt ally of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel; in Dallas, Chief Brown has a similarly problematic reputation.

 

 

Wasn’t Cop-Killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley Supposed to be in Prison in Georgia for a 2011 Gun Crime?

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The New York Times wasted little time producing a typical front-page screed of grotesque excuses for cop-killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley.  They probably thought they were exercising discretion by holding off until today, after the funerals of Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu to publish this toxic clown-tear rendering of the killer’s life.  But, that’s the Times.  They have so little decency that last week, their editorial page of December 30 carried two editorials side-by-side (at least on-line), one viciously condemning police for turning their backs in silent protest on Bill DeBlasio, the other celebrating killers and other serious felons participating in a “prison creative arts project.”

Of course, the latter op-ed, written by Anna Clark, a felon-fetishist poet from the University of Michigan, cast nasty aspersions on the corrections officers who are forced to keep this idiot safe as she engages in “cartwheels,” “improv,” “games of freeze,” and other acting out with serious violent offenders (the men pretend they’re prom queens, she notes).  So in the pages of the Times, two inches away from where the editorial staff ritually slashed away at mourning NYPD officers, poet Anna Clark mocked other police — the corrections officers in Michigan who keep her safe.  She also mocked the rest of us for locking such felonious magical creatures away.  She snarkily claimed she was “less afraid of incarcerated men than [she] was of improv itself,” though the one case she mentions in passing involves “multiple life sentences for armed robbery and assault with intent to murder.”

To place this sort of pro-criminal garbage next to

Preliminary news reports from actual news sources show that Brinsley was arrested at least 19 times in Georgia and Ohio, including for serious crimes involving guns.

In other words, Brinsley was the benefactor of a massive breakdown of crime control that resulted in serial leniency by the courts

should have been in prison in Cobb County, Georgia for a 2011 shooting offense, and possibly for other crimes in this state too.

I’m also sure, as more facts come out (I am looking now), that we’ll learn that his (at least) 15 Georgia arrests weren’t even considered in sentencing by various judges in the area, just as the illegal gun crime minimum mandatories are entirely defanged, in practice.

And it won’t necessarily be because a particular judge or DA actually screwed up or, worse, showed intentional leniency (not a particularly big difference given outcomes, but some cases are worse than others). It’s because there are so many Ismaaiyl Brinsleys walking the streets, and so many types of resistance to enforcing the law (including among the “Right on Crime” crowd) that the courts are overwhelmed and reduced to the sort of triage that gets cops killed.

We don’t have a police state: we have an anti-policing state where the real anti-police activism is the fact that police alone are left to deal with the violent outbursts of people like Brinkley, while the lawyers and judges and activists and Nicholas Kristoffs play Atticus Finch in the courts, the universities, the law firms, the editorial boards, the movie industry, and especially in their own narcissistic fantasy worlds.

And that self-indulgence is what gets cops shot dead in the streets — not to mention thousands of Brinsleys dead too. It is also why it is so dangerous when conservatives, the last vocal supporters of rule of law, abandon police to indulge in “Right on Crime” fantasies of their own, instead of seeking the facts about the way the justice system really works.

Sister Helen Prejean is Lying Again, This Time About Boston Bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev

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Sister Helen Prejean has a thing for killers.  Of what, precisely, does that make her an expert?

Sister Helen Prejean, of Dead Man Walking and other media confections, is in the news again, this time testifying on behalf of convicted Boston Marathon killer Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Prejean’s schtick consists of seeking out notorious killers to “spiritually counsel” — always with the cameras rolling, that is.  The only thing Prejean loves more than private time with sadistic murderers and rapists is television reporters covering her doing it.

So what, precisely, makes her an expert witness about anything other than her own sick hobby?  Why does the reflexively anti-religious media suddenly find religion when this spiritual fraud comes calling to report on how she peered into another killer’s soul?

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Helen Prejean, the Way She Likes It.  Outside the Boston Trial.

Helen Prejean’s credibility doesn’t get questioned enough in polite company because most decent people would rather quietly look away when someone like Prejean inserts herself into other people’s suffering.  Others naively — or enthusiastically, depending on their politics — buy into Prejean’s self-serving claims of being a spiritual leader.

But, considering her friends in Hollywood, her track record of denying the suffering of victims of horrific crimes, and her ugly habit of attacking victims who do not submit to her agenda, it is important that somebody do the job the media refuses to do: reveal the deceptions behind Prejean’s soul-seeing racket.

A distinctive pattern rules every script Prejean offers to the press.  By the time she is done inventing a fake story out of a real crime, she is the story’s hero; the killer is the victim, and the real victims and their survivors are scapegoated as vengeful and hate-filled — unless they agree to endorse Prejean’s worldview vigorously, in which case they are granted special dispensation for the crime of existing while victimized.

In the case of unruly or otherwise inconvenient victims, Prejean simply writes their existence and/or their suffering out of the script all together, as she and her collaborators Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon did with several of the victims and survivors in the “true” film Dead Man Walking.

This is known as “cleansing the historical record” or just “historical denial.”  But no matter what you call it, Prejean’s denigration of crime victims and attraction to vicious killers and rapists ought to exclude her from putting her hand on the Bible and “expert witnessing” about anyone’s soul, including her own.

Now Prejean is lying about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s purported remorse, just as she fabricated the alleged remorse of the murderer depicted in Dead Man Walking, Robert Lee Willie.

The New York Times has helped Helen Prejean spread such lies for decades.  The Times coverage in Boston was no exception.  First they set the stage by presenting Prejean as a modest religious delivering a crucial message from Tsarnaev:

BOSTON — Wearing street clothes, a silver cross dangling from her neck, Sister Helen Prejean, a Roman Catholic nun and prominent opponent of the death penalty, testified on Monday that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the convicted Boston Marathon bomber, had expressed sympathy for his victims.

“He said emphatically, ‘No one deserves to suffer like they did,’ ” she testified.

Asked how his voice sounded as he spoke, Sister Prejean, 76, said: “It had pain in it, actually, when he said what he did about ‘nobody deserves that.’

Note that we only have Prejean’s word that this exchange even took place, let alone what Tsarnaev meant.

The remorse scene she’s best know for, presented as fact in the movie Dead Man Walking,  is an abject misrepresentation of what killer Robert Lee Willie actually did to his murdered victims, to the families of his murdered victims, and to the surviving victims of his crimes.  He sneered at them in the death chamber; he mocked the survivors he had slashed and beaten to a state of brain damage; in the courtroom, he reveled in the details of slitting a woman’s throat while raping her.

But in order to promote Helen Prejean as a celebrity expert witness on murderer’s souls, Prejean herself, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins erased some of these victims and their families from the story and eliminated the facts about the way Robert Lee Willie actually behaved.

Yes, Dead Man Walking is just a movie — but that is not the way it was promoted, and a lot of people believe it is true, a belief bolstered by Prejean’s nonstop self-promotion, speeches and tours. The “jailhouse conversion” and other scenes in Dead Man Walking are based on Prejean’s allegedly non-fiction book of the same name: the story is her version of events, starring her; the lies are her lies — and creepily, very creepily, what comes out through her words and through the movie is that Prejean seems aroused by her proximity, not only to rapists and murderers, but the the most heinous rapists and murderers she can find.

Robert Lee Willie (depicted by Sean Penn in Dead Man Walking) and his criminal partner Joseph V. Vaccaro were extreme torture-killers: one of their victims, Faith Hathaway, begged for her life as they raped her and cut off her fingers.  Finally she begged to die, only to listen to her killers complain that “the bitch wouldn’t die.”

 

From Police Detective Varnado: A young girl by the name of Faith Hathaway had been kidnapped in Mandeville… Robert L. Willie and Joseph Vaccaro — kidnapped the girl outside of a local lounge there. And they brought her up here. They raped her …blindfolded her and they beat her up… raped her and beat her, kicked her some more…The girl was spread out, spread eagle, flat on her back, completely nude. Her legs were stretched as wide as they could go and her arms were held up above her head like this and her head was cocked back and her mouth was wide opened….The first thing that hit my mind is I said, ‘My god this woman was screaming when she died.’ … I went and interviewed the suspects and …they had jugged her is the word they used, cut her throat and jugged her, and kept jugging her and there was a massive wound … I believe it was her left hand where the fingers were cut off. When she grabbed the knife… they ripped it back out and it severed her fingers. … Her arms are way up over her head where it was so obvious from what had happened to her that somebody had held her hands down above her head. …and what had happened is one person was holding her arms up over her head and the other person was stabbing her while he was between her legs. … He told me that Joe’s last words to her were ‘This bitch won’t die, this whore won’t die’ as he kept jugging her. ….the lady at some point told them “please just let me go and die by myself. You all just leave and let me go and let me die by myself” ….she was trying to wiggle around while she was saying it so he said I held her hands and said come on now behave.
If the victims’ families had not spoken out exposing Prejean’s fantasies, she would probably still be insisting the movie was factual today.

And even after the victims’ families spoke out, Prejean went on to make an even more grotesque musical (yes, musical) version of Dead Man Walking that openly cast murderers as Christ-figures crucified by society and by vengeful crime victims — and redeemed (surprise!) only by a nun’s saintly love.

This is the caliber of witness the defense used in court.  Realistically, would Prejean have been trotted out in this high-profile trial were it not for her radical Hollywood pals and the utterly dishonest Dead Man Walking?  The shame lies with the court.  Letting this woman close the trial in Boston made the denouement of the OJ Simpson trial seem dignified.

Helen Prejean’s lies about Robert Lee Willie’s “jailhouse conversion” matters because those lies comprise her entire reputation; they are her sole claim to being an expert witness who matters; they are the very reason she was used by the defense in Tsarnaev’s case.

Her credibility on the subject of ethics in the aftermath of crime does not stand up to even mild scrutiny: it’s a good thing for her that there is no such scrutiny.

Prejean’s entire record of past testimony and personal conduct needs to be evaluated, but who would do it?  The ABA uses attorneys’ professional fees to promote people like Prejean and her radical causes.  The Daubert Test for expert witness credibility doesn’t, to me, seem to apply here, though I’d be happy to hear from those who know more about this.  The media is not interested in . . . reporting.

So what we get is this celebrity nun preening for the microphones, offering hearsay that makes the front page of the New York Times because she hobnobs with Susan Sarandon, who named her own child after Jack Abbot, a vicious killer Sarandon helped spring from prison — and continued supporting him after he killed again, which he told her he would do.

Given the role of murderer fetishists like Sarandon and Prejean in the post-conviction clemency movement (a fellow activist with ties to both is terrorist cop-killer Bernardine Dohrn, who was involved with another nun in trying to spring rapist-murderer Humberto Leal), it’s too bad our justice system places any weight on “jailhouse conversions” in the first place, but in sentencing, they do.

Unfortunately, with the justice system (and mainstream media) we have, what the man who raped and killed your daughter says or does not say to the chattering nun visiting him in prison actually matters in courtrooms.  This is why the defense parachutes in Prejean to work her magic and coax out a few words of sorrow from some blood-drenched psychopath — or in the absence of success, just make the words up. Or feel them.  Or, something.

For, like Robert Lee Willie, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev does not appear to have actually expressed remorse for killing and maiming scores of victims.

You wouldn’t know this, though, from glancing at the headline in the Times, which reads: “Tsarnaev Expressed Sympathy for Boston Bombing Victims, Sister Helen Prejean Says.”  Nice touch there at the end: it cuts slack for Times editors who might otherwise have to take responsibility for what they publish.

Instead, Prejean and her Times accommodators wrestle journalistic ambiguity to slot the nun’s words into the place of Tsarnaev’s nonexistent remorse.  You have to read a bit carefully to see there’s no there there.

Predictable, Prejean starts with her favorite subject, herself:

Describing five meetings that she has had with the defendant since March at the defense team’s request, Sister Prejean portrayed Mr. Tsarnaev as respectful and receptive to her, even though he had probably never met a Catholic nun before.

Well isn’t that nice?  Tea and cookies and the front page of the Times.  Always the front page with this one.  Slip in a cultural diversity cheer for Tsarnaev — look, he respects nuns even though he’s probably never met a nun before, according to Prejean, even though he’s lived in Boston for decades, and went to something called Latin School, and UMass Dartmouth, and doesn’t even have an accent, according to his friends.

Yet according to the Times/slash/Prejean, we’re supposed to think at this point that he is some poor befuddled immigrant who doesn’t know up from down, or nuts from berries, or nuns from Shinola.  Prejean sang the very same tune with Humberto Leal, who had lived in the United States continually from the age of 2 but was suddenly a Mexican National the minute he got convicted in Texas for torturing a gang rape victim to death with a stick.

Besides, Helen, it not really about how he treats you, right?

No word on whether Prejean was attracted to him, as she has crudely hinted of other vicious killers — rapists in particular.  People do get better at spinning their own garbage the longer they’re in the media’s eye.

Prejean claims in the Times to have sensed “pain” in Tsarnaev’s voice: “I had every reason to think he was taking it in and he was genuinely sorry for what he did,” she said.  In other words, he didn’t really say that he felt pain,

Crime victims, in Helen Prejean’s moral universe, may as well have a scarlet “V” tattooed on their foreheads: “V” for vengeance, not victim.  Victims are “vengeful” if they are not forgiving in just the right way, and only people like Prejean can judge whether crime victims or their survivors have appropriately prostrated themselves before the criminals who have tortured them or murdered their loves ones.

The “V” word — mostly imagined or projected — is the sole sin in the church of Prejean.  One can only hope that the jurors in Boston took her testimony with all the seriousness it merited — which is to say none at all.

In Helen Prejean’s moral universe, which is shared by many others, victims are “vengeful” if they are not forgiving in just the right way, and only people like Prejean can judge whether crime victims or their survivors have appropriately prostrated themselves before the criminals who have tortured them or murdered their loves ones. The “V” word — vengeance, mostly imagined or projected — is the sole sin in the church of Prejean. One can only hope that the jurors in Boston took her testimony with all the seriousness it merited — which is to say none at all.

Remembering Larry Grathwohl: The Media’s Four-Decade Lie About The Weather Underground

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All over the internet, people are remembering Larry Grathwohl, who infiltrated the Weather Underground for the FBI and prevented them from killing people, at the risk of his own life.  Larry passed away last July 18, and we all miss him.  We’re also disappointed by the lies Fox News’ Megyn Kelly allowed Bill Ayers to spout about Larry and other issues on her recent, highly-promoted “celebrity interview” with Ayers.

The sociopaths of the Weather Underground have been given four decades of free press to spread their lies.  You can see a partial list of four decades of fawning coverage of the Weathermen below.

Looking Back: Modern Journalists on the Weathermen

Since emerging from hiding, former members of the Weather Underground have found many allies eager to help them whitewash their pasts.  Other journalists are working to correct such propagandistic celebration of Weatherman.  The following stories are presented in chronological order.  Interestingly, some of the most critical stories are from traditionally liberal sources.

Interviews with Larry Grathwohl and other materials detailing the Weather Underground’s real record of violence can be found at America’s Survival, where Cliff Kincaid hosts Justice for Victims of the Weather Underground, a project dedicated to bringing the Weathermen to trial for their crimes.

We are grateful to everyone who are helping us correct the record about the real reign of bombings, murder, and attempted murder committed by Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Jeff Jones, Judge Eleanor Raskin (neé Stein), Mark Rudd, and the other assorted criminals of the Weather Underground.  Go to the Bringing Down America website to find links to other people writing about Larry today.

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?

8 comments

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

3 comments

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

1 comment

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?

3 comments

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

11 comments

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?

3 comments

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?

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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.