Wednesday, April 30, 2014
(Updated with additions - 5/11/2014)
Los Angeles Clippers' owner Donald Sterling has received a well deserved lifetime ban from the NBA along with a $2.5 million fine for racist comments (excerpted below) he made to his girlfriend. It should be noted that Sterling is a long time contributor to Democrats and Democratic Party causes. One reason for this (as detailed in an article by Reihan Salam in the May 19 issue of National Review) is that as a slumlord, Sterling has greatly benefitted by the housing development restrictions put in place by Democrats in leftist redoubts like Los Angeles. Helping Democrats get elected has helped make Sterling a billionaire while creating a prohibitively expensive housing market for low income minorities. A nice twofer for the racist.
A fellow affiliate and sponsor of the Democratic Party, the NAACP, was planning to present Sterling with a Lifetime Achievement Award before he was tricked into revealing sentiments that anyone not on the receiving end of his subsidies should have recognized was a fundamental part of his character. Oops.
"It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?"
"You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that ... and not to bring them to my games."
"I’m just saying, in your lousy f**king Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with black people."
"...Don't put him (Magic Johnson) on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don't bring him to my games."
Listed below are equally bad (or worse) examples of racist commentary, none of which earned its authors, even remotely, the degree of opprobrium and punishment that has been administered to Sterling.
"If it takes lynching to protect women's dearest possession from drunken, ravening beasts, then I say lynch a thousand a week." - Suffragist Progressive and First Female U.S. Senator Rebecca Latimer Felton
"I am a former kleagle of the Ku Klux Klan in Raleigh County and the adjoining counties of the state .... The Klan is needed today as never before and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia .... It is necessary that the order be promoted immediately and in every state of the Union. Will you please inform me as to the possibilities of rebuilding the Klan in the Realm of W. Va .... I hope that you will find it convenient to answer my letter in regards to future possibilities." -- Former Klansman and former US Senator Robert Byrd, a man who was referred to by many Democrats as the "conscience of the Senate"
"Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds." -- Byrd
"These Negroes, they're getting pretty uppity these days and that's a problem for us since they've got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we've got to do something about this, we've got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference."-- Lyndon Johnson
"I'll have those ni**ers voting Democratic for the next 200 years." -- Johnson following passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
"White folks was in caves while we was building empires... We taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it." -- MSNBC host Al Sharpton
"I want to go up to the closest white person and say: 'You can't understand this, it's a black thing' and then slap him, just for my mental health." -- Charles Barron, a New York city councilman at a reparations rally, 2002
"Civil rights laws were not passed to protect the rights of white men and do not apply to them." -- Mary Frances Berry, Chairwoman, US Commission on Civil Rights
(I) "will not let the white boys win in this election." -- Donna Brazile, Al Gore's Campaign Manager on the 2000 election
"The old white boys got taken fair and square." -- San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown after winning an election
"There's no great, white bigot; there's just about 200 million little white bigots out there." -- Respected "progressive" USA Today columnist, frequent TV commentator, Julienne Malveaux
That 200 million number probably comes from Malveaux rounding down the total number of whites in the U.S. (~220 million). Basically she's saying that all American whites, including children of all ages, are bigoted.
"...there is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery, then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved." -- Jesse Jackson
"The white race is the cancer of human history." -- Susan Sontag
(On Clarence Thomas) "A handkerchief-head, chicken-and-biscuit-eating Uncle Tom." -- Spike Lee
Blacks and Hispanics are "probably too busy eating watermelons and tacos to learn how to read and write." -- Mike Wallace, CBS News.
"Is you their black-haired answer-mammy who be smart? Does they like how you shine their shoes, Condoleezza? Or the way you wash and park the whitey's cars?" -- Left-wing radio host Neil Rogers (Rogers wasn't fired or even disciplined for his comments and continued to broadcast his popular radio show until his retirement in June, 2009).
"Today eugenics is suggested by the most diverse minds as the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems.” -- Margaret Sanger
"(the poor and immigrants are) '…human weeds,’ ‘reckless breeders,’ ‘spawning… human beings who never should have been born.” -- Sanger
“We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population…” -- Sanger
"I admire Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision." -- Hillary Clinton
"You f--king Jew bastard." -- Hillary Clinton to political operative Paul Fray. (Fray is one-eighth Jewish).
Mahatma Gandhi "ran a gas station down in Saint Louis." -- Hillary Clinton
'Hymietown.' -- Jesse Jackson's description of New York City while on the 1984 presidential campaign trail.
"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy." -- Joe Biden on Barack Obama
"You cannot go to a 7-11 or Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian Accent." -- Biden
(Barack Obama is) "a light-skinned African-American with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one." -- Harry Reid
“A few years ago, this guy would have been carrying our bags.” -- Bill Clinton speaking to Ted Kennedy about Barack Obama
“The point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity, but that she is a typical white person. If she sees somebody on the street that she doesn’t know (pause) there’s a reaction in her that doesn’t go away and it comes out in the wrong way.” -- Barack Obama
"I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites." -- Obama
"It was usually an effective tactic, another one of those tricks I had learned: (White) People were satisfied so long as you were courteous and smiled and made no sudden moves. They were more than satisfied, they were relieved -- such a pleasant surprise to find a well-mannered young black man who didn't seem angry all the time." -- Obama
"That's just how white folks will do you. It wasn't merely the cruelty involved; I was learning that black people could be mean and then some. It was a particular brand of arrogance, an obtuseness in otherwise sane people that brought forth our bitter laughter. It was as if whites didn't know that they were being cruel in the first place. Or at least thought you deserving of their scorn." -- Obama
Finally, this from Bill Maher, (to his credit) --
"Here's something else Paul Ryan said. He said, when it comes to getting an education, too many of our young (black) people just can't be bothered. They're sitting on couches for hours, playing video games, watching TV. Instead of dreaming of being a teacher or a lawyer or a business leader, they're fantasizing about being a baller or a rapper. ... Oh wait, that wasn't him, that was Michelle Obama. Michelle Obama said that."
Then Maher turned to his dumbstruck audience and said, "Hushed silence."
Monday, April 28, 2014
Income equality fetishists enamored by Thomas Picketty's book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, should take a cold shower in the form of reading Kevin Williamson's NRO column on the subject. I could provide wisdom filled excerpts but that would result in reproducing the article nearly in toto. Just read the whole thing.
Ironically, and certainly unintentionally, the Pinketty book's most enduring contribution will be the legacy enhancement of George W. Bush, the man with the ahead-of-his-time vision to restructure, and save, Social Security.
Monday, April 21, 2014
Kevin Williamson comments on the negligent death of Jerome Murdough, a poor, mentally ill man in Riker's Island prison in New York. Williamson makes the case that the responsibility for this outrage, and innumerable others, lies squarely with our self-interested public sector bureaucracy.
Mr. Murdough was not sacrificed to Moloch, but to Mammon. Our unionized public sector has vast resources at its disposal, and the principal purpose to which it puts them is its own enrichment and aggrandizement. This is not a case of a few bad apples; it is a fundamental characteristic of the system. The model of management at Rikers Island is by no means limited to jails — it is how we organize our schools, our trash-removal operations, and, in case you hadn’t heard, now our health care.
Rikers Island is an extreme example, but consider the rolling scandal of the United Kingdom’s nursing homes: Patients have been half starved to death, left with festering bedsores so deep that their bones were exposed, given drug overdoses, and more. For these services, the homes were collecting in some cases more than $5,000 a month per patient from the National Health Service, whose eagle-eyed auditors had given high marks to some of the worst ones in evaluations issued just before the scandals became public.
...The worst of it is that the very people who failed in their responsibility to Mr. Murdough — which is also their responsibility to us, the people who pay them — will use this episode and others like it to demand more money, more resources, and more power, approximately none of which will be put to its putative purpose in anything approaching a responsible or effective manner. They talk a good game about looking after the least among us, but the evidence — the hard, empirical, bottom-line evidence — is that they are looking after themselves. They look out for the public in the same way that a rancher looks out for livestock: with an eye toward their own proprietary interests. It is not mere coincidence that many public schools and most public housing projects share a great many architectural features with penitentiaries — or industrial chicken farms. They are warehouses for populations that have to be managed and cared for to the precise extent that doing so serves the interests of their managers.
There are a thousand rationales for that: “Think of the children! Think of the homeless! Think of the elderly!”
Speaking of the failures of union bureaucracies...
Responding to a claim by the NY Times' Paul Krugman that the miserly Texas public school system produces outcomes far worse than the national average, the blogger Iowahawk uses data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress to compare the public schools of Texas with those of the collective bargaining paradise of Wisconsin.
The NAEP is an annual standardized test given to 4th and 8th graders around the country to measure proficiency in math, science, and reading. Participation is fairly universal; if you've had a 4th or 8th grader in the last few years, you're probably familiar with it.
After running the numbers from the NAEP, Iowahawk concludes,
To recap: white students in Texas perform better than white students in Wisconsin, black students in Texas perform better than black students in Wisconsin, Hispanic students in Texas perform better than Hispanic students in Wisconsin. In 18 separate ethnicity-controlled comparisons, the only one where Wisconsin students performed better than their peers in Texas was 4th grade science for Hispanic students (statistically insignificant), and this was reversed by 8th grade. Further, Texas students exceeded the national average for their ethnic cohort in all 18 comparisons; Wisconsinites were below the national average in 8, above average in 8.
Perhaps the most striking thing in these numbers is the within-state gap between white and minority students. Not only did white Texas students outperform white Wisconsin students, the gap between white students and minority students in Texas was much less than the gap between white and minority students in Wisconsin. In other words, students are better off in Texas schools than in Wisconsin schools - especially minority students.
A couple of comments -
History professor Fred Siegel considers Paul Krugman an embarrassment and a disgrace and attributes his winning of the Nobel Prize in Economics solely to the economist's antipathy to George W. Bush - a resume requirement for Nobel Peace Prize awardees. Krugman's shoddy, disingenuous analysis (see Iowahawk's piece) confirms Siegel's assessment.
One particularly notable achievement of the Texas public school system was to produce Kevin Williamson.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
I used to work for a large pharmaceutical company. As is the case, I am sure, with all major corporations, this company had an ethnically (and otherwise) diverse workforce. Working in my small department alone were a Ukrainian, a Latvian and a Russian (Jew). On one occasion, the Latvian needed to compose a letter in Russian. He consulted with the Ukrainian who translated the correspondence from English into what he believed to be correct Russian. The Latvian then showed the results to the Russian who burst out laughing when he read the unintentionally funny distorted prose.
I was reminded of this episode by the frequent mention of the currently relevant Hillary Clinton - Sergey Lavrov debacle back in March, 2009. It was then that Clinton presented her Russian counterpart with a Staples style button labeled "Peregruzka". As is now well known, the Russian term translated as "Overcharge", not "Reset" as was intended. That a language expert couldn't be found to correctly translate "Reset" speaks to the incompetence of the Clinton State Department. And the word used wasn't even close. It didn't translate to "reconstruct" or "recompose" or "reconfigure" or some other term resembling "reset".
Bad linguistics wasn't the worst of Clinton's sins of course, those being appeasement and disloyalty to the previous president. Meanwhile, John Kerry's State Department continues the sorry tradition of his predecessor. As he chased Lavrov around Europe in a futile attempt at diplomacy, Russia annexed Crimea. Now they're embarking on the initial stages of its takeover of the Ukraine.
Matthew Kaminski (WSJ - 4/14)
When Russia invaded Crimea and massed 40,000 or more troops in the east, Ukraine turned to an old friend, the United States, and asked for light arms, antitank weapons, intelligence help and nonlethal aid. The Obama administration agreed to deliver 300,000 meals-ready-to-eat. As this newspaper reported Friday, military transport planes were deemed too provocative for Russia, so the food was shipped by commercial trucks. The administration refused Kiev's requests for intelligence-sharing and other supplies, lethal or not.
Bret Stephens (WSJ - 4/8) had some advice for the Russian president last week which he has apparently heeded.
If I were Vladimir Putin I'd invade eastern Ukraine this week. Strike while the iron is hot.
Never again will the taking be so easy. Never again will the government in Kiev be so helpless. Never again will the administration in Washington be so inept, its threats so hollow. Never again will the powers in Europe be so feeble and dependent. Never again will Western monetary policy do so much to prop up energy prices.
...Mr. Obama has a habit of underestimating his foes. He thought al Qaeda was on the run. He thought Bashar Assad would be gone by now. He thinks Iran will abandon its nuclear programs in exchange for sanctions relief. He thinks of Vladimir Putin as the kid with the bored expression, slouching in the back of the classroom.
News for the law professor. That kid is smarter than you are. He's bored because you bore him. He's about to eat your lunch.
Daniel Henninger, in today's WSJ, laments the start of Cold War 2.0.
We are close to the Putin endgame in Ukraine. On Wednesday troop-filled trucks flying Russian flags were seen in eastern Ukraine's cities.
...In Western Europe and the U.S., the Cold War, which lasted from 1947 until 1991, is barely taught in schools. It's just a phrase for most of the young and a dimming memory for others. The West's intellectuals often diminish the significance of the Cold War. They say it didn't matter much, that the Soviet Union unwound on its own. No small number of these thinkers were half-sorry to see this "flawed" experiment in income-equality fail.
...If you tried to leave an Iron Curtain country, you could be imprisoned or shot. It may be that Cold War 1.0 was in large part about the nuclear standoff between the U.S. and Soviet Union, but for the tens of millions who lived in Eastern and Central Europe, it was about 50 years of paranoia, imprisonment, shattered careers, moral compromises and daily obeisance to the Soviet Union, aka Russia. Whenever one hears that we in the West have been unmindful of Mr. Putin's "historic" interests in Ukraine, one wants to suggest for further reading Alexander Solzhenitsyn's "The Gulag Archipelago" or Vaclav Havel's "The Power of the Powerless."
The dictators who ran the so-called Eastern Bloc countries for the Soviets had names like Ceausescu, Honecker, Jaruzelski, Hoxha and Kadar. It seemed as if they would rule behind their Iron Curtain forever because the Red Army to the east had their backs. Then in the 1970s, a determined internal opposition developed. They had names like Havel, Walesa and Wojtyla. Karol Wojtyla became Pope John Paul II, called "the Polish pope" because he fought there against the unfree society designed by Vladimir Putin's predecessors.
Now the battle for Ukraine is ending without much more than a yawn in Washington, London, Paris and most ironic of all, the Berlin that the Cold War divided in two. In 1947, President Harry Truman, a Democrat, began a year-long allied airlift to supply Soviet-occupied and isolated Berlin. The Berlin airlift broke the blockade. Nobody running the West would do that now.
The WSJ notes that "The crisis is distracting attention from Mr. Obama's short-term economic agenda in a vital election year..." Yes, it throws a kink in his campaign fundraising schedule.
Obama is like the pacifist in "Saving Private Ryan". The guy who walks around with a high powered gun and countless rounds of ammunition on his person but is too afraid and morally conflicted to act even as others are bravely fighting and dying around him. Both scenes are frustrating to watch.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
In today's WSJ, British conservative MP Liam Fox provides an excellent summation of the great damage to peace and security that Edward Snowden and his accomplices have caused with the release of stolen National Security information.
Peace and security are not the natural state of affairs. It is a fact of life that many of those who live comfortable middle-class existences in affluent, liberal, pluralistic democracies in the 21st century seem to have forgotten. Those who live without a full grasp of the risks and sacrifices taken by others on their behalf will not understand the constant battle for law and freedom against disorder, anarchy and terror. Just as a gardener fights a constant war against untrammeled nature, but casual observers see only order and tranquillity, a constant struggle is being waged against the forces of disruption and destruction so that we can take the safety and security of our daily lives for granted.
...Edward Snowden thinks of himself as a cyber-age guerrilla warrior, but in reality he is a self-publicizing narcissist. He did not find or expose anything illegal, nor did he exhaust all legal and constitutional options to express his reservations about the intelligence and security services. He did not attempt to limit any potential damage in making his point. He did not show that any agency activities were unreasonable in law. Let us not imbue his cowardice with higher motives. Let us not confuse his egotism with public service. Let's not call his treachery by lesser terms. Let us be clear about the intent and impact of his actions. Let us be clear to the American people and their allies about the threats they now face from enemies inside and out, terrorist and criminal. For once, let's say what we mean. Let us call treason by its name.
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Today's WSJ Notable and Quotable feature:
From environmental writer Bjorn Lomborg's "How Green Policies Hurt the Poor" for the Spectator (U.K.), April 5:
Africa is the renewable utopia, getting 50 per cent of its energy from renewables—though nobody wants to emulate it. In 1971, China derived 40 per cent of its energy from renewables. Since then, it has powered its incredible growth almost exclusively on heavily polluting coal, lifting a historic 680 million people out of poverty. Today, China gets a trifling 0.23 per cent of its energy from unreliable wind and solar.
Yet most Westerners still want to focus on putting up more inefficient solar panels in the developing world. But this infatuation inflicts a real cost. A recent analysis from the Centre for Global Development shows that $10 billion invested in such renewables would help lift 20 million people in Africa out of poverty. It sounds impressive, until you learn that if this sum was spent on gas electrification it would lift 90 million people out of poverty. So in choosing to spend that $10 billion on renewables, we deliberately end up choosing to leave more than 70 million people in darkness and poverty.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
More from Kevin Williamson -
It is no slight to Paul Ryan to believe that any attempt on his part to explain to the American public that lower deficits today should lead to reduced interest rates sometime in the future and therefore stronger economic growth that subsequently contributes to what the CBO projects will be . . . Go ahead and take a moment to imagine the dead-eyed stare of those halfwits who twice pulled the lever for Barack Obama at this point in the conversation. As Adlai Stevenson observed, it’s not enough to have all thinking people behind you—you need a majority. “These bastards are stealing from us” is probably a more effective way to open up the entitlement-reform debate, and possibly to take down a few Democrat-leaning bag men, too. (You think that $120 million in Medicare fraud in Detroit is lining any Republican pockets? My personal favorite: the California scam in which people were paid $5 to attend sham addiction classes and then used the money to buy weed while alcoholism counselors were having bottles of Hennessy gift-wrapped for their clients.) And those bastards are indeed stealing from us, so here policy and politics are complementary.
"We owe the nation a balanced budget," Representative Ryan said yesterday, "and a path for paying off our debt. This is about leadership, about governing, about showing the country a better way." He is right, and House Republicans have made good on that obligation. This is a credit to them and to the House Republican leadership, which is too frequently maligned. The American people owe them something in return, that something being taking the opportunity to buck up and act like responsible free adults in a self-governing republic, and get behind a real reform program such as that being offered House Republicans.
Go ahead, I’ll wait.