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The media has been buzzing the last few days with news reports about a terrible mass shooting at a midnight screening of the latest Batman movie. Those of us who are not directly involved, who were not in the theater or do not know anyone who was, can have no idea of the pain and anguish that such an act leaves behind. Hundreds of people will never be the same again.
That aside, the question that will inevitably be asked is if there was any way to prevent such a crime.
My very strong impression is that the suspect, who was arrested outside the theater just moments after allegedly committing mass murder, was obviously a deranged individual who can never be trusted to be set loose amongst the innocent public again. But he was also an extremely methodical, clearly intelligent, and very resourceful individual who spent months planning his big day.
It is inevitable that the Left will take up the call for increased gun control, but I think it is very clear that such laws would have done nothing except slow down the timetable a bit. Read the rest of this entry »
He said making the documents public “would have significant, damaging consequences,” but he did not disclose whether Obama has been briefed or had another supervisory role in Fast and Furious.
This raises the question of whether there are Obama fingerprints on the policy. Some documents have been released and some others, including incriminating e-mails, have been leaked to the committee. So far, Obama’s name has not been found in the documents. His action will now raise suspicion and will force news media, that have minimized the scandal, to inform incredulous readers that it is a big deal after all.
Richard Nixon could have ignored the burglary of the DNC offices in 1972. We now know that nothing was found that would have tarnished his reputation. It was the coverup that damaged him fatally. The election is coming in 5 months. The Watergate story did not really break until after the 1972 election. This seems to be breaking much sooner and its effect on Obama’s chances are hard to predict. The coming Supreme Court decision on Obamacare may overshadow this story.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked how Obama could assert executive privilege “if there is no White House involvement?”
A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said Obama’s move “implies that White House officials were either involved in the ‘Fast and Furious’ operation or the cover-up that followed.”
“The administration has always insisted that wasn’t the case. Were they lying, or are they now bending the law to hide the truth?” Brendan Buck said.
It doesn’t sound like it is going to subside anytime soon. It will be interesting to see if more leaks appear. The White House leaks like a sieve and not all are Obama fans, it seems.
Whether these consequences and concerns form the basis for a valid assertion of executive privilege is another matter. I’m no expert on the subject, nor do I know all of the ins-and-outs of the dispute between Holder and Issa’s Committee. However, when Congress has a sound basis for believing that the Executive branch lied to it over material matters as part of a coverup in the course of a legitimate congressional oversight investigation, regard for a proper balance in the relationship between Congress and the Executive argues strongly in favor of enabling Congress to obtain all documents relevant to the coverup, including those generated during the process through which the cover-up is reasonably believed to have occurred.
It will be interesting and may affect the election.
an e-mail sent on July 14, 2010. After the operation, former ATF field operations assistant director Mark Chait e-mailed Bill Newell, then ATF’s Phoenix special agent in charge of Fast and Furious, to suggest a possible way to use Fast and Furious:
Bill — can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks.
This “demand letter” refers to the push for a policy that would require U.S. gun shops in southwestern states to report the sale of several rifles or shotguns to a single buyer. According to CBS, “Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.”
This may have begun as an attempt to require licenses for long guns.
On Friday, as is often the case, Obama announced a new executive policy to impose a two year moratorium on deportation of young illegals if they can show they were brought here as children and have finished high school with no encounters with the law. They must be under 30 and were brought here before age 16. He promised that citizenship was not included and did not mention if family members were affected. Janet Napolitano, head of Homeland Security announced that this was the new policy but there has been no confirmation of an executive order.
I don’t have a real problem with this policy but it avoids Congress and legislation, a problem that even Obama acknowledged last year. It is a transparent ploy to appeal for Latino votes. Everyone knows that.
It also will close an opening for compromise.
Obama’s decision probably reduces the likelihood that the scenarios of greatest concern to me will come to pass, especially if Obama is re-elected. Irate Republicans are even less likely than before to cooperate with the administration on this issue now that it has acted so high-handedly and in such a patently political manner. As Marco Rubio, who is planning to sponsor some sort of DREAM Act, said today, by imposing a new policy by executive order, Obama has made it harder in the long run to reach consensus on “comprehensive policy,” i.e., one that gives illegal immigrants additional benefits and a path to citizenship.
So what we have here is a president who is refusing to carry out federal law simply because he disagrees with Congress’s policy choices. That is an exercise of executive power that even the most stalwart defenders of an energetic executive — not to mention the Framers — cannot support.
Even Obama said the same a few months ago in explaining his then inaction. “I wish I could wave my magic wand,” Mr. Obama said. “Until Nancy Pelosi is speaker again… At the end of the day, I can’t do this all by myself. We’re going to have to get Congress to act. I know Nancy Pelosi’s ready to act. It’s time to stop playing politics.”
Well, playing politics is the order of the day and the Republicans should focus on the illegality of doing it by executive order and not on the policy, itself. With proper safeguards, the policy is a good idea although there may be backlash from semi-skilled unemployed who just got a million new competitors. Certainly the unemployment figures should now be adjusted for all the new legal job seekers.
The distraction of the Daily Caller reporter interrupting the president was an amusing sidelight. Had Obama demonstrated humor and a benign manner, it might have been a good moment for him. Instead, he showed anger and the incident will probably lead to more interruptions as it seems to be the only way to ask this president a question.
It sounds like there were no good guys in that melee in the Ashford House, called “an Irish restaurant” in the article. The diners were associated with Stormfront, a white nationalist bunch. Of course, innocent bystanders were hurt so I hope the book is thrown at the vandals.
The people injured identified themselves as members of the Illinois European Heritage Association, which Cook County prosecutors said is affiliated with Stormfront, a group identifying itself as a White Nationalist umbrella group.
The mayor said the attackers were affiliated with a group called the Anti-Racist Action network, which was started in 1988 in Minneapolis and has clashed with neo-Nazi, fascist and white-supremacy groups.
Well, I’m glad I wasn’t trying to eat lunch there.
I recently expressed my opinion about the shameful treatment of John Derbyshire by National Review, his former employer, which dropped him as a writer because of a piece he wrote in another online magazine. One of his statements which seemed to be the most objectionable to NRO was “(9) A small cohort of blacks—in my experience, around five percent—is ferociously hostile to whites and will go to great lengths to inconvenience or harm us. A much larger cohort of blacks—around half—will go along passively if the five percent take leadership in some event. They will do this out of racial solidarity, the natural willingness of most human beings to be led, and a vague feeling that whites have it coming.
(10) Thus, while always attentive to the particular qualities of individuals, on the many occasions where you have nothing to guide you but knowledge of those mean differences, use statistical common sense:
(10a) Avoid concentrations of blacks not all known to you personally.
(10b) Stay out of heavily black neighborhoods.
Two weeks ago, an incident in Virginia validated a couple of Derbyshire’s bits of advice to his kids (the premise of the piece).
There’s outrage in Norfolk, Va., today after a white couple was attacked by dozens of black teenagers, and the local newspaper did not report on the incident for two weeks, despite the victims being reporters for the paper.
Even today, the Virginian-Pilot did not cover the crime as news, but rather as an opinion piece by columnist Michelle Washington.
“Wave after wave of young men surged forward to take turns punching and kicking their victim,” Washington wrote, describing the onslaught that began when Dave Forster and Marjon Rostami stopped at a traffic light while driving home from a show on a Saturday night. A crowd of at least 100 black young people was on the sidewalk at the time.”
Tonight, Bill O’Reilly played tape made at the scene. There were several young black men interviewed who had not participated in the attack. What they said was “If you go into a neighborhood you don’t know (and are white), you had better be careful.”
Apparently the young man driving the car got out of the car after a rock was thrown at it. He said, “That was a big mistake.” He and the young woman in the car were attacked by about 20 to 40 men from the crowd on the sidewalk. One of the young black men interviewed on O’Reilly’s program mentioned the Trayvon Martin case. Their injuries were not life threatening but kept them from work for a week.
How does this differ from what Derbyshire warned about ?
Another issue is the delay in reporting the attack by the local paper.
It happened four blocks from where they work, here at the Virginian-Pilot.”
The Virginia Pilot did not mention the attack on its own employees for two weeks. Why ?
1. Will the Black Panther Party give the bounty money (remember the dead or alive thing?) for Zimmerman to the police department where he turned himself in?
2. And more seriously, does anyone besides me think that there is zero chance Zimmerman walks? I bet his own lawyers have already sold him up the river for a reduced charge. Alternately, I think that Zimmerman might kill himself – he is already acting quite irrationally, going around his attorneys and talking to the authorities, as well as having a rumored conversation with Sean Hannity. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever talk with the police without your attorney present!
3. Even more seriously, I am guessing there will be riots somewhere, somehow for some reason over this. Evidence be damned.
A favorite writer, usually seen at National Review but widely published, has created a firestorm of political correctness by an article he wrote for another magazine. John Derbyshire is a mathematician and curmudgeon of the satiric variety. I think I have read all of his books, several of which are not an easy read. His We Are Doomed had me laughing so hard I cried. My review is here.
His current outrage is to have said “There is a talk that nonblack Americans have with their kids, too. My own kids, now 19 and 16, have had it in bits and pieces as subtopics have arisen. If I were to assemble it into a single talk, it would look something like the following.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
(1) Among your fellow citizens are forty million who identify as black, and whom I shall refer to as black. The cumbersome (and MLK-noncompliant) term “African-American” seems to be in decline, thank goodness. “Colored” and “Negro” are archaisms. What you must call “the ‘N’ word” is used freely among blacks but is taboo to nonblacks.
(2) American blacks are descended from West African populations, with some white and aboriginal-American admixture. The overall average of non-African admixture is 20-25 percent. The admixture distribution is nonlinear, though: “It seems that around 10 percent of the African American population is more than half European in ancestry.” (Same link.)
(3) Your own ancestry is mixed north-European and northeast-Asian, but blacks will take you to be white.
Derbyshire’s wife is Chinese and his kids are mixed race Chinese-Caucasion
(4) The default principle in everyday personal encounters is, that as a fellow citizen, with the same rights and obligations as yourself, any individual black is entitled to the same courtesies you would extend to a nonblack citizen. That is basic good manners and good citizenship. In some unusual circumstances, however—e.g., paragraph (10h) below—this default principle should be overridden by considerations of personal safety.
(5) As with any population of such a size, there is great variation among blacks in every human trait (except, obviously, the trait of identifying oneself as black). They come fat, thin, tall, short, dumb, smart, introverted, extroverted, honest, crooked, athletic, sedentary, fastidious, sloppy, amiable, and obnoxious. There are black geniuses and black morons. There are black saints and black psychopaths. In a population of forty million, you will find almost any human type. Only at the far, far extremes of certain traits are there absences. There are, for example, no black Fields Medal winners. While this is civilizationally consequential, it will not likely ever be important to you personally. Most people live and die without ever meeting (or wishing to meet) a Fields Medal winner.
So far, despite the outrage, this seems pretty benign to me. (Probably evidence of my own racism)
Here comes trouble:
(7) Of most importance to your personal safety are the very different means for antisocial behavior, which you will see reflected in, for instance, school disciplinary measures, political corruption, and criminal convictions.
So, I’ve watched the media-puffed Trayvon Martin meme go sailing by – and crash upon the iceberg of reality. Now it’s holed below the waterline, sinking fast, and a fair number of people who bought into it for one reason or another have quietly ducked into the nearest lifeboat and paddled away. They’re the most sensible element, of course: the rest are lined up on the boat deck, singing ‘Nearer My God To Thee’. Like a number of particularly deluded specimens at Open Salon, whose theme seems to be ‘Now we see the violence inherent in the system!’ alternating with choruses of ‘It’s all white people’s fault’. And for the record, no I haven’t gone around the OS threads arguing with any of these nimrods, or attempting to put them straight. Life is too short, and I have too much on my plate at this time to try and apply logic and good sense talking them out of a position that logic and good sense never had a hand in putting them into. As an old Air Force mentor of mine was wont to observe, ‘Sometimes ya just gotta stan’ back an’ let them fall on their sword. If ya wanna, afterwards ya can pull out the sword, wipe off the blood an’ ‘splain to them where where they went wrong…”
I tell you, I had to pick myself up off the floor when I read this bit of news. Not.
Federal prosecutors secured a total of 1,531 public corruption convictions in the Northern District of Illinois since 1976, said Dick Simpson, head of the university’s political science department.
Meanwhile, Illinois logged 1,828 public corruption convictions, the third most of any state, according to the report. Only California and New York had more.
But those states are much larger than Illinois. On a per-person basis, only the District of Columbia and Louisiana had more convictions than Illinois, according to the report.
Four governors, two congressmen, a state treasurer, an attorney general, 11 state legislators, numerous judges and dozens of aldermen have been convicted since the 1970s, according to the report, dubbed Chicago and Illinois, Leading the Pack in Corruption.
“For a long time — going back at least to the Al Capone era — Chicago and Illinois have been known for high levels of public corruption, Simpson said. “But now we have the statistics that confirm their dishonorable and notorious reputations. . . . . The two worst crime zones in Illinois are the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield and the City Council Chambers in Chicago.”
“Chicago is the most corrupt city in the country, and Illinois is probably the third-most corrupt state in the nation,” Simpson said at a City Hall news conference.
I never really came from a background where hush money or protection had to be paid. I wonder if you still have to pay people to “protect” your business “in case something happens” in Chicago.
If so, it is a disgrace. The corruption is a disgrace anyways. I wonder when (if) the people of the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago will ever get sick of it.
Neo Mammalian Studios, so far as I can tell, is a group of tech heads who are looking to strike it rich by designing smart phone apps and Internet infographics. I wish them the very best of luck, as I fully understand the desire to acquire wealth through honest work.
An Email signed Andrea Smart, Communications Director to Neo Mammalian Studios, bring an infographic to our attention. The World According To MURDER!!!
The United States ranks #10 in the number of dead bodies, but that is because we are a large country with plenty of people. Adjust for population, rank everybody by the murder rate, and we don’t rate much attention at all.
Interestingly enough, the city with the third highest murder rate in all the world is New Orleans. Doesn’t surprise me, considering that it has always been a wretched hive of scum and villainy.
By profession, Kapler was a screenwriter, journalist, director, and actor. By avocation, he was an accomplished womanizer. One night, Kapler, a man of forty years, met a sixteen year old girl at a party. This young woman was intelligent, strong-willed, attractive, and sad. It was the tenth anniversary of her mother’s death. No one seemed to remember. Kapler was happy to listen, comfort, sympathize, and seduce.
Since his new conquest came from a sheltered background, Kapler decided to show her the wild side of life. He lent her forbidden adult books. He took her dancing, took her to see avaunt garde theater, and took her to meet outrageous people at outrageous parties. Kapler was a man of the world, witty, knowledgeable, a skilled raconteur. The young woman was swept off her feet by this urbane sophisticate. There were problems though: Kepler was married. And he was having an affair with a sixteen year old girl.
Hiding the affair from her family was a must. Hiding it from the girl’s father was especially important. Kapler was a smooth enough operator that he might have kept their affair secret from the girl’s father under normal circumstances. Unfortunately for him, this girl’s father had a particularly suspicious temperament. While something like this temperament is not unusual in any father of a sixteen year old girl, this father was different:
That is the sarcastic answer to an ancient question lately revised in the matter of the Penn State University athletic department having enabled a coach to serially molest young boys for decades – the question being, ‘How you separate the men from the boys at ____?’ Understandably, a large portion of the public is upset to furious about this, and those who are Penn grads and/or college football fans, and/or Joe Paterno fans are particularly distressed and/or seriously disillusioned.
The very saddest outcome from this appalling state of matters is something that I had meditated upon five years ago, when it was the matter of the Capitol Hill pages and a one Representative Mark Foley, who was forced to resign once his apparent inability to keep his hands, metaphorically speaking, off the junior staff became public knowledge outside Washington.
In reality, Bloomberg is just another impotent and incompetent big city mayor with a expensive, bloated, unionized, dysfunctional and often corrupt police force who cannot provide basic civil order to many parts of the city they notionally “serve and protect.” Rather than admit that he can’t actually perform the most basic duty of his office, Bloomberg desperately tries to shift the blame to some group outside his jurisdiction over which he can plausibly claim he has no control.
Bloomberg’s message boils down to: “Hey, you can’t blame for me runaway crime in New York because it’s all the fault of those ignorant rednecks in Virginia over whom I have no control!”
Blaming outsiders for internal woes is the oldest political trick in the book.
A civilization is built on what is required of men, not on that which is provided for them
If you would have them be brothers, have them build a tower. But if you would have them hate each other, throw them corn
Most liberals would probably argue that the British rioters did what they did because not enough had been done for them. Conservatives, on the other hand, would tend to say that it was because not enough had been expected of them.
Another night, another night of riots, arson and casual lootery, relatively untrammeled by the efforts of law enforcement, and perhaps slightly slowed down by the efforts of massed local residents and business owners. After three or four nights of this destruction, which leaves the internet plastered with pictures that look like the aftermath of the WWII Blitz, I would have hoped that the local residents were beginning to assemble and barricade their streets, rather than leave them open for the ‘hoodies’ to do their worst. Read the rest of this entry »
I am sure I will get some flack for this one, but here goes.
I understand that police and firefighters have relatively dangerous jobs. I really do. But their level of danger (at least here in Madison) must certainly be far lower than a HVAC mechanic, an electrician or a sheet metal worker. Every single day the tradesman faces potential electrocution, handles acetylene torches that could misfire, and in general deals with things that could easily maim or kill them every day of their working lives if they are not careful.
In contrast, yes, firefighters are brave souls that could possibly enter a burning building, but this doesn’t happen every day. Cops sitting in the cruiser handing out speeding tickets aren’t exactly living on the edge. Don’t get me wrong, cops do have to make arrests and deal with a lot of crap that I would rather not.
But it seems in the narrative of today that firefighters and police are held up to some sort of hero status at all times. The word hero is used far too much. Every time I see an obese police person or firefighter, I wonder how safe I would really be in the event I actually needed their presence at my house to help me.
Maybe I am crazy and they really are heroes all the time.
What this post is really about is that soon I believe that Scott Walker is going to take on the police and firefighter unions so our state doesn’t sink under an absolute mountain of debt. I already know what the narrative will be – “Scott Walker takes benefits from everyday heroes”.
A kindergarten teacher in Mexico seeks to protect her students and calm their fears as narco-cartel fighters conduct a raging gun battle outside the window of her school. The woman has nerves of iron.
But hey…..Mexico can’t have an “insurgency” because the narcos don’t have “political” goals. Or a unified political goal. Or because there are still good vacation deals there at all-inclusive resorts. Or….Or…Or…. whatever flimsy rationale helps policy makers continue to punt the war next door.
Recently I saw this ad at a Chicago train subway line and of course the answer is… yes. Unfortunately Illinois governor Quinn, who barely won the Democratic primary and barely won the general election, views his mandate as unstoppable and refuses to recognize this reality.
In this article from the Chicago Tribune, Quinn says he will oppose concealed carry, making Illinois 1 of only 2 states that have no form of this in the United States.
“The concept of concealed, loaded hand guns in the possession of private citizens does not enhance public safety, on the contrary it increases danger for everyday people as they go about their lives,” Quinn said.
It is immensely frustrating that a governor whose largest city leads in the nation in absolute number of murders (even though we are third in population) can’t see that strict gun laws do nothing to deter criminals.
The state of Indiana, right next door to Chicago, in fact part of the metropolitan area, has a very flexible concealed carry law and they don’t see that public safety is diminished.
It is hopeful that the downstate Democrats that support responsible firearms laws (by responsible meaning allowing responsible citizens to have firearms, rather than just criminals) will join with Republicans in passing this law. Quinn has proved to be a doctrinaire “classic” liberal Democrat, banning death row (I guess he would have rather had Gacy live out his life on the public’s dime the same way Speck did), raising taxes 67% and siding with unions at every turn. Literally I cannot think of a single thing that Quinn has done that hasn’t been straight out of the most liberal playbook, even though Illinois is a moderate state.
From time to time on these pages we take credit for an idea or prediction that comes true. I am not one to toot my own horn…oh hell, who am I kidding. Commence the toot parade.
Back on February 18, I posted here about the “sickout” that the Madison teachers had. If memory serves, the students that the teachers care so much about missed four days of school that week. That is four days that they will have to make up somewhere else, and four days of child care and other costs that the parents had to incur to go to their jobs. I said we should really call the “sickout” what it is – a wildcat strike, plain and simple.
Now the evidence has come out. Seems that a Madison teacher who was operating a phone tree dialed the wrong number by one, and someone saved the message and has made it public. You can hear the message at the link.
So now that the issue of whether this was a wildcat strike or not is cleared up, what to do? I know what I would do, I would fire everybody and blow the whole union up (figuratively, of course). But that isn’t going to happen. What will happen?
I will tell you what will happen. Basically nothing. Most of the people inside Madison are on the teachers/unions side and any sort of aggressive prosecution will be picketed, protested and rallied against. I think that the Madison schools are so deep in the teachers union pockets that there may be nothing done.
I would at least like to see some sort of symbolic fine or maybe one teacher made an example of for this clearly unlawful behavior, but I am not holding my breath. I am happy to be proven correct though. Then again, this wasn’t the toughest prediction I have made.
Could you please help me decide which of my kids lives to save? Here’s the problem:
Last night yet another of my kids found himself on the goodbye end of a robber’s gun as the robber slowly counted down
“5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . ”
I know you politicians told us “if it saves one life, then keeping guns away from law-abiding citizens is the right thing to do!” but I’m having a little trouble figuring out which life is the one to be saved. I’ve had most of these kids for 20 years or more, and I’m rather fond of them all.
My kid last night? It was his third time facing armed robbers in Chicago, in Illinois. Can you tell me how many times is just right and how many times is too many?
The one last night was in a convenience store at the time. He and his friend had gone into the store to buy soda, and they hid as the robber stuck his gun in the face of the store clerk and began counting down.
Do you give classes in hiding? Wait, that can’t be right, cause many kids get found anyway, and it’s not always easy to stay quiet if your heart is thudding and you’re afraid. Maybe you give classes in what kids should do if they find themselves around guns. No, that’s not right. State Sen. Annazette Collins proposed that idea, to keep kids safe and deglamorize firearms, and she was roundly trounced for the idea.
The accused doesn’t seem like a very nice person. Anyone who would slaughter a harmless family pet in such a manner isn’t someone I would invite over for afternoon tea.
But, even so, I can’t help but wonder if this is an appropriate use of scarce government resources.
Read the news article, and please note that the author listed the causes of death for the rodent. Did the Medical Examiner perform an autopsy on the deceased? It would seem so.
Do any of our readers have memories of dissecting a rodent for biology class? Maybe you had to kill the rat as part of the process. I wonder if you would land in jail if you tried it today.
I see that this sorry little drama is taking place in New York, a bastion of Liberal groupthink. Even so, I would be surprised if the votyers there were happy to learn that this is what the tax dollars they pay for their criminal justice system is buying.
It appears that a few of her followers dressed as police officers in order to kill and rob a family involved with drug dealing. The motive was money and drugs that might have been in the home, and these ill-gotten profits would then be used to fund “border operations”.
Of course, the convicted was kicked out of a better established group before deciding to start her own. To all indications, she was oen of those strange and disturbed characters that one always finds on the fringes.
I expect that advocates of “immigration reform” will find this incident to have a great deal of value to them. Anyone who suggests that border enforcement comes first will probably be tarred as a murderous vigilante.
According to this news item, Republicans in the US House of Representatives are vowing to cut payments to the United Nations. Of greater interest to me is the promise of investigations into corruption.