It is beyond serious argument that the current success of this state’s football teams is directly attributable to the triumph of the Civil Rights Movement, which the vast majority of white Mississippians fiercely opposed. The same point applies to the other teams in the Southeastern Conference, which have won seven of the last eight national championships. (The other was won by Florida State, another formerly segregated university.) Can anyone imagine that happening if the teams were still all-white?
It is high time for people in this state and across the region to give thanks to the Civil Rights Movement for the changes it achieved–in realms far more important than football–to which the state and region’s majority population was only brought kicking and screaming.
First, it is high time for white male liberal media types to stop presuming to tell black people in Mississippi and the rest of America what they should, and should not, be thankful for.
This is progressive “whitesplaining” at its worst. A truly momentous occasion (for sports fans, anyway) that is a cause for celebration for the people in one state is seen as an opportunity for posturing by a lily white academic.
We’re all aware of the history of race in America, and specifically the American South, and the fact that sports at the professional, collegiate and high school levels were slow to integrate. It is taught in schools, they make movies about it and, while utterly shameful, it’s not exactly a family secret that’s kept locked in the attic.
What Professor Special Snowflake is doing here is using a dull knife (and wit) to reopen a wound that already has enough scar tissue to still be a painful reminder in daily life.
The sports fans of Mississippi deserve to celebrate progress without progressives wagging fingers and saying, “Oh yeah well but you used to suck!”
The supposedly forward-thinking progressives in this country are determined to make sure we never truly move beyond the racial politics of early 1960s America because it is the cornerstone of their philosophy of perpetual “The Republicans are going to take you back to (insert appropriate year)!” fear mongering.
Let the people of Mississippi celebrate.
Let sports be sports and stop killing the much-needed escapism of it with your political regurgitation.
Meet Shyanne Roberts, a 10-year-old competitive shooter who is out to prove something: Children with guns don’t always mean disaster.
“I want to be an inspiration to other kids and be a leader,” said the girl. “Kids and guns don’t always mean bad things happen.”
Shyanne competes alongside junior shooters, who are participants younger than 18, and even adults. Last year, she beat out adult women to place second in the Women’s Division of the New Jersey Ruger Rimfire Challenge.
On October 31, she will square off against 200 of the top women shooters at the Brownell’s Lady 3-Gun Pro-Am Challenge in Covington, Georgia. Shyanne is the youngest competitive shooter registered at the female-only event, according to the match director. The top shooter has a chance to win $5,000, as well as items from a prize table of guns, ammo and more.
The Franklinville, New Jersey, girl, who now has more than 20 sponsors, started learning gun safety when she was 5. After she could recite the rules and had grasped what guns can do, around age 6, her father started taking her to a gun range. Dan Roberts is a certified firearms instructor and a single dad. He has custody of Shyanne and her younger brother.
What the media bubble anti-gun nuts don’t understand is that the safe use of firearms is a fact of life in a lot of American homes from a very young age. I got my first rifle when I was six and grew up around people who all owned guns and knew how to handle them properly. When I first started going on the road, I found it very strange to meet people who not only didn’t own a gun, but had never fired a weapon. The experience that Brad Pitt recently described is a very normal American one.
Shyanne Roberts has some unique talent but her early involvement with shooting is a classic American family story that is all but ignored by the relentless anti-gun lobbyists and media types. Comprehensive gun legislation hasn’t been failing because of Republican obstruction, it’s failing because it is un-American and very unpopular with the citizens who are unwilling to see their rights gutted by an out-of-touch political ruling class.
First Lady Michelle Obama is not a dietitian by profession, she is a lawyer. She also studied sociology.
Here is a photo of one of Michelle Obama’s FDA-mandated school lunches. It’s from Oklahoma.
The school superintendent is not impressed.
Chickasha superintendent David Cash agrees the skimpy lunches need to be addressed.
“You’ve got in some cases little kids that their only two meals are breakfast and lunch at school and they’re getting you know a grand total of 1100 calories. That’s not enough,” Cash says.
The new lunch complies with lunch regulations championed by First Lady Michelle Obama and implemented by the USDA.
Mrs. Obama’s school lunches have come under massive criticism for being tasteless, for lacking a real variety of foods that kids will actually eat, and for being too small, as above. Schools are still struggling to adapt to the FDA-enforced, Obama-approved school lunches. Many schools around the country have opted to dump the First Lady’s lunches.
In addition to being too small, too boring, and filling up trash cans without filling up kids’ bellies, there may be another problem with these lunches.
They’re mostly raw.
Cooked food enables humans to have bigger and smarter brains, according to this 2007 article in Scientific American.
Richard Wrangham has tasted chimp food, and he doesn’t like it. “The typical fruit is very unpleasant,” the Harvard University biological anthropologist says of the hard, strangely shaped fruits endemic to the chimp diet, some of which look like cherries, others like cocktail sausages. “Fibrous, quite bitter. Not a tremendous amount of sugar. Some make your stomach heave.” After a few tastings in western Uganda, where he works part of the year on his 20-year-old project studying wild chimpanzees, Wrangham came to the conclusion that no human could survive long on such a diet. Besides the unpalatable taste, our weak jaws, tiny teeth and small guts would never be able to chomp and process enough calories from the fruits to support our large bodies.
Then, one cool fall evening in 1997, while gazing into his fireplace in Cambridge, Mass., and contemplating a completely different question—“What stimulated human evolution?”—he remembered the chimp food. “I realized what a ridiculously large difference cooking would make,” Wrangham says. Cooking could have made the fibrous fruits, along with the tubers and tough, raw meat that chimps also eat, much more easily digestible, he thought—they could be consumed quickly and digested with less energy. This innovation could have enabled our chimplike ancestors’ gut size to shrink over evolutionary time; the energy that would have gone to support a larger gut might have instead sparked the evolution of our bigger-brained, larger-bodied, humanlike forebears.
Dr. Wrangham worked with Dr. Jane Goodall when she proved that primates other than humans are capable of making and using tools. He is no rookie or crank. He has been studying his cooked food theory for 10 years now. Many in other fields dismiss his idea, but he has pulled together considerable support for it.
What would it take to convert a chimpanzeelike ancestor into a human?” Fire to cook food, he reasoned, which led to bigger bodies and brains.
And that is exactly what he found in Homo erectus, our ancestor that first appeared 1.6 million to 1.9 million years ago. H. erectus’s brain was 50 percent larger than that of its predecessor, H. habilis, and it experienced the biggest drop in tooth size in human evolution. “There’s no other time that satisfies expectations that we would have for changes in the body that would be accompanied by cooking,” Wrangham says.
The problem with his idea: proof is slim that any human could control fire that far back.
As they say in science when they’re being honest and fair, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. It just means that there is a gap in what has been verified.
So far, Wrangham has found that no current human group anywhere eats all of their food raw. Everyone cooks, across all human cultures. Modern humans need a lot of high-quality calories to support our high-functioning brains. We need cooked food to get those high-quality calories. Raw meat as seen in the Obama lunch above therefore doesn’t help much, according to Wrangham’s research (Wrangham has been working on this idea longer than Obama has been First Lady). Cooking saves energy that humans would otherwise have to spend chewing more food for longer periods — because “Heat alters the physical structure of proteins and starches, thereby making enzymatic breakdown easier.”
It’s not a slam dunk. There remains little evidence that our ancestors controlled fire far enough back to fit his theory. There are other dietary questions yet to be answered.
Whatever is the case, pretty much no one but Michelle Obama likes her school lunches — and she doesn’t even have to eat them.
Food for thought…
Are you a woman who wants it all? Career now, kids eventually? Now you can have it – as long as you work for Apple or Facebook.
Two Silicon Valley giants now offer women a game-changing perk: Apple and Facebook will pay for employees to freeze their eggs.
Facebook recently began covering egg freezing, and Apple will start in January, spokespeople for the companies told NBC News. The firms appear to be the first major employers to offer this coverage for non-medical reasons.“Having a high-powered career and children is still a very hard thing to do,” said Brigitte Adams, an egg-freezing advocate and founder of the patient forum Eggsurance.com. By offering this benefit, companies are investing in women, she said, and supporting them in carving out the lives they want.
The benefit will likely encourage women to stay with their employer longer, cutting down on recruiting and hiring costs. And practically speaking, when women freeze their eggs early, firms may save on pregnancy costs in the long run, said Westphal. A woman could avoid paying to use a donor egg down the road, for example, or undergoing more intensive fertility treatments when she’s ready to have a baby.
But the emotional and cultural payoff may be more valuable, said [Extended Fertility founder Christy] Jones: Offering this benefit “can help women be more productive human beings.”
Egg freezing is marketed as the latest, greatest equalizer between women and men. So, long metaphor short, if you want to be a “more productive human being” you’d better start working like a man. I wonder, would George Bernard Shaw discount the reproduction of human life and the raising of good, moral, decent human beings as not being a “productive” enough member of society? If so, he might have found good company in Silicon Valley.
The real question is, as the science of egg freezing continues to develop, will these employer benefits go from being optional perks to potential requirements of the job? Will employers frown upon women who choose to take their chances on children now instead of freezing their options for another day?
U2 and Apple engaged in a heinous conspiracy to give millions of people a free copy of a terrific music album. Alright, not everyone agrees with the “terrific” part. U2 remain popular enough to fill huge arenas, but not everyone likes them.
But the album was free, and a whole lot of people complained about the fact that Apple made owning it an opt-out rather than an opt-in.
In a fan Q&A video posted on Facebook, lead singer Bono was asked by a site user to never release an album in the way that the band and Apple released Songs of Innocence ever again. “It’s really rude,” the Facebook user wrote.
Bono replied, “Oops. I’m sorry about that. Had this beautiful idea. Might’ve got carried away with ourselves. Artists are prone to that kind of thing. Drop of megalomania. Touch of generosity. Dash of self-promotion. And, deep fear that these songs, that we poured our life into over the last few years, mightn’t be heard.”
U2, still among the biggest bands in the entire world, fears that their songs might not be heard? It’s quite human to feel that one is toiling in obscurity, so much so that even Bono can’t escape it.
Bono continued: “It’s a lot of noise out there. I guess we got a little noisy ourselves to get through it.”
As a large-scale social experiment, the release of Songs of Innocence might teach us quite a bit about human nature. Free gifts are not always received with gratitude, are they?
True story: My TV provider called me up yesterday out of the blue. The man on the line said that, as a way of thanking me for subscribing, they were turning on a bunch of premium channels for a few months, for free. I thanked him, set a note in my calendar for when the free period expires so I could cancel if I want, and then checked my listings. None of the free premium channels were there. And I was annoyed at my TV provider.
Putting all of the First World complaints about getting free music forced onto phones aside, Songs of Innocence is an awesome rock album that ought to have had no trouble cutting through the noise with lots of good noise of its own. If you like U2, which I happen to. It rates among U2′s best work, easily.
Need a laugh? Check out Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin’s sit down on Russia Today’s Keiser Report. Make sure there’s no food in your mouth before I tell you the episode’s title.
It’s called “Meeting of Megaminds”.
The pair make an excellent duo of on-air Putin spambots. Russell Brand, better known as the former Mr. Katy Perry, is attempting to carve out a niche for himself as a comedian-cum-conspiracy theorist who makes Carrot Top look appealing. Alec Baldwin has devolved from Hollywood megastar to angry old man in a way that makes you wish a combo of Nicolas Cage and Clint Eastwood would magically appear every time he opens his tired old mouth. He promised to immigrate if George W. Bush were elected in 2004, but I guess pre-production for 30 Rock got in the way (thanks, Tina Fey). Fitting right in with the acting crowd, Russia Today host Max Keiser plays the typical role of upper crust yuppie-turned-commie (wouldn’t Alger Hiss be proud). He was an NYU theater student before working in stand up comedy, radio, and as a broker on Wall Street before making it rich with his creation, the Hollywood Stock Exchange. Until 2012 he was a regular on Iran Press TV. Now, when he isn’t on Russia Today, he busies himself making documentaries for Al-Jazeera and writing for the Huffington Post.
Think he might just have a bit of a bias? Then you’re the biased one, obviously. Capitalist pig.
You have to slug through most of the stereotypical socialist hyperbole to get to any actual meat in the discussion. Still, the inflated theoretical dialogue (calling it “intellectual” would be an insult to those with actual, functioning brain cells) provides a great learning experience for young folk looking to understand what Soviet propaganda sounded like before the fall of the Berlin Wall. It’s nice to know this kind of pompous hot air still floats around in our atmosphere. Perhaps Al Gore should start tagging it as the real cause of global warming.
GOP Rep. Cory Gardner is taking the lead over Democrat Sen. Mark Udall in a hot mid-term race in the purple state of Colorado. Ellen Carmichael explains what Republicans can learn from Gardner’s strategic campaign over at the Federalist. As it turns out, the lessons revolve around the Right’s tendency to play defense in the face of the Left’s only real weapon of choice, character assassination:
Udall’s fallacious accusations, misrepresentation of his record, or mischaracterization of his beliefs don’t shake Gardner. Instead, he redirects the debate to meatier issues, such as the economy and health care, without getting “in the weeds” on less pressing matters, like whether Julia’s birth-control pills should fall from the sky like Skittles. …Gardner’s consistency and restraint give Udall few openings for attack. When asked about his positions on birth control and abortion, Gardner responds clearly, calmly and with conviction. …We also know there’s no better way to frustrate a bully than to refuse to be bothered by him. Gardner’s disinterest in even entertaining Udall’s wild accusations demonstrate a political maturity. He knows he doesn’t have to fight every battle or feed a troll—even if that troll is a sitting U.S. senator.
Imagine, a politician that stays on point, refusing to waste voters’ time addressing baseless accusations. Could it be that, in the pot state of all places, electioneering hasn’t fallen to the level of a Real Housewives reunion?
Brittany Maynard suffers from an inoperable brain tumor which doctors expect to claim her life within months. In the face of a costly and painful defeat, Maynard has chosen to end her life. She moved to Oregon in order to legally seek physician assisted suicide.
Writing at The Blaze, Matt Walsh took issue with the praise and support which Maynard’s plan has garnered on social media. Specifically, he objected to the sentiment that we each own our lives and may therefore end them if we choose:
We are given life, we take part in life, we participate in life, but we do not own our lives. We can’t take possession of our lives like a two-year-old grabbing a toy from his friend and shouting ‘Mine!’ Our lives are bigger than that, thank God. Your life is not some incidental occurrence, or an accidental mutation, or a meaningless cause in a long string of meaningless effects.
Now, I admit, if we are nothing and we came from nothing and will return to nothing, then I suppose suicide makes some sort of sense. It returns the body to our natural state of nothingness. It brings us home into the abyss, where there is no self, no reason, no existence. But most people don’t think that. Most of us are not radical nihilists. Even Brittany Maynard is not, which is why she says she will die and go on to ‘whatever is next.’ She knows, deep down, that there is another dimension to this reality of ours, a deeper significance beneath the surface of everything. She knows, like I believe we all know, that we’re woven into the tapestry of creation — we play a role that we don’t fully understand, our decisions have ramifications that we can’t comprehend, and our lives have a meaning beyond whatever we find in it.
So if God reached out from the depths of eternity to hand us this life of ours, how can we think it acceptable — or worse, meritable — to throw it out before our time is finished?
Inevitably, that’s what this conversation comes down to. The old questions. The oldest questions. What is life? Why are we here? What’s the point of it all?
If you celebrate suicide, then you have answered these questions: life is nothingness, we are here for no reasons, and there is no point.
If you answer differently, then you must come to the conclusion that life has inherent value. That’s the concept that so many people struggle with nowadays. They scratch their heads and wonder why some of us kooky Christians get so upset about things like abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic stem cell research. For some reason they won’t listen when we try to tell them: life has value. It is a thing of value. It is worth something. It is worth something beyond our feelings about it, beyond circumstance, beyond context, beyond sickness, beyond development, beyond age. LIFE HAS VALUE.
This isn’t just a Christian concept. It is the concept on which western civilization rests. Every noble ideal — justice, fairness, equity, compassion, charity — all of it, all of it, is grounded in the notion that life, human life, has intrinsic value. Not value according to its usefulness, or value according to convenience, or value according to how enjoyable it is. Value. Life is valuable because it is life. If you deny this, then you deny everything. There is no reason for justice, fairness, equity, compassion, or charity if human life has no value, or merely a value contingent upon whatever parameters we’ve arbitrarily assigned. There can be no justification even for your ‘human rights’ if we are all commodities whose stocks fall or rise like something that can be bought, sold, and traded.
Walsh presents a compelling case. It’s also a dangerous one. He conflates two spheres of human concern, religion and public policy, which have no business interfering with each other.
In what might be the ultimate power negotiating tactic, a Wells Fargo employee asked his boss for a raise over email and intentionally copied the entire company.
As the Charlotte Observer reports, Tyler Oates, age 30, wrote Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf asking him to give each of the company’s approximate 263,500 a raise of $10,000. According to the Observer, roughly 200,000 of those employees were copied on the exchange.
Why did Oates demand such a hefty pay bump? He wants to reduce the nation’s income inequality.
Aw, that’s sweet. You don’t really see that kind of altruism much anymore. Wait, what’s that?
“By doing this, Wells Fargo will not only help to make its people, its family, more happy, productive, and financially stable, it will also show the rest of the United States, if not the world that, yes big corporations can have a heart other than philanthropic endeavors.”
Oates told the Observer he currently makes $15 an hour processing requests from Well Fargo customers wanting advice on how to stop debt-collection calls. Despite working at the company for seven years, his hourly wage has increased by only $2 since the day he started.
So he’s mad that he’s not on the fast track to the Forbes list of richest people in America with his his highly skilled request processing job? GET THIS KID A “SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE” TROPHY AND A RAISE, STAT.
Or explain to him that his big, mean, corporate CEO of a boss is displaying all of the heart he needs to by not firing him.
Millennial actress Raven Symone has dared to de-hyphenate her identity in the face of the goddess O:
“I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American. I’m not an African-American; I’m an American,” Raven said.
“Oh, girl, don’t set up Twitter on fire,” Oprah said. “You’re going to get a lot of flak for saying you’re not African-American.”
“What I really mean by that is I’m an American. That’s what I really mean,” Raven replied. “I have darker skin. I have a nice, interesting grade of hair. I connect with caucasian. I connect with Asian. I connect with black. I connect with Indian. I connect with each culture,” Raven said.
“You are a melting pot in one body,” Oprah said.
“Isn’t that what America is supposed to be?” Raven declared.
The former child star, best known for her role on The Cosby Show caused television’s Goddess-in-Chief to nearly jump out of her chair. Perhaps generational difference is playing a key role in the Symone’s patriotic identification. According to a recent NPR story titled Why You Should Start Taking Millennials Seriously:
“Forty-three percent of millennials are nonwhite,” says Eileen Patten, a research analyst at the Pew Research Center (and a millennial herself). “When we look at older generations — boomers and silents — less than 3 in 10 were nonwhite.”
Because millennials look different en masse than generations past, the future is going to look different too. They’ve already led the country to massive shifts in opinion on social issues over the past decade.
As Symone illustrated, not every social issue is about sex or pot. Her willingness to step outside the box confronts the political correctness of Oprah’s Baby Boomers exactly the way it should: With a peaceful, confident, fresh perspective.
Perhaps Millennials should be given a second look after all.
There’s a new battle brewing over smoking in the military.
Congress and the Defense Department are mulling over a potential ban on selling tobacco products — cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco — on military bases and ships in an effort to curb high smoking rates, but critics argue the move would be unfair to service members who already are making significant sacrifices.
The fight over smoking and the military, which will most likely unfold during the lame-duck congressional session, follows a similar debate playing out in the civilian world, after CVS announced it would stop selling tobacco products in its 7,600 U.S. stores.
The proposal to ban the sale of tobacco products on military bases and ships was first floated by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus in March. Shortly after, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered a Defense Department-wide review of the issue.
Is there a legal substance that is treated more like something illegal than tobacco? I’ve never been a smoker, but if a man or a woman is willing to put his or her life on the line for the country, they should be allowed a reprieve from the habit scolds.
In the broader sense, we aren’t paying Congress to waste time on issues like this. The world is falling apart and they want to play nanny. From plastic bag bans to nonsense like this, legislators at all levels in America tend to focus on fluff issues to occupy them while the things they should be working on fall into ruin.
A premature baby who was given little chance of survival when he was born at 23 weeks has celebrated his first birthday.
The case of Lucas Moore will reignite debate over the 24-week time limit for abortions after he suffered no significant long-term health problems, despite weighing just 1lb 1oz at birth.
His parents, Sylvia and Thomas Moore, were told to prepare for a stillbirth after her waters broke 22 weeks into her pregnancy. Doctors said that even if their baby survived, his internal organs would be so weak that he would have no protection from infection.
The couple also claim that they were told they would receive no medical support if the baby weighed less than 1lb.
The people who love to scream “SCIENCE!” all the time generally ignore it when it comes to fetal development and advances in neonatology. Per standard pro-abort talking points, this child was merely a “clump of cells” at the time of his birth. They will view the results of a computer-model prediction on climate as gospel but pretend that a baby isn’t really a baby until some magical, undefined moment.
Twenty four weeks is the cutoff in more than half of the United States. Any attempts to lower that are generally called “restrictive” by pro-abortion lobbyists. They are truly the lunatic fringe of political activists and want to keep pushing the legal abortion period to ever more ghoulish extremes.
Those seeking further proof that “gay marriage” isn’t really about gay marriage at all need look no further than the op-ed pages of the New York Times.
The attempt to legitimize pedophilia may very well be the next chapter in the ongoing saga of reshaping America through the courts. The Daily Caller picked up on a New York Times op-ed written by Rutgers Law Professor Margo Kaplan, who argues in defense of pedophiles:
Kaplan says criminal law should be changed so that pedophiles are only stigmatized or denied jobs if law school graduates agree that they pose a “direct threat” to children.
That could be a bonanza for law school graduates, because they’d be paid to argue over whether the hiring of a particular pedophile for a particular job is a direct threat to particular children. “The direct-threat analysis rejects the idea that [prospective] employers can rely on generalizations; they must assess the specific case and rely on evidence, not presuppositions,” Kaplan writes.
But this shift would also be a loss for the 99 percent of non-pedophile American citizens and voters, because it would eliminate their longstanding civil right to simply and cheaply exclude pedophiles from mainstream society or from jobs near children.
That right would be handed over to the hourly-paid law school graduates, including judges, defense lawyers, arbitrators and prosecutors, if Kaplan’s career plan becomes law.
For Kaplan, the pro-pedophilia fight is more than a potshot at job creation for a generation of unemployed law school grads. It is a holy mission to obtain the right to classify kiddie fiddlers as suffering from a “mental disorder” and thereby deserving of all the employment protection the ADA allows.
“Acknowledging that pedophiles have a mental disorder, and removing the obstacles to their coming forward and seeking help, is not only the right thing to do, but it would also advance efforts to protect children from harm,” she insisted, without providing evidence.
In the 1970s, the Catholic Church accepted the advice of many experts in the new mental-health industry, and concluded that pedophile priests could be successfully treated with private therapy. The theory was not proven correct, and it helped protect many priests as they sexually abused thousands of boys.
Pedophilia isn’t the first sexual behavior to show up in the post-”gay marriage” courts. Back in December, Breitbart reported on Brown v. Buhman, a case in which
…a federal judge [Clark Waddoups] has now ruled that the legal reasoning for same-sex marriage means that laws against polygamy are likewise unconstitutional. …Waddoups’ opinion would not only cover such groups, however, but also Muslims or anyone else who claims a right—religious or otherwise—to have multiple-person marriages.
The case, currently being appealed, has a very good chance of heading to the Supreme Court, giving our illustrious justices another opportunity to fundamentally change the way we live our lives with their “emerging awareness”. Such “emerging awareness” is already evident in the pages of the American Psychological Association’s diagnostic manual, which “…distinguishes between pedophiles who desire sex with children, and those who act on those desires.”
Gay marriage supporters who cheer legislation from the court bench should think twice about what they’re actually rooting for. It is their advocacy of un-Constitutional principles hidden under the guise of compassion that has opened the floodgates for judicial abuse. This abuse sets a horrifying precedent for what can be defined by a court as permissible behavior or, worse yet, protected as a faultless disability.
Investigative journalist, New York Times bestselling author and troublemaker Jason Mattera is back.
His third book, Crapitalism: Liberals Who Make Millions Swiping Your Tax Dollars, takes a searing look at dozens of liberals whose love of big government is, shall we say, less than altruistic.
They love big government because they love big money. Big government makes them big fat cats. If we shrink government, they might have to go out and earn an honest living on their own. So big-name lefty Democrats like Al Gore and Tom Steyer will hate this book. The rest of us should love it. And be enraged by it. The fact is, these one-percent leftists are costing the rest of us millions and billions. And they never show any sign of having a scintilla of a conscience about it.
Mattera is probably best known for taking down Micheal Bloomberg, Harrison Ford, Robert Redford, Hillary Clinton and others in his trademark ambush viral videos. You’ll find the same sass and wit throughout Crapitalism, but he backs up every claim with copious footnotes. In fact, he has included 26-pages of footnotes. This is one well-researched book written by a patient and accomplished investigator. Crapitalism took about a year to write, and it shows in the details that Mattera digs up and backs up on every page.
It probably seems a little weird to praise a book for the way it is laid out, but here Mattera has done readers a great service. Each crapitalist — a crony big-goverment lover who feeds at the public trough while the rest of us get to pay for it through higher taxes — gets their own chapter. Readers will not have to go hunting around for evidence that former drug dealer Jay-Z is a crapitalist. That story starts right on page 83. Jay-Z gets his own chapter, as do all the other crapitalists.
Why is Obama friend Jay-Z, who is as well known for Big Pimpin’ as big spendin,’ a “crapitalist?” Because of his involvement with the Brooklyn Nets and the Barclays Center. Z (can I call him “Z?” I hope he doesn’t mind) joined a group that used public financing — tax dollars — to move the Nets from New Jersey to Brooklyn as its unofficial mascot (and part owner). The group secured $761 million in taxpayer subsidies to move the team and build them a new arena to play in. At the same time, Jay-Z’s other non-government funded investments, his club in Chicago and his other club in Atlantic City, have shuttered. He also lost a cool $50 million in a hotel deal. But he has the Nets, the government subsidies backing them, and he has his and Beyonce’s music careers to fall back on, so don’t worry about him. He’ll get by.
Mattera goes line by line and penny by penny, showing how some very familiar names and some less familiar, but very influential, people are gaming the system, getting rich, become crapitalist tycoons — all funded by American taxpayers when we’re supposedly in an era of “austerity.” Not all of them are Democrats. Some of them are former capitalists who have jumped in the sack with big government to line and re-line and re-line their pockets. That’s what crapitalism is — corrupting real, vibrant capitalism by using government and its ability to demand tax dollars at the point of a gun from some to hand out to connected crony others, to make them filthy, stinking rich.
And the way that Mattera has organized the book, giving each crapitalist their own chapter, makes this sharp, entertaining, infuriating and aggravating read a true reference book that should be in every taxpayer’s collection (but not with taxpayer funding, of course). Virginia’s new governor, Terry McAuliffe, gets his own chapter starting on page 31. Hollywood big-shot Steven Spielberg comes in for truth-telling on page 109. Jeffrey Katzenberg follows him on page 117. Algore, Warren Buffet, GE’s Jeffrey Immelt (a registered Republican), space ace Elon Musk, George Soros, Carlos Slim — they’re all here, along with others like John Podesta, Harry Reid, Zygi Wilf and Rep. Maxine Waters. Hear of a new fat cat who’s suddenly bankrolling a candidate in your state? Flip open Crapitalism. They’re probably in there. Or maybe they’ll be in the next edition. There’s no shortage of crapitalists out there.
Crapitalism will make you laugh, it will make you mad, and it will make you question just about every big-name leftist and government-hugging grifter out there. This is Jason Mattera’s best and most useful book to date.
Crapitalism: Liberals Who Make Millions Swiping Your Tax Dollars comes out in book and Kindle form October 7. See Mattera’s ambush of IRS villain Lois Lerner here.
Hey speciesist, put down the moist brisket sandwich and listen up. That omelette that you ate for breakfast was not “food.” It was violence! And you’re a dirty rotten speciesist unless you agree now and stop eating anything that extremist vegans don’t approve of.
Yeah, “speciesist.” Apparently some people are trying to make that a thing now.
Speciesism might not become a thing, but “Her name is Snow!” might become a meme. Because it’s hilarious.
The woman at the center of attention — surely that’s not on her mind at all here — calls herself Kelly Atlas. You may see her or her fellow (sorry, I guess that’s a sexist word now) #DisruptSpeciesism activists at a steakhouse, rib joint, sandwich, fish, chicken, pizza, burger, or other joint that serves up tasty animals near you.
If you see them, be polite because they’re clearly more than a little bit emotional, don’t look them directly in the eye if you can help it, and order up another helping.
The Supreme Court today refused to hear cases brought by Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Indiana to challenge federal appellate rulings on same-sex marriage.
The refusal to hear the cases was also expected to lead to West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming having to lift bans. Currently 19 states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage.
“Races don’t fall in love, genders don’t fall in love–people fall in love,” tweeted Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.). “Today’s Supreme Court decision is another step forward.”
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said they didn’t have “a specific reaction to their decision not to take — not to grant review in these cases.”
“The president himself has previously expressed his own personal view that it’s wrong to prevent same-sex couples who are in loving, committed relationships and want to marry from doing so,” Earnest said. ”A growing majority of Americans already recognize that a marriage — that marriage equality embodies our American values of fairness under the law. It’s certainly the president’s view here, too.”
He acknowledged “there may ultimately be a role for the Supreme Court to play, and the justices on the Supreme Court will make that decision.”
“But in terms of what the president believes should be the law of the land, you know, we’ve been pretty clear about that, too.”
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) said she thought “it is virtually inevitable that at a later date the Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans.”
“However, the writing is on the wall considering the Court’s recent decision striking down a provision in the Defense of Marriage Act that denied federal benefits to same-sex marriages in states where it was legal and the expansion of same-sex marriage to 30 states after today’s ruling,” Norton added.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), though, called the Supreme Court punt “disappointing.”
“Nothing in the Constitution forbids a state from retaining the traditional definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman,” Lee said in a statement. “Whether to change that definition is a decision best left to the people of each state — not to unelected, politically unaccountable judges.”
“The Supreme Court owes it to the people of those states, whose democratic choices are being invalidated, to review the question soon and reaffirm that states do have that right.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called the Supreme Court’s inaction “tragic and indefensible.”
“By refusing to rule if the States can define marriage, the Supreme Court is abdicating its duty to uphold the Constitution. The fact that the Supreme Court Justices, without providing any explanation whatsoever, have permitted lower courts to strike down so many state marriage laws is astonishing,” Cruz added. “This is judicial activism at its worst.”
Be careful how much you “like” on Facebook. A New York city court has ruled that court summons can be served on social media.
According to WXIA, a Staten Island man wanted to modify his child support but his ex-wife proved difficult to find. Her address was not current and calling and texting failed.
But he could see her interacting with people on Facebook, liking and commenting on items posted by mutual friends.
Judge Gregory Gliedman ruled that because all the usual means of reaching her had failed, the man could send her the summons and petition via her active Facebook account. Judge Gliedman noted that this is the first such decision in New York or the United States.
Put your emotions aside for a moment and read Ben Shapiro’s succinct explanation of the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s refusal to take on gay marriage cases from five states:
The Court clearly wants to wait until a majority of states have been forced to embrace same-sex marriage by lower-level appeals courts. Then they can determine that a “trend-line” has been established, suggest that society has “evolved,” and declare that a new standard must be enshrined. That, of course, was the logic of Lawrence v. Texas (2003), in which the Court waited 17 years to overrule Bowers v. Hardwick (1986), stating that anal penetration was a hard-fought Constitutional right; the Court in that case stated that Bowers no longer applied because of “an emerging awareness that liberty gives substantial protection to adult persons in deciding how to conduct their private lives in matters pertaining to sex.” Justice Scalia rightly pointed out that the Court’s statement was false – the state, he explained, still regulates “prostitution, adult incest, adultery, obscenity, and child pornography.” And Scalia also pointed out that “Constitutional entitlements do not spring into existence because some States choose to lessen or eliminate criminal sanctions on certain behavior.”
…This is the beauty of Supreme Court doctrine: they don’t even have to do their judicial dirty work anymore. They can rely on lower-level courts to violate the Constitution, then declare the Constitution magically changed because of an “emerging” consensus on violating the Constitution.
And the people have no recourse. They cannot pass laws that for two and a half centuries have been fully Constitutional. They cannot fight state attorneys general who betray their voters. They must sit by as the courts play legal games while awaiting the great Obama-esque “evolution” – an evolution that is almost entirely top-down, and that will then be dictated to us by our betters.
Shapiro’s legal insight, akin to that of Mark Levin, provides further evidence for my own previously stated belief that the Right needs to argue on the basis of law, not theology, if they want to keep America free:
Instead of rebutting those who argue that the Constitution is an amorphous idea that will bend to their will with the simple truth that they are empowering a court to render their individual vote effectively useless, we get caught up in arguments over whether or not God approves of homosexuality. We then get stereotyped as a bunch of Bible-thumpers who have no clue how government works – by a bunch of ideological terrorists intent on destroying the very government they claim to uphold.
When gay marriage is over there will be another hot-button morality issue to be abused in the name of raping and pillaging our individual rights through legal abuse. It is time to get out from under the theological rock and see the big picture. Conservatives, if you want a truly constitutional republic, start sending your kids to law school. We may be forced into play the game, but that just means we should play to win.
All other things being equal, if you were to hear of a grown man cussing out a little old lady, you would most likely sympathize with the latter. In this case, however, you may find yourself more sympathetic toward the man. The Blaze summarizes the scene:
A furious Oklahoma City man was caught on video confronting an elderly panhandler after he apparently saw her get into a “2013 car” after previously seeing her begging for money in the street.
The profanity laced tirade conveys the man’s frustration at having been swindled out of a few dollars a day for an unspecified period of time. He even claims to have gone without food himself for the sake of the panhandling elder woman.
The man takes his objection too far, threatening to bust out a window on the woman’s vehicle if ever he sees it again. He probably could have dispensed with the language as well. But the frustration motivating him certainly seems justified.
The scenario provides a good case study for marking the difference between charity and altruism. Typically, we regard those as one and the same. However, an important distinction separates them, namely choice.
In raising his objection to the panhandler’s circumstances, this man utilizes his judgment as to whether she proves worthy of his charity. Altruism, by contrast, demands tribute to others regardless, and even in spite of judgment.
In our political discourse, advocates of the welfare state commonly assert that charity proves inadequate to provide for all those in need. The knee-jerk response may be to deny this. But when we take a cold hard look at the reality, charity is inadequate to provide for everyone in need. The relevant question becomes: so what? By what moral principle does someone’s need place a claim upon another’s life?
The actual means to provide for need is not charity, but productivity. The elderly woman may be hungry, even at the wheel of her 2013 automobile. That need can only be satisfied by productivity, whether hers or someone else’s. Altruism calls upon those with the ability to help her, whether they judge her worthy or not.
In short, you can be charitable or altruistic, but not both. Those who advocate altruism do so through the state, because the state removes individual judgment from consideration. It’s because this man was charitable that he gets to choose whether to continue giving. If the lady were getting his money through the state, he would have no choice, a condition altruists regard as a virtue.
Note: See video of the confrontation, along with some additional thoughts on altruism and my podcast commentary, on the next page.
A federal appeals court ruling that upholds a key portion of a Texas law will effectively close the doors on all but a handful of abortion clinics in the state, abortion rights groups say.
The decision by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, on Thursday gave Texas the green light to move forward on the mandate requiring all abortion clinics in the state be “ambulatory surgical centers,” regulated under the same standards as hospitals.
Lawmakers in the state’s Republican-majority Legislature have said this would improve patient care and safety.
Abortion rights groups say the law is designed to make it nearly impossible to operate an abortion clinic in Texas.
It is rather delicious to see leftists complaining about stringent regulations making it difficult to run a business. These regulations, however, are not at all out of line. There is absolutely no reason a clinic can’t comply, they just won’t.
The proaborts have come a long way since spending years pretending that they wanted abortion to be “safe, legal and rare.” They are, and always have been, only interested in the “legal” portion of that. They’d prefer them to all be government subsidized as well. These highly radicalized and unhinged activists regard virtually every restriction as a negative.
And they have a big fan in the White House.
“My sympathy goes to the military members in this country,” Cowherd said toward the end of Tuesday’s show. “Socio-economically, no choices, paid almost nothing, lose a limb, lose a life. That, I feel sympathy for.”
“We know most people that go into the military in this country — they need the military often to pay bills. That is is almost a federal safety net financially, and by the way you’ll take shots. You’ll be sent two or three times to a raging inferno in the Middle East. That stuff scares me. That stuff I’m worried about. There’s loss of life there.”
Cowherd is using a liberal stererotype to describe Americans who volunteer to serve in the armed forces.
The fact is, Cowherd doesn’t know the facts at all.
George Washington University conducted a study of education in the military in 2013. Based on 2010 data, GWU found that military members are significantly more likely to have high school diplomas and at least some college experience than the general population.
According to GWU, while 59.5% of the US general population have a high school diploma or some college, 93.6% of US enlisted military personnel had the same. And while just 29.9% of the US general population have a bachelor’s degree or more, 82.8% of US military officers have at least one college degree. That’s because it’s very difficult to even become a US military officer without a degree. It can be done, by enlisted personnel making the jump to the officer corps, but it’s difficult. The vast majority of US military officer enter the military with a degree, and often from either ROTC programs or the military academies.
Cowherd also said that US military personnel get “paid nothing.” He is wrong about that too. While it is true that there remain some compensation issues at the lower end of the military pay scale, that covers a tiny percentage of the military force, and the US military officer corps is very well compensated. GWU finds that compensation is 88% higher than their civilian counterparts with a bachelor’s degree. Pay for military officers with advanced degrees is 47% higher on average than civilians with advanced degrees.
The Heritage Foundation also studied military enlistees, their socio-economic origins, education levels, and demographics. Cowherd is wrong on every single count.
- U.S. military service disproportionately attracts enlisted personnel and officers who do not come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Previous Heritage Foundation research demonstrated that the quality of enlisted troops has increased since the start of the Iraq war. This report demonstrates that the same is true of the officer corps.
- Members of the all-volunteer military are significantly more likely to come from high-income neighborhoods than from low-income neighborhoods. Only 11 percent of enlisted recruits in 2007 came from the poorest one-fifth (quintile) of neighborhoods, while 25 percent came from the wealthiest quintile. These trends are even more pronounced in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program, in which 40 percent of enrollees come from the wealthiest neighborhoods-a number that has increased substantially over the past four years.
- American soldiers are more educated than their peers. A little more than 1 percent of enlisted personnel lack a high school degree, compared to 21 percent of men 18-24 years old, and 95 percent of officer accessions have at least a bachelor’s degree.
- Contrary to conventional wisdom, minorities are not overrepresented in military service. Enlisted troops are somewhat more likely to be white or black than their non-military peers. Whites are proportionately represented in the officer corps, and blacks are overrepresented, but their rate of overrepresentation has declined each year from 2004 to 2007. New recruits are also disproportionately likely to come from the South, which is in line with the history of Southern military tradition.
The fact is, the present US military is the most educated fighting force in human history. Our all-volunteer force comes more from the middle and upper income brackets than from the lower income brackets. The global war on terrorism has been underway for a little over 13 years now, so a majority of the US military have volunteered not just for a “federal safety net” program, as Cowherd believes, but to defend America from the threat of terrorism. They have joined knowing that we are engaged in war overseas, and they are serving with unprecedented professionalism, skill and bravery. Rather than cluelessly insulting them, Cowherd should be honoring and thanking them.
US Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi has spent the last six months in a Mexican prison. He is there because he made a wrong turn while transporting legally owned firearms in his car, and Mexico has chosen to throw the full weight of its legal system at him.
This is the same country that regularly berates the United States if we happen to enforce our own border laws.
The Obama administration has chosen to leave him there to languish in horrible conditions, even though he may have post-traumatic stress disorder from his service in combat. Tahmooressi has been beaten and threatened while he has languished in Mexican prison.
In hearings in Washington today, Navy veteran and talk show host Montel Williams tearfully laid into the Obama administration for failing to secure Tahmooressi’s release. “Make the call today,” Williams angrily begged the president.
Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) noted that President Obama, an avid sports fan, always makes sure to call sports teams when they win championships. But he has failed to call Mexico’s president to get Tahmooressi released.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) suggested that Tahmooressi’s mother, Jill, invite President Obama to play golf. Then, perhaps, the president would pay attention to the plight of her son.
That might get the president’s attention.
But we need to be sure that we have his ear. So here’s a suggestion.
Obama is a sports fan, as everyone knows, and he makes gay rights a top priority.
President Obama hasn’t made the call to Mexico’s president but he called NBA player Jason Collins and congratulated him when he announced that he is gay.
Obama also congratulated football player Michael Sam when he became the first openly gay player to be drafted for the NFL. Sam is currently on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad.
Isn’t the solution here obvious?
To get President Obama’s attention and get him to make the call that Montel Williams begged him to make, Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi just has to announce that he is gay.
If he does that, President Obama and Eric Holder will be on Air Force One within the hour bound for Mexico City, and Sgt. Tahmooressi will be out of Mexican prison by the weekend.
Following his performance Friday night (September 26) at the El Corazon as part of a benefit concert for 15 Now, the grassroots organization that successfully fought for a $15 minimum wage in Seattle, Morello and his entourage allegedly tried to get “a special room” at The 5 Point Cafe even though the place was already “at capacity” and there was “a line” of people waiting to get in. The restaurant’s doorman apparently told Morello and his crew that he could not accommodate them, after which the guitarist took to his Twitter to blast the eatery, writing: “Five Point restaurant in Seattle is the WORST. Super rude & anti-worker. Sh****st doorman in the Northwest. P***k. Spread the word.”
Morello was one of the more vocal supporters of the Occupy Stink-in, and portrays himself as a real man of the people. Only in the diseased mind of a wealthy commie can being denied a place to sit where there aren’t any mean the person passing along that information is “anti-worker.”
Morello’s Twitter bio beings with: “Feed the poor.” That should obviously have an addendum that reads, “But feed me first, you peasant, because I’m a rock star.”
After being called out by many, Morello isn’t backing down. He does, however, have the gall to offer forgiveness with conditions (thus not really understanding forgiveness) instead of asking for it, which he should be doing. It’s also classic commie-achieving an end through coercion, which is all they’ve got.
Willing to forgive the Seattle Evil (Egg) Empire 5 Points Cafe doorman powertrip if good guy owner D Meinert fully embraces #15Now min wage
— Tom Morello (@tmorello) September 29, 2014
ESPN’s Colin Cowherd went off on a rant today about Americans who do and do not, in his view, deserve his “sympathies.”
Those who do not include those who choose to smoke, eat fast food or drink “13 cokes” every day. “That’s on you,” Cowherd said, delivering a sentiment that many Americans would probably agree with.
Cowherd says that he does “sympathize” with Americans who enlist in the military, because of the reasons he believes they join.
“My sympathy goes to the military members in this country,” Cowherd said toward the end of Tuesday’s show. “Socio-economically, no choices, paid almost nothing, lose a limb, lose a life. That, I feel sympathy for.”
Military members past and present probably aren’t looking to Colin Cowherd in a feeling of gratitude for that. Americans who enlist or enter the officer corps do so for many reasons — family history of service, a desire to give back to their country, a desire to gain experience and education, and of course the need to do something positive to escape tough circumstances all factor in.
Cowherd wasn’t finished. He also said that police and firemen don’t join out of a sense of duty.
“What fireman becomes a fireman knowing that at some point he will at some point run into a house that’s burning?” Cowherd asked rhetorically. “It’s dangerous!”
The obvious answer is “All of them. Including the thousands of volunteer fireman around the country.”
Cowherd returned to explaining his understanding of why Americans join the military.
“We know most people that go into the military in this country — they need the military often to pay bills. That is is almost a federal safety net financially, and by the way you’ll take shots. You’ll be sent two or three times to a raging inferno in the Middle East. That stuff scares me. That stuff I’m worried about. There’s loss of life there.”
You can watch Cowherd make his remarks on the next page.
Valerie Jarrett, one of President Obama’s top advisers, made an appearance on another kind of Sunday show — the prime-time drama “The Good Wife,” which trucks in steamy affairs, dirty politics, and courtroom fireworks.
Playing herself, Jarrett appeared in several scenes trying to convince the show’s main character, a Chicago lawyer named Alicia Florrick (Juliana Margulies) who also happens to be married to the governor, to run for state’s attorney. Alicia, who’s been battered by the political life and the scrutiny that comes with it, is insisting that she won’t run (she will), and Jarrett makes the case. More women, she says, need “to step up” if they want to change the world.
Alicia insists that she detests politics, and Jarrett agrees with her, saying she wouldn’t want a candidate who liked it. “We need leaders who understand what it means to be a public servant,” she says.
The Good Wife airs back-to-back with Madam Secretary, a drama following Tea Leoni’s attempt to imitate Hillary Clinton during her stint as Secretary of State. Think Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, only less mocky-mocky and more lovey-dovey.
This isn’t the first time Jarrett has appeared opposite Margulies. The pair hosted a cocktail fundraiser for President Obama in NYC in 2012.
Tablet Magazine is giving press to one of the Jewish world’s most truly feminist causes, the right of a woman to obtain a divorce decree, known in the Rabbinic world as a get. Rivky Stein has spent the past 2 years attempting to obtain a get from her husband Yoel Weiss who simply refuses to appear in court (a Rabbinic beit din) in order for the decree to be issued. Sick, tired, and more than ready to move on with her life, Rivky took to social media to publicly shame her husband into relenting.
A surge of news reports followed, adding to an ongoing saga that had been chronicled by publications ranging from The Daily Mail to Haaretz. A call to action was posted on a website devoted to Stein’s cause. Donations poured in to a crowd-funding website that has raised over $22,000 so far.
The coordinated use of publicists, Facebook, Twitter, donation sites, and rallies is becoming common for women like Rivky Stein who seek religious divorces from their husbands. Many Jews give little thought to the get, but in traditional Judaism only men can grant a divorce. Without one, a woman cannot date or remarry without carrying and passing onto her children what is widely considered in the Orthodox world to be a tremendous stigma. So, with few options in Jewish law, more agunot—Hebrew for “chained wives”—are embracing contemporary and high-tech tools to publicly shame men.
Rivky is far from the first woman to take her divorce demand to the court of public opinion. Statistics indicate that there are 462 agunot in North America, but due to the insular nature of the Orthodox Jewish community those numbers are far from reliable.
Rivky Stein’s case is a he-said, she-said story. She claims mental, physical and sexual abuse. He says she’s “a sham”. Still, the history of Orthodox men abusing their wives and refusing to grant divorces doesn’t bode in his favor. Get detectives rake in the bucks in Israel “…where all Jewish marriages and divorces must be made in rabbinic courts,” and in America, of course, we have the “Prodfather”:
While shame and exclusion have worked for centuries, another tactic has raised a great deal of attention: violence. A recent article in GQ details allegations against Rabbi Mendel Epstein, who is referred to as the “Prodfather” for his use of electric cattle prods to coerce reluctant husbands. At 69 years old, Epstein faces 25 years to life in federal prison after an elaborate FBI sting operation led to his arrest and indictment on multiple counts of kidnapping.
The power of social media can only go so far, and the women who do take their case to social media are internet-shamed in turn, orphaned by their own religious communities.
Although agunot may be better-equipped than ever, with the ability to instantaneously reach out to thousands of followers through social media, or bankroll an attorney through crowd-funding, the power of divorce is ultimately given to the husband, according to Jewish law. If Weiss is bent on staying married, there is little Stein can do.
…As for Stein, much of her effort at this point goes into prayer. “I feel like I did everything,” she said. “I don’t know what to do anymore, honestly.”
Streams of Judaism that require religious approval for a divorce have largely adopted the Lieberman clause in the ketubah (wedding contract) that give the wife the option to petition a reluctant husband through a secular court. Despite being promoted by some Orthodox rabbis, most Orthodox groups refuse to include the clause in wedding contracts.
Evoking the shooting death of Michael Brown and the subsequent unrest in Ferguson, President Barack Obama focused on the intersection of race relations and law enforcement at a Sunday awards dinner hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Fox News reports:
Obama addressed the matter carefully but firmly, saying the young man’s death and the raw emotion that sprang from it had reawakened the country to the fact that “a gulf of mistrust” exists between local residents and law enforcement in too many communities.
“Too many young men of color feel targeted by law enforcement — guilty of walking while black or driving while black, judged by stereotypes that fuel fear and resentment and hopelessness,” he said.
He said significant racial disparities remain in the enforcement of law, from drug sentencing to applying the death penalty, and that a majority of Americans think the justice system treats people of different races unequally.
Real leadership on this issue would call for progress on two fronts. First, we should promote objective analysis of these perceived disparities. Far too often, raw statistics are cited as prima facie evidence of institutional bias without regard for case-by-case context or mitigating factors. The Ferguson case stands out as an instance where the community’s prejudice against the police fueled demands for “action” without due process. When we presume that a cop must be a racist, we prove no less prejudicial than when assuming a black man must be a criminal.
The second area where much progress remains to be made is the law itself. We need to take a hard long look at the drug war in particular. Why do we continue to pursue a legal crusade against acts which do not violate individual rights? We have the historical example of alcohol prohibition, which demonstrates the fiscal and cultural folly of criminalizing stupid behavior.
If the laws we commissioned officers to enforce dealt only with violations of rights, that would go a long way toward restoring trust, since all would know that police are there to protect us instead of bust us.
Note: More thoughts on the drug war and racial disparities in law enforcement on the next page.
An evangelical Zionist friend of mine sent me a link to pro-life Catholic Lisa Graas’s response to Ted Cruz’s shock-speech at the IDC Summit held earlier this month. Her opinions are illustrative of exactly how theology continues to impact politics in America. Threatening Cruz with the loss of the Catholic vote, Graas writes:
In Catholicism, Israel doesn’t have to be a “Jewish state.” We can accept it as a Jewish state, but we are in no way bound to it being so because we see the Church as the New Israel, theologically.
Graas is a believer in supersessionism, a.k.a. replacement theology. Replacement theology is an old school church teaching that the Christian Church replaces Israel in God’s eyes, that after Jesus, God was done with the Jews and has summarily dubbed the Church his “New Israel” to be the recipients of all the blessings Biblically directed to Israel. It is a nasty idea that was used to defend Crusades, expulsions, and pogroms. Now, Graas is using replacement theology to defend what she defines as the “high church”/Muslim relationship at the sake of Catholic support for the Jewish State.
In saying “no greater ally than the Jewish state,” he [Cruz] stepped over into theology and insulted Catholics who see the Church as the New Israel theologically. We can, and desire to be, friends with Israel, even as a Jewish state, but we cannot pledge allegiance to Israel as a Jewish state in the manner that people of Ted Cruz’s religion pledge allegiance to Israel as a Jewish state. We cannot say that if suddenly everyone in Israel converted to Catholicism and turned Israel into a Catholic state, that this would be a “bad” thing. Protestants, of course, would be horrified if that happened because they have some deeply-held theological views that Israel MUST BE a Jewish state. We can take it or leave it as a Jewish state, but they can’t take it or leave it. Catholics can be your friend, Israel, even as a Jewish state, but we cannot pledge unfailing loyalty to “a Jewish state” like Ted Cruz and evangelicals do. You ask too much there.
Graas rambles on about the evils of Protestant ideology, him-hawing over whether or not Israel should be considered a Jewish state with arguments that boil down to a valley girl’s, “Uh, yeah, well, I guess…whatever,” in her theological defense of Catholic replacement theology. Then, oddly enough, she comes out with this whopper:
Another thing is that many Christians in the Middle East see his statement “Jewish state” as being bad not because it’s “Jewish,”, per se, but because it is a “sectarian” statement. They distrust the advancement of ideas that promote theocratic rule over religious minorities who are in disagreement with that particular theology.
An old-school, Pope is “lower than man, but higher than God,” replacement theologian Catholic decides that Cruz isn’t to be trusted because he’s the sectarian one in the room. Apparently there hasn’t yet been an edict issued against irony.
Alicia Keys’ timing on this probably couldn’t be worse. She strips down and paints a peace sign on her belly at the same time an Islamist army threatens the world and a monster beheaded an innocent woman in Oklahoma. Only a good guy with a gun stopped him.
Yet here she is, being all empowered. Naked, to push for gun control.
Try confronting an Islamist madman like this.
Body armor and a powerful firearm would be the smarter way to go.
The New York Times praises Keys, without noticing something awful.
ALICIA KEYS is a superstar singer who has mostly kept her clothes on and gossip off. So what is she doing in this photo, dressed only in a peace sign?
Her answer has to do with the purpose of life. Last month, as she was sickened by grim news — from the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., to the toll in Gaza and Syria — a friend of hers lobbed a provocative question about the meaning of our existence: Why are you here?
“Nobody had asked me that question before,” Keys recalled.
Alright, I doubt that that’s true. Surely someone, somewhere asked Alicia Keys what her purpose in life is. But that’s minor.
The awful thing that the Times notices and then fails to notice is that many celebrities take up some of the same causes that Keys is taking up. The Times hails Bono (who hasn’t really done gun control or gay marriage, but has done lots of other causes over the years) for being a cause-driven artist.
There is, of course, a tradition of socially conscious musicians, and Bono has done as much as anybody to highlight the challenges of global poverty. Keys seems less inclined to lobby at Group of 8 summit meetings; rather, she says, she wants to work with fans at the grass-roots level.
But Bono doesn’t have to get naked to support any of his causes. He has been pretty successful at his clothed activism, mostly because he chooses his issues carefully and he understands that offending and alienating people is counter productive. Too many artists just let their egos get in the way.
Keys feels the need to strip off. She and the Times see this as “empowering.”
Really? Is it empowering that an insanely successful woman and mother believes that getting naked before the entire world is the best way to draw attention to her cause?
Or is it just plain old attention-whoring from her, and sucking up to leftwing celebrities from the New York Times?
You’ve heard of “attachment parenting” from moms like Mayim Bialik who breastfeed until the kid is out of high school. Now, thanks to Valerie Jarrett, we know what “attachment advising” truly means, via the headline:
You can’t make this stuff up.
President Obama ditched his uptown digs at the Waldorf Astoria to sample the offerings of downtown Manhattan.
With the First Lady and his trusty senior adviser Valerie Jarrett in tow, the presidential motorcade took over the Nolita neighborhood on Wednesday night for the first couple’s date night at Estela on E. Houston St.
They dined on burrata with salsa verde and bread, two endive salads, tomatoes and croquettes before they returned to their hotel shortly before 10:30pm, sources told Eater New York.
The restaurant said it was “humbled” by the presidential visit, posting an Instagram shot of the Obama’s order.
Apparently, the restaurant is “beverage driven,” so I guess Valerie Jarrett didn’t need to do a literal public feeding. But, have no doubt, Mommy was still very hard at work scanning the menu for healthy choices for the kids.
Paul Goble at Interpreter Magazine offers keen insight into the Western media’s dangerous love affair with Vladimir Putin:
…as has been true since the start of Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine, Putin has exploited the increasing proclivity of Western journalists to equate balance with objectivity. He and his minions have flooded the media with statements that are simply not true, but many Western outlets report them as part of the story, without identifying them as false or even questioning their veracity.
That allows such journalists to claim objectivity, but it creates a situation in which there is little or no pressure on Western governments to do the right thing. Many journalists (and governments) will not describe what Moscow is doing as an invasion because Putin says there are no Russian troops in Ukraine, despite massive evidence to the contrary.
As a result, in all too many cases, Putin’s lies have defined the situation rather than facts on the ground, and the Western media’s focus on balance – on presenting all sides of the case even if one or more is untrue – gives thuggish leaders like him an opening that they should not have but will not exploit.
Besides re-defining “balance” in pursuit of a deadline, eye-catching story, or political point of view, Western media also backs the White House’s post-Vietnam love-affair with the mystical cease-fire.
…Second, Western governments approach every conflict as an occasion to get a ceasefire rather than to defeat aggression out of a belief that diplomacy alone can solve the problem and reach a solution. …by signaling that it will not oppose a particular case of aggression, the West has taught Putin and his regime a lesson, but very much the wrong one: aggression works and after “a decent interval” will be ignored, have no consequences for relations with the West, and then can be repeated.
Interestingly, Goble also notes the West’s unwillingness to push real economic and cultural sanctions against Russia. His theory is that the West is afraid if such sanctions truly pushed Moscow to the breaking point, it would only result in a Kremlin that “would call Western profits into question”. In other words, the West may lose economic benefit, or worse, be shamed in the international community as capitalist pigs. Apparently Goble has no faith in Western media to attack such a claim should it arise. While he does not say this directly, his inference is another black mark on Western media’s character.
Especially relevant to more than just Russia-US relations, Goble questions of Putin’s passive-aggressive tactics,
Will Putin have any incentive to move toward peace if he can get everything he wants by dragging out a Western-backed “peace process” forever?
It is a rhetorical query, and one that should not be reserved for Putin alone. An equally rhetorical follow up: Could it be that the same Moscow that backed the PLO learned a lesson from Arafat and his political descendants? The Western audience should rethink their media’s relationship with Russia, for sure. But that should be the starting, not the stopping point in their analysis.
The Washington city council passed emergency gun legislation on Tuesday requiring residents and visitors to adhere to strict guidelines to carry a concealed weapon in the U.S. capital.
The move came after a federal judge in July overturned the District of Columbia’s ban on carrying handguns outside the home, saying it was unconstitutional. The judge’s order was under a temporary stay, giving the city time to fashion a new law.
“It’s a situation where we don’t really want to do this, but we have to,” Councilman Marion Barry said before the vote.
That’s right, a city whose residents are clinically insane and keep returning a dirtbag like Marion Barry to office is worried about legal gun owners.
One wonders just how many of Barry’s cocaine dealers over the years obtained their firearms legally and adhered to strict guidelines.
The Jerusalem Post reports:
In a historic verdict, an 11 member jury on Monday found Arab Bank liable for knowingly providing financial services to Hamas – the first time a financial institution has ever been held civilly liable for supporting terrorism.
The Arab Bank trial took place in a federal court in Brooklyn for the last five weeks and revisited some of Hamas’ worst terror attacks, including the August 2001 Sbarro suicide bombing in Jerusalem killing or wounding 130 and a range of 24 horrid terror attacks during the Second Intifada.
The verdict was 10 years in the making, and still may be subject to Supreme Court review.
The central question was whether the 11 member jury would find that Arab Bank knew or should have known that its account holders were using it to transfer “blood money” to Hamas for terror operations – or whether it checked for suspicious transactions as best it could, and simply imperfectly missed them.
On Thursday, during closing arguments, Plaintiffs’ attorney C. Tab Turner told the jury they were in a very special situation: “a situation that no jury in the history of this country has ever been in.”
He continued, “Never has anyone sat on a case of finance terrorism, with issues like you have to decide in this case.”
“You have more power today to change the way that this world operates, the world of banking operates, than anyone else on the face of the earth,” said Turner.
Gary M. Osen, another plaintiffs’ attorney responded, saying, “The jury has found Arab Bank responsible for knowingly supporting terrorism. It found Arab Bank complicit in the deaths and grievous injuries inflicted on dozens of Americans.”
According to an unclassified U.S. State Department memorandum released after the jury began deliberations, “In 2003, the United States provided evidence to Saudi authorities that the Saudi al Quds Intifadah Committee (“Committee”) founded in October 2000, was forwarding millions of dollars in funds to the families of Palestinians engaged in terrorist activities, including those of suicide bombers.”
“The timing of the State Department’s disclosure raises deeply troubling questions,” said Plaintiffs’ trial counsel Michael Elsner, who requested the records. “Obviously, the jury reached the same conclusion about the Saudi payments in finding Arab Bank guilty for its support of Hamas, but this last minute disclosure of this evidence six years after we requested it and hours after the jury began its deliberations is telling.”
“We don’t expect the State Department to take sides in a civil case, but by withholding critical evidence until the jury began its deliberations, the State Department continues its unfortunate pattern of siding with foreign interests against American victims of terrorism,” said Elsner.
During a news conference on Friday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell promised that the league “will get our house in order.”
Goodell announced that former FBI Director Robert Mueller will lead an investigation of the way the league handled the Ray Rice case, and he said that at the end of the process the league will implement new conduct policies.
“I promise you that any shortcomings he finds will lead to swift action,” Goodell said. “The same mistakes will never be repeated.”
Goodell has faced intense criticism over the league’s handling of off-field violent behavior from some of its players. The issue came to a very public head when a video surfaced showing Rice, a star for the Baltimore Ravens, punching his then-fiancee.
As long as Goodell has the support of owners, he should have some breathing room to be more proactive. In a radio interview this morning, I mentioned that Goodell can’t get a complete grip on this until the surprises stop. He thought the Rice situation was handled, then the second video surfaced. Just when damage control was settling in there, the Peterson incident became public. Before almost anything could be done about that, a second allegation was made known. Then the Dwyer story happened. Goodell and the league have been reeling and on their heels in a purely reactive mode because of all of this.
They need the surprises to stop before anything substantive can be done. The PR department needs to be paid more too.
In other not-so-good news for the league, the Dept. of Defense is looking into its connections with the NFL.
If your neighborhood is anything like mine (or any other neighborhood, frankly), there’s a Starbucks in it, and that Starbucks was crowded with a line of cars around the block a week or two ago. That’s when the coffee chain rolled out its popular pumpkin spice latte drink.
I’m not a fan of that drink, but evidently everyone else who lives within about five miles of a Starbucks is. There were huge lines.
The pumpkin spice latte even got its own official Twitter feed.
Twitter: “We can’t verify you.” Me: “I came out here to have a good time and honestly I’m feeling so attacked right now” #VerifyTheRealPSL
— Pumpkin Spice Latte (@TheRealPSL) September 17, 2014
The “verify” crack comes courtesy of Vani Hari, aka the “Food Babe.”
When Starbucks rolled its seasonal pumpkin spice latte out, Hari was ready with a damning infographic to attack the drink and you, if you drink it.
Geez, didn’t Basher Assad just declare a bunch of these things chemical weapons and ship them out to be destroyed?
Look, it is a little problematic that the pumpkin spice latte doesn’t contain any actual pumpkin. I’ll even side with the Food Babe that a lot of this artificial stuff is bad. High fructose corn syrup is nasty stuff, in my opinion, and I avoid it as much as possible. By the way, it’s in pretty much everything.
But HFCS isn’t in that latte. It has 50 grams of sugar, which Hari describes as “toxic.” See the graphic above.
50 grams of sugar is a lot for one grande drink, but it’s a sweet drink. The grande is also a fairly big drink — about 16 ounces. So the grande pumpkin spice latte’s 50 grams tracks with the 39 grams of sweetener that’s in a 12-ounce can of Coke.
And 50 grams of sugar is nowhere near “toxic.” It’s about 3.5 tablespoons. Many, many people put nearly as much in a regular sized cup of coffee without thinking twice about it.
I suppose if someone did the Super Size Me thing and drank nothing but grande pumpkin spice latte drinks every day every time they got the urge, they wouldn’t feel very good. It would be bad for them. But no reasonable person is going to do that. So the sugar in the drink is not, in any way, “toxic.”
Healthy eating and living are good things. I’ve changed my own diet recently to get more nutrients and fewer processed items into my body. Nothing to do with the Food Babe or any fad, I just want to lose a few pounds and be healthier. Fewer meats, more fruits and vegetables, more grains, you probably have heard the drill by now. If you haven’t, look into it. Yes, quinoa can be made edible. So far, about a month in, the results are inconclusive. But I’m sticking with it, with only an occasional dabble into a sweet item like a seasonal latte. And my grill is standing out back neglected. I need to rectify that soon.
This Food Babe is verging on becoming a Food Nazi, though. Hari makes her way through life being hot, and throwing out hyperbole. I get it, that’s how the Internet works. Hot gets you gigs on networks even if you don’t really know what you’re talking about. But Hari twists facts on ingredients when she lacks any sort of scientific background.
But before anyone enlists with the #FoodBabeArmy (yes, that’s a real thing), it’s worth pointing out that Hari is not a chemist or a scientist in any way. She’s an activist. More power to her, Army of Davids and all that, but reader beware. Now that she is a public figure and a known crusader, her livelihood will depend on her ability to “uncover” more things like non-toxic doses of sugar in a coffee drink. Having already successfully launched her “quackmail” campaigns against beer, Chick-Fil-A, Kraft, Panera, Subway and now Starbucks, who’s next?