Thursday, April 26, 2007

The War on Plastic Bags

It started in San Francisco (of course it did). Now, it's spreading to my hometown. (via Michael Graham)

Since when did plastic become the most important thing on everyone's minds?

Let's skip ahead, though, to the last two paragraphs of this piece, as it clearly illustrates why this measure supported by 9 of the 12 members of the City Council is over-reaching and unnecessary (emphasis mine):

"Still, the production of paper bags produces more water and air pollution than plastic bags, according to the EPA, which promotes the use of reusable bags. Paper bags also take up more space in landfills."

"Boston has a recycling program, which in 2005 recovered 17 percent of the 302,000 tons of waste generated by the city. But the city does not accept plastic bags in its program, instead encouraging residents to take the bags back to the retailer."

Here's a hint: why not accept plastic bags instead of charging consumers for using them? Why not accept plastic bags instead of charging supermarkets to come up with more expensive ways to package groceries, a hit the consumer will eventually feel in his wallet anyway?

Because it's all about the money, not the environment. It's always about the money.

Michael Graham is hysterical in his commentary, and manages to point out the lunacy of this idea:

"Meanwhile, State Sen. Brian Joyce is trying to get rid of the plastic bags statewide. His plan is to charge shoppers up to 15 cents per bag if they choose plastic over paper. Doesn't this insensitive earth-hater know that paper bags come from TREES! Why, every paper bag I choose is equal to at least a dozen 'one-square' visits to the potty by Sheryl Crow."

Here's Debbie Schlussel's incisive insight from the San Francisco measure:

"...It's not like people who live, frequent, or shop in San Francisco don't have plastic bags from other cities and suburbs, or get plastic bags from clothing, electronics, and other types of stores, which aren't covered by the silly measure.
"And have fun carrying biodegradable bags made of corn and potato starches in the rain--they'll melt and your purchases will roll around on the ground. That'll hardly eliminate waste. It will only increase it. Way to go, San Francisco."

Way to go, Boston.

Carbon Offsets

First of all, it would probably be a good idea to define a "carbon offset" - here's the definition from greenie David Suzuki (with an included example for clarification):

"A 'carbon offset' is an emission reduction credit from another organization’s project that results in less carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere than would otherwise occur. Carbon offsets are typically measured in tons of CO2-equivalents (or 'CO2e') and are bought and sold through a number of international brokers, online retailers, and trading platforms.

"For example, wind energy companies often sell carbon offsets. The wind energy company benefits because the carbon offsets it sells make such projects more economically viable. The buyers of the offsets benefit because they can claim that their purchase resulted in new non-polluting energy, which they can use to mitigate their own greenhouse gas emissions. The buyers may also save money as it may be less expensive for them to purchase offsets than to eliminate their own emissions."

Sounds almost too good to be true, right?

Well, it might be.

Because of their increasing popularity, carbon offsets finally have rightly come under some scrutiny. Are they effective? Does the environment become "greener"? Who's profiting? These are the questions that are finally being asked.

...and the answers are not pretty for the environmentalists.

First, Businessweek examines the "feel-good hype" surrounding carbon offsets and coins what has to be one of my new favorite terms, the "checkbook environmentalist" - someone who thinks he can solve the supposed global warming crisis by merely buying carbon offsets to counter his own massive pollution. (see Al Gore and John Edwards as examples)

What's good about the Businessweek piece is that, from what I can tell, it is not reporting this information through a liberal or conservative lens. Rather, it's simply reporting on current trends which don't seem to be working:

"Done carefully, offsets can have a positive effect and raise ecological awareness. But a close look at several transactions—including those involving the Oscar presenters, Vail Resorts, and the Seattle power company—reveals that some deals amount to little more than feel-good hype. When traced to their source, these dubious offsets often encourage climate protection that would have happened regardless of the buying and selling of paper certificates. One danger of largely symbolic deals is that they may divert attention and resources from more expensive and effective measures."

Read the entire piece for more information on TerraPass, Waste Management Inc., Hollywood ignorance, and how they all tie together.

The Financial Times follows Businessweek's lead - here's what its investigation uncovered:

"A Financial Times investigation has uncovered widespread failings in the new markets for greenhouse gases, suggesting some organisations are paying for emissions reductions that do not take place.

"Others are meanwhile making big profits from carbon trading for very small expenditure and in some cases for clean-ups that they would have made anyway."

So...here are the results:
1) companies are paying for carbon emission reductions, which don't actually occur
2) companies are profiting off carbon trading for cleanups it was already planning
3) the new lucrative business of carbon trading helps big spenders to think they're actually saving the planet when, in actuality, they're diverting resources from other measures which may in fact help

Looks like Gore's ideas aren't as environmentally sound as he thought.

Lorie Byrd makes a fantastic point in addressing the heart of the carbon offset issue, particularly with "limousine liberals" like Al Gore and John Edwards:

"...If global warming is truly a dire threat to the existence of life on earth as Gore and others claim, and if human activity contributes to the problem, what could possibly justify the excessive (I would even say obscene) energy consumption of Gore and other limousine liberals? If paying someone else to behave better than you do (through offsets) is a sufficient answer, I have to wonder just how real the problem is. I also wonder just how much bad behavior can be forgiven with the purchase of offsets."

Another fear of those of us on the right is the idea that government will limit economic progress and, therefore, our general well-being, by creating a "global warming tax" (like Britain) or federally sponsoring the production of ethanol (which corn growers LOVE - but Rebecca Hagelin refutes). John Stossel rightfully argues on the side of economic progress - which will, as a result, help the environment (in response to celebrating Earth Day):

"Human ingenuity and technology not only raised living standards, but also restored environmental amenities. How about a day to celebrate that?"

And...

"President Bush chides us for our 'addiction to oil.' But under current conditions, using oil makes perfect sense. Someday, if we let the free market operate, someone will find an energy source that works better than oil. Then richer future generations won't need oil. So why deprive ourselves and make ourselves poorer with needless regulation now?"

So...it would seem that the world is just fine as it is, and do-gooders like Al Gore really aren't helping anyway. Seems like a win-win to me - the less he can help, the better.

See Sister Toldjah for more.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Ongoing Threat of Radical Islam

One might not know with the wall-to-wall coverage of Don Imus, Rosie O'Donnnell, Virginia Tech, and Anna Nicole's baby, that we're still fighting a war.

According to what's happened around the world this week (or, at least what I've come across this week), we're fighting that war with good reason:

1) British Police Arrest 6 Terror Suspects (via Atlas Shrugs) The New York Times refers to one of those arrested as an "outspoken Islamic activist" - Abu Izzadeen. Here's what Izzadeen thinks of the UK:

"What I would say about those who do suicide operations, or martyrdom operations - they're completely praiseworthy. If I see Mujahadin attack the UK, I always stand with the Muslims".

And...

"Osama bin Laden, excuse me, Sheikh Osama bin Laden, he offered to the British public, and the European people at large, an offer of ceasefire. He said that if they rose up against their governments, brought their troops home, he promised not to attack them. But unfortunately the stiff upper British lip became hardheaded, and we saw what took place on 7 July [meaning, the London bombings]."

Mind you, this person was born and raised in the UK - so much for assimilation and pride in one's country.

There's much more there - read the whole thing.

2) The AP reports that Osama Bin Laden was behind the February attack on Vice President Dick Cheney. Despite this report, doubt is circulating about its authenticity. White House spokeswoman Dana Perino, filling in for the recuperating Tony Snow, said it was "an interesting claim but ... I haven't seen any intelligence that would support that."

Hot Air also does some debunking.

Doesn't the question become, though: Why would Mullah Dadullah tell Al Jazeera this if it weren't true? I haven't been able to come up with a good reason...

3) Syria is armed with bio-terror (again, Atlas Shrugs) Smallpox, apparently, is the weapon of choice:

"'Syria is positioned to launch a biological attack on Israel or Europe should the U.S. attack Iran,' Jill Bellamy-Dekker told WND. 'The Syrians are embedding their biological weapons program into their commercial pharmaceuticals business and their veterinary vaccine-research facilities. The intelligence service oversees Syria's 'bio-farm' program and the Ministry of Defense is well interfaced into the effort.'
"Bellamy-Decker currently directs the Public Health Preparedness program for the European Homeland Security Association under the French High Committee for Civil Defense.
"She anticipates a variation of smallpox is the biological agent Syria would utilize.
"'The Syrians are also working on orthopox viruses that are related to smallpox,' Bellamy-Decker said, 'and it's a good way to get around international treaties against offensive biological weapons development. They work on camelpox as a cover for smallpox.'"

Whew! Good thing Harry Reid told the President we can't attack Iran. You know, because there's so much evidence of that...

4) Al Qaeda seemingly responsible for the killing of 9 U.S. soldiers. The International Herald Tribune goes into detail to describe the area where the suicide attacks took place, Mesopotamia:

"The membership of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia is made up mostly of Iraqis, with some tribes in the country divided in their loyalties toward the group.
"Al Qaeda was once most active in Anbar Province, a Sunni Arab bastion, but appears to have shifted much of its efforts to Diyala Province, which lies between Iran and Baghdad. The province is a seething caldron of ethnic and sectarian tensions, with Sunni Arab militants driving Shiites from the provincial capital, Iraqi Army units operating under a general loyal to a Shiite militia, and Kurds slowly seizing cities in the north."

The umbrella group responsible for the attack, the Islamic State of Iraq, encompasses Al Qaeda. Apparently, the group was proud of its handiwork, as boastful postings could be found on the internet related to the attack.

5) Ayaan Hirsi Ali threatened with death...AGAIN. According to NewsBusters, though, the mainstream media largely ignored this story, while the focus remained on...Al Sharpton.

Hirsi Ali was scheduled to speak at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (likely on her book, Infidel, which is something ELSE I have to read!). This is what the Johnstown Islamic Center had to say on her appearance at the University:

"Imam Fouad ElBayly, president of the Johnstown Islamic Center, was among those who objected to Hirsi Ali's appearance.
"'She has been identified as one who has defamed the faith. If you come into the faith, you must abide by the laws, and when you decide to defame it deliberately, the sentence is death,'" said ElBayly, who came to the U.S. from Egypt in 1976."

Does that sound like the Religion of Peace to you?

Here is what she says about those constant death threats:

"People are always asking me what it’s like to live with death threats. It’s like being diagnosed with a chronic disease. It may flare up and kill you, but it may not. It could happen in a week, or not for decades.
"The people who ask me this usually have grown up in rich countries — Western Europe and the United States — after the Second World War. They take life for granted. Where I grew up [Somalia], death is a constant visitor."

Here is her website for those who are interested.

Does any of these most recent events penetrate the mind of the left to make them reconsider why de-funding the troops is a bad idea? What's wrong with trying to win this war? Regardless of your stance at the beginning of the war, one must realize that de-funding the troops and, as a result, leaving the region and losing the war, will promote chaos for the region. An unstable Iraq will be taken over by an increasingly vigilant Iran, and the prospects of Iran's nuclear program will likely trigger a nuclear arms race in the region (with Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, among others, likely pursuing nuclear development).

In what way is this good for the United States? Despite the negative press, we need to see this war to its end: victory for the United States, and the ultimate safety of our country and people.

Do You Read?

In college, I think many students feel overwhelmed by the amount of required reading they have to do for all their classes (particularly at a liberal arts college), so oftentimes they feel they have little time to read "for themselves", or, what they actually want to read. I know I felt this way. Come June, I was so burnt out from the school year, I generally took summers off from reading.

I'm not like that anymore. And it's crucial not to be.

A couple of different pieces brought this topic to my attention. First, LaShawn Barber (as many of you know, one of my favorites) asked her readers "How many books do you own"? as a light-hearted yet telling post as to where her regular readers stand. She lists her favorites, and many commenters do the same.

Sad to say, I haven't read much of what's on this post. And, since I now consider myself a "reader," I wonder how many other people out there haven't read Song of Solomon, The Screwtape Letters, The Old Man and the Sea, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (none of which I, a "reader", have read)...

The second reason I bring this topic up is Kathleen Parker's most recent column. Specifically, she cites the reduction in stand-alone book sections of newspapers as an indication that overall readership in the country has declined - people aren't reading books anymore. Given the similar decline in newspaper readership, Parker wonders why newspapers don't try to reach out to a dwindling reading audience:

"From a practical standpoint, it also makes no sense. Clue: People who read newspapers are also likely book readers. So why do newspaper editors and publishers think that killing one of the few features that readers might — big word here — READ is a smart move in an era of newspaper decline?"

For those of you who make the argument that Barnes and Noble and Borders are always packed when you're in there...well, that may be true. People may be buying the books, I suppose, but not reading them. Parker points us to a 2004 survey conducted by the National Endowment for the Arts, which found the following:

- fewer than 1/2 of American adults read literature
- an overall decline of 10% in literary readers from 1982 to 2002, resulting in a loss of 20 million potential readers
- a decline among every single segment of the American population
- the rate of decline for the youngest adults (18 - 24...or, those eligible to be on The Real World) was 55 percent greater than that of the total adult population

These are scary statistics.

I'm curious if these statistics give weight to Ann Coulter's argument that "liberals don't read."

I'm currently reading The Fountainhead (and Atlas Shrugged turns 50 this week, by the way)- if you're not reading anything at the moment, why not?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Pro-Abortion Advocates Be Damned

As the nation and the media recover from Virginia Tech and Imus, a little Supreme Court ruling finally went the conservative way this week, with little media fanfare:

Justices uphold ban on abortion procedure

and was Ruth Bader Ginsburg STEAMED:

"In a bitter dissent read from the bench, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the only woman on the high court, said the majority's opinion 'cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away a right declared again and again by this court, and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women's lives.'
"She called the ruling 'alarming' and noted the conservative majority 'tolerates, indeed applauds, federal intervention to ban nationwide a procedure found necessary and proper in certain cases' by doctor's groups, including gyncecologists."

How about the assumption in this dissent that abortion only affects women's lives? Where did Ginsburg come up with the gall to say that? Or even think it, for that matter? CNN's sub-headline reads "Sole woman on bench reads bitter dissent" - and then, immediately, again emphasizes that Ginsburg is "the only woman on the high court"...as if she's more qualified to voice an opinion on this subject because she's a woman. Sorry, CNN, but I have to point out: many women disagree with Ginsburg.

A reminder from one of my earlier posts on abortion:

1) "It's my body." It's not. It's a body within the womb of a woman. Isn't this undeniable?
2) "I'm not "pro-abortion" - I'm "pro-choice"...ummm - you're pro-abortion. Plain and simple. You can call me anti-choice all you want. As far as abortion goes, I am both pro-life and anti-choice. Those who are "pro-choice" are also "pro-abortion"
3) "safe, legal and rare" - ...If 165,500 abortions in Britain alone in one year is rare...I'd hate to know the definition of "common"...
4) "but abortion should be a last resort" - well, if you're not aborting a human life, why should it matter when you have an abortion? If there is no moral attachment, and abortion is purely a physical procedure, then all forms of abortion should be legal. But, oftentimes, that's not the case. Why? Proponents refuse to acknowledge publicly the moral component, that's why. But they limit the types of abortion (i.e., partial-birth, late-term) to seem sympathetic when all they're really doing is killing the baby earlier.
5) "I have freedom to do what I want - the government can't tell me what to do" - this is true. The government can't tell you that you can't get pregnant. The government can't say you can't get pregnant out of wedlock. But the government can legislate based on moral absolutes - this is one of them: MURDER.

This is a step in the right direction. Hopefully now, the constitutionality of Roe v. Wade will be revisited altogether - and here are two quick reasons why this should take place:

1) The premise of the case was based on a lie. "Jane Roe" initially claimed she was gang-raped - this turned out not to be true. Her pregnancy was the result of a failed relationship.
2) That same "Jane Roe" now opposes Roe v. Wade

I'll be looking for loony lefty responses and posting them later...

Virginia Tech Perspective

The consistently brilliant Mark Steyn's piece in National Review is a good place to start analyzing what really happened at Virginia Tech, and why. The first line should indicate to you that it is a provocative must-read:

"I haven’t weighed in yet on Virginia Tech — mainly because, in a saner world, it would not be the kind of incident one needed to have a partisan opinion on."

Of course, he's right.

Steyn takes the media (including - gasp - Fox News) to task for its characterization of many of Cho Seung-hui's victims as "children." However, because of America's culture of prolonged adolescence, the victims were not "adult" enough to respond appropriately when confronted by danger. From Steyn:

"We should be raising [our sons and daughters] to understand that there will be moments in life when you need to protect yourself — and, in a 'horrible' world, there may come moments when you have to choose between protecting yourself or others. It is a poor reflection on us that, in those first critical seconds where one has to make a decision, only an elderly Holocaust survivor, Professor Librescu, understood instinctively the obligation to act."

Second, Steyn addresses the idea of "protection" - of course, the implication is that protection does not come from oneself (say, for instance, by lawfully carrying a concealed weapon), but through institutions...in this case, the school itself, but, on a much larger scale, the government. Naturally, constant protection provided by big government from danger is impossible, though many in the media fail to see that. Steyn uses a 9/11 comparison story to illustrate his point:

"The only good news of [September 11] came from the passengers who didn’t meekly follow the obsolescent 1970s hijack procedures but who used their wits and acted as free-born individuals."

Despite the fact that many of us have been on a heightened sense of alert since the September 11th attacks, tragedies like those at Virginia Tech prove that we are still vulnerable - deadly so. By ensuring our freedoms and constitutional rights both on and off campus, we will naturally offer better protection for ourselves and others.

Mot of those victims were helpless (with no way to defend themselves) and hopeless (with no idea how to respond to an emergency of this magnitude). Many are pointing to this article in the Roanoke Times as proof that the 2nd Amendment can be thrown out the window on campus - it's a shame that a tragedy such as this will provoke discussion concerning our rights as U.S. citizens, rights that should have been protected all along.

Morbid quote from the article:

"Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker was happy to hear the bill was defeated. 'I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus.'"

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Rap Music's Influence - LANGUAGE WARNING

As my previoius post illustrates, many in the media have drawn attention to the rap culture as promoting this type of unfair treatment of black women in society. I think John McWhorter makes the point best when he says that Imus likely lifted the term "nappy-headed ho" from rap music itself.

But...

...the argument seems to be missing something. And that's the role of black women in their own portrayal.

After all, who's portraying "nappy-headed hos" in music videos? Is it...white women? Hispanic women? Asian women?

I don't think so. It's black women.

And as long as black women in these videos keep giving us reason to think of them as "nappy-headed hos", people will keep thinking it.

Michelle Malkin talked about the Billboard Hot Rap Track chart and how all the lyrics debase women. But the songs are all by black men. What about the lyrics by black women themselves which do the same thing?

Here's a sampling of one of Li'l Kim and 50 Cent's biggest hits, "Magic Stick":

"Lil' Kim not a (w)hore
But I sex a nigga so good, he gotta tell his boys
When it, come to sex don't test my skills
Cause my head game have you HEAD over heels
Give a nigga the chills, have him pay my bills
Buy matchin Lambo's with the same color wheels...
.. and I ain't out shoppin spendin dudes C-notes
I'm in the crib givin niggaz deep throat
Tonight Lil' Kim gon' have you in the zone
Girls, call ya crib, I'm answerin' the phone
Guys wanna wife me 'n' give me the ring
I'll do it anywhere, anyhow,down for anything
Couple of humps, give a nigga goosebumps
This junk in my trunk ain't made for chumps
When Lil' Kim's around you don't need to lie
It's the "Drugs" baby, I'm makin' ya HIGH!!"

Right - she says she's not a whore...and then proceeds to explain how she is, in fact, a whore.


And here's her verse in "All About the Benjamins":

Uhh, uhh, what the blood clot?
Wanna bumble wit the Bee hahh?
BZZZZT, throw a hex on a whole family (yeah, yeah yeah)
Dressed in all black like the Oman (say what?)
Have your friends singin 'This is for my homey' (that's right)
And you know me, from makin niggaz so sick
Floss in my 6 with the Lex on the wrist
If it's Murder, you know She Wrote it (uh-huh)
German Luger for your ass bitch, deep throated
Know you wanna fill the room cause it's platinum coated
Take your pick, got a firearm you shoulda toted, suck a dick
All that bullshit you kick, playa hatin from the sideline
Get your own shit, why you ridin mine? (uh-huh)
I'm, a Goodfella kinda lady
Stash 380's and Mercedes, Puffy hold me down baby!
Only female in my crew, and I kick shit
like a nigga do, with a trigga too, fuck you
[Big:] (Yeah, yeah, uhh, uhh, uhh!)

And, no, Li'l Kim is not alone. Here are the opening lyrics to one of Foxy Brown's more popular songs, "I'll Be":

What up pop, brace yourself as I ride on top
Close your eyes as you ride, right out your socks
Double, lose his mind as he grind in the tunnel
Wanna gimme the cash he made off his last bundle
Nasty-girl don't pass me the world
I push to be not the backseat girl
Don't deep throat the C-note she float
Murder she wrote, and keeps the heat close
Firm nigga, we 'posed to be the illest on three coasts
Familia, bigga than Icos
Y'all, Danny DeVitoes, small niggaz
All I see is the penny heaters, that's all niggaz
No shark in this year raise it bigga...

Nice to know she can rhyme "niggaz" with... well,"niggaz"...

Here's the second verse to arguably her biggest hit, "Hot Spot":

Yo! Cats bustin out the six, cash flushin out the niggaz
Platinum heart in half hangin 'tween the two tit-ties
Scheme on your team, lookin over graph pictures
Pick the finest, then I put it on the minors
Love, after the club, meet me at the diner
So you can bring your boys, we got ten cars behind us
Order a steak, a glass of OJ to break-fast
Hop in the car and head straight up Eighth Ave.
The night is young, I'm likin son
Either he don't have one, or his wife is dumb
His whole hand numb, nigga iced his thumb
Pull up my tights some, enticin him
You can handle the work, I'll play wit it
Til he curve and swerve nigga, stay wit it
Bitches in the club they, hated it
Cause I put my mack down then I, skated it

Rapper Trina clearly couldn't be left out. I can't even make sense of the chorus to a song off her 2000 album, "Da Baddest Bitch". The song is "Niggas Ain't Shit":

Niggas ain't shit, but hoes and tricks
Lick tha pearl tongue nigga keep tha dick
Get tha fuck out after I cum
So I can hop in my Coup and make a quick run

Clearly, she cleaned up her act with her most recent release, as here are the lyrics from one of the songs off her most recent album - the song is called "So Fresh":

Paint candy racin' sribs.
Crush dem bitches off the rip.
I don't think you really wanna mess with me, test me and eventually.
See me speedin', cops don't see em', fuck em' & feed em' wouldn't wanna be em'.
I ain't scared of ya'll,
I ain't no regular broad I'ain't scared at all.
Like bone crusher I'll crush your bones when I come through strong with my big big brone.
Ride spinners like 3-6 do. Let me do me nigga you do you.
Suck this clit till my shit turn blue.
Put a bitch to sleep wake me up when you threw.
I'ma get dress so fresh lookin' new and it's back to the chevy or the cab for you.
Chuck & Duece switchin' lanes.
Ridin' dat douk & sittin' on things.
You ain't never met a bitch like me and your bitch ain't never ride a dick like me.
Check the paint, watch the feet, inches 26's deep, candy drippin' on the street, bitch I'm ridin;
BIG.

A hint to all the female black rappers out there - you are not doing ANYONE ANY FAVORS. If you're outraged by what a 60-something "shock jock" has to say about a dozen or so female athletes, then be MORE outraged by what you say about ALL OTHER BLACK WOMEN.

It's not just the men - it's also the women.




Imus Roundup

Let's be clear: I don't care that Imus was fired. I didn't listen to him, and on the off-chance I did hear him, I didn't listen to him very long.

To me, he was a goner the second the media ran with the story. Honestly, I don't think CBS and MSNBC come out on top here, despite taking the "moral high ground" by firing him. Their initital decision was a two-week suspension, and then, after 8 days, he was gone altogether. Why not fire him, then, in the first place? Because CBS and MSNBC don't care that Imus made disparaging comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team - they care about the almighty dollar. So when sponsors such as Staples, Bigelow Tea, American Express, General Motors and others decided to pull out, the plug was pulled on Imus. Clearly, the final straw was loss of dollars, not public outrage.

Here's what the people are saying, playing various angles:

E. J. Dionne:

"Arguing about Imus does absolutely nothing to provide our poorest African-American kids with better schools, health insurance or a chance at college and higher incomes. We rightly heap praise on those noble Rutgers women, but we should ask ourselves if Imus would have gotten away with comparably sleazy comments targeting less visible and less successful women, or men. I think we know the answer."

Linda Chavez:

"Don Imus is a crank. But his bigoted remarks have made him more famous than anything he's done in the past and will probably attract more listeners when he returns to his ornery morning show than he has ever had. MSNBC and CBS may have cancelled him for now, but he'll be back, and when he returns, ratings will go up. And we can thank the "news" coverage Imus has received when they do."

Jason Whitlock:

"Thank you, Don Imus. You extended Black History Month to April, and we can once again wallow in victimhood, protest like it’s 1965 and delude ourselves into believing that fixing your hatred is more necessary than eradicating our self-hatred.
"The bigots win again.
"While we’re fixated on a bad joke cracked by an irrelevant, bad shock jock, I’m sure at least one of the marvelous young women on the Rutgers basketball team is somewhere snapping her fingers to the beat of 50 Cent’s or Snoop Dogg’s or Young Jeezy’s latest ode glorifying nappy-headed pimps and hos."

Pat Buchanan:

While the remarks of Imus and Bernie about the Rutgers women were indefensible, they were more unthinking and stupid than vicious and malicious. But malice is the right word to describe the howls for their show to be canceled and them to be driven from the airwaves – by phonies who endlessly prattle about the First Amendment.

John Fund:

"It's certainly true that many black leaders, ranging from Calvin Butts of New York's Abyssinian Baptist Church to Queen Latifah to the editors of Essence magazine have spoken out against offensive rap lyrics. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have also raised their voices against them. On Friday Barack Obama told a black South Carolina audience that offensive rappers 'are degrading our sisters.' It's about time he stepped forward, since it was Mr. Obama who helped legitimize the rapper Ludicrus, whose oeuvre includes such songs as 'Ho,' 'You'z a Ho' and 'I Got Hos,' by inviting him to his Chicago office last year to talk about, as the Associated Press put it, 'lighting the way for the nation's youth.'
"But there have been almost no calls demanding that any 'gangsta rap' artists be driven from the airwaves as Mr. Imus was or that the record companies promoting 'gangsta rap' be boycotted. Pepsi did drop Ludicrus from its ad campaign after his lyrics angered Oprah Winfrey and also became the subject of a pointed campaign by Fox News's Bill O'Reilly, one of the few media figures who has been willing to take on hate rap foursquare."

Sister Toldjah (re: Obama's response, here):

"...I could appreciate a generalized rant about our culture if that was what was at issue here, but it wasn’t. The issue was Don Imus’ 'nappy-headed hos' comment as it compared to rap music and it’s influence on the black community. Nice way to skip out of issuing a more serious condemnation in favor of the general 'we’re all guilty' standard liberal line whenever people start focusing more intently on problem segments of our society. Guess the Senator didn’t want to risk offending any black voters with a long overdue bit of straight talk, eh? "

Tammy Bruce's website:

"However, whatever his merits and demerits, Imus is just another media curmudgeon. He's not particularly responsible for keeping black people down, and taking him out will not do anything to improve the state of the world. Everybody knows this. The firing is just a war trophy for the Reverends Jackson and Sharpton."

Ann Coulter:

"The reason people don't like what Imus said was because the women on the Rutgers basketball team aren't engaged in public discourse. They're not public figures, they don't have a forum, they aren't trying to influence public policy.
"They play basketball — quite well, apparently — and did nothing to bring on an attack on their looks or character. It's not the words Imus used: It would be just as bad if he had simply said the Rutgers women were ugly and loose.
"People claim to object to the words alone, but that's because everyone is trying to fit this incident into a PC worldview. It's like girls who say, 'It's not that you cheated on me; it's that you lied about it.' No — it's that you cheated.
"If Imus had called me a 'towheaded ho' or Al Sharpton a 'nappy-headed ho,' it would be what's known as 'funny.' (And if he called Anna Nicole Smith a 'flaxen-headed ho,' it would be 'absolutely accurate.') But he attacked the looks and morals of utterly innocent women, who had done nothing to inject themselves into public debate.
"Imus should apologize to the Rutgers women — and those women alone — send them flowers, and stop kissing Al Sharpton's ring. This wasn't an insult to all mankind, and certainly not an insult to Al Sharpton. Now, if Imus had called the basketball players 'fat, race-baiting black men with clownish hairstyles,' well, then perhaps Sharpton would be owed an apology."

Monica Crowley:


"We've caught Hillary Clinton in another lie, this time involving the Imus firestorm.
"Several days after the controversy broke out, Clinton decided it was safe for her to weigh in on the I-man's comments. Clinton was quoted in the New York Daily News and on her website as saying, 'I've never wanted to go on his show and I certainly don't ever intend to go on his show, and I felt that way before his latest outrageous, hateful, hurtful comments.'
But hold on. She never wanted to go on Imus? After all, her hubby Bill has Imus to thank for saving him in the 1992 New York primaries. Many say Bill Clinton's appearance on the Imus radio show helped him to win in New York and launch him to the national stage. Maybe Imus could do the same for her in 2007?
"It sure sounded like the Clinton camp wanted to go there, when Imus buddy Donald Trump called into the show on April 6th. Anyone who listed to Imus knew how he felt about Hillary. He called her 'Satan,' and vowed she would never appear on his program. That morning, Trump tried to change his mind:
'As you know I mentioned that Hillary wanted to really get on your show. She has a lot of respect for you but it doesn't seem to be reciprocal. She's a terrific woman and she'd do your show gladly but you don't seem to want to according to Bernard and according to watching you, you don't seem to want her on the show.'
"The interview raises some real questions: Was Trump speaking on behalf of the Clinton campaign or was he doing this totally on his own? If you listen to the interview, it sure sounds like Trump wasn't asking for himself. Who put Trump up to it?
"You'd think these would be good questions for the mainstream media to ask, but they've been too busy piling on a man who said a stupid thing and bowing to the pressures of two race-baiting hustlers."

Debbie Schlussel:

"These women--who seemed to be basking in their 15 minutes of fame quite exuberantly for women claiming to be upset by it--tried so hard to seem glum, it was hard to tell if I was watching a press conference . . . or extras tryouts for the Lifetime Channel's latest angry-women-done-wrong-by-the-White-man movie of the week, big-and-tall-size.
"Who are Essence Carson, Heather Zurich, and C. Vivian Stringer? Before Monday, we'd never heard of them. After all, they play in a college sport no-one on earth cares about: women's basketball, which has a popularity level lower than the XFL (pro-wrestling's failed football league, which didn't last a full season). And these women weren't even the champions. They lost.
"But now, even though we don't want to, we know their names, while we don't even know--and couldn't care less about--the names of the women on the team (University of Tennessee Volunteers) that beat them and actually won the NCAA women's basketball championship.
"Sounds to me like they owe Donald Imus a big thank you. He put them on the map, to the point that we know more of their names than we do pro women's hoops players. The WNBA President was so jealous that even she had to insert herself into the controversy by piling on with her Imus condemnation."

Kirsten Powers:

"This also isn't about free speech. Nobody is saying Imus should go to jail for what he said. The issue is whether there are standards that you apply to people in the public eye, and if one of those standards is that you don't tolerate blatantly racist comments. When you have a person on the record admitting that they hired someone to make racist jokes, then it's unclear how you cast them as a person who just made a 'mistake.' Seems like more of a 'plan' than a 'mistake.'"

Joe Conason:

"Whatever the true motivation behind the decisions by NBC and CBS to rid themselves of Don Imus, the executives who decided to jettison the bullying schlock jock managed to focus on what mattered most to them. Perhaps they were pandering to frightened advertisers or perhaps they were soothing outraged employees, but the network suits ultimately ignored all the special pleadings, racial diversions and other distracting irrelevancies.
"So should the rest of us, when Imus and his defenders whine about the injustice inflicted on him this week.
"It doesn't matter whether rappers or anybody else use the same disgusting language that Imus and his sidekick Bernard McGuirk used when describing the Rutgers basketball team as 'nappy-headed hos.' Imus himself tried out a version of this argument when he appeared on the Rev. Al Sharpton's radio show, pointing out that although he is indeed a white man, he is hip enough to know that 'ho' is a term of disrespect heard in the black community. This is a stupid argument, roughly akin to claiming that white ownership of slaves was justifiable because black Africans sold them. The only issue for NBC and CBS was the standard of discourse on their programming, not what some idiots may be saying somewhere else.
"It doesn't matter whether Sharpton -- or any of the other Imus critics -- has raised equally loud objections to vile rap lyrics. There are many reasons, of course, to discount Sharpton as a moral exemplar. Like Imus, he hasn't hesitated to exploit prejudice as part of his act. But changing the subject to the preacher's checkered background doesn't exonerate Imus. Regardless of the preacher's always amazing alacrity, he was not the victim here and his role is not the issue. What Imus did would demand redress even if Sharpton had never elbowed his way into the controversy."

Michelle Malkin:

"I believe top public officials and journalists who have appeared on Imus's show should take responsibility for enabling Imus—and should disavow his longstanding invective.
"But let's take a breath now and look around. Is the Sharpton & Jackson Circus truly committed to cleaning up cultural pollution that demeans women and perpetuates racial epithets?
"...What kind of relief do we get from this deadening, coarsening, dehumanizing barrage from young, black rappers and their music industry enablers who have helped turn America into Tourette's Nation?"

John McWhorter:

"Imus hosts a radio show and a lot of people listen to it. During a few seconds last week he said something tacky. The show went on, as did life. Black people continued to constitute most new AIDS cases, black men continued to come out of prison unsupervised. And we're supposed to be most interested in Imus saying 'nappy-headed ho's'?
"What creates that hypersensitivity is a poor racial self-image. Where, after all, did Imus pick up the very terminology he used? Rap music and the language young black people use themselves on the street to refer to one another.
"What Imus said is lowdown indeed, but so is the way blacks refer to each other. And life goes on."

Lastly, LaShawn Barber, who sums up my viewpoint better than I could:

"If black Americans in 2007 are this delicate and overreact to the slightest insults with this much unrighteous indignation, it’s pretty safe to say black people are not made the way they used to be, of stronger stuff, able to withstand truly demeaning and criminal treatment at the hands of true oppressors. It’s sad to know that the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of people who faced actual oppression are so much weaker, much less discerning, and much more undignified."

And this is just what I've read - there's much more out there. Who do you agree/disagree with?

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Pelosi Exposed

Magic Valley Mormon with the latest "pork" statistics.

Tancredo IN

Monica Crowley has him Saturday.

WTKK in the Boston area beginning at noon.

Good News Iraq

1) Encouraging news of Iraqi and U.S. soldiers working together for Iraqi schoolchildren. Telling quote:

"If we give them the ability to learn and get an education, they’re less vulnerable to other influences – like extremist views."
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Kevin Grilo

Amen.

2) Victims of the Tal Afar bombings are being assisted by Iraqi and U.S. peacekeeping troops alike:

"[Army Lt. Col. Malcom] Frost said coalition an Iraqi security forces are working to ensure that the attack doesn't overshadow the good works done during the past 15 months. Schools and medical clinics have been built, infrastructure and the general economic situation of the residents of Tal Afar have been improved.
"'I want to emphasize that this tragic event is absolutely not indicative of the thousands of good things that have happened over the last 15 months in the city of Tal Afar,;Frost said.
"In addition to working with the Iraqis to help secure the city, he added that coalition forces are conducting successful humanitarian assistance missions to provide food, medical supplies and shelter to the victims of the March 27 blast."

Just more signs that U.S. and Iraqi forces are working together, something you'll never hear from the mainstream media.

Update on Sean Bell; More Crime in Boston

I first wrote about Sean Bell here.

The latest from must-read Heather Mac Donald first exposes the New York Times for, yet again, inaccurate, incomplete, biased reporting:

"A March [New York Times] article, for instance, devoted itself to charges that the police were preying on the black community. After noting that more than half the people whom cops stop and frisk are black, Times reporter Diane Cardwell added: 'City officials maintained that those stopped and searched roughly parallel the race of people mentioned in reports from crime victims.' No, actually, there is no 'rough parallel' between the proportion of stops and the proportion of alleged assailants: blacks aren’t stopped enough, considering the rate at which they commit crimes. Though blacks, 24 percent of New York City’s population, committed 68.5 percent of all murders, rapes, robberies, and assaults in the city last year, according to victims and witnesses, they were only 55 percent of all stop-and-frisks. Of course, the Times didn’t give the actual crime figures. Even a spate of vicious assaults on police officers in the week before the indictments didn’t change the predominant story line that officers were trigger-happy racists."

By these statistics, the problem is not racist cops - it's that blacks in New York City commit a lot of crimes. Reasons for this seemingly vary, depending on your way of thinking: liberals say it's because whites don't care that blacks die, so blacks kill other blacks to get revenge on a white society which doesn't respect or acknowledge black manhood (make sense? Didn't think so.).

Sound-minded conservatives, like LaShawn Barber, offer comments on black-on-black violence here, in conjunction with the Sean Bell case and the first Duke rape case:

"Look, I understand the all-too-human tendency to point fingers, but important to the development of good character is a willingness to face hard truths. Black crime rates are out of control, and it’s not white peoples’ faults. Criminality and incarceration (however brief) is a defining characteristic of black subculture. The least of our concerns are drunk white men at house parties or perceived 'racist' police shootings. If white cops want to kill black men and white boys want to rape black women, they’ll need to kill and violate a hell of a lot of them to catch up to black-on-black crime stats."

Back to Heather Mac Donald's piece: after chronicling the Sean Bell case and its aftermath, Mac Donald offers this solution up to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the "black community":

"Unless black leaders—real or media-created—muster the will to address the crime epidemic among black youth (most of it inflicted on other blacks), the ongoing carnage will almost inevitably include an infinitesimal number of accidental police shootings of unarmed men. Criminal activity among young African-Americans is the poison of cities and of race relations; if Bloomberg can force a conversation about it, he could help reclaim urban America."

Let's hope Bloomberg listens.

Meanwhile, violence continues in Boston with more innocent victims. NY Daily News relays suspicions of gang violence:

"Cops suspect the shooting was related to ongoing violence among Cape Verdean gangsters in the Dorchester neighborhood.
An 18-year-old with multiple arrests and a violent reputation, Jason Barbosa, walked into the hospital minutes later with a bullet wound in his shoulder. Cops suspect he may have been in the car [in which Chiara Levin was killed] at the time."

And, the revealing truth about Dorchester, and the "progress" of the investigation:

"Boston cops said no one was held behind bars.
"'It's possible that someone was being questioned, but no one was taken into custody, handcuffed or otherwise,' said Officer Eddy Chrispin, a police spokesman.
"Neighbors said the party on the first floor of a rundown gray three-story apartment building was a weekly event in a neighborhood stung by gunfire and nearby murders. The building was still sealed off by cops last night.
"'They have parties every weekend. You've got to wonder why he holds them. It's not safe,' said a neighbor who heard the shots."

Predictably, still no arrests.

Mayor Menino's new idea, apparently, is to end after-hours partying....I think real punishments, such as arrests and long jail sentences, might work better.

With violence continuing and no arrests made, it seems as if no progress is being made. Let's hope these crimes are taken seriously and the perpetrators punished to the fullest extent of the law. The climate is right to make an example of anyone caught committing a violent crime, and the example should stand as the rule, rather than the exception.

...But Don't Question Their Patriotism

A sympathetic portrait of tax evaders in liberal bastion San Francisco - because they don't support the war.

(via Michelle Malkin)

Who's Heard This Before?

I have.

To promote panic mode, the article just about ends thusly:

"The devastating 2005 season set a record with 28 named storms, 15 of them hurricanes. Four of those hurricanes hit the U.S. coast, the worst among them Katrina, which devastated New Orleans and leveled parts of the Gulf Coast region."

We get it - Katrina was bad. Can we move on (even though New Orleans hasn't)?

Here is what scientist William Gray, quoted in the AP piece, predicted last year. Naturally, the AP doesn't mention how far off Gray was, merely saying that "last year, Gray's forecast and government forecasts were higher than what the Atlantic hurricane season produced."

But here's the breakdown:

Gray's 2006 prediction - major storms: 5
hurricanes :9
tropical storms: 17

actual 2006 Atlantic hurricane season - major storms: 2
hurricanes: 5
tropical storms: 10

Gray also "calculate[d] an 81 percent chance that at least one major hurricane will hit the U.S. coast in 2006. " That didn't happen, either.

The National Hurricane Center got it wrong in 2006, too.

More scare tactics from Reuters, with gloomier predictions:

"The Atlantic hurricane season will be exceptionally active this year, according to a British forecasting group, raising the possibility that killer storms like Hurricane Katrina could again threaten the United States."

I guess we'll see how it all plays out - but I'm not putting too much credence into these predictions...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Leftist Thuggery

If you don't know by now, Press Secretary Tony Snow's cancer has returned and spread to his liver. The only clear course of action is to "aggressively fight the disease," according to this AP piece.

Certainly, the nation should keep Snow in its prayers.

But, predictably, that can't be the case with the Angry Left. Here are a few choice examples:

1) Onmilation says:
Dear Tony,
I hate you.
-God

2) ph7 says:
At least we now know cancer is bi-partisan...

3) David Flores says:
Man, this is awful news. Let's just hope that Tony Snow isn't one of the 40 million Americans without health insurance who this Administration hasn't lifed a finger to help, because then he and his family stand to lose everything they own desperately trying to pay for his treatment. (Why do I suspect this won't be an issue).

4) Fred_O_E_Caldo says:
I'm impressed by all the sympathy for a guy who sells out our nation 24/7. You people are stronger than I am. I say: Let's see him spin this one away.
"I don't know. What do you think it means that I have cancer?"

5) sjc says:
Dear God --
I hate myself.
-- Tony

6) V572625694 says:
It seems uncharitable to make this observation, and as someone whose wife had breast cancer I am quite sympathetic to Snow's personal situation, but Jesus Christ!--is there NOTHING on earth the Bush flacks won't use for political gain?

7) TDoff says:
Under the heading of 'What goes around comes around', the cancer in Tony Snow is removing the cancer of Tony Snow from the national scene.
OMG, could there be a god?

8) PeeJay says:
Maybe he'll have a Lee Atwateresque deathbed transformation and come clean about everything.

9) Lionel Hutz says:
Mr. Snow's doctor's have told Mr. Snow that they could simply remove his liver and he would be better. They have given him a deadline of August, 2008 by which they have to act.
Mr. Snow however stated that he felt such artificial deadlines would just embolden the cancer, and that to cut and run his liver out of his body would mean that the cancer had won. As such, he has refused the treatment, stating that he believed that by fighting the cancer in his liver, he would not have to fight it elsewhere. He denied rumors that he was planning a pre-emptive surgery on his kidneys, although he stated that he would not take any options off the table and that his kidneys would never be allowed to have cancer as long as he is around.

10) PeeJay says:
Yes, the Holier Than Thou crowd is right. We should wish Tony, W, Cheney and Gonzales nothing but the best of health, so that we can then waterboard the shit out of them until they tell us the truth about, well, anything would be nice.

There's more on the site - with very few comments expressing true sympathy.

There was more Snow Bashing at Huffington Post but it was thankfully deleted.

You may be wondering if the Right did any bashing when Elizabeth Edwards announced her cancer had returned, as well.

Let's see...

Not here. Or here (but, note who stirs up trouble - it's "Kathy", the loony Lefty). BUT...

...very interesting comments here about what Elizabeth Edwards has said in the past about cancer victims - namely, Laura Ingraham.

Here's her post on Democratic Underground. It seems as if she tries to wish Laura well, but can't help herself towards the end (emphasis mine):

"...As I go through treatment for this same disease, I think often about the women who fight breast cancer without health insurance, without a supportive husband, with a physically demanding job that doesn't know or doesn't care that she is exhausted and weak and aching, with children but no child care. I find it absolutely impossible that LI won't also have those thoughts run through her head or that she won't rethink her position on health care or the social safety net. Pray for her health AND her enlightenment, if you must. But pray, with me, for her good health."

Call me crazy - but isn't that a little unnecessary? Please note the deranged comments left about Laura on the site as well.

Regardless, keep Elizabeth Edwards in your prayers as well. Even if Time Magazine doesn't care.