It’s Wednesday, October 26th, 2011….and here’s The Gouge!
We lead off the midweek edition with the Led Zeppelin Memorial “The Song Remains the Same” segment, courtesy of the greatest appeaser since….
Boehner: Russia Gone Soviet Again
House Speaker Boehner says Russia is playing ball with ‘unstable and dangerous regimes’ in move to restore Soviet-like power, as Prime Minister Vladimir Putin plans to return to presidency.
Boehner’s simply stating the obvious. After all, considering The Obamao’s abrogation of any and all American global leadership roles and responsibilities….along with the fact nature abhors a vacuum….attempts by Putin, the ChiComs and Iran to fill the void should come as no surprise.
Next up, Best of the Web presents the Al Gore “I Invented The Internet” award for demonstrably dubious claims:
With Nicholas Kristof and former Enron adviser Paul Krugman each staking a claim to paternity for Occupy Wall Street, a newly minted politician has stepped forward to declare herself its mother. Elizabeth Warren, the leftist Harvard professor seeking to challenge Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, tells Samuel Jacobs of the Daily Beast: “I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do.” (Even had one done so, who in their right mind would admit to giving these brain-deads their “intellectual foundation”?!?)
Warren’s boast reminds us of the time Al Gore took credit for inventing the Internet comment board. “Inside the demonstrations,” The Wall Street Journalreports, “there is broad acceptance of a wide range of opinions and agendas, even those that occasionally border on the absurd.” That’s the understatement of the month:
In Washington’s McPherson Square, Kyle Szlosek declined to be interviewed until a reporter reached into a pouch Mr. Szlosek held and pulled out a stone. That stone is the only thing that matters in life, said the 21-year-old, who holds an associate’s degree in liberal arts. If he could change something through the movement, he said, he would “get rid of money.” (Yeah….the chick that provided this nitwit his intellectual illumination is who WE want representing us in the U.S. Senate!)
It’s hard to imagine he has much money to get rid of, though maybe his parents are rich.
The Chronicle of Higher Educationhas a piece a week ago titled “Intellectual Roots of Wall St. Protest Lie in Academe.” Weirdly, it didn’t mention Warren, though it did cite “in an ethnography of central Madagascar”:
It was on this island nation off the coast of Africa that David Graeber, one of the movement’s early organizers, who has been called one of its main intellectual sources, spent 20 months between 1989 and 1991. He studied the people of Betafo, a community of descendants of nobles and of slaves, for his 2007 book, Lost People.
Betafo was “a place where the state picked up stakes and left,” says Mr. Graeber, an ethnographer, anarchist, and reader in anthropology at the University of London’s Goldsmiths campus.
In Betafo he observed what he called “consensus decision-making,” where residents made choices in a direct, decentralized way, not through the apparatus of the state. “Basically, people were managing their own affairs autonomously,” he says.
The process is what scholars of anarchism call “direct action.” For example, instead of petitioning the government to build a well, members of a community might simply build it themselves. It is an example of anarchism’s philosophy, or what Mr. Graeber describes as “democracy without a government.”
He transplanted the lessons he learned in Madagascar to the globalism protests in the late 1990s in which he participated, and which some scholars say are the clearest antecedent, in spirit, to Occupy Wall Street.
We wonder how the Madagascan anarchists deal with expense accounts, which ABC Newsreports have recently emerged as a problem in Krugman’s Army:
As the Occupy Wall Street movement expands, protest organizers are struggling with distributing the $500,000 in donations they have received and quelling disgruntled protesters.
Pete Dutro, a member of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) finance committee, dismissed reports that squabbling was growing among the ranks regarding fund distribution.
“Finances are always a flash point for a lot of organizations,” Dutro, 36, said.
The New York Post reported groups of protesters were upset for having to fill out paperwork to access funds, such as money to reimburse drums that had been vandalized one late night.
“There are people who don’t want to follow the process and there’s not a whole lot I can do for them,” Dutro said. “How is that going to be accountable?”
Meanwhile, we got an email this morning from MoveOn Civic Action promoting a new videoin which Warren acts as pitchman for Occupy Wall Street. The email begins: “Occupy Wall Street is Fox News’ worst nightmare.” Whatever Occupy Wall Street is, it’s definitely not that.
Rather it’s the gift that keeps on giving….almost unlimited material guaranteed to provided sustained ratings.
Meanwhile, further south in the Sunshine State….
Judge Blocks Florida’s New Welfare Drug Testing Law
A federal judge temporarily blocked Florida’s new law that requires welfare applicants to pass a drug test before receiving benefits on Monday, saying it may violate the Constitution’s ban on unreasonable searches and seizures.
Judge Mary Scriven ruled in response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of a 35-year-old Navy veteran and single father who sought the benefits while finishing his college degree, but refused to take the test. The judge said there was a good chance plaintiff Luis Lebron would succeed in his challenge to the law based on the Fourth Amendment, which protects individuals from being unfairly searched.
After all, like the right to abortion-on-demand, the Constitution surely guarantees access to public funds without any strings, requirements or standards whatsoever.
Which brings us to the Culture Section, brought to us today by the one-and-only Thomas Sowell:
The Media and ‘Bullying’
Back in the 1920s, the intelligentsia on both sides of the Atlantic were loudly protesting the execution of political radicals Sacco and Vanzetti, after what they claimed was an unfair trial. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote to his young leftist friend Harold Laski, pointing out that there were “a thousand-fold worse cases” involving black defendants, “but the world does not worry over them.” Holmes said: “I cannot but ask myself why this so much greater interest in red than black.”
To put it bluntly, it was a question of whose ox was gored. That is, what groups were in vogue at the moment among the intelligentsia. Blacks clearly were not.
The current media and political crusade against “bullying” in schools seems likewise to be based on what groups are in vogue at the moment. For years, there have been local newspaper stories about black kids in schools in New York and Philadelphia beating up Asian classmates, some beaten so badly as to require medical treatment.
But the national media hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil. Asian Americans are not in vogue today, just as blacks were not in vogue in the 1920s. Meanwhile, the media are focused on bullying directed against youngsters who are homosexual. Gays are in vogue.
Most of the stories about the bullying of gays in schools are about words directed against them, not about their suffering the violence that has long been directed against Asian youngsters or about the failure of the authorities to do anything serious to stop black kids from beating up Asian kids.
Where youngsters are victims of violence, whether for being gay or whatever, that is where the authorities need to step in. No decent person wants to see kids hounded, whether by words or deeds, and whether the kids are gay, Asian or whatever.
But there is still a difference between words and deeds — and it is a difference we do not need to let ourselves be stampeded into ignoring. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees freedom of speech — and, like any other freedom, it can be abused.
If we are going to take away every Constitutional right that has been abused by somebody, we are going to end up with no Constitutional rights.
Already, on too many college campuses, there are vaguely worded speech codes that can punish students for words that may hurt somebody’s feelings — but only the feelings of groups that are in vogue. Women can say anything they want to men, or blacks to whites, with impunity. But strong words in the other direction can bring down on students the wrath of the campus thought police — as well as punishments that can extend to suspension or expulsion.
Is this what we want in our public schools?
The school authorities can ignore the beating up of Asian kids but homosexual organizations have enough political clout that they cannot be ignored. Moreover, there are enough avowed homosexuals among journalists that they have their own National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association — so continuing media publicity will ensure that the authorities will have to “do something.”
But political pressures to “do something” have been behind many counterproductive and even dangerous policies.
A grand jury report about bullying in the schools of San Mateo County, California, brought all sorts of expressions of concern from school authorities — but no definition of “bullying” nor any specifics about just what they plan to do about it.
Meanwhile, a law has been passed in California that mandates teaching about the achievements of gays in the public schools. Whether this will do anything to stop either verbal or physical abuse of gay kids is very doubtful.
But it will advance the agenda of homosexual organizations and can turn homosexuality into yet another of the subjects on which words on only one side are permitted. Our schools are already too lacking in the basics of education to squander even more time on propaganda for politically correct causes that are in vogue. We do not need to create special privileges in the name of equal rights.
John Adams knew of what he wrote when he observed, “The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.” After all, when you can’t win the argument on the facts….stifle the debate! It’s the only arrow left in the Left’s quiver.
In a related item, Dan Feeney forwarded the latest from Dennis Prager, entitled….
Why Is Class Hatred Morally Superior to Race Hatred?
The major difference between Hitler and the Communist genocidal murderers — Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot — was what groups they chose for extermination. For Hitler, first Jews and ultimately Slavs and other “non-Aryans” were declared the enemy and unworthy of life. For the Communists, the rich — the bourgeoisie, land owners, and capitalists — were labeled the enemy and regarded as unworthy of life.
Hitler mass-murdered on the basis of race, the Communists on the basis of class.
Because the Holocaust was unique in its industrialization of death and in its targeting of every Jew, including babies, for death, the post-World War II world has been rightly obsessed with eradicating racism (but not anti-Semitism!), i.e., the hatred of another solely because of race. But the world has not been obsessed with eradicating the other source of genocide: classism, or the hatred of others based on class.
The reason for this embrace is that class hatred is as fundamental to the left as the Trinity is to Christians, and the left dominates the media and education. This is dangerous because there is an ideological continuum from the democratic left to the Communist left. Making the rich into scapegoats for society’s ills unites the left.
The democratic left believes in democracy, and, before the 1970s, some of its adherents were fierce anti-Communists. But while the decent and the indecent left differ on democracy versus tyranny and on non-violence versus violence, the nicest leftists in the world agree with the indecent left about who the enemy is.
Being on the left means that you divide the world between rich and poor much more than you divide it between good and evil. For the leftist, the existence of rich and poor — inequality — is what constitutes evil. More than tyranny, inequality disturbs the left, including the non-Communist left. That is why so many on the left fell in love with Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez and, at other times, with every left-wing dictator. Non-leftists see these men as thugs; much of the left sees them as fighters for equality. Yes, leftist dictators extinguish freedom and steal land and businesses from the rich — but none of this disturbs most of the left.
In fact, the left sees left-wing dictators as kindred spirits in hating inequality. In 2009, nine left-wing Democratic congressmen, members of the Congressional Black Caucus, visited Fidel Castro in Cuba and came back awestruck by the dictator. They even refused to meet with one of Cuba’s leading pro-democracy dissidents, Jorge Luis Garcia Perez, an African-Cuban.
Non-leftists who cherish the American value of liberty over the left-wing value of socioeconomic equality, as well as those who adhere to Judeo-Christian values, do not regard the existence of economic classes as inherently morally problematic. If the poor are treated equally before the law, are given the chance and the liberty to raise their socioeconomic status and have their basic material needs met, the gap between rich and poor is not a major moral problem. Of course, if the rich got rich through deceitful or violent means, they must be prosecuted.
But America is a place where the way in which “poor” is defined renders most poor Americans materially equivalent to much of Europe’s middle class. America is also a place where the rich by and large legally acquired their wealth through hard work and entrepreneurial enterprise. So here, the existence of rich and poor is not a problem that demands governmental action.
So when I see the mostly young people of Occupy Wall Street — a mixture of the bored, the nihilistic, the seekers of excitement, the left-wing true believers, the confused idealists and those hoping to engage in violence — railing against the rich capitalists on Wall Street, I get worried. Because the hatred they express toward the rich is similar to that expressed against the rich by Stalin, Mao and Pot Pot. Of course, these people are not comparable to those killers. But class hatred must lead to bad things. That is why President Obama is playing with fire with his attacks on the rich.
This coming from a man with nary a charitable bone in his body nor dollar in his wallet, and who’s done nothing….absolutely NOTHING….to deserve either his wealth or position.
On the Lighter Side….
Finally, turning to the Crime Blotter, Bill Meisen informs us a….
Couple Faces Criminal Raps For Sex On City Bus
Cops: Pennsylvania duo’s lewd dalliance was caught on tape
A Pennsylvania couple is facing an assortment of criminal charges for having sex on a city bus, carnal activity that was captured by the vehicle’s surveillance camera. According to a police criminal complaint, Amanda Confer, 24, boarded the bus on a Friday afternoon in late-August. She was “accompanied by her infant daughter,” a detective reported.
Also riding the bus through Montoursville that day were “Pre-release inmates” Randell Peterson and Joshua Schill. The men were part of a work release program that allows inmates to come and go from the county jail at specified times.
Investigators allege that Confer and Peterson, 32, sat next to each other in the rear of the bus, with Schill sitting in front of them. Before the illicit action commenced, however, Confer “turned over her infant daughter” to Schill, who apparently served as babysitter/lookout during the subsequent rendezvous.
In short order, Confer and Peterson (pictured in the above mug shots) moved from hugging and kissing to oral sex (which was provided by Confer). “After a couple of minutes of oral sex,” Detective Alberto Diaz reported, Confer “lowered her underwear” and, “upon sitting on” Peterson’s lap, “both defendants proceeded to have sexual intercourse for several minutes.”
Shortly after the tryst ended, Peterson and Schill exited the bus together, while Confer continued to ride on with her daughter.
Since the “aforementioned acts were captured by surveillance equipment,” investigators were able to identify Confer and Peterson as suspects. In an interview late last month with a Lycoming County detective, Confer copped to the bus sex. During a September 30 interview at the county jail, Peterson also confessed to the illegal automotive interlude.
Confer and Peterson were charged earlier this month with conspiracy, indecent exposure, open lewdness, and disorderly conduct. They are scheduled for a November 4 preliminary hearing in Magisterial District Court.
On her Facebook page, Confer refers to herself as “Randel’s Wifey.” She also notes that, with regard to the jailed Peterson, “need my boo so fckin bad god i miss him SO much.”
Confer’s definitely a class act; all of it of the lowest possible variety. But you can bet old Randell’s happy!