Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mountain Art

This fresco is titled "Suffer the Little Children" and was painted by artist Ben Long.  It hangs in the E.H. Sloop Chapel on the campus of the Crossnore School near Grandfather Mt. in Western North Carolina.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Run Sarah run!

PRINCETON, NJ -- Mitt Romney (17%) and Sarah Palin (15%) now lead a smaller field of potential Republican presidential candidates in rank-and-file Republicans' preferences for the party's 2012 nominee. Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Herman Cain essentially tie for third, with Cain registering 8% support in his initial inclusion in Gallup "trial heat" polling. Notably, 22% of Republicans do not have a preference at this point.

I would remind everyone that Mrs. Palin hasn't even announced her candidacy at this point and is till running almost within the margin of error against someone who has been campaigning almost since the end of the 2008 elections.

Of course the reentry of Gov. Palin into the national spotlight with her announced tour of historiacally important locations throughout the US and the film about her acomplishments as governor of Alaska (see clip) are strong indications that she is preparing to launch a bid for the Oval Office.

The movie, which is set to premier in early voting states in July with a wider release planned for later.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lowering the price at the pump

Gas prices have begun to drop, at least in my neck of the woods, so we will hear less and less demagoguery from Washington over Big Oil's "obscene" profits and what government needs to do about them but I wanted to ask one question while the issue was still fresh in people's minds.

If the goal is to lower the price a the pump then how will raising the amount of taxes which the oil companies must pay (and thus increasing their cost of doing business) help?

I mean that businesses don't really pay any taxes.  Taxes are a cost just like labor and materials and the power, water and phone bills.  Companies pass those costs through to their customers.  That means that part of the purchase price you pay for a television or a car or a Quarter Pounder meal at McDonald's reflects the corporate taxes paid not only by the retailer you made the purchase from, but also all the taxes paid by vendors who sold something to the retailer.

In the case of the Quarter Pounder it includes the taxes paid by the cattle feeder who raised the beef and the wheat farmer who grew the raw material for the bun.  Along with the farmers who grew the onions and cucumbers that became the pickles and the tomatoes which were processed into ketchup.  Then the slaughterhouse and the flour mill and the bakery and that doesn't take into account the potatoes and the packaging materials and the trucking companies that delivered all the various components to the places of processing.  And the taxes of the people who did the processing.

So I ask any leftist who might stop by here, is your blind stupid hatred of "Big Oil" so great that you will be willing to pay more for gas and for any product that requires petroleum based fuel in its production or distribution just so you can "stick it to them"?

For me, but not for thee

Mark Steyn adds his thoughts on DSK and the attitudes of the left toward the "special people":

Yes They Kahn!
Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the other elevated souls of the governing class are above your bourgeois standards.

Back when he was still the officially designated Next President of France and not an accused rapist, Dominique Strauss-Kahn was glimpsed at the annual IMF soccer tournament wearing a T-shirt emblazoned “YES, WE KAHN!” (Monsieur le directeur was not participating in the game: The field he likes to play requires more horizontal exertions, as even the deferential and protective French media have begun belatedly to acknowledge.) In consciously mimicking the slogan of another and very successful presidential candidate, the IMF boss and Socialist party candidate improved upon it — or, at any rate, made it more accurate.

“Yes, We Can”? Er, no, actually, you can’t. 

But yes, he Kahn!

A man is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and it will be for a New York court to determine what happened in M. Strauss-Kahn’s suite at the Sofitel. It may well be that’s he the hapless victim of a black Muslim widowed penniless refugee maid — although if that’s the defense my lawyer were proposing to put before a Manhattan jury, I’d be inclined to suggest he’s the one who needs to plead insanity. Whatever the head of the IMF did or didn’t do, the reaction of the French elites is most instructive. “We and the Americans do not belong to the same civilization,” sniffed Jean Daniel, editor of Le Nouvel Observateur, insisting that the police should have known that Strauss-Kahn was “not like other men” and wondering why “this chambermaid was regarded as worthy and beyond any suspicion.” Bernard-Henri Lévy, the open-shirted, hairy-chested Gallic intellectual who talked Sarkozy into talking Obama into launching the Libyan war, is furious at the lèse-majesté of this impertinent serving girl and the jackanapes of America’s “absurd” justice system, not to mention this ghastly “American judge who, by delivering him to the crowd of photo hounds, pretended to take him for a subject of justice like any other.”

Well, okay. Why shouldn’t DSK (as he’s known in France) be treated as “a subject of justice like any other”? Because, says BHL (as he’s known in France), of everything that Strauss-Kahn has done at the IMF to help the world “avoid the worst.” In particular, he has made the IMF “more favorable to proletarian nations and, among the latter, to the most fragile and vulnerable.” What is one fragile and vulnerable West African maid when weighed in the scales of history against entire fragile and vulnerable proletarian nations?

Yes, he Kahn!

Before you scoff at Euro-lefties willing to argue for 21st-century droit de seigneur, recall the grisly eulogies for the late Edward Kennedy. “At the end of the day,” said Sen. Evan Bayh, “he cared most about the things that matter to ordinary people.” The standard line of his obituarists was that this was Ted’s penance for Chappaquiddick and Mary Jo Kopechne — or, as the Aussie columnist Tim Blair put it, “She died so that the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act might live.” Great men who are prone to Big Government invariably have Big Appetites, and you comely serving wenches who catch the benign sovereign’s eye or anything else he’s shooting your way should keep in mind the Big Picture.

Yes, Ted Ken!

Nor are such dispensations confined to Great Men’s trousers. Sec. Timothy Geithner failed to pay the taxes he owed the United States Treasury, but that’s no reason not to make him head of the United States Treasury. His official explanation for this lapse was that, unlike losers like you, he was unable to follow the simple yes/no prompts of Turbo Tax: In that sense, unlike the Frenchman and the maid, Geithner’s defense is that she wasn’t asking for it — or, if she was, he couldn’t understand the question. Nevertheless, just as only Dominique could save the European economy, so only Timmy could save the U.S. economy.

Yes, they Kahn!

How’s that working out? In the U.S., Geithner is currently running around bleating that we need to raise the $14 trillion debt ceiling another couple of trillions. On the Continent, the IMF, an institution most Westerners vaguely assume is there as a last resort for Third World basket cases, is intimately involved in the ever-more-frantic efforts to save the Euro from collapse. Good thing we had these two indispensable men on the case, or who knows how bad things would be.

The arrest of a mediocre international civil servant in the first-class cabin of his jet isn’t just a sex story: It’s a glimpse of the widening gulf between the government class and their subjects in a post-prosperity West. Neither Geithner nor Strauss-Kahn has ever created a dime of wealth in his life. They have devoted their careers to “public service,” and thus are in the happy position of rarely if ever having to write a personal check. At the Sofitel in New York, DSK was in a $3,000-per-night suite. Was the IMF picking up the tab? If so, you the plucky U.S. taxpayer paid around 550 bucks of that, whereas Strauss-Kahn’s fellow Frenchmen put up less than $150. So if, as Le Nouvel Observateur suggests, France and America really do belong in entirely different civilizations, the French one ought to start looking for a new patron for the heroic DSK’s lifestyle.

Full disclosure: I’ve often stayed at the Sofitel myself, though without billing Western taxpayers for the pleasure. Nor do I generally require the three-grand suite. Given how comfortable the Sofitel’s more modest accommodations are, I wonder whether even M. Strauss-Kahn does. Especially when he’s presiding over an IMF with a budget deficit of some $400 million. But perhaps it would be unreasonable to ask so famously unzippered a man to tighten his belt. After all, according to Ben Stein, my former colleague at The American Spectator, DSK is “one of the most recognizable people on the planet.” Many’s the time I’ve seen him exiting a swank restaurant with Justin Bieber and Lindsay Lohan and said, “Hey, there’s Dominique Strauss-Kahn with Wossname and Thingummy!”

Fortunately, when the burdens of recognizability get too great, M. Strauss-Kahn is able to retreat to his house in Washington, or his apartment in Paris, or his second apartment in Paris, or his riad in Marrakesh. Oh, c’mon, you provincial bozos: A “riad” is a palatial Moorish residence built around an interior courtyard. Everyone knows that. A lifetime of devoted “public service” in “socialist” France isn’t yet as remunerative as in Mubarak’s Egypt or Saddam’s Iraq, but we’re getting there. As the developed world drowns under the weight of Big Government, the gilded princelings of statism will hunker down in their interior courtyards and guard their privileges ever more zealously. Once in a while, as in that Manhattan hotel suite, a chance encounter between the seigneurs and their subjects will go awry, but more often, as in the Geithner confirmation, it will be understood that the Great Men of the Permanent Governing Class cannot be bound by the rules they impose on the rest of you schmucks.

Yes, they Kahn. You, not so much. After Charlie Rangel, chair of the House committee that writes America’s tax laws, was “censured” by Congress for multiple infractions of, er, America’s tax laws, a Washington Times reporter invited him to imagine what punishment the “average American citizen” would have received had he done what the Congressman did. “Please,” Rangel told her. “I don’t deal in average American citizens.”

If only.

This attitude, which is endemic in the ruling class of both Europe and America, is a cancer which will destroy Western Civilization if left untreated.

Of course there will always be some level of elitism and corruption in politics but when it gets to the point where the ruling class and their sycophants are openly saying that there should be a double standard then you know that the loss of freedom is very nearly an accomplished fact.

It reminds me of the Chinese general who addressed the international press after the Tiananmen Square Massacre had been broadcast live around the world to a horrified world and just kept repeating "It never happened".

When those in power no longer bother to even pretend that they are living by the same rules that the "ordinary people" must follow or no longer to even pretend that they are not lying about their crimes and abuses then you know they no longer fear those they govern.

Our Founding Fathers knew that when the government does not fear those over whom they exersise authority then government will become tyranny.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A dramatic reading

Normally I pay very little attention to Colbert, but this time (even though he doesn't realize it) he did the GOP a giant favor.

Go to 3:30 for the funny part.  And remember, Newt brought this entirely upon himself.

A Commenter on The Corner observes:

That article unfairly truncates the statement. It continues:

"Between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis, and the rise of the sons of Aryas, there was an age undreamed of. And unto this, Ur Newt, destined to wear the jeweled crown of Aquilonia upon a troubled brow. It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his saga. Let me tell you of the days of high adventure...To the hell fires with Paul Ryan. He's evil; a sorcerer who can summon demons. His followers' only purpose is to die in his service. Thousands of them...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Newtonian Politics

Quin Hillyer in The American Spectator:

So there was Speaker Newt Gingrich, talking about himself as a "world historical figure," yet petty enough to say that he was now motivated to really stick it to President Bill Clinton because Clinton made him exit from the back rather than the front of Air Force One.

And there was Gingrich explaining that he had trouble negotiating effectively with Clinton because Clinton made him melt.

Then there was Gingrich strutting around like a puffed-up popinjay, saying that he would "never again, as long as I am speaker, make a speech without commenting on" the Lewinsky scandal, and ordering that TV ads be run about the matter, while having at another time said he would not use it to try to score cheap political points.

There was the Gingrich who led an "ethics offensive" against Democratic Speaker Jim Wright but who then himself was rebuked by the whole House for serious ethical misconduct.

There was the Speaker Gingrich who established such a history of double-dealing and backstabbing that he was the subject of an unprecedented, mid-session coup attempt.

There was Gingrich blowing the 1998 elections by overdoing his blood lust about the impeachment inquiry while completely capitulating on spending.

There was Gingrich claiming that he was lured into an illicit affair because of "how passionately I felt about this country," which led him to have "worked too hard."

Gingrich is the kind of guy you can pick up at the airport for a fundraising event who will spend the whole 25-minute car ride talking about himself while failing even to ask for the name of one of the people picking him up -- or even pretending to listen when the driver tries to introduce Gingrich to his passenger.

There was the Gingrich who wisely insisted that Medicare revisions be kept separate from Appropriations negotiations that eventually led to the famous "government shutdown," and then there was the speaker who acquiesced to Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas's insistence that a minor Medicare fix be included, thus handing a huge PR victory to Clinton and leaving the entire GOP House communications apparatus on a limb, utterly unprepared.

There was Gingrich eight years later strongly supporting the prohibitively expensive Medicare prescription drug entitlement.

While Gingrich was speaker, Republican congressmen and their staffs never could be sure from day to day what whim would send Gingrich running to the cameras with yet another world-changing policy proposal, or whether the new proposal would contradict what he had insisted what was near-holy writ just the day before, or maybe the week before. Staffers also never knew when, without ascertaining the facts, Gingrich would publicly throw them under the bus.

Meetings of various groups of Republican staffers were always quite a show when Gingrich was due to attend. There he would sweep in like an emperor, surrounded by a fawning retinue at whom he barked -- no, make that yapped -- orders as if they were chattel. More lunging than striding toward the microphone, he would launch into an over-decibeled lecture, absolutely full of (what he considered) his own unmatched wisdom, explaining what he said were frankly and fundamentally the essential insights into how, frankly, the world really worked at a fundamental level that despite its frank fundamentalness could not be understood by the peons in the room unless he himself laid it out for them in dialectic terms. Fifteen minutes later, having sufficiently impressed his subjects with how ignorant they would be if he weren't there to enlighten them, he would lunge out again, while renewing his yapping directives to his retainers.

There was the Gingrich who was for cap-and-trade before he was against it, but who now denies that he ever was for it. He was for intervening in Libya before he was against it. He was for Dede Scozzafava before he was against her (and he was flat-out insulting conservatives for opposing her before he sucked up to them for their insight in opposing her).

He said his blast at Paul Ryan's plan was "responding precisely to how [David] Gregory asked the question," even though Gregory's question was in no way, shape, or form as hostile or challenging as Gingrich now claims, and even though not even Gregory came close to attaching any derogatory label such as "radical… right-wing social engineering."

Gingrich is a man with all the self-discipline of golfer John Daly, combined with the verbal incontinence of a Tourette's sufferer except without the actual medical malady as a valid excuse. He's a man who can't keep his mouth shut, his pants zipped, his ego in check, or his tempter restrained. He's as steady as a mechanical bull, as brilliant as a fallen star, as able to keep perspective as Dadaist art.

When the former Speaker stuck both feet and several other appendages into his mouth last Sunday on Meet the Press, it was a perfect manifestation of the essential Gingrich. His logorrhea is innate and apparently uncontrollable. Conservatives should trust him the way the frog trusts the scorpion.

There are a number of articles about Newt out there that I'm going to be posting today and tomorrow.  I share the consensus that he is a man without a true moral center or any genuine core beliefes, other than what is good for Newt.

Miss Ann is talking

That means that YOU are listening!


by Ann Coulter
May 18, 2011

I suppose we'll know the truth when the DNA testing comes back, but close observers of privileged liberal men are not shocked by the accusations against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the socialist head of the International Monetary Fund. (And you thought you were getting screwed by your banker!)

Only in Hollywood movies are handsome lacrosse players from nice families seen as likely rapists. In real life, they look more like the 5-foot-2-inch Roman Polanski or pudgy, unathletic Bill Clinton -- or the homunculus 5-foot-2-inch Strauss-Kahn.

But, it is argued, how could Strauss-Kahn possibly think he could get away with the violent rape of a chambermaid in a $3,000-a-night hotel room, booked in his name?

First of all, Strauss-Kahn has evidently gotten away with treating the fairer sex as his playthings for some time. No wonder his nickname among the French is "le grand seducteur," which I believe roughly translates to "the short, tubby serial rapist."

The New York Times reports that as far back as 2007, Brussels journalist Jean Quatremer remarked on Strauss-Kahn's troubled behavior -- "close to harassment" -- toward women, saying the press knew all about it, but never mentioned it because "we are in France."

When Strauss-Kahn was appointed to the I.M.F., Quatremer sardonically warned that the international institution was not the same as France, but instead had "Anglo-Saxon morals."

Second, it's not unheard of that a wealthy liberal would assume the law does not apply to him. Actually, let me restate that: Wealthy liberals always assume that laws don't apply to them. After all the waivers the Obama administration has been dishing out like candy, are there any liberals left to whom Obamacare will apply?

We might also ask how a governor of New York could think he could get away with hiring prostitutes to service him in similarly pricey hotels, bringing them across state lines, and using his friend's names to book the girls, year after year.

But Eliot Spitzer thought he could get away with that. Fortunately he has been brought to justice and sentenced to hosting a lame show on CNN.

Still, rape is a more serious crime than being a frenzied masturbator paying for sex. For that, I give you Andrew Luster, multimillionaire Max Factor heir, whose mother gives to every liberal cause under the sun from Barbara Boxer and Loretta Sanchez to, Emily's List and pro-gay marriage groups. (If only her son had been gay!)

Her son not only drugged and raped a string of women, but made videotapes of his crimes.

On the tapes, Luster can be seen sodomizing unconscious women with lighted marijuana cigarettes, candles and plastic swords, and then talking into the camera about the unconscious women lying on his bed. The tapes were carefully labeled with titles like "Shauna GHBing," referring to gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, known as a date-rape drug.

Luster was cataloging video evidence of his own criminal acts -- and yet he thought he could get away with it.

He almost did, too, fleeing the country during his 2003 trial. He was caught and is now serving 124 years in prison, having been convicted, in absentia, of 86 crimes, including 20 counts of drug-induced rape, 17 counts of raping an unconscious victim, and multiple counts of sodomy and oral copulation by use of drugs.

Also out of Southern California we have Roman Polanski, the legendary director of two good movies and about a hundred unbelievably horrible ones, who drugged and anally raped an underage girl, according to the police report.

Not only did Polanski think he could get away with it, he did get away with it by fleeing the country (to France) when he discovered, to his shock and dismay, that in America, a person can actually be sentenced to prison for drugging and raping a 13-year-old. That was in 1977. He has never been brought to justice.

Liberals supported Polanski's evasion of punishment for child rape, with the Hollywood left denouncing his arrest in Switzerland a couple of years ago, howling that he had suffered enough! Wasn't he prevented from coming to the U.S. to pick up his Oscar in 2003?

You know who's suffered enough? Anybody who sat all the way through "The Pianist."

Liberal male misogyny goes back even farther than Polanski's three-decades-old child rape.

As Phyllis Schlafly points out in her book .Feminist Fantasies"" (with a stirring foreword by Ann Coulter), for centuries, famous left-wing men have treated "their wives and mistresses like unpaid servants."

Their credo might well have been, "From each, according to my needs ..."

Schlafly bases her review of liberal woman-haters on the book "Intellectuals" by historian Paul Johnson. Among the left-wing heroes highlighted by Schlafly from Johnson's book are Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Ernest Hemingway, Henrik Ibsen, Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre and Karl Marx.

Johnson writes that the pint-sized -- 5 foot 2 1/2 inch -- communist-sympathizing Sartre "was notorious for never taking a bath and being disgustingly dirty." He said admiringly of the Nazis, "We have never been as free as we were under the German occupation."

The flyweight Sartre famously turned Simone de Beauvoir into his "mistress, surrogate wife, cook and manager, female bodyguard and nurse." (Sadly, she never learned how to give someone a sponge bath.) All the while, the smelly midget committed a stream of infidelities, viewing women "as scalps to add to his centaur's belt."

In "the annals of literature," Johnson writes, "there are few worse cases of a man exploiting a woman."

As he got older, Sartre's sexual conquests got younger, including teenaged girls.

Like Spitzer, Luster and Polanski, liberal men seem driven by their massive insecurities (often based on physical defects, such as their diminutive size or soap allergies) to choose unconscious, illiterate, servant-class and teenage females as their sex partners. But let's not drag pocket-sized Woody Allen's name into this, as my column appears in many family newspapers.

Karl Marx kept a female slave from the time she was 8 years old, eventually using her not only as a servant but as his mistress, never acknowledging his child with her or paying her at all. She waited on him hand and foot while he explained to the world that profit is the stolen surplus value of the laborer. Like so many liberal icons, Marx seldom bathed and left his wife and children in poverty.

As Schlafly says, no wonder liberal women think men are pigs: Their men are pigs.

Maybe Strauss-Kahn is innocent, but students of liberal comportment base their suspicions of his guilt not on fairy tales from Lifetime: TV for Women, but on 200 years of disgusting sexual behavior by liberal men.

1130 Walnut, Kansas City, MO 64106

Miss Ann is at her best today. 

Of course we must recognize that Democrats and socialists (sorry, redundant) have no monopoly on ill treatment of women.  Just consider Arnold Schwarzenegger and Newt Gingrich.  But at least conservatives can console themselves with the knowledge that Arnold's behavior in office and Newt's behavior out of office prove that neither of them is a true conservative.

And while a Republican can be a "serial groper" and adultrer like Arnold or a general asshole like Gingrich it still seems to take a true man of the left to descend to the level of forcable rape, like Bill Clinton, Dominique Strauss-Kahn or Roman Polanski.

What I find most interesting about the whole Strauss-Kahn affair is the reaction of the French people and press.  Apparently if a Frenchman has the proper left-wing credentials forcing his penis into an unwilling woman's mouth or up her anus is no big deal.

But then that's what the American left and mainstream media (sorry, redundant) said about Juanita Brodaddrick's entirely credible allegation of forcible rape against Bill Clinton.  Apparently to Democrats the fact that the statute of limitations had expired meant that the issue was not even to be considered in evaluating Bill Clinton's character.

And then we have to remember Woopie Goldberg's characterization of Roman Polanski's holding a 13-year-old girl down and sodomizing her while she cried and begged to be let go as "not rape-rape".

It would seem that wherever one goes the whole world over leftist men and women share the belief that the female of the species was put upon this earth to service left-wing men, whether they want to or not.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ben Stein hurts himself

In an essay on yesterday's American Spectator Ben Stein, who I usually like, embarrassed himself by getting all weepy and indignant at the treatment of accused rapist Dominique Strauss-Kahn .

1.) If he is such a womanizer and violent guy with women, why didn't he ever get charged until now? If he has a long history of sexual abuse, how can it have remained no more than gossip this long? France is a nation of vicious political rivalries. Why didn't his opponents get him years ago?

2.) In life, events tend to follow patterns. People who commit crimes tend to be criminals, for example. Can anyone tell me any economists who have been convicted of violent sex crimes? Can anyone tell me of any heads of nonprofit international economic entities who have ever been charged and convicted of violent sexual crimes? Is it likely that just by chance this hotel maid found the only one in this category? Maybe Mr. Strauss-Kahn is guilty but if so, he is one of a kind, and criminals are not usually one of a kind.

Since his arrest we have heard that this is not an isolated incident.  Some who know Mr. Strauss-Kahn have been worried that something like this might come to light for some time.

3.) The prosecutors say that Mr. Strauss-Kahn "forced" the complainant to have oral and other sex with him. How? Did he have a gun? Did he have a knife? He's a short fat old man. They were in a hotel with people passing by the room constantly, if it's anything like the many hotels I am in. How did he intimidate her in that situation? And if he was so intimidating, why did she immediately feel un-intimidated enough to alert the authorities as to her story?

I admit that I've never stayed in a $3000 per night hotel, but I have spent several nights in a hotel whose rooms are currently renting for over $700 per night and I heard no noise from any other room or the hallway or the street (until I opened the window to catch some of the noise from Bourbon St. one block over).

As for how Strauss-Kahn could overpower an hotel maid I guess that Mr. Stein doesn't realize that the typical working mother doesn't spend half her time in the gym like the young Hollywood actresses that he associates with back in Los Angeles.

And the part about her feeling "un-intimidated" enough to file charges is stupid enough not to require a response, but I'll give one anyway.  She was "un-intimidated" enough to talk to the police after the rape, when she was no longer in the presence of her rapist.  When his arms weren't wrapped around her, when his weight was no longer pressing down on her and when his penis was no longer being thrust into her.  By Mr. Stein's logic any woman who reports being raped must be lying because if she had really been raped she would always be so frightened of her attacker that she would never dare to come forward.

4.) Did the prosecutors really convince a judge that he was a flight risk when he was getting on a flight he had booked long beforehand? What kind of high-pressure escape plan is that? How is it a sudden flight move to get on a flight booked maybe months ago?

Can anyone say Roman Polanski?  From France it is a short flight, or drive, to a nation with no extradition treaty with the US where Strauss-Kahn could live out his life in luxury.

5.) Mr. Strauss-Kahn had surrendered his passport. He had offered to stay in New York City. He is one of the most recognizable people on the planet. Did he really have to be put in Riker's Island? Couldn't he have been given home detention with a guard? This is a man with a lifetime of public service, on a distinguished level, to put it mildly. Was Riker's Island really the place to put him on the allegations of one human being? Hadn't he earned slightly better treatment than that? Any why compare him with a certain pedophile from France long ago? That man had confessed to his crime. Mr. Strauss-Kahn has not confessed to anything.

One of the most recognizable people on the planet?  What world does Mr. Stein live on?  Quick, show of hands - who knew what this guy looked like before the news hit?  Nobody?

As for putting him in Riker's Island that is what NYPD does with people who have been accused of crimes like rape and who are not eligible for bail.  And he is not eligible for bail because he possesses the money and the contacts to escape the country with or without a passport.

And if Mr. Stein thinks that working for an international organization which seeks to milk the American taxpayer in order to fund global socialism is a "lifetime of public service" I wonder why he is writing for a magazine like American Spectator rather than one like Mother Jones.

6.) People accuse other people of crimes all of the time. What do we know about the complainant besides that she is a hotel maid? I love and admire hotel maids. They have incredibly hard jobs and they do them uncomplainingly. I am sure she is a fine woman. On the other hand, I have had hotel maids that were complete lunatics, stealing airline tickets from me, stealing money from me, throwing away important papers, stealing medications from me. How do we know that this woman's word was good enough to put Mr. Strauss-Kahn straight into a horrific jail? Putting a man in Riker's is serious business. Maybe more than a few minutes of investigation is merited before it's done.

Mr. Stein is supposed to be a lawyer so I would hope that he would know that the police have a procedure that they follow when investigating an allegation of rape which involves a medical examanition of the victim.

And then we have his continuing obsession with Riker's Island.  What Stein seems to be saying is "Why would the police find the word of this insignificant peon so compelling that they would treat a wealthy and important global socialist in the same manner that they would treat any average American citizen in the same circumstances?".

Again I wonder why Stein is writing for American Spectator and not Daily Kos or the Huffington Post.

7.) In this country, we have the presumption of innocence for the accused. Yet there's my old pal from the Ron Ziegler/ Richard Nixon days, Diane Sawyer, anchor of the ABC Nightly News, assuming that Mr. Strauss-Kahn is guilty. Right off the bat she leads the Monday news by saying that Mr. Strauss-Kahn is in Riker's... "because one woman stood her ground..." That assumes she's telling the truth and he's guilty. No such thing has been proved and it's unfortunate for ABC to simply assume that an accusation is the same as a conviction. Maybe he's in jail because one person didn't tell the truth. I don't know one way or the other, but I sure know that there has been no conviction yet.

In this he does have a point regarding the media, we all remember the Duke Lacrosse players.  However as Harlan Ellison pointed out the presumption of innocence applies to a person's treatment in a court of law not the court of public opinion.  If Diane Sawyer stepped over the line and stated that Strauss-Kahn was guilty of rape and he is not convicted in a court of law he can sue her and ABC for liable.  Perhaps Mr. Stein would take the case.

I think that the business about Stein's "Nixon days" takes us to the heart of the issue with him.  Nixon, for those too young to remember, was more liberal than LBJ on domestic fiscal issues.  He is hated by the left because he exposed Ivy League darling Alger Hiss as a Soviet agent and got him sent to jail not because of anything he did while president (including Watergate). 

Stein's father was one of Nixon's economic advisors and Stein holds Nixon out as one of his major political heroes.  For someone like this instinctively coming to the defense of an international socialist like Strauss-Kahn would be a natural thing to do.

8.) In what possible way is the price of the hotel room relevant except in every way: this is a case about the hatred of the have-nots for the haves, and that's what it's all about. A man pays $3,000 a night for a hotel room? He's got to be guilty of something. Bring out the guillotine.

No, it is just pointing out the hypocrisy of another Lear jet liberal.  Here is a man who was once a member of the Communist Party, who left not because he disagreed with their goals but because he saw more opportunity to further his political career as a socialist, wallowing in those luxuries available only to the very wealthy.  $3000 hotel rooms (complete with maid "service" for me, but not for thee).  There is also the fact that as the head of an outfit that gets most of its funding from the United States most of that three grand per night might well have been ripped from working American's paychecks.

I don't know Mr. Strauss-Kahn. I have never laid eyes on him in person. He may well, in the future, be found guilty of atrocious conduct towards the complainant and maybe towards others. But, so far, he's innocent, and he's being treated shamefully. If he's found guilty, there will be plenty of time to criticize him and imprison him. But nothing has been proved yet except that the way this case has been handled so far is an embarrassment to this country.

Yes Mr. Stein Strauss-Kahn is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law but his treatment has not been "shameful".  He has been treated like any other person who has been credibly accused of a violent felony and who poses a serious flight risk.  What would have brought shame upon this nation is if a rich and connected man had been treated with the kid gloves that you wish had been employed in this case.

I've been hard on Ben Stein here so let me close with giving credit where credit is due and congratulate him on being able to get through an entire essay without once mentioning Ferris Bueller.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cops gone wild

John Stossel brings us the latest outrage from the "Only Ones".

A story in today's Philadelphia Daily News shows why it's so important that citizens be allowed to videotape cops - it can be citizens' only way to fight back against police abuse of power.

This incident happened several weeks ago in Philadelphia to Mark Fiorino, a 25-year-old IT worker who carries a gun on his hip at all times for self defense. He got the gun after several friends were mugged.
But he didn't count on attacks by police:

On a mild February afternoon, Fiorino, 25, decided to walk to an AutoZone on Frankford Avenue in Northeast Philly with the .40-caliber Glock he legally owns holstered in plain view on his left hip. His stroll ended when someone called out from behind: "Yo, Junior, what are you doing?"

Fiorino wheeled and saw Sgt. Michael Dougherty aiming a handgun at him.

What happened next would be hard to believe, except that Fiorino audio-recorded all of it: a tense, profanity-laced, 40-minute encounter with cops who told him that what he was doing - openly carrying a gun on the city's streets - was against the law.

"Do you know you can't openly carry here in Philadelphia?" Dougherty asked, according to the YouTube clip.

"Yes, you can, if you have a license to carry firearms," Fiorino said. "It's Directive 137. It's your own internal directive."

Fiorino was right. It was perfectly legal to carry the gun. But that didn't matter to the cop:

Fiorino offered to show Dougherty his driver's and firearms licenses. The cop told him to get on his knees.

"Excuse me?" Fiorino said.

"Get down on your knees. Just obey what I'm saying," Dougherty said.

"Sir," Fiorino replied, "I'm more than happy to stand here -"

"If you make a move, I'm going to f------ shoot you," Dougherty snapped. "I'm telling you right now, you make a move, and you're going down!"

"Is this necessary?" Fiorino said.

It went on like that for a little while, until other officers responded to Dougherty's calls for backup.
Fiorino was forced to the ground and shouted at as he tried to explain that he had a firearms license and was legally allowed to openly carry his weapon.

"You f------ come here looking for f------ problems? Where do you live?" yelled one officer.

"I'm sorry, gentlemen," Fiorino said. "If I'm under arrest, I have nothing left to say."

"F------ a------, shut the f--- up!" the cop hollered.

The cops discovered his recorder as they searched his pockets, and unleashed another string of expletives.

Fiorino said he sat handcuffed in a police wagon while the officers made numerous phone calls to supervisors, trying to find out if they could lock him up.

When they learned that they were in the wrong, they let him go.

But only temporarily. Fiorino posted the audio recordings on youtube, and now they are harassing him again:
A new investigation was launched, and last month the District Attorney's Office decided to charge Fiorino with reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct because, a spokeswoman said, he refused to cooperate with police... He's scheduled for trial in July.

If one listens to the audiotapes, it's hard to imagine how a reasonable person could charge Fiorino (and not the cops) for disorderly conduct.

Police have a difficult and dangerous job and they deserve our support and respect.  However when they behave in a manner such as this they should be dealt with, by their departments and the criminal justice system, with savage ruthlessness.

At the very least this cop should lose his badge and pension and ideally serve some time in prison.

I'm sure that other cops would say the Sgt. Dougherty is a "good cop" and would bring up all the criminals that he has taken off the streets.  But you know what?  I don't give a damn.  This kind of abuse of authority is utterly unforgivable.  It betrays an attitude which proves Robert A Heinline's adage that "civil servant = civil master" - at least in their own minds.

What happened here is clear.  Sgt. Dougherty and his brother officers were deeply offended at an ordinary citizen tresspassing onto what they believe should be their monopoly of going armed in public and they decided to teach him a lesson in how to keep his proper place.

As Mr. Stossel points out this incident is why it is so vital that citizens be legally able to record the actions of police officers.  If they will not restrain themselves out of respect for the law, their oaths or simple right and wrong they just might be shamed into proper conduct.

I'll bet you any amount of money that cops in Philadelphia are pissing and moaning about how unfair it is and how put upon they are at having their conduct held up to public scrutiny.  Well tough.  They work for us not the other way around.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A TV Post

By now the networks and cable channels have made their decisions about which shows are comming back and which are cancelled and the results have been officially announced or leaked to the entertainment media.

Here are a list of the shows that I care about one way or another.

Castle has been renewed. 

Blue Bloods has been renewed
Criminal Minds has been renewed
Hawaii Five-O has been renewed

Chuck has been renewed

Fringe has been renewed

Supernatural has been renewed

And some stinkers that needed to get the boot have been axed as well, like Lie to Me on Fox and The Cape and Chase on NBC.

Some crap shows have also been renwed like Harry's Law and Survivor.  And some very good shows like The Chicago Code and Detroit 1-8-7  have either been officially cancelled or are hanging by the thinnest of threads.

In the case of Detroit 1-8-7 it could very well be that ABC execs don't want to go into 2012 with a show about how hopelessly corrupt Chicago politics are when they are going to be going all out to reelect a Chicago politican to the presidency.

On Cable, FX's Justified has been renewed for 13 episodes, Rescue Me is about to air its final season and Sons of Anarchy will be back later this year.  On other cable outlets the popular shows Burn Notice, In Plain Sight, Covert Affairs, White Collar and Royal Pains are all comming back.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Romney won't back off Romneycare - must not really want to be president

W. James Antle, III writes:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will be giving a speech Thursday in which he is expected to tackle head-on the similarities between the health care bill he signed into law and the legislation signed by President Obama that Romney promises to repeal. We don't know exactly what Romney is going to say yet, but the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza gives us some previews:
"He's going out early and will be on offense when it comes to repealing Obamacare," said one Romney aide to speak candidly about the strategy behind the speech.
What Romney won't do, according to aides, is apologize for signing the health care law in Massachusetts.
Instead, he will, in essence, double down on the argument he has made about the Massachusetts plan for the past 18 months or so - that it was the right decision for that state at that particularly time and was never meant as a national model.
The trouble with this approach is that the most substantial real-world evidence we have that Obamacare won't work is the failure of similar features in Romneycare. Mitt Romney is staking out a position that makes it difficult for Republicans to make that argument. The best Republicans will be able to do is say, "We know Obamacare is likely to produce crowded emergency rooms, long medical wait times, and increased costs to the taxpayers because that's what a similar plan did in Massachusetts. But that Massachusetts plan was the right decision for that state at that particular time. It's only bad nationally."

I have to disagree with Mr. Antle.  This does not make it harder for Republicans it makes it easier.

When Republican voters step into the voting booth to choose which person to nominate to be the GOP candidate to run against Obama they will have one less name to consider.  Because no one who is still defending the system which Obamacare was modeled on has any business being on our ticket next year.

And we shouldn't be giving serious consideration to Chris Christie either.  While he is the best man that a deep blue state like NJ is ever likely to elect he is, when compared against the standards of the South, Midwest and Southwest (regions the GOP must win to capture the White House), a liberal who happened to have paid attention in economics class.

Of course I would take either of them over Obama, but then I would take Charlie Sheen over Obama.

At least Sheen wouldn't try to ruin the economy, or deliberately alienate our allies, or grovel and abase himself (and our nation) before our enemies. . .

Monday, May 09, 2011

Fatboy Dim speaks out

From NewsBusters:

Ever looking to criticize the American populace from his cardboard platform, filmmaker Michael Moore lashed out Thursday on CNN at supporters of Osama bin Laden's assassination. "We've lost something of our soul here in this country," he said of the mission to kill the al Qaeda leader rather than capture him and try him in court.

A guest on Piers Morgan Tonight, Moore contrasted the assassination with the post-World War II Nuremburg trials. He claimed that America then, unlike now, put itself above the level of its enemies by trying their leaders instead of simply executing them.

The liberal filmmaker ripped Americans' disregard for a trial and their support of an assassination. "The second you say that, you're saying that you hate being an American," he huffed. "You hate what we stand for, you hate what our constitution stands for....We should be standing up and saying 'listen, damn it, we're Americans. This is the way we do it. You commit a crime, we put you on trial.'"

I wonder how Fatboy feels about the death of Japanese Admiral Yamamoto (who planned the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor) whose plane was deliberately targeted and shot down by the US military:
Following the fall of Guadalcanal in February 1943, Yamamoto decided to make an inpection tour through the South Pacific to boost morale. Using radio intercepts, American forces were able to isolate the route of the admiral's plane. On the morning of April 18, 1943, P-38 Lightnings from the 339th Fighter Squadron ambushed Yamamoto's plane and its escorts near Bougainville. In the fight that ensued, Yamamoto's plane was hit and went down killing all on board. The kill is generally credited to 1st Lt. Rex T. Barber.

I have news for Mr. Dim.  Lt. Barber wasn't trying to force Yamamoto's plane to land so that the admiral could be arrested and made to stand trial.

What Fatboy doesn't seem to understand is that 9/11 was an ACT OF WAR, not a "crime" in the sense of a purse snatching or even the Oklahoma City bombing.  The attack on Sept 11 was an act of war committed by an international terrorist organization with the active support of one sovereign nation (Afghanistan) and the under the table support of several others.

The Clinton administration's determination to treat similar acts of war (the first WTC bombing and the attack on the USS Cole) as matters for the criminal justice system were contributing factors to the 9/11 attacks because they were perceived by our enemies as signs of weakness (which they were).  Osama bin Laden was led to believe that he would face no consequence for his actions more forceful than having a warrant for his arrest issued.

And 3000 Americans died.

But to be fair to Fatboy I have to admit that he raised one legitimate point:

Moore added later that he "would like to know" how long the Obama administration has known the location of Osama bin Laden.

I too would like to know how long our "efficient, steely-nerved, multitasking, black ninja gangster president" sat on his ass waiting for the best time to order the hit in order to help his reelection chances before WikiLeaks and the arrest of one of the CIA officers keeping watch on the bin Laden compound in Abbottabad forced his hand.  And even then we learn that Leon Panetta had to work around the president’s "persistent hesitation to act".

Of course we know that our mighty warrior of a president had to sleep on it over a span of around sixteen hours before making his "courageous" decision to send far better men than himself into a military stronghold in the heart of a nation which is only nominally an ally in order to cut the head off the al Qaeda snake.
Just as we now know that our young and hip president (who combines the knowledge of von Clausewitz with the wisdom of Sun Tzu and the daring of Hannibal) had to be retrieved from a golf course to pose for that picture in which he and his national security team pretended to be watching the Abbottabad raid unfold in real time (in which he still managed to look like the smallest person in the room - didn't they run that past Axlerod before releasing it?).

But all-in-all we have to rack Fatboy's suspicion about the timing of these affairs up to the stopped clock being right twice a day effect.  In his zeal to find something - anything - to condemn his country and countrymen over he is forced to take some shots at his own president (and we know that when all is said and done that he will be voting to reelect Obama). 

In the end this tantrum from the Flake from Flint is like all his other bloviations, a tale told by a leftist, full of sound and fury, signifying psychosis. 

Monday, May 02, 2011

bin Laden dead

From American Thinker:

Osama bin Laden was killed last week after a firefight at a compound outside of Abbottabad, Pakistan. The attack was lead by U.S. Special Forces under the direction of the CIA. ABC News is reporting that a DNA match has confirmed the identity of the leader of al Qaeda and the mastermind of the 9/11 massacres.

President Obama announced the success of the operation late Sunday evening. Crowds gathered outside the White House in celebration of the death of bin Laden. People sang the national anthem and chanted "U.S.A. – U.S.A."

While having bin Laden killed on his watch is certainly a feather in Obama's cap it must have truly galled him to hear American citizens expressing the hated and despised sentiment of patriotism right outside his royal palace the White House.

More to come.