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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Utopia's Free Lunch

By On March 31, 2012
Lunch is a nice meal and a free lunch is even nicer. The problem with free lunches is that someone always has to pay for them. Lunches don't grow on trees, unless they're fresh fruit, the ingredients have to be gathered, processed, shipped, mixed, prepared, packaged, shipped again and put on your plate by a waiter working in an establishment that has to pay rent, heating, electricity and salaries.

A free lunch isn't just free food, it's the entire human and mechanical infrastructure needed to get it ready and subsidizing a free lunch means paying for that entire infrastructure. That's one reason why some states and cities are slipping into bankruptcy like a man who has had too many martinis over lunch. It's not just the free lunch that's expensive, it's the often inflated cost of the lunch delivery system that is killing everything.

The free lunch began as the Bread and Circuses which had its roots in a Roman bread dole. Free or subsidized bread is still a feature of political life in many parts of the world, including Egypt where the revolution had more to do with the price of bread than with democracy. The Muslim Brotherhood offered voters food giveways, turning Bread and Circuses into Bread and Beheadings, which is also a circus of sorts.

Free Egyptian bread started out as American subsidized aid. The world's free lunch is still doled out in Washington D.C. where the Senate dining rooms had to be privatized after losing 18 million dollars. A government that can't even run a cafeteria without losing millions of dollars can't run anything else without losing billions or trillions doing it. 

The logic of free bread is simple enough. It says that the people in power are stealing so much money that it's worth it to kick a small piece of it back as subsidized food to avoid the people booting them out. That's usually the way it is when people offer you free lunches bought with your own money, it's because they're stealing a hundred times the amount so they can afford to cover your lunch with some of the money they already stole from you.

That may be where the free lunch starts out, but that's not where it ends. The popularity of free lunches makes the free lunch program politically untouchable, and that means it's going to be rolled, stuffed and robbed forty times over. It means that whenever anyone wants to steal money, they'll pass it through the Free Lunch program.

Whenever legislators complain that some vital program which people care about can't be covered without a tax hike, invariably the reason that there's no money is because the money that should have gone to the program was stolen. It wasn't broken into in the middle of the night, the same legislators getting self-righteous about social security or the fire department or a dozen other things redirected the money to their own pet projects. They did that knowing that when the money ran out, the key programs could be used to justify more tax hikes.

The free lunch may start out free, but it ends up costing many times the market value of an ordinary lunch. Even the free lunch program itself is rarely about giving out free lunches, it's about building up a program that gives out free lunches, which is not the same thing at all.

The first goal of government programs is to exist. Their second goal, hopefully, is to carry out their stated mission. Usually it's more like the fifth or sixth goal, with the second goal being to give the right people jobs administering the program, the third goal being to promote the success of the program and the fourth goal being to lobby for an expansion of the program.

A restaurant has to manufacture and distribute its lunch efficiently in relation to the amount that it can charge the customer for the lunch. But a free lunch program isn't bound by such a narrow target. The only limitation on the free lunch program is how much money it receives to fund the program. When you are in a free lunch program, then you don't get to dictate the cost of the lunch or the content of the lunch. The funders of the program do that and their goal is to run the most inefficient program possible because it's how they pull in the most money.

Free market programs aim for the tightest budget possible. Government programs aim for the widest budget possible. Free market programs aim to provide a service. Government programs service themselves by tackling unsolvable social problems and making them even more unsolvable program. A restaurant tries to feed people, a free lunch program feeds itself while cultivating an air of moral superiority.

None of this changes the basic economics of the situation. Lunches still have to come from somewhere. They still have to be harvested, picked, prepared, shipped and distributed. In a perfect world it should be possible to give everyone a free lunch, in the real world it isn't. After the usual grandstanding tics about making the rich pay more have passed, the program gets streamlined by lowering the quality of the lunch. And so the free lunch is not only much more expensive, it's also much worse.

The laws of economics squeeze free lunches even harder. When the free lunch is healthcare, then once the politicians have signed the bill, slapped each other on the shoulder and posed in commercials where multiracial families smile to show how happy they are, the people who really make the sausage and pull down six figure salaries meet at conferences in Tahiti or Basel to figure out which end to squeeze first. They calculate the cost of patients in the last months of their lives and begin punching the euthanasia button on their calculators. They start looking at how many expensive drugs can be eliminated as too experimental and how many people can be forced into lifestyle programs in the hopes that their health care won't cost as much twenty years down the road.

That's what free lunch really looks like and it has as much relation to what politicians sell a free lunch as being, as the commercial for a new wonder drug has to its real life side effects. The side effects of a free lunch are that you pay much more for the free lunch, the free lunch is much less nutritious and justifies the free lunch distributors dramatically curtailing your freedom and your life.

Magical thinking says that we can have something if we really want it enough. That's true to an extent, but we can't have it for free. Everything has positive and negative side effects. The medicine that cures a deadly disease kills a percentage of its patients. That's the difference between science and magic.

Economists who pretend that money comes from government programs are engaging in magical thinking. They are the voodoo economists who wave their sticks, bones and slide rules over the heads of eager politicians and promise them that everything will be fine so long as they pass the bill under a favorable fiscal moon.

Magical economics recognizes no limitations. It says that if a free lunch is moral, then it is also economically feasible and deliverable. Clever magicians can drag out a trick for a long time, but when the show is done, coins don't come out of ears, assistants can't be sawed in half and something doesn't come from nothing. And government is one big nothing. It is a way to spend wealth, not create it.

When the curtain falls, then the people behind the scene have to figure out how to sell the illusion and prevent the audience from seeing the blood dripping from the box. Because magic isn't real. Economics for the most part is. If you saw someone in half, they will bleed, unless you fool the audience by moving them into a single box and if you pull a coin out of an ear, it has to be the same coin that was in your hand all along.

Politicians like to believe in magic and free lunches because it makes them feel superhuman. And people like to believe in free lunches, because free lunches are nice to have. But in between the people and the politicians are the blueprints for a free lunch program which run 2,700 pages and contain not only the details of how the sausage will get made, but also where else all that money will go.

The free lunch is a cornucopia, a compelling magical idea over the prosaic reality that a government which has stolen so much that it's giving away free lunches, will steal so much that it will not be able to afford the free lunches either. Because the magician is really a pickpocket, a card shark and a con artist. His only real trick is making his audience believe in magic, even though they know better. The trick keeps them from noticing his hand in their pocket, not because they can't see it, but because they don't want to.

Utopia is a wonderful magic trick. A land where everyone is equal, everyone has enough and no one has anything to complain about. It's such a wonderful con that even many of the con artists believe that the land of free lunches is real. It isn't though.

At the end of the road Utopia is Greece after the money ran out. It's Rhode Island and California. It's patients dying under NHS' watch and six figure salaried medical ethics experts discussing which patients to kill. It's the Mandate and the SWAT team and a thousand bureaucrats and police enforcing a million rules. It's bills with too many pages to read and governments too big to fail until they do. It's the rabbit hole that Alice falls into that takes her into a Wonderland that's half dream and half nightmare.

That is Utopia's free lunch, a magic dance through the air, arm in arm with Wile E Coyote that ends when we realize there's nothing underneath us and someone has stolen our shoes. It's the magic of idealism mingled with corruption, dissonant musical instruments playing a mad waltz that ends with everyone falling down. A reminder that we can make a better world, but not by closing our eyes and believing in free lunches and fairies.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Afternoon Roundup - The Meaning of Freedom

By On March 30, 2012
From Bosch Fawstin
THE INTERVIEW This week I did an hour-long conversation/interview with Jamie Glazov on his show and we had a great talk about a number of things. The embed is below, if you want to give it a listen.
Listen to internet radio with Radio Jihad Network on Blog Talk Radio


The media is angry. It gets angry whenever it encounters resistance to its narrative. That's what happened with the Trayvon Martin case and Obamacare.

When the media encounters resistance, it runs through its stages

1. Denial - No one but a few loons reject the narrative

2. Anger - How dare they reject the narrative

3. Bargaining - The media starts looking for moderates who will accept some element of the narrative

4. Depression - The media glumly pontificates on a broken America where racism and poor health care will always be issues. Where their narrative remains marginalized among the NPR/New York Times enlightened.

But the fifth stage, Acceptance, never kicks in. The process just repeats itself.

The Trayvon Martin case is still locked into Anger mode. ObamaCare is starting to tip slowly toward Bargaining, but is also in Anger mode.

Anger mode happens when the media realizes that the resistance isn't a few people they can ignore, that the resistance is organized, literate, competent and is advancing towards its goal. It takes the media a while to reach this point, but once it does, it jumps into action, plugging its narrative non-stop, searching for any evidence, real or manufactured, to back up its case, and pushing that evidence non-stop.

The facts don't matter, only the survival of the narrative does, because the narrative is a vehicle for policy.

Trayvon Martin isn't about a dead 17 year old, it's about reestablishing racism as the dominant issue in American life, helping to pave the way for Obama's reelection campaign and finding a wedge issue to use against the NRA in order to bring down the Second Amendment.

The media's problem is that it launched the narrative prematurely based on sloppy information, without taking into account minor issues such as Zimmerman's own racial appearance or Martin's problematic backstory. It assumed that the public would uncritically eat up the narrative, the right would be sidelined or made to feel guilty for supporting individual self-defense and the Second Amendment and the narrative would steamroll its way to the 2012 election.

At first they didn't know how to deal with the blowback, now they're stuck having to fight to defend their narrative to the death.

The ObamaCare Mandate is even more problematic, because it's unpopular with the general public and not that popular even on the left. Administration authoritarianism made it seem acceptable, but that was an illusion and now that illusion is suffering a severe attack.

The left had counted on Scalia's authoritarian side, or what they thought was his authoritarian side, to pull this off for them. When they realized it wasn't going to happen, he became their first target. In Anger mode, when the left realizes that it is losing, it begins lashing out at those it blames for its defeat, whether it's Verrilli or Scalia. It's rarely capable of understanding why it lost, instead it reaches for personal attacks.


The left does not really care about the Mandate, except as a vehicle for their policies. The media defends the Mandate, because it's defending national health care. This kind of cynicism leads to intellectual laziness and senseless arguments.

Instead of thinking through the objections from the other side, the left has wasted its energies on ridiculing the opposition. It can't rationally defend the Mandate from a Constitutional standpoint, for one thing it doesn't believe in the Constitution, it hardly speaks a common language with the more conservative Justices who do.

And that is the real problem with Verrilli, who could have done an excellent job explaining the social utility of the Mandate, but like his boss, is not very good at fitting the whole thing into an existing legal framework that prioritizes freedom over government power. Verrilli was a poor choice, but he was an inevitable choice by an administration that thought the Mandate was a good idea to begin with.

It's hard to make legal arguments when you don't share a legal framework or a cultural one. Kennedy uncomfortably dangles between the new court of liberals who no longer care about the law, only about making law, and the conservatives pushing back to the original document. He is out of step with Kagan and the Wise Latina who see the argument in terms of what is socially beneficial, not in relation to the limits of the law.

Slate's legal analyst Dalia Lithwick demonstrates the basic incomprehension when she writes that it's a choice between freedom from being forced to buy health insurance or freedom from free medical treatment.

Even people who support President Obama’s signature legislative achievement would agree that this debate is all about freedom—the freedom to never be one medical emergency away from economic ruin. What we have been waiting to hear is how members of the Supreme Court—especially the conservative majority—define that freedom. This morning as the justices pondered whether the individual mandate—that part of the Affordable Care Act that requires most Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty—is constitutional, we got a window into the freedom some of the justices long for.

Freedom is to be free from the telephone. Verrilli explains that “telephone rates in this country for a century were set via the exercise of the commerce power in a way in which some people paid rates that were much higher than their costs in order to subsidize.” To which Justice Scalia is again ready with a quick retort: “Only if you make phone calls.” Verrilli tries to point out that “to live in the modern world, everybody needs a telephone,” 

And that's really where the gap kicks in, isn't it.

Lithwick uses the word "freedom" without having any idea of its meaning. To her, free health care is a form of freedom because it liberates you from a dangerous situation. On the other hand the freedom not to buy health insurance is a dumb kind of freedom because it only frees you to be in danger of not having health care.

It's a wonder the ACLU still exists because most on the left no longer understand the meaning of freedom, they can't separate it from government intervention or view it as a thing apart from government intervention, except during brief periods when Republicans are in office and then everything is an attack on their 'freedom'.

The gap here is cultural. Generations of the left view the government as the fundamental core of modern life. Any limitation on its power to dispense social benefits is dangerous to what they define as freedom, which is really subsidized personal autonomy... which is limited by the same government mechanisms that enable it.

So too the religious freedom vs subsidized birth control products runs into the same wall. But their idea of collectively distributed products and services that make personal autonomy possible is not freedom, it's feudalism. And that's what the Mandate debate is really about.

The Constitution was there to provide freedom from authority, to place limits on the power of central government. That is the "dark time" that Lithwick fears we will be dragged back to. For those who define freedom in terms of government mandated benefits, who believe in a subsidized autonomy, that is indeed a terrifying thing.

ObamaCare opponents and Lithwick both fear losing their freedom. But the opponents define freedom as restraint of government power. Lithwick defines freedom as government power to impose such obligations on society that will provide the appropriate social welfare benefits for those who need it.

That gap is unbridgeable and mutually incomprehensible. When you can't agree on what freedom is, then there is nothing at all to talk about.


French President Nicolas Sarkozy said French Muslims were clearly not responsible for the acts of a madman... He ridiculed Le Pen's parallel between the killer and immigration, pointing out that Merah was born and raised in France.
Clearly immigration has nothing to do with this.

Sure daddy dearest, Benalen Merah, lives in Algeria, and is suing France for the crime of shooting a proud Muslim Jihadist. And sonny was a second-generation immigrant, which clearly means that immigration has nothing to do with this.

One might ask how did France fill up with Muslims if not through immigration, but hasn't Sarkozy already assured us that Islam has nothing to do with this?

Mohamed Merah isn't Muslim or an immigrant. He's just one of those ordinary French youth who are angry over things. Nothing to see here. Everyone move along.

Sarkozy is busy pandering, promising anti-terrorism and anti-Imam measures that will go nowhere when he is reelected, just as they went nowhere last time. The architects of tolerance are organizing Jewish-Muslim marches and the media is worrying that there might be another backlash against Muslims.


Adrienne Rich, who called for compulsory lesbianism for women and the destruction of Israel, has expanded her boycott of the Jewish State beyond the Jews and into oxygen, which she believed was tainted by Zionism and Heterosexuality.

Rich's courageous commitment to refusing to breathe has been praised by BDS activists who have rallied to her in the wake of the Battle of the Park Slope Coop defeat. While Rich's decision to boycott Zionist and Heteronormative American Imperial oxygen has led to her passing from this plane to a wondrous realm of Muslim lesbians, thus preventing her from participating in the next Gaza flotilla, she has been praised for remaining true to her principles of hating Jews, men, women and koala bears.

Adrienne Rich leaves behind a final poem summing up her existence.

Damn (2012)

They're everywhere
Like Zionism hives hatching
Patriarchal somo-dominance of integrity
Birds shriek into a hurricane
Lesbian Palestine I embrace you
Truth is dangling from
Renounce Amerikkkan-Oxygen for


"I'm deeply concerned about the possibility of an escalation of tensions and the occurrence of more confrontations and demonstrations [in Egypt]," said McCain. "However, the more important question is whether the Muslim Brotherhood will adopt a moderate approach, or if some of its extremist members will be directing the constitution-drafting process and the [presidential] elections."

I certainly hope none of those "extremist" members of the Brotherhood will try to make the Constitution go Islamist.


A new poll finds most New Jersey residents support the secret monitoring of Muslim groups by the New York Police Department, though that sentiment isn't as strong in Hudson and Essex counties.

What no word from Passaic County?

Will this stop Christie from shamelessly pandering to Muslims by bashing the NYPD? I wouldn't count on it, but if he's serious about going for the White House in 2016, he might want to tone it down a bit. This isn't the Democratic Party after all.


Non-Muslims should not question a planned seminar on “the threat of Christianisation” to Islam as the Federal Constitution empowered Muslims to organise such events, a conservative pressure group asserted today.

The Muslim Organisations in Defence of Islam (PEMBELA) defended the event jointly organised by the Johor state education and mufti departments, saying that opposition towards the event meant questioning guaranteed Muslim rights.

So can we get an investigation of Muslim Christianophobia? Oh and this is Malaysia. And events like this are a preliminary to what we might call Hate  Crimes, but over there is just called Muslims being angry about things and then burning them down.


The Scouts have developed the first uniform for Muslim girls as the organisation seeks to attract children from different cultures. Figures show there are around 2000 Muslim Scouts in Britain in 40 groups which have a predominantly Muslim membership. Worldwide about one in three Scouts are now said to be Muslim.

Bear Grylls, the Chief Scout, said the movement was proud of its diverse range of nationalities.

“With this new clothing range Scouting is continuing to move with the times and adapt to the growing number of people from different communities who are choosing to be a part of the Movement,” he said

But what will the nature of this movement end up being when it becomes Muslim?


The United States said Thursday it wanted to step up development assistance to Nigeria's restive Muslim-majority north as it urged the Abuja government to address grievances underlying violence.

Carson, while voicing concern about Boko Haram, said that Nigeria's federal government needed to address "the underlying political and socio-economic problems in the north" to prevent extremism.

"The government must also promote respect for human rights by its security forces, whose heavy-handed tactics and extra-judicial killings reinforce the belief that Abuja is insensitive to the concerns of the north," he said.

Carson said that the State Department took Boko Haram's potential threat to the United States "very seriously" but indicated that he opposed a terrorist designation.

Carson said that despite "reports of episodic contact" between Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda, the Nigerian group was not "monolithic." Carson also dismissed assessments that religion was the primary driver of the violence.

"As Boko Haram is focused primarily on local Nigerian issues and actors, they respond principally to political and security developments within Nigeria," Carson said.

There isn't even any point in talking about treason. Is it even treason anymore when it becomes the norm, when it's reflected universally in government policy?


The Society won approval in high places. The Vatican counted it among its partners in Christian-Muslim dialogue and both Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict received its secretary general. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual head of the world's Anglicans, visited the campus in 2009 to deliver a lecture. The following year, the U.S. State Department noted approvingly how the Society had helped Filipino Christian migrant workers start a church in Libya.

But the Society had a darker side that occasionally flashed into view. In Africa, rumors abounded for years of Society staffers paying off local politicians or supporting insurgent groups. In 2004, an American Muslim leader was convicted of a plot to assassinate the Saudi crown prince, financed in part by the Society. In 2011, Canada stripped the local Society office of its charity status after it found the director had diverted Society money to a radical group that had attempted a coup in Trinidad and Tobago in 1990 and was linked to a plot to bomb New York's Kennedy Airport in 2007.

Yet Libya's new leaders, the same ones who fought bitterly to overthrow Gaddafi and dismantle his 42-year dictatorship, are unanimous in wanting to preserve the WICS. They say they can disentangle its religious work from the dirty tricks it played and retain the Society as a legitimate religious charity - and an instrument of soft power for oil-rich Libya.

"There are still some loose ends in the Islamic Call Society in Africa," said Noman Benotman, a former member of an al-Qaeda-linked Libyan Islamist group who now works on deradicalization of jihadists at the Quilliam Foundation in London.

"They still have a lot of money going around through these channels that used to belong to the Islamic Call Society," he said. "Huge amounts of money are involved. I think we're talking about one to two billion dollars."

Ah, but the real question is whether that money is going to Boko Haram or Capitol Hill.


In the spirit of racial harmony, I have, for several days now, been thinking that I have to stop dressing like a white man and get with the Hoodie program. After all, isn't it better that we all learn, like Reginald Denny to "just get along?" (Or was it Rodney King? So hard to remember all the post-racial celebrities, isn't it?) Isn't it also safer for WASPs to Africanize now that we live in a nation where very marginal, very demented, and very repulsive groups such as the "New" Black Panthers can offer bounties on the head of anyone they dislike because of the color of his skin? Do I really need a weatherman to know which way their skin blows?


SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wrapped up her San Francisco holiday weekend Monday with a blast at President Bush. The topic -- the price of oil. Gasoline has more than doubled since the Bush administration took office she says.

San Francisco's Meals on Wheels turns out more than 1,300 meals a day to seniors. But now there has been a dramatic rise in expenses.

"Our costs have gone up 40 percent, but even more so, the indirect costs of driving food costs is really taking a big hit on us. Almost a nine percent increase in food costs in just one year," says Ashley McCumber of Meals on Wheels.

McCumber joined Speaker Pelosi Monday to dramatize the tough times businesses are having because of fuel costs. The speaker blames what she labels the Bush-Cheney big oil agenda, using graphics to point out gasoline prices have more than doubled in the Bush administration.


Republicans should take a lesson, and seek out the current opinions at Meals on Wheels, Boys and Girls clubs, from small businessmen, caregivers and volunteers. 

I doubt McCumber will show up to this one, but it's still a good idea.


"A day doesn’t go by that some Republican candidate, leader or otherwise shouts “we want our country back.”

We do want it back. You borrowed it, you broke it, and you weren't even decent enough to leave a note on the windshield. And if 2010 was any indication, we are well on the way to achieving that goal.

A response to a liberal. From Gary's Bear to the Right blog and you can find the soundtrack to that at Western Rifle Shooters.


A Muslim judge too, according to the document, “must in his heart hate the man-made law”:

    "He must also do everything in his power to enact laws that allow the Muslims to practice their Shari’a. He must keep it in his mind that he was not permitted to take this job except to serve Islam and Muslims. He must also… judge by the rulings of the Shari’a as much as possible, even if by a ruse."

So a Muslim judge is allowed to participate in the infidel system of justice only to serve Islam and fellow Muslims, not everyone who comes before his bench without discrimination, and he must rule as much as possible according to the dictates of sharia without attracting undue attention to his true intentions and loyalty.

Watch for this to really begin taking off. See details in Mark Tapson's article on Sharia subverting the legal system.


We're down to five year olds in the UK now. Not Saudi Arabia, the UK. See Pamela Geller.

The shocking revelations have come to light as a public consultation into criminalising forced marriage ends. Amy Cumming, joint head of the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU), told the BBC that more than a quarter - 29 per cent - of the cases it handled in 2011-12 involved minors.

She said: 'The youngest of these was actually five-years-old, so there are children involved in the practice across the school age range.'

Looks like Jesus from The Big Lebowsky should actually have been named Mohamed.


..The cost of an average family premium shot up 9.5% in 2011 — the highest rate in seven years and three times the rate of overall inflation, finds a major new survey of employer plans by Kaiser Family Foundation.

Kaiser attributes the premium spike to "changes from the new health reform law." The 200-page study explains: "Significant percentages of firms made changes in their preventive care benefits and enrolled adult children in their benefits plans in response to provisions in the new health reform law."

If we just reform health care some more, maybe no one will be able to afford it anymore at all. Except for the carefully rationed government kind. Did someone say Death Panels? Nah.


Whenever the usual useful idiots want to denounce me to the politically correct politburo, they reach for a carefully selected quote winnowed by a Muslim writer who had done work for Iranian and Saudi outlets.

This is the quote they select.

‘We would have to be willing to kill millions, directly or indirectly, while maintaining an alliance that would defy Russia, China and the First World nations that would accuse us of genocide. The real name for this war might well turn out to be World War III.   It would take a Churchill or a Roosevelt to launch something like that…

What they carefully do is leave out a minor thing called context. Here's the opening paragraph of that piece.

Islamic Terrorism has become to the early 21st century, what Communism was to the late 20th century, the ultimate existential threat that the civilized world was forced to grapple with. In this article I will take a look at a few of the existing approaches, and their pros and cons, for winning the War on Terror.

The paragraph about having to kill millions that keeps getting quoted, that was listed under Cons. For the morbidly progressive, "cons" are a reason not to do something. Not a reason to do it.

Here's the entire paragraph that is carefully trimmed in these denunciations.

Cons: We would have to be willing to kill millions, directly or indirectly, while maintaining an alliance that would defy Russia, China and the First World nations that would accuse us of genocide. The real name for this war might well turn out to be World War III. It would take a Churchill or a Roosevelt to launch something like that, and while the world would be radically different afterward, it might well turn out to be radioactively different too.

What a difference a few words make.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Bankrupt Race Card

By On March 28, 2012
The Trayvon Martin case is a wholly familiar one to residents of any major urban city. If you live in Chicago, New York or Los Angeles, then it's only a matter of time until an incident between a law enforcement officer, or more rarely a civilian defending himself, and a member of a minority group flares up into a citywide grievance theater complete with angry reverends on the steps of City Hall, women with stony faces holding up banners calling for justice and a media driven debate about police tactics and racism.

This sort of thing happens with depressing regularity in cities where even the most liberal residents have to choose between police overreach and being murdered. It never leads to meaningful debate or a resolution, instead it peters out with the best actors in the grievance theater picking up money and influence, the media selling a few more papers or ads for nasal polyp relief on the drive time news and everything going back to the way it was.

The grievance theater is never really about the specific case, the specific shooting, it's about the links between the social problems of the black community, the compromises of civil liberties necessary to keep entire cities from turning into Detroit and the inability of the media to address the sources of crime as anything but the phantoms of white racism. It's about a black leadership that is more interested in posturing as angry activists and shaking loose some money, than in healing their own community's problems. And so the same story repeats itself again and again without an honest dialogue or anything meaningful coming out of it.

But grievance theater has been going national. It's no longer just extraordinary cases like Bernie Goetz's Death Wish moment on the number 2 train that briefly catch hold of the national conversation. The obsessive coverage of the so-called Jena 6 case, an incident of so little internal meaning, signaled that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton would no longer just be able to drive a local controversy, they now had the freedom to drive national controversies any time they wanted to.

Trayvon Martin is their big moment. It's no longer just grievance theater being used to influence the political fortunes of a municipal election, the way that Howard Beach was used to bring down Mayor Koch and replace him with the execrable David Dinkins. Now it's being used as part of a presidential campaign on a national level.

The fortunes of too many black politicians have been tied to white guilt and black rage. The worst sort of black politician channels black rage to score points with black supporters while playing on the guilt of white voters, promising to heal the social conditions that bring about that anger and protect them from its ravages. But never before has that game been played out of the Oval Office.

The last two Democratic presidents were Southern governors, but the current occupant is a veteran of the corrupt urban political machine where there are only two games in town and when the money runs out, this is the one you play. The money is running out, the polls are running down and accordingly we have been treated to an episode of grievance theater, with our beloved leader in the role of healer and inciter.

Obama helped Al Sharpton achieved an unprecedented national profile in order to marshal that part of his base which cares less about jobs, than about finding someone to blame. The Trayvon Martin circus is a bullhorn urging that all of us, black or white, to stop focusing on the economy and start focusing on race.

It's Community Activism 101 to divide and conquer the electorate by breaking them down and feeding local anxieties, whether it's about birth control or racial injustice. And it's a win-win for Obama, who at worst gains a distraction from economic turmoil and a few thousand guilty voters and at best, upends the national dialogue by asserting the dominance of the racial narrative. While his associates wield the bullhorns, he carefully plays healer and if there is violence, then his currency as racial healer increases.

What does it say about America that what was once a form of political theater rising out of the grimy urban blocks of the failed city is now a national art form? Nothing good. A local dysfunction has become a national dysfunction, not because every city has become New York and Chicago, but because the people at the center of power hail from New York and Chicago.

Our racial dysfunction has always been secondary to our political dysfunction and now our political dysfunction is second to none. We have the best government that Warren Buffett's money could buy and that ACORN's election fraud can achieve. And we have a national government that is starting to look like the dysfunctional urban governments at the center of the grievance theaters.

Chicago nearly went bankrupt in 1930. New York nearly went bankrupt in 1975. But states have bailed out cities and the federal government has bailed out states. When there isn't enough money to keep the dysfunctional political machine built on corruption and subsidies going, there's always some larger entity to foot the bill.

The problem with this current government is that it's operating at the federal level and there is no longer any larger entity to foot the bill. All the shopworn radicalism, the cries about making the rich pay their fair share, are old hat. The rich and the upper middle-class can pay more, but there's no amount of money that will cover a government that spends money as if there is no tomorrow.

That is the lesson that has yet to be learned from the cities whose dysfunctional politics have been transplanted to the national government. Along with the politics has come the grievance mob, the outrage machine, the outpourings of self-righteousness, the class warfare fought by corrupt pols and the rest of the bread and circuses show that have blighted the American city for a century and a half.

Grievance theater isn't about race, it's not about slavery, police brutality or separate lunch counters, it's about power and money. Black politicians are not fundamentally different from white ones. They have more in common with their white colleagues than they do with their own communities. The only difference is that they are playing with the race cards they have been dealt.

The ghetto didn't evolve naturally, it was created through a web of national and local government regulations that played with real estate, social welfare, voting districts and the manufacturing sector to achieve the desired results. We don't have to have ghettos, we have them because at one point they were convenient for a number of political interests and because they were the unintended side-effect of a number of socialist policies. 

The ghetto farms black communities for votes and more importantly for subsidies. For every dollar that is taken to help minorities, a penny goes to the problem and ninety-nine cents goes to the hucksters, the administrators, the bureaucrats, the wives of influential pols hired on massive salaries to oversee some aspect of the program, the experts who monitor compliance, the affirmative action contractors who charge four times as much to build a school or provide meals, the unions who have the exclusive right to service the program, the slumlords who administer affordable housing and finally the politicians who have the money kicked back to them by all of the above.

When you look closely at where the school property tax money goes, why health care is so expensive and why so much money has to be spent on housing, a big chunk of it goes here. It's the hole in our budget ozone layer and it can never be filled, because it is designed never to be filled. For a sizable number of influential people, both black and white, the black community's social problems are a cash cow. The grievance theater is their way of collecting protection money and making sure that no one pays too much attention to what's really wrong.

The problem isn't limited to the black community. The same phenomenon crosses over different minority communities and some white ones as well, but the race card is still the best card in the deck. It carries too many emotional triggers, too much guilt and too much hope not to use it over and over again. The moral power of the civil rights movement still isn't exhausted as long as hopeful white people smile at the sight of a black man in the White House as if his political power testified to their innocence.

But the power can only be retained through constant indoctrination in the rituals of guilt, through repetitions of the grievance theater which reminds us that national bankruptcy is a small price to pay for peace, that we will be better people and a better nation if we vote for Obama against our own economic interests. Grievance theater takes many forms, but its elemental form is the street production that the Trayvon Martin case has brought us.

Grievance theater, like light-hearted musicals is one of those forms that works best when the economy is bad and everyone has trouble making ends meet. But while people voluntarily go to see musicals, or at least they used to, they have to be dragged to attend the latest grievance theater, the production numbers broadcast live on CNN and MSNBC, the programs printed in every paper that still hasn't gone out of business, and breathless announcements of the latest developments broadcast in between Dunkin Donuts commercials.

The local productions of grievance theater have gone national and we are all compelled to watch it play out. No matter what happens to George Zimmerman or what we learn about Trayvon Martin, the country has been turned into unwilling participants in a national drama that places a distorted idea of race at the center of our identity for the benefit of the same hucksters and politicians who have destroyed the city and are hard at work destroying the country.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Total Power of the Mandate

By On March 27, 2012
The only real lesson of the ObamaCare defense is that if you define the macro broadly enough, you are entitled to completely control every aspect of the micro. Everyone can be compelled to buy health insurance because health care is no longer a service bought from a doctor, it is a national market which everyone by definition participates in. The market is then divided between good consumers who buy health insurance and the parasites who don't. Alternative possibilities such as people who pay as you go, choose alternative health care or reject medicine entirely for religious or political reasons don't figure into a macro equation which sees people in the macro, not as individuals.

Defenders of the Mandate insist that you couldn't similarly force people to buy Broccoli or a Chevy Volt but why not? You might not be able to individually force people to buy a specific product, but once you define a transportation market or an edibles market, you can force people to participate in that market on the terms set by the government and its allied businesses.

So there wouldn't be a mandate to buy a Chevy Volt. That would be a crude abuse of power. Instead we can define a transportation market in which everyone is presumed to participate in. Since everyone at some point in their lives has to buy a car, ride in a car or take a bus or a plane somewhere, we can include everyone as a participant in the business of going places. And once everyone has been included in the transportation market, a mandate can then define the terms on which they can participate in that market.

Buy a Chevy Volt? No. Buy an electric car or alternative means of transportation which meets a target carbon footprint, or participate in a collective ride sharing system that meets the same requirements. Absolutely yes. And if rather few non-Volt vehicles meet those requirements, that's just incentive for more companies to make their own Volts. Or for you to buy a Volt.

Compel you to eat broccoli? That's easy as pie. Everyone already buys food which makes them participants in an edibles market. Since their consumption also affects their health care which now directly interacts with the government, the only way to provide them with affordable health care is to control their diet.

Here's one easy way to do it. Compel health insurance companies not to sell plans to anyone who does not commit to follow nutritional guidelines. Then fine them for not having health insurance. Allow them to buy health insurance again only after they agree to regular sessions with a nutritional counselor.

But the broccoli mandate is easy enough too. Since everyone buys food, everyone is a participant in the edibles market. To provide good affordable and nutritious food, which is now a right, to all Americans, and safeguard affordable healthcare, everyone is now mandated to participate in the Federal Annual Nutritional Purchase Program which would offer discounted produce, with a subsidy for farmers, on an installment plan that everyone would be compelled to pay into.

To deflect public criticism, the FANPP would be mandatory only for families with children under thirteen. There would be a variety of alternatives, but at the end of the day you would be compelled to buy broccoli and arugula and anything else that the brilliant busybodies decide is good for you.

Could anyone actually compel you to actually eat it? There's no need to go too 1984, but it's worth bearing in mind that there are sensors that monitor whether a homeowner has taken out their recycling the appropriate number of times, complete with fines for those who haven't, or for those whose labors haven't registered on the sensor. Within a decade it will be child's play to track every item of food in the supermarket and your refrigerator and your trash with edible RFID tags, plug all that into a database and then crunch the numbers and see if you really are eating your vegetables.

There is no limit to the controlling antics of the nanny state under the leadership of men and women who are certain that they know best and that only by taking complete control of everyone's lives will their pet projects for making the world a better place work out. It won't work of course, but that just means they will try harder.

The real message of the Mandate is that socialism interfaces closely with crony capitalism and that government solutions depend on forcibly enlisting everyone into their ranks because otherwise the program isn't even workable enough to get started.

The failures of ObamaCare will necessitate a constant campaign of scapegoating, blaming companies and ordinary Americans for not doing what needs to be done for everything to run smoothly. And that scapegoating will necessitate new solutions, new programs and new regimes. Companies will be nationalized, patients will be regimented and like the NHS, the coverage will veer from treating it as the only thing keeping us from dying in the gutter to warning that it is constantly on the edge of the abyss. There will be constant talk of reforms, whispers of privatization, and the misery will go on.

That is what the Mandate really means, the power to impose a total system on everyone. As the system becomes more dysfunctional, it will lose its vestige of private care and become a total government monopoly for its own good and ours. But of course it doesn't end there. It never does.

Government health care is well and good, but what about government education? Take Warren Buffett's solution for fixing education. "Make private schools illegal and assign every child to a public school by random lottery."

You might be thinking that this sounds like some dystopian future, it's actually a proposal by one of the wealthiest and most influential men in the country, being repeated by the DC schools chancellor. It's also the logical next step.

Private schools are already illegal in Norway and even where it isn't illegal, pressure has grown on religious schools to abide by the dictates of the state, even when it is conflict with their religion. Homeschooling is illegal in parts of Europe. And don't we want to be more like Europe? A current state of affairs where any children are partially immune from constant indoctrination and molding into ideal citizens of the republic is hardly ideal. And after all we can't have affordable health care if children aren't taught proper nutrition at an early age.

So it goes. Every government program justifies another one. Every government intrusion justifies another one. When a program fails, it's because not enough resources have been thrown at it. The only way to fix the problem is to compel total participation, total accountability, total compliance and eventually total failure.

It is the total part that is so vitally important. Whether it's Obama insisting on the Mandate or Buffett insisting on a public school mandate, the system needs everyone on board because the goal isn't really success, it's managed failure. The architects know quite well that the problems are baked in and that throwing in some fresh blood will buy them a little more time before they go off the cliff.

Their only approach to failure is to seize more power. And that's what it's really all about. Power. The power to compel others to do as you please, to live as you think they should and to praise you for making them live that way is the essence of power. It is the essence of the nanny state. The excuses are everywhere, but none of them get to the meat of the thing, which is that utopia is planned failure that only serves as a justification for the perpetual and unlimited abuse of power.

There is nothing that they cannot mandate, no freedom they will not suppress and no right they will not create. Utopia is just around the corner and if we give up the last of our freedoms, they promise to take us there.

Monday, March 26, 2012

All the Pravda

By On March 26, 2012
For a man so in love with the technology of image, the camera, the microphone and the teleprompter, the leader of the increasingly less free world has a natural tendency to put a little too much faith in it. This is the second time that an open microphone has let Obama down, the first time it recorded him stabbing an ally in the back, the second time it recorded him stabbing a few dozen more in the back.

Medvedev, whose bosom buddy just managed to cling to power with a stolen election and brutal suppression of protests, surely understands how O feels. Photo ops with tigers and sunken treasures, not to mention skiing, martial arts and even rap, did not keep the Big P in smooth with the Russian public when the economy headed south.

Vladimir Putin didn't have any racial guilt to ladle on the voters that might get them to overlook the mansions, the corruption and the abuses of power. But the average American voter, like the Russian voter, is more interested in the meat and potatoes, not to mention the gasoline, than in mystical allusions to the power of history. If Putin at times seemed bent on passing himself off as a new czar and Obama as a new savior, the crown and halo were shattered by the economy.

Putin's had tightened control over Russia to an extent that the Obamas and the Warrens could only fondly dream of in their fondest federalist fantasies. And it's easier to steal elections, when you don't have to kowtow to a bunch of provincial interests and take the complaints of bible and gun owners seriously. But much like Putin and Ahmadinejad, Obama enjoys dim prospects in a straight election. And unlike them, he doesn't have a military force that will turn up a few million ballots and send the protesters straight to the hospital, if not to the morgue.

Obama likes being a democrat, it's just the democracy part that he doesn't much care for. And while his diplomacy is generally underwhelming, a mutual dislike of elections proved to be a popular bonding topic with Medvedev, the human face of the regime. But if Medvedev really thought that Obama was serious about needing more space because of an election, he hasn't been paying much attention to American politics.

This is a White House that doesn't pass laws to curry favor with the general voting population. That's what publicity stunts and race cards and wars against women are for. In 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where Al Sharpton is an honored guest and policy is outsourced to whoever comes earliest and tosses the foam ball the best, policy isn't made to soothe the savage electoral beast, it's done to pay off buddies, soothe furious Muslims and implement whatever idea that a committee of unhinged leftists, Clinton veterans and friends from Chicago think is the way to go. 

If Obama is jettisoning Eastern Europe, it's because he thinks it doesn't matter. The sage wisdom is that the future is in the Middle East and the Pacific Rim. Russia is full of pale men and so is Eastern Europe. A man who thinks that there's a language known as "Austrian" can't exactly be expected to tell them apart or to care. Not when there are more exciting places to be, like Beijing of Dubai.

When it comes to Russia, Obama can't see the point. When the Berlin Wall fell, Obama was busy completing the final leg of his prolonged education and adolescence while minoring in racial careerism. If he was even busy paying attention to people with funny names like Yeltsin or Gorbachev, it was while smoking blunts and laughing at how funny the syllables of their names sounded in his mouth.

Obama cares as much about Russia, as he does about the UK. If their leaders meet up with him, he'll shake hands, nod intently while thinking of what to order for lunch and make the same vague statements that he makes on every occasion. So long as they, unlike a certain impertinent Jew from Jerusalem, don't call him out on his arrogance or stupidity, his handlers will be able to chalk it up as another successful bit of international diplomacy.

There's a reason that Obama gets along reasonably well with Sarkozy and Cameron, they're all vain shallow men who imagine themselves standing at the wheel of history. When Sark and Cam want to drag Obo into a war, all they have to do is appeal to his ego. That's how we wound up bombing Libya and if we ever get around to bombing Syria, it will be because our allies come equipped with the same weapon with which Perseus slew the Gordon Medusa. A mirror.

Russia is not exactly in the same league. It's doubtful that Putin was worried about what Obama would or wouldn't agree to. Ever since Hope and Change took an oath on a mirror, Moscow has been casually slapping around Washington D.C. or swatting it away like a pesky fly. That isn't about to change now.

Signaling to Medvedev that he's willing to give away the country store if Russia just flies under the radar until after the election would be contemptible, but it's actually worse than that. Obama would give away the country store now if Putin just asked. What's even worse is that Putin sees no need to ask. This administration has made it painfully clear that its only foreign policy is reactive and that its spheres of interest lie nowhere near the former Warsaw Pact. Moscow does not see itself tussling with Washington D.C. When Putin grinds his teeth in the night and the boys in uniforms draw up their plans, it isn't the American capital they worry about, it's London.

In the Post-American World ruled by the teleprompter and the trending topic, nothing that Obama says actually matters. His only power is over American allies, and only those allies who are willing to endure him and listen to him. And that is a diminishing number. The reset button has been pushed, but 'reset button' was misspelled to read overload, a misspelling that seems altogether accurate these days when American influence and the free world have been overloaded by the burden of their own follies.

Obama's hush hush chat with Medvedev wasn't just about promising to give the bear Eastern Europe on a platter if the beast would just hold his appetite until after election day, it was about a conniving liar who was using us as a pretext in whatever game he was playing. Maybe the American public should care more about the missile shield, but Obama knows they don't. An administration which is still clinging to the wildly unpopular skunk of ObamaCare while sneering at the hoi polloi who drive, instead of get driven about, is not too worried what Des Moines will think of the missile shield.

What the Russians read as an admission of weakness is something else entirely. It may just be that Obama had gotten so in the habit of promising anyone and everyone that once the coal miners and bible thumpers could be lured to the polls, he would have more flexibility on everything from gay marriage to sending Rush Limbaugh to a gulag, that it has become his default responsible to just about any demand from anyone. What goes for SEIU and CAIR, might as well go for Mother Russia.

The only thing that Obama really needs from Russia is for the reformed reds to avoid causing him any problems. The last thing he wants while boasting about the road that we traveled with him is a 3 AM phone call. As far as he's concerned, the bear can do what it wants, so long as it doesn't bite at an inconvenient time. That makes the tradeoff a fairly simple one. Russia avoids creating a crisis until after election day and in return they will get the same charming fellow in the Oval Office who won't care what happens afterward to all the small country with funny names.

It's the Chicago way. You scratch my back and I won't look too closely into those shady land deals or the suspicious deaths. Ever since the Caliph of Chicago made it to the White House, the old game has gone from the backlots of Oz park to the world stage, but it hasn't really changed much, just gotten bigger. Moscow, which is the Chicago of Russia, where payoffs and legbreaking are the only form of law that matters, understands how to play the game. They also know a punk when they see one.

It's a sad testament to the Republic that these days our political system has converged with the Russian one. Some twenty years after the Soviet Union fell, the American and Russian leaders have a good deal in common. They both oversee mafia states that spend money wildly for their 1 percent who are in power or close to those who are, while playing class warfare games with business titans when they aren't hitting them up for cash.

Propaganda is the only thing on television. Enemies of the state are forever being denounced in the most vulgar and violent language. Nationalization and federalization are passed off as reform programs, when they are actually payday programs to shove as much money and power to the right people as possible. And the goal of those in power appears to be a perpetual one party state run for their own benefit.

Obama and Putin are both petty tyrants living in a house of mirrors, czars of their own egos, corrupt and corrupting forces that hang around the necks of two great nations. They don't quite understand each other, though both are lawyers and bag men for their respective syndicates, neither do they respect each other. But they both know how to play the game.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

It Doesn't Matter If You're Black or White

By On March 25, 2012
"It doesn't matter if you're black or white," Michael Jackson sang, even as he embarked on a journey to crudely transform himself from one to the other through plastic surgery. Around the same time a biracial man who had grown up in a white family was protesting on behalf of a vehemently racist black professor. That man, who would later make it to the Senate and then the White House, chose to identify as black.

In the Chicago Tribune, Obama's hometown paper, its columnist, Leonard Pitts Jr, insists that George Zimmerman is white because race is a construct and whiteness is not color, but privilege, making it completely indistinguishable from class. To indict Zimmerman, who is Hispanic and part of a multi-racial family structure, as a white racist, Pitts is forced to argue that race isn't race. Anyone who is of the "oppressed of the earth" is really black and anyone who is privileged is white.

This news comes a little too late to spare Michael Jackson millions of dollars in plastic surgery, which he didn't need because he had actually turned "white" once he became successful. It also makes it impossible to have a black president, since the very path that leads to the White House lifts one out of the status of blackness and into whiteness. Barack Obama has as much claim to being a black president, as Clinton did, less since Clinton was at least born into poverty, while Obama was the grandson of a bank president.

The Pittsian notion of race opens up all sorts of possibilities. The white homeless veteran on the curb is actually black. The CEO of BET is actually white. But then why bother using race as a metaphor for class at all except in the service of exploiting racial hatred and stereotypes? Why not just revert to the old left's class warfare without any Jacksonian confusion about color theory?

Coding privilege as white and oppression as black is outdated but political useful, it rewards the base of a particular party, while fostering conflict and confusing identity. In a prosperous country, using the civil rights movement as the keystone moment bypasses any questions about socialism and power, and cuts straight to the burden of guilt.

Pitts correctly identifies race as a construct, but he incorrectly places the blame. Whiteness and blackness were both imposed definitions, swirling flavors in a melting pot in which people increasingly did not know who they were and identified themselves by what they were not. But even this is not true. White people have had the identification of white thrust on them as a collective burden of racial guilt and black people have had blackness thrust on them as collective solidarity. This two tone world made it easier to militarize a racial conflict based on notions of race that had little relevance in the nation as a whole.

This understanding of race was easier to thrust on an America whose black population had its ethnic identities wiped away by slavery. It is much less relevant in a country whose black population is being tipped by immigrants from Africa who know their ethnic identity quite well. That includes Obama who despite cleverly playing on the ongoing identity crisis knows quite well where his roots lie.

The two-toned racialism made it easy to erase complexity. It avoided asking why Northern Catholic and Jewish immigrants who had arrived right before and during the Civil War and made a disproportionate contribution to the Union armies should be held accountable for a legacy that they had no hand in making. Instead the burden of coping with civil rights troubles fell disproportionately on their heads. The Irish, Italians and Jews, not to mention many others, were to be held accountable on account of the color of their skin.

The hallowed liberal shrine to everything from Bleeding Kansas to the firehoses of Birmingham has no relevance in a country where people like George Zimmerman, who is part Latino and part something else, and Barack Obama, who is equally a racial cipher, are caught in the meat grinder of race. The game is still being played, but like royal families and debutante balls, it's ceremonial, a ceremony of innocence in which everyone is trying to extend the rules of a contest that stopped mattering around the time that disco died.

Faced with the abyss, liberals trot out privilege as race. But if privilege trumps race, then privilege also trumps privilege. What is privilege if not the ability to disregard someone else's views and even personhood based on the color of their skin. And that is what the left's privilege card does. It not only dismisses the views and rights of white people, it dismisses the views and rights of non-white people who are assigned to the white category, because the one crying privilege has deemed them privileged.

Charging someone else with privilege is itself a privileged status, which causes the shell game of race to topple over its table, point frantically in the other direction and run away. That is the only thing it can do. The privilege card isn't just political correctness, it's political censorship, silencing speech by disregarding "white women's tears" and the expressions and views of anyone that the privileged consider too privileged to speak. But the privilege of privileging others is itself privilege. It's a last ditch effort to silence dissent and monopolize speech by an establishment built on a fallacy.

These days anyone can be white, so long as they're guilty of something, and anyone can be black, so long as they're innocent of something they're accused of doing. Those racial codes of oppression are almost as sacred to its wielders as the ghost of JFK and Woodstock. But they mean nothing. No one is innocent anymore, if they ever were. Black men sailed slave ships and white men died to free them. Slavery and the resistance to it was not coded by color, but by character.

The inability to articulate this fundamental truth made any meaningful progress utterly impossible and left the black community has been locked in ghettos created by political machines and overseen by the utterly corrupt. Its narrative of eternal white oppressors and black victims has fed generations of hate and guilt. It has made it possible for racial hucksters to exploit both blacks and whites, while feeding tensions and hate.

The modern day American slave looks more like George Zimmerman, than like Barack Obama or Leonard Pitts. But if truth be told, he looks more like Jeremy Lin, since the bulk of the slave labor that our tolerant society needs in order to provide a barely affordable lifestyle for working class members of both races has been outsourced to Asia. The cost of that outsourcing is paid for with massive unemployment of working class of both races who are plied with subsidies and cheap goods and when the gas prices go high enough, with manufactured racial tensions.

This isn't our America, but this is the America of those who took it over, hijacked it, ransacked it and then posed on magazine covers. It will matter very little whether the son of slaves hit the son of a Mexican immigrant first or vice versa, when the massive pile of debt created by the half-Kenyan, descended partly from slave owners, destroys the country.

Michael Jackson did have a point after all. It doesn't matter very much whether you're black or white, except to your own mirror and your own family, unless you intend to bank on that identity. That was something that Jackson tried to do until it destroyed him. The Gordian Knot of race can't be untied and cutting through it with a surgeon's scalpel is a bad idea. But the binding power of the knot is also an illusion, like most identities, it holds you to the extent that you want it to.

It was the melting pot, the ideal dissolution of national origins and identities, that helped make race so critical. Multiculturalism broke the pot, but had nothing to replace it with except collective identities based on racial constructs. And yet Americans tend to get along better than Africans or Europeans do.

White people and black people in America get along better than the Irish and Ulster Scots or the Flemish and Walloons or any number of other groups unwillingly clustered together in a narrow space. If you listen to NPR, you might think that race relations in America are the shame of the world. The truth is that on a global scale, we have done far better than most of the world has. If you doubt that, look at Sri Lanka or Rwanda.

Group differences and xenophobia are part of the human makeup. We can no more get rid of them, than we can turn ourselves inside out. The larger question is how we manage those tensions and who stands to profit from the violence. The ascendancy of Al Sharpton makes it rather clear that liberals remain wedded to exploiting racial tensions for power and profit. It matters to them whether you are black and white, because they have coded class as race and use class and race wars as tools of power.

We don't live in a post-racial world, but we do live in a world where the old codes are no longer simple or mean what their users would like them to. Race does not indicate a power relationship, it is a detail and it is the transactions between individuals that determines its force in their lives. Racism cuts both ways, as does any form of prejudice. Definitions are constantly changing and the very notions of race do not hold up too well in the face of a George Zimmerman or a Barack Obama.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Crisis of Jewish Leftist Islamism

By On March 24, 2012
Every now and then the left discovers someone who tells them what they already think, but puts a glossier edge on it, and elevates him to the status of "Serious Thinker". This is the office for which Peter Beinart has been briefly nominated.

The chief prerequisite for becoming a serious thinker on the left is to state what is obvious to the left without actually seriously considering its obviousness. This is what Peter Beinart delivers by providing an indulgence for leftist Israel bashing by telling the bashers that they aren't bad Jews, it's the Israelis who are bad Jews, bad Democrats and bad people all around.

As ideas go, this is about as original as old lefties reassuring each other that all the Kulaks had it coming or Bund members telling themselves that the Jews brought this on themselves. It's the feeble mutterings of bad people trying to convince themselves that they are good people because their victims have it coming. And what's a few more dead Jews in Toulouse, when Peter Beinart has a book deal.

There are two basic ways to resolve the "crisis" of liberal Zionism. One is to question liberalism, the other to question Zionism. The people most likely to screech "Israel Firster" at dinner parties and op-ed pieces have chosen their side. "Israel Firster" isn't their denunciation of disloyalty to America, but disloyalty to progressive ideals. It's an old charge delivered by Lenin and repeated by the left in its long crusade against Zionism.

Is there really a crisis of liberal Zionism? Beinart insists that there is a split between a conservative and liberal Zionism. It would be more accurate to say that there is a split within liberalism between the left and more traditional liberals. There is no crisis of liberal Zionism, there is a civil war among liberals, particularly Jewish liberal who are being edged out by the radical Anti-Jewish left.

There is no crisis of Liberal Zionism. There is a crisis of Jewish Leftist Islamism, that horrible chimeric beast which insists that cheerleading for the Muslim terrorists is somehow the essence of Jewish values, while supporting Israel is a betrayal of those values. That is the crisis which is being articulated by serious Jewish liberal thinkers. That is the crisis that Peter Beinart is covering up under a cloud of Israel bashing.

The left rejected the Jewish national project before the modern state was even created. The Beinarts can pretend that the latest round of their rejection is somehow premised on settlements and civil rights, but that's a shameless lie. The left's rejection was based on a constellation of reasons, some of them anti-Semitic, some anti-nationalist, but that rejection did not derive from Palestinian rights cooked up much later in Moscow by the machinery of the same Communist state which had  outlawed Zionism.

The liberal Zionists believed that Israel had a right to exist and defend itself, as they also believed that America had a right to exist and defend itself. They saw Islam and Communism as totalitarian ideologies. There was no contradiction between liberalism and Zionism, because they measured both Jews and Arab Muslims by the same standard, and chose between the two.

They did not agree with everything that Israel did, but they saw it in a larger context. This larger context does not exist in Beinart's screeds, which recycle all the usual attacks on Israel with a feigned tone of sadness teetering into outrage, without any of the context at all. The reason there is no context is that there is a Crisis of Leftist Islamism.

There is no contradiction between traditional liberalism and Zionism. There is a contradiction between the left and Islamism. But that contradiction is never addressed, instead it is funneled into more denunciations of America and Israel.

Is there more of a contradiction between a liberal cheering on the IDF, or the left standing together with the Muslim Brotherhood? That is a question which genuinely serious thinkers on the left like Nick Cohen have addressed. But that question would demand genuine soul searching, rather than Beinart's shoddy mainstreamed propaganda, which hasn't altered much from its original sources in the copy boys of the Arab League and its strutting whores in the American Council for Judaism.

If the modern left really opposed Israel because they oppose colonialism, checkpoints, settlements and all the rest of the 99 theses that the Martin Luther Pipkins keep nailing to the synagogue while pounding their sunken chests and beaming for the cameras, then they would be at least as outraged at Turkey or China. But it isn't Israel's deeds that outrage it is-- it is its existence.

There is nothing Israel could do that would appease its enemies, and I don't mean the House of Saud, Hamas or Abbas-- I mean its leftist Jewish enemies like Norman Finkelstein, George Soros or Peter Beinart.

Their enmity toward Israel is not uniquely Jewish, but their Jewishness gives it an edge. They are "Left Fisters" who are perpetually shamed by the Zionist Entity and its resistive form of Jewish identity. Unitarian, Presbyterian and Jewish leftists hate Israel for the same basic reasons that they hate America, but the Jewish leftist uniquely experiences both leftist guilt and Jewish guilt over Israel, and kills one to appease the other.

Peter Beinart isn't a liberal Zionist. He's a leftist Anti-Zionist. In a better and more honest world, he would own up to that and make his argument. But the midden camp of the leftist Anti-Zionists is oversaturated and there aren't nearly as many book deals to be picked up by rehashing the same old bashing as if it were new.

The left's current Anti-Zionist strategy is to feign moderation, to fake right while playing left. The money is in those groups and individuals who can shift that stolid mass of the Jewish community over to the left by making Israel bashing seem acceptable. Beinart, like J-Street, is another beneficiary of the fortunes being tossed by leftist billionaires at the left's long project of educating Jews out of their tribal loyalties.

The real victims of Beinart's narrative aren't even the tragically oppressed terrorists, that ancient invented people who have been around for less time than the Ford Galaxie. The real victims are liberal Zionists, a group that somehow includes Barack Obama, who have been betrayed by a Jewish state which insists on protecting its citizens, instead of putting a gun to its head and pulling the trigger.

Beinart exonerates leftist Zionists and Anti-Zionists, telling the former that they were abandoned by the awful Jewish state and telling the latter that hating Israel is the truest expression of their liberal and Jewish values. And what indeed could be more Jewish than hating Israel? Perhaps boycotting Israel, as Beinart suggested in an Op-Ed, in order to save Israel. Only by destroying Israel can the idea of Israel be saved.

The left's perverse mission in American Jewish life has been to eviscerate the guts of Jewish identity and fill it with the stinking viscera of the left, slabs of rotting Tikkun Olam, green eco leaves and civil rights marches. Now the left is conducting its long march through Jewish institutions to make supporting Israel seem un-Jewish and transform bashing Israel into a Jewish value.

What do the Beinarts pretend they want? That ideal Israel where Islamists live side by side with gay bars? That wonderful country of the imagination that only briefly exists when leftists and Islamists conduct mutual protests against Israel. A country that can only fail to come into existence when Israel is destroyed, when another of the left's projects in the Middle East end up like Egypt and Iran.

The real crisis of liberal Zionism is that it is under attack by the left, besieged by angry midgets who have rewritten all the definitions and are out to ban the dictionary. And the crisis of the left is that it is insane. It is capable of criticizing everything and everyone, but it never looks in the mirror long enough to see the insane twisted gargoyle face leering back at it.

The left is full of expert denouncers and informers, and Beinart isn't the best they have. But none of them are capable of asking what the cause gains if Israel is destroyed and Hamastan rises in its place? And what of Europe which is speedily becoming Eurabia? Where will there be room for the agenda of the left then? While they ceaselessly manufacture one crisis after another, the real crisis is in the souls that they don't believe they have anymore.

There is no crisis of Zionism, which is what it has always been. Ariel is as much of a settlement as Tel Aviv. There is as much need for the IDF in 2012 as there was in 1962 and only a liar would pretend otherwise. Israel has not changed. If anything it has made more concessions and become more generous to its enemies than in the halcyon days of the liberal Zionist.

It is the liberal that has changed. The left has overrun liberalism and angry midgets pretend that they are the representatives of liberal values, and even more absurdly Jewish values, unleashing a century's worth of hate against the very idea of a Jewish state. Like their attacks on the War on Terror every word they utter is hollow and senseless, because they do not recognize that there is a war on.

If you see a man sawing another man's leg off, then it's reasonable to be shocked and outraged. But if the first man is actually a doctor and the second man has a serious infection that will kill him, then the context completely changes. The left denies that context, it ridicules it, it bans if it can. But what it does not do is seriously address it, because its goal is that the infection succeed and the man die.

What can we say of the moral outrage of the gangrenous left? The left which clasps hands with Islamists and then denounces Israel for war crimes? Which hugs a religion whose creed preaches the genocide of the Jewish people, and claims to do it all in the name of Jewish values? What is all this if not a crisis of Jewish Leftist Islamism?

The Passover holiday is all but upon us, but the exodus and the journey to Israel is repeatedly interrupted by agitators who demand that the nation turn around and go back to Egypt. It wasn't enough for them to turn back on their own. They knew that the Egyptians would have no use for a small group of wannabe slaves. But if they could return at the head of the nation, they would become the new taskmasters.

The Beinarts aren't satisfied with being defectors, smirking turncoats in the camp of the enemy, they are eager to prove their value by leading the entire nation back to Egypt. Their ideology is just as pathologically hostile to the Jewish people as it was in 1917 and the only way for them to disguise that to their own people is to lie constantly to them so that they never see the iron curtain descending or the green crescent rising.

But the contradiction is theirs. Zionism was meant to break the Jewish people out of the cycle of appeasement, the cycle of ghettos, oppression and terror. It is natural enough for the left to want to drive the Jews back there. It is certainly natural for the Islamists to want to drive the Jews back there. What do the Jews get out of it though?

When Peter Beinart praises the Muslim Brotherhood as non-violent, does he imagine that when Qaradawi praises Hitler for doing Allah's work and calls for Jewish genocide, does he seriously imagine that the Brotherhood cleric means every Jew but Beinart? This is the crisis of Jewish Leftist Islamism, the crisis of Jewish "Left Firsters" who denounce Jews and embrace their murderers, only to discover that despite their devoted service-- to the murderers they are still Jews.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Afternoon Roundup - The Big Three Thousand

By On March 23, 2012

And We're Back

On Tuesday I spoke at the Skirball, the evening of the next day I was back home and glancing at the number next to my latest article, "The New Nazis" saw that it was my 3000th article.

It's been an interesting ride and it was a reminder of how I got into this, by writing day in and day out and connecting with more and more people. At the event and the Chai program with Adam Taxin, I was asked how I write so much. The simple answer is that writing perpetuates itself. Words are bricks and if you put enough of them together, you build something. Initially they may be small humble abodes but as the construction continues, they become places to live in and invites others into.

The video from Skirball will be up at next week and I want to thank everyone who came to the event, those I spoke to and those I didn't get a chance to speak to, and of course all the regular readers, Doris Wise Montrose of Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

You Can't Spell Friendship Without...

"Don't tell me French Muslims appreciate Jews - 50 percent of them hate Jews," Rabbi Michel Sarfati said on Thursday. The rabbi created the Jewish-Muslim friendship group and has traveled across France for several years preaching moderation.

As the leader of a friendship group he's clearly taking a conservative estimate.

The Million Cap March

In Oklahoma, Bob and Nancy Strait, who had been married for 65 years, had their home broken into by a black teenager unarmed except for a BB gun. The teenager beat and raped the 85 year old Nancy Strait to death. Her husband, a veteran of the 101st Airborne in WW2, is in the hospital struggling to make it.

There will be no million cap march for Bob and Nancy, two mere Americans, whose deaths cannot educate us on the evils of racism. Their killer will have pro bono lawyers and innocence projects helping him until he's finally set free again.

Certainly Obama will make no statement on how Nancy Strait could have been his grandmother or how Bob Strait could have been that uncle who "liberated Auschwitz". Mitt Romney did not pop up to call for a "thorough investigation", reminding us of why Santorum kinda had a point about him.

What's the real difference between Tyrone Woodfork and Trayvon Martin? It will take a lot of work to make Woodfork look like the martyr that the media has already turned Trayvon into. Instead we'll get Hour 24 of screeching coverage about Trayvon Martin and white racism because a Hispanic neighborhood watch captain with black family members shot a black teenager.

President Barack Obama on Friday called for a full investigation into the shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager in Florida, saying the U.S. needs to do some "soul searching" to determine what led to his death

You know if Obama has enough free time between his golfing, his bankrupting of the United States and his race baiting, he might want to do some "soul searching" to determine what led to the death of a whole bunch of Mexicans south of the border. Hint, it involves his Attorney General who's foaming at the mouth to intervene in a local law enforcement issue.

The Terrible Twos

In a particularly mealy-mouthed Telegraph piece Ed West tries to explain why Islam has nothing to do with this...

Many people kill in the name of jihad but they do not represent Islam or Muslims... It is not religion that turns some young Muslim men in the West violent, but the sense of alienation and frustration that inevitably comes from being a second-generation immigrant.

But what is Jihad? Is it a separate religion apart from Islam?

This interesting theory that somehow being a second-generation immigrant leads to one being a serial killer has one problem... France is full of Jewish immigrants from North Africa, many of whom are second and third generation. Oddly enough they don't seem to be going on killing sprees.

Confused and angry young men easily attach themselves to something greater than themselves

But what is this thing that they are attaching themselves to? Is it Islam? Can't be. Ed has just told us that Islam has nothing to do with it. What mysterious "greater thing" is it then? Unfortunately it will have to remain a mystery.

The Kosovo Dog Hunters Club

With Kosovo "liberated" to be a properly Muslim place, the locals are engaging in an annual bit of cheerful dog hunting. Mohammed did say that all dogs, or at least all black dogs, should be killed.

Directorate for Protection and Rescue of Mitrovica municipality, in cooperation with Kosovo Police and Sports Hunters Association “Trepca” has started this action, which will last one month.The director of this department, Behxhet Bala, said that the owners of domestic dogs are obligated not to let out domestic dogs on the streets as long as this phase of action for stray dogs’ liquidation lasts.

Not too surprisingly, this reads almost exactly like Nazi bulletins about the "actions" for the extermination of Jews during WW2.

This isn't animal control, this is local sports hunters shooting dogs in the street.

Locals say that many of the dogs that have been shot by the hunters are suffering a slow death, and that agonizing howls can be heard across the city

I suppose when you run low on Serbs and Jews to kill... you have to make do with dogs.

Many of the dogs belonged to the original non-Muslim inhabitants who had been ethnically cleansed by Muslim KLA terrorists in association with the Clinton Administration. Now they're strays to be gunned down.

For some reason the US embassy seems to think that the Muslim gunmen may not stop with dogs and issued a bulletin about our wonderful allies.

We urge U.S. citizens to exercise caution and avoid walking or driving the streets of Pristina during the time of the operation due to the danger of stray gunfire.  If you have pets, ensure that they are secured inside your residence.  The Embassy recommends that you do not leave pets outside in your yard during this operation.

Within Pristina city limits, you may hear sporadic gunshots from the culling operation at night. 
Just like old times. And we fought a war on behalf of the cullers and now we're watching over them as they go about their rounds.

French Intelligence as Impressive as Ever

Also today, a senior official who is close to the investigation into Merah's attacks told The Associated Press there was no sign Merah had "trained or been in contact with organized groups or jihadists" such as al Qaeda.

The official said Merah might have made the claim because al Qaeda is a well-known "brand." The official said authorities have "absolutely no element allowing us to believe that he was commissioned by al Qaeda to carry out these attacks."

Disagreeing with senior French officials is... Al Qaeda.

Al-Qaida linked group Jund al-Khilafah has claimed responsibility for shootings this week in France, according to a statement posted on jihadist websites on Thursday.
But if Muslim terrorists are said not to be Muslims or terrorists, if we are to believe that Western liberals know the Koran better than the Jihadists do, why not assume that French senior officials know better who is in Al-Qaeda than Al-Qaeda.

"Stop taking responsibility, we know this was the act of a lone gunman suffering from alienation and French racism."

What Separates Us From the Terrorists

The people of France, all people, but especially Jews and Muslims, must see that that the entire nation mourns the death of innocents --that whatever one’s faith or politics, what occurred is a national tragedy.

There is the almost impossible, but truly necessary, task of not totally demonizing the murderer. I am supporter of the death penalty. Were he alive, I would work to see this murderer go to the top of the list. But in the spirit of Talmudic tradition, I would still be challenged to see him as a human being - one, who no matter how guilty, leaves behind people who loved him. In fact, that awareness is one of the things which separates our culture from that of the terrorists.

Actually what separates us from the terrorists is that we are also led by moral retards, but our moral retards are self-destructive, while theirs are destructive.

I Don't Know... Maybe It's Because a Muslim Terrorist Just Killed a Bunch of Kids?

President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is campaigning for re-election in the April-May poll, has proposed tougher security measures, such as sanctions for people whose frequent viewing of jihadist websites could mean links to radical Islamism. “This is going to raise questions about our system of integration, our approach to (Islamic) fundamentalism and our tolerance of certain practices here. You’re going to hear a lot about that in the weeks to come,” a senior Sarkozy campaign adviser said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Lahsen Edbas, 29, a Muslim grocery store worker in the eastern Paris suburb of Le Raincy, echoed a widespread skepticism about the Paris elite: “Why is all this happening now, just before an election?”

5 million is pretty widespread.

Noted Lefty Hero Rants About Rich Jews

A group of very senior members of the Jewish community in London met Mr Livingstone earlier this month to discuss his support for and links with a radical Islamist cleric and the television station that makes propaganda in Britain for Iran.

In a leaked letter to the Jewish Chronicle – more of a communique really – they said Labour’s London mayoral candidate used the words Zionist, Jewish and Israeli as if they meant the same thing and that his language was close to ‘classic anti-semitism’.

They added: ‘Ken, towards the end of the meeting, stated that he did not expect the Jewish community to vote Labour as votes for the left are inversely proportional to wealth levels, and suggested that as the Jewish community is rich, we simply wouldn’t vote for him.’

...No racism to see here. Just good clean Anti-Zionism.

This Was a Declaration of War...Against Diversity

To emphasize this narrative they then interviewed a French female journalist living in London who claimed that what was terrible about the attack was that the killer was 'French' and that it was therefore 'an attack against diversity'. She said that it was all down to the racist climate in France which had been made worse by Nikolas Sarkozy in the last five years and she picked out, as an example of racist lack of tolerance, the burka ban he had introduced.

Clearly this is yet another example of Burka bans leading non-Muslims to kill Muslims. Reality bubble, what reality bubble? Communism is moving forward. The next harvest will be the most productive ever. There are no American soldiers in Baghdad Airport. Islam is the religion of peace.

Democracy... Who Needs it Anyway

Remember when we were overthrowing Mubarak in democracy's name? Democracy now? Not so much. We don't need no stinking democracy, now that we have the Brotherhood in power.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waived congressional conditions imposed late last year that tied U.S. aid to progress in Egypt’s transition to democracy following the ouster of longtime President Hosni Mubarak.

Who says Congress gets to make budgets anyway. Or laws. It's not like we need that stinking democracy either when we have the Pharaoh of Hope and Change.

English Lesson Becomes Muslim Lesson

A French teacher faced disciplinary proceedings Friday for allegedly urging her class to observe a minute's silence for serial killer Mohamed Merah, the day after he was shot by police.

Education Minister Luc Chatel called for the teacher to be suspended after her class reported she had called Merah a "victim" and said his links to Al-Qaeda were invented by the media and "Sarko", referring to President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The good news is there's a bright media career ahead of her. But like Merah, it's of course due to her being poor and crazy. But mostly crazy.

"This is not the political act of an extremist but the act of a colleague who has health concerns, who is fragile and who is receiving psychological treatment," the local head of the SGEN-CFDT union, Pascal Bossuyt, told AFP.

"She said something unfortunate in a particular context and she immediately regretted what she said," he added.

But I'm a little confused here.

If she's really "fragile and crazy", then why did she immediately regret it? Either she's crazy or she's not. I guess she's just crazy in a particularly unfortunate context.

Thought Crime

“It is impossible to arrest someone just because he has Salafist views,” said French Interior Minister Claude Gueant, referring to Merah’s jihadist sympathies. “Holding a particular point of view is not a crime.”

That's mighty American of Old Claude, but oddly enough Brigitte Bardot was put on trial for saying Muslims were destroying the country.

Just to recap, it's not a crime to be a Salafist, but it is a crime to believe that Muslims are not exactly making France a better place.

Food Fascism

The Bloomberg administration is now taking the term "food police" to new depths, blocking food donations to all government-run facilities that serve the city's homeless.
In conjunction with a mayoral task force and the Health Department, the Department of Homeless Services recently started enforcing new nutritional rules for food served at city shelters. Since DHS can't assess the nutritional content of donated food, shelters have to turn away good Samaritans.


DHS Commissioner Seth Diamond says the ban on food donations is consistent with Mayor Bloomberg's emphasis on improving nutrition for all New Yorkers. A new interagency document controls what can be served at facilities -- dictating serving sizes as well as salt, fat and calorie contents, plus fiber minimums and condiment recommendations.

Sure there's a certain amount of food fascism at work here, but more importantly allowing people and groups to help the homeless reduces the complete monopoly of official organizations to harvest the homeless as funding sources.

You can see the same logic behind the Federal and state assault on Catholic social services. Everyone who has worked with non-profits knows how jealous orgs are of their donors and turf. But now all that money is going to have to go through the government.

 It's Illegal Not to Discriminate in Sentencing on the Basis of Race

Just ...wait it's coming here too

Sentencing judges who do not carefully consider lenient or creative sentences for aboriginal offenders are violating the law, the Supreme Court of Canada said in a major aboriginal law decision today.

Releasing rulings in a pair of much-anticipated cases that go to the heart of separate treatment for aboriginal offenders, the court said that considering factors such as cultural oppression and a history of abuse in the residential school system must be central to the sentencing process.

“When sentencing an Aboriginal offender, courts must take judicial notice of such matters as the history of colonialism, displacement, and residential schools and how that history continues to translate into lower educational attainment, lower incomes, higher unemployment, higher rates of substance abuse and suicide, and of course higher levels of incarceration for Aboriginal peoples,” a 6-1 majority said.

Is there even any point in calling an abomination like this a justice system? Were there supreme court verdicts in the slave era United States that said that courts were obligated to treat white defendants better than those of other races?

That decision – R v. Gladue – was intended to usher in particular sensitivity to the pressures and deprivations many aboriginals have suffered, at the same time as reducing the disproportionate number of aboriginal offenders in prison.  

I suppose if you give aboriginal offenders disproportionately light sentences, that will reduce their presence in prison. It won't reduce their criminal behavior, it's likely to only increase it. This may lead to the paradoxical situation where more crimes are committed, resulting in more convictions, even with the disproportionately light sentences, so that even more aboriginals end up in prison.

Racial social manipulation sometimes backfires that way.

If you want to know the origin of this decision and who Gladue, the tragic aboriginal persecuted by "The Man" was.... the case goes a little something like this.

On September 16, 1995 Jamie Tanis Gladue was drinking and celebrating her 19th birthday with some friends. She suspected that the victim, her boyfriend, was having an affair with the offender's older sister, Tara. Gladue made specific threats that "he was going to get it." Following a confrontation with the victim, he uttered many insults at the offender, at which point the offender stabbed the victim in the chest. She was subsequently charged with second degree murder and ultimately convicted of manslaughter. At her sentencing hearing the judge took into account many aggravating factors including the fact that the offender was not afraid of the victim. The court also took into account several mitigating factors such as her youth, her status as a mother and the absence of any serious criminal history. She was sentenced to three years imprisonment. At her trial and at the Court of Appeal for British Columbia the court upheld the sentence, finding that s. 718.2(e) did not apply to off-reserve Aboriginals.

To recap this thoroughly horrifying amoral madness

1. A 19 year old woman stabbed her husband/boyfriend, not in self-defense.

2. She only got three years in jail for it.

3. The court took into account every possible factor that it could, including that she hadn't stabbed anyone before. It didn't however take into account that she only stabbed her boyfriend because of colonialism.

4. Don't imagine that the tragic victim of Canadian colonialism served three years in prison for stabbing her husband to death. She got out in six months with electronic monitoring... and she appealed that.

5. The Court didn't actually alter her sentence, which she had already served, and they couldn't short of descending into a level of insanity too great to even contemplate.

But in a decision from an alternate universe in the strange year 1999, the Canadian Supreme Court was still outraged at well... Canada.

Writing in vivid terms about a case in which a native woman killed her husband, the court said the conscience of Canadians ought to be shocked by the rate at which aboriginals are tossed behind bars.

No one thinks that Jamie's conscience ought to be the one operating here. Canadians should feel guilty because they're somehow responsible for her being sentenced to jail after she stabbed her husband. The only solution is not to send aboriginals to jail for killing people. It's madness, but it's not Sparta.

But assuming Miss Gladue's boyfriend/husband was also an aboriginal, wouldn't it be more compassionate not to give aboriginals a free "Kill Someone Who Might Be an Aboriginal" pass?

The Court said every attempt should be taken to divert aboriginals away from prison and toward alternatives, especially those connected with their heritage. It said these may range from aboriginal sentencing and healing circles to restitution and aboriginal community council projects.

These alternatives are not necessarily "lighter" punishment than prison, the court argued, since taking responsibility and facing one's community can be more frightening.

I spend a lot of time writing about the left, about their motives and their minds, but sometimes you stare into the abyss and realize that you have encountered complete hopeless madness in the highest places.


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