The Rebel Flag

When I was a kid in California, we played cowboys and Indians; when I arrived in elementary school in Kentucky — a state which did not secede — the boys were playing Rebels and Yankees. Being the only kid not from the South,1 the tallest, skinniest, gawkiest boy there, the only one wearing glasses, with a girl’s name and a funny accent, I was the Designated Yankee, at which point my response was, “OK, I win.”

And that’s what this fight reminds me of, kids playing Rebels and Yankees on the schoolyard in the 1960s, except that the left are deathly determined to Win a Victory against the Evil Conservatives, most of whom don’t really care about the Confederate battle flag in the first place. The left must have their moral victory here, but if the flag is removed, nothing will really change other than what’s on the flagpole itself. Whites will still be, in the aggregate, more economically successful than blacks, blacks will still be packed into depressed urban ghettos and be shooting each other at rates which should be alarming but are actually ignored, and black Americans will still be living in an urban culture which is economically disadvantageous for their community.

  1. My father was born on Maui, and my mother was from Portland, Maine. They met in Tokyo during the Korean War, where both were serving in the Army. After the war, my parents settled down in Antioch, California.

Martin O’Malley says he know how to fix our cities, but never bothered when he had the chance

From the Baltimore Sun:

O’Malley presses for stronger gun laws, Confederate flag removal
By John Fritze | The Baltimore Sun

Promising to “rebuild the heart of America’s cities,” former Gov. Martin O’Malley used an appearance at a meeting of the nation’s mayors on Sunday to call for a federal ban on assault weapons and stricter regulations on gun purchases.

O’Malley, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president, told the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors that the massacre at a black church in South Carolina last week demanded action from Washington.

“I heard some elected officials say this week, ‘laws can’t change this,’” O’Malley told the group in San Francisco.

“Actually, they can,” he said. “How many senseless acts of violence do we have to endure as a people before we stand up to the congressional lobbyists of the NRA?”

The former Baltimore mayor also joined the chorus of elected officials who have called on officials in South Carolina to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the state house in Columbia. The battle flag flew above the capitol from 1962, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, until 2000, when it was removed to its current spot on the adjacent grounds.

“If the families of Charleston can forgive, can let go of their anger, is it really too much to ask the state government officials of South Carolina to retire the Confederate flag to a museum?” he said.

An obvious question: if former Governor O’Malley actually has the answers to “rebuild the heart of America’s cities,” why didn’t he get that done when he was Mayor of Baltimore, why didn’t he get that done as Governor of Maryland?

The Neighborhood Scout website notes that Baltimore has 438 crimes per square mile, while the state of Maryland as a whole has 64; the nationwide median is 37.9. Forbes ranks Baltimore as the seventh most dangerous city in America.

Baltimore’s crime rate did come down during his tenure as mayor . . . but so did the crime rate nationwide, and the Charm City showed no special decline not seen elsewhere.

Governors have traditionally had the easiest path to the White House for the simple reason that they had records of executive accomplishment, and former Governor O’Malley is trying to run on his record. But, if he knows the solutions to the problems of our cities, why didn’t he put them in place, and have solid, measurable results during his eight years as Mayor of Baltimore and eight years as Governor of Maryland? Why is Baltimore the waste case it is today?1

The Wall Street Journal noted, with an interactive graphic that I cannot reproduce here, that Baltimore has become far more racially segregated since 1970, and there is no indication that things got any better during Mr O’Malley’s sixteen years in city and state office. Whites have been moving out, until a recent small gentrification trend, and the poverty level remains starkly different for whites and blacks in Mr O’Malley’s home city:

You can click on the graph to enlarge it.

The story is clear, and the graph tells us what we’ve always known: families that are organized around a married couple are far more financially successful. But telling normal people2 that they should get married and have children, because that has proved to be the strongest economic model in all of human history, why that’s not something that the Democrats can say, and it’s not a policy that a “progressive” like Martin O’Malley can ever push.

  1. Baltimore’s population decreased from 651,154 in the 2000 census, to 620,961 in the 2010 census. An estimated population of 622,104 was made for 2013. If Mr O’Malley had made Baltimore a great place, why are people leaving?
  2. The Democrats are perfectly fine with homosexuals getting married!

Can someone please tell the truth here?

From The Wall Street Journal:

Greek Bailout Proposals Lift Hopes of Deal
Athens makes a potentially major concession on pensions, officials say

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras appears before a eurozone emergency summit in Brussels on Monday. Photo: Reuters

By Viktoria Dendrinou and Nektaria Stamouli | Updated June 22, 2015 10:20 a.m. ET

BRUSSELS—The eurozone is working toward a deal later this week on desperately needed bailout aid for Greece, European policy makers said Monday, after a last-ditch proposal from the Greek government made a potentially major concession on pensions.

The currency union’s finance ministers, who met Monday afternoon to prepare a meeting of eurozone leaders later in the day, said more work needed to be done to ensure the figures submitted by Athens are in line with creditors’ demands.

A first assessment from the institutions overseeing Greece’s bailout found the new plans to be “broad and comprehensive,” said Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister who presided over the talks, “but they really need to look at the specific to see whether it adds up in fiscal terms, whether the reforms are comprehensive enough for the economic recovery to take off again.”

The proposal has been described by Greek and European officials as possibly the country’s final chance to unlock its bailout program and avoid a potentially catastrophic exit from the eurozone. Negotiations between the creditors and Greece would now continue “with a view of reaching a final agreement later this week,” Mr. Dijsselbloem said.

There’s more at the original, but can we please tell the truth here: it doesn’t matter what the current government of Greece promises concerning new austerity measures, they will not actually be imposed on Greece because the government opposes them. The Prime Minister can promise them, but the left-wing party he represents will not actually vote them into law, and the Greek voters elected the far-left Syriza party specifically to avoid the harsh, but entirely realistic requirements for further bailout payments.

So, let me tell you what will happen:

  1. The creditors and the eurozone governments will see a positive step by the Greek government, and then go ahead and make further financial arrangements to help Greece; and
  2. The Greek government will then renege on its promises, possibly insisting on new negotiations to delay things further, because the government are socialists, socialists do not believe in normal economics and finance, and socialists are just plain liars.

Margaret Thatcher’s famous dictum that socialists inevitably run out of other people’s money has long since been the case in Greece; the problem is that the socialists do not accept the fact that it really is other people’s money. Money, they believe, belongs to the people anyway, so why should they have to bargain for it or pay it back.

The Europeans will keep trying and keep trying and keep trying, but, in the end, Greece will default.

From Around the Blogroll

So, why haven’t we heard about this in the news?

Seventeen shot, one killed, in U.S. block parties – reports

A gunman armed with a shotgun opened fire on a block party in Philadelphia on Saturday, injuring seven people including three children, media reported, after 10 people were shot in Detroit, one fatally.

The two multiple-shooting incidents come just three days after a gunman massacred nine church members in Charleston, South Carolina, in a bloodbath that has brought focus back onto the pervasive and divisive issue of gun crime in the United States.

The shots rang out in a West Philadelphia neighborhood after the gunman turned a corner onto the street and began firing on the picnic, reported, the web site of NBC’s local affiliate, citing police.

“It looks like they just randomly fired down the street and hit anyone in their way,” the report quoted Philadelphia Police Lt. John Walker as saying.

A bullet grazed an 18-month-old girl on the side of her neck, while an 11-year-old girl was hit in the knee and shoulder while a 13-year-old boy was struck in the chest. The children were listed in stable condition, the report said.

The adult victims, ranging between 22 to 46 years old, were mostly listed in stable condition. The gunman was still at large.

Earlier on Saturday 10 people were shot, one of them fatally, at a block party in Detroit. The Detroit Free Press, citing police, reported on its web site that three of the victims were women who ranged from ages 26 to 45.

The answer is simple: there’s no (known) racial angle to the stories yet.

And now, the blogroll!

Rule 5 Blogging: Jewish Girls with Guns

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for our version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacy McCain defined Rule 5 as putting pictures of pretty women somewhat deshabille, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Kathleen Turner in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude. This week: soldiers from the Israeli Defence Forces.

Soldiers on the move

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: Jewish Girls with Guns’ »

A funny thing happened on the way to the riots

From The Wall Street Journal:

Charleston Church Shooting: City Struggles to Make Sense of Tragedy
‘There’s a sadness in the air…a wave of pain has washed over us,’ laments a resident
By Cameron McWhirter and Mara Gay |June 20, 2015 12:26 p.m. ET

CHARLESTON, S.C.—Three days after a 21-year-old white man allegedly gunned down nine people in a historic African-American church, residents in the city are struggling to make sense of the tragedy, while mourning the victims.

From left, Patricia Bailey, Carol Reid and Maria Bornhorst console each other while visiting the sidewalk memorial in front of the Emanuel AME Church, Saturday. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

“The city’s not the same,” said artist Georgette Wright Sanders as she sat beside a table displaying her pottery and baskets for sale at the Marion Square farmers’ market in the heart of old Charleston. “You can tell there’s a sadness in the air. It’s as though a wave of pain has washed over us.”

Ms. Wright Sanders, who is black and lives in nearby McClellanville, S.C., likened the killings to an act of terrorism, and said she felt it was her duty to show up to the market as she does most weekends during the spring and summer. “It’s hard to be here today, but if we don’t move on and heal, and live our lives, they win.”

Dylann Roof, of Eastover, S.C., is in custody and has been charged with nine counts of murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Mr. Roof didn’t enter a plea during his court appearance on Friday.

Overnight, an impromptu vigil was held outside Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where the killings occurred, drawing a large, racially diverse crowd. People sang African-American spirituals, while a few danced beside a growing memorial filled with flowers, Teddy bears and notes that read, “We love you,” among other tributes.

At the College of Charleston’s TD Arena Friday night, hundreds gathered to listen to several speakers honor the nine people who lost their lives Wednesday night.

Mayor Joseph Riley, the city’s longtime white mayor, called for healing, telling the large and diverse crowd that, “If that young man thought he was going to divide this country, he miserably failed.”

There’s a lot more at he original.

Dylann Roof, the killer, was apprehended within a day, extradited back to South Carolina, and has already appeared before a judge. And that’s where the funny thing happened: the families of some of the victims stood up in the hearing and publicly forgave Mr Roof:

Charleston church shooter hears victim’s kin say, ‘I forgive you’
By Ralph Ellis, Greg Botelho and Ed Payne, CNN | Updated 10:58 PM ET, Fri June 19, 2015 | Video Source: CNN

(CNN)Dylann Roof heard words of forgiveness from families of some of the nine people he’s accused of killing.

His response: A blank expression.

Wearing a striped inmate jumpsuit, the 21-year-old appeared Friday afternoon by video feed at a bond hearing in Charleston, South Carolina. He stood motionless while listening to the anguished words of relatives of victims he gunned down Wednesday night at a Bible study at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

“I will never be able to hold her again, but I forgive you,” a daughter of Ethel Lance said. “And have mercy on your soul. You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people but God forgives you, and I forgive you.”

Felicia Sanders — mother of victim Tywanza Sanders and a survivor of the church shooting herself — said that “every fiber in my body hurts, and I will never be the same.”

“As we said in the Bible study, we enjoyed you,” she said of Roof. “But may God have mercy on you.”

And in that, the Christian families, exhibiting the best of Christian forgiveness, totally disarmed the Reverend Al Sharpton and the rest of the race hustlers who would have liked to make the Charleston massacre the catalyst for more race riots.

The people of Charleston, white and black alike, united in peaceful mourning after this tragedy. Now, why do you suppose that happened?

Well, one reason is that the victims were all devout Christians, and their families are Christians, who acted as Christians are suppose to act. Another is that there is no ambiguity here: the victims were all innocent victims, clearly innocent victims, rather than wannabe thugs and gang bangers like Michael Brown and Freddie Gray. White Americans, for the very most part, reacted in just as much horror at the Charleston massacre as did black Americans, because white Americans want to see peaceful racial relations and justice done just as much as black Americans.

And thus there is no racial divide here: both white Americans and black Americans abhor senseless murders, and both white Americans and black Americans want and expect Mr Roof to face justice for his crime.1 This is no situation in which the “victims” were criminals, who were killed while assaulting police officers or who died in transport, this is no situation in which the victims were thugs who ended up on the short side of thug life. This is a situation in which the killer and his victims were judged not on the colors of their skins but on the contents of their characters.

I am reminded here of the reaction of the parents of Matthew Shepard. After the trial in which Aaron McKinney was convicted of first-degree murder,2 Mr Shepard’s parents brokered a deal, resulting in McKinney’s receiving two consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole; Mr Shepard’s father said that this was to show “mercy to someone who refused to show any mercy.”3 The forgiveness shown by some of the victims’ families might well result in Mr Roof avoiding a capital sentence for his crime.

And so, what has Dylann Roof actually accomplished? He (supposedly) said that he wanted to start a race war, but he has brought black and white Americans together instead. I suppose that he thought himself some sort of brave race war soldier, but he was arrested without incident and is now looking at spending the rest of his life — and at 21 years of age, he could have been looking at another sixty years or so of life and freedom and perhaps happiness — behind bars, in a racially integrated prison where he’ll be constantly looking over his shoulder wondering, is that the prisoner who’s going to choke him to death.

Mr Roof was not a very smart guy. He had to try to repeat the ninth grade, and wound up dropping out of school. He came from a broken home, he was unemployed, apparently didn’t want a job, and was a drug user who sat and played vidiot games all day long. He was a loser in every sense of the word. He now has his fifteen minutes of fame, but, soon enough, he’ll fall quietly out of sight, another wasted life in prison.

The families of some of his victims prayed that Mr Roof would find Jesus Christ while in prison, and perhaps he will be able to save his eternal soul, but he’ll never see another day of his life when he isn’t behind bars.

  1. Standard journalistic style specifies that Mr Roof, not yet having been convicted, should have his actions referred to as “alleged,” but he has apparently admitted his guilt, and we will not bother with the “alleged” part of the story here.
  2. The second killer, Russell Henderson, pleaded guilty in exchange for two consecutive life sentences, avoiding the death penalty.
  3. Cart, Julie (November 5, 1999). “Killer of Gay Student Is Spared Death Penalty; Courts: Matthew Shepard’s father says life in prison shows “mercy to someone who refused to show any mercy.”". Los Angeles Times. p. A1.

We’re baaaack!

The Editor has been struggling through three weeks of illness, and being swamped at work. Work is still busy, but I am slowly getting better.

There were too many times when I should have been fixing the site that I sat on the couch and watched reruns of Perry Mason.

We told you so!

From The Wall Street Journal:

Eurozone Summit Called After Ministers Fail to Reach Bailout Deal
Special summit of eurozone leaders called for Monday
By Viktoria Dendrinou and Gabriele Steinhauser | Updated June 18, 2015 6:33 p.m. ET

LUXEMBOURG—Eurozone leaders will try to clinch a deal on Greece’s flailing bailout at a hastily called crisis summit Monday, after finance ministers failed again to bridge the gap between Athens and its lenders.

The summit—eight days before Greece’s eurozone rescue runs out—will be one of the last chances to avert the specter of further economic meltdown for Greece and a messy exit from the eurozone.

After five months of fraught negotiations, “it is time to urgently discuss the situation of Greece at the highest political level,” said Donald Tusk, who presides over meetings of European leaders.

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said the extra meeting was necessary “to restore a dialogue with adults in the room.”

The creditors—other eurozone countries and the IMF—want Greece to implement budget cuts, mostly through pensions and sales-tax increases, which they say are needed to restore the country’s long-term financial health.

“Those are measures that are not popular, they will not be easy to take and the big question is whether the Greek government is prepared to take them,” said Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who heads up the so-called Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers. “And if they’re not prepared to do that, then they are taking a big, big risk on the future of Greece.”

More at the link.

The IMF wants to meet with the adults in the room, which is a not-too-subtle way of saying that the Greeks have not been responsible adults. They are, however, the representatives of the government elected by the Greek voters. The real adults would be those people who could admit the truth, and that seems something that the eurozone leadership are unwilling to do. Someone with some actual maturity would admit that the Greeks have been stalling and lying, and that there was simply no reason at all to risk sending good money after bad to bail out a country led by leftists, knaves, fools and liars.

The First Street Journal has been saying this for three years now: Greece will never repay its bailout debts, because the country lacks the productive capacity to earn that much money without educing its standards of living to very low levels, and the Greeks are in this mess because they kept borrowing money to allow their people to live better than their production justified. When given a democratic choice between trying to behave responsibly, and pay their bills, and get back on their feet, or voting in leftists who promised that no such thing would happen, they chose the left.

Which raises the obvious question: if a simple concrete plant manager, with no degree beyond his baccalaureate, could see this happening, years ago, while the highly respected, highly paid finance ministers and economists couldn’t — or wouldn’t — why ought we to trust government “experts” when they tell us anything?

The Carolina massacre

From The Wall Street Journal:

Charleston Church Shooting Suspect Dylann Roof in Police Custody
White man suspected of killing nine at a historic South Carolina black church now in custody in North Carolina
ByValerie Bauerlein,Cameron McWhirter and Ana Campoy |Updated June 18, 2015 1:08 p.m. ET

CHARLESTON, S.C.—Dylann Roof—the white man suspected of killing nine people at a historic black church in an alleged hate crime here on Wednesday night—was captured in Shelby, N.C., on Thursday morning, authorities said.

The arrest of Mr. Roof—about 240 miles north of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church—came during a traffic stop shortly after 11 a.m., following a large-scale manhunt by local, state and federal law-enforcement officials, Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen said in a news conference.

A gun was found in his possession when he was apprehended, according to a law enforcement source.

“I am very, very pleased to announce that we have made an arrest in this case,” Chief Mullen said, adding that investigators were rushing to the scene of the arrest to interview Mr. Roof, 21, and recover evidence. “I cannot say how thankful I am and how appreciative I am of all the people who came together in a tragic situation.”

More at the original.

Naturally, the hustlers will cry that this is a hate crime, and killing people certainly does indicate hatred, but this gentleman is facing nine counts of first degree murder, and that carries a potential death sentence in the Palmetto State. He should be tried for murder, period, and we ought not to waste time and money on silly hate crimes riders, when, if he is found guilty, there’s nothing more that could be done to him.