The World Is getting Ugly. One little Ray of sunshine. Then back to …………..
…………… coffee break is over, stand on your head.
From The Philadelphia Inquirer:
From Juniata Park to Harvard on a full ride
Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer | Last updated: Sunday, May 10, 2015, 1:09 AM
When the letter from the Gates Foundation landed on Lawndale Street in April, Virginia “Ginny” Dennis and her son Brandon started screaming.“Is Miss Ginny OK?” a neighbor asked as they stepped out of their Juniata Park rowhouse. “Because we heard her hollering.”
More than OK.
Miss Ginny’s son had just been awarded a full scholarship to both college and graduate school.
He’s going to Harvard.
At 17, Brandon Dixon is used to defying the odds.
With the guidance of Dennis – a spirited, single mother who worked as a medical lab technician – he won a spot at Girard College in fifth grade and has received a free, college-prep education at the private school in Fairmount.
Now, the student body president who helped lead the fight to preserve the secondary and boarding programs that have been hallmarks at Girard since it opened in 1848 has made history of his own: He has been named a Gates Millennium Scholar and the cost of the rest of his education will be covered by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The first in his family to attend college, Dixon has been talking about Harvard since he was 4. He’ll head to Cambridge in August to study government.
There is a lot more here.
Juniata Park is not the poorest section of Philadelphia, but it’s far from the wealthiest. What young Mr Dixon has done is to show that growing up poor and black is no reason not to succeed.
I have said, many times, that while I had little hope for Barack Hussein Obama to be a good President — and he has validated my doubts rather spectacularly — there was one very solid hope that I had for him: I had hoped that he would serve as a strong example to the black community that the unfortunate cultural norm that studying hard and doing well in school was not somehow “acting white” and should be avoided, but the path to success, and one which should be taken. Freddie Gray in Baltimore, was, as the euphemism goes, “well known to the police,” a common, petty criminal, who is now stone-cold graveyard dead. Michael Brown was just beginning on his criminal career, having robbed a convenience store ten minutes before he was killed, taking the thug route in life, and now he’s just another moldering corpse. When they were killed, a whole bunch of black Americans, and not a few of the less intelligent whites, were outraged and marched and protested and, in some cases, rioted, all in support of petty criminals.
Where, then, is the black community, marching in support of Brandon Dixon, showing their pride in the early accomplishments of a young man who has done things the right way? Well, we can see how the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Robinson Obama, feels about it:
Michelle Obama had her racial resentment act on full display Saturday when she turned a graduation celebration at a historically black university into another opportunity for identity politics.
The first lady put her penchant for racial division to work when she gave the commencement address at Alabama’s Tuskegee University.
“Generation after generation, students here have shown that same grit, that same resilience to soar past obstacles and outrages — past the threat of countryside lynchings; past the humiliation of Jim Crow; past the turmoil of the Civil Rights era,” she said.
“And then they went on to become scientists, engineers, nurses and teachers in communities all across the country — and continued to lift others up along the way.”
Obama cited the situations in Ferguson and Baltimore as she pandered to the audience.
“The road ahead is not going to be easy. It never is, especially for folks like you and me,” she said. “Because while we’ve come so far, the truth is those age-old problems are stubborn, and they haven’t fully gone away.”
The First Lady is, as she almost always is, wrong. She was speaking to the graduates at the Tuskegee University, the ones who have taken the path that her husband and she took, the path of education, the path of college. It is an entirely superficial judgement to think that because the graduates are mostly black, they are somehow the same as Michael Brown or Freddie Gray. It isn’t the color of their skin which is important, but the path they choose to take through life, and it’s as certain as anything can be that the vast majority of those graduates won’t turn out to be criminals like Messrs Brown and Gray.
She said black people have a “Fear that your job application will be overlooked because of the way your name sounds. The agony of sending your kids to schools that may no longer be separate but are far from equal. The realization that no matter how far you rise in life, how hard you work to be a good person, a good parent, a good citizen — for some folks it will never be enough.”
The First Lady doesn’t seem to understand: if you work hard to be “a good person, a good parent, a good citizen,” you will be appreciated, because so many people these days don’t do that.
What the First Lady ought to be saying, what her husband ought to be pushing, is that taking the right path in life is the key to success, and that it is those who choose the wrong path who hold back the rest of black America. The problem is that so many young black American men choose the wrong path, choose to become the Freddie Grays and Michael Browns, that their actions have led to police profiling, have led to the police being more suspicious of young black men, because that is a reasonable response; if the police focus more heavily on young black men than other people, they will catch a greater number of criminals.
That’s a rough thing to say, but statistically, it’s the truth, and the black community knows that as well as anyone else. Jesse Jackson once said, “There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps… then turn around and see somebody white and feel relieved.” The Reverend Jackson was doing what everybody does, he was admitting to profiling, admitting that when we lack specific information about a particular person or situation, our brains just naturally fill in the blanks with knowledge from previous situations. The Reverend Jackson was saying exactly what he knows and everybody knows: the probability that a man walking down the street behind him would turn out to be a mugger is greater if that man is black than if he is white.
And that is why the black community needs to stop making martyrs and heroes out of young men like Messrs Gray and Brown, and start making more of a celebration about people like Brandon Dixon.
It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as posting photos of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Linor Abargil 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, it’s back to the Levant, and the women of the IDF! Real women, in real danger, who can handle it!
From The New York Times:
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 9, 2015
Really great, huh? Some Manhattan neighborhoods are less expensive than Brooklyn, but the picture that the Times used shows bars on the windows and door. If I wanted to put myself in jail, I could do it without spending a million bucks!In the meantime, as As I’ve noted previously, we bought our retirement home1 last year: 7.92 acres, with 500 feet of frontage on the Kentucky River, for a whopping $75,000. The house is a bit of a fixer-upper as far as we are concerned, but it’s livable now, enough so that we have been able to rent it out, and it actually rented the first day our agent put it on the market.
Of course, it’s not Manhattan, where for a mere $425,000 you can buy this 375 ft² studio apartment in Gramercy Park!2 Gramercy is one of the areas the article lists as less expensive than some neighborhoods in Brooklyn, so it must be a deal!
Manhattan is an interesting place to visit, but I sure don’t see how anyone who has to actually work for a living can afford to live there.
Make Extra Money Selling Military Memorabilia
The collectibles market is one that changes fairly often. What is hot one year isn’t hot the next, and market trends often dictate the selling price of those collectibles. Military memorabilia is one of the few fields that remains stable. Even in the midst of the recession, collectors still spend millions of dollars on the items they needed to complete their collections. Whether you have memorabilia from the Civil War or another era in history, you can sell those items for big bucks.
Authenticating Your Item
If you want to sell items through a traditional auction house, online or at memorabilia shows, you need to authenticate every item you sell. Buyers want to know the history behind those items and that the pieces really do come from the appropriate era. Authenticating experts go over your item with a fine tooth comb to look for any errors and to get an idea about the condition of the piece. You’ll receive a certificate that authenticates your piece.
What About Conservation and Preservation?
When it comes to Civil War memorabilia and items from other eras, condition always matters. Pieces that are in better condition sell for more than items in poorer condition do. Many companies offer conservation and preservation services that can restore and protect those pieces for years to come. This is a good option for those who want to hold on to some items and sell those pieces later. Battleground Antiques, Inc. and other similar companies can assist you with authenticating, conserving and preserving all the memorabilia in your collection.
Dick the butcher, from Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene II:
The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.
While that line is often misinterpreted, I can think of one attorney, a law professor no less, about whom even the resticted meaning of the corrupt, unethical lawyers certainly applies.
Crosses in every room at Washingon D.C.’s Catholic University of America are a human rights violation that prevent Muslim students from praying.
That’s the complaint to the Washington, D.C. Office of Human Rights filed by a professor from rival George Washington University across town.
GWU Law School Professor John Banzhaf takes the Catholic institution to task for acting “probably with malice” against Muslim students in a 60-page complaint that cites “offensive” Catholic imagery all over the Catholic school, which he says hinder Muslims from praying.
Baffled Catholic University officials say they have never received a complaint from any of the schools Muslim students.
Banzhaf, who already has a pending lawsuit against the university over ending its policy of allowing mixed-gender dormitories and has a history of filing civil rights suits on such topics as childhood obesity and smoking, filed the complaint alleging that Muslim students are not given their own prayer rooms.
He alleges that the university, “does not provide space – as other universities do – for the many daily prayers Muslim students must make, forcing them instead to find temporarily empty classrooms where they are often surrounded by Catholic symbols which are incongruous to their religion,” according to the Tower, Catholic University’s student newspaper.
More at the original.
I, of course, wouldn’t actually want to see him killed, but ridiculous attorneys such as Mr Banzhaf could be put quickly in their place with one simple doctrinal change: the institution of loser pays. If the loser in a lawsuit was require to pay the legal bills of the winner, people like Mr Banzhaf would cease filing frivolous lawsuits.
Catholic University is, as the name ought to indicate to all but the most stupid, is a Catholic university. Catholic institutions tend to have Crucifixes all over the place. If someone is offended by Catholic art and Crucifixes, he is perfectly at liberty to attend some other college.
And now, on to the blogroll!
That’s it for this week! I apologize for the sparsity of my posting, but I worked 68 hours this past week, and things don’t look to be letting up any time soon.
I find this very interesting. The Mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlins-Blake, has ADMITTED by welcoming this review by the DOJ, She can not, and will not govern the City. In a city where the Minority is in the Majority practically across the board, and Democrat, she all but says We Have No Control, Send More Money. This is specifically hurtful to me since I grew up in Baltimore. The city I KNEW before the 1968 MLK Riots broke out, does not exist anymore. I sorta wish it was Baltimore 1789-1968 for the real history of the City, and whatever it is now post LBJ’s Great Society killing the city afterwards.
Back in the 50′s the population was just under 1 Million. And for crime, if they had 100 homicides a year, it was a lot. By the early 2000′s the population dropped to over 600,000 and 300+ homicides a year. People voted with their feet and left. I know, I was one of them. The City years ago was known as the Monumental City for having so many firsts, military ability, and industry. It was Blue Collar in every way shape and form. IT’S GONE. Then they tried calling it the City That Reads as illiteracy rose. The running joke then was informally calling it The City That Breeds due to the illegitimacy rate brought on by LBJ’s the Great Society and drugs. That didn’t work, so they called it Charm City. OOOPS, the (C) was added by mistake.
When you see Baltimore in Sporting Events like Football and Baseball you see a “Vibrant City” as portrayed in the aerial shots. What’s not seen is outside the 2 mile radius of the Inner Harbor. For what Baltimore WAS, it is not the City I knew and I doubt I will see that city again.
I lived in Baltimore City until 1972, then to Baltimore County until 1974, then moved to PA. However, I worked in Downtown Baltimore until 2011 and my parents lived there until 2009. So, I was in it every day and week.
In the wake of Freddie Gray‘s death in police custody, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Friday that the Department of Justice will launch a full-scale civil rights investigation into Baltimore’s police.
“This investigation will begin immediately,” Lynch said, adding that investigators will examine whether police violated the constitution and the community’s civil rights. “Our goal is to work with the community, public officials and law enforcement alike to create a stronger, better Baltimore.”
The community’s mistrust with the police didn’t develop over night, and will take time to mend the fractured relationship, Lynch said. “We have watched as Baltimore has struggled with issues that face cities across our country today,” she said.
Her announcement came after local officials and community leaders pressed the Justice Department to launch an inquiry similar to investigations into police departments in Ferguson, Mo., and Cleveland that examined whether officers engaged in patterns of excessive force. In both of those cities, unrest erupted after unarmed black people were killed by police.
The Editor of The First Street Journal is not a diplomat. He attended the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce in the early 1980s, but did not complete his Master’s degree there, and thus, as not a Master of Arts in Diplomacy, can wonder why real diplomats can’t just tell the truth. From The Wall Street Journal:
Documents Distributed by Greece’s Yanis Varoufakis Baffle Eurozone Officials
Officials say that the files differ greatly from what has been discussed in technical talks in Brussels
By Viktoria Dendrinou | Updated May 8, 2015 9:52 a.m. ET
BRUSSELS—Documents containing overhaul plans and growth estimates distributed by Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis to some of his eurozone counterparts have baffled officials involved in the talks between Greece and its international creditors.
Officials say that the files differ greatly from what has been discussed in technical talks in Brussels in recent days and underline how Mr. Varoufakis continues to complicate progress toward a financing deal.
The 36-page document, entitled “Greece’s recovery: A blueprint” and seen by The Wall Street Journal, was presented by Mr. Varoufakis to his counterparts in Paris and Rome, as well as senior officials in Brussels while touring European capitals over the last week, according to four European officials.
Mr. Varoufakis declined to comment on the document speaking to the media after a meeting with Spanish Finance Minister Luis de Guindos in Madrid on Friday. A spokesperson for the Greek government couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Greece’s leftist-led government is currently locked in negotiations with its international creditors—the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission—over its next slice of financial aid as part of a €245 billion ($276.07 billion) rescue package. . . . .
While some of the reforms the document outlines are the same ones agreed in the ongoing negotiations–such as the creation of a fully independent tax commissioner– the paper also differs in several areas from what is currently being discussed between technical experts representing Greece and the institutions overseeing its bailout.
“There is hardly any connection between his blueprint and the ongoing ‘negotiations’,” an EU official said. “It seems like a fine program for a country that does not have any financing problems, but just wants to catch up and be a nice tourist destination,” he added.
There’s more at the link, but what your non-diplomat Editor wonders is why the European Union officials negotiating with Greece cannot just say, “You know, this is a complete waste of time. Either Yanis Varoufakis doesn’t know what he’s talking about or he’s just an out-and-out liar, and there is no sense at all in discussing anything with a man like that.”
This really shouldn’t be a surprise: former Communist Alexis Tsipras and the Syriza, the Coalition of the Radical Left (Συνασπισμός Ριζοσπαστικής Αριστεράς, Synaspismós Rizospastikís Aristerás) won power by running against the harsh but still rational bailout plans that the eurozone members were imposing upon the all-but-officially bankrupt country. That Greece, which needs other people’s money very badly, would try to drag out negotiations for yet another bailout payment without really intending to keep its side of the bargain ought not to be a surprise to anyone, or at least to anyone who isn’t a diplomat. Someone with some actual common sense would admit that Mr Varoufakis, and, through him, Prime Minister Tsipras, are 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.
It has been said that diplomacy is the art of telling someone to go to Hell in such a way that he’s actually looking forward to the trip. Unfortunately, it appears that, in this case, the eurozone diplomats are unwilling to tell Greece to go to Hell. The more probable result is that the diplomats will turn a blind eye to the Greek government’s lies, and wind up spending more of their taxpayers’ euros to bail out a country that has absolutely no intention of paying anybody back.
There’s a (very slight) movement to replace the picture of President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with a woman. I have objected that, if any President should remain on our currency, it should be President Jackson, because he was the only one to ever pay off the national debt, something he accomplished in 1836. Well, if you listen to the Democrats in the Tarheel State, paying off government debt is a bad, bad thing. From Da Tech Guy, with a hat tip to Sister Toldjah on Facebook:
The Exploding NC Democrat Heads
by A.P. Dillon | May 7th, 2015
Question: On what planet do people complain about a $400 million surplus and paying off $2.8 billion in unemployment insurance debt that was racked up by a former governor?
Answer: On Planet NC Democrat.
One state legislator compared North Carolina’s budget to ‘state sponsored eugenics‘. The same legislator just couldn’t be happy until they played the class warfare card, while another used Senior citizens as a battering ram.
It leaves one scratching their head and asking, what kind of math do these Democrats use?
On Wednesday, the news broke that some of the budget and tax policies put into place by the Republican held legislature and Governor Pat McCrory have yielded a $400 million dollar surplus.
A lot of heads, like that of the ‘Moral Monday’ crowd, must be exploding.
‘Moral Monday’s’ main shtick has been to whose mission has been to call the Republican held Legislature “regressive”. That same crowd, along with Democrat legislators warned of gloom and doom befalling North Carolina. Gloom and doom like a predicted shortfall of $270 million did not come to pass.
Republicans say the swing to a surplus shows that GOP tax changes are working. The $400 million figure equates to about 2 percent of the state budget, putting it within a long-term 2.5 percent margin of error for each year’s revenue forecast.
A memo from legislative and administration officials said there was a “significant upswing” in April tax collections. The new, projected surplus is “predominately due to higher income tax payments and lower refunds from the 2014 tax year,” according to the report. – Charlotte Observer
There’s more at the original, but the problem is obvious: if conservatives employ economic measures, and those measures work, it means that conservatives will win more elections, and the Democrats will have less to combitch about. And the last thing that Democrats ever want is to see lowered spending and less debt.
You know, it wasn’t that long ago that Democrats were thoroughly committed to responsible government spending, and you can still see some of that from moderate to conservative Democrats in the too-few places that they still exist; the Bluegrass State comes to mind! I’d have
thought hoped that there were still some moderate Democrats in North Carolina, but if they’re still there, they don’t seem to make much noise.
From Donald Douglas:
A particularly odious comparison at today’s Los Angeles Times front-page, claiming moral equivalence between Pamela Geller and the Islamic jihadists who attempted a Charlie Hebdo attack in Texas.
I tweeted the photo of the piece this morning, and here’s the online article, “Texas attack refocuses attention on fine line between free speech and hate speech“:
— Donald Douglas (@AmPowerBlog) May 5, 2015
Pamela Geller is a 56-year-old Jewish arch-conservative from New York, a vehement critic of radical Islam who organized a provocative $10,000 cartoon contest in this placid Dallas suburb designed to caricature the prophet Muhammad.
Elton Simpson was a 30-year-old aspiring Islamic militant from Phoenix who fantasized to an FBI informant about “doing the martyrdom operations” in Somalia and was convicted in 2010 of lying to the FBI about his plans to travel to the volatile eastern African nation.
Their lives intersected Sunday in this small town in north-central Texas, an unlikely venue for a violent collision of cultures. After a Sunday evening shootout outside the contest site between police and Simpson and another man firing assault rifles, both gunmen lay dead in the street. And Geller quickly posted a defiant blog: “This is a war on free speech. … Are we going to surrender to these monsters?”
The Texas showdown was America’s Charlie Hebdo moment, erupting just four months after gunmen shot and killed 12 people at the Paris offices of the satirical newspaper that had published cartoons of the prophet considered blasphemous by many Muslims. The Garland attack refocused public attention on the fine line between free speech and hate speech in the ideological struggle between radical Islam and the West.
So, the editors of The Los Angeles Times understood enough about freedom of speech to draw the comparison to the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris — you know: the ones where the leaders of every liberal democracy in the world attended a free speech rally except President Barack Hussein Obama — but somehow, some way, just couldn’t understand that there is no “fine line between free speech and hate speech.” Speech is speech, and freedom of speech means absolutely nothing if it is limited only to speech to which no one has any objection.1
The cartoon contest was organized by Geller as a rallying point for cartoonists and conservatives united in their belief that verbal attacks on radical Islam are a form of free speech.
Did you note that: it is somehow “their belief” that criticizing Islam, “verbal attacks on radical Islam,” are part of the freedom of speech. One wonders what the editors of the Times would say if Christians objected to atheist propaganda or tried to shoot people who advocated same-sex “marriage.”
OK, that’s a lie: no one really wonders what the editors’ response would be. They would be aghast, because freedom of speech is only for the left; as William F Buckley once noted, “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”
Geller has posted bus ads and billboards condemning Islam. In 2010, the same year the FBI was investigating Simpson’s vows to fight “kafirs,” or nonbelievers, Geller cofounded American Freedom Defense Initiative, also known as Stop Islamization of America. The organization, considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, hosted the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon contest, offering $10,000 for the best cartoon of the prophet.
I asked yesterday, on Twitter:
— Dana Pico (@Dana_TFSJ) May 6, 2015
I think it would be an honor to be listed as a hate site by the Southern Poverty Law Center!
It was not so very long ago that I was in college, at the University of Kentucky, and it were the left who were so very, very adamant that freedom of speech was an absolute, that the First Amendment meant that anybody could say whatever he wished, and that was protected by the law. The “Free Speech Movement” began with campus protests at the University of California at Berkeley. But today it is the left which objects to the freedom of speech, the left including Hillary Clinton, who would pass a constitutional amendment to limit the freedom of speech on the very subject which concerned the Framers the most, political speech.“We know the risks,” Geller wrote in a blog promoting the event. “This event will require massive security.”
Still more at that top link.
As Pamela always says, “truth is the new hate speech.”
Actually, there’s no such thing as hate speech. As the FIRE notes, ““Hate speech” is not a category of speech recognized under current constitutional law. It is merely a convenient way to pigeonhole speech that some people find offensive.”
Yeah, well, Muslims and regressive leftists don’t like being called out with the truth. Hence, as soon as shots rang out virtually the entire media establishment and the left’s terror-enablers blamed Pamela for the attack. It’s an enormous perversion of reality, but this is the nature of the war we’re in. Obviously, the reporters at the Times are down with a sick moral equivalence that smears a freedom fighter who calls Islam for what it is — a political ideology seeking to eliminate all opposition, using any means necessary, including murderous jihad. Ironically, our mass media overlords truly believe that genuinely speaking your mind, quoting the words of the jihadists themselves, and courageously standing up for your right to do it, is extremism. It is, according to the Times, exactly the same as launching an armed attack on peaceful citizens attending a political convention about drawing cartoons. It’s so absurd it’s to die for.
Is Pamela Gellar’s speech offensive? At least to some people, yup, it sure is.2 Then again, I find some of what Amanda Marcotte writes to be offensive, but I wouldn’t try to use the power of government to shut down what she says, nor urge that someone shoot her; her speech should be responded to solely with other speech, criticizing what she says, and mocking her.3 I find almost everything that Hillary Clinton says to be offensive, but I would not use the power of government to shut her up, nor suggest that someone ought to shoot her. To me, the freedom of speech is, and ought to be, an absolute: the government ought not have any power to regulate speech, or the press, or religion, exactly as the First Amendment specifies.
What has led to such a change? I’d say that a large part of it is due to the fact that the left have lost control of the media of publication. It wasn’t so very long ago that professional media gatekeepers had the power to decide what would and would not be published, what would and would not be heard beyond the sound of the speakers’ voices. Rush Limbaugh broke that with the national success of his show on talk radio, and it wasn’t long after that that the internet allowed other voices to self-publish, inexpensively or without any costs at all.4 Having lost their gatekeeping functions, the left seek to impose some form of control on what conservatives can say through other means; it hasn’t worked out well for them.
Now they are trying the “hate speech” meme, hoping that such will prevent some people from listening to speech that the left cannot simply prohibit outright. But, for the left, “hate speech” is really uncomfortable speech, speech which challenges what they think simply must be good and right and true, but is speech which they cannot refute, and they’d rather stick their collective fingers in their ears and yell “hate speech!” rather than have to do the harder work of examining what is said and disproving it . . . or accepting what they cannot disprove.