Archive for May, 2011

Another Way to Celebrate Memorial Day

It is with some discomfort that I pick up a thread worked loose by Drudge, but if I can’t ask the question, then what are we doing here?

What’s going on?

Since Monday, more than 250,000 Gay South Florida readers have viewed Herb Sosa’s open letter to Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower, the Beach commission and “concerned citizens” about Urban Weekend.

“People are pissed off. They’re upset, What’s the right way to take care of the city?”

Sosa, president of Unity Coalition, Miami-Dade County’s leading Hispanic gay-rights group, said he’s concerned some people have called him racist, after he demanded an end to Urban Weekend.

“It has nothing to do with racism,” said Sosa, who lives in South Beach. “It’s a lack of respect for the city they’re visiting. It’s as simple as that. This morning, there were six cars parked on my block with their mirrors ripped off, their antennas ripped off.

“The suggestion that this is a racist issue … is absolutely ridiculous. If anything, the city of Miami Beach as been more than accommodating to Urban Weekend.”

This is what he wrote:

Esteemed Miami Beach Mayor, Commissioners & concerned citizens.

Please view the attached YouTube video (one of many) already posted for the world to see, about Memorial/Urban Weekend 2011 in Miami Beach.

It shows our city as nothing short of a warzone – Filthy streets, a drive by shooting, multiple cars crashed in the process, and total chaos on the streets. This is unacceptable and must be controlled before we totally lose our city, tourism & residents. It is not limited to Ocean Drive or Collins – there isn’t a residential street in South Beach not affected by tons of garbage, crime to our vehicles, excessive noise 24 hours a day, and simply a lack of respect for our community, citizens & property. THIS is the image the world see of our “American Riviera”.

Okay, that’s Miami.

Did you hear about Charlotte?

Questions continue to swirl as investigators search for whoever fired shots during one of many fights in uptown Charlotte early Sunday.

Investigators say Antwan Terrell Smith was shot and killed after someone pulled a gun just after 1 a.m. during a large fight on 3rd Street. Durante Kavon James was shot in the leg.

It was one of several fights that broke out after the Speed Street celebration in Uptown. CMPD called out its Civil Emergency Unit after reporting that many large groups of people were disobeying police, flashing gang signs, blocking traffic and fighting.

A manager at a convenience store on North Tryon Street tells NewsChannel 36 a huge crowd swarmed the store, broke a window, and began stealing things, before running away.

In all, 70 people were arrested – including 15 juveniles. Most of the arrests were for disorderly conduct, fighting, assault, and impeding traffic.

Meanwhile, at a water park in Nashville:

Nearly two dozen police officers were called out to Wave Country on Monday afternoon after large crowds of people became unruly. The disturbance forced park managers to close the facility two hours early on Memorial Day.

Metro Parks director Tommy Lynch said Wave Country was nowhere near capacity, but there were plenty of problems that caused the park to close early.

“Once we got to the point that the turmoil at the front of the facility also got inside the facility, we felt for everyone’s safety the best thing to do was to close it,” Lynch explained.

Metro Police were called out to Wave Country around 1 p.m. because the crowd outside the gates and inside the park was acting up.

“That crowd refused to follow any kind of instructions. They became disorderly,” according to Cpt. Marlene Pardue from Metro Police.

There were several fights inside. Police said one of the biggest problems was people jumping the fence to get into the park, creating chaos inside the park.

“Not just kids jumping the fence, but adults, with children and strollers, putting them over the fence, then jumping the fence,” Cpt. Pardue said.

Visitors inside the park said the chaos made them feel unsafe.

“Hundreds of people were just jumping over the fence. Almost trampled my kids. I just didn’t feel safe,” Heather Nowack explained.

And in Rochester:

A busy Memorial Day evening at the beach ended abruptly when fights broke out among at least 100 youth.

Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies shut down Ontario Beach Park, prompting a traffic jam. Large crowds of youth ran south on Lake Ave.?

Sheriff’s and Rochester police arrested 13 people on charges ranging from disorderly conduct to drug and alcohol offenses.

And not least here in Boston:

Fights broke out among rival gang members on Carson Beach in South Boston yesterday and spilled out across the city, triggering a massive law enforcement response from at least five agencies to stem the violence.

Police said the gang members are part of a group of more than 1,000 youths who have used social media sites like Facebook to plan unruly gatherings on the beach on three of the past four nights. The beach falls under the jurisdiction of the State Police, who have been unable to prevent the violence.

The response yesterday resembled crowd-control tactics reserved for major sporting victories.

There were a few other events, but the details weren’t as clear.

But in all these cases, a primarily African American crowd went wild, from overrunning a water park in Nashville to letting fly hot lead in Miami Beach.

So, what’s going on? Are we in for a “long, hot summer”, or is this just random violence, overblown by the media and the “racist” Drudge? That’s what this guy thinks:

Curious about what “urban” teenagers were doing over the holiday weekend, and whether you should feel threatened by them and people who share their complexion? Then be sure to check in with the Drudge Report, which has conveniently rounded up a slew of run-of-the-mill summer crime stories that happen to involve black people and suggestively weaved them into a nationwide race riot.

“Run-of-the-mill summer crime stories”? Perhaps 2,000 people were involved, shots fired, dozens of arrests—I lead a sedate life, but is that run-of-the-mill?

And Drudge only presented the stories (yes, together); he made no editorial comment. So, lose the attitude.

But I’ll make an editorial comment.

I wonder if there is any deeper story here. During one of the most American of holidays (when we honor soldiers who died in our defense), a holiday begun by freed slaves in honor of the Union soldiers who died that they might live free, contemporary American blacks in at least a few communities besmirch the hallowed occasion with rank violence.

Just a coincidence? Nothing to worry about? Shame on me? Yeah, yeah, fine. Whatever.

I don’t pick up Drudge’s gauntlet out of outrage—well, yes I do. I am outraged. But I’m also unspeakably sad. No thanks to me (I voted for the old white crank), African Americans can look to the White House with a pride they might never have felt for a president before. Heck, those Boston kids got a double dose with our black governor. Yet the Boston police had to turn out as if the Patriots had won the Super Bowl.

And Miami Beach turned into Fallujah for the night.

Maybe we can blame the economy, with unemployment for black people worse than everyone else; maybe we blame the heat wave; maybe we even blame Obama directly for contributing to a reliance on an abstract and distant government, instead of reliance on self and family. If you don’t own something—a car, a house, society—you don’t feel the need to treat it with as much respect as if you do.

I don’t know. But though the incidents are unrelated in any way, they all happened. On Memorial Day. And it’s just so sad.

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Obama: The Big Bad Wolf

He huffs, and he puffs, and he blows house prices down:

Home prices hit another new low in the first quarter, down 5.1% from a year ago to levels not reached since 2002.

It was the third straight quarterly drop for the S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index, which was released Tuesday.

Prices are now down 32.7% from their peak set five years ago.

“Home prices continue on their downward spiral with no relief in sight,” said David Blitzer, spokesman for Standard and Poor’s.

The housing market went through a brief recovery period starting in mid-2009, recovering nearly 5% of earlier losses. After homebuyer tax credits expired last April, the slump resumed.

Cash for Clunkers was a bust (car sales plummeted afterwards), and so is Mortgages for Moochers. Obama’s whole philosophy of temporary stimuli is a bust.

And so it goes.

Meanwhile, north of the border:

Canada’s economy expanded at a 3.9% annualized pace in January through March, the fastest clip in a year and more than double the rate in the U.S., as businesses replenished inventories and boosted investment spending and exports rose while consumer and government spending stalled, Statistics Canada said Monday.

Gross domestic product growth was marginally below the consensus call of 4%, and also undershot the Bank of Canada’s 4.2% forecast.

GDP growth accelerated from a downwardly revised 3.1% in the fourth quarter, which was originally reported at 3.3%. The economic performance was the reverse of the U.S. where growth decelerated to 1.8% in the first quarter from 3.1% previously.

But then, igloos are cheap up there, so housing prices don’t have as far to fall.

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Now Who’s Stupid?

Hey, press pack! What papers do you read?


Sarah Palin pulled a clever bait and switch on reporters in Gettysburg on Tuesday, as her “One Nation” bus tour rolls into its third day.
The Palin family and a few members of her staff snuck out of their hotel early, leaving their flashy bus behind in the hotel parking lot to give reporters chasing her the impression that she was still readying for the day.

As members of Palin’s advance staff began to roll out luggage to the bus on Tuesday morning, a crush of media and tourists gathered to meet the potential presidential candidate on her way out of the hotel.

But CNN was soon tipped off that Palin was long gone, off to visit the Civil War battlefields and onward toward Philadelphia.

Rather than every appearance be a photo op, she avoids the press. She knows she connects better with regular people than the hoity-toity Beltway brass in the DC press corpse.

Have a great day, Palin family.

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The Media Claims The Tea Party Is Racist. The “New Darling” Of The Tea Party Is The Herminator, Herman Cain. How Does This Compute?

Perhaps someone from the MSM will deign to write in and explain this.

On the internet version of the paper, this occurs on page 3:

A block away from Cain’s sleepy childhood street, congregants arrived at the Greater Fair Hills Baptist Church. Most had never heard of Cain. But Saunja Lawson, 69, lived across the street from him growing up. She called Cain a “beautiful person” who wouldn’t get her vote. His tea party association, she said, had proved vexing. “A lot of people in the community are very shocked because of the upbringing he had,” she said.

Cain said his former neighbor’s reaction was common among blacks who “are shocked that I have become a tea party guy because they have drunk the Kool-Aid on this racist thing.” Cain, who describes himself as an “American black conservative” but also the party’s “dark horse,” said any talk about racism in the movement was “bull feathers.”

Cain may be a convenient rebuttal to charges of racism in the tea party’s ranks, but he is also a genuine star.

“Herman generates incredible excitement,” said Mark Meckler, co-founder and national coordinator of Tea Party Patriots, which has more than 3,500 chapters around the country and does not endorse candidates. “He is a lot more like us than anyone who has run for president in our lifetimes.”

Meckler, whose organization was such a fan of Cain and his business experience that it tried to hire him to its board in late 2009, said Cain’s consistency stood out in the field. “All the candidates are being forced to talk the talk,” Meckler said. “Herman is somewhat unique because he has long-term credibility.”

Cain is charismatic, African American, and therefore able to take on Barack Obama without fear of charges of racism, and he seems like a fun guy. The negatives, in my view, are the belief in the gold standard and the lack of knowledge about Israel. The last is the worst, because it means he is wide-open to whatever lies the establishment tells him.

It is just astonishing that the media casually mentions that he is the favored candidate of the Tea Party after assuring us for what? three years? that the Tea Party is racist. The media is doing everything in its power to damage our country.

– Aggie

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I don’t know how long a time one must wait before commenting on a natural disaster, but I’m certain this is too early.

Blame Bill McKibben and the other enviro-wackos—who beat me by more than a week.

Writing recently in the Washington Post, environmental guru Bill McKibben asserted that the number and severity of recent weather events, such as the tornado in Joplin, Mo., are too great not to be the result of fossil-fuel induced climate change. He suggested that government’s failure to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases will result in more violent weather and weather-related deaths in the future.

And pointing to the tragedy in Joplin, Mr. McKibben summarily dismissed the idea that, if climate change really is occurring, human beings can successfully adapt to it.

There’s one problem with this global-warming chicken little-ism. It has little to do with reality. National Weather Service data on weather-related fatalities since 1940 show that the risks of Americans being killed by violent weather have fallen significantly over the past 70 years.

The annual number of deaths caused by tornadoes, floods and hurricanes, of course, varies. For example, the number of persons killed by these weather events in 1972 was 703 while the number killed in 1988 was 72. But amid this variance is a clear trend: The number of weather-related fatalities, especially since 1980, has dropped dramatically.

For the 30-year span of 1980-2009, the average annual number of Americans killed by tornadoes, floods and hurricanes was 194—fully one-third fewer deaths each year than during the 1940-1979 period. The average annual number of deaths for the years 1980-2009 falls even further, to 160 from 194, if we exclude the deaths attributed to Hurricane Katrina, most of which were caused by a levee that breached on the day after the storm struck land.

This decline in the absolute number of deaths caused by tornadoes, floods and hurricanes is even more impressive considering that the population of the United States more than doubled over these years—to 308 million in 2010 from 132 million in 1940.

That’s a point I’ve been wanting to make: our population is greater, and our populated land is greater. If McKibben and Co. want to blame suburban sprawl for the seeming increase in tornados, I might be more receptive. Where once was empty farmland, now sit subdivisions and trailer parks.

The alarmists may lurch from disaster to disaster—heat, blizzards, tornados—but they are consistent in giving no credit to human ingenuity and adaptability. Even the people of Joplin had a warning.

I noted a BBC story yesterday that said that CO2 emissions were at record levels again, after dropping slightly due not to conservation, but recession. If the alarmists are right, we’d all better buy property in Joplin, Missouri. Beach front property.

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Flay of Soul

Caroline Glick doesn’t leave a shred of skin on Obama’s hostile, arrogant (as Musharraf calls him), anti-Zionist policies:

In his speech, Obama stated: “The United States believes… the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.”

That is, he took “the Palestinian goal” and made it the US’s goal. It is hard to imagine a more radically anti-Israel policy shift than that.

And that wasn’t Obama’s only radically anti-Israel policy shift. Until his May 19 speech, the US agreed with Israel that the issue of borders is only one of many – including the Palestinians’ rejection of Israel’s right to exist, their demand to inundate Israel with millions of foreign Arab immigrants, their demand for control over Israel’s water supply and Jerusalem – that have to be sorted out in negotiations. The joint US-Israeli position was that until all of these issues were resolved, none of them were resolved.

[B]y stipulating that Israel must accept the Palestinian position on borders as a precondition for negotiations, Obama adopted it as US policy.

SINCE THAT speech, Obama has taken a series of steps that only reinforce the sense that he is the most hostile US president Israel has ever faced. Indeed, when taken together, these steps raise concern that Obama may actually constitute a grave threat to Israel.

Imagine poor Obama’s position: he goes to Cairo to speak to the Muslim world as early in his presidency as he can; he snubs Netanyahu every chance he gets; he dispatches some Arab dictators and befriends others like a sultan with his concubines—and these damn Jews won’t leave his side:

For him, it is unacceptable to be in a position of standing alone with Israel voting against the Palestinian resolution. Obama’s distaste for standing with Israel was demonstrated in February when a visibly frustrated US Ambassador Susan Rice was forced by Congressional pressure to veto the Palestinians’ Security Council draft resolution condemning Israel for refusing to prohibit Jews from building in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

Yediot’s report asserts that Obama refused to brief Netanyahu on the steps his administration is taking to avert such an unpalatable option. What the paper did report was how George Mitchell – Obama’s Middle East envoy until his resignation last week – recommended Obama proceed on this issue.

According to Yediot, Mitchell recommended that Obama work with the Europeans to draft a series of anti-Israel resolutions for the UN Security Council to pass. Among other things, these resolutions, which Mitchell said would be “painful for Israel,” would include an assertion that Jewish building in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria is illegal.

That is, Mitchell recommended that Obama adopt as US policy at the Security Council past Palestinian demands that Congress forced Obama to reject just months ago at the Security Council.

This is predictable: when their hated, backward policies are rejected, the Left just recycles them until circumstances allow them to pass.

Which is why, again, American Jews need to reject Democrats:

Obama sought to turn his embrace of the Palestinian negotiating position into the consensus position of the G8. His move was scuttled by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who refused to accept any resolution that made mention of borders without mentioning the Palestinian demand to destroy Israel through Arab immigration, Israel’s right to defensible borders, or the Palestinians’ refusal to accept Israel’s right to exist.

If Harper had not stood by Israel, the G8’s anti-Israel resolution endorsing the Palestinian negotiating position could have formed the basis of a US-sponsored anti-Israel Security Council resolution.

Israelis planning their summer trips should put Canada at the top of their lists.

Glick is reading you, Aggie.

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What’s More Dangerous Than Being Jewish in France?

Being female in France:

Still reeling from the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former International Monetary Fund chief, on sexual assault charges, France’s political class was struck by a fresh sex scandal on Sunday with the resignation of Georges Tron, the public works minister accused of molesting two former female staff members.

The massage enthusiast’s “foot fetish”, which two ex-town hall employees in their thirties claim morphed into full-blown abuse, has sparked a backlash from France’s embattled female politicians. They are calling for an end to the “French exception” of “everyday machismo” among male peers often bordering on harassment.

“Many will be looking at their shoes and saying to themselves: ‘I hope to goodness we can move on to something else,'” the euro MP and mayor of Paris’ 7th arrondissement said.

Sexism in France’s National Assembly has got so bad that Chantal Jouanno, the sports minister and a former French Karate champion, said she can no longer turn up to parliament in a skirt without a volley of cat calls.

A Socialist woman MP said that when she turned up in tight-fitting clothes to a parliamentary commission, a male MP from Mr Sarkozy’s UMP party exclaimed: “Dressed like that, don’t be surprised if you get raped.” “A kind of infantilisation of women reigns in parliament that I had never seen before,” said Sandrine Mazetier, Socialist MP for Paris.”

How civilized Europe is! Is that almond paste or spanish fly in their croissants?

It doesn’t help that their dudes are named Dominique and Jean.

Meanwhile, Israel (whom France lectures on a daily basis) has not only had a women as its Prime Minister, it has had a woman as its wartime Prime Minister.

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.


Springtime In Egypt

Virginity checks performed on female protesters in Egypt

A senior Egyptian general admits that “virginity checks” were performed on women arrested at a demonstration this spring, the first such admission after previous denials by military authorities.

The allegations arose in an Amnesty International report, published weeks after the March 9 protest. It claimed female demonstrators were beaten, given electric shocks, strip-searched, threatened with prostitution charges and forced to submit to virginity checks.

At that time, Maj. Amr Imam said 17 women had been arrested but denied allegations of torture or “virginity tests.”

But now a senior general who asked not to be identified said the virginity tests were conducted and defended the practice.

“The girls who were detained were not like your daughter or mine,” the general said. “These were girls who had camped out in tents with male protesters in Tahrir Square, and we found in the tents Molotov cocktails and (drugs).”

The general said the virginity checks were done so that the women wouldn’t later claim they had been raped by Egyptian authorities.

“We didn’t want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we wanted to prove that they weren’t virgins in the first place,” the general said. “None of them were (virgins).”

Those poor people. You can see why they wanted to overthrow that crowd. But now they’re going to end up with the Muslim Brotherhood. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

– Aggie


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In Memoriam

National Review’s The Corner has pictures of some of the fallen sent in by their families. They’ll get to you.

PS: The whole site today salutes fallen American servicemen and women.


Mem-Fore!-ial Day

He managed to keep it pretty quiet—but that he managed it at all was pretty impressive:

The president did find some recreation time today after the Memorial Day ceremonies. He played golf at Ft. Belvoir, Va. despite the sweltering, 90 degrees weather.

What a trooper (in keeping with the day)!


Shh! It’ll Just Upset the Polar Bears

Why don’t they care, mommy?

Global carbon emissions reached a record level last year, according to the International Energy Agency (IAE).

The watchdog says emissions rose again after a dip caused by the financial crisis in 2009, and ended 5% up from the previous record in 2008.

China and India account for most of the rise, though emissions have also grown in developed countries.

The increase raises doubts over whether planned curbs on greenhouse emissions will be achieved, the group says.

But… but… what about all our efforts? I recycle. I put in some mercury-laced, curly-fry light bulbs. I walk (sometimes). What about all those stories I read about the “greening” of Red China?

And we’re still spewing CO2? Al Gore has retired to the solitude of the East Wing of the Nashville White House to mourn:

Or maybe he took one of the SUVs out for a drive while he thought over the tragic news.

You global warming nuts had better hope you’re wrong. You’ve been wrong so far, so I have faith.

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