The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

In The Mailbox: 11.27.15

Posted on | November 27, 2015 | 1 Comment

— compiled by Wombat-socho

EBL: Squanto
Doug Powers: Climate Change Getting So Bad State Department Has Issued A Worldwide Travel Warning
Twitchy: Media Swarm Trump, But Where Were They When Obama Did This?

American Power: Another Violent Black Friday At Walmart
American Thinker: Distrust Of Federal Land Agencies Escalates With Conviction Of Oregon Ranchers
Conservatives4Palin: None Of The Democrats Has A Strategy For ISIS
Don Surber: Glenn “Taqiyya” Kessler
Joe For America: White Dallas Mayor More Frightened Of White People Than Terrorists
Pamela Geller: Federal Court Grants AFLC Motion To Dismiss CAIR Lawsuit Against Florida Gun Store’s “Muslim Free Zone”
Protein Wisdom: Friday Fiction – 100 Word Challenge
Shot In The Dark: Today In Kurdistan
The Gateway Pundit: Czech TV Exposes Many “Refugees” As Jihadi Fighters
This Ain’t Hell: 20-Year Retirement Is History
Weasel Zippers: Planned Parenthood Begins Fundraising Over Colorado Springs Shooting While The Shooting Is Happening
Megan McArdle: Why Democrats Fixate On Glass-Steagall
Mark Steyn: Black Friday Matters

Katy Lied

Friday Fiction: 100 Word Challenge

Posted on | November 27, 2015 | 2 Comments

by Smitty

“And then one of the people at the table went out and betrayed him, right? They haul him off, publicly execute and bury him. But a month later he’s reborn as a zombie and everyone cracks open all the presents their parents stashed under the tree that they mysteriously set up in the living room.”
“Stunning, Joey. And. . .what happens four months later, at Easter?”
“This funky chicken that has assumed a bunny racial identity comes by and, in a fit of pique, blows away a whole chicken generation in a game of Lost-and-Found.”
“How astounding. Common Core wins again.”

via Darleen

The #LaquanMcDonald Farce

Posted on | November 27, 2015 | 134 Comments

PCP (phencyclidine) is a dangerous drug. It is a depressant, originally marketed as an animal tranquilizer. Taken orally in moderate dosage, PCP produces a mellow high. However, when used as “angel dust” — sprinkled onto marijuana and smoked — PCP induces a sort of instant psychosis, which can include violent craziness. One evening in the summer of 1975, at an apartment in Mableton . . .

Well, there’s no point telling that story now, eh?

If anyone needs expert testimony on the effects of PCP, however, let me know. The statute of limitations has almost certainly expired by now, although I am prepared to invoke my right to remain silent and have my attorney present during questioning. Meanwhile, in Chicago . . .

Laquan McDonald had PCP in his system on Oct. 20, 2014. We know this from the autopsy performed after McDonald, 17, decided to exercise his constitutional right to vandalize cars and stagger down the middle of Pulaski Road, brandishing a knife at the Chicago police officers who were trying to arrest him. The coroner’s conclusion was that the cause of Laquan’s death was institutional racism.

And also, 16 shots from Officer Jason Van Dyke’s 9-mm pistol:

Laquan McDonald walks down the middle of Pulaski Road toward the flashing blue lights of the police cruisers trying to stop him. With a tug of his pants and a quickened step, the teen veers away from them.
Two officers jump from their vehicle, guns drawn. McDonald keeps moving, apparently trying to pass the officers who are several feet to his left. McDonald, holding something in his right hand, swings his right arm in the split second before an officer opens fire.
The force of the bullets spins McDonald around. His legs stiffen as he falls backward to the pavement. The teen rolls onto his right side in the middle of the roadway.
There is no sound on the controversial dash-cam video released late Tuesday afternoon by the city, only startling images that show a white Chicago police officer unloading 16 rounds on an African-American teen, who though armed with a small knife appeared to be trying to get away, police said. The video captures 15 seconds of shooting. For 13 seconds of it, McDonald is lying on the street.
Two clouds of smokelike debris silently puff upward immediately after McDonald falls. His head appears to lift, his arm moves. Then more bullets. Another cloud of white debris kicks up from behind his head.
And then it is over. The teen lies on the road for nearly a minute alone.
Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder in the October 2014 slaying of McDonald, who suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his chest, scalp, neck, back, arms and right hand and leg in the shooting in the 4100 block of South Pulaski Road.
Van Dyke, 37, has been ordered held without bail until at least his next court appearance Monday.

Racism is the only issue in this case, we are expected to conclude. This is what we are told to think every time something like the Laquan McDonald shooting happens anywhere in America. The media narrative is always the same: Evil honky cop shooting innocent teenage honor student — Saint Laquan of Pulaski Road — and we must ignore every other circumstance except race: White cop, dead black kid.

The problem with this narrative, however, is that it requires us to sympathize with a criminal teenage dopehead. And it is very difficult for me to think of a criminal teenage dopehead as a victim of society, because I used to be a criminal teenage dopehead.

Fear and Loathing on Gordon Road

My buddy and I were desperate to get high that evening in 1975. Even though I only had my learner’s permit — still a few months away from my 16th birthday — somehow I got the keys to my Dad’s old car, and we went to an apartment off Gordon Road in Mableton, near Charlie Brown Airport. The dude who lived there might have some dope, my buddy said. When we got there, however, the dude said all he had was a few roaches left over in the ashtray. OK, so we picked through these roaches hoping to scavenge enough weed to roll a slender “pin” joint (the papers were strawberry Reefer Rollers, as I recall) when there was a knock at the apartment door. We hid the weed while our host answered the door. His greeting to the new guest was enthusiastic.

“Dave! Where you been, man?”

“Just got back from California,” said the long-haired dude, as he shrugged himself out of the straps of a drab green backpack. He had hitched his way cross-country, Dave explained. He and our host talked, while at the kitchen table, I was picking apart the roaches to try to get enough weed to roll a tiny joint. Noticing my efforts, Dave said, “Hey, little man, what you doin’?” Trying to make a joint from these roaches, I said.

“Well, f–k that sh-t, man!” Dave said, laughing as he undid the top flap of his backpack — stuffed full with several pounds of weed in fat “five-finger”one-ounce baggies. He tossed an ounce on the table.

“Roll one, man,” Dave said.

“Far out,” I said.

Bringing back this load of marijuana was, of course, the whole purpose of Dave’s journey to California and back to Georgia. In the mid-1970s, dopeheads were everywhere and law enforcement was clearly losing the War on Drugs. Efforts by the Nixon and Ford administration had managed to impede the flow of marijuana imported from Mexico, ending the era of the $15 ounce of “Acapulco Gold.” But market economics being a constant factor in human affairs, the extraordinary demand for the product generated huge incentives for the entrepreneurs on the supply side of this equation. Yes, my friends, capitalism can accomplish amazing feats, such as a hippie-looking dude thumbing rides all the way across the continent to deliver a felony-weight load of contraband to an apartment in Mableton, Georgia. God bless America!

Patriotic admiration for Our Nation’s Free Enterprise System wasn’t what 15-year-old me was thinking about when Dave plopped that fat ounce of weed on the table, of course. No, I was about to get high, the Prime Directive of my adolescent existence, and I was just one among millions of Teenage Dopeheads toking our way through the Seventies, which was simultaneously (a) an abysmal era of economic stagnation, social upheaval and foreign-policy disasters, and also (b) The Most Awesome Party-Down Decade in the History of the World.

Dude, I saw Aerosmith when they were the opening act for the Jeff Beck Group and Rod Stewart and the Faces at the Omni in Atlanta. Because I was stoned out of my mind, I don’t actually remember much from that concert, except that I went with Tony Wheeler, whose sister Becky I’d made out with during a trip the Douglas County High School Marching Tiger Band made to Disney World in 1974. Becky played the flute in the band and I played the trombone, but this isn’t a story about Becky or marching band or Becky’s brother Tony or seeing Aerosmith in concert, is it? No, obviously I have digressed . . .

This is a story about the Deadly Menace of Dangerous Narcotics, specifically that fat ounce of weed that Dave tossed onto the kitchen table in that apartment on Gordon Road, where I’d gone with a dope buddy hoping to get high. While I was rolling a joint from this unexpected bounty, Dave explained that this was Columbian Gold, laced with “THC.” Here it is necessary to explain that, when PCP became a popular illegal drug in the mid-1970s, it was falsely marketed as THC — tetrahydrocannabinol, the active hallucinogenic agent in marijuana. Why drug dealers circa 1974-75 resorted to this deception, I don’t know, but probably telling freaks they were using “THC” seemed more glamorous than telling them they were getting high on dog tranquilizers. Whatever the reason, what dopeheads in the mid-’70s usually called “T” was always some kind of PCP, perhaps mixed with other drugs. The first time I used “T” was in a small reddish-orange pill, but later we got “T” in powder form, when it was also known as “angel dust.” You could snort it — which was the most common way, in my experience — but you could also “cook” it (heating it up in a spoon) to liquefy it and inject it with a hypodermic needle. Once I watched one of my dope buddies “mainline” (inject intravenously) some of the stuff, but I never could stand needles myself, despite my otherwise all-encompassing enthusiasm for the Deadly Menace of Dangerous Narcotics.

It is when PCP is smoked, however, that it is really dangerous, as I learned that night in 1975 when we smoked the “dusted” weed Dave had brought back from California. It was very harsh on the lungs. The first toke caused painful spasms of coughing. After three tokes, I’d had all I could stand. Suddenly I was tripping out of my mind, fiercely gripping the arms of the chair I was sitting in, holding on for dear life. To this day, I remember the hallucinatory sensation of spinning backward in my chair. Nothing I did in all my years as an adolescent dopehead ever hit me with such overpowering force. Needless to say, my memory of what happened next is somewhat fragmentary. After I had gotten past the spinning-backward hallucination, I remember a sudden and intense paranoia, and this also seemed to have been the effect on my buddy. He had somehow been able to choke down four or five tokes of that PCP-laced weed, and was therefore in an even more twisted condition than I was. He expressed an urgent need to get out of there, a paranoid desire for escape that had also seized my mind, and we went stumbling out of the apartment, down the stairs and toward my Dad’s car, which I had borrowed to make this dope-quest expedition to Mableton.

Of course, by this point, I was in no shape to drive anywhere and, as I say, my buddy was even worse off than me. Picture us, sitting in the front seat of that old car — a 1962 sedan my Dad had bought used. Dad always liked to have a spare vehicle around, something he could drive if he had any problem with his main car, and this 1962 sedan was one of a series of old junkers Dad had over the years. Given that the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973 and the resulting increase in gasoline prices had drastically reduced the market for larger cars, my Dad had gotten a lowball price on that big old V-8 gas-guzzler with tailfins. This was certainly not a cool car for a teenager to be driving in 1975, but beggars can’t be choosers and remember, I was only 15 and still only had my learner’s permit.

So there we were, two long-haired teenage dopeheads, tripping out of our minds as we sat in an enormous 1962 sedan in the parking lot of an apartment complex in Mableton, faced with the daunting task of a 10-mile drive back to Douglas County.

And that’s when my buddy completely freaked out.

My memory of that night 40 years ago is a psychedelic jumble of crazy fragments, of course, but I seem to remember I had decided that my buddy should drive. He had a license, at least, and I was so messed up that I was curled into the fetal position on the front passenger floorboard, hoping the world would stop spinning. But my buddy was in such bad shape he couldn’t figure out how to start the car and, in a wild fit of drug-induced paranoid rage, he threw open the door of the car and went rampaging across the parking lot.

He ran toward the apartment building where he began banging on windows and yelling. Holy crap, I thought, somebody’s gonna call the cops. However much I feared the police, my even greater fear was that I would be arrested while driving Dad’s car in Mableton, after I’d borrowed the car by telling Mom a ridiculous made-up story about needing to drive my buddy to his house for some reason. So when my buddy went on his manic rampage — people coming out on their apartment balconies to see what all the commotion was about — this brought me out of my own head-spinning trip. This was an emergency and I had to deal with it. I got out of the car and ran over to grab him, where he was crashing through the shrubbery next to the apartment.

“Hey, man, we gotta get out of here. Somebody’s gonna call the cops.”

The word “cops” seemed to pierce his bubble of insanity. No teenage dopehead ever wants to encounter the police, and so next thing I can remember — these scenes are just crazy fragments of memory, as I say — we were back in the car, this time with me at the wheel, trying to get it to crank and when it finally started, we cruised out of there as rapidly as possible without attracting unnecessary attention. I don’t remember what kind of phony excuse I made to my Mom when I made it back home, but I went directly to bed and slept the sleep of the dead, thankful to have escaped after that nightmare freakout in Mableton. And although I still had four or five years of teenage drug adventures ahead of me, that night I made a solemn vow, and I never smoked PCP again.

Over-Policed and Under-Parented

Was teenage me an Oppressed Victim of Society? Of course not. Four decades ago, I was like many other middle-class white kids, looking for adolescent thrills, and I don’t remember any adult ever suggesting we were victims of anything except our own foolishness.

The Deadly Menace of Dangerous Narcotics is a matter of individual choice and thus a matter of individual responsibility. A teenage dopehead can’t blame other people for the consequences of his bad choices. Nobody forced me to drive to Mableton and smoke that PCP-laced weed. The fact that I was only 15, or that I had no way of anticipating the effects — finding myself suddenly in a state of hallucinatory paranoia after just three tokes — still does not exempt me from responsibility. And when my buddy freaked out in the parking lot, what would have happened if the cops had arrived before we made our getaway? Maybe you can suppose “white privilege” would have saved my buddy from being gunned down by the Cobb County police, but that night in 1975, I sure as heck didn’t want to hang around long enough to find out.

There are many things wrong with the media narrative of the Laquan McDonald case, as with so many other similar stories of the Innocent Black Teenager killed by the Evil White Cop. Sure, we can look at Officer Jason Van Dyke’s actions and see racism, and perhaps even view it through a political prism, as part of a society-wide pattern of racism and police brutality. Yet the media version of the Martyrdom of Saint Laquan demands that we focus on those few seconds of video — the shocking scene of his violent death — while requiring us to ignore the series of choices that preceded Laquan’s fatal encounter with institutional racism in the form of 16 shots from Officer Van Dyke’s 9-mm pistol.

Because the media narrative of this story is about racism, we are not allowed to mention the fact that Officer Van Dyke wasn’t just firing haphazardly at whatever random black person he encountered that night in October 2014. No, he arrived on Pulaski Road to join a situation in progress, the pursuit of a felony suspect who was attempting to evade arrest. It has been pointed out that several other Chicago police were on the scene, and that only Officer Van Dyke fired his weapon — a deadly use of excessive force, for which he has been charged with first-degree murder. If all Chicago police are racist, why did only one of them shoot Laquan McDonald? Or if racism is such a serious problem with Chicago police, where are the stories about officers just shooting black people at random? The media is so intent on selling us the Evil White Cop narrative (updated hourly on CNN) that anyone trying to look outside that framework risk being accused of endorsing police brutality. Nevertheless, let’s cite a bit of Laquan McDonald’s biography:

According to court records, McDonald’s father abandoned the family and had “no presence” in his life. At 3, McDonald became a ward of the state when the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services took him into protective custody over allegations that his mother had neglected him, according to state records.
He spent about two months in foster care before he was moved to a relative’s home and eventually back to his mother in 2002. But after just a little more than a year, he was again back in foster care when his mother’s boyfriend beat him, causing cuts, welts and bruises, according to the records.
McDonald was placed with his great-grandmother in 2003, and she eventually became his legal guardian. He lived with her for about a decade before she died in 2013 and he was placed with an uncle.
Court files show he racked up numerous juvenile arrests and had spent time in juvenile lockup.
By May 2014, he was released from detention after four months there and returned to the care of his uncle. And his mother was petitioning the court for custody.
McDonald enrolled in Sullivan House Alternative School in September 2014, a month before his shooting. . . .
McDonald, who was tall at 6-foot-2, liked to rap and dance, his teacher recalled. . . .

Doomed — hopelessly doomed by the circumstances of his childhood. Abandoned by his father, neglected by his mother, abused by her boyfriend, shuffled around between foster care and relatives, by his teenage years Laquan was a habitual criminal who had gotten out of juvenile detention just five months before the fateful night in October 2014 when he got high on PCP and was gunned down by Officer Van Dyke. And now, the ironic sequel:

Between Laquan’s death and when the footage of his shooting was released this week, the city of Chicago agreed in April 2015 to pay $5 million to McDonald’s mother.

Damn. By what logic does Laquan’s mother deserve $5 million from the taxpayers of Chicago? But that’s how the litigation lottery often works: The bad choices you make in life don’t really matter, if you can find a scapegoat with deep pockets, file a lawsuit and get yourself a settlement. Whether or not Laquan McDonald was a Victim of Society, society (or at least the part of society that pays taxes in Chicago) has now been victimized by Laquan McDonald’s mother, and her lawyers, who collected as their fee a nice slice of that $5 million settlement with the city. Maybe the story would have ended there — “justice” Chicago-style, where bribes and kickbacks and hush money are the normal routine of municipal government — if it hadn’t been for a nosy civilian and that pesky First Amendment:

Over the summer, freelance journalist Brandon Smith filed a lawsuit pressing the Chicago Police Department to release the dashboard camera video. A judge found in Smith’s favor and ordered that the video be released by November 25.

Alas, the Chicago-style cover-up was foiled by a freelance journalist! And I think it’s a safe bet that judge will not be on the mayor’s Christmas card list this year. By the way, did I mention that Chicago is nearly bankrupt?

Chicago’s financial situation is the worst of any large municipality in the nation. Moody’s recently downgraded the credit rating of the city’s municipal bonds to junk status, a sure sign to investors that the city can’t be relied upon to meet its financial obligations. The city’s response to this downgrade was to pass, just a month later, another $1.1 billion borrowing program. . . .
Of the ten largest cities in the U.S., Chicago is the only one that has no statutory limit on its muni bond issuances. Consequently, Chicago’s 2015 debt service and annual pension costs amount to 45% of its 2013 revenues.

But why should the corrupt Democrats who run Chicago let a trivial matter like impending fiscal catastrophe prevent them from paying $5 million to Laquan McDonald’s mother, a payment that can be construed either as social justice or hush money, depending on your level of cynicism. When it comes to Chicago, it’s impossible to be too cynical and no one would be surprised if it were subsequently discovered that there was some kind of personal friendship between the plaintiff’s lawyers and the city officials who “negotiated” that settlement. As wrongful death cases go, maybe this one was totally worth $5 million or maybe not, but the fact the case was settled for a seven-figure sum just six months after the shooting, and while city officials were busy trying to keep that video from going public, makes me suspect that Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s administration wanted to make this trouble go away, and was willing to pay a premium price to achieve that objective. Besides, when you’re swindling taxpayers on such an enormous scale — borrowing $1.1 billion just to keep paying pensions, plus interest on the junk-bond debts you already owe — $5 million is chump change.

Vote Democrat and Blame Society

The people in charge of Chicago’s municipal government are as recklessly irresponsible as Laquan McDonald’s parents — the father who abandoned him, the mother who neglected him — and it is possible to perceive a symbiotic relationship in the way a citizenry corrupted by liberal welfare-state policies elects corrupt Democrats to preside over the bureaucratic apparatus through which everybody is trying to get something for nothing. City employees belong to unions that support the corrupt Democrats who, in turn, are expected to provide high wages and generous pensions to the employees. All of this vast municipal bureaucracy, employing many thousands of people whose livelihoods are dependent on the local Democrat Party political regime over which Mayor Emmanuel presides, is supposed to be funded through taxes. However, as we have seen, the Chicago municipal government operates in perpetual deficit mode, always spending more than it collects in taxes, so that it has amassed more than $60 billion in debt.

I repeat: Chicago’s municipal debt is more than $60,000,000,000. The city’s population is 2.7 million, which means municipal debt is about $23,000 per man, woman and child in Chicago. A majority of Chicago residents are either black (32.9%) or Latino (28.9%), and more than 1-in-5 (22.6%) residents live below the poverty line. The city is plagued by violent crime. More than 400 people have been shot to death in Chicago so far this year, and another 2,300 have been wounded by gunfire. In some Chicago neighborhoods, “gangs battle over turf and the right to sell drugs on a particular city block,” CNN reported after a 9-year-old boy was murdered. Police say the boy was targeted by a drug gang because his father is a leader of a rival gang.

Beyond the scourge of drugs, what drives the crime rate in Chicago is the same thing that contributes to crime in so many other American cities — family breakdown and particularly the absence of responsible fathers. The fate of Laquan McDonald, abandoned by his father when he was 3 years old, is not a rare occurrence for kids in Chicago, and is increasingly common across the United States. Forty percent of children were born to unmarried women in 2013, and more than 70% of black children are born to unwed mothers. Given these socio-economic realities, isn’t it obvious that black kids in Chicago have problems that cannot be blamed on racist cops? Officer Jason Van Dyke is charged with murder, but the hourly updates on CNN about “unrest” in Chicago isn’t a story about one trigger-happy cop. No, it’s the Endless White Guilt Trip that the liberal media can’t quit shoving at us, insisting that “society” (a term that is liberal media shorthand for white middle-class suburbanites) is to blame for whatever is wrong in American race relations.

The problem with this kind of blame-shifting — to make “society” or “racism” the explanation of what happened to Laquan McDonald is that it is antithetical to personal responsibility. Instead of blaming the criminal for his fate, we blame society. Instead of blaming the cop, we blame racism. Why are there protest mobs on the streets demanding “Justice for Laquan” when (a) his mother already got $5 million from the city, and (b) the cop who shot Laquan has been charged with murder?

Why does this particular story have to be national news anyway? I live hundreds of miles away from Chicago, and the only time I’ve ever been there was to land at the airport and change planes on my way to somewhere else. It’s not as if my opinion of the Laquan McDonald case is going to make a damn bit of difference, so why is CNN telling me about it every hour of the day? Is Mayor Emmanuel going to call me up and ask my advice? Is he going to read this blog post and, impressed with my expertise on the habits of teenage dopeheads, invite me to join his Task Force to End the Deadly Menace of Dangerous Narcotics? I doubt it.

My advice: Crime is a people problem. Figure out who the criminals are, have the cops keep an eye on them, and when you catch one, prosecute him to the max. Lock the bad guys up for as long as you can, get them off the streets, and generally convey the message you’re not going to tolerate crime in your community. If you can’t put the fear of God in those hoodlums, at least make them fear cops.

Even when I was a teenage dopehead criminal, I never lost my fear of the police. In Douglas County, Georgia, 40 years ago, Sheriff Earl Lee had a tough, no-nonsense reputation. Teenage dopeheads had to be careful not to push their luck too far in Douglas County. Quite a few of my dope buddies learned that lesson the hard way, trust me. As for me, my road to a drug-free adulthood involved a bad trip on psilocybin when I was 19, after which I never really enjoyed getting high anymore.

Being a survivor of The Most Awesome Party-Down Decade in the History of the World, and now a 56-year-old grandfather, it’s easy to laugh at the craziness I got into back when Gerald Ford was president and hippie freaks hitchhiked coast-to-coast with backpacks full of contraband. Was that “white privilege”? No, it was just the fact that there were so many long-haired dopeheads in 1975 the cops couldn’t possibly bust them all. America used to have a lot fewer police per capita than we do nowadays. It was Bill Clinton who changed that, using federal grants to “put 100,000 new police on the streets,” as he boasted.

Not only are there more cops in America now, but police have all kinds of crime-fighting technology they didn’t have 40 years ago. Nationwide computer databases of fingerprints, DNA and criminal records make it a lot easier for police to identify perpetrators. Video surveillance cameras are all over the place and, because nearly everybody has a cellphone with them at all times, it’s easy to call the cops to report a crime. America is a safer place than it was 40 years ago, because it’s simply harder for bad guys to get away. We’re locking up more criminals than ever, and the U.S. incarceration rate (716 per 100,000 as of 2013) is the highest of any nation in the world. More than 2 million Americans are behind bars, and it costs about $75 billion a year to keep all those criminals locked up.

Some of my libertarian friends say we’ve got too many people in prison and that the Deadly Menace of Danger Narcotics is less dangerous than the Deadly Menace of the Police. We should legalize dope, say the libertarians, and turn loose all the people doing time in prison for drug charges. My perspective is different. The way I see it, anybody who gets busted for dope should be prosecuted to the max. Dopeheads are generally bad people, and bad people should fear the law, like I did when I was a teenage dopehead.

However, if I was a bad person as a teenager, I never got busted, because I was never completely stupid. You don’t have to be a genius to avoid getting busted for dope, and I always figure the guys who get busted are either (a) stupid, (b) arrogant, or usually (c) both stupid and arrogant. There are way too many stupid arrogant people in America, and the more of them we put in prison, the better. Legalizing dope is just going to let these stupid people run wild, f–king up everything the way stupid people have f–ked up Chicago. This is what the Democrat Party is all about.

The Democrat Party’s policy agenda basically boils down to “Free Stuff for Stupid People,” and when you ask them who’s going to pay for all this free stuff, they say, “The rich!” Democrats expect us to believe that The Rich are a fixed target, helpless and immobile, who are going to let themselves be plundered to pay for the stuff the government is going to give to the stupid people who vote for Democrats.

The Great Something-for-Nothing Hustle that is the core message of the Democrat Party’s electoral appeal has never worked in the past, and will never work at any time in the future, but with the help of their propaganda apparatus — the public schools and the liberal media — Democrats manage to conceal the evidence of the ultimate impossibility of Something-for-Nothing economic nonsense. Oh, sure, there are times and places where Something-for-Nothing temporarily seems to work, but this is an illusion. If a prosperous, dynamic community decides to go on a spree of deficit spending and welfare giveaways, the short-term result may look promising. It may take a few years or a few decades for the problems caused by bad policy to become apparent. During the many decades it took for Chicago to accumulate a $60 billion debt, very few people in Chicago were worried about the possibility of municipal bankruptcy somewhere in a distance future. Nor did the exodus of taxpaying, law-abiding citizens moving from Chicago to the suburbs — or leaving the area altogether, moving to Denver or Dallas — occur as a sudden, dramatic crisis. Chicago is still the third-largest city in America, but its population has been declining slowly for six decades. In 1950, the population of Chicago was 3.6 million, but by 1990, it had dropped to 2.8 million, a decline of 29% in 40 years.

Democrats have made Chicago a worse place, and the Chicago Democrat in the White House has made America a worse place.

The people who think Obama has done a good job as president are the same people who blame racism for the death of Laquan McDonald. You’d have to be stupid to believe that, which is to say you’d have to be a Democrat. Of course, I used to be a Democrat myself. But then I grew up and the drugs wore off, and I’m a lot less stupid than I used to be.


The Thanksgiving Book Post

Posted on | November 26, 2015 | No Comments

— by Wombat-socho

What with all the pre-season tax training, an excursion to Portland, and what have you, it’s been way too long since my last book post, so let’s do this thing. First on the docket is Jean Larteguy’s The Centurions, the famous novel that bridges the First Indochina War and the Algerian War. Out of print for about half a century (and commanding huge prices in the used book markets), the book has nonetheless been recommended reading for American military officers because of its examination of a military at war with not just the ideologically-driven guerrillas in front of them, but the politicians and society behind them. The parallels to our own wars in Vietnam and Southwest Asia are obvious even to a blind man, but Larteguy isn’t just writing a polemic here – all the characters, French paras, Vietnamese nurses, and Algerian terrorists alike have their own fully-rounded backstories and personalities, concisely described and brutally honest. I suspect even the seemingly one-dimensional spear carriers would seem better rounded to me if I were as familiar with French society in the 1950s as I am with American society in the post-Vietnam and GWOT eras. I have been waiting for Penguin to republish this book for over fifty years, and it is an absolute steal at $10 for the Kindle. Its sequel, The Praetorians, is available for pre-order and is scheduled to come out next June. It’s going to be a hard wait.

C.J. Cherryh has been one of the more prolific SF authors of my generation, and I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising that some of her novels that aren’t in the mainstream of her Alliance/Union or Chanur series tend to get overlooked. Serpent’s Reach, though…I don’t really understand why this has been relegated to obscurity. Set in the quarantined Beta Hydri cluster, where a colony of humans has settled into peaceful coexistence with the alien, insectile majat, Serpent’s Reach is primarily a tale of revenge set against a backdrop of (literally) murderous political infighting, the effects of indefinitely prolonged human life, and the peculiar stratified society of born-men and azi we’ve seen in other Alliance/Union novels but with the terribly long-lived aristocratic Kontrin families atop the social and economic pyramid. Perhaps what threw people off is that the fast-paced action of the beginning and penultimate chapters is separated by a lengthy, seemingly purposeless account of our heroine’s progress toward the one planet where Alliance merchants are allowed to dock and trade – where she finds the lever she needs to shift not just that world, but all the worlds in the cluster. Perhaps not the best of Cherryh’s novels, but still a very good one.

Those of you who have been following my posts here are well aware that one of my favorite non-SF writers is Bill James, particularly when it comes to baseball. Before I left for Portland, I spent about a week and a half browsing through The Politics of Glory, which combines a history of the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown (and there’s some bizarre history behind it, as James explains) with an examination of the players elected and selected to the Hall, a dissection of the arguments – good, bad, and frankly awful- in support of various players, brief biographies of players who made it, players who probably should have but didn’t, and an analysis of some of the great controversies surrounding the Hall’s choices. The book was republished a year later as Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame?, which I think isn’t as good a title, but it’s not like they care what I think. Either way, if you’re interested in the history of baseball and/or the Hall of Fame, you really owe it to yourself to get this book. It’ll give you something to do besides stare out the window and wait for spring.

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In The Mailbox: 11.26.15

Posted on | November 26, 2015 | No Comments

— compiled by Wombat-socho

Wall Street Journal: The Desolate Wilderness… …And The Fair Land

EBL: Antisocial Personalities
American Irony: Unamerican Sniper
Michelle Malkin: Have A Happy, Politics-Free Thanksgiving
Twitchy: POTUS Is Trolling Thanksgiving

American Thinker: The Alien Nation On Its Way
BLACKFIVE: Book Sale On Kindle
Conservatives4Palin: Sarah Palin – Give Thanks
Don Surber: Happy Thanksgiving
Jammie Wearing Fools: Moron Obama – Syrian Refugees Are Like Pilgrims On The Mayflower Or Something
Joe For America: Republican Governor Sued For Denying Entry To Syrian Refugees
JustOneMinute: Happy Thanksgiving, All!
Pamela Geller: Israel Provided Key Intel To Germany On Imminent Jihadi Attack At Soccer Game
Shot In The Dark: Every Picture Tells A Story
STUMP: Opera Fun – All About The Bass
The Gateway Pundit: Donald Trump To Announce Endorsements From 100 Black Religious Leaders
The Jawa Report: Sandcrawler PSA – Kid! Jawa Report Is Closed On Thanksgiving!
The Lonely Conservative: Happy Thanksgiving!
This Ain’t Hell: Happy Thanksgiving
Weasel Zippers: #blacklivesmatter Protesters Attack Chicago’s Christmas Tree – “This Is Part Of The Problem”
Megan McArdle: A New Recipe For America’s Test Kitchen
Mark Steyn: Shelter In Place Until Further Notice

The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook

In The Mailbox, 11.25.15

Posted on | November 25, 2015 | No Comments

— compiled by Wombat-socho

EBL: Being Thankful With Cat Meme Therapy
Proof Positive: Give Us Your Tired, Poor Teeming Masses, No Huddle, Fourth And Long
American Irony: Five Passive-Aggressive Ways To Handle Liberal Loved Ones At Thanksgiving
The Political Hat: Public Service Announcement For All College Men
Doug Powers: Obama To Pentagon – Hurry Up With An Excuse For Why I Told Everyone ISIS Was Contained When It Obviously Wasn’t
Twitchy: Latest “Liberal Media Conspiracy Theory” Doesn’t Quite Match Definition Of Theory

American Power: The Black Book Of The American Left, Volume 5 – Culture Wars
BLACKFIVE: Exclusive Interview With Frederick Forsyth
Conservatives4Palin: Obamacare At Five – Sick And Getting Worse
Don Surber: Blocked By Bernie Sanders!
Jammie Wearing Fools: President Cop-Basher Strangely Silent On Laquan McDonald Case
Joe For America: Animal Rights Extremists Threaten NIH Director
JustOneMinute: To The Barricades For Carson! And Jefferson!
Pamela Geller: Deeply Grateful On Thanksgiving – A Note To Readers
Protein Wisdom: Here’s A Tip For Handling That Special Snowflake SJW Niece/Nephew/Whatever Xe Is Calling Xeself These Days
Shot In The Dark: Lie First, Lie Always, November 25 Edition
STUMP: Connecticut Pension Plans – Funding The Unfunded…Or Not
The Gateway Pundit: Poll Finds Only Obama And Rich Liberal Democrats Want US To Take In More Syrian Muslim Refugees
The Jawa Report: The New America! Offensive Bibles!
The Lonely Conservative: Why Do Democrats And Progressives Always Want To Ruin Holidays?
This Ain’t Hell: Canadian Soldiers Evacuate Their Barracks To Make Room For Syrians
Weasel Zippers: NY Gov Cuomo Bans Ads He Didn’t Like For Series Depicting World With No Freedoms
Megan McArdle: Imagine Thanksgiving Without The Stress
Mark Steyn: Jersey Sure

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Nightmare on North Avenue

Posted on | November 25, 2015 | 34 Comments

K.C. Johnson (@kcjohnson9 on Twitter) of Minding the Campus has posted the latest “John Doe” lawsuit alleging violation of due process rights in a sexual assault case, and John Doe v. Georgia Tech is the kind of nightmare that makes me want to shout:


According to the lawsuit, Jane Roe was John Doe’s date at a party at his fraternity in October 2013. Jane got drunk on wine and, at some point during the evening, she followed John to his room. She became sick and began to vomit, and John and one of his frat brothers (a “sober monitor”) helped Jane find her friends and leave. In February 2015 — 16 months later — Jane claimed John had sexually assaulted her at the party. The alleged “assault”? According to her, John Doe “touched her genitals and penetrated her vagina with his fingers ‘for around 30 seconds without consent.'” No witnesses or evidence corroborated Jane Roe’s claim and John Doe’s lawsuit alleges that a clearly biased “investigation” by the assistant dean of students, Peter Paquette, ignored contradictory testimony from the “sober monitor.”

John Doe, who has a 3.74 GPA, was expelled in April 2015, only three credits short of graduation! His lawsuit illustrates how and why these processes have become wildly one-sided:

  • After a 2013 controversy involving one fraternity, Georgia Tech “rewrote its Student Sexual Misconduct Policy and began to conduct its investigations such that an accused individual at Georgia Tech is now ‘almost always found responsible,’ according to an investigative report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.” In other words, past misbehavior by other students created panic that shifted the process decisively against the accused.
  • In February 2015, Jane Roe was having academic difficulties which she blamed on stress related to the alleged “assault” 16 months earlier and, by making this accusation against John Doe, she thereby secured the “opportunity to retake her exams and classes for that semester.”
  • The investigation relied largely on vague hearsay — the lawsuit calls it “prejudicial and unsubstantiated rumors” — to the effect that John Doe had some kind of bad reputation.
  • Most disturbing of all, perhaps, was a Facebook message by Jane Roe in which she revealed she was “a trained peer educator on sexual violence prevention” and in that role had “worked very closely” with Peter Paquette and other officials who were subsequently involved in the decision to expel John Doe, who “was never informed of this flagrant conflict of interest.”

Dear God, America — warn your sons!

Even if Jane Roe’s allegation were true — and there is zero evidence to corroborate it — should John Doe be expelled for “getting to third base” with a drunk girl at a party? Go read the full complaint and tell me if the behavior of Jane Roe, “trained peer educator,” doesn’t look selfish and spiteful. Here’s what I think: Jane Roe was embarrassed over getting so wasted at that party, and because John Doe never asked her out again, she was concerned that this episode had damaged her reputation. Meanwhile, she hears gossip that John Doe is kind of a “player,” and that October 2013 date with him looms large in her mind as a cause of her problems. So when she starts flunking classes in February 2015, well, two birds with one stone: Accuse John Doe of sexual assault and get a “do-over” for the semester. Oh, and since she’s been working with Dean Paquette in the “sexual violence prevention” program, Jane Roe knows all the ropes of the investigative process.

John Doe never stood a chance, you see, but he never saw it coming. Just a bad night at the frat house — his date got so drunk she threw up and had to leave the party — and for the next 16 months, John didn’t even realize this ticking time bomb was going to blow up and destroy him.

Parents must warn their college-bound sons: Don’t be a “John Doe.” Don’t become a target in this hysterical witch hunt. Never — NEVER! — talk to a college girl. It’s not worth the risk in 2015 when, apparently, the only girls who go to college are selfish, dishonest and irresponsible.



The Hunting of George Lawlor

Posted on | November 25, 2015 | 36 Comments

A 19-year-old student at Warwick University in England, George Lawlor ignited a controversy last month when he wrote an online column criticizing the “rape culture” hysteria:

Ah, the special feeling you get when logging into Facebook and find someone thinks you’re cool enough to invite to their event. Is it a house party? Is it a social? All the possibilities race through your mind. Then it hits you. You tap the red notification and find you’ve been summoned to this year’s “I Heart Consent Training Sessions”. Your crushing disappointment quickly melts away and is overcome by anger.
Let me explain, I love consent. Of course people should only interact with mutual agreement, but I still found this invitation loathsome. Like any self-respecting individual would, I found this to be a massive, painful, bitchy slap in the face. To be invited to such a waste of time was the biggest insult I’ve received in a good few years. It implies I have an insufficient understanding of what does and does not constitute consent and that’s incredibly hurtful. I can’t stress that enough.
I feel as if I’m taking the “wrong” side here, but someone has to say it — I don’t have to be taught to not be a rapist. That much comes naturally to me, as I am sure it does to the overwhelming majority of people you and I know. Brand me a bigot, a misogynist, a rape apologist, I don’t care. I stand by that.
I already know what is and what isn’t consent. I also know about those more nuanced situations where consent isn’t immediately obvious as any decent, empathetic human being does. Yes means yes, no means no. It’s really that simple. You’d think Russell Group university students would get that much, but apparently the consent teachers don’t have as high a regard for their peers as I do. . . .

Read the whole thing. There was nothing objectionable in that column. George Lawlor didn’t engage in slut-shaming or victim-blaming. He didn’t say anything about false accusations. He merely made the point that, as a “decent, empathetic human being,” he already understood that rape is wrong and was insulted by any suggestion to the contrary. Assuming that his fellow students were no more in need of such “training sessions” than he was, Lawlor said the result would be “an echo chamber of people pointing out the obvious and others nodding along, thinking the whole time thinking that they’ve saved the world.” Hear! Hear!

Why do feminists assume that male university students are all savages and barbarians, in need of “training sessions”? Is George Lawlor alone in feeling insulted by this assumption? Isn’t the discourse about “rape culture” really about demonizing men and inspiring female students to fear their male classmates? Why aren’t more “decent, empathetic” young men speaking out against this propaganda campaign? Perhaps because young men know they will be viciously scapegoated if they do speak out:

A student who caused a furore when he spoke out against sexual consent workshops fears for his academic future after a fierce campus backlash.
George Lawlor, 19, claims he has been driven out of lectures and bars at Warwick University by feminist campaigners who shout “rapist” wherever he goes. . . .
But he has now revealed that the reaction became so brutal that he stopped going to lectures.
The second year student said he had been attacked on Twitter and Facebook by student activists branding him a “rapist” and “misogynist”.
Mr Lawlor, who studies politics and sociology, said he feared the furore would affect his academic work and his future career.
“I was expecting a reaction, but I was not prepared for just how horrible it was,” he told the Daily Mail. “I remember putting it online and told a few people, who were? saying there would be a backlash.’
“The bus to university was the worst. I heard people talking to each other saying, ‘I really want to hit that kid’. It got really nasty.
“There was one guy messaging me on Facebook for over a week, calling me names like racist, rapist. I’ve stopped going to lectures and seminars because of the perceived threat.” . . .
The sessions are being rolled out across the country with the aim of decreasing the number of assaults and enabling students to talk openly about consent.

Questions: How many sexual assaults have been reported at Warwick University in the past five years? What is the scale and nature of the problem to which these “consent training sessions” are supposed to be the solution? Can anyone at Warwick University provide data that would give us some indication of what percentage of their male students are rapists, and what percentage of female students are victims?

The Politics of Hysteria

These are not rhetorical questions. Ever since American feminists began ginning up the “campus rape epidemic” hysteria, critics have pointed out the vast exaggeration involved. “Statistical Voodoo and Elastic Definitions,” as I said, were the basis of the phony “1-in-5” claim — a transparently false statistic publicized in speeches by President Obama and Vice President Biden, as well as by other Democrat politicians, most notably Sen. Kristen Gillibrand of New York. I believe this crusade against an artificial crisis (led by a White House Task Force) was fabricated as a partisan political effort, a continuation of the “Republican War on Women” rhetoric that helped Obama maximize the “gender gap” against Mitt Romney in his 2012 re-election campaign, and was specifically intended to boost Hillary Clinton’s electoral prospects as the presumed 2016 Democrat presidential nominee.

Taxpayer money is being used to promote this bogus crusade, as federal authorities have compelled universities to comply with a series of mandates — beginning with the 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter — that they claim are necessary to end a “campus rape epidemic” that does not actually exist. Universities have hired full-time officials to direct prevention programs, but incidents of sexual assault are in fact so uncommon (e.g., 28 reports among 17,000 students at SUNY-Albany in 2014, or less than 1-in-300 female students, rather than 1-in-5) that these programs have been condemned as an “employment racket.” On campus after campus, reports indicate an astonishing gap between feminist rhetoric and the real numbers of sexual assault complaints, so that the crusaders who have manufactured this non-existent crisis are now faced with a “Campus Rape Shortage.”

Feminists are performing mental gymnastics in an effort to maintain the plausibility of the myths they have created. Kirsten Gillibrand promoted a study by the American Association of University Women that found 91% of U.S. colleges and universities reported zero rapes in 2014. The AAUW insists that these numbers cannot be believed:

Schools that report zero rapes have work to do and require additional scrutiny. When campuses report zero incidents of rape, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, it simply does not square with research, campus climate surveys, and widespread experiences reported by students.

The absence of evidence to support claims of a campus rape epidemic “suggests students may not feel comfortable coming forward to report such crimes at some of these schools,” the AAUW argued. Ashe Schow of the Washington Examiner expressed her disgust with AAUW’s tendentious and illogical analysis:

When you’re committed to perpetuating the myth of a rampant “rape culture” on college campuses, evidence to the contrary becomes baffling. . . .
The simplest explanation is that women just aren’t buying the whole “rape culture” narrative and don’t see themselves as constant victims. Reports are low because rapes are low.
There was once a time in this country where low incidence of crime was celebrated. How astounding that that’s not the case anymore.

Attempting to justify the hysteria they have created, and to avoid scrutiny of their fraud — a deliberate lie promoted by government officials — feminists have encouraged students to make unfounded accusations of sexual assault, and have relied on friendly media to promote these false claims. The debacle at the University of Virginia, where a gang-rape hoax was perpetrated with the assistance of an unethical Rolling Stone reporter, exposed the dishonest propaganda methods by which feminists have promoted their false claim of an “epidemic” of campus sexual assault. Implicated in the UVA hoax were a student activist, Emily Renda, and an Obama administration official, Catherine Lhamon, and yet neither Congress nor Virginia legislators seem willing to investigate the circumstances that suggest official malfeasance in connection with the gang-rape hoax publicized by Rolling Stone, which is now facing multiple defamation lawsuits.

Meanwhile, more than 100 male students have filed lawsuits against universities, claiming that they were falsely accused of sexual assault and denied due-process rights in Title IX disciplinary proceedings, campus kangaroo courts where accused students have none of the legal protections guaranteed to any common criminal in a court of law. Reading the filings in cases like John Doe v. Brown University (where a student says he was banned from campus merely for making out with a girl he met at a party) we see how the victim mentality promoted by feminists has fostered a climate of sexual paranoia.

“Feminist consciousness is consciousness of victimization . . . to come to see oneself as a victim.”
Sandra Bartky, Femininity and Domination: Studies in the Phenomenology of Oppression (1990)

What is most striking in “rape culture” discourse is how few students are willing to speak out against this dishonest feminist propaganda campaign that has demonized heterosexual males. Perhaps this is because most students realize that they are not at risk either of becoming victims or of being falsely accused. The college girl who doesn’t make a habit of getting drunk at parties (and hooking up with equally drunk boys) knows she is unlikely ever to have the kind of “regret equals rape” experience that led to a sexual assault complaint at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. Nor does the average male student expect that a girl who actively pursues sexual activity with him would turn around and accuse him of rape months later, as Emma Sulkowicz did to Paul Nungesser at Columbia University. Even if they accede to feminist efforts to redefine the meaning of rape (“Moving the Goalposts”), these incidents are still rare enough that most students figure that they will never be personally involved in such a case.

‘Abandoned to the Mercy of the Witches’

Typical students probably view the sexual assault hysteria on campus as irrelevant to their own lives, and shrug it off. It is easy, at a university with thousands of students, to assemble a protest mob of a few dozen activists to chant slogans — whether the slogan is “Yes Means Yes” or “Black Lives Matter” — and students who are not directly involved with these protest campaigns most likely take a cynical view of such activism. We can imagine that many students view feminist “rape culture” discourse as a joke, but are not willing to risk the backlash they would endure if they dared to confront this nonsense in a direct and public way.

George Lawlor took that risk, and feminist hatemongers therefore must make an example of him, so as to discourage any other students who might be tempted to call their bluff. What has happened, we see, is that feminists have adopted the tactics of ancient witch-hunters. The purpose of a witch hunt is “to strike awe into some by the punishment of others,” as the 16th-century French jurist Jean Bodin explained:

“Now, if there is any means to appease the wrath of God, to gain his blessing, to strike awe into some by the punishment of others, to preserve some from being infected by others, to diminish the number of evil-doers, to make secure the life of the well-disposed, and to punish the most detestable crimes of which the human mind can conceive, it is to punish with the utmost rigor the witches. . . . Those too who let the witches escape, or who do not punish them with the utmost rigor, may rest assured that they will be abandoned by God to the mercy of the witches. . . . Therefore it is that one accused of being a witch ought never to be fully acquitted and set free unless the calumny of the accuser is clearer than the sun, inasmuch as the proof of such crimes is so obscure and so difficult that not one witch in a million would be accused or punished if the procedure were governed by the ordinary rules.”

Feminists, of course, have denounced the witch hunts as an injustice, a historic example of patriarchal oppression that Andrea Dworkin in her 1974 book Woman Hating called “gynocide,” and to which Mary Daly devoted a 44-page chapter of her 1978 book Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism. While both Dworkin and Daly were guilty of gross distortions of the historical record (relying on dubious sources and exaggerating the number of cases), their political understanding of these persecutions deserves our attention. Are feminists correct that, during the centuries when accusations of witchcraft were taken seriously, the leaders of witch-hunts were simply attempting to defend male supremacy against the challenge of women who resisted the patriarchal social order? I don’t believe this, and neither do most serious historians of the era (see Ronald Hutton’s excellent 1999 book, The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft). However, radical feminists have accepted the Dworkin/Daly interpretation of the witch-hunts and, evidently, have decided that they are entirely justified in adapting these methods to their own purposes, encouraging dishonest women to make false accusations against men, to “strike awe into some by the punishment of others.”

This is terrorism, and George Lawlor is being made to suffer because he had the courage to challenge the feminists who have created a 21st-century witch hunt aimed at securing their own power to dominate our culture and politics. And it is possible to perceive that Jean Bodin’s warning was in some ways prophetic. Because so many are afraid to confront the diabolical lies of feminism, we now find ourselves “abandoned by God to the mercy of the witches.”

Be afraid. Be very afraid.


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