Thursday, May 11, 2006

Sandy Springs, revisited

In an effort to reduce crime, the new city of Sandy Springs proposed changing closing time for the bars from 4AM to 2AM. This is exactly what the City of Atlanta had done in response to rising crime rates in the Buckhead entertainment district. So what was the response? An outpouring of protest. The claim? "Racism". Closing the bars early was discriminating against minorities.

Moving closing time from 4AM to 2AM is discriminatory? The city hasn't declared that only whites can drink in bars from 2AM to 4AM. The ban applies to everyone. I won't even deal with the protestors' own implication that early morning bar patrons and their attendant crime are primarily minorities.

And, of course, they attacked the council for not containing a minority representative. True, there is no black on the council. The districts were drawn up with an attempt to create a black majority district, but no minority candidate was elected. One black candidate in an overwhelmingly white district made a strong showing, but lost in a runoff election. The public voted and elected the council. Isn't that democracy? Or does democracy only apply when these race warlords agree with the results?

"Hollywood friends rally around Tom Cruise"

Will they ever learn? Over this past year or so, Tom Cruise has insulted his audience through his arrogance. His behavior has been bizarre, over the top. While unquestionably a great actor, he is not the brightest crayon in the box. His ability to play intelligent characters onscreen despite his limited intelligence is testimony to his acting ability. By now, many of us are sick of these pampered stars who think they have the answer to all problems. This is particularly true when they talk down to us while pushing their political agendas.

Cruise dismissed postpartum depression as bunk and condemned the entire psychiatric profession without basis. In his mind, as well as in the mind of most of the Hollywood elite, stardom equals superiority. Hey, you guys, you are entertainers, not college professors.

MI3 box office falls way short of expectations. Rather than actually become introspective and ask "why?", the Hollywood elite attack the public for failing to support Cruise.

After all, everybody outside of Hollywood is an idiot.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Reporters and their demands

I am still trying to figure out the indignant outrage of the press over the delay in reporting Cheney's hunting accident to the media. Let's face it, Cheney was understandably upset about what happened. He considers it one of the worst days of his life, this from a man who has had a lot of bad medical days.

Most of us cannot imagine how we would feel having accidently shot another human being (even if he was a lawyer). Cheney reported the accident to those who counted. He made no attempt to cover up his accident. He just didn't convey the information to the Washington Press Vultures.

It seems we have come to the point where the press feels like they own the politicians' lives. What happened was a personal tragedy, a horror he will have to learn to live with. This was not a matter of national security. If Cheney chose to deal with his emotions privately without being hounded by reporters, who did it hurt? What possible difference does the delay make to the American people?

These people are in a snit because they weren't called before the ambulance.

The more I see of reporters, the less despicable the Paparazzi seem.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Cheney- Omerta?

After thoroughly researching The Godfather, columnist Barry Saunders concluded:

"Just as surely as a fish wrapped in a bulletproof vest means 'Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes,' that shotgun blast to Whittington's face was meant to convey that I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby had better bite his tongue and forget about testifying against Cheney, his former boss, in the Valerie Plame spy case."

Sometimes things are so idiotic they need no further comment.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Katrina Relief Missions

Relief missions returning from the storm ravaged area report they have been unable to aid Orleans Parish. Seems that the local government refuses to issue temporary permits to the outsiders offering their free assistance.

I guess that the less rebuilding that is done now will mean the locals can extort more from the federal government to distribute to their cronies.

Airline Two Seater "victim of racism"

The woman who accused Southwest airlines of racial discrimination because they made her buy two tickets due to her size now claims that her trial was racially biased (see article).

Are we beginning to see a pattern here?

Lack of public defenders may free accused felons

This is a story that could only be from New Orleans. An estimated 4,000 low-income defendants - most of them accused of felonies - may be released because the state and local governments lack funds to hire public defenders (yahoo).

The true New Orleans character of the story is shown in the final paragraph:

"This is unprecedented. The majority of the accused crimes are going to be serious offenses. In New Orleans, they don't prosecute forgery and stolen cars very often."

No wonder the NO police felt free to steal Cadillacs from the dealer. Auto theft isn't a crime in New Orleans.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Sandy Springs- freeing the hostages

Here in greater Atlanta there is a movement to carve out new municipalities from the unincorporated areas of the metropolitan counties. The movement was spearheaded by the residents of unincorporated Sandy Springs whose tax base had long been used to fund the remainder of Fulton County. After 30 years of attempting to incorporate, the city finally was allowed to vote in 2005. In an article critical of the republican's efforts to create new municipalities our leftist rag, the Atlanta Journal/Constitution states:

"Again, the Sandy Springs example comes to mind. The movement to create that city got nowhere until the GOP captured the governor's office and both chambers of the Legislature. When the proposal finally got before the voters, nearly 95 percent of them endorsed it."

Nearly 95 percent of the voters approved the incorporation, creating the seventh largest city in Georgia. For 30 years the democratic controlled state government, the governor and both legislative branches, blocked all attempts to allow a vote to incorporate. They prevented what nearly 95% of the voters involved wanted to have happen.

This comes from the same party whose mantra in 2000 was "disenfranchised." For 30 years the democratic party disenfranchised the citizens of Sandy Springs. It seems the right to vote only applies to democrats.

Katrina Fraud

"Millions in Katrina Aid Wasted" (among others)

No ducking fuh! Anytime the government puts that much money out for grabs, the corruption at all levels becomes rampant. The headline, though, should have pointed out that "billions" were wasted.

Up to 900,000 of the 2.5 million applicants who received emergency cash were based on fraud. That's $2.25 billion just from emergency cash.

Evacuee lodging included included $438 rooms in New York City and beachfront condominiums in Panama City, Fla., at $375 a night.

Not to mention the six-month, $236 million cruise ship deal.

The feds have a long history of allocating huge funding for projects and then leaving the henhouse unguarded. How many civil servants were complicit with the fraudulent recipients of debit cards? How many received kickbacks from hotels amassing $438 an night per room? And who did Carnival reward for the $236 million?

Perhaps if someone had actually supervised how the money allocated for levee construction was spent, the levees might actually have been built to specifications and survived the storm.

But then again, they are only spending someone else's money.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Coretta Scott King political rally

Jimmy Carter is trying to make up for his failed presidency by an even more failed ex-presidency. His performance at the King funeral was over the top, beyond pandering. His reference to the color of the faces of the Katrina victims in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama was way off the mark. Obviously there were failures at all levels of government, but the task of relief was monumental. Was racism a factor? Unquestionably. While pets were being rescued from flooded homes in New Orleans, families were still trapped in attics or on the roofs of homes in St. Bernard Parish. Relief poured into Orleans Parish while the govenment basically asked "what's a St. Bernard Parish?"

The difference? St. Bernard is (or was) 95% white.


What has happened to political discussion? Political arguments are no longer confined to the issue at hand, but turn to a blanket condemnation of the person with opposing views. I know both sides share the blame, but having a republican president focuses the rancor on President Bush with the fanatical Bush hatred.

As an early teen I joined sit-ins at downtown Atlanta eateries to protest segregation. In my late teens I took to the streets to protest Viet Nam. Despite my deep belief in the issues at hand, I accepted that others had different opinions. In my opinion, they were wrong, but that did not necessarily make the others bad people. I frequently found that we agreed on other subjects, but not on segregation or, later, Viet Nam.

Perhaps it is a byproduct of the two party system that we are so rapidly judged by a single belief. If I express a conservative opinion on a subject, immediately I am tagged as a republican and therefore am assumed to believe in the entire republican agenda. Similarly, posting a liberal opinion immediately labels the individual as a leftist democrat. Worse yet, we have fallen to the level that the reaction is “he is a republican, therefore I hate him.” Disagreeing on a single issue is enough to condemn the other. Aren't there racist overtones when a person's entire character can be defined by his opinion on a single subject?

What is most alarming is visiting sites such as the “Daily Kos.” The democratic party claims to be the party of the intellectual. If that is so, many of the faithful didn’t get the message. The comments rarely focus on the issue, but instead attack the person. “F*ck you” seems to be the most common response. These are the intellectuals? I am reminded of Monty Python’s classic “Argument” sketch. Eric Idle pays to have an argument with John Cleese playing the arguer. The bulk of the argument is similar to:

I: Yes I did.
C: No you didn't.
I: Yes I did.
C: No you didn't.
I: Yes I did.
C: You didn't.
I: Did.

Eric Idle interjects:

I: Oh look, this isn't an argument.
C: Yes it is.
I: No it isn't. It's just contradiction.

The crux:

I: An argument isn't just contradiction.
C: It can be.
I: No it can't. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
C: No it isn't.
I: Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes.

Political discussion has degenerated to “Whatever my opponent says is wrong. And besides, he is an asshole…” The sad part is that so many voters accept that, falling for the mantras such as “disenfranchised”, “Bush lied”, or “WMD” without ever evaluating the facts of the accusations.

Freedom of Speech

After some contemplation, I am struck by the similarity of the current news coverage of the Mohammed cartoon controversy to the ACLU's reaction to the plans of American Nazis to march in Skokie, Ill in 1982. While I find the Nazi's desire to march in a community that had so many ties to the holocaust repugnant, clearly it fell under the definition of Freedom of Speech.

The rank and file of the ACLU didn’t see it that way. After years of considering Freedom of Speech as an absolute, the initial reaction of the ACLU was that Freedom of Speech was a conditional right and that some acts were beyond the limits of the concept. 30,000 members of the ACLU quit in protest of the group’s final stance of fighting for the right of the Nazis to march. Clearly to those people who quit, Freedom of Speech was selective, applying only to causes they agreed with. The division nearly destroyed the ACLU. It pierced the thin veil that their goal was to uphold the Constitution. It became clearly apparent that their mission was to promote their own leftist agenda rather than uphold the rights of the American citizens.

Fast forward to 1999. Some Christians found Chris Olifi’s oil and elephant dung on canvas portrayal of the Virgin Mary offensive. Not so bleated the media. Don’t be so sensitive, they chided. Those offended were ridiculed as religious fanatics.

Next comes the cartoon controversy of 2005-2006. The reversal of the media outlets is well documented on the web. They now say it is not right to offend the Islamists by publishing the offending cartoons, cartoon images that are really quite tame compared to the hate filled anti-Semitic drawings that fill the Arabic periodicals.

Perhaps some of those 30,000 former ACLU members who believe Freedom of Speech applies only to their own political agenda now work for the mainstream media.