Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tebow Or Not Tebow

[Posted by Jake]

It's no secret that Tim Tebow annoys the self-righteous left and their media lap dogs. As a young man of great character, charisma and achievement, he personifies a young generation too savvy to settle for a sad and cynical world view. How can the condescending elites justify their overreaching agenda when quality people like Tim Tebow contradict their very essence?

Tebow just signed a 5 year/$11.25 million rookie contract with the Denver Broncos. He also signed a lucrative deal to represent Jockey brands. So what does the Associated Press report? They blithely announce that Tebow is endorsing "tighty whities". Funny, I don't remember any lame, racially-tinged underwear jokes when Michael Jordan signed on to pitch Hanes.

You would think a story of a deserving young man receiving his just rewards would almost write itself. He stayed loyal to his university, sticking it out for four years and getting his diploma. He never raped a groupie, been arrested for illegal drug or alcohol use, or copped a celebrity attitude.

No, his unforgiveable sin was having the courage to promote chastity and religious faith to his peers, and expressing gratitude that his parents didn't abort him as recommended by their doctors. For those high crimes, the liberal hate machine will twist and ridicule his every move. What they fail to realize is that every negative word secures a firmer place for Tim Tebow in America's heart.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Bill Does Maury

Barbara Walters claimed President Obama's appearance on her show "The View" was the first time a sitting president appeared on a daytime talk show.

Not so, says Jimmy Kimmel, and he has the proof:

Are You Talkin' to Me?

My neice and nephews go to Targetmaster with their dad and some friends.

Thanks for sharing, Bob.

Loving Maura

Meet Vince and Nancy Lowry, the luckiest parents in the world. My print column is up.

Getting Serious

Peggy Noonan has surprisingly good advice for both Republians and the Tea Partiers.
For those candidates who are themselves Tea Party, and who identify more with a rebellion than an organization, some advice: Get conservative, quick. Which is another way of saying: Get serious. Conservatives are not fringe and haven't been accused of being fringe since they got themselves a president, in 1980. He (Ronald Reagan) cared about reality, about the facts of the world, and bothered to know them. He bothered to think about them. He respected process, or rather respected the reality of it and learned to master it.

He also tried to put his arms around those who disagreed with him; he loved his foes into submission by showing regard for them. "Come walk with me," he said, in 1984. And they did. And they got a new name, Reagan Democrats. Some of them wear it proudly, still. Here's something that sounds corny but is true: Only love makes great political movements. Movements based on resentment, anger and public rage always fade, they rise and fall, they never stay. If you came to play, get serious.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Gambling and Jobs

One quibble with today's excellent editorial on the gamble of depending on gambling revenue.
Maybe it’s the ultimate irony that the state’s new economic blockbuster sits on the very hallowed ground where ships rolled off the Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. on the Chester waterfront.

People still enter that luminous locale in search of their fortune.

 But they’re not going to work.

They’re going to gamble.

Actually, a lot of people ARE going to work. More than 1,000 people are employed by Harrah's, with 500 new jobs just created by table games. Ship building is definitely a more romantic calling than dealing cards and taking people's money but those jobs are gone. Better these jobs, than no jobs. Right?

The Natural

Welcome to the big leagues, Dominic Brown.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Back to Basics

Why not a well-regulated citizen militia in Chester? My print column is up.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Sorry Charlie

Charlie Rangel, America's chief tax writer, is in trouble" for ethics violations that have to do with not paying his own taxes.

Here's Charlie in happier, sleepier times.

The Voice of Reason

On ReasonTV, Arthur Brooks explains the divide between those 70 percent of Americans who believe in the free enterprise system and the 30 percent of Americans who believe in more government-forced income redistribution.

Some people might call Brooks "evil."

Another Gun Law?

Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland believes he has the answer to help end gun violence in Chester: Pass an ordinance that requires gun owners to report lost or stolen guns.

Yep, that oughta' do it.

Monday, July 26, 2010

E.J. Shilly Shallies Past the Liberal Grave Yard

WaPo's E.J. Dionne attempts to rally the troops in the progressive mainstream media apparently believing that the best defense is a good offense.

Dionne writes:
The smearing of Shirley Sherrod ought to be a turning point in American politics. This is not, as the now trivialized phrase has it, a "teachable moment." It is a time for action.
Action for Dionne is writing another predictable and lame attack on the conservative forces of darkness. But just to be clear, Mrs. Sherrod was not "smeared." A clip of her speech to the NAACP was posted on Andrew Breitbart's web site and the clip showed her admitting that her own racial attitudes figured into how much help she would give a white farmer who was in financial trouble. She was not smeared, she was taken out of context. Something that is done by the media every day when it selectively pulls the juiciest or most controversial quote from a speech or statement and runs from there. However, in Mrs. Sherrod's case, her wonderful liberal bosses were so concerned with racial politics and their own jobs they threw her under the bus. They were the ones who smeared her by, in effect, calling her an intolerable black racist, publicly firing her and then patting themselves on the back for doing so.

The mainstream media and the Obama administration alike must stop cowering before a right wing that has persistently forced its own propaganda to be accepted as news by persuading traditional journalists that "fairness" requires treating extremist rants as "one side of the story."

Right. The mainstream media and the Obama administration must stop cowering and start forcing its own propaganda to be accepted as news. Life was so much easier for the liberals in the mainstream press before the inception of FOX News.

And there can be no more shilly-shallying about the fact that racial backlash politics is becoming an important component of the campaign against President Obama, and against progressives in this year's election.

This is Dionne's way of taking a page of his fellow liberal Spencer Ackerman's playbook. Pick a conservative, "Fred Barnes or Karl Rove, who cares and call them racist." Thanks to Ackerman and his fellow "Journolists," what is becoming an important component of the campaign against progressives is their disgusting willingness to smear their opponents as racist for partisan political advantage. A word to the wise: When you whip your opponents with the race lash, expect a back-lash.

The administration's response to the doctored video pushed by right-wing hit man Andrew Breitbart was shameful.

It wasn't "doctored." It was selectively quoted from. Again, something the left and the mainstream media, does all the time. Breitbart, it should be remembered, is not a journalist. He's a conservative activist. He is a spin meister, who tries to help his side and hurt the opposition. Journalists and even pundits, should attempt to live up to a higher standard of fairness. Dionne is failing to do so here and below.
The obsession with "protecting" the president turned out to be the least protective approach of all.
The first reaction of the Obama team was not to question, let alone challenge, the video. Instead, it assumed that whatever narrative Fox News might create mattered more than anything else, including the possible innocence of a human being outside the president's inner circle. She could be sacrificed without a thought.

Finally, E.J. gets something right. "Whatever the narrative FOX News might create..." for it hadn't created any narrative - or even aired the story - before the President's men trashed and then canned Sherrod. Few bosses in America would have been dumb and rash enough to fire an employee based on such a charge without talking to the employee first and investigating the matter further.
Obama complained on ABC's "Good Morning America" that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack "jumped the gun, partly because we now live in this media culture where something goes up on YouTube or a blog and everybody scrambles." But it's his own apparatus that turned "this media culture" into a false god.

So Obama throws Vilsack under the bus and blames "the media culture." Dionne makes no mention of the role White House staffers played in this fiasco. On the day of the firing, Obama advisor Jim Messina reportedly bragged about the speed with which the White House fired Sherrod. But never mind because...
... the Obama team was reacting to a reality: the bludgeoning of mainstream journalism into looking timorously over its right shoulder and believing that "balance" demands taking seriously whatever sludge the far right is pumping into the political waters.

Oh, that's an unfortunate metaphor. It might remind people how hapless and slowly the Obama team reacted to the BP disaster in the gulf. Where's Dionne's liberal editor when you need him.
This goes way back. Al Gore never actually said he "invented the Internet," but you could be forgiven for not knowing this because the mainstream media kept reporting he had.

Yes, you'll be forgiven for not knowing what Al Gore never said. Dumb mainstream media.
(Skipping down... Dionne criticizes his newspaper's ombudsman for taking it to task for not reporting on the New Black Panthers voter intimidation story and the Justice Department controversial handling of the case.)
Never mind that this is a story about a tiny group of crackpots who stopped no one from voting.

How does Dionne know this? Because a spokesman for the Obama Justice Department say so. Dionne goes on to trash DOJ whistleblower J. Christian Adams for his claim that the department was "motivated by a lawless hostility toward equal enforcement of the law." And why shouldn't he be believed? Because he is a "Republican activist" who was a Florida poll watcher in 2004 for the Bush campaign. Not only that but, wrote Dionne, he was "involved in a controversy over whether a black couple could cast a ballot."

You got that. Here's Dionne doing exactly what he claims to be so offended by when it is done by a conservative activist like Breitbart. He suggests Adams has bad racial motives. Any questioning of a black couple's right to vote is tantamount to racism. Never mind, that the couple in question wasn't registered to vote where they showed up to vote and that they were offered a provisional ballot, as required by law, and they refused to take it.

Having trashed and dismissed Adams for essentially being a right-wing Republican racist. He acts as if Adams is the lone DOJ lawyer who questioned the dropping of the Black Panther case. He is not. Adams quit his job rather than be silenced. Other DOJ lawyers were ordered not to talk about the case, told to refuse to comply with subpoenas issued by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and/or transferred.

Bartle Bull, a long-time Democrat, a former political adviser to Robert F. Kennedy who travelled south in the 1960s to protect the voting rights of black voters in the 1960s was a poll watcher in Philadelphia on that faithful day in 2008. He saw and heard what the two New Black Panther Party thugs were doing at the polls that day.

"I find it deeply offensive," Bull said. "I know people who died over these issues, like Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. If we can't defend their legacy, it's shameful to us and this administration." 

He says the Obama administration's actions amount to protecting the New Black Panthers. 

"If Americans can't vote honestly, and the government doesn't protect their right to vote, we don't live in a democracy. Last year Obama complained when the government in Afghanistan did not run the election properly. What about Pennsylvania?"
Bull has already testified before the Civil Rights Commission, and the commissioners also want to hear from Christopher Coates, the former chief of the Justice Department's voting section who has since been transferred to the U.S. attorney's office in South Carolina. But the commission claims the Justice Department is blocking Coates from testifying about why the case was dropped.
Bull said that in 2008, one of the Black Panthers turned to him and said "now you will know what it means to be ruled by the black man, cracker." 

The result of the Justice Department action, or lack of it, he said, is that "these guys now think it's safe for them to bully voters and citizens. And that's why the Department of Justice must stand up."

What does Dionne have to say about Bull's comments? Nothing. Why? I suspect because he can't spin them to be the ravings of a right-wing racist. Instead, Dionne pretends they were never made.

The reason the New Black Panther case made the news is because it's newsworthy. So is the firing of Shirley Sherrod. Andrew Breitbart didn't fire her. But he cleverly and cynically set a trap for the NAACP and the Obama Administration to fall into and that's just what the numbskulls did.

Poor Dionne, suddenly he and his friends in the "mainstream" (read: liberal) media can't control the narrative of every story that comes down the pike. They don't get to decide what gets covered and what doesn't; what's a story and what isn't.
His idea of action is to write a column accusing conservatives of bad faith, bad politics and race baiting. Spencer "Call them racist" Ackerman was more succinct. No shilly-shallier, he.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Condi, Aretha and the Pip Squeaks

Neat story about former Sec. of State Condi Rice and Aretha Franklin, a good Democrat, joining up to raise money for charity and make a little music in Philadelphia. Of course, a couple of lefty losers are trying to gin up outrage because of Condi's work in the Bush administration and her unapologetic support for tough interrogation techniques that, according to top intelligence officials, actually saved American lives.

According to the story:
Sebastian Doggart, a human-rights activist in New York and documentarian of American Faust: From Condi to Neo-Condi , argues that Rice was a principal player in the Bush interrogation program, and has urged the Philadelphia Orchestra to not perform with her.

Rice and other senior Bush officials reviewed and approved CIA use of harsh interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, on detainees at secret prisons, according to a Senate Intelligence Committee report declassified in 2009.

Doggart called the concert an attempt at a "restoration" of Rice's image.

Steven Jewell, a Stanford alumnus, has organized a petition asking the university to investigate "whether to be involved in a torture program on leave from the university is compatible with her duties as a university professor."

"Torture is a crime against humanity, and to have her treated by a cultural organization as if she is just simply an artist, without the context of her involvement in crimes against humanity, is reprehensible," he said.

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. The good news is, Aretha is giving these idiots no R-E-S-P-E-C-T. The show will go on, as it should.

The Voice of Evil

Unemployment, magical thinking and a crippling sense of entitlement. My print column is up.

From the comments KiBiK writes:
"First- BEN STEIN was a speechwriter for Richard M. NIxon, the liar, who had to resign the presidency. He is a lying sellout. So is Gil Spencer for suggesting that unemployed people are leeches of the state. He says that Corbett's statements that people out of work don't want to work were "obviously true". That is an EVIL thing to say. It is NOT true. As usual Gil blames the victim and ignores real numbers and real wages. Gil, I don't just think you are mistaken or confused any more. You know the truth and still you lie. You are evil.

For all the people who have tried so long to find a decent job and given up I apologize for Gil's lies and the pain he's causing you. And to Gil I say: I'm sure Satan has a wonderful place waiting for you among his staff of corporate MBAs."

As Charles Krauthammer has pointed out: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.

KiBik is a nice example. He also proves some liberals can't read or don't bother. The key word here is "some." Read the column to find out if KiBiK's characterization of it is accurate or simply hysterical nonsense.

UPDATE: More liberal crackpottery from my old friend Karl Kofoed who e-mails:
Dear Gil,

Ben Stein (speechwriter for the admitted traitor Richard M. Nixon) is
a paid propagandist for corporate America. Clearly you are vying for
his job...

... After reading your column, it is now clear that reasoning with you is
pointless. You are evil itself, and you have become a propagandist
for intolerance which is anti-Christ. This was posted on an opinion
blog. It applies to people like you.

"Wealth should be seen less for its own qualities than for the human
misery it stands for. The large rooms of which you are so proud are
in fact your shame. They are big enough to hold parties, and also big
enough to shut out the voice of the poor. The poor man cries before
your house, and you pay no attention. There is your brother, naked,
crying, and you stand there in a dilemma over a choice of carpets."
-- St Ambrose of Milan

Karl Kofoed
Evil itself? Anti-Christ? Bueller?

Saturday, July 24, 2010


[Posted by Jake]

A tumultuous week for the Obama administration as they showed us "racists" that they are just as confused as we are. The controversial NAACP speech by Ms Sherrod that was initially condemned, then later applauded, proved to be quite challenging to the White House spin meisters. Their quick strike strategy, designed to prevent the Breitbart/Beck/Fox commentators from enjoying multiple news cycles of documented liberal hypocrisy, really blew up in their face. With all the subsequent finger-pointing and psycho-babble, it seems like some obvious questions are being overlooked.

First, why should Ms Sherrod's supposed journey of self-discovery and reconciliation, on the taxpayer's dime no less, be so universally cheered? She chose to work in a field where she got paid to provide a service, not to pass judgment on her customers. It is not uncommon in anyone's occupation to meet people who are difficult and might offer opinions that conflict with your personal values. But it's not about us. It's about having pride in your work and doing the best job you can. Just because Ms Sherrod fancies herself some sort of transformational figure as she embraces her victim pathology is no reason for us to absolve her of unprofessional conduct.

Second, under the same circumstances, would a young, white male have gotten a similiar reinstatement, promotion and apology from the President that this woman received? Of course not. Politically-correct preferential treatment is so ingrained in our society that it was almost predictable that Ms Sherrod's reputation would be rehabilitated as soon as pictures of her, a maternal black woman, were publicly disseminated.

Finally, why has there been so little critical analysis of Obama's suspect rush to judgment in this case, just like his previous inappropriate interference in the Massachusetts police matter, better known as the "beer summit"? Who can forget the insipid admission, "I could have calibrated my words differently."? In both instances, the President's oversensitivity to his black constituency magnified minor incidents into major firestorms. Is it too much to expect thoughtful leadership on matters that could potentially polarize our nation?

The revelations about the liberal Journolists, the continued demagoguery against the Tea Party, and the Administration's frantic overreactions to anything racial, demonstrate a deteriorating civility and discretion. One definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect different results. Unfortunately, it is Obama himself who is leading the parade to the asylum.

Hit and Run

Friday, July 23, 2010

Race, Race, Race; Spin, Spin, Spin; Shake Your Fisty, Shake Your Fisty

David Harsyani on the Sherrod mess: This is NOT a teachable moment.
Let me suggest one lesson the nation might take from the Breitbart/Sherrod story: Let's take a breather from any more national dialoguing on the issue of race. Please.

After all, can anyone recall the last productive conversation on the topic? Whenever we hear about race in politics these days, it's typically being wielded as a weapon to smear entire political movements, de-legitimatize a genuine national debate, and ratchet up anger over imaginary slights.

Healthcare and Guns

What do Donald Berwick and gun control zealots have in common? Read this and find out.

UPDATE: The WSJ's Dan Henninger provides a few of Dr. Berwick's greatest hits.
"I cannot believe that the individual health care consumer can enforce through choice the proper configurations of a system as massive and complex as health care. That is for leaders to do."

"You cap your health care budget, and you make the political and economic choices you need to make to keep affordability within reach."

"Please don't put your faith in market forces. It's a popular idea: that Adam Smith's invisible hand would do a better job of designing care than leaders with plans can."

"The unaided human mind, and the acts of the individual, cannot assure excellence. Health care is a system, and its performance is a systemic property."

"And it's important also to make health a human right because the main health determinants are not health care but sanitation, nutrition, housing, social justice, employment, and the like."
No wonder the president didn't want to subject him to questioning by the U.S. Senate.

Natural Born Texters

Here's why the "E" in E-mail stands for "evidence." Scroll down. Nobody's lol-ing anymore.

Spare the Sherrod, Spoil the Presidency

My print column on the Shirley Sherrod fiasco is up. Here's Walter Shapiro's take, which is much more critical of the Obama Administration and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Forget the cloying talk by Vilsack and White House press secretary Robert Gibbs about this being another "teachable moment" (a challenge: find two other words in the English language that as convincingly signal saccharine insincerity.) In fact, many of the enduring lessons from Sherrod's political ordeal have nothing to do with racial justice or an irresponsible media culture. This was bureaucratic bungling at epic "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" levels.

Meanwhile, in an interview with ABC, President Obama accepts little of the responsibility for his administration's ridiculous handling of the matter.
“I've told my team and I told my agencies that we have to make sure that we're focusing on doing the right thing instead of what looks to be politically necessary at that very moment.  We have to take our time and, and think these issues through.”

Good idea.

Mr. Obama should also remember that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is not HIS agency. It is a department of the U.S. government. He is OUR president. We are not HIS subjects. More buffoonery like this and there is a good chance WE will not elect him to another term of office in 2012.

UPDATE: WaPo's Howie Kurtz notices the same thing I did. Sherrod blamed FOX for running with the story but other news outlets ran with it too.

... for all the chatter -- some of it from Sherrod herself -- that she was done in by Fox News, the network didn't touch the story until her forced resignation was made public Monday evening, with the exception of brief comments by O'Reilly. After a news meeting Monday afternoon, an e-mail directive was sent to the news staff in which Fox Senior Vice President Michael Clemente said: "Let's take our time and get the facts straight on this story. Can we get confirmation and comments from Sherrod before going on-air. Let's make sure we do this right."

What's In a Name?

Phillies were Happless. Now they're Moyerless. And still hapless.

Gun Buy Backs Don't Work

Chester officials are going to try a gun buy back program to help reduce violence in the city.

But these things haven't proven big successes wherever else they've been tried. According to a 2008, USA Today story:
Gun buyback programs from Miami to the San Francisco Bay are coming under fire by critics who question whether the bucks are reducing the big bangs.

"It's like trying to drain the Pacific with a bucket," says Alex Tabarrok, research director at the Independent Institute, a think tank in Oakland. "More guns are going to flow in."

Tabarrok and others complain the programs are feel-good events that do not reduce gun crimes and are abused by gun dealers seeking to unload junk merchandise at a good price. None of the guns are turned in by criminals, Tabarrok says, and many don't even fire.

"It presents an opportunity for politicians to grandstand," he says. "This is not about being pro-gun or anti-gun. It's about which policies actually work."
I hope Chester has some better ideas than this up it's sleeve.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Imaginary New Black Panthers?

WaPo's Eugene Robinson claims the right wing is using racial fear to smear the Obama Administration.

Robinson writes:
Before Sherrod, the cause celebre of the "You Must Fear Obama" campaign involved something called the New Black Panther Party. Never heard of it? That's because it's a tiny group that exists mainly in the fevered imaginations of its few members.
This is an imaginary group?

Meet CNN's imaginary friends. And National Geographic's too. They sure have wild imaginations.

Another Fine Race Mess

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pat Pops Joe

The Toomey campaign is pushing a story suggesting Joe Sestak hasn't been very good at living up to his pledge to refuse campaign donations from people for whom he arranged congressional earmarks. The idea is to dirty up the image Joe has been putting forth as Mr. Above Politics As Usual.

Given that Sestak's people are trying to portray Toomey as a greedy Wall Street insider who hates the poor and unemployed, this video seems pretty fair.

As I was Saying...

Delco's Most Wanted II

Delco's Most Wanted is premiering tonight on Comcast. It's the brainchild of our sheriff Joe McGinn. Based on the video, I'd say Joe could use a little more time in front of the camera to get the hang of talking to a TV audience.

Word of advice: Get rid of the cue cards, Joe, and try to relax a little.

I wrote about the project a few months ago. Here's that. It looks like the format has gotten a little stronger. More real bad guys, fewer deadbeat dads and moms (for diversity's sake) behind in their child support.

Kevin Scholla sure helps move things along.

The stars of the shows are, of course, the bad guys. Great mug shots and great names like: Chie Barjolo, Gary Orange, Darrin Faffeil Wilder and Vinicio Celsti Lopez.

The show could still use more drama, re-enactments of their crimes, but what the heck, it'll do. Besides it tough to re-enact failure to play child support.

Better to check out the bad guys on Web site. But for your grandmother who doesn't know how to work a computer, the show will do.

The Journolist Scandal

By the way here's the story of a cabal of left-wing journalists, who formed an Internet community group called The Journolist to secretly strategize on how to defeat Republicans and promote Democrats.

The highlight, or lowlight, of the story is "journolist" Spencer Ackerman's advocacy of race-baiting to discredit conservative critics of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright story.

Wrote Ackerman:
If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they’ve put upon us. Instead, take one of them — Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists. Ask: why do they have such a deep-seated problem with a black politician who unites the country? What lurks behind those problems? This makes *them* sputter with rage, which in turn leads to overreaction and self-destruction.

Nice huh? The good news. Ackerman's race-baiting and his friends' adolescent name-calling and whining led to the self-destruction of Journolist. Even better, before it self destructed, it provided David Burge with material for his version of the Journolist. It doesn't get any better than this. Warning: Do not click on if you are offended by bad words.

More here from Mary Katharine Ham:
If you ever had any doubt that the left's incessant cries of "racism" have become largely a cynical political ploy designed to marginalize and shut up political opponents, behold the birth of a racism accusation in all its naked glory as discussed on the infamous JournoList.

The Right and Need to Bear Arms

Stanford law professor, Marcus Cole thanks "Four black men and a gun." Good stuff.

Gun haters, look away.

It begins:
As an American, I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to many, many people who have risked and given their lives to defend our liberty. But as I reflect on the recent Supreme Court decision in McDonald v. City of Chicago, I thought I should take a moment to mention four Americans who have made a relatively uncelebrated contribution to the freedom I cherish and enjoy. I owe a special debt to four black men, and one gun.

The most important of these men, to me, was my father. When I was a boy, he and my mother moved our family of six from the Terrace Village public housing projects in Pittsburgh’s Hill District to a predominantly white neighborhood. While many of our neighbors welcomed us, we were not welcomed by all. I recall a brick through the front window, and other incidents. But burned into my memory is the Sunday evening when my father was beaten with a tire iron on the street in front of our home, and in front of us, his four little children. Those three young white men were never caught.

When my father, with his surgically reconstructed eye socket and jaw, was released from the hospital, he did something he never once considered when we lived in the projects. He bought a gun.

Every evening after that, before going to bed, I and my siblings would go out onto the front porch to say goodnight to my father as he sat in his chair, shotgun across his lap, with its black barrel glistening under the porch light. I never once felt unsafe. I never once had trouble sleeping. My sense of security did not come from the Pittsburgh Police, or from the law. My sense of security came from my father, and his gun.

There were no more incidents, at least not any that I can recall, after my father exercised his Second Amendment right. It was his contribution to “non-violence” in our neighborhood.

Race Baiting Out of Control

The firing of Shirley Sherrod, a black woman who worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, proves just how reactionary the Obama Administration has become and is another example of how false charges of racism have poisoned America's political and media culture.

For the last couple of weeks the media has been reporting on the NAACP and it's provocative declaration that there are elements of racism within the Tea Party movement that need to be condemned by Tea Party organizers.

The attempt to brand the Tea Partiers as racist has been a liberal project for months. In an effort to make themselves once again relevant, the NAACP jumped with both feet onto this bandwagon.

Enter conservative media flamethrower Andrew Breitbart.

Breitbart made a big name for himself last year, by posting the famous video of staff members of the widly liberal and pro-Democrat group ACORN, advising a couple posing as a pimp and a prostitute how to, among other things, set up a child prostitution ring in the U.S.

He has since offered $100,000 to anyone who can substantiate the claims of black congressmen who said last year they were called the "n------s" as they went through a mob of mostly white protesters to vote on the unpopular healthcare bill.

Breitbart argues that the failure of any video or audio footage backing up the congressmen's claims, shows beyond a reasonable doubt that the congressmen lied about what was yelled that day. In any case, no one has managed to come forward and claim the money.

Nevertheless, some media outlets have continued to repeat the congressmen's claims as if they are true. Breitbart and others understandably see a concerted effort by some media liberals to use the false accusation of racism to discredit critics of Democratic agenda and Obama Administration.

In fact, just recently it was revealed that prominent liberal journalist and blogger Spencer Ackerman explicitly said as far back as 2008, that such tactics should be used discredit conservatives bent on defeating Barack Obama in the presidential race going on at the time.

OK, so in the aftermath of the NAACP's race-baiting, Breitbart is sent a video of Shirley Sherrod addressing an NAACP convention talking about how she didn't do as much as she could for a white farmer who came to her with pressing financial needs because she got the sense he was talking down to her.

That clip of Sherrod's speech was posted on Breitbart's Web site. What wasn't shown was what Sherrod said later in her talk was how she came to learn that it wasn't really so much about black and white or race but about poor people. Such stories of personal redemption and racial understanding need to be told more often, not less.

Before Sherrod's remarks were seen and heard in context, she was fired by the Secretary of Agriculture himself, Tom Vilsack, who sanctimoniously wrote that there was "zero tolerance" for discrimination within his department. It was later learned that the firing was done with the knowledge, and very possibly at the direction, of the White House.

Not to be outdone NAACP Ben Jealous, condemned Sherrod's remarks himself based solely on the snippet Breitbart showed on his web site.

Now everyone is pointing fingers at each other as they walk back from rash actions. Jealous is blaming Breitbart and FOX News and claims the NAACP was "snookered" into behaving so rashly. Breitbart maybe. But FOX News hadn't even reported on the story when the NAACP threw Sherrod under the bus. (It would have been more accurate to say NAACP was snookered by its bias against and fear of FOX News covering the story.

However, it's the reaction of the White House that is especially troubling. It shows how reactionary and politically motivated it is. It's willingness to condemn Sherrod without knowing all the facts.

According to Sherrod, she was ordered to resign by White House officials for fear the story would be on "Glenn Beck" that night.

In the meantime, Breitbart is taking no responsibility for Sherrod's firing, or for misrepresenting her remarks or views on race. He is maintaining that the video shows the reaction of the NAACP crowd in supporting Sherrod's initial negative racial feelings toward the white farmer and laughed when she said she had decided not to do everything in her power to help him.

This is Breitbart's way of staying on offense. And it is simply repulsive. He used this woman to make a point, completely disregarding the context in which her remarks were made and not caring that he didn't get the story right. At least, in his view, it got the White House and the NAACP to embarrasingly overreact, which is good enough for him. He did what he accuses his liberal enemies of doing of all the time.

It is a strategy that Breitbart points out explicitly supported by the former head of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Prof. Mary Frances Berry.

As she recently wrote:
Tainting the tea party movement with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats. There is no evidence that tea party adherents are any more racist than other Republicans, and indeed many other Americans. But getting them to spend their time purging their ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats win in November. Having one’s opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness.
If this is the announced political strategy of America's liberal elite, it's hard to blame conservative firebrands like Breitbart for fighting fire with fire. But I do. It is just plain dirty and wrong to call anyone a racist as a political or rhetorical tactic just to get them to shut up or change the subject.

A pox on all those who engage in such slimely and destructive nonsense.

UPDATE: More here. Jonah Goldberg says his friend Breitbart got the video in edited form and maybe he did. But when he had the chance to take his share of responsibility for Sherrod's firing he refused. That's lame.

UPDATE II: Here's NAACP Prez Ben Jealous throwing Sherrod under the Race-Baiting Bus.
Since our founding in 1909, the NAACP has been a multi-racial, multi-faith organization that– while generally rooted in African American communities– fights to end racial discrimination against all Americans.

We concur with US Agriculture Secretary Vilsack in accepting the resignation of Shirley Sherrod for her remarks at a local NAACP Freedom Fund banquet.

Racism is about the abuse of power. Sherrod had it in her position at USDA. According to her remarks, she mistreated a white farmer in need of assistance because of his race.

We are appalled by her actions, just as we are with abuses of power against farmers of color and female farmers.

Her actions were shameful. While she went on to explain in the story that she ultimately realized her mistake, as well as the common predicament of working people of all races, she gave no indication she had attempted to right the wrong she had done to this man.

The reaction from many in the audience is disturbing. We will be looking into the behavior of NAACP representatives at this local event and take any appropriate action.

We thank those who brought this to our national office’s attention…
Actually, Sherrod's story concerned her time not with the USDA but with the state of Georgia more than a decade ago.

Unstimulating Stimulus

The nearly trillion dollars in stimulus spending has done virtually nothing to promote private-sector job growth. But when it comes to benefiting from all that government spending, I got mine.

My print column is up.

Sestak and the Jewish Vote

Jewish groups in Pennsylvania are starting to get antsy about Joe Sestak's seeming lack of support for Israel's security.

The Daily Caller reports:
On the ground in Pennsylvania, Jewish voters find themselves caught between the two candidates. While the Jewish community is generally socially liberal, many Jews are also fiercely concerned about Israel’s security.

Rabbi Greg Marx of Congregation Beth Or in Maple Glen typifies this dichotomy. “When it comes to social issues I am a Democrat…When it comes to foreign policy I am quite conservative,” he told The Daily Caller. “I do get very concerned when Sestak does things like condemn the flotilla without even a mention of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held captive for years by Hamas.”

Marx continued, “Right now I am very much between the two parties and quite frankly I don’t know how I am going to vote.”
If the Jewish vote, which went 80 percent for Obama in Pa., is in play, Sestak is in trouble. They don't have to vote for Pat Toomey all they have to do is stay home and not vote for Joe Sestak. My own sense though is that the vast majority of these social liberals will stay in the fold.

I have to say, I do enjoy Sestak Press secretary Jonathan Dworkin's efforts to stay on offense and paint Pat Toomey as the Gordon Gekko of race.
As a former three-star Admiral who directly participated in the defense of Israel, Joe Sestak’s commitment to Israel’s security is beyond question,” Dworkin emailed The Daily Caller. “In fact, top Israeli military officials have come to Admiral Sestak, who also headed the Navy’s anti-terrorism unit after 9/11, to discuss their security issues. He has always voted in the interest of Israel’s security. Given Congressman Toomey’s radical Wall Street-first agenda and his votes against aid to Israel, it is no wonder that Joe’s political opponents have no choice but to attempt to distort his record.”
Beyond question? No, Joe has brought these questions on himself by joining left-wing elements in his own party and signing a letter condemning Israel for it's blockade of Gaza to prevent rockets from being imported by Hamas and Hezbollah to fire into Israeli neighborhoods. (It's worked by the way.) Rocket attacks are way down since the blockade. If a terrorist group was launching rockets into, say, El Paso from Mexico would Joe condemn whatever action was taken by the U.S. government to protect the citizens of Texas?

Also, his earlier glad-handing of the Muslim radicals who make up CAIR didn't warm the hearts of many Jewish voters either.

But you've got to hand it to Dworkin. He never misses an opportunity to mention Joe's military career, while trashing Toomey, who hasn't been a Wall Streeter for 25 years. He is pro business and pro free market. Joe, not so much. He's a government man. Has been his entire life. Was in Congress. Will be in the Senate.

UPDATE: I failed to mention that the Sestak Campaign attempted to stifle the free expression of the Emergency Committee for Israel by demanding its ad be pulled by Comcast. Noah Pollack's response to this attempt at censorship by an elected official can be found here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Got Thievery? Blame GOP

Charity donation jars are swiped again in Bucks County. These poor people must have had their unemployment benefits cut off thanks to heartless Republicans.

Race, Class and Paranoia

Ross Douthat on the roots of white anxiety.
The most underrepresented groups on elite campuses often aren’t racial minorities; they’re working-class whites (and white Christians in particular) from conservative states and regions. Inevitably, the same underrepresentation persists in the elite professional ranks these campuses feed into: in law and philanthropy, finance and academia, the media and the arts.

This breeds paranoia, among elite and non-elites alike. Among the white working class, increasingly the most reliable Republican constituency, alienation from the American meritocracy fuels the kind of racially tinged conspiracy theories that Beck and others have exploited — that Barack Obama is a foreign-born Marxist hand-picked by a shadowy liberal cabal, that a Wall Street-Washington axis wants to flood the country with third world immigrants, and so forth.

Among the highly educated and liberal, meanwhile, the lack of contact with rural, working-class America generates all sorts of wild anxieties about what’s being plotted in the heartland. In the Bush years, liberals fretted about a looming evangelical theocracy. In the age of the Tea Parties, they see crypto-Klansmen and budding Timothy McVeighs everywhere they look.

America: Home of the Hypocrites

Anne Applebaum says Americans demand big government. She has a point. A majority of Americans aren't ready to give up the goodies that the government provides them. But what she's really pointing out is that people are hypocrites. They say they're for limited government but they want what so-called big government provides them, healthcare, retirement money, and other forms of government guaranteed security.
Look around the world, and we don't look as exceptional as we think. Chileans are willing to save for their own retirement. Most Europeans are reconciled to the idea that not everybody, at any age and in any condition, is entitled to the most expensive medical technology. A secretary of state or defense traveling with dozens of cars and armed security guards would seem absurd in many countries, as would the notion that the government provides a tax break if you buy a house or that schools should close if there is ice on the roads. Yet we not only demand ludicrous levels of personal and political safety, we also rant and rave against the vast bureaucracies we have created -- democratically, constitutionally, openly -- to deliver it.
It's a fair cop.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Who's the Best Mudder?

So polite and convivial during their primary debates, Joe Sestak and Pat Toomey are now duking it out in the mud pit of politics.

Toomey accuses Sestak of trying to run away from his record of voting with Nancy Pelosi... (he is, by the way). While Sestak accuses Toomey, the former president of the Club for Growth, of being a tool of Wall Street, though he opposed the bail-outs of big financial firms and Sestak supported them.
“Pennsylvanians everywhere are still reeling from the effects of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, yet Toomey and his Club for Greed continue to push for the same disastrous policies that favor the elite and led us into recession in the first place.”
Heh, Club for Greed. That's a good one. I haven't laughed so hard since Joe described himself on TV as "fiscally conservative."

Nice to have a real choice between two candidates.

Paying Attention

Et Tu, Pa?

Virgina to privatize liquor sales?
For months, aides to Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell have been meeting behind closed doors with alcohol retailers and wholesalers, public safety officials and faith-based groups to come up with a way to fulfill one of the governor’s most notable campaign promises: privatizing the state’s liquor stores.

The consequences of what they come up with are potentially enormous and would amount to one of the most noticeable changes in the relationship between Virginians and their government in years, if not decades.
Pennsylvanians, read it and weep.

Harrah for Harrah's

Went to Harrah's yesterday for the first day of table games. The operative word: crowded. Mrs. Spencerblog and I got seats at a roulette table. The new dealers were inexperienced but friendly.

In making change for a customer one dealer knocked a player's chip from a single bet on 25, to a split bet between 25 and 28. One pays 35 to 1, the other pays 17 to 1. When the player didn't notice, I pointed out the dealer's inadvertent mistake and the chip was replaced. 25 hit, much to my and the other player's delight. But we were cleaned out on the same spin. Fortunately, we rallied at a much-less-crowded video roulette machine.

The crap tables were ridiculously packed, two and three deep in places. I happened to walk by one just as a player left and nabbed his spot at the rail, much to the unbelievable disappointment of another would-be gambler. He was so distraught and anguished, I gallantly relinquished my spot, giving him the golden opportunity to lose his money and me the chance to hang on to mine.

All in all, a pleasant couple of hours.

MassCare = Obamacare = Failure

Robert Samuelson looks at healthcare reform in Massachussetts and sees what's in store for Obamacare. It isn't pretty.
All this anticipates Obamacare. Even if its modest measures to restrain costs succeed -- which seems unlikely -- the effect on overall spending would be slight. The system's fundamental incentives won't change. The lesson from Massachusetts is that genuine cost control is avoided because it's so politically difficult. It means curbing the incomes of doctors, hospitals and other providers. They object. To encourage "accountable care organizations" would limit consumer choice of doctors and hospitals. That's unpopular. Spending restrictions, whether imposed by regulation or "global payments," raise the specter of essential care denied. Also unpopular.

Obama dodged the tough issues in favor of grandstanding. Imitating Patrick, he's already denouncing insurers' rates, as if that would solve the spending problem. What's occurring in Massachusetts is the plausible future: Unchecked health spending determines government priorities and inflates budget deficits and taxes, with small health gains. And they call this "reform"?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It's the Spending, Stupid!

Meanwhile, our politicians play their baby games while the job market remains sour. My print column is up.

Bloody Sunday

A South African named Oooosenweitzen, or something like that, is leading the British Open by 4. I can't pronounce his name but I'm rooting for him. He's never made a cut in a major let alone led one but he has the swing and temperament of winner. Roulette and golf. Nice way to spend a Sunday, eh?

Gaming Time

It's on at Harrah's. Mrs. Spencerblog turns forty-something tomorrow and wants to celebrate at the new roulette wheel in Chester. Who am I to deny her?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

No Kill Bill

If Bill is a stay cat.

The Spectre of Specter

Arlen Specter goes out with an obedient whimper. He will vote for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. Right. She's definitely more qualified for the court than Robert Bork.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

NL Wins One

Finally, the Phils will have home field advantage in the Series.

The Green Delusion

Walter Russell Mead explains why the Global Warming Movement is all but politically dead. It's not the science, it's the hype of the science. And the nexus between the political world and scientific community that caused it to be hyped.
Greens who feared and climate skeptics who hoped that the rash of investigations following Climategate and Glaciergate and all the other problems would reveal some gaping obvious flaws in the science of climate change were watching the wrong thing. The Big Green Lie (or Delusion, to be charitable) isn’t so much that climate change is happening and that it is very likely caused or at least exacerbated by human activity. The Big Lie is that the green movement is a source of coherent or responsible counsel about what to do.

NAACP Vs. Tea Party

In response to the NAACP's vote to condemn the Tea Part movement as racist, Tea Party spokesmen weigh in on the NAACP's ineffectivenss and irrevelence.

From the story:
St. Louis Tea Party organizer Bill Hennessy wrote on the group's website Tuesday that the Tea Party stands for smaller government and fiscal responsibility, and accused the NAACP of abandoning black America.
"When you look at the crime and poverty and family breakdown of the African-American community ... you see a half-century of failure by the NAACP," he wrote. "None of those persistent problems was caused by the Tea Party movement, yet the principles of the Tea Party are exactly what's needed to wind down the multigenerational destruction in the African-American community. 

"The NAACP was once a vital weapon in the war against segregation and oppression. All that's left is a bigoted and malicious shell that does far more harm than good for people who need a break," he wrote.
Strong words - with more than a little truth in them.

The Rev. C.L. Bryant, a black Tea Party activist who used to be an NAACP chapter president in Texas, said charges of racism are lies intended to further a liberal political agenda.

ABC News quoted him as saying the NAACP wants to "create a climate where they can say that those on the right are in fact racist and those on the left are their saviors. This is very much what the liberal agenda is about."

Brains Vs. LeBron

What do Gregory Thornton and LeBron James have in common? Not much. But they both left cities for what they perceived to be better opportunities elsewhere. My print column is up.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Win for Polanski; A Loss for Justice

This just in: The Swiss government is declining to extradite child rapist and fugitive Roman Polanski to the U.S. to face sentencing in the 32-year-old case against him. Their rationale for declining this request has yet to be provided. But it's safe to assume it's because he's such a celebrated film director and artiste and has nothing to do with the legal merits of the case.

So if you thinking of drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl and then fleeing to Europe to escape punishment make sure your artistic bona fides are well in place. Otherwise, you might be sent back here to face the music.

UPDATE: Here is the legal reasoning provided by the Swiss justice ministry. Note that the story is being covered by the "arts beats" columnist of the paper.
In rejecting the extradition request from the United States, the Swiss ministry cited two factors: first, the Swiss said, the U.S. had failed to provide the records of a January hearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court that would have shown the judge in charge of the Polanski case in 1977 agreed that “the 42 days of detention spent by Roman Polanski in the psychiatric unit of a Californian prison represented the whole term of imprisonment he was condemned to.”

Second, the Swiss said, when Mr. Polanski traveled in September 2009 to the Zurich Film Festival where he was arrested as he arrived at the airport, he did so in “good faith” that “the journey would not entail any legal disadvantages for him.” The Swiss justice ministry noted that Mr. Polanski had been staying regularly in Switzerland since 2006, and though “he was registered in the Swiss registry of wanted persons, he was never controlled by the Swiss authorities.”
The California judge in the original case commanded Polanski to serve 90 days in the shrink unit of the jail. He was let out in just 42, which is what set the judge off. At the very least he appeared as if he was going to order him to serve the 48 more days. Instead, Polanski beat it out of the country. He's been on the lam every since.

The Swiss rationale for failing to extradict him is baloney. He drugged an anally raped a 13 year old girl, was given a sweetheart deal and didn't even live up to that. At least he had to spend several months under house arrest at his own Swiss chalet. Now there's tough time for you.

To Hire or Not to Hire a Lawyer? Lawyer Sez Hire!

My Sunday print column on going to the courthouse to file a tax appeal brought this response from attorney Donald J. Weiss Esq.
Gil; Good column however, I have the following comments:

1] At least you did something. I can paint my own home and seal my own
driveway but do I ? Yes, you and most people can do a good job on their own
appeal when they just bought their home BUT do they? I send out thousands
of letters a year to people who just bought their own home and are over
assessed and I bet less than 15% do anything. SO I just hope your column does
not have a chilling effect where people think they can do it themselves so
put it off like I do sealing my driveway. SO for those people who
procrastinate saying they will do it themselves and end up doing nothing I hope it
does not have that effect. ALSO, you missed saying the deadline date is AUG
1. If you look at my website you'd see my fee would have been [40% of the
1st year's savings] $320 for you and I would have reviewed it to see if I
could get it down more. If you had purchased it more than 6 months ago it is
likely worth less and maybe I could have saved some more. If I could have
gotten it reduced another $10,000 in value maybe that would have saved
another $250 per year, tear after year. I pay my appraiser's fee. Your
hearing would not likely have been until Oct so in a declining market I hold off
filing so I may be able to use the decline to my client's advantage. I
have one now who bought in Nov and therefore the hearing will by 11 months
later so it is likely lower by at least 5-10%. That will likely save him $500
more by holding off and not arguing purchase price is the value. NOW, if
you got it at below market then you had the perfect case to handle yourself.
That is not always the case.

2] You cannot do what you did and do the best unless you just bought your
home. If you have owned it a long time, in order to do the best I believe
you must hire a good honest appraiser and attend the hearing..

3] As I tell my clients' buying a home when they ask if they need a lawyer.
I tell them in 95 out of 100 deals NO, but they won't know if they are the
5 or 95 until maybe too late. BUT I do tell them when I buy a property in
another state I hire a lawyer because I never know what will go wrong until
it's too late.

SO, I just hope people do something but don't think it's always that

Respectfully, Donald J. Weiss, Esq

An Economy Frozen in Obama's Headlights

Welcome to the "mattress economy."
Consider the complaint of Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg, head of the Business Roundtable, which has been playing footsie with the Obama administration for most of the last 18 months. "By reaching into virtually every sector of economic life," Seidenberg recently wrote, "government is injecting uncertainty into the marketplace and making it harder to raise new capital and create new businesses."

... Instead of stimulating the economy, the Obama Democrats' policies have shocked it into immobility. People are lying on their mattresses, waiting for the next shock. At least one is definitely coming: The Bush tax cuts expire at the end of the year, which means that high earners can be sure they will very soon keep less of what they make.

Vindication or Whitewash?

Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann claims vindication after a Penn State investigation cleared him of wrongdoing in the Climategate scandal. Environmental scientist Patrick Michaels describes the investigation a "whitewash."

Rauso Busted

Geno Rauso thought he was being clever when he convinced various homeowners to sign their properties over to him, charging them rent and stuffing them with tenants while defrauding mortgage companies. He's now been charged with enough counts of mortgage fraud to be put behind bars for 247 years.

From the story:
“He walks right up to the (legal) line and doesn’t cross it,” is how county Detective Thomas Worrilow described Rauso’s dealing in a 2008 interview.
This was just a way of saying the county just didn't have the time and resources to bring a provable case against him in court. The feds took the time to build their case - Geno gave them a lot to work with - and think otherwise.

My earlier post on Geno's bust here

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Werthless Apology

Jason Werth berates a fan for catching a foul ball, that he might have caught to for the third out in the top of the 10 inning the other night against the Reds.

First of all, the fan, Patrick Boyle of Havertown, didn't do anyting wrong except not notice that Werth was trying to make a play on the ball. The ball was in the stands, not in the field of play. He caught it and made a nice bare-handed catch on it too.

Boyle says he was trying to catch the ball to protect his kid. So what if he actually wanted a souvenir from the game? The ball was his to catch.

Fans seated near the field for play should be aware that a home-team player might be able to make a play on a ball and give way, especially in an important situation in the game.

But Werth's reaction "Get out of my f------ way!" was that of a spoiled brat.

Phillies color guy Chris Wheeler not only let Werth off the hook he misreported Werth's behavior for all the world to see. On the replay Werth is shown angrily swearing at the guy in front of his kid and Wheeler reports this as "Jason asked him next time get out of the way."

Good job, Wheels.

Later Werth said he was sorry for the language he used but said he doesn't apologize for "playing hard," as if playing hard required him to scream and swear in front of fans and their kids.

It is understandable that Werth would be frustrated in being prevented from making a nice play. But his behavior was just plain lousy.

After the game, when asked it about, his first words should have been to apologize to Boyle and his son. He should seek them out and say he's sorry and that his behavior was just plain wrong.

Will he. Doubtful but we'll see.

LeNeau to LeTax Rate

Another multi-millionaire relocates to a low tax state.

Still Waiting on Thornton

Former C-U Superintendent Greg Thornton, now in Milwaukee, has yet to get back to me or send me any answers to my questions (scroll down.) But he did talk to our John Kopp. Click here for the story.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Maul on the Mall?

The New Black Panther Party is "ready to rumble."

And from a 2008 National Geographic special more on the leader from the Philadelphia Chapter of NBPP. Plus a rose-colored history of the old BPP.

OK, so they're just another small radical racist fringe group with no real power. But like all those tiny white racist fringe groups, it's probably necessary to keep an eye on them.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Nittany Lyin'

[Posted By Jake]

This week, the faculty committee at Penn State charged with investigating Professor Michael Mann came back with a verdict exonerating their embattled colleague. Despite being thoroughly exposed as a fraud by the leaked Climategate emails, and despite the fact that his hockey stick analogy might be the most discredited illustration in the history of modern science, Penn State "stands by their Mann".

Don't get me wrong. Loyalty is an underappreciated virtue. But loyalty to a global warming scam artist merely demonstrates the moral relativism of contemporary academics. Any student caught fabricating data,"the trick"; deleting contradictory research,"hide the decline"; and conspiring to prevent publication of alternative theories; would be quickly and summarily expelled. Apparently the campus eggheads regard one of their own differently, and felt compelled to whitewash this official inquiry.

Michael Mann is a faculty rainmaker, a global warming cash cow whose fund-raising prowess far exceeds the stereotypical classroom model. To expect this infamous scientific celebrity to abide by simple standards like honesty and integrity would be shackling a valuable resource unnecessarily. Best of all, his financial drawing power is invested in the great liberal dogma of environmentalism; Gaia the earth mother invoking the beloved cap-and-trade panacea.

Penn State is big business and Michael Mann is good for business. Graham Spanier, the President, makes $750,000 a year. Mrs. Spanier, an English professor in what seems a lucrative family arrangement, is good for another $120,000 a year. Big ticket academics can't live the lifestyle their elite status deserves with just tax and tuition dollars.

Michael Mann and his global warming scam doesn't happen without the insatiable appetite for money and power that infects our educational system at all levels. We have allowed this sad circumstance to happen and now we must demand credibility and accountability to fix it.

God's Country

The Almighty gives the people of Rockford Tennessee a "thumb's up."

Taken by Molly Ott

Dr. Thornton's Exit Interview

I just e-mailed a bunch of questions to outgoing Chester Upland Schools Superintendent Dr. Gregory Thornton. He's in Milwaukee now having taken the superintendent's job there.

I spoke with that school district's Communication's Director, Roseann St. Aubin, yesterday and sent her these questions this morning. I'm hoping she gets them to Dr. Thornton to "briefly" answer any or all of them. He is, no doubt, a busy man right now. If and when I hear anything from his office I'll post it.

In the meantime, here are the questions. If anyone can think of any others feel free to pose them and I'll foward them along to Roseann.

Questions for Dr. Gregory Thornton -
1. What was the most surprising thing you found when you took the helm in Chester?

2. What is it Chester Upland needs most right now?

3. Why did you leave Chester for Milwaukee?
a. Because it's student population is four times bigger?
b. Because it's budget of $1.4 billion is 13 times bigger?
c. For the $50,000 raise?
d. For those toasty Wisconsin winters?

4. What would be your first piece of advice to the next C-U superintendent?

5. Is there any truth to the rumor being spread on the porch of Aronimink CC during the AT&T National that you didn't want to leave Chester Upland but were somehow forced out?

6. What are you proudest of accomplishing during your tenure in Chester.

7. What are you most disappointed about not accomplishing?

8. What do you see as the greatest obstacle to student learning and academic success in the city's schools?

9. You told our Paul Luce that your granddaughter had the power to keep you from going to Milwaukee. Apparently, she didn't exercise it. What does she have against the city of Chester?

10. Did you go to the opening game of the Philadelphia Union at the city's sparkly new soccer stadium? If not, why not? If so, how awesome was it?

11. How did you resolve the 37 outstanding grievances brought against the district by the Chester Upland Education Association in your first year as superintendent? (And when I say "outstanding" I don't necessarily mean "wonderful.")

12. C-U's teachers' union president Gloria Zoranski says glowing things about you.
What's the secret of a schools superintendent getting along so well with union leaders?

13. Do you agree that today's public education system is an antiquated relic in desperate need of reform? For instance do you think it would be a good idea for students to attend school all year long? Or is it still important for students to have summer vacation so they can help their parents on the family farm?

14. If we had school year round, do you think we could get rid of the 11th and 12th grades?

15. According to the organizational chart for the Chester Upland School District, the superintendent reported to the state empowerment board and all the other department heads reported to you. The elected school board, however, just floated out there on the right-hand side of the chart like a long-rectangular balloon with no one reporting to it. Based on your experience was that a good thing?

16. Why do you think Wanda Mann won't return our phone calls?

17. Do you see any similarity between LeBron James leaving Cleveland for Miami and you leaving Chester for Milwaukee?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

One Big Delco Police Force II

My print column on the county-wide police force debate is up.

The Philadelphia Black Panther Case

The refusal of the U.S. Justice Department to prosecute the New Black Panther Party in Philadelphia for its blatant acts of voter intimidation at the polls in 2008 is finally getting some of the attention it deserves.

Yesterday, J. Christian Adams, who resigned from the department over the matter, testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Adams has said this is "the clearest case of voter intimidation that I've seen since I've been practicing law." And yet, it was ordered dropped by his bosses. Why?

Prior to his testimony Adams wrote that there is an "open and pervasive hostility within the Justice Department to bringing civil rights cases against nonwhite defendants on behalf of white victims. Equal enforcement of justice is not a priority of this administration. Open contempt is voiced for these types of cases. Some of my coworkers argued that the law should not be used against black wrongdoers because of the long history of slavery and segregation. ... Incredibly, after the case was dismissed, instructions were given that no more cases against racial minorities like the Black Panther case would be brought by the [Justice Department's] Voting Section."

That is a pretty serious charge and Justice Department officials have denied it.

What is undeniable is that the case against the two thugs who stood outside the polling place back in November 2008 was dropped, raising suspicions that there is a double standard when it comes to prosecuting these sorts of cases. Here's the video taken by a Penn student that day.

If two white Klansmen had behaved similarly in say, Alabama, it is hard to believe they wouldn't be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

UPDATE: Here's more video of the angry young man the Obama Justice Department decided to treat with kid gloves. Warning: He uses some bad words.

UPDATE: To be clear, this idiot has every right to his views and the right to spew them in a public place. The New Black Panther Party is identified as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is known for being a lot more concerned about the racism of white hate groups. The good news is that all these groups exist on the far fringes of American society. The people who gravitate towards them are losers, race hustlers, and nut jobs.

Abigail Thernstrom, a strong critic of affirmative action and racial double standards, considers this case a sideshow to more important voting rights issues.

More Billions for Teachers' Unions

Chester Upland's schools Superintendent Greg Thornton is on his way to Milwaukee where the teacher's union rejected a chance to save 480 teaching jobs by taking a different health care plan for its members. Teachers' unions across the country are counting on Democrats in Washington to send billions their way to protect their jobs and current benefits.

Local taxpayers have rejected raising their own taxes to pay their teachers more. No worries. The teachers unions have friends in higher places. Stephen Moore has the story.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

One Big Delco Police Force?

Brian Grevious, a former Philadelphia beat cop and detective who now lives in Collingdale, tells me that a county-wide police force would save taxpayer's money with no loss in crime fighting, if done right.

I couldn't find any one in local law enforcement guys to agree with him.

Not Upper Darby's police super Mike Chitwood. Not Collingdale's chief Bob Adams. Not Trainer's chief Jim McGaw. Not County councilman Jack Whelan. And not DA Mike Green.

What does Grevious know that these guys don't? Read about it online and in tomorrow's column.

Misreading Thomas Again and Again

Eleanor Clift seems mystified that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas would notice that in America's past one of the civil rights denied specifically to black people was the right to own a gun.

Her fellow Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy was also curiously amazed. Why they should be so speaks to the cluelessness of liberals when it comes to guns rights... and wrongs.

The 5-4 McDonald decision held that having and owning a gun is an individual right protected by the Second Amendment. The case comes from Chicago where a 76-year-old black man named Otis McDonald sued the city for passing a handgun ban that prevented him from legally owning a gun that he believed he needed for self protection from street thugs and gangbangers.

After the civil war during reconstruction, the Ku Klux Klan and other racist groups actively worked to keep law-abiding black people disarmed as well as away from voting booths.

Clarence Thomas isn't the only black person in America to notice that, though he may be the most significant.

Legislative attempts to decrease gun violence through gun bans have been shown time and again not to work. Cities with the strongest gun control laws have by far the most shootings and gun-related deaths.

Disarming law-abiding people, black or white, has not only not worked, it's an affront to their rights as Americans. McDonald recognizes that and it driving gun-control nuts, both black and white, around the bend.

How else to describe the claim by Milloy: "What Thomas has created, however, is a legal defense of the Second Amendment so thoroughly original and starkly race-based that none of the white justices would even acknowledge it, as if it were some blank sheet crafted by an invisible man."

All Thomas has pointed out is that black people, like Otis McDonald, have the same right to self defense as all white Americans. There is nothing race-based about that.

Still here's more Milloy:
Thomas made no mention of the black loss of life and liberty from handguns being wielded by other blacks. But he has made clear on other occasions that the problem is not that there are too many guns in the black community; the problem is too many criminals.

He dismissed the cogent gun-control arguments of his retiring colleague, John Paul Stevens, conjuring up the abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens instead: "When it was first proposed to free the slaves and arm the blacks, did not half the nation tremble?"

Let 'em quake, Thomas appears to be saying.
Let WHO quake? Milloy is confusing (intentionally or not) 19th century white rural America with 21st century black, urban America.

Right now the only people trembling, are law-abiding and unarmed white and black city dwellers held hostage in their homes after dark by illegally armed street thugs and gangbangers. But Milloy tries to turn Thomas' opinion into an invitation to a race war.
Thomas's references to historic threats posed by white militias might have been dismissed if not for a resurgence of such groups in the year after Barack Obama's election as the nation's first black president.
Oh yeah, the resurgence of white racist militias in Chicago is truly frightening. No wonder Otis feels the need to own a gun.

Milloy sums up saying that "there is no mistaking where (Thomas) is coming from." His entire column proves otherwise.

DT Q of the W

DT's Question of the Week: What do you think is causing our extreme heat?

Best answer comes from rdubz: "Al Gore's infidelity and sex crimes."

I agree with Instapundit Glen Reynolds: We need to throw Mr. Gore into a volcano quick to appease the earth god, Gaia.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Dirty Laundry

[Posted by Jake]

By now, I'm sure everyone has read about the sordid accusations made by hotel masseuse, Molly Haggerty, against global warming icon, Al Gore. While it's appropriate to view any allegation of criminal behavior against a public figure with healthy skepticism, the arrogant condescension exhibited by Gore in the published reports rings true with his inventor of the Internet/savior of the planet egotism.

What's new is the delicious irony that Gore's victim took a page from Monica Lewinsky's playbook and held onto her soiled laundry from the incident. The denials were coming fast and furious before that little detail was revealed. Now, the silence is practically deafening as the global warming crowd faces up to the reality of DNA, which is truly settled science.

Can't you just see Bill Clinton and Al Gore huddled together plotting strategy? The pained expressions as they both realize their inflated sense of self-importance could be done in so easily by merely skipping a trip to the dry cleaners. At least Al was dumped by Tipper. Poor Bubba's punishment is having to play the role of dutiful husband in his charade of a marriage, at least until Hillary wakes up to the fact that America will never elect her to national office.

These clueless and corrupted philanderers were, and probably still are, men with considerable power and influence to direct our nation's future. As liberal Democrats, they are committed to taking greater control of our lives and finances, yet they cannot be faithful to their own fundamental obligations as husbands and fathers. Who wouldn't be looking for the nearest washroom and a good bar of soap after shaking hands with either of them?

The Flag Painter

On Independence Day Weekend you've got to love this guy:

Hell, you've got to love him every day of the year.

Don't Like Your Delco Tax Burden: Move! Seriously!

Kathleen Carey's and Paul Luce's piece on our ever-increasing property taxes brought a number of interesting responses.

Delco Joe concludes:
As I have posted on a number of occasions, I believe that when some one posts a complaint, or a rebuttal to something on here, they should end with a proposed solution to the problem.

How about this.... One, force our legislators to pass a binding arbitration bill that would prohibit strikes, and equalize the negotiations.

Second, it is time to look into a County School System. It will reduce a lot of the redundant services being provided, create a County pay system, and hopefully equalize taxes across the County.

Finally, it is time to take the burden off of the homeowners as much as possible. With a County District, in addition to the binding arbitration, increase the sales tax 1%, or make some not taxable items taxable, and dedicate that money to the schools.

It is time to stop complaining, and start doing something. "

His first suggestion sounds politically plausible, his second doesn't.

PAnowAZlady has a more feasible, if cynical, individual solution:
Quit your complaining and MOVE (like I did). I own a beautiful 3-bedroom, 2 (full-sized) bathroom house with: family room, living room, dining room, eat-in kitchen with a 4 ft. island, and a 2 car garage, and my property taxes are a cool $1,200 annually!! I have lived in AZ for 13 years nor (my house is only 15 years old), and my taxes are only $976 annually back then.
Winter temp between Nov-March is 60-75 degrees. Summer temps are a bit hotter (but bearable, since we have hardly any humidity), and you can actually get a gallon of milk for $1.48!!
Like I said: STOP your complaining and move !!!
I love Delco, but it's too damn expensive, and I work too damn hard to spend all my moolah on prop. taxes!
The more people who leave Delco and Pennsylvania, the greater the crisis and the greater the pressure will grow for real political and structural change. The freedom to leave one state for another is one of the things that make the United States of America great.

For those of you wondering why YOU should have to pick up and leave because of the actions (and inaction) of others in power, think back to your ancestors who fled war-torn Europe or oppressive regimes in Asia or wherever to come to this country. Moving across state lines is a lot easier than crossing an ocean.

My friend Glen Featherman just sold his dental practice in Morton and moved to Arizona. He bought a house for one third the price of the one he sold in Glen Mills and went into semi-retirement at the age of 49. I will miss him but I don't blame him a bit.

Arrested for Hot Dogging It!

While the best golfers in the world were competing in Newtown Square, the best eaters in the world were competing in New York. Let's rephrase that to fastest eaters in the world.

And there was plenty of drama.
NEW YORK (AP) — A Japanese eating champion who sat out this year's Coney Island Fourth of July hot dog contest apparently couldn't resist the temptation to hotdog afterward.

Competitive eater Joey "Jaws" Chestnut gobbled his way to a fourth consecutive championship Sunday. But he was suddenly upstaged by the surprise appearance of his biggest rival — six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi, who did not compete but crashed the stage after Chestnut's win and wrestled with police.
Hard to imagine Phil Mickelson suddenly showing up at the AT&Tiger, demanding to play and having to be physically escorted from the premises by police.

They call it Major League Eating. Next up: Busch League Drinking.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Justin Wins

Ho hum. Happy 4th. A Brit wins the AT&Tiger. That is all.

Justin Gets a Good Bounce

Just one shot up on the 18th tee, Justin Rose flies the bunker and draws his ball to the middle of the fairway. Unless he chunks his wedge to the green, he should hang on to win.

Not that Ryan Moore didn't make it interesting.

Corporate Tenting

By the way, if you wanted to know what it cost for a corporation to have a tent at, say, the 17th hole here, it's $135,000 for the week.

But if you sign up for two years, they'll give you a deal. A cool quarter of mil will cover it.

Moore Birdies and Birdies Some More

Justin Rose knocks in his 3 footer for eagle at take a 6 shot lead.

And here's his drive on 10. He wasn't sure where it ended up but it was fine, in the light rough. Still he three putted for bogey.

But suddenly his six shot lead is down to one with Ryan Moore's birdie on 17. Moore is five under on the day with the 18th to play.

Tiger Praises Philly Crowds

From Tiger's closing interview:
Q. You wore a smile on your face a lot of the week, whether you made birdie or bogey. Some of that has to be due to the crowds. Philadelphia has really supported this tournament and your charities.

TW: I mean, this is a huge sports town, and for us to come out and support our event like this, they were loud, boisterous and extremely respectful, and that's all any tournament would want to have. We're lucky to have them here.

First all I don't recall any smiles on Tiger's face after his making a bogey. As for the rest, it's the least he can say about all the people who shelled out cash to see him nearly miss the cut here. But give him his due. He kept playing hard right down to his last putt. When Tiger plays people get their money's worth.

The Numbers Don't Lie

The first three days of the tournament saw 36,685, then 45,366 and 45,231 on Saturday. Today's crowds look as big as any this week. From an attendence point of view the AT&T at Aronimink has been a smashing success.

The CBS announcing crew has raved about the golf course and the all the players have spoken highly of it as well. If nothing else, the event has shown that Philadelphia golf fans have been starved for an event to attend and when given the opportunity they showed up in droves.

Not Free Parking

There were plenty of local kids looking to make a buck off the tournament. I saw these guys all week at the St. David's Road exit off 252, directing parkers into their family's back yard.

Heckle Me This

Whoever was worried about Tiger getting heckled at this event for his selfish and reckless behavior off the course, needn't have been. During the week, every good shot he hit was cheered. Every missed putt was moaned over. His fans remain as interested as ever in seeing him play well.

Golf crowds generally demand decorum and are self-policing. Any heckler would have been shushed and/or booed.

One female Aronimink member had the chance to let Tiger know what she thinks of him (and it isn't much) when he hit an errant drive just a few feet away from her.

She was standing there with her husband when Tiger arrived at his ball. Having listening to his wife for months go on about what a dog Tiger is, the husband elbowed her as if to say "Now's your chance."

The woman, however, demurred.

But she was pleased that the Greatest Golfer in the World got a terrible lie in the rough and ended up giving his own golf bag a good swift kick in frustration.

Meanwhile, off the premises, a young woman at the corner of Route 252 and Goshen road could be seen holding up a sign for the tournament bound:
But when you think about it, that statement could be accurately applied to at least half the players on tour. It's just Tiger has a lot more majors than most.