Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tsunami Saturday Laguna Beach!

Well, the Orange County Tea Party Patriots had an event scheduled yesterday in Laguna Beach, but it was cancelled due to weather conditions and tsunami warnings. I left the Temecula rally a little after Noon hoping to catch the tail end of the Laguna rally. I texted my good friend Megan and got word the event had been cancelled. I thought I'd hang out a little bit anyway. Walking down the boardwalk, tourists check out the surf conditions at the main beach lifeguard station:

A closer look at the tower:

The conditions at about 1:30pm:

Walking back across PCH now, looking north. That's Laguna Canyon Road at the second intersection with the green light. It's normally bumper-to-bumper at this stretch on the weekends, especially in the summer. Not too many folks heading to the beach on this day. Notice the movie theater up the road at right? I'm heading over that way, to the Starbucks just before it:

But I checked out the newsstand first. Actually, I didn't need to buy anything, which is unusual for me. I can read the New York Times online, at least for now, and I wasn't in the market for fashion or gossip rags:

Okay, here's a quick couple of shots of the Laguna Cinemas. "The Hurt Locker" is playing (Jules Crittenden's got an interesting post up on that today, "The Ass-Kick Locker"):

"Alice in Wonderland" is playing at Midnight next Thursday. Cool:

Heading back over to the coffee shop, which was doing good business:

This is the Fingerhut Gallery, featuring a life-size Cat-in-the-Hat sculpture. Asking price was $150,000:

The place might use some of that cash to hire a landscaper -- that ivy foilage needs a trim!

The obligatory surfer-boutique-on-PCH photograph:

I said hello to Thomas, who was cruising the sidewalks for recyclables. Nice guy. He was kind enough to pose for a picture:

Here's the sculpture of Eiler Larsen (1890-1975), the Laguna Beach Greeter:

The plaque's a little hard to read, but there's more on Eiler at the Los Angeles Times:

Okay, heading back south (which is an incline here, next to the Laguna Hotel, along with the Miranda Galleries):

Okay, walking back to my car now. Here's the obligatory downtown Laguna Beach cottage residence photograph. A beautiful home:

Now this is the ultra-obligatory Laguna Beach enviro-Subaru-owner's-car-with-a-Barbara-Boxer-for-Senate-2010-bumper-sticker photograph. I was about to hop into my car and I noticed the Boxer-for-Senate sticker and said to myself: Yes! It doesn't get any better than this. Orange County is known as the heartland of California conservatism, but the Laguna artists' colony is a left-wing bastion in south county. Laguna, which includes a substantial gay community, voted overwhelmingly against Proposition 8 in 2008:

Okay, that's it for today ... more great blogging throughout the week -- so tell a friend!

One Year Anniversary of the Tea Party Movement

Via Free Republic, more from yesterday's event, at The Californian, "TEMECULA: Protesters Decry Big Government":

Plus, the Temecula Valley Tea Party Patriots have posted additional pictures.

And from around the country:

First, check out El Marco's, "
AMERICA’S TEAPARTY MOVEMENT: Happy Birthday to the Party of HELL NO!"

And from the Asheville Tea Party, "
Successful Kickoff Party for Asheville Tea PAC":

Here's raw video from Gateway Pundit, "1,500 Rally at St. Louis Tea Party Coalition Anniversary Protest":

Also, at Moonbattery, "Dallas Tea Party," and Urban Infidel, "New York City Tea Party One Year Anniversary 2010."

Plus, the
Temecula Valley Tea Party Patriots have posted additional pictures.

And this sign from
Geobent says it all:

Also, at the Dallas Morning News, "Dallas Tea Party Crowd's Message is Clear: 'We're Not Gonna Take It'," and the Detroit Free Press, "How Far Can Tea Party Rise?" And at the New York Times, "Unlikely Activist Who Got to the Tea Party Early" (via Glenn Reynolds).

ADDED BONUS: Founding Bloggers, "
BREAKING NEWS: Pelosi Attacks Tea Partiers, Again!"

MORE: At Pajamas Media, "Today We Are One: Photos from the Tea Party’s One-Year Anniversary." And Kimberly Dvorak, at Red County, "Tea Parties Mark Their One-Year Anniversary – Rain or Shine." And at FactReal, "Miami Celebrates 1-Year Anniversary of the Tea Party Movement – 2/27/2010."

Also, on the San Diego event, see Temple of Mut, "
TSUNAMI Tea Party: SAN DIEGO 2010."

Interview With Jennifer Burns

Via Ed Driscoll:

And at Amazon, Jennifer Burns, Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right.

And When the Night is Cloudy ... There is Still a Light That Shines On Me...

Okay, time to lighten things up around here for a while. From my good friend Anton, "Sunday Music – Let It Be":

Anton offers a wonderful background discussion on the various iterations of the recording.

But what I always found interesting was
the Phil Spector intervention that gave the recording the "wall of sound" manifestation for the full album:

On 26 March 1970, Phil Spector remixed the song for the Let It Be album. This version features the "more stinging" 4 January 1970 guitar solo, no backing vocals (except during the first chorus), an echo effect on Ringo's cymbals, and more prominent orchestration. The other guitar solo can be heard faintly through the right speaker, as the original was planned. The final chorus has three "let it be..." lines, as the "there will be an answer" line is repeated twice (instead of once as on the single) before the "whisper words of wisdom" line to close the song. On the album, as the preceding song "Dig It" ends, Lennon is heard saying in a falsetto voice, mimicking Gracie Fields: "That was 'Can You Dig It' by Georgie Wood, and now we'd like to do 'Hark, The Angels Come'," and then giggles. Allen Klein brought in Spector to mix the album without telling McCartney or asking for his agreement, because McCartney had not signed Klein's management contract. McCartney later complained that he was not happy with Spector's production of the recording.
"Let it Be" is one of those songs that reminds me so powerfully of my childhood. I must have been about 8 or 9 years-old when I first heard it on the radio. I had a little wooden box radio in my bedroom, and I'd fall asleep listening to music. I didn't understand the lyrics, but "Let it Be" is spiritual. And I wonder now how folks feel about The Beatles today. Sure, John Lennon is hip with the radical left, but he warned against "minds that hate," so there you go.

Maybe I'll catch Paul McCartney in concert before he retires!

Alliance of Socialism and Islam in Britain? Who Knew?

Well, I seem to be on a roll today with a bit of counter-jihad blogging, so what the heck. From the Telegraph UK, "Islamic Radicals 'Infiltrate' the Labour Party" (via Memeorandum):

A Labour minister says his party has been infiltrated by a fundamentalist Muslim group that wants to create an “Islamic social and political order” in Britain.

The Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE) — which believes in jihad and sharia law, and wants to turn Britain and Europe into an Islamic state — has placed sympathisers in elected office and claims, correctly, to be able to achieve “mass mobilisation” of voters.

Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, Jim Fitzpatrick, the Environment Minister, said the IFE had become, in effect, a secret party within Labour and other political parties.

“They are acting almost as an entryist organisation, placing people within the political parties, recruiting members to those political parties, trying to get individuals selected and elected so they can exercise political influence and power, whether it’s at local government level or national level,” he said.

“They are completely at odds with Labour’s programme, with our support for secularism.”

Mr Fitzpatrick, the MP for Poplar and Canning Town, said the IFE had infiltrated and “corrupted” his party in east London in the same way that the far-Left Militant Tendency did in the 1980s. Leaked Labour lists show a 110 per cent rise in party membership in one constituency in two years.

In a six-month investigation by this newspaper and Channel 4’s Dispatches, involving weeks of covert filming by the programme’s reporters:

IFE activists boasted to the undercover reporters that they had already “consolidated … a lot of influence and power” over Tower Hamlets, a London borough council with a £1 billion budget.

We have established that the group and its allies were awarded more than £10 million of taxpayers’ money, much of it from government funds designed to “prevent violent extremism”.

IFE leaders were recorded expressing opposition to democracy, support for sharia law or mocking black people. The IFE organised meetings with extremists, including Taliban allies, a man named by the US government as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and a man under investigation by the FBI for his links to the September 11 attacks.

Moderate Muslims in London told how the IFE and its allies were enforcing their hardline views on the rest of the local community, curbing behaviour they deemed “un-Islamic”. The owner of a dating agency received a threatening email from an IFE activist, warning her to close it.

George Galloway, a London MP, admitted in recordings obtained by this newspaper that his surprise victory in the 2005 election owed more to the IFE “than it would be wise – for them – for me to say, adding that they played a “decisive role” in his triumph at the polls.
More at the link.

Also, at Astute Bloggers, "
LABOUR MINISTER: 'THE LABOUR PARTY HAS BEEN INFILTRATED BY ISLAMISTS'."

And earlier at American Power:

* Hijab at Hollister? Sounds a Little Off, No?"

*
Nothing to Fear From Islam?"

Hijab at Hollister? Sounds a Little Off, No?

Seriously! Here's the screencap at Hollister Clothing:

Pretty hot, eh?

Now, if the rituals and sacrements of your faith called for modesty and, indeed, carnal purification, why would a believer ever apply for a job there?

Beats me.

But check Atlas Shrugs, "
Why Would a Devout Muslim Want to Work at Soft Porn Abercrombie and Fitch? So CAIR Can Sue, of Course!":
The Council on American-Islamic Relations on Tuesday filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against clothing chain Abercrombie & Fitch on behalf of a Muslim employee who was allegedly fired because she refused to remove her Islamic head scarf, or hijab.

But the press loves it. See CSM, "Fired From Hollister for Wearing the Hijab?"

And the plaintiff, Hani Khan, is
a political science major at College of San Mateo.

I'm sure that that kind of background is just coincidental. Muslim students are so, well, integrated, e.g., "
CAMPUS JIHAD: A Jew-Hating Intifada is in Full Swing at U.S. Colleges and Universities."

Genevieve Morton at Sports Illustrated

Smitty's got his "Rule 5 Sunday" posted, and for some reason or another I didn't make the cut. Actually, I have a clue: Babe-blogging's been kinda slow around here, considering all the other controversies going on. Still, maybe a guy can get a little credit for instigating a blog war. See: The Camp of the Saints, The Classic Liberal, The Daley Gator, Three Beers Later, Washington Rebel, and WyBlog.

Plus, I'm going to step out on a limb here with a Sports Illustrated clip of
Genevieve Morton.


And don't miss Blazing Cat Fur and Theo Spark.

White Hegemonist Victimization?

At Blazing Cat Fur,
Gaining status as a preferred victim group will enable White Hegemonists to equally share in the bounty offered by Canada's "Mosaic of Diversity" Imagine the benefits! As a designated victim group the White Hegemonist Community will be granted free reign to call for the deaths of Homo's, Jews and "Progressives", just like our brothers in oppression, Islamists. And best of all just think of the huge "Paydays" we'll have to look forward to just by being "Offended" and firing off a complaint to our local HRC!
RELATED: "Nothing to Fear From Islam?"

Nothing to Fear From Islam?

From Islamization Watch, "Friday prayers at the New Statesman: The Islamization of a Leftist Mag":
We already did a New Statesman cover here. This issue called Everything you know about Islam is Wrong, where Islam's history is dumbed down for the masses and is laced with the promotion of political Islam. But prior to this for the Christmas issue there was the Muslim Jesus cover. All thanks to the new Islamic senior political editor who believes it his job to spread his faith by any means.

Here's a sample from the magazine, "Leader: Britain Has Nothing to Fear From Islam."

Also, from Tarik Ramadan, "Good Muslim, Bad Muslim."

But you know, I'm going to take a wait-and-see approach. Via Bare Naked Islam, "Who's Sorry Now, Denmark?:

'The Cartel': Education Disaster in America

The trailer for "The Cartel":

Hat Tip: Doug Ross, "The Cartel: The Education Disaster in America."

Plus, some interesting comments over at Mark Perry's, "
The Cartel" Documentary: Education + Politics = $."

'American Power' - #50 in Wikio Rankings!

I made the DBKP top blogs listing -- well, almost made it: I'm in "THE BULLPEN: 10 Near-Misses." See, "The CONSERVATIVE BLOGS 100."

DBKP rankings are based on Alexa, and
Snooper says mine are coming along. That said, American Power seems to have fallen off the face of the earth at Technorati's rankings. But making the Top 50 at Wikio is cool (for February 2010), so this post records the moment. Who knows what's going to happen going forward? I get burned out sometimes!

'It's So Easy Irritating Liberals - Try It!'

Dana Loesch interviews Ann Coulter at CPAC:

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Earthquake in Chile

See The Big Picture for a simply breathtaking photo-essay, "Earthquake in Chile."

A police officer and residents carry a body from a destroyed house in Talca, Chile, some 275 kilometers south of Santiago, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010 after an 8.8-magnitude struck central Chile. (AP Photo/Sebastian Martinez)

Also, check the New York Times, "Updates on the Earthquake in Chile" (via Memeorandum). And, at the Los Angeles Times, "'Tremendous Blow to Chilean Society'."

Tax Zombies! Tea Party Patriots Rally in Temecula

Okay, just got back a little while ago from the first anniversary rally of the Temecula Valley Tea Party Patriots. We had rain off and on, and the crowd wasn't as large as the events in Dallas, New York, or St. Louis, but the weather couldn't dampen the enthusiasm of the folks in Temecula.

I just want to highlight my two favorite pictures first, then I'll give the chronological rundown.

First is the Tax Zombie! Great mask and great signs:

The second is this great shot of one the patriots carrying the Bennington Flag:

The Bennington Flag is one of the oldest and best-known American flags in existence, a distinction it shares with its contemporary, the Stars and Stripes which flew over Ft. McHenry in 1814 and inspired our national anthem. The Bennington Flag is instantly recognizable for its unusual design features: the "76" in the blue field, seven-pointed stars, and the use of white stripes for the outer bars rather than red. As the earliest known flag made entirely of cotton, it is an important document for the history of textiles in America ...
Now, here's the view across from the memorial park in Temecula, a few minutes before 11:00am. Stopped to rest from the drive out from the O.C.:

Here's the Tax Zombie again:

This patriot channels some Todd Beamer:

Patriots like good hygiene. Obama needs to work on that:

Hanging on the corner:

No reconciliation!

That's my good friend Douglas Gibbs from Political Pistachio. We met through blogging about three years ago and he invited me to attend the Temecula rally. And don't forget to check out Douglas on blog talk radio on the weekends:

A nice tea party. I'll have more later ...

**********

UPDATE: Linked at Say Anything! Also, at Left Coast Rebel!

'Interrupter-in-Chief'

From Chicks on the Right:

RELATED TOTALITARIANISM: From the New York Times, "Democrats to Press Health Bill With Simple Majority" (via Memeorandum).

The Complexity of American Power

As long-time readers know, I'm highly critical of the neo-declinist school in international political economy. We've seen a big revival of theories on America's imminent decline as the dominant world power, and my sense is that few of these arguments are theoretically innovative or empirically convincing (see, for example, Christopher Layne, "The Unipolar Illusion Revisited: The Coming End of the United States' Unipolar Moment").

That said, I think Harvard's Niall Ferguson is doing some of the most compelling writing on this. I was critical earlier of Ferguson's piece at Newsweek, "
An Empire at Risk." The budget projections he cites there are simply frightening, but his arguments imply way too much inevitability and evade historical contingency.

That said, I'm loving his new essay at Foreign Affairs, "
Complexity and Collapse: Empires on the Edge of Chaos." Ferguson introduces his piece with a fascinating discussion of artist Thomas Cole of the Hudson River School (epic 19th century landscape painting). Ferguson cites Cole's five-piece visionary ensemble, "The Course of Empire." Here's the introduction:

There is no better illustration of the life cycle of a great power than The Course of Empire, a series of five paintings by Thomas Cole that hang in the New-York Historical Society. Cole was a founder of the Hudson River School and one of the pioneers of nineteenth-century American landscape painting; in The Course of Empire, he beautifully captured a theory of imperial rise and fall to which most people remain in thrall to this day.

Each of the five imagined scenes depicts the mouth of a great river beneath a rocky outcrop. In the first, The Savage State, a lush wilderness is populated by a handful of hunter-gatherers eking out a primitive existence at the break of a stormy dawn. The second picture, The Arcadian or Pastoral State, is of an agrarian idyll: the inhabitants have cleared the trees, planted fields, and built an elegant Greek temple. The third and largest of the paintings is The Consummation of Empire. Now, the landscape is covered by a magnificent marble entrepĂ´t, and the contented farmer-philosophers of the previous tableau have been replaced by a throng of opulently clad merchants, proconsuls, and citizen-consumers. It is midday in the life cycle. Then comes Destruction. The city is ablaze, its citizens fleeing an invading horde that rapes and pillages beneath a brooding evening sky. Finally, the moon rises over the fifth painting, Desolation. There is not a living soul to be seen, only a few decaying columns and colonnades overgrown by briars and ivy.
Pictured here is the fourth masterpiece, "Destruction," available from Wikimedia Commons.

Readers can assess Ferguson's argument in full. I like this passage of the fall on the Roman Empire:

Perhaps the most famous story of imperial decline is that of ancient Rome. In The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788, Edward Gibbon covered more than 1,400 years of history, from 180 to 1590. This was history over the very long run, in which the causes of decline ranged from the personality disorders of individual emperors to the power of the Praetorian Guard and the rise of monotheism. After the death of Marcus Aurelius in 180, civil war became a recurring problem, as aspiring emperors competed for the spoils of supreme power. By the fourth century, barbarian invasions or migrations were well under way and only intensified as the Huns moved west. Meanwhile, the challenge posed by Sassanid Persia to the Eastern Roman Empire was steadily growing.

But what if fourth-century Rome was simply functioning normally as a complex adaptive system, with political strife, barbarian migration, and imperial rivalry all just integral features of late antiquity? Through this lens, Rome's fall was sudden and dramatic -- just as one would expect when such a system goes critical. As the Oxford historians Peter Heather and Bryan Ward-Perkins have argued, the final breakdown in the Western Roman Empire began in 406, when Germanic invaders poured across the Rhine into Gaul and then Italy. Rome itself was sacked by the Goths in 410. Co-opted by an enfeebled emperor, the Goths then fought the Vandals for control of Spain, but this merely shifted the problem south. Between 429 and 439, Genseric led the Vandals to victory after victory in North Africa, culminating in the fall of Carthage. Rome lost its southern Mediterranean breadbasket and, along with it, a huge source of tax revenue. Roman soldiers were just barely able to defeat Attila's Huns as they swept west from the Balkans. By 452, the Western Roman Empire had lost all of Britain, most of Spain, the richest provinces of North Africa, and southwestern and southeastern Gaul. Not much was left besides Italy. Basiliscus, brother-in-law of Emperor Leo I, tried and failed to recapture Carthage in 468. Byzantium lived on, but the Western Roman Empire was dead. By 476, Rome was the fiefdom of Odoacer, king of the Goths.

What is most striking about this history is the speed of the Roman Empire's collapse. In just five decades, the population of Rome itself fell by three-quarters. Archaeological evidence from the late fifth century -- inferior housing, more primitive pottery, fewer coins, smaller cattle -- shows that the benign influence of Rome diminished rapidly in the rest of western Europe. What Ward-Perkins calls "the end of civilization" came within the span of a single generation.
More at the link, if you'd like to continue reading. (The essay includes images of all five of Cole's paintings from "The Course of Empire" series.)

Ferguson's theoretical contribution here is to draw on "systems theories" that explain processes of change across a range of human activities, including world politics. While fascinating, Ferguson focuses on complex change across the international system as as whole. His main point, as you can tell from the discussion of Rome, is that America's hegemonic collapse could come suddenly. And of course, that's a perfectly reasonable argument, and quite interesting in the context of the interdisciplinary research. The problem for me is that all theories of American decline are at base economic. And if we apply a complex systems analysis to the U.S. economy we'd find that complexity is the nature of the game, and that innovation and chaos may well create another massive boom cycle at any time. I touched on these issues previously in my essay, "
The Next Industrial Revolution."

This is not to say I'm not worried about America's problems and the potential collapse of American power. I simply think history is more complicated -- and the American economy more dynamic -- than declinists allow.

In any cases, readers might like Peter Liberman's reading list at Foreign Affairs, "
What to Read on American Primacy." Also, I'd suggest Fareed Zakaria's work is a bit more pragmatic than Niall Ferguson's. See, "The Future of American Power: How America Can Survive the Rise of the Rest."

Bull Riding at Johnny Utah's!

From Julia Roy, "Too many girls on the bull at @johnnyutahs51":

Johnny Utah's in here.

I'll bet
Theo likes that! And Courtney too!

New York Times Hearts 'Budget Reconciliation'

From yesterday's New York Times editorial, "After the Summit" (via Memeorandum):
The president and Speaker Nancy Pelosi should push the House to accept the fundamentally sound Senate bill. If they still cannot garner enough votes from their own caucus, they should alter the Senate bill slightly with parallel legislation that could be passed with budget reconciliation.

Bad idea, actually. See Bill Frist's commentary from yesterday as well, "A Historic and Dangerous Senate Mistake: Using 'Reconciliation' to Ram Through Health Reform Would Only Deepen Partisan Passions":

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced that while Democrats have a number of options to complete health-care legislation, he may use the budget reconciliation process to do so. This would be an unprecedented, dangerous and historic mistake.

Budget reconciliation is an arcane Senate procedure whereby legislation can be passed using a lowered threshold of requisite votes (a simple majority) under fast-track rules that limit debate. This process was intended for incremental changes to the budget—not sweeping social legislation.

Using the budget reconciliation procedure to pass health-care reform would be unprecedented because Congress has never used it to adopt major, substantive policy change. The Senate's health bill is without question such a change: It would fundamentally alter one-fifth of our economy.
More at the link.

VIDEO HAT TIP: The Blog Prof, "Best ObamaCare Summit GOP Argument? Paul Ryan (R-WI) ."

Gender Neutral Bathroom Fail

Boy, today's college kids ... what will they think of next?

From Gary Fouse, "
The "Demands" of the UC-Irvine Protesters":
5) We demand that UCI immediately equip the campus with gender neutral bathrooms. Students and workers who do not fit the illusion of gender normativity suffer routine violence and intimidation. UC should not privilege heteronormativity over the interests of its LGBT community.

See also, the Orange County Register, "17 Arrested in UCI Protest."

Deadly 8.8-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Chile

A brief clip is below, and more at the link.

And from the New York Times, "8.8-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Chile" (via Memeorandum):
A massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck Chile early Saturday, shaking the capital of Santiago for 90 seconds and sending tsunami warnings from Chile to Ecuador.

Chile’s TVN cable news channel was reporting 78 deaths, with the toll expected to rise.

The quake downed buildings and houses in Santiago and knocked out a major bridge connecting the northern and southern sections of the country.

It struck at 3:34 a.m. local time and was centered about 200 miles southwest of Santiago, at a depth of 22 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. The epicenter was some 70 miles from Concepcion, Chile’s second-largest city, where more than 200,000 people live.

Phone lines were down in Concepcion as of 7:30 a.m. and no reports were coming out of that area. The quake in Chile was 1,000 times more powerful than the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that caused widespread damage in Haiti on Jan 12, killing at least 230,000, earthquake experts reported on CNN International.

The U.S. Geological Survey and eyewitnesses reported more than a dozen aftershocks, including two measuring magnitude 6.2 and 6.9.

“We have had a huge earthquake,” said Michelle Bachelet, Chile’s president, speaking from an emergency response center in an appeal for Chileans to remain calm. “We’re doing everything we can with all the resources we have.”

Los Angeles Times Gets it Wrong on UCI Anti-Semitism

The Los Angeles Times really botched this story, severely downplaying the intensity of the anti-American and anti-Israel radicalism at UCI. See, "Protest at UC Irvine Against Israeli Official Still Reverberates":

More than two weeks after 11 students were arrested at UC Irvine for disrupting a speech by the Israeli ambassador, the incident continues to draw sharp reactions from Jewish, Muslim and civil liberty organizations.

But the loudest voices are being raised far from campus, all but drowning out the sentiments of students.

A New York City-based Zionist group quickly urged college-bound students to drop UC Irvine as a consideration and asked donors to rethink their pledges. A leading Muslim civil rights group asked that charges be dropped against the protesters -- even though charges have not been filed. A state assemblyman requested that the Muslim Student Union be banished from campus. And some painted the university as embroiled in Muslim-Jewish conflict.

"I'm Jewish, and I only hear about this stuff at UCI when I'm off campus," said David Meyer, a UC Irvine political science professor who studies social movements.

The repeated interruptions of Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren's speech Feb. 8 are the latest in a series of incidents dating back nearly a decade between Muslims and Jews on campus. But the sense among some is that the publicity UCI draws is out of proportion with the attention drawn by other universities, where protests and conflict might pass largely unnoticed.

"Orange County is such a conservative area and Irvine is such a conservative city, there's not that much in the form of activism and rocking the boat, you might say," said Reem Salahi, a civil rights attorney representing the students, known as the Irvine 11 ...
Lots more at the link above, but readers should spend some time a Gary Fouse's blog. He teaches at UCI, and he's been reporting on the intense anti-Semitism on campus, and the leftist environment of hate. See, "Erwin Chemerinsky's Statement on UC-Irvine-and My Response." Here's a portion of Gary's response:

My name is Gary Fouse, and I am an adjunct teacher in the UCI Extension (ESL). I have been teaching part-time at UCI for over 11 years ....

I became involved because, though I am not Jewish, I grew up in West Los Angeles among Jews. Later, I served in the US Army in Germany close to Nuremberg, a city with great symbolism in the Third Reich. That experience made me an amateur scholar on the history of the Third Reich. Suffice to say that I am very sensitive to the subject of anti-Semitism.

When I began attending the MSU-sponsored events a few years ago, I heard speech that greatly disturbed me. The primary focus was anti-Israel. Yet, I noted that many of the speakers also bashed America (their right under free speech, I concede), but also used language that I considered anti-Semitic as well (again, protected free speech.)

Let me focus on things that have been said on this campus by MSU-sponsored speakers.
RTWT at the link, with video:

RELATED: At Frontpage Magazine, "The Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine."

Plus, at the Times piece, Professor David Meyer doesn't appear to be an impartial observer. See his faculty page at the Dept. of Political Science. Meyer is the author of The Politics of Protest: Social Movements in America, and -- surprise! -- the book appears extremely sympathetic to radical protest movements. Note that Meyer, as cited at the Times, is Jewish. You'd think he'd be more in tune to groups that frankly want Jews back in the camps.

Pro-Life Forces Court Blacks in Fight Against Abortion

Look, I've never even heard of Representative Trent Franks. But leftists are all over the Arizona congressman for his intemperate remarks on slavery. David Weigel, not surprisingly, is on the case: "Trent Franks: Abortion Is Worse for Blacks Than Slavery Was." And Think Progress, where out-of-context hack-job smears are de rigueur, has it as well: "Rep. Trent Franks: African-Americans Were Better Off Under Slavery." (Via Memeorandum.) The key passage is at about 6:15 minutes:

We should look back on that with criticism. It is a crushing mark on America’s soul. And yet today, half of all black children are aborted. Half of all black children are aborted. Far more of the African-American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by policies of slavery. And I think, What does it take to get us to wake up?

That is not an outrageous statement. He's comparing the incidence of pregnancy termination then and now, not the quality of life under slavery. But politics being what it is, the guy will be pilloried for even making the historical comparison.

In any case, the New York Times has a report on the big picture. See, "
To Court Blacks, Foes of Abortion Make Racial Case":

For years the largely white staff of Georgia Right to Life, the state’s largest anti-abortion group, tried to tackle the disproportionately high number of black women who undergo abortions. But, staff members said, they found it difficult to make inroads with black audiences.

So in 2009, the group took money that it normally used for advertising a pregnancy hot line and hired a black woman, Catherine Davis, to be its minority outreach coordinator.

Ms. Davis traveled to black churches and colleges around the state, delivering the message that abortion is the primary tool in a decades-old conspiracy to kill off blacks.

The idea resonated, said Nancy Smith, the executive director.

“We were shocked when we spent less money and had more phone calls” to the hot line, Ms. Smith said.

This month, the group expanded its reach, making national news with 80 billboards around Atlanta that proclaim, “Black children are an endangered species,” and a Web site,
http://www.toomanyaborted.com/.

Across the country, the anti-abortion movement, long viewed as almost exclusively white and Republican, is turning its attention to African-Americans and encouraging black abortion opponents across the country to become more active.

A new documentary, written and directed by Mark Crutcher, a white abortion opponent in Denton, Tex., meticulously traces what it says are connections among slavery, Nazi-style eugenics, birth control and abortion, and is being regularly screened by black organizations.

Black abortion opponents, who sometimes refer to abortions as “womb lynchings,” have mounted a sustained attack on the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, spurred by a sting operation by young white conservatives who taped Planned Parenthood employees welcoming donations specifically for aborting black children.

“What’s giving it momentum is blacks are finally figuring out what’s going down,” said Johnny M. Hunter, a black pastor and longtime abortion opponent in Fayetteville, N.C. “The game changes when blacks get involved. And in the pro-life movement, a lot of the groups that have been ignored for years, they’re now getting galvanized.”

The factors fueling the focus on black women — an abortion rate far higher than that of other races and the ties between the effort to legalize and popularize birth control and eugenics — are, at heart, old news. But they have been given exaggerated new life by the Internet, slick repackaging, high production values and money, like the more than $20,000 that Georgia Right to Life invested in the billboards.

RTWT at the link.

Echidne comments on this article, side-stepping the Planned Parenthood holocaust:

I'm not qualified to discuss the assertions it makes about Planned Parenthood, for example, and neither am I qualified to judge the history of racial oppression in this country and how it affects the present.

But my impression is that the writer too easily accepted the conservative framing which offers the removal of women's reproductive rights as the solution to cutting abortion rates within the African-American community, without looking at the economic support people need to have children in the first place or how much the conservatives have been willing to offer such support in the past (not much) or the availability of contraception to young people in general and so on.
I'm most intrigued by this comment about how much economic support "conservatives have been willing to offer in the past."

That's perfect. Government takes care of you. Conservatives are bad because they don't develop a dependent racial class that's pinned down by government patronism. Sometimes I'm just astonished by the logical contortions leftists have to make to sustain their culture of death. I don't want to remove "women's reproductive rights." I want people to protect and cherish human life. There are better ways to care for women than by guaranteeing
the right to abortion on demand at the age of 10 years old. If leftists tolerate pregnancy at that age, you know they're not serious on the question of women's economic development.

Friday, February 26, 2010

You've Changed Your Place in This World...

I posted quite a bit on The Damned last week, but did you know that Chrissie Hynde, founder of The Pretenders, was a member of Masters of the Backside? In that band she played with Dave Vanian, Captain Sensible, and Rat Scabies, who later launched The Damned? Here's a little background:

Finding her way to London in the midst of the punk movement, Hynde tried to start a group with Mick Jones from The Clash. After the band failed to take off, Malcolm McLaren placed her as a guitarist in Masters of the Backside. But Chrissie was asked to leave the group just as the band became The Damned. By that time, Mick Jones had invited Hynde to join his band on their initial riotous tour of Britain. Chrissie's recollection of that period: "It was great, but my heart was breaking. I wanted to be in a band so bad. And to go to all the gigs, to see it so close up, to be living in it and not to have a band was devastating to me. When I left, I said, 'Thanks a lot for lettin' me come along,' and I went back and went weeping on the underground throughout London. All the people I knew in town, they were all in bands. And there I was, like the real loser, you know? Really the loser."

Soon after an event occurred which was to change her life.
In any case, I never did see The Pretenders, but I've always loved their music. So, enjoy "Talk of the Town" above:

Maybe tomorrow, maybe someday
Maybe tomorrow, maybe someday
You've changed your place in this world
You've changed your place in this world ...
Historical Footnote: By the looks of it, this clip features the band's original lineup. Bassist Pete Farndon and guitarist James Honeyman-Scott both later died of drug overdoses.

Captain Fogg Just Can't Go Long!

You know how it is with bullying blowhards.

They talk a real tough talk, but when it's time to walk the walk they go limp. And so it is with Captain Fogg of the Swash Zone (pictured below). This guy started throwing his weight around in my comments, spewing lies about how conservatives block his responses in comment moderation:

It's probably a shame that none of his readers will ever see what I actually wrote to the Donald, nut only the patched together redaction wrapped around a bundle of straw with a target painted on it. He and his cohorts who scream about censorship all use comment moderation and nothing I've written to them, no matter how rational or sincere an attempt at communication ever see the light of day until it's been gutted, skinned and had horns grafted on to the carcass.
Well, I administered the most devastating smackdown seen around these parts in some time -- and that's saying something, considering how many leftists I've hammered for their libelous smears. Anyway, see my post on Old Foggy: "Leftists Are Liars, and I'll Show You..."

But being such a big pussy, the despicable Captain never did take responsibility for spreading his effluence. No sir. Instead, he slinked back over to his yellow-bellied home turf at Swash Zone to do some more trash-talking. Here's the Captain
last Monday:

Ah - he's just another chancre on the big, ugly ass of American reactionary politics. He hopes that if he's ugly enough himself, people will mistake him for the ass itself. They won't, the big ass lives in Palm Beach, this guy is nobody.

Responding to him is pointless. The more sincere and obviously correct you are, the more straw he has to burn but if he thinks I'm intimidated, or threatened or impressed, he's crazier than I thought. He needs that job and any actual attempt to slander or god forbid,physically intimidate me would be the end of his miserable and tawdry career.

My only regret is that if it hadn't been for the recession, I might have been able to buy Long Beach Community college and shut it down, letting him look for employment with a resume' sticky with all the things he's said. We can be sure no legitimate school would hire him
.
And here's another comment later that afternoon:

In consideration of the accusations he's made against us, it seems unseemly and preposterous to defend the man's "rights." Did he take a moments care to prevent his libelous accusations from doing me any harm? No, he hides behind and abuses some archaic academic bulwark to avoid responsibility. Tenure is not license to libel and that's what he does. This goes far beyond expressing an opinion by inflaming people to foment armed insurrection.

We owe him nothing and humanity is far better off without his stench
.
Whoo boy yessiree! Ain't that a tantrum!

Mean too. For a radical leftist, that's not so compassionate, wanting to shut down an entire community college just to spite one little old neoconservative! Obviously, all that trashing clouds the thinking processes. Shoot, no doubt Old Captain's suffering from quite a few physiological breakdowns altogether! I suspect the big blowhard is compensating for other inefficiencies and insecurities -- yep, that's right: Captain Foggy can't go long!

So, I'm imploring the Old Captain to think carefully about Coach Jimmy Johnson's sales pitch up top: That's right. Fogg should call the good folks over at ExtenZe® at
800-298-3171. They'll help him get back on track with increased power, pleasure and performance.

And the sooner the better, really. I'd rather not have to embarrass the guy too much more. Besides, I want him to be happy -- "All You Need is Love!"

So, don't delay, Fogg. Operators are waiting!

Free Tilly! Death of Dawn Brancheau Sparks Debate on Animal Cruelty

It's an eerie thing watching the amateur video of Dawn Brancheau's last few minutes alive (available here). And see the New York Times, "Video Shows SeaWorld Trainer With Orca Moments Before Her Death":

A local news station in Florida has obtained video shot by a tourist from New Hampshire at SeaWorld in Orlando on Wednesday moments before an orca dragged a trainer under water by her hair, leading to her death.

The seven minutes of amateur video, shot by Todd Connell during a visit to the park with his wife and son for the boy’s 10th birthday, shows the trainer who died, Dawn Brancheau, feeding and playing with the orca, named Tilikum. Mr. Connell explained to WESH, an Orlando television news broadcaster, that he had just turned off his camera after filming Ms. Brancheau in the water right in front of the orca when the 12,300-pound orca yanked the trainer under the water by her ponytail.

SeaWorld has rejected calls from animal rights activists to free the orca.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Chuck Tompkins, the corporate curator in charge of animal behavior for Sea World, said the orca might not be able to survive in the wild after decades in captivity, adding, “I think it’s unfair to do that to an animal.”

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) press release is here: "Help Animals Imprisoned by SeaWorld."

And from MediaWorks NZ , "
Whale Captivity: SeaWorld Death Sparks Cruelty Debate."

And from the comments at the
New York Times:

These animals should not be kept in captivity. I too would kill someone after years of essentially solitary confinement, interspersed with periods of being required to do tricks by people I didn't understand and couldn't communicate with. It's absolute animal cruelty and it teaches people, including children, that animals have no existence independent of what people want to do with or to them.

****

I feel bad for her family but not for her. That's what these Sea World people get. I hope all those trainers get their days with those animals in the end. You can't take the largest mammal in the world and put them in a tank that's even too small for dolphins. I think the owners of Sea World should be thrown into those tanks too and eaten alive. I'd pay to watch that! Keep on going Orkas!

Even the Columbus Zoo's Jack Hanna, at the CBS video above, seemed frustrated in his efforts to explain the value of having killer whales in captivity.

But see John Hawkins, "Respect the Dead & Protect the Living: Kill Tilikum The Killer Whale."

RELATED: A local news investigation, "Orlando SeaWorld Trainer Killed."

Obama's Summit Sideshow

Two items: First is the outstanding interview the Representative Michele Bachmann at the video. Plus, Kimberley Strassel, one of the best observers of congressional politics, at WSJ, "The Summit Sideshow: Democrats Still Face Big Political Challenges in Passing Health Legislation":

We now interrupt our previously scheduled health-care summit drama to take the nation back to the day after Scott Brown's Massachusetts's victory. Hoopla aside, the programming remains the same.

The thing to know about President Obama's health talkfest is that it had zero to do with Republicans or their ideas. The GOP came, it spiritedly debated, it left. The president never budged. He never intended to.

The Summit Show was designed by Democrats for Democrats, to give Mr. Obama an all-day stage to inspire and exhort his party to charge once more into the health fray. It's about "altering the political atmospherics," admitted one senior Democrat. Yet for all the talk of "jump-start," there's little to suggest the ugly politics of passage have changed.

The day after Mr. Brown's victory broke the majority's power, Democrats turned to New Strategy, Version 37, Part 12. It is now House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's job to pass the Senate's Christmas Eve bill. It is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's job to pass retroactive "fixes" to that legislation through an unsightly "reconciliation" process that requires only 51 Senate votes.

Kanpai Japanese Steakhouse is RAAACIST!!

Oh brother.

Here's another one of those stories about "equity" and "fundamental rights."

It turns out that Monica Covington of Winston Salem, NC, has started a petition campaign against
Kanpai Japanese Restaurant for its refusal to serve her. Kanpai claims she's a "a habitual bad tipper."

Interestingly, some of the local news reports botched the story. Apparently Covington stiffed the Kanpai staff on numerous occasions and they'd had enough of this woman. Kanpai's response is published at WZZM 13 Grand Rapids:

At the time, Mrs. Monica Covington was a frequent customer. On many separate occasions, a server of our establishment attended to Mrs. Covington. Each time our server waited on Mrs. Covington no gratuity was left. Shortly after this incident, Mrs. Covington returned with a party that was originally composed of six people, which later turned to five. The same server waited upon this party and added the 15% gratuity to her bill without the manager's knowledge. When this case was pointed out to the manager, the problem was soon remedied and the gratuity removed from the bill. Even after the gratuity was removed, Mrs. Covington and her party left no gratuity. What followed shortly afterwards, on a separate occasion, Mrs. Covington returned with two or three other diners. Our Servers and even Chefs told the manager that they refused to wait on their party. The manager, in hopes of appeasing staff and customers alike, formally asked Mrs. Covington if she would mind a 15% gratuity added to her bill and was explained in detail as to the reasoning why. Our compliance with North Carolina Law, and our stated intentions in protecting our staff members and allowing Mrs. Covington to dine with us, was clearly stated and in an appropriate manner. Absolutely NO discrimination occurred whatsoever.

We feel that WXII News Channel 12 misrepresented our story. Although they spoke with our general manager Michael Lam for 20 minutes, only a very small portion of his comments were aired during their broadcast. We would hope that their journalistic creed would go beyond showing simply one side of the story.

And see Piggy Nannan, "I Support Kanpai, Shame on Monica Covington!" Following the links there, don't miss the comment thread at WXII12: "Customer Called Poor Tipper; She Calls For Boycott: Winston-Salem Woman Starts Petition Demanding Fair Treatment. " For example:

Where is this going to lead to? Al Sharpton picketing in front of the restaurant and a civil lawsuit?
Bingo: "Woman Called Poor Tipper Procures Lawyer."

And one more from
WXII12:
As a General Manager of a restaurant & bar myself, I find the idea that this woman is trying to sue is ludicrous ... Obviously she has a history of thinking she can do whatever she wants. An added gratuity is not a new concept for larger groups. I completely understand that the customer is always right, but restaurants, like any other business, also have the right to institute their own policies, this includes gratuities. If a patron doesn’t like the policy they have the choice to dine elsewhere. Furthermore, many people outside the restaurant world do not understand that most good restaurants bend over backwards for every patron they get and want to make them happy, not only so they will return, but also so their employees are paid appropriately as well. Margins of profit in the private sector do not allow employers to pay wait staff $7.00 or more an hour, unless patrons want to see their meals starting to cost 20% more. That is the true essence of partnership between a restaurant and its staff. What is good for one is good for the other. I commend the decision of this restaurant to protect their staff, because we all know that good help is hard to find.