At Least the War on Whites is Going Well

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Doesn’t seem like Barack Obama has much of a stomach for fighting America’s enemies.  He panders to Iran, and backs the Muslim Brotherhood.  He shows his spinelessness (flexibility) with Russia, while China continues to get the upper hand in the Pacific.  The Unites States continues the drastic military cutbacks in order to fund the welfare machine that fills campaign coffers and ballot boxes.

There is, however, one place where Barack Obama’s Administration has shown a penchant for war.  That is the one waged against his political and social enemies, to include the war on Whitey.  His race-baiting Attorneys General (Loretta Lynch is of the same ilk as Holder) and his bigoted loud-mouthed rabble-rousing friends, like Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson, and Jeremiah Wright, continue to agitate their special brand of racial hatred, virtually without challenge by the media or any on the Progressive Self-Loathing Left.  The result?  Predicable.

In the last week of April, a 61-year old white man named Richard Fletcher was savagely beaten by a large group of black thugs.  The perps were reportedly all from the local “second chance” high school, Baltimore Community High School, located nearby.  Fletcher suffered skull and eye socket fractures, a broken nose, and a brain bleed, along with broken ribs.  He was in critical condition, and spent time in an induced coma.  Not a peep in the national media, not until a few days ago.  Then, when the sickening incident was reported, the race of the gang of thugs was conveniently omitted.  I doubt severely if Loretta Lynch, she of the same racist bent as Eric “my people” Holder, will have anything to say about the incident.  Certainly First Lady Michelle Obama mumbled not a word about it when she was decrying the hardscrabble path she’s had to take because of her race (private schooling, Ivy League education, and $300k make-work job notwithstanding). You can be certain that, had it been a 61-year old black man beaten by white thugs, such would have been at the very lead of Michelle’s remarks after having been headlines for weeks in every major news outlet.  Along with the concomitant burning and looting.

Anyone who tells you that such behavior by this group of black hoodlums is not encouraged and inflamed by the race-baiting of Barack Obama, Holder, Sharpton, and the enabling of a thoroughly subservient MSM, is either a liar, hopelessly naïve, or abysmally stupid.

By the by, Barack Obama and Loretta Lynch are actively working with others on the Progressive Left to disarm the country’s law-abiding populace.  For our own protection.   The kind of protection so helpful to Richard Fletcher.

A Trouncing by Conservatives in Britain

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Yesterday’s headlines screamed that David Cameron’s Tory government was “on the brink”, and Britain was in the midst of a “significant move to the Left”.  Of course, in most US media outlets, such tidings were reported with barely-concealed glee.  Except, it didn’t happen.  Cameron’s Tories won 331 seats, more than enough to form a majority government.  The Labour Party won a mere 232 seats.  Is anyone surprised that the Labour Left hired none other than David Axelrod, the leftist American political strategist, to help them?   In any event, it was not a “close” race.  The UK did not “move to the left”.  On the contrary.  It was a trouncing for the Left at the hands of David Cameron and the Tories.

A vote on further participation in the European Union is in the offing.  The British Pound has shot up against the Euro already.  This could get interesting.  One has to wonder whether Cameron will be as shabbily treated by Obama as Israel’s Netanyahu, winner of his own recent election.

The Ferguson Protesters Are Barking Up The Wrong Tree

The various groups protesting about the death of Mike Brown at the hands of Ferguson PD Officer Darren Wilson are venting their frustration at what they see as a police department that faces no consequences for killing a black man. In fact, all the credible evidence shows that Brown attacked Wilson, and that Wilson’s subsequent use of deadly force was justifiable as a matter of self defense.

Before the #HandsUpDontShoot nonsense started, before Sharpton arrived to inflame (rather literally, given the looting) the protesters, there was a valid point mentioned in the coverage. The population of Ferguson is about 70% black, and there is apparently a feeling that they are ill served by the city services, particularly the predominantly white police department.

Setting aside the fact that black males commit crimes, particularly violent crimes, at rates that are astonishingly greater than whites, there is indeed quite a bit of evidence that the servants of the city of Ferguson have in fact come to see themselves as masters, and the citizenry as serfs whose exist solely to support them.

Ferguson, Missouri, which is recovering from riots following the August shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman, plans to close a budget gap by boosting revenue from public-safety fines and tapping reserves.

The strategy by the St. Louis suburb, which suffered a second round of violent protests last month after a grand jury refused to indict the police officer, may risk worsening community relations with increased citations and weakening its credit standing by reducing a rainy-day fund.

To close a projected deficit for fiscal 2014, which ended June 30, the municipality will deplete a $10 million capital-projects reserve, Jeffrey Blume, Ferguson’s finance director, said in a telephone interview. For the current year, the city is budgeting for higher receipts from police-issued tickets.

Emphasis mine.

Ferguson already has an astonishing number of warrants issued per capita.

…Despite Ferguson’s relative poverty, fines and court fees comprise the second largest source of revenue for the city, a total of $2,635,400. In 2013, the Ferguson Municipal Court disposed of 24,532 warrants and 12,018 cases, or about 3 warrants and 1.5 cases per household.

That post goes on to break it down.

You don’t get $321 in fines and fees and 3 warrants per household from an about-average crime rate. You get numbers like this from bullshit arrests for jaywalking and constant “low level harassment involving traffic stops, court appearances, high fines, and the threat of jail for failure to pay.”

Tabarrok goes on to show how even something as simple as a speeding ticket can quickly become an extended journey into a hostile justice system with spiraling consequences.

This is the all encompassing state, the pervasive bureaucracy.  Instead of a police force and judiciary to maintain order and preserve peace for the people, we see instead a people burdened to sustain a police force and municipal judiciary.

Does a town of 21,000 residents really need its own police department and its own municipal court system?

Where I live, the municipal police forces are actually sworn deputies of the county. The city pays the county for police services. The courts are also at the county level.

The irony is, the majority black population of Ferguson has reliably voted for Democratic candidates for years and years. You know, the party of big government, the party that wants the state to be all pervasive. The party that is utterly beholden to public employee unions, particularly the powerful police unions.

The BBC's 1964 Masterpiece "The Great War"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXhiagFG8KE&list=PLZ9uFPWla3XAfs2PmZkwiWe7DEm9PwhEs

Of all the events of the Twentieth Century, it is the First World War that has had the most dramatic and longest-lasting impact on the psyche of Western civilization, more so than all the events that followed.   For anyone with an abiding interest in that war, the 1964 BBC documentary The Great War is an invaluable reference to understanding.  Narrated by Sir Michael Redgrave, the 26-part documentary is a superbly-crafted work.  The tenor of the broadcasts reflects the erosion of the naïve hopes of the warring parties in 1914 into the grim fatalism that the years of slaughter evoked, and the upheaval that would ultimately topple the crowned heads of Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Serbia.  BBC producers make excellent use of voice to read the actual words of the key participants such as Edward Grey, Bethmann-Hollweg, Conrad von Hotzendorf, Joffre, Haig, Falkenhayn, and others.  The series features remarkable and little-seen motion footage of the world of 1914-18, including the civilians, the politicians, the armies, and the great battles of that war.   The battle footage heavily emphasizes the two great killers of that war (in inverse order), the machine gun, and modern breech-loading recoil-dampened artillery.

Of note also are the poignant, and sometimes extremely moving, interviews with the participants of events of the great tragedy.  Some had been in the thick of the fighting, others young subalterns or staff officers at the sleeve of the decision-makers.   Most remarkably, the BBC managed to produce a documentary about momentous events that changed the world and yet also managed to allow the viewer insight into the inestimable human tragedy that these events summoned.   At the time of the release of The Great War, those events were closer in time to the audience than the beginning of the Vietnam War is to our contemporary world.   The twenty-six episodes are around forty minutes each.  Worth every second of the time spent.

Oh, and as the credits roll at the end of each episode, one can spot the name of a very young (19 years old) contributor named Max Hastings.

The Political Paradox of Crisis Response

I’mma borrow a bit from our old friend John’s post on Facebook:

Usetabe – we really did know how to do it. And practiced it. And had the balls to not be so sensitive to the politics of it – because it was just that damn important to be ahead of it – which, oddly enough, is how you can get *less* hung up in the politics of it.

Actual public health issues aside, the CDC and Obama administration response to the Ebola outbreak shows the political problem of putting politics first when addressing an issue.

The CDC and White House have tried to carefully craft the response to minimize the political fallout. No drastic measure like limiting air travelers from Ebola stricken countries, or using public health quarantine powers to restrict the movement of possibly exposed persons here in the US. Instead, the goal was to display a calm demeanor and forestall any appearance of a crisis. No Drama Obama!

But reality has a way of intruding into the narrative. The common flu will kill tens of thousands this year. And the Enterovirus D-68 already has a higher body count that Ebola here in the US. But Ebola is such a nightmare scenario that it justifiably has the attention of the population.

Had the CDC and White House acted aggressively, perhaps even drastically, to prevent the introduction of Ebola into the US, they wouldn’t be receiving the pummeling in the press and public opinion that they are today. Any political costs from an immediate and powerful response would have been far smaller than those they face today.

The Dearth of Black Combat Leaders

Last week, several papers carried stories about sociologists in the Army worried about the low percentage of black leaders, particularly at the battalion and brigade combat team level.

U.S. Army sociologists are worried that a lack of black officers leading its combat troops will have detrimental effect on minorities and lead to fewer black officers in top leadership posts.

“The issue exists. The leadership is aware of it,” Brig. Gen. Ronald Lewis told USA Today on Thursday. “The leadership does have an action plan in place. And it’s complicated.”

———–

The paper also noted that of the 238 West Point graduates commissioned to be infantry officers in 2012, only seven were black. One of the Army’s plans for addressing the issue will be to put more emphasis on recruiting and mentoring minority officers.

Let us set aside for the moment the question of whether the Army needs to have senior leadership ethnically proportionate to the population of either the Army or the nation at large.

Why is it that there are so few black field grade commanders?

Well, one author, writing under a pen name to avoid career suicide, addresses the topic.

In trying to resolve this issue the Army has gone through excruciating efforts to recruit more black officers into the combat arms. The Army has not failed, but has not made much progress. Previously, while I was in a position to observe the branch assignments of one of the Army’s largest commissioning sources, it was apparent to me that there was little interest from the majority of minority men in going into the combat arms. In particular, black me were significantly underrepresented in the infantry, armor and field artillery branches. Correspondingly, the ADA, signal and logistics branches were overrepresented. As for explanations, none could be found.

In a previous life I was in a position to observe the intake of initial-entry soldiers into the Army. It became apparent rapidly that minorities of all types and black soldiers, in particular, were underrepresented in combat arms. We instituted an analysis of why and obtained no cogent results. Often we asked members of high-school academia how we could get more black men to enlist for the combat arms. They had no answer. We asked them why they thought young black men were not coming into the combat arms and their best guess, and only a guess, was that the community was sending them to where they could best obtain a skill transferrable to civilian life. Being a member of rifle squad, an M1 tank gunner, or a gunner on an M198 crew did not transfer well to civilian life, according to them.

Read the whole thing, and the comments.

The skew in demographics is far less for senior NCOs. There’s plenty of black Command Sergeants Major. But even so, my anecdotal experience as  recruiter showed me that, while many young blacks were interested in service, they were mostly interested in improving their lot in life, via technical training in the service, or through the educational benefits. Many who did enlist in the combat arms did so mostly because low test scores precluded them from more skill oriented specialties.  Some of those soldiers found they enjoyed the combat arms, and decided to make a career of it. Many did their job for the term of their enlistment, and went on to use the GI Bill to pay for education. At any event, once they were in a unit, there wasn’t much to choose from between one soldier and another.  Was there racial tension in the units I served in? Some. Sometimes. But less than I see in the population as a whole.

On the officer side, as Petronius Arbiter notes, not many blacks commissioning in the Army want to be in the combat arms, in spite of a great deal of effort to convince them to go Infantry.

Combat Arms is the path to stars in the Army. It’s not the only path, but it is the most likely. But the journey from 2LT to GEN is a long one, and only a vanishingly small number of officers will rise that far. If you don’t start with a significant percentage of black officers in the combat arms, your chances of having any rise to the very top are miniscule. Not non-existent, just miniscule. That’s not racism. It’s statistics.

The Army could simply force larger numbers of black officers to accept commissions in the Infantry or other combat arms branches. That is likely to have serious consequences in the officer management system on two fronts within just a few short years. First, the obvious one. It’s extremely likely that many young black  officers, forced into a branch they didn’t seek, will leave at the earliest possible opportunity. And do we really want combat leaders who don’t want to be combat leaders? Second, there are plenty of young officers who do want to be in combat arms, and fight like heck to get the crossed rifles of the Infantry. If we force black officers to take slots in the Infantry, obviously, some officers who had sought that branch will be forced elsewhere. And they too will likely seek to leave at the end of their obligation, rather than continue as career officers. Both groups would likely show as a dip in the numbers of mid grade officers in their respective branches. Given the difficulties the Army is already having in that group of grades in retaining quality officers, exacerbating the problem is not wise.

Likely, the Army will stress diversity, attempt to increase recruiting among blacks (at an increased cost- lower propensity to join means higher recruiting costs), and, at worst, a unspoken quota system for those few black officers that do choose combat arms; in effect, if you’re black and breathing, you get promoted.

Ironically, as mentioned in the comments at FP, there was a time when the Army virtually excluded black officers from the combat arms, even for black regiments. To be black and in the Army in World War II was one thing, to be black and in the combat arms in the Army in World War II was a source of great pride. And ultimately, I’d argue that it was one of the germs of the civil rights movement. A man who will fight and shed blood just as red as a white man’s was obviously as due respect and equal treatment as the rest of the population.

So help me God.

Those four little words have caused a bit of an uproar in the Air Force:

WASHINGTON — Critics say the Air Force is using a recent regulation that requires the phrase “so help me God” in a re-enlistment oath to keep a nonbelieving airman from continuing to serve.

Monica Miller, an attorney for the American Humanist Association, said the airman, stationed at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, was prevented from re-enlisting last month because he objected to the phrase, which he crossed out on a re-enlistment contract.

In a letter to the Air Force Inspector General and commanders and other personnel at Creech, Miller wrote that Supreme Court and lower court decisions over decades clearly rule out forcing government personnel to call on a deity in order to be sworn into a job.

Should the Air Force persist in requiring the airman to take a religious oath, the AHA is prepared to sue individual commanders involved in enforcing the regulation, said Miller, who works for the AHA’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center.

Let me first say that the AHA exists primarily to be a pain in the ass. But in this instance, they have a point.

The First Amendment clearly prohibits the establishment of a religion. While I do not think an invocation or a benediction at an official even constitutes such (non-believers only passively hear them, they’re not required to speak them), I do think that including a mandatory clause in the enlistment contract does cross the establishment line. And while this particular case involves the Air Force, please understand that every reenlistment in all of the services uses the same form, DD Form 4.  I’m not certain this is the latest version of said form, but the Oath of Enlistment is printed thereon, and sure enough, the phrase “So help me God” is right there in black in.

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Not only does this required oath fail on First Amendment grounds. A second constitutional test is quite clear:

but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

Enlistment isn’t an office, but given the requirement for an oath, it’s quite arguably a public trust.

I don’t know what direction the Army or Navy have given regarding the requirement to append “So help me God” to the oath. In the Stripes article, it makes reference to Title 10 USC Sec 502. That is, the phrase is a requirement place by Congress. The implementing directions may or may not provide for exceptions. But the unnamed Airman at Creech AFB has a valid argument, and the services should take the necessary steps to work with Congress to address this.

Hobby Lobby, Corporations as people, and Free Association.

The Left is losing its shit this morning over HobbyLobby v. Sebilious, handed down by the SCOTUS.

You’ll hear various wild claims that with this decision the Christian Right is reducing women to mere chattel and all sorts of horror stories and what not.

Of course, the case at hand was not really about Hobby Lobby not wanting to be forced to provide abortoficient drugs to employees. It was whether or not a federal agency could arbitrarily rule that Hobby Lobby must do so. You do realize the employer mandate wasn’t in Obamacare, right? That it was strictly a rule promulgated by HHS?  And this compelling government interest in providing baby killing drugs was so compelling the HHS Secretary Sebilius exempted non-profit corporations and other entities as well as certain favored groups to the extent that 190 million Americans employers would not be forced to provide the coverage that the federal government insisted was constitutionally mandated for Hobby Lobby to provide?

The Obama administration has repeatedly gone before the Supreme Court to argue that the power of the federal government to compel the people to do things they don’t wish to do is both constitutional and proper. And with one notable exception, the Supreme Court has repeatedly slapped down the administration, often unanimously, and often harshly. The Administration continues to argue that the Constitution, a document designed explicitly to limit the power of the federal government, holds no limits on federal power. That the Supreme Court rightly disagrees is encouraging. That so many on the Left don’t is cause for despair.

Many on the Left will shriek “Corporations aren’t people!” as they have been doing since Citizens United was decided. Mind you, CU was the case where the Obama administration argued it had the right to ban books, specifically books that were political speech, the very speech the 1st Amendment was created to recognize as a natural right, beyond the scope of power of any legitimate government.

Back to “Corporations aren’t people!” as the rallying cry of the Left- Of course they aren’t. No serious constitutional argument has ever held that they are. Corporations are a legal recognition that multiple people gather together as an entity. For legal purposes, the resulting group is treated as an “artificial person” under the law. This is for liability, accounting, and taxation purposes. Of course, when the Left rails against corporations, they generally mean those organized as for-profit businesses. But that is hardly the only type of corporation. Virtually any group of two or more people can be organized as a corporation. Churches, unions, political groups, non-profit groups, charities and others are chartered as corporations.

The Left isn’t against corporations that support its agenda. Every time you hear the Left cry the end of democracy because of Hobby Lobby or Citizens United, remember that the New York Times is a corporation. The Left doesn’t want them silenced (even though the government argument in CU would have applied to them). The Left simply wants the government to have the power to selectively silence those views they oppose.

And the Left isn’t against people associating. They’re against people willingly associating, especially if those groups of people do not follow the Leftist agenda with the appropriate fervor.  A prime example is union membership.

In the comments of a piece on independent expenditures and political speech at WaPo, commenter Stephen Lathrop makes the argument that unions, having a “one man, one vote” method of control, are more democratic than corporations, which have a “one vote per share” arrangement:

At the very root of the question lies the challenge of defining “their own.” If “organizations” includes per-share voting commercial corporations, then “their own” typically refers to an overwhelming majority of people other than those making (and benefitting from) the decisions about which politics to support. For those among that group (potentially, and often actually, more numerous than those who choose the politics to spend their money on), calling what results politically “their own” choice is dishonest. 

At first, that seems a rather reasonable argument. You can read the entire comment thread to see more of Mr. Lathrop’s argument, and the rebuttals among the other commenters. Since I’m not a subscriber, I can’t comment there, hence the posting here. To wit, here is my response.

Corporations are entirely voluntary associations. No one forces you to purchase stock in a corporation. You probably own, indirectly through a retirement or savings plan, shares of a corporation, but you are not forced to participate. Let us take a hypothetical corporation that has 1000 shares of stock outstanding, of which you own one share, and another person hold the other 999 shares. A vote comes before the shareholder as to whether the corporation should pursue some course of action. You say no, the other holder says yes. Of course, that settles that. You have the option of either abiding by the vote, or you can sell your portion of the corporation to any willing buyer. That’s freedom of association, as guaranteed by the 1st Amendment.

But let us look at an employee union, say a teacher’s union in a state that leans liberal. With the notable exception of Wisconsin, most states mandate that teachers in public schools must join the union that represents them, or even worse, if they choose not to join the union, they must still pay union dues because they benefit from the collective bargaining done on their behalf. Nobody asks these individuals whether they agree with the bargaining done on their behalf. Some may even have strongly held beliefs against the very idea of collective bargaining. At any event, this is an example of forced association. You simply have no choice but to associate with others. Let us say that you are a teacher, and are compelled to belong to this teachers union. You are compelled to pay dues. You are allowed to vote on union business of course. But if your vote is among the minority, you have no practical recourse, short of losing your employment. And while theoretically you cannot be compelled to provide that portion of your union dues that go to political expenditures, in practice, you have no say in what politics your union supports. Not every teacher is a progressive leftist, but union political support almost universally is. So you see, your right to free association has been abrogated by the power of the state to compel your membership. That’s an affront to the 1st Amendment right to free association, which is as much about your right to not be a member of a group as it is to gather with others.

Anatomy of a Smear Campaign

Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin, has been a thorn in the side of Democrats both in his state and nationally since he defanged the public sector unions and brought fiscal sanity to Wisconsin.

And the left simply can’t let that stand.

You may recall the flight of state lawmakers to Illinois to prevent the state legislature reaching a quorum. You may recall the frenzied protests by lawless employees of the state.

Further, never ones to forego the power of the state for political purposes, a cabal of staunchly Democratic prosecutors abused Wisconsin’s “John Doe” investigation process to harass Wisconsin Club for Growth and affiliated groups, with pre-dawn raids of their homes and offices, seizures of their papers and computers, and gag orders to prevent them from even publicly defending themselves, while strategically leaking information about the “investigation” to press contacts sure to be friendly to their leftist agenda.

Eric O’Keefe, of Wisconsin  CFG was fed up with the abusive investigation, and sued in federal court, complaining that the “John Doe” investigation violated his First Amendment rights. And Judge Randa of the local federal District Court agreed, and ordered the investigation halted. An appeal to the 7th District by the prosecutors was denied. The investigation was ordered halted.

But a simple thing like a court order isn’t going to stop the determined leftist from their goal of the destruction of an effective Republican politician.

As a part of the ongoing O’Keefe litigation, the unredacted reports of the investigation were ordered released today. And virtually every media outlet leapt to shout from the rooftops

Prosecutors: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Part Of ‘Criminal Scheme’

Here’s the problem with that.

The mere allegation of a “criminal scheme” was just that, words tumbling from the mouth of a politically motivated prosecutor.

In fact, back in January,  when the prosecutors took their requests for subpoenas before a judge, including the filing mentioning a criminal scheme:

On Jan. 10, 2014, Peterson threw out Schmitz’s motion, saying that it “failed to show probable cause that a crime had been committed.”

In other words, the Judge Peterson laughed them out of court, recognizing that the prosecutors had nothing-zip-nadda.

It was after this that O’Keefe sued to halt the witch hunt.

And none of this is news. Political junkies have known about Judge Randa’s order halting the persecution (yes, persecution) since the day it happened.

But that doesn’t help the left.

It is simply impossible to believe that the writers and editors didn’t know already that there was no crime committed.

Heck, they already know that no crime could have been committed.

The sham investigation says it was looking for evidence of illegal coordination. But since Wisconsin CFG and the others are advocating for issues, and not candidates, they’re wholly exempt from the law the prosecutors were theoretically basing their investigation on. And they know this.

But as Peterson points out, Chapter 11 is reserved for groups that engage in “express advocacy,” or directly urging voters to support or oppose a candidate.  It is those who make these types of “independent expenditures” that must file reports with the state disclosing how much they are spending and who is paying for them, and swearing that they are not coordinating with candidates.

“Issue ads,” on the other hand, never come within a mile of Chapter 11.  These groups exercise their First Amendment right to political speech completely outside the purview of government regulation.  They operate as if they were selling McDonald’s or Coke; they don’t have to report anything to anyone, and they can coordinate freely between one another.  The idea that somehow these groups are now subject to state law is unprecedented, and runs directly counter to a slate of recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings upholding the right of these groups to operate.

These groups did not coordinate with Governor Walker. But even if they had, they would not have broken any laws at all, nor would it be illegal or unethical for Governor Walker.

And HuffPo and the others know this.

But the goal here was to plant in the minds of those who aren’t political junkies that Walker has a whiff of corruption about him. After all, a headline that says, “Democratic prosecutors on witch hunt shot down by one judge, shut down by another” wouldn’t further their goals.

The “progressive” and “tolerant” Left will always use the power of the state to persecute, harass, and punish any political foe that doesn’t kowtow to them, and most particularly, a Republican who is an honest, effective leader.