January 25, 2003

The racist New Jersey Educational Association.

Thanks to Steve at Little Tiny Wit and Deb at Insomnomaniac for exposing the cynical racism of the New Jersey Education Association, a.k.a. the New Jersey teacher’s union.

The NJEA recently published two pamphlets for parents to encourage them to become more involved in their child’s schooling. One version went out to white parents. Another seriously dumbed-down version went out to blacks. I kid you not.

Are they really all that different? Mais oui. Here’s the section subheaded “Why Do Teachers Need My Help?” First the white version:

“Today, there is an increasing emphasis on individualized instruction – fitting the curriculum to the child. Teachers want to employ new methods and materials to give each child personal guidance. When you assist teachers with growing paperwork, make instructional materials, or conduct a science experiment, you give them more time for planning activities, for trying new teaching strategies, and for working directly with children. As a parent volunteer, you allow them to be more effective teachers – and the school obtains your skills and services that might be unavailable due to financial limitations.”

And now the entire text under the same subhead, “Why Do Teachers Need My Help?” from the black pamphlet – which was sponsored by the Black Ministers’ Council of New Jersey:

“Today, teachers want to use new methods and materials to give each child personal guidance. When you assist teachers, you give them more time to work with children. You allow them to be more effective teachers.”

Evidently the NJEA isn’t interested in black parents coming in to “conduct a science experiment” – “Okay now kids, when you heat the rock of crack for one minute, see what happens.” Neither do they want to allow teachers the benefit of black parents’ “skills and services,” evidently fearing something like “When you be runnin’ from da Man, it be good to ditch through an alley and avoid yo crib, else he be getting’ to yo ho.”

Or here’s another example, the section titled “What Will I Gain From Participating In the Program?” The white version:

“Your child’s teacher welcomes your support. By working in your school, you will become more familiar with its programs, and you will see why they are vital to your child. With this new understanding of education needs and goals, you can give the school the backing it needs and encourage others to do the same.

“You will learn more about everyday happenings in the classroom from the increased communication and interaction between you and the teacher. You will have the satisfaction of helping children during a very important stage in their development.

“You will be able to provide the teacher with valuable information about your child and your community – creating a link between school and community so vital in our society. You will learn new skills in working with children.

“To sum it up, participation in the parent involvement program will give you a chance to make a significant contribution to your child, your school, and your community.”

And from the black version, titled “What Will I Gain From Helping In the Program?” (“Participating”… no no, five syllables, too long for blacks.)

“Your child’s teacher welcomes your support. By working in your school, you will see how it works. With this new understanding, you can give the school the backing it needs. You will learn more about the classroom.

“You will enjoy helping children. You will be able to give the teacher information about your child and your community. You will learn new skills in working with children.”

Boy, we don’t wanna tire a sister out by making her read all those big fancy white-ass words, now do we?

The durn thing about pamphlets like these is they defy satire, really. Click on Deb’s links and read the pdf files for yourself. Download them. Save them. Send them to the news organization of your choice. Ask them when they’re done digging Trent Lott up and shooting him again if they’d be interested in taking a look at some of the most vile real-life racism in America today.

Clubbeaux’s swimsuit issue.

Now that National Geographic feels the need to run a swimsuit issue to boost sales, Clubbeaux sees the writing on the wall. No matter how highbrow, how serious, every publication wishing to survive is going to have to serve up a healthy dollop of cheesecake along with the meat and potatoes. Sigh.

In the interests of survivial, then, Clubbeaux would like to present our first swimsuit issue. Please don’t overload the servers:

January 24, 2003

We deserve a break, too.

Seems the piece on McDonald’s struck a chord with lots of readers. One writes:

“I ate there just today, which I rarely do, on account of the HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE. 11AM, the place all but empty, fries ‘not done’, and 9 employees, all retarded, 8 of whom were attempting to change a florescent bulb in the display menu. Two of the 5 customers were returning screwed up orders. And the drive-through: they might as well go ahead & install a gas pump. McDonald’s customer service is REALLY QUITE BAD!

Keep up the good work.”

Another comment:

See Business Week of January 13 (“What’s this? The French love McDonald’s?”) for an interesting article about how McDonald’s in France is prospering while many other parts of the Macca’s empire aren’t. Excerpts:

“As the parent is shuttering 175 outlets worldwide, a new McDonald’s opens in France every six days.”

“The typical French customer spends $9 per visit, vs. only $4 in the U.S., even though the Big Mac costs about the same in Paris as it does in New York.”

“McDonald’s France appears to be breaking every rule in an efficiency-obsessed industy. It’s spending lavishly to refit restaurants with chic interiors and extras such as music videos that entice customers to linger over their meals. And while McD’s in the US has tried to speed up service by streamlining menus, France has gone in the opposite direction.”

“‘We are upgrading the experience, making McDonald’s a destination restaurant’ says Denis Hennequin, the French unit’s chief executive.”

My feeling is that the “destination restaurant” employees of Macca’s in France are probably more customer service oriented than most Macca’s employees.

And I bet they speak better English than the ones here in the States, too.

Sorry, Rick.

Rick Reilly is my favorite writer working today. His “Life Of Reilly” column in Sports Illustrated is the best weekly column in the country. But Rick’s human, he can pitch a real stinker once a year or so. Fortunately this week’s column gets the yearly mulligan out of the way, as “Under Covered” is nothing more than a P.C. self-righteous whine that women’s sports aren’t as popular as men’s.

Idea for column: Why doesn’t the male equivalent of the Victoria’s Secret fashion show grab the same TV ratings?

His examples: Women’s basketball teams set milestones and nobody gives a damn. UConn wins their 55th straight (remind me, how many did UCLA win under Wooden again? 88? Wow), Pat Summitt wins her 800th game, the first woman to do so (but the, well, fourth overall) and Duke’s women’s team, ranked #1 for women, have never sold out a home game. The men, of course, sell out every home game.

Idea for column: “Hugh Grant Movie Festival” at the West Youngstown Moose Lodge.

Reilly tsk-tsks that woman golfer Annika Sorenstam is nowhere near as popular as Tiger Woods despite winning 13 of 25 starts last year. Poor Tiger managed only six wins in 22 starts. And it appears that once again a Williams vs. Williams women’s tennis Grand Slam final registers only slightly higher in the national consciousness than Switzerland vs. New Zealand for yachting’s America’s Cup. How terrible.

Idea for column: Write article covering imaginary basketball game between UConn’s female and male teams.

Why, Reilly wonders plaintively, aren’t women’s sports achievements as respected as the men’s? Why don’t they get equal ink? I’m not sure who Reilly’s blaming for this state of affairs. He’s careful not to blame his employer, the prime inkmeister in the sports world, himself or any fellow sports journalists or publications. Evidently Reilly can’t fathom how he or the rest of the entire sports publicity industry could possibly have anything to do with the levels of publicity for women’s sports. I’ve read every column he’s written since 1999 and I don’t remember a single one about Sorenstam, although his writing on Tiger and golf alone would fill a complete issue of SI.

Idea for column: Market Forces Dictating Coverage Priorities For Dummies.

So is he blaming men? Who can blame men for preferring men’s basketball over women’s? Is he blaming women? What, women aren’t free to sell out Duke women’s home games if they wanted to? Who else is there to blame, Boy George?

Idea for column: Go on strike until Sports Illustrated publishes a men’s swimsuit issue.

Reality, what a concept. Look, there are more women than men in the country. What does it say that women’s sports aren’t more popular than men’s sports? That even women prefer watching the A-level competition? That they aren’t as hung up on P.C. dithering as sensitive sports columnists?

Idea for column: Why I attend every synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics meet I can.

It’s one thing to accurately describe the current state of affairs. It’s another to a) convince readers why this is A Bad Thing instead of assuming they’ll agree it is, and b) offer a workable solution. Reilly does neither, probably because he can’t do either.

Idea for column: Why I pulled my son from youth baseball to go out for the cheerleading squad.

Of course he conveniently forgets how much more popular the national women’s soccer team is than MLS, how women’s ice skating is the most-watched part of any Olympics and how some men are actually attending the WNBA – those teams that haven’t folded for lack of interest on the part of both men and women, that is.

Idea for column: Petition drive to get white Zinfandel instead of beer at Philly’s new football stadium.

How many women would it take to sell out Duke’s women’s home games? Fewer than attend Duke University and live in and around Durham, I’m guessing. Go ask them yourself, Rick, why they don’t bother walking in the women’s games but bring sleeping bags to the line for men’s tickets. Maybe it’s because women’s basketball is about as compelling as watching five backup male point guards play – “Lookit that pass! Right to her!”

Idea for column: Interview all five guys who have attended both Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls concerts.

Women’s tennis? Hasn’t it been Williams vs. Williams the past four consecutive Grand Slams? Isn’t the talent pool in that sport about as shallow as a raindrop on a sidewalk? Why tune in to see a couple players who would get blown off the court by any of the top 50 men? Here’s the women’s tour: Venus, Serena and a pile of Slovak and Belgian cannon fodder. How... compelling.

Idea for column: Why isn’t The Bachelorette knocking down Joe Millionaire’s ratings numbers?

Every women’s tennis Grand Slam for the foreseeable future will be (yawn) Williams vs. Williams. Once they stopped faking injuries to keep from playing each other it was agreed upon at the Williams family breakfast table that Serena will win her “Serena Slam” in Melbourne tomorrow and that Venus’ll get the next four. It’s like the Lakers vs. Kings – we know in advance what the outcome will be, so we don’t bother watching.

Idea for column: Why don’t more women read Tom Clancy? What’s their problem?

Women’s golf? Yeah, it’s real impressive watching them play from the front tees. Same problem here as in women’s tennis: The competition’s nowhere near as deep as among the men. That Tiger Woods, the greatest golfer of his or probably any generation won just six out of 22 starts shows how deep the talent on the PGA tour is. Former audio salesman Rich Whatshisname outdueled Woods for the PGA Tournament last year. That Annika Sorenstam wins over half her starts shows that she’s facing a significantly lower level of competition than Tiger’s facing. The LPGA? We’re talking Notre Dame scheduling the Greater South Bend High School football conference here. Yee-ha, lemme at that remote, boys.

Idea for column: Women’s pro football ratings vs. Super Bowl – blatant sexism.

Take Mount Union College. Oh, never heard of them? Rick Reilly hasn’t written a column bewailing why they aren’t on the cover of every sports magazine in the country after winning their third consecutive NCAA Division III football championship and their sixth of the last seven? Gee, must be because sports are a lot more interesting when someone picks on someone their own size. Evidently women spectators agree as well.

Idea for column: Cover next Mr. America show. Find out which high school gym in Dubuque is hosting it this year.


The latest ploy to drive the Taliban and al-Qaeda out of Afghanistan is to send in a team of Redneck Special Forces (USRSF). Billy Bob, Cooter, Bubba and Hank are being sent in with the following information:

1. The season opened last weekend.
2. There is no limit.
3. They taste just like chicken.
4. They don’t like beer, pickup trucks, country music or Jesus.
5. Some is queer.
6. They don’t eat barbecue.
7. They were responsible for Dale Earnhardt’s death.

Should be over in about a week.

(Thanks to Steve Romeo for the news.)

Pravda gets it right.

Thanks to Chuck at You Big Mouth, You! for the heads-up on Pravda’s take on Al Sharpton.

Although… where did Slimy Al earn his law school degree from again?

Also check out Sofia Sideshow for their Axis of Weasels wallpaper:

It might be worthwhile pointing out here that this is not the usual gratuitous yet not-undeserved slam at the French, but a more pointed slam for announcing the other day that they did not recognize America’s right to hold Iraq to a U.N. resolution that the worthless frogs themselves wrote word for word a few short weeks ago.

Let’s recap, with a little help from our friend, today’s Wall Street Journal:

1. The French are one of 15 nations to vote unanimously for U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441 last November. The French spent “two excruciating months” negotiating every single word of the resolution with Colin Powell.

2. The virtually French-authored resolution says this is Saddam Hussein’s “final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations.” Last chance. No do-overs, no extra time to comply, “final opportunity.” Even the French, never noted for their educational excellence, should understand what that means.

3. The virtually French-authored resolution says Iraq must provide a “currently accurate, full and complete declaration” of all aspects of its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs. Nobody, not even the French, pretend this has happened.

4. The virtually French-authored resolution stipulates that any failure to comply with the resolution – see #3 above – shall constitute “a further material breach of Iraq’s obligations.” In other words, they’ve blown their “final opportunity.” They have.

5. France announces they will veto the use of force allowed in the the virtually French-authored resolution as a consequence spelled out in the virtually French-authored resolution for abrogating the virtually French-authored resolution.

I can’t think of a better term for the French than “weasels,” can you?

Democracy: Not for everyone.

Evidently a rampaging pride of escaped lions have killed nine people in Malawi, according to police. They are thought to have escaped at the beginning of the year from a national park in the center of the southern African country.

Wildlife officials believe the lions escaped from the Kasungu National Park and Nkhota Kota Game Reserve after residents tore down protective fences to steal the wire.

Okay, maybe democracy isn’t for everyone, and maybe America can now stop pretending that it is. Maybe there are certain cultures with cultural values – stupidity, unbelievable stupidity, suicidal stupidity – inimical to any functioning democracy worthy of the name. Maybe giving Western enlightened democracy to people who’d tear down a fence protecting them from ravenous lions to steal wire to sell for a couple bucks is like giving a bottle of 1900 Château d'Yquem to a skid row bum drinking Skin Bracer.

Maybe corrupt totalitarianism is the appropriate form of government for some people.

Why nobody trusts pacifist activists.

My family fellowships with a wonderful church, First Mennonite of Richmond. No church is perfect, however, and it appears I’m one of the few outspoken right-wingers there. The Mennonite/Anabaptist tradition is strong on pacifism, and correspondingly on social action and peace and justice issues.

As I said, I’m one of the few right-wingers there (however, over lunch with some of the other seemingly party-line liberal members I find they harbor sympathy with the conservative position). It’s a good church for me to be at. I’d hate to worship with other Christians selected for their similarity to my personal views, I rather like being in a church of committed Christians who think differently than I do. Stretches the mind and keeps one tolerant of opposing viewpoints; reminds one that you don’t need to share political or social beliefs to respect others as sincere Christians. I find it keeps me from becoming calcified and dogmatic.

Yet I do wish liberals, especially pacifists, would take care to be more honest about their arguments. I received the following e-mail from an extraordinarily bright young member of our church last night. I’ve cleaned up all the grammatical mistakes:

Dear friends:

I have put together this list of persons who I think might be interested in participating in a simple protest against war in Iraq. My apologies to those who might already have received this message in another way.

There is a grassroots campaign begun by a local peace center with a secular focus. I am hoping that people of faith will want to participate. I am suggesting is that we who are people of faith write a faith based message instead of a secular message on their note to the President.

Place 1/2 c. uncooked rice in a small plastic bag (a snack-sized bag or sandwich bag will work fine).

Squeeze out excess air and seal the bag. Wrap it in a piece of paper on which you have written: “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. Romans 12:20. Please send this rice to the people of Iraq; do not attack them.”

Place the paper and bag of rice in an envelope (either a letter-sized or small padded mailing envelope – both are the same cost to mail) and address them to:

President George Bush
White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500

Attach $1.06 in postage. (Three 37 cent stamps equal $1.11)

Drop this in the mail TODAY. It is important to act NOW so that President Bush gets the letters ASAP, preferably before the report from the UN weapons inspectors comes out on the 27th of January.

In order for this protest to be effective, there must be hundreds of thousands of such rice deliveries to the White House. We can do this if we all forward this message to our friends and family. If every Mennonite and every Church of the Brethren household sent one of these, and the tens of thousands of persons from outside these churches who think war is a mistake also send them...we are hundreds of thousands of people!

Okay, a stirring call to loopy street theater. The rice companies make out, whoever opens the mail at the White House is amused and doesn’t have to buy rice for a few months, no big deal. Typical liberal peace “activism:” Make sure it’s splashy and self-gratifying, but doesn’t cost you too much in time or energy.

I’m fine with that. There are legitimate arguments against a war in Iraq – I won’t be sorry to see Saddam go, but I think there are much better targets if you really want to solve the terrorism funding and support problem, e.g. Riyadh. Sending rice with a Bible verse to the President is a gentle enough way to protest the war, there’s certainly no harm in it. I won’t be sending rice myself but I can respect those who do.

No, it’s what follows that irritates the heck out of me:

There is a positive history of this protest! Read on!

“In the mid 1950s, the pacifist Fellowship of Reconciliation, learning of famine in the Chinese mainland, launched a “Feed Thine Enemy” campaign. Members and friends mailed thousands of little bags of rice to the White House with a tag quoting the Bible, “If thine enemy hunger, feed him.” As far as anyone knew for more than ten years, the campaign was an abject failure. The President did not acknowledge receipt of the bags publicly; certainly no rice was ever sent to China.

“What nonviolent activists only learned a decade later was that the campaign played a significant, perhaps even determining role in preventing nuclear war. Twice while the campaign was on, President Eisenhower met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to consider US options in the conflict with China over two islands, Quemoy and Matsu. The generals
twice recommended the use of nuclear weapons. President Eisenhower each time turned to his aide and asked how many little bags of rice had come in. When told they numbered in the tens of thousands, Eisenhower told the generals that as long as so many Americans were expressing active interest in having the US feed the Chinese, he certainly wasn’t going to consider using nuclear weapons against them.”

The citation is to People Power: Applying Nonviolence Theory, by David H. Albert, p. 43.

I had a strong feeling that this was an apocryphal story brainlessly accepted and passed on by the more custard-brained wing of pacifism eager for a fig leaf of efficacy in their pointless protesting. So I sent the story to Dr. Jack Holl, one of the most eminent Eisenhower scholars in the world today. His credits are far too numerous to recount here, suffice it to say if anyone alive can say whether that story’s true or not I’d bet on Dr. Holl, especially since as his credits state, “Holl’s current research and writing interests include Eisenhower’s nuclear diplomacy.” His entire unedited responses:

This is the first I have heard of this story.

Yours is an interesting story – I have just never heard it before, either in its parts, let alone the sum of the parts.

1. Eisenhower was interested in Food for Peace as well as People to People programs. I have never heard of the rice for China for “Feed Thy Enemy” Campaign. Could have happened, I suppose, but I do not know about it.

2. I do not recall that the Joint Chief of Staff ever advised using atomic weapons in relationship to the Quemoy and Matsu crisis. Eisenhower and the military did discuss the use of nuclear weapons in relationship to ending the Korean War. Indeed, via India, Eisenhower allowed China to believe that Americans were giving serious consideration to employing nuclear weapons to end the war should negotiations fail.

3. Personally, I do not believe Eisenhower would have used nuclear weapons against China at this time under any circumstances. But his decision in this regard would not have been guided by a vague concern for “public opinion.” Eisenhower was not indifferent to the opinions of the American people, but he never made national security decisions on the basis of the public opinion polls.

I am sharing this e-mail with Glenn Leppert, an expert on Eisenhower’s People to People and Food for Peace initiatives.

Jack Holl

That’s good enough for me. I haven’t seen Mr. Albert’s footnote, the book appears to be out of print, but if anyone has the book I’d be interested in the citation – if there is one.

Look, if you want to send rice to President Bush to protest the war on Iraq, fine. Free country, thanks to non-pacifists. Hey, you can go one better and send us free rice. Put any Bible verse you want to on it. But don’t repeat apocryphal stories as “truth” simply for the sake of covering up the fact that you don’t have the stomach or genuine commitment to do anything very meaningful in the way of protest, that all you’re capable of is a little guerrilla theater which does nothing but salve your guilty white rich liberal conscience (“We’re making a difference, honey! Not so much rice in the Ziploc bag, now.”)

It isn’t going to change Bush’s mind one whit, it didn’t change Eisenhower’s mind one whit, so don’t pretend that you’re doing it for any reason other than to smugly discharge the need to do anything of consequence.

Free consulting.

As a professional customer relationship management writer, I have graciously agreed to undertake an informal review of the problems currently bedeviling McDonald’s Corp. and make recommendations for what I see as being the hot-button action points to aid the troubled franchiser:

OAK BROOK, Ill. - McDonald’s Corp. served up its first-ever quarterly loss Thursday, a larger-than-expected $344 million, paying a price for a fast-expansion strategy gone awry BECAUSE YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE SUCKS!

Its results from the last three months of 2002 included $810 million in charges for restaurant closings and other write-offs BECAUSE YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE SUCKS! As a new management team moves to erase past problems following an unprecedented decline BECAUSE YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE SUCKS! HIRE PEOPLE WHO HAVE SOME INCLINATION AND ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE IN ENGLISH WITH PAYING CUSTOMERS!

The world’s leading hamburger chain announced plans to close 719 of its 31,000 restaurants worldwide BECAUSE CUSTOMER SERVICE SUCKS, and chief executive Jim Cantalupo pledged to be “very selective” about adding new restaurants BECAUSE CUSTOMER SERVICE IN THE CURRENT ONES SUCKS as he slows the expansion pace.

But the magnitude of the loss DUE PRIMARILY TO CUSTOMERS UNWILLING TO ENDURE HOSTILE CUSTOMER SERVICE plus the company’s commitment to keep opening more restaurants than it closes NO MATTER HOW LOW THEY HAVE TO SCRAPE THE BARREL FOR SULLEN, SURLY ILLITERATE EMPLOYEES, sent its stock – which traded above $30 a share as recently as last summer – down to $15 for the first time since 1995.

“We know we need to make changes IN OUR OFFENSIVE CUSTOMER SERVICE,” Cantalupo said on a conference call, pledging to reveal more comprehensive turnaround plans INCLUIDING A PLEDGE TO HIRE EMPLOYEES WHO CAN CONSTRUCT ENGLISH SENTENCES by the end of March. “I think you’re going to see a lot of changes at McDonald’s in the weeks and months ahead ESPECIALLY IN THE ABYSMAL CUSTOMER SERVICE YOU’RE CURRENTLY SUBJECTED TO AND WHICH IS DRIVING YOU AWAY IN DROVES.”

Industry analysts who think McDonald’s has overdone its expansion in a saturated restaurant market want more COUNTER WORKERS WHO DO NOT VISIBLY HATE CUSTOMERS – they want the company to stop growing and cut back.

“This is a company that’s been a victim of its own success AND CUSTOMER-HATING EMPLOYEES,” said Howard Penney of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. “The focus on operations AND IMPROVING ABJECT CUSTOMER SERVICE is absolutely the right thing to do. But ... the road they are going down is one that will take years to fix GIVEN HOW MANY HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE HORROR STORIES ABOUT MCDONALD’S CUSTOMER SERVICE.”

The burger giant said it is closing 719 under-performing restaurants – including 240 in the United States and 175 in Japan WHERE THE EMPLOYEES SPEAK BETTER ENGLISH THAN EMPLOYEES IN AMERICAN MCDONALD’S DO – and that 202 of them already were shuttered in the fourth quarter. But it also disclosed plans to open 850 more traditional McDonald’s, 380 “satellite” restaurants inside other facilities such as airports, and 150 of its other brand restaurants. COMPANY OFFICIALS MADE NO MENTION OF THE FACT THAT THEIR CUSTOMER SERVICE DRIVES CUSTOMERS AWAY AND INTRODUCED NO PLAN TO IMPROVE CUSTOMER SERVICE, SO GET READY FOR MORE RED INK AHEAD, RONALD.

The real Wizard of Oz.

I forget where I got this:

The most memorable work of literature to come from the debate over gold and silver in the United States was The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz, published in 1900, by journalist L. Frank Baum, who greatly distrusted the power of city financiers and who supported a bimetallic dollar based on both gold and silver.

Taking great literary license, he summarized and satirized the monetary debate and history of the era through a charming story about a naïve but good Kansas farm girl named Dorothy, who represented the average rural American citizen. Baum seems to have based her character on the Populist orator Leslie Kelsey, nicknamed “the Kansas Tornado.”

After the cyclone violently rips Dorothy and her dog out of Kansas and drops them in the East, Dorothy sets out on the gold road to fairyland, which Baum calls Oz, where the wicked witches and wizards of banking operate. Along the way she meets the Scarecrow, who represents the American farmer; the Tin Woodman, who represents the American factory worker; and the Cowardly Lion, who represents William Jennings Bryan. The party’s march on Oz is a re-creation of the 1894 march of Coxey’s Army, a group of unemployed men led by “General” Jacob S. Coxey to demand another public issue of $500 million greenbacks and more work for common people.

Marcus Hanna, the power behind the Republican Party and the McKinley administration, was the wizard controlling the mechanisms of finance in the Emerald City. He was the Wizard of the Gold Ounce – abbreviated, of course, to Wizard of Oz – and the Munchkins were the simpleminded people of the East who did not understand how the wizard and his fellow financiers pulled the levers and strings that controlled the money, the economy, and the government.

In the Emerald City ruled by the Wizard of Oz, the people were required to wear green-colored (eyeshades) glasses attached by a gold buckle. Beyond the city, the Wicked Witch of the West had enslaved the yellow Winkies, a reference to the imperialist aims of the Republican administration, which had captured the Philippines from Spain and refused to grant them independence.

In the end, all the good American citizens had to do was expose the wizard and his witches for the frauds they were, and all would be well in the bimetal monetary world of silver and gold. In the process, the farmer Scarecrow found out how intelligent he was, the lion found his courage, and the working Tin Man received a new source of strength in a bimetallic tool – a golden ax with a blade of silver – and he would never rust again as long as he had his silver oil can encrusted with gold and jewels.

In the book, Dorothy’s magic silver slippers got her back to Kansas, but in the movie Judy Garland’s magic slippers were ruby red, a more dramatic color on the screen than silver. By this time, however, few people realized that the book, which they now perceived as a children’s story, had anything to do with U.S. monetary policy at the opening of the twentieth century. In the same year that Baum published his allegorical tale, Congress passed the Gold Standard Act of 1900, further committing the United States to a currency based on the single commodity of gold.

The Southern rules.

One of the better things I got e-mailed this week:

If you are going to live, or visit in the South, you need to know the rules. In an effort to help outsiders understand the rural Southerner’s mind, the following list will be handed to each person as they enter a Southern State.

1. That slope-shouldered farm boy did more work before breakfast than you do all week at the gym.

2. It’s called a “gravel road.” No matter how slow you drive, you’re going to get dust on your Navigator. Drive it or get it out of the way.

3. The red dirt – it’s called clay. Red clay. If you like the color, don’t wash your car for a couple weeks – it’ll be permanent. The big lumps of it – they’re called “clods.”

4. We all started hunting and fishing when we were seven years old. Yeah, we saw Bambi. We got over it.

5. Any references to “corn fed” when talking about our women will get you whipped – by our women.

6. Go ahead and bring your $600 Orvis Fly Rod. Don’t cry to us if a flathead breaks it off at the handle. We have a name for those little 13-inch trout you fish for – bait.

7. Pull your pants up. You look like an idiot.

8. Men, if you want to wear earrings, pierce your nose and whatevers, and wear your hair long, go right ahead, but if we call you ma’am, don’t be offended.

9. If that cell phone rings while a bunch of mallards are making their final approach, we will shoot it. You might want to ensure it’s not up to your ear at the time.

10. That’s right, whiskey is only two bucks. We can buy a fifth for what you paid in the airport for one drink.

11. No, there’s no “Vegetarian Special” on the menu. Order steak. Order it rare. Or, you can order the Chef’s Salad and pick off the two pounds of ham and turkey.

12. Tea – yeah, we have tea. It comes in a glass over ice and is sweet. You want it hot – sit it in the sun. You want it unsweetened – add a lot of water.

13. You bring Coke into my house, it better be brown, wet, and served over ice.

14. So you have a sixty thousand dollar car. We’re real impressed. We have a quarter of a million dollar combine that we only use two weeks a year.

15. Let’s get this straight. We have one stoplight in town. We stop when it’s
red. We may even stop when it’s yellow.

16. Our women hunt, fish, and drive trucks – because they want to. So, you’re
a feminist. Isn’t that cute.

17. We eat dinner together with our families, we pray before we eat (yeah, even breakfast), we go to church on Wednesdays and Sundays, we go to high school football games on Friday nights, we still address our seniors with “yes, sir” and “yes, ma’am,” and we sometimes still take Sunday drives around town to see friends and neighbors.

18. We don’t do “hurry up” well.

19. Greens – yeah, we have greens, but you don’t putt on them. You boil them with either salty fatback, bacon or a ham hock.

20. Yeah, we eat catfish, bass, bream and carp. You really want sushi and caviar? It’s available at the bait shop.

21. They are pigs. That’s what they smell like. Get over it. Don’t like it? Interstate 65 goes two ways – Interstate 40 goes the other two. Pick one.

22. Grits are corn. You put butter, salt, and maybe even some pepper on them. You want to put milk and sugar on them? Then you want cream of wheat – go to Kansas. That would be I-40 West.

23. The “Opener” refers to the first day of deer season or dove season. Both are holidays. You can get pancakes, cane syrup, and sausage before daylight at the church on either day.

24. So every person in every pickup waves? Yeah, it’s called being friendly. Understand the concept?

25. Yeah, we have golf courses. Don’t hit in the water hazards. It spooks the fish and bothers the gators – and if you hit it in the rough, we have these things called diamondbacks, and they’re not baseball players.

26. That Highway Patrol Officer that just pulled you over for driving like an
idiot – his name is “Sir,” no matter how young he is.

27. We have lots of pine trees. They have sap. It drips from them. You park your Navigator under them, and they’ll leave a logo on your hood.

28. You burn an American flag in our state, you get beat up. No questions. The liberal contingent of our state legislature – all four of them – enacted a measure to stop this. There is now a $2.50 fine for beating up the flag burner.

Now, enjoy your visit – I emphasize “visit.”

Just in case you were wondering.

Here’s that great open flowering of pro-Westernism that was supposed to ensue with the election of Khatami in Iran. From an editorial in the government newspaper Kayhan:

Today, the majority of the peoples of America and Europe understand that Bush’s personality is like [that of] one of the millions of vagabonds and bastards seen all over the world, particularly in America. Had he been born 150 years ago, and had he put a six-shooter on his belt, and had he robbed and killed the passengers of stage coaches traveling on the unguarded dusty mountainous roads in those days – if this kind of vagabond bastard had appeared [wearing] a sheriff’s uniform... someone would have come to give him some bullets in the chest, ending his miserable life and saving [the taxpayer from paying] the money to hire the sheriff [and] preventing massacres. But what about today?

“‘Why drop bombs? Drop Bush from an airplane’... ‘Bush is a fascist,’ ‘Bush is Hitler,’ ‘Bush is a war criminal’... ‘Bush is stupid,’ ‘Bush is retarded,’ ‘Bush is insane.’ These are slogans said daily by millions of people in America and Europe...

“[The] great majority of Muslim people, particularly the young ones in Islamic countries, wait impatiently for American military action, because the stupidity of Bush and his gang and the massacre of millions of innocent Muslims [in Iraq]... will spark the same reaction [as in Palestine] and encourage young Muslims in other countries to take revenge on the American military.

“... Today, hundreds of young Palestinians are seeking martyrdom. They have written their names on the long list of Jihad, and they await [their] turn. There will be great opportunities to take revenge upon the American military, [and] this will be easier than the revenge [sought by] the Palestinians. Why miss the opportunity?

“In the event of an American attack, the Muslim masses will join this divine and holy war. Lebanon and Palestine are two clear examples of this.

“... Can America stand in the way of people seeking Shehada [martyrdom] in God’s way? Will the seekers of martyrdom get their wish because of the American presence in the region?

“Imam Khomeini said: ‘A nation that seeks Shehada is unfettered.’”

Have a nice day.

January 23, 2003

Stop the presses: Voter fraud in South Florida.

Thanks to Steve over at the hilarious must-read Little Tiny Lies for the heads-up:

According to the Miami Herald, Florida state investigators seized a tray of unopened absentee ballots from a Broward elections office filing cabinet – ballots a source said appeared to be postmarked and properly signed for the Sept. 10 election:

A source in the elections office told The Herald that a Broward State Attorney’s Office investigator walked in Tuesday afternoon wielding a subpoena. At the time, elections chief Miriam Oliphant was upstairs with county commissioners, defending an audit of her office.

The investigator appeared to know the ballots were stored in a wide cabinet in the main work area of the office. An employee fetched the tray of ballots for the investigator, the source said.

The unopened ballots in the mail tray appeared to be valid, with the required signatures on the back of the envelopes, the source said. Unlike other absentee ballots, these were not stamped with the date and time they arrived in the office.

Typically, absentee ballots are sorted as they arrive in the supervisor’s office. It would be unusual for unopened ballots to go unsorted or to be stored in a mail tray in such a filing cabinet.

State law requires that all votes be certified by noon the Thursday after the primary election. Uncounted ballots could have affected the results of some close races, including the Democratic primary between gubernatorial candidates Bill McBride and Janet Reno.

The state attorney’s criminal probe into the possible mishandling of votes cast in the Sept. 10 election was launched after a county audit, which was released Nov. 15 and pointed to financial mismanagement and ethical breaches in Oliphant’s office…

… The Herald reported earlier this month that an elections employee told investigators that absentee ballots sat unopened in the mailroom at least two days after the September election. Other elections employees have also been interviewed about the ballots, indicating that they are a key part of the investigation.

The clerk, Glen Davis, also has been interviewed by state investigators. Davis has been kept on as a mailroom clerk despite reprimands for coming to work late and drunk. He has a relationship with Oliphant’s sister, Robin Darville.

As Steve notes, “what are the odds that this is the first time these people have pulled this trick? Okay, let’s not jump to conclusions. But let’s look at some facts.

1. Broward is controlled by Democrats.
2. Absentee ballots go overwhelmingly in favor of Republicans, and everyone knows it.
3. Almost 90% of black voters voted for Gore.
4. See if you can guess what race Miriam Oliphant belongs to.”

A reader comment from Robert Speirs on Steve’s article raises another possibility: “Maybe they are fakes which she was keeping in case the outcome was very close, when she could conveniently ‘discover’ them. In that situation, they would be predominantly Democratic. In any case, I see major criminal problems here.”

This is going to be a fun one to follow in the days ahead.

Sometimes an elephant’s just had enough.

According to the caption, this is a temple elephant named Ravipuram Govindan swinging the body of his trainer Gopalakrishnan after the elephant suddenly attacked and killed him while being taken to a temple festival in Cochin, in the southern Indian state of Kerala yesterday. The intense heat and mistreatment by trainers has been blamed for an increase in attacks by domesticated elephants.

Mistreatment by trainers? I’m pretty sure if I were an elephant trainer I’d make a point of not irritating aforesaid elephant.

January 22, 2003

The worst of all possible (Washington Redskins) worlds.

You would think it would be bad enough when your team, once the elite of the NFL, is now reduced to trading elbows with the likes of Seattle, Arizona and Carolina in the Treading Water For .500 Swamp.

But no, it cuts much deeper than that when one has watched the playoffs this year. How far the Washington Redskins have fallen since a) Joe Gibbs, the greatest coach in modern NFL history, traded the pigskin for the stock car and b) Danny “The Meddling Idiot” Snyder bought the team.

That’s right, I said Joe Gibbs. Forget ex-Redskins coach Vince Lombardi, he had Bart Starr, Jerry Kramer, Forrest Gregg, Willie Davis, Jim Ringo and a roster of Hall of Famers on those teams. Jerry Glanville could’ve won a Super Bowl with that crew (cf. Barry Switzer). Let’s see Vince win three Super Bowls with Joe Theismann, Doug Williams and Mark Rypien at quarterback. Three Super Bowl wins in nine years with quarterbacks in no danger of enshrinement at Canton. Call it the Stealth Dynasty.

Forget Chuck Noll and Bill Walsh, they had… geez, name your ‘70s or '80s All-Star Rosters and half of them are Steelers or 49ers. Name anybody on Gibbs’s three Redskins Super Bowl-winning teams. Anybody at all except “the Hogs” and “John Riggins.”

For that matter, Clubbeaux thinks one of the most underrated coaches in NFL history is Dan Reeves. Name any player except John Elway or Jamal Anderson on his Bronco or Falcon Super Bowl teams. You can’t because they’re all tending bar or working construction these days. The players on the teams who beat them have either delivered or are polishing their Hall of Fame speeches.

You watched the games last weekend. Lookit all those ex-Redskins, all kicked out the door by the post-Gibbs savants in D.C.:

· James Thrash, the exciting starting Philly wide receiver.

· David Akers, Mr. Clutch kicker for Philly. (Quick, name the ‘Skins kicker. Whoever it is, he won’t be back next year. And if you said Chip Lohmiller go back ten years. If you said Mark Moseley the nurse will be around soon.)

· Brian Mitchell, the special teams guy who singlehandedly kept the Eagles in the game in the first half. Getting rid of him was as smart as the 49ers’ getting rid of Jerry Rice and keeping J.J. Stokes.

· Shawn Barber, the starting Philly defensive back.

· Ndukwe Kalu, starting Philly linebacker.

· Frank Wycheck, Tennessee’s Mr. Miracle Man and Pro Bowl-holder of many Titans receiving records, who was cut by the Redskins.

· Rich Gannon, the current NFL MVP who was cut to make way for Heath Shuler who, according to sources, is selling insurance somewhere in Tennessee. Rich is going to start in the Super Bowl. Heath and the numbnuts who chose him over Gannon are going to settle back into their La-Z-Boys and watch Rich lead his team in the Super Bowl…

· … and oh, look at this! Brad Johnson, the only quarterback to take Washington to the postseason in the past ten years, is starting opposite Rich Gannon! Smart move cutting him too, Dan Snyder, in favor of Jeff George, who’s riding pine in Seattle today. Ten points for anyone who can name all the starting quarterbacks for Washington since they dumped those two losers Rich Gannon and Brad Johnson walk. Here, Clubbeaux’ll give you a start: Heath Shuler… Gus Frerotte… Jeff George... Tony Banks… Shane Matthews… Danny Wuerffel… Patrick Ramsay… Clubbeaux hears the ‘Skins are still pissed that the Jets scored the Redskins out of Browning Nagle and that the Chargers beat them to Ryan Leaf.

Not one but both starting Super Bowl quarterbacks, former Redskins. It used to be the way you knew a baseball player was a genuine prospect was that the Cleveland Indians had traded him away. Now the way to tell when someone’s going to succeed in the league is when Dan Snyder dumps him to pay Deion Sanders’s $8 million signing bonus.

All to show that when rich idiots – i.e. Danny Snyder – buy the teams they grew up worshipping, they have yet to learn that the owners, coaches and players in those days actually knew what they were doing without some pimple-faced thirtysomething football ignoramus acting as if he knew more than the career football guys.

And that the owner’s job is to sign the checks and leave the football people the hell alone.

Why Conservatives Are Objectively Superior To Liberals.

This week’s confirmation that I’d much, much rather be governed by conservatives than liberals comes from Augusta Richmond County Commissioner Bobby Hankerson.

The county’s board of commissioners took a vote to determine, basically, whether professional screech owl Martha Burk and professional publicity pimp Jesse Jackson will get to exercise their Constitutional right to appear on the news as frequently as possible at the Masters golf championships held at Augusta National. Liberals overwhelmingly support Burk. Conservatives overwhelmingly support Augusta National.

Half the county board – five blacks – voted basically to allow the protests to go on unhindered. The five whites on the board voted for a proposal to require permits for demonstrations. Augusta Richmond County Mayor Bob Young, who could have broken the tie, was huddled in the corner of the bathroom of his taxpayer-financed hotel room in Washington for a national mayor’s conference with his hands over his ears whistling loudly. The gutless lying coward told the Associated Press that he said he did not know how he would have voted.

So the idiots win. How, exactly, does this show the superiority of conservatives to liberals? This comment: “I’m against Jesse Jackson coming to Augusta. I’m against Martha Burk, but they have a right to freedom of speech,” from Commissioner Bobby Hankerson after voting against a special permit being required.

What this man is saying is that he personally finds these two hyenas distasteful, thereby establishing his I.Q. at room temperature or above, but as personally distasteful as he finds them, like a true conservative he recognizes their legal right to indulge in an orgy of cynical hypocritical self-righteous caterwauling in front of as many TV cameras as they can corral.

Martha Burk personally finds the all-male membership policy at Augusta National distasteful, and as she finds it personally distateful, like a true liberal she doesn’t give the first damn what the law says, she’s going to do everything her determined little bitchy hysterical busybody brainless ugly self can do to make life as miserable as possible for Augusta National to punish them for acting on their legal rights to think and act differently from how Martha Burk would order them to think and act. She has no legal leg to stand on, all she can do is bitch, insult and nag them into following her orders.

As a friend of mine here, liberal all through the ‘60s and ‘70s and ‘80s said, “Scratch a liberal, find a thought-control Nazi.”

It’s understood, of course, that as a completely amoral creature Jesse Jackson is showing up at Augusta solely because lots of TV cameras will be around and that he follows no principles on this or any other issue apart from “Can I shake some rich corporation down?” or “Are there gonna be all four networks there” or “Hey, any hot white chicks wanna come up to my hotel room an’ innerview for a job?”

Give me a government of conservative Bobby Hankersons over a government of liberal Martha Burks any day.

More on Social Security.

A reader wrote in yesterday to say he agreed with Clubbeaux’s piece “about the codger in Wisconsin,” and that while “it’s considered politically correct to lionize the Greatest Generation, one unfortunate truth about them is they created the entitlement mentality that’s become so pervasive today.”

This is some of the most negative fallout from World War II anywhere, I guess. Europeans went back home and built welfare states, Americans built up Social Security and Medicare into permanent entitlement programs, Russia went home to build empire and the Japanese went home and started building transistor radios and cars.

As my reader notes, “Social Security was created when they were young with a ratio of 7 or 8 contributors per recipient. Now they all think of it as an entitlement with yearly inflation raises but we only have 3 contributors per recipient. The result is that Social Security often takes a bigger tax bite out of middle class workers’ wages than federal taxes do. If the Dems really wanted a middle class tax cut they’d cut social security taxes – or ‘contributions’ as they’re euphemistically called – but of course they can’t really do that. I loved my dad and he did have some understanding of all this but he still didn’t think of his SS benefits and Medicare benefits as coming from somebody else’s pay check.”

January 21, 2003

Oh for heaven’s sake.

Okay, today’s loony news is that in Wisconsin – what, you’re surprised? – a clerk carded 76-year old Don Meyer at the Pick ‘n Save when he was buying nonalcoholic beer.

Well, I’ve been carded buying wine at the CVS here in Richmond, and I have more gray hair than most 39-year olds. The kid working the cash register even carded the obviously senior citizen in front of me. “We have to enter the birthdate of everybody buying alcohol,” he said. The three of us laughed, went our ways and that was it.

Evidently Pick ‘n Save has the same storewide policy CVS does. When it’s a (seeming) liquor purchase a birthdate is entered, whether that date be 1982 or 1928. Relatively sensible policy, really, as it takes all the guesswork out of it. What was Mr. Meyer’s reaction? “I tell you, I was really ticked off – this little-by-little chipping away at your rights,” the World War II veteran said.

Oh puh-leeze. Rights? What rights? The right to a thirteen-second quicker transaction? He got his purchase, the kid followed a rule he didn’t make and he’s huffing and puffing about his rights?

My friend, there are worthwhile battles to be fought. This is not one of them. There are genuine rights being chipped away – like my right to keep my money to raise my family instead of turning it over to your ass in the government’s extortionate transfer program known as Social Security, whereby it sends you money you never paid in but will use for greens fees and to gas up the RV. Wanna talk about that “right?” No? Rather bellyache about some kid at the Pick ‘n Save doing his job?

I got the world’s smallest violin for you, buddy. You’d think a World War II veteran would know the difference between a real right and a minor inconvenience, between a battle to be fought and something to roll your eyes at.

Black people love us.

One of the funniest sites I've seen in quite a while.

By the way, do you know Jack Schitt?

Score another one for Pat Oliphant.

Whacking British Muslims.

Tex over at Whacking Day has a great takedown of certified Islamic idiot Faisal Bodi complaining about British police removing illegal items from a London-area mosque.

The Seven Points of black victimology.

Reading a great book, John McWhorter’s Losing The Race now. This black professor of linguistics at Cal-Berkeley has the temerity to bring a most unpopular message to black America: It ain’t The Man’s fault, people.

He does have strong words for whites too. There is still racism out there. Not as much as the professional black victimologists would have you think, and a little bit less each year, but it’s still there so don’t pooh-pooh the effects it has on people.

As McWhorter correctly points out victimhood is not victimology. “Approaching victimhood constructively will naturally include calling attention to it, and is healthy,” he writes. “However, much more often in modern black American life, victimhood is simply called attention to where it barely exists if at all. Most importantly, all too often this is done not with a view toward forging solutions, but to foster and nurture an unfocused brand of resentment and sense of alienation from the mainstream. This is Victimology.”

McWhorter says in leading black American thought today Victimology requires embracing victimhood as an identity, exaggerating it, and most importantly, not really wanting to be free of it: “Most black public statements are filtered through it, almost all race-related policy is founded upon it, almost all black evaluations by blacks of one another are colored by it.”

McWhorter demolishes Victimology’s core claim that “things ain’t gettin’ no better” with a few well-placed facts:

· In 1960, 55 percent of the black population lived in poverty. Today less than one-fourth does – and the median income for two-parent black families statistically approximates that of whites.

· In 1940 one percent of the black population was “middle class” – statistically defined as earning twice the poverty rate. By 1970 39 percent were middle class, today it’s over 50 percent. Since 1970 the percentage of blacks achieving middle class incomes increased 10 percent, it increased 5 percent for whites in that time.

· In 1963 0.7 percent of blacks were married to someone other than a black, in 1970 it was 2.6 percent, in 1993 it stood at 12.1 percent and no doubt is much higher today – I attend a rather small Mennonite church and we have at least four interracial couples in our congregation.

The Seven Articles of Faith.

Notwithstanding the fact that life for black Americans is improving dramatically – and not just financially, in 1960 there were four blacks in Congress and today there are over forty, there are many times the number of black doctors, lawyers and professionals and orders of magnitude more opportunitues for all blacks – these seven articles of faith are held to as “what’s really goin’ down:”

1. Most blacks are poor.

A 1991 Gallup Poll revealed that over 50% of American blacks thought “three out of four” blacks lived in the ghetto. The actual number was fewer than one in five. Fact: Most blacks are not poor not close to it.

2. Blacks get paid less for the same work.

In 1995 the median income for black families was $25,970, for whites it was $42,646. As McWhorter says, however, take unmarried inner-city welfare mothers out of the equation and the difference is a few thousand dollars a year. Even that, McWhorter notes, follows simple geography: More blacks tend to live in the South, which has lower incomes all across the board. In fact, in 130 counties and cities surveyed in 1994 black two-parent families earned more than white two-parent families did, and median income in the 1990s rose faster for blacks than for whites. In his research McWhorter could not find one statistical fact suggesting that for the same work in the same place a black could expect to earn less than a white.

3. There’s an arson epidemic against black churches.

This is the easiest one to debunk. Forget Slick Willie going on TV to lie about seeing black churches burned in Arkansas during his youth (records show no black churches were burned anywhere near the liar). From 1990 to 1996 about 80 black churches were burned. From 1990 to 1996 about 3,600 white churches were burned. In other words, from 1990 to 1996 over seven times as many white churches were burned each year as black churches were burned all seven years combined. And when police in South Carolina caught 18 church arsonists, eight were black.

4. The government pushed crack in South Central L.A.

Of course Gary Webb’s fictitious series of stories for The San Jose Mercury in 1996 is the culprit here. Webb wrote about how the CIA sold crack to dealers in South Central to fund the contras in the 1980s. When Webb was unable to provide any verification for his claims the paper printed a retraction. What’s remarkable about this whole fiction is its wide acceptance in the black community – Bill Cosby is said to believe it – without a single supporting fact.

5. The justice system is racist.

Everyone’s heard the “one in three black men is in jail, on probation or parole” statistic. That it really applies to one in three men in their twenties is frequently lost. Yet half the American prison population is black. How so?

Consider that although they’re 13 percent of the population, blacks commit 42 percent of the violent crimes in the country. McWhorter says that racism contributes to the reason why blacks commit more violent crimes than whites, since they tend to be pushed to the margins of society, and maybe he has a point there. Yet he decisively refutes arguments that blacks receive more severe sentences than whites, showing that even studies by people expecting to find that can’t turn up any proof of it. Blacks are actually under-represented on death row and are less likely than whites to actually be executed.

6. Blacks are targeted for police harassment.

It is a fact that black men are more likely to be stopped by police than white men. Racism? Consider that in 1989 the New York police conducted an antidrug effort at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Between 65 to 75 percent of the people stopped were black, and about 35 percent white. Police found drugs on exactly two whites, and found drugs on 208 of the 210 blacks and Latinos they stopped.

As McWhorter concludes, the facts are that proportionately blacks commit more crime than whites – and blacks suffer from more black-on-black crime as a result. After the Diallo shooting in New York the Street Crimes Unit scaled back to making 291 arrests a week compared to 705 before the shooting. The numbers of blacks and Latinos shot in crimes in the Street Crimes Unit’s area promptly went up.

And as McWhorter’s honest enough to include, black officers profile every bit as much as whites do. “I mean, you’re a cop. You know who’s committing the crimes,” one black officer said.

7. Police brutality is the true face of white America’s attitudes towards blacks.

McWhorter thinks that police brutality – Rodney King, Diallo, Abner Louima, etc. – is the only one of the seven articles with sufficient grounding in fact, which does actually demonstrate racism. Yet as he says, seeing as how most blacks are not poor, blacks are not paid less for their work than whites, there is no epidemic of burning black churches, the CIA is not funneling drugs into South Central L.A., blacks are not sent to prison out of proportion to the crimes they commit, blacks are not stopped for drug checks out of proportion to their participation in the drug trade, police brutality is the last example of crippling racism in America today. And bear in mind that the majority of cops, white or black, killed in the line of duty are killed by blacks and you can even begin to understand that a little.

Racism is on the way out, it’s ebbing in all areas of American life, even in police departments – remember that Justin Volpe’s fellow officers turned on him after he attacked Louima and that he was given thirty years in prison. Remember also that Volpe was engaged to a black woman at the time.

January 20, 2003

What’s Lara Flynn Boyle wearing these days?

Hey, Clubbeaux tries to keep tabs on all the top issues of the day, not merely those in the politics, culture, religion and history fields.

After noting that here is an outfit you probably won’t be seeing Lara sporting at the grocery store, here’s what our girl wore to the Golden Globes:

Exactly what the U.N. deserved.

Anybody who still thinks the U.N. is worth two farts in a bucket chew on this: The new chair of the U.N. Human Rights Commission, elected overwhelmingly, is Libya.

That’s right, this Islamic nation, one of the world’s worst human rights offenders, a nation still under U.N. sanctions imposed for the Lockerbie airliner bombing, is chairing the U.N.’s human rights agenda. I guess it can turn to fellow commission members Cuba, Algeria and Sudan – an Islamic state where the enslavement and sale of Christians is widely practiced and tolerated by the government – for clarification of exactly what the commission’s role is.

In other news of Islam’s contributions to world culture police in London have seized tear gas, stun guns, boxes of fake passports, identity cards and credit cards as well as “a number of very interesting documents” from a mosque and arrested seven men, according to police.

The mosque in Finsbury Park, which police believe is a center for recruiting and supporting violent Islamic terrorists, is the base of one of Britain’s most pro-terrorist Muslim clerics, Abu Hamza al-Masri, who regularly praises Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

Al-Masri was not arrested, although if cops had found the materials in someone’s house they certainly would have liked to at least speak with the house owner, don’tcha think?

Police wore special covers on their shoes and avoided prayer areas “to show our respect for the Muslim faith,” according to a police statement. A spokesman for Tony Blair’s office said “The Islamic religion has been hijacked by a small group of fanatics,” including presumably one Abu Hamza al-Masri.

The Islamic response to being caught red-handed by police taking as much care as possible to respect their religion? “This raid will increase our recruitment,” snarled Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad, leader of the UK-based al Muhajiroun group.

MLK, the NFL, Rudy in Richmond and socialism vs. libertarianism.

Don’t tell the P.C. police I’m working on MLK Day, I’ll probably get arrested.

Weekend protesters.

Headline on Yahoo! news today: “Possible Iraq War Draws Weekend Protests.”

“Weekend protests.” Boy, sometimes doesn’t the headline just say it all? Weekend anti-war protesters, out to change the world on their days off.

Chesterfield County racism, part 2.

Big whoop-de-doo in the ever-inane Chesterfield County here. Old-time Clubbeaux readers will remember Chesterfield County (just south of Richmond) as the one which decided to force distasteful groups who wish to exercise their rights of free speech in the county to pay for all associated police, sanitation and crowd control costs – which the county would set. It stems back to a big deal the county made a few months ago over some white racist idiots booking library time to spew whatever foul drivel they spew.

In other words, if, say, the K.K.K. wanted to hold a seminar at the local public library the county would say “Hmmm, we think you’ll need to hire… 37 uniformed officers, three garbage collections and 25 marshals.” The K.K.K. would say we can’t afford that, look all we want to do is have one of our people speak at the library for about an hour to anyone who’s interested.

Sorry, the county would say, permission denied. Pretty cute, huh? Goodbye free speech in Chesterfield County, Virginia. If the county’s Board of Supervisors approves of you and your message you’ll speak, if not, tough luck. Oh and anyone who thinks the new rules would apply to Jesse Jackson or Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton, think again. Black racists are fine in Chesterfield County, it’s the white ones who aren’t allowed.

Anyway Chesterfield’s had a couple missed days of school this year, and needed to make them up by going to school on holidays, so the BLACK administrator in charge of the scheduling decided to take MLK Day, today, as a make-up day. Goodness sakes, you would’ve thought Chesterfield would have declared today Jim Crow Day and all niggers should be lynched. You never heard such idiotic rhetoric and self-righteous squealing – well, unless you attended the Board of Supervisors meeting setting up the Take Away The Right of Free Speech policy.

It’s difficult for me to see how King himself, a man who fought for the rights of black children to attend the same schools as white children, would feel honored by black and white kids being held out of school on his day, and who would take it as some sort of insult that black kids should be compelled to be educated on his day, but that’s how it always is, to paraphrase Tom Robbins: the master is killed by the disciples and a broad-minded, profound message is distorted beyond recognition by the small-minded toadies who see it only as a club with which to beat their opponents.

Watching the playoffs.

Clubbeaux admits he watched the playoffs, mostly out of the hope of seeing Warren “I Like To Hurt People For No Reason Other Than That It’s Fun” Sapp and his eternally inept Tampa Bay Buccaneers knocked out by the Eagles, but alas, the Bucs won. Just to show how smart Warren Sapp – who was not a factor in the game – is, it was his studied opinion that the Bucs should not have fired Tony Dungy and hired Jon Gruden and that born third-stringer Shaun King should have been given the chance to start the season instead of Brad Johnson. Now of course, since those two moves, hiring Jon Gruden and naming Brad Johnson the starter are 87% of the reason why the Bucs are in the Super Bowl, Sapp seems to have “forgotten” his earlier pronouncements.

Go Raiders. You’ve gotta at least have a sneaking admiration for Al Davis, the last non-corporate cog in the slick corporate commercialized marketing venture that is the NFL.

And by the way, Clubbeaux would pay for a new feature on remote controls which allowed pictures to be blacked out instead of sound muted. I don’t see why 5-year old kids should be forced to sit through PG-13 commercials and show previews when they aren’t allowed to go see those kinds of movies. I’d rather my kids not see those Coors Light ads and that Miller Lite ad with the two underwear-clad girls fighting in the water and wet cement, but I don’t want to miss the game so if I could black out the picture but still get the sound I would.

Muravchik on socialism.

Reading the book my wife gave me for Christmas, Joshua Muravchik’s Heaven On Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism. It’s a great read as Muravchik follows socialism not as a bunch of dry, idiotic theories with statistics on Soviet grain production but as the story of the people who shaped it. He starts off in the French Revolution with Francois-Noel Babeuf, which is about where I am.

It’s a source of constant amusement to Clubbeaux, the fascination Europe has with America, and how they always miss the whole point. As Muravchik writes “The 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen tracked the U.S. Declaration of Independence in proclaiming the reason for government was to secure men’s rights.” Fair enough, but whereas the Declaration was for “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” the French rallied for “liberty, property, security” – and “equality.”

Looks pretty similar, some jumbled-up nice-sounding words, but they could not be more different. For one thing the Declaration valued life. The French, judging from the subsequent Reign of Terror, did not. But whereas Americans believed in the pursuit of happiness (a fatuous end to pursue, but we’ll let it go with the kindest interpretation of “the sort of dignified, meaningful life you would want to secure for yourself”), meaning let’s let everyone start out on the same foot and do the best they can for themselves, the French desired “security” and “equality.” In other words, everybody ending up in the same place.

Today that’s the difference between Americans and Europeans. Americans have thought, until recently, that individual rights, the rights of people to carve out a life for themselves, are paramount and there ain’t no snot-nosed bureaucrat going to decide for me how much of my money I can keep and how much goes to support lazy shiftless freeloaders who don’t have the sand to get off their asses and work. Europeans think oh how terrible that you who work hard and sacrifices to buy nice things for your family have more than this lazy shiftless freeloader, why just look how his human dignity is being degraded.

(By the way, one almost infallible way to quickly discern the true intent of anybody’s rhetoric is to follow out in your mind the subject behind passive verb constructs and always get back to a real person for a subject. If somebody says “Hispanic culture isn’t being respected,” ask yourself “If this were made into an active verb, who would be doing the disrespecting?” There’s the real target of mulitculturalism right there.

(In the above example you, being sensible, would think that the lazy sod himself was degrading his own human dignity. The socialist would say no, society forced him into this. Of course “society” never does anything, only people do things, and it doesn’t take much to figure out who the person at the butt end of this statement is, does it, Mr. Taxpayer?)

Europeans, especially from about World War II on, crave nothing more than security. Sure I’ll give half my earnings to the government so they can send it to subsidize Palestinian Muslim suicide bombers, art exhibits nobody cares about and a ridiculously inefficient Brussels-based bureaucracy, because in return I’ll be taken care of. I can mindlessly punch a clock at a gray little job somewhere and I’ll have health care, my kids will go to school and I’ll never get anywhere. But that’s okay, because I’ll be safe.

Americans like seeing everyone have the same opportunities, and letting them do what they want with them. Two classmates sitting beside each other at college graduation, one ends up clerking in a live bait shop in Alaska and one ends up on the board of Merrill Lynch. That’s America. Bill Cosby ends up rich and famous, Gary Coleman ends up as a janitor somewhere, Michael Jackson ends up a crazy white woman. That’s America.

Europeans are fascinated by this but they don’t understand it – “How can a nation that lets Bill Gates get sixty billion dollars let its people starve and freeze to death in the streets,” is the Eurosocialist’s dilemma. The proper answer, of course, is that the nation doesn’t “let” it happen, the people themselves make free choices. The nation lets the bum decide if he wants to work that day or not. He chooses not to, fine, that’s his choice and these are his consequences.

Libertarianism and socialism.

Some say libertarianism is the answer. No government, just enforce property rights and contracts (the two areas of law most near and dear to the hearts of the rich) and have at it. This of course isn’t the answer either – I’d like to see a bunch of libertarians play a football game with the same level of rules allowed. Laws are necessary for the conduct of an orderly society, but neither the market nor the government should be given carte blanche to set those rules.

It’s well-known that socialism’s fatal flaw, why it’s never worked anywhere and why it never will work anywhere, is that it assumes people are basically good, that given the chance they will do good. I would have thought that one of the strongest recommendations of solid evangelical Christianity is its firm belief that no, mankind is not basically good it is basically evil, which is one of the few religious beliefs put forward anywhere which can be confirmed simply by flipping through a newspaper.

You don’t find many solid evangelical Christians as committed socialists. You don’t find many solid evangelical Christians as libertarians, either. You tend to find functional atheists at both ends of the “all government or no government” spectrum. Socialism preaches that it’s just society that’s screwed up, not people, but why good people keep forming screwed-up societies is never explained. Libertarians assume that financial logic would keep everything running smoothly yet why racism, which makes absolutely no financial sense whatsoever, flourishes in every society on Earth is never explained.

The Christian philosophy is that humans are inherently evil, and that even Christians commit sins – the apostle Paul himself lamented that he could not do that which he wanted to do but found himself doing that which he did not want to do. Yet in an ordered, structured society founded on Christian moral principles of individual responsibility and accountability society can flourish. Socialists hate the Christian moral principles part and seek to substitute their own secular nostrums in place of it, libertarians hate the ordered and structured part and say hey, let’s just let the invisible hand of the markets dictate everything and everybody just play nicely, now.

Socialism is one myth that’s doomed to fail. Libertarianism is another. I find myself in the middle – I vote Libertarian in elections, less government is better than more government and I think it’d be all to the good if there were more libertarians than socialists in office, but I rather like the National Park system. I rather like knowing that health inspectors check out the restaurants I take my family to. I rather like city work crews repairing streets. I’ll put up with a little socialism in that regard, and I suspect most honest libertarians would say the same thing.

Rudy in Richmond.

My friend runs a media tours service in Washington, D.C. and occasionally they’ll have an author come through on a book tour who has an event in Richmond. He’ll call me to handle it and I will, it’s fun and it gets me out of the home office. Saturday ex-New York City mayor Rudy Guiliani came to the Borders out West Broad Street to sign his book Leadership.

Everything went fine, it’s not a Stone Cold Steve Austin crowd or anything. There were two uniformed officers, Guiliani’s personal security detail and store employees keeping everything running smoothly. About 400 people showed up to get books signed.

Chatting with one of the officers as we watched the line he said it amazes me, really. I work a lot of NASCAR events out at the track, he said, and I know all those guys, I’ve been in Dale Earnhardt’s house drinking beer and he’s been in mine, and it’s funny to see people get all googly-eyed and stammering around someone whose ass I can kick in pool.

I agreed yeah, and said right after the Gulf War when Gen. Schwarzkopf was doing lecture and book tours, that was the only time in my life I’d ever seen peace officers – on-duty cops and security guards, FBI agents and uniformed servicemen rush the stage to get autographs. He said oh yeah, I’d do that too. I notice he put his copy of Leadership in the stack in the staff room to get signed as well.

I asked the store manager if this was the biggest signing they’d had and he said oh no, we had about the same crowd for Fergie last year and when Dale Earnhardt, Jr. came to sign we had at least – at least – a thousand people here: “We put pork rinds on the café menu that day.”

Grouchy and hilarious.

It’s always nice when somebody not only reads a post of mine but improves upon it. Clubbeaux salutes Grouchy Old Cripple for dwelling at hilarious length upon yet another facet of Washington Sen. Patty Murray bin Laden’s stupidity.