Saturday, June 29, 2013

Jimmy Carter is the Voice of Reason

The mob of politically correct hypocrites, corporate lackeys and East Coast Elites continues to swell, all determined to at least tar and feather Paula Deen if not outright hang her from the nearest tree,  This is nothing more than mob violence in the age of Twitter.

However, there is one man of high principles and unquestionable moral integrity, who has dared to stand up and face down the mob.  That man is former President Jimmy Carter.  I can't possibly be more proud.

Carter forgives Deen and defends her in an interview given to CNN and posted below. Carter said,

"She was maybe excessively honest in saying that she had in the past, 30 years ago, used this terrible word. I think she has been punished, perhaps overly severely, for her honesty in admitting it and for the use of the word in the distant past. She's apologized profusely."  

Friday, June 28, 2013

There's a Lesson to be Learned Here....

There is a lesson to be learned from the current Paula Deen debacle, but I.m not sure I like it.  The lesson seems to be it's quite important to lie under oath.

Bill Clinton already proved that lesson to be true. He lied under oath.  That's what his Impeachment was all about.  But Clinton's defenders said his lies were A-OK because they were about sex and everybody lies about sex.  Today Bill Clinton is our most beloved President.

But Paula Deen took a different approach.  When asked if she ever used the infamous "N-Word" she admitted she had in a private conversation with her husband, 27 years ago.

Curiously she has been attacked as violently and as aggressively as if she used it on Twitter last night in the midst of a racist diatribe.  Oh, no wait, that was Alec Baldwin and it was homophobic, not racist.  And Baldwin, a New Yorker, won't be fired.  But I digress.

Deen was fired.  And worse.  She lost her Food Network Television Show and her products, books and foods have been effectively banned from Walmart, Target, Home Depot, the QVC Channel and Sears/K-Mart.

And, in the final straw today, Deen's publisher cancelled her upcoming #1 Bestselling book.  Pre-sales on Amazon were skyrocketing.

The real question is "Why?"

No one I've read or seen quoted believes Deen is a racist today. Deen was a vocal and financial supporter of President Barack Obama in both of the last two elections.

But she is "Southern" and that is an unforgivable sin among the media elite.

I'm not a Deen fan and I've never seen her television show or read her cookbooks.  It's reported she has made millions from her books, endorsements and appearances and is in no financial trouble.  I'll lose no sleep over this tonight.

But why are major corporations attacking her financially so aggressively?  What's happening to Deen seems to make no sense.  It feels like group think.

On the flip side of the coin I note with great interest that she has a huge following on Facebook and Twitter.  The comments I read are 99 to 1 in favor of Deen.  Even those who are Deen agnostics like me feel the punishment here does not fit the crime.

Group think.  The CEO of Sears must have said, "Did you see Walmart dropped Deen, we better do it too."  And so on down the line.

I personally guarantee that every single CEO, every single Board Member and most of the Senior Management of every single company dropping Deen used the "N-Word" 27 years ago. I guarantee they did.  But if deposed they will learn from the Deen experience.  They will lie.

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Another excellent post on this subject can be found over at FREEDOM EDEN: Alec Baldwin Get a Pass, Paula Deen Gets Punished

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Where are Our Liberal Fighters?

The NSA snooping scandal get worse every day.  It turns out rampant spying without any court oversight is happening on a widespread scale.  Using a loose interpretation of a single FISA Court ruling data is being collected on American Citizens and used constantly and consistently.  We clearly have a government completely and totally out of control.

Amy Davidson, writing in The New Yorker, called the FISA ruling a secret FISA court order "a gift certificate for one year of warrant-free spying "

Curiously we don't have a single evil dictator or despot.  That's the good news.  President Obama is aloof, incompetent and largely unaware.  As I've written several times before, Barack Obama isn't the President, he just plays one on TV.  But he is not evil.

Looking at his reception at the G8 last week and his laughable speech to a tiny crowd in Berlin, his star is fading, like every television star whose time has passed.  But I digress.

The bad news is that the government has become this powerful and evil all by itself.  A badly written law here, an over zealous bureaucrat there and you have institutional evil, a government totally out of control.  The Constitution is meaningless.  Your rights, rights you actually had until five or six years ago, are gone and perhaps gone forever.

What worries me most is that our protectors, our guardians of justice and liberty have gone silent.  They have disappeared into partisan political oblivion.  The Liberal Media, the ACLU, the great Liberal crusaders have all gone silent, mumbling nonsensical platitudes in the dark.

Have you read the essays or listened to the Progressive pundits over on MSNBC?  I've read some of the most frightening, convoluted defenses of the status quo I have ever seen.  No logic, no defending the down trodden, no standing up for the rights of the common man, just mumbling about how it was bound to happen anyway.  

The leaders who fought so eloquently, so vocally and occasionally fought so violently against the war in Viet Nam, now tell me everything is perfectly OK as long as we're not doing anything illegal anyway.  "If you're not doing anything wrong you have nothing to fear."

One of the greatest Progressive voices on Twitter is the brilliant and unyielding Shoq.  He is a voice I greatly respect.  His black cat avatar is beloved by thousands and feared by his opponents.  

I recently engaged Shoq about his defense of the government's abuse of spying power and ignoring of our traditional Constitutional rights.  Quick to misinterpret my questions as an attack on President Obama, his instantly replied that Obama had done nothing wrong and, indeed, Obama has done nothing.

But, I asked, how can allow this power to fall into the hands of the next President, most likely a Republican.  Shoq's reply was simple but I fear terribly naive  "We must be careful of who we elect...."

Shoq has written a lengthy essay about the NSA and the attacks on the NSA Spying by Glenn Greenwald and The CATO Institute here.   It's an interesting read that puts a great deal of blame for the current controversy on the Koch Brothers.  You'll also always find links to Shoq's latest blog essay on the right column of my blog.

Other Progressive have multiple views of the NSA scandal, almost all defensive.  First they mount a defense to protect President Obama or the "government" in general.  Then they defend the indefensible attack on our liberty and freedom with the "... unlike President Bush, Obama got a court opinion, and he's really a good guy..." scenario.

The great Liberals of my youth who mounted the illegal protests against the Viet Nam War at the Chicago Democratic Party Convention, the Liberals who used an illegal leak to bring down the Nixon Presidency because of the SPYING at Watergate, those Liberals who dared to break the law in their fight for our rights in Selma, Birmingham and Jackson, those Liberals are gone.....   

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Gun Control Debate is Stunningly Stupid

Although the Senate is deep into negotiations about much needed Immigration Reform, there are behind the scene maneuverings to attempt another effort to pass reasonable Gun Control legislation.  Of course Conservatives immediately see these maneuvers and are already working to block these efforts.

While I find no fault in the proposed gun control legislation, I personally hate to see Democrats, Liberals and Progressives waste much needed time, effort and money trying to pass a bill that will not reduce gun violence by even a single death.  Emotions will run high, passions will be inflamed, the nation will be even more deeply divided (if that's possible), and people will still die in genocidal numbers.

Our problem here as Democrats, Progressives and Liberals is that our Conservative opponents are 100% correct: Guns Don't Kill People, People Kill People!  If we genuinely want to reduce gun violence and needless deaths we have got to start attacking the real problems and guns aren't one of them.

I write often about murders and gun violence in Chicago.  It's easy to focus on Chicago because reporting is so good, statistics so readily available and the violence is so pervasive.  If you were only to read my blog you would think Chicago is the most dangerous place on earth.

The reality is that most of Chicago is just about the safest place in America!!  In fact in the parts of Chicago where most of the "known" guns are located (that would be legally purchased, licensed, registered and/or documented guns or rifles) there is little or no gun violence!  Curiously guns don't kill people in the North side of Chicago.  The guns are there, they people are there, but there is no violence.  In half of Chicago's 23 police districts there are virtually no murders.

But on Chicago's South and West sides, in fact in just a small part of Chicago geographically, virtually all the murders and shooting occur.  Almost all the guns are illegal, unreported and illegally obtained.  The police classify this as "gang violence."

If, as Liberals, we are bound and determined to blame inanimate objects for society's problems, then we must point out that guns are strangely prejudiced against the poor and against blacks, because that's who they shoot, wound and kill.  Damn those racist guns!.

The real factors in gun violence are poverty, lack of education and lack of opportunity.  In an incredibly controversial speech this week Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis decried the lack of funding for schools on Chicago's south and west sides.  She also condemned the lack of effort on the part of city leaders and "white" businessmen in investing in these communities.  Unfortunately she blamed "racism" and the resulting controversy obscured the real wisdom in her observations.

We must find ways to invest in children in the poverty stricken portions of Chicago.  We must improve education.  And we must change the cycle of violence, drugs, gangs and poverty that go on generation after generation.

Curiously, if we do that, the guns will become as silent on the South Side of Chicago as they are on the North side.

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Resources: ABC News: Chicago Teachers Union president calls for tax changes to fund schools

The New York Times: In a Soaring Homicide Rate, a Divide in Chicago

And the very powerful, interactive website that tracks Homicides on Chicago: Redeye Tracking homicides in Chicago

Thursday, June 06, 2013

The Truth is Out There, Part Two

There is news. There is IMPORTANT news. Breaking news. News critical to the future of democracy. And the best news is that it's all being covered, at times brilliantly!  It's just being covered by the newer media leaders.

John Nolte, one of the best and brightest writers I read regularly, has written a scathing article over on, attacking and condemning the traditional media giants for their failure to investigate, research and often to even report on major news stories.  

John is 100% correct!  The old media, the folks we often call the "mainstream media," is a pathetic joke right now.  Read John's article here: MAINSTREAM MEDIA FAIL TO BREAK EVEN ONE OF FOUR OBAMA SCANDALS  The article is brilliant.  And is one of the real leaders in investigative news reporting today.

Yes, as a real Liberal (with a capital "L"), I'm praising Breitbart because they are doing the job that used to be done by the New York Times or The Washington Post.  There are still Woodward's and Bernstein's working today, they just work for FOX NEWS, or one of the newspapers in the United Kingdom.  If any work for The Washington Post, they are blinded by the light, frozen like a deer caught in the glare of the Obama Presidency.

Every real Liberal should be ashamed of the embarrassment that is NBC News.  They should be appalled of the cowardice of The New York Times and saddened by the impotence of The Washington Post.  I know I am.

I'd like to believe somewhere out there is a real editor who is just damned tired of being scooped by The Guardian all the way across the pond.  I'd like to believe there is an editor giving his (or her) reporters absolute HELL over their failure to discover the IRS story, the Benghazi story, the AP story or the Verizon/NSA story.  I'd like to believe that.

However, the truth is exactly as John Nolte states it in Breitbart:

During the Bush years, it was the New York Times, Washington Post and Sy Hersh breaking story after story after story about the White House. And yes, some of that reporting was--ahem --overreach, but at least Power knew it was being watched; our democracy was safe because an overzealous media is what you call a luxury problem.
Today, it is the complete opposite and the result is an administration run amok.
Get down on your knees and thank your Maker for conservative New Media, Roger Ailes, and for the few true liberals left in the media, like Glenn Greenwald--who works for the Brits.

If a Republican is elected in 2016, the old mainstream media will come back to life.  After all the New York Times sent 16 reporters to Alaska to "investigate" Sarah Palin.  I'll welcome the re-awakening.  It just shouldn't be that way.  Political Parties shouldn't make one damned bit of difference.   

But until we get a Republican President, I'll give a big "Thank You" to the late Andrew Breitbart.  His legacy is saving our Democracy.