Patterico's Pontifications

4/30/2015

In Spite Of Mayor’s Denial, Law Enforcement Officer Claims Mayor Gave Stand-Down Order

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:48 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Yesterday I posted about an allegation from a senior law enforcement officer that the mayor of Baltimore had given a directive to officers to let protesters loot, claiming that it was only property.

Mayor Rawlings-Blake, in a bit of verbal gymnastics, denied giving a stand-down order:

“You have to understand, it is not holding back. It is responding appropriately”

Today, Sheriff Michael Lewis of Wicomico County, who traveled to Baltimore to help the officers stop the rioting, was interviewed:


We were assigned to assigned to protect Baltimore City Police headquarters, all of E. Fayette Street up to City Hall, to include City Hall. There wasn’t a whole lot of activity taking place at all. We could smell that putrid smell of burning tires and a city on fire when as we came into the city. Had lots of concerns like everyone else. We maintained our post all night long until we were relieved.”

But what shocked him the most, he said, was when city police told him not to confront and accost the rioters.

“I was sick to my stomach like everybody else. … This was urban warfare, no question about it. They were coming in absolutely beaten down. The [city officers] got out of their vehicles, thanked us profusely for being there, apologized to us for having to be there. They said we could have handled this, we were very capable of handling this, but we were told to stand down, repeatedly told to stand down,” he said. “I had never heard that order come from anyone — we went right out to our posts as soon as we got there, so I never heard the mayor say that. But repeatedly these guys, and there were many high-ranking officials from the Baltimore City Police Department … and these guys told me they were essentially neutered from the start. They were spayed from the start. They were told to stand down, you will not take any action, let them destroy property. I couldn’t believe it, I’m a 31-year veteran of law enforcement. … I had never heard anything like this before in my life and these guys obviously aren’t gonna speak out and the more I thought about this, … I had to say a few things. I apologize if I’ve upset people, but I believe in saying it like it is.”

–Dana

Ted Cruz: Obama Has Been Divisive on Race

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:00 am

It’s about time someone said it:

Cruz accuses Obama of inflaming racial tensions

Sen. Ted Cruz on Wednesday accused President Barack Obama and his administration of inflaming racial tensions and pitting Americans against each other on major societal issues.
“President Obama, when he was elected, he could have been a unifying figure,” the Republican presidential contender said during an appearance hosted by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

“He could have chosen to be a leader on race relations and bring us together. And he hasn’t done that, he’s made decisions that I think have inflamed racial tensions that have divided us rather than bringing us together.”

. . . .

He pointed to a moment during the 2012 presidential election when Vice President Joe Biden warned, to an audience that included African Americans, that Republicans “want to put y’all back in chains.” That “kind of incendiary and hateful rhetoric,” Cruz said, was an example of the administration “deliberately dividing and inflaming tensions.”

What Cruz should note as well, because it’s important, is that this attitude is not just rhetorical — the racial tensions are inherent in progressivism, because progressivism is at the root of the divisions in the country. Obama’s comments on the recent riots gave the mandatory lip service to the lack of fathers in the communities that are ripping themselves apart, talking about

communities where there are no fathers who can provide guidance to young men; communities where there’s no investment, and manufacturing has been stripped away; and drugs have flooded the community.

But Obama failed (as he must, being a progressive) to note government’s role in creating this situation. Why are there no fathers? Because the state has made it possible for women to marry the government instead of the father of their children. Out of wedlock births soared beginning in 1970 after the implementation of the Great Society, breaking up family units across the nation. Minimum wage laws serve to disemploy the less educated and skilled from earning a living, even as welfare and the welfare rights movement normalized being on the dole.

The solution is not more big government. Obama talks about “job training.” Job training programs have a horrible track record of success, largely because the basic skills necessary for maintaining a low-level job, like punctuality and reliability, are not attributes taught in the culture that Big Government has wrought. So: you know the people who don’t show up for jobs on time, or come to work every day? Those same people also don’t show up for their job training on time, or even come to the training every day. Most people in LBJ’s “Job Corps” didn’t even bother to finish the training.

Obama’s other preferred solutions, like more funding for early education, have a similarly bleak track record. Head Start has been repeatedly shown to be a failure. In California, we spend absurd amounts of money on education to no avail. Kids have iPads but no basic life skills, because their culture has not taught them responsibility.

I honestly think people like Obama believe they are helping the poor and minorities. But in truth, the free market would help these people, while progressivism just keeps hurting them.

Progressivism is destroying America. Ted Cruz is one of the few people who will stand up to progressivism.

4/29/2015

Hillary Clinton Just Needs To Stop Using The Word “Transparency”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:20 pm

[guest post by Dana]

What do you call a brazen individual who has no shame, thus cannot be shamed? Hillary Clinton, of course. She is the very definition of deceitful unmitigated gall.

Today Hillary gave her big speech at Columbia University before a student audience that had been warned by her campaign that “no…recording devices, and placards of any kind” would be permitted in the auditorium.

During her speech, Hillary used a word that I have previously said no Clinton should ever use: Transparency. This because they are clearly unclear on the definition and application of the word…

With that, Hillary discussed the need for the police to wear body cameras:

“That will improve transparency and accountability and it will help protect good people on both sides of the lens,” she said. “For every tragedy caught on tape, there are surely many more” that now go unrecorded.

The patterns have become unmistakable and undeniable,”

It’s comical that today of all days, Hillary chose today to discuss the need for public servants to be transparent and held accountable:

*There are in fact 1,100 undisclosed donors to the Clinton Foundation, Giustra says, most of them non-U.S. residents who donated to CGEP. “All of the money that was raised by CGEP flowed through to the Clinton Foundation—every penny—and went to the [charitable] initiatives we identified,” he says.

The reason this is a politically explosive revelation is because the Clinton Foundation promised to disclose its donors as a condition of Hillary Clinton becoming secretary of state. Shortly after Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, the Clinton Foundation signed a “memorandum of understanding” with the Obama White House agreeing to reveal its contributors every year. The agreement stipulates that the “Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative” (as the charity was then known) is part of the Clinton Foundation and must follow “the same protocols.”

It hasn’t.

Oh yes, Hillary, patterns have indeed become unmistakable and undeniable.

(*Read the whole thing)

–Dana

Baltimore Mayor Allegedly Gave Order To “Let Them Loot, It’s Only Property”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:18 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is under fire for allegedly giving a direct order to law enforcement officers regarding the rioters, telling them to “let them loot, it’s only property”. This according to a “very senior law enforcement officer with direct knowledge of the orders given by the mayor and her police commanders…”


Asked directly if the mayor was the one who gave that order, the source said: “You are God damn right it was.”

–Dana

Salon: Smashing Police Cars Is Legitimate

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:47 am

Lovely:

Baltimore’s violent protesters are right: Smashing police cars is a legitimate political strategy

I do not advocate non-violence—particularly in a moment like the one we currently face. In the spirit and words of militant Black and Brown feminist movements from around the globe, I believe it is crucial that we see non-violence as a tactic, not a philosophy.

Non-violence is a type of political performance designed to raise awareness and win over sympathy of those with privilege. When those on the outside of struggle—the white, the wealthy, the straight, the able-bodied, the masculine—have demonstrated repeatedly that they do not care, are not invested, are not going to step in the line of fire to defend the oppressed, this is a futile political strategy. It not only fails to meet the needs of the community, but actually puts oppressed people in further danger of violence.

(I know, I know. It’s a deliberately provocative piece trolling for hits, and I probably shouldn’t be responding to it. Still . . . here goes.)

Actually, as Thomas Sowell has shown, riots such as have occurred in ghetto areas from time to time have a greater negative impact on the residents of those areas than they do on the Establishment. These riots discourage businesses from entering the areas and help ensure a hopeless environment for the good people who live in those communities.

What’s more, we don’t applaud violent thuggishness from anyone, and accepting it in Baltimore is an example of condescension — a mindset that is explained by the lady in this video:

(H/t to my sister.)

4/28/2015

Baseball Game to Be Played in Baltimore . . . With Public Not Present

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:17 pm

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Amid civil unrest in Baltimore, Wednesday’s game between the White Sox and Orioles at Camden Yards has been moved to a 1:05 p.m. CT/2:05 p.m. ET start and will be closed to the public, the Orioles announced Tuesday. The game had been scheduled for Wednesday night.

The change comes after Monday and Tuesday’s games between the teams were postponed due to safety concerns after rioting broke out near the stadium. The latest round of demonstrations follow the recent death of Freddie Gray, 25, an African-American suspect who had been taken into police custody.

That’s going to be . . . weird. It has apparently never happened before.

Gay Marriage Arguments Today

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:10 pm

I have no particular insight for you; Kennedy made a reference to the definition of marriage having been constant for “millenia” but I suspect it’s a head fake and he’s in it for the glory. We’ll see come June. If you want to listen, audio is here and here, transcripts here and here.

UPDATE: By the way, in that first audio clip, it’s worth your time to scroll ahead to 27:00 and listen for about a minute. Trust me. Go all the way to 28:00. I don’t want to spoil it by describing it.

Compelling Love: Baltimore Mom Pummels Son And Drags Him Away From Rioting; She Talks About It Today

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:15 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Last night I posted the video of the Baltimore mom who spotted her son heading toward the thick of the rioting and subsequently tore into him:

Toya Graham, single mother of six, including 16-year old Michael seen in the video, was interviewed this morning on CBS.

Graham explained that she went after Michael in order to prevent him from becoming the next Freddie Gray. In spite of the mask her son wore, Graham recognized him:

“He gave me eye contact. And at that point, you know, not even thinking about cameras or anything like that. That’s my only son and at the end of the day I don’t want him to be a Freddie Gray.”

“At that point, I just lost it,” said Graham. “I was shocked, I was angry, because you never want to see your child out there doing that.”

Graham expressed her concern for her son’s safety in their neighborhood and denounced the rioting and attacks on police officers:

“There’s some days that I’ll shield him in the house just so he won’t go outside and I know that I can’t do that for the rest of my life,” said Graham. “I’m a no-tolerant mother. Everybody that knows me, know I don’t play that.”

And knowing that about his mom put the fear of God in Michael:

It’s that reputation that made her son wince the second he saw her.

“He knew he was in trouble,” said Graham. “He said when ‘I seen you,’ he said, ‘ma, my instinct was to run.'”

Graham discussed what she thought may have prevented the protests from escalating:

Graham told CBS News she thinks the situation wouldn’t have been as bad if there were more mothers out there monitoring their sons. But she acknowledged there are some circumstances that can prevent moms from from doing that.

“We don’t know where those mothers are at, a lot of mothers have to provide for their children,” said Graham. “You can talk blue in your face to your children, but at the end of the day they gonna make their own decisions. As parents we just have to follow through to make sure that’s where they supposed to be at.”

(Sadly, there is no mention of fathers being needed to monitor their teenage sons and rein them in when necessary.)

–Dana

Judge Rules In Favor Of Christian T-Shirt Company That Declined To Print T-Shirts For A Gay Pride Festival

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:04 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Back in November, I posted about the T-shirt company Hands On Original, whose owner Blaine Adamson had declined a request by the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization of Lexington to make shirts for an upcoming Lexington Pride Festival. Adamson declined, not wanting to violate his religious beliefs by endorsing groups or events he did not agree with:

To be very clear, Hands On Originals does not and never has discriminated against any individuals or groups. As my earlier statement clarifies, we both employ and do business with people from all walks of life.

My decision not to print the shirts requested of us has nothing to do with who was ordering the shirts; it had only to do with the message of the shirts no matter who was ordering them.

In this situation, the message is in disagreement with my values. My faith calls me to love all people regardless of whether they share my values or not.

As result of Adamson’s decision, the Kentucky Human Rights Commission ruled that he had violated a city law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Yesterday, in a heartening decision, a Lexington judge sided with Adamson and overturned the commission’s ruling:

A judge in Lexington has ruled in favor of a shop that refused to print gay pride festival T-shirts.

The ruling Monday by Fayette County Circuit Judge James Ishmael overturns a decision by the city’s Human Rights Commission. The commission had ruled in 2014 that the print shop, Hands On Originals, violated a city law that bans discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation. The shop says it has refused several jobs because of its Christian beliefs.

Ishmael said the Human Rights Commission went beyond its statutory authority in siding with the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization. The judge said that the print shop’s refusal in 2012 was based on the message of the gay group and pride festival and “not on the sexual orientation of its representatives or members.”

Further:

Ishmael said the business never inquired about the sexual orientation of the representatives from the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization. The owners of Hands On Originals have “treated homosexual and heterosexual groups the same,” Ishmael wrote, noting that the business has in the past turned down orders for shirts promoting strip clubs and containing violent messages.

The Gay, Lesbian Service Organization released a statement:

We feel that this is just a reminder that there are still many out there who feel that their citizenship is worth more than that of members of the (gay, lesbian and transgender) community.

The Alliance Defense Fund, which argued on behalf of the shop, stated:

The government can’t force citizens to surrender free-speech rights or religious freedom in order to run a small business, and this decision affirms that

–Dana

Having Failed with Interest Rates, Our Betters Now Want to Increase Inflation

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:47 am

Oh, brother:

The cardinal rule of central banking, in the United States and in most other advanced industrial nations, is that annual inflation should run around 2 percent.

But as the Federal Reserve prepares to start raising its benchmark interest rate later this year to keep future inflation from exceeding that pace, it is facing persistent questions about the wisdom of the rule and the possible benefits of significantly increasing its target.

Higher inflation could disrupt economic activity, but it also would enhance the Fed’s power to stimulate the economy during recessions. And some experts say the struggles of the Fed and other central banks to provide enough stimulus since the Great Recession suggest they could use more room for maneuvering.

. . . .

The case for raising the 2 percent target rests on the counterintuitive idea that moderate inflation is a good thing, helping to grease the wheels of commerce and prevent an outright fall in prices. This is widely accepted by economists. It is the reason that central banks aim for a modest inflation rate, rather than keeping prices at the same level from year to year. The question is, How much?

On goes the Sarcastic Hat.

Indeed, all the smartest people know that it is important for consumers’ purchasing power to diminish year to year by some amount determined by central planners. The experts make a convincing case that our purchasing power isn’t plummeting fast enough.

I think they should start by targeting the specific industries that have a demonstrated history of dangerous deflation, like computers. Everyone knows that computers keep getting better all the time, while prices get lower. This is an intolerable and dangerous situation, for the same sound reasons that general deflation would be intolerable and dangerous. If the prices of computers keeping dropping, consumers will wait to buy computers. Also, companies making computers will not be profitable. These are the arguments we always hear about general deflation and I don’t see why they shouldn’t apply to the computer industry.

The conclusion is clear. Government needs to take action to ensure that the prices of computers does not decline, but rather increases, steadily. Ideally, the price increase will occur at a rate determined by government bureaucrats living in Washington, D.C., who have no personal stake in the success of the companies. I think that would be for the best, don’t you?

And to those who say that better and cheaper products (like computers) are a good thing for consumers, I say: don’t you guys understand economics??

Next thing you know, you guys will be saying the real problem is excessive taxation and regulation, and that the government needs to get out of the way and let the free market allocate resources according to the individual decisions of consumers. That, I hope most people realize, is crazy talk. The very thought should be illegal to think and I am going to go draft a law to ban such thoughts right now. Be right back; talk amongst yourselves.

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