Newt Gingrich Brings the Wood on Baltimore

May 26th, 2015

This Newt Gingrich piece on Baltmore’s dysfunction came out last week, and I thought it was worth doing a separate post on. It’s not that the Democratic Party culpability dissected here will be new to anyone paying attention, but that he frames the issue with admirable economy, pith and precision amidst a barrage of data points.

Fact: The last Republican city council member in Baltimore City left office in 1942. That is 73 years of solid Democrat city councils.

Fact: The last Republican mayor of Baltimore City left office in 1967. That is 48 years of unbroken Democrat control of the mayor’s office…

Fact: The last time Republicans held even one chamber of the Maryland General Assembly—the House—was 1917. That is unbroken Democrat control of the Maryland legislature since 1918, or nearly a century of Democrat control.

“The first duty of government is to protect the innocent and the weak from predators and violence. Once again, a Democrat favored the violent over the victims.”

It is Democrats who control the teachers union that traps Baltimore City’s children in schools that fail and ruin their lives. They do so on behalf of the unionized bureaucratic political machine that controls the city.

Poverty in general has been institutionalized by the destructive ideological biases of Democrat President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. On May 22, 1964, President Johnson said, “Our society will never be great until our cities are great. Today the frontier of imagination and innovation is inside those cities and not beyond their borders.”

Tragically, his policies trapped people in dependency, killed small businesses in favor of bureaucracy, and favored unionized workers over children. The result has been a 50-year disaster which no liberal Democrat is prepared to analyze honestly.

His most recent incarnation as a scatter-shot idea-a-minute futurist makes it easy to forget what an excellent, focused ideological street-fighter Gingrich was in his prime. This piece is a nice reminder, and instructive reminder of exactly which political party has run (and failed) Baltimore.

FlashBack: Camille Paglia Interview With Playboy

May 25th, 2015

Instapundit linked to this Playboy with Camille Paglia yesterday. Even though it’s over 20 years old, her bracing assaults on victimhood feminism and political correctness are still pungently quotable:

“My critics are irrelevant, though. It tells how much I’m getting to them by how vitriolic they are. They refuse to deal with the ideas.”

On Clarence Thomas: “Any man with five years Of Playboy in his kitchen should be placed on the Supreme Court immediately!”

The reason women earn less than men is that women don’t want the dirty jobs. They aren’t picking up the garbage, taking the janitorial jobs and so on. They aren’t taking the sales commission jobs that require you to work all night and on weekends. Most women like clean, safe offices, which is why they are still secretaries. They don’t want to get too dirty. Also, women want offices to be nice, happy places. What bullshit. The women’s movement is rooted in the belief that we don’t even need men. All it will take is one natural disaster to prove how wrong that is. Then, the only thing holding this culture together will be masculine men of the working class. The cultural elite–women and men–will be pleading for the plumbers and the construction workers. We are such a parasitic class.

I began to realize this in the Seventies when I thought women could do it on their own. But then something would go wrong with my car and I’d have to go to the men. Men would stop, men would lift up the hood, more men would come with a truck and take the car to a place where there were other men who would call other men who would arrive with parts. I saw how feminism was completely removed from this reality.

I also learned something from the men at the garage. At Bennington, I would go to a faculty meeting and be aware that everyone hated me. The men were appalled by a strong, loud woman. But I went to this auto shop and the men there thought I was cute. “Oh, there’s that Professor Paglia from the college.” The real men, men who work on cars, find me cute. They are not frightened by me, no matter how loud I am. But the men at the college were terrified because they are eunuchs, and I threatened every goddamned one of them.

More:

You can’t the Stalinist situation we have in America right now, where any neurotic woman can make any stupid charge and destroy a man’s reputation. If there is evidence of false accusation, the accuser should be expelled. Similarly, a woman who falsely accuses a man of rape should be sent to jail. My definition of sexual harassment is specific. It is only sexual harassment–by a man or a woman–if it is quid pro quo. That is, if someone says, “You must do this or I’m going to do that”–for instance, fire you. And whereas touching is sexual harassment, speech is not. I am militant on this. Words must remain free.

And how’s this for an obvious truthful heresy? “No one gives a fuck about women’s group sports–it embarrasses me to see women’s basketball.”

As with any Paglia interview, there’s plenty for people on any side of the political spectrum, but her takes on various PC shibboleths are so orthogonal to the mainstream that they’re always worth a look. Read the whole thing.

Breastaurants 1, Social Justice Warriors 0

May 24th, 2015

Having no special post for remembering the fallen on Memorial Day up my sleeve this weekend, instead enjoy a small Twitter thread on the usual feminist assault on “Breastaurants” (Hooters, twin Peaks, etc.):

Mexican Gunfight Kills 42 Cartel Thugs, 1 Cop

May 23rd, 2015

Evidently Mexico was jealous of our Waco biker shootout and decided to one-up us:

The latest in a series of clashes between Mexican authorities and a powerful, fast-growing drug cartel turned into the deadliest confrontation in recent memory, with 42 suspected gang gunmen and one Federal Police officer killed during a three-hour firefight at a remote western ranch.

The battle on Friday followed two other recent unprecedented attacks by the cartel, one that killed 15 state police officers and another that shot down an army helicopter with a rocket launcher for the first time in Mexico’s history. The death toll from all three is at least 76 people at a time when the Mexican government claims crime is falling dramatically and the interior minister recently insisted the country “is not in flames.”

Snip.

The suspects were members of “a criminal organization whose main operating zone is Jalisco state,” National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido said. He did not specifically the Jalisco New Generation cartel, but the drug gang dominates the area where the battle erupted and has grown rapidly in recent years to become one of Mexico’s biggest organized crime groups.

Remember that the New Generation cartel previously shot down a police helicopter.

More information on the cartel:

Promoting themselves as ‘guardians of the people’ the gang, based in Guadalajara in Jalisco state, is one of the first cartels to communicate directly with the public by hanging banners around the city with messages of solidarity and posting videos online of vigilante justice.

Snip.

Following a coordinated attack on a police convoy last month which caused the deaths of 15 police officers, the New Generation hung banners around Guadalajara, Mexico’s second biggest city, proclaiming that ‘the cartel wishes to aid and defend the citizens against The Zetas, The Knights Templar [two other major cartels and rivals] and the abusive authorities’.

The Knights Templar are a drug cartel? I smell a new Dan Brown novel in the works…

LinkSwarm for May 22, 2015

May 22nd, 2015

Welcome to the beginning of the long Memorial Day weekend! Here in Texas, we’re going to celebrate the long weekend by building arks and gathering up two of every animal.

  • “Islamic State seizes Syria’s last border crossing with Iraq.” (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • Obama’s toothless Iran deal is pushing the Saudis to buy nuclear weapons from Pakistan.
  • Saudi convicted of keeping a sex slave refuses to attend a mandatory sex offender course, because Islam.
  • “If the Obama Administration loses [the King vs. Burwell ObamaCare case] in the Supreme Court, the political pain will fall almost exclusively on the President and his Party.”
  • Evidently Bill de Blasio has mistaken himself for Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
  • Coming soon: homebrew heroin.
  • Ted Cruz is the only republican arrogant enough to be President. (Though I have some disagreements with Spengler’s subsidiary foreign policy points.)
  • Democratic pollster Pat Caddell: Obama is more corrupt than Nixon. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • “How To Spot And Critique Censorship Tropes In The Media’s Coverage Of Free Speech Controversies.”
  • The Stephanopoulos lies: worse than you think.
  • A good many of those Ferguson protestors were paid to protest. And now many say their paymasters refuse to cough up the dough. It’s sleazebags all the way down.
  • Slashdot post: Look at all this STEM sexism! Slashdot comments: Your link is garbage and you should stop talking out of your ass.
  • It’s another one of those New York Times pieces that seem designed to make you hate both rich Manhattanites and the writer equally, about how terribly, terribly isolating it is to be a rich woman on the Upper East Side. (File under: “Three people in New York make a trend.”)
  • By way of partial counterpoint (and, in some ways, almost equally annoying), here’s dating advice for Uptown divorcees from a few years ago. “Our biggest challenge, time and again, is matching up middle-aged divorcées in the ‘pre-realist’ stage, who have not realized that they have a choice of sex, money or companionship —but not necessarily all three in the same package.”
  • Good: List of speed-traps to avoid in Texas. Bad: Slideshow.
  • Police chief in small Texas town get’s drunk and starts hitting on another policeman’s soon-to-be-ex-wife. Beatdown ensues.
  • Dogs are Awesome.
  • Waco Biker Shootout Follow-Up 5

    May 21st, 2015

    And here’s still more information that’s dribbled out on Sunday’s Waco biker shootout:

  • A complete list of bikers arrested after the Waco shootout.
  • Security camera footage from the restaurant shown to the media but not released to the public (thanks a lot) shows members of the Cossacks, as well as members of “Scimitars, Boozefighters and Leathernecks.” Previous reports hadn’t listed the Boozefighters, who have a colorful history (they claim they were the inspiration for the movie The Wild One) but claim today “We are very patriotic & support the US military. We strive to do our best to continually improve ourselves, our Club, and the communities we live in.”
  • For those keeping track on the home game, motorcycle clubs/gangs listed as having been at the Waco shootout include: Bandidos, Coassacks, Scimitars, Vaqueros, Pirados, Leathernecks, Boozefighters and Veterans. Which is eight groups, though initial reports said five.
  • The names of the dead from the Waco biker shootout have been released, including two (Jesus Delgado Rodriguez and Manuel Issac Rodriguez) with Hispanic surnames.
  • Also make that at least two black bikers arrested after the Waco shootout. Bonus: One is an ex San Antonio cop.
  • I can understand the Waco police’s impulse not to give out the names of the biker gangs involved so as not to give them more publicity. However, in today’s media environment this is an essentially meaningless gesture

    Texas vs. California Update for May 21, 2015

    May 21st, 2015

    Time for another Texas vs. California update:

  • “March marked a phenomenal run of 99 consecutive months when Texas’ unemployment rate was at or below the national average.” Also: “Texas employs an impressive two and a half times more people since December 2007 than the rest of the nation combined.”
  • The Texas state legislature is on the verge of passing an actual conservative budget.
  • Will Franklin looks at local bond debt in Texas. It’s creeping up, partially due to big government advocates scheduling off-year bond elections when fewer people are voting. Even so, voters seem willing to reject big-ticket bond items.
  • San Bernardino’s bankruptcy plan: CalPERS gets theirs, bondholders get screwed.
  • And San Bernardino is planning to outsource their firefighting operations, not least of which because the fire department sucks up $7 million worth of overtime a year. And the fact their union stopped participating in bankruptcy talks didn’t help… (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • How a few wealthy California environmentalists give the illusion of a mass movement.
  • How retroactive pension increases destroyed California budgets. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • California is a victim of repeated short-sighted thinking.
  • Los Angeles joins the minimum wage hike bandwagon. Expect another wave of small business closure stories over the next few months…
  • Why public employee unions are the elephant in the room for California’s debt crisis. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • California’s majority Democrats shelve legislative transparency bill written by Republican. This is my shocked face.
  • Compton teachers get laid off, Do-Da, Do-Da…
  • “In another corporate exodus from Torrance, California, to North Texas, Kubota Tractor Corp. and Kubota Credit Corp. announced Thursday that they will move their headquarters to Grapevine from the Los Angeles area.”
  • “The number of young adults admitted to California hospital emergency rooms with heroin poisoning increased sixfold over the past decade.” (Hat tip: Cal WatchDog.)
  • The Weinstein Company hit with $130 million lawsuit. File under: Hollywood Accounting.
  • Bill Seeks To Turn Texas Into Two Party Notification State

    May 20th, 2015

    Senate Bill 1223 seeks to turn Texas into a two-party (rather than one-party) notification state for recording communications. This is a bad idea, for much the same reason that Jason Villalba’s House Bill 2918 was a bad idea, though SB 1223 has much broader implications.

    In addition to making it illegal to secretly record interactions with government officials (including police) without informing them, it would also make most secret investigative journalism illegal (including pretty much everything James O’Keefe has recorded to embarrass the Democratic Party), recording interactions with corporate customer service representatives, and recording illegal activity would itself become illegal.

    Or take this recent video of a counselor threatening to file harassment charges against a student merely for waiting for his adviser:

    That too would be illegal under SB 1223. It’s a bad idea that should be quashed.

    (Hat tip: Push Junction.)

    Waco Biker Shootout Follow-Up 4

    May 19th, 2015

    A few more tidbits about the Waco biker shootout:

    And still more background on the Bandidos/Cossacks beef:

    Earlier Monday, Dallas TV station WFAA reported that the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Joint Information Center issued a bulletin May 1 that cautioned authorities about increasing violence between the Bandidos and the Cossacks. McNamara has said all nine people who were killed in the melee Sunday were part of those two groups.

    The bulletin said the tension could stem from Cossacks refusing to pay Bandidos dues for operating in Texas and for wearing a patch on their vest that claimed Texas as their turf without the Bandidos’ approval.

    “Traditionally, the Bandidos have been the dominant motorcycle club in Texas, and no other club is allowed to wear the Texas bar without their consent,” the bulletin said, according to WFAA.

    The bulletin said the FBI had received information that Bandidos had discussed “going to war with Cossacks.” It also outlined several recent incidents between the two groups, including one instance in March when about 10 Cossacks forced a Bandido to pull over along Interstate 35 near Waco and attacked him with “chains, batons and metal pipes before stealing his motorcycle,” WFAA reported.

    That same day, a group of Bandidos confronted a Cossack member fueling up at a truck stop in Palo Pinto County, west of Fort Worth, the bulletin said. When the Cossack member refused to remove the Texas patch from his vest, the Bandidos hit him in the head with a hammer and stole it.

  • This Dallas Morning News piece suggests that the Cossacks showed up uninvited to the Waco meeting.
  • Anyone trying to make a shootout between two (or more) biker gangs about “race” or “white-on-white violence” is talking out their ass. Remember that this morning’s follow-up showed 11 Hispanic and one black suspect among those arrested. So the liberal race-hustler /victimhood identity politics/Social Justice Warrior crowd is wrong not just conceptually (as they are 100% of the time), but on basic incident facts as well.
  • Waco Biker Shootout Follow-Up 3

    May 19th, 2015

    And still more on the biker gang shootout in Waco that left nine people dead:

  • According to The Wall Street journal:

    The tensions reached a boil recently when some Cossacks members began wearing a patch with the word “Texas” emblazoned at the bottom of their biker jackets and vests.

    Those “bottom rocker” patches, as they are called in biker parlance, were a direct affront to the Bandidos, a larger gang with a long history of criminal activity in several states, Mr. Cook said. The Bandidos had claimed the sole right to display the patch as a sign of their turf, he said.

    “The fact that the Cossacks would put on a bottom rocker with the state of Texas is basically saying, ‘We don’t respect you, and we won’t answer to you,’ ” Mr. Cook said. “It was a powder keg.”

    So if Mr. Cook is correct, nine people just got killed over this:

  • “Steve Cook, a police detective in Independence, Mo., who heads the Midwest Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators Association—a nongovernmental group of law enforcement experts that tracks biker gang activity and shares intelligence among members.” And ironically, he was already scheduled to hold a seminar on outlaw biker gangs in Waco in June…
  • Although initial pictures of detained bikers them to be overwhelmingly white, eleven of the mugshots show people with Hispanic surnames, and one of the suspects appears to be black. America: So diverse even scumbag outlaw motorcycle gangs are integrated!
  • This report says that members of the Vaqueros were involved in the fight. Assuming that this website is for the same gang, they claim to be “family men engaged in legitimate business.” Fat Tony nods approvingly.
  • Here’s a piece on a Bandidos funeral from 2007. “Bandidos parked their bikes and began hugging and kissing one another on the mouth—the traditional Bandido greeting.” Uh huh…