Monday, August 26, 2013
26 August, 2013
Dead Souls of a Cultural Revolution
By Patrick J. Buchanan
Last Friday, Christopher Lane, a 22-year-old Australian here on a baseball scholarship, was shot and killed while jogging in Duncan, Okla., population 23,000. He died where he fell.
Police have three suspects, two black and one white. The latter said they were bored and decided to shoot Lane for "the fun of it."
As Lane was white and the shooter black, racism has surfaced as a motive. Thursday came reports that killing a white man may have been an initiation rite for the black teens in joining some offshoot of the Crips or Bloods.
What happened in Oklahoma and the reaction, or lack of reaction to it, tells us much about America in 2013, not much of it good.
Teenagers who can shoot and kill a man out of summertime boredom are moral barbarians, dead souls.
But who created these monsters? Where did they come from? Surely one explanation lies in the fact that the old conscience-forming and character-forming institutions — home, church, school, and a moral and healthy culture fortifying basic truths — have collapsed. And the community hardest hit is Black America.
If we go back to the end of World War II, 90 percent of black families consisted of a mother and father and children raised and disciplined by their parents. The churches to which these families went on Sundays were stronger. Black schools may have been largely segregated, but they were also the transmission belts of patriotism and traditional values rooted in biblical truths and a Christian faith.
Though such schools graduated hardworking, law-abiding and productive citizens, today they would be closed as unconstitutional.
Indeed, all of those character- and conscience-forming institutions of yesterday are in an advanced state of decline today.
Seventy-three percent of black kids are born to single moms. Black kids who make it to 12th grade may often be found reading at seventh-, eighth- or ninth-grade levels. In some cities the black dropout rate can hit as high as 50 percent.
Drugs are readily available. And among black males ages 18 to 29, in urban areas, often a third are in prison or jail, or on probation or parole, or walking around with a criminal record.
Where do the kids get their ideas of right and wrong, good and evil? In homes where the father is absent and the TV is always on. From radios tuned in to rap and hip-hop. From films where Hollywood values prevail and the shooting never stops. From street gangs that sometimes form the only families these kids have ever known.
Still, crime has fallen since 1990, we are told. And so it has. But that is only because the baby boomers, the largest population cohort in our history, passed out of the high-crime age group a quarter of a century ago, and because the jail and prison population in America has tripled.
What kind of leadership do we see today in Black America?
What can be said for an NAACP that was lately demanding a Justice Department investigation of a rodeo clown running around a bull ring in rural Missouri in an Obama mask, but cannot find its voice to address a black-on-white atrocity in Middle America?
When Trayvon Martin was shot to death in a murky incident in Sanford, Fla., Jesse Jackson rushed there to declare: "Blacks are under attack. ... Killing us is big business." Trayvon was "shot down in cold blood by a vigilante ... murdered and martyred."
After Chris Lane's cold-blooded murder, Jesse tweeted: This sort of thing is to be "frowned upon."
If I had a son, said President Obama, he would have looked like Trayvon; 35 years ago, I could have been Trayvon. Can the president not find his voice to speak to the parents of Chris Lane?
Since Lyndon Johnson took office, 50 years ago, we have spent trillions on his programs for health care, housing, education, food stamps, welfare and civil rights. Are we living in that Great Society we were promised?
In that same decade, we were told that the social, cultural and moral revolution bursting forth on the campuses would rid us of the repressive old-time morality and Old Time Religion, and lead to a more equal, just, humane and better America, a beacon to mankind.
Yet, are not the killers of Chris Lane who shot him for the fun of it the "do-your-own-thing!" children of that cultural revolution?
The death of Trayvon was said to be reflective of the real America, a country where black folks live in constant fear of white vigilantes and white racist cops. What nonsense.
In the real America, interracial violence is overwhelming black-on-white. Even if the media will not report it, everybody knows it.
And journalists will not dig into the numbers that prove it, for the truth would undermine their ideology and contradict the narrative that governs and gives meaning to their lives.
For liberals, America is always "Mississippi Burning." It just has to be that way.
It's Left-wing prats who are defending Britain's freedoms
The visit by national security agents to smash up computers at the Guardian newspaper is shocking, like something out of East Germany in the 1970s
A few weeks ago, a British national newspaper was visited by a detachment of national security agents who demanded that its computers and hard drives be destroyed. The security men then stood over its staff while they smashed their equipment to pieces.
In the peace-time history of a free country, this incident is about as shocking as it gets. And yet, a remarkable consensus has grown up, including – I’m sorry to say – many on my side of the political fence, to the effect that this is no big deal.
The reasons that this scene – which looks, on the face of it, like something out of East Germany in the 1970s – is apparently perfectly acceptable seem to be: a) the data in the computers was a threat to the national security of this country and to that of our American allies; b) this information was stolen from the US government and published illegally by people who are narcissistic/eccentric/of dubious political judgment, and c) the newspaper in question was the Guardian, which is full of annoying Left-wing prats. Let’s consider these points in order of importance.
Taking a hammer to the hardware in the Guardian’s basement will make scarcely any difference to the dissemination of this data since duplicates reside in other locations around the globe. So presiding over the physical destruction of the newspaper’s property could only constitute a form of rather theatrical intimidation.
The official excuse for getting rid of the equipment – even though the data was known to exist elsewhere – was that the paper’s system might be insecure, so obliterating it meant that at least one source of potential leaks was eliminated. This would be far more credible if the National Security Agency (whose mass surveillance programme had been exposed) was as diligent in carrying out its prescribed function as it is in vindictively pursuing anyone who reports its unconstitutional activities to the world.
It is now an established fact that the US security agencies – while they were presumably busy trawling through the email traffic and telephone records of the general population – ignored explicit warnings that the Tsarnaev brothers were potential terrorists. In spite of the Chechen pair being specifically identified by Russian security experts, these dangerous young men – living in plain sight – were allowed to prepare unmolested for the Boston marathon bombings.
And in addition to such serious lapses of concentration, the NSA has had moments of comic ineptitude: at one point, it seems it confused the international dialling code for Egypt (20) with the area code for Washington DC (202) and ended up hauling in the records of every phone call that went through the nation’s capital. Indeed, the fact that Edward Snowden, who was an employee of an outside contractor, had access to its top-secret data, suggests that the standards of security at the agency were pretty lax.
Which brings us to: b) the individuals who transmitted and received this information. The personalities of these people, however self-righteous or psychologically flawed they may be, are of no relevance.
What Snowden exposed was a gross abuse of power by a secret policing agency. What the NSA was (is) doing is strictly prohibited by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which states that the citizen shall be free from “unreasonable searches and seizures” without probable cause. That is why the 2008 anti-terrorism law, which allows warrantless surveillance on domestic networks, specifies that this must be targeted at non-citizens abroad. (Reader, this means you if you have any digital or telephone contact with the US.)
In reality, this programme now involves the indiscriminate mass monitoring of innocent communications on a scale that is unprecedented in history. What we should be concerned about are not the personal quirks of Mr Snowden or his opportunistic embrace by Vladimir Putin, but the significance of what he revealed with the help of some journalists.
So here we are at c) and the particular problem that some commentators have with the Guardian newspaper. As regular readers will know, I do not balk at any opportunity to ridicule the self-regarding Left-liberalism of the Guardian. Nor do I support its attempt to place legal limits on the activities of the press – the irony of which is not lost on those who are now unconcerned about its fate.
But that is neither here nor there. When James Rosen, the White House correspondent of Fox News, was being threatened by the Obama administration’s Department of Justice, he was defended in the most robust and uncompromising terms by none other than the New York Times (which has now entered an agreement with the Guardian to share the Snowden data).
So a newspaper that was the quasi-official Obama fanzine, and which detests Fox News with every fibre of its being, stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Fox’s persecuted reporter against illegitimate bullying by the federal government. Neither his views, nor the political orientation of his employers, were of any consequence in the matter. That is how it has to be if freedom of expression is to survive these dangerous times.
And this is the justification of it all: that the dangerousness of the times means that we must temporarily suspend our basic freedoms and even our concept of private life. So let me make this clear. I recognise the unfathomable danger of a deranged, nihilistic enemy. If anything, the threat to civilian life seems greater now than during the Cold War, when both sides were quietly dealing all the time.
But where are we going with this? How much are we prepared to compromise with our idea of a life worth living in order to pursue the chimera of perfect safety?
An awful lot of people are saying that they don’t mind if their emails, Skype calls and mobile phone records are being collected. If that helps the state to protect them and their families, it’s OK.
Well, suppose we park a security officer at the door of every household to monitor who enters and leaves, who visits whom and how many hours they stay? The security men won’t actually enter the house, of course, unless they have reason to believe that there might be some activity taking place inside that could facilitate or incite terrorism – but they will keep records of all the comings and goings from every address. Will that be OK too?
The British degree of trust in their security agencies startles many other countries (like Germany and the US) where liberty is taken less for granted. An editor of the US National Review wrote last week of those “who steadfastly refuse to express anxiety unless they can actually hear jackboots”. Note: once you hear the jackboots, it’s too late.
Economic Ignorance OR Marxist Bona Fides?
Friday, President Obama said Republicans are spending too much time trying to repeal Obamacare. That won’t create jobs, that won’t help the middle class, and that won’t build ladders to the middle class.
Pure socialist rhetoric when we know businesses by the thousands have laid off full time employees, cut full to part time, and most announced new hires will be part time only ALL due to Obamacare mandates.
We also know about the jobs created since Obamacare passed in 2010, 7 of 8 jobs have been part time. Incomes are down 4.4% since the end of the recession.
This has resulted in the worst economic recovery in history. We are in the midst of the longest stretch of sub 3% GDP growth since 1929.
Health insurance costs have increased 29% since Obama became president, food costs are up 30%, gas has doubled, and electricity rates have risen faster than inflation every year since 2009.
Fewer jobs, fewer hours, lower wages, and skyrocketing costs of living. 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and a record 16.1% are living in poverty.
Although the BLS says the unemployment rate for August was 7.4%/14.7% underemployed, Gallup polling indicates it is much higher at 8.9%/17.9% underemployed with an astounding 8,332,000 workers no longer counted.
Any reasonable person would understand this economy is an abject disaster for the working family, middle class, and the nation.
The reason we have this disaster is due precisely to the Marxist Obamacare law. For the president to say the Republicans are wasting time and it won’t create jobs or opportunity to repeal Obamacare is an insult to any thinking American.
President Obama is either economically ignorant or a dedicated Marxist intent on a government takeover of health care to fully implement the fundamental transformation of America into a socialist welfare state.
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Posted by JR at 11:33 PM