Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Lois Lerner, the IRS and the "lost" emails about targeted tea party groups
I put up yesterday one of the many criticisms of the preposterous claim that a whole swag of Obama administration emails had been lost. Even if they have, is that the end of the matter? The Snowden revelations lead us too believe that the NSA has copies of just about every email ever sent. Why can we not recover the emails from them?
Exaggerated claims of racism
Last Friday I discussed the crow-calls of "racism" that are always emanating from the Left and pointed out that such calls are mostly projection. The practising racists (as in "affirmative action", antisemitism etc) are in fact on the Left. The article below was written for an Australian audience and it too points out how minor are the things that Leftists pick on to distract attention from their own obsessive racism
So who’s a racist? Not you, of course. Certainly not me. Hey, maybe none of us.
No, that’s not what people were saying this week as the sports commentator Warren Ryan quit his job over an on-air quote from Gone with the Wind that included the word "darky".
Here was another controversy, depressingly fresh on the heels of last year's furore over indigenous AFL player Adam Goodes being called an ape by a young spectator.
It may pay to look at the bigger picture. After all, aren’t we living in a era when evil is an outmoded concept, when there are no bad people, only bad acts? On that basis it seems counter-intuitive and frankly crazy to label people racist on the basis on one or two remarks.
Yes, of course, "the standard I walk past is the standard I accept", to quote another example of vogue reasoning. Sorry but I have walked past it plenty.
I walked past it when a man in Spain told me he was "working like a black", when an old girlfriend asked whether I still "smoke like a Turk" and when a fella in country NSW offered me his ultimate accolade: "Thanks mate, you’re a white man."
Hey, I also walked past it when people assert that Australia is a uniquely wicked racist country. Get real.
Yes, Australian country towns once banned Aborigines from swimming pools. From this came the Freedom Rides led by Charlie Perkins. And the treatment of indigenous Australians by white settlers and government authorities remains unfinished business.
But how many people alive today are honest to god racist? You know, willing to stand at the school gates like a southern US governor in the 1950s and ’60s and say non-white children will not pass? Refuse to shake the hand of a non-white person? Oddly, when Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani failed to offer his hand to European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton, there was not a glimmer of protest. (Rouhani saw fit to shake hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin).
Are white South African migrants to Australia racist? Are black Zimbabwean leaders racist for pushing whites off farms? Considering the hierarchy of oppression that is so fashionable now, are any non-white people racist at all?
Certainly it is much easier then to turn on some middle-aged white bloke for saying something, well, stupid.
For seemingly endless days in May, CNN’s television coverage was obsessed with the Donald Sterling controversy. The billionaire owner of the US basketball team the Los Angeles Clippers was rightly denounced in all quarters for moronic comments about black people. He now has to sell the franchise and will end his days as a pariah. Isn’t that enough? Not for CNN, though that network was not alone. Its anchors weighed every nuance, parsing comments by his wife that Sterling had dementia, interviewing each other endlessly.
For what? Only because there are dollars at stake did Sterling even matter. Otherwise that old man’s thoughts are irrelevant to everyone but him and the nurse with the bedpan. I’d rather ask how healthy it is for any sporting team to be owned by a single plutocrat.
My contention is that people can say racist things because they are afflicted, temporarily or permanently, with stupidity, but that doesn’t make them a racist. Why? Because I don’t believe there are that many true racists. These would be people obsessed with the supremacy of their race to the exclusion of any other topic. Sure they are out there. But their numbers are negligible. And if the best frontman they can present is still Jim Saleam, as John Safran found in Good Weekend last Saturday, they ain’t growing the brand. Pauline Hanson? Sorry. Seriously, no.
I’d wager that the overwhelming majority of us, no matter the colour, are roughly as "racist" as each other. In other words, not really racist at all. It’s just that we sometimes say the stupidest things.
One of the world's major subnational units has just had an election
Ontario has renewed its trust in a corrupt, big spending Lesbian liberal. Below Ezra Levant gives his evaluation of the event in his normal reserved and nuanced way
Put aside the scandals and corruption and police investigations into the Ontario Liberal Party. That’s just morality and ethics stuff, and Ontarians are apparently fine with that.
But what about the economy created by the Liberals, happily accepted by voters last Thursday?
For seven years running, Ontario has had a higher unemployment rate than the national average. Ontario is a have-not province, now subsidized by others, including Saskatchewan and Newfoundland, two new have provinces.
Stop and let that sink in.
Ontario’s taxes are high, and about to grow higher: Premier Kathleen Wynne’s campaign centrepiece was a new payroll tax for a provincial pension plan, deducted from every employee’s paycheque. In other words, a job tax.
There will be other taxes too, including on Pearson Airport, the airport already saddled with the highest user fees in the world.
And Ontario’s disastrous experiment with wind turbines and solar panels will continue for decades — that’s the length of time Ontario will force residents and companies to buy power at inflated rates to subsidize their green schemes.
Even as power prices fall in other provinces and competitor states in the U.S. It’s surely a coincidence that the former president of the Liberal Party is a wind turbine executive.
That’s what’s so dispiriting.
Not that Ontarians are fine with a corrupt political class.
But that Ontarians are fine with economic decline and that more and more economic “success stories” aren’t entrepreneurs, but rather crony capitalists with ties to the government.
Ontarians, for more than a century the economic engine of Canada, are fine now being an economic brake. The decline first brought on by Dalton McGuinty is no longer a blip. It’s a trend.
It seems unthinkable that Ontario could ever be anything other than the biggest and strongest province. But it surely felt that way in Montreal, too, for the longest time.
But take the story of the Bank of Montreal to see how things don’t last forever.
The Bank of Montreal is Canada’s oldest bank, founded in 1817. And for 160 years, it was headquartered in — obviously — Montreal. But in 1970, politics brought risk and cost to Quebec in a way not seen before.
The FLQ crisis brought terrorism and martial law. In 1976, the Parti Quebecois won the election. So in 1977, the Bank of Montreal moved its head office operations to Toronto.
For two lifetimes it was unthinkable that the Bank of Montreal would leave Montreal. But in the course of 20 years it happened.
Ontarians just renewed their bonds with a party that deliberately campaigned to the left of the NDP; a party that has overtly joined the cause of government workers unions, against the interests of taxpayers.
Ontario’s so-called Sunshine List — the annual publication of government workers earning more than $100,000 — used to be a source of embarrassment. Now it’s the government’s base of support.
Ontario has chosen the takers against the makers. Thirtynine percent of Ontarians were fine with that and voted Liberal. And most of the 24% who voted for the NDP were fine with it too.
The day after the election was instructive. Mere hours after the election, Joe Fontana, the Liberal mayor of London, was convicted of fraud. But Wynne happily met with Fontana earlier this year, while he was before the courts — and merely by associating with him, gave him her political stamp of approval.
At exactly the same time, banks from around the world issued credit warnings about Ontario’s debt, and the province’s cost to borrow jumped the most it had in six months.
An official credit downgrade is imminent, though some banks say they’re waiting for the provincial budget, to make it official.
Corruption and debt. Can they really bring down Canada’s economic colossus?
Ask Detroit — for decades, the highest-paid, most industrialized city in America. After two generations of Democratic rule, it’s an impoverished ghost town.
Oh, this is just the beginning. Let’s see what new taxes and rules Toronto’s next mayor, socialist Olivia Chow, will bring with her.
Anyone want to bet on when the Bank of Montreal moves to Calgary?
Back when Democrats were patriotic, Woody Wilson said this:
"I therefore suggest and request that throughout the nation and if possible in every community the fourteenth day of June be observed as FLAG DAY with special patriotic exercises, at which means shall be taken to give significant expression to our thoughtful love of America, our comprehension of the great mission of liberty and justice to which we have devoted ourselves as a people, our pride in the history and our enthusiasm for the political programme of the nation, our determination to make it greater and purer with each generation, and our resolution to demonstrate to all the world its, vital union in sentiment and purpose, accepting only those as true compatriots who feel as we do the compulsion of this supreme allegiance."
The official Twitter account of the Democrat party, @TheDemocrats, sent out this tweet yesterday to mark their celebration of Flag Day:
"Happy flag day"
In accord with their modern priorities, the child was the "correct" color but that is not a correct picture of an American flag. At best it's bunting. While the flag has changed considerably throughout the years, there has never been a version that included a blue stripe as opposed to a blue field. The American flag looks like this:
In the media's America, “Mainstream” Means Left
Just when Tea Party obituaries were being sounded around the country, Washington fixture of 42 years, Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran, loses to upstart Tea Party candidate Chris McDaniel.
And one week later, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, in the blockbuster of this year’s political season, is booted out of office in the Virginia Republican primary by an economics professor from Randolph-Macon College, total undergraduate enrollment - 1,312 students.
Turns out that reports of the death of the Tea Party are greatly exaggerated.
According to the New York Times editorial page, writing about Cantor’s defeat, the Tea Party is “producing candidates who are light-years from the mainstream.”
But if mainstream means not clearly on one side of the political spectrum or the other, a new report from Pew Research shows that what is supposedly mainstream today is not mainstream at all. The report, “Political Polarization in the American Republic,” shows that it is now the minority of Americans who are not clearly on the left or the right.
Only 39 percent of Americans define themselves in the middle, as a mixed bag of liberal and conservative values. The majority of Americans, the other 61 percent, see themselves as on the liberal left or the conservative right. Thirty four percent say they are mostly or consistently liberal and 27 percent say they are mostly or consistently conservative.
Just ten years ago 49 percent – ten percentage points more – defined themselves in the mixed middle.
The New York Times would like us to believe that there is a “mainstream” in America today because what “mainstream” means is status quo – don’t rock the boat. Because of the massive growth of government over recent years, today’s status quo means acceptance of a great lurch leftward, which has already occurred.
It sounds so measured and sober to call a candidate “mainstream.” But “mainstream” is not measured and sober.
It means shrugging your shoulders at $17 trillion in federal debt, $4 trillion in federal spending, and a tax code of over 73,000 pages.
In polling reported by Gallup, for 45 years from 1952 to 1997, over 80 percent of Americans said there is “plenty of opportunity” in the country. By last year this was down to 52 percent.
The Tea Party is not an ideological movement. It is a movement of decent, hard-working Americans from quiet communities who are no longer willing to accept freedom and opportunity disappearing as result of the massive growth of government and a power-satiated political class in Washington.
America has no center today. You either accept a left-wing status quo or you are fighting against it.
There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in). GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.
List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)
Posted by JR at 12:40 AM