Thursday, April 30, 2015

Did expectation of kid glove treatment encourage the Baltimore rioters?

“I wanted to give space to those who wished to destroy,” that is how Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake described her policy Saturday at a press conference. Her words, which effectively told police to stand down as those gathered to protest the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray smashed store windows, looted 7-Elevens and forced attendees at a Baltimore Oriole-Boston Red Sox baseball game to remain in the stadium because it wasn’t safe outside.

At a press conference on April 25 the mayor said, "“I made it very clear that I work with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech. It’s a very delicate balancing act."

The resulting violence escalated as flyers were distributed describing how the city was going to have a "purge" Monday styled after the movie of the same name where all laws were suspended for one night.

When the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect the people and property of a community know that their elected boss believes that the lawbreakers are justified in creating mayhem, it destroys the resolve to provide that security.

On Monday alone, seven police officers were injured with one reportedly "unresponsive." Looting is occurred in broad daylight with cars being torched and bottles, rocks and other large objects being hurled at officers at close range.

It all started on Saturday night when protests turned to violent riots in the area of the tourist heavy Inner Harbor area.  Matt Boyle, a reporter for Breitbart News ended up being in the perimeter of the melee while going to attend a ballgame between the Boston Red Sox and the hometown Orioles. Boyle's live tweets of his observations of the mayhem described a dangerous, out-of-control situation that made him fear for his safety.

Boyle's later report described police standing passively by while a family trying to drive through the streets by Camden Yards found their car surrounded, windows smashed, passenger door pried open with the female passenger screaming in terror as the police observed. Fortunately, the attackers realized they were separated from the pack and chose to discontinue their assault without doing further harm.

The thin veneer of safety that is required for outsiders to venture into a place as a tourist was shredded by Mayor Rawlings-Blake's pronouncement that her citizens lives and property were not worth protecting from a violent mob. A mob set loose under the guise of protesting the tragic death of a black man at the hands of Baltimore police,which decided that it was going to attack Camden Yards and destroy businesses and threaten lives.

The Inner Harbor in Baltimore is the jewel of the Charm City’s attempt at rejuvenation, and has been a vibrant tourist destination for more than twenty years.  Orioles Park at Camden Yards is renowned as one of the most beautiful in the major leagues and has become a preferred travel destination for visiting fans.  Just down the street, Baltimore Arena stages top level plays like Wicked, along with concerts and other events that draw tourist dollars to the City.

Rawlings-Blake’s decision puts a knife to the throats of these sites as tourist destinations.

What's perhaps even worse is that the mayor's "giving space to those who wished to destroy" legitimized the actions of the rioters and encouraged an escalation effectively telling rioter and police officer alike that the city does not have either law enforcement's or the law-abiding citizen's backs as the confrontation continues to grow.

When the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect the people and property of a community know that their elected boss believes that the lawbreakers are justified in creating mayhem, it destroys the resolve to provide that security.

When the people know that the police have been told to stand down anarchy is sure to follow.  Then the law-abiding will lock their doors and imprison themselves while the lawless run free. And when tourists or those who live outside a city feel that it is unsafe to enjoy the entertainment provided in that town, they stay away.

While each of us can pray that sanity is restored to the streets of Maryland's largest city, it is not hard to see the damage that has been done to an economy that was resurrected by the tourist destinations on Baltimore's Chesapeake Bay harbor. Tourist destinations that just may be tainted for the foreseeable future with the devastating reputation of being unsafe.

And all because a mayor provided a not so subtle OK to the street criminals to destroy not only the city's buildings, but its good name and allowed them to rip at the fabric of civilization and the illusion of security it provides.

Now we are left to wonder who is going to spend a hot summer evening watching the Orioles play the Milwaukee Brewers if they know that they take their lives in their hands just walking to their cars to get home?



Obama Joked at Nerd Prom While Baltimore Rioted

Once again, Hollywood celebrities and DC politicians gathered in Washington Saturday for the White House Correspondents' Dinner — AKA nerd prom. It’s an opportunity for Nancy Pelosi to rub shoulders with the likes of Jane Fonda and for Barack Obama to further his agenda and take down political opponents by dishing out punch lines. This year, the dinner only showed how out of touch the two institutions are with the rest of the nation, because while attendees were slurping down Foraged Wild Mushroom Ragout and Seared Alaskan Halibut protests became violent in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray, who died because of injuries he received while in police custody.

While the baseball game at Baltimore’s Camden Yards went into lockdown because of protests outside, three big television networks — CNN, MSNBC and CSPAN — kept their cameras trained on the White House Correspondents' Dinner because Obama was going to start his jokes soon. Never mind that the latest chapter in the debate over modern day policing was being punctuated by vandalized police cars and smashed storefronts an hour away.

Obama was once again selling the tired issue of “climate change,” trying to make it matter to everyday Americans. “I am determined to make the most of every moment I have left,” Obama said. “After the midterm elections, my advisors asked me, ‘Mr. President, do you have a bucket list?’ And I said, ‘Well, I have something that rhymes with bucket list.’ Take executive action on immigration? Bucket. New climate regulations? Bucket. It’s the right thing to do.” But as executive editor of the Washington Free Beacon Sonny Bunch pointed out in a piece titled “This Is Why They Hate Us,” no one except those inside the Beltway care about nerd prom.



Study Finds Significant Economic Effects of Immigration Surge

A new study from the Congressional Research Service discovered an interesting interrelation between depressed middle class incomes and increased immigration.

The Washington Examiner reports that in 1945 the foreign-born population of the United States stood at 10,971,146, but by 1970 it slid to 9,740,000 for a net loss of 1,231,146 foreigners. At the same time, says the CRS, “The reported income of the bottom 90% of tax filers in the United States increased from an average of $18,418 in 1945 to $33,621 in 1970 for an aggregate change of $15,202 or a percent increase of 82.5% over this 25 year period.” In contrast, from 1970 to 2013, the foreign-born population blossomed from 9,740,000 to 41,348,066, a 324.5% increase.

However, “The reported income of the bottom 90% of tax filers in the United States decreased from an average of $33,621 in 1970 to $30,980 in 2013 for an aggregate decline of $2,641 or a percent decline of 7.9% over this 43 year period.”

There’s no question high-skilled immigrants who go through the system legally contribute positive economic effects. The issue is that our basically open borders has allowed the population of unskilled illegal immigrants to swell, which undoubtedly strangles the overall economy. Border security must be Congress' top priority to fix the overarching issues affecting America’s middle class.



Puffed-up Leftist Tyranny Punishes Dissenters

By Walter E. Williams

Forget for a moment the ever-failing economy, the implosion of our foreign policy coherence, and our virtually unilateral withdrawal in the war on terror under Barack Obama's presidency. If liberty lovers don't start fighting back soon, we'll forfeit our freedom of thought and religious expression under the assault of fascist leftist activists in our culture.

Let's just look at two of the many recent events that should have us very concerned. As you may have guessed, they revolve around the controversial matter of same-sex marriage. At the outset, let me say that this issue is no longer about same-sex marriage or gay rights; it is about our basic liberties.

First, we read via The New York Times that "Ian Reisner, one of the two gay hoteliers facing boycott calls for hosting an event for Senator Ted Cruz, who is adamantly opposed to same-sex marriage, apologized to the gay community for showing 'poor judgment.'"

What was Reisner's sin for which he is now openly flaying himself in faux repentance? He and his business partner allowed Sen. Cruz to participate in a "fireside chat" for about a dozen people, which was not even a fundraiser. But as soon as word got out, gay activists apparently mobilized in force through social media outlets and phone calls calling for boycotts of Reisner's properties.

An ostensibly shocked Reisner, in an effort to stanch the bleeding represented by more than 8,200 likes on a Facebook page calling for the boycott, apologized on Facebook. "I am shaken to my bones by the e-mails, texts, postings and phone calls of the past few days. I made a terrible mistake," wrote Reisner.

Yes, he made the unforgivable "mistake" of hosting an event for a presidential candidate who has different views on social issues than the fascist boycott organizers have — and he has himself, for that matter, seeing as he's a prominent figure in the gay rights community, according to the Times.

Supporters of same-sex marriage, as many used to predict would happen, are not content with their recent victories on the issue. They obviously want to punish anyone who dissents for any reason — including religious and conscience reasons — and also bludgeon those (such as Reisner) who even inadvertently assist those who dissent (such as Cruz).

Next, we should consider the horrendous ordeal of Aaron and Melissa Klein, who used to own Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a bakery they built from scratch in Sandy, Oregon, in 2013. When they respectfully declined, on religious grounds, the request of two women to bake a cake for their wedding, the happy couple filed a civil complaint against them for failing to provide them equal service in a place of public accommodation. You know, live and let live — the attitude the activists and their fellow liberal foxhole buddies told us they would have if they prevailed in their quest to legalize same-sex marriage.

A group of unspecified people — real or robotic constructs of social media legerdemain — went into battle. "They got together and harassed all of our vendors," Melissa said. The vendors, according to The Daily Signal, folded and took Sweet Cakes off their referral lists, resulting in a 65 to 70 percent reduction in the Kleins' annual income, forcing them to close the bakery. (The Kleins have five children, and Melissa is reduced to baking a few cakes a month at home. Aaron now has a job as a garbage collector.)

But that heartless result wasn't enough for the victors. They pursued their legal action against the Kleins with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, and last Friday, an administrative law judge with that agency recommended the Kleins be fined $135,000 for the damages caused to the happy — and now happily married — couple.

When I first heard about this, my jaw literally dropped, and that takes quite a bit in this upside-down, crazy world we've grown to understand we now inhabit.

Aaron Klein said: "This country should be able to tolerate diverse opinions. I never once have said that my fight is (to) stop what they call equality."

Sorry, Aaron, and I do mean I am profoundly sorry for the injustice that has been imposed on you, but these activists are not willing to tolerate diverse opinions. They don't care that you are not proactively trying to oppose their march for whatever it is they're marching for. It appears that the true quest of leftist gay activists — and not just gay activists but those of many other leftist causes in this country (e.g., "climate change") — is to wholly shut down and censor opposing opinions, whether thought or expressed, whether publicly or privately.

I repeat: The real fight on these types of issues in this nation is no longer about the underlying "rights" involved. It concerns the appalling mission of activists to marshal the coercive power of government and of commercial blackmail to compel other people to agree (and publicly say they agree) with their opinions on issues they deem important.

Isn't it ironic that the people who are pushing for these rights always wave banners of tolerance, love, compassion and liberty? More than ironic, it's outrageous. And fewer and fewer people of principle are standing up to this tyrannical bullying because, understandably, they don't want to put themselves in the crosshairs of this gestapo. But history tells us the logical conclusion of this story. Some socially liberal Republicans naively believe that this is only about the social issues themselves, but it's about liberty.

God help us.



Consuming—Not Avoiding—Peanuts Leads to Fewer Peanut Allergies in Kids

I have been saying this for years.  Good to see it now in a mainstream medical journal

Anita Slomski

JAMA. 2015;313(16):1609. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.3853.


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