Archive for April, 2015
30 Apr 2015

Harsh Words About Baltimore Rioting

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BaltimoreRiots2

Lindsay Bruce shares a black comedian’s critical take on the rioters.

There isn’t a white person on the planet who could get away with saying what this man said without being called a racist, but it is a powerful message nonetheless. It does a huge disservice to your message when protesters act like this. I know there are going to be people who complain to me and say the people rioting were not protesters, but yes they were. They were there for the same reason everyone else was there, they are angry with “the system”.

One thing that this speaker doesn’t address, however, is that those people protesting created the system. They are the ones who voted for failed democrat policies. None of these protesters, violent or calm, want to take any personal responsibility. This isn’t about a racist system. Let’s look at some of the facts shall we?

9 of the 15 council members are black, and the mayor is black. The police chief is black along with 50% of the police force. Every single member of the Baltimore City Council is a Democrat. The mayor is a Democrat. Baltimore has not had a Republican mayor since 1967. Baltimore carries the fourth highest tax rate of any city in the nation. The poverty rate within the city is nearly 25 percent. Households in Baltimore earn approximately 56 percent of the overall state average. President Obama won a whopping 87.4% of the Baltimore City vote. Democrats run the city of Baltimore, the unions, the schools, and, yes, the police force.

These protesters have no one to blame but themselves.

Maybe things are beginning to change. We do seem to be getting more African-Americans who do not automatically support rioters.

Hat tip to Robert Laird.

30 Apr 2015

Settled Science

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Tweet82

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds.

30 Apr 2015

Christie’s Auctioning Spitfire P9374 in July

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German soldiers sitting on the wreckage of Spitfire P9374, May, 1940.

The Mirror:

One of the first Spitfires ever made has gone up for sale for a staggering £2.5 million after spending 40 years buried in sand at the French beach it crashed on.

The iconic Mark 1 plane was among the first built in March 1940 as Britain scrambled to ready itself for the epic battle that took place in the skies just a few months later.

But Spitfire P9374 never made it to the Battle of Britain as it crash-landed in May 1940.

The fighter plane was being piloted by Flight Officer Peter Cazenove over Dunkirk when it was hit by a single bullet from a German Dornier bomber.

Cazenove, an Old Etonian flying his first combat mission, had no choice but to bring it down on the wet sands at Calais.

Cazenove was captured by the Nazis and taken to the Stalag Luft III prisoner of war camp, famous for ‘The Great Escape’.

His plane became consumed by the sandy beach and there it remained for the next 40 years.

In 1980 the wreckage was discovered when part of it was spotted poking out from its sandy grave.

It was corroded and covered in barnacles but amazingly still in tact. The plane was dragged from the beach and taken to the Mus e de l’Air in Paris.

Eventually it was bought by American billionaire philanthropist Thomas Kaplan, who has had the plane meticulously restored to its original condition by a team of expert engineers.

Mr Kaplan, an Oxford-educated gold trader, owns both of the surviving Mk1 Spitfires.

He has now listed the plane Cazenove piloted for sale through London auctioneers Christies 75 years since the Battle of Britain with an estimate of £2.5 million.

He plans to donate the proceeds to the RAF Benevolent Fund and wildlife charity Panthera.

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Don’t miss the grand presentation, complete with videos, from Christie’s.

Peter-Cazenove
Flight Officer Peter Cazenove

30 Apr 2015

Google Cost Searches Worldwide

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Asia-1

Fixr.com:

Panama hats are popular in Ecuador. Prostitution is of interest in Brazil and Uruguay. And in Chile, the price of coke is of prime importance … we’re not sure which kind.

Some quirky search results for Europe include Rolexes in Switzerland, mooring a yacht in Monaco, nose jobs in Albania, and flying a MiG (a Russian fighter aircraft) in Russia.

For Asia there is a wide range of results, reflecting the diversity of cultures within the continent. The biggest financial concern for people searching about Lebanon appears to be the cost of a PS3; for Kuwait it is Lamborghinis, carpets for Armenia, and watermelons for Japan.

Google users are mostly concerned about the necessities of life in Africa. But apparently in the case of Sierra Leone people are more concerned about buying diamonds, and for Mauritania they are more concerned about purchasing slaves.

29 Apr 2015

Baltimore Versus Shenandoah

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BadShenandoah
There were many mean streets in the Pennsylvania small town where I grew up.

I grew up in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, a major place of settlement for turn-of-the-last-century Lithuanian immigrants to the United States. Shenandoah was, even in my youth, a former mining boom-town, well along in the processes of decline and decay.

Shenandoah was a kind of miniature city. It had, everyone said, in its heyday, more barrooms than Philadelphia. Protestants, English, German, and Welsh, constituted a small, and shrinking, minority. The town’s population was overwhelming composed of recent Roman Catholic immigrants. Lithuanians were nearly a plurality, but there were also plenty of Poles, Ukrainians, Slovaks, Irish, and Italians. Main Street commerce was dominated by Jews, who lived on Oak Street in the grandest houses in town.

By my 1950s boyhood, once homogeneous ethnic neighborhoods were dispersed. My father bought two houses (he rented one) on the West side of town, in what had, long ago, been the Italian neighborhood. We got along well with our Italian neighbors, who were always stopping us to press fresh tomatoes and other vegetables grown in the backyards on us. When I was a bit older, I was especially popular with the old Italian men because I had grown into a tough guy and protected the Italian kids (Lithuanians like me looked upon Italians, like Jews, as helpless non-combatants) from the juvenile gangs who lay in wait to waylay smaller children to steal their money and to torment and sexually abuse them.

Lithuanians tended to get along with the Italians and the Pennsylvania Dutch, who usually voted Republican. We tended not to get along with the Irish and the Poles, who usually voted democrat.

Shenandoah was a basically working-class mining town (where the mines had just closed down forever), with a significant welfare-and-criminal underclass.

The Internet keeps me in touch today with friends I went to school with and with whom I served mass and who were in the same boy scout troop. One friend, now retired from the Air Force and teaching Systems Theory as an adjunct at several Southern colleges, was reminiscing not long ago, and reflected how his family and mine were “the nice families,” largely surrounded at the end of town by gangsters and scum.

Like most people born into working class families, I was brought up with a contempt for the welfare class and knew first-hand the profound fear that parents like mine had of sinking to the point of “going on relief.” With the mines closing, men were being everywhere thrown out of work, and times were hard in the Anthracite region. Everyone knew people who were up against it and who were proud enough that they would go hungry before they would take relief, and though we pitied their condition, we felt strongly that they were perfectly right.

As you may imagine, I’ve been hearing now, for more than 50 years, sob stories about the plight of the “disenfranchised” (who do actually have the vote) and the “impoverished” (by whom?) in the inner cities. Not surprisingly, I am entirely lacking in sympathy.

We were corresponding on Facebook yesterday about the rioting in Baltimore, and I said the kind of hard-core, unsympathetic things that elderly, white, redneck racists like myself are prone to say. The thread belonged to a bouzhy, female, liberal attorney friend from Yale, and I would have been slightly more diplomatic in my remarks had I realized that one of the readers and participants in the thread was a young, black female recent Yale graduate.

The young lady took offense at my comments, which has caused me to reflect on the peculiarities of racial politics. My preceding remarks were intended to make the point that, in Lithuanian immigrant society, the respectable people may have gone so far as to feel some pity for the welfare/criminal scum residing nearby, but we did not side with them against the police. We also did not tolerate their criminal activities. I personally used to walk to and from school deliberately taking different routes, patrolling to prevent two different well-known juvenile gangs from molesting younger kids.

No one could have set up a drug dealing station in any residential neighborhood in our town. Nor could any adult criminal gangs take over neighborhoods. If any had tried, and the police not intervened, there were plenty of male adult veterans of WWII would have taken care of them immediately.

So, why is it, I often wonder how it is that decent & respectable African-American people have to live in such bad neighborhoods, dominated by drug dealers and gangbangers? Are there no tough and law-abiding African-Americans? And how come the better black people all come a-running to stick-up on racial solidarity grounds for the thug Leroy when the cops beat up on Leroy’s ass? Back where I grew up, if the Lithuanian criminal elements “Hopper” or “Cutha” were seen getting belathered by Shakey the cop with his hickory nightstick, their respectable fellow-Lithuanians would have smiled with warm approval and defended Shakey’s conduct all day long.

In our town’s high school, there was a 350 lb.+ football coach, nicknamed “Moose.” Moose, Mr. R., was not the sharpest pencil in the faculty box, and his academic role was to be homeroom teacher to the General section, the section of academically-hopeless criminals and mental defectives. Moose kept order with a heavy hand. One day, one of the leading bad hats sassed Mr. R., who responded by picking up the large console television set in the front of the room and hurling it at the offender. The bad boy went to the hospital with a broken arm and other injuries, and the whole town told and retold the story, grinning and gloating. Moose was admired, and no disciplinary proceedings whatsoever occurred.

29 Apr 2015

Spared By the Riot

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BaltimoreWelfareOffice1

29 Apr 2015

The Blue City Model Is Burning Again

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The 1960s triumph of the Civil Rights Movement with the end of segregation in the South and the implementation of coercive social integration via the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 was supposed to end the Race Problem in America, but what actually occurred was a wave of rioting in every major city in the country. Fifty years of cultural, governmental, and institutional racial favoritism and the election of an African-American president later, we still have an unproductive and dependent black underclass, simmering with resentment and ready to riot at the drop of a journalistic meme alleging excessive use of force by the police against one of its own.

The Wall Street Journal argues that everyone, including the rioters, ought to be blaming the political leadership which has been in charge of those cities all these decades, not the police or the rest of America, for the inner city underclass’s lack of hope, inspiration, and economic opportunity.

You’re not supposed to say this in polite company, but what went up in flames in Baltimore Monday night was not merely a senior center, small businesses and police cars. Burning down was also the blue-city model of urban governance.

Nothing excuses the violence of rampaging students or the failure of city officials to stop it before Maryland’s Governor called in the National Guard. But as order starts to return to the streets, and the usual political suspects lament the lack of economic prospects for the young men who rioted, let’s not forget who has run Baltimore and Maryland for nearly all of the last 40 years.

The men and women in charge have been Democrats, and their governing ideas are “progressive.” This model, with its reliance on government and public unions, has dominated urban America as once-vibrant cities such as Baltimore became shells of their former selves. In 1960 Baltimore was America’s sixth largest city with 940,000 people. It has since shed nearly a third of its population and today isn’t in the top 25.

The dysfunctions of the blue-city model are many, but the main failures are three: high crime, low economic growth and failing public schools that serve primarily as jobs programs for teachers and administrators rather than places of learning.

Let’s take them in order. The first and most important responsibility of any city government is to uphold law and order. When the streets are unsafe and crime is high, everything else—e.g., getting businesses to invest and create jobs—becomes next to impossible.

People also start voting with their feet. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has stated that one of her goals is to attract 10,000 families to move to Baltimore. Good luck with that after Monday night.

Read the whole thing.

29 Apr 2015

Plan B: “She Said”

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A British Film Noir Rock/Rap Song.

Via Ratak Monodosico.

29 Apr 2015

Nails It Tweet

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29 Apr 2015

Dispersing Those Rioters

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JobApplications

28 Apr 2015

Italy Versus Europe

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Hat tip to Baroness Dominique De Benckendorff.

28 Apr 2015

Urban Slaves Versus Rural Free Men

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magritte

Henry Dampier has a fine cynical essay on the class structure of contemporary America (and Europe).

[There exists] a cultural and political tension between the American cities and the outside. Within the cities, the people are soft, disarmed, and androgynous. They’re lead by something like a slave caste of bureaucrats and artisans, lead by a small number of oligarchical corporate capitalists who own most of the property and the access to legal and financial leverage points over the system of trade.

Especially since the 2007 financial crisis and the escalation of the cost of living in these cities, this slave caste (which is often quite wealthy, as slave castes often have been, particularly in the East) has become more squeezed and dependent. It’s not uncommon to hear of particularly ambitious corporate slaves who have achieved ‘success’ only to be able to barely afford to buy a humble, lower middle class home in their favored region near the seat of power. Outside the seat of power, even a truck driver can afford to buy a beautiful home which would cost millions of dollars in the central cities. Inside the seat of power, most of the slaves can only afford to rent from either higher-end slaves or members of the oligarchical class.

This slave class tends to look down on the more numerous classes of dependent helots, concentrated in the same cities, but with a sense of pity, occasionally with contempt. The slave class sees it as their moral obligation to support and even uplift the helots, who are usually darker skinned. The slave class both hates, fears, and ridicules the freer middle classes from the less densely populated regions in the interior, not understanding how and why the freemen tend to value their rights to bear arms and hold their own property so much. …

This is really the shape of the conflict that’s brewing on the North American continent. The higher end slaves and the oligarchs don’t like the freemen, their culture, and their resistance to their oligarchical masters who live in New York, Washington, and elsewhere, even around the globe. The Republican party essentially represents the freemen, but usually only in terms of their brokering the many surrenders to the oligarchs and their golden-chained toads.

Read the whole thing.

Hat tip to Vanderleun.

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