Thursday, November 27, 2014

CNN’s VERY Mixed Messages on Race and Crime

Don Lemon

Carol Costello

Ashley Banfield

Is it me, or has CNN cynically played the subject of “race in America,” both ways?

In both the Trayvon Martin and the Michael Brown shootings, they (almost certainly deliberately) failed to make an affirmative argument in favor of either racial profiling, OR murder in either case.

In the Brown case, in particular, CNN seemed to buy into Brown’s assaulting Darren Wilson from the start. Nothing at all wrong with that, as that’s almost certainly what happened, but then commentators from Erin Burnett, to Brooke Baldwin to Carol Costello, to Ashley Banfield and Don Lemon than cynically play the story both ways.

There’s something wrong with a station seemingly undermining its own official meme (IF indeed “a crisis of black victimization” is truly their meme), by constantly trumpeting America’s wildly disproportionate violent crime stats. I can’t even count the number of times I've heard CNN anchors talk about how 6% of the population (black males) commit at least 50% of the murders nationwide. Such stats certainly DO seem to make the case for greater police scrutiny and a greater chance of such catastrophic encounters with law enforcement.

Why else pick such terrible cases to make their case for “black victimization”? Apparently Trayvon Martin attacked George Zimmerman and tried to wrest the local “community watch captain’s” gun from him, and it now seems all but certain that Michael Brown charged Officer Wilson’s cruiser, pummeled the cop and struggled for that police officer’s gun! Those are hardly incidents of “black victimization,” in fact, they seem much more like examples of blacks victimizing others!

On Staten Island (my home town) Eric Garner was killed while non-violently resisting arrest, this past July (, and more recently, a rookie police officer in the NYPD (Peter Liang) apparently had his finger on the trigger of his gun while patrolling a housing project's stairwell and killed 28 y/o Akai Gurley with a single gunshot that ricocheted off a wall.

BOTH of these cases seem to be much stronger cases, with much better chances of a determination of some degree of police misconduct.

So, WHY does CNN continually do this? Using such poor cases to advance an alleged agenda, other than to deliberately undermine an agenda they themselves don’t really believe in?

The fact is, in the United States, all citizens are legally bound to comply with ALL police directives. If a cop orders you off the street, non-compliance WILL and SHOULD result in an arrest.

The minute a police officer says the words, “You are under arrest,” you are ALREADY under arrest. Merely backing away and proclaiming, “I didn’t do anything” (even if true) is RESISTING ARREST. Just pushing a cops hands away as he tries to handcuff you is “ASSAULTING a POLICE OFFICER.”

There is NO right to negotiate in the street. Police merely enforce the laws. The COURTS adjudicate charges and determine guilt or innocence.

In the Michael Brown case, there’s virtually NO DOUBT that Michael Brown assaulted a cop (Darren Wilson), actually struggling with that cop for his gun.

That struggle amounted to attempted murder. Sadly, for him and his family, Michael Brown got exactly what he deserved.

One of the refrains throughout these protests is the “lack of respect” police exhibit...I suppose like Officer Wilson telling Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson to “Get the f*ck outta the street,” as they sauntered down the center of a busy thoroughfare, and sentiments about “our servants shouldn't be pushing us around.” The police are NOT any individual’s servants. They SERVE the LAW...they serve the greater society at large.

I and others like me (very probably Carol Costello, Ashley Banfield, Don Lemon and Erin Burnett) WANT the police to enforce the laws and we revile citizens who’d do anything we wouldn't challenging, or confronting a police officer, or actively resisting arrest.

On the one hand, I DO commend CNN for NOT hiding the widely disparate violent crime rates in America, HOWEVER, I deride them for failing to even attempt to make a credible argument in favor of blacks being abused, or disproportionately singled out for criminal investigation by law enforcement.

Doesn't CNN have the responsibility to at least make the attempt to do that?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Most Cowardly Bigots of All Are White “Progressives”

Lois Lerner of "IRS Targeting" Infamy

Way back in 1881 when James Abram Garfield (“The last of the log cabin Presidents”) was assassinated by a disgruntled job seeker (Charles Guiteau), the Civil Service reform movement began in earnest.

The scrapping of the various old patronage systems and replacing them with “the modern Civil Service Merit System,” took decades and was vehemently opposed from virtually every locally elected official from shore to shore. After all, the patronage mills were one of the most effective means of building a base and rewarding political fealty. Police Departments, Fire Departments and Public schools were filled with Civil Servants of “the right political affiliation for that locale. In some cases, the varied Civil Servants were expected to “kick back” 1% or more of their annual salaries to the Party...more or less, as tribute.

Civil Service Reform was about as popular with politicians as was Paden’s (Kevin Kline’s character) returning to town was with Cobb (Brian Dennehy) the sheriff in Silverado.

Ever since, politicians of every stripe have sought ways around the “Merit System,” ways of getting those they favor into jobs and those they don’t...out. In New York City it began with the much reviled “1-in-3” rule, where the city could take any candidates among the next three highest scores. It was sparingly before the 1970s, but used extensively for the first time in the 1971 FDNY Entrance Exam, in which 1 of every 3 new hires had to be either black or Hispanic.

No politician has sought to rein in such abuses of the Merit System, not Ed Koch, not Rudy Giuliani, not even billionaire Mike Bloomberg.

Worse yet, the most cowardly bigots have been white so-called “progressives,” who’ve championed lowering, even eliminating some basic standards in the name of “diversity,” specifically “to get more blacks and females on these jobs.” In other words, these “progressive” whites (mostly white males) have thrown blacks and women under the proverbial bus to further a completely unrelated agenda...scuttling the Merit System by eliminating standards-based “merit.” In short, they have pushed forward the idea of “presumed incompetence of blacks” (“African-Americans just can’t compete with other groups on such standardized exams”) and the physical incapacity of females instead of recruiting members of those groups (perhaps from military installations, etc.) who COULD compete effectively for those jobs.

Apparently even supporting and espousing such vile, petty bigotries are justified to advance an agenda they see as critical.

I have been directly involved in a group (Merit Matters) that has fought to preserve the Civil Service Merit System and basic standards since that group was formed back in 2009. This endorsing and espousing of blatant bigotry is neither new, nor is very much deliberate and it shows just how little white male “progressives” care about the dignity of those they claim to champion.

In the FDNY, Tyrone Hughes, an attorney on its Department of Investigations and Trials is one of those leaned upon to push that bigotry...that “basic written standards ‘discriminate’ against blacks and basic physical standards ‘discriminate’ against females,” while steadfastly denying that it is bigotry behind their labeling certain groups non-competitive (incompetent). In fact, they loudly claim that those opposed to that bigotry are the actual bigots.

Tyrone Hughes is a pawn, like Lois Lerner was at the IRS. Neither has ever made actual arguments for the views they put into practice because neither one has often been challenged to do so. It’s also highly unlikely that either of them actually believes in, nor fully understands the views behind what they enforce, because, quite simply, they don’t need to understand. They are easily replaceable. Lois Lerner was very quickly replaced by the IRS. And that’s what is truly sad, even after THEY are thrown under the bus by those who’ve used them as pawns, they refuse to come forward and “give up,” or expose those who’ve directed their actions. Perhaps their pensions are held hostage. Who knows? But whatever the collateral being used, it’s been reliably effective, which is lucky for the real bigots who continue to hide in the slime.

On Image and Reality

I used to think of myself as “a throwback.” Some kind of “blue collar, traditional, parochial, working class hero” kind of guy, but I was never that, especially those times when I most thought of myself that way.

For one thing I didn't merely “not connect” with people, I just didn't connect with much of anything...with “god,” or country,” or anything else. I didn't believe what others believed. I didn't even believe the things I often felt I needed to pretend to believe, in order to keep from standing out like a sore thumb...or a rotting fish in a florist shop.

For one thing, I always KNEW...I just didn't merely believe, I KNEW that women were as dangerous as men, even more so, on account of men not believing women could be dangerous, nor even get mad, or shit or piss. A LOT of men...very capable men of the past held an idealized doll’s image of women, which is, of course, completely at odds with reality. Women are HUMAN, after all, so they piss and shit…and get mad.

Not to say there aren't pronounced “gender differences,” there are...BUT those differences don’t make women any less dangerous, in fact, their stealth or indirectness, has made many female crimes harder to detect. Just as “only a male” would climb up on a bell tower and randomly shoot a bunch of College students because he got “mad at the world,” it’s just as true that “only a woman” could poison her husband by putting ethylene glycol (which used to be the primary ingredient in antifreeze) and watch the poor schlub slowly croak in front of her.

I wasn't the only one who saw this, and I was far from the first. Hell radio raconteur Gene Shepherd (famous for authoring and narrating A Christmas Story) once remarked about this very topic…back in the early 1960's when he recalled talking to a cop friend, a detective from Chicago and asking the detective, “What do you guys look for when you come across someone cut up into 408 small pieces? I mean I guess you must start lookin’ for a mad man,” to which his detective friend allegedly replied, “No, in those kinds of cases we actually first start looking for a mad woman, because it takes a great deal of emotional attachment to engender that kind of rage.”

As Shepherd wryly noted, “In other words, Lizzie Borden was no fluke, friends.”

But for eons women have been exempted from labor…that is, work, or labor OUTSIDE the home, because society AND men valued that contribution that highly.

Women weren't barred from work, there were always women who worked outside the paternal grandmother, born around the turn of the last century, nearly all her life. The 1950s American woman was best portrayed by “Alice” on The Honeymooners, then by Jane Wyatt (Father Knows Best) or Barbara Billingsley (Leave it to Beaver).

Some of the idealistic views men had about women created unreasonable expectations for women and boxed them into confined spaces, but they did that for males as well.

The rejection of that traditional mindset has had some humorous and disastrous consequences. Women are not as capable as fighters, so they are not very effective street cops, firefighters or combat troops. Is there a very small percentage of women who CAN do those jobs?

Yes, but that number is very small (low single digits probably) and the number of those women who WANT to do those jobs is even smaller.

Hell, the difference between male and female military personnel is the difference between Robert Hansen (“the Butcher Baker” – a serial killer in Alaska) and Andrea Yates (the mother who murdered her five children in Harris County, within Houston, TX).

Recent videos that have gone viral that purport to show “outrages against women,” like “10 Hours of Walking the Streets of New York as a Woman” the now infamous “F Train SLAP” really just clearly demonstrate that females are NOT built or conditioned for confrontation.

Seriously, if you’re offended by remarks like “God bless you, have a nice day,” and “You’re beautiful,” and if you’re unable to physically back up your initial assault with a weapon (a stiletto heel, in the F Train attack), you have no business even thinking about doing Police work, firefighting or any other “Death Professions,” because they’re going to be “just too hard” for people of that ilk.

In the past society held to the view that women for making and running the home, rearing children, etc. deserved an exalted status and an exemption from the daily indignities and abuses that men who worked the “death professions” regularly dealt with, but in a world of stay-at-home Dads, and women who willingly confront and physically challenge men ( such a status, such chivalry quickly becomes quaint and antiquated.

We live in a drastically changing world, not only has religion lost influence as Theism (the partnership between religion and government) has been replaced by Corporatism (the partnership between Corporations and government), but the definition of the family, the male/female dynamic and the very nature of work are all changing rapidly.

While the economic dislocation has left millions adrift without meaningful full time work, tens of thousands have forged ways to forge income from home, whether by becoming professional sellers on EBay, Amazon and other retail sites (some have even started their own small outlet sites), doing bookkeeping, and providing other such services online and/or doing consulting work.

The things have already changed radically. That was probably inevitable. Things will almost certainly change even more drastically down the road in ways we probably can’t even fully conceive of now, but it’s more vital than ever to maintain a clear picture of what we gave up...even if it’s what we HAD to give up, to get to a “better place.”

It was NOT a terrible world. It WAS a simpler time, in some respects, and at least in some people’s minds, a better time. It can be argued that, “It had to be derided in order to make giving it up that much more palatable,” but we’re past all that now. That way of life is gone and gone for good and we NEED to be open to seeing both its good and bad aspects.

NY Penal Code 512.34.C; “When Da Bithch Steps Up, I’m Smackin’ Da Ho!”

...And RIGHTLY so!

Chivalry ain't exactly dead, but like organized religion, its influence is definitely ebbing.

This week, 25 y/o Jorge Pena, a 6’6” bouncer was cleared of all charges for slapping a woman who struck him with the heel of her stiletto shoe…and in my view, RIGHTLY SO!

THIS is what real “gender equality” looks like;

After sorting out the combatants, Pena was cleared of all charges, as they were judged “self defense, while his attacker, the inebriated Danay Howard was ultimately charged with assault; ( and

This isn’t the first time a male has been cleared by way of self-defense, against a female attacker. Perhaps one of the more famous and hilarious cases was “The McBeatdown” that occurred in a Greenwich Village McDonalds back in 2011; Look at the sick, twisted reaction of the howling blonde woman! She didn’t have a problem with the two skanks jumping the counter to attack the McDonald’s worker “like a man,” she just had a BIG  problem with them getting their asses beat. Somebody should’ve stuck a fist in her mouth and shut her up.

Personally, I think NYC’s penal code is absolutely correct in treating a female attacker “like a man.” House a Pain was right when they belted out one of my favorite songs  from back in the day; “I’ll serve it out like John McEnroe, If your girl steps up, I’m smacking the ho.” True poets with a real modern-day message.

Better learn to duck home girl, or you’re gonna get least in NYC ya will!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

“So Goes Obama, So Goes MSNBC?” Not Exactly…

Upside down WHAT'S NEW?

Quietly, even stealthily, MSNBC’s ratings have nose-dived from there already low perch. Some in the media have even suggested that they are in “free fall.”

The Washington Post’s Eric Wemple recently suggested the “So goes Obama, so goes MSNBC”theory, but that doesn’t hold water. Even when President was riding high, with an approval rating of 53% after his win over Romney in 2012, MSNBC was mired in 3rd place among cable newsers, behind FNC & CNN.

The median age of the MSNBC viewer has also ticked upward. Five years ago it was 58; now it is 61. Yes, the hippies are getting older. In the first quarter of 2009, MSNBC averaged 392,000 viewers in the 25-54 demographic for its weeknight lineup. In the third quarter of this year, the number was down to 125,000. FNC leads in this vital demographic, despite having the oldest average listening audience of the three...such is the size of FNC’s lead over its competitors.

Even under its previous management (Jeff Imelt’s GE), MSNBC was the “hate-America’s” network of choice, the place for those who firmly believe that the USA is the source of all the evils of the world...the problem is that there just aren’t all that many of them, certainly not enough to make a huge audience of!

Worse still, there “journalistic” standards, never very high to begin with (think Keith Olbermann and Ed Schultz), set new lows when they took on Melissa Harris-Perry (famous for wearing tampon earrings on her show) and Al Sharpton...the black equivalent of David Duke....WAIT! Apologies may have to be made to David Duke. After all, Mr. Duke never pushed criminal charges he knew to be false against law enforcement officials, the way Sharpton did in the Tawana Brawley hoax and David Duke has never been associated with a mass murder the way Al Sharpton forever is with the “Freddie’s Fashion Mart Massacre” in Harlem! Perhaps Tom Metzger (leader of the Aryan Nation) would be a more apt comparison.

Sharpton has sought to compensate for his complete lack of journalistic skills by taking to, in effect, covering his own causes and rallies as “news” stories.

No, Obama’s poor approval ratings are NOT what ails MSNBC, some spectacularly poor choices, like Harris-Perry and Sharpton very much ARE!

Melissa Harris-Perry donning tampon earrings
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