There will be a discussion of the proposed school tax and other tax abatement programs on May 5th, 6PM at the Crestview Courthouse.
There will be a discussion of the proposed school tax and other tax abatement programs on May 5th, 6PM at the Crestview Courthouse.
I did not watch the coverage of the protests against Obamacare last weekend, nor the coverage of the actual passing of the health care bill, nor the coverage of President Obama’s signing. I had had enough by the time all this came up. I knew where I stood, nothing that happened in the last 24 hours was going to change my mind, and I definitely had better things to do.
Therefore I did not “see” any of that happen in real time, and cannot vouch for what happened one way or the other. I have seen some after-the-fact coverage on CNN and MSNBC, but just a little before I could get around to changing the channel.
But now I’m concerned about the accusations of racism being hurled at the Tea Party protesters. In particular, charges that they shouted epithets at black members of Congress as they were headed for the Capitol chambers to vote.
If that charge is accurate, it points – at the very least – to pretty poor crowd control on the part of the Tea Party organizers. I do not believe they are so morally deficit as to condone something like that, or so politically tone-deaf that they wouldn’t realize how an incident like that can damage and even destroy a movement.
So, I turned with interest to an article forwarded to me, “Anatomy of a Racial Smear,” by Jack Cashill. It appears to be a pretty well-reasoned article, even though it appears in a neocon rag (The American Thinker) that I don’t usually cite approvingly.
“Tea Party protesters scream ‘nigger’ at black congressman”
That’s the headline on an article Cashill says was written by reporter William Douglas, and published by the McClatchy Newspapers chain. I couldn’t believe a supposedly respectable newspaper chain would put something that inflammatory in print, so I started Googling, and here it is, right on the chain’s site.
The question then becomes, is it true? And Cashill does a convincing job of taking that headline apart, word by word, as well as the article itself. Truth, it appears, is pretty elusive. The smear, you come to believe, is everywhere in that McClatchy headline and article.
Check it out. Read Cashill’s article, and while you’re at it, definitely check out his links – a video of the Tea Party protesters shouting at the congressional Black Caucus (see if you can hear the “N” word) and an audio link of House Majority Whip James CIyburn, who walked with the Black Caucus contingent, admitting to Keith Olbermann afterwards, “I didn’t hear the slurs.” (Maybe that’s because there were none?)
Use of the word “nigger” has no place in our political discourse, of course, or in protests. But so far the only place I’ve actually seen or heard use of the epithet is in that McClatchy Newspapers headline and article.
Videotapes are everywhere today. Has anyone actually seen or heard a tape where the Tea Party protesters at the Capitol used racial taunts or epithets? If so, please bring this to my attention. Short of some real evidence, all we seem to have is the “word” of members of the Black Caucus and an apparently biased reporter. I wouldn’t take the word of a Black Caucus congressman if he had both hands on the Bible, they are such propagandists. Ha, that’s probably true with any Member of Congress other than Ron Paul, so maybe I’m being racist myself in singling out the Black Caucus. But they are very conspicuous propagandists, and they’re the center of this particular story.
I’ve personally witnessed only one Tea Party gathering, the original one on Capitol Hill last year, and that was as an observer. I wanted to see how many people showed up. What I saw were very ordinary Americans. Definitely not the Beautiful People you see at Washington soirées, both on the Left and the Right. Most of them probably were not exactly “sophisticated” in their way of expressing their concerns – ordinary Americans, after all, have better things to pursue with their lives than politics, things such as jobs, family, etc. But they were angry enough to get off their duffs and come to Washington to protest. That anger, however, was directed at the federal government’s messing up their lives, and our nation’s future. I certainly heard or saw no anger that was racist.
Isn’t this the kind of civic involvement all the “good government” types say we should be encouraging? Why is it (in the MSM) that only leftist rallies and demonstrations are portrayed as virtuous?
I am certain there are some racists in the Tea Party movement, just as there are in any broad-based movement. That doesn’t mean they define it, and from what I’ve seen, the Tea Party organizers have tried to weed them out. Heck, there are racists in any big civil rights gathering, only their racism is directed at whites. I see fear of homos and fear of Mexicans as much bigger problems on the Right today.
Do not mistake vehemence for something more sinister
Americans have every right to be angry at almost everything the feds do, and passions on both sides were strained as this epochal battle over health care reached the final vote. I look at the video linked in Cashill’s article, and I definitely do see anger. But no evidence of racism. What – were they supposed to stop their protesting and just smile and wave “hello” to these congressmen because they were black? That’s racism itself.
By the way, can anyone explain why the members of the Black Caucus were walking through the crowd? Where were they coming from? Since I didn’t watch the live coverage, I have no idea why they were there.
Congressmen usually take the underground Capitol Hill subway when going from their Senate and House office buildings (if that’s where they were coming from) to the Capitol for a vote. And if they are arriving by car, the car usually pulls right up to an entrance of the Capitol, so in that case they wouldn’t be walking a gauntlet through the crowd. Call me Mr. Suspicious, but it sort of looks to me like they wanted to provoke a reaction – not such a stretch for members of the Black Caucus. Call me Mr. Conspiracist, but I think I smell a set-up.
So, show me the videotape or recording evidence – not of vehemence, but of actual racism. If you produce it, I’m ready to condemn it. Short of that, I condemn the people who smear their opposition – without evidence – with such labels. That sort of group-smear may be politics as usual, but that’s why most Americans hate politics as usual.
A note to my liberal friends:
If you are uncomfortable with the vehemence of the protests, all I can say is, get used to it. It’s only going to get worse in the years ahead, on both the Left and the Right. As the nation heads toward bankruptcy, “entitlements” will be drastically cut and taxes will be drastically raised. There are going to be a lot of pissed-off people.
March 26, 2010
David Franke [send him mail] one of the founders of the conservative movement in the 1950s and 1960s. He is the author of a dozen books, including Safe Places, The Torture Doctor, and America’s Right Turn.
Here is the Oath of Office I took on July 1, 1957:
I, Phillip Neal Butler, having been appointed a Midshipman in the United States Navy, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter, so help me God.
Upon graduation from the United States Naval Academy in 1961, I repeated this oath to be commissioned an ensign in the United States Navy. I served 20 years as an active duty commissioned officer. During that time I became a Naval Aviator, flew combat in Vietnam, was downed over North Vietnam on April 20, 1965 and became a prisoner of war. I was repatriated on February 12, 1973, having served 2,855 days and nights as a POW – just short of 8 years. The Vietnamese were not signatory to any international treaties on treatment of prisoners. They pronounced us “criminals” and freely used torture, harassment, malnutrition, isolation, lack of medical care and other degradations during our captivity. I was tortured dozens of times during my captivity. But I often thought of our Constitution and the higher purpose we served – a purpose that helped me resist beyond what I thought I’d ever be capable of. Ironically, we POWs often reminded each other that our country would never stoop to torture and the low level of treatment we were experiencing at the hands of our captors.
This Oath of Office, the same one sworn to by all officers, government officials, presidential cabinet members, senators and representatives of our nation, has had a powerful affect on me. It has given me an overarching purpose in life: to serve the greatest and most influential legal document ever written. The only different oath is specified for the President of the United States in Constitutional Article II, Section 1 (8.) It mandates that he or she will “…preserve, protect and defend the Constitution…”
So what in the world has happened during the past 8 years of the Bush administration? The only defensible answer is that he and his subordinates have trampled our precious Constitution and the Rule of Law into the ground while our elected members of Congress have stood idly and complicitly by. Our highest elected officials have utterly failed with their greatest responsibility.
During these years we have seen gross attempts to institutionalize torture. Our Constitution, Article VI, (2) commonly known as the “Supremacy” clause clearly states that treaties made shall become “the supreme law of the land,” thus elevating them to the level of Constitutional law.
The Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, ratified in 1949 states in Article 17 that “No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.” This and numerous other ratified treaties clearly stipulate that “prisoners” is an inclusive term that is not limited to any nation’s uniformed combatants.
Other gross Bush administration crimes of general and Constitutional law (in addition to authorizing torture) include: 1) the use of “signing statements” to illegally refrain from complying with laws. 2) authorization of the illegal suspension of Habeas Corpus 3) authorization of wire tapping and other intrusive methods to illegally spy on American citizens. 4) unilateral declaration and pre-emptive conduct of war in violation of U.S. Constitution Article I, Section 8 (11)
These violations of our Constitution and rule of law have resulted in reducing our nation to the level of international pariah. Our beacon of liberty and justice no longer shines throughout the world. We no longer set the example for other nations to follow. We no longer stand on a firm foundation. We have lost our national, moral gyro.
I despair when I think of the personal sacrifices made by so many in U.S. wars and conflicts since 1776. If our forefathers were here to see they would surely be angry and disappointed. And I think they would issue a clarion call for redress and setting an example for the world, by punishing those who are guilty. The only way our nation can right itself is for Congress to prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes.
I therefore call on the elected representatives in the Senate and House of Representatives to bring appropriate charges against President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Legal Council William J. Haynes, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former Legal Council David Addington and potentially other high officials and uniformed officers. There is no other option. Citizens of the United States and of the world are watching. Do your duty. Support and defend the Constitution of the United States.
**ALERT ROUND 9 **
More Help Needed To Stop Gun Registration
DATE: March 13, 2010
TO: USF & NRA Members and Friends
FROM: Marion P. Hammer
USF Executive Director
NRA Past President
House Bill 315 by Representative Mike Horner (R) has ALSO been scheduled to be heard on the House floor Tuesday March 16, 2010
HB-315 is a bill to STOP Florida adoption agencies from forcing potential adoptive parents to register their firearms with the agency as a condition of adoption. Further, it will stop agencies from forcing these parents to follow gun control regulations regarding storage of firearms and ammunition created by the agency.
This outrageous behavior has been going on too long and it is time to stop it once and for all.
You must act quickly. URGENT! The House Must Hear From You!
SUPPORT HB-315 — Stop Gun Registration by Adoption Agencies
(Block or Highlight and Copy All email addresses into the “Send To” box)
Adoption agencies in Florida are effectively profiling prospective adoptive parents who own firearms.
Agencies have been treating applicants for adoption, who chose to exercise the constitutional right to own a firearm, differently than non-firearms owning applicants.
As a condition of adoption, prospective parents who own firearms must agree to regulations and restriction imposed by the agency.
At least one agency requires prospective parents who own a firearm or firearms, to store the firearms and ammunition separately in locked cabinets – rendering the right of self-defense and defense of family virtually impossible.
Further, applicants who own firearms are required to register their firearms and ammunition with the agency.
The agency not only requires applicants to separately list the firearms and the ammunition they own on a form created by the agency, but also requires them to report to the agency exactly where the firearms and ammunition are stored.
These agencies have set themselves above the law and have ignored the statutes.
State law regulates the safe storage of firearms. F.S. 790.174, regulates how firearms must be stored and provides criminal penalties when firearms are accessed by minors due to a failure to store firearms safely.
State law prohibits agencies from attempting to regulate firearms. F.S. 790.33 prohibits any regulation of firearms except by the Legislature. The Legislature exclusively occupies the whole field of regulation of firearms and ammunition.
State law prohibits registration of firearms. F.S. 790.335 prohibits the compiling of and retention of lists of firearms owners and firearms. Forms required by some adoption agencies constitute a registry of firearms and firearms owners.
Under 790.335(4)(a), office managers and officials who are a party to the collection and storage of firearms registration documents commit a felony of the third degree.
Under 790.335(4)(c) these agencies or organizations, as licensed agencies acting on behalf of the government, who register firearms are subject to a fine of up to $5 million.
While some adoption agencies have attempted to claim their firearms regulations and forms were authorized or required by DCF, DCF actually repealed those regulations in April, 2008.
This bill makes it clear that adoption agencies may not condition adoption on a person’s exercise of a constitutional right or a person’s willingness to disclose private information concerning lawful firearms ownership – nor may adoption agencies impose restrictions on firearms ownership.
This bill codifies in law that adoption agencies may not violate rights, profile or discriminate against firearms owners who seek to foster or adopt children.
Prospective parents seeking to adopt and make a home for a child are particularly vulnerable to abusive tactics of agency officials and personnel who appear to have a predisposition against firearms owners.
Forcing prospective parents to submit to requirements that usurp their legal rights and violate their privacy is nothing short of coercion. It must be stopped.
Note: Names with asterisks are those who votes for the Stupak amendment (opposing any federal funding for abortion). These are the most important names to target.
Fax Numbers for the Vulnerable Democrats Above
Harry Mitchell – 202-225-3263
Gabrielle Giffords – 202-225-0378
Ann Kirkpatrick – 202-226-9739
Jerry McNerney – 202-225-4060
John Salazar – 202-226-9669
Jim Hines – 202-225-9629
Alan Grayson – 202-225-0999
Bill Foster – 202-225-0697
Baron Hill – 202-226-6866
Mark Schauer – 202-225-6281
Gary Peters – 202-226-2356
Dina Titus – 202-225-3252
Carol Shea-Porter – 202-225-5822
Tim Bishop – 202-225-3143
John Hall – 202-225-3289
Bill Owens – 202-226-0621
Mike Arcuri – 202-225-1891
Dan Maffei – 202-225-4042
Earl Pomneroy – 202-226-0893
*Steven Driehaus – 202-225-3012
Mary Jo Kilroy – 202-225-3529
Zach Space – 202-225-3394
*Kathy Dahlkemper – 202-225-3103
Patrick Murphy – 202-225-9511
Christopher Carney – 202-225-9594
*Paul Kanjorski – 202-225-0764
John Spratt – 202-225-0464
Tom Perriello – 202-225-5681
Alan Mollohan – 202-225-7564
Nick Rahall – 202-225-9061
Steve Kagen – 202-225-5729