Friday, April 29, 2011

Democrat fundraiser indicted

The Los Angeles Times reports on the indictment of a campaign cash bundler for two prominent LA politicians:
The developer of a controversial Koreatown hotel has been charged with illegally funneling $26,000 in contributions to the campaigns of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and former Councilman Jack Weiss, according to a five-count grand jury indictment unsealed Friday.

Prosecutors for Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley contend that developer Alexander Hugh, 62, worked with Annette Lee, 44, to have employees at Lee’s escrow company give donations of $1,000 or more to the campaigns of Villaraigosa and Weiss, who was then running for city attorney. Hugh then reimbursed the employees with cash, an illegal practice known as “campaign money laundering,” the indictment said.
Surprisingly, the LA Times omits mention of the politicians' party affiliations but both are Democrats (see here and here).

PREVIOUSLY on Democrat fundraising:
Top Dem fundraiser pleads guilty
Clinton Donor indicted
Top Dem fundraiser pleads guilty
Corruption loses a key advocate
How to buy a congressman
How politics is done
Bernie Madoff was a major donor to left/liberal causes.

The US government is pro-crime

In a report based on a GAO audit (PDF), CNS News reports:
Three people convicted of crimes as a result of a terrorism-related investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) were later naturalized as U.S. citizens by the Obama administration, according to federal auditors.
According to the report, under the immigration law, the government has the option of ignoring criminal convictions if, as in these cases, they are more than 5 years old.  

PREVIOUSLY on Democrats and crime:
NPR: If criminals make you uncomfortable, you are a "hardened racist"
In liberal paradise, dissent will be a crime
Should it be a crime to disagree?
Art or hate crime: you decide
Pro-crime: left defends sex slave ring because they were illegals (say what?)
To rise to power, 20th century fascists depended on liberal do-gooders.

Four Democrat Senators side with the Tea Party

The "unbiased" media may still be calling the Tea Party "radical" or "extremist" but the Washington Post reports today that four Democratic Senators have broken from the White House and are asking for deficit reduction to be attached to any measure to raise the US debt ceiling:

The push-back has come in recent days from Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a freshman who is running for reelection next year. Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) told constituents during the Easter recess that he would not vote to lift the debt limit without a “real and meaningful commitment to debt reduction.”

Even Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), generally a stalwart White House ally, is undecided on the issue and is “hopeful” that a debt-ceiling bill can be attached to a measure to cut the federal deficit, said her spokesman, Linden Zakula. Klobuchar is also up for reelection next year.

The Obama White House responded by doubling down on its call for more debt:
The White House has condemned efforts to attach additional measures to the debt-ceiling issue. Press secretary Jay Carney has called it “a dangerous, risky idea to hold hostage . . . a vote on raising the debt ceiling to any other piece of legislation.”
The Democrats are likely not breaking with Obama because of a greater understanding of economics or a concern for the countries future generations. It is more likely because they are reading the polls:
Just 16 percent of Americans favor lifting the debt ceiling, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC survey published this month. Nearly six in 10 independents opposed it. Democrats were divided, with nearly half saying they did not know enough to have an opinion.
Hat tip: Instapundit.

Evidence that the Tea Party is succeeding
Obama declares Tea Party racist

Obama and "Critical Legal Studies"

I hadn't heard of "Critical Legal Studies" but Professors Reynolds and Althouse had. For those of us who aren't law professors, Rush explains the concept:
Now, speaking of Obama's academic record, he attended Harvard Law School at the height of something that it was promoting, education technique or a theory. It was called critical legal studies. Critical legal studies was in its ascendancy at Harvard Law when Obama was there. You can look it up. Just Google critical legal studies. It is out and out Marxism.

In a nutshell, critical legal studies claims that law is just politics by other means. It is a way for the rich to keep the poor working man down and deny him opportunities for prosperity. That is what Obama was taught at Harvard and based on what he believes and is doing it looks to me like he probably did get good grades. Look it up if you want. Critical legal studies. Law is just politics by other means.

This neatly explains Pres. Obama's approach to law and government and certainly fits with his advocacy of gangster government.

PREVIOUSLY on the Obama and the rule of law:
Justice Scalia explains the rule of law
Obama administration overturns rule of law on immigration
Obama and immigration law
The end of the rule of law
Obama and the rule of law
The AP mis-understands the rule of law

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Two examples of reporters rewriting history

How deep is the hole that we are in?

William Gross of PIMCO has gathered together two charts (hat tip: Instapundit) that illustrate the pickle that Uncle Sam finds himself in. First, there is a lot of discussion of the Federal debt grown too large. For perspective, it is important to note that the US has three other liabilities (promised future payments) each with a present value from nearly as large to nearly four times larger than the Federal debt:
So, something has to get cut. That raises the question of where the Feds are spending their money. The next chart shows where Federal dollars are spent:
The first thing to notice is that, while are current total spending is quite high, the allocation among the various categories is very close to historical norms. In the above chart, 100% represents the $3.8 trillion that the Feds plan to spend in 2011. Total Federal revenue (taxes and fees of all kinds) is estimated to be a mere $2.2 trillion. Balancing the budget would require reducing spending by 37%. Looking at the numbers above, it is clear that this would be major surgery, not a minor outpatient operation.

Can we tax the rich enough to balance the budget?

Monday, April 25, 2011

High-speed rail update

In his State of the Union speech last January, Pres. Obama proposed that the US emulate China's high-speed rail program:
China is building faster trains and newer airports. Meanwhile, when our own engineers graded our nation's infrastructure, they gave us a "D." . . . .

Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80% of Americans access to high-speed rail, which could allow you go places in half the time it takes to travel by car. For some trips, it will be faster than flying - without the pat-down. As we speak, routes in California and the Midwest are already underway.

Meanwhile, back in reality, Charles Lane writes (hat tip: Hot Air) in the Washington Post that China's high speed rail program has collapsed into economic morass of debt, corruption, and unmet promises.   They are even abandoning the promise of "high speed":
On April 13, the government cut bullet-train speeds 30 mph to improve safety, energy efficiency and affordability.
A good role model for America? Not really.

As an aside, Pres. Obama cited the California high-speed rail project. It is known locally as the "train to nowhere."  He also cited the lack of patdowns as an advantage.  His TSA chief, however, is already considering extending pat-downs to subways and trains.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Gitmo: cluelessness at at the Washington Post

In Today's Washington Post, two reporters, Peter Finn and Anne E. Kornblut, write a report struggling to reconcile what liberals see, on one hand, as the overwhelming righteousness of closing the Guantanamo detention center with, on the other hand, Pres. Obama's disappointing failure to close it as promised. Ultimately they conclude that it was the failure of Obama to stand up to the Republican spin machine:
In hindsight, officials said, they should have taken the budding Republican narrative more seriously. “We weren’t very effective at rebutting it,” one senior official said.
Finn and Kornblut acknowledge the pain that the failure to rebut the Republicans caused among the liberal true-believers in Obama's cabinet. For example, they write:
[O]n the the day Obama announced that he would seek reelection, a clearly crestfallen Holder took to the lectern at the Justice Department to scuttle the federal prosecution of Mohammed, which he once expected would be the “defining event” of his time at the helm of the department.
In their lengthy article, Finn and Kornblut fail to acknowledge, however, the two obvious truths that have emerged from the past two years of debate on Gitmo:
  • Americans, Democrat and Republican alike as evidenced by a 90-6 vote in the Senate, do not want the world's worst terrorists transferred to US soil.
  • The rest of the countries around the world do not want them either.
That pretty much dooms the liberal dream of closing Gitmo. Of course, if you work at the Washington Post, you can ignore that and instead blame the petty politics of partisan Republicans.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day: environmentalism and the test of science

In science, one makes a hypothesis and then tests it against experiment. If the hypothesis fails to agree with experiment, it must be discarded. So, let us consider the predictions (hypotheses) made by environmentalists on Earth Day in 1970 and how they compare with experiment (reality) 41 years later:
“We have about five more years at the outside to do something.”
• Kenneth Watt, ecologist
“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
• George Wald, Harvard Biologist
We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.”
• Barry Commoner, Washington University biologist
“Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.” • New York Times editorial, the day after the first Earth Day
“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist
“By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist
“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”
• Denis Hayes, chief organizer for Earth Day
“Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”
• Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University
“Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”
• Life Magazine, January 1970
“At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist
“Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist
“We are prospecting for the very last of our resources and using up the nonrenewable things many times faster than we are finding new ones.”
• Martin Litton, Sierra Club director
“By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist
“Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”
• Sen. Gaylord Nelson
“The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist
Clearly, environmentalism is not a science; it is an emotion.

[This impressive list was prepared by IHateTheMedia as a summary of an article in Reason.]

PREVIOUSLY on politicized science:
Federal Judge rejects Federal environmental "science" as "arbitrary and capricious"
The politicization of medical research funding
2 more examples of politicized science: Gulf oil spill and California's air regulations
AIDS advocates distorted science
Politicized science of crime statistics
Politicization of medical science
Bee colony collapse disorder: the cause is whatever your politics say it is
Ozone hole and politics

PREVIOUSLY on global warming:
The collapse of the UN IPCC's credibility
Yet another UN IPCC Glacier-gate scandal
UN IPCC claims of melting Himalayan glaciers exposed as fraud
Environmentalists at war with environmentalists over green energy
EPA's new global warming rules, illustrated
California global warming rules backfire
France's carbon tax ruled unconstitutional
UN IPCC responds to Climategate with wild accusations
Surprise: EU's carbon trading riddled with fraud
Global warming and the test of science, III
Global warming and the test of science, II
Global warming and the test of science, I
141 scientists wrote letter to UN challenging global warming hysteria.
Ma'am Sen. Boxer for and against climate whistleblowers.
BBC propaganda on global warming
Climate alarmist Phil Jones to step down pending review
Why Penn State's investigation of its global warmist will go nowhere
Former boss calls James Hansen call an embarrassment to NASA
NASA's global warming scientists caught hyping false data
The resemblance of global warming true-believers to Islamists
James Hansen "muzzled" by Bush White House?

NAACP Official convicted of vote fraud

The Tunica Times (of Tunica, Mississippi) reports:
After two days of testimony and an hour of deliberation, a Tunica County jury returned a guilty verdict in the case against community activist Lessadolla Sowers.
Sowers was convicted of 10 counts of voter fraud and was sentenced to five years for each count. Circuit Court Judge Charles Webster ordered Sowers to serve her terms concurrently with no possibility of parole. She was also ordered to pay restitution and court costs.
The verdict came after the state presented evidence that Sowers committed voter fraud in the weeks leading up to the democratic primary in 2007.
In his opening remarks, prosecutor Bill Gresham said 31 absentee ballots were seized by the Mississipi Bureau of Investigation in 2007 after allegations of misconduct. [Emph. added]
Ms. Lessadolla Sowers is currently listed as a member of the Tunica County NAACP Executive Committee.

Curiously, the Tunica Times story is now 22 hours old and a google news search currently shows no other MSM outlet carrying the story.

Hat tip: Instapundit and The PJ Tatler.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of vote fraud:
Who is it who counts the ballots?
How vote fraud is done in New Jersey
Obama DoJ: vote fraud helps "increase turnout"
More vote fraud: New York State
How to buy a vote
NJ Dems demand equal rights for fraudulent voters
Nevada accuses ACORN of 39 felonies
Three Obama supporters plead guilty
Another ex-ACORN worker pleads guilty
An insider's guide to vote fraud
Vote fraud update
Absentee ballot and dishonest elections
Fraud and Deceit in 2004

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Liberals cling to the past

The times, they are a-changing and, speaking on the House floor Friday, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) complained about it:
"Now Borders is closing stores because why do you need to go to Borders anymore? Why do you need to go to Barnes & Noble?" Jackson said. "Buy an [Apple] iPad and download your newspaper, download your book, download your magazine." Borders filed for bankruptcy protection in February.

The Democratic congressman went on to cite the iPads given to students at universities such as Chicago State, in Jackson's district, and questioned what the decline in the use of textbooks would do to other industries.

"What becomes of publishing companies and publishing company jobs? What becomes of bookstores and librarians and all of the jobs associated with paper?"

He might also complain about all the jobs lost in the vacuum tube industry after the invention of the transistor. And no one makes rotary phones either. It seems that modern progressives are just not comfortable with progress.

Hat tip: BotW.

SEPARATELY, Rep. Jackson defends himself against ethics allegations.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Should the US create a Ministry of Truth?

Ms. Lane Wallace, a columnist at The Atlantic, proposes that the FCC adopt a requirement, similar to Canada's, that broadcasters shall not broadcast "false or misleading news." She writes:
Honesty seems like such a no-brainer of a requirement. . . . .

Think about it. We prohibit people from lying in court, because the consequences of those lies are serious. That's a form of censorship of free speech, but one we accept quite willingly. And while the consequences of what we hear on television and radio are not as instantly severe as in a court case, one could argue that the damage widely-disseminated false information does to the goal of a well-informed public and a working, thriving democracy is significant, as well. . . . .

It's odd, really, that the idea of requiring news broadcasters to be fundamentally honest about the information they project across the nation and into our homes sounds radical.
By Ms. Wallace's standard, would Pres. Obama be prohibited from speaking on TV? After all, the Wall Street Journal termed his budget speech the most "dishonest" in decades while Charles Krauthammer called it "intellectually dishonest." At the Washington Post, Marc Theissen similarly called Obama's Libya speech "fundamentally dishonest." Can we all agree that, under Ms. Wallace's proposed broadcast standards, Pres. Obama would be banned from the airwaves?

Not likely. "Truth" isn't that easily agreed upon.

Ms. Wallace's vision requires some government agency to determine what is "truth" and then outlaw broadcast of anything disagreeing with its vision. That would be an Orwellian nightmare. I can only hope that the Obama administration isn't reading her column.

Hat tip: Instapundit.

PREVIOUSLY on the liberal opposition to free speech:
Justice Breyer looking to overturn the First Amendment
Obama administration: free speech does not include the right to criticize Obamacare
Obama sells out free speech
Physicians' group to sue Obama administration over suppression of dissent
Canada's liberals oppose free speech
Free speech and its enemies
University upset at free speech
The Right of Free Speech, Selectively Applied
Tolerating free speech, IV
Tolerating free speech, III
More on tolerating free speech
Those who cannot tolerate free speech

But, snobbery is its own reward

A Hertfordshire University study found that people cannot tell the difference between cheap and expensive wine. The (UK) Guardian reports:
A survey of hundreds of drinkers found that on average people could tell good wine from plonk no more often than if they had simply guessed. ....

Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at Hertfordshire University, conducted the survey at the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

"People just could not tell the difference between cheap and expensive wine," he said. "When you know the answer, you fool yourself into thinking you would be able to tell the difference, but most people simply can't." ....

"The real surprise is that the more expensive wines were double or three times the price of the cheaper ones. Normally when a product is that much more expensive, you would expect to be able to tell the difference," Wiseman said.

The Wine aficionados at object to this study. calling it "flawed" and a "farce." But notice how they object:
For those of us that spend our lives tasting through wines to determine which expensive wines offer quality that supports higher price points, and which inexpensive wines reach quality levels that qualify them as bargain wines drinking better than many others at 3-4X the price, this experiment is a farce. We know that price is an unsteady indicator of rewarding drinking.
If they weren't all wrapped up in their snobbery, it would be obvious to Wine-Zag that they were agreeing with the results of the Hertfordshire study: price gives little indication of wine quality.

Hat tip: Instapundit.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

8 minutes of hate

Louis Farrakhan speaks at Howard University:
Curiously, starting at 7:16 in these otherwise vile excerpts from his speech, he offers a favorable opinion of the Tea Party:
Now the Tea Party got in. I am happy because the Tea Party is not a part of the old crowd. The Tea party is forcing these Republicans to be strict fiscal conservatives. Plus, they are not under the control of the Zionists. So once they get in and see, the revolution is inside the House.
UPDATE: The above video has been removed but I found a similar hate-fulled excerpt from the speech here:

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of anti-semitism:
CNN's anti-semite
Hate crimes statistics, Jews, and Muslims, and more

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The subtleties of White Privilege

At The Cap Times of Madison, Margaret Krome considers the subject of racism:

Last week I attended a workshop entitled “Dismantling Racism” put on by the nonprofit group Growing Power in Milwaukee.

We did an exercise where white people in the room read statements about white privilege.  ....

But I was amazed by how few of the statements I, as a person of white privilege, had previously considered. I hadn’t noticed that “I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.” Nor had I previously recognized as a privilege never being asked to speak for all the people of my racial group. Or that I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race. These and many other statements were written by Peggy McIntosh in a 1990 article that described such unearned assets as “like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions ... tools, and blank checks.”

As the statements continued, people of color nodded knowingly.

Who would make such statements?  The first two somewhat similar examples that came to my mind were both made about candidate Barack Obama:
"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man." --Sen. Biden [D-DE]

"light-skinned" and having "no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one." --Sen. Reid [D-NV]
PREVIOUSLY on racism:
Racist cupcakes
Is witch doctor image racist?
Obama ally: "I hate white people...."
“You can’t vote against healthcare and call yourself a black man.”
"The city wasn't ready to hire a white police chief."
A prominent black politician says the white incumbent cannot properly represent black voters.
San Franciscans discriminate against blacks.
"He's not black and he can't represent me, that's just the bottom line."

Incentives at work

The Chicago Sun-Times reports:
A 20-year-old Canadian man methodically stalked and tracked a Westmont woman before killing her Wednesday night in Oak Brook — even stopping to reload his gun and continue shooting during the attack.

[DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert] Berlin said [Dmitry] Smirnov [the alleged killer, pictured] had done research on the Internet to determine if Illinois had the death penalty, deciding to go through with Vesel’s murder when he discovered it does not. [Emph. added]
PREVIOUSLY on the subject of crime:

For liberals, everything is about race, gender, or class

Regarding classes taught at Bowdoin College:

“There are any number of courses that deal with some group aspect of America, but virtually none that deals with America as a whole. For example, there is African-American history from 1619 to 1865 and from 1865 to the present, but there is no comparable sequence on America. Every course is social or cultural history that looks at the world through the prism of race, class, and gender. Even a course on the environment (offered in the history department) “examines the links between ecology and race, class, and gender.” Do Bowdoin alumni know their alma mater offers not one history course in American political, military, diplomatic, constitutional, or intellectual history, and nothing at all on the American Founding or the Constitution; that the one Civil War course is essentially African-American history (it is offered also in Africana Studies); and that there are more courses on gay and lesbian subjects than on American history? Is it possible this is one reason why some conservatives are disinclined to send their children to Bowdoin? Mr. (Barry) Mills (president of Bowdoin) did not inquire." [Emph. added]

--- Thomas D. Klingenstein,

Excerpt from “A Golf Story,” Claremont Review of Books,

Winter/Spring 2010-2011

From MindingTheCampus, via Instapundit.

UPDATE: Scott Johnson reviews the controversy that Mr. Klingenstein essay has generated.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of liberals' obsession with group identity:
Identity group politics in dispute
Dem Gov says Dem primary voters are sexist and racist
What is the victim status of your identity group?
Dems urged to vote their gender
Liberal logic of group identity

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Layers of editors and fact-checkers at AP

AP fell for GE Press Release Hoax in which GE promised to return its $3.2 billion tax refund to the US Treasury.  (AP's correction is currently here.)

GE earned it tax refund fair and square: it spent a great deal of money donating to/lobbying politiicans, mostly left-wing ones, to get those deals.  Expecting GE to give the money back now makes no sense.

The visitor logs released by the White House are practically frauds

If one wants to know who is influencing the Obama administration, then it would make sense to examine the visitor logs released by the White House.  According to a Politico report, however, that would be a waste of time. For example:
Less than 1 percent of the estimated 500,000 visits to the White House in Obama’s first eight months — a time when the new administration was bustling with activity — have been disclosed, according to the Center’s analysis.
To further confuse the matter, the names that the White House has disclosed include people, possibly up to 200,000 according to Politico, who never arrived. To further reduce the value of the list, the White House is including people who never met with any official but were merely on a guided tour:
Two-thirds of the more than 1 million names listed are people who passed through parts of the White House on guided group tours.
You may remember that, in 2008, President-elect Obama promised the "most transparent White House in history." Ha.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Tax the rich?

Many on the left claim that the our $1.5 trillion deficit can be solved by "taxing the rich." Is it possible? Megan McArdle posts the work of her reader Trimalchio on the amount of income that the "rich" have and how much tax revenue would be generated by increasing tax rates on it:
For anyone who wants to discuss the revenue side of the budget debate knowledgably, I highly recommend spending some time with the IRS's Statistics on Income. Table 1.1 under Individual Statistical Tables is a good place to start:

You can see, for example, that total taxable income in 2008 was $5,488 billion. Taxable income over $100,000 was $1,582 billion, over $200,000 was $1,185 billion, over $500,000 was $820 billion, over $1 million was $616 billion, over $2 million was $460 billion, over $5 million was $302 billion, and over $10 million was $212 billion. Effective tax rates as a percentage of taxable income seem to top out around 27%.

You can estimate the effects of various proposals in the best case, which is that each percentage point increase in the marginal rate translates to an equal increase in the effective rate. Going back to 2000 ("Clinton era") marginal rates on income over $200,000, let's call it a 5 percentage point increase in the marginal rate, would therefore yield $59 billion on a static basis.

In other words, using his (unrealistic) "best case" and "static" assumptions, returning to Clinton era tax rates on the "rich" (incomes over $200k) would only raise $59 billion, a pittance compared to our $1.6 trillion deficit.

I didn't find Trimalchio source but, if you want to look at the numbers yourself, I did find similar information from for 2005 here (PDF) in Figure B.

Hat tip: Instapundit.

Fake hate crimes

On November 9, 2006, the O'Fallon Missouri Police Dept. received a warning purportedly from the KKK:
"Get all the blacks from Chevy Chase Apartments from out of O'Fallon before we burn the [w]hole complex down. KKK warning."
Today, the AP reports that a federal grand jury has indicted Justin Lamar Kidd, a 28-year old African-American formerly of O'Fallon, on two counts for sending this and another false threat. He was arrested on Wednesday.

Similarly, in 1996, Angela L. Jackson claimed that UPS employees wrote racist slurs on packages sent to her.
She filed a $572,000 lawsuit against UPS. But, the evidence showed otherwise and, instead of winning a jackpot, she was convicted and sent to prison for her fraud.

More examples of fake hate crimes can be found in a 1997 US News & World Report article and in The Psychology of Stalking: Clinical and Forensic Perspectives by J. Reid Meloy.

While genuine hate crimes are evil, the lesson here is that not all media-reported hate-crimes are real and it can take many years to sort out the facts.

Hat tip: GatewayPundit.

RELATED: On April 5, Quinn Matney, a freshman at the University of North Carolina, reported to campus police that he had been a victim of a vicious anti-gay hate crime that left him injured for life. He still appears to be injured for life but the campus police have determined that his hate crime report was false. Analysis is here and here. Hat tip Instapundit.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Will the Stars Wars system work?

Democrats have argued for decades that missile defense cannot possibly work.  On the other hand, if that were really the case, how do you explain the Russian reaction to the system?  From the (UK) Telegraph:
A top Kremlin official has told the United States Russia wants "red button" rights to a new US-backed missile defence system for Europe, a move that would allow it to influence the shield's day-to-day operational use.

Sergey Ivanov, Russia's deputy prime minister, made the controversial demand during a visit to the United States where he met with top officials including Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State.

"We insist on only one thing," he said of the nascent US-backed missile defence shield. "That we are an equal part of it." [Emph. added]

Separately, Haaretz reports on successes with the first operational use of Israel's iron dome missile defense system:
As the rocket fire from Gaza on southern Israel continued Friday, the Iron Dome missile intercepted three Grad rockets that were fired toward Ashkelon.

Donald Trump says he is a Tea Partier

NBC interviews Donald Trump:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Starting at 5:58 in the video:
NBC: Do you consider yourself a tea partier?

Trump: I think so. I am very proud of some the ideas they put forth. And, the big idea is they want to stop this ridiculous, absolutely killer of spending that’s going on. What’s going on in this country, the way we’re spending money like drunken sailors ... ultimately, we’re going to destroy our own freedom.
This is followed by Trump schooling NBC on the the "government shutdown" issue. Trump has a directness and clarity that is sorely lacking among the other presidential contenders.

Hat tip: Brutally Honest.
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