Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Gas is $1.85 a gallon at several stations in my neighborhood. One dollar and eighty-five cents! There were tears, people.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A very sad story . . . and a very sad reaction

CNN's Ruben Navarrette, Jr. discusses a terrible story about a group of teenage boys in Patchougue, NY, who allegedly decided to go "beaner jumping."

The bullies found 37-year-old Marcello Lucero, who was attacked, beaten and stabbed to death. The alleged assailants include Jeffrey Conroy, Jordan Dasch, Anthony Hartford, Nicholas Hausch, Jose Pacheco, and Kevin Shea, all 17, and Christopher Overton, 16.

As the person who authorities allege stabbed Lucero, Conroy is charged with first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime. The others are charged with first-degree gang assault.

According to Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer, all seven "admitted their involvement ... in this crime." They pleaded not guilty in court. Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Nancy Clifford said the suspects wanted to "find some Mexicans to ---- up."

Now, this is inexplicably, undeniably a terrible story. But Mr. Navarrette doesn't really blame the boys. Nor does he blame a culture that glamorized violence and thuggish behavior. Nor does he venture into their family situation or gang associations or psychiatric medications. No, Mr. Navarrette strongly implies that the cause of this is the immigration debate.

Nor should we tolerate an immigration debate that turned anti-Hispanic and that some now blame for incidents like such as this.

In 2006, the last year for which statistics are available, Hispanics were -- according to the FBI -- the No. 1 victim of hate crimes motivated by ethnicity or national origin, representing 62.8 percent of the victims of such crimes.

When tragedy strikes, there are always those who look for someone to blame. In Suffolk County, local activists are blaming public officials who have crusaded against illegal immigration to score political points with their constituents.

The anti-immigrant atmosphere was something even the presidential candidates talked about. Earlier this year, Barack Obama pointed to comments by radio and television hosts critical of immigration. "A certain segment has basically been feeding a kind of xenophobia," he told supporters at a Palm Beach, Florida, fundraiser, tying that sentiment to an increase in hate crimes against Hispanics.

In an interview just before the election, Sen. John McCain told me that there have always been those who stoke fears that American culture and the English language are on their way out.

Do you hear that? "Nor should we tolerate the immigration debate . . ." A discussion of the laws of country, and whether or how they should be enforced, is simply not tolerable if it may carry the blame for "hate."

I would almost guarantee that these teenage thugs had virtually no real awareness of the debate that has gone on in this country about illegal aliens. Their use of the word "beaner," in fact, is one that I would bet that they picked up from Carlos Mencia on Comedy Central. They were simply looking for some way to take their aggression out, thought up a good excuse, and Marcello Lucero, sadly, was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It's things like this that lead to censorship and all sorts of other freedom erosion's, folks. People that think that we must change what we "tolerate," for the good of society. Better to just let the government handle it; if we plebeians discuss it, well, someone could get hurt.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Don't worry kids, you can still blame everything bad that ever happens to you ever on racism

Well, this is a relief. For a moment there, I was afraid that the Obama election meant that we were a post-racial society, and a black man can achieve anything that a white man can, even the nation's highest office. Apparently, according to Timothy Noah at Slate, my fears are unfounded:

But in a more complex and indirect way, the stubborn refusal of a majority of whites to vote Democratic is all about race. Take a look at this chart. The alignment of whites with the Republican Party hasn't made it impossible for Democrats to win presidential elections, but it has made it fairly difficult. For the past 40 years, whites have made up 74 percent to somewhere north of 90 percent of all voters. Jimmy Carter got elected president by narrowing to four percentage points the gap between whites voting Republican and whites voting Democratic. Bill Clinton did it by narrowing the gap to a remarkable 2 percent. I don't think it's a coincidence that both men drew some appeal simply from being white Southerners. The South is where the GOP holds its tightest grip on the white vote.

So, at least South still equals racist, even with a black president. Jesse Jackson will be so relieved.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A New Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome

This is hilarious. I hope it helps ease the pain:

Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are

Obama Campaign Workers Upset About Not Getting Paid All That They Earned

I guess that we can safely assume that most of these folks have never earned (or even seen) an actual paycheck:

"Still that's not right. I'm disappointed. I'm glad for the president, but I'm disappointed in this system," said Diane Jefferson, temporary campaign worker.

"It should have been $480. It's $230," said Imani Sankofa.

"They gave us $10 an hour. So we added it. I added up all the hours so it was supposed to be at least $120. All I get is $90," said Charles Martin.

"I worked nine hours a day for 4 days and got paid half of what I should have earned," said Randall Waldon.

But I thought that we were supposed to be getting over the simplistic notions about keeping money that we earn!

Welcome to the real-world kids, welcome to the real world.

BIggest Post-Election Stock Drop in History

From Bloomberg News (via Instapundit):

The stock market posted its biggest plunge following a presidential election as reports on jobs and service industries stoked concern the economy will worsen even as President-elect Barack Obama tries to stimulate growth.

Hang on to that hope and change kids! Pretty soon, it may be all that you've got.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Non-presidential things to watch today

1. What will California do with proposition 8 (state constitutional amendment on gay marriage)? They say that as California goes, so goes the nation. The few other states that have enacted gay marriage haven't seemed to have much of an effect on the nation as a whole, but I think that California will be different. (For the record, I support gay marriage, but I don't like the idea of it being imposed by the courts- though I haven't read the CA constitution or opinion, so I'm not sure whether it was a leap or not)

2. Will Massachusetts do away with its state income tax? The other states that have no income tax are all well known for having at least some conservative/libertarian streaks (Tennessee, Florida, Texas, Alaska, Nevada). Massachusetts, aka Tax-achusetts, would be the first solidly blue state to make such a move. Could this be a good sign for supporters of the Fair Tax?

3. What will happen to John Murtha? I'm all for a long time congress member getting kicked out, and that it is for showing his true colors in such an obnoxious fashion only makes it more delightful!

4. What will happen to Ted Stevens? See above, re: long time congress member getting kicked out. I hate to lose another Republican given what we're facing right now, but I'm really not a fan of Stevens and I'm pretty glad to see him get what he deserves.

I Support Barack Obama

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want Obama to win this one today. I cast my vote proudly for McCain-Palin, and I wish that I could have done more. I have very low expectations for an Obama presidency. But if he is going to win this thing tonight, and I think that he will, he will be president of my country, the greatest country that has ever been, the country that has given me and my family amazing opportunities, the country that I thank God every night that I am allowed to be a part of. I think that the leaders of this country deserve respect.

The American people are not perfect, and they have not always made the best choices. Such is a risk that you take with a democratic republic. In the face of this new presidency, we must remain vigilant that our freedoms do not expire, we must viciously protect our freedoms of economic opportunity and entrepreneurship, freedoms of expression, freedoms to defend ourselves, even our rights to just make bad decisions. We must viciously defend ourselves against accusations of selfishness for not wanting to from those that fail to do even the minimum without government coercion. We must be aware of those who hide from criticism behind accusations of racism. But these are things that we should always do. Government is a power that is always larger than you; even if that power is wielded by those with whom you agree, it can still be abused, and it will be.

But, if Barack Obama is to be my country’s president, I support him. I will remain vigilant; I will speak out when I think that he is wrong, as I have about Presidents Bush and Clinton before him, but I will also try to give him credit when I think that he is right. I will continue to criticize his supporters, if I think that they have crossed a line, but I will give him, and his office, my respect. If I see supporters on my side attempting to echo the immature behavior of the out of power party of the last 8 years, the name calling, the assassination fantasies, the ridiculous accusations, I will speak out. President Obama is far, far from my choice, but he is not my enemy.