Jaycee Dugard’s stepfather watched from a distance eighteen years ago as the eleven year old girl was abducted and forced into a car while she waited for her school bus in Lake Tahoe. Though he saw this happen, the police were never able to track down the car or the abductor and, like Etan Patz and countless other children, Jaycee vanished. The story of her subsequent ordeal at the hands of a man previously convicted, then paroled for the same crime of kidnap and rape is a horrifying indictment of law and order in this country at every step of the way.
Stripped of any standards, expectations or hopes I may have had at least for the conservative side of our intelligentsia — by virtue of their being too lazy to learn the truth about the Balkans — several years ago I transferred those expectations and hopes to the next generation of thinkers, namely college students.
I admit to often taking George W. Bush to a rhetorical woodshed. “He has the Reverse Midas Touch,” I once wrote. “Everything Bush touches, he destroys.” If you find a harsher non-left critic, this conservative will chant misunderestimate.
There’s a little bit of Tijuana at the end of my suburban California block.
This is a relatively new development, but it’s beginning to wear on the neighbors, which, before anyone gets all in an uproar, are decidedly ethnically mixed.
There’s us, and we’re Jewish. Our immediate neighbors are a mixed white/Hispanic family and a Korean-American family. On the corner is a white couple. Across the street, we have a Pacific Islander family, a mixed white/Hawaiian family and a mixed African-American/white couple.
Like I said, mixed. Everyone is friendly. And none of them is pleased with this new development.
The consensus of opinion seems to be that a seemingly very large, extended family is renting the small house at the end of the block, but no one seems to be able to find a Spanish dialect anyone there admits to understanding.
Nevertheless, there is a fairly constant stream of Hispanic-looking people coming and going from there, and the incessant Mexican music blaring from the cars they seem to regularly be working on, leads me to believe the people there are Latino.
Which is fine.
Or it would be if they were just a little bit further removed from the old country way of life.
There are chickens on the front lawn. Roosters crow at all hours.
Someone there operates a peddle-powered concession stand featuring what looks like it could be fried pork rinds.
Someone rides this contraption down the block every morning and back every night.
No one else on the block seems to know where he sells whatever he sells, but I’m told he comes back with it empty most nights, so someone must be buying whatever he’s selling.
The cumulative effect of this crowd of folks and their Tijuana life-style, is to change the suburban American feel of our street.
It was a feel we were used to, and that we liked.
The situation has engendered political conversations — not necessarily about these particular people — but about the difference between immigrants, who are here intending to become American, and invaders, who are here to try and make America over in the image of the country they came from.
We’re hoping our new neighbors are the former, and that they’ll be receptive to hearing our concerns.
One neighbor said he believes there are a half-dozen or so of them living in the windowless shed in the backyard.
We think there may be a law against this.
We also think the chicken thing may be in violation of some city ordinance or other. But so far, no one’s taken the initiative to look it up.
Besides, I don’t think any of us really wants to get these people in trouble. We just want the middle-class-America-ness of our neighborhood restored.
I think what we need to do is find out who bought the formerly foreclosed-on property, and see if they can’t discuss the situation with their tenants.
That’s assuming these non-known-language-speaking folks are renters.
God-forbid they own the place. Then, I guess, we’d have to take another tack.
Underrated heroine Rachel Ehrenfeld reports that libel tourrorist Khalid bin Mahfouz died on Saturday at the age of 60. Every one of the 40 American writers (and their publishers) that he sued surrendered to him, save for Rachel — in what should have been the story of the new century in 2007-08.
As of now, the High Line, the city’s newest park, stretches from Ganesvoort to 20th street, a span of about eight blocks. Eventually it will go on to 34th street and measure one and a half miles on Tenth Avenue. It has cost the city 130 million dollars thus far, just a bit more than $16 million/per block; additionally, federal funds of $20 million and $59 million in private funds have gone into this project. Almost 200 million dollars so far for eight blocks, raising the cost to $25 million/per block. The park is actually an elevated promenade on the grounds of a former freight railway which was created in the 1930’s, disbanded in the 80’s and rediscovered as a point of interest by photographer Joel Sternfeld who documented it in 2000. The new promenade is beautiful, bordered by wildflowers and plantings reminiscent of the ones that had populated the abandoned tracks. Many visitors have come to see this newest addition to the city’s gentrification efforts but after the novelty wears off, how many people will be served by this extravagant expenditure? And how wise is it to continue this project at this critical time in the city’s economic state?
“It’s bulls***. It’s disgraceful. You wonder which side they’re on”–Rep. Peter King (R-NY) commenting on Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to conduct an investigation of CIA terrorist interrogators.
In the1950’s and 1960’s there was no more acute observer of the American political scene than satirist Mort Sahl. In the tradition of humorists like Mark Twain and Will Rogers, Sahl played no favorites; skewering Republicans and Democrats with equal aplomb, he was the forerunner to today’s political satirists, including Steven Colbert and Jon Stewart.
Indignation is a curious thing in the era of Barack Obama. Having seen the mockery this White House can heap on voters who dare to show it anger, this week has provided a window to what in turn sparks the Obama team to outrage.
Is there no end to the sins committed by Zionists? In a lengthy essay for the September issue of Harper’s magazine — “Minority Death Match: Jews, Blacks, and the ‘Post-Racial’ Presidency” — Canada’s own Naomi Klein establishes herself as the uncontested world leader in thinking up imaginative new sins to lay at the feet of Israel. Her new theory: Supporters of the Jewish state are not only responsible for imposing Apartheid on Palestinians, deliberately provoking terrorism in a bid to secure profits for Israeli defence industries, and destabilizing the Middle East, they are also undermining the African quest for slave-trade reparations.
Stephanapoulos sensibly asks: Is the stock market suffering from irrational exuberance? Krugman avoids a direct answer instead he argues that we are neither in heaven or hell. Reich adds that it is merely getting worse more slowly. Watch This weeks has no transcript.
Surviving the parallel rise of two Asian nuclear giants is the ultimate problem of the 21st century. It is a problem that Henry Kissinger willfully ignores in his discussion about the need to rebalance American-Chinese relations. Perhaps he is aware of the fact that Chinese international aggressiveness is revealed in its relations with India.
The looming defeat of a progressive health care bill is a much greater disaster than meets the eye. The right wing will learn, as they already surmised from previous skirmishes, that they can blow the Democrats out of the water. They will use the same smear tactics, emotional lies, and talk radio campaigns to defeat whatever other progressive moves of any significance are left on the diluted and impoverished Obama agenda. And they will further water down whatever laws have been passed, the weak cap and trade bill for instance. Moreover, the right wing will use the same tactics during the forthcoming mid-term elections, as a dry run for 2012. By that time they will have convinced the masses that Obama was born on Mars, is a Soviet agent, and will take away the people’s right to shoot each other.
Today the always entertaining Utah Republican financier Patrick Byrne–who, amazingly, runs a public company–answers the musical question, “How many really crazy things you can do before your shareholders ride you out of town on a rail?”
While Americans are focusing on healthcare, a battle over the all important Fed chairmanship has been raging. The friendly front page NYT article entitled A Hero to His Fellows, Bernanke Still Faces Fire in Washington signals a major escalation. This is what his supporters, the objective reporter calls “economimist,” consider his heroism:
Is it possible a couple of enduring myths perpetrated primarily by the left were shattered on the same day? Consider such a premise as it relates to the release of terrorist Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, convicted in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.
Why did so many people love Ronald Reagan? It certainly wasn’t because they all agreed with him. In fact, polls taken early in the Reagan administration showed that the president’s policies were decidedly controversial. Even within the Republican Party there were doubters, especially on economic policy. His own vice president, George H.W. Bush, was one of the doubters.
Even as some Muslim countries actively engage in murder and mayhem, going so far as to enact laws permitting reprehensible behavior, some mainstream media outlets and even so-called human rights groups continue to batter the world’s only Jewish state with outrageous, trumped up allegations the world seems eager to swallow whole.
Warren Buffett notes that most (i.e., not all) of the greenback effects “are invisible and could, indeed, remain latent for a long time.” No question about it. Still, some of those invisible effects are currently blocking recovery and increasing unemployment. Moreover, the Chinese authorities, if not the American ones, are beginning to realize it.
Today MomLogic.com features my article, co-written with Jennifer Ginsberg, about the evil of Kim Jong-il’s widespread human rights abuses in North Korea. While Americans are justifiably thrilled that Euna Lee and Laura Ling have been spared, we should not allow their release to turn into a propaganda victory for Kim Jong-il.
Hamas’ attack against a Jihadist group inside Gaza is about to provide the Palestinian Islamist organization a pass to become a “mainstream” movement, acceptable internationally as a partner in negotiations. Or at least that is what Hamas strategists think may happen as a result of crushing the minuscule militant entity known as Jund Ansar Allah (The Soldiers or the Partisans of Allah) last week. This is another murky development in the world of Jihadism, where the biggest brothers in holy war devoured the little ones, in a race between who can achieve final victory against the Kuffar (infidels). But in Gaza, these intra Jihadist slaughter fests are peculiar in as much as the “Palestine cause” is so central to the Islamist political narrative worldwide.