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Vanita Gupta loves her some black folk

20 May

Vanita Gupta, the Eric Holder hire charged with investigating racism in Ferguson, Missouri, became a bête noir of the conservative blogosphere this week for blaming all criminality and anti-social behavior on slavery.

As a Democratic Party minion, this is much more convenient for her than blaming the problems of black America on the dependency created by the welfare state, the unemployment created by the regulatory state, or by the erosion of human capital created by Ms. Gupta’s party’s ongoing tribute to its slavery-loving past, the kidnapping of poor black and brown children to be sold to the educrat cartels in exchange for donations to Democratic Party campaigns.

Ms. Gupta may actually have more sympathy for African Americans than her former boss, Eric Holder.  He actually worked for the DC based law firm back in 2004 that spun the story for the city government when it was discovered that DC had been supplying its (mainly black) children and pregnant women with high lead content water (along with poisoning the rest of the city).  In contrast Gupta around the same time was defending poor black people in Texas against the drug war.

But how much Gupta will achieve in “working across the aisle” on criminal justice reform with libertarian leaning Congresspeople remains to be seen.  Her biographies seem to make her the walking stereotype of the West Side socialist gal played by Carol Kane in a Woody Allen movie.  She may not write her own bios but they are heavy on how she was a women’s studies major in college and how “racists” (or perhaps just unemployed and disenfranchised) lower class British whites threw french fries at her and called her a Paki as a child.

But perhaps the most interesting thing about Gupta, is that like almost every single “progressive” in the news (including those who work in the media), who almost all live in Chevy Chase (Chris Matthews) or Bethesda (Cokie Roberts) in suburban Maryland, or in DC neighborhoods like Kent or Berkeley (Andrea Mitchell, Jay Carney) that are so wealthy most long term DC residents have never heard of them, Gupta has demonstrated preferences in her residential real estate choices.  She didn’t buy a house in up-and-coming LeDroit Park, Bloomingdale, Trinidad, or Anacostia, and send her child to a charter school with an African American majority or large minority.  She bought a $1.4 million home on Clarendon‘s Highland Street in zip code 22201, where her neighbors include Chuck Todd (in the minimally more diverse zipcode adjacent, 22203), and, as virtually her only black neighbors, MSNBC regular/Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson’s family.

RedEye Panelist Gay Bashed Over Ferguson

16 Mar

TV’s Andy Levy, one of the most out libertarians on FoxNews, was gay bashed, as a “closeted gay libertarian,”  last week, by conservative blogger Pat Dollard, who called Levy “a 50 year old confirmed bachelor with cats,” because Levy thinks part of the Department of Justice report on Ferguson is correct in identifying racism in local police forces and their behavior as revenue generating tax authorities fining people for all the loot they can get.

There are three problems with Dollard’s critique:

1) As one Levy fan on twitter noted, Dollard forgot to mention the highlights Levy used to have in his blondish hair

2) Closeted gay libertarians became extinct in the early 1980s, and were made illegal after the passing of Roger McBride.

3) Heterosexuals, like newlywed Leon Wolf of the conservative website RedState, agree with Levy.

Levy, like Pollard, served in the US military.  A former Army infantryman, stationed in Korea, we would like some day to thank Mr. Levy for his service.

Libertarians on Ferguson, Eric Garner’ms death (etc.), updated daily/assorted opinion

6 Dec
It’s a diverse and contradictory range of views.  As usual, take a dozen libertarians and get a hundred opinions.

Sean Malone (Virginia)

I don’t know what cops these people have encountered, but I have never had an experience like this. 
Now, granted, I have never driven drunk or stolen anything or dined and dashed or whatever; yet every time in my life I have been pulled over on the road the experience has resulted in a fine or a ticket at minimum and an unnecessarily aggressive interaction at worst (see also: my recent NYC experience). I am extremely glad not to generally have to feel like I am going to get shot or killed by police, which I am sure I would were I not white, but I have never had cops actually be “nice” to me outside of the occasional instance where I have approached them to ask a question or something. Mostly my experience is that the cops use people as pinatas with all the goodies inside going to the state. They’ll take your money, or your property through asset forfeiture, and treat you like an obviously dangerous criminal even on the most routine stops.
We keep trying to make this issue a purely racial problem because it fits the narrative a lot in entertainment and media want to push… And race is obviously an important factor… But it all really comes down to accountability and a system that makes cops immune from any consequences for their actions. For this we can thank everyone from police unions to “tough on crime” people from the 1970s on.
Twitter anecdotes aside, don’t believe for a second that being white means never having to worry about police. Just talk to Kelly Thomas about that.
Oh… Right… You can’t.
Thaddeus Russell (California)
If Mike Brown attacked the cop he should be viewed as an even greater hero. After all, he was born under a military occupation.

Robby Soave (reason magazine)

“You know what’s also a cause? Overcriminalization. And that one is on you, supporters of the regulatory super state. When a million things are highly regulated or outright illegal—from cigarettes to sodas of a certain size, unlicensed lemonade stands, raw milk, alcohol (for teens), marijuana, food trucks, taxicab alternatives, and even fishing supplies (in schools)—the unrestrained, often racist police force has a million reasons to pick on people. Punitive cigarette taxes, which disproportionately fall on the backs of the poorest of the poor, contribute to police brutality in the exact same way that the war on drugs does. Liberals readily admit the latter; why is the former any different?
If you want all these things to be illegal, you must want—by the very definition of the word illegal—the police to force people not to have them. Government is a gang of thugs who are paid to push us around. It’s their job.
A well-meaning liberal who doesn’t want people to smoke but also doesn’t want the government to kill them for doing so has plenty of other options, by the way. There are countless organizations and products dedicated to helping people quit cigarettes voluntarily.
But anybody who wants it to be a matter of law must accept that resistance will be met with fines, prison, and death. As Bloomberg View columnist and law professor Stephen L. Carter put it:
It’s not just cigarette tax laws that can lead to the death of those the police seek to arrest. It’s every law. Libertarians argue that we have far too many laws, and the Garner case offers evidence that they’re right.
There are many painful lessons to be drawn from the Garner tragedy, but one of them, sadly, is the same as the advice I give my students on the first day of classes: Don’t ever fight to make something illegal unless you’re willing to risk the lives of your fellow citizens to get your way.”

Ray Kessler (Texas)

Once the “race card” is played, any kind of rational assessment goes out the window.  On other hand, racism of all sorts (even anti-white, e.g.  “Nation of Islam”) is still a curse in the U.S.  Further,  there is much that could be done to lessen the possibility of unjustified police killings.  Officer helmet/body cameras, effective discipline against officers, tracking to locate and monitor “problem officers,” etc.   Another issue is the “presumption of guilt”  which many blacks and leftists apply to each and every case where a white officer kills an apparently unarmed black male.  It even extends to white civilians such as George Zimmerman.  In spite of Zimmerman’s acquittal in the face of a massive prejudicial media campaign, many still believe he is guilty.  On the other hand, many officers automatically view any young black male as dangerous. Yes, a few of these officers have abused their powers, but it is hypocritical for persons who complain about stereotyping minorities to stereotype white police officers.  Finally, even if the suspect is initially unarmed, he becomes potentially armed if he or she goes after the officer’s sidearm.  The law allows officers to use deadly force if immediately necessary to prevent the offender from getting control of the officer’s sidearm or other firearm.  We need real solutions to the problem of excessive use of force by police.  We don’t need to get



David Morris (Texas)

Ray, I would zero in on body cameras as so far the most intriguing idea so far.

Gary Reed (Texas)

Here’s what I think is the best libertarian answer:

Abolish all victimless crimes. This will do away with all police department vice squads and narcotics units overnight. That means every cop shop can reduce its manpower by keeping only the best of their best cops. Police Academies would once again have to raise their qualifications to winnow out the dumb, bad, psychologically maladjusted applicants, keeping them out of law enforcement entirely. Make all Cop Watch type organizations absolutely legally sacrosanct and untouchable so they can video every cop in public doing the public’s work. Then strengthen laws to hold the chain of command’s feet to the fire. There’s likely more that could be done but that’s the first that comes to mind

Does Eric Holder really believe that black lives matter?

20 Aug

As Eric Holder flies his Lear jet to St. Louis. you can read about the last time he helped young black kids being harmed by lead — when he defended the DC government water authority over its cover up, in 2004, when it became public that it was providing high lead level water to DC residents, as well as those of Falls Church, Virginia, and other communities in the Washington metropolitan area.

The municipal water authority threatened to fire its own scientist when she said she was legally and morally obligated to report the high levels to the EPA.

As area residents will remember, DC spent the next several years digging up all streets and replacing water mains with newer, lead free pipes.  If you wanted the pipe from the street to your house replaced they would do that too for a fee.

Immediately after the government cover-up came to light the DC city council voted to supply Britta filters and bottled water to all families with children and pregnant women.

Eric Holder was a corporate attorney at Covington and Burling working to protect DC and its water utility from lawsuits and bad PR.

Julia Roberts and Erin Brockovich didn’t show up.

Paying for the gun that shoots you – the Congressional Black Caucus

16 Aug
Historian Thaddeus Russell provides a tabulation of which members of the Congressional Black Caucus have voted to weaponize police departments with military armament:

The 8 members of the Congressional Black Caucus who voted FOR an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have banned the transfer of military vehicles and weapons to local police departments:
John Conyers, Jr. (D-Michigan – 13th)
Donna Edwards (D-Maryland – 4th)
Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota – 5th)
Hank Johnson (D-Georgia – 4th)
Barbara Lee (D-California – 13th)
John Lewis (D-Georgia – 5th)
Bobby Scott (D-Virginia – 3rd)
Maxine Waters (D-California – 35th)

The 30 members of the Congressional Black Caucus who voted AGAINST the amendment:

Karen Bass (D-California – 37th)
Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio – 3rd)
Sanford Bishop (D-Georgia – 2nd)
Corrine Brown (D-Florida – 5th)
G. K. Butterfield (D-North Carolina – 1st)
André Carson (D-Indiana – 7th)
Yvette Clarke (D-New York – 9th)
William Lacy Clay, Jr. (D-Missouri – 1st (INCLUDES FERGUSON))
Emanuel Cleaver (D-Missouri – 5th)
Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina – 6th)
Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland – 7th)
Danny K. Davis (D-Illinois – 7th)
Chaka Fattah (D-Pennsylvania – 2nd)
Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio – 11th)
Al Green (D-Texas – 9th)
Alcee Hastings (D-Florida – 20th)
Steven Horsford (D-Nevada – 4th)
Hakeem Jeffries (D-New York – 8th)
Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas – 30th)
Robin Kelly (D-Illinois – 2nd)
Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas – 18th)
Gregory Meeks (D-New York – 5th)
Gwen Moore (D-Wisconsin – 4th)
Donald Payne, Jr. (D-New Jersey – 10th)
Cedric Richmond (D-Louisiana – 2nd)
David Scott (D-Georgia – 13th)
Terri Sewell (D-Alabama – 7th)
Marc Veasey (D-Texas – 33rd)
Mel Watt (D-North Carolina – 12th)
Frederica Wilson (D-Florida – 24th)

National Moment of Silence for Mike Brown

15 Aug

Beauteous Meridian Hill Park (also popularly and locally known as Malcolm X Park, but not on maps and such) was the location for tonight’s DC protest of policy brutality, weaponized police forces, the killing of Mike Brown, and the attitude that black lives don’t matter.

Both reason magazine and various local TV news crews were there, and we are hoping to scoop them with our bad IPad-to-YouTube coverage (Hey Charles Koch Institute, since we do this every day, fund us!)

The protest organizers, who I believe were a group of fairly non-ideological Howard University grad students (Howard is only 7 blocks or so from Meridian Hill Park) had a bad sound system and a disorganized program of chant and response and a reading of names of victims of police killings.  (As to names, one odd fact for this protest in DC is that we actually have two elected politicians named Michael Brown – one white, a perpetual candidate for “shadow” offices (pretend Senator), and one black, the son of the deceased Clinton Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, now in prison for corruption.  I’ve actually been to the imprisoned Brown’s house for a fundraiser when he first ran for office.)

There were a sprinkling of libertarians at the event – me in a Vote Libertarian hat, Steve Silverman (founder of Flex Your Rights) with a “Film the Police” Sign, Todd Krainin of reasonTV (who lives within walking distance).  A young guy handing out flyers for the Socialist Party skipped me twice because of my Libertarian hat, so I stopped him when I realized the flyer was about Green Party candidate Eugene Puryear and made him give me one, as Puryear and I actually get along when we meet.

Some ruffians off camera were screaming at the group.  We couldn’t see them or make out what they were saying.  At first I was worried they were white supremacists and there might be trouble.