Unethical Quote Of The Week: Hillary Clinton


“There is something wrong when a third of all black men face the prospect of prison during their lifetimes.”

—Hillary Clinton, in an address, to the David N. Dinkins Leadership & Public Policy Forum decrying “mass incarceration.”

So few words, so much deceit.

We are going to hear a lot of this theme, apparently, unless or maybe even if Democrats get responsible and choose a candidate other than the ethically compromised (and compromisable) Mrs. Clinton. “Mass incarceration” itself is a loaded term that sounds as if random citizens are rounded up and locked up by the government just for the hell of it. It is redolent of the political arrests of totalitarian regimes, and as such, misleading and irresponsible.

Likewise, the Unethical Quote of the Week that Hillary just authored suggests that black men are imprisoned without their doing anything untoward to justify it. A third of all black men don’t face the prospect of prison unless at least a third have broken laws or are anticipating breaking laws that require prison as the penalty. 100% of non-criminal black men—what we call “good citizens”— don’t “face” imprisonment at all. “Face” means that the fate is looming over their heads, ready to fall at any time. That’s nonsense, and a classic use of statistics to deceive. Prison is not a “prospect” for anyone who does not set out to commit a crime.

If I am a young male in L.A., and 15% of young males in L.A. are involved in gang activity, I do not “face”a 15% prospect of  waking  up some morning  in a gang.  If I refuse to join a gang, there is zero prospect that I will be a gang member. Similarly, the threat of imprisonment is self-imposed, when an individual engages in illegal activity. Nobody “faces” the prospect of imprisonment in this country unless they knowingly risk imprisonment by breaking the law. Freddie Gray, just to pick someone at random, was not in prison despite 18 arrests in just seven years. Obviously he faced the prospect of imprisonment, since he was not going to stop breaking the law until he was locked up. How is that society’s fault? I’d argue that society’s fault was that he wasn’t locked up already. Hillary’s solution appears to be allowing Freddie clones to keep violating laws without consequence in perpetuity.

If Hillary Clinton were honest and forthright, which we all know she is not (and anyone who disputes she is not also is not), she would have said, “There is something wrong when a third or more of all black men engage in sufficient criminal activity that they end up in prison during their lifetimes.”

That, however, would have required courage from Hillary. It would also challenge the black community to acknowledge  accountability for its crime problem and accept responsibility for it, rather than to shift blame to the ominous “mass incarceration.”

237 thoughts on “Unethical Quote Of The Week: Hillary Clinton

  1. If you’re going to critique the term “mass incarceration” as “loaded” or unethical, it behooves you to get familiar with the source research, by lawyer Michelle Alexander. See her 2012 book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.”

    You of course may still disagree with the finding, but you’d at least have the facts; the term is not just a random piece of rhetoric. I found the discussion of Supreme Court rulings particularly enlightening.

    • “The New Jim Crow” is so ridiculously loaded that I wouldn’t take anything from such a source as anything but. The term mass incarceration is per se political agitprop. If 90% of the population is a felon, then we lock up 90%. It’s not the law’s fault when felons commit felonies.

      If the argument is that more whites should be in jail for the same amount of time blacks are, I’m on board. The fact that a lot of people are found guilty of crimes is not an argument for not punishing them. This is outcome-based policy-making at its most outrageous, and culturally catastrophic.

      You know, my own son is soon going to be sentenced to jail, and not for a trivial period of time, either. He made a horrible decision, broke a law, and will have to pay for it. One half of the living men in my family will be incarcerated, and it’s not due to any bias against Marshalls.

      • My condolences. And good on you for being a tough love parent, he’ll do well by it I’m sure.

        And–have you read the book? At this point, your so-called arguments are not just based on ignorance, but on willful ignorance at that. Why should I listen to your rejection of a book you haven’t read? Would you put up with it from me? I would hope not.

        • “The New Jim Crow” ? Seriously? Just ordered the book on Amazon, CG. Anyone who titles a book like that, though, is aiming for a racial grievance audience. Also enjoying the Radical Left attacks on the book as “defending the status quo.”

          By the way, arguments that do not include one pop sociology take, however well-sold, do not become “so-called.” I’ve encountered the book’s “imprisonment devastates black America” argument in many forms. Nobody has explained to me how the system forces anyone to commit drug felonies, especially since they waste money and make people stupid. i saw Alexander do a Q and A on C-Span a long time ago…she didn’t answer that question, and since her central thesis depends on decriminalization of drugs, I was not moved to read the book. But I will.

  2. I am sure that “someone”, and we know who that will be, will chime in claiming that black aren’t over-represented in prison because they over-represent themselves in crime but because white justice is racist. Which, unfortunately, is crap.

  3. I remember having a discussion with a drug dealer known as PeeWee when I was in prison. When I first got there, I was somewhat left-of center, socially. I was schooling him about this very thing, and how blacks are profiled, and not likely to be the beneficiaries of judicial discretion. He said, “Bullshit, Joe; niggas be doin’ STUPID shit, all the time”. We had a very lengthly and enlightening discussion. I started paying attention to behaviors and mindsets, and I grew up quite a bit.

    • Ha ha, Pee Wee’s far from alone in my experience. My ex- was (heck, still is) a black woman, and I got to know there’s a lot of dysfunction in the black community, and they’re very self-aware and candid about it – largely amongst themselves. (See Chris Rock’s bit from the 90s about black people vs. niggers).
      They’re not particularly enthralled with airing that dirty linen with white people in public forums – but one on one, with people they trust, as in your situation, they’ll be very candid. (That doesn’t mean you were wrong in your original left-of-center ideas, though; the two truths are not mutually exclusive).

      • Chris Rock has done more since, I enjoy him generally. But doesn’t what we’re looking at fly in the face of what you’re talking about? I mean… They’re rioting because they say they feel persecuted, meanwhile, you’re saying that they understand that they aren’t persecuted in the ways they say they are, but they bring a portion of it on themselves. So…. Are you saying they’re using it as an excuse to riot?

        • HT, I think that’s a great question; and, my best answer is – it’s complicated. Things racial are, as a general rule, really complicated.

          I think of it as like sinners. Very few of us are perfect; and a very few are truly evil. Most of us are just poor sinners. In AA they say, “if you don’t want to get hit by a train, don’t play on the tracks” (meaning, don’t hang around drinkers and bars). Great advice – but if you happen to live next door to the tracks (or upstairs from a bar), it’s going to be a little tougher to follow.

          Similarly, most people get arrested for having done something (they jailhouse lawyer joke is that the prisons are full of “innocent” people). But that doesn’t mean nothing else happened, either. The equivalent of train tracks are a series of “temptations,” like single parenthood, no after school activities, police bias (your buddy Pee Wee, I’ll bet you, would tell you that DWB is a very real thing), unconscious housing bias, peer pressure (and sometimes violent peer pressure) to join gangs, the temptation of kids with money (guess where they got it), and so on. Unless you’re lucky enough to have parents like Jack, or that super-mom on TV in Baltimore, the odds of you making it out are low.

          Does that excuse anyone for committing a crime? No, not at all. And there are people who hide behind it. But it’s equally wrong to simply ignore the context in which these things are, predictably, in large numbers, going to happen. In a world where marriageable black women outnumber marriageable black men by 100:85, you can talk dual parent households all you want, but unless you get 15% of the women to voluntarily sterilize themselves, or marry outside their race, it’s a tough row to hoe.

          I’ll just mention two vignettes. Like Jack, my son had a run-in with the law. It was not big – three kids, two cans of beer and a hash pipe in a parked car, complicated by one kid having an unloaded pellet pistol. They all got arrested, and charged with permanent-record crimes. We got my son a good lawyer; she knew the prosecutors, the local DAs, the judges, and made the case successfully that it would not be useful to cause harm to an up-and-coming never-before-in-trouble nice kid. Result: probation, expungement.

          That was 6 years ago, and fortunately he learned his lesson. But what if he’d been a black kid with a single mom, in downtown Newark, instead of suburban New Jersey? I have little doubt he’d have a record now, and be all that much more at risk for any further slips. And a slippery slope gets slipperier.

          My ex-wife was the first in her family to attend college; she had zero family support or knowledge of what to expect. She worked like crazy on her first college English paper, and did a fine job. She was given an F on it, and went in tears to the teacher, who told her, “You affirmative action kids are not going to get away with plagiarizing in MY class!” Except, she was not admitted as an affirmative action candidate, and she had written the paper herself. (She later became a very effective management consultant and corporate VP). She felt this was more deeply racist than anything she’d felt in the projects, and it hit her hard.

          She has literally dozens of such stories: walking down a hotel hallway en route to a client meeting and being asked, “would you please clean my room next?” Showing up to rent an apartment and being told, “Oh, sorry, I just rented it ten minutes ago.” And so on. Every black person I’ve ever met has tons of these stories.

          But most black people, in my experience, fit in the big in-between. In candid conversations, like your friend Pee Wee, they’ll freely admit that sometimes they are their own worst enemy. Black racism exists in the black community, viciously based on degrees of whiteness – an ugly form of self-hatred directly descended from the not-so-long-ago days of slavery. But along with that self-doubt, there’s a certain amount of pride – you’re not going to get a lot of black people (other than Cosby) to make a career out of blaming black people, for white people’s consumption. To go back to Chris Rock, you may remember his sly comment about OJ: “I’m not saying he didn’t kill her – I’m just saying I understand it!”

          Like I said, it’s complicated. IMHO, the only around it is for black people to get better at acknowledging their own issues, AND for white people to acknowledge past and present racism. Nobody is going to cross the 50-yard line without some sense that the other team is coming out to meet them.

          • I have been waiting for to have a free hour with which to compose an email, and finally have found one!
            First off, full disclosure…I am a black conservative, who lives in the MD/DC area, and lived in Baltimore for 6.5 years, at various points in my life. It doesn’t appear that there are a lot of black posters on this blog, so Im happy to make my voice heard.

            CG, with all due respect, these temptations that you speak of, exist for everyone. The same purse sitting on a park bench that 50 people walk past, before one person snatches it up, wasn’t just seen by that one person. Yes, our upbringing, financial status, concepts of right v wrong -essentially, the hand that we’re dealt- makes these temptations stronger for some than for others, but that’s not “unfair”, anymore than it’s unfair that alcohol holds 0 appeal to me, but is a necessity for an alcoholic. Sometimes in life, them’s the breaks.

            I do take offense though, to the generalization of what it’s like to be black. This is not just a liberal thing; EVERYONE does it. But for me, DWB has not ever been a reality in my world. When I get pulled over, it’s because Im a lead-foot. I’ve had only 1 “bad” interaction with an officer, when I was 21, driving through Dundalk (a very poor area of Baltimore County) with my white girlfriend, around midnight. I won’t make this lengthy post lengthier with the details, but the bad part of this interaction occurred after we were pulled over and we were aggressively questioned as if she was a kidnap victim; prior to that, with it being pitch black and all, there would have been no way for a cop to know that I was black. Which brings me back to my original point…having driven in the streets of Baltimore for 6.5 years, and in Maryland in general for 36 years, not once have I had a DWB incident. What I HAVE had, though, was many instances of a cop giving me a break, and issuing a warning, even though my checkered driving record suggested I was not deserving of one.

            Also, why is a black person considering an relationship outside of their race as seemingly outlandish as sterilization? That’s how your “unless you get 15% of the women to voluntarily sterilize themselves, or marry outside their race” comment comes across. If you can’t find work in your area, move. If you can’t find a suitable mate within your race, look outside your race. Yeah, you’re being forced outside of your comfort zone, but if you really want to be successful professionally, or find a fulfilling relationship, you do what it takes (kinda like moving away from the bar, if you have a drinking problem…no one “happens” to live next to a bar, like it was an unavoidable situation, unless they were raised their from childhood, or the bar was built around your home. That’s the problem with a lot of people who do a lot of complaining about their lot in life…bad things just seem to “happen” to them. )

            Another small bone to pick: “But what if he’d been a black kid with a single mom, in downtown Newark, instead of suburban New Jersey? I have little doubt he’d have a record now, and be all that much more at risk for any further slips.” What’s important about that sentence? The single mom part, which implies that the family doesn’t have the means to afford a good lawyer, one that can get a kid off with an expungement. Except, white kids come from single parent households, and black kids come from 2 parent households where parent hire good lawyers to get their kids off with expunged records too! (I’m the example of that!) So, in other words, it’s not that it’s a tough row to hoe being a black kid with a single mom, necessarily; but rather, being any kid, who screws up, and only has a single mom to help him/her out….regardless of race.

            Lastly, Im a black person, and while I know we’ve never met, I do not have a ton of those stories, that the black people you know, have. I grew up in a middle class home, with divorced (dad remarried) middle class parents, with white and black friends. I’ve dated mostly white women, just because that’s who I am attracted to. I’ve held many jobs during my time living in Baltimore, a lot of them low paying, when I was a know-nothing college student at CCBC and Towson Univ, and had little experience. It blows my mind when I hear self-identified gang members complain about lack of jobs, with zero awareness that their gang affiliation is literally limiting the types of jobs that anyone would hire them to do. (You gonna hire a gang member to do your taxes? Watch your children? Care for an elderly family member?) When you actively limit the types of jobs that you are reasonably “hireable” for, and contribute to the decay of your area by your gang activities (or simply, arson), to the point that no business that wants to thrive would ever consider moving there, how in the world are you then going to complain about the lack of jobs? Or the argument on the lack of educational opportunities?

            I had no financial support from my family when it came time for college…and as a result, I owe, almost literally, $5 Billion in student loans. But I also have a Bachelor’s and 2 Grad degrees (and many, many more job prospects than I ever had when I was a know-nothing, no education, youth) to show for it. There are over a dozen colleges in Baltimore City/County, and most of them have a higher % of non-white students than white students. These doors to higher ed are not closed to black people, if they’re willing to inquire. I’m living proof of that. I’ve worked in higher ed in Baltimore County, taught at private schools in Baltimore City, and performed many, many classroom observations in Balt City schools….and I’ve seen dozens of kids who have NO interest in being taught, respecting authority, or making a better life for themselves. So where is this lack of educational opportunities that the protesters are railing about?

            Sorry if this comes across as a rant, but sometimes, it really, really isn’t that complicated. I was able to work at Camden Yards, in downtown Baltimore City, as a 22 year old with no college degree, because I realized that the $8 they offered was in line with my experience, skills, and education. I knew that taking jobs like that, would eventually lead to $10/hr jobs, then $13, and so on. And that while I was slaving away at $8/hr, I was dragging my butt to school, while working several other jobs, because I knew that this investment in myself would pay off eventually. I am not unique in this experience, I know, but as a black youth in Baltimore City, not too long ago, my path is a lot easier for those rioters to emulate than they realize….if they weren’t too busy getting tatted up, looting stores, having babies out of wedlock, skipping class in high school, etc, etc. The only slippery slope in play is that bad decision making begets bad outcomes.

            I know I’m supposed to be Mr. Give-A-Crap, but the truth of the matter is, and this is the God’s honest truth, until low income, low education, blacks start looking in the mirror, and accepting at least partial responsibility for their current situation, nothing -NOTHING- will ever change.

            • Thanks, Skins, for the thoughtful post, and for articulating the position and relating the experience that only you or someone like you could state without a scoffing response. I kn ow what response you are likely to get anyway, and you know as well, since I’m sure you’ve heard it many times.

              I’d like to make this a Comment of the Day, and it troubles me that this gives me any hesitation, but it does. My reflex is to recoil from being accused of using a self-professed black conservative’s view as “proof” of some agenda here on my part, and I don’t have one. So much of my job here consists of trying to strip away biases, including my own. I know there are many people like you, and my own analysis is bolstered by confirmation of that.Your experience, in facts, sounds eerily like that of my Dad in many ways.

              Why are there (as far as I can tell), few black commenters here? I have attributed it to the pretty consistently critical ethics analysis of the President’s leadership skills and other African American figures like Barry, Holder, Rangel…even Barry Bonds. I don’t choose my subjects by color, but Obama’s terms have seen an awful parade of race-related issues. I sure would like to have had some dispassionate analysis from black Obama supporters. What I tend to get, if anything, is emotional, wounded, accusatory defenses. Or just denial. It frustrates the hell out of me. Of course, maybe I have lots of black readers and commenters who just weigh in like everyone else on non-race related issues. That would be a nice surprise. I doubt it, though.

              Maybe you can help me with this: how does any white analyst make the point I made in another point yesterday that it warps policy and debate to treat the various victims of police abuse, actual, presumed or imagined, as if they are all upright innocents who just fell into a race-biased dragnet? Nobody is saying, at least here—I’ve read such disgusting comments elsewhere—that selling bootleg cigs or walking in the middle of the street or owing child support or resisting arrest deserves the death penalty, as Beth recently framed the issue. That’s a straw man. Why isn’t more focus on the propensity of African Americans to begin breaking laws early and often, creating an acculturated adversarial relationship with police even possible without it being rejected as racial animus, privileged myopia, or turned inside out like Hillary just did to liberal cheers?

              • I completely understand your hesitation, and truth be told, don’t like feeling like I have to “identify” myself on forums. I didn’t necessarily feel that here, but I usually post comments on Deadspin.com (that site and this, along with ESPN.com are my 3 must reads every day). The commentary here is *usually* (there are a few commenters here that do not fit this description) more intellectual or thought out than I can match in a short period of time, and I often feel like I can’t really express myself succintly (see my above post….or this one!); where as at Deadspin, it’s easier to drop a quick comment and go about my day. However, the commenters there are overwhelmingly overly sympathetic to black issues, destructively so, and when I drop a quick comment, its very easy to be accused of “racist”, or “not understanding the black experience”, so rather than waste time with a back and forth of “Im not racist, and I do understand (my) black experience….because I AM black”, I figured I’d just nip that in the bud from the beginning, forgetting that Im on a site where people don’t typically make those simple minded accusations. And I just threw in the conservative part, because I’m used to people assuming that “black” and “conservative” can’t simultaneously be true. If you’d still like to use my post as a CotD, feel free to leave out those initial sentences.

                As to your other questions/points, I have quick trigger of frustration of people who offer “emotional, wounded, accusatory defenses” of anything, but especially in defense of the obvious. For instance, blacks who drag shop owners out of their store, sucker punch them, and curb stomp them with no provocation, are thugs, plain and simple. So are white skinheads that do the same, as well as Italian mobsters, Asian accountants, Native American housewives, and anyone else that engages in thuggish behavior. I don’t care if a part of society has co-opted that word, and loaded it with racial overtones; I feel like that part of society (blacks) have gleefully and willingly co-opted that term for their own (in their minds, positive) use, and then when it’s turned around and used in a negative way, it’s all “Hey! That’s racist!”. As happy as I was that Mayor Blake “called a spade a spade”, and referred to obvious thugs as thugs, I was equally disappointed that she walked those comments back, and apologized. Coward. Calling them “misguided youth” is a copout. If they’re “misguided”, WHO’S supposed to be guiding them? Me? You? My neighbor? The government? People who had no say in their creation, and no say in their upbringing? Or the parents? My answer is the latter. It does NOT take a village to raise a child, especially when that child is raised to think that it’s ok to burn down the village, for fun, because dad’s not around.

                I don’t know the solution to the concern you’re facing, unfortunately. I follow this blog, because I feel like you are often rightfully critical or groups that are deserving of that criticism, and if they were willing to, just for a minute, consider that criticism, instead of lashing out at the source, they might begin to see where the problem really lies. But, most poor blacks, while willing to accept handouts and help from whites, don’t want any commentary from whites (or blacks, I’m starting to feel) that might actually cause them to accept responsibility for their current situation. That doesn’t mean having to dig out of their hole all by themselves; no one with a heart should expect that. But acknowledging that poor parenting, incomplete setting of moral standards, lack of discipline, and a laissez faire attitude towards school and teachers has as much to do with the “jobs” and “education” issues I’ve been hearing about, as does systematic racism, is a good place to start. But that asking for a level of self-critique that is too hard to muster, I guess.

                Too many people, including the rioters, are concerned with “being right” rather than “getting it right”, to their own detriment. In this situation, “being right” is receiving the constant validation that everything they have thought, racist police, bad racist conservatives, lack of jobs for people “willing” to work, lack of educational opportunities, etc. is true, and is to blame for a lack of success. “Getting it right” is recognizing that at times, things may not be fair, but that they’re not fair for a lot of people: poor whites who can’t afford good lawyering, Middle class families where a spouse has lost a job, Upper class families who get taxed 2x for inheritances, simply b/c that’s where the money is, etc. But just because life is seemingly unfair, doesn’t mean you can’t still get it right, by getting on Google, getting directions, getting your butt in front of a community college admissions counselor, and saying “I want to change my life…will you help me?” I’ve worked as an academic advisor, and worked with many admissions counselors….they LOVE talking to people who have a genuine interest in changing their life for the better. But they’re not going to come to your house and find you.

                • Your comment reminded me that Kathleen Parker, the post columnist, actually referred to the rioting, fire-setting Baltimoreans as “knuckleheads.” Knuckleheads! Talk about trivializing and excusing by benign labeling!

                  The funny, and sad thing is that if this term catches on, it too will be pronounced racist.

            • Skins, delighted to have your voice here. Authenticity is a powerful thing, you’re in a position to speak with some authority that others don’t have. I get Jack’s hesitancy to appear to be “using” you to further an agenda, but I support his idea. We need your voice in this theater.

            • “That’s the problem with a lot of people who do a lot of complaining about their lot in life…bad things just seem to “happen” to them.)”

              Thank you. Nice to meet you. (That is not sarcasm.) Thanks again, for giving me a fresh quote to recite to myself when looking in a mirror.

              Skins1109, I pondered what you said further (what I quoted), and tried to imagine a way that a different version of it applies to T. Regina. (To avoid being cryptic for you, “T. Regina” is my chosen zoological species-naming – with “T” for Tyrannosaurus – of Hillary.)

              I believe this version applies to T. Regina – and, in a larger sense, I believe it applies also to a society that enables and promotes people like her – tragically and without irony:
              “That’s the problem with a lot of people who do a lot of SCHEMing about their lot in life…wealth and power just seem to “happen” to them.”

              • Thanks! I have often disliked people that have said “if so-and-so is elected, Im moving to Canada!”.

                However, around this time next year, I might be getting my passport ready….

            • Great to have you! You touched on something I’ve noticed; that there are a great many educational opportunities that are specifically geared towards young black people, even ex-offenders. In fact, I have personal knowledge of quite a few here in Connecticut that always operate at a surplus, because they’re not being used. A bunch ended up fizzling out due to lack of interest. How utterly tragic. In my humble opinion, someone with a national audience, like Al Sharpton, should be herding these kids towards these programs, instead of stealing their hope of improving their lot in life by drumming it into their heads that the system is rigged against them. While continued criminality doesn’t improve their prospects, I can’t imagine too many people who would dismiss without any consideration a young person who found the will to get a solid education, despite their circumstances.

              • Thank you! That’s the thing about education…it’s not something that “happens” to you, where you’re either lucky if it does, or unlucky if it doesn’t.

                I spent several months this past school year working for a non-profit, that helped people who were mid-career changers, who wanted to teach, get certified quicker than going back to get another 4-yr degree. My job was to video tape their lessons for an hour, and then upload the video for someone else to assess. These soon-to-be-certified teachers, for some reason, were put in some pretty bad Baltimore City schools, I guess given the classrooms that regular teachers didn’t want. I saw some good teaching, and some bad (bad meaning, they had very little ability to control a rowdy room of students). I saw honors classes (which were often multicultural….almost as if the top 1% academically of each nationality were plucked and placed into these classes), and a lot of bad classes. And the unifying thread that I saw in the bad classes, was an insane level of disrespect for the teacher, regardless of their ability to control the class. “F- this”, “N-that”….cell phones out, kids goofing off, wrestling, yelling at each other, cursing, giving no attention to the teacher. I felt bad for the teachers, regardless of their ability, as many chose this path because they wanted to help, and didn’t realize how hard it was going to be, or how overmatched they would end up being. And I felt disgusted that these kids thought this behavior was ok.

                I was a know-nothing kid (hey, I got it right!) who often didn’t do homework, got poor grades, got the occasional detention for tardiness. But I did not ever, ever, talk back to a teacher….and I was a sarcastic little SOB in high school. Just like I would never walk up to a table in a restaurant and just take the food off of someone else’s plate, because my body physically just could not ever be made to do that, I also could not talk back to a teacher. I may not like them, I may disagree strongly with them, but I would not ever sass them, nor my parents, nor an officer, or anyone else in a position of authority who hasn’t done anything to lose my respect.

                So it burns me up, all this talk of “lack of educational opportunity”, when, when the opportunity is there, it’s being spat on. These same kids, 5-10 years from now, will make the same “lack of opportunity” complaints, while their peers (this is not an exaggeration, sometimes these honor schools are LITERALLY across the parking lot…these honors kids are coming from the same damn socio-economic backgrounds as the slackers) are actually studying, and making something of themselves.

                So the cycle continues, kids that try are called nerds, don’t get to “enjoy” themselves in school as much as the slackers, but end up being something someday, while the slackers, who have a good ol’ time in school, not learning, will be up in arms 10 years from now, because life’s unfair.

            • Great comment, Isaac. You made a particularly good point on the subject of gang affiliated guys limiting themselves by the very act of joining those gangs. I’d say that a lot of them don’t even mean THAT. It’s become their excuse for lawlessly leeching off of others, with an occasional riot to make it interesting. Lord; even the Mongols didn’t make moral falsehoods about themselves! The worst part of it is that it’s become institutionalized in too many poor neighborhoods and is assisted by self-seeking politicians who pander for their votes with favoritism.

            • Skins, welcome and thanks for your story.

              It sounds like you made a lot of opportunities for yourself, and for that, I commend you.

              When we talk about the Freddie Grays of the world though, I can’t imagine what he could have done to improve his lot in life. He had a heroin-addicted mother and suffered from lead paint poisoning. I don’t know how familiar you are with lead paint poisoning but I handled some of these cases (from the coverage side) when I was a practicing attorney. These kids are forever messed up for life. There’s nothing that can be done about it. Most end up criminals.

              Lead paint poisoning is one of the biggest problems facing poorer neighborhoods in the US and it doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

              • Hi Beth,
                You’re very right…for some (more than a few) people, they have almost no chance from the get go. Through legitimate circumstances beyond their control, either action pre-birth, or as a child, they just don’t have the ability to make good choices for themselves. When combined with nonexistent parenting, and easy access to bad decisions (in their community), it’s a perfect storm that will lead to bad outcomes. As fervent pro-life as I am, it situations like that that give me pause. Thanks for bringing that up.

              • For God’s sake, Beth! Is “lead paint poisoning” now to be the latest excuse for criminality? Or having a messed up parent? The ARE choices and opportunities that give someone a road away from the wild streets. Adversity either conquers you or you rise to the challenge and conquer it.

                • For God’s sake Steve, educate yourself! And, no, it’s not an excuse, it’s an explanation. One of several — poverty, lack of family stability, and lack of opportunity being other contributing factors.

                  • Give me a break, Beth! I’ve heard so many excuses for irresponsibility- many just plain weird- that they’d fill a textbook. In the end, it amounts to a personal choice of good or evil. Denying this choice and placing the blame on “society”, “the system”, et al, is the way tyranny progresses. Without the principle of individual choice, no free nation can long remain free. Educate yourself on that.

                    • Stvplln, Beth said it but you didn’t get it, so I’ll try too.

                      The difference between Excuse and Explanation. It should be obvious.
                      It should also be obvious that the two can co-exist, that they are not mutually exclusive.

                      And it may NOT be obvious, but unless we learn to deal at both levels – understanding explanations at the same time we hold people accountable for excuses – we’re never going to make much headway.

                      –a world full of only excuses is a world without responsibility;
                      –a world with no explanations is a hellish infinite blame-throwing echo chamber.

                    • Charles: Using alleged cases of lead poisoning (and old EXCUSE revisited) is a slippery slope, once embarked upon. Others have claimed that magnetism from high tension lines has made them do weird things. Good God, the list is nearly endless. Where does it stop? Unless someone is legally insane- for whatever reason- they have to be held accountable for their actions. Otherwise, no one is. At that point, free society ends.

                    • Excuse. Explanation. Not the same thing.
                      This is the third time.
                      You seem to be stuck on insisting that every explanation is an excuse. It can be; but it doesn’t have to be.
                      Again, a world without explanations just devolves into an echo chamber.
                      Like this one.

                    • Michael LaBossiere’s “76 Fallacies” : “Confusing Explanations and Excuses”:

                      This fallacy occurs when it is uncritically assumed that an explanation given for an action is an attempt to excuse or justify it. This fallacy has the following form: 1. Explanation E is offered for action A. 2. Therefore E is an attempt to excuse or justify A. This is a fallacy because an explanation of an action need not involve any attempt to excuse or justify that action. This fallacy can be committed by accident due to a failure to distinguish between an explanation and an excuse or justification. This most often occurs because people confuse explanations and arguments.

                      Explanations are attempts to provide an account as to how or why something is the case or how it works. Arguments, in the logical sense, are attempts to establish that a claim (the conclusion) is true by providing reasons or evidence (premises). What can add to the confusion is the fact that explanations can be used in arguments, generally to establish an excuse or to justify an action. To illustrate, if someone said, “John missed class because he was in a car wreck”, this would be an explanation rather than an argument. However, if someone said, “John’s absence from class should be excused because he was in a car wreck,” then this would be an argument. This is because John being in a car wreck is being offered as a reason why his absence should be excused….

                    • Steve, it’s hard to “allege” lead poisoning and get a benefit. Trust me, I represented insurance companies who had to pay these claims. They are pretty easily proven through routine medical tests.

                    • I didn’t say that lead poisoning doesn’t occur, Beth! I’m talking about it as an excuse for crime, along with other allegations. In fact, some historians say that lead poisoning was a factor in the breakdown of the Roman Empire, as “plumbium” was used for water pipes in Rome. But that isn’t the case today as we’ve long come to know the effects of heavy metal poisoning. The usual source mentioned today is lead based paint. However, you have to actually ingest it for this to be a factor. The worst source of lead for inner city kids likely comes from ammunition!

                  • Little can be done about lead poisoning that has already occurred, but kindling hope in the human spirit can accomplish miracles.

                • You know, from reading the conversation between Beth and skins1109 a couple of times, I could be persuaded to support a new kind of human trafficking. Seriously: How else can the cycle of poverty be broken? We have, what now? Over 50 years of experience of failed urban policies?

                  For a change, let’s send federally funded kidnappers into those gang-poisoned, broken family-poisoned, despair-poisoned neighborhoods (“opportunity deserts” – concentrated populations of bad choosers and bad deciders, ergo BAD INFLUENCES, bad environments), and take the kids away, early in their lives – earlier, the better. Get ’em outta there; take them far away, permanently, to better homes, better neighborhoods, “oases of opportunity,” households of prosperity… Disperse the elements that would otherwise be merely the seedlings of the next poverty cycle. For lack of a better slogan: “Divide and conquer,” but in an ultimately constructive way. It really does seem true that one’s ability to escape the bad environments long enough to rise above their destructive influences is the key to the doom of the bad environments – and making that escape possible is the dawn of not just one life’s, but also of one life’s next generations’ rescue from poverty. Other ideas? Jack? Beth? Skins?

                  • Lucky,

                    I may not precisely buy your (whimsical) solution of kidnappers, but I think you are spot on in your diagnosis. The key is early early early effect on kids’ environments.

                    This means we should be spending more on pre-natal care and early childhood nutrition than on affirmative action at the college level. It means we should be looking more at kindergarten and pre-K ages than at high school. I think you’re right too that we now have enough data to show that many programs haven’t worked well. I don’t keep up with this stuff, but I recall some years ago seeing that of all the poverty-affecting programs, Head Start was the only one with clear effect. Figures – it hits kids very early.

                    The precise programs matter, of course – kidnapping may not make it through the system 🙂 but we need to figure out other creative new ways to give kids a chance early in life.

                    • Charles, I am proposing kidnapping less whimsically and more seriously because for what I have seen, the investments (if I can call them that – externally sourced funding, I mean) in what, again for lack of better terminology, is “in situ boot-strapping,” have been analogous in return-on-investment to repeated drilling of dry wells in a given locale: No matter how many times you drill, or how deep, or how smartly, the environment simply does not yield what it either does not have, or is unable to sustain.

                      I may be straying off-topic a bit, but the Soviets implemented the kidnapping plan when they invaded Afghanistan: 1 – raise the kids to live like good, other-than-native-Afghan-accultured, communist industrial society adults. 2 – return them to their homeland with skillsets they never would have developed in situ, and 3 – support them in transforming the old country into something a little more modernized, sophisticated, and integrated with other industrial societies than a chronically desertified region overpopulated with poppy-growing, goat-herding, continually warring gangsters and personality-cultists. (Seeing parallels yet?) Of course the Soviets did not stay engaged in Afghanistan long enough to fully carry out their plan (and we know why). But no doubt (judging from how the Soviets operated, generally, that is to say, scientifically and rationally), there are historical examples of success with such a plan.

                      When I was still young and under my parents’ roof, an older sibling (living on his own) hosted (in his home and on his job) a young man from Japan, who came to the U.S. for a couple of years to learn certain industrial processes (he evidently already had some technical education). That was clearly a situation of Japanese effort to recover from the devastation of WW2. This was back in the days of, I am fairly sure you would remember, joking in the U.S. about cheap Japanese goods. We know history since then. I have no doubt that “Mr. H-1B-san” became, upon returning to his homeland, a key person in Japan’s transformation into a world-leading industrial, technological and economic power.

                      The kids in Baltimore’s ghettos just need a little help to get away for awhile, enabled to stand on their own feet in the American economy. For many of them, simply educating them effectively about exactly where they have come from would be enough to motivate them to take the initiative of returning to “their homelands” and driving, rather than being driven by, their environments.

                    • I’ve had friends from Africa (Rwanda, Congo, SA, etc) who were among the most intelligent and refined people I’ve ever known. I’ve often thought about a version of your idea, wherein families from these regions would take in young kids from here for a few years. Voluntarily, of course, and probably an experience that they would come to regard as a defining period in their lives.

                  • I know you didn’t specifically invite me, but here I am, anyway. Frankly, I like the idea, but I greatly fear it would be unworkable. The kibbutz’s of early Israel yielded a remarkable generation or more of citizens, willing to defend their homeland “unto death”. The cost, however, would almost certainly be prohibitive, since we are dealing with a population of almost 400 million people. Yes, I know many aren’t producing at-risk children, but many ARE. Exactly how many, I couldn’t tell you.

                    • I would also mention that the folks who need this approach the most would be the first to scream if implemented. You see, most states have a program that pays for children living in poverty.

                    • Yeah, I know, there is a lot of racketeering along the way, designed to perpetuate the misery that so many re-elected politicians claim they, and only they, can eliminate. There might be some way to talk a lot of single moms in those ghettos out of clinging to their precious hellspawn-in-progress and *voluntarily* relinquishing custody, nevertheless. Heck, even the moms might like the idea of a little more breathing space and re-location assistance, for their own good, too, even if temporary. Gotta de-populate before you re-populate, somehow, in those hellish ‘hoods.

                    • I would certainly suggest a…uh…economic incentive, for the mothers. That, unfortunately, would be seen as buying the children.

                      As hateful as this may sound, one of the best-organized, best run and most successful program of this nature was the Hitler Youth. Some of those kids were still fighting months after the war was over, and their loyalty to Hitler was unquestioned. I am NOT suggesting that an indoctrination program such as that be employed, but I am illustrating that such a program could work. For another excellent example, see our current public schools.

                  • We had similar programs with Native Americans — they did not go well.

                    But Lucky, although you and I often disagree, we are not far off. Too many people who shouldn’t be having children is the problem — and this problem is not unique to inner cities. I grew up in a poor rural area so all the “problem kids” I knew were white. Over 25% of our children in the US are growing up in extreme poverty — that is the problem.

                    My solution? Offer free (and not-coerced) long-term or even final birth control to whoever wants it — male or female. If you don’t want free birth control? Ok, then we’ll pay you, yes, literally pay you, not to have children until you are 35. (At 35, your benefit goes away whether or not you had kids.) Are you between the ages of 18 and 35 and don’t have children? You get $5000 ($10,000?) a year CASH from the government — irrespective of income. The second you have children (you are welcome to have children whenever you want) — that benefit goes away. Did you have children before you were 18? Sorry, you never get that benefit, although you are welcome to free birth control. Then, you grandfather out the children who are currently on state-sponsored benefits.

                    My way is cheaper and offers far more incentives. Most importantly, we don’t have this never-ending and growing circle of poverty.

                    • Now THAT might actually work. And thank you, Beth, for the observation that poverty is extant across racial lines. Poverty, and the resultant bad behavior is not JUST the property of blacks.

                    • In fact, the American Indians were the first to suffer the tragedy of being wards of the state. The social and cultural devastation that it brought upon them is only being revisited to a larger degree with black people in America. I maintain that this was intentional.

                    • Method is the same Steve, but the motivation is different. With the Indians it was genocide. The black citizens are being manipulated for political goals.

                    • There was never any calculated plan of genocide, Dragon. That’s a long standing lie of modern historians who have an ax to grind.

                    • Steve, I will grant you that actually exterminating the Indians was not the goal, but exterminating the Native culture WAS. I have lived with both the Navajo and the Hopi and have had Apache friends. They damn near succeeded. Even today, many of the rituals of the Navajo are forgotten, and fluent speakers of the language make up only about half of the nation. In addition, mostly as a result of the ‘benevolent’ tyranny exercised by the War Department, the rate of alcoholism among both is roughly 75% and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is pretty much epidemic. The boarding schools run by the precursor to the Bureau Of Indian Affairs ran MANDATORY boarding schools, in which neither the ‘sings’ nor the language were allowed. I would be rather careful what you define as a ‘myth’ in this area, as some few of the Army’s field commanders DID have a strong desire for the total extermination of the various tribes and nations.

                    • You’re probably referring to General Sheridan’s infamous comment! That happened when he was at a peace conference with the leader of a Plains tribe. The conference was peaceful enough, but the two old warriors (as they will do!) started making gruff jokes at each other. During that baiting session, Sheridan made that statement. He then realized that he’d gone too far and apologized to his rival, who accepted it. The negociations went on.

                      I’m no great fan of Sheridan, understand. He believed in economic warfare by destroying the enemy’s food sources. It wasn’t a matter of racism, though, but hardnosed military practicality. Burning out the Shenandoah Valley, the “Breadbasket of the Confederacy”, had helped bring the South to its knees. Killing the buffalo herds seemed a good solution, too, for the Indian Wars. It also worked! The ethics of it are still, naturally, a matter of debate.

                    • I was actually referring to Sand Creek and Wounded Knee. Now I’ll read the remainder of your comment.

                    • I’ve forgotten the details of the Sand Creek incident. At Wounded Knee, you had a terrible example of what happens when a military unit becomes undisciplined and lacks good leadership. It was insanity to allow a unit of the decimated 7th Cavalry to have custody over a crowd of Souix Indians!

                    • And just for the record, Phil Sheridan understood the need to wage total war in order to win it. That is a precept we seem to have lost track of, these days.

                    • However, having said that, I must also make the observation that most inner-cities have a very large, poorly behaving, black population.

                    • Sheridan Shmeridan – there is far worse, and far more recent, that qualifies as “genocide” against native Americans, and aboriginals in other former British colonies, by most standards. The phrase “kill the Indian to save the man” was apparently used casually to describe the goal.

                      It wasn’t until 1978 that the US government officially recognized the horrible legacy:
                      “In 1978, Congress took a giant legal step toward consolidating group rights to children by passing the Indian Child Welfare Act. ICWA is unique in several ways. First, most laws governing adoption have been passed by states. In this case the federal government overcame its reluctance to legislate because of a long history of displacement of Native American children, significant and systematic enough to be considered a genocidal policy by many tribes. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Native American children were often placed in boarding schools in hopes that education would speed their cultural assimilation, much like the theory of the orphan trains. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Indian Adoption Project placed hundreds of Native American children with white parents, the first national effort to place an entire child population transracially and transculturally.

                      Source: http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~adoption/topics/ICWA.html

                      The Catholic church was complicit in some of this.



                      Australia has far more recent experience with this kind of federal, governmental, national policy – it ended only in 1969.

                      The Canadians had their go at it too. “Hidden from History: the Canadian Holocaust” was published by a Canadian governmental truth commission in 1994. Here’s an excerpt:
                      “As early as November 1907, the Canadian press was acknowledging that the death rate within Indian residential schools exceeded 50% (see Appendix, Key Newspaper Articles). And yet the reality of such a massacre has been wiped clean from the public record and consciousness in Canada over the past decades. Small wonder; for that hidden history reveals a system whose aim was to destroy most native people by disease, relocation and outright murder, while “assimilating” a minority of collaborators who were trained to serve the genocidal system.

                      This history of purposeful genocide implicates every level of government in Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), every mainstream church, large corporations and local police, doctors and judges. The web of complicity in this killing machine was, and remains, so vast that its concealment has required an equally elaborate campaign of cover-up that has been engineered at the highest levels of power in our country; a cover-up that is continuing, especially now that eyewitnesses to murders and atrocities at the church-run native residential “schools” have come forward for the first time.

                      For it was the residential “schools” that constituted the death camps of the Canadian Holocaust, and within their walls nearly one-half of all aboriginal children sent there by law died, or disappeared, according to the government’s own statistics.

                      These 50,000 victims have vanished, as have their corpses – “like they never existed”, according to one survivor. But they did exist. They were innocent children, and they were killed by beatings and torture and after being deliberately exposed to tuberculosis and other diseases by paid employees of the churches and government, according to a “Final Solution” master plan devised by the Department of Indian Affairs and the Catholic and Protestant churches.

                      The history of supposedly well-intended interventions when it comes to “helping” disadvantaged cultures is a dismal history – at best. At worst, and it’s not hard to see the worst – it is truly genocidal.

                    • There’s a nice leftist diatribe for you; mixing in real history with allegations and false legends to make a compact whole! In fact, many early settlements in the New World were scrupulously fair in their dealings with the Indian tribes over a broad range of issues, particularly in the devout Christian colonies of New England. They even entered into military alliances with them against rogue tribes that didn’t respect the territories of either and made war on them, such as the case of the Pequots. No one denies that the Trail of Tears was one of America’s darkest chapters. What the liberal scholars don’t mention is that President Jackson pushed that action through despite the opposition of Congress, the Supreme Court, the State of Georgia and the opinion of the entire nation. Nor do they tell of how white people along the trail gave food and blankets to the poor Creek Indians as they marched into exile in what’s now Oklahoma. Nor is it ever stated that Indian leaders could be every bit as crafty, treacherous and murderous as the worst of their European descended compatriots. There’s more than enough blame to go around for the tragedies of history in regard to this arena. It certainly wasn’t a matter of Wicked Whites vs. The Noble Red Man, which is a deceitful and politically motivated view of history.

                    • I’ll capsize the damn thing, Joe! I’ve been seeing this “academic” B.S. for too long. It’s time for a little balance, y’know? Heck, I didn’t even get into how Sam Houston made peace with hostile tribes in Texas or how Brigham Young dealt fairly with the “Lamanites”. Many other factors were involved, too. But the WORST thing we ever did to them was to put them on those damn reservations and make them wards of the state. That’s what took the heart out of them and is the reason why so few have risen to national prominence since.

                    • I’m with you 100%. Funny how that works; how people atrophy when you provide for their every need. It works this way in every corner of the animal kingdom.

                    • “the WORST thing we ever did to them was to put them on those damn reservations and make them wards of the state.”

                      I quite agree with you about this particular point, btw. Though it’s more about being put on the reservation and being forbidden traditional practices, like hunting. This led quickly to becoming wards of the state, which then went downhill – just as you say.

                    • It wasn’t so much their being “forbidden”, Charles. The reservations are pretty well semi-autonomous states. They just lost interest. It’s the malaise of becoming listless dependents. The Lumbees of South Carolina had the right idea. They forsook the reservation system, became active citizens and have prospered- with their heritage intact. No sitting around drinking and complaining. No tobacco shops and casinos. They contributed to the economy instead of trying to milk it. A lot of other Americans of all backgrounds could profit by their example’

                    • stvplln, You’ve got a good hammer there with the whole gummint thing, but you overplay your hand. There are tribes and there are tribes.

                      I confess to not knowing about the Lumbee tribe, but on investigation, it’s way different than the Lakota or other plains Indians we usually think of. Wikipedia tells me the Lumbee had members who fought in the Revolutionary War. Later, some aided the Confederacy, and some spied for the Union. I’m guessing, given the long history and geography, that they were part agricultural and part modern industrial in roughly the same time as the dominant white culture did.

                      By contrast, the plains tribes – the various Lakota, the Arapaho and the Cheyenne – were nomadic hunters, not farmers, and had not intermarried with slaves or freemen, as with the Lumbee. As recently as 1868, the United States signed the Fort Laramie Treaty, exempting the Black Hills from all white settlement forever. Four years later gold was discovered there, and that treaty was promptly torn up.

                      The Wounded Knee massacre took place 22 years later, in 1890. Sitting Bull was killed that same year. Oglala Sioux chief Red Cloud lived until 1908. The significance of those dates is that a man of 60 today likely grew up with grandparents who personally knew contemporaries of these chiefs; in an oral tradition, with a total population of only several tens of thousands, history is very real.

                      The point is – these tribes had not had centuries of collaboration with white civilization. The act of putting them on reservations deprived them of their livelihood – the ability to follow herds (of buffalo, later hunted to extinction) or elk or whatever, past the bounds of the reservation. They worshiped (and still do) the land and physical places, and were denied access to it.

                      The tyranny of the mommy state has a place in the story, to be sure, but I think it comes later, after the initial shock – which took place at wildly different times, and with wildly different effects, for different groups of native americans.

                    • You’re quite correct that there were differences in language, customs, technical level and other factors between the various native nations. But you might also recall that, before they met the English speaking peoples coming west, they had contact (usually disagreeable!) with the Spanish speaking ones from the south. That latter meeting had already changed their entire way of life by introducing them to the horse. This made them more prosperous, more wide ranging and more warlike, as they then competed fiercely with each other over hunting territory and horse herds. That was not much of a factor in the heavily forested east.

                      Don’t play too much on that time factor. Old memories- particularly bitter ones- die hard. Witness Ireland!

                      BTW: It wasn’t so much that the Souix Treaty was scrapped, but that it became impossible for the Army to enforce. Too many prospectors and, in the post war era of the 1870’s, too few soldiers. Even the Sioux warriors couldn’t stem the tide. “Gold fever” is an awesome disease!

                    • One other quick thought: on my several trips to Australia, it was evident to me that the Australian aborigines today are worse off than black people or native Americans in the US – by a long shot.

                      By contrast, in New Zealand, the native Maori are celebrated by the national team the All-Blacks with their Maori-derived Haka routine at the outset of every game. And though I”ve never been to NZ, I’m told in general the Maori fared far better than their Australian aboriginal brethren.

                      I asked a New Zealander once, “Why did the native population survive so much more effectively in New Zealand?” His answer: “Simple – the Maori fought back.”

                    • It’s true. The Maori were, like the Zulus (and the Spartans!) a nation of warriors. The Australian aborigines were a collection of widely scattered tribes still living in the Old Stone Age, technologically.

                    • I can tell you how one of ’em happened. The Comanche out around Fredericksburg signed a treaty with the German settlers after they were given a choice between eating peaches and trading for them or getting slaughtered. The Germans were always pragmatic souls, especially in Texas.

                    • More like “We like your peaches. Give us a few bushels a year and we won’t attack you”. Worked out well for everybody concerned. Those Hill Country Germans were deadly shots and did NOT mind defending what was theirs.

                    • Stvplln, if the dialogue had been about cowboys vs. Indians, your comment would be apropos. But it wasn’t. You’re just changing the subject. Let me remind you where the breadcrumbs lead back to.

                      The subject – started by Lucky – was whether or not it would be a good idea to take young children out of a toxic urban environment (bad nutrition, single-parent households, poverty, bad role models, drugs etc) and put them in a more positive upbringing. There are some per se attractions to the idea.

                      He suggested “federally funded kidnappers.” I said that was whimsical, he replied no, he was actually at least a bit more serious than that.

                      Beth said that hadn’t gone too well for the Indians.

                      Dragin’ added that in fact the experiment with the Indians was tantamount to genocide.

                      You then said, “There was never any calculated plan of genocide, Dragon.”

                      And that’s where I came in – giving several examples that clearly DID suggest genocide against native peoples, in North America as well as Australia. Calculated? No, I’ll grant you that, it started off–as many twisted plans do – with the best of intentions. But it didn’t end up that way, and you don’t have to go back to the time of Sheridan to find it.

                      End of rewind. Now: for you to say “not all Indians were good” and “not all white people were bad” is completely beside the point. It does absolutely nothing to counter the line of discussion, which was whether or not “kidnapping” types of intervention have fared well historically.

                    • It seems to me, Charles, that it was ENTIRELY the point of your post, whether you stated it outright or not. Therefore, I stand by my writings. I’ll grant you that you didn’t go off on that discredited “smallpox blankets conspiracy” thingy… unless I missed it.

                    • Two things the Noble Red Man, in the persons of the Cherokee Nation, share with the white man…slaves and tuberculosis. And, yes, their BLACK slaves accompanied them from North Carolina to Oklahoma on the Trail.

                    • There was a third thing, Dragon. The Cherokees had developed a written language. Maybe if Columbus had happened along a hundred years later, the Creek Confederacy would have greeted him under a flag in a land with towns, roads, customs inspectors, taxes, lawyers… or maybe it was a disguised blessing that they had to wait for us to gift them with that!

                    • Yeah, that’s true. They even had a newspaper at one point. But, seriously…with apologies to Jack, LAWYERS?

            • Welcome, Skins…one conservative to another. You will have, and, obviously can express, a unique view, here. It will actually be nice to have someone we can turn to for advice and information that isn’t based on “feel-good” emotions, but actual fact.

          • Hey Charles ! I haven’t forgotten to reply to you. Finals on Monday, and as always, I want to give my replies to you their due consideration and care.

          • >>” Does that excuse anyone for committing a crime? No, not at all. And there are people who hide behind it. But it’s equally wrong to simply ignore the context in which these things are, predictably, in large numbers, going to happen. ”

            I was going to write something very similar to this.

            >>”walking down a hotel hallway en route to a client meeting and being asked, “would you please clean my room next?””

            I simply do not find these stories to be credible examples of “racism” in any way. Whenever I go shopping, I am literally confused for a stock clerk every single time. Is there a strong cultural bias against late-twenties young white professionals? Or is there a fairly reasonable guess that a guy wearing khakis and a polo works for the store?

            While I find your other examples very valid, this one strikes a chords, as the FIRST LADY of the United States recently used this as an example of latent racism. In that case, an old (white) lady asked an obviously able-bodied women for help getting an item off a shelf. Michelle was apparently taken aback that she was not recognized, despite admitting to being “lightly disguised”, and attributed it to the women believing all black women look alike. Would she have found the request of an old black lady who did not immediately recognize to be “racist”? Would I be “racist” if I did not immediately pick out Barbara Bush shopping for clothes in a mall?

            Unlike a young male employee wearing a polo and khakis, I would NEVER expect to run into the First Lady in a mall.

            • Rich,

              I’d suggest that, while you’ll grow out of your late 20s (and can choose to dress otherwise in the meantime), a 30-year old well-dressed consultant who is black is still going to be mistaken for a maid when she is 60.
              Nevertheless, that example’s not a hill to die on. If that one doesn’t do it for you, there are plenty others.

              I watched many times the shock in clients’ eyes when they first met my consultant wife after having spoken to her on the phone, and assumed from her voice (very professional “white-sounding”) that she was white. They would visibly stammer upon meeting her, and literally be unable to focus for some time. Since then, anytime a white person over the age of 10 says “I don’t see color,” I think they are liars; maybe not consciously so, but then ignorantly so.

              I might add that intermarriage is not an easy subject for black women. Given the imbalance already, they deeply resent black men marrying white women, even while they want to support black men in principle. And they are deeply concerned (not without reason) at the prospect of being hurt by unconscious, unintentional racism in white people. My wife lost two friends simply because they couldn’t handle the fact of our marriage. It’s easy to say that’s silly, and it’s definitely dysfunctional, but it’s also very real, and painful to all involved.

              Like I said, it’s complicated.

      • I need to see that, Charles. It must be a good supplement to his classic video, “How To Keep You From Getting Your Ass Kicked By The Police”. Still trying to catch up on a lot of activity, here! I just commented on an earlier post by Jack where he asks (as he does here) that all-important question: Why, after 18 felony arrests in 7 years (almost all of them for drug distribution) was Freddie Gray still on the streets to begin with?

        • That’s a perfectly good question, stgvplln.

          Here’s another. Why should the police treat someone with a record any differently in the back of a paddy wagon from someone without a record?

          • But did they? We apparently have the testimony of a fellow prisoner that Gray deliberately beat his head against the door of the paddy wagon in order, presumably, to inflict impressive looking injuries on himself in order to court favor with the judge and the press. (Remember Andy Robinson in “Dirty Harry”?!) But the salient point is that Freddie’s record is a matter of established fact. The full picture as to what happened from the point of his arrest and why is still being determined. If this turns out to be as long and politically involved as the Michael Brown debacle (and it likely will) then it may yet be a while until the full picture becomes clear. In the meanwhile, Al Sharpton will get even more cheap notoriety and more businesses will burn.

            • stvplln, you’re quite right, we don’t know yet.
              So, what is your point? Are you simply saying that we should have more restrictive incarceration policies? Is it possible the jails are full and no one voted tax monies to build new ones? Are you saying he invented a new meaning for the term “suicide by cop?” 🙂

              • Charles: My POINT was that, as with politically and racially charged events like Ferguson, this one will likely take a while to untangle. I thought I was clear on that. As to the looters and rioters… well, what would YOU suggest? If there isn’t any justice to deal with these criminals (and they are) then the whole concept of “laws, not men” is invalidated. When people commit crimes like this- and on the transparently false excuse of “social justice”- there have to be consequences. Their race be damned. If they all had ancestors from the Mayflower, I’d say the same.

                • Speaking of “untangling” of the Freddie Gray case, I heard on the radio this morning that the guy who rode in the wagon with Gray and who had said Gray was slamming himself around (as if trying to injure himself, thus possibly dying of self-inflicted rather than cop-inflicted injury) is now backpedaling if not retracting his account.

  4. “Nobody “faces” the prospect of imprisonment in this country unless they knowingly risk imprisonment by breaking the law.”

    This statement is pure nonsence. It is falsified by finding one person who has been sent to prision who did not commit the crime for which they were sentenced. A famous example is the Salem Witch Trials, except I don’t think anyone went to prison, instead they were burned.

    To get more up to date there have been overturned convections with DNA evidence and “harmless error” can cover a lot of sins. It would be a true statement if the justice system were perfect which it is not.

    • As I said above, Orin, Freddie Gray had 18 felony arrests in 7 years. That doesn’t include what was likely another long list as a juvenile offender. How many lives did Mr. Junkie ruin in that time by spreading around his poison? And you compare him and (presumably) the Crips and the Bloods to the Salem witch trials? Guys like this are more in league with the Devil than any true to life witch ever was.

      • Stvplln,

        You don’t like the witch comparison? Here’s data from the Innocence Project:

        There have been 329 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States.
        • The first DNA exoneration took place in 1989. Exonerations have been won in 37 states; since 2000, there have been 262 exonerations.
        • 20 of the 329 people exonerated through DNA served time on death row. Another 16 were charged with capital crimes but not sentenced to death.
        • The average length of time served by exonerees is 14 years. The total number of years served is approximately 4,505.
        • The average age of exonerees at the time of their wrongful convictions was 26.5.
        Races of the 329 exonerees:
        205 African Americans
        98 Caucasians
        24 Latinos
        2 Asian American

        • And? All you’ve done is prove that DNA testing has become a powerful tool in determining guilt or innocence. That’s something I’m sure everyone is glad to see. Now… how in Hell does this relate to witches or Freddie the Freeloader?

      • My post has very little to do with Freddie Gray and a lot to do with the truth value of the quoted statement. My counter example was the Salem Witches and Charle’s counter examples were from the innocent project. I know it is just a small flaw in the logic of the argument but it is a flaw. I guess my problem is not knowing where to go with ut.

  5. Sometimes, the “something” that is wrong is that the convict committed an act that was a crime.

    Sometimes, the “something” that is wrong is that the convict committed an act that should not be a crime

    • Then what should we decriminalize, Michael? We’ve already done that with treason, sodomy and marijuana. What next? Manslaughter, polygamy, pedophilia, narcotics or insider trading? With the possible exception of the first, they’re all being touted for downplay already. Maybe the answer is just to get the offenders off the streets and into places (like Hell) where they can’t work their “magic” or recruit others into their lives of crime. We should start with those who forward the concepts that certain people can be excused for their crimes by virtue of race, money and/or social position. That should take in much of the media, most of the government and damn near all of Hollywood! In the long run, though, crime will diminish.

  6. Hillary’s populist schtick is the phoniest kind. It’s just not believable that the Clintons care about poor people, or black people, or any people other than themselves. They’ve got a lot riding on the “stupidity of the American voter.”

    Related: a car was in front of me today covered with Democrat-flavored bumper stickers. Included was a Clinton Foundation sticker, of the kind I assume you’d get if you donated. It was just the name “The Clinton Foundation” and logo, and the large text, “I Miss Bill.” Charity, campaign account, personal slush fund? Why differentiate?

    • Stupidity, ignorance, and gullibility have long been the minerals of the common clay that have enabled the spreaders of fraudulent fertilizer like the Clintons to gain wealth and power. The Clintons are merely one modern pair of virtuosos at exploiting those minerals for personal gain.

  7. Fatty no read 101 comments cause phooey, OK? Maybe later for sure maybe. Now Cap’n Fatty give you big chance flog poor Fatty cause Fatty drop terrible link big picture. You watch teeny weeny videos, open mind. Double check math cause Profit Fatty stooped math. Finish videos then we fight ok cause Masters say yippee kill Fatty. This like maybe first time Fatty here, pilloried one and all. Pillow fight!

    • I particularly liked the clown who said that no one should try what this old man did, ever. I would to love to have that idiot come on down to Texas and try what they tried there. It has been tried before, usually to the detriment of the challenger.

      • If I’m reading his comment correctly, it seems that he’s saying don’t get in the middle of something like that. Better to let them bleed out, then get your truck, unless you happen to have a canister of gas.

        • On some reflection, he may have been saying “Don’t get between 2 women fighting”. My wife reminded me that THAT is ALWAYS a bad idea. But if that’s the case, why’d all the young, black men get involved in it? That would be something they should know better than, as well. Or was it just a great opportunity to beat up a 61-year-old white guy?

            • And I would reiterate that this behavior is self-defeating in Texas. Or, more accurately, 255 grain Jacketed hollow point .45 slug wielded by this 70 year old kind of defeating.

                • Or go in the other direction: get a chamber reamer, a comp, 24 lb spring, and brass, and turn it into a .460 Rowland. It’s what all .45’s aspire to.

                  • I’m just old fashioned, Joe! Carried the old Colt Service Automatic for a living with ball ammo up the spout. I suppose If I were riding the Chisholm Trail, I’d carry a cap and ball pistol instead of a peacemaker! When it comes to weaponry, you naturally gravitate to something you know and have come to trust.

                    • Carry a cap and ball, by all means. Just make sure it’s a Colt Walker. Notice the common theme?

                    • Actually, mine’s a Remington. For a percussion revolver, though, you got it…Colt Walker.

                    • I had a beautiful Uberti repro a while back. You could get 70 grains of FFFG behind a .45 ball. Essentially the original 45-70 Government round, except not with a conical bullet. Anyway, I digress. I’m always derailing the original posts. Call me Sideshow Joe; I deserve it.

                    • Old Texas saying; “God made men and Colonel Colt made ’em equal!”. I think the 1852 Navy Colt revolver was the most popular cap and ball during the War Between the States.

                    • It was. I think that only about 1100 or so original Walkers were ever made. Captain Walker was killed in the same year (1847) that he ordered the guns. One of them sold for $920,000 at an auction in 2008.

                    • Actually, the Texas Rangers made the Texas Rangers feared. They did go a long way toward keeping Colt in business, though.

                    • One day,…

                    • One day Oprah,Crazy Joe B. and His Royal Highness were flying together to a speaking engagement. Dear Leader says “you know, if I threw 1000 hundred-dollar bills out of the plane, I could make 1000 poor people very happy.” Not to be outdone, Uncle Joe says “If I threw 10 one-hundred-thousand dollar bills out of the plane, I could make 10 poor people very VERY happy”. Oprah then says “I could just throw a million-dollar check out of the window, and make one poor person EXTREMELY happy”. A nearby SS agent thinks to himself “I could throw these there idiots out of the plane, and make hundreds of millions of all KINDS of people ecstatic”.

                    • Awwwk! Steve fellow go back Papua village. Live in jungle five year maybe until coast clear. Live on root, berry and tribe other side of mountain. Pray for Big Cargo Bird come land and take to heaven. Potzrebie!!

                    • I think of half of these words before I take my morning piss. These guys must be busier than a monkey trying to screw a basketball. Just another one of those things that would have been dismissed as a conspiracy theory, right up until MSM tells the sheep it’s okay to believe it.

                    • I think of half of these words before I take my morning piss. These guys must be busier than a monkey trying to screw a basketball. Just another one of those things that would have been dismissed as a conspiracy theory, right up until MSM tells the sheep it’s okay to believe it.

                    • Steve fellow him run naked in jungle, cover self in mud and leaves. Coppers never find. Just dodge snakes, crocodiles. Live good with ourangutan girl. No worry, mate!

          • Check out Colin Flaherty’s site and YouTube page. He is the author of “White Girl Bleed a Lot”, and “Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry”. An incredible amount of this sort of stuff, pretty much a daily occurence, never sees the light of day.

  8. Fatback with local opinion Baltimore mucky muck. Feel free rip snort.

    > The Mayor of Baltimore and other city leaders distinguish between the riot-torn areas of West and East Baltimore, and the “real Baltimore” of middle-and upper-middle-class residents. Thus, they reflect the mindset sustaining the neglect or denial of decades-long conditions in large parts of the city and ignored systematic, persistent, and pervasive police misconduct.
    > These leaders need to learn that violence is not just bricks and bottles thrown, and cars and buildings burned. It is also the quiet, unseen violence of social deprivation and legal injustice. Despite their platitudes about the destructiveness of rioting, violence has long been the routine practice of citizen-supported, taxpayer-funded police insults, beatings, and killings; and official disregard of such misconduct.
    > However important the causes and conditions of the rioters’ grievances, they must not divert attention and efforts from solving one problem immediately: reforming a callous, incompetent, and corrupt police force which daily abuses residents in West and East Baltimore, and compounds their miseries with an abiding sense of injustice.
    > Baltimore and Maryland leaders need to learn the first lesson which this rioting teaches; the bill for officials’ dereliction and for police malfeasance is coming due. The hope has to be that officials, seeing that the city is paying the price, will start reforming a police force which neither protects nor serves. A burning Baltimore may be a light in its darkness.

    Michael Hays

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