Friday, July 23, 2010


Last week, Shirley Sherrod was merely another regional director for the USDA.  She performed her job admirably well, and has spent much of her life helping the poor.  But all of that was thrown out like last week's garbage when Andrew Breitbart posted video of Ms. Sherrod on his BigGovernment website. 

The video showed Sherrod speaking before the NAACP last year, telling a story about a white farmer who, twenty-four years ago when she worked for a different agency, came to her for aid to keep his farm.  At first, Sherrod was reluctant to help him, feeling her duty lay with the black farmers in the region.  She helped him a bit, but not to the full scope of her capabilities, as she warred with herself over what to do with him.  She finally referred him to a white lawyer, preferring to allow "his own kind" to help him. 

Out of context, her remarks seem to promote discriminating against whites.  But taken in context, her story wasn't about some sort of 'justifiable' racism, it was about racism never being justifiable.  It was about the needs of the poor being universal, and the help from people such as her being colorblind.  It was something she struggled with over the years, and continues to struggle with, but, at least in the case of the farmer in question, she saw the wrong she was doing and set it right.    She was not perfect, but she recognized her imperfection and strove to change it.  She overcame her bias and wanted to use her story to inspire others to see things as she did.

But this story isn't really about Shirley Sherrod.   As compelling as her story may be, she is just the most recent in a long string of innocent victims to the racial narrative that has exploded in this country since Barack Obama took office. 

Was this a setup by Andew Breitbart - an effort to draw out a racial accusation by the NAACP on an erronious spot judgement to prove a larger point?  There have been several unfounded accusations from the left over the past 18 months, culminating in the NAACP's denouncement of the tea parties last week over implied but unproved slurs and slights.  The NAACP demanded that the tea parties take ownership of and denounce any and all persons who make racial remarks at a tea party function, whether they are affiliated with the group or not.  Because of this ridiculous, impossible stance, they were forced to live up to their own standards and so went after Sherrod as an example to prove their own, well, intolerance of intolerance. 

Sherrod is more of an example than they know in that, much like the tea parties that are the left's favorite punching bags, she was innocent of their charges of racism.  Much like the tea parties, the NAACP made judgements on Sherrod based on incomplete and incorrect information.  Instead of checking their own archives, they just assumed she was in the wrong, much as they assume the allegations of racism in the tea party are correct, with no evidence to corroborate.

Which brings up another question - why were they so quick to think she really was making racist statements at an NAACP forum?  Considering how quick they were to come out on this story, without even researching their own archives first, that raises an important question -  does it happen that often?  Ben Jealous claims the NAACP was "snookered", but it seems more like they set themselves up. 

Granted, it is one of Alinsky's Rules (Tactic #4) to hold the opposition to a higher standard (#4. "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.").  The problem is, sometimes the hypocrisy is just too much and the blowback is worse than the initial assault.  After the rantings of the New Black Panthers, Rev. Wright, and even members of the NAACP itself, there just isn't as much weight behind the accusation anymore.  The race card has been played too much, with too little to back it up.  In short, the country is suffering from race fatigue.  This is an excellent example of why tactic #7 - "A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag" - is a caution that should be heeded.

The NAACP doesn't seem to want the country to move on, though.  They cannot afford to acknowledge the giant strides this country has made in race relations, because it would illustrate their eventual obsolescence.  For every step forward, people like Jealous, Al Sharpton, Rev. Wright and Jesse Jackson try to drag us back to 1967, when they were relevant and necessary.  Not to say there is no discrimination, it is just that it is becoming more rare, as opposed to the systemic corruption of bigotry from the Jim Crow era.  With their broad brush accusations, they are trying to argue that the entire tea party 'system', as well as everyone sympathetic to it, are racists.  Even with a surge of black conservatives denouncing the racial accusations, the NAACP has their narrative and they're sticking to it. 

They are attempting to lay blame on, of all things, Fox News.  This is interesting, since Fox did not air the video until hours after she had been booted to the curb resigned.  The USDA blamed the White House, saying if she didn't resign, she would be on Glenn Beck.  The White House is now blaming Vilsack, the head of the USDA, saying he "jumped the gun".  It would be very interesting to know if the White House did demand her head out of fear of giving Beck fodder for another show.  The threat of Beck coverage seems to be a pretty strong incentive for this administration.  Odd, considering how stupid and crazy they keep saying he is.

The problem we have in this country is that we are unwilling or not allowed to see the strides made, only the original sins that propelled the change.  It is nothing short of amazing to me that in this day and age, with the country being led by a man of african descent, that racial bias and the old stereotypes of decades past are still being trotted out as relevant today. Opposition to a political agenda is NOT racism.

The constant race baiting by left-wing groups has become nothing more than a distraction from the real issues.  This is far too serious a charge to be bandied about in that way.  If the Journolist scandal has taught us anything, it is that a surprising number on the left are perfectly happy to use the race card to change the subject, no facts required.

Many of those the NAACP would label racists for opposing the Obama agenda were the self-same people who helped vote Obama into office in the first place. The NAACP seems to be incapable of seeing the great strides towards equality that this country has taken since the civil rights era. They are unable to let go of the hate, and it has poisoned them nearly to the point of irrationality. Much like infection keeps a wound from healing, so too does the continued trumping up of racial charges keep the country from moving on in the quest for an equal society of free people.

UPDATE: Allen West weighs in.


Monday, July 12, 2010


The federal government has officially filed suit against the state of Arizona and Jan Brewer, in her official capacity as governor.  In addition, there are six other suits brought by various entities that are currently pending.  The American Bar Assoc. has filed an amicus brief against the state, urging the federal district court in Arizona to  block enforcement of the law.  In addition, there are lawsuits being brought by the ACLU, the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders, the League of United Latin American Citizens and a group of Tuscon police officers, who claim they cannot enforce the law without racial profiling. 

The most insulting suit, and one which appears to be in direct conflict with Amendment XI of the Constitution is a suit being brought against the state by the government of Mexico.  That's right, Calderon and his corrupt cronies are jumping on the lawsuit bandwagon (via

claiming a substantial interest in ensuring its "bilateral diplomatic relations" with the US remain "transparent, consistent and reliable, and not frustrated by the actions of individual US states." The government also claims an interest in ensuring that its citizens are "accorded human and civil rights when present in the US in accordance with federal immigration law."

No doubt their handing out maps of the desert to potential illegal immigrants back in 2005 was instrumental in "ensuring diplomatic relations".  Not to mention their demands for human and civil rights in our immigration laws are laughable, considering their own laws. Put bluntly, the Mexican government wants to keep our borders open and unenforced so that their poor will come here and relieve them of the burden, while at the same time sending billions of American dollars back to Mexico - the country's second largest source of income.

Is it possible for Gov. Brewer to counter-sue the Mexican government for invasion, and demand repayment for the burden their illlegals are putting on the state?

In addition to those suits, the DoJ has also announced that they will file another suit if, once the law goes into effect on July 29th, there is evidence of racial profiling.  The interesing thing about this threat is that racial profiling was the number one reason the administration gave for striking down the law.  And yet, in their original brief, it isn't even mentioned - the brief is all about the supremacy of federal laws over state laws.  It seems as though the DoJ is playing politics on this one, screaming to the high heavens about profiling so that it gets stuck in the minds of voters, even though there is no proof.  In fact, the federal law is less strict in their requirements to ensure against profiling.  But this administration has been attempting to stop all immigration enforcement in Arizona by using the racial profiling angle almost since the beginning, with little result

All of these lawsuits are rather reminiscent of another attempt to force the submission of a foe to the progressive agenda - Sarah Palin.  That campaign of litigation was successful, forcing her to step down as governor for two reasons - her inability to perform her duties as governor due to having to prepare and defend herself and her administration from numerous frivolous lawsuits and the cost incurred to the state and herself to defend against those suits.  She should not have stepped down, because that decision, no matter the reasons for it, will haunt her for the rest of her life.  It also, unfortunately, showed that the tactic of submission through litigation can be a winner.

The success of the legal campaign against Palin sets the precedence to resort to the same tactics to force Arizona into submission.   The time Governor Brewer and her staff will have to devote to preparing and arguing against the lawsuits will divert her attention from the important needs of the state.  In addition,  Arizona, like many states, is suffering under the prolonged recession gripping the country.  They have a budget deficit for 2010 of $1.5 billion.  2011's outlook is even worse, at $3.4 billion.  Add in the boycotts and the costs of defending these lawsuits, and it is obvious to see that Arizoona is in a difficult position.  A position, it seems, that is being used to maximum effect by the DoJ and other opposition entities.

With each new lawsuit, the resemblance to the efforts to destroy Palin becomes clearer and clearer.  Except this time, it is an entire state that is being effected.  It's reprehensible, especially in light of the fact that a majority of Americans support the legislation.  A majority of Americans would also like to see the federal lawsuit dropped.  Even Arizona democrats are begging the administration to stop this dog and pony show.

If adherence to federal law was such a priority to this administration, why are they not suing Rhode Island, which has had a similar law on the books for years, and has been enforcing it without issue.  Or how about the so-called 'sanctuary cities', such as San Francisco, who flaunt their disobedience of federal immigration laws quite blatantly?  This particularly sticks in my craw, because they are obviously in violation of federal laws, but have yet to be reprimanded in any way, shape or form, and their policies are costing taxpayers billions

Considering how often we are lectured by President Obama and Eric Holder about this being a country of laws, it is interesting how selective they are in their enforcement of them. 

Holder is insisting that politics have no weight in his decision to pursue litigation against Arizona, but all of the facts point to politics being exactly the reason why.  Governor Brewer is not backing down because the safety of her citizens outweigh the threat of federal lawsuits.  She is not alone in this - the legal defense fund she set up to fight the federal suit has already collected half a million dollars in contributions ($330,000 of which was donated after the DoJ announced their suit).

Sarah Palin had a total of 27 lawsuits filed against her in the year after her VP nomination (26 of which were dismissed).  So far, in less than three months, Arizona and Brewer have accrued seven suits.  No doubt there will be more.  This is, of course, another lesson in Alinsky's ethics of means and ends (number 10):

10. You do what you can with what you have and clothe it with moral garments.

The moral garments, in this case, is their assertion that the law is racist in that it will promote racial profiling.  The fact that racial profiling wasn't added to the suit indicates that those allegations are merely window dressing, used to incite anger and opposition to the law and legitimize the federal stance.

The attempts to palinize Brewer and Arizona in order to keep the borders open and unsecured might not succeed.  The Arizona law mirrors federal immigration law, and, since the feds have given up enforcing it, the state has a right to protect itself from the flood of illegals.  Brewer - unlike Palin, who expected to go back to life as usual after the election - knew she was going to face a fight, and she is ready for it.  She threw down the gauntlet when she signed the bill, and seems to be relishing the fight.

It's awful hard to litigate into submission when the target is telling you to bring it on.  Something tells me this palinization isn't going to be as easy as the last....

UPDATE: Politico has just come out with an article profiliing the nearly two dozen lawsuits piling up against Arizona:

“I’m not in a position to [speak to] the motivation of others, but there does seem to be an excessive number of lawsuits,” said Dan Pochoda, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, one of more than two dozen plaintiffs involved in a class action lawsuit.

Plaintiffs in that suit, Friendly House v. Whiting, are represented by a platoon of 35 attorneys from a diverse coalition of organizations that includes the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Service Employees International Union, the Muslim American Society and the Japanese American Citizens League.


Sunday, July 4, 2010


I have to admit it - I just can't deny it.  I'm in love.

I've been in love for quite a long time, really.  I guess you could say it started out as a schoolgirl crush.  I was just a child when I first fell, and boy, did I fall hard.  And I've been deeply in love ever since.  Not that I was blind about it - I saw my love clearly, warts and all, and it only made me fall deeper.  For more than 30 years I have carried the torch, and this past year has been like meeting my love again for the very first time.  I'm head over heels all over again.

I'm in love with my country.

I lived in Philadelphia in 1976.  We lived in Society Hill - the old section of the city - and I spent my days exploring. I learned to make mob caps at Betsy Ross House, listened to tour guides at Independence Hall, and walked on the cobblestone streets once trod by our Founding Fathers.  I even befriended a carriage driver who not only taught me how to drive a horse and carriage, but also taught me the wonderful stories of the Founders and the War and the city of Philadelphia.  I would sing the Preamble to the Constitution (thanks Schoolhouse Rock!) as I skipped through the history that permeates those tree lined streets.

In that Bicentennial year, in that historic, beautiful city, I felt as though I was a part of it all. 

Much of my childhood was in the Brandywine area of Pennsylvania.  There was Revolutionary War history everywhere, and I was fascinated.  I read every signpost, relived every battle in my mind.  I loved going to Valley Forge, sitting in the tiny log huts the soldiers lived in.  I couldn't get enough stories about patriots like George Washington, Henry Knox, the Marquis de Lafayette, and Molly Pitcher; they filled my head with visions of heroes and perseverence in the face of overwhelming odds. 

Molly was a personal hero of mine, but she is not someone most people have heard of, although Glenn Beck mentioned her in his Founders Friday show this week.  She was a remarkable woman, one who voluntarily suffered the same depravations as the soldiers at the bitterly cold Valley Forge camp so that she could be with and help her husband.  She embranced the life, and was the personification of an American woman - strong, gutsy and capable.  Like many camp followers, she cooked, cleaned, mended clothes and nursed the wounded and sick, but she was definitely not your average camp follower.  She was a true patriot.

Her real name was Mary Ludwig Hays, but she earned her nickname by bringing much needed pitchers of water for the soldiers during battle, both to quench their thirst and to cool their guns.  If a man was wounded, she was even known to hoist him up and carry him off the battlefield.  Needless to say, the men had a great deal of respect and admiration for her.

Her husband, John Hays, was a gunner for the First Pennsylvania Artillery.  During the Battle of Monmouth, he was wounded as Molly looked on.  After first making certain he would survive, she then grabbed the rammer from his hands and took his place at the gun.  She held her position all day and fired over and over at the enemy.  At one point, an enemy cannon ball passed right between her legs, taking off a large chunk of her petticoats, but, thankfully, missing her.  She shrugged it off, merely observing it was lucky the ball wasn't a little higher "for in that case it might have carried away something else", and continued loading and firing her cannon. 

Her bravery and dedication to her country garnered her the adoration of the troops, and a personal meeting with General George Washington himself.  He commended her for her actions and conferred on her the honorary rank of Sargeant.  In later years, she was granted a pension for her service during the war, and was given a military funeral when she died.  She was a remarkable woman, and one of my first heroes.  It saddens me that her story isn't better known.  She was a shining example of what an American woman could do and be.

As I walked the streets of the old city as a child in my mob cap and peasant skirt, I would pretend it was the 1700's.  I was part of the adventure that was the Revolutionary War period.  My companions were all of the fascinating people who filled the city in the 1770's - our Founding Fathers and the amazing women who bravely offered whatever support they could in pursuit of liberty.

I have often been asked who my favorite Founding Father is.  Hands down, Benjamin Franklin.  Don't get me wrong, George Washington was a man among men, a man of principle and honor; God smiled on this country when He graced us with Washington.  He set the bar with his realization that the office is more than just one man, and a truly great man can step away from ultimate power - a lesson many of our entrenched politicians could stand to learn.

But Ben Franklin, well, he tickles me.  To me, he is the epitome of American-ness.  He was inarguably a brilliant man; his inventions and experiments affect our lives to this day.  He was a unique individual - really quite a character.  He was an entrepreneur at a time when most people took on their parent's vocation without question.  He was a free thinker and rather scandalous.  He loved women, music and 'air baths'.  He spoke five languages, was our first Postmaster, a printer, a consummate Statesman, and a writer who is still quoted today.  He gave us our first lending library and hospital.  He is arguably the one Founding Father who could easily assimilate to America in 2010 - although he would be quite vocal in his disagreement with the direction the country has been taking in recent decades - most likely on a blog!

Beyond the people who helped create our nation, I have always loved the uniqueness of this great country in and of itself.  There is no place on Earth quite like it.  We are kind, generous people, but we won't back down from a fight.  We are a shining beacon of freedom in a world of petty tyrants and sharia law.  We are vibrant, innovative and a force for good in the world.

There has been a concerted effort in this country and around the world to belittle the US, to make it seem mean and petty and out of touch.  I just don't buy the hype.  This country has changed in the 30 years since I first fell in love, but at it's heart, our Constitution, it is the same as it ever was.

As distressing as current events have been, I still try to see the silver lining.  It is hard, sometimes, because there is just so much going wrong and we are so far from where our Founders meant us to be.  Even with all of that, or, more to the point, because of it, there is a resurgence of patriotism in this country.  People are rediscovering our history, thwarting the best efforts of the progressive movement to change or ignore it.  More and more people are falling in love with this glorious country.  Once you know the history of it's creation, how can you not?

As a child, I fell in love.  As an adult, my love is stronger than ever.  But the best part of all is that I am not alone, and more people every day are joining me in my love and devotion for this great country.  Happy 234th birthday, U.S.A.!

Have a safe, happy Fourth, and God bless America!


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