South Side Values

March 21, 2012

You may already have heard what the First Lady  had to say when speaking with David Letterman (David Letterman?) the other night about raising kids in the White House:

“For us, it’s the values. The thing that we try to do is make sure — the residence is on the second and the third floor of the White House. And what we want to have happen is when they get off that elevator and walk in to our residence that it feels like the south side of Chicago, the same values, the same rules, the same sense of responsibility…” 

She may want to re-think the import of those “south side values,” given what’s going on back home these days:

Chicago’s police superintendent says the city is re-tooling its anti-gang strategy, following a particularly violent weekend during which several people, including a 6-year-old girl, were killed.”

“The majority of shootings in the city between Friday evening and early Monday morning happened on the city’s South Side, but areas from West Rogers Park to Humboldt Park also saw gun violence. The youngest victim was a 6-year-old girl, who was likely the innocent victim of gang violence in the Little Village neighborhood.”

Based on a quick search of “chicago south side violence”, I really don’t want South Side values being instilled in the White House. Do you?

2012: Anybody But Obama


H/T: Daily Scoreboard

Follow-up on “Herd Intuition” Comments

October 18, 2009

Don’t know quite where to start… I’ve been following the comments of this post from the beginning. As I understand the thoughts, they vary from “the high road” to “tired of talking”. There’s a suggestion to stop paying taxes, and another more ominous hint that we’re on the “edge of a precipice”.

My $.02 (and it’s probably over-priced…) First and foremost, non-violence. Period. Non-violence. The worst possible thing conservatives (and this country for that matter) needs is an act of violence. Here’s why…

  • People don’t quite understand “where we’re at” as a culture in 2009. As a barometer, the 1960s come to mind… In the ’60s we were still by and large Andy Griffith. Yes, yes, yes I know… There was the Klan and the Black Panthers… But most of us were either hippies, Andy G., or MLK. Still, even then we managed Selma and Watts.  As a culture, we have changed wildly in 40 years. Look at the frequency and barbarism of school shootings of late. And then there’s stuff like TV, movies, magazines… If you’re old enough, think back to the shock of the Manson murders. Hell, now the slaughter of a family of six barely makes the news cycle, unless of course the carnage involves a high-speed car chase in which case we tune in like ghouls and wait for the crash.
  • The second reason we must stay non-violent is because of the players who would be involved in 2009. In the sixties, the antagonists consisted of a rag-tag patchwork of liberals and civil-rights people vs. “The Establishment”. Today, it will be between the militias, the ticked-off taxpayer, the unions (you’d better believe they have their own militias), and ultimately the National Guard. Guess who’s going to win that war?
  • The third reason we have to “go peaceful” is because of the galvanizing effect an act of violence would have on this country. For all its warts, Americans still believe in America. A violent act intended to “redirect America back to its roots” would be self-destructive in the extreme.
  • Forth, carnage is unneeded… The blogs, Fox, Rush, National Review Magazine, et al are tearing the guts out of the liberal movement… Just wait for next year’s elections. We don’t have to apply any physical force to make evident the low IQ and high agenda of Pelosi, Reid, Boxer, et al… They’re doing a fine job all by themselves.

Finally… Political violence in America-2009 is just plain wrong… We can find a better way, even if it means temporary sacrifice.  As I  sit here, I have a copy of “The Declaration of Independence” and “The Constitution of the United States” beside me.  No one is going to take that away from me… Idiocy will come and go, but my book will be by my side just as it should be by yours. No bloodshed… No revolt… No violence… We’ll be OK.

Alan Speakman

Heroes and Villains

October 16, 2009


In early October, Peggy Noonan wrote about the passing of the great William Safire, in a Wall Street Journal article entitled, Keeping America Safe From the Ranters. In it, she bemoans the loss of “the Elders” of journalism, and warns us that the guard is changing, and not necessarily for the better:

We are in a generational shift in the media, and new Elders are rising. They’re running the networks and newspapers, they own the Web sites, they anchor the shows. What is their job?

It’s to do what the Elders have always done, but now more than ever.

Ms. Noonan goes on to give two examples of how discourse is changing (one from a left-of-center mainstream media type, and one from an extremely right-of-center marginal kook) as evidence of how current political conversations are becoming more coarse and inflammatory. From these two small molehills, her handwringing conjures up a mountain of danger:

I see it this way. There are roughly 300 million people in America. Let’s say 1% of them, only 1 in 100, are composed of those who might fairly be called emotionally unstable—the mentally ill, those who have limited or no ability to govern their actions, those who act out, as they say, physically or violently. That’s three million people.

Let’s say a third of them are regularly exposed to political media rants from right or left. That’s a million people.

What effect might “they want to see you dead” and “the Republic is falling right now” have on their minds?

I find Ms. Noonan’s estimate intriguing: One million Americans so mentally unstable as to be potentially violent or a physical danger to others (although she does not distinguish between those who are currently receiving treatment or hospitalized and those who are presumably roaming the streets mainlining Ed Schultz, Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olbermann).

Think about that for a moment. One million of our fellow citizens (unless Ms. Noonan numbers you and me among those she fears) lumbering around zombie-like, so infused with hate and fear of “the other side” and incited by bloggers, Twitterers, and Bill O’Reilly, that they are willing to attempt to do violence to our political leaders? Really?

Is political debate getting coarser? Probably. Each generation claims that it’s true, anyway. But it’s also getting more and more open and accessible, which is why we are seeing the rise of things like talk radio, citizen journalism, and Tea Parties. And Peggy Noonan must live in a pretty rarified atmosphere, if she fears the hoi polloi of Power LinePatterico, and Pajamas Media; and the riff raff of Fox News Channel.

Sure, there’s crime in America. That’s why we have police forces. And sure, there are people who hate Americans and wish us ill. That’s why we have our peerless military. And of course there are kooks who are going to hate whoever is President and even possibly wish him harm. That’s why we have the Secret Service.

But Ms. Noonan, if you believe that the lives of our top politicians are vastly endangered  because of these Ranters you fear, then I think you yourself might be among that one million people you worry about.