Thursday, September 10, 2009

San Francisco Diary--Journal Of An Exile

Well, it's been an exhausting week so far. We've been treated to Barack Obama talking to the school kids. We've been treated to Barack Obama talking to the Congress (and America, in case you didn't notice). Town halls continue to be a source of excitement nationwide. Oh, and a communist, race-baiting 9-11 Truther from the San Francisco Bay Area slipped through multiple cracks in the Obama vetting process, and when exposed on national television, resigned his czar/commisar post during the Labor Day holiday weekend in order to minimize exposure in the MSM.

Note: The San Francisco Chronicle never misses an opportunity to headline a story in a way that would shame a sixth-grader running an elementary school newspaper. Their reaction to the resignation was outlined in a front-page article entitled "Progressives decry resignation of Van Jones." Progressives are angry at just about everyone who isn't an avowed communist. They are furious at the oh-so-weak President Obama for "buckling to conservative criticism of Jones's controversial past comments and actions." Yes, past. As in last week or so. For a full discussion of Jones's past, see Andrew Price on Van Jones and LawHawkSF on Van Jones.

They are angry at Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin who, among others, diligently worked to get the news of Jones's extremely questionable "past" out to the public, despite complete indifference or open hostility on the part of the mainstream media and the Obama front men. They are angry at all Republicans, most Democrats and the fickle finger of fate. They are angry that "only a few stepped up to protect Jones during the past few weeks." Protect him from whom? Himself? They are really angry with Senator Kit Bond (R-MO) who called for a Congressional inquiry into Jones's subversive activities.

Nancy Pelosi is bereft. She effuses that his book, Green Collar "showcased his sparkling intelligence, powerful vision and deep empathy." That's what they said about Lenin. "He was swift-boated" says Medea Benjamin, noted tree-sitter and co-founder of Code Pink (appropriately enough). And of course Mad Media Medea is lost in the irony of the fact that "swift-boated" means "the truth came out." "The timing was hideous for Van" says Eva Paterson a "civil rights" attorney who hired Jones after he left Yale Law School (but before he passed the State Bar, which was never). "Still, I find it very disturbing that real progressive people with a track record of lots of speeches and actions will find it hard to speak out," Paterson said. She neglects to mention that most of his speeches took place in front of radical, anti-American, pro-communist groups and gang members. His most famous speech, also called "incitement to riot" by the court, stirred up the L.A. thugs into burning down large swaths of the city in the wake of the Rodney King verdict in Ventura County.

Color of Change co-founder James Rucker (along with Jones) says that "instead of providing answers about Jones's background, the administration had Jones resign under cover of darkness." Sorry, Mr. Rucker. Beck, Malkin, and many others provided those answers. Did you, so closely connected to all of Jones's nefarious activities, think that the American public would have changed their minds after hearing that litany?

The author of the article, another sympathetic "progressive" named J. Garofoli (close, but no big banana), says "Often, an administration will send a representative to the Sunday morning TV talk shows to defend an embattled appointee. But none came Sunday. On ABC's This Week, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs only thanked Jones for his service to the country and said that Obama does not agree with his views." C'mon, Garofoli, even the Great Speechifier would have a hard time justifying retaining a self-annointed communist and race-hustler to the American public. Practice saying this to yourself: "San Francisco is not America. Normal people don't think like San Francisco progressives." I should also let you know that old-timers like me have another name for progressives: "fellow travelers." It means people who are not actually communists, but somehow always find themselves protecting and defending them.

NOTE: California Senator Barbara Boxer has once again demonstrated her absolute inability to see the ridiculousness in her silly causes. The latest round of stupidity came the day before Barack Obama's rambling and dishonest health care speech. Boxer has boldly decided that she is going to press her colleagues, Democrat and Republican, as to why they oppose a public health care option when they use one themselves. You must be kidding, Babs. You're about six ants short of a picnic. That public option that you are talking about is one available only to the bums in Congress, and doesn't even faintly resemble the public option that you want to shove down the public's throat.

Your plan is the Rolls Royce of insurance coverage while your Dear Leader is going to give the rest of us used Yugos. Only those evil rich people you want to impoverish to pay for crap health care for the rest of us can currently even dream of having a health plan as extensive and all-inclusive as yours. The only thing Obamacare and Congresscare have in common is that hardworking taxpayers end up paying for both. It remains to be seen what Babs and Nan will have to say now that Obama has claimed that the public option will be available for only a select few (million).

Note: The air in San Francisco has once again caused the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to issue a ruling upholding a school district's refusal to let a band play a religious piece at a high school graduation. The piece selected by the students, who are about 30% Catholic, 40% Protestant, 10% Jewish and the balance of no discernible religious persuasion, is Ave Maria (the Franz Biebl version). It is a hauntingly beautiful piece of music, not recognizable by most people who are not even quite sure what it's about. Most non-Catholics who have heard and recognize the Ave Maria know either the Franz Schubert or Bach-Gounod compositions, but not this one. In fact, most Catholics have probably never heard it. See if you recognize it: Ave Maria-Biebl. And this was to be the instrumental version, not the sung version, removing the religious element entirely. Not that the Protestants, Jews and whatevers actually cared much that it's a Catholic song (but only if the words are included).

But at least the Ninth Circuit has finally learned something after a string of reversals at the Supreme Court which hold that traditional, deeply-ingrained music which has ceased to have peculiarly religious significance in a purely secular environment is not a forbidden religious exercise. And so have the ACLU and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State lawyers who bring these cases. The school principal and superintendent were sympathetic to the students' desire to play that piece, but refused to allow it on the grounds that it might be an unpermitted use of religious music which could result in litigation detrimental to the school. Aha, said the Ninth Circuit. Why risk a reversal at the Supreme Court when we can narrow the issue to reasonable exercise of executive discretion on the part of the school authorities? Never mind that the Ninth Circuit's rulings are the sole reason the executives were afraid to allow the music in the first place.

The problem for the Ninth Circuit judges is their inability to quit while they're ahead. Had they left their decision at that, they had a strong likelihood of being upheld by the high court. But they just couldn't resist the temptation to throw in their distaste for anything religious under any circumstances, at any time, in any public place. They went on to say "Graduation takes place before a 'captive audience,' and the time is too short to guarantee a balanced program, unlike concerts, which can mix religious and secular pieces." And why were the judges so friendly toward "concerts?" Because they were overruled by the Supreme Court in a case with precisely those criteria. By intertwining their consistently incorrect reading of the Constitution regarding the non-constitutional concept of the wall of separation between church and state, and reiterating the students' argument of hostility toward religion into an otherwise fairly logical decision, they have opened the door for a successful appeal by the students.

NOTE: You can always tell when the Chronicle is hard up to fill news space because it will lead the article with "breaking news." That somehow gives it the aura of being important enough to be read right away so you don't miss something hot off the presses. So--breaking news: "Typical jumper: 40, white, single and a man." This may be new, it may even be interesting, but unless we just had three 40 year-old white, single men hold hands while jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge into the shark-infested waters below, this really isn't breaking news. In fact, it's not news at all. It's information. Since about 25 people jump from the bridge every year (a total of about 1500 since the bridge opened in 1937), it isn't even new, let alone news. I can think of two stories that might be news. The first would be that the proposed safety net that has been considered for over forty years to prevent the suicides had actually begun construction. The second would be that Mayor Gavin Newsom took a good hard look at his chances in the gubernatorial election coming up, and decided to end it all.

Note: Speaking of bridges, the closure of the Bay Bridge over the Labor Day weekend was supposed to end Monday night when the temporary detour opened while the new spans are being prepared for replacing the old seismic disaster-in-waiting. It actually opened at 7 AM Tuesday morning--close enough for government work. And what caused the delay? None of the Cal Trans executives, engineers or workers checked the eyebars on the old section before transferring the load to the new detour. The eyebars are the weakest part of the old bridge construction on the east side, and a major reason why the old section couldn't simply be retrofitted the way they did on the western span. So was there a careful ongoing inspection to look into those already questionable eyebars as construction proceeded? Nope. Late Sunday, a worker looked up and said "hey, there's a big crack in the bridge." Very scientific and very thorough, huh?

Note: For those of you who regularly look over my shoulder and read my Diary, I know you expected a note regarding a Mark Morford article. I'm in as much shock as you. Morford either changed his meds, or ran out. I knew something was wrong when his opening sentence was less than five hundred words long. He wrote an article on American arms-dealing. I didn't agree with it, but it was actually logical, reasonably argued, and not the least bit crazy. Maybe he was carried off by space aliens and replaced with a human being. I hope he's back and fully-recovered soon. He makes my job so much easier.


AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I think it's hilarious that the left is getting so upset at Obama. I'm seeing more and more evidence that they are very, very unhappy.

The Ninth Circuit (the "Acid Circuit") are a bunch of idiots. We should disconnect them from the court system, just let them issue decisions to their heart's content and everyone else can ignore them.

P.S. Send Morford our best. I hope he gets over whatever is troubling him and gets back to his comedy routine soon.

freedom21 said...

Lawhawk, how is it that you can always put into words what I am thinking. There is always something else to be mad at....ahhh, it seems like just yesterday we were all griping over the closing of Gitmo, the nomination of Sotomayor and the apology tour. Now we have a whole new basket of bad apples that we are forced to down.

I hope you're backing up all these posts so youll have something to read when interwebs get turned off :)

Unknown said...

Andrew: The Ninth Circuit serves a very useful purpose. As soon as I hear the latest ruling, I just make note of how the Supreme Court will rule on the same case (which will be exactly the opposite). Last term, that meant I had an 82% chance of being right. The most-reversed Circuit Court in all of American history. LOL

Freedom21: Ain't it the truth? As one of my friends at Cal said many years ago--"there's nothing as invigorating as a little good, healthy hate." Of course we were talking about our boss in the admissions office in Sproul Hall. But the principle holds. LOL

And they'll have to take my interweb from my cold, dead hand.

Writer X said...

Mark Morford, normal? Please tell me I'm dreaming. I like him better when he's crazy.

Speaking of crazy, a school district refusing to let a band play Ave Maria? Don't the schools have better ways to use their time? What's next--show tunes? Unbelievable.

Thanks for the laughs, LawHawk. I needed them today.

Unknown said...

WriterX: Alas, poor Morford. I knew him well. A man of infinite jest, and regular brainfarts. I'm sure he'll be back from captivity as soon as the aliens realize that even by galactic standards, this guy is nuts.

I was ready to agree with the court when I saw Ave Maria, until I realized it wasn't going to be the version people recognize. And even then, the words are in Latin, and they don't even teach English in the schools anymore, let alone Latin. But, then I saw "no words," just the music. OK, so maybe it's just the recognizable melody. Now I was a church organist and assistant choir director in my youth, so I listened to the tune. If I've ever heard it before, I sure don't remember it (which is why I included a link to the music). It's just a beautiful piece of music. This is why we lawyers call it "the chilling effect" on the First Amendment. It's not that anybody, including the principal and the superintendent thought it was impermissible. They just knew that there was a good chance that someone, somewhere, with a leftist agenda would recognize the piece and sue. And the Ninth Circuit has almost single-handedly created that chilling effect in the West. It's no longer about right or wrong, legal or illegal, constitutional or unconstitutional, but rather it's about "will somebody sue us?"

AndrewPrice said...

Freedom 21, Welcome back. :-)

Obama does like to keep us working with misstep after misstep. This guy is worse than Inspector Clouseau.

Tennessee Jed said...

Hawk - I always enjoy your diary posts although it seems like it is always getting well into the evening before I get to read it. The Van Jones saga is just another fantastic example of a double standard among much of the traditional national media (I am honoring a pledge to myself to quit referring to them anachronistically as "main stream.")

Along with that same thinking, I am pledging right here and right now to quit referring to liberals as progressives. It is a free country and I get to call them what I choose. The term "progressive" is misleading and refusing to call them by the name they choose is bound to aggravate much the way Rush Limbaugh pissed them off by calling it the "Democrat" rather than "Democratic" party. Come to think of it, maybe since they like Europe so much, perhaps "Democrat-Socialist" party.

Barbara Boxer; my god she is annoying. I must confess to being one of the evil people with a Rolls Royce plan, but that comes with being in the straw man industy (I mean insurance industry) for 30 years and now that I am retired, I pay a hell of a premium for it. Ah, screw her (sorry I rant when tired.)

Your thoughts on the 9th circuit as consistently misreading the constitution are perfect. How playing the Biebl version of Ave Maria can be unconstitutional can be wrong simply is mystifying while tax payers have to subsidize urinating on Jesus. Good post yet again, Hawk

StanH said...

That’s right Van Jones was a San Francisco nut case, it figures. I bet there was a real gloom over the enlightened city at Mr. Jones removal, the anger was probably so palpable that another smug cloud was released that was so large the entire northwest was terrorized with fits of righteous indignation.

Barbara Boxer, …sheesh you must be so proud. Man I hope you guys can put somebody up against her that can win. My God this woman is bad for the country.

Ah… the Ninth Circuit unimpeachable I presume.

Please come back to us Mark Morford.

Unknown said...

Tennessee: Thanks. I sometimes think I do the Diary as therapy. If I write it down, and include quotes and citations, I know later that I wasn't hallucinating.

I like your idea of refusing to call them progressives, particularly since that's what they want to call themselves. I prefer something simpler: "regressives." Nothing new, many things that are old, tired and discredited. Progressive should mean moving forward, not moving backward or worse, downward. Or we could go back to the old days, and just call them fellow travelers.

I was a contract writer for the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States just before I finished law school, and stayed on with them for about six months after I passed the Bar. Sure they had their flaws, but on the whole, it was an honest, fair and reliable company. I will make my criticisms of the insurance companies from time-to-time, but I'm actually much more concerned about freeing up the companies to genuinely compete across state lines and get creative in forming pools which will cover that 9 or 10% of chronically uninsured people. If the government controls the competition, and regulates the results, it isn't competition, and is doomed to failure.

Unknown said...

StanH: Yep. Jones did his earliest active dirty work in L.A. and got his criminal record there. And he got his first gang contacts there as well. But his real home is the Bay Area--limousine liberals in San Francisco and the gangs in Oakland These are God's fields for him. Boxer and Feinstein could both be vulnerable in a Republican year with strong candidates. Pelosi, alas, is invulnerable since she only has to face the voters of San Francisco. She is the resident lefty-in-chief until she quits or dies. And as for the latter, with all that botox in her, she could be dead for months before anybody checked for a pulse.

MegaTroll said...

Nice article as always Lawhawk. We need something like Rush's "ditto" so we don't have to keep saying that. You all are doing a great job. Serious, a great job. I don't seen anyone on the net putting out the kind of quality you all hit day after day. Thanks.

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