Saturday, March 17, 2012
Where's Sharpton's Apology for Accusing a White Man of Raping a Black Teen?
"Meet the Press" host David Gregory asked his panel "where civility has gone in our public discourse." Incredibly, one panelist urged people to be more "mature" and not "poison the atmosphere."
I say "incredibly" because this panelist was none other than the race-hustling, anti-Semitic "civil rights activist" and MSNBC talk show host, Al Sharpton. For some reason, Sharpton's own struggles with civility never came up. Nor did any panelist behave so rudely as to bring up Sharpton's role in one of the most hideous, disgusting and cynical uses of the race card this side of the O.J. Simpson case. And Sharpton, unlike Rush Limbaugh, refuses to apologize.
While this raises little or no concern to MSNBC or its advertisers, Sharpton became famous by falsely accusing a white man of raping a black teenage girl. Tawana Brawley, then 15, told authorities that white racists abducted, raped and sodomized her -- scrawling the initials "KKK" on her in human feces.
A grand jury later found the entire incident a complete hoax. This did not stop the Rev. Al Sharpton, who had accused Steven Pagones, then an assistant district attorney in Duchess County, N.Y., of the crime. After Sharpton's accusation, Pagones received death threats, and his young daughter was later threatened.
"We stated openly that Steven Pagones did it," said Sharpton. "If we're lying, sue us, so we can go into court with you and prove you did it. Sue us -- sue us right now."
Pagones did sue. A jury unanimously concluded that Sharpton defamed Pagones, ordering Sharpton to pay him $65,000. The Reverend promptly and publicly said he did not intend to pay. Later, when Sharpton decided to run for president, the outstanding defamation debt became a political problem. So Sharpton's one-percenter buddies passed the hat and paid off his debt, which by then totaled $87,000 with interest and penalties.
Civility, Rev. Al? In 1989, a young white woman, dubbed the "Central Park jogger," was monstrously raped and nearly beaten to death. Sharpton insisted -- despite the defendants' confessions -- that her black attacker-suspects were innocent, modern-day Scottsboro Boys trapped in "a fit of racial hysteria." Sharpton charged that the jogger's boyfriend did it and organized protests outside the courthouse, chanting, "The boyfriend did it!" and denouncing the victim as a "whore!"
Sharpton appealed for a psychiatrist to examine the victim, generously saying: "It doesn't even have to be a black psychiatrist. ... We're not endorsing the damage to the girl -- if there was this damage." (The convictions of the accused were eventually vacated, despite their taped confessions, after another man -- whose DNA matched -- confessed to the rape in 2002.)
Civility, Rev. Al? Sharpton once called former Marine, magna cum laude graduate, lawyer, professor and then-Mayor David Dinkins -- New York City's first and only black mayor -- a "n--ger whore turning tricks in City Hall."
Civility, Rev. Al? In 1991, when a 7-year-old black child was accidentally killed in Crown Heights after a car driven by a Hasidic Jew went out of control, Sharpton led 400 protesters through the Jewish neighborhood. There were four nights of rock and bottle throwing. A young Talmudic scholar was surrounded by a mob shouting, "Kill the Jew," and stabbed to death. After deriding Jews as "diamond merchants," Sharpton said, "If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house."
Civility, Rev. Al? The Jewish owner of Freddy's Fashion Mart in Harlem raised the rent on a black sub-tenant. At one of the many rallies designed to frighten the owner, Sharpton called him a "white interloper." Following a demonstration three months later, one of the protestors, a black man, stormed Freddy's Fashion Mart with a pistol, screaming: "It's on now! All blacks out!" In addition to shooting, he set fire to the building, eventually killing himself and seven others.
Initially, Sharpton denied having spoken at any rallies and refused to accept any responsibility for poisoning the atmosphere. When tapes surfaced showing Sharpton speaking, he said, "What's wrong with denouncing white interlopers?" Eventually, he apologized -- for saying "white," but not for saying "interloper."
Sharpton refuses to apologize for Tawana Brawley. He assumes liberal bias will prevent the media from asking him about Brawley. Or, he will accuse them of racism if they do: "I did what I believed. ... They are asking me to grovel. They want black children to say they forced a black man coming out of the hardcore ghetto to his knees. ... Once you begin bending, it's, 'Did you bend today?' or: 'I missed the apology. Say it again.' Once you start compromising, you lose respect for yourself."
In other words, falsely and unapologetically accusing a white man of raping a black teenage girl is no barrier to hosting a talk show on MSNBC or lecturing the nation on civility.
Rush Limbaugh twice apologized to the Georgetown law student for calling her a slut. Sharpton has never apologized for calling Steven Pagones a rapist.
What About Free Speech?
For a couple of years now, I have been talking about the Kultursmog, the utterly polluted state of our political culture. Those who pollute it are the liberals. Kultursmog is the only form of pollution that they approve of, but they do approve of it mightily, and of course, they are the chief contributors to its noxious fumes. Now they are using it to kill off an American value prized by millions of Americans down through the centuries, free speech. As I say in another context, we are watching the death of liberalism.
Through Media Matters for America, MSNBC, Think Progress and various other outfits, the liberals are trying to kill off talk radio. They have made feints in this direction for years -- for instance, in encouraging the return of the Fairness Doctrine, which is anything but fair. Now they are aiming at the heart of talk radio, Rush Limbaugh, and, as collateral damage, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and the whole conservative camorra. As I mentioned last week, Rush -- in the course of his 15 hours of dialogue each week -- made a joke of dubious jocularity about the felicitously named Sandra Fluke. All hell broke loose. To my surprise -- and I suspect to Rush's -- it turns out that his joke was almost tasteful and indeed elevated in comparison with the tasteless scurrility directed at conservative women.
The clown Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a "dumb t---" and a "c---." He jokes about Rick Santorum's wife using a vibrator. Ed Schultz has called Laura Ingraham a "right-wing slut," anticipating Rush's reference to Fluke. Keith Olbermann is as foul, and doubtless there are others. This is the language regularly resorted to by the left, and one would think that these revelations would put an end to the orchestrated crisis over Rush, especially because it was a liberal, the admirable Kirsten Powers, who turned up these instances of garbagespiel. But no, the crisis continues.
I can understand why. Talk radio is almost exclusively conservative radio. For some reason, liberals cannot make it in the talk show market. Even when they come up with heavily subsidized formats, such as Air America, the liberals flounder. This is, I suspect, because they cannot talk about politics without assuming a grim voice and interlacing their dialogue with scatological references. Have you ever heard them? Have you read their blogs? They have sewers for brains.
On Tuesday, my colleague Jeffrey Lord, on The American Spectator's website, connected the dots. Using the indispensable Daily Caller, he pointed to the Caller's evidence that Media Matters virtually writes the scripts for such MSNBC eminentoes as Al Sharpton and the dolt Schultz. Moreover, it does it with a vast mound of George Soros' money. Most of what Sharpton and Schultz say is mendacious and infantile, and sometimes it is worse. Lord presented for Spectator readers some of Sharpton's indigestible morsels. The morsels came from before he linked up with Soros and MSNBC, but that is all the more reason he should not be posing as a commentator on cable news. He has absolutely no claim to being a journalist. Perhaps he can claim to being a personality, but if that is the case, the way he became a personality is similar to how the late George Wallace became a personality. It was through racism, and as a personality, Wallace did not get far.
On the Spectator's website, Lord has preserved the tapes of Sharpton inveterately using the N-word. He uses terms such as "white interloper" and "cracker." He refers to Aristotle -- yes, that Aristotle -- as "a Greek homo." So far to the left has the Kultursmog gone that it finds Rush controversial but Sharpton a budding Walter Cronkite. In truth, as Lord has demonstrated, Sharpton made his way to national fame as a racist rabble-rouser.
Talk radio is afflicted by several thousand social isolates sitting around the house in their underwear tapping out irate messages to the sponsors of Rush and his cohorts. They do it on their digital tools, Twitter, Facebook, the blogs. They rely on the same mentality as the Occupy protesters. Their complaints to sponsors amount to dirty tricks. They are not clients or customers. They are a pain in the neck but nothing more. Eventually, this too will pass, but in the meantime, things will be tricky for talk radio -- unless it mounts a counterattack on Media Matters for America, MSNBC (whose owner is Comcast) and Think Progress. Just a thought!
Half a million incapacity benefit claimants are fit for work, British Government’s OWN figures show
Half a million people on incapacity benefit are fit for work, ministers said yesterday. Medical assessments carried out on 141,000 existing claimants found that an astonishing 37 per cent of people on incapacity benefit were capable of working immediately.
A further 34 per cent will be placed in a 'work-related activity group' to help them prepare to go back to work at some point in the future. Only 29 per cent of claimants were deemed to be so sick or disabled that they will never be able to work.
The figures are the first results from a programme to reassess 1.5million existing claimants of incapacity benefit, which is worth £94.25 a week. They do not include information on appeals, which are likely to reduce the number of people deemed fit for work.
But Employment Minister Chris Grayling said the figures suggested a significant proportion of people on long-term sickness benefits were fit enough to work. He said: On current projections, and based on the results so far, we expect around half a million people to see if they can return to work.
'Without the reassessment process, those people would have been left on incapacity benefit for the rest of their lives, with little prospect of doing something else with their time.'
Incapacity benefit costs the taxpayer £4.8billion a year. Many claimants have not been assessed for years. Statistics show that those who have been on the benefit for more than two years are more likely to die than ever find another job.
Mr Grayling said it was 'very obvious that long term welfare dependency is a trap into which it is easy to fall, and a place that many are very reluctant to leave'.
He went on: 'These first figures completely justify our decision to reassess all the people on incapacity benefit. To have such a high percentage who are fit for work just emphasises what a complete waste of human lives the current system has been.
'We know that for many it will be a long haul back to work but it's much better to help them on the journey than to leave them on benefits for the rest of their lives.' Those deemed fit to work immediately will be moved to Jobseekers' Allowance, which is worth £67.50 a week.
Others will be placed on Employment and Support Allowance, which is worth up to £99.85 for those who are considered too ill to ever work again.
Critics claim that the drive to reassess hundreds of thousands of people on sickness benefits is driven by the need to cut costs rather than a genuine desire to help the long-term sick.
A spokesman for Disability Rights UK described yesterday's figures as 'misleading'. He pointed out that in some parts of the country up to 40 per cent of those who appeal against their assessments are found to be unable to work.
The spokesman said: 'There is a huge amount of money being wasted on appeals because the initial assessments are not identifying the needs of disabled people.
'By the time you account for appeals, the figure will probably be closer to a quarter rather than 37 per cent. Even then it is misleading to accuse people of abusing the system because Employment and Support Allowance is a different system from incapacity benefit.'
Brendan Barber, general-secretary of the TUC, also criticised the figures, saying: 'It's hardly surprising that a test specifically designed to make fewer people qualify for disability benefits is passing more people as "fit to work".'
A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions defended the reassessment process, which is carried out by private doctors. He said adjustments were being made to reduce the number of appeals.
Don't use the words husband and wife! British government's same-sex wedding reforms would axe terms from official documents
It sounds like the Liberal tail is wagging the Conservative dog
Reforms to allow same-sex marriage will see the words husband and wife removed from official forms, it was revealed last night. Tax and benefits guidance and immigration documents must be rewritten so they no longer assume a married couple is a man and a woman.
And private companies will be told to overhaul paperwork and computer databases containing the words.
Marriage certificates could even be affected by the Coalition proposals, with rules possibly axing terms such as bride and bridegroom.
The reforms – promised by Prime Minister David Cameron last autumn and set out in a consultation paper launched yesterday – intend to open civil marriage to gay and lesbian couples for the first time. A different category – religious marriage – will be reserved for male and female couples.
The proposals have triggered a furious row, with the Church of England accusing the Coalition of misunderstanding the law of marriage.
But Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone warned religious leaders not to ‘fan the flames of homophobia’ with ‘inflammatory’ language. New versions of documents will‘replace references to husband and wife with the more neutral terms spouses and partners’.
The cost of the red tape revolution demanded by the ‘Equal Civil Marriage’ plans will run into millions, according to an official analysis published alongside the consultation paper.
Businesses will be given ‘lead-in time’ – a period of grace to change their websites and databases before their failure to recognise same-sex marriage runs foul of the law.
The consultation paper, produced by Home Secretary Theresa May and Miss Featherstone, has set aside three months for public responses before civil servants begin to draw up the new legislation. And the axing of the terms husband and wife is spelled out in an ‘impact analysis’ published by the Home Office alongside the paper.
It said UK Border Agency forms and staff guidance would replace husbands and wives with spouses and partners.
‘Some tax, National Insurance Contributions and tax credit legislation will have to be changed where there is a specific reference to a husband and wife,’ it added.
References to go include direct mentions of husband and wife and phrases about couples ‘living together as husband and wife’. Forms and IT systems and guidance for Revenue and Customs staff will need to change, it added.
The removal of gender-specific language also has sweeping implications for marriage services. The Home Office declined to say yesterday how ministers intend to change the wording of ceremonies. Currently couples marrying in a register office must pledge to take each other as ‘my wedded husband’ or ‘my wedded wife’.
If marriage law is reformed in line with the rewrite of red tape, then couples will be required at a civil wedding to pledge themselves to ‘my wedded partner’.
The Church of England said: ‘Arguments that suggest “religious marriage” is separate and different from “civil marriage”, and will not be affected by the proposed redefinition, misunderstand the legal nature of marriage in this country. 'They mistake the form of the ceremony for the institution itself.’
The Roman Catholic bishops of England and Wales said in a statement: ‘It is alarming to note that children are not mentioned at any stage in this consultation document about marriage.’
But Miss Featherstone said yesterday: ‘I believe that if a couple love each other and want to commit to a life together, they should have the option of a civil marriage, whatever their gender. 'Marriage is a celebration of love and should be open to everyone.’ [It's actually a reproductive contract, historically]
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.