Sunday, October 30, 2005
The Canada Free Press asks why British MP George Galloway and Canadian councilor Maurice Strong are still at large and in denial while they top the list in the United Nations Oil-for-food scandal.
You’ve just gotta love those peace-loving liberals…
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 7:56 AM
Mayor Sam’s got it right – the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has been sucking taxpayers dry for decades and now wants another $4 billion to crank out more illiterate dropouts. I have two short stories about what many Angelenos now call LA’s mummified school system:
Jan (not her real name) was a flower child of the 60s: a daisy-waving-psychedelic-peacenik-free-love-liberal-democrat-bimbo who bore a love child after high school. Jan spoiled her baby with no discipline or boundaries. One day when her toddler misbehaved and I offered a suggestion, Jan told me to mind my own business. Unfortunately for her child, I did.
About ten years later when the girl turned 13, Jan called and sounded hysterical: “Clark, I don’t know what to do. I have to go to work. She took my keys, my car and my wallet and left with her boyfriend. I think she’s on drugs or something. What should I do?”
It was too late. A few years later when her child returned to prison, Jan got custody of all five of her daughter’s children. That lasted a few months – until DPSS finally declared Jan an unfit mother and took them away.
Why is this relevant?
Jan is not only my cousin (yup, a blood relative), but has taught LAUSD elementary school children for about twenty years. Although she is unfit to raise her own children and grandchildren, the United Teachers of Los Angeles protects her job at the expense of her classroom children. Jan doesn’t want you to vote for Propositions 73 through 78.
My second story is shorter: I used to jog to-and-from work at LAPD’s West Valley Station. One day as I jogged past Mulholland Junior High School, I noticed a male student leave the school grounds as classes began. I watched the 9th grader run across the field and hop the 12-foot fence. He landed near me. When I told him to get back in school - he told me to F--- myself. I grabbed his wrist and walked him to the school office.
When I delivered the boy to the Principal, she demanded to know what right I had to kidnap the child from the street. When I identified myself as an LAPD officer and explained the relationship between school truancy and daytime residential burglaries, she made a complaint against me with the LAPD!
Based upon these and many other on-duty experiences with the LAUSD, I moved to Ventura County where my children would be far from LAUSD and their dysfunctional teachers and administrators.
That school principal doesn’t want you to vote for Propositions 73 through 78 or school vouchers for inner city families, however she does want more of your money.
The LAUSD is as competent as my cousin. The only LAUSD program I would endorse is disbandment. The unions are too strong and too dangerous for our children. If LAUSD was dissolved tomorrow, competent educators would find better jobs at better schools, leaving dangerous and incompetent teachers to find careers far from where they can influence our children.
As a retired Los Angeles police officer, parent, and neighborhood council board member:
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 6:53 AM
Saturday, October 29, 2005
For those who have scoffed at my assertion that liberals are a step away from fascism, this week’s video of a lone Republican woman standing in a crowd of union activists provides some insight into the Democratic Party’s true feelings of tolerance, love, and compassion for others.
As someone who has officially responded to many civil disturbances, this video is characteristic of liberal demonstrations. As you watch the faces and hostility of these democrats, ask yourself why compassionate people like Barbara Boxer and Hillary Clinton turn a blind eye? Ask yourself what might’ve happened if this had occurred away from cameras and a police presence. It’s only part of the reason I abandoned democrats and joined the LAPD. These are the same people who whine about racism, brutality, and intolerance.
I commend Jeffers Dodge and PopUpUSA for the video – and Genevieve Peters for her courage.
California Conservative and Michelle Malkin have also weighed in.
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 10:52 AM
Friday, October 28, 2005
Now that you’ve been indicted, I’m pleased to have an opportunity to remind Americans about why truthfulness matters.
Ever since Bill Clinton and his enablers infested the White House, lying has become as virulent and acceptable as herpes. The aftermath of their blight was so infectious that some compulsive liars have won international awards and gained wide acceptance because of their disease. Lying is no longer viewed as a behavioral abnormality but as a sport to be played, like golf. And because US Senate Democrats were so accepting of Bill Clinton’s admitted pathology, how can they question or judge UN diplomats who profit from the same behavior today?
If you are not guilty, I wish you well and hope that you recover from your experience to enjoy a long and peaceful retirement. I know the pain of being falsely accused and convicted and you have my sympathies and support. Public servants like us deserve nothing less than peace after decades of service.
But if these indictments are true, I have no sympathy for you. You’re a smart guy; a magna cum laude Yale Law School grad with a distinguished career. It’s hard to imagine that you would unnecessarily soil yourself over someone as sordid as Joe Wilson. Breathtakingly dumb, if true.
If the evidence is accurate and you are convicted, I pray that no one pardons your conviction the way Democrats excused their president, or the way Clinton pardoned his drug dealing and money laundering library supporters. You’re not a Democrat, Scooter, you’re a Republican. We expect much more from each other.
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 10:39 PM
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Although I took a wait-and-see position on the Harriet Miers nomination, I’m thrilled that she has removed herself from consideration. And while THE LEFT wants us to think that the right wing "took her down" or somehow hurt the President’s credibility, I’ve never felt more empowered as a liberal or conservative.
I urge President Bush to nominate Janice Rogers Brown or someone with her credentials: I dare Democrats to filibuster and pray that Republicans nuke those who stand in our way. We’ve wasted too much time playing nice with the party of slaveholders. More blogger comments on Miers are posted at California Conservative.
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 9:52 AM
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
If you can imagine spending a whole weekend watching great movies with hundreds of your dearest friends, you’ll get an idea of what the Liberty Film Festival is all about. When I attended their first event last year I was so relieved to meet other ex-liberals that I cleared my calendar for every upcoming festival for years to come.
This year I joined Jason Apuzzo, Govindini Murty and their crew as the festival’s security chief and videographer. As someone who spent more than half of my life defending other peoples’ rights (while risking my own), it’s wonderful to be surrounded by people who aren’t offended by coherence, rational thought, patriotism, or other conservative values.
Although this year’s Festival has ended, you can review many of this year’s top contenders at Liberty’s web site. My favorites:
- Broken Promises: The United Nations at 60 (65 min. 2005) provides a disturbing look at how UN incompetence and collaboration facilitates genocide, rape, and corruption throughout the world. Unless you’re a third-world dictator or French diplomat, you’ll wonder why the US hasn’t yet expelled the lot as persona non grata. Directed by Kevin Knoblock, produced by David N. Bossie and Ron Silver.
- Emancipation, Revelation, Revolution (92 min. 2005) explains how the Democratic Party conspired against freed slaves by creating and using the KKK to legislate and enforce segregation, racism, and murder from 1865 through 1964 – and how they use Judas horses like Sharpton, Jackson, and Farrakhan to enslave blacks today. This indictment is long overdue. See a trailer of the film here. Directed by Nina May, produced by Nina May and Tricia Erickson.
- Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West (70 min. 2005) You don’t need Islam’s detractors to explain the threat we face – listen to the clerics and their followers and decide for yourself. Particularly disgusting is a segment where Jews are portrayed killing children for blood to make their matzo tastier during the holy season. That Al Jazeera would play these depictions to millions of Muslims throughout the Middle East at the height of Ramadan is reminiscent of Hitler’s fascism and propaganda – a connection which this movie also documents. Directed by Wayne Kopping and produced by Peter Mier and Raphael Shore. Read also Michelle Malkin’s review.
- KC Wayland’s 365 Boots on the Ground (58 min) offers America a close up view of life from inside Iraq’s Green Zone. Although Kc’s not a grunt (infantry), he delivers in less than an hour what the mainstream media hasn’t described in several years. Direct and poignant, Kc reminds us what today’s patriots are made of. Parental Advisory: some profanity. Directed by Kc Wayland, Produced by Kc Wayland and Tucker Tillman.
- Dead Meat (25 min) examines Canada’s socialized health care system. Canadians seem happy with the services, unless they become ill with something that can’t wait several years to fix. Dead Meat also highlights the advantages of Canada’s privatized health care for pets. While pet owners may wait months for an MRI, their pets can get one within a few hours. This is an excellent primer on the failures of socialized medicine.
- Brainwashing 201 (30 min) takes viewers to college campuses across the US where Evan Maloney exposes academic and anti-American bias, blatant propaganda, and turns campus administrators into sputtering goofballs. As funny as it is, this romp isn’t as humorous to parents (like me) whose kids are still in college.
- Stop Bitching, Start a Revolution (7 min) offers a humorous glimpse at liberal protesters.
After rousing speeches by Ted Hayes and Larry Elder, Mason Weaver remarked that slaves have always been as hostile as slave owners are toward freed slaves – just as the slave-handlers of the Democratic Party are today. It takes courage to abandon the Democratic Party’s history of lynching, cross-burning, and terrorism: but as Shelby Steele remarked, more blacks are saying I’ll pay the price: Call me an Uncle Tom, but I’m going to make my own life – I’m going to live as an individual.
The weekend showed that while Americans still have much to do, there is as much to be hopeful for.
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 4:58 PM
Thursday, October 20, 2005
After cross-posting my take on the Catholic Church pedophile scandal and the LA Archdiocese, I got a pretty good argument from Mark. I made some minor spelling corrections for clarity and hope our ongoing conversation will help others better understand our arguments. I thank Mark for his challenging response. You'll find Mark’s unedited comments (and others) here. CB
Mark: Oy, where to start... really, you should stick to the politics.
Ex-Liberal: I thought I was…
Mark: You sound intelligent, well-informed, and like someone worth reading. Nice links to New Advent. Great site for explaining all things Catholic. Not total explanations, but good info. It's a shame the one on confession doesn't use the term "sacramental confession". You might have picked up then that Mahony's confession wasn't sacramental, but secular, p.r.-related even, and so it doesn't have to hit all, or even any, of the requirements that a sacramental confession does.
Ex-Liberal: Child rape is not a Catholic thing and, at the very least, I think that after 75 years the world’s billion or so Catholics deserve something more than PR.
Mark: As for what he has said to his own confessor, well, that's between the two of them and God.
Ex-Liberal: Having spent more than half of my life in public service, I’ve found that organizations that conspire to aid and abet the serial rape of thousands of children while defrauding their parents under the guise of salvation requires something more than a quiet conversation with other pedophiles or accessories – you know, something more terrestrial: Otherwise there would be no use for our planet’s criminal justice systems. Organizations have a compelling reason to remove cops and teachers who are caught doing these kinds of things just as societies have compelling reasons to sack organizations that prey on them. Bad cops and teachers must find other professions. Shuffling parishes is not a coherent response for priests who rape children. Why can’t we hold responsible those who hold themselves as the direct conduit to salvation? After all, these guys aren’t roofers.
Mark: Since you're about as worthless a scum as Mahony to God's eyes, it's kinda useless pointing out the Cardinal's faults, endless as they are.
Ex-Liberal: Well, the Catholic Church describes grave sins as those who are committed willfully, deliberately, and repeatedly. Yes, I’m a sinner but your allusion to casting the first stone is not a legitimate defense for repeatedly reassigning pedophiles to unknowing and trusting congregations of parents and children. The Bible makes those distinctions in both the Old and New Testaments. I’m a sinner, but I don’t manage an organization that preys on my own clients. I haven’t conducted 75 years of conspiracy to rape children, nor have I defrauded parishioners to pay off the children who complain about it.
Mark: The 75 years of molestation and rape don't belong to the archdiocese or the Church (and really, couldn't you go back about 2000 years?) any more than the holocaust is the sin of country of Germany or the crucifixion of Christ is Judism's fault (and precious few actual Jews (and Romans), all of whom have been dead only slightly less than the risen Christ has been alive).
Ex-Liberal: Really? Then if the Roman Catholic Church was not at fault in these serial crimes, do we blame the children, their parents, or who? I made it clear that I accepted that molesters exist throughout the world in every known occupation. The distinction lies with the organized practice of molestation, the facilitation of it, and the deliberate and premeditated practice of it. They were at least as accidental as Hitler was of killing Jews. And this is not a Judeo-Christian issue – it’s a global one that goes beyond the microcosm of Christianity.
Mark: "The Church's pathology..." What, did I miss some teaching somewhere in the catechism that priests where suppose to molest children, as well as the sudden revelation that priests no longer could molest them? The pedophilia and molestation was obviously against all doctrine, teaching, revelation, etc of the Church. How various dioceses and bishops handled these priests was horrific, but unfortunately also medical thinking when most of the bishops went through any kind of training or set up training/policies for their peers. Like any hierarchy, change is a bitch for a diocese without an incredible presence at its head. Heck, it's a bitch even then. And unfortunately most bishops (and priests, and parishioners, and anyone else) aren't that incredible.
Ex-Liberal: Again, I’m not upset that a molester or two got into the Church. I’m upset that a no-brainer series of crimes against nature would be the Church’s most challenging conundrum. You don’t need a degree in theology to know that keeping known rapists around children is bad. You don’t need an MBA to understand how employees who use your business to victimize your client-base don’t really belong in your organization. And if barbers and circuses can figure this one out, why can’t the learned management of Christianity figure it out? If raping children isn’t enough to get oneself expelled from a Catholic parish, what does?
Mark: So now, for you, the solution is too much for the courts? You want to sic mobs on priests, Mahony, and churches?
Ex-Liberal: No, I said that no-brainers like this deserve the patience of angry mobs (not a lot). How much deliberation does one need to accept that the deliberate, calculated, and prolonged serial rape of children should not be tolerated? Heck, John Gotti didn’t do as much harm to people and yet he went to prison for life. As a result, his criminal organization was sacked. Why do we hold the Catholic Church to a lesser standard? And if your argument is that the Church did a lot of good, I could argue that on a smaller scale, Gotti probably donated to good causes and even confessed his sins to a priest on occasion. Comparative scales should not establish merit or the value of crime any more than we should celebrate the virtue of a serial rapist who committed 50 rapes over someone else who committed 52. The crime is the same, regardless of the comparisons. Let’s not split hairs over how much a rapist donated to the poor or whether one rapist preferred eight-year-old boys over eleven-year-old girls. I’d rather not engage in these kinds of arguments.
Mark: You want to conduct medical experiments on them? And for someone who pissed and moaned at Mahony's euphemisms, "medical experiments" is pretty cowardly when you want to say that you want Mahony and the pedophiles tortured to the point of death, and then healed enough to be tortured again.
Ex-Liberal: Many convicts volunteer themselves for medical experiments today. I’m not talking about administration of punishment, but of what is deserved – unless you think that the Church’s decision to allow known pedophiles to continually rape children doesn’t merit life sentences at hard labor. My discussion isn’t about the vast array of torture. That’s also another topic.
Mark: You don't want the diocese to pay off the victims with a certain amount of money, so you want to strip the Church of all assests, which I'm guessing have a certain value, and do what with them?
Ex-Liberal: There are MANY charitable organizations throughout the world that have a record of safely delivering aid and support to the planet’s needy. Those monies would serve the planet much better than spreading it around the lawyers who are enriching themselves with parishioner funds as they further victimize their prey. I think the Catholic Church has proven itself as capable as the UN – another organization that has outlived its usefulness. (Please hold your UN arguments for another day – you get what I’m saying.)
Mark: Give them to the victims...I would call that paying them off. You just change them from street corner whores to high priced call girls.
Ex-Liberal: And call boys - which is what the Church has been doing for 75 years – something the Church would probably describe as “the cost of doing business.”
Mark: Or maybe you want to keep the cash? No, that's just stupid.
Ex-Liberal: We finally agree. Yes, there are others more qualified than I.
Mark: Heal the sick, clothe the naked, feed the hungry? Then what? That's the same whine people have had Lawrence got himself barbequed by Nero, I think it was, during one of the early Roman persecutions, anyway.
Ex-Liberal: Maybe the excess funds can be transferred to the Christian Children’s Fund or the Peace Corps. Both have high standards and proven track records without the organized and sustained rape of children. It might not be the answer, but it’s a start.
Mark: "My remarks should not shock or challenge those who did not participate in these crimes against humanity." Well, since you attack the Church more than any person, why shouldn't I be shocked or challenged. Point that finger of yours at the ones who committed the crimes. Keep it at me, or worse, my Mother, and I'll bite it off.
Ex-Liberal: I’m upset with the entire management of the organization. Their flock is not to blame. But if the Catholic Church liquidated their assets tomorrow, what difference would those assets have on the confidence, love, and faith in their God? What difference would it make to a God-fearing priest who ministers to his flock? I met Mother Teresa many times (I even sat next to Cardinal Mahony at dinner once). Mother Teresa’s relationship with God didn’t depend on the riches held by the Catholic Church. To the devout, assets are irrelevant – unless they’re used to perpetuate crimes or are directed against those already victimized. And I’m not calling for the strong-armed ransacking of the Catholic Church the way the Federal Government grabbed the assets of Enron, WorldCom, or even an invasion of the Vatican. What I’m saying is that the right thing to do is for the Catholic Church to stop resisting the investigations, admit all of their acts against humanity, and surrender all assets that can be directed against their victims. It’s something that good Christians should do themselves – regardless of what’s deserved.
Mark: "For priests who accept celibacy and poverty, assets are as irrelevant..." Not all priests make vows to poverty, which kinda nullifies whatever you have to say about their assets. Did they break their vow of celibacy? Technically I guess. The same way rapists technically have sexual intercourse. But I'm thinking that this goes wa-a-a-a-y beyond celibacy. If priests were sleeping around with adults, would you be blogging about it?
Ex-Liberal: If priests were sleeping around consenting adults, I’d write about something else. That many engage in heterosexual or homosexual sex is likely as well. It’s that niggling thing we call consent that makes the difference. Child rape is unlawful in most countries because we assume that children are not capable of providing knowledgeable consent. Fraud, abetting and conspiracy are also serious crimes. The Church goes further by calling child rape a “crime against nature” – right up there with genocide.
Mark: "It represents nothing more than a start-over that allows the truly faithful to continue in their ministry unfettered and pure..." I'm sorry, but when did you assume the throne of judgment? Who are you to say this one faithful and pure, that one is evil?
Ex-Liberal: I’m only a parent and a public servant, but I don’t need much more of an education to understand what monsters are. Again, I’m not as upset with the molesters as I am a Church Administration that placed known rapists with vulnerable children. God will judge the rapists, but to protect God-given and inalienable rights, society must guard against corrupt organizations. A church doesn’t die and it does not face a Creator for judgment. Society has a legitimate reason to monitor, question, and tear down criminal organizations through their criminal justice systems. And anytime criminal organizations control huge assets, politicians can be bought off as easily as UN diplomats. Gotti’s mistake was that he finally provoked a prosecutor who couldn’t be bought off.
Mark: Oh, and for the 'costumes,' do a little research. The basic outfit comes from working man clothes (i.e. the poor!) during an earlier period of the Church, or from Judism (our older brothers in faith), or from pretty heavy symbology and spiritualism. [And before you bring it up, no, not paganism.
Ex-Liberal: Oh puleeze… My point was that pedophiles can dress in anything. Vestments that are worn by pedophiles are no longer vestments – they’re costumes.
Mark: From the bible, like being a soldier of Christ girding oneself for battle against Satan: "No pass can be assigned for those who exploit the poor, or who defraud the workingman of his wages." Senator Boxer, is that you?
Ex-Liberal: Have you exhausted weak arguments?
Mark: Jesus ransacked the Temple? I learned he cleansed it, but ransacked?
Ex-Liberal: Contemporary Christians call it cleansing. I suspect that the Rabbis who lorded over the Temple Jesus trashed called it something else. Kinda like whether LA endured a riot or insurrection in 1992. Regardless, you're splitting hairs.
Mark: I don't know, ransack has a lot of connotations I wouldn't associate with the Son of God. "The Church’s assets cannot be legitimately protected, for they are the coveted wages of their mostly poor and middle class congregations..." wow, are you channeling Jack Chick? Ya think most of the congregations are poor and middle class 'cause most people are poor and middle class? You ever seen stats on how much Catholics give? It's usually about 3% of their net income, and it's only that high because of the high-rollers writing 3 and 4 digit checks each week.
Ex-Liberal: Yes, serious absolution comes with a serious price.
Mark: "Coveted wages," heh, that's funny. "faithful members who hoped their goodness..." back on that throne, huh? Well, I guess I shouldn't complain. Usually Catholics are portrayed as superstitious oafs who couldn't form a coherent thought unless the anti-Christ pope and his evil minion-priests put it there.
Ex-Liberal: I’m either very slow or you’re starting to ramble.
Mark: "Like any other criminal enterprise, the Church is not fit to control assets that can be directed to further exploit and silence existing and future victims." Criminal enterprise? The Church? I'm sorry, how do you figure? Because of the pedophiles? The jack asses above them who thought they could be treated and then put back in the ministry? That hardly makes the Church a criminal enterprise. I don't know of any negligence rising above the diocesan level, or any criminal activity above the parish level. Then take it out to a world-wide organization, encompassing 1 billion people, and that accusation sounds ludicrous. Tone down the hyperbole. It isn't helping your case.
Ex-Liberal: So Ken Lay wasn’t really supposed to know what his CFOs were doing? Ken’s minions only did it for a few years – the Catholic Church did it for at least 75 years against at least thousands of children.
Mark: "This cleansing is long overdue." The cleansing will come when the Father is good and ready. Yes, He'll break out a whip on the Church, or more accurately, on visible members of the Church. But He'll do that to everyone. The Church itself was, is, and forever will Holy. That's one of the four signs of the Church (One, Catholic (universal), Apostolic are the others). It's the members of the Church that suck. If you want to trash Mahony, go ahead. He sucks as a bishop and I wouldn't make any bets on him as far as being a good Christian. The only decent thing I can think of concerning his episcopacy is he is proof that the Catholic Church is indeed guided by the Holy Spirit. Hear me out.
Ex-Liberal: I am…
Mark: As bad as Mahony is, the Church has had lots worse as popes, bishops, priests, deacons, religious, and laymen. If Mahony and that group can't destroy the Church, then it has to be protected by God. There is no other explanation. No other institution could have survived 2000 years with as lousy a group of people running unless it had divine intervention.
Ex-Liberal: Again, you confuse the Church with its assets. Heck, if they came clean, liquidated their assets and started anew I might also join them to help rebuild what their cancerous management has necrotized. Maybe our voices will become a small part of that renewal and rebirth. I’ll pray on it. Again, thank you for a good argument!***
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 8:19 PM
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Bless me Father, for my client has sinned…
I generally avoid the subject of religion and Christianity, but expressing my frustration with the Catholic Church in secular terms is like trying to scream without using my lungs.
Last week, LA’s Cardinal Mahony publicly confessed to the archdiocese’s 75 years of child molestation and rape of their littlest and most vulnerable flock. His confession lacked the contrition that God demands, for he not only described the crimes in euphemisms, but he had a lawyer do it for him. In this way, Mahony rendered his confession meaningless.
The spectrum of the Church’s calculated pathology is so broad that it demands both the careful dissection by the world’s most dedicated scientists, and the patient reflection of angry mobs. No courtroom can competently render a just verdict, for anything lower than life-sentences to hard labor or medical experimentation doesn’t approach what is deserved in both human and spiritual terms. Anything less than the assignment of an ombudsman to direct the liquidation of Church assets is akin to brokering a deal to fix the going rate for the serial rape and the extinguished childhood of nine-year-olds. What price do we affix to rape - $100K per incident, $500K? What value do we place on a torn rectum or the suicide of someone who failed to turn the other cheek? Such determinations cannot be made without paying off these victims for services rendered like Judas, a call girl, or some clever street performer.
After all, we’re not talking about a business dispute. That the Catholic Church expects to pay off exploited children with their own parents’ offerings requires parents to accept their role as co-conspirators or accessories. NAMBLA has never devised a scheme as cynical.
My remarks should not shock or challenge those who did not participate in these crimes against humanity. Some pedophiles use clown suits to cultivate victims while others use vestments. For priests who accept celibacy and poverty, assets are as irrelevant as they were to Christ’s disciples – the liquidation of assets as simple as a promise to God. It represents nothing more than a start-over that allows the truly faithful to continue in their ministry unfettered and pure, leaving the rest to find other costumes to wear. I can’t think of anyone more suited to demonstrate the consequences of their pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, laziness, sodomy, or homosexuality. No pass can be assigned for those who exploit the poor, or who defraud the workingman of his wages. Ransacking the Catholic Church as Jesus did the temple affords true Christians a way to save themselves and their church. It will also ensure that the lawyers and the Church hierarchy won’t continue to profit from their ill-gotten gains.
When Humanity brokers mortal sin, we all become accessories. The Church’s assets cannot be legitimately protected, for they are the coveted wages of their mostly poor and middle class congregations; faithful members who hoped their goodness would translate into something other than the violent exploitation of their own children. Like any other criminal enterprise, the Church is not fit to control assets that can be directed to further exploit and silence existing and future victims. This cleansing is long overdue.
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 4:25 PM
Monday, October 17, 2005
After watching Sunday’s Meet the Press interview of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a friend shared his dismay over Condi’s NO answer to questions about the 2008 presidential race. Having devoted most of my life to public service, I get a different sense from her response.
While populists seek popularity, public servants like Secretary Rice are driven by something larger than themselves; something that stirs ordinary people to achieve the extraordinary. Although Sinead O’Connor, Louis Farrakhan and the Clintons are still celebrated, John Adams, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan risked approval to secure independence, outlaw slavery, and end the Cold War. Patriots have better things to do than to obsess about whether people like them or not.
And like those presidents, Condi Rice is too engaged in winning a war to contemplate the presidency or to distract Americans from our present conflict. Patriotism and greatness are not inspired by vanity. So when Tim Russert asks questions as inane as boxers or briefs, no one should be surprised when Condi parries.
Much will happen between now and 2008. And while the media, Hillary, and the Breck Girl play dress-up, I’m happy to watch Condi’s superlative performance, courage, and intellect run circles around her critics. Our next presidential race will come soon enough.
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 2:04 PM
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
When I see stories like last Saturday’s arrest on Bourbon Street, I think of America’s first police brutality scandal.
It began on the snowy Boston night of March 5, 1770, when two boys threw snowballs at two British soldiers who were posted at a customhouse. Several adults joined in and as the minutes passed, the growing crowd began throwing larger chunks of snow, ice, oyster shells, and anything else they could get their hands on. The soldiers stayed at their post, even as the mob swelled with rougher dock workers and sailors.
Six more soldiers soon joined the guards’ defense as the chanting mob grew larger and louder. Several rioters shouted, “Kill them, kill them!” and one soldier was knocked down and clubbed when he tried to stand. Fearing for their lives, the soldiers stopped the riot by opening fire. When the smoke cleared, five colonists lay dead.
Americans already upset by King George’s Stamp Tax were outraged by what Paul Revere called the Boston Massacre. The press called it “Bloody Butchery” and local attorneys refused to take the case. But when passions had cooled and the hot summer had passed, prosecutors sent the soldiers and their captain to trial. Attorney John Adams represented the defense.
Seven months after the soldiers killed five Americans, a Boston jury acquitted all of the defendants except two, who they convicted on lesser manslaughter charges. The soldiers were spared not because the shootings hadn’t occurred, but because they had followed the flawed policies of King George.
“Facts Are Stubborn Things”
This was not only John Adams’ primary defense, but also that of the Rodney King defendants. From the onset of that trial, the question was not whether King was beaten, but whether LAPD officers had followed the brutal policies of Mayor Bradley’s handpicked Police Commission. As I attended that trial, I thought of Nuremberg and how pleased the Nazis would have been had their attorneys lead a commission to investigate the deaths of six million Jews and other undesirables. That Bradley selected his own attorney to investigate the consequence of his flawed policies is something that Kenneth Lay can only dream about.
It wasn’t that LA City politicians didn’t know. Brutality was rampant among LA cops back then. Sergeant Ken Dionne, who headed LAPD’s Physical Training Unit, had warned Bradley’s Police Commission in 1983 that policy changes would result in excessive force, unnecessary brutality, and death. When they refused to rescind their decision, Dionne left the Academy in protest along with most of his staff. And from 1983 through 1991, thousands of LA residents were unnecessarily beaten and shot at the hands of LAPD officers. Politicians, judges, prosecutors, the press, and trial lawyers all knew but did nothing.
As LA’s annual lawsuit liability approached $150 million, trial lawyers got rich and laundered kickbacks through their associations to local politicians - including the city attorney (and later mayor), who blamed “out-of-control cops” for the brutality. And as they marginalized the police, the corrupt forces that the LAPD had kept at bay for fifty years grew stronger until it became, in the words of one recently retired deputy chief, the political arm of the Mayor’s Office – just as it was during the 1930s at the height of Mayor Frank Shaw’s reign.
NOPD - 2005
Now we have New Orleans. No, the arrest wasn’t pretty. Yes, the news photographer was yelled at. But like most agencies, the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) doesn’t publish their policies online. As a use-of-force expert, I can’t make opinions without the facts, but from the media reports I can tell you this:
- If the AP photographers hadn’t been there that night, the judges, prosecutors, jailers, politicians and medical staff who saw Davis’ bruised and swollen face wouldn’t have asked a single question.
- Had Mr. Davis followed the officer’s directions, he wouldn’t have been injured.
- Had a female officer shot Mr. Davis no one would’ve cared.
- Had Davis been white, his arrest wouldn’t have made the news.
Other than fame and a modest check, Mr. Davis’ life probably won’t change much. But for the officers who kept Bourbon Street safe last Saturday, their lives are forever altered. And unlike the doctors, lawyers, politicians, and sports figures who get repeated chances to learn from their mistakes, Americans have already rendered their own career-ending verdicts.
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 1:20 PM
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Having read a lifetime of articles from the Los Angeles Times, I’ve learned not to expect veracity with my morning coffee. Except for Michael Ramirez and the Obituaries, the content often reads like dispatches from Baghdad Bob.
One such article this week comes from financial reporter Michael Hiltzik and what he calls State Senator Sheila Kuehl’s (D-Santa Monica) Radical Healthcare Solution. But beyond the title, there’s nothing radical about Kuehl’s scheme to increase taxes for America’s businesses and employees to subsidize the healthcare of non-working Americans. Predictably, Hiltzik blames business leaders’ “economic self-interest” for our healthcare crisis while ignoring the multi-billion dollar malpractice shakedown by trial lawyers – the financial engine of the Democratic Party.
Hiltzik’s “greedy employer” rationale doesn’t hold water, for America’s success comes not from lawyers but from entrepreneurs and employees who provide goods and services. As malpractice claims rise, insurers pass costs on to employers who hire the people needed to make their businesses successful. Entrepreneurs are leaving California today not because owners are greedy, but to avoid the high insurance costs and taxes that strangle them. And like the teacher unions she serves, Senator Kuehl hopes Californians are willing to throw more money at problems she refuses to fix.
The Real Problem
The American Medical Association provides comprehensive information on the punitive costs of medical malpractice insurance. As much as lawsuits cost Americans, most people disabled by actual malpractice are not compensated while 80 percent of all complaints are made against doctors who made no errors whatsoever. As a result, almost three-quarters of all premiums go to administrative costs. And while a tiny fraction of doctors and hospitals have failed to provide adequate care, the 1.5 percent of legitimate claims doesn’t justify the billions of dollars spent on the costs of insurance or defensive medicine.
Here’s how malpractice works in California today: Patient Smith visits Doctor Jones to treat a hangnail. For some reason, Smith complains. She calls "Louie the lawyer" who offers to settle the complaint in much the same way a street hustler promises the store owner protection from vandalism after midnight. To meet Louie’s demands, Jones’ insurer pays $30,000 or more in healthcare premiums to settle the case. Louie takes his piece and invests our squandered premiums to reelect democrats who won’t write laws to end this extortion.
If Dr. Jones refuses to settle and evidence at the trial clears him of malpractice, the following can be a critical part of Louie’s closing argument:
Ladies and gentlemen, we all know that my client’s hangnail isn’t worth a million dollars. She’s made a dozen false claims in the past and she’s not a nice person. But this case is about bad doctors and not me or my client. I ask you to render a verdict for my client – to send a message to this doctor and others that reckless treatment will not be tolerated by you or anyone else…
To a panel of “OJ jurors” this can be a compelling argument. If the jury awards a dollar, the plaintiff’s attorney can force the insurer to pay for his legal costs – fees that can be much more than the verdict itself. And that’s if Dr. Jones loses. To win, Dr. Jones and his insurer will waste an average of $90,000 on other lawyers.
If lawmakers are serious about affordable healthcare, they must legislate an end to this criminal enterprise. Affordable healthcare begins where hot coffee lawsuits end.
A Radical Healthcare Solution
If the LA Times is really interested in radical ideas I offer this: Give individuals the option to waive their right to sue.
We can’t do it now, for Californians are assumed to be too incompetent to make this kind of decision. But if passengers can buy travel insurance before boarding commercial jets, why can’t patients buy riders to cover malpractice? In this way, individuals can decide whether to include trial lawyers in their healthcare policy or not. Like any private company, market forces would drive patients to other facilities. And like LA restaurants, an A-through-F grade can be assigned to failing hospitals and doctors.
It’s no secret that today’s medical practitioners are influenced by the threat of lawsuits. To avoid liability, doctors often subject patients to unnecessary testing and treatments at the expense of time and their patients’ best interests. For individual subscribers who waive their right to sue, physicians could focus on their patients – not attorneys. And if 10,000 subscribers joined a medical group that provided care without medical liability concerns, the group could invest in things like new offices, better care, equipment, training, improved staffing of nurses and doctors, and competitive costs. There’s nothing like profitability to reverse the closure of hospitals and clinics.
This idea isn’t for everyone. Some unethical lawyers would have to get real jobs and democrats would have to rely more on the Chinese and other foreigners to fund their campaigns. Patients who want lawyers in their medical plans can always include them.
So there you have it – two radical ideas that will make healthcare better and cheaper for all Americans. Like Hiltzik writes, perfection is elusive in medicine. As long as trial lawyers profit from that impossible standard, Californians will continue to suffer. Now that’s something Hiltzik can write about!
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 1:37 PM
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
WMSCI 2005 might be perceived as a research corpus callosum, trying to bridge analytically with synthetically oriented efforts, convergent with divergent thinkers and focused specialists with non-focused or multi-focused generalists…
Earlier this year, graduate students at MIT’s PDOS research group attended the 9th World Multi-Conference of Systemics, Cybernetics, and Informatics. Although their research paper Rooter: A Methodology for the Typical Unification of Access Points and Redundancy was accepted, the submission wasn’t as important as its lack of content; for the paper was nothing more than a randomly generated set of incomprehensible words organized to sound like something coherent and meaningful. The students’ intent was to challenge organizations that they suspect have low submission standards for academic content.
Speaking of low submission standards, The Chronicle of Higher Education published an essay this week by Alan Wolfe, a political science professor at Boston College. In his essay titled “The Authoritarian Personality” Revisited, Wolfe struggles to reconnect the mangled extremities of communism, Theodor Adorno and the Frankfurt School into a sort of political Frankenstein to accuse republicans and conservatives of being protofascists.
For those who aren’t familiar with Adorno or his gibberish, a Google search will convince the curious that Rooter’s randomly generated words make much more sense.
For example, one of Adorno’s “critical thoughts” was that the purpose of modern music was to make listeners go crazy:
...It is not that schizophrenia is directly expressed therein; but the music imprints upon itself an attitude similar to that of the mentally ill. The individual brings about his own disintegration... He imagines the fulfillment of the promise through magic, but nonetheless with the realm of immediate actuality... Its concern is to dominate schizophrenic traits through the aesthetic consciousness. In so doing, it would hope to vindicate insanity as true health.Further exploration of Adorno is pointless, for his study was debunked by the scientific community by 1954.
But rather than citing the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, or our founding fathers, Professor Wolfe relies on Theodor Adorno’s bizarre opus to attack the detractors of Earl Warren and the UN – and individuals like Pat Robertson, Ambassador John Bolton, and Americans who support them as protofascists.
Wolfe tells us that fascism doesn’t exist on the left because, as Republicans move toward the right, Democrats have shifted toward the center. And while I accept that those who live on the careering train of left-wing academia might feel like everything else is center or far right, only those suffering from political vertigo would call voters who continually reelect Ted Kennedy centrist. And unlike Ted Kennedy or Bill Clinton, I can’t think of one republican who has killed or sexually assaulted anyone – or who demonstrates the facility of Soviet-style veracity AND remained in office. The US Senators who lockstepped to nullify Bill Clinton’s felony demonstrated something more akin to the Politburo than mainstream America.
I suggest that the next time Professor Wolfe attempts to attack conservatives that he visits the PDOS research group to support his next thesis. This would save him the time of piecing together fake studies that were shredded by real scientists long since gone.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Jack Shafer’s patient explanation about New York Times writer Judith Miller reminded me of my first game of Three Card Monte: The more I watched the more confused I got. But after an hour of names, dates, and charts, this is what seems to have happened:
1. New York Times exchanged info with the White House.
2. New York Times printed the info.
3. Someone complained.
4. New York Times demanded prosecution.
5. New York Times resisted prosecutors & demanded waivers.
6. New York Times resisted prosecutors and ignored waivers.
7. Judy went to jail.
8. Judy got tired of jail and accepted waivers.
It must be awful for left-wing journalists when they're treated like ordinary people. I’m not saying that she deserved jail, but her anxiety somehow reminded me of OJ’s frustration with the LAPD’s failure to find his wife’s killer.
I only hope they find the justice they seek.
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 6:09 PM
Saturday, October 01, 2005
I spent the last few days on a breaking story about 25-to-Life, a new game that lets kids choose between killing cops or slaughtering blacks and Latinos. It’s graphic, mind-numbing, and important for Americans to understand how games like these affect society.
Most of the 10,000 violent crimes that occur each day in America are committed by kids, against kids – and California Conservative has allowed me to connect the dots between children, violent games, and violent crime. Read about this important issue here.
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 5:09 PM