“The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” Plato

  • Daily Quote:

    "Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit."

    Mahatma Gandh

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 91 other followers

  • Subscribe

  • Advertisements

Posts Tagged ‘Ferguson’

Charleston SC Shows Courage and Grace in the Face of Adversity

Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 22, 2015

van jonesIt is difficult to contemplate even the smallest sign of something positive coming from last week’s tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina when a despicable human being, a racist, entered a church and killed nine innocents of African-American descent because of the color of their skin.  Yet there are some green shoots rising from the carnage, as expressed by Anthony Van Jones who said when interviewed by CNN’s Jake Tapper:

“The white community here is as heartbroken as the black community is here.  If they can come together here, if they can reach out to each other here, they can show justice and love and support here, then why can’t we do that in Washington, D.C., and across the country where, frankly, the reasons for the divisions are harder to understand.  Here you can understand division.  There’s none.  There’s none.  So something is happening here in Charleston, and I’m proud that we’re showing it.

You have an ideology of hatred and an ideology of love.  An ideology of blame that is about racial hatred — we have to say that.  But we also have ideology right here behind us of racial reconciliation.  You can’t appreciate the beauty of what you have behind you right now until you really name the hatred and the evil that happened just right behind us a few days ago.  It’s the ability to talk about both that gives us the ability to find meaning and to move forward truly together.

Those leaders in the country, both parties of all races who don’t want to deal with both — the fact of the racial hatred, but also the potential for racial reconciliation — I think are letting the country down.  But people on the street — white people on the street here — are showing more courage and more leadership and more honesty than I’ve seen in the halls of Washington, D.C., and they need to be given respect for that and hopefully we can take this spirit forward.”

While this Blog rarely agrees with Van Jones who veers strongly to the Left, his eloquent words concerning the aftermath of the Charleston tragedy are eloquent and from his heart.  The Country’s leadership in Washington could say it no better.

Today, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from that state’s Capitol grounds.  This is an appropriate gesture for the victims of the racist attack in that state.  Gov. Haley is to be congratulated for taking this direct response which certainly will be appreciated by the African-American community and others in the state.

Why is it that the good people of Charleston of all colors have responded so gracefully to an unfathomable tragedy?  Why is their reaction so different from Ferguson, MO and Baltimore, MD to their challenges?  These questions are significant, but must be sidelined until the victims can be appropriately mourned.


Posted in Racism | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Discusses ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ Lie

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 25, 2015

Almost immediately after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri by police officer Darren Wilson, supposed witnesses came forward and reported that Brown was shot while trying to surrender with his hands up.  These reports created the narrative of “hands up, don’t shoot” that became the rallying cry for protesters of the Brown shooting.  This rallying cry was reported and repeated by news outlets throughout the country, civil rights leaders, and even politicians on the floor of Congress.  The problem is that the reports were built on a lie; the “hands up don’t shoot” never occurred.

congress_handsupdontshootThe “hands up don’t shoot” claim was found false in the recently released Justice Department report that concluded “Brown never surrendered with his hands up, and Wilson was justified in shooting Brown.”  It also concluded that the witnesses that reported “hands up, don’t shoot” were not reliable.

While many in the United States rush to judgment based on this narrative, even with the Justice Department’s unequivocal conclusion on the falseness of the claim, few in the news media or the politicians that promoted it apologized for their error or to Officer Darren Wilson who was discredited and lost his job.

There have been a few exceptions to the silence for those that erred concerning Ferguson.  Liberal Washington Post columnist, Jonathan Capehart, to his credit admitted last week that the “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative he too promoted was “built on a lie”.

While Mr. Capehart showed honor, others are unapologetic.  For instance, last Thursday on CNN Tonight hosted by Don Lemon, a debate was held on the “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative.  While some on the panel admitted the claim false, others doubled down on the false story with Monifa Bandele stating:

“‘Hands up’ is the ultimate truth, and the reason why hands up has gone viral across the country is because it’s a posture known to black people, whether they are in the halls of congress, whether they are in the NFL, or whether they live in the most marginalized communities — or whether they’re on the campuses of Yale University.  It’s a posture known to them.”

Ms. Bandele’s and others who prove to be unwilling to admit their grievous error in the Brown tragedy exemplify what is so wrong with America today.  Partisan positions and personal agendas trump absolute truths.  While this currently serves the “needs” of the radical Left since their narrative has significant control over societal directions, there will be a time when the pendulum shifts and their tactic of dishonesty will be used to promote a very different agenda.  Only then will the cry foul.

Often those who promote a position that differs with the Leftist agendas, such as the theory of man-made global warming, are attacked as flat earther’s or some other derogatory stab at their intellect.  If ignorance was the reason behind the Left’s false narrative on the Ferguson shooting it would be a disappointment.  Unfortunately there is something more sinister behind their use of the Ferguson tragedy to further their own personal agendas.


Posted in Racism, Radical Left | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Obama and Liberal Allies Were Wrong on Ferguson; Two Policemen Shot

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 12, 2015

Last year’s shooting in Ferguson, Missouri of African-American Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson lea to protests, some violent, in Ferguson and other cities.  The protests were based on the narrative that Brown was an innocent who was shot by Wilson because of his skin color.  This narrative was taken to an emotional height by the often repeated chant, “hands up, don’t shoot”, supposedly sad by Brown before he was shot.  The narrative and chant were completely false, as confirmed by Eric Holder’s Justice Department who recently refused to press Civil Rights charges against Wilson and confirmed that the supposed “hands up don’t shoot” appeal never occurred.  It further found Officer Wilson’s testimony to be credible.

Given the Justice Department’s findings on Ferguson it is reasonable to expect retractions and apologies from those politicians and the media that promoted the false narrative.  But reason is not a strong suit of radicals on the Left or Right.  In this case, the lack of reason runs all the way up to the President himself.

Earlier this week, Sean Hannity interviewed two African Americans concerning the Ferguson events, Civil Rights attorney Leo Terrell and columnist Deroy Murdock.  Murdock expressed concern about the manner in which President Obama and AG Holder politicized the tragedy.  Hannity went further criticizing the President for not only jumping to conclusions before having the facts, but also coming to the wrong conclusions concerning the Cambridge police/Professor Gates, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown matters, in all cases incorrectly concluding that racism was involved.

Terrell disagreed with Hannity and Murdock with an emotional outburst included in the video below that bordered on irrational.  Instead of debating the issues Terrell personally attacked Murdock in a condescending tone.  This is an often used tactic by the Left who instead of debating issues demonize opponents to sniffle intelligent debate.

As for the Justice Department, instead of admitting that Eric Holder initially wrongfully concluded that Brown was the victim of racism, changed the goal posts.  Holder, in announcing the DOJ’s findings that vindicated Wilson, justified those who lied about the incident based on Ferguson’s more general history of racism.  However, that does not explain why Holder and Obama initially agreed with the false narrative in a very public fashion.

Unlike Holder and Obama who remain silent relating to their errors, local politicos in Ferguson have not.  Since the DOJ’s damming report of general racism by some in the Ferguson police department, its chief has resigned.  But that has not mollified some.  Last night’s protests in Ferguson included the shooting of two police officers.  The lack of appropriate condemnation of the riots after the Brown shooting by Obama, Holder and others, as well as the promotion of the false narrative concerning the Brown shooting, created an atmosphere that ferments violence.  It will be hard to put this genie back in the bottle and the blame law squarely in the hands of Obama, Holder and others that have created divisions in the Country to further their own agendas.

Posted in President Obama, Racism | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Federal Justice Department Exonerates Officer Darren Wilson

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 25, 2015

Following the Michael Brown shooting by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri in August 2014, Officer Darren Wilson was judged guilty by many, even before facts were known. This narrative was created by many in the mainstream media and Civil Rights leaders. Tensions came to a head when a Grand Jury refused to bring charges against Wilson. That led to riots only in Ferguson, as well as protest, sometimes violent, in other cities.

Irrespective of the Grand Jury’s findings on the Brown shooting, the Obama Administration through Atty. Gen. Eric Holder had the Justice Department do an extensive investigation to determine if Wilson’s actions involved federal Civil Rights violations for victim Brown. Last week the New York Times reported that the Justice Department and FBI found no violations and that there will be no indictments against Darren Wilson

The Times reported that the Justice Department’s investigation was intense, including interviewing 200 people, analyzing cell phone audio and video data, Wilson’s gun, as well as other physical evidence analyzed at an FBI laboratory. In addition the Times reported: “The federal investigation did not uncover any facts that differed significantly from the evidence made public by the authorities in Missouri late last year, the law enforcement officials said.”

It would be reasonable to now expect comments from Atty. Gen. Eric Holder and others relating to their inappropriate jumping to conclusions on the Ferguson shooting. It would also be reasonable to expect apologies to Darren Wilson who was vilified to the point that he is no longer employable. However, the perpetrators of the false narrative have no shame. In fact, the Justice Department continues pursuing that narrative by indicating it will continue investigating the Ferguson Police Department, an obvious attempt to cover up the Fed’s inappropriate behavior in this matter.

The emotional and often violent reaction to the Grand Jury decision concerning Daren Wilson, and to some extent against police in general, was outrageous, but sadly expected. Many on the Left benefit politically and sometimes financially by stoking racial tensions.

The rule of law is a requirement for any successful democracy. More specifically, without it the weakest in society are most at risk. Those in the media, politicians, and community leaders who used the Michael Brown shooting to inflame racial tensions created a lynch mob mentality that not only setback race relations in the US, but also resulted in significant damage to property, mainly in minority communities.

After news that the Justice Department would not file charges against Darren Wilson, Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke courageously came out with a blistering attack of some responsible for creating and spreading the false narrative concerning the Ferguson shooting, as seen in the video clip below. His strong comments include:

“I don’t expect anything intelligent to come out of the mouth of Al Sharpton. We know he is a charlatan. Al Sharpton ought to go back into the gutter he came from. The police officer is owed a lot from him, Eric Holder and the President of the United States.”

Immediately following the Michael Brown shooting, and later the Grand Jury findings, the mainstream media gave nightly coverage to the false narrative that the Brown shooting was racially motivated and that he was an innocent victim. The lame coverage of the Justice Department’s confirmation of Darren Wilson’s innocence demonstrates a motivation dangerous to democracy.

Posted in Racism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Charles Barkley Speaks Out on Ferguson Grand Jury

Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 2, 2014

Charles Barkley is a Hall of Fame basketball star. He is also a television analyst and an African-American who is not afraid to speak his mind. During a recent radio interview, audio posted below, Sir Charles spoke out concerning the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, and the related happenings since. His comments include:

“…. no excuse for people to be out there burning down people’s businesses, burning down police cars.”

“…. it wasn’t for the cops we would be living in the Wild, Wild West in our neighborhoods.”

“Do you know how bad some of these neighborhoods would be if it wasn’t for the cops?”

Concerning the media’s failure to report on “good, hardworking black people,” but covers “negative black people.”

Charles Barkley is certainly a well-respected African-American. Unlike the Rev. Al Sharpton, Barkley was not invited to the White House this week to discuss race relations in America. The message that Barkley would share does not fit with Obama’s narrative on race in the Untied States and this President does not tolerate dissent. His approach has been detrimental to race relations in this country that have deteriorated during Obama’s presidency. That is perhaps the greatest tragedy of his failed presidency.

Posted in Racism | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Two African-Americans Debate Ferguson

Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 1, 2014

Often the narrative created by some on the Left and the mainstream media is that the debate on the Ferguson tragedy that began with the shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer is only a racial issue.  This narrative insinuates that white Americans view the events through one lens, with black Americans in other.  This is a false narrative.  There are many white Americans who believe that Michael Brown was racially profiled and conversely African-Americans who are more focused on crime and criminal behavior within their communities.

This past Sunday CNN held a conversation with two African-Americans on its “Reliable Sources” concerning Ferguson.  Presenting one side of the argument was left-leaning Elon James White of “This Week in Blackness.”  On the other was right-leaning Crystal Wright of Conservative Black Chick.  Irrespective of one’s position on Ferguson and race relations, the conversation between White and Wright is the type required to have a truly open discussion on the complex issue of race in America.


Posted in Racism | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Spain/Europe Approaching Tipping Point

Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 10, 2012

What started with bubbles, particularly in the real estate markets, morphed into a larger international  banking crisis in 2008.  Interventionist governments including the United States acted quickly in bailing out the banks and other financially dysfunctional corporations and individuals.  These radical steps in essence bailed out reckless borrowers at the expense of more prudent ones were enacted in the name of saving the world from economic Armageddon.  Nearly 4 years later the worldwide economy is once again heading towards the brink.  Clearly these policies have failed.  But that will not stop the governments from throwing more good money after bad.

The inevitable and huge costs of the bailouts were hiding from the People by using printed money to purchase the bad debt.  This did not eliminate the debt, but instead increased and moved to it to various countries’ balance sheets.  These countries then went about selling bonds to cover this massive debt and forcing their commercial banks, especially in Europe, to purchase these toxic assets.  This has played a large role in creating the banking crisis raging in Europe. with Spain currently being at its epicenter.

Yesterday Spain announced it would accept a $125 million European bailout, the fourth and largest European country to require a bailout in the ongoing sovereign debt crisis.  It is unlikely that this bailout will be any more successful than previous European attempts to stop the economic bleeding.  Already the politicians are bracing for more problems.  After announcing the bailout, Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told The Associated Press: “This year is going to be a bad one.”  Given that 25% of the Spanish workforce is already unemployed, this is an ominous statement.

Jens Boysen-Hogrefe, Kiel Institute for the World Economy economist said of the bailout: “It’s a calming signal at a time when calming signals are badly needed.  The uncertainty is still high and bad news can pop up anywhere in the euro area.  This is not a final solution.”  Translation; the can has once again merely been kicked down the road a bit.

This weekend, Nouriel Roubini and Niall Ferguson published an op-ed in the Financial Times that put Europe’s economic crisis into proper perspective.  Roubini, an American economist and professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, predicted the collapse of the housing market and subsequent massive recession before these events occurred.  Ferguson is a British historian who specializes in financial and economic history with specific expertise in hyperinflation and the bond markets.  These well respected experts stated in their op-ed titled One Minute to Midnight?:

“We fear that the German government’s policy of doing ‘too little too late’ risks a repeat of precisely the crisis of the mid-20th century that European integration was designed to avoid.”

“…….  Fixated on the nonthreat of inflation, today’s Germans appear to attach more importance to 1923 (the year of hyperinflation) than to 1933 (the year democracy died). They would do well to remember how a European banking crisis two years before 1933 contributed directly to the breakdown of democracy not just in their own country but right across the European continent.”

“But now the public is finally losing faith and the silent run may spread to smaller insured deposits.  Indeed, if Greece were to leave the eurozone, a deposit freeze would occur and euro deposits would be converted into new drachmas: so a euro in a Greek bank really is not equivalent to a euro in a German bank.  Greeks have withdrawn more than €700m from their banks in the past month.”

“More worryingly, there was also a surge in withdrawals from some Spanish banks last month.   ….   This kind of process is potentially explosive.”

“Germans must understand that bank recapitalisation, European deposit insurance and debt mutualisation are not optional; they are essential to avoid an irreversible disintegration of Europe’s monetary union.  If they are still not convinced, they must understand that the costs of a eurozone breakup would be astronomically high – for themselves as much as anyone.”

“Ultimately, as Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, herself acknowledged last week, monetary union always implied further integration into a fiscal and political union.  But before Europe gets anywhere near taking this historical step, it must first of all show it has learnt the lessons of the past.  The EU was created to avoid repeating the disasters of the 1930s. I t is time Europe’s leaders – and especially Germany’s – understood how perilously close they are to doing just that.”

Roubini and Ferguson are indicating that the European crisis is a game changer that will require commensurate game changing strategies.  The nickel and dime approach of kicking the can down the road cannot work.  Just as significant, time is running out for such halfhearted approaches.

Many financial experts agree with Roubini’s and Ferguson’s thesis that Europe will require decisive action, and sooner rather than later.  This includes financier George Soros and Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, among others.

The problem of excessive debt, not only in Europe, but in the United States as well, is the most pressing problem facing the world today.  Governments use of printing presses for problem resolution over the years has made many citizens oblivious to this reality, including some very smart people.  Just last week France’s new President Hollande incredibly lowered the retirement age in his country from 62 to 60 years old.  This will exasperate France’s debt problems.

In the United States debt has been growing at an alarming pace for the past 30 years with it significantly quickening under the tutelage of Barack Obama.  Instead of concern for this serious problem, many Americans focus self-serving economic and social issues.  Unless the Country is on stable financial footing, all Americans will be weaker and have less rights.

Economists John Mauldin said of the financial crisis in Europe that: “Europe has no good choices, only a choice among very distressing and expensive options.”  This same conclusion can be made of all countries with excess debt.  Sovereign debt is an immoral methodology whereby future generations are demanded to pay for the good life of the current generation.  Pulling the plug on this false economic high, like any addiction, is painful.

When a country deleverages, i.e. pays down its debt which ultimately must do, is an unpleasant experience.  Initially, special interest groups attempt to use political leverage to shield themselves from the pain.  This only can continue until a full-blown crisis hits.  That is the status of current Europe and other countries including the United States are not far behind.  Either a country takes corrective action, a difficult task for any democracy, or the cruel and unbending hand of supply and demand will enforce its own corrective actions.

Posted in Bailouts, Sovereign Debt | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »