How Van Jones Defines “Racism”

September 6th, 2009 | Uncategorized | Comments Off

Since we’re defining words this morning, I wanted to briefly comment on the subject that helped make Jones famous in the first place: so-called “Environmental Racism”.

Jones looks at the pretty immediately obvious fact that land uses that create pollution tend to be located in minority areas, and claims that this proves that white Americans engage in “Environmental Racism”.

This is a good example of the reason the “disparate impact” method of analysis is fallacious. Since all Jones does is count up polluting sites and look at the skin color of the people who live nearby, and makes no attempt to ask how and why this situation has developed, he’s free in his own mind to cry “Racism!”

But the simple fact of the matter is that we have adopted a political system that allows motivated citizens to interfere with the land use decisions of their neighbors, and micromanage how all citizens use their property. This makes it absolutely inevitable that citizens with greater political power will be able to dump land uses they don’t like onto the areas where citizens with less political power live. Since minority groups have less political power, that makes them the fall guys of the system. This is a completely insoluble problem as long as individual property owners don’t get to use their property without political interference, because no matter how much racial consciousness raising you do, as long as powerful citizens can ban some property uses from their neighborhoods and foist them on other neighborhoods, minority neighborhoods are going to lose.

How Van Jones Defines “Smear”

September 6th, 2009 | Uncategorized | Comments Off

So it looks like Glenn Beck has gotten the scalp of Van Jones to hang above his fireplace.

I hate to support anything Beck does, because I despise him, but I am forced to conclude that virtually everything Beck claimed about Jones’ background was true.

So I find the Jones quote in this article amusing.

“On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me,” Jones, special adviser for green jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said in a statement announcing his resignation just after midnight Saturday.

If the things your opponents say about you are true, it’s really not appropriate to call them “smears”.

Jones did sign a 9/11 truther statement.

Jones did belong to and associate with known Communist organizations.

That means he doesn’t get to say he was “smeared”.

It’s funny to me that the media has no problem asserting that anyone who speaks before the Council of Conservative citizens is thereby demonstrated to be a white supremacist and neoConfederate. That means, or should mean, that anyone who speaks before the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism is thereby demonstrated to be a Communist. If Jones doesn’t like the “guilt by association” he has suffered here, maybe he can build a time machine and go back into the past and get the media to not play the same game with Bob Barr and Ron Paul. Once he manages to do that, maybe I’ll care about what happened to him.

Afghanistan’s Phony Election

September 5th, 2009 | Uncategorized | Comments Off

There was never any doubt that Karzai was not going to be allowed to lose the election in Afghanistan. It was important for appearances’ sake that the Afghanis go through the motions of holding an election, but if Karzai didn’t win honestly he was going to win corruptly.

No real attempt was even made to conceal the open vote fraud.

In a demonstration of the American gift for droll comedy, Richard Holbrooke issued a statement claiming we had no preference among the candidates for President. This joins a long line of classic War on Terror comedy moments, including former President Bush’s immortal “Watch this drive!” and the Powell WMD presentation to the United Nations.

A “Hero” of Social Justice

September 5th, 2009 | Uncategorized | Comments Off

Over at Reason Hit N’ Run, Michael Moynihan links to a story detailing how the UN has declared a number of dictators including Fidel Castro and Julius Nyerere to be “World Heroes” of one variety or another.

Hey, I’m perfectly happy to have them declare Nyerere a “hero of social justice”.

Nyerere represents a paragon of the “social justice” movement: his policies were abject failures, he crushed one of the most vibrant economies in colonial Africa, and he manufactured poverty and desperation that continues to this day. That epitomizes social justice advocacy so we should give him his due and applaud his new title.

Ashcroft Can Be Sued

September 5th, 2009 | Uncategorized | Comments Off

See here.

Obviously I applaud this ruling.

“Whatever the DOJ says is legal is legal” is always an unsupportable argument, whether it’s made to defend Ashcroft’s conduct or to try to protect CIA torturers.

The only negative here is that Ashcroft actually was one of the few people connected to Justice who didn’t always give the White House carte blanche to commit whatever illegality they wanted. That gives me somewhat mixed emotions on seeing him be the first guy to really face any negative consequence, even if it’s only a potential consequence at this point. Oh well – one down, a few dozen more to go.

The Rehabilitation of Cat Stevens?

September 5th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

This morning I saw a TV ad for a phone using the Google Android platform.  The background music was a Cat Stevens song.  You can view the ad here.

I was under the impression that Stevens was nefas due to his impolitic comments following the 9/11 attacks.  I guess the expiration date on those comments finally passed, and it’s OK to like Cat Stevens again.  I wonder if this means Natalie Merchant will start performing Peace Train again.  Or if Morning Has Broken will come back on the radio.