I have to admit that I have a great deal of sympathy for Judge Marvin
Arrington. I think I understand what he was trying to do and, assuming I'm
reading this correctly, his motives were good - even noble. But wrong.
Here is the story, courtesy of www.cnn.com. See for yourself:
Judge admits mistake in kicking
whites out of court
(CNN) -- An Atlanta, Georgia,
judge who ordered white lawyers out of his courtroom so he could lecture
African-American defendants called that decision a "mistake" Tuesday
Judge Marvin Arrington
says he is fed up with the defendants he keeps seeing in his courtroom.
it was a mistake," Judge Marvin Arrington told CNN. "Because my sheriff said to
me, 'Judge, that message should be given to everybody' -- 'Don't violate the
law, make something out of yourself, go to school, find a role model, somebody
that will help you advance your life.'"
Arrington, who is
African-American, is a judge in Fulton County, Georgia, which includes the city
He said he got fed up seeing a
parade of young black defendants shuffle into his courtroom and decided to
address them one day last week -- out of the earshot of white
"I came out and saw the
defendants, and it was about 99.9 percent Afro-Americans," Arrington told CNN
affiliate WSB-TV of Atlanta, "and at some point in time, I excused some lawyers
-- most of them white -- and said to the young people in here, 'What in the
world are you doing with your lives?'"
"I didn't want them to think I
was talking down to them; trying to embarrass them or insult them; be derogatory
toward them, and I was just saying, 'Please get yourself together,'" Arrington
In his Tuesday night appearance
on CNN, Arrington told Anderson Cooper that that seeing the same faces walk in
and out of his courtroom year after year takes its toll.
"I ask them all the the time,
'What progress are we making with you?' And sometime they cannot answer," he
He said he would open his court
doors to everyone on Thursday and "I am going to give the same identical speech:
'You've got to do better'.
When reading Judge Arrington's words, I tried to put myself in a
Being Jewish, I fantasized myself as a judge who watched one Jewish
slumlord after another come before me - which plays into a negative
Jewish stereotype as much as the young street thug plays into a
negative Black stereotype. I tried to consider how I would go about
lecturing repeat offenders, if there were non-Jewish lawyers there who
might take my words as a reinforcement of that stereotype.
If you put yourself in the other guy's shoes, one of two things is going
to happen. You either walk away with a different perspective, or an
In this case, I'm sorry to say, all I got was the aching foot.
Judge Arrington, despite his good intentions, was wrong. What he did was
way out of line for several reasons:
-Who cares if his repeat-offender cases are embarrassed by being told they
are destroying their lives. They ARE destroying their
-While I don't at all believe Judge Arrington's intent in
chasing White lawyers out of the courtroom was to be a racist, doing so
was a racist act;
-Sparing the young offenders from being lectured in
front of White lawyers, apart from the racial aspect, also suggests that,
to some degree, they are being protected from having to publicly face up to
what they've done. It takes on the near-conspiratorial aura of a private,
"just between us" talk.
Simply stated, none of this is the function of a court. The
function of a court is to try the accused and either find them innocent
(in which case they won't be embarrassed because they will be exonerated) or
convict them (in which case they damn well SHOULD be embarrassed).
Getting a public lecture on their self-destructive behaviors from Judge
Arrington - an educated, productive man who they should be looking up
to as a role model - may be just the jolt they need.
THE DEFINITION OF POLITICS
My friend Bob (this is the same Bob I mention in The Hopelessly Partisan
Guide To American Politics) often sends me what are supposed to be funny
Since my tastes don't always coincide with Bob's, I find some of them funny
and some not.
But the one he sent me this morning is definitely in the "funny" category.
So - with apologies for the one bad word in it - I am passing Bob's e-mail along to you
in the hope that, regardless of your political leanings, you will find it as
funny as I did.
A little boy goes to his dad and asks, 'What is
Dad says, 'Well son, let me try to explain it this way:
I am the head of the family, so call me The President.
mother is the administrator of the money, so we call her the Government.
We are here to take care of your needs, so we will call you the
The nanny, we will consider her the Working Class.
And your baby brother, we will call him the Future.
about that and see if it makes sense.
So the little boy goes off to bed
thinking about what Dad has said.
Later that night, he hears his baby
brother crying, so he gets up to check on him.
He finds that the baby
has severely soiled his diaper.
So the little boy goes to his parent's
room and finds his mother asleep. Not wanting to wake her, he goes to
the nanny's room. Finding the door locked, he peeks in the keyhole and sees
his father in bed with the nanny. He gives up and goes back to
The next morning, the little boy says to his father, 'Dad, I
think I understand the concept of politics now.'
says, 'Good, son, tell me in your own words what you think politics is all about.'
The little boy replies, 'The President is screwing the Working Class
while the Government is sound asleep. The People are being ignored and the
future is in deep
THE HADITHA "MASSACRE"
It has been a while since I blogged about the Haditha "massacre"
Initially, 8 marines were charged - most with murder. Media made them
front-page news for weeks.
Then, as we saw the charges against each marine either reduce
dramatically or melt away entirely, I made note of the fact that mainstream
media were virtually ignoring the collapse of the "massacre" story.
Well, now that another one of the eight has had all charges dropped, it is a great
time to remind people of what actually did - and did not - happen at Haditha.
And since Michael Reagan has written about this bogus "massacre" so especially
well, I'll let him do the talking:
Collapse of a Liberal Fiction By Michael
Reagan Wednesday, April 2,
You'd hardly know it if you relied on the
mainstream media, but the government's case against the Haditha Marines took
another body blow last Friday that may be the beginning of the end for this
whole sorry attempt to severely punish eight heroic United States Marines for
doing what they are trained to do.
In a surprise development on the day Lance Cpl.
Stephen Tatum's court martial was scheduled to begin, all charges against him
were dropped without explanation.
Tatum, facing charges of reckless endangerment and
aggravated assault that could have sent him to prison for 18 years, was the
fifth Marine -- and the second of three enlisted men -- to be exonerated,
leaving only one enlisted Marine still facing court martial.
Tatum's exoneration should come as no surprise to
anyone familiar with the real facts in the case. During an ambush by insurgent
forces in Haditha, 15 civilians and nine insurgents were killed by Marines of
Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines. The incident began when an IED
explosion killed a Marine and wounded two others. In the wake of that explosion,
a squad of Marines came under insurgent gunfire.
The 15 civilian deaths, which came during
house-clearing operations, were the result of a time-honored insurgent tactic of
hiding themselves among civilians when ambushing U.S. forces, hoping to score a
propaganda coup when the civilian shields are killed in the ensuing crossfire.
Full details of the incident on November 19, 2005
were supplied in great detail to the entire command structure the very night of
the engagement, and the incident was regarded for what it was -- a tragic result
of an enemy ambush. No further action was required or taken.
Months later, however, Time magazine published a
story reporting that the Marines had gone on a rampage, wantonly killing
innocent civilians to avenge the death of their fellow Marine killed in the IED
Using Time magazine's fallacious account of the
civilian deaths, Pennsylvania's Democratic Rep. John Murtha went on a rampage of
his own, telling every media outlet that would listen that the Marines had
committed "cold-blooded murder." He first claimed that his information came from
a briefing from the Marine Corps Commandant, but when that claim was disproved
he admitted that his source was Time magazine.
Murtha's charges were broadcast far and wide, and
before any investigation of the incident could get underway, the media joined
Murtha in finding the Marines guilty of a massacre.
In the ensuing media firestorm that broke out,
many news reports here and abroad compared the Haditha deaths to the infamous My
Lai massacre during the Vietnam War.
Neither Murtha nor the mainstream media bothered
to check Time's sources -- two known insurgent propagandists and
insurgent-friendly Haditha residents living under the guns of insurgent killers
who were the only authority in town.
It wasn't because the real facts were not
available to any reporter willing to investigate the Haditha case, yet only one
news source bothered to look into the case.
As early as May 31, 2006, NewsMax.com had begun to
poke holes in the case, and from that time down to the present, NewsMax
continued to report the truth about Haditha and defend the Marines who were
innocent of the charges eventually leveled against them.
Yet all this time, the media and Rep. Murtha
continued to peddle the insurgent lie that a massacre had taken place in
Haditha, even though all murder charges had long ago been dropped in favor of
There was a crime, but it was the media and Rep.
Murtha who committed it against heroic Marines whose careers have been destroyed
and some of whose families were bought to the edge of bankruptcy defending their
Thanks to NewsMax readers, who contributed over
$500,000 for their defense, some of that burden was lifted.
And thanks to John Murtha and the liberal media,
these Marines can now join my Dad's wrongly accused Secretary of Labor Ray
Donovan in asking where they go to get their reputations back?
It is hard to overstate the arrogance of murtha or Time,
regarding their sorry behavior regarding Haditha.
Thinking of murtha in particular, why have media not shamed him over his
disgusting comments about the Haditha marines? First, murtha called them
cold-blooded murderers in the absence of any hearing, trial or
presentation of evidence. Then, as it became more and more clear that they
were not any such thing, this amoral, corrupt scumbag has not taken back even
one word of it.
Wouldn't it be nice if murtha, himself a former marine, would call
a press conference and say "I may have been mistaken when I called these young
marines cold-blooded murderers"?
Wouldn't it be nice if murtha grew a conscience and said it less tactfully and more
bluntly: something like "I called these brave young men who volunteered to
defend our country cold-blooded murderers before I knew what the hell I was
talking about. Now that it is more than apparent that they are not
cold-blooded murderers, I want to extend my deepest apology for denouncing and
maligning them that way. I acted like a brainless imbecile and wish
to God I could take back every word. But since I can't, the best I
can do is apologize fully and publicly, understanding that they
have no reason at all to ever forgive me"
But this is john murtha. The unindicted ABSCAM co-conspirator, king of
pork projects and distributor of fat defense contracts to his brother and his
pals. murtha has spent so many years being the scumbag he is, that I doubt
he would ever consider being contrite about a thing.
So you won't be getting any apology from murtha. And you won't be
getting any condemnation of him from the Democratic leadership
Reid and Pelosi publicly acknowledge something like this about one of their
own? Don't hang by your thumbs waiting for that to
IS IT TOO LATE TO SAVE THE DROMEDARIES?
Here, courtesy of Reuters, is the kind of story you don't see every
Mystery ailment kills hundreds of Saudi
camels RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) --
Hundreds of camels have died in Saudi Arabia
this week from a mystery ailment.
Cars stop on a Riyadh highway to make
way for a caravan of camels. The animals are big business in Saudi
The Agriculture Ministry has said 232 camels died in the space of
four days in the Dawasir Valley, 250 miles south of Riyadh.
has promised compensation for owners, who say the real number of deaths is far
Agriculture ministry officials have denied an infectious disease
caused the deaths and blamed them on animal feed supplied by food storage
"The disease has to be limited to one place to prevent it
spreading and then they have to find a serum," said camel breeder Hamad
al-Harthy, who talked of hundreds of deaths.
"They need to bring in help
from abroad to find a solution," said trader Turki Abdelaziz.
big business in the desert kingdom and are traded by Bedouin tribes for
thousands of dollars each. The animals are used for racing and their meat is
Authorities have been on the lookout for signs of the deadly
H5N1 strain of bird flu over the last year. The virus was found in birds in two
instances, in March and last year.
Saudi Arabia's Agriculture Ministry
has lifted bans on poultry imports.
Apart from the obviously sad part of this story - the death of many animals -
it is hard not to see some humor here. I mean, how often does a Turki sell
I just hope there is a serum that can get them over the
Randi Rhodes is a very troubled woman. When you combine a terribly
angry, negative outlook with serious substance problems, sometimes
things can get out of hand.
Things like what Ms. Rhodes said at the San Francisco Air America function,
described below by the New York Times political blog:
Randi Rhodes, an afternoon host for the
progressive Air America radio network, was suspended Thursday after repeatedly
insulting Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton at an event last month.
Ms. Rhodes used vulgar language that likened Mrs.
Clinton to a prostitute at an event sponsored by KKGN, the Air America affiliate
in the San Francisco area, on March 22. A video of Ms. Rhodes remarks was
published to the video-sharing Web site YouTube on Tuesday, prompting
condemnations by some bloggers.
In a statement, Charlie Kireker, the chair of Air
America, said the radio network encourages strong opinions about public affairs
but does not condone such abusive, ad hominem language by our
hosts. The network
called Ms. Rhodes suspension indefinite and did not elaborate on the fate of
her daily three-hour radio show. The Randi Rhodes Show is normally broadcast
from 3 to 6 p.m. weekdays. Sam Seder, another Air America host, was scheduled to
fill in for Ms. Rhodes on Thursday.
On the video, Ms. Rhodes is also shown using
derogatory language to describe Geraldine A. Ferraro, a former congresswoman and
a supporter of Mrs. Clinton. Ms. Ferraro resigned from a committee of Mrs.
Clintons campaign last month after making controversial remarks about Senator
Earlier this year,
David Shuster, a reporter for MSNBC, was been suspended because of comments he
made about Chelsea Clinton. Mr. Shuster said Ms. Clinton had been pimped out
to make calls to superdelegates on behalf of her mother.
(If you would like to see a video of Ms. Rhodes making these comments (and it
takes a bit of a strong stomach), just click here.)
As you probably would guess, I don't like Randi Rhodes. I disagree with
her political opinions and I feel that she delivers them in a nasty, snide,
abusive manner. But for better or worse, that seems to be the coin of
the realm for a lot of talk radio, and certainly does not disqualify her as
an on-air personality.
Ms. Rhodes' comments about Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro, however,
are too much even for Air America.
In my opinion, the network (what there is of it these days) was right to
I also feel that it would be wrong to fire her for that big mouth, at
least this one time. But I wonder if Air America will anyway.
I can't help remembering that bizarre incident in New York a couple of
months ago, where Rhodes fell down, busted up her face, and then had various
different stories to explain it away (it appears she was under the influence of
alcohol and/or drugs when it happened).
Maybe the network sees this latest episode not as an indiscretion but as an
MIKA BRZEZINSKI'S OBAMA DEFENSE
Mika Brzezinski, a regular on Joe Scarborough's "Morning Joe" show on
MSNBC, is the daughter of Israel-hating Zbigniew Brzezinski.
You probably would be able to figure out that they were related because
they have the same last name (how many Brzezinskis do you meet in a
lifetime)? Unfortunately, however, they also appear to be related in
their political beliefs, when it comes to rationalizing the indefensible on
behalf of Barack Obama.
Zbigniew Brzezinski is a key campaign staffer for Mr. Obama. And Mika
does her part on the MSNBC show.
As excuses go, it
was right up there with "but oshifer, I was too drunk to see that stop sign."
That's the league in which I'd put the defense of Barack Obama over the Rev.
Wright mess that Mika Brzezinski offered this morning.
Responding to Chris Matthews' question on
yesterday's Hardball as to why he never left Rev. Wright's church, Obama
claimed "I never heard [Rev. Wright] say those things that were in those
clips." On today's Morning Joe, two of the three panelists weren't buying.
The genial Willie Geist came down off the fence where he often resides to frame
WILLIE GEIST: The fact remains, a lot
of people, and these are people we've all talked to, say "if I went into a
church with my children, and the pastor said 'God damn America' and the rest
of these things, you just wouldn't go back to that church." There are other
places to go.
That's when Brzezinski began her bad Johnnie
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I think he's
claiming he didn't hear that.
Joe Scarborough drew on a personal experience to
expose the flimsiness of Mika's argument.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: We'll get really
personal here for a second. My daughter goes to an Episcopal school in
Florida. In the Episcopal church, there is a visiting pastor, still is a
visiting pastor there, who decided that the week before Easter, instead of
talk about the miracle of Jesus' rebirth, to talk about how Jews massacre
Palestinians, and how they are the terrorists, and that the United States of
America supports state terrorism.
Well guess what? Despite the fact I haven't been
to that church in six months, despite the fact that I'm up in New York City
instead of Pensacola, Florida, my phone rang off the hook from 20 different
people from Christ Church in Pensacola, Florida, talking about how this pastor
used his pulpit to make political statements against Israel and to blast
United States foreign policy.
Now please. Had I been a member of that
church for 20 years? The Sunday after September 11th the pastor goes on a
winder like that one, a bender like that one? Please, Barack Obama, tell me
many things, tell me that you haven't bowled in years and maybe I'll buy that.
But don't tell me you didn't hear what your pastor said, because you and I
both know that's just not the truth. Come up with a better excuse than that,
and Americans will take it. But that one? That one doesn't
That's when Mika offered up the season's lamest
BRZEZINSKI: Well, I have an argument
for it. I'm not sure you want me to go there. But the argument may be that in
that church they did not necessarily, everything, everybody in that church
knows the pastor, and they were not, so --
SCARBOROUGH: They weren't shocked.
BRZEZINSKI: They weren't shocked.
Let's get this straight: Mika's defense consists
of claiming that Rev. Wright had such a reputation for making outrageous
statements, that his "chickens coming home . . . to roost!" wasn't anything out
of the ordinary. Thus it's easily imaginable that no one bothered to bring it to
Barack Obama's attention.
As defenses go, that's a hell of an indictment.
Scarborough drove the point home.
SCARBOROUGH: If they weren't
shocked by him saying God damn America, if they weren't shocked by the
United States the US KKK A, if they weren't shocked by him saying we deserve
what we get on September 11th, if they weren't shocked with anti-Semitic
tirades in church bulletins, if they weren't shocked by anti-Italian tirades
in church bulletins, then guess what: neither was Barack Obama. So why was
I'm not always enthralled by Joe Scarborough. But he is dead-on 100%
And the fact that this lame nonsense is the best that Ms. Brzezinski can come
up with to justify Obama's almost 20 years in a church with jeremiah wright
as its pastor, should show you how indefensible it is.
That is why if Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee for President, jeremiah
wright (and his sucesssor, Otis Moss III, whom I just blogged about yesterday)
will be a major issue throughout the general election campaign. A
WHY DOES SAN FRANCISCO GET FEDERAL FUNDING?
I asked the same question about Berkeley, when they belligerently disinvited
a marine recruiting station from existing in the town.
Now it is time to ask it about the city on the other side of the bay.
Read the following article from today's San Francisco Chronicle and see why:
of new television and radio commercials, billboards and bus shelter signs will
soon go up around San Francisco advertising the fact that the city by the bay is
also a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants.
City officials on Wednesday unveiled the $83,000
ad campaign, which features images of smiling residents and the iconic city
skyline and spreads the message in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and
Russian. Brochures, which will be handed out in public buildings like police
stations and hospitals, promise safe access to city services for the
undocumented and a don't-ask-don't-tell policy when it comes residency
"We are standing up to say to all of our
residents: We don't care what your status is," Mayor Gavin Newsom said. "We care
that you, as a human being, are a resident of our city and we want you to
participate in the life of our city."
Officials said the public awareness campaign was
prompted in part by a series of federal immigration raids around the region last
year that left undocumented immigrants hesitant to come forward to seek medical
treatment or report crimes, out of fear they might be deported.
But the campaign precedes the city's plan in
August to begin issuing municipal identification cards to city residents -
regardless of whether they are in the country legally. Officials said they not
only want immigrants to know about San Francisco's sanctuary city policy, they
want city workers, business owners and others to know the same.
"We're taking a big bite of the reality sandwich
in admitting that there are people who live here who may or may not have citizen
status," said Supervisor Tom Ammiano, who helped spearhead the ad campaign and
who represents the city's heavily Latino Mission District.
Police Chief Heather Fong said officers will
report undocumented immigrants if they have a felony arrest, but otherwise, "we
do not work on enforcing immigration laws."
San Francisco became a sanctuary city in 1989 and
since then it has barred city employees from helping Immigration and Customs
Enforcement agents with immigration investigations or arrests, unless help is
required by a federal or state law or a warrant.
It is the city's formal policy to not report
illegal immigrants to federal immigration agents when they visit public health
clinics or hospitals, enroll their children in school, report a crime to the
police or seek other city services or apply for benefits.
And while a number of cities around the country
also call themselves sanctuary cities, including San Jose and Oakland, Houston,
Seattle, Chicago and Miami, few - if any - have embarked on a widespread
campaign to advertise the fact.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani adamantly
denied that New York is a sanctuary city after he came under fire over the issue
last year during his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
"San Francisco clearly is going a step beyond most
places in boasting (about) and advertising this. Most cities kind of almost
apologize to their voters when they complain about it," said Mark Krikorian,
executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington think
tank that supports restrictions on immigration.
Krikorian said San Francisco and other sanctuary
cities are "openly subverting the federal government's ability to protect the
borders" by extending protections to undocumented immigrants.
"They're making it as easy as they can for illegal
immigrants to live in San Francisco," he said.
Newsom, a Democrat who is considering running for
California governor in 2010, made headlines last year when he said he would not
allow city department heads or "anyone associated with this city" to cooperate
in federal immigration raids. Wednesday he said no other issue he has championed
has received a more negative reaction from the public than his sanctuary city
stance - "and that includes gay marriage."
"Until we get it right in this country on
immigration, until we come to grips with the reality of newcomers from around
the world ... then it is appropriate to protect our citizens, to protect our
residents and to protect our families," Newsom said.
Newsom made the announcement in his City Hall
office, alongside a coalition of high-profile city leaders, from the police and
fire chiefs to city department heads and representatives from churches and
The city recently created a position for an
"immigrants rights administrator" to work with city agencies so that employees
understand the sanctuary city policy and how to better serve immigrant
City Administrator Ed Lee called San Francisco's
new sanctuary city ad campaign "not only the liberal thing to do, it's the
I'll make this as plain as I can: Other than for health emergencies, if
one penny of federal funding goes to the city of San Francisco so that they can
happily accommodate illegal aliens who have no right to be here, it is one penny
If San Francisco wants to disengage itself from the laws of the USA, it can
do without my tax dollars as well.
WANNA GET MARRIED, BABY? I DOO-DOO
If you thought the last story was bizarre, try this one from the Associated
Toddlers can no longer
marry in Ark.
By ANDREW DeMILLO, Associated Press
Writer Thu Apr 3, 8:46 AM ET
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Arkansas' marriage-age
crisis is over. A law that mistakenly allowed anyone even toddlers to
marry with parental permission was repealed by a measure signed into law
Wednesday by Gov. Mike Beebe,
ending months of embarrassment for the state and confusion for county clerks.
Lawmakers didn't realize until after the end of last year's
regular session that a law they approved, intended to establish 18 as the
minimum age for marriage, instead removed the minimum age to marry entirely. An
extraneous "not" in the bill allowed anyone who was not pregnant to marry at any
age with permission.
The bill read: "In order for a person who is
younger than eighteen (18) years of age and who is not pregnant to obtain a
marriage license, the person must provide the county clerk with evidence of
parental consent to the marriage."
Some lawmakers called for a special session last
year, saying the error would make it easy for pedophiles to take advantage of
the law. Gov. Mike Beebe said he didn't see any imminent crisis and said the
chances of children marrying under the law were slim.
Legislators, however, had the chance for a do-over
this week when Beebe convened a special session to consider a hike in the
state's severance tax on natural gas. They repealed the botched law, and
reinstated 17 as the minimum age to marry for boys and 16 for girls.
Rep. Will Bond, the sponsor of the botched 2007
law and its correction, apologized for the error and asked his colleagues to
"throw me a rope and bail me out here."
"I always thought if you put your name on a bill,
you should be ready to take the blame if you're willing to accept the credit,"
Bond said Wednesday.
Bond, a Democrat, said there hadn't been any
reports of young children attempting to marry under the 2007 law.
In the 1960's, The Four Tops had a big hit with the song "Baby I need your
lovin' (got to have all your lovin').
Who knew that the Arkansas state legislature would take it
Privacy Notice: In conjunction with the ads on this site,
third parties may be placing and reading cookies on your browser,
or using web beacons to collect information.
At “Hopelessly Partisan” we discuss all issues, big and small.
In here, nothing is sacred and nothing is out of bounds.
So settle back, preferably after laughing your way through a copy of “The Hopelessly Partisan Guide To American Politics”, and let the battle begin. In this blog, your opinion counts every bit as much as anyone else's, maybe even more.
And to show that my willingness to provide all sides of the issues is sincere, here are links to a variety of web sites, from the left, the middle (more or less) and the right. Read them and either smile in agreement or gnash your teeth in anger!!