Gotta love liberal “social engineering”

The AP reports that tensions are rising in the SF Bay area over low income renters that some say are disturbing the peace and creating a general nuisance out of themselves (h/t: ST reader Cump):

ANTIOCH, Calif. (AP) – As more and more black renters began moving into this mostly white San Francisco Bay Area suburb a few years ago, neighbors started complaining about loud parties, mean pit bulls, blaring car radios, prostitution, drug dealing and muggings of schoolchildren.

In 2006, as the influx reached its peak, the police department formed a special crime-fighting unit to deal with the complaints, and authorities began cracking down on tenants in federally subsidized housing.

Now that police unit is the focus of lawsuits by black families who allege the city of 100,000 is orchestrating a campaign to drive them out.

“A lot of people are moving out here looking for a better place to live,” said Karen Coleman, a mother of three who came here five years ago from a blighted neighborhood in nearby Pittsburg. “We are trying to raise our kids like everyone else. But they don’t want us here.”

City officials deny the allegations in the lawsuits, which were filed last spring and seek unspecified damages.

The Bay area’s not the only area hit by this problem:

Across the country, similar tensions have simmered when federally subsidized renters escaped run-down housing projects and violent neighborhoods by moving to nicer communities in suburban Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Make sure to read the whole article, as it’s a case study in and of itself as to the perils of believing liberal do-gooders who swear up one side and down the other that putting low income people (who rely on federal assistance – whether they be black OR white – to survive) in nicer neighborhoods won’t start a crime wave nor devalue property. Forcing the issue, of course, brings exactly the kind of problems seen today in bigger cities that have implemented wrongheaded policies like this one, with two groups of people feeling like they are being targeted: established homeowners who’ve seen the crime rates rise in their neighborhoods and property values descrease, and low-income, mostly black citizens who believe they’re being singled out because of their race.

It’s been my experience that neighborhood engineering that occurs the “natural way” (read: without government interference) always seems to work best. I mean – it’s just common sense … right? :-?


As expected, Rep. Rush plays the race card

Here we go:

Taking to the podium at the end of a bizarre, shambolic press conference in which Governor Rod Blagojevich sought to appoint Roland Burris to the US Senate, Congressman Bobby Rush dared white Democratic senators to block a black man from joining their ranks.

He urged people “not to hang or lynch the appointee as you try to castigate the appointer” and, after saying repeaedly that Burris would be the only African-American in the Senate, said that he believed no senator would want “to go on record to deny one African-American from being seated in the US Senate”.

Rush is a former Black Panther who trounced Barack Obama in the 2000 Democratic primary when the then state senator challenged him for his House of Representatives seat.

The grinning Burris was told by Blagojevich – who policed the press conference – that “you’re the senator”. He appeared clueless about the money he’d donated to the governor, which will only add to the taint of the appointment.

As he left the room, Blagojevich echoed Rush, saying: “Feel free to castigate the appointer but don’t lynch the appointee.”

Here’s the video (skip to around the 1:15 mark, where it first starts):

Toldjah So.

Arrogance personified

Despite the heap of legal troubles he’s in, Governor Blago today announced his pick for Obama’s Senate seat (and no, it isn’t Senate Candidate #5):

In defiance of U.S. senators who said they would not seat his pick, Gov. Rod Blagojevich today said he would go ahead and select former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to succeed President-elect Barack Obama in the Senate.

Blagojevich praised Burris for his “unquestioned integrity” and “extensive experience,” calling him a senior statesman.

“Please don’t allow the allegations against me to taint this good and honest man,” Blagojevich said.

Top Senate Democrats got a jump start on Blago’s expected announcement by issuing this statement:

Blagojevich’s news conference came less than an hour after U.S. Senate Democratic leadership issued a statement saying the Senate will not seat anyone the governor chooses to fill Illinois’ vacant Senate post. The statement also is signed by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, who has repeatedly urged Blagojevich not to name a replacement for the seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

“This is not about Mr. Burris; it is about the integrity of a governor accused of attempting to sell this United States Senate seat,” the statement read. “Anyone appointed by Gov. Blagojevich cannot be an effective representative of the people of Illinois and, as we have said, will not be seated by the Democratic Caucus.”

The decision was made during a 10-minute conference call that included Reid, Durbin and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), as well as representatives of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). There was little discussion and no dissent in reaching the position, a Senate aide said.

“The goal was to get this statement out before Blagojevich made his announcement,” the Senate source said.

Reid previously warned Blagojevich, following the governor’s Dec. 9 arrest, that Senate Democrats would not seat any appointment he made. Reid’s warning was contained in a letter signed by all 50 sitting Democratic senators.

Here’s the full statement:

It is truly regrettable that despite requests from all 50 Democratic Senators and public officials throughout Illinois, Gov. Blagojevich would take the imprudent step of appointing someone to the United States Senate who would serve under a shadow and be plagued by questions of impropriety. We say this without prejudice toward Roland Burris’s ability, and we respect his years of public service. But this is not about Mr. Burris; it is about the integrity of a governor accused of attempting to sell this United States Senate seat. Under these circumstances, anyone appointed by Gov. Blagojevich cannot be an effective representative of the people of Illinois and, as we have said, will not be seated by the Democratic Caucus.

Next week we will start one of the most important debates of the year – outlining an economic recovery plan to create jobs and invest in America. And in the coming weeks, we will be working to protect homeowners and consumers, make America more energy independent, strengthen our national security, and improve health care and educational opportunities. There is much work to do and a lot at
stake. It is thus critical that Illinois and every other state have two seated Senators without delay.

We again urge Gov. Blagojevich to not make this appointment. It is unfair to Mr. Burris, it is unfair to the people of Illinois and it will ultimately not stand. The governor must put the interests of the people of Illinois and all Americans first by stepping aside now and letting his successor appoint someone who we will seat.

As it stands, Senate Democrats may not have to worry about not seating Burris:

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White says he’ll reject any paperwork that Gov. Rod Blagojevich files to name a new U.S. senator.

The secretary of state keeps state records and certifies official actions.

But White says he won’t certify anything Blagojevich does to fill the Senate seat once held by President-elect Barack Obama.

White issued a statement today saying he can’t accept any paperwork from Blagojevich on the Senate seat “because of the current cloud of controversy surrounding the governor.”

It isn’t clear if that administrative roadblock would keep the appointment from taking place.

Progress Illinois has much more, including how Burris talked about Blago just a couple of weeks ago. TPM has a glowing mini-piece on Burris here.

Burning question of the day: Since Burris is black but apparently will not be certified nor seated, will we hear howls of outrage from Rep. Bobby Rush (and his supporters), whose main requirement was that the next Senator who was appointed be black?

Stay tuned …

Update – 6:41 PM: Rep. Rush has indeed played the race card … and he didn’t waste any time, pulling the card out during Blago’s presser.

2008 Weblog Awards finalists announced

And for a third fourth year in a row, yours truly has made the final cut :)

Best Large Blog (Authority between 301 and 500)

Sister Toldjah
Miss Cellania
skippy the bush kangaroo
The Agonist
Mombian: Sustenance for Lesbian Moms

Thanks to those who put my name in the pot to be considered a finalist!

Finalist badges to post on finalist blogs will be available Wednesday. Voting is scheduled to begin next Monday. I’ll post the direct link to the “voting booth” when it becomes available.

As you can see, I’ve got some stiff competition. Will the third fourth time be the charm for this blog, or will it be a bridesmaid for the third fourth year in a row? We shall see :D

Cindy McKinney’s Hamas bailout plan fails

The Israeli Navy, thankfully, took care of business:

A boat carrying international peace activists, including former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, and medical supplies to the embattled Gaza Strip sailed back into a Lebanese port on Tuesday after being turned back and damaged by the Israeli navy, organizers of the trip said.

The crowds on the docks in the Lebanese port city of Tyre were jubilant and cheering as they welcomed the vessel.

The boat, which set off from Cyprus Monday wanted to make a statement and deliver medical supplies to embattled Gaza. The trip’s organizers said the boat was clearly in international waters, 90 miles off the coast of Gaza, at the time of its close encounter with the Israeli navy.

“Our boat was rammed three times, twice in the front and one on the side” McKinney told CNN Tuesday morning. “Our mission was a peaceful mission. Our mission was thwarted by the aggressiveness of the Israeli military.”

She called on President-elect Obama to address the Gaza crisis, saying the weapons being used by Israel were supplied by the United States.

She denied that the incident was an accident, caused whent he captain of the Dignity tried to maneuver past the Israeli blockade. “What the Israelis are saying is outright disinformation” she said. “What happened to us last night was a direct threat to our mission, but not our cause.”

In a press release, the Free Gaza movement stated, “Contrary to international maritime law, the Israelis are actively preventing the Dignity from approaching Gaza or finding safe haven in either Egypt or Lebanon. Instead, the Israeli navy is demanding that the Dignity return to Cyprus — despite the fact that the ship does not carry enough fuel to do so.”

McKinney is a high-profile member of a boatload of activists that set sail Monday from Cyprus to deliver medicine to war-torn Gaza.

McKinney, who ran as the Green Party candidate for president, sees the voyage as a humanitarian mission, said her father, former Georgia state Rep. Billy McKinney.

“Her mother did not want her to go” he said, referring to concerns at home for her safety. “But I think that certain people have missions in life and you can’t deter them.”

Yeah – and believing in the best of thugs who hate America and her ally Israel is clearly a big part of her “mission.” That is, when she’s not dreaming up conspiracy theories about how President Bush supposedly “knew” (scroll) about 9-11 in advance … and may have had ‘something to do with it.’