DOUGLAS OLSON — Freak show #6


Freak show #6



Making the connection

Is there an anti-conservative, pro-liberal bias in the news media? Do bears walk in the woods? Consider the bizarre case of Susan Lindauer, arrested on March 11 for spying for Iraq during the 1990s. Although she had worked as an aide to four far-left Democratic congresspeople — Reps. Zoe Lofgren (Calif.), Peter de Fazio (Ore.), and Ron Wyden (Ore., now a senator), and Sen. Carol Moseley Braun (Ill.) — the Associated Press trumpeted, "Accused Spy Is Cousin of Bush Staffer" in its March 12 headline, citing a very distant connection with White House chief of staff Andrew Card. The four Democrats were mentioned only in passing, in the eighth and ninth paragraphs of the AP story.

Rock against freedom

A German judge has jailed the leader of the rock band Landser. Prosecutors declared the band "criminal," citing albums produced in the United States and other nations (where they are perfectly legal) as containing "racist, nationalistic, and anti-Semitic tirades of hate," and calling for violence against foreigners, Jews, and "people with other political ideas." (Of course, this action makes the judge and prosecutors much guiltier than the band on that last count.) Michael Regener, 38, the songwriter and creative force behind the group, received a 40-month prison sentence; two other band members were given probation after expressing remorse. All were additionally fined and ordered to perform community service.

"This is the first time that a band has been found to be a criminal organization," declared Berlin prosecutor Joachim Lampe, who hailed the verdict as a vital precedent in curbing impermissible speech. The title cut of one Landser CD, "Get the Enemy," advocates the bombing of Israel. Another song glorifies Rudolf Hess, and a third is titled "Grandpa Was a Sturmführer."

Some "hate" is more equal

In response to Hispanic students' anti-white comments during a Dia de la Raza (Day of the Race) celebration last October, a math professor at Arizona's Glendale Community College sent e-mails promoting "the superiority of Western civilization," stating that ethnic groups should be assimilated and observing that some activists use "ethnic pride" as justification for separatism. For his intolerance of Hispanic intolerance, Prof. Walter Kehowski has been condemned as a "bigot" by his college's administration. Now state Rep. Steve Gallardo (D), not exactly an honest broker in this particular argument, has introduced legislation to ban the use of college computers to send messages "considered offensive or inflammatory toward minorities." Majorities, apparently, would remain fair game.

Claiming to treasure intellectual liberty, Gallardo denies that "hate" is protected under the Constitution — except anti-white "hate," it appears.

Just a little justice

Michigan-based Flagstar Bank has agreed to a $1.2 million settlement of a class-action suit alleging that certain homebuyers were charged higher interest rates because of their race. According to documents, loan officers could not charge minority customers more than 3 percent in loan origination fees, but they were encouraged to charge whites as much as 4 percent. The policy declared that employees whose revenue-per-loan averages were higher with minorities than whites would "be subject to disciplinary actions, including termination." (The case came about as a result of a loan officer's blowing the whistle on the practice, which was implemented, it was alleged, to avoid the appearance of discrimination against non-whites.)

According to the plaintiffs' attorney, the policy resulted in about a thousand white borrowers paying higher fees. They will receive refunds and non-economic damage awards in the settlement, in which the bank admits "no wrongdoing, liability or improper conduct."

The South-haters

The U.S. Supreme Court turns away thousands of cases each year, but it is actually considering one brought by a Mississippi Muslim demanding $77 million in damages because, he claims, the state flag's Confederate battle emblem (a blue "X" with thirteen stars) is a "religious symbol." Plaintiff John Ellis Briggs, who hardly sounds like a Middle Eastern import, also demands that the flag be "removed from display in public places," a longtime goal of South-hating entities such as the NAACP. Filed in 2001, the suit was quickly dismissed, and that dismissal was upheld unanimously by a three-judge appeals panel. It is unknown why SCOTUS finds such a non-issue worth reviewing.

Beyond belief

• Venezuela Supreme Court Judge Alejandro Angulo Fontiveros is proposing the ultimate version of welfare: Those who steal food, medicine, or inexpensive items without violence to ease hunger would not be prosecuted. If it passes the court and is approved by the National Assembly, such a policy would obviously endanger all governments' traditional role as middleman and profiteer in such transactions.

• The City of Chicago has agreed to pay people ticketed or arrested for panhandling a total of $99,000 to settle a lawsuit over infringement of "commercial speech." The bums' attorneys will get $375,000.

• A Saudi Arabian living in Houston has pleaded guilty to slashing the throat of a Jewish friend while in the throes of a "religious revival." According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, "Houston police did not find a religious motive for the slaying."

• In November 2003, Rosalie Lake, clerk of the small village of Lake Angelus, Michigan, refused to release election totals because she didn't want to hurt the feelings of the losing candidates.

• A male Irish teenager was let off with probation for raping a 50-year-old man. Justice Paul Carney says he took the rapist's age (15 at the time of the assault) and guilty plea into account, noting that "he expressed remorse and was found to have been confused by his sexuality." The rapist is now happily homosexual and living in a "stable gay relationship," which must certainly be a comfort for the rapee.

March 20, 2004

© 2004 Douglas Olson. All rights reserved.
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