The neighborhood had changed over the years.

Decades ago it was an Italian neighborhood. Everybody knew everyone else. Neighbors knew each other and their families. A lady talked to me about the house at 39 Waverly ave. Her sister in law had once owned it and decades ago she had babysat in the house for family.

Today it was a neighborhood of absentee landlords. A mixed neighborhood of many different ethnic types. People pretty much kept to themselves. In the Elderly public housing the employees came and went never taking any note of the house next door. Nor did the tenants who lived in the 162 units inside. People came and went without a hello or even a nod to acknowledge the other.

It was much the same as it was in many neighborhoods all across the state and country. People remaining in their houses, children spending their time on the video games. It was not unusual, in fact even as it changed it remained just an average neighborhood.

Just another house
As for the house as 39 Waverly Ave; as time passed the people inside became less and less known till finally the various people living inside where not known

And so it went for years people came in and out of the house at 39 Waverly and over the course of time people noticed families no longer there, simply a moving van showing up on occasion and young men coming in and out.

Up to the very last day people took no notice at all while things of a secret nature took place. It was as one resident put it the perfect place to hide. Nobody noticed anything. At least almost nobody.

There was a woman living in the projects who had a son in government service, as she walked though the neighborhood she noticed things, little things that she saw in her son, things that nobody else noticed and she realized that soon the neighborhood would shortly become not just another part of town.

On Thursday morning they came out in the open, the agents, the choppers, the weapons. They poured into the house and 39 Waverly Ave to find both their target and information that would hopefully help them to honor their oaths to protect the people that they served.

And at that point, the people in the neighborhood, people all around the blocks who had not known or talked much to their neighbors came out. They watched the agents enter and leave the house over and over. They watched the local police control the traffic that poured by, they saw the media, the local networks, the national networks and even a plump blogger in a fedora descend upon them armed with microphone, camera and notebook. Some faces that they had seen on their television a thousand times, others they had never seen before in their lives.

They asked questions over and over again, they took reams of films, they set themselves up all over the neighborhood and struck their poses before their camera as the authorities continued their task.

More than all of this, the agents, and the reporters, the people came out and saw each other. They stood together and talked. They spoke of how they heard the choppers, they talked of the reporters that hung on their every word, and they talked of how the city and the neighborhood had changed in all the years they had been there.

They did all those things that neighbors do, all those things that were once done in a neighborhood where everybody knew everyone else. As the commotion died down and the press started to leave, it only remains to be seen if the unity and community created by their common experience would carry on beyond the Thursday when the War on Terror came to Waverly Street.

I was approving comments today and a fellow named Billy asked what I think is a very fair question:

If “Kagan has to stand or fall on her record,” why has every single one of your posts about her been related to her sexual orientation?

It’s a good point worth answering, particularly since I’ve claimed that it has non bearing on her qualifications for the court.

First Two people I like, Robert Stacy McCain and Cynthia Yockey wrote stories on the issue. I thought that Cynthia’s was particularly good and I found it a good reason to link to them. I must not be alone in that opinion since she has been invited on two radio shows since her PJ media piece.

Second: Frankly the Elena Kagan nomination story is… well boring. Very important mind you, will affect the country for decades but boring nonetheless. You have a liberal president with a 59-41 Senate nominating a supreme court nominee. Barring a revelation that she was working secretly for the Taliban there is a greater chance of this president naming me to replace her in the solicitor general’s office than there is of her being defeated. If the Senate was closer it might be different but with these numbers, until the hearing it is just a giant yawner.

Third: We have been told over and over again that republicans and conservatives are “homophobic” and the democratic party is the one place that is welcoming for gays, yet during the course of the year this administration has stuck their finger in the eyes of Gay groups on more than one occasion. Thus how the administration handles the first “Gay” nominee to the court is significant.

Fourth: The reactions themselves have been telling. The suggestion that she is a lesbian is being treated by Democrats and the administration as a slur. This totally contradicts the image the democrats have of themselves as Gay friendly. It is that phoniness that is the only interesting story at this point, at least until the hearing start, then you never know.

Finally: It gave me a chance to quote Andrew Sullivan. For reasons that will be clear in just under three weeks I wanted an excuse to link to and quote Sullivan. This story provided it.

I hope this is an adequate answer to your question.

Gay rights groups are apparently hitting the WSJ over the softball picture.

Pat Buchanan talked about what playing softball meant, I guess I AM a naif, I’ve never ever heard of Softball=lesbian. This is Massachusetts, Baseball and the Red Sox are practically the 8th sacrament.

Oh and Joe agrees with me, I like the batting stance.

I’m looking at the gay rights groups response over that photo, left and right, I say the various groups were waiting for a chance to be “out-raged”

On the left you hear it:

“Personally I think the newspaper, which happens to have the largest circulation of any in the U.S., might as well have gone with a headline that said, ‘Lesbian or switch-hitter?'” grumbled the Dallas Voice’s John Wright.

On the right they are using the photo to hit the administration

“I fully expect the White House to push back and claim Kagan never played softball and that it’s a smear to insinuate she did,” emailed a founder of the conservative gay group GOProud, Chris Barron.

The response of the WSJ was classic and Morning Joe read it:

“If you turn the photo upside down, reverse the pixilation and simultaneously listen to Abbey Road backwards, while reading Roland Barthes, you will indeed find a very subtle hidden message,” said Journal spokeswoman Ashley Huston.

I don’t know what the Journal pays Ashley but she deserves a bonus, that was awesome.

I still never heard a thing about the Softball stuff, I’ll have to take Pat’s word for it, but then again I didn’t see the Spongebob connection either until a gay friend told me either.

Of course there is this report from Dan Riehl

And the subject of civilian casualties comes us as it always does whenever the US is involved in a war.

I personally think people have seen too many movies and seem to have the idea that we can magically only hit the bad guys. Generations will pass before that is possible, but something that Lesley Stahl said really bothered me.

She talked about how civilians die in drone attacks and how even at maned checkpoint civilians are accidentally killed. She talked about how it hurts our reputation in the world.

I never forget that she was the person who was questioning General Colin Powell about his supply lines in Iraq

I want to ask that great military tactician Lesley Stahl a serious question:

Since it is necessary to get further troops on the ground and further forward to decrease civilian risks and since such actions are inherently more dangerous lets bottom line it; How large an increase in American casualties (read dead American soldiers) would you be willing to accept Lesley in order to drop accidental civilian casualties by say 10%?

I’d love get an answer on this one.

After 30 minutes of telling us what a good job Law Enforcement did to protect us, Morning Joe brings on Raza Aslan author of Beyond Fundamentalism to call this a “criminal” act and not part of any kind of war and David Sanger downplaying any foreign connection.

Apparently that is the new narrative. Lone wolf, no connection, amateur act, nothing to see here.

It is much easier than to admit something might be up with Islam.

If the left wonders why they they aren’t taken seriously it’s stuff like this.

…maybe then they wouldn’t be so worried about the potential lawsuits as the Anchoress reported on Friday:

What began as an effort by legislators to expand judicial accountability for sexual abuse by Catholic clergy has grown to cover people in every walk of life. One bill would temporarily suspend the statute of limitations, and allow people who say they were abused as children to file lawsuits up to age 58 — that is, 40 years after they turned 18.

Lo and behold now that the target is no longer just the church some interesting arguments have suddenly come to the fore:

The excuses are all now tumbling out. The New York City Mayor is concerned about the potential impact for taxpayers. Welcome to the real world, Mayor. Catholics in the pews have seen billions of dollars, donated by them over decades, paid out in compensation to victims of clerical abuse and episcopal failure. It is tough but we have to recognise responsibility.

The State Association of Counties has issued a memo of opposition citing the problem of “significantly aged and clouded” evidence. Well, as we have learnt in the Church, extending the statute of limitations is necessary because the nature of the crime means that it may take a long time before a person is ready to confront the abuse that they have suffered in the past.

The New York State School Boards Association has said that the revelation of past misdeeds would provide no extra protection for children. They should talk to Safeguarding Officials and good lay Catholics who know that the revelation of past crimes is a very strong motivation to provide robust safeguarding procedures.

Hat tip to the Hermeneutic of Continuity. I’m sure that as soon as the New York Schools abandon celibacy and allow workers to marry this problem will totally disappear. Just like when the celibacy and marriage requirements were removed from Boy Scout leaders and the US Swim Team.

I am simply dying to see how Joe and Mika choose to cover this. I wonder how they will approach it? I’m scheduling this post for Monday morning before the show, so we can see if they touch the New York Law.

Media bias is not just about how things are reported but about what things people choose to report on.

Of course the Curt Jester has a solution to the whole problem: Government prostitutes!

I talked to the three filmmakers at PennyWisdom. They covered the march/protest too and I grabbed their take:

They also interviewed me but I can’t find their stuff online might not be up yet. I wish them the best of luck.

I’ll be continuing to put up the various interviews but for now we have a series of short clips of the lead up to and the actual march in question with my commentary and some photo links.

First there was the revving up of the crowd:


Before anything else I want to say the two speakers there gave me access to the Gazebo to take some shots and were extremely polite to me. I may disagree with them but they get full marks on that. Here is a pan of the crowd:

It was pretty small at that point but small contingents kept showing up during the day, here is the second to last that came:

By the time the final batch came the total was about 300 or maybe a bit under. Here is the second Pan after the contingents showed up. It still added up to maybe 3% of the Tea Party crowd.

In a few minutes they were about to Watch, I checked with the Police and asked if I could walk ahead and take pictures, they smiled saying it was a free country. So they started to line up to do their march through the streets:

The Crowd started down the street with the police clearing the way. The public watched with some amusement and some bemusement as they continued on.

They basically marched a block down, two or three blocks over then back up toward city hall. Their cry was “education not deportation”. I would highly recommend education particularly on the subject of economics which was sadly lacking in this group. I would suggest for that they begin with Don Boudreaux, a bit of history perhaps, I would recommend Anne Applebaum’s book Gulag to reacquaint people with all the good that Che and socialism did for people and perhaps some current events with Byron York as none of these people seem to be actually have read it. Maybe even a lesson in English like the difference between “immigration” and “illegal immigration” which the entire march seemed to try to blur rather dishonestly.

The March then stopped near city hall where the Big Apple Circus was in town. It gave me a chance to show the entire crowd.

It was not the brightest idea of the marchers to stop in front of a large tent with the word Circus on it where one could take pictures. From there they marched by the graveyard where James Otis, Sam Adams and the dead from the Boston Massacre are buried. That would have been the place to stop and talk but they didn’t think of that.

The Democrats on the Sunday shows like Al Sharpton who said: “Nobody is talking about Open borders” certainly wasn’t talking about this rally nor was Katrina Vanden Heuvel who lionized these rallies as significant while minimizing the tea party rallies that not only in Boston drew 33x more people but did so on a Wednesday rather than on a weekend. It was blatantly dishonest. And I’m sure they would have loved some of the things said about the military in front of the recruiting center where it ended.

The truth is this march and movement has absolutely no chance of convincing average Americans of anything if their ideas are presented unfiltered. A great example of this was Diane a black woman who was working one of the two jobs she had worked for the last 20 years. She was unimpressed with the march, the marchers and their cause. Media outlets should be ashamed of themselves for pretending they are something they are not.

Update: Apparently the low Boston turnout wasn’t unique.

Update 2: Smitty provides links to other coverage in LA and NY and Charlotte NC.

I predict that this story via Glenn at Yid with Lid will not get airtime tomorrow morning on Morning Joe

Was the Joke Anti-Semitic? Well, the White House must have thought so. The White House transcript sent to reporters after the event conveniently began a couple of minutes into the speech. The video of the event posted on the Washington Institute Web site started right after the Joke, you can even hear the end of the laughter.

Its interesting that the same President that see racism in the legitimate actions of the Cambridge Police and the State of Arizona, hides the anti-Semitic prose of its National Security Adviser.

Now you would think that the national security adviser making a racially charged joke might draw some attention, but apparently this took place on Friday and nothing has happened. Will the show pick it up?

Exit question, what will happen first? This story being reported or a guest remarking on the lack of racial sensitivity among tea party attendees? Anyone want to make the odds?

If you read this blog at all you know that I consider Byron York one of the finest reporters in the United States. I was very flattered that he gave me a few minutes of his time at the Tea Party Express Rally.

His latest is here.

I was even more flattered that he had heard of me. Very nice guy.