Thursday, February 24, 2011

Union thugs at work

Remember the recent shooting in Phoenix, and how the left was quick to blame things like Sarah Palin's facebook posts for the "Climate of violnce?" Well, Massachusetts congressman Michael Capuano decided to travel to Madison, where he told the union supporters that "Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary."

Well, the union goons got the message loud and clear. Here's video of a Communications Workers of America member smacking a young lady holding a video camera.

On, Wisconsin!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Are we reaching a turning point?

In the past 25 years or so, most European countries have absorbed large Muslim populations from other countries. The nations of "old Europe" - England, France, Germany, Spain, etc. - would have zero or negative population growth, were it not for the immigrants.

And they bent over backwards to make the Islamists feel at home, without any thought as to how the newcomers might be assimilated into society. Under the banner of "celebrating diversity," the immigrants were allowed to establish their own communities, often quite free from the rules and regulations that governed the rest of society. Such unique Muslim traditions as "honor killings" and female circumcision were allowed to proliferate, and anyone who pointed out that these were inconsistent with traditional Western values was called "intolerant" or "racist."

In France, there are so-called "no-go zones" which non-muslims are advised not to enter, since police protection is not available. We're not talking about a bad neighborhood or two; The government has designated more than 700 of these no-go zones, in all areas of the country.

In Great Britain, some Muslims were allowed to establish their own court system, governed by Sharia, the Islamic code of justice. When a crime took place, British authorities were told to stay out, and to let the local court system deal with it. Meekly, they did.

Of course, the result has been chaos. There is so much about Islam that is incompatible with Western values - or any decent sense of human rights - and the end result is that these countries are being eaten away from within, all in the name of "tolerance" and "diversity." The terrorist bombings of London and Madrid were planned and executed by these home-grown Islamists, who operated freely in their Muslim enclaves, unhindered by a society that was afraid to appear "intolerant."

We may finally be reaching a turning point. Recently British Prime David Cameron spoke out against the destabilizing effect of allowing mass immigration without requiring some level of assimilation. At a conference in Munich he said "Multiculturalism has failed," noting that "we have even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run counter to our values.

"Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years," he continued. "Let's properly judge these organisations: Do they believe in universal human rights - including for women and people of other faiths? Do they believe in equality of all before the law? Do they believe in democracy and the right of people to elect their own government? Do they encourage integration or separatism?"

Cameron's remarks were decried by the usual suspects: Academics who see "diversity" as some kind of Holy Grail, and the Islamists themselves, who demonstrated one Western value they were quick to grasp: The ability to claim victimhood and cry "racism" whenever they are criticized.

But Cameron is right on the money. And he got some backup a few days later, when French President Nikolas Sarkozy - asked about Cameron's remarks - agreed wholeheartedly. "My answer is clearly yes, it is a failure," he said of multiculturalism. "We have been too concerned about the identity of the person who was arriving and not enough about the identity of the country that was receiving him."

The fact that both Cameron and Sarkozy are willing to recognize the problem might be an indication that we are reaching some kind of turning point. The kind of knuckleheaded political correctness that says every society's customs and traditions are of equal value and should be universally embraced might be on its way out.

The question is this: Is there still time for these countries to remove - and recover from - the poison that is killing their societies?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Who runs Wisconsin?

Is it the taxpayers, and their elected representatives? Or is it the thuggish teachers union? We're going to find out over the next few days as the union continues its "sick-in," thereby shutting down a large number of schools, in response to Governor Scott Walker's efforts to get the state budget back in balance.

This group of "education professionals" brought real shame to themselves earlier this week when about 2,000 of them massed outside of the Governor's home in suburban Milwaukee, an act of intimidation that looked remarkably like a third-world protest.

Now the union's bought-and-paid-for Democratic members of the Legislature have fled the capitol, refusing to vote on the proposed budget.

For several decades, public employees have been paid more, and worked less, than their private-sector counterparts, and now that unsustainable model is crashing down. It's interesting to see how the teachers - always quick to claim that they are there "for the children" - are willing to abandon the children when their taxpayer-fleecing way of life is threatened.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

David Backes leaves a little blood in St. Paul

Great moment at the X Saturday night. Game is over, Wild have defeated St. Louis for the second straight night, and the Wild's Clayton Stoner is scuffling with a St. Louis player. Then the Blues' David Backes - who attended the same jr. high school I did in Spring Lake Park, MN - takes a cheap shot at Stoner while Stoner is engaged with the other player. Stoner tosses aside the fellow he was scuffling with, and rains down a big bunch of hurt on Backes. Thanks for playing our game, David, and you can start making those early April tee times now.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A special photo

A number of minor league hockey teams produce different sweaters for different occasions, and Valentine's Day can be one of those occasions. Here is a wonderful photo from a few years ago of the Louisiana Ice Gators, with the sweet pink threads being worn by none other than tough guy Derek Boogaard. Isn't that special?

Side note: I love the "Ice Gators" name. For some reason that part of the world is home to a number pun-inspired hockey teams including the Orlando Solar Bears and Florida Everblades. I've always thought Augusta, Georgia should have a team that they could call the "Augusta Wind."

UPDATE: An alert reader informs me that Augusta DOES have a minor-league hockey team, but they are called the RiverHawks. Boring!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

100 years ago today.... Tampico, Illinois, Ronald Reagan was born. Legend has it that his father passed out cigars and said "He looks like a little Dutchmen," and the nickname "Dutch" stuck with him for life.

Others far more eloquent than me have been writing about the Gipper and his legacy in recent weeks, so I don't have a lot to add. When he passed away, my hometown newspaper, the Princeton Union-Eagle, called and asked if I wanted to write something for their opinion page. Several years later, I think it holds up pretty well, so I'll just reprint it below. God bless you, Gipper.

Princeton Union-Eagle, June 10, 2004
A brush with Ronald Reagan, his influence
By Tim Droogsma

Editor's note: Droogsma, a 1974 graduate of Princeton High School, spent about 31/2 years as press secretary for U.S. Sen. Rudy Boschwitz, spanning the final 20 months of the Reagan administration and the first two years of the Bush administration. Then he was press secretary for Gov. Arne Carlson in Minnesota for a year and is now a communications manager for a division of General Electric.

Ever since my first byline appeared in the Princeton Eagle, I wanted to be a sportswriter, but just as former President Ronald Reagan changed so many people's lives, he changed mine as well.

In January 1986, on the day the space shuttle Challenger exploded, Reagan spoke from the Oval Office. He comforted the nation, he mourned our collective loss and toward the end, he addressed the children of America and told them, "The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; It belongs to the brave."

And in that moment, I understood the incredible power of a well-crafted speech to teach, to inspire and to lead. I also knew that I wanted to do something more than write sports, that I wanted to use whatever small bit of talent I might have to help move the world in the direction Ronald Reagan wanted it to move.

Less than two years later I had left the newspaper business and became press secretary to Sen. Rudy Boschwitz. I moved to Washington and was there for the final 20 months of the Reagan presidency. I met Reagan only twice, both times very briefly, although the second time was the most memorable: An elevator ride in the United Nations building with Reagan, Rudy, a few Secret Service agents and me. Quite a thrill for a boy from Princeton!

Above all, I will remember the great speeches because they communicated great ideas. I more fully appreciated D-Day after hearing him speak of the "Boys of Pointe Du Hoc." When he stood at Brandenburg Gate and challenged Mr. Gorbachev to "tear down this wall," it was easy to understand that the world was changing, and that liberty and freedom were on the march.

Just 18 months after that speech, I was at Brandenburg Gate myself, chipping off my own piece of the wall and looking into the eyes of East Germans who now lived in freedom. More than anyone else, Reagan deserved the credit for that transformation.

In his Oval Office farewell, he talked again about America as the "Shining city on a hill," and it remains the best description of the hopes and aspirations we have for this great nation.

On June 5, Ronald Reagan finally reached the Shining City, leaving behind millions of us whom he taught, inspired and led to believe that, "For America, there will always be a bright dawn ahead."