Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

03/02/2010 (8:43 am)

Brooklyn DA Will Not Prosecute ACORN Office

alg_acornA Brooklyn, NY District Attorney’s office announced that it will not prosecute the ACORN office caught on tape advising reporters posing as a pimp and prostitute how to set up their business. The DA declared that no criminal activity was found, and will file no charges.

Jammie Wearing Fool raises the rather obvious question of a possible political motivation for the New York DA. He has no evidence about the investigation itself, but a source from within the DA’s office clumsily tried to hand the left a money quote in the NY Daily News account, and Ron Chusid at Liberal Values slavishly echoed it:

While the video by James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles seemed to show three ACORN workers advising a prostitute how to hide ill-gotten gains, the unedited version was not as clear, according to a law enforcement source.

“They edited the tape to meet their agenda,” said the source.

Huh? I recall watching an unedited video of at least one of their ACORN visits showing the entire conversation, and the full, unedited audio of each office visit has been posted on the Internet for months. Of course they edited the tape for the newsreels; news reports always cut out the fat and leave the meat. What did they expect, that they would cut out the “can in the backyard” part and leave them shaking hands and saying “hello?”

While Jammie seems to be correct about the DA office’s biases, just from a legal standpoint I’m not surprised that there was nothing actionable. The act caught on tape was a worker advising a couple that they should hide their profits from prostitution in a can buried in their back yard. I’m not sure that discussing an illegal venture is a crime, and “can in the back yard” is hardly a RICO-investigation-worthy money laundering scheme.

Still, we should not let the left pretend that this clears ACORN. It does not. The issue on the O’Keefe tapes was never that actionable crimes were being committed, it was that ACORN as an organization was routinely and deliberately engaged in undermining virtuous society. The shock of the tapes was that the workers on those tapes showed no surprise at all when confronted with a young couple clearly engaging in community- and life-destroying behaviors. They did not say “What you’re attempting is illegal, and we cannot help you” (except for one fellow in the New Orleans office, good on ‘im.) They did not call the police and describe the couple to them. They did not object to the immorality of it, or try to persuade the couple not to do what they were planning. They did not even blink. They simply engaged in business as usual — as though helping a pimp establish a house of prostitution using under-age illegals was just part of the daily routine.

Andrew Breitbart correctly called this “The Abu Graib of the Great Society.” The PimpGate affair ripped back the cover of “social justice” advocacy and displayed it for the corrupt moral inversion that it truly is. While it pinpoints ACORN, it highlights the moral bankruptcy of the culture built by Democratic party policies in the inner city, and implicates the Democratic party as a willing participant in the moral degeneration that ACORN represents. It is of a single piece with the destruction of Detroit, and the corruption and rot at the heart of New Orleans that we all saw after Katrina. Anybody who regards what we saw on the O’Keefe tapes as morally acceptable, even in the absence of a criminal indictment, is part of the rot.

Still, Democrats who were stung badly by their clear association with such a seamy organization will use “no indictments” as vindication, in the same manner — and displaying the same moral obtuseness — as they did with “lying about a blow job.” Brace yourselves, and be prepared with the correct answer. This changes nothing.

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March 2, 2010 @ 11:58 am #

Well…you can’t legislate morality. And one of our FF said, it takes a moral country to be a democracy. So…if we lose our underlying Judeo-Christian morality, we can attempt to legally restrict every act that we find socially unacceptable, but it simply isn’t going to work. Humans are too incredibly devious not to find some way around whatever laws/rules you make. If there isn’t an internal moral guide – which we call conscience – there simply are no limits.

And we are getting to that point. The whole basis for the “equal justice under the law” is Judaic law. If society doesn’t demand that those who hold power should be punished for legal transgressions, then the goal of the Progressives – in whatever form – will have been realized, and the US will become a country as corrupt as any banana republic. There will be no prosperity because if your neighbor envies what you have, he can cultivate the right connections to have it seized from you.

We may be coming to sad times.

March 2, 2010 @ 12:31 pm #

I’m not sure whether this link pertains more to my comment on this article – that is, that if the law is the ultimate authority, then the law will be bent to the will of those in power – or the gun rights article. I’m choosing this one…but…! We’re talking judicial activism here, so it might apply either way. They read the Constitution, but they read it as if they speak a different language.


March 2, 2010 @ 12:46 pm #

suek wrote:

Well…you can’t legislate morality.

I apologize for getting on my soapbox here, sue, but you’ve triggered one of my hot buttons.

You can’t legislate anything but morality. Every law — and I do mean every law, with no exceptions — embodies a culturally-relevant moral standard in some fashion. Laws have no other purpose, other than to enforce the common moral standards of the society.

I believe that what you actually mean is, “You can’t change the culture’s morals by passing laws.” And even that is not entirely true, as is evidenced by the left’s repeated and often successful attempts to bend the culture by legislating from the bench. Abortion is taken for granted by many in our culture; it was against the law in 39 states because of broad-based popular support in 1973 when the Court overturned them in Roe. The change in the law was instrumental to changing the culture’s view of abortion, though it was not the only factor. They’re attempting to do the same thing with gay “marriage” (which is not marriage in any intellectually valid sense.) They’ve attempted to change the law in what, 31 separate state elections by now? And they’ve failed in every single one, but they keep trying. Why? because changing the law does affect the culture’s view of the topic, and they know it perfectly well.

I know it’s difficult to change a “given” that “everybody knows,” but please, suek, try. “You can’t legislate morality” is one of the ways the left has demolished the West, and we need to change the way we talk about that subject.

March 2, 2010 @ 6:34 pm #

No time at the moment.

I stick to “you can’t legislate morality” but I’m open to discussion. I suspect from just a glance over what you’re saying that we’re not talking about the same thing.

I’ll try to clarify tomorrow am…

March 3, 2010 @ 12:17 pm #


When I say “you can’t legislate morality”, I mean that you can’t make people moral with laws.

To start with, let me differentiate between how I define moral and legal here. To me, moral is an internal discipline. Legal is an external discipline. I agree that laws are expressions of a society’s accepted morals, and as such are a delineation of the minimum standards that the society will tolerate. Religious moral standards, on the other hand, are standards to which we aspire, though many may not reach them. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle.

When I say you cannot legislate morality, I mean that the law has two effects: the force of that law is either tyrannical or it removes any sense of the internal discipline necessary to consider one’s behavior moral. It _removes_ morality from the equation if you know that the law will strike you down for disobedience. The imams of islam are an example.

Further, my morality says I should drive carefully in order to avoid harm to others. The laws specify the standards that define “carefully”, but disobeying those standards may or may not be immoral – depending on my circumstances. Joy riding at 85 miles an hour and running stop signs could be considered immoral. Taking my ailing child to the hospital at the same speed and running stop signs might well be considered very moral. In either case, though, I’d be breaking the law.

>>Laws have no other purpose, other than to enforce the common moral standards of the society.>>

I even disagree with you here. It’s true for _our_ society, but not necessarily of all societies. It depends on who/what the power of government is. If you have no underlying moral basis – as with the USSR, eg. – then the laws can change to suit those in power regardless of the morals of the society it governs. In those countries with absolute rulers/dictators, the same is true of them. Look at Nazi Germany. Those whose moral standards disagreed with the goals of the fuehrer learned to at least shut up, even if they didn’t assist.

Can we find a point of agreement?

March 5, 2010 @ 9:35 am #

Steven Cobert was hilarious on this last night, starting at about when the timer hits 9 minutes:


March 5, 2010 @ 3:07 pm #

So, Kelly — I post an article specifically refuting some of the lame attempts being made to use the Brooklyn DA’s office as a means to resurrect ACORN’s reputation, and you respond by posting a Colbert vid in which he simply recites the same, lame talking points that we’ve already refuted. Do you have any actual arguments, here? Or is your assignment simply to repeat the talking points?

Colbert was not funny, but lied through his teeth, recounting an arrest for “attempting to wiretap Sen Landrieu’s office,” when it’s clear that wiretapping had nothing to do with the incident, and that the incident had nothing to do with ACORN. He also used the “he edited the tapes” lie. The actual, unedited audio has been posted on the web for months, Kelly; do you have an analysis of them that demonstrates in what way the O’Keefe misrepresented what happened, or are you content with innuendo?

Answer me this, Kelly, because I’m really curious: how do Democrat activists like you sleep at night, knowing that you’re repeatedly engaged in spreading outright falsehood and assassinating character?

March 6, 2010 @ 10:05 am #

Democrat activist? You’re a funny little man! Where is your sense of humor?

I’m not sure what unedited audio has to do with people lying about what O’Keefe was waring in the viedo. What could audio prove about that? That’s what was funny.

We shouldn’t be afraid to ridicule people, even on our side of the aisle, when they get caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Cobert is funny because he’s equal opportunity. You react like you feel like you had something really valuable in this video that’s in danger. The wiretapping goes to O’Keefe’s character – are you applauding?

March 6, 2010 @ 10:50 am #

I’m not buying it anymore, Kelly. You’re a plant, and the entire exercise is about trying to hide the Democratic connection to yet another a deeply corrupt organization.

The Democratic party is a criminal enterprise. ACORN is just the tip of the iceberg.

March 7, 2010 @ 9:45 am #

If theres criminal activity, keep dragging it out in the open! But you don’t need to sell your soul to Satan to do it!

You ignored what I was saying by writing me off…I have to say I didn’t expect that. But what the hell do I care what you think of me?

March 7, 2010 @ 7:44 pm #

Nobody sold anybody’s soul to anything. This was straight-up, honest investigative reporting. Don’t say ridiculous things.

March 9, 2010 @ 4:37 am #

So did O’Keefe play dress-up with the guys on Fox or not, in a way that he wasn’t dressed in the video? That was the point of dishonesty – and the wire-tap story was a dishonesty back-up to me. I’m sorry, but I don’t see any value in defending this guy, even if he scored points for my team.

March 11, 2010 @ 9:20 am #

Wow, Kelly, that is seriously the most important question in the affair. We don’t need to pay the slightest attention to an organization that the President of the United States taught, that engages in routine activity undermining lawful society, using millions of dollars of tax money obtained fraudulently. It does not matter that said President has engaged said criminal organization in taking the Census, the count by which Representatives are chosen for government, in which mischief in the counting can affect the outcome of elections for the next generation. It doesn’t matter that said criminal enterprise systematically undermines the voting process. None of those things matter. What matters is how a reporter dressed up in a silly, over-the-top costume on a news show that he didn’t use on the video. That completely invalidates the investigation. Absolutely. Sure thing.

You’re a plant. Stop talking about “he scored points for my team,” and especially stop talking about honesty, ’cause you’re lying about what your team is, and honesty is the last thing you care about.

And frankly, the point you’re attempting to make is about the silliest point I’ve ever heard the Democrats attempt to make. Aren’t you ashamed? If not, why not?

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