Thursday, August 25, 2016

BIDEN INSULTS JAPANESE WITH ANTI-TRUMP BLUNDER


               Most Americans are familiar with Vice President Joseph Biden's tendency to stumble in public with gaffes and misstatements that induce either embarrassment or hilarity, depending upon one's attitude towards the man and his party.  Whether he is insulting Indian-Americans with awkward 7-Eleven jokes, inviting wheelchair-bound people to stand for a bow, blurting obscenities into an open microphone (. . . this is a big f****** deal"), or losing track of what state he is speaking in, Biden continues to provide proof that even a loopy third-rate political hack can reach the heights of power in this confused and ill-informed country.

                 Fortunately, much of Biden's verbal buffoonery is relatively harmless, so that the joke is generally on him rather than on the appalled or amused public.  But one recent example of Biden's verbal and mental ineptitude was far from an innocuous gaffe.  On the contrary, it was a reckless insult of one of America's most important allies and its people.  Moreover, it did not arise from mere geriatric forgetfulness or confusion, but rather from profound historical and legal ignorance, exacerbated by political malice.

                 The pernicious remarks arose from Biden's attempt to mock Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump's observations regarding aspects of U.S. policy towards Japan.  A bit of background is necessary to appreciate the episode in question.

                 Ever since the U.S. occupation of Japan following World War II, the U.S. has effectively guaranteed Japan's national security with the presence of American military forces and bases and with the so-called "nuclear umbrella" that serves as a formidable deterrent against aggression by truculent neighbors like China and North Korea.  At the same time, the pacifist provisions of Article 9 of Japan's constitution -- which the U.S. Occupation authorities largely drafted -- prevented the country from establishing a conventional national military force. 

                 With half a century having passed since the end of the Occupation, Japan has gradually developed a so-called Self Defense Force (JSDF) that actually compares quite favorably with the regular armed forces of most world powers.  Even so, because the JSDF is constitutionally confined to only defensive capabilities, and because even now extensive U.S. forces remain stationed in and around Japan (mostly on the southern island of Okinawa), it is fair to say that Japan enjoys what approximates a "free ride" from the U.S. in terms of its national and nuclear security.  In short, the U.S. continues to bear a disproportionate share of Japan's defense burden.

                                                     
 Japan's Prime Minister Abe's (here with F-35) Views on Art. 9 Differ from Biden's 

                 In light of Japan's enormous financial and technological capacities, Donald Trump has joined many national security experts in suggesting that the time has come for Japan to relieve the U.S. of at least part of this inordinate strain on its limited and overtaxed capacities.  Indeed, Trump has argued that both Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) could both expand their military strength and expenditures, allowing the U.S. to reduce both its financial and military burdens and contract the sphere of its vastly over-extended global responsibilities.

                 It was in this context that Mr. Trump has observed that both Japan and Korea at some point may need to consider obtaining nuclear weapons.  Trump has further noted that Pakistan, China, and most ominously North Korea all possess nuclear weapons in the East Asian theater.  Consequently, the prospect that Japan and South Korea may feel compelled to develop their own nuclear programs for self-defense and deterrence hardly seems ridiculous.  Japan may well consider that perpetual reliance upon nuclear protection from a country led by the likes of Obama or Hillary Clinton is a bad bet, especially in an environment that is bristling with hostile and unpredictable nuclear powers.  Indeed, irrational North Korea's looming potential to hit Japan with nuclear-warhead missiles is being reported in the Japanese press even as we write.

                 In short, Mr. Trump has merely suggested the obvious.  Since the U.S. cannot and should not disproportionately bear Japan's national security burdens indefinitely, Japan must either underwrite  a much greater portion of U.S. costs for its defense, or get ready to assume its own defense by expanding its own military power and capacities.  And in today's world, that would include nuclear capability.

                 It was in response to these entirely plausible suggestions that Mr. Biden felt compelled to blunder into the discussion with his usual boorish ineptitude.

                 With the galling arrogance of the ill-informed, Biden waxed indignant at Mr. Trump's reasonable consideration of the prospects for Japanese military expansion.  Biden sputtered that “he [Trump] talks cavalierly about encouraging other nations … to develop nuclear weapons.”  Then the man who famously lied in a failed presidential campaign to conceal his ineptitude as a law student (he graduated near the bottom of his law school class at Syracuse, a woeful No. 76 out of 85) had the audacity to lash out at Mr. Trump of the elite Wharton School as follows:

                 “Where was he when in school? . . . . Someone who lacks this judgment cannot be trusted . . . . He’s not qualified to know the [nuclear] codes. . . . Does he not understand we wrote Japan’s constitution to say they couldn’t be a nuclear power?” [emphasis added]

                 Biden's remarks were ignorant, inept, and diplomatically offensive  on many levels.

                 First, there is the sneering contempt for the Japanese in the statement "we wrote Japan's constitution to say they couldn't be a nuclear power."  Biden's implication is that, because the U.S. played a dominant role in drafting Japan's constitution -- of which Trump is well aware -- the provisions of that constitution are somehow forever binding on the Japanese people. 

                 His offensively blunt statement ignores the fact that, while Occupation lawyers were the primary drafters, Japanese lawyers and politicians contributed to the drafting as well.  Moreover, the draft document ultimately had to be approved and adopted by the Japanese Diet, which amended it in some respects before final adoption. 

                 But more importantly, Art. 96 of Japan's constitution provides that amendments can be made if approved by a vote of two-thirds of both houses of the Japanese Diet, and then by simple majority of the Japanese people in a referendum.  Biden's claim that the U.S. role in the creation of the Japanese constitution entails some form of permanent restraint on Japan's sovereignty is not only a gross violation of diplomatic protocol, but is insulting to the Japanese people and their leaders.

                 Thus, it was Biden, not Trump, who demonstrated historical, political, and legal ignorance in this public discussion of the Japanese rearmament issue. 

                 To borrow Biden's own rhetoric, "Does he not understand" that Japan's leaders and voters are currently in the process of considering whether, and to what extent, modifications of Art. 9's restrictions on Japanese military capabilities and missions may be needed in today's world?  Does he not know that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe strongly supports reinterpretation, revision or repeal of Art. 9 and that his Party's (the LDP) success in recent Upper House elections significantly enhances the prospects for some form of Art. 9 reform?  Or that the vastly expanding strength and mission of the JSDF (now with a defense budget of about $41.6 billion annually) shows that Art. 9 can be circumvented without repeal in any event? See  http://dailycaller.com/2016/07/16/will-japan-become-the-next-big-military-superpower/.  Apparently not.   

                 Biden's intemperate statements reveal his archaic and jingoistic view that the U.S. role in drafting Art. 9 forecloses consideration, let alone action, that would allow Japan to develop nuclear capacity under any future circumstances.  Although Japanese political sentiment remains deeply reluctant to take the "game-changing" move towards developing nuclear weapons (which Japan's technology could likely accomplish in a New York minute), that is a matter for the Japanese people and their leaders to decide; it is not foreclosed, as Biden seems to think, by constitutional restrictions that the U.S. helped draft sixty years ago.

                 Biden's crass and patronizing assertion that the U.S. had effectively dictated perpetual non-nuclear status for Japan triggered an understandably appalled response in the Japanese press (the LDP government was too diplomatic to respond in kind to Biden's undiplomatic blunder).  For example, the Asahi Shimbun declared that Biden's statement on this issue "was unprecedented in its insensitivity." 

                 Indeed, the Asahi Shimbun was too kind and diplomatic in its comment.  Biden's remarks went beyond insensitivity, and reflected not only ignorance and misunderstanding of the constitutional restraints on Japan's ability to expand its military missions and capacities, but a chauvinistic disdain for the Japanese nation's sovereign right to provide for its survival in an increasingly dangerous region and world.

Monday, August 22, 2016

CLINTON-KAINE AND THE POLITICS OF WHITE SUBSERVIENCE


            Recent statements by Democrat vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine confirm beyond question what alert observers already knew about the twisted racial views and policies of the Clinton-Kaine ticket and its media and political minions.

             The Obama-Clinton Democrats have moved beyond slavish pandering to the radical demands of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and other afro-racist elements and are now openly advocating the subordination of White Americans – including white behavior and attitudes – to what the Democrats view as the superior claims of blacks.

            In a shamelessly pandering speech to Black Baptists in New Orleans, Kaine made statements that should infuriate and provoke any White American with the slightest regard for the interests of themselves, their children, and the principles of genuine racial equality in America.     

                 Kaine stated (among other obsequious canards) as follows:  "I've never been treated badly in my life because of my skin color or my gender. . . .  I think the burden is on those of us who are in the majority – Caucasians.  We have to put ourselves in situations where we are the minority."

            The first statement is almost certainly false -- unless Kaine has never applied for a job subject to EEOC regulation, sought admission to a university, bid for a government contract, or sought any other benefit subject to federal or state EEO regulations.  In these areas, two whole generations of White Americans (and sometimes Asian Americans as well) have been subject to a lifetime of government-approved racial discrimination under the guise of so-called "affirmative action" requirements – which are nothing more than a euphemism for racial preferences favoring blacks and, later, Hispanics.  Splashing Rocks has previously outlined the history of what is now over 45 years of anti-white racial preferences in Two Generations of Racial Preference – and America Still Sleeps (2013).  Indeed, serious reverse discrimination favoring blacks over whites was already in force as early as 1972, and before.  See N. Glazer,  Affirmative Discrimination pp. 34-35 (Basic Books 1975).

             In short, multi-millions of White Americans have been "treated badly because of their skin color" over the past four decades, and there is a wealth of case law and other official documentation to confirm it. 

             Kaine should just ask the host of white discrimination victims who have valiantly pursued their cases in the face of rampant hostility and intimidation – e.g., Mark DeFunis,  Allan Bakke, Barbara Grutter, Jennifer Gratz, Cheryl Hopwood, and many others – if he really believes that White Americans never face discrimination.  Of course they do, and Kaine proves himself both a blatant liar and a racial Quisling in suggesting otherwise.

            And if Kaine still believes whites are never "treated badly" because of their race, he should try walking unarmed through certain black precincts of Milwaukee, New Orleans, Memphis, Baltimore, or Chicago, and he'll soon find out what being "treated badly" really means.

             Even more disturbing than Kaine's fraudulent denial of anti-white discrimination  was his ominous insistence that the "burden" is on White Americans to embrace the subordinate status of a racial minority – a status that is projected to become a demographic reality in about 30 years.  Making whites a permanent minority will assure the Democrat Party a permanent political majority, which helps explain why white Democrats are willing to betray their own racial and ethnic heritage so enthusiastically. 

             When Kaine and his fellow Democrats admonish White Americans to acknowledge their so-called "white privilege" and meekly endorse every outrageous demand of the radical black activists they are advocating a policy of self-imposed racial subordination unprecedented in human history.

            Among other things, the radical Democrats not only insist that White Americans meekly accept perpetual racial preference for blacks in education and employment but also acquiesce in criminal violence and rioting by urban black hoodlums because – well, because they are an oppressed "minority" and we should therefore empathize with them and their criminal behavior. 

             In the minds of the Clinton-Kaine-Obama Democrats, white failure to embrace the rabid anti-police, anti-white agenda of the Black Lives Matter movement is merely another manifestation of the ubiquitous racism they see in every aspect of American life – except in the endemic black-on-white crime where it is vented in its most tangible form.

             The Democrats' position on these issues is utter nonsense, and any White American who accepts it by voting for the race-baiting Clinton-Kaine ticket is a traitor to their own heritage and to the future of their children and grandchildren.

             An especially galling falsehood in Kaine's New Orleans harangue was the claim that American whites know nothing of what it is like to be in the racial minority, and are therefore incapable of grasping the difficulties of minority status – unless they accept the "burden" of somehow placing themselves in that "situation."

             On this point, Kaine is either deliberately deceptive or woefully ignorant of what is common knowledge.  Whites are already the racial minority in many, if not most, of the major cities of America, including  Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, D.C., Newark, Richmond, and St. Louis.  They are also in the minority in the Nation's largest state, California, as well as in New Mexico and Hawaii.  Not only are whites a demographic minority in many of these cities, but they are a distinctly subordinate and powerless political minority as well.

                  In other words, the Clinton-Kaine mantra that whites cruise through American life on a supporting wave of "white privilege" tied to their dominant majority status is another insidious canard in the Democrats' handbook of divisive falsehoods.

                    Mr. Kaine's racial demagoguery, of course, reflects the equally repugnant positions of his Red Queen, the utterly amoral and deeply dishonest Hillary Clinton.  Clinton has demonstrated that she will not only continue but actually expand Barrack Obama's black-preferential policies in civil rights, law enforcement, personnel appointments, and other areas subject to federal government control or influence.

             Mrs. Clinton is not content merely to pander to the worst elements of afro-racist extremism – like Al Sharpton and the BLM movement – but she is now expanding her immoderate racial rhetoric to the point of insulting ordinary White Americans and the nation's law enforcement community.

             This insufferable virago has curtly admonished White Americans "to recognize our privilege and practice humility."  Millions of unemployed and under-employed whites in Appalachia and elsewhere will be surprised to learn that they are racially "privileged" -- especially when many of them have actually been discriminated against under federal and state affirmative action regulations that officially favor blacks over whites. 

            Similarly, legions of white students denied admission to their chosen college in order to assure admission of minority affirmative action applicants with inferior qualifications may be understandably reluctant to "recognize their privilege."  They might even be inclined to think that a form of "black privilege" has become a permanent feature of the nation's college admissions regime.  If so, they would be right. 

             But Mrs. Clinton carried her distorted racial views to even more insulting extremes when she threw the nation's embattled police under the bus in order to curry favor with the destructive BLM movement and other black radicals.  In one of the Democratic Presidential debates, she firmly agreed that it is a "reality" that law enforcement officers view black lives as "cheap."  One wonders how she could possibly know this.  She then expanded her insidious slander of the law enforcement community by declaring that there is "systemic racism in our criminal justice system." 

             These and other statements confirm an appalling reality:  Hillary Clinton, like Obama, is willing to inflame the passions of black hostility towards the law enforcement community in order to curry favor with the BLM movement and similar extremists.

             If elected President, Hillary Clinton will continue the divisive racial policies which, under the direction of Barrack Obama, have brought the nation to the brink of outright racial hostilities – in Ferguson, Baltimore, Milwaukee, and many other urban geysers.  Now the Clinton-Kaine Democrats prescribe a regime of de facto white subordination as the necessary means of avoiding that calamity.  Solid citizens of all races should reject any candidate or party that would take us down such a divisive and debasing path.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

OBAMA'S INCENDIARY LIES ON RACE AND LAW ENFORCEMENT

              Splashing Rocks strives to set the record straight on many of the insidious falsehoods propagated by the Democratic left, particularly in those areas (such as race discrimination law and racial criminal justice issues) where we have particular expertise.  But in an age when the Obama Administration's tireless propaganda machine spreads monstrous falsehoods with brain-numbing regularity, and when the Democrat-controlled media unquestioningly broadcasts those falsehoods with lockstep uniformity, it is all but impossible for the defenders of truth keep up with the relentless repetition of falsehood.



                 But a particularly egregious lie uttered by Obama in his disgraceful speech at the memorial for the recently murdered Dallas police officers was so glaringly and provably false as to demand exposure and denunciation.  As always, moreover, the Big Media's abject subjugation to Obama's politics and policies foreclosed any possibility that this easily refutable falsehood would be identified, let alone corrected.  So Splashing Rocks will do both.


              Earlier, we accurately predicted that Obama would exploit the murder of the Dallas officers by defending the cause of the very afro-racists (like the Black Lives Matter street mobs) who nurtured the climate of anti-police/anti-white animosity that fueled those murders.   True to malicious form, Obama effectively spat in the face of the bereaved Dallas Police community by shifting the focus of the memorial from the fallen officers to his fraudulent theory that blacks are constantly victimized by discriminatory law enforcement.  When he should have confined himself to consoling and encouraging the deeply aggrieved police community and the citizens of Dallas, Obama instead engaged in more of the afro-racist agitprop that has been the sorry hallmark of his tenure.  His shameful speech included this polemic:

                "And so when African-Americans from all walks of life, from different communities across the country, voice a growing despair over what they perceive to be unequal treatment, when study after study shows that whites and people of color experience the criminal justice system differently. So that if you’re black, you’re more likely to be pulled over or searched or arrested; more likely to get longer sentences; more likely to get the death penalty for the same crime. When mothers and fathers raised their kids right, and have the talk about how to respond if stopped by a police officer — yes, sir; no, sir — but still fear that something terrible may happen when their child walks out the door; still fear that kids being stupid and not quite doing things right might end in tragedy. [emphasis added]"

                 This is nothing more nor less than a litany of inflammatory falsehood.

                 As has been repeatedly demonstrated before, the mantra that blacks are "pulled over or searched or arrested" with greater likelihood than whites is a grossly misleading canard.  The comparative frequency of such episodes is only meaningful in the context of the behavior and probabilities giving rise to them.  Blacks commit a vastly greater number of crimes per capita than whites.  So it is only logical and legitimate that they are stopped, searched, and arrested with greater frequency.  What Obama falsely portrays as anti-black discrimination is merely the logical consequence of law enforcement following the facts and the evidence.  The police simply take their perpetrators as they find them.

                 But the most glaringly false of Obama's poisonous remarks was his assertion that "if you're black, you're . . . more likely to get the death penalty for the same crime."  He has reiterated this same incendiary falsehood in speech after speech.

                 As confirmed by FBI and Justice Department data, blacks have consistently committed just over 50% of U.S. murders over roughly the past 30 years (52.5% during the period 1980-2008).  Yet blacks constitute only 13% of the U.S. population.  Blacks thus commit about four times as many murders as their share of the population would suggest.

                 Yet, as shown year-in, year-out by government statistics reported here and elsewhere, blacks receive the death penalty in far smaller proportions than their dominant share of murders committed would indicate.

                 Since 1977, about 34% of U.S. executions were carried out on black murderers, even though blacks commit over 50% of U.S. murders (it should be noted here that murders are the only crimes for which the death penalty is imposed in the U.S. under governing constitutional standards).  In sharp contrast, about 57% of U.S. executions were performed on white murderers, although only 45% of murders were committed by whites.

                 In other words, almost two times as many white murderers are executed than black murderers, even though blacks commit far more murders.

                 Remarkably, the most recent data confirm that the disparity in executions reflecting greater leniency for blacks has become even more extreme in 2016 – at the very time when Obama is deceptively claiming the opposite.  So far in 2016, eleven white murderers have been executed compared to only two blacks!

                 It is now even more clear than ever that what Obama claimed in his disgraceful Dallas harangue was the opposite of the truth.  The hard statistics now confirm that "if you're white, you're more likely to get the death penalty for the same crime [i.e., murder]."

                 Something strange indeed,is going on in the overall imposition of the death penalty, but it appears to be something like the opposite of what Obama would have gullible Americans believe.  Most Americans can't seem to come to grips with the disturbing fact that their president constantly deceives them on this and other sensitive issues.  The most likely explanation for the apparent tendency to enforce the death penalty more readily against whites than blacks is the almost obsessive compulsion of many white jurors, prosecutors, and judges to go to extreme lengths of overcompensation to avoid any claim that they discriminate against blacks.  What one might describe as a peculiar form of the notorious "Ferguson Effect" in the death penalty forum. 

                Whatever the explanation, at least one thing is clear:  Obama lies into the very teeth of the truth when he asserts that blacks are discriminated against in imposition of the death penalty, not to mention many other areas of criminal law enforcement.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

WAKE-UP PETITION CHALLENGING "BLACK LIVES MATTER" QUICKLY EXCEEDS ITS GOAL


                In the wake of the appalling Dallas massacre of five white policemen by a black terrorist, more heretofore lethargic Americans are realizing that the festering threat of anti-police and anti-white violence can no longer be ignored.

                A notable indicator of this emergent resolve is the rapid response to a citizens' petition calling on the White House to designate the obnoxious Black Lives Matter movement as a terrorist organization.  The petition was submitted to the White House by someone identified as Y.S. on July 6 – one day before a monster named Micah Johnson perpetrated his anti-white police assault in Dallas.  The assault occurred in the context of a Black Lives Matter (BLM) anti-police demonstration, and Johnson invoked the cause of BLM in his exchange with the police before he was taken out.

                Y.S.'s petition was rather inartfully worded, and it is probably more accurate to describe BLM as a hate group rather than a "terrorist organization" within the meaning of the governing statutes and laws.  Further, few signers of the petition (SR was an early signer) actually expected President Obama – who is firmly on the side of the BLM movement and their virulent campaign – to respond to it with anything more than a curt rejection.  But unrealistic presidential action is not the genuine objective of most who sign the petition.  Rather, it is to make an unequivocal public condemnation of the malicious anti-police objectives and the outrageous civic disturbances (such as illegally blocking major highway arteries) of the BLM movement and its supporters.

                When SR signed the petition, there were only about 10,000 signers on board.  Remarkably, however, the number of signers expanded with startling speed – motivated, no doubt, by their fury at the Dallas atrocity and still other anti-police and anti-white violence and disruption that soon followed.

                Only five days after its initiation, and only four days after Dallas, the petition had exceeded the goal of 100,000 signers required to force a formal White House response under the rules governing the petition process.  At this writing, the petition is approaching 120,000 signers, although the numbers can now be expected to tail-off since the main goal has been reached.

                Although the petition's success is only a tentative indicator that people are finally coming to grips with the reality of the violent anti-white temper of the BLM movement and its mobs, the nature and requirements of the petition process show that this episode has more significance than may first seem apparent.  Unlike the typical on-line poll or survey, one could not support the petition under the safe cloak of anonynmity.  Rather, signers are required to submit their name, home address, and e-mail address – to the White House office that administers the petition process!  Signers are advised that "President Obama and the White House may send e-mails about this and other issues."

                Consequently, the 120,000 odd citizens who have signed the petition were willing to make a very public declaration of their condemnation of the BLM movement – and thus expose themselves to being classified as racists or worse by a White House that has openly declared its support for BLM and its goals.  In short, those signing the petition were truly standing up to be counted on an issue that most of their fellow citizens would rather ignore.  The BLM petition therefore may represent an early sign that the sleeping giant of justifiable citizen resentment against anti-white and anti-police agitation by BLM and similar afro-racist elements is finally awakening.

               Addendum:  Once again proving Putin's amazing audacity and keen understanding of America's political and moral decadence, Russia has announced its plans to put Black Lives Matter on Russia's "Unified List" of organizations that have been "recognized as terrorist groups by Russian Law."  In other words, Putin promptly and vigorously recognizes the destructive and dangerous nature of the racist BLM organization that Obama continues to embrace and encourage in its racist, anti-law enforcement program.  The Russian report underlying the proposed action also points out that tens of millions of dollars age being contributed to this "racial hatred group" by billionaire supporters of Obama.

Monday, July 11, 2016

DALLAS, OBAMA, AND THE FALSE FOUNDATION OF THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT


              The deeply dishonest  and divisive President Obama is scheduled to speak this Tuesday at a memorial for the five murdered Dallas Policemen.  This is a grotesque insult to the fallen officers and their law enforcement comrades nationwide, but is typical of the twisted presumption that the nation somehow requires the guidance of a discredited president whenever a major tragedy attracts widespread media attention. 


                The Nation should turn its back on what will certainly be a fraudulent political speech.  After mouthing the standard bromides and formalities necessitated by such an occasion, Obama can be expected to draw a false equivalence between the genuine tragedy of race-based anti-police violence and the insidious fiction that there is widespread law enforcement discrimination against blacks. 

              The Dallas police should give Obama the same treatment the NYPD officers gave the hypocrite NYC Mayor de Blasio when he had the audacity to show up at the funeral of a policeman who was killed in the very climate of anti-police/anti-white hatred that de Blasio and his ilk have incited.  The NYC officers turned their backs on de Blasio, and the Dallas officers should do the same to Obama.


                Those who share responsibility for the Dallas officers' murders should not be allowed anywhere near their memorial service, let alone be invited to speak as chief eulogist.  Yet the very man whose divisive rhetoric helped establish the atmosphere of anti-police animosity in which attacks on police became inevitable will be allowed to use the officers' service as a platform to reiterate the fallacies that fueled these murders – i.e., the anti-white police gospel of the insidious Black Lives Matters (BLM) movement whose malicious demonstration provided the stage and environment  for Micah "X" Johnson's murder of the white officers.


                There can be no doubt about this:  Obama and his fellow racial agitators in government, politics, media, and the black community do bear grave responsibility for the poisonous climate of anti-police/anti-white malice that they have persistently cultivated.  And it is that sulfurous climate which provided a false sense of legitimacy for the racist anger that motivated Micah Johnson to commit his murderous atrocities.  In case after case, Obama and his political and media allies have instantly pounced on any police action that injures black hoodlums to parrot false and inflammatory claims of discriminatory treatment -- only to be proven horribly wrong when the facts reveal it was the black miscreant (e.g., Michael Brown), not the officer, who was at fault.  But the Black Lives Matter mobs are utterly oblivious to any facts that contradict their anti-police malice, and Obama and his minions have persistently reinforced their defiance of the facts that undermine their implacable hostility.


                SR acknowledges there are those who deny that Obama and his fellow racial agitators bear any responsibility for the Dallas murders.  These apologists lamely invoke the premise that only the actual perpetrator bears full responsibility and that placing any responsibility on others somehow diminishes the killer's guilt. 


                This is a bogus "straw man" argument, asserted in order to absolve those who feed the flames of any responsibility for the conflagration that follows.  No one is denying or diminishing  the perpetrator's individual guilt; rather, they are only making the obvious point that nurturing a pervasive atmosphere of intense anti-police animosity tends to breed anti-police violence.


                An atrocity like the Dallas police murders may have many "but for" causes, even though the actual perpetrator bears direct and primary responsibility, and only he is chargeable with the murder itself.  Obama, Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, Al Sharpton, and countless celebrity leftists have all fomented anti-police and anti-white malice by constantly repeating the gross falsehood that there is a nationwide pattern of discriminatory law enforcement against blacks.  But for the poisonous narrative portraying police as racist dragoons out to persecute innocent black "youths" nurtured by Obama and his leftist minions, it is unlikely that Micah Johnson would have reached the fever pitch of malice against white policemen that possessed him.  And it is unlikely that the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement would have achieved the prominence and power that enabled it to stage massive anti-police demonstrations of the type that provided the stage and setting chosen by Johnson for his murderous assaults.


                There are many reasons to be furious about the Dallas atrocity and other violent disruptions fueled by the BLM movement and its political and media cheerleaders, but the utterly fraudulent  premise and foundation for the entire campaign is the most infuriating aspect of the whole ugly charade.


                Obama, his successive black Attorneys General, and their allies and echo chambers in the media have relentlessly repeated the canard that black anger and resentment against police is perfectly understandable, and even justified, because police engage in consistently discriminatory enforcement of the laws against blacks, especially young black males. 


                The contention is not only false, it is wildly false, and, indeed, the opposite of the truth.  Far from going out of their way to invite predictably contentious or even violent response by confronting truculent black males with unfounded criminal charges, police are understandably reticent to press criminal charges against urban black males except in the most clear-cut and serious circumstances. 


                This is now so well understood that we even have a recognized name for it:  The Ferguson Effect.  Police officers nationwide are keenly aware that any enforcement confrontation with blacks in an inner-city environment poses a grave risk that they will be video-recorded, charged with discriminatory practices, or even physically threatened or attacked by surrounding crowds.


                The most common form of the "discriminatory enforcement" charge is simply to make it as a sweeping generalization that presumably no one would pesume to question – especially in mainstream media discussions, where the leftist moderators and commentators are only too willing to accept as gospel anything and everything asserted by advocates of the blacks-as-victims gospel.  The generalizations are then often followed by invocation of such popular maxims as the bogus "driving while black" slogan, which falsely assumes the premise that black drivers are stopped by police more often because they are black, rather than because they commit more violations; and the equally bogus "racial profiling" canard, which is based on the incoherent and illogical premise that evidence of criminal suspects' race must be disregarded in criminal investigations.  Then the advocates' glibly assert their own alleged (and likely fictional) experiences in being singled out by police in their youth because of their race – a clever technique indeed, because unwitnessed fabrications of long past incidents are  impossible to refute. 


                Fortunately, the FBI and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) have been maintaining official data on race and crime for many decades.  Extensive, longstanding, and consistent, the data demonstrate that blacks commit a vastly disproportionate share of violent crimes. 

                Thus, the fact that blacks constitute a disproportionate percentage of those arrested and incarcerated for violent crime is plainly not because our police and law enforcement authorities are engaged in racist discrimination.  Given that our highest law enforcement positions at both federal and state levels are heavily occupied by blacks – like our last two Attorney Generals, and the current Secretary of Homeland Security, to name only a few – this would be rather remarkable and counterintuitive.  No, the reason for this disproportion is because blacks commit an extremely high percentage of total violent crimes – a total that far exceeds their percentage of the overall U.S. population.


                Murder is perhaps the best example.  Going back at least three decades, the government data demonstrates that blacks commit about  52% of U.S. murders, year after year (for the period 1980-2008, 52.5% of homicides were committed by blacks, whereas 45.3% were committed by whites).  Yet blacks constitute only 13% of the U.S. population.  This being the case, one would expect that Blacks would constitute about 50% of those sentenced and executed to capital punishment for murder.  But one would be wrong.  In fact, white murderers are both sentenced to death and actually executed  in consistently greater numbers than blacks (for a full analysis of this subject, see my 2014 post, The Capital Canard of Death Penalty Discrimination) .  Since 1976, 55.5% of those executed for murder in the U.S. were white, while only 34.6% were black.  In other words, a white murderer is far more likely to be convicted and executed for murder than a black. 


                So much for Obama's contention that the criminal law is applied to blacks with disproportionate severity.  On the contrary.


                The data on other violent crimes similarly confirms the hard fact that blacks consistently commit violent crimes at a vastly higher rate than whites or other races in America.  The studies and reports vary somewhat in the detail, but the findings are consistent on the basic point.  They show that blacks are roughly eight times more likely to commit robbery than whites; commit violent crimes in general at a rate four to eight times greater than whites; and are 39 times more likely to commit inter-racial crimes against whites than vice versa.  On the local level, disproportionate crime by blacks is sometimes even more striking.  One study showed that for the period January-June, 2008, 83% of gun assaults in New York City were committed by blacks, even though they represented only 24% of the city population.


                Thus, when Obama and his minions glibly repeat the canard that black anti-police animosity is the understandable consequence of discriminatory enforcement against innocent young black youths, know that they are perpetrating a dangerous falsehood of Goebels-like proportions.  Blacks, and young black males in particular, are more likely to experience stops, arrests, and other coercive interactions with police because they commit vastly more of the crimes that necessitate such confrontations.  The whole edifice of the Black Lives Matter campaign is built upon a demonstrably fraudulent foundation of lies and calumnies. 


                Outrageously, however, Obama is apt to subtly re-insinuate this dangerous  fallacy when he delivers his supposedly "healing" message at the memorial for the murdered Dallas policemen.  If he does, let us hope that his deeply dishonest message is treated with the contempt it deserves.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

THREE BRAVE LADIES AT EUROPE'S GATES: THE LE PEN'S OF FRANCE AND GERMANY'S FRAUKE PETRY


              Here in the U.S., the most prominent woman in politics is a dull, elderly, and wretchedly unlikeable termagant who has been inflicting the same tiresome canards upon a bored and jaded public for 24 years.  The only thing more depressing about Hilary Rodham Clinton than her crass dishonesty and pandering is her sheer banality and lack of anything resembling a genuinely human personality.

                But across the Atlantic in Europe, while the European Community and its constituent pseudo-nations lurch from one fiasco to another, a glimmer of hope has been generated by three highly interesting conservative women whose appealing and admirable qualities stand in stark contrast to the tiresome Mrs. Clinton.  To paraphrase the ubiquitous Dos Equis beer commercial, they might even be called the most interesting women in the political world.

                In France, the intrepid and determined leader of the populist Front National (FN), Marine Le Pen, poses an existential threat to the effete male leadership of France's establishment parties -- and is giving perpetually frustrated French conservatives a genuine prospect of electing a conservative nationalist in the next presidential election. 

                                                                              
                                                                                              americandigest.org
                         Marine Le Pen, formidable leader of France's Front National

                Waiting in the wings, moreover, Ms. Le Pen's youthful and glamorous niece and political Padawan, 26-year-old Marion Marechal Le Pen, stands ready to electrify legions of French nationalists with a brand of determined and pure-hearted Christian leadership not seen here since Joan of Arc rallied the French armies against the English in the Hundred Years War.

                                                                  
                                                                                                   returnofkings.com
               Marion Marechal Le Pen, the bright young face of French nationalism

                Meanwhile, yet another youthful and attractive political heroine, Dr. Frauke Petry (her doctorate is in chemistry), has led Germany's own conservative/nationalist party, the Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD), to sudden prominence and strengthening prospects in a nation paralyzed by malaise and uncertainty.  Frau Petry and the AfD have provided a political alternative for millions of angry Germans whose objections to the de facto Islamic invasion of their country have been scornfully dismissed by Chancellor Angela Merkel and her spineless minions in the German political establishment.  Like the Le Pen ladies in France, Frau Petry has demonstrated raw political and physical courage in standing up to the rabid minions of the European left and its establishment allies, who seek to suppress the AfD and its leaders with violent demonstrations, physical threats, and official legal persecution.  On top of all that, the pixie-coiffed and mini-skirted Dr. Petry provides a refreshing visual alternative to the haggard Frau Merkel.

                                                                                     
                                                                                              cdn.newsapi.com
                                          Determined AfD Leader Frauke Petry

                Madam Marine Le Pen, the daughter of erstwhile FN founder and hard-core rightist Jean-Marie Le Pen, is now the President and leader of the FN and its expected presidential candidate in the national elections scheduled for April, 2017.  She has achieved remarkable political success notwithstanding the relentless hostility of the French and European media, which reflexively and mindlessly portray her as a disreputable hard core right-winger -- just as they do with Dr. Petry and the younger Mme. Le Pen. 

                This rote characterization is grossly misleading, particularly as applied to the relatively pragmatic Marine Le Pen and Frauke Petry -- both of whom have become increasingly flexible as they seek to move their parties from the political margins to the status of broadly-based and viable national parties.  If any of these three political ladies has truly earned the status of a staunch and principled rightist, it is the younger Ms. Le Pen, who appears to embrace a brand of social conservatism that Marine Le Pen and Frau Petry tend to downplay – albeit probably for tactical reasons.

                In seeking to rid the FN of the politically fatal reputation of far-right extremism, Marine Le Pen has even gone so far as to expel her flamboyant and unyielding father from the party he founded, reportedly because of impolitic statements about the Holocaust (interestingly, the younger Marion Le Pen did not support the expulsion).  She has modulated the FN's image and platform to a position that is decidedly more moderate than that of her truculent father (who says her purported backsliding will lead to electoral defeat) and somewhat more moderate than her socially conservative and more charismatic niece Marion.  But this merely reflects the fine line a conservative party like the FN must follow if it wants to win national elections in a country that has followed a liberal/leftist tilt for decades.  Beneath her calculated pragmatism, however, Marine Le Pen remains a committed conservative nationalist, and she has the political scars to prove it.

                In any case, Mme. Le Pen has successfully led the FN to the status of a major player in France's fractured multi-party system—to the point where she is considered a serious prospect for winning next year's French presidential elections.  In the 2012 presidential election, Mme. Le Pen took 18% of the divided vote but fell short of qualifying for the second round in France's convoluted election system.  But in the 2014 elections for French representation in the European Parliament, the FN topped all French parties with 25% of the vote, winning 21 of 74 French seats.  And in the 2015 regional elections, the FN took 27% of the vote and finished first in 6 of 13 newly drawn regions.  In brief, the FN's political progress under Mme. Le Pen has been steady and substantial.  The question of whether the party has reached a ceiling for a rightist party in France, however, is apt to be answered in next year's elections.

                Yet Marine Le Pen's prudent efforts to modulate the FN's positions without alienating its core constituents have failed to mollify the rabid hostility of France's left-oriented political and media establishment.  In the deranged political atmosphere prevailing in contemporary France, reasonable advocates of more conservative, Euroskeptic policies in general, and resistance to the destructive de facto Islamic invasion in particular, are not only castigated as right-wing extremists, but are under the constant threat of actual criminal prosecution for the mere expression of conservative opinions.  There is no First Amendment in France, or elsewhere in the ideologically intolerant European Community.

                Indeed, Mme. Le Pen was actually prosecuted by French authorities for allegedly inciting hatred against Muslims based upon entirely defensible remarks she made in 2010, comparing the obstruction of French streets by hordes of Muslims engaging in mass prayer demonstrations to the German occupation of World War II.  After enduring five years under this legal Sword of Damocles, Mme. Le Pen was finally acquitted of these utterly bogus political charges in December of 2015.  As she rightfully remarked after her acquittal, “Five years of aspersions, one acquittal. . .  And now how many slanderers will apologize?”

                Notwithstanding the FN's recent successes – and those of other rightist parties elsewhere in Europe, e.g., Austria's rapidly rising Freedom Party -- Marine Le Pen's prospects for actually winning the French presidency in next year's election remain uncertain.  Just as in recent French legislative elections, Mme. Le Pen may well win the most votes in the first round of France's fragmented multi-party election process, only to face a cynical alliance of establishment parties expressly forged to bar Le Pen and the FN from the presidency.  On the other hand, one more Islamic terrorist attack inside the French Republic may be all it takes for a an eruption of nationalist anger to propel Mme. Le Pen to the presidency. 

                Even if she falls short of winning the presidency, however, Marine Le Pen has earned a place among the world's most influential conservatives by leading the FN to the brink of power in French politics and by giving voice to the profound concerns of French patriots who belatedly recognize the necessity of political resistance to the relentless Islamic encroachment on their Republic.
            
                If nothing else, moreover, the expansion of the FN's base and prospects engineered by Marine Le Pen may pave the way for her captivating niece to lead future French conservatives to a political dominance that has heretofore evaded them.  Only 26 years old, Marion Marechal Le Pen (MMLP) was elected to the French parliament at only 22, making her the youngest member of parliament in modern French history.  Her youth, courage, and unabashed patriotism have predictably cast her in the role of a latter-day Joan of Arc, ready to lead French resistance to the menacing incursions of Islamic migrants and degenerate Euro-leftists.   Prominent women as varied as Sarah Palin and Brigitte Bardot have declared their admiration and enthusiasm for this bright new face of French conservatism and nationalism.

                MMLP demolished the notion that she is merely a pretty political face when she trounced veteran 72-year-old Gaullist PM and presidential hopeful Alain Juppe in a televised political debate.  If such debates allowed for Technical Knockouts, M. Juppe would have suffered one.  As described in the UK's Telegraph (Dec. 5, 2015):  "With the odd toss of her long blond hair, the poised Ms MarĂ©chal Le Pen trounced one of France’s best-known political figures. She gave back soundbite for soundbite, smilingly quoting from JuppĂ©’s campaign platform verbatim, forcing him to look up his own points in the book he signed, and dropping on occasion the kind of Latin quote, Boris Johnson-like, which France’s right-wing electorate loves. She made him sound old without sounding wiser."

                While there is no doubt that her youth and beauty have enhanced her political appeal, it is the combination of those assets with her staunch commitment to socially conservative and patriotic principles that distinguishes Marion Le Pen from the general run of French conservative politicians – including her more cautious and pragmatic Aunt Marine.  She has been outspoken in her belief that Muslim immigrants must accommodate their religious practices to French customs and culture, to the dismay of the cowering poltroons in the mainstream parties and media.  As she has frankly stated, "In our country, we don’t wear djellaba clothing, we don’t wear a veil and we don’t impose cathedral-sized mosques".

                A committed Catholic, Marion Le Pen was a prominent participant in the remarkable mass demonstration of French conservatives opposing same-sex marriage who flooded the streets of Paris like latter-day sans culottes in 2013, as described on this blog.  It is this unabashed commitment to controversial principles and positions that distinguishes her from the more pragmatic and calculated conservatism of her aunt and Frauke Petry.  Whether Marion Le Pen will be able to maintain her impetuous dedication to the more controversial conservative causes as she advances in years and, hopefully, in political stature and responsibility is apt to be determined by the survival and growth of the political movement that she and her aunt are currently inspiring.

                Like Marine Le Pen, the trim and comely Frauke Petry has led her conservative AfD party to a level of prominence and popularity in Germany deemed unfathomable only a year ago.  In recent elections for the state parliaments, the AfD  (in existence for only three years) achieved unprecedented success for a post-World War II party of the right in Germany, receiving 1.3 million votes and winning multiple delegate seats in three of the states at issue .  In Saxony-Anhalt, the Afd took 24% of the vote and fifteen seats.  No new party has ever done so well so quickly in Germany.

                As with Mme. Le Pen, Frau Petry is relentlessly misrepresented as a far-right extremist even as she seeks to modulate her party's most hard-lined positions to enhance its acceptability among the broader electorate. 

                In particular, the leftist German media gleefully pounced on a remark made by Frau Petry last winter, responding to the menacing threat of unbridled mass migration of young Muslim men into Germany.  Stating what would be obvious to a government with any sense of national borders and security facing such a de facto invasion, Petry responded to a reporter that German border police officers “must stop illegal border crossings, and also make use of his firearm if necessary.”  She further elaborated:  “No policeman wants to fire on a refugee and I don’t want that either, but the last resort includes the use of armed force.”

                Dr. Petry, of course, was merely expressing the obvious point that when a nation is faced with an invasion of Muslim aliens that reaches the point of threatening public safety, resort to force by firearms may prove to be a last but necessary resort.  The validity of her position has been forcefully underscored by the recurring rapes, assaults, and other violent crimes perpetrated by the so-called Muslim "refugees" whom Angela Merkel and her spineless government welcome with open arms.  Yet the German media have persisted in misrepresenting Petry's realistic remarks as though she had called for firing at will on any Muslim who crosses the German border. 

                Considering the near-suicidal capitulation to Muslim infiltration that pervades the German political and media establishment, Frau Petry might consider herself fortunate that her remarks did not result in actual prosecution for so-called hate speech or "incitement" – as recently befell another nationalist German politician who had the temerity to speak disparagingly of Muslims in a Facebook post.  Similarly, Germans who dared to describe the facts of the notorious New Years sex attacks on German women by Muslim aliens in Cologne have also been threatened with prosecution by German authorities for exposing the government's cover-up of the outrageous incident.  Indeed, even the liberal media in America has recognized the extremity of the German government's relentless efforts to prosecute political speech that is in any way critical of Muslims or Islam.  See https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/germany-springs-to-action-over-hate-speech-against-migrants/2016/01/06/6031218e-b315-11e5-8abc-d09392edc612_story.html. 

                Simply put, in the near totalitarian atmosphere of Frau Merkel's twisted dystopian governance, Dr. Petry and her AfD cohorts demonstrate daily courage merely by expressing the most basic principles of German nationalism and self-preservation.

                Even while she is castigated by the German media for her supposedly xenophobic positions, Frau Petry's relatively moderate position on the Muslim issue within her own party has reportedly weakened her influence as leader of the AfD.  At the recent AfD congress, the party adopted policies that expressly declared that "Islam is not part of Germany" – a direct challenge to Merkel's contrary declaration – and called for a ban on minarets, public calls for Muslim prayer, and the public wearing of all-concealing burqas and niqabs.  Reportedly, Petry's proposal for a more moderate policy to achieve Muslim adaptation to German culture and standards was rejected.  Nonetheless, Petry apparently accepted and supported the final party position and retains her leadership position.

                Her remarks at the opening of the party congress, moreover, demonstrated the intrepid leadership that Frau Petry can provide to German patriots as they confront the abject capitulation of the Merkel government to hordes of hostile Muslim "migrants" as they infiltrate and defile their country and its culture.  With a barbed reference to Merkel's unyielding  adherence to her disastrous immigration policy, Petry declared:  "We always wondered when the brave child will finally appear to voice the thoughts of the silent majority and declare that the 'chancellor of no alternatives' doesn't know what she's doing.  And I think, this brave child is us."

                The courage, determination, and principled patriotism of France's Le Pen ladies and Germany's Frau Petry provide a striking contrast to the smug fraudulence of the tiresome termagant who has become the dominant female in American politics.  If these energetic women leaders succeed in their resistance to a disturbing new form of ideological totalitarianism, perhaps America may take the cue and avoid the kind of self-destructive national perversity into which much of Europe has descended.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

WHEN CARPENTERS WERE ON TOP OF THE WORLD -- OF MUSIC

     The anniversary of Karen Carpenter's passing on February 4 (now 33 years ago) generally prompts SR to commemorate that beloved songstress with some hopefully enlightening insights on the musical legacy that she and her brother, Richard --  internationally renowned as the Carpenters -- have bestowed on the world's musical culture.  In a darkening age when Western culture is epitomized by the acclaimed triumph of a bearded Austrian drag queen at the highly publicized Eurovision musical contest, the preservation and perpetuation of genuinely beautiful and edifying musical treasures is more critical than ever.

     It is well documented that the Carpenters produced more hit singles in the decade of the 1970's than any other American group or solo artist.  Only three non-American superstars -- Elton John, Paul McCartney, and the Bee Gees -- surpassed them in that regard, as detailed in Joel Whitburn's The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits.  And the Carpenters may well have surpassed even those luminaries in that ranking had their amazing run of recording supremacy from 1970to 1975 not been cut short by the onset of Karen's ultimately fatal debilitation by anorexia nervosa starting around 1976.

     Apart from their prominence in this ranking of singles artists, however, the Carpenters are rarely, if ever, recognized among the genuinely elite musical superstars of their era.  As this blog has previously noted and decried, for example, the Carpenters have long been perversely excluded from admission to the ill-administered Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, while performers of vastly inferior accomplishments and talent are consistently admitted.

     Although cultural bias may bar the Carpenters from that Philistene institution, the straightforward historical record can still accurately recognize the remarkable musical legacy of the sibling Duo from Downey.  And there is a very important aspect of that legacy that has apparently never been recognized:  During the period of 1973-75, the Carpenters were almost certainly the most successful pop or rock recording artists in the world.  In particular, historical Japanese chart data maintained by Tokyo's Oricon, Inc., has proven especially helpful in documenting the Carpenters' particularly impressive popularity in the world's second largest music market.

                                                                 
                          The concentration of vocal genius in the A&M studios

     There are three main measures of success for evaluating recording artists during the Carpenters' era (today one would probably add videos):  album sales, singles sales, and concert attendance.  And the measurement should take into account the international market, not merely the United States.  In that respect, the top three markets during the seventies were (as they are today): 1. United States; 2. Japan; and 3. the UK. Other significant markets of note would include France, Australia, Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands.  But the top three markets provide a valid marker for international success, based on their pre-eminent importance and availability of data.

     Taking into account all three success markers, across the three leading international markets and others, the Carpenters accomplishments from 1973 to 1975 were simply unequaled.

Albums

     Carpenters recorded three general release albums during this period:  Now and Then (1973), The Singles (1973-74), and Horizon (1975).  In addition, they released three albums for the Japan market only: Gem II (1973), Golden Prize II (1974), and Live in Japan (1975).  The success of all of those albums in the Top 3 markets was nothing less than astonishing.

     Now and Then reached No. 1 in Japan and No. 2 in both the U.S. and UK.  It also hit No. 1 in Australia and No. 2 in Canada and the Netherlands.

     The Singles hit No. 1 in the U.S. on the Billboard Albums chart and held No. 1 for a stunning 17 weeks in the UK, where it was far and away the top-selling album for 1974.  The Carpenters' competition on the UK charts for that year included Elton John, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, and Rod Stewart, which demonstrates just how difficult it was for Carpenters to achieve the success they did.

     Horizon scored No. 1 again for the Carpenters in both the UK and Japan in 1975.  It reached only No. 13 in the U.S., however.

     In Japan, meanwhile, Gem II reached No. 3 in 1973, Golden Prize scored another No. 1 in 1974, and Live in Japan reached No 8 in 1975.  The Carpenters had 2 of the top 4 albums-- Golden Prize and Now and Then -- for all of 1974 in the entire Japanese market.  Ultimately, the Carpenters were topped only by the Beatles in album sales by international artists in Japan during their era (Mariah Carey has since exceeded them both).

     The Carpenters' success in topping the charts with all these albums in each of the world's three leading markets clearly established their superiority in the international albums sector in this period.

                                                             
                    Karen and Richard in the peak years of their recording success

Singles

     The Carpenters single sales during this period were no less impressive, although not quite so imposing on the international side.  In that respect, a peculiarity of the Japanese record market warrants mention.  For esoteric reasons non-Japanese artists rarely crack the top ranks in single sales there, although they fare much better in album sales.  Consequently, although the Carpenters were far and away the leading "foreign" singles artists in Japan (above the Beatles and everyone else) --  and remained so until 2012 -- their rankings on the Oricon singles charts were not so astronomical as their albums rankings.

     In 1973, Carpenters released three U.S. singles:  Sing, Yesterday Once More, and Top of the World.  Each of them was enormously successful on both the national and international level.

     Sing reached No. 1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart (AC)  and No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Internationally, it scored No. 1 in Hong Kong and on the Oricon International chart (ranking foreign artists in the Japanese market), No. 4 in Canada, and No. 18 in the overall Japanese market.

     As previously documented on this blog, Yesterday Once More was one of the most popular international hits of the 70's.  It was No. 1 on three of the four major U.S. charts, No. 2 in both Japan and the UK, and No. 1 in Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Israel, Venezuela, and on Oricon International.  It was No. 7 on the United World Chart ranking the top hits in the entire world for all of 1973.

     Top of the World was yet another monster hit, domestically and internationally.  It was No. 1 on the main U.S. charts, as well as in Australia and Canada, and No. 5 in the UK. It was No. 14 on the United World Chart for all of 1973.

     Carpenters rounded out 1973 with a limited foreign release of Jambalaya, which reached No. 12 in the UK and Ireland and No. 3 in the Netherlands.

     1974 saw the Downey Duo release two more international hit singles.  Their cover of the popular Motown hit, Please Mr. Postman, produced yet another No. 1 for the Carpenters both on all U.S. charts as well as in Canada, Australia, Germany, and New Zealand, while reaching No. 2 in the UK and Ireland, No. 5 in Switzerland, and No. 8 in Brazil.  Their other 1974 release, I Won't Last a Day Without You, was the usual No. 1 for the Carpenters on the Adult Contemporary chart, No. 9 on Record World, and No. 11 on the Hot 100.  Internationally, Won't Last a Day was No. 1 in Hong Kong and on Oricon International, as well as No. 7 in Canada and No. 9 in the UK.

     By 1975, the Carpenters' popularity started to decline somewhat domestically -- driven no doubt by the cynical critics disdain for their civil and congenial style --  even while they continued to excel internationally. Even so, Only Yesterday achieved another No. 1 on the AC chart and a strong No. 5 on the Hot 100, while scoring No. 1 on the Global/United World chart for the entire year, No. 1 on Oricon International, No. 2 in Canada, and No. 7 in the UK.

     It is indicative of just how extreme was the Carpenters' success in producing super-hit singles that their second 1975 release, the moving ballad Solitaire, was considered a major disappointment when it peaked at No. 17 on the Hot 100 -- even though it was No. 1 on the AC chart and No. 12 in Canada.

     With no less than five chart-topping international mega-hits, the Carpenters superiority in the singles field during this period was as imposing as it was in the albums charts.

Concerts

     As difficult as it is to retrieve international record sales data from over 40 years ago, it is even more so in the case of concert popularity.  Indeed, it is futile.  Nonetheless, the information that is available concerning the Carpenters' extraordinary -- and, unfortunately, probably excessive -- concert tour success in the mid-1970's demonstrates that they were certainly at or near the top in this element of pop star achievement.

     The number and geographical range of concerts played by the Carpenters during 1973-75 was staggering, as detailed on the LeadSister.com website.  They played 174 concerts in 1973, 208 in 1974, and 118 in 1975.  They played in convention centers, university field houses, civic centers, coliseums, and state fairs across the United States, usually to packed houses.  Among the huge throngs they played before was a crowd of 50,000 at the Ohio State Fair.  They also performed in many of the most prestigious venues in America and abroad, including Carnegie Hall, the Grand Ole Opry, the Hollywood Bowl (where the 18,000 seats were twice sold-out for Carpenters concerts), the Boston Pops, London's Palladium and the Royal Albert Hall, and Tokyo's Budokan.

     For their 1974 tour of Europe, they sold-out 18 consecutive concerts, including shows in the Netherlands and Belgium that are recorded on Youtube videos.

     But it was their 1974 tour of Japan that epitomized the Carpenters' remarkable international popularity at its peak. Their much fanfared arrival at Tokyo's Haneda Airport drew some 5,000 screaming fans and clamoring photographers and reporters, in scenes reminiscent of the Beatles' arrival in New York in 1964. Their concerts in Tokyo and Osaka sold-out within hours of announcement and the tour sold 85,000 tickets. The enormously favorable impact of their concert performances, and especially Karen's special ability to charm Japanese audiences, left a permanently favorable impression on the Japanese public which has continued into the 21st century.

     By any reasonable measure, the Carpenters' enormous and wide-ranging success as international touring pop performers set a standard that few, if any, of their musical peers could match -- and certainly not during their peak period of 1973-75.  Combined with their extraordinary success topping the singles and albums charts at home and abroad, there can be little doubt that during this peak period of their musical career, the Carpenters were the most successful recording artists in the world.  To borrow the title of one of their iconic hits, they were on top of the world.

     In the end, of course, the cold, hard figures of record and concert sales do not provide the most meaningful measure of a musical artist's achievements.  In the Carpenters' case, the sincere affection and appreciation of their sheer musical excellence expressed by their most prestigious musical peers, as well as by their faithful fans -- from Long Beach to London to Tokyo and even Shanghai -- provides a glowing testimonial that will always assure their place among the legends of popular music.

     Nonetheless, an objective documentation of their international pre-eminence at the height of their illustrious career is worth preserving to counteract the cynical naysayers who occasionally surface to denigrate the extraordinary achievements of Karen and Richard Carpenter.