Saturday, July 31, 2010

More Observations On The British Empire

Some time ago, responding to the avant Brit socialist line that its Colonial period was unforgivably sinful, I wrote a post on Britain's Colonial past, pointing out:

British Colonialism was Britain's gift to the world. A sizable chunk, if not the majority of the most prosperous and free countries in the world today have emerged from Britain's colonial empire . . . Indeed, as I pointed out in a post below, the U.S. not only adopted most of Britain's legal, governmental and bureaucratic systems, but the Bill of Rights itself is in large measure an amalgam of the rights of British Protestants at the time of our nation's founding. Our debt to Britain is deep and lasting. . . .

The Brits . . . brought a host of benefits to the nations they colonized, from education to the English language, from trade to capitalism, from government bureaucracy and democracy to the British legal system. . . .

David Cameron, Britain's new PM is now preparing to visit India, once the jewel of Britain's colonial possessions, and announced that he is doing so "with a spirit of humility." Nirpal Dhaliwal, the son of Indian immigrants to Britain, writing in the Daily Mail, has pointed out that Cameron does not need to be apologetic to India, as the gifts of Britain from the Colonial Period now form the basis for India's rapid growth and evolution:

Many have interpreted David Cameron's statement that he is visiting India in a 'spirit of humility' as a shame-faced apology for Britain's imperial rule there. But Indians require no apology for Empire and seek none, and nor do Britons need to feel especially guilty for it.

India is the world's second-largest growing economy, producing more English-speaking graduates than the rest of the world combined.
The use of English is the most enduring and profitable legacy of the Raj; without it, the boom in Indian call-centre and software industries could not have happened. . . .

Just as Empire opened the doors of modernity to India, a good relationship between Britain and India will be a mark of how prominent both countries are in the modern world.

All that is best about India - its tolerance, freedom and engagement with the world - has flourished due to the structures and ideas it inherited from British rule.

Despite the often callous profiteering of Empire, the modern Indian state simply would not exist without it. . . .

The attitudes of British intelligentsia towards the Colonial period is deeply distorted by the lens of Marxism and multiculturalism. The reality is that the British Colonial period has proven one of history's most positive influences.


Watcher's Council Results

The Watcher's Council is a roundtable group that holds a weekly contest. Each week, the members of the Watcher's Council nominate one of their own posts and a second from outside the Council for consideration by other council members in a contest for best post. The Watcher publishes the results each Friday.

The results of this weeks vote are in. Coming in first place in the Council category was The Razor for his post, True Bigots, pointing out the cognitive disconnect between those blacks who, in knee jerk fashion, shout "racism" against whites for all they don't like, yet support Obama simply because of his skin color. Coming in second place was my post, An Overdrawn Race Card, discussing how the race card is rapidly losing its legitmacy.

In the Non-Council category, coming in first place was Noisy Room's Socialist "Journolistas," tracing back the associations of a large number of the members of the list serv Journolist to socialist organizations. Second place was a four way tie between Gaper’s Block's Sex Trafficking in Chicago, Riehl World View's Sherrod: “We Must Stop The White Man And His Uncle Toms …”, Jeffrey Laporte's Message from the White House on Racism and RightChange/PJTV's Same As It Ever Was.

You can find the full results of last week's voting at the Watcher's site.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sherrod To Sue Breitbart

Talk about making my day.

Thank you Shirley. This from OnDeadline:

Ousted USDA employee Shirley Sherrod says she will sue conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, the Associated Press reports.

Sherrod made the announcement Thursday in San Diego at the National Association of Black Journalists annual convention.

Breitbart posted a heavily edited video of Sherrod on his website,, speaking to an NAACP group and appearing to admit that she had deliberately refrained from giving full assistance to a farmer because he was white.

She is referred to on the site as a "racist govt employee."

The political fallout from the posting prompted the Agriculture Department to force Sherrod to resign. . . .

In the clip, Sherrod admits to an act of reverse racism. Her damages will be de minimis, as she was immediately offered a better job by her employer at USDA. She has had more than ample opportunity to appear on the press to rebut charges of racism. So it would seem that the goal of this litigation is simply to try and punish Breitbart. It also means that her entire life will become open season during discovery.

I don't know much about Shirley Sherrod beyond the events of the past week. That said, during the past week, her reaction since the firing has been incendiary. She has, on several occasions this week, thrown around her own accusations of racism, including an allegation that Breitbart wants to bring back slavery. She has raised charges of racism at the USDA not to mention Fox News. I suspect we will find Ms. Sherrod has a history of race baiting.

There should be many "teachable moments" indeed. Pass the popcorn.


Traitors & Villains

There are many inherent conflicts in our nation between the right of freedom of speech and the right of our nation to keep classified material out of the public eye. It is a question of what newspapers - or in the case of Jullian Assange, websites - have a right to publish and what we as a nation have a right to demand be kept from disclosure.

Some calls are easy. If the material concerns indisputable wrong doing, such as the Mai-Lai massacre in Vietnam, then its exposure is warranted. The publication of the Pentagon Papers against which Nixon fought so vociferously gave a window into how our political class got us into the Vietnam - but it revealed no real secrets. While its publication caused an uproar, virtually all of the information divulged was simply historical. But then there was Phillip Agee, once a CIA Officer and possible Cuban/KGB double agent, who published the names of undercover CIA officers in 1978. That resulted in the passage of a law, the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

But with Wikileaks, we are into an entirely new class of leaks. Someone in the military with a top-secret clearance, during time of war, leaked over 100,000 classified communications directly relating to the war. They passed the information to Jullian Assange who has since then published the vast majority of the documents in coordination with the New York Times (of course) Der Spiegel and The Guardian. What possible justification could there be for this massive security breach?

By all accounts, the information contained in the documents contains no new revelations. We have known for a long time that the war was not going well, that Pakistan has been a schizophrenic partner, and that Iran has been involved in the war in support of the Taliban. Assange claims that there is proof of war crimes contained in the documents though fails to point out any particular instance. This seems the penultimate exercise in throwing mud against the wall and hoping some of it sticks.

Some consequences of this massive release of our military communications in the Afghan theatre are blatantly obvious. Over the long term, the information will significantly harm our military. It provides all of our potential enemies - the Taliban and al Qaeda included - what ex CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden has called a "priceless" treasure trove of information on our methods, sources and tactics. But the most immediate damage it will do is expose hundreds of Afghans identified in the documents as people who have cooperated with American forces. These individuals now face the danger of severe reprisals, including torture and murder of them and their families. The secondary effect will be to make it much harder for our military to solicit cooperation from Afghans. This has the potential to significantly degrade our war effort and to get a lot of people killed.

All of these effects were completely foreseeable as soon as it was learned that Assange held over 100,000 classified communications from the Afghan theatre. Yet it now appears that the White House did not even object to their publication. According to Richard Fernandez,

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, explaining that the White House didn’t try to stop the publication said he met with reporters from the New York Times and sent a message through its reporters to Assange asking that he redact information in the documents that could harm US military personnel. As for the Afghans? Well what about them? Wikileaks made its pathetic effort to sanitize the data didn’t they? And if it was good for the Times and Gibbs, why shouldn’t Assange have concluded it was good enough period?

Simply put, this was an act of treason by the person who passed this information to Assange and it is an act of espionage by Assange to publish this information. Both the leaker and Assange should be shot. Unfortunately, given the First Amendment protections, it is likely Assange, at least, will never face reprisals from the U.S. government. It is a travesty.

That said, I wonder if there is any reason why the Afghans named in the documents released by Assange - and who now face torture and murder because of Assange - could not bring civil law suits in America against Assange and everyone involved in the ownership of the Wiki brand. If they cannot be shot, they should at least be reduced to a lifetime of penury.


Well, It's Not Like He Is Going On Vacation While All This Is Going On

(H/T Sigmund, Carl & Alfred)


The Enemy Of Speech & Debate

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

-- George Washington

The modern progressive movement is intellectually bankrupt. Natural statists, they desire to rule by edict rather than have to debate and convince. It is why they so often resort to the race card to end debate. It is why they inevitably seek to demonize their opponents rather than face them in the marketplace of ideas. Indeed, this aspect of the left is so pervaisive and so deeply ingrained that it one of their defining characteristics.

Andrew Klavin, writing at City Journal, makes some cogent observations along these lines:

. . . [E]verywhere, the Left favors fewer voices and less information, and conservatives favor more. Everywhere, the Left seeks to disappear its opposition, whereas the Right is willing to meet them head-on.

Take the e-mails that the Daily Caller obtained from the now-defunct lefty Web service Journolist. Never mind the personal or psychological implications of a radio producer who lovingly imagines Rush Limbaugh’s death or a law professor who doesn’t know that the FCC has no power to deprive Fox News of a license or a reporter who wants to smear Fred Barnes and other right-wing commentators as racist in order to distract the public from the hateful radicalism of Jeremiah Wright, then Obama’s pastor. The point is not these people’s animus or ignorance or wickedness. The point is that what they desired was not victory in open debate but silence — the silence of censorship, intimidation, or the grave.

When has Rush Limbaugh ever wished a liberal’s mouth closed forever? Really, who can deny that Rush would happily argue a point with absolutely anyone anywhere? When has Fox News ever done anything to its rival cable stations but trounce them in a free competition for ratings? When has Fred Barnes ever tried to bully or intimidate someone into shutting up? . . .

Freedom of speech and the market place of ideas are anethema to our modern left.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Modern Definition of Racism


The Nominations Are Up

Each week, the members of the Watcher's Council nominate one of their own posts and a second from outside the Council for consideration by other council members in a contest for best post. The Watcher publishes the results each Friday morning.

If you would like to participate in the Council's activites, there is no permanent opening on the council at the moment, so if you would like to submit your blog for permanent membership, but if you would like to self-nominate one of your posts for competition in the Non-Council category, you will find the instructions for that at the Watcher's site" in the right hand side bar.

As always, this week's nominations present an eclectic mix of thought-provoking reading To the extent there is an overriding theme in the Council submissions this week, it appears to deal with the decline in effectiveness of the race card.

Do enjoy them all:

Council Submissions

Wolf Howling - An Overdrawn Race Card

The Provocateur - Saul Alinsky and Dr. Anna Chacko

Rhymes With Right - Shirley Sherrod: Dissent Equals Racism And A Desire To Return To Slavery

Right Truth - Conservative Republican Agenda

The Razor - True Bigots

Snapped Shot - The Happy Little Mosque… of Rage

The Colossus of Rhodey - Oh, but of course! Captain America can’t be a “flag waver”

Bookworm Room - How Journolist and Oliver Stone each serve to highlight the other’s insanity

The Glittering Eye – What Went Wrong?

Virginia Right! – Frankly my dear, charges of racism have lost their impact

Joshuapundit – The Age of Obama – Government By Diktat

Non – Council Submissions

Brits At Their Best - Recalling The Men Who Fought Naporleon submitted by Wolf Howling

Gaper’s Block – Sex Trafficking in Chicago submitted by The Provocateur

Riehl World View – Sherrod: “We Must Stop The White Man And His Uncle Toms …” submitted by Rhymes with Right

Israelly Cool - The Day In Israel: Tuesday July 27th, 2010 submitted by Right Truth

Jeffrey Laporte at Standing Firm via Fleming and Hayes - Message from the White House on Racism submitted by The Razor

The Jawa Report - Zach Chesser Indicted for Material Support of Terrorism submitted by Snapped Shot

Common Sense Political Thought - Duplicity in editing, innuendo in reporting, and a deceived readership submitted by The Colossus of Rhodey

Noisy Room – Socialist “Journolistas” submitted by Bookworm Room

The Moderate Voice – Oliver Stone: Hitler is Misunderstood Due to “Jewish-Dominated Media” (UPDATED) submitted by The Glittering Eye’

The Other McCain – Brilliant: U.S. Gives Pakistan $1 Billion; Pakistan Helps Our Enemies Kill Us submitted by Virginia Right

RightChange/PJTV – Same As It Ever Was submitted by JoshuaPundit

The Hashmonean – Undiplomatic Solution: Strike Options Targeting Iran Go Top Shelf submitted by The Watcher


14 Weeks

14 Weeks from Republican Governors Association on Vimeo.

(H/T Hot Air)


You Have Got To Be Kidding - Arizona's Law Gutted By Federal Judge

Federal judge Susan Bolton has accepted the Obama DOJ argument that Arizona's law regarding illegal aliens is preempted by federal law. She has, for all practical purposes, wholly gutted the Arizona law with respect to illegal aliens. (You can view the Court's Order here) And in doing so, the judge has realized my worst fears. When I analyzed the federal law suit several weeks ago, I wrote:

Invoking preemption in the present context is a dangerous game indeed. It is critically important to note that the Arizona law is little more than a codification of federal law as regards illegal aliens, . . . Thus the DOJ's argument must be that any state laws predicated on the status of an individual as a citizen or an illegal alien are preempted by federal law.

Think about that for a moment. If the DOJ wins this lawsuit, only the federal government will be able to enforce laws based on illegal aliens. We will become, in essence, a sanctuary country with states, for all intents and purposes, constitutionally prevented from inquiring into the citizenship status of people within their states. As a nation, our ability to address the problems of illegal aliens, already bad now, would be compounded exponentially.

That is now where we stand today. This from Legal Insurrection confirms my assessment:

States have been left helpless to deal with the anarchy created by the failure of the federal government to enforce border security. Whereas yesterday it was unclear how far states (such as Rhode Island) could go, today states are powerless.

The inability of a state to implement a policy of checking the immigration status even of people already under arrest for some other crime is remarkable.

We are in serious trouble. True, what the judge issued today was a Temporary Restraining Order and not a final judgment. But based on the Judge's reasoning, I see no reason to suspect that she will rule otherwise after a full hearing. Let's get that over with and get this thing up to the Supreme Court.

Update: Several people have weighed in with good legal analyses of the Judge's order, and I can't improve upon them. See Andrew McCarthy, Peter Kirsanow, and Mark Levin.

Take Away Question: Why the hell is our federal government siding with illegal aliens?


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

DOJ, Voting Laws, & The Left In Full Moral Outrage

EJ Dionne, writing at the Washington Post, is outraged that anyone is paying any attention to either DOJ whistleblower J. Christian Adams or the Dept. of Justice's decision to drop charges in the case of the New Black Panthers. He is in equaly incoherent rage that anyone is paying any attention to Fox News. Eugene Robinson has likewise written the same in his most recent op-ed at the Washington Post, tossing in a charge of racism for even raising the issue that the DOJ may be racist in its application of the law:

After the Shirley Sherrod episode, there's no longer any need to mince words: A cynical right-wing propaganda machine is peddling the poisonous fiction that when African Americans or other minorities reach positions of power, they seek some kind of revenge against whites.

A few of the purveyors of this bigoted nonsense might actually believe it. Most of them, however, are merely seeking political gain by inviting white voters to question the motives and good faith of the nation's first African American president. This is really about tearing Barack Obama down. . . .

Then there is Bob Herbert at the NYT, as well as their resident drama queen, Frank Rich - and do see see this ridiculous piece by Brian Stetler. Each one of those pieces, and I dare say hundereds of others throughout the nation this past week, hits precisely the same talking points. They are:

- Fox is racist propagana machine which no other media outlet should follow

- Fox played a central role in getting Shirley Sherrod fired (all studiously ignoring that Fox News Channel never mentioned Sherrod's name prior to her being fired)

- The DOJ's refusal to prosecute the New Black Panthers for voter intimidation is not merely meaningless, but to even ask that the matter be investigated is racist

- J. Christian Adams was once a poll watcher for the Bush administration and thus he has no legitimacy.

This is damage control by the left because the race card is losing its legitimacy. They want to make the charges of reverse racism at the DOJ go the way of Rev. Jeremiah Wright during the election campaign - just fade away. It is a blatant attempt to stifle any discussion of the issues raised by Mr. Adams. The fact that they can work in an ad hominem attack against Fox News is, to them, just an added bennie.

Let's review the charges that have been raised against the Obama DOJ, taking not that they go far beyond just the New Black Panther matter.

1. The DOJ's prosecution of the New Black Panther case was dismissed after a judgment of guilt had been entered. There was no apparent reason for this dismissal.

1A. The DOJ has flatly refused to honor lawful subpoenas to answer questions before the Civil Rights Commission investigating whether the dismissal was based on racial preference.

1B. In addition, the DOJ has transferred the key witness who was handling the New Black Panther case, Christopher Coates, to South Carolina, outside the reach of the subpoena power of the Civil Rights Commission.

2. A very serious charge has been leveled that the DOJ, again on grounds of race, is refusing to enforce Secion 8 of the Voting Rights Act - that part of the motor voter law that requires states to periodically update their voting roles by purging the rolls of the deceased, felons, and others ineligible to vote.

2A. J. Christian Adams has testified under oath that by Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes that "We're not interested in those kind of cases. What do they have to do with helping increase minority access and turnout? We want to increase access to the ballot, not limit it." The only possible way this could increase access to the ballot would be to invite vote fraud.

2B. In March, 2009, the the Obama DOJ dropped a case filed in 2006 against Missouri, for that state's refusal to clean up its voting rolls. The suit alleged that over 33% of Missouri counties had more registered voters than residents of voting age. The state had done nothing to clean up the voting rolls when the suit was dismissed.

3. According to Abigail Thernstrom, there is also reason to be concerned that the Obama DOJ is going to improperly use its powers under the Voting Rights Act to force race conscious drawing of political districts following the 2010 Census.

4. The DOJ is apparently stonewalling implementation of the MOVE act designed to insure that the votes of our soldiers deployed outside of their home states are counted. In the 2008 election, 17,000 military votes went uncounted. According to Eric Eversole in today's Washington Times, because of the DOJ's refusal to enforce the Move act, military voters will again face widespread disenfranchisement in the 2010 election. (H/T Instapundit)

There is more than ample cause to be concerned that Obama's Dept. of Justice is acting unlawfully by deliberate and racially unequal application of the Voting Rights Act. Indeed, the charges made above go directly to the sanctity of the ballot box - and thus to the very foundation of legitimacy of our form of government.

The left's desire to push this aside using the race card is scandalous. All of this is deserving of a thorough investigation. There is no doubt that allegations of this type of conduct by the DOJ during the Bush years would have seen the MSM clear cutting entire old growth forests to get enough paper to handle the avalanche of outraged opinion pieces and supposedly objective news articles decrying the DOJ. And indeed, on charges of "politicization," the left spent months destroying the carreer of Bush AG Alberto Gonzalez. "Politicization" is a meaningless charge. Racism in the unequal application of our voting laws is not.
To add an addendum, there has been much back and forth of late on the right regarding whether or not the right should be pursuing the New Black Panther matter. Abigail Thernstrom of the Civil Rights Commission believes that the matter is too small to warrant much attention and that conservatives are blowing it out of proportion. Andrew McCarthy and Peter Kirsanow strongly disagree. Interestingly, Paul Mirengoff of Powerline has concluded that the dismissal itself of the New Black Panther case may have been justified, though he takes no position on whether the dismissal itself was motivated by improper considerations of race. Scott Johnson of Powerline argues that it is the motivation that makes this a serious issue, and Hans Von Spakovsky, a voting rights expert, disagrees strongly with Paul's conclusion. It makes for fascinating reading. I include the links below:

Abigail Thernstrom - The New Black Panther Case: A Conservative Dissent

Andrew McCarthy - The Case Against the New Black Panthers (responding to Thernstrom)

Abigail Thernstrom - Yes, the Black Panther Case Is Small Potatoes (reply to McCarthy)

Peter Kirsanow - A Response to Thernstrom on the New Black Panther Case (H/T Instapundit)

Scott Johnson (Powerline) - The New Black Panther Party Case: Just Blow It

Paul Mirengoff (Powerline) - The New Black Panther Party Case: My Final(?) Look

Hans A. von Spakovsky - Dissenting with Paul Mirengoff: New Black Panther Case Should Not Have Been Dismissed

Paul Mirengoff (Powerline) - The New Black Panther Party Case: A Reply to Hans von Spakovsky


Our Class/Race/Gender Warrior In Chief

At the WSJ, Democratic pollsters Patrick Caddell and Douglas Shoen take stock of Obama's performance after eighteen months, concluding the obvious - that Obama has been the most divisive President in living memory. This from their commentary in the WSJ:

. . . Mr. Obama has divided America on the basis of race, class and partisanship. Moreover, his cynical approach to governance has encouraged his allies to pursue a similar strategy of racially divisive politics on his behalf.

. . . By dividing America, Mr. Obama has brought our government to the brink of a crisis of legitimacy, compromising our ability to address our most important policy issues.

We say this with a heavy heart. Both of us share the president's stated vision of what America can and should be. The struggle for equal rights has animated both of our lives. Both of us were forged politically during the crucible of the civil rights movement. Having worked in the South during the civil rights movement, and on behalf of the ground-breaking elections of African-American mayors such as David Dinkins, Harold Washington and Emanuel Cleaver, we were deeply moved by Mr. Obama's election.

The first hint that as president Mr. Obama would be willing to interject race into the political dialogue came last July, when he jumped to conclusions about the confrontation between Harvard Prof. Henry Louis "Skip" Gates and the Cambridge police.

During a press conference, the president said that the "Cambridge police acted stupidly," and he went on to link the arrest with the "long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately."

In truth, the Gates incident appears to have had nothing to do with race—a Cambridge review committee that investigated the incident ruled on June 30 that there was fault on both sides.

Sen. Jon Kyl (R., Ariz.) has said the president told him in a closed-door meeting that he would not move to secure the border with Mexico unless and until Congress reached a breakthrough on comprehensive immigration reform. That's another indication Mr. Obama is willing to continue to play politics with hot-button issues.

Add in the lawsuit against the Arizona immigration law and it's clear the Obama administration is willing to run the risk of dividing the American people along racial and ethnic lines to mobilize its supporters—particularly Hispanic voters, whose backing it needs in the fall midterm elections and beyond.

As the Washington Post reported last week, two top White House strategists, speaking on condition of anonymity, have indicated that "the White House plans to use the immigration debate to punish the GOP and aggressively seek the Latino vote in 2012."

On an issue that has gotten much less attention, but is potentially just as divisive, the Justice Department has pointedly refused to prosecute three members of the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation at the polls on Election Day 2008.

It is the job of the Department of Justice to protect all American voters from voter discrimination and voter intimidation—whether committed by the far right, the far left, or the New Black Panthers. It is unacceptable for the Department of Justice to continue to stonewall on this issue.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Mr. Obama's campaign emphasized repeatedly that his minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was being unfairly stereotyped because of racially incendiary sound bites that allegedly did not reflect the totality of his views. In the Gates incident and others, Mr. Obama has resorted to similar forms of stereotyping.

Even the former head of the Civil Rights Commission, Mary Frances Berry, acknowledged that the Obama administration has taken to polarizing America around the issue of race as a means of diverting attention away from other issues, saying: "the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats. . . . Having one's opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness."

The president had a unique opportunity to focus on overarching issues of importance to whites and blacks. He has failed to address the critical challenges. He has not used his bully pulpit to emphasize the importance of racial unity and the common interest of poor whites and blacks who need training, job opportunities, and the possibility of realizing the American Dream. He hasn't done enough to address youth unemployment—which in the white community is 23.2% and in the black community is 39.9%.

Mr. Obama has also cynically divided the country on class lines. He has taken to playing the populist card time and time again. He bashes Wall Street and insurance companies whenever convenient to advance his programs, yet he has been eager to accept campaign contributions and negotiate with these very same banks and corporations behind closed doors in order to advance his political agenda.

Finally, President Obama also exacerbated partisan division, and he has made it clear that he intends to demonize the Republicans and former President George W. Bush in the fall campaign. In April, the Democratic National Committee released a video in which the president directly addressed his divide-and-conquer campaign strategy, with an appeal to: "young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women who powered our victory in 2008 [to] stand together once again."

President Obama's divisive approach to governance has weakened us as a people and paralyzed our political culture. Meanwhile, the Republican leadership has failed to put forth an agenda that is more positive, unifying or inclusive. We are stronger when we debate issues and purpose, and we are all weaker when we divide by race and class. We will pay a price for this type of politics.

With all due respect to Mssrs. Caddell and Shoen, this outcome was wholly predictable two years ago. See Standing At The Crossroads - Identity Politics, Multiculturalism & The Melting Pot.


What To Do With The Wikileakers?

Rep. Peter King has called the leak of tens of thousands of classified documents to Julian Assange and Wikileaks an act of treason. King is quoted at The Hill today demanding the leaker be prosecuted "to the full extent of the law." While I certainly agree that the leak is an act of treason, I have to think that there are viable alternatives to prosecution that would allow the military to make use of the training they have invested in the leaker, such as those suggested by Gerard Van Der Luen, at American Digest.


Really Misleading Journalism

The NYT's Brian Stetler has crafted perhaps the most misleading piece of agenda journalism I have seen in years - which is saying quite a lot. This left wing nut job should get an award for use of innuendo and half truths while throwing out the race card at Fox News. His piece, "When Race Is the Issue, Misleading Coverage Sets Off an Uproar." The picture appearing below this headline:

What an utter ass. Megayn Kelly at Fox, whose sin for the left is her refusal to ignore and allow to fade away the accusations that the Dept. of Justice is using race to decide which laws it will enforce, is actually only a small part Stelter's charge that Fox is a racist network. How her coverage has been misleading, Stelter never really tells us. That said, Stetler's main effort is to tie Fox News into the Shirley Sherrod affair, utterly refusing to acknowledge that Fox News Network never once mentioned Sherrod prior to her being slimed by the NAACP and fired by the Dept. of Agriculture. At any rate, I could spend hours fisking this one - but I just don't have the time to climb down into the gutter at the moment. You read it and you decide.

As an aside, Powerline has noted that the NYT has finally run a limited correction to its frequent sliming of the Tea Party organizations for the objectively false claim that some of its members yelled racial epitaths at members of the Congressional Black Caucus in March during the hearings on Obamacare. Someone needs to tell that to Stelter.


Watcher's Council Business

The Watcher's Council is a roundtable group that holds a weekly contest. Each week, the members of the Watcher's Council nominate one of their own posts and a second from outside the Council for consideration by other council members in a contest for best post. The Watcher publishes the results each Friday.

I would like to welcome two new blogs to the Watcher's Council. They are Snapped Shot and Tom White who blogs at the group blog, Virginia Right. Both are very fine blogs. Do check them out.

I also need to post the winners for this past week and the week prior to that. Last weeks Council winner was Bookworm Room for her post. When is a burqa not a burqa? When it’s a weapon. As she writes:

. . . The historic truth, whether or not one wants to acknowledge it is that, from the moment Mohamed began articulating his faith, it was inextricably intertwined with conquest. For that reason, Islam, as a faith, cares not whether the people brought within its fold actually believe the faith. It is enough that, having come under the control of an Islamic government (and do remember that mosque and government are one and the same) they follow its forms.

This is why Islam, as a religion, is entirely comfortable with and, indeed, encourages, both forced conversions and the death penalty for apostates. Faith as we understand it — meaning a belief in and commitment to a God — is irrelevant. Instead, submission is everything. . . .

Only by recognizing that Islam uses as weapons symbols that we, children of the Enlightenment, view as freely expressed signs of a personal faith, can we preserve our liberties and lay claim to true religious freedom. Switzerland and France have taken this step towards understanding why the Islamic religion is different from all other religions. It’s time that the rest of us do so to.

I would add one caveat. What we are seeing is the growing influence of Salafism on all of Islam. Unless and until the West actually engages in the war of ideas inside Isalm, Salafi Islam will triumph, and bloodshed on a much larger scale will be inevitable.

Coming in First Place in the non-Council category was The Other McCain for his post, Jews and Israel: Death by Relativism. In it, he disects "the astonishing spectacle of young Jews who eagerly align themselves with the Sirhan Sirhan wing of the Democratic Party."

The week prior, the winning Council Post was The Razor's exceptional post, Life in a Vise, discussing the attitudes of rank and file North Carolinians towards Obama and the economy:

. . . These men are in a vise – between the failure of the American dream and its expectations of a brighter future for their children on one side, and a government that seems hell bent on reducing them to penury on the other. They aren’t angry; they are enraged. These great- grandsons of confederate soldiers speak rebellion not in whispers but in loud, firm voices that would sound all-too familiar to their forebears. They aren’t traitors; they see their government as betraying them and their country, not the other way around. Seeing what has happened here in North Carolina, it’s difficult to disagree with them.

The Leftist elites might brand them racists and call them hillbillies and rednecks, but those epithets only expose the ignorance of those that hurl them. These men aren’t stupid even though they didn’t attend Ivy League universities. In fact given how poorly the Ivy League elite is governing, these men have a better understanding of economics than the elite does. After all, they live in the economy; they eat, sleep, and breathe it every day. How many University of Chicago professors, K Street lobbyists, or career politicians do that? They aren’t racist: this is former Klan country, with an emphasis on “former.” If this economy isn’t enough to drive men out in their bedsheets, then the Klan is truly dead. But don’t kid yourself. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 didn’t cleanse these men’s hearts of prejudice, their religion and upbringings did. . . .

Coming in First Place in the non-Council category was Sultan Knish for the post, NASA Unveils New Plan for Muslims in Outer Space, exploring additional ideas to improve NASA's new top priority, outreach to the Muslim World. Heh.

You can find the full results of last week's voting here, and the week's prior to that here.


Amen - Paul Ryan On Real Economic Recovery

Paul Ryan impresses me every time I hear him.

He appeared on Hardball to discuss the Bush Tax Cuts and plans to put our economy back on a fiscally sane path. Matthews did a hyper-aggressive interview with Ryan and Ryan shined.

Rep. Joe Crowley of NY also appeared on the show - and was about as far out of his element as he could be. His answer to our economic milaise was to tout the Democrats Pay-Go legislation. The problem of course is the left has that new law encased under glass, only to be brought out to wave around on camera before the mid-terms. Matthews didn't push Crowley at all, but its just as well as that gave more time for Ryan.

Do enjoy this one:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

(H/T Noel Sheppard at News Busters)


Iran - The Existential Race Between Nukes & A Revolution

Iran has been our greatest foreign policy challenge for the past five years. Obama has been singularly ineffective in dealing with the threat posed by the mad mullahs and their push towards a nuclear arsenal. That said, Iran is a country gripped in a slow motion revolution. It is a race to see which will come first, a successful revolution or the mad mullah's coming close enough to deploying its own nuclear weapons that we either attack or cede to them their arsenal. That latter comes with incredibly destabilizing ramifications for the Middle East and the entire free world.

Ex-CIA Director Michael Hayden, appearing on CNN the other day, stated what has been obvious now for years - that Iran is determined to achieve a nuclear arsenal, that they are not going to be deterred by negotiations or diplomacy, and that a military strike is fast becoming one of our few remaining options. This from the Daily Caller:

A former CIA director says military action against Iran now seems more likely because no matter what the U.S. does diplomatically, Tehran keeps pushing ahead with its suspected nuclear program.

Michael Hayden, a CIA chief under President George W. Bush, said that during his tenure “a strike was way down the list of options.” But he tells CNN’s State of the Union that such action now “seems inexorable.”

“In my personal thinking,” Hayden said, “I have begun to consider that that may not be the worst of all possible outcomes.”

Hayden said that the likelihood of a U.S. strike on Iran has risen in the face of Tehran’s defiance to halt its contentions nuclear program, saying “We engage. They continue to move forward.”

“We vote for sanctions. They continue to move forward. We try to deter, to dissuade. They continue to move forward,” he added.

The former CIA chief predicted Iran, in defiance of the international community, planned to “get itself to that step right below a nuclear weapon, that permanent breakout stage, so the needle isn’t quite in the red for the international community.”

Hayden said that reaching even that level would be “as destabilizing to the region as actually having a weapon.”

As to the internal news out of Iran, perhaps the best source is Michael Ledeen and his blog at PJM. He paints a picture of an Iranian regime that has lost all legitimacy and now governs with pure brute force. He further tells us of a revolution percolating under the surface, with the merchant class now having joined. This is the latest from Michael Ledeen:

. . . –first of all, there is still no end to the bazaar strike, even though the regime has taken very violent action against the strikers. A large part of the beautiful bazaar in Kerman has been torched . . .;

– the major natural gas pipeline between Iran and Turkey was sabotaged. Enormous damage was done, and the authorities have no estimate as to how long it will be until repair work is finished. . . ;

– Saturday – Sunday night there was a serious fire at the old petrochemical plant on Kharq island. That island is very important to Iran, because it is at once the central point from which Iranian crude oil is exported, and one end of the major pipeline that carries crude and refined products to the mainland. So anything that goes wrong there has immediate consequences both for the national economy and for daily life;

– you may recall that a bit over a week ago, amidst the continuing strikes at major bazaars around the country, there was a double suicide terrorist attack against the mosque in Zahedan, killing nearly 30 revolutionary guards. That unhappy city is still in a state of virtual military occupation, of the most brutal variety. Innocent civilians have been gunned down for the crime of walking at night, and plainclothes killers have gone door to door among the homes of bazaar shopkeepers, and killing anyone who answers the bell. . . .

– It has been a very hot summer, and the electrical grid in and around Tehran has given up the ghost many times, especially in recent weeks. Not only have citizens suddenly found their lights and air conditioning out-sometimes for half the day or night–but the two big automobile factories have already reduced production by one full shift a day. The president has publicly blamed the problem on foreigners, as is his wont, but his problems are local;

– as the regime increasingly wages war against itself, the comings and goings of seemingly powerful people have become almost impossible to sort out. There have been repeated purges in the ranks of the Revolutionary Guards, and the supreme commander, Gen. Jafari, has now publicly stated that many senior officers had actively sided with the opposition. . . .

. . . [T]he regime is afraid to move decisively against their opponents. Khamenei & Co. are real tough guys when it comes to torturing and killing students, political activists, homosexuals, Bahais, Christians and women. But even when it comes to their favorite targets — the women — they retreat in the face of strong protests, as in the recent case when they suspended the stoning of a poor woman unfairly accused of adultery. Her plight has attracted international attention, and the regime backed off.

. . . Ahmadinejad seems to have lost his official theologian.

Hojattoleslam Mohammad Nasser Saghay Biria, President Ahmadinejad’s Advisor on Religious Affairs, has resigned his post in what his close associates are describing as a protest against Ahmadinejad’s alleged un-Islamic views on requirements for women to wear veil and conform to strict Islamic dress code. Ahmadinejad has not yet accepted Saghay’s resignation.

Saghay Biria is a disciple of Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi.

That last line should get your attention, because the Ayatollah in question is generally considered to be the leading light in the cult of the 12th Imam, the little boy who had been destined become the leader of Islam, but have to hide from his would-be killers some 900 years ago, and whose return would mark the End of Days. Mesbah Yazdi is said to be Ahmadinejad’s guru, so why is his disciple walking out on the president? Your guess is as good as mine, but whatever it means, it is another signpost along the death spiral of the Islamic Republic.

Rulers of the Islamic Republic are looking more and more like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight, and Banafsheh uncovered a document that should cause them considerable embarrassment. It’s a flyer, recruiting virgin women for prostitution in a brothel located in the holiest site of one of the two holiest cities in Iran: the Imam Reza Shrine in Mashad. You might wish to read the whole thing—it includes going rates—but here’s the essence of it:

In order to elevate the spiritual atmosphere, create proper psychological conditions and tranquility of mind, the Province of the Quds’eh-Razavi of Khorassan has created centers for temporary marriage (just next door to the shrine) for those brothers who are on pilgrimage to the shrine of our eighth Imam, Imam Reza, and who are far away from their spouses.

To that end, we call on all our sisters who are virgins, who are between the ages of 12 and 35 to cooperate with us.

It’s a religious thing, you see.

To me, this is a perfect symbol of the Islamic Republic: even the holiest places have been corrupted and turned into brothels and charnel houses. Degradation is the common denominator of Iranian life, and the women, starting at age 12, are its most common victims.

If and when this regime dies, rivers of blood will be spilled. This regime's hands are awash in the blood of Americans, Israelies, Lebanese, Palestinians, Iraqis and more. But the most blood the mad mullahs have spilled has been that of their own citizens. I would not want to be an IRGC member, a regime functionary or a mullah when this regime falls. I suspect it will look very much like the French Revolution, sans guillotines.

But can we wait for the regime's downfall? If the mad mullahs gets a nuclear arsenal, then they will in essence be able to insure their borders with a nuclear deterrent. The bloody history of this regime suggests that they would then beome an incredibly destabilizing and destructive force.

That said, if I we could be assured that Obama is doing all he can, covertly and overtly, to bring down the regime of the mad mullahs, then it would probably be wise to follow that course. As to covert operations, it is impossible to say (at least until something gets handed to Wikileaks or the NYT in the near future) if Obama is doing anything in that regard. But if Obama's overt actions are any indication, then the answer is that he is doing nothing.

Obama has done nothing overtly to support the Iranian Revolution for months. When is the last time you heard him even mention Iran, let alone focus world's attention on the atrocities going on inside that country on a daily basis?

The only scenario in which American blood does not get spilled ending the mad mullah's nuclear threat is if the revolution succeeds. And yet Obama seems to be treating Iran with studied disinterest.

As Gen. Hayden pointed out above, we are rapidly approaching the time when military force may become our last viable option. At one time, I used to be concerned that attacking Iran stood a real possibility of rallying the Iranian population in favor of the regime. I think that no more. That said, is there anyone who thinks that Obama has the intestinal fortitude to commit us to a war against Iran? I say that with but one caveat. I do not think that Obama will attack Iran even on the brink of them finally achieving a nuclear arsenal unless something occurs that convinces hime that he will benefit politicaly in the 2012 election. That, rather than America's best interest, will be Obama's penultimate deciding factor.

And if Obama does nothing, then, unless by the grace of God the revolution succeeds, it will fall to the next President to deal with Iran. By then, the potential cost to our nation in blood and gold to solve the problem of the mad mullahs may be very high indeed. This is an existential race. It would be nice if Obama engaged in it.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Ann Coulter, Rick Sanchez, Racism & Kiddie Porn

Rick Sanchez is out of his depth arguing over the culpability of Andrew Breitbart in the Shirley Sherrod matter with Ann Coulter. The argument goes to the Congressional Black Caucus sliming of the Tea Party as racists as well as Rick Sanchez's problem with kiddie porn. Heh.

(H/T Stop The ACLU)


A New Record Annual Deficit

Fox Reported several days ago, "[n]ew estimates from the White House on Friday predict the budget deficit will reach a record $1.47 trillion this year. The government is borrowing 41 cents of every dollar it spends."

The reason Obama was ultimately elected was because our economy tanked and the left's false narrative, that the failure was caused by Republic policies, won out. That said, as Mr. Ramirez makes emphasis in his cartoon, it doesn't appear that Obama understands why he was hired. Fortunately, he is, in the grand scheme of things, only a temp.


Compare & Contrast: An American Man & Some Race Hustlers

The look on Mike Wallace's face is priceless:

(H/T Primordial Slack and Power & Control)

Thank you Mr. Freeman. Now compare that with one of America's premeir race baiters, Jesse Jackson, calling for a Black National Anthem and arguing in support of multiculturalism and ethnic studies:

Then there is Charles Sherrod, husband of Shirley Sherrod, instructing his audience in the video below that "We must stop the white man and his Uncle Toms from stealing our elections."

(H/T, and more on this story, at Riehl World View)

The great struggle of the last half century was of the Civil Rights movement. The people who fought for equality won, but the civil rights movement itself long ago was taken over by the far left. Their goals were not equality, but political power and money. That has led to the greatest struggle of our time - whether our nation will be balkanized or once again become a melting pot. If, as I think is happening, the race card is loosing its legitimacy, then we will finally again become a melting pot. But expect Jessee Jackson and his ilk to fight it to the death. See more here.


Not Ready For Duty (Updated With Video)

From Jules Crittenden, it's "Lifestyles of the Rich and Clueless." We learned last week that Masschussets Sen. John Kerry parked his new yacht in Rhode Island to save half a million in Massachussets state taxes - even though his state is cash strapped. Indeed, the entire north east is struggling, including their ship building industry. Yet now we learn that Kerry bypassed the local industry and spent $7 million to have his new yach built by a company in New Zealand. This guy really is clueless. As Instapundit is want to say, our country is in the very best of hands.

Update: John K. exercises his Fifth Amendment right not to answer unwanted questions - for the citizens of Massachussets.

Unfortunately, you know good and well that the citizens of Massachussets will send this arrogant, ethicly and intellectualy challenged Bozo right back to his Senate seat come the next election. No wonder Kerry can be so dismissive.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Obama - "Suprised, Dissapointed" & Lying About The Lockerbie Bomber

Foreign newspapers have broken what should be a major news story here in the U.S. - that, while in public Obama bemoaned Scotlands release of the Lockerbie bomber, in secret his administration was complicit in the release. This from the Australian:

THE US government secretly advised Scottish ministers it would be "far preferable" to free the Lockerbie bomber than jail him in Libya.

Correspondence obtained by The Sunday Times reveals the Obama administration considered compassionate release more palatable than locking up Abdel Baset al-Megrahi in a Libyan prison.

The intervention, which has angered US relatives of those who died in the attack, was made by Richard LeBaron, deputy head of the US embassy in London, a week before Megrahi was freed in August last year on grounds that he had terminal cancer.

The document, acquired by a well-placed US source, threatens to undermine US President Barack Obama's claim last week that all Americans were "surprised, disappointed and angry" to learn of Megrahi's release.

Scottish ministers viewed the level of US resistance to compassionate release as "half-hearted" and a sign it would be accepted.

The US has tried to keep the letter secret, refusing to give permission to the Scottish authorities to publish it on the grounds it would prevent future "frank and open communications" with other governments. . . .

Okay, anyone want to guess on how long it will be before this shows up in our MSM? JammieWearing Fool has an additional take on the role of BP in the prisoner release and BP's many donations to Obama, Clinton, and other left wing members of Congress.

Update: Do see Robert Avrech's much more complete post on this topic at Seraphic Secret:

Now, Abdel Baset al-Megrah lives in a luxury villa—care of Libyan dictator Moamar Ghaddaffi—on the Libyan coastline. He does not have cancer. He will live a long and peaceful life.

As for the physician who made the diagnosis. He is either hopelessly corrupt or incompetent. Either way, his medical licence should be revoked.

Meanwhile, Obama blusters about Big Oil and social justice—code for Marxism—but he is complicit in this obscenity.

Hope n' change.


Dean Throws A Boomerang Race Card - Politico Sees Only Half Of It

Go to 2:54 in the clip, when Howard Dean accuses Fox News of being "absolutely racist," then has to backtrack as Chris Wallace points out an absolute defense - that Fox News Channel never even mentioned Shirly Sherrod's name before she was fired by the Dept. of Agriculture and denounced by the NAACP.

I would say that is pretty embarrassing for Howard Dean. But you would not get that impression from reading about the above exchange in The Politico which plays up Dean's charges and his inane backtracking.

All of this should be viewed in the context of the sudden decline in power of the race card and the left's utter terror that their entire power base will crumble when the race card is fully overdrawn. Please see my post on this issue here. What we are seeing are the first tremors in what will eventually be a seismic shift in American politics.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Gender & Class Warfare - The Paycheck Fairness Act

Obama, America's greatest class, race and gender warrior, is throwing his support behind a new bill, the Paycheck Fairness Act, ostensibly to fight rampant gender discrimination in wages. The law would significantly expand government interference in our economy. It would result in an explosion of litigation that will impact many businesses and that will undoubtedly threaten the viability of many small businesses. As such, it will inevitably increase unemployment. It will be a gold mine for trial attorneys and it will act as a means to funnel public funds to community organizers and their left wing groups. But it is a wholly unnecessary law. According to a 2009 study commissioned by the Bureau of Labor, the wage gap has nothing to do with gender discrimination.

We stand today in the midst of not merely a recession, but a mancession. Unemployment in this recession is hitting males at vastly greater rates than women. At last report, men accounted for some 80% of the job losses in this recession. As of June, 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for all men, sixteen years of age in over, was 10.4%. That compared to 8.9% for women. Yet men, and particularly white men, are not a victim class recognized by Obama and the left. Consequently, they receive no assistance. So why is it that women in particular require more assistance now?

Obama is claiming that they do because of a gap in wages caused by gender discrimination. Explaining why America needs to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, Obama issued a statement on Tuesday:

. . . Women make only 77 cents for every dollar that men earn. The gap is even more significant for working women of color, and it affects women across all education levels. As Vice President Biden and the Middle Class Task Force will discuss today, this is not just a question of fairness for hard-working women. Paycheck discrimination hurts families who lose out on badly needed income. And with so many families depending on women's wages, it hurts the American economy as a whole. In difficult economic times like these, we simply cannot afford this discriminatory burden.

That same justification is also at the center of the bill now in the Senate, where it tells us that:

. . . many women continue to earn significantly lower pay than men for equal work. These pay disparities exist in both the private and governmental sectors. In many instances, the pay disparities can only be due to continued intentional discrimination or the lingering effects of past discrimination.

So there you have it. We still live in a nation where misogynists and evil white males are oppressing women. The problem is, the facts are in complete contradiction.

In 2008, the Department of Labor commissioned CONSAND Research Corp. to do a study to determine why the gender pay disparity exists and what to do about it. The final report, issued in 2009, concluded that the major reasons for the disparity were that:

A greater percentage of women than men tend to work part-time. Part-time work tends to pay less than full-time work.

A greater percentage of women than men tend to leave the labor force for child birth, child care and elder care. Some of the wage gap is explained by the percentage of women who were not in the labor force during previous years, the age of women, and the number of children in the home.

Women, especially working mothers, tend to value “family friendly” workplace policies more than men. Some of the wage gap is explained by industry and occupation, particularly, the percentage of women who work in the industry and occupation.

After discussing additional legitimate reasons for the raw wage disparity, the author concluded:

. . . this study leads to the unambiguous conclusion that the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct.

(emphasis added)

It would seem that Obama and the left are being far less than honest in their push to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Discriminating against women in wages has been unlawful since the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963 (codified at 29 U.S. § 206(d)). As it currently stands, if a woman complains of unequal pay, the employer may then defend by pointing to any of several defenses, including that the disparity is justified by "any other factor other than sex." Obama would modify that defense by adopting a much stricter standard - that employers must show the difference in pay was based on a “bona fide factor other than sex” that is “job related” and “consistent with business necessity." What precisely those terms mean in any particular context will be argued out ad infinitum during very costly and protracted litigation. Importantly, the bill adds that, even if the employer is able to establish the defense above, the plaintiff could still succeed by convincing a jury that some alternative practice could have been adopted that may have negated any need for the disparity. This will open up the floodgates of litigation.

For but one example, what if a woman is hired for a job at 30k, but a man with several years more experience and training is hired for $33k. Is the business then responsible for paying for additional training for the woman to justify bringing her salary up to $33k. How much of a role should experience play in setting wages? Those would be jury questions under the Paycheck Fairness Act, thus taking reasonable decisions on compensation out of the hands of business and putting them in the hands of trial attorneys, judges and juries.

Additionally, the Paycheck Fairness Act would vastly expand the scope of what plaintiffs could use as evidence in making a case for discrimination. Under the Equal Pay Act, a plaintiff is limited to showing a disparity in pay within the particular business and locale at which they work, or in a locale close by. The Paycheck Fairness Act mandates that the plaintiff may look at least county wide, but then goes on to provide the EEOC will have the final say in expanding the geographic area at issue, thus potentially allowing for comparisons between numerous different locales with very different economies. So should a woman working in Henderson, TN, population 6,325, be able to make out a claim for wage discrimination using as her proof the wages of a male working for the same company in Atlanta? Likewise, can a plaintiff look at similarly sized cities throughout the U.S.? If you are a business owner and the Paycheck Fairness Act is passed, the bottom line is you have to assume the answer to both questions is yes, at least until the EEOC makes a final determination.

But all of this gets far worse. For not only does the Paycheck Fairness Act make it much more likely that an employer may be held liable for what we would consider reasonable business decisions, they would also face far greater potential liability if they lose.

Under the Equal Pay Act of 1963, if a plaintiff won, they could recover two times lost wages plus attorneys fees. Under the Paycheck Fairness Act, the damages are unlimited. An employer may be liable for both compensatory and punitive damages, making law suits under PFA a potentially fatal landmine for businesses of all sizes - but particularly small businesses - and a gold mine for the plaintiff's bar. The costs of litigation and the potential for crippling judgments will likely lead many businesses to settle suits for which they have meritorious defenses. And for all of this, the costs get passed on to the public.

Then there are the massive reporting provisions that businesses will be required to meet. The Paycheck Fairness Act charges the EEOC to "issue regulations to provide for the collection of pay information data from employers as described by the sex, race, and national origin of employees."

Lastly, the Paycheck Fairness Act authorizes the Secretary of Labour to give grants to "private nonprofit organization" or "community-based organizations" in order to fund programs that will:

. . . help girls and women strengthen their negotiation skills to allow the girls and women to obtain higher salaries and rates of compensation that are equal to those paid to similarly-situated male employees.

History tells us that a provision of this ilk is nothing more than a conduit to funnel ever more of our tax dollars to ACORN type organizations.

To sum up, this is a bill meant to solve a problem that does not exist. Obama and the left, in claiming that the gap in wages between men and women is because of discrimination, are lying through their teeth in yet another act determined to balkanize America. The proposed bill would inject the courts into core business decisions. It would result in an explosion of litigation that could cripple businesses at a time when our economy can ill afford any more shocks. And the bill would be yet another means for of our Community Organizer in Chief to funnel money to community organizers and their groups. This is a horrid piece of legislation that would do nothing to eliminate discrimination and everything to harm business and our economy. In other words, it is yet another unjustified major assault on our economy and the fabric of our country by Obama and the left.


In Praise Of Older Women

Fron an e-mail sent by O' Bloody Hell:

After being married 25 years, one day I took a look at my wife and said, “Honey, do you realize 25 years ago, I had a cheap apartment, a cheap car, slept on a sofa bed and watched a 10 inch black and white TV, but I got to sleep every night with a hot 25 year old blond. “Now, we have a nice house, a nice car, big bed and plasma screen TV, but I’m sleeping with a 50 year old woman. It seems to me that you are not holding up your side of things!”

Now my wife is a very reasonable woman. She told me to go out and find that hot 25 year old blond, and she would make sure that I would once again be living in a cheap apartment, driving a cheap car, sleeping on a sofa bed …

I shut up and took out the trash. Aren’t older women great? They really know how to solve your mid-life crisis!

(And before anyone bothers to take me to task in the comments, yes, I fully realize that no man in his right mind would ever accuse the 60 year old Raquel Welch, pictured above, of "not holding her end of the bargain.")


Friday, July 23, 2010

Senator Webb Calls For An End To Most Affirmative Action Programs

This is surprising - a Democratic Senator calling for an end to most affirmative action programs. Even more surpising - he does so on the grounds that the programs have ceased to be a remedial measure to help minorities injured by discrimination in America and have morphed into a means to discriminate against white males.

Sen. Webb has picked a popular cause, at least among the nation's electorate. Polls last year found that the nation's electorate, by a wide margin, supported the end of affirmative action programs. That support was very strong among Republicans and Independents, but only at 33% among Democrats.

While race based affirmative action programs made sense in the 1960's as a means to assisst those who had suffered from years of discrimination, that justification is absent today in an America where equality is the norm and minorities and women can be found in every occupation and position of power, from the Office of President on down. While race based affirmative action programs are no longer justified, that still does not answer the question of what programs would be effective in breaking the cycle of poverty in which 25% of blacks are still mired.

This from Sen. Webb, writing in the WSJ:

. . . Forty years ago, as the United States experienced the civil rights movement, the supposed monolith of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant dominance served as the whipping post for almost every debate about power and status in America. After a full generation of such debate, WASP elites have fallen by the wayside and a plethora of government-enforced diversity policies have marginalized many white workers. The time has come to cease the false arguments and allow every American the benefit of a fair chance at the future.

I have dedicated my political career to bringing fairness to America's economic system and to our work force, regardless of what people look like or where they may worship. Unfortunately, present-day diversity programs work against that notion, having expanded so far beyond their original purpose that they now favor anyone who does not happen to be white.

In an odd historical twist that all Americans see but few can understand, many programs allow recently arrived immigrants to move ahead of similarly situated whites whose families have been in the country for generations. These programs have damaged racial harmony. And the more they have grown, the less they have actually helped African-Americans, the intended beneficiaries of affirmative action as it was originally conceived.

How so?

.Lyndon Johnson's initial program for affirmative action was based on the 13th Amendment and on the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which authorized the federal government to take actions in order to eliminate "the badges of slavery." Affirmative action was designed to recognize the uniquely difficult journey of African-Americans. This policy was justifiable and understandable, even to those who came from white cultural groups that had also suffered in socio-economic terms from the Civil War and its aftermath.

The injustices endured by black Americans at the hands of their own government have no parallel in our history, not only during the period of slavery but also in the Jim Crow era that followed. But the extrapolation of this logic to all "people of color"—especially since 1965, when new immigration laws dramatically altered the demographic makeup of the U.S.—moved affirmative action away from remediation and toward discrimination, this time against whites. It has also lessened the focus on assisting African-Americans, who despite a veneer of successful people at the very top still experience high rates of poverty, drug abuse, incarceration and family breakup.

Those who came to this country in recent decades from Asia, Latin America and Africa did not suffer discrimination from our government, and in fact have frequently been the beneficiaries of special government programs. The same cannot be said of many hard-working white Americans, including those whose roots in America go back more than 200 years.

Contrary to assumptions in the law, white America is hardly a monolith. And the journey of white American cultures is so diverse (yes) that one strains to find the logic that could lump them together for the purpose of public policy. . . .

Policy makers ignored such disparities within America's white cultures when, in advancing minority diversity programs, they treated whites as a fungible monolith. Also lost on these policy makers were the differences in economic and educational attainment among nonwhite cultures. Thus nonwhite groups received special consideration in a wide variety of areas including business startups, academic admissions, job promotions and lucrative government contracts.

Where should we go from here? Beyond our continuing obligation to assist those African-Americans still in need, government-directed diversity programs should end.

Nondiscrimination laws should be applied equally among all citizens, including those who happen to be white. The need for inclusiveness in our society is undeniable and irreversible, both in our markets and in our communities. Our government should be in the business of enabling opportunity for all, not in picking winners. It can do so by ensuring that artificial distinctions such as race do not determine outcomes.

Memo to my fellow politicians: Drop the Procrustean policies and allow harmony to invade the public mindset. Fairness will happen, and bitterness will fade away.

Senator Webb is certainly correct in all that he opines - but he is also going against the very center of the far left's base. As I wrote below, in An Overdrawn Race Card:

Either Webb is a lone wolf in the Dem. Party on this matter, or he is part of a larger strategy to stem Obama's loss of support by throwing out a red herring to Middle America that the left has no intention of acting upon. To the contrary, the far left has been busy over the past eighteen months legislating ever more affirmative action type policies. Indeed, it is beyond any doubt that the far left, whose very existence is centered on special treatment of victim classes, would defend affirmative action with all the furor of the Nazis defending Berlin in the last days of WWII.

But as I pointed out in that post, the left's use of the race card is rapidly losing effectiveness. When the race card finally loses its last vestige of legitimacy, then we will see the end of affirmative action programs. It will also mark the end of our far left's hold on power. That will be a major step forward for America - and all of its citizens.


Proof Of God

The prayers of men are answered. (H/T Instapundit)


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

An Overdrawn Race Card

Update: Even The Daily Show is recognizing that the race card is overdrawn:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Race Card Is Maxed Out
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Thomas Sowell, in his recent essay, "Race Card Fraud," takes the left to task for using unfounded charges of racism for political purposes. Equally, he takes Obama to task for merely promising to lead us to some new "post-racial" America while, in actuality, leading us in another direction. As Sowell opines:

. . . Among people who voted for Barack Obama in 2008, those who are likely to be most disappointed are those who thought that they were voting for a new post-racial era. There was absolutely nothing in Obama’s past to lead to any such expectation, and much to suggest the exact opposite. But the man’s rhetoric and demeanor during the election campaign enabled this and many other illusions to flourish.

Still, it was an honest mistake of the kind that decent people have often made when dealing with people whose agendas are not constrained by decency, but only by what they think they can get away with. . . .

Racial issues are more of the same. You want a government where all citizens are treated alike, regardless of race or ethnicity? Obama will say that. Then he will advocate appointing judges with “empathy” for particular segments of the population, such as racial minorities. “Empathy” is just a pretty word for the ugly reality of bias.

Obama’s first nomination of a Supreme Court justice was a classic example of someone with empathy for some racial groups, but not others. As a Circuit Court judge, Sonia Sotomayor voted to dismiss a case involving white firefighters who had been denied the promotions for which they qualified, because not enough blacks or Hispanics passed the same test that they did.

A fellow Hispanic judge protested the way the white firefighters’ case was dismissed, rather than adjudicated. Moreover, the Supreme Court not only took the case, it ruled in favor of the firefighters.

Obama’s injecting himself into a local police matter in Massachusetts, despite admitting that he didn’t know the facts, to say that a white policeman was in the wrong in arresting a black professor who was a friend of Obama, was more of the same. So is Obama’s Justice Department overlooking blatant voter intimidation by thugs who happen to be black.

There is not now, nor has there ever been, anything post-racial about Barack Obama, except for the people who voted for him in the mistaken belief that he shared their desire to be post-racial. When he leaves office, especially if it is after one term, he will leave this country more racially polarized than before.

Hopefully, he may also leave the voters wiser, though sadder, after they learn from painful experience that you can’t judge politicians by their rhetoric, or ignore their past because of your hopes for the future. Voters may even wise up to race-card fraud.

This is one of those rare occasions when I think Dr. Sowell may be wrong. I think Obama may in fact - wholly inadvertently - take us down the road to a post-racial America. And I think it may well be because Middle America is very quickly wising up to race-card fraud.

Decades ago, the vast majority of people in post WWII America signed up for the equality of all races and genders. Admittedly, Southern Democrats were forced to sign on the dotted line at the point of a gun, particularly in Little Rock, but in the end, they did. Equality in America didn't happen overnight, nor did it happen without bloodshed, but, as Dennis Prager recently pointed out, America is today "the least racist country in the world." And indeed, while racism will occasionally show its ugly face, and while some remnant of racism will always exist on the far fringes of our nation amongst all races, it is not tolerated in the least in the mainstream.

Since the Civil Rights movement won out half a half century ago, the minority population of America, particularly the black population, has evolved into roughly three groups. The largest group has joined the middle class and embraced the gifts America has to offer. They are us, they are our friends and neighbors, our employees and employers, our family members, and in any and all cases, our fellow Americans. A second group has fully embraced the left's classification of them as victims. These people are the Al Sharptons, Jesse Jacksons, Jeremiah Wrights and Henry Louis Gates's of our country as well as their followers. They live for, and make a living on, the left's utterly distorting fantasy that racism (or whatever -ism) is rampant throughout America. Many occupy positions in academia, teaching the utter canard of critical race theory and loudly demanding reparations based on a very selective and highly myopic view of history. Yet others preach a gospel of separatism and reverse racism under the guises of Islam and Black Liberation Theology. And lastly are those many blacks still mired in poverty in the inner cities. They are approximately 25% of the black population. This is an intractable problem that the far left, despite all of their claims to the contrary, is not seriously interested in solving.

It is important to understand how we, as a nation, got to where we are today. The far left, in the 1960's, following the death of Martin Luther King, co-opted the Civil Rights movement as their rasion d'etre and married it with their own politics of Karl Marx. No longer was the Civil Rights movement about equality. Instead, people were categorized into permanent victim classes entitled to special treatment. While equality and an end to racism in America remained the ostensible goals of the movement, they were in reality replaced by the goals of reworking society into a socialist utopia and, above all, attaining money and political power.

This movement, devoid of intellectual honesty and moraly bankrupt, had only one real weapon in its inventory - the race card. Any criticism of a member of a victim class for virtually any reason was recast by the far left as a racial attack. The far left and newly minted "civil rights leaders" quickly learned to use the race card to circumvent debate and demonize political opponents. And, of course, they waged brutal attacks against any "victims" in the public square who did not embrace their victimhood. It has been an incredibly effective weapon for the far left over the past four decades. That is because the generation that came of age as the Civil Rights movement reached its zenith in the 1960's carried with them the collective guilt of large scale racism and sexism in America.

But the people of age today are a different generation. They grew up in a time when the Civil Rights movement was ascendant. They are blacks, whites, hispanics, asians and others who interact freely. These people today are not racist or sexist. In the case of whites, they do not feel the collective guilt of their progenitors. In the case of minorities, they do not hold hatred and nurse the distant historic wounds the left would have them nurture. And as to all of this generation, whether or not they voted for Obama in 2008, all accepted the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency irrespective of the color of his skin.

While Middle America signed on for equality a half century ago, they did not sign up to be subject to reverse racism, or to have their voices delegitimized by false charges of racism, or to tolerate unequal enforcement of the law, or in the case of minorities themselves, to be ruthlessly demonized on racist or sexist grounds for daring not to accept their status as victims. That said, for the past four decades, Middle America has virtually ignored what was going on in the rotting underbelly of the left's world of permanent victims.

All that changed during the Presidential campaign of 2008 with the shocking revelation that Obama's pastor of two decades, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was a rabid racist and anti-semite who reveled in anti-Americanism.

It further changed as America watched the left's brutal, sexist war on Sarah Palin. The blinds were pulled aside on the utter rot at the core of the left. The left won the battles - the MSM pushed Wright out of the news as quickly as possible and they succeeded in demonizing the self-made woman who is Palin. But it is clear now that the window into the rot of the underbelly of the left exposed during the campaign was not forgotten by Middle America, merely filed away.

During the eighteen months since the Obama administration came to power, much more evidence of that rot has surfaced. It started on election day with the New Black Panthers. A few months later, Eric Holder outrageously called all of America “cowards” on the issue of race. Then there was the incident with Henry Louis Gates and Obama's support for Gates. Not long after, Obama's DOJ dropped the charges against the New Black Panthers in what seemed an act inexplicable on any grounds but racial favoritism. Moreover, Obama's DOJ decided it was above the law and refused to answer lawful subpoenas on the matter. Then just recently came the deeply troubling allegations that Obama's DOJ is refusing to apply all voting laws equally to all races. Add to that Obama and the left's push to add yet more racial preferences and quotas into our laws. You can find numerous other racially charged incidents perpetrated by the Obama administration and the left catalgoued in an article by David Limbaugh in the Washington Examiner.

All of that has been important in calling into question the validity of the race card. But the single most important factor has been the rise of the Tea Party movement and the left's efforts to destroy it.

Critically, the Tea Party is a grass roots movement thoroughly anchored in Middle America. It is a decentralized, amorphous movement that opposes Obama and the left on purely ideological grounds. There is no one Tea Party leader for the left to demonize. So instead, the left has relentlessly and falsely attempted to demonize and delegitimize the entire Tea Party movement as racist. It is a move of tactical brilliance worthy of Gen. George Armstrong Custer. The left has managed to personalize their race wars for a huge swath of America that long ago embraced the concept of equality.

Perhaps the stupidest thing that the left could have done was manufacture false incidents of racism. But that is precisely what happened when, during the vote on Obamacare, members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) marched through the Tea Party protesters on Capitol Hill in a blatant effort to solicit racist taunts. When none were forthcoming, Rep. Clyburn and others made them up. The problem for the CBC - everyone and his brother, including Jesse Jackson, Jr., was taping the protests that day, in addition to taping every single step of the CBC march. Not a single instance of anything racial was caught on tape, despite offers of rewards of $100,000 by Andrew Breitbart for such proof.

Then to add more fuel to the fire the left has lit at its own feet, last week, the NAACP voted to smear the Tea Party, citing the discredited CBC allegations of racism as justification. Moreover, the First Lady, Michelle Obama, appeared at the NAACP's convention and gave a speech on the eve of the NAACP's well publicized vote. The First Lady did not join in the NAACP's slander, but she did not need to. She gave legitimacy and the blessing of the White House by appearing before the NAACP as their keynote speaker on the eve of their vote.

In the long term, the sum of all this spells doom for the far left. Their entire power base is centered on the twin pillars of maintaining victim classes and mining white guilt. But their device is laid bare and the guilt is dwindling to nothingness. It is happening before our eyes.

White support for Obama is melting away like a candle lit at both ends and in the middle. All of this despite the repeated use of the race card to delegitimize Obama's grass roots opposition. Ten years ago this ploy of the left would have worked. But despite the best efforts of today's MSM, it is sputtering and failing.

Today, with the race card no longer working for them as it has in the past, the left and their MSM cheerleaders are scared indeed. You can see it in the headlines. You can see it in the days events.

Just yesterday, the headline on Drudge was “Race Mess.” Articles are appearing among the MSM decrying the rise of “racial tension” in America and, in essence, telling Middle America to get back in line. Typical is the Reuters article of yesterday, "Race issues beset Obama's "post-racial" presidency.” The authors detail this new racial tension, then quote Paul Krugman and other similar left wing "experts" on the issues. Krugman, weighing in on the allegations of racially motivated unequal application of the laws, helpfully tells the reader that:

"When the right-wing noise machine starts promoting another alleged scandal, you shouldn't suspect that it's fake -- you should presume that it's fake, until further evidence becomes available," columnist Paul Krugman wrote in The New York Times.

And if that were insufficient, Reuters tries to shift part of the blame for this “racial tension” onto the right:

Both the right and left accuse each other of injecting race into the political discourse. Experts say that's inevitable given Obama's position as the first non-white U.S. president. Obama's father was Kenyan and his mother a white American.

That is pure bull of course. Nothing Middle America did over the past two years injected “race” into the political discourse. What racial tension there is today wholly derives from acts of the left and the left's increasingly shrill and desperate cries of racism. What is different now is that, for the first time, Middle America is pushing back.

Politico adds an additional spin to this story, attributing this new “racial tension” in America to Fox News and MSNBC:

The America of 2010 is dominated by racial images out of farce and parody, caricatures not seen since the glory days of Shaft. Fox News often stars a leather-clad New Black Panther, while MSNBC scours the tea party movement for racist elements, which one could probably find in any mass organization in America.

This is moral equivalency at its worst. The acts of Fox News are in no way equivalent to those of MSNBC. Fox News is reporting on a blatant violation of the voting rights act that there is strong reason to believe was dropped by the Dept. of Justice as part of a larger, unlawful and racially motivated refusal to enforce laws equally. That is an incredibly serious charge – and indeed, a violation of the oath of office of Obama, Eric Holder, and the other involved attorneys at DOJ. MSNBC, on the other hand, is looking for anything that it can use to delegitimze the Tea Party movement as a whole so that the left need not engage them in a contest of ideology and ideas. There is nothing even remotely moral or intellectually honest about what MSNBC is doing.

It is not only in the press that we see evidence of the seismic change in the landscape. Without doubt, the clearest evidence of that change is the utterly bizarre case of Shirley Sherrod, the Dept. of Agriculture employee fired after a video of a portion of her remarks at an NAACP meeting were posted online by Andrew Breitbart. In the video, Sherrod admits to an act of reverse racism, though she later goes on to say that through the incident she grew in office, that the world is not all about white versus black, but rich versus poor. The NAACP immediately denounced Sherrod and the Dept. of Agriculture immediately fired her, neither apparently realizing that her admission of an act of reverse racism was only part of the story. (That said, Sherrod since then has shown herself a race baiter of the highest order. See Rhymes With Right and Gay Patriot (H/T Instapundit))

When was the last time you saw a left wing organization not merely come down against one of its own for showing something akin to reverse racism, but doing so as a knee jerk reaction? Indeed, prior to Sherrod, such remarks were virtually always either studiously ignored or quickly forgiven by the left. Now it seems there is a new zero tolerance policy at the NAACP.

And when was the last time you saw the Obama administration act with such alacrity to punish an apparent act of reverse racism? Indeed, there are many in Obama's administration today who have a history of reverse racism. And do recall that it was only two years ago when Obama gave his speech on race, stating that he could "no more disown Rev. Wright" than he could disown his white grandmother. It would seem that some in his administration, if not Obama himself, may have recently experienced an epiphany.

I think it fair to assume that the NAACP's knee jerk reaction has its genesis in the push back that they are getting for their scurrilous decision to slime the Tea Party movement as racist. It is equally as reasonable to assume that the decision to fire Sherrod comes from an administration in panic over whites fleeing from support of the administration en masse, perhaps coupled with realization of the very real potential ramifications that the DOJ is picking and choosing which laws to prosecute on the basis of race. And I think it fair to assume the articles we are now seeing decrying “racial tension” in America are in surprise and horror that the race card is no longer working the way it has for the last half century.

The left has suddenly found that they are deeply overdrawn on the race card account. The race card has been a deeply divisive tactic used to distort our body politic for over four decades. The left has lived by the race card; it is fair to forecast that the far left as a serious movement will die by it. If I am right in my assessment, that process has started. When the process ends, it will mark a great advancement for our nation as a whole - and for minorities in particular.

Update: Today, Dem. Sen. Jim Webb, writing in the WSJ, crosses a bright line in American politics that, once, would have brought race cards flying at him at light speed. He calls for an end to most affirmative action programs - the golden goose at the center of the far left's power base. Moreover, he does so on the ground that the programs have stopped being remedial and are now a means to discriminate against white males.

Webb has picked a topic that has wide national support. Polls last year found that a significat majority of Americans support an end to affirmative action for all but the disabled. That support was extremely strong among Republicans and Independents, but only at 33% among Democrats.

But why now? Either Webb is a lone wolf in the Dem. Party on this matter, or he is part of a larger strategy to stem Obama's loss of support by throwing out a red herring to Middle America that the left has no intention of acting upon. To the contrary, the far left has been busy over the past eighteen months legislating ever more affirmative action type policies. Indeed, it is beyond any doubt that the far left, whose very existence is centered on special treatment of victim classes, would defend affirmative action with all the furor of the Nazis defending Berlin in the last days of WWII.

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