Friday, September 30, 2005

Planned Parenthood Advocates Abortion to Reduce Crime

The politically correct banshees are after Bill Bennett for saying, in the context of the economic effects of legalized abortion:
. . . it’s true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could — if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.
How terrible! How offensive! How racist!

The fact that it’s true doesn’t matter. Neither does the fact that Bennett is explicitly condemning the idea.

Of course, aborting every white baby in the country would reduce crime too. But since blacks are more likely to commit crimes than whites, if you want to reduce crime by killing babies, killing black babies is the efficient way to do it.

Just as, if you wanted to radically reduce rape, castrating all males would be splendidly effective.

But interestingly, Planned Parenthood also claims that a benefit of abortion is the reduction of crime.

Yes, it’s in an official publication of theirs titled “Medical and Social Health Benefits Since Abortion Was Made Legal in the U.S.” Quoting:
The legalization of abortion was a significant factor in the dramatic drop in crime in the U.S. in the 1990s.
  • Previous research has established that a strong link exists between an adverse family environment and future criminal behavior; that maternal rejection is counted among the various qualitative aspects of parenting that provide the most accurate predictors of juvenile delinquency; and that having been born of a pregnancy that was unwanted by one’s mother is a circumstance that increases a person’s risk of committing violent crime (David, et al., 1988; Donohue & Levitt, 2001).
  • At least one study reported that legalized abortion can account for about half the observed decline in crime in the U.S. since 1991. Homicide rates have fallen more than 40 percent, and violent crime and property crime have fallen more than 30 percent.
  • The timing of the drop in crime corresponds to the period in which the first generation of children born after the legalization of abortion are reaching what are considered to be the peak ages of criminal activity (18–24 years old). Furthermore, states that legalized abortion before the rest of the nation did so were also the first states to experience decreasing crime rates.
  • States with high abortion rates have seen a greater fall in crime since 1985, even after taking into account other factors that would be expected to influence the crime rate. Furthermore, these declines in crime rates in high-abortion states are disproportionately concentrated among those under the age of 25 (Donohue & Levitt, 2001).
[Update: The document on the Planned Parenthood web site (link above) has now been sanitized to remove any mention of abortion for crime control. However, you can view an archived version of that document here.]

Planned Parenthood is too delicate to mention race, but they must be aware of the following statistics:
  • Race - 63% of abortion patients are white, however, black women are more than 3 times as likely to have an abortion, and Hispanic women are 2.5 times as likely.
And the article they cite on this point, written by John J. Donohue III and Steven D. Levitt, is perfectly explicit about racial differences in both abortions and homicides:
Fertility declines for black women [after Roe v. Wade] are three times greater than for whites (12 percent compared with 4 percent). Given that homicide rates of black youths are roughly nine times higher than those of white youths, racial differences in the fertility effects of abortion are likely to translate into greater homicide reductions. Under the assumption that those black and white births eliminated by legalized abortion would have experienced the average criminal propensities of their respective races, then the predicted reduction in homicide is 8.9 percent. In other words, taking into account differential abortion rates by race raises the predicted impact of abortion legalization on homicide from 5.4 percent to 8.9 percent.
Thus, if Planned Parenthood bothered to read the article they cite, they have to understand that “fertility declines” among black women are a key part of their argument.

So let’s do a little moral audit here:

Bennett points out, quite correctly, that aborting all black babies would reduce the crime rate, and then denounces that idea as “morally reprehensible.”

Planned Parenthood, which knows perfectly well that black babies are being aborted at a disproportionate rate, explicitly champions abortion as a way of reducing crime rates.

And guess who’s attacked as “racist?”

Thursday, September 29, 2005

“Diversity” Advocate Goes Ballistic

Madison’s Mendota Beacon ran an opinion column by Brad Vogel opposing affirmative action racial preferences. His rather moderate and temperate article drew the following comment from an irate supporter of preferences:
Mr. Vogel

You are the biggest bigot I have ever read. I can see you now: a white male who grew up in a white town who goes to a mostly white school. Feels nice doesn’t it? My only hope is that this country turns brown (AND IT WILL) and you will have to be the minority for once. The proud repressed races will treat you like you treated us for all of these years. First, Spanish will be the official language of the US. Second, all White immigration will be halted...we don’t need your people expanding...or breeding at all. Third, we will shove all of you people into ghettos...just as you are doing with us. The WASP will become extinct and the next century will belong to US. Enjoy the last years of your privileged life, because the future will be a much darker, progressive one!

The Truth Hurts
lessons@ucla.edu
It’s one of the ugly realities of modern academia that politically correct people are considered authorized to make the most bigoted and intolerant statements. This reminds us of Brent Bray’s attack on Joseph Kastner:
Add to that a web page of a naive person with black and white assumptions of small town Wisconsin, and you have a loaded gun blindly aimed at Arab-Americans.
Thus it’s perfectly fine to demonize whites, males, Republicans, Christians and people from small towns, but don’t you dare say anything unkind about blacks, Hispanics, gays or Arabs!

More on the Marquette Diversity Hustle

From an e-mail:

I can’t help but add my two cents to the “Some Heretical Thoughts on ‘Diversity’” post. Reading that email threw a little gas on an old fire, and I figure that these topics deserve as many different opinions as is necessary, especially from students themselves.

The email brought me back to my own first experience with Marquette’s diversity obsession gone loony. Last winter, we on the MUSG Senate were treated to a presentation by a big shot in the admissions office about the growing popularity of Marquette and consequent admissions crunch. What did we learn from the presentation? Basically, Marquette’s admissions process is a delicate calculus in maintaining the highest possible average ACT score while increasing the percentage of “students of color.”

What amazed me was that the admissions person made little attempt to conceal the process (or if not an official process, at least the adopted admissions goal). No, it was not “students of unique perspectives” or “students of other cultural upbringing.” Hell, even “students from a geographically interesting place” would probably make more rational sense. But the unabashed use of “person of color” hinted a spectacularly superficial notion of diversity.

I simply cannot understand the ultimate goal of universities in these policies. As far as I can see, a large “students of color” population is at best a second-hand consequence of attaining diversity in any academically significant sense – that being a diversity of perspective, knowledge, character, and so forth.

Ultimately, yes, this would lead to students of many cultures and locales, and consequently, of many different colors. But it would simply be a side effect, roughly two jumps removed from the primary goal. How does one make that leap from consequence to cause? Isn’t that one of those fallacies we’re taught in logic class? Or who knows; maybe I’m just vastly underrating the experience that comes with a well-rounded sampling of visual stimuli.

As far as the admissions is concerned, a dark-skinned student that deviates little from the typical Marquette student is more valuable to diversity goals than a light-skinned blue-eyed student from a small Scandinavian fishing town with no electricity and dirt roads.

What do our universities want – environments where individuals challenge and stimulate each other’s thought process through their unique perspectives? Or places where people can say, “My, look at all the different skin tones!” in admiration?

I remember leaving the presentation that night ashamed – literally ashamed – to go to a school where such superficiality and short-sidedness is so commonly adopted and exalted. I couldn’t decide whether I should laugh hysterically or weep at the lunacy of it all. My shame subsided a bit in remembering that the same situation plays out at almost every other university. Maybe very elite schools like some of the Ivys or the University of Chicago have a grip on this whole diversity thing, but I have no reason to believe that Marquette gets it at all.

Maybe we’re just doing our damndest to keep up with the current status quo, but if most schools are truly this wrapped up in silly facades, our school should rise above these cheap little games. At the very least, the administration’s policies shouldn’t make it look like a bunch of clowns in the eyes of its own students and faculty.

And interestingly, who among students have I personally found to be most repulsed and personally insulted? Students of color – no shock whatsoever.

The author of the anonymous email made the point about “heighten[ed] sensitivity to one’s outer self-image,” and as a student, I must say that that point couldn’t be more dead on. Having been here more than three years now, that feeling has become inescapable. To the person who is not “ethnically diverse,” the “ethnic minority” too often becomes a novelty to be admired for his or her ethnicity and for which the non-minority can feel newly enlightened or worldly. Much like a person who draws favorable notice by being physically attractive, the true character of the individual is often lost behind a surface characteristic. Conversely, meaningful interaction among ethnic minorities and non-minorities is often lost on those who find themselves turned off by force-fed ideas of diversity or intimidated by the exalted status of minorities in the college setting.

Simply put, ethnic diversity has been prevented from naturally working its way into the mainstream of our college environment and instead has been seized by a diversity-obsessed bunch, leaving so many non-minority students feeling opelessly “uncultured” and out of the loop. Like so much in academia, the entire issue has become little more than muddied, overwrought nonsense from intellectuals that can’t seem to see what’s right in front of their eyes.

Vincent Bergl

Wisconsin Madison Campus: Discriminating Against Catholic Organizations?

From the blog Letters in Bottles, a post suggesting that anti-Catholic bias is responsible for the difficulties that the St. Paul Catholic Center is having in getting funding from student government.
Just heard news that the UW Roman Catholic Foundation was denied eligibility for receiving segregated student fees by a 1 vote margin. The last meeting of the student service finance committee showed the general hostility toward organized religion, and Catholicism particularly, in this “viewpoint neutral” marketplace.

The group’s supporters were grilled in open forum with greater scrutiny than those of any previous group this year. At one point, a representative on the committee held up a sign to a conservative white male member of the committee with the words “R U Catholic?” on it (he is not). Anti-Catholicism, at least by the indicators on this campus, remains fashionable in the academy.
The issue comes up again tonight, and it will be interesting to see what the outcome is.

What To Conceal to Get a Faculty Job

From The Conglomerate blog, a discussion about what information potential faculty job seekers need to conceal in order to get a job interview:
Yesterday, I received an email from a friend, who will enter the fray this fall. He asked me and various other law professors to comment on his application form and CV, both of which include several items suggesting that he is both (1) Mormon and (2) Republican. The following is one of the responses that he received:
There’s no doubt that being a Mormon and a Republican are both negatives for a substantial slice of the professorate. That means that you will have a certain number of people who’ll never support you and a larger number who start with a prejudice against you. Often this is a small number at a particular school, but at the preliminary screening level it’s often the case that strong opposition from one member of the Appointments Committee is enough to knock you out. I know of a case where one extremely strong candidate didn’t get a all-back at a lower-tier school because one member of the Appointments committee said that she simply couldn’t even consider hiring someone who’d worked for Justice Thomas. It’s obviously possible to overcome this bias, but you’re starting with a handicap.
The responses to this post are interesting, and those who wrote were far from agreeing that concealing conservative religious and political views is necessary.

But a bias is clearly sufficiently widespread to make doing that prudent.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Men Discriminated Against in Academia?

From Tech Central Station:

. . . an interesting post on how males are underrepresented in colleges and universities.

Do we need an Affirmative Action program for male students?

The article, by Glenn Harlan Reynolds, quotes USA Today:
Currently, 135 women receive bachelor’s degrees for every 100 men. That gender imbalance will widen in the coming years, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Education.
Reynolds goes on to note:
There seems little doubt that universities have become less male-friendly in recent decades, to the point of being downright unfriendly in many cases. The kind of statements that are routinely made about males and masculinity in classrooms and hallways would get professors fired if they were made about blacks, gays, or many other groups. Sexual-harassment policies start with the presumption that men are guilty, and inherently depraved. And colleges now come at the tail-end of an educational system that is (compared to previous decades) anti-male from kindergarten on, meaning many males probably just want to get out as soon as they can.
Of course, Reynolds notes, it might simply be that men can get good-paying jobs without going to college.
Plumbers, electricians, and building contractors face their own sets of barriers, but they don’t need a college degree. (And, as an upside, those jobs aren’t likely to be outsourced.)
Still, this inbalance should be thrown in the face of every Affirmative Action quota advocate.

New Orleans Fiasco — Media Worse Than FEMA

From the New Orleans Times-Picayune, via Sykes Writes:

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina the media, with gleeful self-righteousness, portrayed conditions in New Orleans as a Hobbesian state of nature, with killing, rape and pillage run rampant. Now, some more sober assessments are making their way into the media, and they paint a radically different picture.
After five days managing near-riots, medical horrors and unspeakable living conditions inside the Superdome, Louisiana National Guard Col. Thomas Beron prepared to hand over the dead to representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Following days of internationally reported killings, rapes and gang violence inside the Dome, the doctor from FEMA - Beron doesn’t remember his name - came prepared for a grisly scene: He brought a refrigerated 18-wheeler and three doctors to process bodies.

“I’ve got a report of 200 bodies in the Dome,” Beron recalls the doctor saying.

The real total was six, Beron said.

Of those, four died of natural causes, one overdosed and another jumped to his death in an apparent suicide, said Beron, who personally oversaw the turning over of bodies from a Dome freezer, where they lay atop melting bags of ice. State health department officials in charge of body recovery put the official death count at the Dome at 10, but Beron said the other four bodies were found in the street near the Dome, not inside it. Both sources said no one had been killed inside.
Further:
As the fog of warlike conditions in Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath has cleared, the vast majority of reported atrocities committed by evacuees have turned out to be false, or at least unsupported by any evidence, according to key military, law enforcement, medical and civilian officials in positions to know.
Some of the evacuees were indeed hostile toward the police and soldiers, but that was far from the typical case.
As the authorities finally mobilized buses to evacuate the Dome on Sept. 2, many evacuees were nearing the breaking point. Baldwin said soldiers could not have controlled the crowd much longer. They ejected a handful of people attempting to start a riot, screaming at soldiers and pushing crowds to revolt.

“We’re not prisoners of war - y’all are treating us like evacuees and detainees!” he recalled one of them shouting.

But many others sought to quiet such voices. On the deck outside the Dome on Sept. 1, the day before buses arrived, preachers took it upon themselves to lead the agitated crowd in prayer and song.

“Everybody needs to help the soldiers,” Baldwin recalled one of them saying. “We’re all family here.”

About 15 others joined the medical operation, as people collapsed from heat and exhaustion every few minutes, Baldwin said.

“Some of these guys look like thugs, with pants hanging down around their asses,” he said. “But they were working their asses off, grabbing litters and running with people to the (New Orleans) Arena” next door, which housed the medical operation.
If one suspects this is biased, since it comes from a New Orleans paper, they should check out a similar article in the Los Angeles Times.
Journalists and officials who have reviewed the Katrina disaster blamed the inaccurate reporting in large measure on the breakdown of telephone service, which prevented dissemination of accurate reports to those most in need of the information. Race may have also played a factor.

The wild rumors filled the vacuum and seemed to gain credence with each retelling — that an infant’s body had been found in a trash can, that sharks from Lake Pontchartrain were swimming through the business district, that hundreds of bodies had been stacked in the Superdome basement.

“It doesn’t take anything to start a rumor around here,” Louisiana National Guard 2nd Lt. Lance Cagnolatti said at the height of the Superdome relief effort. “There’s 20,000 people in here. Think when you were in high school. You whisper something in someone’s ear. By the end of the day, everyone in school knows the rumor — and the rumor isn’t the same thing it was when you started it.”
Most media outlets were suckered, including, the article admits, the Los Angeles Times.
Hyperbolic reporting spread through much of the media.

Fox News, a day before the major evacuation of the Superdome began, issued an “alert” as talk show host Alan Colmes reiterated reports of “robberies, rapes, carjackings, riots and murder. Violent gangs are roaming the streets at night, hidden by the cover of darkness.”

The Los Angeles Times adopted a breathless tone the next day in its lead news story, reporting that National Guard troops “took positions on rooftops, scanning for snipers and armed mobs as seething crowds of refugees milled below, desperate to flee. Gunfire crackled in the distance.”

The New York Times repeated some of the reports of violence and unrest, but the newspaper usually was more careful to note that the information could not be verified.

The tabloid Ottawa Sun reported unverified accounts of “a man seeking help gunned down by a National Guard soldier” and “a young man run down and then shot by a New Orleans police officer.”

London’s Evening Standard invoked the future-world fantasy film “Mad Max” to describe the scene and threw in a “Lord of the Flies” allusion for good measure.

Televised images and photographs affirmed the widespread devastation in one of America’s most celebrated cities.
The fact that Fox News is on the list suggests that sensationalism, quite independent of ideology, played a role here.

But the fact that the media, during the whole disaster, were obsessing on the effect it would have on the President’s political fortunes suggests the media weren’t too unhappy watching the fiasco unfold on Bush’s watch.

Ironically, the effect of this sort of coverage was to encourage racism. The people left in New Orleans were overwhelmingly black, and somebody who uncritically accepted what was reported would have concluded they were animals.
Police, according to their chief, Eddie Compass, found themselves in multiple shootouts inside both shelters, and were forced to race toward muzzle flashes through the dark to disarm the criminals; snipers supposedly fired at doctors and soldiers from downtown high-rises.

In interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Compass reported rapes of “babies,” and Mayor Ray Nagin spoke of “hundreds of armed gang members” killing and raping people inside the Dome. Unidentified evacuees told of children stepping over so many bodies, “we couldn’t count.”

The picture that emerged was one of the impoverished, masses of flood victims resorting to utter depravity, randomly attacking each other, as well as the police trying to protect them and the rescue workers trying to save them. Nagin told Winfrey the crowd has descended to an “almost animalistic state.”
This, remember, was a black mayor talking.

There was some evil behavior, no doubt, but when the facts are sorted out, the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast behaved pretty decently.

But government and the media failed them.

Political Correctness in Hollywood: Brooks Can’t Put “Muslim” in Film Title

Via the Office of Homeland Security:

The Los Angeles Times reports on a comedian who has run afoul of Hollywood sensibilities:
But the real problem with Hollywood isn’t simply its glorification of sex, money and lame old TV shows. It’s that our Ivy League-educated studio elite often don’t know the difference between crass and class. How’s this for an example: Sony Pictures, the studio that made “European Gigolo,” has refused to release “Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World,” an inspired new film by Albert Brooks about a comedian — Brooks, playing himself — who is recruited by the U.S. government to go to India and Pakistan to find out what makes Muslims laugh.

The movie makes fun of comedians’ neurotic neediness and State Department ineffectuality, but seems to steer clear of anything that would insult Muslims. Still, in a June 30 letter to Brooks, Sony chairman Michael Lynton said that he wouldn’t release the film unless Brooks changed the title. Lynton wrote: “I do believe that recent incidents have dramatically changed the landscape that we live in and that this, among other things, warrants changing the title of the film.” Sony insiders say Lynton was alarmed by the violent reaction in the Muslim world to Newsweek’s May 9 story, since retracted, about a Koran being flushed down the toilet by interrogators at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay.
Ironically, this seems to demean Muslims by assuming that they are all raving extremists who have no sense of humor and will riot given the slightest excuse.

But that is a characteristic of political correctness: it demeans the groups it claims to protect.

Some Heretical Thoughts on “Diversity”

The following is from an e-mail correspondent:

That I feel compelled to submit this opinion anonymously for fear of institutional reprisal bespeaks the dangerous and increasingly volatile situation confronting Marquette and higher education in general. I applaud Marquette’s efforts to raise consciousness and promote civic responsibility in its students and administrators, but was slightly troubled at the new university-wide hiring initiative reported in last Tuesday’s Tribune. It is encouraging that material steps are being taken to address diversity and meet what are hopefully specified ends.

However, such a policy is illustrative of a wider cultural ideology that has permeated the university, and which threatens one of America’s most fundamental freedoms, that of thought. Dubbed the “left university,” by James Piereson, it is one that is steeped in the politics of the 1960’s, a period in which many current faculty and administrators developed their sense of Western injustice and oppression, and began to illuminate those suffering under the weight of that oppression. But the problem is not a question of redress, but rather one of efficacy. All too often, blind support is offered for social programs that have no empirical basis for implementation. In other words, they don’t work.

The left university has cultivated an atmosphere in which past performance is disregarded in favor of good intentions. As it stands, Auburn University, from whence Keenan Grenell, our new Provost for Diversity comes, is still 87% white and 7% black, according to the Princeton Review. Marquette, for those keeping score, is albeit still lopsided, but 85% white. Perhaps if we regress 2%, Dr. Grenell will be able to move on to greener, or in this case, whiter pastures.

Though well-intentioned, this program and its admissions counterparts, actually obliterate diversity of thought, devalue individual accomplishment, and only serve to employ another form of discrimination. This program and others like it provide short-term solutions, emphasizing not education of the student, but the color of that student’s skin. Such brazen condescension and intellectual arrogance only serve to heighten sensitivity to one’s outer self-image, and overshadow each person’s merit and worth as an individual. The divisive nature of this theoretical idealism only serves to widen the cultural and racial gap while at the same time breeding resentment and animosity. Thus the university becomes defined by percentages, and not by the character of its students and faculty.

This has created a culture of fear and intimidation, one that suppresses any opposition to a decidedly leftist ideology, and one that has very disturbingly infused the classroom. One needs to look no further than the School of Education, where students will now find in the curriculum the intellectually engaging and topically relevant think piece, “An Open Letter from Michael Moore to George W. Bush.” Students reared in this setting will find a comfortable, feel-good environment where rationalizations abound, and where things that go wrong can always be imputed to institutional or societal failure.

MU is renowned for its community outreach and service programs, and listed as one of the nation’s “colleges with a conscience.” But our preoccupation with cosmetic enhancements stands in the way of overall university growth, development, and progress. Marquette needs to combat more than just its self-perception of being defined by a visually monolithic student body and seek solutions that encourage, not suppress, the return of dialogue and a diversity of thought.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

More: 1832 Charges Racism

A post of ours earlier today discussed a posting on the 1832 blog accusing student blogger Joseph Kastner of racism.

It’s been a bad day for the folks at 1832. Steve at Eminent Domain details how they first engaged in an inept attempt to conceal the identity of the fellow who wrote the post, and have changed the URL of the post a couple of times. Steve concludes:
1832 should come clean about the original post. Explain what you originally posted on your blog, explain why it was wrong to level an attack at someone from behind a fake name, explain why there were no links originally, explain why you changed it. Or you can keep changing the URL. Either way, I’m annoyed enough by this to keep it up.
This is a tempest in a teapot, of course, but perhaps the sort of pickle one should get into when throwing around charges of racism.

1832 Blog: Wild Charges of Racism

We routinely expect student blogs to be a bit irresponsible. After all, they are student blogs.

But sometimes they go completely bonkers. Such was the case when the 1832 blog published an article titled “Racism Permeating from within [sic] Marquette College Republicans’ Ranks.”

Written by Brent Bray, it attacks student blogger Joseph Kastner for supposed “racism.”

And what is the evidence of Kastner’s “racism?” Two blog entries dealing with Moslems. Here is the first one, and here is the second.

The first one notes the political correctness of Hollywood in making a film in which four Arabs are suspects in a kidnaping aboard an airliner, but then it develops that “the Air Marshall and the flight attendants who were behind it.” Kastner’s point, which is more than amply demonstrated by the movie version of Tom Clancy’s “Sum of All Fears,” is that Hollywood doesn’t want to make Arabs villains.

Of course, not wanting to make Arabs especially villainous is perfectly reasonable. But Arabs are simply more likely to engage in certain kinds of illegal activity, and trying to avoid that is political correctness personified.

Movies set in the South during the heyday of the civil rights struggle have certainly been willing to portray Southern whites in a very negative way.

The second of Kastner’s links deals with a Maryland Muslim elementary school teacher who has been charged with aiding two terrorist groups. Kastner editorializes that:
Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing we have both the Muslim Student Association and the Arab Student Association on campus, now doesn’t it? I sure no one’s visa is expired.
We think that Kastner was out of bounds with this comment, although we have to note that some of the actions of Arab students on campus have projected an image of irresponsibility. They, for example, attacked Ambassador Dennis Ross, a visiting scholar in the Political Science Department this past spring.

They staged an Arab Heritage Celebration that was chock-full of hatred of Israel, and indeed of the United States as Israel’s ally.

Some Arab activists seem to want to have it both ways. They want to be free to engage in extreme and inflammatory rhetoric, and then become very indignant when people begin to think of them as extreme.

At any rate, what Bray presents Kastner as saying bears no resemblance of what Kastner actually said. Bray accuses Kastner of “seeking to place Arabs as terrorist race inferior to commonalities of justice of a presumable guilt before trial based solely on the color/religion of an individual. . . .”

And again: Bray accuses Kastner of “eagerness to post and endorse racial epitaphs [sic].” Brent, he’s talking about live Arabs, not dead ones.

And even further:
Kastner has again shown his true colors in his blog “PC-America Stikes [sic] Again with ‘Flightplan’” in suggesting first and foremost that “Arabs males are (inherently) sinister” and that their presumption (and in this case actuality) of innocence should automatically be discredited because they happen to be of Arab decent [sic] so they must be a [sic] terrorist.
Here, Bray has put in quotes something that Kastner never said. Kastner describes how the movie audiences are made to believe that “four sinaster [sic] Arabs” are at fault. He’s clearly describing the presentation of these four characters by the makers of the movie.

Bray just can’t restrain his rhetoric:
However, Kastner would have you believe that every Arab person wants to tear down the fiber of America - hmm why would this be? Fear and ignorance often are a dangerous combination. Add to that a web page of a naive person with black and white assumptions of small town Wisconsin, and you have a loaded gun blindly aimed at Arab-Americans.
Bray, who in some contexts bitterly complains about “stereotypes” doesn’t mind stereotyping people who live in small towns.

The introduction to Bray’s post says that he “has an extensive background with Marquette University Student Government and, in particular, diversity and multicultural issues.” Among the “multicultural” and “diversity” crowd, charges of racism are supposed to bring the accused person to his knees, begging and pleading that he’s not in fact a racist and will do anything to prove that.

But the “multicultural” and “diversity” crowd seems to have no idea of how badly this rhetoric plays outside the confines of their own little playground.

The average American, hearing charges of “racism” thinks “oh, my, yet another race hustler playing the race card.”

Monday, September 26, 2005

The New York Times’ Belated Honesty

Since he now works for Fox News, Geraldo Rivera isn’t in favor with the mainstream media. So it wasn’t surprising that a New York Times TV critic described an incident in New Orleans where she saw him as a grandstanding, hotdog reporter.
“Some reporters helped stranded victims because no police officers or rescue workers were around. (Fox’s Geraldo Rivera did his rivals one better: yesterday, he nudged an Air Force rescue worker out of the way so his camera crew could tape him as he helped lift an older woman in a wheelchair to safety.)”
Rivera was, as usual, hotdogging this story, but there was one problem with the Times review. Rivera simply didn’t do any “nudging” at all.

In fact, Fox News repeatedly showed the tape on the air and denounced the story. Further, they made the tape available to the New York Times.

The Times simply stonewalled.

For three weeks they refused to correct the mistake, and even defended the story.

Finally, yesterday, the Public Editor of the Times, Byron Calame chimed in to rebuke the paper.
My viewings of the videotape - at least a dozen times, including one time frame by frame - simply doesn’t show me any “nudge” of any Air Force rescuer by Mr. Rivera. (Ms. Stanley declined my invitation to watch the tape with me.) I also reviewed all of the so-called outtakes shot by Mr. Rivera’s camera crew at the Holy Angels Apartments in New Orleans on the morning of Sept. 4. Neither the video nor the audio revealed any nudge of an Air Force rescuer. As for the Air Force, the matter “is not an issue," a spokesman told me last week.
This, of course, was not a matter of opinion. It is a simple fact that no “nudge” is shown in any of the tapes.

So why did the Times stonewall? Quite simply, the grandees at the paper can’t stand to be corrected by Fox News. Fox News the upstart. Fox News the conservative network.

As with the rest of the mainstream media, they are used to being the final arbiters of what is true and what is false, and haven’t adopted to a world where there are more voices, including voices that they can’t in fact afford to ignore. A world where they can be called to account for their errors.

It’s been a rude shock for them, just as it has been for the rest of the mainstream media.

Europe’s Corrupt Elites

From The American Enterprise: an article about anti-Americanism in Europe.
Asked which countries are the biggest threat to world peace, Europeans name the U.S as often as North Korea and Iran (each are picked by 53 percent). Countries characterized by Euros as less menacing than the U.S. include Syria, Iraq, Russia, China, Afghanistan, Libya. As one American living in Britain, Anglican minister Dwight Longenecker, summarizes: “Our cultural ancestors have become unrecognizable, even hostile, to us.”

Unlike some forms of bigotry, anti-Americanism is most virulent among Europe’s elites. Everyday Germans and Brits and Italians tend to be more appreciative of American culture, economic achievement, and government than their political lords. But ordinary Europeans have relatively little influence on the direction of their societies. The thing about European governance most striking to American eyes today is its comparatively undemocratic nature. In much of the continent, elections mean little, unaccountable bureaucracies and elites commandeer the most important decisions, the same people hang onto power endlessly, and policies that would not survive the test of popular opinion are simply instituted by administrative fiat. To cite just one example, direct election of mayors has been blocked in many localities, with national authorities insisting on appointing local leaders themselves.

Because of this unrepresentative politics, lots of ideas supported by a majority of the European public--like the death penalty--have no chance of becoming law. The tradition of a peasantry ruled by its “betters” endures in numerous ways. Many of these habits are actually being deepened by the European Union, where decision making is dominated by unrecallable mandarins serving appointments in Brussels, who regularly ram through laws that could never pass by popular referendum.
Poor economic performance in Europe is part of the problem:
Some considerable part of today’s European hostility toward the U.S. is born of frustration over their own failures, and jealousy of American success. This is especially clear in the realm of economics, where Europe has been drooping for two decades now. Europe’s economic malaise is producing many bad social effects quite apart from increased resentment toward the U.S.
Further:
Unfortunately, a combination of ideological stubbornness and blind anti-Americanism makes many Europeans resist the economic modernizations they desperately need. It’s as if, updating the old slogan, they’d rather be economically dead than red (if we use red in the Election 2000 sense to symbolize Reagan-Bush-style economics). The French have long caricatured the American economy as a free-market jungle, where fatcats prey and the weak perish. Recently, leftists in other European countries have adopted the French stereotype and sought to distance themselves from what they call “Anglo Saxon capitalism.”

The irony is that for all their insistence on portraying the U.S. as a land of fired workers, poverty, and economic insecurity, it is now Europe where unemployment is twice as high and four times as deep, where immigrants and the young have far fewer openings, where the ladder of upward mobility has fallen to pieces. In terms of spending power, homeownership, educational opportunities, and so forth, even relatively low income Americans are now demonstrably better off than typical Europeans. . . .
And yet Europe is held out as some sort of moral example by left-leaning Americans.

Friday, September 23, 2005

No, It’s Not Global Warming

Via Sykes writes:

From ABC News Online:
The current cycle of heavy hurricanes blowing across the Atlantic Ocean probably will continue for another 10 to 20 years as a result of natural weather patterns not global warming, the head of the National Hurricane Centre told the US Congress.

“We believe this heightened period of hurricane activity will continue ... as tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic is cyclical,” Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami, said.

Mr Mayfield said another three to six tropical storms, which could turn into hurricanes, are expected to strike before the end of 2005, making a total of 18 to 21 for the year.

He dismissed the possibility that global warming could be playing a major role in the growing number of tropical storms.

“The increased activity since 1995 is due to natural cycles of hurricane activity driven by the Atlantic Ocean itself along with the atmosphere above it and not enhanced substantially by global warming,” Mr Mayfield said.

Ted Kennedy Wants to Deny Disaster Aid to Catholic Schools and Students

One of the provisions of President Bush’s aid program for the victims of Hurricane Katrina is federal money to put displaced children in schools in the places they have fled to.

Why is this controversial? Because the aid goes to both public and private schools, and Catholic schools are included.

Who in Washington is out front opposting this? Teddy Kennedy. According to the Washington Post:
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.), ranking Democrat on the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said, “Instead of reopening ideological battles, we should be focused on reopening schools and getting people the help that they need.”
Of course, it would seem that getting displaced kids back in school in whatever places are available and (so far as possible) in the schools they prefer would seem to be “getting people the help that they need.” The U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops observes:
Senator Kennedy said he is “extremely disappointed” that in President Bush’s plan for hurricane relief aid would go to students no matter where they attend school. He’s not half as disappointed as his fellow citizens who see his attitude as discriminating against what amounts to 45 percent of the students in New Orleans, many of them African-American and underprivileged by anyone’s standards.

Catholic schools have been heroic in meeting the needs before them. In Houston, where the school year began in early August, Catholic schools have hired extra teachers and employed volunteers to work with incoming students from Louisiana, where the school year had not even begun when the hurricane struck. They’ve not only taken them in, they’ve gone the extra mile to bring them up to speed. One Jesuit high school, which usually enrolls 900 students, increased its enrollment by 46 percent. It established a second session to accommodate students, even keeping together classmates from the school they left so they would feel less alone.
This, of course, simply underlines what everybody who has been paying attention has long known: liberal Democratic politicians like Kennedy are in fact merely secular liberals, and are’t Catholic in any meaningful sense.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Under Threat, Harvard Law to Allow Military Recruiters

From the Harvard Crimson:
Harvard Law School will actively cooperate with military recruiters this fall, despite the Pentagon’s refusal to sign the school’s nondiscrimination pledge, Dean Elena Kagan announced this evening.

Kagan’s announcement marks a reversal of her November 2004 decision to bar Pentagon recruiters from using the law school’s Office of Career Services. For most of the last 26 years, the office has only provided its resources to recruiters who promise not to discriminate against gay and lesbian employees and job applicants. The Pentagon’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy prohibits gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

In an e-mail to students and faculty this evening, Kagan wrote that the Pentagon had notified the University this summer that it would withhold most federal grants to Harvard unless the Law School altered its policy to allow military recruiters access to the resources of the career services office. Harvard receives more than $400 million per year in federal grants.
It seems that what goes around comes around. The threat of withholding Federal money has been used by liberals to force colleges and universities to abide by Title 9 gender quotas in their sports programs, and by an unfortunate coalition of liberals and conservatives to force states to adopt a 21 year old drinking age.

So we see no reason why politically correct liberals in elite law schools should be exempt from having to abide by Federal policy.

If liberals now start complaining about how evil and oppressive this is, the hypocrisy will be stunningly obvious.

Marquette Radio: Conservative Talk Show Tonight

Marquette students Sarah Kirby and Diana Sroka have been doing a show on MU radio since last fall, and are now in the 4:00-7:00 p.m. Thursday time slot.

This week’s show looks to be particularly interesting, with a discussion of the Jimmy John’s accident, a segment on the Mainstream Media vs. Independent Media (including blogs), and an interview with a student from Loyola who will be discussing her transition to Marquette in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

You can check out their blog for the latest information.

Marquette radio isn’t exactly a 50 kilowatt clear channel station, but happily the show streams on the web.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Manresa Fiasco: Marquette Stonewalls

When we discovered that the current Manresa Project conference on campus includes a virulently anti-Israel panel, which includes presenters who routinely make excuses for terrorists, we called the Manresa office to ask for an explanation.

We talked to Susan Mountin, who explained that this was handled like any scholarly conference, with requests for proposals being widely distributed, and a committee of faculty winnowing the proposals that were submitted. Apparently, the work was divided up so that three faculty members read each proposal.

We asked for the names of the members of this faculty committee.

Faculty committees are never secret at Marquette, and most members would doubtless be willing to talk about the process. Mountin put us off, claiming that the office was very busy (plausible enough) but promised to send us the list the following day (today).

But this morning we got the following e-mail:
Dr. McAdams,

Dr. Susan Mountin notified me of your request for a list of the names of faculty who reviewed proposals for the upcoming Manresa Project Conference. Since the Manresa Project is a part of the Office of Mission and Identity, this decision rests with me. I am not aware of any compelling reason to forward the names to you, and therefore I must decline your request.

Sincerely,
Stephanie Russell
Translation: stonewall.

Russell apparently believes that the best way to handle the issue is to conceal information.

The problem with this is that trying to conceal information is usually a much more dangerous and reckless damage control strategy that merely owning up to the truth.

Was the process so sloppy that the committee members reviewing this proposal simply didn’t know how biased and hateful the panel was going to be (and this a panel with Marquette’s explicit endorsement)?

To what extent did Russell’s own leftist political views bias the process?

We’d like to know, and will happily keep the identity of anybody on this super-secret committee who will contact us confidential.

In the meantime, it might be interesting to note that Marquette got much of the money for this shindig from the Lilly Endowment. The program that funds Manresa is described by the Endowment as follows:
Five years ago Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. embarked upon an ambitious initiative to encourage college students to draw on the wisdom of their religious traditions as they make decisions about their futures and to consider ministry as their career.

The Programs for the Theological Exploration of Vocation (PTEV) initiative provided grants to church-related liberal arts colleges and universities across the country to support campuswide programs involving a wide variety of activities that encourage students, faculty and staff to engage in theological reflection on the purposes and character of their lives and work.
How hating Israel and making apologies for terrorism follows from this program is rather a mystery.

NCAA Extends Indian Mascot Ban to Bowl Games

Hat tip to Mike Sever of Red State University for this, from CBS News:
INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA is requiring bowl games to ban the “hostile” or “abusive” use of American Indian nicknames, mascots and logos beginning next year.

Only one Division I-A school, the University of Illinois, will be affected.

In August, the NCAA released a list of 18 “offenders,” four of which play Division I-A football. But three, Florida State, Central Michigan and the University of Utah, have already been granted extensions, dropping the number of schools to 15. The University of North Dakota also has filed an appeal, the NCAA said earlier this week.
The administration at Illinois has been much more willing to stand up the the politically correct crowd than the Marquette administration. A lawsuit sounds like an excellent idea to us.

Marquette and the Jewish Community: Stunning Insensitivity

When Marquette scheduled a panel to discuss the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, in what time slot did they put it?

Saturday morning. On the Sabbath. At a time when many observant Jews would be obligated to stay away.

Given that the panel is absurdly biased against Israel, and features speakers who condone and apologize for terrorism against the Jewish state, this is adding insult to injury.

If the scheduling isn’t intentional – and we generally prefer to see incompetence where others might see conspiracy – it certainly indicates a stunning insensitivity to the local Jewish community.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Marquette’s Manresa: Attacking Israel, Defending Terrorism

It’s something that sounds nice enough: Marquette’s Manresa Project is sponsoring a conference titled “Justice and Mercy Will Kiss: A Conference on the Vocation of Peacemaking in a World of Many Faiths.”

But what is one to think when speakers on the program seem not to want peace, but more violence. And what is one to think when they encourage hate?

This issue is raised by one of the panels on the program, called “Jews of Conscience: Voices for Justice and Peace, Hope and Obligation.”

The speakers are:
  • Marc Ellis, Baylor University
  • Hedy Epstein, author, speaker
  • Keren Batiyov, poet, activist
  • Jennifer Loewenstein, Oxford University
The panel is, in fact, unbalanced, consisting entirely of people who view the Palestinians as victims of racist, bloodthirsty and indeed fascist policies on the part of Israel.

The mere name of the panel is an insult to Jews. As an e-mail correspondent of ours observed:
I especially love the title: a small panel entitled “Jews of Conscience,” implying that Jews don’t ordinarily have consciences, but these few, who bravely stand up to Israel, do. I’m sure the sponsors would deny that implication, but how would they respond to a three-person panel entitled, “Arabs Who Aren’t Terrorists,” or a panel of a few Jesuits entitled, “Priests Who Don’t Molest Children?” I’m sure they’d be appropriately offended by the implication of the title.
Indeed.

But the panel is not unbalanced merely in the sense that only one view is presented. Some of the participants seem to be mentally unbalanced, so deep is their hatred of Israel and indeed of the Jewish people and of the United States.

Let’s take them in no particular order:

Jennifer Loewenstein

Loewenstein spoke this past April at Soup with Substance. She is not merely somebody who believes that Israel should make concessions to the Palestinians. She is somebody who believes that Israel should not exist as a Jewish state. For example, she signed on to a statement rejecting the December 1, 2003 Geneva Accord. Why? First, because it allows Israel to exist as a Jewish state, but also because (in the words of the statement):
10. Most importantly, it weakens the national unity and resolve of the Palestinian people leading to the potential defeat of the current Intifada in the same manner Madrid and Oslo destroyed the first a decade ago.
Translation: Palestinian terrorists might stop killing people. Palestinians might settle for a Palestinian state. She wouldn’t like that.

It’s not surprising to find somebody like this accusing Israel of using nerve gas.

It’s also not surprising to find somebody this radical is also virulently anti-American:
Forget about the Road Map. Don’t be seduced by the talk of peace. Israel is an offshore US military base and weapons testing ground. It is a westernized colony for white supremacists seeking ways to discreetly dispose of its nigger [sic] population. It is an American franchise for the new global economy, a consumer outlet, an ad for Disney-World-gone-native, a terrorist training camp for Jewish fundamentalists, the most well-funded terrorist organization outside the mainland United States, a strategic foothold in the Middle East for oil-thirsty, power-hungry neo-cons.

It is suicide’s most willing accomplice.
One of the events of Arab Heritage Month this past April was a “Jenin Massacre Display” consisting of photographs by Loewenstein.

The “Jenin Massacre” was actually fierce battle between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian terrorists in Jenin in April 2002. In the “massacre” 56 Palestinians (the vast majority of them armed terrorists) were killed, as were 23 Israeli soldiers.

Marc Ellis

Marc Ellis is a Marquette graduate, who left the university with his Ph.D. in 1980 to go to the Maryknoll School of Theology in New York. Maryknoll was a center of “Liberation Theology” – a fusion of Christian rhetoric and Marxist substance – that was sending its graduates to Central American to promote Marxism and try to install Marxist regimes.

Ellis fit right in, adopting Liberation Theology and writing several books on the subject.

As is typical with leftists, Ellis cannot mention Moslem terrorist acts against the U.S. and Israel without claiming that both nations are, in fact, somehow to blame. In an essay written less than a week after the 9/11 attacks he asserts:
Yet this club is haunted by unanswered and, for the most part, unasked questions. Are the solidarity of America and Israel and the fraternity of the civilized the only lessons to be learned during these days where images of destruction are omnipresent? Is repentance to be demanded only of the “other”? Are America and Israel innocent? Do the “real” Judaism, Islam and Christianity project civilization and righteousness and nothing else? Do “they” – the shadowy and violent world of terrorists – only symbolize darkness and chaos?
The simple answer, of course, is “yes, they do symbolize darkness and chaos.” But that’s not the answer Ellis wants.
To see the rote lesson of the Jewish day of atonement – that as victims of terrorism and approbation Jews can now support Israel and America without thought of misdeeds and culpability – is simplistic. The systematic assassination of Palestinian leaders and the invasion of Palestinian territory by Israel, using helicopter gunships built in America and funded by American taxpayers, can hardly be justified as a war for civilization.
As is typical among the anti-Israel crowd, Ellis seldom makes any mention of the attacks against Israel that have provoked a military response. Rather, the image is of an Israeli military that kills Palestinians just because it hates Palestinians.

If Ellis can’t mention the 9/11 attacks without also attacking the U.S. and Israel, he can’t discuss the Holocaust without insisting that the treatment given the Palestinians is just as bad.
To speak of the Holocaust without confessing our sins towards the Palestinian people and seeking a real justice with them is a hypocrisy that debases us as Jews. Surely, the ultimate trivialisation (sic) is the use of memory to oppress others and this . . . is responsible for the difficulties facing those who seek to communicate the historic suffering of European Jews.
Given this, it is no surprise that Ellis excuses Islamic terrorism. According to an article in The Press (Christchurch):
Professor Marc Ellis, the director of the Centre of American and Jewish Studies at Baylor University, Waco, Texas, is on a worldwide personal “quest for justice for Palestine” tour.

Speaking in Christchurch yesterday, after the death of 15 Israelis in a suicide bombing at a crowded restaurant in Jerusalem, Professor Ellis said Israel used helicopter gunships to intimidate Palestinian settlements and towns and made no secret of its assassinations.

“If Palestinians had helicopter gunships they would have the right to use them. The suicide bombers are their helicopter gunships,” he said.

“Were the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto responsible for the actions they took against the Nazis? Don’t people have the right to fight for their freedom?

“Are you going to hold those who fight for freedom responsible for the death of those that oppress them?” (August 11, 2001)
In Ellis’ world, of course, Israeli gunships only shoot at innocent civilians, and never at combatants.

If Ellis is willing to implicitly (but clearly) compare Israel to the Nazi regime, he’s willing to call Israeli Jews “facist.” According to The Herald (Glasgow) Ellis said “the Israeli establishment has been liberal towards Jews, but towards Palestinians has been fascist” (May 38, 1998).

But it is not just the Jewish state nor the “Israeli establishment” that has been at fault. Ellis blames Jews generally.
Today Palestinian and Israeli scholars alike acknowledge that something terrible happened to the Palestinians in 1948. And more than a few Jews recognize that something terrible is happening to Palestinians today. Why then is this the province of the few rather than a collective awakening? And why does this vanguard of Jews, Jews of conscience, many of them who relate to Palestinians as brothers and sisters in struggle, exist in exile from the Jewish community rather than form its core. . . .

I have often wondered how Jews justify the memory lapse that equates the Palestinian struggle with Israel and the Nazi assault against the Jewish people. And how Jews, even many in the peace movement, speak of the need for Palestinians to guarantee Jewish security. Have they lost their ability to think or has their memory entered a place of denial that limits thought and compassion? Is this deliberate, like a smoke-screen, or so deeply felt that there seems to be no other way to understand the reality as it is today than in terms of power and aggression? And why can some Jews understand while others cannot?
Yes, most Jews can’t “understand,” but the “vanguard” – which of course includes Ellis – does.

Hedy Epstein

Epstein is in many ways the Cindy Sheehan of the anti-Israel movement. While Sheehan is presumed to have some moral authority because she lost her son in the Iraq War, Epstein is supposed to have some moral authority because she is a Holocaust survivor.

And while Sheehan has been painted by the media as an apolitical mother who “just wants answers” from President Bush, Epstein has been painted as merely a woman who wants justice for the Palestinians.

But the simple truth is that neither surviving the Holocaust nor having a son killed in battle prevents one from being a crackpot. And both women have a long history of political activism.

In the case of Epstein, she was active in the late 1980s supporting the Marxist Sandinista government in Nicaragua. She went to that country and to Guatemala in 1989 as a member of a Witness for Peace delegation, and came back and wrote a column for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch titled “Where America is the Enemy” (May 1, 1989).

In 1992, she and activist Dick Gregory chained themselves to the door of the Federal Courthouse in East St. Louis to protest U.S. policies on Haitian refugees (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 19, 1992).

In 1993, she and one Patrick Coy published an article called “Putting the Government on Probation” written in defense of Bill Ramsey, who had refused to pay his taxes because he didn’t like government policy. The article mentioned a broad range of issues, especially “U.S. attacks on Grenada, Libya, Panama and Iraq” which supposedly “violated the U.N. and Nuremberg charters” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 9, 1993).

By the late 1990s she was co-Chair of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 18, 1997) a rather unsavory group that, during the Cold War, was an out-and-out Communist front.

Some of her missives remind one of Gilda Radner’s character Emily Litella on “Saturday Night Live” who goes into an extended rant based on a gross misunderstanding. For example, Epstein wrote a letter to the Post-Dispatch that was published on October 6, 1997 under the heading “Nuclear Danger.” She claimed that:
This month, the United States plans to send 72 pounds of plutonium into space on the Cassini aircraft. The ultimate goal of this is to have nuclear-powered battle stations in outer space. However, we would need full all-out war to test these reactors.

The English scientist Sir Isaac Newton said long ago: “What goes up, comes down.” Even a 1 percent failure rate of a nuclear reactor would be catastrophic to the entire world as radiation comes raining down. It would be like Chernobyl falling out of the sky.
She was quickly corrected, since Cassini was a space probe to photograph Saturn and its moons. It was not an “aircraft” and had no “reactor” (but rather a nuclear powered thermal generator), and most certainly would never return to earth.

She was wrong on all counts.

By 2002 she was accusing George Bush of “using war to divert people’s attention from the economy just as Hitler had.” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 29, 2002)

It appears that people in the “bash Israel” crowd can never resist comparing the Jewish state to Nazi Germany. When Epstein appeared at Stanford, her talk was announced as follows:
Hedy Epstein, a survivor of the Holocaust at the age of fifteen (in which she lost both her parents), will describe her experiences during the Holocaust and will describe how that experience made her committed to fighting injustice for the rest of her life. She will describe how the situation on the ground in Palestine today very much resembles the situation in Nazi Germany in 1939 and will compare the egregious violations of human rights that are taking place in Palestine today as a result of the Israeli occupation to the Holocaust.
A huge furor broke out on campus, and Epstein insisted she “did not compare situations” when she actually spoke (Stanford Daily, October 21, 2004). Yet when she spoke at an Islamic community center, her talk was titled “Surviving the Holocaust: Witnessing History Repeated.” What was “repeated” if not the Holocaust?

And when asked about suicide bombers, during her talk at Berkeley, she first said that she was opposed to the practice “with every fiber of my body,” but then said she “understood” why someone would do that, since “everything has been taken away.”

Keren Batiyov

In Batiyov we find the typical vices of the anti-Israel crowd, but one especially stands out.

She is opposed to anything that might make the situation better. Thus, like Jennifer Loewenstein she opposed the Geneva Accord.

When Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was pulling Jewish settlers out of the Gaza strip, she labeled the process a “sham.”

She signed a petition to the United Nations that labeled Sharon “a war criminal.”

Batiyov also counts herself among a group called RighteousJews.

That might not seem terribly provocative, until one understands where it came from. The name was inspired by a list of “Righteous Gentiles” compiled by a famous Holocaust Museum at Yad Vashem. These are non-Jews who risked their “lives, freedom, and safety in order to rescue one or several Jews from the threat of death or deportation to death camps without exacting in advance monetary compensation.” The organization RighteousJews claims to have been “created to honor those who consider themselves to be Jewish and who have worked for the human rights of non-Jewish Palestinians.”

Yes, the treatment of the Palestinians is being likened to the Holocaust, and the RighteousJews are likening themselves to people who risked their “lives, freedom and safety.” This is chutzpah run amok.

Unlike the other members of the panel, Batiyov fancies herself a poet. But her poetry isn’t any better than her prose. Consider the following piece:
I read this morning
of torture tools;
there were pictures too – remnants of Uday Hussein,
medieval-type incentives
to ensure that the athletes of Iraq
understood fully
that anything less than first
won them iron masks with spikes
and barefoot runs on hot asphalt.
And we will murmur,
maybe,
at this Iraqi outrage,
conveniently forgetting
the hoods and leashes,
the dogs, the beatings,
and the rapes
employed by our own troops.
After all, it’s only torture,
if the enemy does it.
And we’ll not even pause,
because most don’t know,
at what Israel does to Palestinians,
daily, and for over 50 years –
the theft of land, demolition of homes,
detention, destruction, humiliation, starvation,
murder – expedient ethnic cleansing.
So Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is akin to Uday Hussein’s torture chambers, and “ethnic cleansing” in the Balkans.

But she really gets wound up when she attacks George Bush on the Iraq War.
Today, as I listen to the boy-king
callously and casually
speak of his plans to Shock and Awe-
plans that will surely make Iraq
our 21st century Herzogovina-
I say once more that I don’t believe in killing
anyone-
not even a murderer of children;
so tonight as fire falls from the skies of Iraq,
I pray justice for our naked emperor,
Poetic Justice:

May he lose a month of sleep
for every life he snuffs;
May the shrieks of those he murders and maims
eternally fill his ears,
to the exclusion of all other sound;
May his flesh rot from the inside out
with the cancers that consume Iraqi children
because of US DU-poisoned water;
May the rest of his life be a ghoulish nightmare,
haunted by the faces of those he has massacred;
stalked by the phantoms
of those whose fate is so frightening
they can only wish they were dead;
Perhaps the Manresa Project sees justice and mercy kissing here.

Just what was Marquette thinking?

The process that produced this panel will be the subject of a future post, but the bottom line is simple: this was a huge blunder.

We have said repeatedly that all kinds of controversial and even vile speech is acceptable on a college campus. But this panel was not put together by some student organization. It was an officially sponsored Marquette panel put together by the Manresa Project. It was supposed to reflect the “mission and identity” of Marquette, and be part of an interfaith dialogue.

How does one promote interfaith dialogue by putting on a panel that offends the vast majority of the Jewish community?

And if Marquette is going to sponsor speech that offends people, shouldn’t both sides be heard, and maybe offended?

We frankly aren’t enthused about the whole mushy, fluffy, goody-two-shoes tone of the rhetoric surrounding the program. So far as we are concerned, tell the truth and if the Jewish (or Moslem or business or feminist) community is offended, let them be offended.

But Marquette isn’t telling the truth here. This panel not only flunks the feel-good test, it flunks every intellectual test too.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Church of England Bishops Want to Apologize for Iraq War

From The Times (London):
BISHOPS of the Church of England want all Britain’s Christian leaders to get together in public to say sorry for the war in Iraq and its aftermath.

The bishops say that the Government is not likely to show remorse so the churches should. They want to organise a major gathering with senior figures from the Muslim community to make a “public act of repentance”.

The bishops admit that their suggestion is provocative and bound to attract massive criticism, but insist it is not “a cheap gesture”. Their renewed condemnation of Britain’s role in Iraq since the 2003 invasion will further widen the rift with Downing Street.

The proposal for a public apology comes in a new report published today. In the report, the bishops plead for more “understanding” of what motivates terrorists. They criticise Western democracies as “deeply flawed” and accuse the US of dangerous expansionism.

The bishops, who strongly opposed the war in Iraq, want Christian leaders to express their repentance in an “act of truth and reconciliation” for the West’s contribution to the problems in Iraq.
Not surprisingly, comment on conservative blogs has been unmerciful in its evaluation of the wooly-headed clerics.

One good collection of comments can be found on Hurry Up Harry, and includes the following:
Perhaps these Bishops would like to deliver their apology to Al Zarqawri in person?

Well we can but hope can’t we?

[...]

I think the C of E’s main problem (although there are many others) it that a significant proportion of people in at, particularly at a high level, seem to think that all other religious, or indeed polticial, groups (if the two can be separated out always, which they can’t) are as benign, woolly, fluffy, relativistic, and, quite frankly, wholly irrelevant to the future of humanity as they are.

They should read some Dostoyevsky or Bernanos

[...]

To whom are they going to apologize? The Iraqi people haven’t asked for an apology – they have voted for a leader who is glad Saddam is gone and asks for our help.

Sunni jihadists are the ones who are upset. They target and kill Shiites on a daily basis. Are they going to apologize to Salfist jihadists? Do they see Islamists as the authentic representatives – the vanguard – of the Islamic people? It appears so.

It looks like they’ve quickly learned how to be good dhimmis and have assumed the position of groveling useful idiots.
But some comments were less serious in tone:
Oh come off it guys, you are being far too harsh.

It has taken hundreds of years of struggle, millions of teabags, jumble sales and countless packets of Rich Tea biscuits for the Church of England to get to this gutless stage of their evolution.

One can only hope that Islam follows the same route.
The report can be found here.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Galloway Talks to Older Crowd

As planned, pro-Saddam pro-terrorist British M.P. George Galloway spoke in Madison tonight, and said most of the expected things.

But perhaps the most significant thing about the talk was buried at the bottom of the story in the Wisconsin State Journal.
Lake Mills residents Jill Haycock and Margot Peters attended Galloway’s lecture together, and both said they were happy with what they heard. Haycock called Galloway a “dynamo” speaker and said she believed he was telling a truth many people didn’t want to hear.

When asked about the largely older composition of the audience, Peters said it was a sign that discontent with Bush and the U.S. government wasn’t just for college students anymore.
Translation: the old 60s types are trying to recreate their glory days, but the younger generation isn’t that interested.

Much the same thing was true of Fighting Bob Fest, a leftist conclave a week ago. According to the 1832 Blog:
Sadly, as I looked throughout the attendees, I noticed only a handful of high school and college-aged students. I would say the average age of participants was 50 years old.
The glory days are gone.

Libertarians at Fighting Bob Fest

When we found that the Wisconsin Libertarian Party had a booth at Fighting Bob Fest -- a conclave of leftists from all over Wisconsin, we expressed surprise.

Those folks are anything but libertarian.

It appears that key figures in the Libertarian Party have now reached the same conclusion.

The Libertarians had a good experience in The Peoples’ Legislature -- run by the same people who ran Fighting Bob Fest -- back in January. One source within the Libertarian Party says that “One thing that impressed me was the promise of a guaranteed voice for everyone -- not necessarily agreement, but a voice.” Ed Thompson, outgoing Chair of the party and gubernatorial candidate explained to the Marquette Warrior Blog that he talked to about a thousand people at The Peoples’ Legislature and was “well received.”

But things weren’t so congenial at Fighting Bob Fest.

The booth seemed to be fun for members. According to a source:
This was the most active booth that I have ever manned, an 8 hour debate on gun control, health care, taxes, environment, etc.

Leftists flocked to our booth. They snapped up our literature. They got more than they bargained for.
But things turned sour when Thompson took the podium as the first afternoon speaker.

He took the standard libertarian positions on the “drug war” (against it) and medical marijuana (he said its time has come). That was fine with the crowd.

Then the issue of Madison’s smoking ban in bars came up, and Thompson supported individual freedom there too. He was met with a booming and sustained chorus of boos. His speech was so disrupted that he abandoned the last two pages of his prepared text and ended his talk.

A later speaker in the program even referred to Thompson’s support of “cancer sticks,” notwithstanding that Thompson had made it clear that he did not smoke and thinks smoking unhealthy.

Thompson concluded it “doesn’t seem to me that people were interested in hearing another point of view” and indeed that he felt like one of the “ancient Christians in the Colosseum.” Although not literally “shouted down,” Thompson was not granted toleration nor respect.

An e-mail to the Fighting Bob blog, asking for their response to the events surrounding Thompson’s speech, has gone unanswered.

We frankly think the Libertarians were naïve to ever hope for anything different.

Contemporary leftists are simply not libertarian. They are fundamentally authoritarian, wanting to protect personal liberty when they happen to think something (smoking pot, having an abortion) is OK, but utterly intolerant if somebody does or says something they disapprove of (driving an SUV, smoking in a bar).

Indeed, the blog associated with Fighting Bob Fest has called for us to be fired from Marquette and banned from Wisconsin Public Radio for being a “Republican Party mouthpiece.”

What were the libertarians thinking?

Cindy Sheehan: Crackpot (But Now Irrelevant)

We would be inclined to leave Cindy Sheehan alone. But back when she was the media darling and we were calling her a crackpot, some left-leaning types took umbrage.

We have in mind the 1932 Blog, and FightingBob.com.

The former, for example, said:
Cindy Sheenan proves just how shallow the right-wing is.

The woman lost her son, who served our country, and the right, including GOP3.com, launches a dirty personal attack on her just because she doesn’t share their viewpoint on the war in Iraq. I can’t think of anything more disgusting.
And then there is FightingBob.com.
This policy of personally attacking Sheehan has been well documented. A discernible pattern has made it clear that the all-out assault on Sheehan is a result of GOP design and not just the happenstance outcome of some likeminded thinking. (It also happens to be remarkably appalling.) Smearing a grieving mother is not necessarily the intuitive communications strategy. . . .
Yes, it’s all the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

Given this kind of rhetoric, we can hardly avoid rubbing the noses of the leftists in the nonsense they have chosen to defend.

From the Huffington Post Sheehan declares:
If George Bush truly listened to God and read the words of the Christ, Iraq and the devastation in New Orleans would have never happened. . . . George Bush needs to stop talking, admit the mistakes of his all around failed administration, pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans and Iraq, and excuse his self [sic] from power.
Gosh, and we thought the problem was that the troops took too long to arrive!

George Galloway Attacks the Canadians

George Galloway, incendiary anti-war British MP, is the hero of the hard left, including the Madison Capital Times.

He recently spoke in Canada, a nation that has refused to send troops to Iraq. But that doesn’t make them sufficiently anti-American for Galloway. Rather, he chastized the nation for sending troops to Afganistan.
Mississauga, Ont. — Despite its refusal to fight in Iraq, Canada is complicit in the U.S. war on terrorism and should withdraw from Afghanistan, an outspoken left-wing British MP said Saturday.

“I’m amazed that so many people in Canada believe they’re not a part of this crime,” George Galloway said at the sixth annual conference of the Islamic Circle of North America and the Muslim Association of Canada.

“Canada has sent an army of 1,000 soldiers to occupy the Muslim country of Afghanistan (and ships to the Persian Gulf),” Mr. Galloway said.

“Your ships in the Gulf and your soldiers in Afghanistan are doing the dirty work of George W. Bush and Tony Blair. They are freeing American ships and soldiers to go to Fallujah and massacre the people of Iraq.”
Clearly, Galloway is on the side of the terrorists in Iraq, and indeed in Afganistan.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Taking the Measure of Rev. Robert Wild, S.J.: Gender Equity

This is the first of a series of posts assessing Marquette President Fr. Robert Wild.

A very large number of alumni, students and faculty were disappointed when Wild essentially “caved” to the demands of the politically correct crowd and refused to allow Marquette to return to the “Warriors” nickname. Many university presidents are capable of being quite hard nosed in the face of such pressure. Why not Wild?

We think one can learn about Wild’s handling of this particular issue by looking at how he has handled other issues.

“Gender Equity” at Marquette

If any issue sounds politically correct, it’s “gender equity.” Feminists have always claimed that women are the victims of less-than-fair treatment in almost every context, and feminists in any university can always find evidence of patriarchial oppression close to home.

Marquette went through a big campaign of evaluating “gender equity” between 1999 and 2003. The upshot was a collection of bureaucratic procedures, most of which are bland enough, but which increase the load of tedium on Marquette administrators. And conveniently, aid bureaucratic empire building by creating more work which administrators need more help with.

In this sense, gender equity is no worse than any other of a half-dozen fashionable bureaucratic busy-work initiatives.

Which brings us to Father Wild. In 2003, when the Gender Equity Implementation Task Force issues its report, Wild issued a message to the Marquette community on this issue. The following are some key passages:
To put it another way, it is imperative that all faculty, administrators and staff be recognized and rewarded based only on merit. This is more than a matter of law; it is a matter of justice.
And further:
In this effort, and in a variety of related efforts, we cannot let up until all our colleagues — men, women, Caucasians, minorities — can say without any equivocation: “Yes, I have just as much of an opportunity as anyone to succeed here at Marquette. Yes, I know that I am judged strictly on the merit of my work.”
This statement is absolutely stunning.

It’s stunning not because there is anything wrong with it, but precisely because there isn’t.

Wild is endorsing equal treatment, based entirely on merit.

That’s most certainly not what politically correct faculty and administrators in academia want. They want affirmative action preferences and quotas.

What “gender equity” means to the politically correct was shown in the late 1980s at Marquette, when very liberal Arts & Sciences Dean John P. Schlegel decided the Philosophy Department had too few women. He told them the next hire must be a woman. No men need apply although doubtless many did, since Marquette didn’t advertise that it would not consider them.

What “gender equity” means to the politically correct was shown in the spring of 2004 when the Political Science Department was hiring a new faculty member. Three members of the Department voted not to hire a young superstar because he was the wrong gender. Rather, they wanted to hire a female candidate. Had the merits of two candidates been closer, the “affirmative action” vote might have thrown the job to the less well-qualified female.

In academia, the issue is not whether women will get less-than-equal treatment. It’s whether men will.

Given this reality, what are we to make of Wild’s statements about “merit?” There are three possible theories.

First, it might be that Wild is a liberal Machiavellian. He might be using the rhetoric about merit as a cover for a reality that he knows will involve discrimination against males.

Second, it might be that Wild is a conservative Machiavellian. Perhaps he knows about the bias in favor of affirmative action in academia and, while producing glowing rhetoric about “gender equity” is subtly undercutting the politically correct people by explicit statements about equal treatment.

We favor a third theory. We think Wild is simply naïve about the issue. A good-hearted man, he really believes in equal treatment. But he doesn’t understand how the policies will be carried out.

For example, under the Gender Equity Actions in effect at Marquette, department chairs and deans will be evaluated on their concern with “gender equity.” Those department chairs that show an insufficient willingness to discriminate against men in hiring risk being graded down by politically correct faculty, and deans will be under pressure to show that they have actually hired some implicit quota of women.

And Father Wild, who was bamboozled by vague rhetoric about “human dignity” on the Warriors issue, will be proud that Marquette is treating people only on the basis of merit.

Arab 9/11 Conspiracy Theories

From The Middle East Media Research Institute TV Monitor Project:

. . . some video clips showing how common 9/11 conspiracy theories are in the Arab media.

For example, excerpts from an Iranian TV documentary which aired on September 11, 2005 on Sahar 1 TV:
Narrator: The initial reports talked about 6,729 fatalities. Soon, the number dropped to 3,000, and ultimately, somehow, it reached 2,800. After the incident, the Jerusalem Post published an article with the names of 4,000 Jews who had worked in the two towers and were missing. Later it turned out that only 130 Jews had been in the two towers and were killed. The absence of a large number of Jews on the day of the attack is one piece of evidence for the possibility that the Mossad was involved in the attacks. Furthermore, the technical complexity of this operation, the way it was carried out, as well as the possibility of obtaining secret and classified information in the US and the Zionist entity's record of attacking its own people in order to benefit on various levels, as well as the secret, deep-rooted competition between the Zionist entity and the US...

The Washington Times published a 68 page report about this, one day before the attacks of 9/11, which is one of the reasons to suspect Zionist involvement.
(To view the clip, go to this page and scroll down.)

This was hardly an isolated event. The following is just a sampling from a much larger compilation:
Egyptian Researcher Zaynab Abd Al-‘Aziz, Iqra TV, May 26, 2005

Abd Al-Aziz: When in January 2001, the World Council of Churches delegated this mission to the US - what did the US do? It fabricated the show of… is it September 9 or 11?

Host: Eleven. Please explain this to me.

Abd Al-Aziz: Yes, of course…

Host: You mean to say that the World Council of Churches delegated the mission of Christianizing of the world to the US.
This is hilarious. The World Council of Churches is a liberal body what doesn't want the world Christianized. But continuing . . .
Abd Al-Aziz: Yes. And how could the US win legitimacy for this without anyone saying that they are perpetrating massacres and waging a Crusader war? It fabricated the 9/11 show. I call it a fabrication because much has been written on this. We are also to blame. Why do we accept a single perspective? Countless books were written, some of which were even translated into Arabic, like Thierry Meyssan's 9/11 – The Big Lie and Pentagate. "Pentagate" like Watergate… He brings documents to prove that the method used in destroying the three (sic) towers was "controlled demolition." This is an architectural engineering theory, which was invented by the Americans. They teach it in their Universities. They make movies and documentaries about it. They incorporated it in movie scenarios and then carried it out in real life. Why do we accept this?

Host: My God, Doctor. This is unbelievable! You're saying that this destruction…

Abd Al-Aziz: ...was a controlled demolition. The building collapsed in its place, without hitting a single building to its left or right. The three towers fell in place.

Host: In the same method they use in movies and plays?

Abd Al-Aziz: Yes, Exactly like that. That is how the US won international legitimacy. You could sense the (9/11) operation was pre-planned because many things were revealed in the days that followed. For example 4,000 Jews caught influenza on that exact day. They set a timer, and all 4,000…

Host: By God, you crack me up! "They all set a timer and got influenza on the same day." So the building was completely empty of Jews.

Abd Al-Aziz: Much has been written about this. 150 Congressmen demanded an inquiry.

[…]

Egyptian General (Ret.), Dr. Mahmoud Khalaf, Egyptian Channel 1, May 5, 2005

It was announced that (Vice) President Dick Cheney– this was published in the Washington Post – Cheney had called the secret phone on the American president's, and told him it's an "inside job", that there were traitors within the White House. The president slammed the phone and told his aides: "Air Force 1 is next," and he gave the order to land.

They published these things, not us, and in the Washington Post no less! On September 12th and 13th the press reported this, and the questions were asked.

But all the questions stopped, and nothing was said about this once the American President accused (bin Laden).

[…]

Saudi Women's Rights Activist Suheila Zein Al-'Abedin Hammad, Al-Arabiya TV, April 12, 2005

Interviewer: You believe that global Zionism is behind 9/11?

Suheila Hammad: Yes, I have evidence for this and if you wish, I could present it. In the two books I provided endless evidence of this.

Interviewer: OK, but How do Osama bin Laden and Al-Qa'eda fit into this equation?

Suheila Hammad: Osama bin Laden? How could Osama bin Laden possibly carry out such a huge plot in the world's leading superpower, with its (renowned) intelligence agencies and defense department?

Interviewer: Just to set things straight, do you believe that Osama bin Laden was used by global Zionism or that he had nothing to do with it and his name got mixed up in this by chance?

Suheila Hammad: They got him involved from the beginning. He serves their goals.

Interviewer: You mean he works for them?

Suheila Hammad: Of course, who created Osama bin Laden? wasn't it the US?

Interviewer: (What's your evidence) that Zionism - and not only Al-Qa'eda - were behind 9/11?

Suheila Hammad: It is well known that it was premeditated. If not for the events of 9/11 – would the US have been able to occupy Afghanistan and Iraq and to interfere so bluntly in the affairs of the Arab and Islamic nation? Not only that, but now sanctions may be imposed on Sudan and Darfour.

[…]

Interviewer: Another question: Who do you think is behind the terrorism against Saudi Arabia?

Suheila Hammad: Zionism, of course.

[…]

Egyptian Professor Abd Al-Sabour Shahin, Saudi Channel 1, August 8, 2005

Shahin: One day, we awoke to the crime of 9/11, which hit the tallest buildings in New York, the Empire State Building (sic). There is no doubt that not a single Arab or Muslim had anything to do with these events. The incident was fabricated as a pretext to attack Islam and Muslims. The plan was to take over the world's energy sources, and to achieve this control by force and not by agreement or negotiations, by interests, free trade, or anything like that. This is what they wanted.

[…]

I believe a dirty Zionist hand carried out this act. Zionism has taken the opportunity to escalate the war in Palestine, killing hundreds of thousands so far, while we watch from the sidelines in astonishment and ask: What's going on?

[…]

Egyptian Author Hassan Al-Bana, Sahar 1 TV, September 11, 2004

Interviewer: Dr. Hasan, you talk of the perpetrator. Are you saying there was an Israeli plan ready for operation?

Dr. Hasan Al-Bana: The scenario was prepared by Israel and the US.

Henry Ford and George Bush attended the Jonathan Conference in 1984. They agreed with Netanyahu on the scenario for the bombing of the Twin Towers. When Netanyahu was asked how a force can be mobilized… He said: "In America you have religious factions who oppose abortions in hospitals. This religious sentiment can be exploited and channeled into these kinds of operations." This all exists (in writing). Anybody who read Uprooting Terrorism (sic.) and many other American books (would understand).

[…]

Ahmad Yousuf, editor-in-chief of the Washington-based Middle East Magazine, Al-Manar TV, December 30, 2004

Yousuf: These events [9/11] were preceded by very detailed planning, conducted by strategists who wove the strands of this plot. Some people were probably recruited, and, as has been pointed out by a certain Western intellectual, Israel excels at espionage within the U.S., and is capable of disguising many operations as Islamic. In other words, Israel is capable of penetrating certain Islamic circles, of directing and running them behind the scenes, so that they will conduct operations from which Israel benefits.

[…]

We are told by many Americans that even Pearl Harbor… In order to bring America into the war… There is much talk about a plot that was hatched to bring about the attack on Pearl Harbor, so that the U.S. could justify entering this war and so that it would be easy to convince the American people to pay the billions of dollars and sacrifice hundreds of thousands of lives – to wage this war, so that some U.S. corporations and individuals will protect their interests, in this war with Japan and Germany.

[…]

Anwar ‘Ishqi, director of the Middle East Center for Strategic Studies in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Al-Jazeera TV, February 16, 2005

’Ishqi: The CFR group is the secret government in America. They are the ones who came up with [globalization], and they are headed by David Rockefeller. They control and have hegemony over the world economy. Today's globalization is an outcome of this. Therefore, the agreement or coalition between them and Bin Laden's group developed the planning of Bin Laden's group. The Bin Laden group… it's improbable that someone who strolls in the mountains with a walking stick could plan things like this and upset the entire world and become the rival of the American president.

[…]

Muhammad Ali Al-Jozo, the Mufti of Mt. Lebanon, ANB TV, July 24, 2005

Al-Jozo: I cannot give bin Laden credit for the operation in America (9/11). He does not have the capabilities, and his personality in no way suggests that he may carry out an operation like those that occurred in America London, or Madrid. There are Zionist hands...

Host: You are trying to exonerate Al-Qaeda completely, even though it issues communiqués and...

Al-Jozo: It issues communiqués, but it cannot... I've said... I visited the US several times before this happened (9/11), and even clerics were thoroughly searched.

[…]

”The New Fascism” – an Iranian TV series

Iranian strategic expert 'Ali 'Askari: We have seen that 9/11 was a domestic need of the American administration as well as an external need. So, the following suspicions grow stronger: Either the Americans were involved in this matter or they let the events of 9/11 develop as they developed.

Iranian political expert Manouchehr Mohammadi: There are many events like these in American history. It has been proven that the Japanese military attack on Pearl Harbor and on the American war ships was planned in advance and implemented with the authorization, support, and encouragement of US President Roosevelt.
These passages are just a taste of the more complete set of transcripts.

And French Author Thierry Meyssan was carried on Jaam-e Jam 2 TV (Iran) on August 30, 2005 claiming that the 9/11 attacks were a U.S. government operation.

We happen to know a bit about conspiracy theories, and especially the Kennedy assassination. We don't think such theories are dangerous in the American context. Americans (at least outside a narrow circle of hard-core buffs) aren't seriously alienated from the U.S. political system, conspiracy views notwithstanding.

Indeed, it's sort of a parlor game. "What's your theory" is an invitation to engage in entertaining speculation. If one answers such a query with "Oswald, all by himself" one gets a look that says "spoilsport!"

But these kinds of theories, in the Arab context, are big trouble.

They are evidence of an unwillingness to come to terms with, and deal with, extremists in the Moslem world. There is also a deep strain of anti-Semitism and an irrational hatred of Israel.

Unlike bigotry on the part of the powerful directed toward those will less power (historic racism of white Americans toward blacks), this is bigotry on the part of those who are less powerful directed at those who are more powerful.

Such bigotry virtually always ends up hurting the bigots far more than the objects of the bigotry.

Militant Islam can hurt the West at the margins (as the 9/11 attacks, and attacks in Madrid and London show), but it can condemn people in Moslem countries to continued backwardness.

The Arab media aren't always as paranoid as the above clips might suggest. On August 29, 2005 Al-Jazeera TV interviewed New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who told the audience:
And the Arab Muslim world has to take responsibility for its extremists, and not just say: "That's not Islam" . . . It's Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda that is making a religious argument, and if other Muslims don't speak up and call that - delegitimize it - by its real name, then inevitably, inevitably, people in the West and other places are going to say: "If you won't draw a line, then we will." I don't want that to happen at all, but I fear it will happen.
The stakes are higher for Moslems than they are for the West.