Thursday, July 31, 2008

Don’t Quibble About Stuff Like That

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Elitist UWM Professor: Sneering at Ordinary Americans

Browsing through the letters column of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel sometimes turns up some bizarre items.

This one caught out attention.
What’s attractive?

The xenophobic and jingoist rant against immigration is likely to find itself running out of gas in the foreseeable future. Immigration from variously skilled and resourced nations to the United States is likely to come to a trickle and stop altogether with the existing media infrastructure in sports-concert complexes.

“JumbotroNazism,” my coinage, shows nothing but distasteful images of monstrous, corpulent whiteness, which will repel a physically normal world. No one will want to live in a country of hideous proportions and ungainly movements and behaviors.

Media conspirators will respond by showing hotness, a.k.a. other white women - not! America’s idea of attractiveness is overrated and bankrupt in the global bank of good taste.

K.E. Supriya
Shorewood
Such a wonderful window into the world of elitists who don’t like ordinary, especially working class Americans, who may be overweight and may do silly things when the TV cameras are turned on them at a sports event.

Consider, for example, the phrase “corpulent whiteness.” Ms. Supriya is apparently especially offended by overweight whites, but the reality of obesity is interesting.
In general, the prevalence of overweight and obesity is higher in women who are members of racial and ethnic minority populations than in non-Hispanic white women. Among men, Mexican Americans have a higher prevalence of overweight and obesity than non-Hispanic whites or non-Hispanic blacks. For non-Hispanic men, the prevalence of overweight and obesity among whites is slightly greater than among blacks.
But of course, phrases like “corpulent blackness” or “corpulent brownness” would be politically incorrect.

The real grudge people like Ms. Supriya have against working class Americans is simple: they are uppity. Rather than accepting the tutoring of their betters on how to live, they do things like driving trucks and SUVs, living in the suburbs, shopping at Wal-Mart and voting for Bush.

And they have the quaint notion that they have a right to live their own lives, regardless of what the Supriyas of the world think of it.

Even worse, they have one vote each, which is just as much as Ms. Supriya and her friends have. What a horrid injustice.

Of course, these JumbotroNazis make the United States an evil place, so everybody is going to stop wanting to come to America. But in the real world, vast numbers of people want to come here, oblivious to the elitist standards of “taste” of people like Ms. Supriya.

Now what do you suppose would be Ms. Supriya’s occupation?

A simple Google search shows her to be on the Communications faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee!

And given her name and appearance, she seems to be of Indian descent. But, unlike the vast majority of Indians who migrate to the U.S., she has been thoroughly socialized into academia. So she thinks like a college professor.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Using the United Nations to Censor Speech

From Maclean’s:
A coalition of Islamic states is using the United Nations to enact international “anti-defamation” rules

Pakistan and the other nations that have banded together in the Organization of the Islamic Conference have been leading a remarkably successful campaign through the United Nations to enshrine in international law prohibitions against “defamation of religions,” particularly Islam. Their aim is to empower governments around the world to punish anyone who commits the “heinous act” of defaming Islam. Critics say it is an attempt to globalize laws against blasphemy that exist in some Muslim countries — and that the movement has already succeeded in suppressing open discussion in international forums of issues such as female genital mutilation, honour killings and gay rights.
It might seem that the right to defame a religion is not one that’s important to a civilized society, so who not prohibit defamation?
The trend has rights advocates worried for numerous reasons, beginning with the language used. If the notion of “defaming” a religion sounds a little unfamiliar, that’s because it is a major departure from the traditional understanding of what defamation means. Defamation laws traditionally protect individual people from being materially harmed by the dissemination of falsehoods. But “defamation of religions” is not about protecting individual believers from damage to their reputations caused by false statements — but rather about protecting a religion, or some interpretation of it, or the feelings of the followers. While a traditional defence in a defamation lawsuit is that the accused was merely telling the truth, religions by definition present competing claims on the truth, and one person’s religious truth is easily another’s apostasy. “Truth” is no defence in such cases. The subjective perception of insult is what matters, and what puts the whole approach on a collision course with the human rights regime — especially in countries with an official state religion.

In a written brief [it was noted] that the resolutions seek to mimic the kinds of anti-blasphemy laws that exist in countries such as Pakistan. The UN resolutions “operate as international anti-blasphemy laws and provide international cover for domestic anti-blasphemy laws, which in practice empower ruling majorities against weak minorities and dissenters,” her brief states. Pakistan’s penal code includes a section that states that defiling Islam or its prophets is deserving of the death penalty; that defiling, damaging or desecrating the Quran will be punished with life imprisonment; and insulting another’s religious feelings can be punished with 10 years in prison. A 2006 report from the U.S. State Department on international religious freedom stated that such anti-blasphemy laws “are often used to intimidate reform-minded Muslims, sectarian opponents, and religious minorities, or to settle personal scores.” According to Amnesty International, Younis Masih, a Christian, was sentenced to death in 2007 for allegedly making derogatory remarks about the Prophet Muhammad. In Egypt, a professor at Cairo University was declared an “apostate” in 1995 for teaching his students to read parts of the Quran metaphorically, and was ordered to divorce his Muslim wife.

The fact that the resolutions keep passing, and that UN officials now monitor countries’ compliance, could help the concept of “defamation of religions” become an international legal norm, said Livingstone, noting that when the International Court of Justice at The Hague decides what rises to the level of an “international customary law,” it looks not to unanimity among countries but to “general adherence.” “That’s why these UN resolutions are so troubling,” she said. “They’ve been passed for 10 years.”
We don’t like such laws in any way way whatsoever, but we particularly don’t like the fact that such notions as “defaming a religion” will never be enforced in an even-handed way.

We can’t imagine anti-Christian bigots like Richard Dawkins or Christian-hating comics like Bill Maher ever being prosecuted. In reality, it’s only politically correct victim groups that get any protection.

There would be one huge irony if a prohibition against “defaming” Islam became law: the gay lobby, which itself often has the right to shut up speech hostile to homosexual acts, would find attacks on how Islam views homosexuality to be verboten.

A gay/Islamic war over “hate speech” would be an hilarious spectacle, but we would prefer simple free speech.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Isn’t It Always?

Bluegrass in the Milwaukee Area

From our political philospher colleague Ryan Hanley:
Just a quick note to let you know that my group, the Cream City Bluegrass Band, has a few shows coming up. Two are in Racine (details below). Closer to home for most of you though is our show on Saturday, August 2nd, from 9-midnight, at Paddy’s Pub in Milwaukee (2339 N. Murray; just north of North Avenue). Paddy’s is a great venue — we’ve had a great time playing there before, and would love to see you down there next Saturday for a fun night out if you can make it.
The two Racine dates are:

8/1/08 / Friday / Dunn Bros Coffee / 245 Main Street / Racine, 7-10 p.m.

8/29/08 / Friday / Music on the Monument / Racine 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Here is the band’s website.

How good is the Cream City Bluegrass Band?

Pretty good. Good enough to be enjoyable and satisfying even for seasoned and discriminating bluegrass fans.

Including even old geezers who saw Flatt and Scruggs in live performance.

Good enough such that, if you like bluegrass, you want to be there.

Marquette Political Science majors will particularly get a kick seeing Professor Ryan Hanley on the Mandolin.

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British Left Looking Forward to Margaret Thatcher’s Death

While the left vilified Tony Snow on his death, the leftists in the U.K. are looking forward to the death of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher with the same sort of raw hatred, and Lady Thatcher isn’t dead yet!

From the Daily Mail:
The Letters page of The Guardian, seldom the sanest of arenas, has this week descended to virulent venom.

In place of the customary corduroyed bores calling for unilateral disarmament, rainbow-nation multiculturalism or celebrations of Castro’s Cuba, there have appeared several letters which gloated at the prospect of Margaret Thatcher’s death.

Their vengeful tone, though hurtful about the still very much alive Lady Thatcher, has been instructive. It was a timely reminder that no one does viciousness quite like the Left. Far from the Conservatives being ‘the Nasty Party’, Labour’s preachy brothers and sisters have long deserved that title.
The author, Quentin Letts, then goes on about a lot of issues that are pretty obscure to Americans. But then he quotes some of the nasty rhetoric, which Americans can understand very well.
I don’t care what method people use to celebrate the fact that the bitch is dead. But for most people it will be a celebration. Dancing on her grave? Too bloody right, I will.

yeractual, Guardian online.

A 19-GUN salute? Only if they were all aimed at her.

imasmadashell, Guardian online.

I rather like the suggestion that whatever happens she is going to be buried at sea, by the time everyone has finished p***ing on her grave...

greymatter, Guardian online.

State funeral! She should be burned at the stake!

4danglier, Guardian online.

Thatcher should be allowed a state funeral only if the contract is put out to compulsory competitive tender and awarded to the lowest bidder. Any offers?

Rob Watling, Guardian newspaper.

‘The country owes her a 19-gun salute.’ Yeah, but we’re not cruel, she can have a blindfold as well!

BurgermaS, Guardian online.

I liken Thatcher’s rule to a surgeon finding gangrene in the little toe and amputating above the knee.

Green Lake, Guardian online.

The reminder that Charles Darwin received a state funeral underlines the grossly offensive nature of the proposal that Mrs Thatcher should be similarly honoured. Darwin’s magnificent insight liberated and broadened our thinking. Thatcher’s offensive bigotry destroyed much that was good in our society, narrowing our vision.

John Baker, Guardian newspaper.

A state funeral would be a farce. But how about nationwide street parties or perhaps auctioning coffin nails? I’d pay good money to hammer the lid down.

Ifweworkers, Guardian online.

The headline ‘State funeral planned for Lady Thatcher’ is deeply irresponsible. When it appeared, I honestly thought that the week had got off to the best possible start.

Chris Gibson, Guardian newspaper.

I’ll be there protesting and throwing eggs even if they promise to extraordinarily rendition me. Never. It’d be a crime to honour this self-serving, divisive politician who governed with minority support and who created the s*** we live in today. She did more to destroy ‘the family’ than a hundred Roy Jenkins ever could. No, no, no. Just throw some petrol on the corpse, chuck a match and let the wind do the rest.

bass46, Guardian online.

Just a couple of questions: ‘Does that include the grave/dancefloor combo?’ and ‘When is it booked for?’

Chris Hardman, Guardian newspaper.

I’d go along with it on three conditions: 1) The son Mark is stripped of his hereditary baronetcy. He has done nothing to deserve it and everything to lose it. 2) We can get it over with as soon as possible. Friday week would be good for me. 3) We do a special offer (Buy One Get One Free) with the current Prime Minister. The fact that both of them are still breathing should be no obstacle.

EastFinchleyite, Guardian online.

Announcing the Great Thatcher Awayday. On the day of her state funeral, I’ll book the Eurostar and Guardian readers are cordially invited to join me in Brussels to toast her passing with great Belgian beer. The famous bar Morte Subite (Sudden Death) will make a good starting point.

Roger Protz, Guardian newspaper.

She deserves the admiration and respect of every exploiter and authoritarian in the world.

Gegenbeispiel, Guardian online.

Since Thatcher is loathed and despised by a large proportion of UK citizens, may we suggest that her state funeral takes place at Port Stanley, where presumably her popularity remains undiminished?

Lucy Birot, Peter Mackridge and Jackie Willcox, Oxford, Guardian newspaper.

I cannot believe that I am alone in feeling total disgust that there are plans to honour Margaret Thatcher with a state funeral. I would also take issue with the view that she ‘reversed the decline in Britain’s post-war fortunes’. The fact that No 10 appears to have condoned the plans sums up how bankrupt this government has become.

Dr Terry Allcott, Guardian newspaper.

When Margaret Thatcher was Minister for Education, she took away free milk from schoolchildren. I created the slogan ‘Thatcher, Thatcher, milk snatcher’ and put it on a wanted poster with her picture. When she became prime minister, we
wrote to her from the Chiswick Women’s Aid refuge and asked her what she would do for victims of domestic violence. A minion replied on her behalf and said that she was ‘not interested in women’s issues’. A state funeral would be an insult to this nation.

Erin Pizzey, Guardian newspaper.

Give her a nice marble tomb — in the shape of a public toilet.

anstruther, New Statesman online

State funeral? A televised public execution would be far, far too good for her.

RoyalFamily, Guardian online.

There should be a nationwide procession so the public can show their appreciation by throwing anything they like at her — and I do mean anything.

Carl Jones, New Statesman online.

I hope she lives long enough to see her son go to prison for his crimes in Africa. I hope she lives long enough to see ‘actual’ democracy come in the UK in the form of electronic democracy and local communities. I hope she lives long enough to see the mass ownership of companies by the people (not the feudal few). I hope she lives long enough to see Britain stop being the Americans’ poodle, and I hope she lives long enough to see the ‘New Labour project’ overturned by some REAL social democrats. Then I hope she comes back as a poor child in the Third World.

gnuneo, New Statesman online.

Why waste money when half the country will be having a party to celebrate her demise, anyway?

NemesistheWarlock, Guardian online.

Where’s she being buried? We could graffiti her tombstone.

RosaLuxemburgII, New Statesman online.
Letts concluded:
One of the Left’s great propaganda achievements over the years has been the idea that it was somehow kinder to support Labour than to be Conservative.

Think a little harder, though, and you may start to see that Left’s attitude depends on the suppression of tolerance.

It demands communal conformity rather than independent freedom. It seeks to dictate supply rather than allowing the market to find a level. It places the state above the citizen.

Here are the philosophical roots of the harshness of discipline which fuel the unpleasantness. Those Guardian letters spring directly from Left-wing orthodoxy. It is hard to imagine any Conservative worth that name rejoicing at the death of a Labour opponent. The Tory instinct does not work like that.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Joke is Not Funny

Obama’s Military Disconnect

Great catch from Stepping Right Up.

A photo that shows Barack Obama in front of cheering U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

It’s a photo the Obama campaign may wish it had never released.
This is not exactly a packed gymnasium of cheering soldiers.

Look at the massive distance between him and the soldiers. (Was Obama afraid he would get military cooties if he got too close?)

The “crowd” is barely three people deep. (My guess is there were more media darlings than soldiers)

What is up with that “Oh God, what am I doing here look on his face”?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This picture shows the massive expanse of space between America’s military and Barack Obama. Clearly there is a huge disconnect here.
Not mentioned is the fact that a vastly disproportionate number of the soldiers are black.

We don’t quarrel with the racial pride of black soldiers who are proud of the Obama candidacy, but they don’t represent the majority of the military. Why should, after all, soldiers want a commander and chief who wants them to lose a war?

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Gay Activists (and Politically Correct Fellow Travellers) in American Political Science Association to Boycott New Orleans

We’ve blogged on the attempt of gay activists and some of their liberal colleagues to have the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association moved out of New Orleans.

Why? Because the voters in Louisiana had the temerity to vote to outlaw gay marriage. In other words, they took the position that voters in every other state in the union have.

A gay activist who has been pushing this issue just yesterday sent out the following e-mail:
Dear Political Science Colleagues at Marquette University:

In light of the APSA Council’s vote last month not to relocate the 2012 annual meeting away from New Orleans, I’m organizing a boycott of the conference and invite your formal endorsement of the effort.

A boycott statement -- crafted by several opponents of the New Orleans siting and setting forth the fundamental reasons for the embargo -- and a preliminary list of signatories are available at:

http://www.danpinello.com/Boycott.htm

More than 150 political scientists -- including a former APSA President, a former Vice President, former Council members, and a former APSR Editor -- have signed the document since it went online a week ago. So far, the most LGBT-friendly schools are:

Oberlin College -- 10 endorsers / 83% of the Oberlin department
Johns Hopkins University -- 8 / 40%
College of William & Mary -- 6 / 25%
University of Chicago -- 5 / 17%
University of California-Irvine -- 4 / 13%

Please let me know (at dpinello@jjay.cuny.edu or dan@danpinello.com) if you want to add your name to the endorsement roster. All APSA members, as well as non-members who have already attended an APSA annual meeting, are welcome to join. Note that the statement and its signatories will be distributed at the Association’s upcoming Boston conference.

The document’s language has been widely vetted. If you’re in general agreement with the goal of avoiding a New Orleans conference, I hope that you’ll be able to set aside any specific disagreements with wording.

Finally, if you support the boycott and plan to attend the Boston conference, I want to give you a three-inch “Boycott New Orleans” button to wear during the convention. Please let me know the best way to deliver the pin to you.

Many thanks,
Dan Pinello
So far, the online petition doesn’t seem to have gotten a lot of support. If only five political science departments in the entire country have more than 12% of faculty endorsing it, that’s hardly a groundswell.

Happily, none of our colleagues at Marquette has done so.

It’s early however, and only time will tell how many political scientists will sign up.

If anybody thinks that “it’s perfectly legitimate for people to express their opinion in favor of gay marriage,” they should keep in mind that any boycott of this kind violates an explicit provision of the APSA’s Constitution.

So the people who are signing on to the petition are not merely expressing their own opinion, they are demanding that the APSA blow off its own Constitution.

Thus being found among the signatories is a lot like being among the Group of 88 at Duke University who prejudged the guilt of the lacrosse players accused of rape.

But it is not quite that simple, since the New Orleans issue pits gay political correctness against racial political correctness. So the professors who don’t sign are not necessarily principled. They may simply be politically correct in a different way.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Michelle Obama at Princeton: Huge Racial Chip on Her Shoulder

We didn’t see this when it first broke, but better late than never.

From Politico.com, an account of Michelle Obama’s senior thesis at Princeton.
Michelle Obama’s senior year thesis at Princeton University, obtained from the campaign by Politico, shows a document written by a young woman grappling with a society in which a black Princeton alumnus might only be allowed to remain “on the periphery.” Read the full thesis here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

“My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my ‘blackness’ than ever before,” the future Mrs. Obama wrote in her thesis introduction. “I have found that at Princeton, no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my white professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don’t belong. Regardless of the circumstances under which I interact with whites at Princeton, it often seems as if, to them, I will always be black first and a student second.”
Of course, on a campus that practices rather rigorous affirmative action, it’s hard for white students to forget that you are on campus because you are black, not because (like the white students) you met all the qualifications.

Even if a particular black student was as good, academically, as white applicants who got in, white students will not know this about the particular student, and thus the stigma applies.

But just who is to blame if somebody like Michelle Obama is viewed as “black first and a student second.” Consider the following:
The 1985 thesis provides a trove of Michelle Obama’s thoughts as a young woman, with many of the paper’s statements describing the student’s world as seen through a race-based prism.

“In defining the concept of identification or the ability to identify with the black community,” the Princeton student wrote, “I based my definition on the premise that there is a distinctive black culture very different from white culture.” Other thesis statements specifically pointed to what was seen by the future Mrs. Obama as racially insensitive practices in a university system populated with mostly Caucasian educators and students: “Predominately white universities like Princeton are socially and academically designed to cater to the needs of the white students comprising the bulk of their enrollments.”

To illustrate the latter statement, she pointed out that Princeton (at the time) had only five black tenured professors on its faculty, and its “Afro-American studies” program “is one of the smallest and most understaffed departments in the university.” In addition, she said only one major university-recognized group on campus was “designed specifically for the intellectual and social interests of blacks and other third world students.” (Her findings also stressed that Princeton was “infamous for being racially the most conservative of the Ivy League universities.”)
In short, she is constantly playing the race card, constantly pleading victimization and constantly attacking Princeton for having too few black professors and a too-small Afro-American studies program.

Of course blacks who do that are going to be viewed as “black first and a student second.”

Can anybody possibly view Jesse Jackson as “a man first and a black second?”

The notion that the Princeton curriculum slighted “the intellectual and social interests of blacks and other third world students” is, in fact, condescending.

Generations of affluent, academically outstanding white students -- destined for success in later life -- have majored in math, history, English, political science, physics or one or another foreign language. Leaving aside for a moment the fact that most of these disciplines have been tripping over themselves to include more “multi-cultural” and “diverse” (read politically correct) material, are blacks somehow not intellectually capable of handling the courses that white students have?

Actually, given the prevalence of affirmative action, that’s too often true. But ghettoizing black students into inferior victim studies courses -- courses that are widely recognized as inferior, even if few people are sufficiently politically incorrect to say so -- is not a way of respecting and intellectually nurturing them.

It’s a way of pandering to politically correct elements on campus and getting them off your back.

Of course, Michelle’s attitudes are not necessarily the same as her husband’s.

But when we look for any evidence that Barack, before his very recent strategy of appearing to be “post racial” in order to appeal to white voters, was anything other than the standard race hustler, we come up with essentially nothing.

So we have to ask the obvious question: is Obama just Jesse Jackson with a shrewder plan for getting white votes?

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Obama Flip-Flops on Iraq: Devastating Video

Gore Supporters’ Energy Hypocrisy

This has been all over conservative talk radio, but we can’t resist including it here.



It’s not just cheap fun at the expense of the energy nannies.

It points to the reality of environmentalism.

Affluent environmentalists expect to have plenty of energy themselves in the Green utopia they are trying to bring about.

They can afford $8.00 per gallon gas.

They will often make minor and symbolic sacrifices in support of their claim of righteousness. They may live on the East Side of Milwaukee, and bike to work downtown. But that’s not difficult if you have enough money to pay the inflated real-estate prices on the East Side.

They may drive a hybrid auto. After all, they can afford one, while working class Americans can’t.

But they will never forego the opportunity to jet off to some exotic location for a vacation.

Being affluent and elitist, they expect all their privileges and prerogatives to continue just fine in their Green utopia. That less affluent people will be harmed is something they don’t much care about. Indeed, they view it as their proper role to tutor “lessor breeds” on how to live their lives -- and to use coercion, if necessary, to do it.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rigged Game

Physicists Group: Global Warming Open Issue

The utterly offensive thing about the whole “global warming” movement has been its attempt to stifle discussion, demean and marginalize critics and make their views the official orthodoxy -- dissent from which merits punishment.

You can see examples here, and here and here.

The fascists have received a major setback from members of an important scholarly organization.
In a posting to the [Forum on Physics & Society of the American Physical Society], editor Jeffrey Marque explains,“There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution.”

The APS is opening its debate with the publication of a paper by Lord Monckton of Brenchley, which concludes that climate sensitivity -- the rate of temperature change a given amount of greenhouse gas will cause -- has been grossly overstated by IPCC modeling. A low sensitivity implies additional atmospheric CO2 will have little effect on global climate.

Larry Gould, Professor of Physics at the University of Hartford and Chairman of the New England Section of the APS, called Monckton’s paper an “expose of the IPCC that details numerous exaggerations and “extensive errors.”

In an email to DailyTech, Monckton says, “I was dismayed to discover that the IPCC’s 2001 and 2007 reports did not devote chapters to the central ‘climate sensitivity’ question, and did not explain in proper, systematic detail the methods by which they evaluated it. When I began to investigate, it seemed that the IPCC was deliberately concealing and obscuring its method.”
Note that the larger organization, the American Physical Society, has not blacked off it’s official position that there is anthropogenic global warming. The bureaucrats who head these scholarly organizations tend to take the standard politically correct position, and physicists (like academics generally) skew heavily liberal, and can be expected to favor any notion that increases government’s power over the economy.

But quite reputable scientists within the organization disagree. And there is apparently enough academic freedom within the organization for them to engage the debate.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Obama Chastized by Washington Post on Iraq

Barack Obama’s pandering to the hard left anti-Iraq War crowd has drawn a sharp rebuke from the liberal Washington Post.

BARACK OBAMA yesterday accused President Bush and Sen. John McCain of rigidity on Iraq: “They said we couldn’t leave when violence was up, they say we can’t leave when violence is down.” Mr. Obama then confirmed his own foolish consistency. Early last year, when the war was at its peak, the Democratic candidate proposed a timetable for withdrawing all U.S. combat forces in slightly more than a year. Yesterday, with bloodshed at its lowest level since the war began, Mr. Obama endorsed the same plan. After hinting earlier this month that he might “refine” his Iraq strategy after visiting the country and listening to commanders, Mr. Obama appears to have decided that sticking to his arbitrary, 16-month timetable is more important than adjusting to the dramatic changes in Iraq.

Mr. Obama’s charge against the Republicans was not entirely fair, since Mr. Bush has overseen the withdrawal of five American brigades from Iraq this year, and Mr. McCain has suggested that he would bring most of the rest of the troops home by early 2013. Mr. Obama’s timeline would end in the summer of 2010, a year or two before the earliest dates proposed recently by members of the Iraqi government. The real difference between the various plans is not the dates but the conditions: Both the Iraqis and Mr. McCain say the withdrawal would be linked to the ability of Iraqi forces to take over from U.S. troops, as they have begun to do. Mr. Obama’s strategy allows no such linkage -- his logic is that a timetable unilaterally dictated from Washington is necessary to force Iraqis to take responsibility for the country.

At the time he first proposed his timetable, Mr. Obama argued -- wrongly, as it turned out -- that U.S. troops could not stop a sectarian civil war. He conceded that a withdrawal might be accompanied by a “spike” in violence. Now, he describes as “an achievable goal” that “we leave Iraq to a government that is taking responsibility for its future -- a government that prevents sectarian conflict and ensures that the al-Qaeda threat which has been beaten back by our troops does not reemerge.” How will that “true success” be achieved? By the same pullout that Mr. Obama proposed when chaos in Iraq appeared to him inevitable.

“What’s missing in our debate,” Mr. Obama said yesterday, “is a discussion of the strategic consequences of Iraq.” Indeed: The message that the Democrat sends is that he is ultimately indifferent to the war’s outcome -- that Iraq “distracts us from every threat we face” and thus must be speedily evacuated regardless of the consequences. That’s an irrational and ahistorical way to view a country at the strategic center of the Middle East, with some of the world’s largest oil reserves. Whether or not the war was a mistake, Iraq’s future is a vital U.S. security interest. If he is elected president, Mr. Obama sooner or later will have to tailor his Iraq strategy to that reality.

Will he?

Or will he continue to be the leftist that panders to his leftist base? You know -- the people who don’t want America to win the war because they don’t much like America and virulently hate George Bush.

Let’s hope we never have the opportunity to find out.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Welcome to the Club

Hispanic Journalists: Don’t Use “Illegal”

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists has some definite advice about how to refer to illegal aliens.

Key thing: don’t refer to them as “illegal.”
Illegal alien

Avoid. Alternative terms are “undocumented worker,” or “undocumented immigrant.”

Illegal alien

Avoid. Alternative terms are “undocumented worker,” or “undocumented immigrant.”

Illegal

Avoid. Alternative terms are “undocumented immigrant” or “undocumented worker.” This term has been used to describe the immigration status of people who do not have the federal documentation to show they are legally entitled to work, visit or live here. The term criminalizes the person rather than the actual act of illegally entering, residing in the U.S. without documents.

Illegal immigrant

While many national news outlets use the term “illegal immigrant,” this handbook calls for the discussion and re-evaluation of its use. Instead of using illegal immigrant, alternative labels recommended are “undocumented worker” or “undocumented immigrant.” Illegal immigrant is a term used to describe the immigration status of people who do not have the federal documentation to show they are legally entitled to work, visit or live here. People who are undocumented according to federal authorities do not have the proper visas to be in the United States legally. Many enter the country illegally, but a large number of this group initially had valid visas, but did not return to their native countries when their visas expired.
These politically correct folks have a point where the word “alien” is at issue. Legally, it’s a perfectly correct term, but has taken on a variety of threatening connotations.

Many of us have seen those movies where hideous creatures chase Sigourney Weaver around this or that space ship.

But trying to ban the word “illegal” is simply an insistence that honest language be avoided.

That the National Association of Hispanic Journalists is demanding biased news reporting is most unfortunate. It tends to stereotype Hispanics in the same way that blacks in journalism have already been stereotyped: as affirmative action trophies proving the “diversity” of this or that news organization rather than working reporters who can cover a story fairly.

Just as journalism doesn’t need more Eugene Kanes, neither does it need more Ricardo Pimentels. (Pimentel, by the way, agrees with the demand for dishonest journalism in the statement quoted above.)

Journalism could certainly use more honest black and Hispanic reporters, or black and Hispanic columnists who say things at odds with what the white liberals who hired them want to hear. In other words, people different from Eugene Kane.

But even more, it could use more conservatives, Christians and people with military experience. Those sorts of people would provide the kind of diversity that matters.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Hating Tony Snow: More

Frontpage Magazine has noticed the level of hatred that the left has lavished on Tony Snow since his recent death, something we blogged about Saturday.

You can, if you want, read the entire thing, which (if you read our post) won’t surprise you.

But we could not resist quoting the last paragraph.
He was a forceful exponent of his own views, which frequently clashed with those of the Bush administration. He is missed by conservatives who shared his views, moderates who enjoyed robust and respectful debate, and liberals capable of viewing a man as more than an embodied political platform. These last are too few, and their replacements disgrace American political debate.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Iran Missile Program

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tony Snow and the Tolerant, Compassionate Left

Warning. Strong Language.

Tony Snow, former White House Press Secretary and Fox News journalist dies, and how do the folks in the leftist blogosphere react?

With all the venom one might expect.

When looking at comments on liberal blogs, one has to note that many have the notion “Sub-thread removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules” (this from the Democratic Underground) or some such.

Which means that the post was so vile that a moderator removed it. Which means that to get the true flavor of the responses, one needs to move the the bottom of the discussion to see posts that the moderators haven’t gotten around to removing yet.

Just a sampling of comments from the aforementioned Democratic Underground.
  • Meet your maker and all the people you helped kill Tony.
  • Condolences to his family, good riddance to a fucking liar.
  • We have no right to rejoice over this. But what about the man whose entire family was slaughtered by american bombings in Iraq ? Snow, as Bush’s spokesman, bears a responsibility.
  • Mr. Snow, meet Mr. Fire. Another fascist bites the dust. None too soon.
  • A fond farewell Mr. Snow ... If there is someplace you go after death, I hope George Carlin is there waiting to kick your ass.
  • He (or his masters) paid image consultants a crapload of money to make him seem like a decent guy, but he stood for and supported everything that Bush and Cheney do, and I wouldn’t apply the term decent to either of them...
  • My condolences ... to the Iraqis who have died because of the neocons.
  • Why not just let him lie and say nothing, and save your pity for the people who have suffered and died because of Bush administration policies that Snow helped promote?
  • I saw him on Bill Maher maybe back in January. And I remember being shocked at the time that someone battling what is usually a death-sentence illness . . . would not have learned anything about life. His illness and what he went through obviously not having taught him anything about compassion, humility or empathy. But there he was, Tony Snow. As hateful and arrogant as ever.
  • that Tony was a filthy, lying bastard who devoted his later years to spewing propaganda for fascists and miscreants.
  • Rest in peace, Mr. Snow. Just joking.
  • He was a paid liar for the worst administration in our history.
  • He was just one of the flacks. Media manipulators for hire. Spin machines. I have often wondered how they manage to sleep at night.
  • he lied to me daily
  • Isn’t that nice. A faithful Christian who enabled the slaughter of innocent Iraqis.
  • sorry snow------- his bullshit lies and smarmy face caused the deaths of soldiers, the ignoring of global warming, the spreading of disinformation.
  • Maybe he can now meet some of the people his lies killed.
We could, of course, cut and paste all night on this.

In all fairness, not all comments were nasty, although some posters pointedly said they were not going to say anything (presumably because they could say nothing good).

But the contrast to conservative blogs is stark. Comments gloating over Teddy Kennedy’s brain cancer were few, and sympathy was the norm there.

[Sunday Afternoon Update]

Some similar hatred from the Daily Kos.
  • Question #2.Was Tony Snow part of a Goebbels-like propaganda machine allowing a cabal of pillaging, warmongering thugs to seize War Powers of an Industrialized “Democracy” allowing said Regime to unrepentently torture, maim, and kill civilians in foreign lands while rationalizing his patrons Police-State Powers at home via the comprehensive, calculated dissembly of the Rule of Law? . . . Yes.
  • I feel horribly for the children, elderly parents...the wife I am more ambivalent about. I could not love or stay married to a man who enabled Bush.
  • Isn’t it ironic. . . that a man who held onto and fed people the lies, the smears, the condescending attitude, who hurt so many should be overcome by the very thing that his own body was feeding and growing.
  • Tony Snow I am sure was a nice man to those of like mind. And there is exactly the problem. “Those of like mind” do not give a damn about you or me or the rest of this once great country.
  • Let’s talk about Tony Snow - I mean really talk about Tony Snow and what lies he spread to the world for profit.
  • Standing in Puragtory’s line, behind 100k Iraqis
  • It is fair and balanced to note what team he played for. How many Iraqis and Americans died so he could continue in his job?
It is ironic that the secular leftist types at the Daily Kos invoke God and the afterlife. But one poster explained the whole thing.
  • Not a believer in an afterlife, but let me say that would be fitting; something like Marlow’s ghost from “A Christmas Carol”, here’s Tony chained to all of his lies, doomed to walk the earth seeing the destruction he facilitated...every military funeral, every Iraqi body laying in the street, every homeless vet...

    I can see why this whole “afterlife” thing is so popular.
The stunning thing about all this is not so much that liberals hate. Strong partisans have always tended to demonize the other side.

It’s that the liberals are so shameless in their hate. They think their views are the only decent ones, and therefore all who oppose them deserve to be hated.

They are, in other words, proud of their hatred.

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Heresy! “Scientific” Orthodoxy Allowed to be Challenged in Louisiana

From National Review online:
To the chagrin of the science thought police, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal has signed into law an act to protect teachers who want to encourage critical thinking about hot-button science issues such as global warming, human cloning, and yes, evolution and the origin of life.

Opponents allege that the Louisiana Science Education Act is “anti-science.” In reality, the opposition’s efforts to silence anyone who disagrees with them is the true affront to scientific inquiry.

Students need to know about the current scientific consensus on a given issue, but they also need to be able to evaluate critically the evidence on which that consensus rests. They need to learn about competing interpretations of the evidence offered by scientists, as well as anomalies that aren’t well explained by existing theories.

Yet in many schools today, instruction about controversial scientific issues is closer to propaganda than education. Teaching about global warming is about as nuanced as Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. Discussions about human sexuality recycle the junk science of biologist Alfred Kinsey and other ideologically driven researchers. And lessons about evolution present a caricature of modern evolutionary theory that papers over problems and fails to distinguish between fact and speculation. In these areas, the “scientific” view is increasingly offered to students as a neat package of dogmatic assertions that just happens to parallel the political and cultural agenda of the Left.

Real science, however, is a lot more messy — and interesting — than a set of ideological talking points. Most conservatives recognize this truth already when it comes to global warming. They know that whatever consensus exists among scientists about global warming, legitimate questions remain about its future impact on the environment, its various causes, and the best policies to combat it. They realize that efforts to suppress conflicting evidence and dissenting interpretations related to global warming actually compromise the cause of good science education rather than promote it.

The effort to suppress dissenting views on global warming is a part of a broader campaign to demonize any questioning of the “consensus” view on a whole range of controversial scientific issues — from embryonic stem-cell research to Darwinian evolution — and to brand such interest in healthy debate as a “war on science.”

The Louisiana Science Education Act offers such teachers a modest measure of protection. Under the law, school districts may permit teachers to “use supplementary textbooks and other instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner.” The act is not a license for teachers to do anything they want. Instruction must be “objective,” inappropriate materials may be vetoed by the state board of education, and the law explicitly prohibits teaching religion in the name of science, stating that its provisions “shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine.”

The law was so carefully framed that even the head of the Louisiana ACLU has had to concede that it is constitutional as written.
Of course, this bill only allows balanced treatment of “hot button” scientific issues. It doesn’t require it, and it should -- with the unfortunate proviso that teachers who want to present one-sided indoctrination will do so, regardless of any state mandate.

(My students tell me that teaching of abstinence was required in their high-school sex education classes, but it was a “joke” since liberal teachers sneered at the idea that teens should abstain from sex.)

The author goes on:
Second, the idea that the current scientific consensus on any topic deserves slavish deference betrays stunning ignorance of the history of science. Time and again, scientists have shown themselves just as capable of being blinded by fanaticism, prejudice, and error as anyone else. Perhaps the most egregious example in American history was the eugenics movement, the ill-considered crusade to breed better human beings.

During the first decades of the 20th century, the nation’s leading biologists at Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, and Stanford, as well by members of America’s leading scientific organizations such as the National Academy of Sciences, the American Museum of Natural History, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science were all devoted eugenicists. By the time the crusade had run its course, some 60,000 Americans had been sterilized against their will in an effort to keep us from sinning against Darwin’s law of natural selection, which Princeton biologist Edwin Conklin dubbed “the great law of evolution and progress.”

Today, science is typically portrayed as self-correcting, but it took decades for most evolutionary biologists to disassociate themselves from the junk science of eugenics. For years, the most consistent critics of eugenics were traditionalist Roman Catholics, who were denounced by scientists for letting their religion stand in the way of scientific progress. The implication was that religious people had no right to speak out on public issues involving science.
Of course, the proponents of scientific orthodoxy turn suddenly open-minded about heterodox ideas that serve their interests, or come down on their side of the Culture Wars.

Economic science condemns the minimum wage as forcefully as biology affirms evolution. But nobody would think of questioning a teacher who presented arguments in favor of the minimum wage.

Conspiracy theories thrive among high school teachers. These range from the entirely unsupported notion that the Oil Companies are conspiring to fix prices, to bizarre conspiracy theories about 9/11, to the more popular (but disreputable in the history profession) theory that a conspiracy killed John Kennedy.

So liberals are perfectly tolerant of dissenting and heterodox opinions -- except where they run afoul of their anti-religious biases (being critical of evolution) or their interests (global warming).

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Which Is the Real One?

Anti-Israel Attitudes in the Presbyterian Hierarchy

From Christianity Today:
In May, the Presbyterian Church (USA) released “Vigilance against Anti-Jewish Ideas and Bias.” Jewish organizations were effusive in their praise. The last decade has seen a spike in violent anti-Semitic hate crimes in Europe. The document could not have been more welcomed and well timed.

The love-fest was short lived. In June, the PC(USA) removed the original document from its website and replaced it with “Vigilance against Anti-Jewish Bias: In the Pursuit of Israeli-Palestinian Peace.”

It would be hard to construct two more dissimilar documents with similar titles. The original pointed directly to problematic PC(USA) overtures and materials, such as overtures “declaring that the Jewish people are no longer in covenant with God … or to blame for the crucifixion.” It was a startling and honest mea culpa that directly addressed Jewish concerns about a steady pattern of criticism of Israel that had morphed into derision of Jews. (The latest U.S. State Department annual report on human rights offered, “The distinguishing feature of the new anti-Semitism is criticism of Zionism or Israeli policy that — whether intentionally or unintentionally — has the effect of promoting prejudice against all Jews by demonizing Israel and Israelis and attributing Israel’s perceived faults to its Jewish character.”)

Ominously, the main focus of the new document is no longer anti-Semitism, but Presbyterian responsibility in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Anti-Semitism has become essentially a sideshow to the main event, which seeks “to call an end to the Israeli occupation … to criticize Christian Zionism … to speak out against the placement of the separation barrier.” (Perhaps the denomination might convince Hamas to end its daily barrage of lethal rockets directed at civilians. That might be easier if the denomination would begin by mentioning them, but don’t look for such mention in the document.) PC(USA) members are now cautioned to mind their Ps and Qs as they pursue their one-sided quest for peace. They are urged to be vigilant against slipping into the language and imagery of anti-Semitism while all references to PC(USA)’s own malfeasance have been purged.

Whereas the old document treated such language as inherently wrong, the new one shifts the blame to the Jews. Using crucifixion language in regard to Israeli soldiers is problematic only because Jews “inevitably construe” such imagery as anti-Jewish. Rather than commit to fight the scourge of exploding worldwide anti-Semitism, the PC(USA) now adds to the one-sided demonization of Israel (“the oppressive force in the Israeli-Palestinian situation”) that fuels it.
There is really only one thing one needs to know about the bureaucrats who run the “mainstream” (now far outside the mainstream) Protestant denominations.

They are hardly (if at all) Christians, but they are bureaucrats, and they are leftist bureaucrats. They move in a circle of politically correct liberal and leftist thoughts. And in the modern era, that means siding with the Palestinians against Israel.

In this, they are no different from Marquette bureaucrats in the Office of Student Development and Manresa, which have a history of virulently anti-Israel programming.

If it becomes advantageous to condemn anti-Semitism, they will do so. But their real sympathies lie with Israel’s enemies, and they don’t much mind if these enemies are terrorists.

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Asian Students: Victims of “Diversity”

From Minding the Campus, an account of how an inconvenient minority is being victimized in the name of “diversity.”
One of the least-kept secrets in higher education is the fact that many colleges and universities, especially the more select ones, consciously seek to suppress their “Asian” student enrollment.

During the first year of my term as a regent of the University of California (UC), a prominent member of the staff at one of the UC campuses remarked to me that at least two of the UC campuses could become “all-Asian” if conscious efforts were not pursued to “maintain diversity.” It was at that point that I learned that “diversity” was the fig leaf to hide this pervasive system of discrimination against Asians.

This insidious practice of Asian discrimination has largely gone unchallenged for a variety of reasons. First, there is a prevailing view that “opportunities” granted to one group do not come at the expense of another. This view was recently expressed by one of the presidential candidates. It is a sentiment that enables institutions of higher education as well as others to get away with their Asian discrimination. Few are aware that the percentage of Asians at the University of California at Los Angeles campus went from roughly 22% when preferences were being accorded to “underrepresented minorities” to over 40% once they were eliminated.

Second, Asian discrimination occurs because Asians---unlike black and Latino activist groups---remain silent in the face of discrimination against them. Stepping forward as he has done, Li might very well trigger an “I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore” attitude among other Asians. And that would be a good thing.
Politically correct people deride Asians as the “model minority.”

Why the derision? Because Asians have not understood the proper function of minorities in American society.

Minorities are supposed to fail. That failure stands as a condemnation of American society, a very convenient excuse for more social programs, and a justification for more bureaucrats to minister to the needs of poor needy failed minorities.

Success undermines the whole game.

Since the liberals have a vested interest in minority failure, they set out to explicitly reward failure and punish success.

Further, the success of one group raises the question of why other groups fail, and that question can be exceedingly embarrassing. It might, for example, lead one to ask whether the family values that liberals deride have something to do with the success of Asians. It might raise the question of whether buying into the victim culture isn’t itself a major impediment to minority success.

We can’t help but wonder: how would blacks be doing in America today if the black community had not been hobbled both by “leaders” in the community and by white liberals whose interests would be badly harmed by black success?

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