Saturday, September 27, 2014

Nothing To See Here

MSNBC had this to report yesterday about the jihadist attack in Moore, Oklahoma:

In recent weeks, several Westerners have been beheaded by terrorists aligned with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has called for Muslims to carry out similar attacks around the world.

Moore police said there is no evidence that the attack was inspired by any similar events in the Middle East or by religious fundamentalism. (“No evidence Oklahoma beheading linked to terrorism, police say”).

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And Still More on Holder’s Going Away

If you’re wondering why all these Holder-centric posts just now, they’re because, second only to his boss, I consider Attorney General Eric Holder the worst actor in the crowded stage of bad actors who have made up the Obama administration. His departure is one of the few glimmers of hope in and ugly and disheartening year. People need to know who Holder is, and who he has been all along.

Peter Kirsanow writes this at NRO:

Mr. Holder’s Injustice Department

The very first controversy of the Eric Holder-led Justice Department (“DOJ”) involved the dismissal of the voter-intimidation lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party (“NBPP”). The matter provided a template for most of the DOJ controversies that followed: denial, stonewalling, obfuscation, deceit, and racialism.

The U.S.Commission on Civil Rights conducted a year-long investigation into the matter shortly after the dismissal. Despite being compelled by statute to cooperate fully with commission investigations, DOJ

· refused to answer 18 separate interrogatories,

· refused to respond to 22 separate requests for production of documents,

· barred two key DOJ attorneys from testifying (both of the attorneys defied DOJ and testified at considerable risk to their careers),

· refused to provide witness statements for twelve key witnesses,

· invoked specious privileges in order to withhold critical information,

· failed to provide a privilege log,

· and failed to provide requested e-mails between Civil Rights Division personnel and other DOJ officials regarding the dismissal of the NBPPlawsuit (some of the e-mails later were revealed pursuant to court order in a lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch)

Despite the vigorous stonewalling, DOJ publicly claimed that it was cooperating fully with the investigation. The claim was blatantly false, but was cheerfully reported by the media. What most of the mainstream media failed to report, however, was that the bipartisan commission’s investigation adduced testimony that

· A high-ranking DOJ political appointee gave instructions that the Voting Section was not going to bring cases “against black defendants or for the benefit of white victims.”

· A high-ranking DOJ political appointee explicitly told the entire Voting Section “that this administration would not be enforcing Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act.” (The purpose of section 8 of the NVRA is to ensure that persons ineligible to vote are not permitted to vote.)

· DOJ refuses to enforce Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act on behalf of white victims.

· There exists within DOJ pervasive hostility to the race-neutral enforcement of civil-rights laws.

Furthermore, a high-ranking DOJ political appointee testified under oath that no political leadership was involved in the decision to dismiss the NBPP lawsuit. The testimony was shown to be false only after the Judicial Watch lawsuit pried loose e-mails showing clear political involvement.

The commission’s 262-page report to congress contains much more evidence that, under Holder, DOJ did not enforce the nation’s civil-rights laws in a color-blind manner. Something to consider while reading the next obtuse editorial extolling Mr. Holder’s record on civil rights.

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On Holder’s Departure, II

From the NRO:

Eric Holder’s Rap Sheet

Eric Holder’s legal mercies have typically been reserved for Clinton donors and unrepentant terrorists, but his decision yesterday to step down as attorney general of the United States after nearly six years is an act of mercy toward the American public.

In an administration characterized by outsized misadventures — from the use of the nation’s tax bureau to suppress political opponents to the use of secret waiting lists at government hospitals that killed American servicemen — Eric Holder managed to make his Justice Department a source of special, nay, historic attention: In June 2012, Holder became the first U.S. attorney general to be held in contempt by the House of Representatives. He earned every vote.

Achieving “justice” via the Justice Department may be an intrinsically unlikely prospect, but none of Holder’s recent predecessors — Janet Reno, John Ashcroft, Michael Mukasey, even the much-maligned Alberto Gonzales — exhibited his sheer contempt for the rule of law. Much to his preference was employing the law for political purposes; or, when necessary, dispensing with the law completely.

The latter was largely Holder’s policy as chief legal counsel to the president. The duty of the attorney general has historically been to advise against unconstitutional or illegal activity; Holder instead regularly aided and abetted it. When the president unilaterally delayed deportations for a select group of illegal immigrants, Holder concocted specious legal rationales to justify it. Regular slap-downs from the Supreme Court — on the president’s unconstitutional NLRB appointees, on his contraception mandate, on his unconstitutional effort to control ministerial hiring — have proven Holder’s legal work insupportable.

Nowhere was Holder’s rank partisanship more clearly on display than on issues of race: for instance, his refusal to prosecute the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation — despite video evidence of truncheon-wielding men warding voters away from a Philadelphia polling station in November 2008. Those whose political expression was inhibited in Philadelphia were not, Holder later suggested to the House Oversight Committee, “my people” — and thus apparently did not deserve the protection of the law. This from the lips of the nation’s chief law-enforcement officer. Meanwhile, Holder dismissed his critics as racists, eager to destroy him and the president because “we’re both African American.” This same “nation of cowards” was, by Holder’s reckoning, responsible for the voter-identification laws that his Justice Department has worked stridently — and largely unsuccessfully — to suppress in North Carolina, Wisconsin, and elsewhere.

Nor was it just Klan types in the Badger State that Holder eyed suspiciously. In May 2013 his Justice Department seized the phone records of 20 Associated Press reporters, and Fox News’s James Rosen revealed that the department had monitored his phone calls and e-mails.

Meanwhile, Holder opted to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the principal architect of the September 11 attacks, and his co-defendants in federal court in New York rather than in military tribunals in Guantanamo Bay — a practice that blurs the line between crimes and acts of war.

All of the above has been astonishing — but utterly predictable. To those with eyes to see, it was clear even before his confirmation that Holder was not suited to the role of the nation’s lead law-enforcement officer. As deputy attorney general under Bill Clinton, for instance, Holder “leaned” toward the pardon of fugitive and Clinton donor Marc Rich, and advocated clemency for 16 terrorists from the Puerto Rican FALN. But he still met with plaudits from a number of Republican senators.

In the coming months, those senators will have the chance to try again, as the Senate votes on a successor. Republicans should use every opportunity to push for a nominee whose first obligation is to the law — although the prospects of securing such a nominee from this administration are slim.

As for Holder, his time in the spotlight may not be over. The congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, and other dubious Department of Justice activities, continues, and Holder may — and likely should — find himself facing further congressional inquiry.

Regardless, the end of Holder’s death grip on law enforcement at the federal level is long overdue. Perhaps now the Justice Department can get back to delivering actual justice.

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On Eric Holder’s Departure

At AEIdeas John Yoo writes:

The nation can wave goodbye to Attorney General Holder with relief, as to a bad house-guest who almost burned down the house during his unwelcome stay. His political missteps were legion, and his choices on law enforcement policy revealed a stunning combination of ideology and incompetence. He called for the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other al Qaeda leaders in downtown New York City, for example, which showed a failure to understand our war on terrorism. He accused Americans of being a nation of cowards on race while dropping prosecutions of voter intimidation in Philadelphia. He made a terrible error of judgment on sending guns that ended up in Mexico and then made the mistake of stonewalling Congress’s effort to investigate — leading to the unprecedented citation for contempt of a sitting attorney general.

But worst of all was not Holder’s political or prosecution choices, but his refusal to obey the Constitution. The AG is the nation’s law enforcement officer, second only to the president. His most important and unique job is to interpret and enforce the Constitution for the executive branch. On Holder’s watch, the Obama administration has refused to carry out the laws, as required by the Constitution’s Take Care Clause, in areas ranging from Obamacare to immigration to welfare. The only exception to the president’s duty to carry out the Acts of Congress is if the laws themselves are unconstitutional and hence violate the higher law. But in all of these cases, the Obama administration knew that these laws raised no constitutional problems — it merely disagreed with the policies, even with laws that it supported during enactment.  Obama and Holder created for themselves a second, absolute veto on Acts of Congress.

Holder and his supporters, who know these decisions violate the Constitution but kept silent because of their partisan support for Obama, will rue their abuse of presidential power. Future presidents will be able to change tax rates or refuse to prosecute political supporters under these theories. Future conservative presidents may use the same claim to start dismantling the overgrown welfare state without the assent of Congress. We happily see Holder go, but he will have more regret not just looking back at the controversies that wracked the Department of Justice under his care, but when he ponders the future when conservative AGs turn his precedents against the bloated welfare state that he loves.

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Keystone Kops versus Quran

Why doesn’t it make us feel better that the FBI have been called in to investigate the motives of the jihadist who beheaded his coworker in Moore, Oklahoma?

Police in Oklahoma said on Friday that they have asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation for assistance after determining that a man who allegedly attacked co-workers after being fired the previous day beheaded one of his victims and, according to some employees, earlier tried to convert colleagues to Islam.

So far, the FBI hasn't found any connection between the suspect and any terrorist groups, a law enforcement official said. But agents aren't finished probing the suspect's background and are still looking into his contacts and any potential travel. (“FBI Called in to Help Investigate Beheading in Oklahoma”).

The FBI rarely finds connections lone-wolf jihadists and terrorist groups largely because the agency has forbidden itself to draw connections between Islam, itself, and jihadist violence. That’s been the situation since 2001,

when fifty-seven Muslim organizations wrote to John Brennan, who was then the Homeland Security Advisor and is now the head of the CIA, demanding that they fire [Robert] Spencer and other trainers who “spoke about Islam in connection with terrorism" and that they cleanse all counter-terrorism training material of any mention of Islam and jihad. (“Spencer: Obama Administration Scrubbed Jihad and Islam from Counterterrorism Manuals”).

Trying to figure out what’s behind jihadist terrorism when you’re forbidden to recognize the violence in Islam is like trying to diagram sentences while forbidden to even imagine such things as subjects, predicates, and direct objects.  So now special agents are looking into Nolen’s travel, when he never needed to leave the country at all.  And if they can’t find proof that Nolen  traveled to the Middle East and physically sat at the feet of designated terror masterminds, or had  a paid receipt for dues to Al Qaeda or Al Shabab, the feds have to conclude the suspect has no “connection” to terrorism. This is why when the entire country knew within days that the Boston Marathon bombers were motivated by radical Islamist doctrines, weeks later the FBI and other PC cops remained unable

to connect them to a foreign terrorist organization” and had to keep chipping away at theirformal intelligence assessment on the factors that moved the Tsarnaevs toward hard-line Islamist views, and whether there was a single development or tipping point in their alleged turn to violence.  (“Tsarnaev brothers not yet linked to foreign terror groups officials say).

In Nolen’s case, there was a single development tipping point that turned him into a savage murderer: when he converted to Islam. According to the Daily Mail, “[t]he FBI is now investigating Nolen's recent conversion to Islam to determine whether it was connected to the attack,” but how successful will they be when connections like that are off-limits either through sanitized training, or craven obedience to PC standards?

It never occurs to these geniuses that an ideological or spiritual adherence to a set of beliefs can create a “connection” between individuals and groups all over the world who may never meet. The venal lawyer who taught my trial prep class had never met his hero, Mao, but I knew the lawyer was still a Red. I’ve never met a Pope, but I’m still a papist. I largely support the Holy Father’s views, I occasionally contribute to his causes, pray for his intentions, yet have never had any personal contacts with the Vatican.  Are the Holy Father and I connected? Of course we are.

It’s a spiritual thing.  But that’s something that, from Waco to Ft. Hood to Boston to Oklahoma, our G-Men have never been able to understand.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Muslim Brotherhood, Again

Andrew C. McCarthy writes:

In Search of the ‘Moderate Islamists’

It is not out of ignorance that President Obama and Secretary Kerry are denying the Islamic roots of the Islamic State jihadists. As I argued in a column here last week, we should stop scoffing as if this were a blunder and understand the destructive strategy behind it. The Obama administration is quite intentionally promoting the progressive illusion that “moderate Islamists” are the solution to the woes of the Middle East, and thus that working cooperatively with “moderate Islamists” is the solution to America’s security challenges.

I wrote a book a few years ago called The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America that addressed this partnership between Islamists and progressives. The terms “grand jihad” and “sabotage” are lifted from an internal Muslim Brotherhood memorandum that lays bare the Brotherhood’s overarching plan to destroy the West from within by having their component organizations collude with credulous Western governments and opinion elites.

The plan is going well.

As long as the news media and even conservative commentators continue to let them get away with it, the term “moderate Islamist” will remain useful to transnational progressives. It enables them to avoid admitting that the Muslim Brotherhood is what they have in mind.

As my recent column explained, the term “moderate Islamist” is an oxymoron. An Islamist is a Muslim who wants repressive sharia imposed. There is nothing moderate about sharia even if the Muslim in question does not advocate imposing it by violence.

Most people do not know what the term “Islamist” means, so the contradiction is not apparent to them. If they think about it at all, they figure “moderate Islamist” must be just another way of saying “moderate Muslim,” and since everyone acknowledges that there are millions of moderate Muslims, it seems logical enough. Yet, all Muslims are not Islamists. In particular, all Muslims who support the Western principles of liberty and reason are not Islamists.

If you want to say that some Islamists are not violent, that is certainly true. But that does not make them moderate. There is, moreover, less to their nonviolence than meets the eye. Many Islamists who do not personally participate in jihadist aggression support violent jihadists financially and morally — often while feigning objection to their methods or playing semantic games (e.g., “I oppose terrorism but I support resistance,” or “I oppose the killing of innocent people . . . but don’t press me on who is an innocent”).

Understandably, the public is inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to people the government describes as “moderates” and portrays as our “allies.” If transnational progressives were grilled on these vaporous terms, though, and forced to concede, say, that the Muslim Brotherhood was the purportedly “moderate opposition” our government wants to support in Syria, the public would object. While not expert in the subject, many Americans are generally aware that the Brotherhood supports terrorism, that its ideology leads young Muslims to graduate to notorious terrorist organizations, and that it endorses oppressive Islamic law while opposing the West. Better for progressives to avoid all that by one of their dizzying, internally nonsensical word games — hence, “moderate Islamist.”

I rehearse all that because last week, right on cue, representatives of Brotherhood-tied Islamist organizations appeared with Obama-administration officials and other apologists for Islamic supremacism to ostentatiously “condemn” the Islamic State as “not Islamic.”

As I recount with numerous examples in The Grand Jihad, this is the manipulative double game the Brotherhood has mastered in the West, aided and abetted by progressives of both parties. While speaking to credulous Western audiences desperate to believe Islam is innately moderate, the Brothers pretend to abhor terrorism, claim that terrorism is actually “anti-Islamic,” and threaten to brand you as an “Islamophobe” racist — to demagogue you in the media, ban you from the campus, and bankrupt you in court — if you dare to notice the nexus between Islamic doctrine and systematic terrorism committed by Muslims. Then, on their Arabic sites and in the privacy of their mosques and community centers, they go back to preaching jihad, championing Hamas, calling for Israel’s destruction, damning America, inveighing against Muslim assimilation in the West, and calling for society’s acceptance of sharia mores.

The Investigative Project’s John Rossomando reports on last Wednesday’s shenanigans at the National Press Club. The Islamist leaders who “urged the public to ignore [the Islamic State’s] theological motivations,” included “former Council on American-Islamic Affairs (CAIR) Tampa director Ahmed Bedier, [who] later wrote on Twitter that IS [the Islamic State] ‘is not a product of Islam,’ and blamed the United States for its emergence.”

Also on hand were moderate moderator Haris Tarin, Washington director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC); Imam Mohamed Magid, former president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); and Johari Abdul-Malik, an imam at the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Va. All of these Islamists are consultants to the Obama administration on policy matters; Magid is actually a member Obama’s Homeland Security Advisory Council.

Where to begin? CAIR, as I’ve repeatedly pointed out, is a Muslim Brotherhood creation conceived to be a Western-media-savvy shill for Islamic supremacism in general, and Hamas in particular. At the 2007–08 terrorism-financing prosecution of Hamas operatives in the Holy Land Foundation case — involving a Brotherhood conspiracy that funneled millions of dollars to Palestinian jihadists — CAIR was proven to be a co-conspirator, albeit unindicted. Mr. Bedier, who is profiled by the Investigative Project here, is a notorious apologist for Hamas — the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch, which is formally designated as a terrorist organization under U.S. law. He also vigorously championed such terrorists as Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Sami al-Arian (who pled guilty in 2006 to conspiring to provide material support to terrorism).

I’ve profiled MPAC here. It was founded by disciples of Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna and champions of both Hezbollah and the Sudanese Islamists who gave safe-haven to al-Qaeda during the mid Nineties. After the atrocities of September 11, 2001, MPAC’s executive director, Salam al-Marayati, immediately urged that “we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list.” Without a hint of irony, MPAC’s main business is condemning irrational suspicion . . . the “Islamophobia” it claims Muslims are systematically subjected to. Like many CAIR operatives and other purveyors of victim politics, MPAC officials tend to double as Democratic-party activists.

Magid’s organization, ISNA, is the most important Muslim Brotherhood organization in the United States. I have profiled it in these pages a number of times. As detailed in The Grand Jihad, it is the Islamist umbrella organization that traces its origins to the Muslim Students Association, the foundation of the Brotherhood’s American infrastructure.

The MSA, which indoctrinates students in the jihadist-lauding works of Banna and Sayid Qutb, has not surprisingly been the launch point for several prominent terrorists — Patrick Poole provides the scorecard here, which includes al-Qaeda founder Wael Julaidan; al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki; al Qaeda financier and Hamas/Hezbollah champion Abdurrahman Alamoudi; and Aafia Siddiqui, the notorious “Lady al-Qaeda” who was captured apparently plotting a terror rampage targeting New York City, who attempted to murder as U.S. Army captain while in custody, and whose release the Islamic State has been demanding. (Other MSA alumni include ousted Egyptian president and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi, and top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin.)

I profiled the Dar al-Hijrah mosque and Johari Abdul-Malik, one of its very interesting imams, in both The Grand Jihad and a 2010 column. At a 2001 conference hosted by the Islamic Association of Palestine — an organization the Muslim Brotherhood established to promote Hamas in the United States — Abdul Malik advised that Muslims could “blow up bridges” and “do all forms of sabotage” as long as they avoided “kill[ing] people who are innocent on their way to work.” As he works to make Islam “the dominant way of life” in America (as he put it in a Friday “sermon” in 2004), he shrugs off the mosque’s history of praising violent jihad, comparing jihadist “martyrs” to the United States Marines.

One of the founders of Dar al-Hijrah was Ismail Elbarasse, a Muslim Brotherhood operative who was a friend and business partner of Mousa abu Marzook — a high Hamas official who, before being deported, actually ran that terrorist organization from his Virginia home. It was from Elbarasse’s home that the FBI seized the 1991 Brotherhood memo from which I derived the title of The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America — a document in which the Brotherhood described its “work in America” as

a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers, so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. 

Dar al-Hijrah’s imams and board members have included a who’s who of the jihad:

clip_image001Anwar al-Awlaki, the aforementioned al-Qaeda operative;

clip_image001[1]Mohammed al-Hanooti, a former Islamic Association of Palestine leader and major Hamas fundraiser;

clip_image001[2]Mohammed Adam El-Sheikh, a founder of the Muslim American Society (the Brotherhood’s quasi-official presence in the U.S.) who ran the Baltimore office of the Islamic American Relief Agency until that charity was shut down by the Treasury Department for supporting al-Qaeda;

clip_image001[3]Abdelhaleem Asquar, serving a federal prison sentence for obstructing an investigation of Hamas’s American support network;

clip_image001[4]Samir Salah, who helped Osama bin Laden’s nephew set up another charity (Taiba International Aid Association) that was shut down for bankrolling terrorism;

clip_image001[5]Esam Omeish, a Democrat who was forced to resign from a state-government immigration panel after the emergence of videos showing his praise for “the jihad way” against Israel.

With such a cast of characters, the mosque has predictably attracted some notorious attendees, including the aforementioned terrorists Marzook and Alamoudi; Nidal Hasan, the jihadist who murdered 13 American soldiers at Fort Hood; Omar Abu Ali, the one-time valedictorian at Virginia’s Islamic Saudi Academy who is now serving a life sentence after joining al-Qaeda and conspiring to murder President George W. Bush; and 9/11 suicide hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi and Hani Hanjour — Awlaki’s ofttimes companions whose presence cannot be all that surprising since an al-Hijrah Islamic Center phone number was found in the Hamburg apartment shared by 9/11 ringleaders Mohammed Atta and Ramzi bin al-Shibh.

By appearing with leaders of Dar al-Hijrah, ISNA, MPAC, and CAIR, the Obama administration and its allies are telling us that these purportedly “moderate Islamists” are the allies America needs to defeat the Islamic State.

Seriously?

#

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Let’s Be Clear on ‘Legacy’ Preferences

Part of the Left’s grouchy reaction to the Supreme Court’s recent blow to race-based college admission practices has been to ask why “legacy” points for the kids of alumnae aren’t discriminatory as well.

As restated by Mark Rosenbaum, one of the ACLU lawyers who argued the case before the Supreme Court, the ban “unfairly keeps students from asking universities to consider race as one factor in admissions, but allows consideration of factors like legacy status, athletic achievement and geography.”

And high school marks and SAT scores, too. Rosenbaum apparently thinks the Supreme Court can only prohibit universities from considering race as a factor in admissions if they also prohibit all factors used to distinguish one applicant from another. Colleges must apply some criteria, and any criterion is by definition a standard by which something is to be judged, and judgment means discriminating between one thing and another.

But not discrimination based on race.

Leaving aside what Rosenbaum knows perfectly well, that the contestants in Schuette vs. BAMN never asked the court to rule on the “fairness” of legacy admissions or factors like athletics, liberals like Rosenbaum, Justice Sotomayor, and others are deliberately pretending America never crossed a legal and historic Rubicon expressly on the subject of discrimination based on race. Prohibiting the granting or denying of public accommodations based upon skin color was the entire focus of the Civil Rights era. America collectively adopted the proposition that race must not be a factor in anyone’s standing in society or before the law. It’s what we all agreed to, including the Left, who like to believe racial equality was all their idea.

At least the Left agreed until last week, when the new dogma was promulgated that we have to apply a racial standard to everything.

As Justice Sotomayor’s dissent was summarized in the Washington Post,

by passing a constitutional amendment forbidding consideration of race, [Sotomayor] wrote, Michigan had made it harder for minorities to reach their goals. Her example:

“A white graduate of a public Michigan university who wishes to pass his historical privilege on to his children may freely lobby the board of that university in favor of an expanded legacy admissions policy.”* But “a black Michigander who was denied the opportunity to attend that very university cannot lobby the board in favor of a policy that might give his children a chance that he never had and that they might never have absent that policy.”

But what Sotomayor ignores, is that every black Michigan university graduate “who wishes to pass his historical privilege on to his children” has the identical opportunity to lobby the university as the hypothetical “white graduate.” That’s because race doesn’t matter in legacy admissions policies.

And any university graduate might take issue with Sotomayor’s labeling alumni status as an “historical privilege,” as if alumni status is conferred on white kids as a door prize just for having white parents. Even in white families, like mine, there was no historical privilege: someone had to be the first one in the family to compete with the legacy kids and earn admittance to U of M (in our case, my brother), and then earn a degree to gain the status to pass on to his children.

To detour around this washed-out logical bridge, liberal megaphones like Media Matters are arguing that legacy admissions must be racial preferences, too.

According to The New York Times, "among legacy applicants for Princeton's class of 2015, 33 percent of those offered a spot were the children of alumni." And it wasn't just Princeton -- Harvard admitted about 30 percent of its legacy applicants, and Yale admitted between 20 and 25 percent. These "legacy preferences" can and should be considered a form of "racial preference," since those students are "overwhelmingly white and wealthy."

Except legacy preferences can’t be racial preferences, for the simple reason that they offer precisely the same advantages to black legacy applicants as to white ones. Obviously, the black Michigander -- or any other person of any race or sex who never attended that public university for whatever reason – isn’t going to be able to lobby that university for a legacy admission. On the other hand, President Barack Obama, to take one instance, can, and almost certainly will, use his status as a Harvard graduate to get his daughters admitted if that’s where they want to go.

The circumstantial test for discrimination (where there’s no direct evidence of it) means showing the disparate treatment of two persons otherwise so similarly situated that it’s reasonable to infer the disparity is explained by discriminatory animus. Because Justice Sotomayor’s hypothetical unfairly poses two dissimilar people – a white graduate of a public university versus a “a black Michigander who was denied the opportunity to attend that very university,” the comparison is misleading, and the resulting logic circular. The insinuation that blacks are being “denied” university admission because of race isn’t even an allegation before the court in this case: even worse, the suggestion is monumentally unfair to Michigan public universities, including the University of Michigan, which admitted its first black student in 1853. Justice Sotomayor then builds on that insinuation to explain the failure of her hypothetical Michigander to be admitted as “a chance that he never had and that [his children] might never have absent” the policy of race-based preferences. She ends up begging the whole question of the case to justify her own dissent.

Because no one’s offered a scintilla of evidence that legacy policies are being applied unequally based on race, liberals will object that the fact that the pool of graduates of elite universities is disproportionately white and wealthy, legacy admissions must represent a policy of “racial preference.” They may as well say that the overwhelming proportion of white children born to white couples shows a policy of racial preference. Clearly, as more and more qualified black applicants get into elite universities and graduate, it’s inevitable that the proportion of their children availing themselves of legacy admissions goes up, too.

This theory of discrimination is known as “disparate impact.” It presumes that, wherever facially neutral policies have a greater negative effect on minorities, a claim of discrimination can be made even without any evidence of any intention to discriminate. Liberals love the disparate impact theory because it can be used to attack virtually any unfair outcome in the life of a minority as the result of racism. Consider Brooke Kimbrough, the Detroit high-schooler who didn’t get into U of M because her grades and test scores weren’t good enough, and now figures that makes her Harriet Tubman: “I will make it my civic duty to document every noose of a rejection letter that the university produces to our black, brown and red bodies!” (Rally produced and directed by BAMN, of course).

What others have documented is that in the states that have gotten rid of racial preferences, the percentage of minorities who earn admission to elite schools and then graduate – and consequently make their own kids eligible for legacy advantages – goes up. Under the old race-based regime unprepared minorities were getting into top schools through preferences, and then flunking out in disproportionately high numbers.

Frank Beckmann cited The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education for the demonstrated improvement in outcomes for black students at University of Michigan as a result of ditching affirmative action:

In 2006, the year Michigan voters passed the ban on affirmative action for college admissions, the research revealed black students had a 67 percent graduation rate under the old rules of racial preferences, a finding that the journal called “poor” and “disturbing.”

Seven years after passage of Proposal 2 in Michigan, that number of African-American graduates had increased to 78 percent.

That’s a 16 percent increase after the school stopped using race preferences. (“Michigan must let affirmative action die”).

Research has shown that “the mismatch of students to their college academic requirements is responsible for blacks dropping out of fields like science and engineering at a rate twice that of white students.”

But the liberal scheme is to simply correct the disproportion by forcing equality of numbers through quota systems and race-based preferences. Writes Beckmann,

“The new scheme to impose racial preferences is to convince colleges, starting with the University of Michigan, to stop considering ACT and SAT test scores in determining the qualifications of applicants for college.”  Or better yet, go back the old quota system.  Putative victim Brooke Kimbrough boils it down: “U-M needed to ‘represent the state. Blacks are about 14% of the population, so [enrollment] should be 14% roughly.’”

Is that really the best thing for Michigan’s black students?

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Monday, May 05, 2014

While America Slept

Caroline Glick sheds light on Obama’s foreign policy at RealClearPolitics:

During his joint press conference in Manila on Monday with Aquino, Ed Henry from Fox News asked Obama to explain his foreign policy doctrine.

“What do you think the Obama Doctrine is in terms of what your guiding principle is on all of these crises and how you answer those critics who say they think the doctrine is weakness.”

Obama responded with his signature peevishness.

Before launching into a 900-word assault on a series of straw men to whom he attributed positions that at best distorted and at worst willfully misrepresented the positions of his critics, Obama muttered, “Well, Ed, I doubt that I’m going to have time to lay out my entire foreign policy doctrine.”

One thing that Obama did have the time do was signal to the Philippines that the US is no longer a reliable ally. After touting the new defense pact in one sentence, Obama proceeded to explain in the next that his administration cannot be expected to honor any commitment to defend the Philippines militarily.

Obama’s bloviations demonstrated why Henry’s question was so important.

For five-and-a-half years, Obama has not given a straightforward presentation of his foreign policy. Instead, he has tailored his foreign policy statements to what he thinks the public wishes to hear.

So for instance, in responding to Henry, Obama sounded an isolationist note, attacking imaginary critics for their automatic rush to arms in all circumstances.

Beyond being a gross mischaracterization of his critics, Obama’s remarks ignored the inconvenient fact that he sent US forces on a NATO mission to overthrow the regime of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya without congressional authorization.

No Republicans forced his hand. Since 2004, Gaddafi had posed no threat to US interests.

And in the aftermath of Obama’s unauthorized war in Libya, the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed in Benghazi. Al-Qaida and other jihadist groups that benefited from NATO’s operation have taken over large swathes of the country and sunk it into ungovernable chaos. And the chaos and jihad in Libya has spread out to much of northern Africa, bringing death, forcible conversion, torture, arms proliferation and terror in its wake.

Although Obama’s 900-word rant obscured rather than explained his foreign policy doctrine, the Obama Doctrine is easily understood from his actual policies – including his military adventure in Libya.

Please read the rest of “Life Under the Obama Doctrine.”

‘We Are Offended, We Are Offended, We Are Most Grievously Offended’

Oh my!, Oh my!, Oh my!

Sarah Palin has the Left, including the Left’s religulous wing, angry at her again for something she said about jihadists at the NRA convention: “Oh, but you can’t offend them, can’t make them feel uncomfortable, not even a smidgen. Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”

The reference to baptism is irreverent to the Christian religion, you see.  And if there’s one thing the Left never wearies of, that’s defending Christianity.

Okay, maybe not so much.

Like most of these little eruptions, the faux outrage doesn’t really reflect authentic grief at mistreatment of the sacred; it only reflects the next promising opportunity to slay the unslayable dragon who is Sarah Palin. And because the Left considers Palin’s unfeigned faith in God her most noxious trait, any opportunity to disfigure her image as a Christian woman will be exploited four ways from Sunday. That explains how out of proportion have been reactions to what was -- yes, I’ll say it – a harmless joke.

One outlandish response came from Andrew Sullivan. He describes the remark as invoking “torture in the context of a Christian sacrament. Not since the Nazis’ Deutsche Christen have we seen something so disgusting and blasphemous in the morphing of Christianity into its polar opposite.”

Oh, poo and pshaw. The Deutsche Christen were Nazified protestants malevolently adulterating the faith with the Third Reich’s crackpot racialism. Sarah’s not morphing Christianity into anything. She was giving a political speech at a secular organization, not evangelizing from a mountaintop about a new version of the gospel. To put it plainer than that, she wasn’t discoursing on the meaning of baptism, but talking about enhanced interrogation in response to the Islamist threat. She reiterated this in her response to the criticism, saying “Terrorists who want to annihilate Americans, innocent Americans, our children, whatever it takes to stop them. If I were in charge, I'd be stopping ‘em.”

Then, in “Sarah Palin’s Heresy”, Rabbi Menachem Creditor at HuffPo explains why he’s voting for Sarah’s excommunication.

When Sarah Palin commented, at this last week's national National Rifle Association convention, "...waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists," she did worse than offend, worse than degrade human beings, worse than stir up a group of weapon-advocates. She did so in the Name of God. The fact that the NRA would allow someone to promote fundamentalism at their convention is a violation of their civic responsibility and a threat to human rights on a national scale.

The Rabbi then proceeds to itemize all the world religions that hold water rituals in high esteem, beginning, (why doesn’t this surprise me?) with the “Muslim ritual ablution of Wudu” – the same ritual Major Nidal Hassan engaged in before traveling to Ft. Hood to slaughter as many infidels as Allah allowed as his personal act of worship.  Oblivious, the Rabbi instead condemns the NRA for tolerating “hatred garbed in religious symbolism.”

What’s really got the Rabbi worked up isn’t Sarah’s mention of baptism as such as that she endorses waterboarding, and worse, she’d doing it in order to “stir up a group of weapon-advocates.” But that scornful description aside, the Rabbi still believes this group of weapon-advocates have a civic responsibility to ban “fundamentalists” from its list of approved speakers. Does the Rabbi really believe that the NRA is subject to the Left’s draconian enforcement of a separation of church and state? Or even more puzzling, does he really believe that “baptizing” terrorists by waterboarding them is an actual example of Christian fundamentalism?

It’s the vanity of vanities to try explaining a humorous remark to the humorless, but I would like to say this about the Palin Blasphemy: first, it wasn’t “hatred garbed in religious symbolism,” it was a genuine metaphor.   For us lifelong English speakers, Sarah wasn’t really talking about baptizing terrorists. She was talking about waterboarding them.  What she said is no more a presumption upon the sacrament of baptism than it’s a presumption upon the Last Judgment when one Wild West gunfighter warns another he’d better prepare to meet his Maker. Second, simply using baptism in a metaphor is hardly holding oneself forth as speaking in the Name of God. Third, Sarah’s comment wasn’t an endorsement of torture. Like me and lots of others, we recognize a clear distinction between torture and what happens during waterboarding. It’s the Left that keeps calling it torture, and then accusing us of calling for more of it.

The Rabbi’s umbrage at the NRA’s allowing Sarah to speak – for which he holds them responsible for “a threat to human rights on a national scale” -- is notably outlandish. Does he really believe any of this?

I think I may be excused for doubting the Rabbi’s sincerity as he protests how obedience to the Jewish tradition compels him to speak out against this grave evil of Sarah Palin’s one-liner:

“All who can protest against something wrong that one of their family is doing and does not protest, is held accountable for their family. All who can protest against something wrong that a citizen of their city is doing and does not protest, is held accountable for all citizens of the city. All who can protest against something wrong that is being done in the whole world, is accountable together with all citizens of the world. (Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 54b)”

Even conceding that comparing waterboarding to baptism actually qualifies as “something wrong,” doesn’t “something wrong” take in a whole lot more ground than just what Sarah Palin says in a speech to the NRA? Except for the Rabbi’s ecumenical bow to Muslim ritual, he manages to mention demagogues, torture, hatred, and killing “in the whole world” without ever mentioning the ugly religious aggressions of Islam. We do know that in spite of the Rabbi’s alarm at all the dying going on, no one dies during waterboarding. No one even bleeds from it, though the Rabbi somehow manages to blame Palin and the NRA for the way “blood saturates our streets.” If it does saturate out streets, it’s not being shed by enhanced interrogation techniques.

But speaking of real blood, not metaphorical – and LOTS of it -- I wasn’t able to find any protests from the Rabbi when Nancy Pelosi actually did trample what is holy last year:

Asked what the moral difference is between what Dr. Kermit Gosnell did to babies born alive and aborting those same infants moments before birth, Pelosi refused to answer.

"As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this," Pelosi said. "I don't think it should have anything to do with politics."

Nor did the Rabbi weigh in when fellow member of the cloth Anglican Rev Katherine Hancock Ragsdale actually did impute abortion with a sacramental quality:

Let me hear you say it: abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.  Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.

I want to thank all of you who protect this blessing – who do this work every day: the health care providers, doctors, nurses, technicians, receptionists, who put your lives on the line to care for others (you are heroes — in my eyes, you are saints); the escorts and the activists; the lobbyists and the clinic defenders; all of you. You're engaged in holy work.

Rabbi, are you bothered at all with the formulary: “I abort thee in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”? 

I do understand that some critics not from the Left, like Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist, have sincere reasons for disliking what Sarah said. But the Left has no business – none – pretending that they’re the defenders of the Christian faith, or that being good liberals makes them guiltless of the bloody crimes of their own ideologies.

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Saturday, May 03, 2014

Al Sharpton, In Heels

Now that a single federal judge has decided Michigan will have same-sex marriage, it’s time for the next step. Under the guise of a coalition of concerned business leaders, the gay lobby is pressing forward to write special status for homosexuals into Michigan law.  As reported in the Detroit News,

Some of Michigan’s top business leaders are launching a campaign to expand the state’s workforce discrimination protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Job providers from across the state have formed the Michigan Competitive Workforce Coalition, a partnership of business leaders and their companies, with the intention of working with lawmakers to update Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA). (“Execs want Michigan anti-bias laws for gay”).

No identity politics here, folks – it’s just all about the economy.

Who knows what subtle persuasions were brought to bear behind the scenes that has led us to this? What we do know is that, listed amongst the coalition’s “top business leaders” is Kerry Moss, executive director of ACLU Michigan, which is already an active player on behalf of homosexual activism.

Conspicuously missing from Thursday’s article are any examples illustrating that Michigan even has an invidious problem with workplace discrimination against homosexuals.  Oh, sure it happens sometimes, just like it happens more and more (and more) to encounter employees in virtually every conceivable context who are openly – often ostentatiously – gay. 

Yet the message in the Detroit News’s headline is that Michigan’s scaring away prospective gay talent (and let’s not forget prospective transvestite talent, too!) You might wonder why, if Michigan’s coalition of enlightened employers means to entice the nation’s gay talent to their companies, they’d start by pushing through a law meant  to expose themselves and every other Michigan employer to endless lawsuits for discriminating against them once they get here.

The truth is, re-writing ELCRA would be a drastic remedy for a problem that either doesn’t – or hardly – exists, not that it matters to whoever’s behind the Michigan Competitive Workforce Coalition.  This is only a gambit to sell  “discrimination protections” as the wedge that gets protected status for homosexuals under ELCRA. For all the hoopla about “equality” on the subject of homosexual rights, the News is correct in reporting that, “It is currently legal in Michigan to fire or refuse to hire someone because they are gay or lesbian.”  If you’re surprised to hear that, you can thank years of horrible coverage of this topic by a media 90% gay-friendly already, and 100% scared to death of their gay friends.

Homosexuals have never been defined as a “suspect class” under Michigan’s civil-rights statute. “Suspect class” is the term used in civil-rights law to define a minority group that has historically faced discrimination). By way of comparison, the granddaddy of all American anti-discrimination laws, the federal 1964 Civil Rights Act making race-, sex-, or national-origin discrimination unlawful, also has never defined homosexuality as a suspect class.  Among the reasons for this is that alternative sexual orientations are not immutable the way being male or female, black or white, are immutable.  Years of homosexuals comparing their plight with what  blacks endured in America has only accentuated the triviality of homosexuals’ demands.  

Some of these employers may have authentic business reasons for wanting to be perceived as gay-friendly, like wanting to target that market for their products.  But there are alternative ways to do that that don’t require fooling around with the state’s fundamental civil-rights statute.  They could advertise positions in any of the myriad media catering to homosexual audiences, or adopt company policies as unctuously celebratory of personal sexual deviance as any homosexual lobbyist could imagine.  I’m much more inclined to believe that they’re only coalescing now because there’s a rainbow-and-rhinestone gun being held to their heads.

Gay activists aren’t scheming to change ELCRA because they actually believe gays are too scared to move here and work. Winning protected status for homosexuality has been the holy[sic] grail of the gay lobby since forever. It’s certainly far more important than same-sex marriage, which was always only a freakshow that somehow (oh, yay!) turned out to be a thousand times more useful for capturing the sympathy of distracted Americans than a third decade of guilt-tripping everyone about AIDS and Matthew Shepard. Once your sexual preference wins protection as a suspect category, you (and any activist group you happen to be working with) have access to all of the wonderful legal weapons available to punish, or threaten punishment, for anything you can characterize as “discrimination” against you as an individual. 

It also means if you thinks it’s boring to work for the gay-friendly hipsters at Google or Blue Cross, you can pretty much look for work anywhere in Michigan knowing that if any employer dares dislike you for showing up at a business meeting in drag, you can sue his bigoted ass from now till Mardi Gras 2018. Every schoolroom, restroom, church sanctuary, voting site, rental property, workplace, government bureau, doghouse, outhouse, henhouse, or any other imaginable setting will be a hard target for anti-discrimination litigation from the highly sophisticated and lavishly funded gay lobby.  If you enjoyed Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and BAMN handling the nation’s race relations, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

Because we all know that the gay community never, ever, goes overboard when it comes to pressuring straight society to be more tolerant.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Our Compliments to the Chief

Revolutionary?

Detroit Police Chief James Craig has been voicing his support for Detroiters who’ve defended themselves during home invasions by shooting the intruders. "I think it's a deterrent," Craig said in January, regarding armed law-abiding citizens. "Good Americans with CPLs translates into crime reduction, too."

At a meeting of the Detroit Police Commission on Thursday, Craig denied criticism from a community activist that he advocates vigilantism:

However, I do support the Constitution of this United States. I didn't write the laws or write the Second Amendment but I happen to be an advocate of self defense. Self defense when someone's faced with imminent, the emphasis on imminent threat to their life or someone else, they have the right to protect one's self.

I call this revolutionary because there are precious few examples in historical memory where respect is paid to the Bill of Rights in this most Democratic of failed one-party urban disaster areas. “Prior to Craig,” as Gus Burns at MLive writes,

“other Detroit police chiefs have taken an approach that every gun poses a threat, a sentiment exhibited by gun buyback events that sought to remove both legal and illegal guns from the streets in exchange for cash.”

On Thursday Craig was responding to specific criticism of his radical notions about good and evil.  “Ron Scott, founder of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, didn't like the use of Craig's language identifying ‘good’ versus ‘bad’ citizens, which he believes creates unnecessary divisiveness.” (Police Chief James Craig: 'The things I've seen in Detroit I have not seen in other places”).  Scott is a former Black Panther, and it shows, first in his thoroughgoing distrust of the police, and then in the endless skeins of incomprehensible syntax he can pump out.  If this is the way he talks, you can just imagine how he thinks.

So it isn’t much of a surprise that Scott disapproves of Craig’s straightforward moral distinction between armed good guys and violent, predatory criminals. Scott’s bursting-its-banks explanation includes this:

I don’t subscribe to that ‘good guy bad guy’ mentality. There are people who find themselves in situations and circumstances where they either begin to engage in underground activity, as a way of life, because of their direction or they’re people who are in the framework where at one time or the other they find themselves at odds with the law. Therefore, to use that as a hammer to hit upside somebody’s head, especially motivated by money coming from the federal government, specifically which creates that scenario, is nothing more than a continuation of the encroachment of the military state.

I speak 1960s, so let me translate: the criminals are victims, too, so don’t say they’re asking for it or you’re helping the Gestapo.

Ridiculous, yes. But Scott’s crazy recipe has been passed down through five decades of Democratic policy-making. It’s all there, from the bad old days of Detroit’s judges refusing to lock up violent offenders to the city’s tawdry love affairs with crooked politicians whose self-serving decisions make everything worse.

But that’s another subject. The point here is that, somehow, Detroit has ended up with a police chief who, if he weren’t commenting on only the latest instance in which a good guy or gal with a gun put a sudden end to a bad guy’s violent career, could just as effectively be recording spots for the NRA.

But we’d better not say that out loud. Some people like to think self-defense is their own new idea.

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Media Still in Denial on Mob Attack

I understand the reluctance of many Detroiters to admit that racism in the black community exists at levels that could explain the monstrous attempted murder of Steve Utash last week.  Even as sensible a commentator as Frank Beckmann hit the guard rail pretty hard on Friday when he wrote this about the mob attack on Utash:

All the evidence — including the eyewitness account of the story’s heroine, retired nurse Deborah Hughes — indicates that the brutal assault on Utash was not based on his race. Though one juvenile has been charged by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy with a hate crime.  (“Detroit must learn to respect itself”).

Oh, sure, except for that. But to reach that hate-crime charge required evidence, such as this kid telling police he attacked Utash based on his race – why isn’t Beckmann counting that in his tally of “all the evidence”? 

As for Deborah Hughes’s “eyewitness account” of what she saw while occupied trying to save Utash’s life, she says she didn’t hear anything, but everyone was yelling at once.  But what does evidence of racial animus look like?  Pointy hoods?  

My interest in all this is not to see hate-crime prosecutions. I don’t even support hate-crime laws.  If there’s any good to be found in the horror the Utash family is going through, it’s that there’s now a bright light shining on the hidden and deadly pathology of racism in the black community – too bright a light even for the media’s bushel baskets to cover.

Not that they won’t keep trying.

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