I just concluded reading Justice Clarence Thomas' autobiography - "My Grandfather's Son." It reminded me, once again, how arrogant and cynical some liberals can stoop when their philosophy and methods are challenged. Rather than debate the merits, their weapon of choice becomes character assassination. We see it all over again in the new despicable attacks on both Gen. Petraeus and Limbaugh and their constant efforts to destroy GW, and those with whom they disagree.
It is dispiriting indeed to see Senator Biden, running for President and again occupying his position as Chairman of The Judiciary Committee. What a cynical, sanctimonious and pitifully unctuous person he was at Thomas' hearings.
Liberals profess they care about the underclass but they are as disingenuous in their actions as the two types of snakes Justice Thomas learned about from his "Daddy" and came in contact with while growing up in Pinpoint, Georgia.
Thomas was vilified, in his confirmation hearings because of his views that the methods employed to end segregation - busing and affirmative action - were tools which actually demeaned his people and did them more harm because it served to destroy solid educational opportunities and/or placed them in circumstances which gave them a false sense of being and self-worth.
Like Bill Cosby and Thomas Sowell (See 7 below.), Clarence Thomas was willing to speak the truth about his own people, and went, too often, public about their blind dependency upon two-faced Democrats who were interested only in their votes but not their future.
Anita Hill was a fraudulent attempt to besmirch a man who simply held different opinions but whose past government service was commendable. Clarence Thomas has proven to be a sound Jurist, one who has faithfully sought to interpret the Constitution as it was meant to be and those who continue to hold prejudicial views towards him would do well to read his autobiography, but I doubt they will. Anita Hill is their Joan D'Arc!
The 50th anniversary of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" is tomorrow. Those who profess they want more personal freedom yet, clamor for more government would be well advised to read "Atlas Shrugged" and begin thinking for themselves.(See 1 below.)
Is Olmert just another lying politician? You judge. (see 2 below.)
Barak was a highly decorated and brilliant military officer but is he just another politician, as well, when it comes to his comments about protecting Israelis? You judge. (See 3 below.)
Diana West questions GW's knowledge of Islam and The Koran and concludes he knows little. (See 4 below.)
A duped? Israeli reporter gives her take after interviewing the Clintons. (See 5 below.)
Two views on The Black America Myth and Clarence Thomas. (See 6 and 7 below.)
Tomorrow self-reliant people will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ayn Rand's, "Atlas Shrugged." Liberals profess they want to protect personal freedoms and yet they want more government. (See 8 below.)
1) Hillary, Soros, Alinsky, and Rush
By Kyle-Anne Shiver
For the past couple of months, I've been reading up on the Clinton/Soros connection into the wee hours of every night. Ever since George Soros slipped through the backdoor to American political power at the tawdry invitation of Bill and Hillary Clinton, he has carpet-bagged his way to the Democrat Party inner circle and has become the "biggest political fat cat of all time." With more than $7 billion in his little Hungarian carpetbag, he thinks he can buy the Presidency for Hillary Clinton and get back into the throne-room of worldly hegemony -- the Oval Office.
In 1995, George Soros appeared on PBS with Charlie Rose, and said this:
"I like to influence policy. I was not able to get to George Bush (Senior). But now I think I have succeeded with my influence...I do now have great access in the (Clinton) administration. There is no question about this. We actually work together as a team."
(The Shadow Party; David Horowitz and Richard Poe; p. 91)
So, even though Soros is hedging his political bets by donating to more than one candidate, his intimate ties to Hillary and Bill, going back more than a decade now, make it clear that he would prefer a 2nd Clinton administration, where he is already part of the very in in-crowd.
Not so fast, you two. We're onto you.
Senators Reid and Harkin are taking their cues from Media Matters, a Soros-funded front group. As Hillary Clinton declared at the recent YearlyKos convention (her confirming sound bite played by Rush Limbaugh on the radio), she was the mastermind behind both The Center for American Progress (her think tank) and Media Matters (her media attack machine). Hillary provides the name and political connections that Soros craves, and Soros provides the money. Quite a powerful partnership, what some might even call a conspiracy.
If you want a complete rundown on how all of Hillary's and Soros' "non-profit groups" work together in her plan to take over America, get yourself a copy of the book by her mentor, Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals. In it, you'll find the complete outline for throwing Judeo/Christian principles and honesty to the winds of revolutionary fervor. Hillary Clinton has been the perfectly patient disciple of Alinsky's since she wrote her thesis about him her senior year at Wellesley in 1969. If her admiration of Alinsky had died with her thesis, no one would care. But it didn't. He remained a close confidant until his death (The Shadow Party, p. 56) and his tactical fingerprints are all over her projection of the false "Centrist" image she is manipulating to garner political power. It's all in the book.
The First Attack on Rush
Hillary's media attack machine Media Matters first tried to hush Rush by attempting to have him thrown off the Armed Forces Radio and
Television Service in May 2004. In a letter to Secretary Rumsfeld, they demanded Rush be silenced after his "trivialization" of the military misconduct at the Abu Ghraib prison. The gag on Rush was necessary, they wrote, "to protect our troops from these reckless and dangerous messages."
Senator Tom Harkin jumped on the Hush-Rush Campaign that time too, just as he is now, demanding "balance" in media. With the taxpayer-funded, liberal propaganda organ, NPR, being broadcast to the troops 24/7, it's hard to believe that anyone could feel one hour a day of Rush Limbaugh is a threat to balance. If anything, that one hour of Rush may be the only balance to the unending, livestream of "The-War-Is-Lost" Harry Reid and his Democrat followers: Tom Harkin, John Murtha, John Kerry and Ted Kennedy.
The only reason that Hillary Clinton keeps up the public façade of "moderation," and doesn't dare to go on record with her deep disdain for our military is that she is following the Alinsky model, which admonishes revolutionaries to milk their white, middle-class backgrounds and appearances to achieve the political power necessary to carry out the socialist revolution.
According to the Alinsky model of bloodless socialist revolution, Rush Limbaugh represents a Have as opposed to a Have-Not. Now what does Rush Have that Hillary Clinton and George Soros Have-Not? [A lot, actually, good ideas being perhaps the first thing that comes to my mind.] But in the current battle, what he definitely has is an established and quite verifiable reputation for unabashed patriotism. This reputation is so strong that as soon as someone attacks it, then real, living, American Armed Forces and Veterans immediately come to his defense.
George Soros, on the other hand, even has a hard time being recognized as an American citizen. And Hillary Clinton, even though she voted for the War, has done all she could to squirm out of it -- without apologizing -- ever since the War became more difficult than bombing an aspirin factory in the middle of the night.
Rush's Have Patriotism status, and the Soros/Clinton comparative Have-Not status is the dynamic that makes Rush a prime target of their revolution.
They are using Alinsky's "basic tactic in warfare against the Haves," which Alinsky refers to as "political jujitsu." (Rules for Radicals, p. 152) This tactic advises the Have-Nots to "club the enemy to death with his own book of rules and regulations." (p. 152) Rush is a great patriot, playing by the American patriot rulebook. But even a true patriot can be caught every now and then using one or two words, that when taken out of context, might be used to choke him on his own "petard" (p. 152).
This works especially well for the revolutionaries in our high-tech age, and some of Soros' money goes to pay full-time listeners and media-watchers at Media Matters to monitor every word of the Haves.
In their battle to Hush Rush -- preferably before he gets a chance to skewer Hillary in the general election campaign -- Hillary and Soros are using their media attack machine, Media Matters, to apply Alinsky Radical tactics #8 and #10.
The eighth rule (Rules for Radicals; p. 128):
Keep the pressure on.
Once you identify a potent adversary, seize every word, every event -- no matter how trivial - and turn it around to your advantage. Make a big deal of it. Keep doing it. Over and over again. Eventually, you will wear down your opponent and win. And the bloodless revolution succeeds.
The tenth rule (Rules for Radicals; p. 129):
The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
The operations of the revolutionaries must be cohesive, organized and constant. An action causes a reaction, which causes another reaction to the reaction, "ad infinitum." (p. 129)
And we see exactly how that happened with Rush.
- MoveOn, another Soros front group, came out with their ad defaming our Commander in Iraq, General Petraeus.
- Because that was a political ad in a major public forum, The New York Times, and because it defamed an American General in wartime during his momentous testimony before Congress, the ad sparked a reaction in the Senate: a resolution denouncing the ad. Notably, while many Democrat Senators joined in condemning the MoveOn ad, Senator Hillary Clinton did not.
- Media Matters picked up Rush Limbaugh's denouncing of 2 scurrilous soldiers, Jesse Macbeth and Scott Beauchamp. They seized the only two words, which appear to catch Rush breaking his own patriotic rule of always supporting the troops.
And they employed Alinsky's 13th tactic: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. (p. 130)
The Soros-funded MoveOn ad provoked a reaction in the Senate. The Clinton brainchild, and Soros-supported, Media Matters stepped in the battle for Patriotism honors and provided a reaction to the first reaction. A few other Democrat Senators (including Senator Hillary Clinton) jumped on board with their reactions. And the battle continues.
After Air America crashed and burned, Clinton and Soros feel they must hush Rush and push to reinstate the "Fairness" Doctrine in order to completely control the message for Hillary's run on the White House.
In short, bringing down Rush -- or bursting the bubble of Rush supremacy, as George Soros might say -- would prove more than a political plum in Hillary's pudding. It might actually give her the throne of power in the Oval Office, with George Soros her backer and enabler.
And the only thing that remains to be seen is whether it will be as easy to control the ballot box on Election Day as it apparently has been to control the Democratic Party.
2) Fraud squad begins questioning PM Olmert in Bank Leumi affair
By Jonathan Lis
Police arrived Tuesday at Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Jerusalem residence to question him about his role in the privatization of Bank Leumi, with the goal of trying to determine whether he altered the tender to help a friend who was bidding.
Investigators from the National Fraud Investigation Unit will ask Olmert what his role was in convincing Australian businessman Frank Lowy to enter the bidding, whether any of the changes he introduced into the tender were at Lowy's instigation, and why he did not inform anyone that his longtime friendship with Lowy created a prima facie conflict of interest.
Olmert, who was finance minister when the tender was issued in 2005, persuaded ministry officials to make several changes in the tender, including a new method of calculating the exercise price of the options that were part of the sale package. Olmert said the changes were designed to encourage strategic investors to bid for the bank, but suspicions later arose that they had been aimed at promoting Lowy's bid.
Police officers have warned in recent weeks that proving wrongdoing on Olmert's part will be difficult. First, since Lowy ultimately withdrew from the tender, it will be hard to prove that Olmert's changes were designed to help him acquire the bank. Moreover, there is no evidence that Lowy gave Olmert any kind of quid pro quo for his alleged help. Thus, at most, the premier is likely to face charges of breach of trust for taking an active role in the process despite his apparent conflict of interest.
Officers have also said that Tuesday's interrogation will be decisive in determining whether to indict Olmert. Since the evidence is not unequivocal, they explained, he is likely to escape prosecution if he can supply convincing explanations.
Police sources said they could not predict whether the interrogation would end Tuesday, or whether another session would be needed.
The prime minister is the last person to be questioned in the case, so immediately after his interrogation, police will begin reviewing their findings and formulating their recommendation before submitting the material to the State Prosecutor's Office.
Meanwhile, Outgoing Accountant-General Yaron Zelekha said on Tuesday that he was reticent to bring complaints against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to Accountant General Menachem Mazuz because considered the latter to be a "weak person."
Zelekha told Israel Radio that he saw Mazuz's weakness to be "the reason he was appointed to his position in the first place." He said he would prefer to bring his complaints to the state comptroller, a move he called "certainly not routine, but [one] that speaks for itself."
3) Barak: Israel soon to be able to block 90% of missile launches
Within a few years Israel will be able to defend itself against 90 percent of missiles fired against it, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday according to Army Radio.
Barak and Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi appeared Tuesday morning before the State Control Committee to address the State Comptroller's report on the home front.
According to Barak, once development of Israel's anti-missile system is complete, the defense establishment will be able to prevent nearly all missile attempts from enemy states, from Qassam rockets to the Iran's Shihab missile.
Still, IDF Chief Asheknazi warned that the threat of missiles on the home front would not shrink in the near future.
"We have been working for a long time to implement all matters of interest to the IDF and the Homefront Command. The comptroller has done well in publicizing these matters throughout the process of inspection, in order to allow us to fix what we consider to be right," he said.
"Since the threat on the home front will not become smaller in the near future, it is of utmost important to work with vigor and speed, and that's what we are doing," added the IDF chief.
4) Ramadan revisionism
By Diana West
I wasn't going to write about Ramadan in official Washington this fall season not again. But I just can't resist.
First, there are all the holiday trappings of this by-now annual column such seasonal staples as my all-time favorite "war on terror" quotation from Abu Qatada, the al Qaeda-linked cleric. I just love to trot it out around Ramadan after President Bush has said something utterly ignorant about Islam meaning peace, or, addressing the Muslim pooh-bahs he always has in to the White House for a fast-breaking Iftar dinner, about how the jihadists have "twisted" Islam.
"I am astonished by President Bush when he claims there is nothing in the Koran that justifies jihad violence in the name of Islam," Abu Qatada said about six years ago. "Is he some kind of Islamic scholar? Has he ever actually read the Koran?" Ah, me. Good stuff.
Then there's the holiday excitement of combing through the White House Iftar dinner guest list looking for unindicted co-conspirators. Since I had to put this column together before White House Iftar 2007, I turned to White House Ramadans past, reading through the president's old speeches-2001 through 2006 to see if I'd missed anybody he'd singled out for a mention.
And I had. White House Ramadan is so much better than bingo. In 2003 and 2004, Mr. Bush asked Faizul Khan, who is affiliated with the Saudi-funded Islamic Center of Washington and serves on the board of directors of the Islamic Society of North America, to give the blessing. This year, the Justice Department officially labeled Islamic Society as a U.S. branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, the movement aiming to establish a global Islamic empire, and also as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Hamas fund-raising Holy Land Foundation trial still awaiting a verdict in Dallas.
Then again, maybe the Islamic Society score doesn't count in this holiday game since the official co-conspiratorialness of the group is practically brand new. Still, as Steven Emerson has pointed out, the Islamic Society has "never condemned terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah by name," which really should have come under White House consideration, if, that is, anyone at the White House ever considered anything. Heaven knows it's hard enough finding good moderates these days. Look too closely and they might find a Shariah supporter. Shariah, of course, is Islamic law — wholly antithetical to Western-style liberty.
Take Talal Eid. In 2006, Mr. Eid gave the blessing at the White House Ramadan dinner, and this year Mr. Bush appointed him to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. As Robert Spencer has reported, Mr. Eid is a Wahhabi-trained imam certified by the anti-American Muslim World League who has actually called for the establishment of Shariah courts in the United States to regulate the family affairs of American Muslims.
Is a proponent of Shariah in the United States someone the leader of the Western world should be honoring? Hmmm. Let's ask Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the courageous former Muslim opponent of Shariah from the Netherlands whose collaborator, Theo van Gogh, was assassinated in 2004 for their film critique of the Islamic repression of women under Shariah.
Oops. I forgot. This very Ramadan week, Ms. Ali had to leave Washington and return to the Netherlands for security reasons. Too bad Mr. Bush "forgot" to invite her to the White House before she left — not to mention all the other brave critics of Islamic repression, including Bat Ye'or, Brigitte Gabriel, Nonie Darwish and Wafa Sultan.
But in these post-September 11 days, only supporters of Shariah get those coveted holiday invites. Take the ambassadors from the countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). The organization not only coddles terrorists and lobbies against freedom of speech at the highest diplomatic levels, but it also supports a code of human rights derived from Shariah, which, of course, denies human rights to women and non-Muslims.
These are the people who sup with the president every Ramadan, and, I imagine, chuckle discreetly through Mr. Bush's remarks, as in 2006, about Islam's "commitment to tolerance and religious freedom." How do you say "we sure pulled the camel wool over his eyes" in Arabic? Under Shariah, of course, there is no religious freedom.
But who's checking? No one at this White House. What about the next administration? I hereby pledge to vote for the presidential candidate who promises to stop submitting to Shariah suppers at Ramadan — even though that means I'll have to think of
something else to write about.
6) Miss America
By Orly Azulay
Yediot Ahronoth's Washington correspondent joins Hillary and Bill Clinton's press plane as they launch their campaign to retake the White House. 'We will not let Iran attain a nuclear bomb," presidential candidate says
New Hampshire - Hillary was walking briskly, her shoes flat, her gait confident. Occasionally, she paused for a few seconds, shaking hands and having her picture taken with anyone who wants, smiling broadly.
A woman about her age asked whether she believes America is ready for a female president. As if she expected the question, Hillary replied: Everything is possible in America. A while ago, a 90-year-old woman came up to me and said, 'I was born before women had the right to vote here, and I intend not to die before I see a woman sworn in as president in the White House.' She was not the only one either. Many women her age told me pretty much the same. Younger women also approach me with their daughters, little girls, point at me and tell the girls that I should be their source of inspiration, saying: 'You can make it if you want to. This is America.'
Hillary energetically walked the dirt road, waiving, openly admiring the cows in the shed. Behind her, walking slowly, as if trying to savor the moment, Bill Clinton was all smiles and kindness. This is his milieu: People. Here he blossoms. He has this handshake technique that makes his interlocutor feel that for the few seconds the former president holds his hand, he is busy with nothing else and his thoughts do not wander. He is totally focused on him, shaking his right hand, warmly holding his arm with his left hand.
Warm relationship with Israel.
When he came up to me, I told him I was a reporter from Israel. Where exactly? He inquired. Tel Aviv, I said. "Ho, Tel Aviv, my favorite," he said as if he was only waiting for this opportunity to express his affection for my hometown. Before the bodyguards stepped in, I managed to ask him if he thinks that if Hillary is elected, she could bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians. You bet she will, he told me and raised his thumb.
Hillary's campaign managers determined that Bill Clinton should keep a low profile while campaigning with her. He may be around, but not too visible. His edge is huge: not only does he miss the White House, as even he admitted, but the people miss him too. He could win many votes for Hillary, but he might also scare people away if they think that she is only a façade, while Bill will actually manage the country if she wins the elections.
Arriving at the New Hampshire Fair, they split up and toured separately. Occasionally, Hillary turned around to see whether Bill was keeping the desired pace among the horses, cows, and crowds, or perhaps she was making sure he does not attract too much attention. Her aides warned that he might overshadow her if he is around too much.
Connected to Israel
I wished to present Hillary with several questions on Middle East issues, but her top aides explained that she is not ready for interviews at this stage of her campaign. Eventually, after I pleaded hard, she agreed to answer some questions in writing.
Referring to the Iranian threat, Hillary told Yedioth Ahronoth: We will not let, allow, or agree that Iran produce or purchase nuclear weapons. I have said this before referring to the Iranian threat: No option is taken off the table. In her reply, she stressed that when she is elected president, she would not be committed to a holding personal, unconditional meetings with leaders of tough countries such as Iran.
She remained tough when referring to Hamas as well. In 2006, she promoted a Senate decision to deny the US aid to a Palestinian government of which Hamas is a partner. Hamas and all the Palestinian groups must clearly demonstrate their commitment to peace, she said. They must condemn violence and terror, and acknowledge Israel's right to exist. In addition, they must respect agreements signed by previous governments.
Hillary Clinton has a history of connections with and a deep commitment toward the State of Israel. The late Leah and Yitzhak Rabin were her close friends. Lydia, Hillary's hairdresser in those days who came to prepare her for the funeral, told me that the first time she saw Hillary cry was when she heard that Rabin was assassinated. Actually, she cried so hard and her eyes turned so red that no amount of makeup could hide it.
Her warm relationship with Israel, however, is not entirely based on her friendship with the Rabins. She feels that Israel is the United States' most important strategic ally in its war against the scourge of terror, which is why she has always supported Israel's antiterror moves. Not only is Israel a friend and an ally, she told Yedioth Ahronoth. Israel is also a beacon and an example of what a democracy should be like.
Throughout the campaign, Hillary maintained her warm attitude toward Israel. A few days before this article was printed, another debate between the Democratic hopefuls was aired on MSNBC. Moderator Tim Russert asked Hillary about the Israeli operation in Syria. Without hesitation, she replied: What we think we know is that with North Korean help, both financial and technical and material, the Syrians apparently were putting together, and perhaps over some period of years, a nuclear facility, and the Israelis took it out. I strongly support that.
The White House model
The Hillary Clinton elections staff is based on the White House staff model, with which she is closely familiar. She has a chief of staff; a special department that handles the media and interview requests; sector advisers, each with his own independent staff and a secret crisis-management team, modeled on the damage control team that Bill Clinton had in the White House. This big staff comprises the most brilliant and professional campaign managers.
On top of that, Hillary Clinton has Bill, the best political adviser in the world who keeps a close-distant watch over her, reads her every speech, decides who is granted an interview and who is not, formulates strategies, gets angry when anger is needed, and pats people on their backs when they deserve it. He is the engine and the spirit of the campaign.
When Hillary went on this tour of New Hampshire and Iowa, she did not look like a presidential candidate, but already like a president. She was eloquent and together. She spoke passionately about the need to bring the US troops back from Iraq, promised to fight terror, introduce health system reforms, and restore America's special international status that it enjoyed before the Bush era, when it was viewed as a leading and effective superpower. Hillary vowed to take America back to where its residents may have big dreams.
Learning to laugh
Whether she is elected president or remains a leading candidate, Hillary Clinton will make history. Though she has the support of her husband for the campaign, she built her political career with her own two hands. Serving as a senator for the State of New York, she proved that she knows how to fight for just causes.
She showed the world that she knows how to manage, insist, and carry out revolutions for her voters. She is as versed in foreign affairs as she is familiar with domestic issues. Her patience is endless and her learning capability great.
During the months she prepared for the campaign, she underwent several external changes. She took time to work with a speech expert who taught her to lower her pitch when addressing a crowd so that her voice comes out less shrilly.
She learned not just to smile, but also to burst out laughing. She acquired this movement of tossing her head backward and then bringing it to fore with a rolling laughter at the right moment, mainly when she wants to thaw the ice when dealing with a tough interviewer.
Bill also does not hide his desire to return to the White House and actually sounds quite pleased contemplating the option. Throughout the joint campaign, he kept saying that he does not mind being 'first gentleman' and that he would be willing to do anything Hilary tells him. Obviously, she will be making the decisions and holding the reigns. Would he be willing to assume post as special envoy to the Middle East if and when Hillary is elected? If she asked me to resolve the conflict, I would do it gladly, he recently replied a question from Yedioth Ahronoth.
It is good for a man identified with America, with prior experience, to travel to centers of tension and try find solutions there, acting on behalf of the White House and all of America.
Naturally, an American president must first be good for America, but if Hillary Clinton is elected, the State of Israel and its residents will have not one friend in the White House but two.
6) 'Black America' Is a Meaningless Concept
By Eugene Robinson
What do Fox News polemicist Bill O'Reilly, nappy-headed radio jock Don Imus, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, the leading Republican presidential candidates, the National Urban League, the NAACP and much of the national media have in common?
They don't see, or don't want to admit, that "black America" is an increasingly meaningless concept -- nearly as imprecise as just plain "America."
Why is O'Reilly under siege? Because he was shocked to learn that there exists in this country an upscale black-owned restaurant with an affluent African-American clientele. Four or five decades ago, you could reasonably generalize that "black America" was poor. Today, African-Americans control nearly $800 billion in annual purchasing power -- enough to dine occasionally at restaurants that have tablecloths.
Why did Imus get fired by CBS and NBC? Because now there are senior black professionals in both of those companies with the clout to march into top executives' offices and argue that Imus had to go. Also because Al Roker, an African-American who happens to be one of the stars of "Today" -- often described as the most profitable show in all of television -- called publicly for Imus' head, or at least his cowboy hat.
Why does Thomas, in his pugnacious autobiography, insist that he's being persecuted for holding views that are somehow off-limits to black Americans? Apparently, it would destroy his sense of his own exceptionalism to acknowledge the many African-Americans who share his conservative social views and his ethic of personal responsibility and self-help. (He's right, though, that on the subject of affirmative action, most black Americans do think he's nuts.)
Why do the leading Republican candidates simply write off the African-American vote, even though there's clearly a growing number of black voters who demographically fit the Republican profile? Hasn't the GOP noticed that here in the Washington area -- we're in the vanguard, but other cities are following our lead -- more African-Americans live in the suburbs than in the city proper?
The Democratic candidates haven't really broadened their messages to take into account African-American economic and cultural diversity, either. But at least they noticed that there now exists a cohort of black Americans with unprecedented wealth and power -- luminaries who are well worth pursuing for money and endorsements, just like their white counterparts. Hillary Clinton has snagged Magic Johnson, Bob Johnson, Quincy Jones and others. Barack Obama has nabbed Oprah Winfrey, who transcends even the rest of the transcendent.
Why does the National Urban League, an organization for which I have great respect, compile its annual "State of Black America" report in a way that makes the condition of African-Americans seem both better and worse than it really is? The 2007 report's painstakingly calculated "equality index" says, for example, that African-Americans score 0.57 on the economic scale (full parity with whites would be a score of 1.0). But census data suggests that there's a sizable cluster of educated, middle-class black households that would score much closer to parity with whites, and another large cluster of disadvantaged black households that would lag much farther behind.
Trying to encompass all of black America in a few easily grasped numbers is far from a meaningless exercise. But it doesn't point the way toward specific policies for different segments of a diverse population.
Why has the NAACP, once such a potent force, lost so much of its membership and relevance? I would argue that it's because the organization continues to look for a "black agenda" around which we can all unite with the fervor and passion of decades past, when in fact there's a need for multiple agendas.
Why do editors, reporters, columnists and television producers keep only two phone numbers on speed-dial for use whenever any news breaks concerning a black person? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying they shouldn't call the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton for comment -- I like and respect both, and value what they have to say. But it's a bit much when those same reporters, editors, columnists and producers then proceed to do stories asking who appointed Jackson and Sharpton as spokesmen for all African-Americans.
The problem is that we all say we want an "honest dialogue" about race, but we've been having the same old arguments for years -- affirmative action, inner-city dysfunction, overt and covert racism -- and we seem to be stuck. We need a new language, a new vocabulary and syntax.
Let's start by opening our eyes and recognizing that if there ever was a monolithic "black America" -- absolutely and uniformly deprived and aggrieved, with invariant values and attitudes -- there certainly isn't one now.
7) Clarence Thomas
By Thomas Sowell
It would be hard to think of anyone whose portrayal in the media differs more radically from the reality than that of Justice Clarence Thomas. His recent appearances on "60 Minutes," the Rush Limbaugh program, and other media outlets provide the general public with their first in-depth look at the real Clarence Thomas.
These media appearances are part of the promotion of his riveting new memoir, titled "My Grandfather's Son." Otherwise, Justice Thomas would probably have continued to confine himself to doing his work at the Supreme Court, without worrying about what was being said about him in the media.
In an era when too many judges, including justices of the Supreme Court, seem to be playing to the media gallery -- if not writing opinions or leaking information with an eye toward favorable coverage in the press -- Justice Thomas' refusal to play that game tells us a lot about him.
His memoir tells us more. Born in material poverty beyond anything experienced even by people on welfare today, Clarence Thomas was raised with an abundance of discipline and character-building that would pay off in later life.
This was largely the work of his grandfather, who raised him, and whom he now calls "the greatest man I have ever known." But that was not his view at the time, when he was a child.
His grandfather, however, was not preoccupied -- like so many modern parents -- with how the children see things. He took his role as a parent to be to see things that children could not see, including challenges that they would encounter in later life.
The metamorphosis of Clarence Thomas went through many phases -- from altar boy to seminary student to a campus radical and racial militant, before eventually coming full circle back to the values his grandfather taught him and an understanding of the law and society that he acquired on his own.
One sign of where he was in his radical and militant phase was that, when someone gave him a book of mine to read, he threw it in the trash basket.
But, by the time I first met him, in 1978, he had already reached the same conclusions on his own that I had reached.
Those conclusions were probably more firmly grasped because they were his own, rather than something he read by somebody else.
Clarence Thomas' own experiences shocked him into a realization that "affirmative action" and other policies being pushed by civil rights organizations and by liberals generally were doing more harm than good, both to blacks and to American society.
In an era when so many people have neither the time nor the patience to examine arguments and evidence, critics have tried to dismiss Clarence Thomas as someone who "sold out" in order to advance himself.
In reality, he was in far worse financial condition than if he had taken the opposite positions on political issues.
As late as the time of his nomination to the Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas' net worth -- everything he had accumulated over a lifetime -- was less than various civil rights "leaders" make in one year.
Nobody sells out to the lowest bidder.
The other great myth about Justice Thomas is that he is a lonely and embittered man, withdrawn from the world, as a result of the brutal confirmation hearings he went through back in 1991.
Clarence Thomas was never a social butterfly. You didn't see his name in the society pages or at media events, either before he got on the High Court or afterward.
In reality, Justice Thomas has been all over the place, giving talks, especially to young people, and inviting some of them to his offices at the Supreme Court.
Summers find him driving his own bus all around the country, mixing with people at truck stops, trailer parks and mall parking lots. The fact that he is not out grandstanding for the media does not mean that he is hunkering down in his cellar.
Clarence Thomas' sense of humor is terrific. Whenever I am on the phone with someone and laughing repeatedly, my wife usually asks me afterward, "Was that Clarence?" It usually is.
Now, thanks to his book, the public can get to know the man himself, rather than the cardboard image created by the media.
8) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to put a Windfall Tax on all stock market profits (including Retirement fund, 401Ks and Mutual Funds - all to help the 12 million illegal immigrants and other unemployed minorities!
Nancy Pelosi condemned the new record highs of the stock market as 'just another example of Bush policies helping the rich get richer.' 'First Bush cut taxes for the rich and the economy has rebounded with new record low unemployment rates, which only means wealthy employers are getting even wealthier at the expense of the underpaid working class'
She went on to say 'Despite the billions of dollars being spent in Iraq our economy is still strong and government tax revenues are at all time highs. What this really means is that business is exploiting the war effort and working Americans, just to put money in their own pockets.'
When questioned about recent stock market highs she responded 'Only the rich benefit from these record highs. Working Americans, welfare recipients, the unemployed and minorities are not sharing in these obscene record highs.' There is no question these windfall profits and income created by the Bush administration need to be taxed at 100% rate and those dollars redistributed to the poor and working class.' Profits from the stock market do not reward the hard work of our working class who, by their hard work, are responsible for generating these corporate profits that create stock market profits for the rich. We in congress will need to address this issue to either tax these profits or to control the stock market to prevent this unearned income to flow to the rich'
When asked about the fact that over 80% of all Americans have investments in mutual funds, retirement funds, 401Ks, and the stock market she replied 'That may be true, but probably only 5% account for 90% of all these investment dollars. That's just more 'trickle down' economics claiming that if a corporation is successful that everyone from the CEO to the floor sweeper benefit from higher wages and job security which is ridiculous.' 'How much of this 'trickle down' ever gets to the unemployed and minorities in our county? None, and that's the tragedy of these stock market highs.'
'We democrats are going to address this issue after the election when we take control of the congress. We will return to the 60% to 80% tax rates on the rich and we will be able to take at least 30% of all current lower income tax payers off the rolls and increase government income substantially.' We need to work toward the goal of equalizing income in our country and at the same time limiting the amount the rich can invest.'
When asked how these new tax dollars would be spent, she replied: 'We need to raise the standard of living of our poor, unemployed and minorities. For example, we have an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in our country who need our help along with millions of unemployed minorities. Stock market windfall profits taxes could go a long ways to guarantee these people the standard of living they would like to have as 'Americans.''