A fellow memo reader and former West Point Graduate responds to Obama's jab at McCain. (See 1 below.)
My own feelings are that Obama can stay in a church with a minister who hates our country for twenty years but can't remain in Iraq to finish the job against our enemies.
As for our strategy, seems simple enough. You destroy your enemies' will before he destroys yours.
We have had troops stationed all over the world for decades or maybe Sen. Obama is ot aware of this.
In 2 - 5, 7 and 8 below I have posted a series of articles that go to the very heart of what I have been writing about for years. The decay of American culture, the plight of our cities, the incompetence and corrupt nature of many elected officials, the questionable judgement of Sen. Obama, Western Europe's succumbing to the Muslim influence, and a fraud named Hillary.
Read them and weep!
Newt Discusses what we need to do to change bad culture and bad government. (see 2 below.)
April speaker, Bret Stephens, asks whether Obama understands defeat in today's WSJ. (See 3 below.)
Rich Lowry discusses how liberalism killed Detroit. Well worth reading. I have been there and it is frightening. Read "Atlas Shrugged" then take a trip to Detroit. (See 4 below.)
A Der Speigel writer defends Geert Wilder. Another worthwhile read. (See 5 below.)
And how our campuses have become poisoned and administrators make excuses. (See 6 below.)
Former Mayor of New York, Ed Koch, gives Obama a deserved ear full. (See 7 below.)
Hillary must have been in Bosnia. (See 8 below.)
To appease Sec. Rice, Israel is taking calculated risks. Should it result in more Israeli deaths from terrorism will Sec. Rice return to attend the funerals? (See 9 below.)
1)MANHEIM, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Democrat Barack Obama, took aim on Monday at
potential White House opponent John McCain on Iraq, saying the Republican Senator could not offer a clear definition of success in the conflict and might leave ,U.S. combat troops there for decades
So, here is my suggestion for the senior senator from Arizona to answer the
very junior Senator from Illinois:
We will succeed in Iraq when we have destroyed the will or the ability of the
enemy to continue the fight.
Does that mean we will see the end to all acts of terror on the part of evildoers? No. It means that various enemy formations, Sunni, Shiite, Al Qaeda, Mahdi Army, etc. will lose their ability to threaten the viability of the new Iraqi nation. That is how we will succeed in this war. Will we have US troops in Iraq for a long time, like for "decades? " You bet we will. So what.
2) Confronting Bad Culture and Bad Government: The Key to a Healthier, Safer, and More Prosperous America
By Newt Gingrich
There is one critical topic for the 2008 campaign that is so far outside the elite mainstream that it probably will not be mentioned:
This key issue for America is how bad culture reinforced by bad government is crippling America and trapping the poor in disastrous situations.
To his credit, Senator Barack Obama began this conversation in his speech in Philadelphia, but this critical conversation is a long way from being finished. The coming months will test whether we can have an honest, direct dialogue about the disastrous cultural patterns and destructive government policies of the last 40 years.
Replacing bad culture and bad government with good culture and good government is the most important single challenge we face here at home.
The Need to Go from Preaching to Meddling
This is a decisive moment. Unquestionably, confronting bad culture and bad government will be threatening to most of our elites, our bureaucracies, our lobbyists, our political consultants, and our news media. Every effort will be made to avoid the challenge.
There is an old saying that someone has "gone from preaching to meddling." If we insist on a serious, candid discussion about bad culture and bad government, we will clearly have gone to meddling -- and our elites will resist.
Yet this topic is the key to creating a better future for all Americans and solving our major domestic problems.
Senator Obama Was Simply Wrong to Emphasize Racism in His Speech
Last Thursday at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) I gave an initial response to Senator Obama's Philadelphia speech on racism.
For an hour, I emphasized that the key problem of poverty in America is a function of bad culture and bad government.
My point was that Senator Obama was simply wrong in his emphasis on racism.
In case after case it is clear that the number-one threat to poor people is not racism. Instead, the poor are trapped by bad culture and bad government.
Yelling racism is an attempt by the elites on the left to hide from this reality. After all, the bad culture and bad government trapping the poor are in large part a product of the efforts made by those elites and their allies.
The more I talk with people about the sorry state of our current dialogue, the clearer it is to me that both sides are missing this crucial point. This failure to confront reality has brought us to a decisive turning point in American history.
Senator Obama has opened the door for a fundamental conversation about why there are poor people in America and what we need to do about it. It is incumbent on us to have the courage to engage in that conversation without fear and without flinching.
It's Time for Right and Left to Follow the Lead of Bill Cosby
The Left is determined to blame all the current problems on President Bush and pass a series of programs that will actually make those problems worse.
But since the Left -- with its academic, Hollywood, trial lawyer, bureaucracy, and union factions -- is the cause of much of the bad culture and most of the bad government, it can hardly be expected to voluntarily start a dialogue about repudiating its own cultural values and reforming its own bureaucratic allies.
Sadly, however, the Right has been too shallow and too focused on raising money and developing clever tactics to engage in the level of fundamental conversation America needs.
Bill Cosby has been a lonely voice advocating a serious look at the fundamental patterns and the cultural crisis that underlie many of our most serious problems.
It's time the rest of us reinforced Bill Cosby and followed his lead.
The Founding Fathers Knew: Good Government Requires Good Culture
One of the amazing things about the generation that founded America was that they knew we as a people would eventually drift into a crisis of bad culture and bad government. And they had no doubt which came first. They knew that bad culture leads to bad government -- and good government requires good culture.
Consider just a few quotes from our Founders:
* "...there is no truth more thoroughly established, than that there exists in the economy and course of nature, an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy, and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity; since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained..." -- President George Washington's First Inaugural Address
* "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports." -- George Washington's Farewell Address
* "Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." -- John Adams
* "Religion and good morals are the only solid foundation of public liberty and happiness." -- Samuel Adams
* "Reading, reflection, and time have convinced me that the interests of society require the observation of those moral precepts ... in which all religions agree." -- Thomas Jefferson
* "Religion is the only solid Base of morals and Morals are the only possible support of free governments" -- Gouverneur Morris
* "The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments." -- Benjamin Rush
American Government and Culture Took a Wrong Turn in the 1960s
How did America go from Benjamin Rush's call for religion as the only foundation for a useful education to the amoral, do-your-own-thing, militantly secular culture and
bureaucracy we have today?
America took a wrong turn in the 1960s, both in culture and in government.
The counterculture and the militant Left repudiated middle class values and assaulted the core patterns which had worked for 200 years, creating the most prosperous country in the world.
But we didn't stop there. Big bureaucracies were created at the federal, state, and local levels; and they have been decaying in efficiency and effectiveness ever since.
The result is that we now have red-tape-ridden governments that reinforce the wrong values and undermine the still healthy parts of the culture.
The Result? An America in Which a 13-Year-Old Is Arrested as a Madame
Bad government and bad culture reinforce each other. Bad culture preaches vice over virtue, getting something for nothing over hard work, and immediate gratification over saving and planning. Bad government then rewards all these destructive habits, fostering even more bad culture.
This pattern has created an America in which:
* A 13-year-old is arrested as a "Madame" in Dallas.
* One out of every four teenage girls has a sexually transmitted disease (including over 50% of African American teenage girls).
* One out of every five eighth graders has tried an illegal drug.
* We have a horrendous high school drop-out rate that will ultimately doom America in economic competition with China and India.
* Atheists seek to use the courts to erase every element of God from public life.
* Celebrities routinely make headlines for drug and alcohol addiction and other self-destructive behavior.
* African American males who drop out of high school face a 73% unemployment rate in their 20s and a 60% chance of going to jail in their 30s.
* We have the largest prison population in the world: One out of every 100 Americans is in prison.
* A subprime mortgage crisis exists because greed, short-sightedness, and self-deception convinced both very sophisticated financiers and very unsophisticated home buyers to enter into commitments which were historically guaranteed to create a disaster. Now the nation is being asked to bail both groups out.
These Are Not the Patterns of a Society Prepared to Maintain Its Freedom and Prosperity
These are not the patterns of a healthy, wise society prepared to maintain its prosperity and sustain its freedom.
These are the patterns of a self-destructive, juvenile society that is putting everything at risk by ignoring the lessons of history.
I wrote Rediscovering God in America, Winning the Future, and Real Change to begin laying out the fundamental changes America needs if we are to remain the most successful country in history (and more recently, Callista and I produced the DVD version of Rediscovering God in America for the same reason).
We founded American Solutions and created the first draft of the Platform of the American People to begin a positive dialogue about the solutions and the policies that will bring us together as Americans. Our goal is to create a red, white, and blue dialogue of unity to replace the red-versus-blue screaming match of partisanship that has blocked real change in our federal and state capitols and in our city halls and county commissions.
Americans Are Ready to Talk about Bad Culture and Bad Government
Having watched the banal and trivializing presidential campaign for the last year, the speech by Senator Obama in Philadelphia struck me as the right invitation to begin a real dialogue about what is wrong in America and what needs to be done to put America back on the right track.
The initial reaction to my speech at AEI has been very encouraging. C-SPAN got such a strong reaction from broadcasting it live last Thursday that they ran it four more times in the next 24 hours. Since then they have continued to run it.
The emails and phone calls we have received have been very encouraging.
There are a lot of Americans who are prepared to begin a fact-filled dialogue about bad culture and bad government.
Over the Next Few Months I Will Have More to Say
There are even more Americans prepared to begin a dialogue about real change in every aspect of society and government that is currently failing.
Over the next few months I will deliver a series of speeches expanding on the need to confront bad culture and bad government and replace them with good culture and good government. Watching the success of John Adams on HBO, I am convinced there are a lot of Americans eager to talk about the lessons of history and the permanent principles on which a healthy society and government (and therefore a healthy country) can be renewed.
Hopefully we can challenge the platform committees of both parties in August to consider bold new platform proposals that tackle the challenge of bad culture and bad government.
If you have ideas of your own about proposals and policies that could improve America, please share them with me at Newt@AmericanSolutions.com.
3) GLOBAL VIEW: By BRET STEPHENS
Does Obama Understand Defeat?
On Oct. 14, 1993, John McCain took to the floor of the United States Senate to offer what, in light of his past history and his later positions, was an unusual amendment.
Earlier that month, 19 American soldiers had been ambushed and killed in Mogadishu, Somalia, by militiamen connected to warlord Mohamed Farah Aidid. The corpse of one U.S. serviceman had been humiliatingly dragged through the streets. The Arizona Republican wanted U.S. forces out of Somalia -- and was prepared to cut off funds for the mission if the administration refused to expedite a withdrawal. President Clinton attacked the amendment as a "headlong rush into isolationism."
At the time, Mr. McCain saw it differently. "The United States has no viable military options in Somalia that I know of besides a massive military involvement which would involve the consequent slaughter of innocent civilians," he said in an interview, sounding not a little like today's Democrats on Iraq. "The United States has to be very careful when it gets involved militarily. Otherwise, we will not only not help the situation, but perhaps, over time, worsen the situation, with the consequent expenditure of American lives and treasure."
The Somalia episode comes to mind following two recent addresses from Mr. McCain and Barack Obama. On March 19, Mr. Obama gave a big speech on foreign policy at Fort Bragg, in Fayetteville, N.C. That was followed a week later by another big speech on the same subject, this one from Mr. McCain in Los Angeles at the World Affairs Council.
As with most such speeches, many things are said, and few of them are interesting. We learn from the speeches that both men are -- surprise! -- politicians. Both are moving toward the political center as they approach the nomination. Mr. Obama has tough talk on hunting al Qaeda in Pakistan. Mr. McCain has soothing talk on the need for "international good citizenship." The hawk and the dove are prepared to fly some distance together, particularly on Guantanamo, global warming and the promotion of Islamic moderation.
And, to a degree that neither is fully prepared to acknowledge, each candidate shares policies with the Bush administration. Mr. Obama's call to increase the size of U.S. ground forces by 92,000 troops -- 65,000 for the Army and 27,000 for the Marines -- is precisely the figure offered by Secretary of Defense Bob Gates in 2007.
Where the candidates have real differences is over Iraq. Mr. Obama, as everyone knows, wants to remove American troops at a steady rate of one to two combat brigades a month, until they are all but gone, and "help Iraq reach a meaningful accord on national reconcilation." Mr. McCain, as everyone also knows, will do just about everything it takes to win in Iraq and is prepared, on the Korean, West German or Japanese model, to deploy soldiers to the country for a century to preserve the peace.
Yet what distinguishes Mr. McCain's foreign policy from Mr. Obama's is not about the nature of America's commitments in the Middle East. It is about their understanding of the consequences of defeat. Mr. McCain seems to have some. It's not clear whether Mr. Obama does.
In his speech, Mr. Obama rightly observes the paradox of Mr. McCain's position on Iraq. The Arizonan, he notes, argued in 2006 that the U.S. could not withdraw because "violence was up," whereas now he argues the U.S. cannot withdraw "because violence is down." "Success," says the Illinois senator, "comes to be defined as the ability to maintain a flawed policy indefinitely."
A fair point. But here are questions for Mr. Obama: Could there be something worse than the indefinite maintenance of a flawed policy? What if, following a U.S. withdrawal, Iraq collapsed into chaos? What if U.S. embassy personnel have to be helicoptered to safety from the roof of the Baghdad embassy? It's not as if this hasn't happened before.
Nowhere in Mr. Obama's speech is that scenario entertained, and one wonders why. Perhaps it is a function of biography. With the exception of a failed congressional bid in 2000, defeat has not formed a significant part of Mr. Obama's upwardly mobile life experience. Or perhaps it is a function of philosophy. Not everyone share's Mr. McCain's view that the defeat in Vietnam was a "disgrace," or that the result of a war carried out "Not In My Name" nonetheless has bearing on the worth of one's country.
In a recent interview, Randy Scheunemann, who runs the McCain campaign's foreign policy shop, noted that "Vietnam had a huge impact on John." Obviously. Less obvious: "It's not about his personal experiences in the war as a POW," he said. "It's about leading a group of naval aviators [after the Vietnam war] when they had to cannibalize parts."
Mr. Scheunemann is referring to a chapter in Mr. McCain's life when in 1974 he took command of the Navy's largest naval air squadron in Jacksonville, Fla. Nearly 20 of the squadron's 50 jets had been grounded for lack of maintenance, and some hadn't flown in years. Mr. McCain eventually managed to get all his planes flying again, a professional triumph. But the condition of the post-Vietnam Navy turned out to be an abiding lesson to Mr. McCain about what happens to a defeated military.
As for Somalia, Mr. McCain noted in one of his memoirs that "The decision to leave Aidid unpunished and to withdraw from Somalia had a disheartening effect on our military. . . . They wondered if we would ever be as committed to victory as they were in the causes we ordered them to serve. Somewhere in Sudan, Osama bin Laden observed our withdrawal from Somalia and concluded that America no longer had the stomach for war."
In his speech, Mr. Obama noted that there was no point trying to best Mr. McCain in matters of experience, that what counted was good judgment. Very true. How one can have the latter without the former is a question for the rest of us to consider.
4) Destroying Detroit
By Rich Lowry
It could be an item on a David Letterman Top Ten List of “How to Know Your Mayor is Headed for a Major Scandal” — he’s known as the “Hip-Hop Mayor.”
That’s what they call Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, now famous for text messages detailing the affair he had with his chief of staff. Kilpatrick had denied the relationship under oath in a lawsuit brought by two police officers Kilpatrick allegedly fired to cover up his personal misconduct. He has been indicted on eight felony counts including perjury and obstruction of justice.
This would just be another dreary entry in the long annals of misbehaving politicians if it weren’t for the backdrop of a decaying city. Elected at age 31 in 2002, Kilpatrick was supposed to bring youthful vitality to his job, and he talked about reform. Now, he’s just another tragedy to befall Detroit, a city whose decline is — as psychologists put it — overdetermined, but stands as a stark statement of the failure of urban liberalism.
Detroit suffers from every possible malady except a plague of locusts, and that’s only because they find urban living uncongenial. The city has a revitalized downtown, but all around it, the city rots. Forbes magazine declared Detroit “America’s Most Miserable City,” on the basis of its unemployment and crime rates, among other things. The unemployment rate of 8.2 percent is the highest of any major urban area in the nation, and its homicide rate is higher than New York’s in the bad old days of the early 1990s.
The city has lost 1 million residents since 1950. It was hit by the decline of the auto industry and white flight, fueled partly by racism. These trends would have rocked the city no matter what. Detroit compounded them with disastrous governance, personified by Mayor Coleman Young, who held office for 20 years beginning in 1974.
His record raises the question why, if it wanted to engage in a nefarious plot to hurt blacks, the federal government would invent the AIDS virus when it could simply emplace mayors like Coleman Young instead. “Imagine a Rev. Jeremiah Wright with real power,” says urban expert Fred Siegel. Coleman taunted suburbanites, accusing them of “pillaging the city,” while his scandal-plagued administration managed the city into the ground.
He neglected policing, maintaining that “crime is a problem, but not the problem. The police are the major threat ... to the minority community.” The 1968 riots never really ended in Detroit, dragging on in a long crime wave. With government services terrible to nonexistent and both crime and tax rates high, there was no reason for anyone to stay. “Several Detroit mayors have been the best economic development officers Oakland County ever had,” comments Michael LaFaive of the Michigan-based Mackinac Center for Public Policy, referring to the county to Detroit’s north.
Public-sector unions protect the dismal status quo. Detroit high schools graduate just a third of their students, according to an estimate by Michigan State University. But when a philanthropist offered to spend $200 million to create 15 new charter high schools, teachers staged a walk-out. Mayor Kilpatrick spurned the offer. These failing schools throw kids with no skills into a struggling economy in an environment characterized by social breakdown.
No matter what Mayor Kilpatrick did with his chief of staff or how many lies he has told, this is the true scandal of Detroit — and too many American cities. In the wake of the controversy over Rev. Wright, Barack Obama called for a national conversation on race. But we talk about race incessantly already, and Mayor Kilpatrick will carry on his own dialogue by playing on black fears with charges of “selective prosecution.”
What would better serve the interests of African Americans and the country is a national conversation about good urban governance — how to crack down on crime, reform the schools and free the economy from sclerotic government. Detroit awaits it, as its disgraced mayor twists in the wind.
5) Geert Wilders Is No Right-Wing Populist
By Henryk M. Broder
Dutch politician Geert Wilders may be many things, but he is not the right-wing populist he is accused of being. What the debate over his film "Fitna" reveals most clearly is the West's cowardice toward Islam.
Wilders was under fire at an anti-racism protest in Amsterdam on March 22.
There's a key for every lock, just as there's a perfectly fitting label for everyone who refuses to fit in. At the moment, the term "right-wing populist" is hot. Everyone and his brother is calling Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders by that name at the moment, but hardly any commentators or reporters have taken the time to explain what a "right-wing populist" actually is. And what distinguishes it from other political standpoints like, for instance, "left-wing populists."
Geert Wilders may be many things -- he is self-confident to the point of vanity and stubborn to the point of sacrificing himself. But he's not a right-wing populist.
For one thing, he's a radical liberal. For another, what he's doing at the moment is extremely unpopular. Six years ago, Pim Fortuyn, who was murdered by an animal rights fanatic, was also called a "right-wing populist." He was indeed very popular -- not because he was "right-wing" but because he insisted on drawing attention to things that the traditional elites of Dutch society had steadfastly ignored.
The label "right-wing populist" resonates negatively today the same way that "communist" did in the '50s and '60s, "fascist" did in the '70s and '80s and "climate change denier" does today. It saves the speaker from having to engage with the actual content of the argument and makes the bearer of the term solely responsible for the consequences of his or her actions.
If fanatical Muslims do, in fact, go ballistic over Wilder's film "Fitna," it's not because they have a flawed relationship to freedom of speech and religion, but because they've been insulted and provoked by Wilders -- or so the reasoning goes.
Unfortunately, one needs to point out at this juncture that it's not Wilders' obsessive arrogance that has robbed him of his private life, but the memory of how and why director Theo van Gogh was murdered, namely by a Dutch-born Muslim of Moroccan heritage. He, too, probably liked sitting in cafes drinking coffee peacefully -- until one fine morning, when he set off to kill the "provocateur" van Gogh, who would presumably still be alive today if he hadn't been so silly as to make an "anti-Islamic" film.
We should take comfort in the fact that Wilders -- to quote a female Muslim writing for SPIEGEL ONLINE (more...) -- "avoids the mistake Theo van Gogh made by connecting the Koran and sexuality," which didn't go over well among "less tolerant Muslims" and which would apparently have "raised the chances of a violent reaction to Wilders' film." She doesn't feel the least bit insulted by Wilders, and goes so far as to state that Wilders' film shows "nothing but facts, even if they are somewhat one-sided."
Leaving aside the fact that it seems a little excessive to kill someone because he made a "mistake," can facts be shown any other way than one-sided?
Is it possible to have anything other than a one-sided position on the murder of Theo van Gogh, the beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, the execution of a woman in a stadium in Kabul, the hanging of homosexuals and the stoning of adulterous women in Iran? Wouldn't you then have to mention after, say, a plane crash, that such things don't happen every day and that most planes land in one piece in order not to present the facts one-sidedly?
Wilders is as "one-sided" as any filmmaker trying to compress reality into a documentary film. His film is as "anti-Islamic" as Michael Moore's are "anti-capitalist." The hostility does not lie in the eye of the beholder, but rather in the nature of the film's subject. Part of the ritualistic response of Muslim communities to the observation that Islam is not always a peaceful religion is invariably the threat of violence, should the "insult" not be retracted -- regardless of whether it was made by the pope, a politician or a poet.
And Wilders is guilty of breaking with yet another aspect of the prevailing consensus. He opted to act, not just react. Since announcing his film three months ago, he has been defining the course of the debate, driving his opponent away from him. Nobody would have been surprised if Wilders had ended his game by confessing that the film itself did not actually exist.
What he wanted to accomplish had already been accomplished (more...) with the threat to show an "anti-Islamic video." He showed the "free West" to be a paper tiger. The Dutch government distanced itself from the project and asked its ambassadors in Muslim countries to explain to their host governments the situation in their home country, where the government is not as omnipotent as it would like to be.
The EU, wanting to please all sides, issued a statement that emphasized the importance of freedom of speech while at the same time relativizing it: "We believe that acts such as (Geert Wilders') film serve no other purpose than inflaming hatred."
Even UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon chimed in to condemn the Wilders film "in the strongest terms." He said that nothing can justify hate speech or incitement to violence. "The right of free expression is not at stake here. ... Freedom must always be accompanied by social responsibility."
This is the kind of tone that one waits for in vain when Islamists call for jihad, fanatics massacre non-believers or Holocaust deniers organize conferences. The only objective of these exercises is to prevent a repetition of what happened in 2006, when a dozen harmless Muhammad caricatures caused a blaze of indignation from Jakarta to Rabat. At the time, many politicians, including the prominent German Green Party politician Claudia Roth, called for "de-escalation."
The call was not aimed at the arsonists who were burning Danish flags and destroying embassies, but at the Europeans, who were watching the jihadists in bafflement, in a bid to not pour more oil on the flames.
A similar thing happened recently in Sudan, when a British woman innocently named a teddy bear Muhammad. Or when Salman Rushdie was knighted by the British queen. Muslims were outraged and Europeans sought cover until the storm had blown over.
And now the "right-wing populist" Wilders is being sacrificed on the altar of appeasement policy. He is no cineaste, and his film is certainly no masterpiece. It is, however, a brute challenge to us to at least recognize reality.
6) POISONED CAMPUSES
By MICHELLE MALKIN
IS the affair of the Columbia University noose finally nearing the end of its rope?
The latest twist in the noose mystery will come as no surprise to those who have closely monitored the racial-grievance cauldrons on American college campuses.
The Post's Murray Weiss reported exclusively yesterday that a Manhattan grand jury has subpoenaed the university records of Professor Madonna Constantine of Columbia Teachers College, who found a noose hanging from her office door nearly six months ago.
The case garnered national attention and inspired an outpouring of rage, a slew of anti-noose legislation - and several copycat noose-hangings by publicity-seeking wannabes.
But now, as Weiss notes, this subpoena signals that investigators are now looking at possible links between Constantine, her friends and the racially charged incident.
Given the onset of staged hate crimes since the Tawana Brawley hoax two decades ago, skepticism is warranted.
As Weiss reports, the noose-hanging happened at the height of the school's probe of plagiarism charges against the professor - conditions that provide a "possible motive for a sympathetic friend to consider placing a noose on her door - thinking it could whip up support for her."
Stunningly, Constantine got to keep her job after the university determined that she had filched the work of a colleague and several students. Predictably, she cried "systematic racism" about that, too.
We don't know yet for sure what happened at Columbia.
And, as I've reported several times over the years, faked hate crimes are an abhorrently common phenomenon on modern college campuses, where race-consciousness reigns in such a poisonous way that it would make integrationists weep.
"Students of color" are herded into separate dorms, separate departments and separate graduation ceremonies. "Professors of color" carve out lucrative niches in the diversity/blame-whitey indusry.
Mix identity politics, multicultural studies, cowardly administrators and sympathetic media - and you've got a toxic recipe for opportunistic hate-crime hoaxes. Today's Tawana Brawley-copycats couldn't ask for better enablers.
* In 2001, Arizona State University student Ahmad Saad Nasim admitted to police that he'd fabricated two anti-Muslim hate-crime incidents against himself.
* In 2002, black students at the University of Mississippi scrawled racist graffiti in campus housing.
* In 2004, Kerri Dunn, an assistant visiting professor at Claremont McKenna College, was sentenced to prison after staging an anti-Semitic hate crime against herself.
* In 2005, a lesbian student at Mt. Tamalpais HS in Marin County, Calif., faked several anti-gay incidents to garner attention and sympathy.
* Last fall, George Washington University student Sarah Marshak admitted scrawling swastikas on her own dorm-room door.
* Last December, an idiot Princeton student, Francisco Nava, falsely claimed he was targeted and beaten because of his politics.
Campuses remain fertile ground for hate-crime hoaxes because administrators - whipped up into p.c. frenzies when the "crimes" are first reported - are reluctant to crack down on minority students and professors who perpetrate the lies. In many of these cases, charges against the con artists are reduced to wrist-slaps or dropped completely.
And the university grievance-coddlers come up with excuses to rationalize away the manufactured hate: They meant well. At least they "raised awareness." Nobody was hurt.
Bull, bull and bull. Faked campus hate crimes diminish the credibility of whistleblowers with bona-fide claims of victimization. They squander law-enforcement resources. They poison the academic environment.
It's time to man up, stand up to race charlatans and crack down hard on those who play the system.
As the grievance-hustlers like to chant: "No justice, no peace."
7) There's No Excusing Obama on Wright
By Ed Koch
I am dumbfounded that there has been no drop in Barack Obama's standing in the polls following revelations that he sat in Rev. Jeremiah Wright's church for 20 years and did nothing, publicly or privately, to voice disagreement with Wright's hate speech. Indeed, Obama's poll numbers are going up. The most recent Gallup national tracking poll shows Obama with 51 percent and Hillary with 43 percent of Democratic voters.
One reason for the up tick in Obama's popularity may be that Hillary Clinton has had to explain her out-and-out falsehood of having been under sniper fire years ago in Bosnia. Her account of landing in Bosnia amidst sniper fire was totally demolished by a video clip taken at the time and now flashed all over tv showing her strolling across the tarmac with Chelsea to receive flowers and kisses from a waiting child.
Are the actions of our two United States Senators, both candidates for the Presidency, to be condemned equally? I don't think so. Hillary's failure, as gross as it may be, is related to self promotion. Barack's failure, in my judgment, is an out-and-out failure of moral strength, as he was unwilling to stand up to his bigoted minister, Wright, for 20 years while Wright denounced from the pulpit whites, Jews and the State of Israel.
We learned recently that Wright's defamatory comments published in church bulletins were, on occasion, also directed at Italians. ABC News reported on March 27th, "Trumpet Newsmagazine, of which Wright is the chief executive officer, published an article written by Wright in which he described the crucifixion of Jesus as 'public lynching Italian style.'" He also wrote, according to CNSNews.com, "The Italians for the most part looked down their garlic noses at the Galileans." Finally, CNN reported on March 28th that, "They [church bulletins] also quote a historian who said that 'what the Zionist Jews did to the Palestinians is worse than what the Nazis did to the Jews.'"
Let me report on the mail I received after my commentary of last week criticizing Senator Obama and Rev. Wright. Some of that correspondence defended Wright's attacks on the U.S., whites and Jews and Obama. Here are some excerpts from three readers of my commentary:
1. "I have read your recent message re: Sen. Obama's speech and I find your attacks totally unconvincing. The fact that you disregard the Reverend's positive contributions to his community and the positive aspects of the relationship between the Reverend and the Senator demonstrates either ignorance or bad faith, either of which is unbecoming of a man of your influence."
2. "I disagree with all that [Wright's charges against America] and ALL his hate speech. But I have no problem concluding that it does not represent Obama and that Obama should not be deemed unworthy of being president because he embraced the good in Wright and did not walk away when he heard the bad."
3. "I thought Sen. Obama's race speech was one of the most inspiring, hopeful, uplifting speeches I have ever heard in modern politics. You and I have been in politics long enough to know that guilt by association is a great way to create doubts about a candidate, but I have no doubt Sen. Obama has the best chance of getting us beyond stereotypes."
These readers seek to excuse Barack Obama's conduct, but I remain unconvinced. Obama told us in his brilliant and moving speech on March 18th that "I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can disown my white grandmother," who engaged, he said, in racial stereotyping.
But now, on television talk programs, he tells us a somewhat different story. According to The New York Times of March 29th, "Mr. Obama, who has run the gamut of news shows in recent weeks to defuse the ado over his relationship with Mr. Wright, had no trouble finding long winded words to demarcate his allegiance to his longtime pastor. 'Had the Reverend not retired and had he not acknowledged that what he had said had deeply offended people and were inappropriate and mis-characterized what I believe is the greatness of this country, for all its flaws,' he said, 'then I wouldn't have felt comfortable staying there at the church.'"
Did something happen since his speech of March 18th when he, in effect, offered excuses for his pastor's hate speech and his own reaction? I think not. Rather, I think he decided his prior silence was unacceptable. So now he tells us that but for his pastor's retirement and "acknowledge[ment] that what he had said deeply offended people and were inappropriate and mis-characterized," he would have left the church.
May I suggest Obama's sudden expressed desire to separate himself from his pastor came only after the media storm that followed the public outcry voiced at his pastor's remarks, particularly his having said, "No, no, not God Bless America. God damn America." If Obama becomes the Democratic nominee for president, he will be subject to withering attacks by the Republicans on this issue.
Does Obama's belated recognition of his minister's bigotry satisfy me? No, it does not. Indeed, I am surprised that Obama's description of his minister's hate speech, which he condemns, is limited to the words, "controversial," "inexcusable," "inappropriate, "troubling" and "appalling." Why hasn't he called it by its rightful name - hate speech?
I think what Hillary did in exaggerating the danger to her in Bosnia and seeking to convey a bravery that she did not exhibit in landing there years ago is to be condemned and not passed over as she and many of her supporters do, by saying that she "misspoke." Nevertheless, Obama's explanation of why he was silent until now and the manner in which he characterizes Wright's remarks are worse. Interestingly, he also refers to an apology by Rev. Wright, which I've not seen published anywhere. Have you?
And, more importantly, why did it take him 20 years to come to this conclusion?
8)How Enron Worked the President
Are You Ready?
How Enron Worked the President!
(This is an interesting bit of information that you don't hear much about.)
1. Enron's chairman did meet with the president and the vice president in the Oval Office.
2. Enron gave $420,000 to the president's party over three years.
3. It donated $100,000 to the president's inauguration festivities.
4. The Enron chairman stayed at the White House 11 times.
5. The corporation had access to the administration at its highest level and even enlisted the Commerce and State Departments to grease deals for it.
6. The taxpayer-supported Export-Import Bank subsidized Enron for more than $600 million in just one transaction.
(Look below ..... )
BUT...the president under whom all this happened WASN'T George W. Bush.
It was President Bill Clinton!
No surprise! And do you think Hillary didn't know?
9) Analysis: Taking calculated risks for Abbas
By YAAKOV KATZ
At noon on Monday, IDF troops arrived at the Rimonim checkpoint near the settlement of Kochav Hashahar and began taking it apart, piece by piece. Less than five hours later, and a mere 15 kilometers away, a Palestinian was shot dead after he tried to stab a group of hitchhikers outside the settlement of Shilo.
Beyond serving as ammunition for the settlement movement in its campaign against the goodwill gestures Defense Minister Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians on Sunday, the sequence of events demonstrates the risks involved in altering the tight security envelope the IDF has succeeded in creating in the West Bank in recent years.
The removal of the Rimonim checkpoint - which connects Ramallah with Jericho - on Monday has created a number of headaches for the IDF's Central Command and its commander, Maj.-Gen. Gadi Shamni. From a military perspective, the checkpoints are a crucial tool in the war against terror, with troops catching Palestinians on a daily basis trying to cross them carrying weapons or explosives.
Officials close to Barak admitted on Monday that the lifting of the roadblock was accompanied by a number of security risks. But, they said, the risks were "calculated."
As demonstrated by the 35-page report that Barak presented US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with on Sunday, Israel's primary objective with the gestures is to bolster PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his government in Ramallah. This is being done in face of the growing Hamas threat in the West Bank and the terror group's takeover of the Gaza Strip in June.
Bolstering Abbas comes with a degree of danger. The lifting of 50 dirt roadblocks, as well as the Rimonim Checkpoint, will allow Palestinians to travel on roads they did not have access to in the past. Weapons smuggling will most likely increase, and there is a fear in the IDF that drive-by-shootings will as well.
"The Palestinian people in the West Bank only care about one thing, and that is having a better quality of life," a top IDF general explained on Sunday regarding the need for the gestures. "The hope is that once their lives improve they will begin to appreciate Abbas more and Hamas less."
While this tactic has a chance at working, Israel's recent decision to impose sanctions on the Gaza Strip has so far failed. According to the general, the cuts to electricity, fuel and raw material supplies to Gaza have not only failed to turn the people there against Hamas, but have instead had the opposite effect, bringing about an increase in the people's hatred for Israel.
This is where the gestures come into play. Israel does not require intelligence briefings to take note of Hamas's growing presence in the West Bank, not just militarily but mostly through the social services it provides the people.
So the IDF is bringing government ministers to meet with their Palestinian counterparts - to get them to create new joint initiatives, like the establishment of a Palestinian National Insurance Institute, which will be able to provide social services in the West Bank instead of Hamas's Dawa institutions.
Fatah, a top Israeli defense official said Monday, is still perceived as being corrupt in the eyes of the Palestinian public, and it is likely that in the next elections Hamas would win again. For this reason, the chairman of the Palestinian elections committee recently said during a meeting with Israeli officials that his recommendation to Abbas was to stave off elections for as long as possible.