John Perazzo

CNN: Obama Says Racism Affects Criminal-Justice System

2009 July 23

Racism in the criminal-justice system is not a thing of the past, says Barack Obama, citing the recent arrest of black scholar Henry Louis Gates.

As part of CNN’s highly promoted “Black in America 2” investigation, reporter Soledad O’Brien interviewed Gates, who was arrested last Thursday at his Massachusetts home after an observer – who had watched the professor struggling to open the door of the house, and who had seen Gates’ driver forcefully push the door open – called police to report what appeared to be a possible attempted burglary. When Sgt. James Crowley, who is white, arrived at the scene to investigate, he did not recognize Gates and asked to see some identification. According to Crowley, Gates initially refused and then accused the officer of racism. Gates was subsequently arrested. Yesterday President Obama spoke out about the incident:

“I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us [in Gates’ position] would be pretty angry. Number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home. And number three — what I think we know separate and apart from this incident — is that there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately, and that’s just a fact.”

Obama’s casual assertion that racism continues to infest the criminal-justice system is nothing new for him. In an interview published last December in the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, Obama stated that one of his top priorities as president would be to eliminate racial discrimination in the justice system. This pledge was consistent with his oft-repeated campaign promise to “eliminate disparities in criminal sentencing,” and to put an end to “certain sentences”  that are “based less on the kind of crime you commit than on what you look like and where you come from.”

If the President is as brilliant and as well-informed as his disciples tell us he is, why, then, is he apparently ignorant of the very vital fact that for several decades, the most reputable criminal-justice research has consistently shown than the severity of offenders’ sentences depends most heavily on such factors as prior criminal records, the seriousness of the crimes in question, the offenders’ demeanor with police, whether weapons were used in the commission of the crimes, and whether the crimes were victim-instigated? Once these variables are factored into the equation, race, by and large, has been found to have no effect whatsoever on arrest rates, conviction rates, or sentencing patterns.

For a detailed exposition of this research, click here.

Free Speech TV: Black Radicals Cite Racism and Capitalism as Causes of Black Troubles

2009 July 22

In an effort to gauge the overall condition of blacks in contemporary America, Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman turned yesterday to a pair of longtime haters of the United States: (a) Carl Dix, a founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, a Maoist vanguard dedicated to promoting civil unrest in the United States; and (b) Princeton University professor Cornel West, an avowed Marxist with close personal and ideological ties to the racial arsonist Al Sharpton and the Jew-hating leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan.

Dix told Goodman:

“I am a 60-year-old black man, which means I have decades of experience with white supremacy…. [A] lot of people say, look, a lot of black youth are going to get inspiration and hope from Obama being in the White House. But then the question I pose to them is, what will happen to that inspiration and hope when it collides with the continuing reality of white supremacy, male supremacy, imperialist, you know, overseas adventures that remain the defining reality of America? … [B]lack youth are more and more being blamed for the situation that the system puts them in. And you look at Obama’s last two Father’s Day speeches, he gets into this thing of you know, the youth got to pull up their pants, the absent dads got to be involved in their lives, the parents got to turn off the TV and make sure the kids do their homework. In other words, the onus for the youth not achieving is being put on the youth themselves and their parents. And what’s disappearing in that are the continuing obstacles that the system puts in the way of black, Latino, and poor youth who want to achieve.”

Professor West, for his part, concurred that “the very ugly class realities of poor and working people” remain among the many “structural institutional challenges” that conspire to prevent black Americans from succeeding economically, socially, or professionally.

As evidenced by the foregoing quotes, Dix and West are living embodiments of the leftist worldview which holds that all human pathology is rooted, ultimately, in the external world, in the society at large, rather than within the hearts and minds of individual people. This axiom leads, logically, to the leftist precept that the only way to improve the lives of the masses is not merely to tinker around the edges, but rather to structurally transform the foundational institutions of the nation – most especially its capitalist economic system.

Neither Dix nor West show the barest inclination to attribute black poverty, underachievement, or incarceration rates to the fact that some 70 percent of black American births today are to unwed mothers, a figure far surpassing that of other demographic groups. Unwed mothers, regardless of their race, are four times more likely to live in poverty than the average American; 85 percent of all black children in poverty live in single-parent, mother-child homes. No group can withstand such a calamitous breakdown of its family structure without experiencing devastating social consequences. But according to Dix and West, the fault lies entirely with America’s allegedly exploitative “system” – a system perpetuated, by their reasoning, by a continent teeming with racist whites.

Children in single-parent households are raised not only with economic, but also social, disadvantages. They are four times as likely as children from intact families to be abused or neglected, much likelier to have trouble academically, and twice as prone to drop out of school. Growing up without a father is a far better forecaster of a boy’s future criminality than either race or poverty. Regardless of race, 70 percent of all young people in state reform institutions were raised in fatherless homes, as were 60 percent of rapists, 72 percent of adolescent murderers, and 70 percent of long-term prison inmates.

“Even if white people were to become morally rejuvenated tomorrow,” writes the conservative black professor Walter E. Williams, “it would do nothing for the problems plaguing a large segment of the black community. Illegitimacy, family breakdown, crime, and fraudulent education are devastating problems, but they are not civil rights problems.”

Too bad Carl Dix, Cornel West, and the rest of the race-hustling Left refuse to acknowledge this.

MSNBC: The Left Rejects Free-Market Solutions to Healthcare

2009 July 22

Filling in for Keith Olbermann yesterday on MSNBC’s Countdown program, guest host David Shuster chastised Republicans for having no plan “to contain exploding healthcare costs.” So busy was Shuster smirking and sneering (like Olbermann) over the Republicans’ alleged indifference to those costs, that he neglected to mention Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Elmendorf’s recent assessment that the Democrat healthcare plan would increase federal costs “to a significant degree” — because it plainly “raises future federal outlays more than it reduces future federal outlays.”

Neither did Shuster mention that Medicare, the federally funded insurance program for senior citizens, wastes as much as $1 out of every $3 it spends, even as its overall operating costs spiral out of control.

Nor did Shuster point out the legendary economic inefficiency of Medicaid, the government-run insurance program for low-income Americans, which is administered by the states but receives anywhere from one-half to two-thirds of its funding from the federal government. While the program’s costs are projected to rise by more than 100 percent over the next decade, fraud runs rampant; in New York State, for instance, 40 percent of all Medicaid claims are fraudulent.

And neither did Schuster note the similar fiscal inefficiencies or bureaucratic nightmares of SCHIP (the State Children’s Health Insurance Program), which was established 12 years ago to provide medical coverage for children in households with low incomes that nonetheless exceeded Medicaid eligibility.

Leftists like Shuster (and the Democrats in Congress) remain willfully blind to the mountains of evidence demonstrating that government-run healthcare is guaranteed only to raise overall costs, increase the incidence of fraud, and lower the standard of care.

Why do they continue to support it? That’s simple: because they believe in it. The notion that the federal government should control every aspect of people’s lives, regardless of the costs or demerits of such control, is an article of faith for the Left, not a product of reason. Conversely, leftists never offer free-market solutions to problems like healthcare reform because they abjure free markets.

In her landmark book, The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care, author Sally Pipes writes:

[T]rue reform of the health care system requires less government interference—not more. Only with a freer market can we lower costs and achieve quality universal health care. If we have universal choice in health care, we will reach universal coverage—a goal supported by all of us.

Consider Lasik corrective eye surgery. Because most insurance providers including government programs won’t cover the procedure, the market isn’t distorted by excessive regulations. Providers operate in a free market where technology is constantly advancing, price competition is fierce, and the consumer is king. Companies rise and fall according to their ability to provide customer satisfaction.

In the past decade, more than three million Lasik procedures have been performed. During that time, the average price of Lasik eye surgery has dropped nearly 40 percent, from $2,200 to $1,350 per eye.

Unfortunately, Lasik is a rare exception to the general rule. In just about every other area of health care, the government is heavily involved. So the key to lowering costs and expanding coverage is to expand the Lasik model. That means encouraging competition by decreasing government’s role in the health care marketplace.

MSNBC: Cronkite Was A Leftist, Not a "Liberal"

2009 July 21

“I suppose in all honesty, I’m a liberal,” said the late Walter Cronkite in a snippet of a 1996 interview that Chris Matthews played last night on his program Hardball. “But I would like to define liberal,” Cronkite continued. “I think that the great problem with this label is it has been seriously misused for political purposes.”

It was, to be sure, a meritorious assertion, but exactly how Cronkite meant it was not at all clear. To shed light on the matter, Matthews turned to his guest, longtime newsman and political partisan Dan Rather, who explained:

“Keep in mind that he [Cronkite] wanted to redefine liberal as it’s used in today’s political context. He meant that he was liberal in the sense that he was in favor of preserving those things worth preserving but changing those things that needed changing.”

How did Rather know this, you ask? Well, he didn’t know. In fact, he made it all up, every word of it. Cronkite’s definition of liberal bore no resemblance whatsoever to Rather’s purported summation of it. We know this because in 2004, Cronkite explained for himself, quite clearly, what he meant by “liberal” — when he criticized Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry for not confidently embracing the “liberal” label, which the newsman equated with being “progressive,” “broad-minded,” “unprejudiced,” and “beneficent.”

In other words, Cronkite saw “liberal” as a broad term meaning essentially everything good, kind, sweet, and fuzzy. And in that regard, he didn’t know what he was talking about any more than Rather did.

When the term “liberalism” (from the Latin word liberalis, meaning “pertaining to a free man”) first emerged in the early 1800s, it was guided by a four-pronged value system that embraced individual rights, the rule of law, limited government, and free markets based on private property. These would remain the defining characteristics of liberalism throughout the liberal epoch (generally identified as the period of 1815-1914).

This leads to a point where Cronkite was right on target. The term “liberal” has indeed been corrupted and misused for political purposes – by the socialist Left. Portraying themselves as the agents of enlightened commitment to “liberal” or “progressive” causes, leftists in fact stand for the antithesis of each of the foregoing liberal ideals. Contrary to their self-identification as “liberals” and “progressives,” leftists are neither “liberal” nor “progressive,” but rather reactionaries seeking to resurrect the traditions that characterized the epoch which preceded the rise of classical liberalism.

Consider these easily verifiable truths. The modern Left is the stalwart champion of:

1) group rights rather than individual rights, as exemplified by its support for collective preferences—affirmative action—based on such categories as race, ethnicity, gender, or national origin;

2) the circumvention of law rather than the rule of law, as exemplified by its support for the edicts of activist judges who legislate from the bench, and by its opposition to the enforcement of laws pertaining to immigration and nondiscrimination;

3) the expansion of government rather than its diminution (by means of ever-escalating taxes to fund a bloated welfare state, and to authorize government control over virtually every aspect of human life—education, health care, day care, energy, etc.); and

4) the redistribution of wealth (through steeply progressive taxes and mushrooming welfare programs), rather than its creation through free-market capitalism.

By calling themselves “liberals” or “progressives,” leftists have entirely redefined the terms of debate. And as noted earlier, the media and the public have largely gone along with this fraudulent self-identification, as evidenced by the fact that few people nowadays draw any distinction between liberalism in its original and authentic sense, and leftism—or socialism posing as “liberalism.” Thus we witness the travesty of the “liberal” label being routinely attached to far leftists like the anti-capitalist filmmaker/multi-millionaire Michael Moore, the anti-capitalist multi-billionaire George Soros, the Marxist historian Howard Zinn, and the America-hating linguistics professor Noam Chomsky. Yet the ideals of each of these individuals are utterly antithetical to the tenets of classical liberalism as outlined above.

So, too, were the ideals of Walter Cronkite, the late leftist who advocated a “marvelous middle ground between capitalism and communism,” and who called for a “guarantee that each of our citizens will have equal resources to share in the decisions of the democracy, and a fair share of the economic pie.”

MSNBC: Racism Is Largely a White Characteristic

2009 July 20

Leftists, like all people, constantly reveal who they are through what they say and write. On occasion, however, they will utter something that offers a particularly vivid look not merely at the outward manifestations of their worldview, but at the very foundation on which that entire worldview rests. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews had such a moment on his most recent Hardball program, when he reacted to some noteworthy remarks that Barack Obama had made, to large applause, at the NAACP’s national convention. Said Obama at that event:

We’ve got to say to our children, “Yes, if you’re African American, the odds of growing up amid crimes and gangs are higher. Yes, if you live in a poor neighborhood, you will face challenges that somebody in a wealthy suburb does not have to face. But that’s not a reason to get bad grades. That’s not a reason to cut class. That’s not a reason to give up on your education and drop out of school. No one has written your destiny for you. Your destiny is in your hands. You cannot forget that.” That’s what we have to teach all of our children. No excuses!

Matthews’ reaction: “You know, a white guy can’t say that. I mean that. It’s very hard for somebody like me to make that speech.” Matthews’ two African American guests, MSNBC political analyst Michelle Bernard and journalist Stephen A. Smith – while lauding Obama for the comments he had made — agreed entirely with Matthews’ assertion. “Well, a white guy … can’t necessarily say it to an audience of black people,” Michelle Bernard affirmed.

A question that bears asking is why white people should not, in Mr. Matthews’ and Ms. Bernard’s estimation, feel free to speak the same plain, hard truths to a black audience as Barack Obama can speak to a black audience. The planted axiom, of course, is that it would be somehow offensive, unseemly, rude, or even racist for a white person to say such things, however sensible and well-reasoned.

And why is that? Because the foregoing axiom sits atop a still deeper one, which holds that white people simply do not have the moral standing to speak hard truths to nonwhites; that white people have a uniquely evil history as oppressors – a legacy that will require them, until the end of time, to hold their tongues on matters that concern, in any way, the affairs of nonwhites.

By contrast, of course, the leftist paradigm encourages nonwhite minorities to lecture whites in perpetuity, on the assumption that the latter will never become fully cognizant of their own bigoted, inherent impulses, and that, consequently, constant reminders about those impulses could only benefit them in the long run.

The leftist worldview is founded on the notion of reciprocal collective identities: the collective guilt of whites on the one hand, vs. the collective innocence of blacks on the other; the collective racism of whites on the one hand, vs. the collective pure-heartedness of blacks on the other; the evil designs of white oppressors on the one hand, vs. the sufferings of the black oppressed on the other. By serving to foment racial tribalism by blacks and whites alike,  these sharply defined dichotomies — advanced and encouraged by the Left — poison race relations more profoundly than even the most overt bigot could ever dream of doing.

Notably, the leftist worldview makes no mention of nonwhite racism; the planted axiom here is that only whites are racist. Meanwhile, the kind of hatred that flows from the tongues and pens of black bigots — people like the racial arsonist Al Sharpton, the shakedown artist Jesse Jackson, the Marxist professor Cornel West, the Jew-hating black supremacist Louis Farrakhan, the “liberation theologianJeremiah Wright, and the denouncer of “white supremacist capitalist patriarchy” Bell Hooks — is routinely framed by the Left as a noble quest for retributive justice.

That is the one-size-fits-all escape hatch through which leftists like Chris Matthews willingly usher even the ugliest racists in America — provided, of course, that they are not white.

MSNBC: Obama's "Tax Cut" Becomes a Massive Tax Hike

2009 July 17

On MSNBC’s Morning Joe program, columnist Mike Barnicle asked Meet the Press moderator David Gregory about the possibility that the Obama administration, in order to fund universal healthcare, will seek to impose a tax on the medical benefits that American workers currently receive from their employers; in other words, to treat the dollar-value of those benefits as though it were actual income, and to tax it at the same rate as the rest of the workers’ income. As Barnicle noted, “some powerful Democrats in the Senate are in favor” of such a plan even though they, like Barack Obama, opposed it during the 2008 campaign.

If the Democrats get close to passing a universal healthcare bill, Gregory speculated, “I think the White House would be open to that [taxing medical benefits like regular income].”

Then Gregory identified the key issue:

I think the biggest problem with it is they [Obama and the Democrats] open themselves up to the charge that they’re going to be taxing, you’re going to effect a tax increase on people making less than $250,000 a year, which is what the President vowed he would not do.

Consider what such a plan would mean to the average American taxpayer — you remember, the man or woman who is among the “95 percent” of the American people whom Obama bedazzled during the campaign with his bold promise of a tax cut. That tax cut, it turned out, would net each American taxpayer a paltry $8 to $13 per week.

Moreover, it should be noted that for tens of millions of people who were paying no taxes to begin with, it was not a tax cut at all, but rather a government check whose sole purpose was to expand the number of Americans dependent on government handouts (and, by extension, the number of Americans voting for the party responsible for distributing those handouts, the Democrats). As the Washington Times pointed out:

[Obama’s] plan would send checks to tens of millions of tax filers who pay no personal income taxes — payments that critics say look “suspiciously like welfare” … Because the IRS says that nearly 46 million tax filers — one-third of all filers — had no tax liability in 2006, there is the question of how millions of Americans can receive an income “tax cut” when they pay no taxes.

If Congress and President Obama now impose a tax on healthcare benefits, that tax will cost each taxpayer — depending on his or her income bracket and medical plan, and on the specifics of the new tax itself – an additional $1,000 to $4,000 per year.

And don’t forget about the cap-and-trade monstrosity that the House of Representatives passed three weeks ago, and which will now be considered by the Senate. If that gets signed into law, the average American household will pay yet another $3,100 in extra hidden taxes each year.

Moreover, Obama has pledged to permit the Bush tax cuts (on income and capital gains) to expire next year, a move — or rather, a non-move — that will more than offset the aforementioned pittance that Obama gave to taxpayers in early 2009. (The Bush tax cuts were 50 percent greater than Obama’s.)  The fact that Obama will allow the Bush tax cuts to expire is no surprise, of course, but merely a fulfillment of what he said, quite candidly, during the presidential campaign:

If we tabulate the sorry figures above, we find that the American taxpayer, who was promised a tax cut if he or she earned less than $250,000 annually, will in fact be paying anywhere from about $4,000 to $7,000 more in taxes each year.

And just think: Our benevolent President will have achieved all this in less than a single year in office. Imagine what surprises he has in store for us next year. Perhaps yet another tax cut. How exciting.

MSNBC: Maddow's Criticism of Republicans Is Founded upon Her Acceptance of Race Preferences

2009 July 15

With her customary, self-satisfied smirk and glib confidence, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow yesterday derided Senate Republicans for focusing on “one case” (i.e., the Ricci discrimination case) in which Judge Sonia Sotomayor, as a member of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, ruled to dismiss a white Connecticut firefighter’s contention that he had been bypassed for a promotion specifically because of his skin color. Maddow sneered that Republicans were obsessively characterizing the Ricci case as a “pro-affirmative action ruling” and were “criticizing that one a lot.”

At the heart of Maddow’s remarks was the implicit conviction that affirmative action always has been, still is, and always will be a good thing; that it is a necessary counterbalance to white Americans’ allegedly inherent inclination toward bigotry; and that in recent decades, preferential policies have not only been indispensable to the social and economic progress of minorities, but also have brought many tangible, lasting benefits to society as a whole. From these planted axioms, it is but a short logical leap to the conclusion that a “pro-affirmative action ruling”—far from tarnishing a judge’s resumé —could only enhance it.

But a careful analysis of the facts reveals no solid evidence that affirmative action has helped minorities overall to improve their position in society–to say nothing of the tribalism and the inter-group hostlities it has bred. Consider, specifically, the case of African Americans.

Affirmative action’s proponents seem utterly unaware that black progress was already well underway, and proceeding at a brisk pace, long before the era of affirmative action. In fact, between 1940 and 1960 African Americans were, in many ways, improving their position faster than they would after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, or after the dawn of widespread affirmative action programs in the early 1970s. The pre-1960 economic progress of blacks was in large part a result of their massive migration from the rural south to northern cities, where the employment and earning opportunities open to them were far superior. Without a doubt, the strides they made in the space of just two decades must be ranked among the greatest achievements of any demographic group in American history an ascent they began from the very bottom rung of the social ladder.

Whereas in 1940 only 10 percent of black men held middle-class jobs, by 1960 this figure had more than doubled, reaching 23 percent. Between 1940 and 1950 the earnings of the average black man, in real dollars adjusted for inflation, grew by a remarkable 75 percent (about twice the rate at which white male incomes grew), and increased by another 45 percent during the 1950s. By 1960, black male incomes were 2.5 times greater than they had been twenty years earlier, and black female incomes were 2.3 times greater. In two decades, the black poverty rate had virtually been cut in half.

Apart from income, there were additional barometers of black Americans’ growing prosperity. For instance, between 1940 and 1960 the percentage of blacks who owned their homes rose by 65 percent, as compared to a 42 percent rise for whites. In 1940 black life expectancy at birth was just 53 years, fully 11 years lower than the white figure. By 1960 the black average had risen by ten and a half years, while the corresponding white figure had increased by only half that much. During that same twenty-year period, the percentage of blacks who attained high-school diplomas more than tripled, while the corresponding figure for whites grew at only one-fifth that rate.

Clearly, it makes no sense to credit “affirmative action” for setting in motion a trend that was already well underway long before that term ever made its first appearance in the American lexicon. If we are to make wise public-policy decisions as a people, it is imperative that those policies be based on facts, rather than on gaudy rhetorical tapestries woven by uninformed demagogues and their mouthpieces in the media.

MSNBC: Opposition to Sotomayor = "Smearing" the Nominee

2009 July 14

On his Countdown program last night a sneering Keith Olbermann, whose modus operandi is to use well-rehearsed sneers and ad hominem derision as substitutes for facts, summarily dismissed “the Republican talking point of ‘judicial activism’” vis à vis the Senate confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

Complaining that Republican moments of honesty were “rare” during yesterday’s Senate session, Olbermann asserted that “the Republicans have been sliming this judge for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for six weeks” — on such matters as what Olbermann called the “snippet” wherein Sotomayor was quoted stating that “a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

Within the cramped confines of Olbermann’s diminutive ideological “tent,” where all people can be neatly divided into two opposing camps – simpleminded and racist conservatives on the one hand and enlightened liberals on the other – there is no room for any honest disagreement. By Olbermann’s calculus, all criticisms of Sotomayor amount, by definition, to nothing more than mean-spirited, intellectually dishonest, politically motivated “sliming.” By contrast, we presumably are expected to believe that Democrats’ endless paeans to Sotomayor’s purportedly immense gifts as a judge are the unimpeachable impressions of honest, non-partisan statesmen who would never dream of placing politics ahead of their duty to country.

These are, after all, the same Democrats whose foremost iconic figure in the U.S. Senate, Ted Kennedy, once led his party’s effort to block the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Robert Bork by going to the Senate floor and sharing with his colleagues the following pearls of genial bipartisanship and open-mindedness:

Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens …

It is notable that Olbermann last night made no mention of the fact that Sotomayor’s so-called “snippet” about a “wise Latina” was by no means an isolated remark, but rather was just of many such assertions that she made in public speeches over a nine-year period. According to Congressional Quarterly:

A draft version of a[n] October 2003 speech Sotomayor delivered at Seton Hall University stated, “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion.” That is identical to her October 2001 remarks at the University of California, Berkeley that have become the subject of intense criticism by Republican senators and prompted conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh to label her “racist.”

In addition, Sotomayor delivered a series of earlier speeches in which she said “a wise woman” would reach a better decision. She delivered the first of those speeches in Puerto Rico in 1994 and then before the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York in April 1999.

The summary descriptions of speeches Sotomayor provided indicated she delivered remarks similar to the 1994 speech on three other occasions in 1999 and 2000 during two addresses at Yale and one at the City University of New York School of Law.

If Keith Olbermann is comfortable with Sonia Sotomayor’s obvious devotion to racial politics and groupthink, he is wholly entitled to support her. But it is childish for him to suggest that people who profess a desire to see the current Supreme Court vacancy filled by someone who advocates color-blind (rather than color-conscious) justice, are somehow “smearing” the nominee.

MSNBC: Maddow Says Opposition to Sotomayor "Is Substantially about Race"

2009 July 13

On her most recent program, leftist MSNBC host Rachel Maddow summed up all conservative and Republican opposition to Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination for Supreme Court Justice as nothing more than a “campaign” that “is substantially about race.” “Thus far,” Maddow sneered, “Republicans have attacked [Sotomayor’s] ‘Wise Latina’ comment, they have called her an affirmative action nominee, [and] they have singled out her ruling in an affirmative-action discrimination case.” And for good measure, added Maddow, “[t]hey have chosen to inveigh against [Sotomayor’s] work for the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund.”

Maddow casually dismissed each of these items as the fabrication of white racists who would, if given a chance, deny nonwhites any access to the levers of power in American government. Her assertions, however, wither in the face of closer scrutiny:

(1) The “wise Latina” comment was made by Sotomayor during a 2001 speech at UC Berkeley, during which she suggested, approvingly, that making the federal bench more “diverse”—in terms of ethnicity, race, gender, or sexual orientation—“will have an effect on the development of the law and on judging.” Refuting the notion that judges should not permit the foregoing personal traits to influence their legal decisions, she said: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” “Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences,” she elaborated, “our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging…. I wonder whether by ignoring our differences as women or men of color we do a disservice both to the law and society.”

Given that jurisprudence, if it is to have any merit at all, requires that judges at least aspire to the goal of transcending their own personal biases, resentments, and retributive impulses (perhaps aimed against people of certain skin colors), it is difficult to see why Sotomayor’s comments on this matter should not alarm Americans who in fact favor the ideal of a color-blind justice system.  

(2) While Maddow objects to any suggestion that Sotomayor is “an affirmative-action nominee,” the judge herself is on record as having pretty much described herself as an affirmative-action everything. Here’s what she has said about the role that affirmative action played in her educational background:

“I am a product of affirmative action. I am the perfect affirmative action baby. I am Puerto Rican, born and raised in the south Bronx, and from what is traditionally described as a socio-economically poor background. My test scores were not comparable to that of my colleagues at Princeton or Yale…. [I]f we had gone through the traditional numbers route of those institutions, it would have been highly questionable whether I would have been accepted with my academic achievement in high school. I was accepted rather readily at Princeton, and equally as fast at Yale.”

(3) Sotomayor’s “ruling in an affirmative-action discrimination case” refers to the case of Frank Ricci, a white Connecticut firefighter who, in two separate Appeals Court hearings before Judge Sotomayor, was denied a promotion explicitly because of his race. Maddow, of course, is entitled to agree with Sotomayor’s position that Ricci’s constitutional rights were not violated by Sotomayor’s rulings. Yet the fact remains that Ricci’s case was recently referred to the Supreme Court (which overturned Sotomayor’s Appeals Court decisions) and it became, by any objective measure, one of the most significant Supreme Court rulings in recent decades. If ever a case deserved to be “singled out,” it was this one.

(4) As for Sotomayor’s association with the PRLDEF, it bears mention that the judge did a great deal more than merely, as Maddow phrased it, “work for” this organization. For twelve years Sotomayor was, according to The New York Times, the “top policy maker” on the PRLDEF Board of Directors. The PRLDEF promotes amnesty and expanded rights for illegal immigrants living in the United States; preferential treatment for minorities in job-hiring, career advancement, and university admissions; and race-based redistricting plans that would guarantee congressional electoral victories for Latino candidates.

Moreover, during Sotomayor’s tenure on the PRLDEF Board the group characterized three Puerto Rican FALN terrorists (who had shot five members of Congress in 1954) as “fighters for freedom and justice.”

Perhaps Rachel Maddow finds none of these positions the least bit troublesome. But it could hardly be called unreasonable for Republicans—or anyone else, for that matter—to express concern about them.

MSNBC: Olbermann Likens Conservatism to "Manure"

2009 July 10

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, whose bilious hatred of conservatives and Republicans oozes from every proverbial pore of his spirit, had some interesting things to say yesterday about these objects of his daily derision. Specifically, he cited conservatives’ “pervasive immorality and holier-than-thou hypocrisy” as the wellspring of “the reeking pile of manure that is the right wing media and right wing commentary.”

“The right wing,” Olbermann added, “thinks that the only thing that might ever interest a voter about a woman is sex”—an assertion that led him to conclude, quite logically, that such primitive sexism “certainly would explain why the GOP nominated Sarah Palin for the vice presidency when she had not a single qualification for the job besides the ability to wink.”

And, for good measure, Olbermann characterized conservative columnist Ann Coulter as “putrid” and “evil.”

Such ugly ad hominem attacks are standard fare for Olbermann, who can scarcely conceive of the notion that any person of good will, decent character, or sound intellect could possibly disagree with his (Olbermann’s) presumably self-evident worldview. In Olbermann’s calculus, only malicious, immoral buffoons could even dream of embracing the tenets of conservatism or rejecting the leftist agendas of today’s Democratic Party.

But in this regard, Olbermann has plenty of company among his political comrades, who have turned intolerance and hatred—the very qualities which they unceasingly ascribe to conservatives—into the unmistakable hallmarks of the modern Left. Among the more grotesque illustrations of this are the aspersions that black leftists routinely cast upon black conservatives:

  • A former NAACP chairman referred to Ward Connerly, who led the fight to end affirmative action (i.e., race preferences) in California’s public sector, as both a “fraud” and a “con man.”
  • Jesse Jackson, who “sees” racism wherever he looks, called Connerly a “house slave” and a “puppet of the white man.”
  • Jackson also condemned Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s vote to place limits on affirmative action programs, and likened Thomas to a Klansman: “At night, the enemies of civil rights strike in white sheets, burning crosses…. By day, they strike in black robes.”
  • The late columnist Carl Rowan sarcastically suggested that “if you give Thomas a little flour on his face, you’d think you had [former Klansman] David Duke.”
  • Movie director Spike Lee, who believes that “racism is woven into the very fabric of America,” calls Thomas “a handkerchief-head, chicken-and-biscuit-eating Uncle Tom.”
  • Author June Jordan characterizes Thomas as a “virulent Oreo phenomenon,” a “punk-ass,” and an “Uncle Tom calamity.”
  • Columnist Julianne Malveaux once told a television audience, “I hope [Thomas’s] wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter, and he dies early, like many black men do, of heart disease…. He’s an absolutely reprehensible person.”
  • Missouri Democrat William Clay (a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Progressive Caucus) labels Thomas and other black conservatives “Negro wanderers” whose goal is to “maim and kill other blacks for the gratification and entertainment of ultraconservative white racists.”
  • Similarly, Mr. Clay once described black conservative and former congressman Gary Franks as a “Negro Dr. Kevorkian, a pariah,” who exhibited a “foot-shuffling, head-scratching brand of Uncle Tomism.”
  • Former NAACP executive director Benjamin Hooks denounces black conservatives as “a new breed of Uncle Tom [and] some of the biggest liars the world ever saw.”
  • The late Afrocentric historian John Henrik Clarke called them “frustrated slaves crawling back to the plantation.”
  • The late Khalid Abdul Muhammad put it still more bluntly: “When white folks can’t defeat you, they’ll always find some Negro, some boot-licking, butt-licking, bamboozled, half-baked, half-fried, sissified, punkified, pasteurized, homogenized Nigger that they can trot out in front of you.”

The foregoing statements, ugly as they are, comport quite neatly, both in letter and spirit, with Keith Olbermann’s consistently crude depictions of conservatives. Olbermann is, quite simply, the angry, glib, smug, imperious, and intolerant personification of leftism.

MSNBC: Congressman Pushes Cap and Trade, though It Would Cripple Economy

2009 July 9

Appearing yesterday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program, Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, told Joe Scarborough that his (Waxman’s) proposed cap-and-trade legislation (known officially as the Waxman-Markey “American Clean Energy and Security Act”) is vitally necessary because “we cannot survive with the kind of carbon input that has led to global warming and climate change.”

Cap-and-trade essentially establishes an economy-wide cap on carbon emissions and then permits companies to buy or sell emission credits among themselves. The ultimate result is carbon rationing that will, in the end, impose additional costs ranging from $1,870 to $6,970 per year on every American household.

But Waxman, intent on fighting his ostensibly noble crusade at any cost, is undeterred.

The congressman was asked to address the obvious fact that cap-and-trade cannot possibly work if China and India refuse to subject their own rapidly growing economies to its oppressive mandates, and that both of those nations already have (wisely) indicated that they have no interest in participating in such a worthless scheme. Waxman’s pathetic reply amounted to nothing more than a string of wishful fantasies and empty platitudes:

  • “The United States has to work with the international community because global warming is not a problem that we’re going to solve alone. Were going to need the rest of the world to be with us.”
  • “If we show leadership on this issue,…. other countries are going to recognize that they cant be left behind. They’re going to be with us.”
  • “[India and China] realize that they have to go along [with us]. They want to be part of this effort. They’re using that argument [that they oppose cap-and-trade for economic reasons] rhetorically and we’ve got to challenge it.”
  • “We have to say to [India and China], we’re going to be the leaders. We’re going to work on technology. Work with us.”

In short, Waxman’s approach is a mirror image of President Obama’s approach: Like good community organizers, they look upon those who disagree with them as a pack of benighted imbeciles who can be enlightened only by the intervention of environmentally conscious leftists.

A Heritage Foundation report points out that Waxman-Markey, if pursued unilaterally by the United States, “would moderate temperatures by only hundredths of a degree in 2050 and no more than two-tenths of a degree at the end of the century.” In other words, the bill would suck trillions of dollars out of the U.S. economy in exchange for a benefit so small as to be—even in a best-case scenario—wholly imperceptible.

Says the same report:

“A multilateral approach would not fare much better. In the case of international cooperation, India, China, and the rest of the developing world would have to revert to their 2000 levels of CO2 emissions by 2050. On a per-capita basis, China would backtrack to about one-tenth of what the U.S. emitted in 2000. India and most of the developing world would have to drop to even lower levels. This scenario, in addition to being highly unlikely, would de-develop the developing world.”

Yet none of this matters to those who clamor for cap-and-trade—Democrat luminaries like Henry Waxman, Barack Obama, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  Animated by an insatiable thirst for power, these political zealots cannot wait to foist their scheme upon the American people for one overriding reason: because of the immense revenues it could raise—albeit under the most fraudulent of pretenses—to fund their dream of an ever-more-expansive and omnipotent federal government.

Al Sharpton: A Lifelong Racist Eulogizes Michael Jackson

2009 July 8

The late Michael Jackson, Al Sharpton told CNN’s Larry King last night, “expanded,” on “a cultural level,” the work that “[Martin Luther] King and Jackie Robinson and others had done” to elevate the status of blacks in American society. “Michael made people comfortable with each other,” said Sharpton, asserting that, thanks in part to the pop icon’s influence, Americans at large eventually “grew up to be able to be more comfortable making political and other moves that they may not have made without that cultural comfort.”

Sharpton’s remarks to King were an extension of the eulogy he had delivered earlier yesterday at the L.A. Staples Center, where he proclaimed that Jackson had “broke[n] down the color curtain” and “brought blacks and whites and Asians and Latinos together” — thereby setting the stage for the day when Americans would be “comfortable” enough “to vote for a person of color to be the President of the United States.”

Yes, Al Sharpton chose to turn his eulogy for Michael Jackson into a monologue about race. No surprise there. For Sharpton, everything, however grand or trivial, is ultimately about race.

He is, after all, the same Al Sharpton who, in the late Eighties, knowingly abetted a 15-year-old black girl in falsely charging that a mysterious gang of white racists had abducted and gang-raped her; according to ex-Sharpton aide Perry McKinnon, Sharpton did this specifically for the purpose of cultivating an atmosphere of racial division that could help him advance what he called his “movement.”

Yes, we are talking about the same Al Sharpton who, a few years after that, helped foment some of the ugliest anti-Semitic riots in living memory when he falsely depicted a Brooklyn, New York car accident (which had killed a 7-year old black child) as a racially tinged homicide perpetrated by a Hasidic Jew.

He is the same Al Sharpton who orchestrated a grotesque 1995 boycott against a Jewish-owned clothing shop in Harlem, New York, where a throng of black picketers — under the watchful, approving eye of Sharpton — shrieked, entirely without cause, that a cabal of “greedy Jew bastards” and white “crackers” had been mistreating them. This crusade, too, ended badly, when one of the protesters eventually shot four whites in the clothing shop and then set the building on fire — killing seven people.

And who could forget the skillful manner in which Sharpton has repeatedly turned handsome profits by using threats of racially charged boycotts and negative-publicity campaigns to shake down a host of corporate CEOs eager to avoid controversy.

Indeed, he is the same Al Sharpton who once lavished an audience of students and professors at New Jersey’s Kean College with references to “crackers” and “Greek homos” who, from a historical perspective, were still “in the caves [of Europe] while we [black Africans] was building empires” and developing “philosophy and astrology and mathematics.”

By inviting this vile bigot to speak at yesterday’s memorial service, Michael Jackson’s family demonstrated that for whatever gifts and talents they may possess, good judgment is not among them.

The same can be said of Larry King, who, in tortured syntax, concluded his interview with Sharpton by fawning: “There wasn’t anyone there [at the memorial service] today who could not say that you were anything but brilliant.”

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