Sunday, May 31, 2015


Prof. Jerry Hough
Prof. Jerry Hough
I recall back in the 1980s that you could always count on Duke political scientist and “Sovietologist” Jerry Hough to take the wrong line on everything. Reagan was a dunce, the Soviets are normal folks just like us, détente is dandy, the arms buildup is bad—the whole catechism. You wondered sometimes whether he was on the Soviets’ payroll.
So it is with some delight to see this octogenarian grandee of liberalism get into all kinds of trouble for writing to the New York Times to criticize one of their post-Baltimore editorials. Here’s what he wrote to theTimes, in full:
This editorial is what is wrong. The Democrats are an alliance of Westchester and Harlem, of Montgomery County and intercity Baltimore. Westchester and Montgomery get a Citigroup asset stimulus policy that triples the market. The blacks get a decline in wages after inflation.
But the blacks get symbolic recognition in an utterly incompetent mayor who handled this so badly from beginning to end that her resignation would be demanded if she were white. The blacks get awful editorials like this that tell them to feel sorry for themselves.
In 1965 the Asians were discriminated against as least as badly as blacks. That was reflected in the word “colored.” The racism against what even Eleanor Roosevelt called the yellow races was at least as bad.
So where are the editorials that say racism doomed the Asian-Americans. They didn’t feel sorry for themselves, but worked doubly hard.
I am a professor at Duke University. Every Asian student has a very simple old American first name that symbolizes their desire for integration. Virtually every black has a strange new name that symbolizes their lack of desire for integration. The amount of Asian-white dating is enormous and so surely will be the intermarriage. Black-white dating is almost non-existent because of the ostracism by blacks of anyone who dates a white.
It was appropriate that a Chinese design won the competition for the Martin Luther King state. King helped them overcome. The blacks followed Malcolm X.
Cue all hell breaking loose at Duke! Hate speech! Hough is a racist! Fire him! (He’s already on a long-planned leave, but who can doubt this will transition into “retirement”?)
Duke University issued a statement, naturally:
“The comments were noxious, offensive, and have no place in civil discourse,” said Duke Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Affairs Michael Schoenfeld. “Duke University has a deeply-held commitment to inclusiveness grounded in respect for all, and we encourage our community to speak out when they feel that those ideals are challenged or undermined, as they were in this case.”
Just curious: has the Duke administration ever apologized or censured the “Gang of 88” racist professors who judged the Duke lacrosse team guilty without any facts merely because of their pale skin color? Or perhaps not issuing a statement was part of the financial settlement Duke had to make with the wrongly charged players. (Heh.)
Hough is not backing down, sending a follow up comment to a local TV station:
“Martin Luther King was my hero and I was a big proponent of all the measures taken at the time, including Affirmative Action. But the degree of integration is not what I expected, and it is time to ask why and to change our approach. I am, of course, strongly against the toleration of racial discrimination. I do not know what racial intolerance means in modern code words and hesitate to comment on that specific comment.
“The issue is whether my comments were largely accurate. In writing me, no one has said I was wrong, just racist. The question is whether I was right or what the nuanced story is since anything in a paragraph is too simple.
“I am strongly against the obsession with “sensitivity.” The more we have emphasized sensitivity in recent years, the worse race relations have become. I think that is not an accident. I know that the 60 years since the Montgomery bus boycott is a long time, and things must be changed. The Japanese and other Asians did not obsess with the concentration camps and the fact they were linked with blacks as “colored.” They pushed ahead and achieved. Coach K did not obsess with all the Polish jokes about Polish stupidity. He pushed ahead and achieved. And by his achievement and visibility, he has played a huge role in destroying stereotypes about Poles. Many blacks have done that too, but no one says they have done as well on the average as the Asians. In my opinion, the time has come to stop talking incessantly about race relations in general terms as the President and activists have advocated, but talk about how the Asians and Poles got ahead—and to copy their approach. I don’t see why that is insensitive or racist.”
This isn’t going to go down well. So liberals are about to eat up another one of their own.
Remember: when leftists say they want a “conversation about race,” they mean—you shut up and confess your white guilt. Oh, and raise taxes.


During his speech last week at a Washington, D.C. synagogue, President Obama admitted that his treatment of Israel is based on bias against the Jewish State. He didn’t put it that way, of course. Instead, he said he has “high expectations” for Israel — higher than for other foreign nations. As discussed below, that’s an admission of a bias that operates to the detriment of Israel.
Obama’s bias explains a lot. It explains why he has consistently demanded greater concessions from Israel than from the Palestinians. And it explains why he demands that Israel sit on the sidelines while Obama makes a nuclear deal with Iran that all of Iran’s enemies in the region, not just Israel, consider disastrous.
In addition to its power to explain, Obama’s synagogue statement captures three of his essential traits. The first is arrogance. Here, once again, is Obama sitting on Mount Olympus deciding the expectations to which the nations of the world will be held. One set of expectations for this nation, another for that — all based on Obama’s personal views and prejudices.
The second Obama trait on display is perversity. Normally, if anything, we cut our friends a little slack, whether in personal or international relations. But not Obama. He cuts slack to America’s traditional enemies, whether Iran or the Palestinians (who demonstrated gleefully after the 9/11 attacks). Our long time ally, meanwhile, is held to a higher standard (and publicly scolded if it fails to live up to Obama’s expectations).
Third, as noted, Obama’s statement amounts to discriminatory bias against the Jewish State. Imagine an employer who admits that it holds African-American applicants and employees to higher expectations than other employees. That employer would be guilty of racial discrimination.
It would be no defense for the head of the company to say that he holds himself and his management team to the same elevated standards. The relevant comparison is between the treatment of Whites and Blacks in the general workforce and applicant pool. Similarly, the relevant focus in foreign affairs is America’s comparative treatment of foreign nations.
How could Obama get away with telling a Jewish audience that his foreign policy is biased against the Jewish State? Because by talking about his “high expectations” for Israel, he dressed it up as flattery. As Scott said, this “goes over well before a liberal Jewish crowd.”
If there’s a species more obtuse than the liberal American Jew, I have yet to encounter it.

Hillary’s Press Problem

Hillary’s Press Problem
By Matthew Continetti 

Saturday, May 30, 2015


Yesterday the State Department released a handful of Hillary Clinton’s emails relating to Benghazi. They have been selected at least twice for release to the public, once by Hillary’s minions and once by the Department, so no one expected any bombshells. Nevertheless, I find them surprisingly interesting. This post addresses what I think is the most important point. I will cover a few smaller matters in a future post. This batch of emails, in their entirety, are at the bottom of this post, so you can read them for yourself.
In my opinion, Hillary’s biggest problem isn’t Benghazi per se, it is the broader issue of Libya. Why were Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans murdered? Because by September 2012, Libya was a terrorist playground. Since then, things have only gotten worse. Libya has become a failed state, a 21st century source of boat people, as refugees from ubiquitous violence stream across the Mediterranean. Libya is now a haven for ISIS and other terrorist groups; it was on the Libyan coast that ISIS beheaded 30 Christians. Some of the “refugees” now making their way into Europe are, in fact, ISIS agents. In short, Libya is a disaster.
Whose disaster? Hillary Clinton’s. It was Hillary who, more than anyone else, pushed to overthrow Moammar Qaddafi. Why? No compelling reason. Qaddafi had been tame ever since the Iraq war, which he interpreted as a threat to his rule. Almost incredibly, Clinton and her cohorts in NATO overthrew Qaddafi (who was subsequently murdered by a mob) without having a plan for what would come next.
Who says Hillary Clinton is responsible for the Libya fiasco? She does. In fact, at one point she was poised to claim Libya as the notable accomplishment of her term as Secretary of State. In August 2011, Jake Sullivan, Hillary’s deputy chief of staff, wrote an email in which he summarized “Secretary Clinton’s leadership on Libya.” He sent to it henchwoman Cheryl Mills and State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, who passed it on to Hillary. Sullivan’s email begins:
this is basically off the top of my head, with a few consultations of my notes. but it shows S’ [Secretary Clinton's] leadership/ownership/stewardship of this country’s libya policy from start to finish. let me know what you think.
The email continues, with bold print in the original:
Secretary Clinton’s leadership on Libya
HRC has been a critical voice on Libya in administration deliberations, at NATO, and in contact group meetings–as well as the public face of the U.S. effort in Libya. She was instrumental in securing the authorization, building the coalition, and tightening the noose around Qadhafi and his regime.
Sullivan goes on to itemize, day by day, how Clinton drove the Libya policy not just in the U.S., but in NATO as well. This is a screen shot of the first page of the email; it goes on and on thereafter, showing how Hillary “owned” and was “the public face of,” our Libya policy, “from start to finish.” Click to enlarge:
Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 11.32.04 AM
Hillary’s problem is not primarily the murder of four Americans in Benghazi, outrageous as those murders were. Rather, her real problem is that she bears primary responsibility for a policy that was not just a failure, but a disaster. Further, it was a policy that, as you can see from Sullivan’s email, she intended to be a crown jewel of her years as Secretary of State and, no doubt, a chief credential in her run for the presidency. Instead, it blew up in her face–worse, in ours–like an exploding cigar.
The Benghazi murders are of course important. But it is critical to recognize that they resulted not just from a lack of adequate security or other misjudgments that may have been made at the time. Rather, the fact that terrorists were largely in control of Benghazi by September 2012 was the direct result of Hillary’s bad judgment in leading the overthrow of Qaddafi while having no plan for what would come after, and no ability to influence events on the ground. It is that poor judgment that disqualifies her as a candidate for the presidency.

The Tolerant Jeweler Who Harbored an Impure Opinion of Same-Sex Marriage

The Tolerant Jeweler Who Harbored an Impure Opinion of Same-Sex Marriage
By Charles C. W. Cooke 

Obama and Hillary Are All Too Happy to Coerce Acceptance of Their Agendas

Obama and Hillary Are All Too Happy to Coerce Acceptance of Their Agendas

By Victor Davis Hanson 

Friday, May 29, 2015

“Knocking Out New York’s Bullyboy Leftist”

By Clark S. Judge: managing director, White House Writers Group, Inc.; chairman, Pacific Research Institute
It is not often that black tie awards dinners serve as a round in a prizefight. Last Monday New York City’s Manhattan Institute held is annual Alexander Hamilton Dinner and used the occasion to deliver intellectual knockout blows against the city’s radical leftist mayor William de Blasio and his circle.
To do so, the Institute honored George Kelling, co-author of “Broken Windows Policing,” perhaps the most important American article on crime prevention ever published, and Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy Charter School. Both Kelling’s police tactics – take civic order seriously, stop petty criminals from creating a climate of lawlessness in neighborhoods – and Moskowitz’ education tactics – expect the highest level of achievement from children regardless of family background, insist on students developing full English proficiency – have come under fire from those around the mayor since Mr. de Blasio took office in January 2014.
For example, the city’s school chancellor, Carmen Farina, has charged that charter schools screen out poor performers to boost their test scores. Among charter school advocates, the outspoken Ms. Moskowitz has come in for particularly vitriolic fire. The United Federation of Teachers has labeled her “evil.” Meanwhile, the mayor’s allies have agitated for an end to broken windows policing, arguing that a disproportionate number of the petty criminals apprehended are minorities, hence the policy must be anti-minority.
The data tell a totally different story than those the de Blasio crowd tell – and the Institute used the evening to lay that data data out.
Let’s start with Broken Windows. Several of the evening’s speakers noted (and, in case you didn’t get the message, the Institute repeated it in cards at each of the hundreds of table settings) that in 1993, immediately before Broken Windows was put into widespread practice in the city, New York’s murder rate was 26.5 per 100,000 residents, or 7.9 percent of the homicides nationwide. Today the rate is four per 100,000 or 2.4 percent of the national total. Kelling’s introducer, Wall Street Journal editorial writer Jason Riley., added that this data point alone means that thousands of minority men are alive today who would be dead but for the policy’s success.
As to Broken Windows leading to higher rates of incarceration, since the policy was introduced, felony arrests in New York have dropped by 60,000 per year from 1990 levels. The city’s jail population has declined 45 percent from 1992.
Does Broken Windows lead to heavy-handed harassing? The department expects its “enforcement contacts” in 2015 to be down by one million from the pre-Broken Windows era.
Far from being anti-minority and alienating minorities, a 2014 Quinnipac Poll showed that 56 percent of African-American and 64 percent of Hispanic New Yorkers “strongly support” Broken Windows policing.
The data the Institute presented on Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy charter schools that night packed just as strong a punch.
As of the end of 2014, Success Academies operated 32 charter schools in the city serving 9,000 students. If the academy’s network was a single school, it would rank in the top 1 percent of New York State’s 3,560 school in math attainment and the top three percent in English proficiency.
Twenty-nine percent of NYC students ranked as proficient in English in 2014 state exams and 35 percent in math. For Success Academy student the proficiency rates were 64 percent in English and 94 percent in math.
Why? It turns out that the composition of the academy’s student populations is no different than those in nearby the district public schools. But Manhattan Institute research has found that academy’s English language learners, like those in other of the city’s charter schools, become English proficient more quickly than district school counterparts. Though the academy’s schools educate overwhelmingly poor and minority students, their test scores rival those of affluent Westchester County
Why did the UFT call Ms. Moskowitz “evil”? Because her schools are the most prominent example in New York City and perhaps the nation that the longstanding excuses that teachers’ unions and education bureaucracies fall back on to explain the horrible performance of so many inner-city schools (what can you do, they say, with so many kids coming from impoverished, minority, single-parent homes?) is wrong.
Last Monday the Manhattan Institute punched back at the de Blasio leftists – and on the basis of data rather than bullyboy power — knocked them out.


This concludes my series of posts on Bryan Burrough’s important and riveting new book,Days of Rage: America’s Radical Underground, the FBI and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence. Part 1 is here; part 2 is here. We recorded an interview with Burrough about the book earlier this week; the interview is posted here.
• Joanne Chesimard/Assata Shakur was a member and leader of the cop-killing Black Liberation Army. Burrough quotes others who characterize her as the group’s “heart and soul.” In 1973 she participated in a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike in which Trooper Werner Foerster was murdered and Trooper James Harper seriously injured. In 1977, she was convicted of the first-degree murder of Foerster and of seven other felonies related to the shootout.
• Chesimard escaped from prison in New Jersey and has been on the lam since 1979. She is believed to be holed up in Havana, in the sheltering arms of the Communists who run the asylum and the asylum operation. In 2013 the FBI made Chesimard the first woman to be named to the Most Wanted Terrorists list. She has had a substantial reward out on her capture for several years. Burrough’s account of Chesimard’s escape from prison is dramatic and maddening.
• Now the local angle. Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison is a fan of hers. In 2000 Ellison gave a speech supporting SLA member Kathleen Soliah/Sara Jane Olson at the National Lawyers Guild Minnesota chapter fundraiser for Soliah/Olson in St. Paul. Ellison sought Soliah/Olson’s release from custody after her apprehension the previous year. Ellison also spoke favorably of cop killers Mumia Abu-Jamal and Chesimard. In a 2006 Star Tribune column on Ellison, my friend Kathy Kersten quoted from Ellison’s speech. (Kathy’s column is no longer accessible online but I excerpted it in this post.)
• Kathy gave us Ellison’s prayer for Chesimard/Shakur: “I am praying that Castro does not get to the point where he has to really barter with these guys over here because they’re going to get Assata Shakur, they’re going to get a whole lot of other people,” he told the crowd. “I hope the Cuba[n] people can stick to it, because the freedom of some good decent people depends on it.” When Kathy sought out Ellison for her column in 2006, he declined to comment on his current view of Soliah/Olson and Chesimard/Shakur. He’s just that kind of guy.
• Ellison was first elected to office as a state representative in 2002 and to Congress in 2006. Ellison now represents the beating heart of the radical left within the Democratic Party.
• George Jackson was an incarcerated convict with a thuggish bent and a long rap sheet. At his parole hearing in 1965, Burrough recalls, Jackson’s own father testified that he would be better off remaining in prison. In 1970 Jackson participated in the brutal murder of a prison guard in revenge for the killing of three black inmates. Radical attorney Fay Stender formulated the brilliant idea of turning Jackson into a celebrity by cobbling together his letters to family and friends for publication and by portraying him “as an innocent victim being persecuted for his revolutionary beliefs” (as Burrough puts it). With the help of a friendly editor at Bantam Books, Stender omitted the letter in which Jackson fantasized about poisoning the Chicago water supply — “in an effort to portray him as the American Dreyfus” (Burrough again).
• Published in October 1970, Jackson’s Soledead Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson became an immediate best-seller. In the New York Times Book Review, Julius Lester declared it “one of the most significant and important documents since the first black was pushed off the ship at Jamestown colony.”
• In 1971 Jackson attempted to break out of prison in an operation that involved the murder of five guards later found in Jackson’s cell with their throats slit. Jackson’s posthumous literary offering was Blood In My Eye, published in February 1972. Burrough finds it “a straightforward call for a bloody black-led revolution in the streets of America[.]” The Times expressed disappointment in Jackson’s second book, asserting that it “lack[ed] the visceral brilliance, the epistolary panache” of Soledad Brother.
• In death Jackson served as the inspiration for Donald DeFreeze, later to assume the name Cinque as the founder and leader of the Symbionese Liberation Army.
• Burrough’s book prompts me to reflect on the role played by the New York Times as an instrument of celebrity propping up the revolutionary left. As a corollary, the Times is invested in protecting the reputation of the left. It is, shall we say, not given much to introspection regarding the impact of its judgments.
• Not surprisingly, the Times assigned Burrough’s book for review to Maurice Isserman, a scholarly partisan of the leftist persuasion. The Times published Isserman’s subtly disparaging review under the heading “Blow-up.” Isserman’s review is almost a comic coda to the Times’s promotion of the literary contributions of Eldrdige Cleaver and George Jackson back in the day and, we may as well add, of Bill Ayers in a fawning profile by Dinitia Smith published on the evocative date of 9/11/01. (In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Timesman Bremt Staples gave up on Ayers.)
• Burrough notes over and over again how many of the radical terrorist perpetrators have escaped justice. Bill Ayers is a painful case in point, but he is far from alone. In a cruel irony, however, the wheels of justice caught up with FBI officials who dogged the terrorists. In the so-called Squad 47 established to investigate the bombings, the FBI had persistently committed and condoned official misconduct, partly in response to pressure from above. President Reagan ultimately pardoned the two senior FBI official convicted of crimes committed in pursuit of the Weatherman terrrists, Mark Felt (Deep Throat) and Edward Miller, while their case was pending on appeal in the DC Circuit. (Former FBI Director Patrick Gray had also been charged, but the case against him was dropped for lack of evidence.)
• I would like to close out these posts on Burrough’s book by giving the last word to Don Strickland, one of the FBI agents who dogged the terrorists as a member of Squad 47. Burrough quotes Strickland speaking inelegantly to the point in an interview he conducted for the book: “What really galls me is we did all this stuff, risking our lives every day, putting our lives on the line. And we end up being the villains! And these Weatherman scumbags end up being the f***ing Robin Hoods.”
Thanks for sticking with me through this series.