Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More lies and deceit from Anthropogenic Climate Change Proponents

Christine Stewart, Canada's former environment minister said: "Climate change provides the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world." On another occasion, she said, "No matter if the science is all phony, there is still collateral environmental benefits to global warming policies."

As Barack Obama famously quoted U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, "Sunlight is the greatest disinfectant."

While I can't condone hacking e-mail accounts and stealing private correspondence, the recent exposure of global climate change fraudsters' communications seems to have shed sunlight on this festering pool of junk science.

From James Delingpole's "Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of 'Anthropogenic Global Warming'?":
...perhaps the most damaging revelations...are those concerning the way Warmist scientists may variously have manipulated or suppressed evidence in order to support their cause.

Here are a few tasters.

Manipulation of evidence:

I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

Private doubts about whether the world really is heating up:

The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.

Suppression of evidence:

Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?

Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.

Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address.

We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.

Fantasies of violence against prominent Climate Sceptic scientists:

Next
time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I’ll be tempted to beat
the crap out of him. Very tempted.

Attempts to disguise the inconvenient truth of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP):

……Phil and I have recently submitted a paper using about a dozen NH records that fit this category, and many of which are available nearly 2K back–I think that trying to adopt a timeframe of 2K, rather than the usual 1K, addresses a good earlier point that Peck made w/ regard to the memo, that it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “MWP”, even if we don’t yet have a hemispheric mean reconstruction available that far back….

And, perhaps most reprehensibly, a long series of communications discussing how best to squeeze dissenting scientists out of the peer review process. How, in other words, to create a scientific climate in which anyone who disagrees with AGW can be written off as a crank, whose views do not have a scrap of authority.

“This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the “peer-reviewed literature”. Obviously, they found a solution to that–take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board…What do others think?”

“I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.”“It results from this journal having a number of editors. The responsible one for this is a well-known skeptic in NZ. He has let a few papers through by Michaels and Gray in the past. I’ve had words with Hans von Storch about this, but got nowhere. Another thing to discuss in Nice !”

The truth sometimes does need a vigorous defense, but it's inappropriate for that defense to be a shroud of lies and manipulated data protected by rabid suppression of the scientific method. What's shocking is apparent surprise at this new evidence. We've known for a long time proponents of the anthropogenic global warming farce have been lying and manipulating the data to support a rotten theory. It's obvious that the face of Global Warming, Al Gore, doesn't believe in it, or he'd behave differently.

Senator Inhofe has promised to call for an investigation into this new evidence against the liars in the anthropogenic global warming camp, but the real death of the movement will be the continued publication of their lies and honest scientific research into their claims.

For the interested, here's another source with some more complete e-mails, and an additional editorial on the subject.

Update: So much for peer reviewed honest science. Apparently in order to avoid scrutiny, scientists at the UEA dumped their raw data. They claim it was to save space during a move from one facility to another. What scientists throws away the raw data proving his or her theory? It seems to better fit this exchange:
Mr. Jones told Mr. Mann: "If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I'll delete the file rather than send to anyone" and, "We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind." Mr. Jones further urged Mr. Mann to join him in deleting e-mail exchanges about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) controversial assessment report (ARA): "Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re [the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report]?"

Sunday, November 22, 2009

An objective look at Health Care Reform

Dr. Jeffrey S. Flier, dean of the Harvard Medical School weighed in this week on health care reform. I haven't seen a less political analysis of the current legislation before Congress, and it's worth your time. It can be found here.

In addition, here are some highlights:
Instead of forthrightly dealing with the fundamental problems, discussion is dominated by rival factions struggling to enact or defeat President Barack Obama's agenda. The rhetoric on both sides is exaggerated and often deceptive. Those of us for whom the central issue is health—not politics—have been left in the lurch. And as controversy heads toward a conclusion in Washington, it appears that the people who favor the legislation are engaged in collective denial.

Our health-care system suffers from problems of cost, access and quality, and needs major reform...

Speeches and news reports can lead you to believe that proposed congressional legislation would tackle the problems of cost, access and quality. But that's not true. The various bills do deal with access by expanding Medicaid and mandating subsidized insurance at substantial cost—and thus addresses an important social goal. However, there are no provisions to substantively control the growth of costs or raise the quality of care. So the overall effort will fail to qualify as reform.

In discussions with dozens of health-care leaders and economists, I find near unanimity of opinion that, whatever its shape, the final legislation that will emerge from Congress will markedly accelerate national health-care spending rather than restrain it. Likewise, nearly all agree that the legislation would do little or nothing to improve quality or change health-care's dysfunctional delivery system. The system we have now promotes fragmented care and makes it more difficult than it should be to assess outcomes and patient satisfaction. The true costs of health care are disguised, competition based on price and quality are almost impossible, and patients lose their ability to be the ultimate judges of value.

Worse, currently proposed federal legislation would undermine any potential for real innovation in insurance and the provision of care. It would do so by overregulating the health-care system in the service of special interests such as insurance companies, hospitals, professional organizations and pharmaceutical companies, rather than the patients who should be our primary concern.

Put more succinctly if less elegantly, the current legislation will improve access to health care, but will increase cost and decrease quality, and thus only addresses one of the three common problems in our health care system.

Worse yet, currently proposed legislation will end the potential for reform that addresses all three issues of cost, access and quality.

If you haven't already done so, please contact your Senators and Representative and express your feelings on the bill. Phone calls and e-mails are likely not having much impact. I'd suggest a fax or walk-in visit to their offices at this point.

If you don't know how to contact your legislators, you may locate your specific lawmakers and their contact information here. The information for your two senators should be easy to find by state, and they're most important just now as they'll be voting on legislation right after Thanksgiving. You may find it easier to locate your House of Representatives legislator here.

It really doesn't matter which of the many sides you're on in the health care debate. The current legislation is bad for everyone, and it's important to contact your legislators now. Real, innovative solutions exist, and we need to pursue them rather than copying systems that don't work.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed: In a civilian trial, the American people lose no matter what the outcome

Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other co-conspirators in the 9/11 attacks in civilian court is a guaranteed loss for the American people no matter what the outcome of the trial.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, or KSM, committed an act of war and terrorism on 9/11. Civilian courts can deal with the Federal laws broken, but they're not so adept at handling acts of war. Furthermore, rules civilian criminal investigation and prosecution must follow weren't obeyed, nor were rights due U.S. citizens observed during custody. Most notably, KSM was water boarded, and you can't do that to a U.S. citizen if you plan to take him to civilian court. He wasn't read his Miranda rights* nor was he properly charged and held. All of this means there's great potential for technicalities that don't matter to a military court trying a foreign combatant or terrorist (really a spy or saboteur in this case) may hand an acquittal or even "not guilty" verdict to KSM's defense team.

If KSM is tried and convicted as President Obama confidently declared will happen, it may actually be worse for Americans. KSM has been given all the rights of an American citizen rather than those of foreign combatant, spy or saboteur. If he's convicted and executed, there's now the precedent that someone afforded full rights of U.S. citizenship under the Constitution may be held without bail or charges, water boarded, interrogated without being read Miranda rights and without access to defense council and yet still be successfully prosecuted and convicted. That would mean the rules designed to protect me as a civilian innocent of crime can be disregarded by the police and I could still be convicted.

Either way, there can be no claim of fair trial or display of the vaunted American justice system. We might have come closer had President Obama not made his pronouncement, or if administration officials hadn't guaranteed we won't abide by a not guilty verdict or an acquittal:
Other Justice Department officials have said that even if Mr. Mohammed is acquitted, the Obama administration will keep him locked up forever as a “combatant” under the laws of war.
So, if we don't get the outcome we want, we'll revert to military rules. Why bother with the expense and effort of a civilian trial again? Oh, right. To show off our fairness. Holder, who has bungled this from the beginning, made that prospect even worse with his comments:
“Failure is not an option,” Mr. Holder said.
Really, Attorney General Holder, if the only outcome possible is a guilty verdict and execution, then how can you have a fair trial?

The only reason to do this is to try to keep Obama's campaign promise about closing Guantanamo Bay's detainee facility, but Holder has insisted this was his decision. While he's no doubt trying very hard, at the administration's behest, to keep Obama clear of this, there's a huge problem with Holder's claims. He lacks the authority to make this happen.

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft, who held his position during the Bush administration from 2001-2005, said that Holder lacked the legal standing to decide to move alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other terror detainees to federal courts in New York City to stand trial.

"The attorney general doesn't have the authority to mandate that the secretary of Defense turn somebody over to him and yield jurisdiction so that something that would have been done in a military setting is done in a civilian setting," Ashcroft told the Christ Stigall show on KCMO radio [Wednesday] morning [November 18th].

Didn't President Obama promise the most Transparent administration in history? Why yes he did. We'll put that lie down next to closing Gitmo, right near the public having five days to review any bill that goes to the President's desk.



While we're at it, where are my online videos of Lobbyist and SEIU President Andy Stern's visits with Barack Obama in the White House? Americans for Tax Reform and the Alliance for Worker Freedom are asking for investigations into those visits.

This presidential administration hasn't been honest with us from the beginning on just about anything, but has been especially duplicitous about the KSM trial. It's being done this way for political reasons, and authority had to come from the Oval Office no matter how often or vehemently Mr. Holder denies it. By now, they're no doubt wondering how to get off this political land mine they've stepped on without detonating it.

*Failing to read KSM his Miranda rights might not be as devastating to the prosecution as many people believe. In listening to an interview with a defense attorney, I learned that contrary to popular belief, the police don't have to read you Miranda rights until they question you. If any interrogation occurs prior to the reading of Miranda rights, statements by the suspect are inadmissible in court, but witness statements and other evidence may still be entered.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Conservatives aren't the only ones worried about health care costs

The left keeps claiming that "Health Care Reform" will lower the cost of medicine for everyone. They plan to do that by lowering Medicare payments. I'm sure that will go over really well with doctors, who already feel very underpaid and make it up by over billing private insurance.

The claim that Pelosi's bill, or any of the bills they've considered so far will lower costs is a complete fabrication. Anyone checking the numbers responsibly will report that fact. Now our chief creditor, China, is asking pointed questions, too.

James Pethokoukis' column "China questions costs of U.S. healthcare reform":
Boilerplate assurances [to the Chinese] that America won’t default on its debt or inflate the shortfall away are apparently not cutting it. Nor should they, when one owns nearly $2 trillion in assets denominated in the currency of a country about to double its national debt over the next decade.

Nothing happening in Washington today should give Beijing any comfort or confidence about what may happen tomorrow. Healthcare reform was originally promoted as a way to “bend the curve” on escalating entitlement costs, the major part of which is financing Medicare and Medicaid. That is looking more and more like an overpromised deliverable.

For instance, a new study from the U.S. government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services finds that the healthcare reform bill recently passed in the House of Representatives would increase healthcare spending to 21.3 percent of GDP by 2019 compared with 20.8 percent under current law. That’s bending the curve the wrong way. The study also questions the “long-term viability” of the $500 billion in Medicare cuts meant to help pay for expanded insurance coverage.

In addition, the CMS study gives a clearer cost estimate than the one provided by the Congressional Budget Office. According to the CBO, the 10-year cost of PelosiCare is $894 billion. But that analysis includes early years with little government spending, According to the CMS, the House approach would cost $1 trillion from 2013-2019, or some $140 billion a year when fully put into effect.

Few realists in Washington think any of the current reform plans make a significant dent in the long-term healthcare cost to government. Indeed, the Senate Budget Committee recently held hearing about creating a bipartisan commission to find solutions to America’s entitlements problems.
The U.S. is in real entitlement trouble. We may need to resort to what will be considered drastic and unpopular solutions soon.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

How Racial P.C. Corrupted the LAPD

Originally published in The American Enterprise Online in June of 2005, this article has disappeared from anything but pay archives. The information is important enough to present here.

How Racial P.C. Corrupted the LAPD
By Jan Golab

The LAPD was once known as "the world's greatest police department," due largely to its stringent character screening. Back in the era of Sergeant Joe Friday, LAPD candidates were checked out as thoroughly as homicide suspects. Even a casual relationship with any known criminal excluded a candidate from being considered as a police officer.

All that is now history. In a bid to appease racial activists and meet federal decrees, strict screening and testing measures were dismantled. New black and Hispanic officer candidates were hustled into the ranks at any cost. What former deputy chief Steve Downing called "a quagmire of quota systems" was set up, and "standards were lowered and merit took a back seat to the new political imperatives."

It was back in 1981 that the LAPD first entered into a federal consent decree that instituted quotas for female and minority hiring. To meet these demands, the standards for physical capability, intellectual capacity, and personal character were lowered. The result was that many incapable or mediocre recruits--even significant numbers with criminal links or gang associations--were accepted into the department.

L.A. is not the only city that damaged its police force in a headlong rush for "diversity." During the 1990s, Washington, D.C. had to fire or indict 250 cops after a similar lowering of standards, and New Orleans indicted more than 100 crooked or inept cops who had been hired--it was later found--due to "political pressures." Miami had a similar scandal after scores of cops hastily recruited in response to race riots and an immigration surge got involved in robbing cocaine dealers and reselling their drugs. "We didn't get the quality of officers we should have," acknowledged department spokesman Dave Magnusson.

A scholarly study published in April 2000 in the professional journal Economic Inquiry found that aggressive "affirmative action" hiring raised crime rates in many parts of the U.S. In careful statistical analysis of 1987-1993 U.S. Department of Justice data from hundreds of cities, economist John Lott (then of the Yale School of Law, now a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute) found that quotas requiring more black and minority police officers clearly increase crime rates. When affirmative action rules take over, he reports, the standards on physical strength tests, mental aptitude tests, and other forms of screening are lowered. The result is a reduced quality of officers--both minority and non-minority recruits end up being less impressive.

Politicians refuse to admit that dropping standards can create problems, but other L.A. authorities are blunt about it. Los Angeles's police academy, training experts say, can no longer reliably be used as "a de-selector" (to use the P.C.-speak). "I had mediocre trainees, some just plain incompetent. They were giving us trash. I finally transferred out because I didn't want to go out in the field with these kids anymore," explained retired LAPD training officer Jim Peasha. When he got a bad minority recruit, Peasha couldn't drum him or her out, no matter what. "I had some fantastic minority recruits. One black kid was the best I ever had. But I also had one guy who I knew was on drugs and I couldn't get him out. He wound up getting caught working as a guard at a rock [cocaine] house. An off-duty cop!"

Rot protected by race

On March 16, 1997, black off-duty LAPD officer Kevin Gaines was shot and killed in a "road rage" dispute. Gaines, angry and out of control, had pulled a gun on motorist Frank Lyga and threatened to "cap his ass." Lyga, it turned out, was an undercover LAPD narcotics detective. He drew his 9 mm pistol and shot Gaines through the heart. Only later did he learn that Gaines was also LAPD. The incident made international headlines: "Cop Kills Cop."

Russell Poole, who had a reputation as one of the LAPD's best homicide detectives, was assigned to investigate the shooting. He discovered that Kevin Gaines drove an expensive Mercedes Benz, wore $5,000 suits, $1,000 Versace shirts, and lived his off-duty life in the fast lane of L.A. and Las Vegas nightclubs, a lifestyle he obviously didn't maintain on his $55,000-per-year policeman's salary. Gaines had many credit cards with expenses like the $952 he had dropped just the month before for lunch at Monty's Steakhouse in Westwood, a favorite hangout for black gangster rappers. And at the time of his death, Gaines was living with the ex-wife of gangster rap music mogul Suge Knight--whose own criminal history included eight felony convictions.

It turned out that Gaines, like a significant number of other LAPD officers, was working on the side to provide "security" for Death Row Records, Knight's notorious hoodlum rap music business that was deeply enmeshed in drugs and gang violence. The FBI had been following Gaines, who they suspected was moving drugs and money around L.A. for Death Row. Gaines was shameless. The vanity plates on his Mercedes read "ITS OK IA"--a brash taunt to the department's Internal Affairs department.

While investigating Gaines, Poole was led to another flashy black cop named David Mack. Mack had grown up in a gang-infested Compton neighborhood before being hired by the LAPD. His nearly inseparable friend was fellow police officer Rafael Perez. Like Gaines, Mack and Perez lived large--nightclubs, girls, expensive cars and clothes.

In December 1997, David Mack was arrested for the armed robbery of a Bank of America branch in which he got away with $772,000. He was convicted and sentenced to 17 years in prison. Meanwhile, Perez's coming and goings--and his astounding number of short cellular phone calls--convinced investigators he was dealing drugs. Following a six-month investigation, he was arrested for stealing eight pounds of cocaine from LAPD evidence lockers. Perez cut a deal for a 12-year prison sentence and talked.

The discovery of these dirty cops became known as the Rampart Scandal, the worst in LAPD history. Perez's confession exposed a group of police officers who engaged in theft, drug dealing, perjury, improper shootings, evidence tampering, false arrests, witness intimidation, and beatings. They cribbed up in bachelor pad apartments for sex parties with hookers. These men were as out of control as the gangs they were supposed to police--in too many cases they were from the gangs they were supposed to police.

More than 30 officers were suspended or fired in the Rampart probe. Hundreds of criminal convictions tainted by links to Rampart cops were overturned. Although it did not receive much attention in the mainstream media, an embarrassing truth was exposed: Many L.A. cops had been corrupted by black gangsters (just as many New York cops were corrupted in another era by the Italian mob). "Rampart wasn't about cops who became gangsters," explained former LAPD deputy chief Downing. "It was about gangsters who became cops."

How did city officials react to this painful lesson? By paying $70 million in settlements. By doing nothing about the P.C. race rules that opened the floodgates. And by agreeing to a consent decree that turned control of the LAPD over to the Feds. The consent decree drained crucial resources from crime fighting--nearly 350 department supervisors were permanently assigned to reporting on the decree, and tens of thousands of hours were spent by other officers on its mandates.

This was salt in the wounds of a department already hogtied by paperwork. After the Rodney King riots, the Christopher Commission (chaired by Bill Clinton's future Secretary of State) demanded that the LAPD investigate every single civilian complaint against any officer, no matter how frivolous. This required three or four supervisors at each division to spend full time on complaint duty. Department investigators often ended up devoting more days to interviewing witnesses about bogus complaints, and meeting P.C. mandates on domestic violence cases, than to investigating crimes. Motivated by the media-fueled presumption that brutality and racism were "endemic" in the LAPD, Bill Clinton's Justice Department also demanded detailed racial data to see if cops were "racially profiling." Not surprisingly, serious felonies rose dramatically during this period in Los Angeles.

Ignoring root causes

Police Chief Bernard Parks fired more than 100 police officers at about this time, citing a wide range of infractions including unapproved off-duty work as security guards at gangster rap functions. Many believe he was quietly trying to purge the department of cops who had gang associations. But officially, the city of Los Angeles never faced up to how it had gotten into this dreadful mess.

One indication is the $250,000 payment to the family of gangster-cop Kevin Gaines that city fathers quietly agreed to in 1999. Race-baiting attorney Johnny Cochran had sued the city for $100 million, accusing Frank Lyga of being an out-of-control white racist officer. The backroom deal, brokered by city attorney James Hahn (now L.A.'s mayor), and approved by Chief Parks (who ran for mayor in 2005), was deliberately shielded from the public and the L.A. City Council.

Lyga's shooting of Gaines had been found justifiable by three board panels. The Police Commission ruled that he acted in self-defense. Yet the city paid off Johnny Cochran to bury the evidence that his client was part of a cancerous knot of minority cops hurriedly introduced into the force without adequate screening, and left there even after evidence accumulated that they were not law-abiding citizens themselves. The city hung Detective Lyga out to dry.

Poole believes that had natural leads been followed, the Rampart miscreants and other incompetent or corrupt officers could have been exposed at least a year before Rafael Perez spilled his guts. Poole had alerted Chief Parks--an African American brought in to generate racial amity after the Rodney King riots--that Rampart Division was out of control, but he was told to limit his investigations. Poole was so distraught, he resigned. "I left because the department literally wanted me to lie and keep things from the D.A.'s office. They knew the seriousness of what was going on, but they did not want to pursue it aggressively. They just wanted to let it go." It was all too embarrassing to liberal pieties.

After Rampart blew up, hundreds of experts eventually produced three major reports on the scandal. Each concluded that department standards had been lowered. "But not a single one dealt with the core problem," says Steve Downing. "Where did all these crooked cops come from? How did they ever get hired in the first place? That's the question nobody will address." Because it is politically incorrect.

The core problem behind L.A.'s Rampart, and similar corruption and competence scandals in other police departments, was that politicians insisted on forcing racial minorities into police ranks no matter what. Even now, years after the sour fruits of such efforts have been exposed, elected officials refuse to state out loud the obvious: Institutionalized practice of reverse racial discrimination "allowed persons of poor character to be hired," as Downing summarizes.

At one time in the late 1990s, as many as 25 black police officers in the Los Angeles Police Department were believed to have direct ties to the criminal gangs they were supposed to be stamping out. The problem extended to other police departments in the area as well, including Hawthorne, Inglewood, Compton, and the L.A. County sheriffs. "This is not an LAPD problem," stated one top LAPD official during the Rampart scandal. "This is a black problem."

The local and national press were no braver than the politicians at facing this issue. Despite a supertanker of ink spilled on Rampart stories, no reporters or editors had the stomach to address its causes. Only a few radio hosts broached the truth voiced by virtually every L.A. cop. "The corruption of affirmative action," states Steve Downing, "has been treated as if it never occurred."

The racial no-fly zone

For the past 25 years, Los Angeles has been like Russia under Krushchev: Everybody knows the truth, but nobody dares to speak it. Much as Pravda ignored Moscow meat and bread shortages, the Los Angeles Times has adamantly refused to report on the damage caused by racial demagoguery and quotas. No one dares challenge the party line lest he be punished. "Don't ask me to go there," a city official once told me. "I have a family, a mortgage, a car, and a dog, and I have to work in this city."

Late last year, the Times finally ran a four-part exposŽ on Martin Luther King Hospital in south Los Angeles. A team of reporters spent a year examining the scandalous number of unexplained deaths and administrative peculiarities that led to the closure of the hospital's trauma center and the loss of its national accreditation. One of the conclusions of the series was that the hospital, which may be forced to close completely, had avoided normal scrutiny for the past 30 years due to racial politics. "Why Supervisors Let Deadly Problems Slide," read one headline. "Fearful of provoking black protests, they shied away from imposing tough remedies on inept administrators," read the subhead.

For three decades, nobody would speak the truth about MLK Hospital. The Times celebrated with champagne when its series won a Pulitzer in April--but the paper could have prevented the tragedy by writing two decades earlier. Everybody knew MLK was substandard, that's why folks in South Central dubbed it "Killer King." Alternative publications wrote about it, but the Times and network TV wouldn't touch it. Their refusal to hold incompetent blacks accountable allowed the disaster to compound.

Politically correct reporting on the LAPD has had even more tragic consequences. The media have not only failed to acknowledge the corruption of affirmative action, they have leapt at every opportunity to brand the LAPD as racist, undercutting many dedicated officers, and deeply corroding the force's ability to battle crime.

The tragedy that took place this February 6 is the latest example. A little before 4 a.m., two officers in an LAPD patrol car saw a Toyota Camry run a red light. When they tried to pull the car over, the driver took off. After a high speed chase lasting several minutes, the car left the road and slid to a halt. Disregarding commands to leave the vehicle, the driver then backed up directly at officer Steve Garcia as he exited the squad car's passenger door. In fear for his life, Garcia shot several times as the Toyota smashed into his cruiser.

The car was found to be stolen. The driver--who died from gunshot wounds--turned out to be a black 13-year-old named Devin Brown. Neighbors reported that the teenager had become involved with the local Van Ness Bloods gang, and police stated that he had been at a gang gathering prior to this incident. The media described Brown as unarmed, ignoring how lethal a car can be when used as a weapon.

A mob of politicians and race activists, including inflammatory Congresswoman Maxine Waters, immediately condemned the act as yet another example of LAPD racism. Crowds gathered at the scene chanting "No Justice, No Peace," and waving placards that read "LAPD = KKK" and "Kill The Pigs."

"Children tend to be mischievous," one woman complained at a subsequent protest, "but they shouldn't have to die.... Children do stuff like that all the time." To which an L.A. police officer writing in National Review Online answered, "Children? Mischievous? Devin Brown, God rest his soul, was not out toilet-papering the gym teacher's house. He committed at least three felonies, crimes which might have resulted in the death of a police officer, his own passenger, or some innocent bystander." This same officer later noted that more than 20 U.S. police officers have been killed over the last five years by suspects deliberately running them over with cars.

Before the investigation into this event even got serious, Mayor James Hahn convinced the L.A. Police Commission to change regulations. A new policy now prohibits officers from firing into moving vehicles. In one more little way, the police have been hamstrung by the racialized fallout of a sad criminal incident.

A presumption of prejudice

Ever since the Watts riots of 1964, the media have pandered to the presumption of prejudice in the LAPD. Black Los Angeleno Eulia Love was shot and killed in 1979 by two cops. One of the officers was black, one Hispanic-Native American, yet they were both vilified as racists. Today, whenever the L.A. media refer to this incident they invariably report that Ms. Love was killed over a $20 gas bill. They always fail to mention that she attacked the gasman with a shovel, or that the hysterical, mentally deranged, foaming at the mouth Ms. Love threw a knife at the officers who responded to his complaint. Race had nothing to do with the tragic demise of Eulia Love, yet thanks to years of politically correct commentary, most Los Angelenos now believe it to be an historic fact that she was a victim of a "racist shooting."

Another notorious case involved Clarence Chance and Benny Powell, two black men who spent 17 years in prison for killing a black L.A. County sheriff. They were freed in 1992--shortly after a spasm of post-Rodney King guilt swept liberal Los Angeles--because it was alleged they had been "framed by the LAPD." The L.A. City Council awarded them $7 million, and the media turned them into international folk heroes, second only to Rodney King himself as symbols of racial injustice in America.

The truth is that Chance and Powell were released due to an expedient and highly symbolic decision by L.A. officials. With Daryl Gates, Mark Fuhrman, and the rest of the LAPD on the roasting spit, nobody dared question claims of an LAPD racist frame-up. It didn't seem to matter that the murder victim was black, or that the eyewitness who identified Chance and Powell was black, or that 17 years later she stuck to her ID.

Upon his release, Benny Powell, now a millionaire, was feted on TV talk shows. He also embarked on a rampage of drugs, rape, beatings, car chases, and shootings. One shootout landed him in the hospital--between two paid speaking engagements. After a brutal day-long cocaine-fueled motel rape of a UCLA student (in which he employed an ax handle as his raping tool), he was finally arrested for good when a witness saw Powell in a field chasing a nude woman with her hands tied behind her as Powell beat her with a stick.

Nobody in the media ever interviewed the UCLA coed except me. I remember her thousand-mile stare, a life ruined, as she explained why she had agreed to go on a road trip with Benny Powell. "I thought he was found innocent," she stated, having read all about Benny Powell in the Los Angeles Times, including what a sad victim and genuine hero he was. Her innocence combined with politically correct lies nearly cost her her life.

The Nazi cops myth

The O. J. Simpson verdict just two years later, which ended with the judgment that O. J. had been framed, was built on the assumption that LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman was a racist. When I wrote a story for Los Angeles magazine on Fuhrman's former partners, none of them, including blacks and Hispanics, believed he was racist. One black female cop who had only praise for Fuhrman begged me not to quote her because, she explained, "it would ruin my career and my life." The Oscar Joel Bryant Association, the LAPD's black officers group, would blackball her. Her kids would come home from school crying that she was an Aunt Thomasina.

In another feature I wrote for the same magazine, about L.A. cops who retired to Idaho, I brushed up against the virulent anti-cop bias of many reporters, which helped form the mindset of the O. J. jurors. So many L.A. cops retire near Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, that they have an annual retired-LAPD barbecue there. Police officers move there for affordable housing, and because it is a hunter's and fisherman's paradise. But that's not what the public was told Mark Fuhrman wanted up there.

The week after Fuhrman moved to Sandpoint, Idaho, the founder of the white supremacist group Aryan Nations, Richard Butler, was quoted from nearby Hayden Lake by every national TV network, wire service, and newspaper. In each interview (a swastika visible over his shoulder), Butler claimed that cops who came to Idaho were racists. The media never questioned the assertion.

I was the only reporter who bothered to fly up to Butler's Hayden Lake "compound" (five small clapboard shacks in the middle of the woods) and ask him about his assertions.

Q: "Mr. Butler, do you know Mark Fuhrman?"
A: "Well, no."
Q: "Have you ever talked to Mark Fuhrman?"
A: "Uh, well, no."
Q: "Has Mark Fuhrman ever visited you?"
A: "No."
Q: "Is Mark Fuhrman a member of your organization?"
A: "No."
Q: "Are any cops members of your organization?"
A: "No."

Richard Butler turned out to be a pathetic, doddering old man. His "followers"--as many as two at any given time--were marginal characters more worthy of pity than fear.

But just before my trip to Idaho, the Sunday New York Times Magazine had run a cover story with a two-page photo of a Hayden Lake cross-burning. Millions of people saw that picture. What they didn't know was that only five people witnessed the event in person: Richard Butler with his German Shepherd, two of Butler's followers, and the Times photographer and his assistant--for whose benefit the cross had been set aflame in the first place. Mike Feiler, managing editor of the Coeur d'Alene Press, described to me the reporters who had swarmed the area after Fuhrman's arrival: "Every one of them has come in here with marching orders, not to get the truth, but to get the story of white supremacist cops in north Idaho."

The Aryan Nations is a powerless group listened to by nobody. But the Times newspapers of Los Angeles and New York influence millions of people every day. And they rarely pass up an opportunity to lambaste "the racist LAPD" and drive a wedge into the heart of my city.

When diversity trumps truth and justice

Three decades of deplorable coverage of Los Angeles policing--from Rodney King to O. J. to Rampart and now Devin Brown--have left all Americans with a horrific legacy. Today, cops all across the United States battle a foe as destructive as crime itself: the presumption of common prejudice. "You only stopped me because I'm black."

This view has been fanned by a media elite which has made "diversity" its virtual religion. Since the late 1980s, newspapers have mandated diversity management seminars, held multicultural weekend retreats, and hired diversity consultants to remake their newsrooms and reporting guidelines. Editors' salaries are often based on the number of minorities they hire and promote. There are editorial guidelines for racial and ethnic balance in sourcing. Minorities are encouraged to complain about any perceived slights to their particular group, and to challenge the assumptions of "the white male hegemony." At one point the Los Angeles Times put a hiring freeze on white males, and issued highly tendentious style guides to its writers, along with lists of forbidden "insensitive" terms.

Minority journalists regularly circulate petitions demanding that un-P.C. colleagues be chastised or fired. They demand meetings with management to discuss editorial transgressions. The chill that this racial mau-mauing exerts on frank reporting is profound. When someone in the newsroom cries "racism," "sexism," or "homophobia," everyone backs away. Even the most dedicated reporters eventually give up and stop following leads on stories they know will never see print, and could even lead to persecution.

Hence, most of the elite media's sins are now sins of omission--the stories never told. Propaganda, as Orwell said, is in what gets left out. This syndrome extends far beyond reporting on crime and policing. To demonstrate "moral neutrality," terrorists are no longer identified as terrorists at many publications; AIDS is misrepresented as a primarily heterosexual disease in the West in order to show sensitivity to gays; troubling realities that plague our urban underclass, like illegitimacy, welfare dependency, and criminal behavior, are ignored. These evasions cause problems to be mis- and undiagnosed, and lead to millions of misspent dollars and unnecessary deaths.

But the literal life-and-death risks of political correctness are nowhere more visible than in policing. Blind eyes have been turned to the grave risks created by quota hiring, lowered standards, the fomenting of racialized suspicions in the citizenry, P.C. policies toward aliens and immigrants, draconian restraint of officers in the field, the explosion of complaints and lawsuits that shake down officers with claims of harassment and excessive force.

Meanwhile, police-attackers like Sara Jane Olson are often lionized. In 2001, Olson finally pled guilty to her role in placing a bomb under an LAPD squad car in 1975. But the '60s radical had turned "respectable" Minnesota housewife during her years on the run, and generated sympathy from the left-wing aristocracy as deep as the outrage she inspired from police officers. She became one more focal point for the political forces that have long embraced violent outlaws like the Black Panthers and various criminals and gang members when they become locked in conflicts with law enforcement.

These Sara Janes in policy-making positions, activist organizations, law offices, and newsrooms have wreaked more havoc on civic peace and safe streets than any bomb placed under a squad car. Radicals no longer call for people to "Kill the Pigs," they now bring down whole police departments with procedural coups. They turned "motorist Rodney King" (a violent, intoxicated, out-of-control, fleeing felon) into an international symbol of racial injustice, and the 1992 L.A. riots into a political "uprising." They have assassinated the character of scores of officers, and painted the whole department as racist. They have pandered to the paranoia that "O. J. was framed by the LAPD," and turned the indispensable tool of "criminal profiling" into the unacceptable horror of "racial profiling." They shut down the LAPD's Intelligence Division, making it (among other things) impossible for the city to identify foreign terrorists. They have fostered a view of police officers as bullies and oppressors not to be cooperated with. Collectively, the Sara Janes have made it nearly impossible for the LAPD to suppress gangs, control drugs, arrest criminals, or keep the peace. The result is that many neighborhoods (though not the wealthy ones the Sara Janes live in) are run by hoodlums, and thousands of innocents live in fear.

The victims of political correctness

Los Angeles County averages 1,000 murders every year, two thirds of them carried out by gangs. Most of the victims never make the papers (though every charge of "racial profiling" by an ACLU attorney gets headlines). After the Rampart scandal, L.A.'s anti-gang units were disbanded, leaving the gang-directed narcotics trade virtually unpoliced. During the year that followed, crime increased 10 percent, and the murder rate rose 25 percent, while arrests dropped 25 percent. The best cops fled to jobs at more supportive departments and communities.

By 2001, the LAPD was 884 officers short of full strength. Half the cops on the street suddenly had less than five years experience. The remaining veterans continued to leave in droves; at some divisions, 40 percent of the officers were applying for jobs at other departments. The attrition rate was double the hiring rate. Special units were disbanded or cannibalized just to keep officers on the street.

"We have money to hire officers but we can't get them," explained Dennis Zine of the Los Angeles Police Protective League in 2001. Good candidates "won't go to a police department in turmoil. And the message in the recent verdicts is that Los Angelenos are going to believe the gangbangers. There's a 'hang the cops at the airport' mentality." Zine was so appalled by the city's failed leadership that he ran for city council, and won. "The city leaders were culpable for allowing the LAPD to get into a situation where officers were afraid to do their jobs. And they cost the taxpayers millions. They settled every lawsuit. They rolled over and accepted a consent decree. They wouldn't fight for the department."

Local newspapers suggested officers were leaving because they had suddenly found more convenient schedules, fatter benefits, or better retirement packages at other departments. But the real issues driving cops away, wholly ignored by the media, were racial suspicions, absurd constraints, and the hostile complaint system imposed upon the LAPD by politically correct "reformers."

Any citizen complaint, no matter how petty, was required to be fully investigated, a process that could take as long as a year, stalling promotions, raises, or transfers, and blackening an officer's name. For a while, the LAPD was investigating ten times the number of complaints as most departments. Nearly one third of all LAPD man-hours were spent investigating each other. And the gangbangers knew this. By filing a complaint, they could "jam up" a cop--while simultaneously taking another officer off the streets to investigate the complaint.

In response, the LAPD resorted to a "3-12" work schedule. This allows cops to work three 12-hour shifts while taking the rest of the week off. The mass exodus of officers stopped, but no one asked why "the nation's best police department" needed to give its employees four days off every week (one third of them now hold a second job during that time) to make them stay.

This coincided with the arrival of Bill Bratton as L.A.'s new police chief in 2002. The renowned former Boston and New York City chief knew he had to take emergency measures to stanch the bleeding at the department, and he has. By most accounts, Bratton has pulled the department back from the precipice with a combination of good leadership, smart personnel choices, a return to reasonable discretion in the complaint process (reformers be damned), along with some tireless hand-holding with the black community.

The result has been an 18 percent decline in violent crime from the recent peaks. Bratton has won the respect of citizens and officers alike, achieving an 85 percent vote of confidence among the police rank and file. But the LAPD still has 215 fewer officers than when Bratton arrived. A ballot initiative that would have provided funding for an additional 1,260 officers failed to pass last November--in part due to the anti-police attitudes long fomented among Los Angelenos. "The LAPD is struggling to hold off an inferno of criminal activity," Bratton has said of his undermanned force. "As soon as the department puts out one fire by mustering its scarce resources to respond to a flashpoint of violent crime, the violence jumps to a new location."

Despite Bratton's admirable improvements, the LAPD remains on a knife's edge, one politicized incident away from disaster. How will the media and local citizens react to the next "racial incident"? Has anyone learned anything from the disaster of the last decades?

Cops and Gender P.C.

By Erica Walter

An Atlanta courthouse was recently the scene of slaughter as a six-foot-one former linebacker awaiting trial for rape took the gun from his lone guard, a five-foot, 50-something grandmother. After murdering a judge, a court reporter, and a deputy, Brian Nichols allegedly killed a fourth person before kidnapping Ashley Smith at two o'clock in the morning, taking her back to her apartment, and tying the young woman up in her bathtub.

The story ended with a twist: The murderous chaos the first woman allowed to erupt was ended by the second woman, as Ashley Smith in just a few hours managed to gain the man's trust, and then to change his course from violence to peace. The gunman let Smith go and surrendered to the police around noon.

Almost no press stories dared say much about the politically incorrect aspect of this bloodbath: that a 210-pound man charged with a violent crime, who only a week before had been found with metal shanks hidden in his socks, should not have been guarded by a petite grandmother who had been forced to take remedial firearms training the year before. This and other similar stories confirm that, whether anyone cares to admit it, sex differences remain a powerful fact of life--and when ignored in fields like policing can have deadly repercussions.

Take the Rodney King arrest. When an intoxicated King zoomed past California Highway Patrol officer Melanie Singer, she started a high-speed pursuit. By the time he stopped, several LAPD cops had joined the chase and watched as Singer, not a physically prepossessing woman, approached the large, bizarrely acting King with her gun drawn. This dangerous tack was too much for the LAPD cops, who pulled rank, told Singer to "stand back," and took over the arrest. The most experienced officers on the scene became upset when Singer approached King with her gun drawn. They envisioned bad consequences--either an unarmed suspect needlessly shot (as would apparently happen a few months later in a Washington, D.C. case) or (as we just saw in Atlanta) a large criminal taking a small female cop's gun and inflicting mayhem. Or, one other LAPD cop worried, the criminal may lunge at the woman and cause the less experienced officers at the scene to shoot them both in a desperate attempt to save her.

The Rodney King arrest involves many other issues besides female cops, but in Official Negligence, his definitive history of the case, Washington Post reporter Lou Cannon makes clear that the LAPD veterans were legitimately disturbed at Melanie Singer's actions. King's reaction to the fact that it was a female cop barking orders at him was part of the problem. He was disrespectful and sexual: "He grabbed his butt with both hands and began to shake and gyrate his fanny in a sexually suggestive fashion," Stacey Koon of the LAPD stated. The chain of events that followed led to the 1992 Los Angeles riots that raged for six days, leaving 34 people dead, 1,032 injured, and millions of dollars of property stolen and destroyed.

A smaller but also traumatic incident that occurred in Washington, D.C. a couple of months after King's arrest was perhaps a more representative example of the same problem. In the Mount Pleasant neighborhood, whose population includes many poor Latino immigrants, two Hispanic men were drunk and disorderly, according to the initial police report. As they were being arrested by two female police officers, Girsel Del Valle and her rookie partner Angela Jewell, a third man, Daniel Enrique Gomez, became disorderly. As the officers tried to subdue Gomez, a fourth man began to assault the cops, who by now numbered three women and one man. Gomez was not fully handcuffed; he pulled out a knife and thrust it at Jewell. Drawing her revolver while backing away, she ordered him to drop the knife. He lunged at her, and she shot him.

That is not, however, the way other Latinos who were watching the arrest saw things, and they became angry because they thought the shooting unjustified. Some said that they saw no knife and that the man who was shot had both hands behind his back, although they admitted he was walking toward Jewell and using foul language. Within hours, riots broke out in Mount Pleasant and adjoining neighborhoods and continued through the next two nights, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to cars and businesses.

At trial, the police dropped any claim that Gomez had lunged at Jewell with the knife, and the "fourth man" disappeared from the story. Given these discrepancies and the fierce anger of nearby observers, one may suspect that Gomez, who was drunk and probably using foul language, while approaching Jewell, managed both to offend and frighten her, which led to her shooting him, perhaps unnecessarily.

A veteran detective, who asked to remain anonymous, reports having seen similar problems again and again. He points out that very few men measuring five to five-and-a-half feet tall, 100 to 130 pounds, are hired, yet most female officers fit that description and are in danger of being overpowered by big thugs. (A few years ago, the LAPD, in reaction to pressure from feminist groups, even dropped its requirement that officers be at least five feet tall.) "Most bad guys fall into two categories," reports the detective. "Either they show no respect to female cops because they know they can take them, or they fear female cops because they know the women know they can be taken and will shoot quickly."

He also observes that typical men who become cops "have already been exposed to the fist fights, pushing matches, and other physical contact of the job. They also read other men better--the physical stances, clenching of fists, rolling up on the balls of the feet to get ready to fight." Most male cops, but few female ones, have also played contact sports and had some exposure to firearms. They've bloodied and been bloodied by others. He says male cops, in his experience, are also more likely to enjoy gun practice and physical exercise, and more likely to be experienced and competent at the aggressive high-speed driving sometimes required of officers. Conversely, most of the women couldn't carry a wounded officer to safety, though he adds, "Some would try. It isn't a case of bravery or sacrifice. It's a matter of strength."

None of this means we should denigrate the risks and sacrifices made by women police, or that all male cops are excellent.

Another complicating factor in the Rodney King case was a male officer who wasn't in good physical shape, hadn't mastered his baton, and didn't keep his composure once the fight broke out. That only further illustrates the importance of strength, size, weapons proficiency, and mental toughness.

One study of public safety officers found that the women had only half to two thirds the upper body strength, and half to four fifths the lower body strength of male counterparts. Presumably this explains the finding by AEI economist John Lott, drawing on U.S. Department of Justice statistics, that increasing the number of female officers in a police force by 1 percentage point appears to increase assaults on police by 15 to 19 percent.

Women can be amazingly courageous. Ashley Smith's taming of the Atlanta shooter proves that. At one point the murderer told Smith to follow him in her car while he drove a stolen truck. She could have escaped then, but didn't because she feared if she did, he would kill more people.

But when the murderer put his guns down in her apartment, Smith didn't grab them and try to overpower him, tough-guy style. Instead of using the classic masculine virtues, she used the classic feminine ones. She listened to him, cooked him breakfast, opened up her heart and persuaded him to open up his.

She encouraged him by telling him she had faith in his ability to make amends for the wrongs he'd committed, and she urged him to improve his life. The hope Smith held out for him was not that some judge would let him off, but that once he was in prison he could share the Christian faith he and Smith had in common, with other inmates. It was Smith's "gentle" virtues--and perhaps that they were displayed by a woman--that made this violent man willing to drop his guard and act right.

These same virtues are why women are often excellent police officers outside of the aspects of the job that involve violence and physical confrontation. As policing expert and former TAE editor Eli Lehrer points out:

Policing is fundamentally a helping profession, and the non-violent parts of the job involve talking with people and human relations--things that women are generally better at than men. For some crimes, like domestic violence, women are better at dealing with it in almost all cases. Women also do a better job building cases based on detailed evidence, like solving car break-ins. Male cops are perpetrators in 95 percent of police bribery cases. They're not as good at report writing (the key to getting bad guys locked up). Good departments, therefore, need both male and female officers.

The key, then, is for police forces to respect the reality that male and female officers are not interchangeable. The real-world results of pretending are ugly. They can be seen on the Atlanta videotape showing Brian Nichols smashing a grandmother's head on the courthouse floor, sending her to the hospital in critical condition before he sends four more victims to the morgue.

Our refusal to acknowledge differences between men and women, and the ways those differences affect our social interactions, can be called many things. Just don't call it progress for women.

Erica Walter is a mother and writer in Alexandria, Virginia.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Flawed Premise

I came across this story in perusing Reuters News this morning.
Venezuela destroys 30,000 guns

CARACAS (Reuters) - Battling with one of the world's highest murder rates, Venezuela on Wednesday crushed more than 30,000 guns seized from the streets during police raids this year.

Policemen used blow-torches to chop up some of shotguns and pistols. They compacted weapons including home-made pistols into a 5 ton block, said Interior Minister Tarek Al Aisammi.

"Here we have weapons captured in operations during 2009," he said on state television. "This act forms part of the disarmament policies that we have been promoting."

With 13,000 murders in 2007, the last time figures were published, violent crime consistently registers as Venezuelans' main concern in opinion polls.

Gun laws are lax in the South American oil exporter. The government estimates there are 6 million firearms circulating among the population of about 28 million. Venezuela's murder rate is about 8 times that of the United States.

Crime has risen under President Hugo Chavez, who has focused on poverty reduction to tackle violence in poor city neighborhoods.

(Reporting by Frank Jack Daniel)
Reporter Jack Daniel has evidently bought wholesale into the liberal thoughts on gun control, or he's been hitting the Jack Daniels. The crime problem in Venezuela isn't due to the number of guns, or the gun laws, but to the corrupt Chavez government. "Lax" gun laws in many parts of the United States have no exacerbating effect on crime, and may actually reduce it. It's hard to prove reduction in crime is related to firearms policy, so I won't claim it, but it's clear that relatively unrestricted purchase and shall-issue CCW laws don't increase crime.

This isn't even a news story. Police departments worldwide regularly destroy firearms and drugs they seize. Trying to link Venezuela's crime rate to the presence of guns in the country or to their gun laws is a flawed premise. If gun laws are so relaxed, then it's hard to explain why there are home-made weapons to destroy. "They compacted weapons including home-made pistols..." Criminals would simply buy their firearms legally--but they don't.

This paragraph is especially flawed:
Gun laws are lax in the South American oil exporter. The government estimates there are 6 million firearms circulating among the population of about 28 million. Venezuela's murder rate is about 8 times that of the United States.
Anti-gun advocates say there are about 280 million privately-owned guns in the United States among a population of approximately 300 million. That means there are .26 guns per person in private hands in Venezuela, and about .93 guns per person in the U.S. So, with 3.5 times the number of guns per person in private hands in the United States, we have one-eighth the murder rate of Venezuela.

If crime rate is directly related to the number of guns in private hands, then it's clear the Venezuelan government should be handing out firearms to lawful citizens, not destroying them.


Photobucket

Privilege

Here's a fascinating story that I can't believe was published by the New York Times.
A Columbia University professor has been charged with assault and harassment after an another Columbia employee accused him of punching her in the eye at a Morningside Heights bar Friday night.

The professor, Lionel McIntyre, 59, was arrested on Monday, three days after the confrontation. According to a police report, Professor McIntyre and Camille Davis, a theater production manager in the university’s School of the Arts, were having a discussion that “escalated in a verbal dispute,” and Mr. McIntyre punched Ms. Davis in the eye.

The encounter happened in Toast, a popular, noisy bar and restaurant on Broadway north of campus, where the chatter often runs to current events and politics. Professor McIntyre liked to engage fellow patrons on the subject of race, according to one regular customer, Daniel Morgan, who considers himself a close acquaintance of both Professor McIntyre and Ms. Davis.
What doesn't the NYT tell you? Evidently the professor is African American, Camille Davis is a Caucasian woman, and the dispute was about white privilege.

Now, let's be honest. While anybody may lose his temper, who feels privileged if he's confident enough strike a woman in the face over a verbal disagreement? He didn't seem to fear any repercussions for his actions. Perhaps the President will invite them to the White House for some wine.

Update: Other bloggers have beaten me to writing about this story. They're asking if it will be prosecuted as a hate crime. Naturally it won't.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Major Nidal Hasan: Traitor and Terrorist

The Fort Hood massacre was a tragedy. Loss of human life is always cause for mourning, but this case is especially sad because it might easily have been prevented. As more and more information comes out on the alleged Fort Hood shooter, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, it's increasingly clear that political correctness allowed a traitor and terrorist to take increasingly bold steps without repercussion, culminating in the cold-blooded murder of 13 soldiers and the wounding of 29 more.

The media is going to great lengths to try to assert that this shooting had nothing to do with Islamic fundamentalism. They're pretending it was just workplace violence, and claiming that Nidal Hasan snapped after years of teasing.

Let's be clear: there's no justification for shooting 42 unarmed people the way this man did. There's nothing that even mitigates his actions.

In fact, that apologetic worship of "diversity" is what allowed a cancer like Hasan to grow and metastasize. Anybody who cared to look would have found out what he was. Asra Q. Nomani, a Muslim herself, investigated and reported on Hasan's mosque. What she found is eye-opening.
In interviews with the media, leaders of the Muslim Community Center have painted a portrait of Hasan as a quiet, unassuming Muslim more interested in finding a wife than debating world politics. They express shock at his killing spree and, appropriately, condemn it. But a closer look behind the doors of the mosque and inside [Hasan's] conversations...reveal a more complex picture of a young first-generation American Muslim man living a life of dissonance between his identity as an American and his ideology as a Muslim who had accepted a literal, rigid interpretation of Islam, akin to the puritanical Wahhabi and Salafi interpretations of Islam that define the theology of militancy inside the Muslim world today, according to community members who knew Hasan.

“So many times I talked with him,” said [Golam Akhter, a local Bangladeshi-American civil engineer], a community leader who is sort of like a mosque gadfly, challenging congregants to reject literal, rigid interpretations of Islam. “I was trying to modernize him. I tried my best. He used to hate America as a whole. He was more anti-American than American.”

Despite all the conversations, Akther said, “I couldn’t get through to him. He was a typical fundamentalist Muslim.”

It wasn’t a label assigned lightly. Rather, it emerged after many one-on-one conservations between the engineer and the doctor in quiet spots from the library to the lobby to the prayer hall, discussing issues of interpretation like jihad, polygamy, assimilation, foreign policy, and the cutting of hands for theft. Other members of the community confirm this portrait of Hasan.
It's not reasonable to expect that Hasan's superiors would investigate his religious beliefs and worship. If what Nomani found were the only window into Hasan's Islamic fundamentalist attitudes, it would be reasonable to say the Army couldn't have known.

Of course, there was plenty more evidence of Hasan's potentially violent worldview. The Washington Post reported:
As a senior-year psychiatric resident at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Maj. Nidal M. Hasan was supposed to make a presentation on a medical topic of his choosing as a culminating exercise of the residency program.

Instead, in late June 2007, he stood before his supervisors and about 25 other mental health staff members and lectured on Islam, suicide bombers and threats the military could encounter from Muslims conflicted about fighting in the Muslim countries of Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a copy of the presentation obtained by The Washington Post.

Under a slide titled "Comments," he wrote: "If Muslim groups can convince Muslims that they are fighting for God against injustices of the 'infidels'; ie: enemies of Islam, then Muslims can become a potent adversary ie: suicide bombing, etc." [sic]

The last bullet point on that page reads simply: "We love death more then [sic] you love life!"

Under the "Conclusions" page, Hasan wrote that "Fighting to establish an Islamic State to please God, even by force, is condoned by the Islam," and that "Muslim Soldiers should not serve in any capacity that renders them at risk to hurting/killing believers unjustly -- will vary!"

The final page, labeled "Recommendation," contained only one suggestion:

"Department of Defense should allow Muslims [sic] Soldiers the option of being released as 'Conscientious objectors' to increase troop morale and decrease adverse events."
As Nomani points out in her article, the concept that Muslims don't harm other Muslims is something of a joke.
Look at al Qaeda, the Taliban and Pakistani militant groups: They don’t have a problem with killing Muslims, slaying Muslims in attacks from Amman, Jordan, to Islamabad, Pakistan.
This arises out of a willingness to dehumanize the "unbeliever" or nonMuslim. Once an extremist can do this, it's an easy step to do the same to other Muslims who don't believe in fundamentalist version the fanatic does, freeing him to kill them, too.

Hasan's presentation, which was disturbing enough, wasn't the only indication of trouble to his superiors and investigators. The Houston Chronicle reported:
The FBI and the Army last year investigated contacts between a Yemen-based militant Islamist prayer leader and the Army psychiatrist accused of last week’s deadly shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, but they dropped the case after concluding that he didn’t pose a terrorist threat, a senior federal law enforcement official said Monday.
It's safe to say investigators erred in that conclusion.
The official said that Hasan did not appear to have known Awlaki [the militant "prayer leader" or imam] in person, except perhaps in passing, even though the militant prayer leader was the imam at a Virginia mosque that Hasan attended in 2001.

The mosque drew the attention of the FBI at the time, and later the Sept. 11 commission, because of Awlaki’s connection to at least two of the Sept. 11 hijackers, who may have followed him from a mosque in San Diego to the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Va., in early 2001.

On his Web site, Awlaki frequently counsels his followers in what is acceptable under Islamic law. He has authorized acts of violence, including terrorist acts, under Islamic law by saying they were done to defend Muslims around the world from Western governments bent on destroying Islam.
Hasan's superiors may not have known about the FBI investigation, but they certainly knew about Hasan's ongoing poor performance.
Doctors and staff overseeing Hasan's training viewed him at times as belligerent, defensive and argumentative in his frequent discussions of his Muslim faith, a military official familiar with several group discussions about Hasan said. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about the meetings and spoke on condition of anonymity.

As a psychiatrist in training, Hasan was characterized in meetings as a mediocre student and lazy worker, a matter of concern among the doctors and staff at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences military medical school, the official said.

The concerns about Hasan's performance and religious views were shared with other military officials considering his assignment after he finished his medical training, and the consensus was to send him to Fort Hood, the official said. Fort Hood was considered the best assignment for Hasan because other doctors could handle the workload if he continued to perform poorly and his superiors could document any continued behavior problems, the official said.
While this is disturbing, there's some indication Hasan took out his extreme views on soldiers he was supposed to be counseling. This comes from talk show host Bryan Suits, who's uniquely qualified to comment. He's an army reservist who fought in Bosnia and the Middle East until he was wounded and nondeployable. The audio of his explanation may be downloaded here. He's talked extensively on this incident from his unique point of view, and audio may be obtained here. Finally, for the interested, he does a weekend show that's very specialized about the military, which may be found here.

What does Bryan Suits have to say? He's evidently talking with a soldier he knows, who saw Hasan for a post duty interview. The soldier isn't yet willing to come forward, but has related his experiences to Suits. Hasan told the soldier that his wife should be a widow and his children fatherless. The soldier replied that he'd had many close calls and absolutely felt fortunate to have made it home. Hasan indicated the soldier had misunderstood, and explained that for taking up arms against Muslims, he deserved to die. The soldier apparently filed a complaint with the site's Inspector General. Many other soldiers, similarly "counseled" likely did the same. We'll hopefully see this coming out in time.

It's shocking that a man openly expressing such views could remain in the military, much less as a psychiatrist. Suits explained that, too. The upper echelons of our military are very politically correct. They recoil at complaints of racism and avoid them at all costs. Hasan very likely only had to insinuate that disciplinary action was motivated by his race and religion and the action would be dropped. In essence, despite poor and even objectionable performance, he was untouchable. Fellow officers have reported that he openly praised the actions of the killer of the Arkansas recruiter. By the way, expressions of support for enemies of our nation must be reported by other military personnel. It's not optional. It's very likely some of the officers that so openly talked about Hasan's comments to news agencies will themselves be charged for failing to report his treasonous comments.

Just as Muslim extremists excel at acting like and hiding behind moderate Muslims, Hasan expertly used the military's political correctness to further the goal of carrying out jihad against our military. While sworn to defend our Constitution and wearing our uniform, Major Nidal Malik Hasan killed American military in support of the ideology of the enemies of our nation. This is treason. He did it with the intent to slay unsuspecting and unarmed victims while shouting “Allahu akbar,” or "God is greatest." He lived out his slide, proving "We love death more then [sic] you love life!" This is terrorism.

As a terrorist and a traitor, this man must be tried and executed. If we don't have the strength to do that, we don't have the strength to win this fight.

Notes about this post:

Quite a few people have done some excellent commentary and research on Maj. Hasan. Naturally, not all of it fit in the post. Some apologists and sympathizers try to mitigate Hasan's actions by pointing out he chose to attack military personnel. Far from displaying courage, Hasan was acutely aware that like many domestic military bases, Fort Hood was essentially a "gun free zone." Personnel could have personal weapons, but they were normally to be locked up. Weapons on base were similarly locked up, taken out and loaded only for use on the range or for hunting. Soldiers on the base couldn't carry concealed weapons, even with a CCW permit, the way Texan civilians outside the base could. In short, they were more defenseless than the population of any surrounding town would have been, and if not for the brave actions of an armed civilian police officer, Kimberly Munley, Hasan would likely have killed many more people. For more on military bases as gun free zones and a discussion of the weapon used by Hassan, visit The Tactical Wire and scroll down to "Editor's Notebook: Half Staff."

David Brooks also did an excellent op-ed piece in (of all places) The New York times entitled The Rush to Therapy about the media response to this incident. It's worth a read. I'd like to quote the whole thing here, but will encourage you to click the link and read it instead. I'll quote a significant portion below.

The truth is, Americans don't need to engage in long-distance therapy on Major Hasan. We also don't need to heal. Most of us are uninjured. We do need to know that our Homeland Security forces won't let this happen again, and that their top priority isn't preventing some imaginary "backlash" against moderate Muslims, but rather protecting us from the extremists that hide among them.

As promised, I'll close with an excerpt from David Brooks' column:

Most people select stories that lead toward cooperation and goodness. But over the past few decades a malevolent narrative has emerged.

That narrative has emerged on the fringes of the Muslim world. It is a narrative that sees human history as a war between Islam on the one side and Christianity and Judaism on the other. This narrative causes its adherents to shrink their circle of concern. They don’t see others as fully human. They come to believe others can be blamelessly murdered and that, in fact, it is admirable to do so.

This narrative is embraced by a small minority. But it has caused incredible amounts of suffering within the Muslim world, in Israel, in the U.S. and elsewhere. With their suicide bombings and terrorist acts, adherents to this narrative have made themselves central to global politics. They are the ones who go into crowded rooms, shout “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great,” and then start murdering.

When Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan did that in Fort Hood, Tex., last week, many Americans had an understandable and, in some ways, admirable reaction. They didn’t want the horror to become a pretext for anti-Muslim bigotry.

So immediately the coverage took on a certain cast. The possibility of Islamic extremism was immediately played down. This was an isolated personal breakdown, not an ideological assault, many people emphasized.

Major Hasan was portrayed as a disturbed individual who was under a lot of stress. We learned about pre-traumatic stress syndrome, and secondary stress disorder, which one gets from hearing about other people’s stress. We heard the theory (unlikely in retrospect) that Hasan was so traumatized by the thought of going into a combat zone that he decided to take a gun and create one of his own.

A shroud of political correctness settled over the conversation. Hasan was portrayed as a victim of society, a poor soul who was pushed over the edge by prejudice and unhappiness.

There was a national rush to therapy. Hasan was a loner who had trouble finding a wife and socializing with his neighbors.

This response was understandable. It’s important to tamp down vengeful hatreds in moments of passion. But it was also patronizing. Public commentators assumed the air of kindergarten teachers who had to protect their children from thinking certain impermissible and intolerant thoughts. If public commentary wasn’t carefully policed, the assumption seemed to be, then the great mass of unwashed yahoos in Middle America would go off on a racist rampage.

Worse, it absolved Hasan — before the real evidence was in — of his responsibility. He didn’t have the choice to be lonely or unhappy. But he did have a choice over what story to build out of those circumstances. And evidence is now mounting to suggest he chose the extremist War on Islam narrative that so often leads to murderous results.

Update: A link you might find interesting: Brigitte Gabriel, author of the book, They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It and founder of the nonprofit organization ACT! for America interviewed on Fort Hood and CAIR by FrontPage Magazine.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day

Today is a very meaningful day for me. I haven't served in the military, nor is there a tradition of military service in my family. It gives me an extra appreciation for men and women in uniform.

They fight so I don't have to. They bleed and die so my family is safe from foreign threats. Although I wish my state would respect my 2nd Amendment rights, our military makes sure I don't have to exercise them against invaders from other nations.

They have bought my freedom to write this blog through their service. They've permitted me to become who I am without fear.

On this Veterans Day, I'd like to express my gratitude, and my family's gratitude for that extraordinary dedication and sacrifice. Happy Veterans Day!

The Islamist Head Fake

I've decided to post this article in the main body of the blog, moving it from the links on the right. It's older, so the original post has expired at Investor's Business Daily. However, part of the article was preserved at FreeRepublic.com. It was also posted in full on blog sites, and I think it's important enough to save the article by reposting. This has direct relation to recent events and no doubt will also be significant in the future, so for reference I'm providing it here.
The Islamist Head Fake

INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY
Posted 9/28/2007

Homeland Security: When dealing with Muslim leaders, Washington should borrow a page from Ronald Reagan's Soviet playbook: Trust, but verify. Many aim to deceive us, court evidence shows.

It's now believed that several leaders of the Muslim establishment in America last decade conspired to infiltrate the U.S. political system, change Middle East policy and gradually Islamize America. At the same time, they hatched a plot to fund overseas terrorists.

Of course, they couldn't do this out in the open. So they set up benign-sounding nonprofits and charities to "camouflage" their traitorous activities, say U.S. prosecutors who cite wiretap transcripts and other documents uncovered in a criminal probe of the Holy Land Foundation, the largest Muslim charity in America.

During a secret meeting at a Philadelphia hotel, the charity's president and other prominent Muslim leaders were recorded allegedly plotting ways to disguise payments to Hamas terrorists as charity.

"I swear by Allah that war is deception," said Shukri Abu-Baker, now on trial in the federal terror-funding case. "We are fighting our enemy with a kind heart. . . . Deceive, camouflage, pretend that you're leaving while you're walking that way. Deceive your enemy."

Another participant at the Hamas summit was the founder of the Council on American Islamic-Relations, or CAIR, the largest Muslim civil-rights group in the country and an un-indicted co-conspirator in the terror-funding case.

Adding to Abu-Baker's point, Omar Ahmad compared the deception needed to fool the infidels with the head fake in basketball. "He makes a player believe that he is doing this while he does something else," Ahmad said. "I agree with you. . . . Politics is a completion of war."

The Islamist head fake has worked all too well over the past decade. Blind acceptance and validation of Muslim leaders with questionable loyalties hardly missed a beat in Washington even after 9/11.

Many were invited to the White House and Congress. The head of the FBI spoke at their conferences, calling them "mainstream" and "moderate." Many naive officials still confer legitimacy on them.

But what Muslim leaders tell us and what they tell Muslim audiences are often two entirely different things. The deception is astonishing. They've really played us for suckers.

Here are just a few examples:

Sami Al-Arian: The popular and respected Muslim activist was a White House guest of both presidents Clinton and Bush. He assured his hosts he was both peace-loving and patriotic. "I am a very moderate Muslim person," he said. "I also condemn violence in all its forms."

All the while, Al-Arian was secretly running a U.S. beachhead for Palestinian terrorists. In a speech at a Cleveland mosque, he once thundered: "Let's damn America, let's damn Israel, let's damn their allies until death."

He's now a convicted terrorist.

Abdurahman Alamoudi: This pillar of the Muslim community also went from the White House to the Big House. But not before developing the Pentagon's Muslim chaplain corps, and acting as a goodwill ambassador for the State Department.

He, too, strongly denounced terror. "We are against all forms of terrorism," he claimed. "Our religion is against terrorism."

Privately, however, he raised major funds for al-Qaida and was caught on tape grumbling that Osama bin Laden hadn't killed enough Americans in the U.S. embassy bombings.

Also, at a Muslim conference, he was recorded saying the following:

"Muslims sooner or later will be the moral leadership of America. It depends on me and you. Either we do it now or we do it after a hundred years, but this country will become a Muslim country. And I think if we are outside this country, we can say, 'Oh, Allah, destroy America.' But once we are here, our mission in this country is to change it."

Ali Al-Timimi: A noted imam and native Washingtonian, he also put on a moderate face in public while secretly plotting against us. The internationally known Muslim scholar had government clearance — even worked with a former White House chief of staff — and was invited to speak on Islam to the U.S. military.

Publicly, the imam denounced Islamic violence. "My position against terrorism and Muslim-inspired violence against innocent people is well known by Muslims," he said.

But privately, a darker picture emerged. Five days after the 9/11 attacks, he called them "legitimate" and rallied young Muslim men at his mosque to carry out more "holy war" and "violent jihad."

Al-Timimi even cheered the Columbia space shuttle disaster, calling it a "good omen" for Muslims because it was a blow to their "greatest enemy." He also said the U.S. "should be destroyed."

This high-profile moderate is also now behind bars, for soliciting terror and treason.

What other Muslim leaders are betraying our trust? Who else is "camouflaging" their radical beliefs and agenda with smiles and soft rhetoric?

To reach out to the Muslim community, we must deal with its leaders. But based on their proven track record of dissembling, we can no longer go on blindly trusting them.

Copyright 2000-2007 Investor's Business Daily, Inc.
The message from this article isn't that no Muslim is trustworthy, or that there are no moderates. The message is that just as the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah are willing to hide in schools and mosques in the Middle East, the Islamic Fundamentalists in America are happy to hide behind those who are more moderate and modern, who practice Islam as a personal faith instead of a political structure.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Milton Friedman on socialized healthcare 30 years ago

It's amazing how he clearly explained the problems we face today based on simple principles. Principles that remain to be true 30 years after he enumerated them.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Health Care Theater and more from George Washington

The passage of health care "reform" is a blow to conservatism and libertarianism. I can't help but wonder how much of this "close" passage was theater. When the California legislature passed our joke of a budget this last time, they carefully orchestrated it, including a faux opposition from the California Republican party that turned out to be arranged in advance between Republicans and Democrats. After the details of that betrayal by the so-called conservative party in California, I have a hard time believing the house passage of Pelosi's Socialized Medicine bill is anything different. It expands government power, and the one thing both parties seem to agree on is that increasing the government's power is a good thing, no matter what the expense to the citizenry, our children, and our grandchildren.

The passage of this bill brought to mind a reflection by the British actor John Bernard, who happened to meet George Washington in 1798. They both helped a couple who overturned their chaise, and General Washington invited Bernard back to his home to recover from their exertions, where they chatted. Bernard wrote down their conversation:

"[George Washington] regarded the happiness of America but as the first link in a series of universal victories; for his full faith in the power of those results of civil liberty which he saw all around him led him to foresee that it would, ere long, prevail in other countries, and that the social millennium of Europe would usher in the political...

"When I remarked that his observations were flattering to my country, he replied, with great good humor, 'Yes, yes, Mr. Bernard, but I consider your country the cradle of free principles, not their arm chair. Liberty in England is a sort of idol; people are bred up in the belief and love of it, but see little of its doings. they walk about freely, but then it is between high walls; and the error of its government was in supposing that after a portion of their subjects had crossed the sea to live upon a common, they would permit their friends at home to build up those walls about them.'" (The Real George Washington, Page 623)

I can not help but think that the walls are now chain link fencing with razor wire on top, yet within them we're given the illusion of freedom. It will take hard work to return America to the "arm chair" of liberty, but it is worth it.

What's going on now is the realization of the urgency expressed last year: "Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before." --White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, November 2008

This is precisely the sort of change George Washington warned against in his farewell address (which I've quoted before):

"Toward the preservation of your government and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect in the forms of the Constitution alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown."

That is not to say he didn't feel the Constitution should be amended. He counseled with regard to change, "let it be by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed." (The Real George Washington, pages 586-587)

Remember, any government that has the ability to give you everything you want is sufficiently powerful to take away everything you have.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Patriots rally in DC today

Only a few days ago, Representative Michelle Bachmann called for people to rally in DC today and confront their representatives on the 1990-page health care bill.

Gateway Pundit has photos up from the people there. Here's one:


This is one of the most heartening things I've seen in the last few years. I believe this kind of outpouring is the last line of defense in protecting our Republic. If the health care bill passes, I think our freedoms will permanently gone and won't be returned to us without armed uprising--something I'd like to avoid.

A sincere thanks from me to these patriots.