Saturday, March 08, 2008

Racist Black Congressmen judge officials by the colour of their skin

Two congressmen yesterday said the Department of Homeland Security needs more diversity to do its job effectively, and scolded Secretary Michael Chertoff for not bringing any black or female staffers to his appearance before the House Judiciary Committee - even though two staffers were immigrants and a third was Hispanic.

In what appeared to be a sort of diversity sting operation, Rep. Robert C. Scott, Virginia Democrat, led off his questions to Mr. Chertoff by demanding that the secretary's staff stand up to be scrutinized. Minutes later, during his own questions, Rep. Melvin Watt, North Carolina Democrat, said the point was to prove that none of the 10 staffers who stood met his definition of diverse. "You brought 10 staff people with you, all white males. I know this hearing is not about diversity of the staff, but I hope you've got more diversity in your staff than you've reflected here in the people you've brought with you," Mr. Watt told the secretary.

The hearing was called to examine the administration's record on border security and immigration, but Mr. Watt said diversity mattered for law enforcement. Both Mr. Watt and Mr. Scott are black.

Mr. Chertoff responded that Mr. Watt shouldn't judge his staff based purely on appearance. "I wouldn't assume that the ethnic background of everybody behind me is self-evident," he said.

Mr. Watt took that as a challenge, telling him, "I think I know an African-American when I see one." He asked any staffer who was black or female to rise, then demanded that the record reflect "that nobody stood up to volunteer in either one of those categories." "If we're going to do law enforcement in this country, we need to understand that there's an element of diversity in our country that I don't see represented here," Mr. Watt said.

A spokesman for Mr. Chertoff later said that one of the staffers is a naturalized citizen who immigrated from Russia, one is a naturalized citizen from Iran and another is Hispanic. Mr. Chertoff also had a female officer on his security detail.

Republicans on the committee seemed outraged by the performance and came to Mr. Chertoff's defense, pointing out that most of the staffers were civil servants rather than political appointees. "I certainly don't want this hearing to appear as though we're disparaging people who through 15 or 20 years of service have risen to these positions," said Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican.

The hearing deteriorated from there, with one member trying to get answers from Mr. Chertoff's staff about a letter he had written to the department and Mr. Chertoff objecting. "I'm not going to have everybody I bring into a hearing room questioned," Mr. Chertoff said.


British culture boss criticised for anti-patriotic attack

The culture minister, Margaret Hodge, is facing a chorus of criticism from across the political spectrum after attacking the Proms for not being multicultural enough. The minister said the annual series of concerts at the Royal Albert Hall failed to attract a diverse audience and unite different sections of society

Many view the flag waving and patriotism of the Last Night of the Proms as one of the greatest expressions of Britishness and a high point of the cultural calendar. But the minister suggested that it failed to attract all those living in multicultural Britain.

Downing Street was forced into an immediate U-turn and denied that the Government, or Mrs Hodge, had attacked the Proms. Gordon Brown's spokesman praised the concerts as a "wonderful, democratic and quintessentially British institution". He said: "The Prime Minister's position on this is quite clear - he thinks the Proms are a good institution." Privately, Mr Brown, who has championed the values of Britain, was said to be angry that Mrs Hodge's remarks had not been cleared with Downing Street.

David Cameron, the Tory leader, said: "Margaret Hodge is wrong. We need more things where people celebrate Britishness and people think the Union Jack is a great symbol of togetherness. It is a classic example of a Labour politician not getting the sort of things people like to celebrate - culture and identity and a great British institution." Jeremy Hunt, the shadow culture secretary, said: "There is probably no better example in the world of a series of concerts that attracts a huge audience to often quite challenging classical music."

Mrs Hodge's comments came in a speech to the Institute of Public Policy Research think tank. She praised "icons of a common culture" including Coronation Street and the Angel of the North and said culture could enhance a sense of "shared identity", but she singled out the Proms for not doing that. She said: "The audiences for many of our greatest cultural events - I'm thinking in particular of the Proms - is still a long way from demonstrating that people from different backgrounds feel at ease in being part of this. "I know this is not about making every audience completely representative, but if we claim great things for our sectors in terms of their power to bring people together, then we have a right to expect they will do that wherever they can."

A BBC spokesman defended the Proms saying: "We are proud that the BBC Proms is world-renowned for the way it combines excellence in classical music with an ongoing commitment to bringing it to the widest possible audience. "Indeed, this has recently been recognised by three nominations for audience development in the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards."

The Proms were founded in 1895 to give everyone the chance to hear live classical music with low ticket prices. It is the biggest classical musical festival in the world with more than 70 concerts in the Royal Albert Hall over eight weeks in the summer. It climaxes with the Last Night which features patriotic pieces including Land Of Hope And Glory, Rule Britannia and the national anthem.


A sick old feminist

Behold with me the politics of gynocentrism. What a depressing and desiccative sight it is. Just look at Gloria Steinem. From once-ripe feminist icon to idea-barren harridan, she offers nothing to young women but anachronistic man-hate, anti-military bigotry and woe-is-me wallowing. Hope and change? Try harp and whinge. Some things get better with age. The women's rights movement isn't one of them.

In the dark and desperate days of gyno-candidate Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, Team Hill dragged Steinem out of the leftist dustbin for a grieve-a-thon in Austin, Texas. The 73-year-old activist sulked about Barack Obama's ascendancy to The New York Observer, blaming voters who "want redemption for racism" and complaining that not "as many want redemption for the gynocide." What does she mean by gynocide? "There are six million female lives lost in the world every year simply because they are female," Steinem asserted, making a passing reference to pregnant women killed by male partners.

Presumably, she's not including the millions of unborn girls aborted around the world every year because of their gender. And nothing in Steinem's record indicates that she's thinking of the untold numbers of girls and women murdered for "honor" in the name of Allah by Muslim relatives. It's Western men Steinem detests. You know, the ones who watch football, whom NOW tried to blame for a mythic rise in domestic violence on Super Bowl Sundays, and the ones who serve in the US armed forces - like that gyno-enemy, John McCain.

As the Observer reported, Steinem launched into a full-scale tirade about McCain's war heroism, peddling a double standard that simply doesn't exist: "Suppose John McCain had been Joan McCain and Joan McCain had got captured, shot down and been a POW for eight [sic] years. [The media would ask], 'What did you do wrong to get captured? What terrible things did you do while you were there as a captive?' " In fact, nasty anonymous fliers in South Carolina did attack McCain's years in captivity, and Web sites have spotlighted the conspiracy theories of some of his fellow POWs.

But it's not just about John McCain. "Steinem's broader argument was that the media and the political world are too admiring of militarism in all its guises," the Observer helpfully explained. "I am so grateful that [Clinton] hasn't been trained to kill anybody. And she probably didn't even play war games as a kid," Steinem spewed, adding that "from George Washington to Jack Kennedy and PT-109 we have behaved as if killing people is a qualification for ruling people."

From Vietnam to Iraq, feminists have always behaved as if serving in the military was about nothing more than "killing people" - even as they clamored to put women on the front lines in combat roles in the name of gender equality. Leave it to the progressive left to smear their sisters after pushing for decades to integrate them into the "war machine." They don't care about the careers of women in the armed services. They care about haranguing Congress on funding for contraceptives and abortions, portraying female soldiers as victims, hounding military recruiters and exploiting accusations of harassment and abuse to undermine military institutions.

American women are the freest, wealthiest, most educated in the world. They are liberated enough to choose someone for president other than a female candidate out of uterus-based loyalty. This should be viewed as progress, not heresy. But the old-guard feminists - the "ruling people" - deeply resent this independence as they cling to what's left of their power base and their shrinking absolute moral-authority card. Like their whiny candidate Clinton, Gloria Steinem and the fading gyno-saurs just can't accept when it's time to quit.



By Barry Rubin

Ironic, isn't it, that radical forces threaten a wide range of violence, sanctions, and other behaviors against democratic states while insisting-along with their Western apologists-that any attempt by their victims to put any kind of pressure on them is useless. Think about it. Every time someone proposes, say, economic sanctions (on Iran or Syria), an international tribunal investigating its involvement in terrorism (on Syria), military operations or killing terrorist leaders (against Hamas, Hizballah, Iraqi insurgents, al-Qaida, the Kurdish PKK, or the Taliban), diplomatic isolation, or even not giving financial aid (Hamas), a chorus of voices says: it won't work.

The extremists, you see, are tough. They believe in their cause. They will not be deterred from their course. So, we are told, we must engage them, hear (and presumably respond to) their grievances. Presumably, thereafter, the West supposedly must give way; Israel allegedly has to make concessions.

The smug, over-"educated," and those trained in "conflict resolution" (who never seem to have resolved any conflict) view the normal procedures of diplomacy, strategy, and power politics with contempt. They maintain that, by correcting misunderstandings, kind words turn adversaries into friends. Pressure only unites the dictator's subjects into unity fueled by patriotic zeal (which sometimes, of course, does happen). But their sole remaining strategy is to give away assets in order to buy (or, more likely, temporarily rent) immunity from imperialist-minded regimes and single-minded revolutionary groups.

Dismissing any attempt to press the Hamas or Fatah governments to reduce incitement or stop terrorist attacks through selective pressure, one veteran architect of failed agreements advocated even more unilateral Israeli concessions, explaining, "Pressure has never changed Palestinian behavior." Unfortunately, there isn't much evidence that concessions have worked any better in this regard.

Even, however, if one assumes radical forces will not become moderate or disappear entirely if subjected to pressure, it nevertheless remains true that sanctions, military operations, aid given only if certain conditions are met, and other efforts can achieve a number of worthwhile goals:

--Weaken radical forces so that they are less able to murder people or destabilize societies

--Discourage states from helping extremists and to be more cautious in their international adventures.

--Undermine their internal base of support, a long-term project.

--Persuade others not to join them.

Costs have consequences, and they are not merely to make people who hate you angrier. This brings us to the new propaganda technique of collective punishment. Radical regimes, Saddam Hussein's in Iraq, for instance, are taught to believe they can continue extremist policies while holding their own people as hostages. "Throw down your weapons or I'll starve my citizens!" Supposedly, the new rules are that Hamas can teach children to view themselves as a master "race" licensed to kill sub-human others and wage war on its neighbor while Israel must provide all of Gaza's needs or be guilty of war crimes. As if that isn't enough, it demands Western governments subsidize that program.

But, guess what? Living under a repressive dictatorship is the most terrible type of humanitarian disaster, helping keep it in power is the worst form of collective punishment, and letting it commit aggression against you imposes both of these states on your own people. If Western people and governments accept this kind of argument, how can the radicals possibly lose?

Certainly, Middle East states don't hesitate to use every bit of leverage of their own, especially when it is totally cost-free. For example, there's the revelation that high-ranking Saudi officials threatened not to provide intelligence warnings about future terrorist attacks on Britain unless that country stopped investigating their personally stealing hundreds of millions of dollars through bribes. Britain acceded, no doubt fearing retaliation or loss of future trade more than preserving a democratic system of laws.

Why should we believe sanctions only work in one direction, against the West? In contrast, economic pressures on Iran regarding its nuclear program, are really biting. In a report for MEMRI, economist Nimrod Raphaeli analyzes the statistics and concludes that Tehran is doing very badly. Even Chinese banks have joined "almost all" Western and Japanese banks in cutting business relations with Iranian counterparts. The central bank of Iran admits that "no direct foreign investments are coming into Iran."

People in Iran can see that the ultra-radical policies and hysterical threats of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have a cost. "Operating under the weight of UN, but more potent, U.S. sanctions, Iran is going through hard economic times despite the quintupling of oil prices in the last three years," Raphaeli concludes. There are costs for Iranians in this situation, "Inflation was running at more than 19 percent in 2007 compared with 12 percent in 2006; unemployment is high in general.50 percent of the population is poor and more than 20 percent live below the poverty line." This does not mean the regime or its policies will change, but they are far more likely to be weakened and reconsidered than if no such sanctions were in place. At any rate, it is one of the best ways to combat "collective punishment" committed by Iran on other countries.

On another front, Syria's apologists say that economic and political sanctions won't work so we might as well give up and let them devour Lebanon. Yet Syria itself uses economic sanctions as part of its campaign to take over Lebanon. The U.S. government has just put restrictions on Rami Makhlouf, President Bashar al-Asad's cousin and Asad-in-chief for corruption. Here's just one of his tricks: Mercedes was barred from bringing spare parts into Syria until it made him sole agent. The regime isn't interested in reforming the economy, only in looting it.

On February 21, the U.S. Treasury "designated" him and other Syrian economic gangsters and their Lebanese accomplices, meaning he cannot do any business or have accounts in the United States. The Syrian regime and its lackeys insisted this was meaningless-though the loudness of their howls shows just how much it hurts them.

But if radicals disregard Western pressures, it is due to optimism, not bravery. They think the West has no guts or staying power. Muhammad Habash, one of the Syrian parliament's sleaziest members (competition for that title is intense) mocked: "We are expecting a lot of such measures in the next six months, but this will not affect Syria's policy. "There is no solution with this American administration, and we have to wait for the next president." They seem to expect that the next U.S. president will keep all his powers locked up in the barracks; that they don't need to gain victory but only have to await surrender. That strategy fails much of the time yet there are all too many cases where it has worked and will work.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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