Or do penalties for disgusting racist comments only get applied to white guys?
Knicks executive and former player Larry Johnson had a decidedly different but still strong reaction to the racially insensitive remarks Clippers owner Donald Sterling is alleged to have made.
On Saturday night, Johnson tweeted: Black people your Focusing on the wrong thing. We should be focusing on having our own, Own team own League! To For Self!!
The initial indication was Johnson was calling for an all-African-American league complete with black ownership. It wasnt the first time Johnson, who is black, concerned himself with the fact the NBAs ownership is mostly white while its players are mostly black.
Black people your Focusing on the wrong thing. We should be focusing on having our own, Own team own League! To For Self!!— Larry Johnson (@TheRealLJ2) April 26, 2014
During the 1999 NBA Finals between the Knicks and Spurs, Johnson caused a stir by saying: Weve got a lot of rebellious slaves on this [Knicks] team.
Mind you, I carry no brief for Donald Sterling. His comments are disgusting and it is only appropriate that the NBA disassociate itself from both them and him. But to allow Johnson to stay after his history of racist words is pure hypocrisy -- as is allowing racists like Spike Lee and Jay-Z (a part owner of the Nets) to sit at courtside.
Because they know she cannot win.
The chairman of the Democratic Governors Association gave a less-than-rosy assessment of Sen. Wendy Davis' chances Tuesday and got a slam in return from her campaign.
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, association chairman, failed to cite the Texas Democrat's race for governor against Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott as a top target in talking to reporters, The Wall Street Journal reported. Instead, Shumlin pointed to races in Maine, Florida, Pennsylvania and, secondarily, Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan.
"We're hopeful in Texas but we all understand that Democrats haven't won Texas in a long time," he said. "I wish that we could spend money for Democrats in all 50 states. My job is not to promote governors' races in states where we can't win."
Got that? National Democrats recognize that Texas is a state where Democrats can't win. Most Texans could have made that diagnosis last July.
I'm curious -- did the procedure used involve a suction machine or the jabbing of scissors into the base of the brain? Heck, Democrats should have used Plan B on Davis last July.
Who on earth thought this was a good idea? Believe it or not, it links back to a close associate of ever-so-Christian slate maker Dr. Steve Hotze.
The campaign for Wendy Davis is hitting Republican Greg Abbott, her opponent in the race for Texas governor, for his ties to a firm whose comptroller recently created a political action committee named Boats N Hoes PAC.
The language used by Greg Abbotts consultants is offensive to every Texas mother and daughter and the men who love them and has no place in politics, said Davis spokeswoman, Rebecca Acuña, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
The PAC whose name might be a possible reference to the movie Step Brothers was registered earlier this month by Shaun Nowacki, the outlet reported on Wednesday. Nowacki is currently listed as a comptroller for Blakemore & Associates, which advised eight previous Abbott campaigns from 1991 to 2004, the outlet said.
Yep, Nowacki is part of the operation run by Allen Blakemore you know, Dr. Hotzes pet political consultant. The guy who you hire if you want the pay-to-play endorsement of Hotze the Social Pharisee influence peddler whose endorsements are based upon only one principle will you give him as much money as he demands in your race.
And now they are (or were) out there giving money under the name of Boats N Hoes a bad joke from a lousy movie that was antithetical to Christian values. Seems like this Holy Week weve found out just how hypocritical that crew can be not that it comes as a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention.
Call it one more reason to reject the slates as many conservative activists and I did at the last HCRP Executive Committee meeting and our senatorial district conventions this spring. Heres hoping the state adopts our plank.
By the way heres what they promoted with the name they selected. It is pretty disgusting stuff, and I include this link to the NSFW lyrics only to make it clear just how inappropriate the actions of the holier-than-thou set really were in this case.
Way to display your family values, guys. And way to glorify the Lord, too.
Probably not the teacher would have been afraid of being beheaded by a horde screaming Allahu Akbar! But suppressing the religious rights of Christian kids will rarely provoke a significant response.
The mother of a Potosi High School student said a teacher went too far when her daughter was reprimanded for carrying a Bible around school.
Angela English says her daughter, Kiela, called her from school saying a teacher yelled at her for carrying a bible and discussing religion with a classmate.
Her daughter wasn't punished, but she says it's clear even talking about the bible in the hallways of the high school isn't acceptable.
Lets deal with the black-letter constitutional law on this matter.
Students may bring a Bible to school with them.
Students may read the Bible during free time at school including in classrooms when they have completed their work.
Students may discuss the Bible and religion generally during school hours, with others who choose to engage in such discussions.
Any teacher who tells a student different is either ignorant of the rights of students or is intentionally violating their First Amendment rights. There is not enough information in this story to tell which is the case here.
Some things are either true or false and public opinion does not change the reality. It therefore is not entirely relevant to ask whether folks THINK what is true is actually true.
About six in ten American voters think Barack Obama lies to the country on important matters some or most of the time, according to a Fox News poll released Wednesday.
Thirty-seven percent think Obama lies most of the time, while another 24 percent say he lies some of the time. Twenty percent of voters say only now and then and 15 percent never.
President Obama has been accused by political opponents and media fact-checkers alike of telling falsehoods. Frequently cited: His repeated claim that under Obamacare If you like your plan, you can keep it and his insistence that the day after Benghazi happened, I acknowledged that this was an act of terrorism.
Now the reality is that Obama lies to Americans frequently. The examples are almost endless. What this poll tells us is that some 60% of Americans are paying attention.
Unfortunately, there are patches of folks who are delusional.
The number of voters saying Obama lies most of the time includes 13 percent of Democrats. It also includes 12 percent of blacks, 16 percent of liberals, 31 percent of unmarried women and 34 percent of those under age 30 -- all key Obama constituencies.
Yet some of those groups are also among those most likely to say Obama never lies to the country on important matters: blacks (37 percent), Democrats (31 percent), liberals (28 percent) and women (19 percent).
So as you can see, the main thing needed to be an Obama voter is to be out of contact with reality.
Yeah, what happened is gross.
But is it so gross that they need to get rid of this much water?
Portland officials said Wednesday they are flushing away millions of gallons of treated water for the second time in less than three years because someone urinated into a city reservoir.
In June 2011, the city drained a 7.5 million-gallon reservoir at Mount Tabor in southeast Portland. This time, 38 million gallons from a different reservoir at the same location will be discarded after a 19-year-old was videotaped in the act.
"The basic commandment of the Water Bureau is to provide clean, cold and constant water to its customers," bureau administrator David Shaff said Wednesday. "And the premise behind that is we don't have pee in it."
But the reality is that open reservoirs like this do have urine in them urine from various birds and animals that do their business in them all the time. And we are talking about somewhere between a pint and a quart of human urine in a reservoir that holds tens of millions of gallons of water that is, lets be honest, negligible. Whatever final purification the water goes through before entering the water lines ought to be more than sufficient to deal with the contamination that resulted from this teens stupidity.
In other words, what we are seeing here is nothing more than an exercise in public relations a wastefully expensive stunt that will ultimately cost the public a great deal of money.
Here are last weeks full results.
li>Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote The Glittering Eye -The Distraction
li>Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote The Razor Obamacare Tax Is Here for Individuals Too
li>Third place with 1 2/3 votes -Victor Davis Hanson-Americas New Anti-Strategy submitted by Bookworm Room
A leaflet distributed in Donetsk, Ukraine calling for all Jews over 16 years old to register as Jews marred the Jewish communitys Passover festivities Monday (Passover eve), replacing them with feelings of concern.
The leaflet demanded the citys Jews supply a detailed list of all the property they own, or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportion and see their assets confiscated.
Donetsk, a Ukraine province with 4.3 million people 10 percent of Ukraines population and 17,000 Jews, is home to much of the countrys heavy industry, and is thus the biggest prize of the eastern regions where pro-Russian separatists have captured government buildings in the past week.
The leaflet, signed by Chairman of Donetsks temporary government Denis Pushilin, was distrbiuted to Jews near the Donetsk synagogue and later in other areas of the city where pro-Russians activists have declared Donetsk as an independent peoples republic, defying an ultimatum from Kiev to surrender.
The leaflet was written in Russian and had Russias national symbol on it, as well as the Donetsk Peoples Republic insignia.
Dear Ukraine citizens of Jewish nationality, the flyer began, due to the fact that the leaders of the Jewish community of Ukraine supported Bendery Junta, a reference to Stepan Bandera, the leader of the Ukrainian nationalist movement which fought for Ukrainian independence at the end of World War II, and oppose the pro-Slavic Peoples Republic of Donetsk, (the interim government) has decided that all citizens of Jewish descent, over 16 years of age and residing within the republics territory are required to report to the Commissioner for Nationalities in the Donetsk Regional Administration building and register.
Given the long and bloody history of Russians in relation to Jews, this development is disturbing. Are we about to see "Never Again" become "Once Again"?
I see no other way to interpret this.
Drew This will terrify the Kochs:
Our enormous voter turnout effort, the Grassroots Victory Project, is now projected to boost swing-state Democrats by one to four percentage points. This will drive the Kochs wild their $30+ million in attacks will be a total waste if we neutralize their ads with strong turnout and stop a GOP Senate takeover!!
But if we fall short and dont have the resources to execute this ambitious plan, our chance to stop the Kochs from buying the Senate will be doomed before Spring ends. Our funding deadline is Friday and we still need 6,000 more Democrats to step up to help fund ground staff in key battleground states like North Carolina will you help before then?
Please pitch in $15 to the Grassroots Victory Project before Friday. Dont let the Kochs buy the Senate!
Thanks for your help,
DSCC Battleground Update
Now let's see if you can follow my logic here.
They want the Koch brothers -- American citizens who are peacefully exercising their constitutional rights -- the be terrified.
To accomplish their political goals, they must terrorize the Koch brothers for daring to oppose them.
Which, of course, is exactly what terrorist groups do to their political enemies/opponents.
Not that this should be a surprise to anyone. Democrats have a long and colorful history of engaging in terrorist activities against their opponents. So perhaps this is a case of "the more things change the more they stay the same."
The Democrat candidates for statewide office in Texas are doing about as well with the voters as one might expect if you made a reasoned analysis of Texas politics and avoided the drivel put out by much of the media that said that Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte would ride into office on a wave of female and Hispanic votes.
PPPs newest Texas poll finds Republicans leading by double digits in all of the states major races for 2014.
In the Governors race Greg Abbotts at 51% to 37% for Wendy Davis. Those numbers are largely unchanged from our last poll of the state in early November when Abbott had a 50/35 advantage. Davis had a 39/29 favorability rating right after her famous filibuster last June, but since then voters in the state have mostly moved toward having negative opinions about her and now shes at a 33/47 spread. Davis name recognition is actually 12 points higher than Abbotts, but his reviews break down favorably with 40% having a positive view of him to 27% with a negative one.
Oh, yeah and this is a poll done by a Democrat-leaning polling outfit.
Expect the ladies to be crushed by a tidal wave of Republican votes many of them coming from female and Hispanic voters. I'm beginning to think, contrary to my initial reaction to the primary results, that not even the nomination of Dan Patrick for Lt. Governor and serial outrageous statements by either him or the hosts at his radio station will win the Democrats even a single statewide office.
Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven Im not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. Its not even close.
Wow just wow! Hes declaring that he, and not God, will determine if he belongs in heaven.
Perhaps he should remember that pride goeth before the fall and that it was the sin of pride that was at the root of the great spiritual conflict that led to the ejection of Lucifer and the other fallen angels from Heaven. I would therefore suggest that absent his developing a sense of humility, that it isnt heaven where Bloomberg will be charging through the gates without an interview.
A school-wide questionnaire at Western Washington University (WWU) asked the community How do we make sure that in future years we are not as white as we are today?
The question, released through the communications and marketing department's daily newsletter Western Today, comes on the heels of admonishments given in multiple convocation addresses by WWU President Bruce Shepard for the universitys failure to be less white.
Every year, from this stage and at this time, you have heard me say that, if in decades ahead, we are as white as we are today, we will have failed as university, Shepard said in the 2012 speech.
And in a recent blog post on WWUs website, Shepard echoes these sentiments, saying those who do not agree have not thought through the implications of what is ahead for us or, more perniciously, assume we can continue unchanged.
In the decades ahead, should we be as white as we are today, we will be relentlessly driven toward mediocrity; or, become a sad shadow of our current self, he wrote.
Lets do a little thought experiment.
Replace the word white with black.
Imagine what the national response would be if one of those revised statements came out of President Shepards mouth or appeared in a university publication even one time.
Those responsible for the statements would be pilloried in the media, fired by the university, and investigated by state and federal authorities who would presume that they had at some point implemented the discriminatory intent they communicated.
But communicate the intent to exclude white students based upon their race to create a hostile environment which would simultaneously drive white students away while at the same time making the campus more attractive to approved minorities is not considered to be a big deal. After all, whites are evil and therefore need to be discriminated against, even if the Fourteenth Amendment and civil rights laws make such discrimination illegal.
Consider these statistics.
Now before he lets himself get blinded by the white, President Shepard should ask himself something. Why arent people of color even interested in attending his school? Anyone with a 20 ACT/1450 SAT and a 3.0 GPA has strong odds on getting in.
They admit over 75% of their applicants. If Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians even wanted to go to Western Washington, theyd only have to stay awake during the college prep track at an adequate public high school to get in. How do I break it to the man gently? This place isnt Harvard.
He could have any student body he chose to admit -if they were willing to come. Maybe these prized minority students are staying away because they are smart enough to.
By the way, there could be other reasons why Western Washington University is so white? Well, maybe that has something to do with the fact that the state of Washington is nearly 80% white a demographic reality that WWU reflects by having a student body that is also nearly 80% white. Moreover, WWU is not a major national university, or even the most prominent public college or university in the state, and it is therefore draws from a more regional pool of potential students which, given that both the city and county in which WWU is located are over 88% white, could lead one to conclude that minorities are over-represented at the school if one were to play the sort of bean-counting games that government agencies so often use in employment cases when a disparity between a business's employee demographics and the demographics of the local community.
Surely there must be some reason that the students that Shepard desires arent coming to WWU. After all, why wouldnt they want to spend four years at a third-rate public university located in a lily-white community where it is gray and rainy much of the school year?
Now please understand that I am not saying that diversity is a bad thing. Diversity, when it occurs naturally and is based upon criteria that actually matter (such as diversity of views, rather than diversity of skin tone or sex partners), is a good thing and beneficial to the education of all students. But hyper-concern with diversity based upon race, with a goal of increasing the representatives of favored groups so that they constitute a disproportionately large percentage of the student body, is not only not healthy but is also a recipe for making the university truly irrelevant as an institution of higher education.
More at Sister Toldjah
Deep-pocketed donors are turning over multimillion-dollar checks to influence November's elections, and the sums raised by the national parties and their super PAC allies are already approaching the $1 billion mark, according to financial reports still being filed Tuesday evening.
* * *
Democrats, at least for the moment, seem to have a roughly 3-to-1 advantage over Republicans in cash raised and banked through independent groups, according to the early filings. That balance of power could quickly change as new reports are filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Then again, maybe the Democrats are right with their claim that such contributions are corruption because, after all, we have seen over the decades that the Democrats are nothing but an organization that would qualify for prosecution under the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization) statute were it not cloaked as a political party.
Not only is Wendy a serial liar who shilled for latter-day acolytes of Moloch at Planned Parenthood, used her position in the state senate to benefit her law firm and its clients -- and therefore her own personal finances.
When Wendy Davis chose to work for local government agencies as a lawyer, she promised she would not represent anyone on any issues that came before the state.
But Davis, the state senator who is the Democratic nominee for governor, has voted on bills affecting clients and her law firms bottom line.
Records show Davis supported legislation governing a toll-road project for which the North Texas Tollway Authority hired her firm. She backed changes governing the collection of unpaid tolls that preceded an NTTA program in which law firms including Davis were chosen to carry out the collections. And as a state senator, she sought federal money for a transportation project being handled by her law firm.
During the 2011 legislative session, Davis was billing the tollway authority for condemnation work on one project the same day she was voting for toll-collection legislation backed by the NTTA.
And thankfully, we even have a timeline of some of Wendy's dirty deeds.
Nov. 5, 2008: Wendy Davis is elected to the Texas Senate.
April 6, 2009: Davis opposes a North Texas Tollway Authority-backed bill to give local tollway authorities right of first refusal to build toll projects.
Feb. 25, 2010: Davis Senate office asks the Texas Department of Transportation for information about qualifications for certification of minority-owned businesses for highway contracts.
March 2, 2010: Fort Worth-based Cantey Hanger law firm announces it has hired Davis.
March 22, 2010: Davis and Bryan Newby, a former chief of staff to Gov. Rick Perry, form a minority-owned law firm, Newby Davis.
June 10, 2010: Davis writes to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood seeking federal funding for the Chisholm Trail Parkway project. The law firm handling the project is Cantey Hanger.
Feb. 1, 2011: Sen. Jane Nelson introduces a bill to cap fees charged to drivers with unpaid tolls.
March 17, 2011: NTTAs legal services committee approves hiring Newby Davis to do land-condemnation work for the Chisholm Trail Parkway project.
March 23, 2011: Davis drops her version of a fee-cap bill and signs onto Nelsons bill, which has NTTA support. The bill sets the fees regimen that would be the starting point that law firms subsequently hired by NTTA would use to seek settlements.
March 29, 2011: The Senate approves a measure supported by NTTA to give local tollway authorities right of first refusal to build toll projects. Davis votes for it, saying its better than the version she opposed in 2009.
May 27, 2011: Newby Davis begins billing NTTA for work on the Chisholm Trail project. In the Senate, Davis votes for Nelsons fee-cap collection bill, which goes to the governor, who later signs it.
Aug. 15, 2012: NTTA chooses Newby Davis as one of six litigation firms to collect fees and delinquent tolls.
Aug. 30, 2012: Davis subcontracts with a Chicago collection agency to handle delinquent toll and fee settlements.
If a Republican were found to have been doing this, he or she would be pilloried in the press. But since Wendy Davis made her name for supporting baby-killing while wearing cute footwear, she'll likely get a pass from most of the media in this country.
He's realistic about his interests, his aptitude, and his options.
He doesn't like to sit in a classroom. He can write -- even write well -- but doesn't enjoy doing so. He is on grade level as far as reading, but doesn't enjoy reading.
He does, on the other hand, enjoy working with his hands. He understands mechanical things almost instinctively.
After he finished his work the other day, he and I had a few minutes to talk -- and since he is a senior only two months from graduation, future plans were an obvious subject.
He's going to a local community college in the fall, getting into their welding program.
And I couldn't be prouder of him.
He is resisting the pressure that so many students can't resist -- the "you have to go to college and get a four year degree" pressure that has been so prevalent over the last couple of decades. You know, the sort of pressure that has resulted in young people leaving school with a crippling level of college loan debt.
I'll say it flat out -- I support him completely. He's likely going to be successful in life, doing skilled work that many of us can't. With a little luck, he'll become an upstanding member of his local community, with a home and a family and a job that allows him to live a good life.
And so I'll say it again -- I have great respect for his decision. I wish him well -- and wish a few more of his classmates would follow his lead.
Whose DNA is he trying to cover up? Bill Clinton's? His own?
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., scheduled a Friday session that wont have any votes, rejecting Republican and Democratic requests that he allow a vote on a bill that would allow rape kits to be processed more quickly.
Debbie Smith is an extraordinary woman and an effective advocate, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told the Washington Examiner. Shes personally asked me, John Cornyn and others to pass this critically important legislation that bears her name, and its deeply disappointing that the majority leader is blocking it from reaching the presidents desk.
The House of representative -- controlled by Republicans -- overwhelmingly passed this statute. Reid, on the other hand, seems to oppose testing rape kits and allowing the arrest and prosecution of rapists. That is simply an outrage.
Now, Im for interracial marriage. Im for same-sex marriage. Im the one that introduced the bill to have same-sex marriage. I dont care who marry who. If a man meet a little mule and he wanna get married to the little mule, as long as he and the little mule get along all right, thats fine with me. It doesnt bother me any kind of way.
Got that -- according to Alvin Holmes, gay marriage is the same as bestiality! Not only that, they both should be legal and on the same basis -- "it doesn't bother me in any kind of way."
So clearly one must be a bigot if one opposes inter-species marriage.
Of course, this guy is a flaming racist -- just like Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Charles Rangel, Al Sharpton, and most other Democrats -- so I guess we shouldn't be surprised by his continuing hate-filled rhetoric.
But one does have to wonder -- while racism is completely acceptable among Democrats (as it has been for the entire history of their party), will the hateful comparing of homosexuality to bestiality be sufficient to have him driven from office?
Which would, of course, make her a racist (like most Democrats over the long history of that party).
Or is she simply afraid to be seen with one particular black man, Barack Obama -- which would, given the racially charged rhetoric of certain political bottom feeders, make her a racist (like most Democrats over the long history of that party)?
President Obama met privately Thursday with Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic nominee for governor, amid accusations by her GOP opponent that shes afraid to be seen in public with the president.
A White House aide said Mr. Obama visited briefly with Ms. Davis following his remarks at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin to mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.
The meeting took place after reporters traveling with Mr. Obama had been moved into vans, so they didnt witness the meeting.
The reality is that Wendy Davis was unwilling to be in a situation where she might be photographed or filmed with Barack Obama. That is indisputable. The only question is whether she is a racist or a racist.
I missed this yesterday, but think I need to include it to document the incompetence of Denise Pratt as a judge, the degree to which she messed with the lives of ordinary citizens, and why we need to make sure she does not win the May 27 runoff.
With deadlines looming, Harris County administrative judges are asking lawyers who had cases dismissed as part of a mass purge by former Family Court Judge Denise Pratt to tell them if they had filed motions asking those cases be reinstated or risk having to start over from scratch.
Pratt, who abruptly resigned late last month, dismissed more than 630 cases on the final two days of 2013. Lawyers said she did not notify them or their clients of the dismissals or schedule hearings for them, as required by law.
* * *
At least 260 of the cases were not inactive, with about 230 having been reinstated before Pratt's March 28 departure, according David Farr, administrative judge for the county's nine family courts.
Farr said he has found about 30 paper copies of motions to reinstate cases in the 311th courtroom that were filed on time by lawyers but had not been signed or scheduled for hearings by Pratt.
"I strongly suspect that there are other motions to reinstate which were timely filed ... but that were not set for hearings prior to Judge Pratt's departure," Farr wrote in an email blast to family lawyers on Tuesday. "The Harris County Administrative Judge Robert Schaeffer and I are currently attempting numerous measures in order to identify those 'lost motions to reinstate,' which include this email ... '"
Farr said he has asked the district clerk to track down all electronic motions but is concerned he may not find all of them before deadlines next week. The deadline for reinstating any of the 630-plus cases dismissed at the end of December is April 14 and 15.
Last week, Farr said Pratt had left her court in administrative shambles, noting that he had found stacks of hundreds of unsigned, unfiled court orders dating back to 2012, most of them final.
Absolutely horrifying to anyone with a love of justice.
So let me recap what needs to happen.
First, every Republican needs to get behind Alicia Franklin in the May 27 runoff. We cannot afford to risk a Pratt victory there.
Second, someone needs to file a complaint seeking Pratt's disbarment for her malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance while serving as judge of the 311th .
Third, the district attorney needs to get on the stick and indict Pratt for her criminal misconduct while on the bench -- and perhaps we need the US Attorney to get in on the act as well, given that her delays may well constitute violations of the civil rights of those with cases pending before her court.
After all, we need to do our best to get rid of this inept woman -- whose electoral success is directly related to her endorsement by the pay-to-play slates in 2010 and by one of them in 2014.
You can be honored at Brandeis University one of the countrys major Jewish institutions of higher education if you are sharply critical of any branch of Christianity. You can be honored by Brandeis if you make statements that are openly anti-Semitic in the pursuit of an anti-Zionist agenda. You can be honored by Brandeis if you are anti-American or sharply critical of any particular political ideology. Students and faculty may complain and state that they feel unwelcome and discriminated against, but the university will stand for academic freedom and robust debate as the function of a university.
In a complete collapse of rectitude, Brandeis Universitys president Fred Lawrence issued a statement on Tuesday evening, April 8, announcing the withdrawal of womens and human rights champion Ayaan Hirsi Ali as a recipient of an honorary degree from the school at this years commencement.
For two days Muslim students and supporters raged against the decision to honor Ali because, they claimed, she is Islampohobic.
Ali was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. In 1992 she escaped an impending arranged marriage to a relative, running to the Netherlands, where she learned the language and established a life. She rose to become a member of the Dutch parliament, where she worked to further the integration of non-Western immigrants into Dutch society.
In 2004, Ali made a film with her friend, Theo Van Gogh. That film, Submission, is about the oppression of women in conservative Islamic cultures.
After Submission was aired on Dutch television, an Islamic extremist murdered Van Gogh who was enraged by the portrayal of Islam. A letter pinned to his body contained a death threat to Ali. She eventually fled Holland and Ayaan Hirsi Ali now lives in the United States.
Ali evolved from being a devout Muslim to one who questioned her faith, to ultimately and resolutely rejecting it.
I left the world of faith, of genital cutting and forced marriage for the world of reason and emancipation. After making this voyage I know that one of these two worlds is simply better than the other. Not for its gaudy gadgetry, but for its fundamental values. That is a quote from Alis book, Infidel.
It is a sad reality that Islam has, in recent years, become characterized by a fundamental rejection of modernity, human rights, and the norms of civilized behavior. While most Muslims in this country are decent people, that does not negate the parade of horrible that we have seen perpetrated in the name of that faith. And now we find that it is unacceptable for an accomplished woman of color one whose life has been repeatedly marred by victimization and persecution in the name of Islam to receive honors for her work lest she offend those who embrace the malignant ideology against which she has spent her adult life fighting. In other words, the worst aspects of Islam are winning with the full support of the liberal opinion leaders of this country.
And worst of all, Brandeis University issued a false statement which sought to speak for this heroic woman who has long been a hero of mine. I therefore present her words, so that she may have her voice fully heard.
Yesterday Brandeis University decided to withdraw an honorary degree they were to confer upon me next month during their Commencement exercises. I wish to dissociate myself from the universitys statement, which implies that I was in any way consulted about this decision. On the contrary, I was completely shocked when President Frederick Lawrence called mejust a few hours before issuing a public statementto say that such a decision had been made.
When Brandeis approached me with the offer of an honorary degree, I accepted partly because of the institutions distinguished history; it was founded in 1948, in the wake of World War II and the Holocaust, as a co-educational, nonsectarian university at a time when many American universities still imposed rigid admission quotas on Jewish students. I assumed that Brandeis intended to honor me for my work as a defender of the rights of women against abuses that are often religious in origin. For over a decade, I have spoken out against such practices as female genital mutilation, so-called honor killings, and applications of Sharia Law that justify such forms of domestic abuse as wife beating or child beating. Part of my work has been to question the role of Islam in legitimizing such abhorrent practices. So I was not surprised when my usual critics, notably the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), protested against my being honored in this way.
What did surprise me was the behavior of Brandeis. Having spent many months planning for me to speak to its students at Commencement, the university yesterday announced that it could not overlook certain of my past statements, which it had not previously been aware of. Yet my critics have long specialized in selective quotation lines from interviews taken out of context designed to misrepresent me and my work. It is scarcely credible that Brandeis did not know this when they initially offered me the degree.
What was initially intended as an honor has now devolved into a moment of shaming. Yet the slur on my reputation is not the worst aspect of this episode. More deplorable is that an institution set up on the basis of religious freedom should today so deeply betray its own founding principles. The spirit of free expression referred to in the Brandeis statement has been stifled here, as my critics have achieved their objective of preventing me from addressing the graduating Class of 2014. Neither Brandeis nor my critics knew or even inquired as to what I might say. They simply wanted me to be silenced. I regret that very much.
Not content with a public disavowal, Brandeis has invited me to join us on campus in the future to engage in a dialogue about these important issues. Sadly, in words and deeds, the university has already spoken its piece. I have no wish to engage in such one-sided dialogue. I can only wish the Class of 2014 the best of luckand hope that they will go forth to be better advocates for free expression and free thought than their alma mater.
I take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported me and my work on behalf of oppressed woman and girls everywhere.
Those are the words of a brave woman who deserves the admiration of every decent person. May the cowardice of the leaders Brandeis University lead to its rejection by every person who believes in human rights, womens rights, and the full and free exchange of ideals.
UPDATE: Just read this excellent piece by my fellow member of the Watcher's Council Rob of JoshuaPundit.
A federal court Wednesday ordered the University of North Carolina-Wilmington to promote and give $50,000 in back pay to a conservative professor in what is described as a landmark anti-discrimination case.
The restitution was ordered three weeks after a jury found the university guilty of retaliating against criminology professor Mike Adams, a popular conservative columnist on Townhall.com, after denying him a promotion to full professor in 2006.
This ruling sends a message to public universities: Academic freedom isnt just for the Left, its a constitutional right for all professors even Christian conservatives, said David French, senior counsel at the conservative American Center for Law and Justice, which represented Mr. Adams.
The order by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina is believed to mark the first time a court has awarded a promotion to a conservative professor challenging a university for political bias.
Seems to me that the time has come to start including claims under the Ku Klux Klan Act in such suits because these individuals are acting to violate constitutional rights under color of law.
They would not present it that way, but when the government makes a regulation requiring that an owner get permission of a non-owner in order to make standard business decisions, it is for all intents and purposes a seizure of the business.
Obama wants to end that common American right of business owners to decide where they want to do business.
This change in the moral right of businesses is being proposed by Obamas extremist general counsel to the NLRB, Richard Griffin, who wants to force all businesses that already have a unionized work force to go hat in hand to its unions and ask *pretty please* may the company move, say, from Michigan to North Carolina.
The effect of this new rules change would force businesses to stay in failing situations and in economic conditions that are strangling them. It will prevent a company from being able to make the dynamic changes needed to try to stay in business. This rule will certainly further destroy our manufacturing sector.
In other words, the government will delegate operational control of the business to an outside agency that will be acting against the best interests of the owner, and will give the business owner no compensation in return. Doesnt this violate a couple of constitutional rights?
The numbers don't lie -- but Obama does.
The House on Wednesday handily rejected a GOP budget alternative based on President Obamas 2015 spending blueprint. It was defeated 2-413, following a pattern seen in recent years in House votes to overwhelmingly reject Obamas budget proposals. Todays vote is just slightly better than the unanimous vote against Obamas budget in 2012.
In other words, Barry Hussein is a budget failure.
So you didn't believe Pratt's opponents when they criticized her? How about the administrative judge whose job it is to clean up the mess she left behind?
Hundreds of divorce, child support and custody cases dating back to 2012 will have to be revisited - and possibly sent back to trial - as a court administrator sorts out what he called the "random chaos" left behind by former District Family Court Judge Denise Pratt.
The freshman jurist, who abruptly resigned late last month, left nearly 300 court orders stacked on the floor and desk of her 311th District Court, according to Judge David Farr, the administrative judge for Harris County's nine family courts.
Most of the orders, Farr said, are final agreements needing only a judge's signature, meaning families are waiting to hear that their cases have been concluded or think they already are.
"Somebody may be out there thinking they've been divorced for a couple months; not the case," said Farr, who is charged with finding judges to staff Pratt's court until Gov. Rick Perry announces a replacement. Farr said cleaning the administrative mess after Pratt's sudden departure likely will take months.
It strikes me that several things are necessary.
First, every Republican needs to get behind Alicia Franklin in the May 27 runoff. We cannot afford to risk a Pratt victory there.
Second, someone needs to file a complaint seeking Pratt's disbarment for her malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance while serving as judge of the 311th .
The district attorney needs to get on the stick and indict Pratt for her criminal misconduct while on the bench -- and perhaps we need the US Attorney to get in on the act as well, given that her delays may well constitute violations of the civil rights of those with cases pending before her court.
After all, we need to do our best to get rid of this inept woman -- whose electoral success is directly related to her endorsement by the pay-to-play slates in 2010 and by one of them in 2014. And it remains clear that she is up to something.
Here are this weeks full results:
See you next week!
You know, I've always liked John Paul Stevens, even as I came to disagree with his judicial philosophy. After all, he is a scholarly man who has always seemed to be a good and decent one. It's just that, to my way of thinking, he is so often wrong.
Which brings me to his latest book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution -- the good, decent, and scholarly man has one proposal I agree with and five that would tip the balance of power in the United States towards the federal government and away from the states and, more troublingly, the people.
Here are Justice Stevens' offerings:
I like the second proposal -- the restriction on gerrymandering -- but am troubled by the rest.
Justice Stevens offers a superb proposal for fixing the problem of gerrymandered districts. That is an issue I discuss with my students on both the high school and college levels -- the reality that districts are generally not compact and are drawn with goals other than logic and existing geography in mind. Look at any congressional or legislative district map and you will see it -- strange twists and turns designed to draw some voters in and others out of a district so that one party or the other benefits. In recent years that has also applied to creating districts that will elect a legislator of the proper race or ethnicity. In either case, it amounts to legislators picking their voters rather than voters picking their representatives. Justice Stevens is quite right to object and propose a solution -- though may I point out that his is hardly an original proposal, having already been adopted by a number of states.
The rest of the proposed amendments are, to say the least, more troubling. They are also designed to turn several of his dissents into Constitutional mandates.
I could use his proposal to eviscerate the Second Amendment by turning the right to keep and bear arms into a privilege except when one is in active military service, but others have done a better job of it. And I could also point to his effort to ban the death penalty by Constitutional amendment as well, as an example of his desire to impose a counter-majroitarian position on the vast majority of Americans.
But instead, I want to comment on his desire to explicitly allow the federal government and the several states to effectively gag those who they believe are engaging in too much political speech by explicitly permitting them to tell candidates and their supporters to shut up and to quit spending any money to communicate their political messages.
What that means, of course, is that candidates for office could be muzzled by the political establishment. After all, the name advantage that an incumbent has is incalculable in most races. By preventing a challenger from self-funding without limits -- and preventing supporters from spending more than a limited amount in support of an insurgent candidate -- the balance is tipped in favor of the current officeholder. Even more troubling is the prospect of a candidate being attacked late in the election cycle by one or more media outlets -- the press, you see, would not be limited and would be free to decide not to allow any response in their pages. As a result, the candidate would be unable to get the message out on any scale. And if you doubt me, just imagine what would happen if such an amendment were in place and Sarah Palin were to seek office again and the savaging she would take in the media simply by virtue of her existence.
So let's consider what these amendments amount to.
Indeed, the more I look at those amendments, the more I find myself questioning whether or not Stevens the Justice was worthy of the high regard in which I held him.
Ned Lamont made a splash when he beat Joseph Lieberman in the Democrat primary a few years back. He was backed by the Markos Moulitas, founder of Daily Kos. In other words, he is definitely a liberal.
But look at what he has to say about the presidency of the elder President Bush and the reason he should be highly ranked as a president.
Maybe it is time to add another one-termer to the pantheon: George Herbert Walker Bush. Presidential surveys put him in the middle of the pack, but he should be moving up. We have had mostly foreign policy rookies as president over the last generation. But as the Berlin Wall came crashing down and Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, the man in the Oval Office was a decorated war hero and had been a U.S. envoy to the United Nations, ambassador to China, CIA director, and Ronald Reagans vice president. America was well-served by his experience and his character.
Like Dwight Eisenhower a generation before him, Bush 41 was on firm footing when he stood up to the militarists who wanted to expand the scope of Operation Desert Storm and take out Saddam Hussein.
* * *
Bush the Elders term was an extraordinary four years for our country and helped lay the groundwork for another eight years of peace and prosperity, something acknowledged by the JFK Library Foundation last week when it named George H.W. Bush a 2014 recipient of the prestigious John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for the political fortitude he demonstrated in dealing with the federal budget.
President George H. W. Bush risked his reputation and ultimately his political career, said President Kennedys grandson, Jack Schlossberg, and should not be forgotten.
Most importantly, Lamont concludes with this assessment of the former president, a man I have come to admire after more than fifteen years of living in the same city he does and seeing the many ways often quietly he works to make this community a better place. I agree with it whole-heartedly.
His speechwriters could never get President Bush to talk much about the war, even while his adversariesand sometimes even his friendscaricatured him as weak. But he was often right on the big issues, and history will show that he was a really good one-term president who never stopping serving his country.
I believe that George H. W. Bush will, as was the case of harry Truman, continue to rise in the estimation of historians. My hope is that we see this rise while he is still with us to experience that vindication of his life and policies and for it to be recognized that he, rather than Jimmy Carter, is the model of what a post-presidency should look like.
North Carolinas Board of Elections found that tens of thousands of registered voters from the state have personal information matching that of registered voters in other states, and appear to have voted in states other than North Carolina in 2012. In some cases, votes were cast under names of individuals who had passed away before Election Day.
The review searched databases in 27 other states and 101 million voter records for information such as matching names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers.
The review found that 35,570 North Carolina voters from 2012 shared the same first names, last names, and dates of birth with individuals who voted in other states. Another 765 Tar Heel State residents who voted in 2012 had the same names, birthdays, and final four digits of a Social Security number as voters elsewhere.
Notice a few things.
First, this is a comparison with the records of only 27 states, not all 50. That means the number of dual registrations is undoubtedly higher than 35K.
Second, not all of those individuals actually voted in 2012. This means that some jurisdictions did not notify North Carolina of voters who moved, or North Carolina did not notify those states (or records were not updated if notifications happened). But it is clear that some voters did vote in both places.
Third, there are dead people who are listed as voting well after their deaths.
Fourth, this sort of stuff is true in EVERY state if one looks close enough.
The short answer is that there is vote fraud. There needs to be something done to ensure that people are deterred and/or prosecuted. Voter ID is one element of doing so.
Administration agencies are currently revising nutritional recommendations that will guide federal food and meal purchases for years after Barack Obama is playing golf behind his presidential library.
The federal Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee -- these are the folks who brought us the carb-heavy food pyramid now deemed erroneous -- is meeting these days to update nutritional guidelines to conform with new scientific evidence and with the determination of First Lady Michelle Obama to change America's eating habits.
Among new ideas under consideration are federal phone texts to obese citizens warning of their unhealthy eating behavior. Seriously.
If this starts, it may be time to grab the pitchforks and torches so that we can begin hanging a few excess government officials.
South Dakota Democratic Senate hopeful Rick Weiland declared Wednesday that the decision handed down in McCutcheon v. FEC regarding campaign finance laws may be the worst decision made by any Supreme Court since the Dred Scott case reaffirmed slavery in 1857.
The McCutcheon decision lifts the aggregate caps on political donations, meaning that donors can give the maximum possible donation to every single candidate for federal office, if they so choose, instead of being required to stop giving once they hit a total sum.
Weiland, the likely Democratic nominee to vie for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson, called the two cases striking similar in the indefensible power they give one group of human beings over another, in a statement, published in full by the Argus Leader.
So, denying Congress the right to tell Americans to shut up and quit participating in the political process is the equivalent of denying Congress the right to restrict expansion of slavery? I dont know about you, but the equating of a decision that liberates all people from government suppression of their Constitutional rights to one that allowed for the enslavement of and discrimination against people based upon race is patently offensive. Where is the outcry against such nonsense?
Oh, thats right he is in the Democrat mainstream (the same one that supported the Dred Scott decision). And the media the folks who want to be the only ones with an unrestricted right to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence the outcome of elections are coming out in favor of speech suppression for everyone else.
By the way --- heres an interesting piece by/about the individual who brought the challenge to this unconstitutional law.
UPDATE Looks like another Democrat opponent of the First Amendment is making the same sort of comments. But then again, we know that Keith Ellison is the male version of Sheila Jackson Lee, so why should we be surprised that he would argue that a case that expands and protects individual liberty is the same as rulings that preserved slavery and government-mandated human rights violations.
In a statement Wednesday, Denise Pratt said she has, indeed, ended her bid to secure a second term as judge of the 311th Family District Court.
Despite published reports to the contrary, I have, in fact, suspended my reelection efforts and I am not conducting a campaign, Pratt wrote in a statement that included contact information for her lawyer, Terry Yates.
On Sunday, two days after announcing her immediate resignation and the suspension of her re-election bid, Pratt sent a text message to supporters suggesting she still may be campaigning.
The group text message, sent to 10 family lawyers, asked them to call or txt Dr. Steven Hotze, one of the big three slate endorsers, and encourage him to wait a few weeks before switching support to her challenger in a May 27 runoff, Alicia Franklin. In the message obtained by the Chronicle, Pratt wrote that she still was heavily favored by the party and attys as seen by wed fundraiser.
Hotze endorsed Pratt in the March 4 primary election where she secured the highest percentage of the vote in a five-way race, but not enough to avoid a runoff.
Not campaigning -- but not ready to give up her endorsements lest doing so cost her the runoff and the ability to say that the voters have vindicated her if she wins. It is sort of what presidential candidates used to do -- sit on the front porch and let others do the work of campaigning for them. I see this as a way of either getting the office back or selecting putting herself int he position of influencing the selection of a successor if she acts to make herself ineligible after the runoff.
One of the more bizarre events in the political history of the last quarter century was Ross Perot's withdrawal from and reentry of the 1992 presidential race.
At a time when Ross Perot's candidacy once again appeared to be transforming the Presidential contest, the Texas billionaire offered a new explanation today for his decision in July to abandon the campaign. He said he had withdrawn after hearing that President Bush's campaign was scheming to smear his daughter with a computer-altered photograph and to disrupt her wedding.
Mr. Perot offered no evidence, only quoting friends and an unidentified "top Republican."
"I can't prove any of it today," he said on tonight's CBS News program "60 Minutes." "But it was a risk I did not have to take," he added, "and a risk I would not take where my daughter is concerned."
Well, Former judge Denise Pratt -- who resigned her bench and suspended her campaign on Friday -- appears to be following in Perot's footsteps.
Two days after announcing her immediate resignation as presiding judge of the 311th family District Court - and the suspension of her re-election campaign - Pratt sent a text message to supporters on Sunday asking them to "call or txt" an influential endorser, Dr. Steven Hotze, and encourage him to wait a few weeks before announcing his support for her challenger in a May 27 runoff, Alicia Franklin.
"I am stil heavily favored by the party and attys as seen by wed fundraiser," Pratt wrote. "And let him know he will b supported also."
"It's bizarre," Franklin said on Tuesday, noting that Pratt had called her on Friday to concede, making her promise to "win in November."
I chatted with Franklin on Monday and had been aware of the Friday phone call. I, like Franklin, assumed that meant that Pratt was really bowing out of the race. Indeed, in my mind it confirmed the "resign in lieu of prosecution" speculation that I made in my post from Saturday.
But now we have this surprising new development that leaves me speculating some more. County Clerk Stan Stanart outlines the possibilities that exist since Pratt's name cannot be removed from the ballot.
Despite Pratt's resignation late Friday, Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart said her name still will appear on the ballot next month because she missed a March 12 withdrawal deadline. If she wins, Stanart said, her name would appear on the November general election ballot unless she becomes ineligible by moving out of the county, being deemed mentally incompetent by a court, being charged with a felony or dying.
"If your name is on the ballot, you can win, on a technical basis, yes, that is technically possible," said Harris County Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill. "The question would be: Is she going to run a campaign?"
Neither Pratt nor her political consultant, Allen Blakemore, immediately responded to requests for comment.
Yeah, that's right -- Denise Pratt could still beat Alicia Franklin on May 27. That would mean that Pratt would be the nominee for her old bench. She could always run a campaign and win in November, and claim vindication.
But that isn't the only option out there. Let me offer up all the scenarios out there if Denise Pratt wins the nomination on May 27. You see, a fellow Republican and I actually spent some time on Sunday afternoon considering the possibilities.
So you see, Pratt's April Fool's Day gift is something that is really roiling the waters here in Harris County. But as was pointed out a number of times tonight at the meeting of the Republican Hispanic Coalition in Action, the solution to the problems she has created is for everyone to campaign hard for Alicia Franklin so that she is the GOP nominee after the runoff on May 27.
UPDATE: Just a quick FYI about that text message.