Monthly Archives: April 2007

What The Hell Is He Talking About?

Andrew McCarthy picks apart George Tenet’s arguments on the Iraq War.

He also catches Tenet in an apparent “misstatement”:

… Tenet has apparently fabricated a September 12, 2001, meeting with Richard Perle at which Tenet insists Perle said Iraq had to be made to pay for 9/11. (Tenet: “[Perle] said to me, ‘Iraq has to pay a price for what happened yesterday, they bear responsibility.’ It’s September the 12th. I’ve got the manifest with me that tell [sic] me al Qaeda did this. Nothing in my head that says there is any Iraqi involvement in this in any way shape or form and I remember thinking to myself, as I’m about to go brief the president, ‘What the hell is he talking about?’” (Emphasis added).)

Leaving aside that Perle denies Tenet’s account, the meeting Tenet vividly recounts could not have happened. Perle was not in the United States on September 12; he was stranded outside the country, unable to return due to the closure of U.S. airspace. Keep that in mind: When Tenet recalls standing there with the manifest in his hand about to brief the president the day after the shocking 9/11 attacks, and then being thrown for a loop by Richard Perle (translation: rabid neocons) raving about Iraq, that never happened.

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At Least They're Not White!

Novelist and journalist Martin Amis is a rare bird – a sensible British intellectual.

An excerpt from an interview in the Wall Street Journal:

Sometimes in sympathy with the left, Mr. Amis doesn’t hew to any ideological orthodoxy, but is disturbed by the moral mushiness of some Britons on the subject of Islamist extremism… “The situation in Britain is ridiculous and contemptible. Some left-wing people–it’s a bit insulting to the left to call them that . . . see someone with a grievance who hasn’t got white skin and they think, Well, we must have done something really horrible to them. There’s this masochistic view that we can’t be right about anything. The woozy left has made itself an apologist for a creedal wave that is racist, misogynist, homophobic, totalitarian, imperialist and genocidal. But at least they’re not white!”

Promoting Vulnerability As A Moral Virtue

Mark Steyn believes the ban-the-guns types live in a fantasy world:

I live in northern New England, which has a very low crime rate, in part because it has a high rate of gun ownership. We do have the occasional murder, however. A few years back, a couple of alienated loser teens from a small Vermont town decided they were going to kill somebody, steal his ATM cards, and go to Australia. So they went to a remote house in the woods a couple of towns away, knocked on the door, and said their car had broken down. The guy thought their story smelled funny so he picked up his Glock and told ’em to get lost. So they concocted a better story, and pretended to be students doing an environmental survey. Unfortunately, the next old coot in the woods was sick of environmentalists and chased ’em away. Eventually they figured they could spend months knocking on doors in rural Vermont and New Hampshire and seeing nothing for their pains but cranky guys in plaid leveling both barrels through the screen door. So even these idiots worked it out: Where’s the nearest place around here where you’re most likely to encounter gullible defenseless types who have foresworn all means of resistance? Answer: Dartmouth College. So they drove over the Connecticut River, rang the doorbell, and brutally murdered a couple of well-meaning liberal professors. Two depraved misfits of crushing stupidity (to judge from their diaries) had nevertheless identified precisely the easiest murder victims in the twin-state area. To promote vulnerability as a moral virtue is not merely foolish… it signals to everyone that you’re not in the real world.

It's The Inadequate Funding, Stupid!

Peggy Noonan wonders where the grownups were at Virginia Tech.

An excerpt reveals what people say when leftish dogma eclipses common sense:

The … white-bearded academic who was head of the campus counseling center was on Paula Zahn Wednesday night suggesting the utter incompetence of officials to stop a man who had stalked two women, set a fire in his room, written morbid and violent plays and poems, been expelled from one class, and been declared by a judge to be “mentally ill” was due to the lack of a government “safety net.” In a news conference, he decried inadequate “funding for mental health services in the United States.” Way to take responsibility. Way to show the kids how to dodge.

An Imminent Danger To Others

A New York Post editorial asks why the Virginia Tech killer was allowed to go free after a court found him to be “an imminent danger to others.”

An excerpt:

Now comes news that a court in 2005 found Virginia Tech gunman Cho Seung-Hui to be “mentally ill” and an “imminent danger to others” – but then let him go.

Anyone who doubts that the court’s diagnosis was correct need only reference the video diatribe Cho mailed to NBC news, which aired the clip last night.

That Cho was free is an outrage.

But it’s not exactly news that American courts regularly elevate abstract personal rights above those of the public.

Certainly, many questions remain in the the Virginia Tech massacre.

But it’s not too soon to wonder why in hell Cho was left to wander freely after that sort of a court finding – and numerous other warnings as well.

Were authorities so concerned with Cho’s rights that they declined not only to commit him to a secure hospital, but even allowed him to stay in school?

Most perplexing: How on earth was Cho able legally to purchase a gun, given his history of mental illness?

Yes, the law in this country is deferential to individual rights – as opposed to those of society in general. That’s the American way.

But ever since the development of effective psychotropic drugs back in the ’60s spurred the so-called “de-institutionalization” movement – fancy words for dumping mental patients on the streets – it’s been clear that in this realm, at least, the pendulum desperately needs to swing back in favor of the public.

Murderers Love "Gun-Free Zones"

David B. Kopel, writing in today’s Wall Street Journal, observes that “gun-free zones” protect only the mass murderers:

… in many states there are certain places, especially schools, set aside as off-limits for guns. In Virginia, universities aren’t “gun-free zones” by statute, but college officials are allowed to impose anti-gun rules. The result is that mass murderers know where they can commit their crimes.

Private property owners also have the right to prohibit lawful gun possession. And some shopping malls have adopted anti-gun rules. Trolley Square [a shopping mall in Salt Lake City, Utah] was one, as announced by an unequivocal sign, “No weapons allowed on Trolley Square property.”

In February of this year a young man walked past the sign prohibiting him from carrying a gun on the premises and began shooting people who moments earlier were leisurely shopping at Trolley Square. He killed five.

Fortunately, someone else — off-duty Ogden, Utah, police officer Kenneth Hammond — also did not comply with the mall’s rules. After hearing “popping” sounds, Mr. Hammond investigated and immediately opened fire on the gunman. With his aggressive response, Mr. Hammond prevented other innocent bystanders from getting hurt. He bought time for the local police to respond, while stopping the gunman from hunting down other victims.

At Virginia Tech’s sprawling campus in southwestern Va., the local police arrived at the engineering building a few minutes after the start of the murder spree, and after a few critical minutes, broke through the doors that Cho Seung-Hui had apparently chained shut. From what we know now, Cho committed suicide when he realized he’d soon be confronted by the police. But by then, 30 people had been murdered.

But let’s take a step back in time. Last year the Virginia legislature defeated a bill that would have ended the “gun-free zones” in Virginia’s public universities. At the time, a Virginia Tech associate vice president praised the General Assembly’s action “because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus.” In an August 2006 editorial for the Roanoke Times, he declared: “Guns don’t belong in classrooms. They never will. Virginia Tech has a very sound policy preventing same.”

Actually, Virginia Tech’s policy only made the killer safer, for it was only the law-abiding victims, and not the criminal, who were prevented from having guns.

…In Utah, there is no “gun-free schools” exception to the licensed carry law. In K-12 schools and in universities, teachers and other adults can and do legally carry concealed guns. In Utah, there has never been a Columbine-style attack on a school. Nor has there been any of the incidents predicted by self-defense opponents — such as a teacher drawing a gun on a disrespectful student, or a student stealing a teacher’s gun.

Israel uses armed teachers as part of a successful program to deter terrorist attacks on schools. Buddhist teachers in southern Thailand are following the Israeli example, because of Islamist terrorism.

…In many states, “gun-free schools” legislation was enacted hastily in the late 1980s or early 1990s due to concerns about juvenile crime. Aimed at juvenile gangsters, the poorly written and overbroad statutes had the disastrous consequence of rendering teachers unable to protect their students.

Reasonable advocates of gun control can still press for a wide variety of items on their agenda, while helping to reform the “gun-free zones” that have become attractive havens for mass killers. If legislators or administrators want to require extensive additional training for armed faculty and other adults, that’s fine. Better that some victims be armed than none at all.

The founder of the University of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson, understood the harms resulting from the type of policy created at Virginia Tech. In his “Commonplace Book,” Jefferson copied a passage from Cesare Beccaria, the founder of criminology, which was as true on Monday as it always has been:

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”

Glenn Reynolds agrees in a New York Daily News column.

The Content of Their Characterizations

The last word (I promise) on Imus from Mark Steyn and Kinky Friedman.

We Can Only Presume

Rutgers University is, of course, a morally unreproachable institution, the members of the Rutgers Girls’ basketball team are cloistered nuns, and The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick wouldn’t have it any other way:

Those young women on Rutgers’ basketball team? It’s hardly surprising that they’d be deeply offended by Imus’ characterization of them as “nappy-headed ho’s.” Exactly who was supposed to be amused by such a comment, anyway? And it’s admirable that they’d be moved to speak their outrage during a university-facilitated news conference.

We can only presume, then, that none of them are in possession of music performed by, among many others, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent, artists who regularly refer to young women as “ho’s” and “bitches” while black men are as regularly called “niggas.”

As low as Imus has aimed, little can compare to much of the violent, bigoted stuff heard from so many popular rappers – and sold at a mall near you!

So it’s not possible, is it, that even one of these young women has any of that racist and misogynistic stuff downloaded onto her iPod, right? After all, the use of “ho’s” as a substitute for “women” can in large part be directly traced to black rap artists, not Don Imus.

And we can only presume that Rutgers, a state university, had well before Imus’ comment worked diligently to rid its campuses of such hateful, hurtful and harmful words as those chanted in rap music.

Why I’ll bet that RU must have long ago banned concerts that would include such offensive lyrics. And surely RU students known to enjoy such disturbingly hate-filled music were ordered to sensitivity training sessions – under threat of expulsion.

Excuse My Whiteyness

A Brit provides a perceptive, funny, white bloke analysis of Imusgate.

Alan Davieson writes in the London Times:

Don Imus, the line-crossing talk-radio host who broadcast daily across America from his New York studio, has been fired for referring to a team of black women basketball players as “nappy-headed ho’s”. Imus, a former Marine with a gruff demeanour, had an unsentimental show or, as they might say in America, it featured “guy talk” (any Briton, by the way, who uses “guy” or “guys” deserves a glossectomy).

There was some banter and unsubtle opinions were aired. It was not out of control but it also wasn’t a sanitised PC affair. He’s quite amusing and articulate in a resolutely uncomplicated way and had a huge listenership generating vast advertising revenue. Consequently, he attracted significant political figures as guests, pretty much anyone bar the President, who, of course, is rarely free to speak in public unscripted lest he describe Condi Rice as “that Secretary of State ho” in a momentary lapse.

Nappy-head, it turns out (excuse my whiteyness), means a black person who has allowed their hair to grow naturally into a tightly curled afro. It’s a term that can be used self-referentially with pride or disparagingly about others. Being a racial thing, its power is in the mouth of the speaker. Or is it in the ear of the listener? It’s complicated, so, in the interests of a quiet life, don’t use it unless you are very confident or, in fact, a nappy-head.

Imus apologised, offered no excuses, was roundly vilified and endured the measured, disproportionate wrath of Al Sharpton when guesting on the black activist/pentecostal minister’s radio show to defend himself. What they said, Imus and his sports reporter buddy, about the basketball game, was quite funny. The two teams were physically different. It was college basketball and Rutgers were playing Tennessee. The Rutgers girls looked more intimidating, they were inked up (tattoos . . .) and were altogether more menacing-looking even in defeat. These white radio boys were sniggering about that.

Basically, had it been a football match and it had all kicked off in the tunnel after the game, you’d have backed the Rutgers girls. The banter in the studio started trying to incorporate some black street language to describe the game to comic effect. It wasn’t very clever but then it’s morning talk radio.

To get to the top in college basketball you have to be good, in a general sense, not just at basketball, and you have to make sacrifices. At least that’s what college basketball folk and their families say. The girls were upset and in their robust defence they have been referred to as fine “representatives of God”. What fun you could have with that on the air if you were allowed to. God has sent down a team of 6ft tall Amazonian tattooed basketball players to represent Him. No doubt the devil sent Don Imus.

This happens when things get Blown Up Out Of All Proportion. There are enough people with a keen ear for a lapse that anyone broadcasting anywhere ought to speak thoughtfully. If only because you may not know how much offence you’ve caused until the outcry afterwards. Imus didn’t say: “If I’ve offended anyone I apologise.” He knew he’d caused offence.

He also did not say that the language and lyrics of black American rap artists leave his kind of remark not just in the shade but on the dark side of the moon.

Were the Jews Responsible for Imus?

Out of all the hypocrisy and faux piety produced by the Imus affair, my personal favorite was uttered by Robert L. Johnson, a billionaire black media mogul and head of Black Entertainment Television, which by the way, daily purveys misogynist rap “music.”

Johnson told NBC’s David Gregory that had Imus insulted Jews the way he insulted black people, “he’d be gone the next day” (Johnson’s emphasis).

Johnson’s observation was too much for the uncharacteristically subdued Gregory, who interrupted him to point out that Imus had indeed been “hard on Jews.” He didn’t give any examples, but here are two: Imus once referred to the Simon and Schuster Publishing Company as “thieving Jews” (He later apologized for being redundant); then there was the time he called media critic Howard Kurtz a “boner-nosed, beanie-wearing Jew boy.” (I believe Kurtz continued to appear on the show.)

But getting back to Johnson: From whence did he get this idea? From the old anti-Semitic canard that the Jews control everything, including the media and its corporate sponsors. Actually, he implies even worse: Since the Jews control the media, the Jews are responsible for promoting bigotry toward blacks while protecting themselves.

Keep in mind that these sentiments did not come from a right wing Christian evangelical, nor did they emanate from the “Bushitler” administration. Rather they came from an influential black media titan who holds the title of America’s first black billionaire and who also holds an advanced degree from Princeton.

Is there any truth to Johnson’s belief that Jews have such power? I don’t remember any Jewish organization pressuring the networks or sponsors to fire Don Imus for insulting Jews.

Then there’s the case of Jimmy Carter, the author of a book (published by those “thieving Jews,” Simon and Schuster), in which he argues that Israel has established an “apartheid” colony on the West Bank of the Jordan River. Carter has not apologized (and no one, to my knowledge, has asked him to) for the title and the distortions that many Jews find offensive. Nor as far as I know have any Jews launched a pressure campaign against Simon and Schuster and its owner CBS, the very organization that pulled the plug on Don Imus.

And Al Sharpton, the Pope of the Democratic Party.