Saturday, February 16, 2008

Pelosi’s Latest

If the Democrats gained control of the U. S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi promised that as House Speaker she’d end divisive partisanship there.

The Dem-dominated MSM played along. When Pelosi was installed as Speaker, MSM flacks claimed Americans were taking Pelosi “to their hearts.” I lost count of all the MSM stories about the “smart, warm, attractive grandmother.”

The reality today?

Congress’ approval rating is somewhere around 20%. The House remains bitterly divided. Pelosi's acted as a fierce partisan, even allowing her partisanship to get in the way of American foreign policy and military interests.

Remember her trip to Syria which the State Department didn’t want her to make?

How about the Armenian genocide resolution?

Pelosi opposed bringing it to a vote when President Clinton was in office, but at a very delicate time in our relations with Turkey, the Speaker announced she’d bring it to the House floor, even as she was warned doing so would damage our relations with a critical ally and add to the dangers our troops already faced in Iraq.

Now some of Pelosi’s latest from a Bloomberg News interview:

Delegates from the disputed Florida and Michigan primaries shouldn't decide who wins the party's presidential nomination, said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the chair of the Democratic National Convention.

``I don't think that any states that operated outside the rules of the party can be dispositive of who the nominee is,'' Pelosi said in an interview on Bloomberg Television's ``Political Capital with Al Hunt,'' scheduled to be aired today.

Pelosi's stand is a setback for Hillary Clinton, who won those states' uncontested primary elections after the party stripped the states of their delegates. Clinton is pushing to allow the delegates to vote at the Democratic convention in Denver, Colorado, on Aug. 25-28.

Democrats in Florida and Michigan have been told that the delegates can't participate in the nomination process because they held their primaries before the sanctioned date of Feb. 5. Both states are pushing to reverse that decision. ...
Millions voted in the two states, and it wasn’t so long ago that Pelosi and other Dems were telling us “every vote should count.”

Pelosi and her fellow Dems didn’t add: “except the ones we don’t want to count.” But I knew at the time that’s what they meant. How about you?

The whole Dem mess over whether the Florida and Michigan delegations should be seated and allowed to vote; or whether new primary elections should be held in the two states, has people taking different positions.

But there’s one thing we should all be able to agree on: the Dems, on their own, created this mess. Even Pelosi hasn’t tried to blame it on “the vast right-wing conspiracy.”

I read further along in the Bloomberg story and came to this:
``It's clear we're going to need a Democratic president in order to bring the stability to the Middle East that is necessary, and that must begin with the redeployment of our troops in a responsible, honorable and safe way for our troops out of Iraq,'' Pelosi said.
Yes, the Dems might mess up their own presidential nominating process, but they’re the party that will bring “stability to the Middle East.”

You have Speaker Pelosi’s word on that.

The entire story is here.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Churchill Series - Feb. 15, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

There are many quotes falsely attributed to Churchill.

Here's one of them: "If you're not a liberal by 20 you have no heart; and if your not a conservative by 40 you have no brain."

According to The Churchill Centre, which researched the quote:

There is no record of anyone hearing Churchill say this.

Paul Addison of Edinburgh University makes this comment: "Surely Churchill can't have used the words attributed to him. He'd been a Conservative at 15 and a Liberal at 35! And would he have talked so disrespectfully of Clemmie, who is generally thought to have been a lifelong Liberal?"
In that short paragraph, Addison impresses as an informed, sensitive, and persuasive scholar.

His point about Clementine may surprise some because publicly she always stood with Churchill on the issues. But her private correspondence, including letters she and Winston exchanged, shows her often making the liberal case.

On the question of Clementine Churchill's liberalism, I find Sir Martin Gilbert's magisterial, multi-volume biography of Winston Churchill persuasive.

We're starting to see the first signs of Spring here in central Carolina, with budding on the trees and the earliest blooming daffodils showing color.

I hope wherever you are, there's some beauty in your weekend.



To N&O publisher re: Nifong as anon source

JinC Regulars know I’ve posted often concerning N&O columnist Ruth Sheehan's claims that on March 26, 2008 she was fed information by others at the N&O which they got from then Durham DA Mike Nifong. (See examples here, here and here )

Sheehan says Nifong’s information, which she now acknowledges was false, served as the basis for her March 27 column in which she savaged the Duke lacrosse players, much the way Nifong began doing later that day.

Sheehan didn’t disclose at the time that Nifong was the source for her column.

The N&O has refused to comment on Sheehan’s claims or any other use it made of Nifong as an anonymous source for its Duke lacrosse coverage.

I recently received an email response to my questions about the N&O and Nifong as an anonymous source from the paper’s public editor Ted Vaden.

Vaden’s response was wrong on important facts and failed to address the relevant questions.

So I sent him another email on Feb. 6. I’ve heard nothing since.

Today I sent the following email to N&O Publisher Orage Quarles

Dear Mr. Quarles:

I’m an N&O subscriber and blog as John in Carolina.

For many months I’ve been posting concerning claims by Ruth Sheehan that then DA Mike Nifong was an anonymous source for her March 27, 2006 column “Team’s silence is sickening.” For example, in Nifong an N&O anonymous source (Post 1) 7/29/07 and Nifong an N&O anonymous source (Post 2) 8/1/08.

I’ve inquired of reporters and editors about that and other uses the N&O may have made of Nifong as an anonymous source for your Duke lacrosse coverage.

No reporter or editor would speak about the matter until recently when, in response to the email in this post - What's really hurting the N&O , Ted Vaden he sent me the email you’ll find in this post: N&O editor's response re: Nifong an anonymous source.

You'll see Vaden’s email avoided my questions and contains statements which are prima facie false.

On Feb. 6 I sent Vaden another email and a link to this post: Is the N&O public editor's job about the truth?

I once again laid out all the material relating to the N&O’s use of Nifong as an anonymous source and asked again the questions I’ve been asking for many months.

I ended my email, which I also posted for JinC readers, with this:

Given all of the foregoing, Editor Vaden, it's difficult to see how a reasonably responsible public editor would claim Sheehan is saying anything other than Nifong was an anonymous source for her March 27 column; or that she is saying anything other than Nifong's source information was passed to her by journalist(s) she reached by phone at the N&O.

I hope you will now give me and all other N&O readers full and frank answers to the questions I've been asking about the N&O's use of Nifong as an anonymous source in March 2006.

Isn't that the kind of service a public editor is supposed to provide readers?

If you can't provide that service, please direct me to someone at the N&O or the McClatchy Company who can?

I'll publish your response in full at my blog.

Thank you for your attention to this document.


John in Carolina
I’ve not heard anything back from Vaden.

I ask that you review the documentation and questions in my post and then direct me to the person at the N&O or in the McClatchy Company who can provide full and frank answers to what Ruth Sheehan has said and the questions I’ve asked.

I’m sorry to impose on you, but I’ve tried every other way to get responses from the N&O which should have been given to readers long ago.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

I’ll publish your response in full at my blog.


John in Carolina

Duke Hoax & Unintended Help

Yesterday a commenter on this Chronicle thread, who self-IDs as “Truth Teller,” made personal attacks on some fine citizen journalists.

As you’ll see below, I responded to Truth Teller, who then responded to me.

Truth Teller’s response was helpful, albeit unintentionally so. Nevertheless, I thanked Truth Teller as you’ll see in the comment which ends this post.

Let’s begin - - -

To Truth Teller:

I hope you work through your propensity for avoiding facts and instead making personal attacks which reflect only on you.

Please answer the following questions which deal with important events.

1) Why did President Brodhead refuse to meet with the lacrosse parents on Mar. 25, 2006 and for many months thereafter?

2) On Mar. 29, 2006 Brodhead, on behalf of Duke University, issued a full, written and unconditional apology to the woman then referred to as "the first caller" and "her friend."

The Durham Police had known since Mar. 14 "the first caller" was Kim Roberts and "her friend" was the false accuser Crystal Mangum. But at the time of Brodhead's statement, the police were telling the public they didn't know who the caller was.

Here's Brodhead's statement, after which I'll ask you three short questions:

"Statement by President Richard H. Brodhead on 911 Tape"

Yesterday evening, Director of Athletics Joe Alleva and I met with members of the news media to discuss the situation involving the Duke men's lacrosse team. My statement announcing the suspension of the team's games is available with additional information on a special website off the Duke home page.

At the news conference I was asked about the 911 tape involving a racial slur, which only became known late yesterday. I have now had the opportunity to listen to the tape. It is disgusting. Racism and its hateful language have no place in this community. I am sorry the woman and her friend were subjected to such abuse

When Brodhead made the apology, did he know, as the police and Mike Nifong knew, who "the woman and her friend" were?

Brodhead's never answered that question. Do you know why he hasn't?

Can you think of any reason why Brodhead wouldn't want to answer it?

3) On May 18, 2006 Reade Seligmann was the victim both outside the Durham County Courthouse and within the courtroom of racists who shouted threats at him, including death threats.

Brodhead never said a word critical of the racists nor did he express any concern and comfort to his student and Seligmann's family.

Do you know why Brodhead remained silent?

Is it fair to say if Seligmann had been black and the racists had been white, instead of the other way around, Brodhead would've been prompt and loud in his condemnation of the racists, and in his expressions of support for Seligmann and his family?

I look forward to your answers.

John in Carolina

Now Truth Teller’s response ---

Hi John,

You are about the last guy in the world entitled to demand explanations from others about their actions in connection with the LAX case as you yourself have consistently refused to explain your actions in deleting from your website comments critical of the LAX players and Coach Pressler which seek to hold them accountable for their roles in creating the LAX mess.

If you really had the courage of your convictions, you would allow people to post comments critical of the LAX players and Coach Pressler and you would then simply post a response showing why in your view the comments were wrong.

Instead, you just delete the comments, which tells me that you recognize that the comments have an element of truth which you do not wish to publicize to the rest of the world, and you then refuse to explain your actions in deleting them.

Nevertheless, you demand explanations from others and seem to expect them to respond to your demands.

Are you really so dense that you do not understand the hypocrisy of your position? ... (The rest of Truth Teller's comment is a personal attack on another commenter. JinC )

Folks, I was tempted to tell Truth Teller that on the main page and the comment threads at JinC there are a great many statements critical of the players and Coach Pressler. Just the day before I’d published statements Professor Tim Tyson and Athletic Director Joe Alleva made in Spring 2006 sharply critical of the lacrosse players.

But instead I left the following on the thread.

To Truth Teller:

I said you have "a propensity for avoiding facts and instead making personal attacks."

Your comment @ 1:46 PM confirms what I said.

Thank you.

John in Carolina

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Churchill Series - Feb. 14, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

On November 30, 1924 Churchill turned fifty.

Here's biographer William Manchester's description of Churchill at fifty:

(He was) portly, bald, stooped, his face lined with wrinkles accumulated during countless crises, any one of which would have aged most men overnight.

Yet the overall effect was pleasant. He had begun to resemble the cartoonist's conception of John Bull, hearty and prosperous, with an ovoid torso and a low center of gravity, good-humored if you let him have his way but stubborn and even refractory if you didn't.

His height was just under five feet, seven inches, which would have surprised those who knew him only through newspaper photographs, because his massive shoulders led one to expect a taller man.

His manner was always forthright, never devious, no one ever called him enigmatic.

As unsubtle as the rare roast beef he ( and John Bull) loved, his expression invariably reflected his mood. He beamed, looked puckish, frowned, wept, or brooded, but of the thousands of Churchill photographs, none shows him bored.
What a wonderful word portrait.

And as for no photo showing him bored, remember what our parents told us: boredom is what happens to people who aren't interested in anything? That was never Churchill.
William Manchester, The Last Lion: Visions of Glory. (p. 755)

Citizen journalist helps Chronicle readers

Regulars here know I’m a strong supporter of the cyber journalism which allows readers to comment “on the same page” as the news story.

Those we call “citizen journalists” often add to the story, alert reporters and editors to unintended errors and expose deliberately false and biased “media coverage.” We all saw that recently in the cases of the Duke lacrosse frame-up attempt and the "Jena 6" story.

Today, there’s an excellent example of citizen journalism at The Chronicle’s Web site.

The headlines for TC's lead story are:

Brodhead pays visit to Capitol Hill

Prez calls for increase in research funding
TC's story begins:
President Richard Brodhead visited Capitol Hill Tuesday to lobby Congress to increase funding for research in the physical sciences.

An omnibus spending bill, which Congress passed in December, lacked the expected increase in funding requested by President George W. Bush.

But an emergency supplement bill that would increase research spending by $500 million is expected to come before Congress this spring.

The bill would send an additional $300 million to the Department of Energy and $200 million to the National Science Foundation. Both organizations currently fund ongoing research endeavors at Duke. ...
If you read to the end of the story, you’ll see where a TC reader comments, and demonstrates how citizen journalists serve readers.

The reader begins:
How nice of Mr Brodhead to discover Washington!!! When dollars for faculty are involved, he's there.

Do you recall his being there for students when Congress was having crucial debates about student aid?

Let's make clear what Brodhead is groveling for. The federal government will spend more and more on research, in fact more than it has ever in the past, but not as much as dreamers once hoped for.

The "cut" is from the level of anticipated federal spending growth in the future, not from real spending now. (bold JinC's)

Let's also make clear that atop every federal grant, there is a percentage added for Duke's administration and overhead. Brodhead is groveling for this percentage to be increased.

The Chronicle should have fished out actual figures.

How has Duke's dollop of federal dollars been increasing, what do we get now, how much more will we get next year, "cut" or no cut? How many dollars are involved here?
There’s more from the citizen journalist.

I hope you read it all and the reader comments which follow.

The citizen journalism provided Chronicle readers on this story today left them more informed and better able to judge what Duke and our federal government are doing.

That can only be good for the University and our country.

I especially appreciated the citizen journalist noting that no research funding cuts are being planned. It’s only a question of the percentage of increase in funding that Brodhead was talking about.

The Chronicle could easily have told readers that.

Does anyone know why it didn’t?

I'll send a link to this post to Chronicle Editor David Graham, but I don't expect him to reply unless I agree that everything he tells me is off the record.

Can Hillary “change the narrative?”

Pollster Stuart Rothenberg, respected by pros in both parties, says the Democratic nomination race is still wide open but “Clinton needs to change the narrative.”:

Obama’s clear-cut wins in Maryland and Virginia, coming after a series of less important primaries and caucuses on Feb. 9, are now earning him the label of favorite or frontrunner. Wednesday morning, a headline screamed “Obama Frontrunner.” NBC’s “First Read” began in much the same way, looking at the upcoming contests and suggesting that Clinton was the clear underdog.

This could make Obama appealing to more voters, and even to superdelegates, over the next few weeks.

And yet, prior to Tuesday, victories in the Democratic nomination contest didn’t produce any obvious “bandwagon effect.”

Obama won Iowa, but it didn’t give him “momentum” to New Hampshire. And Clinton didn’t have momentum out of New Hampshire and Nevada and into South Carolina. Obama didn’t have momentum out of South Carolina. And Super Tuesday didn’t give Clinton momentum into last weekend’s primaries and caucuses.

So far, voters in each state haven’t paid much attention to previous results. Instead, they’ve been making their own decisions.

Still, there is no doubt that Clinton needs to change the narrative that is developing that Obama has moved ahead of her and has a chance to sew up the nomination on March 4, in Texas and Ohio, two now-crucial states for the New Yorker.

But don’t yet fall into the trap of thinking the Democratic race already is over.

This contest already has had plenty of surprises, and more could still be ahead.
Rothenberg’s entire assessment is here.

Yes, Sen. Clinton “needs to change the narrative,” but she’s between a rock and a hard place as she tries to do that.

For starters, she can’t bring her husband, the former President in to help change the narrative. Bill Clinton tried that in South Carolina. And both Bill and Hillary lost.

As far as the ’08 primary campaign goes and, perhaps for many years to come, Bill Clinton is now “damaged goods.”

Yes, Hillary’s campaign can use him at campaign rallies where he’ll excite the Clinton faithful. And maybe get him on some interview shows and hope he doesn’t go “off message.” But that’s about all.

Would a John Edwards endorsement “change the narrative?”

I think it would be a one day story.

Edwards may be able to deliver the 30 or so delegates pledged to him. I don’t know how the delegates are bound and whether Edwards could deliver them.

But in any case, whatever gain would come from an Edwards endorsement could very easily be offset if many undecided voters and those without strong allegiance to Hillary see Edwards' endorsement as a kind of “ganging up” on Obama.

Hillary has tried to make Obama’s inexperience an issue, but it’s not hurting him. In fact, if anything it seems to be working to his advantage as exit polls report large numbers of voters saying they like Obama because he’s “new,” “fresh,” and – drumroll – “a change.”

You can be sure if he’s the nominee the GOP will make a major issue of Obama’s very liberal voting record.

But Hillary Clinton can’t do that. She’s got a similar voting record herself. And what’s more important, Democratic primary voters like candidates with liberal records.

I doubt Hillary can “change the narrative” before the Texas and Ohio primaries. She needs wins in both those states to do that.

What do you think?

Hat tips: The Rothenberg Political Report

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Churchill Series - Feb. 13, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Folks, I'm sorry I forgot to post yesterday.

This post is short and light. Let’s enjoy a few of Churchill's less well known humorous remarks. I won't cite sources, but I'm confident he said them.

Regarding the American Secretary of State John Foster Dulles: "He's the only bull I know who carries with him his own china shop."

At his own expense: "I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught."

"I'm just preparing my impromptu remarks."

And these wise words for all of us: "However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results."

I hope you come back tomorrow.


The Chronicle's Sex Show Coverage

I’ve posted here concerning the Sex Worker’s Art Show Duke University recently sponsored. Duke Students for an Ethical Duke has a number of posts on the show ( here and here, for example) as does Liestoppers (here and here, among others).

Duke’s Vice President for Student Affairs, Larry Moneta, one of Duke’s most outspoken supporters of the show, says it helps promote a “healthy lifestyle.”

But Moneta doesn’t say exactly how a show hyping strippers, prostitution and sadomasochism promotes a “healthy lifestyle.” I guess he wants us to figure that out for ourselves.

Anyway, I learned this morning at Liestoppers Forum that Duke’s student newspaper, The Chronicle, is looking for sources for stories about the sex show.

Chronicle reporter Tina Mao wrote Duke student Ken Larrey who posted her email [extract]:

Also, is there anybody else you think I should talk to? Currently, I'm planning on talking to the show's founder Annie Oakley, Larry Moneta, William Purdy, and a few students. If you know someone who might be a good source, that would be a great help.
I just sent the following email to Reporter Mao.

Dear Ms. Mao:

Regarding sources for stories concerning the sex workers show Duke recently sponsored, the first two people I thought of are Crystal Mangum and Kim Roberts.

The Chronicle missed a major news reporting opportunity by not inviting both women to view the show and comment afterwards for your readers.

Professor Tim Tyson is surely someone The Chronicle will want to interview.

Recall on April 2, 2006 he told Raleigh N&O readers:

”Young white men of privilege deployed their unearned affluence to hire black women to provide live pornography. This is only partly a free market, where people choose to buy and sell themselves. It is also a slave market, where an enduring racial caste system placed those women in a vulnerable position?”
How does Tyson feel about the recent sex show?

Does he worry it might influence “[y]oung white men of privilege?"

What about men and women of all races who are privileged or not? Does Professor Tyson worry about them?

Or does Tyson agree with Moneta that the show promotes a “healthy lifestyle?”

Chronicle readers would be interested in Tyson’s answers, don't you think?

Why has The Chronicle ignored the Rev. Canon Dr. Samuel Wells, dean of Duke Chapel?

Wells had so much to say after the lacrosse party. What’s he saying now about a sex show performed within sight and sound of the Chapel?

After the lacrosse party Athletic Director Joe Alleva posted the following statement at the University’s Web site:
"The judgment of the team members to host and participate in this event is inconsistent with the values of Duke Athletics and Duke University and is unacceptable."
What does Alleva say about the judgment of the Women’s Center and all the other groups at Duke which sponsored the show? Does he agree with their values?

Does he go along with the “it’s all about free speech” meme?

And what about President Brodhead? Why hasn't The Chronicle interviewed him?

The word on campus is that Brodhead knew in advance of the sex show and raised no objection.

But "the word on campus" is not the same as Brodhead confirming to The Chronicle what he said .

Perhaps his position is being misrepresented. He may have objected to the show.

Brodhead may even have said something like, “Whatever the sex workers do will be bad enough.”

Either way, the Duke community ought to know Brodhead's position and The Chronicle ought to tell us.

Why isn't The Chronicle getting Brodhead on the record?

Is it because Brodhead doesn't want The Chronicle asking him?

The Chronicle’s coverage of the sex show has been very inadequate.

As so often with other important events this year, The Chronicle’s reporting and editorializing concerning the sex show seems more influenced by “What will the Allen Building think?” than by “What’s the news?”

If you care to make a response, I’ll publish it in full at my blog.

I would invite Editor David Graham to respond, but he hasn't responded to invitations in the past except to say he wanted everything "off the record," something I wouldn't agree to.

Thank you for your attention to this email.


John in Carolina

Danish paper reprints Muhammad cartoon following death plot

The University of Pittsburgh's School of Law Web site JURIST is reporting:

Danish newspaper Jyllands-Poste [media website] reprinted a cartoon [image] Wednesday drawn by Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard one day after Danish police arrested three people [JURIST report] suspected in a plot to murder Westergaard for his characterization of Muhammad.

Westergaard was one of 12 cartoonists who published cartoons [Le Monde slideshow] of the Muslim prophet Muhammad in 2005 that sparked widespread protests across the Islamic world. Several other Danish newspapers also reprinted Westergaard's depiction Wednesday, accompanied by statements defending freedom of speech and the public's right to see the cause of the backlash.
A big hat tip goes to Jyllands-Poste for its good sense and courage.

We've already lost a lot of our free press in the West because so many MSM news organizations are intimidated by Muslims who react violently whenever they feel offended.

As a small act of solidarity with Westergaard, Jyllands-Poste and a free press, I plan to get a copy of one of the cartoons and publish it here at JinC.

It will take a day or two because I'm a tech dummy and my tech helper won't be here until tomorrow.

But it will get done.

Now, if we could only think of a way to get the NY Times, WaPo, the Raleigh N&O and the rest to do the same.

Previuos post:

Plot to Kill Danish Cartoonist: AP Spins Readers

Gene Nichol & the Bias Incident Reporting System

Yesterday I reported on the decision of Gene Nichol to resign immediately as president of The College of William & Mary when told by the Board of Visitors that his contract as president would not be renewed this summer. Nichol's said he'll remain at the college as a law professor .

Nichol also released a lengthy public statement you can read here. He attacked those who opposed him and presented himself as a martyr for causes he'd championed, including free speech.

Posts here and here tell you something about one of Nichol's causes, the showing at the college of what used to be called a porn show, but in this instance was called the Sex Workers Art Show.

I learned something I didn't know about yesterday until a W&M friend mentioned it: free speech advocate Gene Nichol supported something called the Bias Incident Reporting System.

The following is from Coyote Blog ----------

... [B]efore we go declaring Mr. Nichol a martyr for free speech, FIRE reminds us that less than six months ago Mr. Nichol spearheaded this far more comprehensive violation of free speech:

This fall, The College of William & Mary launched a Bias Incident Reporting System “to assist members of the William and Mary community—students, staff, and faculty—in bringing bias incidents to the College’s attention.” In its initial incarnation, the system was fraught with constitutional problems, from both free speech and due process standpoints. The system initially allowed for anonymous reporting, providing that “[a] person reporting online may report anonymously by leaving the personal information fields blank.”

The definition of “bias” was overbroad and encompassed constitutionally protected expression: “A bias incident consists of harassment, intimidation, or other hostile behavior that is directed at a member of the William and Mary community because of that person’s race, sex (including pregnancy), age, color, disability, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status.”

The homepage for the system even contained an explicit misstatement about the First Amendment, stating that the First Amendment did not protect “expressions of bias or hate aimed at individuals that violate the college’s statement of rights and responsibilities.”

...a group calling itself “Free America’s Alma Mater” published an advertisement in William & Mary’s student newspaper, The Flat Hat, skewering the new program. “Welcome to the new William & Mary’s Bias Reporting System, where W&M now invites you to shred the reputation of your neighbors…anonymously,” the ad read. “Prof gave you a bad grade? Upset at that fraternity brother who broke your heart? Did a colleague vote against you for tenure?

Now you can get even!! Anonymously report anything that offends you to the William & Mary Thought Police at”

This earlier episode reveals that Mr. Nichol clearly does not believe that all speech is protected.


There's more to the Coyote Blog post, including a statement that the blogger, like Nichol, supported the showing of the Sex Workers Art Show on free speech grounds. The entire post is here. I hope you give it a look.

Coyote Blog has made a useful contribution to the discussion of Nichol's leadership at William & Mary

Also posting: See Michelle Malkin and trackbacks at her blog.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Duke's sex show: William & Mary just said "No"

Duke University recently hosted something called Sex Workers' Art Show which included a dominatrix with a large strap-on dildo she stroked while the mostly student audience was instructed to shout "faster, faster" in Chinese and she whipped a "slave" kneeling beside her. (No, folks, I don't know why Chinese was used.)

The Duke sex show also included an anal "sparkler" act and much more.

A Duke spokesperson declared the show promoted a "healthy lifestyle."

You can read more about the sex show and Duke's support of it in Duke's "healthy lifestyle" hypocrisy.

Now this from Michelle Malkin's blog: here:

The head of the College of William and Mary, Gene Nichol, has resigned in disgrace. Several readers send along his resignation letter.

You’ll recall that he roiled the campus with his decision to hide the cross at the famous school chapel to make it “less faith-specific.” More recently, he hosted a sex workers show on campus while restricting critics who wanted to tape it….
In Nichol’s own words:
I was informed by the Rector on Sunday, after our Charter Day celebrations, that my contract will not be renewed in July. Appropriately, serving the College in the wake of such a decision is beyond my imagining. Accordingly, I have advised the Rector, and announce today, effective immediately, my resignation as president of the College of William & Mary. I return to the faculty of the school of law to resume teaching and writing….
The liberal/leftist Raleigh News & Observer plays the story with Nichol as a martyr for freedom and ends with a plug for his return to UNC-Chapel Hill as Chancellor. The N&O's "news report" begins:
Former UNC-Chapel Hill law dean Gene Nichol, a forceful liberal voice and an occasional lightning rod, resigned abruptly today as president of the College of William & Mary in Virginia.

In a letter to William & Mary supporters, Nichol said he was informed Sunday by college leaders that his contract would not be renewed in July. He then decided to step down immediately, and, in a parting shot, said he refused an offer of "substantial economic incentives" to remain quiet about the reasons for his departure.

He said he made four decisions that stirred a furor at the public college in Williamsburg. One involved moving a cross in a historic chapel used regularly for secular college events, citing principles of separation of church and state. Nichol never recovered fully from the cross controversy.

He also refused to ban controversial speakers and performances from campus on two occasions. And he worked to diversify the campus through a new scholarship aimed at poor students.

"As the result of these decisions, the last sixteen months have been challenging ones for me and my family," he wrote in a letter. "A committed, relentless, frequently untruthful and vicious campaign -- on the internet and in the press -- has been waged against me, my wife and my daughters. It has been joined, occasionally, by members of the Virginia House of Delegates -- including last week's steps by the Privileges and Elections Committee to effectively threaten Board appointees if I were not fired over decisions concerning the Wren Cross and the Sex Workers Art Show. That campaign has now been rendered successful. And those same voices will no doubt claim victory today."

The Sex Workers Art Show is the traveling show that stirred criticism when it came to Duke University recently.

Nichol said he would return to the faculty of William & Mary's law school. ...

Nichol was dean of UNC's law school from 1999 to 2005. In 2000, he was a finalist for the chancellor's position that eventually went to James Moeser. UNC-CH now has a search committee looking for a replacement for Moeser, who will retire this year.
The entire N&O story is here.

You'll note the story doesn't quote anyone on the William & Mary board which decided not renew Nichol's contract as president.

Nor does the N&O quote any of Nichol's legion of critics.

The N&O's story - Jane Stancill's byline - doesn't even say an attempt was made to reach anyone but Nichol.

The N&O's story reads as if the N&O worked for Nichol and prepared a press release at his direction.

For its part, the N&O tells readers its reporting is "fair and accurate."

Hat tips to:

Mike Williams
A friend from up North
A W&M alum.

Plot to Kill Danish Cartoonist: AP Spins Readers

The AP’s just reported:

Danish police said Tuesday they have arrested three people suspected of plotting to kill one of the 12 cartoonists behind the Prophet Muhammad drawings that sparked a deadly uproar in the Muslim world two years ago
Two Tunisians and a Dane of Moroccan origin were arrested in pre-dawn raids in western Denmark, the police intelligence agency said.

[A]according to Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that first published the drawings on Sept. 30, 2005, the suspects were planning to kill its cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.

"There were very concrete murder plans against Kurt Westergaard," said Carsten Juste, the paper's editor-in-chief.

The cartoons were later reprinted by a range of Western publications, and they sparked deadly protests in parts of the Muslim world.
The entire AP story’s here.

The AP knows its spinning readers when it says the cartoons “were later reprinted by a range of Western publications.”

A more truthful AP statement would have been:
Most major Western news organizations including the NY Times and the Washington Post responded to Muslim threats with prompt announcements they wouldn't publish any of the Danish cartoons.

Newsweek, which a few weeks later published on its cover mug shots of the innocent Duke students then DA Mike Nifong attempted to frame with the help from many at Duke and in Durham, refused to publish the cartoons. The popular liberal/leftist magazine cited “sensitivity” as a reason.
The AP could have added something like:
While we promise our Muslim friends we won’t do anything to make them mad at us, we’ll continue to fearlessly expose every American effort to spy on Al Qaeda.

Duke's "healthy lifestyle" hypocrisy

Larry Moneta, Duke University’s Vice President for Student Affairs recently applauded Duke for its sponsorship of a porn show at the University. Here’s some of his letter published Feb. 8 in the Raleigh N&O:

… [The] event was sponsored by a group of student educators who promote healthy lifestyles, receiving financial support from the Women's Center, Sexual Assault Support Services and other campus groups. …

[The event] should be perceived as evidence that Duke continues to be a community filled with diverse people and opinions, and one committed to academic freedom and free speech.
So if Duke’s Women’s Center and other University organizations sponsor a porn show, they’re promoting “healthy lifestyles.”

But if lacrosse players hire “exotic dancers,” that’s disgusting according to Duke administrators and faculty who support “healthy lifestyle” shows.

What’s next at Duke?

Will Moneta’s job title now be Vice President for Healthy Student Affairs?

In the next few days I’ll say more about Duke’s support for strippers and other “sex artists.”

For now two items:

Don’t miss Duke senior Kristin Butler’s thoughtful column on the event.

And I thought you’d be interested in reading the following post – This Duke lacrosse commentary deserves a "Hip, hip, hypocrisy" – published May 6, 2006.

Barry Jacobs is the Chairman of The Orange County Board of Commissioners. Orange borders Durham County and includes the town of Chapel Hill and the campus of the University of North Carolina.

Jacobs regularly writes about women’s sports. Recently he sounded off in response to the Duke lacrosse case and made linkages to things liberal/leftists like to call “the larger truths.” Here’s some of Jacobs:
Under the best of circumstances, collegiate athletic competition involving women--most often condescendingly called "ladies" or "girls" by the sports media--routinely commands second-class coverage. […]

The off-field excesses of the Duke lacrosse team (men's) [provide] a dark and hurtful reminder of larger truths about sex, race and privilege.

How must female athletes, black and white, look at their male counterparts after such an episode, or rather how must they imagine their male counterparts look at them?

And, if boys-will-be-boys is tolerated by athletic administrators, where does a woman turn for support? […]
Jacobs serves up a lot more just like that and closes with:
But celebration of the ACC women's transcendent season was cut short by tales of racism, alcohol abuse and alleged sexual assault perpetuated (sic) by male Duke athletes. In this, too, the lacrosse team and its excesses served to victimize women.
Jacobs' piece appeared in the Apr. 12 edition of The Independent, a free, weekly newspaper with strong social and political appeal to the region’s “progressive community.”

The Independent survives on advertising revenue. Some of it comes from restaurants, bars advertising happy hours, book stores, and such.

But a lot of The Independent’s revenue comes from what Jacobs could tell you is a special niche market. The Independent pretty much has the market to itself because most other publications avoid it if they can.

I wish Jacobs was here to tell us what he calls the market. We’ll just have to do with a few examples. These ads are from the Mar. 29 Independent:

Introducing five brand new co-ed hotties to your area for the next three weeks only. Check out our pics online. Offering one-of-a –kind two girl shows. In or Out. Call: XXXX (no contact information will be provided in this post)

XXXX (ad title is also an internet address)

For the best of exotic dance, massage and entertainment try our ladies. Also selectively hiring
There are a lot more ads with titles such as BIG, SEXY & READY and PARTY, PARTY, PARTY. There’s even one that claims it provides “schedules, reviews & profiles” of other ESCORT SITES.

The Indy, as Jacobs calls it, has pages of ads with photos inviting readers to TRY IT and contact LOCAL DATELINE which bills itself as CASUAL, INTIMATE, and JUST FUN.

Speaking of bills, the ads often remind readers to have a Visa or Amex ready.

If you’re in Durham or anywhere else in the Triangle you can pick up a copy of The Indy most anywhere. The Indy must have at least 5 distribution points at Duke, including one in the lobby of the Bryan Student Center. Duke undergrads are a major target group for most Indy advertisers.

The Indy’s very popular at Duke. The other day I must have seen about 10 copies of it on desks and tables at the Divinity School.

In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me to learn the lacrosse players who hired the exotic dancers found their contact information in The Indy.

I’ll bet it wouldn’t surprise Jacobs, either.

Now a little advice for all of you. If you’re ever speaking before the Orange County Commissioners, for goodness sakes don’t slip up and call a group of women "ladies" or "girls."

You know how mad that makes Commissioner Barry Jacobs.

For Commissioner Jacobs everybody get up and shout, "Hip, hip, hypocrisy!"

I’m emailing Jacobs a link to this post. I’ll let you know if I hear anything back.

If you’d like to contact Jacobs his email is:
URL to full text of Jacobs' article:

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Churchill Series - Feb. 11, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Excerpts from a Times of London article, Winston Churchill, soldier and journalist, describing his early life as a soldier and journalist:

Winston Churchill’s early life was dominated by the Army and by journalism.

At the age of 20, in February 1895, he was commissioned in the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars.

The military year was divided into seven months’ summer training and five months’ winter leave, during which young officers were expected to gain experience by joining a suitable military campaign.

Since early summer, the Spanish authorities in Cuba had been hard-pressed by rebels, and 80,000 reinforcements had been sent to suppress the rebellion.

Seeing an opportunity to witness some real military action, Churchill and a fellow subaltern, Reginald Barnes, went to Cuba in October and attached themselves to General Suarez Valdez.

On November 30, his 21st birthday, Churchill witnessed his first action: “For the first time I heard shots fired in anger, and heard bullets strike flesh or whistle through the air.”

The following year, 1896, Churchill’s military career took him to India, where he (joined a field force) under Sir Binden Blood to tackle the revolt of the Pathan tribesmen on the Indian frontier.

By August 1897, he was with the force at Malakand, on the Indian border (now part of Pakistan) with Afghanistan.
Pathans are a tribal people we refer to as Pashtuns. They inhabit the border area of what is now southeastern Afghanistan and northwest Pakistan. Many believe Osama bin Laden is hiding somewhere in that area.

Churchill’s experiences in the fighting there formed the basis for his first book, The Story of the Malakand Field Force , published in 1898..

The Times article, Winston Churchill, soldier and journalist, was published September 10, 2001.

Is Finkbeiner for Clinton or Obama?

By now everyone knows Democrat Carty Finkbeiner, Toledo’s Mayor, told the U. S. Marines they’ve not welcome in his city.

What we don’t know is which of the two front-running candidates for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination Finkbeiner favors.

Is it Clinton or Obama?

The upcoming Ohio primary, with its large block of delegates, is critical for both candidates.

So who’s Finkbeiner supporting?

Yes, it’s possible Finkbeiner isn’t supporting either candidate.

Whatever the case, we ought to know.

And the public ought to know how Clinton and Obama feel about Finkbeiner hanging out a “MARINES NOT WELCOME” sign In Toledo.

If Finkbeiner was a Republican, the Democratic- dominated MSM would be all over GOP candidates Huckabee and McCain demanding to know how they felt about Finkbeiner’s outrage.

MSM should do the same with Clinton and Obama.

And so should talk radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh.

In terms of print reporting, Ignazio Messina at the Toledo Blade has the most informative report I found today.

Nifong-Gurney Property Questions

Here's the Raleigh News & Observer reporting Feb. 9 under Anne Blythe’s byline on a federal bankruptcy court hearing the previous day at which disbarred former Durham DA was asked about his financial assets:

… Charles Davant, a lawyer representing Dave Evans and Collin Finnerty, two of the three exonerated players, asked Nifong about his insurance policies and assets.

Bankruptcy trustee Sara Conti asked about an Ashe County property that Nifong's wife, Cy Gurney, owns that he did not list as an asset. Nifong replied that Gurney owned the lot and house, but his name was on the mortgage. …(blods mine)
But back on June 8, 2007 the AP’s Aaron Beard reported:
It's not clear how much money the families could get out of Nifong, but the career civil servant’s financial disclosure statement suggests it isn't much. His only listed income is his salary of about $110,000. Aside from his Durham home and some unspecified real estate in western North Carolina, Nifong appears to have no significant assets outside of any mutual funds and retirement accounts.(bold mine)
The AP story as hosted at doesn’t say anything further about the “financial disclosure statement,” including anything further to identify just what disclosure statement is being referenced.

So we’re left to wonder about “some unspecified real estate in western North Carolina” mentioned in the June 2007 AP story with the implication it was Nifong’s property, and the Ashe County property about which the N&O reported Nifong told the court his wife, [Cy] Gurney “owned the lot and house, but his name was on the mortgage.”

Ashe County is in western North Carolina. But are the AP and N&O stories talking about the same property?

Does anyone know? Anne Blythe has never responded to my emails since I pointed out she and Samiha Khanna had failed seven times to use a qualifier such as "alleged" when they told readers about "the victim" in the N&O's Mar. 24, 2006 story which "broke" the Duke lacrosse story.

I'll send Beard an email if I can find his address.

It should be an easy matter for the AP, the N&O or any other news organization to check the court records in Ashe County for deed and mortgage filings under Nifong's and Gurney’s names.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Some good from the Archbishop’s words?

Dr. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, recently expounded in a prepared address and in remarks on BBC Radio 4 as to how Muslim sharia law and British law could both function simultaneously in the UK. You’ll find some of his remarks and a link to the full text of his address in this post which I ended with:

The only good I can see coming from Williams' proposals and remarks is if they serve to alert people to just how willing many leaders in the West are to toss away the foundations of our civilization and liberties.
Today in a NY Post op-ed Hudson Institute senior fellow John O’Sullivan picks up where I left off:
…The archbishop's use of the word "unavoidable" was significant: It reflects not just his mindset but that of British ministers and the country's wider multicultural establishment - who would like to protect rights such as gender equality in law but positively shrink from any conflict with ethno-cultural groups that oppose and threaten them.

If that mindset prevails, then sharia - women's second-class status and all - will indeed be unavoidable.

But when the previous Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey; the Anglican convert from Islam, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali of Rochester; the Oxford Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan; and the Muslim Member of Parliament Shahid Ali all reject this inevitability, saying (in the words of Shahid Ali), "If there are people who want sharia law, there are always countries where they could go and live," then the battle is not yet lost. …
The entire op-ed is here.

A big hat tip to Member of Parliament Shahid Ali: "If there are people who want sharia law, there are always countries where they could go and live."

I hope Williams’ words inspire a tough and sustained pushback against multi-culti relativism.

But none of us who value Western civilization and our common law liberties should rest easy.

The forces against us are relentless and powerful.

Iraq, Pakistan and Campaign '08

The following is all blog friend Mike Williams' work


Bill Roggio posts:

A document seized by US forces in Balad and a communiqué from al Qaeda in Iraq's leader intercepted by US intelligence paint a bleak picture of the terror group's ability to conduct operations in former strongholds. Al Qaeda in Iraq is threatened by the rise of the Awakening movements spreading throughout Iraq and is forced to change its tactics.
Unfortunately, al Qaeda still has teeth, and Secretary of Defense Gates is considering delaying the troop draw downs scheduled for this summer.

In other news, the US has captured a Shiite militia chief with suspected ties to Iran. Captain Ed Morrissey speculates:

The capture of a commander could give the US plenty of intel on the activities of his units. It might also cause some political problems for Sadr and perhaps Nouri al-Maliki, as the men are reported to be on the staff of a member of the National Assembly. The reaction of the government to this capture and the raids that produced it should be interesting to watch.
Meanwhile in Pakistan, the Dadullah boys had another bad day:
Pakistani security forces critically wounded a top figure in the Taliban militia fighting U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, among six militants captured after a firefight near the border Monday, the army said.

Mansoor Dadullah, brother of the Taliban's slain military commander Mullah Dadullah, and the five others were challenged by security forces as they crossed from Afghanistan into Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan. They refused to stop and opened fire, said army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas.

"Security personnel returned fire. As a result all of them sustained injuries and all of them were captured," Abbas said. "Dadullah was arrested alive but he is critically wounded."

Earlier, a senior military official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to journalists, said Dadullah died of his wounds while being flown to a hospital with the other injured men.
Captain Ed, again:
The capture of Dadullah gives the Pakistanis, and hopefully NATO, a great intel opportunity. It's possible that Dadullah's high-level contacts could produce the whereabouts of Mullah Omar, and perhaps even Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Now that the news of his capture has gone out through the media, those people may have to relocate quickly and find new safe houses -- actions that could flush them out into view long enough for a Predator to find them.

Assuming he’s not dead, of course.

On the hustings, Obama gave Clinton another pounding. Saturday he took Louisiana, Nebraska, and Washington, and Sunday he handed her a defeat in Maine. Clinton responded by firing her campaign manager.

On the Republican side:

McCain flunked his first ballot tests since becoming the Republican nominee-in-waiting. He lost Kansas caucuses to Mike Huckabee, gaining less than 24 percent of the vote. Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, got nearly 60 percent of the vote a few hours after saying, "I majored in miracles, and I still believe in them." He won all 36 delegates at stake.

Huckabee also won the Louisiana primary, but fell short of 50 percent, the threshold necessary to pocket the 20 delegates that were available. Instead, they will be awarded at a state convention next weekend.

McCain won the third Republican race of the night, Washington's caucuses. None of the state's delegates will be awarded until next week….
Looks like Clinton will also have more bad news after tomorrow’s primaries in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C.

Finally, would you believe we’ve had a global cooling alert?



Thanks, Mike.

And, folks, you know any news of a possible global cooling will send a chill through Al Gore's supporters.

A sermon for the Archbishop

Today in London’s Sunday Times journalist Minette Marrin delivered a wise and needed sermon meant for Dr. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury. But we can all benefit from her words which begin:

My text for today is “Hold fast that which is good”: 1 Thessalonians 5:21.

These are words I heard so regularly in prayers at my Anglican girls’ school that I have been unable to forget them. I draw them to the attention of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who seems to have forgotten them.

At least, he seems to be losing his grip on what is good in this country and, indeed, to be throwing it away with both hands in his curious suggestion that aspects of sharia should be recognised in English law.

In an interview on Radio 4 last Thursday, Rowan Williams said that the introduction of parts of Islamic law here would help to maintain social cohesion and seems unavoidable. Sharia courts exist already, he pointed out.

We should “face up to the fact” that some British citizens do not relate to the British legal system, he said, and that Muslims should not have to choose between “the stark alternatives of cultural loyalty or state loyalty”. …

“An approach to law which simply said there is one law for everybody and that is all there is to be said . . . I think that’s a bit of a danger,” [Williams said.]

What danger? And to whom?

The danger, surely, is rather the archbishop and those who think like him, who seem unwilling to hold fast that which is good.

What is good and best and essential about our society - it isn’t merely a matter of “social identity” - is the principle of equality before the law. That principle and its practice have made this country the outstandingly just and tolerant state it is; it is one of the last remaining forces for unity as well.

What is also good and essential to this country is the law itself. It has evolved over centuries from medieval barbarities into something, for all its faults, that is civilised.

Our law expresses and maintains the best virtues of our society. Anybody who does not accept it does not belong here. …

Williams’s behaviour looks like vainglorious attention-seeking, but it is also something much worse.

To seek to undermine our legal system and the values on which it rests, in a spirit of unnecessary appeasement to an alien set of values, is a kind of treason.

It is a betrayal of all those who struggled and died here, over the centuries, for freedom and equality under the rule of law and of their courage in the face of injustice and unreason. Theirs is the good that we should hold fast and so of all people should the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Otherwise, what is he for?
You can read everything Marrin said here.

Here’s a link to the full text of the Archbishop’s speech, “Civil and Religious Law in England: a Religious Perspective,” on which he drew for his remarks on Radio 4.

Regarding the speech itself, Marrin told readers:
The archbishop and his few supporters insist that the media have misrepresented him and not many people have actually read the learned speech that he gave to a learned audience after his inflammatory radio interview. They are wrong.

I haven’t seen any serious misrepresentation in the media, and reading his speech several times doesn’t exonerate him. Nor does it increase respect for his judgment, his command of English or his powers of ratiocination; he is woolly of face and woolly of mind.
I've read the speech and a number of British media reports. Those accounts don't misrepresent what Williams said in his speech.

The Guardian reports: “Williams defiant over Islamic law speech.” The report includes radically different reactions to Williams’ remarks by two Anglican bishops:
Stephen Lowe, the Bishop of Hulme, condemned the "kneejerk" response to the remarks as a "shame on our nation".He told Radio 4's The World at One: "We have probably one of the greatest and the brightest archbishops of Canterbury we have had for many a long day. The way he has been ridiculed, lampooned and treated by some people and indeed some of the media ... is quite disgraceful."

The Bishop of Rochester, the Right Rev Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, who has both a Christian and a Muslim family background, said all the codes of sharia "would be in tension with the English legal tradition on questions like monogamy, provisions for divorce, the rights of women, custody of children, laws of inheritance and of evidence. This is not to mention the relation of freedom of belief and of expression to provisions for blasphemy and apostasy."
I don't doubt that many, if not most, Anglican clergy in Britain agree with Bishop Lowe. But it's Bishop Nazir-Ali who makes a good deal of sense.

I agree with Marrin that what Williams is proposing is a "betrayal of all those who struggled and died here, over the centuries, for freedom and equality under the rule of law and of their courage in the face of injustice and unreason."

The only good I can see coming from Williams' proposals and remarks is if they serve to alert people to just how willing many leaders in the West are to toss away the foundations of our civilization and liberties.

Your turn.

Hat tips:, Mike Williams and clergy friends

About liberal "hate" speech: a question

I'd like you to read this Jeff Jacoby column, "The liberal double standard in reacting to 'hate' speech," publiched Dec. 31, 1998 in the Boston Globe. Then below the star line I'll ask a few questions.

Now Jacoby - - -

The worst political slur of 1998, to judge by the media attention it drew, was uttered by Al D'Amato, New York's Republican senator. In a private meeting with supporters during his reelection campaign last fall, D'Amato called his Democratic opponent, Representative Charles Schumer, a "putzhead."

Now, it is not nice to call people "putzhead," and I wasn't sorry to see D'Amato spanked for his boorish language. But it is also not nice to call people white-sheeted racists, yet so far as I know, none of my media brethren spanked Illinois Senator Carol Moseley-Braun when she implied that George Will, the noted commentator, belonged to the Klan.

"I think because he could not say `nigger,' he said the word `corrupt,' " Moseley-Braun offered by way of rebutting Will's columns about her many ethical lapses. "George Will can just take his hood and go back to wherever he came from." (In fact, Will hadn't said the word "corrupt.")

Why did Moseley-Braun's vile slander get a pass while D'Amato's crudity became a national story? Because in one case, a liberal insulted a conservative, while in the other, a liberal was insulted by a conservative.

I devote a column each December to illustrating the pervasive double standard by which liberals are permitted to say vicious things about conservatives -- things that would get a conservative beheaded by sundown if he said it about a liberal.

In Salem, the superintendent of schools declared that Barbara Anderson -- the state's leading taxpayer activist -- "should be tried for murder" for her opposition to raising property levies.

In Berkeley, Calif., advocates for the homeless denounced bookseller Andy Ross -- who campaigned to keep vagrants from sitting and lying in the streets -- as a "fascist" and defended the swastikas that were painted in front of his store.

In Washington, Republican foes of a campaign finance bill were likened to "terrorists" by Gwen Ifill, a reporter for NBC.

This is liberal hate speech, and I choose the word "hate" advisedly. Conservatives tend to view liberals as people whose views are profoundly misguided, people woefully in need of straightening out. But liberals are more likely to see conservatives as hateful -- people whose views should be suppressed, not debated, people who deserve only contempt.

This is why Alan Dershowitz, a formidable liberal who defends rapists and murderers, could publicly curse congressmen who voted for impeachment as "the forces of evil. Evil. Genuine evil."

This is why Tom Shales, the Washington Post's gifted TV critic, could suggest of independent counsel Kenneth Starr: "Beneath the dullness lies pure evil." This is why liberal talk show host Phil Donahue could go postal during a conversation about politics "and begin shouting," as the New York Post reported this month, "how much he hated Republicans."

Moseley-Braun wasn't the only liberal to sling the racism mudball in 1998. Charles Rangel, the congressman from Harlem, smeared Republicans in May. "Don't you believe that they don't want to dismantle the Social Security system. They are afraid to come out from under their hoods and attack us directly."

The novelist E.L. Doctorow compared Bill Clinton's critics to the murderers in Jasper, Texas: "The president of the United States," he said, is "being dragged through the town by a pickup."

Keith Olbermann of MSNBC identified Lauch Fairthcloth, the conservative North Carolina senator, as "one of the junior Grand Wizards of the vast right-wing conspiracy."

And then there was the preelection radio spot aired in St. Louis: "When you don't vote, you let another church explode. When you don't vote, you allow another cross to burn. When you don't vote, you let another assault wound a brother or sister. . . . Paid for by the Missouri Democratic Party."

Repugnant stuff. Yet liberals routinely get away with injecting it into the public discourse. Just ask Starr, who would have been crucified if he had hurled at his critics the sickening libels many of them hurled at him.

Olbermann, the MSNBC commentator, announced in August that Starr made him think of Heinrich Himmler, who ran the Gestapo for Hitler. In February, Larry King compared him to Nazis. In October, Vanessa Redgrave also compared him to Nazis.

Indeed, it sometimes seems as if liberals can't look at a conservative or a Republican without seeing the SS. The GOP decision to block a vote on censuring Clinton, US Representative Tom Lantos of California snarled, is something one would expect "in Hitler's parliament." When New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani displeased an artists' association, it publicly depicted him with a Hitler moustache.

But for sheer poison, nothing compares with the diatribe uncorked by Alec Baldwin on the Conan O'Brien show. A liberal activist and staunch Clinton supporter, the actor was condemning the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee.

"If we were in other countries," he shouted, "we would all right now, all of us together -- all of us together would go down to Washington and we would stone Henry Hyde to death! We would stone him to death! Wait! . . . I'm not finished. We would stone Henry Hyde to death and we would go to their homes and we'd kill their wives and their children! We would kill their families!"

That is hate speech so monstrous the outcry against it should have cost Baldwin his career. But Baldwin is a liberal. So, of course, there was no outcry, and his incitement cost him nothing.


Folks, when you look back at liberal "hate" from a decade ago and compare it with what we hear now, has much changed?

I don't think so. Many liberals routinely compare President Bush to Hitler. What about Democratic Congressman Pete Stark who on the floor of the House of Representatives said the President "enjoyed" see our troops in Iraq "getting their heads blown off." Not a single liberal member of the House disagreed with him that day.

And just consider the remarks liberals made and continue to make in support of the "Jena 6."

Then there's been and continues to be all that hate speech directed at the Duke lacrosse players and their supporters

So you know my answer to the question.

But what's your answer?

Defamation discussion at Liestoppers Forum

A group at Liestoppers Forum has picked up on my recent post: Raleigh N&O, Duke Lacrosse & Defamation (Post 2).

Without getting into any “I agree/disagee,” and with the usual cautions always in mind, I encourage those of you interested in Raleigh N&O, Duke Lacrosse & Defamation (Post 2) to take a look here at LS’s forum.

I’ll also repeat what I said a few weeks ago: there are many folks at LS Forum doing excellent work exploring and reporting on issues related to both the attempted frame-up and the ongoing cover-up of same. The conversations which grow from the reporting are almost always illuminating in whole or part.

The daily LS Fourum Blog and Media Roundup is a must read for anyone following the case

Questions for Toledo Mayor Finkbeiner (D- Ohio)

First, from Toledo’s NBC 24[extracts] and then, below the star line, questions for Mayor Finkbeiner.

From NBC 24:

Mayor Carty Finkbeiner on Friday ordered some 200 members of Company A, 1st Battalion, 24th Marines from Grand Rapids, Michigan, out of Toledo just before the unit was supposed to start a weekend of urban warfare training downtown.

The mayor’s spokesperson Brian Schwartz said, “the mayor asked them to leave because they frighten people. He did not want them practicing and drilling in a highly visible area."

Toledo police said they knew about the training and had approved the unit’s use of the Madison Building and the Promenade Park area. The training was scheduled to start Friday afternoon and last until Sunday. Police said the unit’s presence would have a minimal impact on the city.

Police issued a press release earlier in the week saying the marines would be wearing green camouflage uniforms, operate military vehicles, carry rifles, perform foot patrols, and fire blank ammunitiion during the exercise.

Schwartz said there was a breakdown in communication between police and the Finkbeiner administration that led to the mayor’s action.

“The marines drilled here three times during the Ford administration and once under the Finkbeiner administration. After the last visit, the mayor told then police chief Jack Smith, that he did not want the marines back. Smith failed to inform the current police administration of the mayor’s feelings,” Schwartz said.

NBC24 spoke to Jack Smith, who recalled that after the marines’ last visit, he and the mayor had a heated exchange about the training.

“He told me he did not want them, as he put it, 'playing war in Toledo,'" Smith recalled. "I told him, as a former marine, that if one young marine’s life is saved because of training he or she received in Toledo, Ohio, then it was worth the inconvenience.”
The rest of the report is here.


Questions for Mayor Finkbeiner, a Democrat :

We understand you don't want the United States Marines training in Toledo.

Are we right to assume you have great respect for both your fellow Democrats, Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and would welcome either or both of them to Toledo to test their latest attack strategies against one another?

Can we assume you'd welcome Obama and Clinton to Toledo even if their parades, security and crowds inconvenienced thousands of Toledo residents?

Do you have a favorite as between Obama and Clinton? Have you publicly endorsed one of them? News organizations aren't saying.

Surely by now you’ve made a choice. Why aren’t news organizations reporting which of the two you support?

Or is either one OK with you so long as whichever of them is President helps you keep the Marines out of Toledo?

Final question: If the Marines decide to “take a pass” on defending you and your fellow Democrats in Toledo, what are your security plans?