Saturday, May 31, 2008

Obama resigns Trinity; CNN begins a fogging over

CNN reports - - -

Sen. Barack Obama's campaign confirmed Saturday that he has resigned from the church where controversial sermons by his former pastor and other ministers created repeated political headaches for the Democratic frontrunner.

he resignation comes days after the Rev. Michael Pfleger, a visiting Catholic priest, mocked Obama's Democratic rival during a sermon at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois.

In the video, Pfleger wipes his eyes with a handkerchief and suggests that Sen. Hillary Clinton wept because she thought that as a white person and the wife of a former president, she was entitled to the presidency.

"And then, out of nowhere, came 'Hey, I'm Barack Obama,' " Pfleger said "And [Clinton] said, 'Oh, damn, where did you come from? I'm white! I'm entitled! There's a black man stealing my show!' "

Pfleger is a Catholic priest at St. Sabina Roman Catholic Church on Chicago's southwest side. He is also a friend of Trinity's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, from whom Obama distanced himself in April.

Wright, Obama's minister for about 20 years, drew unwanted attention for the campaign when videos of his fiery sermons surfaced.

In the speeches, Wright suggested that the U.S. government may be responsible for the spread of AIDS in the black community and equated some American wartime activities to terrorism.

Obama has said he was not present for the controversial sermons by Wright or Pfleger. …

The rest of CNN’s story's here.


Of all the news organizations in Obama’s tank , CNN’s one of those deepest in his tank.

So it’s not surprising CNN describes Wright’s anti-white, racist, and anti-American sermons as merely “fiery” and “controversial.”

Many of Martin Luther King’s sermons were fiery and controversial but they didn’t contain that loud, raw, hate-filled racism and anti-Americanism we find in the sermons of Obama’s close friend and pastor of 20 years, Jeremiah Wright.

But CNN doesn’t want us to notice that.

How’d you like CNN fogging over for Obama with: “Obama has said he was not present for the controversial sermons by Wright or Pfleger?”

Pfleger delivered a sermon last Sunday at Trinity.

Wright’s been delivering them for twenty years.

CNN hopes we don’t notice the difference.

CNN worries if we do notice, we'll ask questions like:

"I don't understand why such nice people as the Obama's took their daughters to Wright's church for religious instruction after they'd known Wright all those years.

"Has CNN or Bill Moyers ever asked the Obama's why they did that?"
Now it’s you’re turn.

Hat tip: AC

Tim Tyson & Hunt case comments: my responses

Folks, I want to respond on the main page to some or all parts of comments made on the thread of Tim Tyson's charges and the Hunt case.

Reader comments are in italics; mine are in plain

Here goes - - -

Anon said:

Good post and message, John.

Thanks for the nice words.

I hope you and others keep Tyson's feet to the fire on this issue as we go forward. His film on his book is pretty ridiculous in light of how he treated the Duke students.

I agree. We need to keep his feet to the fire.

Tyson’s doing great disservices to the players and their families, to Duke and the broader community by refusing to acknowledge and apologize for the great harm done because of the broadcasting of his false statements on the radio and in the N&O.

Tyson’s helping keep many people in denial; and he’s helping sustain the ongoing cover-up.

We won’t be able to set things as right as they ought to be at Duke and in Durham and North Carolina until we tear the lid off the cover-up.Tyson is helping to prevent that.

I view Tyson as a lost soul who years ago might have had pure motives, but now it's clear that he is as dishonest as they come, and he knows he can get by with it most of the time.

His responses to Zane’s questions and then his letter on the thread are examples of Tyson operating with a mind set in which he can “get by with it most of the time.” But he didn't this time.

Have you ever seen a professor make so many mistakes in so short a period which were then identified and refuted in so short a time?

If Tyson has much capacity for self-reflection as opposed to self-absorption, he must have realized pretty quickly he’d set himself up to look the fool.

That could explain why he didn’t come back on the thread, acknowledge his errors and thank those who’d pointed them out.

John, I'd be interested in knowing if Peder's email to you was before Tyson replied on his blog or after.

You can see that he used the same issue of the Hunt case as some kind of excuse.

Did he do that before Tyson did the same thing? They seem to be coming from the same playbook.

In this case at least, Anon., you’re a very discerning reader. Tyson’s letter, in which he made himself look so foolish and petty on other matters, and at best grossly misinformed on the Hunt case and very possibly libeling the prosecution, appeared after Zane had sent me the two emails.

When responding to Zane as regards his comments about Tyson, I tried to go easy and not hammer Zane with what Tyson had written.

Tyson's foolish, false, and reckless statements cut the legs out from under the case Zane was making for him; and exposed Tyson not as a race healer, but as a racist and self-promoter which are the points I was making in my first post when I said Tyson’s no more a race healer than David Duke or Houston Baker; and that his self-promotion skills but him in a category with John Edwards and Al Sharpton.

It looks like the N&O will go to any length to make Tyson look good and try to make excuses for him.


I think it is time to say auPederZane to Timmy Tyson and his cerebral self stimulations about "rich privileged white boys" raping black hookers!

He is not worth the intellect involved

I agree somewhat. I meant More on Tim Tyson's charges and the Hunt case to be the completion of my response to Zane, after which he was welcome to respond.

But I’ve not heard back from him.

Regardless, I do plan in the next few days to do at least one more Tyson post. It will attempt to sum all that’s happened as a result of reader response to the initial N&O/Zane puff-piece profile on May 18.

BTW – A big hat tip to you, Danvers, for following JinC from South Africa. Every time I hear from you I think of Churchill and his experiences there.

Now taking my cue from you, I end this post with friendly words for all:

auf Wiedersehen

The Economy: A Reality Check

Michael Barone provides it at I comment below the star line.

Barone begins - - -

"It's the economy, stupid," James Carville famously said during the 1992 campaign, when a young Bill Clinton was running against the other President Bush. The same could be said during this presidential campaign.

The headlines are full of economic bad news -- mortgage foreclosures, the collapse of an investment bank, higher gas and food prices and lower home prices. Voters routinely list the economy as their chief concern, and consumer confidence has sunk to low levels. (A recent poll found almost 2/3rds of those responding said America was already in a recession. - - JinC)

Yet at the same time, the economic numbers are not so bad. A recession is defined as two quarters of contraction. But we haven't had one yet. The gross domestic product has grown, albeit only by 0.6 percent, in the last two quarters.

As my U.S. News colleague James Pethokoukis blogged after the most recent numbers came in, "Dude, where's my recession?"

By any historic standard, our economic numbers are good, though possibly headed in a negative direction. April's unemployment was 5 percent -- a figure that once upon a time was considered full employment.

The Consumer Price Index was up 3.9 percent, largely due to price rises in energy and food. "Core inflation" was 2.3 percent. Productivity was up 2.2 percent.

Those are numbers that would have been taken as a sign of very good times when I was growing up. Then, we had recessions every four or five years and bad bouts of inflation in the 1940s, 1950s and 1970s, and unemployment sometimes surged to 10 percent nationally and to 15 percent in industrial states like Michigan.

In contrast, we've had only two mild recessions since 1983, with a third now possible but not yet in view. . . .

The rest of Barone's column is here.



What Barone is saying is very different from what Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are saying. Listening to them all I hear about is how down at the heels Americans are as we face the housing crisis, the mortgage mess crisis, the gas price crisis, the cost of food crisis.

One of the crises that most concerns me is the one created by politicians who've been weakening the free market system, expanding the role of government, and doling out what are called "entitlements."

In the 1930s we started with what we were told was just some short-term emergency relief to family farmers facing a depression. Seventy-five years later the depression's gone and the family farm all but gone, replaced by agribusiness farming.

But that "short-term emergency relief" goes on and on and out to the high rolling agribusiness people to the tune of billions each year.

This post title made me smile

and I think it will make you smile, too, unless you're a very serious Obama supporter.

You'll find hte post here at Free Constitution.

Obama’s Raleigh N&O “reports” Pfleger’s racist, misogynist sermon

Father Michael Pfleger’s racist and misogynist sermon delivered this past Sunday at Trinity’s UCC gave the liberal/leftist Raleigh News & Observer’s another opportunity to help elect Senator Barack Obama President.

The N&O seized the opportunity. In a brief, five-paragraph story, it told readers nothing about Pfleger’s anti-white rant from the pulpit. It sugared over his nasty misogynist ridicule of Sen. Hillary Clinton. And it buried its distorted rump of a story in a single column in the inside, bottom corner of page 4A. (N&O West edition, 5/30/08.)

What follows is the full text of the "report" of Pfleger's sermen the N&O published, attributed to the A. P. The "report” appears under the positive, but misleading lede: “Obama deals with new clergy dust-up.”

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Thursday that he was “deeply disappointed” by a supporter’s sermon at his church that mocked Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The Rev. Michael Pfleger, a Chicago activist, also apologized for Sunday’s sermon at Obama’s church, in which he said Clinton’s eyes welled with tears before the New Hampshire primary because she felt “entitled” to the Democratic nomination and because “there’s a black man stealing my show.”

In video circulating on the Internet, Pfleger said the former first lady expected to win the nomination before Obama’s sudden popularity.

Obama won the Iowa caucuses, the first contest of the nominating season, in January. Days later, Clinton’s eyes brimmed with tears and her voice broke as she talked with New Hampshire voters on the eve of the primary, which she won.

Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago has been Obama’s spiritual home for years and also triggered a controversy earlier this spring over remarks made by Obama’s longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wrirght Jr. (This last paragraph appears in no AP text I could find. Local editors can change or add to material off the AP wire. JinC)
Now folks, here’s the entire AP story. All the paragraphs the N&O left out are in bold.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Thursday that he was "deeply disappointed" by a supporter's sermon at his church that mocked Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The Rev. Michael Pfleger, a Chicago activist, also apologized for last Sunday's sermon at Obama's church, in which he said Clinton's eyes welled with tears before the New Hampshire primary because she felt "entitled" to the Democratic nomination and because "there's a black man stealing my show."

In video circulating on the Internet, Pfleger said the former first lady expected to win the nomination before Obama's sudden popularity.

Obama won the Iowa caucuses, the first contest of the nominating season, in January. Days later, Clinton's eyes brimmed with tears and her voice broke as she talked with New Hampshire voters on the eve of the primary, which she won.

Obama said he was "deeply disappointed" by Pfleger's comments.

"As I have traveled this country, I've been impressed not by what divides us, but by all that that unites us," he said in a statement. "That is why I am deeply disappointed in Father Pfleger's divisive, backward-looking rhetoric, which doesn't reflect the country I see or the desire of people across America to come together in common cause."

Pfleger, the white pastor of predominantly black Saint Sabina Roman Catholic Church on the city's Southwest side, said he regretted his choice of words.

"These words are inconsistent with Senator Obama's life and message and I am deeply sorry if they offended Senator Clinton or anyone else who saw them," Pfleger said.

Clinton's campaign denounced Pfleger's comments.

"Divisive and hateful language like that is totally counterproductive in our efforts to bring our party together and have no place at the pulpit or in our politics," the campaign said in a statement. "We are disappointed that Senator Obama didn't specifically reject Father's Pfleger's despicable comments about Senator Clinton, and assume he will do so."

In March, Pfleger invited Obama's embattled former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, to speak at Saint Sabina, embracing Wright in the church.

Obama recently broke with Wright, who had been his longtime pastor, after video of his sermons blaming U.S. policies for the Sept. 11 attacks and his calls of "God damn America" became fixtures on the Internet and cable news networks and created a political problem for the candidate.

Pfleger, known locally as a community activist and organizer, was arrested in June 2007 with the Rev. Jesse Jackson during a protest outside of a south suburban Chicago gun shop. The criminal trespass charges were later dropped.

He also has hosted Louis Farrakhan, the controversial leader of the Nation of Islam, at St. Sabina and has called him "a gift from God to a sick, sick world."

Father Michael Pfleger, who has his own Chicago church described on his website as a “Word-based, Bible teaching African American Catholic Church,” told the congregation at Trinity that Clinton had engaged in “white entitlement and supremacy” that must be exposed.

“When Hillary was crying, and people said that was put on, I really don’t believe it was put on. I really believe that she just always thought, ‘This is mine. I’m Bill’s wife. I’m white. And this is mine. I just got to get up and step into the plate.’” he said.

“And then out of nowhere came, hey, I’m Barack Obama. And she said, ‘Oh damn, where did you come from? I’m white. I’m entitled. There’s a black man stealing my show.’” Those remarks were mockingly performed in a falsetto, and drew a standing ovation
To help Obama the N&O left out an awful lot that is central to the story - Pfleger's anti-white ranting, the extent and nastiness of the misogynist ridicule, the Pfleter-Farrakhan relationship, and the dissatisfaction of Sen. Clinton and her team with Sen. Obama's failure to fully denounce his friend and spiritual counselor Fr. Ffleger's anti-white racism and misogyny.

Yesterday's story was the first the N&O has done in response to Pfleger's abomination. It published nothing on it this morning.

Full disclose - The N&O insists its news coverage is fair and accurate; and free of any political bias.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Churchill Series – May 30, 2008

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

I promised a post for today focused on Churchill's skill as a parliamentarian. I've not completed it, so there'll be a few days delay.

In the meantime, I think you’ll all enjoy this story Churchill tells in My Early Life.

He recalls "one day in the winter of 1915 when I was serving [at the front] with the Grenadier Guards." Churchill continues:

Our Colonel, then the well-known 'Ma' Jeffreys, a super-martinet and a splendid officer utterly unaffected by sixteen months of the brunt, deprecated the use of alcohol (apart from the regular rum ration) on duty, even under the shocking winter weather and in the front line. It was his wish, though not his actual order, that it should not be taken into the trenches.

In a dark and dripping dug-out a bottle of port was being consumed, when the cry, "Commanding Officer," was heard and Colonel Jeffreys began to descend the steps.

A young officer in whom there evidently lay the germs of military genius instinctively stuck the guttering candle which lighted the dug-out into the mouth of the bottle. Such candlesticks were common.

Everything passed off perfectly.

However, six months later this young officer found himself on leave in the Guards' Club, and there met Colonel Jeffreys.

"Have a glass of port wine?" said the Colonel. The subaltern accepted.

The bottle was brought and the glasses emptied: "Does it taste of candle grease?" said the Colonel; and they both laughed together. (p.50)
Have a wonderful weekend.


Duke defendants file motions to dismiss

Today Duke University and the other defendants filed motions to dismiss the lawsuit by the 38 players and family members.

Representatives of the plaintiffs have performed an important public information service by posting Duke’s and the other defendents' supporting memoranda and exhibits on this page at

They deserve our thanks for the posting.

I’ll be interested to learn your reactions to the documents.

I’ve not read them yet.

Father Pfleger's Support for Farrakhan

Ed Lasky documents it today at American Thinker. I comment below the star line.

Lasky begins - - -

When the Illinois Hate Commission was found to have on its board. a Nation of Islam member- Sister Claudette Marie Muhammed who proudly stood up for Louis Farrakhan, the notoriously anti-white and anti-Semitic Minister (or as Barack Obama refers to him using the honorific "Minister Farrkhan," a controversy erupted. She refused to denounce his racist and anti-Semitic remarks,and refused to resign.

The Board's three Jewish members resigned in protest. Father Michael Pfleger not only supported the Sister's refusal to condemn Farrakhan's racism, he said this of the resignation of the Jewish members of the board, "Good Riddance." . . .

Obama's has identified Father Pfleger as one of his three spiritual mentors.

The other two, Pastor Jeremiah Wright-much commented upon- and the Reverend James Meeks, who has his own trail of controversy (among which includes a dislike of gays) , Meeks has also been a beneficiary of campaign contributions from indicted Obama pal, Anthony Rezko. . . .

You can read all of Lasky’s excellent post here.



Senator Obama has told us that his primary qualification for the presidency is his judgment.

What comes to your mind when you think of Obama’s judgment?

I think Wright, Farrakhan, Meeks, Pfleger, Rezko, negotiations with no preconditions (and with terrorists no less), “bitter people” clinging to guns and religion, a “typical white person,” “lay off my wife,” Bush was talking about ME in his Knesset speech, and a mean attack on Geraldine Ferraro who only stated the obvious.

What about his still living white Grandmother who raised him? He threw her under the bus when it served his political interests.

All that and we’re only just beginning to learn about the "post racial" Obama.

If you haven’t seen Rev. Meeks in action, check out the You Tube video in this post.

And be sure to visit Lasky’s post and American Thinker.

Durham Police sex sting

The Raleigh News & Observer reports this morning - - -

A Durham police investigation into reports that on-duty officers were having sex with a prostitute ended abruptly after an unrelated chase and shootout interrupted an undercover operation.

Two officers resigned after news of the case broke in the fall, and Police Chief Jose Lopez recently confirmed for the first time that they were being investigated on suspicion of sexual misconduct. The Durham district attorney last week referred the case to Attorney General Roy Cooper, whose staff will decide whether anyone will face prosecution.

For months after the Nov. 6 chase and shooting, Lopez and other city officials kept a tight lid on information about the internal investigation. But in several interviews in recent weeks, Lopez has provided some new details about the case and confirmed others, making it possible to piece together a partial account of what happened.

The case began last fall, when a 33-year-old prostitute told investigators that she had had many sexual encounters with on-duty officers. The police began an internal investigation focused on five officers, Lopez said.

On Nov. 6, a woman stood in the post-midnight darkness near a seedy East Durham corner. According to Lopez, she was wearing a concealed microphone so undercover officers parked nearby could hear her and was expecting to meet with one or more of the suspected officers.

But there was an unscripted interruption. As the woman waited, four teenagers in a stolen SUV pulled up and pointed a gun at her. The undercover officers, hearing what was happening, radioed for a marked police car to stop the vehicle. That turned into a chase, which led to the fatal shooting by a Durham officer of a 16-year-old in front of the Durham Public Library's main branch.

The chase and shooting were all over the news later that morning. What the public did not know, however, was that the incident brought the undercover investigation to a premature end. . . .

The rest of the N&O’s story is here.

It gets into quite a few details, some of them edgy for a family newspaper.

I want to say more about this story, but I’m rushed now. Look for commentary tomorrow.

Worth noting – There’s nothing about the sting operation in today’s Durham Herald Sun.

Traveling now but

back responding to comments by 5 PM ET today.

Thanks for your understanding.


What about Obama’s ally Rev. James T. Meeks?

According to Meeks had been described by the Chicago Sun Times as someone Barack Obama regularly seeks out for “spiritual counsel.”
Meeks, whose also a state senator, reportedly will serve as an Obama delegate to the Democratic convention in Denver this August.

Here’s a You Tube video of a recent network affiliate CBS2 news segment. It includes an interview with Meeks that’s hard to believe:

Rob at Say Anything said this about Sen. Obama and his relationship with Meeks:

This man appeared in Obama campaign commercials. He served on Obama campaign committees. Obama campaigned at his church. Obama sought him out for “spiritual counsel” and political support.

Is Obama going to tell us, again, that he had all this interaction with Meeks but didn’t know the man was a bigoted, race-baiting homophobe? Is the media going to give Obama another pass for associating, closely and repeatedly, with a cretin like this?

How many hateful “crazy uncles” have to come out of Obama’s closet before we can say that there’s a reason why Obama sought these people out? And that reason is he agrees with them?
Amen, Brother Rob.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Churchill Series – May 29, 2008

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

In September, 1940 America and Great Britain reached an agreement. America gave Britain 50 destroyers in exchange for 99 year lease rights to naval ports and other facilities in British possessions in the Caribbean and North Atlantic. Most of us today looking back on that agreement will say something like: “Well, that made sense for both sides.”

But the agreement was preceded by months of controversy on both sides of the Atlantic. Some Americans feared the agreement would help propel the country to war. Many in Britain were concerned about sovereignty issues. On both sides there were those who followed the negotiations leading to the agreement with a “calculator” mentality: their side might get the short end of the deal. They wouldn’t stand for that.

President Roosevelt and Churchill conducted much of the negotiations directly between themselves and in secret. Anticipating ultimate agreement, they made arrangements for the swift implementation of the agreement even before it was signed. For example, without public announcement British naval crews were sent to American bases where they were trained to sail the American destroyers.

A final version of the agreement was drawn on September 2, and officials in Washington and London began the signing process.

On September 5 Churchill announced the agreement in the House of Commons.

You’ll see in a moment how with brief, effective words he gives “some stick” to those who’d question the agreement, leaving them in the position of questioning an agreement Hitler won’t like but the Admiralty does:

The memorable transactions between Great Britain and the United States, which were foreshadowed when I last addressed the House, have now been completed. …

I have no doubt that Herr Hitler will not like this transference of destroyers, and I have no doubt that he will pay the United States out, if he ever gets the chance.

That is why I am very glad that the army, air, and naval frontiers of the United States have been advanced along a wide arc into the Atlantic Ocean, and that this will enable them to take danger by the throat while it is still hundreds of miles away from their homeland.

The Admiralty tell us also that they are very glad to have these fifty destroyers, and that they will come in most conveniently to bridge the gap which, as I have previously explained to the House, inevitably intervenes before our considerable wartime programme of new construction comes into service.

I suppose the House realizes that we shall be a good deal stronger next year on the sea than we are now, although that is quite strong enough for the immediate work in hand.

There will be no delay in bringing the American destroyers into active service; in fact, British crews are already meeting them at the various ports where they are being delivered. You might call it the long arm of coincidence.

I really do not think that there is any more to be said about the whole business at the present time. This is not the appropriate occasion for rhetoric.

Perhaps I may, however, very respectfully, offer this counsel to the House: When you have got a thing where you want it, it is a good thing to leave it where it is.
"British crews (and) the long arm of coincidence." Can you help but smile? I’m sure most of the House smiled, too.

In tomorrow’s post I plan to comment further on Churchill’s remarks to the House announcing the agreement. They illustrate what a superb parliamentarian he was

Obama's Father Pflager

First, most of James Taranto's Best of the Web post containing key " Father Pflager story" links and commentary. Then, below the star line are my brief comments.

Taranto begings - - -

Blogger Armando Llorens of the pro-Clinton site has an eye-opening video from the Trinity United Church of Christ, which remains Barack Obama's church. The video was uploaded to YouTube this past Sunday, though it is unclear if it was shot then or earlier. But to judge by the subject matter, it is quite recent.

The video features Father Michael Pfleger, with an introduction by the Rev. Otis Moss, Jeremiah Wright's successor at Trinity United. As we noted last month, the Democratic presidential front-runner described Moss as a "wonderful young pastor" after Obama renounced Wright.

Blogress Michelle Malkin has transcribed the video, in which Pfleger, described by Moss as "a friend of Trinity . . . a brother beloved . . . a preacher par excellence . . . a prophetic, powerful pulpiteer . . . our friend . . . our brother," delivers a hateful rant against Hillary Clinton:

When Hillary was crying [gesturing tears, uproarious laughter from audience]--and people said that was put-on--I really don't believe it was put-on.

I really believe that she just always thought "This is mine" [laughter, hoots]. "I'm Bill's wife. I'm white. And this is mine. And I jus' gotta get up. And step into the plate." And then out of nowhere came, "Hey, I'm Barack Obama." And she said: "Oh, damn! Where did you come from!?!?!" [Crowd going nuts, Pfleger screaming]. "I'm white! I'm entitled! There's a black man stealing my show." [Sobs.] She wasn't the only one crying! There was a whole lotta white people cryin'!

Who is Michael Pfleger?

As we noted last month, he is a strong supporter of Louis Farrakhan and has been described as a "spiritual adviser" to Obama. He also publicly threatened the life of a Chicago businessman and, according to one report, "is known for climbing ladders to deface liquor billboards."

In his Trinity United oration, Pfleger asserted that white people have a moral obligation to surrender their assets, which, he suggested, properly belong to blacks (the video clip begins in midsentence):

--honest enough to address the one who says, "Well, don't hold me responsible [gesticulating] for what my ancestors did." But you have enjoyed the benefits of what your ancestors did and unless you are ready to give up the benefits [voice rising], throw away your 401 fund, throw away your trust fund, throw away all the money you put into the company you walked into because yo' daddy and yo' granddaddy and yo' greatgranddaddy--[screaming at the top of his lungs]--unless you're willing to give up the benefits, then you must be responsible for what was done in your generation 'cuz you are the beneficiary of this insurance policy!
Pfleger is white. Many Illinois taxpayers are black. The New York Times reported earlier this month that the latter have been forced to subsidize the former, through the good offices of one state Sen. Barack Obama:
Mr. Obama more eagerly met the demands for spending earmarks for churches and community groups in his district, said State Senator Donne E. Trotter, then the ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee. "I know this firsthand, because the community groups in his district stopped coming to me," Mr. Trotter said.

Typical of Mr. Obama's earmarks was a $100,000 grant for a youth center at a Catholic church run by the Rev. Michael Pfleger, a controversial priest who was one of the few South Side clergymen to back Mr. Obama against [Rep. Bobby] Rush.

Father Pfleger has long worked with South Side political leaders to reduce crime and improve the community. But he has drawn fire from some quarters for defending the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and inviting him to speak at his church. Father Pfleger, who did not return calls for comment, is one of the religious leaders whose "faith testimonials" Mr. Obama has posted on his presidential campaign Web site.

We searched the Obama Web site in vain for Pfleger's endorsement.

It appears the campaign has suppressed it, although a copy appears on the Michelle Malkin page linked above.



Did Sen. Obama's campaign really surpress Father Pfleger's endorsement?

It seems the answer is: "Yes, they did."

Is that what Obama means by "Change you can believe in?"

Has the NY Times reported Rev. Jeremiah Wright's reaction to Pfleger's sermon?

Pfleger's sermon/show looked to me like a Wright knockoff, but I've only seen "the snippets."

What are Chris Matthews, John Kerry, Bill Moyers and Katie Couric saying?

And, BTW, has anyone heard from the Revs. Jackson and Sharpton?

I'll say more tomorrow.

In the meantime, what do you think?

More on Tim Tyson's charges and the Hunt case

Readers Note: On May 18 the Raleigh News & Observer published a lengthy, extremely positive profile of Duke professor and author Tim Tyson whose book, Blood Done Call My Name, is currently being made into a movie.

The N&O's profile, written by J. Peder Zane, said nothing about Tyson's false statements on the airwaves, in print and elsewhere which helped launch the Duke witch hunt and enable a frame-up attempt which led to the indictments of three young man later declared innocent. Tyson has yet to apologize for his false statements to the young men, their families or the Duke and Durham communities.

I was one of a number of readers who contacted Zane about the N&O's failure to mention Tyson's Duke Hoax role and question him about it.

I've also posted concerning Tyson's role as has KC Johnson. For further background see the following posts: N&O ignores Duke's Tyson's framing role, More concerning the N&O's Tim Tyson profile and KC Johnson’s post: Tyson Reinvents History. See also KC's Tyson Reinvents Some More.

With that as background, what follows is an email I've sent Zane.


Dear Peder:

In my post Tim Tyson's Hunt charges look bogus (May 27) I promised to respond to this part of your last email:

The Duke lacrosse case was outrageous. But so was the Darryl Hunt case - and the many other miscarriages of justice that Tyson has addressed. What have you had to say about that? Travesty that it was, why is Duke lacrosse seemingly the only case that so many people are angry about?
About the Darryl Hart case and miscarriages of justices in North Carolina,
J Swift, KC Johnson and others have responded on the thread of your post: "Tim Tyson revisits Duke lacrosse case."

They’ve provided extensive documentation refuting Duke professor Tim Tyson’s false claim that poeple interested in justice for the victims of the Duke hoax and frame-up attempt are people whose concern for racial justice is, as Tyson puts it, “confined to ‘the vanilla suburbs,’ and always will be.” They’ve also cited numerous factual errors Tyson's made concerning other matters, including extremely serious charges concerning the Hunt case. Tyson has been provided document citation refuting his charges. Days have passed and he's not responded.

Readers can view it all on this thread at your blog.

For myself and my blog, I’ll just say three things:

1) I’ve often and strongly supported across-the-board state and federal investigations into police and prosecutorial malfeasance in North Carolina. See, for example, this May 7, 2008 post: Send the U. S. Justice Department to North Carolina.

2) I’ve posted a number of times concerning The Innocence Project and expect to again shortly when one of its founders, Barry Scheck, is in the area in connection with his representation in civil rights violations suits of the three young man who were indicted during the frame-up attempt.

3) As Dr. King often reminded us, we can’t have justice for some unless we’re willing to grant it to all. That was one of the thoughts I kept in mind when the Duke lacrosse case broke, and people like Tim Tyson forgot about due process, ignored obvious investigative and prosecutorial travesties, and used the airwaves and print media to distort the truth and inflame racial passions.

With that said, I don’t see any need to respond further to what Tim Tyson’s said about people like me in “the vanilla suburbs.”

Throughout our exchanges, Peder, I’ve viewed you as a decent, serious person seeking to explore differences.

On my end I’ve done my best to speak to your concerns and make clear why I view Tyson as I do. Others have helped: KC Johnson with two outstanding posts and a number of commenters at your blog who’ve also made outstanding contributions.

Going forward I plan to maintain an active interest in most aspects of the case.

I hope you follow it, too. I’d be very interested to read what you write.


John in Carolina

The Raleigh N&O's "pitchin'" for Obama

Readers Note: I just sent the following email to Raleigh News & Observer public editor Ted Vaden with a Cc. to deputy editorial page editor Jim Jenkins. The email concerns a column by Jenkins which you can read here.

Dear Ted:

I know you’re concerned newspapers are losing their readers' trust. You’ve also said the N&O’s editorials and opinion columns are justified because the editorialists' and columnists' formal educations and professional experiences enable them to provide N&O readers with informed and thoughtful commentary on important and often complex matters.

I thought about all that this morning when I read deputy editorial page editor Jim Jenkins’ column, “Preachin’ and politickin’.”

Jenkins said Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s words are “hard-hitting and flammable.” They “roiled things up…for [Senator] Obama [who] felt he had to repudiate him [.]”

But Jenkins said nothing about the content of Wright’s sermons. Things like “God damn America,” “KKK – America,” and Wright’s explanation for the HIV/AIDS epidemic: the American government deliberately spread it as a means of holding down our African-American population.

Jenkins took a different approach when he told readers about Senator McCain’s seeking and accepting for a brief period Rev. John Hagee’s endorsement.

For one thing, Jenkins reported on the content of Hagee’s extremely noxious and bizarre remarks: “Alas for [McCain], a Web site turned up Hagee sermonizing as to how Hitler was a tool used by God so that Jews would go to the Promised Land -- at least, that was an interpretation, although Hagee defended himself.”

For another thing, while Jenkins said Obama “repudiate[d]” Wright, he said only that McCain “distanced himself from Hagee.” Jenkins then went on to tell readers “ Hagee later withdrew his endorsement.”

In fact, when McCain first learned of Hagee’s remarks, he called them “crazy and unacceptable.” McCain later issued a statement before Hagee withdrew his endorsement in which he said: "Obviously, I find these remarks and others deeply offensive and indefensible, and I repudiate them. I did not know of them before Reverend Hagee's endorsement, and I feel I must reject his endorsement as well."

Why did Jenkins tell readers McCain had merely “distanced himself” from Hagee when in truth he had denounced him and repudiated his endorsement?

And why didn’t Jenkins tell readers anything about the content of Wright’s racist and anti-American “preachin’ and politickin’”? Or that Obama had sat and listened to it for twenty years?

At the end of his column, Jenkins attempted to draw equivalence between McCain’s situation with Hagee and Obama’s with Wright, his close friend and pastor of twenty years to whom he brought his children for religious instruction and to whose church he and his wife contributed $26,000 last year.

And having attempted to equate McCain’s and Obama’s situations relative to the two preachers, Jenkins went on to say, “most Americans won't be thinking about the views of a few high-profile ministers when they go in the booth.”

Jenkins said nothing about the tens of millions of American’s who’ll certainly “go in the booth” remembering Senator Obama and Ms. Obama were active members of Rev. Wright’s church and his close friends.

Jenkins grossly distorted facts and relationships. He avoided addressing critical and obvious questions both Obamas have so far refused to answer concerning their close ties to Wright.

You don't need much formal education or professional experience to write the column Jenkins wrote. Any hack working for Obama could do it.

A better title for “Preachin’ and politickin’ ” would be “Pitchin’ for Obama.”

And as for the column’s influence on readers’ trust, I think it will only help with readers who trust the N&O to pitch hard for Obama in its news columns and editorial page.

The rest of your readers won't go for the curve ball Jenkins threw then today.

As always I'll be happy to publish in full whatever reply you make.


John in Carolina

The world's greatest disaster relief organization

Here's one of those items that's making its way around the Internet. I comment below the star line.

Then there was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break one of the French engineers came back into the room saying, 'Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intend to do, bomb them?'

A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: 'Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have? '


The U. S. military is the world's greatest international relief organization, bar none.

When great calamities strike and our military is allowed to help, it's almost always there first with the most; providing aid while the U. N. announces "the secretary-general is sending observers to assess the situation and plan relief operations."

Relief work is often very dangerous. The danger can come from natural causes such as earthquake aftershocks; the chaos and health risks caused by the loss of essential services such as water and electricity; and there are frequently the dangers posed by thug "leaders" who want a large large slice of the relieve aid only for their own purposes.

In every part of the world, under horrific conditions the U. S. military has performed splendid relief work for which it receives very little credit from anyone, including our own MSM.

Ask yourself how often you heard about the U. S. military's magnificent relief work in Afghanistan in late Fall 2001. It prevented a famine which had been predicted to take between 1 to 3 million lives.

You didn't hear about that near as often as you heard about Abu Ghraib, did you?

The next time you see a member of our armed forces, remind yourself you're looking at a member of the world's greatest disaster relief organization.

Don't expect MSM to remind you.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Churchill Series – May 28, 2008

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

If you’ve read many of Clementine Churchill’s letters to Winston, you know that despite Churchill’s claim they married and “lived happily ever after,” relations between the two weren’t always happy.

Theirs was surely a wonderful fifty-seven years of marriage filled with love and care in good times and bad.

But it was not always happy. Sometimes things got very testy. One of the reasons was Churchill's choice of friends.

Clementine approved of most of them, but there were some – Brendan Bracken and Lord Beaverbrook were two – that for years she wished Churchill would cast aside. But he wouldn't. Worse for Clementine, he often invited them to be overnight guests at Chartwell.

Why wouldn’t he give in to Clementine? Or at least put a little "distance" in certain friendships?

Violet Bonham Carter, Churchill’s friend for almost sixty years, gives us her answer :

His friendship was a stronghold against which the gates of Hell could not prevail. There was an absolute quality in his loyalty, known only to those safe within its walls. Their battle was his own. He would concede no inch of ground, no smallest point against them. In a friend he would defend the indefensible, explain away the inexplicable – even forgive the unforgivable.
Isn't the Churchill Bonham Carter describes the same Churchill we know respect and honor?

Tomorrow, we’ll see Churchill help someone he would never call a friend but helped in a tough time the way we'd want our friends to treat us in tough times.
Violet Bonham Carter, Winston Churchill: An Intimate Portrait. ( pgs. 116-117)

Remember - Obama's "Bosnia Sniper" moment?

Senator Barack Obama's latest gaffe about a relative's WW II service may be no more than that.

But it got me thinking about his recent claim that a Detroit audience last year didn't applaud when he spoke out boldly in favor of tough fuel-efficiency standards.

So I'm reposting Obama's "Bosnia Sniper" moment?

Read the following and give the videos a look.

Andrew Malcolm at the LA Times' Top of the Ticket blog - - -

Is this another Bosnian sniper incident, where a Democratic candidate for president describes a scene involving some personal courage, but later videotape shows that maybe perhaps it wasn't really quite all like that exactly?

Sen. Barack Obama, the leading Democratic candidate for his party's nomination, is very fond of telling receptive audiences the story about how last May he walked right into the automotive lion's den of Detroit and told those industrialists they were going to have to shape up, change the way they do things and start making more fuel-efficient vehicles to protect our environment.

"And I have to say," the straight-talking Obama tells his chuckling followers, "that when I delivered that speech, the room got really quiet. [Laughter] Nobody clapped."

Well, in honor of Obama's return campaign visit back to Michigan this week, someone -- perhaps Republicans, perhaps someone closer to home politically -- assembled videotape of Obama's oft-told tale and spliced it side by side with videotape of that actual Detroit speech.

You'll never guess what. The room wasn't quiet at all. Obama, in fact, got a loud round of applause. And at the end of his address the camera's view of him at the podium is partially blocked because the audience of local businesspeople and automotive executives was rising to give him a standing ovation. ...

Take a look.

What do you think?

Hat tip: Instapundit

Good economic news and MSNBC's headline

The AP’s reporting - - -

Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket items besides autos and airplanes showed surprising strength in April, raising hopes that manufacturing can help the economy shake off the slumping housing market and credit crisis.

Overall, orders for durable goods dipped by 0.5 percent in April, reflecting steep declines in commercial aircraft and autos, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

The decline, however, was just one-third of what experts expected. Take out the volatile transportation sector and orders rose 2.5 percent, the largest gain in nine months. (emphasis added)

This reflected strength in areas ranging from heavy machinery and primary metals such as steel, and to a record surge in demand for electrical equipment and appliances.

Economists said this indicated the economy was entering the April-through-June period with some momentum in manufacturing, a sector critical to helping keep the country from recession. . . .

The rest of the story’s here.

So how did MSNBC headline the AP story?

Take a look here.

Mike Williams' WOT news report and my reminder

Mike Williams' letter today contains lots of good news about the War on Terror. I want to share it all with you.

But I first want to say there are ebbs and flows in any war. It's great to read of our successes, but we must remember we'll suffer many reverses in what will be a very long war to protect and preserve the values of America and Western Civilization.

In early December 1944 it looked like the German Army was licked. Then on December 16 the Battle of the Bulge began.

When it was over, the American casualty count - killed, wounded, missing and taken prisoner - numbered about 75, 000.

We need to remember what Churchill never forgot - wars are always won by the side which wins the last battle so therefore - In War: Resolution.

I know most of you who visit here regularly know the truth of what I'm saying, but I wanted to "put it out there" and remind us all.

Thank you, Mike, for an important news summary.


Mike begins - - -

From al Qaeda, courtesy of Strategy Page:

Al Qaeda web sites are making a lot of noise about "why we lost in Iraq." Western intelligence agencies are fascinated by the statistics being posted in several of these Arab language sites. Not the kind of stuff you read about in the Western media. According to al Qaeda, their collapse in Iraq was steep and catastrophic. According to their stats, in late 2006, al Qaeda was responsible for 60 percent of the terrorist attacks, and nearly all the ones that involved killing a lot of civilians. The rest of the violence was carried out by Iraqi Sunni Arab groups, who were trying in vain to scare the Americans out of the country.

Today, al Qaeda has been shattered, with most of its leadership and foot soldiers dead, captured or moved from Iraq. As a result, al Qaeda attacks have declined more than 90 percent. Worse, most of their Iraqi Sunni Arab allies have turned on them, or simply quit. This "betrayal" is handled carefully on the terrorist web sites, for it is seen as both shameful, and perhaps recoverable.

This defeat was not as sudden as it appeared to be, and some Islamic terrorist web sites have been discussing the problem for several years. The primary cause has been Moslems killed as a side effect of attacks on infidel troops, Iraqi security forces and non-Sunnis….

Ed Morrissey:

Now AQ has a major public-relations and recruiting problem on its hands. As long as the network scored victories against the West, more radical Muslims could entertain the fantasy that Osama had that mandate from Allah to establish the supremacy of Islam. Now that Osama has lost Iraq, that fantasy has been dashed — and Osama exposed as just another pretender, with AQ as his butcher squad, one that kills many more Muslims than infidels. Their defeat shows that the violent jihad strategy fails when superior force gets brought to bear against it, which hardly points to a mandate from heaven.

That defeat will resonate throughout the Islamic world. The victory of rationality and democracy in Iraq cannot be denied, even by AQ itself.

And Victor Davis Hanson:

So these are upside-down times when facts and events on the ground simply do not support the general pessimism of the Western media, the serial publication of gloomy he-did-it,-not-me memoirs about the post-9/11 supposed failures, and the shrill rhetoric of the Democratic primaries.

In general, the hard efforts of the last six years against radical Islam — that bore fruit by the radically changed atmosphere in Iraq, the decline in terrorism worldwide, the lack of a follow-up to 9/11, and polls that showed a marked fall in approval for al-Qaeda, Bin Laden, and the tactic of suicide bombing — are explained away in various ways. The common theme, however, is that one never mentions the efforts of the bogeyman George Bush.

The orphaned presidency of Harry Truman during the 1952 election year was likewise damned for stirring up Soviet and Chinese communism — tarred by the isolationist Right for getting us bogged down in hopeless quagmires, and by the left for creating a climate of paranoia at home and abroad — until decades later appreciated for establishing the general framework and mind-set of an eventually successful containment.

We have not won the war on terror, but we are starting to see how the combination of domestic security, international cooperation, military action, cultural ostracism of those who condone terrorism, and promotion of constitutional government in the Middle East can, and will, marginalize and eventually defeat the jihadists. We know this not just by the anguished complaints of the Islamists themselves, and real progress on the ground — but also by the mantra of increasingly ossified critics who still insist that things are either worse, or were never that bad, or abruptly got better on their own.

With Iraq apparently on the mend, we’re starting to focus on the next big problem – Iran. Sen. Obama believes we can solve it by simply talking to Ahmadinejad and the Mad Mullahs. Amir Taheri, writing in the WSJ Online, explains why he thinks just talk won’t work:

The reason is that Iran is gripped by a typical crisis of identity that afflicts most nations that pass through a revolutionary experience. The Islamic Republic does not know how to behave: as a nation-state, or as the embodiment of a revolution with universal messianic pretensions. Is it a country or a cause?

A nation-state wants concrete things such as demarcated borders, markets, access to natural resources, security, influence, and, of course, stability – all things that could be negotiated with other nation-states. A revolution, on the other hand, doesn't want anything in particular because it wants everything.

In 1802, when Bonaparte embarked on his campaign of world conquest, the threat did not come from France as a nation-state but from the French Revolution in its Napoleonic reincarnation. In 1933, it was Germany as a cause, the Nazi cause, that threatened the world. Under communism, the Soviet Union was a cause and thus a threat. Having ceased to be a cause and re-emerged a nation-state, Russia no longer poses an existential threat to others.

The problem that the world, including the U.S., has today is not with Iran as a nation-state but with the Islamic Republic as a revolutionary cause bent on world conquest under the guidance of the "Hidden Imam." The following statement by the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the "Supreme leader" of the Islamic Republic – who Mr. Obama admits has ultimate power in Iran -- exposes the futility of the very talks Mr. Obama proposes: "You have nothing to say to us. We object. We do not agree to a relationship with you! We are not prepared to establish relations with powerful world devourers like you! The Iranian nation has no need of the United States, nor is the Iranian nation afraid of the United States. We . . . do not accept your behavior, your oppression and intervention in various parts of the world."


Plus this little gem:

Mr. Ahmadinejad is talking about changing the destiny of mankind, while Mr. Obama and his foreign policy experts offer spare parts for Boeings or membership in the World Trade Organization. Perhaps Mr. Obama is unaware that one of Mr. Ahmadinejad's first acts was to freeze Tehran's efforts for securing WTO membership because he regards the outfit as "a nest of conspiracies by Zionists and Americans."

Mr. Obama wavers back and forth over whether he will talk directly to Mr. Ahmadinejad or some other representative of the Islamic Republic, including the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Moreover, he does not make it clear which of the two Irans – the nation-state or the revolutionary cause – he wishes to "engage." A misstep could legitimize the Khomeinist system and help it crush Iranians' hope of return as a nation-state….

Forget the Boeings, Senator, how about spare parts for their F-4s and F-14s? Hello, MSM, yet another faux pas from the Harvard-educated Young Gaffer. As we read yesterday from Michael Ledeen:

Persia is being gutted in order to fund the terror war against the West. From the grim figures on the economy, to the mounting trafficking of Persian women to the brothels of the world, to the drug epidemic sabotaging the future of Iranian youth, to the torture cells reserved for anyone who speaks the truth, Persia is being destroyed. All in the name of an evil ideology that drives a global war against civilization.

That war has been raging for nearly thirty years, and no Western government has yet found the will to engage in it. The message Spengler delivers is that there is no way out of this war. Left to their own devices, the mullahs will destroy Iran, and, if they can, us as well.

Happy Talk, indeed.


P.S. The blogosphere is awash in rumors that bin Laden is planning another attack in the US, possibly involving WMD. Is this al Qaeda’s answer to defeat in Iraq? And if the worst happens, will Nancy Pelosi and the 110th Congress share the blame?

Why was Sowell right when so many at Duke were wrong?

Yesterday I posted Sowell on Mascot Politics. It concerned Hoover Institution senior fellow Thomas Sowell's assessment of the effects of liberal policies which give preference to Blacks based on race. It's drawn a number of responses. Some I agree with, at least one IMO misses Sowell's main point, but all are serious.

Together, the comments have led to a good conversation. I plan to add my two cents this evening. I hope you visit the thread.

Now I want to call your attention to another Sowell column published more than two years ago. It concerned the Duke Hoax and frame-up attempt.

What follows is part of a Nov. 2006 post, Sowell: Right early and now , which includes an extract from a Sowell column published Apr. 24, 2006 and a link to the entire column.

April 24 was exactly one month to the day the Duke lacrosse story "broke;" and eight months before Duke President Richard Brodhead calculated it was in his interest to finally say something critical of the now disbarred Mike Nifong.

I encourage you to read Sowell's Apr. 24, 2006 column and then ask yourselves two questions:

1) With the benefit of hindsight, can you find anything Sowell said in April 2006 about the hoax and frame-up attempt that hasn't stood up?

2) Why did Sowell get things so right while so many at Duke University were getting them so wrong?

From Sowell: Right early and now - - -

One of my favorite pundits is syndicated columnist Thomas Sowell. He almost always “gets it right;” usually before most others. He’s been that way with the Duke lacrosse case.

Back in April “righteous townies” were banging pots, Duke faculty were demanding to know “why they haven’t been expelled?’, and the Raleigh News & Observer was running the “Swagger” story and publishing the “Vigilante” poster.

In that atmosphere, Sowell published a column on April 24 which began:

People who were not within 1,000 miles of Duke University have already taken sides in the case of a stripper who has accused Duke lacrosse players of rape. One TV talk show hostess went ballistic when a guest on her program raised questions about the stripper's version of what happened.

Apparently we dare not question accusations of rape when it involves the new sacred trinity of race, class, and gender.

Media irresponsibility is one thing. Irresponsibility by an agent of the law is something else -- and much more dangerous. Prosecutors are not just supposed to prosecute. They are supposed to prosecute the right people in the right way. In this case, prosecutor Michael Nifong has proceeded in the wrong way.

Having an accuser or a witness pick out the accused from a lineup is standard procedure. That procedure not only serves to identify someone to be charged with a crime, it also tests the credibility of the accuser or witness -- or it should, if the lineup is not stacked.

A lineup should include not only people suspected of a crime but also other people, so that it tests whether the accuser or witness can tell the difference, and is therefore credible. But the stripper who claimed to have been raped by members of the Duke lacrosse team was presented with a lineup consisting exclusively of photographs of members of the lacrosse team.

In other words, whoever she picked out had to be a lacrosse player and would be targeted, with no test whatever of her credibility, because there was no chance for her to pick out somebody who had no connection with the team or the university.

Apparently District Attorney Nifong was no more wiling to test the accuser's credibility than was the TV talk show hostess who went ballistic, though credibility is often crucial in rape cases.
To put a bit more perspective on Sowell’s column, he wrote it more than seven weeks before Duke Law Professor James Coleman wrote his excellent letter calling on Nifong to step aside and allow a special prosecutor to take charge of the Duke lacrosse case because the public had lost confidence in Nifong’s handling of it.

The rest of Sowell’s column is here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Churchill Series - May 27, 2008

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

When someone mentions the Churchill- Roosevelt relationship we assume the person is referring to the two great Allied war leaders. But in today’s post, when we talk about Churchill and Roosevelt, we’ll be talking about Winston and Eleanor. Did you know they had a little spat at a London dinner in October, 1942?

Mrs. Roosevelt was in England for a goodwill visit. She made the usual visits to factories and training facilities and met the people who needed to be met. The trip was a great success except for the little spat. Jon Meacham, author of Winston and Franklin: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship, tells us about it:

At a small diner in London, Eleanor and Churchill exchanged words over Loyalist Spain. “I remarked that I could not see why the Loyalist government could not have been helped, and the prime minister replied that he and I would have been the first to lose our heads if the Loyalsits had won – the feeling against people like us would have spread,” Mrs. Roosevelt recalled.

[She continued]: “I said that losing my head was unimportant, whereupon he said: ‘I don’t want you to lose your head and neither do I want to lose mine.’

Then Mrs. Churchill leaned across the table and said: ‘I think perhaps Mrs. Roosevelt is right.’

The prime minister was quite annoyed by this time and said: ‘I have held certain beliefs for sixty years and I’m not going to change now’” (p. 200)
Meacham goes on to say Eleanor Roosevelt’s friends thought Churchill “hopeless.”

Eleanor Roosevelt and Winston Churchill’s relationship was one of mutual respect but no great affection. Many factors explain that. For one thing, Churchill had a wonderful sense of humor which bubbled even in the worst of times. Eleanor was almost humorless. In my experience, a humorless person always finds someone like Churchill a strain.

Also, Eleanor disapproved of Churchill’s enjoyment of alcohol. Her father and brother were both alcoholics whose lives were cut short by their drinking.

ALERT: Judge rules Nifong can be sued

This from a few hours ago:

Former District Attorney Mike Nifong will not be able to hide from a lawsuit in bankruptcy court, a federal judge ruled today.

The three exonerated lacrosse players who filed suit against the fallen prosecutor in October will be able to pursue their claims in federal civil court, Judge William L. Stocks ruled.

The ruling came more than a month after lawyers representing the players and Nifong presented their arguments in court.

Nifong was stripped of his law license and ousted from office last summer for his misconduct in the Duke lacrosse case.
The rest of the story's here.

A few thoughts now, with more to come tomorrow - - -

Many months ago North Carolina's attorney general's office turned down Nifong's request that the citizens of North Carolina foot the bill for his defense of his leading role in the frame-up attempt of three innocent young men.

Nifong has a nice pension, but not the money to pay for the extensive legal representation he's going to need to defend his malicious activities which took place for almost a year.

Nifong's malicious activities involved his working the frame-up attempt with Durham Police, Durham City, Duke University, Duke University Medical Center,DNA Security and numerous individuals.

Will any of them pony up money to help Nifong in an effort to help themselves?

I don't know.

But the question's worth asking.

Message to Nifong: Look out! Justice is coming.

Message to Duke's trustees: I don't need to tell you things are going to get uglier and Dukier because you already know that.

Question for the Duke trustees: Why are you standing by BOT chair Bob Steel and president Brodhead instead of Duke University?

Hat tip: Archer '05

Are Greens hurting the world's poor?

Here first is NYT science reporter John Tierney posting at his blog Tierney's Lab on "Greens and Hunger." Then I offer a few comments below the star line.

Tierney begins - - -

Farmers and consumers in poor countries are now paying the price now for decisions made by well-fed Westerners, as reported by my colleagues Keith Bradsher and Andrew Martin in their front-page article on cutbacks in financing for agricultural research.

They explain how the Green Revolution faltered after Western governments and agencies slashed funds for agricultural research, partly to shift money to other areas, like environmental projects, and partly because of opposition to high-yield agriculture from advocacy groups.

If you find it hard to imagine how anyone could be opposed to growing more food for poor people, read Gregg Easterbrook’s 1997 Atlantic Monthly article on Norman Borlaug, the agronomist whose achievements through the Green Revolution may have saved a billion lives. Mr. Easterbrook wrote:

The Ford and Rockefeller Foundations and the World Bank, once sponsors of his work, have recently given Borlaug the cold shoulder. Funding institutions have also cut support for the International Maize and Wheat Center — located in Mexico and known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT — where Borlaug helped to develop the high-yield, low-pesticide dwarf wheat upon which a substantial portion of the world’s population now depends for sustenance.

And though Borlaug’s achievements are arguably the greatest that Ford or Rockefeller has ever funded, both foundations have retreated from the last effort of Borlaug’s long life: the attempt to bring high-yield agriculture to Africa.

Pressure from environmentalists was the chief reason for these cutbacks, Mr. Easterbrook reported:

[By]the 1980s finding fault with high-yield agriculture had become fashionable. Environmentalists began to tell the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations and Western governments that high-yield techniques would despoil the developing world.

As Borlaug turned his attention to high-yield projects for Africa, where mass starvation still seemed a plausible threat, some green organizations became determined to stop him there.

“The environmental community in the 1980s went crazy pressuring the donor countries and the big foundations not to support ideas like inorganic fertilizers for Africa,” says David Seckler, the director of the International Irrigation Management Institute.

Environmental lobbyists persuaded the Ford Foundation and the World Bank to back off from most African agriculture projects. The Rockefeller Foundation largely backed away too — though it might have in any case, because it was shifting toward an emphasis on biotechnological agricultural research.

“World Bank fear of green political pressure in Washington became the single biggest obstacle to feeding Africa,” Borlaug says. The green parties of Western Europe persuaded most of their governments to stop supplying fertilizer to Africa; an exception was Norway, which has a large crown corporation that makes fertilizer and avidly promotes its use.

Borlaug, once an honored presence at the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, became, he says, “a tar baby to them politically, because all the ideas the greenies couldn’t stand were sticking to me.”

Dr. Borlaug didn’t disguise his anger in summarizing his feelings about greens to Mr. Easterbrook:

“Some of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitists. They’ve never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for fifty years, they’d be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things.”

This issue is timely today not just because of the current food shortages but because greens are calling for vast sums of money to be spent off future climate change. And just as money was diverted from agricultural research for environmental projects in the 1980s, there’s a danger that immediate problems in poor countries will be shortchanged by pursuing the long-term agenda of wealthy Westerners, as Bjorn Lomborg has been arguing.

When I wrote about Dr. Lomborg’s proposal to focus less on climate change and more on problems like malnutrition and disease, he told me: “I don’t think our descendants will thank us for leaving them poorer and less healthy just so we could do a little bit to slow global warming. I’d rather we were remembered for solving the other problems first.”

What do you think? Are we in danger of repeating the mistakes of the 1980s when it comes to financing research?

And does the current hostility in Europe to genetically modified crops seem reminiscent of the 1980s opposition to high-yield agriculture — an ideological stance that appeals to the wealthy but hurts the poor?



If you've spent any time in Western Europe, you know about the warlike hostility of many Greens to genetically modified crop research.

Greens have verbally and, on occasion, on occasion even physically attacked scientists and government officials connected with the research.

They've burned and sprayed poisons in fields where experimental crops are being grown.

But their actions and the effects of those actions receive very little attention from America's MSM which typically portrays Greens as really nice people just looking for a tree to hug and an Polar bear to protect.

Tierney's post helps refute that false image.

On the other hand, the NYT article he cites goes really goes soft on the Greens.

Hat tip: J. Peder Zane at What's The Big Idea?

Tim Tyson’s Hunt charges look bogus

Those of you who read yesterday’s post, Put a hold on Tim Tyson's Hunt charges, know Duke professor Tim Tyson, whose malicious demagoguery helped launch the Duke witch hunt and support Mike Nifong’s transparent frame-up attempt, has now made extremely serious charges concerning the Darryl Hunt case.

Among them, that without “any evidence against him” (Tyson’s words), the prosecution went ahead anyway and successfully sought Hunt’s conviction and imprisonment for murder.

But professor Tyson’s offered no substantiation for his extremely serious charges.

That could be because Tyson knows they’re bogus, as an outstanding post by
KC Johnson today– Tyson Reinvents Some More – strongly suggests.

I urge you to read KC’s post, which also documents reprehensible actions of other Duke faculty.

RRH, who first challenged Tyson on the thread of this post by N&O writer J. Peder Zane, commented at JinC today:

Thanks for your interest in my post and in the Hunt case.

I could've mentioned that the only "crime" committed in the trials of Hunt was by Hunt himself: by deliberately putting on perjured testimony which tried to establish an alibi. He had no alibi.

Interestingly, it seems to have been the newspaper reporters, not the prosecutors, who figured out that the alibi "witnesses" had to be lying.

Finally, there are many other lies told about America's racial history. Not just by people like Tyson about the Hunt case, but many others about, for example, the Emmitt Till case, the Scottsboro Boys case, and the "Tuskeegee Syphilis Experiment" case.
I want to turn things around and thank RRH for being the first person I know to challenge Tyson charges and for providing a link (it’s here) to extensive documentation that refutes those charges.

Continue to stay tuned. There’ll be more on all of this.

Sowell on Mascot Politics

Thomas Sowell at begins:

Years ago, when Jack Greenberg left the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to become a professor at Columbia University, he announced that he was going to make it a point to hire a black secretary at Columbia.

This would of course make whomever he hired be seen as a token black, rather than as someone selected on the basis of competence.
What a great beginning! In just two sentences, Sowell’s stated and illustrated his thesis.

A reader can only conclude: “Sure, if Jack Greenberg says skin color is the essential qualification for the job, whomever he hires will be looked at as having gotten the job because of race, no matter how competent the person proves to be."

Sowell continues:
This reminded me of the first time I went to Milton Friedman's office when I was a graduate student at the University of Chicago back in 1960, and I noticed that he had a black secretary. This was four years before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and there was no such thing as affirmative action.

It so happened that Milton Friedman had another black secretary decades later, at the Hoover Institution-- and she was respected as one of the best secretaries around.

When I mentioned to someone at the Hoover Institution that I was having a hard time finding a secretary who could handle a tough job in my absence, I was told that I needed someone like Milton Friedman's secretary-- and that there were not many like her.

At no time in all these years did I hear Milton Friedman say, either publicly or privately, that he had a black secretary.

William F. Buckley's wife once mentioned in passing, at dinner in her home, that she had been involved for years in working with a school in Harlem. But I never heard her or Bill Buckley ever say that publicly.

Nor do conservatives who were in the civil rights marches in the South, back when that was dangerous, make that a big deal.

For people on the left, however, blacks are trophies or mascots, and must therefore be put on display. Nowhere is that more true than in politics.

The problem with being a mascot is that you are a symbol of someone else's significance or virtue. The actual well-being of a mascot is not the point.
The rest of Sowell’s column’s here


Most liberals will get upset at Sowell for shining a light on their mascot practices, but they engage in them; then expect the rest of us to think they’re virtuous.

But as Sowell tells us near the end of his column, liberals' mascoting of blacks has been shown to, on the whole, do more harm than good. Here's some of what he provides by way of exposing the consequences of mascoting blacks :
In academia, lower admissions standards for black students is about having them as a visible presence, even if mismatching them with the particular college or university produces high dropout rates.

The black students who don't make it are replaced by others, and when many of them don't make it, there are still more others. …

Many, if not most, of the black students who do not make it at big-name, high-pressure institutions are perfectly qualified to succeed at the normal range of colleges and universities.

Most white students would also punch out if admitted to schools for which they don't have the same qualifications as the other students. But nobody needs white mascots.
Various empirical studies have indicated that blacks succeed best at institutions where there is little or no difference between their qualifications and the qualifications of the other students around them.

This is not rocket science but it is amazing how much effort and cleverness have gone into denying the obvious.

A study by Professor Richard Sander of the UCLA law school suggests that there may be fewer black lawyers as a result of "affirmative action" admissions to law schools that are a mismatch for the individuals admitted. …
At the end of his column, Sowell says using human beings as mascots “is self-aggrandizement that is ugly in both its concept and its consequences.”

Does anyone disagree?

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Churchill Series - May 26, 2008

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

The late comedian Fred Allen once said that after the market crashed in 1929 surprised Americans asked their friends: “Did you know stocks could also go down?”

Allen’s line nicely captures the pre-crash euphoria that gripped most investors, leading them to believe the stock market was an “up, up, up” only place.

Churchill was one of those caught in the euphoria. We see that in excerpts of letters he sent home to Clementine while he was visiting California just weeks before the market crashed:

From a letter dated September 19, 1929 and headed “All vy Secret”

Now My darling I must tell you that vy gt & extraordinary good fortune has attended me lately in finances. Sir Harry McGowan asked me – rather earnestly – before I sailed whether he might if an opportunity came buy shares on my account without previous consultation. I replied that I could always find 2 or 3000 (All money amounts are pounds. – JinC).

I meant this as an investment limit i.e. buying the shares outright. He evidently took it as the limit to which I was prepared to go in a speculative purchase on margin. Thus he operated on about ten times my usual scale, & … made a profit on our joint account of 2000 in Electric Bonds & Shares.

With my approval he reinvested this in Columbia Gas & Electic & sold at a further profit of 3000. He thus has 5, 000 in hand on my account, & as he has profound sources of information about this vast American market, something else may crop up.[…]
On September 29, exactly one month before the day generally agreed to mark the start of the market crash, Churchill wrote Clementine:
I have also made friends with Mr. Van Antwerp & his wife. He is …a gt friend of England [and] a reader of all my books – quite an old fashioned figure – He is going to look after some of my money for me. His [stockbroking] firm have the best information about the American Market & manipulate it with the best possible chances of success. All this …I am sure …will prove wise.
Churchill lost heavily in the market crash. Friends helped him out with generous loans, some of which were later forgiven.

Whenever I make foolish investment mistakes, I tell myself: “John, you were just being Churchillian.”

Duke classmate remembers an “eternal friend”

Ed Rickards (T. '63 and Law '66) in a Chronicle Memorial Day column co-authored with Kristin Butler (T. ’08) remembers an “eternal friend:

...The Vietnam War took a classmate, next door neighbor in the dorms and eternal friend.

Charles G. Mason '64, known as Buddy, was in Naval ROTC at Duke; he wore his uniform with pride at a time when many were growing wary of the military.

At graduation he received a commission in the Marine Corps and was sent to the city of Hue in Vietnam. It's hard to fathom Buddy amid the insane violence of war, transported from the grace of our campus to slogging in a jungle.

February 24, 1967. Fellow Marines in nearby Phu Bai village were pinned down by withering fire, taking heavy casualties. The weather hampered the flow of reinforcements and ammo, but First Lieutenant Mason tried to break through in a Medivac helicopter.

To rescue the wounded. To retrieve the dead.

His copter took bullets in the fuselage, burst into flames and fell to earth in pieces. His remains are now at Arlington National Cemetery.

Buddy Mason's survivors included his wife Lynelle and their 22-month-old daughter Lois. Six months after Buddy's death, his wife gave birth to his son Charles. ...
An epitaph honoring WW II allies who made the supreme sacrifice also poignantly expresses the debt Americans owe U.S.M.C 1st. Lt. Charles G. Mason (T.'64) and his fallen comrades:
"When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,

For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today"

Black Five's Memorial Day Remembrance

Black Five is one of the best military blogs out there.

Today L. W. posts this remembrance - - -

Others speak far more eloquently than I this day, so I simply say to you:

If you see someone in uniform, or know they serve, thank them.

If you see someone you know has served, thank them.

Remember those who paid the ultimate price so that you are free to celebrate this day as you see fit; that paid that price such tyranny has been halted many times large and small; and, that gave unto each of us that greater love such that one laid down their life for another.

Take a moment, if possible make it a special moment with family and friends, and simply remember them.

Remember them with thanks, with love, with joy, and celebration, for they would want it that way.