Friday, November 20, 2009


[Note: “Republicans 101” is a continuing series designed to help my liberal friends understand what conservatives think.]

No one put it better than Chief Justice John Roberts in PARENTS INVOLVED IN COMMUNITY SCHOOLS v. SCHOOL DISTRICT, a 2007 Supreme Court case: “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” Few conservatives would disagree with this sentiment. We’re just sick of it. All of us believed that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the end of government-approved race discrimination in America, but now, with quotas in education and hiring, and “racial balancing” plans and “diversity,” it seems there’s just no end to it.

Clarence Thomas made the same point in a different way in his brilliant dissent in GRUTTER v. BOLLINGER (2003), the case concerning race-based admissions at the University of Michigan. The University had admitted using race discrimination in admitting minority students (without this finding, there would have been no case), but Justice O’Connor ruled it was permissible for an agency of government (the U of M) to discriminate on racial grounds even though race discrimination is outlawed. The pursuit of diversity on campus, she ruled, was MORE important than the ban on discrimination. Thomas began his dissent by quoting Frederick Douglass, from a speech in 1865:

“[I]n regard to the colored people, there is always more that is benevolent, I perceive, than just, manifested towards us. What I ask for the negro is not benevolence, not pity, not sympathy, but simply justice. The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us…. I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! … And if the negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone! … [Y]our interference is doing him positive injury.”

Douglass’ message, wrote Thomas, had been lost on the majority of justices in the Grutter case.

But while all of us low-brows would agree we’re sick of race discrimination, and disgusted by the way it has been rehabilitated (as a positive good!) by leftists, the effects of affirmative action are viewed somewhat differently by white conservatives and black conservatives.

White conservatives focus primarily on those whom affirmative action programs discriminate against---its direct victims. The two most often mentioned are Asians and Jews, who (on average), tend to do well in school but lose positions at university to African-American students with lower grades and lower test scores. The other victims are poor white children who may live in dangerous neighborhoods and go to bad schools, but nevertheless somehow manage to excel. They too will lose out to African-American children who had many more advantages but did not do as well in their studies.

Men like Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas and Ward Connerly, however, tend to decry affirmative action programs for their effect on the minority students they supposedly benefit. In particular, the stigma that now attaches to all black college graduates and professionals is often referred to as a modern version of Jim Crow. Since there is no way of telling whether a particular person was an “affirmative action student,” the suspicion falls on ALL black students and follows them through life. The brilliant black student who would have succeeded under any circumstances becomes difficult to distinguish from the student who was underqualified to begin with and then was eased through school to satisfy a quota.

For black conservatives, the inescapable nature of this stigma is the true horror of affirmative action, for it undercuts the public perception of everyone with a dark skin and an education. And the fact that polite people do not mention such concerns makes the situation worse, because it can be almost impossible to allay the suspicion. If you ever require brain surgery and you are referred to a specialist who happens to be African-American, you will have at least a nagging doubt about that person’s competence. This will happen no matter what color you are yourself, and it is an inevitable result of affirmative action programs in education.

It is somewhat ironic that, before affirmative action, the opposite was true. In the 1950s and 1960s, when you met a black professional, college professor, or the like, you would assume from the outset that this was probably the smartest person you had ever seen. The question of how he got his degree was not a concern. On the contrary, you would think, “Wow. Considering all the crap you probably had to put up with, you must be pretty damn good.”


Thursday, November 12, 2009


The very first question that occurred to me when I heard about the shootings at Ft. Hood was this: how is this possible? How does a guy on a military base manage to shoot 45 people before someone puts him down? Where were their guns?

In “Virginia Tech and the Massacre,” I explained why gun-free zones are the most dangerous places in America. Trolley Square was a gun-free zone, as were Columbine and Virginia Tech, the Nickel Mines School, various post offices, and a dozen other sites of mass killings. For a determined killer, a gun-free zone is a target-rich environment full of helpless victims. If you want to kill as many people as possible, a gun-free zone is the best place to do it. By contrast, you never see anyone “go berserk” at an NRA convention or a gun show because there are always a hundred people walking around with loaded weapons at the ready.

We now know the answer. American military bases are gun-free zones (or more precisely, ammunition-free zones). Regulations issued in March 1993 forbid military personnel, including officers, from carrying loaded weapons. And the exceptions are few. A soldier will be issued ammo at the firing range, and then will have to return any unused rounds before leaving the range. MPs can carry, but most MPs get deployed to combat zones, so there are very few such people in a place like Ft. Hood. That is why the person who finally shot Major Hasan was a civilian police officer.

There will be many lessons from Ft. Hood, and we can only hope that those in charge of our military are not so blinded by their political biases that they are incapable of learning them. One lesson is the utter irrationality of the gun-banners’ belief that rendering people defenseless makes them safer. At Ft. Hood and on other US military installations, this idea has been carried to its ultimate absurdity when those with the duty of defending all of our lives are disarmed and made targets for a mass murderer. If the soldiers at Ft. Hood had been armed, it is unlikely Major Hasan would even have undertaken his deadly mission, but if he had, there is no way he could have claimed as many victims as he did.

The wife of one of the soldiers shot at Fort Hood said it more eloquently than I can. In an interview on CNN Monday night, Mandy Foster was asked how she felt about her husband's upcoming deployment to Afghanistan. She responded: "At least he's safe there and he can fire back, right?"



My previous article was, in large part, inspired by my annoyance at being told not to “jump to conclusions” about Major Hasan and not to beat up Muslims or attack mosques. I’ve never attacked a mosque in my life and I’m not going to start now, so it’s an insult when I’m told not to do something evil that would never occur to me in the first place. I mean, I’M NOT A MEMBER OF A DEATH CULT, OK??? That’s the other guys, the ones who want to kill us, like Major Hasan.

But “annoyance” no longer describes my feelings about what I’m reading in the papers and seeing on TV. Now that we have another two days of news, we know he tried to call al-Qaeda. How do you do that? How do you even start to think about how you would do that? How do you go about discovering what the area code might be? (And by the way, if you happen to know what al-Qaeda’s area code is, don’t even THINK about coming over to my house for Christmas.) We also know he was in regular contact with his terrorist Virginia imam, who now lives in Yemen. And various army doctors and students have come forward with new tales of his rants and anti-American rage.

You would think this would be the end of the diversity blather and the “unsure-about-his-motives” idiocy. Ah, the chattering classes would say, now we see. He’s a jihadi, a terrorist, and he wanted to kill infidels. That’s what they do, all over the world, and this time it happened at Ft. Hood, in Texas. Maybe we need to look for these guys and try to stop them before they flip on the kill switch. You would think EVERYONE would now see what we are facing.

Apparently not. Instead, we get Chris Matthews on “Hardball,” saying, “It’s not a crime to call up al-Qaeda, is it?”

Much more revealing was an opinion column by Elmer Smith in the 11/10 Philadelphia Daily News:

“There is little evidence that Hassan (sic) and the two 9/11 terrorists had been seen together at the Falls Church mosque or that they had ever spoken with each other or had ever conspired to do anything except pray facing the East.
“That trail will go cold. The [investigators] will find only the most tenuous connections between Hassan (sic) and terrorist affiliations just as it has found no terrorist links on his computers.”

Get it? It only counts as terrorism if Osama told you to do it. I have found the commentary on the shootings bizarre, and offensive, and mystifying, but Elmer Smith gives away the game. The enemy, the ONLY enemy, is some guys who live in caves in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and you can only be a “terrorist” if you have gotten your marching orders from them or from somebody who has been in touch with them and who told you what to do. An ideology can’t be the enemy because a lot of people have ideologies and, you know, who are we to judge another man’s ideology? This is the view EVEN IF THAT IDEOLOGY GLORIFIES THE MASS MURDER OF INNOCENTS.

The frightening thing is that Elmer Smith’s view is shared by General George Casey and the others who run our military. And it is frightening because it renders them (and us) helpless against the next Major Hasan. If you’re going to tolerate (and promote!) people with this jihadist ideology, you are going to have more of them.

In fact, Hasan was far from the first.

* In 1998, Army Sergeant Ali Mohamed stole military secrets for al-Qaeda and helped plan the bombings at three US embassies.

* Army Specialist Ryan Anderson was convicted in 2004 of passing military intelligence to al-Qaeda terrorists.

* In 2008, Navy Signalman Hassan Abujihaad was convicted of giving sensitive information regarding troop movement to al-Qaeda.

* Army Reservist Jeffrey Battle in 2003 confessed to waging war against the US, and said he joined the military to receive training he could use against America.

* Army reservist Semi Osman was arrested in 2002 for providing support to al-Qaeda, and testified against other terror suspects.

* Sgt. Hasan Akbar, in Iraq in 2003, attacked 17 fellow soldiers, killing two. He did so because he was opposed to the Iraq War and the killing of Muslims. Sound familiar?

It’s not like the military can’t find guys who harbor dangerous ideas and get rid of them. There are programs in place to weed out supremacists and other hate-group members, gang members, etc. They have been in place for years, and have been very successful. But they won’t go looking for jihadists. It would be insensitive, you see. Somebody might be offended.

The enemy we face is not a nation. It is not a hierarchical military organization. It is not even the religion called Islam. It is an ideology that justifies and even celebrates the murder of any innocent person who is not a Muslim. And this enemy is here in America just as it is in every nation on earth. The guys in the caves are symbolic, and important, and to the extent the enemy is capable of building an actual military organization with dangerous weapons, that is where it may get done, so those guys must be stopped.

But the guys in the caves are not coming down Broad Street anytime soon. Major Hasan, and the many like him, are here now.


Monday, November 9, 2009


So the bodies were not even cold before we were all being warned not to blame Islam and take out our rage on our Muslim brothers. The real horror, you see, was not the dead and the wounded, but the possibility of us good folk erupting in the anti-jihad jihad that always seems to be in danger of happening but, of course, never happens. As one blogger (Seraphic Spouse) put it, “[The media and Muslim] groups suspect us of wanting to attack mosques now, even though we didn’t the last ten times a Muslim killed innocent people in the name of Islam. What are they afraid of? Graffiti?”

Meanwhile, as military officials tell us the motive behind the shootings “remains unclear,” and Chris Matthews reports that “We may never know if religion was a factor at Ft. Hood,” the basics of Major Hasan’s thought patterns seem obvious enough.

His students in the master’s program at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences complained about his “anti-American propaganda,” but no formal complaint was ever filed for fear of appearing discriminatory against a Muslim. Various colleagues also report hearing him rant against the war on terror and the US government. Internet postings under his name praise and justify suicide bombers. Even patients complained because he tried to convert them to Islam.

In 2001, he regularly attended the notorious Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Great Falls, Virginia, along with two of the 9-11 terrorists. The preacher there was the American-born Anwar al-Awlaki, who was recently barred from England for advocating attacks on British soldiers.

The day before the shootings, he cleaned out his apartment and gave various of his possessions, including a new Quran, to a neighbor, saying he was being “deployed” the next day. And on the morning of his rampage, he dressed himself in traditional Muslim robes and prayed. Shortly thereafter, shouting “Allahu akbar” (“God is great”), he methodically emptied 100 rounds, from two handguns, into more than three dozen human beings.

Why are we not allowed to say the word “Muslim?” Why are we not allowed to say the word “terrorist?” When a Pashtun warrior kills American soldiers in Afghanistan, we have no such taboo. But when Major Hasan, who says and believes the same things as that Pashtun warrior, kills American soldiers in Texas, we are not allowed to say these terrible words.

If the foolishness of politically correct speech and thought were confined to the Chris Matthews and Katie Courics of the world, I wouldn’t be writing this article. But of course, it is not so confined. It has infected the US Army as well, and with fatal consequences. Major Hasan, in a time of war, openly expressed his solidarity with the enemy. He did it often, with colleagues, with subordinates, and even with superior officers. He was vehement about it. He wouldn’t shut up about it apparently. And yet, none of it mattered. In May of this year, he was promoted from Captain to Major. Hey, we’re all Americans, right? Admiring suicide bombers? Well, that’s just free speech, I guess.

And the frightening thing is that even now, in the aftermath of Ft. Hood, nothing will change. Today, George Stephanopolous interviewed General George Casey. Asked about the motive for the shootings, General Casey said this:

“Speculation could heighten backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers. What happened at Ft. Hood was a tragedy. It could be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here.”

Get that? Read it again. Thirteen people are dead and probably twenty more will be living with terrible wounds for the rest of their lives, but losing the Army’s “diversity” would be a GREATER tragedy. General Casey is the Chief of Staff, the highest-ranking military officer in the US Army. He is the man responsible for allowing a culture to exist in the Army where the anti-American rantings of Nidal Malik Hasan are tolerated and even rewarded. Hasan was a Muslim, after all, and thus a testament to the rich tapestry of the Army’s multicultural wonderfulness. And whatever the blowback here, General Casey certainly would never want to jeopardize THAT.


Thursday, November 5, 2009


Huge demonstrations continue across the country, as reported by Michael Ledeen and others, and the pro-democracy forces are being met by even greater violence from the regime. I urge you to visit this link (here), which contains a selection of blogs, twitter feeds and so on from the protesters reporting on the beatings, gassings and other outrages.

Meanwhile, AS THE BEATINGS WERE GOING ON, President Obama today issued a statement on (and to) the Iranian regime which did not mention the protests and the government’s response to them. Rather, he begs the regime for some kind, any kind, of deal. Here's a piece that gives you the flavor of it:

“I have made it clear that the United States of America wants to move beyond this past, and seeks a relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran based upon mutual interests and mutual respect.

“We do not interfere in Iran’s internal affairs. We have condemned terrorist attacks against Iran. We have recognized Iran’s international right to peaceful nuclear power. We have demonstrated our willingness to take confidence-building steps along with others in the international community. We have accepted a proposal by the International Atomic Energy Agency to meet Iran’s request for assistance in meeting the medical needs of its people. We have made clear that if Iran lives up to the obligations that every nation has, it will have a path to a more prosperous and productive relationship with the international community.”

Wednesday, November 4, 2009



Sure, it would have been nice if super-nerd carpetbagger Doug Hoffman had won New York's 23rd congressional district, but it would hardly have changed Congress. Much more important were the results in the proxy war between the good old boys and the conservatives in the Republican Party.

The biggest winner was Sarah Palin, whose endorsement of Hoffman made him a real candidate, brought him hundreds of thousands in campaign dollars, and led ultimately to Scozzafava's withdrawal from the race. Potential candidates for 2010 are already lining up to get her blessing. Who would have thought that Palin's role would turn out to be "kingmaker?"

The biggest loser was Newt Gingrich, of course, who now has NO prospects in the 2012 presidential race. Others who have hurt themselves severely include Giuliani, Huckabee and Romney, all of whom tried to vote "present" on NY-23. For Romney, this is especially damaging since it reinforces his genteel, polite, milquetoast image (that everybody hates). If he couldn't "man up" for Scozzafava, he probably never can.

Another guy with serious problems now is Michael Steele. The head of the RNC can't really be blamed for supporting a nominated Republican, but it's not like he raised any questions about her either. He's simply a guy who is in the wrong position at the wrong time, and he probably won't have his job much longer. He's unacceptable to the conservative forces that now have all the momentum in the party.


A puzzle.

There are about 40 Democrats in the House who can't support Obamacare because it contains public funding for abortion. Repeated attempts to get a straight-up vote on eliminating abortion funding have been rebuffed by Pelosi et al.

Public funding for abortion has always been a minority position in America---it has never had the support of more than 30% of the public. Yet the Democratic leadership seems unwilling to give it up, even if it means their beloved national healthcare bill will fail.

Why? In terms of the politics, wouldn't it make more sense to eliminate public funding for abortion from the bill, get it passed, and then sneak it in later?


The last time conservatives took over the Republican Party, it was a reaction to another left-wing, anti-Israel Democratic president. The result was eight years of Ronald Reagan.

In my darkest hours of despair for America, this is the thought that sustains me.