The Real Villain of Ferguson
Roger L. Simon
It's hard to have sympathy for anyone in the Ferguson affair -- the cops, the demonstrators, the pontificating politicians, the exploitative media or we its pathetically loyal audience that keeps tuning in. The whole event plays out like the umpteenth rerun of the famous quote from Marx about history repeating itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. By that accounting we should all be at Aristophanes, Moliere or Groucho (pick your favorite farceur) times ten by now. Unfortunately, however, it's farce with virtually no comedy, no humor. The Ferguson affair is a grim business indeed, particularly grim watching the latest nightly edition -- the eighth one! -- on television Monday evening. On and on it goes, the roundelay of police and demonstrators, tear gas and bloviation. We even have the old standbys from the O.J. trial (Dr. Baden Baden Baden) making an appearance for the second of who knows how many autopsies to be conducted. Where is Marcia Clark?
Treachery Among Friends: The Israel-Fatah-Hamas Triangle
"The enemy of my enemy is my friend" is an old Arab saying, perhaps overused. However it may apply to the leader of Fatah President Mahmoud Abbas and the Israel Security Agency (ISA). The ISA discovered that Hamas, which is led by Khaled Mechaal, planned a large scale coup against Abbas. Hamas and Fatah share a goal for the destruction of Israel. Their methods differ. Hamas is a terrorist organization. Fatah uses propaganda and political wiles at the United Nations. Yasser Arafat was the leader of Fatah and Chairman of the PLO, which was founded in 1964. Under the PLO there was a unity government between Fatah and Hamas. When Arafat died, Abbas succeeded him. In the Six Day War of 1967 Israel defeated all of the Arab nations who fought against her. She won and annexed Gaza and the Sinai from Egypt; the West Bank from Jordon; and the Golan Heights from Syria.
The Rise of Progressive Oligarchy
David Corbin & Matthew Parks
In what might have appeared to be a minor political event a few weeks back, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called congressman Tom Marino (R-PA) "insignificant" and "inconsequential" in a debate on the House floor. Why would the former House Speaker insult a colleague in such a manner? She didn't count her way to this assessment; Democrats do not hold a majority of the House. Nor did she reason her way to this position, as there was nothing in Rep. Marino's argument on the immigration issue that raised empirical red flags. Perhaps it was a momentary lapse in judgment in the midst of the partisan give-and-take on an important political issue. But what if Pelosi was simply saying what she believed to be true and acknowledging what ruling class Americans think about their non-ruling class counterparts? Namely, that there are people like Pelosi, the highest-ranking female politician in American history, who get it, and people like Marino, merely a second-term congressman from "gun- and religion-clinging" northeastern Pennsylvania, who don't. What is the "it" they don't get?
Nothing to Do With Islam
The war against jihadism has been chronically misunderstood because of our failure to acknowledge the religious motives of Muslim jihadists. This failure began in 1979 with the Iranian revolution. Trapped in our Western secularist paradigms, we interpreted the uprising against the Shah as an anti-colonial revolt against a "brutal" autocrat propped up by the West for its own exploitative economic and geostrategic purposes. The aim of the revolution, the argument went, was to create a government more sympathetic to national sovereignty and Western pluralistic government. However, it soon became clear with the political triumph of the Ayatollah Khomeini that the revolution was in the main a religious one, inspired in part by anger at the Shah's secularization, modernization, and liberalization policies. As Khomeini said in 1962, the Shah's regime was "fundamentally opposed to Islam itself and the existence of a religious class." Despite that lesson, the rise of al Qaeda in the 90s was also explained as anything and everything other than what it was and still is–– a movement with deep religious roots.
Cops Will Die Because of Ferguson
Cops will die because of Ferguson. That's the increasing likelihood as politicians, activists and media advocates across the country vilify law enforcement and the men and women who work in it. Cops will die because of Ferguson. They will certainly face increased danger, and so will we. The convergence of two unavoidable consequences of the rhetorical attack on the police will make that inevitable. The first is the emboldening of those who would raise a fist or a gun against the police. When you have the president of the United States – twice – criticize law enforcement, implying racism, and you have a parade of pastors and a litany of people interviewed on the evening news, all damning the police and calling them oppressors of blacks and the poor, you legitimize anger against the police. And you make violence against the police more likely.
Living Out Critical Legal Theory
Victor Davis Hanson
It may not have been the aim of Missouri Highway Patrol captain Ron Johnson to outsource security responsibilities to someone affiliated with the New Black Panthers and a legal activist group, but that is the impression that one receives from listening to his exchange with and praise of Malik Shabazz. If this is the same Malik Shabazz who has a long history of virulent racist and inflammatory anti-Semitic statements, then there has been at least a partial erosion of legal authority in Ferguson. Apparently what will now stop the violence is not state authority and Mr. Johnson's empathetic racial editorializing, but either bad weather, popular justice meted out to the police officer in question, or eventual ennui and exhaustion on the part of satiated looters and rioters -- or all three. In some sense, Ferguson is emblematic of our times in which the sanctity of established law exists only to the degree that it is considered useful in promoting a more egalitarian agenda.
Tuition Pays for This
Walter E. Williams
According to College Board, average tuition and fees for the 2013-14 school year totaled $30,094 at private colleges, $8,893 for in-state residents at public colleges and $22,203 for out-of-state residents. Many schools, such as Columbia University and George Washington University, charge yearly tuition and fees close to $50,000. Faced with the increasing costs of higher education, parents and taxpayers might like to know what they're getting for their money. Campus Reform documents outrageous behavior at some colleges. Mark Landis, a former accounting professor at San Francisco State University, frequently entertained students at this home. He now faces 15 charges of invasion of privacy. Police say he was discovered with dozens of graphic videos he had made of students using his bathroom. Mireille Miller-Young -- professor of feminist studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara -- recently pleaded no contest to charges of theft of banners and assault on a pro-life protester last March.
The Star Chamber Comes to Texas
Roger L. Simon
The old saying goes that a grand jury could indict a ham sandwich. In reality, it's worse. Forget innocuous sandwiches, with or without Russian dressing. In Texas, at least in Austin's Travis County, you can indict the state's governor, Rick Perry, for doing the job any intelligent citizen would want him to do -- trying to get rid of an absolutely atrocious public official. That official was District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, a dimwitted and abusive drunk driver who ran that county's -- wait for it -- "Public Integrity Unit." Perry threatened to veto funding for said unit as long as Lehmberg was in control. Maybe he had a little actual concern for public integrity -- not that the good burghers of Austin would care. Perry's fortunate Lehmberg wasn't found guilty of DUW (driving under weed) rather than alcohol, as she was. Given the preferred lifestyle thereabouts, they would have erected a statue to her and summarily sent Perry off to Guantanamo without trial to be swapped out for the last remaining al Qaeda maniacs. Oh, Orwell, where art thou?
A Nation of Victims?
Sol W. Sanders
In a strange world of blatant hypocrisy and distorted equivalences, the United States–with the help of an all too cooperative media–is turning to victimization as the definition and explanation of most human relationships. The tragedy of the death of an 18-year-old during an altercation with the police is not to be vouchsafed. Nor can the long and brutal history of US, race relations–particularly with African-Americans as victims–be denied or forgotten. But the instantaneous assumption that the police were at fault and in the innocence of the victim is symptomatic of a larger social evil. It is the instantaneous and unsubtle attribution of victimhood to individuals caught up in life dramas whatever their real character. Not many of us sail through life without suffering what we deem injustice. Those may, objectively, be larger or smaller afflictions. But for the individual concerned, they are monumental and cannot be wished away. But to celebrate those kinds of miscarriages of life–especially before they are analyzed–is to create a false atmosphere of overwhelming injustice and persecution which imperils society
Missing the Big Picture
Leave it to Barack Obama's own former secretary of state to acknowledge the fatal flaw of his foreign policy: a total absence of strategic thinking. Mind you, Obama does deploy grand words proclaiming grand ideas: the "new beginning" with Islam declared in Cairo, the reset with Russia announced in Geneva, global nuclear disarmament proclaimed in Prague (and playacted in a Washington summit). Untethered from reality, they all disappeared without a trace. When carrying out policies in the real world, however, it's nothing but tactics and reactive improvisation. The only consistency is the president's inability (unwillingness?) to see the big picture. Consider Russia. Vladimir Putin has 45,000 troops on the Ukraine border. A convoy of 262 unwanted Russian trucks with allegedly humanitarian aid is headed to Ukraine to relieve the pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk. Ukraine threatens to stop it. Obama's concern? He blithely tells the NY Times that Putin "could invade" Ukraine at any time. And if he does, "trying to find our way back to a cooperative functioning relationship with Russia during the remainder of my term will be much more difficult."