Friday, July 31, 2009

No-one can say Obama isn't "fair."

The President has progressed from completely blaming the police officer to currently believing that there was fault on both sides and being even-handed. Presumably he feels the same non-judgmental way about the relation of Crowley to Gates as he would the fireman to the fire.

Mark Steyn, before the beer summit.

July 25, 2009, 7:00 a.m.
He Said/V.I.P. Said A Prejudometer cranked up to eleven. By Mark Steyn
By common consent, the most memorable moment of Barack Obama’s otherwise listless press conference on “health care” were his robust remarks on the “racist” incident involving Prof. Henry Louis Gates and the Cambridge police. The latter “acted stupidly,” pronounced the chief of state. The president of the United States may be reluctant to condemn Ayatollah Khamenei or Hugo Chávez or that guy in Honduras without examining all the nuances and footnotes, but sometimes there are outrages so heinous that even the famously nuanced must step up to the plate and speak truth to power. And thank God the leader of the free world had the guts to stand up and speak truth to municipal police sergeant James Crowley. ****He did, during the preliminaries, also excoriate pediatricians for doing unnecessary tonsillectomies out of greed, which might be the case if some pediatricians did tonsillectomies.****
For everyone other than the president, what happened at Professor Gates’s house is not entirely clear. The Harvard prof returned home without his keys and, as Obama put it, “jimmied his way into the house.” Someone witnessing the “break-in” called the cops, and things, ah, escalated from there. Professor Gates is now saying that, if Sergeant Crowley publicly apologizes for his racism, the prof will graciously agree to “educate him about the history of racism in America.” Which is a helluva deal. I mean, Ivy League parents re-mortgage their homes to pay Gates for the privilege of lecturing their kids, and here he is offering to hector it away to some no-name lunkhead for free.
As to the differences between the professor’s and the cops’ version of events, I confess I’ve been wary of taking Henry Louis Gates at his word ever since, almost two decades back, the literary scholar compared the lyrics of the rap group 2 Live Crew to those of the Bard of Avon. “It’s like Shakespeare’s ‘My love is like a red, red rose,’ ” he declared, authoritatively, to a court in Fort Lauderdale.
As it happens, “My luv’s like a red, red rose” was written by Robbie Burns, a couple of centuries after Shakespeare. Oh, well. Sixteenth-century English playwright, 18th-century Scottish poet: What’s the diff? Evidently being within the same quarter-millennium and right general patch of the North-East Atlantic is close enough for a professor of English and Afro-American Studies appearing as an expert witness in a court case. Certainly no journalist reporting Gates’s testimony was boorish enough to point out the misattribution.
I hasten to add I have nothing against the great man. He’s always struck me as one of those faintly absurd figures in which the American academy appears to specialize, but relatively harmless by overall standards. And I certainly sympathize with the general proposition that not all encounters with the constabulary go as agreeably as one might wish. Last year I had a minor interaction with a Vermont state trooper and, 60 seconds into the conversation, he called me a “liar.” I considered my options:
Option a): I could get hot under the collar, yell at him, get tasered into submission, and possibly shot while “resisting arrest”;
Option b): I could politely tell the trooper I object to his characterization, and then write a letter to the commander of his barracks the following morning suggesting that such language is not appropriate to routine encounters with members of the public and betrays a profoundly defective understanding of the relationship between law-enforcement officials and the citizenry in civilized societies.
I chose the latter course, and received a letter back offering partial satisfaction and explaining that the trooper would be receiving “supervisory performance-related issue-counseling,” which, with any luck, is even more ghastly than it sounds and hopefully is still ongoing.
Professor Gates chose option a), which is just plain stupid. For one thing, these days they have dash-cams and two-way radios and a GPS gizmo in the sharp end of the billy club, so an awful lot of this stuff winds up being preserved on tape, and, if you’re the one a-hootin’ an’ a-hollerin’, it’s not going to help. In the Sixties, the great English satirist Peter Simple invented the Prejudometer, which simply by being pointed at any individual could calculate degrees of racism to the nearest prejudon, “the internationally recognized scientific unit of racial prejudice.” Professor Gates seems to go around with his Prejudometer permanently cranked up to eleven: When Sergeant Crowley announced through the glass-paneled front door that he was here to investigate a break-in, Gates opened it up and roared back: “Why? Because I’m a black man in America?”
He then told him, “I’ll speak with your mama outside.” Outside, Sergeant Crowley’s mama failed to show. But among his colleagues were a black officer and a Hispanic officer. Which is an odd kind of posse for what the Rev. Al Sharpton calls, inevitably, “the highest example of racial profiling I have seen.” But what of our post-racial president? After noting that “‘Skip’ Gates is a friend” of his, President Obama said that “there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately.” But, if they’re being “disproportionately” stopped by African-American and Latino cops, does that really fall under the category of systemic racism? Short of dispatching one of those Uighur Muslims from China recently liberated from Gitmo by Obama to frolic and gambol on the beaches of Bermuda, the assembled officers were a veritable rainbow coalition. The photograph of the arrest shows a bullet-headed black cop — Sgt. Leon Lashley, I believe — standing in front of the porch while behind him a handcuffed Gates yells accusations of racism. This is the pitiful state the Bull Connors of the 21st century are reduced to, forced to take along a squad recruited from the nearest Benetton ad when they go out to whup some uppity Negro boy.

As Professor Gates jeered at the officers, “You don’t know who you’re messin’ with.” Did Sergeant Crowley have to arrest him? Probably not. Did he allow himself to be provoked by an obnoxious buffoon? Maybe. I dunno. I wasn’t there. Neither was the president of the United States, or the governor of Massachusetts, or the mayor of Cambridge. All of whom have declared themselves firmly on the side of the Ivy League bigshot. And all of whom, as it happens, are African-American. A black president, a black governor, and a black mayor all agree with a black Harvard professor that he was racially profiled by a white-Latino-black police team, headed by a cop who teaches courses in how to avoid racial profiling. The boundless elasticity of such endemic racism suggests that the “post-racial America” will be living with blowhard grievance-mongers like Professor Gates unto the end of time.
In a fairly typical “he said/V.I.P. said” incident, the V.I.P. was the author of his own misfortune but, with characteristic arrogance, chose to ascribe it to systemic racism, Jim Crow, lynchings, the Klan, slavery, Jefferson impregnating Sally Hemmings, etc. And so it goes, now and forever. My advice to Professor Gates for future incidents would be to establish his authority early. Quote Shakespeare, from his early days with Hallmark:
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Victims are black
Like 2 Live Crew.

Sotomayor will be approved but that's not clearly good.
Sotomayor's Ties to La Raza by Tom Tancredo
La Raza is something of an extremist group.
Not everyone on the Left is enamored of Sonia.She has a vote like Scalia but not the intellect to match his.
On The Left: Has Sotomayor Measured Up In 'Best' Test? By RICHARD COHEN
A political ad that lucky New Yorkers get to see on television begins with "A million lawyers in America" and goes on to wonder about certain no-bid contracts in nearby New Jersey that will not concern us today.
But every time the ad runs, I cannot help thinking about Sonia Sotomayor: a million lawyers in America and Barack Obama chooses her for the Supreme Court.
Don't get me wrong. She is fully qualified. She is smart and learned and experienced and, in case you have not heard, a Hispanic, female nominee, of which there have not been any since the dawn of our fair republic.
But she has no cause, unless it is not to make a mistake, and has no passion, unless it is not to show any, and lacks intellectual brilliance, unless it is disguised under a veil of soporific competence until she takes her seat on the court. We shall see. In the meantime, Sotomayor will do, and will do very nicely, as a personification of what ails the American left. She is, as everyone has pointed out, in the mainstream of American liberalism, a stream both intellectually shallow and preoccupied with the past.
We have a neat summary of it in the recent remarks of Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., who said he wanted a Supreme Court justice "who will continue to move the court forward in protecting . . . important civil rights." He cited the shooting of a gay youth, the gang rape of a lesbian and the murder of a black man — in other words, violence based on homophobia and racism. Yes. But who nowadays disagrees? What, though, about a jurist who can advance the larger cause of civil rights and at the same time protect individual rights? This was the dilemma raised by the New Haven firefighters' case. The legal mind who could have found a "liberal" way out of the thicket would be deserving of a Supreme Court seat. As an appellate judge, Sotomayor did not even attempt such an exercise. She punted.
She was similarly disappointing on capital punishment. She seems to support it. Yet it is an abomination. It grants the government a right it should never have, one that has been abused over the years by despots, potentates and racist cops.
It is always an abuse of power, always an exercise in arrogance — it admits no possibility of a mistake — and totally without efficacy. It is not a deterrent, and it endorses the mentality of the killer: Human life is not inviolate.
From Sotomayor, though, came not one whimper of regret about the current legality of capital punishment. Innocent men may die, the cause of humanism may stall, but she will follow the jot and tittle of the law, with which she has no quarrel anyway. Little wonder moderate conservative senators are enamored.
Contrast her approach to this and other problems with what Antonin Scalia has done with issues close to his own heart. Where in all of Sotomayor's opinions, speeches and now testimony is there anything approaching Scalia's dissent in Morrison v. Olson in which, alone, he not only found fault with the law creating special prosecutors, but warned about how it would someday be abused?
"Frequently an issue of this sort will come before the court clad, so to speak, in sheep's clothing," he wrote. "But this wolf comes as a wolf."
My admiration for Scalia is constrained by the fact that I frequently believe him to be wrong. But his thinking is often fresh and his writing is often bracing and, more to my point, he has no counterpart on the left. His liberal and moderate brethren wallow in bromides; they can sometimes outvote him but they cannot outthink him.
This is the sad state of both liberalism and American politics. First-class legal brains are not even nominated lest some senator break into hives at the prospect of encountering a genuinely new idea.
The ceiling is further lowered by the need to season the court with diversity, a wonderful idea as long as brilliance is not compromised. The result has been the rout of sexism: The women are as mediocre as the men.
From all we know, Sotomayor is no Scalia. She is no Thurgood Marshall, either, or even a John Roberts, who is leading the court in his own direction. She will be confirmed. But if she is not, liberalism will not have lost much of a champion or a thinker.
A million lawyers in America and something Jimmy Carter used to say comes to mind: Why not the best? ****Of course the example of Carter reminds us that we have to avoid the worst.****
© 2008 Washington Post Writers Group

Obama joins Carter in fostering totalitarianism
Foreign Policy and Good Intentions Is the Obama administration prepared to accept the consequences of returning an undemocratic, corrupt, and anti-American strongman to power in Honduras? by Otto J. Reich
Thirty years ago the Carter administration made a number of foreign policy blunders that cost the United States dearly. In 1979 alone, four nations fell into the hands of our enemies: Iran, Grenada, Nicaragua, and Afghanistan. Is the Obama administration about to make a similar mistake today in Honduras?...

Obama's Attorney General eases security for terrorists at the "high security" prison in Colorado

It's sad when PRAVDA (!) presents more "inconvenient details" than the U.S. Main Stream Media

The Politics of Reverse Racism in America
By Peter Baofu Ph.D. (Pravda, July 30, 2009) The incident concerning the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr. in July 16 of 2009 in Cambridge, Massachusetts has a hidden (inconvenient) truth unsaid in contemporary American society. It has to do with the rising tide of reverse racism (by minorities, or blacks in this case) after decades of hard work by those in the Civil Rights Movement, and the phenomenon of reverse-racism in this case also involves black nepotism.
Shortly after the incident, President Barack Obama, who regards himself as a black and a friend of Gates, called the arrest "stupid," even though he acknowledged of not knowing all the facts about the incident (and later had to call the arresting white police officer, Sgt. James Crowley, in order to to quell the public uproar against his biased remark).
Gov. Deval Patrick, also a black, joined in and was on the side of Gates, when he "said he was troubled and upset over the incident." He even called the arrest "every black man's nightmare." When asked to apology for his hyperbolic remark later, he refused.
Cambridge Mayor Denise Simmons, also a black, "spoke with Gates and apologized on behalf of the city," with "a statement from the city called the July 16 incident 'regrettable and unfortunate,'" according to a news update. This is so, even though she acknowledged that the case was still under investigation (while the charge of disorderly conduct against Gates was quickly and quietly dropped, with no further comment). ****After Gates' lawyer called to demand it (with the backing of the triumvirate of Obama, Patrick and Simmons, herself.****
Civil Rights Movement veterans like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, also blacks, immediately sided with Gates and used the occasion to condemn the alleged larger phenomenon of racial profiling by white police officers against black folks.
All these biased reactions quickly took place, while some inconvenient details about the incident have been either downplayed or ignored in the mass media. For illustration, consider the following seven of them.
First, Gates at first refused to come outside his house to speak with the multiracial group of police officers, two whites and one black, who arrived and explained to him that they were investigating a report of a break-in. This refusal raised suspicion in the mind of the police officers.
Second, Gates also refused to show his ID (upon request by the police officers) initially. This refusal raised further suspicion in the mind of the police officers. He only showed his ID afterward, when the incident already turned ugly after he went to a verbal rage against the police officers, showing no cooperation nor respect to them.
Third, Gates then yelled and insulted the police officers in the incident, as he even used derogatory remarks about the mother of one of the police officers, like "...your mama" to Sgt. James Crowley, a white. By then, the behavior of Gates really turned abusive and was a good example of "disorderly conduct." Some of his neighbors were shocked to witness this, according to a news update. In fact, in the radio transmissions released a few days later, it was further confirmed that Sgt. Crowley was heard telling a dispatcher: "I'm up with a gentleman, says he resides here, but was uncooperative, but keep the cars coming." This is not about police abuse against a weak and innocent man on the street, but about a man of power and connection (even with the U.S. president as his “friend”) who is uncooperative and abusive, with a reverse-racist attitude. Were Sgt. Crowley a black, would Gates behave in the same way as he did?
Fourth, Gates made the incident as a case of whites vs. blacks. But it is interesting to note that one of the three police officers at the scene is Sgt. Leon Lashley, who is a black and, when later asked about his colleague's decision to arrest Gates, clearly said that he supported Crowley's decision "100 percent."
Fifth, Gates did not show any appreciation (or gratitude) to the police officers for their effort to find out if his house was broken in, after a 911 caller called the police and told them that she was not sure if two men were trying to break in his house, which then required some police officers to come and investigate. In the future, if there is ever a real break-in inside his house, will there be many police officers out there who are eagerly ready to come and help Gates? He already made a bad name of himself among them.
Sixth, Gates accused the arresting white office officer, Sgt. Crowley, "a rogue cop" for racial profiling during the incident. It is abusive for Gates to say so, while not knowing that it is this police officer, Sgt. Crowley, who is well respected as a police academy expert on racial profiling and "has taught a class [together with a black colleague] about racial profiling for five years at the Lowell Police Academy after being hand-picked for the job by former police Commissioner Ronny Watson, who is black," according to a recent news update. And it is also Sgt. Crowley, who tried to save the life of a black man, the former Boston Celtics player Reggie Lewis (who collapsed after a workout), by administering CPR on him in 1993.
And seventh, Gates quickly used his status as a man of power and connection to eagerly appear on TV and elsewhere afterward, with the help of his friends in high places, to verbally assault the police officers (like calling Sgt. Crowley "a rogue cop") and the larger white police community for racial profiling (including his threat to sue the Cambridge police department). The charge of disorderly conduct against him was quickly dropped (as mentioned earlier), which could not have happened to someone else who lacks the status and connection of Gates. Gates literally got away from his misdemeanor of disorderly conduct -- simply because he is not an average Joe like many of us. He is a man of power and connection with those in high places (including the U.S. president as his “friend”)--unlike many of us.
This uncivil and abusive behavior of Gates during the incident is rather disgraceful (or something beneath him to do), especially for someone who is a Harvard University professor and is internationally renowned as a scholar. ****Of African-American Studies.****Is he so arrogant and so conscious of his status of power and connection -- and so hateful to the white establishment -- that he did not give a damn, especially to the two white police officers, who did not seem to mean anything to him? Were the the police officers all blacks, would he behave the same? Gates is the wrong model for us to follow in the campaign against police racial profiling.
This incident of reverse racism (with black nepotism) is not an isolated case. After decades of hard work by those in the Civil Rights Movement, the progress which has brought someone like Obama to be what the mass media has sensationally called "the first black U.S. president" (and many other black folks like Gates to power) has its dark side unsaid.
For instance, when Roland Burris, a black, seemingly misled the Senate and others some months ago about his corrupt dealing for campaign cash with former Gov. Rod Blagojevich in order to get the Senate seat by any means (and is still under criminal investigation for perjury), some in the black community were quick to criticize the critics against Burris as racially motivated, in accusing them of not wanting a black man in the U.S. Senate.
When Michael Jackson, a black, died a few weeks ago, many black leaders wanted to pass a national resolution to honor him "forever." And the charge of racism was easily thrown at anyone who dared to criticize the indecent side of the singer's past (e.g., his history of molesting children, including his multi-million out-of-court settlement with the victims; his indecent tendency to grasp his groin when doing his uniquely erotic dance in singing, etc.). Is Jackson really a model for children to watch and imitate? How many parents are there who are willing to leave their children alone with Jackson for the night?
When O.J. Simpson, a black, was arrested and charged for murdering two white folks, the predominantly black jury refused to convict him. If Simpson were a white and the two victims were blacks, would this predominantly black jury reached the same verdict?
It is a stupid comment for President Obama, who regards himself as a black and a friend of Gates, to call the arrest of his friend "stupid", even though he acknowledged of not knowing all the facts about the incident. This is shocking enough, for a president who has the reputation to ask the nation to move beyond partisan politics and yet allows himself to be partisan in supporting his friend even when he does not know all the facts. Instead of being the leader who unites the country, he divides it between his friends and those who are not.
It is no wonder that the Cambridge police commissioner, Robert Haas, later said that he was "deeply pained" by President Obama's remark. Dennis O'Connor, president of the Cambridge Police Superior Officers Association, also said that Obama's remark was "misdirected." Sgt. Crowley himself said that he was also "disappointed" by the remark. And President Obama had to call Sgt. Crowley by phone the day after to calm down the public uproar over his biased remark against the police officer.
Justice is not served in this case, because of the unfair way in which Sgt. Crowley was treated after the incident and of the corrupt way in which Gates got away from his misdemeanor of disorderly conduct -- simply because he is a man of power and connection with those in high places.
This case shows that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, as Lord Acton once famously warned us. As black leaders become more powerful, they too become corrupt and use the ideological rhetoric of racism as a weapon to smash anyone in their path to power. In the process, they commit the same old sins that others before them did: nepotism, greed, abuse, oppression, etc.
In the long term, it is America itself which will be damaged the most in this rising tide of reverse-racism -- in the name of fighting against racism. At the end of the rainbow politics is a new America with the same old sins, not just by the majority but also by the minority.
About the author: Dr. Peter Baofu is the author of 25 books (as of mid-2009) on numerous topics in different fields. Three of the books, like THE FUTURE OF CAPITALISM AND DEMOCRACY (2002) and the 2 volumes of THE FUTURE OF HUMAN CIVILIZATION (2000) discussed numerous issues, including the emerging phenomenon of what he called "reverse-racism" and "reverse-sexism" in our times.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The racists in the Cambridge situation: Gates and Obama
BREITBART: Obama's accidental gift on raceBy Andrew Breitbart
Less than a month after being confirmed as the nation's attorney General, Eric H. Holder Jr. called out the American people as "essentially a nation of cowards" for refusing to talk openly about race.So, thank you, professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and President Obama, for starting the long-awaited national discussion on black and white identity ...And kudos to the professor and the president for choosing Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge Police Department as the representative of the Caucasian-American side of this difficult and much-needed historic debate. Poetry was at work as the archetypal racist white cop who, according to the admittedly fact-challenged president, "stupidly" arrested his "friend." Sgt. Crowley waged a swift and effective public relations campaign that quashed the racism meme that Mr. Gates was recklessly pushing.
Sgt. Crowley, as it happens, is the Cambridge police force's hand-picked racial profiling expert and was selected by a former black police commissioner. He also performed CPR on black basketball star Reggie Lewis, whose widow praised the public servant for doing everything he could to save her husband. Sgt. Crowley's own police department immediately jumped to his defense in a picture-perfect multiracial photo op and press conference.
...We're finally talking, Mr. Holder and Mr. Obama. Why stop now?Of course, the attorney general is essentially right in his assessment. Much of America is petrified to bring up race, especially in public forums - the media, in particular. But for exactly the opposite reasons Mr. Holder, the Obama administration and the brain trust of modern liberalism assert.
Americans, especially nonblacks, are deeply fearful that the dynamic is predicated on an un-American premise: presumed guilt. Innocence, under the extra-constitutional reign of political correctness, liberalism's brand of soft Shariah law, must be proved ex post facto.
Think not? Ask the Duke lacrosse team, which had 88 of the school's professors sign a petition that presumed their guilt before their side of the story was known. Even though the white athletes were exonerated and the liberal district attorney who pushed the case was dethroned, disbarred and disgraced, the professoriate that assigned guilt to its own students still refuses to apologize.
Those signatories constituted 90 percent of Duke's African and African-American Studies Department, the subject-matter domain of Mr. Gates, Michael Eric Dyson, Cornel West and other tenure-wielding, highfalutin, iambic-pentameter-filibustering race baiters, and 60 percent of Duke's women's studies department, another hotbed of victimology posing as intellectualism.
While the media was front and center in preparing for the public executions of the three Duke lacrosse players, they scurried away when they were proved innocent. The Democratic Media Complex, in its pursuit of Orwellian hate-crime legislation, reparations and sundry non-ameliorative resolutions to America's troubled racial past, pursues its victims with blood lust. But it cannot act in good faith to redeem those it has destroyed in countless rushes to judgment. (Richard Jewell, R.I.P.)
The mainstream media choose to flaunt story lines that make white America appear guilty of continued institutional racism, while black racism against whites is ignored as an acceptable disposition given our nation's history. This double standard provides a game board on which the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton can thrive in perpetuity and ensures racial progress is slowed....the Case of Sergeant Crowley vs. Professor Gates is so important.
As is expected from professional race baiters, Mr. Gates instigated a public brouhaha over race. And Mr. Obama, a man who attended the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's racist sermons for 20 years, used the bully pulpit to grant his friend a national platform to condemn a man for doing his job.
Sgt. Crowley, a proud and defiant public professional, played the moment perfectly and stopped his own assassination by media. Talk about a postmodern hero. Whether he likes it or not, Sgt. Crowley is a potent symbol of how the union has managed to become more perfect, a Rosa Parks of rush-to-judgment "reverse racism."
Now that the facts of the case show that his friend the professor was the man doing the racial profiling, the president wants to end the discussion. Now we see what the attorney general meant when he spoke of cowards.

Congressional apologists for domestic jihadis.
CAIR's Congressional StoogesBy Steven Emerson
Seven House Democrats have written Attorney General Eric Holder invoking a list of grievances from radical Islamist groups and asking that Holder meet with representatives from those groups to hear their concerns. The grievances include the use of convicted felons as informants in mosques, alleged religious profiling of Somali Muslims in Minnesota and elsewhere and allegations that the FBI is working with foreign governments to question American citizens who are terror suspects... These issues have been pushed by radical Islamist groups for months. The letter's close tracking of the interest groups' positions indicates that their officials dictated its terms for the members of Congress to sign. In fact, the nine entities all are listed in exactly the same sequence in this release from the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). The April 2009 release also cites two of the same issues as in the letter to Holder.The letter was signed by California representatives Loretta Sanchez, Adam Schiff, Mike Honda and Lois Capps, along with Ohio representatives Mary Jo Kilroy and Dennis Kucinich. Northern Virginia Congressman James Moran joined the group.***Disturbingly, these serve on committees on "defense, Homeland Security, and Intelligence."*** ...Many of the groups listed for Holder to meet have radical histories and agendas. For example, the Islamic Circle of North America adheres to similar ideology as the Jamaat-i-Islami, which calls for Islamic revolution and creating an Islamist state in Pakistan. In the U.S., ICNA aggressively proselytizes among non-Muslims. The Muslim Public Affairs Council argues that Hizballah should not be a designated terrorist organization.Three other groups listed for contact have direct roots in the Muslim Brotherhood, an international movement based in Egypt which seeks the creation of a global Islamic state, or Caliphate. Those groups include the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim Students Association, the Muslim American Society's Freedom Foundation, which is run by a convicted felon and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Prosecutors included CAIR on a list of unindicted co-conspirators in the prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and development, considered the nation's largest terrorism-finance case. FBI case Agent Lara Burns labeled CAIR a front group for Hamas during sworn testimony last fall. While CAIR claims to condemn terrorist attacks, it has not been able to specifically condemn Hamas suicide bombings or Hizballah bombings of civilian communities...CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad defiantly refused to criticize Hamas or Hizballah...
This is the leadership Holder is asked to meet. As reporter Mary Jacoby recently noted: CAIR "has been working to stoke tensions in local Muslim communities over FBI investigative tactics. CAIR is angry at the FBI, because the bureau embarrassed it. How? By cutting off contacts with CAIR's national leadership last year. Why did the bureau do that? Because evidence in a major terrorism-support prosecution in Texas showed CAIR's origins as a propaganda arm of Hamas." Indeed, a letter from an FBI congressional liaison states that the Bureau can't rule out an ongoing "connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS" and would cut off outreach communication with the group until it can....Many of the representatives who signed this letter have a history of supporting CAIR...(examples listed.)In their letter, the representatives accept the claims of defendants in two criminal cases unqustioningly, despite sworn testimony to the contrary... Ahmadullah Niazi, has been indicted on immigration charges....In sworn testimony during Niazi's bond hearing in February, FBI agent Thomas Ropel III said Niazi went to authorities only after learning of a separate terror-indictment involving an informant and collaborated with CAIR official Hussam Ayloush to accuse the informant of being the terrorist...Niazi claimed that he and the informant had discussed jihad once or twice, when agents already possessed "at least 15 to 20 such conversations." took place between Ropel and Magistrate Judge Arthur Nakazato: Agent Ropel: "We had discussed conducting terrorist attacks and blowing up buildings. We had discussed Mr. Niazi or anybody talking about sending money overseas and Mr. Niazi said none of those things were ever discussed between himself and this individual. And we had personally listened to recordings in which Mr. Niazi had instigated these conversations with that individual." Judge: "He instigated the conversations?" Agent Ropel: "Yes, Mr. Niazi did, specifically regarding these statements."...The informant issue raised in the "normal" to see informants in criminal investigations have felony records of their own, said Barry Sabin, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division. (CAIR)...triggered a backlash from some members of the Minneapolis Somali community, who have repeatedly demonstrated against CAIR for, in their view, hindering law enforcement efforts to stop the recruitment of young men to return to the African nation to engage in jihad. At least 20 young men are believed to have traveled from Minneapolis to Somalia in the past year, with one killing himself in a suicide bombing attack. Three other young men from Minneapolis have been shot and killed in Somalia in the past two months....That the representatives would accept at face value the claims of an organization the FBI has concluded is not "an appropriate liaison partner" is disturbing. CAIR has documented roots in a U.S-based Hamas support network. Among secretly recorded wiretaps in evidence in the prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development are conversations including two CAIR founders about deceiving Americans about their political ambitions and the outright declaration that "war is deception." Before carrying their water again, the politicians may wish to find out whether the war ended.

Is Obama "highly educated" and "highly intelligent?"

President Gets No Better Than 'PC' In History
By VICTOR DAVIS HANSON | Posted Thursday, June 11, 2009 4:20 PM PT
In his speech last week in Cairo, President Obama proclaimed he was a "student of history." But despite Barack Obama's image as an Ivy League-educated intellectual, he lacks historical competency, both in areas of facts and interpretation.
This first became apparent during the presidential campaign. Obama proclaimed then that during World War II his great-uncle had helped liberate Auschwitz, and that his grandfather knew fellow American troops that had entered Auschwitz and Treblinka.
Both are impossible. The Americans didn't free either Nazi death camp. (Regarding Obama's great uncle's war experience, the Obama team later said he'd meant the camp at Buchenwald.)
Much of what Obama said to thousands of Germans during his speech at the Victory Column in Berlin last summer was also ahistorical. He began, "I know that I don't look like the Americans who've previously spoken in this great city." He apparently forgot that for eight years, the official faces of American foreign policy in Germany were Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice — both African-Americans.
In the same speech, Obama suggested the world had come together to save Berlin during the Airlift. In fact, it was almost an entirely American and British effort — written off by most observers as hopeless and joined only by a handful of Western allies when the improbable lift looked like it might succeed.
In the Cairo speech, Obama's historical allusions were even more suspect. Almost all of his references was either misleading or incomplete. He suggested that today's Middle East tension was fed by the legacy of European colonialism and the Cold War that had reduced nations to proxies.
But the great colonizers of the Middle East were the Ottoman Muslims, who for centuries ruled with an iron fist. The 20th-century movements of Baathism, Pan-Arabism and Nasserism — largely homegrown totalitarian ideologies — did far more damage over the last half-century to the Middle East than the legacy of European colonialism.
Obama also claimed Islam "carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe's Renaissance and Enlightenment." While medieval Islamic culture was impressive and ensured the survival of a few classical texts — often through Arabic-speaking Christians — it had little to do with the European rediscovery of classical Greek and Latin values. Europeans, Chinese and Hindus, not Muslims, invented most of the breakthroughs Obama credited to Islamic innovation.
Much of the Renaissance, in fact, was more predicated on the centuries-long flight of Greek-speaking Byzantine scholars from Constantinople to Western Europe to escape the aggression of Islamic Turks. Many romantic thinkers of the Enlightenment sought to extend freedom to oppressed subjects of Muslim fundamentalist rule in eastern and southern Europe .
Obama also insisted "Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance. We see it in the history of Andalusia and Cordoba during the Inquisition." Yet the Spanish Inquisition began in 1478; by then Cordoba had long been re-conquered by Spanish Christians, and was governed as a staunchly Christian city.
In reference to Iraq, Obama promised that "no system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other." Is he unaware of how the United States imposed democracies after World War II?
After the defeat of German Nazism, Italian fascism and Japanese militarism, Americans — by force — insisted that these nations adopt democratic governments, for their own sakes and the world's. Indeed, it is hard to think of too many democratic governments that did not emerge from violence — including our own.
Obama also stated: "For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights."
With all due respect to our president, this assertion is again not fully accurate. The only thing that ended slavery in the United States was the Civil War, which saw some 600,000 Americans — the vast majority of them white — lost in a violent struggle to ensure that nearly half the country would not remain a slave-owning society. Also, the massive urban riots of the 1960s and 1970s were certainly violent.
This list of distortions could be easily expanded. The president, in elegant fashion, may casually invoke the means of politically correct history for the higher ends of contemporary reconciliation. But it is a bad habit. Eloquence and good intentions exempt no one from the truth of the past — Obama included.

Everything must be SOMEONE's fault; who it is doesn't seem to matter.
Boston hack almost takes blame for forgotten child AP A Boston taxi driver takes a family from Logan Airport to their home and THEY leave a sleeping infant in the back seat! HE almost gets his license suspended.
1)The attitude of American lawyers has permeated society: everything bad that happens must be the fault of someone. Someone hurt in a traffic accident? It must be the fault of ONE of the drivers.(Otherwise, whom would the aggrieved sue?)Birth defect? It must be the fault of the obstetrician.Medical malpractice isn't dependent on process ( actual malpractice ) but on results: a bad result means some doctor is to blame.
2) It seems not to matter who is held to be at fault: the guilty, the innocent, the not-responsible but nearby. Since it doesn't matter, one might as well put the blame on an enemy ( certainly not on a friend!) or someone whom a jury won't like.
3) In the Gates affair in Cambridge, surely someone must be at fault and the President wouldn't blame his friend, "Skip" Gates, and so blames the officer involved.
The President couldn't even leave the matter alone. Press Secretary Gibbs admits Obama was prepared for the question and it was the last question, from Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times and almost certainly "planted." Obama wanted Sweet to ask the "last" question and was momentarily disconcerted by having called on the reporter planned to be the penultimate one only to have someone else stand up instead and have to extend the press conference by one to get Sweet's "question" in.
The only one in that affair absolutely blameless was, in fact, Sgt Crowley. When the President (under public pressure ) backed off, he still doesn't acknowledge the truth, apologize to Crowley (perhaps even blame Gates, who exhibited the only "racist" behavior in this incident ) but is trying to be even-handed ( as one might be between the fireman and the fire.)
4) In the war between Muslim terrorist and Israel, Israel is either accused of provocation ( of terrorism!!) OR, if the initiative is unquestionable, accused of DISPROPORTIONATE response.
(The movie, Ship of Fools, resurrects an old joke. The Nazi asserts "It's all the fault of the Jews." The Jew agrees, "YES, THE JEWS AND THE BICYCLISTS." "Why the bicyclists?" "WHY THE JEWS?" )

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Healthcare reform, yes; just not the versions percolating

The new President-elect of the AMA, Dr. Cecil Wilson, was interviewed this morning. What a disappointment! Perhaps, however, consistent with the low opinion of the AMA held by ALL the physicians Yoda knows. Why do organizations pick spokesman whose only noticeable talent seems to be to avoid answering questions that might just be problematical? Dr. Wilson was asked several times if the CPT codes developed by the AMA and which they license to insurance companies provide revenue to the AMA. He managed to run out the clock with pious platitudes without ever answering that simple question. Doubtless, his AMA supporters will congratulate him on a job well done. Another pious platitude, backed up by ads paid for by the AMA is to inveigh against the status quo ( again, the false dichotomy!). Nowhere in the ads is mention of the salient cost problems: medical malpractice suits and defensive medicine ( admittedly, Wilson did mention this in his interview ), decoupling of employment and health insurance, and decoupling of politics from coverage ( so that chiropractic and Cadillac services are not covered ). Another issue is the controlled pricing of health care. Medicare sets the prices and all that is left for insurance companies to negotiate with doctors is the multiple of Medicare reimbursements that they will provide. A free market doesn't exist in American healthcare. If you want to pay cash ( e.g. self-insure ), you will discover that this is the only service in the world where paying cash doesn't get a discount but, rather, fetches a premium. That is, if a healthcare organization nets 30% of their (fictional) starting price from Medicare and insurance companies, they will only grant the patient a discount (from the fictional price ) of 30% although they would get TWICE AS MUCH for a cash payment. The problem with U.S. healthcare is that Medicare and Medicaid are going broke. The problem of the "uninsured" ( whether that number be 10Million or 45Million or whatever) can be handled in myriad ways that are simple (e.g. expanding Medicaid) but that has been elevated to the primary problem and the goal is to make redressing this "revenue neutral." Even if this chimera was real, it still would leave us with Medicare/aid going broke soon.
Why Obamacare Is Sinking By Charles Krauthammer
What happened to Obamacare? Rhetoric met reality. As both candidate and president, the master rhetorician could conjure a world in which he bestows upon you health-care nirvana: more coverage, less cost.****N.B. the use here of "rhetorician" refers to someone using rhetorical tricks, not a Cicero.****
But you can't fake it in legislation. Once you commit your fantasies to words and numbers, the Congressional Budget Office comes along and declares that the emperor has no clothes.
President Obama premised the need for reform on the claim that medical costs are destroying the economy. True. But now we learn — surprise! — that universal coverage increases costs. The congressional Democrats' health-care plans, says the CBO, increase costs on the order of $1 trillion plus.
In response, the president retreated to a demand that any bill he sign be revenue-neutral. But that's classic misdirection: If the fierce urgency of health-care reform is to radically reduce costs that are producing budget-destroying deficits, revenue neutrality (by definition) leaves us on precisely the same path to insolvency that Obama himself declares unsustainable.
The Democratic proposals are worse still. Because they do increase costs, revenue neutrality means countervailing tax increases. It's not just that it is crazily anti-stimulatory to saddle a deeply depressed economy with an income tax surcharge that falls squarely on small business and the investor class. It's that health-care reform ends up diverting for its own purposes a source of revenue that might otherwise be used to close the yawning structural budget deficit that is such a threat to the economy and to the dollar.
These blindingly obvious contradictions are why the Democratic health plans are collapsing under their own weight — at the hands of Democrats. It's Max Baucus, Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, who called Obama unhelpful for ruling out taxing employer-provided health insurance as a way to pay for expanded coverage. It's the Blue Dog Democrats in the House who wince at skyrocketing health-reform costs just weeks after having swallowed hemlock for Obama on a ruinous cap-and-trade carbon tax.
The president is therefore understandably eager to make this a contest between progressive Democrats and reactionary Republicans. He seized on Republican Sen. Jim DeMint's comment that stopping Obama on health care would break his presidency to protest, with perfect disingenuousness, that "this isn't about me. This isn't about politics."

It's all about him. Health care is his signature reform. And he knows that if he produces nothing, he forfeits the mystique that both propelled him to the presidency and has sustained him through a difficult first six months. Which is why Obama's red lines are constantly shifting. Universal coverage? Maybe not. No middle-class tax hit? Well, perhaps, but only if they don't "primarily" bear the burden. Because it's about him, Obama is quite prepared to sign anything as long as it is titled "health-care reform."
This is not about politics? Then why is it, to take but the most egregious example, that in this grand health-care debate we hear not a word about one of the worst sources of waste in American medicine: the insane cost and arbitrary rewards of our malpractice system?
When a neurosurgeon pays $200,000 a year for malpractice insurance before he even turns on the light in his office or hires his first nurse, who do you think pays? Patients, in higher doctor fees to cover the insurance.
And with jackpot justice that awards one claimant zillions while others get nothing — and one-third of everything goes to the lawyers — where do you think that money comes from? The insurance companies, which then pass it on to you in higher premiums.
But the greatest waste is the hidden cost of defensive medicine: tests and procedures that doctors order for no good reason other than to protect themselves from lawsuits. Every doctor knows, as I did when I practiced years ago, how much unnecessary medical cost is incurred with an eye not on medicine but on the law.
Tort reform would yield tens of billions in savings. Yet you cannot find it in the Democratic bills. And Obama breathed not a word about it in the full hour of his health-care news conference. Why? No mystery. The Democrats are parasitically dependent on huge donations from trial lawyers.
Didn't Obama promise a new politics that puts people over special interests? Sure. And now he promises expanded, portable, secure, higher-quality medical care — at lower cost! The only thing he hasn't promised is to extirpate evil from the human heart. That legislation will be introduced next week.

Monday, July 27, 2009

"Damascus feels like it's getting a lot without giving up anything."

U.S. Woos Damascus by Easing Export Ban By JAY SOLOMON
DAMASCUS -- The Obama administration has told Syria that it will work to ease U.S. sanctions against Damascus, as Washington intensifies its pursuit of détente with a longtime Middle East rival....the latest action in a rapidly accelerating rapprochement between Washington and Damascus initiated after President Barack Obama took office this year, said officials from both countries.Messrs. Mitchell and Assad also discussed Sunday the possibility of the Pentagon dispatching to Damascus its second delegation of officers from the U.S. Central Command to discuss greater cooperation in preventing the flow of al Qaeda militants and other foreign fighters into Iraq through Syrian soil, said Syrian officials.he White House hopes to woo Mr. Assad away from his strategic alliance with Iran, in an effort to stabilize Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.****One might call this pre-emptive appeasement where Syria gets something and doesn't even promise to desist from its known actions (Hamas and Hezbollah, IEDs into Iraq, nuclear collaboration with North Korea, etc )or to do anything positive.****
..."We received assurances that the relations between the two countries should resume on the basis of mutual interests and most importantly on the basis of mutual respect," Syria's deputy foreign minister, Fayssal Mekdad, said Monday in an interview. "We really welcome such a new approach."...Bush authorized the sanctions in 2004, under legislation known as the Syria Accountability Act, specifically because of Damascus's support for the militant groups Hezbollah and Hamas, which are fighting Israeli forces from Lebanon and the Palestinian territories... Obama would seek to use his waiver authority under congressionally mandated sanctions to aid purchases of U.S. products deemed important to the welfare of the Syrian people.The U.S. and Syria have clashed in recent years over allegations that Damascus was seeking to develop nuclear weapons and that it played a role in the 2005 murder of the former Lebanese President Rafik Hariri, both of which Mr. Assad's government has denied. The U.S. believes Syria was attempting to build a nuclear reactor complex, which Israeli jets destroyed in late 2007.
...The Obama administration's moves toward rapprochement with Mr. Assad, however, are raising concerns among some U.S. allies in the region, such as Israel and Egypt, as well as some Syrian democracy activists. They worry that relieving pressure on Damascus could lessen its willingness to cut ties to Hezbollah and Hamas and to open Syria politically."The regime feels very confident politically now," said Ammar Abdulhamid, a Syrian democracy activist based in Washington. "Damascus feels like it's getting a lot without giving up anything."...

Arafat lied when he said he wasn't a terrorist--Dahlan likes both terrorism and lying about it.

PMW Bulletin: PA's Dahlan: World recognizes our legal right to use terror (resistance), Arafat deceived the world - condemned terror while behind itby Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook Palestinian Media Watch
PA's Dahlan: Arafat deceived the world//Dahlan: "Arafat would condemn [terror] operations by day while at night he would do honorable things" ****N.B. the "honorable things" were terroristic.****Dahlan: "Resistance [terror] is our right, a legal right"
for Palestinians "in the proper place and at the proper time."PA (Fatah) Member of Parliament Muhammad Dahlan has publicly stated that Yasser Arafat was deceiving the world when he condemned Palestinian terror. Dahlan made these comments after defending the Palestinian Authority's "right" to use terror, and citing Arafat's behavior as an example:"Arafat would condemn [terror] operations by day while at night he would do honorable things."Dahlan said this in the context of defending the use of Palestinian terror, which he called a "legal right." He advocated that this "legal right" be implemented carefully "in the proper place and at the proper time," and only by the "leadership" of the PA.****N.B. Dahlan says terror is OK, even "legal", and doing it and lying about it is honorable.****
It is interesting to note that the forces that will be available to fight Israel, if and when the PA leadership decides the timing is right, are the soldiers being trained by US Lt. Gen. Dayton.
The strategy of engaging in a diplomatic process while continuing to embrace violence or planning to use it in the future is a common theme expressed by PA leaders.
Abbas himself told the Jordanian newspaper Al-Dustur last year that the PA was not involved in terror operations because it was "unable," but added that "in the future stages, things may be different."
"Now we are against armed conflict because we are unable. In the future
stages, things may be different. I was honored to be the one to shoot the
first bullet in 1965 [Fatah terror against Israel began in 1965], and having
taught resistance to many in this area and around the world, defining it and
when it is beneficial and when it is not... we had the honor of leading the
resistance. We taught everyone what resistance is, including the Hezbollah,
who were trained in our camps [i.e. PLO camps in the 60s]."
Neither Arafat nor PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas ever condemned terror because it is wrong, but only because it is ineffective or because it damages Palestinian interests.

A "teachable moment?" Of what lesson?

Cambridge police: Race not mentioned in 911 call By BOB SALSBERG, Associated Press Writer BOSTON – The 911 caller who reported a possible break-in at the home of black Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. did not mention race in the call,...she saw two men on Gates' front porch who appeared to be trying to force open the front door....Whalen — who has not spoken publicly — said she only saw the backs of the two men and did not know their race when she made the call....wanted to correct "misinformation" suggesting that she placed the call because the men on the porch were black....Whalen, after questioning by the dispatcher during the 911 call, speculated that one of the men — who turned out to be Gates and a black car service driver — may have been Hispanic."It was very clear that she wasn't sure what the men's race was,"...
Supporters of Gates called his arrest by Sgt. James Crowley an outrageous act of racial profiling.
The disorderly conduct charge was dropped,****after Gates' lawyer called the commissioner, probably with word that Gates had friends in high places**** but interest in the case intensified when President Barack Obama said at a White House news conference that Cambridge police "acted stupidly" in arresting Gates....He spoke to Crowley and Gates during separate telephone calls Friday and declared that Crowley was a good man.The president invited the officer and the professor to the White House for a beer. He conceded his words had been ill-chosen, but he stopped short of a public apology.
Gates said he hoped his arrest would lead to a greater understanding about racial profiling in America. ****How about a greater understanding of false charges of both racism and racial profiling and of the non-objectivity of a president supposed to tamp down racial issues?****

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fallacious rhetorical tricks

These are errors in logic or fact that sound superficially right and can sway listeners who don't see through the deliberate fog. Obama and his people are well-versed in these tricks and use them frequently with the MSM unable or unwilling to call them on these.
The stimulus package is an example of misdirection.A problem was identified (economic slowdown and unemployment), one solution--spending-- (among others, such as tax cuts )was adduced and then myriad other spending initiatives were tacked on, however irrelevant to the original probleem. As Rahm Emanuel honestly said, No crisis should go to waste, meaning that the crisis will allow one to slip in other items from one's personal ( or party ) agenda.
The healthcare plan is being sold on the basis of the false dichotomy.We are told that the existing system is destined for bankruptcy and "therefore" doing nothing is unacceptabale and so change is required. Of course, being in the frying pan is destined for disaster but jumping into the fire has always been recognized as not an improvement.
There are many modifications that can and should be made to the current healthcare system without making it vastly worse and destroying what is arguably the best system in the world. We are lied to about the American system being inferior to others when people are always coming here and few Americans go elsewhere. The figures on infant mortality are skewed by differences in definition and those on longevity unmentioning of the quality of life issues that cause one quarter of expenditures being for the last year of life.It is clear, however much denied, that rationing of quality of life services for the elderly will inevitably occur (such as hip replacements) and even extension-of-life issues (Britain restricts availability of breast cancer medication.)
Another rhetorical trick is appeal to authority without substantial underpinning.We are TOLD, without any justification, that 2/3 of the cost of the House version of the healthcare plan is "covered" by identified savings. The assertion of "2/3" rather than, say, "all" is an attempt to use "pseudo-numerate" citation to convey the false idea that there is quantitative backing for the assertion. Citing the known incidence of "waste" is easily done but doing something about it ( or the equivalent things like "breakage", "repairs", "maintenance" ) is often impossible. Snap-On Tools makes a business out of replacing the predictable loss of tools although losing tools is clearly wasteful.
The "identified" savings seem to result from extorted promises from the insurance industry, hospitals and healthcare providers to provide either subsidies or to make fewer demands on Medicare and Medicaid. Whether these are realistic or, worse, what the consequences are of healthcare providers making fewer demands on Medicare, when the reimbursements are already inadequate, are unclear except that they will be negative concerning quality of care. The bullying-cum-extortion to extract such "promises" is obfuscatory and reflective of a bad mindset. Why AARP seems to go along when it is clear that rationing for seniors is the inevitable consequence is unknown but it's likely nefarious and reflective of bureaucracies that elevate the interests of the bureaucrats above those of the putative constituents. The AMA, with caveats, seemed to endorse some of the Democrat proposals but it represents only 10% of U.S. doctors and gets 90% of its revenue from insurance companies ( perhaps also true of AARP whose link to Colonial Penn Insurance is notorious.)
Making dramatic moves away from the "unacceptable" status quo that are clearly positive might include the following: tort reform and decoupling of health insurance and employment. Other countries do not have healthcare providers having to practice "defensive medicine" to preclude malpractice lawsuits. This has been estimated to be upwards of $100B/year and serves primarily to enrich tort lawyers.Caps or, better, special courts not subject to the vagaries of jury emotions would better define malpractice as deviation from accepted protocols rather than basing it on results only.
There is no good reason to provide health insurance through one's employment except for the historical artifact of WWII's salary caps. Certainly, the cost to an employer of health benefits represents money that could otherwise be deployed to salary except for the anomaly that benefits are deductible to the employer but not taxable to the employee. This is sure illogical and unjust to those who are self-employed or work for firms that cannot provide such benefits. We also have the peculiar circumstance that certain health "plans" are so gold-plated that they include massage therapy and spa sojourns. A simple expedient to take a reasonable step would be to TAX all employment-provided benefits as income and offset a maximum amount as a tax-deductible expense. This would level the playing field for the employed and the self-insured and identify certain Cadillac plans as not related to health at all. Eventually, there would be no reason to link employment and health insurance and dislocations of changing or losing jobs would not have the present difficulties. Another simple money-saver would be to abandon state mandates that result in states like Illinois requiring insurance for chiropractic ( a strong chiro lobby exists in Illinois ) and, who knows, perhaps aromatherapy/marriage counseling/foot massages.

Rarely has a President been more obviously wrong and shown to be so as quickly.

Aside from the process error ( compounded by the likelihood that the question about the Cambridge incident was "planted" with Lyn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times as the "last question and therefore thought out rather than completely spontaneous ) that the President should not wade in on a local matter without knowing the facts, he took sides without knowledge and incorrectly related it to racial bias, especially racial profiling. The one thing which is absolutely clear about this incident is that racial profiling had no role in it.At least there was none on the part of the police officer; there likely was some on the part of Prof. Gates who immediately assumed, and started a rant about the racism of white police officers.
Despite this-now-obvious point, both Obama and Gates continue to try to defuse and portray this incident as a "teachable moment", not about false charges of racism, but about "racial profiling."
Liberals make a big deal about the disorderly conduct charges being dropped but they were after Gates' lawyer called the mayor of Cambridge to note that Gates was supported by the black Governor of Massachusetts and the black President of the U.S.
Obama's claim to be the "post-racial" President rings hollow.

Worse than naivete, this could be stealth anti-Westernism.

The President Takes a Hard Line on Israel
Yet he doesn’t want to be seen as ‘meddling’ in Iran. By MACKUBIN THOMAS OWENS
In foreign policy, President Barack Obama has demonstrated a disturbing propensity to curry favor with our adversaries at the expense of our friends.The Czechs and Poles are rightly concerned that they will be sacrificed on the altar of better U.S. relations with Russia. And the Israelis fear that the Obama administration’s desired opening to the Muslim world will be achieved at their expense. Mr. Obama’s attempted bullying of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a case in point.
Mr. Netanyahu was sworn in as Israel’s prime minister on March 31. Shortly thereafter, the Obama administration confronted Israel’s new leader in a very public way regarding Israeli settlements in the West Bank, an area partially controlled by the Palestinian National Authority. This was an extremely unusual way for an American president to greet the new leader of a liberal democracy that’s a close ally of the U.S. The Obama administration was not satisfied with a series of understandings crafted by the Bush administration that, while not freezing settlements, had nonetheless achieved a significant reduction in settlement construction. During a May press conference with the Egyptian foreign minister, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that Mr. Obama “wants to see a stop to settlements—not some settlements, not outposts, not natural-growth exceptions.”
Subsequently, Mr. Obama demanded that Israel freeze construction in east Jerusalem. Of course, Mr. Netanyahu rejected Mr. Obama’s demand. He declared that Jerusalem is an open, undivided city “that has no separation according to religion or national affiliation.” Mr. Netanyahu added that “we cannot accept the idea that Jews will not have the right to live and purchase in all parts of Jerusalem.”If Jews were prohibited from buying property in New York, London, Paris or Rome, there would be an international outcry. Why, Mr. Netanyahu wondered, should the standard be different for Jerusalem?
Mr. Obama is woefully wrong if he believes that his confrontational style will provide an incentive for the Palestinians and the members of the Arab League to resolve the Arab-Israeli dispute. It will simply reinforce the long-standing Arab belief that the U.S. can “deliver” Israel if it only has the will to do so, thereby reducing Arab incentives to make concessions in direct negotiations with Israel.As if on cue, Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian National Authority, announced that he would not negotiate on any issue with the new Israeli government until Mr. Obama’s settlement conditions are met. In addition to the building freeze in Jerusalem and the West Bank, Mr. Abbas insisted on four other unilateral, non-negotiable concessions: First, an independent Palestinian state; second, that Israel pulls back to its pre-June 1967 borders, minus a Palestinian land bridge between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; third, a Palestinian “right of return” to Israel; and fourth, resolution of all permanent status issues on the basis of the 2002 Abdullah plan calling on Arabs to normalize relations with Israel in return for Israel’s withdrawal to its pre-1967 borders. The “right of return,” in particular, is a non-starter.
If Mr. Obama seeks a Palestinian Arab state, he is going about it the wrong way. The fact is that Mr. Netanyahu has endorsed a two-state solution and an end to the expansion of settlements in the West Bank—as long as the Palestinians accept Israel as a legitimate Jewish state and cannot militarily threaten it. Israel has been willing to accept a two-state solution since the United Nations partition resolution for Palestine in 1947, but the Arabs have refused. They are not interested in creating a separate Palestinian Arab state but in destroying Israel as a Jewish state.
The Obama approach in the Middle East is predicated on what might be called the Arab “grievance narrative,” which holds that Israel was created as a result of Western guilt about the Holocaust. It is also based on the idea that, as the president suggested in his Cairo speech, there is moral equivalence between the Holocaust and Palestinian “dislocation.”Such language illustrates an inability to make distinctions. Arabs launched a war against Jewish self-determination and the state of Israel long before any Israeli “occupation” of their lands. When Israel seized land in a defensive war, it was the Arabs, not the Israelis, who kept Palestinian “refugees” in limbo for three generations to await Israel’s destruction.****Perhaps the "inability" is based on total adoption of the Muslim-Arab position, as a Muslim might.****
As Mr. Netanyahu reminded Mr. Obama after the latter’s Cairo speech, the Arab claim that Israel was a land grab by the great powers to salve the collective conscience of the West after the Holocaust is a slander. On the contrary, he observed, Israel’s right to its homeland rests on the longstanding historical connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. This right was ratified by the unanimous and legitimizing votes of the League of Nations and the U.N. Security Council’s permanent members, and validated by over 60 years of Israel’s successful, democratic statehood.
Israel’s “right to exist” was expressed best by Israeli diplomat Abba Eban in 1981. He wrote, “Israel’s right to exist, like that of the United States, Saudi Arabia, and 152 other states, is axiomatic and unreserved. Israel’s legitimacy is not suspended in midair, awaiting acknowledgment. . . . There is certainly no other state, big or small, young or old, that would consider mere recognition of its ‘right to exist’ a favor, or a negotiable concession.”
Mr. Netanyahu might also have added that Israel’s control of the West Bank (territory that should properly be called “disputed” rather than “occupied”), was the result of defeating the Arab powers who initiated the Six Day War of 1967. The status of aggressors and defenders is not interchangeable. Neither is the status of victorious powers and defeated ones. Nonetheless, Israel has taken unilateral steps toward peace, steps not reciprocated by the Palestinians. When Israel unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza Strip, dismantling 21 settlements and displacing over 9,000 residents, it conducted the most comprehensive test of the “land for peace” concept in the history of Israeli-Palestinian relations. Yet Israel was rewarded with the creation of a terrorist enclave governed by Hamas, rather than the peaceful, responsible neighbor Israel would need in order to accept a Palestinian Arab state.
Unlike Hamas, the corrupt Palestinian National Authority that holds sway in the West Bank has nominally accepted Israel’s right to exist but has never given up the “right of return” for Palestinian “refugees.” That right, if implemented, would mean the end of Israel’s existence.
Peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians requires compromises on both sides. U.S. pressure on Israel, without any on the Palestinians, will not achieve the desired outcome.
Earlier this summer, the president justified his decision to downplay even rhetorical support for the Iranian protesters who rose up against their government and its fraudulent election. He did not wish the U.S. to appear to be “meddling” in Iranian affairs. He apparently feels no similar constraint when it comes to Israel.
Mr. Owens is editor of Orbis, the quarterly journal of the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hillary got rolled when she accepted the State job but she's lousy at it.

Hillary Clinton's loose talk on Iran
By The Christian Science Monitor ( if THEY think she's weak, what do the rest of us think? )
Loose lips sink ships and, for America's top diplomats, they can also sink countries into war.In early 1950, then-Secretary of State Dean Acheson implied – mistakenly – that the US would not defend South Korea from communist attack. A few months later, North Korea did invade. It took three years and nearly 40,000 lives to end combat.
***The U.S. ambassador to Iraq gave Saddam the idea that the U.S. wouldn't care if he invaded Kuwait. The Gulf War ensued. ***
Last week, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton suggested the US may extend a "defense umbrella" over friendly nations in the Middle East "once" Iran has a nuclear weapon. Oops. She didn't really mean it exactly that way, her aides said. But the comment nonetheless suggests President Obama may be ready to accept a nuclear-armed Iran. And, more important, he might counter it with either a missile defense system in the Middle East or perhaps – despite the denial of unnamed Clinton aides – a promise to regional allies of a US nuclear strike on Iran if it ever launched an atomic weapon.****Given this wimpish administration, and one that doesn't honor its own promises, such a promise is vacuous.**** A promise of US nuclear reprisal against Iran would be similar to the "mutual assured destruction" strategy used to contain the Soviet Union. And it would mirror the "nuclear umbrella" the US now provides NATO allies as well as Japan and South Korea.
If the US is no longer hopeful about its diplomatic means to persuade Iran to shelve or abandon its nuclear ambition, that could make Israel all the more trigger-happy to take out Iran's nuclear facilities with a military strike. The likely result? A Middle East engulfed in war.
Israel isn't ready to accept an Iran with nuclear capability, as Obama may be. Israel's very existence is at stake, especially when Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, says Israel should not even exist.
There are other ricochets from Mrs. Clinton's bombshell. Even if the US sets up a nuclear umbrella over Iran's jittery neighbors, such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Iran might be willing to risk American nuclear retaliation. After all, the ruling Islamic mullahs in Iran are driven in part by a messianic Shiite theology, one that supports suicide bombers striking civilians. The regime's founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, once said: "Let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world." And the current "supreme" leader, Ali Khamenei, is willing to kill his own people when they peacefully protest a flawed election.
A US umbrella may seem like a good idea on paper. A nuclear-armed Iran could lead to a Middle East arms race, which Mr. Obama warns would be "a recipe for potential disaster." An American nuclear shield might seem to help persuade Arab nations not to develop nuclear weapons.
But if Obama is at all serious about such an umbrella, he would have to implement it immediately – well before Iran comes close to weaponizing its enriched uranium. And such a long-range military commitment would need to have wide bipartisan support in Congress to convince Arab states that the US would be ready for nuclear retaliation for years to come.Both requirements are unlikely to happen soon, if at all.
Instead, Obama needs to step up diplomatic pressure on Iran (and its enablers Russia and China). A bill in Congress would cut off a vital import – gasoline – for Iran's economy. Tougher sanctions, combined with a wider diplomatic front of nations, is the best way to talk down Iran from endangering the Middle East.
And loose talk of risky alternatives needs to end.****Although the pacifist CSM ends on a non sequitur, even liberal consternation is apparent.****
Hillary's recent performance in India was, likewise, negatively impressive. She got nothing, got a lesson she might not assimilate, and attacked American capitalism, for no apparent good reason.
Listening to India A lesson for Hillary on climate change.President Obama bills himself on the world stage as an empathetic guy, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is a veteran of a famous “listening tour” of her own. Let’s hope the Administration was paying attention to India’s environment minister when he told Mrs. Clinton a thing or two about climate policy Sunday...

An important insight into the Cambridge-Gates affair that Obama lack/ed/s
Commentary: Obama's rush to judgment on police
By Maria (Maki) a professor of Police Science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. She has served in the Israeli Defense Forces and the Israel National Police, and worked for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as a special consultant. From 1997 through 2001, she was a member of a research team, sponsored by the National Institute of Justice, studying police integrity in three major police departments in the United States. She is the author of "Critical Issues in Police Training" (2002) and co-author of "Enhancing Police Integrity" (2006).
* Maria Haberfeld: President Obama said police acted stupidly in arresting professor
* She says act could be viewed as result of officers' awareness of potential danger
* She says officers arrive at such scenes with heightened sense of danger
NEW YORK (CNN) -- We teach our children to think about what others feel before they act, but as grown-ups we frequently assume we understand what others do without ever having walked in their shoes. President Obama expressed his opinion about a police officer's interaction with Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates. "The Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home," the president said.
Was it stupid behavior or was it an understandable result of police procedure -- the culture, or rather sub-culture, of this profession. People depend on police in a time of trouble but are quicker than lightning to judge harshly when things go wrong. But the most important question in this case is: Did they go wrong?
One needs to understand that the interaction between a police officer and a suspect is just part of a larger context.When a neighbor calls the police to report a burglary in progress and a police officer is dispatched to respond, a decision-making process begins for the officer.Police work is about sub-cultural contexts, about war stories, about suspicion, about unpredictability, about danger and fear for one's life. Police officers make their decisions based not just on a given situation but also based on their prior experience, the experience of those they have worked with and the stories they have heard about incidents that happened in the past.A call to respond to a burglary in progress generates a series of images that prepare a police officer for an encounter -- a dangerous encounter that can possibly end with a loss of life.
Not long ago one of my students, an officer in the New York Police Department, was killed trying to stop a robbery in progress. Police officers hear about these stories and unlike the members of the public who forget a story, no matter how sensational within a day or two, police officers carry these stories as their secret weapons. This is part of their armor. An officer responding to a burglary in progress arrives at a scene with a heightened sense of danger, anxious and ready to go into fighting mode.
Yes, the professor identified himself as a legitimate occupant of the premises. However, he was not arrested for trespassing. He was arrested for disorderly conduct.
Police officers arriving at the scene of a suspected burglary in progress do not put down their armor of suspicion just because somebody proved to them that they are the legitimate occupants of the dwelling.
Police encounters can become deadly when officers assume that, on the surface, everything appears to be in order. It is their sixth sense of suspicion that helps them assess the situation in a way that members of the public would not consider reasonable. It is this precise quality of suspicion that goes beyond a reasonable doubt that sets them apart from the larger public and can be understood only by the members of the force.
A person usually does not break into his own house -- it is true that it can happen, and it apparently did in this case -- but this is not a standard behavior that, once explained to the officer, should mandate an automatic approach to put down your guard. ****For example, how did the officer know whether or not someone was holding a gun on Prof. Gates, advising him to send the officer away? The ads for Brinks Security Systems are, likewise, foolish. Someone calls to ask if everything is all right. Suppose someone who broke in is holding a gun on the telephone responder having advised to tell the caller everything is OK. ****
The officers look at the scene of the event they were called to as their domain, their turf, their territory, where some order has been disturbed and they were called to restore it. A famous police scholar, Egon Bittner, once wrote that we call the police when "something ought not to be happening about which something ought to be done right NOW!"
The professor may have raised his voice, and this would appear now as justifiable under the circumstances. But, when somebody challenges the authority or the domain of a police officer who was just called to restore order, the discretionary process of the officer is not the same as that of a bystander.
The professor seemingly lost his temper. One might say that this is fine, given the circumstances. The police officer did not lose his temper, he just made a decision that might have been an outcome of an error of judgment, or which one might say could have been justified given the totality of the circumstances.
There are over 19,000 different law enforcement agencies across the United States. Each agency has its own standard operating procedures and rules and regulations, including the ones that would appear relevant to this case. However, there are no national standards that can be applied when officers respond to a call for a burglary in progress.=Only very general standards could be applied and even then the evolving situation would dictate how officers would proceed after confronting the suspicious person. When an individual under suspicion becomes agitated, insults the officer and becomes aggressive, the majority of police departments would allow the officer to make an arrest.
I was not there. Neither was the president nor all the others who are quick to pass judgment. What went on in the officer's head is something that I can only guess but, based on over 30 years of experience in the doing, teaching and studying of the police profession, I would venture to say that race had nothing to do with the behavior displayed and that the sub-culture of police work dictated the action, more than any possible bias or prejudice.
I do believe that racial profiling exists in the minds of many -- not just police officers but also regular citizens. But police departments around the country are working very hard to fight these ill-conceived notions and, in recent years their diversity recruitment and selection processes, paired with modules in sensitivity and multicultural training, have had an impact.****The very officer, Sgt Crowley, has been recruited to give courses on racial sensitivity and profiling to other officers. The immediate charges of racial profiling would seem vacuous. Gates, on the other hand, noted not for physics or mathematics but for African-American Studies, would possibly benefit from publicity concerning his (further)accusatios of racial bias and profiling, about which his reputation was built. ****

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Maria Haberfeld.

A professor of police science on Obama's rush to judgment.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A conclusion reached without information is unchanged ...he asserts.

Obama calls arrest of Harvard scholar unnecessaryWASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is standing by his assertion that police did not need to arrest a Harvard scholar who was trying to get into his own home.Obama said in an interview with ABC that he has "extraordinary respect" for the challenges and hardships that law enforcement officers face every day in their line of work. But at the same time he said he didn't think it was necessary to arrest Henry Louis Gates Jr.Obama said "cooler heads should have prevailed" in the incident. But he did not retract his initial statement that he thought police had "acted stupidly" and said such incidents "get elevated in ways that probably don't make much sense." ****Of course, FEW arrests are NECESSARY, and "disturbing the peace" is not well-defined but the bland assertion that racial profiling was necessarily involved was clearly over the top and still is if that quick judgment still stands.****
Friends and police rally behind Sgt. James Crowley, who arrested Harvard professorBy Associated Press
The white police sergeant accused of racial profiling after he arrested renowned black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. in his home was hand-picked by a black police commissioner to teach recruits about avoiding racial profiling.Friends and fellow officers black and white say Sgt. James a principled cop and family man who is being unfairly described as racist."If people are looking for a guy who's abusive or arrogant, they got the wrong guy," said Andy Meyer, of Natick, who has vacationed with Crowley, coached youth sports with him and is his teammate on a men's softball team. "This is not a racist, rogue cop. This is a fine, upstanding man. And if every cop in the world were like him, it would be a better place."
Gates accused the 11-year department veteran of being an unyielding, race-baiting authoritarian after Crowley arrested and charged him with disorderly conduct last week. Crowley confronted Gates in his home after a woman passing by summoned police for a possible burglary. The sergeant said he arrested Gates after the scholar repeatedly accused him of racism and made derogatory remarks about his mother, allegations the professor challenges. Gates has labeled Crowley a "rogue cop," demanded an apology and said he may sue the police department.On Wednesday, President Barack Obama elevated the dispute, when he said Cambridge Police "acted stupidly" during the encounter.
Obama stepped back yesterday, telling ABC News, "From what I can tell, the sergeant who was involved is an outstanding police officer, but my suspicion is probably that it would have been better if cooler heads had prevailed." Crowley...has said he has no reason to apologize and, yesterday, told a radio station Obama went too far.
"I support the president of the United States 110 percent," he told WBZ-AM. "I think he was way off base wading into a local issue without knowing all the facts, as he himself stated before he made that comment."...Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert Haas...said yesterday that Crowley was a decorated officer who followed procedure. The department is putting together an independent panel to review the arrest, but Haas said he did not think the whole story had been told."Sgt. Crowley is a stellar member of this department. I rely on his judgment every day. ... I don't consider him a rogue cop in any way," Haas said. "I think he basically did the best in the situation that was presented to him."But Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, once the top civil rights official in the Clinton administration and now, like Obama, the first black to hold his job, labeled the arrest "every black man's nightmare."The governor told reporters: "You ought to be able to raise your voice in your own house without risk of arrest."****Now Deval Patrick chimes in with a jaundiced summary of events.****Those who know the 42-year-old Crowley say is calm, reliable and committed to everyday interests like playing softball and coaching...Dan Keefe, a town parks official who knows Crowley from his work coaching youth swim, softball, basketball and baseball teams, said: "I would give him my daughter to coach in a blink of an eye, and I can't say any stronger opinion than that."...He joined the Cambridge Police Department about 11 years ago and oversees the evidence room, records unit and paid police details.For five of the past six years, Crowley also has volunteered alongside a black colleague in teaching 60 cadets per year about how to avoid targeting suspects merely because of their race, and how to respond to an array of scenarios they might encounter on the beat. Thomas Fleming, director of the Lowell Police Academy, said Crowley was asked by former police Lowell Commissioner Ronny Watson, who is black, to be an instructor."I have nothing but the highest respect for him as a police officer. He is very professional and he is a good role model for the young recruits in the police academy," Fleming said....He was a campus cop at Brandeis University in Waltham when he was summoned to the school gymnasium in July 1993 after Boston Celtics player Reggie Lewis collapsed of an apparent heart attack. Crowley, also a trained emergency medical technician, not only pumped the local legend's chest, but put his mouth to Lewis' own and attempted to breathe life back into the fallen athlete... ****Perhaps more focus should be put on Gates and HIS motivations for his participation in this incident. He is not merely an "African-American scholar": he is a professor of AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDIES and one might be permitted to speculate that his "field" includes much discussion of racial profiling, police abuse, etc meaning that he could be considered to have a vested interest in making a fuss like this and, even, getting arrested for the publicity he got.*****

Thursday, July 23, 2009

This is the "negotiating partner" Israel is to be forced to deal with?

'Fatah has never recognized Israel' Khaled Abu Toameh , THE JERUSALEM POST
Fatah has never recognized Israel's right to exist and it has no intention of ever doing so, a veteran senior leader of the Western-backed faction said on Wednesday.
Rafik Natsheh, member of the Fatah Central Committee who also serves as chairman of the faction's disciplinary "court," is the second senior official in recent months to make similar statements regarding Israel.Natsheh is also a former minister in the Palestinian Authority government who briefly served as Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council.Earlier this year, Muhammad Dahlan, another top Fatah figure, said that Fatah had never recognized Israel's right to exist despite the fact that it is the largest faction in the PLO, which signed the Oslo Accords with Israel.****Signed agreements mean nothing in Islam ( when the counterparty is not Muslim- this according to the Koran.)***** Natsheh's remarks came days before Fatah's general assembly that is slated to take place in Bethlehem on August 4.The assembly, the first in two decades, is expected to bring some 1,500 Fatah delegates together to discuss ways of reforming the faction and holding internal elections.One of the topics on the conference's agenda is whether Fatah should formally abandon the armed struggle and recognize Israel's right to exist."Fatah does not recognize Israel's right to exist," Natsheh said, "nor have we ever asked others to do so." His comments, which appeared in an interview with Al-Quds Al-Arabi, came in response to reports according to which Fatah had asked Hamas to recognize Israel as a precondition for the establishment of a Palestinian unity government. "All these reports about recognizing Israel are false," Natsheh, who is closely associated with PA President Mahmoud Abbas, said. "It's all media nonsense. We don't ask other factions to recognize Israel because we in Fatah have never recognized Israel." Asked about calls for dropping the reference to armed struggle from Fatah's charter, Natsheh said: "Let all the collaborators [with Israel] and those who are deluding themselves hear that this will never happen. We'll meet at the conference [in Bethlehem]."Natsheh stressed that neither Fatah nor the Palestinians would ever relinquish the armed struggle against Israel "no matter how long the occupation continues." He said that Fatah, at the upcoming conference, would reiterate its adherence to the option of pursuing "all forms" of an armed struggle against Israel.
Another senior Fatah representative, Azzam al-Ahmed, confirmed that his faction would renew its pledge to pursue the armed struggle against Israel during the conference."The Fatah conference won't obliterate the "resistance option," he said."Fatah has been the target of a conspiracy to liquidate it ever since the signing of the Oslo Accords and the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority. The elimination of Fatah means the end of the revolutionary era which began in 1965 [when Fatah was founded]." He said that, more than four decades later, Fatah's main strategy and goals remain unchanged.The decision to convene the conference in Bethlehem has triggered a crisis in Fatah. Many Fatah living in Arab countries have protested Abbas's decision, saying it was inconceivable that the parley be held under "Israeli occupation." They are still demanding that the conference be held in an Arab country to avoid a situation where Israel would try to prevent some delegates from arriving in Bethlehem.Meanwhile, there is growing concern in Fatah that Hamas would not permit hundreds of Fatah activists from leaving the Gaza Strip to attend the conference. Senior Fatah officials said that the conference would be called off if Hamas stopped the Fatah members from leaving the Gaza Strip.The officials said that Fatah leaders have been talking to Syria and Egypt about the possibility that Hamas might prevent their men from traveling to the West Bank. "We made it clear to the Egyptians and Syrians that the conference would not be convened without the Fatah members from the Gaza Strip," a Fatah official in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post.

Some people are too good to pay parking tickets (until running for office!)

'Scofflaw' Obama Grudge Against Cambridge Police?One reason Barack Obama may think the Cambridge Police Department is "stupid" is that he has a grudge against the law enforcement agency.Obama, who attended Harvard Law School from 1988 to 1991, lived in Cambridge, and apparently didn't like the fact he was frequently hit with parking tickets.In all Obama received 17 tickets for parking violations -- and never paid 15 of them until he was exposed by a local Massachusetts newspaper as a scofflaw.
According to a 2007 Associated Press story, Obama was a parking ticket deadbeat for more than a decade -- and only felt the need to pay the 15 outstanding parking tickets as his presidential campaign began in earnest in 2007. Here is the Associated Press story detailing Obama's negligence:
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama got more than an education when he attended Harvard Law School in the late 1980s. He also got a healthy stack of parking tickets, most of which he never paid.The Illinois Senator shelled out $375 in January – two weeks before he officially launched his presidential campaign – to finally pay for 15 outstanding parking tickets and their associated late fees.
The story was first reported Wednesday by The Somerville News.Obama received 17 parking tickets in Cambridge between 1988 and 1991, mostly for parking in a bus stop, parking without a resident permit and failing to pay the meter, records from the Cambridge Traffic, Parking and Transportation office show.He incurred $140 in fines and $260 in late fees in Cambridge in all, but he paid $25 for two of the tickets in February 1990.Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the Obama campaign, dismissed the tickets as not relevant...