Monday, May 22, 2006

Drudge Retracts

Regarding our post based on the Matt Drudge report that Howard Dean worked to get New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin's white opponent elected in the Democratic primary, there has been a retraction, of sorts. After citing the DNC denials Drudge says:

The DRUDGE REPORT takes chairman Dean and his spokesman at their word.

I guess like which two Sundays ago posted an article that claimed that Karl Rove was going to be indicted this past week and which they later retracted with the claim that "sometimes they get too far out ahead of the news cycle," it appears that Matt Drudge was a little bit ahead of the curve himself.

The Rove piece at TruthOut, by the way, was written by an admitted liar who has a history of drug addiction and mental illness. Not exactly the sort of person whose work you would expect to be carried by a blog called TruthOut.

National Review's Top 50

National Review's Michael Long and some friends have compiled a list of the top fifty conservative rock songs ever. I didn't even know there were that many conservative rock songs but NR claims to have found them.

Each day this week they're presenting one of the top five with an explanation of why it's included. Today the have number five and I think it'll surprise you. I've often thought that this song presented a moral message somewhat out of touch with the mainstream, but I was surprised to see it in the top five, especially since I don't think of it as an instance of rock music.

Anyway, go here to see what it is and to read the rationale for ranking it so high.

Why the Border Must be Closed

This sort of behaviour is hardly likely to foster good will between the contending sides in the illegal immigration issue:

A parting gunshot from a vehicle leaving Waffle House in West Asheville, NC shattered a window and caused a minor injury, police said. The shooting happened around 3:00 a.m. Saturday after a group of whites argued with a group of Hispanics at the 24-hour restaurant on Smokey Park Highway, Asheville police Lt. Wallace Welch said.

"The two groups were jawing back and forth with each other over citizenship issues and whatnot," Welch said. As the Hispanic group drove off, someone in the vehicle fired at least once into a large window near the front door, he said.

Whether from a ricocheted bullet or flying glass, Welch said, one man's arm was bleeding when police arrived. Police were looking for a white Dodge Intrepid that left the restaurant going west.

It's not clear yet, apparently, whether the driver of the Intrepid was insured.

Anyway, perhaps more significant is a letter passed along to me by a friend. The e-mail had no link so I can't vouch for the veracity of its major claims, but that hardly seems important since they would be easy enough to check out:

My wife is in charge of the English-as-a-second-language department at large southern California high school which is designated a Title 1 school, meaning that its students average lower socio-economic and income levels. Most of the schools you are hearing about South Gate High, Bell Gardens, Huntington Park, etc., where these students are protesting are also Title 1 schools.

My wife tells me that 100% of the students in her school and other Title 1 schools are on the free breakfast, free lunch program. When I say free breakfast I'm not talking a glass of milk and roll... but a full breakfast and cereal bar with fruits and juices that would make a Marriott proud. The waste of this food is monumental, with trays and trays of it being dumped in the trash uneaten. She estimates that well over 50% of these students are obese or at least moderately overweight. About 75% or more DO have cell phones.

The school also provides day care centers for the unwed teenage pregnant girls (some as young as 13) so they can attend class without the inconvenience of having to arrange for babysitters or having family watch their kids.

She was ordered to spend $700,000 on her department or risk losing funding for the upcoming year even though there was little need for anything; her budget was already substantial. She ended up buying new computers for their computer learning center. Half of which, one month later, have been carved with graffiti by the appreciative students who obviously feel humbled and grateful to have a free education in America.

She has had to intervene several times for young and substitute teachers whose classes consist of many illegal immigrant students here in the country less then 3 months who raised so much hell with the female teachers, calling them "Putas"--whores--and throwing things that the teachers were in tears.

Free medical, free education, free food, day care etc.. etc.. etc.. Is it any wonder they feel entitled to not only be in this country but to demanding rights, privileges and entitlements?

To my bleeding-heart liberal friends who want to point out how much these illegal immigrants contribute to our society because they LIKE their gardener and housekeeper and they like to pay less for tomatoes: spend some time in the real world of illegal immigration and see the TRUE costs. Higher insurance, Medical facilities closing, higher medical , more crime , lower standards of education in our schools , overcrowding, new diseases etc.. etc.. etc.. For me--- I'll pay more for tomatoes.

We need to wake up. The guest worker program will be a disaster because we won't have the guts to enforce it. Does anyone in their right mind really think they will leave and return voluntarily?

There are many hardworking Hispanic/American citizens that contribute to our country and many that I consider my true friends. We should encourage and accept those Hispanics who have done it the right and legal way. It does, however, have everything to do with culture. A third-world culture that does not value education, that accepts children getting pregnant and dropping out of school by 15 and that refuses to assimilate... and an American culture that has become so weak and politically correct that we don't have the will to do anything about it.

It's sentiments like these, held by a majority of Republican and Democratic voters alike, that are a major reason Bush's approval numbers are so low. Our government has allowed this situation to grow progressively worse for twenty years and now that the issue has finally gained some prominence the President sounds less than credible in his assurances that he'll fix the problem. He won't, because the only problem he sees in this mess is a political one. He knows the American people want action so he'll throw a few desultory jabs and feints and hope they'll be mollified.

The refusal to do anything substantive about illegal immigration may well precipitate the downfall of the Republican party. The Democrats won't do anything either, but since they're not in power at the moment they won't be held responsible for their ineptitude by the voters. They'll just sit back and reap the benefits of a Republican party base that is disenchanted with its political leadership.

Bush's lack of genuine concern about this issue is a boon to the Democratic party.

The Democrats' Master of Strategery

Howard Dean is no Karl Rove as this Drudge Report item makes clear:

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) secretly placed political operatives in the city of New Orleans to work against the reelection efforts of incumbent Democrat Mayor Ray Nagin, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean made the decision himself to back mayoral candidate and sitting Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu (D-LA), sources reveal.

Dean came to the decision to back the white challenger, over the African-American incumbent Nagin, despite concerns amongst senior black officials in the Party that the DNC should stay neutral.

The DNC teams actively worked to defeat Nagin under the auspice of the committee's voting rights program. The party's field efforts also coincided with a national effort by Democrat contributors to support Landrieu.

Landrieu had outraised Nagin by a wide margin - $3.3 million to $541,980. Preliminary campaign finance reports indicate many of Landrieu's contributions came from out of state white Democrat leaders and financiers, including a $1,000 contribution from Sen. Ben Nelson's (D-NE) PAC.

The defeat of Mitch Landrieu is the latest setback for Dean's often criticized field operation. In his victory speech late Saturday night, Nagin praised President Bush.

"You and I have probably been the most vilified politicians in the country. But I want to thank you for moving that promise that you made in Jackson Square forward," Nagin said.

Republican candidates can take some measure of comfort in the thought that Mr. Dean is trying to do to them what he did to Ray Nagin. Meanwhile, we wonder how the media would play this story were the principals Republicans. If the RNC tried to undermine the candidacy of a black Republican mayor in order to get a white candidate elected the media would be in a frenzy. As it is there's scarcely a ripple of interest.

UPDATE: People at the DNC are claiming that Drudge's report is false. We'll see.

Title IX Running Amok

Like termites in the woodwork, our social engineers are busily gnawing away at every institution they can lay their ravenous little hands on. Christina Hoff Sommers highlights the absurdity and danger of placing bureaucratic power in the hands of ideologues:

It is common knowledge that American schoolboys are faring poorly compared with girls. The average 11th-grade boy has the writing skills of an 8th-grade girl. Boys receive a majority of the failing grades, while girls garner most of the honors.

Women earn 57% of bachelor's degrees, a gender gap that experts predict will widen. So what are the Department of Education and National Science Foundation doing about the problem of male underachievement?

Nothing. But they are conducting a review of math, physics and engineering programs at selected universities to root out supposed bias against women and girls. Their weapon is Title IX, which "is not just related to sports," says Stephanie Monroe, assistant secretary of Education for civil rights. "We're in the process right now of putting together our dockets." She assures us that these Title IX reviews are just business as usual for her department.

But why continue them in the face of massive evidence that it is now boys who are on the wrong side of the gender gap? It is still early in this new Title IX process, and any implementation would require the approval of the Bush administration. Let us hope that never happens.

For decades, feminist pressure groups have been asserting that campuses provide a "chilly climate" for women. That might have once been true, but it is not true now. Activists create the illusion of continuing bias by focusing on engineering, physics and math. It is true more men than women major in these subjects. But why blame the difference on bias?

Some history is required. Most professional schools were once unwelcoming to women. But that did not stop women from breaking down their doors. Women are approaching parity at schools of law and medicine, and they have surpassed men in biology and veterinary medicine.

Women made up only 5% of veterinary school students in the late 1960s; now, female applicants number 80%. If aspiring female cadets could storm The Citadel military school, why would would-be female mathematicians be frightened off by math geeks brandishing slide rules? Today, American women go where they want to go.

Government officials are fretting over something they cannot change. Women's relative lack of interest in electrical engineering and metallurgy is matched by men's lower participation in social work, early childhood education, psychology, languages and more. As feminist scholar Camille Paglia notes, women are less attracted to the "people-free zones." Mother Nature doesn't play by the rules of political correctness, no matter the amount of government intervention. But such government meddling could seriously reduce opportunities for men.

Title IX has removed barriers to women's participation in sports. But it has also caused great damage, in part because it has led to the adoption of a destructive quota system. Many coaches have been unable to attract equal numbers of men and women to participate. To avoid government censure, funding loss and lawsuits, they often eliminate men's teams.

In effect, to achieve the illusion of equity, men's participation in sports is being calibrated to the level of female interest. The unhappy result is that men's wrestling, diving and gymnastic teams have been decimated, along with associated scholarship opportunities.

If the Education Department and National Science Foundation were strictly to impose Title IX compliance standards on academic science, we could see men's participation in math, physics, technology and engineering capped at the level of female interest. That would wreak havoc in fields that drive the economy and where the USA already lags other countries.

Not everyone finds that prospect worrisome. Debra Rolison of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory campaigns nationally for using Title IX to eliminate bias in academic science programs. She hails the campaign as a "not-yet-realized earthquake."

Precipitating an earthquake in academic science is a terrible idea. The Education Department should put aside its dockets and get serious about improving prospects for male and female students alike.

The argument that because there is a disparity between sexes in the math/sciences that therefore there must be discrimination afoot is ludicrous. What the government needs to do is show that qualified female students tried to select these majors and were disallowed. Failing that the government should keep its meddlesome paper pushers and lawyers somewhere where they can't hurt themselves or others.

The Islamic Hour

Herb London has a column in the Washington Times that offers important insight into, among other things, the Muslim riots in Europe and the recalcitrance we see in Tehran over their nuclear weapons program:

Only two of the world's religions believe they will come to dominate global allegiance: Christianity and Islam. The Crusades lasted so long and were so bloody because these religions were at odds for what each considered worldwide dominance. With this as a backdrop, it is worth asking why there were so many riots and so much chaos across the globe over cartoons that caricatured Prophet Muhammad and every real or perceived slight against Islam. After all, in the "Divine Comedy," Dante meets Muhammad suffering in the fires of hell. The Cathedral of Bologna has shown frescoes of Muhammad in an unfavorable light for centuries. Why then the extreme reaction to seemingly innocuous events?

In my judgment, Islamic clerics have decided "the final solution," the triumph of Islam over Christendom is near. Here is the contemporary Crusades fought on a new stage. There will be many battles fought over trifling issues, an insult or perceived incident, that triggers riots.

Why now? A belief is circulating in the Islamic world that a secular West no longer has the will to resist Islamic jihad. In fact, the compromises and willingness to accommodate Islamic factions in European societies are recognized as signs of weakness. The more open and liberal the society, the more likely it is to be a target for jihad. It is not coincidental that Denmark now faces daily riots or that the Netherlands was where a filmmaker, Theo Van Gogh, was murdered on the streets. For Islamists the moment for a triumphalist campaign has arrived, a moment not unlike the jihad Muhammad launched against the three Jewish tribes in Arabia in the seventh century.

That the West considers this Islamic fanaticism a form of acting out over deplorable conditions faced by Muslims within their borders also plays to Islam's strength. Believing there must be a rational explanation for seemingly irrational behavior, Western leaders bend over backward to make accommodations. Rarely do leaders conclude the violence is fomented by religious zealotry no liberal concessions can mitigate.

The riots are aimed at breaking Western will. They are a tactic to test the fortitude of the West, to see if there is any religious devotion that can withstand the onslaught. If one considers the feeble response from European capitals, you would have to believe Islamic clerics are right. Rather than treat the riots as a frontal attack on Christianity, most leaders describe the incidents as aberrational, a function of high unemployment rates or poor housing conditions. Blinded by their liberalism, they cannot appreciate the nature of the assault.

I have heard European analysts say that the rantings of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should not be taken literally. But as I see it that is precisely what we should be doing. His call for martyrdom is in fact a plea for Armageddon. What he says is precisely what the mullahs believe. With Europe now in disarray on the policy front, with Hamas installed in the Palestinian territory, with Iran on the brink of nuclear weapons acquisition, the signs for the final solution are emerging.

Though the West chooses to deny this clash of civilizations, it is here and all the economic concessions will not make it go away. In fact, any concession is perceived as a reward for violence. There is a civilizational fatwa metastasizing around the globe in mosques from Hamburg to Tehran, from Nablus to Malmo and from the streets of Copenhagen to the streets of Islamabad. For Muslims, jihad is in the air and the more it manifests itself in orchestrated street theater, the more it will show the weakness of Christianity.

This is fast becoming the test of our age; the challenge to our civilization is now well into Act 1 of a three-act play. How it unfolds remains to be seen. But if the West cannot marshall the spiritual strength to resist, these contemporary Crusades will assuredly end in disaster.

We might add that the West is hoping that it can negotiate with the Islamic world about things like nuclear weapons, but such negotiations are doomed to fail. Negotiations are predicated on compromise and religious fanatics believe compromise, especially with infidels, to be the very worst sin they could commit. They are doing Allah's bidding, and thus they must stand firm and let Allah handle the consequences.

There is only one way to negotiate with fanatics like Ahmedinejad and that is through fear, intimidation, and strength. If Tehran believes for a minute that the U.S. lacks the will to take out its nuclear program the continuation of that program will be a certainty, and allowing nukes to fall into the hands of a man who believes he is called by God to bring about the end of the present world would be a disaster of unprecedented proportions.

Out on a Limb

I'm going to go out on a limb and state my theory - which I'm sure a lot of others share as well - as to what happened that night in Durham when the Duke Lacrosse team hired a dancer to entertain them. I suspect that there was a dispute over the terms of employment, the boys wanted more from her than she wanted to provide. Voices were raised, names were called, including the dreaded racial slurs, and she decided that she would retaliate by falsely accusing them of something that would pretty much wreck their lives.

The Duke athletes are certainly guilty of being swinish, but the allegation of rape grows thinner and thinner by the day. Nobody in this case is looking good. Not the boys, not the alleged victim, and certainly not the District Attorney, who seems determined to sacrifice these boys' lives on the altar of his political ambitions.