Thursday, March 05, 2015
By Nicholas Stix
When I was a teenager, I used to religiously read the late movie critic Andrew Sarris in The Village Voice. Sarris used to periodically kill off living movie stars, whom he would commemorate in his year-end round-up. Thus did Sarris kill off, 40 or so years ago, both Jean Simmons about 35 years before her time, and Louis Jourdan, about 40 years before his.
My two main memories of Jourdan were the time he played the arrogant guest heavy on Columbo (he was about 50, but still looked great), and of course, Gigi, which I watched, probably for the second time, with my chief of research about a year ago.
Gigi from Gigi
Music by Frederick Lowe
Lyrics by Allan Jay Lerner
Gigi, am I a fool without a mind,
Or have I merely been too blind to realize?
Oh Gigi, why you've been growin' up
Before my very eyes.
Gigi, you're not at all
The funny awkward little girl I knew,
Oh no, overnight there's been
A breathless change in you.
Gigi, why you were tremblin' on the brink,
Was I out yonder somewhere blinkin' at a star?
Oh Gigi, have I been standin'
Up too close, or back too far?
When did your sparkle turn to fire,
And your warmth become desire?
Oh, what miracle has made you
The way you are?
Oh Gigi, have I been standin'
Up too close or back too far?
When did your sparkle turn to fire,
And your warmth become desire?
Oh, what miracle has made you
The way you are?
In Ferguson, Violent, Criminal, Racist Parents of Failed, Aspiring Cop-Killer Mike Brown are Suing for Officer Darren Wilson’s Refusal to Die
By Nicholas Stix
“Michael Brown's parents will file suit over fatal police shooting, attorneys say”:
At the Post-Dispatch.
Via Christine Byers @ChristineDByers 10m10 minutes ago, to whom I tweeted:
In a just world, not only would they face felony charges, but the police would be suing them!
Breaking News: Possible Mass Murder in San Bernardino: 4 Shot, 2 Dead, and 2 More Not Expected to Make It
“Two people were shot to death and two others were not expected to survive gunshot wounds suffered in a clash early Wednesday outside Stinger’s Bar & Nightclub and a nearby gas station in San Bernardino.”
At the Press-Enterprise.
By Nicholas Stix
At Ex-Army Libertarian Nationalist.
MSM Declare War on Mets’ Daniel Murphy, for Talking Like a Normal Man About New Political Officer in Charge of Queering Baseball, Billy Bean; They are Promoting Sick Notion that Murphy is a Pervert, but Bean is Perfectly Normal!
“New York Mets infielder Daniel Murphy made some controversial comments about homosexuals…”
Daniel Murphy didn’t make any controversial comments; he made normal comments. Adam Wells, on the other hand, is despicable.
Speaking to reporters, via Mike Vorkunov of NJ.com, Murphy said he would have no problem getting to know Bean even though he doesn't agree with the lifestyle:
I disagree with his lifestyle. I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual. That doesn't mean I can't still invest in him and get to know him.
Why should Murphy have to have anything at all to do with Bean?
The typical sportswriter today is not a sports fan, but rather a political hack.
Daniel Murphy Comments on Billy Bean, Potential of Gay Teammate
By Adam Wells , Featured Columnist
Mar 4, 2015
New York Mets infielder Daniel Murphy made some controversial comments about homosexuals in regard to the team bringing in Billy Bean, who is serving as Major League Baseball's inclusion ambassador and is one of two former big leaguers who have come out as gay.
Speaking to reporters, via Mike Vorkunov of NJ.com, Murphy said he would have no problem getting to know Bean even though he doesn't agree with the lifestyle:
I disagree with his lifestyle. I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual. That doesn't mean I can't still invest in him and get to know him. I don't think the fact that someone is a homosexual should completely shut the door on investing in them in a relational aspect. Getting to know him. That, I would say, you can still accept them but I do disagree with the lifestyle, 100 percent.
Murphy, who the article notes is a devout Christian, said his religious beliefs are such that "we love the people. We disagree (with) the lifestyle."
After reading his comments, I appreciate that Daniel spoke his truth. I really do. I was visiting his team, and a reporter asked his opinion about me. He was brave to share his feelings, and it made me want to work harder and be a better example that someday might allow him to view things from my perspective, if only for just a moment.
I respect him, and I want everyone to know that he was respectful of me. We have baseball in common, and for now, that might be the only thing. But it's a start.
The silver lining in his comments are that he would be open to investing in a relationship with a teammate, even if he "disagrees" with the lifestyle. It may not be perfect, but I do see him making an effort to reconcile his religious beliefs with his interpretation of the word lifestyle. It took me 32 years to fully accept my sexual orientation, so it would be hypocritical of me to not be patient with others.
Bean spent parts of six seasons in the big leagues from 1987-1995, appearing in 272 games with Detroit, Los Angeles and San Diego. His role with MLB is to cultivate an environment that would respectfully accept an openly gay person if they decide to come out with their sexuality.
Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer is quoted in the same article as saying that he thinks baseball "would be willing to accept" anyone if they are good at their job. He thinks what happens away from the field "doesn't matter."
Murphy's comments are going to bring back the debate about how willing and able sports teams, or at least a baseball team, are to accept a gay athlete. It's a topic that's led to a lot of passionate debates and arguments for a long time, and one that doesn't appear to be ending.
As Jared Taylor’s talk below notes, the Ferguson report by the Justice Department’s Criminal Division found that Darren Wilson was a diligent, honest policeman who told the truth about his fatal encounter with racist, would-be cop-killer Mike Brown.
However, as Steve Sailer’s blog articles have noted, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division report on Ferguson asserted that the Brown incident was caused by the Ferguson PD’s years of targeting black motorists for stops and fines. The CRD even had to lie about the fines, since it turns out that the FPD raised one-third or less per year from fines on drivers than other local police departments.
The CRD report and Holder’s threat to sue the FPD into the poorhouse are acts of retaliation and racist rage, because heroic white policeman Darren Wilson refused to accept his duty to die, or Mike Brown’s license to kill.
Just as America has never had a “Barack Obama” to contend with, except at the level of, say a church service or Nation of Islam convention, it has never dealt with the likes of an Eric Holder.
However, there is some good news in all this: I had expected to find that Holder/Obama had effected a gleichschaltung on the entire DOJ, bringing all departments down to the level of the corrupt, black supremacist, Civil Rights Division. However, if the Brown Report is any indication, the Criminal Division has had some success in resisting Holder.
A portrait of the curmudgeon as a young sourpuss
By Nicholas Stix
That conference [in January, 1974] occurred in the middle of the Watergate scandal. If you think things look bad now, right-wingers, imagine how it looked back then. Conservatives were already livid over President Nixon’s wage and price controls, and then got hit with stories about members of the Nixon administration breaking into Democrat headquarters and burglarizing the psychiatrist’s office of Pentagon Papers-leaker Daniel Ellsberg.
Stan confessed to the CPAC conferees that he never liked Nixon until Watergate. He apologized to Nixon speechwriter, Pat Buchanan, saying he wouldn’t have been so tough on the administration if he’d known about “all that great stuff you guys were doing.”
Wednesday, March 04, 2015
For Some Athletes, Courses with No Classes
By Pete Thamel
July 13, 2006
New York Times
A graphic popped up on James Gundlach’s television during an Auburn football game in the fall of 2004, and he could not believe his eyes.
One of the university’s prominent football players was being honored as a scholar athlete for his work as a sociology major. Professor Gundlach, the director of the Auburn sociology department, had never had the player in class. He asked the two other full-time sociology professors about the player, and they could not recall having had him either.
So Professor Gundlach looked at the player’s academic files, which led him to the discovery that many Auburn athletes were receiving high grades from the same professor for sociology and criminology courses that required no attendance and little work.
Eighteen members of the 2004 Auburn football team, which went undefeated and finished No. 2 in the nation, took a combined 97 hours of the courses during their careers. The offerings resemble independent study and include core subjects like statistics, theory and methods, which normally require class instruction.
The professor for those players and many other athletes was Thomas Petee, the sociology department’s highest-ranking member. The star running back Carnell (Cadillac) Williams, now playing in the National Football League, said the only two classes he took during the spring semester of his senior year were one-on-one courses with Professor Petee.
At one point, Professor Petee was carrying the workload of more than three and a half professors, an academic schedule that his colleagues said no one could legitimately handle.
“It was a lot of work,” Professor Petee said. “And I basically wore myself out.”
Colleges have long offered easy courses, and athletes are by no means the only ones to sign up. Under new National Collegiate Athletic Association rules, however, colleges whose athletes do not meet academic standards can be penalized, sometimes by having their number of athletic scholarships reduced. That change is intended to help ensure that student athletes receive a legitimate education. But it can also increase the pressure on colleges to find ways to keep athletes from failing.
In Auburn’s case, the sociology department and one of its leaders became just the ticket.
Auburn, a public university in eastern Alabama with more than 23,000 students, has a storied football tradition. The team won a national championship in 1957 and has a track record of producing professional players, most notably the football and baseball star Bo Jackson.
Professor Petee’s directed-reading classes, which nonathletes took as well, helped athletes in several sports improve their grade-point averages and preserve their athletic eligibility. A number of athletes took more than one class with Professor Petee over their careers: one athlete took seven such courses, three athletes took six, five took five and eight took four, according to records compiled by Professor Gundlach. He also found that more than a quarter of the students in Professor Petee’s directed-reading courses were athletes. (Professor Gundlach could not provide specific names because of student privacy laws.)
The Auburn football team’s performance in the N.C.A.A.’s new rankings of student athletes’ academic progress surprised many educators on and off campus. The team had the highest ranking of any Division I-A public university among college football’s six major conferences. Over all among Division I-A football programs, Auburn trailed only Stanford, Navy and Boston College and finished just ahead of Duke.
Among those caught off guard by Auburn’s performance was Gordon Gee, the chancellor of Vanderbilt, a fellow university in the Southeastern Conference and the only private institution. Vanderbilt had an 88 percent graduation rate in 2004, compared with Auburn’s 48 percent, yet finished well behind Auburn in the new N.C.A.A. rankings.
“It was a little surprising because our graduation rates are so much higher,” Mr. Gee said. “I’m not quite certain I understood that.”
The N.C.A.A. cannot comment on specific academic cases. But when asked how much 18 players taking 97 credit hours could affect a football team’s academic standing, Thomas S. Paskus, the N.C.A.A.’s principal research scientist, said it would be likely to lift the number. He added that it would be difficult to gauge how much the classes helped the academic ranking.
In the spring of 2005, Professor Gundlach confronted Professor Petee, to whom he reports, about the proliferation of directed-reading courses. That spring, the university’s administration told Professor Petee he was carrying too many of the classes. Far fewer have been offered since.
The availability of better grades for some athletes who did not attend class did not surprise professors who said Auburn sometimes emphasizes athletics at any cost. In December 2003, the university was placed on probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, partly because of concerns about whether trustees had too much involvement in the athletic department.
The N.C.A.A. has cited Auburn through the years for seven major infractions, the most of any university in the Southeastern Conference and among the most in the nation.
The sociology department became “a dumping ground for athletes,” according to one sociology professor, Paul Starr. That did not bother Professor Gundlach as much as what he viewed as the university administration’s apathy toward Professor Petee’s academic approach.
Professor Gundlach took the case to John Heilman, a university administrator who would soon become Auburn’s provost. He included paperwork showing that Professor Petee taught more than 250 students individually during the 2004-5 academic year. He also provided Mr. Heilman with examples of how prominent athletes had cut academic corners.
“It was at that point that I figured the corruption runs the full gantlet of the administration,” Professor Gundlach said. “We were getting sociology majors graduating without taking sociology classes. I’m a director of a program putting out people who I know more than likely don’t deserve a degree.”
After Professor Gundlach turned over many of his findings to The New York Times and a reporter began questioning administrators two months ago, the provost’s office began an investigation. Mr. Heilman said today in a prepared statement that the investigation began on June 5 after an anonymous complaint was submitted.
In a separate statement today, Edward Richardson, Auburn’s interim president, said, “I want to assure everyone associated with Auburn that upon completion of the investigation we will deal with this issue as we have dealt with other challenges — directly and openly.”
In a telephone interview, Mr. Heilman refused to comment on Professor Petee’s courses, saying he could talk only about what had happened since he had become provost.
“I can assure you as provost that academic misconduct will not be tolerated at Auburn University,” Mr. Heilman said in his statement today.
Professor Petee denied that he favored athletes, saying there were only “a handful of them” in his directed readings. He said nothing was unethical about the number of courses he taught, though other professors viewed his workload as unprecedented and unmanageable.
Upping the Average
The Auburn football team appeared to be the biggest benefactor of Professor Petee’s directed-reading offerings.
The 18 football players received an average G.P.A. of 3.31 in the classes, according to statistics compiled by Professor Gundlach. In all of their other credit hours at Auburn, their average was 2.14.
“He’s the kind of teacher that, you know, he wants to help you out, not just pile a lot of stuff on you,” said Carlos Rogers, a former sociology major and defensive back who left the university early and now plays in the N.F.L. for the Washington Redskins.
Mr. Williams said one of the two directed-reading courses he took with Professor Petee during the spring of 2005 was a statistics class.
Asked if that course, considered the most difficult in the sociology major, was available to regular students as a directed reading, Professor Petee said, “No, not usually.”
Mr. Williams described the class this way: “You’re just studying different kinds of math. It’s one of those things where you write a report about the different theories and things like that.”
He said that Virgil Starks, the director of Student Athlete Support Services at Auburn, set up the courses. Mr. Starks said scheduling was not his responsibility but that of the dean’s office. Mr. Williams said he appreciated the convenience of the two courses, because he was traveling around the country auditioning for N.F.L. teams at the time.
“I didn’t do nothing illegal or anything like that,” he said when told that Professor Petee was under investigation. “My work was good. It was definitely real work.”
Mr. Williams said Professor Petee asked him to autograph a football once when they met in his office. (Among the sports memorabilia in Professor Petee’s office is an autographed Auburn football.) “To be honest with you, if they think that’s a problem, they need to investigate all the teachers at Auburn,” Mr. Williams said.
Mr. Williams, who now plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, had already completed his football eligibility at Auburn. He was a B student, according to Professor Petee. But Professor Petee also acknowledged that by taking those two classes, Mr. Williams helped boost Auburn’s standing in the academic rankings. He left Auburn six credits short of graduating.
The academic journey of the former Auburn defensive end Doug Langenfeld illustrates how Professor Petee and the athletic department helped athletes remain eligible.
When Mr. Langenfeld arrived at Auburn in 2003 from a junior college in California, he wanted to major in nursing. To do so would have required him to take a heavy load of 21 credits his first semester. Instead, he said, Mr. Starks suggested he major in sociology. Mr. Langenfeld asked for advice from Mr. Williams, who claimed that the major was “easy if you studied.”
In the fall of 2004, Mr. Langenfeld found himself in an academic bind. More than two months into the fall semester, he realized that he had been attending the wrong class because of a scheduling error. Mr. Langenfeld approached Professor Gundlach about adding a class, but Professor Gundlach said he could not help him because it was too late in the semester.
Mr. Langenfeld then went to his academic counselor in the athletic department, Brett Wohlers, with a plea: “I got dropped from a class and need a class to stay eligible for the bowl game,” Mr. Langenfeld recalled in a recent telephone interview. “I need a class, and I’ll take any class right now. I don’t not want to play in my last bowl game.”
He said Mr. Wohlers told him about a “one-assignment class” that other players had taken and enjoyed. So in the “9th or 10th week,” Mr. Langenfeld said, he picked up a directed-reading course with Professor Petee. Semesters typically run 15 weeks.
Mr. Langenfeld said he had to read one book, but he could not recall the title. He said he was required to hand in a 10-page paper on the book. Between picking up the class and handing in the paper, he said, he met several times with Professor Petee in his office.
“I got a B in the class,” said Mr. Langenfeld, who started in the Sugar Bowl against Virginia Tech. “That was a good choice for me.”
Mr. Wohlers said he did not recall Mr. Langenfeld’s situation. He said he was familiar with Professor Petee but denied seeking him out to place athletes in his classes.
Professors around the university said they saw Mr. Langenfeld’s late-semester rescue as inappropriate. When told of Mr. Langenfeld’s situation, David Cicci, the chair-elect of Auburn’s faculty senate, said: “From my point of view, that’s not much work for three credit hours. It’s an awful lot of credits for reading one book.”
To get in a class that late in the semester requires the signature of the interim department chair, Professor Petee, and the dean of the college. The dean at the time, Joseph Ansell, died in late June after a battle with cancer.
Peggy Kirby, who recently retired as the director of student services in the dean’s office, said that the dean typically trusted what was put in front of him for approval.
The senior associate director for admissions and records at Auburn, Louis E. Jimenez, said that a situation in which a student adds a class as late as Mr. Langenfeld did usually only happens once or twice a semester, if at all. “It’s very unusual,” he said.
Confrontation and Change
At a heated faculty meeting in the spring of 2005, Professor Gundlach challenged Professor Petee.
The number of directed readings that Professor Petee offered had jumped to 152 in the spring of 2005, from 120 in the fall of 2004. Professor Gundlach described them as “fake courses” and said they were undermining the department’s integrity.
Professor Petee offered 15 different courses as directed readings both semesters, along with teaching regular courses. His full-time-equivalent number on his teaching schedule for the fall of 2004 was 3.5, or the workload of three and a half professors. In the spring, it rose to 3.67. He was not compensated for the extra work.
The numbers included his in-classroom teachings and directed readings, but they did not include the time commitment for his responsibilities as interim department chair. The chair of the philosophy department, Kelly Jolley, said in a telephone interview that it would be unusual for someone in his department to teach 10 directed readings. As for more than 100?
“Speaking relative to my own department standards, there would be no way,” Mr. Jolley said. “It couldn’t be done. I don’t know anyone here, given their regular teaching load, who could hope to do so.”
Cal Clark, the director of Auburn’s public administration major, said one of his directed readings consists of reading five or six books and a written report on each. He said he usually would teach between three and five directed readings a semester
“Maybe I’m egotistical,” Mr. Clark said. “But I thought that I did a lot.”
Professor Gundlach said that within two weeks of the contentious faculty meeting, Professor Petee erased many of the directed-reading courses offered for the next semester. That prompted a rush of dozens of students, including many athletes, to Professor Gundlach to try to sign up for directed readings. So many approached him that he posted a sign that said: “Directed readings should be viewed as an opportunity to study in an area of interest, not a way to get some hours.”
He said they would need to read at least 1,200 pages of upper-division text and could not have a history of taking easy courses.
“After I stated that kind of approach, I got only one student who wanted to do a directed reading,” Professor Gundlach said.
Also after the confrontation in the faculty meeting, Professor Petee’s grades for the football players dropped sharply. Professor Gundlach found that before the meeting, the players received 81.1 percent A’s and 16.8 percent B’s in directed-reading courses with Professor Petee. After the meeting, those numbers fell to 40.9 percent A’s and 51.7 percent B’s.
Professor Petee defended his record on directed readings, saying he provided so many because of an influx of students, a shortage of faculty and the convenience of using the Web to communicate with and teach students.
Professor Petee said that the classes were structured, even though he did not meet with the students regularly, if at all. The department office assistant at the time, Rebecca Gregory, said Professor Petee managed the work with students primarily through e-mail.
“I would give you a readings course that amounts to substantively reading the stuff,” Professor Petee said.
“You’re going to be going through the process of doing the work in the course. You’re going to have to take
exams. You’re going to have to write a paper.”
Professor Petee’s mentor, a former sociology department director, Greg Kowalski, said he considered Professor Petee like “a brother.” Still, he said, he could not find any comparable situation at Auburn in which one teacher taught so many directed-reading courses.
“I don’t think it was anything malicious or that he had anything to gain,” Mr. Kowalski said. “He’s always been a very accommodating faculty member.”
But the numbers baffled educators around the university. “I have never heard of anything of this magnitude in any discipline at any university,” Mr. Cicci said.
A Troubled Past
Auburn University has had its share of embarrassing incidents involving athletes.
In 1991, tapes of the football coach at the time, Pat Dye, talking about arranging a loan for a player were aired on “60 Minutes.” In the late 1990’s, a star tailback from two decades earlier, James Brooks, told a judge in a child-support case that he was illiterate and had used his athletic prowess to skate through high school and college. Brooks did not graduate.
In November 2003, the university president and the athletic director flew on the private plane of a booster and trustee, Bobby Lowder, to the outskirts of Louisville, Ky. They held an in-season, clandestine meeting with Bobby Petrino, the University of Louisville coach, to gauge his interest in replacing Tommy Tuberville as the head coach at Auburn. No permission was sought from Louisville, and both coaches were still under contract.
Through a spokesman, Mr. Tuberville declined to be interviewed for this article.
The news of the visit emerged, and William Walker, Auburn’s president, resigned under pressure two months later. Mr. Tuberville remained as coach and led the Tigers to a 13-0 record the next season.
Auburn admitted two football players in the fall of 2004, Lorenzo Ferguson and Ulysses Alexander, who attended University High School. That school, an investigation by The Times found, gave fast and easy grades to talented athletes. Ferguson said that during his senior year at University High his grade-point average went from to 2.6 from 2.0 in one month. Auburn defended their admission by saying that both players met N.C.A.A. standards.
Once players arrive at Auburn, they tend to find themselves clustered in the same classes.
“When you’ve got more than five or six athletes in one class, you’re guaranteed to have fun,” said Robert Johnson, a tight end who left Auburn in 2003 and now plays for the Washington Redskins. “Class is guaranteed to not be as hard as the rest of your classes, especially if you’re winning.”
Auburn was coming off its 13-0 season in the spring of 2005 when Mr. Heilman met with Professor Petee in the aftermath of Professor Gundlach’s initial accusations. Mr. Heilman refused to offer any details of their conversation. Professor Petee said: “I got chastised by the provost’s office for it. He said you’re teaching too many independent study courses to try to accommodate the students. In essence, you know, you really need to stop that practice. And I did.”
After the confrontation, Professor Petee’s directed readings dipped to 25 last fall from 152. They have remained about the same low level since. His full-time-equivalent number dropped to 1.0 from 3.67.
Mr. Heilman left Professor Petee in charge of the sociology department, something that stunned many around the university. That left the department divided, and it was what led Professor Gundlach to decide to retire after next year.
“Things have reached a point where we’re getting ready to produce more James Brooks incidents,” Professor Gundlach said. “It’s embarrassing.”
Adam Himmelsbach contributed reporting from Ashburn, Va., for this article.
Bill de Blasio: Andrew Cuomo Doesn’t Wike Me! In Planted Story, Daily News Desperately Seeks to Make Communist Mayor Loom Large, Compared to Powerhouse Governor
Re-posted by Nicholas Stix
The following article was terribly edited, if at all.
Andrew Cuomo wants to succeed where his late father Mario failed, in putting the first paisan in the White House. The socially liberal (pro-gay marriage) Cuomo’s plan is to do this through fiscal tight-fistedness, which is completely incompatible with de Blasio’s race war, cop-killer, rob-whitey politics.
Reader Joey Scarz commented,
Cuomo cant stand him! HaHaHa! I guess you shouldnt have pushed so hard for getto babysitting- I mean pre-k free for all and would have went behind cuomos back to get it! you forced his hand for state wide for fear of backlash from areas outside NYC...he isnt gonna be your buddy after that one!”
Lovett: Bill de Blasio ‘frustrated’ over harsh treatment from Andrew Cuomo
Monday, March 2, 2015, 2:30 A.M.
New York Daily News
New York Daily News Gov. Cuomo’s constant hostility has led a frustrated Mayor de Blasio to tell aides, 'I don’t know what to do.'
ALBANY — Mayor de Blasio is at his “wit’s end” over the harsh treatment he’s received from supposed good friend Gov. Cuomo since taking office, according to sources who say they spoke directly to the mayor.
De Blasio was seeking advice from people who are close to both himself and Cuomo on what he can do to improve his working relationship with a governor he believes has gone out of his way to routinely embarrass him.
“He was very direct,” one source said. “He just said, ‘I don’t know what to do. Why does he keep coming at me like this? I want it to work.’ He’s at wit’s end.”
Those close to de Blasio had hoped the two Democratic powerhouses turned a corner last May when the mayor helped deliver the liberal Working Families Party endorsement to Cuomo, who was seeking reelection, after a contentious battle.
But it’s been business as usual again so far this year. Cuomo’s office quickly poured cold water on a major housing proposal de Blasio unveiled in his recent State of the City address.
[The WFP, a black and Hispanic party, which was founded by people who considered the Democratic Party insufficiently racist, was a complete non-factor in the election. Cuomo routed Republican candidate Rob Astorino, 54-40%. The WFP provided Cuomo with a measly 120,000 votes, fewer than in 2010, and was clearly unenthusiastic in its support for the incumbent. By contrast, Cuomo got 1,949,000 votes on the Democratic Party line. Had no one voted for Cuomo on the WFP line, he still would have trounced Astorino. The Daily News is trying to make it sound as if Cuomo owed de Blasio a political debt.]
And this past week, Cuomo took the unusual step of holding a public event at the Capitol at the same time de Blasio was testifying at a nearby legislative hearing about the governor’s budget.
“He’s frustrated,” a second source said of de Blasio. “He’s trying to figure a way out of it.”
De Blasio officials deny he’s sought advice to deal with the governor.
“The mayor doesn’t waste his time worrying about personalities,” de Blasio spokesman Wiley Norvell said. “His focus is delivering for New York City, something he’s been able to achieve in Albany on priorities ranging from pre-K for all to making streets safer. We’re proud of our record working with the state.”
A Cuomo administration official said that while the governor “likes and respects the mayor … the issue is a mayor’s natural frustration that the state controls so much of the city, and the fact that the mayor proposes ideas that are just nonstarters with the Legislature.”
One Capitol insider went further, questioning the mayor’s political acumen.
Debbie Egan-Chin/New York Daily News Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo share a rare happy moment together at a Memorial Day parade in Queens in 2014. But things have gone sour for the mayor, who wants to improve his working relationship with Cuomo. [They’re inside a restaurant, not at a parade!]
De Blasio last year launched a needless war with Cuomo over charter schools last year [sic] and stuck too long to his failed demand for a tax increase on the wealthy to fund prekindergarten [sic].
This year, they say, he is pushing for authorization for permanent mayoral control over the schools at a time when the Senate Republicans are looking to do him no favors after he tried to dislodge them from power last year and after the governor proposed just a three-year extension to the existing law.
“The mayor’s issue is competence, and a year into his administration, he should be focused on breaking 50% (in the polls), not fighting losing battles in Albany,” the insider said.
De Blasio isn’t the only Democrat with Cuomo issues.
Senate Dems say they’ve had enough of what they believe has been years of major disrespect from the Democratic governor, who they say did little last year to help their failed effort to defeat the Republicans for control of the chamber.
Senate Democratic leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who has been hesitant in the past to publicly criticize Cuomo, has been less reluctant this year. The Yonkers senator recently released one statement aimed at the governor decrying the “demonizing” of teachers and another critical of his decision to allow the leader of a breakaway group of five Senate Dems aligned with the GOP majority to participate in budget talks — but not her.
Her deputy, Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens), also called out Cuomo.
“To allow cheap politics to silence the only female leader in history whose conference represents 8 million New Yorkers while arbitrarily empowering others is beyond the pale,” Gianaris said.
One political observer said Cuomo may hurt himself:
“You can run that bullying game for just so long before you’ve p---ed off enough people that it all starts to add up and there’s no one left willing to stand with you.”
At PJ Media.
By the way, some leftwing trolls are insisting that the Obamas pay for their own living expenses, and for Granny. That violates the first law of lying: plausibility. No First Family ever pays for its living expenses. We are paying for them, and for Granny, who is also getting a salary ($125,000) for a phony job. She’s probably cost taxpayers millions already. And she causes trouble, wherever she goes.
Re: Which History?
By Mark Steyn
November 26, 2008
Mark K, while I was down in Australia a while back, they had a big Education Summit going on, and the then Prime Minister, the great John Howard, used a marvelous phrase to me about how they wanted to teach Oz history – as an “heroic national narrative”. We don’t do that. In fact, we don’t teach it as any kind of coherent narrative at all. We’ve taken Cromwell’s advice to his portraitist to paint him “warts and all”, and show our kids all but solely the warts — spreading disease to Native Americans, enslaving blacks, interning the Japanese. Any non-wart stuff is mostly invented out of whole cloth: the US Constitution has its good points but they all come from the Iroquois, and the first Thanksgiving is some kind of proto-Communist celebration of collective farming.
A few months back, my little boy came home from Second Grade and said to me, “Guess what we learned today?” I said: “Rosa Parks.” He said: “How did you know that?” I said: “Because it’s always Rosa Parks.” And, if you don’t learn it in the context of any broader historical narrative, it’s just a story about municipal transit seating arrangements. Teaching only the warts is a terrible thing to do to young children. At its extreme it leads to those British Taliban captured on the battlefields of Afghanistan: Subjects of the Crown who’d been raised in English schools and taught only that the country to which they owed their nominal allegiance was the source of all the racism, oppression, colonialism, and imperialism in the world. Why be surprised that a proportion of the alumni of such a system would look elsewhere for their sense of identity?
But, even in its more benign form, warts-only education leaves a big hole where one’s cultural inheritance should be.
Stanton Evans, the journalistic giant who wrote Blacklisted by History, debunking the many lies about Tailgunner Joe McCarthy, has left us.
Evans is another one of those guys that got away, men I’d have liked to talk to, but whom I failed to get on the phone in time. But he left a rich endowment of his own works.
In 2010, Evans gave a hilarious speech, which I just finished listening to.
Media Still Embargoing All Information About Three Men Who Tried to Assassinate LAPD Cops in South Central Yesterday
Even though three suspects were arrested yesterday, all the media will say is that the would-be assassins wore “black ski masks.” No descriptions, no names, no mug shots. I just googled minutes ago.
So, you know that the would-be cop-killers aren't white, or the media would have shouted that fact form the rooftops. Of course, virtually no whites have lived in South Central for generations. (After the 1992 riots, L.A. politicos and the media tried to fool everyone by renaming the area, "South L.A.")
Back in 1992, if you heard of attacks on policemen in South Central, you automatically knew that the attackers were black, media mischief or no mischief. However, South Central has since been taken over by Hispanic illegal aliens. There are still some blacks there, however, so the attackers still might have been black. And the fatal police shooting on Sunday, March 1, of a black, illegal alien career criminal who tried to kill a cop, certainly suggests the would-be assassins would be black, rather than brown. (The man was the perfect representative of Obama’s America: He had managed to shroud both his true identity and nationality in complete mystery.)
Note, too, that the cops did not return fire. That’s really scary. Cops are letting racist thugs use them for target practice, but have either been intimidated or illegally ordered by their supervisors not to shoot back. How many more cops are political hack bosses like racist LAPD Chief Charlie Beck going to get maimed and murdered?
If you don’t want to waste your time, the speech, including John Boehner’s introduction, runs for 40 minutes, from 26:17-1:06:37. Since the whole video runs for 1:20:37, that means that there’s 40 full minutes of waste.
Streamed live on Mar 3, 2015 by PBS News Hour.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint meeting of Congress in Washington, D.C. to say that the ongoing negotations between Iran and the United States would "all but guarantee" that Tehran will get nuclear weapons.
By Terri Rupar March 3
Netanyahu addresses both houses of Congress
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke before a joint session of Congress on March 3, 2015. Here are his full remarks. (Associated Press)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is addressing a joint meeting of Congress; here is a complete transcript of his remarks.
NETANYAHU: Thank you.
... Speaker of the House John Boehner, President Pro Tem Senator Orrin Hatch, Senator Minority -- Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
I also want to acknowledge Senator, Democratic Leader Harry Reid. Harry, it's good to see you back on your feet.
I guess it's true what they say, you can't keep a good man down.
My friends, I'm deeply humbled by the opportunity to speak for a third time before the most important legislative body in the world, the U.S. Congress.
I want to thank you all for being here today. I know that my speech has been the subject of much controversy. I deeply regret that some perceive my being here as political. That was never my intention.
I want to thank you, Democrats and Republicans, for your common support for Israel, year after year, decade after decade.
I know that no matter on which side of the aisle you sit, you stand with Israel.
[READ: Republicans loved every word of Bibi's address]
The remarkable alliance between Israel and the United States has always been above politics. It must always remain above politics.
Because America and Israel, we share a common destiny, the destiny of promised lands that cherish freedom and offer hope. Israel is grateful for the support of American -- of America's people and of America's presidents, from Harry Truman to Barack Obama.
We appreciate all that President Obama has done for Israel.
Now, some of that is widely known.
Some of that is widely known, like strengthening security cooperation and intelligence sharing, opposing anti-Israel resolutions at the U.N.
Some of what the president has done for Israel is less well- known.
I called him in 2010 when we had the Carmel forest fire, and he immediately agreed to respond to my request for urgent aid.
In 2011, we had our embassy in Cairo under siege, and again, he provided vital assistance at the crucial moment.
Or his support for more missile interceptors during our operation last summer when we took on Hamas terrorists.
In each of those moments, I called the president, and he was there.
And some of what the president has done for Israel might never be known, because it touches on some of the most sensitive and strategic issues that arise between an American president and an Israeli prime minister.
But I know it, and I will always be grateful to President Obama for that support.
And Israel is grateful to you, the American Congress, for your support, for supporting us in so many ways, especially in generous military assistance and missile defense, including Iron Dome.
Last summer, millions of Israelis were protected from thousands of Hamas rockets because this capital dome helped build our Iron Dome.
Thank you, America. Thank you for everything you've done for Israel.
My friends, I've come here today because, as prime minister of Israel, I feel a profound obligation to speak to you about an issue that could well threaten the survival of my country and the future of my people: Iran's quest for nuclear weapons.
We're an ancient people. In our nearly 4,000 years of history, many have tried repeatedly to destroy the Jewish people. Tomorrow night, on the Jewish holiday of Purim, we'll read the Book of Esther. We'll read of a powerful Persian viceroy named Haman, who plotted to destroy the Jewish people some 2,500 years ago. But a courageous Jewish woman, Queen Esther, exposed the plot and gave for the Jewish people the right to defend themselves against their enemies.
The plot was foiled. Our people were saved.
Today the Jewish people face another attempt by yet another Persian potentate to destroy us. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei spews the oldest hatred, the oldest hatred of anti-Semitism with the newest technology. He tweets that Israel must be annihilated -- he tweets. You know, in Iran, there isn't exactly free Internet. But he tweets in English that Israel must be destroyed.
For those who believe that Iran threatens the Jewish state, but not the Jewish people, listen to Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, Iran's chief terrorist proxy. He said: If all the Jews gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of chasing them down around the world.
But Iran's regime is not merely a Jewish problem, any more than the Nazi regime was merely a Jewish problem. The 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis were but a fraction of the 60 million people killed in World War II. So, too, Iran's regime poses a grave threat, not only to Israel, but also the peace of the entire world. To understand just how dangerous Iran would be with nuclear weapons, we must fully understand the nature of the regime.
The people of Iran are very talented people. They're heirs to one of the world's great civilizations. But in 1979, they were hijacked by religious zealots -- religious zealots who imposed on them immediately a dark and brutal dictatorship.
That year, the zealots drafted a constitution, a new one for Iran. It directed the revolutionary guards not only to protect Iran's borders, but also to fulfill the ideological mission of jihad. The regime's founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, exhorted his followers to "export the revolution throughout the world."
I'm standing here in Washington, D.C. and the difference is so stark. America's founding document promises life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Iran's founding document pledges death, tyranny, and the pursuit of jihad. And as states are collapsing across the Middle East, Iran is charging into the void to do just that.
Iran's goons in Gaza, its lackeys in Lebanon, its revolutionary guards on the Golan Heights are clutching Israel with three tentacles of terror. Backed by Iran, Assad is slaughtering Syrians. Back by Iran, Shiite militias are rampaging through Iraq. Back by Iran, Houthis are seizing control of Yemen, threatening the strategic straits at the mouth of the Red Sea. Along with the Straits of Hormuz, that would give Iran a second choke-point on the world's oil supply.
Just last week, near Hormuz, Iran carried out a military exercise blowing up a mock U.S. aircraft carrier. That's just last week, while they're having nuclear talks with the United States. But unfortunately, for the last 36 years, Iran's attacks against the United States have been anything but mock. And the targets have been all too real.
Iran took dozens of Americans hostage in Tehran, murdered hundreds of American soldiers, Marines, in Beirut, and was responsible for killing and maiming thousands of American service men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Beyond the Middle East, Iran attacks America and its allies through its global terror network. It blew up the Jewish community center and the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires. It helped Al Qaida bomb U.S. embassies in Africa. It even attempted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador, right here in Washington, D.C.
In the Middle East, Iran now dominates four Arab capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa. And if Iran's aggression is left unchecked, more will surely follow.
So, at a time when many hope that Iran will join the community of nations, Iran is busy gobbling up the nations.
We must all stand together to stop Iran's march of conquest, subjugation and terror.
Now, two years ago, we were told to give President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif a chance to bring change and moderation to Iran. Some change! Some moderation!
Rouhani's government hangs gays, persecutes Christians, jails journalists and executes even more prisoners than before.
Last year, the same Zarif who charms Western diplomats laid a wreath at the grave of Imad Mughniyeh. Imad Mughniyeh is the terrorist mastermind who spilled more American blood than any other terrorist besides Osama bin Laden. I'd like to see someone ask him a question about that.
Iran's regime is as radical as ever, its cries of "Death to America," that same America that it calls the "Great Satan," as loud as ever.
Now, this shouldn't be surprising, because the ideology of Iran's revolutionary regime is deeply rooted in militant Islam, and that's why this regime will always be an enemy of America.
Don't be fooled. The battle between Iran and ISIS doesn't turn Iran into a friend of America.
Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam. One calls itself the Islamic Republic. The other calls itself the Islamic State. Both want to impose a militant Islamic empire first on the region and then on the entire world. They just disagree among themselves who will be the ruler of that empire.
In this deadly game of thrones, there's no place for America or for Israel, no peace for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don't share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone.
So when it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.
The difference is that ISIS is armed with butcher knives, captured weapons and YouTube, whereas Iran could soon be armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs. We must always remember -- I'll say it one more time -- the greatest dangers facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. To defeat ISIS and let Iran get nuclear weapons would be to win the battle, but lose the war. We can't let that happen.
But that, my friends, is exactly what could happen, if the deal now being negotiated is accepted by Iran. That deal will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It would all but guarantee that Iran gets those weapons, lots of them.
Let me explain why. While the final deal has not yet been signed, certain elements of any potential deal are now a matter of public record. You don't need intelligence agencies and secret information to know this. You can Google it.
Absent a dramatic change, we know for sure that any deal with Iran will include two major concessions to Iran.
The first major concession would leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure, providing it with a short break-out time to the bomb. Break-out time is the time it takes to amass enough weapons-grade uranium or plutonium for a nuclear bomb.
According to the deal, not a single nuclear facility would be demolished. Thousands of centrifuges used to enrich uranium would be left spinning. Thousands more would be temporarily disconnected, but not destroyed.
Because Iran's nuclear program would be left largely intact, Iran's break-out time would be very short -- about a year by U.S. assessment, even shorter by Israel's.
And if -- if Iran's work on advanced centrifuges, faster and faster centrifuges, is not stopped, that break-out time could still be shorter, a lot shorter.
True, certain restrictions would be imposed on Iran's nuclear program and Iran's adherence to those restrictions would be supervised by international inspectors. But here's the problem. You see, inspectors document violations; they don't stop them.
Inspectors knew when North Korea broke to the bomb, but that didn't stop anything. North Korea turned off the cameras, kicked out the inspectors. Within a few years, it got the bomb.
Now, we're warned that within five years North Korea could have an arsenal of 100 nuclear bombs.
Like North Korea, Iran, too, has defied international inspectors. It's done that on at least three separate occasions -- 2005, 2006, 2010. Like North Korea, Iran broke the locks, shut off the cameras.
Now, I know this is not gonna come a shock -- as a shock to any of you, but Iran not only defies inspectors, it also plays a pretty good game of hide-and-cheat with them.
The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency, the IAEA, said again yesterday that Iran still refuses to come clean about its military nuclear program. Iran was also caught -- caught twice, not once, twice -- operating secret nuclear facilities in Natanz and Qom, facilities that inspectors didn't even know existed.
Right now, Iran could be hiding nuclear facilities that we don't know about, the U.S. and Israel. As the former head of inspections for the IAEA said in 2013, he said, "If there's no undeclared installation today in Iran, it will be the first time in 20 years that it doesn't have one." Iran has proven time and again that it cannot be trusted. And that's why the first major concession is a source of great concern. It leaves Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure and relies on inspectors to prevent a breakout. That concession creates a real danger that Iran could get to the bomb by violating the deal.
But the second major concession creates an even greater danger that Iran could get to the bomb by keeping the deal. Because virtually all the restrictions on Iran's nuclear program will automatically expire in about a decade.
Now, a decade may seem like a long time in political life, but it's the blink of an eye in the life of a nation. It's a blink of an eye in the life of our children. We all have a responsibility to consider what will happen when Iran's nuclear capabilities are virtually unrestricted and all the sanctions will have been lifted. Iran would then be free to build a huge nuclear capacity that could product many, many nuclear bombs.
Iran's Supreme Leader says that openly. He says, Iran plans to have 190,000 centrifuges, not 6,000 or even the 19,000 that Iran has today, but 10 times that amount -- 190,000 centrifuges enriching uranium. With this massive capacity, Iran could make the fuel for an entire nuclear arsenal and this in a matter of weeks, once it makes that decision.
My long-time friend, John Kerry, Secretary of State, confirmed last week that Iran could legitimately possess that massive centrifuge capacity when the deal expires.
Now I want you to think about that. The foremost sponsor of global terrorism could be weeks away from having enough enriched uranium for an entire arsenal of nuclear weapons and this with full international legitimacy.
And by the way, if Iran's Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program is not part of the deal, and so far, Iran refuses to even put it on the negotiating table. Well, Iran could have the means to deliver that nuclear arsenal to the far-reach corners of the earth, including to every part of the United States.
So you see, my friends, this deal has two major concessions: one, leaving Iran with a vast nuclear program and two, lifting the restrictions on that program in about a decade. That's why this deal is so bad. It doesn't block Iran's path to the bomb; it paves Iran's path to the bomb.
So why would anyone make this deal? Because they hope that Iran will change for the better in the coming years, or they believe that the alternative to this deal is worse?
Well, I disagree. I don't believe that Iran's radical regime will change for the better after this deal. This regime has been in power for 36 years, and its voracious appetite for aggression grows with each passing year. This deal would wet appetite -- would only wet Iran's appetite for more.
Would Iran be less aggressive when sanctions are removed and its economy is stronger? If Iran is gobbling up four countries right now while it's under sanctions, how many more countries will Iran devour when sanctions are lifted? Would Iran fund less terrorism when it has mountains of cash with which to fund more terrorism?
Why should Iran's radical regime change for the better when it can enjoy the best of both world's: aggression abroad, prosperity at home?
This is a question that everyone asks in our region. Israel's neighbors -- Iran's neighbors know that Iran will become even more aggressive and sponsor even more terrorism when its economy is unshackled and it's been given a clear path to the bomb.
And many of these neighbors say they'll respond by racing to get nuclear weapons of their own. So this deal won't change Iran for the better; it will only change the Middle East for the worse. A deal that's supposed to prevent nuclear proliferation would instead spark a nuclear arms race in the most dangerous part of the planet.
This deal won't be a farewell to arms. It would be a farewell to arms control. And the Middle East would soon be crisscrossed by nuclear tripwires. A region where small skirmishes can trigger big wars would turn into a nuclear tinderbox.
If anyone thinks -- if anyone thinks this deal kicks the can down the road, think again. When we get down that road, we'll face a much more dangerous Iran, a Middle East littered with nuclear bombs and a countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare.
Ladies and gentlemen, I've come here today to tell you we don't have to bet the security of the world on the hope that Iran will change for the better. We don't have to gamble with our future and with our children's future.
We can insist that restrictions on Iran's nuclear program not be lifted for as long as Iran continues its aggression in the region and in the world.
Before lifting those restrictions, the world should demand that Iran do three things. First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East. Second...
Second, stop supporting terrorism around the world.
And third, stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel, the one and only Jewish state.
If the world powers are not prepared to insist that Iran change its behavior before a deal is signed, at the very least they should insist that Iran change its behavior before a deal expires.
If Iran changes its behavior, the restrictions would be lifted. If Iran doesn't change its behavior, the restrictions should not be lifted.
If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country.
My friends, what about the argument that there's no alternative to this deal, that Iran's nuclear know-how cannot be erased, that its nuclear program is so advanced that the best we can do is delay the inevitable, which is essentially what the proposed deal seeks to do?
Well, nuclear know-how without nuclear infrastructure doesn't get you very much. A racecar driver without a car can't drive. A pilot without a plan can't fly. Without thousands of centrifuges, tons of enriched uranium or heavy water facilities, Iran can't make nuclear weapons.
Iran's nuclear program can be rolled back well-beyond the current proposal by insisting on a better deal and keeping up the pressure on a very vulnerable regime, especially given the recent collapse in the price of oil.
Now, if Iran threatens to walk away from the table -- and this often happens in a Persian bazaar -- call their bluff. They'll be back, because they need the deal a lot more than you do.
And by maintaining the pressure on Iran and on those who do business with Iran, you have the power to make them need it even more.
My friends, for over a year, we've been told that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well, this is a bad deal. It's a very bad deal. We're better off without it.
Now we're being told that the only alternative to this bad deal is war. That's just not true.
The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal.
A better deal that doesn't leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure and such a short break-out time. A better deal that keeps the restrictions on Iran's nuclear program in place until Iran's aggression ends.
A better deal that won't give Iran an easy path to the bomb. A better deal that Israel and its neighbors may not like, but with which we could live, literally. And no country...
... no country has a greater stake -- no country has a greater stake than Israel in a good deal that peacefully removes this threat.
Ladies and gentlemen, history has placed us at a fateful crossroads. We must now choose between two paths. One path leads to a bad deal that will at best curtail Iran's nuclear ambitions for a while, but it will inexorably lead to a nuclear-armed Iran whose unbridled aggression will inevitably lead to war.
The second path, however difficult, could lead to a much better deal, that would prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, a nuclearized Middle East and the horrific consequences of both to all of humanity.
You don't have to read Robert Frost to know. You have to live life to know that the difficult path is usually the one less traveled, but it will make all the difference for the future of my country, the security of the Middle East and the peace of the world, the peace, we all desire.
My friend, standing up to Iran is not easy. Standing up to dark and murderous regimes never is. With us today is Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel.
Elie, your life and work inspires to give meaning to the words, "never again."
And I wish I could promise you, Elie, that the lessons of history have been learned. I can only urge the leaders of the world not to repeat the mistakes of the past.
Not to sacrifice the future for the present; not to ignore aggression in the hopes of gaining an illusory peace.
But I can guarantee you this, the days when the Jewish people remained passive in the face of genocidal enemies, those days are over.
We are no longer scattered among the nations, powerless to defend ourselves. We restored our sovereignty in our ancient home. And the soldiers who defend our home have boundless courage. For the first time in 100 generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves.
This is why -- this is why, as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.
But I know that Israel does not stand alone. I know that America stands with Israel.
I know that you stand with Israel.
You stand with Israel, because you know that the story of Israel is not only the story of the Jewish people but of the human spirit that refuses again and again to succumb to history's horrors.
Facing me right up there in the gallery, overlooking all of us in this (inaudible) chamber is the image of Moses. Moses led our people from slavery to the gates of the Promised Land.
And before the people of Israel entered the land of Israel, Moses gave us a message that has steeled our resolve for thousands of years. I leave you with his message today, (SPEAKING IN HEBREW), "Be strong and resolute, neither fear nor dread them."
My friends, may Israel and America always stand together, strong and resolute. May we neither fear nor dread the challenges ahead. May we face the future with confidence, strength and hope.
May God bless the state of Israel and may God bless the United States of America.
Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you all.
Thank you, America. Thank you.
Terri Rupar is The Post's national digital projects editor.
Racism, Illiteracy, Race Hoaxes and Illegal Affirmative Action at UCLA: Segregationists Mau-Mau Liberal, White Man Professors, with Support of Administrators (Heather Mac Donald)
I like Heather Mac Donald’s report, but with three caveats:
1. She interprets administrators’ actions refusing to defend the professors as being motivated by “fear” of provoking more protests by the racist colored students, while I see the administrators as supporting the mau-mauers out of evil;
2. She describes the mau-mauers as inadequately “prepared” for graduate school. On the contrary, during a life of racial privilege, they got all the preparation in the world. They’re not underprepared, they’re dunces. They’re being rubberstamped for jobs as professors of teacher education, a job that, if it were a legitimate scholarly field, would require an IQ of over 120, but they’re lucky if they’re in the 90s. Since teacher’s ed has no intellectual content, and is reducible to opaque jargon and imbecilic slogans, however, a colored racist with an IQ of 80 is perfectly qualified; and
3. She describes Val Rust as a sympathetic figure. What I see between the lines is that Rust is a lefty who has spent his entire career as a racial socialist, supporting rabid racism and sexism. But now, the chickens have come home to roost.
The Microaggression Farce
Heather Mac Donald
The latest campus fad, which sees racism everywhere, will create a new generation of permanent victims.
In November 2013, two dozen graduate students at the University of California at Los Angeles marched into an education class and announced a protest against its “hostile and unsafe climate for Scholars of Color.” The students had been victimized, they claimed, by racial “microaggression”—the hottest concept on campuses today, used to call out racism otherwise invisible to the naked eye. UCLA’s response to the sit-in was a travesty of justice. The education school sacrificed the reputation of a beloved and respected professor in order to placate a group of ignorant students making a specious charge of racism.
The pattern would repeat itself twice more at UCLA that fall: students would allege that they were victimized by racism, and the administration, rather than correcting the students’ misapprehension, penitently acceded to it. Colleges across the country behave no differently. As student claims of racial and gender mistreatment grow ever more unmoored from reality, campus grown-ups have abdicated their responsibility to cultivate an adult sense of perspective and common sense in their students. Instead, they are creating what tort law calls “eggshell plaintiffs”—preternaturally fragile individuals injured by the slightest collisions with life. The consequences will affect us for years to come.
UCLA education professor emeritus Val Rust was involved in multiculturalism long before the concept even existed. A pioneer in the field of comparative education, which studies different countries’ educational systems, Rust has spent over four decades mentoring students from around the world and assisting in international development efforts. He has received virtually every honor awarded by the Society of Comparative and International Education. His former students are unanimous in their praise for his compassion and integrity. “He’s been an amazing mentor to me,” says Cathryn Dhanatya, an assistant dean for research at the USC Rossiter School of Education. “I’ve never experienced anything remotely malicious or negative in terms of how he views students and how he wants them to succeed.” Rosalind Raby, director of the California Colleges for International Education, says that Rust pushes you to “reexamine your own thought processes. There is no one more sensitive to the issue of cross-cultural understanding.” A spring 2013 newsletter from UCLA’s ed school celebrated Rust’s career and featured numerous testimonials about his warmth and support for students.
It was therefore ironic that Rust’s graduate-level class in dissertation preparation was the target of student protest just a few months later—ironic, but in the fevered context of the UCLA education school, not surprising. The school, which trumpets its “social-justice” mission at every opportunity, is a cauldron of simmering racial tensions. Students specializing in “critical race theory”—an intellectually vacuous import from law schools—play the race card incessantly against their fellow students and their professors, leading to an atmosphere of nervous self-censorship. Foreign students are particularly shell-shocked by the school’s climate. “The Asians are just terrified,” says a recent graduate. “They walk into this hyper-racialized environment and have no idea what’s going on. Their attitude in class is: ‘I don’t want to talk. Please don’t make me talk!’ ”
Val Rust’s dissertation-prep class had devolved into a highly charged arena of competing victim ideologies, impenetrable to anyone outside academia. For example: Were white feminists who use “standpoint theory”—a feminist critique of allegedly male-centered epistemology—illegitimately appropriating the “testimonial” genre used by Chicana feminists to narrate their stories of oppression? Rust took little part in these “methodological” disputes—if one can describe “Chicana testimonials” as a scholarly “method”—but let the more theoretically up-to-date students hash it out among themselves. Other debates centered on the political implications of punctuation. Rust had changed a student’s capitalization of the word “indigenous” in her dissertation proposal to the lowercase, thus allegedly showing disrespect for the student’s ideological point of view. Tensions arose over Rust’s insistence that students use the more academic Chicago Manual of Style for citation format; some students felt that the less formal American Psychological Association conventions better reflected their political commitments. During one of these heated discussions, Rust reached over and patted the arm of the class’s most vociferous critical race–theory advocate to try to calm him down—a gesture typical of the physically demonstrative Rust, who is prone to hugs. The student, Kenjus Watson, dramatically jerked his arm away, as a burst of nervous energy coursed through the room.
After each of these debates, the self-professed “students of color” exchanged e-mails about their treatment by the class’s “whites.” (Asians are not considered “persons of color” on college campuses, presumably because they are academically successful.) Finally, on November 14, 2013, the class’s five “students of color,” accompanied by “students of color” from elsewhere at UCLA, as well as by reporters and photographers from the campus newspaper, made their surprise entrance into Rust’s class as a “collective statement of Resistance by Graduate Students of Color.” The protesters formed a circle around Rust and the remaining five students (one American, two Europeans, and two Asian nationals) and read aloud their “Day of Action Statement.” That statement suggests that Rust’s modest efforts to help students with their writing faced obstacles too great to overcome.
The Day of Action Statement contains hardly a sentence without some awkwardness of grammar or usage. “The silence on the repeated assailment of our work by white female colleagues, our professor’s failure to acknowledge and assuage the escalating hostility directed at the only Male of Color in this cohort, as well as his own repeated questioning of this male’s intellectual and professional decisions all support a complacency in this hostile and unsafe climate for Scholars of Color,” the manifesto asserts. The Day of Action Statement denounces the class’s “racial microaggressions,” which it claims have been “directed at our epistemologies, our intellectual rigor and to a misconstruction of the methodological genealogies that we have shared with the class.” (Though it has only caught on in recent years, the “microaggression” concept was first coined in the 1970s by a black psychiatrist.) Reaching its peroration, the statement unleashes a few more linguistic head-scratchers: “It is, at its most benign, disingenuous to the next generations of Scholars of Color to not seek material and systematic changes in this department. It is a toxic, unsafe and intellectually stifling environment at its current worse.”
The Ph.D. candidates who authored this statement are at the threshold of a career in academia—and not just any career in academia but one teaching teachers. The Day of Action Statement should have been a wake-up call to the school’s authorities—not about UCLA’s “hostile racial climate” but about their own pedagogical failure to prepare students for scholarly writing and advising. Rust is hardly the first professor to be criticized for his efforts to help students write. “Asking for better grammar is inflammatory in the school,” says an occasional T.A. “You have to give an A or you’re a racist.”
The authorities chose a different course.
As word of the sit-in spread in the press and on the Internet, the administration began its sacrifice of Rust. Dean Marcelo Suárez-Orozco sent around a pandering e-mail to faculty and students, announcing that he had become “aware of the last of a series of troubling racial climate incidents at UCLA, most recently associated with [Rust’s class]”—thus conferring legitimacy on the preposterous claim that there was anything racially “troubling” about Rust’s management of his class. Suárez-Orozco went on: “Rest assured I take this extremely seriously. I humbly dedicate myself to listening and to learning from this experience. As a community, we will work towards just, equitable, and lasting solutions. Together, we shall heal.”
Of course, the very idea of taking “this” “extremely seriously” presupposes that there was something to be taken seriously and solved, as opposed to a mere outburst of narcissistic victimhood. The administration announced that Rust would not teach the remainder of the class by himself but would be joined by three other professors, one of whom, Daniel Solórzano, was the school’s leading proponent of microaggression theory and critical race theory. This reorganization implicitly confirmed the charge that Rust was unfit to supervise “graduate students of color.”
Unsatisfied with the administration’s response, the protesters posted an online petition riddled with a new crop of grammatical puzzlers. “Students consistently report hostile classroom environments in which the effects of white supremacy, patriarchy, heteronormativity, and other forms of institutionalized oppression have manifested within the department and deride our intellectual capacity, methodological rigor, and ideological legitimacy,” limped one typical sentence.
A few weeks later, a town hall convened to discuss the Day of Action’s charge of a “hostile and toxic environment for students of Color.” Professor Solórzano presented his typology of microaggressions to explain the school’s racial tensions. Protest organizer Kenjus Watson read a long bill of particulars justifying the Day of Action. Another black student argued that no reconciliation in the school was possible because Rust had not apologized for his transgressions. Several of Rust’s faculty colleagues in the Division of Social Sciences and Comparative Education attended; none publicly defended him.
After the meeting, Rust approached the student who had berated him for not seeking forgiveness and tried to engage him in conversation. Ever naive, Rust again reached out to touch his interlocutor. The student, a large and robust young man, erupted in anger and eventually filed a criminal charge of battery against the 79-year-old professor. Rust’s employers presented him with a choice: if he agreed to stay off the education-school premises for the remainder of the academic year, they would not pursue disciplinary charges against him. The administration then sent around a letter to students, alerting them that the school would be less dangerous—for a while, at least—with Rust out of the picture.
The dean and his assistants were just warming up. They formed a committee charged with “examining all aspects of the [school’s] operations and culture from the perspective of race and ethnic relations.” Oblivious to conflicts of interest, they appointed Watson, leader of the anti-Rust protests, as “graduate student researcher” for the committee. None of the allegedly racially “hostile” students who had been penned inside the protest circle was invited to participate. Solórzano would chair the committee.
The committee’s final report unctuously thanked the student protesters for their brave stand against racial oppression: “Recently, a group of our students have courageously challenged us to reflect on how we enact [the school’s social-justice] mission in our own community. We owe these students a debt of thanks,” opened the report. Watson, in other words, was thanking himself. To laud the students as courageous is absurd: they faced no prospect of negative repercussions from their protest.
The committee said nothing about the students’ embarrassing writing skills, perhaps because it had almost as much difficulty as they did crafting clear prose: “We welcome the opportunity to step up to the leadership role that accompanies our social justice mission to work on remedying the unsafe and not brave learning spaces within our community and pledge to improving our pedagogical practices and classrooms so that all our students feel their work is valued,” the committee announced.
If UCLA were serious about preparing its graduate students for a life of scholarship, it would have rebutted the protesters’ assumption that their work should be off-limits to questions. (According to the Day of Action Statement, “the barrage of questions by white colleagues and the grammar ‘lessons’ by the professor have contributed to a hostile class climate.”) Intellectual debate is essential to the academic endeavor and in no way constitutes a “microaggression,” the administration should have said. There is no likelihood that the class discussions were motivated by racism; virtually every American student in the education school embraces its “social-justice” mission. A graduate student who defended Rust in the UCLA student newspaper opened her op-ed on the dispute with the observation that racism “is deeply embedded within the institutions that make up UCLA” before denouncing Rust’s “unjust . . . demoniz[ation] as a symbol of white male oppression.”
But the most stunning failure of the committee’s report and of the school’s leadership more generally is the unwillingness to make any public effort to rebut the students’ calumny against Rust. Surely Rust’s colleagues know that he lacks any trace of racial condescension or “hostility.” As one of his students put it: “He is pure of heart.” No more poisonous charge can be lodged against someone in today’s university than racial bias or insensitivity. Yet the education-school administration sacrificed Rust’s honor and feelings, not to mention the truth, to avoid further inflaming the protesters. This is not just a moral lapse; it is also an educational one. Rust’s “students of color” profoundly misinterpreted the dynamics of the classroom, seeing racial animus where none existed. Not only did the adults at the education school not correct the students’ misperceptions; they celebrated those students as heroes. The administration and complicit faculty have thus all but guaranteed that the protesters and their supporters will go through life lodging similar complaints against equally phantom racism and expecting a similarly laudatory response.
I asked Dean Suárez-Orozco whether his administration believes that Rust was an appropriate target of a racial protest; he refused to answer, citing through a spokesman “personnel privacy rights.” In light of the open humiliation of Rust, as well as the administration and committee’s existing public comments, it is cowardly to hide behind alleged “privacy rights” to avoid answering questions about a painfully public affair.
The closest that the administration came to acknowledging the possibility that the protesters had misconstrued the classroom dynamics was a brief passage in the Race and Ethnic Relations Committee report. According to the committee, there exists no right or wrong interpretation in alleged racial incidents—just different perspectives, each equally valid: “Any incident or experience shared by a community will always generate multiple narratives, each of which has the right to be respected and validated as an experience of events. No single version of any incident is a full explanation of a complex situation, particularly one that carries the heavy weight of issues emotionally charged by historical legacies of racism, power imbalance, and systematic abuses that often go unrecognized and without articulation in our culture.” Though the committee gave no indication that it had considered, much less “validated,” a narrative about Rust’s class that discounted the claim of racism, implicit in its invocation of “issues emotionally charged by historical legacies of racism” is the hint that there may be another side to the protesters’ portrayal of Rust’s class. That’s cold comfort, though, to Rust or anyone who cares about the truth. In fact, the committee’s seemingly evenhanded gesture of epistemological inclusiveness is even more of a moral dodge than it first appears. It lets the committee sidestep its responsibility of deciding whether the racial accusation was justified; in practice, the racism charge will always trump a denial of racism. Once such a charge is launched, every campus administration will act as if it were true and will introduce a host of measures to counteract the alleged bias.
The committee concluded by congratulating itself and the school’s leadership for identifying “the racial climate challenges that emerged in the Fall Quarter and mov[ing] quickly and decisively to address them.” The authors lacked the integrity to name these “racial climate challenges” or to specify how the school addressed them, but presumably the administration did so by cordoning off the school from Rust’s dangerous presence. The report goes on to recommend the bureaucracy inflation that is every school’s default response to racial protest: in this case, a new associate dean for equity and diversity, a permanent committee on equity and diversity, diversity training for the faculty, and a beefed-up grievance process for lodging complaints of racial discrimination, among other measures lifted directly from the protesters’ petition.
Kenjus Watson, the “only Male of Color” in Rust’s class and lead protest organizer, went on to codirect the “Intergroup dialogue program” at Los Angeles’s Occidental College the following summer. In fact, Watson has been a font of “Intergroup dialogue” across the country, the latest content-free academic fraud. “Intergroup dialogue” courses, in the words of the Occidental catalog, seek to “enhance students’ knowledge, understanding, and awareness about diversity and social justice while nurturing the development of constructive intergroup relations and leadership skills”—all for academic credit. Watson has taught “Intergroup dialogue” courses at Penn State, St. Louis University, and the University of Michigan, covering such topics as “Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Black Masculinity.” Arguably, someone who felt so offended by Rust’s arm pat—“this singling out of this Male Student of Color reached an inexcusable culmination when the professor physically shook this student’s arm in a questionable, patronizing and facetious effort to remind student of the importance of dialogue,” proclaimed the Day of Action Statement—is not the ideal candidate for promoting “constructive intergroup relations,” even if that were a legitimate academic field. But Watson has undoubtedly spread his version of “dialogue” and “social justice” to numerous receptive “Students of Color,” who will have learned to see everything through a lens of racial offense.
Barely a week after the Day of Action at the education school, a different microaggression incident convulsed UCLA’s law school. Once again, the administration failed to push back against clearly ungrounded student claims of racial injury.
UCLA law professor Richard Sander taught an enthusiastic group of students in his first-year property class in the fall of 2013. Building on that class spirit, he proposed a softball match between his students and the other first-year property-law section. Sander’s students wanted to make team T-shirts and came up with a design featuring the logo #teamsander and a picture of their professor holding a baseball bat, embellished with such property terms as “replevin” and “trover.” A few days before the tournament, half of Sander’s students wore their T-shirts to class. An e-mail storm immediately broke out among the first-year black students, charging Sander’s class with microaggression.
Sander, you see, is the progenitor of an empirically sophisticated critique of affirmative action known as mismatch theory, which holds that racial preferences in academic admissions harm their purported beneficiaries by placing them in schools for which they are inadequately prepared. The work has not endeared Sander to the academic establishment, deeply committed as it is to its role as the dispenser of racial noblesse oblige. And UCLA’s minority law students saw in the Team Sander T-shirts a racial slight against them. In the words of the school’s Diversity Action Committee on Campus Climate, the students “felt triggered” by the shirt—an au courant phrase of campus victimology meaning that the shirt had engendered traumatic recollections of other racist abuse that the students had experienced. The shirts were a manifestation of “white privilege,” according to a Facebook commenter, consistent with “racist/classist/sexist comments made inside and outside of the classroom.”
This racial interpretation was wholly fanciful. Affirmative action had never come up during Sander’s class; some of his students were undoubtedly not even aware of mismatch theory. Their choice of team name was solely an expression of gratitude for his property-law instruction. Nevertheless, the first-year black students called a meeting for the next day to discuss their response to the alleged microaggression. Several of Sander’s property-law students attended, in the hope of rebutting the idea that the T-shirt was a political statement; some of the minority students objected to their presence, and the meeting devolved into a shouting match.
Sander’s students left the T-shirts at home for the softball game, but tensions remained high. Several students notified the legal gossip blog Above the Law about the T-shirt offense, and the blog gleefully ran a series of posts about “racism” at the UCLA law school. One post included an anonymous claim from a black student that the law school no longer assigns blacks to Sander’s first-year property classes (there were none that year in his section) because taking a class taught by an opponent of racial preferences is too “awful.” The anonymous source claimed that black students wouldn’t feel comfortable seeking additional help from Sander for fear of “contributing to his research” on mismatch theory by admitting that they didn’t understand a concept. This is an understandable, if unfortunate, reaction to Sander’s work, but it’s hard to see any way around the dilemma. Sander pursues his research on racial preferences in good faith and goes where the facts lead him. He happens to be a committed liberal, passionately dedicated to racial equality, who has come to the conclusion that affirmative action impedes black academic progress. No one has ever alleged that he treats all his students with anything other than respect. In any case, the creation of the Team Sander T-shirts had nothing to do with mismatch theory.
The day after the softball game, which the first-year black students and a few others in the opposing property-law section boycotted, law school dean Rachel Moran sent an e-mail to the first-year class about the T-shirt incident and the “hurt feelings” that it had caused. Rather than rebutting the idea that the T-shirts were racially disrespectful, Moran took refuge in epistemological agnosticism. She urged students to be “respectful of one another’s feelings and open to understanding different points of view.” In theory, this is anodyne advice, but unless Moran believed that the T-shirts were justifiably viewed as a racial insult, she should have corrected the students’ misperception and helped them gain some perspective on what constitutes a true racial offense. Moreover, if T-shirts with Sander’s name and picture could legitimately be seen as an attack on black students, then Sander’s very presence on campus must also constitute an attack on black students. Moran let that possibility hang out there.
The rest of Moran’s e-mail signaled where her heart lay. She promised that her administration would “facilitate constructive conversations in safe spaces for all of our students.” This melodramatic “safety” rhetoric, deployed so promiscuously during the Rust incident (and constantly thrown around by campus feminists as well), lies at the heart of academic victimology. Any college bureaucrat who uses it has cast his lot with the fiction that his college is dangerous for minority and female students outside a few places of sanctuary.
Meanwhile, Sander asked a dean if the school had, in fact, stopped assigning black students to his class, as Above the Law had reported. The school has no such policy, the dean told him. Another T-shirt-inspired rumor held that Sander somehow penalizes blacks in grading, even though grading throughout the school is blind to students’ identities. To the contrary, Sander learned, his first-year black students do better in his classes than in their other classes, earning a B on average, compared with a B-minus elsewhere. Sander asked the administration to put those facts out there to rebut the various falsehoods; it declined to do so, for fear of stirring up more protest.
Racial agitation continued into the new semester. The Black Law Students Association held a demonstration in February 2014, protesting the fact that there were only 33 blacks out of 1,100 students at the law school—apparently, the law school is to blame for the small pool of black college graduates nationwide and in California with remotely competitive LSAT scores and grades. The school twists itself into knots trying to admit as many black students as possible without violating California’s ban on racial preferences so flagrantly that even the press takes notice. In fact, both UCLA and UC Berkeley law schools admit blacks at a 400 percent higher rate than can be explained on race-neutral grounds, according to a recent paper by a pro-affirmative-action economist at Berkeley, Danny Yagan. No matter. The protesters wore T-shirts with 33/1,100 on them and made a YouTube video titled “33,” containing personal testimonials about the stress of being one of UCLA’s black law students: “It’s so far from being a safe space that it would be better for my mental health if I stayed at home,” said one girl. Other students complained that they were looked to in class to represent the black perspective—precisely the role that the “diversity” rationale for racial preferences assigns to minority students.
At the same time, a string of robberies near UCLA had prompted a discussion on the law school’s student Facebook page about self-defense tips. The school’s most vociferous critic of alleged white privilege and institutional racism, first-year student Alexis Morgan Gardner, argued that the robbery perpetrators were “clearly victims to life circumstances (and probably poverty) as well” and that the discussion should address the root causes of crime, not just “reactionary” measures. After a few other students responded that a “root causes” discussion, however important, was secondary to the security issue, Gardner posted: “I FEAR FOR MY SAFETY MORE HERE (at the law school) in this hostile space where the future ‘leaders of America’ are so intolerable to alternative perspectives” than she does in her own home, with “extremely higher” crime statistics. “It sounds like a lynch mob in the making,” she added.
Several days later, a male student unknown to Gardner accosted her on a school elevator and asked her how she could feel at greater risk of physical harm at the law school than in a high-crime area. Gardner wrote about the encounter on Facebook as an example of why she felt unsafe at the school, adding a string of other purported abuses that suggest a paranoid streak: “people . . . publicly mock, disrespect, and dismiss me when it appeals to the majority. . . . everyone knows exactly who I am and stares at me when I walk through the halls because essentially, I am a fly in the milk. . . . there’s some deep-seated abhorrence and intolerance of me among the masses, but they hide it in their microaggressions and behind their keyboards.”
A day later, Gardner published on Facebook an anonymous hate-mail note that she said had been left in her mailbox: “stop being such a sensitive [n—r].” Gardner added: “And to all those of you who disrespectfully took part in that fb thread [presumably the one about crime and root causes], who liked comments and encouraged our classmates detestable behavior (on and off of fb), YOU actively contributed to this racially hostile campus environment. . . . I hope you are all proud of yourselves.”
The school immediately went into crisis mode, outstripping its T-shirt response. After the Black Law Students Association presented Dean Moran with a petition denouncing the school’s “lack of institutional commitment to student of color presence and safety,” she wrote to the student body that she was “personally sensitive to and aware of the kinds of challenges faced by students of color, in and out of the classroom.” In a breathtakingly condescending gesture, Moran announced that the school would be holding seminars “to help students with cross-cultural competency and communication skills,” an agenda later expanded to include “practical strategies for becoming a better ally.” This increasingly popular “ally” mission may come as a surprise to the average student, who thought that he had enrolled in college to get an education, not to be enlisted in the allegedly titanic struggle of black and Hispanic students against hostile academic forces. The school encouraged incoming first-year law students in the fall of 2014 to be tested for unconscious bias, for which they could receive counseling at the school’s expense. The faculty needed an antiracism tune-up as well, in Dean Moran’s eyes: the school would offer a faculty workshop on the neuroscience of unconscious bias and its impact on legal education, followed by workshops on “facilitating classroom discussions about race, diversity, and discrimination.” Of course, the administration trotted out the usual parade of additional diversity initiatives, including a new Director of Student Learning Environment and Academic Affairs, tasked with “promoting and supporting diversity,” and a new grievance procedure for student-bias complaints.
The chance that the hate-mail note was real is far lower than the chance that it was a hoax, to apply David Hume’s test for miracles. UCLA’s law students, like law students everywhere, are almost obsessively career-oriented. They have most likely spent the previous four years strategizing about law school admissions, with the hope of landing a lucrative job down the road with their newly minted J.D. It would be an act of utter folly, contrary to the future orientation that helped land them at UCLA, to put their future career in jeopardy by sending so crude and juvenile a note, one that would simply serve as a pretext for more racial agitation. Dean Moran had announced on February 20 that a police investigation into the origin of the note was under way. That was the last mention of the investigation from the administration. Rumors circulated among the faculty that the note had proved a hoax, but the administration did not publicize that finding, if true. I asked a law school spokesman what the police had uncovered; she ignored the question while disgorging diversity boilerplate. The UCLA police department would only say that the investigation was ongoing.
But in the unlikely event that the note was real, Moran’s reaction was still excessive. Even if one law student sent a hate note, that aberrant behavior doesn’t represent the daily reality at the school. It is ludicrous to suggest that UCLA’s white and Asian students need “cross-cultural competency” training in how to talk to blacks and Hispanics. The Facebook comments defending a self-help discussion in response to the local robberies were civil and reasoned, contrary to Gardner’s characterization of them as “disrespectful” and “detestable.” As for the faculty, no evidence exists that they are guilty of “unconscious bias” in their teaching, and it is an insult to imply otherwise. The entire law school environment is a paragon of racial tolerance, as any fair-minded administrator should recognize.
Moran should have condemned the hate note, if real, as the action of one immature, unmoored individual who grossly violated everything that the law school embodies, promised an investigation, and left it at that. Instead, she chose to feed the patent delusion that black students are under siege and “unsafe” at the school, thus encouraging in them a lifetime disposition toward similarly baseless perceptions. (Moran announced without explanation at the start of the 2014 fall semester that she would be leaving her position as soon as a replacement could be found.)
UCLA’s third outbreak of racial complaint, in November 2013, prompted a response from the head of the university itself. A maudlin student-made video blamed UCLA for the allegedly low number of black male undergraduates at the school—3.3 percent—in a state with only a 6 percent black population. The film has received more than 2 million views on YouTube.
Black Bruins opens with a shot of the names of two Black Panthers killed by a rival radical at a UCLA student meeting in 1969. Implication: UCLA is responsible for their deaths. Apparently, that shooting was just the start of UCLA’s long war against men of color. The camera pans to a group of hostile-looking black male students standing outside a campus building behind the filmmaker, third-year African-American Studies major Sy Stokes. Accompanied by ominous music, Stokes recites a frequently unintelligible rap denouncing UCLA as a “fraudulent institutionalized racist corporation” that deliberately excludes blacks and that “refuses to come to [their] defense.” One particularly confusing passage concerns black paint, which Stokes claims black children were taught to avoid and which symbolized the melanin in their skin. Since black paints are only used to write words on a white background, Stokes proposes, and “if words are all we are good for, then don’t you dare tell us to silence our voices when we dare to speak.” We are left to wonder not just at the passage’s logic but also at who is telling blacks to silence their voices.
According to Black Bruins, UCLA is as much at fault for the 74 percent black-male graduation rate as it is for the 3.3 percent black-male enrollment rate. Never mind that the school has poured millions into academic support services and the usual panoply of multicultural programming. Never mind that the school has come up with scheme after scheme to get around California’s constitutional ban on governmental racial preferences, admitting black students at more than double the rate than can be explained by their credentials and socioeconomic status, and at three times the rate of much poorer Asians under an additional admissions process known as “supplemental review.” Never mind that all males—at less than 45 percent—are underrepresented in the undergraduate population and that whites—at 28 percent—are also underrepresented compared with their 39 percent share of California’s population. UCLA’s overall black enrollment—3.8 percent, when females are included—is actually higher than one would expect, given blacks’ low level of academic preparedness and high rates of truancy. (And it is virtually identical to black enrollment in the entire University of California system.) In 2013, only 11 percent of black eighth-graders in California were proficient in math, compared with 42 percent of whites and 61 percent of Asians; 15 percent of black eighth-graders were proficient at reading, compared with 44 percent of whites and 51 percent of Asians. Black elementary school students in California are chronically truant at nearly four times the state average. Only 5 percent of applications to UCLA even come from black students. Black Bruins mentioned none of these facts, of course, but they show that UCLA has used every possible lever, legal or not, to boost its black student population.
Stokes includes a typically nonsensical swipe at Sander: “According to Professor Sander, 3.3 percent is far too many black kids; on his perfectly paved roads there are far too many black skids.” (Los Angelenos would love to know where they could find some “perfectly paved roads.”) The video concludes on a lachrymose note, as the silent witnesses behind Stokes portentously remove their UCLA sweatshirts: “So with all my hopes and dreams that this university has tried to ruin, how the hell am I supposed to be proud to call myself a Bruin?”
UCLA’s administrators couldn’t line up fast enough to thank Stokes for his work and praise its artistic qualities. Janina Montero, UCLA’s vice chancellor for Student Affairs, was first out of the gate. “In their video ‘Black Bruin [The Spoken Word],’ a number of UCLA students eloquently and powerfully expressed their frustration and disappointment with the low number of African-American male students on campus,” she said in a published statement. “As a public institution that values a diverse student body, we share their dissatisfaction and frustration.” Was UCLA a “fraudulent institutionalized racist corporation” that tries to ruin the “hopes and dreams” of black students and that “refuses” to come to their “defense”? Apparently so, given Montero’s fulsome “Amen” to the entirety of Stokes’s message. Montero provided none of the academic or demographic data that would explain the 3.3 percent black-male enrollment figure. The only cause of that “low” number, according to Montero, is California’s ban on “considering race in the admissions process.” Montero eagerly reminded readers that the University of California was trying to overturn that ban in the Supreme Court. Why it should be necessary to consider race in the admissions process to achieve “diversity” went unexplained.
UCLA soon concluded that a mere vice chancellor was insufficient to respond to Stokes’s masterpiece. Chancellor Gene Block stepped up to the plate. “We are proud every time we hear [our students] convey their thoughts, experiences and feelings—as they have done recently in several now viral videos,” Block wrote in a campus-wide memo. These students’ “powerful first-hand accounts” testify to the “true impacts” of California’s ban on racial preferences, the chancellor said. As Stokes had done, Block painted a dire picture of black student life at UCLA: “Too often, many of our students of color feel isolated, as strangers in their own house. Others feel targeted—mocked or marginalized, rather than recognized and valued.” Were “students of color” right to “feel targeted—mocked and marginalized”? It would appear so. Block left unsaid who was doing the “mocking” and “marginalizing,” but he seems to believe that he presides over a student body and faculty of bigots. Block went on to chastise UCLA for its reluctance to have “conversations about race.” “Make no mistake: [such conversations] can be very difficult. They are inevitably emotional. They can make people defensive. They sometimes lead to accusations. But we cannot be afraid to have these conversations, because they are so critically important not just to our university, but to society.”
Pace Block, UCLA spends vast amounts of time having “conversations about race.” But if he wants to engender even more, a good place to start would be with some facts. He could rebut the baseless allegation that UCLA deliberately destroys blacks’ “dreams.” He could lay out the vast academic-achievement gap, whose existence demolishes the claim that the absence of racial proportionality in the student body or faculty results from bias. Most important, he could provide a dose of reality. “This campus is one of the world’s most enviable educational institutions,” he could say, “whose academic splendors lie open to all its students. You will never again have as ready an opportunity to absorb knowledge. Exploit the privilege. You are surrounded by well-meaning, compassionate faculty who only want to help you. Study, write, and immerse yourself in timeless books. Apply yourself with everything you’ve got, and you will graduate prepared for a productive, intellectually rich life.”
Rather than opting for the truth, Block groveled further. “I also appreciate that trust is earned and, among our critics, we must and will work harder to earn it,” he wrote, in closing. He did not explain why UCLA should be mistrusted. Had it misled its black students? Discriminated against them? Block did not say. He did, however, remind them of UCLA’s soon-to-be-hired new vice chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the two inaptly named “diversity prevention officers,” the latter of whom would “investigate . . . racial and ethnic bias or discrimination among our faculty as well as providing education and training.”
And he bludgeoned the faculty yet again to pass a “diversity” course requirement for undergraduates, something of a sacred crusade for Block. (The faculty finally caved in at the end of October and passed the mandate, after voting it down three previous times.)
More layers of diversity bureaucracy won’t have the slightest effect on black high schoolers’ inadequate academic skills, which is the sole reason that blacks are not proportionally represented in the college student body. Stokes came closer to this fact than the administration has in an MSNBC interview following the breakout video: “I feel the focus is, you know, there’s this general consensus within the black community, mostly, you know, the lower socioeconomic-status areas, that you either become a rapper, or a basketball player, or football player to become successful,” he said. “The stress on academics isn’t there anymore—or it actually never was.” Stokes immediately obliterated this inadvertent acknowledgment of personal responsibility with more victimology, however: “It’s used against us to keep us at that low point,” he said. The problem, in other words, is not blacks’ lack of engagement in school; it’s that society somehow “uses” that lack of engagement to keep blacks down.
Other colleges embrace the academic-racism fiction just as fervently. In March 2014, Harvard’s black students posted their own viral photo series, “I, Too, Am Harvard,” displaying the alleged microaggressions to which Harvard’s own eggshell plaintiffs have been subject (the series’ creator, the daughter of two critical race theory law professors, explained: “We have to show that, like, these little daily microaggressions are just, like, part of the bubbling up of greater tensions that are, like, underlying this whole, like, post racial, this, like, post racial surface”). Students at Oberlin, Fordham, and numerous other schools have created webpages to catalog their racial slights at the hands of other students.
The adult indulgence of this fiction is far from innocuous. Any student who believes that the university is an “unsafe,” racially hostile environment is unlikely to take full advantage of its resources and will likely bear a permanent racial chip on his shoulder. Becoming an adult means learning the difference between a real problem and a trivial one. Being asked: “So, like, what are you?” (a Fordham “microaggression”) belongs in the trivial category, especially in a world that has been taught for the last three decades that the most important thing about an individual is his racial and ethnic identity. The time spent agitating about such innocent, if clumsy, inquiries would be far better dedicated to studying for an organic chemistry or a French literature exam. The equally preposterous conceit that the university is “unsafe” for females has similarly distorting effects, creating more perpetual victims whose fragile egos are constantly threatened by the ordinary give-and-take of life and who see a “war on women” at every turn.
The universities’ encouragement of victimology has wider implications beyond the campus. The same imperative to repress any acknowledgment of black academic underachievement as the cause of black underrepresentation in higher education is more fatefully at work in repressing awareness of disproportionate black criminality as the cause of black overrepresentation in the criminal-justice system. When a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, shot an unarmed black teen in August 2014, for example, the media suppressed any information about the incident that complicated its favored narrative about police brutality, all the while pumping out strained stories about racism in law enforcement and public life more generally. The result was days of violence, looting, and arson, from a populace that had been told at every opportunity that it is the target of ubiquitous discrimination.
Colleges today are determined to preserve in many of their students the thin skin and solipsism of adolescence, rather than turning them into dispassionate adults. They build ever more monumental bureaucracies to indulge those traits. By now, of course, many of the adults running colleges are indistinguishable from their eggshell plaintiff students. The rest of us bear the costs, in the maintenance of public policies founded on an equally spurious victimology.
Heather Mac Donald is a contributing editor of City Journal, the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and the author of The Burden of Bad Ideas: How Modern Intellectuals Misshape Our Society.