Monday, June 30

John Batchelor Show returns to WMAL radio in Washington, DC

Greater Washington, DC residents who are long-time fans of John Batchelor got a treat last night, when 630 WMAL-AM began broadcasting the first two hours of John's Sunday show.

WMAL listeners had to switch to WABC-77 AM radio online streaming from New York to hear the third hour. Then switch to KFI-640 AM streaming from Los Angeles to pick up the last three hours of the show.

All this running around could be ended if John's show was simply restored to three hours five nights a week at WABC, WMAL, and other stations around the US that are part of Citadel.

That complaint registered, it was great to hear John on WMAL again; three cheers for the station's program director!

Friday, June 27


Marc Lemire relayed the news via a blast email around 10 PM ET Thursday. So! Little more than a week after the CHRC announced that they were launching an independent review of the way they deal with hate speech on the Internet, they dismissed Mohamed Elmasry's Section 13 complaint against Maclean's. Of course the complaint dealt specifically with the online version of Maclean's, Canada's only national weekly news magazine.

Such coincidences in timing are sometimes called 'slipping an extra Joker into the deck.' So it's small wonder that representatives of Maclean's did not run naked through the streets with joy over the news that they'd escaped an inquisition:
(TORONTO, June 26, Canadian News Wire Press Release) Maclean's magazine is pleased that the Canadian Human Rights Commission has dismissed the complaint brought against it by the Canadian Islamic Congress. The decision is in keeping with our long-standing position that the article in question, The Future Belongs to Islam, an excerpt from Mark Steyn's best-selling book America Alone ... was a worthy piece of commentary on important geopolitical issues, entirely within the bounds of normal journalistic practice.

Though gratified by the decision, Maclean's continues to assert that no human rights commission, whether at the federal or provincial level, has the mandate or the expertise to monitor, inquire into, or assess the editorial decisions of the nation's media. And we continue to have grave concerns about a system of complaint and adjudication that allows a media outlet to be pursued in multiple jurisdictions on the same complaint, brought by the same complainants, subjecting it to costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars, to say nothing of the inconvenience. We enthusiastically support those parliamentarians who are calling for legislative review of the commissions with regard to speech issues.
TRANSLATION: Maclean's knows, and the CHRC knows, and everyone else following the story knows, that an epic battle is just getting underway.

This said, any day one can avoid an inquisition is a good day.

And congratulations to all those Canadians who have tirelessly kept the story of the anti-democratic Section 13 before the public eye.

Thursday, June 26

Obama cadre panics after Steve Diamond publishes on Mike Klonsky

Stephen Diamond, Associate Professor of Law, Santa Clara University School of Law, is back with his second entry for Wednesday, which is cross-posted here. Come to think of it, Barack Obama's habit of throwing people under the bus is reminiscent of commie party purges.
How is it under that bus, Comrade Klonsky?

Easy come, easy go.

No sooner than Global Labor blogged here and here about the role of Mike Klonsky in the Obama campaign, former Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers' longtime comrade-in-arms from their days in SDS to the Chicago School Wars they fought in the 80s and 90s alongside Barack Obama, and presto he's gone.

As of [Wednesday] evening, Klonsky is no longer blogging on the Barack Obama for President website.

In fact, it's like he was never there.

Does this remind anyone of something?

Recall what would happen in Soviet Russian textbooks when a trotskyist or bukharinite got purged by Uncle Joe, as Klonsky lovingly recalls the dictator Joseph Stalin at this reunion of SDS in November of last year in Chicago?

Their pictures got airbrushed out of the old photographs. Earlier [Wednesday] when one went to the Community Blogs on the Obama website there was the Klonsky blog on education policy and something he calls "social justice teaching."

Tonight, all you get at the same URL is "Invalid blog/profile URL." Today's softer version of the Stalinist airbrush.

Who knew that the political purge would be revived by the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, Barack Obama.

If this only represents another opportunistic move in the "maturing" of the presumptive nominee it's just more of the same. But perhaps it means some restoration of rationality in the thinking of the young candidate about education policy itself.

Now if only he can explain about "that guy in the neighborhood" whom he worked side by side with for years at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.

Wednesday, June 25

Steve Diamond guest blogs at Pundita: "White Guilt" Politics of Obama Crowd Undermined by New School Research (Updated 6/26 AM)

Note on updated post
Within hours of the publication of Steve Diamond's White Guilt blog post, also published here, Barack Obama's campaign yanked Mike Klonsky's blog from the official Obama website.

For details see footnote 5 or Steve Diamond's How is it under that bus, Comrade Klonsky?.

Readers who have been following Diamond's revelatory writings on the true relationship between Barack Obama and former terrorist William Ayers, the "New Authoritarian Left," and the role of NAL education advisors in Obama's campaign, will have no trouble understanding why Obama wants to erase all trace of Klonsky's blog.

For readers still out in the parking lot, or stuck in traffic on the way to the ballpark: Steve Diamond is an old-fashioned Democrat who because of his areas of expertise, including labor relations, knows the New Authoritarian Left inside out. And the Obama cadre, which is stuffed with NAL types, has discovered that he knows.

He knows their every evasion, their code words and strategies, which the American mainstream is unfamiliar with. And since April, in a series of essays on his blog Global Labor and the Global Economy, he has proceeded to educate the public.

So you might say that Diamond -- J.D., Yale Law School; Symposium Editor, Yale Law Journal; Ph.D., Political Science, University of London (Birkbeck College); MacArthur Fellow in International Peace and Security; B.A., University of California, Berkeley -- is to the NAL what Van Helsing is to Dracula.

What is the NAL? See footnote 4 but the short answer is that they're people who behind their jive talk about "social justice" can't be bothered with the democratic way of getting things done.

For readers who are completely new to the story, which the mainstream media (including Fox News) have studiously ignored, I have added footnotes to this post, which provide links to Dr Diamond's earlier writings on the relevant topics, and an excerpt that gives more information about Comrade Klonsky.

As to why, why, why the media have treated Diamond as if he's writing from inside the Bermuda Triangle, gee I don't know.

Taking a stab in the dark: Maybe it has something to do with the fact that once the majority of American parents with children in public school discover that across administrations -- Democratic and Republican -- tax dollars have been used to indoctrinate children to virulently anti-capitalist and anti-American ideas, they are going to get tar and feathers and come after leaders of both parties.

That's not even counting how upset those parents will be if Obama gets into the White House and his education advisors ram through their "education debt" ideas.

So the party leaders better scramble because sooner or later Diamond's writings are going to bust out of the blogosphere. He's already appeared twice on John Batchelor's radio show.

On the chance that John McCain's campaign and the GOP 527 crowd are sitting on Diamond's revelations until after Denver -- do they have birdseed for brains?

Diamond is writing about fairly complex and interlocked subjects that do not lend themselves to 30 second ads. And Obama's cadres are good at countering the 527 spots with their own spots.

And given that almost all the mainstream media outlets seem to be running a coordinated campaign to suppress or downplay genuinely damaging information about Obama, it can take months to explain to the public what Diamond is saying -- despite his clear style of exposition.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I advise that you get moving on Professor Diamond's information now.

One more point before I cede the podium to Steve Diamond: on the chance that after sifting through the archives at Diamond's blog, some members of the media and blogosphere say, 'We have to sit on his writings so we don't offend China's leaders,' I will see you in hell.
Steve Diamond, Associate Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law, who blogs at Global Labor and the Global Economy, has interrupted his vacation again to write about White Guilt Politics of Obama Crowd Undermined:

If you believe the rhetoric of the "social justice" crowd influencing the Obama camp's approach to education policy -- the authoritarian leftists Bill Ayers and his sidekick Mike Klonsky as well ed school professors like Linda Darling-Hammond and Gloria Ladson-Billings -- only reparations for 400 years of oppression of non-whites will allow us to close the "achievement gap" between the oppressors (whites) and the oppressed (minority kids.)

This crowd supports a new idea - arguing that it is time to replace the attack on the "achievement gap" between minority and white/Asian students with a new concept called "educational debt" that has allegedly piled up over centuries in U.S. history.[1]

Lying behind this argument is a pernicious concept - that white workers benefit at the expense of black workers and that more widely American workers live off the backs of workers in the third world. This is at the heart of the authoritarian and anti-union politics of the Ayers/Klonsky crowd. [2,3]

Of course, such a conclusion would come as a shock to the millions of white workers in this country who earn essentially the same income as most black workers (though, of course, there are far more whites than blacks who earn significantly more). And it would also come as a shock to those American workers, white and black, whose jobs have been shipped off to China or Mexico.

Despite the absurdity of these views it is this idea of "unequal exchange" between north and south, or inside the U.S. between black and white, that explains a good deal about the politics of those in this crowd who cozy up to demagogues like Venezuela strongman Hugo Chavez or, for that matter, Louis Farrakhan. The authoritarian leftist camp convinces itself that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

Klonsky and Ayers, of course, are veterans of this kind of race-based politics. Klonsky formed the pro-China October League out of SDS and then morphed that into the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) which earned him an invitation to sip tea with Chinese stalinists in Beijing in 1977.[4]

The Chinese were the originators of the idea that the rural third world south was being exploited by the urban developed world north. Now Klonsky blogs for the Obama campaign website on education policy and "social justice teaching." [5]

Ayers helped tear apart SDS to form the Weather Underground with his future wife, Bernardine Dohrn, arguing that carrying out armed robberies and bombings "in solidarity" with black revolutionaries was the number one priority for student anti-war activists. Now he peddles "white supremacy" and other ideas in his peculiar so-called "social justice" approach to educational policy.

But this world view took a huge hit this week with the release of new research on what is actually happening in U.S. schools. In light of the new results is it possible the social justice education crowd knew they would need a new idea to keep their hopes of influencing the national policy debate alive? Is that what explains the campaign over the last two years or so by this milieu to push the educational debt/reparations idea?

The new research by the non-partisan Center on Education Policy indicates that over the last five years, since the passage of No Child Left Behind in 2002, there has been measurable improvement in test scores for millions of students including a narrowing of the "achievement gap" between whites and non-whites (leaving out Asians, of course, who, despite racist "oppression" somehow escape the effect of that alleged oppression when they show up for school - when it comes to Asians, it's whites who are falling behind, though not presumably because of the oppression of whites by Asians).

The results may only be coincidental, of course, but the CEP report is pretty convincing that real improvement can occur in closing the achievement gap between white and minority kids without also atoning for every sin (and those were and are real enough) ever committed against non-whites, as the "social justice" crowd insists.

The CEP Press Release concludes:

Student scores on state tests of reading and mathematics have risen since 2002, and achievement gaps between various groups of students have narrowed more often than they have widened, according to the most comprehensive and rigorous recent analysis of state test scores.

21 states made moderate-to-large gains in math in both percentages proficient and effect sizes at the elementary level, while 22 states showed gains of this size on both indicators in middle school and 12 states posted such gains for high school.

In reading, 17 states had moderate-to-large gains in percentages proficient and effect sizes at the elementary level, 14 states made such gains for middle school, and eight states showed gains for high school. Additional numbers of states made slight gains on one or both indicators or showed improvement on one indicator but lacked data on the other.

Here is how they summarize the results in California:

Overall achievement

• From 2003 to 2007 in reading, students made moderate-to-large gains in both percentages proficient and effect sizes at the elementary and middle school grades analyzed. At the high school level, the percentage proficient declined slightly and effect size showed no change.

• In math, achievement on both indicators increased at a moderate-to-large rate at the elementary and high school levels. At the middle school grade analyzed, percentages proficient declined slightly but effect sizes increased at a moderate-to-large rate.

Achievement gaps

• From 2003 to 2007, the African American-white gap at the elementary level showed no change in reading but narrowed in math, according to both indicators. At the middle school grade analyzed, trends varied by subject and indicator. At the high school level, gaps in percentages proficient narrowed in reading and math; no effect size data were available for subgroups at this level.

• Gaps between Latino and white students narrowed in both reading and math at the elementary level, according to both indicators. Gaps widened at the middle school level in reading on both indicators. At the high school level, gaps stayed the same in reading and narrowed in math, according to the percentage proficient.

• In reading, gaps between Native American and white students narrowed according to percentages proficient but widened according to effect sizes. In math, this gap narrowed at the elementary level on both indicators. Middle school trends varied by indicator. At the high school level, percentage proficient gaps narrowed in both reading and math.

• Gaps between low-income students and all students stayed the same in elementary reading and narrowed in elementary math, according to both indicators. At the middle school level, reading gaps showed no net change on either indicator. At the high school level, gaps in the percentage proficient narrowed in both reading and math.

Clearly still a long way to go but the improvement for younger kids is particularly heartening. And it certainly suggests that any proposal for putting "repayment of 400 years of educational debt owed to people of color" at the top of a President Obama administration, as Ayers, Ladson-Billings, and Darling-Hammond argue should be the case, is likely wrong-headed.

1) Earlier posts by Steve Diamond on the concept of "education debt" and how it's deployed by Ayers, et al.:

May 21: "The Monster in the Room"... (Obama's chief education advisors push for slavery-based reparations-based public education policy)

June 10: OBAMA! Catch this SOFTBALL! - The Center/Left Counter-Attack on Education Policy

June 13: Open the box! Race again at center of new education lobby

June 13: The Education war: David Brooks doesn't get it

2) Dr Diamond explains the term "Authoritarian Left."

3) The true relationship between Barack Obama and William Ayers

When did Barack Obama meet Bill Ayers? (Summary of the relationship via Obama's work for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge)

"That guy who lives in my neighborhood" ... (More on the true Ayers-Obama relationship and Obama's attempts to cover up history.)

4) More on Klonsky, from Diamond's Neighborhood post above:
[...] it must be pointed out that a notorious ally of Bill Ayers for many years, Mike Klonsky, is an open member of the Obama campaign. Klonsky runs a blog on the official Obama website here where he claims to be a "professor of education" (the website of the Small Schools Workshop that he directs says only that he teaches some graduate courses, though it appears he was a visiting professor for one year at Nova Southeastern University in Florida in 2006-07) and says he blogs for Obama on "education politics and teaching for social justice."

Who is Mike Klonsky? Well, on one level, he might just appear to be a protege of Bill Ayers in the education world. He received, as I detail below, a $175,000 grant from the Ayers/Obama-led Annenberg Challenge to run the Small Schools Workshop that he and Ayers started in Chicago to push their school reform agenda.

But that is only half the story. Klonsky was one of the most destructive hardline maoists in the SDS in the late 60's who emerged from SDS to form a pro-Chinese sect called the October League that later became the Beijing-recognized Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist). As chairman of the party, Klonsky travelled to Beijing itself in 1977 and, literally, toasted the Chinese stalinist leadership who, in turn, "hailed the formation of the CP(ML) as 'reflecting the aspirations of the proletariat and working people,' effectively recognizing the group as the all-but-official US Maoist party." (Elbaum, Revolution in the Air, 228).

I know of no indications that Klonsky has ever expressed any regrets about that activity. Perhaps like his SDS comrade, Ayers, he, too, thinks he did not do enough back then. In my view they did more than enough.

An excellent profile of that maoist milieu is available in a book called Revolution in the Air by Max Elbaum, a first hand participant whose sympathy for the maoism of the period does not get in the way of an excellent account of these idiot savants of the left.

How is it possible that someone of Klonsky's ilk would now be playing a visible role in the Obama campaign itself on such an important issue as education policy - apparently with free reign to push his authoritarian "social justice" agenda?

The answer to that question escapes Darling-Hammond.
5) Not anymore. On Wednesday, at 8:40 PM Pacific Time Steve Diamond informed his readers:
No sooner than Global Labor blogged here and here about the role in the Obama campaign of Mike Klonsky, former Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers' longtime comrade-in-arms from their days in SDS to the Chicago School Wars they fought in the 80s and 90s alongside Barack Obama, and presto he's gone.

As of this evening, Klonsky is no longer blogging on the Barack Obama for President website.

In fact, it's like he was never there. [...]

Earlier today when one went to the Community Blogs on the Obama website there was the Klonsky blog on education policy and something he calls "social justice teaching."

Tonight, all you get at the same URL is: "Invalid blog/profile URL." Today's softer version of the Stalinist airbrush.

Who knew that the political purge would be revived by the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, Barack Obama.
Read the rest here.

Monday, June 23

Zut alors! Muammar al-Gaddafi smears Barack Obama!

Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya announced on al Jazeera TV last week:
There are elections in America now. Along came a black citizen of Kenyan African origins, a Muslim, who had studied in an Islamic school in Indonesia. His name is Obama.
Is Brotherly Leader's internet connection powered by a pair of hamsters? Does he not know that Barack Obama set up a website page to address smears against him? And that on the web page, in big letters, Obama addresses the very smear that he is a Muslim? Here is what Obama's Fight the Smears site has to say about his purported connection to Islam:
The truth about Barack Obama's Faith

Barack Obama is a Muslim.

Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised as a Muslim, and is a committed Christian.
And is Brotherly Leader unaware that at every other opportunity Barack Obama has spoken out to refute any claim that he has a personal connection with Islam?

But wait! Gateway Pundit reveals yet more of Brother Muammar's speech on al Jazeera:
All the people in the Arab and Islamic world and in Africa applauded this man. They welcomed him and prayed for him and for his success, and they may have even been involved in legitimate contribution campaigns to enable him to win the American presidency.
Now this is what we in America call "a royal pickle," which means a big mess!

O Brother Muammar, you will need to return to al Jazeera and explain the following to all Muslims:

If they contributed money to Obama's campaign in the belief that he is a Muslim, they were not only misled but also unwittingly participating in what Obama considers a smear, which is a most awful lie meant to destroy a person's reputation!

And of course Senator Obama's campaign must make every effort to determine whether any campaign contributions were given on the misunderstanding that he is, or ever was, a Muslim and return the donations with an apology.

If Obama's campaign is too busy to sort out the donations, surely volunteers will arise to help in this vitally important task. It would be a diplomacy disaster for America if Muslims throughout the Islamic world learned they had donated money to an American on the false belief that he is a Muslim!

But here we arrive at another royal pickle! US federal law only requires campaigns to itemize donations when a donor gives more than $200. Indeed, much of Obama's campaign money is coming from hundreds of thousands of donations of $200 or less.(1)

To boil it down, Brotherly Leader Muammar, it would be next to impossible for Obama's employees or anyone else to figure out who gave how much -- if the donations were $200 or less -- and to ascertain whether the sum total of $200 donations from one individual added up to an illegal campaign contribution.

Ah, but I don't wish to take up your valuable time with a discussion of America's campaign finance woes. I only suggest that you hasten to correct the false impression about Obama that you imparted to the Islamic world. And that in future you refrain from any speech about Barack Obama that he categorically states is a "smear."

Also, while Mr Obama has never publicly stated that he considers discussion of his African heritage to be a smear, in future you might want to avoid irritating him by bringing up that subject -- at least while he is running for the office of the US presidency.

If you find that advice confusing, I will clarify: Now that Mr Obama is the presumptive Democratic nominee, he has prepared a new advertising campaign to introduce himself to the white American voters who are still unfamiliar with him. The advertisement features photographs of his white mother and grandparents, but none of his black Kenyan father.

Yet during his nomination campaign, when he was speaking to a black American audience, he dismissed his grandmother as a "typical white person" and at another time told a story to the entire American nation that portrayed her as prejudiced against black people. The portrayal was an untruth.

As to what kind of man would insult his grandmother, who has always been devoted to him and helped raise him, let me put it this way: You and the entire Arab and Islamic world have a great deal to learn about Barack Obama.

Truly, there is no such thing as a "Muslim" or "Christian" poisonous snake. And when its fangs sink into your flesh you do not care whether it is from Africa or Europe. A word to the wise.

1) More about Obama-style campaign reform, Rezko Watch, June 22

Sunday, June 22

I voted for Barack Obama and all I got was this lousy roadkill

In what may have been a ploy to raise millions in campaign cash overnight, yesterday came news that with the words, "I am not the man I once knew," presumptive Democrat presidential nominee (D-IL) Barack Obama is throwing himself under the bus.

The move has stunned Las Vegas bookies making odds on the next Obama bus victim.

"Hey, I don't think that's legal," observed bookmaker Jimmy the Hare. "That's a fix."

December 1995
“We must form grass-root structures that would hold me and other elected officials more accountable for their actions. The right wing, the Christian right, has done a good job of building these organizations of accountability, much better than the left or progressive forces have.

But it’s always easier to organize around intolerance, narrow-mindedness, and false nostalgia. And they also have hijacked the higher moral ground with this language of family values and moral responsibility.”

-- Barack Obama
June 21, 2008
"America is a country of strong families and strong values. My life's been blessed by both," Obama says in the ad slated to run in 18 states as he tries to win over independents and disaffected Republicans.

"If I have the honor of taking the oath of office as president, it will be with a deep and abiding faith in the country I love."

In its images and in its words, the 60-second commercial that opens Obama's general election campaign seeks to introduce the first-term Illinois senator to voters. It also positions him more toward the center of the electorate by emphasizing universal issues of family and values ...
Speaking of roadkill, Texas Democratic Party Vice Chairwoman Roy LaVerne Brooks had to learn the Obama Way the hard way. Yet it seems the mainstream media just never found time to discuss Ms. Brooks's treatment at the hands of Obama's campaign operatives.

Friday, June 20

"Out damn'd spot!" China's Potemkin Village Olympics and the complicity of the IOC and the global corporations profiting from the Olympics

"Potemkin village has come to mean, especially in a political context, any hollow or false construct, physical or figurative, meant to hide an undesirable or potentially damaging situation"

There is every evidence that the decision to hold the 2008 Olympics in China has only made it easier for the Chinese Communist Party to railroad China's poorest and give the world a false impression about the extent of the country's progress. That a Western organization steeped in the democratic tradition was complicit in this outrage is a stain that the International Olympics Committee can never erase.

Now comes the story of how China's government has diverted water from villages already facing drought, in order to put on a show of lushness for foreign visitors to the Olympics.* Writing in the July issue of Portfolio, Peter Waldman observes:
[...] When the Beijing Games open, they will present a lush tableau—an Olympian feat in this semiarid capital. But the water has been wrung from the countryside. Farms and villages are dying, and the poor are the losers. [...]

[T]he Olympics are exacerbating China’s water problems. To ensure enough potable water for an expected 1.5 million visitors in August, Beijing is tapping 80 billion gallons of so-called backup supply from four reservoirs in neighboring Hebei Province.

Yet water levels in these reservoirs are already dangerously low. So to sustain the population boom on the semiarid Beijing plain, China’s water planners are scrambling to build pipelines, canals, and water tunnels farther and farther into the hinterlands.

Worse, the water routed from Hebei to the Olympics site was supposed to shore up Lake Baiyangdian, an environmental jewel with its own drought problems. To feed the lake, China is pumping 40 billion gallons of water from the Yellow River in Shandong Province, 250 miles away. For every gallon from the Yellow River that arrives at the lake via the 1,400-year-old Grand Canal, nearly four gallons are lost along the way, according to the Dazhong Daily, a state newspaper in China.[...]
There is much more to the story, which I hope you will clip and send to the IOC and major sponsors of the 2008 Olympics.

Also writing for July's Portfolio, Tunku Varadarajan observes in No Word From Our Sponsors:
Coke, G.E., and McDonald's will get global exposure from the Beijing Olympics. Now they need to end their silence on China.
Yes they do. Read the rest here. Varadarajan points out that while capitalism may be blind to moral issues, consumers shouldn't be.

A note about John Batchelor's Torchwatch blog, which for months has been documenting the farce of the China Olympics and related machinations of China's rulers:

Along with all the work preparing for his weekly six-hour radio show, John is now blogging for his new website, John Batchelor Show. With all that, I'm hoping he will be able to keep up Torchwatch because it makes a good historical record.

As my way of pitching in to keep the blog going, I'm sending him any relevant articles I come across on the 'Genocide Olympics' and titling my email "For Torchwatch." I urge readers to consider doing the same.

Here is John's email address at his new website:

* Thanks to reader and sometime (not-enough-times!) Pundita contributor Annlee Hines.

Thursday, June 19

Whereupon Professor Steve Diamond encounters the Jabberwock. The short version of his latest discussion of the Obama-Ayers relationship

Pundita readers are a hardy breed but even the most dedicated have written me on occasion to ask, "Have you ever thought of chopping your longest posts into say, eight or ten?" Why no I haven't. But while Steve Diamond has nowhere near topped my record, his latest post, as he warns readers, is on the long side.

So, this being a war (from my point of view) to stop Barack Obama and The Gang of Four from taking over the White House, I will perform a public service for the multi-taskers by presenting the highlights. Of course my view of the points Professor Diamond covers on his Global Labor and the Global Economy blog should be supplemented with a reading of his post, titled That “Guy Who Lives in My Neighborhood”: Behind the Ayers-Obama Relationship

Diamond cut short his vacation to respond to an unsolicited email from Linda Darling-Hammond, a professor at the Stanford University School of Education. Darling-Hammond is also an education advisor to the Obama campaign. To summarize my understanding of her points:
Jabber, jabber, bullshit, bullshit -- jabber. Jabber; bullshit, bullshit -- jabber? Bullshit, jabber! Bullshit bullshit jabber; bullshit. (Jabber jabber jabber: bullshit.) Bullshit? Bullshit; jabber jabber:

1. Jabber jabber bullshit (bullshit jabber).
2. Bullshit jabber bullshit, jabber.
Diamond replied with patience and grace, then Darling-Hammond replied, and this went back and forth until I think it occurred to DH that it would be wiser not to continue to nail herself down in writing. To boil it down:
In her reply, Professor Darling-Hammond suggests that the two [education] blueprints are, in fact, closer than might be apparent to the naked, or untrained, eye [...]

Of course, this only seems to beg the obvious question: if the two blueprints are the same, then why are there, well, two of them? And why do they use different terms to mean, well, one and the same educational policy?

Professor Darling-Hammond says she is not sure what “reparations” idea I am referring to. If not, then perhaps there is another “educational debt” [to people of color] idea floating around out there proposed by Professor Darling-Hammond’s FED colleague, Professor Ladson-Billings, that is not rooted in the reparations argument of Randall Robinson. But if there are, in fact, two versions of what Ladson-Billings means by “educational debt” I have not been able to find the evidence for it.

Professor Darling-Hammond has generously offered to speak with me directly about these issues and I look forward to that conversation, the results of which I will be happy to share with my readers.

But for now I am left with the conclusion that the purpose of Professor Darling-Hammond’s unsolicited communications about my blog was an attempt to discourage anyone from thinking that she, Senator Obama or the Obama campaign’s views on education have anything to do with reparations or Bill Ayers.

I can certainly understand why the Obama campaign would see the tactical political advantage of doing so now – but it seems to me that should have been thought of long ago, when Senator Obama first began to work with Bill Ayers or when Professor Darling-Hammond first encountered the idea of repayment of the “educational debt.”

While I take her at her word that while she “knows” Bill Ayers she has not talked with him about the policies of the Obama campaign, I am not entirely convinced that Professor Darling-Hammond, much less the wider electorate, understands the close relationship that has existed, at least in the past, between Bill Ayers and Senator Obama when it comes to education policy.
As a bonus prize, Diamond leads the reader through the maze of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC).

If you've been following this blog for weeks, you'll remember the CAC. That's the matching fund that Bill Ayers set up, and which Barack Obama chaired, and which at last count only a handful of blogs, two websites, one expert opinion report and the John Batchelor Show have been willing to tell the public about.

This raises the unsettling question: is the entire American news industry covering for Barack Obama or just brain dead?

But not to digress; what we find at the end of the CAC maze is a horror story.

After the fools at the Annenberg Foundation coughed up the largest gift to public education in history, in response to a grant proposal co-authored by a former terrorist, there is not one shred of objective evidence that the CAC made a difference toward improving public education in Chicago.

The story is so awful, I warn that if you're an American parent with children in public school you will be crying by the time you finish reading what the CAC did with all that charity -- which, it turns out, nobody exactly knows.

However, the CAC was a smashing success from the viewpoint of Bill Ayers and education theorists in his cadre:
... in 1993 the CAC grant proposal was seen by Ayers as an attempt, in part, to rescue the [Chicago Local School Councils -- LSCs.] The grant proposal states,

“We envision a process to unleash at the school site the initiative and courage of LSC’s….” Later, it states “[t]he Local Schools Councils…are important both for guiding educational improvement and as a means of strengthening America’s democratic traditions.”

As I have argued elsewhere on this blog, I do not think that the link made here between the LSC’s and “democracy” is, in fact, accurate. I think that such “councils” look eerily similar to efforts by regimes like those in Nicaragua under the Sandinistas and Venezuela under Chavez to impose control over teachers and their independent unions by an authoritarian regime.

Thus, it is not a surprise to me that Bill Ayers has traveled several times in recent years to Venezuela where he has spoken in front of Hugo Chavez and has enthusiastically applauded that regime’s efforts to link education policy to the Chavez “revolution.”

As Ayers stated in a speech there in November 2006 “La educacion es Revolucion!” He applauded “the profound educational reforms underway here in Venezuela under the leadership of President Chavez” and he said he “share[d] the belief that education is the motor-force of revolution.”

Thus, in the midst of an intense political battle in Chicago over the LSC role in the schools, securing the CAC money was very important to the LSC reform effort backed by Ayers and Obama from the late 1980s. The Ayers/Hallett proposal stated that the money would provide:

“a powerful catalyst for Chicago educators and parents to build on this base toward a sustained and serious advance….This is the critical step, that must be taken now, and the time is now.”

Indeed, the CAC proposal effort led by Ayers and Hallett was a critical part of what the Project Director of the CAC, Ken Rolling, described as the “political wars” being waged over schools in Chicago at that time. Ken Rolling was a veteran of those wars because in his previous role he had been a program officer of the Woods Fund, which supported the school reform effort through its grants, including grants to Barack Obama’s Developing Communities Project. [...]
Diamond explains the political battle. And just to make sure he ruins what's left of your week, he points up what was definitely a close working relationship between Ayers and Obama regarding the CAC.

Barf bag, anyone?

Diamond will now be returning to his well-deserved vacation. His next appearance on John Batchelor's show is tentatively scheduled for July 6.

Diamond's June 15 discussion with Batchelor about Bill Ayers's "education debt" jabber is available here.

Note: His post mentions the term "racialist," which he applies instead of "racist" to Ayers's educational debt ideas. Here is Diamond's explanation of the term.

Is he splitting hairs? Considering all he's done to ecduate us about the New Authoritarian Left and the Ayers-Obama relationship, I say let him split hairs to his heart's content.
John Batchelor has written his take on Steve Diamond's latest post, and puts the emphasis on the Ayers-Obama relationship. As usual, John ties up everything neatly.
This Pundita entry is cross-posted at RezkoWatch. Merry has found a great picture of the Jabberwock -- actually, two -- to accompany the post

Tuesday, June 17

Give me liberty or give me your 401k

Ralph Reiland, writing for today's edition of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, has taken a close look at the whites-bashing sermon delivered last month by Rev. Michael Pfleger at Trinity United Church of Christ. (H/T Hyscience).

Reiland notes that the media focus on Pfleger's rant against Hillary Clinton diverted public attention from the theme of his sermon.
Pfleger began his sermon by telling his adoring audience how to address someone who doesn't buy the idea of collective racial guilt, someone who says, "Well, don't hold me responsible for what my ancestors did."

Pfleger's answer to that person of insufficient guilt and inadequate color, delivered in an increasingly breathless and crazed voice to an applauding congregation:

"But you have enjoyed the benefits of what your ancestors did and unless you are ready to give up the benefits, throw away your 401 fund, throw away your trust fund, throw away all the money you put into the company you walked into because yo' daddy and yo' granddaddy and yo' great-granddaddy, unless you're willing to give up the benefits, then you must be responsible for what was done in your generation, 'cause you are the beneficiary of this insurance policy!"

In other words, you're guilty unless you give up your money.

[...] Anger, or envy, about trust funds seems to be a big thing with the Trinity crowd. Michelle Obama, for instance, bellyached regularly during her stump speech in the primaries: "You're looking at a young couple that's just a few years out of debt. See, because we went to those good schools and we didn't have trust funds. I'm still waiting for Barack's trust fund. Especially after I heard that Dick Cheney was supposed to be a relative or something. Give us something here!"
Reiland goes on to note that in 2004 Obama cited Pfleger as one of his three spiritual mentors, then ponders how what he calls Pfleger's "Gospel of Envy" might be influencing Barack Obama:
Last Tuesday, Obama spelled out the outlines of his economic policy, a program that Rev. Pfleger might well call the first steps of a "faith-based" prescription to confiscate more of the money of the truly guilty.

For starters, Obama promises to nearly double the tax on capital gains and dividends, from the current 15 percent to 28 percent, repeal the Bush tax cuts for upper-income households, maintain a 45 percent "death tax" on upper-level estates, increase taxes on the "windfall profits" of oil companies, raise taxes on businesses by "closing corporate tax loopholes," and increase the amount of income that will be subject to payroll taxes.
Reiland's analysis is good as far as it goes, but it overlooks that Pfleger's view is grounded in the politics of what Steve Diamond calls the New Authoritarian Left.

A hilarious summary of the NAL outlook is found in a fast-food chain's latest TV ad for their steak burger:

Lunchroom. Two men chowing down on their burgers. They're approached by a female yuppie sporting the I Will Not Wear Make-up Again Until Global Warming Has Been Reversed radical chic look.

She demands of one man, "What have you done to deserve that burger?"

The man replies, "I gave half my salary to charity."

She turns to the other man and repeats the question.

After pondering he replies guiltily, "I was hungry?"

In answer, she hauls off and slaps his face.

Of course -- of course -- all three actors are white. God forbid an American black should be portrayed on American TV as committing the monstrous act of not feeling guilty about the plight of the downtrodden.

There is something quaintly anachronistic about Pfleger's appeals to white American guilt and indeed the entire social justice philosophy, at least as it's preached by William Ayers and his crowd. They sound for all the world like 19th Century British noblemen exhorting their fellow peers to exert themselves to a greater sense of noblesse oblige.

Earth calling Pfleger, Obama, Ayers and their cadres: You're 50 years too late if you want noblesse oblige to be the American government's guiding domestic or international policy. Let me explain the facts of life to you here in the 21st century.

London has overtaken New York as the financial capital of the world. The European Union has beaten out the United States in terms of GDP. And American workers are in competition with millions of people who have clawed their way out of the most ghastly circumstances and starved themselves to acquire two or three PhDs, then proceeded to shove Americans out of high-paying jobs.

Many of these people are profoundly -- no, rabidly -- nationalistic. To argue that they were brainwashed by their education system into uncritically loving their country -- the argument has no relevance when facing rabidly nationalistic people on the battlefield of the global marketplace.

Translation: when they take your job away, when they arrive with suitcases full of cash to buy up your foreclosed house and the company that fired you, they couldn't care less if you shriek, "You can't do this to me! I'm the descendent of slaves!"

If you think the former-slave mentality is a match for the will of the rest of the world's people, wake up.

If the parishioners at Pfleger's church and Trinity United had a lick of sense, they would rise up and roar back at him, 'We helped build the greatest nation that has ever arisen, and we will not have that triumph taken away by your portrayal of us as descendents of slaves!'

You can't have it both ways. If you've been forced to do something, then you didn't help. Sold into slavery by African chiefs, yes. But the minute your enslaved ancestors got off the boats they became the engine of this nation's rise to greatness.

To forfeit that great triumph to the language of victimhood -- what kind of logic is that?

To those who wail, "You don't understand how we suffered!" -- Tell that to the people who survived the Great Leap Forward and Stalin's purges. Tell that to the survivors of Pol Pot's regime. Tell that the majority of the world's people, who for countless generations suffered under the most brutal regimes.

Go ahead, ask them what their suffering was like. They'll yell back over their shoulder that yes they suffered horribly, and that now they're determined to kick you and your suffering into the trash heap of history.

This entry is cross-posted at RezkoWatch.

Steve Diamond's 6/15 discussion with John Batchelor about Bill Ayers's education policy, which is the same policy pitched by Obama's chief education advisor, is now available on podcast from KFI-640 AM Los Angeles radio.

See Steve's Global Labor blog for his latest writings on the racist "education debt" policy. (Scroll down past his Gone on Vacation notice.)

Also, I've just been notified by two of Canada's freedom of speech bloggers that a crisis has erupted, so I must return to that front for a few days.

If any other American bloggers want to pitch in, your help would be welcomed. Here is an outline of the crisis, from Blazing Catfur. Also, check with Binks at Free Mark Steyn! for updates on the latest skirmish.

Readers who have been closely following events should realize by now that if the NAL crowd takes the White House and more seats in Congress, the First Amendment has four years, tops, before it falls.

So Americans who have gotten used to the idea of free speech can learn a great deal by studying the machinations of Canada's thought police.

Monday, June 16

The Obama Barf Song

The path of the budding poet is never easy; knowing this, I took with distant gaze the tin cans and old shoes thrown at my first attempt to envelop soaring emotions in the cloak of rhyme. Now I unveil my second poem, exposing it to the cruel examinations of an insensitive world.

Here I sit
My brain having thrown a hissy fit
Must complete two important essays on Barack Obama
But gray matter says No I don't wanna:
If you write another word on that churl
I will make you hurl
O woe betide!
Civilization may be lost for want of a barf bag!

Friday, June 13

Steve Diamond threatens to sue Corrente. Pundita the Merciful is shocked, shocked

Because I don't use pictures at this blog and because three pictures are the punch-line to today's entry, this post is published at RezkoWatch.

Also, Steve Diamond will be a guest this Sunday on the John Batchelor Sunday Show on the KFI-640 portion (available as streaming audio): here:
8:35PM Pacific Time: Steve Diamond, Santa Clara University Law School, from his Global Labor and the Global Economy blog re Barack Obama and William Ayers and the Ayers-supported education theory of compensation to the poorly educated, called the “repayment of 400 years of the education debt to people of color.”

This is the second part of the conversation re Steve's posts Who 'sent' Obama? and When did Barack Obama Meet Bill Ayers?.

Also re the attack on Diamond by Corrente blog accusing him of being an agent of the “VRWC,” the vast right wing conspiracy.
The KFI portion of the show is also available in podcast about 24 hours after broadcast time.

See RezkoWatch for the complete show schedule.

Regarding the education reparations issue, which is heating up, see Steve's post today titled Open the Box. Race again at center of new education lobby.

See this Global Labor post for background on the authoritarian left and education reparations and this one for Barack Obama's stand on the issue.

Thursday, June 12

Strike up the band! Finally, a new website for the John Batchelor Show!

Actually, John announced the news on Sunday. One neat feature of the new site is that he lists the music pieces that introduce show segments each week. The entire site is neat -- very much a reflection of the show -- although it's still a work in progress.

No audio archives yet and I don't think the comment section is working yet.

The tentative schedule for this Sunday's WABC portion of the show is already up. And John has been blogging up a storm on the site.

Tuesday, June 10

Finish the Dance

Wailing and gnashing of teeth has been reaching my ears in recent days and overflowing into my email in-box, as many people suddenly awaken to the scope of the threat that Barack Obama's run for the presidency represents.

"There's not enough time to stop him and his hordes," one reader exclaimed in anguish.

Yes, well, we may have been caught flat-footed. Yet wisdom is the ability to recall in the midst of adversity that how you carry yourself, your character, is the true test.

That lesson was taught to a crowd of adults in a spectacular way by a young girl, and I was lucky enough to be in the audience. Here I recount the story, which I first told Pundita readers in April 2005.

Finish the Dance

"Dear Pundita, It's no problem if you publish this letter but we don't want to give our names or tell where we live, except it's okay to say we're in Asia. We are 19 and 22 and we have been married now less than a year against our families wishes so we had to run away and now we live and work in a big city where our families can't find us.

Even though you sound like a mean person we think you care about people. We can't believe you are American because you understand about the way people in other countries are. It is so true what you said [in "Waiting for Pasha" essay] about not wanting to take out the garbage.

Even though we try to have faith in God we don't want to have children. To bring them into this world where there is so much evil and corruption would be wrong. The older generation will never change. Sometimes we don't feel like going on.

Dear 19 and 22:

So. Our ancestors clawed their way out of the caves, fought behemoths with their bare hands; survived earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, meteor showers and plagues -- all so their descendents could sit on the road and wail.

There are many Americans who understand people in other lands, for many Americans are well traveled and America is a land of immigrants. It's just that you might not know about those Americans, which is one of the nice things about the blogosphere; it allows ordinary Americans to circumvent the traditional media channels and speak directly to people in other lands.

This is a foreign policy blog, not a counselor's office, but we will make an exception this one time by way of a warning. This blog discusses very difficult subjects; we try to get to the bedrock of what's wrong with many things. The blog is not meant for young people, but for people who have lived long enough to be able to put bad things in context -- see them as part of the big picture.

The big picture is not one of corruption and evil, else humans would have killed each other off eons ago. But with every leap in technology or knowledge, some humans get the jump on the rest.

When that happens, adults must set things back in order. For that, we need to look squarely at situations, to see what we're really dealing with. That is not easy and it involves taking a critical stance.

You may think what you wish of your elders and you should take care to avoid their clutches, if you think they mean you harm. However, you must never let down your ancestors -- all those who came before. Do not sneer at their efforts, for there is nothing good in this modern world that they did not help create.

For that reason, find words of praise for elders and temper your criticism with a remembrance of their accomplishments. By thanking your elders on occasion, if only in your thoughts, you are remembering to thank all those who came before.

It is none of Pundita's business whether you choose to have children, but if you allow the bad in this world to overwhelm your thinking you forget that this is your time. There is no way to avoid suffering and grief, no way to avoid really bad things that are determined to visit. But you should remember those things are happening in your time. No one can own that time except you.

Being human is to make many unwise choices, but that is not all it means. Once, Pundita was a guest at a Bharata Natyam recital that took place in Bethesda in the state of Maryland. The Bharata Natyam is surely one of the most difficult dances that humanity has thought up; it's an accurate reflection of the very ancient and complex Indian culture.

Except for a handful in attendance, including Pundita, the audience was Indian. The recital was a graduation ceremony for Indian girls who had been studying Bharata Natyam for years -- some practicing since early childhood.

One girl riveted the audience's attention. She was beautiful, incredibly graceful, and for one so young she demonstrated surprising mastery of the dance.

For a moment I ask you to put yourself in that girl's place and also realize that the Indian culture is very conservative, very restrained. Think of yourself practicing for years to master a very difficult activity. Finally comes the time to demonstrate everything your teacher has taught you and make your parents and community proud.

Now ask yourself what might be the worst thing that could happen to you on that stage, with all eyes upon you.

Suddenly a murmur went through the audience. As the girl continued through the dance, something white showed at the bottom of her costume. The woman next to me gripped my arm and whispered, "Oh my God her pantaloons have come undone!"

Yes. The button or safety pin had given out. As the hapless child continued her dance the baggy underwear slowly continued their descent. A look of horror fleeted across the girl's face. The other dancers broke their stride a bit to glance in sympathy.

The girl's teacher raced to a stage wing and gestured, calling softly for the girl to come offstage so she could regain her dignity and her pantaloons. Everyone would have understood if she left momentarily under those awful circumstances.

A look of determination fleeted across the girl's face; within an instant the look was gone, replaced by the stylized expression of the goddess her dance was meant to represent.

Without missing a beat, and as the pantaloons continued their downward journey to twist around her ankles, the girl continued with her dance.

Even before the final triumphant stamp of her feet the audience was standing and clapping her on.

Only when all the other dancers took their bow did she abandon the role of the goddess her dance portrayed. She whisked off the pantaloons, scampered to her teacher's embrace, then disappeared backstage for pantaloon repair.

Then at the insistence of the other dancers, her teacher, parents, the musicians and the audience, the girl shyly returned to the stage to take a bow to thunderous ovation.

As the audience dispersed I heard an elderly man murmur, "It was as if Saraswati [the Hindu goddess of wisdom] appeared tonight to teach us all a lesson."

Goddess or no goddess, the lesson was abundantly clear. To be human means you can't avoid making a damn fool out of yourself, even if you're the best-looking and most accomplished of the lot. But you show the spark of that which transcends the human condition when you hang in there and finish your dance.

Monday, June 9

The Obama Way Schema, Part 2

I sent a draft of the Obama Schema to Steve Diamond, who has been instrumental in exposing Obama's true relationship with Ayers and revealing for the general public the workings of the New Authoritarian Left and Obama's involvement with it.

I explained that the schema was still in the sketch stage and asked if he would critique its general points. He replied, "I think the direction you're going in makes a lot of sense. Keep at it."

With that encouragement I decided to publish the schema in its rough form. I thought it would help place Diamond's interview with John Batchelor about the Obama-Bill Ayers relationship into a larger context.

However, my problem with refining the schema is that I'm still near the bottom of a steep learning curve about the way things work in Chicago, the American teaching establishment and the New Authoritarian Left.

So I turned to blog friend Mark Safranski for his thoughts on the schema. Mark is a teacher and educational consultant in the Chicago area and has lived in the area for years. His speciality is the history of diplomacy.

His ZenPundit belongs to the blogosphere's rarified intelligentsia tier. Yet Mark's writings, which focus on the intersections of foreign and defense policies, history, military theory -- with an emphasis on fourth generation warfare -- national security, strategic thinking, futurism, and cognition, are never stuffy. He's helping explain important aspects of the 21st century, and in a language that the general public can understand.

All this is another way of saying that Mark is not only knowledgeable about the U.S. education establishment, the Left and Chicago politics, he is also extremely bright.

Before I turn to his reply, a few words about the illustration that accompanies the cross-post of this entry at RezkoWatch.

I stole the picture from Binky, who published it as his editorial comment about news that the dreaded thought police at the Canadian Human Rights Commission were having their annual wing-ding.

The caveat is that Steve Diamond has taken care to distinguish the New Authoritarian Left from communism, and we all must pay attention to his points. However, when you strip it down to the bare bone, they're all a bunch of commies except:

(a) we can't say this because they'll start whining about McCarthyism, and

(b) they know that anyone with half a brain who's read the history of communism's failures doesn't want to be associated with any movement labeled communist.

All right; here are Mark's thoughts on the Obama Schema. I have bolded points that jumped out at me.
Bill Ayers is a malevolent idiot but the real damage would be done if his followers captured the highly obscure regional accreditation boards that certify school districts or the bureaucracies of state-level boards of education that have the last word on teacher licensure. Right now, primarily he's ruining a College of Ed at a decent public university and preaching to the converted at associations of academics.

Ayers has no real creative gestalt on this subject; he's simply cobbled together attitudes and positions that were already floating in the 80's academic Left when he was getting his doctorate. I heard much of his argument in bits and pieces 20 years ago. His contribution amounts to political tactics to try to steer this authoritarian ideology through legislative and bureaucratic channels.

I agree though, that if Obama becomes President, he'll be calling on Bill for names to fill 2nd-5th tier appointments at the Department of Education. It will be very ugly.

The politically active radical Left in Chicago politics are in an unspoken bargain with the [Chicago Mayor] Daley Machine, which itself is not ideological (instead it revolves around personal loyalty and " Ubi Est Mea" or " Where's Mine?").

The Left groups -- like certain street-gang front, Mafia-connected fixers and friendly union locals -- have to:

1. Deliver a regular vote, a campaign election force of volunteers and political contributions.

2. Get their reps on the City Council in line when Daley gives the order.

These are non-negotiable forms of tribute but if a group can do this, the Machine opens doors to city contracts, patronage, consulting and -- eventually, when loyalty is proven -- slotting their candidates for county, state or federal office as Democratic candidates.

The Left groups can indulge in their ideological projects up to the point where the rhetoric causes Daley problems by attracting too much attention. Recall the Mayor cracking the whip on Senator Dick Durbin for comments comparing the U.S. military in Guantanamo to the Nazis. Durbin quickly apologized.

The Leftists are peripheral in Chicago; bringing them along was actually politically inefficient for Obama because he would have risen faster in Illinois politics if he had dived into the corruption instead of dancing around the margins using Rezko as a cutout. You are better off as a young pol being the pal of Alderman Dick Mell than of Bill Ayers. So his radical Left allies must mean quite a bit to Obama.

As for Rezko, who was he laundering money for in Las Vegas when he was kiting checks for hundreds of thousands of dollars? That next trial should be interesting. [1]

Hopefully, given Rezko's global connections, the IRS, DOJ and FBI will take a look at the money trail.
5:00 PM Update
I realize the distinction is a difficult one to grapple with. My view is that communism in the form that Marx and Engels agitated for was, in fact, a radical form of democracy (as in the Paris Commune, for example) as hard as that is for many after many decades of obfuscation by Stalin and his epigones (including Mao, Che, Ortega, Chavez, Ayers, Davidson, etc.) who have an authoritarian agenda. Thus, I prefer neo-stalinism as opposed to communism.
Steve Diamond"

How about if we split the difference and just call them thugs?
1) The Chicago Tribune reports that the date for Tony Rezko's next trial has been set—it's February 4, 2009. "U.S. District Judge James Zagel set Feb. 4 for Rezko to stand trial on wire fraud charges stemming from accusations that he used false information to obtain loans in the fraudulent sale of his pizza businesses. Rezko is to stand trial with Abdelhamid Chaib, a businessman who worked for him." (H/T RezkoWatch)

Sunday, June 8

Only Steyn

Before I got involved with Section 13 matters I'd read Mark Steyn maybe three times, so one of the unexpected perks of my efforts to stay abreast of the doings in Canada is that I visit Steyn's website every day.

I try to limit my reading while there to Section 13 stuff but invariably I am tempted by a catchy title, which is how I came to have trouble remembering Steyn's first name. That's because I send so many correspondents snippets from a Steyn essay with the note, "Only Steyn" or "Steyn, who else?"

Who else, indeed, would pop out with 'you know, honkys have their own oral tradition' and mention ancient Greek poems, while everyone else was saying, 'well I never!' and beating their chest over Rev. Jeremiah Wright's assertion that blacks are genetically wired for orality. Only Steyn.

It's not that he can't be serious, and he certainly tackles grim enough topics, and yet there is a kind of divine silliness about the way he can see things that puts even the most calamitous human follies in perspective. This observation holds even for the terribly grim subject of Barack Obama -- a subject that gets grimmer with each revelation about Obama's associations. Who could tangle himself up with Obama's pretentiousness in such a hilarious way?
A few months back, just after the New Hampshire primary, a Canadian reader of mine – John Gross of Quebec – sent me an all-purpose stump speech for the 2008 campaign:

"My friends, we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I hope you'll join with me as we try to change it."

I thought this was so cute, I posted it on the Web at National Review. Whereupon one of those Internetty-type things happened, and three links and a Google search later the line was being attributed not to my correspondent but to Sen. Obama, and a few weeks after that I started getting e-mails from reporters from Florida to Oregon, asking if I could recall at which campaign stop the senator, in fact, uttered these words. And I'd patiently write back and explain that they're John Gross' words, and that not even Barack would be dumb enough to say such a thing in public. Yet last week his demand in his victory speech that we "come together to remake this great nation" came awful close.

Speaking personally, I don't want to remake America. I'm an immigrant, and one reason I came here is because most of the rest of the Western world remade itself along the lines Sen. Obama has in mind. This is pretty much the end of the line for me. If he remakes America, there's nowhere for me to go – although presumably once he's lowered sea levels around the planet there should be a few new atolls popping up here and there. ...
Steyn, who else? Only Steyn.

Steve Diamond's latest post on the Obama-Ayers relationship

You're so 1988... Also see today's earlier Pundita post.

Reminder: Steve Diamond will guest on John Batchelor's radio show tonight to discuss when Obama and Ayers really met. See yesterday's post for details and links to streaming audio.

A schema reveals the Obama Way

"What both groups shared was the authoritarian outlook – that they knew what needed to be done and that they were going to impose their views on the legitimate democratic movements that they became a part of (such as the anti-war or civil rights or labor movements) no matter what the instincts of the actual members of these movements.

"... hostility to democracy is what all of the tendencies I have discussed here share, whether old-style American Communists, the new communists of the new left or today’s authoritarian leftist sympathizers with Chavez and Castro. ...

"And I think that hostility to democracy is the danger in the apparent role of the new authoritarian left in the Obama campaign."
-- Steve Diamond

The schema I discuss here is more a sketch than a blueprint but it sheds much light on who Barack Obama is, as a politician. Those who take the cautious approach have been looking at Obama, whose campaign slogan is 'hope and change' and asking, "What exactly does he mean by change?"

Given his thin resume in Washington, the only reliable answer comes from understanding Obama's political life in Chicago. That life seems -- to those outside the milieu -- a patchwork of big money backers, black nationalists, corrupt politicians. shady businesspeople, leftists, and political party bosses.

The patchwork adds up to a confusing picture because all the data are assigned the same value; i.e., 'bad or questionable associations.' Recently I came across a comment at a blog that was to the effect, 'Okay, is he a communist, a black nationalist, a crook, a leftist, a radical Muslim, or what?'

What was needed was a schema or a blueprint, if you will, which revealed the value of all those relationships to Barack Obama.

After studying the writings of Sol Stern and Steve Diamond about America's authoritarian leftists I realized that Diamond's discussion about the meaning of "authoritarianism" was the key to creating a schema.(1)

Diamond sardonically observed that when you attempt to nail down "new authoritarian leftists," (NAL) such as William Ayers, they sound like Mom and apple-pie liberals. But it's not the social view and programs they espouse that's the key to understanding the NAL; it's how they go about implementing the programs that defines them.

A good example is Ayers's methods to protest the American government and capitalism: You don't bother with the democratic process. Instead, you subvert the public education system to indoctrinate children with communist and anti-American attitudes.

(Ayers rationalizes this practice in the same way he rationalized terrorism. He takes the position of the victim beset on all sides by powerful enemies and overwhelmed by the evils of a system he can't change -- except through anti-democratic means.)

So I returned to a study of Obama's key relationships in Chicago. This time I cast out how the various parties were termed; e.g., "leftist," "politicians," and focused on how the parties got things done. They relied on a variety of non-democratic means of achieving a political goal. That's another way of saying they were authoritarian.

From that viewpoint, situations as diverse as Obama's support of a Kenyan politician who directed mass murder to fight a contested election, and Obama's relationship with William Ayers, reveal the same root: authoritarianism.

With that realization the real Barack Obama stepped out from the fog of his associations. This man belongs to the Democrat Party but he does not believe in the democratic form of government.

Many other situations fit into the schema; even Obama's willingness to talk without preconditions to strongmen leaders is perfectly understandable when viewed against his authoritarian leanings. These are men he feels he understands -- does understand -- and he finds nothing terribly wrong with their approach to governing the masses.

It even explains why he would be less willing to talk to Hamas without preconditions except through backchannel means. The Hamas leaders are mere servants, flunkies for the strongmen leaders.

In the Gremlins post I gave a few demonstrations of how seemingly diverse data about Obama's associations fit into the authoritarian schema:

> Michelle Obama's complaining style of talking to the public: straight out the NAL playbook.

> Michael Pfleger's anti-white rant to churchgoers: straight out of Bill Ayers's version of the NAL playbook.

> An early Obama political campaign, where he sought the backing of the New Party: that organization was straight out of the NAL.

Can Tony Rezko and his network of corrupt politicians and businesspeople fit into the schema? Yes, but only if you set up clear distinctions so you don't get sidetracked:

> There is the issue of Rezko's criminal activities.

> There are the issues of his fundraising activities for Obama and deals with him.

But in terms of the schema, the key point about Rezko is that he provided many avenues for subverting the political process in Illinois. That fits perfectly into Obama's authoritarian schema, and points up the specific importance of Rezko's patronage for Obama.

Are there other aspects of Obama that should he taken into consideration? A schema is very limited; that's its utility. So of course there are other of his interests and associations that make up the man. But again, we're just trying to get a clear idea of what he means when he talks about change in the political context.

When you consult the schema, "change" for Obama means relying on authoritarian means to get things done.

For his defenders to claim, 'He was running with all those radicals only because he was trying to succeed in Chicago politics" is looking at everything upside down.

It's not the type of political ideology that is the defining pattern. The pattern is that he chose the milieu that best suited his way of getting ahead in politics.

As I observed at the start, the schema needs refinement. Also, I have not discussed the very aggressive support that Barack Obama has received from the labor unions that represent authoritarian leftist views and the ominous implications.

But the schema in its present form is a handy way of organizing the mountains of data that have emerged in recent months about Obama's time as a politician and community organizer in Chicago.
Speaking of the authoritarian style, meet Obama's brass knuckle "New Politics' -- fits perfectly into the schema.

This entry is cross-posted at RezkoWatch. Two comments about the post label Obama as an elitist. Farrakhan, Wright, Rezko -- these are not elitists. And to consider William Ayers an elitist is ill-advised.

I think it's closer to the truth to say that Obama is skilled at persuading elitists that he's one of them.
Steve Diamond's recent posts on the NAL

Pundita asks: What do I mean by "authoritarian leftism?"

Of guns and bitterness: Obama and the Authoritarian Left

Believe me, Barack is no Communist, But

Recreate 68: Authoritarian Left Blackmails Democratic Party

"The Monster in the Room" Does Obama Support Reparations?

Apparently Obama does, indeed, support reparations

Related Pundita post

What Barack Obama means by change is finally coming clearer...

Sol Stern essays on the NAL in the U.S. school system

The Ed Schools' Latest -- and Worst --- Humbug

Radical Math at the DOE

Radical Equations: Marxist pedagogues are hard at work in New York’s public schools

Obama's Real Bill Ayers Problem

Sol Stern weighs in on social justice teaching

Saturday, June 7

Sunday's John Batchelor Show: Steve Diamond to talk about the Barack Obama-Bill Ayer connection

Attorney, law professor, and labor union expert Dr Stephen F. Diamond will guest on the WABC-77 portion of John Batchelor's radio show this Sunday. They will discuss when Barack Obama and former Weatherman William Ayers met, and Obama's chairmanship of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which Ayers set up in the mid-1990s.

The interview is scheduled for 8:35 PM Eastern Time and will be streamed via the WABC website.

Batchelor will be interviewing other guests about Obama's associations. Visit RezkoWatch for the complete schedule for the WABC and KFI-640 Batchelor show broadcasts.

Here's background reading on when the Ayers-Obama relationship got underway. From Diamond's Global Labor blog:

When did Barack Obama Meet Bill Ayers? (summary)

Ayers-Obama Update...

Who 'sent' Obama? (Diamond's first post on the topic.)

See also data gathered by 'Mel' at No Quarter about a work connection between Barack Obama and Tom Ayers (father of Bill Ayers) and Bill Ayers's brother John that goes back at least as early as 1987.

What does it all add it up to? It adds up to Steve Diamond shaking a joker card out of David Axelrod's sleeve. If you work your way forward on Global Labor starting from Diamond's April 22 post, you'll see with amazement that he also shook an ace, a queen and a king out of the very loose sleeve of Obama's presidential campaign strategist.

The question is whether, at this late date, there's enough time to communicate the true story of Barack Obama to the general public. All I know for sure is that a good start will be made on Batchelor's show tomorrow night.

Friday, June 6

Objection! BC Human Rights Tribunal did not read the complainant's complaint!

Given the way things have gone thus far at the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal (BCHRT) hearing on the matter of Maclean's, I realize my objection is moot. But just for the historical record:

On Day Four of the hearing the tribunal denied a request by Maclean's attorney Julian Porter to cross-examine Naiyer Habib, a director at the Canadian Islamic Congress, about the activities of another CIC member, Dr. Munir al Kasem.

(For details, see "10:21 AM" and "12:04 PM" entries in Andrew Coyne's account of the Thursday proceedings.)

According to Coyne's account Porter argued:
Habib is here offering his views “in his capacity as a director of the CIC” -- says so in the complainants’ summary of evidence.
The tribunal was not moved by the logic. According to Coyne:
The chair rules: The nature of the CIC as an organization is not an issue in the complaint. Dr. Habib filed the complaint in his own right, not on behalf of the CIC. Respondents have not established the relevance of the conduct of the CIC.

It’s quite a blow. Porter can’t ask Habib about any of [Mohamed] Elmasry’s outrageous comments.
(To review, Elmasry is a complainant and President of the CIC. He has not put in an appearance at the hearing and because today is reserved for closing arguments I don't see how Porter could question him even if he shows.)

I will now make an attempt to comprehend why the BCHRT did not reference their own paperwork when they decided on Porter's request.

First question: Did Habib file a complaint in his own right, as distinct from Elmasry's complaint?

The answer is unclear. Certainly, in December 2007, when Mark Steyn published PDF copies of the three complaints against Maclean's et al., the sole complainant for the British Columbia, Ontario and federal filings was shown to be Mohamed Elmasry.

The only mention of Habib's name is on the BC complaint form, where the complainant is asked to provide a mailing address in British Columbia. Elmasry is not a BC a resident. He supplied Habib's address.

Yet Habib as a complainant surfaced in public only a few months ago, when Steyn announced to his readers that Habib was a party to the BC complaint.

Here we arrive at a confusing point. The BCHRT hearing schedule for the week of June 2 shows:
Habib, Elmasry
on behalf of
Muslim residents
in the province of
British Columbia

Taking a stab in the dark, the two case numbers seem to suggest that at some point after receiving Elmasry's April 20, 2007 complaint, Habib filed his own complaint. Another implication from the schedule is that the BCHRT is consolidating complaints from Habib and Elmasry.

But no matter how you slice and dice the questions of who filed a complaint and whether the BCHRT is consolidating two complaints, you come up against the BCHRT's paperwork. Again, I refer to the copy of Elmasry's April 2007 complaint. He completed two forms.

The first is to describe the grounds for his human rights complaint against Maclean's et al.

The second form ("Form 2") is titled "Representative Complaint Form." Here are excerpts from the form with Elmasry's replies shown in quotes and bolded.
If you are making a complaint on behalf of a group or class of persons, complete this form using the attached What is a Representative Complaint? Information Sheet

On whose behalf are you making the complaint?
Name of the group of persons, or description of class of persons.

"Muslim residents of the province of British Columbia."

1. Are you a member of the group or class of persons named or described in Section B?


2. What is your interest in the complaint?

"I am the national President of the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC), the largest Muslim organization engaged in society, political and legal advocacy for Canadian Muslims. As President, it is part of my mandate to protect Muslims (including those residing in BC) from publications which discriminate against them and/or expose them to hatred - contempt."

3. Do you have the authority to act for the group or class of persons and to make this complaint?


If yes, what is your authority?

"I am the elected President of the CIC. Our members include mosques & Muslim residents of BC. As the President, it is part of my mandate to engage in legal advocacy for Muslims (include those residing in BC) where appropriate."
Form 1 shows that Elmasry filed the complaint in his own name, not in the name of the CIC. However, to represent his claim in British Columbia, he had to fill in Form 2, which clearly shows that his authority for claiming to represent BC Muslims is his presidency of the Canadian Islamic Congress.

If the BCHRT is reviewing two complaints in one hearing, Elmasry's answers on Form 2 indicate that questions about the Canadian Islamic Congress would be relevant and important to Habib's complaint.

And given that Habib is also a representative of the CIC, and given that the respondent's attorney was not allowed to question Elmasry, then a reading of Elmasry's answers on Form 2 also gives the BCHRT ample grounds to allow questions to Habib about the CIC and Munir al Kasem.

Moving along, I note that Habib testified yesterday that he filed (or joined) the complaint because he was terribly upset when he read Mark Steyn's article for Macleans. According to Coyne's account:
Of the original article itself, [Habib] said he found the cover shot of women in burkhas “demonizing of Islam,” that it would “make people feel that this what will happen to you if you do not wake up.”

The text, he said, was “discriminating, racial, full of hate.” [...] The article, he says, makes things “dangerous for us.” His wife, who wears the hijab, has been “taunted, told to go back home.” The article “puts fuel on the fire” of a volatile situation, post Sept. 11 [...]
I am sorry to learn that Habib took Steyn's article so badly, yet the question is when he decided that he was so alarmed and upset that he was prompted to file a human rights complaint.

Maclean's published Steyn's article in October, 2006. As of December 2007, when Steyn published copies of the complaints, it doesn't seem that Habib was so overcome with alarm that he had filed a complaint -- or else Steyn would have added that complaint to the PDF copies.

And given that Elmasry surely alerted Habib in 2007 that he wanted to use his name and address for the BC complaint, it is striking that given Habib's alarm about the Steyn piece, he did not co-file with Elmasry in April 2007.

To repeat: If Habib filed his own complaint or signed onto Elmasry's filing as a co-complainant, when did this happen? This year?

And did he ever notify Maclean's of his alarm in 2006 by writing a letter to the editor? Did he ever write an editorial for publication at the Canadian Islamic Congress website, or anywhere? Is there any public record at all of Habib expressing alarm before he spoke at yesterday's hearing?

I note that Habib, who had been in attendance throughout the hearing, showed so little inclination to speak up that on Wednesday Porter had to badger and insult his lawyer into allowing questions to him.

A human rights hearing is not a trial. You can't lose points for testifying because there is no formal testimony. Such hearings are a place where the aggrieved are given a forum to express their reasons for filing a human rights complaint.

Yet without Porter's badgering, Naiyer Habib would not have seen fit to recount the horror of his encounter with Mark Steyn's writing.

Fox News scores on Clinton-Obama "secret" meeting. And attention Hillary supporters: money talks, nobody walks.

This entry is cross-posted at RezkoWatch along with my 'editorial comment' to the RW administrator, an update, and comments from RW readers.

7:55 AM ET Update
A reader pointed out that if his memory served he'd first heard the story of the Hillary-Obama meeting on MSNBC around 8:45 PM ET on Thursday. My check at the MSNBC site shows an updated report at 8:51 PM ET on Thursday, so the reader's memory served him well.

But to my knowledge, so far Fox's scoop on the location of the meeting still holds. NBC/MSNBC could only report:
[...] Robert Gibbs, an Obama spokesman, would not say where the former rivals met, except that it was not at Clinton's home in Washington, as had been widely reported.[...]

On Thursday, at approximately 9:58 PM ET, during the Hannity-Colmes show, Fox News announced that according to senior sources inside the Clinton campaign, Hillary Clinton was meeting at that time with Barack Obama in Washington, D.C.

Reuters limped, not reporting the news until 10:57 PM, and CNN seems so embarrassed by their slow-footed reporting that they didn't even announce the time on their website when they reported on the news.

Meanwhile, on Fox's Greta Van Susteren show, at around 10:14 PM, Fox political correspondent Major Garrett repeated the news and added that according to the two senior Clinton sources, the meeting was taking place at the District residence of Diane Feinstein.

CNN and Reuters were only able to report that the meeting took place at an undisclosed location.

Meanwhile, Fox correspondent Aaron Burns, on stakeout at Hillary's District residence since 5:00 AM, was reporting to Greta that unless there was a secret tunnel he couldn't see how Hillary had left the house to meet with Obama and that there was no sign of Obama's secret service detail at Hillary's house.

Back to Garrett: Yep, Hillary is indeed in a meeting with Obama at Feinstein's house according to those Clinton sources. He explained that the location of the meeting was highly significant because Feinstein is a staunch Hillary supporter.

He also analyzed why Obama was willing to meet with Clinton; her announcement that she intended to support his candidacy was "predicate" to the meeting, which was a step toward reconciling divisions in the party that arose during the primary.

Major Garrett's scoop suggests that several months ago Clinton advisors figured out that the only major news outlet that can be trusted to report fairly on her campaign is Fox News. Here is the Fox report on the Clinton-Obama meeting at Feinstein's house.

Fox also reports on their website that Clinton is expected to seek help from Obama in retiring her $30 million debt -- and that Obama's campaign wants her help with fundraising.

What does this mean for Democrats who want to take their fight for Hillary's presidential aspirations all the way to Denver, and who swear they won't vote for Obama under any circumstances? I believe it means that in politics when money talks, nobody walks:
Clinton will likely seek help from Obama in retiring her massive campaign debt, which has swollen to more than $30 million, including $11 million she lent the effort, advisers said Thursday.

The former first lady, who plans to bow out of the race and endorse Obama on Saturday, told donors she will raise money for Obama’s campaign, both to help the Democratic Party’s cash position and to expand the Illinois senator’s prodigious fundraising base. Her advisers estimate the former first lady could bring in $50 million to $100 million for the general election campaign — and much more if she were named Obama’s running mate.

The advisers spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Clinton hosted a conference call Thursday with her national finance committee, urging them to shift gears and begin raising money for Obama and for the Democratic National Committee, which will be coordinating fundraising efforts with the Obama campaign.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean has already reached out to some major Clinton fundraisers, urging them to put aside any lingering bitterness over the primary and come aboard to help Obama. Dean dined with several top donors in Boston on Wednesday night.

“He clearly made the case to this group of people that he needed them very badly and asked for our willingness to reach out and join up with the campaign as soon as possible,” said Steve Grossman, a former DNC chairman and a Clinton supporter.

But in return, the group had asked Dean to relay to the Obama campaign “how very focused they are on Hillary being on the ticket,” Grossman said.

Earlier this week, Clinton’s national finance chairman, Hassan Nemazee, said he was also pushing an Obama-Clinton ticket, claiming that together they would be able to raise $200 million to $250 million for the general election.