Thursday, March 29, 2007
What crime? What thugs? -You may ask. Well, it all started when the Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist was invited to speak at Columbia University, by the College Republicans (those darn troublemakers!). The head of the school's "Chicano Caucus," Karina Garcia, among others, didn't want that to happen. (source)
They organized a "protest" against Mr. Gilchrist, which amounted to storming on the stage as he began to speak, and attempting to unfurl a banner across the stage. When security tried to stop them, they violently resisted, along with elements from the crowd.
Mr. Gilchrist was not allowed to finish his speech. This kind of behavior is intolerable, and would never be tolerated toward a liberal speaker, however controversial. Was this attack on Mr. Gilchrist covertly "sanctioned" by the faculty, or administration? You tell me:
Columbia has not yet meted out punishment to seven identified students who rushed the stage. It has charged them with a minor violation, according to the NY Post. They also cite anonymous sources, who say "Even the mention of the misbehavior will be stricken from their transcripts if they don't get into any more trouble."
This is a gross miscarriage of justice. See my first two posts on this subject:
Minutemen Lose Free Speech Battle at Columbia University
"Whitewash" Christmas at Columbia U. Over Minuteman Attack
Business as usual, for the liberal elite...
There are those who call Mr. Gilchrist, and the Minuteman Project group "racist, bigoted," and "hateful." I have found the same hate, bigotry, and racism in the opponents of the Minutemen. This is what Columbia has chosen to "tolerate."
This was basically a "set up." Columbia decides the "terms of speech" on their "private" property. They have the right to allow this "protest," and to excuse it. They're just "stickin' it to the man" with his own laws. Columbia University takes pride in denying conservative speech, apparently. Bollinger is an expert on the First Amendment, for sure. Especially to where it doesn't apply.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
I predicted little political fallout from Scooter Libby's conviction. Well, here it is, in the form of Valerie Plame testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. This congressional "dog-and-pony show" may not get on the radar of the average Joe or Jane, but it bolsters the "big lie" theory, and will be used against supporters of the Iraq front in the war on Islamist terrorism. I still believe it's political effect will be minimal, unless it presages a wholesale surrender by Republicans on the war. This excerpt is from the latest Evans Novak political report email:
Plame Testimony: The long-awaited first public testimony by Valerie Plame Wilson demonstrated both the determination of Democrats to try to politically milk this story and the weakness of Republicans.
The goal of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is to connect the "outing" of former CIA employee Plame to the Oval Office. The principal target is senior adviser Karl Rove, with the intent to strip him of his security clearance.
To rehabilitate the shopworn story of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, it is necessary for Waxman to establish that Plame was a "covert" operative at the CIA. Without that, there simply is no point to all the fuss. Waxman surprised Republicans by claiming that he had authority from CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden to say that Plame was covert. Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee had tried without success to get from the CIA any definition of Plame's status.
Actually, Hayden apparently told Waxman that Plame was covert but not covert under terms of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. However, this did not come out during the course of the hearing. Republicans in Congress familiar with the situation were furious with Hayden, whom they believe is too cozy with Democrats and plays into anti-Bush sentiment at the agency.
Republicans let Waxman and the Democrats have their way at the hearing, permitting Plame to come over as a poor, persecuted patriot instead of a Democratic partisan. Only two Republicans showed up at the hearing, and they seemed afraid to challenge Plame or bring out the truth about her.
The Plame hearing was an example of the power of the congressional hearing intended to be used by the Democratic majority for political ends. The weakness of the Republican response may also be typical.
If Mr. Novak is correct, this is a disgrace. In her testimony, Victoria Toensing tried to make the point about the difference between a covert agent and a "covered" (under the act) covert agent in the hearing, but was interrupted by the senator who was questioning her.
The Republicans on the committee shirked their duty. They should have been there, to follow up on the real story here. I am shocked, and appalled at the lack of congressional support on this issue. It looks as if the congressional Republicans are showing Bush their "power," which is to let the Dems put the whole Iraq war on trial, in this case.
Politics aside, Ms. Plame's husband tried to undermine US policy, with or without her help. He has been exposed as a prevaricator by the Senate Intelligence Committee, as well as by Mr. Novak. This attempt at rewriting history should not have been countenanced by any House Republican, or person of good concience. The real investigation should be into the Wilsons, and the others involved in the Niger mission.
How did it come to pass that there is no written report to the CIA from this mission? Why did she testify about how he got chosen for this mission only after the Democrats had control of Congress? Why was he cleared by the CIA to write an article in the NY Times about his mission?
One last question: Who at the CIA OK'd Joe Wilson's NY Times article? I'd like to know, even if their status is "covert." Some help, Mr. Novak?
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Dear Christopher Leavitt,
Former Attorney General John Ashcroft will be speaking at Hofstra University's John Cranford Adams Playhouse on Tuesday evening, March 20, at 7:30 p.m.
Hofstra students, faculty, and members of the community are assembling at 7 p.m. in front of the playhouse to protest Ashcroft's systematic attacks on our civil liberties. Through his actions as governor, senator, and then attorney general he has demonstrated his anti-choice, anti-LGBT, pro-censorship, fundamentalist, radical agenda. As a key supporter of the Patriot Act, Ashcroft has savaged our right to privacy and due process at every turn.
Members of the community are encouraged to attend. Join the educational rally and wear black to raise awareness.
I so LOVE being on their mailing list. Let's look at this, shall we? John Ashcroft, private citizen, will be speaking at Hofstra University (less than 10 miles from where I live). The NYCLU, often thought of as the "headquarters" chapter of the ACLU, sends out this "Action Alert," telling their local members to go to Hofstra, and protest.
Protest what? His actions as "governor, senator, and then attorney general?" He is holds none of these titles now. Do they presume to equate him with some war criminal who "got away with it," to deserve such treatment? I feel sorry for people who believe this kind of nonsense. What I won't forgive are the people who spread it, through "grass roots" email campaigns like this.
The NYCLU can rail against the actions Mr. Ashcroft took in his official capacity all they like. To now attack him personally, years after he has left office, exposes the left-wing committment to "the politics of personal destruction." They "carry the grudge" long after his old political opponents stopped caring.
Why do they want to protest his freedom of speech? What more can they say that they haven't already said about him? Will they ever respect his civil liberty to speak in public, without making a publicity grab?
SHAME ON THEM.
This was a contribution to the Stop The ACLU Blogburst. If you would like to join, please email Jay at Jay@stoptheaclu.com or Gribbit at GribbitR@gmail.com. You will be added to our mailing list and blogroll. Over 200 blogs already on-board.
An inside source says that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad will drop his demands if he gets a "one-on-one" meeting with Rodrigo Santoro, the actor who plays the Persian King Xerxes. The inside info is that Ahmedinejad thinks he can fool the "world powers" if he assumes a more feminine personality, intead of his current "apocalyptic" image.
Pres. Bush has resisted the demand, citing "freedom of speech" concerns. Sen. Clinton has "kept an open mind" to Ahmedinejad's proposals, though our inside source says that she is seeking counsel from Gerard Butler, who plays King Leonidas, on how to act like a Spartan.
I have to give credit for this spoof to a bold anchor on ABC news, who commented thusly: "We should offer to withdraw the '300' movie, if Iran withdraws their nuclear program," or words to that effect, following a report on the Iranian government's condemnation of the movie. Here's a link to the NY POST report, by Andy Soltis, which was easier to find, and is compelling in it's own right.
As the French mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot wrote, "In pure science, fads come and go." The perceived climate change crisis is no exception. The 1970s were plagued with reports of "global cooling" and predictions of the "New Ice Age." The media ran with the story and induced theatrics on the level of a Broadway musical, and the public suspected nothing corrupt or scientifically inadequate about the claims. Rather, the masses acted quite similarly to those who now caution the public about "global warming." In spite of this episode of social deja vu, the debate over the cause and potential effects of global warming continues to drive the public and the legislature, each side claiming that empirical data supports their own theories, but the notion that human negligence has caused widespread climatic change is melodramatic and appeals centrally to human arrogance and emotion.
Read the whole post here, or at the link in the title.