Wednesday, 07 May 2008

HOW DID THE POLLS DO?

Ken Berwitz

In this, the final installment of "Poll Frolix", we do have a winner.

Zogby called North Carolina for Barack Obama by 12% and Indiana by 2%.  Obama won North Carolina by 14% and lost Indiana by 2%.  If you forget the untidy little fact that - albeit at very low levels - the result in Indiana was reversed, Zogby really was very much on target.  Congratulations on either great polling or great luck.

Equally (maybe even more) impressive was PPP (I am not familiar with this organization but I'll pay attention to it now).  It gave Obama a 10% edge in North Carolina and Clinton 5% in Indiana. PPP was about as close as Zogby AND got both results right.

The biggest loser was SurveyUSA.  It predicted a 5% win for Obama in North Carolina and a 12% win for Clinton in Indiana.  Whoops.


JOHN MCCAIN AND LA RAZA

Ken Berwitz

Improbable though it may have seemed just months ago, Republicans have a genuine shot as retaining the White House in November.

Barack Obama has all but cinched the Democratic nomination.  That means he brings his non-existent rsum, his associations with jeremiah wright, william ayers, bernardine dohrn and "tony" rezko, and his obviously race-based appeal to a general election. 

Under most circumstances this would be easy pickings for John McCain.  And until now I have pretty much seen it as such. 

But now we have the news that Mr. McCain is going to attend a major event of "La Raza".  And this changes things by plenty.

Do you know what "La Raza" ("The Race") is? Do you know what it stands for?  Do you know how antithetical it is to Republicans, especially Republican conservatives? 

Michelle Malkin has done a terrific piece on this, which I have copied below.  Read it and wonder if McCain is in his right mind:

Top 10 reasons McCain should repudiate the National Council of La Raza

By Michelle Malkin    May 6, 2008 11:00 AM

I told you yesterday about John McCains plans to speak to the National Council of La Raza (The Race) in July. Here are the top 10 reasons he should repudiate the radical open borders, speech-squelching group that he has long embraced:

10. La Raza supports drivers licenses for illegal aliens.

9. La Raza supports in-state tuition discounts for illegal alien students that are not available to law-abiding US citizens and law-abiding legal immigrants.

8. La Raza opposes cooperative immigration enforcement efforts between local, state, and federal authorities.

7. La Raza sponsors militant ethnic nationalist charter schools subsidized by your public tax dollars, including the Aztlan Academy in Tucson, AZ, the Mexicayotl Academy in Nogales, AZ, and Academia Cesar Chavez Charter School in St. Paul, Minn.

6. La Raza gives mainstream cover to a poisonous subset of ideological satellites, led by Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, or Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan (MEChA), which the late GOP Rep. Charlie Norwood rightly characterized as a radical racist group[and] one of the most anti-American groups in the country, which has permeated U.S. campuses since the 1960s, and continues its push to carve a racist nation out of the American West.

5. La Raza opposes a secure fence on the southern border.

4. Former La Raza president Raul Yzaguirre, Hillary Clintons Hispanic outreach advisor said this:

US English is to Hispanics as the Ku Klux Klan is to blacks. He was referring to US English the nations oldest, largest citizens action group dedicated to preserving the unifying role of the English language in the United States.

La Raza also pioneered Orwellian open-borders Newspeak and advised the Mexican government on how to lobby for illegal alien amnesty while avoiding the terms illegal and amnesty.

3. La Raza is currently leading a smear campaign against staunch immigration enforcement leaders and has called for TV and cable TV networks to keep immigration enforcement proponents off the airwavesin addition to pushing for Fairness Doctrine policies to shut up their foes.

2. La Raza has consistently opposed post-9/11 national security measures at every turn.

1. The National Council of La Raza means The National Council of The Race, for Gods sake.

Their signature slogan, chanted at pro-illegal alien rallies from coast to coast, is La raza unida nunca sera vencida.

A united [Hispanic] race will never be defeated.

What possible good will come out of a GOP presidential candidate giving legitimacy and credibility to a sovereignty-undermining, assimilation-rejecting, law-defying group that calls itself The Race?

***

Victor Davis Hanson:

I agree that John McCain should not attend any conference of a group called National Council of the Race. In a multiracial society, Rev. Wrights rich white folks, Obamas typical white person, and clingers comments, and the idea of The Race will eventually doom us all. And its time no one gets a pass any more.

Jonathan Martin cluelessly suggests that McCain is trying to show that hes not George W. Bush by going into the lions den and taking hostile, unscripted questions from adversarial groups.

Hostile? Adversarial? Do your homework, MSM.

McCain was honored by The Race in 1999, keynoted The Races 2004 conference, and has championed their agenda for years.

Is he kidding?

McCain already has generated a great deal of enmity among his party's base for a succession of positions and decisions they consider to be ridiculous, even pro-Democrat.  Like McCain-Feingold for example.  Now he's going to commune with a radical left group that hates Whites and supports illegal aliens?

I don't know how to say this any other way:  It makes me wonder if John McCain has a screw loose.


BOOT HILLARY....BUT SAVE A SPOT FOR BARACK

Ken Berwitz

For weeks and weeks I've assured you that when it came to Hillary Clinton's competition with Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination "this ain't over yet".

Now it is.

Ms. Clinton had to win Indiana srongly and be competitive in North Carolina to have any realistic chance of convincing the super-delegates that she was more electable than Mr. Obama.  Instead, she eked out a win in Indiana by next to nothing (51%-49%) and got blown out in North Carolina (56% - 42%).

Game, set, match.

But what did we learn (again) about Barack Obama's chances in November?  I'll show you by reprising an incident that occurred earlier in the campaign.

When Geraldine Ferraro said that Mr. Obama had an advantage being Black in these primaries she was attacked as a racist.  But reality is what it is:  About 30% of all North Carolinian voters are Black and, based on exit polling, over 90% of them voted for the Black candidate (yeah, I know he's half White but everyone, INCLUDING OBAMA, is calling him an "African American now).

Let's work out the numbers, ok?

-30% of all North Carolinian voters are Black.  Virtually all Black voters (about 95%) are Democrats. 

-Virtually all the Blacks who voted Democrat in North Carolina (over 90% according to the exit polls) voted for Mr. Obama. 

Without getting intricate with the math, that works out to a majority of  the Democratic primary vote comprised of Black voters, who were virtually monolithic in their support of Barack Obama.  It also means a strong majority of White primary voters preferred Hillary Clinton, but since Whites are far more willing to vote for a Black candidate than Blacks are to vote for a White candidate (you read that right), She never had a chance.

So tell me, was it an advantage for Barack Obama to be Black ? 

And tell me something else:  in the general election, when the additional voters are virtually all White, is it an advantage for John McCain?  Is there another 30% of the Black voting population in North Carolina comprised of Republicans and Independents? 

When you answer those questions, you understand why Democrats should be shaking in their boots about November.

Clear two spaces on Boot Hill.


FEAR OF FUNDAMENTALIST ISLAM

Ken Berwitz

It doesn't happen often, but every now and again the Huffington Post surprises me with a logical, well-written article.  And today's the day.

Sam Harris has put together a piece on how media cringe before Islamic fundamentalists.  It is excellent.  And it is straight from www.huffingtonpost.com

Here are key excerpts (it is too long to post entirely, but you can read it all by clicking here).  The bold print is mine:

Posted May 5, 2008 | 10:13 AM (EST)


Geert Wilders, conservative Dutch politician and provocateur, has become the latest projectile in the world's most important culture war: the zero-sum conflict between civil society and traditional Islam. Wilders, who lives under perpetual armed guard due to death threats, recently released a 15 minute film entitled Fitna ("strife" in Arabic) over the internet. The film has been deemed offensive because it juxtaposes images of Muslim violence with passages from the Qur'an. Given that the perpetrators of such violence regularly cite these same passages as justification for their actions, merely depicting this connection in a film would seem uncontroversial. Controversial or not, one surely would expect politicians and journalists in every free society to strenuously defend Wilders' right to make such a film. But then one would be living on another planet, a planet where people do not happily repudiate their most basic freedoms in the name of "religious sensitivity."

Witness the free world's response to Fitna: The Dutch government sought to ban the film outright, and European Union foreign ministers publicly condemned it, as did UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Dutch television refused to air Fitna unedited. When Wilders declared his intention to release the film over the internet, his U.S. web-host, Network Solutions, took his website offline.

Into the breach stepped Liveleak, a British video-sharing website, which finally aired the film on March 27th. It received over 3 million views in the first 24 hours. The next day, however, Liveleak removed Fitna from its servers, having been terrorized into self-censorship by threats to its staff. But the film had spread too far on the internet to be suppressed (and Liveleak, after taking further security measures, has since reinstated it on its site as well).

Wilders, like Westergaard and the other Danish cartoonists, has been widely vilified for "seeking to inflame" the Muslim community. Even if this had been his intention, this criticism represents an almost supernatural coincidence of moral blindness and political imprudence. The point is not (and will never be) that some free person spoke, or wrote, or illustrated in such a manner as to inflame the Muslim community. The point is that only the Muslim community is combustible in this way. The controversy over Fitna, like all such controversies, renders one fact about our world especially salient: Muslims appear to be far more concerned about perceived slights to their religion than about the atrocities committed daily in its name. Our accommodation of this psychopathic skewing of priorities has, more and more, taken the form of craven and blinkered acquiescence.

There is an uncanny irony here that many have noticed. The position of the Muslim community in the face of all provocations seems to be: Islam is a religion of peace, and if you say that it isn't, we will kill you. Our capitulations in the face of these threats have had what is often called "a chilling effect" on our exercise of free speech.

In a thrillingly ironic turn of events, a shorter version of the very essay you are now reading was originally commissioned by the opinion page of Washington Post and then rejected because it was deemed too critical of Islam. Please note, this essay was destined for the opinion page of the paper, which had solicited my response to the controversy over Wilders' film. The irony of its rejection seemed entirely lost on the Post, which responded to my subsequent expression of amazement by offering to pay me a "kill fee." I declined.

A point of comparison: The controversy of over Fitna was immediately followed by ubiquitous media coverage of a scandal involving the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS). In Texas, police raided an FLDS compound and took hundreds of women and underage girls into custody to spare them the continued, sacramental predations of their menfolk. While mainstream Mormonism is now granted the deference accorded to all major religions in the United States, its fundamentalist branch, with its commitment to polygamy, spousal abuse, forced marriage, child brides (and, therefore, child rape) is often portrayed in the press as a depraved cult. But one could easily argue that Islam, considered both in the aggregate and in terms of its most negative instances, is far more despicable than fundamentalist Mormonism. The Muslim world can match the FLDS sin for sin--Muslims commonly practice polygamy, forced-marriage (often between underage girls and older men), and wife-beating--but add to these indiscretions the surpassing evils of honor killing, female "circumcision," widespread support for terrorism, a pornographic fascination with videos showing the butchery of infidels and apostates, a vibrant form of anti-semitism that is explicitly genocidal in its aspirations, and an aptitude for producing children's books and television programs which exalt suicide-bombing and depict Jews as "apes and pigs."

Any honest comparison between these two faiths reveals a bizarre double standard in our treatment of religion. We can openly celebrate the marginalization of FLDS men and the rescue of their women and children. But, leaving aside the practical and political impossibility of doing so, could we even allow ourselves to contemplate liberating the women and children of traditional Islam?

The connection between the doctrine of Islam and Islamist violence is simply not open to dispute. It's not that critics of religion like myself speculate that such a connection might exist: the point is that Islamists themselves acknowledge and demonstrate this connection at every opportunity and to deny it is to retreat within a fantasy world of political correctness and religious apology. Many western scholars, like the much admired Karen Armstrong, appear to live in just such a place. All of their talk about how benign Islam "really" is, and about how the problem of fundamentalism exists in all religions, only obfuscates what may be the most pressing issue of our time: Islam, as it is currently understood and practiced by vast numbers of the world's Muslims, is antithetical to civil society. A recent poll showed that thirty-six percent of British Muslims (ages 16-24) believe that a person should be killed for leaving the faith. Sixty-eight percent of British Muslims feel that their neighbors who insult Islam should be arrested and prosecuted, and seventy-eight percent think that the Danish cartoonists should have been brought to justice. And these are British Muslims.

Occasionally, however, a lone voice can be heard acknowledging the obvious. Hassan Butt wrote in the Guardian:


When I was still a member of what is probably best termed the British Jihadi Network, a series of semi-autonomous British Muslim terrorist groups linked by a single ideology, I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy. By blaming the government for our actions, those who pushed the 'Blair's bombs' line did our propaganda work for us. More important, they also helped to draw away any critical examination from the real engine of our violence: Islamic theology.

It is astounding how infrequently one hears such candor among the public voices of "moderate" Islam. This is what we owe the true moderates of the Muslim world: we must hold their co-religionists to the same standards of civility and reasonableness that we take for granted in all other people. Only our willingness to openly criticize Islam for its all-too-obvious failings can make it safe for Muslim moderates, secularists, apostates--and, indeed, women--to rise up and reform their faith.

And if anyone in this debate can be credibly accused of racism, it is the western apologists and "multiculturalists" who deem Arabs and Muslims too immature to shoulder the responsibilities of civil discourse. As Ayaan Hirsi Ali has pointed out, there is a calamitous form of "affirmative action" at work, especially in western Europe, where Muslim immigrants are systematically exempted from western standards of moral order in the name of paying "respect" to the glaring pathologies in their culture. Hirsi Ali has also observed that there is a quasi-racist double-think on display whenever western powers trumpet that "Islam is peace," all the while taking heroic measures to guard against the next occasion when the barbarians run amok in response to a film, cartoon, opera, novel, beauty pageant--or the mere naming of a teddy bear.

Have you seen the Danish cartoons that so roiled the Muslim world? Probably not, as their publication was suppressed by almost every newspaper, magazine, and television station in the United States. Given their volcanic reception--hundreds of thousands of Muslims rioted, hundreds of people were killed--their sheer banality should have rendered these drawings extraordinarily newsworthy. One magazine which did print them, Free Inquiry (for which I am proud to have written), had its stock banned from every Borders and Waldenbooks in the country. These are precisely the sorts of capitulations that we must avoid in the future.

The lesson we should draw from the Fitna controversy is that we need more criticism of Islam, not less. Let it come down in such torrents that not even the most deluded Islamist could conceive of containing it. As Ibn Warraq, author of the revelatory Why I Am Not a Muslim, said in response to recent events:

It is perverse for the western media to lament the lack of an Islamic reformation and willfully ignore works such as Wilders' film, Fitna. How do they think reformation will come about if not with criticism? There is no such right as 'the right not to be offended; indeed, I am deeply offended by the contents of the Koran, with its overt hatred of Christians, Jews, apostates, non-believers, homosexuals but cannot demand its suppression.

It is time we recognized that those who claim the "right not to be offended" have also announced their hatred of civil society.

The more we acquiesce to fundamentalist Islam out of fear, the more demanding it gets.  There is no accommodation.  There is no middle ground. 

I pity the Muslims who want nothing more than to live and let live.  They are tragic victims.  But do we want to be victimized along with them? 

We will be if we allow them to take control.  That's a guarantee.


THE INSIPIDIOCY OF AL SHARPTON

Ken Berwitz

Insipidiocy is a word I just made up.  It occurs when behavior is both insipid and idiotic.  Which is precisely what al sharpton was today, as he tried to "shut the city down" to protest a judge's decision in the Sean Bell case. 

What did the city of New York do wrong for sharpton to try shutting it down?  No one knows.  Not even sharpton.  But I suppose if it were successful, he might have generated enough media attention to intimidate a few jurors if there is a civil case. 

Well, it wasn't successful.  When CBS news (whose article I'm excerpting below) can only report "hundreds" of protesters at any one site in a city of over 7 million people, over a million of them Black***, it means the protest was DOA.  Even though CBS tried it's best to make more of it than it was.

Please read the following excerpts from their account for yourself (the whole article can be read by clicking here):

Sharpton Arrested In Citywide 'Slowdown' Protests

Nearly 200 Arrested As Protesters Block City Streets, Bridges

NEW YORK (CBS) ― The Rev. Al Sharpton and nearly 200 others were arrested Wednesday amid a series of protests throughout the city, part of a response to the acquittals of three New York City undercover detectives in the 50-shot killing of Sean Bell.

Hundreds took to the streets in Manhattan and Brooklyn as part of the citywide "slowdown" effort led by Sharpton and his National Action Network. Police have arrested those who took part in acts of civil disobedience by blocking the streets to rally, along with entrances to the Triborough, Manhattan, and Brooklyn bridges.

Sharpton was arrested without incident at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, along with Bell's fianc, Nicole Paultre Bell, and the two shooting victims who survived, Trent Benefield and Joseph Guzman.

The rallies are aimed at putting pressure on federal authorities to bring civil rights charges against the officers in the Bell case. The three were acquitted of all charges in a Queens court last month.

Crowds of several hundreds of people clogged each designated protest spot, causing massive traffic headaches. The protests are expected to continue through the evening rush hour. 

The acts of civil disobedience are designed to get the attention of local and federal officials who have the power to pick up where Judge Arthur Cooperman's verdict left off. Protesters want the acquitted NYPD officers --  Michael Oliver, Gescard Isnora, and Marc Cooper -- to face additional sanctions.

That means pushing for both federal civil rights and NYPD departmental charges.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city is prepared for the demonstrations. "It's another example of people being able to protest in New York City," he said. "But everybody can rest assured we will enforce the law."

Last week demonstrators tied up traffic outside Madison Square Garden. Bell's relatives are also expected to join in the demonstrations. 

That's it?  That's all sharpton could muster? Standing in front of cars and ticking people (including a great many Black people, I suspect) off?

Maybe his time would be better spent trying to figure out what he'll say if the Democratic national convention gives him another 20 minutes of prime time this year, the way they did in 2004. I suggest a lecture on how to behave in an insipidiotic manner.

-------------------------------------------------------***UPDATE:  Make that 8 million people, about 2 million of them Black.  I checked the population data and found that I was giving sharpton a major break by understating it.  Sorry al, you exaggerate things in your favor enough by yourself, you don't need me helping you along.


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