Unexamined Premises

Unexamined Premises

Hillary Clinton v. the Oxpeckers: Dead Candidate Walking

April 24th, 2015 - 5:59 am
What the hell was she thinking?

What the hell was she thinking?

That the Hillary! candidacy is doomed is now a foregone conclusion. Madame Defarge has no aptitude for the job, only a taste for it, and a venomous certainty that it is somehow rightfully hers. But when you’ve lost Jon Chait:

The qualities of an effective presidency do not seem to transfer onto a post-presidency. Jimmy Carter was an ineffective president who became an exemplary post-president. Bill Clinton appears to be the reverse. All sorts of unproven worst-case-scenario questions float around the web of connections between Bill’s private work, Hillary Clinton’s public role as secretary of State, the Clintons’ quasi-public charity, and Hillary’s noncompliant email system. But the best-case scenario is bad enough: The Clintons have been disorganized and greedy.

The news today about the Clintons all fleshes out, in one way or another, their lack of interest in policing serious conflict-of-interest problems that arise in their overlapping roles:

There follows a list of the various Clinton disasters we have lovingly been chronicling here for weeks now. Still, it’s instructive that the default mode on the Left is to attribute to “disorganization,” “greed” and “sloppiness” (hello, Sandy Berger!) what is almost certainly outright and overt criminal behavior, undertaken in the belief that no one would ever be held accountable.

When you are a power couple consisting of a former president and a current secretary of State and likely presidential candidate, you have the ability to raise a lot of money for charitable purposes that can do a lot of good. But some of the potential sources of donations will be looking to get something in return for their money… And yet the Clintons paid little to no attention to this problem. Nicholas Confessore described their operation as “a sprawling concern, supervised by a rotating board of old Clinton hands, vulnerable to distraction and threatened by conflicts of interest. It ran multimillion-dollar deficits for several years, despite vast amounts of money flowing in.” Indeed, as Ryan Lizza reported in 2012, Bill Clinton seemed to see the nexus between his role and his wife’s as a positive rather than a negative:

Regardless of Bill Clinton’s personal feelings about Obama, it didn’t take him long to see the advantages of an Obama Presidency. More than anyone, he pushed Hillary to take the job of Secretary of State. “President Clinton was a big supporter of the idea,” an intimate of the Clintons told me. “He advocated very strongly for it and arguably was the tie-breaking reason she took the job.” For one thing, having his spouse in that position didn’t hurt his work at the Clinton Global Initiative. He invites foreign leaders to the initiative’s annual meeting, and her prominence in the Administration can be an asset in attracting foreign donors. “Bill Clinton’s been able to continue to be the Bill Clinton we know, in large part because of his relationship with the White House and because his wife is the Secretary of State,” the Clinton associate continued. “It worked out very well for him. That may be a very cynical way to look at it, but that’s a fact. A lot of the stuff he’s doing internationally is aided by his level of access.”

Well, duh. Throughout the entire Clinton period, the media has done its best to ignore the organized-crime roots of Bill Clinton’s political career, from his early apprenticeship at the feet of the legendary Prohibition-Era gangster, Owney Madden, to the criminal nature of the town of Hot Springs, Ark., where Bubba grew up, to the quid-pro-quo gangland tactics both Clintons have always employed in their dealings with the wider world beyond the Ouchita mountains. Exactly none of what the Clintons now stand revealed as having done, both politically and through their phony “charity,” should come as a surprise to anybody who’s been paying the slightest bit of attention for the past twenty years.

The Obama administration wanted Hillary Clinton to use official government email. She didn’t. The Obama administration also demanded that the Clinton Foundation disclose all its donors while she served as Secretary of State. It didn’t comply with that request, either. The Clintons’ charitable initiatives were a kind of quasi-government run by themselves, which was staffed by their own loyalists and made up the rules as it went along. Their experience running the actual government, with its formal accountability and disclosure, went reasonably well. Their experience running their own privatized mini-state has been a fiasco.

And yet, the fact that it is coming as a shock to some die-hard Democrats is a tribute to the remarkable power of the Clinton-friendly media, which (as Glenn Reynolds has pointed out) sees its job not so much as deciding what to report, but what not to report, especially when it comes to its beloved Democrat party, famously described by your truly as a “criminal organization masquerading as a political party” — which of course it is. It cannot be emphasized too strongly that this comes about in part from the fact that elite liberal journalists and politicians naturally gravitate toward each other — they all attended the same schools and live in the same neighborhoods — and also from the journalists’ nagging sense that they really should have been Southern Poverty Law Center lawyers, rather than the oxpeckers they actually are.

What’s an oxpecker, you ask?

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Let us please stipulate that in a rational world, a woman like Hillary Rodham Clinton would have absolutely no chance of being nominated for, much less elected, president of the United States. She has achieved nothing, accomplished nothing (unless you count the four dead Americans at Benghazi, for which she will ultimately be held responsible); she is an exremely poor public speaker, full of annoying verbal and physical tics; she is legendarily dishonest; she is a hard-core Alinskyite; and in general a wretched human being. By rights, she should be laughed off the stage, the same way the smart set laughed at Lurleen Wallace, who succeeded her husband George Wallace, the racist Democrat, as governor of Alabama back in 1967.  She has no natural political constituency, except the manufactured “women’s vote,” and no rationale for her candidacy except that it’s “time” for a woman president, just as it was “time” for a part-black African, part-Arab, half-white, paternally cultural Muslim to pass for a traditional African-American Christian and be elected president in 2008.

And yet, even after the comically disastrous and transparently phony launch of her new “campaign,” she’s considered the “inevitable” Democrat nominee for 2016 and, very likely, the next president of the United States. For the sake of democracy in America, she needs to be defeated and politically destroyed. Break Hillary and you have begun to break the power of the Mainstream Media, a fifth column masquerading as the Fourth Estate whose mission it has been for decades to “fundamentally transform” the United States of America.

For the only reason an HRC candidacy is even plausible is the influence of the legacy media, which has simply declared, by fiat, her suitability and her inevitability. You may recall that the MSM did the same thing in the run-up to 2008, until their dreamboat, Obama, came along and gave the aging Baby Boomers, who had dreamed of exactly this moment since 1968, a reason to push the female candidate to the back of the bus in order to celebrate the only kind of “diversity” they advocate, which is racial.

It didn’t matter to the Racialist Left that Obama had exactly nothing to do with the authentic black American experience — he was not from a slave background, he grew up in largely racially colorblind Hawaii where his skin color matched that of the vast majority of the island’s population, and his mother was as white as, well, Kansas. (Like Obama, I grew up in part in Hawaii, and can relate from first-hand experience that the only people actively discriminated against in those days were “white” people.) But in choosing to send young Barry to the Punahou School — where the Anglo elite had long sent their progeny — his parents, or handlers, found the one school in the islands where he could feel racially aggrieved.

In short, his “blackness” was essentially manufactured in order to sell him to the media and then to a good-hearted American public as a plausible black candidate in a way that, say, Jesse Jackson was (in their view) not. Harry Reid inadvertently let the cat out of the bag away when he remarked that Obama had “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” In other words, Obama was not threateningly black, a racist view Joe Biden endorsed when he called him “articulate and clean.”

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In case you missed it, Joe Biden is now the vice president of the United States.

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Eight times, in the back, for a busted taillight

Eight times, in the back, for a busted taillight

The man was stopped for a broken taillight. Then he was dead, shot eight times by a South Carolina cop. And now the cop has been charged with murder:

A white police officer in North Charleston, S.C., was charged with murder on Tuesday after a video surfaced showing him shooting in the back and killing an apparently unarmed black man while the man ran away.

The officer, Michael T. Slager, 33, said he had feared for his life because the man had taken his stun gun in a scuffle after a traffic stop on Saturday. A video, however, shows the officer firing eight times as the man, Walter L. Scott, 50, fled. The North Charleston mayor announced the state charges at a news conference Tuesday evening.

The shooting came on the heels of high-profile instances of police officers’ using lethal force in New York, Cleveland, Ferguson, Mo., and elsewhere. The deaths have set off a national debate over whether the police are too quick to use force, particularly in cases involving black men.

Leave it to the New York Times to instantly racialize the incident; after all, the Narrative must be advanced at every opportunity. But this story is larger than that. Because, in this era of militarized, trigger-happy police, what officer Slager did to poor Walter Scott could happen to any of us:

The shooting unfolded after Officer Slager stopped the driver of a Mercedes-Benz with a broken taillight, according to police reports. Mr. Scott ran away, and Officer Slager chased him into a grassy lot that abuts a muffler shop. He fired his Taser, an electronic stun gun, but it did not stop Mr. Scott, according to police reports.

Never a good idea to run from a cop. Especially when, as Scott did, you have a rap sheet:

Mr. Scott had been arrested about 10 times, mostly for failing to pay child support or show up for court hearings, according to The Post and Courier newspaper of Charleston. He was arrested in 1987 on an assault and battery charge and convicted in 1991 of possession of a bludgeon, the newspaper reported. Mr. Scott’s brother, Anthony, said he believed Mr. Scott had fled from the police on Saturday because he owed child support.

“He has four children; he doesn’t have some type of big violent past or arrest record,” said Chris Stewart, a lawyer for Mr. Scott’s family. “He had a job; he was engaged. He had back child support and didn’t want to go to jail for back child support.”

But let’s start at the beginning: the traffic stop.

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Conservatarian Manifesto

For years, mainstream conservatives and libertarians have eyed each other warily, circling; they know on some level they should be natural allies, but for various reasons can’t quite bring themselves to admit it. Along comes Charles C. W. Cooke, an English-born writer for the conservative magazine National Review, with a provocative new book entitled The Conservatarian Manifesto that seeks to unite the two principal strains of thought on the Right and eliminate the crazier aspects of both.

Cooke, who has quickly established himself at NR and elsewhere as one of the brightest young conservative minds in the country, comes to the American argument with an admirably balanced and, as befits his English upbringing and education (Oxford), emotionally restrained view in his new book. Not that he isn’t an enthusiastic new American, of course — he grew up as one of those rarities, an Americanophile in England and voted with his feet when he joined the staff of America’s flagship movement conservative magazine. But Cooke’s dispassion (not to be confused with disinterest) serves him very well in this, his debut book. Nobody sees a country, for good or ill, quite like the newly arrived foreigner. Especially a perceptive and literary one.

This question, of the essential nature of man, is at the very root of the disagreement between the Left and the Right — the Right’s skepticism [of big government] resting heavily upon the presumption that human beings do not change when they accorded great power and that, if anything, we should be more and not less suspicious of anybody who seeks out influence; the Left takes the opposing view.

The Right’s acknowledgment of the limitations of man and of the state that he has created is imperative. It is often asserted that free markets perform better than does central preparation, and that governments are unable to achieve by design what a free people may spontaneously. But it is rarely explained why this is the case. The answer is refreshingly simple: Because so much that the state does it is not designed to do well, however ingenious are the men and women we put in charge. Brilliant as our bureaucrats may be, they are simply incapable of running a country this size.

The reality — the joke — of course, is that they are far from brilliant or even functionally capable. The manifest ineptitude, corruption and incompetence of Leviathan is, in fact, the thing that drives many not to the conservative cause (for Bush-era “conservatives” are anything but when it comes to their love of Big Government) but to the libertarian one. In the name of “progressivism,” the nation is being fleeced, re-ordered and “fundamentally transformed” from a Euro-centric representative republic grounded in the Enlightenment into a Third World kleptocracy whose administrators feign a concern for the poor out of electoral necessity but are really only in it for the money and the power. And so the libertarians flee, wrapping themselves in the time-honored American cloak of Leave Me Alone, but abandoning the muscular foreign policy and sense of cultural confidence that has always marked the United States at its native, conservative best. At the same time, however, the fixation in some precincts on the “social issues” bogs movement conservatives down in a series of pointless cultural engagements with the Left (the Memories Pizza story is one such) that feed directly into the media narrative of conservative troglodytism: the movie Footloose, writ large.

Cooke limns the sins of both sides as he sets out his synthetic argument. What’s wrong with conservatives? “Despite all of the Right’s energy over the past fifty years — and a good deal of electoral success to boot — the basic assumptions of the American government have in no meaningful sense been reversed.” As if to emphasize this sad but basic truth concerning what I have called the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party, the elections of 2014 returned large Republican majorities to both house of Congress and yet the forward (perhaps downward would be a better word), destructive march of Obamaism has not only not been slowed, it has picked up its pace, since the president, unchained in his final two years in office, no longer has to even pretend that he cares what anybody else thinks. “When was the last time you heard an aspiring conservative politician say, ‘I’m a George W. Bush conservative’?” asks Cooke.

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Lemme see your warface

Lemme see your warface

Tom Bevan at RealClearPolitics has a devastating indictment of the Coward-in-Chief and his deliberate thumb in the eye to the honor of the American military:

Travel back with me, dear reader, to a magical and sunny time. It was only 10 months ago, on a glorious June morning when President Obama called the White House press corps together in the Rose Garden. There, our smiling president proudly announced that the United States had secured the release of an American serviceman held captive in Afghanistan for five years.

Flanked by the grateful parents of returning Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the president lauded his administration’s “ironclad commitment to bring our prisoners of war home.” The soldier’s father, Bob Bergdahl, read a prayer; the young man’s mother, Jani, hugged the president. It was a story that could please all Americans: parenthood (quite properly) trumping partisanship.

Yet even as White House image-makers touted the picture of a concerned commander-in-chief looking out for the troops, a nagging bit of foreshadowing interjected itself into the narrative. For starters, the senior Bergdahl’s prayer was delivered in Arabic and began with a blessing from the Koran. While his son was in captivity Bob Bergdahl had grown his hair and beard long, Taliban-style, and now he also sprinkled his remarks from the White House lectern with a few words of Pashto, the language of Bowe Bergdahl’s captors.

Imagine that: just over a decade after the atrocity of Sept. 11 — the Koran is being read aloud from the White House Rose Garden. Let that sink in: the Koran, the enemy’s “sacred” text and how-to manual. It would have been as if Henry Morgenthau had read excerpts of Mein Kampf from the FDR White House during World War II. Of course, it is, for the moment, Barry Hussein’s residence, so perhaps our part-Arab, disgracefully Islamophilic president was just following his heart.

More disconcerting still were the terms of the deal securing the soldier’s release, which the president referred to only fleetingly. “As part of this effort, the United States is transferring five detainees from the prison in Guantanamo Bay to Qatar,” Obama said. “The Qatari government has given us assurances that it will put in place measures to protect our national security.”

A lie, of course. The Taliban commanders will be back in the field soon, while the pathetic little pansy Bergdahl is now facing desertion charges — something everybody knew he would be doing at the time the trade was made. So that meant that the odious Susan Rice, who lies with a facility that might make her boss envious, had to lie some more:

Rice assured those watching on national television that Bergdahl had served the United States with “honor and distinction.” This claim only invited scrutiny—and was immediately challenged by members of Bergdahl’s unit, the 2nd Platoon, Blackfoot Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Regiment.

Naturally, the painfully stupid Jen Psaki has leapt to the defense of her derelict boss:

“Was it worth it? Absolutely,” Jen Psaki told Megyn Kelly on Fox News’ “The Kelly File.” “We have a commitment to our men and women serving in the military, defending our national security every day, that we’re going to do everything to bring them home if we can, and that’s what we did in this case.” Psaki’s comments were the first from a top administration official since the charges were announced earlier Wednesday.

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Nothing our president, Barack Hussein Obama, does at this point in his benighted administration should come as a shock to anybody who heard him utter the words “fundamental transformation” back in late 2008, once he knew the McCain fix was in and the election was in the bag. But his suggestion a few days ago that voting should be mandatory needs to be studied by all to see the pure essence of Obamaism — and then beware of it.

Like everything Obama and the Left propose, this crackpot idea is couched and masked in all the usual “progressive” disguises. It’s “fair,” and about “equality.” When in fact it’s neither of those things. But how far the Alinsky ball has been moved down the field is evident from the fact that the Left keep using buzz phrases like these, and keeps getting away with it. By now, one would think that the Left’s promises would be seen for the threadbare lies that they are; black America in particular has suffered for more than half a century while awaiting the coming of the Promised Land, which never quite arrives. But the Left has an out, and it knows it — the old communist bleat that their system will work, but that “it just hasn’t really been tried yet.” And a new generation, particularly the one raised on non-judgmentalism and lunatic egalitarianism, nods and falls for it.

In the president’s current proposal, the red-flag word is “mandatory.” No surprise here; the Fascist Left loves bossing people around. Ban it! Outlaw it! Make it mandatory! Their shopworn bag of social nostrums could never be fully accepted, even when the social poison is sugar-coated up the wazoo, without both deception (Obamacare) and blunt force (Obamacare). Once they’ve enticed the schoolkids into the windowless white-panel truck with a bag of candy, the hammer drops and the populace (judging by how long the Soviet Union lasted) is in for nearly a century of misery before the human spirit reasserts itself and a few finally escape and call the cops. By then, however, the country that previously existed is dead.

Here’s the story about America’s very own Il Duce and his latest foray into establishing a permanent Democrat majority in American electoral politics:

President Obama, whose party was trounced in last year’s midterm election due in part to poor turnout among Democrats, endorsed the idea of mandatory voting Wednesday.

“It would be transformative if everybody voted,” Mr. Obama said during a town-hall event in Cleveland. “That would counteract [campaign] money more than anything. If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country.”

“Transformative” (note Obama’s fondness for the word) it would be.  Despite their losses in the past two congressional elections, the Democrats sense that on the presidential level the Party of Take has outgrown the Party of Give, and that if they could force the dependent class to the polls the donkeys would never have to relinquish the White House again. Doesn’t matter whether Congress is controlled by the “opposition party” — it would be easier if it weren’t, but Obama has shown repeatedly lately that Congress doesn’t matter, and perhaps not even the Supreme Court. Just seize the White House and then, backed by your constitutional authority as commander in chief, defy the other “co-equal” branches to do something about it.

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Hillary Clinton: Mean Girls Meets the Mob

March 5th, 2015 - 7:44 am
Hillary, about to find out what difference it makes

Hillary, about to find out what difference it makes

You all know the mantra by now: a criminal organization masquerading as a political party. It’s a point I’ve been making for nearly a decade now, and I think you’ll agree that what might at first have seemed outrageous is now practically conventional wisdom. At its heart, the Democrat Party is a collection of bootless self-aggrandizers interested primarily in power and money but also motivated by a juvenile wish to dominate others for their own sadistic pleasure. It uses collectivist slogans of “tolerance” and “compassion” to conceal its true ugly face, and hijacks the best instincts of its victims and uses them against them. In my forthcoming book, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace, I have dubbed this latest incarnation of a very old evil the “unholy Left” and the “satanic Left.” Of course, I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Still, thanks to one of the great avatars of the unholy Left, Hillary Clinton, every day the mask slips a little more. In today’s New York Times, there is a folo to the newspaper’s scoop about HRC’s private email server that is, if anything, even more damaging — not only to Mrs. Clinton, but to the collection of social misfits, strivers, credentialists, rent-seekers and throne-sniffers who make up the rank and file of the party’s “upper crust.” If Washington, D.C., is Hollywood for ugly people and Hollywood is high school with money, then the Democrats are Mean Girls — cliquish, snobby and bitchy.

Just before Hillary Rodham Clinton was sworn in as secretary of state in January 2009, she and her closest aides decided that she should have her own private email address as Mrs. Clinton moved away from the Blackberry address that she had used during her 2008 presidential campaign. Private email would allow Mrs. Clinton to communicate with people in and out of government, separate from the system maintained at the State Department.

An aide who had been with the Clintons since the 1990s, Justin Cooper, registered the domain name, clintonemail.com, which had a server linked to the Clintons’ home address in Chappaqua, N.Y. Obtaining an account from that domain became a symbol of status within the family’s inner circle, conferring prestige and closeness to the secretary.

And this is what the American Experiment has come to in the hands of these awful people and their awful political party: “a symbol of status within the family’s inner circle, conferring prestige and closeness to the secretary.”

Think about that for a moment. Not only was Hillary’s use of private email for government business illegal and unethical (stop laughing), but it was used as a status symbol among the courtiers — including no doubt members of the lickspittle media, who tremble with near sexual-delight as they approach her majesty. In the incestuous club that houses the Democrat-Media Complex, every “job” is both temporary and secondary to the overall career, which is dominating American political discourse and becoming handsomely rewarded for one’s ability to manipulate the system. No wonder the Democrats have such contempt for the Stupid Party and the voters who foolishly support it.

In a just world, these people would be seen for what they are — nihilistic, dangerous, evil. Their fealty to the country is nearly non-existent and their “patriotism,” insofar as it exists at all, extends only to the imaginary country that may or may not exist after they get finished with the business of “fundamental transformation.” They enter “public service” as near paupers and leave aboard the Lolita Express as millionaires, having accomplished next to nothing except making themselves famous.

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sat-race-income-1995

“M” is for Math, “V” is for Verbal

This piece appeared in the Los Angeles Times recently, and it deserves a lot more notice from conservatives than it’s received so far. It’s not that it doesn’t tell us things we didn’t already know — it’s that the Left is so blatant about its prejudices, and so determined to tear down any semblance of meritocracy regarding college admissions. And, mostly, it reminds us that Asian-Americans need to recognize who their enemies are:

In a windowless classroom at an Arcadia tutoring center, parents crammed into child-sized desks and dug through their pockets and purses for pens as Ann Lee launches a PowerPoint presentation. Her primer on college admissions begins with the basics: application deadlines, the relative virtues of the SAT versus the ACT and how many Advanced Placement tests to take.

Then she eases into a potentially incendiary topic — one that many counselors like her have learned they cannot avoid. “Let’s talk about Asians,” she says.

Lee’s next slide shows three columns of numbers from a Princeton University study that tried to measure how race and ethnicity affect admissions by using SAT scores as a benchmark. It uses the term “bonus” to describe how many extra SAT points an applicant’s race is worth. She points to the first column. African Americans received a “bonus” of 230 points, Lee says.

She points to the second column. “Hispanics received a bonus of 185 points.”

The last column draws gasps. Asian Americans, Lee says, are penalized by 50 points — in other words, they had to do that much better to win admission. “Do Asians need higher test scores? Is it harder for Asians to get into college? The answer is yes,” Lee says.

Zenme keyi,” one mother hisses in Chinese. How can this be possible?

A good question. In a country ostensibly devoted to political equality, inequality is the order of the day from the Left, which seeks to bolster its favored “victim” groups at the expense of everybody else. (That anyone would willingly embrace “victim” status is another matter.) To their eternal disgrace, the courts — including the Supreme Court — have upheld the bogus issue of “diversity” as a factor in college admissions. And so we have a system that has satisfied nobody, penalizes some of the best intellectual talent in the country and hinders American competitiveness just… because.

The moral posturing of the unholy Left, which has no morals except situational morality, is bad enough, but the impact these wretched people have had on nearly everybody is sickening. On the proven theory that every single word out of the mouth of a Leftist is a lie, we have to ask ourselves: why are they doing this?

Certainly not to “help” blacks and Hispanics. If you view the basic “progressive” in his native habitat of Manhattan, West Los Angeles and rural New England, you will quickly notice that he has a positive phobia of blacks and Hispanics, lives as far away from them as possible, and is inclined to call the cops should he happen to encounter one in his neighborhood. Further, if there is any evidence that “diversity” (as the Left defines it, which is exclusively racially) has any intrinsic, positive good, I have yet to see it. For the Left, “diversity” is purely about racial nose-counting and spoils delivering, nothing more. Which is why, of course, they’re Democrats — scions of the Tammany Party.

Why do you hate me, Democrats?

Why do you hate me, Democrats?

So we are left with the only possible explanation; or, rather, two. Okay, three. One is that they are interested in the aggrandizement of power. Insofar  as that — disguised as the false virtue of “compassion” — can slake the rot at the center of their souls, they pursue it. The second is that they are simply malevolent, filled with a self-loathing (as well they should be) that can only be assuaged by the destruction of everything they profess to hold dear. The third is that they are simply, irremediably, evil.

College admission season ignites deep anxieties for Asian American families, who spend more than any other demographic on education. At elite universities across the U.S., Asian Americans form a larger share of the student body than they do of the population as a whole. And increasingly they have turned against affirmative action policies that could alter those ratios, and accuse admissions committees of discriminating against Asian American applicants.

That perspective has pitted them against advocates for diversity: More college berths for Asian American students mean fewer for black and Latino students, who are statistically underrepresented at top universities.

But in the San Gabriel Valley’s hyper-competitive ethnic Asian communities, arguments for diversity can sometimes fall on deaf ears. For immigrant parents raised in Asia’s all-or-nothing test cultures, a good education is not just a measure of success — it’s a matter of survival. They see academic achievement as a moral virtue, and families organize their lives around their child’s education, moving to the best school districts and paying for tutoring and tennis lessons. An acceptance letter from a prestigious college is often the only acceptable return on an investment that stretches over decades.

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Paris charlie hebdo

That’s what the Washington Post has just breathlessly reported:

Europe, a continent long known for the rarity of gun violence, is confronting twin challenges that give the issue sudden urgency: a growing population of radicalized young men determined to strike targets close to home, and a black market awash in high-powered weapons. The problem has been rendered vividly in recent weeks by a pair of deadly assaults that each paralyzed a European capital. In Paris and Copenhagen, the attacks were carried out by former small-time criminals turned violent extremists who obtained military-grade illicit weapons with apparent ease.

In contrast with the free-firing United States, Europe is generally seen as a haven from serious gun violence. Here in Denmark, handguns and semiautomatic rifles are all but banned. Hunting rifles are legally available only to those with squeaky-clean backgrounds who have passed a rigorous exam covering everything from gun safety to the mating habits of Denmark’s wildlife.

Hold it right there — “in contrast with the free-firing United States” tells you all you need to know about the biases of the two reporters bylined on this story. And don’t even get me started on the questionable statement that Europe is a “continent long known for the rarity of gun violence.” I suppose that’s true if by “long known” you mean “since the 1990s” and by “gun violence” you don’t count World Wars I and II. Or the 1960s in post-Algeria France. Or the left-wing terrorist cells in Germany and elsewhere of the 1980s.

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“You can find Kalashnikovs for sale near the train station in Brussels,” acknowledged a Brussels-based European Union official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record. “They’re available even to very average criminals.”

In the case of the Paris attackers, they were able to obtain an entire arsenal: AK-47 assault rifles, pistols, a Skorpion submachine gun and even a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. All of it was purchased in Brussels for about $5,000, according to Belgian media reports.

The availability of such weapons in the heart of Western Europe isn’t new. The flood of high-powered weaponry began with the dissolution of the Soviet Union and continued through the 1990s as war raged across the Balkans. Many of the weapons from those periods are still circulating. They have lately been supplemented by an influx from the turmoil in North Africa, with weapons smuggled on ships across the Mediterranean.

The guns have been used primarily by criminal gangs that turn them on one another during periodic turf wars. But beginning with attacks in the French city of Toulouse in 2012 that left seven people dead, guns have also become the weapon of choice for Islamist terrorists in Europe.

This is simply ahistorical nonsense. Paris has long been a center of international arms dealing, some of it run right out of foreign embassies in the French capital. During the Cold War, Prague functioned in much the same way for the other side. The idea that Europe was ever a gun-free paradise is simply insane.

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Leaving No. 10 Downing St., headed to the White House?

Leaving No. 10 Downing St., headed to the White House?

And so it begins: in the pages of the Washington Post, this pathetic “hit piece” by David Fahrenthold on Scott Walker of Wisconsin — a “human interest” story that has only one purpose: to marginalize the governor and establish for the coastal Democrats that he is not one of “us,” just as the WaPo story about Romney and his dog did. The headline alone gives the game away: As Scott Walker mulls White House bid, questions linger over college exit.

We can’t have “questions lingering” about a man who might one day be president now, can we? So here we go with this thoroughly nasty piece of work that brings shame and disgrace on both its writer and the newspaper:

In 1990, that news stunned his friends at Marquette University. Walker, the campus’s suit-wearing, Reagan-loving politico — who enjoyed the place so much that he had run for student body president — had left without graduating.

To most of the Class of 1990 — and, later, to Wisconsin’s political establishment — Walker’s decision to quit college has been a lingering mystery. Not even his friends at Marquette were entirely sure why he never finished. Some had heard that a parent had fallen ill, or maybe there was some financial strain. Others thought he had simply had enough of school. Walker clearly liked college politics more than college itself…

Walker’s own explanation has been short and simple. He got a job. He meant to go back. But he just never found the time.

To the Kredentialed Klass, a college degree — preferably from an Ivy League school — is the sine qua non of life itself. Sure, a couple of very prominent media personalities lack one themselves, including the recently defenestrated Brian Williams; the current host of Meet the PressChuck Todd, didn’t graduate from college, either. But no matter: this is the presidency we’re talking about!

Today, Walker, 47, is the governor of Wisconsin and a strong contender for the GOP’s 2016 presidential nomination. He is known for an astounding political hot streak: Since 1993, he has run 11 races for state legislature, county executive and governor — including a highly unusual recall election in 2012 — and he has won them all.

But before that streak came a string of defeats — the campus election, his failure to finish college and his first campaign for state office.

A “string of defeats” that includes a college election? The man whaled the tar out of the Democrats and their union thugs three times in four years and Fahrenthold has to go back to Marquette? To further emphasize that this is an in-kind journalistic contribution to the Democrat Party, the Post dropped this little squib while its subject was out of the country and unable to respond:

Walker was not available to comment for this article, according to a spokeswoman for his new political committee, Our American Revival. He is visiting London this week, conducting a trade mission and bolstering his foreign policy credentials.

“Bolstering his foreign policy credentials” — the gall of the man.

Still, the dog-whistle hits just keep on coming.  Might Walker be a religious nut? Check!

The real story of Walker’s start in politics begins seven years earlier, when he left his home in tiny Delavan, Wis., where his father was a Baptist minister. In 1986, Walker arrived as a freshman at Marquette, a Catholic school in the heart of urban Milwaukee.

Was he politically ambitious? Check!

Walker was known for something else: his political ambitions. If you met him, they were as plain as the photo of him with Ronald Reagan on his dorm-room desk.

“He would comment that, you know, ‘I’m going to be president of the United States someday,’ ” said Patrick Tepe, a former dorm mate who is now a dentist.

Unlike, say, Bill Clinton or Barack Obama. But, hey — they are Ivy Leaguers! They get to say things like that.

As a freshman, Walker was elected to the student senate. He plunged into the job, leading a hard-charging impeachment inquiry into charges of misspent money. But in his classes, some professors said they never saw the same level of focus on schoolwork. In introductory French, for instance, Walker routinely barged into the room after the lesson had begun, loudly making excuses.

“He would talk to me, you know, say, ‘I’m very sorry, I had very important business’ ” with the student government, instructor Marc Boutet recalled. “I’m like, ‘En francais ! En francais!’ ”

Boutet said the other students tired of the daily disruptions. They started preemptively stealing Walker’s favorite desk, so he had nowhere to sit when he arrived. “I think I gave him a D-minus,” Boutet said, adding that he saw Walker years later, and the two laughed about the class. French, Boutet said, “was not his thing.”

Unlike another Ivy Leaguer, John Forbes Kerry, to whom French is very much his quelque chose. But, it seems, Walker was such a terrible student he wasn’t even that interested in politics. Hypocrite!

Even in politics class, Walker could appear disengaged. “He seemed utterly bored,” said Michael Fleet, who taught him in a class on the politics of the Third World. Fleet said he’d hoped to get Walker into debates with the liberals in the room. But it didn’t work. Walker would only give occasional short speeches that made conservative arguments.

“It wasn’t always on key. It wasn’t always in response to anything,” Fleet said. “He wasn’t engaged. It was like he came in with a script.”

Campaigning, on the other hand, was something Walker seemed to enjoy. But he had trouble winning. As a freshman, for instance, he ran for a higher office in student government and was defeated by a write-in candidate.

The story goes on and on in this vein, recounting in gleeful detail how Walker was defeated as a sophomore in his quest for the student-government presidency, allowing Fahrenthold to sneak in this little religious-nut dig:

Walker lost, 1,245 to 927. His friends say he handled it with grace, telling them the loss just meant that God had another plan.

The piece concludes with Walker’s failure to finish at Marquette, and his subsequent electoral challenge to a black Democrat, Gwen Moore, making an issue of crime, which of course means that he hates black people:

“His campaign was one big dog whistle,” said Moore, who is now a member of Congress. She believed Walker’s anti-crime message was a way to speak to white voters’ fears of blacks without saying them aloud. “He had sort of insinuated sort of the worst stereotypes about black people [and] innate criminality.”

Walker lost that election too. But, as the story notes, “that was the last time Scott Walker lost an election.”

If that’s the best the Democrat-Media Complex has got, Walker will demolish them. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer group of Kredentialists. After eight years of Barry and the Choom Gang, Ivy Leaguers to a man and a woman, how could we do any worse?