Monday, February 28, 2011

The subtle ways the media lies to you

Name That Party: AP Stops Tagging Troubled 'Centrist' Wu As a Dem

Oregon residents and news followers nationwide can be forgiven for shaking their heads over the Associated Press's latest item on the misadventures of Congressman David Wu. All of a sudden he's apparently not a Democrat -- well, at least he's not identified as such by the wire service's Jonathan J. Cooper.


Obama Nixes Safe Drilling

Washington bigwigs

African dictator's son orders luxury superyacht

Democrats care nothing for the Constitution or the rule of law

Like the anarchists they are only what they want matters.

AWOL Dems defy ballot box


American-style democracy holds together because no matter how nasty the political game gets, the players honor a few inviolable rules. We obey the laws, even the ones we disagree with. We respect the ballot box. And after even the most bitterly contested election, the loser accepts the results, works within the system and awaits another chance to prevail with voters.

These guidelines kept the nation from shearing apart in 2000, when supporters of Al Gore (wrongly) believed the presidential election was stolen by George W. Bush. A tense period of uncertainty ended when Gore, in perhaps his finest moment, conceded and urged his backers to work to heal the country.

But what's happening in Wisconsin and Indiana breaks that tradition and puts a crack in our democratic foundation.

Democrats in those states, as in most others, were shellacked in legislative races last fall, giving Republicans majority control of their legislatures.

Republicans interpreted their overwhelming victories as a mandate to change the course of the states. Specifically, they set about undoing decades of laws put in place by Democrats to favor labor unions over taxpayers.

Instead of staying on the field to defend their positions, Democratic lawmakers in both states fled to neighboring Illinois, where they hope to win with their absence what they couldn't at the ballot box — namely, the right to control policymaking.

Without the Democrats, the legislatures don't have the required quorums to pass budget measures, including cutting pay and benefits for public workers.

The lawmakers in exile call this a defense of democracy. In truth, it's a step toward anarchy. If it catches on as a practice, it will officially end government by, of and for the people.

It's part of a disturbing trend by Democrats to embrace a by-any-means-necessary approach to governing. We saw it during passage of Obamacare, when the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate blew up the rules to block a filibuster. In Massachusetts, Democrats used after-the-fact law changes in a failed attempt to keep a Republican from succeeding Ted Kennedy.

Obama trashed bankruptcy law to move the United Auto Workers ahead of General Motors' and Chrysler's secured creditors. And his regulatory agencies are bypassing Congress to enact policies he knows the elected representatives would never approve.

The strategy exposes the arrogant liberal conviction that they are justified in imposing their will on the people, because only they know what's best for America.

These Democrats in Indiana and Wisconsin merit universal condemnation.

What they are saying is that the people no longer have the right to use the ballot box to decide the direction of their government.

That's a rule change our system can't survive.

Union power

Upending Our Caste System
It is unions’ political power, not their economic power alone, that must be curtailed.

They'd be right

THE HILL POLL: On shutdown, more voters would blame Democrats

I bet Gov. Jindal would agree

Obama administration 'hostile to oil states,' Alaska Gov. Parnell says


Black Churches Blast Obama

WASHINGTON, DC - A coalition of 34,000 black churches is blasting President Barack Obama's decision to stop defending the federal law that bans recognition of gay marriage.

The Rev. Anthony Evans, who heads the National Black Church Initiative, says Obama "has violated the Christian faith" by failing to uphold Jesus' teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman.

The tyranny of the self absorbed environmentalists

DeChristopher goes on trial, but does he have a defense?

HAve they no replaced the Hitler slur with intellectual smugness?

Chuck Todd: Walker Supporters Bunch of Bitter-Clingers

Good outline

Why I Am a Global Warming Skeptic

And Why You Should Be Too!

The Green cabal. Funny how Soros turns up everywhere on the left

Cathy Zoi, an Al Gore acolyte, has left her job as assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy to go to work for a new fund that invests in green energy. It was started by Democratic donor George Soros.

Her former "special assistant," Peter Roehrig, joined DOE's renewable energy office from the U.S. Renewable Energy Group. The latter is a company founded by lobbyists who saw they could pocket taxpayer dollars by acting as cutouts for Chinese windmill barons trying to get their hands on stimulus money.

There are plenty of revolving-door green bandits, but the paths of Zoi and Roehrig - both of whom passed through the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office, which was responsible for $16 billion in stimulus money - exemplify how Obama's stimulus and green-energy initiatives open the door for corruption and patronage.

Zoi's tenure at EERE was rife with conflicts of interest. Her husband, Robin Roy, is an executive at Serious Materials, a small window manufacturer that boomed when Obama came to office. First, Serious Materials benefited from free advertising by the White House: President Obama praised a new Serious factory in March - before he officially nominated Zoi - and then Vice President Biden made a public visit to a different Serious plant in April, just after her nomination but before her confirmation. Finally, Serious was also the first window company to pocket a stimulus tax credit - worth $584,000 - for investing in new equipment.

Zoi testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in favor of a HOMESTAR program, also known as cash for caulkers, which became another subsidy for Serious.

At the time of her nomination, the couple owned between them 120,000 stock options in Serious Materials, according to her April 2009 personal financial disclosure. She also owned at least $265,000 of stock in a Swiss company called Landis+Gyr that makes "smart meters," high-tech thermostats that the administration has promoted for saving energy. Pro-free-market writer and lawyer Chris Horner described the conflicts of interest: "Clearly, DoE funding to encourage the adoption of 'smart meters' would very likely lead to much increased sales by Landis+Gyr -- and a potential windfall for Zoi."

Now Zoi has left Energy's EERE, where she advanced and implemented subsidies for renewable energy, and is going to work for a Soros-backed green-tech fund: Silver Lake Kraftwerk, a partnership between Soros Fund Management and Silicon Valley private equity giant Silver Lake.

Zoi's boss will be veteran tech investor Adam Grosser, who gave more than $50,000 to Democratic candidates last election. Soros said the fund, for which he is employing the former head of the federal Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office, will focus on "developing alternative sources of energy and achieving greater energy efficiency."

The Soros-Zoi hire not only undermines Obama's talk about stopping the revolving door, it also undermines the constant liberal refrain that Soros - unlike conservative political donors - is simply funding political causes he believes in, not causes that profit him. The Soros-created Center for American Progress is a leading advocate of green subsidies.

The pedigree of Zoi's former "special assistant" focused on giving out stimulus money, Peter Roehrig, also deserves scrutiny.

Roehrig, according to an online biography, "helped start US Renewable Energy Group, [US-REG] which has recently made the largest ever U.S.-China joint investment in American renewable energy to date." A little-noticed report by Russ Choma at last December, however, showed that US-REG epitomizes the way in which Obama's green agenda has become a feeding frenzy for the politically connected.

US-REG was founded by K Street lobbyists John O'Hanlon and Moses Boyd and Democratic fundraiser Ed Cunningham, apparently for the sole purpose of winning federal subsidies. The company started a joint-venture with a Chinese wind-power developer, took a 51 percent stake, and applied for stimulus money - while their co-founder, Roehrig, was on the inside, working for Cathy Zoi in DOE.

In any other industry, these conflicts of interest and naked subsidy-suckling would draw a firestorm of media attention about cronyism and corporate welfare. But green bandits like Zoi, Soros, Roehrig, and O'Hanlon, instead are praised as entrepreneurs who are also trying to save the planet. It just shows what you can get away with in this town if you cloak yourself in green.

What a guy...

Late U.S. Senator Edward 'Ted' Kennedy 'rented out a Chilean brothel for the entire night', claimed FBI files

Late U.S. senator Ted Kennedy has been accused of renting an entire Chilean brothel and seeking meetings with communists who had left-wing views.

The information came to light after a Freedom of Information request by Judicial Watch - the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption - who put pressure on the FBI to release the material.

Their file on the late senator, who died from brain cancer in August 2009, was released but contained a large amount of blacked out information - until now.

Accusations: The Massachusetts Senator is one of Obama's politician heroes and served almost 47 years before he died of brain cancer

Accusations: The Massachusetts Senator is one of Obama's politician heroes and served almost 47 years before he died of brain cancer

Edward 'Ted' Kennedy
Subject: Edward Kennedy during campaign for election in Senate primary.

Kennedy had a high-profile career throughout the sixties, until he died in 2009 from brain cancer, and often accompanied his brother JFK on official duties

The statements previously withheld include accusations that during a tour of several Latin American countries he 'made arrangements to "rent" a brothel for an entire night, allegedly inviting one of the Embassy's chauffeurs to participate in the night's activities'.

In each country he visited he was also said to have 'insisted on interviewing "the angry young men" of the country as well as Communists who had extreme left-wing views'.

When he was in Mexico, it is said that his request to have certain left-wingers - one of whom was later linked with a Soviet spy ring - was refused as he was warned not to associate himself with such people.

Disclosed: One of the pages of the FBI documents accusing Senator Edward Kennedy of renting a brothel for the night and meeting with leftist Communists

Disclosed: One of the pages of the FBI documents held on Senator Edward Kennedy, accusing him of renting a brothel for the night and meeting with leftist Communists

The trip, in December 1961, was taken when he was the Assistant District Attorney of Suffolk County.

Edward 'Ted' Kennedy was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died, having served 47 years, following in the footsteps of older brothers President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who were both assassinated.

Judicial Watch argued with the FBI for more than six months to have the full version released, arguing that the blackouts were baseless.

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said: 'The FBI’s reluctance to follow the law and release this material shows that it, too, is not above politics.

'Our tough fight with the Obama administration shows that it was not keen on letting the American people know that Ted Kennedy, one of Obama’s leftist politician heroes, liked to hang out with communists and prostitutes.

'We will continue to investigate why the FBI improperly chose to keep this information secret.'

Judicial Watch's motives for insisting on the release of the document are unclear, though Mr Fitton has indicated that he thinks American citizens are unaware that Kennedy, a known liberal, might have met with other liberals on his foreign travels.

Do you think his fashionista friends are also Jew haters?

FASHION guru John Galliano was filmed having a vile racist rant during which he declared: "I love Hitler."

Unintended consequences harm environment

Low-flow toilets cause a stink in SF

It's how the left intimidates

Cuba intensifies campaign against dissidents

Anarchists or the Tea Party, you decide...

Rioters target Seattle police, local businesses late Saturday

A group of 25 to 30 people, most dressed in black and wearing bandannas or masks, wreaked mayhem Saturday night on Capitol Hill and the Denny Triangle area of Seattle, painting anti-police slogans, throwing flares at patrol cars and trashing several businesses, police said.

Seattle Times staff reporter

A group of 25 to 30 people, most dressed in black and wearing bandannas or masks, wreaked mayhem Saturday night in Seattle on Capitol Hill and the Denny Triangle, painting anti-police slogans, throwing flares at patrol cars and trashing several businesses, police said.

Officers arrested three people on suspicion of rioting, pedestrian interference and obstruction.

The melee began about 9 p.m., as an officer was taking a prisoner to the West Precinct office at Eighth Avenue and Virginia Street. The officer noted a large group gathered nearby at Boren Avenue and Howell Street, the intersection where Seattle police Officer Ian Birk fatally shot John T. Williams, a First Nations woodcarver, on Aug. 30. The area was the scene of a September protest.

The shooting was ruled unjustified, but prosecutors recently said they would not file criminal charges. Mayor Mike McGinn, meanwhile, declared Sunday John T. Williams Day.

As the officer drove by the group, someone discharged a fire extinguisher at the police car, police said.

Members of the group put up plastic fencing and caution tape in the intersection, painted an anti-police profanity on the street and on a nearby building and placed a couple dozen large staples in the street, possibly intended to flatten tires, police said.

As police approached, the group moved away, gathering later at East Pine Street and East Boylston Avenue. Some carried signs encouraging violence against police and someone threw a large firework at a police car that bounced off and detonated, police said.

As the group moved to Broadway then north, individuals pushed trash cans and paper boxes into the street, police said.

People threw several lit flares at patrol cars, sprayed fire extinguishers at passing cars and tried to break windows at a bank on Broadway, police said, as well as damaged several businesses and at least one parked car.

Reality speaks

3M chief warns Obama over business regulation

By Hal Weitzman in Chicago

The head of one of the US’s biggest industrial groups has launched a scathing attack on Barack Obama’s attempts to repair relations with companies, dubbing him “anti-business”.

Manufacturers could shift production out of the US to Canada or Mexico as a result, warned George Buckley, chief executive and chairman of3M.

“I judge people by their feet, not their mouth,” he told the Financial Times. “We know what his instincts are – they are Robin Hood-esque. He is anti-business.”

The Obama administration has struck a more conciliatory tone towards business since the Democratic defeat in November’s midterm elections.

Last month, the president created a jobs and competitiveness council, chaired by Jeffrey Immelt, chief executive of GE, and including chief executives such as American Express’s Kenneth Chenault, DuPont’s Ellen Kullman, Antonio Perez of Kodak and Southwest Airlines’ Gary Kelly. Mr Obama also convened a meeting this month with technology chief executives, including Steve Jobs of Apple, Google’s Eric Schmidt, Oracle’s Larry Ellison and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.

Mr Buckley, who has run the diversified manufacturer since 2005, said: “There is a sense among companies that this is a difficult place to do business. It is about regulation, taxation, seemingly anti-business policies in Washington, attitudes towards science.”

He added: “Politicians forget that business has choice. We’re not indentured servants and we will do business where it’s good and friendly. If it’s hostile, incrementally, things will slip away. We’ve got a real choice between manufacturing in Canada and Mexico – which tend to be pro-business – or America.”

The 3M chief also criticised US immigration policy, saying the difficulty of obtaining visas was forcing companies to move research and development overseas. “About 68 per cent of our science PhD candidates are from outside the US,” he said. “Many want to stay here afterwards but we’re not allowed as many visas as we would like.”

“We are now exporting science overseas to China, India, Germany, building labs there. There’s a good strategic reason for it, but we also have no choice – if we can’t get the people here and we’re competing with the people there, we have no choice but to do it locally.”

Mr Buckley struck a gloomy note on the US economy. “The macro numbers seem to be improving but when we look at the micro numbers – at what’s going on in housing, automotive, in manufacturing in general – it’s hard to get enthusiastic about it,” he said.

Let's hope this is a sign

58% Favor Government Shutdown Until Spending Cuts Are Agreed Upon

As Republicans and Democrats in Congress haggle over the budget, most voters would rather have a partial shutdown of the federal government than keep its spending at current levels.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 33% of Likely U.S. Voters would rather have Congress avoid a government shutdown by authorizing spending at the same levels as last year. Fifty-eight percent (58%) says it’s better to have a partial shutdown until Democrats and Republicans can agree on what spending to cut. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

The partisan differences are striking. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Democrats prefer avoiding a shutdown by going with current spending levels. But 80% of Republicans -- and 59% of voters not affiliated with either major party -- think a shutdown is a better option until the two sides can agree on spending cuts.

Congress never passed a budget for 2011 but authorized spending for a few months. That authorization will expire soon, and Congress must act quickly or some federal government services could be shut down. Payments for things like Social Security, Medicare and unemployment benefits would continue, however.

A plurality (48%) of all voters believe that a partial government shutdown would be bad for the economy. Twenty-five percent (25%) say a shutdown would be good for the country economically, while 15% say it would have no impact.

Democrats are worried about the economic impact of a partial government shutdown. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of those in the president’s party say a shutdown would be bad for the economy. However, Republicans and unaffiliated voters are evenly divided on the topic with nearly as many saying a shutdown would be good for the economy as bad.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on February 24-25, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted byPulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

In general, just 27% of all voters think Congress should now authorize spending for 2011 at the same levels as last year. Six percent (6%) want more government spending, but 61% say Congress should authorize less spending that there was the year before.

The majority of voters for years have said that cutting taxes and reducing government spending are best for the economy.

The federal government was last partially shutdown for five days in 1995 and 21 days in 1996. In both cases, CNN reports, the stock market moved higher on the news.

Republicans want to cut $57 billion more out of the federal budget for the current year than Democrats do. As negotiations continue on a long-term agreement, the two sides on Friday agreed to a two-week budget extension that includes $4 billion in cuts.

Eighty-four percent (84%) of voters say they are following news reports about the federal budget debate at least somewhat closely, with 49% who are following Very Closely.

Forty-five percent (45%) of Democrats think Congress should authorize spending at the same levels as last year, while another 14% think there should be more spending. Eighty-one percent (81%) of Republicans and 67% of unaffiliated voters believe Congress should approve less spending than there was the year before.

This is another issue that the Political Class and Mainstream voters don’t see eye-to-eye on. Seventy-six percent (76%) of those in the Political Class would rather see spending continue at current levels to avoid a shutdown; 70% of Mainstream voters prefer a shutdown until Democrats and Republicans can agree on spending cuts.

Voters have consistently rated cutting the federal deficit in half by the end of his first term as the more important of several budget priorities the president listed early in 2009, but few voters expect him to hit his goal.

The documents the White House includes with the president's $3.7 trillion proposed budget for 2012 project that government spending will top $4 trillion in the next two to three years, but most voters aren't aware of that increase amidst all the talk of spending cuts.

Fifty-five percent (55%) of voters say, generally speaking, that the president’s new budget proposal cuts government spending too little, but despite House Republican plans to cut substantially more, a plurality of voters don’t think the GOP goes far enough either.

Then again, 70% of voters think voters are more willing to make the hard choices needed to reduce federal spending than politicians are.

Though a plurality still gives Congress a poor grade, voters are showing slightly less negativity towards the legislators than they have in several years. Now that the new Congress is fully settled in, favorability ratings have dropped for all of the top leaders except House Speaker John Boehner.

Voters now trust the GOP more than Democrats on all 10 of the most important issues regularly surveyed by Rasmussen Reports including the economy and taxes.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Underpaid of Overpaid?

I've seen lots of newspaper column inches and blog posts in the past week or so arguing over whether public union workers are overpaid vs. private sector workers. They all list statistics to prove the point or refute it. (eg here, here or here)

There is also a problem with comparing benefits, a situation that exists because of the distorting effects of tax policy over the last 60 years. I can't help but think it would be a far more efficient system if employers dropped all benefits and just paid the equivalent direct salary. Costs would be much better controlled if employees received the money employers paid for health insurance and other benefits and people would realize their true level of taxes if they paid all their own social security (destroying the fiction that employers 'pay' half of the social security taxes.) Employers, when making hiring decisions consider the total cost of the employee, not just the salary. The employer doesn't pay anything for the employee, but just diverts part of the employees salary for certain benefits, some of which, because of tax policy are more advantageous for the employee (and therefore for the employer who can get away with paying the employee a lower equivalent because of the employee's tax benefit).

But all this analysis misses a very basic point: there is no 'correct' wage so there can be no comparison between even supposedly identical jobs and certainly not between averages of workers doing different jobs. The situation is quite simple, employers want to pay as little as possible to get someone qualified for the job, paying up for experience and better productivity, since what employers ultimately pay for is productivity, i.e. the end product and its unit cost. Employees, in general, want to earn as much as possible for doing as little as possible, but are willing to do more or make less for jobs they find rewarding or pleasant. The wage finally agreed upon depends on the number of people qualified to do the job who want it vs. the demand for the work required. In most of the private sector (except for the ~7% unionized portion) this is approximately the situation. If you want to earn more you increase your skill-set to both reduce the number of people who can compete with you for the job and to make yourself more attractive to more employers.

Therefore there is no 'correct' wage, only an equilibrium wage determined by current labor supply and demand. What is the correct wage for a highly skilled buggy whip maker? Zero, since there is no longer any demand for this skill. Likewise for public school teachers, the 'correct' wage can only be determined by listing the required skills and competencies of a school teacher, and offering a wage to people with those skills until it is high enough to attract sufficient people with those skills for the number of positions required (along with the ability to remove people who don't meet expectations.) It is an empirical question, but given the current low standards required for most teaching positions, education colleges being the jokes of higher education, requiring more courses on multicultural issues and student self-esteem than on the subject matter actually being taught, that I suspect that absent unions, school teacher skills would be much higher or salaries much lower.

The sole purpose of unions is to counter this equilibrium, to use the threat of force or mass disruption to force employers to favor union workers over similarly skilled cheaper workers or better skilled more expensive workers. This applies both to private and public unions, but the effect is far more insidious for public unions, because private unions are restricted by employers self-interest (although the Wagner Act and similar legislation have curtailed employer's full range of action) and the fact that firms that are bled too much by their unions will go bankrupt.

Until recently public sector unions have faced no such constraints, being on the same side as the politicians they support with political support and donations (and how is it not a massive conflict of interest allowing public service unions to make political contributions?) Given seemingly unlimited taxpayer pockets to pick, the prospect of bankruptcy has seemed not worth worrying about, and at the Federal level, since the Feds can print money as they like, until the Fed finally destroys the currency, it still seems a distant problem, but at the State and local level it is no longer a remote possibility.

To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, eventually they run out of other people's money, and for those state employees protesting in Wisconsin and elsewhere that they just need to raise taxes some more, they will soon discover, as places like Detroit and Camden already have (although they seem not to recognize it) and places like Illinois will soon discover, taxpayers can move and the prospect of paying ever higher taxes for ever decreasing services is a strong impetus to voting with your feet. So higher tax rates lead to ever lower tax revenues, creating a downward spiral until the place implodes like Greece. Welcome to the U.S. joining the Third World.

Obama's union thugs

Union Member Attacks, Injures Tea Party Activist at Rally

Loony Left

Pro-Choice Extremist Reportedly Arrested by FBI for Threats to Pro-Life Activists

A must read to get a grip on what's going on in the Arab world

A mass expression of outrage against injustice
By DAVID HOROVITZ 25/02/2011
Historian Bernard Lewis diagnoses the fundamental cause of the region-wide explosion of protest, and dismisses Western notions of a quick fix.

Bernard Lewis, the renowned Islamic scholar, believes that at the root of the protests sweeping across our region is the Arab peoples’ widespread sense of injustice. “The sort of authoritarian, even dictatorial regimes, that rule most of the countries in the modern Islamic Middle East, are a modern creation,” he notes. “The pre-modern regimes were much more open, much more tolerant.”

But Lewis regards a dash toward Western-style elections, far from representing a solution to the region’s difficulties, as constituting “a dangerous aggravation” of the problem, and fears that radical Islamic movements would be best placed to exploit so misguided a move. A much better course, he says, would be to encourage the gradual development of local, self-governing institutions, in accordance with the Islamic tradition of “consultation.”

Lewis also believes that it was no coincidence that the current unrest erupted first in Tunisia, the one Arab country, he notes, where women play a significant part in public life. The role of women in determining the future of the Arab world, he says, will be crucial.

Once described as the most influential post-war historian of Islam and the Middle East, Lewis, 94, set out his thinking on the current Middle East ferment in a conversation with me before an invited audience at the home of the US Ambassador to Israel, James Cunningham, a few days ago. Excerpts:

Does the current wave of protest in the region indicate that, in fact, the Arab masses do want democracy? And is that what we’re going to see unfolding now?

The Arab masses certainly want change. And they want improvement. But when you say do they want democracy, that’s a more difficult question to answer. What does “democracy” mean? It’s a word that’s used with very different meanings, even in different parts of the Western world. And it’s a political concept that has no history, no record whatever in the Arab, Islamic world.

In the West, we tend to get excessively concerned with elections, regarding the holding of elections as the purest expression of democracy, as the climax of the process of democratization. Well, the second may be true – the climax of the process. But the process can be a long and difficult one. Consider, for example, that democracy was fairly new in Germany in the inter-war period and Hitler came to power in a free and fair election.

We, in the Western world particularly, tend to think of democracy in our own terms – that’s natural and normal – to mean periodic elections in our style. But I think it’s a great mistake to try and think of the Middle East in those terms and that can only lead to disastrous results, as you’ve already seen in various places. They are simply not ready for free and fair elections.

One of the most moving experiences of my life was in the year 1950, most of which I spent in Turkey. That was the time when the Turkish government held a free and genuinely fair election – the election of 1950 – in which that government was defeated, and even more remarkably the government then quietly and decently withdrew from power and handed over power to the victorious opposition.

What followed I can only describe as catastrophic. Adnan Menderes, the leader of the party which won the election, which came to power by their success in the election, soon made it perfectly clear that he had no intention whatever of leaving by the same route by which he had come, that he regarded this as a change of regime, and that he had no respect at all for the electoral process.

And people in Turkey began to realize this. I remember vividly sitting one day in the faculty lounge at the school of political sciences in Ankara. This would have been after several years of the Menderes regime. We were sitting in the faculty lounge with some of the professors discussing the history of different political institutions and forms. And one of them suddenly said, to everyone’s astonishment, “Well, the father of democracy in Turkey is Adnan Menderes.”

The others looked around in bewilderment. They said, “Adnan Menderes, the father of Turkish democracy? What do you mean?” Well, said this professor, “he raped the mother of democracy.” It sounds much better in Turkish...

This happened again and again and again. You win an election because an election is forced on the country. But it is seen as a one-way street. Most of the countries in the region are not yet ready for elections.

Yet in Egypt now, for example, the assumption is that we’re proceeding toward elections in September and that seems to be what the West is inclined to encourage.

I would view that with mistrust and apprehension. If there’s a genuinely free election – assuming that such a thing could happen – the religious parties have an immediate advantage. First, they have a network of communication through the preacher and the mosque which no other political tendency can hope to equal. Second, they use familiar language. The language of Western democracy is for the most part newly translated and not intelligible to the great masses.

In genuinely fair and free elections, [the Muslim parties] are very likely to win and I think that would be a disaster. A much better course would be a gradual development of democracy, not through general elections, but rather through local self-governing institutions. For that, there is a real tradition in the region.

If you look at the history of the Middle East in the Islamic period, and if you look at their own political literature, it is totally against authoritarian or absolutist rule. The word they always insist on is consultation. This is not just a matter of theory. There’s a remarkable passage, for example, in the report of a French ambassador to the sultan of Turkey a few years before the French Revolution.
The French ambassador was instructed by his government to press the Turkish government in certain negotiations and was making very slow progress. Paris said angrily, “Why don’t you do something?”

The ambassador replied that “you must understand that here things are not as they are in France, where the king is sole master and does as he pleases. Here, the sultan has to consult with the holders of high office. He has to consult with the retired former holders of high office. He has to consult with the merchants, the craft guilds and all sorts of other groups.”

This is absolutely true. It’s an extraordinarily revealing and informative passage and the point comes up again and again through the 19th and 20th centuries.

You have this traditional system of consultation with groups which are not democratic as we use that word in the Western world, but which have a source of authority other than the state – authority which derives from within the group, whether it be the landed gentry or the civil service, or the scribes or whatever. That’s very important. And that form of consultation could be a much better basis for the development of free and civilized government.

And therefore, for an anxious West which is trying to work out what signals it should be sending and what processes it should be encouraging, what opportunity does America and the free world have to influence this process?

I’d rather take it from the other side and say what signals you should not be sending. And that is not pressing for elections. This idea that a general election, Western-style, is a solution to all these problems, seems to me a dangerous fallacy which can only lead to disaster. I think we should let them do it their way by consultative groups. There are various kinds. There are all sorts of possibilities.
It’s happening now in Iraq, for example.

Yet the sense one gets is that the people in the streets, in Egypt, for example, want to have elections quickly and have a new leadership. That is the signal that they’re sending. Won’t it be supercilious and arrogant of the West to try to talk them out of it?

They’re all agreed that they want to get rid of the present leadership, but I don’t think they’re agreed on what they want in its place. For example, we get very, very different figures as to the probable support for the Muslim Brothers.

Yes, we’ve seen 20, 30, 40 percent and we’ve seen attitudes from that Pew Poll, from a couple of months ago, that were very extreme.

This is my point. And it’s very difficult to rely on these things. People don’t tell the truth when they’re being asked questions.

Broadly speaking, the notion of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is much disputed – from being perceived as essentially benign, unthreatening, even secular, according to one remark (later corrected, by US National Intelligence Director James Clapper), to being perceived as a radical and terrible threat. How would you judge it?

To say that they’re secular would show an astonishing ignorance of the English lexicon. I don’t think [the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt] is in any sense benign. I think it is a very dangerous, radical Islamic movement. If they obtain power, the consequences would be disastrous for Egypt.

I’m an historian. My business is the past, not the future. But I can imagine a situation in which the Muslim Brotherhood and other organizations of the same kind obtain control of much of the Arab world. It’s not impossible. I wouldn’t say it’s likely, but it’s not unlikely.

And if that happens, they would gradually sink back into medieval squalor.
Remember that according to their own statistics, the total exports of the entire Arab world other than fossil fuels amount to less than those of Finland, one small European country. Sooner or later the oil age will come to an end. Oil will be either exhausted or superseded as a source of energy and then they have virtually nothing. In that case it’s easy to imagine a situation in which Africa north of the Sahara becomes not unlike Africa south of the Sahara.

As we look at this region in ferment, how would you characterize what is unfolding now? Can we generalize about the uprisings that are erupting in the various countries? Is there a common theme?

There’s a common theme of anger and resentment. And the anger and resentment are universal and well-grounded. They come from a number of things. First of all, there’s the obvious one – the greater awareness that they have, thanks to modern media and modern communications, of the difference between their situation and the situation in other parts of the world. I mean, being abjectly poor is bad enough. But when everybody else around you is pretty far from abjectly poor, then it becomes pretty intolerable.

Another thing is the sexual aspect of it. One has to remember that in the Muslim world, casual sex, Western-style, doesn’t exist. If a young man wants sex, there are only two possibilities – marriage and the brothel. You have these vast numbers of young men growing up without the money, either for the brothel or the brideprice, with raging sexual desire. On the one hand, it can lead to the suicide bomber, who is attracted by the virgins of paradise – the only ones available to him. On the other hand, sheer frustration.

So you have this explosion, which different regimes are handling in very different ways. Were you surprised with the ease with which, in Tunisia and Egypt, autocratic leaders were ousted? Do you see other countries where a similar process is likely to unfold?

I was expecting a wave of such movements. I didn’t think it would be as quick and easy as it was in Egypt. But I expect that there will be more. We can see in so many countries, the regimes are already gravely in danger.

In Syria we don’t see, so far, any major expression of an effort at people power. It’s a more ruthless regime. In Iran, the stakes are much higher. It requires much more courage to go out on the street when the regime is presumably prepared to go to greater lengths to hold onto power. Do you see these kinds of processes taking hold in the more repressive and ruthless regimes?

As far as one can judge, these movements of opposition are very strong, even in Iran for example. Now, as you say, the Iranian regime is very repressive. Nevertheless, there are ways in which people can communicate, notably by telephone, e-mail and the rest, and the messages coming out of Iran are unequivocal. It makes it clear that the regime is extremely unpopular. There are two oppositions, opposition to the regime, and opposition within the regime. I think that with even a little help from outside it would be possible to do something. As the saying goes, “You can’t beat something with nothing.”

A little help from outside? It’s a subtle process. If the help is overt, it can be used by the regime in Iran, for example, to suggest unwarranted and untenable Western influence. How do you give help to people seeking the overthrow of these regimes?

One method is by political warfare, by having some sort of propaganda campaign against the regime. This would not be difficult. There’s a vast Iranian population now in the Western world, particularly in the United States, who I’m sure would be willing to help in this, and thanks to modern communications, it would not be too difficult to get the message across. The messages coming out of Iran make this very clear. You must have heard when the American forces went into Iraq, lots of Iranians wrote e-mails or telephoned, saying, “You should have tackled your problems in alphabetical order.”

Tell us more about the nature of the Arab masses, their sense of their own religion, their sense of the agenda that Islam sets out for them.

Well, you see, two things have happened. One is that their position on the whole has been getting worse. The second, which is much more important, is that their awareness of that is getting much greater. As I said before, thanks to modern communications, they can now compare their own position with that in other countries. And they don’t have to look very far to do that. I have sat with friends in Arab countries, watching Israeli television, and their responses to that are mindboggling.

What is so striking to them?

One particular instance that I remember: There was a little Arab boy whose arm was broken by an Israeli policeman during a demonstration and he appeared the next day on Israeli television with a bandage on his arm, denouncing Israeli brutality. I was in Amman at the time, watching this. And sitting next to me was an Iraqi, who had fled Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, and he looked at this with his jaw dropping and he said, “I would gladly let Saddam Hussein break both my arms and both my legs if he would let me talk like that on Iraqi television.”

Take us a little deeper into the mindset. Help us reconcile the discord in Egypt, for example, between hundreds and thousands of people coming out onto the streets and demanding to be rid of a dictatorial leadership, which most people in the West have interpreted as a push for freedoms and Westernstyle democracy, at the same time as we read opinion surveys which show overwhelming proportions of Egyptians taking very bleak views on some aspects of human rights, supporting terrible punishments for adultery, benighted attitudes to homosexuality and so on.

It’s not easy to define what they are for. It’s much easier to define what they are against. They are against the present tyrannies, which as they see it, not only oppress them, but dishonor their name, their religion, their nationality. They want to see something better in its place. Now what that something better would be is differently defined. They are not usually talking in terms of parliamentary democracy and free elections and so on. That’s not part of the common discourse. For different groups it means different things. But usually, it’s religiously defined. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Muslim Brothers’ type of religion. There is also an Islamic tradition which is not like that – as I referred to earlier, the tradition of consultation. It is a form of government.

If we have different potential Islamic paths that these peoples could now go down, how strong is a more moderate Muslim tradition? How likely is it that that would prevail? I ask you that because of your bleak characterization of the Muslim Brotherhood which, again, some experts claim is relatively benign.

I don’t know how one could get the impression that the Muslim Brotherhood is relatively benign unless you mean relatively as compared with the Nazi party.

There are other trends within the Islamic world which look back to their own glorious paths and think in other terms. There is a great deal of talk nowadays about consultation. That is very much part of the tradition.

The sort of authoritarian, even dictatorial regimes, that rule most of the countries in the modern Islamic Middle East, are a modern creation. They are a result of modernization. The pre-modern regimes were much more open, much more tolerant. You can see this from a number of contemporary descriptions. And the memory of that is still living.

It was a British naval officer called Slade who put it very well. He was comparing the old order with the new order, created by modernization. He said that “in the old order, the nobility lived on their estates. In the new order, the state is the estate of the new nobility.” I think that puts it admirably.

Are you leading toward the possibility that the unraveling of these modern, non-consultative regimes could return us to a genuine, potential, wider peopleto- people partnership between the Muslim world and the West? And if so, how do we go about achieving that?

The only time when they began to look favorably on outside alliances is when they see themselves as confronting a still greater danger. Sadat didn’t make peace because he was suddenly convinced of the merits of the Zionist case. Sadat made peace because Egypt was becoming a Soviet colony. He realized that on the best estimate of Israel’s power and on the worst estimate of Israel’s intentions, Israel was much less of a danger to Egypt than the Soviet Union at that time. That is why he set to work to make peace, and he was of course, right.

One sees similar calculations later than that. Consider for example, the battle between the Israeli forces and Hezbollah in 2006. It was quite clear that the Arab governments were quietly cheering the Israelis and hoping that they would finish the job and were very disappointed when they failed to finish the job. The best way of attaining friendship is by confronting a yet more dangerous enemy. There have been several such [enemies] in the Middle East and there are several at the present time. That seems to me the best hope of understanding between the Arabs on the one hand and either the West or the Israelis on the other hand.

People talk about American imperialism as a danger. That is absolute nonsense.
People who talk about American imperialism in the Middle East either know nothing about America or know nothing about imperialism. American imperialism is a term which might justly be used to describe some of the processes by which the original 13 states increased to the present 50. But as applied to American policy in the Middle East at the present time, it is wrong to the point of absurdity. Take the classical examples of imperialism: When the Romans went to Britain 2,000 years ago, or when the British went to India 300 years ago, an exit strategy was not uppermost in their minds.

When you look around the region, which are the potential enemies which may be regarded as the greater threat?

At the moment, principally the Iranian revolution. On the one hand they’re afraid of what you might call Iranian imperialism, and on the other hand of the Iranian Shi’ite revolution.

The Sunni-Shi’ite question is obviously different according to which country you’re in. In a country like Iraq or Syria, where you have both Sunnis and Shia, the distinction between Sunni and Shia, the clashes between them, are very important. In a country like Egypt where there are no Shia, which is 100% Sunni, it’s not an important issue. They don’t see the Shia threat as an issue.

There’s one other group of people that I think one should bear in mind when considering the future of the Middle East, and that is women. The case has been made, and I think there is some force in it, that the main reason for the relative backwardness of the Islamic world compared to the West is the treatment of women. As far as I know, it was first made by a Turkish writer called Namik Kemal in about 1880. At that time an agonizing debate had been going on for more than a century: What went wrong? Why did we fall behind the West?

He said, “The answer is very clear. We fell behind the West because of the way we treat our women. By the way we treat our women we deprive ourselves of the talents and services of half the population. And we submit the early education of the other half to ignorant and downtrodden mothers.”

It goes further than that. A child who grows up in a traditional Muslim household is accustomed to authoritarian, autocratic rule from the start. I think the position of women is of crucial importance.

That is why I am looking with great interest at Tunisia. Tunisia is the one Arab country that has really done something about women. In Tunisia there is compulsory education for girls, from primary school, right through. In Tunisia, women are to be found in the professions. There are doctors, lawyers, journalists, politicians and so on. Women play a significant part in public life in Tunisia. I think that is going to have an enormous impact. It’s already having this in Tunisia and you can see that in various ways. But this will certainly spread to other parts of the world.

Elsewhere, the question of women and the role of the women is of crucial importance for the future of the Muslim world in general.

A key country which has not been enveloped in these uprisings yet is Saudi Arabia. Why do you think that is? Is that going to change?

There’s not much prospect of its changing for the time being. But sooner or later oil will be either exhausted or superseded, and then of course the change will be dramatic.

And what of our other immediate neighbors in Jordan and among the Palestinians. From a security point of view, Israel is worried about what might unfold...

With good reason... Until recently I would have said that the Hashemite kingdom is fairly safe. I used to go to Jordan every year for many years and there was no doubting the popularity of the regime. Members of the royal family would travel alone, driving their own open two-seater cars across the city, without feeling in the slightest degree endangered, and even be greeted with cheers and kisses whenever they passed. That again could change.

The king would appear to be above the fray...


And by changing his government, has defused at least some of the protest?

It’s too early to say.

And on the Palestinian front, what you said before about the overstated assumption that elections are the panacea, that seems to be what unfolded with the Palestinians. There was a dash for elections, when the only choices were between Fatah and Hamas. I don’t see people-protests [against the regime] in Gaza, but in the West Bank could there be some replication of what happened in Egypt, directed against Israel?

I don’t see elections, Western-style, as the answer to the problem. I see it rather as a dangerous aggravation of a problem. The Western-style election is part of a very distinctively Western political system, which has no relevance at all to the situation in most Middle Eastern countries. It can only lead to one direction, as it did in Germany, for example.

Two weeks ago, I interviewed Natan Sharansky. He gave an enthusiastic endorsement of the push for freedom. But a caveat was: Don’t have this sense that elections equals democracy. Therefore, his recipe was: Go slower. But he still seemed to be pushing in the Western, democratic direction. He was saying, you need to take time; you need to create a climate in which opposition parties can organize, other parties can organize, so you don’t only have the Muslim Brotherhood; you need to have a media environment in which their message can be fairly reported; and then people have to be confident that they can make their choices without fear of persecution. That sounds very smart to me, but it also sounds very Western. Are you suggesting that might be a path or that it fails to understand the differences between the West and the Muslim world?

One has to understand not so much the differences between the two as the differences in the political discourse. In the Western world, we talk all the time about freedom. In the Islamic world, freedom is not a political term. It’s a legal term: Freedom as opposed to slavery. This was a society in which slavery was an accepted institution existing all over the Muslim world. You were free if you were not a slave. It was entirely a legal and social term, with no political connotation whatsoever. You can see in the ongoing debate in Arabic and other languages the puzzlement with which the use of the term freedom was first perceived.
They just didn’t understand it. I mean, what does this have to do with politics or government? Eventually, they got the message. But it’s still alien to them. In Muslim terms, the aim of good government is justice.

The major contrast is not between freedom and tyranny, between freedom and servitude, but between justice and oppression. Or if you like, between justice and injustice. If one follows that particular discourse in the Arab and more generally the Muslim world, it would be more illuminating.

So while we look at these protests as a demand for a greater stake in self-government and a push for what we consider to be freedoms, what you’re diagnosing here is outrage against injustice?


And how is that demand met?

Corruption and oppression are corruption and oppression by whichever system you define them. There’s not much difference between their definition of corruption and our definition of corruption.

So, if the leaderships in these countries were not corrupt and were just, they would not have been confronted? It’s that they’ve not governed fairly?


That resonates with what happened in Iran. You had elections and the results were announced before the votes had been counted...

The people felt they were being cheated.

It’s the sense of injustice at the core?

Yes. I think one should look at it in terms of justice and injustice, rather than freedom and oppression. I think that would make it much easier to understand the mental and therefore the political processes in the Islamic world.

And so to the Israel question. Israel, like everybody else, was taken completely by surprise. How should Israel be responding to these protests?

Watch carefully, keep silent, make the necessary preparations.

And reach out. Reach out. This is a real possibility nowadays. There are increasing numbers of people in the Arab world who look with, I would even say, with wonderment at what they see in Israel, at the functioning of a free and open society. I read an article quite recently by a Palestinian Arab whom I will not endanger by naming, in which he said that “as things stand in the world at the present time, the best hope that an Arab has for his future is as a second class citizen of a Jewish state.” A rather extraordinary statement coming from an Arab spokesman. But if you think about it, he’s not far wrong. The alternative, being in an Arab state, is very much worse. They certainly do better as second class citizens of the Jewish state. There’s a growing realization of that. People would speak much more openly about that if it were safe to do so, which it obviously isn’t.

There are two things which I think are helpful towards a better understanding between the Arabs and Israel. One of them is the well-known one, of the perception of a greater danger, which I mentioned before. Sadat turned to Israel because he saw that Egypt was becoming a Russian colony. The same thing has happened again on a number of occasions. Now they see Israel as a barrier against the Iranian threat.

The other one, which is less easy to define but in the long run is probably more important, is [regarding Israel] as a model of democratic government. A model of a free and open society with rights for women – an increasingly important point, especially in the perception of women.

In both of these respects I think that there are some hopeful signs for the future.

How the left encourages violence against America

Why Is the New York Times Shilling for Far-Left Terrorists While Smearing the Patriot Who Exposed Them?

Posted By Matthew Vadum

As a wave of left-wing violence threatens to engulf the nation, why is the progressive New York Times running an ugly campaign of character assassination [1] against a real-life American hero who saved lives and helped to safeguard the nation’s sacred democratic process?

Could it be because the newspaper is sympathetic to the goals of the thuggish community organizers and union goons intimidating state legislatures across America and wants to help advance the liberal-left narrative?

The man with the bull’s eye on his back is Brandon Darby, formerly a far-left community organizer. This heroic defector from the Left stands accused by the New York Times and by angry radical groups of becoming an agent provocateur. Unhinged anarchists across the country would love to get their hands on him.

All over the Internet Darby’s name has been dragged through the mud by the Daily Kos and Crooks and Liars crowd. They accuse him of selling out and pushing the wrongdoers hard enough that he essentially became a co-conspirator. Search for his name with the words traitor, rat, or fink and you’ll see what I mean.

Darby got to this point after years of leading in-your-face protests, using confrontational tactics, and working with America-haters. But he experienced an epiphany and rejected the radical Left and its ever-present culture of political violence. He came to realize that America, for all its faults, wasn’t such a bad place after all. “I felt I had a duty to atone after badmouthing my country for so many years,” he said. “I love my country.”

The change of heart happened around the time he returned from socialist Venezuela where he had been trying to get the government there to donate to his nonprofit group. While in that country high officials in Hugo Chavez’s administration tried to get Darby to launch a terrorist network [3] in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. Darby refused.

After he returned to the U.S. Darby learned two anarchists wanted to attack the 2008 Republican National Convention. Darby offered his assistance to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force and, at the FBI’s request, infiltrated a left-wing group that hoped to lay siege to the GOP convention that nominated the presidential ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin.

The FBI sent Darby to meet with the plotters. “It was a group of people whose explicit purpose was to organize a group of ‘black bloc’ anarchists to shut the Republican convention down by any means necessary,” he explained. “They showed videos of people throwing Molotov cocktails, and they were giving people ideas.” (The plot and its aftermath is described in greater detail in my upcoming book on ACORN [4] and its infiltration of the Obama administration which will be published in mid-2011. It was also referenced in Townhall [5].)

The 20-something plotters on whom Darby informed, David Guy McKay and Bradley Neil Crowder, made riot shields and were ready to use them in St. Paul to help demonstrators block streets near the convention site. They also manufactured instruments of death calculated to inflict maximum pain and bodily harm on people whose political views they disagreed with.

Thanks to the information Darby provided to authorities, police raided a residence and found gas masks, slingshots, helmets, knee pads and eight Molotov cocktails consisting of bottles filled with gasoline with attached wicks made from tampons. “They mixed gasoline with oil so it would stick to clothing and skin and burn longer,” Darby said.

Darby’s patriotic effort helped to put the would-be bomb throwers behind bars. McKay pleaded “guilty” and was sentenced in May 2009 to 48 months in prison plus three years of supervised release for possession of an unregistered “firearm,” illegal manufacture of a firearm and possession of a firearm with no serial number. A week before, Crowder cut a deal with prosecutors and was sentenced to 24 months in prison for possession of an unregistered firearm.

McKay received the stiffer sentence largely because he told a tall tale about Darby’s involvement in the plot.

As the U.S. Department of Justice reported in a press release available on the Internet, during sentencing the trial judge went out of his way to make a specific legal finding [6] that McKay obstructed justice by falsely accusing Darby of inducing him to manufacture the incendiary devices.

McKay also confirmed that finding, the Star Tribune reported [7]. “I embellished – I guess actually lied – that Brandon Darby came up with the idea to make Molotov cocktails.”

Yet somehow these publicly available facts could not be located by the New York Times, America’s Google-averse newspaper of record.

In the Wednesday edition James C. McKinley Jr. falsely reported that Darby had actually encouraged the conspiracy.

In the article Anarchist Ties Seen in ’08 Bombing of Texas Governor’s Mansion [8] published February 23, 2011, the paper said Darby urged two radicals to firebomb the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota:

Yet federal agents accused two men from these circles of plotting to make firebombs and hurl them at police cars during the convention. An F.B.I informant from Austin, Brandon Darby, was traveling with the group and told the authorities of the plot, which he had encouraged. [emphasis added]

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota this is absolutely, demonstrably untrue. That office stated the following in a May 21, 2009 press release titled Texas Man Sentenced on Firearms Charges Connected to the Republican National Convention [6]:

A 23-year-old man from Austin, Texas, who was connected to a group that planned to disrupt the Republican National Convention in September 2008, was sentenced today in federal court on three firearms charges.

On May 21 in Minneapolis, United States District Court Chief Judge Michael Davis sentenced David Guy McKay to 48 months in prison and three years of supervised release on one count of possession of an unregistered firearm, one count of illegal manufacture of a firearm and one count of possession of a firearm with no serial number. McKay pleaded guilty on March 17.

Today’s sentence included a finding by Judge Davis that McKay obstructed justice at his January trial by falsely accusing a government informant, Brandon Darby, of inducing him to manufacture the Molotov cocktails.

Big Journalism has asked [9] the New York Times to retract the false claim it made and correct the record. But even a retraction won’t come close to making Darby whole at this point.

This is not some tiny little molehill of a mistake. It is a savage, unconscionable attack on a truly great American who deserves the nation’s gratitude. It is also a wrenchingly painful smear that will stick around on the Internet for the rest of Darby’s life whether the paper ever prints a correction or not.

The implication the newspaper made was that these young men aren’t really to blame for what they did because Darby manipulated them into doing it. Isn’t it an odd coincidence that liberal bloggers are saying the same thing?

Yet another spooky coincidence: the storyline for “Better This World,” a piece of George Soros-funded celluloid agitprop [10] that attempts to rehabilitate McKay and Crowder, happens to share this through-the-looking-glass point of view.

And it’s not the first time the newspaper has mugged Darby. It provided hostile coverage when he was outed as an informant too. Ignoring his heroism, a January 5, 2009, article [11] focused not on Darby’s lifesaving intervention but on the feelings of “betrayal” his former allies in left-wing anarchist circles were experiencing.

Scott Crow, who with Darby co-founded the Common Ground Relief agency in New Orleans, whined the loudest after learning of Darby’s cooperation with the FBI.

“I put it all on the line to defend him when accusations first came out,” Crow said. “Brandon Darby is somebody I had entrusted with my life in New Orleans, and now I feel endangered by him.” Why someone who presumably hadn’t committed a crime would feel “endangered” by knowing an FBI informant is unclear.

You really have to wonder how such a prestigious, award-winning, agenda-setting media outlet could keep making these mistakes, if that’s what they are. But it does.

It is also important to remember that there used to be a time when spelling a source’s name wrong could get a reporter fired or at least given a humiliating dressing-down. And when the reporter’s story blackened someone’s name, it had to be right – or else.

As a journalist with 14 years of full-time professional experience under his belt, I paid my dues in the early days and got (justifiably) chewed out from time to time for comparatively minor goof-ups, so I have an idea how this might have happened.

Perhaps the reporter was pressed for time and didn’t know the back story. He may have carelessly relied on a left-wing source with an axe to grind to give him the background information he needed to add context to the story.

Maybe he was simply so politically biased against Darby that he couldn’t even see past his own prejudices and wrote that fateful phrase “which he had encouraged” sincerely believing it was true. (Snort!)

Perhaps he deliberately wrote something he knew was false or his editor changed the wording, innocently or not, to make it false.

As a cause of this I’m leaning towards good old fashioned politically motivated malice, but the nation is waiting for an explanation from the New York Times. It’s disgraceful that this damage was done to an innocent man who put his life on the line to help protect America’s hard-won freedoms.

Isn't it odd that the left doesn't want you have a gun but they're fine with guns and explosives in the hands of leftist terrorist?