Friday, September 02, 2011

Early Obama Letter Confirms Inability to Write

The man is an impostor through and through -- enabled by a media obsessed with skin color

On November 16, 1990, Barack Obama, then president of the Harvard Law Review, published a letter in the Harvard Law Record, an independent Harvard Law School newspaper, championing affirmative action.

Although a paragraph from this letter was excerpted in David Remnick's biography of Obama, The Bridge, I had not seen the letter in its entirety before this week. Not surprisingly, it confirms everything I know about Barack Obama, the writer and thinker.

Obama was prompted to write by an earlier letter from a Mr. Jim Chen that criticized Harvard Law Review's affirmative action policies. Specifically, Chen had argued that affirmative action stigmatized its presumed beneficiaries.

The response is classic Obama: patronizing, dishonest, syntactically muddled, and grammatically challenged. In the very first sentence Obama leads with his signature failing, one on full display in his earlier published work: his inability to make subject and predicate agree.

"Since the merits of the Law Review's selection policy has been the subject of commentary for the last three issues," wrote Obama, "I'd like to take the time to clarify exactly how our selection process works."

If Obama were as smart as a fifth-grader, he would know, of course, that "merits ... have." Were there such a thing as a literary Darwin Award, Obama could have won it on this on one sentence alone. He had vindicated Chen in his first ten words.

Although the letter is fewer than a thousand words long, Obama repeats the subject-predicate error at least two more times. In one sentence, he seemingly cannot make up his mind as to which verb option is correct so he tries both: "Approximately half of this first batch is chosen ... the other half are selected ... "

Another distinctive Obama flaw is to allow a string of words to float in space. Please note the unanchored phrase in italics at the end of this sentence:

"No editors on the Review will ever know whether any given editor was selected on the basis of grades, writing competition, or affirmative action, and no editors who were selected with affirmative action in mind." Huh?

The next lengthy sentence highlights a few superficial style flaws and a much deeper flaw in Obama's political philosophy.

"I would therefore agree with the suggestion that in the future, our concern in this area is most appropriately directed at any employer who would even insinuate that someone with Mr. Chen's extraordinary record of academic success might be somehow unqualified for work in a corporate law firm, or that such success might be somehow undeserved."

Obama would finish his acclaimed memoir, Dreams from My Father, about four years later. Prior to Dreams, and for the nine years following, everything Obama wrote was, like the above sentence, an uninspired assemblage of words with a nearly random application of commas and tenses.

Unaided, Obama tends to the awkward, passive, and verbose. The phrase "our concern in this area is most appropriately directed at any employer" would more profitably read, "we should focus on the employer." "Concern" is simply the wrong word.

Scarier than Obama's style, however, is his thinking. A neophyte race-hustler after his three years in Chicago, Obama is keen to browbeat those who would "even insinuate" that affirmative action rewards the undeserving, results in inappropriate job placements, or stigmatizes its presumed beneficiaries.

In the case of Michelle Obama, affirmative action did all three. The partners at Sidley Austin learned this the hard way. In 1988, they hired her out of Harvard Law under the impression that the degree meant something. It did not. By 1991, Michelle was working in the public sector as an assistant to the mayor. By 1993, she had given up her law license.

Had the partners investigated Michelle's background, they would have foreseen the disaster to come. Sympathetic biographer Liza Mundy writes, "Michelle frequently deplores the modern reliance on test scores, describing herself as a person who did not test well."

She did not write well, either. Mundy charitably describes her senior thesis at Princeton as "dense and turgid." The less charitable Christopher Hitchens observes, "To describe [the thesis] as hard to read would be a mistake; the thesis cannot be 'read' at all, in the strict sense of the verb. This is because it wasn't written in any known language."

Michelle had to have been as anxious at Harvard Law as Bart Simpson was at Genius School. Almost assuredly, the gap between her writing and that of her highly talented colleagues marked her as an affirmative action admission, and the profs finessed her through.

In a similar vein, Barack Obama was named an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Although his description of the Law Review's selection process defies easy comprehension, apparently, after the best candidates are chosen, there remains "a pool of qualified candidates whose grades or writing competition scores do not significantly differ." These sound like the kids at Lake Woebegone, all above average. Out of this pool, Obama continues, "the Selection Committee may take race or physical handicap into account."

To his credit, Obama concedes that he "may have benefited from the Law Review's affirmative action policy." This did not strike him as unusual as he "undoubtedly benefited from affirmative action programs during my academic career."

On the basis of his being elected president of Law Review -- a popularity contest -- Obama was awarded a six-figure contract to write a book. To this point, he had not shown a hint of promise as a writer, but Simon & Schuster, like Sidley Austin, took the Harvard credential seriously. It should not have. For three years Obama floundered as badly as Michelle had at Sidley Austin. Simon & Schuster finally pulled the contract.

Then Obama found his muse -- right in the neighborhood, as it turns out! And promptly, without further ado, the awkward, passive, ungrammatical Obama, a man who had not written one inspired sentence in his whole life, published what Time Magazine called "the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician."

To question the nature of that production [i.e. to say it was written by Bill Ayers], I have learned, is to risk the abuse promised to Mr. Chen's theoretical employer. After all, who would challenge Obama's obvious talent -- or that of any affirmative action beneficiary -- but those blinded by what Obama calls "deep-rooted ignorance and bias"? What else could it be?



Bill Keller, Christianity and fear of a past that never existed

Yesterday I was at the Border Grille for lunch to talk ads with the owner when I ran into an old friend of mine who I haven’t seen in a few years. We talked about the show a bit and our mutual love of gaming when the subject of the election came up and I saw a phenom that I’ve seen a lot lately in the Republican Party.

My friend is an educated man in his 40′s. Both he and his father owned small business and are longtime republicans. We were going through the potential GOP nominees when he declared he was afraid of Rick Perry because of his fundamentalist belief in the Bible (specifically on evolution). He argued that if he doesn’t believe in Evolution what OTHER science does he not believe in?

I’ve already said something in my gut doesn’t care for Rick Perry but this caused me to do a double take; I answered:

“Unemployment is 9.1%, the economy is in the tank and you’re worried about a candidate’s position on how old the planet is?”

This whole “The GOP candidates are religious nuts” motif has been a big theme for the left and the media culminating in Bill Keller’s piece at the NYT yesterday.

Byron York pointed out that there is a method in this belief in madness via a pair of tweets pointing out:

Also on Keller: Time spent discussing religious tests, Trojan horses and ‘fervid subsets of evangelical Christianity’…is time spent not discussing unemployment. With jobless rate at 9.1%, that’s a major Democratic goal.:

After all to a guy who has just finished his 99 weeks of unemployment and is on food stamps no issue is more vital than if the world is 6000 or 600,000,000,000 billion years old!

The distraction method is important to the Democrats trying to win, but there is something more visceral going on nationally that goes beyond mere party that is being missed. Lisa Graas (my guest on DaTechGuy on DaRadio this week) spotted a piece of the puzzle in this with interview with Rick Santorum in the Colorado Independent:

But at least today I think what you’d see is that Catholics are pretty much all over the board. I mean, when I was growing up as a kid, pretty much everybody I knew that was Catholic was Democrat. That’s not the case anymore.

The question is whether you’re church-going or not.

If you’re a church-going Catholic by and large you’re a Republican, just like if you’re a church-going Protestant by and large you’re a Republican. And if you’re not church-going by and large you’re not.

This goes back to something I wrote about years ago:

Since the 60′s two unifying forces, for good or ill, were removed from the country: the removal of Judeo/Christian values as the semi-official moral code of the public schools) and the death of the draft/aka Vietnam. (actually ending in the 70's). These two changes had one thing in common, it took two generations for them to have the following effect:

It is now unlikely that a student going to school today, had a teacher or parent who 1. Served in the military or 2. Was taught that moral code in school. To a whole generation now being born these are things that belong to outsiders. This makes the military and religious people outsiders and strange to one group and vice versa. Since the military draws predominantly from those two groups it will become more isolated from the rest of the public as time goes by.

There are now two parallel cultures in the US: One the culture born out of the 60′s that is secular and narcissistic. To that culture the primary sin is to …define something as sin or forbidden. The other is the Judeo-Christian culture that the country has lived under since its founding.

The distinguishing characteristic of the secular culture, driven by their lack of belief both in God and in themselves, is fear: Fear of salt in food, fear of traumatizing children by making rules, fear of offending anybody, fear of judgement calls. Simply put fear of being held responsible for anything. That is why it loves government control. Every responsibility and decision that government takes on is one less that they have to make for themselves or can be blamed for.

And Rachel Maddow wonders why we don’t build great things?

This brings us to Rick Perry and my friend’s fear of him. When I look at Perry the remarkable thing about him is how unremarkable he is. Anytime in the last 100 years his background and beliefs would be decidedly uncontroversial. In large swaths of the country where the traditional culture exists he is just another pol (with a good record on jobs).

The problem is in that parallel secular culture where so many of the left live, these views are totally alien and moreover the entertainment & news media that informs them (drawn primarily from that secular culture) alternates between mocking religious Americans as ignorant fools or painting them as murderous inbred fanatics.

It’s reached the point where the left fears the United States return to an imaginary past that only exists in their minds, bearing no resemblance to that time that still exists in living memory.

To them prior to Abington School District v. Schempp, the US lived in a Christian Theocracy where Jews and Gays are slaughtered and all culture was repressed. They are able to look at Pat Robinson and see Bin Laden while at the same time can look at Major Malik Nadal Hassan and see nothing. They look at the era before the sixties and see only segregation and repression while still calling the architects of that era “The Greatest Generation” without blinking an eye. It’s that cultural change that I noted before Obama’s inauguration:

Until 2008 a pastor like Rick Warren would never have been considered a controversial choice to be at any inaugural event. His inclusion wouldn’t have caused an eye to bat once.

Until 2008 a Bishop like Gene Robinson would have been impossible to include in any inaugural event without a massive uproar that would have been politically untenable.

So why all the panic about a Rick Perry now? Consider:

For just about 40 years the levers of our pop and media culture have been firmly in the hands of that secular culture. It was at its peak of power in the 90′s and seemed poised to fundamentally and permanently change the nation when it was hit by two giants jolts:

1. The internet which began the rise of alternate media and the demise of their monopoly on communication

2. 9/11 where reality caused the country to turn to the military, an institution overwhelmingly populated by members of the traditional culture that they feared and distrusted.

For a moment it looked like the nomination of Obama, a person deeply steeped in their own culture, might bring the nirvana they always dreamed of, but instead of the final nail in the coffin of traditional culture, his fecklessness, inability to lead and his multiple failures everywhere but, ironically, in war, threatens to turn the country right back in the direction they thought was totally purged.

Even worse it seems to confirm their culture’s inferiority complex. To a culture that decided to use everything from drugs, to politics to the earth itself to fill the empty space that religion once held the achievement of those who came before towers over them. I suspect they dub their grandparents the “Greatest Generation” because it excuses them from even attempting to achieve what their Grandparents & Great Grandparents did in much harder times. It’s why a person like Sarah Palin disgusts them so. She and people like her are a constant reminder of what they could have been but rejected.

More here


Feds to Trucking Company: You Cannot Fire Alcoholic Drivers

"Anti-discrimination" at work -- and to hell with the safety of other road users

The federal government has sued a major trucking company for its firing of driver with an admitted alcohol abuse problem.

Alcoholism is classified as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the suit maintains, and therefore employees cannot be prohibited even from driving 18 wheelers due to their histories of abuse.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which filed the suit against the Old Dominion Freight Line trucking company on August 16, noted that while “an employer’s concern regarding safety on our highways is a legitimate issue, an employer can both ensure safety and comply with the ADA.” The EEOC detailed the case on its website:
Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc., a trucking company with a service center in Fort Smith, Ark., violated federal law by discriminating against at least one truck driver because of self-reported alcohol abuse, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today. The company should have met its legal obligation to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act while assuring safety, rather than permanently sidelining self-reporting drivers, the EEOC contended.

According to the EEOC’s suit (Civil Action No. 2:11-CV-02153-PKH in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas), the driver at the Fort Smith location had worked for the company for five years without incident. In late June 2009, the employee reported to the company that he believed he had an alcohol problem. Under U.S. Department of Transportation regulations, the employer suspended the employee from his driving position and referred him for substance abuse counseling. However, the employer also informed the driver that the employer would never return him to a driving position, even upon the successful completion of a counseling program. During the investigation, the EEOC discovered drivers at other service centers whom the employer had allegedly subjected to similar treatment…

“The ADA mandates that persons with disabilities have an equal opportunity to achieve in the workplace. Old Dominion’s policy and practice of never returning an employee who self-reports an alcohol problem to a driving position violates that law,” said Katharine Kores, director of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, whose jurisdiction includes Arkansas. “While the EEOC agrees that an employer’s concern regarding safety on our highways is a legitimate issue, an employer can both ensure safety and comply with the ADA.”

If the EEOC prevails, of course, it will mean that Old Dominion will still be liable both for any damage to life or property that results from a potential relapse by one of its recovering drivers – which in turn increases the risks involved in investment in the company – and for the cost of trying to ensure that such damage never occurs. All of these new burdens will raise Old Dominion’s cost of doing business, and hence the cost of everything they transport. And all of this can’t possibly ensure that a recovering driver does not relapse without the company’s knowledge.

The Cato Institute’s Walter Olsen notes that the EEOC has made a number of similar decisions:
For years the ADA has provided legal muscle to employees terminated for alcohol problems — just the other day, for example, a Florida State University administrator dismissed after frictions with staff sued the university for not accommodating his alcohol abuse. But that’s just the academic setting, where many administrators can glide by in a bit of a haze for years without causing real problems. (UCLA’s Steve Bainbridge quips that the college official’s description of drinking as a “handicap” is off base: “it’s always come in handy for me.”) Are we really required to take chances with 18-wheelers on the highway?

Despite the apparent precedent for alcoholism-related lawsuits, EEOC’s case might not be a slam dunk. As the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Hans Bader notes, a federal appellate court ruled in 1995 that employers can fire someone for problems caused by an ADA-qualified disability if that disability “poses a significant risk [to others] that cannot be eliminated by reasonable accommodation.”

The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals established that standard when it ruled against an HIV-positive individual who sued the University of Maryland Medical System Corporation for firing him from its residency program for fear that he might inadvertently infect hospital patients with the virus.



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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


1 comment:

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