Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

All the best to all our readers in 2014!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Mark Horowitz: A Harvard Professor's Fraudulent History of Hollywood

It sounds like another cracked, anti-Semitic conspiracy theory dredged up from some Truther website, but it’s the thesis of a recent book from Harvard University Press, The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact With Hitler, written by a freshly minted young Berkeley Ph.D., now Harvard Junior Fellow, Ben Urwand, and supported by documents culled from German archives, pages of supplemental notes, and back-cover bona fides from respectable historians like Richard Evans, who also reviewed the manuscript for the Harvard Press. “It is time to remove the layers that have hidden the collaboration for so long,” the author writes in his prologue, “and to reveal the historical connection between the most important individual of the twentieth century and the movie capital of the world.”
The Collaboration, however, reveals nothing of the sort. The book’s astounding claims are not only flatly contradicted by more credible accounts the author inexplicably ignores, but his thesis is undercut by evidence, old and new, he himself provides. The author misunderstands classic films, not to mention the social and political history of the period. One can’t help wondering why the Harvard Society of Fellows thought this book worthy of support and what Harvard University Press intended by publishing it.

More on this topic here, from Alicia Mayer: http://hollywoodessays.com/2013/12/18/face-to-face-with-ben-urwand-the-question-i-asked-and-his-reply/ 

Still more here, from Clare Spark:

Alan Luxenberg Outs American Studies Association Boycott Leadership

The vote by the 5,000-member American Studies Association to support the academic boycott of Israel, reportedly by a 2-1 margin, has evoked many responses, but none so far has identified the irony at the core of the matter.  To show that irony, and the deeper problem it illustrates, you need to know that a couple of weeks before the ASA vote, the ASA’s 20-member National Council, which administers the ASA and is elected by the ASA membership, pre-voted in favor of the Israel boycott—and did so unanimously.
Can you imagine twenty serious scholars in any discipline voting unanimously on any controversial issue? I can’t, so I thought it worthwhile to examine the composition of the ASA’s National Council and to peruse its members’ academic profiles, as described on the webpages of their home institutions. This simple exercise reveals a stunning lack of diversity of intellectual interests and perspectives in a sector of American society, the university, that explicitly places a very high premium on “diversity.” The apparent obsession with gender, gay and race studies (or of U.S. imperialism) among the members of ASA’s National Council seems to come at the expense of scholarship on just about everything else.
You don’t have to take my word for it. See for yourself or, if you like, scan through the abridged academic profiles below of 18 of the 20 members of ASA’s National Council. All the information is drawn from the faculty profiles as presented on university webpages; none of the language is mine.



Friday, December 20, 2013

Michael Oren: US Congress Could End Israel Boycott


But merely protesting this abhorrent decision will not succeed in reversing it or discouraging other similarly bigoted organizations from following suit. What’s needed is a way to fight back, and Congress can do it.
A successful precedent for that fight already exists in the defeat of the Arab economic boycott of Israel. That embargo began in 1945, before Israel's creation, when the Arab League voted to ban "Jewish products." Over the next 30 years, this boycott damaged Israel's economy—until America stood up.
In 1977, Congress passed a series of laws making it illegal for U.S. companies to cooperate with any boycott of Israel and imposing stiff penalties on those that did. The boycott, Congress concluded, was not only racist against Israelis but all Jews. In signing the legislation, President Jimmy Carter, though a frequent critic of Israel, pledged to “end the divisive effects on American life of foreign boycotts aimed at Jewish members of our society.” Subsequent bills further underscored America's commitment to safeguard Israel from prejudicial bans.
Predictably, the Arab League dismissed these laws as a "hysterical campaign" imposed on the United States by "world Zionism." But when confronted with American steadfastness, the boycott began to unravel. Companies such as Pepsi, Toyota and Xerox, which had formally complied with the blacklisting, began doing business with Israel. By 1994, six Gulf Arab states announced that they were backing off the embargo, and the following year, Egyptian, Jordanian and Palestinian leaders pledged “all efforts to end the boycott of Israel.”
A similar legislative response could prove effective in quashing the movement to boycott Israel academically. Laws could be passed withholding federal or state funding from any academic program that knowingly blacklisted Israeli scholars or institutions or cooperated with associations that did. While an organization like ASA might prefer punishing Israel to receiving government funds, other academic bodies—including universities—most likely will not. At the very least, lawmakers on the local and national level can go on record expressing their unequivocal opposition to such boycotts.
Opponents of this approach will inevitably claim that it stifles academic freedom and open debate. The contrary is true. Legislation voiding prejudicial boycotts preserves the scholarly interaction essential for academic freedom. Open debate about Israel's—or any other country's—policies must continue unimpeded. What must not be allowed to continue is the isolation of one member of the international community on the basis of bigotry cloaked in academic righteousness.
As Israel’s ambassador to the United States and as an historian who believes in free academic exchange, I often spoke before college audiences and welcomed even those questions critical of Israel. But at the University of California at Irvine in February 2010, protesters tried to disrupt my talk and deprive all those present—students and faculty—of the right to discourse. No other visiting lecturer was singled out, only the Israeli. But 11 of those demonstrators were arrested, tried and found guilty of disrupting free speech. Academic boycotts of Israel aim at the same objective and they, too, can be legally stopped.
If the ASA vote were merely misguided, it might be overlooked. Unfortunately, history teaches us that even small acts of prejudice can multiply and become commonplace. But just as it stood up for American values in 1970s, so, too, today Congress can combat intolerance. By acting decisively now, legislators can assure that high education in American preserves its highest standards.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2013/12/will-congress-stand-up-for-academic-freedom-101379.html#ixzz2o3eoHNcB

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Pam Geller on ASA's Israel Boycott


Read my column today in The Jerusalem Post.
Just as the sniveling American Jewish diaspora failed the Jews of Europe, we Bergson adagain witness these swashbucking cowards failing the Jews of the 21st century.
The above 3/4-page ad appeared in the New York Times in 1943. The ad was placed by the Committee for a Jewish Army of Stateless and Palestinian Jews (CJA), a pressure group founded by Peter Bergson, Broadway impresario Billy Rose, and Ben Hecht, among others, and was in response to an offer that had been made to the Allies by upper-echelon members of the Romanian government to assist in the transfer of some 70,000 Jews from their fascist state to Palestine or elsewhere.
CJA was denounced by mainstream Jewish organizations as alarmist, unethical, and overly militant.Much the way my work, in particular my savage ads, were denounced by American Jewish leaders. Inaction, submission and cowardice. History repeats itself.

... Israel has not violated international law or UN resolutions, and if these so-called academics had even a rudimentary knowledge of history -- the San Remo resolution, Balfour, the White Paper, and Islamic Jew-hatred -- they would apologize and retreat with their heads hung in shame. The ASA ought to issue a resolution that Islamic anti-Semitism is a violation of human rights, and that calls for a Jew-free “Palestine” are a human rights violation, and the repeated “Palestinian” calls for the destruction of Israel are a monstrous human rights violation.
This boycott should also be a grim wake-up call for those swashbuckling Jewish philanthropists who give over their wealth to colleges and universities -- families like Tisch, Stern, Steinhard, Silver, Kimmel, Wasserman, Levy. What is their legacy? They have built the structures and the machinery that are serving the agenda of the annihilationists and Goebbels-inspired hate propaganda...

Camille Paglia: It's a Man's World

Every day along the Delaware River in Philadelphia, one can watch the passage of vast oil tankers and towering cargo ships arriving from all over the world. These stately colossi are loaded, steered and off-loaded by men. The modern economy, with its vast production and distribution network, is a male epic, in which women have found a productive role — but women were not its author. Surely, modern women are strong enough now to give credit where credit is due!

Read more: It’s a Man’s World, and It Always Will Be | TIME.com http://ideas.time.com/2013/12/16/its-a-mans-world-and-it-always-will-be/#ixzz2nvsFmyfK

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

ASA Israel Boycott May Violate Federal and State Laws...


Last week, the American Studies Association’s (ASA) national council, unanimously passed a resolution calling for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The ASA, which bills itself as the “oldest and largest association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history,” then took the unusual step of asking its reportedly 5,000 members to cast their own votes on upholding the anti-Israel policy. While the deadline to reject the resolution runs out today, Sunday, December 15, the ASA scholars, which fancy themselves as the leading authorities on all things American, seem to have overlooked one small matter – a boycott resolution of this nature violates international, federal and state law in the United States. They leave the ASA and its membership open to both civil and criminal liability.

Khaled Abu Toameh: Abbas Opposes Israel Boycott


It is ironic that while Abbas is saying no to a boycott of Israel, the American Studies Association, an association of U.S. professors with almost 5,000 members, voted to endorse an academic boycott of Israeli colleagues and universities.
The U.S. professors obviously do not care about what the Palestinian Authority president has to say about the boycott of Israel. The professors, like BDS supporters, apparently believe that Abbas is a "traitor" because he is conducting peace talks with Israel.
Abbas's attack on the BDS movement is a serious embarrassment for the anti-Israel activists, many of whom are not Palestinians.
The statements have enraged BDS activists worldwide, with some calling into question Abbas's right to speak on behalf of the Palestinians.
Prominent Palestinian journalist Daoud Kuttab noted that Abbas's statement in Johannesburg "naturally has angered many Palestinian and international supporters of the BDS movement."
Kuttab wrote that Abbas's statement "reflects the absence of any clear strategy from the Palestinian political leadership except for negotiations. It is unclear whether the reason behind the Palestinian leader's public attack at the BDS movement is a result of trying to protect the Palestinian elite or not wanting to anger the Israelis and their US allies."
Abbas did, however, call on people around the world to boycott products of settlements. "No, we do not support the boycott of Israel," Abbas said. "But we ask everyone to boycott the products of settlements because the settlements are in our territories. It is illegal."

Penn State Harrisburg to drop American Studies Assoc membership after Israel boycott

Penn State Harrisburg to drop American Studies Assoc membership after Israel boycott

From the comments section:

Like any parasite, the far left can only be controlled by cutting off its source of feeding. Get federal money out of higher education, and the political nonsense theater the left has been putting on the last 30 years or so will no longer seem so amusing when institutions have to fund it themselves.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The DiploMad 2.0: Joy to the World.

The DiploMad 2.0: The War on Joy: This post started off as a little discourse on the Christmas season and the sort of politically correct nonsense we see emerge at this time....

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Wall Street Journal Shills For Boston Marthon Bombers


Reporter Alan Cullison is either a fool or a knave, and his Wall Street Journal editors have no shame, to publish today's illogical, dishonest, contradictory account of his personal support for a Chechen terrorist family:

An insult to the dead.

Cullison declares: "I expected to write about Russia's Islamist insurgency in the future and I thought some Chechen expatriates might help me..." 

In other words, Cullison admits he was cultivating the Tsarnaevs because they were Chechens familiar with the Islamist insurgency, whom the Russians correctly called terrorists.

Rather than begging forgiveness of the people of Boston for befriending killers, he makes a cowardly attempt to pardon himself with an obvious lie that fails the red-face test.

"A decade ago, there was nothing about the Tsarnaevs to suggest any involvement in Islamist extremism..."

Except for the fact that Cullison specifically said he was developing the Tsarnaevs as sources on "Russia's Islamist insurgency."

Cullinson's pathetic screed is a shameful confession of the Wall Street Journal's immoral promotion of Islamist terror--in Chechnya and Boston alike.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Humberto Fontnova on Obama & Castro


Monday, December 09, 2013

Seymour Hersh: Obama Lied About Syrian Poison Gas


The White House’s misrepresentation of what it knew about the attack, and when, was matched by its readiness to ignore intelligence that could undermine the narrative. That information concerned al-Nusra, the Islamist rebel group designated by the US and the UN as a terrorist organisation. Al-Nusra is known to have carried out scores of suicide bombings against Christians and other non-Sunni Muslim sects inside Syria, and to have attacked its nominal ally in the civil war, the secular Free Syrian Army (FSA). Its stated goal is to overthrow the Assad regime and establish sharia law. (On 25 September al-Nusra joined several other Islamist rebel groups in repudiating the FSA and another secular faction, the Syrian National Coalition.)
The flurry of American interest in al-Nusra and sarin stemmed from a series of small-scale chemical weapons attacks in March and April; at the time, the Syrian government and the rebels each insisted the other was responsible. The UN eventually concluded that four chemical attacks had been carried out, but did not assign responsibility. A White House official told the press in late April that the intelligence community had assessed ‘with varying degrees of confidence’ that the Syrian government was responsible for the attacks. Assad had crossed Obama’s ‘red line’. The April assessment made headlines, but some significant caveats were lost in translation. The unnamed official conducting the briefing acknowledged that intelligence community assessments ‘are not alone sufficient’. ‘We want,’ he said, ‘to investigate above and beyond those intelligence assessments to gather facts so that we can establish a credible and corroborated set of information that can then inform our decision-making.’ In other words, the White House had no direct evidence of Syrian army or government involvement, a fact that was only occasionally noted in the press coverage. Obama’s tough talk played well with the public and Congress, who view Assad as a ruthless murderer.
Two months later, a White House statement announced a change in the assessment of Syrian culpability and declared that the intelligence community now had ‘high confidence’ that the Assad government was responsible for as many as 150 deaths from attacks with sarin. More headlines were generated and the press was told that Obama, in response to the new intelligence, had ordered an increase in non-lethal aid to the Syrian opposition. But once again there were significant caveats. The new intelligence included a report that Syrian officials had planned and executed the attacks. No specifics were provided, nor were those who provided the reports identified. The White House statement said that laboratory analysis had confirmed the use of sarin, but also that a positive finding of the nerve agent ‘does not tell us how or where the individuals were exposed or who was responsible for the dissemination’. The White House further declared: ‘We have no reliable corroborated reporting to indicate that the opposition in Syria has acquired or used chemical weapons.’ The statement contradicted evidence that at the time was streaming into US intelligence agencies.
Already by late May, the senior intelligence consultant told me, the CIA had briefed the Obama administration on al-Nusra and its work with sarin, and had sent alarming reports that another Sunni fundamentalist group active in Syria, al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI), also understood the science of producing sarin. At the time, al-Nusra was operating in areas close to Damascus, including Eastern Ghouta. An intelligence document issued in mid-summer dealt extensively with Ziyaad Tariq Ahmed, a chemical weapons expert formerly of the Iraqi military, who was said to have moved into Syria and to be operating in Eastern Ghouta. The consultant told me that Tariq had been identified ‘as an al-Nusra guy with a track record of making mustard gas in Iraq and someone who is implicated in making and using sarin’. He is regarded as a high-profile target by the American military.
On 20 June a four-page top secret cable summarising what had been learned about al-Nusra’s nerve gas capabilities was forwarded to David R. Shedd, deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. ‘What Shedd was briefed on was extensive and comprehensive,’ the consultant said. ‘It was not a bunch of “we believes”.’ He told me that the cable made no assessment as to whether the rebels or the Syrian army had initiated the attacks in March and April, but it did confirm previous reports that al-Nusra had the ability to acquire and use sarin. A sample of the sarin that had been used was also recovered – with the help of an Israeli agent – but, according to the consultant, no further reporting about the sample showed up in cable traffic.
Independently of these assessments, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, assuming that US troops might be ordered into Syria to seize the government’s stockpile of chemical agents, called for an all-source analysis of the potential threat. ‘The Op Order provides the basis of execution of a military mission, if so ordered,’ the former senior intelligence official explained. ‘This includes the possible need to send American soldiers to a Syrian chemical site to defend it against rebel seizure. If the jihadist rebels were going to overrun the site, the assumption is that Assad would not fight us because we were protecting the chemical from the rebels. All Op Orders contain an intelligence threat component. We had technical analysts from the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, weapons people, and I & W [indications and warnings] people working on the problem … They concluded that the rebel forces were capable of attacking an American force with sarin because they were able to produce the lethal gas. The examination relied on signals and human intelligence, as well as the expressed intention and technical capability of the rebels.’

The Perfect Christmas Gift: David O. Strickland's "The FIrst Man Off The Plane"

The Guardian: How Margaret Thatcher Freed Nelson Mandela

was briefed off-the-record by her foreign affairs adviser on several occasions, but when he told me that she had called on the then president, PW Botha, to release Nelson Mandela, I found it difficult to believe. I did not report it as I could not source it. But it was true. In a letter to Botha in October 1985 she wrote: "I continue to believe, as I have said to you before, that the release of Nelson Mandela would have more impact than almost any single action you could undertake."
When Botha stepped down after a stroke in 1989, he was replaced by FW de Klerk, who met Thatcher at Downing Street in June. I was among a group of journalists waiting outside No 10 with the promise that he would give a press conference straight after. We watched him leave then ran up Whitehall to the South African embassy where he had promised to speak. He did not turn up. We were told later that he had been too shocked by Thatcher's vehemence.
Mandela was released on 11 February 1990 (I was at the gates of the jail but to my eternal chagrin I failed to spot him). That evening he made a speech from the balcony of the town hall in Cape Town which was televised, live, world wide. The speech was written by the hard-liners and communists in the ANC and was full of Marxist jargon. "Our resort to the armed struggle in 1960… was a purely defensive action against the violence of apartheid. The factors which necessitated the armed struggle still exist today. We have no option but to continue." Thatcher was appalled. She picked up the telephone to Robin Renwick, the British ambassador in South Africa, and demanded to know why she had ever bothered to battle for Mandela's release if this was the result.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Angelo Codevilla on the Senkaku Islands Crisis

When the Prince Flunks Diplomacy 101

The Diplomad: The Legacy of Nelson Mandela


As it turns out, I was right and wrong. The ANC was a lost cause; they did not believe in democracy, and had a large element of thuggery in their ranks. Many were terrorists who had received training in Libya, and were out for revenge and blood. Mandela, however, was more complicated than I had thought. He had had his violent phase, but only after trying peaceful opposition to apartheid. Both in and after coming out of prison, he proved an extremely intelligent negotiator and compromiser, reaching understandings with Botha and De Klerk, and turning down the volume of the anti-white message of the ANC. He seemed to have an understanding that whites and other non-blacks were essential for a peaceful and prosperous South Africa. He also, surprise, did not go full Mugabe. He won election--although the vote counting was suspicious--served his term, trying to unite blacks, whites, Asians, and others into accepting the new post-apartheid South Africa. He did not try to drive the whites out, and did not go around confiscating farms and businesses. He did not encourage revenge against whites and sought a reconciliation of the races. A practical politician, he turned a blind eye to the rampant corruption among the ANC, finding it better to let the party members expend their revolutionary fervor making money. At the end of his term, he stepped down. Yes, he stepped down. That is an amazing thing in Africa; he stepped down on completing his term of office. It does not happen much on that continent. He, however, never got over his deep mistrust of the USA, and despite his credentials as a victim of human rights abuse, refused to criticize Qaddafy, never gave up his fervent admiration for Castro--who, ironically, runs a racist regime in Cuba--and remained very anti-Israel.

Was he a great man? I think the answer is yes. He had great flaws, but great courage, drive, and commitment to his cause. He showed that a determined person can make a difference. He also showed that an African president can play by the rules and try to be president for all the people of his country. For that he deserves kudos and respect. He, nevertheless, did not establish a viable democratic political system in South Africa, and proved unable to stop the escalating criminal violence that has turned Johannesburg into one of the world's rape and murder capitals. His successors have proven notably less "great" than Mandela, and ANC corruption has gone into the stratosphere--including by Mandela's gangster ex-wife, Winnie. The white and other middle class flight he wanted to avoid proceeded and has grown. I think the jury remains out on whether South Africa can avoid the fate of Zimbabwe in the medium to long run. If I had to place a bet it would be that South Africa will not avoid that fate. Mandela's time in office, unfortunately, likely will prove a brief glorious moment of "what could have been but was not."

Nelson Mandela, RIP.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The DiploMad 2.0: Obama, Kerry & Iran: Having A Kellogg-Briand Momen...

The DiploMad 2.0: Obama, Kerry & Iran: Having A Kellogg-Briand Momen...: "Obama: "If you like a nuke-free Iran, you can keep a nuke-free Iran." Time to invest in fall-out shelters.  Diplomad twee...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The DiploMad 2.0: Venezuela: Bozo as Al Capone, or is it Vice-Versa?...

The DiploMad 2.0: Venezuela: Bozo as Al Capone, or is it Vice-Versa?...: One of the world's biggest clowns-cum-thugs/thugs-cum-clowns is Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro. He has filled that high office...

Friday, November 22, 2013

Daniel Pipes on the JFK Assassination's Legacy


...Second, Kennedy's assassination profoundly impaired American liberalism. James Piereson's 2007 book Camelot and the Cultural Revolution (Encounter) establishes how liberals could not cope with the fact that Lee Harvey Oswald, a communist, murdered Kennedy to protect Fidel Castro's control of Cuba. Kennedy died for his anti-communism; but this wildly contradicted the liberals' narrative, so they denied this fact and insisted on presenting Kennedy as a victim of the radical Right, reading Oswald out of the picture.
Piereson ascribes much of American liberalism's turn toward anti-American pessimism to this "denial or disregard" of Oswald's obvious role in the assassination. "The reformist emphasis of American liberalism, which had been pragmatic and forward-looking, was overtaken by a spirit of national self-condemnation." Blaming American culture writ large for Kennedy's demise changed liberalism's focus from economics to cultural equity (racism, feminism, sexual freedom, gay rights) and that led them to identify with the countercultural movement of the late 1960s. The result was what Piereson calls a "residue of ambivalence" toward the worth of traditional American values. 
Liberals remain trapped by this distortion, as manifested by, for example, Michelle Obama's 2008 remark that with her husband's ascent, "For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country," or by a New York Times article this week that blamed Dallas conservatives, rather than a hard-Left drifter, for the JFK assassination.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The DiploMad 2.0: The Day the President was Shot

The DiploMad 2.0: The Day the President was Shot: On November 22, we mark the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas. Hard to believe that fifty years...

Monday, November 04, 2013

Dan McCall: The Only Part of the Government that Actually Listens?

The agency ordered him to cease and desist and forced his T-shirts off the market. But on Tuesday, the father of three young boys drew a line in the sand.
With the assistance of the Washington D.C.-based consumer advocacy group, Public Citizen, he’s suing the spy agency for violating his First Amendment rights.
McCall said he doesn’t want his kids to grow up in a country where you can’t humor your own government.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Defend the Honor Protests PBS Newshour

Defend the Honor
October 31st, 2013

The forwarded message below is from our good friends at the National Institute for Latino Policy. 
Defend the Honor is distressed that PBS has treated veteran journalist Ray Suarez so disrespectfully. Please note that the PBS documentary American Latinos that aired last month is a separate issue. The real issue here is: How many Latinos - in front of and behind the camera - does PBS NewsHour employ? And more to the point, why does PBS think it can treat one of the country's best journalists this way? 
*There's something you can do about it. See below.



Note: Here is yet another response from PBS on why they pushed out Ray Suarez from the staff of the PBS NewsHour: apparently they did so because he was great and they loved him! I guess these people think that Latinos are stupid or they are calling Ray Suarez a liar! (read his side of the story here) As I read these ridiculous responses from PBS, it brings to mind an old Puerto Rican saying, "¡Allá ellos que son blancos y se entienden!"


We also include below another sampling of comments on this issue by members of The NiLP Network on Latino Issues, who are apparently not stupid!


If you haven't done so, please let PBS know how you feel about this outrageous treatment of one of the leading journalists in the Latino community and the country. Write or call:


Paula Kerger

PBS President and CEO


(703) 739-5015


Linda Winslow

PBS NewsHour Executive Producer


(703) 998.2175


---Angelo Falcón


Another PBS 'Splanation


Vivian En Su Casa La Conocen, PBS Audience Services:

Thank you for contacting PBS regarding your concerns.


For nearly fifteen years, Mr. Suarez was a highly respected member of the public media system, PBS and NEWSHOUR. PBS greatly admires his talent, journalistic integrity and constant pursuit of excellence. We are very sorry to lose him and his stellar work and we hope to work with him on future projects.


The decision to depart from the NEWSHOUR staff was entirely Mr. Suarez's. He was recently named Chief National Correspondent on the series and his contributions to the newscast will be deeply missed. We wish him the best of luck in his new ventures.


We were very proud to air LATINO AMERICANS, which was an important collaboration with Latino Public Broadcasting. The landmark series by Adriana Bosch is the first major television documentary series to chronicle the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos. Mr. Suarez wrote the companion book for the series and was a dedicated champion of the documentary and the education initiative that accompanies it.


LATINO AMERICANS joins many other PBS projects that feature the talents of Latinos, both on-the-air and behind the camera. For example, on October 28 PBS premiered Bernardo Ruiz's "The Graduates/Los Graduados" on INDEPENDENT LENS. This two-part film examines the many roots of the Latino dropout crisis through the eyes of six inspiring young students who are part of an ongoing effort to increase graduation rates for a growing Latino population. The film can be streamed for free at pbs.org. The second episode will debut on November 4.


At PBS, we understand that a cornerstone of our mission is to serve our entire nation, and that we have an obligation to continually build the diversity of our schedule and staff. Our goal is to offer outstanding content that reflects and celebrates America and feels inclusive to all viewers.


We appreciate your interest in our work and hope you will continue to watch and enjoy programming on your local PBS station.


More Reactions from

The NiLP Network


Frank D. Gómez, Veteran Latino activist and a founder of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ):.


In the early eighties, I was on the board of directors of WETA, a PBS flagship station and the home of the NewsHour. At that time, a Hispanic friend produced a documentary about Salvadorans in the Washington, DC area. Salvadorans represented an important demographic shift in the nation's capital, a precursor to the rapid growth in the Latino population. The documentary spoke to their sacrifices, struggles, hard work and daily contributions to the comforts of others.


As a board member, I arranged for WETA producers to view the video, but they rejected it. Shame! That same lack of vision - and courage - plagues PBS and the NewsHour today. Ray Suárez is a treasure. PBS sees neither its value nor the 55 million Hispanics to whom PBS should appeal. After resigning from the board, I resolved not to contribute to PBS until its employees and its programming reflected the community of which I am a part. I am still waiting!


Edgar Moncaleano:

PBS, as all the networks, did not in a benevolent act include "Latinos" in their business in front and behind the camera. It was the selfless labor of the organization: THE NATINAL LATINO MEDIA COALITION, grouping south and north, across east to west that legally brought the networks to task, pushing them to give us the few slots we have today.


Unless Latinos organize and fight back we'll see less of Latino faces in positions of authority and prestige 'in front and behind the cameras. Latinos across the USA and the World fight back. Do it for "the children of tomorrow." The past won't stop us, but why wait? Make your voice heard now at PBS and WNET channel 13 New York. Support Ray Suarez. Not because he is of Latino origin but because he is a great journalist and paid his dues to be there.


Dr. Gilbert Sanchez, Retired Academic Administrator:

As a long-time supporter of PBS stations wherever we have lived, due to my positions as a senior academic administrator, e.g., Washington, D.C., NYC, Boston, San Jose, Los Angeles, Portland, etc., I was truly sorry to hear of Ray Suarez leaving the NewsHour.  We always looked forward to his insights on his segments in which he was involved.  His passion for reporting came through in the form of his sense of humor, respect for the topic and/or the individual involved.  

I met Ray at a meeting in which we spoke with him about issues important to the Latino community and how NewsHour might bring them to the general public.  His dedication to the values of PBS and his commitment to working with the other members of the "team" was very positive.  It is too bad he was not considered for the extended weekend version of the NewsHour as he, in my opinion, could have continued making a great contribution.  

The NewsHour has shown in the past that it was willing to be a beacon of enlightenment in having a representative on-camera team of the diversity of our country.  With Ray no longer there I just don't see how you will fill that void.  I am, to say the least, disappointed in this action, i.e., "his resignation".  I encourage you to seek a solution to this problem of being and of continuing to be open and unbiased as to who reports the news on your program [The NewsHour] which many of us have supported for years.  

The NewsHour needs to reach out to the fastest growing community, e.g., Latinos, for their viewership as well as for their monetary support.  We can't allow NewsHour NOT to be part of the journalistic landscape.  You have much to offer.


Perla de Leon, FOTOGRAFICA productions:

I read with great sadness about the resignation of Ray Suarez. For years I've been wishing someone would address PBS and their lack of diversity not only in reporters but more importantly in news stories. I have no stats to back this up but as a long time viewer, who didn't have cable TV for many years, PBS was a staple on my home. Thinking back to the thousandths of hours of dramatic programming, documentaries and news programs I've watched, it felt as though the Middle East took up 80% of all news programs, with English dramas and middle America documentaries and independent films filling the rest of their schedule.


As a public station that resides in a city that is practically 25% Latino, where are the reports and programs about Latinos, Latin and Central Americans and African Americans? If your organization has any stats on any of this I would be more than happy to spread the word to my fellow artists and filmmakers, many of whom had previously protested individual programs such as Ken Burns multimillion dollar documentary series that routinely exclude minority contributions.


Prof. Sherrie Baver, The City College of New York:

As a longtime devotee of PBS and The Newshour, I wanted to register my profound surprise and disappointment that Ray Suarez is leaving the program (not entirely by choice). Not only is Ray Suarez a first-rate journalist, but it is also a time in America when the growing Latino population needs much more coverage rather than less.


As always, thank you for your support.

Gus Chavez & Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, Co-Founders, Defend the Honor 
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Angelo Codevilla: The War On Us


This month in Washington DC, Federal police riddled with bullets a woman suffering from post-partum depression who, had she been allowed to live, might have been convicted of reckless driving, at most. She had careened too close to the White House and Capitol, but had harmed no one and her car had stopped. In the same month, California sheriffs’ deputies killed a 13 year-old boy who was carrying a plastic toy rifle. It is not illegal to carry a rifle, never mind a toy one. America did not blink. A half century ago, Alabama sheriff Bull Connor’s use of a mere cattle prod to move marchers from blocking a street had caused a national crisis.
In a casual conversation, a friendly employee of the US Forest Service bemoaned to me that he was on his way to a US Army base, where he and colleagues would practice military tactics against persons who resist regulations. A forester, he had hoped to be Smokey the Bear. Instead, he said, “we are now the Department of Provocation.” In fact every US government agency, and most state and local ones now police their ever burgeoning regulations with military equipment, tactics, and above all with the assumption that they are dealing with people who should not be dealt with any other way.
Modern militarized government stems from the Progressive idea that society must mobilize as for war to achieve “the greater good.” Hence we have “wars” on everything from hunger and drugs and ignorance and global warming. Reality follows rhetoric. Since the health of “the environment” is a matter of life and death, the Environmental Protection Agency must deal with “enemies of the planet” with armored cars, machine guns, and home invasions. Apparently, even the Department of Education has SWAT teams.
The general population is increasingly inured to violence. The latest “Grand Theft” video game, for example, involves torturing a prisoner. Fun. That is only one step beyond the popular TV show “24” in which the audience cheered the hero’s torture of terrorist suspects. Contrast this with Dragnet, the most popular TV cops drama of the 1950s, whose Sergeant Joe Friday knocked on doors and said “yes ma’m, no ma’m.”

Sunday, October 20, 2013

John Armstrong: Reformation & Renaissance

ONE evening I was getting into the crowded lift at my local tube station in Central London, to go down to the train. As the doors closed a middle-aged gentleman squeezed in. I recognised him as a fairly distinguished professor of history from the University of London School of Advanced Study, where I directed the philosophy program. As we descended he suddenly blurted out to everyone and no one: ‘That's it; I've had it. What they're doing to our arts faculties is a complete disgrace.' We looked at our feet as he went on about the government, university administrators and the general ruin of intellectual culture.
I don't know what made him snap at that moment. But the professor in the lift has for me become a symbol of the view that the humanities are hard done-by and that they are in decline – or at least in an extended period of trouble – through no fault of their own, but because of bad decisions by others.
In less dramatic ways I have heard this analysis restated many times during my years in Australia: the academic humanities are doing a good job; they are fine, serious and important disciplines, staffed by able and sincere people. But governments and university administrators set impossible targets, demand crazy workloads, cut budgets, reducing staff numbers and imposing a stultifying managerial regime, and generally forcing the humanities onto the defensive.
There's a simple and morally necessary solution, according to this view: increase our funding, then leave us alone.
When I arrived in Australia, in 2001, this analysis seemed to cohere with a political assumption, even a political blindness. In the years during which John Howard was Prime Minister many humanities academics assumed that he was personally responsible for their situation. A Prime Minister is a terrifying adversary, but also cause for submerged optimism. Howard would (eventually) be defeated and – the thinking went – because he was the sole cause of the troubles, the good times would roll again.
There was in the humanities a generalised, and very honest, inability to imagine John Howard as anything other than an aberration, sustained by deceit and media manipulation, rather than as a man who was exceptionally adept at expressing widespread opinions.
Consequently, there was no self-examination: there was no hint that the humanities might themselves have contributed to their troubles, that they may have failed to win sufficient public respect and admiration to carry weight in national life.

I BELIEVE THE academic humanities require radical reform – not just in their institutional framework but in their intellectual self-conception, their sense of purpose, of mission even; in their habits of mind, their modes of admiration and the direction of effort. Ironically, such reform is needed to return the humanities to their grandest, most longstanding ambitions. Wisdom should be powerful in the world: that is why we teach, research, and engage the public.
And that is why this essay is called ‘Reformation and renaissance'. I want to show how reform is needed in order to accomplish something magnificent and serious. There is a tendency in the humanities to hear a call for reform as a threat. Calls for reform always seem to come from people who don't especially care about the humanities. I want to change that association and to connect the idea of reform to the pursuit of great educational endeavours.

Palestinian Peace Process in Pictures...

Monday, October 14, 2013

The DiploMad 2.0: Is it 1854, yet?

The DiploMad 2.0: Is it 1854, yet?:

The standard meme in a typical American history class or book, and in the media, holds that so-called third parties have no realistic prospect for success in the USA. The leadership of both major parties, naturally, agree with this interpretation and are eager to stifle any moves to create a party outside of the long established two party system--the Democratic party, by the way, has a legitimate claim to be the world's oldest political party. A quick glance through American political history would seem to support the conventional wisdom's argument against a "third" party. We have several examples typically served up to us as part of the cautionary tale.  One of the most famous efforts was Teddy Roosevelt's Progressive Party, aka Bull Moose Party, which he launched in 1912, after becoming upset with Republican President Taft's failure to pursue TR's "progressive" agenda. TR's party succeeded in knocking the Republicans out of the White House for one of the few times since 1861, and putting in place the calamitous Woodrow Wilson. While the Bull Moose Party crumbled away within a few years, many of its platform planks eventually became accepted, e.g., women's suffrage, eight hour day, a form of social security. Another notable "third" party effort came in 1948, with the States's Rights Democratic Party, better known as the "Dixiecrats." Headed by Senator Strom Thurmond, this party argued, inter alia, for the right of Southern states to maintain racial segregation. Former two-time FDR Vice President Henry Wallace's hard left, pro-USSR Progressive Party--another "third" party effort in that same election-- also syphoned off Democratic votes in some key constituencies. Between these two "third" parties eating away at Democratic votes, Truman almost lost the 1948 election to Dewey, but managed to eke out a win. Both of the 1948 "third" parties quickly disappeared. There are other examples, of course, such as George Wallace's American Independent Party, John Anderson's Independents, Patrick Buchanan Reform Party, H. Ross Perot's Independent Party which also failed to win the White House but, nevertheless, had considerable impact on their respective elections and on post-election political developments. There are, of course, other examples of "third" parties.

Oops! Missing, of course, from this history of "third" parties is none other than the Republican Party, itself. Without going into a detailed history, widely available (see for example, Eric Foner's, Free Soil Free Labor, Free Men), the Republican Party began in 1854 with a mix of anti-slavery Whigs and Democrats appalled by the perceived collusion of the Whigs and the Democrats in allowing slavery not only to remain but to expand westward. The Republicans ran their own candidate, explorer and war hero John Fremont in 1856. Although the campaign lost to Democrat Buchanan, it succeeded in destroying the ossified Whig party and lining up the Republicans for victory in 1860 with Lincoln. 

I am not saying--necessarily--that we are at the point of seeking the destruction of the GOP a la the Whigs. I think, however, that the GOP establishment needs reminding of their own party's origins. My gut feeling is that the Tea "Party" cum movement has been growing, despite the media's repeated announcement of its death and attempts to throw it in a grave. This movement still, as noted, is somewhat inchoate; that some might argue is a source of strength in that there is no single Tea leader who can be disgraced by the media, and, hence, bring down the movement. At various times the media seek to name a politician or another as leader of the Tea party, and go gunning for him or her. They fail to understand that unlike the Bull Moose, the Dixiecrat, or most other "third" parties, this is a movement driven not by a dominant personality but by everyday working and tax-paying Americans fed up with the state of the country and the quality of leadership and thought dominating our political discourse. I would like to see the Tea movement take over the GOP and turn it into a genuinely conservative alternative to the progressive Democratic party, rather than have to go through setting itself up as a "third" party. That option, nevertheless, should not be discarded all too quickly.  

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Tuxedoed 1 Percenters Party at Kennedy Center During Washington Shutdown

We were there last night for opening of The Washington National Opera's La Forza del Destino (The Force of Destiny) -- more like "The Twerk of Destiny" in a Crunkfest-style production featuring strippers, pole-dancers and Pulp Fiction gangstas...Don't know what Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, sitting a few rows in front of us, thought of it, though in my youth it was the kind of show the National Organization for Women routinely protested as "degrading to women." But burlesque has somehow become politically correct, don't ask me why...Had to be, as one scene featured a waving red banner, and you don't need a Ph.D. in semiotics to tell you what way that wind was blowing...

In any case, back to the shutdown angle: Lots of swells ogling the strippers, squeezed in their tuxedos, all dressed up for the opening night reception...even saw super-lawyer Kenneth Feinberg in a tuxedo...a true convention of the 1 percent...subsidized
 by US Taxpayers locked out of the National Zoo, National Mall, and WWII Memorial.