Monday, November 29, 2010

The Fewer the Heirs, the Bigger the Share!

By Nicholas Stix

Somewhere in South Trinidad

We got through prayers for Pa without a hitch, except that hardly anyone showed. Over 150 people shopwed for his funeral, in spite of the fact that it was held on a work day, but fewer than 30 showed for his prayers. Although The Boss and her sister from Long Island traveled over 2,000 miles to come, only two of his four daughters living in Trinidad were present for prayers.

A third daughter appeared about two hours after prayers were over, but left her newborn at home, ate only a handful of the prayer feast, and didn't permit her older son to eat a drop, or to speak.

Saturday night, after prayers, was a holiday called Narang, which the owner of a Roti shop down the road used as a pretext to start blasting Indian Chutney music from 6 p.m. until 4 a.m. the next morning.

The night before that, the next door neighbors celebrated a young child's birthday. Out of concern for the child, apparently, they started the party early in the night … and blasted music through their stadium-quality loudspeakers until 3 a.m.

They've been known to start parties at 3 a.m., and go on until 6 a.m., which is why I refer to them as “the terrorists.”

Pa would just suffer through it, rather than call the police, but when we were here in July, with Pa gone, I called the police one night at 2:30 a.m., and a few minutes later, the music suddenly stopped.

And there's been more rain—which means more mosquitoes—this year than any in memory.

Last night, by 8:45 it was still outside, and I was ready to sleep. The lack of cacophonous noise apparently upset one of the terrorists' dogs, who began barking continuously, trying to get the countless neighborhood dogs to join him in a long-distance argument. He had only modest success, and gave up, after a half hour. I then hit the sack, but couldn't sleep.

At that point, I was pretty slimy, having not been able to shower since Saturday morning. I've been coming since 1999, and the federal water authority, WASA, has “locked off” the water for hours (i.e., all day, until most people are in bed asleep) and days at a time, since long before that. That's why everyone on the countryside has to have huge tanks holding up to 500 gallons of water. Most such tanks today are made of heavy-duty plastic, but Pa has two made of steel and concrete, weighing at least 300 pounds empty, in back of the house, and in front, facing the road. When the water locks off, you fill big, plastic paint barrels full of water, and schlep them in the house for bathing and washing dishes. We fill dozens of empty, two-liter Coke bottles with water for washing hands and drinking water. We used to, anyway.

Days before we were to arrive, one of my sisters-in-law ledft a message that it was “Urgent, urgent,” that we call back.

We'd been screening our calls, since my wife's sisters were constantly calling, trying to hit us up to buy them stuff, especially the one who missed prayers, and wouldn't let her son eat any food (who, by the way, has more money than we do). Her husband stood out on the gallery (porch), and would not come in. (He has a history of hiding cursed Obeah bottles around the house.)

The urgent news was that someone had ripped the front tank from its moorings, and toppled it over. That would take a gang of men, and Indians do not engage in such vandalism here. Heck, not even blacks in Pa's village do that sort of thing. That was probably the common-law husband of the sister who had made the “urgent” call. He'd tried to strong-arm the Boss into letting him the steal the property, but failed. He didn't show up for the prayers at all.

His “wife” showed up for the prayers, but warned people not to use any of the water from the remaining tank in back, to wash the food being prepared for the feast, and instead to use only the botttled water that she and others had brought. She'd washed all of the raw foodstuffs she brought at home.

The next day, we found out why dear sister-in-law was so concerned. When my sister-in-law from Long Island used some of the tank water to brush her teeth, she immediately felt her mouth burn, as it once had in her youth, when a hose tainted with Grammazone weed killer had been used to fill the tank.

Since I had poured a gallon of bleach into the back tank, flushed it out all day long, and then filled it again in July, there was no innocent explanation for the contamination.

Why had I cleaned the tank? The water had begun to taste suspicious a few months before Pa's death, and so he had stopped using it.

Why all the skullduggery? The fewer heirs, the bigger the share!

February 12, 2010

Tales from Trinidad

(For background on Trinidad, see here, here, here, here, here,hereand here.)

I’m writing from a cybercafé in Trinidad, where The Boss, the Young Whipper-Snapper, and yours truly have now been for two weeks for my Indo-Trinidadian father-in-law’s funeral, and in the apparently futile attempt to get his affairs in order.

At 84, Pa left behind six daughters whose love for each other, it has become apparent, does not have quite the intensity they had long professed—especially once a couple of them started calculating, a few years ago, how much his estate was worth.

Of late, some of my sisters-in-law have loudly declared that they have nothing to do with Obeah (the British West Indian equivalent of Voodoo, while running around, secretly spending small fortunes
on Obeah priests in a sort of black magic arms race, and wearing "guards" on their persons. Last night, I declared, "I went to my Obeah man, and he made a circle around [my wife], [my sister-in-law from New York], [my son], and me."

My sister-in-law and her daughter-in-law both laughed, taking the joke as an attempt at breaking the tension. But, while they couldn’t admit it, they also felt the cut I intended, and without which the joke wouldn’t be funny.

On the plane coming over, I somehow landed in First Class, separated from my wife, sister-in-law, and son. The man next to me was a Trinidadian Indian who was rushing back to bury his father, who had died at 92 a couple of days earlier from a massive coronary. The Indian said that his father, like my father-in-law, had to the end been in complete possession of his faculties.

Due to the Christmas crush, the Indian had had to pay over $1,300, and fly first-class, or not at all; his kid brother was riding in economy with my guys. I’d had to pay almost $900 for my seat, and deal with the additional inconvenience of our flying out of Newark.

My neighbor proudly informed me that he was the father of a “king’s flush,” of two sons, followed by two daughters.

With two exceptions, our conversation was quite pleasant. And yet, when we landed at Port of Spain’s Piarco Airport, he got up and left, in sullen silence, which led me to re-evaluate the conversation. (I will beat my black supremacist and white leftist readers to the punch here: Obviously, it was my fault for ticking him off, through some sort of racism.)

Having overbooked the plane, Continental offered five passengers $500 each, a hotel room overnight, and a place on the flight leaving in 24 hours, if they would give up their seat, on the condition that they then fly first class (so it wasn’t clear if the first-class seat would eat up the $500 bonus). I remarked to my neighbor that I couldn’t imagine how it could pay for Continental to give a passenger $500 and a hotel room to give up his seat.

“They’re in cahoots with each other!” he said of the airline and hotel. “Oh,” I said, slapping my head, “so the hotel is kicking back money to the airline!”

This was obvious to my neighbor, who added, “That’s your culture!”

I retorted, “As opposed to Trinis bringing over their culture of bribery!”

Trinidadian culture, like virtually all Caribbean, Central American, and Mexican culture, is corrupt to the core.

When my wife and I closed on our home in 2004, she thought that it would only be natural to pass the union lawyer who handled it a bribe of $200 or $300.

Two years ago, the kid brother of an Indian family friend came to Trinidad from Toronto with his teenaged daughter on vacation. After letting his older brother wine and dine him for days, Kid Brother came back and smashed in a pane of door glass, forced his way in, and told Big Brother that the property was his, and that Big Brother would have to leave. The police then showed up, and arrested Big Brother on a phony charge of having raped his niece.

Kid Brother had bribed a policeman he knew, to get Big Brother arrested, and meanwhile had either bribed or conned the state power agency into turning off his brother’s electricity. Fortunately, while Big Brother was briefly in jail, neighbors helped out his loved ones by temporarily storing his freezer full of wild meats in their freezers. Big Brother only got out of jail and escaped prosecution, because he—a somewhat well-to-do businessman—has his own (no doubt, expensive) friends in the Police Service.

I feasted with Big Brother at the house last Thursday. As Kid Brother found himself unable to steal the house in Round One, in the spring they will square off in court.

When I asked my neighbor on the plane how long he had been in America, he responded, “Too long!”

He’d been here for 25 years, working as a plumber. He had initially lived in Brooklyn, but has for the past 14 years lived in New Jersey, and commuted to Manhattan to work for a big plumber. Weekends, he does private jobs. In classic West Indian style he remarked, “You gotta have two jobs, to make it.”

If the man had been living here for 25 years, he had to be an American citizen, but clearly he feels no loyalty to America.

I mentioned that my father-in-law always spoke reverently of Trinidad’s first (black) Prime Minister, Dr. Williams.

The man interrupted to “correct” me, “Dr. Eric Williams.”

(In 1956, Williams founded the black party that has ruled the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago for most of its 48 years of independent existence, the People’s National Movement-PNM, even though Indians enjoy a slight plurality over blacks. The Indian party, the United National Congress-UNC, was only founded in 1989.)

Ignoring his boorish interruption I continued, “My father-in-law, may he rest in peace, said that when Dr. Williams became president, he tore up the railroad tracks, declaring, ‘Master gone!’”

(This is a widespread belief among Indo-Trinidadians. The official reason for the closings was economic.)

"That’s a lot of crap!" my neighbor railed.

He insisted that Williams (who was actually of mixed race, but who hated whites, and wasn’t terribly fond of Indians, either) had torn up the railroad tracks that the British had built—it could be argued that railroads were colonial Englishmen’s greatest gift to the uncivilized world—because people were riding without paying.

My wife laughed when I told her the man’s story. She observed, “When an Indian criticizes a white, that’s a PNM man.”

Trinidad Indians are generally not hostile towards whites. Indeed, Indians have a similar role in Trinidad to whites in America, and are well aware of it: To produce all of the wealth, to have to support not only themselves but the blacks whose numbers almost match their own, and to function as prey for black criminals.

Whatever the reason, Trinidad’s railroads were never rebuilt. The tiny, pothole-filled roads are terribly clogged, what with 1.3 million people today virtually entirely dependent on their own cars, "MaxiTaxis" (vans holding up to 13 passengers), and private automobile drivers who are licensed as taxi drivers.

A couple of years ago, PM Patrick Manning’s PNM government reintroduced buses after years without them, but they are scheduled hours apart, and on top of that, are unreliable. About a week ago in San Fernando, TT’s second-largest city, we had to stand for over an hour on the 4:30 p.m. bus to my wife’s hometown in the South, because the 2 p.m. bus had never shown up, and some aggressive young blacks cut the line.

My neighbor also told me proudly that he would be retiring in two years, and had his retirement property and retirement home already built—in St. Vincent’s.

According to the CIA’s World Factbook, St. Vincent’s is 66 percent black, 19 percent mixed, four percent white (“European”), two percent Carib Amerindian, three percent “other,” and only six percent East Indian.

Why would an Indian want to live on a black-dominated island with almost no Indians? The Boss and I concluded that the man must be married to a black woman. And yet, that still doesn’t explain his hatred of whites, and apparent hatred of his own race as well.

Perhaps some human traits are not subject to rational scrutiny. At least it shows that self-hatred isn’t restricted to whites.

But then, why organize a nation (also here)—i.e., America—so as to invite such insanity?

Friday, November 26, 2010

The First NSU/WEJB Kwanzaa Fundraiser!


Somewhere in South Trinidad

I hope that my readers all enjoyed a delicious and relaxing Thanksgiving with their families, and meditated on all for which they should be thankful. You know, the death of the dollar, the abrogation of their civil rights, the erasure of our southern border, and thus of American sovereignty, and countless other blessings of the Age of “Obama,” and of the multicultural totalitarianism which is as old as he is.

I give thanks every day: Thank God for my family, I say, sometimes while wearing a fresh pair of ear plugs, while the Boss and the Boss’ Boss express their mutual affection at ear-splitting decibels.

This year, we were unable to celebrate a traditional Thanksgiving. We spent Wednesday night packing, and at 3:40 a.m. piled into a taxi, to go to JFK, where we boarded a flight to Trinidad.

I was so nervous about getting groped that I didn’t realize we’d all been rape-scanned. After we’d gone through security, my sister-in-law asked if we’d been scanned. I didn’t know, but walked over and saw a large, white pane of plastic saying, “Rapiscan.”

At least, the TSA goons were on best behaviour, which I suspect was because of all the bad recent publicity. It also helped that we had a black (American) man, instead of the sort of porcine, racist black woman whose high-handed tactics are already a stereotype.

The young man who dealt with us found a full, four oz. bottle of hand sanitizer in the Boss’ carry-on bag, and informed us that we could not bring in any liquid of over 3.4 ounces. He then asked how much was in the bottle. The Boss didn’t get the joke, so I answered, “Three-point-one ounces.” He smiled, and returned our bottle.

And then it was on to the den of vipers, er, I mean, beloved sisters-in-law!

My Hindu father-in-law died last December 23, and Hinduism directs that one set of prayers be held just after the funeral, and another set 11 months later.

Hopefully, there will be no tragic “accidents,” as occurred separately in January, nearly costing the lives of a niece and nephew from the same family. (Five sisters and their progeny are all heirs. The fewer the heirs remaining, the more there is for the rest!)

My niece was visiting from Canada, to which she escaped, er, returned. Canada somehow seems to be a safer place for her. (She will not be coming for these prayers.)

Since I am not an heir, I am the safest person attending the prayers! However, I must protect the two heirs I brung with me.

I’ll have more to tell in the coming days.

* * *

The foregoing may be an unusual opening for a begging letter, but NSU/WEJB is an unusual operation. I started out all by my lonesome, and now have a host of reader-researchers, legmen, collaborators and reader-patrons.

I need a heap of money to pay for:

• The usual expenses (electricity, ISP, paper, etc.);
• A new pc (an IMAC, so I can get Bill Gates out of my life);
• Writing and publishing a book on the Knoxville Horror; and
• Continuing to pay off my mortgage.

To anyone who should say, “What do I care about your expenses?” my response is, I wasn’t addressing you. I am only addressing people who care about reading the best in independent journalism.

To the rest, I say, thank you in advance for your generous support!


Nicholas Stix

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Lauren Burk Murder: A Summary

By David in TN

This article from the Opelika-Auburn News is a summary of how Lauren Burk was murdered and her killer, Courtney Lockhart, arrested. It starts out with:

The boy who made his mother laugh never came home.

The girl who made hearts glow is gone, too.

The first two sentences imply both are victims. The entire article describes a murder that calls for the death penalty, if one ever did. The killer obviously knew exactly what he was doing and had complete control of his faculties.

Note that Lockhart contradicted himself during his police interview, saying at one point that Lauren handed him $200 in cash and begged him to leave. Lockhart said he didn’t want her money.

Should Obama be Sworn in, or Arrested?

By Nicholas Stix

January 20, 2009

As I write this, the man presently calling himself “Barack Hussein Obama” has not even been sworn in as President, and yet his chosen administration is already the greatest collection of criminals since the last time Hillary Clinton sat alone in her East Wing office in January, 2001.

As I’ve previously noted, an unwritten law of politics says that you’re supposed to get sworn in, before committing high crimes and misdemeanors. It is a political commonplace for a president to have his inaugural and his cabinet’s swearing-in, after which all hell breaks loose. There is nothing at all commonplace about a president and his cronies, er, cabinet members, who are charged with all manner of crimes prior to Inauguration Day. Let us review the charges:

New Mexico Gov. and Commerce Secretary-designate Bill Richardson had to remove himself from the cabinet post he had not yet even assumed, due to his being under investigation for a possible kickback scheme (taking bribes in exchange for state contracts) in New Mexico.

Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy F. Geithner committed federal tax evasion to the tune of $43,000, defrauded his former employer, the International Monetary Fund, which had given him the $43,000 to pay the feds, and employed his immigrant housekeeper after her federal work authorization had run out.

Secretary of state-designate Hillary Clinton gave us Travelgate, Filegate, and conspired to obstruct justice after she had been notified that her old law partner, White House counsel Vince Foster, had committed suicide, by ordering her chief of staff, Maggie Williams, to illegally remove documents from Foster’s office.

Attorney General-designate Eric Holder previously served as Deputy Attorney General of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. The Civil Rights Division is an ongoing criminal conspiracy which exists to violate whites’ civil rights, and unconstitutionally provide blacks, Hispanics, homosexuals, and certain other groups with political privileges. Never mind Holder’s role in the Marc Rich pardon, horrible though that was; previous service in the Civil Rights Division makes someone unfit to serve as the nation’s top legal officer.

Bribery and criminal conspiracy:

Beginning in 1995, Obama accepted tens of thousands of dollars in legal campaign donations from Chicago slumlord and fixer Antonin “Tony” Rezko, a Syrian immigrant who made millions, some legally and some illegally, off Chicago race politics, including through the Nation of Islam. (Rezko is not black.) In return for his campaign contributions, Rezko made millions off contracts that Obama directed his way. That’s not ethical, but short of an investigation, it may be legal.

But then Rezko and Obama crossed the line. As Charles R. Smith reported in September for Newsmax,

In 2005, when Rezko was under federal investigation for influence peddling, Obama and Rezko's wife, Rita, bought adjacent pieces of property from a Chicago doctor.

The doctor sold one parcel to Obama for $1.65 million, $300,000 below the market price, while Rezko's wife paid full price, $625,000, for an adjacent vacant lot. Curiously, Mrs. Rezko made a $125,000 down payment and obtained a $500,000 mortgage when financial records shown at the Rezko trial noted that she had a salary of only $37,000 and assets of $35,000. The court records also show her husband had few assets at the time.

Obama claims that in buying his house in 2005, he also got a low mortgage rate from Northern Trust bank because another bank made a competitive bid for his loan. The only problem is the Obama campaign refuses to identify the other bank or show any proof of a competitive loan offer.

Six months later, Obama purchased a 10-foot wide strip of the Rezko property, paying Rezko's wife $104,500. According to Obama, the 10-foot strip was for a bigger yard. Still, the deal also rendered the Rezko parcel too small to build on, thereby increasing the value of Obama's property.

Thus did Rezko, through the doctor, give Obama a gift worth over $300,000. The legal term for a “gift” that is not a legal campaign contribution, and which is given by Businessman A to Politician B, the latter of whom has a history of directing millions of dollars in contracts to A, is “bribe,” and it is a felony, as is criminal conspiracy.

In 2005, when Rezko gave the “gift” to Obama, he was already under indictment for stealing over $6 million from the City of Chicago through a kickback scheme. Rezko has since been convicted for said scheme, and is currently in prison.

The leftwing mainstream media ignored the Rezko scandal, which was not relevant to their mission of getting Obama elected.

Election Fraud and Campaign Finance Crimes:

According to a bang-up series two weeks before the election by investigative reporter Ken Timmerman for Newsmax, supporters of Hillary Clinton had charged the Obama campaign with a conspiracy to engage in voter fraud and federal felonies against the campaign finance laws. This was the kind of exposé series that, had it been by a socialist/communist/whatever reporter attacking a GOP standard-bearer, would have received four-wall, 24-hour saturation coverage and a Pulitzer Prize, but since it was by a Republican and exposed the machinations of a “black” racial socialist, was ignored.

Timmerman reported on charges that the Obama campaign had illegally bused hundreds of Obama supporters into Idaho from out of state for the first caucus, in which Hillary Clinton was a prohibitive favorite. Clintons’ supporters charge, as well, that the Obama supporters stole the Clinton people’s “vote packets.”

A bit of explanation is in order. In a primary, every state resident who is an American citizen, and either a registered member of the state party in question, or in some states (e.g., New Hampshire) simply a registered voter in that state may vote. In a caucus, however, only a select number of state party activists may caucus (vote). In either case, it is a crime to bus in people from out of state to vote in a caucus or primary. Stealing the voting packets of legal caucusers is also a crime.

Psychologist and Clinton supporter, Lynette Long maintained to Timmerman that the Obama campaign’s voter fraud extended to his 12 other caucus victories as well, which gave him a huge early lead, created the appearance of inevitability, and won him the Democratic Party’s Presidential nomination.

Obama’s surprisingly strong win in Iowa, which defied all the polls, propelled his upstart candidacy to front-runner status. But Lynette Long, a Hillary supporter from Bethesda, Md., who has a long and respected academic career, believes Obama’s victory in Iowa and in 12 other caucus states was no miracle. “It was fraud,” she told Newsmax.

Long has spent several months studying the caucus and primary results.

“After studying the procedures and results from all 14 caucus states, interviewing dozens of witnesses, and reviewing hundreds of personal stories, my conclusion is that the Obama campaign willfully and intentionally defrauded the American public by systematically undermining the caucus process,” she said.

In Hawaii, for example, the caucus organizers ran out of ballots, so Obama operatives created more from Post-its and scraps of paper and dumped them into ice cream buckets. “The caucuses ended up with more ballots than participants, a sure sign of voter fraud,” Long said.

In Nevada, Obama supporters upturned a wheelchair-bound woman who wanted to caucus for Hillary, flushed Clinton ballots down the toilets, and told union members they could vote only if their names were on the list of Obama supporters.

In Texas, more than 2,000 Clinton and Edwards supporters filed complaints with the state Democratic Party because of the massive fraud. The party acknowledged that the Obama campaign’s actions “amount to criminal violations” and ordered them to be reported to state and federal law enforcement, but nothing happened.

In caucus after caucus, Obama bused in supporters from out of state, intimidated elderly voters and women, and stole election packets so Hillary supporters couldn’t vote. Thanks to these and other strong-arm tactics, Obama won victories in all but one of the caucuses, even in states such as Maine where Hillary had been leading by double digits in the polls.

Obama’s win in the caucuses, which were smaller events than the primaries and were run by the party, not the states, gave him the margin of victory he needed to win a razor-thin majority in the delegate count going into the Democratic National Convention.

Without these caucus wins, which Long and others claim were based on fraud, Clinton would be the Democrats’ nominee running against John McCain.

Long has published her findings at the Web site, Caucus Fraud, which is brimming over with her research data and conclusions, and links to work by others.

Note that the methods that Long and others have alleged were used by Obama have all the earmarks of the candidate’s old criminal, racial socialist comrades at ACORN.

According to Timmerman, Obama received millions of dollars in anonymous campaign donations, and as much as $63 million in foreign donations, both of which, if true, are federal felonies, as well as contributions that were over the legal limit of $4,600, which excess the Obama campaign did not refund. Timmerman reports that of the over 2.5 million Obama donors, the campaign has kept the names of over 2 million—over 80 percent—secret, in violation of campaign finance laws, and refused to respond to media inquiries, or to respond timely and thoroughly to FEC inquiries.

Note too that,

[The] campaign has never produced any accounting for proceeds from its online store, which virtually shut down several weeks ago after Newsmax and news organizations revealed that Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and other foreigners had made large purchases there.

Identity Fraud:

One may not run for federal office using a fake identity. Note that I am not claiming that the candidate was born anywhere but in America. When the candidate was born in Honolulu, on August 4, 1961, his mother named him, “Barack Hussein Obama II” on his birth certificate. (Since his parents were not legally married, his surname should have been “Dunham,” rather than “Obama,” but it is not known whether the candidate’s mother knew at that point that her marriage was invalid, due to the father’s bigamy.)

And yet, according to a 1968 birth certificate from Indonesia (registration required), Obama’s stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, had adopted him, renamed him, “Barry Soetoro,” and gotten him Indonesian citizenship.

If I’m not mistaken, should “Obama” wish to be legally sworn in as President of these United States, he would have to prove that he had already legally changed his name to “Barack Hussein Obama,” and renounced citizenship to any foreign states, and hence allegiances to those countries, prior to having filed his papers to run for president.

We don’t know for a fact that the Obama campaign committed the crimes alleged. Perhaps, God Himself intervened to cause Obama to make a killing in the real estate market, and win a caucus in which his chances had been so weak. And what possible innocent explanation could there be for the anonymous and possibly foreign donations? Were they fabricated by the candidate’s opponents? And what about his identity?

Well, God hasn’t spoken to me, revealing His intervention.

What we do know is that Obama profited illegally on his real estate deal. And we know that Clinton’s supporters complained long and loud about crimes they allege were committed by Obama and his minions, and the RNC complained about campaign finance irregularities. And “Obama” has never shown that he legally changed his name back to “Barack Hussein Obama II,” or legally renounced his Indonesian citizenship. The MSM refused to report on, and the authorities refused to investigate any of the above charges. So, at the very least, the media and the Federal Elections Commission were both guilty of scandalous dereliction of duty. And without the aforementioned questions being resolved, the man presently calling himself “Barack Hussein Obama” may not legally be sworn in as President of the United States of America. Give him the presumption of innocence, but arrest him.

Of course, I know that that is not going to happen. “Obama” could slaughter his entire family, and be found by the Secret Service with the murder weapon in his blood-drenched hands, and still no one would stop “the first ‘black’ president” from usurping the office.

“Obama” has a great start at leading the most criminal administration in American history, and I believe the thought pleases this man, who wipes his feet on America’s laws. This man, who has no intention of ever voluntarily relinquishing power, and who would introduce America to the African-style, racial-socialist leadership of his father’s dream, intends to be America’s second President-for-life.

All hail ... Obama!

All hail … the Führer!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Q: Should colleges offer remedial-education programs for students?

Insight on the News, June 29, 1998 by Stanley O. Ikenberry, Nicholas Stix

Yes: They shore up academic standards while democratizing higher education.
By Stanley O. Ikenberry

(Ikenberry, formerly president of the University of Illinois, is president of the American Council on Education, an independent nonprofit association in Washington.)

The truth is, no one likes remedial education. No one likes to fix an educational deficiency. It would be easier for faculty members and better for colleges if everyone came to college already in possession of all they needed to know in order to pursue whatever program they might desire. In my 46 years as president of the University of Illinois, I cannot recall having met a fan of remedial education. And yet Illinois, like nearly every other university in the country, offers such courses and programs.

The question is: Why? Why do some of the top universities in the country offer remedial-education courses? Where do these students come from in the first place?

And, why aren’t admission standards higher to screen out the unprepared?

Universities offer students the opportunity to remove deficiencies because they care about quality and the enforcement of academic standards. Freshmen are not the only students who take remedial courses. It is not unusual for medical schools, colleges of engineering, law schools and others to require students to fix academic deficiencies before they go on. This is, in essence, an important form of quality control. If those who argue for total elimination of remedial education are interested in academic quality and standards, they should think again.

Who are these students needing remediation? Some, it is me, have coasted through high school; and some, ultimately, may be unable to perform at the college level. But many more have deficiencies for other reasons: The high school they attended simply did not offer the courses they needed to prepare them for college, and that is a special problem in areas such as science and mathematics. Some are immigrants needing help with English or writing, and once that is provided, they do remarkably well. Other students have a deficiency because their interests changed midway through matriculation -- they began college thinking they were interested in business, but later turned their attention to chemistry or computer engineering.

So, if fixing academic deficiencies boosts quality, and if significant numbers of students are likely to need help at one point or another, what should be done? I see three options:

First, just say no: Bar unprepared students from enrolling. The problem with this solution is not just the consequences for the students, but that the economy, the country and the society cannot tolerate it. America simply cannot survive economically unless most citizens have some education beyond high school.

Others would say: Legislate remediation out of existence. But such action would cheapen the value of a college degree and undermine the competitiveness of America in the international marketplace. Ignoring academic deficiencies rather than fixing them is the first step toward lowering academic expectations and standards.

The only acceptable answer is to fix the deficiency. And here, of course, the questions become: When? Where? By whom? How quickly? And, how efficiently can it be done?

The spotlight now is on the City University of New York, or CUNY, where the Board of Trustees recently approved a proposal to eliminate remedial instruction at all of the four-year colleges in the system. CUNY’s decision, however, is only the latest salvo in the battle being waged over remediation. Indeed, the cost of remedial education is a burden to some institutions, and colleges and universities around the country are struggling with this age-old academic dilemma that suddenly has taken on political and ideological dimensions.

Trustees and other policymakers become impatient with the debate about remedial education. The temptation to posture mad politicize is powerful, but it’s one that needs to be resisted. During the years, we’ve learned that the best academic policy is not likely to be made from the top down. Sound academic policy, including decisions on the curriculum, admission standards and academic issues generally, are best handled by the faculty and academic leaders rather than by government. The intervention of politics, be it through trustees or political officials, offers a blunt sword to attack a complex problem.

In the case of CUNY, responsibility for all remedial work now is assigned to the system’s community colleges. This decision ultimately may penalize thousands of students who are capable of succeeding in college, but who initially require short-term remedial help.

However, if community colleges can do it better, quicker and more efficiently; if students will gain competence and move toward graduation; and if America’s talent will be more fully developed to higher standards of academic quality than ever before--the trustees’ action may be wise. At this juncture, unfortunately, we have little evidence that any of these hopes will be fulfilled.

The stakes for New York are high. And as this volatile issue is addressed elsewhere around the country, the challenge to get the right answer will grow.

The facts are these:

* Nearly all (80 percent) of higher education institutions that enroll freshmen offer remedial courses. All public two-year colleges and 94 percent of institutions with high minority enrollment offer remedial reading, writing or mathematics.

* Nearly 30 percent of first-time undergraduates require one or more remedial courses.

* Only a small percentage of older students (11 percent) reenrolling in college reported taking remedial education, but these students make up about 40 percent of freshmen requiring remediation.

* More than 80 percent of the students needing remediation take only one or two remedial courses; very few students take four or more remedial courses.

* Many students who take remedial courses graduate from college. Indeed, more than 40 percent of students who take remedial courses earn a bachelor’s degree within five years--a rate only slightly lower than for students who do not require remedial education.

* Not surprisingly, the more remedial education a student needs, the less likely they are to earn a college degree.

Ultimately, college students and our society would be better off it all students who arrive at college campuses were well prepared to succeed academically. The inescapable fact is that many simply are not.

Yes, we need stronger and better high schools. Yes, students should be serious in their academic preparation for college. Yes, collaborative efforts between grades K-12 and higher education institutions must be strengthened. But each college and university in the country has the responsibility of setting standards of admission that are appropriate to its mission. And every higher-education institution must address the unavoidable need to fix deficiencies for some students who require it in order to complete their college education.

Within this framework, fixing academic deficiencies as soon and as quickly as they are identified is a virtue, not a crime.

Whatever the policy, it will need to be judged against the results that it produces. In the information age, the strength of America lies in a highly educated, well-functioning citizenry. That is the ultimate standard against which colleges and universities must be measured, and that is the standard against which all academic policies, including remedial education, ultimately must be judged. We need more, not fewer, highly educated Americans.

No: They Inflate Enrollments and Turn Colleges into Overpriced High Schools
By Nicholas Stix

(Stix is both an alumnus of and an instructor at the City University of New York and an award-winning journalist specializing in urban and educational issues.)

The battle over the future of college education just got hotter. On May 26 the City University of New York, or CUNY, Board of Trustees voted to phase out remediation at CUNY’s four-year colleges during the next three years, and to limit community-college remediation to one year. (The regents’ meeting was the scene of a near riot, in which 24 demonstrators were arrested.) Two unlikely allies, liberal Republican Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and conservative Republican Gov. George Pataki made common cause to support the regents’ plan. CUNY faculty were unalterably opposed to eliminating remediation in four-year schools, as well as limits on repeating remedial classes and limits on financial aid for remediation.

Similar showdowns are looming in several other states. The concerned parties in this fight fall broadly into three camps:

1) “progressive remediationists” who call for unlimited remediation, and unlimited financial aid for students to repeat remedial classes;

2) “moderate remediationists,” who seek to create a nexus between the schools and the colleges, so that high-school graduates will have the skills that college requires; and

3) “anti-remediationists” who see in remediation a reward for incompetent teachers and students, and a method for inflating college enrollment.

I adhere to the third group.

In New York, massive remediation was necessitated by the CUNY Board of Trustees’ political decision to end meritocracy in favor of open admissions in 1970. This decision guaranteed every New York City high-school graduate a place in the system.

The New York model has long since gone national. Take Louisiana, where Joseph E. Savoie, the Board of Regents’ commissioner on higher education, tells me that 48.5 percent of all first-time freshmen require remediation. Or California, where 43 percent of incoming students in the California State University system need English remediation and 53 percent require math remediation. A 1996 statistical study by policy analyst Linda Knopp of the American Council on Education found that 56 percent of American college freshmen required at least one remedial course.

At CUNY today, 68 percent of four-year college and 87 percent of community college (up 11.5 percent from the previous year) first-time freshmen require reading, writing or math remediation, based on having flunked 11th-grade tests in reading and writing and 10th-grade tests in math. CUNY students claim the tests are on a junior-high-school level and that many CUNY classes function on a sixth or seventh-grade level.

Self-styled progressives defending remedial courses for years have charged that the call for higher standards is part of a racist plot to whiten CUNY. Despite promises 30 years ago of educational miracles, and remediation’s track record since as a virtual guarantor of failure, remediation defenders demand unlimited remediation and unlimited financial aid. Psychology Professor Lawrence Rushing of CUNY’s LaGuardia Community College harangues, “Higher standards without more opportunity to improve is unjust. The real problem with CUNY is that it’s doing its job too well -- educating all the people, and not just some!”

Let’s take a closer look at the job CUNY is doing. The following complete essay was written by a New York City high-school graduate in a community-college class:

“I am going to college, to learn a profession for my future, My major is computer science. In this moments is difficult, to someone get a good job. It is important, you go to school to learn, because you finish major. After that you get a good job, in Important company, they pay you a lot of money, do you could a position in the society and every do you Want. for that I am going to college.”

Remediationists blame the public schools for underserving CUNY’s students. While correct, this tactic boomerangs. For, according to the United Federation of Teachers, between 80 and 90 percent of New York’s public-school teachers themselves are CUNY graduates.

As economist Thomas Sowell has reported, the teaching profession is dominated nationally by the lowest 25 percent of academic achievers. Thus, New York public education is a $13.7 billion-per-year failure. (This breaks down to paying $7,600 per pupil for the schools, and $21,000 per student for CUNY.) While the statewide passing rate on New York’s teacher certification exam is 76 percent, the passing rate of State University of New York alumni, with limited access to remediation, is 95 percent. CUNY alumni have a 62 percent passing rate. At CUNY’s City College, once the nation’s top undergraduate college, the passing rate only is 35 percent. The failures -- semiliterate, when not functionally illiterate -- keep on teaching.

Inexplicably, remediationists routinely support the progressive writing theories of Linda Brodkey, et al., which insist that it fundamentally is wrong to correct students’ writing. Brodkey and Co. argue that remediation imposes a hegemonic, white middle-class culture on indigenous student cultures which are authentic, and even superior to the mainstream culture. Intellectual consistency would require that progressives oppose remediation.

Why, then, do so many academics and administrators lobby for the continuation of remediation? Their own material interests cannot be ignored. Larger student bodies ensure the flow of aid from state and federal funders. It may be argued that the louder their voices get, the more we hear the money talking. However, if you pay a plumber to fix a leak, and afterward the leak floods your home, you don’t give him more money. You sue him and get his license revoked.

Legislators in Louisiana and California are seeking to do something to dam the flood. Louisiana State Sen. Tom Greene, a Republican, sponsored S337 last year to make students and the school districts that graduated them pay for remediation. Greene told me: “There should be a shared responsibility between the institution they came from and the individual that came through that institution. I’ve had high-school teachers tell me `My whole class will be required to take remediation.’ The students’ response is, `I’ll just take it in college.’“

In California, Republican Assemblyman Brooks Firestone and Assemblywoman Lynne Leach have sponsored bills to reduce remediation. Firestone staffer Matthew Hargrove explained to me, “What Brooks needed to do was make the K-12 system teach students to the level they need to get to college. He focused on students who were getting honors grades [but required remediation]. The bill (AB2631 in 1996, and AB37 in 1997) created a nexus. It was not to be punitive, but to make sure the college system got together with the K-12 system.”

Leach, who sponsored the Academic Warranty Program Act of 1998, told me, “Those high schools that were graduating students who need remediation upon entering college would have to produce a Remedial Education Reduction Plan; identify resources necessary to enact such a plan and procedures to monitor compliance with the plan.”

The proposals by Greene in Louisiana and Firestone and Leach in California passed in committee, but were held up by partisan Democrats from reaching the floors of their legislative bodies for a vote. All three lawmakers vow to bring back their proposals.

Savoie, Louisiana’s commissioner of higher education, explained that “The idea is to move remediation, which is now done at four-year colleges and universities, to `teaching institutions,’“ i.e., two-year schools, which previously had no remedial structure.

Savoie, pointing to a high correlation between the students borrowing money and needing remediation noted: “We are frustrating them, providing them false hope and putting them into debt.” He explained to me that due to Louisiana’s historical status as an educationally poor state, and the large number of students who are parents attending college part-time, state education officials track graduation rates during the course of 10 years. The state’s six-year graduation rate from four-year public schools is approximately 33 percent; the 10-year rate is 45 percent. By contrast, in wealthy New York, the four-year graduation rate at CUNY’s four-year colleges is 9 percent; the six-year rate is only 25.7 percent.

Unlike in Louisiana, there is no correlation between remediation and student debt in New York City, where thousands of remedial students pocket more than $5,000 in grants per year, after deducting tuition. Such generous aid attracts many students who are hostile toward learning. Meanwhile, night classes are filled with older, motivated, employed adults who pay twice for their education: first through their tuition, then through their taxes.

As remediation came to dominate institutions (especially community colleges) that often already were dumbed down, it caused a double-dumbing effect, whereby previous academic minimums were eliminated and the difference between remedial and college-level courses lost. And by consciously seeking out blacks and Hispanics, many remedial programs reinforced racist stereotypes of black and Hispanic inferiority.

Many of my predominantly Third World, immigrant students have told me that if they told their friends and family back home of the goings-on in New York’s public higher education system, “No one would believe it.”

Sadly, graduates of urban remedial colleges routinely are relegated to low-level jobs that a generation ago were done by high-school graduates. President Clinton and the progressives want everyone to attend college. Who will do the millions of manual-labor and service jobs requiring only basic literacy? Robots? Slaves?

The father of progressive education, John Dewey, called for constant innovation; today’s progressives offer no ideas for improving remediation and shun experimentation. Meanwhile, the heroic black educational tradition founded by Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, and Carter G. Woodson set standards that put today’s progressives to shame. In addition to Dewey and DuBois, I make my composition students read the unfashionable Washington. Despite failing in his first three attempts at building Tuskegee’s kiln, the herculean founder of the Tuskegee Institute eventually taught his students to bake the bricks that made Tuskegee’s buildings.

Conversely, today’s “progressives” have regressed. These “no-can-do” types routinely excuse failure based on students’ color, sex, ethnicity or status as immigrants or mothers. For years progressive remediationists have not offered any ideas on improving remediation, and they privately acknowledge that few students benefit from remediation.

Whereas the justification for great public universities was the right of the talented poor to higher education and, indeed, the foolishness of society in squandering their talents, remediation’s defenders imply that the talentless poor have the same right. They do not. Nor do talentless educators.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Friends of Juan Williams: Ibrahim Hooper, Vivian Schiller… and Rupert Murdoch


Juan Williams

By Nicholas Stix

“Michelle Obama, you know, she’s got this Stokely Carmichael in a designer dress thing going.”

Juan Williams, on The O’Reilly Factor, January 26, 2009.



Ibrahim Hooper, of Terrorist Front CAIR, Tries to Get Megan Kelly Fired from Fox, the Way He Got NPR to Sack Juan Williams.


A tip ‘o the turban to Gates of Vienna.

On October 21, in “A Molly Norris Moment for Juan Williams,” Gates of Vienna wrote,

By now everybody — at least on this side of the Atlantic — has heard what happened to Juan Williams today. He’s a victim of what you might call the New Improved Canadian Free Speech Guidelines, which have recently been imported into the USA. I expect that we will be hearing more and more stories like this. As I pointed out a couple of weeks ago, just because police in the USA rarely arrest people for speaking out doesn’t mean that Americans actually enjoy freedom of speech.

I’ve been following the career of Juan Williams on and off for more than twenty years, usually in
The Washington Post. His op-eds have never interested me very much, but I’ve read enough of his topic sentences to know he’s reliably liberal on virtually any issue. If you wear a progressive wristwatch, you can set it by Juan Williams.

“Juan feels the way he feels, that is not for me to ju, to pass judgment on, that is really his feelings that he expressed on Fox News are really between him and his, you know, psychiatrist, or his publicist, or take your pick, but it is not compatible with a news analyst on, with the role of a news analyst, on NPR’s air.”

NPR President & CEO Vivian Schiller, on October 27, 2010.


Actually, this sort of witch hunt by the Left goes back at least to the early 1990s in the MSM, when affirmative action hires got liberal New York Newsday columnist Jimmy Breslin suspended, and sought to get liberal Chicago Tribune columnist Mike Royko fired. Note that Breslin was then the most popular columnist in New York, while Royko was not only Chicago’s most popular columnist, but the greatest newsman in the history of Chicago and, many newsaholics argue, in the history of America. Indeed, affirmative action hires went after Breslin and Royko because of their stature, in order to make a name for themselves for having scalped a famous white man.

The difference now is in the Left’s periodic upping of the ante, such that now even a black liberal is fair game. This also tells you of the high esteem in which the Leftwing MSM holds Moslem terrorists.

Note that in the video, Hooper indirectly admitted that he was “pleased” with NPR’s firing of Williams. But the chilling aspect of the video is the way Hooper baited Kelly, in seeking to either intimidate her into denouncing Williams (‘Oh, no, I don’t feel that way at all’), or provoke her into standing with Williams, so that he could demand that she be fired, as well! That’s one tough dame.

Actually, NPR had been looking for a pretext to fire Williams for a couple of years, now. It was just the sort of eruptions of humanity like his wonderful “Stokely Carmichael in a designer dress” description of Michelle “Obama,” and his revealing of his feelings about Moslem airline passengers that made him more than just another leftwing talking points bot to the audience, and made his “liberalism” less offensive to millions of people who are both anti-communist and anti-socialist.

A year or so ago, in a fit of pique, NPR had demanded that Fox News stop identifying Williams as an NPR correspondent. Fox refused.

Williams’ NPR boss CEO Vivian Schiller told a bald-faced lie when she claimed that Williams had crossed a line in offering commentary, instead of “objective” analysis. First of all, news analysis is always normative; it always involves editorializing. If you doubt me, take a look at a New York Times “news analysis.” It’s an editorial. Second, NPR “reporter” Nina Totenberg has been crudely editorializing on-air for years. Neither Schiller nor anyone else at NPR has shown any displeasure with Totenberg.

Regarding Williams, Schiller said, “If you want to be a political activist, you may not also be a reporter or news analyst for NPR.”

Another bald-faced lie. Totenberg is an obvious political activist!

Schiller also denied that Williams was an employee of NPR. So, how can you fire someone who doesn’t work for you? Meanwhile, out of the other side of her mouth, Schiller said she fired Williams for not letting NPR completely control what he said in his job at Fox News. That meant that Williams was not only an NPR employee at NPR, but had to submit to NPR, when he was at Fox. She sounds like the leader of a cult.

Trying to get a straight answer out of a lefty like Vivian Schiller is like trying to talk to a Moslem… or a black. Each group has their own version of “taqqiya.”

Speaking of the Devil—and of liars—readers will not be surprised to learn that Schiller denies that NPR has a leftwing bias. Even Ibrahim Hooper acknowledges that NPR is “liberal”!

Prior to l’affare Williams, the Wall Street Journal’s Jon Friedman interviewed Schiller for a story that the newspaper published on its Web site on October 20. That was the day on which Schiller fired Williams for his October 18 comments on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, in which he revealed that seeing Moslems in traditional Islamic attire on jetliners causing him to fear for his safety.

Don’t bother telling Vivian Schiller, the president and chief executive of NPR, that the media entity has a liberal bias — or any kind political beliefs. She has heard the argument before.

“No, we don’t have a particular political persuasion,” Schiller said during a recent episode of “Media Matters with Jon Friedman” on The Wall Street Journal Digital Network.

I suggested that a lot of people would disagree with her assertion.

“That’s absolutely true, and I get many, many letters and I get many emails a week from the left and the right accusing us of bias in the opposite direction,” Schiller said. “It speaks to the popularity of media that takes a particular point of view…and we don’t do that, and that upsets some people and that’s fine. They don’t have to listen if they don’t want to.”

Does the foregoing mean that Vivian Schiller is an even bigger liar than the spokesman for a Moslem terrorist front?

The Left uses many code words for “socialism”: “Social,” “social responsibility,” “conscience” (“I can’t help it, if I have a conscience”—Susan Sarandon), “socialization,” etc. In the case of “National Public Radio,” “Public” is such a code term. Whenever you hear or read “National Public Radio” or “NPR,” think, “National Socialist Radio.”


Less than 24 hours after Schiller fired Williams, Fox News turned her partisan bloodletting into a propaganda victory, signing Williams to a three-year contract for almost $2 million. But this is no “rightwing” organization. Owner Rupert Murdoch caved into black supremacist Al Sharpton’s chimp hoax last year, and gave him power at the New York Post, which had already long been a haven for homosexual activists. It remains to be seen whether Williams will cause his new friends at Fox to cave in even more to the Left, or whether loyalty to them, and bitterness at Schiller and all the leftists who cheered his firing at NPR will cause him to lean more to the Right.

An Argument against Punishment

By Nicholas Stix

‘People convicted of crimes should not be imprisoned.

‘I understand why their victims and the latter’s loved ones would want them to be imprisoned. They ruined lives and destroyed futures.

‘But the justified anger of the victims and their kin does not justify state-sponsored slavery.

‘Imprisonment is morally wrong and irrational.

‘A recent report exposes many of the basic problems with prison.

‘First of all, it is not a deterrent.

‘Prison does not effectively reduce crime.

‘Second, imprisonment is arbitrarily applied.

‘Third, there is a pronounced racial bias.

‘Another major problem with imprisonment is the cost.

‘Then there is the gnawing question of innocence. How can we ever be sure that the person who is imprisoned is not innocent? Have we already imprisoned people who did not do the crime?

‘Even if we are confident that the person is guilty, imprisonment is still wrong.

‘It is premeditated slavery, and thus immoral, and the fact that it is state-sponsored slavery does not change its character, or make it less immoral.’

* * *

The foregoing was a thought experiment. I took an argument that a Brian Gilmore made against the death penalty in the “Black Voices” section of the November 4, 2009 L.A. Times, and replaced Gilmore’s references to the death penalty with references to imprisonment. As far as I can see, the argument against imprisonment is just as valid as the one against the death penalty. Which is to say, just as invalid.

By the way, Gilmore made his argument on behalf of convicted Nation of Islam serial killer, aka DC sniper, John Allen Muhammad.

Even if we are confident that the person is guilty, however, as in the case of John Allen Muhammad, capital punishment is still wrong.

It is premeditated murder, and that's immoral whether an individual is doing the deed or the state is.

For all of his sanctimony, Gilmore is a nihilist who is intent on eliminating the difference between good and evil. Either he is unaware of the moral basis of state punishment—not blood y likely, since he’s a liar, er, lawyer—or wants the reader to be ignorant of it.

The foundation of criminal justice is in revenge. People have a natural right to personally avenge wrongs committed against their person, loved ones, and property. The state offers the citizen a bargain: If he will renounce his right to exact personal retribution, it promises to exact fair and impersonal retribution. That is the conditional basis of the “contract theory” of politics. Conversely, if the state violates the contract, by taking the side of evil, in tacitly granting a “right” to one or more groups to violate the persons and property of members of one or more other groups, the “contract” is nullified, and the victimized groups owe the state’s laws no obeisance.

Gilmore does not oppose murder, he embraces it! He seeks to cheat law-abiding citizens of any justice at all. This is because he is loyal to black cut-throats like John Allen Muhammad, and seeks to increase the harm that they commit against peaceful whites.

“Disappearing” Urban Crime

By Nicholas Stix

May 26, 2004

(See also, by yours truly:

“De-Policing in America’s Cities: Erasing the ‘Thin Blue Line’”;

“The War on the Police”; and

The State of White America-2007, chapter on crime.)

“The news for New York City is spectacular,” New York’s Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg told a City Hall press conference on May 24. He and New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly [Email him] were claiming credit for new FBI crime stats showing major crimes—murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, car theft, larceny and arson—dropping 5.8% in the city in 2003. New York’s crime rate now ranks it 211th of the 230 U.S. cities with 100,000-plus population—behind Omaha, Nebraska and Wichita, Kansas.

Unfortunately, there must have been at least one skeptic at the press conference. Hizzoner reportedly “bristled” at suggestions that the city’s crime stats are being driven down artificially by numbers-fudging police commanders.

“‘C’mon,’ Bloomberg snapped. ‘It is just not the case.’”

In late March, as part of their tactic of negotiating a new labor contract through the media, the New York Police Department’s Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) and Sergeants’ Benevolent Association (SBA) attacked the NYPD brass, charging that the city’s miraculously low crime rate has been achieved through fraudulent arrest statistics. On March 23, PBA president Patrick J. Lynch maintained, “We’ve reached a point where some local N.Y.P.D. commanders are forced to falsify stats in order to maintain the appearance of a continued reduction in crime … “Some precinct commanders are cooking the books to make themselves look good. We’re hearing from our members across the city that these things are happening.”

SBA president Ed Mullins had made the same charges on March 3 against Capt. Sheldon Howard, the commander of Police Service Area 9, and on the 23rd, in a joint press release and press conference with the PBA, “calling upon police commissioner Ray Kelly to conduct a comprehensive citywide audit of crime and to develop procedures that will prevent police managers from downgrading or ignoring reported crimes.”

Unlike the usual negotiating hype, however, and in spite of the union bosses having essentially said that their members hadn’t been doing the great job for which they had long taken credit, the charges had the virtue of being true. While the unions charged the NYPD with fudging crime reporting citywide, they emphasized fraud in Manhattan’s 10th Precinct, The Bronx’ 50th Precinct, and Police Service Area 9, which serves housing projects in six Queens precincts. The NYPD admitted only to misreporting in the 10th Precinct, dismissing the other charges out of hand. (Last June, the brass admitted that 203 felonies had been improperly downgraded to misdemeanors in the 10th Precinct during 2002.)

The unions equivocated about the duration of the fraud; they did not want to admit that ten years of miraculous crime “reductions” were based on deception, but the systemic fraud is in fact as old and widespread as the incredible statistics.

But the fudging of crime statistics is not just a story in the Naked City.

On October 23, five New Orleans police officers -- including 29-year veteran, First District captain, Norvel Orazio, who had won awards for reducing crime -- were fired, and a sixth was demoted, for improperly downgrading crime complaints, so that they would not show up in crime statistics. And on February 20, an audit of Atlanta’s police records showed that the suppression and loss of crime records was endemic for many years, with 22,000 police reports of 911 calls disappearing in 2002 alone. (Free Atlanta Journal-Constitution registration necessary.)

(Note that Orazio has continued to be listed as in charge of the First District, many months after he was fired.)

Such mini-scandals have become a blight on urban landscapes, having also occurred in recent years in
Philadelphia and Boca Raton, Florida. I call the method involved the “disappearing” of crime.

Urban police departments have for years been under intense pressure to reduce violent crime, in order to stem the tide of fleeing businesses, attract new business and tourism, and give the impression that their cities are being governed. But blacks and Hispanics have a virtual monopoly over urban violent crime. (In New York City in 1998, 89.2 percent of suspects in violent crimes were black or Hispanic.) And yet, police officials may not offend outraged black and Hispanic criminals, or their supporters in the media and among leaders of their respective racial and ethnic groups, who constantly invent “racial profiling” hoaxes. The job is impossible.

And so, instead of policing hoodlums, today’s modern, urban police managers aggressively police ... impressions. The “disappearing” of crime is one of their leading impression management methods.

Critics may counter, “So, what are you saying, they’re hiding bodies?!” Not at all. Keep in mind, that most crime reporters do not ride alone -- or at all -- late at night in subway cars to observe crime firsthand, drive through city streets listening to police scanners, racing to crime scenes, or do inventory at city morgues. In fact, they are more likely to ride through the city in taxicabs, and many seem to want to know, depending on their politics, only that which either police officials or anti-police activists deign to tell them. Those officials simply refuse to put out reports on many violent felonies in headquarter press rooms or web sites. Detectives engage in the wholesale “unfounding” of crimes. And murders are reclassified as non-criminal deaths. But in most cases, crime is “disappeared” by the street officer who engages in “creative writing,” turning felonies into misdemeanors or non-crimes. (An additional crime statistic reduction strategy, “de-policing,” is beyond the scope of this essay.)

My favorite example of a crime that “never happened” occurred on December 8, 1995. At about 10:30 p.m. on a Queens-bound A train, a man ended an argument with two brothers by shooting one of them, exiting at Kingston-Throop station, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

Riding two cars away, I neither saw nor heard the shooting. However, I interviewed a witness, saw the 20-something, black victim on a gurney, doing a convincing impression of a corpse, his inconsolable, raging (and apparently twin) brother accompanying him, and two emergency medical technicians wheeling away the gurney.

Since the train was a crime scene, we passengers had to exit it and the station, walk through “Bed-Stuy” to the Manhattan-bound local station, take a train three stops, and then turn around on a Queens-bound train that skipped the crime scene station. It took me over three hours to get home that night.

In the subway below and on the street above, I counted no less than 39 police officers of every rank, an extraordinary response.

The huge response was because approximately 12 hours earlier, a black supremacist named Roland Smith Jr. aka Abubunde Mulocko, had entered Jewish-owned Freddie’s Fashion Mart in Harlem, which was besieged by a racist “boycott,” yelled “It’s on!,” and ordered all customers to leave. In what became known as the Harlem Massacre, Smith proceeded to shoot four people, set the store ablaze, murder seven (non-white) store employees, and commit suicide. That made for at least five shootings on December 8.

A few weeks later, I asked NYPD press rep, Officer Kathie Kelly, if there had been any shootings on December 8. She told me she’d get back to me. Later, she informed me, “There were no shootings on the eighth.”

Since 1995, some reporters – most notably Leonard Levitt of New York Newsday -- have intermittently written on “disappeared” crimes in New York, but to my knowledge, I am the only journalist to have actually been at the scene of one. Actually, since 1991, I have fought off at least a dozen racial attacks, including two attempted muggings, all of which were “disappeared” by police or prosecutors, even when I had bloody wounds, when the police had been called to the scene by a subway motorman or (unbeknownst to me) an anonymous witness who corroborated my depiction of events, or when the attack took place on camera, in front of a black postal police officer. (In 1994, a black New Jersey bus driver who had recently fled Brooklyn, suggested that in New York, crime victims require legal representation no less than defendants, if they wish their cases prosecuted.)

On October 11, 1995, reporter William K. Rashbaum, then of the New York Daily News, published a memo he’d obtained from the 50th Precinct in The Bronx. The memo, by precinct commander, Capt. Anthony Kissik, instructed officers in the art of defining down crimes from felonies to misdemeanors or even non-crimes. (E.g., a felony assault would be changed to a misdemeanor case of “harassment.”)

On January 29, 1996, Leonard Levitt reported on two rapes, one murder, and one fatal shooting of a car thief by a police officer (which was eventually counted as a homicide) from the previous December, none of which had been reported by the NYPD. The NYPD brass insisted that a mysterious, unnamed reporter had stolen the crime reports from the press room. And if you believe that, I have a great deal for you on a slightly used bridge. Levitt found out about the incidents when relatives of the victims and the alleged car thief contacted him.

On October 29, 1996, Capt. Louis Vega, commander of the 41st Precinct in the South Bronx, was suspended without pay in a crime statistic fraud scandal. The Daily News quoted a stationhouse source as saying, “in any precinct you could go in and come up with complaints where the charges should be higher. There is tremendous pressure on precinct commanders to produce lower numbers.”

Capt. Vega’s mistake was apparently in violating the first law of lying: Plausibility. Whereas, crime was allegedly down 14% in the South Bronx overall from Jan. 1 to October 20, 1996 compared to the same period in 1995, Vega reported a 40% crime reduction in his precinct.

In January 1998, the NYPD’s Transit Bureau was caught fudging violent crime stats; bureau Chief William Donoghue was forced to resign. NYPD Commissioner Howard Safir, apparently a master of fuzzy math, insisted that the fraudulent underreporting of subway crime by 20 percent did not affect the NYPD’s overall crime statistics: “While a true portrait of citywide crime was being painted, a somewhat skewed picture of crime in the subway was being put forth.”

News stories on the underreporting of crime were almost always published in the far-left Newsday or centrist, Democrat Daily News. The editors of the neo-conservative New York Post so closely identified with Rudolph Giuliani’s mayoralty (1994-2001) that they could not stomach such reporting. Conversely, the leftwing Democrat New York Times’ editors and writers had a consuming hatred of Giuliani, but were too lazy for the gumshoe work. (Such reporting would also have contradicted their “racial profiling” script.)

(I refer sometimes to Newsday and sometimes to New York Newsday, because they are two separate, sister dailies. Newsday has served Long Island, New York since its founding in 1940. New York Newsday was founded in October, 1985. Its parent company, Times Mirror, shut down the daily in June, 1995, after it had incurred losses of $100 million. However, the media giant continued to maintain a Queens edition of Newsday -- a skeleton, compared to its predecessor -- which published New York City news, including crime news. In early 2003, New York Newsday was brought back from the dead.)

On February 4, 1999 Amadou Diallo, an illegal immigrant from Guinea, Africa, was tragically gunned down in the Soundview section of The Bronx by four white NYPD officers from the city’s (since disbanded) elite Street Crimes Unit. The detectives were searching for Isaac Jones, the worst serial rapist in the city’s history, who lived in the same neighborhood, and whose predations had caused hysteria in The Bronx. Diallo resembled the description of Jones. Once Diallo lay dead at the hands of white officers, the frenzied demands to bring in the rapist were forgotten.

As were the stories on fraudulent NYPD record-keeping.

In 1999, immediately following the Diallo shooting, socialist journalists and minority leaders joined to invent the “racial profiling” hoax, in which they charged (and still charge) that urban police round up and even murder innocent, minority men, based solely on the latter’s race and ethnicity. The hoax was a continuation of the war on urban white police begun in the 1960s, which gained new momentum with the 1991 Rodney King case in Los Angeles, and again with the racist campaign initiated following the 1993 New York mayoral election by the Rev. Al Sharpton, to make it impossible for Mayor-elect Rudolph Giuliani to govern the city. The immediate goal of the journalists, who were essentially Democrat Party propagandists, black leaders, and party leaders in perpetrating the hoax, was that of elevating then-first lady Hillary Clinton to the United States Senate over her anticipated rival, Giuliani, whose political fortunes were inseparable from the perceived crime-fighting success of the NYPD. (During Giuliani’s two terms, violent crime allegedly dropped 54.3 percent, while property crime allegedly dropped 54.7 percent per 100,000 residents.)

Establishment, socialist journalists apparently understood that publishing stories showing that police were underreporting crime would contradict their “racial profiling” script. I would not see another story on “disappeared” crime in a New York daily until after Giuliani had stepped down from office, as per term limits, in January, 2002.

Two months into the administration of “Republican” (who prior to the election had been a lifetime, liberal Democrat) Michael Bloomberg, reporter Larry Celona wrote in the March 14, 2002 New York Post, that a rape that had been committed in the 50th Precinct (Tony Kissik’s old command, which by then was run by Thomas DiRusso) “was logged as a lesser crime - thus giving a rare look into what some beat cops say is a statistical sleight of hand used by their commanders.”

“According to many patrol officers, commanders sometimes reclassify major crimes like murder, assault, robbery and rape as lesser offenses to make it appear they are winning the war on crime....

“… the March 8 rape of a woman at a Bailey Avenue hotel was recorded as an ‘inconclusive’ incident. Only on Tuesday, after The Post started asking questions, was the crime properly classified as rape.”

(The redefining of a rape as an “inconclusive incident” is the m.o. of the Philadelphia PD, which for years, according to the FBI, has conquered crime statistics on the backs of most sex crime victims, whose complaints detectives habitually “unfounded.” The Philadelphia PD also pioneered the method of disappearing burglaries through redefining them as the non-crime of “lost/stolen property.” According to a 1998 Philadelphia Inquirer report, “Among police, the practice is called ‘going down with crime.’”)

On June 30, 2003, in “Crime Statistics Doubts Adding Up,” New York Newsday’s Leonard Levitt detailed the reality behind the “reduction in crime”:

• The punishment-by-transfer of an officer in The Bronx (again from the 50th Precinct!) who refused to downgrade a felony to a misdemeanor;

• A former police official having to intercede on a victim’s behalf, to get detectives who had refused to help the victim to take down a crime report;

• A Brooklyn precinct commander discouraging robbery victims from reporting crimes, by refusing to permit the uniformed officer at the scene from taking down a report;

• A multiple-officer tag team talking victims out of filing crime reports;

• Reusing the complaint number of a disappeared crime for a new case, in order to eliminate the first crime’s paper trail; and

• Keeping two sets of books for a precinct’s crime statistics.

More recently, on March 22, Levitt and Rocco Parascandola reported on the case of former 50th Precinct commander Thomas DiRusso. From 2000-2003, when Deputy Inspector DiRusso was on the job, crime allegedly fell 26%, but in the first 10 weeks after he left the precinct, in January, 2004, to head up Brooklyn South Narcotics, crime in the “5-Oh” allegedly increased by 11.2%.

Deputy Inspector DiRusso was reportedly even more aggressive than his predecessor, Capt. Kissik, at reducing crime reports. Officers reported to Levitt and Parascandola, that when restaurant deliverymen were robbed and sought help from the precinct, DiRusso ran them off, threatening to ticket them for riding their bicycles on the sidewalk. His officers were also in the habit of refusing to take down crime reports from victims. But rather than investigate DiRusso, the NYPD has stood by their man.

The reality of “disappeared” crime contradicts the world of managed impressions created over the past ten or so years by police and neoconservative writers such as Heather MacDonald. The aforementioned have touted a crime-fighting revolution that, they say, has rescued cities long thought to be beyond saving. Most notably in New York, radical reductions in official, violent felony counts have led to renewed business investment and tourism. (The tourism, mind you, is usually limited to certain areas that one might call “Potemkin Villages.”) The revolution has been known mainly via two concepts: “broken windows” policing and “COMPSTAT” (computer statistics).

Broken windows theory, as developed by George Kelling and Catherine M. Coles, argues that a crackdown on petty, “quality of life” crime (public urination, public drinking, fare beating, etc.) will lead to a reduction in major crime. “Broken windows” was offered as an alternative to the socialist propaganda model of “community policing,” in which police were supposed to become one with those whom they were to police, becoming live-in social workers who just happened to carry guns. COMPSTAT (computer statistics -- the brainchild of late NYPD detective, crime-guru, and TV producer, Jack Maple), compiles statistics on concentrations of crime by place, day, and time of day. Increased deployments of officers can then rout the malefactors.

Militating against such an anti-crime offensive, are minority leaders and counter-police, who cry “Racism!” at the drop of a pair of handcuffs.

COMPSTAT is a “GIGO” (“garbage in, garbage out”) proposition. But as police have for years been handcuffed by race-baiters, COMPSTAT has routinely been compromised by false data and lack of political will.

But police commanders are not only handcuffed in implementing COMPSTAT by the pro-crime lobby. They are shot in the back by their own chiefs.

COMPSTAT was initially implemented under NYPD Commissioner William Bratton, who had previously run New York’s independent Transit PD (which he then merged into the NYPD), the Boston PD, and who since October, 2002 has run the Los Angeles PD. Bratton instituted COMPSTAT meetings at police headquarters, which became a form of public theater, in which he routinely humiliated precinct commanders who had failed to produce the desired “numbers.” “Bad” (read: honest) numbers were career suicide. Commanders quickly learned what Bratton wanted, and communicated that knowledge through the ranks.

William Bratton left the NYPD in January 1996, but his model stayed, and he and his associates have since spread it across the country. (Bratton’s number two man, John Timoney, was Philadelphia’s police commissioner from 1998-2001.) The result is a police and street culture, in which no one -- save perhaps for livery drivers and restaurant deliverymen in poor neighborhoods -- has any idea what the true face of crime looks like. But COMPSTAT/broken windows makes for great public relations. Or at least it did, until the unions stopped playing ball. Now, one can only hope that more police unions take the initiative to counter the PR job done across the country by the likes of William Bratton and Heather MacDonald.

Who the Hell is “A.W. Morgan”?

By Nicholas Stix

I tell ya, there’s nothing like working a beat for 20 years—the reporting of race and crime, race and crime in New York City, in particular—and then finding someone distilling that work in an article, without any reference to your work. You might as well write on the reporting of the Watergate scandal, without ever mentioning Woodward or Bernstein.

I can’t imagine who would green light, much less pay for that bit of business. Was it meant as a provocation?

The Death of a President

By Nicholas Stix

(Reprint, partly from 2009, the rest from 2006.)

In Dallas 47 years ago today, Communist and dishonorably discharged ex-Marine Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated 46-year-old President John F. Kennedy, shooting him from a window in the Texas School Book Depository building, as the President’s motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, b. May 29, 1917, d. November 22, 1963.


Commemorative Essay from 2006

Forty-three years ago yesterday, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States of America, was felled in Dallas by Lee Harvey Oswald, a communist, dishonorably discharged, ex-marine. For most of my life, November 22 was always commemorated as one of the darkest days in American history. In recent years, such commemoration seems to have been fading.

President Kennedy was riding that day in a motorcade with his wife, Jackie, Texas Gov. John Connally and the latter’s wife, Idanell (1919-2006), and Texan Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Kennedy had come to Texas to shore up a rift among Texas Democrats.

As soon as she saw her husband had been hit with gunfire, Mrs. Kennedy showed herself willing to sacrifice her own life, to save her husband’s. She threw herself across her husband, to shield his body from further gunfire with her own, as if she were a secret service agent, rather than America’s First Lady. Alas, it was too late.

Gov. Connally also was wounded, and his wife, Idanell Brill "Nellie" Connally (1919-2006), helped save his life by “pull[ing] the Governor onto her lap, and the resulting posture helped close his front chest wound (which was causing air to be sucked directly into his chest around his collapsed right lung).”

Later that day, aboard Air Force One, Vice President Johnson was sworn in as America’s 36th President.

On April 11, Oswald had attempted to assassinate rightwing Army Gen. Edwin Walker; one hour after assassinating the President, he murdered Dallas Patrolman J.W. Tippit, before being arrested in a Dallas movie theater. Two days later, Oswald was himself murdered by Jack Ruby, as lawmen sought to transfer Oswald from police headquarters to the Dallas City Jail.

Jack Kennedy has become, like his ersthwile fling, Marilyn Monroe, a Rohrschach Test, onto which people (particularly leftists) project their preoccupations. Thus do conspiracy obsessives project the notion that the President’s assassination had issued out of a conspiracy so immense, including at least two assassins, with the identity of the specific participants – the Cosa Nostra, the CIA, Fidel Castro – depending on the imaginings of the obsessive in question.

Likewise has Kennedy’s presidency been fetishized by leftwing obsessives and family retainers, who have turned him into a socialist demigod, who supported massive economic redistribution and radical “civil rights.”

The best way of summing up the real JFK versus the fantasy version propagated by the Left and Kennedy courtiers since his death, is by comparison and contrast to President Richard M. Nixon, Kennedy’s opponent in the 1960 election.

Kennedy has been portrayed as a leftwing saint and Renaissance man, who gave us or supported (or would have, had he lived) the War on Poverty, civil rights for blacks, and utopia. Nixon, by contrast, was a rightwing Mephistopheles (“Tricky Dick”), and a crude, racist, fascist warmonger.

Politically, Kennedy and Nixon actually had much in common. Both were unapologetic anti-communists in matters domestic and foreign. Nixon successfully prosecuted for perjury the traitor and Soviet spy, Alger Hiss (which inspired the Left to work tirelessly thereafter for Nixon’s destruction), while Kennedy (“Ich bin ein Berliner.”) was an unequivocal supporter of West Berlin against Soviet imperialism, and risked nuclear war, when he faced down the Soviets during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. (Due to the statute of limitations, Nixon could not prosecute Hiss for treason or espionage.) On the negative side of the ledger, Kennedy betrayed the Cuban insurgents who carried out the Bay of Pigs invasion, by withholding promised air support, thus turning the invasion into a fiasco.

Domestically, at least in fiscal matters, Kennedy was considerably to the right of Nixon. Early in Kennedy’s administration, he signed off on what was then the biggest tax cut ever, and which set the economy on fire. In light of Kennedy’s fiscal conservatism and belief in self-reliance (“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”), it is highly unlikely that he would have signed off on a program for massive government welfare programs. The War on Poverty was the idea of Lyndon Johnson, who exploited the nation’s mourning for JFK to ram his programs through Congress.

By contrast, Nixon introduced price and wage controls, a move that was far to the left economically of the Democratic Party, even after Kennedy. And it was Nixon, the hated “racist,” not Kennedy or even Johnson, who institutionalized affirmative action. Note that over 30 percent of blacks voted for Nixon for president, over three times as high a proportion than ever would vote for George W. Bush for president.

For over thirty years, leftist Democrats have sought to tar and feather Nixon as a “racist” for his “Southern Strategy” of appealing to Southern whites with promises of “law and order.” The presuppositions of the leftist critics are: 1. If one is not a leftist, one may not campaign for the votes of groups that may potentially vote for one, but rather must hopelessly chase after the votes of people who will never vote for him, thereby guaranteeing his defeat; and 2. Because the explosion in crime was primarily the fault of blacks, no politician may ever campaign on behalf of “law and order” (in other words, see #1).

Since leftists have long controlled the media and academia, no successful counter-movement has ever been waged against the Democrat Northern Strategy that continues to this day inflaming and relying on racist blacks for their votes and their violence.

If anything, Nixon was a stronger supporter of “civil rights” than Kennedy. When Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested during the 1960 presidential campaign, Nixon wanted to call King’s parents in support, but let his advisers talk him out of it. Conversely, Kennedy let his adviser, future senator Harris Wofford, talk him into calling “Daddy” King, which resulted in Kennedy winning the black vote.

In August 1963, the Poor People’s March, in which Martin Luther King Jr. would give his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, was almost shut down by the Kennedy Administration without King even getting to speak.

The march had been organized by A. Philip Randolph, the legendary socialist founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the nation’s first successful black labor union. Randolph was planning on giving a radical leftwing speech written by Stanley Levison, a communist advisor to both Randolph and King, but as historian David Garrow tells in his biography, Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the President’s brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, acting in his brother’s name, threatened literally to pull the plug on the demonstration, were Randolph to deliver the planned speech. Randolph relented, and gave a considerably toned-down speech.

There is no record, to my knowledge, of Nixon ever censoring a political speech, much less one by a civil rights leader.

As for Southeast Asia, Kennedy got us involved in the War in Vietnam; Nixon got us out.

Kennedy repeatedly jeopardized national security, both as a naval intelligence officer during World War II, and while President, due to his obsessive womanizing. By contrast, even Nixon’s sworn enemies have failed to find any evidence of his cheating on his beloved wife, Pat.

And as for the two men’s intellectual status, Nixon was clearly superior. The notion that Kennedy was an intellectual the planned product of a PR campaign engineered and financed by the future president’s father, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.. The elder Kennedy got his son’s undistinguished, pro-appeasement (echoing the elder Kennedy, who was a Nazi sympathizer) Harvard senior thesis, Why England Slept, published as a book, after having it rewritten by erstwhile family retainer, New York Times columnist Arthur Krock (whom JFK would later stab in the back, using future Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee as his tool of choice); later, the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Profiles in Courage, was ghostwritten for JFK by another family retainer, Theodore Sorensen, in order to give the young senator the “gravitas” necessary for a run at the White House. Working on behalf of JFK and Joe Kennedy, Arthur Krock campaigned relentlessly on behalf of the fraudulent work, and succeeded in gaining it the 1957 Pulitzer Prize for biography, yet another fraudulent Pulitzer that has never been rescinded.

Nixon, on the other hand, really did write a series of important books on politics. But although Nixon was a true Renaissance man, he was a Republican, and so while the Kennedy hagiography of the press, Hollywood, and academia would slavishly promote the myth of Kennedy as Renaissance man, in the same parties’ corresponding demonography of Nixon, the last thing they were going to do was to give Nixon due credit for his very real intellectual accomplishments.

So, where does that leave us? Must we choose between the fictional but pervasive image of JFK as Renaissance man, socialist, and compassionate civil rights supporter, or Garry Wills’ revised version, in which Kennedy appears as a ruthless, pathologically lying sociopath?

If we jettison our illusions about the political leaders we support being compassionate, kindly, fatherly (or insert your romanticized cliché of choice) types, and admit that the ruthless, pathologically lying sociopath has been a frequent Oval Office type, that still does not free us from the obligation of weighing the virtues of this sociopath against that one.

While it is ludicrous to speak of a man who inhabited the office for only two years and ten months as a “great president,” John F. Kennedy had his moments. He gave us a tax cut of historic dimensions, stood up to the Soviets, founded the Peace Corps, and started the race to the moon that culminated in 1969, with Neil Armstrong’s world historical walk.