The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

31 March 2005

Patty Murray Meets Post-Intelligencer Editors

Osama Mama Strikes Again

Does "Mom-in-Tennis Shoes" Senator Know When to Quit?

US Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) has a long history of putting her foot in her mouth, particularly about world issues, that reflects both a difficulty in grasping them and a desire to parrot what she thinks is her party's public line.

She doesn't always get it right, sadly, with embarrassing results.

From falling for a Spy Magazine stunt asking for her support for the liberation of the Republic of Fredonia (not a real country, from a Marx Brothers movie) to her asinine comments about Osama bin Laden, Murray is not known as an intellectual heavyweight.

Here's what was reported in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on December 21, 2002:

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Patty Murray intended to be provocative when she told a group of high school students terrorist leader Osama bin Laden is popular in poor countries because he helped pay for schools, roads and even day care centers.

"We haven't done that," Murray said. "How would they look at us today if we had been there helping them with some of that rather than just being the people who are going to bomb in Iraq and go to Afghanistan?"

Murray's remarks, to a group of students in Vancouver, Wash., started even more discussion than she expected after they were published Thursday in The Columbian newspaper of Vancouver and then picked up by The Associated Press.

By Friday, the Murray story was the lead item on the "Drudge Report" Web site and a main topic for talk show host Sean Hannity and other conservative pundits.

Murray's comments sparked national debate on talk radio and prompted readers to bombard the Web site of The Columbian, the Vancouver newspaper that first printed Murray's remarks.

"Between (Murray) and Baghdad Jim (McDermott) I'm surprised the rest of the country even lets Washington send reps to DC anymore," wrote one e-mailer, identified only as robertb.

Now, Murray's at it again:

(Seattle Post-Intelligencer Editorial- Thursday, March 31)
(Item linked at Orbusmax)

We'll focus on her observations about the war and Iraq. Murray called it "a daunting place to be."

As Murray was flying in a helicopter from Baghdad's airport to the "Green Zone," she witnessed extreme poverty, devastation and raw sewage on the ground. She concluded that Iraq's reconstruction is going to be expensive -- and a long-term venture.

That message needs to be repeated -- Iraq is a long-term venture. That prospect means Congress should fund the Iraq war and reconstruction as a regular budget item (rather than a blank-check supplemental request) so that the American people have transparent accounting of the enterprise.

Murray said the elections moved the country forward, but she's concerned that the rights of women and minorities are in danger in the new Iraq.

Iraqi women never were required to wear headscarves, but the veil is becoming common because women see it as a way to camouflage themselves from fundamentalists.

Notice Sen. Murray seems to have nothing positive to say about the situation in Iraq, only focusing on difficulties in establishing the new government and how unfair it is that more women are wearing headscarves?

Patty, an FYI: under Saddam, women were burned alive or dipped in acid if a relative was merely suspected of crossing the regime. Many were elected to Iraq's parliament in the recent successful elections.

It's hard to imagine when women ever had the rights they enjoy in today's Iraq.

Even Patty should be able to recognize this, but her desire to sound like she knows what her Democrat supporters want to hear is in the way, once again.

Welcome Orbusmax Visitors

If These Kids Think It's Bad Now, Just Wait Until College

Another Silly T-Shirt Flap

PC reigns in Snohomish County, Washington Public Schools

Hardly a week goes by now without a headline involving high school students caught up in a controversial flap over what they're wearing.

Certainly it's understandable, if the attire is somehow disruptive to the learning environment, but more often today, we're seeing political correctness as the motivating factor behind upset teachers and administrators.

This example may be the most ridiculous ever, as a group of boys at Snohomish High School have been prohibited from wearing T-shirts to school with the phrase "SNOHOS" on them. One was even suspended for two days.

What's the problem? Apparently some school staffers found the phrase "SNOHOS" to be derogatory toward women. Note the district spokeswoman's personal interjection into the response to a Seattle Times reporter's questions about the matter:

(Seattle Times Snohomish County Bureau- March 31, 2005- Lynn Thompson)
(Story Linked at Orbusmax)

An item on the Snohomish School District's Web site refers to the football team's "SnoHo" traditions. And "Snoho Mojo" is both a headline in the school yearbook and the name of a local espresso stand.

But when Snohomish High senior Justin Patrick wore a T-shirt to school last month with the lettering "SNOHOS" across the front, it led to his suspension from school.

School officials say "Snohos" contains a slang term for prostitutes and is derogatory toward women.

"As a woman, I am sure that you can appreciate our desire in Snohomish to maintain respect for all members of our community, especially our young women, and to not allow the abbreviated form of our school name to be used to reference them as 'ho's,' " said district spokeswoman Shannon Parthemer, in response to an e-mail query about the suspension.

Patrick and four friends say Snohos is their name for their tight group of friends and was coined four years ago when they started filming videos for fun.

"We tried Snohomians, but that was too long," said Kyle Butcher.

Another friend, Mac Stach, said they never considered the term derogatory.

Until Patrick was sent to the office last month for not having a calculator in math class, he and his friends say no one had objected to the shirts that Butcher said they wear to school "all the time."

Vice Principal Robynn Harrington told Patrick the shirt "didn't seem appropriate" for school and that he needed to cover it up. Patrick said that when he protested, Harrington called in another vice principal to confirm that the shirt violated the school dress code, which prohibits any display of words, pictures or references to alcohol, tobacco, weapons, guns or sexual innuendo.

What reference to "ho's" exists here? Anyone who has ever lived in Washington state knows that Snohomish is regularly abbreviated in various ways and settings, including government (Sno-Isle Regional Library System, for example).

There was no emphasis on "ho" in the T-shirts these boys were wearing, so what's the issue?
The real lesson these boys have learned is how oversensitive PC university grads are these days, as they enter various government and corporate positions around the country. This should serve as a head start for the kind of insanity they will face once they reach college.

New Liberal Talk Radio Ratings Released

Air America Hype Versus Reality

Which Side Will Prevail?

(April 18 Update Here)

A new batch of radio ratings have just been released, so how's liberal talk radio faring now?

Last month's Radio Equalizer report is still circulating around the Internet, including at Air America discussion sites, but new figures give an even more complete picture of its state of affairs. Here's a chance also to address some debate points from readers.

The liberal talk radio hype machine is even more sophisticated than a month ago, with near full control of radio industry trade publications, who dare not publish anything about the format's lack of ratings growth for fear of losing syndication advertising. On radio chat boards, every announced move is trumpeted, no matter how insignificant.

Credibility is becoming a big issue. At one site,, posters relentlessly plugging liberal syndicated programming are beginning to be taken to task over accuracy, but it's still largely mob rule for now. One poster has placed hundreds of messages on the site announcing liberal talk show launches.

The talking points memo distributed to this rabid pack of supporters must surely give these excuses for the lack of ratings: that it's still too new, that stations are still coming on line or that the next programming change will finally work wonders, because that's what's repeated in many places.

Air America now lists 51 mostly tiny affiliates, which is not very impressive after a full year of media attention, industry affection and trade publication hype. Many smaller conservative radio networks can boast twice that number and still not be taken very seriously by radio professionals.

There are dozens of syndicated talk program providers for conservative programming, sports and specialty shows. Many hundreds are available for stations to take and you never read about them in newspapers. Yet lots of them are carried on more stations than Air America.

And it isn't too new to measure, especially not in New York City, where WLIB's just-released numbers show, in the broadest audience measurement of adults 12+, that Air America's flagship station has declined to a tiny 1.1 share of the audience. There's a full year of data to look at now and the picture isn't pretty for lib talk.

This is below where the station stood a year ago with its previous Caribbean specialty format and a drop from a 1.2 share last month. In the Fall 2004 Arbitron survey, WLIB had a 1.4 share of the radio listening audience, so it is safe to say it's actually shrinking in popularity.

This figure gives WLIB a ranking of 24th place overall in the New York City metro area, a place that ought to be liberal radio-friendly. In Los Angeles, KTLK didn't show up in newly released numbers. More results will be released each day for the next week or so and once again we will update it here.

Another reason to spend a lot of time looking at New York City figures is that it's where Arbitron ratings data is the most accurate. That's due to the huge sample size used in the nation's largest radio market.

A big development since last month is the major hypefest surrounding the deal reached to bring Jerry Springer's radio show to 45 of Air America's affiliates. But Springer is still relatively untested in talk radio and won't rule out running for office in his native Ohio next year.

Why do "progressives" want to be associated with Springer, anyway? He's still doing his trashy TV show, how does this help their cause? How much credibility does he bring to radio?

Let's address some of the challenges made to my last piece on the subject:

Brian, why don't you mention that New York City's conservative talker WABC is also declining in the ratings?

It's true and I haven't heard a good theory as to what's going on at WABC to cause a full share audience drop in the last two months. But WABC has maintained big ratings in NYC for years and WLIB has yet to develop a significant, sustainable listenership. WABC's decline did not result in any gains for WLIB, so there's no dial-switching happening.

WABC might need to examine which particular conservative shows are working well and which ones need to be cancelled. Air America, however, has yet to deliver even one bona fide hit for WLIB.

Why do you use "liberal talk radio" and "Air America" as interchangeable terms? Don't you know that not all of the shows are syndicated by Air America?

It's true, there are a few other companies attempting to distribute leftist talk shows, but almost all of the stations are using at least some genuine Air America Radio content. In the media liberal talk radio is "Air America" so it will be here as well.

Why are stations still signing on to the format if there isn't any ratings growth?

There are a variety of reasons: to place free content on tiny, hard-to-program automated AM stations, to placate political opponents, to put placeholder formats on stations in advance of selling them, or to hear your own ideological viewpoints on the radio.

Why do you list 12+ ratings numbers, rather than targeted demographics?

First, we don't have access to more specific age group breakdowns, because they aren't released to the media. Second, from what has been leaked, they don't look any better than these broad audience measurements. Sales departments use the specific data, but for our purposes, looking at all listeners 12 and older provides the most accurate examination we can make of liberal talk radio performance.


Finally, somebody else in the media willing to speak the truth! John Mainelli, widely respected talk radio programmer, turned New York Post columnist, reviews the new HBO Air America documentary "Left of the Dial" and has this to say:

"Left of the Dial" has a fairy-tale finale — fresh financing, 50 affiliates, encouraging ratings — even if Kerry did lose the election, something many of Air America talkers are seen taking personally.

But since shooting stopped last December, massive media coverage has faded, ratings have sagged, record-industry exec Danny Goldberg took control — and Jerry Springer was just inked.

Mainelli is saying what many in the industry are thinking but won't say out loud. Since he isn't tied to a trade publication, Mainelli's in a better position to be honest about Air America's future.

Update: New ratings, just released, show that in Boston, Air America outlet WKOX shows no growth from last month with a tiny 0.6 share of the audience. Its simulcast partner is a no-show.

In San Diego, the much-hyped liberal talk station KLSD continues its ratings collapse, from a 2.3 to a 1.9 to a 1.6 audience share in brand new figures.

In Philadelphia, Air America affiliate WHAT-AM drops from a tiny 0.8 to a miniscule 0.6 overall audience share.

In Detroit, lib talker WTDW-AM is a no-show again. Even Canadian talk radio (Ontario's CKLW-AM) is doing better than Air America in Detroit!

March 31 update: Air America in deep trouble in San Francisco: a flat 1.0 share, tied for 25th place overall, no audience gain from last month and a small fraction of the audience KQKE's predecessor had on the same frequency, playing adult standards.

In Washington, DC: liberal outlet WWRC is not present in the latest figures with any measurable audience.

This data overall paints a very bleak picture of liberal talk radio's future. There wasn't one sign of growth, not a fraction of ratings point in any city and many were down from already anemic levels. It's time to start confronting the liberal talk radio hype machine head-on with the facts. I can't wait to see what their excuses are this time for this miserable performance.

In the meantime, Seattle-based writer Michael Hood has launched a talk radio blog, from his leftist perspective. It's very interesting to see his angle on these issues. Welcome to readers from Orbusmax, Michelle Malkin, and American Thinker!

Update: The Boston Globe has published a mess of a glowing piece on liberal talk radio's future that's so inaccurate, I think it should be retracted or at least corrected. It completely ignores ratings data from the last two monthly trends.

It even paints a rosy picture of Providence's WHJJ-AM, where a successful conservative station was flushed down the toilet in favor of Air America, with nightmarish results. Some industry leaders I respect greatly are, unfortunately, here defending it. Liberals are in denial about Air America's clear ratings failure:

Air America is about to get another marquee name. Starting tomorrow, the network will carry the radio show hosted by the trash-TV icon and former Cincinnati mayor, Jerry Springer.

''When you hear him on the radio, it's very intimate," said Jon Sinton, Air America's president of programming. ''We think he's right on the issues. He's heavily enough anti-Bush to be credible for our audience."

Asked to evaluate Air America on its first birthday, Sinton is effusive. ''It's a smashing success," he insists. ''It turns out that, in the words of Sally Field, people like us, they really like us."

'In theory, with the numbers [Schultz] is getting, there ought to be clearances on stations like WRKO and WTKK," (Scott) Fybush (Editor of NorthEast Radio Watch) said. Yet while Democracy Radio touts the fact that Schultz is on nearly 100 stations, his conservative counterparts Limbaugh and Hannity are on four to five times that many outlets.

I can tell you right now, based on the ratings, that adding Schultz would be suicidal for any of these major talk stations! The article adds the built-in liberal excuse that the Air America stations have small signals, therefore will have a difficult time generating numbers. Many conservative stations were built on small signals, such as San Francisco's KSFO and Seattle's KVI-AM.

The problem: with all the free publicity liberal talk radio has getting, such as today's Globe feature, there's no excuse for the lack of ratings. Conservative talk radio never received this type of glowing coverage, it's been attacked for years.

Update: Boston-area DJ Bob Nelson notes another glaring error in the Globe report: it's not true that the two local Air America stations are daytime-only operations! They are 24-7 radio stations. This story is full of holes from top to bottom.

Update: fresh numbers released show Denver's liberal KKZN-AM dropping to a tiny 1.1 share from a 1.3 for adults 12 and older. In the Fall it had a 1.6. It's now in 24th place for the Denver-Boulder metro area.

In Minneapolis: Air America affiliate KTNF-AM generates no ratings or ranking in just-released figures. Isn't this Al Franken's hometown?

Also: reader John Jensen brings to my attention another slanted, pro-Air America piece in today's Oregonian newspaper (no direct link):

But as it turns out, losing the election hasn't killed the progressive radio format, as many expected. In fact, just the opposite happened. "If Kerry had won, it would have hurt liberal talk radio, no question about it," says Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers magazine, which covers the talk radio industry. "Liberal talk radio works when conservatives are in power. People like to gravitate toward something that's in their interest when the power is against them."

Too bad there isn't one piece of evidence to back up this statement that proponents have produced.

So far, not one increase we've been able to find for Air America, or liberal talk stations, in these ratings.

30 March 2005

Another Threat Against Governor Gregoire

Christine Gregoire: Fishing For Sympathy?

It just isn't easy being Governor-For-Now Christine Gregoire these days. No matter how hard she tries, she can't seem to get a majority of Washington state residents to believe she was legitimately elected their governor last November.

While the election challenge filed by Republican challenger Dino Rossi winds its way through the courts, Gregoire is forced to find ways to make her political coup look kosher.

One way she's done that so far, is to apply her "Iron Lady" style to the Governor's Mansion, with all of its nastiness and bullying. She's not going to win you over with this side of her personality, she's going to mow you over!

There's another prong to her strategy, however, one that attempts to gain popularity through pathetic attempts at provoking sympathy. Call it the softer side of Christine Gregoire.

Earlier in the year the blogosphere, including Michelle Malkin, Sound Politics and The Radio Equalizer, jointly took Gregoire to task when she claimed that talk radio shows had encouraged people to threaten her life. The Washington State Patrol took extra steps to ensure her safety.

Sound Politics really pressed Gregoire's office as to what talk shows might be responsible but never got specific information. We proved here, using radio industry data, that the only man charged with threatening her lived in a remote area not served by any of Washington state's live and local talk radio programs.

At the time I thought it was rather strange that Gregoire was telling the public about her death threats. After all, it comes with the territory when one works in politics or for the media. Many have stories to tell about run-ins with unstable characters. But usually it's not a good idea to discuss them, because it only encourages more, by highlighting one's vulnerabilities.

So what was Gregoire's goal in making such a big deal about it? It simply has to be an attempt at generating sympathy for her unpopular governorship, how else can you explain that she has done it again?

This time, it's a clearly unstable woman, living near the British Columbia border, making a threat.

Previous Governor Gary Locke must have received a dozen of these types of threats every day. Did he make press statements every time? No, most of the time the public was likely never informed.

Why? Because these people have diagnosed mental illnesses and law enforcement agencies are used to dealing with such situations. Rarely are these actually motivated by politics. This is routine stuff being made into something more by a governor in political trouble.

So when Gregoire actually made a public statement about this latest incident all doubts were erased as to her intentions.

It's not going to work, Christine. You're not going to convince voters that your political opponents are trying to get you killed, even if you aren't directly making that accusation this time. Nobody believes it and they shouldn't, either.

Interesting that in the newest version of the AP story tonight, Gregoire's comments are now only indirectly referenced:

(AP via Seattle Times)

Lee Ann Linville, 44, of Birch Bay, wrote that the governor was "dead meat to God" and that "There is going to be a murder attempt on your life, your childrens lives and your husband," charging papers filed in Whatcom County Superior Court said.

Linville also claimed to have foreknowledge of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, prosecutors said. She claimed the government had stolen her money and that Gregoire should pay her $2.5 million.

From January to March, she sent 10 e-mails to the governor's office.

Gregoire said yesterday she did not know of the threats but isn't worried.

Linville's lawyer, Matt Peach, said during yesterday's hearing that his client "wants you to know that she has absolutely no history of any kind of violence against anyone or anything."

Earlier Version of AP story:

Gregoire said Monday she did not know of the threats, but added: "I am not going to be deterred by anybody who is going to launch a death threat to me. I experienced it when I was attorney general. I understand why some people fixate on an individual who presides as governor or attorney general or as president of the United States."

At least this time Gregoire left off talk radio from the list of those to blame. So maybe we're getting somewhere!

29 March 2005

Says Issue Transcends Ideology

Will Liberals Turn Against Jesse Jackson?

Jesse Jackson fueled a blaze of talk radio and blogosphere speculation about his motives today as he injected himself into the last moments of the Schiavo situation.

Essentially an echo of what conservative right-to-life advocates and liberal disabled rights activists have been screaming for months, Jackson said the level of human suffering was both unfair and cruel.

Will he have an impact on Terri Schiavo's cold-hearted so-called husband? Probably not. Some conservatives today questioned out loud whether Jackson was up to his old grandstanding tricks today.

I think he was, but for the right reasons. Jackson knew he could create new press attention and a healthy debate about the facts that the media couldn't pass off as right-wing generated.

I'm not a Jackson fan, but I like what he did, not just because I agree with his stance, but because of the cleverness of his strategy. It was sharp thinking, he threw the press for a curve and gave Terri one last bit of hope.

Let Jesse grandstand all he wants when it's in the name of what's right and fair.

The question is whether liberals will ever forgive him over this betrayal or deviation, whatever you'd like to call it.

What I want to know is why so many are set on Terri's demise? Why's it so important that Schiavo die a painful, horrible death?

Is it possible that Jackson's real motivation is to save liberalism from itself? That he sees it going off of a cliff and wants to save it and the Democrats before it's too late? Perhaps he sees the fallout from a Schiavo funeral and how it would damage his side for years to come?

(AP via My Way News- Mike Schneider)

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (AP) - As Terri Schiavo entered her 12th full day without food or water, the Rev. Jesse Jackson prayed with her parents Tuesday and joined conservatives in calling for state lawmakers to order her feeding tube reinserted.

The former Democratic presidential candidate was invited by Schiavo's parents to meet with activists outside Schiavo's hospice. His arrival was greeted by some applause and cries of "This is about civil rights!"

"I feel so passionate about this injustice being done, how unnecessary it is to deny her a feeding tube, water, not even ice to be used for her parched lips," he said. "This is a moral issue and it transcends politics and family disputes."

Jackson's visit provided an emotional boost to Schiavo's parents and siblings, who have maintained that Schiavo would want to be kept alive. Her husband, Michael Schiavo, insists he is carrying out her wishes by having the feeding tube pulled.

(AP) Demonstrator Jim Pinto of Birmingham, Ala., prays for Terri Schiavo Tuesday morning, March 29, 2005...
Full Image
"I wanted the Reverend Jackson here for moral support," said Mary Schindler, Terri Schiavo's mother. "I feel good with him here. Very strong. He gives me strength."

Starbucks Ticks Off Real Americans

Seattle-Style Liberalism A Hard Sell

The oddest thing about Seattle is that the very same people who've had great success founding and building upstart brands into national powerhouses, are primarily moronic, when it comes to politics.

It isn't just that they espouse a so-called "progressive" ideology, which when fully implemented holds back the very type of prosperity they've enjoyed, it's that they're really naive enough to believe Americans are interested in failed, Seattle-style leftist politics.

It's a ditzy, sappy, form of liberalism hard to find elsewhere outside of Scandinavian countries. Socialism, combined with puritanism, without religion, combined with an unbelievable level of ignorance about the outside world is the best way to describe it.

In this twisted, alternate universe known as Seattle, jaywalking is the ultimate crime, while addicts deserve free needles and winos need "wet houses" where they get free apartments and can drink themselves silly.

Smokers, however, deserve to be stoned to death but murderers shouldn't get the death penalty. The concept of being part of America is very fuzzy. If a referendum were held tomorrow, it's possible Seattle would vote to join British Columbia. That's no joke.

What has this stubborn philosophy done for the city? Nothing, it fails Seattle every single day.

What has always confounded me is how these companies can spend so much time expanding all over the place and not soak up at least some worldly influences. You'd think they'd never left the Capitol Hill District.

Starbucks provides one example of this type of ignorance, they've demonstrated it thoroughly, with a major marketing misstep:

New coffee cups have been introduced, with various slogans from celebrities and activists, many with a political message.

The problem? Out of 31 contributors whose quotes are used on the cups, only one is conservative. The result? Complaints to the company from befuddled Americans not accustomed to Seattle-style one-sided mind control.

Even if the quotes aren't from Seattle locals, it's meant to fit in with that local philosophy, detailed above.

It probably wouldn't have occurred to company officials, had there not been objections from American Starbucks customers, that there was a problem with leftist propaganda on their coffee cups.

Interesting that it takes a newspaper from Florida to cover it. Perhaps nobody in the Seattle media ever imagined this could be controversial:

(St. Petersburg Times- Jay Cridlin)
(Photo Credit- St Petersburg Times)
(Tip From Orbusmax)

The problem, critics say, is the company's list of overwhelmingly liberal contributors, including Al Franken, Melissa Etheridge, Quincy Jones, Chuck D. Of the 31 contributors listed on Starbucks' Web site, only one, National Review editor Jonah Goldberg, offers a conservative viewpoint.

Considering Starbucks sells millions of cups of coffee each day - some specialty drinks at $4 and up - it's no surprise some customers have complained to Starbucks' Web site, labeling the campaign "offensive" and the company a proponent of "the destruction of family values and virtues."

"I want to enjoy your product without having Earth Day Network propaganda thrust at me," wrote Malachi Salcido of East Wenatchee, Wash.

Yvette Nunez, a 27-year-old Republican from Tampa, said she hadn't noticed the quotes on her weekly caramel machiattos. On "tall" cups, the text is obscured by a cardboard sleeve.

"There are a lot of great conservative quotes, but oh well," she said. "I'm not surprised. I'm used to being under-represented."

Starbucks' founder and chairman, Howard Schultz, is a major Democratic campaign donor who last year gave $1,000 in Florida to Peter Deutsch's failed U.S. Senate campaign.

Seth Hoffman, president of the Tampa Bay Young Republicans and an occasional Starbucks drinker, said he tries to avoid buying some "liberal" products, like Ben & Jerry's ice cream. He said Starbucks should consider using more conservative voices, but if they don't, he's unlikely to stay away.

Welcome Powerpundit Readers!

28 March 2005

Harvard Has America Laughing Once Again

College Brats Furious Over Cereal Choices

It's funny to hear to hear Bay State leaders viewing "top quality" universities and hospitals, as the best way to market Massachusetts to outside companies, who might dare consider entering deep blue territory for business relocation purposes.

That's because America has recently been laughing at its best-known campus, Harvard University, for several reasons. So much for Ivy League prestige.

The flap over Larry Summers's actually quite tame attempt at kicking off a lively debate over female participation in the sciences, turned into a major faculty flap, which revealed to American how truly intolerant and intellectually stagnant the PC-dominated campus has become.

After months of bickering, Summers is hanging on by a thread, after one division gave him a rare no-confidence vote.

Even more devastating to Harvard's image, was the "controversy" over a speech by Jada Pinkett Smith, in which she told young women they could in fact have it all. Campus lesbians found the speech too "heteronormative", meaning Smith forgot to pander to ultra-sensitive special interest groups, during her discussion.

Millions of Americans went into hysterical bouts of laughter, upon sight of the "word" heteronormative, from which they have yet to emerge.

Now we get courtesy of the Boston Globe, a true sense of the state of Harvard undergrad bratdom, that reveals what really matters to them: branded breakfast cereals.

I wish I were kidding, but I'm not.

Forget Darfur refugees, right-to-life debates, global hotspots, domestic issues and other irrelevant silliness. What really matters is whether Kelloggs Frosted Flakes are available in the dining halls.

Dorm-dwelling undergrads are furious that their favorite branded cereals have been replaced by cheaper, lesser-known names. These are the kind sold at places like (gasp) Ocean State Job Lots. No doubt the brats didn't make too many trips there with their parents while growing up.

It's to the point where students have departed their Harvard Square coffee-houses, for trips into the big scary world of commoners, in search of grocery stores where they can buy Kelloggs cereals themselves. Imagine the horror!

So when the big "move to Massachusetts" (the only state losing population) marketing campaign is rolled out, I sure hope they don't mention Harvard, unless they want to give Americans another reason (previous yuk attacks have involved Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, among others) to laugh at the Bay State.

(Boston Globe- Jenn Abelson- Photo Credit- Mark Wilson)

There are some things that even a $40,000-a-year Ivy League education can't buy. At Harvard, it's Frosted Flakes and Lucky Charms.

Angry cereal fans are lashing out after Harvard University cleared its dining halls this school year of brand-name cereals, such as Fruit Loops and Cap'n Crunch, and swapped them for less expensive, apparently healthier options like Tootie Fruities and Colossal Crunch.

''I was shocked to see they had done this to our cereals," said Harvard senior Cameron Moccari, who last week launched the group ''Harvard Students for the Reimplementation of Brand-Named Cereals" on, a popular website that allows students to meet new friends or form study groups. ''They replaced all of the familiar cereals with ones that have weird names and don't taste good."

Harvard's Jeffrey Fernandez (left) and Daniel Schofield-Bodt shopped for cereals.

For Harvard sophomore Allison Kessler, it's annoying to pay more than $4,000 for a meal plan that scrimps on her favorite breakfast foods. Particularly since, Kessler, like many college students, eats cereal several times a day.

''I used to eat Lucky Charms for lunch and dinner," she said. ''The fake stuff gets real soggy, and I've just stopped eating cereal. This is not fair."

Harvard officials say student surveys showed an interest in healthier, organic products, and brand-name cereals have been slow to move in that direction. At the same time, the major cereal companies are raising prices about 8 percent to 10 percent per year, more than double the rate for natural and lesser-known cereals, according to Jami M. Snyder, a spokeswoman for Harvard University Dining Services. ''We have a responsibility to spend their dollars wisely," Snyder said.

Harvard has reduced its six-figure cereal budget by 25 percent this academic year since shelving most brand-name cereals, including Apple Jacks, Cheerios, and Frosted Flakes.

26 March 2005

Was Shooting Suspect Inspired by Canadian Tribal Leader?

Jeff Weise Not The Only Native American With Nazi Sympathies
By Brian Maloney

(With new update)

Jeffrey Weise at age 9

If Americans today are perplexed, trying to fathom how a young tribal member in northern Minnesota could kill 10 people, including himself, it might help to revisit a news story from 2002.

Although it might seem illogical, 17-year-old Jeff Weise hasn't been the only Native American to express Nazi sympathies.
Could he have been inspired by a Canadian aboriginal leader who publicly expressed similar views two years ago?

The evidence so far is circumstantial, but worth investigating further.

A firestorm erupted across Canada in December 2002 when Dr. David Ahenakew told a reporter from the
Saskatoon Star Phoenix in Saskatchewan that Hitler "fried six million Jews" to keep them from taking over Europe. “

"That’'s why he fried six million of those guys, you know. Jews would have owned the goddamned world. And look what they'’re doing. They'’re killing people in Arab countries,"” Ahenakew was quoted as saying.

No ordinary tribal member, he's the former
chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and the Assembly of First Nations, according to Indian Country Today.

Certainly, Ahenakew's comments were made hundreds of miles away from Weise's home at the Red Lake Indian Reservation, home to a band of Chippewa Indians, most of which is a relatively short distance from the Manitoba border.

It's much closer to Winnipeg than Minneapolis, and a portion of it actually straddles Manitoba, while another section touches Ontario.
With the kind of open border that still exists between Canada and the US, particularly in the Midwest region, it's likely that Ahenakew's statements were known to Red Lake members. Could this be when the seed was first planted in the teen's mind?

Weise's first public expressions of Nazi sympathies on the Internet date to March 2004, how long he had previously maintained them is not known.
In April 2004, officials questioned him over a rumored plan to commit a shooting at the school to coincide with Hitler's birthday, but according to the Guardian of London, the investigation was dropped without Weise facing punishment or restrictions.

This would suggest his sentiments date back further, as it's hard to imagine he'd come anywhere near that point overnight.
Even though Canadian press coverage completely condemned Ahenakew, even demanding he be stripped of his prestigious Order of Canada membership, a 2003 study by the League For Human Rights of B'nai Brith of Canada found a surge of anti-Semitic incidents across Canada in the three months following Ahenakew's infamous comments.

Their contention is that negative press coverage of such statements can actually have the opposite effect, opening the door to pent-up hostility, turned on like a light switch.
Internet comments made by Weise indicate not only sympathy for Nazi atrocities, but outrage with "racial impurity" being exhibited by his peers on the reservation.

It could very well prove to be the motivating factor for his homicidal massacre. According to the Guardian, Weise found compatible neo-Nazi beliefs that didn't seem to conflict with his tribal identity through the Libertarian National Socialist Green party, which runs the website.

An email sent today to a tribal spokesperson asking about any possible connection to Ahenakew's statements has so far not been returned. A note at Red Lake's website says long delays will meet all media inquiries.

Even though nothing yet connects the two incidents other than circumstantial coincidences of geography and time, Weise acquired neo-Nazi philosophies, twisted and warped to be compatible with tribal beliefs, that originated somewhere.

In one Internet post to fellow LNSG supporters, Weise expresses surprise that fellow participants hadn't heard of other Native American fascists, as he obviously had:


Title: Re: Native American Nationalists?
Post by NativeNazi on Jul 19th, 2004, 11:33am

Apparently a lot of people have never heard of a Native American National Socialist, which surprises me.

I think most people on this Reservation would respond well to the racial question if it was disguised.

For example, if I asked your average teenager on this reservation: “Are you proud to be Native?” The answer I would get is, “hell yeah dawg.”

Now for some reason, I would find myself asking “if you’re so proud to be Native, then why do you walk, talk, act, and dress like an African American?”

But I always refrain from doing so.


Is he indirectly referring to Dr. Ahenakew in that first sentence? He makes it clear that he's not one of a kind. Who else could he be mentioning? Dr. Ahenakew isn't known to have ties to this particular party, but clearly shares its views.

Weise was easy prey for these groups, with a troubled family history and his forced exclusion from school, due to unspecified violations of policy. It's not clear whether the April 2004 questioning resulting in this removal, press accounts differ.

The LNSG Party certainly played its part, but Dr. Ahenakew is the one regional role model Weise could potentially look to that shared both the fascist beliefs and ethnic identity tied together in a compatible package.

There simply must be an examination of whether Ahenakew's fascist public sentiments reached a young mind and ultimately encouraged this horrible massacre. Let's find out now, before we learn the hard way that other young Native Americans have joined this demented cause.

Weekend update: Red Lake Tribal Spokesperson M. Barrett contacts The Radio Equalizer to say that this will be looked into further.

I'm concerned that with such a busy news week, this story and its impacts on our children, wasn't sufficiently discussed. The provocations for Weise's attack have since been blamed by the media on a whole host of issues, from Prozac to family problems.

But isn't this exactly the kind of young person that fringe groups can most easily influence? Let's examine that more closely to prevent the next incident.

Red Faces At Logan Airport

Illegals Had Access To Terminal Areas

After Logan Airport's embarrassing role as a departure point for 9-11 terrorists, you'd think it would have the tightest security in the world. But it doesn't.

As the Boston Herald reports in Saturday editions, 14 suspected illegals have been rounded up, one with a outstanding felony warrant.

To me their country of origin is irrelevant. Illegals are illegals and at this point there's no excuse for any to be found at Logan. In this case they're from Brazil.

Note the airport's outrageous complicity in a scheme with a private contractor to sidestep normal procedures on documents and background checks, as reported in the Herald.

These revelations truly make one wonder how many other areas of lax security are yet to be discovered. It doesn't appear that Logan officials have changed much since 9-11.

(Boston Herald-O'Ryan Johnson)

In what amounts to the largest security breach at Logan International Airport since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, more than a dozen illegal immigrants with unfettered access to the terminal - and possibly beyond - were arrested at the airport yesterday, according to a source and federal officials.
The 14 Brazilian nationals - 12 men and women, and two juveniles - worked as airport janitors for Hurley of America, a company with offices in Stoneham, officials said. One of the men was wanted on a fugitive warrant for evading deportation.

State police and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested the aliens in a sweep early yesterday morning as part of an ongoing investigation by Homeland Security into an illegal worker scheme at Logan International Airport, said Jane Zuieback, spokeswoman for ICE.
In an arrangement with the airport, Hurley issued its own temporary security badges to employees, side-stepping checks on workers' documents and backgrounds, an immigration source said.

Welcome Orbusmax Readers!

25 March 2005

Chinese Government Okay With Overt Hate Speech

Racism Greets Rice in China

Secretary of State Condolezza Rice got a taste of horrendous anti-black attitudes in Asia, at least via the Internet, as she visted China.

On a major Chinese Internet discussion site, almost all of the posts were hostile and at least 10% of them expressed outright racism of a kind that would be confined to neo-nazi sites in America, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Chinese government, ordinarily so quick to censor the Internet, made no effort to stop overtly racist, hate-filled comments about Rice.

There's speculation it may be China's way of deflecting anger toward America and away from sticky issues involving Hong Kong's local government becoming more assertive and other growing internal tensions.

Rice was especially diplomatic during her visit, keeping the rhetoric toned down, but that didn't stop China's government from using her for political target practice.

Isn't it interesting how America is the one always taking heat for racism, the truth is that it's one of the more tolerant places in the world, despite its shortcomings. It can be shockingly overt in most countries.

Some Free Republic posters, only half-jokingly, thought the comments on the Chinese board reminded them of the past rantings of Sen. Robert Byrd.

What bothers me is that this so far only seems to have been covered in Australia. Why wasn't the American media interested?

(Sydney Morning Herald-Hamish McDonald)

"How come the United States selects a female chimpanzee as Secretary of State?"

"This black woman thinks rather a lot of herself."

"She's so ugly she's losing face. Even a dog would be put off its dinner while she's being fed."

The 5000 years of civilisation on which the Chinese pride themselves were not so evident this week in the comments on Condoleezza Rice's visit to Beijing posted on the internet site "New Tide Net".

As monitored by the media analyst Liu Xiaobo, the overall tone of the 800 postings was hostile and about 10 per cent were racist, sexist or both, reflecting what Mr Liu calls a pervasive phobia here about dark-skinned races.

Similar undercurrents well up in neighbouring South Korea and Japan, which Dr Rice also visited on her introductory Asian tour as Washington's foreign minister.

Although Dr Rice's public comments here about the touchy subjects of Taiwan, North Korea and China's domestic freedoms were restrained, the visit capped a frustrating episode for the leadership.

What We Know Now

Time For Action, Jeb, Now!

Here's what we know now:

---Jeb Bush needs to personally take action, NOW. By that I mean head down to the facility himself with water for Terri. Let's see the police arrest the governor the way they've put these 10-year-olds in cuffs the last few days.

---It doesn't matter if 99% of the American people want Terri Schiavo dead. Tyranny of the majority is still tyranny. It's not about polls, it's about right and wrong.

---Police officers arresting children with glasses of water may be following orders but they're no better than the criminals they would ordinarily be pursuing. When your superiors are demanding that you aid and abet state-sponsored murder, you have no choice but to refuse to carry out such demands.

---If liberals can truly feel good about themselves after Terri's death, then I hope they do leave this country once and for all. What makes them feel especially good? Knowing they still control the judiciary.

County Courts Repeatedly Let Criminal Abuser Walk

Why Wasn't Aurora Avenue's Demolition Man in Jail?

When domestic violence spills out into the streets and injures innocent bystanders, it's officially time to stop ignoring it.

No longer can we say that it's not our business because it takes place behind closed doors. These guys are getting downright bold. This one had no fear and posed a grave danger to the public.

It would be easy to chalk this up to one madman, but there have been so many incidents in recent years, particularly in the Puget Sound area.

The bigger question, of course, is why courts in Snohomish and King Counties have let this menace go free so many times.

This perp's done everything under the sun: convictions for domestic violence three times in Edmonds this past year alone, multiple evictions for non-payment of rent, forged checks, you name it.

Amazing there are people still willing to rent to this guy!

He's been a no-show in court a whopping 12 times!

Could you get away with this even once? How did he?

Most fascinating: the phony check got him four months in King County Jail, while the three domestic violence convictions in Snohomish County obviously didn't result in much, if any, jail time.

He's been right back out on the street each time.

Now four people are in the hospital, plus six cars smashed up, after his cake-topper on Aurora Avenue north of Seattle, because of this menace. A 10-block chase after his ex-girlfriend, waving a BB gun, created this daytime mess.

Even after seriously injuring her, he got out of the car to scream at her some more. Apparently he wasn't done venting.

It took this extraordinary incident to finally see this thug, so far unnamed by the papers, see a significant bail amount imposed.

In a week where the need for judicial reform has never been more clear, it's time for liberals to think about the end result of the soft-on-crime morons they elect time and again.

This would also be a great time for the Seattle Times and Post-Intelligencer to review their policies of leaving such suspects unnamed until charges are filed. The fact that he has so many prior convictions makes it important for the readers to know his name at the time the incident is first reported to the public.

(Seattle Times-Sarah Jean Green)

Yesterday, King County District Court Judge Sue Noonan said she was granting a prosecutor's request to set bail at $750,000 because of the man's "extraordinarily dangerous conduct." He is being held in the King County Jail on suspicion of domestic-violence assault and three counts of vehicular assault, jail records show. Prosecutors have until Monday to charge him.

The Seattle Times usually does not name criminal suspects before charges are filed.

Just after 2 p.m. Wednesday, the 39-year-old man began chasing his 43-year-old ex-girlfriend as they both drove in separate pickups on Aurora Avenue North in Shoreline. The chase started near the intersection with South 185th Street and ended 10 blocks to the north with a multi-vehicle crash that sent the man's ex-girlfriend and three other drivers to area hospitals, said King County sheriff's Sgt. John Urquhart.

During the chase, the man apparently pointed a BB rifle at his ex-girlfriend and used his vehicle to bump her vehicle, Urquhart said. He is accused of then forcing the woman's truck into oncoming traffic, setting off a chain-reaction wreck involving five other vehicles. Immediately after the crash, witnesses told investigators the man went up to the woman's vehicle and was screaming and swearing at her as she lay seriously injured in her mangled 1983 Ford pickup.

The ex-girlfriend, who is from Edmonds, and a 59-year-old Everett woman are both in serious condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, a hospital spokeswoman said. Two men, a 43-year-old from Edmonds and a 21-year-old from Seattle, were treated and released Wednesday night from Northwest Hospital & Medical Center in North Seattle, a nursing supervisor said. A 78-year-old Edmonds man was treated at the scene.

24 March 2005

"One-Dollar Girls" Face Exploitation

More UN Wrongdoing, Liberals Defend Agency

Have you noticed that the very same "progressives" who slam the US for every supposed instance of wrongdoing, are silent when it comes to constant fraud and abusive actions, by UN troops and officials all over the world?

In fact it's surprising to see the Washington Post taking the initiative to write such a story.

Many girls in Kabila's war-ravaged Congo are in such bad shape they're willing to sell themselves for a glass of milk. A dollar's the best they can hope for from obviously generous UN peacekeepers and officials.

Like the Oil-For-Food Scandal, this is another UN atrocity that liberals are busy pretending isn't happening. Their utopian ideal of global government is much more important than the welfare of starving girls in Congo.

Expect the silence to continue from Ted Turner and all the other UN apologists.

(Emily Wax, Washington Post via Seattle Times)

BUNIA, Congo — She's known in the community as a "one-dollar U.N. girl." At night, she sleeps on the cracked pavement outside a storefront. In the mornings, she sashays through the dusty streets, clutching a frayed parasol against the blinding sun.

Yvette and her friends are also called kidogo usharatis, Swahili for small prostitutes. They loiter outside the camps of U.N. peacekeepers, hoping to sell their bodies for a mug of milk, a cold soda or — best of all — a single dollar.

"I'm sad about it. But I needed the dollars. I can't go farm because of the militias. Who will feed me?" asked Yvette. At 14, she has a round face with wide eyes beneath a cap of neatly shorn hair, and her hands rest on her hips in an older girl's pose.

Racist Tyrant Mugabe Fears Imprisoned MP

Is Roy Bennett Zimbabwe's Most Unlikely Hero?
Americans Shouldn't Ignore This Struggle For Freedom

One of the most hopeful signs for Zimbabwe's future is that many of its people openly reject the racist propaganda regularly trumpeted by the brutal and thuggish President Robert Mugabe.

After Mugabe confiscated successful white-owned farms in the name of racial equality, he handed them over to friends and supporters of his ZANU-PF party. The result was a disaster, with most of the land now without crops, many jobs lost and the Zimbabwean economy in a disastrous state.

For this and other dubious distinctions, Parade Magazine placed Mugabe on their annual list of the world's worst 10 dictators.

Zimbabwe MP Roy Bennett
Bennett says he was provoked by a racist verbal attack
(BBC-AP Photo)

Many have fled the country, whites and blacks alike, but not the Bennett family.

As the once modern, well-educated, and stable parliamentary democracy deteriorated into a brutal, repressive and backward state, Roy and Heather Bennett stayed behind to fight for a better future.

That's quite a patriotic commitment given that Mugabe seized their farm along with the others. The Bennett family lost everything they'd owned.

As one of three whites in Zimbabwe's Parliament, Roy Bennett enjoys broad support among his mostly black constituents.

Why? Because his voters know it's about freedom, food on the table and hope for tomorrow, not Mugabe's racism and oppression. Bennett is a Movement For Democratic Change (opposition party) backbencher.

Mugabe has worked hard to punish Bennett for his political success, using his crooked ZANU-PF cronies in parliament to vote to place him in jail, after a floor fight Bennett maintains was part of a set-up.

Now Mugabe is trying to bar Bennett from running again from prison, but a high court ruling giving him a green light has the dictator fuming and working to undo it.

That's a judge in need of a bullet-proof vest, fast.

The MDC is gearing up to run Heather Bennett for the most immediate balloting. The judge's ruling sets a special election for this particular constituency for the end of April.

As freedom-loving Americans, we need to pay closer attention to what's going on in Zimbabwe, as its people struggle for food, freedom and to maintain hope for the future.

(BBC News- 23 March 2005)

Zimbabwe's election authority is fighting a court ruling that allows a jailed opposition MP to run in parliamentary elections this month.

Roy Bennett, who is one of three white Zimbabwean MPs, is serving a one-year sentence for assaulting a minister during a debate in parliament.

An electoral court judge last week found Bennett met all the criteria to stand as a candidate from prison.

But President Robert Mugabe said his government would contest the decision.

The electoral court had also ruled that the vote should be put off until 30 April in the eastern district of Chimanimani, where Bennett won a seat in the 2000 elections, so he could campaign.

Bennett, 48, is one of the most prominent candidates of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the largest opposition party.

Mr Mugabe, who branded the ruling "stupid", said the country could not be "held ransom by a man who is in prison".


Bennett's farm has been confiscated by the government under a scheme to give white people's land to poor blacks.

A spokesman for the MDC, Paul Themba-Nyathi, said the party was "shocked" by the appeal from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission - allegedly an independent body.

"It places [the commission] in an invidious position regarding its neutrality in this election," he said of the appeal.

23 March 2005

Today's Blog Action

Home Runs From Michelle Malkin

Among them today: further details on the Power Line report casting doubt on the validity of the supposed "Republican memo" spelling out political gains to be made from exploiting Terri Schiavo's situation. Note the Boston Globe as a partner in crime:

In an editorial titled "Exploiting Terri Schiavo," the Boston Globe says the memo was distributed by "Republican leaders." The Globe attributes this information to the two MSM outlets that broke the story: ABC News and the Post.

But neither ABC News nor the Post is saying who wrote and circulated the memo. Indeed, despite an ABC News headline characterizing the memo as "GOP talking points," I haven't been able to find a single instance in which any ABC News or Post reporter stated unequivocally that the memo was written by someone affiliated with the Republican Party.

ABC's Linda Douglass, who first broke the story on Friday March 18, said only that "ABC News has obtained talking points circulated among Republican Senators, explaining why they should vote to intervene in the Schiavo case...."

Charles Babington and Mike Allen of the Post wrote on Monday March 21 that Sen. Bill Frist "denounced an unsigned memo circulated to Republican lawmakers over the weekend...."

Captain Ed's Internet Libel Warning

At Captain's Quarters, Cap'n Ed reveals how British courts are asserting jurisdiction over the entire Internet for purposes of libel and slander suits, where the legal burden is essentially on the defendant to prove he or she didn't defame the plaintiff.

Therefore, a publication distributed entirely outside of the UK could still fall under the court's jurisdiction, if it's available in the country via the Internet.

God help us if the Canadians do this too, or we will face group libel suits for defaming vegans, environmentalists, gay activists, or whoever else wants to sue us, using the courts of an unfree country like Canada.

Teddy Pulls Some Strings

At MassRight, word is out about how Ted Kennedy tried to pull strings to get top-notch medical care for an ailing Boston Globe columnist. Tom Oliphant was already on the way to a better hospital, so Teddy's help turned out to be unneeded.


Matt at Martini Pundit reveals the price of insulting a colleague in Saudi Arabia: 200 lashes.

Voting, Hillary-Style

Georgia's Considerettes ponder the election day damage that could be done by Hurricane Hillary.

Fun Viewing

The Museum of Left Wing Lunacy can't wait to see the new HBO expose on Air America.

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