Biden’s Latest Policy Failure: West Africa

Newsweek – While the Biden administration’s feckless foreign policy team continues to flounder in the Middle East, in sub-Saharan Africa it has invited humiliations of historic proportions. In March, the government of Niger, a military junta that overthrew that country’s democratic government in July 2023, demanded that the United States remove its troop presence, which consists of 1,100 Army and Air Force personnel mostly stationed at a $110 million base built just six years ago.

Last-minute diplomatic attempts to reverse Niger’s decision failed. On April 19, Biden’s State Department acknowledged that the decision was final and that the withdrawal will be faithfully carried out. Just before the final agreement was reached, neighboring Chad demanded that a smaller but significant deployment of U.S. forces in that country leave, and threatened to cancel a standing agreement governing U.S. deployments there.

Until Niger changed governments last year, American military personnel in the country had engaged in successful anti-terrorism operations via drone deployments and joint patrols with the Nigerien armed forces. After the July revolt, however, the Biden administration suspended much of the U.S. military cooperation, citing Niger’s lack of democratic government. Last October, the State Department provocatively declared the change in government a “coup.” Under U.S. policy, this measure required the full suspension of all U.S. military operations in the country, except for self-defense, and resulted in a $500 million reduction in non-humanitarian foreign aid. The State Department also affirmed that its highest objective is the restoration of Niger’s democratic government, presumably over counterterrorism operations.

That sat poorly with the junta, which responded by declaring the U.S. military presence “illegal” and demanding its withdrawal. Its decision has been supported by popular protests in Niger’s capital, Niamey. Earlier, the junta had expelled a French deployment of about 1,500 troops, as well as the French ambassador, citing France’s colonial past in the country. French forces and diplomatic representatives in Mali and Burkina Faso have also been expelled in recent years.

The 1,100 U.S. personnel in Niger have idled for months, even as the country and the larger Sahel region—where six other national governments have been overthrown in the last three and a half years—have become increasingly destabilized and dangerous. Niger has rejected or not responded to requests for military overflights that would allow U.S. personnel in the country to leave or new personnel to arrive. Attacks by ISIS and al Qaeda affiliates in Niger increased fourfold in the month after the July coup alone, in the absence of the joint U.S.-Nigerien military efforts.

“The Americans deployed here have not been able to perform their primary mission and have been told to ‘sit and hold,'” wrote an anonymous serviceman stationed in Niger in a whistleblower letter to Congress published by the Washington Post last month. Referring to the prolonged diplomacy and lack of flight clearances, the whistleblower added that U.S. servicemen “are essentially being held hostage from returning home to their families while the State Department continues with failed diplomacy.” The author specifically blamed U.S. Ambassador Kathleen FitzGibbon and her defense attaché, Colonel Nora J. Nelson-Richter, for having allegedly “suppressed intelligence information” and “failed to be transparent” with U.S. personnel in Niger, potentially leaving them exposed to serious danger.

The rot goes much higher, however. “The administration’s distracted, sputtering performance in Africa is having painful consequences for our priorities,” says Alberto Fernandez, a retired U.S. diplomat who served as ambassador to Equatorial Guinea and is currently vice president of the Middle East Media Research Institute.

As terrorist forces revive, national governments in West Africa are looking to Russia to fill the gap. Unlike Washington under Biden, Moscow takes no position on the nature of national governments and does not predicate military cooperation on democracy.

While Russia’s paramilitary Wagner Group has operated in Africa since 2017, its deployments to the Sahel have increased since Biden entered office, recently replacing the French in Mali and Burkina Faso.

Even before the departure of U.S. troops from Chad and Niger, the governments of those countries began inviting the Russians in—”taking advantage,” as former U.S. special envoy to the Sahel J. Peter Pham told me, “of an opening creating by the Biden administration’s ham-fisted approach.”

According to Chadian media, 130 Wagner mercenaries arrived in that country in late April. Last week, an unspecified number of Russian troops arrived in Niger, ostensibly for “training” purposes. In a bizarre changing of the guard, they are being housed alongside, but separately from, American servicemen at a soon-to-be-former U.S. airbase adjacent to Niamey’s airport.

Worrying reports also hold that Iranian agents are in the country seeking uranium rights in exchange for military exports. Predictably in the current climate, U.S. efforts to stymie the deal have reportedly failed.

U.S. Marine Corps General Michael E. Langley, who commands AFRICOM—headquartered in faraway Stuttgart, Germany—told the Senate Armed Services Committee in March that Russia is “trying to take over central Africa as well as the Sahel” at an “accelerated pace.” That’s hard to deny, but the acceleration comes courtesy of Joseph R. Biden and his execrable foreign policy team.

Abolishing Diversity Statements Is an Empty Gesture at MIT

Chronicles – Last week, media reports revealed that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will no longer require diversity statements in faculty hiring. The news did not break in a proud official press release from that institution, but in response to an e-mail inquiry to MIT from the journalist John Sailer, who published excerpts from the reply he received from an MIT spokesman.

In use since the late 2010s and now required by almost half of large universities, diversity statements have become an element of applications for many university professorships. They can also be required at later career stages, including in applications for promotion and tenure. Some graduate study programs require them for prospective students. The relevant instructions typically ask applicants how they conceive of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and what proactive steps they have taken, are taking, and plan to take to promote the controversial ideology in their work.

Critics of the practice hold that it is a political litmus test used to ensure ideological conformity on college campuses. A 2020 report revealed that 76 percent of applicants for professorships across eight life science programs at the University of California, Berkeley, for example, were disqualified on the basis of their diversity statements alone, ahead of any consideration of their academic qualifications. That same year, a study of the practice at the University of California, Davis suggested that this was true for more than half of applicants to certain schools at that institution. State legislatures in Florida, Texas, Utah, and Idaho have banned the practice, with other states following suit.

Even supporters of diversity statements, including the dean at Berkeley’s law school, Erwin Chemerinsky—recently in the news for an embarrassing video in which he objected to a pro-Palestinian protest speech at a dinner he hosted at his private home—have said they believe such statements can be misused. Chemerinsky should know. In September 2023, The New York Times reported that a psychology professor primed to join the Berkeley faculty who submitted the required diversity statement was rejected after graduate students objected to him for having questioned years before whether diversity statements should be used.

MIT’s decision to abandon the practice came from its embattled president Sally Kornbluth, supported by MIT’s provost, chancellor, and all six academic deans. In a widely quoted statement, Kornbluth said, “We can build an inclusive environment in many ways, but compelled statements impinge on freedom of expression, and they don’t work.”

Last December, Kornbluth appeared alongside former Harvard president Claudine Gay and former University of Pennsylvania president Liz Magill in a congressional hearing in which all three infamously testified that “context” would determine whether it was acceptable to call for the deaths of Jews on campus. Gay and Magill subsequently resigned from their posts after massive public outcries. Earlier this week, so did former Cornell University president Martha Pollack, who said she was retiring amid similar objections.

Kornbluth did not indicate why diversity statements “don’t work,” but there is no indication that she has seen the light. Even if diversity statements are out, DEI appears to be at MIT to stay. A survey of its website indicates that virtually every division continues to incorporate the concept at a fundamental level, guided by an institution-wide “strategic action plan” that announces more than 50 DEI-related “actions” to unfold by 2027. There is no indication that the plan has been scrapped, suspended, or subjected to even the slightest critical scrutiny.

Even before MIT introduced its DEI-infused strategic action plan, it employed DEI deans in all six of its main schools. Notably, two of those individuals, Tracie Jones-Barrett, initially of MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences and now deputy DEI chief for all of MIT, and Alana Anderson, formerly of MIT’s Schwarzman College of Computing (she voluntarily left MIT in 2023 for a private-sector DEI job), stand accused of plagiarism in a 71-page complaint filed on Saturday and excerpted in the Free Beacon. The allegations include information strongly suggesting that they copied entire passages without attribution for their doctoral dissertations. In Jones-Barrett’s case, this extended to her section on “ethical considerations.”

MIT has yet to comment on the plagiarism allegations, but its “Institute Equity and Community Office” employs 16 individuals who work on what appears to be exclusively DEI programing. Only four of them are male, only two appear to be white, and just one appears to be a white male. MIT’s Human Resources Office separately offers an exhaustive list of “resources” specifically intended “to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)” and insists that DEI is “necessary for a full realization of the potential of any group and organization.” MIT’s Discrimination & Harassment Response Office lists not merely a (female) Title IX coordinator, but 13 Deputy Title IX coordinators, only two of whom are male.

Virtually all MIT departments include thorough DEI programming. The Department of Mechanical Engineering’s website says that it “has pledged to develop and implement actions that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in our students, faculty, and staff” and includes a lengthy departmental strategic action plan intended “to build a community that is actively anti-racist.” The department also intends to raise over $500,000 for “DEI and mentorship programs” and additional funds for “underrepresented group (URG)-focused fellowships to increase graduate student diversity.” It commits further resources to “attract and retain” underrepresented faculty and staff. There seems to be no internal debate about whether these initiatives might violate non-discrimination laws, laws against affirmative action hiring, or last June’s Supreme Court ruling banning the use of race in college admissions.

Over in MIT’s Biology Department, “Diversity” is the first item in a drop-down list under “About.” Clicking on it reveals that the department “promotes diversity and inclusion as one of our core values.” This is no idle platitude. The department employs a full-time “diversity officer” who has no apparent training in science but does hold a master’s degree in “community engagement,” as well as a separate “Director of Diversity and Science Outreach.” The department also has an in-house DEI Council and a separate Faculty DEI Committee. Yet another departmental initiative recruits post-doctoral fellows from underrepresented backgrounds to the department, again without any apparent consideration of relevant anti-discrimination laws and rulings. The Biology Department publishes an annual diversity report, but, perhaps tellingly, access is restricted to MIT community members.

MIT’s Sloan School of Management is ranked among the nation’s most prestigious business schools. “Diversity” is the second tab on its website. Clicking reveals a lengthy section claiming that “systemic challenges require systemic solutions” and calling on “the MIT community to develop a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive working and learning environment.” Like MIT’s other major schools, Sloan employs a DEI dean, who appears to be an academic sociologist with no degrees in business. It also employs an “Associate Dean for Innovation and Inclusion,” who appears to hold degrees in applied science but, like her colleague, no academic business credentials. Sloan’s publicly accessible annual report describes “a wide variety of projects and activities to build diversity, equity, and inclusion across all parts of the MIT Sloan community” and aims to make DEI a permanent feature of the business school’s landscape.

These are only three examples, but a search of all MIT programs yields largely the same DEI-drenched results. Diversity statements may be out, but unless and until Sally Kornbluth ousts DEI from all other areas of her troubled institution—as the University of North Carolina’s Board of Trustees did on Monday—she has no business leading it and should resign or be removed in disgrace.

Confused Ivy League Presidents Should Look to the Sunshine State

Chronicles  – “The University of Florida is not a daycare,” declared Steve Orlando, a spokesman for the flagship institution of the state’s public university system—consistently rated the country’s best—in an official statement released Monday evening. “We do not treat protesters like children,” he continued, “they knew the rules, they broke the rules, and they will face the consequences.”

Late last week, UF’s student office issued a simple one-page directive advising pro-Hamas protesters that while their First Amendment rights of free speech and assembly will be respected, disrupting university operations will not be tolerated, and instead, will be subject to swift disciplinary action. Offenders who block access to campus, occupy public spaces, violate Florida trespassing and public nuisance laws, or commit harassment or assault can expect to be arrested, barred from campus for three years, and—if they are enrolled students—suspended for the duration of that time. Faculty and staff members who violate the rules can likewise be banned from campus and “separated from employment.”

This falls somewhat short of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s earlier public call for disruptive student protesters to be expelled and, if they are foreign citizens present on student visas, deported. But the point was clear.

When protesters tested UF’s resolve on Monday, law enforcement moved in after giving final warnings. The campus police and Florida Highway Patrol officers arrested nine people on charges including failure to obey a lawful command, resisting arrest without violence, and, in one case, battery. Their names and mugshots were released to the media.

UF has confirmed that they have all been banned from campus for three years. That same day, at the University of South Florida, three more protesters were arrested at a demonstration organized by the local chapter of Students for a Democratic Society, a campus organization that previously had been suspended and thereby lost its right to organize campus activities. On Tuesday evening, 10 more USF protestors were arrested. Other protests on Florida’s public college campuses have unfolded without serious contention.

Compare this highly effective balance of constitutional rights and public order at Florida’s state institutions to the multiplying disasters that were once our nation’s most prestigious universities. Inside their crumbling ivory towers, radical students and faculty members alike are now seizing buildings, harassing Jews, assaulting police officers and journalists, and blocking access to study, while weak-kneed administrators cower in their offices issuing meaningless directives and threatening consequences that most often never materialize, though some universities have, under considerable public pressure, removed encampments and authorized police action.

Many of our once-elite institutions are reaping the whirlwind they have sown. They are overrun with dubious “activist-scholars,” they’ve admitted students for ideological conformity and racial box-checking rather than demonstrated academic ability, and they’ve filled their staff rosters with worthless diversity, equity, and inclusion personnel. If the demonstrations over the past days have proved anything, it is that the progressive left has no respect for education, no interest in dialogue, and zero tolerance for any opinion other than its own. The liberal administrators twisted the concept of basic fairness to let these malign and disturbed individuals pass their gates. They have neither the courage nor the scruples to challenge them and would rather watch their facilities be smashed and their honest charges live in fear than avail themselves of basic laws, property rights, and police protection.

If these vaunted institutions truly were possessed of open minds and strategic sense, they would look to Florida’s thriving universities and at least mimic their constitutionally minded resolve.

“Columbia will burn,” wrote pro-Hamas protestors at New York City’s Ivy League institution, in mockery of an earlier communication from Columbia President Nemat Shafik telling them to remove their campus encampment. She at least appears to be looking to Florida for guidance. Whether she stays the course or not, there’s no danger that her counterparts in Florida will let their universities burn.

Biden’s new Title IX rules prove it’s time for the DOE to be DOA

New York Post – Biological males in girls’ bathrooms and dorms?

Sanctions if you don’t use somebody’s preferred pronouns?

Bringing back kangaroo courts for your sons, brothers and fathers?

These are only some of the new Title IX rules dictated to you by the US Department of Education’s unelected and unaccountable Office for Civil Rights, which released them at 5 a.m. Friday — right in the middle of school spring break season, when its radical-left apparatchiks knew hardly anyone would be watching.

Three years in the making, the new rules fulfill President Biden’s campaign promise to put a “quick end” to the limited protections Trump administration Education Secretary Betsy DeVos introduced in 2020.

The process was overseen by Assistant Secretary of Education Catherine Lhamon, a radical feminist attorney who held the same post under President Barack Obama.

In those days, Obama deputized then-Vice President Biden to manage a grotesque expansion of Title IX to create vast campus bureaucracies to police language, behavior and sexual initiative and trash 1,000 years of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence.

Initiated in 2011, that Title IX enlargement has led to hundreds of lawsuits filed almost entirely by male respondents alleging unlawful discrimination, defamation, breach of contract and other torts.

Most have been successful and resulted in large settlements or judgments against our already-failing institutions.

According to a report in the Chronicle of Higher Education, academia’s leftist professional rag, Title IX “coordinators” — DEI bureaucrats hired at above-average salaries to run campus sex Gestapos — report well-deserved high rates of stress, ostracism and burnout.

In some surveys, as many as 91% of Americans, including even liberal luminaries like late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, believe Title IX went too far then. (Even Obama, criticizing wokeness and cancel culture in 2019, said, “The world is messy; there are ambiguities.”)

But it’s back — with a vengeance.

DeVos, whose reforms were far from comprehensive in restoring basic rights to the accused on campus, characterized Biden’s overhaul as a “radical rewrite” that “guts the half century of protections and opportunities for women” and an “endeavor born entirely of progressive politics, not sound policy.”

The big news is that Biden’s Title IX rules for the first time expand the definition of “sex” to include sexual orientation and transgender identity.

These factors were never considered in the original civil rights legislation decades ago or at any time since, but their inclusion purportedly harmonizes Education Department dictates with a 2020 Supreme Court ruling that found sexual orientation and gender identity are protected characteristics under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Team Biden had planned to go further and outlaw school bans on transgender students playing on opposite-birth-gender sports teams, but that didn’t make the final cut — it’s a highly unpopular position that could endanger the larger project as well as Biden’s struggling re-election bid. It’ll likely be resurrected if the president wins a second term.

Just as nefariously, the rules restore Obama-era restrictions on access to counsel, evidence, cross-examination, hearings and other time-honored protections for the accused, whose guilt or innocence must in most cases be determined by a shifty “preponderance of the evidence” standard.

If that sounds unfair, remember that it is all brought to you by a notoriously wasteful $79 billion bureaucracy employing more than 4,400 feds whose mission in life is to control what and how your kids learn — whether you like it or not and without any constitutional basis.

Since the Department of Education’s establishment in 1980, its record has been a 44-year cavalcade of failure, reducing the world’s number-one educational system — which did just fine without it for more than two centuries — to an embarrassing 33rd place in those completing higher education.

Our math and reading scores rank merely in the middle among developed countries.

Now the Education Department wants to re-empower an army of perverts and ideologues to deprive our educational communities of basic rights and enforce radical gender ideology over your kids — all while you suckers pay for it.

The time for abolition has come.

Anti-Israel protesters are disrupting our way of life and have to stop causing chaos

New York PostInterrupting a dean’s dinner at the University of California, Berkeley.

Blocking the Golden Gate and Brooklyn bridges.

Shutting down Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal.

Anti-Israel protesters think they are making a bold political statement, but they’re really just making everyone angry.

“Do you think I care?” screamed one angry California motorist trapped on the Golden Gate Bridge after getting out of his car to confront the activists, showing just how little he thinks of their malign cause.

According to Pew Research Center, only 22% of Americans believe Hamas’ reasons for fighting Israel are in any way valid.

Just 5% believe the Iran-funded radical terrorist organization’s brutal Oct. 7 assault on Israel was “acceptable.”

It boggles the mind that the infantile narcissists blocking our nation’s roads and bridges can possibly imagine that even Americans concerned with ­humanitarian issues in Gaza would feel in any way good about mass disruption of their daily routines, including commutes to work and school, to accommodate a political message that strikes most of us as pro-terrorist.

As the whole world and especially our nation’s already beleaguered commuters have now seen, by imposing their hateful views on our right to go about our business in peace, they are also explicitly anti-American.

If you have any doubts about that, check out the viral videos showing malicious Chicago activists training their cohorts how to chant “Death to America,” as well as “Death to Israel” — in Persian — smack in the middle of the American heartland.

Enough is enough.

Blue cities have let these ­morons get away with too much for too long.

Lefty wrist slap 

After San Francisco police in December arrested 80 protesters who blocked the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge to demand a Gaza cease-fire, city prosecutors let them off if they promised to do five hours of community service.

Politicians there, and in Chicago and New York, should instead look to Florida, where such nonsense is not permitted.

In Miami-Dade County, seven miscreants who blocked Biscayne Boulevard were booked on charges that will likely send them to jail.

Everywhere else, they should be kicked from the river to sea.

Curb Your Lefty Law Professors

The Spectator World – The Chemerinsky Dinner and the fate of legal academia.

“I am enormously sad that we have students who are so rude as to come into my home, in my backyard, and use this social occasion for their political agenda,” said hapless University of California Berkeley Law dean Erwin Chemerinsky.

Last week, Chemerinsky and his wife, Berkeley law professor Catherine Fisk, were humiliated at a home dinner they hosted for third-year law students when Malak Afaneh, a Palestinian-American student who is co-president of the Berkeley chapter of Law Students for Justice in Palestine, produced a microphone she had brought with her and launched into a speech protesting the dinner and, apparently, her host. The dinner, which the Chemerinskys typically hold for first-year law students but gave for third-years to make up for Covid-19 pandemic cancellations, coincided with the last day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Afaneh came to object to the occasion because Berkeley — and Chemerinsky as its law dean — have refused calls to divest from companies that she says support Israeli military operations in Gaza.

As seen in a now-viral video sometimes accompanied by the theme music from the recently concluded Curb Your Enthusiasm, Chemerinsky and Fisk immediately approached Afaneh and demanded that she leave their home. Afaneh refused and, despite being 3L at one of the nation’s leading law schools, wrongly claimed that she has a First Amendment right to express herself on their private property. Her unhappy hosts repeated their request that she leave in increasingly urgent tones, with Fisk lightly touching Afaneh before trying to grab away her microphone. Afaneh wouldn’t let go and was dragged up several steps. Other students present spoke up for Afaneh, who then left, along with about ten of the approximately sixty students in attendance. Afaneh and her organization are now claiming Fisk assaulted her, even though neither the video nor California law appears to substantiate that allegation. Fisk did appear to have touched Afaneh’s veil, however, which the student said she considered a major religious transgression.

Clearly, it was a sad evening for the Chemerinskys, an older academic couple who generously open their private home to law students in an age when, as they so ruefully found out, any extramural contact between students and professors has become a potentially serious professional hazard. As standard bourgeois liberals, they were likely also under the delusion that they can expect good manners from students hoping to become attorneys and some deference to their role as educators. In a rare courageous moment for university administrators, Berkeley’s chancellor Carol Christ and board chairman Richard Leib staunchly defended the Chemerinskys’ private property rights and the limits they place on Afaneh’s freedom of speech.

Nevertheless, the humiliation of the Chemerinskys is suffused with delicious irony. Erwin Chemerinsky has been an outspoken advocate for progressive causes and radical identity politics for his entire career. In another video now circulating, he appears to reveal to a law school class ways that university hiring committees can dodge laws that prohibit affirmative action-style diversity hiring. Ironically, Chemerinsky’s progressivism has extended to defending pro-Palestinian activists, even to the point of supporting the “heckler’s veto” to block pro-Israeli speakers, though he angrily objected to a recent image of himself (later adjusted) suggesting the antisemitic blood libel trope in a poster criticizing his student dinners. And of course, he quite literally doesn’t want protests in his backyard.

Chemerinsky’s mugging by reality probably will not change his radical legal views, which appear to end where his driveway begins, or alter Berkeley Law’s worrisome campus culture, which he has done so much to foster only to find that he is no longer progressive enough to merit its full approval. It probably never occurred to him — and may still haven’t — that the mores governing life as he has known it are no longer observed in higher education or on the left generally. The video suggests this, as he could apparently entertain no other solution than to repeat his request that Afaneh leave, ad nauseum and with increasing volume, likely expecting that his traditionally minded approach would work if he just tried hard enough. But now that it has only served to humiliate him before millions of people who did not know his name until last week, he may yet take the painful lesson to heart.


Left is still defending OJ because race is more important to them than justice

The New York Times – “O. J. Simpson clearly killed people . . . he murdered his wife,” admitted CUNY professor and frequent media commentator Marc Lamont Hill on his “official” YouTube channel hours after Simpson’s family announced the athlete, entertainer and killer’s death from cancer at the age of 76.

Nevertheless, Hill maintained that Simpson’s 1995 acquittal was the “correct and necessary result of a racist criminal legal system.”

“He should have been found not guilty,” Hill continued.

“It’s a referendum on the system.”

That’s who is teaching your children, America. A college professor saying that it’s OK to let a murderer go free — as long as it sticks it to “the system.”

The evidence against Simpson was overwhelming.

His hair, blood, shoe prints, glove and DNA were found at the crime scene.

The victims’ blood and DNA were found there, in Simpson’s car, on his clothing and along a path leading from his car to his front door.

Multiple witnesses observed him leaving his home in dark clothes just before the murders were committed and returning shortly thereafter, with no alibi.

Prosecutors identified 62 incidents of harassment, assault and death threats against his ex-wife during and after his troubled marriage, including an assault conviction following a no-contest plea.

Instead of submitting to arrest for the double homicide, Simpson attempted to flee in a nationally televised car chase.

The sole mitigating factor, which Hill and those like him believe more important than all other evidence combined, is that one police officer involved in the case had previously used the “N-word.”

A predominantly black jury felt that was enough for reasonable doubt, and racial politics alone were enough to gain freedom for Simpson, a criminally accused black man, and deny justice to his victims, who were white.

The Simpson decision was bad enough, but the tragedy is how that 1995 verdict became the left’s de facto stance.

If you thought Hill was saying the quiet part out loud, tune into CNN, where commentator Ashley Allison claimed on air that Simpson “represented something for the black community . . . because there were two white people who had been killed.”

She followed this appalling justification of murdering whites by cautioning that “we will always have moments like O. J. Simpson.”

Allison is no outlier.

She was a senior staffer of President Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, worked on his transition team, served as an Obama administration senior policy adviser and was a fellow of Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.

Try asking her if “all lives matter” and see if you get a more encouraging response than White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre’s insulting statement that the administration’s “thoughts are with [Simpson’s] family during this difficult time,” with no mention of the victims or their families.

While you’re at it, pose the same question to any George Soros-funded district attorney, starting with Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, whose campaign website declared it is “morally indefensible” to prosecute crimes that lead to disproportionate incarceration of blacks.

Since Bragg’s election, his office has radically reduced prosecutions for felony offenses and instead criminally charged heroes like Marine veteran Daniel Penny for daring to defend themselves and others.

Was O. J. guilty of anything?

According to Hill, he was a “monster” for having “abandoned his community” and created a “social network that was filled with white people.” “O. J. wanted no part of black people,” Hill lamented in his YouTube video, “O. J. abandoned black people. O. J. didn’t show any love or care for black people. . . . O. J. didn’t give to black causes. O. J. didn’t invest in black communities. O. J. didn’t spend any time with black people. O. J. didn’t marry a black woman after he left his first wife for the world of whiteness.”

In other words, Orenthal James Simpson’s epitaph should not be that he was a bad killer but that he was “too white.” So much for racial healing.

Sorry, media: Florida is still America’s paradise no matter how you spin it

New York Post – NBC News, recently in the news itself for firing ex-Republican National Committee head Ronna McDaniel just 48 hours after the network hired her, ran a pernicious story about Florida by Shannon Pettypiece, NBC News digital senior policy reporter, declaring “rising costs and divisive politics” have people “fleeing the Sunshine State.”

As a close reading of Pettypiece’s lousy article shows, she couldn’t be more wrong.

Based on only one grossly misrepresented statistic and interviews with exactly five disgruntled ex-Floridians, it paints our state as a nightmarish place, groaning under high expenses, worsening traffic, scarcer services and — what else? — extreme weather.

At least she didn’t bore us with a predictable diatribe about alligators (responsible for 30 fatalities in the last 76 years, six fewer than the number of New Yorkers murdered in January 2023).

But the hard facts prove the opposite of what she seeks to put over on hapless readers: Florida is in fact booming, popular, happy and free. It is, indeed, America’s own paradise.

While Pettypiece claims almost 500,000 people moved out of Florida in 2022, she barely acknowledges the fact that well over 700,000 moved in that year, and the ratio of new Floridians to those moving away is rapidly increasing.

Our 2022 net gain of 249,064 people was the largest of any state in the union, as it was the previous two years — while blue-state crime rates soared and most of our nation’s Democrat-governed big cities turned into underpopulated wastelands of crime and decay.

Florida had a net gain of 365,205 people from July 2022 to July 2023, according to data Pettypiece consulted but didn’t bother to cite, while the state’s Chamber of Commerce predicts another 225,000 to 275,000 arrivals in 2024.

Unsurprisingly, the four states with the greatest net out-migration in 2022 were radical-Democrat-governed New York, California, Illinois and New Jersey.

New York City alone has lost more than 400,000 people since 2020.

So many state residents left, that year’s census cost New York a seat in Congress while Florida gained one.

Having added more than a million new residents overall since 2020, migration to Florida has sometimes topped 1,000 people per day.

Many have horror stories about life up north you will never see in an NBC News column.

For those who come and stay, our state is routinely ranked No. 1 in new business creation, job growth, talent development, entrepreneurship and ease of doing business.

At 2.9%, our unemployment rate is the lowest among the 10 most populous states — so low, it meets economists’ definition of functional full employment.

Tourism is at a record high.

Crime is at a record low.

Our 9.3% gross-domestic-product growth in 2023 was the nation’s highest and twice New York’s.

A net nearly $40 billion in adjusted gross income has passed into our state since 2020, the largest amount of capital flow into any state in American history.

Florida’s $14.6 billion state-budget surplus (compare with New York’s $9.5 billion budget deficit) is so high, Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed bills to cut state taxes and fees, reduce tuition for our state’s No. 1-ranked public system of higher education and provide universal vouchers for all Florida school students.

If Florida were an independent country, it would have the world’s 14th-largest economy.

As New York’s benighted authorities plan to boost their state’s tax burden (already the country’s highest) even more, Florida state income and inheritance taxes have for a century been outlawed by constitutional amendment.

There is a reason 158 financial companies managing nearly $1 trillion in assets left New York for greener, and often sunnier, pastures, as of August 2023. More than a third of them went to Pettypiece’s disfavored state.

Are there costs? Sure.

As Pettypiece’s paltry band of dissatisfied interview subjects told her, real-estate prices are higher, though average house prices are still about 20% lower than in New York.

Traffic can be a challenge, especially in the burgeoning business zone between Miami and West Palm Beach, where many former New Yorkers live and work.

With the competition from blue-state transplants so great, some new Floridians have trouble finding doctors, schools and other essential services.

Yet Pettypiece’s blistering ignorance causes her to miss not only the basic law of supply and demand but a profound truth about life in the Sunshine State: These inconveniences are by-products of Florida’s runaway success, rather than symptoms of any supposed deficiency.

The plain fact is people want to be here, and not where she is, in greater numbers than ever before.

The State Department Should Dump DEI

Newsweek – As diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) appears to be on the wane nationwide, the divisive left-wing ideology is alive and well in the realm of American diplomacy. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the appointment of Zakiya Carr Johnson as the State Department’s chief diversity and inclusion officer (CDIO). Next Monday, Johnson will replace Acting CDIO Constance Mayer, who has led the office since last July in the absence of a permanent director.

Previously, Johnson was senior adviser and director of the State Department’s Race, Ethnicity, and Social Inclusion Unit and co-chair for the White House Inter-Agency Committee on Gender-Based Violence Monitoring and Evaluation.  Alongside those lofty-sounding government positions, she founded an Atlanta-based DEI consulting firm that claims to invest “in the untapped talent of historically marginalized communities, youth and women in the Americas” and was the cofounder and director of Black Women Disrupt. Blinken believes her addition will make the State Department “stronger, smarter, and more innovative” despite a video statement now circulating on social media in which Johnson advocates “dismantling traditional structures,” a category that could arguably include the State Department itself.

Blinken created the State Department’s Diversity and Inclusion Office in February 2021 in an effort to take “diversity and inclusion work already underway at the State Department to the next level.” A month earlier, he had overseen the restoration of mandatory diversity training, in a reversal of President Donald Trump‘s September 2020 executive order banning training based on critical race theory (CRT) in all divisions of the federal government. The CDIO is a high-level position that reports directly to the Secretary of State and has the power to “hold senior leadership accountable” for implementing DEI across the entire department.

Leading proponents of CRT spread the message that white people are inherently racist, that “structural racism” infuses the United States and virtually all of its institutions, and that anti-white discrimination is the solution for past and present discrimination against non-whites. Many, including Johnson, based on her public statements, also believe “patriarchy” and “systemic misogyny” are responsible for social injustice on a mass scale.

Nevertheless, Blinken, a white male, says Johnson will offer “international expertise and a fresh perspective on how we build a workforce that reflects America.” Two days before appointing her, on Easter Sunday, Blinken observed Transgender Day of Visibility by posting on X, “We continue to fight for a world in which trans people can live safely and openly as themselves.”

Blinken’s priorities are increasingly out of step with the rest of the country. Even as DEI becomes more entrenched in the State Department, more than 30 state governments are currently weighing over 100 pieces of legislation to outlaw or defund DEI structures in public institutions, while some have already banned it. In March, the House of Representatives voted to abolish its Office of Diversity and Inclusion. In June 2023, the Supreme Court ruled that race cannot be considered in higher education admissions, a position supported by roughly 7 in 10 Americans. Since then, the pro-DEI presidents of Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania were forced from office amid major concerns about their leadership and integrity.

Last month, a comprehensive report released by Econ Journal Watch revealed that frequently cited McKinsey studies purportedly correlating DEI initiatives with business profitability were unreliable. Even before that, many corporations began rolling back their DEI bureaucracies, with some suffering multi-billion-dollar losses as the direct result of diversity-inflected advertising campaigns. Abroad, the American elite’s obsession with DEI and CRT is poorly understood, widely rejected, or simply ridiculed by allies and adversaries alike. And unlike compliant State Department employees, Iranian mullahs, Russian militarists, and Chinese functionaries more schooled in Machiavelli than microaggressions can hardly be sent to sensitivity training for indoctrination into DEI ideology.

Senior diplomats are also skeptical. “What they are doing now is not really diversity at all but conformity,” says Alberto Fernandez, a 32-year State Department veteran and retired ambassador who deplores “the imposition of a divisive and intolerant ideology, with a DEI commissar at the head.”

For the sake of America’s credibility in the world, Congress and/or the next administration should move expeditiously to root DEI out of our foreign policy and recruit and promote diplomats solely on the basis of knowledge, talent, and skill.

Woke West Point abandoning ‘duty, honor, country’ is a shameful dereliction of duty

New York Post – “Duty, honor, country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.”

So said Gen. Douglas MacArthur in his famous May 1962 address to West Point cadets.

But those words are no longer hallowed.

West Point last week removed them from its mission statement, substituting a bland reference to “the Army Values.”

West Point’s superintendent, Lt. Gen. Steve Gilland, defended the change, suggesting in a damage-control letter addressed to “supporters” that it resulted from a year and a half of discussions held “across” the West Point community and in consultation with unidentified “external stakeholders.”

He said the decision was supported by Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, whose last job was director of a center at the RAND Corp., a research and policy institute that professes to “strive to cultivate a community that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion as central to our culture.”

Gilland also claimed the approval of Army Chief of Staff Gen. Randy George, who previously served as senior military assistant to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, whose department requested $86.5 million in fiscal year 2023 for “dedicated diversity and inclusion activities.”

That would pay for a lot of implicit-bias workshops for men and women who should be trained to lead and kill, but the difference in language is neither subtle nor insignificant.

The words “duty, honor, country,” enshrined at West Point since 1898, have precise meanings that have historically bound our officer corps to timeless imperatives vital to the nation’s defense.

They presuppose our country is worth defending, honorably and as a matter of duty.

Proponents of woke ideology reject this notion.

For them, those very concepts — along with such basic values as merit, hard work, rational thought, respect for authority and even punctuality — are undesirable symptoms of a culture supposedly infused with “structural racism” and “white supremacy.”

A country built on them is patently not one they would care to defend.

A March 2022 Quinnipiac poll found 52% of Democrats would leave the country rather than stand and fight against a military invasion of the United States.

“Army Values,” in contrast, can mean anything politicians and their diversity, equity and inclusion commissars want them to mean.

Just ask former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, who testified in a 2021 congressional hearing only weeks before horrifically botching the US withdrawal from Afghanistan that he had devoted a significant amount of time to contemplating “white rage.”

Milley also objected to doubts about West Point teaching critical race theory, a Marxist-influenced body of social analysis that reduces all conflict to race-based dichotomies of alleged oppressors and the supposedly oppressed.

CRT and DEI instruction at West Point has been confirmed by documents provided to Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.), an academy graduate who released them alongside a formal inquiry in February 2021, and to Judicial Watch, which brought lawsuits against the Defense Department later that year to obtain hundreds of pages of documentation improperly withheld following Freedom of Information Act requests.

Featuring such lessons as “Modern Slavery in the USA” and “White Power,” these materials show cadets are taught “whiteness” is a problem and they should address it in accordance with CRT principles.

In August, Gilland hosted West Point’s biggest-ever DEI conference, at which he described diversity in terms of “how important and how critical it is not only to our U.S. Military Academy, to our military, but especially to our nation.”

“This is our mission,” concluded the man who a few months later would preside over the removal of “duty, honor, country” from West Point’s mission.

Notably, the service academies were exempted from June’s Supreme Court ruling in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard outlawing the explicit use of race in higher-education admissions, an area in which our elite military schools are now comically more woke than the craziest liberal-arts colleges.

On that point, Biden administration Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar argued successfully but without evidence that “it is a critical national security imperative to attain diversity within the officer corps. And, at present, it’s not possible to achieve that diversity without race-conscious admissions.”

In September, plaintiff SFFA filed lawsuits to extend the prohibition to the service academies.

Litigation is pending, but last month the Supreme Court declined to grant an injunction barring consideration of race in admissions to the service academies’ incoming classes.

“The unbelievers will say they are but words,” MacArthur reflected on the “duty, honor, country” triptych.

Prophetically, he added, “Every pedant, every demagogue, every cynic, every hypocrite, every troublemaker, and, I am sorry to say, some others of an entirely different character, will try to downgrade them even to the extent of mockery and ridicule.”

After swallowing gallons of DEI Kool-Aid, they have.

A new administration should restore those noble words to West Point’s mission statement on Day 1, root out all traces of DEI and CRT and cashier the woke bureaucrats who dared remove them in their dastardly bid to elevate diversity, equity and inclusion over duty, honor and country.