Archive for the ‘media rhetoric’ Category

Rupert Murdoch has an unusual belief in family values

June 15, 2013

This week Rupert Murdoch filed divorce papers on his third wife, Wendi Deng. At the same time, the newspaper mogul showed the exit door to David Devoe, News Corporation’s chief financial officer for the past 23 years. These two family dismissals are all the more surprising because at the same time, Rupert Murdoch reminded Australian investors of the constant factor in his personal and corporate life: ‘News Corp retains the Aussie spirit of a family company.’

Wendi Deng is Rupert’s third wife. She married him in 1999 and is the mother of two of his children. At 44 years of age, Wendi is in perfect shape and stunningly beautiful. He is a decrepit-looking 38 years her senior. Rupert was in such poor physical condition some two years ago when he was physically attacked during a Parliamentary Committee hearing, that he failed to defend himself. Valiantly, Wendi floored his attacker with a perfectly-timed left hook, earning the name ‘Tigress Wife’ for her intervention. The divorce papers are Rupert’s kind of recognition for protecting her husband from humiliation and potential charges of cowardice under fire.

David Devoe has stood courageously by Rupert’s side as the press mogul has reeled before charges of impropriety. Defoe has played the pivotal role in restructuring News Corporation into separate entertainment and publishing businesses on June 28, 2013. ‘Bye-bye David’, is Rupert’s supremely generous response.

Rupert’s loyalty has been more than a little fragile both before and after the News of the World scandal erupted in 2011. Two central figures had already been shown the exit door prior to the scandal. Peter Chernin was ousted as chief operating officer in 2009 after 13 years of loyal service. Gary Ginsberg, who ran marketing and corporate affairs was forced out in 2010 after a decade of licking Rupert’s boots.

When the crisis came to a head in July 2011, Rebekah Brook, the chief executive of the News International UK newspaper arm – described by some former colleagues as a fifth Murdoch daughter, fell on her sword for Daddy.The same day, Les Hinton, who had worked for Rupert for 52 years, since he fetched him sandwiches as a 15-year-old copy boy at Rupert’s first newspaper, was removed from his new position in charge of the recently acquired Dow Jones.

There may be some lessons to be learned from all this family upheaval. Most especially, one should understand that when Rupert talks about his ‘family’, he really means himself. Rather like Charles de Gaulle whose frequent references to La France were truly references only to himself: L’etat, c’est moi.

Tyranny by minorities

June 12, 2013

As the age of democracy truly dawned, during the eighteenth century in Britain and the United States, political philosophers feared tyranny over minorities by majority coalitions. Edmund Burke noted that ‘the majority of the citizens is capable of exercising the most cruel oppressions upon the minority.’ America’s founding fathers- men such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison – expressed similar concerns. The naive ambitions of the French revolutionaries quickly degenerated into mob rule, the Terror, and Madame Guillotine. Alexis de Tocqueville, evaluating democracy in the fledgling American republic, actually coined the phrase ‘the tyranny of the majority.’

Yet the term ‘tyranny of the minority’ seems a better description of 21st century democracy.Because most voters demonstrate little time or energy for politics, small groups with a strong commercial, personal or ideological motivation exert disproportionate influence. Politicians respond positively to policies that offer concentrated benefits to a few while dispersing the associated costs across a wider public. They do so because money and votes pour into their pockets while the rationally ignorant wider public are unaware of what has happened.

John Kay (Financial Times June 12, 2013) cites a powerful instance of such a minority-based tyranny. On election night in 2001, a promising political career came to an abrupt end. The British member of parliament for Wyre Forest in England’s Midlands was overwhelmingly defeated by a retired doctor, campaigning on the single issue of the closure of facilities at Kidderminster hospital. The lesson is engraved on the hearts of every British politician. When any similar proposal is made for rationalization of the National Health Service, the local member of parliament is always and everywhere at the head of the protest demonstration.

Well, you may think, far-sighted politicians should be willing to withstand such minority pressures in the interest of the nation that they represent. Such indeed was the judgment of Edmund Burke when he publicly outlined the requirements of a genuinely functional democracy in an address to his electorate in Bristol:

“Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment, and he betrays instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it for your opinion.”

“Burke asserted that parliament was not a congress of advocates of competing interests, but a deliberative assembly seeking to identify a common interest. Vulnerable to the exigencies of campaign funding, besieged by lobby groups and obsessed with news headlines, the modern politician has drifted a long way from that ideal.” John Kay, ‘A tyranny of the minority in an age of single-issue obsessives,Financial Times, June 12, 2013

Leading US black economist speaks out on behalf of blacks

May 25, 2013

Professor Walter E. Williams of George Mason University arguably is the leading black economist in the United States. He is a man who has made an admirable career out of speaking truth to power. Because truth sometimes requires saying harsh things about the politics of race, Walter Williams tends to shake up the liberal establishment. He does not respond to political questions from the liberal elite in the manner that blacks are supposed to respond to their questions. For many such, Williams is an enigma, or worse, an Uncle Tom.

But be sure of one thing. Walter Williams cares more for the well-being of black Americans than any of this self-seeking liberal elite, be they black or be they non-black. Here are a few recent comments from Walter Williams that should serve as a wake-up call across America:

“Experiencing a violent crime rate of 2.137 per 100,000 of the population, Detroit is the nation’s most dangerous city. Rounding out Forbes magazine’s 2012 list of the 10 most dangerous cities are St. Louis; Oakland, California; Memphis, Tennessee; Birmingham, Alabama; Atlanta, Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland; Stockton, California, Cleveland, Ohio; and Buffalo, New York. The most common characteristics of these predominantly black cities is that for decades, all of them have been run by Democratic and presumably liberal administrations…What’s more is that in most of these cities, blacks have been mayors, chiefs ofd police, school superintendents and principals and have dominated city councils.”

“What I am saying is that if one is strategizing on how to improve the lives of the poorest black people, he wants to leave off his to-do list election of Democrats and black politicians. Also to be left off the to-do list is a civil rights agenda. Racial discrimination has little to do with major problems concerning black people.”

“Today 72 per cent of black babies are born out of wedlock. Being born and finding out that your mother is 17 years old and that your grandmother is 35 and that you don’t know who or where your father is is not a good start to life. In fact, it’s a near guarantee for school dropout, poverty and crime, but such a start in life has nothing to do with racial discrimination.”

“Law-abiding poor black people suffer the nation’s highest rates of criminal victimization from assaults and homicide. More than 50 per cent of homicide victims are black. Would anyone claim that this victimization is caused by racist groups preying on the black community?”

“Black education is a disaster, but who runs the violent, disruptive big-city schools, where education is all but impossible? For the most part, it’s not white people. Go to a city such as Detroit and you’ll find that blacks have been superintendents, principals and most of the teachers for years. Most black high-school students in Detroit and other cities can’t read, write and compute as well as sixth-, seventh- and eigth-grade white students, but is it because of racism?”

“Black people could benefit from an honest examination of the bill of goods they’ve been sold. Such an examination would not come from black politicians, civil rights leaders or the black and white liberal elite. Those people have benefited politically and financially from keeping black Americans in a constant state of grievance based on alleged racial discrimination. The long-term solution for the problems that many black Americans face begins only with an absolute rejection of the self-serving agenda of hustlers and poverty pimps”

Now you will understand why left-wing news anchors such as Sam Donaldson, Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw flushed into embarrassed silence when Walter Williams responded to their television questions. You may also understand why President Barack Obama does not speak such truths to the American people. After all, Barack Obama is the very power to which he would be speaking such truth. And that just ain’t going to happen, given the sources of his campaign funding and career success.

Hat Tip: Walter Williams, ‘Honest Examination of Race’, May 23, 2013

Obama White House is corrupted by Chicago machine-politics

May 11, 2013

Just about any one who has followed this week’s discussion of the Benghazi terrorist attack knows that President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton and U.N. Ambassador Rice repeatedly lied about the nature of the event and why American government officials were not protected by F-16s and SAS forces.

A not-uncommon response to the sequence of lies exposed by Gregory Hicks, Mark Thompson and Eric Nordstrom before the House oversight committee this week is ‘who cares?’ The dead are long buried, other events now dominate public discussion, and come 2016, Hillary Clinton will be on her way to the White House. The victors get to write the history.

Now all this may be true. It is an old adage that a democracy gets the government it deserves. And the present government is showing itself to be about as despicable as one could ever imagine. So that pretty much sums up the moral and intellectual caliber of the electoral majority that currently controls the United States political market-place.

However, I beg to differ with this dismissive view of Benghazi. What Benghazi told a watching world is that the President and the Secretary of State of the United States both care more for their political prospects than for the honor of their country. Both are prepared to lie, not just to the world at large, but to the families of the fallen, about the reason for their murders and the retribution that will be exacted. For an al Qaeda attack on U.S. property and personnel, a crackpot California video-maker will be wrongly jailed. Some honor regained, some retribution extracted!

“From the day of the attack until this week, the White House spin was too clever by half. In the weeks and months after the attack White House spokesmen said they were investigating the story, an internal review was under way. When the story blew open again, last week, they saiud it was too far in the past: ‘Benghazi happened a long time ago’, Jay Carney, The White House press secretary, really said that. Think of that. They can’t give answers when the story’s fresh because it just happened, they’re looking into it. Eight months later they don’t have anything to say because it all happened so long ago. Think of how low your opinion of the American people has to be to think you can get away, forever, with that.” Peggy Noonan, ‘The Inconvenient Truth About Benghazi’, The Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2013

Well, not the entire American people. Just those who sheepishly voted a Chicago-machine politician back into office in the teeth of one of the worst first-term records in the history of the Republic. These voters truly got what they expected and what they deserved. Their children and their grandchildren may well live to despise them for their failure of good judgment if, that is, they are not wiped out by a nuclear terrorist attack on their undefended homeland.

The left has gained no benefit from the 2008 crisis

May 8, 2013

The financial crisis of 2008 has been touted worldwide as a failure both of an economic system and a political system. More specifically, the apparent inability of democratic politics to handle its aftermath has threatened to undermine the consensus on liberal democracy and lightly regulated capitalism that emerged following the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

Contrary to many expectations, however, political groupings of the left have derived no benefit from the crisis. Socialist movements have waited for more than a century for capitalism to collapse from its own internal contradictions. Yet, when that prospect appeared likely to occur on their watch, leftist governments – especially in the United States and the United Kingdom – vied with each other to avert such a collapse by shoveling public money at the capitalists.

The ‘change you could believe in’, brought to the political arena by Barack Obama and by Francoise Hollande, was principally that they were not their predecessors. The failure of such leftist politics has now opened up opportunities for new political groupings – the Tea Party in the United States and the United Kingdom Independence Party in Britain – designed to destabilize the existing two party systems.

Such new groupings are disparate in nature, seemingly devoid of any unifying political program. What they have in common, however, is a new nationalism:

“Yet they share a resentment of others supposedly responsible for our problems – a media and a political class that supposedly fails to acknowledge popular concerns, and foreigners who do not share our culture or our heritage. United only in grievance, they are so varied because by their nature they can be only national.” John Kay, ‘Sinister or silly, protest politicians are united in grievance’, Financial Times, May 8, 2013

The net benefits of surveillance cameras

April 22, 2013

The People’s Republic of Massachusetts was a perfect venue for the Chechen terrorist attack implemented on Monday April 15, 2013. The State is the Jewel in the Crown for the American Civil Liberties Union, the State that denies itself both the means to identify terrorist attacks and the death penalty that might conceivably discourage such actions. Like the prey that lies down and bares its throat to the predator, the people of Massachusetts signal that their state is least prepared of all to protect itself against mayhem and terror. ‘Come and take us down’ is the implicit message that rings out across the globe.

So it was good fortune indeed for the minority population of that State that desires to identify and apprehend those who terrorize their people, that private companies are prepared to defy the ACLU and to install surveillance cameras on their premises. Specifically, praise to the Lord and Taylor department store that it ignored the Governor of Massachusetts, the Mayor of Boston and the City Council of Cambridge, and provided the surveillance cameras that identified the Brothers Tsarnaev, who murdered and dismembered innocents who were celebrating Patriot’s Day and honoring those predecessors who had first defied the might of the British Empire. Otherwise, Boston would have suffered the same fate as Wall Street on September 16, 1920 when anarchists set off a bomb that killed 38 people directly across from the New York stock exchange, and were never identified.

New York in 1920 did not enjoy the technology now available to Boston in 2013. Boston and Cambridge, however, have little taste for implementing that technology. Boston and surrounding towns have only 150 police surveillance cameras, plus 400 in the subway. This compares with more than 3,000 government and networked private cameras in New York’s financial district alone, and some 400,000 cameras in London. The City Council of Cambridge advances yet further into the ACLU Hall of Fame. Reluctantly, it has installed 8 cameras. Defiantly, it has refused to activate any camera at all. It will be remembered that the Brothers Tsarnaev murdered a police officer in that town, following their successful attack on Boston itself. Those blood-thirsty brothers knew well where to strike, except that they ignored the wisdom of the private sector.

The cameras are getting smarter as new software goes beyond passive recording to alerting law enforcement about suspicious activity in real time. Video analytics enable what is called ‘activity forecasting’. By applying artificial intelligence to video, these services issue alerts of what researchers call ‘anomalous behavior – such as when the cameras detect people leaving bags behind in public places! How much mayhem would have been averted if Boston had deployed such surveillance? Do not expect the Governor of the State or the Mayor of Boston to apologize to those who suffered through such political correctness. That only happens in the private sector.

Inevitably, there is a tension between civil liberties and security in the use of sophisticated surveillance equipment. However, we live in dangerous times, and I have no doubt that those who died and were dismembered just one week ago would have welcomed more security at the price of a little less civil liberty.

If you doubt that judgment, just place yourselves in the shoes of the Brothers Tsarnaev and ask where you would prefer to strike in an act of terror: London. New York or Boston,in the latter case, with the advantage of hindsight, out of the vision of major department stores.

Hat Tip: L. Gordon Crovitz, ‘In Praise of Surveillance Cameras’, The Wall Street Journal, April 22, 2013

In policing against domestic terrorism, probabilities matter

April 21, 2013

The United States is committed in principle to the rule of law. The rule of law rests in part on the principle that justice is blind to the color, ethnicity and religion of the individual. All individuals are presumed to be equal under the law. I am a supporter of the rule of law, most assuredly as it reaches out to conviction and punishment of those who trasngress before the law.

However, with respect to apprehension of potential criminals, I am much more equivocal, as in practice are a large number of Americans. Although, for sure, the future is uncertain, and some events may not easily be categorized in terms of probabilities, most individuals do form subjective Bayesian probabilities over important potential events. It is human nature so to do, especially when’s own safety is at stake.

Suppose, for example, a young white woman is walking down a street in Washington, DC, and she spots a group of individuals idling together on one side of the street. Would she be more confident of proceeding if that group consisted of well-dressed middle-aged white women, or of roughly dressed young black males, or of pony-tailed young Hispanics? Unless the woman was witless, of course it would matter, matter indeed a great deal. Why? Because past history signals to that young woman very different probabilities in walking closely past such variant groups. Should the police be more vigorous in patrolling in areas where middle aged white women tend to congregate? Or should they conserve their resources for the other groups? Common-sense offers a clear-cut answer to those questions.

The same issues arise with regard to policing against prospective terrorist attacks in affluent Western nations, including the United States. The radicalization of young Muslims in the West, in particular, but not exclusive to the children of the relatively well-off, is by now a familiar story.The London bombers of 2005 were middle-class Pakistani immigrants from Birmingham. Faisal Shahzad, the failed Times Square bomber was a naturalized citizen from Pakistan. The numbers are not large, and statisticians may claim that probabilities cannot be effectively drawn from such few instances. Instinct, however, advises differently.

Subjective Bayesian priors advise thoughtful people that authorities concerned to minimize future terrorist attacks within the United States are well-advised to concentrate their limited resources on monitoring foreign Muslim groups in the United States, to monitoring specific immigrant communities that have produced jihadists in the past, and to infiltrating mosques and other Muslim venues where fiery Imams are known to preach and rant. Such focused monitoring does not infringe the rule of law as long as due process is maintained in determining whether those apprehended indeed constitute a threat to society.

Some civil libertarians may beat their chests in rage at such a policy. If so, perhaps they should locate their own families in the middle of such communities and expose their own loved ones to limb dismemberment and violent death when a preventable act of terrorism eventually occurs, as occur it assuredly will in the absence of vigorous surveillance.

Hat Tip: ‘The Brothers Tsarnaev’, The Wall Street Journal’, April 20, 2013

BBC displayed left-wing prejudice during Thatcher funeral

April 20, 2013

The British Broadcasting Corporation was originally established in order to provide unbiased accurate coverage of the news. It remains today as a subsidized government agency. All households with television sets must pay an annual fee to the Corporation.

From the outset, the BBC violated its mission of independence, denying Winston Churchill access to its radio transmissions during the 1930s, and thereby preventing the nation from understanding the nature of the national socialist and fascist atrocities that were consolidating themselves in Germany and Italy.This mission failure was a direct response of the BBC to pressure exerted by the Conservative government at that time as it pursued appeasement and set the scene for the Nazi domination of continental Europe.

Since the end of World War II, the BBC has stuffed its payroll with left-leaning employees, instinctively hostile to competitive free markets, and favorably inclined to big government. This bias showed itself during the London Olympic Games, when the introductory program focused attention on the so-called ‘Satanic mills’ of the industrial revolution and the caring service provided by the National Health Service.

So, I watched the BBC coverage of Margaret Thatcher’s ceremonial funeral on April 17, 2013 carefully, in order to determine whether BBC personnel would display such prejudice during the funeral of Britain’s most effective pro-free market politician/ stateswoman. And surely enough, bias was observable. I am not alone in that judgment. Ronald Reagan’s speech-writer, Peggy Noonan watched the funeral and confirms my own judgment:

“It mattered that the funeral was in august and splendid St. Paul’s, mattered that Thatcher’s coffin, placed under the great dome, stood directly over the tombs of Nelson and Wellington, in the crypts below.. This placing of Thatcher with the greats of the past, and the fact that the queen and Prince Philip came to her funeral, as they have for no prime minister since Churchill in 1965, served as an antidote to British television coverage surrounding her death.

It was terrible. They could not in any sustained way mark her achievements or even show any particular respect. All they could say was that she was ‘divisive and controversial,’ although sometimes they said ‘divisive and – well really divisive.’ Anchors reported everything as if from a great distance, with no warmth; they all adopted the cool, analytical look they use when they mean to project distance…All this – the media, the left – had the effect of telling people: You’ll look stupid if you speak in support of Thatcher, you’ll look sentimental, old. And it may be dangerous to attend to funeral – there could be riots.

So then, the surprise that was a metaphor. At the end of the funeral, they all marched down the aisle in great procession – the family, the queen, the military pallbearers, carrying the casket bearing the Union Jack. The great doors flung open, the pallbearers marched forward, and suddenly from the crowd a great roar. We looked at each other. demonstrators? No. Listen. They were cheering. They were calling out three great hurrahs as the pallbearers went down the steps. Then long cheers and applause. It was electric.

England came. The people came. Later we would learn they’d stood 30 deep on the sidewalk, that quiet crowds had massed on the Strand and Fleet Street and Ludgate Hill.

When they died, Ronald Reagan, John Paul II, and Margaret Thatcher were old and long past their height of power. Everyone was surprised when Reagan died that crowds engulfed the Capitol; people slept on sidewalks to view him in state. When John Paul died the Vatican was astonished to see millions converge. ‘Santa Subito’.

And now at the end some came for Thatcher, too. What all three had in common: No one was with them but the people.

Margaret Hilda Thatcher, rest in peace.’ Peggy Noonan, ‘Britain Remembers a Great Briton’, The Wall Street Journal, April 20, 2013

You would never find such words reported out by the BBC. But Peggy Noonan, superb writer that she is, put into elegant words thoughts that crossed my mine also during the early hours of that morning (for me in Virginia) as Britain’s greatest ever peacetime prime minister was laid to rest.

Margaret Thatcher: conviction politician who knew when to compromise

April 14, 2013

Margaret Thatcher was driven by clear-cut convictions. Her economic policies were based on the scholarship of Friedrich von Hayek and Milton Friedman. Her foreign policy was based on a hatred for communism and a recognition that the Hun is always at the gate.

However, Margaret Thatcher was an extremely successful politician, winning three consecutive elections for her party and remaining Prime Minister for eleven years during a turbulent decade which saw the collapse of an Evil Empire and the consolidation of the European Union. Complete adherence to her convictions would have courted early disaster at the polls and would have returned Britain to the path of economic decline from which she helped to rescue it.

A few examples illustrate Thatcher’s willingness to compromise her convictions. First let me focus on domestic policy. Both Hayek and Friedman were opposed to nationalized education and nationalized medicine, on grounds of economic inefficiency and unresponsiveness to customer preferences. Thatcher shared their views. However, she did not attempt to privatize those areas of economic activity – resisting pressure from her political mentor, Sir Keith Joseph – because she was aware that a significant electoral majority would be hostile to such changes. Very carefully, and cautiously, Thatcher focused her economic policies into fields where public opinion was more favorable – privatization of industrial dinosaurs, recalibration of union privileges, the selling off of council houses (public housing) and the like. She promoted income tax cuts favored by her mentors while paying attention to budgetary balance through the promotion of consumption taxes.She attacked inflation head on through Friedman-type monetary reforms. Even there, she did so pragmatically, tracking the exchange rate rather than focusing exclusively on the monetary base..

With respect to foreign policy, Thatcher flirted with Gorbachev, as a leader of the USSR with whom she felt able to deal. Her initiative was followed by Ronald Reagan and ultimately succeeded in isolating communism to loser countries such as North Korea and Cuba. Perhaps only Thatcher could go to Russia.

With respect to Germany, Thatcher swallowed her fear and made no attempt to stop the reunification of East and West. She made no attempt to remove Britain from the European Union, though she wisely opposed British participation in a single currency regime.

There is an important lesson to be learned from the Thatcher experience for the current generation of conviction politicians who operate in the United States under the Tea Party label. If you continue to eschew pragmatism in favor of hard principle, you will leave the political arena without significant achievements. Successful politicians must always pay attention to the electorate, even while they attempt to shape electoral opinion through policy successes. That is a long hard road to follow for those of you who want to change the world while still in your twenties or thirties. But that is the road that you will have to follow if you are to leave any durable footprints on the sand of time.

Are We Equal?

April 9, 2013

This column draws from an article written by my good friend and George Mason University colleague, Professor Walter Williams, one of the two leading black economists in the United States (the other being Thomas Sowell of The Hoover Institution in Palo Alto, California.

Professor Williams answers his own question categorically in the negative:

“Are women equal to men? Are Jews equal to gentiles? Are blacks equal to Italians, Irish, Polish and other white people? The answer is probably a big fat no, and the pretense or assumption that we are equal – or should be equal – is foolhardy and creates mischief.” Walter W. Williams, ‘Are We Equal?’

Some of the counter-examples deployed by Professor Williams in his article are as follows:

Male geniuses outnumber female geniuses 7-1. Female intelligence is packed much closer to the middle of the bell curve, whereas men’s intelligence has far greater variability. There are many more male geniuses, there are also many more male idiots.

Blacks comprise 80 per cent of the players in professional basketball. There are only two Chinese players.
Blacks are among the highest paid players and achieve the highest number of awards for excellence.

Blacks who trace their ancestry to West Africa, including black Americans, hold more than 95 per cent of the top times in sprinting.

Blacks comprise only 2 per cent of the NHL’s ice hockey players. Most U.S. professional hockey players were born in Minnesota, followed by Massachusetts. Not a single U.S. professional hockey player was born in Hawaii (no the Messiah himself never made it in that profession).

Are different races of equal intelligence? No, they are not. Jews represent only 3 per cent of the U.S. population. Yet they constitute a whopping 39 per cent of all U.S. Nobel Laureates. At the international level, the disparity is even more marked. Jews comprise less than 1 per cent of the world’s population. Yet, they constitute 20 per cent of the world’s Nobel Prize winners.

Many other disparities are evident. Asians routinely score the highest on the math portion of the SAT. Blacks routinely score the lowest. Prostate cancer is nearly twice as common among black men as white men. Cervical cancer rates are five times higher among Vietnamese women in the U.S.than among white women.

“Soft-minded and sloppy-thinking academics, lawyers and judges harbor the silly notion that but for the fact of discrimination we’d be proportionately distributed by race across incomes, education, occupations and other outcomes. There is absolutely no evidence anywhere, at any time, that proportionality is the norm anywhere on earth; however, much of our thinking, many of our laws and much of our public policy are based upon proportionality’s being the norm. Maybe this vision is held because people believe that equality in fact is necessary for equality before the law. But the only requirement for equality before the law is that one is a human being.” Walter Williams, ibid.