Monday, June 20, 2011

To all those friends I never met

If all goes according to plan, I shall be entering a hospice for cancer care. I wish I knew how to show my appreciation for all the fine minds I was able to interact with over the years, thanks to this technology. There are so many who I truly admire, and you know who you are. Your sensible and intelligent approach to politics and to life in general kept me sane throughout many crazed actions by our "leaders."

I regret the many writings, especially responses, unaccomplished, and the many deeds undone or unfinished. I do hope many find the posts on this blog worthwhile, and continue to read some of them.

Goodnight and goodnight.

-- Elizabeth Read more!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The scarcity of posts

It occurs to me that, since I entered only one post in March, and none in April, I'm overdue for an explanation for the scarcity of my opinionated outbursts.

It has to do with poor health. I have discovered that nothing saps the energy more than pulmonary troubles. Yes, nothing focuses the mind more than trying to breathe, and not always succeeding. And nothing is more disappointing than spending 10 days in the hospital and returning home feeling worse than ever -- and guessing that one will never feel better.

Unfortunately, the reconstruction of the new Issues & Views Archive has been interrupted due to above problems, but will soon be underway again.

As energy permits, I shall return to regularly posting on this blog. It's frustrating to watch the news go by, yet be unable to summon the energy to say what's on my mind. Read more!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Continuing to make war on the world

So, when is the big, tough USA going to bring its wars to China? Still too busy going after the small fry? It's so much easier to beat up on countries whose military weaponry nowhere nearly match those of the overstocked USA.

Today, it's Libya. Now, let's see. Are we there to unearth Moammar Gadhafi's Weapons of Mass Destruction? Or is it to bring liberation and democracy to the Libyan population? Oh, no, this time, it's to keep Gadhafi from "killing his own people." The missions just keep changing, don't they? Well, that's the way it is when you have the responsibility to police and supervise the entire world.

When you're in the driver's seat, it matters not how much the lies pile on top of one another. All that is necessary for such lies to succeed, writes Paul Craig Roberts, "is for the government to have its story ready and to have a compliant media. Once the official story is in place, thought and investigation is precluded." As is now conventional, the capper at the top of the lies is the one that claims that even the most contemptible actions are performed "for the sake of national security," that is, in defense of our homeland. Who could have a problem with that?

Paul Gottfried, in describing the ease with which the supposedly leftist Barack Obama incorporated all those conservative patriotic rhetorical themes into his January State of the Union address, shows how the phony "vision" thing is accomplished, whether by Republican "patriots" or by cynical neocons, or by even more cynical liberals.

All one has to do is follow Obama's lead as he gushes over how good we Americans are, and how the unfortunates who happen to live outside the U.S. simply "dream" of enjoying a democracy such as ours. We see that Obama quickly learned the tricks of the trade, and this is how the trade works: Talk ceaselessly about American "exceptionalism," the neocons' clever bit of hyperbole designed to convince the slow-witted public that America was conceived as a "propositional" nation, not one founded on a specific ethnic or cultural identity.

Once the "propositional" thing has been established, it matters not if you're a left-wing progressive or a Republican Evangelical Tea Party patriot. This is why Obama can successfully co-opt right wing rhetoric in such a bald-faced manner. Gottfried writes, "Once we've defined our country as some kind of propositional thing, then the leader is free to identify what the country is and how to force its citizens to comply with that proposition." Whatever the "proposition" of the day might be. Egalitarianism, inclusiveness, diversity. George W. Bush managed this trick very well.

Gottfried contends that once you enunciate this propositional idea, "then you can fit your own program into it, e.g., launching wars to spread democracy or throwing tax money at one's favorite donors such as teachers' unions." Instead of challenging the Republicans' hubristic notions of "exceptionalism," Obama learned that, "It's better to celebrate America as an exceptional place held together by an 'idea,' as long as you get to define that idea and use it to push your own stuff."

It should be clear by now that no President who comes along will ever have a problem pushing the Pentagon's "stuff" on this country, since there will never be any significant noise of protest from the white boys on whom falls the primary responsibility to suit up and lead the fight in these worthless entanglements. There is little chance you will ever hear complaints from these misguided patriots who are ever eager to serve as cannon fodder. They can't get to the next front soon enough. Their right wing evangelical Moms and Dads have done too good a job teaching them their duty to obey any and all calls issued forth by the Pentagon's Puppets. What, me question?

Even as the wheelchairs filled with broken, mutilated bodies come rolling home, there's another batch of prospective heroes waiting to become the next victims. One would think that the dauntless Major General Smedley Butler had never opened his mouth to disclose the heartless truths he had learned in his 33 years in the Marines. What is it he called himself? "A muscle-man for Big Business." Essentially, a sucker.

One supposed good piece of news for these wounded young men, according to a New York Times report, is that their survival rates are now higher, even though a great many are missing multiple limbs (multiple, mind you) and genitals. Well, what's a lost testicle or two for your country? To sacrifice your body when fighting an invading enemy in your own homeland, while defending hearth and home, is horrible enough. However, to end up as a 21-year-old basket case at the behest of war racketeers is insufferable.

And those that were left, well, we tried to survive
In that mad world of blood, death and fire.
And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
Though around me the corpses piled higher.
Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over head,
And when I woke up in me hospital bed
And saw what it had done, well, I wished I was dead --
Never knew there was worse things than dying.

For I'll go no more "Waltzing Matilda,"
All around the green bush far and free --
To hump tents and pegs, a man needs both legs,
No more "Waltzing Matilda" for me.

Last year, in Afghanistan, greater numbers American soldiers fell from explosive devices, suffering what is described as "grievous injury," that is, bodies that will never be the same again. But, hey, what 20-year-old warrior still harbors plans to date another girl, anyway? After engaging in the vicious wars of the 20th century, white men are accustomed to dying before passing on their sperm. In the last century, they were kept busy expiring as youth in their country's misrepresented World Wars of I and II, to say nothing of Korea and Vietnam. Who needs more white folks, anyway? Whites don't appear to give a damn about their own race's demise, so why should anyone else?

Speaking of white folks, when are we going to have that candid discussion about the possible connection between genes and the warrior mentality, that the soon-to-be-former Senator James Webb hints at in his remarkable book Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America? It may not matter who appears to be running the military machine, but what do we know about why the machine is driven at all? What propels this machine? Is it merely dirty lucre, or is it some natural internal engine at work in the hearts and souls of particular white ethnics, that cannot be turned off, although totally irrelevant to the genuine welfare of this country?

Is this military machine genetically-driven by a people who just can't help themselves and must create reasons to make war, so they can be excused for killing? Are we dealing with an unstoppable Terminator of sorts, a relentless machine that just cannot be shut down? Let's face it, this country has never, ever required military protection. There has never been a country less in need of military protection throughout its history.

Webb, along with other observers, recounts what appear to be deep-seated behaviors among the population that migrated to the colonies in the 18th century, mainly from the borderlands of Scotland and northern England. He tells of "this peculiar culture," in which the surest way for an ambitious young man to make his mark was through military performance or "conspicuous acts of bravado." Webb writes, "By selecting leaders based on military skill and a penchant for action rather than educational or commercial acumen, a dilemma would evolve in later centuries, manifested clearly in the Scots-Irish of today's America."

But how well these men did fit into yesterday's America. As cited by historians like Grady McWhiney, Frederick Law Olmstead and David Hackett Fischer, this population from the British Isles brought cultural mores and social patterns that appeared so inborn they would almost guarantee ongoing conflicts and violence. They persisted in finding ways to justify fighting with everybody, from outsiders to those within their own familial circles. Was it their DNA? Was this behavior chromosome-driven?

As far as the rulers of this new world were concerned, what better breed of men could be asked for in a society that would forever devote itself to war making? These new migrants were first put to work helping to mop up the Indians, and would henceforth become the indispensable warrior force in all of this country's subsequent battles and wars. Fischer called the migrants from that turbulent region of northern England, where the Scots and English had made war and committed atrocities against each other for centuries, "some of the most disorderly inhabitants of a deeply disordered land." This disorderly band found their own unique niche in the new world.

After political leaders finished setting American citizens against one another in a bloody civil war, they then set about warring against the world. Here's some of what the twice-decorated Medal of Honor winner, Major General Smedley Butler, speaking in 1933, had to say about America's "noble" wars:

I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street.

The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

If General Butler lived today, would he be charged as a WikiLeaks snitch? Even after these right wing patriots learn, via leaked cables, of this government's use of deceit and intimidation to undermine the governments of other countries, and to control the American public, this information is merely looked upon as real politik. In other words, this is how the real world works, these wild-eyed evangelicals will tell you. And they send off the next generation of their sons to die or lose their genitals for the deceivers.

It ain't me, It ain't me,
I ain't no senator's son,
It ain't me, It ain't me,
I ain't no fortunate one, no,

Yeh, some folks inherit star spangled eyes,
ooh, they send you down to war, Lord,
And when you ask them, how much should we give,
oh, they only answer, more, more, more, yoh,

Nothing reaches these religious sycophants, whose perverted sense of patriotism is second only to their perverted attachment to the Republican party. Not even the wisest men among them can get a hearing. Take the case of Rev. Chuck Baldwin, for instance, an evangelical himself. He writes:
George W. Bush and Karl Rove have made mincemeat out of the Religious Right. They have shown everyone that once you win the support of the Christian Right with rhetoric, you can get by with just about anything.

Sadly, this is what the Christian Right just doesn't get: ninety percent of the time, it doesn't matter a tinker's dam whether a Republican or Democrat wins the White House. Both parties are mostly dominated and controlled by the same interests. Both major parties carry water for Big Money conglomerates. Both parties are heavily influenced by globalists and internationalists. Neither party has any loyalty to the U.S.
Constitution or the principles of liberty.
Rev. Baldwin is exasperated with those he calls "gullible pawns" and "robotic foot soldiers for universal and everlasting war," who will not resist even the most reprehensible government policy, if it is demanded by The Leaders. "They see no harm in the decimation of individual liberties," says Baldwin, "as long as it is a Republican who is stealing them."

This is why even a blatantly unconstitutional law like the Patriot Act meets with no resistance on the part of this "conservative" camp. If the phony Tea Partiers possessed just an iota of regard for the Founders' Constitution, they would be out in the streets protesting the existence of this travesty. Instead, it is their camp that recently voted for its renewal.

Susan Lindauer, one of the first victims of this un-American legislation, who was imprisoned for more than a year without trial, writes: "Nobody who has supported that wretched law should ever be allowed to brag of defending liberty again. That goes for the Tea Party. By voting to extend surveillance of American citizens, they have abandoned the principles of freedom that brought about their rise to power. They have shown their true face."

These right wing, military-loving robots will not tolerate any messing with a chance to engage this country in war. At one time, they were enthusiastic supporters of Patrick Buchanan, whom they even put forward as a presidential candidate. He was considered a super patriot among them. That is, until Buchanan took positions against George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq. At that moment he became toxic, and was drummed out of the patriot corps. Buchanan put his money where his principles were and, along with two partners, founded a new magazine to give voice to obstinate dissidents like himself.

During the clamor over the comments of the singing Dixie Chicks, who dissed the execrable George W. Bush at one of their concerts, for which they were duly punished by southern "patriots," an interesting thread appeared on the Country Music Television site. In it, a commenter, Leanne, wondered out loud if country music fans would be respectful towards the incoming President Obama. She speculated:

"Will they get up in arms if someone like Trace Adkins or Toby Keith [both adamant rightwing supporters of Bush and critics of the Dixie Chicks] says something disrespectful about soon-to-be President Obama -- here in the U.S. or even on foreign soil? I’m thinking Mr. Keith will be able to say whatever he wants about Obama at his concerts and the majority of country music fans will simply cheer him on.

"So, it’s somewhat disingenuous to suggest that the uproar over [Natalie] Maine’s remarks was a result of someone saying something negative against the President. I’m more inclined to believe that the anger was because she dared to say something about a Republican president, because I’m sure Obama will not be shown such patriotic respect by the fans who currently claim to be so respectful of the office of the president.

"I just don’t believe that they would have been so angry if Natalie had spoken out against Clinton in the ’90s, and I don’t believe they will be angry if country artists say something disrespectful about Obama in the next four years, no matter what soil it’s said on."

I wondered about this, too. But I wondered more specifically if the white boys would be so willing to suit up and take their bodies abroad to fight in a war attributed to Obama, such as we have today in Libya. Well, as it turns out, there was nothing to wonder about. Just put a military uniform on any one of these men, point him in the direction of something to bomb or some civilians to slaughter ("collateral damage"), and he will salute and shout "Hallelujah!"

Indeed, it matters not who sits in the White House. Who cares if a white or a colored or a Klingon orders the charge? Besides, the white boys probably are smart enough to figure out that Obama, like every other President, amounts to nothing more than a Pentagon Puppet. They understand where the orders really come from.

After all, these are the descendants of those sturdy combatants of World War I, a worthless enterprise of murder, if ever there was one. And soon followed by yet another worthless excursion of murder, dubbed World War II, the symbol of white heroism, the ultimate propaganda offered up by Hollywood in more films than it's possible to count. General Butler could have told us that the race or ethnicity of the Pentagon's Puppet in the White House matters nothing. For it is the military machine that runs the show.

Because so many of the military and political leaders come from the same stock and culture as the young men they recruit, they know not only how to dupe these boys through the language and terminology they employ, they're clued in to the right clichés to use, even down to the biblical references. And, what with dear, old Mom and Dad egging them on, in their own blind Christian fervor, these young men don't stand a chance to offer rebuttal.

He's five foot two, and he's six foot four,
He fights with missiles and with spears,
He's all of thirty-one and he's only seventeen,
He's been a soldier for a thousand years.

He's a Catholic, a Hindu, an Atheist, a Jain,
A Buddhist, a Baptist, and a Jew.
He knows he shouldn't kill, but he knows he always will,
Kill you for me, my friend, and me for you.

Eric Peters describes the breathtaking stockpile of weaponry supposedly required for our "national defense" – fleets of aircraft carriers, a million-man army, fleets of "stealth" aircraft, nuclear submarines loaded with ICBMs – any one of which could lay waste to most of the world and would certainly, utterly destroy any single country. He writes: "It's really all about projecting power on others, who have done nothing to us, other than resist American hegemony, or otherwise behave uncooperatively. All for the sake of the military industrial cartel."

In keeping with these facts, some time ago, Paul Craig Roberts offered this droll suggestion. He claimed that since the invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with America's national interests, but everything to do with armament profits for the military-security complex, why not just allocate a percentage of the federal budget to this dangerous gang? Why work at concocting reasons for invading country after country, so that special lobbies can extort entitlements for their weapons manufacturing clients?

Roberts says we should skip the middlemen in these transactions and simply give these arms manufacturers and their shareholders the money directly, with the provision that they cease producing new armaments. He explains, "No one, at home or abroad, would have to be killed, and the taxpayer would be better off." This ought to keep the Lockheed-Martin missiles crowd happy, while not threatening their big bonuses. And there would be no more young men without limbs, eyes, or genitalia.

Vietnam Vet with a cardboard sign
Sitting there by the left turn line
Flag on the wheelchair flapping in the breeze
One leg missing, both hands free
No one's paying much mind to him
The V.A. budget's stretched so thin
And there's more comin' home from the Mideast war
We can't make it here anymore

Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin
Or the shape of their eyes or the shape I'm in
Should I hate 'em for having our jobs today
No I hate the men sent the jobs away
I can see them all now, they haunt my dreams
All lily white and squeaky clean
They've never known want, they'll never know need
Their shit don't stink and their kids won't bleed
Their kids won't bleed in the damn little war
And we can't make it here anymore

Will work for food
Will die for oil
Will kill for power and to us the spoils
The billionaires get to pay less tax
The working poor get to fall through the cracks
Let 'em eat jellybeans let 'em eat cake
Let 'em eat shit, whatever it takes
They can join the Air Force, or join the Corps
If they can't make it here anymore

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Are all-boys schools a radical idea?

This brief piece by William Kilpatrick ran in the hard copy edition of Issues & Views, Spring 1994. It is excerpted from his book, Why Johnny Can't Tell Right From Wrong: Moral Illiteracy and the Case for Character Education. As we learn of current efforts to create schools for boys, and as we settle into a new consciousness of what constitutes a "family," should Kilpatrick be considered a purveyor of old, passé ideas?

Boys Should Be Taught by Men
by William Kilpatrick

The idea of all-male schools makes sense. The lives of inner-city youth are so much at risk that radical measures are in order. And the principle behind this particular measure is a sound one. In fact, it is not especially radical. The idea that boys should be taught by men is an ancient and honorable one, practiced for centuries across a wide variety of cultures and settings, ranging from primitive tribes to English boarding schools.

This idea also has a substantial basis in psychology, sociology, cultural anthropology, and criminology. It has long been known in these fields that boys have a more difficult time than girls in the formation of sex identity. The fewer strong male models in a boy's life, the more trouble he has. In the absence of an involved and committed male, boys tend to form simplified and stereotyped notions of maleness. Surrounded by women, desperately anxious to establish their maleness, they often compensate for their insecure sense of identity by adoptint a hypermasculine aggressive pose.

As is now well known, boys without fathers are substantially more involved in delinquency and violence than boys with fathers at home. When they go to scfhool, they bring this aggressiveness with them. The answer to masculine overcompensation is not to surround boys with more women at school and expect them to adopt a "let's-be-nice-to-each-other" attitude. They need to do something with their aggressiveness. Either it has to be channeled by adults who are strong enough to channel it, or it erupts in ways that are destructive both to the individual and to society.
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No gender separation allowed

Here is another item from the Spring 1994 edition of Issues & Views. It is by the intrepid Washington Post columnist William Raspberry, who was a black voice crying in the wilderness of political correctness and Title IX insanity. This was a period when the feminists' influence was riding high, as they challenged and terminated several attempts by educators to create single-gender public schools.

When Disembodied "Rights" Come Before Children
by William Raspberry

Thank heaven it's not a public school, or St. Stephen's and St. Agnes would be in trouble. No, the private Episcopal school in Alexandria, Virginia, is not overcharging kids, or abusing them, or oppressing them. It's educating them very well indeed.

But it is doing so by (among other things) operating single-sex classrooms for math and science in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. The rationale for this gender separation is the well-documented fact that, in math and science, girls tend not to do as well as boys of equal intelligence. Whether the difference is the result of nature or merely of socialization, of male-oriented teaching styles or of lowered self-esteem for girls, the result often is that girls have their subsequent academic and career choices curtailed.

I've heard all manner of explanations. One is that girls prefer cooperative learning, while boys turn learning—and everything else—into a competition. Some of the explanations may not be true. This is true: if the St. Stephen's and St. Agnes experiment were taking place in a public school, somebody would be out to stop it.

They just stopped one in Philadelphia, where John Coats, a teacher at Stanton Elementary School had initiated a model five-year program for a group of 20 first-grade boys who had had learning problems in kindergarten. The program was working—indeed was the subject of a documentary, "I Am a Promise," that reportedly is up for an Oscar. Nine of these erstwhile slow-learning boys made the honor roll. But the program is dead now. The American Civil Liberties Union threatened to file a lawsuit against it on the ground that boys-only classes are unconstitutional, and the school district folded.

Detroit's attempt to establish all-male academies as a way of rescuing boys at risk of becoming dropouts (and worse) ran into similar legal opposition, as did an earlier effort in Miami in which I, quite indirectly, had a hand.

My limited involvement was a column I had written on Spencer Holland, then with the D.C. school system and now at Morgan State University in Baltimore. Holland, an educational psychologist, had told me of his dream to establish all-male kindergarten and primary classes headed by male teachers. Particularly in the inner cities, where young boys may go for days at a time without directly encountering a literate adult male, he thought it might make an important difference.

Willie Wright, a Miami elementary school principal, saw the column, and asked me to help him get in touch with Holland. In the fall of 1987, the two men implemented Holland's idea. As Wright told me later, "It was a total success, academically and socially. There were no fights, no kids sent out for discipline. They not only improved academically, they became their brothers' keepers, something not generally found in low socioeconomic schools. Not a single parent complained. In fact, virtually all of the parents of boys wanted their sons in the classes."

But, after two years of unquestioned success, the Department of Education's regional office killed the experiment—said it was a violation of Title IX (of the federal Civil Rights Act) guarantees against gender discrimination.

Where do they get these people who are so solicitous of disembodied "rights" that they are willing to do demonstrable damage to actual children? There's a lot we don't know about educating children. That's what makes it so sad when these self-righteous monomaniacs are willing to kill a program that clearly works for actual children out of deference to the possibility that somebody's theoretical rights might somehow be damaged.
• • •

Raspberry's pleas call to mind similar pleas of those black educators and parents who, after the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education court decision, did not want to dismantle the country's networks of all-black public schools. Instead, they desired to upgrade and improve these institutions with the additional (and fairer) funding that would then be available. Of course, black professional elites had other ideas, as they set about carving out new careers for themselves by concocting the endless programs now possible in the new world of forced integration.

Read about Title IX.
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Sunday, February 06, 2011

A February Remembrance

Thaddeus Kosciuszko
Polish Son of Liberty
Born on February 4, 1746

A memorial by Booker T. Washington, from his Autobiographical Writings

I knew from my school history what Kosciuszko had done for America in its early struggle for independence. I did not know, however, until my attention was called to it in Cracow, what Kosciuszko had done for the freedom and education of my own people.

After his second visit to this country in 1797 Kosciuszko, I learned, made a will in which he bequeathed part of his property in this country in trust to Thomas Jefferson to be used for the purpose of purchasing the freedom of Negro slaves and giving them instruction in the trades and otherwise.

Seven years after his death a school of Negroes, known as the Kosciuszko school, was established in Newark, N.J. The sum left for the benefit of this school amounted to thirteen thousand dollars.

The Polish patriot is buried in the cathedral at Cracow, which is the Westminster Abbey of Poland, and is filled with memorials of the honoured names of that country. Kosciuszko lies in a vault beneath the marble floor of the cathedral. As I looked upon his tomb I thought how small the world is after all, and how curiously interwoven are the interests that bind people together. Here I was in this strange land, farther from my home than I had ever expected to be in my life, and yet I was paying my respects to a man to whom the members of my race owed one of the first permanent schools for them in the United States.

When I visited the tomb of Kosciuszko I placed a rose on it in the name of my race.

From the Will of Kosciuszko

I, Thaddeus Kosciuszko, being just on my departure from America, do hereby declare and direct, that, should I make no other testamentary disposition of my property in the United States, I hereby authorize my friend, Thomas Jefferson, to employ the whole thereof in purchasing Negroes from his own or any others, and giving them liberty in my name, in giving them an education in trade or otherwise, and in having them instructed for their new condition in the duties of morality, which may make them good neighbors, good fathers or mothers, husbands or wives in their duties as citizens, teaching them to be defenders of their liberty and country, and of the good order of society, and in whatsoever may make them happy and useful. And I make said Thomas Jefferson my executor of this.

(Signed) T. Kosciuszko. May 5, 1798.

Visit the Polish American Cultural Center
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Sunday, January 30, 2011

The smear machine grinds on

In my 2009 post, David Irving, the Thought Criminal, I asked, "How is it possible, in these United States, that a group of people, who wish to get together to discuss a historical topic, must relentlessly hide their intention, obfuscate their meeting place, and keep their identities secret, if they don't wish to be hounded like wanted criminals? How is it that citizens who wish to meet peacefully do not have the protection of the law, in order to practice what the law supposedly guarantees, that is, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly?" Well, I'm back again, with the same question, this time, it's raised not for historian David Irving, but in behalf of American Renaissance (Amren).

Professor Irving faced the same impediments as did Amren when its directors organized its 2010 conference, that is, hotel managers were physically threatened for renting meeting space to the group, and hotel staff were generally harassed by a band of self-appointed "anti-fascists." That there are self-elected Enforcers who usurp power over other citizens is not surprising. What is offensive is the failure of government to provide appropriate protections that it is mandated to provide.

There will always be those who claim the right to judge which points of view should be permitted to prevail, and which ones shall be banned from the public square. The operation is pretty much the same: With malice aforethought, the Enforcers mischaracterize those they oppose in the most extreme fashion, and venomously misinterpret their theses or positions. It's critical that the dissenting sinner not be allowed to bring his views directly to the public, and everything is done to prevent the opponent from being given the opportunity to offer any type of clarification – in his own words.

This year, an even more detestable situation presents itself, as Amren attempts to hold its 2011 meeting. A government official, in the form of a black Charlotte (NC) city councilman, has joined the ranks of the Enforcers by lobbying (coercing?) hotels to refuse to book the conference. Here's an official making it clear that he's not about to uphold citizens' free speech as provided in the Constitution. (Does Maryland require its oath-taking officials to conform to federal law? Do they take oaths?) Patrick Cannon's grinning face let's us know that he knows who's boss. Mr. Black Bourgeoisie is so proud of himself.

During the agitation that followed the recent Arizona shootings, when Amren was deliberately mischaracterized by that specious and bizarre memo, which originated not from the cited source, but from another alien government agency, even the leaders of the conventional "anti-hate" groups had to disassociate themselves from the charges of anti-Semitism and racism leveled at Amren. The Anti-Defamation League's Abe Foxman, in one of his rare moments of lucidity, knew to pull the plug on this bit of craziness, admitting that anti-Semitism was not an issue. And, as inconceivable as it was, the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose directors never miss an opportunity to jump on the race bandwagon to exploit their favorite theme of "hate," restrained its rhetoric once it was clear that nothing linked the deranged shooter to motives of racism.

But the mainstream media, eagerly craving to make an ugly story even uglier, and seeking, by whatever means possible, to fill up all that empty time and empty spaces on all those channels and websites, did as they always do, that is, they hung on the SPLC's initial generalizations and delusions about "militias" and "hate groups."

If there's one thing the media understands, it's that the gullible American public will readily buy any fantasies that purport to expose "evil white racists." The public bought the entire package of those who succeeded in smearing Timothy McVeigh as a racist, although his murderous response to a murderous government's actions had nothing to do with racial grievances. But, to fit the spirit of the times, McVeigh's heinous act of retaliation somehow had to be tied to his being a "bigot." Such a connection then made him a truly bad person. Hence, the immediate need to tie the Arizona psychopath to conscious "anti-Semitism/racism."

Because the typical liberal is incapable of comprehending nuance or differences among the individuals, groups and publications on the political right, with which he disagrees, all such ideological enemies are clustered in one common heap. This is one explanation for why so many accepted, without question, the claims in that fraudulent memo, which supposedly came from the Department of Homeland Security and targeted American Renaissance, a publication most of them never heard of. Once they got wind of AmRen's main thematic focus, however, what it describes as "racial-realism," our pundits, reporters and anchors were enthusiastically on the case. Might they be lucky enough to expose a collection of "white supremacists?"

In our weirdly racially over-hyped universe, there is no latitude offered to those who would focus their sights on the subject of race and ethnicity in any other manner than that prescribed by the country's race monitors. Any aspect of the subject must be scrutinized only within the limits currently deemed permissible by a "diversity" obsessed society. Scientists and other researchers who have the temerity to explore such subjects as native ability, intelligence and I.Q., or other particular studies about biological differences between groups, are suppressed, and often denied an institutional affiliation. Some have been blackballed and banished.

This unenlightened, unscholarly approach, that leads to ignorance, is encouraged by liberals, who deem themselves the country's "intellectuals." They run most of the country's academic institutions, yet tremble at the prospect of applying their academic wits to subjects they have made taboo. To this mentality, the very act of investigating the taboo is an act of "hate." Yet, how can there be a subject that cannot be explored, researched, discussed and debated? What are these people afraid of discovering?

Take note that it was the conservative Fox news channel that grabbed and ran with that fictitious memo now totally discredited by the agency from which it supposedly originated. It's not surprising that the Fox reporters spent not one minute on verifying the memo's claims, or giving a courtesy phone call to Amren's director, Jared Taylor. Whites tend to be the first to run for the hills at the slightest chance of either being linked to dissenters on the race issue, or being perceived as not showing the appropriate indignation against "racists." This is especially so in the conservative camp. What, me get in trouble, along with you? So much for unity among "conservatives."

Although the supposedly neutral Politico finally took the time to learn the truth about the memo's sleazy origins, its editors initially took the SPLC's bait and added to the slurs against American Renaissance. Here's how Accuracy in Media reported on the Fox episode:
Those on the left were not cautious, because they wanted to exploit the shootings for political gain. Fox News, perceived as the “conservative” channel, was the perfect vehicle for the smear. This will go down as a case study of how the left used a conservative news source to smear conservatives. They all ended up with egg on their faces because they ran with erroneous information that wasn’t checked out and which only contributed to the confusion and chaos and smeared an innocent group in the process. Ironically, the false report about a “hate” group generated more hate.

Indeed, it did generate more hate and more obstacles to the Amren meeting -- enough to cause a fearful hotel manager to take seriously the current threats from publicity-hungry bands of ragtag "anarchists," the Jewish Defense Organization (always searching for signs of anti-Semitism even when it has to be invented), as well as something called the "Southern Anti-Racism Network," which brags that they don't "rely on the cops to do our work for us." They can now rely on city councilmen to do their work for them.

As of this date, the Amren conference, scheduled to run February 4-6, is in limbo.

UPDATE - Monday, January 31, 2011

American Renaissance's director Jared Taylor issued a press statement today giving further details of the events surrounding the cancellation by the Sheraton Hotel of the Amren conference. Here are excerpts:

Perhaps what the Sheraton actually found out was that Patrick Cannon, Mayor Pro-tem of the city of Charlotte, does not want AR to come to Charlotte. In an e-mail message to a constituent he wrote: “I have all hotels, motels, and gotels [sic] on notice and they seem to be cooperating well still.” The date of this e-mail was January 25, the very day the Sheraton canceled its contract.

We can only imagine that the Sheraton must have come under very heavy pressure to walk away from tens of thousands of dollars in revenues—100 hotel rooms for two nights, a formal banquet, bar and meal tabs—and to subject itself to a five-figure cancellation fee.

We have heard that another city councilman, Warren Turner, has also urged hotels not to do business with us. Both Mr. Turner and Mr. Cannon are black.

Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam has been to Charlotte four or five times since 1990. Minister Farrakhan has said things about Jews and whites of a vileness that has not the slightest parallel in the writings of American Renaissance. On September 12, 2005, he was in Charlotte to tell you the US government deliberately broke the levees in New Orleans so as to flood black neighborhoods. Imagine the outrage if two white city councilmen pressured the hospitality industry to keep Minister Farrakhan out of the city. ...

Shortly after he was named US Attorney General, Eric Holder famously called Americans “a nation of cowards” because we do not talk about race, and urged us to “be honest with each other.” AR is 100 percent honest about race—and look how we are treated. Is it a wonder Americans have become cowards on race? ...

Read entire statement here.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Conservative sponges

Get ready for another round of watching the farce that goes something like this: Scene 1: Staunchly determined conservatives resist yet another leftwing social trend; Scene 2: Less determined conservatives resist leftwing social trend; Scene 3: Conservatives relent and accept leftwing social trend.

Since when have the people in this country, who so arrogantly label themselves "conservative," ever held to any conservative principle for very long? We now learn that the founders and directors of a dozen or more conservative organizations, that represent several thousand members, will boycott the major annual conference sponsored by the American Conservative Union (ACU).
Known as CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference), a regular February event, this is where conservatives of like mind interact, large and small organizations, with the smaller groups attempting to acquire greater visibility. Over the last couple of years it has also become a place where homosexual activists have been busily infiltrating their dogma and agendas. Last year, such activists, represented most especially by GOProud established a base at CPAC. This year, the group is returning to continue its drive to win a permanent place within the political right.

These interlopers have learned just the right buttons to push in order to ingratiate themselves to conservatives: abortion (end taxpayer funding), guns (for ownership, of course), economy (opposed to wasteful spending), etc. And they have made sure to put their money up front by generously supporting Republican political candidates.

In opposition to this intrusion into "conservative" territory come the longstanding groups such as Concerned Women for America, the Family Research Council and even the heavy weight Heritage Foundation. These "traditionalist" groups claim to have found their principled voice and are supposedly drawing a "line in the sand" when it comes to participating in an event that offers homosexual activists a forum in which to expand their influence.

In addition to Heritage, FRC and CWA, others joining the boycott include: the American Family Association, the Center for Military Readiness, Capital Research Center, American Values, the National Organization for Marriage, American Vision, and the American Principles Project. (APP is a major organizer of the boycott.)

Representatives from these groups claim that marriage between a man and a woman is a "core principle of conservatism." Yes, one would think that those who are devoted to advocacy of the traditional family could never sanction the marriage of a man to a man. But among this American breed of "conservative," principle is seldom an obstacle.

After all, these are the good people who, contrary to previous generations of conservatives, encourage unmarried girls and women to randomly engage in sex, in order to produce illegitimate babies and, a la Sarah Palin, celebrate when they do.

These were the people who once vociferously fought against women "soldiers" being sent to the battlefields of war. Currently, however, they have nothing to say about this issue, since today's conservative is perfectly at home with this country's policy of initiating needless altercations around the world, for which the military machine requires all the warrior bodies it can send, even mothers of infants.

And don't forget how these good conservatives once sensibly scorned and ridiculed the left's politically correct censorship of language and the attempts to suppress certain ideas and words. Remember how they complained about the liberals' excessive overuse of such smears as "racist" and sexist?"

Well, that story changed once Sarah Palin came on the scene. The Good Sarah, right from her first speech at that Republican convention, made clear her complete concurrence with liberals over the roles of the sexes, as she excoriated those who would deny women the right to break those "glass ceilings." Not much later, Ms. Palin got on everyone's case for the use of the word "retard." Thanks to her, the conservative Thought Police now are just as diligent about preventing "hurt feelings" as are fixated liberals, who promoted such notions in the first place.

Like their current leaders, today's conservatives prove themselves to be like sponges, absorbing and imbibing almost every liberal and feminist tenet, and passing on such convictions to their children – all the while caterwauling about the "wickedness" of the Left.

They talk endlessly about "conservative values," but exactly what is a conservative value? As we've learned from Sarah Palin, when a conservative adopts some progressive trend or way of life, this is automatically transposed into a conservative value. Publicly exposing your unmarried, pregnant teenage daughter at a national political convention, along with the stud who knocked her up, is now a "conservative value."

So, given this track record of today's conservatives for snubbing their noses at tradition, why should anyone believe that this crew will stand and resist the latest round of social activists, who claim, like all those earlier social activists, to have the "right" to intrude their predilections into any venue they choose? And if the CPAC boycotters do take their stand this time around, how little time will elapse before they relent and wind up throwing baby showers to celebrate homosexual adoptions?
Read more!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Greed rules

A discourse for the start of a new year. Excerpts from some unwanted but wise words of New York State's former Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer. In How to Ground the Street, he offers advice on the best way to avoid another economic meltdown by keeping financial markets in check:

• • •

First, we must confront head-on the pervasive misunderstanding of what constitutes a "free market." For long stretches of the past 30 years, too many Americans fell prey to the ideology that a free market requires nearly complete deregulation of banks and other financial institutions and a government with a hands-off approach to enforcement. "We can regulate ourselves," the mantra went.

Those of us who raised red flags about this were scoffed at for failing to understand or even believe in "the market." During my tenure as New York state attorney general, my colleagues and I sought to require investment banking analysts to provide their clients with unbiased recommendations, devoid of undisclosed and structural conflicts. But powerful voices with heavily vested interests accused us of meddling in the market.

When my office, along with the Department of Justice, warned that some of American International Group's (AIG) reinsurance transactions were little more than efforts to create the false impression of extra capital on the company's balance sheet, we were jeered at for attacking one of the nation's great insurance companies, which surely knew how to balance risk and reward.

And when the attorneys general of all 50 states sought to investigate subprime lending, believing that some lending practices might be toxic, we were blocked by a coalition of the major banks and the Bush administration, which invoked a rarely used statute to preempt the states' ability to probe. The administration claimed that it had the situation under control and that our inquiry was unnecessary.

Time and again, whether at the state level, in Congress or at the Securities and Exchange Commission under Bill Donaldson, those who tried to enforce the basic principles that would allow the market to survive were told that the "invisible hand" of the market and self-regulation could handle the task alone.

The reality is that unregulated competition drives corporate behavior and risk-taking to unacceptable levels. This is simply one of the ways in which some market participants try to gain a competitive advantage. As one lawyer for a company charged with malfeasance stated in a meeting in my office (amazingly, this was intended as a winning defense): "You're right about our behavior, but we're not as bad as our competitors."

No major market problem has been resolved through self-regulation, because individual competitive behavior doesn't concern itself with the larger market. Individual actors care only about performing better than the next guy, doing whatever is permitted -- or will go undetected.

Look at the major bubbles and market crises. Long-Term Capital Management, Enron, the subprime lending scandals: All are classic demonstrations of the bitter reality that greed, not self-discipline, rules where unfettered behavior is allowed.

Those who truly understand economics, as did Adam Smith, do not preach an absence of government participation. A market doesn't exist in a vacuum. Rather, a market is a product of laws, rules and enforcement. It needs transparency, capital requirements and fidelity to fiduciary duty. The alternative, as we are seeing, is anarchy.

Read entire article here.
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The global collusion to silence dissent

The feminist loons are at it again, as some of their leading lights join their efforts to those of a quasi-"criminal justice" system, in a common quest to bring down Julian Assange.

And, of course, it all makes sense. Take a man home with you, in fact, take him into your bed, and then charge him with rape, when the sex doesn't come off exactly as you prefer. Did he break through your window and assault you? Were you forcibly pushed into your apartment, as you unlocked your door? Did he drug you against your will? No, to all these speculations. But, to determined man-haters, that's all beside the point.

Proving that not every woman who professes feminist sensibilities is a whack job, author Naomi Wolf takes on the case of Assange and the spurious "rape" charges against him. Or, more accurately, the "rape" allegations. In a caustic letter to Interpol, the so-called international police force, Wolf mocks this ridiculous organization's arrest of Assange and his placement at the top of its "Most Wanted List." Referring to Interpol as the "World's Dating Police," she wrote,

Dear Interpol:
As a longtime feminist activist, I have been overjoyed to discover your new commitment to engaging in global manhunts to arrest and prosecute men who behave like narcissistic jerks to women they are dating.

I see that Julian Assange is accused of having consensual sex with two women, in one case using a condom that broke. I understand, from the alleged victims' complaints to the media, that Assange is also accused of texting and tweeting in the taxi on the way to one of the women's apartments while on a date, and, disgustingly enough, 'reading stories about himself online' in the cab.

Both alleged victims are also upset that he began dating a second woman while still being in a relationship with the first. (Of course, as a feminist, I am also pleased that the alleged victims are using feminist-inspired rhetoric and law to assuage what appears to be personal injured feelings. That's what our brave suffragette foremothers intended!).

Thank you again, Interpol. I know you will now prioritize the global manhunt for 1.3 million guys I have heard similar complaints about personally in the US alone -- there is an entire fraternity at the University of Texas you need to arrest immediately. I also have firsthand information that John Smith in Providence, Rhode Island, went to a stag party -- with strippers! -- that his girlfriend wanted him to skip, and that Mark Levinson in Corvallis, Oregon, did not notice that his girlfriend got a really cute new haircut -- even though it was THREE INCHES SHORTER.

Terrorists. Go get 'em, Interpol!

Yours gratefully,
Naomi Wolf

Is there anything more bitter than a woman scorned? Yes, two women scorned! Julian Assange has had to learn this the hard way.

As a follow-up to her letter, Wolf expressed her outrage at those who are exploiting the tragedy of genuine rape, in order to punish the founder of the WikiLeaks whistle blowing website. Following are excerpts:
• • •

How do I know that Interpol, Britain and Sweden's treatment of Julian Assange is a form of theater? Because I know what happens in rape accusations against men that don't involve the embarrassing of powerful governments.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is in solitary confinement in Wandsworth prison in advance of questioning on state charges of sexual molestation. Lots of people have opinions about the charges. But I increasingly believe that only those of us who have spent years working with rape and sexual assault survivors worldwide, and know the standard legal response to sex crime accusations, fully understand what a travesty this situation is against those who have to live through how sex crime charges are ordinarily handled -- and what a deep, even nauseating insult this situation is to survivors of rape and sexual assault worldwide. ...

I have spent two decades traveling the world reporting on and interviewing survivors of sexual assault, and their advocates, in countries as diverse as Sierra Leone and Morocco, Norway and Holland, Israel and Jordan and the Occupied Territories, Bosnia and Croatia, Britain, Ireland and the United States.

I tell you this as a recorder of firsthand accounts. Tens of thousand of teenage girls were kidnapped at gunpoint and held as sex slaves in Sierra Leone during that country's civil war. They were tied to trees and to stakes in the ground and raped by dozens of soldiers at a time. Many of them were as young as twelve or thirteen. Their rapists are free.

I met a fifteen-year-old girl who risked her life to escape from her captor in the middle of the night, taking the baby that resulted from her rape by hundreds of men. She walked from Liberia to a refugee camp in Sierra Leone, barefoot and bleeding, living on roots in the bush. Her rapist, whose name she knows, is free.

Women -- and girls -- are drugged, kidnapped and trafficked by the tens of thousands for the sex industry in Thailand and across Eastern Europe. They are held as virtual prisoners by pimps. If you interview the women who spend their lives trying to rescue and rehabilitate them, they attest to the fact that these women's kidnappers and rapists are well known to local and even national authorities -- but these men never face charges. These rapists are free.

In the Bosnian conflict, rape was a weapon of war. Women were imprisoned in barracks utilized for this purpose, and raped, again at gunpoint, for weeks at a time. They could not escape. Minimalist hearings after the conflict resulted in slap-on-the-wrist sentences for a handful of perpetrators. The vast majority of rapists, whose names are known, did not face charges. The military who condoned these assaults, whose names are known, are free.

Never in twenty-three years of reporting on and supporting victims of sexual assault around the world have I ever heard of a case of a man sought by two nations, and held in solitary confinement without bail in advance of being questioned -- for any alleged rape, even the most brutal or easily proven. In terms of a case involving the kinds of ambiguities and complexities of the alleged victims' complaints -- sex that began consensually that allegedly became non-consensual when dispute arose around a condom -- please find me, anywhere in the world, another man in prison today without bail on charges of anything comparable. ...

For all the tens of thousands of women who have been kidnapped and raped, raped at gunpoint, gang-raped, raped with sharp objects, beaten and raped, raped as children, raped by acquaintances -- who are still awaiting the least whisper of justice -- the highly unusual reaction of Sweden and Britain to this situation is a slap in the face. It seems to send the message to women in the UK and Sweden that if you ever want anyone to take sex crime against you seriously, you had better be sure the man you accuse of wrongdoing has also happened to embarrass the most powerful government on earth. ...

Interpol, Britain and Sweden must, if they are not to be guilty of hateful manipulation of a serious women's issue for cynical political purposes, imprison as well -- at once -- the hundreds of thousands of men in Britain, Sweden and around the world who are accused in far less ambiguous terms of far graver forms of assault.

Anyone who works in supporting women who have been raped knows from this grossly disproportionate response that Britain and Sweden, surely under pressure from the US, are cynically using the serious issue of rape as a fig leaf to cover the shameful issue of mafioso-like global collusion in silencing dissent. That is not the State embracing feminism. That is the State pimping feminism.

Read complete article here.


The Authoritarian Left Comes Out of the Closet, by Justin Raimondo
How the Left has changed its tune on military interventionism, now that the warmonger Obama is in the driver's seat working to repress dissidents.

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The world's war capital

On his blog, Dennis Mangan conducted a lively discussion about today's American military and nationalist sentiment. He tells how his views on the military have altered over time, as this country's "foreign military adventure has become the American military's main mission." He writes:

The great swath of red state supporters of "our troops" have become dupes in our government's mission of forever being at war abroad, with little discernible national interest involved. On the contrary, I'd say the war in Afghanistan, for example, actively hurts our national interest.

Patriotism, said Johnson, is the last refuge of a scoundrel, and in the U.S., the scoundrels have decidedly taken refuge in it, and have co-opted the real patriots' support of the military into support for their endless wars abroad. One needs to distinguish between the military as a bulwark of the American nation and as a tool of the government, and too many Americans can't make this distinction.

Like most Americans, I've supported the military and had a positive attitude toward it for most of my life, but in recent years I've come to think that the majority of wars that we've fought in our history have been huge mistakes, actions of the government that furthered its own interests, not those of the nation as a whole.
In this same spirit, Brad Birzer, reviewing Tom Engelhardt's book, The American Way of War: How Bush's Wars Became Obama's, for The American Conservative magazine, claims that the relaxation of the Cold War during Ronald Reagan's tenure should have offered the West "some breathing room," that is, "a time to rethink the purpose of our nation and reinvigorate republican ideals."

Instead, Birzer maintains, "the past two decades, under Republican and Democratic administrations alike, have revealed America and the West as morally and spiritually bankrupt. Plunder and torture best symbolize the bloated American Empire of the last 20 years, a force that exists merely for the sake of self-perpetuation." He further observes:
• • •

When voters elected Barack Obama in 2008, his supporters acclaimed him higher than a prophet; he was messianic. ... What the Obama administration has delivered, of course, is not only the continuation of the policies of the previous three administrations but a profound exaggeration of them. If anything, we suffer more violations of our privacy and civil liberties now than at any time during the Bush administration, all in the name of a national-security state that keeps the populace in its place while perpetuating war abroad. ...

[In his book], Tom Englehardt probes deeply into the war culture of Washington, D.C. As Englehardt writes, when it comes to conflict overseas “however contentious the disputes in Washington, however dismally the public viewed the war, however much the president’s war coalition might threaten to crack open, the only choices were between more and more.” More drones, more troops, more nation-building. So much for campaign promises and the new messiah who would end war and poverty permanently.

The first military budget Obama submitted, Engelhardt notes, was larger than the last one tendered by the Bush administration. “Because the United States does not look like a militarized country, it’s hard for Americans to grasp that Washington is a war capital, that the United States is a war state, that it garrisons much of the planet, and that the norm for us is to be at war somewhere (usually, in fact, many places) at any moment.” ...

As further evidence of our degeneration into a martial empire, the U.S. sells 70 percent of the weapons in the international arms trade. In almost every way, Engelhardt contends, the United States precipitates the militarization of the globe.

How far and fast we’ve fallen since the relatively peaceful days of the Reagan era. Four interventionist administrations later, we find ourselves as the leaders of international vice and terror. What happened, Englehardt asks, to the republic our Founders bequeathed to us? What have we done with and to our inheritance? ...

Engelhardt develops the fascinating argument that the history of the past 11 decades is the history of the airplane and our use of it for war, from the Sopwith Camel to the drone piloted remotely out of Las Vegas. In rather Chomsky-like (or perhaps Orwellian) fashion, one of Engelhardt’s later chapters explores the perversion of words in the English language to make the idea of war more palatable for the public and keep perpetual conflict “hidden in plain sight.” Engelhardt claims the Bush administration redefined patriotism and American identity, polarizing the country. Anyone who challenged the war, the Bush line went, must either be a “wuss” or a traitor.

Read complete article here.
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Obedient citizens, WikiLeaks, and a delusional foreign policy

Let's face it. Americans who so willingly accept silence and secrecy from our government rulers do not want the responsibility of thinking too deeply about what others might be doing in their name. Why be forced to make decisions about reprehensible, inhumane actions performed under the guise of patriotism?

How wrong this country's Founders were to believe that its citizens would welcome an open society, in order to keep government functionaries on a leash, to see what they were up to at all times. The Founders sought to insure that these dignitaries, from congressional representatives to military bureaucrats, and their multitude of hirelings, would be answerable to the people, not the other way around.

In Focus on the Policy, Not WikiLeaks, Congressman Ron Paul declares, "In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, however, we are in big trouble." He writes:
• • •

At its core, the WikiLeaks controversy serves as a diversion from the real issue of what our foreign policy should be. But the mainstream media, along with neoconservatives from both political parties, insist on asking the wrong question. When presented with embarrassing disclosures about U.S. spying and meddling, the policy that requires so much spying and meddling is not questioned. Instead, the media focus on how so much sensitive information could have been leaked, or how authorities might prosecute the publishers of such information.

No one questions the status quo or suggests a wholesale rethinking of our foreign policy. No one suggests that the White House or the State Department should be embarrassed that the U.S. engages in spying and meddling. The only embarrassment is that it was made public. This allows ordinary people to actually know and talk about what the government does. But state secrecy is anathema to a free society. Why exactly should Americans be prevented from knowing what their government is doing in their name?

The truth is that our foreign spying, meddling, and outright military intervention in the post–World War II era has made us less secure, not more. And we have lost countless lives and spent trillions of dollars for our trouble. Too often "official" government lies have provided justification for endless, illegal wars and hundreds of thousands of resulting deaths and casualties.

Take the recent hostilities in Korea as only one example. More than fifty years after the end of the Korean War, American taxpayers continue to spend billions for the U.S. military to defend a modern and wealthy South Korea. The continued presence of the U.S. military places American lives between the two factions. The U.S. presence only serves to prolong the conflict, further drain our empty treasury, and place our military at risk. ...

There is always an enemy to slay, whether communist or terrorist. In the neoconservative vision, a constant state of alarm must be fostered among the people to keep them focused on something greater than themselves – namely their great protector, the state. This is why the neoconservative reaction to the WikiLeaks revelations is so predictable: “See, we told you the world was a dangerous place,” goes the story. They claim we must prosecute – or even assassinate – those responsible for publishing the leaks. And we must redouble our efforts to police the world by spying and meddling better, with no more leaks.

We should view the WikiLeaks controversy in the larger context of American foreign policy. Rather than worry about the disclosure of embarrassing secrets, we should focus on our delusional foreign policy. We are kidding ourselves when we believe spying, intrigue, and outright military intervention can maintain our international status as a superpower while our domestic economy crumbles in an orgy of debt and monetary debasement.

Related - More by Ron Paul

Don't Start Another Korean War
South Korean leaders, emboldened by the U.S. protection, seek to provoke North Korean reaction rather than to work for a way to finally end the conflict

The War That's Not a War
The sad story is, this war is against ourselves, our values, our Constitution, our financial well-being and common sense
Read more!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

NPR-NYC and endless race stories

How painful it must have been for National Public Radio (NPR) to fire a person of color. For a network whose major reason for being centers around pandering to, condescending to, and promoting all racial coloreds (most especially blacks), terminating the contract of Juan Williams, regardless of past gripes with him, must have caused much anguish. It would not be surprising if most of the staff felt inclined to spend some time in counseling.

Here in New York City, NPR programming is distributed through station WNYC, a clone that is indistinguishable from NPR in its icky editorial policies and its overall politics. In listening to the never-ending programs of racial proselytizing and racial handholding, it's hard to know where NPR leaves off and WNYC begins.

There's hardly a program that does not somehow tangentially include some kind of encomium to blacks. No matter the subject, no matter the period in history, no matter the figure under discussion, at least every couple of hours there must be a remembrance of the wrongs done to blacks. To fail to remember such wrongs can only be construed as gross neglect and racism.

When someone like Rush Limbaugh claims that NPR's programming has little to do with blacks, they just don't get it. Yes, white hosts dominate the broadcasts and, yes, they appear to be focusing on what might seem to be white-oriented themes, but listen more closely. There are no two consecutive hours when the racial grievances of the coloreds are not explored. Is there a program about cooking and restaurants? Well, wait until you hear about all those good jobs that were denied to black chefs. Is there a program about camping and outdoor life? Well, wait until you hear about how unwelcome blacks feel in the environment of national parks and the lack of "inclusiveness."

The point is that the whites who listen to NPR-NYC want to hear endless colored sob stories, no matter the initial story themes, and NPR-NYC delivers.

Limbaugh mocks NPR-NYC by claiming that there is only one black-hosted program, "Tell Me More." However, he is wrong. Besides this show, there are two weekend programs hosted by the black Tavis Smiley. On Saturday it's the "Tavis Smiley" show, and on Sundays Smiley co-hosts another program with Princeton Professor Cornel West. Both programs are non-stop colored grievance machines.

What Limbaugh does not understand is that there is no need for black hosts, since the white ones will do more than their share to keep the colored themes prominent. After all, whites love this stuff, so obviously it's good for ratings.

Even when a story focuses on a white figure, such as a popular sportsman, who has been accused of indiscreet or immoral conduct, the underlying idea conveyed is that it's not only black men who are "bad boys." Look at that bad, immoral white man!

As part of the daily pablum, ways are found to elevate the public image of the coloreds, while denigrating traditions or customs attributed to whites. After all, what kind of customs could be worthy of praise if those customs failed to include colored people?

One of my favorite NPR-NYC programs was cited in my 2008 post, Those quaint Indians, in which the white host was flummoxed when two men from India insisted that they preferred to return to their homeland to choose wives from among their own race and traditions. What could be more politically incorrect than such a notion? Is there a greater no-no among the NPR-NYC crowd than disdaining full and total integration? You refuse to mix it up socially? Won't date someone of another race? Well, now, we all know what that makes you!

Do we find enlightenment in any of this programming? On a recent Smiley-West show, a black man called in to tell the truth about who he has to worry about whenever he's on the streets, that is, other blacks who only want to "take from him" and harm him. And what is Brother Cornel West's response to such frankness? He informs the caller that the reason for this seemingly negative behavior on the part of blacks is due to the 19th century Confederacy, where blacks were "terrorized and traumatized." And that, Brothers and Sisters, is your enlightenment for the day.

Needless to say, sacred organizations like the NAACP and the many other civil rights bloviaters, who preach the party line on race, are prominent, frequent guests on NPR-NYC. The black-hosted "Tell Me More," includes "The Barbershop," a segment that is laden with conventional civil rights stories. You might think that you've bumped across some re-play of an old 1970s tape when listening to the whining about "injustice," but, no, it's just another day in the life of NPR-NYC.


Dredging up the past - Part 2
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Sweden's folly

And so we learn of the reality that has come to Sweden. Having avoided terrorist attacks in the past, two explosions on December 11, in busy shopping centers in Stockholm, brought an end to the calm.

Such attacks can no longer come as a surprise to those countries that, like Sweden, are aiding and abetting the Americans' wars against Middle East Arabs. Ongoing assaults will probably become as common in foreign lands as attacks against the invading American troops in Arab territories. Arabs are simply saying to the Swedes, "If you join with our U.S. enemy to help them in their invasions against us, then you, too, will pay the price."

Or, to use the very words of the recorded email message sent by those responsible for the Stockholm attacks: “Now, your children — daughters and sisters — will die like our brothers and sisters and children die."

Would Americans consider this unreasonable, if a years-long invasion was underway on U.S. soil and Canada allied with the invaders and sent its troops to help kill Americans?

Last month, Sweden's foolish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt claimed that plans were underway to withdraw Swedish combat forces from Afghanistan over the next four years. Four years?! Now how much terrorist damage do you think can be done to the Swedish people over four years? The Swedes ought to run Reinfeldt out of town.

These years of military actions, in which thousands of young American men have died and tens of thousands of Arabs have perished, are totally meaningless to the American cause. They are for nothing! What possible meaning can this gross injustice hold for the Swedes? What folly.
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Keep the myth alive

Do we have to do this again? Every single year, in December?

Well, yes, the story with its assorted lies must be told over and over, to make sure it remains part of the American myth. What else makes white men feel so good about themselves other than that monumental WWII, that supposedly saved the world? The war where they got to kill off hundreds of thousands of other white men, along with some yellow ones -- for the sake of what exactly? Perhaps just for the sake of being able to brag to future generations about their superior courage and military prowess, and to make all those repetitious and insufferable Hollywood war movies.

In It’s Pearl Harbor Day – Trot Out the Official Fable, Robert Higgs of the Independent Institute informs us that historians have long known that the true story of the war with Japan was nothing like the "patriotic fable dispensed each year on December 7 for popular consumption." In two insightful articles, Higgs offers detailed accounts of the facts having to do with America's Beloved War on both fronts. See How U.S. Economic Warfare Provoked Japan’s Attack on Pearl Harbor and How Americans Have Been Misled about World War II.

Higgs writes: "It behooves every educated American to learn this honest history and to pass it along to others when an opportunity arises, because the myth has long contributed, and continues to contribute, to a false view of the U.S. place in the world and to a grave misunderstanding of U.S. foreign policy.

"Ceaseless dissemination and widespread acceptance of this view is the very model of how the U.S. government tends to do foreign policy: provoke foreigners to attack Americans, then tell the American people that foreigners have attacked us for no reason and therefore we must strike back to defeat them or at least to teach them a lesson about treating the United States with deference."

Oh, yes, show deference to the USA! USA! USA! Or else.
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Twenty years of offshoring and nine years of pointless US wars

Will it ever be possible to return the American economy to what it was like when the U.S. was a leading manufacturer of goods? Or does offshoring spell doom for the American future? And is China really the problem?

In American Job Loss Is Permanent, economist Paul Craig Roberts talks about the advocates of globalism who, over the years, have insisted that the offshoring of jobs by U.S. corporations increases employment and wages in the U.S. Economist Matthew Slaughter and William Cohen, a former Bill Clinton Cabinet member, have actually made this claim. In Cohen's words: “The fact is that for every job outsourced to Bangalore, nearly two jobs are created in Buffalo and other American cities.” Roberts wonders just where are these jobs in Buffalo, which no one has yet been able to locate. He writes:
• • •

The claim that jobs offshoring by US corporations increases domestic employment in the US is one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated. ... Slaughter reached his erroneous conclusion by counting the growth in multinational jobs in the U.S. without adjusting the data to reflect the acquisition of existing firms by multinationals and for existing firms turning themselves into multinationals by establishing foreign operations for the first time. There was no new multinational employment in the U.S. ...

Over the last decade, the net new jobs created in the U.S. have nothing to do with multinational corporations. The jobs consist of waitresses and bartenders, health care and social services (largely ambulatory health care), retail clerks, and, while the bubble lasted, construction.

These are not the high-tech, high-paying jobs that the “New Economy” promised, and they are not jobs that can be associated with global corporations. Moreover, these domestic service jobs are themselves scarce. ...

To keep eyes off of the loss of jobs to offshoring, policymakers and their minions in the financial press blame US unemployment on alleged currency manipulation by China and on the financial crisis. The financial crisis itself is blamed by Republicans on low income Americans who took out mortgages that they could not afford.

In other words, the problem is China and the greedy American poor who tried to live above their means. With this being the American mindset, you can see why nothing can be done to save the economy.

No government will admit its mistakes, especially when it can blame foreigners. China is being made the scapegoat for American failure. An entire industry has grown up that points its finger at China and away from 20 years of corporate offshoring of US jobs and 9 years of expensive and pointless US wars. ...

The major cause of the US trade deficit with China is “globalism” or the practice, enforced by Wall Street and Wal-Mart, of US corporations offshoring their production for US markets to China in order to improve the bottom line by lowering labor costs. Most of the tariffs that the congressional idiots want to put on “Chinese” imports would, therefore, fall on the offshored production of US corporations. When these American brand goods, such as Apple computers, are brought to US markets, they enter the US as imports. Thus, the tariffs will be applied to US corporate offshored output as well as to the exports of Chinese companies to the US.

The correct conclusion is that the US trade deficit with China is the result of “globalism” or jobs offshoring, not Chinese currency manipulation.

Read complete article here.
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Monday, November 29, 2010

Uncle Sam soldiers on

"We can’t let go," says Pat Buchanan, referring to this country's unnecessary wars and military interventions, "because we don’t know what else to do. We live in yesterday — and our rivals look to tomorrow."

This country's "patriotic" Anglo-Euro men, who love so much to fight, live in the past, and will go to war and stay at war for anyone who comes along and pulls their "USA!" chain. Throw in some sentimental jargon about "God," and you've got them hooked. As one soldier recently indicated, all a recognized "leader" has to do is point said soldier in the direction of a so-called enemy, and he becomes a willing killer. So what if it was all a mistake? No questions asked. At least it keeps unemployed men like him occupied.

This warrior has been a willing tool to fight and die a worthless death for the safety of Israel, like a good goy boy. Now we learn that Saudis, Arabs, mind you, are calling on this eager American soldier to risk his life by attacking Iran. No doubt, Mr. Tough Marine will be just as willing to die or be maimed and deformed for the benefit of A-rabs. And next will come the Koreans -- again. Just give him a weapon and point him in the direction . . . . No questions asked.

For how much longer will the world tolerate this imperial behavior on the part of these self-indulgent American "patriots?" Here are excerpts from Buchanan's latest column, Why Are We Still in Korea?:
• • •

Fifty-seven years after that armistice [in Korea, June 1953], a U.S. carrier task force is steaming toward the Yellow Sea in a show of force after the North fired 80 shells into a South Korean village. We will stand by our Korean allies, says President Obama. And with our security treaty and 28,000 U.S. troops in South Korea, many on the DMZ, we can do no other. But why, 60 years after the first Korean War, should Americans be the first to die in a second Korean War?

Unlike 1950, South Korea is not an impoverished ex-colony of Japan. She is the largest of all the “Asian tigers,” a nation with twice the population and 40 times the economy of the North. Seoul just hosted the G-20. And there is no Maoist China or Stalinist Soviet Union equipping Pyongyang’s armies. The planes, guns, tanks and ships of the South are far superior in quality.

Why, then, are we still in South Korea? Why is this quarrel our quarrel? Why is this war, should it come, America’s war?

High among the reasons we fought in Korea was Japan, then a nation rising from the ashes after half its cities had been reduced to rubble. But, for 50 years now, Japan has had the second largest economy and is among the most advanced nations on earth. Why cannot Japan defend herself? Why does this remain our responsibility, 65 years after MacArthur took the surrender in Tokyo Bay? ...

Why, when the Cold War has been over for 20 years, do all these Cold War alliances still exist?

Obama has just returned from a Lisbon summit of NATO, an alliance formed in 1949 to defend Western Europe from Soviet tank armies on the other side of the Iron Curtain that threatened to roll to the Channel. Today, that Red Army no longer exists, the captive nations are free, and Russia’s president was in Lisbon as an honored guest of NATO.

Yet we still have tens of thousands of U.S. troops in the same bases they were in when Gen. Eisenhower became supreme allied commander more than 60 years ago. Across Europe, our NATO allies are slashing defense to maintain social safety nets. But Uncle Sam, he soldiers on.

We borrow from Europe to defend Europe. We borrow from Japan and China to defend Japan from China. We borrow from the Gulf Arabs to defend the Gulf Arabs. ...

How to explain why America behaves as she does? ... Like an aging athlete, we keep trying to relive the glory days when all the world looked with awe upon us. We can’t let go, because we don’t know what else to do. We live in yesterday — and our rivals look to tomorrow.
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What might have been

On September 10, 2001, I announced on the Issues & Views website the formation of a unique coalition whose aim would be to make war on the "War on Drugs." This was on September 10, just one day before Doomsday. September 11, of course, would force the postponement and outright termination of so many prospective events and potential good works.

The new organization that did not get to breathe life was to be part of the Free Congress Foundation's "Coalition for Constitutional Liberties," and was initiated by an array of conservative thinkers and activists. It had the blessings of such stalwarts as Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation and Phyllis Schlafly of the Eagle Forum. Eagle Forum chapters in Wisconsin, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas and Tennessee were to play leading roles in helping to expand the Coalition's reach. Among the more than two dozen groups allied with the Coalition were the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, and the Republican Leadership Council.

On September 10, Weyrich released this statement, which was sent directly to Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee:

We are part of a broad coalition of groups concerned that the war on drugs has degraded our privacy and civil liberties. We respectfully ask that the members of Committee consider raising the following privacy and civil liberties issues in connection with the nomination of John Walters to be the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (Office of the White House).

We intend by issuing this letter to signal neither support nor opposition to Mr. Walters' nomination. Rather, we are issuing this letter to urge members of the Committee to explore these issues in connection with Mr. Walters' nomination. As we set forth below, these issues include the use of new surveillance and investigative technologies, including the Carnivore/DCS1000 and Echelon systems, the "Know Your Customer" proposal of the Financial Action Task Force, asset forfeiture abuses, wiretaps and the drug war's sometimes corrupting influence on law enforcement itself.

Little did these concerned citizens know what was on the horizon, as they expressed alarm over the potential of everyone becoming a "drug suspect" due to heavy-handed government intrusions into privacy. Given what the American people are now experiencing, how quaint seem the members of this Coalition, as they complained about Amtrak giving DEA officials access to its ticketing database, along with passengers' last names, destinations, method of payment, and data on whether they were going one-way or round trip. Would any of these worthy patriots back then ever have conceived of airport body scanners?

In concluding my article on the activities planned by the Coalition, I asked, "Is it too much to hope that some day there might be a light at the end of this dark tunnel now ruled over by the DEA, BATF, FBI, and sundry other bureaucracies?" Well, yes, it was too much to hope for, as the tunnel has grown darker than ever.
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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Seven years of hell

The warnings were there early on. Think whatever you wish about Saddam Hussein, yet those with an understanding of the Middle East warned back in 2003, that it was his strong-arm policies that prevented Iraq's diverse religious groups from harming one another. Hussein himself told his executioners that they would be sorry when they dispensed with him due to the social disorder that inevitably would prevail upon his death.

In The Murderers of Christianity, Pat Buchanan tells us who is really responsible for the November 1 massacre of Iraqi Christians. Following are excerpts:
• • •

It was the worst massacre of Christians yet. For Assyrian Catholics known as Chaldeans, whose ancestors were converted by St. Thomas the Apostle, the U.S. war of liberation has been seven years of hell. Estimates of the number of Christians in Iraq in 2003 vary from 800,000 to 1.5 million. But hundreds of thousands have fled since the invasion. Seven of the 14 churches in Baghdad have closed, and two-thirds of the city’s 500,000 Christians are gone.

While Saddam Hussein, a secularist, had protected religious minorities, Muslim vigilantes — Shia, Sunni and Kurd, as well as al-Qaida — have attacked the Christians who have endured kidnappings, pillage, rapes, beheadings and assassinations.

And what has happened to this Christian community, which had lived peacefully alongside Muslim neighbors for centuries, must be marked down as one of the predictable and predicted consequences of America’s war in Iraq. In editor Tom Fleming’s Chronicles, just days before President Bush ordered the invasion, columnist Wayne Allensworth warned pointedly:

“Iraqi Christians fear they will be the first victims of a war that might dismember their country, unleashing ethnic and religious conflicts that Baghdad had previously suppressed. ... The Shiite uprising in southern Iraq during the first Gulf War — encouraged and then abandoned by Washington — targeted Christians. Many Christians had supported Saddam’s regime, in spite of creeping Islamicization, as their best hope of survival in the Islamic Middle East.”

Why is Christianity being murdered in its cradle by Muslim fanatics?

Multiple reasons. A return of Islamic militancy. The rise of ethnic nationalism that conflates tribal and religious identity. Hatred of America for its domination of the region, for our war on terror that they see as a war on Islam and for our support of Israel in its suppression of the Palestinians.

Christians across the Middle East are now seen as both members of an alien religion and a fifth column of the Crusaders inside their camp. Paul Marshall of Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom warns that we may be in another great wave of persecution, “as Christians flee the Palestinian areas, Lebanon, Turkey, and Egypt.” Christians are gone from Jerusalem, gone from Nazareth, gone from Bethlehem. From Egypt to Iran, the Vatican counts 17 million left. ...

America remains the most Christianized of the Western nations. Yet, the protests of the White House, State Department and major media over the eradication of Christianity in the Middle East is muted. ...

Of what worth these wars for democracy if we end up freeing fanatics to annihilate communities or expel populations of our own Christian brothers and sisters across the Middle East?

Read complete article here.
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The joy of killing, and Don't ask treasonous questions

Power corrupts, but does the military corrupt absolutely? Former military man (Vietnam veteran) Fred Reed offers his observations on a General's recent comments. With this new head of Central Command for a leader, what's to become of the young soldiers? Is this to be their model as they prepare to invade all those other Middle East and African countries that are sorely in need of Liberation -- Yemen, Iran, Somalia, etc? (Did I leave out a few?)

In Psychopathy Legitimized, Reed, who is no pansy, nor antiwar, expresses the view of many current and former soldiers -- at least, those who have not yet gone over to the Dark Side. Following are excerpts:

• • •

On, I find a loutish American general, James Mattis, martial feminist, talking about the fun he has killing Afghans. Yes, fun, wheeee-oooo! and ooo-rah! too. He says, “You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil,” adding “guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyways. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.” What must he do with prisoners?

A joyous killer, possibly orgasmic. Note mandatory flagly background, pickle suit, and stupid colorful gewgaws so he looks like a goddam stamp collection. Stern gaze is necessary to become a general. From defending the Constitution to the pleasure of watching Afghans die: The military has come a long way.

I’ll guess he fell just shy of graduating from third grade. He sure ain’t much of a general, no ways, I reckon. Just the fellow I want representing me in the world.

Does General Dworkin-Mattis speak of manhood? Odd, since his military is being badly outfought by the unmanly Afghans that are fun to kill. By the Pentagon’s figures the US military outnumbers the resistance several to one. The US has complete control of the air, enjoying F16s, helicopter gun-ships, transport choppers, and Predator drones, as well as armor, body armor, night-vision gear, heavy weaponry, medevac, hospitals, good food, and PXs. The Afghans have only AKs, RPGs, C4, and balls. Yet they are winning, or at least holding their own. How glorious.

Man for man, weapon for weapon, the Taliban are clearly superior. They take far heavier casualties, but keep on fighting. Their politics are not mine, but they are formidable on the ground. If I were General Dworkin, I’d change my name and go into hiding. Maybe he could wear a veil.

Perhaps the US should recognize that it has a second-rate military at phenomenal cost – an enormous, largely useless national codpiece. It is embarrassing. The Pentagon’s preferred enemies are lightly armed, poorly equipped peasants, which makes for a long war and thus hundreds of billions of dollars in juicy contracts for military industries. Yet the greatest military in history (ask it) gets run out of Southeast Asia, blown up and run out of Lebanon, shot down and run out of Somalia, with Afghanistan a disaster in progress and Iraq claimed as an American victory rather than Shiite. Do the aircraft carriers intimidate North Korea? No. Iran? No. China? No. For this, a trillion dollars a year? ...

Now, it is regarded as treasonous to question that Our Boys are the best trained, best armed, toughest troops in the world, and I’ll probably get punched out in bars for pointing out the awful truth. Let’s imagine an experiment. We take Killing-is-Fun General Mattis-Abzug, and a thousand GIs, and a thousand Taliban, and let them fight it out in any patch of wretched barren mountains of your choosing. On equal terms. What you think? Same weapons.

Good idea, General? You eat what they eat, wear what they wear, they have no medical care, and neither do you. If they get lung-shot and die the hard way, you do too. It will come down to guts and motivation.

Motivation: It counts, general. I believe it was Bedford Forrest who said of some of his troops, “Them cane-brake boys jest plain likes to fight.” I guess there must be just a whole lot of cane in Afghanistan. The Taliban will go to any length to cut your freaking throat because you have been killing their wives and children, fathers and brothers, and you will fight for… for…well. Uh. Big oil, AIPAC, Ann Coulter. Or a promotion for General Mathis-Abzug. Anybody want to put odds on the outcome?

And General, killing them might be a tad less fun when you couldn’t do it from the safety of a gunship. Just a thought, General. ...

Funny how things look if you think about them. Patriots talk about the tragic deaths of young Americans in Afghanistan. Well, okay. Other things being equal, young guys getting shot to death in a pointless war is not a swell idea. I’m against it. In fact, the more you see of it, and I’ve seen a lot, the worse an idea it seems. Of course, a logician might point out that if you didn’t send them to Afghanistan, they wouldn’t die there – would they?

Read complete article here.

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