Sunday, December 14, 2008

A shameful blot

On the cover of the November 17, 2008 edition of The American Conservative magazine is a list of the dismal accomplishments of our outgoing President, George W. Bush. It reads as follows:

Missions Accomplished
• Start a war (or two)
• Shred Constitution
• Crash economy
• Expand entitlements
• Ruin America's reputation
• Create Democratic majority
• Bribe churches
• Recruit for al-Qaeda
• Discredit conservatism
• Nationalize banks
• Cut taxes now, pay later
• Misunderestimate hurricane
• Export jobs, import workers
• Federalize education
• Spy on citizens

The cover story inside, "Bush's Broken Record," offers observations by several writers on the Bush tenure. A few excerpts:

He Fought the Wars and the Wars Won, by Gary Brecher

What George W. Bush loved best about his job was being a war president. Playing war, that is, as opposed to making war like a grown-up. Remember him strutting onto that carrier in his little flight jacket? You never saw Eisenhower, a real general, playing out his martial fantasies this way. You can take the drink out of the drunk, but you can’t take the swagger out of a fool. ...

Maybe there’s a lesson here: if the president doesn’t cut it in a crisis, we’re better off admitting that to ourselves and telling him so instead of pretending he’s a great leader. When you make a weakling into a hero, you give him a lot of power. ...

So we poured American blood and treasure into the Iraqi dust to prove the half-baked theories of a bunch of tenth-rate professors. The most expensive experiment in the history of the world, all to learn something any 10-year-old could have told them: people don’t take to foreign troops on their streets, and not everybody wants to be like us. You know those Ig-Nobel awards they hand out to the dumbest science projects of the year? The Iraq invasion is the all-time winner. Retire the trophy with the names of the winning team: Bush, Cheney, Kristol, Wolfowitz, Feith. ...

It’s no puzzle: we pretended a goon was a hero, let him play out his foolish fantasies about remaking the Middle East, and wasted our strength on a losing effort while the rest of the world drifted out of our power. Our leader was a laughingstock around globe, and he made America the butt of the world’s contempt. But Bush got his wish—he was a war president and then some. The rest of us were the casualties.

A Long Train of Abuses, by Alexander Cockburn

No doubt the conservatives who cheered Bush on as he abrogated ancient rights and stretched the powers of his office to unseen limits would have shrieked if a Democrat had taken such liberties. But now Obama will be entitled to the lordly prerogatives Bush established.

Growing up in Ireland and the United Kingdom, I gazed with envy at the United States, with its constitutional protections and its Bill of Rights contrasting with the vast ad hoc tapestry of Britain’s repressive laws and “emergency” statutes piled up through the centuries. Successive regimes from the Plantagenet and Tudor periods forward went about the state’s business of enforcing the enclosures, hanging or transporting strikers, criminalizing disrespectful speech, and, of course, abolishing the right to carry even something so innocuous as a penknife. ...

Bush has forged resolutely along the path blazed by Clinton in asserting uninhibited executive power to wage war, seize, confine, and torture at will, breaching constitutional laws and international treaties and covenants concerning the treatment of combatants. The Patriot Act took up items on the Justice Department’s wish list left over from Clinton’s dreadful Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, which trashed habeas corpus protections.

The most spectacular abuses of civil liberties under Bush, such as the prison camp at Guantanamo, are acute symptoms of a chronic disease. The larger story of the past eight years has been the great continuity between this administration and those that have come before. ...

In the past eight years, Bush has ravaged the Fourth Amendment with steadfast diligence, starting with his insistence that he could issue arrest warrants if there was reason to believe a noncitizen was implicated in terrorist activity. Seized under this pretext and held within America’s borders or in some secret prison overseas, the captive had no recourse to a court of law. Simultaneously, the “probable cause” standard, theoretically disciplining the state’s innate propensity to search and to seize, has been systematically abused, as have the FBI’s powers under the “material witness” statute to arrest and hold their suspects. Goodbye habeas corpus.

Discounting Family Values, by Allan Carlson

The Bush team sacrificed the prospect of greater pro-family initiatives—like so much else—to the war in Iraq. Most disturbingly, the Defense Department relentlessly manipulated, and at times simply ignored, laws that limited exposure of women to combat. Desperate to fill its ranks, the Army ignored the lessons of all human history and put women—including young mothers—at risk, a shameful blot on the American record. Hundreds have been killed and many more severely wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thousands have spent months, if not years, separated from their families.

The administration’s deliberate twisting of gender roles was on gruesome display in the case of Jessica Lynch, in which Pentagon propagandists blatantly lied about her capture in the early days of the Iraq War, turning a frightened victim of Iraqi sexual abuse into a female version of Sergeant York. Private Lynndie England’s infamous exploits in the Abu Ghraib prison were another sign of the Pentagon’s direct complicity in the feminist-inspired degradation of American women.

In pursuit of its military agenda, the Bush administration achieved another landmark of gender-role engineering. Its deployment of women into combat made sure, given prior court decisions, that if the nation must someday return to a draft, the daughters of American families will join their brothers in involuntary military service.

Conservatives Follow the Leader, by Llewellyn Rockwell

To be sure, cultural problems abound, given the warfare state and the welfare state. But the answer is hardly to put the feds in total charge. Just as religion must be free from state interference, so must the culture, which is informed by religion. But once conservatives helped make these issues part of the political agenda, the state happily developed an aggressive strategy for shaping the culture in its image, through a wide variety of legislation and spending.

So when it came time for Bush to rally conservative support, he pushed very bad ideas like putting religious charities on the government dole. You might think that this would be opposed by anyone who valued religious independence, charitable autonomy, free enterprise, and limiting government. But no: conservatives stood foursquare with Bush, and even had their hands out for contracts. ...

Every Republican president can count on the conservatives eventually supporting whatever policies he dishes out for one simple and profound reason: they hate the Left more than they hate the state. So in the end, they will back anything that keeps the Left out of power. By anything, I mean anything—military dictatorship, fascist central planning, state management of the whole of the culture. One wonders what horror they think they are preventing by opposing the Left.

The answer is that they do not think. Most people calling themselves conservatives pay no attention to the history of ideas. George W. Bush certainly took no such interest. His understanding of American history, economics, and world affairs is thin and superficial. His goal as president was not to accomplish anything as such but merely to be president and do presidential things and hope to land on the right side of history.
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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Beating up on the Dixie Chicks

An interesting thread about the Dixie Chicks and their travails, which still do not seem to be over, appeared on the Country Music Television site.

So many people still do not understand that the First Amendment was conceived to act as the primary vehicle that makes it safe for Americans to speak out against our government and those who claim to represent us. For many citizens, freedom of speech stops short of criticism of their pet politician.
• • •

(Dec. 5)
Jim C says:

Politics and Natalie Maine’s big mouth aside….. the Dixie Chicks play great music, and I look forward to hearing their new music. Having been in the Marine Corps for 25 years, I tend to forgive people who shoot off their mouth’s because I fight for their freedom to make asses of themselves. People in the public eye make stupid statements all of the time with little consequences; however, Ms. Maines forgot one important thing…. Country Music fans are very patriotic people!!!! We love our Country and we love our Country Music and we don’t like anyone treading on either one.

(Dec. 5)
Rosebud says:

Jim C, the first thing I want to do is thank you for serving our country. I do really appeciate the men and women who fight for our great nation. I do not agree that their (Dixie Chicks) comments make them unpatriotic. It’s been so long since they made those statements. The fact of the matter is their feelings of going to war were the same as a lot of people. That does not mean those people do not support the troops only they may question the motives of our Commander and Chief.

(Dec. 5)
Jim C says:

Rosebud…. what you say is valid; however, remember that America has a “Mob Mentality.” What Natalie Maines said about President Bush wasn’t that bad compared to other remarks that have been made about him. In her case, the timing was just wrong and the Dixie Chicks paid for it in the only way the “Angry Mob” could get back at them …. and that was by pulling their cd’s off the shelves and taking them off of playlists at Country Music Stations. Was it right? No way …… but as I stated in a previous entry, Country Music Fans love their country and they love their country music and Natalie Maines, for a moment, forgot about that. But here’s the thing …. the Chicks have made some great music since then and have had a very successful tour schedule, so their going to be okay.

(Dec. 6)
Stella says:

How does anyone buy the notion that lambasting a politician, whether the President or not, is the same as lambasting your country or its principles? Where does such an idea come from? Every President has faced an opposition that has torn him to shreds.

Politicians are there to be criticized and denounced by the citizens. Who else deserves it more? And how in the world does that make an American less “patriotic?” Why should anyone buy the notion that mindless robots, who meekly follow the mob, are people who “love their country?” Maybe they just love not having to think for themselves.

Why can’t the Dixie Chicks’ music be appreciated, while they are accepted on their own terms? Do you think that if Elvis had gone against the political grain of the times, that he would have been shunned and his music ignored by radio jocks?

(Dec. 6)
Jim C says:

. . . The fact of the matter is that a majority of Country Music fans, and many American’s do see the President as a symbol of American Patriotism. If you have ever traveled abroad, then you know that much of the world equates America’s President as America itself and judges us accordingly. I have been to many countries where the only English word they all collectively know is the name of the current President.

(Dec. 6)
Leanne says:

So, will country music fans be this respectful to our incoming president? Will they get up in arms if someone like Trace or Toby 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 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 4 years, no matter what soil it’s said on. So, I wish people would just admit that they were mad because Natalie said something they didn’t agree with and stop trying to justify it for what might seem like a nobler reason.
• • •

Yes, as Leanne suggests, let's all wait to see if those patriotic country music fans insist on respecting the "Office of the President," when the flak is flying hot and heavy over Obama's head. Is the Office of the President respected only when a Republican holds it?

As each citizen should desire the right to criticize political figures, of any party, we should refrain from punishing one another when the verbal rocks are being thrown at our pet politician.
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You handed government a sword

Some excerpts from the wise words of Robert Hawes, who identifies as a Christian libertarian, in his post, "Enabling Tyranny: An Open Letter to Conservative Republicans," on his blog, The Jeffersonian:

• • •

In the meantime, while the GOP is busily rubbing at that boot-print on its rear end and wondering what to do next, let me ask you conservative Republicans out there a question:

Do you realize that what scares you the most about Obama and his democratic allies is largely your own fault?

I’m not talking about a failure to get the vote out for McCain (God help us), or the general ins and outs of campaign strategy. Rather, I’m talking about the powers that you have allowed Washington DC to consolidate, particularly during the last seven-and-a-half years.

You couldn’t see the wolf in Republican clothing. You trusted George W. Bush and his congressional allies because they had that all-important R behind their names. So you looked the other way while they tore the Constitution to shreds and stomped on it. You excused the abuses of power, the torture, the signing statements, the “unitary executive” rhetoric, the wars waged against populations that had done us no harm, the raids against war protestors and other suspicious characters, the destruction of the dollar, the increased federal control in everything from education to healthcare; and just because the “good guys” were doing it, you thought everything would work out fine.

You handed government a sword because you trusted the hand that would wield it, and because it had that good ‘ole “Made in the U.S.A.” label on it. And now that a new hand is reaching for it, you fear that you may soon find the edge of that sword pressed to your own throat.
• • •

Read this entire, impressive post at The Jeffersonian.
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The everlasting quest: To transform whites

Change you can believe in? For Black Panther veteran Larry Pinkney, the only change that would benefit society is a total overturn of the capitalist system. Pinkney, as a hard-core leftist, desires more than just reform; he wants revolution, which he deems a long-term goal. He is upfront about where he's coming from as he emphasizes class inequities, not race, as society's critical problem. The majority of this blog's readers tend to be miles to the right of Pinkney's policy positions, but this does not mean that all his observations about Barack Obama are worthless.

Pinkney holds no doubts about the role played by the "corporate media" in helping to bring about Obama's political ascension. On this subject, he and the political right are in agreement. There are times when he comes off sounding very much like my favorite presidential candidate, Patrick Buchanan, especially when he urges American citizens to recognize that "The very subterfuge of the corporate/military elite, and its hand maiden, the corporate media, is in fact what brought Barack Obama to power as the face of U.S. Empire."

The "slippery tongued" Obama is a product of a mainstream media that branded and marketed him, "with the people of the United States as their targets," Pinkney writes in "More of the Same Only Worse." This country's military adventurism will continue, declares Pinkney, as it now can be rationalized by a new potent weapon, that is, "the dangerously double-talking 'Emperor' in black face - Barack Obama."

Pinkney predicts that the "corporate-military elite" will use their media-created "Messiah" ultimately to destroy all liberation struggles throughout the world. In the meantime, "Wall Street barons prolong their glut of the every day people’s finances, resources, hopes, and dreams."

While rightwing partisans are going ballistic over the new President-elect, whom they label as "socialist" and "communist," and certainly an enemy of capitalism, to many leftwingers he is nothing more than a carefully crafted tool of the same warmongering powers that crafted George W. Bush.

And what will happen to dissidents and protesters? Non-blacks, who stand in opposition to Obama's policies, predicts Pinkney, "will be branded as racists and traitors." While blacks who oppose the Obama regime "will be ignored and/or branded as fringe radicals and traitors."

Pinkney holds a far more grandiose belief in "the people" than I do. He claims that, over time, the anger of the masses will "peak and explode," as "the proverbial scales of blindness" drop from their eyes, and they see that they've been had, once again. I think it's far more likely that, once the current economic beast is tamed, and "the people" realize they will not have to give up any of their toys, after all, and may even look forward to hoarding still more, they will be the compliant little mice they have grown used to emulating.

Once assured of bread, they will return to their circuses, as they continue to entertain themselves to death. Although we can expect some rumblings from a few hardy souls (like those who occupied that factory building or others who have taken to the streets), the only angry stirrings we are likely to witness among the masses will come when they are denied access to the latest plasma television sets or Apple's newest iPod.

Attention must be paid

While Larry Pinkney's predictions are huge, global and a-racial, mine tend to be modest, and focus more on the ramifications of social interactions.

I believe that blacks will take this Obama victory as a mandate, not to straighten out the mess in their own backyards, but to continue the job of "fixing" white folks. This means stepping up the crusade designed to keep whites in the habit of working to exterminate the "guilt" and "shame" that supposedly taints their hearts and souls. And it will not matter how you label these blacks. You may call them "liberal" or "radical" or even "conservative," but their quest will be the same. If there is one thing that unites blacks across all politics, religious attachments, and classes, it is the desire to control the attitudes and behavior of whites.

Our exalted black movers and shakers – heads of academia, civil rights mountebanks, government functionaries and elected officials – are sure to support even more vigorous integration policies. These will be necessary in order to reach those white holdouts, who are not actively working to de-racinate themselves for the coming "post-racial" world. That is, the world as devised by the coloreds, along with their white professional "anti-racists."

From the most trivial pop culture junk, to the gravest issues, whites are expected to pay attention when blacks are the principals involved. Take the concern of New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, for example. His very first column for the world's most prestigious newspaper is one I have never forgotten, if for nothing more than its unmitigated shallowness.

The column was a sermon scolding whites for neglecting to pick up on a piece of jargon that was popular for about ten minutes in 1993. Entitled, "In America, There It Is!," Herbert (a leading black "intellectual" pundit) expressed dismay over the fact that he kept encountering whites who had never heard the bit of black doggerel that went, "Whoomp, there it is!," and explains further, "Or, if you prefer, "Whoot, there it is!" (He offers the alternative spelling of this important contribution to the American vocabulary, because slang tends to get transformed from place to place; in this case, from black ghetto to black ghetto.)

About this piece of slang, Herbert exults:

It's the joyous cry of the streets and the clubs in the big cities, the cry of the young who refuse to succumb to their troubles and grief. "Whoot, there it is!"

Enraptured with this notion, he continues:

Little kids can't stop saying it. A 10-year-old boy in Detroit opened his birthday package and pulled out a new Nintendo game. "Whoomp!" he shouted. "There it is!" A little girl in Atlanta was striving for an A on an English test. When her graded paper came back, she jumped up in the classroom. "Whoot," she said, "there it is!" It's a phrase that makes you feel good. It gets the endorphins going. It's much better than a cigarette or a cocktail. Whoomp, there it is!

And then Herbert gets to the point of this brilliant first essay for the eminent New York Times. He claims to be "amazed" that very few people outside of the "black urban environment" (we know who they are) possess an awareness of this endorphin-rousing expression, "although the phrases have launched two hit songs." (Obviously, everyone is expected to share his interest in simple-minded popular music.) He then educates his readers:

The number two song in the country is by the rap duo Tag Team. It's called "Whoomp! (There It Is)." Also on the charts is "Whoot, There It Is," an altogether different – and blatantly risque – song by the rap group 95 South.

We also learn that a Manhattan bowling alley plays the song whenever someone scores a strike, and that a special version was recorded for the Chicago Bulls. Yet, in spite of all this outstanding acclaim, so many Americans (you know who) are oblivious to this verbal expression, which Herbert, several times, calls a "phenomenon." He writes:

In other words, the whoomp-whoot phenomenon is very big. But as it comes primarily from black kids, much of the country remains absolutely unaware of it. The media have stayed away from it big time. These are America's youngsters, but it's as if America can't hear them.

Oh, wicked, indifferent America! And, he continues:

On Capitol Hill, where Congressmen are shadowboxing with the big issues of our time, you'll get a dumbfounded stare if you happen to mention, "Whoot, there it is!" Several blocks away, in the D.C. neighborhoods, the phrase is everywhere, but hardly anyone on the Hill has heard it.

Calling such ignorance "a shame," Herbert offers the names of a couple of Congressmen who could benefit "from a little loosening up." Of course, they just happen to be Republicans: Senator Robert Dole, who has a "gloomy view of the world," along with the "exasperated" Senator Orrin Hatch.

And then the philosopher Herbert caps off his words of wisdom with observations about what disregard of this creative argot by "America's youngsters" says about black-white relations. How can one miss viewing "Whoomp!" as metaphor?

The whoomp-whoot phenomenon is a terrific example of how most blacks and whites in the U.S. continue to lead separate existences, looking past each other, not seeing one another, not hearing one another, except on those days when, inevitably, we collide and it's time to fight.

So, even ridiculous black slang must be respectfully acknowledged by the mainstream population, if Americans are to avoid leading "separate existences," a choice that is troublesome to Herbert and which he implies no one should have the freedom to make. The implication is that whites are culpable for their negligence of not learning about all aspects of "black culture," even that which an intelligent mind would dismiss as worthless rubbish.

Forbidden to whites

As Herbert so clearly demonstrates, whites are expected always to be thinking about and worrying over blacks. Are blacks happy or discontented? Can more be done to satisfy them? Just what is it that whites are expected to do to finally make blacks feel "equal" and certain that they are not neglected? Well, several black conservatives are happy to offer the key to this dilemma. They share the same principal quest as their liberal counterparts, that is, the longing to bring equality between blacks and whites at every level of economic and social interaction – most especially in the social realm of physical intimacy.

Now, you might think that people who call themselves "conservative," i.e., traditionalists, would wish to maintain the traditions of their own group, and that marriage within that group would be at the top of the list. How else to pass on one's traditions? Not so, with conservative blacks. They are as eager to break tradition as their liberal counterparts, if it assures marriage to a white person.

The public ascension of the mixed-race Barack Obama has brought great joy to these so-called black conservatives, as it has to the liberals who share his political convictions. For both political camps, Obama's personal ethnic history is a model for white Americans to ponder and consider emulating, as they mend their evil, "separatist" ways.

In a February 2008 commentary ("Changing Attitudes, Changing Lives") for Project 21, the black conservative B.B. Robinson laments the fact that black-white intermarriage is not as high as intermarriage between other groups. Although surveys show that in 1958, Americans' acceptance of black-white marriage was, in Robinson's words, "a dismal 4%," today that acceptance figure is up to 77%.

But this is just not good enough, according to Robinson, since it is "not as much as one would expect or want today." Robinson is hopeful that with the public's acceptance of Barack Obama as commander-in-chief will come a greater willingness on the part of whites to look to blacks "to fill the most cherished positions" in their lives. It seems that the Obama electoral victory shows that America has "graduated," and hence, "it is time to address the issue of interracial relationships."

Robinson discusses this most personal of all subjects as though it is incumbent upon society to sit white people down and reason with them. Perhaps a government agency could be formed to institute quotas on the numbers of whites who are permitted to marry one another, while offering incentives to those whites who intermarry with blacks. Will a white person have to explain him/herself for preferring a white mate? What if a person is genuinely not attracted to kinky hair and dark skin? Isn't the attraction component an important feature of mating? In such a case, should that government agency offer more multicultural workshops and "sensitivity" training sessions, to help counsel whites to overcome such clearly racist sentiments?

If you've wondered about how to recognize the indicators of "racial progress," there are black conservatives eager to explain this to you. In another Project 21 commentary, we learn more about the true goal of race relations. In a breathless article entitled, "The True Indicator of Race Relations," authors Joe Hicks and David Lehrer tell of an exhilarating event that took place on New Year's Day in 2007, when two football teams (Boise State University and Oklahoma University) squared off at the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona. At the game's end, one Ian Johnson, a black sophomore running back, fell to his knees, as witnessed by the entire stadium, and very publicly proposed marriage to one Chrissy Popadics, a white cheerleader. She accepted, and the authors exult that this was "a fitting end to a bowl game."

Hicks and Lehrer can hardly contain their enthusiasm, as they describe how the crowd in the stadium "noisily endorsed the union as a welcome part of the victory celebration." This episode, they joyously declare, is "a good barometer of the nation's race relations."

The Fiesta Bowl event is a very adequate indicator for those blacks, of which there are millions, who view as "progress" the ability to intrude themselves deeper into the social and family circles of whites. If this is the black conservative's view of "racial progress," you might wonder what's his beef with liberals. Coerced integration, that leads to assimilation, that leads to the Johnson-Popadics union, appears to be viewed by both conservatives and liberals as a "social good." And, apparently, a social goal for which to strive.

It comes as no surprise to savvy blacks and enlightened whites that the reason why so many blacks continue to insist that "integration" has not been fully realized, is a desire for closer proximity to whites, in order to better position themselves to form social attachments. The call to put an "end to racism" is really a call to limit the ability of whites to make personal choices on the basis of race or ethnicity. If possible, whites should be denied the right to be "racist," even in this most intimate corner of their lives.

The conservative Shelby Steele, of mixed-parentage himself, in his many books, articles and Op-ed pieces, offers his take on the black-white linkage. In his writings, we discover that the definition of "white supremacy" has expanded to include a host of sins, the major one being a strong acknowledgement of racial identity (an "atavistic connection," in Steele's words). He writes about race as though it were a remote characteristic, a residue of the past, an "atavism" that should not be embraced "too strongly." At least, not by whites.

Blacks spend inordinate amounts of time hyping their racial identity, but, according to Steele, "Only the strictures against a white racial identity keep us at all civilized around race." And, he writes, "Racial identity is simply forbidden to whites in America and across the entire Western world." This precept has so penetrated the minds of whites, that vast numbers of them work at keeping one another on a short leash, to prevent actions that might possibly be interpreted as acknowledgment of their white heritage.

Steele extends to minority ethnics his admonition to abstain from too strong an attachment to racial identity, but we know the true target of his caution – that group whom he cites as having pursued power in the past "in the name of their race."

What are we to make of the fact that Steele admits that a piece of cloth on a flag pole (i.e., the Confederate flag) poses a "racially aggressive" insult to his being, that he feels "profoundly rejected" by a symbol? And why exactly should anyone indulge his feelings enough to care? Are you a white supremacist if you consciously choose not to care about his feelings or his possible flag neurosis?

What of that white father, who desires white sons-in-law for his daughters, and white grandchildren? Should he care about Steele's disapproval of his choice to demonstrate his attachment to an "atavistic identity?" Such attachments "are inherently anti-democratic," says Steele, because they "exclude all outside the atavism." Well, yes, that's the general idea.

In this universe of "equality," where does personal preference and choice come in? Since when did handling your "hurt" feelings over rejection cease to be your own personal obligation? Or does the campaign to protect certain individuals from psychic pain trump all common sense? One would expect conservatives to be among the first to protect the right of association, which is essentially the right of the individual to discriminate.

The media drives the culture

Some years ago, Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson described a dispute between the well-known black minister Frederick K.C. Price, founder of the Crenshaw Christian Center, a mega-church in Los Angeles, and a white pastor, with whom Price had a long friendship. It seems that the white pastor's son, also a preacher, touched on the subject of interracial marriage in one of his sermons. He suggested that he did not believe in such unions.

Word of this heretical attitude got back to Rev. Price, who demanded the father reprimand his "racist" son. The father refused to do so, and indicated that he shared his son's views on the subject. Price became enraged and sent a tape of the white pastor's comments on to various prominent black ministers, expecting them to share his outrage and to dissociate themselves from the white pastors.

Instead, the black ministers responded that the white pastors had a right to their views on the subject and, frankly, those views did not disturb them. Price now became even more enraged and, in his church, denounced the black ministers as "house niggers," citing as "evil" the position taken by the white and black pastors. Peterson asks, "When did it become evil to want your children to marry a man or woman who has the same skin color as their parents?"

Second only in influence to the education system, the entertainment media, for decades, has been force feeding the nation a steady diet of black cultural symbols and black imagery. In an adept move to coerce white producers and studios to continue increasing the visibility of black faces on the TV screen and in films, the black lobby persists in its lies about Hollywood's "racism." (See "Keeping the pressure on Hollywood.") This is a longstanding and clever game that black elites play: Even when there is an overabundance of the perquisites they demand, the best way to keep whites jumping through hoops and nervous about possibly being smeared with the "racist" tag, is to keep shrieking that enough still has not been done.

In an article about depictions of interracial coupling on television, Robert Entman, a professor at George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs, praises such depictions as "progressive." Says Entman, "It makes these couples more normal, and if they're more normal on TV, they might seem more normal out on the street." Now, here's a man who makes the goal crystal clear.

However, Entman is dismayed that these shows still aren't doing a good enough job of getting at the heart of mixed relationships, and he calls this a "missed opportunity to acquaint whites with the persistence of racism." Apparently, after all these years, whites still need more tutoring. What will it take for them to get the point? According to Entman, a white man, there's much work to be done, to convert the white mind.

Kathleen McGhee-Anderson, an executive producer at ABC, reflects perfectly the mentality of the black elite. She declares, "To show a black man and a white woman in an embrace, or in bed, tells how huge strides have been made." When a person like Anderson is pressed to explain just what social benefits, or "strides," these kinds of depictions bring to blacks, in particular, and to the society at large, they are at a loss to offer anything beyond feeble clich├ęs and platitudes. Their convoluted blatherings usually drift from insisting on a "moral" need to "challenge viewers' assumptions," to the standard banality, which claims that the removal of any taboo is a social good.

Wherever two or more groups live in close proximity, there is going to be a certain degree of intergroup coupling. Usually, such intermixing is tolerable, as far as the racial and cultural integrity of each group is concerned. But what we now have is an activist media, spurred on by social engineers within academia and the civil rights movement. These collaborators seem to be determined, not only to undermine mainstream social mores, but often appear hell-bent on a biological goal – that is, purposely transforming white caucasian DNA. Are they taking their cues from the likes of the late Susan Sontag and her pernicious defilement of whites as a "cancer" on the human race? Have they taken on a mission to reduce that cancer?

As racial admixture browns their skin, darkens their eyes, and shrinks their IQs, the fast declining white race, that soon will make up only 50% of this country's population, is on the way to joining the ranks of extinct populations. These projections appear to be acceptable to some whites, who are proud of having "grown" beyond ethnocentric concerns to a "post-tribal morality," as put by Jason, a young white man, who writes to comment on my posts.

Jason accepts my contention that blacks take advantage of whites by using "racial victimhood" to gain power. However, he expresses pride that such acquiescence on the part of whites is a demonstration of "noble intentions" and proof that "white men have a real concern for those outside their own race." This sentiment is important to Jason and, apparently, to many other whites.

When asked to explain whites' lack of consciousness of their own race – a clearly self-destructive behavior in the midst of other "tribal" populations that are strengthening their ethnic bonds – Jason takes the moral high ground by declaring that, no matter the consequences, it is always morally preferable to live on a plane that is "beyond race."

To no avail do I remind Jason that whites may be in a "post-racial" stage, but no one else is. To no avail do I suggest that what he mistakes for a superior morality may be nothing more than a form of moral degeneracy.

Is the culture driving the media, or are members of the media earnestly striving to overturn and remake the culture? In a recent discussion on National Public Radio about the film Milk, a guest inadvertently answered the question of whether the culture or the media is in the driver's seat. The film is the story of the assassination, in 1978, of Los Angeles' openly homosexual city supervisor Harvey Milk and the city's Mayor. Needless to say, this is a partisan account of gay life and homosexual aspirations, as the producers offer heavy doses of politically correct propaganda.

The NPR guest arrogantly claimed that such dramatizations are important, because they play a part in "making people used to what they ought to become used to." This observation clarifies the nature of the social burdens that the denizens of Hollywood have taken upon themselves, as they lead their self-righteous crusades to reconstruct the American mind, whether it be around the issue of race or sexual proclivity. We're going to make you so used to our way of thinking, until it becomes a part of you. And we're going to attack you with all our invented politically correct buzz words – racist, sexist, homophobe, white supremacist, separatist – until you comply.

If you think that blacks have been a high maintenance group in the past, with a constant need for attention to their demands and their adversities, self-inflicted and otherwise, the coming years promise to offer more of the same, and then some. If you think that black issues have been front and center and in-your-face for too long, the Obama era, as envisioned by the above-mentioned B.B. Robinson, promises to make even greater demands for individual whites to "prove" their lack of bigotry. The ballot is not enough. There will be no peace until whites demonstrate, in all aspects of their lives, especially the personal, that they have reached that lofty state, which Robinson describes as one of "universal acceptance."

See also:
Brainwashing whites
It's about power

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Whose "Constitutional crisis?"

Here's another home run from the conservative traditionalist Rev. Chuck Baldwin. In his column, "Selective Constitutionalism," he discusses the question of Barack Obama's citizenship, and conservatives' agitation over whether he was born in the United States. Baldwin, in his usual, logical fashion, then asks some questions of so-called conservatives. Some excerpts:

• • •

Historically, "natural born Citizen" has always been understood to mean someone born in the United States of America. If Barack Obama was not born in the United States, he is absolutely unqualified to be President. Hawaii's secretary of state says Obama was indeed born in that state. However, to date, Obama's actual birth certificate has not been publicly released, which only serves to add fuel to the accusations that he was not born in Hawaii.

Many conservatives seem to be obsessed with this controversy, calling it a "constitutional crisis." The fact is, however, we have been in a "constitutional crisis" for years! The problem is, most conservatives only get worked up over a potential abridgement of constitutional government when it serves their partisan political purposes. In other words, when a Democrat appears guilty of constitutional conflict, conservatives "go ballistic," but when Republicans are equally culpable of constitutional conflict, they yawn with utter indifference.

For example, the one man who has the notoriety and political clout to actually bring about some meaningful investigation and resolution to the Obama citizenship brouhaha is none other than Senator John McCain. After all, he was Obama's principal opponent in the race for the White House. Plus, as the standard-bearer for the only other major political party, he has the attention of the national media, as well as the national legislative and judicial branches of government. So, why is John McCain not at all interested in the Obama citizenship issue?

Perhaps one reason that John McCain is so uninterested in where Barack Obama was born is because he, John McCain, was not born in the United States. He was born in the country of Panama. So, let me ask readers a question: Does anyone believe if John McCain had been elected President instead of Barack Obama that any notable conservative would have been distressed about a "constitutional crisis"? Get real!
• • •

Read Rev. Baldwin's complete column, "Selective Constitutionalism."
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Friday, December 05, 2008

Can the Republican party be rescued?

Is it possible to imagine the restoration of the Republican party of Robert Taft? Could it happen again? Might the pre-1980s party be restored, as it is removed from the domination of the crazies, i.e., the much-touted "base?"

People like Christine Whitman and John Danforth think the day is drawing near when those millions of Americans who identify themselves as conventional mainstreamers, with no interest in linking their social-theology concerns to their political party membership, will dare to step forward and reclaim Taft's party. There just might come a time when rational Republicans can advance to dominant positions within the party, whether or not they are "Born Again."

For Whitman's perspective, see "Free the GOP" (Washington Post, 11/14/08).

Also see new blog, Secular Right, founded by the City-Journal's Heather Mac Donald and others.
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