America’s Orwellian Liberalism

America’s Orwellian Liberalism

By Marvin
Folkertsma

The ink was barely dry on the
asterisk in Jimmy Hoffa, Jr.’s rant about taking out those “son-of-a-b*tches” –
referring to Tea Party members — when the vice president made his own
contribution at a Labor Day rally.  “This is a fight for the existence of
organized labor,” the veep shouted.  “You are the only ones who can stop the
barbarians at the gate!”  And the diatribes have continued with the
establishment of a website designed to track unfair comments made by those who,
in President Obama’s words, want to “cripple” America.  Congresswoman Maxine
Waters’ snippet about telling the Tea Party to “Go to H*ll!”(that pesky asterisk
again) added a nice sentimental touch, and some Wall Street protesters are denouncing free enterprise with
words snatched from Robespierre’s rich vocabulary.

 

This is pretty harsh stuff applied to
a menagerie of mostly gentle souls whose views of constitutional government
differ from those of President Obama & Company, but such perfervid comments
take on a clearer meaning when viewed in a more appropriate context: George
Orwell’s 1984.  That is, somehow the voices of liberalism today sound
less like traditional partisan pep-talks and more like Oceania’s “Two-Minute
Hate” sessions, where party members screamed at a giant telescreen filled with
the face of Emmanuel Goldstein, one of Big Brother’s objective enemies.  The
purpose was to deflect rage against miserable social conditions by directing it
to a foreign source, to siphon off the hatred by venting against Big Brother’s
enemies.

 

The parallels go beyond hurling
epithets at that massive Leon Trotsky lookalike in one of 1984‘s most
memorable scenes.  Consider the three slogans of the Party applied to today’s
Orwellian liberalism: “War is Peace,” “Freedom is Slavery,” and “Ignorance is
Strength.”  As explained in The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical
Collectivism
, “the book” within the book, the purpose of war was to
preserve the domestic power structure.  As applied to today, Orwellian
liberalism’s increasingly vicious attacks against the Tea Party and Republicans
perform the same function, which is to preserve the current liberal power
structure by blaming others for its colossal failures.  High unemployment,
failed foreign policies, high energy prices, horrible housing markets,
disastrous federal deficits — they’re all the fault of liberalism’s enemies.
Republicans, Tea Party members — meet Emmanuel Goldstein.

 

“Freedom is Slavery” offers a host of
villains in civil society to whom the American public is “enslaved” under the
guise of being free, though the slogan offers a variant of what Orwell had in
mind.  Thus, freedom to choose one’s own health care plan or no health care plan
at all is slavery to the insurance companies; Americans “addicted” to oil
driving gas-guzzlers are slaves to Exxon and its partners; freedom to eat French
fries is slavery to clever McDonald’s advertising campaigns; and freedom to make
your own investment decisions is slavery to Wall Street.  In fact, Orwellian
liberalism assumes that citizens’ own decisions to live their lives pretty much
as they please constitute slavery to someone or another in a so-called “free
country,” which is why Big Brother in the form of the nanny state is becoming so
enormous, so oppressive.

 

This leaves us with what likely is
the most important slogan of Orwellian Liberalism: “Ignorance is Strength,”
which means in this context that ignorant citizens constitute the foundation of
the liberal establishment.  Indeed, there is no way America’s Oceania Big
Brother equivalent, President Obama, could get away with ludicrous statements
about “millionaires and billionaires not paying their fair share” of the income
tax without the silent collusion of Americans’ stupendous ignorance about such
matters.  Similarly, the country’s energy shortages could not conceivably exist
with an informed citizenry that is aware of how well-connected environmental
activists have prevented production in resources where North America dominates,
such as coal, natural gas, and shale.  Further, the massive propaganda campaign
centering on anthropogenic global warming could not possibly succeed with an
attentive public.

 

In short, “Ignorance is Strength” for
Orwellian liberals; pierce it, and the whole century-old liberal-progressive
project collapses in a heap of prevarications and pretense.

 

If this happens, liberals’
presumption to govern on the basis of the other two slogans, as well as a thick
vocabulary of Orwellian doublespeak, will collapse as well.  The question is
whether this situation can endure indefinitely, as it did in 1984.  The
answer depends on Americans’ determination to reclaim control of their
government.  Absent that, we had all better learn to love Big
Brother.

 

Dr. Marvin Folkertsma is
a professor of political science and fellow for American studies with The Center for Vision &
Values
at Grove City College.  The author of several books, his latest
release is a high-energy novel titled
The Thirteenth
Commandment
.

Pampered Protesters

Michael Reagan,FloydReports.com

The hordes of so-called “protesters”now polluting the streets of several U.S.
cities,including New York,are sending confused messages about their
grievances.

The unemployed among them complain that the jobs available to them are
beneath them. I guess that cancels out the old concept of starting in the
mailroom and advancing step-by-step to the boardroom. It used to be the norm
that one started at the bottom and worked his way up. This bunch seems to be
living under the delusion that simply by virtue of having been born they are
entitled to immediate arrival at the boardroom level with appropriate
compensation.

Viewing these unruly mob scenes,featuring numerous public sexual activities
posing as protests,I am reminded of the manner in which my dad dealt with such
malcontents. If they were government employees he simply fired them. It worked.
The remaining ones slinked back to work.

And I recall how he dealt with his son (me) back in 1965,when I dropped out
of Arizona State University and thought that I was simply going home to live
with —and off —either my mom or dad,who were then divorced. When I got home I
found that their doors were locked to college dropouts.

Nancy,my ever-loving stepmom,was busy calling all branches of the military to
let them know I was a college dropout and thus now eligible to be drafted. Don’t
you just love such devoted stepmothers,eager to help their stepsons make their
way in the world by locking the doors to keep them out?

When I finally was able to speak to my parents,they simply told me to find
another place to live and to get a job. I did both. I moved in with some friends
and got a job working at Asbury Transportation Company in Los Angeles loading
oil-well freight from 5:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.,Monday through Friday. That’s where
I was working when my father was elected governor of California.

Did I complain that my lowly job was beneath my new station in life as the
son of the governor of California? How could I? I was the one who set that bar
low when I dropped out of college. So,to all you spoiled
brats
marching and wanting better pay or bigger allowances….

Read more.

Tucson Overreaction: Putting Wimpiness In The Crosshairs

Tucson Overreaction: Putting Wimpiness In The
Crosshairs

January 14th, 2011

Danny Tyree, FloydReports.com

What a party that must have been! I’m speaking of the time that Lee Harvey
Oswald, John Wilkes Booth and James Earl Ray hopped into their Hot Tub Time
Machine and journeyed to 2011 to listen to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and get
brainwashed into entering the assassination game.
That scenario is not so far-fetched for those who are rushing to declare the
recent Tucson shooting rampage the fault of (take your pick) the Tea Party,
conservative talk radio, FOX News, or negative campaign ads. Suddenly “civility”
groupies are bemoaning “vitriolic rhetoric,” “hate,” “anger,” “bitterness,”
“rancor,” “extreme ideologies” and “verbal savagery.”
I agree that politicians, commentators and voters should be ashamed of
rumor-mongering, deliberate distortions of the truth, and knee-jerk auto-pilot
opposition to everything the other party proposes – but beyond that, we do a
disservice to our forefathers if we insist on playing the child-pacifying game
“Tiptoe, Tiptoe, Quiet As A Mouse” around so-called hot button issues.
Is political discourse in 2011 something unique in history? Returning Vietnam
War veterans were taunted as “baby killers.” An infamous 1964 campaign
commercial strongly implied that challenger Barry Goldwater would plunge us into
nuclear war. The Copperheads thought Abe Lincoln a despicable tyrant. One of
Thomas Jefferson’s supporters branded John Adams “a hideously hermaphroditic
character.”
Since 1776 this republic has….
Read
more
.

The worst sheriff in America

The worst sheriff in America

By Michelle Malkin  •  January 12, 2011 08:25 AM

In the ignominious tradition of camera-hogging police chief Charles Moose (remember him?), Pima County (AZ) Sheriff Clarence Dupnik has become America’s new worst celebrity lawman. While he cuddles up to MSNBC’s entire Tea Party-bashing line-up, more facts about Tucson massacre suspect Jared Loughner’s encounters with law enforcement are coming out. We now learn: “The police were sent to the home where Jared L. Loughner lived with his family on more than one occasion before the attack here on Saturday that left a congresswoman fighting for her life and six others dead, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department said on Tuesday…The news of police involvement with the Loughners suggests that county sheriff’s deputies were at least familiar with the family, even if the reason for their visits was unclear as of Tuesday night.”

Also still unclear: What Dupnik knew and when about Loughner’s history of making death threats.

Despite continued revelations from Loughner’s friends about his nihilist, Nietzschean nuttiness, Sheriff Dupnik is clinging to his Climate of Hate blame game embarrassing his fellow lawmen, Arizona’s largest newspaper, and the rest of decent America with every new baseless utterance aimed at suppressing conservatives’ political free speech.

I had hoped against hope that President Obama, who heads to Arizona today to speak at a memorial for the massacre victims, would spurn Dupnik’s demagoguery. But as ABC News reported last night, Obama phoned Dupnik and offered him thanks for his service. New tone? With GOP-basher-in-chief Nancy Pelosi accompanying Obama tonight, not likely.

A reader has launched a Recall Dupnik effort. It’s a longshot. But lucky for Loughner, he can always apply for a job at Arizona-bashing UC Berkeley if he needs a sanctuary.

***

The worst sheriff in America
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2010

There are many heroes who showed indomitable courage and grace under fire during this weekend’s horrific Tucson massacre. Blowhard Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik was not one of them.

If the White House has any sense, President Obama will stay as far away from the demagogic Dupnik and his media entourage when he visits Arizona on Wednesday to memorialize the victims. Indeed, if the White House is truly committed to unifying the country, it will explicitly disavow Dupnik’s vulture-like exploitation of the shooting rampage.

Within hours of the bloody spree, Dupnik mounted more grandstands than a NASCAR tour champion. A vocal opponent of S.B. 1070, the popular state law cracking down on illegal immigration, Dupnik immediately blamed Arizona for becoming a “mecca for prejudice and bigotry.” To date, there is no public evidence that massacre suspect Loughner was in any way motivated by the national rancor over illegal immigration and the Arizona law (though open-borders extremists from the Justice Department on down most certainly wish it were so). When he complained about non-English-speakers, Loughner’s nonsensical diatribes were aimed at illiterates in general – not illegal aliens — and “grammar control” by the government.

No matter. Dupnik vehemently singled out “people in the radio business and some people in the TV business” like Rush Limbaugh for creating the New York Times-patented “Climate of Hate.”  Sounding more like an MSNBC groupie (which, surprise, he confesses to be) than a responsible law enforcement official, Dupnik baselessly suggested that the shooting was part of a larger conspiracy and railed against “vitriol” from limited-government activists who are stoking “anger against elected officials.”

Sheriff Dupnik’s mouth has done more to stoke self-inflicted ire against elected government clowns than anything the Right could muster against him. Had the hyper-partisan Democrat been more in tune with his job than the media airwaves, the murderous, maniacal gunman might have been stopped.

As Sheriff Dupnik himself has now admitted, Loughner leveled death threats against others that were investigated by law enforcement – and then apparently shrugged off. Locals note that Loughner’s mother worked for the county and may have had some pull. Pima County College campus police reported five serious confrontations with the mentally unstable young man before he was kicked out of the school, which he decried as an unconstitutional “torture facility.” Classmates said they feared for their lives. His friends say he was a pot-head, a 9/11 Truther, and a UFO conspiracist so kooky that even flying-objects adherents spurned him.

Despite zero evidence that Rush Limbaugh, cable news, the Tea Party movement, or immigration enforcement activists had anything to do with accused shooter Jared Loughner’s warped attack, shameless Sheriff Dupnik shows no signs of shutting up.

The worst sheriff in America is walking in the footsteps of another infamous law enforcement official who put fame, ambition, and ideology above public safety: disgraced Montgomery County, Md. Police chief Charles Moose, the publicity-hungry Keystone Cop who grossly bungled the Beltway sniper attacks in 2002. Like Dupnik, Moose let politically correct assumptions drive his investigation and incessant press conferences. He insisted on hunting the wrong vehicle while the snipers’ Chevy Caprice (spotted by several witnesses and stopped at least 10 times for license-plate checks during the shooting spree) got away. The hapless Moose clung to the notion that white militants in a non-existent white box truck were to blame – leading to a string of unnecessary murders as the real shooters escaped capture for several deadly weeks. No matter. Chief Moose cashed in on his notoriety, inked a fat book deal, and beat a hasty retreat to Hawaii.

Sheriff Dupnik is now following the same ill-gotten path. But decent Americans understand that he and his civilian counterparts have traveled a smear too far. Despite desperate attempts by the progressive Left to pin the massacre on the “harsh tone” of its political opponents, a vast majority of Americans reject the cynical campaign to criminalize conservatism, suppress political free speech, and capitalize on a madman’s crime for electoral gain. At the risk of being accused of inciting violence, you might say they’ve done gone and shot themselves in the foot.

Bashing Arizona Immigration Law Supporters

Bashing Arizona Immigration Law Supporters

Posted By Mark D. Tooley On May 3, 2010 @ 12:04 am In FrontPage | No Comments

The Religious Left has discerned that Christianity and Judaism demand virtually open borders by the United States, if not by other nations.  So naturally, many liberal church elites have quickly and angrily lashed out at Arizona’s new immigration law, ascribing to its backers the contempt that much of the Religious Left seems itself to have for many average Americans.

Arizona’s Episcopal Bishop Kirk Smith huffily declared:  “Today is a sad day in the struggle to see all God’s people treated in a humane and compassionate manner.”  And he tut-tutted:  “It seems that for now the advocates of fear and hatred have won over those of charity and love. Arizona claims to be a Golden Rule State. We have not lived up to that claim.”

It’s doubtful that the Episcopal Church in Arizona has been very successful in broadening it’s WASPy flock to include many immigrants.  Still, Bishop Kirk presumes to be their spokesman and moral leader on behalf of the Golden Rule:  “We will continue to work as hard as we can to defeat this law and to work toward just and fair laws that protect the rights of all human beings. We all know that our immigration system is broken, but it cannot be fixed by scape-goating the most vulnerable of those among us.”

Not content to defer to the local bishop, the Episcopal Church’s lobby office in Washington, D.C. also irritably chimed in against the Arizona law, bemoaning that the “lack of fair and humane immigration reform opens the door to misguided and divisive state and local attempts to address immigration enforcement.”  Of course, the Episcopal lobbyists want a national amnesty that would override state attempts at immigration enforcement:   “We urge Congress to provide a solution to a broken immigration system that separates families, spreads fear and keeps millions living in the shadows. Every day, members of our congregations see the unacceptable consequences of our broken immigration system.  We urge the Senate and House to enact bipartisan immigration reform that reunites families, protects the rights of all workers, and provides an opportunity for undocumented immigrants to earn legal status.”

Of course, like the rest of the Religious Left, the Episcopal lobbyists simplistically portray their open borders policy as “Christians…[who] are called to embrace the stranger and to find Christ in all who come to us in need.”  And like the Religious Left, they assume that solutions to vast social problems can be solved by sweeping legislation.  “With strong leadership in Congress, we are confident we can solve the broken immigration system.  We encourage members of Congress to join faith leaders to stand up for immigration policies that renew the dignity and human rights of everyone.”

But what if the open borders and amnesty that the Religious Left typically advocates in fact do not “renew the dignity and human rights of everyone” and instead only create more social disruption whose chief victims are ultimately low income native born and immigrants who lack the economic privileges of most Religious Left elites, especially Episcopalians?  In typical fashion, the Religious Left does not ponder unintended consequences and instead assumes that good intentions and political correctness are sufficient.

Evangelical Left Sojourners chief Jim Wallis wants evangelicals to follow the old Religious Left in distilling the Gospel down to the Left’s latest political demands and prejudices. “The law … is a social and racial sin, and should be denounced as such by people of faith and conscience across the nation,” Wallis intoned. “It is not just about Arizona, but about all of us, and about what kind of country we want to be. It is not only mean-spirited — it will be ineffective and will only serve to further divide communities in Arizona, making everyone more fearful and less safe.”

Arizona’s new crack down on illegal immigration may or may not have faults, but will it make lawful Arizonans “less safe?  Security and effective law enforcement are not typical strong emphases for Wallis or the Religious Left generally.  Instead, they often prefer name calling and charges of bigotry. “This legislation feels reactionary and hateful,” claims Church World Service chief John McCullough, who heads the National Council of Churches’ relief arm.  “It is a clear representation of the politics of division and exclusion.”

Even more hyperbolic was National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference chief Samuel Rodriguez, who has also successfully pressed the National Association of Evangelicals to adopt a liberalized immigration agenda.  “Today, Arizona stands as the state with the most xenophobic and nativist laws in the country,” he pronounced, almost as a curse.  “We need a multi-ethnic firewall against the extremists in our nation who desire to separate us rather than bring us together. Shame on you Arizona Republicans and shame on you Senator John McCain for endorsing the legislation.”

Rodriguez claims to represent virtually all Hispanic evangelicals, and naïve Anglo evangelical churchmen obligingly accept his claims, not considering that many Hispanic and other legal immigrants also have concerns about law enforcement, security, and open borders’ impact on their own ability to advance economically.  Instead, the Religious and Evangelical Left idealize immigration as merely a bumper sticker social justice issue dividing forces of light from bigoted forces of darkness.   Contrary to their claims, the Almighty has not directly revealed His preferences for U.S. immigration policy.  But traditional Christian and Jewish moral teachings about human nature and statecraft offer better guidance than the slapdash pseudo-thinking of the Arizona law’s seething religious critics.

Left Wing Filth and Hatred

Left Wing Filth and Hatred

Left-wing hate
Alan Colmes says the Right is “struggling to draw equivalency with Obama-bashing.”
There’s no struggle. It’s quite easy to find evidence of vile left-wing hatred and violence…it’s abundant, and it’s tolerated and accepted by mainstream lefties:
(Warning: totally NSFW)
Don’t miss the misogynistic hate filth from this left-wing sex pig:
(Warning: totally NSFW)
No, the left-wing hatred that I’ve seen is NOT equivalent to the peaceful and mild mannered dissent that I’ve witnessed at the tea parties over the past year. The left-wing hate is truly disgusting.
Left-wing outrage over uncivil discourse was conspicuously absent two short years ago. Alan Colmes: During the Bush years, where was YOUR concern for incivility?
More
Extensive documentation of Left Wing hatred and filth from ZombieTime (NSFW)
Breitbart: If the LEFT stops eating our fingers, beating up black men, throwing eggs at our buses, threatening violence, perhaps we can work together!

Liberal Narcissism and Anti-Christian Phobia

Liberal Narcissism and Anti-Christian Phobia

By Deborah C. Tyler

Americans have always expected national television broadcasters to steer clear of degrading epithets. On April 14, 2009, CNN’s Anderson Cooper established a new low in television journalism when he labeled millions of Americans in the Tea Party movement with a vulgar sexual term. Other mainstream media journalists and personalities gleefully followed suit. There was no outcry from the “anti-hate community.” Many liberals do not merely tolerate contumelies against conservatives, but they delight in them.
In the years after World War II, psychologists (many of whom were European Jews who had escaped Nazism) intensively studied how fascist and authoritarian states could bring ordinary people to commit extraordinary crimes against minorities. The two dominant personality theories of the twentieth century, the Freudian and Adlerian psychoanalytic models, provided theoretical frameworks for understanding bigotry and fascism as forms of individual and collective neurotic delusions. The Freudian model attributed these neuroses to a frustrated “will to pleasure,” while Adler pointed to an unhealthy expression of the “will to power” over others.
For the most part, psychologists today deny or ignore anti-Christian prejudice in the American conversation. This is because psychologists are overwhelming politically liberal and spiritually humanist. In social science, bias in is bias out. In addition, America’s dominant psychological model, behaviorism, has always been anti-theoretical and has not produced an integrated theory of personality equal in influence to either Freud or Adler.
Although Freud and Adler agreed on the existence of unconscious fear as the core of neurotic anxiety, they had different explanations for it. Freud posited that bigotry arises when a child internalizes the prejudices of the father in order to resolve unconscious sexual conflicts in the process of superego formation. This thwarted “will to pleasure” is projected as hatred onto a scapegoat minority. Culturally, fear becomes fascistic, involving rigid group conformity against a common enemy. Freud’s model is obsolete. Anderson Cooper, and the Manhattan micro-niche he typifies, is not anxiously reacting to an overbearing father-figure. It is the extreme opposite. Mr. Cooper is the son of a fantastically permissive brand of humanism. The only thing he has to feel guilty about is guilt itself.
But the Freudian model does have utility in one dimension. The aggression resulting from thwarted narcissism is gratified when projected onto a devalued minority — e.g., Tea Party participants. The core phobia is that non-approving conservatives are thwarting the “will to pleasure.” The need for perfect admiration and approval is the hallmark of narcissism, which is by definition insatiable. Narcissistic pleasure is the precursor to inevitable narcissistic rage. In the narcissistic liberal imagination, Christian conservatives stand in the way of a human heaven of sexual freedom.
Alfred Adler coined the term “inferiority complex.” He held that the neurotic complex arises from harm inherent in the “will to power” over others. His model explains liberal prejudice as an overreaction against unconscious self-doubt that projects intellectual, moral, and cultural inferiority onto others. Uppity and unmanageable conservatives, who, oblivious to their own stupidity, doggedly stand up for their inferior beliefs anger the narcissistic liberal.
Applying either Freudian or Adlerian analysis to liberal phobic structure requires updating the concept of individual anxiety, or neurosis, to the contemporary concept of group-based social phobia. Both Freud and Adler were middle-class Jewish men who assumed that neurosis developed in reaction to imbalances in the paternalistic nuclear family — the only normative child-rearing form either had ever seen.
In 1980, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders III dropped neurosis as a diagnosis and replaced it with culturally based phobias. The father-led nuclear family was no longer the social structure for incorporating values, morals, and role expectations. “Inadequacy adjustment” in relation to that family system was no longer the source of mental imbalance. Values, norms, and the power of social conditioning were moving outside the home and into the hands of “experts,” government schools, universities, and mass media — in other words, liberals.
Liberal phobic structure is a fascinating innovation in the history of prejudice and cultural fascism. It is a dread of specific forms of sin-cognizant religious belief.
Both anti-Christian phobia and narcissism result from the humanist denial of sin, heaven, and hell. Liberals believe the narcissogenic idea that they create their own heaven or hell on earth. The denial of God-defined sin leads to self-deification and the anxious business of high-stakes, self-directed life-styling. Liberals live with their eyes glued to mass media to learn what is and isn’t sin this season. People who believe that such behavior can lead to a nasty outcome beyond this life are detested. Although liberals accuse Christians of being homophobic, true Christians are hellphobic. Regardless of religious self-identification, people who are betting their immortal souls on a denial of sin and its effects beyond this life have to be crazy not to be phobic.
Every permanent theistic religion of the last seven thousand years — Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam — provides an understanding that spiritual wastefulness is sin. These religions seek to protect people from the consequences of sin beyond this life. Traditions that assume reincarnation, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, teach that sinfulness in one life leads to suffering in the next. Religions that do not incorporate reincarnation, such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam, explain life as a fleeting preparation before divine judgment.
The pathognomic sign that the liberal reaction to sin-cognizant belief systems is a symptom of phobic complex is that it selectively rejects the teachings of its own traditions — Judaism and especially Christianity. These cultural heritages pose a threat to the liberal wills to pleasure and power. Liberal phobia includes a complex delusional system that exempts some sin-cognizant religions. For example, liberals adore their own version of a morally permissive, designer Buddhism. Nor are they phobic toward Islam, which is based on fiercely sin-cognizant scripture. Liberals maintain mechanisms of denial regarding Islam that rise to the level of psychotic dissociation.
G.K. Chesterton wrote, “Bigots are people who have no convictions at all.” Screaming-meemies like Keith Olbermann, Rosie O’Donnell, Sean Penn, Janeane Garofalo, and all the porn-thumping preachers railing against the sin of sin-cognizance are the voices of the new cultural fascists, spittle-flinging celebrities unconsciously raging against their own fear.
I recently evaluated a 53-year-old man who has been unable to recover psychologically or physically from what appeared to be a minor accident. He was born into a devout Christian family in a small Midwestern town. He was also born gay. At about 30, he adopted a gay mode of life. His family continued to love him, but they did not alter their religious beliefs. When he discovered in 1990 that both he and his partner had contracted HIV, his family took this as a sign of the sinfulness of his lifestyle. This man’s friends, counselors, therapists, and humanistic-Christian pastors have for twenty years encouraged him to believe that his family is bigoted. His family has visited him through the years. They sit in the front room and do not stay the night. He acquired a settled resentment toward his people and never went home again. By the grace of God, he and his partner have survived for twenty years, while all of their friends have died. Ironically, he believes that this is because his family back home is praying for him. This man moved from an unyielding belief system based in divine forgiveness to a man-made culture that does not seem to value it.
Dr. Tyler can be reached at deborahtyler@intylergence.com.

Election ’08 Backgrounder

  

Financial Crisis | Iraq | Defense | Background & Character | Judges & Courts | Energy

 

FINANCIAL CRISIS

Quick Facts:

  • Democrats created the mortgage crisis by forcing banks to give loans to people who couldn’t afford them.
  • In 2006, McCain sponsored a bill to fix the problems with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Barney Frank and other Democrats successfully opposed it.
  • Obama was one of the highest recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac donations in Congress.

Related Editorials

 

IRAQ


Quick Facts:

  • When the U.S. was on the verge of losing in Iraq, McCain chose to stand and fight.  Obama chose retreat.
  • Even after the surge succeeded, Obama told ABC’s Terry Moran he would still oppose it if he had the chance to do it all over again.

Related Editorials

 

DEFENSE

Quick Facts:

  • Obama has promised to significantly cut defense spending, including saying “I will slow our development of future combat systems.”
  • John McCain has vowed: “We must continue to deploy a safe and reliable nuclear deterrent, robust missile defenses and superior conventional forces that are capable of defending the United States and our allies.”

Related Editorials

Obama Video: Watch Now

 

 

BACKGROUND & CHARACTER

Quick Facts:

  • Obama voted “present” 135 times as a state senator, and according to David Ignatius of the Washington Post, “gained a reputation for skipping tough votes.”
  • McCain has taken stances unpopular with his own party and/or the public on controversial issues, including immigration, campaign finance reform, judicial nominations, the Iraq War and more.

Related Editorials

 

 

JUDGES & COURTS


Quick Facts:

  • In a 2001 interview, Obama said he regretted that the Supreme Court “didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution.”
  • In the same interview, Obama criticized the Supreme Court because it “never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.”
  • Obama has focused on empathy, rather than legal reasoning and restraint, as his basis for appointing judges, saying, “We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy…to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old.”
  • McCain opposes judicial activism, saying, “my nominees will understand that there are clear limits to the scope of judicial power.”

Related Editorials

Obama 2001 Interview: Listen Now

 

ENERGY


Quick Facts:

  • McCain has proposed building 45 new nuclear plants by 2030 and is in favor of drilling in sectors of the Outer Continental Shelf.
  • Obama has refused to take a stand, saying only “we should explore nuclear power as part of the energy mix” and he will “look at” drilling offshore.

Related Editorials

»
McCain: The Energy Candidate

» McCain On Nukes: Yes We Can
» Breaking The Back Of High Oil

 

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Media’s War Lies

Media’s War Lies

By Ralph Peters
New York Post | 4/18/2008

LIKE many Americans, I get angry at biased “reporting” about Iraq and the spin from dishonest pundits. Usually, I get over it quickly, since my expectations of the media are pretty low. But sometimes a Big Lie just won’t let go. And the lefty lie that the Iraqi military is a hopeless failure must be answered.

Yes, we all know that left-wing media outlets, such as the dying New York Times, need Iraq to fail to redeem their credibility. They’ll do all they can to dismiss any sign of progress.

But the perverted gloating over recent Iraqi military operations in Basra combines willful ignorance of military affairs with a shameless manipulation of the facts. Yes, some local Iraqi police and new military recruits ran away. But that was all that the media reported.

Where was the coverage of the 95 percent of the Iraqi security forces who did their duty? Some fought superbly. The Iranian-backed gangs and militias took a beating.

Muqtada al Sadr – not the central government – asked for a cease-fire. The Iraqi military remains in Basra, still pushing (and freeing the occasional kidnapped journalist). The government now has a presence where lawlessness prevailed – and it took control of Basra’s vital port facilities, the country’s economic lifeline.

But all we continue to hear about is the one Iraqi cop or soldier in 20 who ran away.

OK, consider our own military history – which isn’t short of ultimate victories:

* During the American Revolution, George Washington repeatedly had trouble with troops fleeing the battlefield and with desertions. Militias remained unreliable all through the war. Yet, we defeated the British – a global power – in the end.

* In the War of 1812, American troops broke again – and more than once. Yet, at the war’s conclusion, it was redcoats seasoned in the Napoleonic Wars who fled from the US Army’s “Cottonbalers” at New Orleans.

* In the Mexican-American War, Gen. Winfield Scott’s march on Mexico City was the most brilliant campaign ever fought by American troops – yet, earlier in the conflict, an entire troop of US Cavalry (new immigrants) deserted to the Mexican side. That’s why there’s never a J or Juliet troop in a US Cavalry regiment.

* After a few hours of fierce fighting, the Union Army broke at Bull Run, fleeing in panic at the start of our Civil War. Even two years later, when the Army of the Potomac was well on its way to becoming the first great industrial-age force, the XI Corps – more than 10,000 men – disintegrated when surprised by Stonewall Jackson at Chancellorsville. Guess who won the Civil War, anyway?

* As other writers have noted in regard to Basra, the green US forces in North Africa in WWII fell apart when struck by Rommel’s Afrika Korps at Kasserine Pass. At Vossenack Ridge, two years later, US troops cracked under heavy shelling and ran again. Guess who won that war, too?

* At the outset of the Korean War, the US Army’s Task Force Smith collapsed as it was overwhelmed by North Koreans. But we came back with a vengeance. Should we have just quit?

And should we demand more of the Iraqis, who have so many internal obstacles to overcome, than we ourselves could deliver in the past?

Few battles have perfect outcomes. No wars do. Not all soldiers will measure up. And no human endeavor is more complex than warfare.

Soldiers break and run in three basic circumstances: when they’re new and are asked to do too much too soon; when they’re surprised; or when they’re ground down to the breaking point by overwhelming odds.

Show me one country whose troops have never fled a battlefield – I can’t find any.

In the past, when we still honored military service, even the literary set understood that wars are fought by fallible human beings. Stephen Crane’s American classic, “The Red Badge of Courage,” is about a young soldier who runs away in terror from his first taste of combat – yet returns to fight bravely later on.

The Iraqi military, which now has 190,000 troops in uniform, is getting along pretty well by historical standards. These troops are taking responsibility for their own country, allowing us to do less and less of the fighting and dying. Yes, they’ll need our help for a while yet – but we needed the “technologically superior” French to help us get to Yorktown.

Meanwhile, why don’t the noisiest critics of the situation in Iraq, from the Times’ silly Frank Rich to Sen. Barack Obama, go to Iraq to see things for themselves?

Are they afraid?

If so, they really shouldn’t question the courage of others or mock their sacrifices.

I’ve always admitted that Iraq could fail. Despite real, measurable progress, that remains the case. I only wish that those on the left would have the integrity to acknowledge that Iraq also has a chance to succeed.

 

Anti-globalists reach out to Islamists Cooperation between Islamists and the left is growing

Anti-globalists reach out to Islamists

Cooperation between Islamists and the left is growing, reports Eric Walberg


What is striking about this latest conference is the growing cooperation both within the Muslim world and between the anti-global left and Muslims. This should come as no surprise, considering the traditional focus of the left on defending victims of torture. Who are the biggest victims of torture in the world today? Of course, Muslims, primarily in Iraq and Palestine, but everywhere in the West, and just about in every country that is predominantly Muslim.

The left realises this and is finally overcoming its traditional resistance to the cultural conservatism of Islam, and likewise Muslims are reaching out to the left — clear examples are Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood’s (MB) prominent role in this conference and Lebanon, where Hizbullah was prominent at a similar anti-imperialism conference last November in Beirut. Organised by Al-Karama (Dignity), Al-Ishtirakyin Al-Sawryin (Socialist Revolutionary Party), Al-Ikhwan Al-Muslimin (Muslim Brotherhood) and Al-’Amal (Labour), and held at the Egyptian Press Syndicate, the conference attracted close to 600 participants and observers from around the world, including a delegation of 80 South Koreans and 20 Canadians.

But what can we make of the overwhelming prominence at the conference of the MB and their very professional brochures and CDs, well translated into English? One pamphlet quotes MB deputy Khairat El-Shater assuring the reader “No need to be afraid of us” and “We do not promote an anti- Western agenda”. Certainly we can condemn the military tribunals where 40 prominent MB members are being tried under emergency laws, in violation of the constitution. Belal Diaa Farahat, a business student at the American University of Cairo told Al-Ahram Weekly how his father Diaaeddin Farahat, a prominent businessman, was arrested along with 39 others “merely because he was successful and a member of the MB.” After three months in prison and acquittal in a civil court, these men were re-arrested and will face a military tribunal next week.

Ahmed Shawqi, a student activist at Al-Azhar, said that all the delegates at the conference were unanimous in condemning the tribunals. Delegates from London, Canada and Greece promised to demonstrate, and organise petitions to protest against the military tribunals and invite MB representatives on speaking tours in order to explain their position. Shawqi added, however, that an important aspect of the MB’s platform is not to work against Egypt in its international relations. In a sense, the Brotherhood “stole the show” at the conference, with their very real oppression fitting the international delegates’ human rights agenda. Coincidence or act of God?

The key forum at the conference: “bridge building between the left and Islam” focussed on re-evaluating the relations of the left and the Islamists, as well as on practical ways to increase cooperation.

Mohamed Ghozlan, an MB Al-Azhar student activist, described the underlying misunderstanding: “the left thought Islam was just an anachronism, while Muslims accused the left of trying to destroy their way of life. However, with both sides being repressed by dictatorship, we are able to cooperate now on the basis of human rights and the fight against the war in Iraq and globalisation. Such Latin American leaders as Hugo Chavez have accelerated the cooperation, reaching out to the Muslim resistance.” He explained the greater repression of Muslim than leftists in Egypt to be due to the fact that “the government sees us as the greater threat to it.”

In an interview with the Weekly, conference organiser Nada Kassass said, “the turning point in the relations of the left and Islamists was the Intifada in 2000, when the committee to support the Intifada brought (the two parties together). The wars in Iraq and Lebanon increased the collaboration, and the struggle around the 2006 elections in Egypt showed the success of this strategy, with six nationalists and 88 MB candidates elected. Earlier, when MB members were arrested, the left did little — the government was able to use religion to keep the left afraid of the Islamists and the Islamists afraid of the ‘godless’ communists. Both sides were at fault here in Egypt. Ironically it was actually easier for Islamists to work with European leftists than Egyptians, but all that has changed. The bad blood between the MB and the left dates from the 1960s and is now being overcome.” Kassass related how left, liberal and Muslim students at Cairo University, Al-Azhar and Ain Shams joined forces to scuttle student council elections which were rigged by the government earlier this year, though some were expelled, arrested and beaten. “People are joining together to defend their rights.”

Kassass’s evaluation of the situation in Egypt was echoed in the exchanges of Sadala Mazraani of the Lebanese Communist Party, and Ali Fayyad of Hizbullah. Mazraani admitted that during the civil war in Lebanon, Islamists and socialists were fighting each other, and argued that we should learn from the successes of the anti- fascist front of WWII, the nationalist revolution of the 1950s in Egypt and the non-aligned movement of the 1960s, when imperialism was on the defensive. He pointed out how Latin America is uniting with the Middle East against the common enemy, and said it was more a matter of coordinating movements that have recognised common goals. “The Lebanese Communist Party actively works with Hizbullah against the occupation and in elections, both trying to unite Lebanese society to fight Israel and Zionism.”

Ali Fayyad of Hizbullah backed up Mazraani, though he complained that, “many socialists in Europe still refuse to work with us, calling us ‘terrorist’”. He admitted that Islamists are conservative and often don’t want to work with the left, especially extremists like Al-Qaeda, which “will not work with anyone and will fail”. Then there are the liberal Muslims who don’t care about the war and occupation, lack a clear position on imperialism, and as a result, actually ally with it. “The differences of Hamas and Hizbullah with the left are minor — family and social priorities — and at the same time, the Islamic movement must apply democracy, which is really the same as shura. Democracy is a bridge to cross to a better world. We should avoid intolerance in governance, whether it’s Islamic or not, and forcing religion upon people.” He referred to Gramsci’s argument about creating a common front at important historical junctures to induce historical change, after which the different groups can go their separate ways.What a lovely irony to have an Islamist quoting a Western communist theorist.

“By working with Islamic groups in an open way, the left can have a positive impact on Islamic movements, and vice versa.”

The international left, as represented at the conference, emphasised practical ways to reach out to the broader Muslim community, as reflected in conference forums on such projects as twinning UK and Palestinian cities, countering the boycott of the Hamas government in Palestine with a boycott of Israel and Western firms that provide military equipment to Israel, countering Islamophobia — in a word, citizens’ diplomacy.

James Clark of the Canadian Peace Alliance described how the anti-war coalitions are now supportive of Muslims who find themselves targets of racial and religious profiling and no-fly lists, and that there is active work in the peace movement to counter Islamophobia, “which the governments use to fan the flames to generate support for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. They are committed to defend all civil liberties. “On the wall of the prayer room at Ryerson University in Toronto, someone’s spray painted ‘Die Muslim’. The administration refused to condemn this as hate crime, so we organised a petition and a campaign to counter Islamophobia, and as a result, the head of the Islamic students’ organisation was elected president of the students’ council. So you can use such incidents to educate and mobilise people.” Clark vowed that the Canadian peace movement, inspired by the Arab resistance in Lebanon and Iraq, would work with Muslims to defeat imperialism.

Johannes Anderson of Denmark criticised the Danish left for not standing behind Muslims during the cartoon controversy, allowing a weak prime minister to emerge unscathed. “I’ve changed through the past years and grown through criticism. We should not be afraid of it. We fight for democracy in the Middle East and Europe against neo- liberalism which is taking away our rights everywhere.”

Wafaa El-Masri of Al-Karama Party saw a new Islamic message emerging at the conference — shared principles to build society, emphasising our commonalty. “The Egyptian national movement works with the Islamists to fight the constitutional amendments, to end the Mubarak regime, to unite against the Iraq war, and to support Iran against the threat of US attack.”

While the conference’s criticism of the repression of the host government would hardly merit a comment if it were held in, say, Toronto or Moscow, the lack of fear by the MB and Egyptian opposition representatives was impressive — they realise that at any moment they too could be arrested and possibly tortured, yet they did not fear speaking out. Belal Farahat’s father, one of the 40 MB prisoners awaiting next week’s military tribunal, had his assets seized and stores closed by the government, yet Belal continues to study at AUC: “The whole point of the Brotherhood is that we are one and must help each other.”

In an interview with the Weekly, George Hajjar, a political philosophy professor at the Lebanese University and head of the National Rally in Support of the Resistance Option, though optimistic about the growing understanding between leftists and Islamists and supportive of the conference as a whole, criticised it for not having representatives from the Iraqi resistance, “because the resistance is primarily nationalist, and the MB and Shias in Iraq are members of the occupation government.”

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