The Razor's Edge

Mike Hanson in a nutshell [according to some of my more endearing hate mail]: "you are nothing more than a misogynistic, crypto-fascist, Amerikkkan pig and I hope you choke and die on the dollars you steal from the oppressed" Email Mike: m_hanson76 hotmail dot com

The Blade That Slashes Progressives!


Monday, December 30, 2002
 

From the “What the Fuck Files”

This is almost too funny.

'Arms Inspectors' Bolster Canadian Anti-war Movement
by Mark Bourrie


OTTAWA- A Canada-based peace and disarmament group plans to launch ''weapons inspections'' in the United States to draw attention to its claim that the country is a dangerous rogue state.

The group, Rooting Out Evil, plans to assemble volunteer weapons inspectors at U.S.-Canada border checkpoints some time next year and says it has already found 'volunteers' for the campaign from Europe, North America and Asia. It is asking voluntary inspectors to sign up at its website - www.rootingoutevil.org.


I can see it now: these panty waist, tree huggers go to Bremerton Washington to ‘inspect’ a Trident sub, get shot, and take their case to the new UN International Criminal Court.


 
Venezuela

For the past several weeks, Venezuela has been gripped in mass protests calling for new presidential elections. There have been daily protests and a massive work stoppage in almost all sectors of the Venezuelan economy [since Venezuela is a large exporter of crude oil, you may have felt this at the gas pump].

Many on the left have been besides themselves with grief over this and have filled their respective media outlets with powder puff pieces on Chavez.

It must be shocking for them to realize that protests can be used against them as well.

The Nation

As the general strike against President Hugo Chávez entered its third week in early December, a major TV channel broadcast statements by baseball hero Andres Galarraga and other celebrities calling on Venezuelans to put aside differences for the sake of peace. What was significant about the TV spots was that the channel, along with the rest of the Venezuelan media, has played a key role in promoting the strike as well as marches and acts of civil disobedience sponsored by the opposition. Galarraga's plea--made beside a statue of the Virgin Mary--reflects the conviction among the nation's 50 percent who are neither pro-government nor pro-opposition that Venezuela is on the brink of civil war.

Chávez counts on active support among popular sectors, specifically those lacking steady employment and labor benefits of any kind, who make up more than half the work force. He also counts on a more loyal armed forces than this past April, when a group of officers removed him from office for forty-eight hours. On the other hand, his radical rhetoric favoring the poor over the "privileged" has alienated the middle class, despite his recent efforts to create his own movement called "the positive middle class." The middle- and upper-class eastern part of Caracas has solidly supported the strike and its mobilizations


Alternet

CARACAS – "Where are they getting their money?" asks historian Samuel Moncada, as the television displays one opposition commercial after another. Moncada is chair of the history department at Central University of Venezuela in Caracas. We are sitting in one of the few restaurants that is open in the eastern, wealthier part of Caracas.

For two weeks during this country's business-led strike, the privately owned stations that dominate Venezuelan television have been running opposition "infomercials" instead of advertisements, in addition to what is often non-stop coverage of opposition protests.


MotherJones

One of the first to heed the call was Gloria Baroso. Only 40, Baroso has six children and four grandchildren, and has been on her own since her husband left home seven years ago. She runs a cooperative bakery in the El Carmen section of Petare, and also helps out as a nurse when people in the community take sick. Now she holds a seat on the new district council.

Baroso knows that before Chávez, it would have been unthinkable for a single mother who bakes bread for a living to hold elected office in Venezuela. In the street in front of the cooperative, she wipes her hands on her apron and sighs. Even before she joined the council, she had too much to do. "But it's worth it," she says. Already, she has seen a profound change. "The Venezuelan people are not the same people they were even a few years ago," she says. "We know our rights. And no matter what the rich do to Chávez, this is something they can never erase."


All these articles contain nuggets of truth: there is an extreme imbalance between the prosperity of the rich and poor in Venezuela, the government before Chavez was marked by corruption, and in some ways the governments had not been as pro-active in resolving some of these issues as it should have been.

For this reason, even many of the middle class had naively hoped that Chavez would try to deliver on his campaign promises to be fair to all the classes, but to try to correct the wrongs that had kept financial success from spreading more widely.

Unfortunately, and what the articles about Chavez have failed to mention, is that Chavez apparently has no understanding how economies work, places no value on jobs, and appears to be making Venezuela into his own little hacienda, spreading a new and sinister corruption throughout the land. Who he cannot buy, he threatens. If he wants to reward his cronies, he allows them to invade private property and confiscate what they want. He has violated just about every constitutional and human right imaginable, has created an illegal, armed paramilitary group (Bolivarian Circles) whose primary function is to terrorize the opposition, by any means necessary. It is also interesting to note that none of these articles mentioned the fact that Chavez himself masterminded a coup in 1992.

Considering that very few of the western pro-Chavez journalists have ever even been to Venezuela to investigate what they were writing about [what a novel idea], I decided to ask a real live Venezuelan what he thought of the whole situation.

Leo Cartaya

I've lived in Venezuela the last 19 years. I am a Cuban emigrant, and lived 24 years under Castro's communist regime, so I guess that entitles me to know what am I talking about.

Since first efforts of Mr. Chavez to get into political race, after been pardoned from his attempt to coup government, I recognized what he was after for. I immediately knew that he was just another leftist social resentful with his mind dangerously filled with some sort of marxist-castrist-who-knows-what-else obsolete and idiotic theories.

He didn't disappoint me. He fulfilled all my worst fears and more. But, the point is that he has a great frightful counselor, Mr. Castro, who instructed him well on all kind of propaganda diversion to make everybody thinks on how generous, thoughtful, humanitarian, patriotic, and blah, blah, blah he is.

If one thing, Castro and his advisors are good at, is to distort statements, facts, and History. And Chavez learned well his advises, besides the fact that each and every time he needs a special session, he flies to Havana to seek fresh instructions.

One of Chavez major keys features during his presidential campaign was to fight and eradicate the previous governments rampant corruption. This gained him lots of votes as no one before was much concerned to do so. Well, reality shows that right now, his government has way surpassed all those previous government corruption. The fistful of generals, and colonels that still support him are not moved by loyalty to the Constitution or that he was legally elected, they do it because all of them are immersed in the corruption spiral. The same goes to the official party delegates to the National Assembly. It is well known that several of them have purchased in cash brand new mansion for values that equals 450 times their monthly wages. And several others have juicy bank accounts in U.S., which in some cases mount to millions of american dollars. Can anyone explain me this sort of magic saving method that allows you to amass huge fortunes with modest earnings? I really doubt it.

In his first press conference after been elected, on Dec. 6, 1998; Chavez stated that he forbidden himself, after his first year in charge, to find even a single homeless child in Venezuela's sidewalks. Fact: Today you can find hundreds of elders, women, and children begging at most of the busy streets.

Chavez also promulgated a Native Minorities Law supposed to return them their dignity, and better opportunities, even one native descendant was appointed as vice president of National Assembly. Fact: Great number of native homeless families can be found begging in all major road crosses in Caracas.

During December 2001, Chavez's Government tried to pass a bill that gives them interference into the National Education System (Decree 1011). Same was widely rejected by the people and have to be disregarded.

To make short this recount, each and every step given by Chavez and his followers are directed to gain an absolute Castro like power. The difference is that Venezuelan people has lived too many time under really democratic governments - with their fails, no doubt about it - but that teached a number of generations the real ways and means to live in freedom and self determination.


He Invites anyone who reads this, and has further inquiries to contact him at: leocartaya@hotmail.com


Saturday, December 21, 2002
 
Thoughts of the day

I don’t normally blog on the weekends, but it has been a rather slow Saturday. Too cold to go out to the range and I am too lazy to work out today.

I must also apologize for the lack of new material as of late. Some jackass stole my laptop and I have been feverishly working to recreate all the process models I lost.

How the West Was Won and How It Will Be Lost

On October 22, 2002, Oriana Fallaci addressed an audience at the American Enterprise Institute. Following are short excerpts from her talk. Ms. Fallaci, a native of Florence, Italy and a life-long journalist, caused turmoil across Europe with the publication of her book The Rage and the Pride, calling the West to stand up to the Islamic world.

From Afghanistan to Sudan, from Palestine to Pakistan, from Malaysia to Iran, from Egypt to Iraq, from Algeria to Senegal, from Syria to Kenya, from Libya to Chad, from Lebanon to Morocco, from Indonesia to Yemen, from Saudi Arabia to Somalia, the hate for the West swells like a fire fed by the wind. And the followers of Islamic fundamentalism multiply like a protozoa of a cell which splits to become two cells then four then eight then sixteen then thirty-two to infinity. Those who are not aware of it only have to look at the images that the TV brings us every day. The multitudes that impregnate the streets of Islamabad, the squares of Nairobi, the mosques of Tehran. The ferocious faces, the threatening fists. The fires that burn the American flag and the photos of Bush.

“The clash between us and them is not a military clash. Oh, no. It is a cultural one, a religious one. And our military victories do not solve the offensive of Islamic terrorism. On the contrary, they encourage it. They exacerbate it, they multiply it. The worst is still to come.”

President Bush has said, “We refuse to live in fear.”

Beautiful sentence, very beautiful. I loved it! But inexact, Mr. President, because the West does live in fear. People are afraid to speak against the Islamic world. Afraid to offend, and to be punished for offending, the sons of Allah. You can insult the Christians, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Jews. You can slander the Catholics, you can spit on the Madonna and Jesus Christ. But, woe betide the citizen who pronounces a word against the Islamic religion.

My small book is not tender with Islam. In certain passages, it is even ferocious. But it is much more ferocious with us: with us Italians, us Europeans, us Americans.

I call my book a sermon—addressed to the Italians, to the Europeans, the Westerners. And along with the rage, this sermon unchains the pride for their culture, my culture. That culture that in spite of its mistakes, its faults, even monstrosities, has given so much to the world. It has moved us from the tents of the deserts and the huts of the woods to the dignity of civilization. It has given us the concept of beauty, of morals, of freedom, of equality. It has made the unique conquest in the social field, in the realm of science. It has wiped out diseases. It has invented all the tools that make life easier and more intelligent, those tools that our enemy can also use, for instance, to kill us. It has brought us to the moon and to Mars, and this cannot be said of the other culture. A culture, which has produced and produces only religion, which in every sense imprisons women inside the burkah or the chador, which is never accompanied by a drop of freedom, a drop of democracy, which subjugates its people under theocratical, oppressive regimes.

Socrates and Aristotle and Heraclitus were not mullahs. Jesus Christ, neither. Leonardo da Vinci and Michaelangelo, and Galileo, and Copernicus, and Newton and Pasteur and Einstein, the same.

My book is also a j’accuse. To accuse us of cowardice, hypocrisy, demagogy, laziness, moral misery, and of all that comes with that. The stupidity of the unbearable fad of political correctness, for instance. The paucity of our schools, our universities, our young people, people who often don’t even know the story of their country, the names Jefferson, Franklin, Robespierre, Napoleon, Garibaldi. And no understanding that freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline.

I accuse ourselves also of another crime: the loss of passion. Haven’t you understood what drives our enemies? What permits them to fight this war against us? The passion! They have passion! They have so much passion that they can die for it!

Their leaders, too, of course. I met Khomeini. I discussed with him for more than six hours in calm, and I tell you that that man was a man of passion. I never met bin Laden. But I have well observed his eyes. I have well listened to his voice. And I tell you that that man is a man of passion. We have lost passion.

Well, I have not. I boil with passion. I, too, am ready to die for passion. But around me, I see no passion. Even those who hate me and attack me and insult me do this without passion. They are mollusks, not men and women. And a civilization, a culture, cannot survive without passion, cannot be saved without passion. If the West does not wake up, if we do not refind passion, we are lost.


What disgusts me most about Fallaci is not what she has to say, in fact I agree 100% with her. What sickens me is the cold reception that it has received in Europe.

In a society which ‘prides’ itself on freedom of speech and thought, Fallaci had been arrested and put on trial in France [not that it should surprise anyone] for her most recent works. She eventually won the case, but it points to a deeper problem on the continent as well as in the Americas [well, mainly Canada].

We are so fucking afraid to abandon multiculturalism that we are, in effect, giving the farm away to these extremists. We are so busy trying to make nice with people who want to destroy what has taken 500 years to build, that we are enabling our own destruction.

Its liberal white guilt at its worst, and its going to get us all killed.


Wednesday, December 18, 2002
 
File this under the mabey category

A Charlotte, NC, lawyer purchased a box of very rare and expensive cigars, then insured them against fire among other things. Within a month having smoked his entire stockpile of these great cigars and without yet having made even his first premium payment on the policy, the lawyer filed a claim against the insurance company. In his claim, the lawyer stated the cigars were lost "in a series of small fires." The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason: that the man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion. The lawyer sued....and won! In delivering the ruling the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous. The Judge stated nevertheless, that the lawyer held a policy from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure them against fire, without defining what is considered to be unacceptable fire," and was obligated to pay the claim. Rather than endure a lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid $15,000.00 to the lawyer for his loss of the rare cigars lost in the "fires."

After the lawyer cashed the check, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of ARSON!!!! With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used against him, the lawyer was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and was sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000.00 fine. This is a true story and was the 1st place winner in the recent Criminal Lawyers Award Contest.


and what's the moral of the story ................. never try to screw a bigger whore than you.





 
Which Euroweenie was I?




Friday, December 13, 2002
 

Humor for the day:

This is brilliant. It is a college theme paper written by two people.

THE COLLEGE THEME PAPER: HE VS. SHE

Remember the book "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus"? Well, here's a prime example offered by an English professor at an American University.

"Today we will experiment with a new form of composition called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right. One of you will then write the first paragraph of a short story. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back and forth. Remember to reread what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. There is to be absolutely NO talking and anything you wish to say must be written on the paper. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached."

The following was actually turned in by two of my English students: Rebecca -last name deleted, and Gary - last name deleted.

-------------------------------------------------------------
STORY: (first paragraph by Rebecca)

At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The camomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked camomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So camomile was out of the question.
------------------------------------------------------
(second paragraph by Gary)

Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he said into his transgalactic communicator "Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off, a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.
----------------------------------------------------------
(Rebecca)
He bumped his head and died almost immediately but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel,"
Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth, when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspapers to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. "Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.
---------------------------------------------------------
(Gary)
Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through the congress had left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret Mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion, which vaporized poor, stupid, Laurie and 85 million other Americans. The President slammed his fist on the conference table. "We can't allow this! I'm going to veto that treaty! Let's blow 'em out of the sky!"
----------------------------------------------------------
(Rebecca)
This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic semi-literate adolescent.
----------------------------------------------------------
(Gary)
Yeah? Well, you're a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium. "Oh shall I have camomile tea? Or shall I have some other sort of F***ING TEA??? Oh no, I'm an air headed bimbo who reads too many Danielle Steele novels."
----------------------------------------------------------
(Rebecca)
Asshole.
----------------------------------------------------------
(Gary)
Bitch.
----------------------------------------------------------
(Rebecca)
Wanker.
----------------------------------------------------------
(Gary)
Slut.
----------------------------------------------------------
(Rebecca)
Get f****d.
----------------------------------------------------------
(Gary)
Eat s**t.
----------------------------------------------------------
(Rebecca)
F*** YOU - YOU NEANDERTHAL!!!
----------------------------------------------------------
(Gary)
Go drink some tea - whore.
*************************************************************
(Teacher)
A+ - I really liked this one.



 

Cockburn and St.Claire are really getting desperate

I once said that Counterpunch, along with many other ‘progressive publications, were beginning to look more and more like excerpts from the Protocols of Elder of Zion but a recent article by Jordy Cummings, really takes the cake.

After reading his article I wondered how desperate Cockburn and St.Claire were to allow a barely literate nobody to write for them. I realize the Edward Saids, Tariq Alis and Noam Chomksys of the world can only put out so much terrorist loving propaganda, but if Counterpunch is going to resort to semiliterate, whiney bitches, for filler material, the least they could do is request that their writers use spell checker [its almost embarrassing].

A group of New York area "liberals," the cream of civil society, listen to a group of liberal hacks make arguments against a war on Iraq. All 150 of them seem to agree with the speakers' standard liberal view about Saddam being a monster but that inspections need time to work, etc. They are quickly turned around by a genuine representation of Iraqi-ness - - a real live Arab!! and not one of those Palestinians either! - Kanan Makiya,

It may surprise Cummings that a large contingent of Iraqis, like somewhere around 100%, would love nothing more than to see Saddam’s head on a pike.

I doubt that many Palestinians or Israeli peace activists think the best way to end the occupation would be for Uncle Sam to rain cluster-bombs on Tel Aviv.

Right he is! They prefer a more personal touch like 5 pounds of Semtex in a school bus. All you have to do is spend a few minutes browsing Indymedia Palestine to see this.

What's the point of all this? A particularly vulgar piece of journalism by one George Packer in the Sunday New York Times magazine.

In fact, Packer deploys horrendous second-person manipulation from the first sentence of the article, of which it seems clear that the purpose is to alienate readers, even those who are antiwar, from participating in any mass movement against the upcoming Iraq war....

Packer does give lip-service to the growth of antiwar activitiy [spelling], but he notes in a Gitlinian fashion that the demonstrators' slogans are not nuanced enough.


Just as Cummings gives lip service to the very radical and violent voices in the ‘peace’ movement.

Packer constructs a false dichotomy between the "left" that finds all American actions to be "Imperialist" and a "right" that eschews foreign policy as social work. The "Bosnia consensus" was formed by a number of people, who had previously been anti-war, those who were involved in "the sixties." These "new humanitarians" were hellbent for leather for each and every Uncle Sam action of the nineties, and following 911, the War on Terrorism. On some level, this should discredit any honest particpation [spelling] from these types in an honest antiwar movement

But wait. There is now some sectarianism among this "tiny but influential" group of liberal intellectuals. This sez Packer, is as fierce as any argument since Vietnam. Oy. IT gets even more patheric


Whatever ‘patheric’ means.

There we see Walzer being against the war, not being "just" in his eyes, but explaining that he wouldn't participate in a movement that would "strengthen the hand of Saddam." … he knows that no one is out to strengthen the hand of Saddam, not even the Workers World Party.

Here is what Cummings fails to see: individuals like the Workers World Party are out to strengthen the hand of Saddam. The International Action Committee’s Ramsey Clark, a major organizer of anti war demonstrations, has taken up the plight of every human piece of shit for the past 20 years.

He defended the Chinese crackdown in Tiananmen Square. In June he joined a forum on "Crimes of America" in Tehran sponsored by none other than the Ayatollah Khomeini.

After the US bombing of Libya in 1986, he met with Col. Moammar Qadaffi in Tripoli to show his solidarity with the Libyan dictator.

He went to Grenada to advise Bernard and Phyllis Coard, leaders of the clique accused of murdering Maurice Bishop.

Clark represented PLO leaders in a civil suit brought by the family of Leon Klinghoffer, the elderly vacationer who was shot and pushed overboard from the Achille Lauro cruise-ship by Palestinian terrorists in 1986.

Another Clark client was Karl Linnas. A concentration camp guard in Estonia (where he had overseen the murder of some 12,000 resistance fighters and Jews), Linnas was being deported from the US to the USSR to face war crimes charges. Clark lost the case, but went to bat for his client in the public arena, questioning the need to prosecute Nazis "forty years after some god-awful crime they're alleged to have committed."

In October 1999, Clark met with Yugoslavia's President Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade, and served a s a mouthpiece for Milosevic’s propaganda. Milosevic refereed to Clark as "brave, objective, and moral."

And despite what people like Cummings would like us to believe, Ramsey Clark is pretty typical of the types of people who organize these protests. I could pick almost anyone from one of the big ‘anti-war’ organizations, and they are near ideological clones of Clark.
They are not ‘anti-war’ they are rabidly anti-capitalism. All their efforts revolve around one thing: stop America, whatever it does. That’s why when you look at the rhetoric and signs of these ‘peace’ protests, you will see that they often have nothing to do with war at all. Guaranteed that any protest one attends there will be just as many calls for Mumia, water privatization, Nike, the Basque Nationalists, the IMF, Zapatistas, ‘hands off’ North Korea and any other left cause de’jour.

That’s what Walzer means when he claims there is no ‘honest’ peace movement. The Peace rhetoric is just a very thin veneer of a solid Marxist/anti-west core.

And this turns many liberals, who might even consider protesting, off of the ‘peace’ movement.

They got away with it once during Vietnam, ain’t no way it’s going to happen again.

Those who sincerely oppose the war can throw caution to the wind and join and even help organize "liberal," even New Republic editing Zionists who happen to be opposed to Bush's war plans.

Just couldn’t be an article in Counterpunch without throwing in a reference to those evil Zionists.

This is as important time as ever in American history to build a mass antiwar movement of leftists and rightists and liberlas [spelling] and socialists and conservatives and communists and libertarians allike [spelling].

For the same reason that lamb does not often lay down with the lion, these groups will never work together on a serious level. True, there have been collaborations between the Justin “I never met a Serbian war criminal I did not like” Raimondo’s of the right and the Howard “I fought in WWII to protect Mother Russia” Zinns of the left, but it’s hard to take seriously anyone who would sell out to someone who would throw them in a Gulag had they the ability to do so.



Thursday, December 12, 2002
 

Coward Alert!

From the latest in the “let’s all roll over on our backs and surrender because we are cowards” file, we have William Pfaff’s latest:

Why indeed? The West takes for granted that the existing religious assumptions of Islamic society have to be overturned, not only because they don't suit the West but because the West believes that they are unsuitable for the Muslims themselves.

Well gee Billy boy, ever think that they might be ‘unsuitable’ for the Muslims, or is it ‘suitable’ to strap bombs to 14 year olds and tell them to walk into a disco for a shot at banging 40 virgins?

There is constant Western pressure on Islamic governments to conform to Western conceptions of human rights and promote free and critical religious and political thought.

We in the West are inclined to think that everybody must eventually become like us. Standard American discussion of American destiny and the "end of history" takes for granted an eventual benevolent Americanization of global society. To the orthodox Muslim that means apostasy, immorality and God's condemnation. Westernization, to Westerners, means liberation. Americans do not conceive of themselves as inheritors of a Western legacy of Promethean violence. For people in other societies, Westernization frequently means destruction, social and moral crisis, with individuals cast adrift in a destructured and literally demoralized world.


If that means open and tolerant then yes.

If that means people having decent standards of living, then yes.

If that means a society where I won’t be thrown in a pit and stoned for flying a kite, then yes.

If that means a society in which I am part of a religious/ethnic minority [coincidentally like Arabs are in the US] then I won’t be barred from attending a public university, then yes.

If that means a society in which I am part of a religious/ethnic minority [coincidentally like Arabs are in the US] then I won’t be barred from owning property, then yes.

If that means a society in which average people can peacefully and democratically effect a change in the leadership which they live under without having their fingernails pulled with a set of Vice-Grips by the secret police, then yes.

Cultural and political disorientation, violent resistance to the intruder and attempts to recapture a lost golden age are natural reactions to this. We see all of this today.

Natural …… mabey, but I think that Pfaff is crossing the line from ‘natural’ to 'justified'.



 

Student disses professors in school newspaper



What amazes me most about this article is the fact that it even got published in the first place.

The Communist disguise

M.Reilly Cosgrove
Columnist
December 09, 2002

Some of these teachers have no qualms about identifying themselves as a political deviant, as they should, and this is commendable. But it is important to realize that even in classrooms where the professor's deviant opinions are not hidden, they go largely unchallenged, and as a result carry too much weight. What is hard to understand about our revolutionary professors who are so hellbent on change is why they choose to rally students against a system that affords such power to the common citizen.

If the majority of the people were convinced that Communism was the best political system, then we could simply vote to change the government. There is no need for violence or revolution. The problem is that these radicals know the only way they can realize a Communist government in this country is by overriding the opinions of the majority. Marx may have been right that religion is the opiate of the masses, but I would argue that Communism is the opiate of the malcontent.

A system that prevents personal achievement is most advantageous to the weak, the lazy and the stupid. A classroom is not a political platform. If Communists who have been able and willing to earn a Ph.D. in this society are so intent on bringing about social change, they should become politicians, not teachers.

Maybe Chuck Hunt, one of our more out spoken dissenters, wouldn't be quite so self-righteous if he had to defend himself in televised political debates with people as educated and intelligent as himself rather than in a room full of 18-year-old undergraduates. Maybe he would gain a greater understanding of the needs of his beloved proletariat when none of them voted for him.


I bet this guy will get a few F's this semester.


Tuesday, December 10, 2002
 
Here is an interesting tidbit

The 21st century neo-Marxist bible Empire’s co-author, Antonio Negri, is in jail for being the brains [if that’s what one could call it] behind Italy’s late 1970’s communist terror organization the Red Brigade. According to press reports in the BBC, Negri was suspected by Italian authorities to be responsible for the kidnapping and murder of Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro.

For what its worth, this is the mind behind the new left.


Monday, December 09, 2002
 
Jihad Book Club

Apparently Chomsky and Comrade Pilger are thier best sellers.


You tell me what's the difference?

Greg Sheridan: Left delivers ammunition to Islamists

December 05, 2002
We need to recognise violent, fundamentalist Islamism of the type that drives Osama bin Laden and al Qa'ida as essentially an ideology, much of the type that was predominant in the 20th century.

This does not represent mainstream Muslims, the overwhelming majority of whom are law-abiding moderates.

Bin Laden stands in the direct line of Lenin, Hitler and Pol Pot as crafting a radical, utopian and ultra-modern ideological system. Occasionally you hear people mistakenly talk of al-Qa'ida as if it represents medieval Islam. It is nothing of the kind. Like most ideologies it is utterly modern. Like Nazism and communism, it is explicitly and self-consciously a response to modernisation.

Communism wanted to produce hyper-modernisation through centralised state control of politics and the economy. It offered this as an alternative to mixed economy capitalism and parliamentary democracy.

Nazism was even more like violent, extremist Islamism because it was outraged by the cosmopolitanism, the unregulated human mixing, of modernisation. It wanted to create a radical new utopia of racial purity, just as violent Islamism wants a radical utopia of religious purity.

All these ideologies defined themselves in relation to modernisation. They were in no sense an attempt to recreate a traditional society. Nor did they spring from traditional societies. Just as Pol Pot and the leadership of the Khmer Rouge were educated in France, so many of the al-Qa'ida terrorists have been educated in the West, especially England, Germany and the US.

The defining feature of ideology is that the true believer holds that the ideology offers the unqiue key to understanding the universe. An ideology is a closed intellectual system. Outside facts, contrary evidence, don't penetrate. Any fact that seems contradictory is either disregarded as false or reinterpreted in a way that fits with the ideology.

Readers of a certain age must remember those countless dinner parties during the Cold War when the leftist at the table smirked and said something like: "Yes, but we don't really know how the Russian people feel about the Soviet system. It's only Western propaganda that tells you they don't support it."

For another key feature of ideology is that no amount of idiocy is too much, no glimmer of common sense can disturb the ideologue's certitude.

The key to ideological commitment is emotional intensity, not rational thought. All morality is subsumed into the larger question of furthering the ideology's aims. In dealing with a fanatical ideology it is important to understand that the demands are not negotiable. It's either the workers' struggle (communism), racial purity (Nazism) or the call to jihad (al-Qa'ida), and trying to negotiate a compromise is futile.

In the West, the fanatical ideology that won the most adherents was extreme leftism.

Ideology marches hand in hand with conspiracy theories, because conspiracy theories are needed to explain why the world doesn't actually look like the ideologue's description.

The remarkable feature of the present moment is the way the West's far Left has joined in a kind of de facto intellectual alliance with the al-Qa'ida extremists, which is not to say that most leftists, even extremist leftists, endorse terrorism, approve of mass murder or wish to achieve a purist Islamic state.

Where the de facto alliance does come into play is the shared view of the Left and al-Qa'ida of the nature of the West, and the role of the US and Australia. Travelling recently in South-East Asia I was struck by how often, in the offices of Islamist activists and fellow travellers, I saw the works of Noam Chomsky, and somewhat less often our own John Pilger, two of the iconic figures of mad Left denunication of their own societies.

Chomsky and Pilger provide the Islamists with much of their interpretive narrative of the West.

Many Islamic activists believe the CIA was responsible for the Bali bombing. Why wouldn't they believe this madness if they've been consuming a high-octane diet of Pilgerist Chomskyism with its endless conspiracy theories about the unregenerate evil and secret wickedness of the US? Both Chomsky and Pilger cast Australia as a lieutenant evil-doer of the US.

Pilger, whose loopy extremism is more or less beyond satire, has written: "There is no war on terrorism. It is the great game speeded up. The difference is the rampant nature of the superpower, ensuring infinite dangers for us all."

Pilger, interviewed on the ABC's Lateline recently, gave a wonderful exhibition of how the ideologue doesn't let facts intrude. He was explaining how Australia was a target of al-Qa'ida not because we are a free and democratic country which represents everything al-Qa'ida hates, but because we are an ally of the US.

But, asked Tony Jones, bin Laden himself said we're the enemy because of our role helping East Timor achieve independence.

"We can't believe that," replied Pilger.

"We can't believe all these things we're being told." An almost perfect example of not letting the facts interfere with the ideology.

Recently The 7.30 Report rang to ask if I would debate Pilger on television. Sure, I said. A couple of hours later they rang back: Pilger would not debate me.

That's been his policy for some time, not to debate people on the facts. For the ideologue knows the truth already. What need has such a one for facts?

We have today extremist Islamist ideology fuelled by Chomsky-Pilger conspiracies – it's a lethal cocktail.


Greg Sheridan is The Australian’s foreign editor.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,5616885%255E7583,00.html


I have always believed that people who are intellectually weak will gravitate to things that reaffirm what they believe in. Everyone is guilty of this to a certain extent, but some people will a source to validate almost anything they believe because many times it is so irrational that they themselves cannot really find a way to independently justify it. Take a hard core Jew hater or racist. They will cling onto almost anything, no matter how ludicrous [Elder Protocols of Zion, Mien Kampf, Nation of Islam, White Aryan Resistance, etc..] as a way to justify what they believe, because although they really may not truly believe what their respective sources say, it allows them a cop out for critical thinking.

Take the holocaust deniers. They hate Jews, are afraid to confront the real reasons for their hate, so they cling onto a justification, no matter how indefensible, just to soothe their inability to reflect.

It does not surprise me that Al'Queada reads Chomsky and Pilger. They tell them exactly what they want to hear and being upper class white westerners, they also offer an extra degree of credibility. They are smart, well spoken, and their theories play to fruitcakes and radicals all around the world.

You can even see the lack of self introspection in these two. When Comrade Pilger [he is a member of one of the most raving Stalinist organizations in the UK], is confronted with the admission that Al'Queada attacked Bali over intervention in East Timor he says "We can't believe that".

Its not that Pilger 'cant' believe it because credible evidence has been offered to the contrary, its that he 'wont' believe it because it does not jive with his worldview and he is too much of an intellectual chickenshit to challenge what he believes.

Well, for what its worth, that's my ¢2.



 
The US Ninth Does it Again.


my most recent purchase, the .480 Ruger Super Redhawk, and man is it super

The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled on the constitutionality of California’s assault weapons bill, and came to the conclusion [surprise surprise] that the second amendment does not guarantee individuals the right to own firearms.

This is the same court, mind you, which banned the reading of the pledge in the classroom, and denied asylum to a Chinese couple who will be imprisoned and forced at gunpoint to abort their Child if they are returned to China.

The court, led by Judge Stephen Reinhardt, came to a unanimous decision in this case.

A former Democratic National Committee member who is married to the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, Reinhardt is known for having the most Supreme Court reversals.

Considered on of the most left leaning courts in the country, fourteen of twenty three [thats ove 60%] of the Berkley California based court’s judges are comprised of Clinton era appointees.

Judge Reinhardt wrote the unanimous decision claiming he made his ruling with opinions and commentary from the likes of Patrick Henry and John Adams as well as modern-day law professors.

Well that’s obviously bullshit.

"Are we at last brought to such an humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms under our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?"
-Patrick Henry

Reinhardt also had this to say:

“What the drafters of the amendment thought 'necessary to the security of a free state' was not an unregulated mob of armed individuals, or the modern-day Michigan Militia. The historical record makes it plain that the amendment was not adopted in order to afford rights to individuals with respect to private gun ownership."

So now Herr Reinhardt is comparing gun owners to a bunch of soldier wannabes running through the forests of Northern Michigan? And the ‘historical record’ does not show that the second amendment is not an individual right?

If the Second Amendment is not an individual right, why is it listed in the Bill of Rights, which defines the federally protected rights given to individuals, and not in some other section of the constitution which defines the operation of the federal government?

Where the hell do they find these people?


Friday, December 06, 2002
 
I'm not sure if this is true but it is to perfect to ingnore.

A funny thing happened to me yesterday at Camp Bondsteel (Bosnia): A French army officer walked up to me in the PX, and told me he thought we (Americans) were a bunch of cowboys and were going to provoke a war. He said if such a thing happens, we wouldn't be able to count on the support of France.

I told him that it didn't surprise me. Since we had come to France's rescue in World War I, World War II, Vietnam, and the Cold War, their ingratitude and jealousy was due to surface at some point in the near future anyway. That is why France is a third-rate military power with a socialist economy and a bunch of faggots for soldiers.

I additionally told him that America, being a nation of deeds and action, not words, would do whatever it had to do, and France's support was only for show anyway. Just like in ALL NATO exercises, the US would shoulder 85% of the burden, as evidenced by the fact that the French officer was shopping in the American PX, and not the other way around.

He began to get belligerent at that point, and I told him if he would like to, I would meet him outside in front of the Burger King and beat his ass in front of the entire Multi-National Brigade East, thus demonstrating that even the smallest American had more fight in him than the average Frenchman.

He called me a barbarian cowboy and walked away in a huff.

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Mary Beth Jxxxxxx LtCol, USMC


Wednesday, December 04, 2002
 
Years from now, someone will kick Michael Moore in the nuts

Holy shit! I cannot believe I missed this.

The preeminent fatbody attack hippo of the left Michael Moore, has been caught re-writing history again.

Years From Now They'll Call it 'Payback Tuesday’, began one of Moore’s weekly letters demanding his readers throw all the republicans out of office come November 5th.

The full letter predicted, "We will deny Bush control of the Congress next week ... Expect a wake-up call from me at your bedside 6 a.m. Tuesday!"

But a funny thing happened, November 5th came and the republicans actually gained seats in both houses of congress.

So what did tubby do? He erased his own entry!

http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/message/index.php?messageDate=2002-11-03
[look at the bold portion, the entry exists for November 3rd, but the content has been erased]

This is also not the first time he has done this. Last year, shortly after 9/11, he asked wondered in his journal why the terrorist chose NYC to vent their frustration at Bush, after, according to Moore, NYC voted for Gore, making them ‘unfair’ targets.

"Many families have been devastated tonight. This just is not right. They did not deserve to die. If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him! Boston, New York, DC, and the planes' destination of California--these were places that voted AGAINST Bush!"
--Michael Moore, Michaelmoore.com, September 12

After realizing what a horseshit statement this was, and proving what a gutless unic he is, he pulled this from his site as well.

Then he bitched about media censorship, claiming that corporate controlled radio stations were forcing DJ’s not to play songs by such ‘progressive’ artists like Rage Against the Machine.

I recall the email I received the night before from a radio station manager in Michigan. He passed on to me a confidential memo from the radio conglomerate that owns his station: Clear Channel, the company that has bought up 1,200 stations altogether -- 247 of them in the nation's 250 largest radio markets -- and that not only dominates the Top 40 format, but controls 60% of all rock-radio listening.

The company has ordered its stations not to play a list of 150 songs during this "national emergency." The list, incredibly, includes "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "Peace Train," and John Lennon's "Imagine." Rah-rah war songs, though, are OK.

And then there was this troubling instruction: "No songs by Rage Against the Machine should be aired." The entire works of a band are banned? Is this the freedom we fight for? Or does this sound like one of those repressive dictatorships we are told is our new enemy?


--From Tears Down the West Side Highway 9/22/01

This was, to put it mildly, a lie. Radio station programmers independently consulted each other and generated a list of songs that might upset people.
It was left to the discretion of each station manager to determine what was and was not inappropriate.

Snopes has the whole story

Once again, after this was shown to be another one of Moore’s ‘creative’ pieces, he hid the article.

This, mind you, is the same jagoff who stuffs cameras in peoples faces when they are eating dinner or buying groceries and barrages them with questions in order to catch them tongue tied.

Too bad they don’t have the same advantage of just being able to ‘delete’ whatever makes them look like a idiot.


 

Choice Reads

Someone asked me the other day what were the best 10 books I have ever read.

"Good question", I said, I had never really given much thought to it.

So after a day of head scratching, I have come up with my top 10+1.

And here goes .........

My Elevin Picks [in no particular order]

1. The Open Society and Its Enemies
Karl Popper

2. The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else
Hernando De Soto

3. The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression
Stephane Courtois

4. The End of History and the Last Man
Francis Fukuyama

5. The Road to Serfdom
F. A. von Hayek

6. The Abolition of Man
C. S. Lewis

7. Capitalism and Freedom
Milton Friedman

8. God & Man at Yale
William F. Buckley Jr.

9. Modern Times
Paul Johnson

10. Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy
Joseph A. Schumpeter

11. The Origins of Totalitarianism
Hannah Arendt

Must Reads, not on my top 11, but all are definately worth a read.

Homage to Catalonia
George Orwell

Wealth of Nations
by Adam Smith

The Skeptical Environmentalist
by Bjorn Lomborg

Silent Spring
Rachel Carson

The Gulag Archipelago
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The New Left and the Origins of the Cold War
by Robert James. Maddox



Tuesday, December 03, 2002
 
Protests in South Korea



While scanning through the news today, I read several articles from several sources about the protests in South Korea . It seems that two young girls were killed by a US army armored vehicle. The girls were on their way to a birthday party when they were hit and killed by the armored vehicle. The two men involved in the incident were tried in a military court and found not guilty of negligent homicide. This not guilty verdict sparked a wave of anti-US protests.

It was basically an unintentional traffic accident caused by poor visibility, not negligence.

While reading through these articles I kept coming across a group’s name, which was organizing these demonstrations, they were the Pan National Committee.

This organization was described as ‘an alliance of civic groups’ and its members were continually referred to as ‘activists’. They were distributing graphic pictures of the two slain girls as well as condemnations of the two US Army Sargents who were responsible for their deaths.

To the untrained eye, this may not mean much, but whenever I hear the word ‘activist’ I immediately think shiteating-pinko-commie, and although sometimes wrong my first reaction is usually correct. Like it is this time.

After checking into this ‘Pan National Committee’ [or Pomminnyon as it is also referred to in Korean] a bit more I found out what this ‘alliance of civic groups’ was actually about. They also go by the Pan-Korean Alliance for Reunification.

Their website is full of proclamations and communiqués from Pyongyang and constant opposition to US military presence in the South.

The Pan National Committee is comprised of various South Korean communist/labor/student groups and has been invited to several of Ramsey Clark’s International Action Committee’s teach ins .

It seems that they are a North Korean propaganda organ in the South designed to convince the hearts and minds of South Koreans that the North’s plan for reunification is not only the best but the only way to reunify the peninsula.

They are using the tragic accidental deaths of these two girls to rally the public’s support for a removal of US forces from the South, forces that keep Pyongyang in line and on the other side of the 38th parallel.

Because you see, if US forces leave South Korea, then their dream of a unified Korea, under the control of the Communist Pyongyang, can be realized.

I find it sickening that they are using this incident to promote such a scheme but I also find it amazing that no one else is catching onto this.


 
Ted Rall = One Big Pussy

Dogmatic Marxist, syndicated cartoonist/journalist, and Frenchmen [need I say more], Ted Rall, is always busy sticking his foot in his mouth. He once commented in his book “To Afghanistan and Back: A Graphic Travelogue” about Afghanistan that ”the only good thing to happen here was the Soviet invasion” [most likely due to Rall’s belief that it would usher in a new age of social justice and end the specter of western imperialism in Afghanistan]. But more recently he continues to go on and on with his paranoid drivel about how those meanies in the Pentagon are out to get him and all other like minded dissenters.

from a Columbia Spectator Interview

I asked about the role of journalists who go to dangerous places like Afghanistan. After a brief diatribe calling for journalists to be treated with more dignity and respect, Rall said:

"The Pentagon literally wanted us all to die. That's not hyperbole. That's a fact. They would have liked every journalist in Afghanistan to die. To go away is not enough. Without journalists reporting from war zones you would never know about all the atrocities that go on.”


This comment of Rall’s goes back to an article he wrote back in February of this year in which he whined that the military was not allowing enough access to journalists who wanted to cover the operation in Afghanistan. Since he could not get a US Army A-Team escort everywhere he went and since he and his fellow journalists were not allowed to accompany SEAL Team 6 and other special forces on missions in the early months of the war he claimed that the military had a death wish against all correspondents covering the war.

According to Rall there were dozens of journalists who were killed and maimed due to the indifference of military authorities. But Rall fails to mention several key and relevant issues. Considering the covert and independent nature of most operations in Afghanistan at that time, it would have been impractical and unprecedented to allow journalists to accompany combat troops. Secondly, the vast majority of journalists killed and injured in Afghanistan were due to criminal activities, not as a result of combat. Carjackings, muggings and common banditry accounted for nearly all of the injuries sustained by reporters. Rall also fails to inform us that the military did indeed provide escorted access to US and allied forces, however restrictive it was.

Those killed chose to cover the war on their own terms, and I am sure most were well aware of the risks associated with this.

If it was a secret affair you would have a lot more dead. Look at the first Gulf War [where there were fewer journalists], where there were an estimated one to four hundred thousand civilian casualties. That's because of the lack of coverage. Journalists reduce civilian casualties severely. If the Pentagon can do things without anyone knowing about it, they would just drop everything they had."

Interesting that Rall never specifies where these estimates come from, because they did not come from any source I could come up with.

Human Rights Watch [hardly a right wing source] claims that at most between 2,500 and 3,000 Iraqi civilians died during the first Gulf War.

Even the Iraqi government never made such bogusly high claims, stating that an estimated 7,000 civilians had been killed in the allies' bombing raids.

Now, I don’t know where Rall gets these numbers or comes up with some of his ideas, but one thing is clear, every day since 9/11, Rall has become a little more agitated and a little more removed from reality.

One wonders what kind of mental state he will be in a few years.


Monday, December 02, 2002
 

It’s going to be a long month.

When I stepped into the elevator this morning for the ride to my desk, I heard Christmas ‘musac’ playing on the speaker.

“Its going to be a long 23 days” I thought.







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