Archive for October, 2010

Not Seeing the Forest for the Trees

Tolerance…

Conservatives have questioned for some time now the strange love affair between the Left and Islam. These two make very strange bedfellows indeed considering the enormity of the gap that exists between them ideologically.

Some similarities can be found between the two, but frankly, there are similarities between all ideologies at some level. No, this relationship is more basic, more tactical in nature- the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Christianity

Poor Taste…

Sounds a bit crusadish, but yes, this is as much a component of the fight as anything. The Left eagerly embraces anything challenging Christianity they can. In fact, there are several pithy examples of the Left’s fervent hypocrisy. For instance, remember when Andres Serrano placed a crucifix in a jar of urine to snap a couple photos? The Left defended it as a work of art that that Serrano’s artistic freedom of expression overrode the offense that rest of the world took from the piece. Left-wing Newsweek defended the art, concerned that new intolerants would pull money away from the taxpayer funded National Endowment for the Arts, which partially paid for the art.

But when Pastor Terry Jones stated that his church was going to burn a stack of Qurans in protest to, in part, the Ground Zero Mosque and Islamic terrorism in general, Newsweek dropped the whole freedom of expression bit, and focused on attacking Pastor Jones and “Islamophobia” in general, even going so far as to question whether or not the media should pay attention. This is a rather dramatic, yet unsurprising, change of perception on the freedom of expression and the need for uncensored expression.

Or how about the banning of Christian nativity scenes– during Christmas mind you- in New York City public schools, while continuing to allow Jewish menorahs and Islamic Crescents during Hanukkah and Ramadan respectively. The argument from the City- ever a bastion of liberal policy- was that the Star of David and the Islamic Crescent were… wait for it… secular symbols while the nativity scene was purely religious.

Of course we also have the hypocrisy of the American Atheists, a liberal organization, as another example. The Atheist group was upset over a non-school sanctionedKentucky trip to a church by some football players that used a school bus, and where apparently some players decided to get baptized. One in particular- a 16 year old boy- did it without his mother’s knowledge or permission and she was particularly upset. Now, I’m sympathetic to the concern that my child was getting baptized without my knowledge, which might be a tad bit more indicative of other parenting issues, but the Atheists apparently have no concern over Wellesley, Mass. school field trip to a Mosque. A search of the Atheist website on any Mosque trip comes back with nothing. Nothing to see here, move along.

Terrorism

Another interesting phenomenon in the love affair between the Left and Islam is the near fanatical effort to disassociate terrorism from Islam. It has gotten to the point that whenever an Islamic terrorist acts that the Left will rush forward to either provide subjective caveats in defense of Islam or endeavor to outright disassociate the group from Islam writ large. “They are [insert Islamic terrorist group here] not real Muslims because Islam is a religion of peace,” which is an interesting argument, especially after the terrorist group has gone to all that trouble to justify their attack with the Quran and Hadith. The prime vehicle for this is the Left’s constant pursuit of ‘political correctness’. A case in point- The View:

There was nothing factually inaccurate in what Bill O’Reilly was saying; it is just that he didn’t caveat it in the subjective PC language of the left.

But why the effort to disassociate the two so vehemently? Certainly, the anti-Christian factor plays a role, but the convenience of a kindred spirit in attacking the status quo is too much. It is not so much the message of Islam, but rather the argument itself that engenders the Lefts sympathy. Here is a great example from recently. Bill Maher- the poster child of liberalism- discussed the recent audio tape from Osama bin Laden.

“All right, let me ask — let me quote another person who is not in favor in this country and that’s Osama bin Laden,” Maher said. “He put out a tape last week. And there was nothing about violence or attacking America. See, Lindsay Lohan, people can change. It was about the Pakistani flood.”

Maher read the quote from bin Laden, which suggested the industrialized nations were at fault for the recent flooding in Pakistan.

“And his quote – show it there, he said, ‘Speaking about climate change is not a matter of intellectual luxury,’” Maher said, reading bin Laden’s quote. “‘The phenomenon is an actual fact. All the industrialized countries, especially the big ones, bear the responsibility for testimony global warming crisis.’”

And based on that statement, Maher determined bin Laden was worthy of praise because they agreed on an issue that Maher’s political opponents haven’t bought into.
Well, I guess my question is, how come a guy in a cave gets it better than every Republican voting for the Senate?” Maher said.

Oh my. What’s sad, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a similarity in or admiration of the message from bin Laden and the Left. Now, before my liberals friends go apoplectic ape-shit; let me provide a couple more examples.

Dem Senate Majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada said in April of 2007, “I believe myself that the secretary of state, secretary of defense and – you have to make your own decisions as to what the president knows – (know) this war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday.” This message has echoed how many statements from Aymen al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Of course, who can trust the commentary from a politician? No, when it comes to the Left, we need a real ideologue, or two, to provide the proper context of it all. For instance, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the spiritual mentor and pastor to President Barack Obama, provided this commentary on the 16th of September 2001, “We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye… We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost” Well, if you’ve an issue with a ‘man of God’ providing the commentary, then let’s examine academia.

For instance, we have Ward Churchill:

Well, really. Let’s get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America’s global financial empire – the “mighty engine of profit” to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved – and they did so both willingly and knowingly. Recourse to “ignorance” – a derivative, after all, of the word “ignore” – counts as less than an excuse among this relatively well-educated elite. To the extent that any of them were unaware of the costs and consequences to others of what they were involved in – and in many cases excelling at – it was because of their absolute refusal to see. More likely, it was because they were too busy braying, incessantly and self-importantly, into their cell phones, arranging power lunches and stock transactions, each of which translated, conveniently out of sight, mind and smelling distance, into the starved and rotting flesh of infants. If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I’d really be interested in hearing about it.

Bill Ayers Showing His True Colors…

Or we could look at Presidential friend and colleague, William Ayers, stated in an essay– on September 11th 2001 no less- that he didn’t regret bombing the Pentagon, the Capital building or the New York City police headquarters. In fact, he said that, “I feel we didn’t do enough.” Bin Laden must be pleased to see such a kindred voice so close to the leader of the free world.

This brings us back to the disassociation. Ayers, Churchill and Wright all point to the Left’s common mantra of the ends justifying the means, which is why they need to separate the message- which resonates with the left- from the tactics of terrorism- which isn’t popular. I’d question a little more deeply the tactic of violence with regards to the left, but considering the words of Ayers, Churchill and knowing the history of terrorism, well, we’ll leave it at popularity.

The Enemy of My Enemy

Being a student of history, particularly in the field of terrorism, I find some interesting parallels. Prior to the formation of al-Qaida and following the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, there was an ideological battle brewing about the future of the Afghan Mujahedeen. Abdullah Azzam, the ideological mentor of Osama bin Laden and a prime leader of the Afghan resistance wanted to concentrate the near enemy, or Afghanistan. Azzam wanted to focus on Afghanistan and consolidate the gains of the Mujahedeen and the state itself. However, there was a competing voice in bin Laden’s ear eager for bin Laden’s money- Aymen al-Zawahiri. Zawahiri wanted to focus on the far enemy, of the regional Arab states. The interest was that these states were oppressive, nationalist dictatorships that preferred to look to the apostate powers, like the Soviet Union or the United States, rather than look to Islam, which they treated as a byproduct of culture instead of as a vibrant, political philosophy. Needless to say, Azzam was killed in a mysterious car bomb exposition, and then Zawahiri was all alone.

While I don’t expect any car bombs, I see the left making a similar choice, in this case, the near enemy. But who, or what, is the near enemy? Capitalism, or more accurately, Conservative America. A society built on individual accomplishment and self ownership, which was based on and supported by a Christian faith in God. America is a Christian nation, not through state sanction, but through societal belief, which is why the Left has focused so hard, and so long on it. The Left needs to replace the pillar of faith that strengthens so many with the pillar of government dependence. This is no more evident than any American inner city where the Left has focused on destroying the family unit and individual accountability. If we are to stand any chance of defeating Islamic terror, we have to come to the realization that the Left is a willing and witting accomplice.

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The Coming Reckoning

Pink Slips…

There has been a lot said about the upcoming mid-term elections, most of it not good for Dems. Some, like Michael Barone, have likened the upcoming mid-terms to 1894, when the GOP picked up 130 seats in what is the greatest mid-term electoral victory in U.S. history.

I’m not yet convinced that we’ll see that happen again, though some similarities bear mention. 1894 was defined by voter frustration at the government’s inability to deal with the economic issues of the day (sound familiar?). The election followed the Panic of 1873, which up and until the Great Depression of the 1930’s, was considered the worst depression in U.S. history. The Panic came about as the result of the collapse of the railroad, which had overbuilt on shaky financing. This resulted in a series of bank failures and a run on gold and silver. The estimated unemployment for the country in 1894 is 12.3%.

This is eerily similar to today, a collapsed housing market as a result of overbuilding on shaky financing, followed by a series bank failures. Today’s jobs numbers- a loss of 95,000 jobs and an unemployment rate of 9.6%– were not good for the party in power. And the Labor Department’s rate of 9.6% is slightly less than Gallop’s 10.1% estimation.

But more importantly, the voters are angry. Polling shows that 63% of voters now say they are angry at the policies of the federal government, with 43% who are Very Angry. And why are they angry? Priorities. 33% say the economy is the biggest problem for the country today, followed closely by jobs at 28%. But here is the kicker, third and fourth on the list is government dissatisfaction and the federal deficit, 11% and 7% respectively.

This is why we have a Tea Party movement.

Progress…

So, what can we expect from November 2nd? I think it is important to examine some interesting numbers on who’ll be voting and why. Gallop’s latest Generic Ballot poll shows the GOP leading Dems among registered voters 46/43. However, Gallop furthered their poll into likely voters based on both a high voter turnout and a low voter turnout. A high turnout showed the GOP ahead of Dems 53/40, but in a low voter turnout scenario, which is the most likely, the GOP leads the Dems 56/38. Gallop also looked at the composition of the voter turnout, with high turnout being composed of 36% Republican, 30% Independent and 31% Dem, but a low turnout would garner a 38% Republican, 31% Independent and 29% Dem showing.

When political ideology is introduced to the equation, it becomes very clear on what is happening. While the party composition of likely voters is relatively even, the political profile is not. 54% of likely voters on November 2nd will be Conservative. 27% identify themselves as Moderate but only 18% of Liberals will likely be voting in this mid-term. Now, some are calling this the Enthusiasm Gap, but I think it is closer to a reflection of the Ascendency of Conservatism, which I’ve documented here, here, and here. This is a conservative nation and the radical left policies of the Obama-Reid-Pelosi agenda have served to awaken a sleeping giant.

So we know who’ll be voting- conservatives- but why?

Gallop has another interesting poll, which questions whether or not a lot of thought has gone into the upcoming mid-term elections. In it, they found that 54% of Republicans have given quite a lot of thought while only 32% of Dems have thought about the election. When Gallop delved deeper, they found that based on party identification and political ideology, 63% of Conservative Republicans had thought about the election versus only 32% of Liberal Dems- nearly a two to one margin.

But this is the icing on the cake.

Gallop asked why a likely voter for either party would vote that way. What they found was astonishing- 30% of likely voters for Dem candidates will vote that way because they always vote Dem. This was followed by 15% who favored the candidate’s agenda or policies, 13% who simply dislike the GOP, and 12% who felt the incumbent was doing a good job. Only 3% or less were voting to support the President, favored a liberal agenda or were more supportive of unions.

Contrast this with likely voters for the GOP. 16% were voting based on the candidate’s agenda or policies. 15% always voted for the GOP and 11% didn’t like Dems in general. But 11% were voting either in favor or, or against, the incumbent and 10% were voting for change.

Likely GOP voters are voting on the issues, mostly on the national level. What we are seeing is that Conservative voters are thinking about the issues and are looking to hold their elected representatives accountable. I wouldn’t predict a 100 seat swing, but there is little reason to think that an informed Conservative voting bloc is going to be merciful to the current regime.

Walk the Plank…

Change! Change! Change!

Change! Change! Change!

JANEANE GAROFALO: Thank you. You know, there’s nothing more interesting than seeing a bunch of racists become confused and angry at a speech they’re not quite certain what he’s saying. It sounds right and then it doesn’t make sense. Which, let’s be very honest about what this is about. It’s not about bashing Democrats, it’s not about taxes, they have no idea what the Boston tea party was about, they don’t know their history at all. This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up. That is nothing but a bunch of teabagging rednecks. And there is no way around that. And you know, you can tell these type of right wingers anything and they’ll believe it, except the truth. You tell them the truth and they become — it’s like showing Frankenstein’s monster fire. They become confused, and angry and highly volatile. That guy, causing them feelings they don’t know, because their limbic brain, we’ve discussed this before, the limbic brain inside a right-winger or Republican or conservative or your average white power activist, the limbic brain is much larger in their head space than in a reasonable person, and it’s pushing against the frontal lobe. So their synapses are misfiring. Is Bernie Goldberg listening?

That was April 16, 2009. You have to give her credit, she was the first fruit loop to come out with the racist charge and the frequency and fervency hasn’t diminished since. In fact, the vilification of the Tea Party by the left has almost become a religious tenet, a dogmatic right of passage, a ritual of faith necessary for advancement in the ranks of liberalism. If you want respect on the left, you need to have the documentation showing you’ve thrown the race card at the Tea Party.

To justify these claims of racism, though justification wasn’t needed for Garofalo, the left has focused generally on any opposition to Obama and specifically on some of the signs at the Tea Party rallies. Two popular signs for criticism have been the “Lying African” and the “Obama Witchdoctor” signs.

Lyin’ African

Obama Witchdoctor

Now, for those who don’t live life looking through racist toned ruby-red glasses, and actually have a political ear to the arguments being made, the signs are actually great examples of political satire. Lyin’ African- Lying African, or Obamacare-Witchdoctor.

Regardless, for arguments sake, let us accept the left’s claim that the Tea Party is racist based on the premise of association, witch is absurd but exactly what they are doing. One objectionable sign and the entire movement is to be labeled. Guilt by association.

Socialists loud and proud:

Well, not exactly an outlier of a sign. In fact, when you look at the list of folks who sponsored the rally, the sign isn’t a fringe element- it’s the main attraction. For more on the sponsors of the rally, check out Beck, but let us carry on with the main point: Guilt by Association.

The Left does everything they can to deflect the socialism charge from Obama. So, when the President’s organization Organizing for America endorses the rally, it is hard to separate the two. So, let us review the One Nation rally…

And what would a rally be without signs? Well, it’d be Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor rally, but that’s beside the point, or is it? Hmmmmmm….

Socialism on display

Socialism still on display

But this is the most important, if for no other reason than to show the level of stupidity on the left.

SCHULTZ: Now, conservatives want you to believe that Glenn Beck’s phony religious revival was way bigger than the One Nation rally. Well, let me take you back to the day of the Beck rally on August 28th, 2010, at 6:32 P.M., CBS.com proved Beck’s crowd was, as I said, no big shakes. “An estimated 87,000 people attended the rally organized by radio talk show host and Fox News commentator Glenn Beck Saturday in Washington, according to a crowd estimate commissioned by CBS News. The company, AirPhotosLive.com, based the attendance on aerial photos it took over the rally.” Now to be fair, NBC News put the size of Beck’s crowd at 300,000 people. So, somewhere in between all of this, 87,000, give or take 9 grand by that company, and 300,000 is reported by NBC. Pretty much, would you say that the size of the crowd is pretty much the same? I would. I was there. The people I saw, it was packed.

Well, let us nip this in the bud right now.

8/28 vs. 10/2

Clearly, Doughboy’s ego is getting in the way of his vision. But hey, could you expect anything different?

Here’s the moral of the story, while it is politically convenient for the Left to label the Tea Party racist, using sporadic one-off signs to label the entire movement as such is not only factually inaccurate but is intellectually dishonest. Now, compare this to claims of Obama’s socialism. His organization endorsed the rally, witch was sponsored by socialists. A lot has been written documenting the positions of socialism that seem to permeate the actions of Obama. Most recently, it was Dinesh D’Souza’s book Root’s of Obama’s Rage. He recently penned an article in Forbes titled How Obama Thinks. In it, D’Souza gets into the premise anticolonialist ideology, Obama Sr.’s belief in that ideology and Obama Jr.’s actions in support of it. I’ll leave you with this- be careful in painting groups with broad strokes of the brush, because eventually it’ll paint you as well.

Anticolonialists hold that even when countries secure political independence they remain economically dependent on their former captors. This dependence is called neocolonialism, a term defined by the African statesman Kwame Nkrumah (1909–72) in his book Neocolonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism. Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president, writes that poor countries may be nominally free, but they continue to be manipulated from abroad by powerful corporate and plutocratic elites. These forces of neocolonialism oppress not only Third World people but also citizens in their own countries. Obviously the solution is to resist and overthrow the oppressors. This was the anticolonial ideology of Barack Obama Sr. and many in his generation, including many of my own relatives in India.

Obama Sr. was an economist, and in 1965 he published an important article in the East Africa Journal called “Problems Facing Our Socialism.” Obama Sr. wasn’t a doctrinaire socialist; rather, he saw state appropriation of wealth as a necessary means to achieve the anticolonial objective of taking resources away from the foreign looters and restoring them to the people of Africa. For Obama Sr. this was an issue of national autonomy. “Is it the African who owns this country? If he does, then why should he not control the economic means of growth in this country?”

As he put it, “We need to eliminate power structures that have been built through excessive accumulation so that not only a few individuals shall control a vast magnitude of resources as is the case now.” The senior Obama proposed that the state confiscate private land and raise taxes with no upper limit. In fact, he insisted that “theoretically there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100% of income so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed.”

Remarkably, President Obama, who knows his father’s history very well, has never mentioned his father’s article. Even more remarkably, there has been virtually no reporting on a document that seems directly relevant to what the junior Obama is doing in the White House.

While the senior Obama called for Africa to free itself from the neocolonial influence of Europe and specifically Britain, he knew when he came to America in 1959 that the global balance of power was shifting. Even then, he recognized what has become a new tenet of anticolonialist ideology: Today’s neocolonial leader is not Europe but America. As the late Palestinian scholar Edward Said–who was one of Obama’s teachers at Columbia University–wrote in Culture and Imperialism, “The United States has replaced the earlier great empires and is the dominant outside force.”

From the anticolonial perspective, American imperialism is on a rampage. For a while, U.S. power was checked by the Soviet Union, but since the end of the Cold War, America has been the sole superpower. Moreover, 9/11 provided the occasion for America to invade and occupy two countries, Iraq and Afghanistan, and also to seek political and economic domination in the same way the French and the British empires once did. So in the anticolonial view, America is now the rogue elephant that subjugates and tramples the people of the world.

It may seem incredible to suggest that the anticolonial ideology of Barack Obama Sr. is espoused by his son, the President of the United States. That is what I am saying. From a very young age and through his formative years, Obama learned to see America as a force for global domination and destruction. He came to view America’s military as an instrument of neocolonial occupation. He adopted his father’s position that capitalism and free markets are code words for economic plunder. Obama grew to perceive the rich as an oppressive class, a kind of neocolonial power within America. In his worldview, profits are a measure of how effectively you have ripped off the rest of society, and America’s power in the world is a measure of how selfishly it consumes the globe’s resources and how ruthlessly it bullies and dominates the rest of the planet.

For Obama, the solutions are simple. He must work to wring the neocolonialism out of America and the West. And here is where our anticolonial understanding of Obama really takes off, because it provides a vital key to explaining not only his major policy actions but also the little details that no other theory can adequately account for.