Jun 08 2008

Obama’s site gives Communists a voice

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 10:57 pm

Commies and Socialists for Obama, STRAIGHT OFF HIS WEBSITE!: “Marxists/Communists/Socialists for the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency. By no means is he a true Marxist, but under Karl Marx’s writings we are to support the party with the best interests of the mobilization of the proletariat. Though the Democratic Socialists of America or the Communist Patty of America may have more Socialististic values, it is pointless to vote for these candidates due to the fact that there is virutally no chance they will be elected on a National level. The members of this group are not Leninists, Stalinists, etc. and do not support or condone the actions of North Korea, China, Cuba or any other self-procalimed ‘Marxist States.’ They do not in anyway represent the Marxist philosophy nor do they represent Socialism/ Communsim. We support Barack Obama because he knows what is best for the people!”

You can’t make this stuff up. Some things are beyond parody. And, in another link from the same page:

Capitalism presents an interesting dilemma for the white, upper middle class male, a demographic that, unjustly, has been and continues to enjoy the ripest fruits of capitalism. On the one hand, a person like me (or anyone else who lives in the economically secure class of citizens of a capitalist nation, especially America) can sit back and enjoy and take advantage of the limitless opportunities afforded them. Thousands of universities, both domestic and international are within their grasp. After that, countless occupations with career paths that could lead them to even greater heights on the social ladder await.

But on the other hand, this education afforded them (hopefully) enlightens them to see the reality of the perverse economic system that got him or her to the position he now occupies. He sees a system that takes from those who have less and gives to those who have more. He sees a system that rewards unscrupulous rule-bending and breaking, a system that attacks the family, moral values, the environment, and even exploits every experience in life itself for money and profit. And while often isolated and removed from poverty and the uncertainty and paralyzing fear that accompanies it, the enlightened and idealistic youth knows it’s out there and wants that wrong righted. And so naturally, the youth attacks and turns against the system that caused the suffering to begin with.

It goes on to say, “Redistribution is not enough.” I’ll say: you have to have something to redistribute.

Change you can believe in.

hat tip: Little Green Footballs via Powerline

UPDATE: they will probably take the referenced pages down, just like they removed anti-Semitic materials that they had posted earlier (not just in comments, actually posted by Obama’s own people). The picture at the top was made as a screen capture from Obama’s site.

UPDATE: as predicted, the Obama campaign has removed the communist/socialist/marxist cheerleading page. Again, just to refocus: this was not something simply left as a comment by an anonymous net-lurker, it was an official post of the Obama campaign by an approved, authorized poster on the Obama website.

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Jun 08 2008

Invisible Link

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 10:35 pm

Today I sat in church with my 10 yr old daughter. Her mom is usually playing the piano, and so my daughter often sits between her grandmother and me. That way, we can both hear her sing. I don’t think the small vocalist knows that we sometimes just listen to her. She probably just thinks we’re tired by the second verse, if she thinks about it at all. Sometimes grandma and I make eye contact. We both know what we’re doing. We don’t talk about it.

Now, not to knock the sermon today; it was great, on Psalm 42. But attention can drift. I expect somebody dozed off during the Gettysburg address, or while Paul was waxing eloquent about unknown Gods. Especially while Paul was going on about unidentified deities. So my mind can wander now and then.

But partway through, I noticed an odd looking purple pen in my daughter’s hand. I don’t know where she got it.

She took my arm, and prepared to write something on it. I thought, oh great, now I’m going to have ink on my arm… But Dads will do anything for love of a child, pretty much, so I let her write. She seemed to write a short word, but apparently the pen wasn’t working… No ink, I supposed, or it was dried up or something.

I shrugged to her, and returned my attention to the sermon. She was doing something beside me, but I wasn’t paying lots of attention… Kids get squirmy in church sometimes, and she wasn’t making noise. Then she tapped my arm, until I looked down. She had turned on a small light on the end of the funny looking pen, and was shining it on my arm, the miracle of “black light”. In kid-scrawl letters, my forearm said, all in lowercase, “dad”.


I know this is probably silly, but the moment took on a luminescent meaning for me. There we were, father and daughter, bonded in many different ways, each partly defining ourselves in terms of the other. She was naming me for what I was to her, and applying the label… But only she could read it. And she wanted me to see the label, too. It was our secretly acknowledged non-secret.

Being metaphorically minded, I could not help but reflect on the invisible bonds in our lives. These chains bind us as surely as titanium steel twisted cable, as unexpectedly powerful as light-weight carbon fiber-reinforced Kevlar. We can stretch our bindings. But they’re still there, drawing us together.

As a father, I have tremendous freedom of action, befitting the responsibility that is mine. There are a thousand ways to be a good father, and about a million ways to be a bad one. It may be odd to say, and it is not usually expressed this way, but I am also her servant, working for her and for the One who put her in my charge, for a little while. Perhaps it is good for servants to wear invisible identification.

Her yoke is easy.

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Jun 08 2008

Slow learners

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 8:31 pm

Michael Ledeen speaks about the fact that we know an enormous amount now about the rise of totalitarian states in the 20th century, and about why the rest of the world failed for so long to do anything effective about them, and eventually accepted that the only way to deal with them was war. It is now widely understood, despite the occasional revisionist, that negotiations could never have produced any good result with Hitler, Mussolini, imperial Japan, or Stalin. He discusses how badly we misjudged them, how little we believed their publicly stated intentions, and how poorly we were served by our “reasonable” approach to them, and how many lives were lost to remedy that error.

By now, there is very little we do not know about such regimes, and such movements. Some of our greatest scholars have described them, analyzed the reasons for their success, and chronicled the wars we fought to defeat them. Our understanding is considerable, as is the honesty and intensity of our desire that such things must be prevented.

Yet they are with us again, and we are acting as we did in the last century. The world is simmering in the familiar rhetoric and actions of movements and regimes – from Hezbollah and al Qaeda to the Iranian Khomeinists and the Saudi Wahhabis – who swear to destroy us and others like us. Like their 20th-century predecessors, they openly proclaim their intentions, and carry them out whenever and wherever they can. Like our own 20th-century predecessors, we rarely take them seriously or act accordingly. More often than not, we downplay the consequences of their words, as if they were some Islamic or Arab version of “politics,” intended for internal consumption, and designed to accomplish domestic objectives.

Clearly, the explanations we gave for our failure to act in the last century were wrong. The rise of messianic mass movements is not new, and there is very little we do not know about them. Nor is there any excuse for us to be surprised at the success of evil leaders, even in countries with long histories and great cultural and political accomplishments. We know all about that. So we need to ask the old questions again. Why are we failing to see the mounting power of evil enemies? Why do we treat them as if they were normal political phenomena, as Western leaders do when they embrace negotiations as the best course of action?

No doubt there are many reasons. One is the deep-seated belief that all people are basically the same, and all are basically good. Most human history, above all the history of the last century, points in the opposite direction. But it is unpleasant to accept the fact that many people are evil, and entire cultures, even the finest, can fall prey to evil leaders and march in lockstep to their commands. Much of contemporary Western culture is deeply committed to a belief in the goodness of all mankind; we are reluctant to abandon that reassuring article of faith. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, we prefer to pursue the path of reasonableness, even with enemies whose thoroughly unreasonable fanaticism is manifest.

This is not merely a philosophical issue, for to accept the threat to us means – short of a policy of national suicide – acting against it. As it did in the 20th century, it means war. It means that, temporarily at least, we have to make sacrifices on many fronts: in the comforts of our lives, indeed in lives lost, in the domestic focus of our passions – careers derailed and personal freedoms subjected to unpleasant and even dangerous restrictions – and the diversion of wealth from self-satisfaction to the instruments of power. All of this is painful; even the contemplation of it hurts.

Then there is anti-Semitism. Old Jew-hating texts like “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” now in Farsi and Arabic, are proliferating throughout the Middle East. Calls for the destruction of the Jews appear regularly on Iranian, Egyptian, Saudi and Syrian television and are heard in European and American mosques. There is little if any condemnation from the West, and virtually no action against it, suggesting, at a minimum, a familiar Western indifference to the fate of the Jews.

Finally, there is the nature of our political system. None of the democracies adequately prepared for war before it was unleashed on them in the 1940s. None was prepared for the terror assault of the 21st century. The nature of Western politics makes it very difficult for national leaders – even those rare men and women who see what is happening and want to act – to take timely, prudent measures before war is upon them. Leaders like Winston Churchill are relegated to the opposition until the battle is unavoidable. Franklin Delano Roosevelt had to fight desperately to win Congressional approval for a national military draft a few months before Pearl Harbor.

Then, as now, the initiative lies with the enemies of the West. Even today, when we are engaged on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, there is little apparent recognition that we are under attack by a familiar sort of enemy, and great reluctance to act accordingly. This time, ignorance cannot be claimed as an excuse. If we are defeated, it will be because of failure of will, not lack of understanding. As, indeed, was almost the case with our near-defeat in the 1940s.

Read the whole thing.

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Jun 08 2008

Israel plays chicken

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 6:36 pm

The Jerusalem Post carries an article describing the experience at a single checkpoint, even as Israel is removing checkpoints to ease the lives of Palestinians who need to move from the West Bank into and out of Israel. These are the checkpoints put up to stop terrorists, after repeated bombings and shootings by Palestinians crossing into Israel from the West Bank.

An 18-year-old Palestinian was arrested Sunday afternoon at the Hawara checkpoint near Nablus after military police on duty discovered he was carrying six pipe bombs, an ammunition cartridge and bullets, and a bag of what appeared to be gunpowder.

Cpl. Ron Bezalel of the military police’s Taoz Battalion told Army Radio that the youth had sent his bag through the checkpoint’s X-ray scanner. When the explosives were discovered, the troops on duty immediately implemented the protocol for stopping a terror suspect.

‘It’s routine to find bombs at this checkpoint… every day, we find knives and other weapons,’ Bezalel said.

The military said the Palestinian was most likely on his way to perpetrate an attack in an Israeli city. He was arrested and transferred to the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) for interrogation.

Three weeks ago, another Palestinian carrying five pipe bombs, which he had attached and strapped to his chest in the manner of an explosives belt, was stopped at Hawara.

Earlier Sunday, the IDF announced that Israel had removed 10 roadblocks in southern Hebron.”

It’s worth reading the entire article. The short story is simple. Even as Israel is trying to strengthen Abbas with Palestinians, by making him appear partly responsible for Israel’s liberalization in the matter of checkpoints, Israelis know that the attempts to sneak terrorists into civilians areas will not stop. In essence, Israel is playing a game of chicken: will Hamas kill too many Israelis to make a more moderate approach possible?

They are literally betting the lives of Israelis that Abbas might be able to rein in Hamas’ worst activities, by trying to help Abbas with his own people.

I think it’s a forlorn hope. So do many Israelis.

Almagor, an organization representing terror victims and their families, responded to Sunday’s announcement in the form of an open letter to Barak written by Nahman Zoldan, the father of Ido Zoldan who was killed several months ago by Palestinian gunmen in the West Bank.

“As someone who has lost a son near a road at the hands of Palestinian Authority members, I call on you to reconsider the decision and not to take at face value the Palestinian Authority’s promise that it will take care of our security for us.

“I issue this especially ahead of the coming holiday, when tens of thousands of Israelis use these roads on their way to Eilat, not knowing that these roads are now totally exposed to Palestinian movement,” Zoldan wrote in a statement issued by Almagor to the media.

Talks between Hamas and Fatah are producing essentially zero results. Why should they? Hamas has all the support it needs from bad actors outside Israel in terms of weapons (can anyone spell Iran? Syria? Al Qaeda?), and from sources that belie the Shia/Sunni divide that some in the West claim is strong enough to keep them from cooperating. Hamas protects its “brand” with Palestinians by acting as a humanitarian organization, and tries to prick western conscience with the needs of its people, while doing everything possible to make it unlikely that western aid will be given or deliverable. Hamas, despite being officially declared a terrorist organization by the UN, still has enormous sympathetic resonance with too many in the western media. They gain nothing by actually compromising on anything, now, and these pretend negotiations with Fatah are window-dressing. So they wait and see, knowing the short memory of the west, and the media in general, and knowing that surrogates in the west that pretend to be “moderate” are providing them public relations cover whenever possible, which is pretty often with a cooperative world media.

Look for upcoming elections in Israel to give a more definitive answer on how the Israeli people feel about removing the checkpoints. The main question is straightforward: will the first Israeli deaths from lifting the checkpoints come before or after the elections? As is so often the case, the election may turn more on emotional response to recent events than to sober historical judgment.

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