Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Kagan lied to Supreme Court in 9/11 case, should be disbarred and Dhimmitude?

by savage

From our good friend Alec Rawls.
As Obama’s solicitor general, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan urged the Court to dismiss the suit that our 9/11 families have been pressing against the Saudi government and several Saudi princes for their extensive funding of al Qaeda. The families sued under the domestic tort exception to sovereign immunity, which according to Kagan’s Supreme Court brief (at p. 14):
requires not merely that the foreign state’s extraterritorial conduct have some causal connection to tortious injury in the United States, but that “the tortious act or omission of that foreign state or of any official or employee” be committed within the United States. 28 U.S.C. 1605(a)(5).
The “tortious act or omission” is the wrongful act (the tort) that leads to the injury. Thus she is claiming that for Saudi funding of al Qaeda to be actionable, the funding itself has to have been transacted within the United States. Compare this with the actual wording of 28 U.S.C. 1605(a)(5):
(a) A foreign state shall not be immune from the jurisdiction of courts of the United States or of the States in any case – … (5) … in which money damages are sought against a foreign state for personal injury or death, or damage to or loss of property, occurring in the United States and caused by the tortious act or omission of that foreign state or of any official or employee of that foreign state while acting within the scope of his office or employment…”
Contrary to Kagan’s assertion, the law only specifies that the injury has to have occurred within the United States. Not a word about the wrongful act that leads to domestic injury also having to have taken place within the United. Kagan flat lied about the clear wording of a law that goes to the very heart of our ability to use the courts to combat Islamic terrorism, and thanks to the Court’s failure to review this crucial case, the simple wording and intent of Congress—that foreign states whose actions do injury in the United States can be sued for those injuries—has now been undone, as if the law had never been passed.
Oops!… I did it again”
Kagan proves that her lie was self conscious by also lying about the relevant Supreme Court precedent, claiming (again at p. 14):
In Amerada Hess the Court considered and rejected the argument that domestic effects of a foreign state’s conduct abroad satisfy the exception. 488 U.S. at 441.
In fact, the Court in Amerada never considered “the domestic effects of a foreign state’s conduct abroad” at all, for the simple reason that there were no domestic injuries in that case. The injuries occurred outside of U.S. territory, which is why the domestic tort exception was held not to apply. Here are the simple facts, as recounted in Justice Rehnquist’s majority opinion (joined by Brennan, White, Stevens, O’Connor, Scalia and Kennedy):
… the injury to respondents’ ship occurred on the high seas some 5,000 miles off the nearest shores of the United States. Despite these telling facts, respondents nonetheless claim that the tortious attack on the Hercules occurred “in the United States.” [At p. 440.]
The Amerada Company ship was attacked at sea. Since the tortious act and the damages from it both occurred “5,000 miles off the nearest shores,” the Court did not bother to distinguish between the wrongful act and the injuries from it. Kagan uses this to claim that the Court found Amerada’s domestic injuries to be unrecoverable, when in fact the Supremes agreed with the district court that there were no domestic injuries (p. 439-441).
Has any solicitor general ever flat lied to the Supreme Court before? Isn’t any lawyer who unambiguously lies to the Court about the simple facts of a cited holding subject to disbarment for unethical behavior? And she did it for an unethical purpose: to help the financiers of 9/11 escape justice. Any moral person would either resign in the face of such a job assignment, or would limit himself to making what honest arguments could be mustered. This moral pervert chose to lie and ought to be busted out of the profession for it, not promoted to the highest court in the land.
Obama favors a legal response to terror while working to pull the law’s teeth
Obama has long been a proponent of shifting from a military response to Islamic terrorism to a civilian/criminal law response. Putting the terrorists in jail is supposedly more effective shooting them on the battlefield. This is why Attorney General Eric Holder decided to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammad in New York City. There is supposedly nothing Mohammad wants less than a public platform for crowing that America must submit or die, while credibly demanding that we must either reveal our intelligence secrets or let him go free.
It is an insane idea, seeking to move the fight against Islamic terror to an arena that disarms us and empowers them, but even that isn’t enough for Obama. He has to have his solicitor general lie to the Supreme Court for him in a way that guts what laws Congress has already passed for fighting terror in the courts. First he moves the fight to our relatively toothless courts, then he pulls what teeth the courts have.
If Obama’s gutting of the legal fight against terror is intentional it means that he prefers America to have NO effective defense against Islamic terrorists (perhaps because they are his co-religionists). Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court is a clear indication of this intent. Obama is ratifying, in the strongest possible way, her gutting of the law, and like Kagan, he also proves intent by repetition, nominating Kagan’s partner in crime, James Cole, to be his Deputy Attorney General.
Oops!… Obama does it again: DAG nominee also favors a legal response to terror while working to pull the law’s teeth
Shortly after 9/11, Cole wrote that, since the targets were primarily civilian, the 9/11 attacks should not be viewed as acts of war, but as violations of civilian law, to be combated through our civilian court system. If Cole really wanted to make the civilian courts our main line of defense against Islamic terrorism he would be for aggressive use of the courts in this fight, but in practice, he comes down on the other side, arguing as the lawyer for one of the implicated Saudi princes that the family suit to recover damages from the 9/11 attacks is invalid.
Cole’s service to the Saudis creates “a direct conflict of interest” writes Debra Burlingame:
In light of this history, it is impossible to fathom how Mr. Cole can ethically carry out his duties and responsibilities as the de facto head of the Justice Department while U.S. troops are fighting terrorists who receive funding and support from organizations associated with the Saudi government and their proxies. This is a direct conflict of interest. Given Saudi NGOs’ continued involvement in terrorist facilitation world-wide and their connection to the Saudi royal family, this conflict of interest will cripple Mr. Cole’s ability to ethically perform his duties as head of a department charged with investigating and prosecuting terrorist facilitators associated with or working for the Saudi government.
Yes well, to Obama, that’s a feature, not a bug. Like Obama, Cole is against a military response to Islamic terror and he is against a civilian court response. In sum, neither of them want the United States to fight on any front, but want us instead to appease and submit to Islamic terror.
Which is nothing new. Obama’s entire Department of Justice is of the same stripe:
Attorney General Eric Holder says nine Obama appointees in the Justice Department have represented or advocated for terrorist detainees before joining the Justice Department. But he does not reveal any names beyond the two officials whose work has already been publicly reported. And all the lawyers, according to Holder, are eligible to work on general detainee matters, even if there are specific parts of some cases they cannot be involved in. [Byron York February 2010.]
Which is worse, the DOJ lawyers who defended terrorists pro bono on the basis of shared contempt for America, or the DAG nominee who defends the financiers of terror for a share of their filthy lucre? “Why decide?” says Obama: “Hire ‘em all!” So long as they are defenders of al Qaeda, its all good.
Why isn’t Congress fighting back?
While Obama’s terror-defending lawyers are determined to secure rights and civilian court appearances for Islamic terrorists who should be treated as criminal combatants under military justice, they are equally determined to prevent our 9/11 families from getting their day in court, despite the clear intent of Congress that they should. It is time for Congress to start fighting back. The Supreme Court shamefully failed to review a blatant subversion of congressional intent on a crucial front of the war against terror, but Congress doesn’t have to take it lying down.
How about passing a clarification to the domestic tort exception that explicitly renounces Kagan’s attempt to gut the clear intent of the law? Just use the Senate hearings on Kagan’s nomination (commencing this week) to expose her devastating lies to the Supreme Court and to agitate for a clarification of the law that would allow the families’ suit to proceed. Kagan would be routed, and the destruction she has wreaked on our terror war efforts would be repaired, killing two dirty birds with one stone.
From Error Theory. To join our blogbursts, just send your blog’s url.

Dhimmitude?

Got this from arch at GCP. It’s an email that NEEDS TO BE OUT THERE!
Need something to get your blood boiling???? The knot in the pit of my stomach is huge and growing.
Has anyone heard of this new word? Dhimmitude?
Amish and other religious groups may be exempt from forced purchase of healthcare policies under ObamaCare. You know what other groups this could include??? Muslims and Christian Scientists may be exempt from having to have government healthcare.

Word of the Day: Dhimmitude
Unbelievable. I had my doubts so I checked with Snopes. There is an exemption for “certain religious groups” in the Health Care Bill. Obama supporters check it out yourself.
Had never heard the word until now. Type it into Google and start reading. Pretty interesting. Note that Muslims and certain other religions are exempt from the Obamacare penalties and it is supported by law. We are surrendering from within! The prez is leading us right down the path to Muslim control and you don’t care! Maybe you voted for him but now the truth comes out. Maybe you should rethink what you have done.
Dhimmitude is the Muslim system of controlling non-muslim populations conquered through jihad. Specifically, it is the TAXING of non-muslims in exchange for tolerating their presence AND as a coercive means of converting conquered remnants to islam.
The ObamaCare bill is the establishment of Dhimmitude and Sharia muslim diktat in the United States. Muslims may be specifically exempted from the government mandate to purchase insurance, and also from the penalty tax for being uninsured. Islam considers insurance to be “gambling”, “risk-taking” and “usury” and is thus banned. Muslims may be specifically granted exemption based on this. How convenient. So I John Smith, as a Christian, will have crippling IRS liens placed against all of my assets, including real estate, cattle, cars etc. and even accounts receivables, and will face hard prison time because I refuse to buy insurance or pay the penalty tax.. Meanwhile, Louis Farrakhan will have no such penalty and will have 100% of his health needs paid for by the de facto government insurance at our expence. Non-muslims will be paying a tax to subsidize muslims. Period. This is Dhimmitude.
Dhimmitude serves two purposes: it enriches the muslim masters AND serves to drive conversions to Islam. In this case, the incentive to convert to Islam will be taken up by those in the inner-cities as well as the godless Generation X, Y and Z types who have no moral anchor or belief in God. If you don’t believe in Christ to begin with, it is no problem whatsoever to sell Him for 30 pieces of silver. “Sure, I’ll be a muslim if it means free health insurance and no taxes. Where do I sign, brother?” Now all you Obama voters get in line for your free stuff!…However, I suggest you don’t hold your breath!
I recommend sending this email to all your contacts. This is desperately important and people need to know about it and what the past election has done to all of us!
Have you heard about the summit Obama is holding this month in DC for the future Muslim business leaders in the US? He wants to increase their ability to begin businesses in the US for the Muslim community! Better start looking for a country that doesn’t cater to the Muslims ~ Australia doesn’t but the US is, and we’ll be overrun by Muslims like Europe currently is.
And I thought the big problem was illegal aliens..

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Globaloney



Globalization

discoverthenetworks

Globalization (or globalisation) in its literal sense is a social change, an increase in connections among societies and their elements due to, among others, the explosive evolution of transport and communication technologies. The term is applied to many social, cultural, commercial and economic activities. Depending on the context it can mean
formation of a global village - closer contact between different parts of the world, with increasing possibilities of personal exchange and mutual understanding between "world citizens",
economic globalization - more freedom of trade and increasing relations among members of an industry in different parts of the world (globalization of an industry),
negative effects of increasingly multinational businesses - perceptions of evasion of legal and moral standards through moving manufacturing, mining and harvesting practices overseas.
It shares a number of characteristics with internationalization and is used interchangeably, although some prefer to use globalization to emphasize the erosion of the nation state or national boundaries.
History of Globalization
Since the word has both technical and political meanings, different groups will have differing histories of "globalization". In general use within the field of economics and political economy, is, however, a history of increasing trade between nations based on stable institutions that allow individuals and firms in different nations to exchange goods with minimal friction.
The term "liberalization" came to mean the combination of laissez faire economic theory with the removal of barriers to the movement of goods. This lead to the increasingly specialization of nations in exports, and the pressure to end protective tarrifs and other barriers to trade. The period of the Gold Standard and liberalization of the 19th century is often called "The First Era of Globalization". Based on the Pax Britannia and the exchange of goods in currencies pegged to specie, this era grew along with industrialization. The theoretical basis was Ricardo's work on comparative advantage and Say's Law of general equilibrium. In essence, it was argued that nations would trade effectively, and that any temporary disruptions in supply or demand would correct themselves automatically. The institution of the Gold Standard came in steps in major industrialized nations between approximately 1850 and 1880, though exactly when various nations were truly on the gold standard is a matter of a great deal of contentious debate.
The "First Era of Globalization" is said to have broken down in stages beginning with the First World War, and then collapsing with the crisis of the Gold Standard in the late 1920's and early 1930's.
The "Second Era of Globalization" accompanies a movement in economic thought called "Neo-Liberalism", which argues that in a world of floating exchange rates, it is economically ineffective for nations to use regulation to protect their internal markets, and that it is impossible to maintain economic autonomy and monetary policy autonomy. See Mundell-Fleming Model.
This period is generally what is referred to by the word "Globalization" in the present.
Globalization in this era has been driven by Trade Negotiation Rounds, which lead to a series of agreements to remove restrictions on "Free Trade", the Uraguay round led to a treaty to create the World Trade Organization or WTO, to mediate trade disputes. Other bilateral trade agreements, including sections of Europe's Maastricht Treaty and the North American Free Trade Agreement have also been signed in pursuit of the goal of reducing tariffs and barriers to trade.
Proponents claim that this leads to lower prices, more employment and better allocation of resources. Sympathetic critics point out that the results of Globalization have not been what was predicted when the attempt to increase free trade began, and that many institutions involved in the system of Globalization have not taken the interests of poorer nations and labor into account. Unsympathetic critics link globalization with corporatization, and the increasing autonomy of corporate entities to force nation-states to bend political policy to the will of corporate entities. Many conferences between trade and finance ministers of the core globalizing nations have been met with large, and sometimes violent, protests from opponents of "corporate globalism".
Signs of Globalization
Globalization has become identified with a number of trends, most of which have developed since World War II. These include greater international movement of commodities, money, information, and people; and the development of technology, organizations, legal systems, and infrastructures to allow this movement. More specifically, globalization refers to:
An increase in international trade at a faster rate than the growth in the world economy

Increase in international flow of capital including foreign direct investment


Greater transborder data flow, using such technologies such as the Internet, Communication satellites and telephones


Greater international cultural exchange, for example through the export of Hollywood and Bollywood movies.


Spreading of multiculturalism and better individual access to cultural diversity, with on the other hand, some reduction in diversity through assimilation, hybridization, Westernisation, Americanization or Sinosization of cultures.


Erosion of national sovereignty and national borders through international agreements leading to organizations like the WTO


Greater international travel and tourism


Greater immigration, including illegal immigration


Development of global telecommunications infrastructure


Development of a global financial systems


Increase in the share of the world economy controlled by multinational corporations


Increased role of international organizations such as WTO, WIPO, IMF that deal with international transactions


An increase in the number of standards applied globally; e.g. copyright laws


Many of these trends are seen as positive by supporters of various forms of globalization, and in many cases globalization has been actively promoted by governments and other institutions. For example, there are economic arguments supporting globalization, such as the theory of comparative advantage suggesting that free trade leads to a more efficient allocation of resources, with all those involved in the trade benefitting.

Global trade or still international / multilateral trade?
Barriers to international trade have been considerably lowered since World War II through international agreements such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Particular initiatives carried out as a result of GATT and the WTO, for which GATT is the foundation, have included:
Promotion of free trade
Of goods: reduction or elimination of tariffs; construction of free trade zones with small or no tariffs

Of capital: reduction or elimination of capital controls


Reduction, elimination, or harmonization of subsidies for local businesses


Intellectual Property Restrictions


Harmonization of intellectual property laws across nations (generally speaking, with more restrictions)


Supranational recognition of intellectual property restrictions (e.g. patents granted by China would be recognized in the US)


Some consider that the first successful business model of globalization exploitation, although it might be just a residue of the old colonial system, was the Indonesian regime change of 1965 when the democratic government was overthrown and the military regime under General Suharto gave US business access to new clothing factories and mining opportunities in Borneo and New Guinea. The Indonesian factories employed Muslim women of Java on twelve to eighteen hour, six or seven day shifts which combined with much lower wages gave a distinct commercial advantage to US clothes manufacture. Though the Ford Foundation originally began indoctrination of the land owning elite during the 1950's, they soon found that the military Generals were both amenable and eager to give US companies access to their nations wealth in exchange for fiscal and political aid. In preparation for the regime change the US supported the Indonesian military invasions of West New Guinea in 1961 and East Timor in 1975; in exchange the US received in 1967 mining rights to West New Guinea isolated from legal limitations such as the Fourth Geneva Convention, UN resolution 1803 "Permanent sovereignty over natural resources", or environmental controls the US Freeport mine is the world's largest open cut mine and is the world's cheapest source of copper; gold from the mine is sent to the US on monthly shipments.

Anti-globalization
Various aspects of globalization are seen as harmful by anti-globalization, public-interest activists.

Globalization in question
There is much academic discussion about whether globalization is a real phenomenon or only a myth. Although the term is widespread, many authors argue that the characteristics of the phenomenon have already been seen at other moments in history. Also, many note that those features that make people believe we are in the process of globalization, including the increase in international trade and the greater role of multinational corporations, are not as deeply established as they may appear. Thus, many authors prefer the use of the term internationalization rather than globalization. To put it simply, the role of the state and the importance of nations are greater in internationalization, while globalization in its complete form eliminates nation states. So, these authors see that the frontiers of countries, in a broad sense, are far from being dissolved, and therefore this radical globalization process is not yet happening, and probably won't happen, considering that in world history, internationalization never turned into globalization.



Multiculturalism

              (See also: Left / Progressive; Liberalism)


For the past several decades, the leading opinion-makers in the media, the universities and the churches have promulgated the view that notions of Western political and economic dominance are the residue of Western exploitation of, and aggression towards, other cultures. Underlying this view—and the corresponding notion that these other cultures are “morally equal” if not superior to the West--is an overwhelmingly negative critique of Western civilization itself.

According to this ideology, instead of attempting to globalize its values, the West should stay in its own cultural backyard. Values like universal human rights, individualism and liberalism are regarded merely as ethnocentric products of Western history. The scientific knowledge that the West has produced is simply one of many "ways of knowing." In place of Western universalism, this critique of the West offers the relativism of multiculturalism, a concept that regards the West not as the pinnacle of human achievement to date, but as simply one of many equally valid cultural systems.

Although originally designed to foster tolerance and respect for other cultures, these sentiments were subsequently captured by the radical left and used for its political ends. Thus the history of Western culture is regarded as little more than a crime against the rest of humanity. The West, say the critics, cannot judge other cultures but must condemn its own.

Though commonly known as multiculturalism, this position is defined by its supporters with a series of post prefixes: postmodernism, poststructuralism, postcolonialism. However, it is best understood as an "anti" phenomenon because it defines itself not by what it is for, but by what it is against. It is entirely a negation of Western culture and values: whatever the West supports, this anti-West rejects.

With the demise of Marxism in the late 1980s, multiculturalism emerged as its major ideological successor. What follows is an overview of some of the creed's major precepts:
  •  Western culture was founded on aggression towards others. The whole of Western culture since the ancient Greeks is something to be disowned.
  •  Western literature and arts endorse imperialism. Rather than reflecting “the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome,” the Western literary heritage is politically contaminated. This charge is reinforced by a critical apparatus based on gender, race and class. Othello is branded as ethnocentric; Paradise Lost as misogynistic; Hemingway as pathologically heterosexual.
  •  The Western economic system exploits the rest of the world. Globalization is a euphemism for American imperialism. The poverty of the Third World is guaranteed by debts from the International Monetary Fund and the free-market policies of the World Trade Organization.
  •  Victimhood should prevail over individualism. Individualism is both the cause and effect of capitalism, which in its turn produced the imperialism that now oppresses the wretched of the earth. The idea of individual human rights deriving from the Enlightenment is the one great barrier to a collectivist solution for humankind.
In its pursuit of these ideas, the multicultural left has worked hard to deconstruct the traditional history curriculum of American schools. Western history is no longer to be judged by the record of its achievements. Instead, it is to become a story of the struggle of its victims against oppression and discrimination, and of how they have risen to challenge their exploiters. Consequently, the purpose of teaching history becomes an effort to "empower" victims rather than to tell the truth about the past.

The RESOURCES column located on the right side of this page contains links to articles, essays, books, and videos that explore such topics as:
  • the major philosophical premises of multiculturalism and its ascendancy in the Western world over the past several decades;
  • the phenomenon of political correctness, which is directly derived from classical Marxism, and advocates a society of radical egalitarianism enforced by the power of the state;
  • the dogma which holds that no culture is preferable to, or inherently superior to, any other culture;
  •  the deeply held belief that white people carry, in their hearts and minds, a uniquely malevolent and far-reaching brand of racism, bigotry, and intolerance aimed at nonwhites;
  • the "diversity" movement which seeks to guarantee the presence of an "adequate" number of certified "victim-group" members in any given work force or student body;
  • how multiculturalist doctrines and worldviews are passed on to students in America's classrooms, from grade school through college;
  • the social and political agendas of the gay lobby;
  • the origins and teachings of the week-long Kwanzaa festival which is celebrated mainly in the U.S. from December 26 through January 1 each year;
  • how the political Left seeks to devalue Christianity, and to purge Christian customs and symbols from the public square; and
  • the leftist notion that Western capitalist societies corrupt the morals of mankind and, in contrast to undeveloped, non-Western societies, are incompatible with virtue.

Multiculturalism

              (See also: Left / Progressive; Liberalism)


For the past several decades, the leading opinion-makers in the media, the universities and the churches have promulgated the view that notions of Western political and economic dominance are the residue of Western exploitation of, and aggression towards, other cultures. Underlying this view—and the corresponding notion that these other cultures are “morally equal” if not superior to the West--is an overwhelmingly negative critique of Western civilization itself.

According to this ideology, instead of attempting to globalize its values, the West should stay in its own cultural backyard. Values like universal human rights, individualism and liberalism are regarded merely as ethnocentric products of Western history. The scientific knowledge that the West has produced is simply one of many "ways of knowing." In place of Western universalism, this critique of the West offers the relativism of multiculturalism, a concept that regards the West not as the pinnacle of human achievement to date, but as simply one of many equally valid cultural systems.

Although originally designed to foster tolerance and respect for other cultures, these sentiments were subsequently captured by the radical left and used for its political ends. Thus the history of Western culture is regarded as little more than a crime against the rest of humanity. The West, say the critics, cannot judge other cultures but must condemn its own.

Though commonly known as multiculturalism, this position is defined by its supporters with a series of post prefixes: postmodernism, poststructuralism, postcolonialism. However, it is best understood as an "anti" phenomenon because it defines itself not by what it is for, but by what it is against. It is entirely a negation of Western culture and values: whatever the West supports, this anti-West rejects.

With the demise of Marxism in the late 1980s, multiculturalism emerged as its major ideological successor. What follows is an overview of some of the creed's major precepts:
  •  Western culture was founded on aggression towards others. The whole of Western culture since the ancient Greeks is something to be disowned.
  •  Western literature and arts endorse imperialism. Rather than reflecting “the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome,” the Western literary heritage is politically contaminated. This charge is reinforced by a critical apparatus based on gender, race and class. Othello is branded as ethnocentric; Paradise Lost as misogynistic; Hemingway as pathologically heterosexual.
  •  The Western economic system exploits the rest of the world. Globalization is a euphemism for American imperialism. The poverty of the Third World is guaranteed by debts from the International Monetary Fund and the free-market policies of the World Trade Organization.
  •  Victimhood should prevail over individualism. Individualism is both the cause and effect of capitalism, which in its turn produced the imperialism that now oppresses the wretched of the earth. The idea of individual human rights deriving from the Enlightenment is the one great barrier to a collectivist solution for humankind.
In its pursuit of these ideas, the multicultural left has worked hard to deconstruct the traditional history curriculum of American schools. Western history is no longer to be judged by the record of its achievements. Instead, it is to become a story of the struggle of its victims against oppression and discrimination, and of how they have risen to challenge their exploiters. Consequently, the purpose of teaching history becomes an effort to "empower" victims rather than to tell the truth about the past.

The RESOURCES column located on the right side of this page contains links to articles, essays, books, and videos that explore such topics as:
  • the major philosophical premises of multiculturalism and its ascendancy in the Western world over the past several decades;
  • the phenomenon of political correctness, which is directly derived from classical Marxism, and advocates a society of radical egalitarianism enforced by the power of the state;
  • the dogma which holds that no culture is preferable to, or inherently superior to, any other culture;
  •  the deeply held belief that white people carry, in their hearts and minds, a uniquely malevolent and far-reaching brand of racism, bigotry, and intolerance aimed at nonwhites;
  • the "diversity" movement which seeks to guarantee the presence of an "adequate" number of certified "victim-group" members in any given work force or student body;
  • how multiculturalist doctrines and worldviews are passed on to students in America's classrooms, from grade school through college;
  • the social and political agendas of the gay lobby;
  • the origins and teachings of the week-long Kwanzaa festival which is celebrated mainly in the U.S. from December 26 through January 1 each year;
  • how the political Left seeks to devalue Christianity, and to purge Christian customs and symbols from the public square; and
  • the leftist notion that Western capitalist societies corrupt the morals of mankind and, in contrast to undeveloped, non-Western societies, are incompatible with virtue.

Multiculturalism

              (See also: Left / Progressive; Liberalism)


For the past several decades, the leading opinion-makers in the media, the universities and the churches have promulgated the view that notions of Western political and economic dominance are the residue of Western exploitation of, and aggression towards, other cultures. Underlying this view—and the corresponding notion that these other cultures are “morally equal” if not superior to the West--is an overwhelmingly negative critique of Western civilization itself.

According to this ideology, instead of attempting to globalize its values, the West should stay in its own cultural backyard. Values like universal human rights, individualism and liberalism are regarded merely as ethnocentric products of Western history. The scientific knowledge that the West has produced is simply one of many "ways of knowing." In place of Western universalism, this critique of the West offers the relativism of multiculturalism, a concept that regards the West not as the pinnacle of human achievement to date, but as simply one of many equally valid cultural systems.

Although originally designed to foster tolerance and respect for other cultures, these sentiments were subsequently captured by the radical left and used for its political ends. Thus the history of Western culture is regarded as little more than a crime against the rest of humanity. The West, say the critics, cannot judge other cultures but must condemn its own.

Though commonly known as multiculturalism, this position is defined by its supporters with a series of post prefixes: postmodernism, poststructuralism, postcolonialism. However, it is best understood as an "anti" phenomenon because it defines itself not by what it is for, but by what it is against. It is entirely a negation of Western culture and values: whatever the West supports, this anti-West rejects.

With the demise of Marxism in the late 1980s, multiculturalism emerged as its major ideological successor. What follows is an overview of some of the creed's major precepts:
  •  Western culture was founded on aggression towards others. The whole of Western culture since the ancient Greeks is something to be disowned.
  •  Western literature and arts endorse imperialism. Rather than reflecting “the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome,” the Western literary heritage is politically contaminated. This charge is reinforced by a critical apparatus based on gender, race and class. Othello is branded as ethnocentric; Paradise Lost as misogynistic; Hemingway as pathologically heterosexual.
  •  The Western economic system exploits the rest of the world. Globalization is a euphemism for American imperialism. The poverty of the Third World is guaranteed by debts from the International Monetary Fund and the free-market policies of the World Trade Organization.
  •  Victimhood should prevail over individualism. Individualism is both the cause and effect of capitalism, which in its turn produced the imperialism that now oppresses the wretched of the earth. The idea of individual human rights deriving from the Enlightenment is the one great barrier to a collectivist solution for humankind.
In its pursuit of these ideas, the multicultural left has worked hard to deconstruct the traditional history curriculum of American schools. Western history is no longer to be judged by the record of its achievements. Instead, it is to become a story of the struggle of its victims against oppression and discrimination, and of how they have risen to challenge their exploiters. Consequently, the purpose of teaching history becomes an effort to "empower" victims rather than to tell the truth about the past.

The RESOURCES column located on the right side of this page contains links to articles, essays, books, and videos that explore such topics as:
  • the major philosophical premises of multiculturalism and its ascendancy in the Western world over the past several decades;
  • the phenomenon of political correctness, which is directly derived from classical Marxism, and advocates a society of radical egalitarianism enforced by the power of the state;
  • the dogma which holds that no culture is preferable to, or inherently superior to, any other culture;
  •  the deeply held belief that white people carry, in their hearts and minds, a uniquely malevolent and far-reaching brand of racism, bigotry, and intolerance aimed at nonwhites;
  • the "diversity" movement which seeks to guarantee the presence of an "adequate" number of certified "victim-group" members in any given work force or student body;
  • how multiculturalist doctrines and worldviews are passed on to students in America's classrooms, from grade school through college;
  • the social and political agendas of the gay lobby;
  • the origins and teachings of the week-long Kwanzaa festival which is celebrated mainly in the U.S. from December 26 through January 1 each year;
  • how the political Left seeks to devalue Christianity, and to purge Christian customs and symbols from the public square; and
  • the leftist notion that Western capitalist societies corrupt the morals of mankind and, in contrast to undeveloped, non-Western societies, are incompatible with virtue.

Bilderberg 2010: Final List of Participants

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Bilderberg Meetings
June 6, 2010
Bilderberg 2010: Final List of Participants 030610Bilderberg 
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Sitges, Spain 3-6 June 2010

Final List of Participants

Honorary Chairman
BEL Davignon, Etienne Vice Chairman, Suez-Tractebel
 
DEU Ackermann, Josef Chairman of the Management Board and the Group Executive Committee, Deutsche Bank AG
GBR Agius, Marcus Chairman, Barclays Bank PLC
ESP Alierta, César Chairman and CEO, Telefónica
INT Almunia, Joaquín Commissioner, European Commission
USA Altman, Roger C. Chairman, Evercore Partners Inc.
USA Arrison, Sonia Author and policy analyst
SWE Bäckström, Urban Director General, Confederation of Swedish Enterprise
PRT Balsemão, Francisco Pinto Chairman and CEO, IMPRESA, S.G.P.S.; Former Prime Minister
ITA Bernabè, Franco CEO, Telecom Italia S.p.A.
SWE Bildt, Carl Minister of Foreign Affairs
FIN Blåfield, Antti Senior Editorial Writer, Helsingin Sanomat
ESP Botín, Ana P. Executive Chairman, Banesto
NOR Brandtzæg, Svein Richard CEO, Norsk Hydro ASA
AUT Bronner, Oscar Publisher and Editor, Der Standard
TUR Çakir, Ruşen Journalist
CAN Campbell, Gordon Premier of British Columbia
ESP Carvajal Urquijo, Jaime Managing Director, Advent International
FRA Castries, Henri de Chairman of the Management Board and CEO, AXA
ESP Cebrián, Juan Luis CEO, PRISA
ESP Cisneros, Gustavo A. Chairman and CEO, Cisneros Group of Companies
CAN Clark, W. Edmund President and CEO, TD Bank Financial Group
USA Collins, Timothy C. Senior Managing Director and CEO, Ripplewood Holdings, LLC
ITA Conti, Fulvio CEO and General Manager, Enel SpA
GRC David, George A. Chairman, Coca-Cola H.B.C. S.A.
DNK Eldrup, Anders CEO, DONG Energy
ITA Elkann, John Chairman, Fiat S.p.A.
DEU Enders, Thomas CEO, Airbus SAS
ESP Entrecanales, José M. Chairman, Acciona
DNK Federspiel, Ulrik Vice President Global Affairs, Haldor Topsøe A/S
USA Feldstein, Martin S. George F. Baker Professor of Economics, Harvard University
USA Ferguson, Niall Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History, Harvard University
AUT Fischer, Heinz Federal President
IRL Gallagher, Paul Attorney General
USA Gates, William H. Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Chairman, Microsoft Corporation
USA Gordon, Philip H. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs
USA Graham, Donald E. Chairman and CEO, The Washington Post Company
INT Gucht, Karel de Commissioner, European Commission
TUR Gürel, Z. Damla Special Adviser to the President on EU Affairs
NLD Halberstadt, Victor Professor of Economics, Leiden University; Former Honorary Secretary General of Bilderberg Meetings
USA Holbrooke, Richard C. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan
NLD Hommen, Jan H.M. Chairman, ING Group
USA Hormats, Robert D. Under Secretary for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs
BEL Huyghebaert, Jan Chairman of the Board of Directors, KBC Group
USA Johnson, James A. Vice Chairman, Perseus, LLC
FIN Katainen, Jyrki Minister of Finance
USA Keane, John M. Senior Partner, SCP Partners
GBR Kerr, John Member, House of Lords; Deputy Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell plc.
USA Kissinger, Henry A. Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Inc.
USA Kleinfeld, Klaus Chairman and CEO, Alcoa
TUR Koç, Mustafa V. Chairman, Koç Holding A.Ş.
USA Kravis, Henry R. Founding Partner, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
USA Kravis, Marie-Josée Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, Inc.
INT Kroes, Neelie Commissioner, European Commission
USA Lander, Eric S. President and Director, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
FRA Lauvergeon, Anne Chairman of the Executive Board, AREVA
ESP León Gross, Bernardino Secretary General, Office of the Prime Minister
DEU Löscher, Peter Chairman of the Board of Management, Siemens AG
NOR Magnus, Birger Chairman, Storebrand ASA
CAN Mansbridge, Peter Chief Correspondent, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
USA Mathews, Jessica T. President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
CAN McKenna, Frank Deputy Chair, TD Bank Financial Group
GBR Micklethwait, John Editor-in-Chief, The Economist
FRA Montbrial, Thierry de President, French Institute for International Relations
ITA Monti, Mario President, Universita Commerciale Luigi Bocconi
INT Moyo, Dambisa F. Economist and Author
USA Mundie, Craig J. Chief Research and Strategy Officer, Microsoft Corporation
NOR Myklebust, Egil Former Chairman of the Board of Directors SAS, Norsk Hydro ASA
USA Naím, Moisés Editor-in-Chief, Foreign Policy
NLD Netherlands, H.M. the Queen of the  
ESP Nin Génova, Juan María President and CEO, La Caixa
DNK Nyrup Rasmussen, Poul Former Prime Minister
GBR Oldham, John National Clinical Lead for Quality and Productivity
FIN Ollila, Jorma Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell plc
USA Orszag, Peter R. Director, Office of Management and Budget
TUR Özilhan, Tuncay Chairman, Anadolu Group
ITA Padoa-Schioppa, Tommaso Former Minister of Finance; President of Notre Europe
GRC Papaconstantinou, George Minister of Finance
USA Parker, Sean Managing Partner, Founders Fund
USA Pearl, Frank H. Chairman and CEO, Perseus, LLC
USA Perle, Richard N. Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
ESP Polanco, Ignacio Chairman, Grupo PRISA
CAN Prichard, J. Robert S. President and CEO, Metrolinx
FRA Ramanantsoa, Bernard Dean, HEC Paris Group
PRT Rangel, Paulo Member, European Parliament
CAN Reisman, Heather M. Chair and CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc.
SWE Renström, Lars President and CEO, Alfa Laval
NLD Rinnooy Kan, Alexander H.G. Chairman, Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER)
ITA Rocca, Gianfelice Chairman, Techint
ESP Rodriguez Inciarte, Matías Executive Vice Chairman, Grupo Santander
USA Rose, Charlie Producer, Rose Communications
USA Rubin, Robert E. Co-Chairman, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Secretary of the Treasury
TUR Sabanci Dinçer, Suzan Chairman, Akbank
ITA Scaroni, Paolo CEO, Eni S.p.A.
USA Schmidt, Eric CEO and Chairman of the Board, Google
AUT Scholten, Rudolf Member of the Board of Executive Directors, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG
DEU Scholz, Olaf Vice Chairman, SPD
INT Sheeran, Josette Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme
INT Solana Madariaga, Javier Former Secretary General, Council of the European Union
ESP Spain, H.M. the Queen of  
USA Steinberg, James B. Deputy Secretary of State
INT Stigson, Björn President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development
USA Summers, Lawrence H. Director, National Economic Council
IRL Sutherland, Peter D. Chairman, Goldman Sachs International
GBR Taylor, J. Martin Chairman, Syngenta International AG
PRT Teixeira dos Santos, Fernando Minister of State and Finance
USA Thiel, Peter A. President, Clarium Capital Management, LLC
GRC Tsoukalis, Loukas President, ELIAMEP
INT Tumpel-Gugerell, Gertrude Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank
USA Varney, Christine A. Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust
CHE Vasella, Daniel L. Chairman, Novartis AG
USA Volcker, Paul A. Chairman, Economic Recovery Advisory Board
CHE Voser, Peter CEO, Royal Dutch Shell plc
FIN Wahlroos, Björn Chairman, Sampo plc
CHE Waldvogel, Francis A. Chairman, Novartis Venture Fund
SWE Wallenberg, Jacob Chairman, Investor AB
NLD Wellink, Nout President, De Nederlandsche Bank
USA West, F.J. Bing Author
GBR Williams, Shirley Member, House of Lords
USA Wolfensohn, James D. Chairman, Wolfensohn & Company, LLC
ESP Zapatero, José Luis Rodríguez Prime Minister
DEU Zetsche, Dieter Chairman, Daimler AG
INT Zoellick, Robert B. President, The World Bank Group
Rapporteurs
GBR Bredow, Vendeline von Business Correspondent, The Economist
GBR Wooldridge, Adrian D. Business Correspondent, The Economist

    Monday, May 3, 2010

    Explaining the Difference Between Capitalism and Corporatism to Michael Moore

    By Michael Labeit

    The primary trailer to Michael Moore's latest hideously unwatchable “documentary” Capitalism: A Love Story features a narration of a series of events surrounding the financial crisis beginning in late 2008 and the federal government's particular method for addressing it with Moore ultimately proclaiming that “By spending just a few million dollars to buy Congress Wall Street was given billions.” No arguing with that proposition.

    After just 22 seconds time Moore takes us to Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D) of Ohio who laments the fact that
    “Everything was being handled by the Treasury Secretary from Goldman Sachs...they [influential Wall Street firms] had Congress right where they wanted them...this was almost like an intelligence operation.”
    Again, touché madam. Immediately after Kaptur's last words evacuate her, the screen swings to an unidentified man in front of a Condo Vultures logo who asserts categorically that “this is straight up capitalism,” an assertion that ends up sounding - perhaps inadvertently - like a conclusion, one inferred, consciously or not, from the previous claims within the trailer. It is here where our brief search for the nonsense ends.

    I cannot possibly recount how many times I have encountered this ubiquitous fusion, one that is pervasive but usually implicit, embedded within both the makeshift and prepared arguments of academics, pundits and politicians. Moore invites us to commit it ourselves.

    It's the error of mistaking corporatism for capitalism.

    I find myself having to identify and explain the fundamental differences between capitalism and corporatism incessantly to everyone from shout-and-holler Bill Moyer lovers to scandalously sloppy PhD professors. Unfortunately, I tend to come across people, thanks to both misinformation and disinformation from school and the media, who are staggeringly impenetrable to valid, logical demonstrations. Arguing with some very easily becomes futile, hellishly so. Nevertheless, the distinction between capitalism and corporatism exists and it must be made public.

    What is Capitalism?

    Defining our terms is the first step we must take in order to prove capitalism/corporatism unionists wrong. Capitalism is a social system based upon the recognition of individual rights, including private property rights where all goods, both intermediate goods and final goods, are owned privately. The “rights” referred to above are ethical-legal principles that identify and sanction man's freedom of action strictly within a social context.

    Under capitalism, each individual possesses the legally unalterable authority to support and sustain himself, to conduct himself in accordance with his own independent judgment, to control the material product of his mental and/or physical labour, and, in connection with these rights, each and every individual has the legal authority to be free from the initiation of physical force. The initiation of physical force, also known as aggression, refers to any act that disturbs or upsets the soundness or cohesion of a non-aggressor's body, his property, or ownership of his property. A man must think and act in order to survive; his survival requires both mental and physical activity. Rights recognize and sanction man's freedom to proceed with thinking and acting in his self-interest. Only the initiation of physical force can frustrate another’s attempt to take those actions condoned by his rights. A man is prevented from exercising his rights only from the coercion of another. Murder, assault, vandalism, and theft are apt examples. Such actions and all other examples of aggression are illegal under capitalism, period. Accordingly, all relationships under capitalism must be formed voluntarily between consenting adults.Furthermore, this absence of aggression that exists under capitalism allows for the formation of the free market, the vast network of voluntary exchanges of property titles to intermediate and final goods.

    Government intervention is yet another exemplar of initiated force since it is the use of aggression to fulfill certain socio-economic objectives. As such, it contradicts the essential nature of a capitalist economy as a non-aggressive economy. An economy remains capitalist so long as the government, or any other agency for that matter, refrains from intervening coercively in the peaceful private lives of citizens. The implications of this fact are substantial: under pure capitalism there are no taxes, no price ceilings, no price floors, no product controls, no subsidies to either the rich or the poor, no public streets, no public schools, no public parks, no central banks, no wars of aggression, no immigration restrictions, etc. Government neither resorts to aggression under capitalism nor does it sanction its use by others, end of story.

    What is Corporatism?

    Corporatism shares no such description. It is a social system where the government intervenes aggressively into the economy, typically with political instruments that benefit large corporations and enterprises to the detriment of smaller businesses and private citizens. Such instruments include subsidies, tariffs, import quotas, exclusive production privileges such as licenses, anti-trust laws, and compulsory cartelization designs. All involve the initiation of physical force: subsidies come from taxes, tariffs are taxes, import quotas restrict trade, license schemes prohibit non-licensed producers from producing certain goods, anti-trust laws allow competitors to gain or retain market share through legal competition in court, and compulsory cartelization speaks for itself. Economists David Gordon and Thomas DiLorenzo elaborate well on the less-than-pleasant nature and history of corporatism and economic fascism here and here . Read Murray Rothbard’s analysis of government intervention for further reference here.

    Similar to socialist governments, corporatist authorities seize control of land and capital goods when they feel it is necessary to do so without regard for private property rights. However, unlike socialist governments, corporatist states usually do not formally nationalize private sector firms, choosing instead to assume de facto control over them rather than de jure control. This difference however is procedural, one of style, not of essence, making it superficial - ancillary at best - and therefore fundamentally useless as an argumentative tool of fascists and socialists to distance themselves from each other. Corporatism is a system of institutionalized aggression. Between the complementary terms “capitalist” and “non-capitalist,” corporatism finds itself comfortably within the latter.

    This means that the latest attempt by the federal government to save the financial industry by subsidizing failed or failing institutional investors and banks is an illustration of a corporatist, not a capitalist effort. Market forces have nothing to do with the Troubled Asset Relief Program or the misleading “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.” These Congressional gems do not present themselves as intellectual dilemmas for capitalists, for advocates of the free market – not whatsoever. Under capitalism, firms that do not satisfactorily satisfy consumer demand are made promptly to surrender their assets and their business influence. Financial capital is siphoned away from these unproductive enterprises and allocated toward those who have proven themselves capable of taking up the mantle of “producer.” I want at this moment to intrude the name Ludwig von Mises, the man who bluntly argues in his text Human Action that
    Ownership of capital is a mandate entrusted to the owners, under the condition that it should be employed for the best possible satisfaction of the consumers. He who does not comply with this imposition forfeits his wealth and is relegated to a place in which his ineptitude no longer hurts people's well-being.

    Conversely, the kinds of legislative bills, laden with underhanded plots to subsidize various politically-connected businesses and undertakings, which see the desk of our current president, and have appeared before to his immediate predecessor, are political tools meant deliberately to obstruct the operation of this most capitalistic profit and loss mechanism. Call it what you’d like but you may not call it “capitalism.” If you find yourself cursing the wretched collaboration of businessmen and statesmen, by all means proceed. I welcome it. However, if that’s the case it is not the free market system that you find so reprehensible.

    A Plea for Scrupulousness

    So as we see, the implicit argument made within Mr. Moore’s trailor, if it may be designated as such, is a non-sequitor. “Bailouts, influence by Wall Street firms, ergo capitalism” is not even worthy of scrutiny. The intended fulcrum of the argument has nothing whatsoever to do with the inference. Its poor quality is as flagrant as its careless ambitiousness; it reeks, with few reservations, of a willingness to jump to conclusions. Such casual “reasoning” is enough to put me on my guard and tells me what to expect from the rest of the film.

    It all boils down to diligence versus sloppiness. To put it vulgarly, capitalism is not whatever America has, or whatever Washington does, or whatever the rich do. It has a very specific identity, as does corporatism. Failing to discriminate between the two makes it that much easier for the government to further extend its authority beyond already breached Constitutional bounds. Crises make for serendipitous occasions for propagandists and pseudo-intellectuals. An economically inclined public can hedge against this menace.

    "Capitalism!?! Say that again, would you."

    -Von Mises, Ludwig. Human Action. 4th ed. Irvington: Foundation for Economic Education, 1996. Print.

    Michael Labeit is an economics major, a disgruntled army reservist, an aspiring freelance writer, and an amateur logician. He currently resides in the People's Republic of New York City and can be reached at logician179@yahoo.com.

    Copyright 2009 EPJ Group LLC

    Wednesday, March 24, 2010

    Shocking Audio: Rep. Dingell Says ObamaCare Will Eventually ‘Control the People’

     Shocking Audio: Rep. Dingell Says ObamaCare Will Eventually ‘Control the People’


    Your Medical Records Aren't Secure
    In a January 2009 speech, President Barack Obama said that his administration wants every American to have an electronic health record by 2014, and last year's stimulus bill allocated over $36 billion to build electronic record systems. Meanwhile, the Senate health-care bill just approved by the House of Representatives on Sunday requires certain kinds of research and reporting to be done using electronic health records. Electronic records, Mr. Obama said in his 2009 speech, "will cut waste, eliminate red tape and reduce the need to repeat expensive medical tests [and] save lives by reducing the deadly but preventable medical errors that pervade our health-care system."

    Nancy Pelosi claims protesters are "carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on healthcare."

    Moveon.org, Media Matters, La Raza, Code Pink and International ANSWER. ACORN, weather underground

    Swiftboating Town Halls

    With federal lawmakers returning home this week to begin their month-long recess, the far right is welcoming them with large, angry throngs at "town halls gone wild." "Screaming constituents, protesters dragged out by the cops [and] congressmen fearful for their safety" have marked the ugly scenes that have become the rule in recent days, as normally respectful meetings between representatives and their constituents have been inundated with right-wing protesters focused on killing health care reform. Over the weekend, Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) became one of the more widely publicized victims, when a mob of protesters chanting "just say no" to health care followed him out of an event. These encounters are being orchestrated by the same lobbyist-run groups -- Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks -- that brought together the tax day tea parties in April. While trying to give the appearance of a "grassroots" uprising, the demonstrations are cover for a corporate-lobbyist engineered harassment strategy that encourages participants to "yell," "stand up and shout," and "rattle" elected officials in favor of reforming health care. Their goal -- recently outlined by an influential lobbyist as "delay" then "kill" -- is apparent: Having successfully delayed a vote until after the August recess, lobbyists are seizing on town halls to ambush lawmakers in an attempt to fool them and the greater public into thinking there is wide opposition to health care reform. Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs took a "hard line against the Tea-Party organized disruptions," labeling them a "Brooks Brothers Brigade," a reference to GOP staffers staging protests during the 2000 Florida recount.

    THE MEMOS: As with the tea parties, these town halls are "lessons in how political interests enlist human and technological resources to build political pressure while those responsible remain safely behind the curtain." Last week, The Progress Report obtained a leaked memo from a volunteer with Tea Party Patriots, a website sponsored by Americans for Prosperity (AFP) (led by a former associate of Jack Abramoff) and FreedomWorks (led by former Republican Majority Leader and current lobbyist Dick Armey). The memo detailed how town hall goers should infiltrate meetings and harass Democratic members of Congress. The memo said activists should "stand up and shout out and sit right back down" so the representative is "made to feel that a majority, and if not, a significant portion of at least the audience, opposes the socialist agenda of Washington." The overall goal, said the memo, is to "rattle" the elected official. Earlier this week, a FreedomWorks volunteer, who doubles as a Tea Party protester, published another memo that outlined a strategy "for his fellow activists -- a playbook of sorts for protesters seeking to disrupt and harass members of Congress during town hall forums in their districts."

    A BROAD STRATEGY: Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, has endorsed the strategy of staged protests, telling Politico the days of civil town halls are now "over." In a memo to House Republicans, Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) promised "anger" during the August recess: "Americans' anger will be on full display in the weeks ahead as Members of Congress leave Washington and travel the nation listening to the voices of their constituents." The published memos are similar to talking points being distributed by FreedomWorks that push an anti-health reform assault all summer. Patients United, a front group maintained by AFP, is busing people all over the country to protest health care reform. America's Health Insurance Plans, the trade group and lobbying juggernaut representing the health insurance industry, is also sending staffers to monitor town halls in 30 states. Meanwhile, Conservatives for Patients' Rights (CPR), led by disgraced hospital executive Rick Scott, is running a national campaign against a public health care option. Yesterday, the group took credit for "helping gin up the sometimes-rowdy outbursts targeting House Dems at town hall meetings around the country, raising questions about their spontaneity." Earlier in the week, a representative of CPR "sent an email to a list serve (called the Tea Party Patriots Health Care Reform Committee) containing a spreadsheet that lists over one hundred congressional town halls from late July into September." And last weekend, CPR announced it will send staff to "confront" lawmakers at town halls and then transition to negative ads.

    TOWN HALLS GONE WILD: In one incident of right-wing outrage, protesters surrounded Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY), forcing police to escort him to his car. In another, anti-health care protesters hung up an effigy of Rep. Frank Kratovil (D-MD) outside his district office in Salisbury, MD. The city was the site of a recent symposium on the dangers of "government-run health care," sponsored by a group called "Patients First," a project of AFP. Two nights ago, Reps. Steve Kagen (D-WI) and Steve Driehaus (D-OH) had to face down angry mobs. Kagen, whose town hall was targeted by the Wisconsin chapter of AFP, was "repeatedly disrupted" by "incomprehensible" shrieks and shouts from conservatives. And just last night, Fox's local Houston affiliate reported that at a rowdy town hall hosted by Rep. Gene Green (D-TX), some attendees admitted "they don't live in the district." Still, Democrats are vowing not to let the disruptions stop health care reform. "I hope my colleagues won't fall for a sucker-punch like this," Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) told The Progress Report. "These health insurance companies and people like them are trying to load these town halls for visual impact on television." Doggett agreed. After his town hall was ambushed he declared, "I am more committed than ever to win approval of legislation to offer more individual choice to access affordable health care. An effective public plan is essential to achieve that goal." And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) promised Democrats wouldn't waiver: "In spite of the loud, shrill voices trying to interrupt town hall meetings and just throw a monkey wrench into everything, we're going to continue to be positive and work hard."

    Sign Up To Become A Tea Party Reporter

    On tax day, April 15, there will be protests with conservative movement leaders across the country, railing against government and high taxes. HuffPost is developing a citizen reporting team to keep track of this movement.

    An Ode to Joy this is not

    Wednesday, 3rd June 2009

    As we all know, in two days’ time Obama is to make a speech of cosmic significance in Cairo. The run-up to this speech has been characterised by some epic spinning from shadowy American and Israeli ‘sources’ which has been creating a powerful bow-wave of feverish speculation and alarm. The Israelis are apparently shocked and appalled by Obama’s demand – transmitted through Hillary Clinton, no less – that not only should Israel build no new settlements but must not allow the current ones to expand through natural growth. In other words, a thinly disguised requirement for ethnic cleansing through a policy of slow strangulation.
    If Israel’s government really is shocked and appalled by this, I would regard that as the most shocking and appalling thing of all, since Obama’s irrational beliefs that a) removing the settlers is the route to a Palestinian state and b) such a state will end the Arab war against Israel and help defeat Iran, not to mention c) his ignorance of international law dating back to the still legally binding Mandate giving the right of Jewish settlement throughout the whole of (then) Palestine which includes present day West Bank and Gaza, have been crystal clear since way before his election. (As for Hillary, since she was against Israel’s interests before she was for them -- which by an astounding coincidence took place while she was Senator for New York – and is now against them again, who can be surprised?)
    According to this Washington Post story, Mahmoud Abbas confirmed that Netanyahu’s predecessor, Ehud Olmert, offered the Palestinians 97 per cent of the West Bank for a Palestinian state, plus ‘the right of return’ and large-scale Palestinian immigration into Israel – yet still this wasn’t enough for the Palestinians. So how can Obama maintain that all now hinges on the dismantling of the settlements and the construction of a Palestine state, when clearly this is not what the Palestinians want at all?
    So yes, all as predictable as it is alarming. As for the claim by Mahmoud Abbas that Obama is trying to bring down Netanyahu by setting the more nationalistic Likudniks against him, thus bringing to power the ineffable Tzipi Livni who shares Obama’s world-view, I wouldn’t disbelieve that either. And the reported threat to punish Israel by cutting US military aid is precisely what his guru Samantha Power is on record as having proposed.
    On the other hand, however, all this is still just spin. If the US were to punish Israel for not agreeing to commit national suicide, the real Israel lobby in America -- the Christian heartlands – would go nuts. Plus the relationship between the two countries is not a one-way street: if Israel were to stop sharing its intelligence with the US, for example, the reaction of the US military would likely dwarf even their fury with Obama over publishing ‘torture’ pictures or shutting down the military tribunals. Given that a strategic game is being played vis a vis Iran, every pronouncement or shadowy bit of spin surely has to be regarded as inherently unreliable. But the mood music is all playing one tune, and it sure isn’t the Ode to Joy.
    It was a grim commentary on the current British contribution to peace in the Middle East that it took the BBC this morning to make Obama seem quite reasonable in relation to Israel. In an interview, the BBC‘s North American editor Justin Webb pressed Obama to say what he would do to force Israel to keep its commitments under the Road Map, given (and here his voice rose in righteous indignation) that Israeli ministers had been declaring flat-out that Israel would refuse to bend under Obama’s bullying statesmanlike peace initiative. No mention of the claim by Mahmoud Abbas that Obama was apparently intent on producing regime change in Israel (to the BBC, it seems, regime change is only a crime when used against genocidal tyrants -- but of no interest whatever when contemplated against their victims).
    No mention by Justin Webb that the Palestinians were in breach of their commitments which are rather more fundamental than settlements, being the requirement to stop waging a war of extermination against Israel. It took Obama to murmur that the Palestinians had to stop their incitement to hatred and murder – something he said a day or so ago, and it is notable and encouraging that he said it; although he’s still not indicating that, as per the Road Map, the Palestinians are required to dismantle their infrastructure of war before Israel is expected to do anything in its turn.
    What is also highly troubling about Obama’s imminent trip is not just his speech in Cairo but where he is going after that. For his next stop is Buchenwald – and straight after that, Dresden. Dresden? Why on earth Dresden of all places?  One reason only, surely. The symbolism is unmistakeable – the site of the most controversial Allied bombing of World War Two. It looks horribly like Obama intends to make a symbolic statement of reproach for that event – just to go there makes the point, without even saying anything -- and even worse, to make some kind of equation with the slaughter at Buchenwald. One holocaust doesn't deserve another, would seem to be the unspoken message, would it not? Or to put it another way, if Jews defend themselves by military means, they turn into Nazis.
    In the light of Iran’s genocidal threats against Israel and the nuclear weapons that Obama is giving it the time to assemble to make good those threats, such symbolism would be unspeakable – and another feather of western defeatism for a gloating Iran to stick in its cap. http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/3664576/an-ode-to-joy-this-is-not.thtml