A skeptical email from a reader
I want to give you a heads up on the subject of ACORN, its funding, and the almost unanimous vote in the House yesterday.
This is all a Jackass smokescreen. I live in the Raleigh NC area, and yesterday Representative Virginia Foxx, was interviewed by the WPTF host Bill LuMay. The subject of the vote came up, and Ms Fox was very clear about how the game is played, especially amongst the Left.
Here is how it works. The vote is taken, and with regard to a predetermined agreement, members vote yea or nay on an issue in one manner for public consumption, and not what they really wish. Remember, appearances are crucial to the Left, or they would not be where they are. Following the vote in both the House and the Senate, the proposed legislation goes to the "Reconciliation Process", where the Real Sausage is ground and mixed together. Riders, and attachments may, or may not, be retained. Many times they are dropped without fanfare, and the politician, who voted "nay" to a proposal, gets his/her wish for the opposite and can claim that he/she was opposed to it.
This is for use come election time, and for CYA (cover your ass) purposes. My overwhelming guess is that this addition will be dropped from the reconciliation process, and only the astute will be any the wiser. Unless the citizenry is alerted to this, they will think one thing, while the likes of ACORN are kept at the trough. I would be willing to wager that if you contacted Ms Foxx, someone would be more than happy to confirm this to you.
It really needs to get out to the citizenry, and prove that the internet really IS the Main Media today, not the the dinosaur networks.
Dowd the bigot
I'm sure New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd and former President Jimmy Carter derive a great deal of self-satisfaction slandering other people with false charges of racism, but the damage they're doing to race relations is worse than any bona fide racist could dream of doing.
I ask you: Who is more likely racist, the person who sees race every time she turns around or the person who aspires toward colorblindness? Could those always pointing the accusatory finger be projecting their own discomfort with race?
Listen to how Maureen begins her snarky Sept. 12 column, in which she posited that Rep. Joe Wilson's "you lie" outburst was driven by racism. She writes: "Surrounded by middle-aged white guys -- a sepia snapshot of the days when such pols ran Washington like their own men's club -- Joe Wilson yelled 'You lie!' at a president who didn't. But, fair or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!"
I don't know whether "middle-aged white guys" and "their own men's club" flow more from some bitter feminist strain Dowd seems to possess or her liberal obsession with the superficial aspects of people's differences in pigment, but it is nonetheless bizarre. Why is it that Dowd sees race in the politicians sitting beside Joe Wilson? And why is she compelled to make "white guys" a pejorative? In her world, to be white and male is to be guilty. Well, I reject the charge, thank you, and would appreciate a little due process before condemnation by such self-proclaimed open-minded liberals as Dowd.
One of the main sins of racism is its devaluation of the individual worth of a member of a racial group based on membership in that group. How ironic that in her thinking and writings Dowd commits the very sin she decries: condemning "middle-aged white guys" by virtue of their skin color and age.
Pelosi: Leftist projection again
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is worried that the heated debate over ObamaCare is getting too heated. "Anyone voicing hateful or violent rhetoric, she told reporters, must take responsibility for the results," the Associated Press reports:
"I wish that we would all, again, curb our enthusiasm in some of the statements that are made," Pelosi said. Some of the people hearing the message "are not as balanced as the person making the statement might assume," she said. "Our country is great because people can say what they think and they believe," she added. "But I also think that they have to take responsibility for any incitement that they may cause."
Pelosi raises an excellent point. Two weeks ago we noted an example: A prominent California politician had referred to opponents of ObamaCare as "un-American" and accused them of "carrying swastikas." Subsequently, in Thousand Oaks, Calif., an unbalanced-American bit off the finger of an elderly protester, Bill Rice. The politician? Nancy Pelosi.
And Jimmah accuses OTHERS of racism!
Jimmy Carter's lecture on "racism" earlier this week sent an intrepid reader back to the Time magazine archives for this story from April 1976, when Carter was running a presidential campaign that, shockingly, turned out to be successful:
The furor began when Carter was asked in Indianapolis to explain his recent statement that there was "nothing wrong with ethnic purity being maintained" in neighborhoods. Carter replied that he wholeheartedly supports open-housing laws that make it a crime to refuse to sell or rent a house or apartment on the grounds of race, color or creed. But he opposes Government programs "to inject black families into a white neighborhood just to create some sort of integration." Said he: "I have nothing against a community that is made up of people who are Polish, or who are Czechoslovakians, or who are French Canadians or who are blacks trying to maintain the ethnic purity of their neighborhoods. This is a natural inclination."
"Ethnic purity"? Avast! Talk about the pot calling--uh, wait, scratch that. Let's just say that Jimmy Carter's continuing presence on the national scene is a helpful reminder of how much progress America has made in just the past few decades.
Conservatives use Leftist methods and rhetoric to good effect
Conservatives are coming for the Democrats on their blind side — the left. The evidence is everywhere. At tea parties and town halls, conservative demonstrators oppose health care reform with signs bearing the abortion-rights slogan “Keep your laws off my body” or the line “Obama lies, Grandma dies” — an echo of the “Bush lied, they died” T-shirts worn to protest the Iraq war. Conservative activists are yelling “Nazi!” and “Big Brother!” where they used to shout “Nanny state!” and “Big Government!”
And the 1971 agitator’s handbook “Rules for Radicals” — written by Saul Alinsky, the Chicago community organizer who was the subject of Hillary Clinton’s senior thesis, and whose teachings helped shape Barack Obama’s work on Chicago’s South Side — has been among Amazon’s top 100 sellers for the past month, put there in part by people who “also bought” books by Michelle Malkin, Glenn Beck,and South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint.
Yes, the same folks who brought you Obama the socialist have been appropriating the words and ways of leftists past — and generally letting their freak flags fly.
The left-wing rhetoric and symbolism are so thick on the right, in fact, that some conservatives have been taken aback by it: The logo for the Sept. 12 protest in Washington, which organizers called the “March on Washington,” featured an image that looked so much like those associated with the labor, communist and black power movements that some participants objected to it — until they found out that’s what the designers were shooting for. “As an organization, we have been very closely studying what the left has been doing,” explains FreedomWorks press secretary Adam Brandon, who says he was given a copy of “Rules for Radicals” when he took his current job . Brandon describes the Sept. 12 rally in D.C. as the “culmination of four years worth of work” and says that organizers were “incredibly conscious” of the symbols they chose.
With the logo, he explains, they were “trying to evoke the imagery of the counterrevolutionary protests of the 1960s that captured the imagination of the world.” And as for the phrase “March on Washington,” Brandon says, “this is something people said in the office. If we had been alive back in the 1960s, we would have been on the freedom bus rides. It was an issue of individual liberty. We’re trying to borrow some from the civil rights movement.”
From the outside, at least, it doesn't look like an obvious fit. Dick Armey did not, in fact, participate in the freedom rides of the 1960s. Brandon said the former House majority leader was an undergrad in Jamestown, N.D., at the time, working his way through school putting up electric poles, and “wasn’t politically active at the time.”
And while they’re handing out Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” at FreedomWorks, Armey himself told the Financial Times last month: “What I think of Alinsky is that he was very good at what he did but what he did was not good.” But if the tactics of the left helped end segregation and the Vietnam War in the last century, conservatives say there’s no reason those same tactics can’t be used to keep liberals in check now.
James O’Keefe, the activist and filmmaker who posed as a pimp for an expose of several ACORN offices in the Northeast, told the New York Post earlier this week] that he, too, had been inspired by “Rules for Radicals,” which includes such tactical lessons as “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon” and “Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.” O’Keefe told the paper he was trying to expose the “absurdities of the enemy by employing their own rules and language.” “If you can make impossible demands on your enemy, you can destroy them,” he said.
This isn’t the first time the right tried on the ways of the left, says Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. “We actually did see some of that before, in the 1970s. When conservatism emerged as a new movement, they adopted some of the tactics of the New Left of the 1960s, really focusing on grassroots organizing, and kind of adopting a lot of populist language, and using some of the 1960s energy for their own purposes, and I think we’re seeing it again, very clearly.”
“There has been a conscious movement to do that for some time,” agrees George Lakoff, a University of California professor of cognitive science and linguistics. “There is a long history of it.” Perhaps, but rarely has it been so blatant — or so provocative. “They’re definitely throwing down the gauntlet and saying, if that’s what you believe, then come along,” says Teri Christoph, co-founder of the conservative women’s group Smart Girl Politics, who suggested that there also might be a touch of irony in some of the slogan-swiping as well.
The irony thus far seems to have been lost on the left, however, which has mostly voiced either disbelief or derision that the conservatives would be so shameless — or so clueless. In Democratic Underground’s discussion forum, a photo of a marcher holding a “Keep Your Laws of My Body” sign was captioned “OK, the cognitive dissonance hasn't hit them yet.” And of the 9/12-ers’ logo, one poster on Stephen Colbert’s site asks, “Did these guys grow a sense of humor overnight, or did they just skip history class?”
They’re not wrong to ask the question. It is unclear, for example, whether Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), whose office did not respond to POLITICO for this story, was intentionally invoking the rhetoric of the pro-choice movement (which she most emphatically does not support) when she urged people last month to let their representatives know that “under no circumstances will I give the government control over my body and my health care decisions.” Nor is it clear that all those who sang “This Land Is Your Land” at the tea parties were aware of its pro-labor, fellow-traveler roots.
Still, enough of the co-opting is intentional that the Democrats might be wise to stop snarking, sit up, and take notice. And some of it is already working, notes Lakoff: In the health care debate, he says, the right has taken “all the progressive arguments and made them conservative arguments.”
Says Zelizer: “The tactics can be powerful. Direct confrontation, community organizing, in-your-face politics, as we’ve seen in August, can get a lot of media attention and can scare politicians away from taking certain positions.”
They can also be their own reward. At FreedomWorks, says Brandon, “We’re having fun. I have been pissing people off left and right calling myself a progressive, because I’m fighting myself against the establishment.” And, according to Alinsky, that’s one of the keys to a good uprising: As he put it in “Rules for Radicals,” “A good tactic is one that your people enjoy. If your people are not having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with the tactic.”
I have recently done some major additions and revisions to the short comments I have in my side column. I hope some people may find them useful. I have also added them to the bottom of the Mirror site
Race 'not behind health protests', says Obama: "President Barack Obama has said that some Americans may oppose him because of race, but that this has not been the main factor behind healthcare protests. He suggests, in TV interviews to be broadcast on Sunday, anti-government sentiment was the key reason for angry protests against healthcare reform.... In comments to ABC, Mr Obama said race was a "volatile issue" and "it becomes hard for people to separate out race being a sort of part of the backdrop of American society versus race being a predominant factor in any given debate". "Are there some people who don't like me because of my race?" he said. "I'm sure there are. "Are there some people who voted for me only because of my race? There are probably some of those too. But he added that he thought some were "more passionate about the idea of whether government can do anything right. "And I think that that's probably the biggest driver of some of the vitriol."
Jimmah the moron: "How does Carter know that an "overwhelming portion" of scores of thousands of agitated Americans who turned out for all those town-hall meetings were motivated by racism, "the fact that (Obama) is a black man, that he's African-American"? Six months ago, Obama's approval rating was 70 percent. Does Carter think that number has sunk to 50 percent because tens of millions of Americans suddenly discovered Obama was black? Does it not seem more reasonable to conclude the number cratered because millions who wished Obama well on Jan. 20 have come to conclude this crowd is no more competent than the last one, that Obamacare, up close, seems even worse than the present system? The stupidity of Carter and the Black Caucus fairly astounds."
An unusual obituary (from Lew Rockwell): "Irving Kristol, whom I once hosted (at George Roche’s request) for a week of lectures at Hillsdale College, was a brilliant Machiavellian. Using his early training as a Trotskyite, and a natural talent for organizing, recruiting, and demagoguery, he managed to take over the Stupid Party, i.e., the conservative movement and the Republicans. Whatever was good, he purged or smeared, in the cause of what he dubbed “neoconservatism”: corporatism, global war, and imperialism, with a special orientation towards Israel. He also influenced the major conservative foundations, and used their resources to great effect. As might be expected, he had a special animus for libertarianism and Ludwig von Mises, whom he denounced to me. As a warmonger and promoter of the police state, he had much blood on his hands, and wanted more. He leaves behind his son Bill, to carry on his work." [A more sympathetic obit here. And Kristol speaks for himself here]
RICO for ACORN? "I was an FBI Agent for 26 years and before my final posting at the White House, I enjoyed a rich career devoted to prosecution of organized crime. The federal laws were modified and strengthened in the years of Richard Nixon to enable the FBI to go after the Mafia. One tremendous new law, called Racketeer Influenced and Corruption Organization, or RICO as it became known, allowed many new techniques of prosecution to be used to reign in what was believed to be an out of control criminal element in our society...RICO was a grand success. So much so, that before long RICO was being used to prosecute other groups who had nothing to do with the Italian or Sicilian mobs. Drug dealers, car theft rings, motorcycle gangs and purveyors of porn films and yes, even prostitution rings were also successfully prosecuted, their assets seized and their liberty forfeited in many thousands of cases. So now comes ACORN with years of what appears to me to be seriously organized crime. They have been involved in voter fraud and I would guess it would not take too many interviews before the FBI could establish the conspiracy. They have also been involved in bank fraud, gaming the system in attempts to bring assets from the so called rich, to the so-called poor. The case against ACORN has swiftly moved from being a talk show host's ultimate dream to a serious investigation that may be best served through the use of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization statutes."
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)