Quote of the Week: April 30, 2006

April 30, 2006

Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. – William Gladstone


Defending the Indefensible Against All Enemies

April 26, 2006

Isn't great to know that you can be arrested and charged with a federal offense for exercising your First Amendment Rights on government (i.e.: public) property?

No, I am not referring to shouting-down a Communist strongman on the lawn of the White House. I am referring to to protesting the military's scientifically invalidated, nonsensical, fiscally irresponsible, politically unsupported, and downright un-American "don't-ask-don't-tell" policy of institutionalized bigotry on the grounds of West Point.

Personally, I think that the queer boogeyman is a lot less damaging to morale and unit cohesion than Tailhook-esque sexual assaults or chaplains who like to play Grand Inquisitor.

But that's just me. And as a liberal Democrat, God knows I couldn't possibly be patriotic or pro-military. And neither can John Kerry, John Murtha, Max Cleland, Wesley Clark, Paul Hackett, Tammy Duckworth, Eric Massa


An Overdue “Thank You” to Stephen McArthur

April 26, 2006

Stephen McArthur at Orwell's Grave was kind enough to not only plug this blog, but to post a corollary piece to my bit about the smirking chimp's motives for apologizing to the Chinese tyrant Hu for the exercise of First Amendment Rights by an American citizen.

 Thank you, Stephen!


More Lies the Liberal Media Told Me

April 26, 2006

If you believe the Detroit Free Press, a large stink is being raised over a professor at Michigan State University telling the MSU Muslim Students' Association – over mugs of piping hot cocoa – that he thinks Middle Eastern immigrants who don't believe in Western ideals like democracy, religious freedom, and sexual equality shouldn't live here (a belief I myself hold, though I don't limit those standards to immigrants of Middle Eastern descent – there are a lot of native-born Americans I'd like to see shipped-off to the Republic of Gilead).

Wichman sent the message to the Muslim Students' Association of Michigan State University while it handed out free cocoa during a public awareness event about controversial cartoons that depicted Islam's founder as a terrorist.

The cartoons, one of which depicted Muhammad wearing a turban shaped like a bomb, sparked violent protests and riots around the world in February.

"I am offended not by cartoons, but by more mundane things like beheadings of civilians, cowardly attacks on public buildings, suicide murders," Wichman wrote.

He went on to say: "I counsul you dissatisfied, agressive, brutal, and uncivilized slave-trading Moslems to be very aware of this as you proceed with your infantile 'protests.' "

Ugly stereotypes to be sure, but hardly enough to justify the Muslim Students' Association's call for Prof. Wichman to be formally reprimanded.  Despite the fact that he sent the email from his faculty email account, he did not make his grossly exaggerated and ignorant statements in his capacity as a professor or as an employee of the university.

What's noteworthy about this article isn't that Michigan State University keeps anti-semitic bigots on the payroll.  What's noteworthy, to me at least, is that the Detroit Free Press – which caters to the largest concentration of people of Middle Eastern descent in the Western Hemisphere and had full access to the entire email message – didn't post the proverbial "rest of the story:"

MSU engineering professor Indrek Wichman used his faculty e-mail account to send a "Dear Moslem Association" message to the university's Muslim Students' Association (MSA) containing a long list of charges, including a claim that Muslims rape "Scandinavain [sic] girls and women (called 'whores' in your culture)."

The February 28, 2006, e-mail also stated: "I counsul [sic] you dissatisfied, agressive [sic], brutal, and uncivilized slave-trading Moslems to be very aware of this as you proceed with your infantile 'protests.' If you do not like the values of the West–see the 1st Ammendment [sic]–you are free to leave. I hope for God's sake that most of you choose that option. Please return to your ancestral homelands and build them up yourselves instead of troubling Americans."

 It kind of makes you wonder just which "half of the story" is really being told at universities and colleges these days that has so many right-wingers worried about "academic freedom," doesn't it?


Quote of the Week: April 23, 2006

April 26, 2006

Better late than never. – Anyonomous


Shrub Apologizes to Chinese Tyrant for Bill of Rights

April 21, 2006

According to the BBC:

A woman has appeared in court in Washington after heckling visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao at the White House.

Wang Wenyi, 47, was charged with harassing, intimidating and threatening a foreign official.

Ms Wang, who had a press pass for the event, had shouted at Mr Hu not to oppress the outlawed Chinese spiritual movement, the Falun Gong.

An embarrassed President George W Bush apologised to Mr Hu for the outburst.

If convicted, Ms Wang could face six months in jail and a fine of $5,000 (£2,800).

Apart from their shared disdain for the right to free speech, another possible explanation for why the smirking chimp was so quick to park his lips on Hu's rump was alluded to at Asia Times Online two years ago:

American companies may have forgotten what Henry Ford propounded when he first built his Model T: If you do not pay high enough wages to your workers, they can't afford to buy your product. One simple basis for that Bush boom is that China is recycling its US$100 billion-plus trade surplus with the US back into dollars, and especially into US Treasury bonds. Almost half of the US Treasury bonds are now owned in Asia. So China is financing Bush's bold economic experiment: running two or more wars simultaneously with a huge budget and trade deficit, and equally huge tax handouts for the richest Americans.

One has to question the long-term economic rationale for China of putting its long-term assets into very low-interest bonds in a currency that has already dropped recently by a third – and is going to drop even more. It certainly makes strategic sense: if push came to shove over, for example, the Taiwan Strait, all Beijing has to do is to mention the possibility of a sell order going down the wires. It would devastate the US economy more than any nuclear strike the Chinese could manage at the moment.

It does not help that the US, which has the experience, certainly shows no signs of using it to assess longer term dangers, and even if China had that foresight of perils ahead, Beijing lacks the experience to act effectively.

Dangerously, the global economy is faced by an addictive combination of China – a developing country with many problems of social instability – and the US – which the recent IMF report hints is a rapidly undeveloping country – whose fiscal irresponsibility is compounded by a political immaturity that tends to ignore geopolitical and economic reality.

And why shouldn't the United States ignore geopolitical and economic reality? If there's one thing the current administration has proven it's that reality doesn't matter.

It doesn't matter that the administration stole its first term in office.

It doesn't matter that the administration cheated its way into a second term.

It doesn't matter that the administration lied repeatedly to the American people to get the go-ahead for the Iraq War.

It doesn't matter that the Republican majority is actively destroying the checks-and-balances that constitute the foundation of our government.

It doesn't matter that the strongest supporters of the current administration and the Republican party have the most to lose from their policies.


Hu Proves Shrub’s Point

April 20, 2006

A dictatorship is easier than a democracy.

Unfortunately Hu proved that point in Washington, D.C., not Beijing.

According to the notoriously liberal Drudge Report:

The arrival ceremony for Chinese president Hu Jintao was interrupted by a protester who appealed to President Bush to stop Hu from 'persecuting the Falun Gong,' a banned religious movement in China.

The woman began shouting from the top of a camera stand located directly in front of Hu and Bush.

'President Bush, stop him from killing'… 'Stop persecuting the Falun Gong,' she yelled… She also shouted in Chinese, 'President Hu, your days are numbered, No more time for China's ruling party.'

The incident occured right after Bush urged Hu to allow Chinese to 'speak freely'. The woman, had a temporary pass with a big 'T' on it, also unfurled a yellow 'Falun Gong' banner.

The woman was taken away by uniformed secret service officers.

Bush leaned over and whispered to Hu, 'You're okay.' Hu, who had stopped talking briefly, then resumed speaking.

Was the smirking chimp merely prompting the Chinese tyrant to resume his speech, or was he making a broader endorsement of Hu's governing style?

You don't get everything you want. A dictatorship would be a lot easier.
– From Paul Begala's "Is Our Children Learning?"

I told all four that there are going to be some times where we don't agree with each other, but that's OK. If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator.
CNN.com, December 18, 2000

A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it.
Business Week, July 30, 2001

I'd like to say that I was disappointed by what took place in the nation's capital today, but that would require an element of surprise on my part. Suprise over the similarities between the post-9/11 United States and the Peoples Republic of China isn't something I have a lot of anymore, all things considered:

  • The governments of both countries are dominated by a single, unchecked and corrupt political party.
  • The governments of both countries sanction torture.
  • The governments of both countries spy on their citizens without warrants or just cause.
  • The governments of both countries actively seek to give the state the final say whether or not a woman should carry a child to term.
  • The governments of both countries have labeled religious and social organizations engaged in peaceful opposition to their policies as "terrorist organizations" and have infiltrated them with agents of the state security apparatus.

And of course there's the fact that the Chinese government is currently bankrolling the Iraq fiasco. 

It kind of puts the old wingnut allegations that Bill Clinton had sold-out the country to "Red China" into perspective, doesn't it?

Bush and Hu Celebrate Their Similarities

Photos from Yahoo! News