Liberal Grace

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Hitlerizing those who disagree

You know the administration is scrambling when they evoke Hitler.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday the world faces "a new type of fascism" and warned against repeating the pre-World War II mistake of appeasement.
Rumsfeld alluded to critics of the Bush administration's war policies in terms associated with the failure to stop Nazism in the 1930s, "a time when a certain amount of cynicism and moral confusion set in among the Western democracies."
Without explicitly citing Bush critics at home or abroad, he said "it is apparent that many have still not learned history's lessons."

Rumsfeld Warns Against Appeasement

The liberals are not Hitler... we're just morally compromised Hitler appeasers!

I've kind of lost track of who the conservatives are Hitlerizing right now. It used to be Saddam. Then for a while it was bin Laden. Now it is either Ahmadinejad or Nassrallah.

Clearly, for conservatives, Islam are the Nazis. I suppose al Qaeda are the SS, unless it is Hezbollah... or maybe Hamas.

But we liberals are clearly Chamberlain... or maybe Joseph Kennedy or, worse, the French.

Or, more likely, the analogy stinks.


When this came up, I vaguely remember that, not long ago, it was the conservatives who were outraged when comparisons where made with Bush and Hitler

It had to do with an a contest for homemade ads, held by Of the 1,500 entries, two compared Bush to Hitler. The conservatives were outraged!

The Bush-Hitler Ads Removed by MoveOn

Republican groups and Jewish organizations expressed outrage over the ad, which has been removed from the Web site. The Republican National Committee (search) called on all nine Democratic candidates to condemn the ads.
RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie (search) called the ad, "the worst and most vile form of political hate speech."

Ad Comparing Bush to Hitler Gets Heat

This outrage didn't seem to stop the conservatives from evoking Hitler.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Thomas Kinkade. Painter of Dark©®?

Why are Christians such low-hanging fruit for cynical fraudsters?

The FBI is investigating allegations that self-styled "Painter of Light" Thomas Kinkade and some of his top executives fraudulently induced investors to open galleries and then ruined them financially, former dealers contacted by federal agents said.
The ex-owners allege in arbitration claims that, among other things, the artist known for his dreamily luminous landscapes and street scenes used his Christian faith to persuade them to invest in the independently owned stores, which sell only Kinkade's work.
Painter Said to Be Focus of FBI Probe

In 2006 John Dandois, Media Arts Group executive, recounted a story that on one occasion ("about six years ago") Kinkade became drunk at a " Siegfried and Roy" magic show in Las Vegas and began shouting "Codpiece! Codpiece!" at the performers. Eventually he was calmed by his mother. Dandois also said of Kinkade; "Thom would be fine, he would be drinking, and then all of a sudden, you couldn't tell where the boundary was, and then he became very incoherent, and he would start cussing and doing a lot of weird stuff."
Thomas Kinkade, Wikipedia

I am continually amazed at how gullable Christians are to exploitation by patronizing frauds.

Crimminals like Ken Lay and Tom DeLay carry bibles and talk like pious Christians but make very little attempt to hide their scams and heartless greed. Still, the faithfull swear by them.

C'mon fellow Christians! Get some street smarts!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Vote for candidates who want energy independence

Hugo Chavez despises America. We give him big bucks. This must be fixed.

This article is just another reason that energy independence should be top priority for America.

Chavez is on a world-wide tour trying to create a coalition of the anti-American. This includes countries that America gives billions of dollars to.

He despises us. We give him our money. We hate him. This sounds like some sort of addict's relationship with his drug dealer. It's pathetic.

At each stop, the self-styled "Bolivarian revolutionary" delivered superheated denunciations of the United States and called for a global coalition to combat "the U.S. imperialist monster."

In Minsk, where he met Belarusan President Alexander Lukashenko, commonly known as "Europe's last dictator," Chávez said the United States is "a senseless, blind, stupid giant that understands nothing about human rights, humaneness, culture, consciousness and awareness."
Chávez's War of Words

This is so very wrong. It's a formula for endless conflict.

We all know that.

Congress is doing nothing about it. Goodness knows the Bush administration, soaked in oil, has no intention of doing anything about it. This is not just a "green" issue. It's a major national security issue. I think it is THE NUMBER ONE national security issue.

Vote them all out. Vote in people who understand this problem.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Nasrallah realizes he screwed up.

It's refreshing to hear a politician admit that he screwed up, even if he's a terrorist

"We did not think, even one per cent, that the capture would lead to a war at this time and of this magnitude. You ask me, if I had known on July 11 ... that the operation would lead to such a war, would I do it? I say no, absolutely not," [Nasrallah] told Lebanon's New TV.

Hizbollah admit surprise at Israeli war

Goodness what a disasterous "miscalcuation" on Nasrallah's part! At least he seems to understand it.

When will we hear something simliar from Bush about Iraq?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Asians on a Plane

A clear case of anti-Muslim profiling? A cultural misunderstanding? Probably both.

'Security risk' Indians return to Mumbai
Living overseas, I'm familiar with cultural misunderstandings. I'm especially familiar with South Asians -- like the twelve guys who were arrested on the Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Indian.

I have to wonder if this wasn't all a big cultural misunderstanding. In our local media this incident is being portrayed as anti-Muslim profiling. Maybe. I have my doubts.

I have flown many times with thousands of Indians and other South Asians and witnessing some amazing misbehavior on airplanes.

Most South Asians, of course, behave just like you probably do.

But there are often a couple of guys acting erratically or even being belligerent. I've seen guys absolutely refuse to stop talking on the cell phone or start digging around in the overhead bins during take-off. I've even watched a row mate struggle to open her window. Worse than that, I've seen someone starting pulling on the emergency door handle in search for a bathroom.

(Don't get me started on the odd -- even bizarre -- carry-on items I've seen).

It isn't just inexperience with flying. It's also a cultural attitute towards rules.

I've watched a middle-age man unbuckle himself and start walking around the cabin, in defiance of repeated warnings -- personally and over the intercom -- during the last moments of the final approach. The long-suffering flight attendant unbuckled herself and came flying down the aisle, screaming at him to sit the hell down! I assumed he just wanted to be the first off the plane.

Westerners unfamiliar with South Asian culture could get very alarmed when someone flagrantly disobeys the minimal and clearly-explained rules of flying.

If twelve people are acting belligerently towards the rules, I could imagine a plane getting turned around and escorted home with jet fighters.

The men aroused suspicion of the cabin crew because some of them had not fastened their seat-belts and were passing a cellular phone around while speaking excitedly to one another shortly after take-off.

Racial Profiling Pulls Indians From Plane

But, maybe this incident was clear case of Muslim profiling.

Probably it was a mix. The fact that they were all identifiable Muslims surely increased the alarm among the flight crew.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Cons mocked police work in war on terror

Police -- not war -- have been most effective primary tool in counter-terrorism. This really PO's the cons.

Once again, it was good old fashioned police work that defeated the terrorists. I salute British law enforcement for effectively serving on the front-line in the "war against terrorism".

But never forget that the conservatives mock police work as the primary tool against terrorism.

"Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," Mr. Rove, the senior political adviser to President Bush, said at a fund-raiser in Midtown for the Conservative Party of New York State. Rove Criticizes Liberals on 9/11

"Preparing indictments" stopped this last attack!

Conservatives mocked police as a primary tool against terrorists because that's been a liberal position. Conservatives mocked police because they wanted to beat John Kerry. I think, more than anything else, conservatives mocked police work because they really wanted their war in Iraq.

But we liberals were right and the conservatives have been wrong about the primary tool to fight terrorism. Here's why:

War breeds terrorism.

This is a basic truth that the conservatives don't want you to understand. But it is true. War creates the social conditions that creates extremism. Extremism is a recruiting haven for the terrorists.

Therefore, war breeds terrorism.

The ultimate tool against terrorism to is fix the social conditions that freed extremism: employment, social justice, education, security, and similar.

I suppose this is what Rove is mocking when he talks of liberals "understanding" the terrorists. I don't apologize! Ignorance is the real danger.

Addressing the social conditions will greatly reduce terrorism but not end it. It will also take time. In the meantime, police -- with their wimpy liberal indictments -- are the front-line against terrorism. Unlike the conservatives, I salute the police, not mock them.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Twisted Military Values

Earlier this month we learned that Steven Green, the guy who allegedly raped and murdered in Iraq, was a known time-bomb. But, apparently, he was good enough for the military.

August 7, 2006 issue - Even before he went to Iraq, Steven Green scared people. Growing up in oil-rich Midland, Texas, a small community full of pumping jacks, pickup trucks and fast-food restaurants, Green was known as a petulant loner and a hard-drinking druggie. Mostly what people remember is his seething, seemingly random rage. In high school, Green would jump on other kids for offenses like wearing a green shirt, or using a white cigarette lighter--anything he'd arbitrarily claim to hate. An Itchy Finger

This week we learned about the 726 gay military members kicked out nationwide in 2005

Isn't there something very twisted in military values when they are lowering recruitment standards (letting guys like Steven Green in) while kicking-out hundreds of honorably serving soldiers?

Monday, August 14, 2006

"Islamofascist" is a bogus con term.

Small dogs are the same as cats.
Big lakes are the same as oceans.
Bad colds are the same as the flu.
Islamicists are the same as fascists.

I expect the dimwitted to confuse the above statements but what's the deal with George Bush using the bogus term "Islamic fascists"? That's Fox News nonsense.

Either Bush is very ignorant about the Nazis or about the Islamicists or -- most likely -- both. (Like his other ignorant comments, this will probably bite us in our collective butts.)

A really stupid person could compile a long list of how my couplets above are similar and therefore are the same. (Small dogs really do have a lot in common with cats.) But anyone with common sense knows the difference.

You don't need to be an expert to know that bin Laden, Nusrallah and their rag tag followers are not very similar to the Nazis.

Take this test: look at the two photos above. Are those two groups:
a) a lot alike
b) very different

(If you answer "a" go read some books.)

Perhaps, in his fantasy, bin Laden dreams of something like fascism but the Taliban running from cave to cave in their flip-flops are not Hitler's army.

It is very important American foreign policy understand that the Muslim countries of the 2000s are almost nothing like Hiler's Germany of the 1930s. If they confuse the two, it will mean endless strife for us.

Unfortunately, ef people like Bush don't have the common sense to see huge differences, then it is hopeless to debate with them. ("OK, OK," you concede in exasperation, "large lakes are the same as oceans. Whatever!" and then you walk away disgusted.)

While the ignorance of the term "Islamofascism" is appalling it is also frightening because these kinds of terms have a self-fulfilling quality to them.

Remember "Axis of Evil"? Clever term. Remember the arms race that term triggered?

Bush's bogus "Islamic fascist" term has already had some bad echoes in India where the Muslims are now being framed as the Nazi wing of Indian politics.

With "Islamic fascists'', however, the all-American president has sunk to a new low. And it is India, like nowhere else in the world, which will suffer the most for this new characterisation.
[W]ith 150 million Muslims, India has the second largest Muslim population in the world. India is also these days engaged in an unusually warm embrace with Bush & Co.
And yet that friendship is now looking increasingly brittle. Bush's commentary, especially his current "Islamic fascists'' quip, has so concerned the Indian establishment that it is worrying how it can safeguard its own secular credentials. Indians, Hindus and Muslims alike, are increasingly agitated about the nature of the Indo-US relationship. And that is turning out to be a real worry for New Delhi.
Bush's views worry India

The Indian group most likely to seize on the term "Islamofascsts" would be the Hindu hardliners who are persistently linked to fascism themselves. (Especially the RSS.)

If India erupts in a "clash of civilizations" which so many conservatives seem to be salivating for, then the US would surely be allied with the fascists! Now that's ironic.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Why I won't miss Lieberman

If Lieberman gets the boot today, it will be because of his misguided war stance.

You know what bugs me the most about Lieberman? It's that he jumped on that shameful bandwagon to exploit Terri Schiavo for a few cheap political points. That whole episode was a cruel, sadistic charade and Lieberman joined in.

Lieberman runs as a "values" guy. We'll I'm a values guy, too, and it offends my values the way they grossly mistreated that poor crippled woman.

I'm not the only one who feels this way about Lieberman.

Schiavo: Lieberman Wrong About Terri

[Michael Schiavo] said he decided to target Lieberman after watching him make the rounds of national Sunday talk shows supporting the government's right to intervene in his wife's case.

"Joe Lieberman never met me; he never met Terri," Schiavo said Friday. "Joe Lieberman didn't know anything about us or what Terri wanted, but that didn't stop him from saying on national TV that he and George Bush knew better."

Could Bush really be that ignorant? Pt II

File this one along with that other report that Bush didn't know there were different types of Muslims.

Bush tells CBC he's 'unfamiliar' with Voting Rights Act

President George W. Bush met with the Congressional Black Caucus Wednesday for the first time as a group in nearly four years, but what CBC members said stood out the most was the president's declaration that he was "unfamiliar" with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant pieces of legislation passed in the history of the United States.

Is it possible that our president could have less than a ninth-grade book report's knowledge of American history?

Goodness, I hope not! That would be absolutely apalling!

Man, I miss Bill Clinton! He'd have read every major book on the Voting Rights Act and could discuss every minor aspect of it, without notes.

Obvious Warning Signs about Mel Gibson

In my recent blog entry Next Time Listen to the Jews I argued that the Jews were probably right and we were probably wrong about Gibson. Next time, when a minority speaks up about bigotry, we in the majority should listen.

Tim Rutten writes a similar article for the LA Times. Clues Dismissed in Time of 'Passion'

Given all that's been written and broadcast about the anti-Semitic tirade Mel Gibson delivered when he was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, it's interesting that the story's most significant implication barely has been touched.
[W]hy hasn't the press reopened the discussion of Gibson's financially successful but controversial movie, "The Passion of the Christ"? When it was released two years ago, there were some who argued that, apart from its lurid sadomasochistic aura — critic Leon Wieseltier called it "a sacred snuff film" — Gibson's narrative was studded with the kinds of anti-Semitic caricatures once associated with medieval passion plays.

A much larger number of commentators and clergymen, particularly those hand-selected by the filmmaker and his people for private screenings, solemnly assured their readers, audiences and congregations that this was all a lot of anti-religious nonsense. More important, many of them personally vouched that Gibson is not an anti-Semite.

Looking back, it's hard to see how so many people could have so completely overlooked the obvious warning signs.

I might add, again, that when you are in the majority it is very easy to overlook "obvious warning signs" and that is why you should not dismiss the complaints of minorities as "victim culture" or whatever mean-spirited term the conservatives are using these days.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Nasrallah makes offer Israel should jump on

You may have missed this news item, from yesterday, in your local newspaper, if they ran it at all:

Beirut: The Hezbollah leader, for the first time since fighting began 24 days ago, offered on Thursday to stop rocket attacks on northern Israel in return for an end to air strikes throughout Lebanon.
"Anytime you decide to stop your campaign against our cities, villages, civilians and infrastructure, we will not fire rockets on any Israeli colonies or city," he said in a taped video statement broadcast on Hezbollah's Al Manar TV and carried simultaneously on all other Lebanese and Arab satellite channels.
Nassrallah vows to hit Tel Aviv

It must be pointed out that Nassrallah made this offer while, at the same
time, vowing to strike at Tel Aviv.

But it's an offer that Israel should jump on! Nassrallah, in this region, has a strong reputation of being a man who says what he means. Well, for the love of God and the mercy of the Lebanese, I think Israel should at least try a short cease fire and see if Nasrallah really means what he says.

They have a lot to gain... if they cease bombing but Hezbollah keeps bombing it's an image advantage to Israel... a very needed boost in a disastrous public opinion nightmare.