Archive for April, 2008

Obama’s Hypocritical Denunciation of Wright Is Too Little, Too Late

April 30, 2008

Barack Obama has decided it was time to pack up the campaign bus and move on. But before pulling out this time, Obama finally decided to throw his pastor under it.

I am outraged by the comments that were made and saddened by the spectacle that we saw yesterday,” Obama said in a last-minute press conference today. The candidate said that after watching Wright’s appearance from Monday, “What became clear to me was that he was presenting a world view that contradicts what I am and what I stand for.”

I’d sure like to know whether Barack Obama was in his church – as so many Americans were – the Sunday following 9/11 when Wright offered one of his most inflammatory ravings of all. But this issue has exploded beyond such questions.

It’s frankly way past time Obama repudiated Jeremiah Wright. He should never have attended the extremely radicalized Trinity United Church in Chicago in the first place. He should have walked away in outrage twenty years ago.

Given full, repeated opportunites to show how he had been “taken out of context,” Jeremiah Wright instead demonstrated that he stood by every “sound bite” he had spoken exactly as it had been depicted. He does believe America is a terrorist nation who deserves terrorist attacks to be directed against it. He does believe that white America created AIDS as a genocide against people of color. He didn’t back away or in any way change the context of any of his radical statements.

By speaking out, Rev. Jeremiah Wright reveals that the “spin” that much of the media – and Barack Obama himself – had been putting on the story for the last couple months was a flat-out lie. These were not sound bites taken out of context. It was malicious to claim that Wright’s sermons had been deliberately taken out of context, because the charge was an attempt to assasinate the characters and reputations of men and women who are now revealed to have been right all the time.

You may despise Fox News’ Sean Hannity and love PBS’ Bill Moyers, but Hannity has been demonstrated to be the objective source, and Moyers the biased ideologue.

Conservatives keep saying that the elite media is biased to the left, and the elite media keeps proving that the allegation is completely true. You have only to go back and review every story that characterized Jeremiah Wright’s remarks as “soundbites” and “thirty second loops” spun “out of context” to see that the media was doing its own spinning out of a pro-liberal and pro-Obama agenda.

For the most part, there was simply no possible context that could have made most of these remarks palatable. America with three Ks, America as a terrorist state, America as a racist developer of genocidal death-viruses. Good luck with that, “What-the-Reverend-really-meant-to-say”-project.

But we still have another spin on this story. We still have the excuse that somehow Barack Obama never heard any of this stuff, and just didn’t know it was going on for all these years.

I can see it now:

Several thousand people settle into their pews as the worship team finishes leading the music.  Rev. Wright steps into the pulpit  to preach. The auditorium quiets down.

“Is he here?” The doormen charged with monitoring Barack Obama’s attendance shake their heads.

“Well, then, America is still the No. 1 killer in the world. . . . We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns, and the training of professional killers . . . We bombed Cambodia, Iraq and Nicaragua, killing women and children while trying to get public opinion turned against Castro and Ghadhafi . . . We put Mandela in prison and supported apartheid the whole 27 years he was there. We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God. The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.! We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye. We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost!”

And then a security radio crackles in with a report that Barack Obama has driven in and is walking toward the auditorium.

“And Jesus said, love your enemies. Do good to them that hate you,” Wright sweetly and sublimely preaches as Obama files in and takes a pew.

The rest of the congregation smiles knowlingly. And the vast conspiracy, which has succeeded in keeping Barack Obama completely in the dark for twenty years, has succeeded yet again.

The problem with this scenario is that the facts simply say otherwise. Allow me to quote myself from 19 April:

First of all, it is a frankly incredible claim. Barack Obama spent 20 years in this church, and 20 years in an intimate personal mentoring friendship with Jeremiah Wright. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. has been well-known for being a fiery radical way out of the mainstream ever since he coming to the church in 1972. The fact that Wright married Barack and Michelle and baptized their children are only embarrasing details. And Barack Obama had no idea what his mentor for twenty years stood for? When the Reverend Wright delivered a particularly offensive, hateful and anti-American sermon, no one ever told Obama about it? The fact is, in his 1993 memoir “Dreams from My Father,” Barack Obama himself reveals this argument for the lie it is. In a vivid description recalling his first meeting with Wright back in 1985, the pastor warned Barack Obama that getting involved with Trinity might turn off other black clergy because of the church’s radical reputation. And when Obama disinvited Jeremiah Wright to give the convocation speach at his announcement of his presidential campaign last year, he essentially told his pastor that he was too extreme for Barack to openly associate himself with him.  Obama knew.

When the video of Rev. Wright’s hateful, racist, anti-American rants first became public, the Obama campaign indignantly indicated that there was nothing worthy of bothering itself about. They had no problem with anything Wright had said. Later in the day, as the video of the ranting pastor spread, the campaign offered a lame dodge. A little after that, Obama himself offered that he’s never heard any of the remarks. Then he gave his speech saying, “I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother — a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.”

And, of course, the left-leaning media swooned over the speech.

Well, I guess now he’s disowning the black church.  Sorry grandma. You gotta go.

Obama personally records the warning that Wright gave him about the church’s radicalism. The only thing that changed since that day in 1985 was that Barack Obama’s political ambitions have grown to the point where his twenty-year “association” (a word the liberal media loves to use to imply a bogus “guilt by association”) is no longer expedient for a man who had used the influence of Trinity United and its pastor to climb the ladder in Chicago politics. Obama had found the church offered him street credibility with common black folk as well as powerful local connections. And now he finds it politically expedient to bite the hand that fed him.

Obama chooses some interesting words to describe his reason for distancing himself from Wright. “What became clear to me was that he was presenting a world view that contradicts what I am and what I stand for.”

Jeremiah Wright’s worldview has not changed. He is presenting the same worldview that he has been presenting for twenty years.

Let me quote myself again from 15 April, and note that I specifically refer to Jeremiah Wright’s worldview:

When revelations of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s racist, anti-American remarks first began to surface, Democratic supporters of Barack Obama quickly claimed that these were just a few comments that were taken out of context. But when one considers black liberation theology, and when one listens to the words of numerous other black liberation theology theologians, this defense quickly becomes untenable.

When Jeremiah Wright talked about “white greed” in his now-famous “Audacity of Hope” message, he was perfectly expounding on black liberation thought. When he claimed that white America deliberately created the AIDS virus as a genocide against blacks, he was accurately exegeting black liberation ideology of class based warfare against the oppressed black class. Or, expressed negatively, when he said that anti-crack cocaine penalties were instituted by racist legislators for the purpose of incarcerating as many blacks as possible, how was that in any way contrary to his central theological beliefs? When Wright denounced Israel as a Zionist state that imposed “injustice and … racism” on Palestinians, how was this not in perfect accord with his theology? When Wright railed against “AmeriKKKa” in his sermons, just how was that contrary to black liberation thought? And when Wright lectured American society that it deserved 9/11, was this in any way out of bounds with either the teachings of black liberation theologians or the Marxism from which they derived their message?

Has Barack Obama, the Harvard Law School graduate, the former editor of the Harvard Law Review, and full-fledged elitist intellectual snob, somehow been totally unaware of black liberation theology? Was he totally unaware of the teachings of his church? Was he completely ignorant of the beliefs of the man who led him to his faith, who married him, who bapatized his children, and who taught him and mentored him for twenty years?

Get real.

Now the Obama campaign is pitching itself as the poor victim of this crazy Jeremiah Wright. And the media is just gobbling it up. But a New York Post story coming out today quotes a source that is problably closer to the mark; that the pastor felt betrayed by a man who had once embraced him as a friend, a mentor, and a spiritual guide. That the pastor feels betrayed that Obama is now distancing himself from views that he knew Wright had had for years and years.

Joe Scarborough is claiming that now that Obama has finally come out and denounced Wright that no one can bring this up any more, as though by sheer brute force of ultra-left-wing will can overcome every question and doubt that this relationship so justifiably raises. What is this guy putting in his coffee?

The media spins, and most of the media spins fast and furiously left. But the truth of the matter is that Barack Obama’s central campaign theme is, and has always been, a fraud. There’s nothing new about him, he isn’t the candidate of hope, and the change he will bring will only be for the worse.

Barack Obama’s close and long-term relationship with Jeremiah Wright calls his character, his honesty, his integrity, and his own beliefs into open question. Should we believe his current campaign spin, or should we believe his actions over the last twenty years?

Grand Theft Auto IV: The Cure For Gamer Culture (2)

April 30, 2008

My first article, titled, “Grand Theft Auto IV: The Consequences of Gamer Culture,” presents the violent effects of such computer games on young minds, and then begins to address that there are effects on adult players as well.  I present the worldview that comes to characterize ‘gamers.’  Here I offer a Christian response.

Think about these powerful new video games.  They have created a world that seems to be missing from the real world: a world where a sense of justice prevails, where there are iron-clad rules placed there by the programmer, where there is a save-game feature that lets you start over whenever you make a mistake.  In many ways, this virtual reality is very much like the picture of reality that the Bible gives us of the real world.  In some games, the picture of reality is actually more true to Christianity than most Christian’s actual worldviews!  Think about it: there is a recognition of the existence of original sin, and a recognition that  reality should somehow be better, and even that a better reality is somehow possible.  We live in a world where order seems true.  In other words, we live in a cosmos, not a multiverse where anything is possible.  Yet, in this seemingly designed universe, futility and pain seem to be the order of the day.  Isn’t there something better than this?  Isn’t there something better than what I’ve been given?

And that’s the hook.  That’s how to woo a bitter and cynical generation.

Today we believe that the better world is the false world, and the corrupt and ugly world is the real world.  Our grandparents would have never accepted such a thing.  In a universe controlled by Almighty God, the best possible world with the minimum of pain to teach us to be fit for paradise would have been the real world.  The ugly world is the false world.  But today we believe in ugliness.  We have accepted it as reality.  And in a way it is: Because a rejection of the God of the Bible has made ugliness paramount in our culture.  Order has been replaced by a bleak form of chaos.  We’ve retreated from the God of the Bible to the arbitrary gods of Homer.  Serious films today are dark and bleak and ugly.  Our Comedies have become inane and cynical, and our fantasies have devolved to the level of comic books – because the “happily ever after” of our former stories can no longer be said with a straight face.  Because a Christianity that invented fairy tales that began with, “once upon a time” and had the nerve to end with, “and they lived happily ever after” are impossible in a world where people have rejected the God of the Bible.

And so we sense somehow that a better world really is possible, as Christianity has always taught.  And we also know that this world isn’t that world.  People retreat to their consoles, and drugs both legal and illegal, and we become the Prozac nation.  So we no longer live our lives, but watch ourselves as though we were watching our lives on a television screen.  We detach ourselves from our own emotions, and so live in video game Disneylands of our own making.

And yet this is our opportunity.  We still have the chance to shake the complacent.  If you think this world and its material possessions are all there is to live for, you’re wrong.  But if you think you can hide from the pain of this world, you’re wrong again.  Because when you try to hide from pain, more pain will always eventually come.  Because God gives pain to us as His megaphone to get our attention, to call us up to a better place.

This is why there are so many Christians today, but so few great saints: because we no longer live our lives and embrace the Cross, but we too retreat into a virtual religious reality utterly disconnected from the pain and torment of a fallen world spiraling toward destruction.

Because of man’s sin, the world is not as God intended it.  Pain exists, but the way of the Cross is the way to paradise.  But there is hope in a dark world.  And Tolkien and Lewis points in a direction that modern afficienados of that genre don’t dare to dream.  The Return of the King is not only a fantasy: it is the myth that is true.  There is a new and better world coming.  Christians should stand up and proclaim it.

God has a better reality in store for His people than any we could ever create for ourselves with games.

Grand Theft Auto IV: the Consequences of Gamer Culture (1)

April 29, 2008

The computer game Grand Theft Auto IV was released today to the standard irrational hype surrounding these game introductions, with buyers lining up around the store for their chance to be the first ones to own the game.  Drive-by-shootings, acts of prostitution, and car thefts make up just some of the activities players participate in during the game.  I have not played the game, but I understand that players receive the sexual services of prostitutes, and then beat them up to get their money back.  Advancing means continually committing criminal acts while trying to stay alive.

One of the issues that constantly arises with the release of one of these violent games is the outcry against the reality that many of these games end up in the hands of children and young adolescents.  So let’s start with that.

What happens physically and emotionally when children and adolescents spend a great deal of time exposed to these activities?

Children are concrete thinkers, and generally aren’t yet capable of understanding the consequences of their actions. In real life, children have shot other children without realizing that the act results in actual death. Games such as Grand Theft Auto IV reinforce this mode of concrete thinking by means of a series of behaviors that have no consequences. It’s the prescription for creating a moral monster.

There is also a very real, and very damaging impact on adolescents. Psychologists use the term “vicarious traumatization” to describe the measurable physical reactions a person can have after simply viewing a traumatic event on television or on a video game. What researches have documented is that habitual exposure to vicarious violent events can cause a person to experience the identical physical effects – such as heightened blood pressure, racing heart beat, etc. – as if that person were actually experiencing the event in real life.

Craig A. Anderson, the author of the book, Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents, detailed in a peer-reviewed article written for the American Psychological Association the effects of violent games on children. He noted that repeated exposure to media violence generates and legitimizes more aggressive behavior even as it “decreases the normal negative emotional reactions to conflict, aggression, and violence.”

The younger one is, the more intense the effect. When children play these games for hour after hour, it seriously distorts their worldviews.

I think that any responsible adult will acknowledge these facts, and act accordingly by limiting children’s exposure to such games. The problem is there are way too many irresponsible adults who either don’t know or simply don’t care about the psychological damage that is being inflicted by children under their care or supervision.

I do not propose a solution for this growing problem. Banning the games is decried as an act of censorship, and regulating or restricting the games is decried in almost the same tones as a form of censorship. Frankly, by the time a culture is determined to bring this kind of junk into their lives, it is probably too late to do anything about it. And at this point in the life of American culture, we are determined to have all kinds of crap in our society and in our homes.

My real objective in writing about games such as Grand Theft Auto IV is to address the effects of these games on adults, because there IS an effect on adults.

The typical response of the above reasoning with an adult “gamer” is, “I’ve played these games for years, and I’ve never killed anybody.”

Most of the time, that’s true, of course. Adults experience many of the same symptoms that children and adolescents experience playing games over time; however, their superior impulse control, sense of identity, and grasp on reality enables them to resist effects that can tear younger minds apart.

while I would argue that playing violent video games is the psychological equivalent to using drugs or alcohol (i.e. it messes up the mind, but most adults can handle the effects unless they really go overboard), I want to focus on a whole other impact of these video games.

I want to address a pattern of thinking that very often comes to characterize the minds of adults who spend a significant period of time “gaming.” It is also increasingly consuming postmodern culture. It boils down to three key characteristics: Cynicism, Skepticism, and a Dislike for reality.

Cynicism is the intelligent but lazy mind’s shortcut to genuine philosophy. When the world seems to make no sense, the simplest thing to do is to say the world makes no sense, and to give up on searching for sense, purpose, or meaning in the world. For an increasing number of people, this cynicism seems superior to the “simple” belief that the world does make sense, when one cannot explain why it does. Frankly, it is easier to stand on the sidelines and ridicule what is going on around you than it is to get in the trenches and work toward a better reality. Cynicism sneers at such hope.

Skepticism is – in modern secular society – a replacement for faith. But skepticism cannot serve for long as a replacement for faith, because if you teach people to believe in a thing, you have to adopt a specific position. And in a secular and pluralistic society, we can’t adopt a position (as that would disfavor other competing positions!). So we present a smorgasborg of worldview positions. This is not a Socratic education, but rather Socrates gone insane. Skepticism is a useful epistemological tool but it cannot be foundational. Why? Because if turned on itself it collapses by its own standards: what if we become skeptical about skepticism? Do we then have to become skeptical about being skeptical about skepticism? Frankly, the world would have been a much better place had Descartes realized this and abandoned his project.

Ultimately skepticism and cynicism are self-consuming. They can’t produce even a vacuous culture; they can simply mock and parody it. So ultimately, culture runs out of ideas, and from that point on, it simply relies on marketing to sell. Take the fact that we are talking about Grand Theft Auto IV as a case in point.

A Dislike of reality, or a rejection of reality for virtual reality. In video games you are a hero, the savior of the world, desired by women and loved or feared by everyone. People are relying on virtual reality to give them a feeling of joy. We are frankly seeing too many young people who are too intelligent to fall for the trap of incoherence, and yet our incredibly incoherent education system has made them immune to normal apologetics against their worldview. Having grown up with no genuine or coherent worldview, there is simply no worldview to attack or correct.

But they also unconsciously recognize the real effects of the fall and sin in the real world. In the real world, people get hurt, people suffer, people have meaningless dead-end lives. And then they die. They recognize instinctively at the very core there is something that should be in the world but is not. And yet the cynicism and skepticism of our age (the one thing that they have picked up) have left them completely unable to embrace the notion that change can matter. And so they replace physical reality with virtual reality. It very quickly becomes a form of addiction.

(Part 2 will address the spiritual components of this worldview, and offer a Christian perspective and response).

Jeremiah Wright’s Stupid Views on Black and White Learning

April 29, 2008

I can pretty much stand by what I’ve said before: a Jeremiah Wright in context is nothing but an even more racist, more hateful, more anti-American Jeremiah Wright than a Jeremiah Wright out of context. Now – in living, glowing context – Jermemiah Wright is saying things that would make even a self-respecting fascist blush.

You have simply GOT to hear these words from Wright, spoken before a cheering crowd of 10,000 at the 53rd annual Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner sponsored by the NAACP on April 27.

In the past, we were taught to see others who are different as being deficient. We established arbitrary norms and then determined that anybody not like us was abnormal. But a change is coming because we no longer see others who are different as being deficient. We just see them as different. Over the past 50 years, thanks to the scholarship of dozens of expert in many different disciplines, we have come to see just how skewed, prejudiced and dangerous our miseducation has been.

Miseducation. Miseducation incidentally is not a Jeremiah Wright term. It’s a word coined by Dr. Carter G. Woodson over 80 years ago. Sounds like he talked a hate speech, doesn’t it? Now, analyze that. Two brilliant scholars and two beautiful sisters, both of whom hail from Detroit in the fields of education and linguistics, Dr. Janice Hale right here at Wayne State University, founder of the Institute for the study of the African-American child. and Dr. Geneva Smitherman formerly of Wayne State University now at Michigan State University in Lansing. Hail in education and Smitherman in linguistics. Both demonstrated 40 years ago that different does not mean deficient. Somebody is going to miss that.

Turn to your neighbor and say different does not mean deficient. It simply means different. In fact, Dr. Janice Hale was the first writer whom I read who used that phrase. Different does not mean deficient. Different is not synonymous with deficient. It was in Dr. Hale’s first book, “Black Children their Roots, Culture and Learning Style.” Is Dr. Hale here tonight? We owe her a debt of gratitude. Dr. Hale showed us that in comparing African-American children and European-American children in the field of education, we were comparing apples and rocks.

And in so doing, we kept coming up with meaningless labels like EMH, educable mentally handicapped, TMH, trainable mentally handicapped, ADD, attention deficit disorder.

And we were coming up with more meaningless solutions like reading, writing and Ritalin. Dr. Hale’s research led her to stop comparing African-American children with European-American children and she started comparing the pedagogical methodologies of African-American children to African children and European-American children to European children. And bingo, she discovered that the two different worlds have two different ways of learning. European and European-American children have a left brained cognitive object oriented learning style and the entire educational learning system in the United States of America. Back in the early ’70s, when Dr. Hale did her research was based on left brained cognitive object oriented learning style. Let me help you with fifty cent words.

Left brain is logical and analytical. Object oriented means the student learns from an object. From the solitude of the cradle with objects being hung over his or her head to help them determine colors and shape to the solitude in a carol in a PhD program stuffed off somewhere in a corner in absolute quietness to absorb from the object. From a block to a book, an object. That is one way of learning, but it is only one way of learning.

African and African-American children have a different way of learning.

They are right brained, subject oriented in their learning style. Right brain that means creative and intuitive. Subject oriented means they learn from a subject, not an object. They learn from a person. Some of you are old enough, I see your hair color, to remember when the NAACP won that tremendous desegregation case back in 1954 and when the schools were desegregated. They were never integrated. When they were desegregated in Philadelphia, several of the white teachers in my school freaked out. Why? Because black kids wouldn’t stay in their place. Over there behind the desk, black kids climbed up all on them.

Reverend Wright believes that white children and black children learn differently. White children are left-brain object oriented; and black children are right-brain subject oriented. White children are “logical and analytical.” Black children are “creative and intuitive.”

Imagine if a white man had said that. Imagine, furthermore, if the pastor of John McCain’s church had presented such a pet theory to a national audience. There would be a firestorm of unimaginable proportions. As it is, not so much as a peep from the elite media. They are too busy hoping that they can either whitewash Wright’s views as “an acceptable form of culturally-black expression” or at least distance Barack Obama from any damage if plan A fails.

Jeremiah Wright says, “Turn to your neighbor and say different does not mean deficient. It simply means different.” The problem is that different actually very often DOES mean deficient. Pol Pot was different from the Dalai Llama. Adolf Hitler was different from Winston Churchill. Ice cream is different from colon cancer. Saying “different is not deficient” over and over again don’t make it so.

Do you see the can of worms Jeremiah Wright’s views open? should we now re-segregate our schools, so that black right-brain children can learn “their kind’s” way? The answer is ‘absolutely yes,’ according to Barack Obama’s mentor. And decades of hard-earned integration go right down the drain. Different classrooms come first. Different water fountains and bathrooms, of course, presumably come later. Do you see how completely radical these views are?

And, if there truly is a biological difference between black and white intelligence, as Wright claims, how does that not mean that one might very well be superior to the other? The record of history comparing the success of white European society to that of black African society now comes into play as a rather powerful prima facia argument that “logical and analytical” biologically trumps “creative and intuitive.” Racists have been making the very point that Wright embraces for generations. And from that understanding of difference, they argue to the deficiency: Prior to and during the Civil War, southern white elites professed to be taking care of blacks through the institution of slavery. “Blacks can’t think like whites. They are like monkey-children, and we have to use our superior white intellect to take care of them,” they claimed. We got the phrase, “That’s mighty white of you” from that sort of attitude. Jeremiah Wright himself now opens the door to a return to some of the darkest racial times this country – and the world – has ever seen.

You simply must understand that the kinds of “differences” Wright points to have been – and are to this very day – viewed very much as “deficiencies” by many others who have dreams about solving such “deficiencies.” Jeremiah Wright, who argues that he is “descriptive,” not “divisive,” is indeed extremely divisive – and this particular brand of divissiveness has led humanity down dark and terrifying pathways.

Genuine Christianity – unlike Wright’s racist brand – does not fixate on such “differences,” but instead fixates on the image of God that all humanity shares in common. It’s not about what separates us, but what we share in common.

I have a dream my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” Martin Luther King, Jr. said rather famously. But let us instead follow the thought of Jeremiah Wright and separate those children on his perceived difference in learning ability?

Let me take you down that dark path, from the idea to the consequences:

Out of Darwinism comes social darwinism. If the former theory is true, the latter is a necessary corolary. And Darwin’s subtitle for The Origin of Species was “the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life.” Darwin described the development of life-forms in terms of an ongoing struggle for existence. The result of this struggle would be a natural selection of those species and races who were to triumph over those weaker ones who would perish.

In his Descent of Man, Darwin wrote:

“With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.”

People have argued about Darwin’s racial views, but don’t think for a nanosecond that a vast array of intellectuals did not pick up on the clear implications of Darwinian thought – or that the consequences of that thought brought us horror on a scale that humanity had never dreamed of in its worst nightmares.

Francis Galton ackowledged that he was greatly influenced by Darwin’s Origin of Species. In his book Hereditary Genius he extended Darwin’s theory of natural selection into a concept of deliberate social intervention in his work, which he held to be the logical application of evolution to the human race. Galton was by no means satisfied to let evolution take its course freely. Having decided to improve the human race through selective breeding, brought about through social intervention, he developed a subject which he called “Eugenics”, the principle of which was that by encouraging better human stock to breed and discouraging the reproduction of less desirable stock, the whole race could be improved.

Darwin congratulated Galton on the publication of Hereditary Genius, telling his younger cousin in a letter that, “I do not think I ever in all my life read anything more interesting and original.”

In his essay, Eugenics as a Factor in Religion, Galton laid out arguments that would one day lead to Nazi death camps. He left no doubt about the link between evolution and eugenics: “The creed of eugenics is founded upon the idea of evolution; not on a passive form of it, but on one that can to some extent direct its own course….”
http://www.coralridge.org/darwin/legacy.asp?ID=crm&ec=I1301
http://www.galton.org/books/memories/chapter-XXI.html

A quote from Tom DeRosa’s “From Darwin’s Theory to Hitler’s Holocaust” fills in the picture:

When Hitler came to power in 1933, he installed a dictatorship with one agenda: enactment of his radical Nazi racial philosophy built on Darwinian evolution. He sought, in Darwin’s terms, to preserve the “favoured” race in the struggle for survival. Brute strength and [superior white Aryan] intelligence would be the driving force of the Nazi plan.

The first task was to eliminate the weak and those with impure blood that would corrupt the race. These included the disabled, ill, Jews, and Gypsies. Second, the Nazis sought to expand Germany’s borders in order to achieve more living space, or “Lebensraum,” to make room for the expansion of the “favoured” race. Third, the Nazis set about to eliminate communism because of its threat to the Aryan race and because, according to Hitler, communism was the work of Bolshevik Jews.

The plan quickly unfolded. An order to sterilize some 400,000 Germans was issued within five months of Hitler’s rise to power. The order, set to take effect on January 1, 1934, listed nine categories of the unfit to be sterilized: feebleminded, schizophrenia, manic depression, Huntington’s chorea, epilepsy, hereditary body deformities, deafness, hereditary blindness, and alcoholism. The Nuremberg Laws were passed in 1935 to prohibit marriage between Jews and Germans and to strip Jews of their German citizenship.

The Nazis established eugenic courts to ensure that the eugenic laws were enforced. To identify the unfit, German eugenicists compared the individual health files of millions of Germans with medical records from hospitals and the National Health Service. The American firm, IBM, aided the effort by automating a national card file system that cross-indexed the defective.

American eugenicists celebrated the German sterilization program. A leading U.S. eugenics publication, Eugenical News, published an admiring article on a German eugenics institute and extended “best wishes” to its director “for the success of his work in his new and favorable environment.” The New England Journal of Medicine editorialized in 1934 that “Germany is perhaps the most progressive nation in restricting fecundity among the unfit.”

Eugenics in America was not a fringe movement. The U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark 1927 ruling that authorized the sterilization of a “feeble minded” Virginia woman. In his majority opinion for the Court, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote: “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”

DeRosa points out that “Today when evolutionists are questioned as to how Darwinian evolution gave birth to Hitler’s Nazism, they immediately want to beg the question, answering that racism has nothing to do with science. They are correct! Racism has nothing to do with science, but it has everything to do with evolution—a fact that is unavoidable.”

It might be worth mentioning at this point that Margaret Sanger founded Planned Parenthood in order to put her philosophy of eugenics to life. And blacks were near the top of her list of “deficients.”

Eugenics is back in the news today. Recently, a UCLA pro-life student group conducted a “sting” that exposed the fact that the organization created by racist-eugenicist Margaret Sanger may well be as racist as ever. An overwhelming number of “Family Planning clinics” are located in predominantly black neighborhoods, helping black women terminate half their pregnancies.

Pro-abortionists call it “exercising a woman’s right to choose.” Francis Galton called it “discouraging the reproduction of less desirable stock.” Should I again mention Jeremiah Wright’s mantra, “Different does not mean deficient” here? I argue that such views are morally deficient.

Black pastors are coming out in force to condemn the genocide of black babies in Planned Parenthood clinics. Unfortunately, Jeremiah Wright is not among their number; he supports abortion. I don’t know how he feels about the fact that half of all black babies are killed before they can see the faces of the mothers who don’t want them.

Now, I have no doubt that Jeremiah Wright would immediately disassociate himself from Nazis, from eugenics, from the genocide of black babies, and maybe even from Darwinism.

The problem is that there is a world of unintended consequences. Liberals once added a luxury tax on items such as yachts to collect more revenue. They were very quickly forced to suspend the tax because wealthy people quit buying yachts resulting in the layoff of thousands of workers. In this case, Wright wants to pursue an agenda of black racial separatism, but I am arguing that the consequences for blacks will be anything other than good.

The problem is that, for all of his intelligence, Jeremiah Wright is a moral idiot who does not understand that Adolf Hitler, Margaret Sanger, and every other racist social Darwinist would listen to the comments I’ve quoted from Jeremiah Wright and completely agree with them.

The problem is that ideas have consequences, and Jeremiah Wright has a head crammed full of vile ideas.

The problem is that the more the American people hear these vile ideas, the more they will legitimately question whether a man who sat under such teaching for twenty years is fit to be president.

Jeremiah Wright Needs to Go Home And Read His Bible

April 29, 2008

Jeremiah Wright, speaking at the 53rd annual Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner sponsored by the NAACP, said, “One of your cities’ political analysts says in print that first just my appearance here in Detroit will be polarizing. Well, I’m not here for political reasons. I am not a politician. I know that fact will surprise many of you because many in the corporate-owned media have made it seem as if I had announced that I’m running to for the Oval Office. I am not running for the Oval Office. I’ve been running for Jesus a long, long time, and I’m not tired yet.”

Jeremiah Wright?  Not political?  Jeremiah Wright?  Running for Jesus?  Wrong and More Wrong. 

Jeremiah Wright claims to be speaking as a Christian pastor.  But let’s look at how Jesus spoke, or how Paul or Peter spoke, and see how radically different Jesus and the men who knew Him spoke about their government.  Jeremiah Wright is clearly NOT speaking in anything resembling their tradition.  Did Jesus rail against the evils of Rome, even once?  No.  Jesus didn’t launch hateful tirades against Pontius Pilate or Ceasar, even as He was being condemned to death by them and by their system of justice.  Did Paul and Peter rail against Rome?  No.  Did they castigate the Roman caesar who would have them both killed?  No.  Did they call upon Christians to become embittered against Roman oppression, or call upon Christians to become bitter and judgmental people because Rome had denied them this benefit or that?  No.  They didn’t.  Nothing of the sort. 

Interestingly, Jesus DID rail against religious leaders who, claiming to know God, in fact were bitter, hateful people who condemned and judged others around them and who greedily enriched themselves at their followers expense.

People rather like the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, in other  words.

Wright publicly corrected a local Republican politician who called him divisive.  “I am not divisive,” Wright said. “Tell him the word is ‘descriptive’ — I described the conditions in this country. Conditions divide, not my descriptions.”

“I describe the conditions in this country. Conditions divide, not my descriptions. Somebody say “Amen.” If you can’t say “Amen,” you’re too mad, just say “Ouch.””

The problem is that most of his “descriptions” are flat-out lies motivated by flat-out hatred for whites and for America.

When he labeled this country’s attempts to gain some handle on the rampant abuse of crack and the crime it generates as a scheme motivated to incarcerate black men, that was as malicious as it was false.  When he claimed that white America had created the AIDS virus as a genocide against people of color, that was as hateful as it was factually incorrect.  When he characterized America as AmeriKKKa, that was as racist and hateful as it was untrue.  

That aint “speaking truth to power.”  And it sure aint “running for Jesus.”

I am familiar with the “Tuskegee Experiment,” which provides Wright with his grounds for claiming that America created the AIDS virus to kill blacks.  And I realize that it was a medical experiment that was based on incredibly callous and racist attitudes.  Of the 400 black men used like laboratory animals, 128 died from syphillis or related complications, 40 wives had been infected, and 19 children were born with the disease.  But I also realize that this “experiment” – as vile as it was – does not and did not represent the values of the United States of America.  It should be taught as an object lesson in history.  It should not be presented as a depiction of the racist attitudes of Americans today, as Wright presents it.  If we were the sort of people who would favor treating black men in this manner today, I’m thinking we probably wouldn’t be considering a black man for President.

And mind you, the incredibly evil Japanese Unit 731 was directly responsible for 10,000 deaths due to such practices as vivisection of living humans, subjecting living humans to germ and chemical warfare, performing amputations on living humans, submitting living humans to die of slow exposure to cold, etcetera.  And they were responsible for 200,000 more deaths as their experiments bore fatal fruit.  But Jeremiah Wright has labeled America as a hateful warmonger who “nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon and we never batted an eye” for putting an end to Japan’s barbarity (which, by the way, extended way, way, way beyond Unit 731).  I simply don’t understand the implicit contradiction.   

Wright also attempts to separate himself from politics, but he is political to his very core, just as his black liberation theology is political (as well as Marxist) to its very core.

“It is not an attack on Jeremiah Wright. It is an attack on the black church,” he said, to applause.

Only a genuine politician – and a politician of the worst stripe at that – could be so arrogant and so vain as to wrap himself in an entire movement, such that any criticism of himself is tantamount to criticism of the movement.

The great mind of Booker T. Washington recognized that “There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do do not want to lose their jobs.”

I actually have come to believe that Jeremiah Wright does not want Barack Obama to become president.  If “white America” elects him, after all, it would serve as a disproof for all the anger and blame and hatred and charges of racism that Jeremiah Wright has based his career upon.  It would mean that he – and not the United States – is the real hater.

Jeremiah Wright Sermons Transcripts: Context Doesn’t Help

April 26, 2008

I found a partial transcript of several of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s controversial remarks in fuller context in the Chicago Tribune. I probably don’t need to say that the Chicago Tribune would tend to be as friendly toward Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright as any paper in the country.

By and large, reading the context pretty much reads just like the “out of context” sound bites.

They have his “chickens coming home to roost” bit from 16 September 2001; his July 2003 “God damn America” tirade; and his “Bill did us just like he did Monica Lewinski. He was riding dirty.”

Too bad they didn’t have his sermon that blamed white Americans for creating the AIDS virus as a genocide against black people. I would have really liked to have heard that one in context.

From the interview with PBS’ uber-lib Bill Moyers, I understand that Rev. Wright believes he was taken out of context and that everyone in the media should feel very, very bad.

Let’s try to get past the blatant fact that Bill Moyers is – and always has been – a liberal hack with a taxpayer-funded power-base which he uses to rip at Republicans and conservatives (check out this link and then this one for speeches in his own far-leftist words [but WARNING: they are long, boring, and dripping with sanctimonious self-righteousness!]). Yes, Moyers does his liberal, Obama-loving best to help Wright whitewash his comments without raising the type of objections fair-minded journalists would be inclined to raise. In spite of all that, it was still interesting to hear Wright’s “woe is me for I have been wronged” remarks regarding his racist, anti-American rants.

Jeremiah Wright is a man who believes America is a terrible place, but – to his credit – at least he’s consistent: he believes America has ALWAYS been a terrible place. Reading these transcripts from the Chicago Tribune, and listening to several other remarks that have become public, Wright pretty much rips America upside-down from day one. Our founders were immoral slave-owning hypocrites, we have always been a racist country from day one, that sort of thing.

That’s the context, folks. There is simply no getting away from it. More context simply reveals more anti-Americanism and racism. Does the fact that he finds a quote from some former ambassador named Edward Peck in any way distance himself from the message he is presenting on 16 September 2001? Absolutely not. It is a fool’s argument. Wright simply found a quote to use as a leaping-off point – and believes me, he LEAPS OFF.

Let’s agree that America is not a perfect place (and keep in mind that if it is, you’d better leave, because YOU WOULD RUIN IT!). We’ve done bad things. And black people have been the victims of a number of those bad things that America has done. Just in case some of you didn’t know that, okay?

But this is a man who does not say ANYTHING good about America. Not a (to put it terms that Wright likes to use, “Not a G-D thing”). Listening to Wright – in context – you learn that the United States of AmeriKKKa is vile, it is hateful, it is racist, it is immoral, it is corrupt, and on and on and on.

More context only serves to reveal more of his blatant hostility to America.

It is because of the tutelage of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright that Barack Obama’s wife Michelle has never been proud of this country in her adult life, and believes “America in 2008 is a mean place.”

I read more of his sermon from FIVE DAYS AFTER INNOCENT CIVILIANS WERE ATTACKED BY MURDEROUS TERRORIST COWARDS, on 16 September 2001, and I frankly want to puke all the more. He goes back to World War II to prove how we bombed Japan and killed women and children to drive his point home. He omits the fact that the United States was simultaneously fighting the two most despicable regimes in the history of the planet, and had to go to the bloody mat to defeat enemies who were far too full of hate to ever surrender. World War II was our greatest hour: but for Jeremiah Wright and his followers, it is our greatest shame.

Read about the Holocaust, where 6 million Jews perished, the slave labor, the rape of Nanking, the Korean women forced into prostitution, the despicable medical experiments performed on human beings, and so many other ugly, ugly facts about these enemies, and draw your own conclusion. We live in a dark and terrible world, and we have often been called upon to stand up and fight; to fight for freedom, for what is ours, for what is right.

As for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese would not surrender.  Period.  American intelligence estimated that an invasion of Japan would consume four million lives – and that fully one million would be ours.  After we destroyed one city, we gave Japan an opportunity to surrender; they refused.  It took a second city to shake them out of their confidence that they could never be defeated.

Allow me now to respond to Jeremiah Wright’s self-serving exegesis of Psalm 137:9 and put IT into context. Remember, this is the Bible. It’s the story of God and His people. You don’t just read one verse and think you understand the whole story. So let’s look at the greater story:

In Genesis 13, God promises the land of Israel to Abraham’s descendants [Interestingly, Israel is the ONLY land that God ever gave to a people as an "everlasting possession" (Gen 17:1-8); and yet it is the land whose possession by that people is most reviled and most doubted. Just a little food for thought]. In Genesis 15:13-16, God tells Abraham that his descendants will one day inherit the land – but not for another four generations, because “the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.” After those four generations had passed (and the iniquity of the Amorite WAS complete), God commanded Moses and Joshua to take the land. He commanded them to conquer it, to drive out the inhabitants and kill them.

Missionaries talk about “power encounters.” In the time of the Old Testament, every people had their own gods. And if one people defeated another, it was because their god/gods were stronger. When the Amorite was as depraved and wicked as they could get, God sent His people into the land, and God played the game of “power encounter” with those people, and the God of the Bible demonstrated that He and He alone was the God of gods. These people were evil beyond persuasion. They could and would only understand violence. And so, in Exodus, Joshua, and in other sections of the Old Testament, God revealed Himself to all the peoples around through violence and war. And these wicked people got Jehovah’s message the only way they could understand it.

So when I read Rev. Wright’s exposition of Psalm 137:9, I see a man who is quite literally characterizing the VERY GOD HE CLAIMS TO WORSHIP AS BEING AS TERRIBLE AS HE SAYS THE UNITED STATES IS. There’s no such thing as a “just war” for Wright. America CAN’T be “just” for Wright. America is just – to again quote Michelle Obama – “a mean place.”

For Jeremiah Wright, there is no good in America. None whatsoever. There is no coming to the defense of his country. Even World War II was an example of an immoral United States of America for him. He is simply too bitter and too full of hate to see the good in this country.

Jeremiah Wright wants us to see how – in context – he’s really not such a bad guy. But he won’t give the United States that same basic privilege. He won’t allow any “context” to color his anger and bitterness against America, or against the white people who live in it.

Schumer Shows Democrat Hypocrisy Over Demand for MidEast to Pump More Oil

April 25, 2008

Sen Charles Schumer of New York demanded that OPEC pump more oil to ease the cost of gasoline, or he will hold up valuable arms deals with Arab countries.

Just wanted to point out the three examples of mass hypocrisy:

1) Democrats oppose any new drilling in the United States, but they are demanding that Arabs pump more? Isn’t that just dripping with hypocrisy? And they’re upset that OPEC can inflate the price, but they refuse to allow a the creation of a stable source of oil that we can control?

2) Democratic candidates for president are urging Sunni Arab countries to trust the United States to protect them and NOT develop nuclear weapons to balance the power of a Shiite Iranian program. But they then turn around and say, “We’ll cut your weapons supply off?”

3) Democrats scream about jobs, but then they threaten to cancel arms deals that employ so many American workers? Don’t they want American jobs?

Democrats drive up the costs of American business by demanding higher worker pay and benefits, by refusing to limit their costs of even frivolous litigation, by imposing one regulation after another on them, and by imposing incredibly expensive environmental restrictions. But its Republicans fault that companies are shipping jobs overseas to lower their costs. And then on top of that they use American contracts with foreign countries as a bargaining chip to score a cheap political point?

Hillary’s nuclear threat to Iran shows need for McCain

April 24, 2008

“CIA officials will tell Congress on Thursday that North Korea had been helping Syria build a plutonium-based nuclear reactor, a U.S. official said, a disclosure that could touch off new resistance to the administration’s plan to ease sanctions on Pyongyang,” begins a Los Angeles Times story dated today.

It’s really a pretty scary issue, when you stop and think about it. Why would Syria want a secret nuclear facility? What would they do with it?

Israeli aircraft bombed that particular geography in Syria into rubble because Israel isn’t going to take any chances over being exterminated by an Arab nuke.

The question is, how willing are we to play Russian roulette with a WMD attack?

North Korea under Kim Jong-Il; Syria under Bashar al-Assad; Iraq under Saddam Hussein. We don’t exactly have total transparency in such regimes. They do one thing well: keep the rest of the world in the dark.

When we went into Iraq, we did so because we knew for a fact that Saddam Hussein had possessed WMD in the past. He had repeatedly used it on his own people, in addition to Iran. And we knew that he was playing game after game with the U.N. inspectors.

An analogy might help here. During President Clinton’s administration, he had a state visit planned to Russia. Boris Yeltsin (who died a year ago today) had been ill, and was known to be in poor health, and there was a credible rumor that the man had recently died. It would have plainly been embarrassing had President Clinton made a state visit to see a man who was dead. So the White House contacted Russia, and demanded verification that Yeltsin was still alive. Yeltsin provided the verification, and the visit took place.

What President Bush did – in the hindsight of realizing that 9/11 would have been unimaginably worse had the terrorists possessed WMD – was demand that Saddam Hussein prove that he did not have any WMD. For whatever reason (possibly because he did not want his Arab neighbors to know he’d been defanged), Saddam refused. And so President Bush pulled the trigger and invaded.

And he’s been flat-out demonized for it by Democrats ever since.

Now, yesterday on Good Morning America, Senator Hillary Clinton followed up on a nearly identical statement made on 22 April 2008 on MSNBC’s Countdown the night before by saying,

“If Iran were to launch a nuclear attack on Israel what would our response be?” Clinton said. “I want the Iranians to know that if I’m the president, we will attack Iran. That’s what we will do. There is no safe haven.”

“Whatever stage of development they might be in their nuclear weapons program in the next 10 years during which they may foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them.”

Well, maybe Hillary Clinton is willing to make Israel a proxy in her game of “Nuclear Chicken” with Iran, but an important question is, Is she willing to play with the United States at stake?  Israel, for its part, has made it official policy to state, “We aren’t playing games when it comes to our survival.”

Are we willing to sacrifice several million people, or do you think we should be willing to attack a country pre-emptively if we believe they possess WMD and plan to attack us?

Interestingly, given the fact that terrorists or a nation-state would prefer a large metropolitan city as its target – and since large metropolitan cities are largely populated with people who vote Democrat – Democrats are at essentially saying, “We are willing to put our lives on the line rather than follow the Bush Doctrine of preemption. If millions of us – or even tens of millions of us – should die, it is a far better thing than that we attack someone who may not have the weapons we think they have.”

Well, good for you, I guess.

But please don’t naively believe that a Democratic administration is going to be able to do a better job of ascertaining the intentions of a totalitarian dictatorship or theocracy. Even if they didn’t oppose the Patriot Act, the NSA domestic surveillance of international calls, terrorist detaining facilities such as “Gitmo,” aggressive interrogation methods, and other protective measures that Democrats have loudly protested. We just don’t know what goes on behind the closed doors of secretive, paranoid regimes. They love their secret evil schemes.

Only a fool doesn’t think that the terrorists would love to get their hands on a nuclear weapon and attack us with it. They would love nothing more than killing millions of Americans. We can know that.

Democrats are essentially saying, “Let’s pull out of Iraq and let terrorists have it. That way Iran will know we mean business.” “Let’s withdraw our troops from our commitment (remember the Iraq war resolution passed overwhelmingly in both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate) to help Iraq become a stable government. That way, our allies will know that they can trust us to keep our promises.”

There’s a word my dad uses: Bullpuckey. Iran will not believe that Democrats who have screamed to get out of Iraq will be willing to go into Iran. And Sunni Arab states that will be fearful of a Shiite nuclear capability in the hands of Iran will not believe Democrats who are all for bailing out of Iraq will protect them. Under a Democratic administration, we will see a nuclear Iran, and we will see a nuclear arms race in the craziest region in the history of the planet. Guaranteed.

Iran suspended its nuclear program in 2003, according to our intelligence estimate. Many liberals used this information to cry that President Bush was wrong in his policies. But the question screams, WHY DID THEY STOP THEIR PROGRAM IN 2003? DID IT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE FACT THAT WE HAD JUST ATTACKED IRAQ OVER ITS WMD PROGRAM IN 2003? A “yes” answer proves you have a clue.

Many European intelligence sources believe that Iran is hard at work again working on a nuclear ballistic missile delivery system, but it’s just so darned hard to know for sure.

What will the U.S. do in all the murkiness? Will Democrats act – and prove that they were totally full of “bullpuckey” throughout the Bush Administration? Or will they passively sit by and allow the most terrifying arms program in the history of the world to succeed because they couldn’t verify it until the mushroom cloud?

Who wants to play Nuclear Chicken with a theocratic Iran, or with the terrorists who could finally get their eager little paws on a nuke?

A President John McCain can assure the Iranians, “We attacked Iraq when we believed they represented a threat to us, and we will do the same to you. You seriously might want to rethink your plans.” A President John McCain can say to Sunni Arab states such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, “We have stood by Iraq even when it was difficult, and we will do the same for you. You don’t need those weapons; the United States will be there for you.”

Hillary’s Pennsylvania Win Has Media Snivelling

April 23, 2008

Last night’s Democratic primary in Pennsylvania is worth commenting on. A 10-point margin of victory against a candidate who spent three times more in the state is obviously significant.

Why can’t Barack Obama – the candidate of sweeping hope and change – close Hillary Clinton out? It’s a question being taken up by more and more pundits. Obama threw the kitchen sink at Clinton – spending-wise – and ended up with a double-digit loss in a major state. The 200,000 vote margin in Pennsylvania also gives Hillary Clinton a legitimate claim to boast that she has obtained the nationwide popular vote.

Back in 2000, the Democrats mantra was “Every vote should count!” But here we are completely excluding the votes in Florida and Michigan? It’s just part of the self-serving pretzel-logic of the Democratic Party.

Obama has now lost 7 of the 10 biggest states in the country, including all 4 of the major battleground states that could go either Red or Blue in November.

As it stands, there is no no way either candidate can win enough delegates to take the nomination outright. Whoever wins will win because the super delegates hand the election to one or the other. In this race, neither candidate genuinely has the right to claim that the super delegates “owe” their vote to one or the other, precisely because the super delegates aren’t beholden to any specific “rule” that tells them how to vote one way or the other.

The conventional wisdom holds that the super delegates will crown the candidate that has the best chance of winning in November. But who is that? Obama has won twice as many states. But many of those states were awarded by caucuses – a byzantine process very nearly as un-democratic as the super delegate rule itself. Hillary Clinton has won more large states. She won Florida, won California, won Texas, won Ohio, won Pennsylvania. And she has certainly had the recent momentum in the last few major states – but how much of that recent momentum has been her own, and how much was handed to her by Obama’s stumbles? Finally, both candidates are nailing down their respective bases, but both would need to hold on to the other’s base in November in order to have any chance of winning the general election.

And it appears to me, at least, that if either candidate is “snubbed” by the super delegates, well, to coin a movie title, “There Will Be Blood.”

My own sense is that the super delegates will award the nomination to Barack Obama simply because elite liberals, the ideological “Moveon.org”-types, and blacks would raise more of a tantrum than the working-class whites, the seniors, and the women in Hillary’s camp.

In other words, the barometer will ultimately be “PC,” rather than the calculus of “electibility,” that determines the nominee. If I am correct in my assesment, this bodes ill for Democrats: because PC guarantees that the side that gets snubbed will have hard feelings, just as it always has against everyone else on whom it’s been played. There will be lifelong Democrats who will vote for McCain, or simply not vote at all, mark my words.

At times, MSNBC’s Hardball coverage of the election revealed some genuine bitterness over Clinton’s victory.

Keith Olbermann quoted Donna Brazile as saying, There is a group around Senator Clinton that really wants to take the fight to the convention. They don’t care about the party. It scares me, and that’s what scares a lot of superdelegates.

Chris Matthews – on the very same night that Hillary Clinton wins a 10 point victory in a major state – analogizes the Hillary Clinton campaign to the Titanic, and points out that “The iceberg’s name is Barack Obama.”

Tom Brokaw all but wrote Hillary’s campaign obituary, saying she’d go as far as she could before she finally hit the wall.

There was one exchange that I found especially revealing in its “journalistic implications”:

Christ Matthews: It’s not just the Clinton forces continue to change the score sheet and the scoreboard itself, they reserve the right to do it again and again and again.

Tim Russert: Yes. Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Terry McAuliffe have one thing they want: Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic nominee. And they’ll use any path that’s available to get there….That’s what it is all about — those are the rules according to Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Terry McAuliffe.

Chris Matthews: Mulligan after mulligan after mulligan.

Keith Olbermann: And yes, it really is not just a moving goalpost but the proverbial movable feast of goalposts. You put it anywhere you want. And remember – and the other thing about is, as much as we might look at it with astonishment or you know, amazement maybe that especially in that — that core group of women supporters, that group we mentioned earlier, that is so adherent to Hillary Clinton, this particular action of moving the goalpost, the actual act of redefining the game as it goes along, is perceived as one of her greatest strengths.

Republicans, of course, could have told everyone 16 years ago that the Clintons didn’t care about anybody but the Clintons; that they would deceive, distort, mischaracterize, and use deceptive media tactics that could have come right from the mafia in order to win. But the liberals who loved Clintonian tactics when they were successfully employed against Republicans are suddenly finding that they have no stomach whatever for them when they are employed against someone they like.

Keith Olbermann underscored the media’s fidgeting over the prospect of Democrats mud-wrestling themselves right out of viability, saying, “Yes, I really like the image of superdelegates moving quickly, because, so far, they have been glacier-like, in any respect, in any direction.” Most any other time, of course, journalists love the idea of dirty laundry being constantly hung out for them to sniff. Most of the time, they wouldn’t want anybody to step in and end this endless twisting in the wind. But this fight is clearly different for them.

One writer pointed out on 24 March 2008, “And prominent pundits are saying so. Last Friday, just about an hour after the Richardson endorsement event, two top writers for the Politico, an influential website, posted a news article-cum-editorial arguing, accurately, that Clinton has almost no numerical case to make. Another uber-pundit and conventional-wisdom shaper, this one at Time, posted 14 reasons why Clinton should consider withdrawing. And so it was that the week that began with Obama on the ropes ended with Clinton being urged out of the ring.”

Jonathan Alter of Newsweek offered the objective title, “Hillary Should Get Out Now.”

I particularly like the New York Times editorial for 23 April 2008, “The Low Road to Victory.” Laura Ingraham – rightly – points out that these New York Times people couldn’t get enough dirty laundry out of the Catholic Church, that the continued to demand one mea culpa after another. And they certainly didn’t mind throwing a clearly dirty mud ball at John McCain by all but accusing him of a sexual affair in addition to other illegitimate behavior with a female lobbyist. But now they don’t have the stomach for any more negative news to damage Democratic candidates. They are clearly sorry they endorsed Clinton at this point. They didn’t know who the liberal darling would turn out to be.

The editorial begins, “The Pennsylvania campaign, which produced yet another inconclusive result on Tuesday, was even meaner, more vacuous, more desperate, and more filled with pandering than the mean, vacuous, desperate, pander-filled contests that preceded it.”

Another inconclusive result?” A 10 point victory? These people have clearly become unhinged over the Democratic campaign. And they couldn’t show their bias much more nakedly.

And it ends: “It is getting to be time for the superdelegates to do what the Democrats had in mind when they created superdelegates: settle a bloody race that cannot be won at the ballot box. Mrs. Clinton once had a big lead among the party elders, but has been steadily losing it, in large part because of her negative campaign. If she is ever to have a hope of persuading these most loyal of Democrats to come back to her side, let alone win over the larger body of voters, she has to call off the dogs.”

In other words, PLEASE, OH PLEASE PLEASE, WON’T SOMEBODY STOP THIS UNDERMINING OF OUR BELOVED DEMOCRATS? WE OBJECTIVE JOURNALISTS JUST CAN’T STAND IT ANYMORE!”

But I close with the extremely relevant question of MSNBC anchor, Joe Scarborough, who said on last night’s Hardball: “Hey, Harold [Ford], let’s pretend we’re in the Democratic cloakroom. We are two uncommitted superdelegates and we just found out Barack Obama lost Pennsylvania. We are talking and I say to you hey, man, I’m concerned about this guy. He’s been in Pennsylvania for seven weeks. He has had $9 million, he’s crushed Hillary Clinton as far as the ad wars go. But he can’t close the deal. He can win now, and we are in a Democratic cloakroom, I would then say those Republican bastards are going to kill him in the fall. What do we do?

Indeed.

Jimmy Carter: Terrorism’s ‘Useful Idiot’

April 21, 2008

A “useful idiot” is a person in who is in such a state of naïve, foolish, and willful denial that he allows himself to become a tool of those who would overthrow his country.  A brief examination of Jimmy Carter demonstrates that he is precisely this.

He is a tool of Hamas, a known terrorist entity; he is a documented tool of anti-Semitism; and he is a tool of anti-American and frankly anti-Democratic forces who have repeatedly vowed our destruction.

The Bush administration – like all U.S. presidential administrations before it – had the policy of refusing to directly engage with terrorist states and rogue totalitarian dictatorships.  Doing so, they argued, gives these states credibility and legitimacy in the eyes of the world while doing little to change their despicable ways.

In other words, by dialoguing with terrorists, we implicitly recognize them, and thereby recognize the acts that they commit.  We abandon the belief that some acts are so heinous, and so deplorable, that anyone who commits them should be shunned and reviled instead of being rewarded with recognition and legitimacy.  Instead, we tacitly acknowledge that using violence and suffering to advance one’s cause is a valid path to inernational recognition.  Otherwise, we would not have allowed their violent approach to succeed.

Former president Jimmy carter turns this wisdom – attained by virtually every democracy on earth through decades of experiences with terror – on its head.  No one wanted him to go to act as an intermediary with Hamas, which is on both the American and European lists of terrorists.  His hubris is simply astonishing.

The historic democratic diplomatic position has been this: if a group wants legitimacy, it has to set aside terrorism.  If such a group wants to sit at any negotiations, they must stop their murderous attacks on innocent civilians.  Period.  The recent successes of peace agreements with the Irish Republican Army were based on this firm principle.  When they finally set aside their terrorist tactics, they were accorded legitmization.

But Carter seems to think that it would be better if a terror group not have to disavow violence in order to become a viable peace partner.  He seems to think that a terrorist organization should have legitimacy even as it blows up innocent civilians in cafes and markets.  In other words, he seems to believe that it would be a better world if terrorists could eat their cake, and have it too.

What this is all about is a former president of the United States legitimizing the known terrorist group Hamas.  It’s what Israel’s leaders say they fear and in fact is what Hamas’ leaders say is precisely the purpose for the meeting.

Katrina Kratovack reported that “Heading the Hamas delegation in Cairo were Gaza leaders Mahmoud Zahar and Said Siyam. “This meeting is a message to those who don’t recognize Hamas’ legitimacy as a movement,” Zahar said as he left for Egypt, according to Hamas’ Web site.

In Cairo, Hamas spokesman Taher Nuhu told The Associated Press that the purported Thursday meeting would be “a recognition of the ‘legitimacy’ of Hamas’ victory in the Palestinians’ parliamentary election in 2006.

“We do not claim we are the only legitimate group there, but we are an integral part whose legitimacy was manifested in the elections,” Nuhu said.”

And the message that is being legitimized bears notice.  Yunis al-Astal, a Hamas Parliament Member, said that the destruction of Israel is just a precursor to Islam’s domination of the world.  He said on al Aqsa television on 12 April 2008, “Very soon, Allah willing, Rome will be conquered… this capital of theirs will be an advanced post for the Islamic conquests, which will spread through Europe in its entirety, and then will turn to the two Americas, and even Eastern Europe.”  

 Margaret Thatcher said that “Democratic nations must try to find ways to starve the terrorists and the hijacker of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend.”  But Jimmy Carter defies this wisdom as well, preferring to give Hamas all kinds of media access and attention through his visit.

Even as Carter was kow-towing with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and other terrorists, Israel was the victim of yet another terror attack.  A Hamas car bombing wounded 13 Israeli soldiers at border crossing on 19 April 2008 during the Passover holiday.

Jimmy Cater has, in both his public statements as well as his written works, has long since forfeited any credibility he could have had with Israel.  They know he is no friend of theirs, and not to be trusted.  That is why they shunned him during his visit.

Carter, of course, is claiming that his visit may have had the result of gaining Hamas’ recognition of Israel.  This is clearly flatly untrue, and merely demonstrates that the man has one thing in common with Hamas: he deserves no credibility or legitimacy whatsoever.  A glance at the facts in news reports reveals that Carter accomplished nothing more than getting his name in the papers, and of course giving a terrorist group undeserved credibility in the Arab world.  Hamas continues to hold on to its longtime terrorist positions, it will not recognize Israel’s right to exist, there is no ceasefire agreement, and Hamas didn’t even bother to quit trying to kill Jews while Carter was in town.

“We believe that the problem is not that I met Hamas in Syria,” Carter said in his address to the Israel Council on Foreign Relations. “The problem is that Israel and the United States refuse to meet with these people, who must be involved.”  Just so long as we all understand that it is the United States and Israel who are responsible for all the problems in the world.  Jimmy Carter’s terrorist pals sure aren’t to blame, in his warped worldview. 

Turning to leaders that actually have some genuine current relevance…

Senator Barack Obama criticized Carter’s visit.  After pointing to his “unshakable commitment” to help protect Israel from its enemies, Obama said: “That’s why I have a fundamental difference with President Carter and disagree with his decision to meet with Hamas,” Obama said. “We must not negotiate with a terrorist group intent on Israel’s destruction. We should only sit down with Hamas if they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel’s right to exist and abide by past agreements.”

But Barack Obama is promising to essentially do the same thing with Iran and other rogue regimes that Carter is doing with Hamas, and he doesn’t even attempt to deal with whatever nuances he believes exist between his position and Carters (perhaps this could be an “inane question” in a future debte?).  I would argue that it is every bit as dumb to legitimize an Iranian terrorist state which refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist as it is to legitimize a Hamas’ (Palestinian territory) terrorist state which refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist.

Obama seems to have the same delusion that Carter does: that if the president of the United States doesn’t directly talk with a terrorist state, no one will.  Again, in reality the United States does in fact engage with Iran through any number of diplomatic channels and backchannels.  Allowing Iran to have a global forum and a posture of legitimcy while they develop nuclear weapons and kill American soldiers in Iraq by proxy is a very bad idea that demonstates Obama’s inability to comprehend the nature of this terrorist state. 

(Sigh).  Perhaps I should start thinking about my future post titled, “Barack Obama: Terrorism’s ‘Useful Idiot.’ 

 


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