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Thursday January 26, 2006"Laudable ideals"--by which they mean equality (of misery) enforced at the barrel of a gun?
For some it was a vile capitalist plot aimed at rewriting the recent history of half of Europe, transforming wartime resistance heroes into villains, and denying the laudable ideals and legitimacy of a great political movement.
For others it was a long-overdue denunciation of a couple of dozen thoroughly evil regimes who wrecked their nations' economies, tortured their citizens, and between them were responsible for up to 100 million deaths.
But, by a clear majority, the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe yesterday backed a controversial motion demanding that the continent's 46-member human rights watchdog formally condemns "the crimes of totalitarian communist regimes".So the Euroweenies' spines returned?
More than 60 members of the body's 315-seat assembly, made up of MPs from Europe's parliaments, were due to speak in a debate on a report by the conservative Swedish MP Goran Lindblad, which argued that 15 years after the collapse of the eastern bloc international condemnation of its governments' activities was "urgently necessary".In other words, a conference to set the record straight on the vile history of Communism, rather than one intended to deny it (the Holocaust Denial party set for Iran)?
Mr Lindblad's motion also called for an international conference on the issue and urged former communist states to "revise school books to reflect what happened, establish museums documenting these crimes, and introduce a memorial day for the victims of communism".
The MP adopted the 100 million victim figure arrived at by Stéphane Courtois in his 1997 Black Book of Communism. The count includes 65m in China, 20m in the Soviet Union, 2m in North Korea, 2m in Cambodia, 1.7m in Africa, 1.5m in Afghanistan, 1m in Vietnam, 1m in east Europe and 150,000 in Latin America. (Mr Courtois puts the number of deaths due to Nazism at about 25m.)Exactly what anti-communists have been saying since, oh, 1917!
Mr Lindblad listed communist regimes' crimes as "assassinations and executions, concentration camp deaths, starvation, deportation, torture, slave labour and other mass physical terror", saying they should be condemned like Nazis' crimes.
Council officials said 99 of the MPs present voted in favour of the motion, 42 opposed it and 12 abstained. Communist parties, mainly in western Europe, had reacted fiercely, saying the report deliberately failed to distinguish between the ideals of communism and its application by totalitarian regimes.The old, "Communism has never been truly applied" canard that is the mental equivalent of saying that "Communism is great, except for all the Communists. . ." Of course this inflamed the passions of the unreconstructed Marxist wingnuts still festering in Europe:
The Belgian Communist party, the PCB, called the motion "a violent attack on history, present and future of communism". The Greek KKE called it "a declaration of war and persecution against all communist parties", and Germany's PDS said it was "neo McCarthyism".There it is again, dang McCarthyism!
Mikis Theodorakis, the Greek composer, said: "In the name of our dead comrades, of those who passed through the hands of the Gestapo and the death camps ... shame on those who want to turn victims into executioners, heroes into criminals and communists into Nazis."El Presidente agrees! Shame on those who fought nationalistic partisan actions on behalf of themselves (Poland, Ukraine, etc.) only to be "purged", sent to the concentration camps in the Gulag Archipelago, or sent to "reeducation" camps to strip away "fascist taint". Who cares about all those starved, shot, and worked to death in forced labor programs like collectivization, any number of "Five Year Plans", or Cultural Revolutions! Fie upon those who taint the good name of Communism, the very same which helped to carve up Poland as part of the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939, produced the killing fields in Cambodia, or one of the most repressive post-WWII police states in the form of East Germany and the Stasi.
French communists said the motion "banalises the Holocaust" and "ignores the communist role in fighting fascism".Except when it didn't. See example above.
André Guerin, a Lyon MP, told Le Figaro that the council's idea was to "definitively bury the values of communism" and "make believe they are outmoded and that the only alternative is capitalism".Capitalism is everywhere, especially in China, where everyone with a piece of sidewalk attempts to sell everything from tourist kitsch to electronics. Even socialist extravaganzas like Chavez's shindig down in Venezuela over the past week is characterized more by capitalism than any abiding commitment to an alternative to it--other than hating the United States. Communist/socialist regimes survive only if the population or the environment can be exploited to prop up the economy. Chavez has oil and is therefore successful. Castro has Castro and Cuba suffers, as Cuban refugees flee to the United States.
Protests were vigorous in Russia, where a survey found 50% of Russians felt Stalin had played a "positive role" in their history and 42% thought "somebody like him" would be helpful in Russia today.Apparently, 74 years of Communist rule, NKVD and KGB oppression, famine, gulags and misery haven't cured some Russians from all things Red. Perhaps they are too young to remember, or have attached nationalist aspirations to the memories of the Soviet state. Capitalism isn't a panacea, but to paraphrase Winston Churchill, it is the worst economic system, except for all the others. El Presidente prefers the "invisible hand" of the market over the visible point of a gun. Liberals/leftists/socialists hate the monopolistic power of an "evil and greedy" corporation like Wal-Mart, and yet would have the government become a sort of nationalized Wal-Mart complete with military support. Yes, there should be no denunciation of Communism, where everyone is equal(ly miserable)!
Sen. Salazar: Clarence Thomas an 'Abomination'
Sen. Ken Salazar has called U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas "an abomination" compared to the late Justice Thurgood Marshall.Clarence Thomas bucks expectations as a thoughtful, conservative justice who also happens to be black, and Democratic wingnuts like Salazar impugn his character. No outcry, barely a blip in the media. But if a conservative/Republican lambastes Ruth Bader Ginsburg. . .
Salazar’s comment came during a telephone news conference Wednesday in which the Colorado Democrat said he would not be part of any filibuster to stop a vote on Samuel Alito’s confirmation, the Rocky Mountain News reports.
He went on to say: "There are members of the U.S. Supreme Court that I very much disagree with. Clarence Thomas, for example, I think is an abomination when you contrast him to the leadership and principles of someone like Thurgood Marshall. I’ve been in front of the court and I know the justices."
World Social Forum in Caracas, Venezuela/Photo Roundup
Stop The ACLU Kissing A Commie
An activist listens to the sound of talking dolls of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at a street market during the third day of the 6th World Social Forum in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, Jan, 26, 2006. In an ironic twist, delegates protesting the evils of capitalism at the World Social Forum are digging into their pockets to buy T-shirts embossed with the image of Argentine revolutionary hero Ernesto 'Che' Guevara and talking dolls of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
Welcome Sunday Funnies readers!
Um, they just realized this?
Thu Jan 26, 2:20 PM ET
The Nation-- When a group called Campus Progress launched its effort to promote progressive values on college campuses in the fall of 2004, Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz wondered: "Isn't that a bit like pumping sand into the Mojave Desert?"
The assumption that America's campuses are impenetrable bastions of liberalism--where left-leaning faculty predominate, progressive student activism flourishes and conservatism is fiercely marginalized--still rules the day. But in reality, since the 1970s the conservative movement has become the dominant political force on many American campuses. This sea change is not simply a reflection of some students' increasingly right-wing views. Each year, conservative groups pour more than $35 million into hundreds of college campuses. They pay for right-wing speakers, underwrite scores of student papers, provide free leadership training and cushy internships, and equip thousands of new activists with talking points, discipline and missionary zeal.
Today's campus right is unified, on-message and passionate--in other words, part of a genuine movement. By contrast, the campus left is disparate, undisciplined and segmented along ideological and issue-based lines. Student progressives have struggled for decades with not only a lack of cohesion but a dearth of resources. "We didn't have our act together," says Joshua Holland, a fair-trade and antiwar activist who graduated from the University of Southern California this past spring. "We tried to keep things nonhierarchical and loosely structured, but at the end of the day, there was a lot of running around in circles, and we weren't getting anything done."
Welcome Michelle Malkin visitors!
Firstly--in the interest of honesty, El Presidente wears a seatbelt over 90% of the time he drives, especially when on the highways, or making long cross-town jaunts; in the summer and winter, day and night. But this just takes the cake (or your freedom):
DENVER - A group pushing for a tougher seat belt laws will stage a dramatic display at the Colorado State Capitol Tuesday morning.So bikers have the freedom--to be fearless or stupid or both--and not wear helmets, but the silent majority of Coloradans must now buckle up or face fines and points as a result of a primary offense?
Two hundred and eighty two empty pairs of shoes will line the west steps. The shoes represent people who died in car accidents in 2004 and were not wearing seat belts.
"We can show that you more than double the chances of surviving a serious injury crash, if you simply wear a seat belt," said Colorado State Patrol Major Jim Wolfinbarger.
The Colorado Seat Belt Coalition organized the demonstration. The group is made up of law enforcement agencies, automobile and insurance businesses.
Right now in Colorado, not wearing a seat belt is a secondary offense. That means law enforcement officers can't ticket you for not wearing a seat belt, unless you get pulled over for breaking another law. The Colorado Seat Belt Coalition wants to toughen the law, so people can be ticketed for not wearing a seat belt alone.
More looney Moonbattedness from our pals in England:
The Express & Echo in Exeter is calling for samurai swords to be banned, after a local man was stabbed to death in the street.
The newspaper wants the government to stop the sale of the swords, with an exemption for licensed groups.
It is not currently illegal to buy a sword, only to carry it in public.
And a day after Sidmouth man Bradley Moran admitted killing 33-year-old Matthew Stiling by stabbing him through the heart with the 18-inch blade of a samurai sword, an Echo reporter discovered how easy it is to buy one unchecked from an Exeter shop.
Journalist David Edbrooke paid £120 for a sword with a 2.5ft sharpened blade, and said it was "as easy as buying a lotto ticket".
Echo editor Marc Astley said: "It is incredible that our reporter was able to buy such a terrifying weapon, no questions asked. I was shocked at just how sharp and heavy the blade is.
"The Echo accepts that some martial arts groups use such weapons innocently.
"We hope they will accept that calling for their sale to be restricted is sensible and reasonable.
"We will pursue this campaign to the bitter end and will be calling on Echo readers to play their part too.
"If that means that together we help prevent a single death or injury, it will have been worth it."
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) - University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill, who is being investigated for alleged plagiarism and other academic offenses, was given straight A's by his fall semester class on the "American Holocaust," the Boulder Daily Camera reported Sunday.
The newspaper said the evaluations were posted Friday.
"I am not surprised. Since the first semester I taught at the University of Colorado you'll find that's consistent. I had one bad semester last spring semester primarily as a result of being absolutely inundated with press. We had reporters sitting in the classroom," he said in a telephone interview Sunday morning.
ELF terrorist suspects sniffed out--very likely as the use of deodorants among this group is quite infrequent--
WASHINGTON -- Eleven people were indicted in a series of arsons, claimed by the radical groups Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front, in five Western states including Colorado, the Justice Department said Friday.Read Prepared Remarks.
The 65-count indictment said the suspects are responsible for 17 incidents in California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming, including sabotaging a high-tension power line, in a conspiracy that dates back to 1996. The indictment was returned Thursday by a federal grand jury in Eugene, Ore., and unsealed Friday.
"The indictment tells a story of four-and-a-half years of arson, vandalism, violence and destruction claimed to have been executed on behalf of the Animal Liberation Front or Earth Liberation Front, extremist movements known to support acts of domestic terrorism," Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said at a news conference Friday.
Appearing with Gonzales, FBI Director Robert Mueller declared, "Terrorism is terrorism, no matter what the motive."
"There is a clear difference between constitutionally protected advocacy ... and violent criminal activity," Mueller added.
"It is one thing to write concerned letters or to hold peaceful demonstrations," Mueller said. "It is another thing entirely to construct and use improvised explosives to harass and intimidate victims by destroying property and to cause millions of dollars in losses by acts or threats of violence."
"Moderate" Senator Ken Salazar, D-Colorado, plans to vote no on Alito's confirmation:
saying Alito would move the court "outside the mainstream of American law."Salazar has sacrificed any "independence" garnered as a result of joining the wishy-washy Gang of 14, and committed himself to elitist-East Coast Liberalism of Kennedy, Leahy, etc. What a shame, though not completely unexpected. More here.
Salazar said in a written statement that Alito's philosophy would give the president too much power, weaken constitutional checks and balances and roll back civil rights protections.
He said he arrived at his decision after "a careful review of his record."
At the top of the list of unimportant things to accomplish on the state level, Colorado appears ready to join at least ten other states in expanding the liberal nanny-state mentality that government knows best, and should therefore control the habits of the citizens.
The Political Teen has the video.
So true, it is scary (and hilarious!):
In a pointed response to the growing campaign to pressure universities to hire more conservative professors in the humanities, historians meeting in Philadelphia today said the effort smacks of McCarthyism and vowed to oppose it. They passed a resolution to put the American Historical Association—the nation’s oldest and most revered historical society—on record against the effort.Nothing quashes the conservative position faster than the "McCarthyism" canard. Or so they think.
Conservatives, led by David Horowitz, have long claimed that universities are dominated by left-wingers. To correct this perceived political imbalance they have proposed to reform the system by persuading state legislatures to pass an “Academic Bill of Rights” to help conservatives win positions in the academy. The historians, at their annual Business Meeting, admitted that most humanities professors are liberal but insisted that is not because conservatives are discriminated against. Rather, liberals simply are more drawn to the humanities than conservatives, who often dominate faculties at business schools.
1. All faculty shall be hired, fired, promoted and granted tenure on the basis of their competence and appropriate knowledge in the field of their expertise and, in the humanities, the social sciences, and the arts, with a view toward fostering a plurality of methodologies and perspectives. No faculty shall be hired or fired or denied promotion or tenure on the basis of his or her political or religious beliefs.Yep, sounds McCarthyesque (highlights mine). Funny how the demand to respect all points of view, even those that the conservatives would ostensibly oppose, results only in the defamatory statements of the American Historical Association, and the resolution proposed by the prominent American historian, Joyce Appleby.
2. No faculty member will be excluded from tenure, search and hiring committees on the basis of their political or religious beliefs.
3. Students will be graded solely on the basis of their reasoned answers and appropriate knowledge of the subjects and disciplines they study, not on the basis of their political or religious beliefs.
4. Curricula and reading lists in the humanities and social sciences should reflect the uncertainty and unsettled character of all human knowledge in these areas by providing students with dissenting sources and viewpoints where appropriate. While teachers are and should be free to pursue their own findings and perspectives in presenting their views, they should consider and make their students aware of other viewpoints. Academic disciplines should welcome a diversity of approaches to unsettled questions.
5. Exposing students to the spectrum of significant scholarly viewpoints on the subjects examined in their courses is a major responsibility of faculty. Faculty will not use their courses for the purpose of political, ideological, religious or anti-religious indoctrination.
6. Selection of speakers, allocation of funds for speakers programs and other student activities will observe the principles of academic freedom and promote intellectual pluralism.
7. An environment conducive to the civil exchange of ideas being an essential component of a free university, the obstruction of invited campus speakers, destruction of campus literature or other effort to obstruct this exchange will not be tolerated.
8. Knowledge advances when individual scholars are left free to reach their own conclusions about which methods, facts, and theories have been validated by research. Academic institutions and professional societies formed to advance knowledge within an area of research, maintain the integrity of the research process, and organize the professional lives of related researchers serve as indispensable venues within which scholars circulate research findings and debate their interpretation. To perform these functions adequately, academic institutions and professional societies should maintain a posture of organizational neutrality with respect to the substantive disagreements that divide researchers on questions within, or outside, their fields of inquiry.
"Whiteness Studies" has finally crept in among the other academic fads and established its place at the University of Colorado at Boulder, joining hundreds of other similarly misguided colleges nationwide:
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) - People stare when University of Colorado student Maren Gauldin wears her "Black is Beautiful" T-shirt.Ahh, the unmistakable stench of liberal white guilt.
That's because she's white.
The shirt, Gauldin says, is like a tag that forces her to engage in conversations about race, forces her to feel a tiny bit like black and Latino students on an overwhelmingly white campus.
"Every time I put it on, I feel uncomfortable," Gauldin told students at a white-privilege symposium last month that filled an auditorium and spilled into a hallway. "It helps me think about the kind of activist I want to be."
"Whiteness studies is not about white-bashing, and it's not about white supremacy," said Duncan Rinehart, who will teach CU's fourth whiteness-studies course this semester.The secret code--do not reveal "white privilege" to others lest you be forced to commit self-flaggelation in atonement for your sin--the sin of being white that is. "Invisible knapsacks"? "Unearned assets"?
"As long as whiteness is invisible, it's contributing to inequality and injustice. There is a fair amount of just flat-out denial, not malicious, but denial nonetheless."
Feminist scholar Peggy McIntosh, whose essay on white privilege often is required reading for students in whiteness studies, defines it as an "invisible weightless knapsack."
"I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was 'meant' to remain oblivious," she says.
Outside of academia, not many have heard of whiteness studies, said Matthew Spalding, director of the Center for American Studies at the Heritage Foundation. He called it an abstract, "invalid category of education" based on the "assumption that you should teach according to racial categories."Aside from the fact that only guilt-ridden liberal trust-fund college kids sporting Che t-shirts and grousing about global-warming attend these classes taught by the likes of Ward Churchill (that still is his department) and other 1960s radical leftovers, who cares about these intellectual tin-foil hat wearing moonbats? Everyone should, because intellectual fad becomes liberal dogma, and liberal dogma becomes Democratic talking points. The Alito hearings this past week bear this out, as the distinguished nominee withstood bloviating attacks by the Democratic senators spouting off the latest in doublespeak, hoping to trip up Alito and pin him to the racist-sexist-etc epithet. They attempted to imply that Alito, at best, was a closet bigot, and at worst, a bigot who was now disavowing past affiliations. (This, of course, required them to forget about Democratic Sen. Robert "Sheets" Byrd, himself an actual member of an explicitly racist organization, the Ku Klux Klan)
"Things like this show the increasing divide between the outer reaches of the academy and the average American," Spalding said. "Not only do they not know about these things, my guess is the average American couldn't come up with this if they tried."
The course is popular at CU, though, and it's mostly white students who take it, said Eleanor Hubbard, a retired CU professor who taught it.Right, "equality through guilt." El Presidente can see the bumper stickers now.
Professors had to turn away students, capping the class at about 60 a semester. But the concept of white privilege is infused in many sociology and ethnic-studies courses.
To fight racism, whites need to see they have advantages that are a "result of them being white, not for any other reason like they are smarter or have a better education," Hubbard said.
"It's not about feeling guilty," she said. "That doesn't help anyone. What is helpful is to use those privileges to make changes so that equality is possible."
Tehran, 5 Jan. (AKI) - Iran has decided to rewrite and revise the history of the Holocaust. Following the repeated declarations by the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and other senior government officials on the need to re-examine the history of the genocide of the Jews during the Second World War, the association of Islamic Journalists of Iran has been tasked with quickly putting together an international conference on the Holocaust.Holocaust denier and lawsuit loser David Irving, currently jailed in Austria for the aforementioned "historical" hopes to be chosen keynote speaker. (OK, that we made up, but will no doubt feel vindicated once he finds out.)
"We want to offer a free and democratic platform to the historians to examine in-depth this myth, seeing that in different European countries there exist laws against democracy and freedom that to do not allow intellectuals who believe in a version distinct from that which is officially pronounced on the Holocaust," added Afzali.Never. Forget.
"We will invite those who believe in the imposed version as well as all those who have spent years of their lives in the study of documents related to the Holocaust and have come to the conclusion that the history books in schools and universities do not correspond to the truth," said Afzali, who however refused to supply the names of the revisionist historians who have been contacted to appear in the conference in Tehran.
Oh my God! (El Presidente wants to be sued by the ACLU!)
He is absolutely dead on correct. Having grown up in EUnuchistan, I witnessed the beginning of the Decline of Western Civilization and it took place exactly like Steyn describes. Since I made good my escape, it has only gotten worse.
Civilizations aren’t murdered, they commit suicide.
Birth. Consolidation. Expansion. Affluence. Decadence. Apathy. Death.
Look at the Roman Empire.