From the Birchers…

December 31, 2007

Please remind me, why is it we are supposed to think these people are crazy?

Top 10 Inconvenient Truths of 2007
(abridge,
click for full article)
By Jim Capo

#10 Al Gore’s Nobel Prize-garnering movie on global warming was produced without scientific review or oversight.

#9 By honest accounting standards the US federal government as well as many American households are bankrupt.

#8 Adultery has destroyed more families in America than homosexuality.

#7 Any border fence capable of keeping illegal immigrants out of the county will be equally effective in keeping legal citizens in the country.

#6 The creation of our money out of thin air by the Federal Reserve is an immensely regressive tax.

#5 A gold standard is no more intrinsically good than a fiat system is intrinsically evil.

#4 The Patriots are not going to beat the Packers in the Super Bowl.

#3 Global warming is population control repackaged.

#2 A pre-emptive/aggressive war meets none of the requirements for a just war in Christian theology.

#1 (looking ahead a few weeks) Ron Paul may or may not win the GOP nomination for president. BUT… not matter the outcome, he will show up at the GOP convention with enough delegates who are actually his supporters that he will be able demonstrate conclusively that our current election process is only slightly less rigged than the one which was used to create the Iraqi National Congress.

Is it possible that Benizar Bhutto’s admirers and detractors are both correct?

Those who have not spent residential time outside of the U.S., may be unaware that peaceful, lasting change only occurs in older cultures, such as Pakistan’s, by means of extreme baby-steps. All else typically results in horrendous violence and eventual regression. Further, in most such cultures it is impossible to work from within existing systems without accepting a certain level of corruption; and working outside of those systems can mean almost certain death (either politically or literally).

For a true Mr. Smith going to Washington–or Ms. Bhutto going to Islamabad–politics is as much a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t situation as one could expect to find.

Even in the U.S., we see this.

Ron Paul, running as a Libertarian (outside of the system) received little attention, but his current campaign, as a Republican (within the system) is having a significant impact on the American political debate. Ron Paul, when campaigning on his non-corrupt voting record, is often accused of being ineffective; at the same time, in the few areas where he has worked within the system (for instance, on securing earmarks for his districts), his detractors accuse him of corruption.

Compared to Pakistan, the level of corruption found in Washington is only slightly greater than that found in the checkbook of a church organist.

No American can comprehend the danger and difficulty of a political career in Islamabad, especially for a woman. Nor can we appreciate what may be necessary in order to survive. When the vast majority of those around you are accepting of a belief that it is god’s will that you to be owned, or stoned, because of your gender, one cannot afford to be squeamish about defending yourself against threats.

Not having your enemies killed is a luxury one can only afford in a society where your enemies are not allowed to kill you. This is a luxury that Bhutto clearly did not enjoy.

The Bhutto family has certainly paid the price for their efforts to modernize Pakistan. Yes, they have probably done some nasty things along the way, possibly some very horrible things, but it is the way in which they are headed that is important. In this regard, Benazir Bhutto may have been as close to a Thomas Jefferson as one could expect to find in such a backwards, repressive, and violent culture.

There is no purity in the world of successful politics, most certainly not in a place like Pakistan. The only “purists” are the fundamentalist religious fanatics who have had historical control in Pakistan, and we can only be grateful for the degree to which they are corrupt. As America heads into an election season with the possibility of religious leaders on its own presidential tickets, Americans would be wise to remember Pakistan.

Is there a place for those who support more radical modernization than Benazir Bhutto? Certainly there is. They make politicians such as Bhutto seem moderate, and therefore more acceptable. However, in societies where moderation and toleration are considered dangerous sins against god, those who take such stands, outside of the system and beyond cultural tolerance, are rarely effective–or even long-lived.

Even in the U.S., there is no possibility of being elected, or of effecting change, if you are marginalized because your platform is too far beyond the mainstream of cultural acceptance. The powerful momentum of cultural institutions, even of those that have lost their evolutionary purpose, is a part of the human condition. It is indeed a tragedy that most of us are not capable of making a logical choice to evolve beyond the anachronistic behavior of our past. None-the-less, we do have to deal with such cultural physics.

Perhaps there is a better way than Benazir Bhutto’s, or even Ron Paul’s, however learning what there is to be learned of that better way can only be accomplished from the playing field. Criticizing from the safety of the sidelines accomplishes less.

William of Ockham on Politics

December 28, 2007

Far too many Ron Paul supporters think that the “mainstream media” is out to get Ron Paul. They take examples of distortions, such as reports that Paul doesn’t believe in evolution (after Paul, who has a PHD in science, stated that evolution is a theory) as evidence that media is intentionally smearing Paul at every turn.

There is a simpler explanation, that being that many Americans are simply too poorly educated by our pubic schools to understand that real science asserts no facts. Such cognitive abstraction is simply beyond them.

Another example of this limited intellectual discernment is this week’s press revelation that actor Will Smith believes Adolf Hitler to have been a “good” person. What Smith acually said was, “Even Hitler didn’t wake up going, ‘let me do the most evil thing I can do today. I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was ‘good.'”

Shockingly, even amongst the educated, many can’t discern the difference between either of the two statements.

Will Smith proves that some actors are much smarter than we give them credit for, when he insightful observes that the incident, “… speaks to the dangerous power of an ignorant person with a pen.” That is true, as far as it goes, but the journalistic freedom that the Internet provides to the masses is a big part of what is driving the Ron Paul “r’evol’ution.”

In a free society one has to accept the sweet-with-the-sour, although that is probably of little consequence to Mr. Smith this week.

Where are others’ backers?
December 26, 2007

Why Guiliani, Duncan, Tancredo, Romney, Huckabee, McCain, Keyes or Thompson? I have seen so few support letters for the other Republican candidates compared to those for Ron Paul. I urge The Bee to solicit letters from supporters of these other candidates, if any there are.

What is it that supporters of these gents deem worthy of support?

Being a member of the Stanislaus GOP myself, I know a number of my fellow Republicans favor Fred Thompson (a former actor). Good Lord, please write and tell us all why. If you are unwilling to do so, then how deep and genuine does your support really run?

This election cycle we, as a nation, stand at a crossroads. Surely, all politically astute Republicans understand this. I refuse to believe we have that many “globalist elite” in our wonderful county. Why so silent?

Try to explain how your candidate’s appeal is sufficient to be able to defeat Ms. Clinton or Mr. Obama in the general election vs. Ron Paul.

ARTHUR MURRAY
Modesto

The Penny Ante Candidate

December 26, 2007

Most candidates receive their contributions from a collection of big corporations and wealthy contributors. You can bet that Ron Paul isn’t getting a lot of corporate contributions consider his comments on Meet the Press (see below).

It hardly matters, in the fourth quarter Ron Paul is leading all the candidates with over $18.5+ million received 200,000+ donors of mostly small ($100 or less) contributions. This is real grass roots stuff folks.

Crumbling Foundations

December 26, 2007

CNNMoney reported last week that home prices fell 6.7 percent in October, the largest drop in 16 years and the 10th consecutive monthly drop. Some U.S. cities are experiencing declines in single family home values of as much as 30 percent. Only three cities in the entire country are showing positive growth.

But hey, the economy is fine — just ask the Bush administration.

Merry Christma…

December 25, 2007

Many commentators are pointing out the hypocrisy of a “Christian” nation spending hundreds of millions of (inflated) dollars on commercial items to celebrate the birth of a man who advocated poverty and charity as first principals. Least we forget, it was not so long ago that Christians celebrated the Prince of Peace in quite a different fashion. Mere crass commercialism is something of a relief.

According to historians, while on their nine Crusades, Christians slaughtered well over a million people, perhaps as high as five million. During the first capture of Jerusalem alone, an estimated 40,000 men, women, and children were murdered — basically for sport. There are chronicles written by the Crusaders themselves boasting of ankle deep blood in some areas of Jerusalem.

Most of history’s victims of Christianity were Muslim, gays, indigenous peoples, or uppity women who refused to be taken as property, but also many were Jews. Many also were simply too young to conceptualize religion at all. The number of children slaughtered in the Jerusalem massacre alone would have been over 10,000. And yes, slaughtering the “Christ Killers” has been a popular Christian sport throughout the centuries — one that only, sorta, ended during the lifetime of your parents or grandparents.

The Crusaders killed an estimated 8,000 Jews in the Rineland before they even left Europe, which was probably a bigger percent of the European Jewish population at the time than Christians would slaughter in another few centuries after they changed their attire from cross-ed tunics to swastika-ed brown shirts. Between the two events, the incidence of Jewish massacres at the hands of Christians throughout Europe and western Asia are too numerous to list. Even the incidence of synagogue burning, with the worshipers still inside, is too frequent to recount.

So, was 9/11 really blowback for CIA involvement in the Middle East since the 1950s? Or due to U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia since the 1980s? Hardly. The blowback originated centuries earlier. It continues to originate today as the “Christian” president of the “Christian” nation with the support of the nation’s pulpits continues to attacks a Muslim country that had no connection to 9/11, no weapons of mass destruction, or indeed any provable connections to terrorism on our shores.

So, on this bright, sunny Christmas day, as Americans greedily open the millions of gifts they give to each other, the death count in Iraq continues to climb. Given the millions of dead throughout history, a mere 100,000 non-combatent men, women, and children killed in the name of Christiani.., (oops) I mean, Democracy, doesn’t seem likely to produce any moral pause on the way to the wrapping and the bows.

So, Merry Christma, (oops) I mean, Happy Holidays.