Friday, November 14, 2008

GMA gives known terrorist a chance to plug his new book

I just got through watching a video clip entitled: “Campaign boogeyman William Ayers Talks to ‘GMA’ {Good Morning America}”

Click here to see the clip and read a transcript of the interview.

Maybe it should be called: “GMA gives known terrorist a chance to plug his new book.”

They do interview Ayers and ask him to explain himself, his relationship with Obama, and his past involvement “with violence” (they never use the word “terrorism”) but then the GMA interviewer states “we’ll talk about your new book, Fugitive Days, in the next segment…”

During this clip, Ayers denies having a deep relationship with Obama, but continues to reassert his statement that he does not regret his actions (which he downplays to being part of the “militant”), and even goes so far as to play the victim by saying that he is being “demonized”, because he was just a part of a larger context of social rebellion against an unjust war, during which the government was “killing thousands of people every day.” In other words, he was nothing more than soldier on the side of Good, blowing up government buildings to stop a terrible government that was waging an unjustifiable war.

And yet, he also says: "We knew it was wrong. We knew it was illegal. We knew it was immoral…{but the Weather Underground} had to do more {to stop the Vietnam War}.

Exactly what journalistic principles are these, that drive GMA to interview an unrepentant terrorist, only to follow up with a promotion his book?

I find it interesting that Ayers apparently felt that the dialog concerning his relationship to Obama was so “dishonest” that he apparently felt it was morally reprehensible to comment on it. He disagrees with the notion of “guilt by association”, and didn’t want to contribute to this “unjust” discussion. However, the week after the election, he suddenly needed to “set the record straight”. Now that his “family friend” won the election, the discussion is no longer so morally reprehensible, and it’s time to express his outrage and being “demonized”.

Ayers continues to see his activities in the light of a righteous militant fighting against his own government, waging a violent “activist” campaign to bring down the government. This concept inspires me to explore the definition of “traitor”, to see if this fits. It seems to fit his actions perfectly:
Traitor: Someone who betrays his country by committing treason.
In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more serious acts of disloyalty to one’s sovereign or nation
A citizen’s actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the {parent nation}…{or to} conspire to overthrow the government, even if no foreign country is aided or involved in such an endeavour.”

Maybe I'm just daft, but by those definitions, is it even deniable that Ayers was a traitor, as well as a terrorist? And if they couldn't prosecute him for terrorism, why didn't they try him as a traitor, and hang him by the neck until dead?

GMA describes Ayers as a “respected professor”. Respected? By whom?

How is it possible that, on the one hand, self-described “progressives” can say that Ayer’s bombings—which occurred in 1970 and 1971—are “ancient history” and “water under the bridge”, while simultaneously celebrating the prosecution (in 2001) of the suspects of the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham? Why isn’t that “water under the bridge”? After all, it occurred seven years before Ayer’s bombings. Don’t get me wrong: I think those murderers should be prosecuted. But by the same notion of justice, Ayers should be also, and the fact that a technical mistake by prosecutors let him escape jail does not absolve him of guilt in these atrocious crimes.

The college professors coming to Ayer’s defense are taking a morally reprehensible position to selectively protect leftist terrorists, while condemning racist terrorists. They are essentially saying that, since the US government was condoning and actively participating in a war that killed thousands of people per day, any acts to stop that immoral violence are forgivable offenses.

In July of 2005, Eric Rudolph was convicted of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing as well as a bombing of a Birmingham abortion clinic. Rudolph committed his acts of violence because he believed that abortion—which we know has killed around 45 million babies in the United States alone—was such a horrendous crime against humanity that it must be fought with “deadly force”. “Children are disposed of at will,” he was quoted as saying. “The state is no longer the protector of the innocents.”

For the sake of argument, let us choose to agree with Ayer’s regarding the immorality of the Vietnam War. What’s more, let us decide to take his side and agree that he was justified in his bombings because he was trying to stop a greater evil.

Applying that standard, and considering that Abortion has killed many more children than the number of casualties of the Vietnam War, we must draw the conclusion that Eric Rudolph was also justified in his attacks, and we would expect university professors to line up in his defense.

If we continue this line of “reasoning” {very loosely speaking}, and we conclude that a bomber is forgiven his crime as long as the terrorist is attacking the government that is perpetrating a grave injustice, would terrorist acts against the Obama administration be justifiable?

It is clearly an unjustifiable position to take. No intelligent person can possibly rationalize Ayer’s acts, while simultaneously condemning those of Rudolph. And no self respecting professor should come to Ayer’s defense on the ground that Ayer’s—who is by his own admission “guilty as hell, free as a bird!”—is somehow less of a criminal than Rudolph, who is guilty as hell, and paying for his crime.

I guess we should expect to wake up tomorrow and find GMA interviewing Osama Bin Laden, followed by a plug for the new al Qaeda instructional guide:

Jihad for Dummies: The Progressives’ Guide to Killing Americans
(With a forward by ABC’s Peter Jennings)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sobering thoughts for Nelson Bocaranda.

I wanted to read to OpEds in Venezuela to see what is being said about Obama’s victory. Think for a moment of the perspective of Latin Americans, especially those under regimes such as Hugo Chavez, where the communist propaganda has been constantly to insult and attack the American system. While the elite there—whether that be the old guard “oligarchy” or the “new rich” communists that are pilfering the state—has offered no hope for improvement or for a better future, the election of Obama has undermined their argument about the evils of the American system, contradicted the accusations that America is a racist nation in which people of color have no hope or future.

There is a bright side to this, and I thought it might be worth sharing. Many in Latin America felt ignored by the United States over the past eight years, and blame American indifference to their plight for the rise of authoritarians such as Chavez, and the spread socialism across the continent.

A well known and highly respected journalist, Nelson Bocaranda Sardi, writes {my translation}:

"Example: Once again the United States has given a lesson of Democracy to the entire world, with special emphasis given to those countries where it is the military jackboot that reigns, and where the disdain for justice and law, as well as the shameless and cynical enjoyment of corruption with state monies, is the daily rule. John McCain’s capitulation speech, in which he recognizes his defeat and offers his support to the winner, and that of Barack Obama, curing old wounds, promising inclusion and a better future for new generations that turned out en masse to vote as they did for J. Kennedy in 1960 or G. McGovern in 1972, are the demonstration of the institutional quality of the nation that will once again be the beacon of democracy that Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington, and Franklin visualized. Another American dream is realized. "

Hence, Bocaranda is quite clearly suggesting that Venezuelan's will again see the contrast between their own plight, their own "Democracy", and the true democratic principals displayed by "the Empire", and that difference made plain should tarnish the popularity of Chavez. And, Obama represents a new hope that America will stop ignoring them and will help them throw off the yoke of tyrrany.

This is all well and good, but the same author continues:

"Promise?: The past June 5th we wrote here about the visit of Democratic governor Bill Richardson to President Chavez, in order to discuss the three North American hostages held by the FARC, and where the American elections were discussed. At that time, the governor informed Chavez of the interest by the Democrats in improving relations with Venezuela {Chavez}. Among the promises, that during the electoral process they would limit criticism of Chavez, and they would guarantee a meeting of Obama and Chavez, being either an informal meeting before Obama takes office, or immediately afterward. In return, Chavez would “lower his anti-Yankee flag”, tone down his anti-imperialist discourse, and increase the possibility of commercial exchange. "

It should also be noted that, the day after the election, once it became clear that Obama had won, the infamous Piedad Cordoba, Colombian congressional member and supporter of the FARC terrorist group, declared that Obama’s victory was a victory for “everyone who has fought for decades for equality”, and immediately requested that Obama work with her to “reach a humanitarian solution” to the ongoing conflict with the FARC.

Allow me a moment to put these events in context. It has been a long-standing goal for Hugo Chavez to spread his influence around Latin America, by any means necessary. This has led him to covertly and illegally pump millions upon millions of dollars into the election campaigns of friendly leftists throughout Latin America, from Argentina (where Chavez’s agents were caught smuggling suitcases full of money to the Kirchner campaign), to Mexico. Chavez stated years ago that he planned to have a “Bolivarian” president elected. And a constant stream of Democrats and another radical leaders has made its way to Venezuela, including film directors (Oliver Stone), actors (Sean Penn, Danny Glover), activists and community organizers (such as ACORN members), and of course, liberal politicians such as Bill Richardson, among others.

Meanwhile, another of Chavez’s strategies appeared to be to position himself for a Nobel Peace Prize. While his loyal followers submitted him for consideration, Chavez unilaterally intervened in the internal affairs of Colombia as they battled the FARC terrorists. It was alleged that Oliver Stone’s frequent visits to Venezuela during this time were intended to document Chavez’s glorious efforts to broker a humanitarian effort to release the hundreds of hostages held by the FARC. Chavez did in fact manage to obtain the release of several low-level hostages, including a political aide to Ingrid Betancourt—the Colombian presidential candidate who was kidnapped by the FARC in the middle of her political campaign. But Chavez could not obtain the release of the four most important hostages held by the FARC: Three American contractors working for Plan Colombia who were captured when their plane was shot down, and Betancourt.

However, when FARC leader Raul Reyes was killed in a military operation, and his laptop recovered, intelligence from that laptop revealed that Chavez had given around 300 million dollars to the FARC to arrange the “humanitarian” release of the three previous hostages. It was Piedad Cordoba who repeatedly kissed Chavez’s boots and praised him for his brilliant and neutral role, even though her own government repeatedly protested to world bodies that Chavez was violating their sovereign affairs. In short, in order to gain political glory and try to achieve world renown by winning a Nobel Prize, Chavez violated Colombian sovereignty and paid a ransom to the kidnappers.

It was in this context that Richardson visited Chavez. Yet another brilliant military intervention by the Colombians rescued Betancourt and the three American contractors without a shot being fired—and simultaneously deflated Chavez’s hopes of being the great liberator.

So, with this context provided, now one must re-examine the declarations by Piedad Cordoba, and the reports from Caracas, that these two very dangerous actors are pleased with Obama’s election, and already planning to meet with Obama.

And we must remember Obama’s statements that he would (and then would not) meet with Chavez without pre-conditions. If Obama does in fact meet with Chavez between now and his inauguration—or even afterward, for that matter, then he would be violating yet another of his campaign promises and revealing that he is the ideologue and na├»ve politician we thought he would be.

Meanwhile, the Venezuelan immigrants who fled the Chavez regime to find safety in the United States, those who supported John McCain because they recognized in Obama this waffling liberal inability to properly assess the danger in characters such as Chavez, now must find themselves in the peculiar position of being members of opposition in two countries. But fear not: with the conservative Cubans by our side, we are all in very good company, and the fight will continue.

Sadly, however, if Obama provees himself to be the idiot I suspect him to be, it is the Venezuelans and others in Latin America who will suffer yet another great disappointment. Not only will America not save them from Leftist tyrrany, but an Obama administration just might help those authoritarians to gain international prestige and consolidate their power.

These are my sobering thoughts for Mr. Bocaranda.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Whose welfare is it, anyway?

Near the end of the Obama/McCain presidential campaign, a Florida television station recorded a woman who was extactic that--if Obama were to win the election--she wouldn't have to worry any more about paying her mortgage, or filling her gas tank. Yes, it's gotten to the point that some people appear to think that Uncle Barack will provide for everyone.

This reminded me of a discussion I had with some of my students way back in 1994.

I was a teacher in an inner urban school, during the period when the Republicans in Washington wanted to reform welfare and make it Workfare.

One of my students walked up to my desk in front of the class and asked me; “Sir, what do you think about them taking away our welfare?”

“Our Welfare? What do you mean, ‘our’ welfare?”

“I mean, it’s mine and my Momma’s, it’s what we need to get by.”

So I asked him, “What makes you think it’s yours?”

“Well, ‘cause we are the ones that need it, so it’s ours.”

I looked at him carefully, and noticed that—as he was a basketball player—he was wearing a pair of expensive Air Jordon’s that cost about three times what my shoes cost.

“Do you have a job?” I asked him.

“What? You know I don’t, Sir, I’m a basketball player!” he protested. “My Momma works two jobs just to support me and my brothers!” Understandably, he seemed indignant that his momma had to work so hard.

“Why does that mean, you can’t have a job?”

“Because I have practice every day, and I have games every week, I don’t have no time to be working at no $5 a hour job!” he answered, indignantly.

“OK, that makes sense.” I commented... “those are nice Air Jordon’s, buddy. Who bought those for you?”

“My Momma did,” he said, a little cautiously.

“Nice Momma, you know those are worth more money than I could afford to pay for shoes, right?” I asked

“Yes, you do wear some lousy shoes!” he joked, and the class laughed.

“Right. Now, whose shoes are those?” I asked.

“Mine!” he quickly answered.

“Are they? Let’s pretend for a moment that your Momma bought you those shoes so that you would do really well at basketball. She hopes you will work hard, and get a scholarship, and build a future…”

He smiled. “That’s right, she does.”

“But let’s pretend that instead of working hard, you loafed around in the gym, and didn’t practice, and just chased the girls, and your Momma got really mad and said to you, ‘Son, I paid for those shoes to give you an advantage, to help you succeed, and you blew it! Instead of working, you just lazed around, so since you don’t appreciate what I gave you, I’m taking those shoes away, and I’ll give them to your little brother, who is willing to work hard!’ Now, she would have the right to do that, wouldn’t she?”

He was silent. The whole class was silent. “So…really, whose shoes are those?”

He paused, thinking about the question, and obviously uncomfortable with the conclusion to which I had led him. Finally, he sheepishly answered: “My Momma’s.”

“Because she paid for them. Right. Now, who pays for ‘your’ welfare?” He didn’t answer. “I do. And all the other teachers do. And all the other workers do. We give you all some money to help you—not to ‘get by’, as you put it, but to get ahead. And here you are, wearing shoes I can’t afford, and not working because you are an athlete, and making your Momma work two jobs, and talking about how all of this is yours. It is NOT yours. I bought the welfare, I paid for it, it’s mine. And I have the right to demand that you and everyone else who receives it do something with it, and work for it, and not just laze around chasing girls. Your Momma has the right to demand that you work for your shoes, and I have the right to demand that anyone who receives welfare work for that money. Now, that’s what I think about that.”

An amazing thing happened. That huge, 6 and a half foot tall black athlete stood up tall, looked at me very critically, and then gave me his hand. And he said, “You know what, Sir? That’s why we all love you. You say it the way it is.”

He went to his seat and that was the last we ever talked about it.