Thursday, May 01, 2008

More from North Korean Freedom Week

From the Capital Hill rally for North Korea freedom.

North Korean defectors and their allies demanded the Chinese government release all defectors currently held in Chinese prisons.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Brink of a Revolution?

A nice interview with John R. Bradley, the author of Inside Egypt: The Land of the Pharaohs on the Brink of a Revolution is up at Frontpagemag. I have not picked his book up yet, but it sounds like an interesting read.
“I have nothing but disdain for those foreign policy experts in Washington who promote dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood as a way of cultivating an alternative to the Mubarak regime. Of course, the group is the main political opposition -- but how many Egyptians care about mainstream politics? Less than two percent voted in the latest elections. And the Muslim Brotherhood have been cultivated as a political opposition force by Mubarak himself precisely to play up the fear in Washington of an Islamist takeover if he is removed from power. Western policy makers who promote the Muslim Brotherhood are, however inadvertently, doing Mubarak's dirty work for him, and in the process they are doing a great disservice to the Egyptian people.

Of course, if these Western apologists for the Muslim Brotherhood happened to be secular Egyptian Muslims working, say, as professors of politics or literature at Cairo University, they wouldn't be nearly so eager to promote this brand of cultural fascism, because they themselves would have to face the consequences.”

The Joy of dKosopedia

During one of my frequent Daily Kos scuttles, I stumbled upon the Kos crowd’s very own wiki for all things political. dKosopedia, is described as “a collaborative project of the DailyKos community to build a political encyclopedia. The dKosopedia is written from a left/progressive/liberal/Democratic point of view while also attempting to fairly acknowledge the other side's take.” I quickly found out that their interpretation of "fair" is nothing of the sort, and the unsubstantiated claims made throughout the project only shows how unversed these activists really are. Here are some definitions form dKosopedia.

Neoconservatism: “In his semi-autobiographic book, Neo-conservatism, Irving Kristol cites a number of influences on his own thought, including not only Max Shachtman and Leo Strauss but also the skeptical liberal literary critic Lionel Trilling. The influence of Leo Strauss has left key neoconservatives adopting a Machiavellian view of politics.”

So the democracy promotion most neo-conservatives advance is now a Machiavellian principle? I need to re-read my Machiavelli apparently.

And this fascination with Leo Strauss that leftists have is truly bizarre. Catherine and Michael Zuckert wrote an excellent book on Strauss that correctly debunks a lot of the nonsense swirling about concerning his philosophy and its links to Neoconservatism. In The Truth about Leo Strauss, they state:
“Straus earned a bemused, if not irate, contempt of many in the scholarly world when he opened his book on Machiavelli by pronouncing the old verdict on the Florentine as a “teacher of evil” to be, in his judgement, more sound than the newer, intellectually sophisticated characterizations that absolve Machiavelli of that opprobrium. In one of the supreme ironies of intellectual history, that charge, considered by many scholars to be too harsh for Machiavelli, too reflective of a moralistic outlook on the part of Strauss, is now being turned on Strauss himself. Strauss is now called a Machiavellian, or Nietzschean, or a follower of the Nazi apologist Carl Schmitt.”

We can all thank Shadia Drury and her piss poor book “The Political Ideas of Leo Strauss” for this misconception and it’s her work that is sourced and sited in a perpetual circle jerk by those who claim he is a fascist and clandestine grandfather to the neoconservative persuasion. So when I saw the article on Leo Strauss built primarily out of her work, I wasn’t surprised.

“Neo-conservatives prefer a ramped up defense budget (and no wonder, many of them have high level friendships in the defense industry.)”

Huh? Even if this were true, you wouldn’t need to have friends in the defense industry to advocate a strong, fit, and developing military. Having s similar worldview may very well lead to a friendship, but that doesn’t fit into the “evil military” narrative the Kos kids have going.

Project for the New American Century: “Their policy document, "Rebuilding America's Defences," openly advocates for total global military domination.”

That devious Bill Kristol and his plans for world domination! I knew that nerd was up to something.

: “Contrary to the name National Socialism(a.k.a. Nazism) is not socialist it's technically a variant of fascism, the word socialism is there purely for propaganda.

Oh my old leftist brethren, how na├»ve you sound when you make such statements. While you would have to be a loon to think democratic socialists are the same as Nazis, to deny the roots fascism has in socialism is to the detriment of the socialist movement and its adherents. The National Socialists didn’t call themselves that to smear the socialist movement: they did so because they were a type of socialist competing in a pool of many. The Socialist movement produced many positive gains last century, but it can’t be divorced form its murderous, collectivist characteristics.

I am sure there are plenty of pseudo-intellectual gold throughout dKosopedia, but that’s all I can stomach tonight.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Spiritual Adviser with Bigger Plans

Poor Obama...just when he thought this whole Reverend Wright problem had been brushed under the rug, his spiritual advisor just had to go on a media spree. I would have to agree with the Gun Toting Liberal, when he says Wright is out to ruin Obama’s chances at the White House.
“Jeremiah Wright has gone on a rampage over the last twenty-four hours; stumping (yes, STUMPING) for a possible vice presidency (for whom, one must wonder?) and doing anything and everything he can to preserve his newfound fifteen minutes of fame as the former pastor of Trinity United Church. Furthermore, it doesn’t seem he gives a damn whether or not his former parrisioner, Barack Obama, has any success in his quest for the presidency either.

While initially, somewhat alarmed by the soundbites of Mr. Wright, I am now beginning to see a power-hungry man who’s so infatuated with his newfound “fame”, he’s willing to throw Obama and anybody else under the proverbial “bus” to join the ranks of Jesse Jackson in the “divisive, roaming pastors without a church” crowd.

It does seem like Wright doesn’t want Obama to win by the way he is going about ranting and raving. It looked like Obama had put this whole mess behind him (at least for this primary season), and then Wright comes out and reminds everyone why they don’t trust the fact Obama hung around a man like him for so long.

I also find Wright’s argument that he is required to say the things he does because he works for a “higher power” and not for political gains (as Obama apperently is) pretty ridiculous. What, he couldn’t hold off on the national press circuit for 5 months until after Obama was elected? God is going to damn the guy if he avoids talking to news outlets for half a year?

Wright is staking a prime spot for himself in the black victimization industry so many “preachers” profit from. His name is now spoken in every household in America, and by stepping up his rhetoric, he will wrap up support from the very circles he will profit from in the coming years. Just take a look at the things being said about him at the Huffington Post and Daily Kos (some go as far as saying they would vote for Wright himself). Portions of the left think exactly as Wright does, and he is going to profit from that. Move over Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton, there’s a new black leader in town.

Wright’s last few days on the stump have done more damage than any Republican spin machine could have, but yet I doubt many Obama supporters will claim any responsibility if Obama loses in November. They can always blame Fox News and those evil Republicans, and not their inability to scrutinize their candidates properly.

Is it fair to say that only the Democratic Party could spoil an almost guarantied election triumph, all within a few short months?

(Contentious Centrist has a good blog roll concerning Wright’s recent escapades.)

Monday, April 28, 2008

It’s North Korea Freedom Week

Here is a list of the events going down this week promoting freedom in North Korea.

(Hat tip One Free Korea)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Freedom for the Uyghur People

(The illegal separatist flag of East Turkestan.)

I recently belittled a columnist in the Korean press who claimed cultural imperialism was being practiced by English teachers on the peninsula. While I sneer at the argument, and while I feel the “cultural imperialism” label thrown around far too frequently, there are real examples of it currently underway around the world. Look no further than Western China and Uyghur people, and you will see what real cultural imperialism is.

The attempts by the Chinese government to suppress the cultural and political autonomous elements in Tibetan society gets a lot more press in the west, but their region is not the only locale currently pressed upon by Chinese communists. The Xinjiang provience in Western China (also called Chinese Turkestan and East Turkestan) is largely inhabited by the Turkish Ugyhur people. According to the Uyghur Human Rights Project, the Chinese government is engaged in a systematic suppression of the Uyghur and their culture through both political domination and economic exclusion.

The Free Tibet movement benefited from its celebrity activists and its charismatic leader, both of which the Uyghur rights movement lacks. The Chinese government has claimed that they are fighting Islamic terrorism in the largely Muslim region; last year Chinese authorities raided a terrorist training camp and killed 18 militants as well as capturing stockpiles of weapons. While these reports come directly through the Chinese government, it is probable that some Islamic terrorist elements are now operating in the area.
(Photo via Zombietime)

More from the rEVOLution

Why won’t Ron Paul just go away? From CNN:
“The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution Wednesday calling on China to end its crackdown on Tibet and release Tibetans imprisoned for "nonviolent" demonstrations.

The vote was 413-1. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, who has not dropped out of the presidential race, was the lone congressman voting against it.”

Forget “Hope”: Go with the Details

The prolonged Democratic fight has allowed McCain to do some campaigning in areas that he is not expected to win in November, and the message he is bringing is a far cry from the one both Democrats are promoting. From the Los Angeles Times:
“Instead of promising truckloads of aid if he's elected, McCain talked up his vision of a government that helps more by doing less.

It's not a new message from the Arizona senator, who follows an unpredictable political muse but typically favors smaller government and less regulation. Yet the context was important. Standing outside the Ohio factory Tuesday, in a state where Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton pandered to protectionists, McCain actually stood up for the North American Free Trade Agreement and free trade. The lost factory jobs aren't coming back, McCain said, and rather than waging a futile fight against globalization, Washington should do a better job training workers for careers in the new economy.”

Lord knows telling the electorate the hard cold truth in an election year is rarely advised, but it sure offers up an interesting contrast between McCain and the envoy of artificial “hope.”

Update: Welcome Real Clear Politics readers!

Dean to Superdelegates: Pick Clinton?

Yet another twist in the Democratic primary race; Howard Dean, chairman of the US Democratic National Committee, recently said:
“The Democratic party’s “superdelegates” have every right to overturn the popular vote and choose the candidate they believe would be best equipped to defeat John McCain in a general election.”

Sounds to me like Dean is giving the go ahead for the superdelegates to buck the elected delegates and put Hillary Clinton on the Democratic ticket. A few weeks ago I thought Clinton was staying in the race to weaken Obama for her own electoral run in 2112, but with all of Obama’s recent problems, and with Clinton’s working class support and lead in the popular vote, her case for sticking out this race is making sense.