Sunday, November 27

Joseph Stalin: World's greatest leader ever

The author of the piece below is a famous American entertainer writing about Joseph Stalin around 1938:
Here was clearly a man who seemed to embrace all. So kindly - I can never forget that warm feeling of kindliness and also a feeling of sureness. Here was one who was wise and good - the world and especially the socialist world was fortunate indeed to have his daily guidance. I lifted high my son to wave to this world leader, his leader...

They have sung - sing now and will sing his praise - in song and story. Stalin, Glory to Stalin. Forever will his name be honored and beloved in all lands.

In all spheres of modern life the influence of Stalin reaches wide and deep. From his last vastly discerning and comprehensive document, back through the years, his contributions to the science of our world society remain invaluable. One reverently speaks of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin - the shapers of humanity's richest present and future.

Through his deep humanity, by his wise understanding, he leaves us a rich and monumental heritage. Most importantly, he has charted the direction of our present and future struggles. He has pointed the way to peace--to friendly co-existence--to the exchange of mutual scientific and cultural contributions--to the end of war and destruction. How consistently, how patiently, he labored for peace and ever increasing abundance, with what deep kindliness and wisdom. He leaves tens of millions all over the earth bowed in heart-aching grief.

This isn't just "Yeah, I saw him once and it was inspiring," but rather is the kind of uncritical worship usually reserved for God. Stalin the humanitarian--yeah, that's it. Don't worry about the 30 million or so citizens of the USSR whose murder he ordered, because his "wise understanding" insures that they undoubtedly deserved their fate.

Stalin, who labored for "ever-increasing abundance." Which of course explains why the USSR and other communist nations vaulted to the top of the world's ranks in per-capita production and standard of living.

Stalin the peacemaker: Do as you're ordered and you shall have peace. Sort of reminds one of the "religion of peace" so admired and defended by so many Hollywood entertainers.

In truth, the author of the above could have been any of the millions of folks who were charmed by the lofty, eloquent, feel-good rhetoric of communism. All of which shows that yet again, perception (for which read: propaganda and media presentation) is everything.

(Author was actually Paul Robeson.)

Law schools vs. the U.S. military

In a few weeks the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that challenges the constitutionality of the Solomon Amendment--a federal law that requires universities to give military recruiters the same access to their campus facilities as is enjoyed by corporate recruiters, or risk losing various federal funds. (Rumsfeld v. FAIR)

Thirty-one law schools formed an organization with the misleading but nicely-acronymed name of "Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights" (FAIR, see?) to challenge this law. According to the WaPo (Charles Lane, WaPo, May 3, 2005; Page A02), the law schools claim the law is "inconsistent with their constitutional right to free speech. They say they should be free to shun a policy they consider discriminatory."

This careful wording is just too cute. Of course, considering that the source is the WaPo it's an even bet that the phrases used by the Post's reporter aren't even close to the wording actually used either by the parties or by the court. But reporter Lane's use of the phrase "to shun a policy" for breaking federal law is truly Orwellian.

Virtually every story on this case has described it as a "free speech issue"--which of course is how the law school group is arguing it. But a closer look shows that the case has about as much to do with free speech as flag burning or nude dancing. To characterize it as a free-speech issue is as nutty as opposing Iraqi elections on the ground that elections would deny *Saddam* free speech.

The Post reports that the U.S. Court of Appeals granted FAIR an injunction against enforcement of the Solomon Amendment, saying it "requires law schools to express a message that is incompatible with their educational objectives, and no compelling governmental interest has been shown to deny this freedom."

[This last phrase--the reporter's, not the court's--suggests the Post is simply throwing in hot-button phrases regardless of whether they apply to this case: Denying any freedom rallies most Americans, but exactly what is "this freedom" that the government is supposedly seeking to deny?

The Post claims the real motive for the law-schools' filing this suit is their objection to the policy (forced on the military by Democrat Bill Clinton) of "don't ask, don't tell" regarding homosexuals in the military. For those unaware, Clinton ordered the military to accept homosexuals join as long as their orientation was not "obvious."

This supposed explanation for the law-schools' true motive is a nice cover story, and probably generates support among gay advocates. But let's be honest here: The hostility of most academics to all things military--which prompted the Solomon amendment in the first place--far pre-dates Clinton's don't-ask/don't-tell policy. The law-schools may claim they're doing this to make a stand for gay rights but the truth is that they've been anti-military for decades.

This is actually just one more skirmish in the endless battle between people who believe that America--far from being a champion of freedom and democracy the world over--is actually the *cause* of most of the world's problems and wars. It can't come as a surprise that those who believe the American military is bad want to avoid giving military recruiters equal access to their students.

Saturday, November 19

MSM morphs Murtha to cover for Dems

The MSM is truly an arm of the Democratic party, particularly their far-left wing. Most recent example is the way NYTimes' (spit) Eric Schmitt reported the dustup caused by Representative John Murtha's call for "immediate withdrawal" of U.S. troops from Iraq. The good folks at Discriminations have the whole story here.

Briefly, Vietnam vet Murtha held a press conference in which he repeatedly called for an immediate pullout. Here's how Schmitt wrote it as of noon Friday: influential House Democrat on military matters called for the immediate withdrawal of American troops and Republicans escalated their attacks against the Bush administration's critics.
So far, so good (well, except for the gratuitous and predictable slap about Republicans "escalating their attacks against...critics"!) But then some GOP tactician decided to accept the challenge: They introduced a resolution to do exactly what Murtha had garnered so much fawning press coverage saying--withdraw the troops immediately.

Whoops! The Dems and the MSM thought they had the Administration in another trap: Here's a retired colonel and Vietnam vet calling for immediate pullout. Add hours of emotionally-charged press coverage and stir. One more chance to make the Bush folks look like they were actually anti-military.

Dems never expected the tactical resolution in response. Now they'd have to either support what their guy had just gotten through calling for (with so much laudatory press coverage) and thus show their true colors, or else help defeat what their guy had just called for--thus showing how transparently political the whole charade was.

No doubt sensing the trap, Schmitt's 7:30pm story read like this:
House Republicans are attempting to split the ranks of the Democrats tonight by offering a resolution to withdraw American troops from Iraq immediately.
It's like Murtha's press conference never happened. Not a word of background, no context--it's like the GOP just came up with this out of thin air!

With the defeat of the measure assured (it failed 403-3) Schmitt and the Times needed a rewrite--of their earlier reporting. So at 10:30 pm, the 'official' Dem-approved version of history:
Democrats accused Republicans of pulling a political stunt by moving toward a vote on a symbolic alternative to the resolution that Mr. Murtha offered on Thursday, calling for the swift withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. Democrats said the ploy distorted the meaning of Mr. Murtha's measure and left little time for meaningful debate.

And indeed, the resolution proposed by Murtha did call for a pullout "at the earliest practicable time." But just ten hours earlier Schmitt and the Times had run with the far more damaging (and destabilizing) wording "immediate withdrawal."

Now that the GOP had cleverly turned the tables, Schmitt and the Times had to push the earlier version down the memory hole--because providing any reference to it would have exposed the Dem/MSM effort as transparently political. Which of course it was.

Amazing. And predictable.