Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Perfectly Predictable Legacy of Racial Preferences

Dana Summers


One more thing about birth certificate-gate and that’s it, I promise.

The MSNBC-Bill Maher-New York Times-Democratic Party talking points complex will obviously continue to promote the idea that any questions about their guy’s past is racist. Last evening on the PBS News Hour, Mark Shields, a member in good standing of the above-mentioned complex, described it as a campaign to “de-legitimize” Obama and paint him as “The Other,” “an African,” in other words, it’s racist.

The complex is basing this campaign on the hope that the public has amnesia. As David Brooks, the PBS-New York Times idea of a responsible conservative, responded to Shields’ lengthy sociological disquisition, both parties always hope for the one “knockout scandal” that will destroy their opponents; in other words, so what else is new?

It was not always thus. Neither the press nor the Republicans had much stomach for looking into the lives of either Jack Kennedy or Lyndon Johnson. They weren’t much interested in Kennedy and Johnson’s serial adulterous hook-ups, which could dangerously expose the president to blackmail. Kennedy’s affair with the mistress of mafia boss Sam Giancana was amazingly irresponsible to say the least. In retrospect, the press was stupendously irresponsible to ignore that and the serious illnesses Kennedy suffered from and his habitual use of barbiturates and amphetamines. And no one, to my knowledge seriously investigated how LBJ got to be a multimillionaire while on a government salary for most of his adult life, at least not while he was in office.

But that was before the mother of all de-legitimizing scandals: Watergate. Richard Nixon moved into the White House after having accumulated decades of Democratic hatred because of his supposedly “red-baiting” election campaigns for the House and Senate and his “persecution” of Alger Hiss, the now-proven Soviet spy. With Watergate, a president’s opponents accomplished what had not been done in nearly 200 years: they removed a president from office. Watergate showed the way: you must come up with, in Brooks’ words, a “knockout scandal.”

Ever since then, both parties have reflexively searched for the “smoking gun,” the “cover-up,” the decision to “stonewall,” all gifts Watergate bequeathed to political language. The Republicans suspected Carter crony Bert Lance of illegal chicanery and forced Carter to shove him “under the bus.” The Democrats thought they finally had Reagan, the “teflon” president in Pat Schroeder’s words, with Iran-Contra. Then there was George H.W. Bush’s alleged complicity in allegedly delaying the Iran hostage release until after Reagan’s election. And then, of course , there was Bill Clinton. It never fails to amaze me that you can always find something.

But I don’t remember the Democrats complaining about the effort to de-legitimize the Bush presidency because of the wacky 2000 election, or the effort to characterize the mistaken intelligence on WMD in Iraq as deliberate lies. Was that not an effort to de-legitimize, to undermine? I think so.

The raking through Obama’s past is nothing new and can be traced back to Watergate, the mother of all knockout scandals.

But I will concede that there is a racial, if not racist, element in Obama’s case. And it’s the result of the perfectly predictable legacy of “affirmative action,” otherwise known as racial preference. Critics of racial preference have argued for years that such programs are destructive because they undermine “minority” accomplishments.

But what about the “legacies” who get into Harvard or those rich people who putatively bribe their way in? That may happen but they too are viewed with suspicion by those non-legacies, those non-rich, and yes, those non-black or non-Hispanic folks who wonder whether the child of an alumnus, the child of a millionaire, and the minority student were admitted on merit alone.

As with the birth certificate, Obama could have stopped the perfectly understandable, if almost never publicly mentioned, suspicion about his admission to elite universities if he had early on released his academic records. Al Gore, John Kerry, George W. Bush all had mediocre academic records (as did Jack Kennedy) and survived. Don’t most suspect that Gore, Kerry, and Bush would have been denied admission to elite universities if not for their family ties and/or money? As I remember, Obama’s wife admitted that she was admitted to Princeton with less-than-Princeton- caliber grades and test scores as did Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Why hasn’t Obama released his records and why hasn’t the media done its job? He’d rather have the race card up his sleeve with the strong confidence that the compliant media will continue to enable him.

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An American, Chicago Born


John Kass, the columnist sage of Chicago politics, on Obama’s true origins:

…[As] much as everyone would like to thwack Trump, he’s a victim of his own monstrous ignorance. He’s a New Yorker, not a Chicagoan. And everybody in Chicago already knew how Obama came to be.

Birth certificates? We don’t need no stinkin’ birth certificates.

We’ve got the Chronicles of Barack. And though I’ve had to read them to you in the past, it appears I’ll have to do it again. So gather round my friends — you, too, Donald Trump — and let’s fill our Hopium pipes and talk of how Obama truly came to be.

Some chroniclers say that as a child, he had to be tricky and devious, so that his enemies couldn’t catch him. And others tell of the magical weapons he was given by the South Side gods, including the magic dust to sprinkle on the foreheads of journalists, so as to cure them of skepticism.

But in the beginning, he was alone.

As an infant, the tiny Obama was placed in a reed basket, which floated gently down the Chicago River. The current carried him to the South Branch of the river, to the Kingdom of Bridgeport, where the women of the Daley clan found him bobbing against the far bank.

They took the babe and nurtured him. And Obama was made a royal prince. He grew tall and strong, confident that he would perform many miracles, such as providing health care at no additional cost.

Others say that he was not found in a reed basket, but that instead, Obama sprang fully formed from the forehead of convicted influence peddler Tony Rezko (right between those bushy, bushy eyebrows).

Either way, the Daleys so loved Obama that they dipped the child in the Kelly green waters of the Chicago River on St. Patrick’s Day, hoping to make him immortal The Chicago Way.

The dipping was done by Cook County Commissioner Johnny Daley, the least formidable of the Daley brothers. Johnny lowered the babe into the water, holding the kicking child by the ears. Those ears, never submerged, would forever be known as Obama’s spots of weakness.

Once Obama had been dipped into Chicago’s mystical river, he continued his journey. And that’s when he met another young hero by the name of Rahmulus.

Amazing hieroglyphs found hidden in a crawl space at the University of Chicago suggest that Obama and Rahmulus became as close as brothers. In one panel, Rahmulus and his adopted sibling Barack are depicted suckling the milk of a she-wolf to gain strength and cunning.

Eventually, they built empires together. Obama became president. Rahmulus became mayor of a great Midwestern city.

Yet before Obama could earn his seat in the Pantheon of Chicago Politics, the young prince was given a list of great labors to accomplish.

First he had to stomach the crazed sermons of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and smile, and then pretend not to have listened to Wright for years. Later, he was compelled to seek the political blessing of terrorist William Ayers.

And then he challenged hundreds of signatures on the nominating petitions of state Sen. Alice Palmer, brutally knocking Palmer and others off the ballot in 1996 so he could run unopposed in the Democratic primary. [Don’t forget that both his primary and general election opponents’ divorce records were mysteriously leaked. My addition] And all this he did in the name of democracy and fairness and liberal idealism.

After he completed these tasks and many others, Obama was rewarded when Rezko became his personal real-estate fairy, and helped Obama get that dream house in Kenwood.

And then another wonder happened just the other day involving Trump and the birth certificate.

Mr. Celebrity Apprentice became so popular with the Obamanots that they stopped paying attention to other potential Republican candidates. Those other candidates may have ideas, but they certainly don’t have cool helicopters and their own reality TV show and hot girlfriends with accents.

After being conditioned with Pavlovian certainty to react to any mention of birth certificates, the Obamanots held Trump close.

They praised him. And as they applauded Trump, and as he held news conferences talking of how proud he was of himself, an amazing thing happened.

The other Republican candidates — the ones with actual ideas — suffocated for lack of oxygen.

Is it possible that this is what Obama wanted all along?

I mean, the guy isn’t really from Hawaii.

He’s from Chicago, where politics isn’t some fairy tale.

Remember Whoopi’s “Bush”?

Whoops!

I have great respect for those who make their living by performing in public. It requires a great deal of courage to risk making a fool of yourself in front of others, particularly when those others may number in the millions.

It particularly takes a lot of courage, I would think, to be a talk show performer. Obviously, you are almost certain to say a number of spectacularly stupid things if you must talk extemporaneously 5 days a week on TV or the radio. Which brings me to The View and its “host” Whoopi Goldberg.

Whoopi’s predecessor, Rosie O’Donnell had to leave The View after making so many embarrassing statements that even the often embarrassing boss of the show, Barbara Walters, was embarrassed.

Barbara ought to be embarrassed by Whoopi’s performance yesterday. It’s one thing to drop the R bomb on the Donald for questioning Obama’s birth certificate, but then Whoopi fired off this gem:

…”You know how Donald always says, ‘People are laughing at us, thinking we don’t have it’?” Goldberg continued. “Here’s one of the reasons they’re laughing at us, Donald. When you show such insane disrespect to the president of your country, people in other countries think that we’re idiots. So I’m just pointing that out.”

You have to love Whoopi’s newly found reverence for the Office of the President and how disrespect for the President is so bad for the country we all love etc., etc. I would take Whoopi’s remarks at face value if she hadn’t uncorked the following at a Kerry-Edwards fundraiser in 2003:

“That’s why I’m here tonight. Because I love bush. But someone’s giving bush a bad name. Someone has tarnished name of `bush.’ Someone has waged war, someone has deliberately misled the country, someone has attempted to amend the constitution, all in the name of bush. The bush I know and cherish would never do such things. My bush is smarter than that. And if my bush is smarter than that, you can understand just how dumb I think that other bush is. And anyone who would wave to Stevie Wonder is not fully there. I will do whatever it takes to restore bush to its rightful place and that ain’t in the White House. Vote your heart and mind and keep bush where it belongs.”

An excellent post by Tom Maguire of JustOneMinute

Now That Wasn’t So Difficult, Was It?

Finally!

According to the New York Times , Obama released the “long form” document because he wished to “to end the ‘silliness’ that was distracting from the serious issues facing the country.”

Of course, he could’ve ended the silliness years ago when it was initially raised by Hillary supporters, as reported by Politico a few days ago. My take is that he didn’t end the silliness because he thought it was helping him politically by making his critics look kooky. He ended the silliness now because polls showed a large number of people thought he may have been “foreign born.” In other words, he calculated that the issue may have been hurting him more than his opponents.

This shows a disturbing aspect of Obama’s character. Like when he denounced Jeremiah Wright only after his “mentor” attacked him personally, Obama decided to end the birtherism “silliness” only when it appeared that it may have been hurting him, not the country.

Because They’re Evil, Stupid!

Samantha Power - Obama's Celebrity Foreign Policy Chick

Israeli columnist Caroline Glick takes on a couple of Democratic Party foreign policy mavens:

…In deciding in favor of military intervention [in Libya] on the basis of a transnational legal doctrine never accepted as law by the US Congress called “responsibility to protect,” President Barack Obama was reportedly swayed by the arguments of his senior national security adviser Samantha Power. Over the past 15 years, Power has fashioned herself into a celebrity policy wonk by cultivating a public persona of herself as a woman moved by the desire to prevent genocide. In a profile of Power in the current issue of the National Journal, Jacob Heilbrunn explains, “Power is not just an advocate for human rights. She is an outspoken crusader against genocide…”

Heilbrunn writes that Power’s influence over Obama and her celebrity status has made her the leader of a new US foreign policy elite. “This elite,” he writes, “is united by a shared belief that American foreign policy must be fundamentally transformed from an obsession with national interests into a broader agenda that seeks justice for women and minorities, and promotes democracy whenever and wherever it can – at the point of a cruise missile if necessary.”

As the prolonged slaughter in Libya and expected continued failure of the NATO mission make clear, Power and her new foreign policy elite have so far distinguished themselves mainly by their gross incompetence.

But then, even if the Libyan mission were crowned in success, it wouldn’t make the moral pretentions of the US adventure there any less disingenuous. And this is not simply because the administration-backed rebels include al-Qaida fighters.

The fact is that the moral arguments used for intervening militarily on behalf of Gaddafi’s opposition pale in comparison to the moral arguments for intervening in multiple conflicts where the Obama administration refuses to lift a finger. At a minimum, this moral inconsistency renders it impossible for the Obama administration to credibly embrace the mantel of moral actor on the world stage.

Consider the administration’s Afghanistan policy.

Over the past week, the White House and the State Department have both acknowledged that administration officials are conducting negotiations with the Taliban.

Last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defended the administration’s policy. During a memorial service for the late ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who at the time of his death last December was the most outspoken administration figure advocating engaging Mullah Omar and his followers, Clinton said, “Those who found negotiations with the Taliban distasteful got a very powerful response from Richard – diplomacy would be easy if we only had to talk to our friends.”

Of course, the Taliban are not simply not America’s friends. They are the enemy of every good and decent human impulse. The US went to war against the Taliban in 2001 because the Bush administration rightly held them accountable for Osama bin Laden and his terror army which the Taliban sponsored, hosted and sheltered on its territory.

But the Taliban are America’s enemy not just because they bear responsibility for the September 11 attacks on the US. They are the enemy of the US because they are evil monsters.

Apparently, the supposedly moral, anti-genocidal, pro-women Obama administration needs to be reminded why it is not merely distasteful but immoral to engage the Taliban. So here it goes.

Under the Taliban, the women and girls of Afghanistan were the most oppressed, most terrorized, most endangered group of people in the world. Women and girls were denied every single human right. They were effectively prisoners in their homes, allowed on the streets only when fully covered and escorted by a male relative.

They were denied the right to education, work and medical care. Women who failed to abide in full by these merciless rules were beaten, imprisoned, tortured, and stoned to death.

The Taliban’s barbaric treatment of women and girls probably couldn’t have justified their overthrow at the hands of the US military. But it certainly justified the US’s refusal to even consider treating them like legitimate political actors in the 10 years since NATO forces first arrived in Afghanistan. And yet, the self-proclaimed champions of the downtrodden in the administration are doing the morally unjustifiable. They are negotiating, and so legitimizing the most diabolical sexual tyranny known to man. Obama, Clinton, Power and their colleagues are now shamelessly advancing a policy that increases the likelihood that the Taliban will again rise to power and enslave Afghanistan’s women and girls once more.

Then there is Syria. In acts of stunning courage, despite massive regime violence that has killed approximately two hundred people in three weeks, anti-regime protesters in Syria are not standing down. Instead, they are consistently escalating their protests. They have promised that the demonstrations after Friday prayers this week will dwarf the already unprecedented country-wide protests we have seen to date.

In the midst of the Syrian demonstrators’ calls for freedom from one of the most repressive regimes in the Middle East, the Obama administration has sided with their murderous dictator Bashar Assad, referring to him as a “reformer.”

As Heibrunn notes in his profile of Power, she and her colleagues find concerns about US national interests parochial at best and immoral at worst. Her clear aim – and that of her boss – has been to separate US foreign policy from US interests by tethering it to transnational organizations like the UN.

Given the administration’s contempt for policy based on US national interests, it would be too much to expect the White House to notice that Syria’s Assad regime is one of the greatest state supporters of terrorism in the world and that its overthrow would be a body blow to Iran, Venezuela, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and al-Qaida and therefore a boon for US national security…

Who’s Loonier: Barry Birthers or Trig Truthers?


Justin Elliott, in Salon, examines the left-wing, Palin-obsessive equivalent of birtherism:

Trig Trutherism, the surprisingly resilient conspiracy theory that Sarah Palin is not actually the mother of 3-year-old Trig Palin, is experiencing a boomlet thanks to a new academic paper that endorses the concept. Long pursued by the blogger Andrew Sullivan and a significant segment of the Palin-hating left, Trig Trutherism holds that Trig’s real mother is either Bristol Palin or some third party, and that Sarah Palin herself faked the pregnancy to avoid embarrassment for her daughter or for political gain or some combination of reasons.

In light of the recent attention this subject has received and the considerable passion it has stirred, Salon embarked last week on an investigation of the circumstances surrounding Trig’s birth. The exhaustive review of available evidence that we conducted, along with new interviews with multiple eyewitnesses who interacted with a pregnant Sarah Palin up-close in early 2008 — most of whom had never spoken publicly about the matter before — has produced one clear conclusion: Sarah Palin is, indeed, Trig’s mother and there is no reason to suspect any kind of a coverup.

Given that no sentient person could possibly believe otherwise, this is like, as a commenter on my site said in another context, proving that 2 + 2 = 4 is not a “coverup.”

Now I can’t wait for NBC’s David Gregory to badger Obama, Harry Reid, and/or Nancy Pelosi to renounce Democratic “extremists” and Palin-obsessives who push “Trig-trutherism” like Gregory badgered John Boehner over “birtherism.”

I won’t hold my breath.

Tale Of Two Birther Fantasies

Anti-Palin Obsessive Andrew Sullivan


Big "Birther"

Tom Maguire, of the JustOneMinute blog, on the “Birther” and the “Palin-faked-her-fifth-pregnancy” “conspiracies”:

The “Palin faked her fifth pregnancy” rumor is back, prompting Andrew Sullivan to tip us off to the title of his autobiography with a post titled “Wimpy and Gullible”.

The inscrutable logic is that, since Birthers are now being taken seriously, shouldn’t the press dive into the other birther fantasy? Geez, is it really that hard to find examples of the press refusing to probe behind the curtain of Obama’s life? My personal favorite is still the press refusal to engage the ongoing lies and evasions around the Obama/Ayers relationship (which reportedly included ghostwriting help on “Dreams” and an Ayers hand in Obama’s appointment as chair of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge)…

…the NY Times reported:

By Hawaiian law, birth records can be released only to people with “a direct and tangible” interest in them — a person born in the state, say, or certain relatives or their estates. So when questions about Mr. Obama’s birth first surfaced during the 2008 presidential election, his campaign posted a copy of his “certification of live birth” on a Web site; it states that Barack Hussein Obama II was born in Honolulu on Aug. 4, 1961, at 7:24 p.m.

When questions continued to pour in, the state’s health director, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, announced that she had seen the original records and that they showed that Mr. Obama was “born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen.”

So there is a more complete file of “original records” which could be released to Obama, but he has not requested it. Why not? Who knows? And Sully can’t even grasp that basic issue.

My official editorial position is that Obama is hiding his complete file just because it is his brand management strategy to hide everything about his past – try getting his law firm billing records, or a college transcript, or a financial aid form, or his senior thesis, or any damn thing at all. We will need to wait until he signs his eight-figure book deal to see some of that stuff, and then only if it fits his preferred narrative…

Anti-Semitism: History Happens

Text: “Freedom Flotilla” Al-Quds al-'Arabi (United Kingdom), June 3, 2010

Excellent essay by terrific Australian writer Clive James, an excerpt:

For the Israelis, anti-Semitism is merely a nightmare. For the Palestinians, it’s a catastrophe. If you believe, as I do, that the Palestinians’ cause is just, nothing could be more depressing than to hear them spout the very stuff that guarantees they will never get an even break. The mad idea that the Jews have no right to exist is a potent intensifier of the almost equally mad idea that the State of Israel can somehow be eliminated. I say “almost” because a friend of mine in Australia recently presented me with a plausible case that the Middle East would probably be a more peaceful area if the State of Israel had never been founded. Like her argument that the Aborigines would have been a lot happier if the Europeans had never shown up, this contention was hard to rebut, except by rudely pointing out that we were both sitting in an Italian restaurant in Melbourne, history having happened.

But history might have happened otherwise, although in the case of the Jewish presence in Palestine you would have to go back beyond the 1850s (when the Jews were already a majority in Jerusalem) to somewhere near the beginning of the Old Testament, and equip the Canaanites with grenade launchers…

If Israel, between 1967 and 1973, was fatally slow to realise that the Palestinians had fair nationalist aspirations, one of the reasons was that they seemed to be doing fairly well. Arabs in the Occupied Territories, as Arabs have always done within Israel itself, prospered economically to an extent that might have made the leaders of the Arab nations wonder why their own poor were quite so destitute. Luckily the anomaly could be put down to the continuing efficacy of the infinitely subtle international Zionist plot. Israel came so near to losing the 1973 war that Golda Meir and Moshe Dayan both had to resign in apology. It was the end of the old Labour Alignment’s preponderance in government. Begin was at last allowed into the Knesset from which he had previously been excluded as if infected — which indeed he was — and the inexorable rise of the hardliners began. But even then, the settlement movement might have been slower to start if a bunch of PLO “moderates” had not attacked a defenceless school containing nobody except 22 Jewish religious students and murdered them all.

It was a crime encouraged by bad literature. The crime has gone on until this day, and it will continue to be a crime even if the Jews prepare a counter-crime of their own. Some would say they already have. On one occasion, a single Jew walked into a mosque and killed thirty helpless Arabs before his weapons could be disentangled from his ultra-orthodox beard. But no Israeli government, however keen on reprisals against terror, has yet proclaimed the desirability of killing any Arab it can reach. Hezbollah and Hamas both proclaim the desirability of killing any Jew, and there is nothing novel in the proclamation. For a quarter of a century before 1988, when Yasser Arafat finally recognized the state of Israel, it was the founding objective of the PLO to “liquidate” it. Losing people at a crippling rate for a country with such a small population, the Israelis had no reason to doubt that the word “liquidate” was meant in the Stalinist sense. In the last five years of suicidal attacks, Israel has lost almost half the number of people that died in the World Trade Centre. To inflict proportionate damage, Al Qa’eda would have had to burn down Brooklyn. Nearly all of the dead Jews were non-combatants going about their everyday lives, and no doubt that was what made them targets. Any Jew, anywhere. Hezbollah has killed Jews in that well-known centre of the world Zionist conspiracy, Buenos Aires. Where next? Reykjavik?…

Dylan: “Where’s The Nearest Ghetto?”


Ron Radosh on the silly Dylan-sells-out-in-China controversy:

…The ignorance the media has about [Bob] Dylan is most apparent in this AP dispatch appearing this morning in The Washington Post. Take the very first sentence about a forthcoming concert Dylan is to give in Vietnam: “After nearly five decades of singing about a war that continues to haunt a generation of Americans, legendary performer Bob Dylan is finally getting his chance to see Vietnam at peace.” The writer, obviously a very young person without any familiarity at all with Dylan’s work, does not realize that Dylan never sang about the war in Vietnam, and never joined one single protest against it.[emphasis mine]

In his famous 1968 interview (the very year of protest) conducted for Sing Out! by his friends John Cohen and Happy Traum, Dylan was asked by Traum: “Do you foresee a time when you’re going to have to take some kind of a position?” Dylan answered in one word: “No.” Traum, obviously upset, argued that “every day we get closer to having to make a choice,” because, he explained, “events of the world are getting closer to us … as close as the nearest ghetto.” Dylan’s answer: “Where’s the nearest ghetto?

When he got to the issue of the Vietnam War, Traum told Dylan: “Probably the most pressing thing going on in a political sense is the war,” and that artists like him “feel it is their responsibility to say something.” Dylan responded by telling Traum: “I know some very good artists who are for the war.” He then added that this painter he knows is “all for the war. He’s just about ready to go over there himself. And I can comprehend him.” Moreover, when Traum suggested he argue with the painter, Dylan asked, “Why should I?”

Yet the anonymous AP reporter still refers to Dylan as an American “folk singer,” a label he strenuously rejects, and the author of “classic anti-war tunes.” That the president of the Vietnam Composers’ Association thinks that Dylan used music “as a weapon to oppose the war in Vietnam” only reveals his ignorance as well, and speaks to an image of Dylan that never in reality was warranted. Nor is it accurate to say that Dylan’s music “during the tumultuous 1960s touched thousands of young people…angry that a draft was being used to send young men off to die in Southeast Asia — to take to the streets and demand that Washington stop the war in Vietnam.” One might say that about the openly anti-war John Lennon, who even led a march in New York City, but definitely NOT about Bob Dylan.

Yet Human Rights Watch, a group whose credibility has been recently questioned by its founder Robert Bernstein for its constant one-sided attacks on Israel as a human rights violator, felt no compunction in releasing a statement that “Dylan should be ashamed of himself.” Brad Adams, executive director of its Asia division, said that Dylan has “a historic chance to communicate a message of freedom and hope, but instead he is allowing censors to choose his playlist.”…

Somehow failing to understand that Dylan was opening up China officially to his music, and managing as Wilson writes to “get through the cracks” despite their censorship, [Maureen] Dowd writes her entire column today attacking Dylan, calling it “Blowin’ in the Idiot Wind,” not so cleverly putting together titles of two Dylan songs. The great Dowd, who has nothing to sell out because she stands for nothing, complains that Dylan “may have done the impossible: broken creative new ground in selling out.”

Like all the others, because Dylan did not sing “The Times They Are a-Changin’” and “Blowin’ in the Wind,’” she has accused him of selling out. Nor did he sing his didactic but musically compelling song about Rubin Hurricane Carter, “Hurricane”; somehow Dowd did not notice that Dylan has not performed it since 1976 — possibly because he was burnt out of doubts that arose about whether or not Carter was ever innocent. Dowd sets up a perfect straw man: because Dylan does not sing the songs she thinks are real protest songs, he has sold out. So she crudely comments that Dylan “sang his censored set, took his pile of Communist cash and left.”

Yes, Communist China — capitalist in economics and totalitarian in politics — is continuing political repression, something which defines the very essence of Communism. To many young Chinese, Dylan himself stands in his very identity for freedom, the freedom of the artist to define his own path, and to reject government control as a necessity for the creation of art. When Dylan at age 22 walked off the Ed Sullivan Show because Sullivan refused to let him sing “Talking’ John Birch Paranoid Blues,” he was protesting a censor in his own country, demanding the right to sing what he wanted and to not let commercial TV people tell him what to do.

By going to China and singing songs obviously the censors could not make head or tails of, Dylan was making a major breakthrough, and allowing Chinese youth who do not know about him to listen to all of his songs, including the ones Dowd thinks are essential.

In the rest of her article, Dowd contradicts her main argument by quoting from music critic David Hajdu and from Dylan’s own Chronicles to show that Dylan never considered himself to be any kind of voice of a generation or a protester, and consciously rebelled against the label put on him — one, obviously, that still sticks, despite the fact that many of those writing about him by now should know better.

Hajdu is right. Dylan knows that much of his earlier work was too polemical and hard-edged. You will never hear him singing his one biggest mistake, “George Jackson,” about the murder in prison of the black revolutionary. Dylan fans know that Dylan lambasted the late Phil Ochs as a “journalist,” not a songwriter, and objected to what he called “finger pointing songs.” And Sean Wilentz, who told her that the Chinese were “trying to guard the audience from some figure who hasn’t existed in 40 years,” is dead on right…

What Ron Radosh is describing is another example of the post-60’s left’s campaign to rewrite and “update” history in support of their current politically correct agenda.

Now That’s Change You Can Believe In

Michael Ramirez


A wonderfully nasty Mark Steyn gem:

…For a sense of Democrat insouciance to American decline, let us turn to the president himself. The other day Barack Obama was in the oddly apt town of Fairless Hills, Pa., at what the White House billed as one of those ersatz “town hall” discussions into which republican government has degenerated. He was asked a question by a citizen of the United States. The cost of a gallon of gas has doubled on Obama’s watch, and this gentleman asked, “Is there a chance of the price being lowered again?”

As the Associated Press reported it, the president responded “laughingly”: “I know some of these big guys, they’re all still driving their big SUVs. You know, they got their big monster trucks and everything. … If you’re complaining about the price of gas, and you’re only getting eight miles a gallon – (laughter)…”

That’s how the official White House transcript reported it: Laughter. Big yuks. “So, like I said, if you’re getting eight miles a gallon you may want to think about a trade-in. You can get a great deal.”

Hey, thanks! You’ve been a great audience. I’ll be here all year. Don’t forget to tip your Democrat hat-check girl on the way out: At four bucks a gallon, it’s getting harder for volunteers to drive elderly voters from the cemetery to the polling station. Relax, I’m just jerking your crank, buddy! And it’s not four bucks per, it’s only three-ninety-eight. That’s change you can believe in!

Message: It’s your fault…Buy a hybrid. Wait till the high-speed rail-link is built between Dead Skunk Junction and Hickburg Falls. Climb into the fishnets and the come-hither smile and hitch.

America, 2011: A man gets driven in a motorcade to sneer at a man who has to drive himself to work. A guy who has never generated a dime of wealth, never had to make payroll, never worked at any job other than his own tireless self-promotion literally cannot comprehend that out there, beyond the far fringes of the motorcade outriders, are people who drive a long distance to jobs whose economic viability is greatly diminished when getting there costs twice as much as the buck-eighty-per-gallon it cost back at the dawn of the Hopeychangey Era.

So what? Your fault. Should have gone to Columbia and Harvard and become a community organizer…