Saturday, April 19, 2008

Give Me liberty Or Give Me Gingrich!

What unmitigated gall! What chutzpah! What vanity! What a donkey's ass! That we would give up ALL of our liberties and freedoms to ensure protection from any unidentified and nebulous threats. We have been giving up our liberties for about 8 years now based on unjustified threats. And for what? So an illegally seated president and his cabal could line the pockets of Big Business. And foreign governments. Not that any other president hasn't taken advantage of uncertainty to reward loyal investors, but this one has taken the practice beyond the pale. And to have a disgraced politician (one who had divorce papers served on his wife while she was in the hospital undergoing cancer treatment) pushes it even further. To have this...this...this chihuahua of a man, this land piranha tell me that I would give up all of my most profound beliefs because hesays I would without even asking me is the epitome of arrogance.
But don't believe me. Please read:

Contradicting His Hero Ben Franklin, Gingrich Says Americans ‘Will Give Up All Their Liberties’ For Safety»
Yesterday, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich visited Drew University in New Jersey, where he took questions from 20 political science majors there. When one asked him how the government could justify stripping rights from Americans in such pieces of legislation as the Patriot Act, Gingrich said that the government has a “right to defend society,” and when under threat, “people will give up all their liberties“:
“If there’s a threat, you have a right to defend society,” Gingrich said. “People will give up all their liberties to avoid that level of threat.“
Gingrich is directly contradicted by Benjamin Franklin, who rejected the notion that one should give up one’s liberties out of fear:
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
This disagreement is significant, because Gingrich considers Franklin one of his heroes. He prides himself on his Pennsylvania upbringing, where he says “it was easy…to imbue a deep sense of the freedom that is at the heart of the American tradition,” and he frequently invokes Franklin to buttress his conservative claims about individual responsibility and religion in public life:
“Only Franklin personified the striving, ambitious, rising system of individual achievement, hard work, thrift and optimism found at the heart of the American spirit. Only Franklin worked his way up in the worlds of business and organized political power in both colonial and national periods. Only Franklin was a…creator of the American mythos of the common man.”
“During the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Benjamin Franklin (often considered one of the least religious of the Founding Fathers) proposed that the Convention begin each day with a prayer. … [T]he Founding Fathers, from the very birth of the United States, saw God as central to defining America.”
“Franklin, who was quite old and had been relatively quiet for the entire Convention, suddenly stood up and was angry, and he said: I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men, and if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it possible that an empire can rise without His aid?”
Gingrich accuses “the secular Left” of trying to rid religion from public life, thereby “distorting the Constitution to achieve a goal that the Founding Fathers would have found to be a fundamental threat to liberty.” Yet it his own cavalier subordination of civil liberties in the name of national security that would truly offend the Founders.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Oh Goodness. Really. "Patriotic Zeal".

Mood turns ugly in Beijing
Posted: Friday, April 18, 2008 2:16 PMFiled Under:
By Adrienne Mong, NBC News producer
What a difference a couple of months can make.
As people returned to work following the end of the Chinese New Year holidays in February, there was a palpable sense of anticipation for the Olympic Summer Games. The intense winter cold snap lasted longer than the holidays, but there was a spring in everyone’s step.
Friends working in professions as diverse as business and the arts spoke of an accelerated rate of activity; people seemed to be jetting back and forth from the United States and Europe in a frenzy to meet deadlines on special projects before the Games begin August 8.
Chinese youths protest outside a Carrefour supermarket, a French owned company, in Qingdao in east China's Shandong province on April 18.
My e-mail inbox was getting clogged on a more regular basis with press conference notices from the Beijing Olympic authorities, BOCOG. And I was fielding dozens of requests from far-flung friends to crash on the floor of my apartment in the months leading up to August.
It was as though Beijing had become the center of the world and everyone wanted to be here.
And then, the protests and violence in Tibet and surrounding regions happened.
In response to international condemnation of its policies in Tibet, the Chinese government has taken a hard line against critics. At the same time, Chinese people have become more upset over what they perceive as Western media bias against their nation.

Targeting the Western press CNN has been the target of intense criticism and threats for allegedly biased coverage of the protests in Tibet, and particularly for remarks made by commentator Jack Cafferty, who referred to China’s leaders – not the Chinese people – as a "bunch of goons and thugs."
On Thursday, CNN’s bureau chief in Beijing was summoned to China’s Foreign Ministry, where officials demanded an apology and a retraction of Cafferty’s comments.
CNN has apologized for any offence, and Cafferty clarified on air earlier in the week that his comments were referring specifically to the government and "not to Chinese people or to Chinese-Americans."
But even before this latest incident, we had heard from CNN staff that non-essential personnel had been asked to stay away from the CNN Beijing office because threats from angry Chinese activists were growing serious.
A Chinese friend who once worked for CNN learned Friday that his name and personal information had been posted on one of the more virulent anti-Western media Web sites in China. He said he was shocked by the coarse language people used to accuse him of being a traitor.
Not just CNNAn acquaintance at a top-selling U.S. newsmagazine described an incident in which someone rang the doorbell of her home and tried to set off a fire extinguisher in her face when she opened the front door.
NBC News hasn’t been subject to the same level of harassment as some other media outlets, but for several weeks now in the late evenings our bureau has received prank phone calls from Chinese people asking whether we are CNN or just randomly cursing all Western media.
The anxiety isn’t confined to journalists.
Chinese furious over how the Olympic torch was received in Paris on April 7 are planning a demonstration Saturday in front of a branch of the French supermarket, Carrefour. And a more widespread boycott of all Carrefour branches planned for May 1 is gathering steam.
A friend with French relatives coming to visit Beijing next week is anxious about how they might be treated and is reluctant to leave them on their own to explore the capital.
In a way, however, this French family is lucky they can even be here.
Crackdown on visitors and residents Chinese authorities are cracking down on entry visas. Reports are circulating among U.S. businessmen that many companies are starting to suffer from a restriction on business visas for legitimate employees.
Every foreign freelancer or independent contractor I know here is looking for a sponsor, as they’ve been warned their current – and legitimate – business visas are not likely to be renewed. Even a college student whom NBC agreed to take on for the summer has had to cut short his internship, because he won’t be allowed to extend his student visa beyond August 1; extending a visa was previously a common practice.
It’s believed that the visa restrictions are to prevent foreign activists from entering China ahead of the Olympics and staying through the games.
One of our local staffers told me that five security people showed up at her home at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, pounding on her front door and demanding to see her local residency permit. They were rude, she said, and they examined parts of her apartment without her consent.
"They wanted to know if I was the only one living here," she said.
Of course, some of this might appear trivial compared to the domestic political housecleaning taking place across China. Many dissidents or potential noisemakers have been rounded up since December.
In the wake of these incidents, one can only wonder if this is the image China’s government and its people really want to present to the outside world as they prepare to host an Olympics bearing the banner "One World One Dream."
Perhaps not. A commentary posted on the state-run Xinhua news agency Web site Friday urges the Chinese people to contain their "patriotic zeal."

Hee. Hee hee. Oh, the similarities between our two countries. Other than they make things for really, really cheap and sell their girl-children into slavery or something like that. Patriotic zeal, indeed. Sounds more like what we were doing to Muslims and all other dark-skinned folk after 9/11. Not to mention the attacks on those Cheese Eating Surrender (Hey Hey We're The) Monkeys, I mean Le French.
So, those of you who claim that we and the Chinks have nothing in common and they are just damn dirty Commies, think again. They are becoming more and more like us. Or us like them. Not sure. Hmmm....Either way, power do corrupt, do it not? And unchecked power, it do make for strange phrases. Patriotic zeal...ah crap, that's funny.