30/04/2004

Sex Education Class (puberty talk)




Pour vous divertir, je vous conseille une des meilleures entrées sur le blog de Mahmood:


Sex Education Class(Puberty Talk)

ME: So Arif had hisfirst sex education (puberty talk) class a couple of days ago!
EVERYBODY: absolute silence, a few red faces, spoons and forks left hanging
between the plates and mouths.
ARIF: DAD!
FRANCES (mywife) shakes her head and LOOKS at me.
ME: what? Did I say something wrong?
ME: So Arif, what makes a man then?
ARIF: DAD! STOP IT!
ME: Why? It's okay to talk about it! So tell me:
ARIF (plucking up a major dose of courage):
boysgetbonersandtheygrowhairandstarttostinkandtheystarttomakesperm

A lire en entier...




05:11 Écrit par Kathy Schmurtz et Had | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |

Milices privées à Bruxelles (enfin!)




Je me demande quelle mouche à piqué ces bourgmestres, chercheraient-ils enfin
de vraies solutions (le secteur privé) aux problèmes
dans leurs communes?  

http://www.lalibre.be/article.phtml?id=10&subid=90&am...

Les deux Woluwe font confiance au privé

Le projet nourri par les bourgmestres des communes bruxelloises fait jaser.


Les bourgmestres des deux Woluwe (Saint-Pierre et Saint-Lambert)
ont confirmé leur intention
de recourir à des services de gardiennage privés pendant l'été pour mieux lutter
contre la criminalité.
Ils ont précisé que les gardiens n'interviendraient pas.
La formule tiendra-t-elle sur le plan juridique?
Même Georges Désir (St-Lambert) s'en inquiète.
Dans les rangs du PS, qui participe à la majorité communale à Etterbeek
et a son mot à dire au sein de la zone de police
concernée, c'est un refus catégorique.

Jacques Vandenhaute (St-Pierre) a affirmé que la proposition soumise mercredi
au conseil communal existe depuis un an.
A ses yeux, il s'agirait de mettre sur le terrain des agents non armés
qui avertiraient la police des situations suspectes.
Le bourgmestre de Saint-Lambert s'est montré plus évasif et plus prudent.
Le dossier n'a pas encore été soumis au conseil
communal de sa commune.


Benoît Cerexhe, chef de groupe CDH au Parlement bruxellois, s'indigne et s'oppose à l'idée.
«A six semaines des élections régionales, on se rendrait subitement compte
qu'il existe un problème
d'insécurité à Woluwe-Saint-Pierre»,
s'étonne-t-il, qualifiant le projet de démagogique et de dangereux,
dans le contexte de menace que font
peser les partis extrémistes sur Bruxelles.
M. Cerexhe estime que la mission de sécurisation de l'espace public doit rester
une compétence exclusive des services de police.




03:51 Écrit par Kathy Schmurtz et Had | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |

24/04/2004

The left vs reality

Un des meilleurs articles parus dans le Jerusalem Post, sur la réalité confrontée à l'idéologie de gauche:

Feb. 13, 2003
Confusing intellectuals with the factsBy JONATHAN ROSENBLUM
Why are smart people so congenitally dumb? Why are those most suited to discussing Shakespeare and Stendahl so hopelessly incompetent to run the affairs of the world? As a former dummy, these questions hold particular fascination for me.
One of the keys to this mystery, it strikes me, is a persistent anti-empirical bias among intellectuals. Theories of how the world works are generated for emotional and esthetic reasons, not on the basis of observed facts. Because the source of these theories is emotional need, they are immune to reality testing; once produced in the ether, these theories cannot be shaken.
After Secretary of State Colin Powell's UN speech, Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory spoke of her distress at being confronted by Powell's powerful evidence. President George Bush and his advisers were not "people whose banner I could follow," and besides, "among the people I know, nobody was for the war," she wrote.
Here is a woman paid handsomely to comment on current events admitting, without embarrassment, that her opinions on the great matters of state are a function of social taste and what is acceptable among the herd of independent thinkers.
The enduring belief of our local "wise men" in the Oslo process is a classic example of a worldview dictated by emotional need. Oslo architect Yossi Beilin simply cannot give up the idea that Yasser Arafat is a peace partner. Nothing - not the Karine A, not orders transferring money to terrorists signed by Arafat, not his calls for jihad, and not the continual incitement in Palestinian schools and media - can convince him that Arafat never accepted the idea of lasting peace with Israel.
As a government minister, Beilin was privy to intelligence reports that the Palestinians were planning a massive return to violence after the breakdown of Camp David, and he has heard subsequent confirmation from Palestinian ministers that the "al-Aksa intifada" was long planned. Yet he continues to assert that if only Ariel Sharon had not walked on the Temple Mount, none of this would have happened.
Oslo fulfilled an emotional need for Beilin - the need to believe in a world in which peace is possible. As long as that emotional need remains, Oslo remains an idee fixe.
Psychiatry, not evidence, is the only cure.
IN A DEBATE a little more than a year ago, a leading American Middle East expert triumphantly demanded of me: "What's the alternative?" as if he had made some kind of argument.
Admittedly it is unpleasant living with the realization that the wolf and lamb will not lie down together any time soon, but trying to avoid that unpleasant recognition by denying reality is downright dangerous.
The best Amram Mitzna's academic supporters could offer prior to the last election was that he at least offers "some hope." Hope is a wonderful thing, and life without it is a dismal affair, but the need for hope cannot be the basis for evaluating the reality around us.
I do not mean to discount the necessity of vision in human affairs. To do so is itself a form of anti-empirical irrationality. Any student of military history knows that many of history's greatest battles were determined, not by the numbers and firepower arrayed on each side, but by the morale and determination of the opposing armies.
One of the great failures of Oslo was the tendency of Israelis to extrapolate from their own mindset in evaluating Palestinian intentions. Religious fervor and attachment to the land were systematically downplayed because in the eyes of Israeli policymakers they are irrational.
No vision is more powerful than that of the messianic age offered by our prophets. Yet had Judaism offered only a messianic vision, without enriching the day-to-day lives of its adherents, it could never have survived. Visions detached from reality cannot sustain themselves over time, though they can wreak tremendous havoc.
I will confess to being stirred by a vision of Iraqis freed from the horror of Saddam Hussein's regime of terror. Like Beilin, I also want to believe the world can be a better place. But hopefully the vision of a Middle East transformed by Saddam's removal is rooted in a realistic analysis of the desires and capabilities of the Iraqi people and of the likely impact of the fall of Saddam on neighboring countries.
In Iran, his fall will make it that much harder for the mullahs to retain control over a restless population. And in Syria, where 1,000 flowers of democracy are not yet ready to bloom, Saddam's removal will convince the regime of the dangers of harboring terrorists and threatening one's neighbors with them.
THE ANTI-EMPIRICISM of the intellectuals renders them oblivious to the real-world consequences of their ideas. At their most extreme, utopian visions hatched in university lecture halls lead to futile attempts to mold human nature to fit the vision.
In Cambodia, that effort resulted in the death of millions.
More mundane examples abound. New York City feminists fiercely opposed a plan to establish a single-sex high school for minority women. Overwhelming social science evidence that such a school would dramatically enhance the academic achievement of the female students failed to move the opponents. The actual lives of poor minority students meant nothing to the feminists - few of whom had ever experienced the terror of inner city education - next to the proscription against any distinctions on the basis of gender.
Anti-war protesters around the world have hardened their hearts to the suffering of 23 million Iraqis. What is their suffering compared to the principle of national sovereignty?
High principles overcome even the elemental human urge for self-preservation. Thus a writer to the Yale Law School Alumni Magazine opines that even if the United States knew that Iraq was about to strike with weapons of mass destruction, it would nevertheless have to await that strike, lest it become "the aggressor."
Even supposedly objective scientists often find it difficult to confront uncomfortable facts. Right-thinking (i.e. left-thinking) people all know that George Bush is a troglodyte for withdrawing from the Kyoto Accords. Yet Danish statistician Bjorn Lomborg argues in The Skeptical Environmentalist that even if pursued until 2100, Kyoto would lessen projected global warning by little more than half a degree. Meanwhile the $150 billion annual cost of enforcing the treaty would be sufficient to eliminate forever the unsanitary drinking water that today kills two million people a year.
That was not the kind of talk many in the scientific community wished to hear. Science and Scientific American, two leading science magazines, mounted broadscale attacks on Lomborg's book, and then made every effort to block Lomborg from responding. In his homeland, a governmental body called the Danish Committee on Scientific Dishonesty found Lomborg guilty of scientific dishonesty. Yet the committee conducted no independent evaluation of the scientific disputes. It contented itself with quoting at length from four negative reviews in Scientific American. The committee further noted ominously that America is the largest energy consumer in the world, and that the book sold well there.
The committee barely mentioned that Lomborg had demolished his critics in a paragraph-by-paragraph rebuttal (see www.greenspirit.com/lomborg). Indeed, the force of Lomborg's rebuttal was held against him: his failure to accept the massive, mostly ad hominem, attacks was cited as proof of his lack of scientific temperament.
We should be grateful God did not create more smart people.

19:13 Écrit par Kathy Schmurtz et Had | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |

23/04/2004

On a raté l'heureux événement du siècle

On a raté l'heureux événement du siècle: Kim Jong Il est presque mort dans un accident de train qui a couté la via à 3.000 personnes.
 
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,117872,00.html

07:31 Écrit par Kathy Schmurtz et Had | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |

22/04/2004

le FMI et la croissance

Dans le World Economic Outlook 2004, le Fond Monétaire International évoque les prédictions de croissance pour l’année 2004 :

 

Croissance pour les Etats Unis

Croissance nulle pour l’Europe

 

Qaund l’Europe va-t-elle enfin comprendre et débuter ses réformes structurelles ?


11:41 Écrit par Kathy Schmurtz et Had | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |

19/04/2004

Sowell sur la diversité culturelle

En 1990, Thomas Sowell reçut le Francis Boyer Award de l'American Enterprise Institute.  Le discours qu'il donna à cette occasion est un chef d'œuvre:

 

 

 

The very motto of the country-- E Pluribus Unum-- recognizes the diversity of the American people.  For generations, this diversity has been celebrated, whether in comedies like Abie's Irish Rose (the famous play featuring a Jewish boy and an Irish girl) or in patriotic speeches on the Fourth of July.  Yet one senses something very different in today's crusades for "diversity"-- certainly not a patriotic celebration of America and often a sweeping criticism of the United States, or even a condemnation of Western civilization as a whole.

 

The historic sharing of cultural advances, until they became the common inheritance of the human race, implied much more than cultural diversity.  It implied that some cultural features were not only different from others but better than others.  The very fact that people-- all people, whether Europeans, Africans, Asians, or others-- have repeatedly chosen to abandon some feature of their own culture in order to replace it with something from another culture implies that the replacement served their purposes more effectively: Arabic numerals are not simply different from Roman numerals, they are better than Roman numerals.  This is shown by their replacing Roman numerals in many countries whose own cultures derived from Rome, as well as in other countries whose respective numbering systems were likewise superseded by so-called Arabic numerals.

 

   If nations and civilizations differ in their effectiveness in different fields of endeavor, so do social groups.  Here there is especially strong resistance to accepting the reality of different levels and kinds of skills, interests, habits, and orientations among different groups of people.  One academic writer, for example, said that nineteenth-century Jewish immigrants to the United States were fortunate to arrive just as the garment industry in New York began to develop.  I could not help thinking that Hank Aaron was similarly fortunate-- that he often came to bat just as a home run was due to be hit.  It might be possible to believe that these Jewish immigrants just happened to be in the right place at the right time if you restricted yourself to their history in the United States.  But, again taking a world view, we find Jews prominent, often predominant, and usually prospering, in the apparel industry in medieval Spain, in the Ottoman Empire, in the Russian Empire, in Argentina, in Australia, and in Brazil.  How surprised should we be to find them predominant in the same industry in America?

 

A lire en entier bien évidemment ;-)       

21:57 Écrit par Kathy Schmurtz et Had | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |

Anniversaire émouvant

Ce texte émouvant encore sur Iraq the Model, pour fêtre les 1 an de libération de l'Irak:

 

The first candle.
-
It’s the day that brought me back to life. It’s the 9th of April and I’m free, and they will not steel my joy again and they will not silence me. A year ago at the same date, the thieves and criminals prevented me from celebrating my freedom in the open air, and today thieves, criminals and fanatics are doing the same, but they will not steal my happiness that is making my soul fly and dance with joy and they can’t stop this.

A year ago, words failed me as I met the 1st American soldier, and I still remember his name, “corporal, Adam” and all I could utter was “thank you!” how could I ever put my whole life in few words? How could I have thanked that soldier enough? How could I have told him what it meant to me to see him and his comrades-who brought me back to life- at last? Thank you Adam, Lieutenant Antonio, Captain Brian Curtis and all the coalition soldiers who I can’t remember their names, and those I never met.

It’s the 9th of April and I feel safe! And I don’t care what those ‘political experts’ on the newspapers and TV channels, say about the ‘occupation’, deteriorated security and ‘unemployment’. You can’t understand this, because you never experienced real fear this long. Let me tell you about it, as I’m one of those who passed Saddam’s filthy test of life.
The statue fell and with it, horror fell. You don’t know what it means to be scared to death most of your life, brothers and sisters. I knew that and I faced it during the reign of evil and darkness. I was afraid to talk, I wasn't allowed to think and I wasn't allowed to feel…I wasn't allowed to love.

How dare anyone imply to me how should I feel? And who they think they are, those who try to put words in my mouth? I’m alive and I’m free, and I have the right to say whatever I feel and chose the words I like. No one will tell me again what to say and what to feel.
Yes, it’s the 9th of April.
I lit the 1st candle today to celebrate my 1st year, as a free man and no one will prevent me from celebrating. I, who the earth is no longer enough to contain my feelings, I who have wings now, and I don’t have to carry an ID…I’m Iraqi. I have the right to wander through my country southwards and northwards, without being stopped by someone to ask me who I am and where I’m going. I’m the son of the 9th of April.

Years ago, when I was a fugitive, a Ba’athist who’s a friend of my father and a relative said to me mockingly “how long are you going to live like this!? Get out of this ‘hole’ and turn yourself in to the authorities and do your military service.” I looked at him and I couldn’t say anything, but my soul screamed inside me, “The day when your tyrant becomes a defeated fugitive will come. He will search for a hole to hide in, and I will own Iraq then”. And here comes the dream true!

I’m the son of the 9th of April, tyrant’s clowns, and you have to fear me, you who betrayed me every minute and every day, and you want to chain me again???
You know why it’s impossible now? I was a slave and I never knew who I am…. and now I’m free! Thanks to all who dared to tell the truth and didn’t fear the consequences. And as for you, who saved me and my people, I can’t thank you enough. My voice goes feeble and my eyes swell with tears as I think of the Iraqis, Americans and all the coalition soldiers who gave their lives to free Iraq and make this world a better place. God bless their souls and all those who decided to fight to the end and never been discouraged, even in the toughest moments. I hope you can call me brother, because I’ll never fail you, as you never failed me.
This time, the 9th of April has come again and in what way! The powers of darkness and evil are trying to stifle my candle with their foul breaths but this time I'm alive and free and I will face them, and I will lit it again and again …and again.

By Mohammed.

21:27 Écrit par Kathy Schmurtz et Had | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |

Différentes attitudes

Omar de Iraq the Model a écrit un petit article très intéressant où l'on voit la différence entre les ressortissants de nations différentes du Golfe:

 

I've been visiting the BBC Arabic site in the last few days and I found a forum where people from many Arab countries –including Iraq- post their opinions about some hot topics, the main of those is Iraq and terrorism of course. I wasn't surprised to see that most Arabs (especially from Egypt, Palestine, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Syria) are forming one side of the debates while Iraqis and people from the rest of the gulf countries are taking the other side. But I was surprised when I found that the almost all the Iraqis who took part in the debates are on our side, maybe 95% of Iraqis expressed their rejection to the violent behavior of some Iraqis and condemned the terrorists attacks on both Iraqis and the coalition saying that the Arab world must stop supporting the terrorists and the thugs from inside Iraq. It's also surprising that many of those Iraqis live in areas that are recognized to have a public anti American attitude in general like A'adhamiya, Diyala and Najaf. I feel that those people are still afraid to voice their points of view in public in such hostile atmospheres but the internet is providing them freedom and safety to say whatever they believe in.
Here, I translated three of the posts made by Iraqis and for those who can read Arabic or have a way to translate web pages,
here's the link.

"What's happening in Fallujah and Baghdad now is the doings of the enemies of Iraq and his people and I mean our "brother Muslims and Arabs" who fear that the fire might reach their kingdoms and let Iraqis go to hell. Iran is supporting Muqtada while our Arab brothers are sending us human bombs to kill our children and all this is in the name of Islam and Arab nationality and the satellite channels are tearing apart and distorting the reputation of every honest Iraqi patriot saying that he's a dirty American agent, so for god sake, enough of what you're doing to Iraq and Iraqis. We did nothing to harm you, so what is this all about?".
Zahawi-baghdad

"To put things clear, we should know who is supporting Sadr, they're a bunch of lost men who spent their lives serving in Saddam's army and he found no one else to support him. The solid truth is that those thugs need to be taught a lesson and this may be in various ways. Iraq must be saved from those men in any possible way".
Abdul Hussein – Hilla

"The martial show for the Mahdi army that Muqtada made is tearing apart the national unity and therefore Iraq needs the liberating forces to remain to prevent the country which was the origin of civilization from being ruled by fanatics who can see no far than their chins".
Saad Yaseen-Diyala.
 
C'est marrant, les pays les plus critiques de ce qui se passe actuellement sont aussi les moins libres.

21:19 Écrit par Kathy Schmurtz et Had | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |

Arafat

The Robber Barron of the Middle East

21:08 Écrit par Kathy Schmurtz et Had | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |

Wherever I stand, I stand with Israel

Les Israéliens ont toujours de bonnes idées, comme par exemple envoyer des pizzas aux soldats de Tsahal pour soutenir le moral des soldats.  Un de mes amis m'a dit que ça lui avait fait très plaisir de recevoir une tarte envoyée par une écolière lorsqu'il était au Sud-Liban.  Aujourd'hui vu le climat qui règne et le nombre de touriste restreint, les pizzerias israéliennes ne gagnent pas beaucoup d'argent.  Onze d'entr-elles proposent donc ce service qui leur permet de gagner de l'argent et permet de soutenir Israel (à travèrs ceux qui défendent les civils).

 

In these troubled times, friends of Israel around the world are looking for tangible ways to share their feelings with our Israeli soldiers and also to support the Israeli economy. From this site you can send Pizza and Soda to active duty soldiers who, day after day, are fighting terror and protecting the Jewish people.

 

As a result of the Arab terror campaign, there is now virtually no tourism to Israel. Your gifts help support many people here in Israel. The eleven pizzerias and eateries we use are very grateful for the business that our project provides.


21:05 Écrit par Kathy Schmurtz et Had | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |

Les libertariens et le GOP

Randy Barnett, auteur de Restoring the Lost Constitution : The Presumption of Liberty et de The Structure of Liberty avait écrit dans le National Review de novembre 2002 une liste de choses qui devraient être changées dans le parti Républicain si celui-ci avait envie de s'approprier les votes des libertariens.  Extraits:

 

Oppose intrusions into privacy…

 

Oppose intrusions upon the Bill of Rights…

Nominate more libertarian-conservative judges like Clarence Thomas to the courts who care about protecting individual liberty, not just traditionalist-conservative judges like Robert Bork who care most about the "liberty" of the majority to enshrine its preferences into law. (His words not mine.) Appoint judges who care about federalism, the Second Amendment, and also about the First Amendment and the unenumerated rights "retained by the people" referred to in the Ninth Amendment. The more Republicans do this, the more trusted they will be by libertarians and I cannot imagine this costing them votes from the middle swing voters. The more they fail to do this, the more votes they will lose to Libertarian-party candidates.

Care about federalism in the Congress…

 

Care more about the free market…

 

Back off Prohibition…

 

Unless, of course, Republicans don't really want those extra senators and governors.

 

Ces arguments sont encore plus d'actualité aujourd'hui qu'en 2002



19:46 Écrit par Kathy Schmurtz et Had | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |

12/04/2004

Aubade 7


18:12 Écrit par Kathy Schmurtz et Had | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |

Vodka Flirt position


18:12 Écrit par Kathy Schmurtz et Had | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |

Deux très intéressants articles sur le blog de David Mayer


Deux très intéressants articles sur le blog de David Mayer:

 

Le premier sur le « liberal bias » dans les campus Américains  

 

One way in which the left-liberal bias influences the way professors teach is their tendency to use the technique that Ayn Rand called “the argument from intimidation.”  She describes it as a type of argument, resembling the ad hominem fallacy, that is not really an argument at all but rather a means of forestalling debate by psychological pressure.  “The essential characteristic of the Argument from Intimidation is its appeal to moral self-doubt and its reliance on the fear, guilt, or ignorance of the victim.  It is used in the form of an ultimatum demanding that the victim renounce a given idea without discussion, under threat of being considered morally unworthy.  The pattern is always: `Only those who are evil (dishonest, heartless, insensitive, ignorant, etc.) can hold such an idea.’”   Rand’s examples cite explicit uses of the technique – “Surely you are not an advocate of capitalism, are you?” uttered with a tone of “scornful or belligerent incredulity.” Or, to use another of her examples, “`Professor X?’ (X standing for the name of a distinguished theorist of free-enterprise economics.)  ‘Are you quoting Professor X?  Oh no, not really!’ – followed by a sarcastic chuckle intended to convey that Professor X had been thoroughly discredited.  (By whom?  Blank out.)” 

 

Et le second sur la « Pledge of Alliance » qui serait anti-constitutionnelle et non-Américaine.


As the Declaration expressly affirms, the United States was founded on one basic political principle:  that the individual is sovereign.  That means, in terms of religion, that the individual is free to believe whatever he wishes and to act on those beliefs, provided he does not harm others or interfere with their equal rights to freedom. 

 

Jefferson wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which declared that “the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction.” 



18:06 Écrit par Kathy Schmurtz et Had | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |

6th Aubade


15:42 Écrit par Kathy Schmurtz et Had | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |

Kerry et le "service communeautaire"

John Kerry wants to make every high school student in America a “volunteer”.

On September 11th, 2001, America experienced the most terrible and deadly attack in its history. John Kerry believes we need to think big and do better and get more young Americans serving the nation.

As part of his 100 day plan to change America, John Kerry will propose a comprehensive service plan that includes requiring mandatory service for high school students and four years of college tuition in exchange for two years of national service.

As President, John Kerry will ensure that every high school student in America does community service as a requirement for graduation.  John Kerry understands that young people have many obligations and recognizes that a service requirement should not be onerous or unrealistic for students to meet. Maryland and numerous school districts around the country already have such a requirement and have had great results. Knowledge of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship - including the duty to serve your community - are as important to American adults as knowing how to read and do math.  Combined with a curriculum that teaches students about democracy, citizenship and civic participation, this high school service requirement will be a rite of passage for every young person in the country.  States would design service programs that meet their community and educational needs. John Kerry does not believe in unfunded mandates. No state would be obligated to implement a service requirement if the federal government does not live up to its obligation to fund the program.

[John Kerry for President - A New Era of National Service and An Army of New Patriots]

In essence, Kerry proposes a new Declaration for America--life, liberty, and the duty to serve your community.

Yet in reality, there is no such duty to the community. Each individual is a sovereign, independent being. No person has an un-chosen duty to live his life for the sake of another. A high school diploma is a mark of having met basic educational standards, yet by forcing mandatory volunteerism into the curriculum, Kerry's proposal would turn it into the mark of servitude.

Will Kerry force his proposal upon private and home school students? Will students who refuse to be turned into serfs be compelled to serve nevertheless? And why is the language of the 13th Amendment of the Constitution ignored? If forcing every high school student to perform a mandatory service requirement is not involuntary servitude, what is?


15:31 Écrit par Kathy Schmurtz et Had | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |

Piercing 2

Après ma première indignation face à l’interventionsime étatique sur le corps de s personnes , l’horreur qu’à du causer la vue du téton de Janet Jackson, voici encore le gouvernement qui intervient en manière de piercings.  Rappelons que les droits individuels n’ont pas à être subordonnés à la « décence publique ».

 

 Rights and Reason: Court Affirms Nipple Piercing Conviction

Heaven save us from an exposed mammary. Consider this case:

The state Court of Appeals has affirmed the conviction of an Albuquerque shop owner who offered free nipple piercing if customers underwent the procedure in the store's window.

In 2002, Renee Sachs was convicted of violating Albuquerque's ordinance banning nudity in a public place. She received a 90-day deferred sentence.

In a 3-0 ruling Tuesday, the Appeals Court also upheld the constitutionality of the city's public nudity ban.

Sachs' attorney, Jeffrey Dempsey of Albuquerque, said his client would continue with her legal challenge by asking the court to rehear the case or petition the state Supreme Court to review the ruling.

Sachs ran an advertisement two years ago promoting the free nipple piercing. The first customer to undergo the procedure in the shop's window was a man and the second was a woman.

When police arrived at the tattoo and body piercing shop, a woman was sitting in the window exposing her breasts as she had her nipples pierced. Several people on the sidewalk were watching.

Sachs was convicted of violating the city's ordinance that bans nudity in public and prohibits store owners from allowing people to be nude in a public place of business.

The Appeals Court ruled that the ordinance did not violate the Equal Rights Amendment of the New Mexico Constitution or the state's Human Rights Act, which prohibits gender-based discrimination.

In her appeal, Sachs contended that the ordinance was unconstitutional because it discriminated against women by prohibiting the public exposure of a female breast but not a male breast. She also argued that the ordinance forced her to offer body piercing services in a way that discriminated on the basis of sex.

The court disagreed.

"The city ordinance does not prohibit public nudity of women while allowing public nudity by men," the court said in an opinion written by Judge Michael Vigil. "It recognizes that females and males have different anatomies, so the objective is accomplished in a nondiscriminatory manner." [AP]

A naked human body is not pornographic--it is a metaphysical given. Only property holders have a right to establish anti-nudity prohibitions for their property. The government has no more right to demand its citizens wear clothes than it does to demand that its citizens wear plaid.

But yet again, the courts have affirmed an illogical and senseless prohibition on conduct that is completely the province of the individual.

 

Comdemning the practice, avoiding such a street, refusing to do business there, and advising other people to do the same are within your rights.
 
Or would your prefer that rights were subordinate to "decency"? Attacks upon rights always begin with attacks on the least popular practicioners.


15:22 Écrit par Kathy Schmurtz et Had | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |

Au Goulag Tropical

Il y certains prisonniers dont vous n’entendrez jamais parler…

 

Cuba’s Forgotten Prisoners

By YVONNE CONDE Special to the Sun Ms. Conde is a freelance journalist and author.

    Outside his prison cell lies the city of Guantanamo, in Cuba’s mountainous easternmost province. The 41-year-old man sits in a filthy 18-by-24-foot cell that he shares with 10 other prisoners. He knows he is fortunate because up to 18 men are routinely squeezed in cells of that size. He ponders once again what his fate will be. The water is rationed and the little that is available is contaminated. His food rations are meager and substandard. He suffers from chronic gastrointestinal conditions, which have worsened since his imprisonment. He now suffers from parasites, high cholesterol, hypertension, and has lost 20 pounds.

    In an ironic twist of fate, he finds himself envying the Taliban prisoners, who are geographically so near and yet so far. They receive balanced meals, access to doctors, medicine, the Koran, and visits by international inspectors and politicians.

    Jorge Olivera Castillo is one of the 300 political prisoners inside Cuba’s jails, yet the world seems blind to their plight.There is no international outcry about his living conditions. No visits from the International Red Cross since 1989. No congressional delegations or pop-ins from Greek Orthodox patriarchs or Robert Redford, Sean Penn, Danny Glover, Oliver Stone, or Harry Belafonte. Nor — even though he is black — any support from the NAACP, whose leader Kweise Mfume visited Cuba in 2002 on a “goodwill mission.” There is no outcry from the National Writer’s Union, whose pet prisoner is Mumia Abul Jamal. Mr. Olivera was arrested on March 18, 2003, during Cuba’s greatest crackdown on independent journalists and dissidents, when 75 persons were arrested. This occurred the day after the 59th Session of the United Nations Commission for Human Rights convened in Geneva.

    His wife, Nancy Alfaya, told me, “When I opened the door, there were five security agents, who were later joined by 12 others. After an extensive four-hour search when his papers, writings, and a typewriter were confiscated, he was arrested.”

    And what crime did Mr. Olivera commit? He was an independent journalist, and the director of the autonomous Havana Press Agency in Castro’s Cuba. Independent journalists cannot publish their stories in the island’s statecontrolled press and must dictate them over the phone to overseas news agencies. For reporting the truth, Mr. Olivera was sentenced to 18 years under Cuban law, according to Ms. Alfaya, who calls this “a grave injustice.”

    This legislation was passed by Cuba’s National Assembly in February of 1999. It is officially called the Law for the Protection of the National Independence and Economy of Cuba. The law calls for seven to 15 years of imprisonment for passing information to America that could be used to bolster anti-Cuban measures such as the American economic embargo. But if Castro can’t get a writer under that one, he can reach for the 1997 Law of National Dignity, which provides for jail sentences of three to 10 years for “anyone who, in a direct or indirect form, collaborates with the enemy’s media,” and is aimed directly at the independent agencies that send their material abroad. Mr. Olivera used to work for Cuban television before deciding that he could not continue to pretend to report news. He has been arrested more than 10 times while trying to pursue an independent niche in the island’s controlled press.

    But the prisoners are not the only ones who suffer.

    “To move the prisoners so far is a punishment for family members,” says Ms. Alfaya, who may visit her husband every three months and is allowed conjugal visits every five months. Most prisoners have been moved to prisons far way from their home, although Cuba has 524 prisons: 52 high security facilities, 47 lower-security prisons, 424 correctional facilities, and one especially for foreigners. Nineteen of these are in Havana.

    “Sometimes I travel by train or bus, rarely by plane.The trip takes 18 hours by road, as the Guantanamo prison is over 900 kilometers away (559 miles).” Ms. Alfaya carries a bag with as much food as she can accumulate under her dire financial circumstances, since her job contract with the tourism industry expired and “has not been renewed. This is a job that requires a person to be ideologically correct,” she says.

    Cuba denies that it holds any prisoners of conscience and says that all inmates described as political prisoners are merely common criminals. Mr. Olivera’s wife says,“I am concerned for him, for his health. I ask the world not to forget what is happening in Cuba.”

 


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Vodka Flirt Tattoos 2


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Victoire pour la liberté intellectuelle à San Francisco St

Victoire pour la liberté intellectuelle à San Francisco State University (SFSU), Tatiana qui avait été expulsée un mois plus tôt a pu réintégrer sa classe, tout ceci grâce à l’aide de Students for Academic Freedom.

Tatiana qui a fui l’Union Soviétique avec ses enfants en 1986 s’était indignée du climat marxiste et anti-sémite régnant au sein de l’Université.   

 

 

L’expulsion :

Purge at San Francisco State

By Lee Kaplan--FrontPageMagazine.com, 02/26/04

Tatiana Menaker is a Russian émigré who knows first-hand about persecution and indoctrination. She was a journalist in her native Russia, and she came to America in 1986, a divorcee with two small children and only $90 in her pocket. A Jewish refusenik against the old Soviet Communist regime, she continued as a journalist writing for the Russian-Jewish community. Later, she bought a small tour van and began giving tours of San Francisco to supplement her income. Three years ago she enrolled at San Francisco State University to better her English. To her dismay, she found the same anti-Semitism and Marxist dogmas prevalent in her previous homeland right here in the U.S.A. at San Francisco State. She frequently found herself arguing with professors who extolled the glories of Marxism and she spoke out frequently at anti-Semitic rallies on campus. One night her tour van was torched which crippled her business. While she could not prove it, she suspected it was those same people with whom she had had heated debates on the Bay Area campus many times.

San Francisco State University is the stomping grounds of the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS). The GUPS are extremely organized on campus. For the last fifteen years, they have been the only student group, out of 206 clubs, to have a permanently assigned office in the Student Union building that boasts a bigger-than-life PLO flag painted onto and covering the entire door. Other campus groups may rotate in or out of offices designated for student activities, but not the GUPS. Many of the Palestinian leadership, such as Saeb Erekat, Yasser Arafat’s chief negotiator, are graduates of SFSU.

Tatiana has written some articles for Frontpagemag.com about the Marxist and anti-U.S. indoctrination in classes as well as the anti-Semitism she has experienced at SF State. One of her experiences was taking a class in English as a second language with many international students visiting the campus from around the world and having a professor who required every assignment to be written about how U.S. imperialism and terrorism were responsible for the attacks on 9/11. Tatiana once relayed to me how foreign exchange students received a daily barrage of how horrible America is and how it is the cause of all the problems in the world. And her grades suffered as her assignments went against the grain and praised American freedom.

Tatiana has also told me about posters on campus with a picture of a dead baby and the words “Palestinian baby meat canned by the USA and Israel” being hung all over campus, and of Palestinian and Muslim students openly exhorting to kill Jews during demonstrations.

Being from Russia and knowing what it is to live in a real totalitarian state, Tatiana has no qualms about supporting the United States and Israel in a place where to do so can make many other students fearful to speak out. Last year when some of the Jewish students on campus sought to stage a peaceful pro-Israel rally advocating peace in the Middle East, the GUPS and their Marxist allies on campus counter-demonstrated, many of whom screamed out statements like “Kill the Jews” and “Hitler should have finished the job.” The situation was so bad that the former Professor of Jewish Studies on campus described it as being like Germany in the 1930’s. The administration actually had to call in 25 San Francisco city police officers to escort the Jewish students off campus when the campus police could not protect them from the mob.

And it was at this event that Tatiana’s problems first started. Being a tough cookie, she hurled some vituperation back at them, urging some to have sexual relations with a camel. She admits now that her response was a bit unnecessary, but nowhere near the threats of genocide and murder she heard from the other side.

After the demonstrations, Tatiana learned how things operate at SF State: she was ordered in for a “disciplinary hearing” by Donna Cunningham, the Officer of Judicial Student Affairs at SF State. She was told she could not bring an attorney and was to appear for judgment and punishment if found she had broken university rules. Ms. Cunningham, who is Black, and a friend Leila Qutami, one of the student leaders of the GUPS, claimed that Ms. Qutami and others had accused Tatiana of calling Palestinian students “sand n-----s,” using a variation of the “n” word.

Subsequent tape recordings and videos of the event revealed that Tatiana uttered no such slur. Her accuser did not even attend the hearing claiming she was “too afraid” to attend even though a campus police officer was present at the hearing and Tatiana is a 53 year-old mother of three children who hardly poses a threat to anyone. Also present at the hearing were a Black Muslim advisor to the Muslim groups on campus and other members of the GUPS. Some might call this a stacked deck.

After 8 hours, the “hearing” was concluded with Tatiana being told she must do 40 hours of “community service” with the stipulation that none of those hours could be to aid or contribute to any “Jewish, Israeli or Russian groups.” That this was anti-Semitic and discriminatory to please the GUPS made no difference to Ms. Cunningham or the administration at SF State.

Not one to take things lying down, Tatiana began writing about her experiences of facing the same Marxism and anti-Semitism at San Francisco State that she had in the former Soviet Union.

She wrote one article about a Palestinian film festival where the film “Jenin, Jenin” and other propaganda films were shown to the student body further denigrating Jews, Israel and the United States. And she wrote about a professor who had disrupted the festival, a social studies professor at SF State named Deborah Gerson, who is a member of a front group for the Palestinians claiming to be made up of Jews in the Bay Area called Jewish Voice For Peace. The activities and writings of this group have in the past even claimed it doubtful that Jews ever lived in the Holy Land at all in biblical times. In short, Professor Gerson identifies herself as a “Jewish Marxist.” She and Jewish Voice For Peace frequently demonstrate on the SF State campus where calls to dismantle Israel are standard fare.

Tatiana described how this professor refers to her colleagues as “comrade” in the old Soviet style and how she educates students on the glories of the Communist system of government that Tatiana as a Soviet Jew risked her life to escape.

Tatiana continued to write about the political climate at SF State. Her articles were good and appeared in the campus newspaper and on Frontpagemag.com. Then she made her next mistake.

She approached Professor Gerson and asked her for an interview so she could inquiry why Gerson, as a professor of Jewish heritage, supported those who sought to murder of Jews. Professor Gerson was very curt and rude and said she didn’t wish to talk to Tatiana who then responded that she had been through real persecution as a Jew in Russia and told Gerson: “If you think that when they start to kill the Jews, they will spare you, you will still be killed as any other Jew two hours later.”

Tatiana immediately received yet another letter calling her into a disciplinary meeting with Ms. Cunningham. She was accused of making death threats! The meeting was scheduled for February 5th but then postponed to the 23rd. During the meantime, Tatiana published two more revealing articles about the Marxist and anti-U.S. indoctrination on the SF State campus. And on the 23rd, her best work yet appeared about a poetry class she had attended where the central theme was damning the United States. The same day that article broke she met with Ms. Cunningham who handed her a form to sign saying she would waive all her rights allowing Ms. Cunningham to mete out any punishment she saw fit to carry out. Tatiana refused and, when she did, Cunningham informed her she was expelled from the University until the year 2009 and had her escorted off campus by a uniformed police officer. The officer informed her that, if she steps foot on campus, she will be arrested for trespassing.

Tatiana maintains that Cunningham and Leila Qutami are close friends. She also maintains the administration, to keep peace with the GUPS and to avoid negative publicity about the political climate at SF State, simply wanted to get rid of her because she is outspoken in favor of the U.S. and democracy and because she is a Jew who isn’t afraid to speak out against anti-Semitism on campus.

And in that regard she is not alone. The SFSU campus chapter of Students For Academic Freedom, the Jewish Anti-defamation League, the Jewish Community Relations Council, DAFKA, and other civil rights groups along with the Russian Jewish community have all stepped up to support Tatiana in her time of need by providing her written support as well as free legal services. All of these groups understand how important it is to back her up in her fight against political indoctrination and anti-Semitism on a campus where leftist ideological groups turn their opponents into outlaws in order to subjugate and silence them.

 

La bonne nouvelle:

April 1, 2004

Expulsion Reversed at San Francisco State U.

Dear Students and Supporters,

Students for Academic Freedom won a victory this week when San Francisco State University agreed not expel student Tatiana Meneker. Students for Academic Freedom took up Menaker’s case and we are gratified by the result. The national media have taken notice of our extraordinary growth as a movement, and there will forthcoming stories in the Washington Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the New York Times. Stay tuned to our website next week for the latest articles about SAF in the national press.

A Russian immigrant who wrote frequently for Frontpage Magazine, Tatiana Meneker was expelled from San Francisco State University for five years on February 23rd after pro-Israel comments she made to a professor were considered “death threats” by an administrator. She was not granted a hearing in her own defense, but instead was immediately escorted off campus by three uniformed campus police officers.

Upon learning of the case, Students for Academic Freedom together with Frontpage Magazine organized a Tatiana Menaker Defense Committee. The local Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) in the San Francisco Bay Area also came to her aid. Tatiana received thousands of e-mails and letters from supporters, who also wrote to SFSU President Robert Corrigan demanding her immediate reinstatement.

In response to our campaign, SFSU informed Tatiana on March 24th that she may continue her studies and attendance at the University without any further interruption. The settlement included a two weeks suspension from school, but the university considers this time to already have been served while her case was being negotiated. SAF views this “punishment” as an attempt by the University to save face, since the settlement essentially drops all charges against her.

Students for Academic Freedom congratulates Tatiana on her resolve throughout this nearly month-long battle with San Francisco State and looks forward to receiving her updates on the state of intellectual and ideological diversity on campus. You can read the full story about the resolution of Tatiana’s case here.

 

 

Une de ses oeuvres:

 

Hate America Poetry Class

By Tatiana Menaker
FrontPageMagazine.com | February 23, 2004

While Americans and Iraqis cheered when Saddam Hussein was dragged from his spider hole in December, there were, obviously, a few notable exceptions. While Saddam loyalists and anti-American Arabs pouted in gloom and doom, back in the U.S. an anti-American poetry hit parade, entitled “My America,” was held shortly after Saddam’s capture. It was the grand finale of San Francisco State University’s fall semester.

Even as TV screens showed the captured Hitler of the Middle East in all his pathetic, unkempt glory, the anti-war show on campus continued. As a part of the Creative Writing Department curriculum, more than a hundred and fifty SFSU students were forced to attend this collective primary delusion presented as a poetry reading. Unfortunately, the weakness of the poets’ political intellect was matched by the weakness of their writing. From the lighted stage of the huge auditorium they groaned about American ‘war atrocities’:

“‘Shock and Awe’ is to say: In forty-eight hours, several thousand dead, battered, incinerated, shattered…”

They also wailed about an American fighter plane downed only in their sick imaginations:

“Strewn across the desert: some boots, a medal, a map of Iraq…”

American soldiers were declared to be gleeful murderers and trigger pullers:

“This is your brain on trigger.

Trigger.

Happy, happy trigger

Pull. Pull.

Thank you, Mr. Bush, for my new arms.

Death bubbles.”

And exulted in a full-blown parade of anti-American delirium:

“When we know someone is suffering somewhere just so we can be relaxed and tranquil in America, Bully of Planet Earth, Superpower.”

In addition, environmental Green and anti-Globalization rhetoric was served behind the mask of poetry:

“Do you see a Statue of Liberty or do you see a toxic waste dump?”

Actually, some individual confessions were not so bad. Listening to this poetry, who would doubt that:

“My mom was a beatnik, therefore crazy.

My father was absent in the neck of a bottle.”

Or:

“I’m a little pissed at America right now…”

Clearly understanding that I was heading toward an F in this class, I took off on a suicide mission. I approached the lit stage where these “poets” sat warmed by applause and proudly waiting for more compliments.

“Don’t you think,” I asked, “it is pathetic to perform in this anti-war circus now that Saddam has been captured? How do you feel about his capture?”

“It’s great that they got him,” one of the guys on the stage answered.

“But how,” I asked, “could it have happened without a war?”

The instructor flew at me like a vulture, “Tatiana! Stop this immediately!”

He already knew my ways; I had had a few words with him regarding his anti-American attitude.

“Don’t try to shut me up! You guys are such conformists. No courage to be dissidents even for a change. Go and study accounting! Your poetry sucks!”

Later, registering for the spring semester, I realized that almost all the “poets” on the auditorium stage were the Creative Writing department’s poetry teachers. While nothing at SFSU surprises me anymore, I exploded, and I need to explain why. The “My [Hate For] America” poetry parade overcame my ability to restrain myself.

Throughout the fall semester the “Writers on Writing” class desecrated two things I hold dear: literature and America. It was a constant assault on my dedication to literature and my literary taste, and an insult to my love for this country. Not only were we forced to buy a bag of crappy books (except a few) with a price tag of around $200, but almost all these “writers” and “poets” presented on the lighted stage of the huge auditorium week after week used the opportunity to express their hate and contempt for America. Throughout the semester only a few talented exceptions abstained from expressing their political opinions.

If I have expertise in anything in this life, it is literature. I came from the Soviet Union, where literature, especially poetry, was a serious and deadly business. The second national prize for poetry in the USSR was five years in prison. The first prize was a death sentence, as seen by the fates of Nikolai Gumilev (execution by firing squad) and Osip Mandelshtam (a hungry death in the Gulag).

Night after night we typed for Samizdat (underground press) on primitive typewriters the smuggled poems of my friend Igor Guberman, who had been sentenced to five years in a prison camp. Kneeling on all fours (I was so pregnant at the time that I couldn’t sit), I read a book by Nadezhda Mandelshtam—the widow of the executed poet—that was brought into the country as contraband by some brave foreign visitors. The possession of this book was an offense punishable by law. The hostess begged me to leave, scared that I would go into labor right there in her apartment, but I finished that book understanding that this was my only chance to touch this dangerous copy.

My Leningrad neighbor Joseph Brodsky, a literary genius and one of the best Russian poets of the 20th century, was, like Solzhenitsyn, thrown out of the country. At the age of 33, Brodsky came to the US, struggling with every English sentence he attempted to write. But by 1987, after only fifteen years in the US, he had been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his essays in English. He also served as Poet Laureate of the United States in 1991 and 1992. When I asked him about the tragedy of the émigré writer who is deprived of his mother tongue, he answered acidly, “Who told you that you can write only in Cyrillic?”

Brodsky died a premature death a few years ago. His heart just gave up: while living in the US, he still was tortured by the KGB, who made him helpless to prevent the suffering of his elderly parents left behind in Russia. The Soviet government took away their meager pensions, earned by forty years of work. Then the officials sadistically announced that his parents would never see their only son again. The Soviets kept their word and Brodsky started to hate even the Russian language because it became the language in which his parents had been subjected to persecution.

Joseph Brodsky knew the value of freedom as only a former slave could. Brodsky’s Nobel-winning essays, “In a Room and a Half” and “On Tyranny,” included in the book dedicated to his mother and father, should be required reading in all university creative writing classes, so that future writers will see the price people paid for the luxury to write and read in other countries and will appreciate their creative freedom and America itself.

There were so many talented writers and poets imprisoned and murdered in the Soviet Union that it is easier to count those who by some miracle were able to remain alive and well.  Through his own life and prison camp experience, as through the experiences of his friends, Brodsky learned a lot about evil.

In a commencement address given by Brodsky in 1984 at Williams College, he pronounced:

“No matter how daring or cautious you may choose to be in the course of your life you are bound to come into direct physical contact with what’s known as Evil…For the most interesting thing about Evil is that it is wholly human. To put it mildly, nothing can be turned and worn inside out with greater ease than one’s notion of social justice, civic conscience, a better future, etc.”

This country gave him refuge and freedom, as it did for many less talented people, including me. For people like us, the name of America is sacred.

In those dark Soviet decades, cramped in the dusty communal apartments, surrounded by distorted mirrors of socialist propaganda, we knew that America existed. The smuggled pair of American jeans or the Simon and Garfunkel record was, for us, a symbol of civilization and freedom. We would go to suburban forests to listen to the “Voice of America” on short wave radios. The Soviets jammed it in the cities and spent more money on suppressing American radio than they spent on all their own broadcasting.

The mere existence of America gave us the courage to fight. Some people who just wanted to leave the Soviet Union paid with prison sentences just for declaring a desire to leave the paradise surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards shooting escapees in the back. The escapees didn’t want to take anything with them. They just dreamed of departing, even naked, with their children on their shoulders. They hijacked airplanes, invented air balloons which evaded radar, swam at night from the beaches of the Black Sea or jumped from the stage during concert tours as Baryshnikov and Makarova did.  The Socialist empire didn’t want to lose its main property: its slaves. (Listen, you “poets,” dreaming about socialism!)

Finally, it was America that paid our way out. The Jackson-Vanik amendment forced the Soviets to allow some groups to emigrate in exchange for a cheap grain trade agreement. Jews were the bargaining chip when the USSR was on the edge of starvation.

Divided by the number of people they finally let go, how many kilos of grain were paid for me? Or my mother?  What was the price in grain for the Moscow boy who became a student at Stanford and invented Google? Or another boy, who became the managing editor of this magazine? Or for the Russian taxi driver?  Or for the elderly Jew, who worked all his life for the Soviets and was allowed, like everyone else, to take with him only $90 after paying five months’ salary for renouncing his Soviet citizenship?

America, this great and generous country not only gave all of us refuge; it even paid to buy us out of slavery.

When I see these Lilliputians attacking the noble and generous Gulliver called America, I lose my breath with fury. The attacks of these literary dwarfs on this country feel personal, against me and my safety. It was not without reason that the great American actress Bette Davis, upon being asked for major life advice, spat the answer, “Beware of Lilliputians!” She knew what they were capable of.

 “If a poet has any obligation toward society, it is to write well” stated Joseph Brodsky. He started his Nobel Lecture with the words: “[I]t is better to be a total failure in a democracy than a martyr, or la crème de la crème in a tyranny.” Our university poetry teachers don’t understand how lucky they are to be failures in a democracy. They have failed in their main obligation to write well. In the Soviet Union they wouldn’t receive even one week in prison.

At least once a year every immigrant from the Soviet Union has the same nightmare: he or she is trapped back in the old country and can’t escape. Ironically enough, mine takes place at San Francisco State. I am walking down the empty hall of the Humanities building. The doors of the stuffy rooms are open, and from all the classes, the same words can be heard:

“Colonialism, imperialism, capitalism, exploitation of the working class.”

And again:

“Colonialism, imperialism, capitalism, exploitation of the working class.”

I see the trusting faces of the young students.

“What class is this?” I ask. 

“Philosophy,” they answer. 

Please, tell me I am not back in the Soviet Union again and this is just a nightmare!

 

Les deux autres collaborations de Tatiana à Frontpagemag disponibles (extraits :

 

College Film Festival: Kill the Jews

 

"Another scene: a demonstration by twenty truant school boys with a Palestinian flag while cameramen are constantly bustling into the scene and obstructing the view. The mere presence of cameramen and journalists in such crowds shows that the situation is far from bad. In Chechnya, after the real military raids, when Russians carpet-bomb the cities, dead bodies are strewn on the streets and nobody picks them up.  Have you ever seen any pictures in newspapers or films?  No journalist is crazy enough to show up in Grozny.  It's quite a bit different to relax in a Jerusalem Mariott, taking showers and enjoying good Israeli dinners, feeling like a hero after photographing the stone-throwing operations of underage truants.

Considering that Israel has more computers per capita than the US, it is no wonder that "humiliation" is the second most repeated word in these films. When your people are staring into a donkey's ass while other people across the street are looking at a computer screen, it is a humiliation.

The tragedy of Palestinian Arabs is that they are forced to compare themselves with the superbly developed civilization of Israel instead of, for example, the outskirts of Cairo, where barely dressed, malnourished, unschooled children with rotten teeth are crawling in the dust around mud huts with no sewage system.

The late KGB Chief Yuri Andropov once said: "We won the war in Vietnam on the streets of Washington." The Arab Palestinian movement was created by the KGB. I know: I worked with Arabs back in Russia. They are using the same KGB-taught propaganda strategy that was used in organizing protests against the Vietnam War, which seduced childish professors together with their immature students. Unfortunately, our civilization is losing a war on its university campuses once again."

 

 

My Second Marxist Indoctrination

 

"Obviously, being busy with teaching and promoting world change, these professors have overlooked the well-known fact that Marxist ideology failed the test in every country where it was applied.

the difference between Leningrad University and SFSU is that my professors in Leningrad were forced to teach socialist propaganda for fear of brutal punishment; here a bunch of aged hippies, who put students through forced indoctrination instead of academic work, were materially rewarded for their radical activism.

Not only am I as amazed as Alice in the Socialist Wonderland of San Francisco State University, but I feel as though I need to attend a third university to receive a real education. At SFSU, I've merely had my second Marxist indoctrination."




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11/04/2004

Qaund le gouvernement impose des prix planchers

Un article de Walter Williams sur les prix plancher imposés par le gouvernement du Maryland sur l'essence.

 

 

Do you suppose that Maryland enacted its gasoline minimum-price law because irate customers complained to the state legislature that gasoline prices were too low?

 

Then, the next question is just whose interest is served by, and just who lobbied for, Maryland’s gasoline minimum-price law?

 

Let’s first establish a general economic principle. Whenever one sees statutory or quasi-statutory minimum prices, he is looking at a seller collusion against customers in general as well as against particular sellers, those who are seen as charging too low a price. This economic principle applies whether you’re talking about minimum wages, minimum dairy prices or minimum real-estate sales commissions. Members of a seller collusion call for statutory and quasi-statutory minimum prices so they can charge customers higher prices than they could otherwise in the absence of a statutory minimum.

 

A lire en entier bien sûr ;-)


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Vodka Flirt sniper


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Aubade 5


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Condi Rice et le flop de la conspiration du siècle

Comme Ase le rappelait la semaine passée, il semble que le nouveau livre de Clarke, censé faire exploser l'administration Bush sur le thème de la lutte contre le terrorisme, s'apparente chaque fois plus à un pétard mouillé.  Cette semaine, c’était Condoleezza Rice qui était reçue à la commission sur les attentats du 11 septembre.  Petits extraits :

 

One genuinely interesting news nugget came in Ms. Rice's opening statement. There she gave details of the Bush Administration's first major national security directive, completed September 4, 2001. It covered "not Russia, not missile defense, not Iraq, but the elimination of al-Qaeda." Obviously this didn't prevent the events of a week later. But it does suggest, contra Richard Clarke, that the Administration was attentive to the terrorist threat.

 

 

Ms. Rice properly observed that there is no obvious response to non-specific warnings that "something very big may happen."

 

 

Unlike his predecessor, President Bush was already conferring with his Director of Central Intelligence on a daily basis.

 

 

In another arena Ms. Rice might have blamed Democrats of the John Kerry stripe for another barrier to effective counterterrorism. Instead, she politely limited herself to pointing out the 1970s-era laws forbidding information-sharing between intelligence and law-enforcement officials.


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Leçon 4


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Syrie, pays des droits de l'Homme

Après une BD sur la Syrie, un petit récit sur la Syrie, pays tant admiré par Louis Michel et Jacques ChIrak, et invitée au conseil de sécurité de l'ONU.

 

 Syria's Gulag

By Farid N. Ghadry and Nir T. Boms
FrontPageMagazine.com | April 9, 2004

Close to a hundred Kurds were killed during a series of riots that started in the soccer game in the city of Qamoshli last month. Over 1,200 Kurds were arrested for treason, espionage, incitement and the disruption of the public order. This is the story of one of them, a 14 year old boy we will call Ahmed, who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

We received this email from Syria yesterday. It was a private message but we felt compelled to have it translated and shared with the world.  We are not in liberty to share the real names of the people who sent this email or who wrote the memory of that experience since they are very much afraid to be the next in line at the torture chamber. The irony in all of this is that Baschar al-Assad visited the Kurds in 2002 and promised them a better future. The ability of the Syrian government to bring about a better future to the Syrian people should be measured by the eyes of Ahmed and his friends. Democracy in Syria remains the only hope and the only answer.

“I saw with my own eyes what I used to see in horror and scary movies and I heard with my own ears what I used to hear in stories told to me about the various savaged ways of torture”  Yes… Yes… Here in my own country, in my own nation Syria, the one that just entered the civilization of the 21st century.

He told me this crying. “oh uncle”, --he calls me uncle since he is my nephew, and he is almost 14-years old—“when they took me from the car near a hall with stairs going down, I was met by one agent after the other, counting all five of them, beating me on my back, on my stomach, on my arm, and every inch of my body. They forced me into a basement, then into a dark room full of people with a stench smell of feet and sweat and another smell that reminded me of a butcher shop. I stretched my leg to enter the dark room but instead I hit a body lying on the floor. He emitted a crying sound, so I tried to step away from the body and then I hit another one who sounded even worse than the first and then I froze. I started crying and fear gripped my whole body. I felt like I was in hell, all I could hear were the different sounds of pain coming from the different corners of the dark room. In about half an hour, the door to the room opened and finally I could see a bit of light. Only then, I realized that the room was no bigger than our modest kitchen at home with about 30 to 40 people in it. They were of different ages but the majorities were young, like me. I even recognized two of them who lived in our quarter.

A person shouted my name and I said “Present” as if I was in school. The man said ‘you are a Kurd, right? Come with me you son of a whore’. Upon exiting the room, trying hard not to bump into any body lying on the ground, I was, once again, met with punches from all sides to all parts of my body and my face. They were swearing and punching at the same time. I lifted my arms to protect myself only to have them brought down followed by more punches and more insults. Two or three held me and asked if my name is so and so, and when I said yes, they started again beating me with their fists coming from all sides and angles. Along the way, I remember them saying my mother became a whore for having had me and that my father was a dog. That is all I remember because the punches were making me weaker and I felt my feet buckle from under me. Several strong arms held me up and the punching continued accompanied by a crescendo of swearing, especially against my mother. They used terms against my sister and mother that I cannot repeat”

“Then they covered my eyes with a black cloth and continued the beating. But this time, I could not see where the punches were coming from. Again, I felt myself weak. I remember screaming and crying for help.

They stopped and started an interrogation. ‘What is your name? Which quarter do you come from? Why did you burn and throw stones?’ Why? Why? Why? A barrage of questions that I could not answer for lack of focus. Then they asked who else was there with me. ‘Give us names, names, names’. Why were you marching?’ I told them that I was not marching. Then someone called to bring me downstairs. I started crying again, uncontrollably. While still blindfolded, one asked to strip me down. They did. Then cold water hit me and I started shivering. The beating restarted but I slipped because of the water and they continued beating me with their feet while still on the ground. Someone stepped on my stomach hard, which I did not expect. All I remember next is that someone saying, place it in his mouth. It was my own feces.  

Then they took me to another room, still naked, blindfolded and shivering. I felt them kneeling and attaching something to my toes, then to my fingers. Then, without any warning, I felt being electrocuted, yes uncle, electrocuted and I started crying again, not knowing what else to do. I was electrocuted twice while there for seven days. And each time, I cried like a baby, oh uncle, like a baby.

Each time, they asked do you confess. And each time I said I will confess. To what, I do not know. But I said yes, oh uncle, because I felt these were not humans, these people were not from our planet. While still blindfolded, they lifted my arm and placed my finger on a paper and told me that this was my confession.

They returned me to the room and took away the blindfold. I realized then all the people in that room were naked like me, naked, naked, and all crying and in pain. There were those with broken ribs; I could tell because when you bump into them, their scream is the loudest and it lifts them off the ground. Then, there were those whose blood has turned black and their bruises covered more areas of their body than their normal flesh. Some had salt sprinkled on their opened wounds and we were whispering to each other the pain they felt. One cried that they electrocuted him through his penis and testicles. He felt ashamed and could not stop crying. All young like me, oh uncle, all young like me.

Some had their finger nails removed. Another said that he was beaten with cables aimed at his penis as if it were a target. There was a young man, oh uncle, who stood all the time because he could not sit down or rest against the wall. We took turns, during these seven days, holding his head in our arms and body so that he could get some sleep. What I saw from these killers, I will never forget all my life, oh uncle; and I will never forgive them, never, ever forgive them. Never, oh uncle, Never”.

Farid Ghadry is the President of the Syrian Reform Party. Nir Boms is a fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and the Council for Democracy and Tolerance.

 


19:54 Écrit par Kathy Schmurtz et Had | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |

Aubade 3

 
 

19:39 Écrit par Kathy Schmurtz et Had | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |

Chomsky et le Vietnam

Formidable critique de Noam Chomsky, héros des gauchistes par Anders Lewis.

 

Noam Chomsky, l’homme aux milles conspirations, héros de la gauche en quête de leader charismatique pour créer leur sympathique dictature du prolétariat.  Parmi les conspirations, il y a celle des "Marlenites" groupe auquel Chomsky a appartenu, qui croit à une conspiration mondiale des Soviétiques, Anglais, Nazis et Américains contre le prolétariat international et qui auraient créé la seconde guerre mondiale pour empêcher le prolétariat de se révolter. 

 

A ce propos, le chomskywatch blogspot (malheureusement peu actif en ce moment)

 

 

Voici la version Chomskyenne de la guerre du Vietnam :

 

For almost forty years, he has offered the same critique of the war. It rests on four related points. First, Chomsky argues that Communism offered the Vietnamese people the opportunity for a democratic and prosperous future. Second, he argues that the Communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV), was not assisted by the Chinese or the Soviets.  Similarly, he argues that the independent National Liberation Front (NLF or Vietcong), was a South Vietnamese political organization that was not controlled by the DRV. Third, Chomsky provides a Marxist interpretation of the war’s origins.  The U.S., be believes, went to Vietnam for economic reasons.  Further, the corporate ruling class determined American foreign policy in Vietnam, and their major goal was boosting the power and profits of big business.  Fourth, Chomsky argues that the U.S. resorted to Nazi-like acts of barbarity and repression to accomplish its goals, including the installment of a lackey government in South Vietnam (the Republic of Vietnam or RVN).

 

Lewis consacre l’article à réfuter cette vision quelque peu spéciale de l’histoire.

L’avantage de Chomsky sur son ami Kerry est qu’il ne dit pas tout et son contraire dans une même phrase,  ce qui permet à l’auteur de critiquer la position de Chomsky qui n’ a pas changée depuis plus de 30 ans.

 

Noam Chomsky: Unrepentant Stalinist

By Anders G. Lewis
FrontPageMagazine.com | April 9, 2004

To the American Left in the 1960s, Hanoi was the Eternal City.  It was the place to go to protest America’s war in Vietnam and to express one’s solidarity with Ho Chi Minh’s Communist regime. In Hanoi one could find, according to Tom Hayden and Staughton Lynd, a “socialism of the heart” and a budding “rice-roots democracy.”  “We suspect,” they observed, “that colonial American town meetings and current Vietnamese village meetings, Asian peasants leagues and Black Belt sharecroppers’ unions have much in common….” It was also in Hanoi that one could, in Ramsey Clark’s words, witness “the chief and universal cause of the revolutionary impulse,” namely “the desire for equality.” “You see no internal conflict in this country,” Clark happily reported.  At least, he stated, “I’ve seen none.”  Finally, it was in Hanoi that one could, in Susan Sontag’s words, visit a place “which, in many respects, deserves to be idealized,” and see a people who “really do believe in the goodness of man….”[1][1] 

Noam Chomsky was among those on the Left who traveled to Hanoi.  In his At War With Asia (1970), the linguist-turned-activist fondly recounted how he found a country that was “unified, strong though poor, and determined to withstand the attack launched against [it] by the great superpower of the Western world.” Everywhere he went, Chomsky found people “healthy, well-fed, and adequately clothed.”  Indeed, he saw great promise in Vietnamese Communism. “My personal guess is that, unhindered by imperialist intervention, the Vietnamese would develop a modern industrial society with much popular participation” and “direct democracy.”   While in Hanoi, Chomsky broadcasted a speech of solidarity on behalf of the Communists.  He declared that their heroism revealed “the capabilities of the human spirit and human will.”  “Your cause,” he continued, “is the cause of humanity as it moves forward toward liberty and justice, toward the socialist society in which free, creative men control their own destiny.”  Chomsky was so moved by his journey that, at one point, he proudly “sang songs, patriotic and sentimental, and declaimed poems” with his hosts.  He admitted that some Western observers, those too encumbered by bourgeois prejudice, might find his actions distasteful.  He was not concerned.   “Let the reader think what he may,” Chomsky wrote. “The fact is,” the whole experience was “intensely moving.”[2][2] 

 

Noam Chomsky went to Vietnam to protest a war he insisted was “simply an obscenity, a depraved act by weak and miserable men….”[3][3]  He opposed the war in word and deed while it was being fought, and he continues to write against it today.  In the 1960s, he aided antiwar students and participated in one of Boston’s first antiwar demonstrations.  He also joined the infamous October 1967 march on the Pentagon.  Chomsky thought it was a glorious affair with “tens of thousands of young people surrounding what they believed to be - I must add that I agree - the most hideous institution on this earth.”  He helped form the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars (CCAS), an organization that demanded “total, immediate, [and] unilateral American withdrawal” from Vietnam.  And in 1969, Chomsky supported the October 15 nationwide Moratorium Against the War in Vietnam.[4][4] 

 

Chomsky has always been celebrated by the Left for his relentless opposition to the war.  In 1969, Robert Sklar wrote a review of Chomsky’s work for The Nation and glowed about his “remarkable scholarly tenacity and depth” and his “capacity for going beneath specific political issues to unveil their underlying cultural and ideological foundations….”  A few years later, Simon Head argued that Chomsky’s work on the war was “of great value in making sense of the present.”  More recently, radical historian Howard Zinn has called Chomsky “the leading critic of America’s involvement in Vietnam.”  Noted anti-free trade activist Arundhati Roy, in a new forward to Chomsky’s For Reasons of State (1972), praises him as “one of the greatest, most radical public thinkers of our time.”  Finally, in 2003, Richard Falk argued that Chomsky was right about the Vietnam War.  His judgments, Folk proposed, “stand brilliantly the test of time.”[5][5]

 

Chomsky’s indictment of the war has not changed since the 1960s.  To understand it, one could read an essay he published in 1968, or one published in 2003.  For almost forty years, he has offered the same critique. It rests on four related points. First, Chomsky argues that Communism offered the Vietnamese people the opportunity for a democratic and prosperous future. Second, he argues that the Communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV), was not assisted by the Chinese or the Soviets.  Similarly, he argues that the independent National Liberation Front (NLF or Vietcong), was a South Vietnamese political organization that was not controlled by the DRV. Third, Chomsky provides a Marxist interpretation of the war’s origins.  The U.S., be believes, went to Vietnam for economic reasons.  Further, the corporate ruling class determined American foreign policy in Vietnam, and their major goal was boosting the power and profits of big business.  Fourth, Chomsky argues that the U.S. resorted to Nazi-like acts of barbarity and repression to accomplish its goals, including the installment of a lackey government in South Vietnam (the Republic of Vietnam or RVN).

 

Chomsky’s four point critique is extensive.  He offers an epic and gripping story of American greed, ignorance, and cruelty contrasted with the grit and solidarity of the Vietnamese Communists.  He views America as an evil colossus, an omnipotent and always unjust force inflicting its will on the innocent Vietnamese.  The story of America in Vietnam is not, as some liberals might think, a story of a once noble effort that metamorphosized into a quagmire. Instead, it is the story of America’s willful and intentional criminality – of its attempt to inflict genocide on the people of Southeast Asia.  Chomsky’s work makes for gripping and, if one did not know any better, disturbing reading.  But alas, Chomsky’s Vietnam epic is entirely wrong.

 

Chomsky’s first point is his contention that Communism offered Vietnam the opportunity for a golden future.  He argues that Ho Chi Minh and his comrades were fighting to bring about a new world of economic justice and national emancipation.  Their goal was to establish a “good example” of non-capitalist development for other Third World nations to follow.  The society they desired was one that would, as Chomsky stated while on his tour of Vietnam, enable free and creative men to control their own destiny.  Chomsky also insists that the Vietnamese people overwhelmingly supported the Communists.

 

Much of Chomsky’s first point rests on his analysis of the DRV’s 1953-1956 land reform campaign, and on his dismissal of Communist atrocities.  He believes that the land reform campaign, in which the Communists took land away from farmers and landlords and gave it to poor peasants, was an important and necessary achievement.  For too long, Chomsky argues, Vietnamese peasants had suffered from gross economic inequalities. True, Chomsky concedes, some of the tactics used to implement the reforms were too aggressive, but the overall effect of the campaign was positive. 

 

 

Chomsky propagated this view of the DRV’s land reform campaign during the war and he has clung to it ever since.  In 1967, he observed that, “if it were true that the consequences of not using terror would be that the peasantry in Vietnam would continue to live in the state of the peasantry of the Philippines, then I think the use of terror would be justified.”[6][6]  In 1970, he admitted that some people were killed during the campaign but insisted that this was less important than the fact that land reform “laid the basis for a new society” that has “overcome starvation and rural misery and offers the peasants hope for the future.”[7][7]  After the war, in a book that Chomsky co-wrote with Edward Herman, The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism (1979), he argued again that the reforms were much needed.  He also insisted that they were not intended as political reprisal against opponents.  Moreover, Communist leaders did not condone the violence associated with the reforms: “There is no evidence that the leadership ordered or organized mass executions of peasants.”[8][8]  Further, they were “upset by the abuses,” and demonstrated a capacity to “keep in touch with rural interest and needs.”  Most importantly, the land reform was an economic success.[9][9] 

 

Because Chomsky viewed Vietnamese Communism as a viable alternative to capitalist development, he dismissed the violence associated with land reform as inconsequential.  He dismissed, as well, numerous other Communist atrocities such as the 1968 massacre at Hue where Communists killed three thousand civilians.  The Hue massacre, he argued, should be attributed to the U.S.[10][10] 

 

Chomsky’s first point is wrong.  His romantic faith that Communism could work in Vietnam is contradicted by the fact that Communism simply can not work in any nation.  It is an inherently flawed economic doctrine that inevitably leads to totalitarianism.  F.A. Hayek, the great economic theorist, pointed this out long before the onset of the Vietnam War.  In his Road to Serfdom (1944), Hayek cogently argued that because modern economies are too complex to be managed by even the brightest of state bureaucrats, centralized economic planning and control will destroy economic productivity.  It will also give the state monopolistic control over the most basic decisions of life.  In so doing, Communism will furnish the state control of the means for all human ends, and “whoever has sole control of the means must also determine which ends are to be served, which values are to be rated higher and which lower – in short, what men should strive for.”[11][11]  Communism, Hayek argued, would never work and the human costs involved in trying to make it work would be terribly high. 

 

Cold War developments proved Hayek correct.  In Eastern Europe, North Korea, China, and the Soviet Union, Communism was a colossal nightmare.  According to the authors of The Black Book of Communism (1999), Communism was responsible for the deaths of possibly 100 million people during the course of the 20th century.  Communism killed.  It also ruined economies.  In the Soviet Union, for example, Communism produced poverty, food shortages, denial of basic services, massive pollution, low rates of productivity, terrible health conditions, corruption, lack of educational opportunities, and high rates of alcoholism.  In the 20th century, as David Horowitz has argued, history demonstrated Communism’s “utter bankruptcy and historic defeat.”[12][12] 

 

Vietnamese Communism was no exception.  Contrary’s to Chomsky’s thesis, the Vietnamese Communists were not progressive, popular, or capable of building a prosperous society.  Instead, they were despotic. Their economic policies, in turn, were disastrous.  These facts are clearly demonstrated by the Communist’s political actions and economic program before, during, and after the Vietnam War. 

 

In 1945, immediately after establishing the DRV, the Communists dedicated themselves to the elimination of all opposition.  They strove to replicate the horrors of Soviet and Chinese Communism. In a 1951 speech, Ho Chi Minh (who had studied and lived in the Soviet Union) proudly declared that “Marx, Engles, Lenin, and Stalin are the common teachers for the world revolution.” He also expressed great confidence in the future because “We have the most clear-sighted and worthy elder brothers and friends of mankind – comrade Stalin and comrade Mao Tse-tung.”[13][13]  Following his elder brothers, Ho established a one-party state with a secret police force and numerous detention camps for dissidents.  He strove to liquidate Trotskyites, political dissidents, and even women who had married Frenchmen.  “All those who do not follow the line which I lay down,” he threatened, “will be broken.”[14][14] 

 

The DRV’s land reform campaign was particularly vicious.  Contrary to Chomsky, it did involve mass killings.  Its purpose was to destroy wealthy and middling landowners by stealing their property and giving it to poor peasants.  The result was large scale terror, paranoia, perhaps 100,000 dead, and many thousands more who were imprisoned.  Moreover, top Party leaders, including Ho Chi Minh, instigated and directed the campaign.  As William Duiker has pointed out in his Ho Chi Minh (2000), “there is ample evidence that much of the [violence associated with land reform] was deliberately inspired by Party leaders responsible for drafting and carrying out the program.”[15][15]  Economically, it was a disaster.  By following the model provided by China and killing thousands of productive and successful land holders, many of whom owned comparatively small plots of land, the Communists were insuring the demise of their economic policies.  The DRV’s land reform campaign was a monstrous act that paralleled similar efforts in the Soviet Union and China.  As Michael Lind has written in his Vietnam: The Necessary War (1999), “Communist agriculture could not produce good harvests – but it repeatedly produced bumper crops of the dead.”[16][16]

 

After carrying out their brutal policies in the North, the Communists sought to extend their power to South Vietnam.  In 1957, they launched a terrorist campaign against supporters of South Vietnamese leader Ngo Dinh Diem.  Over the next several years, Vietcong guerillas assassinated tens of thousands of individuals and abducted thousands more.  They also killed many thousands of innocent civilians by shelling towns and cities with rockets and mortars.[17][17] 

 

The South Vietnamese, moreover, were not devoted to the Vietcong, as was clearly demonstrated during the 1968 Tet offensive when they refused to rally to the Communist cause – as the Communists believed they would.  Nor, for that matter, were the North Vietnamese as supportive of the Communists as Chomsky argues. After the 1954 Geneva conference, there was a mass exodus of North Vietnamese into South Vietnam, including as many as one million Catholics.  In fact, in the immediate months after the conference, almost ten times as many Vietnamese headed South as did those who went North.[18][18]  During the war, millions of Vietnamese realized that the Communists were destroying their chances for democracy and economic development.  The war’s aftermath confirmed their suspicions and demonstrated what the true aims of the Communists were.  It also proved the complete fallacy of Chomsky’s first point. 

 

In 1975, after taking Saigon, the Communists quickly extended their Stalinist dictatorship throughout South Vietnam.[19][19]  The new Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) was corrupt and tyrannical.  Its Stalinist leaders trampled on individual rights and established a string of “reeducation camps” for anyone not sufficiently supportive of the new regime.  They forced possibly one million or more people into these cruel and primitive camps for weeks, months, or years, and without any legal trials.  Camp prisoners suffered from severe malnutrition, as well as malaria, and dysentery.  One journalist who interviewed former inmates noted that prisoners commonly suffered “from limb paralysis, vision loss, and infectious skin diseases like scabies caused by long-term, closely-packed, dark living conditions.”   Because of these inhumane conditions, many prisoners killed themselves.[20][20]  The Communists also eliminated freedom of movement, requiring all citizens to carry internal passports.  They eliminated all political parties and conducted bogus political elections.  They closed down the free press that had existed in South Vietnam and created two official papers and one official television channel.  They launched a racist pogrom against Vietnam’s ethnic Chinese citizens.[21][21]  They swept aside all southerners, including almost all NLF leaders, from positions of power.  They also subjected all citizens to daily education sessions to promote the Party’s power and to celebrate the words of Ho Chi Minh and other great Communist luminaries, including Stalin.[22][22]  One official poem, written by the head of the Communist Party Committee of Culture, contained these moving lines:

 

Oh, Stalin! Oh, Stalin!

The love I bear my father, my mother, my wife, myself

It’s nothing beside the love I bear you.

Oh, Stalin! Oh, Stalin!

What remains of the earth and of the sky!

Now that you are dead.[23][23]  

 

All of this was deeply discouraging to the people of Vietnam. One former Communist official, General Pham Xuan An, commented “All that talk about ‘liberation’ twenty, thirty years ago, all the plotting, all the bodies, produced this, this impoverished, broken-down country led by a gang of cruel and paternalistic half-educated theorists.”[24][24] 

 

Under Communist rule, Vietnam became a totalitarian hell and an economic calamity.  The workers paradise that Chomsky envisioned never came.  Provided their opportunity to be free of American “imperialism,” the Vietnamese Communists – following the examples provided by China and the Soviet Union – used the economy to enrich themselves at the expense of the people they had professed to care so much for.  They proved once again that Communism simply does not work. Since 1975, corruption has been rife, as has unemployment and poverty. Vietnam’s per capita income and its GDP have remained extremely low. The peasantry has felt little incentive to work hard and is generally embittered.  In 1988, parts of Vietnam suffered famine, with millions of people on the brink of death.  Vietnam’s educational system remains poor, as does its basic infrastructure. Prostitution, crime, and drug use plague the country.[25][25]  One can go on and on but the point should be clear. Contrary to what Chomsky predicted, Vietnamese Communism has proven to be a total disaster. 

 

The consequence of Communist rule was a mass exodus of as many as two million Vietnamese who fled Vietnam in small boats and rafts in the hopes of finding a better life in Indonesia, the Philippines, or the United States.  Eventually, approximately one million Vietnamese came to the U.S., the nation that Chomsky believes is the enemy of the Vietnamese people.  “There is no way out, no hope,” one individual declared, “….The best way to commit suicide is to take a boat. Either you go to the bottom of the ocean or to paradise – California.”[26][26] 

 

Chomsky’s response to the grim fate that has befallen Vietnam has been to rally to the SRV’s defense and to blame everything on the U.S.  In 1975 he celebrated Saigon’s collapse.[27][27]  In 1977 he declared that he would not sign any letter that would be distributed through the American media that protested human rights violations in Vietnam.  In fact, he disputed claims that any significant violations were taking place and he reminded people of the “unprecedented savagery” of America’s attack against Vietnam.  He did acknowledge the existence of the reeducation camps, but insisted that some of the individuals in them deserved their fate.  He also attacked the credibility of refugee reports, while happily using the reports of visitors to Vietnam who shared his politics.  In later years, Chomsky simply argued that any problem that was occurring in Vietnam was the fault of the United States.  The U.S. war, he insisted, guaranteed that the Communists would establish a Stalinist state. “Imposing harsh conditions on an impoverished Third World society,” he claimed, “….more or less compel[s] them to resort to draconian measures.”[28][28]  Moreover, the SRV’s reeducation camps were the best that could be expected, and the level of political repression was typical for a nation recovering after a war.[29][29]  

 

Chomsky wants to absolve the Communists of their sins.  This will not do.  It was the Communists, not the U.S., that established a Stalinist state. They built the reeducation camps. They built the cult of personality around Ho Chi Minh, Stalin, and Mao. They killed, tortured, and imprisoned their political opponents.  And they have destroyed, for some time to come, the hope that Vietnam could become a prosperous, productive, and democratic nation.  To insist, as Chomsky does, that the U.S. is to blame for this tragic reality is to resort to Alice in Wonderland logic.  It is to deny that the Communists were Communists, individuals who were doing nothing more than following the dictates of their own twisted ideology.  These are facts, though for many on the Left such as Chomsky, they are embarrassing to acknowledge.  As Doan Van Toai, a former Vietnamese revolutionary, has argued, intellectuals such as Chomsky have chosen to ignore or rationalize Vietnam’s ugly fate.  Astutely, Toai observes that such intellectuals will likely “continue to maintain their silence in order to avoid the profound disillusionment that accepting the truth about Vietnam means for them.”[30][30]

 

Chomsky’s second point is his assertion that the DRV was independent of Soviet and Chinese aid and that the NLF was independent of Hanoi.  Chomsky first advanced this point during the war.  In 1972, he argued that “Administration spokesmen have held to the view that by destroying Vietnam we are somehow standing firm against Chinese or Russian aggression….One searches the record in vain for evidence of this policy.”[31][31] After the war, Chomsky reiterated this view.  In What Uncle Sam Really Wants (1992), he argued that U.S. leaders simply invented the idea of a great North Vietnamese-Chinese-Soviet axis to scare Americans into supporting the war. Communism was not some ominous collection of powerful nations arrayed against the U.S.  Instead, it was the idea that government should take care of its people, not the needs of an imperial power. This was not an acceptable idea to American imperialists.  In Rethinking Camelot (1993), Chomsky wrote that “it was Ho Chi Minh’s ‘ultranationalism’ that made him unacceptable, not his services to the ‘Kremlin conspiracy’ or ‘Soviet expansion’….”[32][32] The war, he contends, was an act of aggression against an independent nation that was unaided by the two great Communist superpowers.  It was also an act of aggression against the NLF, a popular and nationalistic South Vietnamese organization that advocated popular economic and social programs.  NLF authority, Chomsky writes approvingly, was “decentralized and placed in the hands of local people, in contrast to the rule of the U.S. client regime, perceived as ‘outside forces’ by major segments of the local population.”  NLF policies, particularly its land reforms, benefited the great mass of poor peasants.  Moreover, Northerners did not influence the NLF, and did not become directly involved in the struggle against the United States until after 1965.  The war, according to Chomsky, must be characterized as an “invasion” by the U.S. into a nation that simply refused to kowtow to American imperialism.[33][33] 

 

Chomsky’s second point can not be sustained.  Scholars who have had access to Vietnamese, Soviet, and Chinese sources have now firmly established that both the Soviet Union and China provided the DRV with substantial military and economic assistance during the war. They have also established that Hanoi controlled the NLF.[34][34]   

 

Chinese aid to the Communists was essential in the 1950s and the 1960s.  At the 1954 Battle of Dien Bien Phu, Chinese advisers directed the Communist dominated Viet Minh army.  China also furnished the Viet Minh with food, trucks, oil, canons, guns, artillery shells, and millions of bullets.  Chinese aid enabled the Viet Minh’s victory over the French.[35][35]  From 1953 to 1956, China played a key role in assisting the North Vietnamese land reform campaign.  Chinese Communists trained many of the campaign’s leaders.  The DRV official who directed the program, General Secretary Truong Chinh, was a well known supporter of Mao and the Marxist idea of class war.  The killing of class enemies, Chinh believed, was a necessary component of the Vietnamese Revolution.[36][36]  Finally, from 1965 to 1968 - as Qiang Zhai has pointed out in his recent, China and the Vietnam Wars (2000) - Mao sent 320,000 support troops to North Vietnam.  China also supplied surface-to-air missiles, artillery, and essential logistical assistance.[37][37]  The Chinese and the Vietnamese Communists celebrated their joint efforts and appreciated the bloody results.  In one remarkable conversation that Mao had with North Vietnamese premier Pham Van Dong, and military leader Le Duc Anh, the Great Helmsman took particular pleasure in learning what effect Chinese anti-tank weapons had on American soldiers:

 

 

Pham Van Dong: Tanks will melt when they are hit by this weapon.

Le Duc Anh: And the drivers will be burnt to death.

Mao Zedong: Good. Can we produce more of this?[38][38]  

 

One no longer needs to search in vain for evidence of Chinese support for the Vietnamese Revolution.  Nor does one have to search in vain to find enough evidence to realize that Soviet assistance was also of fundamental importance to the DRV. According to the Oxford University Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War (1998), total Soviet bloc aid from 1955 to 1961 was over $1 billon. The Soviets supplied loans to build dozens of industrial plants and numerous power stations.  By 1971, the Soviet Union had provided up to $3 billion in economic and military aid to North Vietnam.[39][39]  Soviet military assistance included T-54 tanks, SA-7 Strela anti-aircraft missiles, and thousands of SA-2 surface-to air–missiles.  Soviet aid, moreover, continued long after the war was over.  In 1983, the Soviets were supplying the Vietnamese up to $4 million a day in economic and military aid.[40][40]  

 

ENDNOTES:

[41][1] The reference to Hanoi as the Eternal City is taken from Roger Kimball.  See Roger Kimball, The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America (San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2000), pp.127-144.  Hayden and Lynd are quoted in John Patrick Diggins, The Rise and Fall of the American Left (New York: W.W. Norton, 1992), pp.240-241, and in Todd Gitlin, The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage (New York: Bantam Books, 1987), p.266. Clark is quoted in Paul Hollander, Political Pilgrims: The Travels of Western Intellectuals to the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba (New York: Harper and Row, 1981), 271.  Sontag is quoted in Norman Podhoretz, Why We Were In Vietnam (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982), pp.90-91.

[42][2] Noam Chomsky, At War With Asia (New York: Vintage Books, 1970), pp.259-287.  The speech Chomsky gave in Hanoi can be found on Frontpage magazine at: http://frontpagemag.com.  In personal correspondence with me, Chomsky stated he “can’t either confirm or deny” that he gave it.  The speech is, however, entirely consistent with what he wrote in At War With Asia, and with his general stance towards the war.  Chomksy also sought to deny what he wrote.  When I confronted him with the fact that he “sang songs, patriotic and sentimental, and declaimed poems,” with the Communists, he wrote back: “I’ll be interested to see where I produced the ‘words’ that you have just invented and attributed to me….I realize that you feel it is your right to fabricate arbitrary slanders, but don’t you think that this is going a little too far?”  It was a stunning response. Chomsky’s efforts, as well as the efforts of all the other activists who traveled to Hanoi, were warmly welcomed by the North Vietnamese.  “Visits to Hanoi…” by American antiwar activists, one North Vietnamese Communist has commented, “gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses.” Quoted in Victor Davis Hanson, Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power (New York: Anchor, 2001), p.416.

[43][3] Noam Chomsky, American Power and the New Mandarins (New York: New Press, 2002), p.9.

[44][4] On Chomsky’s antiwar activities see Milan Rai, Chomsky’s Politics (London: Verso, 1995); Keith Windschuttle, “The Hypocrisy of Noam Chomsky,” NewCriterion.com, May 2, 2003; The Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars, The Indochina Story (New York: Bantam, 1970); Harry Summers Jr., The Vietnam War Almanac (New York: Ballantine Books, 1985), pp.118-119.

[45][5] Robert Sklar, “The Intellectual Power Elite,” The Nation, March 24, 1969. Simon Head, “Story Without End,” The New York Review of Books, August 9, 1973.  See Roy’s foreword in the new edition of Chomsky’s For Reason of State (New York: The New Press, 2003), pp.vii-xx. Roy adds a few exciting twists to the Left’s attack against the war by blasting the U.S. for all the “dead birds, the charred animals, the murdered fish,” and yes, the “incinerated insects.” See Roy’s foreword in the new edition of Chomsky’s For Reason of State (New York: The New Press, 2003), pp.vii-xx. Zinn’s comments are contained in the New Press edition of American Power and the New Mandarins, cited above, pp.iii-ix. Falk’s comments were posted to the H-DIPLO website on July 23, 2003. See: http://www.h-net.org/~diplo.

[46][6] Quoted in Windschuttle, “The Hypocrisy of Noam Chomsky.”

[47][7] Chomsky, At War With Asia, pp.280-281.

[48][8] Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman, The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism: The Political Economy of Human Rights, Volume I (Boston: South End Press, 1979), p.432.

[49][9] Ibid, pp.342-345.

[50][10] Chomsky, For Reasons of State, pp.230-232. 

[51][11] F.A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1944), p.101.

[52][12] David Horowitz, The Politics of Bad Faith: The Radical Assault on America’s Future (New York: The Free Press, 1998), p.96. Stephane Courtois, Nicolas Werth, Jean-Louis Panne, Andrzej Paczkowski, Karel Bartosek, and Jean-Louis Margolin, The Black of Communism: Crimes, Terror, and Repression (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999), p.4.  Also see Richard Pipes, Communism: A History (New York: Modern Library, 2001). Robert Conquest, Reflections on a Ravaged Century (New York: W.W. Norton, 2000).

[53][13] Quoted in Bernard Fall, Ho Chi Minh on Revolution: Selected Writings, 1920-1966 (New York: Signet Books, 1967), pp.188-208.

[54][14] Courtois, et al, The Black of Communism, pp.565-575. Ho Chi Minh is quoted in Michael Lind, Vietnam: The Necessary War (New York: Touchstone, 1999), p.241.

[55][15] William Duiker, Ho Chi Minh: A Life (New York: Hyperion, 2000), p.475. Also see Courtois, et al, The Black of Communism, p.569.

[56][16] Courtois, et al, The Black of Communism, pp.569-570. Also see Lind, Vietnam: The Necessary War, p.151-156. Also see Spencer Tucker ed., The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social, and Military History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), pp.447-448.

[57][17] Tucker, ed, The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War, p.448. Guenter Lewy, America in Vietnam (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978), pp.272-274.

[58][18] See Lind, Vietnam: The Necessary War, p.149.

[59][19] The Communist victory in Vietnam and the U.S. withdrawal from Southeast Asia promoted the fall of Laos to the Communist Pathet Lao, and the Khmer Rouge’s genocidal massacre in Cambodia. The dominoes, as American leaders predicted, did fall.  The Communist victory in Vietnam also encouraged Soviet proxies in Ethiopia, Angola, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, and elsewhere. 

[60][20] See Tucker, ed., The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War, p.348. Doan Van Toai and David Chanoff, The Vietnamese Gulag (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986).  For an informative report on Vietnam written three years after the war see Carl Gershman, “After the Dominoes Fell,” Commentary, May, 1978.

[61][21] See Stephen J. Morris, Why Vietnam Invaded America: Political Culture and the Causes of War (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999), chapter 7.

[62][22] See Robert Templer, Shadows and Wind: A View of Modern Vietnam (New York: Penguin Books, 1998).

[63][23] Quoted in Podhoretz, Why We Were In Vietnam, p.202

[64][24] Quoted in Hanson, Carnage and Culture, p.427.

[65][25] Templer, Shadows and Wind.

[66][26] Quoted in Henry Kamm, Dragon Ascending: Vietnam and the Vietnamese (New York: Arcade Publishing, 1996), p.238. George Herring, America’s Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 3rd ed. (New York: McGraw Hill, 1996), p.302.

[67][27] At what Howard Zinn has called the war’s last teach-in, Zinn, Chomsky, and the participants were joyous upon hearing of the fall of Saigon.  “In the midst of the proceedings,” Zinn recalls, “a student came racing down the aisle with a dispatch in his hand, shouting ‘Saigon has fallen. The war is over,’ and the auditorium exploded in cheers.”  See Zinn’s forward in Chomsky, American Power and the New Mandarins, p.viii.

[68][28] C.P. Otero ed., Chomsky: Language and Politics (Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1988), p.560.  In 1977, Chomsky stated that he would sign “an appropriately worded protest” of human rights violations if it would be released through a country such as Sweden.  He refused to sign any protest through the American mass media because it “supported the war through its worst atrocities.” See C.P. Otero, ed. Noam Chomsky: Radical Priorities (Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1981), pp.62-80. These statements nicely reflect Chomsky’s efforts to avoid moral responsibility for his positions.  He was quite happy to use the media to attack the war in Vietnam, but he will not use it to call attention to the SRV’s human rights violations.  Further, I have found no evidence that he has ever published any indictment of the SRV, either in the American or the Swedish media. To this day, he simply refuses to part ways with his Vietnamese comrades.  When I asked him, in personal correspondence, to cite one book or article he had written that denounces the SRV, he responded:  “Your…question is quite comical. I’ll be glad to answer as soon as you send me the books in which you have condemned the murderous atrocities for which you share responsibility….And if you really cannot comprehend why this is the right answer, I’m afraid you are placing yourself well beyond the bounds of possible discussion.”

[69][29] Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman, After the Cataclysm: Postwar Indochina & the Reconstruction of Imperial Ideology. The Political Economy of Human Rights: Volume II (Boston: South End Press, 1979), pp.61-118.  Chomsky argues that the U.S. actually won the war because it accomplished its goal of destroying Vietnam’s chance to provide a “good example” of Third World economic development.

[70][30] Doan Van Toai, “A Lament for Vietnam,” The New York Times, March 19, 1981.

[71][31] Chomsky, “Vietnam: How Government Became Wolves,” The New York Review of Books, June 15, 1972.

[72][32] Noam Chomsky, What Uncle Sam Really Wants (Tucson: Odonian Press, 1992), p.10. Noam Chomsky, Rethinking Camelot: JFK, the Vietnam War, and U.S. Political Culture (Boston: South End Press, 1993), p.22.

[73][33] Chomsky, Rethinking Camelot, pp.56-63 and pp.90-93.  Also see Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (New York: Pantheon, 1988), pp.188-190.

[74][34] See the introduction and chapter 2 in Marc Jason Gilbert ed., Why The North Won the Vietnam War (New York: Palgrave, 2002).  Gilbert writes that “it was Chinese and Soviet military aid that helped North Vietnam survive American escalation and eventually win the war.” George Herring, in turn, writes that Soviet and Chinese aid “played a crucial role in Hanoi’s ability to resist U.S. military pressures.”

[75][35] John Lewis Gaddis, We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), pp.161-163. Also see Morris, Why Vietnam Invaded America, p.125.

[76][36] Duiker, Ho Chi Minh, p.477. 

[77][37] Qiang Zhai, China and the Vietnam Wars, 1950-1975 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000), p.135.  Also see Chen Jian, Mao’s China and the Cold War (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001).

[78][38] Odd Arne Westad, Chen Jian, Stein Tonnesson, Nguyen Vu Tung, and James G. Hershberg, “77 Conversations between Chinese and Foreign Leaders on the Wars in Indochina, 1964-1977,” Cold War International History Project Working Paper No.22 (Washington: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, May 1998).

[79][39] Tucker ed., The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War, pp.448-449. 

[80][40] Summers, The Vietnam War Almanac, p.316. Also see Ilya Gaiduk, The Soviet Union and the Vietnam War (Chicago: Ivan Dee, 1996).


 




19:33 Écrit par Kathy Schmurtz et Had | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |

Aubade, leçon 2


18:42 Écrit par Kathy Schmurtz et Had | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |

Kerrynomics

Le Wall Street Journal nous apporte une petite étude des propositions économiques de John Kerry, le nouveau héros de nos medias Européens qui luttent contre les causes réelles du terrorisme, à savoir les Etats-Unis, Aznar et Israël.  Nous savions déjà que « JFK le retour » « flip-floppait » si souvent  que savoir ce qu’il propose exactement est un véritable mystère.  Il semble pourtant avoir des propositions proches de celles de Clinton : « tax hikes for the rich, cuts for the middle class, constraints on Congressional spendthrifts. »

 

Like every candidate since time immemorial, Mr. Kerry dodges this question by promising to make government more efficient and to cut back on corporate welfare. But it strains credulity when his headline targets are the federal travel budget and Halliburton. The real answer, of course, is that everybody's taxes will have to go up.

 

Cette politique sent un peu le réchauffé.

 

Kerry as Fiscal Conservative
Following Clinton's lead, he would raise everyone's taxes.

Saturday, April 10, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT

John Kerry says he has found the religion of fiscal responsibility. Never mind that just five months ago he reviled Howard Dean as a "balanced-budget freak" and practically accused the onetime Democratic front-runner of wanting to take away Grandma's cane by slowing the growth of Medicare. On Wednesday Mr. Kerry proclaimed his belief that the federal deficit is becoming a "cancer" on the economy.

Hold the hallelujahs. Mark this down as smart politics rather than a road-to-Damascus conversion. Mr. Kerry, advised by Clinton-era officials, has decided to run on Bill Clinton's economic record. And he's offering much the same program the man from Hope did in 1992: tax hikes for the rich, cuts for the middle class, constraints on Congressional spendthrifts.

The problem is that Mr. Kerry isn't really interested in shrinking the size of government, and that makes it impossible to get the numbers to add up. By rolling back the Bush tax cuts only on those making more than $200,000 a year, the Kerry plan would bring in $400 billion in extra revenue over 10 years, according to Jerry Orszag of the Brookings Institution. But the National Taxpayers Union scores Mr. Kerry's campaign spending pledges as costing $276.88 billion per year. So where will the money come from?

 

Like every candidate since time immemorial, Mr. Kerry dodges this question by promising to make government more efficient and to cut back on corporate welfare. But it strains credulity when his headline targets are the federal travel budget and Halliburton. The real answer, of course, is that everybody's taxes will have to go up.

Recall what happened under Bill Clinton. Originally the 10% surtax was to apply only to those making $1 million or more, but it ended up hitting people with incomes of $250,000; other tax bites continued down into the lower brackets as well.

Such tax increases, we were told, stimulated growth. The theory, articulated by then-Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, was that lower government borrowing would make more capital available for investment. Mr. Kerry signed on to Rubinomics Wednesday: "Ultimately, as deficits drive up long-term interest rates, they will dry up investment and undermine the belief, at home and overseas, that America is worth investing in."

It's a testament to the Clinton myth that Mr. Kerry can say this with a straight face when nominal interest rates are at 40-year lows and real rates are near zero. The supposed correlation between the deficit and rates can't be found, yet even as the U.S. is awash with liquidity we're told that the deficit will starve entrepreneurs of capital. What's really in short supply is willingness to take risks, and President Bush is already remedying that with the incentive of lower marginal rates.

Mr. Kerry also falls short of the mark when he resurrects the Democratic line that the rich aren't paying their fair share. The numbers tell a different story. A study released this week by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office shows that the trend has been moving in the opposite direction. In 2001, the top fifth of earners paid 26.8% of income in taxes compared with 24.5% in 1984; the other four quintiles all saw their rates drop significantly. The U.S. tax system has become more progressive.

It's true that the Clinton years witnessed the elimination of the federal deficit. But that was not due, as Mr. Kerry wants us to believe, to spending caps like those he is proposing. The caps were honored in the breach, with Congress each year repealing the previously imposed limits and setting new ones.

The real savings came from a combination of factors, including a massive "peace dividend" cut in defense spending to 3% of GDP from 5%. The Republican revolution of 1994 brought cuts in other discretionary spending over the following two years. And the soaring stock market of the bubble years combined with a capital gains tax cut to create a massive revenue windfall.

The surplus did not lead to a lowering of the tax burden--quite the opposite. The Clinton tax increases and the speculative fever drove government receipts to a peak of 20.8% of GDP. The Bush tax cuts and the bursting of the bubble have brought that figure down to about 16%. If rates are left as they are, as the economy accelerates revenues should stabilize near their postwar average of 18% of GDP.

Mr. Kerry's "fiscal responsibility" would mean increasing the tax burden again, which would likely kill the recovery. And by ruling out the reform of Social Security and Medicare, he makes it inevitable that the long-term fiscal situation will deteriorate rapidly after 2008, when baby boomers start to retire. At that, the call for tax hikes will become a roar.

Mr. Bush left himself exposed to a Democratic challenge on fiscal stewardship. Since 2001 more than half of new spending has been unrelated to the war on terror. Nevertheless, Mr. Kerry's conversion to fiscal responsibility won't convince those who keep the faith.


18:38 Écrit par Kathy Schmurtz et Had | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |