Monday, February 16, 2009

It Can't Happen Here? It Has Already Begun

February 16, 2009
How Democracies Become Tyrannies
By Ed Kaitz

Back in 1959 the philosopher Eric Hoffer had this to say about Americans and America:

For those who want to be left alone to realize their capacities and talents this is an ideal country.

That was then. This is now. Flash forward fifty years to the election of Barack Obama and a hard left leaning Democrat Congress. What Americans want today, apparently, is a government that has no intention of leaving any of us alone.

How could Hoffer have been so wrong about America? Why did America change so quickly? Can a free people willingly choose servitude? Is it possible for democracies to become tyrannies? How?

The answers to these questions were famously addressed in a few pages tucked within the greatest masterpiece of the classical world: Plato's Republic. On the surface, and to most reviewers of Plato's writings, the Republic is a dialogue on justice and on what constitutes the just society. But to careful readers the deeper theme of the Republic is the nature of education and the relationship between education and the survival of the state. In fact, the Republic is essentially the story of how a man (Socrates) condemned to death for "corrupting" the youth of Athens gives to posterity the most precious gift of all: the love of wisdom.

In the Republic, two young men, Glaucon and Adeimantus, accompany the much older Socrates on a journey of discovery into the nature of the individual soul and its connection to the harmony of the state. During the course of their adventure, as the two disciples demonstrate greater maturity and self-control, they are gradually exposed to deeper and more complex teachings regarding the relationship between virtue, self-sufficiency, and happiness. In short, the boys begin to realize that justice and happiness in a community rests upon the moral condition of its citizens. This is what Socrates meant when he said: "The state is man writ large."

Near the end of the Republic Socrates decides to drive this point home by showing Adeimantus what happens to a regime when its parents and educators neglect the proper moral education of its children. In the course of this chilling illustration Adeimantus comes to discover a dark and ominous secret: without proper moral conditioning a regime's "defining principle" will be the source of its ultimate destruction. For democracy, that defining principle is freedom. According to Socrates, freedom makes a democracy but freedom also eventually breaks a democracy.

For Socrates, democracy's "insatiable desire for freedom and neglect of other things" end up putting it "in need of a dictatorship." The short version of his theory is that the combination of freedom and poor education in a democracy render the citizens incapable of mastering their impulses and deferring gratification. The reckless pursuit of freedom leads the citizens to raze moral barriers, deny traditional authority, and abandon established methods of education. Eventually, this uninhibited quest for personal freedom forces the public to welcome the tyrant. Says Socrates: "Extreme freedom can't be expected to lead to anything but a change to extreme slavery, whether for a private individual or for a city."

Adeimantus wants Socrates to explain what kind of man resembles the democratic city. In other words, he wants to know how "democratic man" comes to be and what happens to make this freedom loving man eventually beg for a tyrant. Socrates clarifies that the democratic man starts out as the son of an "oligarchic" father -- a father who is thrifty and self-disciplined. The father's generation is more concerned with wealth than freedom. This first generation saves, invests, and rarely goes in for conspicuous consumption.[i]

The father's pursuit of wealth leaves him unwilling and unable to give attention to his son's moral development. The father focuses on business and finance and ignores the business of family. The son then begins to associate with "wild and dangerous creatures who can provide every variety of multicolored pleasure in every sort of way." These Athenian precursors of the hippies begin to transform the son's oligarchic nature into a democratic one. Because the young man has had no moral guidance, his excessive desire for "unnecessary pleasures" undermines "the citadel" of his soul. Because the "guardians" of the son's inner citadel -- truth, restraint, wisdom -- are absent, there is nothing within him to defend against the "false and boastful words and beliefs that rush up and occupy this part of him."

A 1960s revolution in the son's soul purges the last remaining guardians of moderation and supplants new meanings to old virtues: "anarchy" replaces freedom, "extravagance" replaces magnificence, and "shamelessness" replaces courage. The young man surrenders rule over himself "to whichever desire comes along, as if it were chosen by lot." Here Socrates notes the essential problem when a free society becomes detached from any notions of moral virtue or truth: desires are chosen by "lot" instead of by "merit" or "priority."

For the son the democratic revolution in his soul is complete. In this stage "there is neither order nor necessity in his life, but he calls it pleasant, free, blessedly happy, and he follows it for as long as he lives." Socrates gives a brief illustration of the young man's new democratic life:

Sometimes he drinks heavily while listening to the flute; at other times he drinks only water and is on a diet; sometimes he goes in for physical training; at other times, he's idle and neglects everything; and sometimes he even occupies himself with what he takes to be philosophy. He often engages in politics, leaping up from his seat and saying and doing whatever comes into his mind. If he happens to admire soldiers, he's carried in that direction, if money-makers, in that one.

In short, the young man has no anchor, no set of guiding principles or convictions other than his thirst for freedom. His life is aimless, superficial, and gratuitous. The spoiled lotus-eaters of his generation have defined themselves simply by mocking all forms of propriety and prudence. What's worse, as these Athenian baby-boomers exercise their right to vote, they elect "bad cupbearers" as their leaders. The new cupbearers want to stay in office so they give the voters whatever they desire. The public, according to Socrates, "gets drunk by drinking more than it should of the unmixed wine of freedom." Conservative politicians who attempt to mix the wine of freedom with calls for self-restraint "are punished by the city and accused of being accursed oligarchs."

As conservative politicians court suspicion so do conservative teachers and academics who stubbornly hold on to objective measurements of performance: "A teacher in such a community is afraid of his students and flatters them, while the students despise their teachers or tutors." Conservatism becomes unpopular just about everywhere, to a point at which even the elderly "stoop to the level of the young and are full of play and pleasantry, imitating the young for fear of appearing disagreeable and authoritarian."

The explosion of boundaries and limits extends even to national identity itself, so that resident aliens and foreigners "are made equal to a citizen."

The citizens' souls become so infected with freedom that they become excessively paranoid about any hint of slavery. But slavery comes to mean being under any kind of master or limit including the law itself. Says Socrates: "They take no notice of the laws, whether written or unwritten, in order to avoid having any master at all." That is, any kind of "hierarchy" in a democracy is rejected as "authoritarian." But this extreme freedom, according to Socrates, eventually enslaves democracy.

As the progressive politicians and intellectuals come to dominate the democratic city, its "fiercest members do all the talking and acting, while the rest settle near the speakers platform and buzz and refuse to tolerate the opposition of another speaker." There are "impeachments, judgments and trials on both sides." The politicians heat up the crowds by vilifying business and wealth and by promising to spread the wealth around. The people then "set up one man as their special champion" and begin "nurturing him and making him great."

The people's "special champion" however transforms from leader to tyrant. He "drops hints about the cancellation of debts and the redistribution of land" and continues to "stir up civil wars against the rich." All who have reached this stage, says Socrates, "soon discover the famous request of a tyrant, namely, that the people give him a bodyguard to keep their defender safe for them." The people give him this new security force, "because they are afraid for his safety but aren't worried at all about their own."

Socrates describes the early weeks of the new leader's reign:

"Won't he smile in welcome at anyone he meets, saying that he's no tyrant, making all sorts of promises both in public and in private, freeing the people from debt, redistributing land to them, and to his followers, and pretending to be gracious and gentle to all?"

After a series of unpopular actions, including stirring up a war in order to generate popular support, the leader begins to alienate some of his closest and most ardent advisers who begin to voice their misgivings in private. Following a purge of these advisors the tyrant attracts some of the worst elements of the city to help him rule. As the citizens grow weary of his tenure the tyrant chooses to attract foreigners to resupply his dwindling national bodyguard. The citizens finally decide they've had enough and begin to discuss rebellion.

At this point in the dialogue Adeimantus asks Socrates incredulously: "What do you mean? Will the tyrant dare to use violence against [the people] or to hit [them] if [they] don't obey? Socrates answers:

"Yes - once he's taken away [the people's] weapons."

Thus ends Book VIII of Plato's Republic. I won't spoil the marvelous ending (Books IX and X) but I would like to spend a few moments drawing some conclusions about the overall message of this fascinating text and its relevance for 21st century Americans.

First, those of us who are incapable of self-mastery will always shamefully prostrate ourselves before messianic political leaders. The progressive left in America has spent countless generations destroying the guardians of our inner citadel: religion, family, parents, and tradition - in short, conservatism and limits. When we exhaust the financial and moral capital of previous generations (and future ones, as with the current stimulus bill) we will dutifully line up at the public trough, on our knees. Citizens capable of self-mastery will always choose to be left alone. In other words, they'll always choose limited government.

Second, freedom without limits paves the way to tyranny by undermining respect for the law. When politicians play fast and loose with the law it becomes easier for them and for the people to see special champions as alternative sources of rule. Today in America the objective basis for law is being attacked on campuses and even in law schools as too authoritarian and too insensitive to the subjective experiences and personal narratives of criminals. The SAT exam has also been under assault for the same reasons. As Socrates warned: extreme freedom will instill a paranoia about any kind of "master" including objective measurements of right and wrong, and of merit based forms of achievement. But when the citizens become enslaved to their vices they'll dutifully cry out for another kind of master.

Third, is the crucial role of education, which is the underlying theme of Plato's Republic. The ethos of American education has been for many decades saturated with a simple mantra: choice. What's worse, those few remaining educators who chant the old, Socratic mantra of "judgment" are vilified and harassed by the modern day lotus-eaters as hateful conservatives. Socrates predicted that all of this would happen in a democracy. But it is judgment not choice that enables a young person to erect a citadel in the soul. This eliminates the need for tyrants, and for bailouts too.

Finally, there is a question on the minds of many conservatives today: How does one convince the younger generations of Americans to distrust the growth of the State? Is it possible for Americans to recover the desire to be left alone in order "to realize our capacities and talents" as Eric Hoffer says?

I've read that in Iran, many young people chafe at the pervasive despotism there, but when the burning desire for freedom threatens to boil over, the government in Tehran eases its restrictions on the use of personal satellite dishes. Electronic Soma for the digital age.

Hat tip: Larrey Anderson


[i] As Max Weber noted in his classic work, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, the men who built America were guided by deferred gratification and a sense of limits, not by reckless notions of vanity, pride, and display.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Freedom Fighter Tortured By Chinese Secret Police

In December 2004, the noted human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng wrote his first open letter to China’s top leaders, “An Open Letter to China's National People's Congress.” That was followed by an open letter to Hu Jintao, the head of the Chinese Communist Party, and Wen Jiabao, China's premier, “Stop Persecuting Believers of Freedom and Mend Your Ties with the Chinese People” written in October 2005. On Dec. 12, 2005, he wrote another open letter to Hu and Wen, "Why One of China's Top Attorneys Broke with the Communist Party." In September 2007, Gao wrote his Open Letter to the U.S. Congress.

In November 2005, Gao’s law firm in Beijing was suspended. On Aug. 15, 2006, Gao was kidnapped. Later, he was arrested with the excuse of “inciting subversion of state power.” On Dec. 12, 2006, the court conducted a trial without allowing Gao’s attorney to present his case. In the same year, on Dec. 22, Gao was sentenced to a 3-year term on the pretense of “inciting subversion of state power,” with 5 years on probation.

It has been over 2 years since all Gao’s connections to the outside world were cut off. In May 2007, the American Board of Trial Advocates granted Gao the Courageous Advocacy Award. In September 2007, Gao was kidnapped again and subjected to torture for 50 days, as recounted in this letter. Radio Free Asia has reported that on Feb. 6, last week, Gao was arrested once again.

Dark Night, Dark Hood and Kidnapping by Dark Mafia

My account of more than 50 days of torture in 2007

These words from me today will be finally revealed one day. They will expose the true face of today’s China and will disclose the unimaginable heart and characteristics of the “ruling party” in China.

Of course, these words will inevitably bring unpleasant and even disturbed, embarrassed feelings to those global “good friends” and “nice partners” of today’s Chinese Communist Party—IF these global “good friends” and “nice partners” still have some concern in their hearts for the value of human conscience and morality.

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Today, the suddenly well off CCP has not only gained more and more global “good friends” and “nice partners” but also has spoken more and more loudly such perverted slogans as “China is a country with rule of law.” Both will be disastrous to the progress and development of the human rights of the Chinese people.

Around 8 p.m. on Sept. 21, 2007 the authorities notified me orally that I should go for a mind re-education talk. I found there were some unusual things happening this time. The secret police, who used to follow me very closely, kept a greater distance. I was walking down the street that day and, when I turned a corner, about six or seven strangers started walking towards me. I suddenly felt a strong blow to the back of my neck and fell face down on the ground. Someone yanked my hair and a black hood was immediately pulled over my head.

I was brought to a vehicle and was put in it. Although I couldn’t see, it seemed to me that it had two benches with a space in the middle. I was put in the space in the middle on the floor. My right cheek was on the ground. All of a sudden a boot was put on my face holding me down. Many hands started searching all over me. My belt was pulled off and then used to tie my hands behind my back. At least four people put their feet on me holding me down.

About 40 minutes later I was dragged out of the car. My pants were falling down around my knees and I was dragged into a room. No one had said anything at all to me until that time. The hood was pulled off of my head at this time. Immediately men began cursing and hitting me. “***, your date of death has come today. Brothers, let’s give him a brutal lesson today. Beat him to death.”

Then, four men with electric shock prods began beating my head and all over my body. Nothing but the noise of the beating and my anxious breathing could be heard. I was beaten so severely that my whole body began uncontrollably shaking.

“Don’t pretend to do that!” shouted a guy I later learned is named Wang. Then a very strong and tall (approximately 6’ 1”) man grabbed my hair and pulled me up off the ground. Then Wang began beating me on the face terribly.

“***, you are not worthy to wear black clothes. Are you a Mafia leader? Pull off all of his clothes.”
All my clothes were pulled off and I was totally naked. Wang yelled again, and someone kicked me in the back of my legs, and I collapsed to the floor. The big guy continued to pull my hair and forced me to lift my head to see Wang.

At this time, I could see that there were five people in the room. Four of the men were holding electric prods, and one was holding my belt.

“You listen, Gao, today your uncles want nothing but to make your life worse than death. I tell you the truth, your matter is not only between you and the government.

“Look at the floor! There is not a single drop of water. After a while the water will be above your ankles. After a while you will learn where the water will come from.”

While Wang was saying this, the electric shock prods were put on my face and upper body shocking me.

Wang then said, “Come on guys, deliver the second course!” Then, the electric shock batons were put all over me. And my full body, my heart, lungs and muscles began jumping under my skin uncontrollably. I was writhing on the ground in pain, trying to crawl away. Wang then shocked me in my genitals.

My begging them to stop only resulted in laughing and more unbelievable torture. Wang then used the electric shock baton three more times on my genitals while shouting loudly.

After a few hours of this I had no energy to even beg, let alone try to escape. But my mind was still clear. I felt my body was jerking very strongly when the baton touched me. I clearly felt some water sprinkled on my arms and legs as I was jerking. It was then I realized that this was sweat from me, and I realized what Wang had meant about the water.

It seems that the torturers themselves were also tired. Before the dawn came, three of them left the room. “We will come back later to give him the next course,” Wang said.

The two left in the room, put a chair in the middle of the room and pulled me up and set me in the chair. One of them had five pieces of cigarettes in his mouth. One man stood behind me and the man with the cigarettes was in front.

The man behind grabbed my hair and pulled my head forward and down. The other man used the cigarettes to fill my nose and eyes with smoke over and over. They did this with the utmost patience. After a while I didn’t have any feeling except for some tears dropping on my legs.
This continued for about two hours. Then some other guys came in replacing the previous two. My eyes could not see because they were now swollen shut.

The new guys started talking, “Gao, are you still able to hear with your ears? I tell you the truth, these guys are experts in cracking down on Mafia guys. They are heavies. This time they are chosen specifically and carefully by the higher authorities for this purpose.

“Can you hear who I am? My last name is Jiang. I followed you to Xiajiang after you were released last year.”

“Are you the one from Penglai City, Shandong?” I asked.

“Yes, your memory is still good. I told you, you would come back sooner or later. When I saw you the way you behaved in Xiajiang, I knew you would be back. You even looked down upon our police.

“Shouldn’t we help you have a better lesson? You wrote that letter to American congressmen. Look at you, you traitor. What could you be given by your American lord? The American Congress counts for nothing. This is China. It is the Communist Party’s territory.

“To capture your life is as easy as stepping on an ant. If you dare to continue to write your stupid articles, the government has to make its attitude clear. Now, did you see that attitude tonight?” Jiang spoke slowly.

I asked, “How can you face the beating of Chinese and use Mafia tactics on Chinese taxpayers?”

“You are an object to be beaten,” said Jiang. “You know that in your heart better than most. Taxpayers count for nothing in China. Don’t talk about this term ‘taxpayers.’”

While he was saying this, someone else entered the room. I recognized the voice to be Wang’s. “Don’t talk to him with your mouth. Give him the real thing. Your uncles have prepared 12 courses. We only finished 3 last night.

“Your chief uncle doesn’t like to talk and so after a while you will see that you will have to eat your own S*** and drink your own piss. A toothpick will touch your light [sexual organs].

“Don’t you talk about torture by the Communist Party yet, because we will give you a comprehensive lesson now!

“You are correct, we torture Falun Gong. Everything is right. The 12 courses we’re going to give to you were practiced on the Falun Gong. To tell you the truth. I am not afraid of you if you continue to write. We can torture you to death without your body being found.

“You stinky outsider [meaning, not from Beijing]! What are you thinking even being here?”

In the following hours of torture, I passed out several times because of lack of water and food, and heavy sweating. I was lying down on the cold floor naked. I felt several times someone come and open my eyes and shine a flashlight in them to see if I was still alive.

When I would come to, I smelled the strong odor of stinky urine. My face, nose, and hair were filled with the smell. Obviously, but I don’t know when, someone had urinated on my face and head.

This torture continued until around noon on the third day. I don’t know where I got the strength to endure, but somehow I struggled to get away from their grasp and began to beat my head on the table.

I was shouting the names of my two children (Tiangyu and GeGe) and trying to kill myself. But my attempt did not succeed. I thank Almighty God for this. It is He who rescued me. I truly felt God drag me back from that state and give me my life.

My eyes were full of blood, though, because of my head-banging. I fell on the ground. Immediately, three people sat on my body. One was on my face. They were laughing. They said I used my death to try to scare them. They said they have just seen this too many times.

They then continued the torture again until that night. I could not see anything with my eyes anymore. I could still hear my torturers though, and again they gathered after they had dinner.
One of them came and pulled my hair, dragging me up. “Gao, are you hungry? Tell us the truth!”
I said, “I am very hungry.”

“Do you want to eat? Tell us the truth!”

I said, “I want to eat.” Instead, they slapped my face repeatedly, a dozen times or more, and I again collapsed to the ground. A boot stomped on my chest, and someone shocked me on the chin with the baton. I screamed. Then someone put the baton into my mouth.

“Let’s see how different your mouth is from others. Don’t you want to eat? You said you are hungry. Are you worthy?” The baton was in my mouth but was not turned on. I didn’t know what they wanted to do.

“Gao, do you know why we didn’t destroy your mouth?” Wang said. “Tonight your uncles want you to talk the whole night. We want you to talk about nothing except about how you are a womanizer. You are not allowed to say you are not one. You are not allowed to say there are just a few women, either. Don’t forget any details. You can’t leave any details out. Your uncles like this. We have slept and eaten enough, it’s your time to talk.”

“Why didn’t he talk? Beat him up brothers!” Wang shouted. Three batons began shocking me. I was crawling all over trying to get away and was still naked. After more than 10 minutes, I was shaking uncontrollably again.

I begged them. “I didn’t have an affair. It’s not that I don’t want to tell you.” I heard my voice was quivering.

“Are you becoming a fool?” said Wang. “Let’s use the baton to light you and see if you start talking.”

Then two people stretched out my arms and pinned them to the ground. They used toothpicks to pierce my genitals. I can’t use any language to describe the helplessness, pain, and despair that I felt then. At a point like that, language and emotion do not have the power to explain. Finally I made up stories, telling them about affairs that I had with four women. After more repeated torture, I had to describe how I had sex with each of these women. This continued until dawn the next day.

At that time, I was dragged to where I had to sign the transcript of my confession about my affairs. “If we send this out, you will become stinky dog’ s *** in half a year,” Wang said loudly.

After I was released, I learned that the day after the torture the interrogator named Sun Huo informed my wife of “the truth” they had learned about my affairs. My wife told them it was none of their business. She said, “I still trust Gao.”

After being tortured for days, I often lost consciousness and was unable to determine the passage of time. I don’t know how long had passed. A group of them were preparing to torture me again.

Another guy came in, though, and rebuked them. I could hear it was a deputy director from the Beijing PSB. I had seen him many times before. I thought him to be a good person.

I could not see him though, because my eyes were still swollen. My whole body was beaten and unrecognizable. He sounded angry because of my condition. He found a doctor to attend to me. He said he was appalled and surprised. He said, “This torture doesn’t represent the Communist Party!”

I asked him, “Who directed this?”

He didn’t reply. I asked to be sent back home or even just back to prison. He didn’t reply. He brought my torturers back into the room and rebuked them. He ordered them to buy clothes for me and give me a blanket and food. He told me he would try his best to either get me back to prison or back home.

As soon as the deputy left, Wang began cursing me. “Gao, you even dream to go to prison? No, that is too easy. You won’t have any chance to do that as long as the CCP is still in power. Don’t even think about that.”

That same night, I was transported to another location, but I didn’t know where, since I had a black hood over my head again. I was continuously tortured there again for another 10 days.

Then one day, they put the hood on me again, and I was put into a vehicle. My head was forced in between my legs, and I had to remain that way for more than an hour. The suffering was more than I could stand, and I wanted to die.

After another hour, at a new location, the hood was removed. Four of the previous five torturers were not there. But, I saw the same group of secret police who used to follow me.

From then on, the physical torture stopped, but emotional torture continued. I was told the 17th Communist Party Congress was starting and that I had to wait for the higher authorities’ opinions about my case.

During that time, some officials came to visit my cell. Their attitude was softer, and I was also allowed to wash my face and brush my teeth.

Some officials proposed to me to use my writing skills to curse Falun Gong instead, and that I could charge whatever I wanted for doing that. I said it is not a technical problem but an ethical problem.

“So, if that is too hard, then write articles praising the government, and again charge whatever you want,” they suggested.

Finally, they proposed, “If you write what we direct and that you were treated well after prison and that you were fooled by Falun Gong and Hu Jia, things will go well. Otherwise, how can you find an end to your suffering? Think of your wife and children.”

In exchange, I did write an article that said the government treated my family well. In that article, I explained that I wrote the open letter to the U.S. Congress because I had been fooled by Falun Gong and Hu Jia.
I was released to go home, though, I was brought to Xian city. I was brought to call Geng He (my wife). On the date of the mid-autumn festival, the authorities asked me to call my wife and comfort her since she was holding a protest and trying to commit suicide over the government’s treatment of our family.

The content of the call was all designed by the authorities. (Later I learned that my wife’s response was also choreographed.) I could still not open one of my eyes at that time and since the call was being taped, I was told to explain that it was from a self-inflicted wound.

In the middle of November 2007, after I got home, I learned that my house had been thoroughly searched again, without a single document or search warrant having been produced. During those more than 50 days of torture, I had many strange feelings. For example, sometimes I could really hear “death” and sometimes I could really hear “life.”

On the twelfth or thirteenth day of my kidnapping, when I could again partially open my eyes, I saw my body was in a horrifying condition. Not a single square centimeter of my skin was normal. It was bruised and damaged over every part.

Every day while I was being held, the experience of “eating” was unusual. Whenever I was at the point of starving, they would bring up “mantle” [steamed bread] and offer it to me. If I would sing one of the three famous revolutionary Communist Party songs, I could have some bread.

My deepest desire was that I wanted to live until that was no longer possible. My death would be torturous for my wife and children, but at the same time I didn’t want to dirty my soul. But in that environment, human dignity has no strength. If you don’t sing these songs, you will continue to be starved, and they will continue to torture you, so I sang.

When they used the same tactic, though, pressuring me to write articles attacking Falun Gong, I didn’t do it. But I did compromise by writing my statement saying the government didn’t kidnap and torture me and that they treated my family well. I did sign that document.

During these more than 50 days, more horrible evils were committed than I have told here. Those evils are not even worthy of any historical records by any human governments. But those records will further enable us to see clearly how much further the leaders of the CCP are willing go in the CCP’s evil crimes against humanity in order to protect its illegal monopoly on power! Those evils are so dirty and disgusting that I don’t want to mention them at this time and perhaps will never mention them in the future.

Every time when I was tortured, I was always repeatedly threatened that, if I spelled out later what had happened to me, I would be tortured again, but I was told, “This time it will happen in front of your wife and children.”

The tall, strong man who pulled my hair repeated this over and over during the days I was tortured. “Your death is sure if you share this with the outside world,” he said. This was repeated many times. These brutal, violent acts are not right. Those that did it, themselves, knew this clearly in their hearts.

Finally, I want to say a few words that won’t be liked by some folks. I want to remind those so-called global “good friends,” “good partners,” so-called by the CCP, that the increasing degree of brutality and coldness against the Chinese people by the CCP is the direct result of appeasement by both you and us (our own Chinese people).

Written on November 28, 2007, at my besieged home in Beijing. Authorized to be released to international community on February 9, 2009

This letter was first published by the China Aid Association. The Epoch Times gratefully acknowledges permission to use China Aid's translation, which The Epoch Times has edited. Gao Zhisheng provided this letter with the title: "Dark Night, Dark Hood and Kidnapping by Dark Mafia—My account of more than 50 days of torture in 2007.”

Gao Zhisheng’s open letters:
Last Updated:
Feb 11, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Saga of Idiot Obama Continues....(Barf Alert!)

Obama is an idiot and clearly the most unqualified individual ever elected president of these United States, an idiot who was elected by 52% of the American population better known as the Idiocracy. I think Robert Heinlein was on to something when he suggested to limit the vote and the right to hold office to veterans of military service. The election of Obama proves the theory that when you allow idiots to vote they will elect a fellow idiot.


1. "I Screwed Up" Well, that was quick. I was certain that President Obama would eventually overreach his mandate and provoke a backlash that would undermine his presidency. I didn't expect that he would do it within a month, before he has even managed to pass his first major piece of legislation, nor did I dare to hope that Obama's worst problems would be completely self-inflicted.

Before the inauguration, the Obama transition team received a lot of praise for how smooth, professional, and competent it was. You're not going to hear that any more. Obama has already dropped two cabinet nominees because of tax problems. A third nominee with tax problems, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, was confirmed—but he just caused the market to crash during his first major policy speech
Now Connecticut Senator Judd Gregg—one of three Republicans nominated to Obama's cabinet, and the second man considered for Commerce Secretary, after Bill Richardson had to drop out because of an ethics scandal—has withdrawn his nomination citing "irresolvable conflicts" with Obama. Those conflicts were an attempt at a political takeover of the 2010 census (see item #2 below) and the stimulus bill.

As Jim Geraghty notes, this will make Senator Gregg a powerful critic of the pork-barrel stimulus, perhaps causing the three moderate Republicans who compromised on that bill to change their minds before the final vote on the version that came out of the House-Senate conference committee. After all, when Obama nominated Gregg, he cited the fact that:

Judd is famous—or infamous, depending on your perspective—on Capitol Hill for his strict fiscal discipline. It's not that he enjoys saying "no"—although if it's directed at your bill you might feel that way—it's that he shares my deep-seated commitment to guaranteeing that our children inherit a future they can afford.

That sounds like a good argument against Obama's spending stimulus.

The article below describes how great an embarrassment this latest episode is to the new administration, but over at NRO Peter Wehner has the best one-liner. Referring to Obama's somewhat vulgar explanation for the Tom Daschle fiasco, Wehner concludes: "'I screwed up' may become a bi-weekly confession."

By the time the fifth or sixth major mistake piles up in less than a month, it creates a lasting first impression of Obama as a bumbling chief executive—which is something America can never afford to have.

"Breaking: Gregg Withdraws at Commerce," Ed Morrissey, Hot Air, February 12 Judd Gregg has withdrawn from his nomination as Commerce Secretary. [T]his makes the third Cabinet appointment from Barack Obama to fail, and the second one at Commerce. Tom Daschle withdrew at HHS over his tax evasion, and Bill Richardson preceded Gregg as Commerce Secretary-designate before withdrawing over a pay-for-play corruption scandal in New Mexico….

This is an embarrassment for Obama and might imperil the stimulus package, if Gregg has any influence over the waverers. The decision to strip him of authority over the census looks like the last straw, however—as it should have been.

Barack Obama will take another big hit to his transition, but the man who really deserves the obloquy this time is Rahm Emanuel. The census ploy was a transparent attempt to hijack the data for political purposes, and pulling that stunt after Gregg's appointment made Gregg look like a political eunuch. It was classic overreach, and it's classic Emanuel.

Now he's embarrassed himself, made his boss look impotent, and managed at the same time to damage Obama's most critical piece of domestic policy legislation. If Gregg hits the media circuit to criticize Porkulus, his credibility as an Obama appointee will create a lot of heat on other Republicans and even a few Democrats to stop the runaway train of this bill and force it back into debate….

According to the AP, no one in the Obama administration saw this coming…. Gregg apparently got so incensed that he didn't bother to apprise them, or the people he did tell didn't get the word to the media-relations folks. What a breakdown, and an embarrassment as well.

2. The Census Power-Grab I caught the story below earlier this week, and I was pondering how significant it was when the withdrawal of Judd Gregg's nomination for Secretary of Commerce (see item #1 above) suddenly threw this issue into the top headlines.

The article below is a pretty thorough description of the Obama administration's attempt to take control of the 2010 Census, requiring that the census-takers report, not to the Commerce Secretary as is usual, but directly to the president. Why? Obama wanted to force the use of a dubious statistical method to fudge the Census numbers in a way that would benefit Democrats in the drawing of congressional districts.

The article ends with a former Census director's advice to Judd Gregg: "He will look neutered, with oversight of the most important function of his department over the next two years shipped over to the West Wing. If I were him, I wouldn't take the job unless I had that changed." It looks like Gregg took this advice. And by exposing this issue to intense public scrutiny, Gregg may well have blocked Obama's political power-grab.

"Why Obama Wants to Control the Census," John Fund, Wall Street Journal, February 11 President Obama said in his inaugural address that he planned to "restore science to its rightful place" in government. That's a worthy goal. But statisticians at the Commerce Department didn't think it would mean having the director of next year's Census report directly to the White House rather than to the Commerce secretary, as is customary. "There's only one reason to have that high level of White House involvement," a career professional at the Census Bureau tells me. "And it's called politics, not science."

Anything that threatens the integrity of the Census has profound implications. Not only is it the basis for congressional redistricting, it provides the raw data by which government spending is allocated on everything from roads to schools. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also uses the Census to prepare the economic data that so much of business relies upon. "If the original numbers aren't as hard as possible, the uses they're put to get fuzzier and fuzzier," says Bruce Chapman, who was director of the Census in the 1980s.

Mr. Chapman worries about a revival of the effort led by minority groups after the 2000 Census to adjust the totals for states and cities using statistical sampling and computer models. In 1999, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Department of Commerce v. U.S. House that sampling could not be used to reapportion congressional seats. But it left open the possibility that sampling could be used to redraw political boundaries within the states….

In theory, statisticians can identify general numbers of people missed in a head count. But it cannot then place those abstract "missing people" into specific neighborhoods, let alone blocks….
"The real issue is who directs the Census, the pros or the pols," says Mr. Chapman. "You would think an administration that's thumping its chest about respecting science would show a little respect for scientists in the statistical field." He worries that a Census director reporting to a hyperpartisan such as White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel increases the chances of a presidential order that would override the consensus of statisticians.

3. Bailouts Are for Losers The left's attempt to revive itself is unraveling a little faster than we could have hoped. The article below, for example, describes growing resistance to a centerpiece of leftist populism: caps on pay for CEOs.

Note especially that the attempt to impose these caps may end up being one of the "poison pills" that could cause banks to withdraw from the TARP bailout scheme, ensuring that only the saddest of the sad sacks will be desperate enough to submit to Uncle Sam's control.

The result would be precisely what the Treasury Department wanted to evade. If healthy banks start refusing to take federal funds, then a bank's decision to participate in TARP would be regarded by the market as an admission of insolvency, causing an immediate run on any bank that joins the program.

And that's just as it should be, because bailouts are for losers.

"Lawmakers Goal to Cap Executive Pay Meets Resistance," Tomoeh Murakami Tse, Washington Post, February 12 Congressional efforts to impose stringent restrictions on executive compensation appeared to be evaporating yesterday as House and Senate negotiators worked to fine-tune the compromise stimulus bill.

Provisions to impose a penalty on banks that paid hefty bonuses and to cap pay at $400,000 for all employees at firms applying for additional government funds did not survive the compromise, sources said….

Several compensation analysts said yesterday that many of the measures that were in the Senate bill would have faced legal hurdles because they applied retroactively to banks that received government funds under rules agreed to last fall when Congress passed the Troubled Assets Relief Program's capital repurchase plan.

"It was not part of the original agreement," said Laura Thatcher, head of the executive compensation practice at Alston & Bird. "If they're going to retroactively change playing rules, it would seem to me that, in fairness, they would have to give the institutions an opportunity to back out of the deal altogether."

4. The "Savior-Based Economy" The most fundamental reason to believe that the current turn to the Left might be temporary is that America is still a nation of individualists, who will reject the policies of Barack Obama and congressional Democrats once they get a sense for what they really mean.

The article below may seem to be an example for the opposite conclusion, since it describes the throngs who come to Barack Obama's public events seeking a savior who will give them handouts. But as more of these stories begin to emerge, consider the backlash from the larger number of Americans who are disgusted by the gang of leeches attaching themselves Obama's cause—and outraged at the fact that it is the blood of responsible, self-supporting Americans that is being sucked into Obama's spending stimulus.

That backlash is already finding its voice, in a good Michelle Malkin column and in the even better column below from the Boston Herald's Michael Graham. Best of all is the fact that it is Republican governor Mark Sanford—a man to watch—who has given the best name to this attitude of dependence: he called it a "savior-based economy."

It's interesting, though, that "savior-based" should be used as a term of derision—by religious conservatives, who believe in their own form of "savior-based" morality.

"Hapless Have Hands Out," Michael Graham, Boston Herald, February 12 I have seen the future of the American economy, and it's waiting for a handout in Fort Myers, Fla.

On Tuesday, America got to watch as proud members of the new Obama Nation lined up at a town hall microphone to ask not what they could do for our country, but what our new president was going to do for them.

One woman wanted President Barack Obama to do something about the waiting list for public housing in Florida…. Another Obama supporter wanted to know what the president's stimulus plan was going to do for those who don't like their jobs at McDonald's….

Still another young man was upset that when he lost his $3,000-a-month job, he got a mere $1,100 a month in unemployment. That can't be right, he insisted. Shouldn't the government make up the difference? "How—if you go from making $3,000 a year, a month, to $1,100 a month—how are you able to take care of your families," he asked the president. "Why can't we have that to be automatic?"

Yeah, why not get as much money for staying home as you do for going to work? And why do I have to pay this stupid mortgage every month, too?...

It's not that I lack sympathy for struggling American families. How can you not feel for a woman like Henrietta Hughes, who told Obama she was living in a truck and just wanted "a kitchen and a bathroom"? But people who worked and saved for their homes also have to ask "why?" Why can't she do what so many of us have done when bad times have come before—find a way to get by?

Like most middle-class Americans, I've been broke. I've lived for a time with just the cash in my pocket and the clothes that fit in the back of my crappy, second-hand car. Plenty of us have. But at no point did it ever occur to me to drive to a political rally and demand that some pol pay my bills, give me a house or find me a job.

5. Darwin's Achievement Charles Darwin has been one of my intellectual heroes ever since I first read On the Origin of Species twenty years ago. What impressed me was not the content of his theory of evolution by natural selection; I was already very familiar with evolution before I read the book. It was his method, which is something you cannot fully appreciate except by reading Darwin directly.

Darwin stands in my mind as the quintessential example of the inductive thinker, marshalling a vast scope and variety of concrete observations to make a spectacular, grand-scale integration that unified an entire science. He provided a kind of model or gold standard for valid thinking, which has had a very strong influence on me ever since.

Wednesday was the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth, and I thought the article below did a good job of describing some of what was intellectually unique and admirable about him.

I would also like to point out what I think is a little-noted reason why Darwin is important to the context and possibly the development of Objectivism. When asked about Darwin, Ayn Rand said that she had no opinion on the scientific validity of his theory. Yet I suspect that she was indirectly influenced by him in one respect. Darwin fully established a biological perspective on human life—the view of man as a biological entity engaged in the task of sustaining life.

This same outlook strikes me as a unique and important aspect of Ayn Rand's approach to ethics. She began her ethics (most notably in her article "The Objectivist Ethics") by placing man in a continuum with the other animals—differentiated by his possession of a rational mind—and then asking the question a biologist would ask of any other living being: what is his means of survival?

A rational, scientific perspective on human life and on man's place in nature is the great gift Darwin gave us, and Ayn Rand made full use of that achievement.

"The Origin of Darwin," Olivia Judson, New York Times, February 11 Unlike many members of the human species, Darwin makes an easy hero. His achievements were prodigious; his science, meticulous. His work transformed our understanding of the planet and of ourselves.

At the same time, he was a humane, gentle, decent man, a loving husband and father, and a loyal friend. Judging by his letters, he was also sometimes quite funny. He was, in other words, one of those rare beings, as likeable as he was impressive….

He practiced a kind of ideal, dream-like science. He examined the minutiae of nature—shells of barnacles, pistils of flowers—but worked on grand themes. He corresponded with lofty men of learning, but also with farmers and pigeon breeders. He observed, questioned, experimented, constantly testing his ideas.

Could plants from the mainland colonize a newly formed island? If so, they would need a way to get there. Could they survive in the ocean? To find out, he immersed seeds in salt water for weeks, then planted them to see how many could sprout. He reported, for example, that "an asparagus plant with ripe berries floated for 23 days, when dried it floated for 85 days, and the seeds afterwards germinated." The Atlantic current moved at 33 nautical miles a day; he figured that would take a seed more than 1,300 miles in 42 days. Yes, seeds could travel by sea.

He published important work on subjects as diverse as the biology of carnivorous plants, barnacles, earthworms and the formation of coral reefs. He wrote a travelogue, "The Voyage of the Beagle," that was an immediate best seller and remains a classic of its kind. And as if that was not enough, he discovered two major forces in evolution—natural selection and sexual selection—and wrote three radical scientific masterpieces, "On the Origin of Species" (1859), "The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex" (1871), and "The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals" (1872).

The "Origin," of course, is what he is best known for. This volume, colossal in scope yet minutely detailed, laid the foundations of modern biology….

Still more impressive: he was not afraid to apply his ideas to humans.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tomorrow Belongs To Rush Limbaugh And Friends

The Godfather of the American capitalism and the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy -- Rush Limbaugh -- gives warning to the socialists of the USA that the government oppression they have used against the Rightists can and will be used against them when the Right regains its electorial edge and control of the government.

I think this hard edged commentary by Rush that I have quoted in full below marks an important moment in the course of American history, because until now the spokesman for the Right has always favored staying within legal bountaries in opposing the Left. It would seem Rush favors using oppressive methods by the government to destroy the Left.

Those of you who have followed my blog know that I have predicted that the issues dividing the Left and Right were no longer open to compromise and that a Second American Civil War if not inevitable was highly likely due to the fact that the country is more divided than at any time since 1860. I even go as far as saying the USA has become two nations -- a Rightist one that lives mostly in the West and South -- and a Leftist one living in the Northeast and along the Pacific coast. At some point violence will break out and the civil war will start.


RUSH: I got an e-mail. This is from Susan in Virginia Beach. "Dear Rush: You are my professor. I am indebted to you for the knowledge that you have given me. You've always told us that you would tell us when it was time to panic. I'm starting to wonder how we are going to get our country back from these revolutionaries. Is it time to panic?" No. 'Cause panic doesn't accomplish anything. But when we come back from the break, I'm going to tell you how to get the country back. I'm going to tell you how it will happen, and I'm going to suggest what we might do when we get it back, because we will, 'cause these people are going to overreach. They are not going to win every election from here on out unless they end elections, which I wouldn't rule out they're dreaming about doing.

So when we come back from the break I'll tell you how we're going to get our country back, and I'll tell you what we're going to do when we get our country back. I'll give you a little hint. We're going to treat them the same way they have been treating us for years. We are going to subject them to the same things they have subjected us to, and we are going to have a big and strong and powerful government to wield against them because they're in the process of building it. And we're going to win it back one day, and when we win this country back, and this government back, we are going to deploy government against them the way they have been deploying it against us, and let them find out what it's like, and they're not going to be able to stop it, because they will not have a power base anywhere that will let them stop it.

RUSH: Is it time to panic? No, my friends, it's not time to panic, because nothing gets done in a panic. What we have to realize is this: the left, the Democrat Party, will not control the government forever. It just will not happen. They are going to overreach. They're going to overreach pretty quickly. Polling data already shows that, in a generic race for Congress, it's tied Republican and Democrat. Only when you put the names in... Nobody can believe this. Fifty-six percent of the American people now are in opposition to the stimulus in total or in part. By the way, about the negotiations: They're trying to ram this through just like amnesty. They're trying to ram this through, and they're using the same tactics that they used with global warming. It's a fear of crisis. We can't wait; we gotta do it now. The conference negotiations are going on with not one Republican being permitted to participate.

Did you know that? Not one Republican from the House, not one Republican Senator is involved in the conference between the House and the Senate to come up with a bill that both support. Not one Republican in this new era of responsibility, not one Republican in this new era of bipartisanship. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have shut the Republicans out. This is from Mike Pence, congressman from Indiana. So, let 'em go ahead with these tactics. We can't stop them anyway. We lost the election. But they're going to lose down the road. They will not control government forever, and when our turn comes, we are going to turn the power of government against the left. We are going to investigate them. We are going to hold public hearings. We are going to humiliate them. We're going to nationalize their unions. We're going to fund our groups for a change.

If they can give ACORN $4.1 billion then we can start paying our groups with federal money. We're going to do exactly to them what they have done to us. We're going to build and use the Big Government that they have built and turn it right against them. We are gonna turn the power of government against the left, and against Democrats in ways they cannot imagine. They will not know what hit them. They are using the law. They are using government to advance a cause that is un-American. We are going to use the power that the left is centralizing in the federal government to punish them, to break 'em up, and to make them pay for this. It's time for tit-for-tat. Nice guy playing by the rules when they don't, is over. It's time they got a taste of their own medicine, and it's going to happen, folks, because they're not going to hold power forever.

The left -- you people, you Democrats -- you are creating a monster that you will not be able to control forever. You will ultimately regret what you are doing just like the media will ultimately regret its sacrifice of reason, its abandonment of its primary purpose. The day is coming when the media will actually investigate a Democrat and find some problems and nobody's going to believe them because they've lost all credibility. Nobody believes what the mainstream media says now anyway. Except the uneducated, the illiterate, and the uninformed -- which, sadly, is a fairly large number. Well, we'll deal with that. We are taking names. We are taking names now. We are monitoring who on the left is going to deserve payback, and it's going to be hell. This much I promise you. This is just getting out of hand.

We're gonna come after the left's favorite corporations. We're going to come after your favorite political constituents. We're going to come after your favorite media outlets. You want to try the Fairness Doctrine? Fine. We'll impose it on network television. We'll impose it on newspapers. You want to try censorship? Fine! We will censor you when we get the control of the government back. We will reapportion districts using the Census to help conservatives. We're going to turn the power of government against the Democrats and the left and weaken and you break you into little pieces. Because, my friends, the day has passed when we can become passive and be passive about what they are doing. We will use the political and the legal system as they have and are, and we will use it to promote our party and to diminish theirs. We will use the power of government and legal system to promote our movement and our agenda, just as they are.

If they are going to bastardize the American system, if they are going to make this government large and powerful and intrusive, someday they're going to lose it. But they're going to lose it after having amassed all this power. We will control it, and we're going to turn it right back against them. We will build a massive army of patriots to counter ACORN. We will defund ACORN. We'll defund the labor unions, and we will fund our own people to go out and zap ACORN. And we will do everything we can to enhance anti-union employment. We will make sure that when companies lose money, that the people that get canned are union people. We're going to use the power of government just like the left is using the power of government. We're going to use the Justice Department.

We're going to go after big unions with the Justice Department. We're going to find all of the criminal activity. We are going to find all the lack of ethics. We are going to find every bit of corruption we can, and we're gonna sic the attorney general and the justice department and the US attorneys on you people just as you have been doing to the people of the right and the Republican Party for 50 years. And then we're going to find George Soros and other concentrations of left-wing power and wealth. And we're going to focus our attention on him, so that the American people will finally learn just who the hell paid for the bastardization of the United States, just who the hell paid for the destruction of the American way of life.

We have learned from you leftists. We have sat by, we have watched, and we've been too passive. We have sat on the sidelines as impotent observers, and we have trusted in the goodness and the decency of the American people. But you have even perverted them. It was a disgrace what was on display in Fort Myers, Florida, yesterday. It was an absolute saddening, shocking, depressing disgrace. And you have created that segment of America that has no faith in and of itself, no faith in this country, and thinks the only reason to talk to a president is to ask him for a kitchen, to ask him for a car. By the way, asking a president for a new car who hasn't even given his brother who lives in a hut a welcome home mat! I don't think he's given his brother a pot, much less a pan.

His brother lives in a nine-square-foot hut in Nairobi. You're asking the president of the United States...? God bless these people. What has this government done to them? What has the media in this country done to these people, depriving them of the very essence of humanity? No sense of self, no pride. This is what Democrats and the left do to people. They rob people of their humanity, of their goodness and their decency. They rob them of confidence. We are going to restore this. We are going to use the power of the government to tell people how good they can be, how important they are, and how much happier they will be if they're not looking to our president for the next kitchen or the car or a job. We're going to become activists. We'll take back our government.

It's going to be a bigger, more powerful, stronger government -- and we're going to turn it against the left in ways they could have never imagined. So, Sue in Virginia Beach, we can't do any of this if we panic. I know some of you are saying, "Rush, it all sounds great, but who's going to do this?" Well, folks, I admit that you look out on the horizon right now and you don't see a single person in the political class willing to do this. But before these people on the left get through, there is going to be so much anger and outrage among the people who made this country work, who are now being targeted as the enemies. You who have jobs, you who have played by the rules, you who are not asking anybody for your next kitchen, you're the enemy -- and it isn't going to be long before the people of this country get fed up enough that they're going to want to turn the tables on the people who are trying to destroy America as we have always known it.


RUSH: Carol has been waiting awhile. I appreciate that, Carol. It's nice to have you here on the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. Thank you for having me on. I appreciate it.

RUSH: You bet.

CALLER: Rush, I wanted to tell you, this morning when you started off, you were just inspiring. I was getting so inspired. You were talking about how, when the Republicans come back, you know, they're going to take this strong government that the Democrats have built and they're going to turn it on them. And I was thinking, yeah, yeah, yeah. And then I was thinking -- you know, it came to me -- "Wait a minute," you know? "What Republicans is he talking about?" The Republicans that I remember were always so careful to make sure they included the Democrats in everything they did. What makes you think they won't do that again?

RUSH: Well, it's a crapshoot. I agree. You have a very important observation. This is something, however, that I think we're going to try to inspire. I think, you know, if the Democrats go as far as I think they're going to go, it is going to cause anger and outrage like you can't believe. But the point of that whole monologue was these people are using the power and the finances of the federal government to defeat political opposition, to build up this grand old socialist system that destroys capitalism in the process, or tries to. To me, I'm just getting fed up. You know, we play by the rules all the time, and we aim for the hearts and minds of the American people, the American voter -- and these people are trying to dumb everybody down.

They want to talk about investigating George W. Bush for war crimes. Well, by God, I want to investigate Barney Frank! I want to investigate Chris Dodd! I want to investigate Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and all these things. I want the truth to get out, I want to use federal money to fund our groups and our organizations. I want to investigate George Soros and find out just exactly what his role has been in precipitating this economic decline we're in for the political purposes of defeating Republicans and electing Democrats. I think that between now and then, hopefully there's a battle that is raging within the conservative movement over what conservatism is and who is going to lead it, and the same thing is happening in the Republican Party. I'm hoping all this happens to coalesce. There will be efforts made to bring all this to bear. I know it sounds like it's a long shot, but this is what we hope to inspire, because it's payback time. It's not enough just to beat these people in elections. It's time to give them a dose (or multiple doses) of their own medicine, and it's something I want to work toward and see to it that it happens. It's not time to panic yet.


RUSH: Let me answer Carol from Spring, Texas, and her question again. She said, "You know, I loved that monologue you did, but then I thought, where are the Republicans that are going to engage in this kind of payback?" Carol, the simple answer is by the time we get to that point, those are the only kind of Republicans that have a chance of getting elected. That is how bad it is going to get. The only Republicans that are going to have a chance of getting elected or reelected are those that are outraged over what has been done to their country, and not only want to fix it, but they want to name names, they want people to know exactly who it was that destroyed the capitalist system for their own personal political gain.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Reality Wrecks The Obama Presidency In Three Weeks

*The Obama Momma: The Original Leftard Assclown

Never in my wildest dreams did I expect "The Magic Negro" -- our Grand & Glorious El Presidente and The Lord Messiah Obama -- to crash and burn in less than one month after taking office. But it would appear he has accomplished the difficult task and Republican minded Americans can surface for air again because this guy is an assclown wimp and Leftard (Leftist + Retard) without the drive, cunning and intelligence of old line Leftists like Stalin and Lenin.

The Republic is saved. I've always heard that God favors fools, drunks and the United States. A real hardcore Commie could have destroyed the USA in a few short years; an assclown Leftard like Obama is very likely to destroy the Democrat Party and Leftist hopes of ever electing another Democrat President or Congress in a few years.

The author below relates the gory details:

1. Reality Sets In at the Press Conference Three weeks into the Obama presidency, and as the "hope" hype continues to fade, reality is beginning to set in.

From an intellectual perspective, reality is beginning to set in about Obama's reputation as a profound leader and "great communicator." I'm not the first to observe that Obama's highly touted speeches are long on inspirational rhetoric and short on intellectual depth. But I think I may have been the only one to observe the irony of the way in which the past two presidents are generally viewed:

Bush is viewed as an inarticulate dolt, but he hired excellent writers who frequently produced good, thoughtful, substantive speeches, which he then marred with a flat and uncomfortable delivery. By contrast, Obama has a great reputation for eloquence—because he is adept at giving a smooth, charismatic delivery to the oratorical equivalent of Hallmark greeting cards.

At his first big presidential press conference Monday, which was largely regarded as an unimpressive performance, the reality began to set in: Obama is an empty suit without serious, persuasive arguments to offer for his policies. This has even the liberals beginning to grumble, as in the article below.

Meanwhile, the reality is also beginning to set in that when he chose Joe Biden as his vice-president, Obama was not strengthening his administration by enlisting a Washington sage and elder statesman. Instead, he was saddling his administration with a notorious windbag who can be counted on to say embarrassing things. Here is the latest from Biden, talking about the Obama "stimulus" plan:

If we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, if we stand up there and we really make the tough decisions, there's still a 30 percent chance we're going to get it wrong.

Oddly, this quote turns out to be the most honest and insightful thing Biden has ever said, except that he greatly underestimates the administration's chances of failure. So naturally, this prompted Obama to disavow Biden with a patronizing chuckle, as if to say, "What can you expect when that nutty guy opens his big mouth?"

It is still very early, and as Tony Blankley points out, Obama still has the benefit of uncritical press adulation: "I don't recall a single news conference in which there were no follow-up questions, no challenges to anything the president had said recently, no assertions of fact that the president was challenged to deal with." That means that there is still a long way to go for reality to fully set in—and a long way for Obama to fall.

"Impressed Me Not," Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, February 10 Through most of his inaugural primetime press conference, Barack Obama seemed like he was channeling a particularly loquacious combination of Joe Biden, Bill Clinton, and the ghost of Hubert Humphrey. The president's response to the first question from the Associated Press about the risks of sounding too apocalyptic about the economy ran (or, to be more accurate, crawled) for nearly 1,200 words—and ended with Obama saying "Okay" with an implicit question mark as if he were requesting permission to keep on talking. A national poll from the Pew Research Center released Monday afternoon found that 92 percent of Americans described Obama as a "good communicator." There is a suspicion that those astronomic numbers had dipped by the time that Obama exited from the East Room of the White House….

Obama radiated the sense of a leader who has digested too many economic briefings and memorized too many talking points in preparation for his primetime rendezvous with the public…. What shone through the entire press conference is how irked the president is with laissez-faire conservatives who believe, even now, "that the government has no business interfering in the marketplace" and that "FDR was wrong to intervene back in the New Deal."…

The president's strongest answer was in response to the evening's fluffiest question, about Alex Rodriguez's confession that he had taken steroids….
Obama's maiden presidential press conference (complete with a question from Helen Thomas) was orchestrated to revolve around what the president called "the most profound economic emergency since the New Deal." The president clearly wanted to mobilize his supporters who have been languidly following the congressional maneuvering over the stimulus package. But there was little in Obama's remarks that spoke to issues that the congressional conference committee will soon be squabbling over.

2. Reality Sets In on Wall Street From an economic perspective, the place where reality is really setting in is on Wall Street, where traders pushed the Dow down by more than 300 points (and the S&P 500 by about 5%) as they listened to a speech by Obama's new Treasury Secretary.

The immediate reason for this reaction is summed up in Larry Kudlow's commentary on the speech:

According to Merriam-Webster, a "plan" is "a detailed formulation of a program of action; a method for achieving an end." But Mr. Geithner had none of this. As a result, stocks plunged about 250 points. Prominent investment strategist Ed Yardeni described Geithner as an empty suit with an empty plan.

The article below does an even better job of naming the exact reason for the new downturn: continued uncertainty. From the beginning, the biggest problem with the bailouts has been their ever-shifting, arbitrary character, as Treasury bureaucrats like Tim Geithner have decided ad hoc which firms get bailed out and which firms fail, and as Hank Paulson proposed bailout plans only to abandon them, seemingly starting again with some new brainwave every week.

Investors were no doubt hoping that the Obama administration would finally pick one plan and stick to it. Even if it was a bad proposal, it would be something that investors could plan around. There would be a stimulus bill and a new version of TARP, and then maybe the geniuses in Washington would stop coming up with new ideas for a little while, making it possible for investors to make rational calculations about where to put their money.

That is why Geithner's speech yesterday hit the market so hard. It was a clear message that everything will still be in flux for months to come. So Tracinski's Law of Bailouts still applies: government money drives out private money, because government decision-making thwarts private decision-making.

"Five Reasons the Markets Don't Like the Bank Bailout," Jeff Cox,, February 10 Wall Street's message to the Obama administration was clear Tuesday, even if the plan to save the banking industry wasn't.

Unhappy with a lack of clarity in Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's new financial rescue plan, investors launched a massive stock selloff, raising further questions about when confidence would be restored to the market….

For someone who ran last year as an agent of change, President Obama's plan for banks seemed to represent more of the same. While investors were looking for some concrete moves on how distressed assets would be taken off banks' books, they instead walked away from Geithner's speech with no indication of how the assets would be priced or who would be buying them.
And as one of Wall Street's oldest maxims goes, the market hates uncertainty….

With so many details left unsolved, much more work will have to be done, again creating uncertainty for investors.

"It's going to be fine-tuned many times over," predicts Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at The Hartford….

The market is clamoring to know how the government will be able to help banks with their toxic assets while also protecting investors and taxpayers from getting blindsided if the fixes don't work….

With the government unable to stem the tide of uncertainty bedeviling stocks, convincing people to buy will prove all the more difficult.

3. Reality Sets In on Capitol Hill From a political perspective, Barack Obama was supposed to be the popular, likeable figurehead who put a fresh, idealistic face on the tired old doctrines of the left. Instead, he let a bunch of unpopular, non-likable, tired old Democratic politicians take charge of the first big legislative initiative of his presidency.

The result is the bloated monstrosity of the "stimulus" bill, which serves to remind the American people why they stopped voting for Democrats thirty years ago. Nancy Pelosi is the more accurate representative of the left's politics, and that is the reality that is beginning to set in.

The article below captures this trend, and its first two paragraphs alone make it worth reading.
"Pelosi's Indefensible Bill," William McGurn, Wall Street Journal, February 10 Historians tell us it was Roman custom to place a slave in the chariot behind a conquering hero, there to whisper warnings about the fleeting nature of fame amid the accolades of adoring crowds.

Barack Obama is no stranger to the cheers of roaring crowds. If his prime-time press conference last night is any clue, moreover, he intends to use this personal popularity to help Congress get a stimulus bill to his desk quickly. As he does, those who wish his presidency success might do well to whisper in his ear two words of tempering wisdom: "Nancy Pelosi."…

Just as she did with war funding, Mrs. Pelosi is once again putting her fellow Democrats—Mr. Obama included—in the position of defending the indefensible. And she let it all ride on a game of chicken. Her bet has been that a Republican minority would sooner or later cry "uncle" on a laundry list of pet Democratic spending projects rather than risk being painted as holding up vital economic legislation.

But a funny thing happened: House Republicans called her bluff. The result has been more attention to the content of the legislation passing through Congress. And as the focus on content has increased, the American people have grown more skeptical.

4. Reality Sets In Overseas From the perspective of foreign policy, the reality that is setting in is the realization that conflicts with our allies and adversaries were not merely a reaction to the personality of the previous president. American interests are real and differences on policy with other nations are real. Obama can't just charm our way out of them.

That is the theme of the article below, which surveys the whole world and discusses how Obama's election has not brought change to the basic issues America faces. Or rather, to the extent it has brought change it has made things worse by emboldening our enemies.

I have only excerpted a few key passages, but the whole thing is worth reading.

"Obama's Charm Isn't Working Wonders Abroad," Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, February 10 Barack Obama has now been president for 21 days, following an inauguration that was supposed to have pressed the reset button on America's relations with the wider world and ushered in a new period of global cooperation against common threats. Here's what pressing reset has accomplished so far:

• Iran. Since President Obama's inauguration, Iran has launched a satellite into space and declared (with an assist from Russia, which is providing the nuclear fuel) that it would complete its long-delayed reactor at Bushehr later this year….

• North Korea. A constant liberal lament about the Bush administration was that its supposed hard line on Pyongyang had yielded nothing except five or six North Korean bombs.

So what is Kim Jong Il to do now that the Obama administration is promising a friendlier approach? In late January, Pyongyang announced it was unilaterally withdrawing from its 1991 nonaggression pact with the South.

Satellite imagery later showed the North moving a Taepodong 2 missile—potentially capable of reaching the US West Coast—to a launch pad. "The missile is pointing at Obama," Baek Seung-joo, a director at the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses in Seoul, told the LA Times. "North Korea thinks that with such gestures they can control US foreign policy."…

• The Arab street. "I have Muslim members of my family," Mr. Obama recently told Al-Arabiya. Yet so far his efforts at outreach have been met with derision from Arab hard-liners and "liberals" alike.

"We welcomed him with almost total enthusiasm until he underwent his first real test: Gaza," wrote Egyptian novelist Alaa Al Aswany in a New York Times op-ed. "We also wanted Mr. recognize...the right of people in occupied territory to resist military occupation." In other words, the price of Arab support for Mr. Obama is that he embrace Hamas and its terrorist tactics.

5. Reality Sets In on Afghanistan From a military perspective, the reality that is setting in is a realization that, while the war in Iraq may have been won, the war in Afghanistan is now in serious trouble. The Taliban's "spring offensive" always fails, year after year, but the US and NATO have also failed to implement any kind of counter-insurgency strategy capable of building an effective Afghan government and permanently displacing the Taliban.

See the warning below from a top military analyst who says the war in Afghanistan could be irreversibly lost by this fall. This is almost certainly exaggerated, as warnings of America defeat are always exaggerated. But there is enough truth to it to make Afghanistan a top priority of the Obama administration—and one that could bring Obama crashing down to reality very quickly.

Michael Yon, an indispensable blogger for understanding the war in Iraq, has now turned his attention to Afghanistan, and he provides a worrying update about Russia's attempt to control and constrict our supply lines through Central Asia. Perhaps the Russians are looking for a little revenge for what we did to them in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Yon provides some of his usual refreshing perspective. While it may be true that we can't kill ourselves out of a counter-insurgency, he does remind us that

If we are to deal with moderate elements of the AOGs (armed opposition groups) we must do so from a position of strength, and this means killing a lot of them this year, to encourage the surviving "reconcilables" to be more reconcilable.

But the best thing Yon provides is a proper description of the war: he calls it "the Af-Pak war," i.e., the Afghanistan-Pakistan war. That names precisely why US momentum in Afghanistan has reversed itself in the past two years: Pakistani resistance to the Taliban and al-Qaeda has all but crumbled.

This is a very difficult problem to solve, and Barack Obama will need more than bromides and a charm offensive on the Arab street to do it.

"War in Afghanistan 'Could Be Lost by Summer'," Alex Spillius, Daily Telegraph, February 11 The war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan will be lost by the end of the summer without dramatic changes in counter-insurgency strategy, according to a leading US military expert.

The assessment of Col. John Nagl, who is consulting the US government as it conducts four separate policy reviews on Afghanistan, comes amid fears that unless the insurgents' advance is halted, Afghanistan will become the new president's Vietnam….

Col. Nagl, an Iraq veteran who helped devise the successful strategy there under the aegis of Gen. David Petraeus, told The Daily Telegraph that the gains made by the Taliban over the past two years need to be reversed by the end of the traditional fighting season in Afghanistan, around late September or early October, or else the Taliban will establish a durable base that would make a sustained Western military presence futile….

Col. Nagl does not expect the "clear, hold, build" strategy to produce the same rapid results in Afghanistan as in Iraq. Afghanistan has never been modernised, has a weaker tribal structure that was crucial in supporting the surge in Iraq, and has a booming opium trade. Militants have a safe haven across the border in Pakistan.

6. Dhimmitude Alert I know I have been railing recently about the danger of letting the left regain some sense of confidence, not to mention regaining the reigns of power. But here is exactly the kind of example I have in mind, and you can see for yourself how serious it is.

The left has long championed restrictions on "hate speech," on the presumption that the people who would be shielded from criticism would be the left's favorite domestic victim groups.

Instead, the ultimate beneficiary of "hate speech" restrictions will be Muslim fanatics—who will use the left's fake posturing about "tolerance" to impose an intolerant set of controls on the free speech of non-Muslims.

The left is trying to sell us into dhimmitude, the status of second-class citizens (dhimmi in Arabic) under the control of Muslim overlords.

Thus the appalling story coming out of England: the British government has banned Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders from visiting Britain—even though he is doing so at the invitation of the House of Lords—because Wilders will use the visit to criticize Islam and the Koran.

The connection between Britain and Holland, by the way, is absolutely crucial to the history of the freedom of speech and religion. The British philosopher John Locke wrote his "Letter Concerning Toleration"—the single most important philosophical defense of free speech—while living in Holland, where he enjoyed that nation's expansive protections of intellectual freedom.

This makes it especially disturbing to see Britain overturn that noble legacy in this case.

"Controversial Anti-Muslim MP Banned from the UK Because of Public Order Fears," Joan Clements and Christopher Hope, Daily Telegraph, February 10 Geert Wilders had been refused entry to the United Kingdom to broadcast his controversial anti-Muslim film Fitna in the House of Lords. Mr. Wilders said he had been told that in the interests of public order he will not be allowed to come to Britain.

He responded to the decision in fighting mood, telling reporters that he still intended to travel to London. He said: "I shall probably go to Britain anyway on Thursday. Let us see if they put me in chains on arrival. It is an unbelievable decision made by a group of cowards."

Mr Wilders is under 24-hour police protection because of his anti-Muslim stance. He has been receiving death threats from Muslim groups outside Holland since the anti-Koran film appeared on the internet earlier this year….

A spokesman for the Lords said that the invitation to show his film remained open….

A Home Office spokesman told The Daily Telegraph: "The Government opposes extremism in all its forms. It will stop those who want to spread extremism, hatred and violent messages in our communities from coming to our country. That was the driving force behind tighter rules on exclusions for unacceptable behavior that the Home Secretary announced on in October last year."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


No, this isn't photoshop. Yes, it's the real McCoy. And Newspeak blames the socialist coup on George Bush who was really Joseph Stalin reborn.

Article here. A number ten on the barf meter for crude Leftard propaganda.