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Archive for September, 2009

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The Shot or the Pink Slip:  A Hobson’s Choice

Health care workers must be immunized against H1N1 by November 30 or lose their jobs, said New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Richard Daines. Health Department officials approved the regulation in August, making New York the only state in the country to mandate seasonal and swine flu immunizations for all health care providers, including doctors.

Some nurses and health care providers say the regulation not only violates their personal freedom but also puts them at risk for severe neurological disorders such as Guillain Barre syndrome and death without legal redress. The federal government has extended “liability immunity against tort claims” for its five swine H1N1 flu vaccine contractors should their vaccines be linked to sickness, nerve-damage, or death.

Opponents’ concerns regarding the H1N1 vaccine are not unfounded. The last federal government swine-flu vaccination program in 1976 was a debacle. Outbreaks of Guillain Barre syndrome were linked to the flu shot, and the national immunization campaign was shut down after just 10 weeks.

Even though the Public Employees Federation has urged union members to comply with the regulation, many health care providers are angry that they are being compelled to take H1N1 flu shots. “No one wants to be forced to take a vaccine that’s been hurried through the approval process,” said Helena Kosorek, spokeswoman for the New York Healthcare Concerned Citizens Group.

Nurse Kristi Tramposch said she is reluctant to take the shot because of the “toxic substances that go into vaccines” and prefers to wait until enough people have taken it before she even considers it.
 
Typically, only 40 to 50 percent of New York’s health care workers are vaccinated yearly against influenza, but Daines predicts opponents will ultimately comply with the directive and roll up their sleeves.

Hundreds of health care workers opposed to the mandatory H1N1 flu shot are expected to rally today at the State Capitol Building in Albany. 

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Keepin’ It Virtual

A disarmament crusade is not merely “naïve,” it’s a waste of valuable diplomatic energy, chided French president Nicolas Sarkozy following Brother O’s praise for the United Nations Security Council’s resolution calling for a world without nuclear weapons. 

“We live in the real world, not the virtual world. And the real world expects us to take decisions,” Sarkozy said.

American newspapers saw fit to blackout Sarkozy’s mockery of their president’s “naïveté regarding the realities of nuclear technology.”  

Brother O lauded the agreement as a major step in stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and beginning multilateral disarmament:

“We must never stop until we see the day when nuclear arms have been banished from the face of the earth.”

Sarkozy saw fit to address Brother O’s obvious myopia and point out the glaring difference between the forest and the trees:   

“President Obama dreams of a world without weapons . . . but right in front of us two countries are doing the exact opposite. Iran since 2005 has flouted five security council resolutions. North Korea has been defying council resolutions since 1993.

[W]hat good has proposals for dialogue brought the international community? More uranium enrichment and declarations by the leaders of Iran to wipe a UN member state [Israel] off the map.”

Sarkozy concluded his derisive remarks with a call for sanctions:

“If we have courage to impose sanctions together it will lend viability to our commitment to reduce our own weapons and to making a world without nuke weapons.”

Although America’s newspapers chose not to inform the American people of the clash between Presidents Obama and Sarkozy, at least they have been spared from listening to another racism/right-wing conspiracy screed from former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

I.M. Kane

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Hitler Comparisons and Media Reporting: Then and Now

20 August 2009

Evan Coyne Maloney

Not too long ago, hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets with signs comparing our president to Adolf Hitler, painting him as “the world’s biggest terrorist,” even calling outright for his killing. Here in New York City, posters of a cartoon George W. Bush replete with simulated bullet holes began springing up around town.

It was a time when Democratic politicians complained loudly whenever they felt their patriotism was being impugned. In those days, bumper stickers reminded us that “Dissent is the Highest Form of Patriotism” and Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the House of Representatives, declared that disruptive protests were “very American and very important.” Now that protests are directed against a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress, Nancy Pelosi thinks such disruptions are “un-American.”

During the Bush era, the media looked the other way at the extremist element in the protest movement; the large number of protest signs bearing swastikas and mathematical formulae like “Bush=Hitler” just didn’t interest them. But it did interest me, and because the media didn’t want to report it, I did some reporting of my own. The videos I posted online inadvertently launched me on a second career as a documentary filmmaker.

I recently dug through my old footage and found many examples of the same kind of inflammatory speech that the media and the Democratic Party—forgive the redundancy—now decry. What follows are just a few examples.

At President Bush’s second inauguration in 2005, I visited Washington D.C. to hand out consolation prizes to crestfallen leftists. Folks got a chance to select their own action figure: one of Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Michael Moore or Hillary Clinton. The resulting video, Stop Bitching, Start a Revolution, captured derogatory signs and predictions of violence. Among the highlights:

  • “Us Democrats are going to get up in arms…we’ll have to come out and do what we have to do in the spirit of revolution. We’ll have to come out and kill somebody, I guess.”
  • One sign had a double-digit number of swastikas: large swastikas with President Bush’s face superimposed and smaller ones replacing the letter “s” in the president’s surname
  • A number of “Buck Fush” signs and stickers, which shouldn’t need explaining to the dyslexic
  • “Bush=Death”
  • “Karl Rove is a Nazi, and so is Bush”
  • “We are in a Christian Fascist state”
  • “There needs to be a revolution in this country”

In Pin the Tale on the Donkeys, I quizzed peace protesters about the various hawkish statements Democrats made about Saddam Hussein over the years. I also captured a few choice signs, including:

  • A “Stop Bush” sign where the “s” in Bush has been replaced with a swastika
  • A sign accusing President Bush of being both a “fascist” and a “racist”
  • One that refers to President Bush as a “terrorist”
  • A “Protest = Patriotic” sign (an equation that liberals no longer seem to believe is true)
  • A sign with a picture of President Bush calling him “a madman”

On an unusually cold day in New York City, Al Gore delivered a speech on global warming that was sponsored by MoveOn.org shortly after that Democratic Party-affiliated organization sponsored an ad comparing President Bush to Adolf Hitler. I interviewed some of the citizens I met outside the venue of Gore’s speech; they were an interesting cross-section of conspiracy theorists. In the video Gettin’ a MoveOn (The Gore Effect), you’ll see:

  • Clips from the MoveOn.org ad that compares Bush to Hitler
  • One person claiming President Bush is “bent on destroying the United States”
  • Another saying Bush is one of the “super-villians of our world”
  • A protester calling America under President Bush an “evil empire”
  • One protester saying “Hitler, clearly” is the historical figure most similar to President Bush
  • “I could very easily liken [Bush] to Hitler, but I’m not going to do that”
  • A protester claiming Bush is a part of the “same Texas crew” that assassinated President John F. Kennedy

At a protest I filmed in San Francisco—shown here in Protesting the Protesters II—I found:

  • A sign calling President Bush an “evil dictator”
  • “George W. Bush is a terrorist!”
  • “G.W. Bush is the AntiChrist”
  • “Fuck Bush! I don’t support 400,000 murderers in U.S. Army uniforms!”
  • “Down with the U.S. troops!”
  • “9/11 = Inside Job”
  • “U.S. Fascists Guilty”
  • A chant: “Who are the biggest terrorists in the world today? Bush, Cheney and the CIA”
  • An “Adolf Bush” sign with a picture of President Bush and a Hitler mustache drawn on
  • A sign saying “Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft: The New 4th Reich” (for added effect, the “s” in Bush is a swastika, the first “e” in Cheney is a skull, and the “s” in Ashcroft is a Nazi SS logo)

And in my very first web video, Protesting the Protesters, you’ll see:

  • A man with an intricately drawn sign showing Adolf Hitler in front of the burning Reichstag building, and George W. Bush in front of the burning Twin Towers. Both Hitler and Bush are saying, “Follow Me”
  • A “dead or alive” sign with the name “George W. Bush”
  • “George W. Bush is the worst terrorist”
  • “Bush = Nuclear Terrorist”
  • “Team Bush: The True Axis of Evil”
  • “Bush the Baby Killer”
  • “Buck Fush”
  • “Fuck You Bush”

I didn’t like people comparing President Bush to Hitler, and I don’t like it when it happens to President Obama. There are many ways to argue against Obama’s planned health care takeover without invoking Godwin’s Law. An argument about contemporary American politics that’s strewn with Hitler comparisons is hard to take seriously, especially if you know anything about Hitler.

My real complaint is with the media, however. After years of ignoring the prevalence of violent sentiments at “peace” protests, the media has picked up the Democrats’ talking points that the town hall protesters are dangerous lunatics. (A small minority of them might be, such as the Lyndon LaRouche followers—neither conservatives nor Republicans—who have been showing up with Obama/Hitler signs. If the media were doing its job, the LaRouchies would be properly identified so they could receive the derision they deserve. Of course, if the LaRouchies were singled out, it’d undermine the impression that the media wants to convey: that the town hall protests are illegitimate, and the protesters extremists.)

Next time you see a media report that unfairly paints town hall protesters as extremists, send this page to the editor, the ombudsman, or whatever contact you can find. Show them this documentation and ask them where all their outrage was when the target was a Republican president, not a Democrat.

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$64,000 Question

you lie

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Pelosi Refuses to Allow Bills to be Read before Vote

Nancy Pelosi promised the most honest, open, and ethical Congress in history. In June, Congressional Republicans introduced HR 554 to amend House rules to require legislation and conference reports be available on the Internet for 72 hours before consideration by the House, which would give the representatives and the public time to read a bill before it is voted on.

The American people should have time to read major bills before they come to a vote in Congress, but the bill sits on Pelosi’s desk because she won’t allow a vote.

In June, Reps. John Culberson (R-TX) and Brian Baird (D-WA) introduced a bipartisan resolution to require that all major bills be posted online at least 72 hours before they are they are voted on. I posted a similar proposal on a White House “transparency” website this summer – a site that allowed Americans to vote on the reforms they feel would make the biggest impact in terms of making government more accountable. My proposal got more votes than any other idea.

Thursday September 24, Reps. Greg Walden (R-OR), Culberson, and Baird filed a “discharge petition” in the House regarding the 72-hour review resolution. If the petition gets 218 House member signatures, Pelosi and Steny Hoyer will be required to schedule the resolution for an up-or-down vote on the House floor.

The day before, Culberson, Baird and Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) filed a discharge petition, a process used to force a bill out of committee. If at least 218 House members sign the petition, Pelosi will be required to schedule the resolution for an up-or-down vote on the House floor.

According to House Republican Leader John Boehner’s office, this is the first time a Democrat lawmaker has agreed to sign a discharge petition since the Democrats took charge of the House in 2006.

Although previous Congresses have not given the public time to read major bills before they are voted on, the “pork-laden ‘stimulus’ spending bill, a debt-laden budget, a job-killing national energy tax and other bills” have made the debt situation so acute and the American people need to know what’s in them ahead of time, Boehner said.

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Thugs, Tea Parties And Treacle

By Investors Business Daily

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi berated town hall and tea party protesters this month, tearfully warning they’d incite violence. Well, there’s been violence all right, at Pittsburgh’s G-20. But it wasn’t the tea partiers.

It takes gall to characterize ordinary Americans, freely exercising their rights of speech and assembly in civic forums, as “mobs” while ignoring a pack of leftist thugs now smashing a U.S. city. But that’s what Pelosi did, directing her righteous tocsin to the Norman Rockwell-like gatherings of Americans who opposed her expansion of government this past summer.

“I have concerns about some of the language that is being used because I saw … I saw this myself in the late ’70s in San Francisco,” Pelosi said, choking up, her eyes brimming with tears.

“This kind of rhetoric is just, is really frightening and it created a climate in which we, violence took place and … I wish that we would all, again, curb our enthusiasm in some of the statements that are made,” she told a congressional forum Sept. 17 in a bid to silence peaceful protesters.

Scroll ahead one week to the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh: Some 1,000 hooded rioters descend on the city waving signs such as “Smash the G-20” and “Eat the Rich.” Many take “direct action” to “challenge capitalism” in what organizers brazenly call an “unpermitted protest.”

Unlike the town hall citizens, they didn’t “hurl” statements — just tire irons, bricks and rocks, in an effort to damage private businesses.

“Sometimes you just got to say f— it and get down,” read a Web statement by the organizers “Pittsburgh G-20 Resistance Project,” making no secret of their intent to wreak mayhem.

“Despite the use of rubber bullets, chemical weapons, and LRAD (noise) attacks, demonstrators remained on the streets for hours and actions continue across the city,” the group’s press release read.

By that they meant attacks on 13 pre-picked Starbucks stores, a Whole Foods, an American Apparel, a Trader Joe’s, U.S. military recruiting stations, check-cashing outlets, 13 PNC bank outlets and other institutions, all conveniently listed as possibilities on a Google map. Many of these places saw smashed windows and graffiti attacks after they turned up on the blacklist.

This kind of violence is nothing new. It was found in Seattle in 1999, where former Obama administration green czar Van Jones got himself arrested. It was repeated at other summits in Turin, Italy; Washington, D.C.; and London. These leftists detest capitalism, abhor private property — and have ties to the Democratic Party.

The unwillingness of the Democratic establishment to defend free markets emboldens the rioters. In destroying private property and impeding trade, these anarchists prove their aims aren’t democratic. They resemble the mobs of Castro’s Cuba who engage in violence against citizens to enforce conformity.

The outrage of it all raises questions about Pelosi’s real agenda in her one-sided criticism of tea partiers. By criticizing only tea partiers and ignoring rampant thugs, she seeks to repress peaceful dissent. With that setup, it’s no surprise that there’s a mudslide of violence now rolling down on us from an energized radical left. 

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gfx

Fuchs attends his graphic arts kiosk at the Johnson City mall.

Mall Officials Terminate Businessman’s Lease for Selling anti-Obama Stickers

Business had been waning at the ‘Graphic Edge’ until Dan Fuchs decided to print and sell anti-Obama merchandize. Then sales picked up, but so did the complaints.

Fuchs said he did not intend to offend anyone, and was merely exercising his fundamental right of free speech. But mall officials were only being liberating tolerant of his rights and demanded that he offer a more balanced display or face eviction.

“We suggested he also sell pro-Obama so that he stays very neutral,” said Tembra Aldridge, General Manager of the mall.

Fuchs admits that he didn’t vote for Brother O and is appalled by some of his actions. And now, mall officials demand that he violate his conscience and offer merchandise that promotes a politician he doesn’t approve of or support or else lose his business.

Instead of following Aldridge’s suggestion, Fuchs decided to remove the offending merchandise and to contact two local media outlets regarding his plight.

Mall officials immediately responded with a letter terminating his lease along with instructions to shut down the ‘Graphic Edge’ in the next 24 hours.

“We’re not going to use our private property as a political forum. That’s what {Fuchs has} turned this into,” Aldridge said.

It’s unknown if Fuchs will pursue the matter further in the courts, but it is known that political correctness usurps freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the right of political dissent in the minds of mall officials in Johnson City, Tennessee.

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