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Thread: Beck's Dangerous Campaign

  1. #1
    Havakasha is offline
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    Beck's Dangerous Campaign

    By Kati Marton

    Glenn Beck's smearing of George Soros is anti-Semitic and a perverse twisting of his experience in Nazi Hungary and fight against communism, says Kati Marton. It would be laughable if the Fox host didn't command such a huge audience.
    Glenn Beck’s anti-George Soros tirade sounds very familiar to me. The Hungarian far right has been leveling those same charges for years, darkly hinting at the financier’s “omnipotence,” his ties to a global conspiracy, and his penchant for bringing down governments (soon our own!). In Hungary, everyone knows these are code words for anti-Semitism. To hear them repeated on our own airwaves in prime time is something else.
    Getty Images; Jose Luis Magana / AP Photo
    The trouble with George Soros is that, quite frankly, he doesn’t give a damn. Whether the slime is thrown from his former country or from Fox News, he rarely rises to the haters’ bait. Soros has experienced poison from demagogues more skilled (and more heavily armed) than Beck. In a life that has encompassed the most violent hatemongering of the 20th century—from fascism to communism—he flicks off this latest spray and keeps going.
    I, however, find it impossible not to speak up when I hear the likes of Beck from the comfort of his armchair charge Soros with anti-Semitism. Beck paints Soros as a Nazi tool for having had the supreme nerve to survive Europe’s most violent Holocaust: the one that swept through Hungary under SS-Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann during the summer and fall of 1944. Eichmann’s was a well-oiled machine by then, and he had to make quick work of Europe’s last remaining intact Jewish community. Even the most deluded Nazis knew the war was over, their cause lost. But Eichmann was determined to finish the job in Hungary. Only the most resourceful and the luckiest survived.
    It is well known that the 14-year-old George Soros acted as a messenger of the Budapest Jewish Council, a group of aged and terrified elders who thought if they kept the city’s Jews calm, and followed the Gestapo’s every command, they might survive. Sent to alert Jews to report to various collection points around the city, the young Soros, prompted by his canny father, urged defiance instead. “There was one man I shall not forget,” Soros recalled, “I told him what my father had said. And he answered, ‘Tell your father that I am a law-abiding citizen, that I have always been a law-abiding citizen and that I am not going to start breaking the law now.'" We know how few of those law-abiding citizens survived Eichmann’s barbaric campaign to make Hungary Judenrein. The fact is that only by assuming false identities, through bribery and deception, could people survive that Kafkaesque nightmare. Andy Grove, the legendary founder of Intel, another young Budapest Jew, survived thus, as did my own parents. Raoul Wallenberg, the great Swedish humanitarian, performed his miracles in Budapest partly by forging passports and bribing Nazis.
    But there is a danger that goes beyond George Soros in Beck’s demagoguery. Beck’s breathtaking ignorance of recent history might be laughable if it were not for one thing.
    Soros played a vastly more historically significant role in ending communism, the nightmare that succeeded the Nazis. Beck depicts Soros as “the most powerful man on earth,” a man who can bring down governments. And Beck is absolutely right on that point. Does he have a clue as to which governments Soros has helped to bring down? I recall in the 1980s my Hungarian dissident friends telling me about this man Soros who was pumping oxygen into a suffocating system. It was in Budapest that he opened his first Open Society office in 1984. At a time when every typewriter had to be registered with the police, Soros smuggled in Xerox machines that soon made a mockery of the state’s tight control of information. Open Societies soon sprung up all over the Soviet empire. Toasting Soros’ 80th birthday last summer, Lord Mark Malloch Brown said four people brought down communism: Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and George Soros.
    Perhaps Soros is immune to vilification. He seems to take a perverse pride in being the eternal outsider who “belongs to no club or associations.” But there is a danger that goes beyond George Soros in Beck’s demagoguery. Beck’s breathtaking ignorance of recent history might be laughable if it were not for one thing. He commands a huge audience of people who must surely trust him to know what he is talking about.
    My Hungarian grandparents did not survive the Nazis, and my parents were jailed by the dommunists. I can still hear my father saying, “It always starts with words. Words matter.”

  2. #2
    Atypical is offline

    Our New Overlords

    ‘God won’t allow global warming,’ congressman seeking to head Energy Committee says.

    By Eric W. Dolan

    Global warming can't destroy humanity because flood won't kill mankind, GOP congressman says.

    Representative John Shimkus (R-IL), who said he opposed cap and trade legislation because God would not allow the Earth to be destroyed by global warming, is seeking the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

    Shimkus is one of four Republicans vying to head the committee, which oversees legislation related to public health, air quality and environmental health, the supply and delivery of energy, and interstate and foreign commerce in general. He is not favored to win; the likely chairman will probably be Michigan Republican Fred Upton (R-MI)

    He has served on the committee since he was first elected to represent 19th District of Illinois in 1997.

    "I do believe in the Bible as the final word of God," Shimkus told Politico Wednesday. "And I do believe that God said the Earth would not be destroyed by a flood."

    During a congressional hearing in March of 2009 on a proposed cap and trade bill, Shimkus quoted Genesis, saying, "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though all inclinations of his heart are evil from childhood and never again will I destroy all living creatures as I have done."

    "I believe that's the infallible word of God, and that's the way it's going to be for his creation," he added. "The Earth will end only when God declares it's time to be over. Man will not destroy this Earth. This Earth will not be destroyed by a Flood. I do believe that God's word is infallible, unchanging, perfect."

    He also said the cap and trade legislation, which he says is the "largest assault on democracy and freedom in this country that I've ever experienced," would hurt plant life by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the air.

    "It's plant food," Shimkus said. "So if we decrease the use of carbon dioxide, are we not taking away plant food from the atmosphere?… So all our good intentions could be for naught. In fact, we could be doing just the opposite of what the people who want to save the world are saying."

    Representative Joe Barton (R-TX), Representative Fred Upton (R-MI) and Representative Cliff Stearns (R-FL) are also seeking the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

    All four Republicans have vowed to repeal the health care reform laws passed by Congress.

    "Clearly, the American people are looking for us to repeal and replace Obamacare while ensuring basic health care principles that will improve health care delivery for all of us," Shimkus writes in a letter to Representative John Boehner (R-OH). "The time for debate is over and a vote to repeal and replace it should be something the House of Representatives addresses in the first week of the 112th Congress."

    "I believe that I have the credentials within the Committee to bring fairness, without protests from the other side of the aisle," he writes.

    In 2007, Shimkus provoked a flurry of criticism by comparing the Iraq war to a baseball game between his "beloved" St. Louis Cardinals and the "much despised" Chicago Cubs.


    What is striking to me is the huge number of seriously deranged conservative operators and supporters.

    If I were inclined to support republicans and wanted to see what they said and who they were this is some of what I would find.

    Beck, as above.
    Shimkus, as above.
    McConnell - see the new info about his hypocrisy with Bush.
    West, in Florida, the new rep elect.
    Miller, in Alaska.

    There are dozens more.

    Now, if I had any reasonable standards, say, of fairness, objectivity or truth, I would recoil at these vicious, lying types. I would say why are they like this and would question my interest in support of them. Is this what is happening? It is not. Only mostly from those who were suspicious of them initially.

    Ratings are not seriously affected; votes are cast for them; programs are created for some of them; corporations finance them; major media supports them; and there is no widespread condemnation. Why? Is it because many are stupid, like vicious simplistic theories, are easily duped and think these people and what they say is what should be respected? That their behavior is correct?

    Yes, I think so. What does this say about the level of tolerance, empathy and intelligence in our country? The average reading level in the U.S. is ninth grade which may not correspond to the comprehension level. The critical thinking skills of most are minimal. They readily believe the most absurd things.

    These disguting types and the supoport they get is the result.

    Again, you don't have to like everything the democrats do to despise these cretins. You just have to have the right standards.
    Last edited by Atypical; 11-15-2010 at 03:40 PM.

  3. #3
    Havakasha is offline
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    Joined: Sep 2009 Posts: 5,358
    Thanks for the additional post Atypical. Scary people with too much power.

  4. #4
    Atypical is offline
    Quote Originally Posted by Havakasha View Post
    Thanks for the additional post Atypical. Scary people with too much power.
    I wish they were only scary. They're much, much worse.

    All politicians lie and obfuscate but not all in the same measure. Republicans (see partial list above) are vicious, insane maniacs who have no loyalty to anything but money and power.

    This is what McConnell is like.

    By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2010 4:41pm

    Bush Book Reveals McConnell's Iraq Hypocrisy
    Senate Minority Leader sought withdrawal of troops from Iraq while excoriating Dems for 'cutting and running'...

    If you had any doubt of the shamelessness of Republicans, the following report should end any such questions. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow details how, in 2006, at the exact same moment Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was publicly sliming Democrats for their push for a timeline for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, he was privately and directly requesting to George W. Bush that he remove troops in hopes of retaining control of the U.S. Congress in the run-up to the midterm elections.

    Got that? McConnell was cynically, and hypocritically, accusing Dems of putting this nation at a national security risk for what he described as their interest in "cutting and running," "retreat," and "waving a white flag" in Iraq, even as he was privately pleading with Bush to bring troops home for purely --- and entirely --- partisan political reasons.

    All of that, as learned via a revelation from George W. Bush's new book, Decision Points. McConnell has failed to deny the allegation, and the Senator's hometown paper, the Louisville Courier-Journal, decries the new revelation as "contemptible hypocrisy and obsessive partisanship that have come to mark the senator's time in office." From their editorial late this week:

    Unless he is prepared to call a former president of his own party a liar, Mr. McConnell has a choice. He can admit that he did not actually believe the Iraq mission was vital to American security, regardless of what he said at the time. Or he can explain why the fortunes of the Republican Party are of greater importance than the safety of the United States.

    As Maddow explains, the paper is calling for an explanation --- as should all Americans...
    Last edited by Atypical; 11-15-2010 at 01:11 PM.

  5. #5
    Havakasha is offline
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    Joined: Sep 2009 Posts: 5,358
    We are in obvious agreement about the depth of Republican hypocrisy on so many issues. Thanks for this latest example.

  6. #6
    Atypical is offline

    The Truth About The Tea Party

    Taibbi: the Tea Party Moron Complex
    By rallying behind dingbats and morons like Palin and Michele Bachmann, the Tea Party has made anti-intellectualism its rallying cry.
    November 14, 2010 |

    The following is an excerpt from Matt Taibbi's new book, "Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America." published by Random House, 2010.

    If American politics made any sense at all, we wouldn’t have two giant political parties of roughly equal size perpetually fighting over the same 5–10 percent swatch of undecided voters, blues versus reds. Instead, the parties should be broken down into haves and have-nots -- a couple of obnoxious bankers on the Upper East Side running for office against 280 million pissed-off credit card and mortgage customers. That’s the more accurate demographic picture of a country in which the top 1 percent has seen its share of the nation’s overall wealth jump from 34.6 percent before the crisis, in 2007, to over 37.1 percent in 2009. Moreover, the standard of living for the average American has plummeted during the crisis -- the median American household net worth was $102,500 in 2007, and went down to $65,400 in 2009 -- while the top 1 percent saw its net worth hold relatively steady, dropping from $19.5 million to $16.5 million.

    But we’ll never see our political parties sensibly aligned according to these obvious economic divisions, mainly because it’s so pathetically easy in the TV age to set big groups of voters off angrily chasing their own tails in response to media-manufactured nonsense, with the Tea Party being a classic example of the phenomenon. If you want to understand why America is such a paradise for high-class thieves, just look at the way a manufactured movement like the Tea Party corrals and neutralizes public anger that otherwise should be sending pitchforks in the direction of downtown Manhattan.

    There are two reasons why Tea Party voters will probably never get wise to the Ponzi-scheme reality of bubble economics. One has to do with the basic sales pitch of Tea Party rhetoric, which cleverly exploits Main Street frustrations over genuinely intrusive state and local governments that are constantly in the pockets of small businesses for fees and fines and permits.

    The other reason is obvious: the bubble economy is hard as hell to understand. To even have a chance at grasping how it works, you need to commit large chunks of time to learning about things like securitization, credit default swaps, collateralized debt obligations, etc., stuff that’s fiendishly complicated and that if ingested too quickly can feature a truly toxic boredom factor.

    So long as this stuff is not widely understood by the public, the Grifter class is going to skate on almost anything it does -- because the tendency of most voters, in particular conservative voters, is to assume that Wall Street makes its money engaging in normal capitalist business and that any attempt to restrain that sector of the economy is thinly disguised socialism.

    That’s why it’s so brilliant for the Tea Party to put forward as its leaders some of the most egregiously stupid morons on our great green earth. By rallying behind dingbats like Palin and Michele Bachmann -- the Minnesota congresswoman who thought the movie Aladdin promoted witchcraft and insisted global warming wasn’t a threat because "carbon dioxide is natural" -- the Tea Party has made anti-intellectualism itself a rallying cry. The Tea Party is arguing against the very idea that it’s even necessary to ask the kinds of questions you need to ask to grasp bubble economics.

    Bachmann is the perfect symbol of the Dumb and Dumber approach to high finance. She makes a great show of saying things that would get a kindergartner busted to the special ed bus -- shrieking, for instance, that AmeriCorps was a plot to force children into liberal "reeducation camps" (Bachmann’s own son, incidentally, was a teacher in an AmeriCorps program), or claiming that the U.S. economy was "100 percent private" before Barack Obama’s election (she would later say Obama in his first year and a half managed to seize control of "51 percent of the American economy").

    When the Chinese proposed replacing the dollar as the international reserve currency, Bachmann apparently thought this meant that the dollar itself was going to be replaced, that Americans would be shelling out yuan to buy six-packs of Sprite in the local 7-Eleven. So to combat this dire threat she sponsored a bill that would "bar the dollar from being replaced by any foreign currency." When reporters like me besieged Bachmann’s office with calls to ask if the congresswoman, a former tax attorney, understood the difference between currency and reserve currency, and to ask generally what the hell she was talking about, her spokeswoman, Debbee Keller, was forced to issue a statement clarifying that "she’s talking about the United States . . . The legislation would ensure that the dollar would remain the currency of the United States."

    A Democratic staffer I know in the House called me up after he caught wind of Bachmann’s currency bill. "We get a lot of yokels in here, small-town lawyers who’ve never been east of Indiana and so on, but Michele Bachmann . . . We’ve just never seen anything quite like her before."

    Bachmann has a lot of critics, but they miss the genius of her political act. Even as she spends every day publicly flubbing political SAT questions, she’s always dead-on when it comes to her basic message, which is that government is always the problem and there are no issues the country has that can’t be worked out with basic common sense (there’s a reason why many Tea Party groups are called "Common Sense Patriots" and rally behind "common sense campaigns").

    Common sense sounds great, but if you’re too freaking lazy to penetrate the mysteries of carbon dioxide -- if you haven’t mastered the whole concept of breathing by the time you’re old enough to serve in the U.S. Congress -- you’re not going to get the credit default swap, the synthetic collateralized debt obligation, the interest rate swap, etc. And understanding these instruments and how they were used (or misused) is the difference between perceiving how Wall Street made its money in the last decades as normal capitalist business and seeing the truth of what it often was instead, which was simple fraud and crime. It’s not an accident that Bachmann emerged in the summer of 2010 (right as she was forming the House of Tea Party Caucus) as one of the fiercest opponents of financial regulatory reform; her primary complaint with the deeply flawed reform bill sponsored by Senator Chris Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank was that it would "end free checking accounts."

    Our world isn’t about ideology anymore. It’s about complexity. We live in a complex bureaucratic state with complex laws and complex business practices, and the few organizations with the corporate will power to master these complexities will inevitably own the political power. On the other hand, movements like the Tea Party more than anything else reflect a widespread longing for simpler times and simple solutions -- just throw the U.S. Constitution at the whole mess and everything will be jake. For immigration, build a big fence. Abolish the Federal Reserve, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Education. At times the overt longing for simple answers that you get from Tea Party leaders is so earnest and touching, it almost makes you forget how insane most of them are.

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