Saturday, August 28, 2010

Joseph H. Rainey

Joseph Hayne Rainey, a slave born in Georgetown, South Carolina 1832, became on December 12, 1870, the first African American to serve in the United States House of Representatives. He was elected to Congress four times as a Republican, serving until March 3, 1879 which made him the longest serving black Congressman during the Reconstruction era. He won his second term by 60%, his third term by 84%, and the fourth term ran unopposed.

In a speech given on the floor of Congress in 1871, Rainey challenges a New York Democratic representative who made disparaging remarks about the black members of the South Carolina state legislature. That speech appears below.

"The remarks made by the gentleman from New York in relation to the colored people of South Carolina escaped my hearing, as I was in the rear of the Hall when they were made, and I did not know that any utterance of that kind had emanated from him. I have always entertained a high regard for the gentleman from New York, because I believed him to be a useful member of the House. He is a gentleman of talent and of fine education, and I have thought heretofore that he would certainly be charitable toward a race of people who have never enjoyed the same advantages that he has. If the colored people of South Carolina had been accorded the same advantages—if they had had the same wealth and surroundings which the gentleman from New York has had, they would have shown to this nation that their color was no obstacle to their holding positions of trust, political or otherwise. Not having had these advantages, we cannot at the present time compete with the favored race of this country; but perhaps if our lives are spared, and if the gentleman from New York and other gentlemen on that side of the House will only accord to us right and justice, we shall show to them that we can be useful, intelligent citizens of this country. But if they will continue to proscribe us, if they will continue to cultivate prejudice against us; if they will continue to decry the Negro and crush him under foot, then you cannot expect the Negro to rise while the Democrats are trampling upon him and his rights. We ask you, sir, to do by the Negro as you ought to do by him in justice.

If the Democrats are such staunch friends of the Negro, why is it that when propositions are offered here and elsewhere looking to the elevation of the colored race, and the extension of right and justice to them, do the Democrats array themselves in unbroken phalanx, and vote against every such measure? You, gentlemen of that side of the House, have voted against all the recent amendments of the Constitution, and the laws enforcing the same. Why did you do it? I answer, because those measures had a tendency to give to the poor Negro his just rights, and because they proposed to knock off his shackles and give him freedom of speech, freedom of action, and the opportunity of education, that he might elevate himself to the dignity of manhood.

Now you come to us and say that you are our best friends. We would that we could look upon you as such. We would that your votes as recorded in the Globe from day to day could only demonstrate it. But your votes, your actions, and the constant cultivation of your cherished prejudices prove to the Negroes of the entire country that the Democrats are in opposition to them, and if they [the Democrats] could have sway our race would have no foothold here.

Now, sir, I have not time to vindicate fully the course of action of the colored people of South Carolina. We are certainly in the majority there; I admit that we are as two to one. Sir, I ask this House, I ask the country, I ask white men, I ask Democrats, I ask Republicans whether the Negroes have presumed to take improper advantage of the majority they hold in that State by disregarding the interest of the minority? They have not. Our convention which met in 1868, and in which the Negroes were in a large majority, did not pass any proscriptive or disfranchising acts, but adopted a liberal constitution, securing alike equal rights to all citizens, white and black, male and female, as far as possible. Mark you, we did not discriminate, although we had a majority. Our constitution towers up in its majesty with provisions for equal protection of all classes and citizens. Notwithstanding our majority there, we have never attempted to deprive any man in that State of the rights and immunities to which he is entitled under the Constitution of this Government. You cannot point me to a single act passed by our Legislature, at any time, which had a tendency to reflect upon or oppress any white citizen of South Carolina. You cannot show me one enactment by which the majority in our State have undertaken to crush the white men because the latter are in a minority.

I say to you, gentlemen of the Democratic party, that I want you to deal justly with the people composing my race. I am here representing a Republican constituency made up of white and colored men. I say to you deal with us justly; be charitable toward us. An opportunity will soon present itself when we can test whether you on that side of the House are the best friends of the oppressed and ill-treated Negro race. When the civil rights bill comes before you, when that bill comes up upon its merits asking you to give civil rights of the Negro, I will then see who are our best friends on that side of the House.

I will say to the gentleman from New York that I am sorry I am constrained to make these remarks. I wish to say to him that I do not mind what he may have said against the Negroes of South Carolina. Neither his friendship nor his enmity will change the sentiment of the loyal men of that State. We are determined to stand by this Government. We are determined to use judiciously and wisely the prerogative conferred upon us by the Republican party. The democratic party may woo us, they may court us and try to get us to worship at their shrine, but I will tell the gentleman that we are republicans by instinct, and we will be Republicans so long as God will allow our proper senses to hold sway over us. " (My emphasis.)

---- Genealogy: Joseph H. Rainey b.1832 in South Carolina, son of Edward J. (1805) and Teresa Rainey (1810). Brother Edward Jr. b.1831. Edward Sr. was a slave on a rice plantation in Georgetown County, SC, and also worked as a barber; allowed to keep part of his wages he bought his family's freedom in approximately the mid 1840s.

Joseph appears a registered voter on the 1868 Edisto Island, SC voter list. I found Joseph H., age 37 listed in 1870 census in Charleston, SC, head of household, occupation State Senator, wife Susan age 31, born Philadelphia, PA, sister-in-law, Anna Lewis age 33 b. PA, Anna's son Randolph age 8, born SC, and 2 female servants. Later census show Joseph and Susan with 2 sons and a daughter.

The 1880 census shows Susan, age 42, and children Joseph Jr. age 8, Herbert age 6, and Olive age 4, in Windsor, CT, where Rainey had purchased a summer home. Rainey Sr. not listed as presumably he was working in D.C.

Rainey served in congress from December 12, 1870, to March 3, 1879; appointed internal-revenue agent of South Carolina on May 22, 1879, and served until July 15, 1881, when he resigned; engaged in banking and the brokerage business in Washington, D.C.; retired from all business activities in 1886, and in ill health returned to Georgetown, S.C., where he died August 2, 1887; buried in the Baptist Cemetery.

Wife Susan Rainey is in the 1900 US census in Massachusetts living with son Joseph Jr. and his wife Catherine.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gene Pitney (1941-2006)

Nessuno Mi Può Giudicare - SanRemo 1966

Non Lasciamoci

Citta Spietata

Cara Mia

Spare a Dime

U.S. Is Bankrupt and We Don't Even Know It. By Laurence Kotlikoff:

Let’s get real. The U.S. is bankrupt. Neither spending more nor taxing less will help the country pay its bills. What it can and must do is radically simplify its tax, health-care, retirement and financial systems, each of which is a complete mess. But this is the good news. It means they can each be redesigned to achieve their legitimate purposes at much lower cost and, in the process, revitalize the economy.

Herb Stein, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under U.S. President Richard Nixon, coined an oft-repeated phrase: “Something that can’t go on, will stop.” True enough. Uncle Sam’s Ponzi scheme will stop. But it will stop too late.

And it will stop in a very nasty manner. The first possibility is massive benefit cuts visited on the baby boomers in retirement. The second is astronomical tax increases that leave the young with little incentive to work and save. And the third is the government simply printing vast quantities of money to cover its bills.

Most likely we will see a combination of all three responses with dramatic increases in poverty, tax, interest rates and consumer prices. This is an awful, downhill road to follow, but it’s the one we are on. And bond traders will kick us miles down our road once they wake up and realize the U.S. is in worse fiscal shape than Greece.

----- Kotlikoff may be right that the US is bankrupt. But I'm not impressed with his solutions. Yes, let's get real.

Kotlikoff proposes reforms of the U.S. financial system, tax system, health care system, and retirement income system. His proposes reform of the financial system, transforming all financial companies with limited liability, including incorporated banks, insurance companies, financial exchanges, and hedge funds, into pass-through mutual funds, which do not borrow to invest in risky assets, but, instead, allows the public to directly choose what risks it wishes to bear by purchasing more or less risky mutual funds. --- Hmmm "allows the public to directly choose" ... how would that be accomplished? By choosing what the smartest guys in the room advise?

He proposes "Limited Purpose Banking" which forces financial intermediaries to limit their activities to their sole legitimate purpose—financial inter-mediation. Limited Purpose Banking substitutes the federal and state financial regulatory bodies with a single financial regulator called the Federal Financial Authority (FFA). The FFA would have a narrow purpose namely to verify, disclosure, and oversee the independent rating and custody of all securities purchased and sold by mutual funds. --- Ahhhh, FFA, another federal bureaucracy and its bureaucrats are born.

He backs replacing the federal income tax with a national sales tax. Or consumption tax. Or "fair tax" as the three (sales, consumption, fair) seem to be more or less the same taxation method (government hand in your pocket), perhaps with a tweak here or there. Value-added tax is a similar animal, used in Europe and Japan. China has a consumption tax and income tax (taxed at 25% for a factory worker income plus overtime and bonuses equivalent to US $3670, 45% tax if one of the lucky $100,000 earners). But so much is "free" in China - healthcare, housing, some food, sometimes utilities, etc. and a lifetime membership in the Party.

Sounds good on the surface, only taxed on what you consume, but in the real world, every consumption tax hits low and middle income households to a greater extent than the income tax does. What?! You think the wealthy will never again find a way around taxes? Just ask John Kerry, expert in yacht sales and excise tax. Economists and politicians promise there are "conceptual ways" to avoid any burden on lower/middle households - but you must hold your breath until those concepts are actualized.

On healthcare Kotlikoff proposes one system that works for everyone: "Participants - including all who are currently uninsured, all Medicaid and Medicare recipients, and all with private or employer-supplied insurance - would receive annual vouchers for health insurance, the amount of which would be based on their current medical condition. Insurance companies would willingly accept people with health problems because their vouchers would be higher. And the government could control costs by establishing the values of the vouchers so that benefit growth no longer outstrips growth of the nation's per capita income. It's a "single-payer" plan - but a single payer for insurance. The American healthcare industry would remain competitive, innovative, strong, and private."

--- Government already covers over half of US healthcare costs. "Insurance companies ... would willingly accept ... vouchers ... would be higher." Lobby those vouchers higher and higher K Street. What's that sound? Oh, government expansion, but the industry is still private (and war is peace). "Government could control cost ..." ROTFL hahahahahahahahaha. Gimme a minute ... hahahahahahahaha.

You know, simply eliminating corruption and the crooks who game the system, and dumping the hundreds, maybe thousands, of failed programs/departments, would be sufficient - lets call it budget cuts and draining the swamp. Instead, the experts (pols and e-con men) claim we need bigger government to save us from government.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tids Bits

CDC releases report stating smoking in movie scenes is at an all time low and is a good thing as the experts claim onscreen tobacco use encourages youth to smoke. Amazingly, really cool scenes of sex, drugs, pregnant teens, violence - have no effect on viewer behavior.

Wikileaks boss, Julian Assange, has been accused of rape and molestation by 2 different women in Sweden. Assange and disciples claim it's "dirty tricks" by you know who. How convenient. Even Charles Manson claims the CIA set him up.

A week or so ago Obama signed a $26 billion dollar bailout package for teachers unions that will be paid for mostly by cuts in the food stamp program and the Department of Energy’s renewable energy loan guarantee program. Not to worry, the cuts are supposedly not to begin until 2014 and by then we will all have high paid jobs and lots of money. The teachers unions will send some of the money back to democrat campaign coffers with a thank you note.

Obama takes 6th vacation. Signing bailouts and finagling funnels for political campaign donations are hard work.

A recent Pew poll shows a majority of the American public are in the dark regarding Obama's religion. Christian or Muslim. The real questions are - why is a majority of the American public dumber than the Taliban, and, has Obama pulled his friend and spiritual mentor, Reverend Jerry, from under the bus?

Speaking of Obama's penchant to fire folks - Counterpunch finally has something worth reading. The Other Side of Shirley Sherrod."While it is true that loan discrimination and relentless creditors can be cited for the eventual demise of New Communities Inc. in 1985, NCI’s unfair labor practices and poor leadership, were equally, if not more, to blame. Ask Shirley Sherrod about this part of her history. I know this story well, for I was one of those workers at NCI." -- I'd say poor leadership led to NCI's demise. Sherrod and friends did receive funding from Rockefeller (Cooperative Assistance Fund - New Communities, Inc., 1968-1976). And did receive government loans prior to 1981-1984 (the years she claimed in her discrimination suit). Simple: Sherrod and NCI's poor performance was due to a lot of funds going into someone's purse and wallet. I watched the same programs locally do the same thing - and then yell discrimination when the money runs out. It's the reason she was so quickly "forced to resign." Her bosses know she's a dirty bird from way back.

Spotted on link to CS Monitor, In Nicaragua, A Return to the Contras? "Hidden somewhere in the rugged mountains of EstelĂ­, in northern Nicaragua, a former contra commando with CIA training says he’s organizing an armed rebellion against President Daniel Ortega." --- No, the former commando is wanted on murder and extortion charges. It must be a really slow news day. There are 3 types of former contras/sandinistas: Those that returned to the same peasant life they had before the war. Those who stayed in Miami. And those who became politicians and/or criminals. Ahhh the beautiful and rugged Esteli - the things I could tell you about ... hmm ... where was I...

The ground zero mosque/community center. Distraction, petty. Not to build would show class, empathy, the high road. But since when do we expect those traits from anyone with power and money and agenda?

The 14th amendment. Anchor babies. Give the baby his/her birthright. Deport mama. Use some of Mexico's immigration laws which are: "Outsiders must enhance the country's economic or national interests and cannot be physically or mentally unhealthy. Do not admit those who show contempt against national sovereignty or security. They must not be economic burdens on society and must have clean criminal histories. Those seeking to obtain Mexican citizenship must show a birth certificate, provide a bank statement proving economic independence, pass an exam and prove they can provide their own health care." Mexico is cleaning house - we get those unwanted by their own country. Okay, as ugly as it sounds, I'll say it, we get the dregs of society (the least valuable).

But wait, saying stuff like that, according to the black and white Progressive Activist and Organizers Bible, means you are a "...supremacist who wants to "take America back" to 1857, or 1953, or 1968..." but then they probably don't know when Juan calls them "mayata" or "galleta", it's not a term of affection (it's spanish slurs for the "n" word and cracker).

The Progressive Bible also says that focusing on reproduction is racist too and the 14th amendment is sacred (but some progressive Bible holders are anti- 2nd amendment). According to the latest CDC stats the illegitimate birth rates for Asians is 16.5%, whites at 27%, Latinos 50%, native Americans 65%, blacks 71%. Hey, that matches the SAT score statistics I posted a while back, Asians the smartest, then whites, Latinos, natives, and blacks the dumbest. think stupid and promiscuous are connected?

But, lets not resort to stereotypes, even if there be a grain of truth - because according to NYT more women with college degrees are having illegitimate babies too. For instance, Nadya Suleman - Octomom.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Gail Dines, author of Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality; should be mandatory reading in high school sex ed. (Thank you to my youngest daughter for bringing the book to my attention.)

While I don't agree with all of Ms. Dines "progressive" views on politics and society, etc. she definitely has it correct on pornography and hypersexualization.

Link to an interview with Dines at Pulse, and to an excerpt from Pornland.

If you cannot see how pornography has shaped (and twisted) society ... you're probably more screwed up than you think (pun intended).

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Deluded Susans

I'm seeing a good bit of harping from left/progressives and democrats' base about Obama. For many folks it seems Barack is not the president they thought he would be. He has not delivered enough of whatever they thought he was carrying.

One pleasant late afternoon in the late summer/early fall of 2008 I was in the front yard, dead-heading rose bushes, taking cuttings from my jungle of houseplants which I put outdoor every year, when an older white lady walked up the driveway. About my age so we were from the same '60s era. She carried Obama's Dreams of My Father, and wore Obama pins. I'll call her Susan.

We sat on the porch and she asked, no, she assumed I was an Obama supporter. When I surprised her by stating that I was not impressed with Barry, wasn't voting for him, she began a spiel about "hope and change" Ooh ooh ooobama. She asked if I had read his book. Yes yes, but I sped read as I didn't really find the book interesting.

When she realized I was not going to gush with her over the potential "first black president" she sat back puzzled (ain't all folks in the 'hood votin' for Obama), then continued her chatter about the charisma and charm of Barry O. His life, his achievements, his anti-war stand, his proclamations to end petty grievances and false political promises, and how we will walk this common good journey with him. Electrifying. All the Susans across the land inhaled.

She gave the standard excuses for Obama's connections to Ayers, Rev. Wright, his inexperience, his connections to Blago, Rezko, the Chicago political machine, and a myriad of nagging little insulting lies that seemed to bother no one but me, i.e. Barry's attempt to portray himself as a typical black child of a single mother on foodstamps, abandoned by his daddy, an embarrassment to his grandma - rather than a child of privilege, private school, ivy leagues.

I stared in amazement at Susan.

This woman on the surface sounds intelligent - but has poor judgement and understands little on how the social and political system works. She gives me the phrases of her latest favorite pundit, author, blogger, news channel, or political comic. For the Susans of the world, the solution is simple - take from the obscenely wealthy and redistribute to the tired huddle masses.

It will be these white women, many who had flings as '60s flower-type children, who put Obama in the White House. Gone is their fall (hairpiece), the Mandarin style collar on an orange dress, and go-go boots. Their bloom has faded. Now the hair is neatly trimmed every 5 weeks by the gay guy at Blades, now wearing Crocs and beige Chico bermuda shorts. Her brief toe-in-the-water experimentation with drugs and promiscuity from the past are "youthful follies" which she either never admits to or uses as a badge of victory and recovery. Sort of like her hero's excursions into pot and cocaine, and "community organizing."

On and on she talked about her heart knows, just knows, Obama is who we've been waiting for.

Susan probably holds a college degree or at least a couple of years of higher education. But her life is more like her mother's than she originally wanted - 3 bedroom house in a mostly white neighborhood, 2.5 kids, drives a van or SUV, married to her second husband for 35 years, vacations at Disney or Mazatlan or Yosemite. This woman, and many like her, have always lived in a fantasy of "hope and change." For them, reality has always been dull and unfair. For them, electing Obama (or any educated attractive black male) is a validation of progressive whitedom. As if all those years of their struggle to preach we are all "equal" - will once and for all be proven under Obama's wise and caring governance. He will erase our differences and we can all just along. She may even be silly enough to have believed that only a black man could bring true social justice to America.

Susan reminds me of a quote of Libertarian Robert Heinlein who said "Most people can't think, most of the remainder won't think, the small fraction who do think mostly can't do it very well." And only a "... tiny fraction think regularly, accurately, creatively, and without self-delusion..."

Now what Susan? As the one you've been waiting for continues the policies of the last dozen ethically bankrupt presidents and sinks the nation deeper and deeper into dysfunction, now what?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Random Age

You can gauge how cash-strapped, broke or near bankrupt a government/society is by the vice it legalizes. Marijuana, casinos, gambling, numbers racket, prostitution, etc.

For instance, while the government spends millions in anti-tobacco efforts it will never completely ban smoking because the high tax on tobacco is big revenue. Even while making smoking socially unacceptable - folks are still subtly encouraged to smoke, we now have social smokers and closet smokers and fatcats with cigars. I wonder which room in the WH Obama hides in to light up.

Pols, who once spouted about drugs and gambling as a "threat to our way of life," change their rhetoric when considering the same vice as a means to generate tax revenue. It's just a matter of convincing the sheople to agree, which is no problem if the vices are easily available anyway.

Soon the fat tax, tanning tax, marijuana tax will be with us. Prostitution too, why should Vegas have all that revenue from an old and now "victimless" vice. We've made pornography an acceptable career choice for women haven't we? What's a little S&M and donkey show filmed between consenting adults. Today's porn industry produces a whole lot of jobs and respectable tax revenue. (Acceptance of pedophilia is on the horizon, trust me.)

Legalizing vice won't stop black market entrepreneurs, never has, never will - there's just too much money to be made in illicit sex, drugs, gambling - but imagine the nationwide revenue on legalizing and "regulating" vice, the jobs created from enforcement and the never-ending cleanup. A libertarian's wet dream.

What the lower classes fail to understand about taxing vice is it's simply another way to tax the have-nots so the wealthier among us can avoid paying more tax. And it has the added bonus of the self-destructive masturbatory have-nots wallowing in the sewer while the haves remain out of touch and untouchable from the profitable stench.

All the revenue collected from the "sin tax", as we've heard so often in the past couple of decades, will be used for education, wildlife, healthcare, environmental programs. Promise, really. Just look how well these areas have done since legalizing the numbers racket/gambling, hiking taxes on tobacco, alcohol, etc.

I suppose I'm getting old - as the vices that make me uncomfortable don't seem to make most folks flinch at all.

I'm appalled at least once a day by what I see either in mainstream media or my local vicinity. I remember years ago being shocked if someone was publicly vulgar - now I'm shocked when someone is publicly polite.

Instead of icons like Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn - we have modern popstar skanks, toting illegitimate children, telling us women don't need men to have babies; greasy tattooed mannequins posed on the red carpet pretending they think for themselves. Some of today's biggest female icons can't seem to exit a car without showing labia. Others are aging gracelessly, nipped and tucked, becoming a "spokesperson" for one cause or another. That reminds me ... Betty White.

I used to like Betty. A sweet, talented, funny lady, champion of animal rights - now reduced to an old woman reading dull sexual one-liners from cue cards on the banal and boring "Hot in Cleveland." Why oh why Betty, why... oh and Sandra Bullock, admirable and classy, now given to swapping tongue with Meryl Streep and Scarlett Johansson - why? Competing with Britney and Madonna? Miley Cyrus? Girls Gone Wild? Since it's obviously not spontaneous, is it planned from the publicist/agent's couch?

Perhaps it's America's culture of randomness that grieves me... random sex, random breeding, random relationships, random lives, millions living on a haphazard course, no purpose ... where anything and everything can be done without remorse, shame, or guilt. People adrift.

Is it just me that misses the days of censorship? When vomit, feces, mucus, semen, urine, blood, were not part of nightly prime time. When heroes didn't have to gut and/or decapitate someone to look strong. When we had to use our own imagination to complete a scene that faded to black. When children were never portrayed as the victim in a gruesome graphic crime scene. When parents were counselors, not props for 10-year-old mini-adults making smartass remarks to canned laughter. Scoff and snort at Ward and June or Cliff and Clair if you want.

Folks are so confused they think debauchery is elegance, think perversity is sophisticated. I remember when we shunned and pitied the coarse and stupid, now we reward them with reality shows, record contracts, book deals, offices, power, status.

I ask myself, is it me getting old now that thinks we're legalizing and accepting social degeneration. Am I just uncool because I see more and more of American society as horribly offensive, repulsive?

John Stevenson, retired Air Force, engineer, old coot philosopher of sorts, says: "The Western Culture came to America with the early settlers from western Europe, primarily the British Isles. It was predominantly based on the Christian religion with elements of English jurisprudence and commercial law. It was a productive and uniform culture which extended into the minute detail of human behavior. It was extremely successful in the development, in a space of only two centuries, of the United States from a small isolated community of pioneers to the productive, wealthy and powerful country that it is today. This culture is now under mortal attack, is severely wounded and will succumb in the near future. It has already lost over half of its supporters and its enemies have the high ground in the media, justice, governing, and education institutions. Its life expectancy is now less than two more generations through our public schools."

There's a lot of truth in that statement.

In my lifetime I've witnessed the denigration of this western European Christian culture's achievements in the US. Seldom a mention of the wrongs that were righted. From a community of pioneers, including people of color, we have become a nation of special interest pimps and whores, appreciating nothing that came before. A citizenry so dumbed down we nod our heads and follow those who flagellate us with our own history. A nation of sociopaths, we participate in our own national suicide ... and call it progress.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Whistleblown Follies

Thank God for the Whistle-Blowers. By Robert Scheer. "What WikiLeaks did was brilliant journalism, and the bleating critics from the president on down are revealing just how low a regard they have for the truth. As with Richard Nixon’s rage against the publication of the Pentagon Papers, our leaders are troubled not by the prospect of these revelations endangering troops but rather endangering their own political careers. It is our president who unnecessarily sacrifices the lives of our soldiers and not those in the press who let the public in on the folly of the mission itself."

--- Scheer's an old leftish liberal journalist from way back. Does he know the Wikileaks documents allegedly come from a low-level analyst who would not have access to high level classified information? Or does he just like hyperbole... The scheers of the world can make all the grand pronouncements of brilliance and revelations they want - fact is Manning did not have the security clearance such info requires. Sitting in Iraq, Manning most definitely did not have access to the systems which store the real "revelations." And, just because something is "classified" does not mean it is fact - at Manning's clearance level there is a lot of low-grade classified junk.

Scheer admits that the 9/11 attacks were launched from Afghanistan "That is, in fact, just how their nation came to be the launching pad for the 9/11 attacks, which is the ostensible purpose of our occupation. We meddled in their history in a grand Cold War adventure to humble the Soviets by attacking the secular government in Kabul with which Moscow sided."

Secular. Is that the word for nonreligious (communist) progressive government? Lets look see:

1973: Mohammed Daoud Khan, Afghan prince and politician, in a bloodless coup overthrew the monarchy of his cousin, Mohammed Zahir Shah, and became the first President of Afghanistan. (The longest period of stability (1933-1973) in Afghanistan was under the Zahir Shah monarchy. ) Daoud Khan was assassinated in 1978 as a result of the Saur Revolution led by the Communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA). Khan was known for his progressive policies, especially in relation to the rights of women, but even he established a one-party rule.
1978: Nur Muhammad Taraki became president after Khan and his family assassinated. Taraki also belonged to the PDPA.
1978: Nur Muhammad Taraki overthrown and murdered shortly afterwards. The new president was Hafizullah Amin. Also of the PDPA.
1979: Hafizullah Amin held office about 100 days and was either assassinated or died of an "undisclosed illness." General story is he was executed by the USSR who came at the request of the newly installed president and more pro-Soviet, Babrak Karmal. Karmal too a PDPA party member.
1979-1986: Karmal president. He is the best known of the Marxist leadership. In 1986 he left Afghanistan for Moscow, where he died in 1996. Also PDPA.
1986: Karmal is replaced by Dr. Mohammad Najibullah, also PDPA. After the Soviets pulled out, and two hard winters, the Najibullah government collapsed in 1992. Najibullah's career ended with him dangling from a lamp post, at the hands of the Taliban.

What's wrong with the picture Scheer paints... "We meddled .... by attacking the secular government in Kabul with which Moscow sided." Shouldn't that read - we meddled as the USSR meddled and installed the Communist PDPA? If you look closely the only difference between the PDPA and Taliban is the purse strings. Some seem to think the US is always and the only instigating bad guys.

And yes, it was the world renown humanitarian Jimmy Carter who initiated the program to fund, train, and equip the Mujahideen. The b.s. that the US intentionally drew the USSR into Afghanistan, "their Vietnam," is bogus. Moscow had been meddling years before and propping up one puppet after another; their invasion was foreseeable, or at least predictable. But the idea of tricking the Soviets made US intel and Grampa Reagan look like wise men.

As I've asked before - do you really think we "won" the Cold War? Why? Because the USSR "broke up" with itself?

If "meddling" is the meme the "left" and progressives (sometimes posing as libertarianistas) like to use for the 9/11 attacks - it would make just as much sense, if not more, for Islamic fundamentalists to target the godless Kremlin which also fueled a decade of civil war. Not so long ago the Mujahideen's "holy war" fighters were shouting death to Soviet infidels.

Still, we believe 4 planes were simultaneously hijacked by Al-Qaeda cave men acting alone, or if they had any inside help, why ... it was BushCo and/or Israel ... couldn't be any other old nemesis ... wonder who funds this multinational, stateless jihad army now.

Oh, yes, funding is via the "drug trade," which also funds the Taliban, international drug cartels, the CIA, global ruling elites, warlords and/or freedom fighters in Asia, Africa, Mexico, Colombia, international bankers, worldwide organized crime families, the Sandinistas, the Contras, the Illuminati, Freemasonry, The New World Order, Rothchilds, Russian Jews, Queen Elizabeth, heavy metal music, the ghettos of L.A., the Bush family dynasty and Governor Clinton's cocaine drops in the Ozark Mountains.

So lets say hand-offs Afghanistan - no US meddling - since it seems, according to anti-meddling folks, that the US has no strategic rationale for being there. Let some other world power assume the folly of dealing with the brutality, corruption, ineffective state institutions, thousands of miles of unguarded borders, illiteracy, poverty, and dysfunction in Afghanistan. We have plenty of all that right here at home to deal with.

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