Sutherland: Not So Concealed Enemies

0I have been in situations twice in my life where I sensed that I was in the presence of a very great evil…

In 1976, I had press credentials from the Lawrence Journal World and used them to cover the war in Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe.  The African country was still under white rule at the time, but was the target of a Soviet-backed insurgency, which ultimately prevailed.  The subsequent Marxist dictatorship under tyrant Robert Mugabe has resulted in the near total destruction of the country.  As I stood at the border with Zambia where the insurgency was based, I realized this was yet another boundary between Western civilization and barbarism.  I knew once it was breached, a lot of very bad things would happen to a lot of good people, black and white.

I was right.

When I worked at the Department of Defense in 2002 I came across a serious security breach.  As I prepared a report for Secretary Rumsfeld, I had to confront the career bureaucrats whose carelessness had caused the breach.  When I read them the riot act in a tense late afternoon session in my boss’s office, it was as stressful a situation as I’ve ever been in professionally.  I took solace in the idea that defending my country was a more meaningful way to live than fighting over slip-and-fall cases in Kansas City.  In the words of The Talking Heads; “This ain’t no disco, this ain’t no fooling around.”

 

Hiss

Hiss

I got the name of this post from an incredible PBS production, “Concealed Enemies”, from over 20 years ago.  It is a dramatization of the story of Alger Hiss, a distinguished public servant serving in the highest ranks of the U.S. Government in the 1930’s and 1940’s.  When he was confronted by accusations that he was a Communist agent, Hiss vehemently denied the allegations.  His accuser, a former communist operative turned magazine editor named Whittaker Chambers, turned over to the federal prosecutors both stolen secret documents (on micro-film, hidden by Chambers in a pumpkin patch on his Maryland farm at one point, hence the “Pumpkin Papers”) and the names of critical eye-witnesses from the time years before when both Hiss and Chambers were part of the Communist underground.

One such witness was an elderly black woman from the Baltimore ghetto.  The FBI brought her to New York to testify and before putting her on the stand, they had her stand quietly in the lobby of the Federal Courthouse in Foley Square.  As Hiss strode into the building, with a phalanx of high-powered lawyers, trading asides with a number of reporters taking down his every word, the black woman looked intently at him.  At his moment of seeming triumph, the woman looked up at the two towering FBI agents and gave them a nod of recognition, confirming that Hiss was indeed the man she remembered.  Based on the actual historical and legal account, this film depiction is both faithful and dispassionate, taking no sides.  It is only that moment that reveals what is at stake and who is telling the truth.

I felt that same thrill and trepidation last week, Thursday, May 22, at an event in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.  John Nichols, the Washington editor of The Nation, the one and fifty year old “liberal” magazine was here to talk about a book he authored with a Robert McChesney, “Dollarocracy, How The Money and Media Complex is Destroying America.” (The Kauffman Foundation made the evening possible, which is ironic since it was a diatribe against wealthy people, like Ewing Kauffman, and corporations, like his Marion Labs!)

Nichols’s appearance was complete with his own cheering section. 

RUMSFELDThere were a dozen blue t-shirt clad members of The KC Move to Amend (“a coalition of hundreds of organizations and hundreds of thousands of individuals committed to social and economic justice, ending corporate rule, and building a vibrant democracy that is genuinely accountable to the people, not corporate interests”).  One couple had brown t-shirts that read “Oligarchy Response Squad”, though I admit they were being somewhat tongue-in-check, which was a useful corrective in an evening where humor and irony were in short supply.

Nichols delivered the identical message that we have heard from other left-of-center authors the last couple of years in talks at the library, to wit: Corporations and the wealthy are in control of everything in the U.S.  The Money Power has pulled off a “hostile takeover” of American Democracy.  The press has been neutered and has abdicated its traditional role as watch dogs against corruption and abuse of power by government.  Huge amounts are being spent by special interests in order to undermine democracy and take away the right to vote from millions.

Nichols placed particular emphasis on the paramount need to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United.  This is the case where the right of corporation and unions to political free speech was upheld, i.e. they have first amendment rights just like individuals.  Nichols at this point in his remarks recognized the audience members from Move to Amend, the local “progressive group” that wants to establish that corporations have no constitutional rights.

vanden_Heuvel_Katrina2

Katrina Vanden Heuvel

When they say we need to take away all constitutional rights from corporations, I take them at their word.  All rights means all rights, including the right of contract, the right to bring a cause of action civilly, the right to own property (real and personal, tangible and intangible), and the right not to have it taken from you without due process of law.  I clearly understand it to mean taking the First Amendment protection from corporations, which include the right of free speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion (many, if not most, churches are non-profit corporations).

According to the Right to Amend folk’s logic, I could beat up or kill the entire staff of the Star, blow up their printing presses, stop its papers from being delivered, prevent them from receiving payment from third parties for subscriptions and advertising, and no one could stop me or seek any recourse against me for my actions.  As a corporation, The McClatchy Company would have no rights or legal recourse.

To show that I’m not exaggerating, go to the Move To Amend blog, where it’s proposed that the principle of limited corporate liability would also be taken away.  Corporations and their employees and their owners would lose the most basic legal protection that goes back thousands of years to Roman times.  Nichols and his friend also support another amendment proposed by that shining example of disinterested good government, the Senator from Las Vegas, Harry Reid, in which all political fund raising and expenditures would be under the strict supervision and control of Congress.

Mr. Nichols echoed all this in his remarks as being a necessary corrective to “The Money Power”.

Reid

Reid

Yet the Money Power we need to be on guard against is only coming from The Right. 

There are twelve references to Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino owner and conservative donor in the index to Dollarocracy. There are six references to Charles and David Koch. (Harry Reid, on the other hand, says that Adelson is a man of principle unlike the Kochs who are, Reid says, just in “it’-politics-for the money! Could it have something to do with the fact Adelson is one of Reid’s constituents?)

There is no mention of financier George Soros, who has spent over a hundred million dollars on left-wing causes.  There is no mention of former New Jersey Senator Jon Corzine, who spent an equal amount on his personal campaigns for Senator and Governor.  There is no mention of publisher and media mogul Michael Bloomberg, who spent equivalent sums on his campaigns for Mayor of New York and gun control.

We did hear from Nichols, about such saintly characters as Harvey Milk, the San Francisco gay councilman who was murdered; Keith Ellison, the Black Muslim Congressman and follower of Louis Farrakhan from Minnesota; and I.F. Stone, the radical journalist who was later disclosed to be a paid agent of the KGB after the Kremlin archives were opened.  These are the kinds of people that a thousand of your fellow Kansas Citians applauded.

I should not have been surprised when I recalled that The Nation was an unrepentant apologist for Stalin for decades, just as they are for Putin right now.  What seems so frightening is that no one seemed to notice or care in the audience that what we are being asked to embrace is the view that American society has always been a force for evil, i.e. “capitalism” at home and “militarism” abroad.

In yet another quote from Orwell, referring to left-wing English intellectuals but which is true, as well, for their American counterparts; “There is no enemy so evil that it would cause them to take sides with their own government.”

mugabe

mugabe

The overall impression is of people who did too many drugs in the ‘60s and ‘70s.  Who else could believe that a memo from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a nefarious plan for world domination?  Who else thinks that the late Justice Lewis Powell, an Establishment lawyer who went to the Supreme Court from that nest of radical firebrands, the American Bar Association, was the avatar of Satan behind all our current woes?

As humorless as this group of zombies was, I decided to have fun at the speaker’s expense and to see if I could get a rise.  I asked Nichols how he could reconcile his attacks on concentrations of wealth and on corporations with the fact that his editor and publisher, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, was only able to buy The Nation because of inheriting a three hundred million dollar fortune from her grandfather, record and movie mogul Jules Stein, founder of The Music Corporation of America.  Nichols immediately shifted into rhetorical flight and evasion mode.  After a few moments of scrambling (“That’s a really good question!  I’m actually quite glad you asked that.  Let’s give the man a big hand for asking!”), we got the stock answer on this point: “I’m not against concentrations of wealth.” (If they belong to his employer?), “Well, maybe I am, but not in this context. I’m not going to talk about it.  It’s actually only wealth used to gain unfair political power that I object to.”At this point his voice sped up and grew shrill,like Alvin and The Chipmunks.I’ll give him credit,though,he never stopped talking.

power_to_the_peopleWhen I pointed out that there are plenty of left-wing billionaires who use their wealth to political ends (like Tom Steyer, the hedge-funder who is spending $100 million to stop the Keystone pipeline), Nichols fell back on the chestnut that its only people using the power their wealth has given to them to protect that wealth by gaming the system or otherwise advancing their own interests financially that he objects to.  In other words, it’s not about money, it’s about power.  But it’s only about power to the extent it’s about money!

There is no morality but class morality.

There is no objective truth except in a class context.  Marx lives, at least among a thousand or so septuagenarian Mid-Westerners.  Fun stuff,indeed, to spend an evening with so many people who hate the traditions, the history, and the institutions of this country.

(I did learn that this summer’s fashion accessory is a copy of Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in The Twenty-First Century”;  That and matching Paul Davis for Governor buttons and bumper stickers.)

 

 

 

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38 Responses to Sutherland: Not So Concealed Enemies

  1. hot harley says:

    southy…with your families money I find it hard for you to be questioning
    someone about inheriting wealth.
    yes…the money is on both sides…but in reality they’re all in this together.
    Despite the tv rants and the constant battles we think are going on…they’re
    all in this together.
    They know that as long as they control the politicians…they control
    the money grab.
    pretty simple to figure out.
    tom steyer…he understands what that pipeline is about. while we pay
    $3.50 a gallon that oil is headed overseas for more profits for the
    subsidized oil companies. But who takes the risk? all the people
    who depend on that water…who could find a leak in their backyard..
    all the people who thought this oil would bring down domestic
    prices.
    Come on southy…you know the scam.
    One day they’ll all be featured on “AMERICAN GREED”.

    • Dwight Sutherland,Jr. says:

      Why is blame collective(for all the high crimes and misdemeanors,unspecified I might note) for my family but credit is only conferred individually?

  2. Dwight D. Sutherland, Jr. says:

    The difference is that I’m not using inherited wealth to denounce the whole notion of inherited wealth.I’m not telling some one else that they shouldn’t be able to pass on a business,a farm,a professional practice,or a home to a family member now that my own family is provided for. I’m not flying around in a private jet or living in a thirty thousand square foot house while lecturing others about reducing their carbon foot-print. I’m not pretending to be the voice of the poor and disfranchised while living off a multi-million dollar trust fund. In short,I’m not being a hypocrite like the Kennedys,John Kerry, John Edwards,Al Gore, Bill and Hilary Clinton,and virtually every other prominent Democrat you could name.
    Re:Paul Steyer,isn’t it convenient that his hedge fund has millions invested in alternative energy sources and thus would benefit from blocking the Keystone oil pipeline?? If he was so sincere on the issue,why did his fund spend million developing coal reserves in the Third World? He’s as self-righteously phony as they come. (It was his house,a multi-million dollar mansion in the most expensive part of San Francisco, where Obama made the incredibly patronizing remarks in 2008 about working people “bitterly clinging to their guns and their religions.”)

    • hot harley says:

      ah alternative energy…ikea understands this….allsolar power
      at store in mission…
      and we’re seeing countries where 80% of energy is renewable.
      He’s taking a crap shoot with his money. Unlike Koch broterhs who
      only want to continue to further destroy the environment withtther
      oil billions.
      of course he wants to further renewables…the keystone pipeline
      isn’t about energy independence in the u.s…its about billions the
      oil companies can ship to europpe/chinawhile we hitthemiddle
      class with higher gas prices.
      it has not profound effect on America…its not like it will change
      our dependence on foreign oil….it will probably neer be built.
      after 2014 Obama says no…then Hillary turns the dealdown
      and today …we see obamawas right about these red neck hanging
      to their guns and religion…ever watched fox news southy..
      Obama was 100 per cent correct.
      Now…go buy another
      for 8 years…..
      come on southy…you’re smarter than this..but all your daddys
      millions can’t make you have any common sense.
      that you cant buy dude.
      ‘t

  3. Stomper says:

    Dwight, I guess I disagree with your assessment that if you happen to be wealthy, then you are prohibited from being an advocate for the poor and disenfranchised. That’s your reasoning for calling the Kennedy’s, et al hypocrites? Why can’t you have earned or inherited wealth and still see that government has a role to play in addressing issues that the private sector can’t, won’t, or shouldn’t. Not only are there lots of wealthy democrats, there are lots of poor republicans. Not a crime to vote against your own best interests.

    I also have a concern with the Citizen’s United decision and the amount of money in politics. George Soros bothers me as much as the Kochs.

    Interesting first few paragraphs, Dwight. Sounds like the basis of some good stories in the future. Stepping across the border into Rhodesia must have been sobering, but in 1976 you surely saw yourself as invincible.

    • Dwight D. Sutherland, Jr. says:

      I have only admiration for people who actually try to improve the plight of the poor. Any sincere and effective use of one’s private wealth to help the disadvantaged is all to the good. What I have no use for is some rich politician stirring up hatred and resentment in the name of doing “something about inequality”. Robert Kennedy, Jr. is no one to lecture me about the pressing need to do something about the”unfairness of a system tilted in favor of the wealthiest one percent.” Promising to take some else’s money(“redistribution”) to buy votes is the oldest trick in the book and is one of the chief reason why democracies fail.

      • Stomper says:

        Thanks for the response, Dwight. Redistribution is not the curse word that many think. Redistribtution of wealth is what all governments do. Russia, China, France, Egypt, UK, all do it differently but they all do it. It’s not a bad thing but we love to argue about it here in the US. Both parties do it to buy votes. Subsidies to industries is the the flip side of the coin of subsidies to the poor. It stirs up hatred and resentment both ways. Embrace the system, D man, it’s how we play ball in America.

        By the way, I’d love to hear your thoughts on KC’s chance at the GOP convention.

      • hLot harley says:

        southy….you admire people who’ve done things to help
        the poor?
        WHAT THE HECK HAVE YOU DONE LATELY TO HELP
        SOMEONE WHO’S POOR.
        SEND YOUR BUTLER DOWN TO THE HOOD TO
        DRIVE THEM TO MISSION HILLS?

        • Dwight Sutherland,Jr. says:

          I’ve spent thirty years doing pro bono legal work for the poor. Several years ago I received the Kansas City Bar Association Robert Welch Public Service Award for outstanding legal services to the poor. I also worked in my church’s food pantry. I also defended members of The Kaw Valley Anarchist Collective when they were falsely charged with crimes in Lawrence and helped Lawrence attorney Hudson Luce win their acquittal. My family and I have been active in supporting Children’s Mercy Hospital,St. Luke’s Hospital,K.U. Med Center,and Baptist Hospital. I have tried,as has my family,to give back to our community,particularly to the less fortunate. If you had bothered to check on this you would know it’s true and would not have made your witless taunt.

          • hLot harley says:

            you and your family….admire the personal
            work…but southy when you’ve got millions
            and millions …and its “the family” it
            take a little away from the “personal side”
            “witless taunt”….we’veseen in the past what
            the sutherlands have done. Sorry but according
            to the papers no different than the rest of
            the money hungry corporations.
            Nice…ubt if I really dug into what has been done
            I’d find what you fail to speak of.
            I understand…you’ve been the lucky of the
            luckiest because of birth.
            Wish I was so lucky. wouldn’t have to work
            and stress so much to make things happen.
            You don’t have to make a payroll/build a
            business…sleepless nights asbout your business…it was “given” to you.
            Wish I had the time to do more pro bono
            work…but I do a ton…homeless shelters…
            city union…pro bono work for at least
            10 charities….big brothers….raising money\
            fpr charities….countless walks/runs to raise
            money for many causes….
            no ones trying to take away anyones money…
            they’re just trying to get guys like you and
            the other 1% to pay their fair share.
            You don’t!!!!! Theres 70,000 pages in the
            tax code book….probably 2 of them apply
            to me and the rest of the kcc crowd.
            Your people bought and paid for those
            subsidies…and I guarantee your families
            company is getting some serious tax breaks
            while you dine on pheasant and the finest
            wines while the government is forced to
            cut back on va benefits because of what
            we spend.
            good luck southy. Nice try.
            But I know how the game is played…and I
            know you are taking advantage of each and
            every break you’ve paid for….
            it was not a witless taunt…its a proven fact
            manytimesover. I’m sure you’re upfront and
            forward paying special groups to reduce
            inheritance taxes and getting you special
            breaks while the rest of the nation
            get bread crumbs.
            YOU CAN’T FOOL HARLEY…
            have a great day!
            Nothing personal…just the fact!!!!!!!!

          • Stomper says:

            Dwight, thanks for your and your family’s support to our community. What, pray tell, is the Kaw Valley Anarchist Collective? Certainly an intriguing name.

  4. Nick says:

    Interesting juxtaposition from the lede – “I have been in situations twice in my life where I sensed that I was in the presence of a very great evil…” to “At this point his voice sped up and grew shrill,like Alvin and The Chipmunks.

    Quaint.

  5. BS on Both Sides of the Isle says:

    The Left vs Right position of politics would be humorous if not for its devastating effects. Pick your side the fact remains that if you are a politician in this country you could care less about jobs, economy, home values, price of gas, or a snickers. They don’t work for people they work for power and money with their own best interests in mind. Rhetoric and talking points designed to suck in the ignorant and the stupid. Neither side gives a |)amn about gay marriage, amnesty, abortion, healthcare or the value of your house. The bigger the machine the more buffer from responsibility and harder it is to unseat entrenched and incompetent leadership. These organizations are nothing more then the minions of self labeled intellectuals satisfying their craving to have a relevance and purpose to their existence. Not one in attendance would have been willing to sign their fortune over to the homeless guy 3 blocks away. Choose a side and it is the same as caving into the status quo.

  6. Curtis Blow says:

    You argue strawmen, you misrepresent, you argue past your politico opposition as though they will just disappear. These are dishonorable acts. Thou beist a hypocrite.

  7. chuck says:

    Rhodesia and South Africa’s descent into chaos, documented in the news is by the atrocities, racial genocide and predictable economic collapse, which over the years coincided with the hagiography of Mandela and culminated in his apotheosis in death. The actual real time truth of what has happened over the last 30 years in that part of the world, is told by a former supporter of the ANC, Ilana Mercer in her book, “Into The Cannibal’s Pot”. At this point, you look away from the slaughter and think, Forget it Jake, it’s Africa Town.

    This is a “Known Known” for me, as, I belieive the definition of evil begins at home, subjectively. Our foriegn policy with regards to Russian over the last 40 years has been myopic, short sighted and pernicious. While I give all credit due to Ronny for the destruction of that “Wall”, it seems clear in retrospect that our ham handed approach with the Russians was and is, counterproductive. The Hawks in the Pentagon would have us believe that the imminent return to a Sovet Era Eastern Europe is at hand. Total Bu**sh*t. Would that it were, we could board a Time Flux Capacitor and return to 1979. We supported the essence of Evil in the person of Osama and the Mujahideen and ran the Russians out with surface to air missles. Evil isn’t that hard to find, it is ubiquitous.

    I’m ok eating cake and voting against my interests. The light at the end of the liberal tunnel is always the same thing, a Bullet Train.

    • Stomper says:

      I think for the most part, foreign policy is a crap shot. Those in power here can’t even control the events in this country. Trying to control what Putin does, what happens in Syria, Pakistan, even how Europe acts is a roll of the dice. Yes, we can make an educated guess and try to be proactive in influencing other countries to act in our best interests but sometimes we get lucky and sometimes we don’t. We got lucky with Ronny and the Wall. We got lucky with Kennedy and the blockade. Yep, we did support Osama in the early days just like we did with Ho Chi Minh. Sometimes the enemy of your enemy IS your friend and sometimes they aren’t. Sometimes you do everything right and it still blows up in your face. Easy to decide what works and what doesn’t in hindsight. If it were only that easy.

    • Stomper says:

      I really tried here, Chuck but I can’t let the direction of your comments in your opening paragraph go unchallenged. Your thoughts on racial profiles are legend here, as well as TKC. ” …hagiography of Mandela and culminated in his apotheosis in death”. Wow. So Mandela was a bad guy in your view ?? You and others here have referred to LBJ as a war criminal for his pushing the Civil Rights legislation in the 60’s. By that line of reasoning I’m guessing that Lincoln’s emancipation of the slaves makes him part of the “ubiquitous evil” you note ??? Lincoln was a RINO, right??

      • chuck says:

        Lets stay on message.

        Mandela should be judged by his legacy as should any political leader who aspired to office or position.

        Mercier says it far better than I do.

        “Bit by barbaric bit South Africa is being dismantled by official racial socialism, obscene levels of crime – organized and disorganized ─ AIDS, corruption, and an accreting kleptocracy. In response, people are “packing for Perth” (as American immigration law privileges uneducated Mexican migrants, preferably with criminal records). The Rainbow Nation now includes Africans armed with automatic weapons who roam the countryside culling Afrikaner farmers. The latter, by law, must “battle their ubiquitous assailants with only a shotgun, a handgun and a limited number of rounds at their disposal.”

        However short the shrift the ultra-liberal South African Institute of Race Relations gives to the evidence of racial rage etched in the mangled, violated remains of thousands of rural white South Africans ─ the SAIRR has, at least, been suitably dismayed to discover that close to one million whites had already left the country; the white population shrank from 5,215,000 in 1995 to 4,374,000 in 2005 (“nearly one-fifth of the white population”).

        Chief among the reasons cited for the exodus are violent crime and affirmative action. Alas, as the flight from crime gathered steam, the African National Congress, Mandela’s crowd, stopped collecting the necessary emigration statistics. (Correlation is not causation, but … ) The exact numbers are, therefore, unknown. (Although Mandela’s message to those departing is not: He has accused whites of betraying him and of being “traitors” and “cowards.”) What is known is that most émigrés are skilled white men. Do you blame them? Writes columnist Andrew Kenny:
        In South Africa, the main instrument of transformation is Black Economic Empowerment (BEE). This requires whites to hand over big chunks of the ownership of companies to blacks and to surrender top jobs to them. Almost all the blacks so enriched belong to a small elite connected to the ANC. BEE is already happening to mines, banks and factories. In other words, a peaceful Mugabe-like program is already in progress in South Africa. [Except that it’s not so peaceful.]

        Has that paragon of virtue, Mandela, called publicly for a stop to the pogroms? Cancelled a birthday bash with “the hollow international jet set” – “ex-presidents, vacuous and egomaniacal politicians, starlets, coke-addled fashion models, intellectually challenged and morally strained musicians”? Called for a day of prayer instead (oops; he’s an ex-communist)?

        No.

        Not that you’d guess it from the film “Invictus,” Clint Eastwood’s “over-reverent biopic,” but neither has Mandela ever raised his authoritative voice against the ANC’s unremitting assault on Afrikaans as the language of instruction in Afrikaner schools and universities.

        The political posse with which “Madiba” (Mandela’s cuddly tribal nickname) surrounds himself covers up the convincing proof of racial hatred motivating the murder and mutilation of thousands of white South Africans (and their babies).

        The carnage against innocents continues apace in South Africa, as does Mandela’s silence. Had Mandela wrestled with these defining issues, perhaps he’d be deserving of the monstrous statues raised in his honor (these too are in the socialist realist aesthetic tradition).”

        South Africa and Rhodesia are on their way to the anarchy and chaos that exists on the rest of the African Continent. The ususal blood simple, death grinding ignorance and stupidity, aided and abetted by Marxist idiots and killers who will, in short order, wreak far, far greater damage in thier respective cultures than we can care to imagine.

        Yes Mandela’s effforts are now and will leave his country men in terrible shape.

        Yes, Affirmative Action and the entirety of legislation which has failed to “Even the playing field” should have a sell by date and should be repealed.

        I won’t dignify the last question with a response, it is beneath you.

        • chuck says:

          Again, I would encourage anyone who wants to understand what happened in South Africa over the last 30 years, to read Ilana Mercier, a former ANC supporter who marched against Apartheid.

          If the reality on the ground, fails to fit the narrative you have been taught, you can either change your mind, or, continue to lie to yourself. Either way, the reality on the ground, is the reality on the ground.

    • hLot harley says:

      THERE GOES CHUCKLES THE SAD LONELY CLOWN…
      ANOTHER RACIST…ANTI BLACK…ANTI EVERYTHING COMMENT.
      WHERE YOU BEEN CHUCKLES…HIBERNATION?
      glad to see the old racist Nazi has awoken to write such peaceful/thoughtful
      commentary.
      we really missed those hateful vile comments. NOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!

  8. Paracelsus says:

    What’s most amusing in this frothy, meandering public speaking power fantasy isn’t the infantile ‘but everyone does it’ defense, or the obsession with defending the rights of those poor misunderstood corporations. It’s the fact that red-baiting is so alive and well in the fever swamps. I guess that’s what passes for ideas now…

  9. Lydia Lozano says:

    You are among the shrinking number of the last honest men. That being the case, please to watch your back so you can continue to write these articles.

  10. Wow. Well said. I notice that most who disagree with your piece begin with a personal attack on the writer before engaging on substance. It seems to support your concept that many believe free speech should be reserved for approved speakers.

    • Stomper says:

      Good point. Insulting the writer, left or right, because you disagree with the point of view serves to reduce the level of civil discourse. This ain’t no disco, this ain’t no TKC !!!

  11. Rosco says:

    Mr Sutherland, another solid gold piece. How do we get you a bigger audience?

    Look, if I were to run for office, my platform would be smaller, less intrusive government. I would be for the most efficient, economical, unsubsidized energy production sources.

    If the Koch brothers or the Chamber of Commence then decided to support me because they found common cause with me, would that put me in their throes? Or would I be exploiting them for my own personal gain?

    • the dude says:

      Once the money starts flowing and if you happen to win an election you are indebted to the people that got you there. They will not let you forget that fact.

      • John Altevogt says:

        There’s an old saying amongst politicians that “if you can’t eat their food, drink their liquor and take their money and then vote against them you need to get out of the business.”

        By the way your comment about Rumsfeld fits perfectly with the Orwellian comment about hating your country. Typical useful idiot. You should campaign for Milt Wolf.

  12. chuck says:

    Here is a commentary on “Into The Cannibal’s Pot” and the death of Mandela.

    “Given that the entire planet seems to be of one voice in both mourning the loss of Nelson Mandela and celebrating his life, most will find it inconceivable that anyone would think to so much as suggest that Mandela was anything less than the saint that his admirers are working tirelessly to depict him as.

    But truth is truth and Mandela was no saint.

    Mandela was a proponent of “democratic socialism” who, along with the South African Communist Party, unleashed a torrent of violence against his political opponents that included the bombing of government sites. He was convicted of “sabotage” and attempting to overthrow the government—charges to which he openly confessed at his trial. And in spite of having been released from prison in 1990 after serving 27 years and eventually becoming South Africa’s first black president, he remained on the United States Terror Watch list until as recently as 2008. The late Margaret Thatcher characterized Mandela’s African National Congress as a “typical terrorist organization.”

    Ilana Mercer is a writer and former resident of South Africa who knows all too well about Mandela and his legacy. One of her books, Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa, includes a chapter chock full of interesting, but inconvenient, facts regarding the man who is now being lauded as never before.

    Mercer informs us that long before apartheid came crumbling down, the government of South Africa offered to release Mandela from jail as long as he promised to renounce violence. Mandela, though, “refused to do any such thing [.]” Mercer adds that Mandela’s “TV smile has won out over his political philosophy, founded as it is on energetic income redistribution in the neo-Marxist tradition, on ‘land reform’ in the same tradition, and on ethnic animosity toward the Afrikaner.”

    In 1992, two years after Mandela was set free, he was videoed at an event surrounded by members of the South African Communist Party, his own African National Congress (ANC), and “the ANC’s terrorist arm, the Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), which Mandela led.” Courtesy of YouTube, all with eyes to see could now witness “Mandela’s fist…clenched in a black power salute” as the members of MK sang their anthem, a little song according to which they reaffirm their pledge to “‘kill them—kill the whites.’”

    Mandela remained a socialist to the last, Mercer assures us, even though he cleverly—but transparently—“rebranded” it. Mandela’s was a racial socialism, a point established beyond doubt by the remarks he made in 1997. Mercer quotes Mandela insisting that “the future of humanity” cannot be “surrendered to the so-called free market, with government denied the right to intervene [.]” Mandela also declared the need for the “ownership and management” of the South African economy to reflect “the racial composition of our society” and criticized “the…capitalist system” in South Africa for elevating to “the highest pedestal the promotion of the material interests of the white minority.”

    For the conceit of those Westerners who assume that Mandela’s thought is a justified response to the evils of apartheid, Mercer has just the treatment. She reminds us that Mandela and his ANC “had never concealed that they were as tight as thieves with communist and terrorist regimes—Castro, Gaddafi, Arafat, North Korea and Iran’s cankered Khameneis.” Mercer further reminds us that in addition to once cheering, “‘Long live Comrade Fidel Castro!’” Mandela referred to Gaddafi as “‘my brother leader” and Arafat as “‘a comrade in arms.’”

    Moreover, though awarded by President George W. Bush in 2003 with the Medal of Freedom Award, Mercer observes that Mandela couldn’t resist issuing the harshest of indictments against America. “‘If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world,’” Mandela said, “’it is the United States of America.’” He added that “‘they,” meaning Americans, presumably, “don’t like human beings.’”

    And what is Mandela’s legacy to his native South Africa? It is the purpose of Mercer’s book to show that it is nothing to write home about. “Since he [Mandela] came to power in 1994, approximately 300,000 people have been murdered.” “Bit by barbaric bit,” she writes, “South Africa is being dismantled by official racial socialism, obscene levels of crime—organized and disorganized—AIDS, corruption, and an accreting kleptocracy.”

    Mercer’s book is a rarity inasmuch as it supplies us with a brutally frank account of the real South Africa that Nelson Mandela helped to bequeath to the world. While the rest of the world is busy singing hosannas to Mandela over the next few days, those of us who are interested in truth would be well served to visit it.”

  13. chuck says:

    I think the person who did this blog died, but, anyway, there are many many pictures of Johanessburg the way it used to be and what it looks like now.

    http://deathofjohannesburg.blogspot.com/

    I don’t think it has been updated for a while, but the pictures are evidence of a dramatic state of decline.

  14. Jimmy Cliff says:

    Mandela and Mugabe are not just leaders with feet of clay, but contributors to ongoing genocide. Politically correct genocide, which is never mentioned.

  15. mike t. says:

    we get it chuck. you can relax now… have a beer or something…

  16. CFPCowboy says:

    Citizens United is a correct ruling on the basis of the First Amendment, the laws that have been passed since the Amendment was penned, and court rulings all of which can be supported by the Supreme Court Decision. It is matched by no restrictions on the part of unions, even though individual members may not share in union leadership support, but the decision has other dimensions, as it is not a pure dichotomy between corporations and unions. Lobbying efforts by a Chamber of Commerce do not bear the same tax deductibility as it would coming from a union, particularly with in-kind contributions. Our tax laws diminish the lines between individuals and corporations with sub S and LLC structures, which have influenced the courts into diminishing the difference between individuals and corporation. In short, the Citizens United Decision was not only correct, but it was the only decision that could be reached by an authority charged with enforcing the document. It is the lasts statement of the First Amendment that perplexes me most, allowing any individual to seek redress. let’s hope they don’t read it too closely.

  17. hLot harley says:

    citizens united will destry the nation.
    and as john McCain (republican) said will lead to the biggest scandal/payoff/
    extortion/payola conviction in u.s. history. Just waiting to happen.
    When Hilary gets in look for the biggest all out justice deparmtnet takedown
    of the thieve who have bought and paid for this travesty of a decision…..
    Harley knows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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