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By Gene Mahoney

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It’s Better to Fade Away than Burn Out

Neil Young

President Bush’s apparent approval of illegal immigration actually got me thinking about impeachment until I heard Neil Young’s latest pop ditty. Michael Moore directed the video for Young’s Rockin’ in the Free World and the two may be partnering again, though this time unintentionally, as the singer’s latest song Let’s Impeach the President may keep Bush in office the way the director’s movie Fahrenheit 9-11 got him re-elected.

This was my favorite verse:

Let’s impeach the president

For hijacking our religion and using it to get elected

Dividing our country into colors

And still leaving black people neglected

“And still leaving black people neglected”? What’s this sudden concern for black people that seems to be gripping geriatric rock stars who reside in the ultra-wealthy Silicon Valley enclave known as Woodside, California? Neil Young lives in Woodside, and last year I got to see another one of its famous residents in person. I was in its downtown when a silver Lexus pulled up (being this was Woodside it had the obligatory “Iraq is Arabic for Vietnam” bumper sticker on it). A woman who looked good for her age got out. It was Joan Baez.

As Ronald Bailey noted in his November 4, 2004 piece for Reason.com titled Joan Baez and Me:

Charlottesville, VA — America’s “culture war” was on full display last night at the Joan Baez concert. Tickets to the concert were a present to my mother-in-law for her 69th birthday. My mother-in-law certainly fit the demographic of the audience, or as she described it, “All the old hippies are out tonight.” Let’s just say that by attending, my wife and I dropped the average age of the audience by several months.

Sixty-three year old Baez came out on stage and asked how the audience felt about the election. Of course the audience groaned and moaned—after all, this IS a Joan Baez concert. For her part, Joan said that she felt like she had been run over by a truck. One audience member yelled, “You give us hope.” Now I like a good rendition of “Joe Hill” or “Diamonds and Rust” as well as the next person and I do recognize her talent as a singer. And Baez has a perfect right to dedicate a song, as she did, to that insufferable, lying self-promoter Michael Moore, whom she praised for doing his best to save the country. Later Baez announced that she was going to sing a song that she sang only in countries that were undergoing extreme political strife. In fact, she hadn’t sung it in the United States in the last 20 years. The song? “We Shall Overcome.”

However, the most remarkable and disturbing episode occurred halfway through the concert when Joan stopped singing and announced that she had “multiple personalities.” One of her multiple personalities is that of a fifteen year old poor black girl named Alice from Turkey Scratch, Arkansas. Baez decided to share with us Alice’s views on the election. Amazed and horrified I watched a rich, famous, extremely white folksinger perform what can only be described as bit of minstrelsy—only the painted on blackface was missing. Alice, the black teenager from Arkansas Baez was pretending to be, spoke in a dialect so broad and thick that it would put Uncle Remus and Amos and Andy to shame. Baez’ monologue was filled with phrases like, “I’se g’win ta” to do this that or the other and dropping all final “g’s.” Baez as Alice made statements like, “de prezident, he be a racist,” and “de prezident, he got a bug fer killin’.” Finally, since Bush won the election with 58.7 million votes to Kerry’s 55.1 million, Alice observed, “Seems lak haf’ de country be plumb crazy.” Since Baez was reading Alice’s notes, it is evident that she thinks that Arkansas’ public schools don’t teach black children to write standard English.

Once Joan finished her minstrelsy riff, the audience, in which I did not see a single black person, went wild with applause and hoots and hollers. I have never felt so embarrassed for a bunch of “liberals” in my life. I wonder where Baez got her notions of how poor black country folk talk—she couldn’t be stereotyping, could she?

Of course not, Mr. Bailey. By the way, according to the 2000 Census Woodside, California is 90.21% White and 0.37% Black. Neil Young and Joan Baez are actually living in the ‘hood compared to the town where Michael Moore (their phat friend) lives. Central Lake, Michigan, where the author of Stupid White Men resides, has a Census count of 0.00% Black people living there.

Hey, Neil and Joan (and you too, Mikey M.)… thanks for “keepin’ it real.”

No Blood for Hollywood

Okay, enough criticism of Young, Baez, and Moore. There’s plenty of other jerks in the entertainment industry to put down.

George Clooney

Let’s move on to George Clooney. Fawning magazine writers have always written how Clooney is a modern-day cross between Cary Grant and Clark Gable. I disagree. I won’t go into speculations about Grant’s private life, but during World War II Clark Gable fought tooth and nail to have the army accept him as a 40-year-old tail gunner. He volunteered for such dangerous missions that Adolph Hitler (a big fan of his) placed a bounty on his head. Clooney, on the other hand, has done nothing but bad mouth the U.S. here and abroad. Actually, that’s not fair, he has helped the war effort by making a propaganda film. (Although it was the Islamofascist war effort as Syriana is a propaganda film for the other side.)

Here’s an excerpt from Mark Steyn (marksteyn.com) from National Review on the other propaganda film Clooney made last year, which deceitfully keeps alive a myth anyone under 60 grew up with:

In Heinrich Mann’s novel Der Untertan, written just before the Great War, the central character, Diederich, is asked by Buck, “You do not know whom history will designate as the representative type of this era?”

“The Emperor,” says Diederich.

“No,” replies Buck. “The actor.”

And how. George Clooney’s triple Oscar nominations for acting, writing, and directing are said to be a significant moment in the life of the nation, and not just by George Clooney, though his effusions on his own “bravery” certainly set a high mark. “We jumped in on our own,” he said, discussing Good Night, and Good Luck with Entertainment Weekly. “And there was no reason to think it was going to get any easier. But people in Hollywood do seem to be getting more comfortable with making these sorts of movies now. People are becoming braver.”

Wow. He was brave enough to make a movie about Islam’s treatment of women? Oh, no, wait. That was the Dutch director Theo van Gogh: He had his throat cut and half-a-dozen bullets pumped into him by an enraged Muslim who left an explanatory note pinned to the dagger he stuck in his chest. At last year’s Oscars, the Hollywood crowd were too busy championing the “right to dissent” in the Bushitler tyranny to find room even to namecheck Mr. van Gogh in the montage of the deceased. Bad karma. Good night, and good luck.

No, Mr. Clooney was the fellow “brave” enough to make a movie about — cue drumroll as I open the envelope for Most Predictable Direction — the McCarthy era!

How about that? I don’t know about you but I was getting so sick of the sycophantic Joe McCarthy biopics churned out year in year out — Nathan Lane in McCarthy! The Musical was the final straw — that thank God someone finally had the “bravery” to exercise his “right to dissent.” I only hope George Clooney isn’t found dead in the street at the hands of some crazed nonagenarian HUAC member.

Thank you, Mr. Steyn. Note to fawning magazine writers: Clooney makes anti-American propaganda films and in his spare time promotes dubious environmental causes. He’s not the new Clark Gable. He’s the new Robert Redford.

The day before May Day we witnessed protests against U.S. INACTION in stopping genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan (by the same people who protested U.S. ACTION in stopping genocide in Iraq). As the New York Sun editorialized:

This Darfur double standard was underscored by the list of announced speakers for yesterday’s “Save Darfur” rally. They included at least three members of Congress - Nancy Pelosi, Donald Payne, and Michael Capuano - who voted against the liberation of Iraq. Mr. Payne, a Democrat of New Jersey, has reportedly gone so far as to say of the Iraq war, “I have never seen such a misuse of our power.” Ms. Pelosi, a Californian who is the Democratic leader in the House, has endorsed Rep. John Murtha’s demand for an immediate American withdrawal from Iraq.

The scheduled speakers at yesterday’s Save Darfur rally also included the Reverend Al Sharpton and the Democrat who lost in 1997 to Mayor Giuliani, Ruth Messinger. Rev. Sharpton and Ms. Messinger have marched against the Iraq war in New York behind the banner of United for Peace and Justice, an anti-Israel front group whose steering committee includes a representative of the Communist Party USA.

Just to underscore the double standard, Rev. Sharpton reportedly marched against the Iraq war in New York on Saturday, then marched in Washington on Sunday for more intervention in Sudan.

And guess who was at the forefront of the Save Darfur rally? As Peter Bronson noted in the Cincinnati Enquirer:

I haven’t been to hell or Sudan, but they sound a lot alike: nightmarish brutality, merciless tyranny, scorching heat and a high likelihood of being harangued by a Hollywood celebrity.

In the Darfur region of Sudan, the celebrity is George Clooney. I must have missed the memo that nominated Clooney as the media’s new secretary of state, to serve with media Secretary of Defense John Murtha and media President Hillary Clinton.

“It is the first genocide of the 21st century,” Clooney said after his first visit to Darfur, where he used his “celebrity credit card” to call attention to looting, murder, rape and refugees.

Good for him. If peace breaks out in Sudan, he may deserve some credit. But please, spare us the St. George of Clooney headlines. I don’t think he has an Oscar in foreign policy.

The last time celebrities told us to “do something” in Africa, President Clinton sent troops to Somalia in 1993 and we lost 18 soldiers. Then we quickly pulled out because we had no national interest there.

Now Clooney wants us to “do something” about Darfur, where Arab Muslims who control the government have murdered about 300,000 black Muslims. But where was Clooney during the past 20 years while 2 million Christians and non-Muslim black Africans were murdered in Sudan by Islamic fundamentalists who declared a jihad against “infidels” in 1983?

The killing is horrible - and it has been going on a long time. Sudan is the historic petri dish of virulent Islamic fanaticism.

In 1881, the Islamic fundamentalist Mahdi declared himself “the successor of the prophet of God,” and urged his followers to kill infidels. Arabs killed Turks, Turks killed Egyptians, and the British and Arabs took turns slaughtering each other. After a siege, Khartoum was looted and burned as part of Mahdi’s mission to kill infidels.

It sounds like a preview of Osama - who recently endorsed Darfur genocide as long as it includes “crusader Zionists.”

But for some reason, Clooney doesn’t mention Islamic fundamentalists. He blames President Bush instead. Maybe that’s because if Islamic fundamentalists are causing the genocide, Darfur is part of the war Clooney bitterly opposes, and Bush is right.

Clooney gripes that America “has been slow to respond” to Darfur. Not true. Bush has done more than any president or foreign nation: $1.3 billion in humanitarian aid and visits by a real secretary of state long before Clooney discovered Darfur.

But if Darfur is not at the top of the White House agenda, maybe it’s because the president has been busy stopping genocide in Iraq, where Saddam killed 500,000 to 1 million.

While Bush was busy fighting terrorists who want to bring genocide to America, Clooney was busy protesting a war in Iraq that liberated 26 million people.

And now he accuses Bush of “dancing around” the need to send Marines to Darfur.

People like Clooney are in favor of using the U.S. military to protect anyone but Americans.

That was from Peter Bronson in George Clooney’s hometown newspaper. MediaMatters.org stood up for Clooney on this, writing that indeed he had shown support for the suffering of the Iraqi people by actually playing a U.S. soldier during the Gulf War in the 1999 movie Three Kings. (I’d like to heap some more praise on Clooney and add that he wasn’t a doctor but he played one on TV.)

Here’s something else on the subject featuring another concerned thespian:

In 2004 the Ploughshares Fund placed Michael Douglas, a high-profile Hollywood actor, on its Board of Directors. The Executive Director of the Ploughshares Fund is Naila Bolus, a former Co-Director of the environmentalist and anti-war group 20/20 Vision, and a co-founder of WiLL, the Women Legislators’ Lobby whose goal is to “persuade Congress to redirect excessive military spending toward unmet human and environmental needs.”

That’s from a profile of San Francisco-based “peace” organization Ploughshares Fund from DiscoverTheNetworks.org. Some more background from the site on this organization:

A member organization of the Peace and Security Funders Group, the Ploughshares Fund contributes to many organizations that are highly critical of American foreign policies and military ventures. Among these are the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; the U.S. Campaign to Ban Land Mines; the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation; Citizens for Environmental Justice; Back from the Brink; Peace Action; Women’s Action for New Directions; Nonviolent Peaceforce; the Natural Resources Defense Council; EcoDefense; Fund for Peace; Independent Media Institute; the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; the Institute for Policy Studies; the International Crisis Group; the Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy; Physicians for Social Responsibility; Win Without War; the Union of Concerned Scientists; September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows; the Nation Institute; the National Security Archive; Physicians for Human Rights; and Global Green USA.

The Ploughshares Fund website features an article calling for a peaceful solution to the problem…

The article calls upon the U.S. to “demonstrate[e] leadership in the U.N. Security Council so that the U.N. deploys a multinational force with a strong mandate and robust operational capacity to protect civilians from the predations of the janjaweed and other armed groups.” According to the article, this force must be equipped with “attack helicopters to provide close air support; adequate tactical, medium and strategic lift to deploy forces quickly to trouble spots; ground-based radar to verify position of forces; and a mechanism to enforce a no-fly zone.” Calling on President Bush to “direct the Pentagon to help translate vague rhetoric into concrete action,” the article declares that “[t]he Darfur Peace Agreement [of May 2006] is just a piece of paper until an adequately robust U.N. force deploys and starts protecting civilians. The U.S. should lead the way.”

So the same organizations trying to prevent military recruiters from talking to high school students, the same organizations that have disparaged our soldiers for intervening in Iraq and Afghanistan for national security and humanitarian purposes, now favor sending them into Darfur, where there is no national security threat to the U.S.

I’ve heard some people against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq call our soldiers “Nazis”. Al Qaeda attacked us, so we attacked them. (Almost all the hijackers were of Saudi nationality, but their training bases were given safe haven by the Taliban in Afghanistan.) The sovereignty of Iraq depended on Saddam’s adherence to U.N. resolutions regarding weapon inspections, his support for terrorism, and his daily attacks for over a decade on U.S. and British planes enforcing the U.N.-mandated no-fly zone. He defied sixteen resolutions and finally the seventeenth, which was an ultimatum.

It would still be a ridiculous comparison, but technically Sudan hasn’t attacked us, so if you had to get that Not In Our Name/Code Pink /Pacifica Radio Network-fueled urge to call U.S. soldiers “Nazis” out of your system, an intervention in Darfur would resemble Hitler’s attack on Poland a lot more than the other two hellholes we’re currently in.

Pragmatically, consider this: Darfur lacks supply routes. China will block any U.N. action in Darfur as Sudan is its largest overseas oil project, providing it with 6% of its crude. Russia will, too, as it inked a $200 million deal in January 2002 to develop untapped oil fields in central Sudan. (Sudan used this deal to strengthen its domestic arms industry.) There’s been credible speculation that China and Russia have covertly provided insurgents in Iraq with improvised explosive devices and anti-aircraft missiles. I don’t think there will be any doubt about them giving weapons to our enemies this time if Clooney does manage to get NATO involved.

Besides, it will be just a matter of time before George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, Oprah Winfrey and these other stars get bored with the whole Save Darfur fad and start turning on the troops, calling them “imperialist colonial invaders” and other nasty names the oppressed use to dis The Man. When the story gets out that China and Russia have oil deals in Sudan the Save Darfur/To Hell With Iraq crowd will do an about-face and claim we’re just there for the oil. (Genocide should be stopped only in places that have solar paneling, I suppose the reasoning goes.) The New York Times will have one-day stories about captured U.S. soldiers who were tortured to death while dedicating the front page for months on end to ones that committed unspeakable barbarian acts, like putting panties on an incorrigible detainee’s head. A congressman will refer to the jihadists who rape, loot, and behead the population as “the moral equivalent of our founding fathers.” Nobody seemed to mind when Clinton used Halliburton to rebuild Kosovo, but their rebuilding of Iraq has been a major scandal, and when they show up to rebuild Sudan, well, do we really want to go through this again?

When it comes to stopping genocide, I can see why the guys on the battlefield doing the actual stopping of it must say to themselves, “Never again.”

Kenneth Lay, Environmentalist

Remember how the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), one of America’s most influential environmentalist organizations saved us from apples seventeen years ago? A little reminder about this forbidden fruit from DiscoverTheNetworks.org:

Kenneth Lay

In a joint effort in 1989 with Fenton Communications, a Washington-based public relations firm headed by David Fenton, NRDC claimed that growers who treated apples with the pesticide Alar were creating a serious health threat to consumers. For five months, NRDC flooded media outlets with accusations that Alar was a dangerous carcinogen. Eventually the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded that the fear campaign was unfounded, explaining that a person would have to eat 50,000 pounds of Alar-treated apples per day over the course of a lifetime in order to ingest enough of the substance to develop cancer. 

Apple growers lost some $250 million as a result of the campaign, with many smaller growers being forced out of business. NRDC fared much better. According to an internal memo written by David Fenton and later published in the Wall Street Journal: “We designed [the anti-Alar campaign] so that revenue would flow back to the Natural Resources Defense Council from the public, and we sold a book about pesticides through a 900 number and the Donahue Show. And to date there has been $700,000 in net revenue from it.”

It’s July 5th as I type this, the day that a man whose name has become synonymous with greed, former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay, died of a heart attack. Besides money, there was another green side to him. Like the relationship he had with NRDC. More from DiscoverTheNetworks.org:

In the late 1990s, NRDC was an outspoken booster of Enron Corporation, which has since become synonymous with corporate malfeasance. For its support of environmentalist legislation like the Kyoto Protocol (a tactical move by the company aimed at eliminating its competition in the energy industry), Enron earned the praise of NRDC and other environmentalist groups. NRDC’s Ralph Cavanagh said in 1997, “On environmental stewardship, our experience is that you can trust Enron.” When Enron later declared bankruptcy, NRDC  lawyer Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., in a December 2003 Rolling Stone article titled “Crimes Against Nature,” assailed the Bush administration’s energy plan as a sop to corporate interests and as proof, cited the administration’s alleged ties to Enron CEO Kenneth Lay.

There’s more good reading about this if you can locate “How Environmentalists Sold Out to Help Enron”, an article Sharon Beder wrote for the left-wing site PRWatch.org.

I think the best way to help the environment would be to blow up North Korea’s missile launcher. If they attach a nuclear warhead to one of those things we’re really going to know the meaning of global warming.###

All contents © 2006 by Gene Mahoney