08/26/11

“Martin Luther Mao” Dedication Postponed

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

Human rights activist Ann Lau, a long-time critic of plans to have a Martin Luther King, Jr. monument for the U.S. built in Communist China by a communist sculptor, tells Accuracy in Media that “My view on the memorial has not changed since I wrote the article at National Review in September of 2007. It is unfortunate that the MLK Memorial Foundation had chosen financial expediency over what the Memorial should truly represent for generations to come.”

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Foundation had trouble raising $120 million for the monument, and $10 million of that came from American taxpayers. The federal land for the site was donated by Congress after President Clinton signed a law authorizing the project. There were rumors, never confirmed, that the Chinese regime donated funds to the memorial.

It is not exactly clear where the money went, but documents on the finances of the foundation show payments of hundreds of thousands of dollars over several years to the sculptor, Lei Yixin, known for making giant statues of Mao Tse-Tung.

Harry E. Johnson Sr., president of the foundation, made $265,085 in 2008.

Some money was apparently saved by using slave or cheap labor and cutting U.S. granite producers and labor unions out of the sculpture part of the project. China Daily reports, “The 159 granite blocks used to make the 9-meter-high statue of MLK weighed some 1,600 tons and were picked and carved in Quanzhou, Fujian province, and shipped from Xiamen to the port of Baltimore. A team of 10 Chinese stone-masons were brought over to help assemble the statue.”

Lau noted, however, that the King memorial website makes “no mention of where the stone was quarried. Perhaps they knew that it was quarried by prison slave labor.”

As the controversy mounts, there may be a reason why President Obama, America’s first black President, has been silent about the controversy over the memorial to the black civil rights leader. A Chinese publication has revealed that communist sculptor Lei Yixin is currently sculpting a “bronze portrait” or bust of President Obama. “The gift, which is near completion, will be presented to Obama on a suitable occasion,” the publication said.

The August 28 Sunday dedication ceremony has been cancelled due to the weather problems caused by hurricane Irene.

In her article, “Dissing MLK: A sculptor of Mao becomes a sculptor of America’s civil-rights hero,” Lau had said, “By turning a blind eye to China’s human-rights record by bestowing the honor of sculpting King’s statue on a regime propagandist, what kind of world perspective would we be projecting? King would have denounced China’s miserable human rights record.”

Lei Yixin is the head of the Hunan Provincial Sculpture Institute in China, which means that he is officially approved by the regime. The regime considers him a master sculptor and he is paid a lifetime stipend from communist authorities. He has giant sculptures glorifying Mao.

Lau was offended that Lei was quoted as saying that “He (Martin Luther King, Jr.) and Mao have a lot in common; at the same time, the two of them often supported each other.”

Lau commented, “Mao had said that the U.S. was founded on slavery and that when the blacks are freed, that would be the time when imperialist America is destroyed. Mao considered MLK as the tool to destroy the U.S.” She points to a Chinese website, “which considers Mao as having promoted revolution in all corners of the world and without Mao, the blacks would not have been freed.”

Mao had said King was assassinated by “U.S. imperialists.”

In this context, it is significant that critics say the sculpture presents King as a hero of Communist China using the techniques of “socialist realism,” made famous by the old Soviet Union and featuring monumental sculptures of communist heroes. The monument has even been labeled by one critic on the Huffington Post as “Martin Luther Mao,” saying, “It looks more like Martin Luther Mao. How disrespectful. MLK deserves better than a communist themed statue!!!”

A columnist for the Newark Advocate said, “My initial reaction to the public viewing (via news media imagery) of The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial was of the body language of Mao Zedong.” He added, “The stance of a big boss man does not befit the figure of a man who preached and practiced nonviolent determination.”

Using photos and sculptures of King and Mao for comparison purposes, one blogger commented, “The sculpture of MLK looks eerily like a black Chinese Dictator. It’s as if the artist used the body from some old Chairman Mao statue and stuck an oriental looking Martin Luther King head on it. Seriously, check out his eyes and forehead. It’s as if the artist used Photoshop to lift MLK’s face off a picture and pasted it to a bust of Mao.”

The post ran under the headline, “Obama to Dedicate Oriental Looking MLK Statue Made in China.”

But on the website sculpture.net, one critic said, “I think it’s going to end up as more of a laughingstock than an eyesore—a variant on Andy Warhol’s giant portraits of Mao.” (Some of these works depicted Mao with a blue or red face or bright red lips).

At this point, former King aide Jesse Jackson and members of the Congressional Black Caucus have refused to criticize the project.

However, Lau told AIM, “In the Memorial website, there is no mention of Lei Yixin as being the master sculptor. Perhaps the foundation now regrets their choice.”

08/26/11

True Patriotism: Why We’re So Far Off Base

By: Deanna Murray
Tea Party Tribune

‘I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him …’ — Abraham Lincoln, On the meaning of true patriotism

Patriotism is defined as a love for or a devotion to one’s country, and there’s a surge of it around certain holidays or when we hear a moving speech causing us to think of sacrifice and brave victory exemplifying the American spirit. But it doesn’t seem many carry the feeling of Patriotism with them in their day-to-day lives… In essence, they’re fair-weather, feel-good patriots.

And what’s wrong with that, really? We all have a swell of emotion from time to time. Whether it’s from a sappy song on the radio or a scene in a movie or a passage in a book suddenly making us want to be better people or do things in our lives differently; emotional response inspires change. But more than likely, we’ll hold on to it for a few minutes or days, then we sink back into our normal routines and don’t even remember what the emotion felt like.

It is the same with patriotism. We put our flags away, start in with criticizing our government or whatever else is wrong in this country, and we don’t do a damn thing about it. Such is our human nature.

This is why TRUE patriotism is seemingly dead in this country. It has been boiled down to an emotional response to times past when pride ran high and actions spoke louder than words ever could. With our patriotic holidays, we revere actions that gave us the freedoms we have today and put into place crucial documents on which we have built an amazing society.

It seems we have stopped understanding that patriotism – just like any other prideful emotion we can get jacked up on – is something that needs to be sustained and fed. As it is defined, it is a love for and a devotion to one’s country – not a swell of emotion felt once or twice a year. In essence, it is a quality one possesses and is a lifestyle of sorts.

We see this quality – the true patriot quality – in our soldiers or in those who serve this country in other ways. We see it in people who are constantly striving to make us a better nation because every breath of their being cries out for change and to fight for that change.

These citizens see it as their patriotic duty to not only stand up for this country, but work diligently in sometimes hostile circles, to achieve drastic results for improving upon America. They don’t consider their patriotism to be an emotion. It is a way of life and their duty as citizens of this country. They don’t seek fame. They might not even be standing up waving a flag somewhere – they’re just putting their patriotic words – the love they have for their country – into action.

As Constitutional Conservatives, we espouse and believe in a document on which this country was founded and built. We’ve seen this document become less and less relevant in the education taking place in our schools and in the lives of those governing us on Capitol Hill and in state capitols across this country. And as supporters of this great document AND of the greatness this country was founded on, we are obligated to be true patriots. Patriots with emotional connections to our past and actionable follow thru for our future – dedicated to making this country bigger, better and brighter than we found it and CONSERVING the patriotic principles it was founded upon.

We can’t simply stand around waving, wearing and sporting flags on holidays honoring our country’s birth or mourning the sacrifices by our troops and truly call ourselves patriots of this country. And we can’t continue to talk about the change we want to see in America within our inner circles and not be willing to go out and do something about it. Our desire to be true patriots of this great country demands our action!

We have become a nation of whiners, gripers and takers and relegated our patriotic duties to simply throwing hamburgers on the grill and throwing back a few beers on the national holidays we’ve set aside… I guess we’re lucky, others – including those who valiantly defend us every single day – take their patriotism a little more seriously, otherwise our freedoms would be nonexistent and we’d be forced to say goodbye to the beloved three-day weekends these holidays sometimes afford.

A Harvard study, released earlier this year and later expanded upon in a press release, has stated ‘attending one Fourth of July parade or event before age 18 increases the likelihood of kids identifying as a Republican by at least 2 percent and voting for the Republican candidate by 4 percent. It also increases voter turnout by 0.9 percent and boosts political campaign contributions by 3 percent.’

This goes to show you active patriotism and encouraging it plays into our Conservative’s hand very nicely, right?

It’s amazing what can actually make you think about deep diving into a concept that’s been more or less a generic part of your being. As American citizens, we are taught that patriotism is just something we feel and it is in all of us because we do value our freedoms.

This week I was challenged by a newly-met friend who is liberal, as to what TRUE PATRIOTISM, which is something I speak of in my biography notes within this publication, really means to me. Pondering the subject brought up a dialog within myself which then flowed over into this column – and now will be practiced a little more earnestly because it is with all my heart I see the need to allow the love I have for this country flow out into actionable change. It’s something I hope we will all do.

Stop the griping and get to work. It’s what the first patriots of this country did and it’s what we should do, too.

Oh, and to my new liberal friend… I thank you for the inspiration… and look forward to sparring with you in the future… via email, text or whatever means you desire.

08/26/11

A family in North Idaho needs our help.

Hat Tip: Carolyn Cooke

This took place not far from where I live. Please help if you can.

The bare-bones facts of the case are these:

  • In May 2011, a grizzly sow with two cubs entered the property of Jeremy Hill and family. Mr. Hill, his wife, Rachel, and their six children were at home at the time. The children were outside playing when the grizzlies appeared on the Hill property.
  • The grizzly sow was at the pen where the Hill’s four pigs were kept when first seen.
  • As the grizzly sow climbed the fence to get into the pig pen, Jeremy Hill shot her the first time and she tumbled off the pen. Her next move was to charge toward the Hill home and Jeremy Hill shot her again. Wounded and down, Jeremy Hill then shot her a third time, killing her.
  • Fish and Game was called and did assure Hill that his actions were justified. The two cubs had run away when the sow was shot the first time; they have not been found.
  • U.S. Fish and Game was notified of the shooting of the grizzly; they did not show up until long after the incident.
  • In early August 2011, Jeremy Hill was charged with poaching by a U.S. Attorney.

The Hill family needs our support. The actions of the U.S. Attorney are outrageous, and, if allowed to get away with this, simply because the Hill family does not have the money to fight the charge, anyone, confronted by a wolf or grizzly on their property, having to defend their family, their livestock, their home or their property, will find themselves in this same situation.

The Hill family needs money to pay legal fees. If you can help, the following are the banks where that can be accomplished. Send checks made out to the Jeremy Hill Benefit Account to:

Wells Fargo Bank
6764 Main Street
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805

or go to any Wells Fargo and tell them the account is held at the Bonners Ferry Branch.

Mountain West Bank
PO Box 59
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805

or go to any Mountain West branch and tell them the account is held at the Bonners Ferry Branch.

Panhandle State Bank
P.O. Box 1479
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805

or go to any Panhandle State Bank, Intermountain Community Bank or Magic Valley Bank and tell them the account is held at the Bonners Ferry Branch.

————————————————-

UPDATED: Accounts have been established at all three local bank branches by Idaho for Wildlife

To learn more, visit:

http://www.idahoforwildlife.com/Website%20articles/
Jeremy%20Hill%20grizzly%20incident.pdf

I received word from Kevin Kimp, founder of the Bonners Ferry Chapter of Idaho for Wildlife, who said that all three accounts are monitored by independent, trusted people in the community who have been selected by IFW and Jeremy Hill. “To make it clear,” he wrote, “the Hill family wants nothing to do with the administration of the accounts or the funds in the accounts. Everything will be on the up and up and open to the public for scrutiny and review. We want the public to know there will be full accountability and no misuse of funds donated to the Jeremy Hill Benefit Fund accounts.

————————————————-

The following was posted on The Spokesman Review website, on August 24, 2011:

Not guilty plea entered in federal case of shot grizzly

Grizzly shooter garners support

08/26/11

REPORTING FROM ISRAEL: Terrorist Attack from Gaza Kills Israeli Civilians and Wounds Children

By: AJ

Nine people were killed in an attack against Israel on Thursday. Six of the people killed were innocent civilians. Two of the wounded were small children, ages 4 and 7.

Directly from Israel:

“In one week alone, Israel has suffered multiple terror attacks in which nine innocent Israelis have been killed. Dozens have been injured including two young children.

Yet the world is silent.

There have been hundreds of rockets fired into southern Israel by terrorists in Gaza. Residents live in fear with only seconds to run to the nearest shelter. Sleepless nights of terror and fear have become “normal.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said:

“We all witnessed an attempt to ratchet up the level of terror emanating from Sinai,” he said. “If someone thinks that Israel will put up with this, he is wrong.”

“I have established a principle: when Israeli citizens are hurt, we hit back immediately, and with force. This principle was implemented today. The people who gave the order to murder our civilians, who were hiding in Gaza, are no longer among the living.”

Israeli Prime Minister: We Hit Back Immediately and With Force

08/26/11

The Council Has Spoken!! This Week’s Watcher’s Council Results – 08/26/11

From: The Watcher’s Council

This week’s results are dedicated to Glenn Beck, Restoring Courage and Israel.
I am an Israeli!

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week, carved eternally in the akahshic records of cyberspace.

It’s been a rough week in the Middle East for Israel and this week’s winner, Right Truth‘s superb Israel In The Crosshairs, focused not only on the ongoing attacks on Israel’s people but the obscene hypocrisy in how the media is reporting it. Here’s a slice:

This headline from the Jawa Report, “Israel ‘Ignites’ Violence By Defending Itself”, seems to sum up the media’s spin on the latest attacks on Israel and Israel’s response. USA Today reports that ‘militants in the Hamas-ruled Gaza strip‘ (isn’t that redundant) bombarded southern Israel with rockets and mortars Sunday and Israel hit back with an airstrike. Actually Israel hit back more than once and rounded up 50 Hamas activists in the West Bank.

New York Times via HonestReporting (emphasis mine):

Israel blamed The Popular Resistance Committees for Thursday’s attack and killed its top commanders in an airstrike later that day, igniting cross-border exchanges after months of relative quiet under an informal cease-fire with Hamas.

“Relative quiet,” of course, meaning Israel looked the other way as Palestinian militants lobbed hundreds of rockets into Israeli territory. (Jawa Report)

Some might excuse the media reporting on Israel and blame it on lack of knowledge or lack of understanding of the situation. But the truth is their bias is purposeful and it is all about placing blame on Israel and not on those terrorists who are actually guilty.

Barry Rubin, who has studied the Middle East professionally for 35 years, has a PhD in Middle East history, says:

… let me make it perfectly clear: Glenn Beck, who is holding several rallies in Israel this week, has a better grasp of Middle East politics than most Western experts, not to mention Western leaders.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Victor Davis Hanson with Obama’s Paradoxes submitted by Joshuapundit, an examination of the many contradictions between what the Obama Administration claims it wants and what it actually does. Very much worth the detour, as most of Dr. Hanson’s pieces are.

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!

08/26/11

Glenn Beck’s revealing visit

By: Caroline Glick
CarolineGlick.com

American media superstar Glenn Beck’s visit to Israel this week was a revealing and remarkable event. It revealed what it takes to be a friend of Israel. And it revealed the causes of Israel’s difficulty in telling its enemies from its friends.

Many world leaders, opinion-shapers and other notables profess enduring friendship with Israel. From Washington to London, Paris to Spain, policymakers and other luminaries preface all their remarks to Jewish audiences with such statements. Once their declarations are complete – and often without taking a breath – they proceed to denounce Israel’s policies and to deny its basic rights.

US President Barack Obama exemplifies this practice. Obama always begins his statements on Israel by proclaiming his enduring friendship for Israel. Then he tells us to deny Jewish property rights, accept indefensible borders, or desist from defending ourselves from aggression.

The Israeli Left habitually embraces self-proclaimed friends such as Obama. Often leftist leaders encourage such friends to harm Israel in the name of helping it. For instance, in 2007, speaking to then-secretary of state Condoleezza Rice – who had a habit of comparing her friend Israel to the Jim Crow South – then-Haaretz editor David Landau asked her to “rape” the Jewish state. Opposition leader Tzipi Livni recently encouraged Obama to increase pressure on Israel.

When anti-Semitic public intellectuals such as the late Nobel laureate Jose Saramago compare Israel to Nazi Germany, the Israeli Left makes light of their remarks. For instance, when at the height of the Palestinian terror war in 2002 Saramago said Israel was worse than the Nazis and that Jews had no right to speak of the Holocaust, Yediot Aharonot’s Ariella Melamed referred to Saramago as “one of the most beloved foreign novelists in Israel.”

On Thursday, Israeli Arab actor and filmmaker Muhammad Bakri was the subject of a two-page hagiographic profile in Yediot. Bakri’s libelous 2003 film Jenin, Jenin, in which he falsely portrayed IDF soldiers as murderers and war criminals, was brushed off as merely “controversial.”

Making no mention of Bakri’s family ties to terrorist murderers or supportive statements regarding terrorism and war against Israel, Yediot portrayed this foe as a hero. Bakri, who has used his considerable talents to criminalize and demonize the country and to support its terrorist enemies, was lionized as an unwilling culture warrior who would much rather be acting than fighting, but feels he cannot escape his duty to fight for the great causes he holds dear.

Also Thursday, Yediot ran a story about Beck’s Restoring Courage Rally beneath the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The headline read, “Glenn Beck’s Messianic Show.”

In general, the Israeli media responded to Beck’s visit to Israel either as a non-event, or they distorted who Beck is and what he is trying to do. Thursday’s print edition of Ma’ariv sufficed with a photograph from Beck’s rally in Jerusalem the previous day.

By casting Beck’s visit as insignificant, Ma’ariv disserved its readers. Beck is one of the most influential media personalities in the US today.

Unlike the leftist public intellectuals such as New York Times columnist Tom Friedman who are celebrated and obsessively covered by the Israeli media, Beck exerts real influence on public opinion in the US. His calls for action are answered by hundreds of thousands of people. His statements are a guidepost for millions of Americans. Aside from radio host Rush Limbaugh, no media personality in the US has such influence.

It is highly significant that thousands of Beck’s supporters followed his call and came with him to Israel for a week to express their support for Israel and the Jewish people. It is similarly significant that millions more of his supporters followed his actions on Internet.

Those media that did not seek to downplay the importance of Beck’s visit opted instead to distort who he is and what he is doing. As the Yediot headline indicated, the media portrayed him as an unstable messianic, or they castigated him as an extremist and marginal force in the US. Haaretz and Globes both ran articles attacking Beck as an anti-Semite.

These claims are outrageous and represent yet another gross disservice to Israeli news consumers who do not have an independent means of judging Beck, his message and his actions for themselves.

Beck came to Israel to launch a global movement of activists committed to supporting Israel, not in order to “rape” it, but in order to empower it to defeat its enemies and to stand up to an increasingly hostile world. In his speech under the Temple Mount, Beck roused his audience – which contrary to media reports was a mix of American Christians and American Jews joined by scores of Israelis – to action. With gripping prose, Beck told his audience to disregard the “convenient” lies about Israel and embrace the truth.

That truth, he said, is that “In Israel, there is more courage in one square mile than in all of Europe. In Israel, there is more courage in one Israeli soldier than in the combined and cold hearts of every bureaucrat at the United Nations. In Israel, you can find people who will stand against incredible odds, against the entire tide of global opinion, for what is right and good and true. Israel is not a perfect country. No country is perfect. But it tries, and it is courageous.”

From Israel he proceeded Wednesday night to South Africa to tell the true story of Apartheid and to dispel the popular falsehood that Israel bears any similarity to Apartheid South Africa. From there he will continue on to Latin America to meet with communal leaders and mobilize them to support Israel. And from there he will return to the US where he will launch his global movement to support Israel before a mass audience in Dallas early next week.

What was most remarkable about Beck’s message was its rarity. Beck did not say anything factually inaccurate. The vast majority of Israelis certainly would find nothing controversial in any of his assertions. Yet despite his honesty, and his reasonable interpretation of Israel’s strategic and diplomatic circumstances, Beck’s is a voice in the wilderness. One almost never comes across a foreigner – or even an Israeli – who is willing to speak such basic truths in public.

Both the rarity of truthful assessments of reality such as Beck’s and the gross distortion of his message and importance by the media are the consequence of intellectual and social intimidation that has led to groupthink among members of the media and of the cultural elites in Israel and throughout much of the Western world.

As Beck put it, “The grand councils of the earth condemn Israel. Across the border, Syria slaughters its own citizens. The grand councils are silent…

“These international councils, these panels of so-called diplomats, condemn Israel not because they believe Israel needs to be corrected. They do so because it is convenient.

“Everyone does it. In some countries, it’s a crime not to.

“The diplomats are afraid, and so they submit. They surrender to falsehood. The truth matters not. To the keepers of conventional wisdom, a sacrifice of the truth is a small price to pay. What difference does it make if we beat up on little Israel? These are the actions of the fearful and cowards.”

And in the face of this cowardice, Beck organized his visit to Israel under the banner “Restoring Courage.”

He told his audience, “I stand here to tell you this: Fear is the pathway to surrender. And to overcome fear, we must have courage.”

Beck is rare, because he refuses to bow to the intellectual intimidation and groupthink that plagues the discourse on Israel in Israel itself and throughout the world. He refuses to play by the rules in which friends of Israel are castigated as messianic crazies and extremists and Israel’s enemies are praised as friends and great artists and courageous dissidents. He is an exception to a demented rule.

Israel’s media didn’t come to their hatred of Beck on their own. Most of it is fueled by American Jewish leftists. Beck ran afoul of the liberal American Jewish establishment through his outspoken attacks on George Soros. In January, Beck ran several shows on Soros, the extremist leftist anti-American and anti-Zionist global financier who has given more than $100 million to radical leftist groups.

Among other things, Beck ran a 1998 interview that Soros gave to CBS News’s Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes. During the course of the interview, Soros admitted that as a boy in Nazi occupied Hungary he collaborated with the Nazis in confiscating Jewish property. Beck dwelled on Soros’s statement and his stated lack of guilt for his actions. Beck considered its impact on the shaping of Soros’s personality.

For his actions, Beck was attacked as an anti- Semite by the Soros-funded Jewish Funds for Justice. The group which conducts community organizing in liberal Jewish congregations collected the signatures of several dozen rabbis and ran a $100,000 ad in The Wall Street Journal asking Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch to take action against Beck. According to JCCWatch.org, New York’s UJA-Jewish Federation has given more than a million dollars to the Soros-funded organization.

The Left’s attacks on Beck are fueled by the fact that he is a Christian Zionist. The Left’s default mode is to accuse Christian Zionists of a hidden agenda to convert Jews and a secret desire to see us killed in an Armageddon.

But in truth the media’s embrace of Israel’s enemies, their rejection of Beck, and most importantly Beck’s refusal to bow to their conventional wisdom that Israel’s enemies should be praised and its friends should be condemned all reveal the reason that Christian Zionists can be trusted and embraced by Israelis.

Christian Zionists – like Jewish religious Zionists – are unmoved by the media’s intimidation because of their faith in God, and their reliance on scripture. Their faith provides them with a means of judging reality that is independent of the largely post-religious intellectual commissariat that runs the media and the cultural elite in the Western world. They don’t seek or care about receiving the accolades of the New York Times or other post-religious totems for their actions. And Beck’s message to Israelis is that we shouldn’t care either.

For most Israelis, this message rings powerful and true. But for the media, in Israel and throughout the West, it is dangerous sedition that must be marginalized and destroyed.

Beck said that his movement will be one of individuals who work together to defend Israel and the Jews from those who seek our destruction. He argued that regular people are far more capable of understanding what needs to be done than the well-heeled experts who lead us down the garden path of weakness and demoralization.

And he is right.

And in bringing this message to Israel, he demonstrated his friendship. We should return the favor by taking his advice. We should trust ourselves and our instincts and stop listening to the “experts” who preach weakness and surrender.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.