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  1. #1
    Whispering wind Guest

    ROTS' politics

    Episode III has a clear political intention.

    It's the story of an Empire, the rise of Fascism, and the struggle of a brave group of people, fighting against totalitarism, fear and deception.

    I think the little in-jokes you can read in both Labyrinth of Evil and the Revenge of the Sith novelization are kind of loaded. I mean, the Department of Homeworld Security? An Empire ruled by the majority? Come on. They're sublte, unsubtle, or just plain references to current events.



    And Ian McDiarmid recently highlighted the parallel between the character he portrays and George W Bush.

    Who makes up the villianous Separatists? Not the 'Galactic Council of Ecologists.' Not the 'National Health Care Guild.' It's the 'Corporate Alliance, 'Banking Clan,' and 'Trade Federation.' When Padme questions the direction Palpatine has taken the Republic, Anakin says she's beginning to sound like a Separatist. The dissent=treason meme is not lost on a Democrat.

    And why is the Separatist general's ship named after the capitalist force that guides the free market (The Invisible Hand)? Why has the Trade Federation's home planet got the same name as America's most prominent libertarian thinktank (The Cato Institute).



    'Wars' Raises Questions on U.S. Policy


    Without Michael Moore and "Fahrenheit 9/11" at the Cannes Film Festival this time, it was left to George Lucas and "Star Wars" to pique European ire over the state of world relations and the United States' role in it.

    Lucas' themes of democracy on the skids and a ruler preaching war to preserve the peace predate "Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith" by almost 30 years. Yet viewers Sunday and Lucas himself noted similarities between the final chapter of his sci-fi saga and our own troubled times.

    Cannes audiences made blunt comparisons between "Revenge of the Sith" the story of Anakin Skywalker's fall to the dark side and the rise of an emperor through warmongering to President Bush's war on terrorism and the invasion of Iraq.




    Two lines from the movie especially resonated:

    "This is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause," bemoans Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) as the galactic Senate cheers dictator-in-waiting Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) while he announces a crusade against the Jedi.

    "If you're not with me, then you're my enemy," Hayden Christensen's Anakin soon to become villain Darth Vader tells former mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor). The line echoes Bush's international ultimatum after the Sept. 11 attacks, "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."

    "That quote is almost a perfect citation of Bush," said Liam Engle, a 23-year-old French-American aspiring filmmaker. "Plus, you've got a politician trying to increase his power to wage a phony war."

    Though the plot was written years ago, "the anti-Bush diatribe is clearly there," Engle said.

    At the Cannes premiere , actors in white stormtrooper costumes paraded up and down the red carpet as guests strolled in, while an orchestra played the "Star Wars" theme.

    Lucas said he patterned his story after historical transformations from freedom to fascism, never figuring when he started his prequel trilogy in the late 1990s that current events might parallel his space fantasy.

    "As you go through history, I didn't think it was going to get quite this close. So it's just one of those recurring things," Lucas said at a Cannes news conference. "I hope this doesn't come true in our country.

    "Maybe the film will waken people to the situation," Lucas joked.

    That comment echoes Moore's rhetoric at Cannes last year, when his anti-Bush documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" won the festival's top honor.

    Unlike Moore, whose Cannes visit came off like an anybody-but-Bush campaign stop, Lucas never mentioned the president by name but was eager to speak his mind on U.S. policy in Iraq, careful again to note that he created the story long before the Bush-led occupation there.

    "When I wrote it, Iraq didn't exist," Lucas said, laughing.

    "We were just funding Saddam Hussein and giving him weapons of mass destruction. We didn't think of him as an enemy at that time. We were going after Iran and using him as our surrogate, just as we were doing in Vietnam. ... The parallels between what we did in Vietnam and what we're doing in Iraq now are unbelievable."

    The prequel trilogy is based on a back-story outline Lucas created in the mid-1970s for the original three "Star Wars" movies, so the themes percolated out of the Vietnam War and the Nixon-Watergate era, he said.

    Lucas began researching how democracies can turn into dictatorships with full consent of the electorate.

    In ancient Rome, "why did the senate after killing Caesar turn around and give the government to his nephew?" Lucas said. "Why did France after they got rid of the king and that whole system turn around and give it to Napoleon? It's the same thing with Germany and Hitler.

    "You sort of see these recurring themes where a democracy turns itself into a dictatorship, and it always seems to happen kind of in the same way, with the same kinds of issues, and threats from the outside, needing more control. A democratic body, a senate, not being able to function properly because everybody's squabbling, there's corruption."


    other links

    http://pabaah.com/

    http://chrenkoff.blogspot.com/2005/0...rge-lucas.html

  2. #2
    tommywho70x Guest

    Banned by Microsoft Windows Network Politics

    This is an old story that for some reason was in Yahoo! News [Today].

    It got me thinking, if Microsoft has the power to make an agreement with the Chinese government to ban words like 'freedom', 'democracy' and 'human rights', what words do you think they have made deals with the U.S.A., Inc. to ban from the Internet/WorldWideWeb DNS-1SERVERNAMES/LMHOSTS.SAM?

    Even worse, what words do you think that Microsoft and http://www.firstgov.gov have made agreements to flag to alert machines to watch a 'username' connected to 'The Internet' who types them into a 'Search Window', uses in 'Instant Message(s)' or 'E-mail' from their CONSOLE(KEYB.COM+AT/AT-Compatible).~??

    SOURCE Address: [(*e*)] + http://www.opinionjournal.com/editor...l?id=110006841


    October 1, 2005
    4:29am


    REVIEW & OUTLOOK<-- Expression.s01MSN Free Hotmail Launch OE6x+1--?>

    Microsoft's Kowtow
    The software giant agrees to ban "democracy" and "freedom" in China.

    Sunday, June 19, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT

    "Where do you want to go today?"

    That was Microsoft's slogan in the mid-1990s, one that evoked the unlimited possibilities inherent in the age of the Internet and the software revolution. The answer to that question today would be, "hopefully not where they discuss 'freedom,' 'democracy' and 'human rights,' " at least not if you expect to use Microsoft's new portal in China.

    The software giant has just bowed to the Chinese government by banning these words. If you type them on Microsoft's new portal, a message appears telling you to try different ones. If this weren't insulting enough, the message actually says, according to news reports, "this item should not contain forbidden speech such as profanity. Please enter a different word for this item."

    To be fair to Microsoft, it is not alone. Yahoo! and Google have also caved in to China. Google chose last year to omit sources the Chinese government does not like from its Google News China edition, saying that it didn't make sense to provide a link to sites that would probably be blank anyway. All of these Internet companies make the point that it is better to make a compromise, gain a foothold in China, and then offer China's masses the smorgasbord of information that is out there.

    That view got backing from none other than Colin Powell, who happened to be in Hong Kong last week as this story was breaking. Microsoft figured it is "best for them and better for Chinese citizens to get 95% of the loaf," the former Secretary of State said at a conference when we asked him what he thought of an American company banning the word "freedom." While acknowledging that "Microsoft, and Google, and other information providers, have had to make a compromise that we wouldn't find acceptable in the United States," Mr. Powell said, "I think it's probably best for them to make that kind of compromise." Mr. Powell added that he thought the Chinese government was fighting a losing battle in thought control over the Internet, at least "if Chinese teenagers are like the teenagers in my family."

    It is admittedly difficult for China's government to block Internet content from its estimated 87 million users, a number that is growing. But it is a lot easier if it has the cooperation of the industry. These corporations might also remember that Beijing needs their business. The Internet is where demand and supply meet these days, and China's leaders need economic growth to continue if they are not to face large-scale upheaval. Certainly the Microsofts and Googles might try to drive a harder bargain.



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    "Making It All Make Sense" was Microsoft's slogan in the early 90's.

    In these "00's", they "META-TAG" phrases like "Your Potential (energy), Our Passion!" , "Microsoft Office...We've evolved! Have You?", AND (BOOLEAN)
    "See what the Butterfly (MSN Logo) can do for you. Buy Now!"

    How much "Control" has the U.S. Government granted the Microsoft JUGGERNAUT to control "Language Usage" by U.S. Citizens using "The Internet" ?????????????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????????

  3. #3
    umdkook Guest

    Silly Liberal, politics are for Moral Conservatives...

    Ok so I am getting good and tired of hearing how bad for the country liberals and democrats are, and Bush is the best thing since sliced bread...

    What I want to know is, why do you Cons/Repubs or anyone who defends Bush like hes your brother think he is so good? What has he done that has made this counrty better than it was in 2000???

    Obviosuly every leader has things he did that were rgeat, things that were ok, and things that were probably a mistake, but Im just wondering what Bush has done that the right thinks is so great???

  4. #4
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    Politics...

    Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.- Ronald Reagan

    Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.- Ronald Reagan

    You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.- Ronald Reagen

    Abortion is advocated only by persons who have themselves been born.- Ronald Reagan

    The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'- Ronald Reagan

    If you're afraid of the future, then get out of the way, stand aside. The people of this country are ready to move again.- Ronald Reagan

    Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have.- Ronald Reagan
    Last edited by ME3; 11-03-2006 at 08:23 AM.

  5. #5
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    Politics in the Light of Initiatic Science

    Politics in the Light of Initiatic Science

    http://www.aussenpolitikforum.net/viewtopic.php?t=2109

  6. #6
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    Politics As Usual

    http://money.cnn.com/2008/05/30/news...ion=2008053018

    senators who want to auction permits, and then use the money for a variety of projects - ranging from deficit reduction to water projects to job training - threaten to turn the climate-change bill into the "ultimate in earmarking."

  7. #7
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    The End of Identity Politics? Not Likely.

    The end of identity politics? Not likely.

    by Elizabeth Wright


    In these times I am rarely surprised by most notions put forth by political pundits. But I must admit to being taken aback by the suppositions of Terry Michael in "Obama as the End of Identity Politics as We've Known Them" (Reason magazine, 6/10/08). Michael appears to believe that under an Obama presidency, we soon will be on "the beginnings of a journey away from the Great Society mind-set of the Democratic Party" and on a course that will put "the Jesse Jacksons, the Al Sharptons, and the white identity politics liberals out of business."

    Michael envisions the end of what he calls the peddling of black victimology, which will mean no more demands for "diversity training, minority contracts, or other tribal reparations." For Michael, the myth that minorities cannot assimilate "dies when a majority white nation selects a leader of color." How logical he is; how well-reasoned is his thesis. Yet it is clear that he has no clue as to who benefits, among blacks, from that "diversity training" and those "minority contracts." It is the most powerful and influential who are recipients of victimology largesse.

    Anyone who thinks that Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson are going to be put out of business does not comprehend the manner in which these two men, and others like them, are protected by prosperous, influential middle class black elites – the major beneficiaries of most entitlement programs. Sharpton and his fake rowdiness is viewed by this middle class as their ace-in-the-hole. He is the go-to man, in charge of appearing to control the steam, so to speak.

    It is the prosperous black bourgeoisie, who grew prosperous by fostering the "victim" mentality among blacks, who are most responsible for the current state of the underclass – for a multitude of reasons. Don't be fooled by the sporadic concern sometimes shown by members of the upper classes, like Bill Cosby, Juan Williams, and others. Their scolding proclamations to the lower class are due mainly to the embarrassment caused by scurrilous black behavior, which they feel reflects upon them.

    Every time Reverend Al does his in-your-face, tough guy routine, sending out signals that the steam pipes could burst at any moment, a capitulation takes place, and well-behaved, non-threatening black elites reap the rewards and bounty. This symbiotic relationship will not come to an end with the entry of a black man into the White House.

    As for those "other tribal reparations" that Michael speaks of, I'd like to see Chief Obama dare to be dismissive of the items on that long laundry list of grievances that blacks keep compiling. In order to avoid another public verbal joust, as he recently engaged in with those Florida hecklers, Obama will have to be cautious that none of his words be interpreted as a rejection of the slavery Reparations crusade. This crusade, too, has a high representation of middle class blacks within it, especially in academia, and these folks are not going away.


    Those who fantasize that under President Barack Obama there will be less of a push for "diversity" and affirmative action policies favorable to selected groups and a diminished call for whites to mend their evil racist ways, are setting themselves up for future disappointment. Along these lines, writer Jim Pinkerton offers an insightful observation. Putting aside his strange notion that Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, a Democrat, might be scheming to undermine Barack Obama's presidential bid, Pinkerton is onto something when he claims that Rendell's recent creation of a "Chief Diversity Officer" to rule over an "Office of Diversity Management" is an "early warning indicator" of things to come.

    Governor Rendell, eager to go to the front of the line in an Administration in which blacks will figure prominently, does his self-promoting with a can't lose "comprehensive" diversity program. He vows that his new office will "use the full force of state government" to "outlaw discrimination." Or, to put it another way – to burden citizens with yet more race-based mandates. Rendell's political instincts tell him that the business of race will continue as usual, and he's learned how to make the right promises. Will President Obama dare promise any less?

    [See the results of Gil Spencer's attempts to get clarification on just what Rendell's new Office of Diversity Management is expected to achieve that years of Affirmative Action policies have not.]


    Matthew Biggs, writing for Reuters, is another optimist who wonders if the fact of an Obama presidency will put an earlier generation of "civil rights leaders" out of business. On the surface, he claims, "this might be expected, as political inclusion has been a key goal of the civil rights movement for half a century."

    Are not blacks already included in the political process? Is Biggs implying that only with the election of a black President comes proof of this inclusion? Does this mean that American Jews have been excluded all these years from the political process, along with Chinese-Americans, and members of sundry other groups, who have never witnessed one of their ethnic compatriots take command of the Oval Office?

    It is surprising that after all these years, Mr. Biggs has not discovered that there is no sincerity in the stated goals of the civil rights establishment. Haven't any of these starry-eyed optimists read Thomas Sowell's serious works – I mean his books, not the syndicated column? If so, they would have learned that it's the CRUSADE for political inclusion, it's the CAMPAIGN for racial justice, and it's the PURSUIT of social acceptance, not the achievement of these ends, that drive those who profit off the lucrative race industry. In fact, any evidence of blacks being treated fairly must adamantly be denied. The goal, if there is one, is simply to keep whites confused and worried, as they meekly submit to the demands put forth by these cunning povereticians.


    And here is a fantasy on the Danhop blog. This dreamer thinks that an Obama presidency "could effectively bring an end to affirmative action" and even possibly bring about the end of the NAACP. After all, he reasons, once blacks have reached the pinnacle, "There isn't much more to advance beyond the President of the United States."

    His views are probably representative of so many misguided whites, who see the ascendance of Obama as one more appeasement to get blacks to cease their persistent calls for still more "rights." Have any of the other appeasements over the last four decades lessened the crusades for "justice" or diminished the demands for that "level playing field," which only God can guarantee?


    If you want to see the face of the future, look no further than the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). Over the last couple of decades, there has been no fiercer interest group that has pushed for hiring and promotion based on race than this organization. Not even the NAACP has dared to push the envelope on some race demands to the degree of NABJ. There is no way that the resolutions that make up NABJ's platform can be mistaken for anything but demands for outright quotas.

    From its inception in the 1970s, the leaders of this group have made no bones about their determination to see lots of black faces in every newsroom and on every newspaper beat. Now allied with UNITY, a coalition of other "journalists of color," including Asians and Hispanics, NABJ is a serious pressure group within the mainstream media of newspapers and television newscasting.

    Even while admitting to the crisis now faced by the newspaper industry, where staff is being fired left and right, and hundreds of print journalists have lost their jobs, the NABJ continues to scorn newspaper executives for "doing little to increase their percentage of minorities." As if this single quest is all that the besieged overseers of this crippled industry should have on their minds.

    In a recent press release, NABJ reminded industry chiefs that they "should not treat diversity like a passing fad." That line is sure to become a motto to be passed on regularly to President Obama, who spoke at the organization's UNITY conference in July. The wise Obama assured his audience, for whom racial preferences is the core focus, that he is a supporter of Affirmative Action "when properly structured." He knows that he'd better get with the program, and these blacks are certain to send him daily reminders about their pet topic, while keeping tabs on his progress in their behalf. (I wonder who gets to decide what constitutes "properly structured.")

    That NABJ press release offered still more warnings to the heads of newspapers: "NABJ will hold you accountable if you do not consider diversity in your hiring and, particularly, firing practices." In other words, think carefully before you fire a black. Also, NABJ will inform "every new generation of news management that minority hiring, promotion and retention are not disposable concepts." As things appear now in this industry, it's uncertain that there will even be a new generation of news management. Do these journalists of color not yet see the handwriting on the wall?

    "Diversity," the NABJ news release chimes, "is a necessity for telling balanced news stories." We are assured that reporting is bound to be more objective and balanced when seen through "the lens of minority journalists." Might their fawning behavior towards Obama at that UNITY conference be an example of such balance?


    Along with the bourgeois black professionals, President Obama also will have to assure "progressives" and militants, similar to Glen Ford and Larry Pinkney and the likes of those Florida hecklers, that he will not ignore the ongoing push for their (mostly self-inflicted) grievances – that he has not forgotten "The Struggle." Grassroots blacks have grown used to their community leaders going to bat for them, that is, taking their part in disputes with The Man – explaining away their bizarre conduct. Whether it's the neighborhood preacher, the local councilman, or the city's Mayor, display of such loyalty to the group is a given. No less loyalty will be expected from their Brother, the President.


    If you think Americans walk on egg shells now in regard to race matters, it could be that the worst is yet to come. We already are getting a taste of how any form of criticism directed at Obama is taken personally by his advocates and supporters. Perhaps Peter Kirsanow's "You may be a racist, if . . .," should not be taken lightly.

    White Americans, over at least three decades, have had it drilled into their souls that "racism" is the world's worst sin. It's a far greater sin than those minor sins, you know, like the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima, and the killings at Waco. The simple fact of harboring negative thoughts in one's head about a particular group – not acting on those thoughts, mind you, but just thinking them or expressing them to others – constitutes a crime fit for punishment. Western countries are now in a spasm of legislating "racism" as the worst of all crimes. Under an Obama presidency, we can probably count on people like Senator Ted Kennedy to finally succeed in the passage of a federal "hate crime" law, which has failed to pass in the last couple of sessions of Congress. Once passed, the fun and games will really get underway, as we begin to replicate the new Canada, where government investigations into political opinion have now become routine. It's a back door to finishing off what's left of the First Amendment.

    Americans are learning to adapt, as they master the art of dancing around those egg shells. As a blog commenter puts it, "I have had to learn to speak with more sugar coating now that I'm only one of three white people in my workplace." Get out those barrels of sugar. Here comes Obama.



    .
    There is not a truth existing which I fear
    or would wish unknown to the whole world."
    --Thomas Jefferson

  8. #8
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    Palin’s Start in Alaska: Not Politics as Usual

    Now this is interesting.




    Palin’s Start in Alaska: Not Politics as Usual

    By WILLIAM YARDLEY
    Published: September 2, 2008

    WASILLA, Alaska — The world arrived here more than a century ago with the gold rush and later the railroad. Yet one aspect of American life did not come to town until 1996, the year Sarah Palin ran for mayor and Wasilla got its first local lesson in wedge politics.

    The traditional turning points that had decided municipal elections in this town of less than 7,000 people — Should we pave the dirt roads? Put in sewers? Which candidate is your hunting buddy? — seemed all but obsolete the year Ms. Palin, then 32, challenged the three-term incumbent, John C. Stein.

    Anti-abortion fliers circulated. Ms. Palin played up her church work and her membership in the National Rifle Association. The state Republican Party, never involved before because city elections are nonpartisan, ran advertisements on Ms. Palin’s behalf.

    Two years after Representative Newt Gingrich helped draft the Contract With America to advance Republican positions, Ms. Palin and her passion for Republican ideology and religious faith overtook a town known for a wide libertarian streak and for helping start the Iditarod sled dog race.

    “Sarah comes in with all this ideological stuff, and I was like, ‘Whoa,’ ” said Mr. Stein, who lost the election. “But that got her elected: abortion, gun rights, term limits and the religious born-again thing. I’m not a churchgoing guy, and that was another issue: ‘We will have our first Christian mayor.’ ”

    “I thought: ‘Holy cow, what’s happening here? Does that mean she thinks I’m Jewish or Islamic?’ ” recalled Mr. Stein, who was raised Lutheran, and later went to work as the administrator for the city of Sitka in southeast Alaska. “The point was that she was a born-again Christian.”

    For all the admiration in Alaska for Ms. Palin, her rapid ascent from an activist in the P.T.A. to the running mate of Senator John McCain did not come without battle wounds. Her years in Wasilla, her first executive experience, reveal a mix of successes and stumbles, with Ms. Palin gaining support from a majority of residents for her drive, her faith and her accessibility but alienating others with what they said could be a polarizing single-mindedness.

    “She is an aggressive reformer who isn’t afraid to break glass, to bring change to Wasilla and later to the state of Alaska,” said Taylor Griffin, a spokesman for the McCain campaign, who declined to address specific aspects of Ms. Palin’s tenure as mayor. “Washington needs some of that.”

    In Wasilla, Ms. Palin is widely praised for following through on campaign promises by cutting property taxes while improving roads and sewers and strengthening the Police Department.
    Her supporters say she helped Wasilla evolve from a ridiculed backwater to fast-growing suburb. The population of about 5,000 during her tenure as mayor has grown to nearly 10,000 now, and the city is filling with big box stores, including a Target that is scheduled to open on Oct. 12, one of three opening statewide that day in the chain’s Alaska debut.

    But her critics say too much growth too quickly has made a mess of what not long ago was homesteaded farmland.

    And for some, Ms. Palin’s first months in office here were so jarring — and so alienating — that an effort was made to force a recall. About 100 people attended a meeting to discuss the effort, which was covered in the local press, but the idea was dropped.

    Shortly after becoming mayor, former city officials and Wasilla residents said, Ms. Palin approached the town librarian about the possibility of banning some books, though she never followed through and it was unclear which books or passages were in question.

    Ann Kilkenny, a Democrat who said she attended every City Council meeting in Ms. Palin’s first year in office, said Ms. Palin brought up the idea of banning some books at one meeting. “They were somehow morally or socially objectionable to her,” Ms. Kilkenny said.

    The librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, pledged to “resist all efforts at censorship,” Ms. Kilkenny recalled. Ms. Palin fired Ms. Emmons shortly after taking office but changed course after residents made a strong show of support. Ms. Emmons, who left her job and Wasilla a couple of years later, declined to comment for this article.
    In 1996, Ms. Palin suggested to the local paper, The Frontiersman, that the conversations about banning books were “rhetorical.”

    Ms. Emmons was not the only employee to leave. During her campaign, Ms. Palin appealed to voters who felt that city employees under Mr. Stein, who was not from Wasilla and had earned a degree in public administration at the University of Oregon, had been unresponsive and rigid regarding a new comprehensive development plan. In turn, some city employees expressed support for Mr. Stein in a campaign advertisement.

    Once in office, Ms. Palin asked many of Mr. Stein’s backers to resign — something virtually unheard of in Wasilla in past elections. The public works director, city planner, museum director and others were forced out. The police chief, Irl Stambaugh, was later fired outright.

    Mr. Stambaugh lost a wrongful termination lawsuit against Ms. Palin. He did not respond to a request for an interview.

    Ms. Palin also upended the town’s traditional ways with a surprise edict: No employee was to talk to the news media without her permission.

    “It was just things you don’t ever associate with a small town,” Victoria Naegele, then the managing editor of The Frontiersman, recalled of Ms. Palin’s first year in office. “It was like we were warped into real politics instead of just ‘Do you like Joe or Mary for the job?’ It was a strange time.”

    Ms. Palin, her critics note, was not always the fiscal watchdog she has since boasted of being. In her second term as mayor, she pushed for a half-cent raise in the local sales tax to pay for a $15 million sports complex. The complex is popular and a junior league hockey team plays there now, but the city recently had to pay more than $1.3 million to settle an ownership dispute over the site.

    Ms. Palin also began annual trips to Washington to lobby for federal money for specific initiatives, including rail projects and a mental health center.

    Her running mate, Mr. McCain, has been an outspoken critic of these so-called earmarks and as governor Ms. Palin has sounded more like him, vetoing tens of millions of dollars of local projects sought by state lawmakers.

    She is largely viewed as having had her hometown’s best interests at heart when she pursued big projects or an overhaul of city taxes. By the time she ran for re-election in 1999 — again facing Mr. Stein — things had smoothed out. She was returned to office by a large margin, 826 votes to 255.

    Ms. Palin, who had campaigned promising to cut her own full-time salary, reduced it from about $68,000 to about $64,000, but she also hired a city administrator, John Cramer, adding a salary to the payroll.

    Critics said Republican leaders installed Mr. Cramer, who was closely tied to a powerful local state lawmaker, Lyda Green. Ms. Green, who is retiring this year as Senate president, endorsed Ms. Palin in her campaign for mayor but became one of her biggest critics when Ms. Palin was governor.

    Tensions did ease eventually in Wasilla, and Mr. Cramer is given some of the credit, supporters and opponents of Ms. Palin said.

    “When I first met Sarah, I would say Sarah was a Republican, with the big R, and that’s it,” said Dave Chappel, Ms. Palin’s deputy mayor for more than two years. “As she developed politically, she began to see beyond the R and look at the whole picture. She matured.”

    Just as Ms. Palin terminated employees on her way into office, she also let some go on the way out, including Mr. Cramer. When Ms. Palin completed her second and final term, in 2002, her stepmother-in-law, Faye Palin, was running to succeed her. It seemed like a good idea, except that Faye Palin supported abortion rights and was registered as unaffiliated, not Republican, people who remember the race said. Sarah Palin sided instead with Dianne M. Keller, a religious conservative and an ally on the City Council. Ms. Keller won.

    “That was interesting,” Mr. Chappel said. “Faye lives up the street from me. I can’t really say much about that.”

  9. #9
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    The Politics Behind The Zio-Nazis' Latest Massacre

    The Politics of the Gaza Massacre

    Forget Hamas – it's all about the home front



    http://antiwar.com/justin/

    If you're looking for the cause of the most recent Israeli aggression against the Palestinians – over 300 killed so far, and many more wounded – forget Hamas. The real casus belli is politics, in Israel and America.


    .......the real focal point of the Israeli assault isn't Gaza – it's Washington, D.C.

    The whole point of this exercise in futility – which will not create a single iota of security for Israel, will not topple Hamas, and will not prove any more successful than the second Lebanese war – is to set the terms by which the Israelis will deal with the incoming U.S. president.

    Before he even gets a chance to appoint his Middle East team, his special envoys and advisers, the Israelis will have sabotaged the peace effort they can clearly see coming – and put the Americans on notice that whatever "change" is in the air will have to be to Israel's advantage.


    In short, the Gaza massacre is a preemptive strike against the prospect of American intervention on the Palestinians' behalf, or, at least, a more evenhanded policy framework.


    The entire operation is, instead, part and parcel of a long-standing concerted campaign by the Israeli government to further marginalize and drive out the remnants of the Palestinian people who still cling tenaciously to what's left of their land.

    It is a policy of military and economic warfare, aimed at making life impossible for the Palestinian helots.

    All the familiar "progressive" voices – with certain sterling exceptions – are suddenly stilled: we hear nothing from our Democratic politicians, those fabled agents of "change," except expressions of support for Israel's war crimes.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declares that Israel has "the right to defend itself," without deigning to inform us as to whether the Palestinians have the same right.
    Given her record as AIPAC's most reliable congressional ally, who can always be counted on to echo the Israel-first party line, one assumes not. Powerful foreign affairs committee chair Howard Berman concurs, as does our about-to-be-sworn-in chief executive.

    For all those hysterical ultra-Zionists in both Israel and the U.S. who thought Obama's election would be disastrous to the Zionist project, and their own efforts to expand it beyond its historic borders, let this be an object lesson in the danger of jumping to unwarranted conclusions.

    Like all U.S. presidents since Bush the Elder, this one is committed to maintaining and elaborating on our Israel-centric Middle East policy, of which the Iraq war was only the most dramatic chapter. Obama may have opposed that particular war, but he will do nothing to reverse its consequences, the most dramatic of which appears to be the unleashing of the Israeli military machine on the region.

    First it was Lebanon, followed by the buzzing of Syrian airspace and the bombing of an alleged "nuclear facility" that turned out to be an ordinary weapons dump.

    Now we have the end of "disengagement" in Gaza and the opening up of a new front in Israel's relentless war of expansion.


    Whatever the military outcome of the present conflict – in all likelihood a stalemate – this is a big political victory for Hamas, which ordinary Palestinians see actively defending them against the rampaging Israelis. The moderates on the West Bank are undercut, once again, and that has always been the Israeli strategy.

    Their first target was the decidedly secular Palestine Liberation Organization, which they did everything to destroy and undercut – even to the point of providing legal status and covert funding to Hamas. These followers of radical Islamist preachers began as a religious association, formally registered with the Israeli authorities. Hamas was encouraged as a potentially more compliant competitor with the PLO. Another case of blowback, with a vengeance.

    Having given birth to the monster of Hamas, the mutant offspring of occupation and dispossession, the Israelis will be forgiven if they refuse to acknowledge the family resemblance. Yet it is unmistakable. Both Israel and Hamas-stan are the spawn of religious and ethnic exclusivism and messianism, their leaders fanatics armed with state power. There are differences, of course, a major one being that one side is funded to the tune of $3 billion a year and supported unconditionally by Washington, while the Palestinians – shot at by their fellow Arabs as they try to cross the border into Egypt – stand pretty much alone.


    This latest bloody chapter in the tragic history of the region is being written because all the main protagonists benefit: the Israelis, Hamas, and radicals of all stripes, especially those groups aligned with al-Qaeda. As in the case of the Iraq war, bin Laden's narrative of an Israeli-Crusader invasion intent on stamping out Islam is seemingly verified as blood flows freely in the streets of Gaza.

    The Israeli rampage is not in our interests, and the longer it continues the more it threatens the already tenuous position of U.S. troops in Iraq, endangering them by inflaming the local populace, which is vehemently pro-Palestinian.


    The Israeli blitz is sending shockwaves through the region that could upset several apple-carts of U.S. construction, including the regime in Egypt, the pro-U.S. Jordanian monarchy, and especially our rambunctious Iraqi protectorate, where anti-U.S. sentiment is not so quietly building.

    Quite naturally, the Israelis care not a fig for any of this. That's what's so "special" about the much-vaunted "special relationship" between Israel and the U.S., in which Uncle Sam plays the part of the henpecked husband who always gives in to the demands of his battle-ax of a wife, no matter how extravagant or unreasonable.

    If American interests in the region are to be served, then this unhealthy relationship has to change. Yet it won't change until and unless the political power of the Israel Lobby is broken on the home front. If it takes the prospect of World War III to bring us to that point, it will be far too high a price to pay – yet one that seems increasingly unavoidable.

    Palestinian "Militants" Being Evacuated
    From Zio-Nazi's Massacre In Gaza Strip -
    World's Largest Concentration Camp



    Last edited by dchristie; 12-28-2008 at 11:50 PM.

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