April 7, 2006

More on the Real Mao The News York Times’ Nick Kristof Couldn’t See Fit to Categorically Condemn

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 3:30 pm

Edwin A. Locke at Capitalism Magazine summarizes the real Mao Zedong portrayed in “Mao: The Unknown Story” succinctly, and also notes the authors’ recounting of the behavior of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger towards him:

Mao is clearly the worst monster in world history. Like Hitler and Stalin he was a power-luster and wanted to rule the world. Like them he was a mass murderer (about 70 million in his case). Like them he was a scheming manipulator (though more vicious and maniacally “clever” than the other two).

But there was a certain respect in which he was morally lower than the other mass murderers, if you can imagine such a possibility. Mao actually enjoyed the prospect and the act of torture, killing and destruction, even (if not especially) his own people. He wanted to destroy, not just as a means of gaining power, but also as an end in itself. Further, when he could have had people shot (virtually all of whom were totally innocent of anything–even of opposing him), he said that was too tame and had them beaten to death and had movies made of it so he could watch them being brutalized.

“Enemies” (and their families) were sometimes not killed outright, but made to suffer in agony for years until they died. He destroyed all culture during the “cultural revolution” (even propagandistic operas), because he wanted everyone to be either dead or be unthinking, mindless brutes. To concretize all this, imagine James Taggart, who hated existence, combined with a megalomaniacal, totally psychopathic personality. (I think Pol Pot, whom Mao admired, was probably the same, only on a smaller scale).

Also in the book is some disgraceful beyond belief information on Kissinger’s and Nixon’s wooing of China. They were practically licking Mao’s feet. Ayn Rand was quite right in saying Nixon was totally outwitted (it is not even clear from the book that Nixon even had any wits to be outwitted). Mao offered virtually no concessions, and we offered almost anything they wanted, including the betrayal of Taiwan at the U.N. This led dozens of other countries to come licking at Mao’s feet. (Ironically, other communist countries despised Mao, especially because he wanted to control those countries too).

It’s hard to believe that The New York Times’ Nick Kristof could have read the same book when it first came out in October, and have written the following (link requires registration, but it’s still there), but he did (original BizzyBlog post on Kristof’s book review is here):

I agree that Mao was a catastrophic ruler in many, many respects, and this book captures that side better than anything ever written. But Mao’s legacy is not all bad. Land reform in China, like the land reform in Japan and Taiwan, helped lay the groundwork for prosperity today. The emancipation of women and end of child marriages moved China from one of the worst places in the world to be a girl to one where women have more equality than in, say, Japan or Korea. Indeed, Mao’s entire assault on the old economic and social structure made it easier for China to emerge as the world’s new economic dragon.

….. Mao’s ruthlessness was a catastrophe at the time, brilliantly captured in this extraordinary book – and yet there’s more to the story: Mao also helped lay the groundwork for the rebirth and rise of China after five centuries of slumber.

There is no end to the excuse-making on the part of some for tyrants of the left.

WaterTreatmentGate Update: Bob McEwen’s Thursday Call into Tony Snow

Filed under: OH-02 US House — Tom @ 10:25 am

Also see the updates below regarding the McEwen Campaign denial, and the ultimate conclusion, which is that (for now) we’re back to “he said, she said, we said, they said.”
______________________________

I was just going to add this to yesterday’s post, but because of some developments that I still can’t fully fathom (but which do not affect the accuracy of yesterday’s post), I’m posting it separately.

Bob McEwen spoke with Tony Snow yesterday at about 9:25 ET, and this is how the conversation went (transcribed by Matt at Weapons of Mass Discussion, who also has an audio link at his post — thanks for the timeliness!):

SNOW: We’ve got an interesting caller here and I want to get to him right away. It’s Congr– it’s former Congressman, now running again for Congress, Bob McEwen. Yesterday, a caller called up and — I’ll call you Representative McEwen, it is a decent honorific. As I recall, it was an allegation that you had encountered somebody, been rude and sort of said, “Don’t you know who I am?” Can you refresh me on that? Or do you not want to repeat the allegation? Congressman McEwen, are you there?

McEWEN: Yes.

SNOW: Okay, Yeah, I, because already my memory is faded on this, but somebody did call up with an allegation; you want to refute and I want to hear you.

McEWEN: Yeah, what was reported to me Tony was that the Bob McEwen Water Treatment Facility in Clermont County Ohio, which allows the county grow and expand. They named the water treatment plant after me some years ago as an honor. And I was there to cut the ribbon and that was it. And I haven’t been back since, but the statement was called yesterday, as it was related to me, that I had gone out there recently and demanded to get in and when they didn’t let me in, I said, “Do you know who I am?” or something like that.

SNOW: That’s right. Th-th-th-this facility is named after me, you must-that’s right. That’s what it was.

McEwen: And I’m sorry I missed it yesterday, but that is so foreign to anything that I would say or do and I think that anybody who knows me knows that that is the case. And I just felt like the truth ought to be brought out.

SNOW: Well it is very important and I appreciate you doing that.

McEWEN: And I appreciate what you’re doing…

(The interview goes off in to issues that are not relevant to the Apr. 5 call.)

(End Transcript.)

(The following transcript of the end of the call replaces previous paraphrased material that was posted earlier.)

At the very end of the call (transcribed late in the morning by Matt at WMD and updated there, along with an additional audio file), Snow circled back to the opening topic and wrapped up the call:

NOW: Bob McEwen, good to hear from you. It’s a — We’ll all be watching in interest because there is a primary race; you are taking on Jean Schmidt in the Republican primary. Uh, I’m not doing an endorsement, but it is good to hear from you and I appreciate the phone call.

McEwen: I appreciate your friendship, buh-bye.

SNOW: Thank you. Okay, so there you have it; setting the record straight and I like that, so for those who said he was at a water treatment facility saying, “Do you know who I am?” Not true, you got it from the source.

More to come when the insanity gets sorted out…..

Update, April 7, 1:20 PM — I have gotten grief from a commenter below and at a couple of comments on other blogs claiming that not only did the incident described never happen, but that the McEwen Campaign itself is claiming it never happened. However, as of 1:20PM, no denial of the incident was at the bobmcewenforcongress.com home page. So I don’t know what to make of the commenters’ claims. I contacted Clermont County Prosecutor Elizabeth Mason again this morning, and she assured me “100%” that the incident occurred. 4:00 P.M. — I spoke with another county official, who assured me that the incident referred to in the county e-mail occurred. The McEwen camp knows how to get a hold of me if they want to issue a direct denial, and they know how to update their web site to reflect their position on the incident (which they haven’t as of 4 PM).

UPDATE, 4:45 p.m. — OH02 has published the McEwen camp’s denial (1st and 3rd paras at link; the remaining text is not related to the denial:

A caller to the Tony Snow Wednesday day was being untruthful when it was alleaged that Bob McEwen demanded access to a water treatment plant named after him. Bob McEwen was not there. A film crew did film the treatment center from the outside. Although close-ups were preferred, the film crew was satisfied with the footage it captured from outside the fence. As it happened, the sole person authorized to grant access was not available at the time they arrived. Once again, let me emphasize that Bob McEwen was not at the plant.

….. The Tony Snow show was being used to broadcast outright lies in the 30 days before the Republican primary election. Mr. Snow was gracious enough to provide Bob with an opportunity to set the record straight on Thursday.

At roughly 4:40 PM, I spoke with Mary Birck, who is the author of the public-record county e-mail included in yesterday’s post. She reiterated that she stands by her e-mail, which I should remind readers begins as follows (bolds are mine):

Yesterday, a candidate for political office arrived at the BMW water treatment plant. Apparently, the candidate wanted to film the inside of the water plant.

So here I am, deciding whether to believe quite a few people associated with the county, including a professional prosecutor, or the McEwen campaign, whose candidate, a man with three decades of experience dealing with the media, when given the chance of a lifetime to refute a supposedly “slanderous” account of events, never flatly said “I wasn’t there” (which any person so “slandered” would be expected to say, and with palpable outrage). Instead he introduced a sentence with, “And I haven’t been back since…” which any reasonable person would interpret, in the context of the discussion, as “until earlier this week.” Snow’s final statement (“Not true, you got it from the source.”) would be taken by any reasonable person (including Snow himself, I daresay), as reporting that the “Do you know who I am?” statement was not made, not as acknowledging or agreeeing that Bob wasn’t there.

I don’t see how anyone can say that the preponderance of the evidence isn’t with the county, though I suspect that this isn’t over. With Bob McEwen, it seems that nothing is ever over.
_______________________________

UPDATE 3: I received the following comment from Ed Jenkins, who is supposed to be McEwen’s campaign manager:

I will tell you the story is a lie.

I am the campaign manager for Bob McEwen. Bob McEwen was not at the Bob McEwen Water Treament Plant. Nor was he at the BMW plant. Bob McEwen did not state “Do you know who I am” or any other reported nonsense. This is dirty politics at its most juvenile, with inuendo and outright lies used to try to tear down a candidate.

Issues and the future of OH 02 are what should be discussed in this campaign. The future of our Representative Democracy depends on our vibrant debate today.

To be clear, Bob McEwen, candidate for Congress, was not there, ergo he did not pull a “McKinney”, but I think it is apparent who actually is. How childish and bush league.

Clear and direct enough or are we going to debate not issues, but the meaning of “is?

Ed Jenkins
Campaign Manager
Bob McEwen for Congress

I also spoke with Mr. Jenkins Friday night (I called him back after he called me), who stated about as emphatically as anyone can say it that Bob McEwen was not there. I suspect that if he can figure it out, he will let me know where McEwen actually was.

So, going back to the problem I had at the beginning of the first post, here we are, back at “he said, she said, we said, they said” and I’m stuck. Zheesh — I can only hope that this gets definitively sorted out, because the truth, if it is ever known and proven, is going to be damning to someone.

Bizzy’s AM Coffee Biz-Econ-Life Links (040706)

Free Links:

  • Jeff at Credit/Debt Recovery cries “WORM” (Worn-Out Reactionary Media, known to most as The Mainstream Media) in reaction to this story’s outrageous headline (“Woman gets prison for stealing $7, credit cards”) — He’s right; the headline is designed to generate pity from those who won’t read the full article. This woman charged a lot to the credit cards; that’s stealing too. Plus, she had two similar priors. No pity here.
  • Memorize This (HT Club for Growth) –

    TopEarnerTaxes

    The table shows that the rich play plenty in taxes, and heaven help us if a lot of them decide to stop working, or investing. Specifically, looking at the far right column, the top 10% of taxpayers, those who have Adjusted Gross Incomes (AGIs) of $95,000 or more, earn 42% of all AGIs, and pay $492 billion in individual federal income taxes, which is 66% of the total of all individual federal income taxes. Somebody has to make up for the 41% of Americans (HT TaxProf Blog) who pay no federal income tax at all.

  • Only The New York Times Would Fret About Welfare Rolls Falling in New York City (HT Heritage Policy Blog) — Funny, they were pretty quiet when the number of welfare recipients dropped from 1.2 million in 1995 to about 400,000 in 2001, but now that they’re inching down on a relative basis, it’s cause for alarm. Zheesh.
  • March Retail Sales weren’t that great compared to last year — but Easter 2005 was March 27.
  • U.S. teenagers lack financial literacy, and it’s not improving. It’s hard to pick which individual answer result was the most appalling but my nominee is this one: “….. only 14.2% of the students correctly answered that stocks would have the best growth potential for money over an 18-year period. That was the lowest percentage in the survey’s history.”
  • Weekly Jobless Claims Drop Again to 299,000 — and longer-term unemployment is at its lowest level sine 2001. The link is to an AP report in USA Today, because the main AP My Way pages I usually go to “strangely” didn’t have the news when I looked late last night, only 15 hours after it was released, while many other older stories remained.
  • A guy gets detained at the airport because the cab driver was worried about his choice of music (HT CEI Open Market) — Two words: earbud headphones.

Positivity: Danbury, CT Firefighters honored for saving life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:03 am

They don’t understand the fuss:

(more…)