August 7, 2010

The A-Bombs Dropped on Japan: No Apology Needed; Gratitude Is In Order

Filed under: Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 4:12 pm

Item:

Obama Accused of Apologizing for Hiroshima

The son of the U.S. Air Force pilot who dropped the first atomic bomb in the history of warfare says the Obama administration’s decision to send a U.S. delegation to a ceremony in Japan to mark the 65th anniversary of the attack on Hiroshima is an “unsaid apology” and appears to be an attempt to “rewrite history.”

James Tibbets, son of Brig. Gen. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., says Friday’s visit to Hiroshima by U.S. Ambassador John Roos is an act of contrition that his late father would never have approved.

“It’s an unsaid apology,” Tibbets, 66, told FoxNews.com from his home in Georgiana, Ala.

In May 2009, Bill Whittle wrote the definitive defense of this country’s use of the atomic bomb to administer final defeat upon Japan and bring World War II to an end.

In the earlier paragraphs of the essay, Whittle quotes a leaflet “dropped over Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and 33 other Japanese cities on 1 August 1945 – five days before the Hiroshima bombing” (paragraph breaks added by me):

Read this carefully as it may save your life or the life of a relative or friend.

In the next few days, some or all of the cities named on the reverse side will be destroyed by American bombs. These cities contain military installations and workshops or factories which produce military goods. We are determined to destroy all of the tools of the military clique which they are using to prolong this useless war.

But, unfortunately, bombs have no eyes. So, in accordance with America’s humanitarian policies, the American Air Force, which does not wish to injure innocent people, now gives you warning to evacuate the cities named and save your lives.

America is not fighting the Japanese people but is fighting the military clique which has enslaved the Japanese people. The peace which America will bring will free the people from the oppression of the military clique and mean the emergence of a new and better Japan.

You can restore peace by demanding new and good leaders who will end the war. We cannot promise that only these cities will be among those attacked but some or all of them will be, so heed this warning and evacuate these cities immediately.

No truer prediction has ever been made about the results of a brutal but absolutely necessary wartime act than the one made in the bolded sentence above.

If you don’t already know, read Whittle’s entire essay to fully understand why dropping the bombs was so necessary.

This nation has nothing to apologize for, and, as horrible as they were, the Japanese people should be grateful that Truman made the choice to use them.

As GM Plans IPO, AP Finally Makes Prominent Reference to Drivers’ ‘Resentment’ of Bailout

Filed under: Business Moves,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:58 am

GovernmentMotors0609In what I believe is the first direct acknowledgment by the wire service of what so many have known for so long, the Associated Press’s Tom Krisher wrote the following in an August 5 story about plans for an initial public offering by government-controlled General Motors (bolds are mine throughout this post):

Ever since the Obama administration gave the automaker a $50 billion dollar survival loan last year, many drivers have scorned the company and bought cars from rivals. Even though GM has cut costs, changed leadership, and reported its first quarterly profit since 2007, the resentment will linger as long as taxpayers have a 61 percent stake in the company.

Actually, the “resentment” goes back to December 2008, when the Bush administration bowed to pressure to use Troubled Asset Relief Program funds to “temporarily” loan a combined $13.4 billion to GM and Chrysler. Also, the total bailout dollars involved are at least $63 billion when GMAC is included, as it should be.

If you have relied exclusively on AP reports and its news feeds to subscribing publications since then, Krisher’s assertion that “drivers have scorned the company” would more than likely be the first time you have seen an AP reporter record that observation.

Any AP reporter covering the company almost any time in the intervening 20 months could have observed the existence of the scorn and resentment. But if this factor has ever been directly cited by an AP reporter covering the car industry until now, I haven’t seen it.

In January 2009, the first month after those “loan” funds were disbursed, year-over-year sales at GM fell 49%. In previous months, the struggling automaker’s year-over-year declines had been in the 30% range. In just one month, the company’s sales decline in the recessionary economy went from roughly matching those seen at archrivals Ford and Toyota to about what cratering Chrysler was experiencing.

GM’s sales plunge of 42% during last year’s first five months was far worse than Ford’s or Toyota’s, though not quite as bad as Chrysler’s.

During 2009, I only recall two instances where AP got into the neighborhood of explaining what was really going on. The first was in a May 1, 2009 story in the wake of April’s sales releases:

Detroit’s Big Three is becoming Ford and the other two.

While its rivals stay afloat with billions in government aid, Ford grabbed a bigger slice of the American car market in April with record sales of its fuel-efficient Fusion.

Most of those gains (at Ford) came at the expense of General Motors and Chrysler, which unlike Ford are dependent on federal help.

Later in the report, the AP’s Kimberly S. Johnson and Dan Strumpf quoted an analyst who tied Ford’s success to Chrysler being in bankruptcy court and GM’s near-certain arrival there. Clearly those concerns were relevant, but the unmentioned scorn and resentment were already quite visible. An early June 2009 Rasmussen poll confirmed it: “The government bailout and takeover of General Motors remains very unpopular among the public. Just 26% of Americans believe the bailout was a good idea, and nearly as many support a boycott of GM products.”

The other instance of near recognition came in the eighth paragraph of an early November 2009 report (covered at NewsBusters; at Bizzyblog) about October’s sales results. In that item, Krisher and Dee-Ann Durbin wrote:

Ford Motor Co.’s sales rose 3 percent and it gained U.S. market share for the 12th time in 13 months as its critically acclaimed vehicles continue to grab buyers from rivals. Ford has benefited from consumer goodwill because it didn’t take government bailout money or go into bankruptcy protection, as General Motors and Chrysler did.

That’s fine, but it’s one thing to note that customers like the company that wasn’t bailed out. It’s quite another to assert that many resentful customers and potential customers abandoned GM and Chrysler because they were bailed out. Also, Ford wasn’t necessarily the only beneficiary of anti-GM and anti-Chrysler sentiment.

So why now? Why did the AP have to wait for GM Chairman Whitacre to say what he said before acknowledging what all of us already knew? Has the wire service seen protecting the company as part of its mission until now? If so, why?

Finally, Krisher cannot prove his claim in the opening excerpt that “the resentment will linger as long as taxpayers have a 61 percent stake in the company.” It’s very likely — I would suggest virtually certain — that the resentment will linger until the government sells its entire stake in the company. It’s also not unreasonable to believe that for some, especially those who remember how the government and the company “ripped off” unsecured bondholders during bankruptcy proceedings, the resentment will last a long, long time even if the government fully divests.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Zombie’s ‘Slave Labor Conditions at Shirley Sherrod’s Farm?’ (Update: How Yours Truly Might Have Helped ‘Save’ NCI)

Filed under: Business Moves,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:35 am

It’s here. I don’t think the item really needs the question mark.

The Pajamas Media blogger’s main contributions are authenticating the El Macriado article describing worker mistreatment that occurred at the New Communities Inc. “collective farm” (my sardonic term) during the 1960s and 1970s, and bullet-pointing the key assertions in the Counterpunch column containing the original accusations of Ron Wilkins and the aforementioned El Macriado article .

Here are those bullet points:

Combined, the new 2010 allegations (by Wilkins) and the original 1974 allegations (in El Macriado) accuse Shirley and Charles Sherrod of:

• Paying farm workers as little as 67¢ per hour, far below minimum wage for the era.
• Employing underage children to perform hard labor.
• Compelling their employees to work in unsafe conditions, including getting sprayed with pesticides.
• Firing any workers who acted as whistleblowers.
• Forcing employees to work overtime in the fields at night with practically no advance notice.
• Having a capricious payscale under which employees doing the exact same jobs were paid different amounts according to the whims of the managers.
• Being unwilling to address the abuse even after it was raised by union representatives.
• Seriously mismanaging the farm to such an extent that it went bankrupt.

Here is an image of the El Macriado article. Note the last two paragraphs (the first word should be “Though” instead of “Through”):

ElMacriadoSept1974

_______________________________________________

UPDATE: Let’s contextualize an interesting piece of history, courtesy of Charles Sherrod himself.

In a video excerpt of Charles Sherrod’s January 2010 speech at a University of Virginia Law School conference coming up below, we see Charles Sherrod recount one tactic he attempted to save NCI:

We appealed to hundreds of black and white groups to save the land. $250 a(n) acre to save 6,000 acres. Lookin’ for 6,000 people to give $250 to save 6,000 acres of land, the largest piece of land owned by blacks in the country anywhere in a single tract. Muslims owned more land than we did but not in a single tract.

Be sure to look at the vid (at the 1:05 mark), and observe how absolutely indignant Mr. Sherrod is that he couldn’t find 6,000 suckers — er, donors — to help him bail NCI out:

It’s too bad yours truly wasn’t around to help Mr. Sherrod raise money back then. Here’s how an accurate and fully-disclosed request for help at the time the Sherrods were on the brink of losing NCI might have read, had I been given the opportunity to compose it:

Uh, we’ve got this “co-op” here that we’re going to lose unless we come up with $1.5 million quickly.

It takes money to mismanage a farm enterprise, and lots of it. But we’re up to the task.

Even though we have a history of underpaying our workers, exposing them to unsafe conditions, abusing child labor, paying people only what we feel like paying them, and working hard to keep the unions out, we still can’t make it without your help.

Won’t you please allow us to continue to mistreat our poor black employees and run our farm into the ground while posing as enlightened radicals who are showing “the man” that collective socialism is superior to exploitative capitalism? All we need is $250 each from 6,000 fools like you.

Please make your check payable to “The Charles and Shirley Sherrod Benevolent Fund” — er, we mean, “New Communities, Inc.”

Keep hope alive.

Positivity: Couple to Wed at Junior High 50 years later

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:44 am

From Iowa City, Iowa (HT to AP):

August 6, 2010

In the fall of 1962, Karen Wilcox and Mike Wilson met as seventh-graders at South East Junior High.

e had gone to Hoover Elementary, she to Longfellow. Placed next to each other in alphabetized seat arrangements in homerooms and other classes, they became fast friends, even dating the following year as eighth-graders.

At 11:12 a.m. on Monday, they will get married in the same room where they had their first dance together, to Bobby Vinton’s “Blue Velvet,” in 1963.

“I always liked him,” Wilcox, 60, said. “I loved him when we were together. I loved him when we were apart.”

Wilcox said they chose the wedding date based on the numbers, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12. Since neither had a church denomination they belonged to, they opted to have their wedding in the place they both remembered fondly.

“We wanted a place that meant something to both of us,” Wilcox said. “We didn’t care if anyone else showed up. I feel we’ve been united since junior high.”

The couple had kept in contact with each other through the years, even as they married other people, with both having been married twice before. They have been seeing each other since January, shortly after Wilson’s 36-year marriage to his second wife had ended and he had decided to move back to Iowa City from Naples, Fla., where he had been living after retiring as an orthopedic surgeon. …

Go here for the rest of the story.