Monday, August 31, 2009

Fear and Loathing on September 11

In keeping with grand internet tradition of making fun of crazy and dangerous people, I wished to comment on this "Special Report" by Matthew Vadum. I had thought to give this a thorough whipping, but Sadly, No has already beaten me to it. I'll pick up a bit where they left off.

Obama's Plan to Desecrate 9/11
By Matthew Vadum on 8.24.09 @ 6:08AM
The Obama White House is behind a cynical, coldly calculated political effort to erase the meaning of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks from the American psyche and convert Sept. 11 into a day of leftist celebration and statist idolatry.

It's always good to make your point in as clear, unemotional and unbiased language as possible.

This effort to reshape the American psyche has nothing to do with healing the nation and everything to do with easing the nation along in the ongoing radical transformation of America that President Obama promised during last year's election campaign. The president signed into law a measure in April that designated Sept. 11 as a National Day of Service, but it's not likely many lawmakers thought this meant that day was going to be turned into a celebration of ethanol, carbon emission controls, and radical community organizing.
. . .
On the Aug. 11 call, Yearwood and other leaders kept saying repeatedly that they wanted 9/11 to be used for something "positive," "forward-leaning," and "productive," said a source with knowledge of the teleconference.

Explore with us now the world of the Wing-Nut. Having left reality far behind, they swim in the effluvia of their own imaginations, conjuring up demons from deep in their subconscious. Here we see the Wing-Nut imagining a generic attempt to improve people's lives--complete with meaningless corporate buzzwords--as a threat to all he holds most holy, the fear of brown people and the desire induced by it to bomb the hell out of them. I cannot imagine the dark designs Vadum sees in the corporate cheerleading sessions of his local McDonald's. (Wait, he doesn't work at McDonald's? His bio says he is a "senior editor at Capital Research Center, a Washington, D.C. think tank that studies the politics of philanthropy." Given his general level of rationality, perhaps McDonald's wouldn't hire him.)

Is this all National Day of Service [and Remembrance] is intended for? And is the community organizing radical? The website says,

Our mission is to honor the victims of 9/11 and those who rose to service in response to the attacks by encouraging all Americans and others throughout the world to pledge to voluntarily perform at least one good deed, or another service activity on 9/11 each year. In this way we hope to create a lasting and forward-looking legacy -- annually rekindling the spirit of service, tolerance, and compassion that unified America and the world in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

Service, tolerance, compassion. The horror, the horror.

Volunteer on the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance says,
The National Day of Service and Remembrance is an excellent way to get involved in service on 9/11. Join us and help strengthen our community by:

* Preparing burn kits for the DC Firefighters Burn Foundation
* Organizing your local community center or library
* Assembling a healthy brunch at a public housing complex
* Landscaping and cleaning up a local park
* And more!

Apparently Vadum hates our burnt firefighters. He also hates libraries and people in public housing.

Vadum just threw in the "radical" because he figures you can put that in anywhere when you're talking about Obama. For example, Obama took his children to their radical school this morning. Obama believes in the radical change in our healthcare system. Obama had a radical haircut yesterday. "Radical" is an invisible word to Vadum whenever "Obama" is used. He has no reason to think providing brunch to people without food is radical, but he doesn't care. It's Obama so it must be radical.

The plan is to turn a "day of fear" that helps Republicans into a day of activism called the National Day of Service [and Remembrance] that helps the left. In other words, nihilistic liberals are planning to drain 9/11 of all meaning.

This confession is, as Sadly, No, notes, a moment of inadvertent honesty. But I'm more concerned about the idea that without a motivating terror of the other, the day has no meaning at all. Admittedly, corporate buzzwords are fairly meaningless, but a day devoted to helping others, to improving our environment and society, would appear to be anything but meaningless and nihilistic. Again, I think we have discovered something hidden from the light of day by the less crazy of the Wing-Nuts, but which is still there beneath the surface. The conclusion we must draw from Vadum's assertion is: The only thing with meaning for Mr. Vadum (since, I understand, he likes to append the honorific "Mr." to his name) is fear. Perhaps this is an exaggeration; perhaps hatred, anger or spite also have meaning for Vadum. I cannot draw conclusions about the Wing-Nut in general from one instance, but we can hypothesize that the Wing-Nut only recognizes certain fearful and violent emotions and not the more "positive" emotions that lead to healthy inter-group dynamics.

Color of Change is the extremist racial grievance group that isn't happy that TV's Glenn Beck did several news packages on Van Jones, the self-described "communist" and "rowdy black nationalist" who became the president's green jobs czar after jumping on the environmentalist bandwagon. The White House may be behind a push to destroy Beck by convincing advertisers to stop buying time on his show. Jones was also on the board of the Apollo Alliance, a hard-left environmentalist group that is now running large chunks of the Obama administration. The group has acknowledged that it dictated parts of the February stimulus bill to Congress.

Every part of this that is not a blatant lie is baseless, vicious insinuation. Color of Change has pressured Fox and its advertisers because Beck claimed that Obama has a "deep-seated hatred of white people" and "is a racist". That's a bit different from running news stories on a nominee. He has no evidence that the Obama White House is behind these protests, but he says they "may be". There's no way to disprove this, so he's free to speculate maliciously. After all, it's almost impossible to be sued for libel by a public figure. And, heavens, a lobbying group helping write legislation! I guess that's only ok when corporate lobbyists do it.

Honestly, would you believe anything this guy says? Here's a link to the Apollo Alliance webpage on the legislation. Apollo Alliance is taking credit for some very general measures that they wanted passed and which the government then passed although not in the specific amounts they wanted. If every group that took credit for some ideas that the government then implemented were running the government... Actually, I won't complete that thought. You know I had this great idea for a government: an elected group of people who represent larger groups of the population and who receive their moral justification from the consent of the governed. Look at me, I just dictated the government of the United States! Someone make me Secret-President!

By the way, notice any particular direction Vadum's animosity runs? Apollo Alliance? Have any of the objects of his hatred been white? Every person's name falling from Vadum's spittle-flecked pen belongs to an African-American. I'm sure it's a coincidence.

"The organizing term is to 'go dark.' You don't tell the press, don't tell people you think will tell the press," said the source.

. . .
On Aug. 4, the White House offered a glimpse into its plans to desecrate 9/11 for political advantage. Jones appeared in a largely ignored 33-minute video posted on the official blog of the White House to discuss the administration's plan to flush 9/11 down the memory hole just as it has tried to do by rechristening the Global War on Terror the "Overseas Contingency Operations."

Of this National Day of Service, Jones says little except that it will be a great opportunity "for people to connect, to find other people in your peer group who are also passionate about repowering America but also greening up America and cleaning up America."

On the same day, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, and Department of Energy Under Secretary Kristina Johnson and activists held a low-key press conference. At it, Yearwood said the National Day of Service will be "the first milestone" of a larger effort called Green the Block that is attempting to convince Americans that the utopian fantasy of a so-called green economy is possible without turning the U.S. into a Third World country.

"From policy creation to community implementation, the Green the Block campaign wants to see access and opportunity created for all Americans, to build prosperity and a healthier planet for future generations," Yearwood said.

Strange how they can "go dark"--no racial double-meaning here!--and still post videos and hold press conferences. Just the sort of thing you would do if you didn't want anyone to know about your plans! I believe that was Richard Nixon's strategy. He saying things like, "Those goddamned Jews in the press; let's give 'em a press conference." Or, "We have to keep this secret, let's put in on youtube." (Not actual quotes.)

On the bright side none of Donovan, Jackson, or Johnson is African-American. So, gee, maybe he's not a racist after all. Really, some of the people I hate the most are non-black.

At no time does anyone explain why this National Day of Service has to be held -- of all the 365 days in a year -- on Sept. 11.

Finally, we note more with sadness than anger that Vadum really does not understand how remembrance of a terrible tragedy should lead all of us to come together to make the world a better place. No normal human being would require such an explanation. He can only see the attacks on 9/11 as representing hatred and fear of an other bent on our destruction, and the only response he can see to hatred is more hatred. The Wing-Nut revealed, its veneer of respectability and civilization removed, is purely an id, a seething mass of hostile, violent emotions always looking for excuses for its hatred and rationalizations for any violence that it can get away with (whenever it is not too frightened to act). And, failing to act on its own, receives vicarious thrills as the US military acts out the Wing-Nut's violent fantasies. Such a contemptible shell of a human requires constant reassurance from its cronies and its government to know that it is not alone in the darkness and that someone will take away all the scary, brown people and make it safe.


  1. Coming at this from a different perspective, (I have to have a different perspective to have any at all since I know diddly squat about philosophy)I note that in my personal experience, many of these Wing-Nut types are what they themselves like to describe as "religious" (my Catholic aquaintence) or "Christian" people. The irony I then find is that a very important concept in traditional Christianity, which includes both of these groups, is that one forgives, choses good over evil, and tries to use opportunities to turn things to good. So all the individuals I am thinking of who would be oh so pleased to quote Wing Nut's entire case to me would at the same time be missing their own boat entirely.

    Probably just as well I don't eat Thanksgiving with certain people any more...

    (Just for the record, I know many people who call themselves "Christians" or "Religious Catholics" who are not this particular sort of idiot - indeed, some of them are not any sort of idiot at all. Just noting that people who follow Wing Nut's line of thinking frequently do believe they belong to one of the afore-mentioned categories.)

  2. I am constantly amazed at the parts of Christianity that the Wing-Nuts can completely ignore in favor of their favored interpretation. Help the sick and poor? Love everyone, not just your friends? What are you some kind of Communist? God wants us to look out for number one. The Bible is just an instrument used to justify their fear and hatred; it has no intrinsic meaning of its own.

    I suppose that's a natural outgrowth of postmodernism, but it's ironic that the people who claim most to oppose postmodernism are the ones who have adopted its most extravagant conclusions.