Archive for January, 2011

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Lang Lang

Posted: January 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

Why were the American people told for 30 years there was a War on Communism? Vietnam, Soviet Union, North Korea.   China is Communist yet we as a nation allow China to hold approximately 1 trillion dollars of US Debt, that was only created due to the fact that consumer goods could be purchased with little labor cost and minimum regulations and then flow into the US Market at ease.  This enabled a false sense of wealth creation in the American economy all the while the currency was being carefully devalued.    The debt we owe to China is only enforceable because they’ve increased their military strength using US currency and US secrets.   Enjoy the song “Motherland” played during the recent visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao while you peruse the posts.

My motherland, right or wrong?

English.news.cn 2011-01-28 11:02:59 FeedbackPrintRSS
 

Piano prodigy Lang Lang rides high on a cross-Pacific career where both music lovers and officials flock to his performances. (Photo source: China Daily)

BEIJING, Jan. 28 (Xinhuanet) — Lang Lang’s choice of music for a state dinner in the US was both lauded and chided, although it has evolved to be another folk song about love of country.

Depending on your view, pianist Lang Lang either pulled off a sucker punch or committed a diplomatic faux pas last week. He played a tune from a movie that has anti-American subject matter at the Jan 19 state banquet US President Barack Obama gave to the visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao. Even though it did not evolve into a diplomatic skirmish, it created some hoopla on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.

I believe Lang Lang when he explained afterwards he did not know the origin of this song. Its popularity has far outstripped the movie itself. While everyone in the Chinese mainland can hum it, relatively few have seen the movie or can immediately connect the “jackals” in the lyrics with the American soldiers fighting in the Korean War, or what we in China call the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea.

The movie Shangganling, released in 1956, experienced a surge in popularity during the post-“cultural revolution” (1966-76) years. People of my generation are familiar with the plot, a typical war picture, but the song comes at a telling moment, a hiatus in the battle when the soldiers are reminded of the beauty of the motherland, while a few lines refer to “greeting jackals with hunting rifles”.

By Chinese standards the song is quite apolitical and lacks the propaganda vibe of the time. Rendered by the most popular folk singer of the day, the beautiful Guo Lanying, it was an instant hit and has since become a classic.

As a student, before the bass singer Tian Haojiang became famous at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, he used to moonlight as a piano player at restaurants. One night a Chinese busboy requested he play the song and afterwards broke down in tears, because he was so homesick.

It is quite possible Lang Lang was attracted to the melody and oblivious to the hidden meaning of the lyrics.

However, he is now in a quandary. After I tweeted the incident on my Sina Weibo micro blog, I was overwhelmed with responses, which neatly belonged to two camps: One lauded him for jabbing the Americans with the subliminal message of contempt or enmity; while the other criticized him for making an inappropriate choice. After his explanation, the first group naturally stopped seeing him as a hero.

The politicization of Lang Lang’s golden oldie reflects more on the mentality of some Chinese, who are accustomed to expressing themselves indirectly. If you want to criticize someone but cannot do it openly, you may have to resort to overtones, undertones and various figures of speech. Chinese literary critics and historians have made it an art to pick apart ancient masterpieces and decipher whatever codes may be embedded in them. For these people, there is no coincidence or over-interpretation. Every little gesture must be deliberate and conveys something deeper.

As President Hu’s trip was one of goodwill, the last thing the Chinese government wanted, I would figure, was a reminder of past hostilities between the two countries. Had whoever who vetted the performance list known the history of the number, it may not have made the cut. But there is no guarantee that those who do the vetting are armed with such encyclopedic knowledge. In this country, we have produced a cornucopia of tales of black humor from such ignorance.

Sometimes, ignorance is good for broadening the appeal of popular songs.

The Chinese national anthem is a militant marching song. But who knows it is from a 1935 Shanghai-produced film. Almost all movies from the 1930s provided direct or indirect references to the Japanese invasion of China’s northeast that started in 1931. But now, the cause people died for in the lyrics, has become an abstract.

It is easy to paint certain songs with the colors you want and push them one way or another. Many of the “Old Shanghai” ditties were banned in New China because they were taken to be unpatriotic. The thinking went, how can you pine for your lover and be tender while living in an occupied land? The sin is even greater when ballads like When Will My Man Be Back Again? seem to take the position of a saloon entertainer who could have Japanese among her clients. As a result, even the composer of the melody was persecuted.

Every song has a back-story. The beauty of the popular ones is, they capture a mood or emotion that cuts across a large swath of the public and transcends the time and the occasion. The theme song from the television adaptation of Outlaws of the Marsh is ostensibly about Chinese Robin Hoods who lived 1,000 years ago, but the lyrics strike home today, when there is a widening rich-poor gap.

Had My Motherland, Lang Lang’s song in question, contained words such as “US aggression” or “helping out Koreans”, it may not have lasted, but would instead have been confined to one war film. Because the lyrics are less obvious they have resonated with successive generations, even those who know little about the history that created it.

It is for the same reason that many Chinese musicians pick folk tunes for international performances. Folk songs, by and large, have two topics: love and homeland. They transcend all boundaries and are never controversial.

My personal favorite post-1949 patriotic number is I Love You, China, also from a movie – the 1979 Hearts for the Motherland, starring Joan Chen. It was inspired by a true story, an overseas Chinese girl who returns to China, survives political upheavals and becomes an opera singer. The song is structured like an opera aria and was sung by a classically trained singer in the film – and has been ever since. It depicts various natural scenes from across the country. And it does not have an enemy in the lyrics.

As a side note, life has more twists than art: The singer, whose life the movie is based on, left China for New York shortly after the movie was released. She recently returned, when her career in the US petered out.

I bet I Love You, China will be in the repertory of every Chinese soprano no matter what happens. Maybe Lang Lang should have chosen this one as the melody is equally beautiful.

 

and I was a sophomore in college, not the president of the country that was just attacked.

Milo Nickels
Activist Post

Anti-government sentiment is not cause for fear, a sign of insanity, or a precursor of tragedy.  Quite the contrary.  Anti-government sentiment signifies attentiveness, understanding, and a love of liberty.  If you truly value freedom, then you absolutely must distrust and despise government with every fiber of your being.  Why?  Government has no ability, whatsoever, to give freedom to anyone.  Government can only take freedoms away.  Our founding fathers fully understood this fundamental truth.  They did not view government as a potential source of good, but as a necessary evil.  Although they understood that limited government would be necessary to protect individual citizens from each other, they also understood that the Constitution would be necessary to protect all citizens from the government.  Our founding fathers knew that if they did not restrain the government with the constitution, then nothing would stop it from taking all of our liberties away.  This is simply the nature of the beast.

Many people mistakenly believe that the first Amendment grants us freedom of speech.  This is dead wrong.  The first amendment tells the government that they are not allowed to take that freedom away.  Many people mistakenly believe that the second amendment exists only to protect hunters so that they can feed their families.  They are dead wrong once again.  Our founding fathers expected our government to overstep its bounds, and the second amendment was intended to be our insurance policy to rise against those encroachments.  The second amendment is a direct extension of the Declaration of Independence where it states:

…to secure [our unalienable] rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…


How do we abolish a government without arms?  Our founding fathers were not liberal, government-loving, boot-lickers; they were revolutionaries.  They completely and necessarily distrusted the government and hated tyranny.  They expected that government would always try to steal freedom, and they expected people to rise up against the government whenever that happens.  Indeed, our government was founded on the expectation that it couldn’t be trusted.
Look at where we are now.  Our government wants to pass laws where we can’t speak out against it, wants to limit our second amendment rights, and they use the mainstream media to convince the masses that hating the government makes people crazy.  If our founding fathers were alive today, they would be labeled as dangerous, extremist threats to our national security.
In a recent AP article titled, Dangerous Loners Hard to Catch Before They Act, Eileen Sullivan does all she can to illustrate cases where violent acts were committed by insane loners who held anti-government views.  The obvious insinuation is that holding anti-government views makes one crazy and/or dangerous.  Here are several excerpts from Sullivan’s article:

The gunman accused of trying to assassinate Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killing six others, Jared Lee Loughner, was not on any government watch list that might have warned someone not to sell him a gun or caused police to investigate his unstable behavior.

It turns out there is not a list in the United States for people like Loughner.

Obviously, Sullivan is implying that there should be a list for “people like Loughner”.  The term “people like Loughner,” however, could mean a million-and-one things.  When Sullivan refers to “people like Loughner,” she could be referring to white males, gun owners, crazy people, disruptive students, illogical bloggers, pot heads, fans of the Communist Manifesto, people who distrust the government, etc. etc. etc.  Heck, just to be safe, we should place all of those groups on watch lists!  Although I’m being sarcastic, I have no doubt that hacks like Sullivan would be okay with that. 

The same goes for Joseph Stack, who flew his plane into an IRS office in Austin, Texas, last February. Stack left behind a 3,000-word, rambling screed about his problems with the U.S. tax code.

Less than a month later, John Patrick Bedell shot two Pentagon guards. He left behind anti-government writings and cited conspiracy theories involving the U.S. military.

Richard Poplawski, too, left an online trail of racist rants and paranoid thoughts about President Barack Obama imposing a gun ban before he allegedly shot and killed three police officers in the Pittsburgh area in April 2009.

In the past two years, there have been at least six incidents in which disgruntled Americans, acting alone, have taken violent action into their own hands. In many of the cases, signs of government distrust and paranoia wouldn’t have been enough to justify law enforcement intervention.

Six incidences in two years?  SIX?!?!  Of all the thousands upon thousands of violent crimes, murders, rapes, assaults, robberies, and atrocities that happened in America in the last two years, is Sullivan implying that these six are somehow symptomatic of a grand problem or a major threat?  It appears to me that being unhappy with the government leads to violence far less often than being unhappy with one’s marriage.  Maybe we should place people who attend marriage counseling on watch lists too.

There are scores of domestic groups with members who oppose paying taxes, disagree with the government and voice their opinions eagerly. But their rights are protected by the First Amendment, and opposing taxes alone is not enough to trigger an investigation.

Pay close attention to the language and tone Sullivan uses here.  She is careful to use the term “domestic groups” when describing people who oppose taxes, disagree with the government, or (god forbid) voice their opinions.  Sullivan is fully aware that, thanks to the mainstream media constantly warning us about “domestic terrorists,” we’re being gradually conditioned to believe that any “domestic group” has evil and violent intentions.  The word “terrorist” follows the word “domestic” just as readily as “jelly” follows “peanut butter.”  I wonder if Sullivan would ever point out that the girl scouts, the NAACP, and congress are all “domestic groups” as well.  Also pay close attention to the second part of that passage.  Sullivan actually bemoans that people’s rights are protected by the first amendment, and implies that “opposing taxes alone” should be enough reason to trigger an investigation.

I would love to ask Sullivan her opinion of our founding fathers.  Would she have wanted Thomas Jefferson and George Washington placed on watch lists because they opposed government, believed in gun ownership, spoke out against taxes, and even endorsed violent revolution as a necessary part of perpetuating liberty against the threat of tyranny?  As I reread Sullivan’s article, I can’t help but notice one bit of irony.  Sullivan points out John Patrick Bedell because he “left behind anti-government writings.”  Our founding fathers also “left behind anti-government writings.”  We know them today as the United States Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

Milo Nickels began blogging and cartooning about politics in the year 2000.  After achieving some notoriety at that time, Milo took a break.  Now, Milo has launched a new website, Five Cent Revolution where he continues to write about political issues.  In particular, Milo focuses on constitutionalism, critiques of modern liberalism and progressivism, and defends individual liberty above all else.  Milo wants the government out of our wallets, out of our business, and out of our lives to the greatest extent possible.

Bill Maher likes to throw around the word “nut” and “nutty.”  Judging by the fact he makes very little rational sense in this interview, he needs to step back and get some things straight.  First and foremost is that he lives in a fantasy land and needs to come back to reality.  Calling Glenn Beck nutty he then goes into explaining that MSNBC’s Keith Oblermann’s show is a “comedy” and it’s in “tongue in cheek. ”  Oh really?  Well that explains a lot then Bill, thank you.

A Nation Of Truth-Rejecters

Posted: January 6, 2011 in Uncategorized
By Dr Chuck Baldwin 1/6/2010

A bedrock principle of Natural Law (the Law upon which Western Civilization rests) is the primacy of truth. Without a desire for, and appreciation of, truth, society cannot sustain itself. Lies, deceit, duplicity, etc., are more than moral evils; they are the bane of freedom and liberty. Take away truth, and one is left without honor, justice, or decency. Truth is the cement that holds the bricks and stones of a sane and civilized society together. Remove the former and the latter will crumble.

Truth also demands courage and honesty, because sometimes it can be very painful to look at! It takes an honest man to desire truth, as truth will often reveal the character flaws in his own soul. It also takes courage to appreciate truth, as truth will often demand that one change his own opinion or conduct. Unfortunately, it does appear that the desire for truth has been replaced with a desire for deceit.

Years ago, a great, old preacher-warrior told my former church congregation, “People today love being lied to.” How right he was! For the most part, even professing Christian people today love being lied to. It would seem that many people find deceit easier to digest than truth. Maybe it’s because these people lack the aforementioned virtues of honesty and courage.

Truth demands the virtue of honesty, because honesty requires that information be objectively analyzed and studied; it requires that personal prejudices and proclivities be set aside; it requires that humility replace pride, which allows one’s opinions and conduct to change in the face of truth.

Truth also demands courage, as courage is the active response to honesty. To know what is right to do is great (many people do not even know this much), but to act upon what one knows to be right is even greater–and also harder! Courage gives men the fortitude and conviction to suffer personal loss in order to be faithful to their own honesty. Courage places more value on honesty and truth than on personal prosperity or aggrandizement. Courage propelled Daniel into the lion’s den; it drove Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the burning fiery furnace; it placed a youthful David onto the battlefield alone against a fierce and ferocious adversary; it gathered Pastor Jonas Clark’s congregants (mostly farmers and merchants) onto Lexington Green to face Britain’s highly trained, professional soldiers.

So, where are the virtues of honesty and courage in the desire for truth today? Threaten the average pastor and church leader with some obscure IRS tax code and they will quickly turn their backs upon virtually every principle of truth and honor that they once professed to believe. The mere threat of potential financial loss sends men (excuse me, males) scurrying for cover.

In this regard, when then-Senator Lyndon Johnson created the heinous 501(c)3 IRS tax-exempt status for churches, he very cleverly (with assistance from Hades, I might add) planted the seeds that would grow up to intimidate the vast majority of America’s pastors and church leaders into becoming silent slaves of the state. In fact, if one has an opportunity to ever bore deeply into the matter, he or she will discover that most pastors and church leaders today do not even regard the Church as the institution of the living God, bound only to the laws and principles of God’s Holy Word; they perceive it as a creature of the state, bound to the subjective machinations of IRS bureaucrats and their toadies in the law profession. And should a choice ever have to be made between the two, God, His Word, and His Church will be thrown under the bus in preference to the state-owned corporation. So much for truth–or honesty, or courage, for that matter.

The rejection of truth seems ubiquitous in America today. When did it start? Maybe when Abraham Lincoln turned the Constitution on its head and–at bayonet point–turned republicanism into nationalism; maybe when Woodrow Wilson rejected thousands of years of human history and turned America’s sound money system over to the corrupt and illegitimate Federal Reserve; maybe when Wilson created the monstrous Internal Revenue Service; maybe when the 17th Amendment was adopted; maybe when the American media convinced people that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; maybe when the American people (including the vast majority of pastors and Christians) turned their backs (and their hearts) to the Branch Davidians, who were murdered by federal agents outside Waco, Texas; maybe when so-called “conservative” Senate Republicans deliberately chose to cover up President Bill Clinton’s criminal conduct; maybe when the powers that be began demonizing anyone who dared to question the “official” story regarding the events on 9/11/01; maybe when a vast majority of Christians and conservatives blindly followed and actively supported the unconstitutional, un-American policies of President George W. Bush. They supported Bush when he threw off Western Civilization’s time-tested Just War doctrine (and replaced it with an unconscionable Preemptive War policy), and, again, when he officially began turning America into a police state by creating the Department of Homeland Security, implementing the Military Commissions Act, introducing the Patriot Act, and dismantling Habeus Corpus and Posse Comitatus. Whenever it started, the sad reality is, America has largely become a nation of truth-rejecters.

There is a passage of Scripture that I simply must interject here: “Because they received not the love of the truth . . . God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” (II Thess. 2:10,11 KJV)

This is one of God’s universal principles: when people deliberately reject truth, God will allow them to believe lies, which always leads to ultimate destruction. I submit that is exactly where America is today. As a nation, we have rejected truth, and God is giving us over to deceit and falsehood. And what is interesting to me is the way in which many unbelievers seem to have a thirst for truth that far surpasses that of many professing Christians. This leads to an amazing paradox.

Think of it: when God is moving within a nation with His plan of truth and justice (which He is always doing), then it stands to reason that the evil one is, likewise, resisting and countering God’s plan through deceit and falsehood. This means that those unbelievers who seek truth are allying themselves with God (maybe even unwittingly), while those professing Christians who have rejected truth are allying themselves against God (again, maybe even unwittingly). Remember, God called the heathen king, Cyrus, “my shepherd.” (Isa. 44:28) But one thing is constant: truth is like a magnet: one is always being pulled toward it or away from it, depending upon the polarity of one’s heart and mind. People who embrace truth tend to embrace it further, while people who reject truth tend to be continually hardened against it.

Think of the conflicts of world and American history where brothers fought against brothers. Many of these brethren died at the hands of brethren fighting for truth, while other brethren died fighting against truth. And though men may be unable to discern the difference, God suffers from no such malady. He knows those who enable truth and those who disable it. And many of those today that are resisting and disabling truth call themselves Christians. There is another appropriate Scripture: “By their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matt. 7:20 KJV)

Again, the desire for truth is a bedrock principle of a free and independent society. We must desire truth, first, in our own hearts. We must be willing to objectively analyze our motives and actions based upon this fundamental principle. How can so many people (including professing Christians) behave so dishonestly? How can they act so cowardly? How is it that truth is only precious when it doesn’t cost us anything? How can people be so unconcerned about truth and so spiteful toward those who seek it? How can those who claim as their Savior the One is “the way, the truth, and the life” be so calloused against truth? How can those who claim to read the word of truth (the Bible) be so ignorant of truth?

Look around you: our society is breaking apart due to a lack of appreciation for truth. Small businesses are being put out of business due to a lack of truth. Families are being torn apart due to a lack of truth. Churches are filled with bitterness, carnality, envy, deceit, duplicity, false accusation, greed, and cowardice due to a lack of truth. Our political institutions mock the principles of decency and honor due to a lack of truth. The national media loves to distort truth; the federal judiciary loves to twist truth; and there is no such thing as truth to Big Business–only bottom line profits.

As we enter a new year in search of Heaven’s blessing and protection, let us remind ourselves that God always judges people who reject truth. Always! If we truly want Heaven’s blessing and protection upon our land, we will start–each of us–by being willing to seek and embrace truth, even if doing so costs us something; because, in reality, people who reject truth lose a whole lot more than whatever they had hoped to gain. Eventually, they lose, not only their own lives, but also the life of their country.

Canadian author, blogger, and philosopher Stefan Molyneux of freedomainradio.com joins the Alex Jones Show to discuss several key issues.

 

 

Obama: Not Always a Fan of Upping Debt Ceiling

While President Obama’s economic advisor Austin Goolsbee argued Sunday that a refusal by the Senate to increase the government’s debt ceiling (currently $14.3 trillion) would be “catastrophic” and a sign of “insanity,” that’s not the position the president has held in the past.

Here are Obama’s thoughts on the debt limit in 2006, when he voted against increasing the ceiling:

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.

In 2007 and in 2008, when the Senate voted to increase the limit by $850 billion and $800 billion respectively, Obama did not bother to vote. (He did vote for TARP, which increased the debt limit by $700 billion.)

Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.) told Human Events in an interview released today that the decision about the debt ceiling “needs to be a big showdown” in the Senate.

“We are going to cut [spending] necessary to stay within the current levels, which is over $14 trillion,” said DeMint.