Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Tuesdays with Paulie...Happy Birthday America!

I love a parade

This morning Shannon, the boys my parents and I marched in the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park under the Republican Jewish Coalition banner. While we were waiting for the parade to start, I noticed the variety of politicians, activist groups, social clubs, local religious leaders and entertainers participating in the event. It hit me that nothing describes what America is all about more than an Independence day parade.

Marching directly behind my group (RJC) was the political campaign of socialist Democrat Dan Seals, ahead of my group was an African American Drum brigade. Nearby was a group from the Bahai faith, a state representative campaign, women's club and a law enforcement organization. A country that was built on the principals of freedom, celebrates her birthday by practicing what she preaches by letting everyone and anyone take part in wishing her well.

God Bless America! Happy 230, you don't look a day over 229

Paulie

7 Comments:

At 7/05/2006 10:19 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"socialist Democrat Dan Seals"? I haven't heard that kind of idiotic attack since Birchers were checking under their beds for communists in the early 1960s.

Seals is a marketing executive at General Electric, a notorious incubator of socialist politicians. Like Reagan.

2 questions:
1) as a self-described Jewish Republican, how does it feel to belong to a party whose leaders regard the U.S. to be a "Christian nation"? I refer, of course, to the 2004 and 2006 platforms of the Texas Republican party, the president's home party.

2) what's the difference between the current Republican party and fascism? Seriously. Eisenhower, Dirksen, and even Goldwater wouldn't have anything to do with the clowns now governing under the GOP banner.

 
At 7/05/2006 9:49 PM , Blogger Paulie said...

Thank you anonymous for your comments, pro or con all feedback is appreciated.

Regarding your initial dismay of referring to Seals as a Socialist Democrat, his website is pretty clear that he is a bigger government/high taxation kind of guy. He also wouldn't be a pawn of Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky if he wasn't. I didn't mean for the comment to be a jab, I believe most of his supporters would not only agree with the description they would welcome it. We are talking about Northshore suburban Dems.

As to your first question: Considering that America is 85-90% Christian, callling America a Christian country is not only not offensive, but accurate. If you are a "Progressive Democrat", I'm sure you hate religion all together especially Christianity.

You of course are referring to the President, who undoubtedly is the best friend Israel and American Jews ever had. You are also talking about the political party whose leader (Ken Mehlman) is Jewish compared to the Democratic leader who thinks Jimmy Carter is a friend of Israel and Hamas aren't terrorists, but freedom fighters. I won't even begin to talk about cabinet and high profile positions President Bush has entrusted to Jews. You also forget that GOP leaders such as Mark Kirk, Eric Kantor and Rick Santorum are the elected officials fighting anti-Semitism, especially when it's mandated by the UN. Meanwhile Democrats such as Jim Moran, Jesse Jackson Jr. and Cynthia McKinney are blatant anti-Semites. I should add the Illinois governor to that list.

As to your second question, It's so ludicrous it doesn't deserve an answer. I willleave you with a few thoughts to ponder. If your idiotic question stems from the GOP efforts fighting terrorism, remember that FDR forfitted our civil liberties 100 fold compared to Bush. If you think we are not in a world war, then keep hiding behind the NY Times while your at Starbucks.

 
At 7/07/2006 9:54 AM , Anonymous Joe said...

"Anonymous" tries to imply that Dan Seals is closer to Reagan, Ike, Dirksen, and Goldwater than the current GOP leadership.

Yet Mr. Seals on his website calls for a National Health Insurance program: http://www.dansealsforcongress.com/issues/health_care.php

I don't think any of these fine Republicans would even touch that dangerous idea which would certainly fall under the definition of socialism to me.

 
At 7/07/2006 11:04 AM , Blogger Paulie said...

Joe,

Couldn't agre with you more. Thank you for having the character to post a comment with your name attached. People are welcome to make anonymous comments, but placing your name at the beginning or end of your comment adds credibility.

 
At 7/09/2006 1:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, Paulie, I'm the one who posted as Anonymous. My name is Moshe. Happy?

For the record, I grew up in Highland Park and have lived there or the north side of Chicago for more than 50 years. Graduated from HPHS. Bar Mitzvah at Beth El. I’m a North Shore suburban Dem, and I know many others, and I can tell you we don’t agree at all with your “description” of Seals as a socialist, much less welcome it. We see your so-called description for what it is, an attack entirely unsupported by facts. Before Seals went to work for GE, he earned graduate degrees at those radical left hotbeds, SAIS at Hopkins and the U of C business school. Oddly enough, it’s Kirk who studied at LSE, which really is a socialist bastion. Has been for at least 50 years.

You refer to socialist content on Seals’ web site, but don’t provide any citations. Democrats are card-carrying member of the reality-based community. We prefer facts to blind so here’s the entire section where he addresses the size of government and taxes:

“Reducing the Budget Deficit
“Our nation went from record surplus to a huge deficit in no time flat - and that was before the war in Iraq and the devastation of Katrina, both of which have forced even more borrowing. Indeed, we are borrowing about $60 billion a month from China, South Korea, Japan, and other foreign countries just to make ends meet. Our president has never vetoed a spending bill and has actually outspent every president since LBJ. Why should you care? There are at least three reasons.

“First, ceding some of our fiscal sovereignty to other nations weakens our influence abroad. It is more difficult to take a hard line with a country when you owe it money.

“Second, when the government has to borrow money, interest rates are forced up. That makes it more expensive for us to pay off car loans, student loans, credit card bills, etc. The extra interest acts like a tax hike on the entire economy.

“Third, there are no free lunches. Sooner or later, we will have to pay off the debt. That means spending cuts or tax hikes in the future. So deficits don't just hurt the economy now, they also hurt it in the future.

“Reducing the deficit won't be easy or popular. Being responsible rarely is. But it is the right thing to do.”

Some socialist. Sounds more like Everett Dirksen.

I caught Kirk’s act at a rare public appearance at a senior center in Northfield last winter. After struggling to deal with questions about the Medicare drug program, he finally shrugged his shoulders, and said, with an unforgettable grin on his face, “sometimes you vote for a bad bill.” Massive new federal program, with controls over vendors so lax even Halliburton is envious. Some conservative. Some leader.

Yes, Schakowski encouraged Seals to run in a district adjacent to hers within a large metropolitan area. Where’s your evidence that this makes him her pawn? Democrats call this party building. Perhaps if Kirk had shown similar leadership, you wouldn’t have put up that freak (two, actually) for the U.S. Senate. I was embarrassed as an Illinoisan to see that this is what the party of Dirksen, Michel, Percy, Ogilvie, Thompson, and LINCOLN had become. Kirk’s voting record shows who’s been pulling his strings: there’s more than an 85% correlation with Tom DeLay. When the exterminator had to step down to stand trial on multiple felony charges, Kirk immediately and publicly supported Roy Blunt, DeLay’s handpicked lieutenant for majority leader. Party building for this generation of Republicans, apparently, is more about preserving the corrupt K Street Project in all its many variations.

Separation of church & state not only protects state from church, it also protects church from state. No one who considers Faith seriously is impressed by the religiosity of compulsory prayer. What is impressive to some, however, is acquiring power to force others to worship according to their dictates.

I doubt you’ve actually bothered to read the platform planks in question. I suggest you do. Here they are, with the critical passages on p. 21: http://www.texasgop.org/site/DocServer/2006_Plat_with_TOC.final.pdf?docID=2042

When the Texas Republicans passed the same plank two years ago, I notified the American Jewish Committee, the group that subsidizes Norman Podhoretz’s access to a printing press and by no means a group of flaming liberals. Here’s the letter from the president and executive director to the TX-GOP chair, cc to then RNC chair Ed Gillespie:

“We write to express our concern regarding the recent adoption of a platform plank by the Texas Republican Party at its convention in Austin in which the United States is declared to be a “Christian nation” and which refers to the “myth of the separation of church and state.”

“As with the country as a whole, Texas is a highly diverse state with citizens of every religion, ethnicity and race, and it thrives on both the complexity of its citizenry and the democratic values of its political structure. As such, platforms such as the one approved at your state convention are troublesome. Political conventions, whether they be Democratic or Republican, should represent the very best of our democratic tradition, which insists on inclusiveness and a respect for our Constitution.

“As the courts have clear, even when they disagree as to what separation of church and state may entail, the First Amendment’s twin guarantees of religious freedom and church-state separation ensure that Americans of all faiths and of no faith can live as their consciences dictate. We believe that respecting these constitutional mandates is the surest way to avoid division in our pluralistic society and to assure that the government favors no particular religion.

“It is our hope that the Texas Republican Party will retract this problematic language from its platform and strive to guarantee that Texas remains a welcome place for people of all religious backgrounds.”

Neither Republican could be bothered even to reply. Remember that the next time they ask you for a contribution.

If this seems too hypothetical, You might want to read the reports of chronic religious harassment at the Air Force Academy. I won’t quibble with your estimate that 85%-90% of the population identifies itself as Christian, but I will note that the religious bullies have a very specific idea of what constitutes Christian faith, and it doesn’t even extend across all Protestant denominations. The Lutheran chaplain blew the whistle on the Fundies at the AFA. A lawsuit has been filed by a Jewish cadet’s father, himself an AFA alumnus. This isn’t some backwater bureau tucked away in the Commerce Dept. AFA graduates command one of the largest budgets in the federal government and control the most powerful weapons on the planet.

Dean’s wife is Jewish; they’re raising the children as Jews. Carter mediated negotiations that led to a durable peace between Israel and its most powerful neighbor. Bush invaded and occupied an Arab country on false pretenses and against the counsel of the top advisers from his party’s previous administration, men who had successfully prosecuted a very different war against the same regime. He has sanctioned torture for Muslim captives without any kind of procedure meeting minimal standards to determine if a captive is a terrorist or simply someone denounced by a neighbor to settle an old score. Israel doesn’t lack enemies and it certainly doesn’t need friends like Bush.

The U.N. is a messy place, like the world at large, and it provides a multitude of opportunities for empty suits like Kirk to score cheap points on anti-Semitism. No doubt, both parties have individuals of dubious character. The problem with the Texas Republicans is that they’ve institutionalized policies that lead to Jews being marginalized as second-class citizens. In the mid-’60s I watched proudly as the Democratic party kicked out the Klan culture racists and anti-Semites. Those bigots and terrorists were welcomed into the GOP.

You’re comfortable accusing Seals of being a socialist, yet respond with nothing more than inarticulate bluster when asked to distinguish modern conservativism from fascism. Reninds me of a schoolyard bully who runs as soon as someone stands up to him.

Bullying, of course, is one of fascism’s touchstones. Then there’s the personality cult built around the leader (“the President, who undoubtedly is the best friend Israel and American Jews ever had” is straight out of The Manchurian Candidate) and unprecedented concentration of power in the executive. Even Pete Hoekstra is alarmed by surveillance programs he didn’t know about, much less exercised oversight over. Nativism. Tight relationship between party and corporate leaders, a la the K Street Project. Contempt for science & intellectual rigor. Yes, you do have a fascism problem.

When the WSJ and the LAT publish essentially the same story at the same time as the NYT but only the NYT is accused of disloyalty, it’s a good bet anti-Semitism played a part in the decision to focus the anti-press campaign on the Jewish owned paper.

I don’t hate religion at all, and you certainly had absolutely no reason to believe that I do. In fact, I took nearly enough classes in the philosophy of religion to qualify for an undergraduate major in the subject. Only a few days ago I lent to a friend a favorite book on comparative religion written by a Christian philosopher-theologian. On my living room wall is a Blake etching based on the Canterbury Tales, a religious pilgrimage, alongside a reproduction of a Durer woodcut of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a scene drawn from the Bible. I played in bands that performed gospel music, and my music collection includes Gregorian chants, African-American spirituals, masses, Bach & Handel, Buddhist religious music, and of course, klezmer and Jewish liturgical music.

I demand an apology to me and to Dan Seals.

 
At 7/09/2006 6:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder why if you are so worried about large government, you say nothing about infringements of the 1st, 4th, 5th and 10th amendments by your republican friends. Why are you not concerned with warrantless wiretapping on Americans and pressure exerted on the press to withhold stories? Why are you not concerned with government setting up shop in our computers, on our phones and in our bedrooms? You guys forgot how to be conservatives except for the conservation of money for for the extremely rich. As our Constitution slowly dies it will be the minorites who will suffer first and the most. Viruluent anti-semitism is already taking hold amoung the right wingers and hate crimes becoming more frequent. Concerned about Israel? You are allowing the right wingers to use Israel for their own ends and isolate it from the rest of the world to keep their scam going. They don't give a flying fig about Israel or Jews and many of them laughed when New York was hit by terrorists because of their strange anti-semitic perception that NYC is mostly Jewish. You are contributing to your own problems. Why am I concerned? Because I love this country and I am Jewish as well. People like you are going to be the death of us all.

 
At 7/09/2006 8:11 PM , Blogger Paulie said...

Moshe,

I feel sorry for you. You obviously are a typical old time Chicago Democrat who has been unable to accept the fact that the modern day Democratic Party is no longer the party of FDR, JFK and Scoop Jackson. You grew up believing the three greatest evils in the world were the Tribune company, Republican Party and Nazism and not necessarily in that order. Believe me I know, my parents were once the same as you, but they realize the Democratic Party wears a different face today.

Don't you dare mention your Jewish heritage in the same commentary that you defend Jimmy Carter and Howard Dean. Carter played a major role in the treaty between Egypt and Israel, but since that glorious moment, he has been nothing but an unfair critic of Israel and sympathetic toward Palestinians terrorism. Even as far as to defend Hamas and publicly condemn Israel, US and the world from witholding money from a government unwilling to recongnize Israel's right to exist and is funded by Iran. He is also no where to be found when Palestians target civilians, but the first to criticize Israel when they target terrorist leaders. Read this article regarding your favorite anti-Israel President http://www.americanthinker.com/articles.php?article_id=5518&search=jimmy

I don't give a damn if Howard Dean is married to a Jew and is letting her raise the kids Jewish. I don't believe he is anti-Semite, but he sure isn't a friend to Israel and that is the leader of your party. You conveniently forget about the anti-Israel, blame Israel rhetoric that has overtaken your party's "Progressive Wing". Your blessed Jan Schakowsky, Chuck Schumer and every other Jewish Democrats put their heads in the sand when Jim Moran, Fritz Hollings or most of the Democratic Black Caucus blames American Jews for the war in Iraq. Educate your self and read a few articles about your Democratic friends. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/16/AR2005061601570.html
and
http://www.infoisrael.net/cgi-local/text.pl?source=4/b/viii/280220065

Regarding your disdain for the Texas GOP, I strongly urge you stop being so concerned about Texas and be more worry about your Democratic governor who appoints blatant Jew-haters to a panel on hate crimes. His garbage excuse that Muhammad didn't make the comments, but then refuses to ask her to repudiate the hateful comments of Farrakhan, is Blago saying F.U. to the Jewish community. Why should he care, to many Jews like yourself excuse anti-Semitism by Democrats and blindly vote for any candidate with a (D) next to their name.

I have been on the forefront of criticizing the fiscal irresponsibility of Bush and the GOP congress, if you read old postings you will see that. However, your buddy Seals is using scare tactics with his deficit rhetoric. The fact is the deficit comtinues to drastically decrease and he conveniently forgets about an event I know you forgot about, 9/11 which had a devastating effect on the economy, but with tax cuts and capitalism we have overcome. Read this an educate yourself.www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13172416/

You claim that the Dems kicked out the Klan and the bigots in the 1960's, but there goes Robert Byrd being admired by your party faithful and of course we can't forget Jesse Jackson and the Democratic Black Caucus who are so friendly to Jews and Israel. Were is this large group of hate mongers you speak of in the GOP. I'm sure your referring to people who call themselves Christians. I may not always agree with them and do believe many have a problem separating Church and State, but hate is word coming from people who are the ones who truly hate.

As far as an apology, you should be apologizing to Mark Kirk. No man has been a better friend to Israel or the Jewish Community than Mark Kirk. All these politicians attending events for Seals have been silent as anti-Semitism grows in the Democratic Party. It's sad when Jews have to depend on Christians for help because fellow Jews run away from the problem.

BTW, if you honestly believe the complaints against the NYT is based in anti-Semitism than you need to check your paranoia at the door when you are trying to think rationally.

 

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