sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

June 29, 2011

John Lennon: A Closet Republican?

Filed under: politics, society — Tags: , , , , , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 5:01 pm

That’s according to his former personal assistant:

John Lennon was a closet Republican, who felt a little embarrassed by his former radicalism, at the time of his death – according to the tragic Beatles star’s last personal assistant.

Fred Seaman worked alongside the music legend from 1979 to Lennon’s death at the end of 1980 and he reveals the star was a Ronald Reagan fan who enjoyed arguing with left-wing radicals who reminded him of his former self.

In new documentary Beatles Stories, Seaman tells filmmaker Seth Swirsky Lennon wasn’t the peace-loving militant fans thought he was while he was his assistant.

He says, “John, basically, made it very clear that if he were an American he would vote for Reagan because he was really sour on (Democrat) Jimmy Carter.

“He’d met Reagan back, I think, in the 70s at some sporting event… Reagan was the guy who had ordered the National Guard, I believe, to go after the young (peace) demonstrators in Berkeley, so I think that John maybe forgot about that… He did express support for Reagan, which shocked me.

“I also saw John embark in some really brutal arguments with my uncle, who’s an old-time communist… He enjoyed really provoking my uncle… Maybe he was being provocative… but it was pretty obvious to me he had moved away from his earlier radicalism.

Imagine all the people watching John Lennon shake hands with President Reagan.  Nancy is smiling upon them and Yoko is not in the picture because John divorced the pretentious loathsome fiend.  The most important rock star of all time is a Republican!  If only he weren’t dead.  Something like that.

Lennon was an amazing musician, and pretty darn smart for one.  He wrote songs like “Imagine” that are incredibly naive when taken at face value, which is why fans are advised against taking them at face value.  “Imagine” sounds like jingly heroin music.  As far as jingly heroin music goes, it’s a pretty good example:

Mark Steyn noted that real life John Lennon gave money to the IRA, a nationalist religious terrorist organization.  So much for “imagine no country… no religion… nothing to kill or die for”.  Albert Goldman made a convincing case that John Lennon was a manipulative grandstanding junkie.  He wanted his fans’ money, he loved the attention, he felt a need to justify his addiction.  Being in the Fab Four certainly messes up with one’s head, but Lennon was effed up to start with.

He was a misogynist, too, and it’s amazing that feminists gave him a pass on lyrics like “Well, I’d rather see you dead, little girl.  Than to be with another man.”

The Beatle was not without a practical side.  He knew, for instance, a fellow manipulator when he saw one.  To wit, “Sexy Sadie” was written about the Maharishi.

Good song.

I’m not going to make much out of dead rock star’s final political preferences.  I’m sure in his middle age he felt embarrassed by the politics of his youth, but I kind of doubt he ever developed a coherent political ideology.  He got a rise out of irritating his servant’s uncle — what else is new!  A few pop stars did swing to the right in the 80s — together with everyone else.  Lennon was attuned enough to be onto this trend.  In the 90s, though, Lennon would probably be a Clinton fan, and in the following decade he’d be screaming off the top of his lungs about “this illegal war”.  It’s easy, very easy if you try to imagine Lennon boycotting Israel today.  No doubt he’d be headlining Obama stumps in 08.  It’s perfectly possible that he’d sour on him by now because John Lennon was a rock star, and rock stars are flakes (except for one, but he’s more in the widely known in narrow circles category).  The beauty of dead rock stars, though, is that they can to be anything we want them to be.  So whatever you do, don’t rush to buy  any John Lennon solo albums; your money will go to Yoko.


June 28, 2011

Freedom of Expression, Gay Culture and Jihad Against Abercombie

Filed under: society, taste — Tags: , , , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 2:16 pm

Back when I worked retail I wore black head to toe.  Popular 90s wisdom held that if a young woman wants to work retail, she needs to visit a make up counter of a nearby department store, preferably a Mac counter, and copy the salesgirls’ look.  They were all girls there, even the boys.  So yeah, the Mac counter was no Middle America.  I’m not sure what it looks like now (hey, I’m a busy mom!) but in the 90s no blonds were not allowed there save a rare tint of platinum.

mac ad

Ru Paul modeling for Mac.

Actually, no, all salesgirls didn’t have to look Mac, with it’s mesh and leather and what not, but we looked secular, severe and sufficiently air-headed to convince the customers that they are on top of the trends.  Foreign accents helped, especially if used to describe how certain garments ought to be worn.

And now for reasons not at all obvious (or maybe too obvious) a religious Muslim woman wants to work at a store that has this on its front page:

Abercombie half nude
Decadent displays are an Abercrombie specialty.

And she wants to work there badly:

A former stockroom worker [all new Abercrombie hires probably start in stock room, — ed.] for Abercrombie & Fitch Co. sued the clothing retailer in federal court Monday, saying she was illegally fired after refusing to remove her Muslim headscarf while on the job.

Hani Khan said a manager at the company’s Hollister Co. store at the Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo hired her while she was wearing her hijab. The manager said it was OK to wear it as long as it was in company colors, Khan said.

Four months later [when they might have to promote her to salesgirl, — ed.], the 20-year-old says a district manager and human resources manager asked if she could remove the hijab while working, and she was suspended and then fired for refusing to do so.

Hani, of course, is not the only Muslim taking the retailer to court:

In 2009, Samantha Elauf, who was 17 at the time, filed a federal lawsuit in Tulsa, Okla., alleging the company rejected her for a job because she was wearing a hijab.

The EEOC filed another lawsuit for the same reason, saying the company denied work to a hijab-wearing woman who applied for a stocking position in 2008 at an Abercrombie Kids store at the Great Mall in Milpitas, Calif.

Why pick on Abercrombie?  It might be that hijabed women applied to other stores and worked without incident.  Abercrombie could be the only company that dared to keep women in headgear off the sales floor, but it’s also an easy target because it was in trouble before:
Abercrombie has been the target of numerous discrimination lawsuits, including a federal class action brought by black, Hispanic and Asian employees and job applicants that was settled for $40 million in 2004. The company admitted no wrongdoing, though it was forced to implement new programs and policies to increase diversity.
And “increase diversity” they did:

Abercrombie defended its record in a comment provided to The Associated Press, saying diversity in its stores “far exceeds the diversity in the population of the United States.”

“We comply with the law regarding reasonable religious accommodation, and we will continue to do so,” said Rocky Robbins, the company’s general counsel. “We are confident that when this matter is tried, a jury will find that we have fully complied with the law.”

Plaintiffs understand that the company has an aesthetic:

“Abercrombie prides itself on requiring what it calls a natural classic American style. But there’s nothing American about discriminating against someone because of their religion,” said Araceli Martinez-Olguin, an attorney with the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center.

Oh, Araceli.  You are the one who said “style”.  I know plenty of people who wouldn’t hire a white religious Christian not because he dresses any different, because he doesn’t, but because he’s a white religious Christian and their values clash.  Gosh, I don’t know, maybe it does create a better work environment.  Abercrombie, on the other hand, does not reject employees because of their religion but because of their look.
Look, the company wants to create an atmosphere in its stores, and it’s rather invasive to tell them how to do it.  When Abercrombie goes for a natural American classic, they think of versatile sportswear and beach-toned bodies.  It’s a secular look and an American tradition.  Like all other styles it’s discriminatory because it includes some cuts, colors and articles of clothing and excludes others.
If Araceli Martinez-Olguin sees a natural American classic exclusively through the lenses of multiculturalism, she can create a look that incorporates parts of national costumes from around the world.  In this case she should open her own store and sell that particular look, which, by the way, will do more good to society than taking people to court.  So please don’t interfere with other people’s creative process.
As for Hani Khan, she’s hardly a poster child for religious Muslim sales force.  Not to get catty or anything, but San Mateo is out in the boonies.  I doubt a San Francisco store would hire a lady with ethnicy make up like hers.  Hani, you need to visit a Mac counter and let the homosexuals teach you how to do the smokey eye.  Otherwise you are just not going to intimidate me into buying a dress.  Sorry to put it this way, but I’m just trying to give you the management’s point of view.
Hani Khan
A new Abercrombie sales girl?

Gay people who pretty much had the fashion industry to themselves since the 90s need to watch this case closely.  Care to guess where Hani stands on gay marriage?

June 27, 2011

Anti-Gun Agenda Placement in “Parents” Magazine?

Filed under: parenting, politics — Tags: , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 11:58 am

First I hear about Obama’s “under the radar” work on gun control, then about the 2nd Amendment implications of the gunwalker scandal and a Florida prohibition on physicians asking questions about gun ownership (via Instapundit), which my HMO does, of course.  So it looks like we are re-fighting the right to bear arms once again.

Parents magazine (published by Meredith Corp., circulation 2 million) runs a monthly q&a column titled Judy on Duty.  The July installment was headlined by the following question:

How do you ask a parent who’s invited your kid over for a playdate if there’s a gun in the house?  I don’t want to come across like a rude freak or anything.

Drawing a Blank

Judy answered:

Dear Blank,

I admire you for getting fired up to have this conversation.  There are guns in 40 percent of homes with young children, and the weapons are loaded and accessible to kids in about half of those homes, according to Parents advisor Gary A. Smith, M.D., Dr.P.H., director for Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in Columbus, Ohio.  He suggests using this script to make it less awkward: “I have a question that I ask all parents when Kyle goes to a new person’s house.  Do you have any guns in your home, and if you do, are they stored unloaded and locked in a separate location?  Kyle is so curious, and I worry that he wouldn’t recognize the potential danger if he came across a weapon.”

I suggest an alternative answer:

Dear Blank,

Who are those friends of yours that leave their unlocked loaded guns within their children’s reach?  One thing that parenting taught me is trust my gut.  If I get the vibe that another person’s house is not a safe place for my kids, stay away.  Whether or not they own an Uzi is irrelevant.

hot chicks with guns

...Speaking of which. Although those look like M16s, I do think Rachel Papo is a great photographer.

Furthermore, I don’t understand why you are concerned specifically about guns and not, say, prescription medication left within your child’s reach.  A well-known fact is worth rehashing here: swimming pools are far more dangerous for kids than guns.  How dangerous are guns?  Dr. Reynolds, who is probably not Glenn Reynolds we all know and love, did the math: “[I am] looking at all 26 countries there were 1107 [gun] deaths total [occurred] over 43 years in kids younger than 15. A staggering 957(86%) of those deaths occurred in the US. Of those, only 22% were accidental. Remember, though, that this is a tally over 43 years. So if you do the math 957 x 22% = 210 accidental deaths in the US over 43 years or roughly 5 accidental deaths per year in the U.S. from a firearm. There are an estimated 44 million households in the U.S. with firearms, and thus letting your child play at little Timmy’s house gives him about a 1 in ten million chance of dying there from an accidental gunshot wound (roughly the same risk as being struck by lightning). This is undeniably tragic for those 5 kids and their families each year – but not quite the public health epidemic you might think.”  No reason to include firearm ownership on your playdate safety checklist.

hot chick with gun

That's an Uzi.

In the event you still decide to talk about guns with your associates, I recommend against following Dr. Smith’s script — unless you want to sound like a rude freak, that is.  When you say that your kid is “curious” you are implying that hers is incurious and stupid.

Bottom line: When you quiz your neighbors about firearm ownership, you violate their privacy.

I want to know if Drawing a Blank is a real person.  At my last job we wrote a monthly q&a column for a small paper.  We had to make up most of the questions because we rarely got any from readers.  We thought about what interests people in our community, kept them updated about recent developments in our area of expertise and from time to time advertised our services.  If our Director wanted us to address a specific issue, we’d write about that, too.  All real questions were answered because they were real and because readers came up with more interesting questions.

DH notes that he can’t imagine what kind of person would ask the gun question.  There are areas in this country where people own guns, and areas where people don’t own guns.  Here in deep blue Bay Area it is assumed that other parents are some sort of pacifists, and the question never comes up.  In red states and counties people know that the chances of gun injury are negligible, so, I assume, the question never comes up.

Parents magazine certainly has a political angle, and they are huge fans of BO and his wifie.  The same July issue, for instance, featured The Hunger House by Virginia Sole-Smith.  In it, Mrs. Sole-Smith said:

President Obama pledged to end childhood hunger in America by 2015.  The most concrete action to come from that pledge to date is the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which will expand the federal school-lunch program to provide healthy free or reduced-priced breakfasts, lunches and suppers to more low income students.

Must reelect.  Now, I’m not going to discuss the issue of hungry kids in need of low calorie diet and Michelle Obama’s guidance.  I’m just going to observe that Parent’s last page, a feature called Bloopers, page typically contains too many cute utterances by suspiciously verbal two-year olds.

kalashnikov picture

Good 'ol AK47. Back in the USSR we had to shoot them in high school. Not real bullets, of course.

Mommy magazines tend to rotate content.  With predictable regularity they publish articles about milestones, family vacation spots or what it means to eat for two.  In my four plus years of reading mommy magazines I never read anything about gun ownership, and now all of a sudden Judy on Duty, who usually talks about in-law issues, wants us “fired up” about it.

I have no proof, of course, that there is some sort of a White House conspiracy to shape the content of this family publication.  On the other hand I assume that every onesie and mobile that appeared on the pages of the good socialist magazine was placed by company agreement, so why not assume that Parent’s political agenda is affected in a similar manner?  While product placement is smart business, agenda placement does seem a bit underhanded.

kids guns

June 23, 2011

More About Yelena Bonner

Filed under: politics, Russia — Tags: , — edge of the sandbox @ 9:42 pm

A few days ago I wrote a post about passing away of a Yelena Bonner, a Soviet human rights activist and a wife of Nobel Prize laureate Andrei Sakharov.  I noted that most obituaries are a bit lacking, but here is a very good one by Cathy Young, another Russian emigre:

There was a time when moral giants walked the earth. One of them, Soviet dissident Elena Bonner — widow of the great physicist and human rights activist Andrei Sakharov — left us on Sunday at the age of 88. A model of courage and principle, Bonner was one of my heroes from the days when I was a teenager in the Soviet Union and my parents listened to news of Sakharov and Bonner on banned foreign radio broadcasts. She was also a personal hero I had the privilege to meet: Four years ago, we had a long talk at Bonner’s apartment in Brookline, Mass., when I interviewed her for a feature for the Weekly Standard.

A devoted partner to her husband, Bonner was much more than his helpmate. A former World War II army nurse, the daughter of a father executed in Stalin’s purges and a mother who endured 10 years in the Gulag camps, Bonner was already active in Soviet Russia’s budding human rights movement when she met Sakharov in 1970. Her influence likely helped radicalize his opposition to the Soviet regime.

After their marriage in 1972, Bonner became the Kremlin propaganda machine’s scapegoat for Sakharov’s scandalous fall from grace as a top Soviet scientist. She was attacked, with blatantly anti-Semitic and misogynist overtones, as a wily Zionist and a gold-digging seductress. Bonner remained unbowed. In the 1980s, she served as her husband’s link to the world during his exile in the town of Gorky, until she herself was forced to share that exile.

Read the whole thing.  Young talks of Bonner’s activism after the death of Sakharov and the couple’s legacy.

And moms (and dads) if your children are assigned to write a report about an outstanding woman, why not suggest Yelena Bonner?

June 21, 2011

Goverment Dogs

Filed under: society — Tags: , — edge of the sandbox @ 6:20 pm

This article about a DC anarchist dog-walking collective called Brighter Days comes by the way of Political Junkie Mom, who should charge me a research fee, who found it on  Kathryn Lopez’s blog.

Why would anyone trust his dog to an anarchist is beyond me.  It took us, college kids, a few days after starting Berkeley to figure out that punks on Telegraph Ave smoke out their dogs.

berkeley, ca

Telegraph Ave “kids” and their extra mellow canine. Presumably that’s dirty “bad” anarchists, whereas Brighter Days collective are clean “good” anarchists.

Plus, anarchists have a well-documented habit of bringing their dogs to the frontlines.

This one is from Athens, Greece where people were killed in recent riots.

Anarchists are known for applying their lofty political theories to their canine companions.  When DH was touring Europe, he has the misfortune to play in squats.  In one such squat anarchists brought their dogs to see the show, and the dogs, which were quite large, started to fight.  DH’s drummer asked their hosts to stop the fighting dogs, to which they replied that the dogs need to learn to sort things out themselves. 

On the subject of anthropomorphizing dogs, since many anarchists are vegans, is it ethical for them to demand veganism of canines?  Methinks it’s reasonable to suspect that the anarchist dog walkers will attempt to feed carrots to their client’s child surrogates.

And yet somehow the anarchist dog-walking collective in DC is grossing money.  What makes them a collective is that all decisions have to be unanimous — which is not an effective way of running a business.  Neither is distributing profit equally, which they claim to do.  Dog walking can be a lucrative operation, paying anywhere from $50 to $200 an hour, and grossing an individual walker as much as $200,000 a year.  According to the article, Brighter Days earned 250K last year.  Looking at the pictures of a collective’s meeting, I counted seven members.  Presuming each one worked a full year in 2010, I calculate that every member made just under 36K.  Not exactly a spectacular success.

I’m not sure why a seven-employee dog-walking business needs to hold weekly meetings, unless it’s an anarchist dog-walking enterprise.  Because anarchists are the kind of annoying, boring people who are obsessed with meetings, rules and regulations.  The free spirits would have a meeting about how to clean a refrigerator, and develop procedures and post them on said refrigerator.  It won’t get cleaned, of course, so another meeting will be commenced.

A founding member explains the pitfalls of running an anarchist business:

A founding member explains:

Stephens left Brighter Days after a bitter falling-out with the collective’s other members. “I think these people felt like stripping away the bosses and stripping away the hierarchy was a way of minimizing obligation,” he says. “It became evident that it was becoming a tool for people to have slacker lives, and I didn’t want that.”

So did Stephens learn from his Brighter Days fiasco or is he an unreformable loser?

Stephens went on to start a second anarchist dog-walking collective that encompasses Washington, Baltimore and New York, where he now lives. Members of the new collective don’t get to participate in decision-making for a year while they take a course in animal behavior and study texts on cooperative business management, the politics of revolution and alternative economics.

Dictator for a year, he.

Washington posts mentions a few dilemmas facing an an anarchist business:

If you oppose the idea of a state, should you pay taxes? Is it ethically sound to care for the animals of professionals while they are at work at institutions such as the International Monetary Fund? And if you don’t believe in corporations, should you buy health insurance from one?

IMF employees trust anarchists with keys to their houses?  It gets better:

In the beginning, when Stephens fielded the calls from Hill staffers, lawyers and bureaucrats who needed dog walkers, he would always take time to describe the collective’s mission, how it was employee-owned and their generous benefits, he said.

“Nine times out of ten, the answer I got back from people was, ‘Can I come work for you?’ ” Stephens says. “There is no better endorsement of anarchist politics than that.”

No, it’s not an endorsement of anarchist politics.  It’s a condemnation of the federal government in its current reincarnation.  In fact, anarchism and federal bureaucracy are birds of a feather.  Somebody should make a movie about a love affair between a federal government employee and an anarchist.  She: a lawyer and a first college grad in her family.  Hails from a red state and works for a Democratic Senator.  Ticking biological clock.  He: a trust-fund baby and a dog-walker from a liberal family of hereditary anarchists.  Will end up as a stay-at-home dad.

These days anarchy is all about big government.  American anarchists consistently support presidential candidates, like Nader and Obama, who promise dramatic expansion of the federal government.  They are in awe of Europe, where anarchists live on the dole.  They dream up ways to transfer taxpayer’s wealth to themselves; Jello Biafra, for instance, is on record proposing state subsidize of punk bands.  The US anarchists settle in localities, such as Berkeley or New York, known for meddling municipal government.  When they move to the free states of Pacific North-West, they grow government there.

Bureaucrats and anarchists have similar goals.  Both wish to engineer a perfect society via government intervention along the lines of Nader’s car safety regulations and welfare for all.  In fact, the two groups need each other.  Richard Fernandez explains that anarchists are cannon fodder in European intra-left battles:

Rectification is not an electrical term. On the Left it means “power struggle” or purge. In the beginning it will take exactly the form we are witnessing now [this essay was written immediately after murderous riots in Greece]:  a signaling exercise on the Left ostensibly directed at the mythical right but essentially aimed at sending a message to leftist politicians and semi-respectable activists that they haven’t been militant enough. It is an open political letter from one faction to the other. In the case of Greece the message is simple. Keep spending, the hell with austerity. The warnings to get clear of bombs suggests the “anarchists” still regard their targets as broadly fraternal, but the subsequent real explosions say their forbearance will not last forever unless the moderate left gets serious. The USA Today article continued, “”Anarchists-insurrectionists work to try to raise the level of clashes when there are problems’ said Marco Boschi, a criminologist who teaches a course on terrorism at the University of Florence”.  The anarchists themselves are ineffectual but provide the symbols around which the larger Left can rally.

In short, anarchists are there to keep more moderate lefties honest.  Bureaucrats, for their part, dole out the goodies.  Government people might be intrigued by anarchists’ exoticism and apparent dedication to the cause.  A bureaucrat may feel that she compromised too much on the road to government expansion.  Anarchy reminds her of the Utopian dreams she had when she first entered government service.  Anarchists might talk a good talk of individual autonomy, but it all comes back to his “right” to play and smoke weed.  So he needs somebody to take care of him.

A proper article about anarchists must involve some sort of a gross-out, so here it is:

“I might be one of the grossest ones with it because I don’t really use bags,” Miller [one of the members] says. He prefers to grab a piece of litter from the street for environmental reasons.

“Occasionally, I’ll get it on my hands or under a nail,” he says while hurling just such a package into a street garbage can. “If anything, I think it boosts my immune system.”

If anyone is wondering what kind of Utopian future anarchists have in mind, here it is: picking up dog excrement with bare hands.  One might think it’s crazy talk, but it might just be that Miller is a harbinger of our future.  Maybe he’ll get his government clients to legislate it.

Yelena Bonner, RIP

Filed under: Israel, politics, Russia — Tags: , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 2:34 pm

Yelena Bonner was Soviet human rights activist and wife of Nobel Price laureate Andrei Sakhorov.  She passed away last Sunday, June 19th.  Mainstream obituaries highlight her heroic opposition to Soviet brutality:

Bonner’s life revolved around the political struggles that characterized the Soviet Union in the 20th century. She joined forces with Sakharov in the early 1970’s.

Bonner was born in 1923 in Turkmenistan into a family of prominent Communist Party officials, according to a biography posted on Harvard University’s website. Her father was killed in Stalin’s purges during the “Great Terror” of the late 1930s, and her mother was interned in a gulag for 10 years.

Bonner was twice wounded during World War II while serving as a nurse for the Soviet military. She became a physician after the war.

She married Sakharov, known for his work on the development of the atomic bomb for the Soviet Union, in 1972, according to the Andrei Sakharov Foundation website.

Following his work on the atomic bomb, Sakharov began publishing writings critical of Soviet politics.

Bonner followed Sakharov into exile in Gorky, in western Russia, in 1980. She was permitted to take trips to Moscow, which enabled her to smuggle Sakharov’s critical writings on the Soviet Union out of exile.

Bonner was convicted of “anti-Soviet agitation” in 1984 for smuggling Sakharov’s writings and lost her travel privileges to Moscow. She was confined to Gorky with her husband.

Mikhail Gorbachev ended Bonner and Sakharov’s exile in 1986 by inviting them to return to Moscow, according to the Andrei Sakharov Foundation.

Bonner, a founding member of the Moscow Helsinki Group in 1976, received the Rafto Prize in 1991 for her promotion of human rights in the former Soviet Union and contemporary Russia, according to the foundation.

What is said of her later years is either this:

She moved to the United States to be with her daughter after Sakharov’s death in 1989. She published at least four books on her life as a dissident, according to the Harvard website.

or this:

She never stopped speaking out about her country’s politics. In the 1990s, she sat on President Boris Yeltsin’s human rights commission until resigning to protest his military assault on Chechnya.

More recently, she challenged President Vladimir Putin’s human rights record. When a petition circulated in 2010 calling for Putin to step down, she was among the first to sign it.

Bonner was part Jewish, and kept her mother’s maiden name through her marriages.  She embraced her Jewish and Armenian heritage and Russian culture.  She identified with the Soviet refusnik movement of the 70s and 80s.  In her late years Bonner was a staunch supporter of Israel.  Here I turn to Israel Matzav:

Quoting Sakharov, Ms. Bonner reminded the 2009 Oslo Forum audience, “All wars that Israel has waged have been just, forced upon it by the irresponsibility of Arab leaders.” She expressed her “alarm because of the anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli sentiment growing throughout Europe.” Ms. Bonner also pleaded for the human rights movement to remember the plight of Gilad Shalit, asking her human rights colleagues why his fate doesn’t “trouble you in the same way as does the fate of the Guantanamo prisoners?…”

Were she a pro-Palestinian, Bonner would be the darling of Western intelligentsia.  Bonner was on the side of freedom in the defining conflicts of her age: she fought against Nazism and Communism, and spoke out against radical Islam.  A remarkable woman and a true hero, RIP.

Yelena Bonner

Yelena Bonner with husband Andrei Sakhorov

June 18, 2011

Code Pink Changes Focus

Filed under: Bay Area politics — Tags: , , — edge of the sandbox @ 7:35 am

Code Pink is a left-wing group that made its name on anti-war activism in the aughts.  So you’d think with two wars and an increasingly illegal kinetic military action going on the aging protestesses would have their hands full demonstrating for world peace, right?  Wrong.  They’ve graduated to posing minor inconveniences to Republican presidential hopefuls in the name of “gay rights” and “women’s reproductive rights”:

The former Minnesota governor was signing copies of his memoir Courage to Stand in San Francisco when two women representing Reproductive Rights and anti-war group Code Pink opened manila envelopes, showering Pawlenty in pink confetti.

(Given his past track record, we predict Pawlenty will have a witty comeback ready by Monday.)

As she was being escorted out by San Francisco police, Code Pink campaigner and glitter thrower Nancy Mancias said, “Where’s your courage to stand for gay rights and for women’s reproductive rights?” adding, “Welcome to San Francisco!”

I expect Code Pink to stay focused on gay issues and abortion once Republican is elected to the White House in 2012.

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