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Tags: Healthcare | Reform | Foes

Healthcare Reform Foes Using Radical Alinsky's Tactics

By    |   Sunday, 30 August 2009 09:00 PM EDT

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Healthcare Reform Foes Using Radical Alinsky's Tactics
2. A New Alliance: Venezuela, Russia, and China
3. Polar Bears Refute Al Gore's Warnings
4. Top Diplomat Calls U.N. Chief 'Spineless'


1. Healthcare Reform Foes Using Radical Alinsky's Tactics

Influential Chicago activist Saul Alinsky wrote the book on community organizing for the left.

Now in an ironic twist, opponents of President Barack Obama and the Democrats' healthcare reform plans are employing some of the very same tactics that Alinsky, who died in 1972, espoused in his work "Rules for Radicals."

As healthcare reform foes angrily confront lawmakers at town-hall meetings, The New York Times observed: "It is an irony of the current skirmishing about healthcare that those who could be considered Mr. Alinsky's sworn enemies — the groups, many industry sponsored, who are trying to shout down Congressional town hall meetings — have taken a page from his handbook on community organizing."

Among the Alinsky "trademarks" that the Times' Noam Cohen pointed to are "using spectacle to make up for lack of numbers," targeting an individual — in this case Obama — and "using ridicule to persuade the undecided."

As for complaints from Democrats about the reform opponents' sometimes belligerent tactics, Alinsky stated that "any effective means is automatically judged by the opposition as being unethical."

The Internet availability of many town-hall confrontations would have won approval from Alinsky, who urged activists to seek media attention — in particular by challenging public officials on camera.

The boisterous disruption of the meetings by reform foes also jibes with Alinsky's tactics. He advised organizers to "raise a din and clamor that will make the listener believe that your organization numbers many more than it does."

Among the many community organizers influenced by Alinsky, the most prominent today is — Barack Obama. He learned and taught Alinsky's methods for community organizing while working for the Developing Communities Project in Chicago.

Editor's Note:

2. A New Alliance: Venezuela, Russia, and China

A strengthening alliance between anti-American President Hugo Chavez's oil-rich Venezuela and powerhouses Russia and China threatens to create a new world order hostile to the West.

Chavez declared during a visit to China in April, "A new world is being born, a new balance, the multipolar world that we have all dreamed about for a long time.

"The unipolar world went down, the power of the empire of the United States, and Mao Zedong ended up being right when he talked of the 'paper tiger' of the empire."

TMIGroup.org pointed to these ominous signs of economic and military cooperation among the three nations:

  • Venezuela spent $3.4 billion on military equipment from Russia in 2007 and plans to spend another $4 billion this year.
  • Venezuela and Russia held joint naval exercises last year, and a Russian official said the Latin American nation has offered Russia a base for Russian strategic bombers in Venezuela.
  • Oil shipments from Venezuela to China are expected to reach       1 million barrels a day within four years, and China is building three refineries to handle the Venezuelan oil.
  • Trade between China and Venezuela now stands at $40 billion a year, up from $200 million a decade ago.
  • China and Venezuela are jointly developing oil fields in Venezuela's Orinoco region, and constructing a jointly owned fleet of oil tankers.
  • Two Russian companies are also set to develop oil fields in the Orinoco region.
  • Chavez confirmed in September 2008 that Venezuela had purchased 24 Chinese jets.
  • A Chinese rocket launched Venezuela's first telecommunications satellite into space from a site in southwest China last October.

"Chavez's dream of a new world order is no pipe dream," according to TMIGroup's publication called Memorandum to File.

"He is using the oil riches of his country to forge military and economic alliances with Russia and China, in an effort to counter U.S. influence in Latin America.

"He is also using these alliances to extend his own influence over the region, with the help of Cuba's Raul Castro."

Editor's Note:

3. Polar Bears Refute Al Gore's Warnings

The polar bears that climate change alarmists claim are endangered by global warming are doing just fine, thank you.

Al Gore and other alarmists have warned that higher global temperatures due to greenhouse gases could lead to the melting of the polar ice caps. That would threaten the polar bears' efforts to find food and survive.

But due to colder than usual subarctic weather this year, healthier polar bears are being spotted along the Hudson Bay coast in Canada, according to a release from PR Newswire.

"The late break-up of ice this year on Hudson Bay means the polar bears, which rely on sea ice to live, have been given more time during spring and summer to hunt and eat seals, and this has allowed them to gain important weight to live off of until freeze-up," said Robert Buchanan, president of Polar Bears International.

Daryll Hedman, a regional wildlife manager for Manitoba Conservation in Canada, said polar bears remain on the Hudson Bay ice for as long as possible so they can feed, and this year the ice was so thick that they stayed there for an extra two weeks, resulting in fatter, healthier bears this summer.

On a related front: With many Democrats still clamoring for cap-and-trade legislation to curb carbon emissions in response to global warming fears, the outgoing leader of the environmental group Greenpeace has retracted an assertion about Arctic ice.

In a July 15 release entitled "Urgent Action Needed as Arctic Ice Melts," Greenpeace said there will be an ice-free Arctic by the year 2030 due to global warming.

Under questioning by BBC reporter Stephen Sackur, Gerd Leipold, the retiring Greenpeace leader, stated, "I don't think it will be melting by 2030  . . . That may have been a mistake."

Editor's Note:

4. Top Diplomat Calls U.N. Chief 'Spineless'

A senior United Nations diplomat has written a scathing memo criticizing the leadership of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, calling him "spineless and charmless."

Mona Juul, Norway's No. 2 diplomat at the world body, wrote the confidential internal memo to her country's Foreign Ministry, suggesting that the Barack Obama administration is also unhappy with Ban, a South Korean who took office in January 2007.

The lengthy memo was leaked and published by the Norwegian daily Aftenposten and by Foreign Policy magazine. It read in part: "In a time when the U.N. and multilateral solutions to global crises are more needed than ever, Ban and the U.N. are conspicuous by their absence.

"During the last six months, where the follow-up to the many crises that left their imprint on the General Assembly during the fall should have brought the Secretary-General and the U.N. into play at full force, the opposite seems to have happened . . .

"In the many political/security-related crises around the world, the Secretary-General's leadership and ability to deliver on behalf of the international organization are also found wanting."

In "crises areas" such as Darfur, Somalia, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe, "the Secretary-General's appeals, often irresolute and lacking in dedication, seem to fall on deaf ears," Juul wrote.

"What all these examples have in common is that a spineless and charmless Secretary-General has not compensated this by appointing high profile and visible co-workers . . .

"It is common knowledge that it was a deliberate choice of the former U.S. administration not to prefer an activist Secretary-General. The current American administration has not yet signaled any changes in its position towards Ban. However, there are rumors that in certain quarters in Washington, Ban is referred to as a 'one term SG.'"

Ban certainly did not endear himself to American officials in March    when he characterized the U.S. as a "deadbeat" for its late payments to the U.N.

At the time, the White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said Ban's "word choice was unfortunate," given that the U.S. is the largest contributor to the United Nations.

Editor's Note:

Editor's Notes:

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Healthcare Reform Foes Using Radical Alinsky's Tactics2. A New Alliance: Venezuela, Russia, and China3. Polar Bears Refute Al Gore's Warnings4. Top Diplomat Calls U.N. Chief 'Spineless' 1. Healthcare Reform Foes Using Radical...
Sunday, 30 August 2009 09:00 PM
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