Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The anti Israel crowd in our government...

Are You Now or Have You Ever Been a Zionist?

Posted By Alana Goodman

We know that the Obama administration has been far from friendly to Israel — but is this sentiment now influencing policy at the IRS?

The Jewish group Z Street, which claims that its request for tax-exempt status was delayed by the IRS because of its support Israel, has been engulfed in a legal battle with the government agency for months. The case heated up last week after the organization introduced a letter that appeared to show an IRS agent giving unusual scrutiny to another Jewish group that had also applied for 501(c)3 status. Among the questions asked by the agent: “Does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel?”

Z Street said that this is further evidence that the IRS has started targeting pro-Israel groups. Ben Smith at Politico has the details of the letter [1]:

A Pennsylvania Jewish group that has claimed [2] the Internal Revenue Service is targeting pro-Israel groups introduced in federal court today a letter from an IRS agent to another, unnamed organization that tax experts said was likely outside the usual or appropriate scope of an IRS inquiry.

“Does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel?” IRS agent Tracy Dornette wrote the organization, according to this week’s court filing [3], as part of its consideration of the organizations application for tax exempt status. “Describe your organization’s religious belief system toward the land of Israel.”

But are these inquiries simply inappropriate, or are they evidence of an official campaign against Zionist organizations? A couple of tax attorneys consulted by Smith said they found the questions to be out of line:

“The claims go far beyond what should be the IRS’s role,” said Paul Caron a University of Cincinnati law professor and the author of TaxProf Blog [4].

Ellen Aprill, a law professor at Loyola University in Los Angeles said the second question was “appropriate” in the context of an application seeking a tax exemption on religious grounds.

“The first one is not the way I would want any of my agents to do it,” she said.

Some have wondered why Z Street is waging a public fight against the IRS instead of handling the tax issue privately. But Z Street founder Lori Lowenthal Marcus told me that her main worry here isn’t her own group’s tax-exempt status — it’s whether the government is holding pro-Israel groups to an unfair standard.

“My concern is that people are sort of veering off into tax world instead of Constitutional law,” said Lowenthal Marcus, a former constitutional lawyer, who added that she believes the actions of the IRS could constitute a First Amendment violation.

But apart from Z Street and the unnamed Jewish group mentioned in the letter, other organizations have yet to step up with claims that they were treated unfairly by the IRS.

Lowenthal Marcus said this doesn’t surprise her and noted that taking on the IRS can be an intimidating task. “Who’s going to challenge them?” she asked.

The current evidence is hardly enough to prove that there has been an official change in IRS policy toward pro-Israel groups, but the letter produced by Z Street shows that the case definitely deserves further inquiry. There is precedent for the IRS denying tax-exempt status to groups that clash with the government’s official policy — the Bob Jones University case is the most prominentexample [5]. But while the Obama administration has certainly taken an unfriendly stance toward Israel, this position could hardly be characterized as “official” government policy.

Ron Radosh at Pajamas Media also argues [6] that this issue warrants a public investigation and suggests that this might be the task for a Republican-chaired House Oversight Committee: “What must now be publicly investigated — more work, perhaps, for Rep. Darrell Issa, likely the new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee — is, as Z Street put it, whether or not the IRS is ‘improperly considering the political viewpoint of applicants’ and engaging in ‘clear viewpoint discrimination.’”

Is it racist to ask obvious questions?

Items Stolen John Conyers' Government-Registered Cadillac

Vehicle driven by Congressman's 20-year-old son

It's our fault

Iran shuts down Tehran and other cities for two-day 'holiday' due to deadly levels of pollution

How Hollywood revises history to show you how compassionate they are.

Bosnian wartime rape victims slam 'ignorant' Jolie

What no Mohamed exhibit. Don't donate to the Smithsonian

Smithsonian Christmas-Season Exhibit Features Ant-Covered Jesus, Naked Brothers Kissing, Genitalia, and Ellen DeGeneres Grabbing Her Breasts

What no pictures of skewered homosexuals over a flame? Not PC enough? Some hatred is more equal then others.

Guess how the parties voted

Senate votes down ban on earmarks

The seven Democrats voting for the moratorium were: Sens. Evan Bayh of Indiana; Michael Bennet of Colorado; Russ Feingold of Wisconsin; Claire McCaskill of Missouri; Bill Nelson of Florida, Colorado’s Udall, and Mark Warner of Virginia. Only Bayh, McCaskill, and Feingold previously supported a similar ban when offered last March.

The eight Republicans in opposition were: Sens. Robert Bennett of Utah; Thad Cochran of Mississippi; Susan Collins of Maine; James Inhofe of Oklahoma, Richard Lugar of Indiana; Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Richard Shelby of Alabama, and George Voinovich of Ohio. Bennett, Cochran, Murkowski, Shelby and Voinovich all serve on the Appropriations Committee.


The inimitable Fran Porretto offers a list of absurdities that cause him to ruminate:

Peak oil? Bah! Why is no one worried about peak absurdity?

My mental universe, traditionally a rather orderly place, is being stretched out of shape by current events.

We have routine invasions of modesty, privacy, and just about every clause of every Amendment in the Bill of Rights at our nation's airports, but Eric Holder's Department of Justice is suing the state of Arizona to block the implementation of its anti-illegal-immigration initiative.

American soldiers are being frisked at American airports before being allowed to board airliners while carrying their personal weapons. One soldier reports having his nail clippers confiscated, while his battle carbine was allowed to pass.

Our federal debt approaches 100% of our Gross Domestic Product. Washington's proposed response is to raise the debt ceiling, so Congress can borrow still more money.

The dollar-denominated prices of gold and silver are at historic highs. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is diluting the value of the dollar still further with $600 billion of "quantitative easing."

North Korea, which has demonstrated its possession of nuclear weapons, has initiated armed hostilities with South Korea, our ally. Iran, which openly seeks nuclear weapons, has threatened to obliterate Israel, our ally. The Obama Administration seeks to disarm the United States.

The anthropogenic global warming thesis has been shown to be a scientific vacuity supported solely by fraud, a pure pursuit of totalitarian power fueled from national treasuries. Yet American manufacturers, with emphasis on our auto makers, continue to pursue "green" initiatives and support the very forces that seek to destroy them.

America's government-controlled primary and secondary schools are drowning in money -- Northeastern districts average expenditures over $10,000 per student-year -- while almost exclusively producing ignorant barbarians who need remedial instruction to do simple algebra or operate anything but an iPod. Educators' unions maintain that the problem is insufficient funding.

The Democrats insist that their massive losses in this year's elections were entirely the result of inadequate communication. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration grants waiver after waiver from its "crowning accomplishment," ObamaCare.

The European Union is on the brink of collapse from fiscal profligacy and the unworkability of its continent-wide Euro currency. American liberals demand that the United States become more like Europe.

The foremost conservative political figures of our time are New Jersey's Chris Christie and Alaska's Sarah Heath Palin. Both have governed successfully. Both have large followings and great personal charisma. But Governor Christie is uninterested in the presidency, and the talking heads all deem Governor Palin "unelectable."

Despotism Made Easy

A self-help guide for the aspiring tyrant. Read it here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Everybody stand for the "Internationale"

Union Rep. Calls for Seizing Private Property & World Socialism

Strip RINO's of their power

Upton's Shocking Votes on Energy-Related Bills

Some of these leaks are worthwhile, so far.

Leaked cables reveal U.S. diplomats’ fears about Iran’s drug trafficking

Surprising bit of honesty from the WaPo

'The criminalization of politics'

THERE IS LITTLE DOUBT that former House majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) schemed to get around a Texas law prohibiting corporate contributions to political campaigns. Mr. DeLay's state political action committee accepted $190,000 in (legal) corporate contributions. A PAC official wrote a check for that amount to the Republican National Committee, helpfully including a list of candidates for the Texas statehouse and the amounts they were to receive. The RNC did Mr. DeLay's bidding - and the ensuing GOP takeover of the state legislature allowed Republicans to engineer a redistricting plan that helped defeat five Democratic incumbents in the next election.

This was a clear end run around the Texas election law. It is less clear, however, that this behavior fits the definition of money-laundering or should be prosecuted and punished using that criminal offense. Corporate contributions to political candidates are a felony under Texas law. But at the time of Mr. DeLay's actions, the state's general conspiracy statute did not cover election law violations. Texas courts threw out prosecutors' efforts to charge Mr. DeLay with a conspiracy to violate election laws - leaving only the charges of money-laundering and conspiracy to engage in money-laundering, of which Mr. DeLay was convicted Friday. In Texas, as elsewhere, money-laundering is defined as knowingly using "the proceeds of criminal activity," such as cash from drug deals.

But it was legal for corporations to donate to Mr. DeLay's political action committee, so it's fair to question how the cash sent to and from the RNC was transformed into criminal "proceeds." Mr. DeLay's lawyers presented testimony from three current and former RNC officials that such money swaps were common transactions for political parties.

Mr. DeLay's conduct was wrong. It was typical of his no-holds-barred approach to political combat. But when Mr. DeLay, following the conviction, assailed "the criminalization of politics," he had a fair point.

Bless these people

Animal lovers plan to rescue dogs left behind after shelling

'The Euro Game Is Up! Just who the hell do you think you are?' - Nigel Farage MEP


Putting a finger in the eye of the totalitarian elites. Do watch.

It's heating up

Iranian nuclear scientist killed and another wounded in separate bomb attacks

Coexist Explained

(h/t Moonbattery)

Have a Walk on the Taxpayer's Dime

The latest idiocy out of England.
Children will be given shopping vouchers for walking to school

Children will be given shopping vouchers for walking to school under a radical Government plan to combat obesity.

Under the scheme, which will be part of a public health white paper to be announced on Tuesday, children will receive Topshop vouchers and cinema tickets for travelling to school on foot.

Every school in the country will be offered access to technology which would allow children to use swipe cards to track their journeys, so that points can be swapped for consumer rewards.

Under a pilot scheme under way in Wimbledon, south London, teenage girls receive a £5 Topshop voucher if they walk to school eight times, and an Odeon cinema ticket for five journeys, in a certain period.

Aside from the general nanny state attitude that taking money from taxpayers to pay other people to walk is a good and proper thing for a state to do, I expect that within 3 years we will be hearing about the massive fraud involved in this program which will result, not in the program being scrapped, but in hiring an entire new bureaucracy to monitor and eliminate abuse.

They're totalitarians pure and simple. It's the face of the one world government

Cancun climate change summit: scientists call for rationing in developed world

...In one paper Professor Kevin Anderson, Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, said the only way to reduce global emissions enough, while allowing the poor nations to continue to grow, is to halt economic growth in the rich world over the next twenty years.

This would mean a drastic change in lifestyles for many people in countries like Britain as everyone will have to buy less ‘carbon intensive’ goods and services such as long haul flights and fuel hungry cars.

Prof Anderson admitted it “would not be easy” to persuade people to reduce their consumption of goods

He said politicians should consider a rationing system similar to the one introduced during the last “time of crisis” in the 1930s and 40s.

This could mean a limit on electricity so people are forced to turn the heating down, turn off the lights and replace old electrical goods like huge fridges with more efficient models. Food that has travelled from abroad may be limited and goods that require a lot of energy to manufacture.

“The Second World War and the concept of rationing is something we need to seriously consider if we are to address the scale of the problem we face,” he said.

Prof Anderson insisted that halting growth in the rich world does not necessarily mean a recession or a worse lifestyle, it just means making adjustments in everyday life such as using public transport and wearing a sweater rather than turning on the heating.

“I am not saying we have to go back to living in caves,” he said. “Our emissions were a lot less ten years ago and we got by ok then.”

The last round of talks in Copenhagen last year ended in a weak political accord to keep temperature rise below the dangerous tipping point of 2C(3.6F).

This time 194 countries are meeting again to try and make the deal legally binding and agree targets on cutting emissions.

At the moment efforts are focused on trying to get countries to cut emissions by 50 per cent by 2050 relative to 1990 levels.

But Dr Myles Allen, of Oxford University’s Department of Physics, said this might not be enough. He said that if emissions do not come down quick enough even a slight change in temperature will be too rapid for ecosystems to keep up. Also by measuring emissions relative to a particular baseline, rather than putting a limit on the total amount that can ever be pumped into the atmosphere, there is a danger that the limit is exceeded.

“Peak warming is determined by the total amount of carbon dioxide we release into the atmosphere, not the rate we release it in any given year,’ he said. “Dangerous climate change, however, also depends on how fast the planet is warming up, not just how hot it gets, and the maximum rate of warming does depend on the maximum emission rate. It’s not just how much we emit, but how fast we do so.”

Other papers published on ‘4C and beyond’ in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A warned of rising sea levels, droughts in river basins and mass migrations.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Just another Communist success story written in starvation

North Korea's undercover journalists reveal misery of life in dictatorship

Read the comments to see the regimes supporters (basically anti American) excuse or the suffering off the table. It's everybody else's fault but the nasty Kim family. push

None so blind...

Portland's Mayor Goes Into Politically Correct Mode

"Bad actions by one member of any group does not and should not be generalized or applied more widely to other members of that same group," said Adams, "Otherwise, as the biggest racial group in Portland, we European-Americans would be in deep trouble."

Mayor Adams misses the point. This isn't about race. For that matter it isn't about nationality either. This is a global problem. As mentioned earlier, Mohamud is Somali. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (a.k.a. The Christmas Day Bomber) was born on the other side of Africa in Nigeria; Faisal Shahzad (a.k.a. The Times Square Bomber) is from Pakistan and Nidal Malik Hasan (a.k.a. The Fort Hood Shooter) is an American of Jordanian-Palestinian origin. Let us also not forget that John Walker Lindh and Jose Padilla were also born in this country.

So what do all of these men have in common? They were willing to kill people (mostly civilian) in the name of advancing Islamic jihad. At what point will our political elite stop pretending that Islam has no connection with terrorism? Mayor Adams (and for that matter President Obama) ignore the cries of "Allahu Akbhar" at our peril. This is a problem that is not going away. It has already claimed too many innocent lives and one of these days it is going to claim a large number of innocent lives again. But how can you solve a problem when our political elite insists it doesn't exist?

President Obama can say to his heart's content that America isn't at war with Islam. But that doesn't mean Islam (or at least a very critical mass of it) isn't at war with us.

Who is this scurrilous Sam Adams. From Wikipedia:

From 1992 until 2004, Adams was in a long-term relationship with Greg Eddie.[29] In 2007, the former couple, in a challenge to the state constitution, filed suit against the State of Oregon to dissolve their domestic partnership and divide Adams' future pension.[30][31] After his break-up with Eddie, Adams was, for the first time, both openly gay and single. Adams lamented his lack of "gaydar." He said this made him decide to date only men who asked him out first.[32]

In 2005, Adams met a young man interning for Oregon State Representative Kim Thatcher.[33] In September 2007, Adams denied rumors of a sexual relationship between the two, calling the allegations scurrilous, and adding that they played into stereotypes of predatory gays.[33] In January 2009, after being confronted with a story in Willamette Week, Adams acknowledged lying about the nature of the relationship, later explaining that the other man initiated it and that they did not become sexually active until he reached the age of consent.[32][34] The man confirmed Adams' account, adding that he had no regrets about their relationship.[2][33][35] Adams apologized, saying he had lied to avoid untrue accusations of having had sex with a minor and the likely disruption such allegations would cause in his mayoral campaign.[6][36] Adams cited the "swift public condemnation" of former mayor and governorNeil Goldschmidt in 2004 by the news media as weighing heavily in his decision to lie. "[N]o one's going to believe me [that he was eighteen]".[2] Oregon had already seen several prominent political sex scandals; prior to Goldschmidt's, there was one involving Senator Bob Packwood in 1992.[2] The "well-funded newsroom" of The Oregonian had been criticized for failing to pursue both stories. In the Goldschmidt case, the Oregonian publicly debated with Willamette Week over which publication reported more accurately and aggressively.[2] Adams also announced his intention to remain in office.[35]

News of the deception led Oregon Attorney General John Kroger to initiate a criminal investigation in January 2009. By June, his office announced that no charges would be filed and that there was "no credible evidence" of inappropriate sexual contact before the age of consent.[37][38] Before Kroger's findings were made public, several newspapers called for Adams' resignation. The Portland Mercuryand the board of the Portland Area Business Association, the LGBTQ chamber of commerce, spoke out against resignation.[39][40][41][42][43][44] Out magazine columnist Dan Savage noted what they saw as hypocrisy, homophobia, and sex panic about age disparity in sexual relationships.[2][33] In July 2009 a campaign to recall Adams was started, because of the affair and deception. It fell short of gathering the necessary number of signatures.[45][46] A second effort began in Fall 2009, with financial backing from over a dozen regional businesses. The backers posit that a "lack of trust and political capital" affects their businesses' bottom lines.[47][48][49]

Adams has also dated Christopher Stowell, artistic director of Oregon Ballet Theatre.[50][51] As of early 2008, he was the partner of journalist Peter Zuckerman.[32][52]

Construction workers knock down things to build. The Left just destroys

Richard Cohen and the Invisible Power

By Ed Kaitz
For Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, there's a certain sweetness in highlighting ingratitude during a time when most Americans are giving thanks. Cohen opened Thanksgiving week with an essaydefending Michelle Obama's claim that prior to her husband's nomination for president, there was little to be proud of here in America. "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country" said the current First Lady back in 2008.

In his essay ("Michelle Was Right About Her Country") Cohen wants to raise the awareness of those who might assume that America has adequately atoned for its racist past.

For example, when Michelle Obama was a student at Princeton, says Cohen, her "blackness" became an issue. In her senior thesis Mrs. Obama wrote that she felt "more aware of my 'blackness' than ever before." But wasn't it Michelle's "blackness" that opened the doors for her to Princeton and Harvard (and closed the doors to the dreams of more qualified white and Asian applicants)? Isn't "diversity" supposed to make students more aware of their skin color? In short, absent blackness, it's very unlikely Michelle Obama would be America's First Lady today.

Indeed, during the 2008 presidential campaign, former Democrat vice p[residential nominee Geraldine Ferraro claimed that Barack Obama's "blackness" was a valuable asset -- something he should be thankful for, in other words:

"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman [of any color], he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."

At a Florida fundraiser during the 2008 campaign Barack Obama used his "blackness" in ingenious ways in order to scare up additional votes. Candidate Obama told his audience that Republicans were "going to try to make you afraid of me -- he's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?"

To James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal, Obama "implicitly ascribes to the GOP the view that voters are prejudiced against blacks, then calls on voters to prove they are not by voting for Obama. The fear of GOP racism also provides black voters an extra motive to get to the polls." In other words, says Taranto, Obama's blackness was creatively used "to take advantage of white guilt and black fear."

For Richard Cohen, however, Michelle Obama was still right about her country. America, says Cohen, was once an "apartheid nation" and woe to anyone who goes "blank" on the country's sordid history:

"Why do politicians such as Palin and commentators such as Glenn Beck insist that African-Americans go blank on their own history -- as blank as apparently Palin and Beck themselves are? Why must they insist that blacks join them in embracing a repellent history that once caused America to go to war with itself?"

The philosopher Eric Hoffer also wondered about the inability of many black Americans to embrace the magnitude and meaning of the American Civil War. In his essay "Black Studies," Hoffer offers a useful comparison between 1860s America and 1860s Africa. In Africa, Arab merchants were selling seventy thousand slaves a year at the Zanzibar slave market. "The Arabs," says Hoffer, "looted ivory, grain and cattle, made slaves of the able-bodied natives, burned villages and wantonly killed those who did not escape into the bush." Arab slave routes could be traced "by the vultures and hyenas feeding on putrefying corpses."

Indeed, explorer David Livingston, says Hoffer, "was haunted in his last days by the horrors" of the Arab slave trade. Calling the slave merchants "the open sore of the world" Livingston wrote late diary entries telling of images "so nauseous that I always strive to drive them from memory. But the slaving scenes come back unbidden and make me start up at dead of night horrified by their vividness."

While the "depredations of the Arabs were gathering momentum" in 1860s Africa, over in America says Hoffer, "hundreds of thousands of American soldiers died or were maimed to abolish Negro slavery." For Hoffer, the paradox is that "many black Americans feel a greater affinity with the descendents of Arab slavers than with Americans whose forefathers fought one of the bloodiest civil wars in history to set the Negro free."

And yet, says Hoffer, we are not allowed to take pride in or feel grateful for these monumental displays of moral rectitude. Of the Civil Rights legislation during the 1960s Hoffer says:

"Nowhere in the world at present and at no time in the past has an underprivileged minority experienced such spectacular changes in its fortunes as did some twenty million Negroes in America during the 1960s. Yet we are not allowed to take pride in this unprecedented achievement. Negro spokesmen seem to believe that the Negro's cause will be advanced not by praising but by shaming America; that a proud, confident America would resist racial integration."

Hoffer had a good idea of what was driving this strange paradox -- he called it "the invisible power." According to Hoffer, a safely ensconced army of adversary intellectuals in academia and in the media gleefully occupies itself with "discrediting and besmirching" society in order to undermine "the faith of its potential defenders." Says Hoffer:

"Nowhere at present is there such a measureless loathing of their country by educated people as in America, and the savage denigration is undoubtedly undermining the faith of its potential defenders. . . . The adversary intellectual savors power not by building or wrecking but by discomfiting and denigrating, and by rubbing the noses of the majority in dirt."

Hoffer argues, in other words, that much of the social justice legislation to emerge from the 1960s, rather than enhancing America, actually made "the body politic less healthy" than before: "The tensions are higher, the grievances sharper, the hopes dimmer." The reason for this, according to Hoffer, is that "too many of the people who were carrying out the civil rights and poverty programs did not wish America well."

For Hoffer, then, the adversary intellectual is actually very little interested in what makes for black success in America and very much interested in their own more selfish agendas. During the civil rights era for example,

"[T]hose in charge were less interested in healing and conciliating the weak than in aggravating their illness and sharpening their grievances. Thus, by a perverted dialectic, our wholehearted effort to right wrongs was shown to be proof not of our concern for righteousness but of our own present and past incurable wrongness."

The adversary intellectual's "invisible power" says Hoffer is a kind of ethos "which imposes its edicts on politicians, civil servants, judges, ‘concerned' business leaders, editors, publishers, teachers, students, reporters, broadcasters and literary and artistic coteries across the land." The demands of the invisible power include a heavy dose of denigration and pessimism about America and a tendency to "go blank" on gratitude and pride.

Having attended several of the current First Lady's stump speeches during the 2008 election, New Yorker writer Lauren Collins summed up Mrs. Obama's introductory take on American life:

"[Michelle] Obama begins with a broad assessment of life in America in 2008, and life is not good: we're a divided country, we're a country that is ‘just downright mean,' we are ‘guided by fear,' we're a nation of cynics, sloths, and complacents."

In other words, heavy on the cynicism and light on the gratitude.

Unlike the First Lady, former Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver, who was himself in the front ranks of the 60s and 70s "invisible power," later recoiled against his earlier defamation of America only after living abroad for six years in the communist world:

"Now, when I had a chance to go and live in communist countries this individualism came into conflict with the state apparatus, and that's when I recoiled against it. But when I was here I was looking at Marxism-Leninism as a weapon, as a tool, to fight against the status quo, and you know, it's just a quality of human beings that when they are trying to tear something down they don't pay enough attention."

Cleaver understood, like most of us, that no one should be "sugar-coating anything that's wrong over here" but one should also be eternally grateful for the promise America holds for freedom and individual opportunity. On the other hand says Cleaver, "The left [has become] so ideologically attached to anti-Americanism and pro-communism and Third Worldism that I believe we have a problem on our hands."

The eighteenth century Scottish philosopher David Hume knew about adversary intellectuals like Richard Cohen. Hume said there was a certain tendency among intellectuals to go blank on the more beneficent qualities in human nature:

"And what a malignant philosophy must it be that will not allow to humanity and friendship the same privileges which are undisputably granted to the darker passions of enmity and resentment."

Does Richard Cohen wish America well? Will he grant the humanity and friendship in America's past the same privilege he grants to enmity and resentment? Whatever the case, Eric Hoffer has a warning for America's army of thankless intellectuals:

"People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them."

As Eldridge Cleaver learned overseas, gratitude seems to be a condition of freedom, optimism, individual achievement and prosperity. Ingratitude, on the other hand, is merely a recipe for servility and helplessness.

"How sweet it is to hate one's native land,
And eagerly await its annihilation."
-- Vladimir Percherin