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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    For some liberals, there really are no adversaries to their left. President Obama’s statement Tuesday on the death of folk singer Pete Seeger at age 94 was remarkable. Seeger was a talented singer, but he was also an unrepentant Stalinist until 1995, when he finally apologized for “following the [Communist] party line so slavishly.” You’d think Obama might have at least acknowledged (as even Seeger did) the error of his ways. Instead, Obama celebrated him only as a hero who tried to “move this country closer to the America he knew we could be.”

    “Over the years, Pete used his voice — and his hammer — to strike blows for worker’s rights and civil rights; world peace and environmental conservation,” said Obama. “We will always be grateful to Pete Seeger.” Not even a hint that the “world peace” Seeger was seeking was one that would have been dominated by the Soviet Union.


    I found Seeger a highly talented musician who raised American folk music to a new standard. But, as with other artists — the Nazi-era filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl and the fascist poet Ezra Pound — an asterisk must be placed beside their names for their service in behalf of an evil cause.

    Time magazine’s obituary of Seeger was entitled: “Why Pete Seeger Mattered: The Pied Piper of the People’s Music.”

    Recall that the original Pied Piper lured away the children of an entire town. They disappeared into a cave and were never seen again. When Seeger sang “If I Had a Hammer,” what he really meant was “If I Had a Hammer and Sickle.”

    As historian Ronald Radosh wrote: “Seeger would sing and give his support to peace rallies and marches covertly sponsored by the Soviet Union and its Western front groups and dupes — while leaving his political criticism only for the United States and its defensive actions during the Cold War.” Radosh, an admirer and onetime banjo student of Seeger’s, says he is grateful Seeger ultimately acknowledged the crimes of Stalin.

    Fair enough, but it’s not enough to say, as liberal blogger Mike O’Hare wrote, that Seeger “was wrong ‘for the right reasons’ (ignorance and misplaced hope, not bloody-mindedness or cruelty), and in the days he got Stalin wrong, a lot of good people did the same.”

    Actually, the vast majority didn’t, and we shouldn’t forget those who did. The late John P. Roche, who served as president of the liberal Americans for Democratic Action in the 1960s and was a speechwriter for Hubert Humphrey, once told me that the success American Communists had in the 1930s by wrapping their ideology in the trappings of American traditions had to be remembered. “If authoritarianism of the right or left ever comes to America it will come surrounded by patriotism and show business,” he told me. “It will be made fashionable by talented people like Pete Seeger.”

    Roche vividly recalled how American Stalinists suddenly flipped on the issue of Nazi Germany after the Hitler-Stalin pact of 1939 brought the two former adversaries together. “Stalinists acclaimed this treaty as the high point of 20th century diplomacy,” Roche wrote in 1979. He vividly recalled “the laudatory speech” that the future congresswoman Bella Abzug gave in support of the pact at Hunter College in 1940.

    The next year, Pete Seeger, a member of the Young Communist League, lent his support for the effort to stop America from going to war to fight the Nazis. The Communist-party line at the time was that the war between Britain and Germany was “phony” and a mere pretext for big American corporations to get Hitler to attack Soviet Russia. The album Seeger and his fellow Almanac Singers, an early folk-music group, released was called “Songs for John Doe.” Its songs opposed the military draft and other policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    Franklin D, listen to me,
    You ain’t a-gonna send me ’cross the sea.
    You may say it’s for defense
    That kinda talk ain’t got no sense.


    Just one month after the album was released, Hitler invaded the Soviet Union. The album was quickly withdrawn from circulation, and Seeger and his buddies immediately did a 180-degree turn and came up with new songs:

    Now, Mr. President
    You’re commander-in-chief of our armed forces
    The ships and the planes and the tanks and the horses
    I guess you know best just where I can fight . . .
    So what I want is you to give me a gun
    So we can hurry up and get the job done!


    Seeger may have formally left the Communist party in 1949, but for decades afterward he would still identify himself as “communist with a small c.”

    We can honor Seeger the singer and mourn his passing. But at the same time we should respect the power that popular culture has over people and warn against its misuse. The late Andrew Breitbart lived largely to remind us that culture is upstream of politics — our culture is a stream of influence flowing into our politics.

    Pete Seeger aimed to change both our culture and our politics. Howard Husock wrote at NRO this week that he “was America’s most successful Communist.”

    I recall interviewing East German dissidents in 1989 who were still angry at Seeger and Kris Kristofferson for the concerts they did on behalf of the Communist regime that built the Berlin Wall. He was hailed in the pages of Neues Deutschland, the Communist-party newspaper in East Berlin, as “the Karl Marx of the teenagers.”

    By all means, let’s remember Pete Seeger for his talent while also remembering the monstrous causes he sometimes served.

    — John Fund is a national-affairs columnist for National Review Online.



    http://www.nationalreview.com/articl...dour-john-fund
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  2. #2
    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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    Well put. Funny how he opposed FDR in his foreign policy kind of ironic as FDR after Wilson is the father of American socialists. Guy had no problem with Hitler as long as Stalin and him were allies in the beginning. Good history lesson.
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    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    He spoke nicer words about this clown than he did Margaret Thatcher, and yes, I double checked what he said about her before I typed that.

    I don't quite understand it.
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    the man's dead and was considered a music legend. I don't think a short statement only stressing the positive things about his life is out of line. Would hate to have you guys give a eulogy at my funeral.
    Last edited by It's Mike; 01.30.14 at 12:12 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave's Dreidel View Post
    He spoke nicer words about this clown than he did Margaret Thatcher, and yes, I double checked what he said about her before I typed that.

    I don't quite understand it.
    That's because you are a racist

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave's Dreidel View Post
    He spoke nicer words about this clown than he did Margaret Thatcher, and yes, I double checked what he said about her before I typed that.

    I don't quite understand it.
    a champion of freedom and liberty and a true friend of America. Sounds pretty positive

    With the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend. As a grocer’s daughter who rose to become Britain’s first female prime minister, she stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered. As prime minister, she helped restore the confidence and pride that has always been the hallmark of Britain at its best. And as an unapologetic supporter of our transatlantic alliance, she knew that with strength and resolve we could win the Cold War and extend freedom’s promise.

    Here in America, many of us will never forget her standing shoulder to shoulder with President Reagan, reminding the world that we are not simply carried along by the currents of history—we can shape them with moral conviction, unyielding courage and iron will. Michelle and I send our thoughts to the Thatcher family and all the British people as we carry on the work to which she dedicated her life—free peoples standing together, determined to write our own destiny.

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    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    I'm guessing these are not Obama's true feelings about Thatcher. I suppose if he isn't going to say anything bad about her, he's not going to say anything bad about Seeger either.

    IMO, people are complicated, and it's okay to acknowledge the good and the bad. Obama wasn't speaking at his funeral, so he could have acknowledged some of this without bashing the guy. If Kobe Bryant dies before me, I wouldn't hesitate to tell my future son that it is okay to admire his work ethic while also not admiring the way he treated his wife (and perhaps the girl from CO, though I don't think he raped her) earlier in his career.

    Really, though, why is the President issuing statements on dead musicians? I don't care if it is Reagan, Clinton, Bush, or Obama, I just don't understand what good it does or why he should even waste time signing off on what someone else wrote up for him. I realize that Presidents are human, that they need breaks and vacations, and just because they are playing golf or reading a story when something major happens doesn't mean America is vulnerable. I also realize they like things and advisors think it is good to humanize them by letting them comment on pop culture, but I don't think that means we need POTUS' thoughts on these people

    I realize he was a political voice through music, but so is Tom Morello. I don't need whichever Clinton or Bush is President (come on, like another family will be in the White House) when he dies to make a statement about him.

    Rant over.

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    Obama likely has no clue who the guy even is. It's just a meaningless pr move. Can't believe any of you even care.

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    It is highly unlikely that he does not know who Pete Seeger is. You're talking about a man who has honored two communists already during his prseidency. One with the Medal of Freedom ( Dolores Huerta) and the other with a naval ship named after him (Cesar Chavez).
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    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bklynboy68 View Post
    It is highly unlikely that he does not know who Pete Seeger is. You're talking about a man who has honored two communists already during his prseidency. One with the Medal of Freedom ( Dolores Huerta) and the other with a naval ship named after him (Cesar Chavez).
    He's not a socialist.

    You're giving him WAY too much credit here.
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    Atomic Punk Little Dreamer's Avatar
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    I can't believe this discussion: two lines about Pete Seeger and then this?

    What if James Hetfield died? Maybe Obama would say "a great innovator who didn't hesitate to speak his mind."

    And you guys would be "what? he didn't mention Hetfield wrote 'Damage Inc.' and was anti-war, not supporting his country's brave military."

    And now Obama is a communist again. Ah yeah, I see the soviet-style communes everywhere in America. Red shirts are everywhere, we're under the one-party rule. We're really living in a communist state since Obama took office. Yup, yup.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Dreamer View Post
    I can't believe this discussion: two lines about Pete Seeger and then this?

    What if James Hetfield died? Maybe Obama would say "a great innovator who didn't hesitate to speak his mind."

    And you guys would be "what? he didn't mention Hetfield wrote 'Damage Inc.' and was anti-war, not supporting his country's brave military."

    And now Obama is a communist again. Ah yeah, I see the soviet-style communes everywhere in America. Red shirts are everywhere, we're under the one-party rule. We're really living in a communist state since Obama took office. Yup, yup.
    To be fair, it's not just two lines. The White House took the time to release a free-standing statement about his death. In its entirety:

    The White House
    Office of the Press Secretary

    For Immediate Release January 28, 2014
    Statement by the President on the Passing of Pete Seeger

    Once called “America’s tuning fork,” Pete Seeger believed deeply in the power of song. But more importantly, he believed in the power of community – to stand up for what’s right, speak out against what’s wrong, and move this country closer to the America he knew we could be. Over the years, Pete used his voice – and his hammer – to strike blows for worker’s rights and civil rights; world peace and environmental conservation. And he always invited us to sing along. For reminding us where we come from and showing us where we need to go, we will always be grateful to Pete Seeger. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Pete’s family and all those who loved him.
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-...ng-pete-seeger

    My only point is, regardless of the politics, why is the White House putting out statements on dead musicians? It seems superfluous to me. I don't need future President Bush telling me what a national treasure Clint Eastwood was either.

    Given the guy's past, though, I do find it interesting that the White House did do it.

  13. #13
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemachine97(Version 2) View Post
    To be fair, it's not just two lines. The White House took the time to release a free-standing statement about his death. In its entirety:


    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-...ng-pete-seeger

    My only point is, regardless of the politics, why is the White House putting out statements on dead musicians? It seems superfluous to me. I don't need future President Bush telling me what a national treasure Clint Eastwood was either.

    Given the guy's past, though, I do find it interesting that the White House did do it.
    They do it a lot - they did when Whitney Houston died (despite her not being a communist, I guess Obama slipped up on that one) but they didn't when Michael Jackson died and caused quite a stir (though Governor Schwarzenegger did issue a statement).

    It's really just a PR move. Stars have lots of fans (and fans are voters) so a president makes an official statement to gain favour with them. Politics as usual.

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    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by It's Mike View Post
    They do it a lot - they did when Whitney Houston died (despite her not being a communist, I guess Obama slipped up on that one) but they didn't when Michael Jackson died and caused quite a stir (though Governor Schwarzenegger did issue a statement).

    It's really just a PR move. Stars have lots of fans (and fans are voters) so a president makes an official statement to gain favour with them. Politics as usual.
    Oh for sure. I even alluded to that a few posts ago (the one that ends in "rant over.")

    It's just insulting to me, and I think it is a waste of time. The people who think, "Oh, how sweet of the President," are probably already supporters. The people who think, "There he goes again supporting communism," are probably already not supporting him.

    So it just comes back to waste of time. And that's a waste of time on the tax payer dollar, because somoene gets paid to draft these statements for POTUS to approve. Also, it's disingenuous. Does he really think that I think he gives a flying fuck about these people? I hope not. Because then he thinks I am stupid.

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    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemachine97(Version 2) View Post
    Oh for sure. I even alluded to that a few posts ago (the one that ends in "rant over.")

    It's just insulting to me, and I think it is a waste of time. The people who think, "Oh, how sweet of the President," are probably already supporters. The people who think, "There he goes again supporting communism," are probably already not supporting him.

    So it just comes back to waste of time. And that's a waste of time on the tax payer dollar, because somoene gets paid to draft these statements for POTUS to approve. Also, it's disingenuous. Does he really think that I think he gives a flying fuck about these people? I hope not. Because then he thinks I am stupid.
    It is a collosal waste of time. Not his time (one of his staffers writes this crap) but it's a waste of time for sure. But it keeps people talking, doesn't it?

 

 

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