His regular column, “Politics as Usual,” is some of the best and best-written political commentary you’ll find anywhere. His August 29 column, “Do you blame all Muslims for 9/11?,” was one of the most intelligent and thoughtful articles we saw anywhere concerning this much-discussed non-controversy. Baron notes, “Yes, the 19 hijackers who crashed those planes on 9/11 were Muslims who claimed to be doing their evil work in the name of Islam. But the Ku Klux Klansmen who lynched black men and bombed black churches in the bad old days of the pre-civil rights era were white Protestants who claimed to be acting in the name of Christianity (hence the crosses they liked to burn) . . . I am a white Protestant and I would be greatly offended if someone tried to tar me with the actions of the Klan. Why is it then OK to blame all Muslims for the actions of 19 of their most sociopathic co-religionists? It’s not and we should stop doing it. Those 19 belonged to al Qaeda a lot more than they did to Islam.”
Baron finishes by saying that those many Americans whose fears and prejudices have been whipped up by opportunistic politicians and Fox “News” clowns should wise up: “We are better than that. We should show it.” Jim Baron is a Vo Dilun treasure.
Meanwhile, Jane Mayer’s feature “Covert Operations” in the August 30 issue of The New Yorker details the vast sums of money spent by David and Charles Koch, principals of Koch Industries (owners of Dixie cups, Brawny paper towels, Georgia-Pacific lumber, numerous oil refineries and 4000 miles of pipeline, among other things), on radical right-wing causes. They make the noted financier of left-wing causes, George Soros, look like a piker.
The Koches are avowed libertarians (Daddy Fred was a leader of the John Birch Society). They provided the seed money for the Cato Institute. It is largely their bucks that fuel the Tea Party movement and most of the entities that question climate change.
P&J say that this is a must read (at press time, both this article and Jim Baron’s column were still available on the Pawtucket Times and New Yorker websites, respectively). If you didn’t believe in “class warfare” before, you might want to rethink that after reading this report.
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