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How I Went From Gene McCarthy to Joe McCarthy in Three Days ^ | Friday, June 13, 2003 | Steven Salzman

Posted on 06/13/2003 1:29:08 AM PDT by JohnHuang2

The neighborhood that I live in is situated in the zone just below Chambers Street and immediately north of the World Trade Center site. Over the years, most of the old industrial lofts have been converted to residential family homes. Many of the buildings are only 4-5 stories tall, so the Twin Towers organically affected the lighting and temperature of the immediate area. The people who live down here are a typically quirky New York mix of the art and financial communities. Schools had been built recently, sadly within collapsing distance of the Towers. The daily street scene is as lively, diverse and exotic as any Third World bazaar. Just on my block, without crossing a street, North Africans, Orthodox Jews, Chinese, Pakistanis, Hispanics, Indians, Palestinians, Koreans, Jamaicans and more, are among the owners of numerous local businesses and there is even a mosque a few doors away. I often marvel at the harmony of it all, especially given the potential for internecine conflict. Rather, against New York stereotypes, people are friendly and actually know and talk to each other. For years I have joked “it’s like Mayberry down here.”

It was hard to imagine the change in my own life over the next few months. Before the attacks on 9/11, I would rarely miss a peace march, dating back to 1967, when at age 10, I snuck-out of the house to protest the Vietnam War. One year later, I was a committed volunteer for the Eugene McCarthy’s presidential campaign. I have observed moratoriums, protested against nuclear weapons for FREEZE, been civilly disobedient and taken many uncomfortable bus trips to Washington, D.C. After the 2000 election, I often joked, “I don’t feel that bad about Bush winning: at least I’ll get to see more of my friends in Washington.” After the attacks, when friends of mine were talking about protesting against the impending U.S. action in Afghanistan. I was completely surprised and also outraged by their position. My activism in the past had been against what I saw as interventionism and militarism, not self-defense. It also never bought into the ever-popular rationale that U.S. foreign policy somehow provoked the attacks. I believed that the nation had no choice but to respond to the 9/11 attacks with great force. In fact, I had never felt prouder about being an American. The much-anticipated wave of anti-Muslim reprisals never happened. Au contraire, while our president was making speech after speech preaching restraint and religious tolerance it was Europe that was erupting in anti-Semitic violence. In so many ways, the country had already responded with great courage and spirit; I understood that in a way that only one who lives at Ground Zero can.

Fast forward to May of 2003. The neighborhood has somewhat recovered and normalcy has prevailed for over a year. I was walking down the street on my way to the gym and passed the local Tribeca Playhouse. I picked-up a flier for the current performance entitled Voices of Peace and Dissent from Ground-Zero featuring an appearance by Kate Mulgrew, the star of Star Trek Voyager (and wife of Cleveland Democratic politician Tim Hagan). It’s funny how we can see things through a very idiosyncratic filter sometimes. Being an artist, living in lower Manhattan, I initially thought “Dissent” referred to those voices that supported forcefully prosecuting the war against terrorism, perhaps even the recent war in Iraq. My own, completely unscientific, polling indicates that more than 99 percent of the downtown arts scene opposed Operation Iraqi Freedom and use “Bush” as a kind of pejorative shorthand for everything bad. Perusing the playhouse website for further information I read the following

I was intrigued by the way A.N.S.W.E.R. looked because the periods after each capital letter reminded me of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., so I decided to see what their website looked like.

IFCO/Pastors for Peace Free Palestine Alliance - U.S. Partnership for Civil Justice - LDEF Nicaragua Network Bayan - USA/International Korea Truth Commission International Action Center Muslim Student Association of the U.S./Canada Kensington Welfare Rights Union Mexico Solidarity Network Middle East Children's Alliance

As I delved deeper into cyber-space, scenes from the recent terrorist bombings in Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Israel filled my television. Those images provoked a visceral reaction within me. I couldn’t stop thinking about the handful of people that I knew who were killed in the Twin Towers. One person in particular, who - it always sounds saccharine when others say it of murder victims - was the nicest guy in the world! Also, I was told, that he had been going back into the burning buildings to save others when he was killed, and having known him, I have no doubt that this is true. I will openly admit that rage was replacing reason as my primary analytical mode.

When I reached a representative of the playhouse and voiced my indignation, they ultimately denied the connection to A.N.S.W.E.R. “But you are basically boasting about your support for A.N.S.W.E.R. on your website!” I said. By that afternoon their promo had been changed. Proceeds were now going to “Peace Fund.”

My initial reaction to was “A.N.S.W.E.R.-lite.” Photos of happy children might lead one to think that Peace Fund was somehow intervening in their lives with food or housing, but apparently, most of their funding is directed toward organizing conferences to mobilize to organize more conferences. Reading on, I found a web of numerous inter-connected organizations, seemingly funding each other, as if it were an extended jobs program for the organizers. The accounting labyrinth seemed Enron-like in its complexity. One of my favorite Peace Fund grants went to the New York City group "We Interrupt This Message," which has dedicated itself to "documenting anti-youth and racist New York Times coverage of youth and crime"! Exploring Peace Fund’s prison-reform programs was particularly chilling, and I began having negative fantasies of violent criminals being transformed into Islamic militants with funding from the Tribeca arts community.

You’ll call the police?” I replied.

"Why don’t you just call the police?” I suggested, “Call 911. They’ll be here in minutes. If I am doing something illegal, I’ll either stop or get arrested.”

This is around the point that I became a completely different person – someone totally consumed by anger. Returning home, looking forward to relaxing and watching reruns of The Simpsons, the anger became overwhelming. I could not stop block out the vision of police and firemen racing to the Twin Towers to rescue others, unwittingly speeding to their own deaths. A year and a half of barely bottled-up rage reached critical mass and was now focused on the little, local, lefty theater company - and there was a performance that very evening!

Occasionally, other members of the company took turns yelling things at me like, "George Bush is a terrorist!" (I am a registered Democrat and voted for Gore, by the way.) At one point, Bluto came back out to threaten me again. "You really want to get your ass kicked, don't you?” I started screaming, "This peace activist is threatening me with physical violence!" A police car actually drove by to investigate. Then everyone left me alone and went on with the show.

In the past, I would always have sacrificed security for civil liberties and would still rather err on the side of openness and freedom. However, it is now painfully clear just how much the terrorists, who attacked our Tribeca neighborhood on 9/11, truly despise our civil liberties and would like nothing more than see those precious freedoms eroded. They will lose that battle as well. In its history, the United States has overcome the Sedition Act, the appalling internment of Japanese-Americans and even “McCarthyism,” and come back as an ever freer and more open society. Our national libertarian impulses are instinctive and powerful. And after looking behind a particular curtain of the anti-war movement and finding an eager embrace of totalitarianism, John Ashcroft seems, if ever-so-slightly, less terrifying.

TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: algorelostgetoverit; anarchistsocialist; antiamerican; antiamericanwar; antibush; antisemites; antisemitism; antiwar; blameamericafirst; bushbashing; commies; communism; communists; fifthcolumn; fifthcolumnists; hateamericafirst; lovedclintonswars; mccarthywasright; notapeacemovement; september12era; socialism; socialists; stalinsusefulidiots; stevensalzman; usefulidiots
Friday, June 13, 2003

Quote of the Day by Carry_Okie

1 posted on 06/13/2003 1:29:08 AM PDT by JohnHuang2
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To: JohnHuang2
My husband's epiphany was like this in the 1980's. When the Democrats in Congress voted to make it illegal to support the Contras fighting communism in Nigaraua, he threw out his Tom Hayden club card and went out and changed his registration from Dem to Republican and never looked back.

As a male, he understands territoriality in every testosterone soaked cell in his body. Steven Salzman obviously does, too.

Nothing trumps territoriality for a normal male.

2 posted on 06/13/2003 2:29:25 AM PDT by patriciaruth
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To: patriciaruth
3 posted on 06/13/2003 2:30:04 AM PDT by patriciaruth
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To: JohnHuang2
As Bruce Willias said so eloquently...

Welcome to the party, pal!!

4 posted on 06/13/2003 2:40:15 AM PDT by Benrand
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To: JohnHuang2
Steven Salzman must be an idiot. He had to have a building fall on him to see an obvious truth. His cohorts are just so inflamed with hatred for their country that even that isn't enough. Their hatred stems from the refusal of that country to recognize their special talents and virtue and to reward it with the acclaim and riches that they feel they are so justly entitled to. BTW, most of the "artists" in "Tribeca" are trustifarians leeching off their parents. (I put "Tribeca" in quotes because it is a recent real-estate industry coinage, minted when NYC stopped enforcing zoning restrictions against residential use of old industrial buildings.)
5 posted on 06/13/2003 4:45:54 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets ("ALL THE NEWS THAT FITS, WE PRINT")
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To: JohnHuang2
apparently, most of their funding is directed toward organizing conferences to mobilize to organize more conferences. Reading on, I found a web of numerous inter-connected organizations, seemingly funding each other, as if it were an extended jobs program for the organizers. The accounting labyrinth seemed Enron-like in its complexity.

This quote hits the nail on the head!

6 posted on 06/13/2003 5:12:31 AM PDT by 6ppc
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
You know, people who come late to the realization of the truth are still welcome, in my opinion. You fail to understand how isolated and parochial the arts communities are.

I consider it amazing that anyone in that community would break ranks with the prevailing mind-set and speak out. People like this should be encouraged, not denigrated.

7 posted on 06/13/2003 5:20:29 AM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: Miss Marple
That's like giving an alcoholic credit for sobering up in jail. For Steve this is a foxhole conversion. He never even thought to question his assumptions up to this point.
8 posted on 06/13/2003 5:27:32 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets ("ALL THE NEWS THAT FITS, WE PRINT")
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To: Miss Marple
Good analysis.

When I began to question from within the Left, back in the 70s, I was told that "artists can't be conservatives". When we began hanging out with a couple whose company we enjoyed, we were told "But, they are Christians! You are artists!"

We still considered ourselves moderates, but the venom we received for trying to have a logical political discussion was instrumental in pushing us further right. Any point we made was dismissed as "conservative rhetoric", with the suggestion that we read this or that piece of leftwing propaganda.

The majority of arts grants go to large corporate museums and performance companies. I have served on my state's Peer Review Committee for the National Endowment grants. In a 4-year term, I was the only working artist there. When I questioned the large majority of the money going to the symphony, the municipal art museum and the like, I was told "It's legal". I suspect these artists form their groups, supported by the coalition of leftwing activists described, as a way to raid yet another honey pot of Federal grant funding. I have also served on a governor's Blue Ribbon Task Force on Tourism and the Arts and, again: the interest is in the affluent urban areas and organized ethnic festivals; white rural organizations get second class status.

I support defunding the Left. I have often advised artists searching for grants to get a 2nd, part-time job and save that money for their project. It takes less time and produces more funding with no strings attached. Grant money is not free and a portion of the grant will always go to the facilitator. Some grants are purely administrative and fund the grants facilitator to recruit individuals (who get nothing but a promise of future grants) do a study on the feasiblity of the future funding.

The Tribeca group is probably just defending their funding.
It is about leftwing politics, not art.

9 posted on 06/13/2003 6:16:51 AM PDT by reformedliberal
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To: JohnHuang2
The distance between the Left's professed good intentions and the destruction they wreak never stops growing.

My favorite in college was always the Committee for Artistic and Intellectual Freedom in Iran. Death to the Shah! U.S. out of Iraq!

I wonder if my socialist classmates ever pause for a moment to mourn the artists and philosophers executed by the regime they brought to power.
10 posted on 06/13/2003 6:23:30 AM PDT by Norman Conquest
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To: reformedliberal
My daughter just graduated with a degree in painting. She is very talented, but rather than have to work to some arbitrary guideline with grants, she took a full time job so she will have enough money to pay for studio space.

We have had many discussions of market demands and artistic merit. I think she understands better than most graduates because she worked in a retail business while getting her degree.

One thing I learned through her years in school is how heavily left art schools are, and how they tend to ostracize anyone who doesn't tow the PC line. I am very proud of her because she managed to graduate with her faith and beliefs intact, and is probably the only one in her school who voted for George Bush.

11 posted on 06/13/2003 6:32:20 AM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: JohnHuang2
And let's not forget Charlie McCarthy:

12 posted on 06/13/2003 6:44:51 AM PDT by Xthe17th (FREE THE STATES. Repudiate the 17th amendment!)
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To: JohnHuang2
Mugged by reality.

But don't take your eyes off Ashcroft.
He confuses Amendments with Commandments.
13 posted on 06/13/2003 7:21:57 PM PDT by gcruse (Superstition is a mind in chains.)
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To: Miss Marple
One thing I learned through her years in school is how heavily left art schools are, and how they tend to ostracize anyone who doesn't tow the PC line.

Really? I've never heard that. What's PC at art school: Red, not blue?
14 posted on 06/13/2003 7:25:04 PM PDT by BikerNYC
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To: BikerNYC
Obviously, you have not had an experience with art school. Paintings are graded not only on technical expertise, but also content.

What this means is that in exhibits I have attended, I have seen a ceramic planter of two Scottie dogs copulating; an enlarged self-portrait of a student's genitalia; a paper mache portrait of the Pope nude, with an erection, on a swing; etc. etc.

I have seen NO religious paintings, floral still-lifes, landscapes, or normal, non-distorted portraits.

The emphasis is on the shocking, the depressing, the bizarre, the anti-social.

So yes, there is PC in art schools, and it has nothing to do with colors chosen. My daughter found a way to work around this, but it was very difficult for her.

15 posted on 06/13/2003 7:44:17 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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