A Soviet Air Force pilot lands his MIG fighter jet in Japan and asks for asylum in the United States. The incident was a serious embarrassment for the Soviets, and also provided a bit of a surprise for U.S. officials.
When the Soviets first put the MIG-25 (known as the Foxbat) into production in the 1960s, U.S. officials became nearly hysterical. The new plane, they claimed, was the fastest, most advanced, and most destructive interceptor jet ever built. Its debut, they argued, meant that the United States was falling dangerously behind in the race to control the skies. On September 6, 1976, those officials got a close-up look at the aircraft.
Soviet Air Force Lt. Viktor Belenko took his MIG-25 out of Soviet airspace and landed it at a Japanese airfield at Hakodate on the island of Hokkaido. Japanese police took the pilot into custody, where he immediately asked for asylum in the United States. Experts from the U.S. quickly arrived on the scene to get a firsthand look at the aircraft. After being questioned extensively by both Japanese and U.S. officials, Belenko was flown to the United States and granted political asylum.
For the Soviets, the MIG-25 incident was a major diplomatic and military embarrassment. To have one of their most advanced planes delivered into the hands of their enemy was mortifying and was viewed as a serious setback to the Soviet weapons program. Read the rest of this entry »
We can survive cranks, but not a criminal government.
For NRO, Kevin D. Williamson writes: Cliven Bundy’s racial rhetoric is indefensible, and it has inspired a lot of half-bright commentary from the left today directed at your favorite correspondent, mostly variations on this theme: Don’t you feel stupid for having compared him to Mohandas Gandhi?
Short version: No. There is a time to break the law, and the fact that the law is against you does not mean that justice is against you. The law was against Washington and Martin Luther King Jr., too. That does not mean that what is transpiring in Nevada is the American Revolution or the civil-rights movement; it means that there is a time to break the law. As I wrote, “Cliven Bundy may very well be a nut job, but one thing is for sure: The federal government wouldn’t treat a tortoise the way it has treated him.”
Critics on the left, being an ignorant bunch, may be unaware of the fact, but the example of Mohandas Gandhi is here particularly apt, given that the great man had some pretty creepy ideas about everything from race to homosexuality, for example writing that blacks aspired to nothing more than passing their time in “indolence and nakedness,” objecting to blacks’ being housed in Indian neighborhoods, etc. Americans, many of whom seem to believe that Mr. Gandhi’s first name was “Mahatma,” generally confuse the Indian historical figure, a man whose biography contains some complexity, with the relatively straightforward character from the Richard Attenborough movie. We remember Gandhi and admire him because he was right about the thing most closely associated with him. In the same way, there is more to the life of Thomas Jefferson than his having been a slave owner. The question of standing in opposition to a domineering federal government that acts as the absentee landlord for nine-tenths of the state of Nevada is only incidentally related to Cliven Bundy’s having backward views about race. Mr. Bundy’s remarks reflect poorly on the man, not on the issue with which the man is associated. Read the rest of this entry »
Joe Newby reports: During the election, Examiner’s Dean Chambers caused quite a stir when he talked about polls being skewed for Obama, something many conservatives reported. Now that the election is over, Chambers is focused on what he said is the reason for Obama’s victory. On Saturday, The Blaze reported that Chambers’ new site, barackofraudo.com, shows that Obama received 80 electoral votes in four states due largely to voter fraud.
“Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk,” the site says, quoting Henry David Thoreau.
“Evidence of vote fraud is very much like that,” Chambers wrote on the site.
“Those who engage in it are slick and do all they can to hide it, so the evidence is often quite circumstantial. In fact, often the circumstantial evidence is all the evidence we have, such was finding tens of thousands of bogus votes in the ballot box, we didn’t see someone actually put them there, but they are found, they are there, and they are clearly evidence of vote fraud,” he added. “Such is true of the voting divisions where Obama gets 100 percent of the votes cast. As if anyone REALLY believes that is legitimate.”
The Blaze reported that Chambers was mocked throughout the election for his site, UnSkewedPolls.com, where he attempted to, as Dave Weigel wrote at Slate, put “into numbers what other conservatives put into words.”
“I’m getting credible information of evidence in those states that there enough numbers that are questionable and could have swung the election,” he said, according to Weigel. “I’m only putting good credible information on there, like the actual vote counts, reports, and mainstream publications reporting voter fraud,” he added.
Chambers admits, however, that right now there is a lot of noise with very little substance.
“There’s a lot of chatter, though. There are articles people have sent me that don’t hold up. Crazy stuff,” he said.
“What’s not crazy?” Weigel asked.
“Things like the 59 voting divisions of Philadelphia where Romney received zero votes,” Chambers said. “Even Larry Sabato said that should be looked into.”
Weigel said that “57 precincts gave McCain no votes in 2008.”
“There’s such a thing as a 99% Democratic precinct, and such a thing as a 99% Republican precinct,” he added.
Chambers said that Ohio had irregularities that didn’t get much media attention.
This American government — what is it but a tradition, though a recent one, endeavoring to transmit itself unimpaired to posterity, but each instant losing some of its integrity? It has not the vitality and force of a single living man, for a single man can bend it to his will.
— Henry David Thoreau, “Civil Disobedience”
Kevin D. Williamson writes: Democracy isn’t a machine — it’s a dance. And as much as we all admire Thomas More’s famous speech in A Man for All Seasons — “I’d give the Devil the benefit of the law, for my own safety’s sake!” — the fact is we ignore the law all the time: Sammy Hagar can’t drive 55, and I have a sneaking suspicion that many bartenders receiving cash tips do not report every last penny to the IRS. The people we elect to represent us come to believe that they are there to rule us, and we push back against being ruled, sometimes in penny-ante ways, sometimes more dramatically, as with the recent outburst of civil disobedience in Washington, D.C., where veterans and other righteously cheesed-off citizens tore down the barricades surrounding our national monuments and deposited them in front of the White House, as excellent a gesture of the American spirit as our increasingly docile nation has seen in years.
Every American has a little sedition in his soul, and this is a very good time to give it free rein.