Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Big Dupes At Big Peace: Our Communist Founding Fathers–Part Two

Posted by Sun Tzu Jul 17th 2011 at 4:42 am

This is the most recent installment of exclusive interviews with Dr. Paul Kengor, professor of political science at Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania, as he continues to share snippets from his latest book revealing how communists, from Moscow to New York to Chicago, have long manipulated America’s liberals/progressives. Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century is a veritable buffet of never-before-published morsels on the American left. Fred Barnes calls Dupes “an enormously important book.” Big Peace’s own Peter Schweizer calls it the “21st century equivalent” to Whittaker Chambers’ classic Witness.
Big Peace: Professor Kengor, last week you shared examples of how American communists, from the very start of their party’s founding in Chicago in 1919, exploited the language of the American Founding to advance their goals and philosophy in the United States. They also did so in order to dupe American liberals/progressives. Among others, you gave the stunning example of Clarence Darrow, the famous lawyer from the Scopes Monkey Trials. This week you have more examples.
Kengor: I have examples from Hollywood in its golden age and also from Obama’s mentor, Frank Marshall Davis.
Big Peace: Let’s start with Hollywood. Tell us about the Committee for the First Amendment, a major focus of your book.
Kengor: That was the biggest group of duped liberals/progressives ever to appear in Hollywood, so much so that the Committee for the First Amendment would later be officially classified as a communist front-group—that’s how badly the liberals in this group were suckered by the Reds. Here’s what happened:
By October 1947, our Congress had learned the obvious: There were influential communists trying to infiltrate the motion-picture industry, particularly among screenwriters. The accused communists, men like John Howard Lawson, Dalton Trumbo, Alvah Bessie, Albert Maltz, told their liberal friends that they weren’t guilty, and that these mean congressmen investigating their blatant loyalties to Stalin’s Russia were a bunch of “fascists.” Naturally, the liberals believed them, as liberals reflexively take the side not of anti-communists but pro-communists.
Rub a dub, dub, Dalton Trumbo
So, the accused communist screenwriters rallied the liberals to their side in a PR campaign to frame the congressmen as Nazi storm-troopers and the accused communists as the embodiment of James Madison and Alexander Hamilton.
Big Peace: You’re not exaggerating. In the book you give example after example.
Kengor: That’s right. Madison and Hamilton, incidentally, would have been put up against a wall in Bolshevik Russia and shot in the head without hesitation.
Bogart was duped
Big Peace: You write, “And so, Hollywood’s communists looked to liberals in the movie industry for support. They would do so in the name of good old-fashioned American civil liberties, wrapping themselves in the American flag.”
Kengor: Specifically, in October 1947, a group of high-profile actors, writers, and producers planned a major public-relations trip to Washington to defend their accused leftist friends, who were being summoned to testify to Congress for their clandestine work for the Soviet cause. After consulting on tactics with the accused communists, they changed the group’s name from the confrontational “Hollywood Fights Back” to the commendable “Committee for the First Amendment.”
This was a savvy PR move, signifying the high road to be taken: the communists’ case would be based on the American Constitution and venerable First Amendment; in other words, on the antithesis of the USSR that the comrades secretly saluted. The Constitution lovers at the Daily Worker were happy to join in, headlining the campaign as a “Bill-of-Rights Tour.”

Big Peace: Tell us some of the suckers among the celebrities.
Kengor: The liberal stars enlisted in the cause ran into the hundreds, including Katherine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Gregory Peck, Myrna Loy. From the committee, a group of roughly two dozen lent more than their signatures; they actually set sail for Washington. That troupe included some huge faces: Danny Kaye, Ira Gershwin, Judy Garland, John Garfield, Sterling Hayden, Gene Kelly, Burt Lancaster, John Huston, Philip Dunne, Billy Wilder, and, of course, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.
The two dozen huddled with Dunne and Huston, their leaders, to coordinate and ensure they spoke from the same script. There was an agreed-upon understanding that Congress’s questions did not merit the dignity of a response.
Frank Marshall Davis
Of course, the liberals assumed that their accused friends were not communists. Their friends assured them they weren’t. The liberals had convinced themselves—or allowed themselves to be convinced—that the deceivers were sitting in Washington, not Hollywood. Remember, for liberals/progressives, it’s always the anti-communists who are the bad guys. As the great James Burnham unforgettably put it, for the left, the preferred enemy is always to the right.
Big Peace: And when the liberals got there to Washington, they got quite a surprise.
Kengor: Yes, contrary to the false narrative you learned from your scandalously expensive university education—where you paid outrageous amounts of money to be brainwashed by leftist nonsense—the accused were unmistakably, unequivocally guilty. Congress had literal stacks of evidence it publicly presented: Communist Party registration rolls, news clips, Daily Worker articles, New Masses’ bylines, front-group memberships, party applications, party forms, party cards, party, and even numbers. In Dupes, I list the five-digit Communist Party registration card numbers of all of them.
And as the congressmen presented this irrefutable evidence, the left did what it always does when it has nowhere else to go. They called the Congressmen “fascists.”
Hitler Germany!” yelped John Howard Lawson, also known as “Hollywood’s commissar,” when presented with irrefutable evidence, “Hitler tactics!” He had to be escorted out of the room he was so out-of-control.
Big Peace: What was the reaction by the liberals in the Committee for the First Amendment?
Kengor: They were stunned and betrayed, especially Humphrey Bogart, who snapped: “You f—ers sold me out!”
The Committee for the First Amendment fell silent, withered, and died.
Needless to say, these American communists weren’t apostles of the U.S. Constitution. No, they exploited the language of the Constitution to advance the principles and aims of Stalin’s Soviet Union, which, of course, was the utter antithesis of the American Founders’ constitutional republic.
Big Peace: There’s one more example you’d like to share—the best for last. This concerns Frank Marshall Davis, Hawaii mentor to a young man named Barack Obama in the 1970s. In Dupes, you show at length that this man was a communist, a party member even, and quote dozens of his columns.
Kengor: That’s Frank Marshall Davis, CPUSA no. 47544—see page 507 of Dupes for the page from his FBI file that lists that party number.
A common tactic of Davis was to invoke the Founders. Here I’ll give just one example from one column he published in March 1950, where he claimed to be indentifying his own politics. He disingenuously referred to his politics as “left of center in the best American tradition.” He identified with Thomas Jefferson in particular. He quoted Jefferson: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure…. I hold that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world, as storms in the physical.”
Well, that’s a bunch of manure.
Again, we saw this in our Q&A last week, where I noted this common communist tactic of identifying with the revolutionary spirit of our American revolutionaries of 1776. Of course, that was a phony identification, but it was the kind of deceptive thing American communists did all the time to try to win naïve liberals/progressives to their side, which they did with stunning success.
Big Peace: And this gets even worse. If Davis and these other Communist Party members were the self-anointed modern incarnations of Madison and Jefferson and Hamilton and Jay, then who were the enemies?
Kengor: That’s key. The enemies, the “un-Americans” as the communists ludicrously portrayed them, were the anti-communists in groups like the House Committee on Un-American Activities, which was allegedly smearing and defaming great modern patriots like Davis, Lawson, Trumbo, Maltz, Bessie, and other closet communists.
As Frank Marshall Davis put it in his column, “[W]e have descended to such a low level in our history that a person becomes cannon fodder for the un-American committees merely by repeating the words of Lincoln and Jefferson.”
Now, this would be just fine if Davis’s comrades were battling for the ideas of Federalist 10, but, quite the contrary, they were battling for the ideas of Marx. They had other revolutionaries in mind—Bolshevik ones rather than those of 1776.
Big Peace: Needless to say, Karl Marx and Thomas Jefferson had nothing in common.
Kengor: That’s right. For years, I’ve heard people mutter, “If you read the Communist Manifesto, you’ll see it’s not a bad book. It talks about sharing, caring.” What nonsense. When I hear that, I know they haven’t actually read the Communist Manifesto, where Marx states flatly: “the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.”
That’s the essence of communism.
Of course, on this point alone, a first grader—let alone a grown adult—ought to immediately recognize that Marxism can’t work. Abolishing private property is completely contrary to human nature, violating the most innate precepts of all peoples, from the cave to the courthouse. Only a fool would not instantly, intuitively realize that implementing this vision generates mass bloodshed.
It’s obviously completely contrary to the vision of our American Founders.
There was no greater mass murderer of civil liberties than communism. And to imagine that the communists and their dupes would invoke these same Founders? It’s obscene. But, again, they did it all the time.
Big Peace: Professor Kengor, thanks for the history lesson this week.
Kengor: You’re welcome. To learn more about this sordid but crucial history of our country, click here to buy Dupes. I also have a website for the book,

Big Dupes At Big Peace: Our Communist Founding Fathers-Part One

Posted by Sun Tzu Jul 7th 2011

This is the most recent installment of exclusive interviews with Dr. Paul Kengor, professor of political science at Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania, as he continues to share snippets from his latest book revealing how communists, from Moscow to New York to Chicago, have long manipulated America’s liberals/progressives. Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century is a veritable buffet of never-before-published morsels on the American left. Fred Barnes calls Dupes “an enormously important book.” Big Peace’s own Peter Schweizer calls it the “21st century equivalent” to Whittaker Chambers’ classic Witness.

Louis Fraina
Big Peace: Professor Kengor, on the heels of America’s celebration of its 235 birthday, you wanted to join us to again share more jaw-dropping absurdities from the political left. This time, you want to tell us about how communists in this country wrapped themselves in the American flag, praising the founders, our Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, etc. You say they did this for the purpose of duping liberals/progressives in particular.
Kengor: They sure did. As we’ve noted here many times, communists excelled at lies and propaganda. There was nothing too ludicrous for them to push, nor, sadly, for liberals/progressives to soak up. The communists themselves were shocked at how easily they misled these folks. Communists would organize a rally, concealing their identity in the process, enlist plenty of liberals/progressives, and would then boldly and proudly invoke the American Founding. They’d have liberals/progressives standing with them arm-in-arm singing “God Bless America.” It happened constantly.
Big Peace: Communists trumpeting the American Revolution? And these were American communists, we should clarify. How early on did they do this?
Kengor: From the very outset. In Dupes, I present a document declassified from the Soviet Comintern Archives on CPUSA (Communist Party USA). It’s a seven-page letter dated, “Chicago, Illinois, November 24th, 1919.” It was addressed, “To the Bureau of the Communist International”—that’s the Soviet Comintern—and signed by, “International Secretary, Louis C. Fraina.” The letter began, “Comrades: As International Secretary, I make application for admission of the Communist Party of America to the Bureau of the Communist International.” Noting that the Communist Party of America had been officially organized there in Chicago on September 1, 1919, Fraina and his comrades were filing their official application.

And as they did, they simultaneously made their loyalties frighteningly clear. Here is their close on page seven: “The Communist Party realizes the immensity of its task; it realizes that the final struggle of the Communist Proletariat will be waged in the United States, our conquest of power alone assuring the world Soviet Republic.”
It’s signed, “Fraternally yours, International Secretary, Louis C. Fraina.”
In absorbing this letter, consider that a long line of liberal dupes would later defend the American Communist Party against charges that it was battling for the USSR, the Soviet Comintern, and global revolution. These liberals were fools.
Big Peace: That’s remarkable enough. Now tell us who Fraina was, and how this relates to American communists and the American Founding.
Kengor: Fraina was one of the core founders of the American Communist Party, credited as the first communist editor in the United States. He happily used the language of the American Revolution, as if he and his comrades were modern incarnations of the revolutionaries of 1776. They were trying to claim the banner of Jefferson and Madison and Washington and Hamilton.
Big Peace: You say that Fraina literally lifted that revolutionary language as the title of his communist publication.
Kengor: His publication was called Revolutionary Age. In fact, even before the American Communist Party was founded in Chicago in September 1919, Fraina had already launched Revolutionary Age. The title sought to capture the spirit of the revolution, as did its place and date. His Revolutionary Age was launched in Boston on July 5, 1919, the day after America’s birthday. It was another Tea Party, by golly.
Of course, the words inside the publication were not exactly what the American Founders had in mind. Fraina’s publication devoted itself to “the annihilation of the fraudulent democracy” the Founders had created. The next issue, in August, called for a “dissolution and collapse of the whole capitalist world system” and “world culture,” to be “replaced by communism.” It advocated “an international alliance of the Communist Party of the United States only with the communist groups of other countries, such as the Bolsheviki of Russia.”
Ah, yes. Sounds like Thomas Jefferson to me.
Big Peace: That’s laughable, but you note that some liberals/progressives took the bait?
Kengor: That’s why this matter of the dupe is so crucial, and why I felt the overwhelming need to do a whole book on the subject. Another of my favorite examples is Clarence Darrow.
Big Peace: Clarence Darrow was the Scopes Monkey Trials lawyer.
Kengor: Correct. He was the wise-cracking, aggressive lawyer who tore into William Jennings Bryan in 1925. Those trials became the seminal early battle over evolution vs. creationism. Today’s secular liberals adore Darrow. He opened the door to their undermining of things like prayer in public school.
That’s well-established. What surprised me, however, as I dug into communist archives, was the discovery that American communists likewise adored Darrow. Of course, they delighted in his work against religion, but there’s more to it. Darrow defended them, and particularly communist leader Ben Gitlow, beginning with a series of dramatic cases shortly after the founding of the American Communist Party in 1919 and continuing through the 1920s. He defended them while they were being (properly) pursued by the U.S. government for advocating armed revolution and the overthrow of the American system.
By the way, Darrow did this as an early, faithful member of the ACLU, which had just been founded in 1920 by Roger Baldwin, who, at that point, was a pro-Soviet communist.
Big Peace: Here again, this would be remarkable enough, but tell us about the American Founding component here with Darrow as well.
Kengor: Clarence Darrow’s courtroom antics defending Ben Gitlow and American communists were right out of the communist playbook. Darrow tried to argue that not only were American communists not loyal to the USSR but, quite the contrary, were the embodiment of the American Revolution. “For a man to be afraid of revolution in America,” snapped Darrow to the court, “would be to be ashamed of his own mother!” He scoffed, “Revolution?”
Gee, what was more quintessentially American than revolution? These American Bolsheviks, who wanted to replace the American Constitution with the Soviet “Constitution,” were modern incarnations of Madison and Hamilton and Jay—a straight line from the Federalist Papers to the Communist Manifesto, a direct line of progression.
As if that were not offensive enough, Darrow, atheist champion, invoked the Hand of Providence on behalf of this exalted revolution: “There is not a drop of honest blood in a single man that does not look back to some revolution for which he would thank his God that those who revolted won.”
Yes, yes. God was there at the Constitutional Convention and there again with Lenin and Trotsky and Stalin in Moscow.
Big Peace: As you chronicle throughout Dupes, atheistic communists constantly talked about God to dupe Religious Left “social justice” liberals in particular.
Kengor: Precisely, and they did so with beautiful success. Even they were surprised.
Big Peace: Was Clarence Darrow a dupe for the communists or was he a communist doing the duping?
Kengor: I believe he was the communists’ dupe.
By the way, it’s fascinating to read these words from Darrow in the 1940 autobiography of Ben Gitlow. By then, Gitlow had bolted the party. He did a total 180. This is a man who twice ran as the Communist Party’s candidate for vice president of the United States. He was ashamed at both his past and the inanity of Darrow’s embarrassing defense.
This is a side of Darrow you won’t learn in your civics class. Our wonderful liberal historians and textbook writers have deep-sixed this one. The fact is that Clarence Darrow was dutifully defending communists before he was defending monkeys.
Big Peace: And he did so under the banner of the American Revolution.
Kengor: Sure did.
Big Peace: Professor Kengor, as you say, you have a bunch of examples of this kind of thing. You will be enlightening us with a second round.
Kengor: I’ll come back next week and share examples from Hollywood, where closet card-carrying communists duped a star-studded cast of liberals from Bogart and Bacall to Danny Kaye and Judy Garland—and under the banner of the First Amendment. I’ll also give the example of Obama’s mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, another closet card-carrying communist who wrapped himself in the American flag, publicly saluting Jefferson while privately saluting Stalin’s Russia.

Why Democrats Don't Care about $9.7 Trillion Debt

March 9, 2010
By Dennis Prager

As reported by The Washington Post, "President Obama's proposed budget would add more than $9.7 trillion to the national debt over the next decade, congressional budget analysts said Friday."
CNN adds, "Of that amount, an estimated $5.6 trillion will be in interest alone."
The Post continues: "The CBO (Congressional Budget Office) and the White House (are) ... both predicting a deficit of about $1.5 trillion this year -- a post-World War II record at 10.3 percent of the overall economy. But the CBO is considerably less optimistic about future years, predicting that deficits would never fall below 4 percent of the economy under Obama's policies and would begin to grow rapidly after 2015.
"Deficits of that magnitude would force the Treasury to continue borrowing at prodigious rates, sending the national debt soaring to 90 percent of the economy by 2020, the CBO said."
CNN adds that "By 2020 the (CBO) estimates debt held by the public would reach $20.3 trillion, or 90 percent of GDP. That's up from 53 percent of GDP in 2009."
I suspect that most Americans, if asked whether these numbers trouble the Democratic leadership and President Obama, would answer in the affirmative.
They would be wrong.
They would be wrong not because the Democratic Party or the president are economically illiterate or bad individuals, but because the Democratic Party and the president are leftists. And most Americans, including most Democrats, do not understand the left. They may understand liberalism; but President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and most Democratic representatives and senators are not liberals; they are leftists. And most Americans do not understand the difference between liberal and left. They do not realize, for example, that there is no major difference between the American Democratic Party and the leftist social democratic parties of Western Europe. They do not know that from Karl Marx to Obama, the left (as opposed to liberals) has never created wealth because it has never been interested in creating wealth; it is interested in redistributing wealth.
Therefore, unprecedented and unsustainable debt, a debt that will negatively affect most Americans' quality of life, renders the dollar increasingly undesirable, and undermines America's prestige and power in the world -- these developments do not particularly disturb the left. They may trouble the president, the Democratic Party, and others on the left on some political level, but that pales in comparison to what the left really wants: a huge government overseeing a giant welfare state and a country with far fewer rich Americans.
Achieving those goals is far more important than preventing a decline in the American quality of life. The further left one goes, the more contempt one has for the present quality of American life in any event. The left regularly mocks many of the symbols of that life -- from the three-bedroom suburban house surrounded by a white picket fence to owning an SUV (or almost any car) because Americans should be traveling on public buses, trains and bicycles.
As for the dollar, I can bear personal testimony to the decline of the dollar's prestige. I am writing this column in Morocco. In Casablanca, my wife and I and another couple hired a Moroccan driver for the day. And when it came time to pay, the man refused to accept dollars; he wanted to be paid in either Euros or Moroccan dirhams. Yes, dirhams rather than dollars. But the demise of the dollar as the world's currency disturbs the left as much as does America's not getting a gold medal in curling at the Winter Olympics.
And as for America wielding less power in the world, that is a positive development for the American left. It is the world community as embodied in the United Nations that should wield power throughout the world, not an "overstretched," "imperialist" and "militarist" United States.
I used to believe that left and right have similar goals for America, that they just differed in the means they wanted used to get there. I was mistaken. The left has a very different vision of America than those who hold the founding values of America, most especially individualism and small government. And if the price of a once in a lifetime possibility of getting to a giant welfare state dominated by the left is America's steep financial decline, that is a price fully worth paying.
Copyright 2010, Creators Syndicate Inc.
Page Printed from: at July 20, 2011 -


The origins of the modern left can be traced back to the famous passage in Rousseau’s Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality, in which he condemned the institution of private property:
“The first man, who after enclosing a piece of ground, took it into his head to say, ‘this is mine,’ and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society.”
Added Rousseau: “How many crimes, how many wars, how many murders, how many misfortunes and horrors, would that man have saved the human species, who pulling up the stakes or filling up the ditches should have cried to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are lost, if you forget that the fruits of the earth belong equally to us all, and the earth itself to nobody!”

Around the 1830s, a faction of French liberals gravitated toward Romanticism and the philosophy of the late Rousseau, proclaiming that capitalism, private property, and the increasing complexity of modern society were agents of moral decay -- both for the individual and for society at large. This is essentially the worldview that has made its way, through history, into the collective mind of the modern left; it is a worldview calling for a revolution that not only will topple the existing capitalist order and punish its corrupt leaders, but that also will replace that order with a socialist regime where the utopian ideals of perfect justice and equality will reign. Such an ambition can be put into effect only by a totalitarian state with the authority to micromanage every facet of human life, precisely the end-point toward which the policies and crusades of the modern left are directed.

The contemporary left holds that non-socialist societies are composed largely of dominators and the dominated, oppressors and the oppressed. The alleged cause of this social arrangement is the economic system of free-market capitalism, which is viewed by the left as the root of all manner of social ills and vices -- racism, sexism, alienation, homophobia, imperialism. In the calculus of the left, capitalism is an agent of tyranny and exploitation that presses its boot upon the proverbial necks of a wide array of victim groups -- blacks and other minorities, women, homosexuals, immigrants, and the poor, to name but a few. That is why according to the left, the United States (historically the standard-bearer of all capitalist economies) can only do wrong.

To eliminate America’s inherent injustices, the left seeks to invert the power hierarchy, so that the groups now said to be oppressed become the privileged races and classes (and gender) of the new social order. The left’s quest to transform the “dominated” into dominators, and vice versa, draws its inspiration from the Communist Manifesto, which asserts that “[t]he history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle.” The struggle identified by the Manifesto was that of the proletarians and their intellectual vanguard, who, armed with the radical utopian vision of socialism, were expected to launch a series of civil wars in their respective countries -- battles that would topple the “ruling classes” and the illegitimate societies they had established.

According to Marxist theory, these conflicts would rip each targeted society apart and create a new revolutionary world order from its ruins. In an effort to bring about this utopia, the contemporary left has formed a broad alliance, or united front, composed of radicals representing a host of demographic groups that are allegedly victimized by American capitalism and its related injustices. Each constituent of this alliance -- minorities, homosexuals, women, immigrants, the poor -- contributes its voice to a chorus that aims to discredit the United States specifically -- and Western culture generally -- as abusers of the vulnerable. Nor is the left’s list of victim groups limited only to human beings; in the worldview of leftwing environmentalists and animal rights activists, even certain species of shrubs, trees, insects, and rodents qualify as victims of capitalism's ravages.

The seeds of the contemporary anti-American left sprouted in the New Left’s rebellion against the classical liberalism of the post-World War II era. True to its tradition in the New Deal, that liberalism was strongly supportive of the civil-rights movement, the eradication of poverty, and other social causes based on an amelioration of inequality. And on the international front, this “centrist,” post-World War II liberalism stood firmly against communist totalitarianism. Indeed it was the “Cold War liberals,” rather than the conservative movement, that recognized the Soviet threat and engaged and fought the USSR through a policy of containment.

Then, in the 1960s, came the New Left, a movement that rejected classical centrist liberalism because of its gradualism in domestic policy and its anti-totalitarianism in foreign affairs. At its beginning, the New Left also rejected Stalinism (though it saw Stalinism as perilously close to being morally equivalent to the U.S.). But the New Left also romanticized the charismatic revolutionaries of the Third World as an alterative to the "red" on the one hand, and to the "red, white and blue" on the other. As a result, the New Left wound up romanticizing a whole new set of totalitarian heroes -- figures such as Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh, Fidel Castro, and Daniel Ortega.

Changed by the war in Vietnam from a movement theoretically hoping to make America better, into one that believed America was unredeemable, the New Left became a “revolutionary” movement in its approach to domestic policies and foreign affairs. Targeting “Cold War liberals,” it made them an endangered species and attacked the Democratic Party which had mirrored their beliefs and principles. By 1972, after the trauma of the 1968 Chicago convention, the New Left “progressives” had not only killed the post-war Democratic Party, but, through the nomination of George McGovern for President, seized and inhabited its corpse.

The New Left effectively exiled the leading figures of the old centrist liberalism, especially figures such as Hubert Humphrey and Henry “Scoop” Jackson. After accomplishing this parricide, the New Left not only controlled the Democratic Party but also appropriated the classification of "liberalism," thus accomplishing something that the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) had long tried to do when it called communism “liberals in a hurry.” The CPUSA had not succeeded in this because the true liberals had refused to allow such a definitional outrage. But because their credibility and self-confidence was so deeply shaken by their backing of the Vietnam War, these genuine liberals were unable to hold the line against attacks from the New Left “progressives,” and they lost not only their party but also the term which had defined their principles. Many of these centrist liberals wound up moving toward Reaganism and neo-conservatism when they saw what those who now called themselves “liberals” actually believed and wanted to accomplish through their control of the Democratic Party.

Calling themselves “liberals,” today’s leftists (descended from the New Left) claim the moral high ground as self-anointed exemplars of compassion and enlightenment -- counterweights to the supposedly “reactionary” conservatives they depict as heartless monsters. The modern left understands that in order to win the hearts and minds of Americans, it must present its totalitarian objective -- the uncompromising destruction of the status quo -- in the non-threatening lexicon of traditional Western values; that is, it must cite, as its animating purpose, the promotion of such lofty ideals as “human rights,” “civil rights,” “civil liberties,” and above all, “social justice,” or the “correction” of the free market’s inherent inequalities through political interventions of a Marxist nature. As the perennial Socialist presidential candidate Norman Thomas once said: “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism,’ they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

Toward this deceitful end, the left co-opted, in the years following the Vietnam War, the name of “liberalism,” long honored in the West as the movement that had brought freedom, dignity, economic opportunity, and legal protections to millions of people who had been denied those advantages everywhere on the globe since the very dawn of history. Draping their programs and objectives in the rhetoric of classical "liberalism," leftists embarked on the revolutionary enterprise of redefining, subtly and incrementally, what most Americans understood liberal policies to be. Over the course of years and decades, the leaders of the left championed crusades and ideals that bore ever-decreasing resemblance to the liberal causes of a prior era, yet they invariably identified both themselves and their evolving causes as “liberal.” Most significantly, they were largely successful in getting the media and academic elites to parrot their redefinition of that designation at every stage along the way. Thus, programs that were in fact leftist and socialist were enacted by legislators and social reformers in the name of “liberalism,” whose reputation for noble intentions served not only to shield those programs from public criticism, but in fact to win wide public approval of them.

When the term “liberalism” (from the Latin word liberalis, meaning “pertaining to a free man”) first emerged in the early 1800s, its hallmarks were a belief in individual rights, the rule of law, limited government, private property, and laissez faire economics. These would remain the defining characteristics of liberalism throughout the liberal epoch (generally identified as the period of 1815-1914). But the contemporary version of liberalism is a parody of its predecessor. It is a stalwart champion of group rights and collective identity, rather than of individual rights and responsibilities (e.g., the racial preference policies known as affirmative action, and the left's devotion to identity politics generally); the circumvention of law rather than the rule of law (as exemplified by the flouting of immigration laws and nondiscrimination laws, and by a preference for judicial activism whereby judges co-opt the powers that rightfully belong to legislators); the expansion of government rather than its diminution (favoring ever-escalating taxes to fund a bloated welfare state and a government that oversees virtually every aspect of human life); and the redistribution of wealth (through punitive taxes and, again, a mushrooming welfare state) rather than its creation through free markets based on private property.

Another hallmark of classical liberalism was its spirit of toleration for divergent beliefs and ideas, and of respect for individual freedom of thought. Yet in modern leftism, we find precisely the opposite: intolerance of opposing viewpoints, and the promotion of group-think. The left interprets as treason any deviation from its own intellectual orthodoxy, if exhibited by a member of a so-called “victim” group who theoretically ought to occupy a place in the phalanx of revolutionary agitators. We see this phenomenon manifested with particular clarity by black leftists who excoriate black conservatives as “race traitors,” “house slaves,” “Oreos,” and “Uncle Toms.”

David Horowitz has made the following cogent observations about leftist intolerance:
"Since ideologies of the left derive from commitments to an imagined [utopian] future, to question them is to provoke a moral rather than an empirical response: Are you for or against the future equality of human beings? To demur from a commitment to the progressive viewpoint is thus not a failure to assess the relevant data, but an unwillingness to embrace the liberated future. It is to will the imperfections of the present order. In the current political cant of the left, it is to be 'racist, sexist, classist,' a defender of the oppressive status quo.

"That is why not only radicals, but even those who call themselves liberals, are instinctively intolerant towards the conservative opposition. For [leftists], the future is not a maze of human uncertainties and unintended consequences. It is a moral choice. To achieve the socially just future requires only that enough people decide to will it. Consequently, it is perfectly consistent for [leftists] to consider themselves morally and intellectually enlightened, while dismissing their opponents as immoral, ignorant, or (not infrequently) insane."
Contemporary “liberalism” is leftism in disguise. Thus the travesty of the “liberal” label being widely attached to individuals such as Michael Moore, George Soros, Noam Chomsky, Al Sharpton, and Jane Fonda — all of whom are opponents of the classical liberalism which defined America and the West for two centuries.

The Ideologue in the Oval Office

By Jonah Goldberg

"I think increasingly the American people are going to say to themselves, 'You know what? If a party or a politician is constantly taking the position my-way-or-the-highway, constantly being locked into ideologically rigid positions, that we're going to remember at the polls,'" President Obama said at his Friday news conference.
I know everyone is sick of hearing about the debt-limit negotiations. Lord knows I am. When I turn on the news these days, I feel like one of the passengers seated next to Robert Hays in the movie "Airplane!" By the time we get to the phrase "in the out years," I'm ready to pour a can of gasoline over my head.
Still, regardless of how things turn out with the negotiations, what we are witnessing is the rollout of the Obama re-election campaign's theme: Obama is the pragmatic voice of reason holding the ideologues at bay.
So it's worth asking, before this branding campaign gels into the conventional wisdom: Who is the real ideologue here?
The president, we are told, is a pragmatist for wanting a "fair and balanced" budget deal. What that means is tax increases must accompany spending cuts. Any significant spending cuts would be way in the future. The tax increases would begin right after Obama is re-elected.
Now keep in mind that tax hikes (or what the administration calls "revenue increases") are Obama's idee fixe. He campaigned on raising taxes for millionaires and billionaires (defined in the small print as people making more than $200,000 a year or couples making $250,000).
During a primary debate, he was asked by ABC's Charles Gibson if he would raise the capital gains tax even if he knew that cutting it would generate more revenue for the government. The non-ideologue responded that raising the tax, even if doing so would lower revenue, might be warranted out of "fairness." As he said to Joe the Plumber, things are better when you "spread the wealth around."
Earlier last week, referring to the fact that he is rich, the president said: "I do not want, and I will not accept, a deal in which I am asked to do nothing. In fact, I'm able to keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income that I don't need."
Leaving aside the fact that the man lives in public housing and has a government jet at his disposal -- so his definition of "need" might be a bit out of whack -- what is pragmatic about this position?
Obama says that Republicans are rigid ideologues because they won't put "everything on the table." Specifically, they won't consider tax hikes, even though polls suggest Americans wouldn't mind soaking "the rich," "big oil" and "corporate jet owners."
But Obama hasn't put everything on the table either. He's walled off "ObamaCare" and the rest of his "winning the future" agenda.
If Obama believes the American people are the voice of reason when it comes to tax hikes, why does their opinion count for nothing when it comes to ObamaCare, which has never been popular? (According to a RealClearPolitics average of polls, only 38.6 percent of voters favor the plan.) Why not look for some savings there?
Consider the frustration of the supposedly ideologically locked-in GOP Congress. In 2008, the national debt was 40 percent of GDP. Now it's more than 60 percent, and it is projected to reach 75 percent next year, all thanks to a sour economy the GOP feels Obama made worse with incontinent spending.
Republicans won a historic election last November campaigning against the spending, borrowing, tax hikes and ObamaCare. Yet Obama's position is that the Republicans are deranged dogmatists because they don't want to raise taxes or borrow more money to pay for spending they opposed. And Obama is flexible because he refuses to revisit a program that has never been popular.
Meanwhile, the sole example of Obama's pragmatism -- that he has publicly acknowledged -- is his openness to means-testing Medicare, which may not be a bad idea. But Obama's support for it rests entirely on the fact that it would continue to tax upper-income people for benefits they will no longer receive. So, in addition to taxing the "rich" more, he also wants to give them less.
 I know why liberals would support that, but for the life of me I can't see how it's non-ideological.

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online.

Barack Obama’s top ten insults against Israel

By Nile Gardiner
Last week Israel celebrated its 62nd year as a nation, but there was major cause for concern amid the festivities as the Israeli people faced the looming menace of a nuclear-armed Iran, as well as the prospect of a rapidly deteriorating relationship with Washington. The Israel-bashing of the Obama administration has become so bad that even leading Democrats are now speaking out against the White House. New York Senator Chuck Schumer blasted Barack Obama’s stance towards Israel in a radio interview last week, stating his “counter-productive” Israel policy “has to stop”.

At the same time a poll was released by Quinnipiac University which showed that US voters disapproved of the president’s Israel policy by a margin of 44 to 35 percent. According to the poll, “American voters say 57 – 13 percent that their sympathies lie with Israel and say 66 – 19 percent that the president of the United States should be a strong supporter of Israel.”

I recently compiled a list of Barack Obama’s top ten insults against Britain, America’s closest ally in the world. This is a sequel of sorts, a list of major insults by the Obama administration against America’s closest ally in the Middle East, Israel. As I wrote previously on Obama’s treatment of both Britain and Israel:

In the space of just over a year, Barack Obama has managed to significantly damage relations with America’s two closest friends, while currying favour with practically every monstrous dictatorship on the face of the earth. The doctrine of “smart power” has evolved into the shameless appeasement of America’s enemies at the expense of existing alliances. There is nothing clever about this approach – it will ultimately weaken US global power and strengthen the hand of America’s enemies, who have become significantly emboldened and empowered by Barack Obama’s naïve approach since he took office.

The Obama presidency is causing immense damage to America’s standing in the free world, while projecting an image of weakness in front of hostile regimes. Its treatment of both Israel and Britain is an insult and a disgrace, and a grim reflection of an unbelievably crass and insensitive foreign policy that significantly undermines the US national interest.

So here’s my top 10 list of Obama administration insults against Israel after just 15 months in power:

1. Obama’s humiliation of Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House

In March, the Israeli Prime Minister was humiliated by Barack Obama when he visited Washington. As The Telegraph reported, “Benjamin Netanyahu was left to stew in a White House meeting room for over an hour after President Barack Obama abruptly walked out of tense talks to have supper with his family”, after being presented with a list of 13 demands. As I wrote at the time:

This is no way to treat America’s closest ally in the Middle East, and a true friend of the United States. I very much doubt that even third world tyrants would be received in such a rude fashion by the president. In fact, they would probably be warmly welcomed by the Obama White House as part of its “engagement” strategy, while the leaders of Britain and Israel are frequently met with arrogant disdain.

2. Engaging Iran when Tehran threatens a nuclear Holocaust against Israel

In contrast to its very public humiliation of close ally Israel, the Obama administration has gone out of its way to establish a better relationship with the genocidal regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which continues to threaten Israel’s very existence. It has taken almost every opportunity to appease Tehran since it came to office, and has been extremely slow to respond to massive human rights violations by the Iranian regime, including the beating, rape and murder of pro-democracy protesters.

3. Drawing a parallel between Jewish suffering in the Holocaust with the current plight of the Palestinians

In his Cairo speech to the Muslim world, President Obama condemned Holocaust denial in the Middle East, but compared the murder of six million Jews during World War Two to the “occupation” of the Palestinian territories, in a disturbing example of moral equivalence:

“On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people – Muslims and Christians – have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than sixty years they have endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations – large and small – that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.”

4. Obama’s attack on Israeli “occupation” in his speech to the United Nations

In his appalling speech to the UN General Assembly last September, President Obama dedicated five paragraphs to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, without once referring directly to Palestinian terrorism by name, but declaring to loud applause “America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.” He also lambasted the Israeli “occupation”, and drew a connection between rocket attacks on Israeli civilians with living conditions in Gaza. The speech served as a ghastly PR exercise aimed at appeasing anti-Israel sentiment in the Middle East, while bashing the Israelis over the head.

5. Obama’s accusation that Israel is the cause of instability in the Middle East

As The Wall Street Journal noted, “the Obama Administration seems increasingly of the view that Israel is the primary cause of instability in the Middle East”, citing a recent press conference where he stated:

“It is a vital national security interest of the United States to reduce these conflicts because whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower, and when conflicts break out, one way or another we get pulled into them. And that ends up costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure.”

6. The Obama administration’s establishment of diplomatic relations with Syria

While actively appeasing Iran, the Obama administration has also sought to develop closer ties with the other main state sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East, Syria, establishing diplomatic relations with Damascus in February. Syria remains a major backer of Hamas and Hizbollah, both responsible for a large number of terrorist attacks against Israel.

7. Hillary Clinton’s 43-minute phone call berating Netanyahu

As The Telegraph reported, Hillary Clinton sought to dictate terms to Israel in the wake of Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Jerusalem:

“In a telephone call, Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, ordered Mr. Netanyahu to reverse a decision to build 1,600 homes for Israeli settlers in occupied East Jerusalem that sparked the diplomatic row. She also instructed him to issue a formal pledge that peace talks would focus on core issues such as the future of Jerusalem and the borders of a Palestinian state. In addition, the Israeli prime minister was urged to make a substantial confidence-building gesture to the Palestinians. Mrs. Clinton suggested this could take the form of prisoner releases, an easing of the blockade of Gaza and the transfer of greater territory in the West Bank to Palestinian control.”

Last time I checked, Israel was still an independent country, and not a colonial dependency of the Obama White House. Yet that still hasn’t stopped the Secretary of State from acting like an imperial Viceroy.

8. David Axelrod’s attack on Israeli settlements on “Meet the Press”

It is extremely unusual for a White House official to launch an attack on a close US ally on live television, but this is exactly what the President’s Senior Adviser David Axelrod did in an interview in March with NBC’s Meet the Press, designed to cause maximum humiliation to Israel, where he stated in reference to new settlement construction in East Jerusalem:

“This was an affront, it was an insult but most importantly it undermined this very fragile effort to bring peace to that region. For this announcement to come at that time was very destructive.”

9. Hillary Clinton’s call on Israel to show “respect”

As The Telegraph revealed, the Secretary of State lectured the Israelis at a dinner attended by the Israeli ambassador and the ambassadors of several Arab states in mid-April, urging Israel to “refrain from unilateral statements” that could “undermine trust or risk prejudicing the outcome of talks”. In Clinton’s words:

“Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu has embraced the vision of the two-state solution. But easing up on access and movement in the West Bank, in response to credible Palestinian security performance, is not sufficient to prove to the Palestinians that this embrace is sincere. We encourage Israel to continue building momentum toward a comprehensive peace by demonstrating respect for the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians, stopping settlement activity and addressing the humanitarian needs in Gaza.”

10. Robert Gibbs’ disparaging remarks about Israel

Not one to shy away from criticizing America’s friends when the opportunity arises, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs entered the fray in an interview on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace in March where he attacked the Israeli government for weakening “the trust that’s needed for both sides to come together and have honest discussions about peace in the Middle East.” In condescending terms he stated that Benjamin Netanyahu should start “coming to the table with constructive ideas for constructive and trustful dialogue about moving the peace process forward.”

Black Privilege

July 20, 2011

By Robin of Berkeley

One of my friends voluntarily attended an event recently, one that I wouldn't go to for a million bucks (well, maybe a million bucks). It was called Erasing White Privilege.
My friend, whom I'll call Andrea, sat in a room with other whites on one side, and people of color on the other. Then the whites sheepishly confessed any real or imagined offenses perpetuated against a person of color.
After the whites tried to atone for their guilt, the people of color got involved: yelling at them, preaching, and discharging much rage. Andrea's rendition of the events reminded me of those angerfests that were popular in the '70s.
Back then, people would pay to be in encounter groups, where they'd holler and smack each other with foam bats. The idea was that by releasing anger, everyone would feel better.
But guess what the research eventually found? By raging at another person (whether he deserves it or not), our anger doesn't dissipate; it grows. And the deleterious effects are not just emotional. Blood pressure rises and muscle tension increases, promoting hypertension and musculoskeletal pain.
But the studies don't matter; these days it's all about white guilt and minority rage. And the endgame isn't reconciliation and racial healing. We're living in a creepy age where revenge is the order of the day, where the left wants to seize power under the lofty guise of justice.
Personally, I have never had a moment of white guilt in my life. Now this is a significant statement given that I am Jewish and from New York. I feel guilty about pretty much everything!
But I feel guilty about what I do -- or don't do. If I inadvertently hurt a friend's feelings, if I am ill-mannered to a clerk, if I disappoint my husband, I can find myself drowning in a sea of guilt and shame.
But guilt because of the color of my skin? Guilt because some white person in 1960s Selma, Alabama refused to allow a black person into his restaurant? Guilt because while my relatives were being raped and pillaged in Russia, a small minority of white people owned slaves (as did, by the way, some free slaves)? I might as well feel guilty about the train wreck that is Casey Anthony simply because she and I share the same race, gender, and sexual orientation.
The idea of collective guilt is not just absurd; it's evil. It's saying that all Jews were bad because some may have committed some injustice in Germany, circa l940. It's saying that all Israelis are responsible if someone injures a Palestinian. Or that all whites are culpable for the actions of others 50 or 150 years ago. Collective guilt is a notion that is so laser-focused on race, it is actually racist.
It's also anti-God because no legitimate religion preaches culpability based on race or gender. According to Hinduism and Buddhism, we each reap what we sow karmically. Christians and Jews believe in individual accountability for sins on Judgment Day.
Of course, many religions have twisted things around, with liberal churches and synagogues promoting the notion of white guilt. There's a reason for this: it's safer to hide behind the behavior of an entire race than stand naked before God. I sure wouldn't want to be Bill Ayers or Bernadine Dohrn the day they arrive at the Pearly Gates (if they make it there at all).
It's so much easier to merge with the crowd, to assume that God will be placated by über-recycling. How sobering to realize that we will one day be judged by our character and our faith -- not whether we voted for Obama.
But if this age is all about guilt and confession, I have a burning question. Why isn't everyone required to confess their political sins? If I'm supposed to sit in a room, and tearfully confess, Oprah-style, about every judgmental thought I've ever had, why aren't people of color required to do the same?
Frankly, I wouldn't mind an apology from the black kids in middle school who taunted and threatened me because of the color of my skin. I'd like a big "I'm sorry" from the gangs of black girls in high school who, enraged by forced busing, mowed me down in the hallway. And for when I went to the Arab Market in Israel as a teenager and seven different Arab men, in seven separate incidents, grabbed my private parts, I'm more than ready to hear an apology.
And I'm also waiting with bated breath for apologies from the following: the black dude in pre-Giuliani Manhattan who fondled me in a similar way; the black man in Berkeley who mugged me, leaving me with a black eye and broken nose to die (I didn't) in the middle of the street; and the countless black men in Berkeley who have called me a "f___g white b___" when I didn't give them spare change.
But I don't want an apology because of white privilege or black privilege, or any such nonsense -- but because it is wrong to molest, mug, or otherwise violate another human being -- no exceptions! This has nothing to do with race but everything to do with about human decency and consideration.
But in Obama's America, there's little human decency to be found. The rules have changed, and they consist of the new three Rs: rage, revenge, and reparations. And this malignant game of Blaming Whitey will go on and on until we call it what it is (hate), walk away from the table, and refuse to play.

July 20, 2011 - 07:11:18 PM CDT

Fact-Checking NPR’s Agenda Journalism on Terrorism

Posted by Dave Reaboi Jul 19th 2011 at 7:00 am
Yesterday’s poorly reported National Public Radio Morning Edition story, “Terrorism Training Casts Pall Over Muslim Employee,” demands a fact-check critique. The NPR report alleged that the head of Ohio’s Muslim outreach program Omar al-Omari was wrongly terminated due to a law enforcement briefing on political Islam.  We needed to issue several corrections:

NPR Claim #1: “Federal officials familiar with the case say Omari was singled out because he distinguished between extremist Muslims and mainstream Muslims in his outreach and training programs.”

Fact Check #1: Many of the materials Omari had written, including his Guide to Arabic and Islamic Culture, and a brochure titled ‘Agents of Radicalization’ were slanted towards a pro-radical Islamic view and support a revisionist history which blames America for many of the Middle East’s problems.  In the Guide, Omari defines jihad as:

Jihad doesn’t mean holy war, as many people are led to believe. It actually means a struggle to achieve excellence. It’s the struggle Muslims face in life which varies from the Greater Jihad where a person is obliged to struggle within him/herself to overcome evil and establish good, to the Lesser Jihad which is the struggle in daily life. As Muslims are obliged to maximize their potential in order to be the best citizens they can be, jihad is the vehicle that lifts them to the challenge.  The term holy war is a European concept that began with the Crusades and was extended to Islam by the West.

In an interview with The Investigative Project on Terrorism, Zuhdi Jasser, Muslim President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy was highly critical of Omari’s publications:

Jasser describes the two publications as “full of factual inaccuracies” including the assertion that 66 percent of American Arabs are Muslim (close to three-fourths are Christian). Alomari also “misses the core problem: political Islam.” Instead, he indulges in “bizarre revisionist history” which “seeks to portray Muslims as victims.”

The United States is engaged in “a war of ideas” with radical Islam. Regarding jihadists, “you would hope that [Alomari] would say that these are corrupt thugs who have hijacked our faith,” Jasser told the Investigative Project on Terrorism. But instead he “describes [terrorism] as a response to what the West has done.”

The material Alomari’s agency is putting out is “classic Islamist propaganda” which suggests that “these thugs who kill people in restaurants and shopping malls will stop if we solve the Arab-Israeli conflict,” Jasser said. “In fact, they’ll find another grievance in a year or two.”

The brochure “Agents of Radicalization,” was printed but then copies were destroyed because Omari had listed as “organizations we are working with” a list that included numerous unindicted co-conspirators from the Holy Land Foundation terrorism finance trial: “Some of the organizations we are working with,” Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) Muslim Alliance of North America (MANA) Muslim American Society (MAS) Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) Muslim Student Association (MSA).” Many of these groups were listed as unindicted coconspirators in the largest terrorism financing trial in American history, US vs Holy Land Foundation.

Omari’s brochure on radicalization was never distributed, according to a source within the Department:

Thousands of copies were printed up by the department (at taxpayer expense, of course). Some copies had been provided to some of our partner agencies. As boxes of these things were getting ready to be shipped out, our director was contacted by some counter-terrorism officials and told that the brochure was promoting groups that the FBI and other agencies were trying to distance themselves from (like CAIR).

According to a report by counterterrorism expert Patrick Poole, Ten Failures of the U.S. Government on the Domestic Islamist Threat,

“When [Omari] organized a forum on “interfaith dialogue” for the department in August 2009, the two lone Muslim representatives included a local imam, Hany Saqr, who was identified in the Holy Land Foundation trial as one of the top Muslim Brotherhood leaders in the nation; and CAIR-Ohio president Asma Mobin-Uddin.”

NPR Claim #2: “Omari lost his job with the state of Ohio, though not because of claims that he had ties to terrorism…his employment application was incomplete. He hadn’t listed all of the schools where he had worked before taking the job with the state of Ohio.”

Fact Check #2: Omari was fired not only for failing to list his prior employment at Columbus State Community College, “where he was fired after an improper consensual sexual affair with a student,” according to the Columbus Dispatch newspaper but also for failing to disclose his prior work for the Jordanian Minister of Labor and for lying to investigators, also reported by FOX News and first published at the online investigative journalism website My Pet Jawa.

According to reports, Omari sued the female student who had reported his illicit activities as sexual harassment to higher-ups, claiming the woman had defamed him.  He lost.

Omari is now currently suing the state of Ohio for wrongful termination, as well as other alleged discriminations he suffered while working as the Multicultural Relations Officer for the Ohio Department of Public Safety.
NPR Claim #3: According to the NPR story on the mid-April 2010 training session, “Deputy Chief Jeffrey Blackwell of the Columbus Division of Police stated about Omari that “I knew him really well … And I thought he was a great professional, so that was part of the reason why I was so surprised when his picture popped up in the presentation.”

Fact Check #3: Omari’s highly Islamist-influenced brochure (the one that had to be destroyed) and guide had been widely publicized after he testified to Congress on March 17 and was widely criticized – one month PRIOR to the mid-April law enforcement training session, where the trainers discussed the content of the Omari publications with the attendees.  The facts raised by the trainers about Omari’s publications were not in dispute when published in March or presented by trainers in April.  According to participants the trainers had been invited to brief by the Columbus Police Department, and far from being “suspended,” the training continued through to the end of the planned session.  The entire course of instruction was completed.

This information was available to National Public Radio by simply googling Omari’s name, but NPR’s story was not an exercise in journalism.  They’re in the whitewashing business for Islamist supporters like Omari.

Congress, on the other hand, is in the spending reduction business these days.  Exactly one year after the public exposure of Omari began, on March 17, 2011, the House of Representatives voted to stop federal funding for National Public Radio.  The vote was 228 to 192.  Not even close.

Dueling Debt Ceiling Strategies

Posted By Arnold Ahlert On July 20, 2011 @ 12:49 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 2 Comments

Dueling measures to deal with America’s debt ceiling crisis were on tap in the House and Senate yesterday. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives debated and passed H.R. 2560, more familiarly known as the “Cut, Cap and Balance Act.“ The legislation calls for raising the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion in exchange for immediate spending cuts, along with the adoption of a constitutional or “similar” amendment requiring a balanced federal budget. In the Senate, members of the bipartisan “Gang of Six,” given up for dead until Tom Coburn (R-OK) unexpectedly rejoined the group yesterday, were working on a $3.7 trillion deficit reduction plan that would also raise $1 trillion in revenue. But what is likely to emerge from this 11th hour scramble?

The Cut, Cap and Balance bill is a three-part affair. The “cut” part would impose limits on both discretionary and mandatory spending or force a presidential sequester, which is “an automatic, across-the-board proportional spending cut written into law and implemented by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).” Social Security and Medicare would be exempt from sequestering.

The “cap” part would enforce a limit on federal spending by tying it to a fixed percentage of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This is critically important. Most Americans are likely unaware of the fact that, despite tax rates being all over the lot, from a marginal rate as high as 92 percent in the ’50s to a low of 28 percent in the late ’80s, federal government receipts have averaged 18 percent of GDP for the last 60 years. The reason for this is simple: as tax rates change, so do peoples’ behavior, meaning they find ways to avoid tax liabilities.

Thus, while “tax the rich” may sound logical in terms of increasing revenue, it doesn’t bear out in reality. Furthermore, “rich” is a mobile concept: 60 percent of America’s taxpayers were in a different tax bracket in 2007 than they were in 1999. More importantly, 40 percent of those in the top fifth moved down, while 60 percent of those in the bottom fifth moved up. The primary reason America is running its highest deficits in history is because the Obama administration is currently spending a post-WWll high of almost 24 percent of GDP, and forty cents of every dollar is borrowed money. Cap would wind that spending back — gradually — to the historic average.

The “balance” part of the law would increase the debt limit by $2.4 trillion after Congress passed a Balanced Budget Amendment specifically tied to the above-mentioned limit on spending as a fixed percentage of GDP. Any tax increases above the fixed limit would have to be approved by a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress.

The obvious plusses of Cut, Cap and Balance? A certain degree of fiscal sanity would be imposed on members of both parties, whose level of fiscal insanity has brought this nation to the brink of bankruptcy. The bill would be a mechanism for dealing with the reality that statesmanship, as in the idea of doing something for the good of the country without regard for personal gain, is dead. Furthermore, the two-thirds vote threshold required for raising taxes would largely curtail frivolous spending initiatives engendered by phony “crises.”

The obvious negatives? The required Balanced Budget Amendment, constitutional or otherwise, in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. A constitutional amendment could take years. Even a simple amendment bill would be next to impossible to pass before the August 2nd deadline, and whether Republicans realize it or not, such an unrealistic expectation undermines the rest the bill’s credibility. The bet here is they know it, but choose to get Democrats on the record rejecting the amendment. Perhaps just as telling, two out of the three revenue-eating behemoths, namely social Security and Medicare (the military is the third), remain immune to automatic cuts administered by the OMB. This could make the still-necessary reforms of both even harder to achieve.

The biggest negative? A next-to-nothing chance of passing in the Democratically-controlled Senate, and a promised presidential veto by Mr. Obama in the event of a miracle. There will be no miracles.

Moving on to the Senate, a strategy characterized as a “bipartisan, comprehensive and balanced plan consistent with the Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission” is being contemplated. This proposal would immediately impose cuts of $500 billion, “stabilize” our public debt by 2014, and reduce it to 70 percent of GDP by 2021. The process would take two steps to accomplish: an initial bill mandating the immediate $500 billion in cuts, and a “process” to enact comprehensive reform afterwards.

Some of the comprehensive reforms listed include “dramatic” cuts to discretionary spending, “careful” strengthening of entitlement programs, “fundamental” tax code reform, “strict tightening” of government budget processes, and Social Security “reform.” The details include fully funding the Sustainable Growth Rate mechanism used to pay physicians, eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax, which had originally targeted the rich, but whose levels are increasingly encroaching on middle class earners, and making Social Security solvent for the next 75 years. And despite a revenue increase of $1 trillion, the bill calls for a “CBO [Congressional Budget Office] scored plan” of $1.5 trillion in “net tax relief.” It would also impose a “67-vote threshold” (do they mean two-thirds vote?) on a “stand-alone” resolution, in order to circumvent spending caps or add to the debt.

Tax reform would include tradeoffs. Personal and corporate income tax rates would be lowered, but some deductions would be eliminated, with estimates “tailored” to provide $1 trillion in additional government revenue. Deficit reduction plans include committees set up to “report legislation” aimed at delivering “real deficit savings in entitlement programs over 10 years” in several government departments, including Homeland Security, Commerce, Agriculture, Energy and Defense.

The positives? First and foremost, the Senate getting involved in the debt ceiling effort, albeit indirectly. A senior Senate Democratic aide noted that “there are no discussions” on bringing this legislation into the debt ceiling negotiations. But Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) who told reporters that the response by the 50 senators briefed on the legislation was “very favorable,” also posed the possibility the plan could “get married” to the debt ceiling debate. Second, the president expressed his support. “I think we’re now seeing a potential for a bipartisan consensus,” he told reporters. Third, the plan involves some level of bipartisanship, although how much is currently unclear. Republican Sen. Coburn, who had quit the group in May following a sharp disagreement regarding Medicare cuts, had proposed his own plan on Monday with $9 trillion in deficit cuts and $1 trillion in tax increases over ten years. How his particular agenda has been addressed also remains unclear.

The negatives? A distressingly familiar theme: a “definite” $500 billion in immediate cuts followed by a “process” with some pretty good ideas, all of which could be “re-negotiated” once the immediate crisis is in the rear-view mirror. For Republicans who remember being burned before by Democrats’ “bait and switch” tactics, most notably under Ronald Reagan in 1982 and George H.W. Bush in 1990, both of whom raised taxes in return for spending cuts that never materialized, it may be especially galling.

Two other troubling details emerge in the opening statement of the plan. The first detail calls for deficit reductions of $3.7/$3.6 trillion over ten years, or $4.65/$4.5 trillion if president Obama’s 2011 budget request of $3.7 trillion is used as the “starting point for discretionary spending.” This is the budget that was so ridiculous it was defeated by a 97-0 vote in the Senate. It contains $1.65 trillion in immediate deficit spending which would be “offset” by as little as $450 billion per year for a decade. That’s bait and switch on steroids.

The second detail is for sophisticates. The proposal will ostensibly stabilize “publicly held” debt by 2014 and reduce “publicly held” debt to 70 percent of GDP by 2021. Sounds swell as long as Americans remain unaware of something called “intragovernmental debt.” Intragovernmental debt is money the government borrows from itself.  The best example is Social Security. Despite the myth that funds used to pay for it are in a “lock box,” in reality the only thing in a lock box are government IOUs in the form of Treasury bonds. Bonds which eventually have to be paid off the same way publicly held debt gets paid off, which is by raising taxes, reducing services, or creating new money via the Federal Reserve system. Our current intragovernmental debt stands at over $4 trillion. There is nothing in this proposal which addresses it.

Chances of this package passing? Better than Cut, Cap and Balance, at least in the Senate. But a plan like this is likely just as DOA in the House as Cut, Cap and Balance is in the Senate. Thus two realities are emerging. First, America is still in need of something that will satisfy the financial markets and the ratings agencies by August 2nd. The bet here is that some kind of “kick the can past the 2012 election” proposal, one that each side hates and will blame the other for, will be adopted. Probably at 11:59 PM on August 1st.

The second, and far more important reality: the 2012 election will be the ultimate referendum on America’s fiscal future. This may in fact be an unexpected cause for optimism, as the public will be the ultimate arbiter of this long, bitter, tiresome debate.

Arnold Ahlert is a contributing columnist to the conservative website

Article printed from FrontPage Magazine:
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Bronner's Flotilla Bias

The New York Times seems less and less concerned about factual coverage of Israel, as Ethan Bronner’s July 2, 2011 column titled “Setting Sail on Gaza’s Sea of Spin” underscores.
Bronner begins his “news analysis” piece by comparing the latest Gaza flotilla, led by radical anti-Israel extremists and terrorist groups, with the efforts of Holocaust survivors in pre-state Israel to breach the British blockade onboard the Exodus. The outrageous, false analogy is cast, in the familiar trope of The Times, as the viewpoint of “some” unnamed persons who “see a parallel.” Of course, all kinds of bogus parallels are seen by people; journalists and their editors aren’t obliged to give them credence in print.
But many Times reports rely on a ping-pong-like juxtaposition of Israeli versus Palestinian views, a template that ostensibly presents balance but more often ends up as a device to inject inaccurate claims and to avoid the facts. Similarly, Bronner sees “almost everything” in the flotilla controversy as “a parable for something else, part of an unstated effort to recast the Israeli-Palestinian narrative in extreme terms.”
What all this circumlocution amounts to is the reporter laboring to soften the reality, which is that, manifestly, there is one “extreme” dimension of the “Israeli-Palestinian narrative,” and, more specifically, of the recent flotilla “narrative.” That dimension is the flotilla’s Muslim Brotherhood leadership in the guise of Muhammad Sawhalha, and the Brotherhood’s Gazan arm, Hamas, an organization that seeks the annihilation of Israel and of all Jews – as openly expressed in its charter, public statements and the training of its youth.
The facts are clear and available; the Islamist component of the latest flotilla is documented. But The Times has never mentioned Sawalha or done any in-depth look at the “extreme” Islamist and terror-related underpinnings of the flotilla. Bronner makes passing comment near the close of his article to the “Turkish group, I.H.H which helps sponsor” the flotillas and has ties to Hamas. But the reference suggests the journalist hasn’t bothered with homework. As widely reported, I.H.H. is essentially uninvolved in this flotilla, its major vessel having dropped out.
Nor does Bronner touch on a noteworthy account in the Dutch press, which revealed that all Dutch journalists and activists had left a flotilla vessel on the island of Corfu when they witnessed the arrival last week of Amin Abou Rashed, a well-known Dutch Hamas leader. Flotilla leaders also include Huwaida Arraf and Adam Shapiro, International Solidarity Movement founders, the latter of whom recently called for global attack on Israel and termed the flotilla movement part of the third Intifada. But Bronner ignores the ISM radicals too.
And though he says the likelihood of violence “does not seem farfetched,” that declarative statement appears near the close of his piece. In contrast, Bronner opens with the sardonic observation, via reference to unnamed commentators, that “the Israeli authorities portray the organizers as violent Islamists when most are middle-aged European pacifists.” While all but omitting Islamist, particularly Hamas, involvement in the flotilla – and any reference to Hamas’s genocidal agenda or its decade of rocket assaults on Israel – the reporter offers warmly sympathetic statements about Gaza.
Noting that Israel is “quick to say that Gaza is well provided for and doesn’t need any flotilla,” he is quick to interject “Gaza remains a deeply sad and deprived place.” He also quotes, and mislabels, a favored NGO, Gisha, a pro-Palestinian group that engages in apartheid rhetoric about Israel. Bronner calls it simply “a human rights group focused on Gaza,” omitting its extreme political tilt. Gisha is cited saying the focus on humanitarian aid is “infuriating and misleading” because progress there distracts from other “sweeping restrictions” on Palestinians.
But beyond the usual devices of Times misdirection and distortion, the opening Exodus theme is what grabs the reader. Bronner returns to it at length, claiming it supports “a certain political and public relations strategy.” An Israeli professor is quoted as saying Palestinians hope via the flotilla to give Gazans a greater hand in defining their own fate as the Exodus had done for Jews. But that same professor, M.M. Silver, has also written: “Such comparisons are, to Israelis, invidious, and they completely undermine faith in "land-for-peace" diplomacy. As they see it, their country conceded land, and then received not peace, but rather missile attacks, insulting Holocaust analogies, and shrill war crime accusations.”
The thrust of Bronner’s work here and in nearly daily dispatches conveys a seemingly irrepressible impulse to mute and distort the openly-expressed aims of the Palestinians themselves with regard to Israel, to focus instead on indictments of the Jewish state and to belittle Israeli concerns. The disparagement is echoed in the bizarre use of, for instance, the word “scuffle” to characterize the attacks on Israelis during the 2010 flotilla crisis. Soldiers were beaten unconscious, stabbed and thrown off an upper deck, prompting an extensive, violent exchange in which nine flotilla members were killed. (In a previous story, Bronner termed the violent clash a “tussle” – suggesting, say, a pillow fight.)
Bronner’s title alludes to competing Israeli and Palestinian “spin” regarding the flotilla. Ironically, if “spin” means seeking to shape perception of events regardless of facts, Hamas and its allies’ flotilla gambit is matched in this endeavor by the fact-anemic “narratives” of the Times’ Jerusalem bureau chief himself.
This column was originally published in The American Thinker on July 10, 2011.

‘Count Me a Jew and Come For Me First’ Video of Beck’s Moving Keynote Address at the Christians United for Israel Summit

Posted on July 20, 2011 at 7:17am by Naked Emperor NewsNaked Emperor News

In Glenn Beck’s keynote speech at the Christians United for Israel summit in Washington, D.C.Tuesday night he boldly stated, If the world goes down the road of dehumanizing Jews again, “then count me a Jew and come for me first.”
Video of some of the most emotional moments in Glenn’s speech:

Glenn’s Full Speech
Click here to find out more!

Dem Sen. Tom Harkin: Debt Fight Not Between Dems and Reps…It‘s Between GOP and ’Cult Fringe’

Posted on July 20, 2011 at 7:00pm by Billy HallowellBilly Hallowell

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has a message for Americans: The debt fight isn’t between Democrats and Republicans; it‘s between Republicans and their ’cult fringe.’
In a Democratic press conference earlier today, the congressman called Republicans “dead-beat debtors,” attacked Rep. Michele Bachmann’s stance on the debt limit and issued a number of related proclamations. He said:
“The debate and fight is not between Democrats and Republicans. It’s between some Republicans and their sort of cult fringe as I refer to them out there.
Democrats are willing to do whatever is necessary to raise the debt ceiling, not for future borrowing but to pay the debts that we racked up in the past. Which, mostly was racked up by a Republican House, a Republican Senate and a Republican President in the last 8 years. Yet, they’re not willing to pay the bills.”
While Harkin attributes most of the nation’s debt problems to Republicans, it should be noted that the United States has been acquiring debt for decades. Additionally, the Democrats (who were certainly present in government over the past eight years) were in control of both Houses from December 2006 until the 2010 midterms; the Democratic Party still retains control of the U.S. Senate.
Watch Harkin’s comments, below:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What Did You Say About Muhammad?!

by Raymond Ibrahim
May 12, 2010

Which is more likely to elicit an irate Muslim response: 1) public cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, or 2) public proclamations that Muhammad was a bisexual, sometime transvestite and necrophile, who enjoyed sucking on the tongues of children, commanded a woman to "breastfeed" an adult man, and advised believers to drink his urine for salutary health?
Based on the recent South Park fiasco—where an animated episode depicting Muhammad in a bear suit sparked outrage among various Muslim groups, culminating with the usual death threats—the answer is clear: cartoons, once again, have proven to be the Muslim world's premiere provocateur. Indeed, during a university lecture the other day, Swedish artist Lars Vilks, whose life is in jeopardy due to his depiction of Muhammad as a dog, was violently assaulted to ululations of "Allahu Akbar!" (Islam's primordial war cry).
Yet how can cartoons rouse Muslim ire more than public assertions that Muhammad was a bisexual, a transvestite, a necrofile, et al? First, context:
The evangelical Arabic satellite station, al-Haya (Life TV), regularly takes the Muslim prophet to task, especially on two weekly programs: Hiwar al-Haq (Truth Talk), hosted by Coptic priest Fr. Zakaria Botros, and Su'al Jari' (Daring Question), hosted by ex-Muslim Rashid. Both shows revolve around asking uncomfortable questions about Islam and its founder in an effort to prompt Muslims to reconsider the legitimacy of their faith. (It is on these shows that the aforementioned, unflattering assertions of Muhammad originate; see here and here for English summaries.)
These broadcasts are viewed by millions of Arabic-speaking Muslims around the world. That the satellite station strikes a Muslim nerve is evinced by the fact that it is formally banned in several Muslim nations, including Saudi Arabia, and is regularly condemned by Islam's demagogues on mainstream Arabic media, including al Jazeera.
When the programs first began airing, they certainly caused uproar in the Muslim world. Then, Muslims regularly called in cursing the hosts, promising them death and destruction (both here and in the hereafter). Al-Qaeda reportedly put a $60 million bounty on Fr. Zakaria's head; and the priest is on CAIR's radar. (See the father make his famous "ten demands" of Islam here and explain his mission in this rare English interview.)
Far from being cowed by the daily death threats, however, Life TV and its unrepentant hosts have responded by upping the ante and providing even more anecdotes discrediting Muhammad. Rashid recently examined the theological implications of Muhammad's hatred for the gecko lizard, which the prophet accused of being "an infidel and enemy of the believers." Muslims who kill it in the first strike receive 100 "heavenly-points," whereas those who kill it in two strikes receive only 70. More graphically, Fr. Zakaria recently examined canonical hadiths (authenticated Muslim accounts) that record Islam's first believers eating Muhammad's feces, marinating food in his sweat, drinking the water he gargled and spit out, and smearing his phlegm all over their faces—all to his approval.
Needless to say, Life TV's hosts—especially the flamboyant Fr. Zakaria—are hated by Muslims around the world. But to the careful observer, the outrage appears to be subsiding, ostensibly replaced by apathy—that is, the default strategy when threats and displays of indignation fail. Most callers are now Muslim converts to Christianity, who encourage and thank Fr. Zakaria and Rashid (often in tears). Conversely, the diminishing angry callers usually spew a barrage of insults, culminating with a "may-you-burn-in-hell," and quickly—almost as if ashamed of their impotent behavior—hang up.
Now, back to our original observation: how can Life TV get away with outlandish weekly disparagements concerning Muhammad, whereas Western cartoons spark widespread outrage? Considering that millions of more Muslims watch Life TV than have ever heard of South Park makes the question doubly puzzling.
The answer is simple: the South Park incident is less a reflection of Muslim anger and more of Western appeasement. By constantly buckling in to the slightest Muslim displeasure—whether by altering films, removing museum art, or canceling book launches—the West has perpetuated a vicious cycle wherein Muslim sensitivities are ever heightened and outraged at the slightest slight, and Western freedoms of expression are correspondingly diminished and trampled upon. What's worse, such self-imposed censorship falls right into the hands of homegrown Islamists actively working to subvert Western civilization from within.
Conversely, by holding fast to onetime Western principles of free speech and open dialogue, Life TV has conditioned its Muslim viewers to accept that exposure and criticism of their prophet is here to stay. As Fr. Zakaria often points out, every religious figure is open to criticism: so why should Muhammad be sacrosanct? (Indeed, Comedy Central, which was quick to acquiesce to Muslim threats to censor South Park, is "brave" enough to run an entire cartoon series mocking Jesus.)
Of course, one need not agree with Life TV's tactics or evangelical mission to appreciate the lesson it imparts: Muslim outrage—as with all human outrage—is predicated on how well it is tolerated. Continuously appeased, it becomes engorged and insistent on more concessions; ignored, it deflates and, ashamed of itself, withers away. Put differently, if you voluntarily act like a dhimmi—a subjugated non-Muslim who must live in debased humility—you will be treated like a dhimmi (including by being killed for the slightest offense); conversely, if you assert yourself like a freeman, you will be perceived as a freeman—even as you are still hated.
To be fair, there is one caveat: whereas Muslims have no choice but to interpret South Park's and Lars Vilk's caricatures of Muhammad as egregiously offensive—no known Muslim records depict Muhammad in the guise of a bear or dog—the much more disturbing Life TV anecdotes all originate in Islam's most authoritative sources (Koran, hadiths, tafsirs, fatwas, etc). In other words, perhaps the anger toward Life TV is subsiding as Muslims become reconciled to the fact that, no matter how heinous, the things being attributed to their prophet are, in fact, grounded in Muslim sources, and thus must be true.
Yet if that is the case, seems like silly cartoons of Muhammad are the least of Muslims' problems.
Raymond Ibrahim is associate director of the Middle East Forum, author of The Al Qaeda Reader, and guest lecturer at the National Defense Intelligence College.