Beneath his anti-Israelism is a broader anti-Jewish bias, often frankly expressed.
‘Let the Jews pay for it.”
Are these words anti-Semitic?
The U.S. Senate should consider this and many other disturbing statements by Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee for defense secretary. Nebraska’s former Republican senator has said and done truly troubling things regarding Jews and Israel.
• Hagel tried to close USO’s Haifa retreat when he ran the United Service Organizations from 1987 to 1990. The facility was highly popular among U.S. sailors, 45,000 of whom visited the Israeli port in 1990, the Associated Press reports.
“He said to me, ‘Let the Jews pay for it.’” recalled Marsha Halteman, of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, which backed USO Haifa. “I told him at the time that I found his comments to be anti-Semitic,” Halteman said. “He was playing into that dual loyalty thing.”usa gambling online
slots for usa customers• Hagel alone among U.S. senators abandoned Russia’s Jews. As David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, told the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin: “The first AJC encounter with Senator Hagel I recall was when we sought his support, in 1999, for a Senate letter to then–Russian president Boris Yeltsin urging action against rising anti-Semitism. We were unsuccessful. On June 20, 1999, we published the letter as a full-page ad in The New York Times with 99 Senate signatories. Only Senator Hagel’s name was absent.”
• “The State Department has become adjunct to the Israeli foreign minister’s office,” Hagel reportedly remarked in a speech at Rutgers University in March 2007.
“Like many other data points emerging since Hagel’s nomination,” John Podhoretz observed in February 15’s New York Post, “this one emits a faint but distinct odor of a classic anti-Semitic stereotype — Jews as secret marionetteers, pulling the strings of unsuspecting Gentilessafest online casino canada.
• That year, Hagel praised Miller’s book about the Middle Eastreal slots for android.
real time casino gaming“If you want to read something that is very, very enlightening, this guy he’s getting tremendous reviews on it,” Hagel said. “He’s Jewish. He worked in the State Department, worked for Baker, worked for Albright, I think he’s worked for four secretaries of state, different Democrats, Republicans.”
“‘He’s Jewish,’” wrote Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard. “Isn’t there something creepy and disquieting about that interjection? … Why does Hagel call attention to the religion of the American diplomat whose book he’s praising? . . . Wouldn’t it be good to have a secretary of defense whose first thought isn’t the religious affiliation of Americans who participate in foreign policy debates?”
real online casino reviews• “I’m a United States senator,” Hagel declared in 2008. “I’m not an Israeli senator.”
“We believe that when Senator Hagel said that he was not an ‘Israeli Senator,’ that he was a U.S. Senator, he strongly implied that some of his colleagues have a greater loyalty to Israel than to the United States,” stated Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, named after the late and legendary Nazi hunter. “That crosses the line.”
real gambling apps for ipad• Prominent Jewish Nebraskans have felt Hagel’s cold shoulder.
“During his last year in office, we knew he was not going to run again, he never returned any of our calls,” Jewish activist Gary Javitch told the Algemeiner website on December 21. “I have always gotten callbacks, even as a turn-down.”play online casinos
“He was not the most responsive politician in Nebraska to me personally at the Jewish Press and to the Jewish community as a whole,” said Carol Katzman, the former editor of the Omaha Jewish Press. Nebraska’s representatives otherwise “were all very responsive,” she said. “It didn’t really matter what their party affiliation was, if we were soliciting them for an interview or a greeting ad for Rosh Hashanah or Passover.” However, “Hagel’s office never even responded. . . . We would make repeated calls” that went unanswered, she added. “It was pretty obvious that he and his staff were dismissive.” Katzman concluded: “Hagel was the only one we have had in Nebraska who basically showed the Jewish community that he didn’t give a damn about the Jewish community or any of our concerns.”playing with the casino s money
Are Hagel’s words anti-Semitic? Call your senators at 202-224-3121 and tell them what you think.
play bingo online usa— Deroy Murdock is a Fox News contributor, a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service, and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University.
online slots real money bonusIn 1853, the British explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton visited Mecca. Since Mecca was and is off limits to non-Muslims on pain of death, Burton passed himself off as a Muslim by undergoing circumcision and disguising himself as a Pashtun. “Nothing could save a European detected by the populace, or one who after pilgrimage declared himself an unbeliever,” Burton wrote.
Three hundred and fifty years earlier, the Italian adventurer Ludovico di Varthema became the first non-Muslim to enter Mecca since the Muslim conquest. Ludovico had enlisted as a mercenary and succeeded in passing as a Mamluk, one of the white slave soldiers of the Sultanate, who had been converted to Islam. Ludovico was eventually caught out as a Christian, but escaped after a love affair with one of the Sultan’s wivesonline usa casino games.
Other Christians had visited Mecca, but always disguised as Muslims. The British cabin boy Joseph Pitts, captured by Muslim slavers and forcibly converted to Islam, visited Mecca, before managing to return home and return to his religion. Similar accounts were told by other European Christian slavesonline slot machines no download.
In 1979, hundreds of Islamists using weapons smuggled in a coffin seized the Grand Mosque of Mecca. The Saudi military, commanded by the sons of important men, rather than by competent men, proved absolutely hopeless in fighting them. So instead they turned to the French.
The French commandos of GIGN were expert at dealing with terrorist crises, but they were not Muslim and so could not be allowed into Mecca. The solution was simple. The Frenchmen underwent a rapid conversion to Islam and the siege of the Great Mosque commenced. The conversion did not take hold, but the principle remained. An infidel could not enter Mecca, even to save the House of Saud.
During his time as the CIA Station Chief in Saudi Arabia, John Brennan spoke of marveling “at the majesty of the Hajj and the devotion of those who fulfilled their duty as Muslims by making that pilgrimage.” If Brennan did indeed visit Mecca during the Hajj, then he could have only done it by converting to Islam, like John Pitts, or pretending to have done so, like the GIGN commandos.
John Guandolo, a former FBI agent and Islam expert, has alleged that the conversion took place during Brennan’s time in Saudi Arabia. And he also alleges that this conversion has been confirmed by other American officials who were in Saudi Arabia at the time. These allegations are especially explosive as Brennan has moved up through the ranks to become Obama’s nominee to head the CIA.
Guandolo’s allegation goes beyond the question of religion. Rather he alleges that the conversion was part of an espionage recruitment process. In an interview with Tom Trento of The United West, he said, “Mr. Brennan did convert to Islam when he served in a senior official capacity in Saudi Arabia. His conversion to Islam was the culmination of a counter-intelligence operation against him to recruit him.”
The Soviet Union recruited spies by convincing them of the virtues of Communism. Saudi Arabia might well recruit its infidel agents by convincing them of the worth of Islam. There is of course no way to know what is in Brennan’s heart. But while we may not know what Brennan believes, as John Guandolo has pointed out, we do know what he has done.
Brennan’s supposed conversion to Islam was only the third of two other points that the former FBI agent argued make him unfit for duty. The first is that Brennan has developed links with the Muslim Brotherhood and that he has brought “known leaders of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood into the government in positions to advise the US Government on counterterrorism strategy as well as the overall quote unquote War on Terror.” And the second is that Brennan reduces the War on Terror to Al Qaeda.
While Brennan did not innovate either of these two approaches, if he was indeed recruited by the Saudis, then they may be more than mere cluelessness. It’s not unusual for military and intelligence officials to visit Saudi Arabia and then leave it repeating the classic Saudi talking points about Islam as a stabilizing influence on the region and Israel as a destabilizing influence.
There are countless generals and diplomats who robotically insist that Bin Laden must not be referred to as a Muslim to diminish his influence and that the Muslim Brotherhood and other political Islamists are the only hope for countering the violent Islamism of Al Qaeda. The fundamental question is whether such disinformation is spread out of ignorance, or out of knowledge.
That is the final question that Guandolo raises about John Brennan. “The fact that foreign intelligence service operatives recruited Mr. Brennan when he was in a very sensitive and senior US Government position in a foreign country means that he is either a traitor, which I’m not saying, but that’s one of the options, and he did this all unwillingly and unknowingly ,or he did this unwittingly, which means that he is naive and does not have the ability to discern, to understand how to walk in those environments, which makes him completely unfit to be the Director of Central Intelligence.”
What is problematic in a general or a senator is even more troubling in the Director of the CIA. Military men are expected to be somewhat direct and take things as they are. But the director of an intelligence agency is expected to see threats where no one else does, to test the waters and look past the obvious. And if he cannot do that, then he is simply not qualified. And that is the larger point that John Guandolo makes.
Whether or not Brennan had a moment of submission on the road to Mecca or whether he is simply acting as a useful idiot for the people who perpetrated the attacks of September 11, he is not qualified to be the point man in the War on Terror. As the military side of the war draws to a close with a defeat in Afghanistan, the Central Intelligence Agency will take on a greater degree of importance in the fight against Islamic terrorism.
During the Cold War, the CIA was often infiltrated by the KGB, nullifying America’s intelligence capabilities in the Cold War. It would be a terrible shame if history repeated itself with Islam in the War on Terror.
Link to original article: http://frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/john-brennan-from-mecca-to-washington/
Al Qaeda and its affiliates are running all over North Africa and the Middle East while remaining a serious threat to Pakistan and Afghanistan. Approximately 70,000 Syrians are dead in a civil war exploited by Iran, Russia and Islamist jihadists. Egypt is an economic basket case, ruled by an increasingly unpopular authoritarian Islamist regime. Iran is getting ever closer to achieving its nuclear arms ambitions. North Korea has just exploded its third and most powerful nuclear bomb and is also developing inter-continental missile technology, which its military has said is “targeted” for the United States. China is engaging in cyber attacks on U.S. companies and government agencies. The “reset” of relations with Russia is reset in reverse.
In short, Secretary of State John Kerry assumes his office facing some of the most challenging foreign policy issues in a generation. One might think that his first major foreign policy address would deal with the clear and present dangers facing the United States and the free world today, such as the proliferation of nuclear arms into the wrong hands, the Arab Spring-Turned-Winter or global terrorism, which cost Ambassador John Christopher Stevens and three other Americans their lives last September 11th.
But that would be too much to ask. Instead, Kerry decided to use his speech on February 20th at the University of Virginia to indulge in clichéd generalities about the importance of State Department foreign “investments” (i.e., foreign aid), promotion of American values abroad, and the need to tackle climate change. He also threw in for good measure a warning about budget cuts and the looming sequester.
“Some might ask why I’m standing here – why I’m starting here – a Secretary of State making his first speech in the United States,” Kerry said. “They might ask, ‘Doesn’t diplomacy happen over there, overseas, far beyond the boundaries of our own backyard?’”
A good question, but John Kerry gave an answer that is more fitting for a high school social studies teacher:
The reason is very simple: I came here to underscore that in today’s global world, there is no longer anything foreign about foreign policy. More than ever before, the decisions we make from the safety of our shores don’t just ripple outward – they also create a current right here in America….
In this age, when a shrinking world clashes with calls for shrinking budgets, it’s our job to connect the dots for the American people between what we do over there and why it matters here at home – why the price of abandoning our global efforts would be exorbitant – and why the vacuum we would leave by retreating within ourselves will quickly be filled by those whose interests differ dramatically from our own.
Kerry said that before he embarks on his first trip abroad this weekend it was important to speak at home about the importance of our “investment” in foreign aid. Never mind the many billions of dollars wasted on corrupt regimes, failed assistance programs, a bloated United Nations, etc. More tax dollars for foreign aid is an investment essential to helping our businesses compete abroad, he argued.
“Eleven of our top 15 trading partners used to be beneficiaries of U.S. foreign assistance,” Kerry said. Whether he was including in this total aid from the Marshall Plan to re-build Europe after World War II was not clear, although he mentioned the Marshall Plan towards the end of his speech. But one thing is for sure. The aid we are squandering today in the underdeveloped world is going to do little more than create more dependency.
Kerry also singled out a number of countries where he claimed the State Department was instrumental in obtaining foreign purchases and investments that helped American companies. For example, he heralded the “success in Canada, where State Department officers there got a local automotive firm to invest tens of millions of dollars in Michigan, where the American auto industry is making a remarkable comeback.”
Ironically, Kerry’s State Department could return the favor to Canada very quickly by giving final approval to the long-stalled Keystone pipeline to transport oil from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast. Canada is the United States’s most important trading partner. Kerry has a long-standing interest in the pipeline and will be personally leading the State Department’s review of the project. The first foreign leader Kerry met with as Secretary of State was with Canada’s foreign minister, John Baird, in early February, with whom he reportedly discussed the Keystone pipeline project. However, Kerry gave no indication which way he was leaning on the recommendation he will eventually make to President Obama.
Recall that Kerry told his University of Virginia audience how important it is for the State Department “to connect the dots for the American people.”
Let’s help him connect some dots of his own regarding the Keystone pipeline. The pipeline project would connect to thousands of more jobs for Americans. It would increase our connection with our neighbor to the north, rather than alienate them, and connect our supply of oil to a friendly, reliable source. It would help disconnect us from dependence on the volatile Middle East for oil. Less dependence on OPEC will enhance our national security.
What is preventing Secretary of State Kerry from connecting these dots? His hyper-focus on climate change, which he said “may be the only thing our generations are remembered for” if we don’t rise to the challenge.
Kerry has been on the forefront of the climate-change-is-a-national-security-threat theme for years. In July 2009, for example, then-Senator Kerry convened a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing to focus on how climate change was supposedly linked to national defense. At the hearing, Kerry called climate change “a grave and growing threat to … America’s national security.” The committee heard testimony on the specter of “climate conflicts,” and Kerry himself compared the threat to 9/11. In his first major speech as Secretary of State at the University of Virginia, he linked climate change to “standing up for American jobs and businesses and standing up for our American values.”
Endangering an already fragile economy with immediate drastic measures to deal with a complicated, multi-faceted long-term problem does little to help our national defense or to create more American jobs. Holding up a favorable recommendation on the Keystone pipeline because of its possible impact on climate change is counter-productive, since Canada will only turn to environmentally unfriendly China to purchase its oil.
Finally, Kerry couldn’t resist using the phrase “world citizens” in his University of Virginia speech. It is reminiscent of his declaration during the 2004 presidential campaign that America’s decision to go to war must pass “the global test” – whatever that means.
Let’s hope that Kerry’s debut speech as Secretary of State is not indicative of how he will perform on the global stage. But with the radical Obama administration behind him, the outlook is pessimistic.
Link to original article: http://frontpagemag.com/2013/joseph-klein/secretary-of-state-john-kerrys-alarming-priorities/
Marcy Jane Knopf-Newman is an anti-Israel activist and English professor who has taught at Boise State University, al-Quds University, the American University of Beirut, and other universities in the Middle East. In The Politics of Teaching Palestine to Americans: Addressing Pedagogical Strategies (New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), she has assembled a guidebook for American high school teachers on how to teach the Arab-Israeli conflict. (While writing it she transitioned from university to high school teaching herself.) The book’s documentation, though substantial, is extremely biased, as all of her quotes and references are part of a closed loop in which Palestinians are presented as innocent victims and Israelis as evil-doers. Her entire bibliography and a “What You Can Do” section are geared toward fomenting anti-Israel activism.
Inaccuracies abound, including the author’s historical account of the term “anti-Semitism.” Although the word has referred solely to hostility toward Jews since its coinage in the late nineteenth-century, Knopf-Newman politicizes it by distorting its etymology:
After World War II, anti-Semitism began to connote not racism directed at Semitic people (based on language groupings of Arabic, Aramaic, Akkadian or Hebrew) in general, but rather only to Jews, most of whom are of European origin and do not speak any Semitic language.
She attributes the motive behind this imaginary trend to “shift[ing] the discourse away from Palestine,” demonstrating that for Knopf-Newman, even the concept of anti-Semitism is a tool of censorship to suppress discussion of “Palestine.”
The author did not always hold such views. Raised in Los Angeles with what she describes as a Zionist education, she attended Hebrew day schools and participated in pro-Israel activities during high school. Growing up, she heard the well-known phrase, “Next year in Jerusalem,” which Jews have said for thousands of years at Passover Seders. This historical fact is omitted in the book’s preface, where she likens the phrase to a Zionist “cultural commemoration” serving “to foster unquestioned support of Israel.”
Knopf-Newman’s encounters with her Palestinian peers (who, she admonishes, are never to be called “Arabs,” only “Palestinians”) as an impressionable undergraduate at the University of Cincinnati spawned her adoption of a virulently anti-Israel narrative. As a teacher at Boise State she spent three years engaged in research in a Palestinian refugee camp, during which time she recalls cheering with her Palestinian friends after hearing about a successful Hezb’allah missile attack on an Israeli ship. That four IDF sailors were killed doesn’t warrant a mention.
In order to deconstruct how Zionism is taught in America, based in part on her own sense of betrayal, Knopf-Newman revisited her old Los Angeles Hebrew school and examined its teaching materials. She concluded that the curriculum shifted from its original emphasis on Judaism to stress Zionism in the aftermath of the Six-Day War. Her objective in writing the guidebook is “to explore how and what I learned as well as think about ways to disrupt the Zionist narrative altogether by teaching American youth about Palestine.”
To achieve this goal, Knopf-Newman advocates using the classroom as a bully pulpit, a place to correct social imbalances in which only the designated victim’s narrative is discussed. She exhibits no awareness of the differences between a teacher and an activist. Teaching “critical thinking” means indoctrinating students to believe that Palestinians are always right — and Israelis are always wrong.
In a chapter titled “Hip-Hop Education and Palestine Solidarity,” Knopf-Newman advocates using hip-hop, or rap, music because it has short, easy-to-remember segments that prove conducive to incorporating political material. Using her book as a guide, high school students can now rap, dance, or sing their way to anti-Zionism. Lesson plans include how to organize street theater with “apartheid walls” and “tunnels of oppression” that connect to other “sites of oppression.” Such agitprop can be adopted, she helpfully suggests, by teachers of literature, social studies, theater, music, and many other subjects. She particularly admires content that connects genocide, imprisonment, slavery, indigenous people, the “prison-industrial complex,” and even Hurricane Katrina with the delegitimization of Israel in the malleable minds of her students.
The Politics of Teaching Palestine to Americans is replete with false analogies to so-called “global colonialism,” such as Mexicans and Latin-Americans trying to cross the Arizona border illegally, South African blacks under apartheid, African-Americans under slavery, and Native-Americans. Knopf-Newman makes it a point to claim “indigenous” status for Native-Americans, yet ignores the widely accepted presence of Jews in Jerusalem and the West Bank for thousands of years to insist that “indigenous” cannot possibly refer to Jews in Israel. In the lexicon she reveres, “indigenous” equals “good” and can refer only to Jews who, like herself, have “un-learned Zionism.”
Knopf-Newman makes no attempt to understand either Israel’s predicament or whether its citizens have a right to self-defense in the face of a relentless enemy fueled by irredentist and revanchist goals. She never examines the constant rocket attacks from Gaza. To the contrary, Israelis always “massacre” innocent Palestinians, even when charges of such atrocities are exposed as lies.
Her insistence, against all evidence, that the Arab-Israeli conflict is not about religion omits crucial terms such as “jihad” or “terrorism.” There is no violence from religious fanatics, but rather “armed resistance” to Israel’s imaginary “ethnic cleansing.” She exhibits no awareness that the content of English-language media often differs starkly from Arabic language content. She either cannot or will not admit that turning Israel into another Islamic state is the real motivation of its opponents. How could she, without using the word “Muslim” in her book? Even a discussion about the concept of pan-Arab tribalism is missing.
Knopf-Newman writes in the shadow of her hero, the late historian Howard Zinn, whose A Young People’s History of the United States she quotes approvingly: “History is always a matter of taking sides.” She also reserves praise for her principal mentor Edward Said, the late Columbia University English professor whose Orientalism contributed mightily to the politicization of Middle East studies and who once wrote that, “Facts get their importance from what is made of them in interpretation.”
Other dubious influences include former DePaul University professor Norman Finkelstein, Tel Aviv University pseudo-historian Shlomo Sand, and University of Exeter professor and Israeli ex-patriot Ilan Pappe, all of whom she quotes extensively throughout the book and cites in her “select bibliography.”
In her long list of acknowledgments, Knopf-Newman gives special thanks to virulent anti-Israel activist and Elecronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abuminah, as well as Weather Underground terrorist-turned-education professor and friend-of-Obama Bill Ayers, who introduced her to the world of “alternative pedagogies in American schools.” The Politics of Teaching Palestine to Americans is the product of these nefarious alliances. Its use in American high schools risks producing radicalized students whose hostility toward Israel is matched only by their ignorance of history.
Oleg Atbashian is a writer and graphic artist from the former USSR. Born and raised in Ukraine, he used to be a teacher, a translator, a worker, a freelance journalist, and at one time a propaganda artist, creating visual agitprop for the local Party committee in a Siberian town. In 1994, he emigrated to the USA hoping to live in a country that was ruled by reason and common sense. Ironically, he now lives in New York City. He is the creator of ThePeoplesCube.com, a satirical website where he writes under the name of Red Square.
We are being played; it’s time we learned the game.
Conservatives have their Constitution. Progressives have their Narrative. The current battle for America is between these two concepts, and each side uses different rules to fight it.
One set of rules is consistent with an unchanging objective: limited government and individual freedoms. The other side’s rules are as fickle as their goals, which are never fully disclosed beyond the equivocal references to fairness and hyphenated forms of justice. They will have to remain vague and deny their true allegiances until a time when American voters will no longer squirm at the word “socialism.”
And yet spotting them isn’t that hard. As a bird is known by his feathers, socialists are known by their Game.
First tried and mastered in the USSR, the Game has since been popularized around the world, assuming various forms, names, and colors — from red to brown to green. It is now taking hold in the United States under the blue web banners of Obama’s campaign infomercials.
The laws of society and human nature are such that socialism can only be achieved through a certain sequence of steps and manipulations. For instance, the only way to attain material equality is to confiscate someone’s property and give it to others. That necessitates a centralized mechanism of coercion, redistribution, and control. Such a system gives extraordinary corrupting powers to a small centralized elite, while turning the rest of the citizenry into a compliant, obsequious herd.
All those who claimed they can do it differently were doomed to retrace the same path. Once you unleash the ancient powers of collectivism, you have only two options: control the human herd or be trampled underfoot.
Drawing blood is always an option, but there’s also a “cleaner” way to control the crowds by manipulating their minds with the cattle prods of collectivist morals and a fictional narrative that supplants the reality.
Let’s call it the Mind Game of Manipulative Illusions.
The Game existed since Cain and Abel, but it developed into an art form in the 20th century, with the rise of totalitarian regimes armed with state-controlled education, entertainment, and the media.
For a dictatorship to run efficiently, a sufficient number of people must give the regime a moral license to rule over them. The Mind Game of Manipulative Illusions secures and extends such a license.
Even the Soviet Communists, with all their tools of repression and fear, with all their power over anyone’s life and death, were still pressed to play mind games to make the people feel good about the Party rule. Towards the end they went easy on the Game and relaxed their grip on the media, entertainment, and education, accepting the policies of Glasnost. Once they lost the ability to control people’s hearts and minds, they also lost their moral license and, with it, the country.
The Game can mutate and adjust to different cultures, but its basic rules always remain as follows:
Socialism is not just about taking away your money; it’s also about making you praise the takers as your saviors. You are expected to feel good about being robbed of opportunities, talents, and success. You must agree that “you didn’t build that.” There must be a popular consensus that the crumbs you are getting back from the government are a sign of caring and largess — not a meager fraction of your actual earnings. Last but not least, you must sincerely believe that those who are trying to protect you from the thieves are really your enemies and deserve to be destroyed.
Building up and maintaining such an illusion on a massive scale requires participation of the media, education, and entertainment industries in a coordinated, long-term propaganda campaign.
Once the illusion reaches a critical mass, those afflicted by it become immune to facts, numbers, or rational arguments. Confronting them with logic will only cause more resentment, name-calling and, sometimes, violence.
The little game of illusions that President Obama is running under the name of “tax cuts for the middle class” is part of the larger Game; it contains all of the above elements.
The plan is to pass yet another extension of Bush’s tax cuts – i.e., to keep the status quo for the most -while excluding families with a joint income of over $250,000. In plain speak, it’s a tax hike. But calling things by their real names would be against the rules; this isn’t how the Game is played.
This mass mailing from Obama’s Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter shows us how to play it:
I hope you had a lovely holiday and all is well. I’m writing with a quick update on the “fiscal cliff” and how you can get involved.
Right now, President Obama is asking you to think about what $2,000 a year means to you and your family — because Congress needs to hear it.
The Senate has passed a bill that stops taxes from going up for 98 percent of American families, and asks those who can afford it to pay a little more. If the House follows suit, President Obama is ready to sign it as soon as it hits his desk.
If they fail to do so, a typical middle-class family of four will see their taxes go up by $2,000 in just a few short weeks.
President Obama is asking Congress to do the right thing and act before the New Year, but he needs our help. We’ve got a good track record here: When we make our voices heard and urge Congress to take action — whether it’s about health care, student loans, Wall Street reform, or “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — they listen.
Listening to Obama now, one could have never guessed that these are the same “Bush’s tax cuts,” against which he had vigorously campaigned in the past — just like one could have never learned from his previous speeches that the reviled “tax cuts for the rich” had been saving middle-class families as much as $2,200 a year.
Until recently, the $2,200 amount was treated as classified information, which the Administration and the compliant media deemed unfit for consumption by the unwashed masses. Now that Obama wins reelection and needs to postpone the economic disaster caused by his first term, he “declassifies” the previously subversive amount and parades it on My.BarackObama.com as a centerpiece of his new glorious campaign for the people.
Simply put, Obama first discredits his predecessor’s idea, then steals it, bundles it with a job-killing tax hike, and rebrands it as his own benevolent gift to the toiling masses. Judging by responses on Obama’s official blog, WhiteHouse.gov, and Twitter, many of his supporters believe they are actually getting something out of it — but in reality they are about to lose what they have due to the resulting cutbacks, layoffs, and price increases.
As the Game goes on, just feeling good about the imaginary gift is no longer enough. You are expected to participate in spreading this Orwellian fantasy by haranguing Congress with demands of a tax hike while calling it a tax cut.
Join the herd and you will experience the collectivist sense of belonging, entitlement, and empowerment by engaging in quixotic class-struggle against the mythical windmills and all those mean-spirited capitalists who are conspiring to rob you of the rightful $2,200 disbursement. Forget the phrase “policies that got us into this mess”; these policies are now all about “doing the right thing.”
You end up with a sincere belief that greedy corporations, Republicans, the Tea Party, and the rest of the profligates opposing Obama’s policies are the perfidious enemy who deserves to be punished and purged.
If you’re wondering what kind of ignorant, misinformed, and morally misguided fools would fall for this trick, look no further than Obama’s most recent 56% job approval rating in the midst of a needlessly prolonged recession. The White House propagandist Stephanie Cutter knows her demographic and constructs simple phrases she believes they can understand. However, one question remains: if the Obama voters are the best and the brightest half of this nation, why does Ms. Cutter talk to them in the tone of a condescending kindergarten teacher?
The Game has a part for everyone, from top to bottom. As the top players obtain unprecedented powers, those at the bottom get high on the palliative illusion of safety and well-being.
That illusion is as powerful as it is addictive; a mere exposure to facts of life will cause the addict to writhe in agony. It is truly the Oxycontin for the masses. No presidential candidate can win on the promise of withdrawal; those who feel entitled to a pain-free existence will only vote for better and stronger illusions. The more the addiction spreads, the slimmer the chances of a realist ever occupying the White House again.
This can last for as long as there are enough productive taxpayers to support the habit. Once they also get hooked, stop working, or the system runs out of resources, expect a fearsome, excruciating withdrawal of epic proportions. Until then, keep rational arguments to yourself unless you crave losing friends and alienating people.
If you tell them that there is no such thing as a pain-free life, they’ll think you are some sadistic fascist who thrives on pain and takes pleasure in hurting people.
The problem with that attitude is that pain is nature’s way to warn us of danger. If it burns, don’t touch it. If it hurts, don’t repeat it. People who are born without an ability to feel pain are incapable of learning safe behaviors and are doomed to live a short life of bumps, burns, broken bones, and worse. A pain-free society would be even less viable.
The real choice, therefore, is between the occasional sharp pain of individual effort and the dull, permanent pain of collective misfortune, since redistributive economies always end in misery, shortages, and corruption. Western Europe’s gradual introduction of socialism is directly proportional to its gradual economic and moral decline, as evidenced by violent riots in response to inevitable austerity measures.
In the U.S., the pain-free life will be even shorter if the country falls off a cliff.
When the painkillers become useless, The Game remedies it by directing the massive anger toward the opposition.
The perception of a relentless struggle with the opposition must be permanent and persuasive. Even in times of calm and prosperity the people must believe that the opposition is holding them hostage and only the firm, wise guidance of the People’s Leader is saving them from imminent ruin. When the opponents are too few, too weak, and too disoriented to put up a real fight, their power and influence must be exaggerated.
The Game has its logic: for socialism to work, there has to be unanimity and compliance. Dissent leads to system malfunctions, causing hardship for all those in the care of the state. That effectively makes the dissenter a traitor and a public enemy. The need to suppress opposition necessitates a totalitarian form of government. While we aren’t at that stage yet, the demonization of dissenters has already begun.
Until a time when the opposition can be eliminated completely, having opponents can still be useful: you can steal their ideas, take advantage of their desire to help the economy, and blame them for any of your own failures. In the meantime, certain rules must be followed to control the public opinion and, through it, the opposition itself.
Maintain the perception of being constantly under attack. Don’t examine the opponents’ beliefs, nor answer their arguments. Discredit any media channels that offer them a platform. Enforce the following media template: the opposition is evil, treasonous, unfathomable, and psychotic. They can’t be reasoned with. They are inspired by fascism and financed by a conspiracy of shady oligarchs. Defame their donors. Whatever the mischief you’re planning to pull off, accuse them of doing it first; then proceed as planned, describing your actions as a necessary intervention. And above all, ridicule, ridicule, ridicule!
Imagine a scenario in which a theoretical group of left-wing radicals takes over America by playing the Game as described; then answer this question: how would their actions be different from what Obama, the Democrat Party, and their allies are doing today?
The stated intentions and the feel-good, vague rhetoric are just words. If the result is the same, nothing else matters. We lose.
Link to original article: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/01/the_socialist_mind_game_a_brief_manual.html#ixzz2LfYoXrZE
Daniel Hannan is a writer and journalist, and has been Conservative MEP for South East England since 1999. He speaks French and Spanish and loves Europe, but believes that the European Union is making its constituent nations poorer, less democratic and less free.
No one at the time would have regarded it as a controversial statement. The Nazis could hardly have been more open in their socialism, describing themselves with the same terminology as our own SWP: National Socialist German Workers’ Party.
Almost everyone in those days accepted that fascism had emerged from the revolutionary Left. Its militants marched on May Day under red flags. Its leaders stood for collectivism, state control of industry, high tariffs, workers’ councils. Around Europe, fascists were convinced that, as Hitler told an enthusiastic Mussolini in 1934, ‘capitalism has run its course’.
One of the most stunning achievements of the modern Left is to have created a cultural climate where simply to recite these facts is jarring. History is reinterpreted, and it is taken as axiomatic that fascism must have been Right-wing, the logic seemingly being that Left-wing means compassionate and Right-wing means nasty and fascists were nasty. You expect this level of analysis from Twitter mobs; you shouldn’t expect it from mainstream commentators.
When did you last hear a reference to the BNP on the BBC without the epithet ‘far Right’? The terminology is deliberately tendentious. It doesn’t make anyone think any less of the BNP; but it does make them think less of the mainstream Right, because it implies that the BNP manifesto is somehow a more intense form of conservatism.
To maintain this belief, however, depends on closing your eyes to most of what the BNP stands for.
As the New Statesman puts it:
A brief skim through BNP manifesto literature brings to light proposals for the following: large increases in state pensions; more money for the NHS; improved worker protection; state ownership of key industries. Under riffin, the modern-day far right has positioned itself to the left of Labour.
Indeed. The party’s ethno-nationalism is simply one more form of protectionism. As it dislikes the free movement of goods, so it dislikes the free movement of people. No wonder the BNP recently took to marketing itself as ‘the Labour Party your parents voted for’.
Am I saying that the BNP is simply another form of Labour Party? No. That would be to repeat the error of the Twitter mob, only the other way around. There are obviously huge differences between what Nick Griffin stands for and what Ed Miliband stands for. Yes, the BNP has some policies in common with Labour, just as it has some policies in common with the Greens, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives. Coincidence of policy does not establish consanguinity of doctrine.
I just hope that Lefties who have read this far will have a sense of how conservatives feel when fascism is declared to be simply a point further along the spectrum from them. Whenever anyone points to the socialist roots of fascism, there are howls of outrage. Yet the people howling the loudest are often the first to claim some ideological link between fascism and conservatism. Perhaps both sides should give it a rest.
I’ve begun taking whacks at the fire-breathing dragon of “McCarthyism” lately (beginning with this piece that ran in Dispatch International last month) as a terrorizing, paralyzing figment of Communist-derived conditioning — an overall phenomenon I examine at great length in the new book, American Betrayal. Similar forces are today trying to twist our understanding and thus defense against another totalitarian ideology, Islam. The remedy is in the moral: If we can’t face facts, we can’t face anything.
This week’s syndicated column:
Freshman Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is just the latest in a long series of public figures to be reviled for “McCarthyism” following his recent questioning of Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee for secretary of defense. The response? Conservatives have rushed to defend their own against the charge. To understate the case, that’s not enough. It’s time to debunk McCarthyism itself.
No matter how much evidence vindicating the late Sen. Joe McCarthy comes out, what we call McCarthyism remains anathema in American life. Simply to utter the word is to deep-freeze debate, even thought itself. Even as we learn about the history-changing extent to which American traitors working for the Kremlin penetrated and subverted the U.S. government (including many individuals investigated by McCarthy), the unsupportable fact remains that nothing in American public life is worse than to be compared to the man best-known for his uncompromising fight against the secret, massive assault on our nation. When will we realize it’s time to make amends and honor his memory?
Liberals and also conservatives who should know better continue to fall for the poisonous bait. Last summer, for example, conservative cries of “McCarthyism” erupted after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid aired an anoymous charge that Mitt Romney had not paid taxes. Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom called Reid’s accusation “baseless” and “shameless,” and compared it to so-called McCarthyism. The Hill newspaper’s write-up of Fehrnstrom’s comments perfectly sums up society’s ignorance on the issue:
“This reminds me of the McCarthy hearings back in the 1950s,” Fehrnstrom said, referring to former Republican Sen. Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, who led a controversial search for communist sentiment during the Cold War. “I would ask (Reid) one simple question: ‘Have you no sense of decency, sir? Is there nothing that you won’t do to debase yourself and the office you hold in the name of dirty politics?’”
“Baseless” and “shameless” were indeed apt descriptions for Reid’s smear tactics, but they don’t describe the exhaustive investigations mounted in the middle of the 20th century by teams of Red-hunters, including McCarthy’s, in the House and Senate. As for their quarry, it was not, as The Hill delicately stated, “communist sentiment during the Cold War.” Literally hundreds of Soviet agents taking orders from the KGB and related Soviet intelligence agencies to bring down the American republic had become deeply embedded in the U.S. government in the 1930s and 1940s. Most of them remained undiscovered, and many were active well into the 1950s.
After World War II, Red-hunters in Congress did their best to expose this communist menace – a menace that we now know, following declassification of some FBI and intelligence files in Washington and Moscow, was much worse than we thought. Thanks to Joe McCarthy, many Americans whom the left angelicized as “free thinkers” or “liberals” were finally unmasked as hardened Soviet agents. These would include, to take 10 examples from M. Stanton Evans’ masterpiece, “Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies,” Solomon Adler, Cedric Belfrage, T.A. Bisson, V. Frank Coe, Lauchlin Currie, Harold Glasser, David Karr, Mary Jane Keeney, Leonard Mins and Franz Neumann.
As for “Have you no sense of decency, sir?” This tiresome catchphrase may quiver with righteousness on history’s eternal wavelength, but it is probably the biggest crock of all. As Evans writes, Army counsel Joseph Welch famously hurled the question as an accusation at McCarthy. McCarthy’s transgression, we are supposed to believe, was outing Welch’s young legal associate, Frederick G. Fisher Jr., as a former member of the National Lawyers Guild, a notorious communist front group.
The truth is quite different. Six weeks earlier, Welch himself was quoted in the New York Times, confirming that Fisher had belonged to the communist front and that, as a result, Welch himself had “relieved (Fisher) from duty.” Welch’s hearing-room histrionics, in other words, were a lot of hot air. But they worked. To this day, the truth remains lost to most people, while this thinnest fiction is immortal.
Many other charges against McCarthy similarly disintegrate on examination. The problem is, there is far too little examination. Even this week, when the National Review took up editorial arms to defend Ted Cruz from croaky cries of “McCarthyism” coming from Democrats in Congress and cable TV hosts, the editorial explained how it was that Cruz had not engaged in the “M-word.” It further declared Cruz “has not, as Senator McCarthy was reputed to have done, slandered an honorable man by cavalierly associating him with an odious and politically radioactive ‘ism.’”
“Reputed” by whom, and according to what facts? Failing to unmask the McCarthyism libel for what it is and always was – bunk and agitprop designed to demonize conservatives, from Joe then to Ted today – does exactly what conservatives continue to take pains to disavow. It slanders a patriot – Joe McCarthy – by cavalierly associating him with an odious and politically radioactive “ism.”
It’s time to thank the man instead.
Blasted into history from a more colorful age, Hecht began his career as a circus acrobat and virtuoso violinist, then seamlessly morphed into Chicago’s star crime reporter and the most successful screenwriter in Hollywood history.
I love Hecht for the feast of intelligent entertainment he seemed to effortlessly concoct, from Hitchcock masterpieces like Notorious and Spellbound to Scarface, The Front Page, and the uncredited script of Gone With the Wind.
But I adore Ben Hecht for the incorruptible courage with which he championed the dying Jews of Europe, appalling his fancy Hollywood and New York Jewish friends with his outré chutzpah.
Hecht throbbed with fury at the Germans’ murder of “a whole continent” of Jews. His heart, he wrote, “has not wept at all. It has felt only outrage. I doubt if any man has ever felt more.”
Passionately, Hecht applied his whirlwind mind to pleading for the rescue of Europe’s last Jews, a task he likened to sticking his head into the mouth of a lion. The American Jewish establishment, personified by the self-satisfied Rabbi Stephen Wise, battled him at every turn.
Ben Hecht’s fearless antics for his own people would be unusual in any age, but Rabbi Stephen Wise is a familiar contemporary character. Rabbi Wise deeply relished his personal relationship with Franklin Roosevelt. And he refused to jeopardize it by anything so unsporting as asking the president to take action on behalf of his murdered brethren. To speak as a Jew for Jews would render him un-American, Wise feared.
I can see Hecht grinning at this week’s pathetic headline, so redolent of Rabbi Wise’s cringing: Jewish leaders called to stop opposition to Hagel for Secretary of Defense.
“I was called by major Jewish leaders, personally called, and [they] told me to stop our campaign against Hagel,” Morton Klein, president of Zionist Organization of America, told the JerusalemPost. Klein explained that the Jewish organizations are “frightened of making an issue seem more important to Jews than others,” because making it a “Jewish issue” is “bad for the Jews.”
Chuck Hagel is a dim-witted, vicious anti-Semite who rails against the “Israel lobby,” accuses Israel of keeping “Palestinians caged up like animals,” gives anti-Semitic speeches sponsored by Iranian-controlled front groups, and refuses to disclose his ties to Arab organizations. Hecht would have had his number and that of John Brennan, Obama’s CIA Chief nominee, who insists on referring to Jerusalem by its Arabic name Al-Quds.
“The long practiced murder of Jews en masse…has not served to alarm our humanists,” wrote Hecht in 1943’s Guide for the Bedeviled. “To them the murderers of Jews are never murderers. They are misguided patriots, misinformed economists, misdirected pietists…The murder of Jews is like the stealing of nickels. It does not fix a criminal record on its perpetrators.”
Hecht was allergic to the political correctness of his day, blasting his accusations at Germans, not Nazis, refusing to acknowledge a difference between the two. I doubt he would have much patience for today’s Jewish leaders who tremble behind convoluted locutions of “terrorists” and “radical extremists,” instead of clearly calling out Muslims for centuries of violence against Jews.
What did Hecht accomplish with his flaming wartime editorials, screaming full-page newspaper ads, and sold-out, star-studded 1943 Madison Square Garden “pageant,” We Will Never Die, which commemorated two million murdered Jews?
If in the words of a famous Jewish teaching, “He who saves a single life, it as if he saved a whole world,” then Hecht helped to save 200,000 worlds. Hecht worked closely with Peter Bergson (pseudonym of Hillel Kook), a Zionist activist who came to the US to whip up political support for rescuing Europe’s Jews. Many historians credit their partnership with creating the public pressure that finally convinced Roosevelt to establish the War Refugee Board in 1944.
Although the Board’s director acknowledged its activities were “little and late,” the WRB offered crucial aid to Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg’s rescue of thousands of Hungarian Jews. All in all, historians estimate the War Refugee Board saved as many as 200,000 lives.
After the war, Ben Hecht, once again, proved himself the indispensable man. Ignoring the timid tut-tutting of the Jewish establishment, Hecht threw himself into rescuing Holocaust survivors from displacement camps in Europe and sneaking them into British-controlled Palestine. His pageant, A Flag is Born, stirred American sympathy for the creation of Israel. Peter Bergson’s Committee used the funds raised by Hecht’s pageant to buy a ship that brought Jewish refugees to Palestine. The British captured it, but the S.S. Ben Hecht was eventually reborn as the first ship of the brand-new Israeli Navy.
Whenever I ponder the mystery of Ben Hecht’s unique effrontery, I return to his off-hand comment that he was somehow born without the fear of what other people think of him. Even the British boycott of his films failed to deter him. “An empire hitting at a single man and passing sanctions against him!” wrote Hecht. “There was something to swell a writer’s bosom and add a notch to his hat size.”
Ben Hecht died in New York City in 1964 at age 70. We need his spirit with us now, as our world darkens with violence, anti-Semitism, and threats of nuclear genocide.
And here he is, calling to us from his 1940 Hitchcock film, Foreign Correspondent: “Keep those lights burning, cover them with steel, build them in with guns, build a canopy of battleships and bombing planes around them and, hello, America, hang on to your lights, they’re the only lights in the world.”
Link to original article: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/02/meet_ben_hecht_wisecracking_jewish_hero.html#ixzz2LfRF25My
That incredible statement was the opening line of a flattering feature story about the Nazi leader that appeared on the front page of the New York Times in 1933, and was typical of some early press coverage of Hitler, who rose to power 80 years ago on Jan. 30.
Hitler’s ascent caught much of the world by surprise. As late as May 1928, the Nazis had won less than 3 percent of the vote in elections to the Reichstag, Germany’s parliament, and the Nazi party’s candidate for president received barely 1 percent of the votes in March 1929. But as Germany’s economic and social crises worsened, the Nazis garnered 18.3 percent of the vote in the parliamentary election of July 1930. They doubled that total two years later, becoming the largest party in the Reichstag.
Negotiations between the Nazis and other parties then produced a coalition government, with Hitler as chancellor. The Nazis celebrated with a huge torchlight parade through the streets of Berlin on the night of Hitler’s appointment, Jan. 30, 1933.
A ‘moderate’ Hitler?
Relatively little was known in America about Hitler, and many leading newspapers predicted that the Nazis would not turn out to be as bad as some feared.
An editorial in the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin on Jan. 30 claimed that “there have been indications of moderation” on Hitler’s part. The editors of the Cleveland Press, on Jan. 31, asserted that the “appointment of Hitler as German chancellor may not be such a threat to world peace as it appears at first blush.”
Officials of the Roosevelt administration were quoted in the press as saying they “had faith that Hitler would act with moderation compared to the extremist agitation [i]n his recent election campaigning… [They] based this belief on past events showing that so-called ‘radical’ groups usually moderated, once in power.”
A wave of terror
In the weeks following, however, events on the ground contradicted those optimistic forecasts. Outbursts of anti-Jewish violence were tolerated, and often encouraged and assisted, by the Nazi regime.
In early March, for example, the Chicago Tribune published an eyewitness account of “bands of Nazis throughout Germany carr[ying] out wholesale raids to intimidate the opposition, particularly the Jews.” Victims were “hit over the heads with blackjacks, dragged out of their homes in night clothes and otherwise molested,” with many Jews “taken off to jail and put to work in a concentration camp.”
The following month, the New York Evening Post reported that the Nazis had launched “a violent campaign of murderous agitation” against Germany’s Jews: “An indeterminate number of Jews… have been killed. Hundreds of Jews have been beaten or tortured. Thousands of Jews have fled. Thousands of Jews have been, or will be deprived of their livelihood. All of Germany’s 600,000 Jews are in terror.”
The Hitler regime was determined to eliminate the Jewish community from German society. During the Nazis’ first weeks in power, violence and intimidation were used to force Jewish judges, attorneys, journalists, university professors, and orchestra conductors and musicians out of their jobs.
A law passed on April 7 required the dismissal of Jews from all government jobs. Additional legislation in the months to follow banned Jews from a whole range of professions, from dentistry to the movie industry. The government even sponsored a one-day nationwide boycott of Jewish businesses, with Nazi storm troopers stationed outside Jewish-owned stores to prevent customers from entering.
Hitler’s ‘sensitive hand’
Nevertheless, in July 1933, nearly six months after Hitler’s rise to power, the New York Times ran a front-page feature about the Fuhrer that presented him in a flattering light. For Hitler, it was a golden opportunity to soften his image by praising President Roosevelt as well as a platform to deliver lengthy justifications of his totalitarian policies and attacks on Jews.
The article, titled “Hitler Seeks Jobs for All Germans,” began with Hitler’s remark that FDR was looking out “for the best interests and welfare of the people of the United States.” He added, “I have sympathy with President Roosevelt because he marches straight toward his objective over Congress, over lobbies, over stubborn bureaucracies.”
The story was based on an interview with the Nazi leader by Times correspondent Anne O’Hare McCormick. She gave Hitler paragraph after paragraph to explain his policies as necessary to address Germany’s unemployment, improve its roads, and promote national unity. The Times correspondent lobbed the Nazi chief softball questions such as “What character in history do you admire most, Caesar, Napoleon, or Frederick the Great?”
McCormick also described Hitler’s appearance and mannerisms in a strongly positive tone: Hitler is “a rather shy and simple man, younger than one expects, more robust, taller… His eyes are almost the color of the blue larkspur in a vase behind him, curiously childlike and candid… His voice is as quiet as his black tie and his double-breasted black suit… Herr Hitler has the sensitive hand of the artist.”
Dr. Rafael Medoff is founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, in Washington, DC, and coauthor, with Craig Yoe, of the forthcoming book “Cartoonists Against the Holocaust.”
Link to original article: http://www.jns.org/latest-articles/2013/1/17/how-the-press-soft-pedaled-hitler.html
An open letter to President Barack Obama from a Columbine High School massacre survivor surfaced Wednesday, but one that isn’t likely to be paraded by the establishment and its media.
Detailing a point-by-point analysis of a recently proposed firearms control initiative, Columbine survivor Evan Todd wrote a scathing letter to the Obama administration, blasting the proposals as ineffective and dangerous to American liberty.
Potentially having just as much of a right to speak on the issue as anyone else in America, Todd was one of the victims who lay bleeding on the floor in the library, inside the same Columbine high school where 12 students and one teacher were killed, back on April 20, 1999, in Littleton, Colorado. He just so happens to be one of the lucky survivors.
The killers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, were disgruntled students who were hell-bent on killing as many people as possible that day, during an alleged revenge-killing spree. As much of the world will sadly remember, they were unfortunately, partially successful at accomplishing that goal, thankfully killing far fewer than they had originally planned.
Many might assume the result would be that Todd would ‘naturally’ become a huge gun-control advocate, after having endured such a horrible experience involving guns. But rather than allow the trauma and the media to cloud his judgment, the experience shook him in such a way that it allowed him to understand the reality of the circumstances more clearly than ever.
Now a regular public speaker and advocate for addressing these types of social issues, including violence and the treatment of others, as any other honorable and caring individual would do, Todd uses his experience and the wisdom it gave him by attempting to pass that insight on to others as he tours the country.
He recently shared some of that wisdom while talking to the media by explaining how his experience proves why gun control simply doesn’t work. Being that the Columbine high school massacre happened during the Clinton administration’s assault weapons ban of the 90s, it was easy to see why Todd told them that “It is evidently clear that gun control does not hinder the determined murderer from achieving their goals, whether that is at a school, a church or synagogue, or a movie theater.”
While taking a jab at Obama’s proposed gun control measures, he added the fact that, “thugs in Chicago do not care about the laws on the books, nor did Harris, Klebold, Lanza, Dorner, Holmes, Cho, Hasan or any other of the criminals hell-bent on murder,” as he referenced many of the alleged mass murderers over the past few years and a Chicago-area gun law that has only made its residents more susceptible to criminals than ever.
But perhaps nothing that has occurred in Evan Todd’s life will have more of an impact on the world than the letter he wrote to the Obama administration yesterday, which is now going viral, despite being largely ignored by almost the entire mainstream media.
Not only is Todd an obviously intelligent individual who is now well aware of the negative effects gun-control legislation can have on a local community, he also seems to have a solid grasp on gun-control’s historical implications as well. With regard to universal background checks, for instance, Todd wrote in the letter that he is concerned “universal registration can easily be used for universal confiscation,” as governments have always done in the past.
He also expressed his belief that assault weapons bans are ineffective by arguing that the first law did little to stop violence when it was in effect from 1994 until 2004, using Columbine as the perfect example. “It was during this time that I personally witnessed two fellow students murder twelve of my classmates and one teacher,” he wrote. Adding how this would instead bring anyone to the conclusion that, “the original assault weapons ban did not deter these two murderers, nor did the other thirty-something laws that they broke.”
Quite possibly the most poignant of statements made in the letter however is his insistence that Obama’s proposed regulations trample the rights of Americans and endanger everyone by clipping magazine sizes down to a minimum and restricting the types of guns that are available to law-abiding citizens. “Why would you prefer criminals to have the ability to out-gun law-abiding citizens?,” he asked of the president. “Whose side are you on?”
The full text of the letter reads as follows:
As a student who was shot and wounded during the Columbine massacre, I have a few thoughts on the current gun debate. In regards to your gun control initiatives:
Universal Background Checks
First, a universal background check will have many devastating effects. It will arguably have the opposite impact of what you propose. If adopted, criminals will know that they can not pass a background check legally, so they will resort to other avenues. With the conditions being set by this initiative, it will create a large black market for weapons and will support more criminal activity and funnel additional money into the hands of thugs, criminals, and people who will do harm to American citizens.
Second, universal background checks will create a huge bureaucracy that will cost an enormous amount of tax payers dollars and will straddle us with more debt. We cannot afford it now, let alone create another function of government that will have a huge monthly bill attached to it.
Third, is a universal background check system possible without universal gun registration? If so, please define it for us. Universal registration can easily be used for universal confiscation. I am not at all implying that you, sir, would try such a measure, but we do need to think about our actions through the lens of time.
It is not impossible to think that a tyrant, to the likes of Mao, Castro, Che, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, and others, could possibly rise to power in America. It could be five, ten, twenty, or one hundred years from now — but future generations have the natural right to protect themselves from tyrannical government just as much as we currently do. It is safe to assume that this liberty that our forefathers secured has been a thorn in the side of would-be tyrants ever since the Second Amendment was adopted.
Ban on Military-Style Assault Weapons
The evidence is very clear pertaining to the inadequacies of the assault weapons ban. It had little to no effect when it was in place from 1994 until 2004. It was during this time that I personally witnessed two fellow students murder twelve of my classmates and one teacher. The assault weapons ban did not deter these two murderers, nor did the other thirty-something laws that they broke.
Gun ownership is at an all time high. And although tragedies like Columbine and Newtown are exploited by ideologues and special-interest lobbying groups, crime is at an all time low. The people have spoken. Gun store shelves have been emptied. Gun shows are breaking attendance records. Gun manufacturers are sold out and back ordered. Shortages on ammo and firearms are countrywide. The American people have spoken and are telling you that our Second Amendment shall not be infringed.
10-Round Limit for Magazines
Virginia Tech was the site of the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. Seung-Hui Cho used two of the smallest caliber hand guns manufactured and a handful of ten round magazines. There are no substantial facts that prove that limited magazines would make any difference at all.
Second, this is just another law that endangers law-abiding citizens. I’ve heard you ask, “why does someone need 30 bullets to kill a deer?”
Let me ask you this: Why would you prefer criminals to have the ability to out-gun law-abiding citizens? Under this policy, criminals will still have their 30-round magazines, but the average American will not. Whose side are you on?
Lastly, when did they government get into the business of regulating “needs?” This is yet another example of government overreaching and straying from its intended purpose.
Selling to Criminals
Mr. President, these are your words: “And finally, Congress needs to help, rather than hinder, law enforcement as it does its job. We should get tougher on people who buy guns with the express purpose of turning around and selling them to criminals. And we should severely punish anybody who helps them do this.”
Why don’t we start with Eric Holder and thoroughly investigate the Fast and Furious program?
Furthermore, the vast majority of these mass murderers bought their weapons legally and jumped through all the hoops — because they were determined to murder. Adding more hoops and red tape will not stop these types of people. It doesn’t now — so what makes you think it will in the future? Criminals who cannot buy guns legally just resort to the black market.
Criminals and murderers will always find a way.
Mr. President, in theory, your initiatives and proposals sound warm and fuzzy — but in reality they are far from what we need. Your initiatives seem to punish law-abiding American citizens and enable the murderers, thugs, and other lowlifes who wish to do harm to others.
Let me be clear: These ideas are the worst possible initiatives if you seriously care about saving lives and also upholding your oath of office. There is no dictate, law, or regulation that will stop bad things from happening — and you know that. Yet you continue to push the rhetoric. Why?
You said, “If we can save just one person it is worth it.” Well here are a few ideas that will save more that one individual:
First, forget all of your current initiatives and 23 purposed executive orders. They will do nothing more than impede law-abiding citizens and breach the intent of the Constitution. Each initiative steals freedom, grants more power to an already-overreaching government, and empowers and enables criminals to run amok.
Second, press Congress to repeal the “Gun Free Zone Act.” Don’t allow America’s teachers and students to be endangered one-day more. These parents and teachers have the natural right to defend themselves and not be looked at as criminals. There is no reason teachers must disarm themselves to perform their jobs. There is also no reason a parent or volunteer should be disarmed when they cross the school line.
This is your chance to correct history and restore liberty. This simple act of restoring freedom will deter would-be murderers and for those who try, they will be met with resistance.
Mr. President, do the right thing, restore freedom, and save lives. Show the American people that you stand with them and not with thugs and criminals.
Severely Concerned Citizen, Evan M. Todd
Link to original article: http://www.examiner.com/article/columbine-survivor-blasts-obama-gun-control-agenda
The 30th president had two lion cubs. Their names? Budget Bureau and Tax Reduction.
That’s the intuitive reaction to the surge of spending and budgetary challenges in Washington today. It’s hard to think of another Republican with the fortitude to push back against the outlays, to make government smaller, to lower taxes. And to show that such moves can yield prosperity.
The “only Reagan” assumption is too narrow—especially when it comes to the fiscal challenge. For while Reagan inspired and cut taxes, he did not reduce the deficit. He did not even cut the budget. But if you look back, past Dwight Eisenhower and around the curve of history, you can find a Republican who did all those things: Calvin Coolidge.
A New Englander and former Massachusetts governor, Coolidge came to Washington as vice president and moved into the White House only in 1923 after the sudden death of President Warren Harding. He later won the office himself and served until 1929. The 30th president cut the top income-tax rate to 25% (lower than the 28% of the historic Reagan cut of 1986). Coolidge reduced the national debt and balanced the budget. When he departed the White House for his home in Northampton, Mass., he left a federal budget smaller than the one he found.
Three factors gave Silent Cal the ability to cut as he did, each suggesting a governing approach that would be useful today.
The first advantage was a gift from his predecessor, President Harding: the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921. Theretofore, the president had enjoyed no general oversight of the budget. Bills came to the chief executive’s desk like requests crafted by clever children, hard to turn down. Under the Accounting Act, the executive branch gained the authority to present a unified budget and a research staff in the form of the Budget Bureau, a forerunner to today’s Office of Management and Budget. The executive also had the authority to impound money already appropriated.
The second advantage was one Coolidge himself supplied: the discipline to use budget tools, new and old. Harding had dramatically cut the budget, still bloated from World War I, but he lacked the stamina to keep up the work. Harding also made bad appointments of profligates or outright criminals, whose corrupt agencies undermined his savings drive. By the time Harding died, Congress was already weary of postwar austerity and confident it could squeeze more spending out of Coolidge, who might only hold office until elections the next year.
But Coolidge came in like a lion, determined to make austerity permanent. Coolidge met with his budget director, Gen. Herbert Lord, on his first day in office and routinely thereafter. The two men soon announced that they would deepen planned cuts in two politically sensitive areas: veterans and on District of Columbia public works. “I am for economy, and after that I am for more economy,” Coolidge told voters—who gladly kept him in the White House when he ran in 1924.
Against Congress, Coolidge also moved boldly. The jovial Harding had vetoed only six bills. Coolidge vetoed 50. “It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones,” Coolidge once advised his father. Coolidge proved a maestro of the pocket veto. He twice vetoed farming subsidies and he stopped government entry into the utilities industry by killing a project to operate the old wartime plant at Muscle Shoals in Alabama.
Coolidge’s third advantage was insight into what might be called fiscal trust. The president understood that ambitious budget cuts would be accepted if he could “align” them with ambitious tax cuts. The press wondered how two such taciturn men as Coolidge and his Treasury secretary, Andrew Mellon, managed to chat long enough to plot a tax crusade. But the two shared an outlook and “conversed in pauses,” as was written at the time.
After congressional resistance compromised their first legislation so badly that an editorial in this newspaper assailed lawmakers for “hazing the president,” Coolidge and Mellon redoubled their effort. Finally, in 1926, Coolidge won his 25% tax rate.
Coolidge and Mellon carefully underscored the technical evidence, and there was plenty, that greater revenues might follow tax rate cuts. But they still insisted on twinning tax cuts with budget cuts, so voters and markets would never be betrayed. When an admirer in South Africa sent two lion cubs to the president, Coolidge named them Budget Bureau and Tax Reduction to emphasize the linked approach.
President Reagan recognized Coolidge’s achievement, and upon taking office in 1981 he had a neglected Coolidge picture restored to a place of honor near Lincoln and Jefferson in the Cabinet Room. It is too much to hope that President Obama would take Coolidge’s example to heart. But those who are even now pondering presidential runs for 2016 would do well to heed Silent Cal’s deeds.
Ms. Shlaes is the author of “Coolidge,” just published by HarperCollins, and the director of the Four Percent Growth Project at the Bush Presidential Center.
Link to original article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323468604578248111350472602.html
For decades there has been an international drumbeat of concern for the Palestinians, their victimhood, their welfare and their human rights. But how much does the world really care about the Palestinians? We are learning now they don’t care at all as Assad slaughters them in Syria.
Where are the front-page headlines? Where are the UN condemnations? Where is the U.S. State Department? Where are the sponsors of flotillas to bring aid to the refugees? Where are the campus protests? Where are the Christian organizations? Where are the peace groups? Where are the pro-Palestinian organizations?
The answer is they are all silent.
Just two months ago, 180 countries voted in favor of Palestinian statehood at the UN, but they have not adopted a resolution condemning the brutal slaughter of Palestinians by Syria. Imagine if Israel were responsible for what is happening to the Palestinians. The UN would have acted immediately and all the groups mentioned above would be in an uproar.
How do we explain the difference?
The answer lies in a simple but inconvenient truth — no one really cares about the Palestinians – unless Jews are involved.
This is not new; you can go back to the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948. The popular misconception is that the Arab states invaded to help the Palestinians. Actually, they intended to carve up Palestine for themselves, not to create a Palestinian state.
From 1949 until 1967, Egypt could have given Gaza to the Palestinians for a state, just as the Jordanians could have created a Palestinian state in the West Bank. Neither did, but no one in the world cared because the Palestinians were not interested in a state and the occupiers were Arabs.
The lack of concern for the Palestinians was also evident after the 1967 War when the UN adopted Resolution 242, which has been the basis for all peace negotiations, yet does not mention the Palestinians.
When the PLO tried to overthrow Jordan’s King Hussein in 1970, the world did not show concern for the thousands of Palestinians who were killed by the king’s forces. The exact figure is unknown, but the number may be greater than the total for all of the conflicts with Israel put together.
Yet another example of the disinterest toward the Palestinians occurred when Kuwait expelled 300,000 Palestinians for supporting Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. This made no headlines and generated no UN resolutions.
The world was only concerned with the killing of Palestinian refugees in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in Lebanon because Jews were in the vicinity. The murderers were Lebanese Christians; nevertheless, it was Israel that was blamed.
After more than 700 Palestinians have been killed in Syria, survivors are fleeing the country. Have you heard any concern for them or for how the Palestinian refugees have been treated for decades in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan?
Israel offered to allow some of the refugees from Syria to go the West Bank, but Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the idea.
Of course the Palestinians have controlled all the refugee camps in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for almost 20 years and done nothing to move the people into permanent housing and close the camps. They prefer to keep the camps as breeding grounds for terrorists and as examples of victimhood.
The Arab states are full of bluster on the Palestinian issue, but, besides rhetoric, the Arab states provide only token amounts of money so they can say they are contributing to the cause. They have repeatedly pledged aid to the PA, but not made the payments. And, given the wealth of the Gulf states, the amount of these pledges is embarrassing. On January 14, 2013, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said his government might not meet its obligations to its people because of the failure of Arab League members to deliver the $100 million they promised.
Another inconvenient truth is that the world is indifferent to Arabs slaughtering Arabs. We continue to see this in Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and other Arab countries. The usual explanation is essentially a racist one; that is, Arabs are expected to behave in this way whereas Jews are held to a higher standard and that is why their involvement merits worldwide attention.
The irony is that the people who care the most for the Palestinians are probably American and Israeli Jews. In the United States, Jews are among the most vociferous supporters of the Palestinians. The Jewish establishment organizations are also pro-Palestinian, advocating a two-state solution that would give Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza the same freedoms Israelis enjoy, but are currently denied to them by their own leaders. In Israel, many Jews advocate for the Palestinians: Israelis represent them in the courts, join them in protests and speak out on their behalf in the press and the Knesset. The many Arab-Jewish coexistence projects are nearly always initiated by Israeli Jews.
With the slaughter in Syria, Palestinians can see who their real friends are, and most are not the ones they expect.
Link to original article: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/who-really-cares-about-the-palestinians/
The UN issued a harsh report against Israel aimed at undermining the legitimacy of Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria.
At the end of January, the United Nations Human Rights Council declared war on Israel, issuing one of the harshest reports against the Jewish state in recent memory. Replete with falsehoods and half-truths, the document is a chilling assault aimed at undermining the legitimacy of Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria.
The inquiry, which was conducted by the “International Fact-Finding Mission on Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” accuses Israel of carrying out a policy of “total segregation” and “systemic discrimination against the Palestinian people.” It asserts that the Jewish state has committed “serious breaches of its obligations under the right to self-determination and under humanitarian law” and demands that Israel “immediately initiate a process of withdrawal of all settlers.”
Not surprisingly, the document makes no reference to the Biblical or historical Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria, nor does it even bother to mention Israel’s position regarding the legal disposition of the areas. The report is so egregiously one-sided that it could just as easily have been produced in Ramallah as in Geneva.
But instead of taking action to counter the UN’s slanders, slurs and smears, some Israelis are prepared to throw up their hands and simply declare defeat.
“It’s impossible to explain the issue of settlement construction anyplace in the world,” National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror was quoted as saying in closed discussions in the Prime Minister’s Office (Haaretz, February 7).
“It’s impossible to explain this matter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel or even to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper,” he reportedly said.
Not to be outdone, outgoing Intelligence and Atomic Energy Minister Dan Meridor went on Channel 2 the following day, contending that Israel should unilaterally restrain Jewish building.
“We must put a stop to settlement construction past the Green Line, other than in the main settlement blocs,” Meridor said, adding that “we must make unilateral moves. We need to allow ourselves space to breathe.”
With all due respect to Meridor’s pulmonary prognosis, this is no way to wage a battle of ideas.
If Israel is finding it “impossible” to explain settlement construction, that is simply because it makes little or no effort to do so in a compelling manner. After all, when was the last time you heard a government minister articulate and assert Israel’s legal right to these areas? How forceful have Israeli embassies and consulates abroad been in telling the story of Judea and Samaria? IF YOU think I am exaggerating, try the following exercise.
Visit the websites of the Israeli embassies in Washington and London, and see if you can find something – anything! – which explains Israel’s rights to Judea and Samaria. Or check out the website of the Foreign Ministry, which refers to these areas as the “West Bank,” the terminology that is used by the Palestinians.
How many people abroad know that the Jewish presence in Hebron dates back more than 3,000 years? Or that “settlements” such as Neve Ya’akov and Kfar Etzion were created during the British Mandatory period even before the State of Israel was founded? Centuries before the invention of Islam, King David was born in Bethlehem, Amos prophesied in Tekoa and Judah the Maccabee fought at Beit Horon. And 1,800 years before the PLO was established, Jews at Beitar were battling the Romans.
Simply put, our right to this land is undisputable and incontestable. If we are losing the war for public opinion it is because we have stopped trying to win it, leaving the field of battle wide open for our foes.
For all their other faults, the Palestinians stay on message, delivering a simple mantra over and over again: Israel stole our territory, they are occupying our land, give it back. By contrast, Israel continually serves up mixed messages, adding further confusion and weakening our stance. We need to make our case, confident in the justness of our cause and cowed by no one.
Indeed, instead of declaring defeat, we should be celebrating victory. The fact is that just 45 years after the 1967 Six-Day War, the settlement movement has created an irreversible reality on the ground. Consider the following: In 2005, there were approximately 250,000 Jews living in Judea and Samaria. Today, there are more than 360,000, an increase of 44% in just eight years.
According to the Interior Ministry, the Jewish population in Judea and Samaria grew by a whopping 4.7%.
And the population growth is not limited to suburban bedroom communities but also extends to towns and villages deep into the territory. For example, Maskiot, which is located in the Jordan Valley northeast of Shechem (Nablus), saw its population surge by 30% last year.
Moreover, the Jewish population of the territories is much younger than the national average, with nearly half of Judea and Samaria’s Jews being under the age of 18, compared to 28% nationwide.
It is time that we underline these facts and spread the message far and wide.
Whether the world likes it or not, the people of Israel have returned to Judea and Samaria to stay. No power on earth can possibly uproot hundreds of thousands of Jews from dozens of communities spread throughout the area, so the UN and others would do well to focus their energies elsewhere.
Israel has a moral, legal, historical and Biblical right to settle every hill and populate every valley of this ancient land. And that is exactly what we shall do.
Link to original article: http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=303680