The basket of apples appeared on my door step. At first I wasn’t sure where they came from until I saw the note card that read VJ’s Organic Co-Op, Washington, DC. The note inside the envelope read:
Try these apples. I guarantee you’ve never tasted anything like them.
Valerie? I wasn’t sure who this Valerie was, but I figured organic apples couldn’t be all that bad. I made sure to wash one of them thoroughly, and I took a bite.
Whoever Valerie was, she was right. It didn’t taste like any apple I’d ever eaten, and soon after the first bite, I fell asleep, right there on the kitchen floor!
When I woke, I had all these ideas in my head on how to improve my favorite place on the planet — Walt Disney World. So I wrote them down, and here they are:
7. An Updated CircleVision 360 Film For China At Epcot
Epcot’s China pavilion does a wonderful job celebrating the rich history of its home country, but there’s very little mention of the successes of the last sixty or so years. Wonderful triumphs like the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, and defeating those pesky students in Tiananmen Square don’t get the mention they deserve at Epcot.
To remedy that problem, I propose that Disney replace the current Reflections of China film with an informative and interesting documentary I’ll call Forward: China from Mao to Now. The film will look back at the great history of the People’s Republic of China from the earliest days of the revolution to China’s bright future.
Of course, such a short film would not have time to delve too deeply into certain aspects of the nation, so concepts like human rights and economic freedom would probably have to go by the wayside. But I think a CircleVision 360 movie dispelling the myths about the People’s Republic would be worth seeing, don’t you?
On November 9, 2006, as the free world celebrated the seventeenth anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s demise, an 83-year-old man died in a peaceful slumber at his home in the German capital city. The man was Markus Wolf, who during the Cold War led the foreign-intelligence section of East Germany’s secret-police apparatus: the Ministry for State Security (Ministerium fuer Staatssicherheit), known colloquially as “the Stasi.” The Stasi’s most renowned spymaster, he controlled thousands of agents, whose purpose was to infiltrate important Western institutions and government positions. Often mistaken as the inspiration for John le Carre’s shadowy Karla character, Wolf for years remained a mystery to Western intelligence services, who didn’t even have a picture of him until the late 1970s—several decades into his career. Historians have marveled at his success in leading the Stasi’s foreign wing, known as the HVA, or Hauptverwaltung Aufklaerung. Perhaps his most well known accomplishment is having one of his agents, Gunter Guillaume, become a trusted aide to Willy Brandt, the West German chancellor.
Seven years after Wolf’s death and twenty-five years after the Wall’s, the West still doesn’t appreciate the breadth and depth of the Stasi’s brutality. (The KGB still reigns in the popular imagination as the ultimate secret-police force.) Formed after the Second World War in the Soviet occupation zone of Germany, the Stasi grew to become the most potently effective Eastern bloc intelligence organization. They possessed a more impressive informant network than even the KGB. When East Germany crumbled, the Stasi employed upwards of 190,000 unofficial informants. By 1989, approximately one out of every 90 East German citizens was a Stasi informant. Referred to as inoffizielle Mitarbeiter (“unofficial collaborators”), most were simply ordinary German citizens, tasked with reporting everything they could about possible (real or imagined) anti-regime activity, as well as details about family and friends. Even children were involved in spying on their parents.
Editor’s note: this is part 3 in an ongoing series exploring the history of dictators and their evil ideologies. See the previous installments: Part 1:”Why It’s OK to Be Intrigued by Evil Dictators“ and Part 2: “Does Everybody Want Freedom?” Have ideas for who you’d like to see Robert explore next? Get in touch on Twitter: @RobertWargas and @DaveSwindle
Celebrating its centennial, The New Republic recently mined its archive and republished an intriguing piece from its February 27, 1965, issue: an exclusive interview with Mao Zedong by the American journalist Edgar Snow. As TNR correctly notes, as far as interviews go this would be analogous to a Western journalist today being granted exclusive access to Kim Jong Un. The sit-down took place almost seven years before Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger arrived in Peking to re-establish relations with China.
Though the interview has value as a journalistic artifact, it isn’t the most satisfying piece of reportage when it comes to Mao the man. Snow, who was not exactly Red China’s greatest critic, wasn’t allowed to quote the Great Helmsman directly, and most of the discussion concerns issues of policy and military strategy. These are big subjects, and big subjects always make for big answers laden with propaganda.
Mao comes across as intensely theoretical; he seems genuinely infatuated with Marxist theory and its rigorous application to world affairs. When asked about the Vietnam War, for instance, Snow writes that Mao “repeatedly thanked foreign invaders for speeding up the Chinese revolution and for bestowing similar favors in Southeast Asia today.” He ”observed that the more American weapons and troops brought into Saigon, the faster the South Vietnamese liberation forces would become armed and educated to win victory.”
One lamentable feature of the contemporary West is the ruthless efficiency of the nanny state. It works overnight. You wake up, slouch over your coffee and corn flakes, and read of the new Bad Thing that must be stopped Right Now. In Britain, the latest activity slated for oblivion is smoking in public parks. Readers, I’m sure, do not need to be reminded that parks are outdoor places; the traditional excuse of “secondhand smoke” does not appear to apply (although it is possible to find “studies” on the dangers of “thirdhand smoke”).
Nevertheless, British officials moved quickly. In September 2013, the mayor of London, alleged conservative Boris Johnson, ordered a “major review of health in the capital,” according to The Independent. The results are already in: Lord Darzi, Britain’s former health minister and the appointed chair of Johnson’s special commission, has said smoking needs to be banned in London’s parks and public squares. There is news that ”councils throughout England are also understood to be analysing how the proposals could be applied locally, paving the way for potentially the biggest crackdown on smoking since the Smoke Free legislation of 2007.”
A few years ago, on a rainy summer’s day, I was browsing around a secondhand bookshop on the east end of Long Island, breathing in the musty wonder of the overstuffed shelves, when an elderly man approached me. I had in my hand a first edition of William Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. The man started up a friendly conversation about the Second World War, asking me whether I had watched a recent television documentary on the subject.
He continued talking, perhaps unaware that he wasn’t allowing me to respond. I didn’t take this as an insult. Most people prefer to hear themselves talk; this isn’t necessarily a sign of malice or rudeness on their part. I find it’s especially true of the elderly, who are usually lonelier and thus more desperate for the ear of a stranger. So I stood there and listened as politely as I could, not altogether uninterested in his views of fascinating matters like the Nazis and other dictatorships, which are subjects that I could eat with my breakfast cereal.
I didn’t fully appreciate how spiritually free I am as an American woman until I set foot on an El Al plane.
“Do you speak Hebrew?” the fretting woman in front of me asked.
“No, not really.”
“It’s okay, I speak English,” she hurriedly replied, obviously looking for a friendly face. “These Orthodox,” she motioned to the people sitting next to her, “they don’t like sitting next to women.”
“Well, that’s their problem.” My response was pointed, matter-of-fact, American.
She smiled as if a light bulb went off in her head. “You’re right!” Her expression grew cloudy. “But what if I take off my sweater? They won’t like that I expose my shoulders with my tank top.”
Again, I simply replied, “That’s their problem.”
She smiled, empowered. Removing her sweater, she took her seat and stood her ground.
And at that moment I thanked God I was raised in pluralistic America, and realized, oddly enough, that the Holy Land was giving me my first chance to practice the biblical feminism I’ve preached.
Israel is a Western nation in that women have equal rights by law. Israel is also a confluence of religious and ethnic cultural attitudes, not all of which are friendly to women. Two days into our trip to Jerusalem, a family member who also happens to be a retired journalist explained the latest story to hit the nightly news. A man accused of spousal abuse was released to return home. Later that evening, police found his wife had been shot dead. The husband confessed to the murder. Apparently, domestic violence and death is a relatively small but significant problem in Israel. When I asked my former journalist why, he pointed to the influence of Middle Eastern (both Arabic and radical Islamic) patriarchal culture as the primary source.
Yet, even religious Jews in Israel (and around the world), despite their insular nature, are far from immune to sexual abuse. Sex scandals among the Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) show up frequently on the evening news. In this case it’s not the Arab/Muslim influence, but perverted behaviors that arise from rabbinic abuse of biblical teachings. How do you expect a man to relate to a woman sexually when he’s not even allowed to look her in the eye?
Commentary has printed some brilliant feminist insights by Jonathan S. Tobin on Brandeis University’s refusal to award an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali:
We have heard a great deal in the last couple of years from liberals about a “war on women” that was supposedly being waged by American conservatives. That meme played a crucial part in President Obama’s reelection and Democrats hope to repeat that success in this year’s midterms. Liberals have tried to mobilize American women to go to the polls to register outrage over the debate about forcing employers to pay for free contraception, a Paycheck Fairness Act that is more of a gift to trial lawyers than women, and attempts to limit abortions after 20 weeks. These are issues on which reasonable people may disagree, but what most liberals seem to have missed is the fact that there is a real war on women that is being waged elsewhere around the globe where Islamist forces are brutalizing and oppressing women in ways that make these Democratic talking points look trivial. It is that point that Hirsi Ali is trying to make in her public appearances.
But instead of rising in support of Hirsi Ali’s efforts to draw attention to these outrages, leading American feminists are silent. The only voices we’re hearing from the left are from men who are determined to justify Brandeis.
I recently commented on the nastiness that occurs when political passion jumps the shark into idol-worshiping territory. One need look no further for evidence as to how ugly and narrow-minded political idol worshipers can get than the quotes Tobin pulls from left-wing sources hellbent on defending Brandeis’s decision. A search of both Jezebel and Bitch Magazine websites turned up zip on the controversy, once again proving the theory that feminism really is all about white, upper class “rich” chicks and their pop culture fanaticism.
I stand before you as someone who is fighting for women’s and girls’ basic rights globally. And I stand before you as someone who is not afraid to ask difficult questions about the role of religion in that fight.
The connection between violence, particularly violence against women, and Islam is too clear to be ignored. We do no favors to students, faculty, nonbelievers and people of faith when we shut our eyes to this link, when we excuse rather than reflect.
The fact that the mainstream feminist movement has no use for Hirsi Ali’s brave fight for women’s rights should come as no surprise. Her global campaign against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and abuse of women within radical Islam is so far out of the realm of #FirstWorldProblem Feminism that it doesn’t even ping on their radar. Which is precisely why feminism is a joke and women continue to be the laughingstock whipping boys of Democrat men who keep them well oiled and distracted during election season before shoving them back under Oval Office desks where they belong. What can I say except submission sells.
Perhaps Muslim women aren’t the only ones who are being targeted and abused because of their gender after all.
David Swindle has entered the ongoing discussion on altruism, religion and politics here at PJLifestyle. In doing so, he’s issued a number of great questions I’ve been wrestling with over the past few weeks. Jumping back in, I’d like to address them one by one, beginning with:
Walter, Susan, Lisa, and anyone else who’d like to join the discussion: am I going too far when I say that for a good number of people “Conservatism” is a form of idolatry?
No. I’ve had a hard, sad reminder of that through some of the commentary I’ve received on a number of articles in the past few weeks. There are some wonderful, insightful people out there who I’d love to have dinner with some day. And then there’s the passionate base who has time to issue verbose rants: Contradict popular line and you can “F-off”. You know this segment of the population; they are the reason stereotypes exist. But, they also prove the point that there are people out there who worship Conservatism above all else. Ironically, they’re as abusively passionate as those “liberals” they are taught to hate.
Michelle Goldberg over at the Nation published an excellent article on the #CancelColbert controversy arising out of what she has dubbed the “New Political Correctness”:
It’s increasingly clear that we are entering a new era of political correctness. Recently, we’ve seen the calls to #CancelColbert because of something outrageous said by Stephen Colbert’s blowhard alter ego, who has been saying outrageous things regularly for nine years. Then there’s the sudden demand for “trigger warnings” on college syllabi, meant to protect students from encountering ideas or images that may traumatize them; an Oberlin faculty document even suggests jettisoning “triggering material when it does not contribute directly to the course learning goals.” At Wellesley, students have petitioned to have an outdoor statue of a lifelike sleepwalking man removed because it was causing them “undue stress.” As I wrote in The Nation, there’s pressure in some circles not to use the word “vagina” in connection with reproductive rights, lest it offend trans people.
Radicals thrive on crisis. The crises they are generating are evidence of how truly free we are as a nation. Panicking over statuary is as #FirstWorldProblem as you can get. Yet we should not be fooled: The chaos of radicals always has a serious motive.
Nor is this just happening here. In England’s left-wing New Statesman, Sarah Ditum wrote of the spread of no-platforming—essentially stopping people whose ideas are deemed offensive from speaking publicly. She cites the shouting down of an opponent of the BDS movement at Galway University and the threats and intimidation leveled at the radical feminist Julie Bindel, who has said cruel things about trans people. “No platform now uses the pretext of opposing hate speech to justify outrageously dehumanising language, and sets up an ideal of ‘safe spaces’ within which certain individuals can be harassed,” wrote Ditum. “A tool that was once intended to protect democracy from undemocratic movements has become a weapon used by the undemocratic against democracy.”
Whether it is in a public forum or a private business (as with last week’s case of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich) “no-platforming” is the desired outcome of the radical-induced chaos. Whether it is used against the presumed liberal (feminism) or conservative (anti-BDS) cause, the outcome is the same: a clampdown on free speech and individual expression, marketed as kind-hearted, feel-good social legislation. Orwell would not be surprised.
More proof of Karma: Tommy Christopher has been fired at Mediaite according to the Daily Caller.
For the many who don’t know who Christopher is, he is a front line hack for the Obama administration. He is best known to me for defending Eric Holder’s indefensible dismissal of the New Black Panther voter intimidation case. To Christopher, facts didn’t matter, and he told me so.
From my book Injustice:
The left seemed determined to defend the DOJ’s dismissal of the case simply as a function of defending President Obama regardless of the merits of the case. Consider an email sent to me by Tommy Christopher at the blog site Mediaite. After I testified to the Civil Rights Commission, Christopher wrote me, “Mr. Adams—Did you ever have conversations with any member of the Commission, or their staff, regarding the political implications of your complaint? If so, with whom, and what was the substance of those conversations?” Of course I had no such conversations—I was concerned about stopping voter intimidation, not the “political implications” of my complaint. I asked Christopher whether it would make any difference to him if Coates confirmed my allegations under oath. He replied, “As for Coates, without a stronger case up front, no, I don’t think his testimony is necessary.” To Tommy Christopher and his ilk, the facts of the case were irrelevant—what mattered was circling the political wagons. By September 2010, Chris Coates had concluded the DOJ was falsely describing the dismissal of the Panther case.
Coates would soon testify and corroborate my story, as I knew he would. Coates described an open noxious climate at DOJ where civil rights laws were viewed as protecting only one race and corners were cut to push that philosophy. But as Christopher said, to Obama flunkies in the media, it didn’t matter. All that mattered was defense. And when it comes to race, Christopher gives Obama a pass, no matter how dirty the deed.
At CPAC a number of years ago, Andrew Breitbart and I were having lunch at a crawfish joint in D.C. when Christopher plopped himself down next to us. He was silent about all the nasty and dishonest stuff he threw my way defending Eric Holder and the Panther dismissal. I guess that’s just the sort of fellow he was, and Mediaite is better off without him.
image via real clear politics
Once upon a time, we raised our children in the quintessential Midwestern town of Atwood Illinois.
Just as you would imagine, mom and pop businesses lined Main Street, which of course ran through the center of the town. Only the local bars rivaled the number of neighborhood churches. Even the police department closes up shop on Sunday nights. To this day, it’s still a close-knit community. But it’s been fighting a slow death of poverty for years.
Just a few years ago, the one-and-only grocery store within 15 miles closed its doors. Just this year the community said farewell to their high school with its last Homecoming game–a devastating blow to the spirit of a small town.
When an outside company wanted to help, by bringing in their grocery store, renovating some empty buildings and generating some high-paying jobs the town leadership rejected it flatly. The fat, white good old boys started a letter writing campaign. They whined that this store carried too many ethnic foods–it would not serve a primarily white population. The predominately lower middle-class neighborhoods might see a more diverse, or affluent people move into town. Most of all, it would increase the desirability of the neighborhood, and who wants that?
Apparently these racists would rather buy their milk at the gas station.
Actually, that’s a lie.
That would never happen in Atwood. The town is in trouble. But there is no hope on the horizon, no offer of something as wonderful as a Trader Joe’s offering to be their new neighborhood grocer.
That honor went to a community in Portland. Unfortunately for them, my fairy-tale is their reality. Only the colors have been changed.
According to the AP it all started here:
“The Portland Development Commission had offered a steep discount to the [Trader Joe's] grocer on a parcel of nearly two acres that was appraised at up to $2.9 million: a purchase price of slightly more than $500,000. The lot is at Northeast Alberta Street and Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and has been vacant for years.”
The Portland African American Leadership Forum ran them off saying it would “perpetuate income inequality” and ”increase the desirability of the neighborhood.” Exactly.
How is this a bad thing?
Of course Trader Joe’s had the good sense to not go where they’re not welcome. So the California-based company took their discount health foods and products along with their $10-20/hr clerk jobs elsewhere. Did I mention that their supervisors make $45k-75k and reportedly the store managers bring in six-figures?
The Portland African American Leadership Forum would much rather see empty decaying buildings in their neighborhood than give up their victim card.
In the meantime, farming communities are fading away, left alone to suffer the same fate as coal-mining towns.
The source of an argument says nothing of its validity or truth. You need not be a woman to present a truth about abortion, or a drug user to present a truth about drug policy, or a parent to present a truth about child-rearing. Insisting otherwise, criticizing an argument based upon who makes it, commits ad hominem. Nevertheless, when someone opines on a topic they have no experience with whatsoever, it remains wise to temper exuberance with humility.
Amy Glass, writing for Thought Catalog, provides an object lesson in her recent piece on motherhood and marriage in which she confesses “I Look Down on Young Women with Husbands and Kids and I’m Not Sorry.” In a tone of profound condescension, Glass delivers an arrogant screed against our mothers and wives. She reflects:
Having kids and getting married are considered life milestones. We have baby showers and wedding parties as if it’s a huge accomplishment and cause for celebration to be able to get knocked up or find someone to walk down the aisle with. These aren’t accomplishments, they are actually super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them. They are the most common thing, ever, in the history of the world. They are, by definition, average. And here’s the thing, why on earth are we settling for average?
If women can do anything, why are we still content with applauding them for doing nothing?
One wonders how Glass’s own mother might regard that assessment. Perhaps all children owe their mothers an apology for being born. After all, as Glass presents it, motherhood trespasses upon a woman’s potential greatness.
I want to have a shower for a woman when she backpacks on her own through Asia, gets a promotion, or lands a dream job not when she stays inside the box and does the house and kids thing which is the path of least resistance.
Women will be equal with men when we stop demanding that it be considered equally important to do housework and real work. They are not equal. Doing laundry will never be as important as being a doctor or an engineer or building a business. This word play is holding us back.
Imagine the heights to which women might ascend if they abandoned the insignificant work of nurturing the next generation.
We on the Right may find ourselves tempted at times to look at the failures of Obama’s presidency and think that we’ve won. We may think that we’ve proven, once and for all, that stifling statism and stealth socialism cannot prevail in America.
Have you stopped to think that what we think of as failures may instead be part of a grand radical strategy? Former Florida Congressman Allen West has, and he shared his thoughts on Fox News:
West, a Republican, said he recently reread the Cloward-Piven strategy, proposed by two sociologists and political activists in 1966. The purpose of the strategy, offered to Democrats at the time, was to overload the welfare system so that people could be given “a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty.”
Obama’s economic policies may be intended to do something similar, West hinted during a Wednesday appearance on Fox News Channel’s ”On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”
“We’re seeing an incredible growth of the welfare nanny state; we’re seeing the poverty rolls explode; we’re seeing the food stamp rolls explode; we’re seeing more dependency on government largesse and programs,” he said. “We’re seeing a desperation and a despondency out there that’s being created by this administration.”
Authors Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven proposed a plan to end capitalism quickly by overloading bureaucracy with dependents so that the system would collapse under its own weight.
They proposed a “massive drive to recruit the poor onto the welfare rolls.” Cloward and Piven calculated that persuading even a fraction of potential welfare recipients to demand their entitlements would bankrupt the system. The result, they predicted, would be “a profound financial and political crisis” that would unleash “powerful forces for major economic reform at the national level.”
Their strategy involved a radical tactic known as community organizing (sound familiar?) to whip the poor into a frenzy and drive them on to welfare rolls. Voting-rights drives and a push for a “living wage” factored in to the Cloward-Piven strategy as well. Cloward and Piven were also reportedly behind the controversy in the 2000 presidential election.
Does all of this sound far fetched? Bear in mind that, like President Obama, Cloward and Piven were disciples of Saul Alinsky.
I sure hope I’m wrong, but if Obama’s policies thus far are part of a Cloward-Piven styled strategy, 2014 is more crucial than ever in terms of stemming the tide of stealth socialism.
Today the Drudge Report covers the Justice Department’s racialist attack on school discipline policies. The DOJ policy is based on the idea that school discipline policies are racially discriminatory because black students comprise a greater percentage of students disciplined than their percentage in the general population. Call it exceeding the bad behavior quota.
That this four-year-old federal policy exists wasn’t news. I covered it in my 2011 book Injustice. What is newsworthy is how these radical racialist education policies will outlast the Obama administration, and Republicans are ill-equipped to reverse it even if they win the White House.
As I wrote in Injustice:
The DOJ’s reasoning goes like this: if minorities face school discipline at rates greater than their overall percentage in the population, then the school is engaging in racial discrimination. As Civil Rights chief Tom Perez explained, “Black boys account for 9 percent of the nation’s student population, but comprise 24 percent of students suspended out of school and 30 percent of students expelled.” This preposterous racial bean-counting is an affront to the very concept of individual responsibility.
In January 2011, Perez announced that the DOJ would use a “disparate impact” analysis on school discipline cases to determine whether discipline policies were racially discriminatory. Thus, if blacks were disciplined in higher percentages than their share of the population, the DOJ would bring a lawsuit to stop the discipline policy. The new policy was on display at a DOJ conference on September 27 and 28, 2010, entitled “Civil Rights and School Discipline: Addressing Disparities to Ensure Educational Opportunity.” Attorney General Holder addressed the gathering and sought to “better understand the causes, and most effectively remedy the consequences, of disparities in student discipline.” Perez then complained that minority “students are being handed Draconian punishments for things like school uniform violations, schoolyard fights and subjective violations, such as disrespect and insubordination.”
Some might argue American schools have already allowed far too much disrespect and insubordination among students. That Tom Perez gives quarter for these acts illustrates the cultural demographic he and his fellow Obama political appointees seek to protect—the disrespectful and insubordinate.
We’ve come to expect this sort of policy from Eric Holder of protecting the lawless and misbehaving. The New Black Panther voter intimidation case dismissal was mere prologue.
Republicans in Congress have shown minimal skill in stopping these radical racialist programs. Instead of defunding the components of the DOJ that perpetrate these lawless policies, they continue to vote for spending resolutions and budgets that fuel them.
And even if the GOP takes control of the Justice Department in 2017, it will take an Attorney General willing to roll up his or her sleeves and clean out the mess inside the Civil Rights Division that is fueling these nutty and lawless policies. Only a few GOP figures understand the scope of the problem and have the courage to correct it. Among them are people like Representatives Louie Gohmert or Trey Gowdy, Senators Jeff Sessions or John Cornyn.
Here are three reasons why even these four would struggle in 2017 to reverse this lawless nuttiness:
“The transformation of Stalin from the political killer who slaughtered more than 20 million innocent people in the Soviet Union alone into the political god over one-third of the world generated not only forty years of Cold War, but also the greatest political hoax perpetrated in history: international respect for Marxism and admiration for murderous communist leaders.”
Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa
In his book Disinformation, Lt. Gen Ion Mihai Pacepa explains that central to the art of disinformation is the “highly classified specialty” of framing, a KGB term for “changing a person’s past.” Much like the Orwellian line “two legs good, four legs better” framing involves fashioning a lie into the truth through the careful manipulation of popular opinion.
Framing was a technique employed by Stalin to justify the murder of thousands of his fellow party members and millions of innocent civilians as traitors to the communist system. Eastern Europe became a chain of proletarian dictatorships due to the black art of framing. As Pacepa details, “The leading East European figures in industry and agriculture were framed as saboteurs and shot or jailed, so as to provide the local communists with pretexts to nationalize the economy and collectivize agriculture.” By re-writing the culture in their own personal terms of good and bad, right and wrong, the KGB acculturated Eastern Europe into the belief that the Soviet socialist way of life was not only acceptable, but preferred.
Pacepa notes that framing was not limited to the political figures of eastern Europe. One of the KGB’s greatest framing jobs was actually executed by communist leaders in the west. The goal was simple: making communism palatable to the western masses by refashioning it from political threat to pop culture romance. The operation that started with Che Guevara was so successful that we live with its ramifications to this very day. Long after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the black art of framing continues to threaten the west with the creation of contemporary political gods.
Last week, I wrote about Seattle’s City Council election, in which Socialist Kshama Sawant was leading at the time. She eventually won.
When I posted that piece on Facebook the first time, I wrote an aside offering “apologies to my Seattle family and friends,” some of whose beliefs line up closely with those of Sawant. My aunt commented on the post, “No apologies necessary. I know how f’d up it is here. No other word to use really.” Looks like Sawant’s election was just the beginning.
One of Seattle’s largest industrial residents is Boeing. Recently, Boeing entered negotiations with IAM, the machinists’ union, over the company’s contract to build its 777X plane at the Puget Sound plant. Boeing requested a long-term contract with few opportunities for the union to strike, a deal the union rejected. As a result, Boeing may take its business elsewhere.
After the negotiations broke down, leftist activists took to the streets to express their displeasure. Among them was Councilwoman-elect Sawant.
On Monday, Seattle-area labor activists held a post-rejection rally in Seattle. Hundreds of activists were in attendance, including Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Seattle Councilwoman-elect Kshama Sawant.
At Monday’s rally, according to KIROTV.com, Sawant told hundreds of union activists what they should do if Boeing does indeed build its 777X elsewhere:
“The workers should take over the factories, and shut down Boeing’s profit-making machine,” Sawant announced to a cheering crowd of union supporters in Seattle’s Westlake Park Monday night.
This week, Sawant became Seattle’s first elected Socialist council member. She ran on a platform of anti-capitalism, workers’ rights, and a $15 per-hour minimum wage for Seattle workers.
Sawant is calling for machinists to literally take-possession of the Everett airplane-building factory, if Boeing moves out. She calls that “democratic ownership.”
“The only response we can have if Boeing executives do not agree to keep the plant here is for the machinists to say the machines are here, the workers are here, we will do the job, we don’t need the executives. The executives don’t do the work, the machinists do,” she said.
Ms. Sawant told KIROTV.com that, once the factories are seized, the workers could retool them to produce mass transit buses.
That’s no joke. She wants labor unions to take a factory that Boeing may abandon and use it to make buses for mass transit. Why stop at buses? Why not light rail, Kshama?
If this behavior keeps up, we may never take Seattle seriously again.
It’s a Girl!
Hamas’s new spokesperson, Isra al-Modallal, is 23, fun and feisty in a traditional Islamic sort of way. The former correspondent for Iranian television will be Hamas’s new mouthpiece to the West.
Planning to put a motherly face on international media relations, the divorced mother of one said: “I will make the issues more human, and even if [Palestinian] officials do not understand this language, I know Western people will.” She added: “The West does not understand religious discourse the same way they do human discourse.”
Careful to avoid religiously-fueled discourse, Modallal also remarked,
“Most people in the world recognise that Palestinians are humans too so the world will understand our message as refugees and people who live under siege.”
“She said she was conscious of the great responsibilities of the role, especially given her age, but insisted her gender was not an issue. ‘Palestinian women take an active role in the street, in organisations, in the media. I have not found any difficulties being a woman. We have all the freedom we need.’”
Modallal was ambiguous, however, when it came to her personal freedom to speak to the Israeli media.
“Modallal said she would not have any dealings with the Israeli media as representatives of the occupying force in Palestine. “There is no way we can talk to them.”
“The new Hamas spokeswoman said she did not have a problem with talking to Israeli media, in contrast to the policy currently followed by the ousted government and by many leaders of Hamas, though she stressed that she would only do so with official permission.
“If I am given permission, I personally have no problem,” she said.
The Hamas government does not allow journalists in Gaza to deal with Israeli media sources, and many officials refuse to talk to Israeli journalists.”
Modallal does, however, “plan to launch Twitter and Facebook campaigns in the near future to promote Hamas and its policies.” No word yet on whether or not Israelis will be blocked from following these social media sites.
For decades, the Left has waged a war to bend history to suit their narrative. From the disinformation tactics of the former Soviet Union (and even Russia today) to the dishonesty in modern American textbooks, the Left has no compunction about changing the facts of history. Most recently, British leftist Owen Jones appeared on a BBC program and attempted to wash the hands of Karl Marx of the damage caused by his followers. Earlier this month, columnist and author Dr. Tim Stanley weighed in on Jones’ rehab attempts on Marx’s image:
I can’t quite believe that I’ve just sat through ten minutes of BBC television in which British journalists Owen Jones and Zoe Williams have defended Karl Marx as the prophet of the End of Capitalism. Unbelievable because I had thought Marxism was over with the fall of the Berlin Wall – when we discovered that socialism was one part bloodshed, one part farce. But unbelievable also because you’d have to be a pretty lacking in moral sensitivity to defend a thinker whose work sent millions of people to an early grave.
I don’t want to have to rehearse the numbers but, apparently, they’re not being taught in schools anymore – so here goes. Sixty-five million were murdered in China – starved, hounded to suicide, shot as class traitors. Twenty million in the USSR, 2 million in North Korea, 1.7 million in Africa. The nightmare of Cambodia (2 million dead) is especially vivid. “Reactionaries” were sorted out from the base population on the grounds of being supporters of the old regime, having gone to school or just for wearing glasses. They were taken to the side of paddy fields and hacked to death by teenagers.
On the BBC broadcast, Jones and journalist Zoe Williams both dismissed Marx as “just an economist,” yet Stanley neatly draws the line from Marx’s theorizing to the natural result of Marxism’s implementation:
It’s possible to argue that Marx was an economist rather than a politician – that he only analysed the failings of Capitalism and never offered the blue-print for building socialism that would end in disaster in the 20th century. But that misses the point that Marx’s analysis was what informed that blue-print and, so, he bears intellectual responsibility for it. His view that all human relations are shaped by economics and that everything we do is measured in purely material terms reduced the individual to a pawn in a historic war between competing classes. You’re not a person – you’re either an exploiter or an alienated peasant… Throw into the mix Karl’s belief that the working-class could not lose – historical determinism – and you get the kind of fanatical, anti-human view of life that would end inevitably in gulags. “To keep you is no benefit, to destroy you is no loss,” said the teenage vanguard of the Cambodian communists. Compelling logic to the intellectually unformed.
The phenomenon occurs among activists on the Left and the Right. Regardless of their ideological perspective or particular cause, amateur activists sabotage their own effort at every turn. Whether due to ignorance of processes or – more likely – stubborn defiance of reality, citizen activists focus too much on grinding their axe and not enough on achieving a goal.
Three recent examples warrant consideration. First, in Maine, a group of libertarian Republicans including a National Committeeman authored an open letter to the state party secretary tendering their resignation from the GOP following a rules fight which didn’t go their way at a meeting of the RNC. Dave Nalle, former national chair of the Republican Liberty Caucus, an organization working within the party to steer it toward greater advocacy of individual rights, called the mass exodus a “betrayal” in a public Facebook post:
After years of working to gain those positions of influence and as a key component of a liberty coalition which controls the state party, they have thrown everything away because of losing one battle over the rules with the RNC leadership.
Did they go into this thinking it was going to be easy to change the Republican Party? I respect their efforts and commitment up to this point, but what they have done puts liberty movement control of their state party in jeopardy and hands additional victories to the malefactors who run the national party. It weakens the movement nationwide and sets a terrible example for others.
In Minnesota, the Occupy movement has splintered as Occupy MN announced that it was cutting ties with a spin-off organization called Occupy Homes MN on account of the latter becoming “commercialized” and “profitable.” City Pages reports on the schism, citing a public statement from Occupy MN:
Many of us helped create, volunteered with and were arrested with Occupy Homes, until unethical tactics serving the goal of evolution into a profitable Non-Governmental Organization achieved dominance.
Last but not least, activists made a stink following an incident at the Republican Party booth at the Minnesota State Fair. Volunteers arrived to work a shift at the booth wearing campaign t-shirts supporting a libertarian challenger to Congressman John Kline. The state party chair, fulfilling his fiduciary responsibility to protect the party brand, required the volunteers to turn their shirts inside-out while representing the party in an official capacity. The move sparked a firestorm of protest from liberty activists within the party. A former candidate for the state chair position rallied support on Facebook by noting:
Neither Kline nor Mr. [David] Gerson [the challenger] is endorsed for the 2014 race to keep MN CD 2 in GOP hands.
Apparently, political parties have no vested interest in promoting their elected officials or protecting their brand by not associating it with non-endorsed challengers. So goes the protesters’ argument.
Each of these examples and many more which could be cited indicate an activist mindset which I refer to as anti-activism. Like a gerbil running on its wheel, anti-activists expend tremendous energy toward getting nowhere. That becomes problematic for more thoughtful activists who focus on affecting public policy rather than protest for its own sake. Let’s consider 6 ways activists sabotage their cause.
Louis Farrakhan (approvingly) called it “Preparation for race war” while according to Brietbart’s Big Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar-winning film Django Unchained was “The Most Pro-Freedom Movie of 2012.”
Then there was Marc Lamont Hill, the intellectual mediocrity of a Columbia professor who gets dragged out of mothballs when a racial event reaches pop status, says something stupidly outrageous, apologizes or clarifies, then gets put away until the next time.
On a CNN panel about the ghoulish fan club for rampaging LAPD ex-cop Christopher Dorner, who counted among his victims the Asian-American daughter of a cop who investigated him, Hill said:
And, many people aren’t rooting for him to kill innocent people: they’re rooting for someone who was wronged to get a kind of revenge against the system. It’s almost like watching Django Unchained in real life. It’s kind of exciting.
Perhaps the most famous off-screen line about the film came from an opening Saturday Night Live satirical monologue from Jamie Foxx that riffed on “how black is that,”
I play a slave. How black is that? And in the movie I had to wear chains. How whack is that? But don’t be worried about it because I get out the chains, I get free, I save my wife, and I kill all the white people in the movie. How great is that? And how black is that?
But in the film, Django does no such thing. In fact, [SPOILER ALERT] he teams with a white guy whose moral outrage eventually gets the better of him, and gets himself killed (and without whose help, Django would have accomplished none of his heroics.)
I recently grabbed Django Unchained at a Redbox, and found it far less a compelling re-watch than it was as a first time experience in the theater (and less disturbing, having watched it in an urban multiplex where audience reaction was, at times, appallingly inappropriate). This movie relies so much on shock value and surprising choices (particularly musically) that the second time around, some of the anachronisms become much more annoying.
And since Tarantino himself brought up history…
Next: Django Unchained is much like the rhetoric that helped cause the Civil War.
This is issue #13 of my reading/writing journals, a new, experimental routine for season 2 of the 13 Weeks Radical Reading Reading Regimen. Each morning I will juxtapose excerpts from my book readings with the day’s headlines and then the next day write a reflection trying to make connections. The goal is to consider the events of the day in the bigger picture of human history and our place in the universe. See the first three weeks’ issues:
Monday, July 8: “We Ought to Defeat Capitalism With Its Own Weapons, Comrades…“
Tuesday, July 9: Can We Just Fast Forward to 2040? Please?
Thursday, July 11: Researching the American Family’s War to Beat Death…
Monday, July 15: Turning On Mankind’s Magical Machines To Battle Mother Earth’s Cruel Monsters
Wednesday, July 17: ‘So, You Know How You Felt on 9/11? Yeah, That’s How We Feel When It Comes To Race.’
Thursday, July 18: ‘… And There We Can Still Maintain Our Mysterious and Dreadful Freedom.’
Friday, July 19: ‘Evil Always Takes Advantage of Ambiguity.’ – G.K. Chesterton
Monday, July 22: ‘His Father Urged Him to Study Marxism, But Valentin Preferred Science.’
Tuesday, July 23: ‘Perhaps The Final Secret of the Illuminati Is That You Don’t Know You’re A Member Until It’s Too Late to Get Out.’
Wednesday, July 24: Is Anthony Weiner a ‘Deviant’ or a ‘Normal’ Male?
Thursday, July 25: ‘The Most Ancient Conflict in Western Culture, Between Jew and Egyptian, Continues…’
Friday, July 26: Weiner’s Wild Women: Are Sydney Leathers and Huma Abedin His Succubi?
Weekend Book Reading:
A great, sad irony: Islam, the most misogynistic religion on the planet, could never have been founded and grown if a 25-year-old Mohammed had not married a rich 40-year-old woman… From page 45 of The Mohammed Code by Howard Bloom:
Hermes Trismegistus prophesied Egypt’s downfall and conquest in the Corpus Hermetica. From Pg 197 of The Hermetic Link: From Secret Tradition to Modern Thought by Jacob Slavenburg:
Today it’s estimated that 91% of Egyptian women undergo genital mutilation.
Constitutions made the colonies unique from England. Pg 105 of Paul Johnson’s A History of the American People:
American Badass Ethan Allen suffered torture at the hands of the British during the Revolutionary War. Pg. 69 of Blood of Tyrants by Logan Beirne:
Weekend News Round Up:
Lead PJM Stories Friday and this Weekend:
Roger Kimball: A Culture, Consuming Itself: The Higher-Ed Farce Deepens
The problem is that they are part and parcel of a concerted assault on the fundamental civilizational values of our culture. By some strange process of moral entropy, those institutions which had been the bearers and preservers of our cultural inheritance have mutated into its deadly enemies. It was Williams College, once again, that prompts this melancholy thought. Just last month, the college sponsored “Worlds of Wonder: The Queerness of Childhood,” an “interdisciplinary workshop” that basked in the imprimatur of a dozen college entities from the Dean’s office to the “Committee for Human Sexuality and Diversity” and the “Queer Student Union.” Among the festivities were “Lessons in Drag,” a performance piece, and papers on such pressing subjects as “Queering America’s Progress Narrative: The California Ruins of Leland Stanford Jr.,” “What Does it Mean to Be an Adult if We Queer the Child? Laws of Consent in Comparative Perspective,” and “Sex Panics, Child Prostitutes, and Global Sporting Events, or: How to Save a Sexually Precocious Child and Get a Luxury Hotel for Free.”
I have had occasion before to quote Kingsley Amis’ wise observation that much of what is wrong with our culture can be summed up in the word “workshop.” But even a satirist of Amis’ asperity, I suspect, would have been at a loss when confronted with “The Queerness of Childhood.” “This workshop,” the program reads, “brings together a group of scholars and clinicians working at the intersections of childhood studies, psychoanalysis, psychology, pedagogy, and queer theory in order to have a conversation about queer children and the queerness of childhood.” Really?
Bridget Johnson: Obama: Ho Chi Minh Was Inspired by Our Founders
Bryan Preston: Conservative Hispanic Society Rips ‘Overt Pervert’ Weiner and the Democrats’ ‘War on Women’
Ed Driscoll: Death Wish: Mr. Bronson’s Planet
Stephen Kruiser: Death Penalty Off the Table to Persuade Russia to Turn Snowden Over
Rick Moran: The GOP’s Alamo for Obamacare
The PJ Tatler: (UPDATED: RNC Responds to PJ Media) EXCLUSIVE: RNC Operatives Join Holder’s Campaign Against Texas, Several Other States
David P. Goldman: Dumb, Dumber, Dumberer in Washington
Obama and the Republican mainstream — John McCain and the Weekly Standard — united in their misplaced enthusiasm for the so-called Arab Spring in early 2011, as I reported in a Tablet magazine essay May 20 titled “Dumb and Dumber.” They have learned nothing from the collapse of the so-called “Spring” into civil war in Syria, Islamist terrorism in Tunisia, and state failure in Egypt. Such is the power of ideology. If the most practical man of business is the mental slave of a defunct economist, as Keynes said, the most practical politician may be the mental slave of a defunct political philosopher.
The “political philosophy” that has guided so many diligent and clever analysts into absurdities does not address the definitive political phenomenon of our time, namely cultural suicide.
Ed Driscoll: Behold: the Last City, and the Last Democrat
Just as Detroit is the terminal destination for America’s “Progressively” governed-cities, Anthony Weiner is the endgame for leftwing politicians. He had no experience in business or in the military before entering politics straight out of college, initially as a staffer for another leftwing political lifer, Chuck Schumer. He has zero charisma as a public speaker. He has no vision for where he’d like to see the nation go. He’s in politics strictly for himself, because, well, what else is he going to do?
As Kyle Smith noted in April, what business would hire him? Other than MSNBC, I guess. He’s running for the mayor of New York simply because that’s what you do when you have no other career prospects. Say what you will about Michael Bloomberg, and we’ve said plenty over the years, but at least he had a lengthy business career, first at the bond-trading firm Salomon Brothers, and then forming his own diversified company, before deciding to run for mayor of one the most important cities in New York.
For Weiner, that’s just what you do next, after resigning from Congress in disgrace.
Claudia Rosett: Remember the Free Market?
Michael Ledeen: Whither Egypt? Whence Syria? (Wrong Questions)
As I try to penetrate the fog of the future, I keep reminding myself that we are in a big war, and that the big war is very similar to the Second World War and the Cold War: we are being attacked by a series of countries that support a messianic mass movement. Just as we broke the ideological spine of fascism and Nazism and Communism, we, or others, can do the same to jihadism. Since much of the appeal of such movements rests on the followers’ belief that the future belongs to them, the ideological consequences of defeat are enormous. You can see that in the case of our defeat of Iran and al-Qaeda in Iraq. It became much more difficult for bin Laden and Zawahiri to get waves of new recruits once it became evident that they had no chance to defeat us. Now they’re back, worse than ever, but that’s our fault. We didn’t — and still haven’t — come to grips with the unpleasant fact that it’s a big war, and we’ve got to win it on a big scale, not just in one place (after which we pack up and leave the future to our enemies).
If the jihadis are beaten in Syria, it will be bad news for the Brothers in Egypt. If Iran and Hezbollah are defeated in Syria, it will strengthen the anti-jihadi forces in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. And if Iran should implode, it would gravely weaken their proxies throughout the region, and their “Bolivarian”allies to our south. Etcetera, etcetera, and so forth.
We have skin in all those games, and we have numerous moves available.
Gordon G. Chang: The Korean War Continues
Patrick Poole: A Bad Week for the Muslim Brotherhood
Bridget Johnson: Admin Keeps Calling for Muslim Brotherhood Inclusion as Islamists Incite, Inflate Protest Tolls
Rich Baehr: Bored with Obama
The president’s declining approval numbers are not the only worrisome numbers for the White House. Support for Obamacare, the president’s signature legislative “achievement” of his first term, is sinking to its lowest level yet, just months before implementation of the individual mandate and the Medicaid expansion are scheduled to occur. The delay in the implementation of the employer mandate seemed like an unspoken acknowledgement by the administration that the requirement may have slowed job growth for several years and accelerated the shift from full-time work to part-time employment (under 30 hours per week).
Every month, it seems, the president convenes a meeting of liberal bloggers to give them their new marching orders on how to sell that “all is well” with Obamacare and we just need to give it a little more time before everyone recognizes its greatness. Writers like Jon Cohn and Ezra Klein have been shilling so long and so hard for Obamacare that they are at least as invested in its success as the president is. Whenever there appears to be an ounce of “good” news on the premiums in the exchanges in certain states, it is heralded as an achievement on a par with the Red Sea parting.
PJ Lifestyle Featured on PJ Home Page on Friday:
Rhonda Robinson: Restoring Our Judeo-Christian Culture
Chris Queen: Forgotten Walt Disney World: River Country
Walter Hudson:BREAKING: Sex May Result in Children
Though atheistic, Rand condemned a few choices as sin, including the refusal to think and the rejection of reality. Detaching the sex act from its natural consequence commits both. Sex may result in children. Competent adults know that going in, and stand responsible for the lives of any children they may produce regardless.
There exists a certain irony in the fact that, while Rand’s overall philosophy remains on the fringes of popular culture, her views regarding sex, reproduction, and parenthood have been roughly and broadly adopted. Granted, most abortionists arrive at Rand’s view in parallel through a haphazard adoption of ideas, not a thoughtful consideration of her (or any) philosophy.
Jon Bishop: 5 Rules for California-Roll Conservatives
New at PJ Lifestyle:
Books and Movies, History and Philosophy on Fridays:
Walter Hudson: New Robocop to Resume Original’s Satire
Kathy Shaidle: I Was a Communist for the FBI a Half Century Later
Chris Queen: Pixar’s Alternate Universe?
Sarah Hoyt and Charlie Martin: Answering The Call To The Writer’s Journey
Self Improvement on Saturdays:
Chris Queen: Victory For Georgia Football Player Kolton Houston
Rhonda Robinson: How to Remove the Shame From Your Financial Struggles
Sarah Hoyt: How to Tame Your Subconscious
Charlie Martin: A Meditation on Diet
Religion, Spirituality, Ethics, and Morality on Sundays:
Susan L.M. Goldberg: Girls: Best Friends Forever-ish
Sex played a different, but nonetheless important role in Biblical illustrations of pitfalls that can ruin female friendship. Sarah, nervous and ashamed that she is unable to bear children for her husband Abraham, gives him her slave girl Hagar as a concubine to bear children in her name. Years later, when God’s prophecy to Sarah is fulfilled and she gives birth to Isaac, she evicts Hagar and her son Ishmael in a jealous fury, fearful that Ishmael will receive the firstborn blessing meant for Isaac. The same ugly jealousy rears its head between two sisters, Rachel and Leah, both married to Abraham’s grandson Jacob. Leah despises Rachel for her beauty while Rachel despises Leah for her ability to have children.
In both instances these three matriarchs illustrate every stereotype associated with female friendship (or the lack thereof): cattiness, jealousy, rage, envy. Above all else, they illustrate a gross amount of selfishness spurred on by the limitations of gender-based thinking: If I am not physically attractive, if I cannot have a child, I am worthless, therefore I hate anyone who can – even if they are my sister.
In contrast we have the gentile Ruth. Widowed by the death of her young Israelite husband, Ruth could have followed her Moabite sister-in-law Orpah into the safety of a second marriage within her own clan. Instead, Ruth gives up everything she has ever known to follow Naomi, her mother in law, back to Israel. A stranger in a strange land, she has no one for whom to be beautiful or fertile; she gives of herself, gleaning the leftovers while being harassed as a suspected outsider. Impressed by her unique strength of character, Boaz the rich Israeli goes out of his way to marry the foreigner who would become the grandmother of King David.
Rhonda Robinson: Dietary Laws: Did Jesus Model or Dismiss Them?
Paula Bolyard: What Would Dietrich Bonhoeffer Say to Anthony Weiner?
Charlie Martin: Buddhists Have No Souls
P. David Hornik: How I Became a Conservative
I don’t remember when he first “called” me on the stuff I was saying about “the war.” It’s likely, though, that we were both lingering at the table after supper; we were always the only ones present for these discussions we began having. He said what he said quietly and seriously, manifestly giving me the feeling that I was free to respond and anything I said would be considered fairly.
He told me that the people we were fighting over there were totalitarians no different from the Nazis who, if allowed to take over, would commit mass atrocities. He told me the war was part of a larger effort by the Soviet Union to extend its power and ultimately overcome American power. He told me that when South Vietnamese civilians fled a war zone, they invariably fled south—not north into areas the communists had supposedly “liberated.” He told me that diverting money from the war effort to America’s social problems wouldn’t accomplish anything; the social problems—particularly in the inner cities—stemmed from a breakdown of family structure and that was something the government didn’t know how to solve no matter how much it spent, and in fact had helped cause with its meddling.
I was stunned and dazzled. If I had heard some of these points before, it was in shouting matches between jocks and freaks. I had never heard political positions set forth with precision, nuance, and a logic that flowed like music, like Mozart. Living with my father for seventeen years, amid his journals, books, and tobacco smoke, I had never before heard him speak at length about these matters that so occupied him.
Also Around the Web Friday and this Weekend:
Broadcasting and Cable: TCA: NBC Orders Hillary Clinton Miniseries - Diane Lane to star as former First Lady; network orders three other longform projects
Danny has left the campaign. He did a remarkable job,” Weiner said
“We have an excellent staff. More people have come on frankly. We’ve gotten more volunteers and more people coming over to help the campaign since the least several days since anytime since the campaign started.”
Leathers was a gold-digging social climber who trolled Internet “sugar daddy” sites for wealthy men — and was not above taking a few Benjamins just for “talking,” according to her online chats and profiles, as well as school pals.
She went for Weiner, but her friends say cash was her real turn-on.
“She used sugardaddy.com to meet men,” said a 27-year-old former girlfriend from Chicago who requested anonymity. “She met a few guys on that site when she was visiting me. She wants the lifestyle without working for it.”
Leathers called herself a “22-year-old SugarBaby,” according to her profile on the SugarDaddyForMe dating Web site.
Last summer, even as she was sexting the married and already scandal-scarred ex-congressman, Leathers used her friend’s condo as her home base for dating wealthy Chicago men, according to her ex-pal, who said Leathers “was actively seeking men out to pay for her.”
NY Daily News: Weiner campaign paid private eye $45,000 to investigate own 2011 Twitter ‘hacking’ lie, reports show
Deadline Hollywood: ‘Wolverine’ Howls For $21M Friday And Will Whimper For Weakening $56M Weekend
Evan McMurry: Greenwald Claims Private Contractors Can Spy On Calls, Emails: ‘I Defy NSA Officials To Deny’ These Capabilities
Greenwald described the capabilities of the program, accessible not just by NSA officials but by low-level private contractors:
“The NSA has trillions of telephone calls and email in their databases. What these programs are are very simple screens, like the ones that supermarket clerks or shipping and receiving clerks use, where all an analyst has to do is enter an email address or an IP address, and it does two things: it searches that database and lets them listen to the calls or read the emails of everything that the NSA has stored, or look at the browsing histories or Google search terms that you’ve entered; and it also alerts them to any further activity that people connected to that email address or connected to that IP address do in the future. And it’s all done with no need to go to a court, with no need to even get supervisor approval on the part of the analyst.”
Greenwald noted that while “there are legal constraints on how you can spy on Americans,” there’s nothing stopping, or even detecting, abuse of the program.
“The real issue here is that what the NSA does is done in complete secrecy,” Greenwald said. “Nobody really monitors who they’re eavesdropping on. The question of abuse is one that the Congress ought to be investigating much more aggressively.”
Evan McMurry: CNN’s Don Lemon Backs Up Bill O’Reilly: ‘He Doesn’t Go Far Enough’ In Criticizing Black Culture
Josh Feldman: Maher Takes On Evangelical Minister: Bible Clearly ‘Hates Fags,’ God’s A ‘Psychotic Mass Murderer’
Maher told Wallis that it’s hard for someone to say God is “perfect” when there’s a lot of twisted morality in the Bible itself.
“It’s pro-slavery, pro-polygamy, it’s homophobic, God in the Old Testament is a psychotic mass murderer–I mean, there’s so many things in it, and I always say to my religious friends, you know, if a pool had even one turd in it, would you jump in?”
Wallis explained how he found there to be 2000 verses in the Bible talking about the poor, but two more times Maher called him out for not answering the question. At one point, he quipped to guestEliot Spitzer, “This guy’s an even better politician than you.”
Wallis argued he’d only like people to take the Bible literally “when it says love your neighbor as yourself,” and when Maher shot back about the Bible commanding people to kill neighbors who work on Sundays, he brushed it aside and said Jesus didn’t want that. A confused Maher tried to understand. “So Jesus is correcting the Old Testament, which is by his dad, who’s really him. I don’t…”
Or maybe the president meant the scandal surrounding the administration’s response to the attack in Benghazi. Did he mean when the administration sent Susan Rice, then the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, on every Sunday news programs to blame the attack on a spontaneous upraising resulting from an inflammatory YouTube video? A response which State Department officials testified seriously damaged American relations with the nascent post-Gaddafi Libyan government, and directly resulted in the delay of FBI investigative teams being able to access the scene of the attack. Which agency officials made the determination to send Rice out to make this claim remains unclear.
Americans also do not yet know who determined that minimal security for that threatened consulate was acceptable. “I am intent on making sure that we do everything we can to prevent another tragedy like this from happening,” Obama said in May, shifting blame for that lack of embassy security to a lack of funding and mismanagement by Congress. “But that means we owe it to them and all who serve to do everything in our power to protect our personnel serving overseas.”
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) later echoed this claim in a fiery speech on the Senate floor. Boxer’s claim, and Obama’s by extension, that Congress was to blame for the light security footprint in Benghazi was given three Pinocchios from Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler. During testimony before a congressional committee, one State Department official asserted that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wanted to convert that temporary post in Benghazi into a permanent American diplomatic facility – she was to make this announcement in December of last year on a planned trip to Libya. Was this why the facility needed to be manned with high-level diplomatic personnel, including Libyan Amb. Chris Stevens, even though the consulate was not sufficiently hardened against attacks?
Touré said that conservatives were “in their mansions” preferring not to attend a racial violence summit in Chicago because they don’t really care about the issue of inner-city violence.
“This is a 90 white party and everything that they need to do is to stoke white racial anxiety to bring more white people into the fore,” the MSNBC host added.
Noah Rothman: Limbaugh: ‘Muslim Women’ Like Huma ‘Don’t Have Any Power,’ So Weiner Can Get Away With Anything
“Huma is a Muslim,” Limbaugh declared. “In that regard, Weiner ought to be able to get away with anything.”
“Muslim women don’t have any power, right?” he asked. “Muslim women are beheaded, stoned, whatever if they drive, have affairs.”
“In certain countries, Muslim women, if they’re raped, are killed – it’s their fault,” Limbaugh continued.
He dug into the media commentary which has noted that Huma has been an aide to Hillary Clinton since the 1990s.
Noah Rothman: Pro-NSA GOP’ers, Like Chris Christie, Make A Terrible Case For The Post-9/11 Surveillance Programs
Joel B. Pollak: Chris Hayes Compares Bill O’Reilly to Neo Nazi
“This is for Trayvon Martin,” one of the three black men told a white man as they approached him early Saturday, according to Washington Metropolitan Police Officer Anthony Clay.
The alleged robbery happened two weeks after a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman in the 2012 death of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin.
The men kicked the adult white male as they took his iPhone and wallet, Clay said Sunday.
At the Daily Mail:
Girl, 15, blamed in teen bullying suicide for ‘encouraging three boys to rape drunk classmate, take pictures and post them online’
Award-winning music video director jailed for 90 years for fathering six children with his own daughters
Aswad Ayinde, 55, of Paterson, NJ, was sentenced to 50 years in prison Friday after being found guilty in the second of five expected trials in which he is accused of repeatedly raping his six daughters, resulting in six children being fathered. Mr. Ayinde was found guilty in his latest trial of having intercourse with a daughters when she was as young as eight-years-old. The second sentence adds to the 40 year sentence Mr Ayinde received in a 2011 trial for sexually assaulting a separate daughter.
Mr. Ayinde is known for directing the music video for the Fugees 1996 smash hit ‘Killing Me Softly.’
Warren Buffett’s son says charity fuels a ‘perpetual poverty machine’ and rich people giving money away eases their conscience but doesn’t solve the problem
Fort Hood shooter accused of killing 13 and wounding 32 speaks out ahead of trial to claim America has a ‘war against Islam’
‘My complicity was on behalf of a government that openly acknowledges that it would hate for the law of Almighty Allah to be the supreme law of the land,’ Hasan said in the lengthy statement released to Fox News on Saturday.
President Obama calls the United States and Europe ‘developing countries’ in latest embarrassing gaffe
Monday Morning Book Reading:
Reminder: Malcolm X was an antisemite: “When there’s something worth owning, the Jew’s got it.” Pg. 246 of Manning Marable’s Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention:
Monday Afternoon Reflections:
“He went on to argue that Jewish money controlled civil rights groups like the NAACP, pushing Negroes into adopting a strategy of integration that was doomed to failure.” — Manning Marable describing Malcolm X’s controversial Playboy interview, which you can read all of here
From CNN last week, reporting polls on the racial divide of the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin verdict:
The Washington Post/ABC News survey, which showed 41% of Americans approving and 41% disapproving of the jury’s ruling, also showed sharp division among Americans in their views of the verdict. For example, 86% of African-Americans disapproved of the “not guilty” finding, while 51% of whites approved.
That closely aligned with a Pew Research Center survey released Monday, which showed 86% of African-Americans disagreeing with the verdict.
Another relevant statistic: 29% of the black population in this country hates Jews. As of 2011 that’s 14% higher than the general population’s 15%. How did that happen?
On November 4, 2012 I published my tentative conclusions about which political, religious, and cultural ideas had most influenced Barack Obama: “The 15 Best Books for Understanding Barack Obama’s Mysterious Political Theology.” I drew the comparisons between the President’s memoir — now debunked as fictional by his own political supporters — and Malcolm X’s, also revealed to be fraudulent by otherwise sympathetic Marxist activist scholars. The fact that both of these men produced intentional fraudulent life stories to bolster their otherwise meager reputations is one level of cultural problem. That they were unmasked as pathological liars by their own supporters and nobody cares is something else entirely. Both Malcolm X and Barack Obama spent their key years under the influence of conspiratorial antisemites.
My progressive and Democrat friends do not care. Nor do they care that Nelson Mandela is a Communist with blood on his hands.
But let’s take it one step further: REPUBLICANS ACROSS THE SPECTRUM DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE RISE OF ANTISEMITIC POLITICIANS EITHER. Whether it’s John McCain RINOs refusing to make an issue of Rev. Wright during the 2008 campign, or neoconservatives aligning with Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood over Egypt, or Tea Partiers deluding themselves into thinking Rand Paul isn’t a carbon copy of his paleocon antisemite dad Ron, my conclusion after almost 4 years now of this new media activist editing: those who are most concerned about the Democrats vs Republicans, Left vs Right, Conservative vs Liberal, and 2016 presidential battles will all too often be the most blind to what Michael Ledeen calls the “big war”, the war of the messianic totalitarian death cults to impose their will on the world’s free people…
One thing the mainstream media knows about Huma Abedin is that she is elegant. Time reported on how Weiner’s “elegant and accomplished wife… declared her love and support for him, visibly pained at having to speak in public as the sad, sordid details of his repeat behavior were exposed yet again.” The Wall Street Journal lamented:
Watching the elegant Huma Abedin stand next to her man Tuesday as he explained his latest sexually charged online exchanges was painful for a normal human being to watch.
What they’re less sure of is why this elegant woman would stand by the increasingly ridiculous Weiner. Time thinks, rather fancifully, that it’s because “divorce can still be stigmatizing in some social circles where parents are particularly ambitious about providing the absolute best environment for their children” – and because, well, Huma just “loves this guy despite it all.”
Most others, however, agree that it is because she is seeking power and influence, and thinks – however improbably – that Anthony Weiner is still the pathway to them. Even Weiner’s sexting partner Sydney Leathers said of the Weiner-Abedin union: “It almost feels to me like it’s more of an arrangement, or a business relationship, than a marriage.” She said she thought Abedin stuck with Weiner “for the power, for the fame, for the stature.”
Maybe so. And she also may be staying in it because Weiner’s indiscretions just don’t matter to her that much – not necessarily because they have a sham marriage, but because Abedin is approaching the marriage from an Islamic perspective.
Over at Minding the Campus, Peter Wood writes an important article called “Sexual Harassment–The Feds Go Way Too Far”:
The DOJ/OCR Montana letter is a grab for power. To that extent, it is self-explaining. Opposing sexual harassment is a profession and, to some extent, an industry. The self-interest of the people who make their living opposing sexual harassment lies on the side of lower standards of evidence, broader definitions, and minimization of obstacles to new regulations. Regulatory self-aggrandizement is not a mystery, though it is usually mysterious to the regulators themselves who have a level of difficulty in apprehending their own motives akin to that of anorexics attempting to form an accurate picture of their bodies.
But empire building is only part of the story. The Montana letter is a step in the long progression of feminism towards a surveillance society. Fifteen years ago Daphne Patai in her book Heterophobia: Sexual Harassment and the Future of Feminism diagnosed feminism’s effort to write “a new chapter in the dystopian tradition of surveillance and unfreedom.” Patai saw the coming emphasis on “transparency, whereby one’s every gesture, every thought, is exposed to the judgment of one’s fellow citizens.” OCR is of course far from this level of intrusiveness, but not in spirit.
Image courtesy shutterstock / Camilo Torres
The news reports at the time, in the late 1980s, were horrific. Tawana Brawley, a 15-year-old African-American girl from New York State, was said to have been abducted and repeatedly raped by six white men. She was found with “KKK” written across her chest, a racial epithet on her stomach and her hair smeared with feces. She was so traumatized, according to reports, that at the hospital she answered yes-or-no questions by blinking her eyes. Making the crime even more vile, if that were possible, she and her lawyers later claimed that two of the rapists were law enforcement officials.
Enter a relatively unknown (at the time) African-American activist named Reverend Al Sharpton. Rushing to get in touch with young Tawana, Reverend Al became her mentor, spokesman, and leader of the mass protests demanding justice for Brawley, the victim of an apparent white racist attack. In the process, Sharpton accused the police officer — who Sharpton said had actually attacked her — along with the assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case, Steven Pagones. “The evidence,” Sharpton said, proved that “an assistant district attorney and a state trooper did this.” Sharpton led mass picket lines at New York state offices, which I recall at times included the always gullible folk singer Pete Seeger.
We all know the outcome, although with this new short documentary, a new generation may be hearing about it for the first time. The Times notes: “After seven months, 6,000 pages of testimony and 180 witnesses, a grand jury found Ms. Brawley’s story to be a lie. Neither the police officer nor the district attorney accused by Ms. Brawley and Mr. Sharpton had been involved in any way, the report concluded.” It was too late for Officer Harry Crist Jr., who committed suicide because of the false accusations made against him, or for Assistant DA Pagones, whose career was ruined and whose reputation was smeared.
Writing today at The Daily Beast, Stuart Stevens calls it a “shocking reminder of the toxic mix racial exploitation and personal ambition can produce.” It should be, he writes, “required viewing for the NBC News executives who are heavily invested in rehabilitating a key culprit of this loathsome episode: the Rev. Al Sharpton.” Stevens is correct, and let me put it more boldly: It is time for MSNBC and its parent, NBC News, to fire Rev. Al Sharpton.