In the continuing illegal immigration crisis, most of us find that we still like children. However, we are also concerned about being a nation that enforces its laws,the huge influx of immigrants coming into an already fragile economy, border crime and terrorism, as well as the huge costs involved in additional social services. However, there are others that have their own concerns about illegal immigration and have for years; the radical environmentalists and zero population growth advocates.
It may surprise you to learn that some of the most vocal voices for a strong immigration and border security policy are not “conservative” groups at all, but are groups whose main concern is the environment and population control. Their focus has little to do with the above mentioned concerns of the average American. Among those groups are Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), Roy Beck’s NumbersUSA and the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). Reading a history of these groups, we discover that their outward rallying of everyday Americans exists to forward their own cause, shutting down population growth. With Planned Parenthood connections, several of the aforementioned groups were founded or funded by John Tanton:
Sierra’s National Population Committee was chaired from 1971 to 1975 by John Tanton, who at the time was a liberal activist. He later became convinced that immigration was, in fact, the primary cause of overpopulation. In 1980, Sierra Club officers testified before the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Reform that it is “obvious that the numbers of immigrants the United States accepts affects our population size.”
There have been some big names in this movement who have defected, however. In the last few years, large organizations such as the Sierra Club and Bill McKibben’s 360.org movements did a sudden “about face” on the issue, after years of working so hard for population control measures. Why?
The 360.org Board members put it this way (emphasis mine):
Immigrants to this country bring a fresh and global perspective to our environmental challenges, as well as much needed political power.
Could it be possible that something more has helped change their perspective as well? Seems like their change of attitude came just about the same time they were seeking support in fighting the Keystone Pipeline. Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR) was not pleased with this development and had this to say about it:
Like Bill McKibben’s about-face on immigration last month, this recent shift looks to have been driven by short-term politics. Word has it that in exchange for La Raza’s support for 350.org’s and the Sierra Club’s big D.C. rally against the Keystone XL pipeline, McKibben and Michael Brune, the Sierra Club’s executive director, promised to support CIR. We at PFIR oppose Keystone XL. But with hundreds of millions more Americans in coming decades, we can expect dozens more such bad projects to be built.
Bill McKibben wrote a piece for the LA Times, further clarifying his well-thought-out turnaround on immigration:
And that’s precisely where white America has fallen short. Election after election, native-born and long-standing citizens pull the lever for climate deniers, for people who want to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency, for the politicians who take huge quantities of cash from the Koch brothers and other oil barons. By contrast, a 2012 report by the Sierra Club and the National Council of La Raza found that Latinos were eager for environmental progress. Seventy-seven percent of Latino voters think climate change is already happening, compared with just 52% of the general population; 92% of Latinos think we have “a moral responsibility to take care of God’s creation here on Earth.”
That is an interesting take. One wonders what some of the immigrants currently being housed in McAllen, Texas would say? Have they been giving some thought to how, as new citizens, they could better support environmental causes than the disappointing white population? Considering articles about the trashing of the desert by illegals, Bill might have a lot of re-educating to do.
The Bureau of Land Management has been the major player in picking up garbage on the border since 2003. That year, the agency began its Southern Arizona Project, designed to fix the widespread environmental damage done by illegal aliens and drug smugglers.
The agency doles out taxpayer cash—more than $5 million since 2003—to private and government groups to do this work, and trash collection is part of it. BLM spurs the pickup of about 230,000 pounds a year.
What about the Sierra Club? What else might cause such a radical turnaround for them? The very progressive Colorlines site has some thoughts on it:
Sierra has more than two million members, many of them white and elderly. In order for their numbers to grow, recruitment will have to reflect what America looks like today and in the future, which is younger and more racially diverse. For Sierra to do that, though, they have to reconcile their history, which didn’t always endorse open pathways to U.S. citizenship, or even its own membership.
Latino organizations such as Mi Familia Vota Education Fund have applauded Sierra’s new stance, noting the “the wide array of issues that could be addressed through the passage of reform, such as climate solutions, fixing our nation’s healthcare system, educating our future workforce, and fixing our nation’s economy.”
Americans with real and justifiable concerns about illegal immigration must stay the course, as special interests from all sides are coming at us hard. From those who see a financial benefit for their business to those who hope to halt population growth to those who simply see a grand new block of Democrat voters, there are plenty of wolves out there in this fight.
In the constant PR battle from the Left on the immigration flood at the border, it seems that all events lead back to the same agitators. On the heels of last weekend’s protest, promoted and publicized by Soros sponsored groups and the Left’s favorite PR people at Fitzgibbon Media, we now have a new poster boy at the border, Jose Antonio Vargas.
Many people may already be familiar with Vargas and his “Documented” documentary shown recently on CNN, in which he comes out as being both gay and illegal. Quite a double whammy. Vargas, who has written for various outlets including the Huffington Post, presents himself as an example of the model citizen, dismissing the fact that he is still breaking the law and has apparently made no attempt to gain legal citizenship in all these years.
Vargas founded a group called “Define American”, working with other leftists and organizing watch parties for his “Documented” documentary with groups such as GLAAD, MomsRising, La Raza and others. Also working with him is the left leaning pastor/spouse couple, Rev. Eller and Rev. Laura Barclay of Highland Baptist Church in Louisville. The church was the site of the first screening and panel discussion of his documentary.
Eller was with him when he was taken into custody in McAllen today. As reported by CNN, who previously aired his documentary:
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas suspected he wouldn’t get out. His fear came to fruition Tuesday morning when he was detained at a Texas airport while trying to pass through security en route to Los Angeles, said Ryan Eller, campaign director for Define American, a group Vargas founded in 2011.Vargas was being questioned at a U.S Customs and Border Protection facility at the airport in McAllen, Eller said at a news conference.
Protesting at the border when you know you are undocumented almost seems to beg for legal action, but makes for some very loud publicity. Vargas was quite aware of what he was doing:
“Because I don’t have any ID besides my Filipino passport, it’s going to be hard for me to actually get out of here at some point when I decide to get out of here in the next couple of days,” he said.
Early Tuesday, Vargas tweeted that he was about to go through security at McAllen-Miller International Airport. Since outing himself as an undocumented immigrant three years ago, he says he has traveled extensively, visiting 40 states.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” he tweeted, directing his followers to the Twitter handles for Define American and the University of Texas-Pan American’s Minority Affairs Council.
Within minutes, the latter retweeted a photo of Vargas in handcuffs with the caption: “Here’s a photo of (Vargas) in handcuffs, because the Border Patrol has nothing more pressing to do apparently.”
This all makes for quite a ploy for sympathy. How could we even consider enforcing the law on such a talented and compassionate person? Perhaps the Huffington Post summed it up in this glowing piece they wrote about him in 2011:
If there isn’t room in the United States for people like Jose Antonio — the precise type of people who made this country great — I despair for our collective future.
What seems to be missing here is that Jose has made no attempt to abide by the law and gain citizenship. It is being suggested that Americans would like to refuse citizenship to everyone, when in fact, it is a matter of a flooded border, a lack of law enforcement and the related chaos that is the real issue, as they are well aware. In the documentary, Jose suggests it is just too hard to do the paperwork required. Maybe Jose should be working on streamlining that?
We have already seen close ties to unions, Soros and his funded groups behind all of this, so it should not surprise that we find the same ties here. To start with, Vargas was protesting in McAllen in conjunction with United We Dream:
Jose, who is a Pultizer Prize winning Journalist and recently released a biographical documentary called “Undocumented,” joined UWD and MAC (Minority Affairs Council), a UWD affiliate, in McAllen, Texas this past weekend to uplift the stories of refugees fleeing persecution in Central America.
Just last week, we wrote about United We Dream, working with Change to Win, and their connections to SEIU, the Teamsters and more:
Conducted by the group “United We Dream”, a quick check links them right back to the usual sources. The United We Dream website locates their offices at 1900 L St. NW Suite 900
Washington, DC 20036. No coincidence, this is the very same address, even specific to the suite number, of the CtW Investment Group. CtW stands for Change to Win, and this is the group that handles their money:
Founded in February 2006, the CtW Investment Group works with pension funds sponsored by unions affiliated with Change to Win, a federation of unions representing nearly 5.5 million members, to enhance long-term shareholder returns through active ownership.
A quick look at their News page illustrates the constant bashing of companies like Wal Mart that seems to be a big part of what they do.
Moving over to the Change to Win website, it is pretty quick to see exactly where they are coming from. The home page suggests and links to the following blogs:
Crooks and Liars
United Food and Commercial Workers
Service Employees International Union
The About page shares the identity of the “Leadership Council”, with President James Hoffa of the Teamsters at the helm. Joining him are representatives of SEIU, UFW and UFCW, so we have quite a strong mix of unions working together here.
As just one example tying them directly together, their own story about victory in a case of halting a deportation:
Harnessing the power of organizing, collaboration, and advocacy, the United We Dream Network (UWD), along with Students Working For Equal Rights (SWER), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), waged a multi-pronged campaign to halt Walter’s deportation in just four days.
There are plenty of links online where you will find Vargas and his Define American group directly working with Soros’ Center for American Progress. Here are just a few:
- Speaking here on LGBT illegal immigrants at a Center for American Progress event.
- Co-hosting an event here on Alabama’s immigration laws with the Center for American Progress.
Vargas is just another orchestrated PR stunt, obviously well planned along with the many others we have seen. No one would disagree that we need smart immigration reform, but the lack of border enforcement and constant shenanigans from the radical Left continue to ensure that nothing close to common sense is going to be happening on their watch.
*- Vargas has already been released as of this writing.
An email alert was sent out this afternoon from the Detention Watch Network. They plan a protest event tomorrow morning at the Jack Harwell Detention Center in Waco, Tx. According to them, this facility is just not quite good enough for the detaining of immigrants due to issues such as a lack of a legal library there, no on site medical facility, etc. However, previous complaints they have made to ICE were not given any validation:
“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is committed to providing all detainees in our custody with safe detention environments. The Jack Harwell Detention Center meets the applicable ICE detention standards and has successfully passed inspection reviews. Independent detention inspections are conducted by private contractors with extensive corrections experience to ensure quality assurance over the review process, consistency in the application of detention standards, and verification of corrective actions, if any. ICE is open to discussing any concerns with our partnering agencies regarding the detainees housed at their facilities.”
Their headline suggests that this is just the beginning of a highly orchestrated national effort:
Event is Part of Nationwide Actions to Stop the Immigrant Lock-up Quota and Immigrant Detention
This well financed email campaign was sent out from someone at Fitzgibbon Media, a progressive PR firm. Seems costly for another “grassroots” movement, but this is no low budget group. Sponsored by Soros’ Tides Foundation and sharing the same floor at a Washington DC office building with Jim Wallis’ Sojourners and Fund for the Republic (a Lawrence Lessig/Mark McKinnon related effort to get their campaign finance reform back in place), this movement comes from the same place as all the rest.
Members of the Detention Watch Network include the ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Ctr., Ella Baker Ctr. for Human Rights among others.
According to this linked report, they also report their findings directly to the UN.
Back in March, another story came out from Aaron Klein on the Detention Watch Group, describing the meeting between their illegal immigrant director, Catalina Nieto, her Code Pink delegation and DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson. She has been illegally employed here for many years. In addition to her previous years working under Soros sponsored organizations, it is interesting to note the previous relationship with Jim Wallis as well. We must also keep in mind that Wallis represents the Evangelical Immigration Table we have exposed previously. Klein reports:
Nieto was a national grass-roots organizer at Witness for Peace, which claims to support “peace, justice and sustainable economies in the Americas.” The group was founded by Rev. Jim Wallis’ socialist Sojourners group.
As we continue to find so many orchestrated moves and intertwined groups involved in the massive flood of immigrants deluging our borders, it would be hard to conclude that this has not been a preplanned event on a massive scale. The Detention Watch Network, with help from just about everyone on the Left, has made it clear that they have nationwide plans in store. But this is just one of their many groups. Who else can we expect to see manipulating us?
We have been told that Rick Perry was invited to attend Obama’s round table immigration meeting with a group of government officials and “faith leaders.” It was another of his behind-closed-doors meetings, so it is still unclear exactly who was in attendance. Photos cut off the table of participants so they are not all shown. One published list of participants is from Christian Post:
Those who attend the border crisis meeting at Love Field Airport in Dallas include: Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings; Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (R-Texas); Grand Prairie Mayor Ron Jensen; Chris Liebrum of the Baptist General Convention; Arne Nelson of Catholic Charities; Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia; Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins; Texas Health and Human Services Director Kyle Janek; Texas Public Safety Director Steven McCraw; and the director of Baptist Child and Family services who has contracted with the shelter at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.
Yet two other reports indicate that people were there who were not on that list.
This report from the Statesman indicates that Valerie Jarrett joined Obama and Perry, and would be in attendance at the closed door meeting:
After deplaning at Love Field, according to the pool report, “Obama headed purposefully toward” the presidential limousine, “Perry followed behind, and the president pointed to the limousine, gesturing to the governor. Obama and Perry both hopped in the car, and Valerie Jarrett soon joined them.” The limo took them the short distance to the closed-door discussion on the border situation at DalFort Fueling, which is located at the airport.
This story from KDFW in Dallas indicates that others were included:
One of those local faith leaders is Frederick Haynes, who traveled to the border last weekend with Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and state Senator Royce West.
Haynes says the meeting between President Obama and the pastor will focus on how to help the children.
“They are in need of safety; they are in need of hope and healing, and our country has a reputation of doing what is right by children, and we cannot, in the 21st century, turn our back on this legacy of providing havens for children,” said Haynes.
Haynes says he’s been hurt by the images from California of people blocking buses of children trying to get to temporary shelters.
“It breaks my heart because many of them will claim to love Jesus, but hate children,” said Haynes. “And I guess the irony of it is the Bible I read, Jesus speaks specifically of, you need to have a millstone tied around your neck and thrown into a sea if you offend these little ones.”
Gov. Perry was been asked by the White House to attend the meeting with faith leaders to discuss the border crisis.
“I hope Governor Perry will, instead of politicizing this and appealing to a certain segment of the population, I hope his heart as a parent will go out to children who are suffering and hurting,” said Haynes.
Their video features Pastor Frederick Haynes III again, expressing his concern about the Californians who “hate children.” It is clear that he was to participate in the round table discussion. At the end of the report, it is stated that the Whitehouse picked the pastors who would be in attendance.
What kind of faith leaders would the Whitehouse choose? Well, in the case of Pastor Frederick Haynes III, they would choose the most radical advisers available. Haynes, pastor of the Friendship West Baptist Church, was mentored by his dear friend, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. In fact, they are so close that it is thought Haynes missed an opportunity to head the NAACP due to his association with Wright. Haynes spoke at Wright’s retirement event and Wright spoke at Haynes’ church anniversary event. Haynes promotes the same Black Liberation Theology seen in Wright’s church.
In addition, Haynes is on the board of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. Many in Obama’s administration attend these events, as Breitbart highlighted in 2012, including Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sabelius, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The Socialist Worker wrote glowingly about their “Reclaim the Dream” rally followed by their One Nation March, which was dwarfed by Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor event that year.
Toward the end of the four-hour program of speeches and entertainment, Rev. Frederick Haynes was able to put forward a grassroots activist strategy to the whole crowd.
“If you touch someone with your finger, you may not get their attention,” Haynes said. “But if you bring your fingers together and form a fist, you can strike a mighty blow. We are here today to strike a mighty blow. Because whenever this nation has made progress, we’ve brought our fingers together.”
Haynes is also the Chairman of the radical Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, where they take up issues such as revitalizing the reparations movement, ending “mass incarceration” and so much more. This coming Sunday, July 13th, will be their Day of Prayer and Protest against the Hobby Lobby ruling, with the usual “corporations are not people” argument, popularized by the fury over campaign finance reform.
Haynes has also worked well with former SDS member Jim Wallis, now of Sojourners. He was a speaker at Wallis’ 2009 “Mobilization to End Poverty” conference. This is what Haynes had to say at that event:
Wallis’ invited clergy at the Sojourners jamboree were enthusiastic to lead to the Promised Land — but first they must flee the Antichrist; and that Antichrist is conservative Christians. Dallas minister Frederick Haynes, who pastors a large black Baptist congregation, proclaimed to applause that if Jesus still walked the earth, “He’d be attending this conference, ’cause we’re dealing with His agenda. Others are making policies that contradict the policies of our Savior.” After covertly equating conservatives with the Antichrist, he likened those who opposed waterboarding terrorists to the biblical court prophet, Ebed-Melech. “My man, he has a government job with the king, and he stood against the policies of the king. There were foreign policies of a preemptive strike. [The king] put Jeremiah in a hole; a hole was their Guantanamo Bay. He [Jeremiah] is a victim of torture, but Ebed-Melech went to the king and implored the king to change his policy.”
In this analogy, al-Qaeda terrorists are the Prophet Jeremiah.
Pushing Sojourners to be more aggressive, Rev. Haynes urged Religious Left activists not to settle for table scraps but demand “justice.” After all, “Ebed-Melech does not ask the king can he have food rations; he didn’t get Jeremiah food when he was in the pit but he said, ‘No, I want Jeremiah out of the pit,’ and that’s the difference between justice and charity.”
Becoming more forthright, he condemned most of the nation’s recent history. “For 30 years at least,” Rev. Haynes preached, “this country has suffered from Reaganomics. Back in the ’80s there was a president, [the] reverse Robin Hood, Reagan, [who] robbed from the needy to give to the greedy. The poor have been demonized and vilified for the last 30 years.” The Great Satan not only demonized the poor but enslaved them. “Our responsibility is to go to the king and appeal to the king on behalf of those who are incarcerated by impoverishment.”
It has been described as Christian, Left-leaning, somewhat Black nationalist and to work in the tradition of the Million Man March and Malcolm X. The organization had its 30th annual convention on July 16 to 19, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois.
Here is a little more about them from their 2009 Chicago conference:
CHICAGO (FinalCall.com) – The National Black United Front held its 30th annual national convention here July 16-19 bringing together many key members of the Black nationalist movement to chart the future path of the organization.
Atty. Malik Zulu Shabazz, national chairman of the New Black Panther Party and director of Black Lawyers for Justice, traveled from Washington, D.C. to be a part of NBUF’s convention, and was given the honor of introducing the keynote speaker for the opening ceremony, the Hon. Minister Louis Farrakhan.
In a rousing introduction that brought the crowd to its feet, Atty. Shabazz reminded those in attendance that were it not for Minister Farrakhan’s courageous stand to prevent the name of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad from being trashed, then written out of history, and to rebuild the work of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, there would be no Black consciousness movement.
“There would be no Malcolm X, there would be no Muhammad Ali, there would be no Black Panther Party, no Black consciousness movement of the ’60s, no Black Power anything without the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad. He’s the father of all that Black stuff!”
Min. Farrakhan spoke of the need for a Black united front, and said Black people in America are a “nation of people held hostage” and living in a time of great deceit, adding that he has never seen so many Black people hanging and waving American flags.
It would be interesting to know why Frederick Haynes III was left off published lists of attendees, as an invited Whitehouse guest. If this is the type of advice they are seeking in solving the border crisis, it is a bigger crisis than we even imagined.
Whenever we see yet another movement group pushing for immigration reform, or in this case, amnesty, you can be sure someone like SEIU is not far behind. From The Hill, this afternoon’s move is their latest to accomplish the following:
The group is pushing for the Obama administration to expand a 2012 program that allows some children brought to the country illegally to be deprioritized for deportation. The group wants the program to include the family members of those children as well.
In other words, amnesty. In other words, no enforcement, and in fact, a reward for a lawless and orchestrated invasion of our borders.
Today’s planned “occupying” of the House office buildings is just more of the same. Conducted by the group “United We Dream”, a quick check links them right back to the usual sources. The United We Dream website locates their offices at 1900 L St. NW Suite 900
Washington, DC 20036. No coincidence, this is the very same address, even specific to the suite number, of the CtW Investment Group. CtW stands for Change to Win, and this is the group that handles their money:
Founded in February 2006, the CtW Investment Group works with pension funds sponsored by unions affiliated with Change to Win, a federation of unions representing nearly 5.5 million members, to enhance long-term shareholder returns through active ownership.
A quick look at their News page illustrates the constant bashing of companies like Wal Mart that seems to be a big part of what they do.
Moving over to the Change to Win website, it is pretty quick to see exactly where they are coming from. The home page suggests and links to the following blogs:
Crooks and Liars
United Food and Commercial Workers
Service Employees International Union
The About page shares the identity of the “Leadership Council”, with President James Hoffa of the Teamsters at the helm. Joining him are representatives of SEIU, UFW and UFCW, so we have quite a strong mix of unions working together here.
As just one example tying them directly together, their own story about victory in a case of halting a deportation:
Harnessing the power of organizing, collaboration, and advocacy, the United We Dream Network (UWD), along with Students Working For Equal Rights (SWER), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), waged a multi-pronged campaign to halt Walter’s deportation in just four days.
Now when you see the group name of “United We Dream”, you’ll know whose dream it really is. More like a nightmare.
In Part One, we introduced contacts that Robert Bengdahl has been in touch with and promoted on the family’s website, including Code Pink and Jamila Raqib with the Afghan Tree Project, as well as their own connections. In this part, we will illustrate further concerns stemming from these two.
As previously shown, Jamila Raqib is the Executive Director for Gene Sharp’s Albert Einstein Institute (AEI), which teaches “nonviolent” revolution. It is very popular with radicals and the techniques are being used in their efforts. Jamila has discussed the techniques as a guest on an Occupy radio show and has done workshops for the Fellowship for Reconciliation (FOR), so she clearly hopes they will put the methods to work for their causes.
The relationship with FOR seems very close. In the Institute’s own newsletter (pg. 5), they reprint an appeal that FOR sent out to all its’ membership on their behalf, asking for funds to keep the Institute going:
The Albert Einstein Institution needs an immediate infusion of $150,000, a sum that seems daunting, absent the imaginative power of nonviolence.Yet this amount can be raised through 3,000 contributions of $50 from donors around the country, a goal that seems eminently achievable. It is of vital interest to the Fellowship of Reconciliation that the work of Gene and the Albert Einstein Institution continue.
In another newsletter, they announce young human rights activist visitors, sponsored by FOR to work with AEI. They practically seem to be part of the FOR organization:
On November 22, the Institution welcomed four young human rights activists as part of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation’s fellows program. The fellows spent the day learning about the Institution’s work and the field of nonviolent action.
Yet another example is Patrick Coy. Now a professor at Kent State teaching Applied Conflict Management, he has previously worked as a research fellow for AEI and as National Chairperson for FOR.
Both groups are also featured resources on Peter Ackerman’s “A Force More Powerful” website, and Ackerman has been very involved with the AEI.
There are many more examples, but the point is these two groups are joined at the hip, and that is not a good thing.
FOR was founded by communists almost 100 years ago, and using a pacifist, peace loving front, they have spun off many other leftist groups and movements including the ACLU, CORE , International Committee of Conscience on Vietnam movement, Peaceful Tomorrows (using 9/11 victims) which involved Code Pink as well.
As one founder is described by Discover the Networks:
Roger Nash Baldwin, founder of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), leftist, anarchist, and Communist, was born in Wellesley, Massachusetts to comfortably situated parents, in 1884. He was educated at Harvard College, where he earned an M.A. degree, and then moved to St. Louis, where he taught Social Work at Washington University.
At the approach of World War I, Baldwin, a pacifist, co-founded the Fellowship of Reconciliation, which opposed the use of warfare in the settlement of international disputes. Among his colleagues in this endeavor were Norman Thomas, perennial Socialist candidate for President; the pacifist/Marxist A. J. Muste; and radical journalist Oswarld Garrison Villard, Editor of The Nation.
Along with the AEI, another very radical group has worked with the FOR many times, too. The ANSWER Coaltion (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) is described on Wikipedia as being so radical that most radicals distance themselves from it.
ANSWER characterizes itself as anti-imperialist, and its steering committee consists of socialists, civil rights advocates, and left-wing or progressive organizations from the Muslim, Arab, Palestinian, Filipino, Haitian, and Latin American communities. Many of ANSWER’s lead organizers had ties to the International Action Center, and Workers World Party at the time of ANSWER’s founding.
ANSWER has faced criticism from other anti-war groups for its affiliations, tactics at demonstrations, and allegedly sectarian approach to joint anti-war work. It also faced criticism from various sources for its claimed anti-Zionist politics.
The group and its’ National Coordinator Brian Becker have been described as a front for the Workers World Party (WWP). Many of the anti-war protests you have seen over the years were put together by ANSWER. A quick search online will show how many of the forementioned groups such as Code Pink and FOR are part of these events, as well as aligned together in groups such as The Alliance for Global Justice. You’ll also find ANSWER coordinated events using faux Christianity with the help of Jim Wallis.
“This war, from a Christian point of view, is morally wrong — and was from the beginning,” the Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, one of the event’s sponsors, said toward the end of the service to cheers and applause. “This war is … an offense against God.”
More disturbing is their current targeting of our troops and veterans. James Circello of ANSWER leads that particular effort. An example is this 2009 protest which teamed the Iraqi Vets Against the War (IVAW) with ANSWER.
James Circello explained
“This is the beginning of three days of sustained activities timed to coincide with the sixth anniversary of the illegal invasion of Iraq. On Saturday, March 21st, veterans and service members will be the lead contingent in the National March on the Pentagon.”
The IVAW present the event as ‘Operation Not Change’. The group, who has consistently called for three main points: the immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces from Afghanistan and Iraq, reparations for people of Afghanistan and Iraq, and full veterans benefits for returning soldiers.
But it is not just the veterans they have been working on. A current effort by ANSWER is called Our Lives Our Rights, under another name, March Forward, which of course all leads back to the ANSWER Coalition. This effort asks people to sign up, claiming the right (as a service person) to refuse to go to the “immoral” wars. That’s right; you join the military but you have a right to refuse to participate. That sounds an awful lot like Bowe Bergdahl, does it not? The March Forward site has a soldier holding a sign, saying he signed up for educational and financial opportunities. Another page shares their thoughts on the Bergdahl-Taliban swap.
I stand in support of the mission and goals of Our Lives, Our Rights. U.S. service members have the absolute right to refuse to take part in the Pentagon’s and Wall Street’s illegal, immoral wars and intervention.
One last interesting coincidence is that ANSWER’s director, Brian Becker, happens to write for the same publication (London Progressive) as Carol Anne Grayson, the anti-war filmmaker who quotes her friend, Bob Bergdahl, and communicates with the Taliban.
Reflecting on the type of groups directly or indirectly associated with the Bergdahl’s, it would be difficult to deny that there is much more going on here. Much more.
As the strange story of Robert and Bowe Bergdahl continues to evolve this week, associations are coming out that add to the picture. Many of them seem to fit very well with the anti-American, pacifist quotes attributed to his son, Bowe. Just a few days ago, Gateway Pundit published a piece showing that Bob Bergdahl had been a signer of Code Pink’s anti-drone petition. This cause is really not surprising, considering his reported communications with UK radical Carol Anne Grayson, who is currently producing an anti-drone movie. In addition, you will see promotion of Code Pink on the Bergdahl’s own site, highlighting her YouTube message about closing Guantanamo. However, this is not the extent of the radical associations he seems to have.
Also found on his site are two key associations that are very much related. The Bergdahl’s have promoted the Afghan Tree Project on the site and also feature a video on Gene Sharp’s Waging Nonviolence theories.
The Father’s notes from the Tree Planting in Hailey 22 June 2013
السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
وَٱلۡعَصۡرِ إِنَّ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنَ لَفِى خُسۡرٍ
إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ
وَتَوَاصَوۡاْ بِٱلۡحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوۡاْ بِٱلصَّبۡرِ
Afghan Tree Project
TREES FOR BOWE
WHY DO WE PLANT TREES TODAY?
FAITH AND HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
DOZENS OF YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN FROM THIS VALLEY ANSWERED THE CALL AFTER 9/11
MY SON WAS JUST ONE OF THEM
HE PLAYED IN THIS PARK
HE ROAMED THESE MOUNTAINS
HE TRAVELLED THE WORLD
… AND HE BELIEVED HE COULD HONESTLY HELP THE AFGHAN PEOPLE
… AND HE HAS HELPED THE AFGHAN PEOPLE
WE PLANT TREES BECAUSE WE IN THIS MOUNTAIN VALLEY HAVE HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
… AND WE TRY TO COMMUNICATE THAT TO THE AFGHAN PEOPLE
GIVE TO THE AFGHAN TREE PROJECT
GIVE TO NON PROFITS THAT WILL HELP THE PEOPLE AFGHANISTAN
NOW LET ME SAY SOMETHING DIRECTLY TO THE TALIBAN
BISMILLAH AL RAHMAN AL RAHIM…
AL ASR (recite in Arabic)
AS TIME GOES BY HUMANITY IS AT A LOSS
EXCEPT THOSE WHO HAVE FAITH
AND DO GOOD WORKS
AND STAND FOR TRUTH
AND HAVE PATIENCE
ZE PLAR YEM
DA JINGA BANDI AMERICAYE AFGHANISTAN KI
CHIRTA DEY DAFTAR QATAR DEY?
I AM THE FATHER
THE AMERICAN PRISONER OF WAR
Where is the office in Qatar?
ZE AFGHAN NA YEM ZE AMERICAYI YEM
I AM NOT AFGHAN, I AM AMERICAN
ASSALAMUALLAIKOM RAMAHTULAHI WARABAKATU AFGHANISTAN, AMEEN AMEEN
THE PEACE OF GOD AND THE BLESSINGS OF GOD BE UPON THE PEOPLE OF AFGHANISTAN
MAY THIS COME TO PASS
YOU ARE PART OF THE PEACE PROCESS FOR AFGHANISTAN
DO GOOD WORKS WHERE EVER YOU ARE
STAND FOR THE TRUTH
I LOVE YOU
YOU ARE MY SON
A FATHER DOES NOT LEAVE HIS SON ON THE BATTLE FIELD
I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU
THIS TOWN WILL NOT LEAVE YOU
IDAHO WILL NOT LEAVE YOU
COUNTRY WILL NOT LEAVE YOU
AFTER 12 LONG YEARS IT IS TIME TO COME HOME
IT IS TIME TO FOR AMERICANS TO LEAVE AFGHANISTAN
The Afghan Tree Project is a project from Afghan refugee Mariam Raqib, director of the Afghanistan Samsortya, defined as “revitilization of the environment”. As seen here on the Facebook page, it is part of their overall promotion of global activism and sustainable development. Her sister, Jamila Raqib, assists with the promotion of this effort.
Mariam does not appear to be a big supporter of the USA and their mission in Afghanistan:
When I got to Jalalabad I shared the story of the sickly boy with a State Department official there, explaining that he was the future of Afghanistan. She responded that he was not the future of the country–that the future of the country belonged to educated Afghans. As hard as I tried, I could do nothing to receive her sympathy for this poor child and the other poor children I had seen. With shifty and unfocussed eyes, she repeated several times, “We are here to help”. Did she leave the base, I wonder? Her realities seemed restricted to the activities inside the base, or to her infrequent trips outside the city in heavily armored vehicles, or by helicopter. I doubt very much she knew the people she thought she was “helping”.
Promises were made to the Afghans after the invasion of the country in 2001. Promises that were never kept. Instead, the funds that were allocated for reconstruction, or development purposes are filling the bank accounts of the small elite pandering to the whims of the foreigners.
Just this past week on sister Jamila’s Twitter feed, Bergdahl pledged to continue supporting their tree project.
What would apparently link the Raqib sisters to the Bergdahl web site’s promotion of Gene Sharp’s Waging Nonviolence video would likely be the fact that Jamila happens to be the Executive Director of Gene Sharp’s Albert Einstein Institute, where she has worked since 2002. You may recall Sharp’s “waging nonviolence” methods being used in the Color Revolutions and as an instrumental part of training young Egyptians for their Arab Spring. This training was done by AYM (now “movements.org”), co-sponsored at the time by the State Dept.
With Gene Sharp, Jamila worked on the 2011 film, “How to Start a Revolution”. The timing was interesting, released just a day after the first Occupy protests began on Wall Street. Described as the “unofficial” film of the Occupy movement, Occupy groups worldwide appreciate and promote Gene Sharp’s methods. Taking it a step further, she was actually a guest on Occupy Radio, discussing how to fight the power.
Many radical groups have adopted the techniques, as seen here on a Code Pink website. Code Pink was also one of many groups who backed Stephen Zunes, when he tried to convince everyone that these methods had nothing to do with the Color Revolutions overseas:
Fortunately, there is now an effort underway to fight back. Activists from groups ranging from the Fellowship of Reconciliation to Code Pink to the Brown Berets – as well as such radical scholars as Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and Paul Ortiz – are signing onto an open letter in support of Gene Sharp and the Albert Einstein Institution.
Jamila Raqib is also on the “Waging Nonviolence” Board of Advisors, in partnership with groups including Occupy, Truthout and The Nation. Other board members include John Dear, former director of the radical Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) and at one time, Srdja Popovic, organizer of the Otpor revolution in Serbia.
The radical pacifists that Bergdahl is currently associating with sound very much like the Bowe Bergdahl personality as it has been described; anti-American, wanting to change the world, pacifist “change”. In Part Two, we will look closer at Jamila’s association with the historically radical Fellowship of Reconciliation.
In a recent May 29th article from Christian Post, Jim Wallis of Sojourners, Obama adviser and member of the Soros funded Evangelical Immigration Table (EIT), is pushing John Boehner on swift immigration legislation. The method he is using to “persuade” Boehner seems quite theocratic:
“The faith community is going to be watching John Boehner very carefully, of whether he will make a moral decision here. The Catholic Church is completely clear about this. He is a Catholic, and his bishops have been clear, the pope has been clear – it’s time for John Boehner to make the right moral choice. It’s time for John Boehner to listen to and obey his own Catholic Church.”
Well, Wallis would be very familiar with what a segment of the Catholic Church is doing, since he works so closely with them:
Founded in 2004 as a “communications and organizing resource center dedicated to helping faith leaders reclaim the values debate in America for justice, compassion, and the common good, ” Faithful America was really created to help Perriello convince voters—including pro-life voters—to move beyond what he called “divisive abortion rhetoric.” It is important to note that nearly all of the Soros-supported progressive faith-based organizations are founded to reclaim the “common good.” And, for left-wing Catholic groups, a commitment to the common good always includes access to abortion rights.
In 2009 the two organizations teamed up with Sojourners, Jim Wallis’ social justice organization, and PICO National Network, the USCCB-funded community organizing initiative, to create a “toolkit” on the health care reform debate. The toolkit reassured readers that conscience protections would remain in place—even though no such assurance was offered in any of the versions of the reform. Such protections were never intended to be in place.
Strangely, he did not seem to see the same moral obligation when it came to abortion coverage being included in Obama’s healthcare legislation. As discussed on First Things:
In the meantime, is it too much to ask Sojourners and Wallis to tell us whether or not they agree or disagree with the recently released letter to Congress authored by the three Catholic bishops leading the Church’s efforts on health care? They don’t seem to think that health care legislation is “abortion-neutral,” and have warned “we will have no choice but to oppose the bill” unless current bills are amended.” Can we expect Wallis and Sojourners to join the bishops in opposing the bill unless they are amended? Or will they dodge the issue and proclaim they are on a “higher plane,” or embracing a “third way.”
In the Christian Post article, Wallis goes on to explain how the minority of Republicans still stand in the way, but Boehner must stand up to them. What Wallis fails to do here is address why this opposition really exists. Although hateful lack of compassion has always been insinuated, what about the many issues that come along with immigration reform? How are citizens to trust that those issues will be dealt with first, in lieu of the broken promises and lack of enforcement that has been our experience?
Just in the past few months, we have seen shocking and unacceptable examples of serious problems, including these examples:
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of children flood across the borders, with Lackland AFB housing and caring for many. The cost of this to taxpayers has not been revealed.
These are a drop in the bucket of what has been left unaddressed, yet our representatives are being pushed to move right along. Have solutions been incorporated into proposed legislation? If so, maybe we need to see it, because there are many issues to be addressed before anything can move further.
Wallis offers counsel to Boehner by suggesting he read and pray upon Matthew Chapter 25 from the Bible:
42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
Most of us would heartily agree, but would have to wonder what it is that we have been doing at Lackland AFB, in our hospital emergency rooms, food pantries, schools, universities and more.
We do need to move forward on immigration. Not just for the sake of the immigrants, but for the sake of the many citizens that have been harmed by lack of law enforcement. It is time to cut out the false guilt trips and get serious about proposing real reform that shows compassion for immigrant and citizen alike.
Global efforts continue by SEIU to convince everyone they should be able to raise a family on McDonald’s entry level wages. Hoping for a global minimum wage revolt, instigating by organizers has taken place all over the globe:
In Europe, Lorenz Keller, who works for the Swiss trade union Unia, said that members from his group were protesting outside several McDonald’s branches in Zurich and would soon start actions in Geneva.
Banner-waving activists in New Zealand were the first to hit the streets Thursday, as they protested outside a McDonald’s in Auckland.
In the Philippines,young protesters held a singing and dancing flash mob inside a McDonald’s on Manila’s Quezon Avenue during the morning rush-hour.
In Japan, where protests were planned in 30 cities, co-organizer Manabu Natori failed to find a Ronald costume in time, but was encouraged by the public response to a protest for a higher minimum wage, held outside a downtown Tokyo McDonald’s.
The use of Occupy style techniques are no coincidence:
One U.S. Chamber of Commerce official says the protest is a sham. “These union-produced, made-for-media protests have repeatedly failed to gain support from more than a handful of actual workers,” said vice president Glenn Spencer, in a statement.
For workers and organizers of the strike, the media attention on a global basis is huge.
“The Occupy Movement is not dead,” says Witold Henisz, management professor at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. “I’m forecasting a period of tension and political activism over what’s fair and what’s right.”
SEIU has continued to take advantage of Occupy techniques and contacts in their continued efforts:
The local groups look spontaneous, traveling under names with an appeal to average citizens who merely want to make a positive difference in their communities. Examples: “Good Jobs, Great Houston”; “Good Jobs, Better Baltimore”; “One Pittsburgh”; “Fight for Philly”; and “Minnesotans for a Fair Economy.” Nobody could be “against” good jobs – that’s why they are such useful fronts.
Pollock cited a Seattle group, “Working Washington” as an example. This group is registered with the State of Washington as a corporation, with one Secky Fascione as its agent. Fascione’s LinkedIn profile lists her as an “Organizing Coordinator at SEIU.” Then there is cited the case of the Los Angeles-based “Good Jobs LA.” Its legal name is “Good Jobs, Safe Communities LA.” The California state registry lists its address as the same as the SEIU’s state headquarters.
A Washington, D.C.-area group, Our DC, takes this disingenuous mode of behavior to an extreme. Incorporation papers reveal its legal address to be not in the District of Columbia, as its name suggests, but in suburban Gaithersburg, Md. Its address is the same as SEIU Local 500. And its website, while not providing the names of directors or officers, does provide the street address of SEIU national headquarters. Pollock went ahead and obtained documents pertaining to the group’s April 2011 incorporation, discovering that its three-member board of David Rodich, Valarie Long and Beth Myers were anything but amateurs. Rodich and Myers are well-compensated salaried employees of SEIU Local 500; Rodich, in fact, serves as executive director. Long, meanwhile, is executive vice president of the Service Employees and formerly had headed the New York City-based SEIU 32BJ, which represents more than 120,000 janitors, doormen, security guards and other building service workers along the East Coast. The executive director for Our DC, Kendall Fells, is also an SEIU employee. The dots have a way of connecting.
Have no doubt about where this is really coming from:
The strike’s organizer says that the fast-food giants have the money to pay reasonable wages. “At the end of the day, there is more than enough money to pay these workers $15 an hour,” says Kendall Fells, the 34-year-old organizer of Fast Food Forward, who marched with protesters in New York on Thursday. Two-thirds of the the workers are women — and most of them have children, he says. “They’re just trying to support their families and makes ends meet.”
Fast Food Forward is financed by Service Employees International Union, a union group with more than two million members.
When you watched the Colbert report and saw guest Naquasia LeGrand, opining about her low wage and high cost of living, keep in mind that she was specifically recruited by SEIU sponsored Fast Food Forward, run by Kendall Fells:
When LeGrand was first approached by organizers of the group Fast Food Forward, her grandmother told her to stay away from unions. Her life has been a whirlwind since. She started organizing small fast-food protests and flash strikes in the city, and eventually in more than 100 cities across the country. A newspaper profile of her led to the Jan. 16 appearance on “Colbert,” and that led to her trip to Washington.
Last month, LeGrand was invited along with other fast food workers to watch as Obama signed an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay $10.10 an hour. “I don’t care if I was in the back, I was in the White House with the president in front of me!” she said.
She also attended the House Democratic Retreat in Cambridge, Md., and spoke at a workshop on raising the minimum wage moderated by Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota.”Movements will throw up leaders,” Ellison said. “This low-wage worker movement has thrown up Naquasia.”
No, not really. Naquasia was not an organic result of a grassroots movement, but a specifically recruited pawn for SEIU.
The Daily Caller did a series on this effort back in 2012, illustrating the many different names and websites used, yet all operating under SEIU. Fast Food Forward is just another to add to that list.
The politically aggressive Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has quietly created a national network of at least eight community-organizing groups, some of which function alongside the Occupy Wall Street movement, a Daily Caller investigation shows.
Incorporated by the SEIU as local non-profits, the groups are waging concerted local political campaigns to publicly attack conservative political figures, banks, energy companies and other corporations.
Each local group has portrayed itself as an independent community organization not tied to any special interest. But they were founded, incorporated, and led by SEIU personnel.
The individual activist groups use benign-sounding names including This Is Our DC; Good Jobs, Great Houston; Good Jobs, Better Baltimore; Good Jobs Now in Detroit; Fight for Philly; One Pittsburgh; Good Jobs LA; and Minnesotans for a Fair Economy.
In reality, they are creations of the wealthy and influential labor union, amounting to a secret network of new SEIU front groups.
Patrick Poole of PJ Media exposed the same SEIU sponsored techniques in late 2013:
UPDATE2: So who is “Good Jobs Nation”? Jonathan Adler points me to this Washington Post article that explains:
The group formed about six months ago as a coalition of like-minded labor groups. Its funding comes largely from unions, including the Service Employees International Union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the United Farm Workers and the United Food and Commercial Workers, according to organizers.
So they were, in fact, a SEIU rent-a-mob.
Entry level fast food jobs requiring no previous experience or skills were never intended to raise a family on, and it is disingenuous for SEIU to convince the workers otherwise. As many of us can recall, those are the jobs we took in high school to get our foot in the door, save money for our first car, or put some funds aside for college, so we could learn the skills for a job that actually could support a family. However, in the devastating economy that the Progressives have reigned over, you have to blame someone for a lack of decent paying jobs. You surely can’t let people think it is the current leadership at fault. And gain thousands of new union paying members at the same time? It’s an SEIU dream come true.
Equalizing entry level wages to a level that would enable people to raise a family is called the “redistribution of wealth”, or as Progressives prefer to call it, “income equality”. Other terms you may have heard for it in the past would be socialism or communism. There is no incentive for self improvement, it is not a free economy, it is not freedom in any way and it does not work. But it does ensure votes and new union members.
Americans have a history of being very generous around the world and in their own communities. Their compassion does not end when it comes to the plight of those who genuinely seek a chance at the American Dream. Very few Americans would object to smart reform that benefits us all, but in the age of “You have to pass the bill before you can see what’s in it,” of course you should expect distrust. We are told that this is not amnesty, that the border will be protected first, that it’s great for everyone, that we don’t have workers to take many jobs and so much more, but the trust is gone. People have heard this too many times and not seen it backed up with action. In light of this, it is to be expected that immigration reforms will be resisted.
However, it seems that a new approach in the fight for immigration “reform” has been very active lately. As resistance to sweeping immigration reform continues, it may be suggested that those who oppose are not expressing true Christian love towards their “noncomplaint” immigrant neighbors. When Alinksky wrote his famous list, he left out the use of the guilt factor, and as mothers throughout the centuries have always known, guilt is an effective tool. The “faux” evangelicals previously described here seem very adept at using this technique.
At first, it might seem cynical to suggest that people are using guilt or doing anything other than trying to advance true Christian understanding and love, but some participant’s past activities and associations lend credence to the suggestion of another agenda.
Among those involved are the Evangelical Immigration Table (EIT), G2, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) and as of this week, we can expect Sam Rodriguez to bring the entire global Hispanic evangelical movement along for the ride, as they have just merged with his NHCLC. Some of these groups have been shown to be sponsored by Soros.
The Christian Post headlines a constant barrage of stories on compassionate immigration reform, but many may not be aware that supporters Richard Land, Joel Hunter and Sam Rodriguez are all on the CP editorial staff. Under the circumstances, it would be difficult not to see their constant barrage of articles as propaganda.
The latest effort is a new “movement”, the Imago Dei Campaign, launched last month by leaders including Samuel Rodriguez (EIT and NHCLC), Roma Downey and Mark Burnet, James Robison and Jim Daly. It is promoted on the NHCLC site. The Imago Dei (latin for “image of God”) website declares, “For the image of God exists in all human beings: black and white; rich and poor; straight and gay; conservative and liberal; victim and perpetrator; citizen and undocumented; believer and unbeliever.” It offers a pathway for dialogue and persuasion: If gay people are to be afforded dignity as those made in the image of God, what does this require of our rhetoric? What does it require of our laws?”
Certainly, the majority of Christians would agree that we are to love one another, but accepting and even endorsing behavior that goes against your faith is quite another matter. The website, in that statement, makes it clear that there is a political agenda here, being masked as Christian love.
This blog post from their site, written by Michael Wear, makes it much more clear what Imago Dei is all about. He starts out with what seems to be a less-than-bipartisan opening:
Looking back, 2013 is likely to be remembered as the final collapse of the old, confrontational Religious Right in favor of a less partisan, more pragmatic approach.
Further along, he cites the studies that demonstrate how uncool a “Republican” brand of evangelical is. Of course, this is based on studies by Robert Putnam, who ran the communitarian Saguaro Seminar (see more below). Jim Wallis and Cornel West were among the glowing recommendations of their book, American Grace:
In 2010, respected academics David Campbell and Robert Putnam’s landmark book, American Grace, concluded that partisan politics was directly to blame for the rise of religiously unaffiliated Americans.
And, finally, the “new normal”:
I think we will look back at 2013 as a turning point in the Christian project to live out and project a holistic, positive, and hopeful faith. It was a year of establishing new norms, in religious life and in the life of our nation. 2014 will be about how we negotiate living with this new normal.
The author, Michael Wear, suggests that Americans are tired of the politics as usual (read “conservative politics”) and evangelicals need to leave that behind. Could he possibly have an agenda himself?
As one of President Obama’s “ambassadors to America’s believers” (Buzzfeed), Michael directed faith outreach for President Obama’s historic 2012 re-election campaign. Michael was also one of the youngest White House staffers in modern American history: he served in the White House faith-based initiative during President Obama’s first term.
Imago Dei just sounds like the latest in the constant attempts by Jim Wallis and associates to water down the conservative wing of evangelicals by putting forth movements, documents and manifestos for church leaders to sign. In 2008, it was An Evangelical Manifesto, which many leading conservative evangelicals were not even invited to sign. In 2010, it was Wallis’ Covenant for Civility, signed by many of the same EIU crew, such as Wallis, Bill & Lynne Hybels, Joel Hunter, Sam Rodriguez and Brian McLaren. Of course, the EIT also has its’ own list of principles to sign, unless you want to appear to lack compassion.
Perhaps some of the early lessons shared at the communitarian Saguaro Seminar gave birth to the type of new evangelism they seek to promote. “Third Way” evangelicals would certainly clear the path of those who stand in the way of some of the political issues currently being pushed. After all, look at some of the participants involved in that, who met repeatedly to discuss a communitarian approach. Then Senator Barack Obama was also an active participant in Saguaro:
Ralph Reed was the Executive Director of the Christian Coalition, the most successful effort of the past 30 years to build a broad, nation-wide, grassroots, civics and religious organization. Prior to this, he built the College Republican National Committee, and Students for America. He left the Christian Coalition to launch Century Strategies to use grassroots organization and insight to advise Republican gubernatorial, congressional and presidential candidates.
George Stephanopoulos was the Communications Director and Senior Advisor for Policy in the first Clinton Administration. He led efforts to encourage dialogue with voters on issues of public concern in New Hampshire living rooms and town forums. He is now Visiting Professor at Columbia University and regular commentator on ABC News. He is interested in how television can play in sparking new forms of civic engagement.
James Wallis co-founded Sojourners (a faith-based community and magazine). He is author, preacher, pastor and activist. He convened and coordinates the newly-formed coalition “Call to Renewal: Christians for a New Political Vision” that seeks to forge new, bipartisan, religious politics. His book, The Soul of Politics, focused on finding a moral order in policy.
Robert D. Putnam directs the Saguaro Seminar and is the Peter and Isabel Malkin professor of Public Policy at Harvard University. His “Bowling Alone” article and book sparked the resurgence of dialogue on issues of civic engagement in America. He is currently researching on the intersection of diversity, equality and social capital.
Juan Sepulveda directs The Common Enterprise in San Antonio which develops programs to bring San Antonians together around issues of common concern, encouraging them to form friendships across their differences. He also worked with the late Willie Velasquez on the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project. He is currently an advisor to Bill Bradley.
Vanessa Kirsch is the founder and CEO of New Profit, an “action tank” that fosters the development of a “New Profit” sector, combining for-profit accountability and entrepreneurship with non-profits’ focus on social mission and goals. Previously Kirsch founded Public Allies, a successful effort that utilizes young and diverse teams to revitalize community-based non-profits through national service.
Keep in mind that these groups are preaching love and encouraging people to drop the divisive politics, yet many of the participants themselves are very politically active. Jim Wallis, Sam Rodriguez and Dr. Joel Hunter are all serving as Obama’s spiritual advisers. Michael Wear also worked directly for Obama. Soros has been shown to sponsor some of their activities. Their constant books, studies and report, such as their recent Brookings Institute study, “The End of a White Christian Strategy”, certainly gives the impression of a political campaign, not a movement of love. They advise evangelicals on the Right to stay out of politics, because their brand of Christianity is turning people off. Why is it acceptable for them to be so active in Leftist politics, yet suggest that the Right is destroying themselves by being politically active? That almost gives the impression of trying to squelch a dissenting voice.
It is not a lack of love and Christian understanding. It is a lack of honest leadership and it is certainly an overabundance of agenda driven activists. Fortunately, another evangelical movement is looking at the immigration issue with an eye towards a compassionate solution for both citizens and non-citizens. Those of us who would like to see a sincere, common sense effort made towards immigration reform can visit Evangelicals for Biblical Immigration (EBI) for a truly Biblical and evangelical approach.
This past week, a group of evangelicals met once again with Obama, urging swift action on immigration. This comes on the heels of Jeb Bush’s recent interview:
Earlier in April, former Florida governor Jeb Bush suggested that illegal immigrants are not committing a felony, but are breaking the law out of love and commitment to family.
“It’s an act of love. It’s an act of commitment to your family,” Bush said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
Although the article simply refers to them as “faith leaders,” they are all part of the same group that has been working with Jim Wallis for some time, allegedly funded with Soros money. Soros is making a habit of using evangelicals, as he did with the funding of Telos, an outreach to convince evangelicals to be pro-Palestinian. Among those on the Telos advisory board, we find Dr. Joel Hunter, Obama spiritual advisor (more about him below); Lynne Hybels (Willow Creek Church); and Samah Norquist, wife of Grover Norquist.
The immigration group Soros funds is known as the Evangelical Immigration Table and is made up of a wide array of “social justice” evangelicals who have been criticized previously for their approach to the immigration issue.
The main leadership of the group consists of the following:
Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals
Stephan Bauman, President and CEO, World Relief
David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World
Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association
Luis Cortés, President, Esperanza
Russell D. Moore, President, Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition
Mathew Staver, Chairman and Founder, Liberty Counsel
Richard Stearns, President, World Vision U.S.
Jim Wallis, President and CEO, Sojourners
Of particular interest is the ongoing relationship between Samuel Rodriguez, Noel Castellanos and Jim Wallis. They appear to have worked together for quite awhile. Both were part of the Two Futures Project, a group of Christians working to abolish all nuclear weapons worldwide. Endorsers include Pastor Joel Hunter (seen below), Sam Rodriguez, Jim Wallis, Noel Castellanos and more. This group was started by progressive Pastor Tyler Wigg-Stevenson, who Brian Auten describes this way:
Not only is he familiar with the policy landscape, but I would argue that Wigg-Stevenson has extraordinary insight into how recent shifts within American evangelicalism have created an environment within which 2FP’s nuclear abolitionist message can ripen and flourish. During the second Bush administration, arguments about the end of Christendom and the captivity of the American evangelicals to the culture war—familiar in evangelical left circles and, since the late 1990s, also oft-cited in so-called third-way, emerging and/or missional church conversations—began to circulate among more “traditional” evangelical audiences, particularly among the late-20- to early-40-somethings which make up the bulk of 2FP’s target audience. This disillusionment with the culture war, coupled with what might be thought of as an attendant “neo-Anabaptist turn,” has provoked in younger evangelicals an exploding interest in more communitarian aspects of church life and the integration of the gospel with what might be labeled “progressive” social justice concerns.
Samuel Rodriguez was part of the Evangelicals for Human Rights group along with progressive Wigg-Stevenson as well. Among their agenda items was to “secure an independent Commission of Inquiry that will investigate and disclose the torture policies and practices of the U.S. government since September 11, 2001.”
Jim Wallis has even written a forward for one of Sam Rodriguez’s books and they are seen here together at a course taught by Jim Wallis at Georgetown University. “I love Jim Wallis. I am here because of my commitment to a dear friend…” Rodriguez began. They appeared at the Center for American Progress back in 2007, asking “Who Would Jesus Deport?” Jim Wallis, Pastor Joel Hunter and Sam Rodriguez were all part of the “Come Let Us Reason Together” Third Way communitarian “governing agenda” between evangelicals and progressives. Third Way has an interesting group of trustees, including William Daley (former Obama COS), Susan McCue (former Harry Reid COS), Thurgood Marshall Jr., and Peter Lewis, Chairman of Progressive Insurance. Honorary Co-Chairs include James Clyburn, Claire McCaskill, Gabrielle Giffords and Kathleen Sebelius.
It appears that many of the same participants have also been active together as members of the Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, once again including Samuel Rodriguez, Richard Land, Noel Castellanos and Juan Hernandez. They composed an open letter to Mitt Romney at the time.
Social justice Pastor Joel Hunter’s site published the 2010 phone event, Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CFCIR), featuring many of the same people (Land, Rodriguez, Castellanos) as well as “conservative” Juan Hernandez, who appeared to be coordinating the event. A similar phone event was held on a different date that year, again with Hernandez, Rodriguez and Castellanos as well as Jeb Bush. This one was posted online by José Artemio Arreola of the Illinois Coalition For Immigrant And Refugee Rights (ICIRR), with links to CAIR, Amnesty International, SEIU and more. Phone-in sessions such as these, organized by Juan Hernandez, do not ring true as “conservative”. Neither does Juan Hernandez:
He considers Canada, the U.S., and Mexico “a bloc, not one nation.” He puts “Mexico first.” He doesn’t believe there are any criminals among the 12-20 million illegal aliens he thinks should be legalized. He’s been saying all of this for a long time.
Despite the feud between Jim Wallis and Glenn Beck, and despite The Blaze story on Soros ties to the Evangelical Immigration Table, and despite Rodriguez’s participation in the Third way communitarian “Come Let Us Reason Together”, James Robison included him as a featured speaker at the “Under God: Indivisible” event in conjunction with Beck’s Restoring Love weekend. The Blaze even featured part of Rodriguez’s speech as a highlight of the weekend. Seems a very odd choice for anyone who knows much about Samuel Rodriguez.
Not only does the Evangelical Immigration Table have extremely questionable ties and funding, but they also sponsor a youth training program called G92.org, their “culture shaping movement”, which appears to be more propaganda than Christian compassion. The presentation video on their home page shows a “typical” law-breaking American citizen, giving no thought to their everyday petty acts like failing to scoop up doggy doo. They give the impression that these innocent immigrants are breaking no law any more harmful than what we do every day, yet they are ostracized. (Are you breaking laws every day? Not sure who the audience is supposed to be for this.) This is not teaching compassion. It is pure propaganda. Rightly calling their immigration “illegal” does not mean you have no sympathy for their plight and no desire to see a broken system fixed. It simply means you would like to see the rule of law followed and a solution put in place that works for everyone.
It is rare to find someone who does not want a fair and just solution to the immigration issue, but finding trustworthy representation is an uphill battle. It appears that the current ploy is to “shame” Christians into going along with their game plan to prove your compassion and Biblical direction. The problem is, some of them seem to have left out the part about the many illegal visitors who have come to commit crimes, the already high unemployment rate and the overwhelming cost of social services that is stretching us beyond our ability to pay. Is it being a good steward to give away things that you don’t have to give? To put others in harm’s way in order to force your agenda? To refuse to enforce laws that are already on the books, while you lobby for reform? Even Cesar Chavez saw the problems associated with this, as he grappled with illegals taking jobs from his unionized workers.
Rather than being resentful and angry at those who are taking advantage of free benefits and porous borders, we need to be angry with Progressives in sheep’s clothing who are using us and using these immigrants for their own agenda.
There is a lot of talk recently about a “ConCon” or Constitutional Convention as a possible solution for a Washington that has lost its way. Just this week, David Barton and Glenn Beck joined in a call for a Convention of States. Multiple organizations, as well as radio host Mark Levin, are promoting various versions. Nancy Pelosi is enthused about changing the Constitution in her own way, for their pet cause of “campaign finance reform.” Whether or not you may decide a ConCon is a direction to go, it is imperative to trust the leadership behind the organization promoting it. Major concern exists with one very visible effort, CompactForAmerica.org
Compact for America (CFA) is promoting their brand of ConCon as a “BBA” or balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. They have a pathway to doing this that would supposedly cut the process from years to months. A critique of their proposal can be found here. However, whether you agree with their proposal or not, it is the leadership behind this particular effort that needs much closer scrutiny.
CFA is made up of three board members and an advisory council with some impressive resumes under their belts. However, some of them have previously been involved in work and associations that bring great concern about anything they would be leading, as well as their long term agenda.
To begin with, several of CFA’s board and advisory board were part of the “ConConCon” or Conference on the Constitutional Convention, held at Harvard Law School back in September, 2011. Note that many of the leaders of the various different ConCon efforts we have going now were all present at this conference, including CFA board members and advisers Lawrence Lessig, Mark McKinnon and Nick Dranias. Also attending were the leaders of the Tea Party Patriots national group, as well as representatives from the Coffee Party, Cato Institute, Cenk Uygar of “The Young Turks”, Progressive Democrats of America, Demos (Obama was a founder, Van Jones is on their Board of Trustees) and many more. The event was co-chaired by Lawrence Lessig (CFA) and Mark Meckler (Tea Party Patriots). Sounds good on the surface; people of all political persuasions getting together to fix America. But again, with who at the helm? And with what possible agenda down the road, considering their backgrounds? We’ll take a closer look at just a couple of the advisers to this effort.
Just a month after this event, in October, 2011, Lawrence Lessig of CFA was out conducting a “teach in” among the Occupy Wall Street crowd. His goal appeared to be to convince them that they had to work with the Tea Party to get the campaign finance reform they wanted, and he had a plan for how to do it. Campaign finance reform is clearly the key to the progressive future, as we continue to see it put forward again and again. He had also just come out with a new book, which the Atlantic suggested could be the OWS handbook:
Lawrence Lessig has an answer. In his new book, “Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress — and a Plan to Stop It”, he spends 20 pages reviewing the the 30 years of deregulation that led up to the financial crisis and outlining our present circumstances. In fact, this book, published just before Occupy Wall Street began, is perfectly positioned to become the movement’s handbook. While few protesters will need convincing that the government is corrupted by money, the book lays out the case in a such a comprehensive and persuasive manner — and proposes such specific and radical solutions — that it seems tailor-made for the Occupy movement. And it’s ambitious proposal for state-based activism on behalf of a Constitutional Convention could provide the movement with a next organizing step as it nears its two-month anniversary Thursday — and faces such questions as how to ride out the winter and how to respond to police crackdowns. Properly presented, the strategies and aims of Lessig’s book could make it the handbook the protesters have been looking for — and provide a pathway for them to ride out the winter ahead.
Clearly, CFA adviser Lawrence Lessig has been very active in the ConCon movement for some time. Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard and a Harvard law professor, Lessig is also a Creative Commons founder (funded by Soros’ Open Society), as well as being an adviser to the Sunlight Foundation (also supported by Soros’ Open Society) and board member of the Coffee Party (progressive answer to the Tea Party.) Lawrence Lessig is reportedly a good friend of Barack Obama’s from their University of Chicago teaching days together and was a tech adviser to the Obama campaign. Lessig is also remembered for presenting a denigrating video at a few of his speaking appearances mocking Jesus, as reported by RedState.com:
It’s no secret that the Obama campaign does not want to be tied too directly to Lessig. In addition to happily showing off blasphemous images of Christ, Lessig is also known as a digital communist (read the linked article for the substance of why he’s called that) Lessig believes there should be no such thing as intellectual property rights — patents and copyrights should be tossed. Lessig’s anti-property theories give businesses and a lot of regular folks the heebie-jeebies. After all, if the government can strip you of your intellectual property, why can’t it take away your real property?
Just as importantly as advising Obama though, Lessig is an adviser to Google. And it was at a Google employee event that Lessig showed off a video of an effeminate Jesus who strips down to all but a loin cloth diaper singing “I Will Survive” until getting run over by a bus. Lessig acted bemused and surprised by the reaction of some saying, “This is a little bit touchy to some people. I don’t get it, so just chill. The underlying message here is that Jesus does survive.”
Also important to note is that Lawrence Lessig was also a board member of Americans Elect. AmericansElect was started by Peter Ackerman, one of the people credited for coming up with the “waging nonviolence” technique taught to Egyptian revolutionaries to help them with their revolution. Like many of their efforts, AmericansElect sounded like another great blending of concerned Americans from all sides of the aisle, just working together against a corrupt system to get the candidate of their choice. However, many people questioned the true agenda of AmericansElect. They never revealed their donor list. A look at their “dream candidates”, as presented by AmericansElect’s Nick Troiano, may give you further insight into the direction they’d like to go:
Steve Ballmer, Meg Whitman, Mitt Romne,y Eric E. Schmidt, David Petraeus, Hillary Clinton, David Boren, Erskine Bowles, Oprah Winfrey, Kenneth Chenault, Evan Bayh, Sam Nunn, Colin Powell, Bill Bradley, John Chambers, Mike Bloomberg, Antonio Villaraigosa, Tom Brokaw, Fred Smith, John Roberts, Tim Pawlenty, Bill Cohen, Condoleezza Rice, Jeb Bush, Brian L. Roberts, Jon Corzine, Barack Obama, Howard Schultz, Anderson Cooper, Lee Hamilton, Charlie Crist, Bob Kerry, Mitch Daniels, Jim Lehrer, Chris Christie, Alan Mulally, Bill Gates, Marco Rubio, Bob Graham, Robert Gates, Chuck Hagel, David Walker, Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, Jon Huntsman, Ed Whitacre, Tom Ridge, Jeffrey Immelt, Bill Richardso.
Mark McKinnon is an American political advisor. He is Global Vice-Chairman of Hill & Knowlton Strategies, an international communications consultancy, and the President of Maverick Media. He is a co-founder of No Labels and also is on the Board of Advisors of Americans Elect. McKinnon switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party after meeting then Texas Governor George W. Bush. He has worked for many causes, companies and candidates, including former President George W. Bush, 2008 Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain, late former Governor Ann Richards, Congressman Charlie Wilson, Lance Armstrong and Bono.
On November 8, 2012, McKinnon admitted on National Public Radio that he voted for Gary Johnson in the 2012 U.S. Presidential election.
In 2013, McKinnon was a signatory to an amicus curiae brief submitted to the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage during the Hollingsworth v. Perry case.
Some of his political moves and insights include the following:
Of the many organizations McKinnon is involved with, it is important to note that he also sits on the board of The Hamilton Project, along with others such as Google’s Eric Schmidt, Richard Gephardt and Tim Geithner. Young Senator Barack Obama spoke to this group in 2006. Keywiki defines them as:
The Hamilton Project is a think tank within a think tank . Nestled inside the Brookings Institution, the oldest and biggest Democratic Party-oriented policy research center, Hamilton has been widely identified as the intellectual power center of the Obama administration.
The founder of the Hamilton Project was Robert Rubin, Larry Summers’ former boss at Treasury.
McKinnon was recently a featured study group leader for a Harvard Institute on Politics program called “Political Disruption: Where It’s Coming From & Why We Need It.” Other study group leaders included Lawrence Lessig (again) as well as Mark Meckler, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots and currently leading another ConCon effort. Note that these same three were instrumental in putting together the Conference for a Constitutional Convention back in fall 2011, discussed at the beginning of this piece.
In addition to all of this, McKinnon and Jon Huntsman are co-founders of the ongoing “No Labels” effort, featuring “problem solvers” such as Joaquin Castro (State Representative and brother of Julian Castro, San Antonio mayor and Obama protege.) Although No Labels is another one of their “centrist” groups that gives the impression of bringing Americans from both sides of the aisle together, looking further into it tells us something altogether different. Although denying they were a “third party” movement, this post from Ben Johnson contradicts this:
The more visible of these is No Labels, whose motto is: “Not Left. Not Right. Forward.” Despite its plea to restore “civility” and oppose extremists in both parties, No Labels seems almost exclusively focused on convincing Republicans to assent to “progressive” measures. (See below.) Fronted by former Bush advisor Mark McKinnon, Michael Bloomberg, Joe Scarborough, and others, its formal public launch will be held December 13 in New York City (of course). Its organizers protest this is “neither a third party nor a stalking horse for any presidential candidate or other candidates.” Its website insists, “No Labels is not interested in encouraging the development of a third party.”
However, in private, its leaders sing a different tune. Mark McKinnon, a longtime advisor to George W. Bush, told David Frum that he knows “some smart people working behind the scenes” working “to resolve ballot access issues and make it easier for a third party to happen.” In an October 22 speech to the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, McKinnon admitted “something very exciting” was coming: “A third party in 2012.” An unsuccessful candidate who showed up at No Labels’ New Hampshire road show, Peter Angerhofer practically begged attendees to admit they were forming a minor party. “If you want to create a third party and carve out the middle, that might work,” Angerhofer offered, “but be clear about it.” The St. Louis Business Journal straightforwardly described the group as “a new third party movement.”
Johnson also notes:
The principals of No Labels met in June in Houston in the home of Marty McVey. Curiously, McVey “had dined with President Barack Obama in Washington only a few weeks prior.” McVey’s close relationship with Obama does not square with his stated desire to field a candidate to topple him.
Following the money, we find that McVey is recorded as having contributed tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates and Democratic groups. http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/contributions/marty-mcvey.asp?cycle=10
In another piece, Doug Powers gives us a few more examples of how nonpartisan and centrist this group supposedly is:
You can’t have a “middle of the road” movement without including super-lib Debbie Stabenow. Three years ago, on the “most liberal Senators” chart, Stabenow was tied with Hillary Clinton, who is of course famous for her centrism. As for Michael Bloomberg, nothing says rational middle-of-the-roader like somebody who thinks abortion is a fundamental right and salt is murder.
“No Labels” backer and Panera Bread founder Ron Shaich just oozes “middle of the road.” He’s donated thousands of dollars to the Mass. Democratic State Committee, John Kerry for President and Barack Obama for President. That’s a centrist track record if there ever was one.
Loews’ Andrew Tisch has contributed to both parties — technically — but other than Republican Mark Kirk, for the most part Tisch has thrown support to moderates who avoid partisanship — Independent thinkers who aren’t blinded by party loyalty such as Charles Rangel, Chuck Schumer, Barack Obama, Jerrold Nadler and Hillary Clinton.
In 2004, LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was asked to be the National Chairman of the Kerry for President campaign — a job that was of course only offered to political centrists. Kerry also endorsed Villaraigosa for LA Mayor, because he was so, you know, moderate and all.
There is much more to be found online about the No Labels effort, but just watching “Morning Joe” with No Labels backer Joe Scarborough would keep you up to date, as he has promoted the effort often.
Although there is additional information on the Compact For America board, what has been outlined here on just two of their advisers should be more than enough to cause anyone great concern. Further, it suggests that the leadership behind other ConCon efforts should also be extensively researched, no matter how well-meaning some of the people involved may be. This may be the most important time in recent history for us to be doing our homework. A hijacked ConCon could be the end of this nation as we know it.
On today’s show, Rush Limbaugh was discussing his surprise at the recent comment by Charles Krauthammer. Krauthammer said the following:
I remember before the president-elect arrived saying, “You know, I haven’t been able to figure this guy out. Is he a centrist who will occasionally throw a bone to the left or is he a lefty who will occasionally throw a bone to the right?” Nobody had any idea.
Rush made it clear that he is not trying to feud with Krauthammer, yet is still perplexed at how someone with his background would have not seen through Obama during his candidacy. Mulling that over, it occurred to me that it might be a matter of differences in discernment.
Discernment is the activity of determining the value and quality of a certain subject or event, particularly the activity of going past the mere perception of something and making detailed judgments about that thing.
It sounds as if Krauthammer may not have gotten past the outer perception of Obama the Candidate to see what was behind the outer shell of the candidate. But as a person more familiar with the way politics work than many of us are, why would he not see this? As someone who has practiced psychology, it is, indeed, surprising that he would have been blind to what the intentions of Obama the Candidate actually were.
I immediately thought back to a discussion between commenters long ago, on “The Return of Scipio” blog (2008-2009). Readers of the blog were discussing how Obama’s intentions and persona were so crystal clear, yet so many seemed to be completely blinded to it. It was concluded that it was a matter of spiritual discernment, very clear to those looking at Obama from this perspective, but not so for those who do not view the world through this lens. It wasn’t a matter of people not wanting to see Obama for what he was, but actually being unable to see.
It would be doubtful that Krauthammer would look at things from a spiritual perspective, given his comments on his own personal belief:
It was simply a matter of just applying my thinking to these questions of God, a historical God and a God who intervenes in prayer, and I came up short. It was no great epiphany. It was no great disappointment. It had nothing to do with my being [paralyzed in a diving accident] when I was 22. I was already way, way gone by the time I was 18 and 19. It was simply an intellectual conclusion, and I’ve been basically unchanged for 50 years. I don’t make any great claims for it. I would not proselytize my own agnosticism. It’s just where I’ve come to.
This is not to say that atheists/agnostics are unable to distinguish people with good intentions from people with bad intentions. However, it is to say that an atheist is not seeing through a spiritual lens and may, therefore, come to different conclusions. Just one example of how a Christian might look at a person would be to look at the “fruits”. What has that person produced? Has it been good fruit or bad fruit (or no fruit, in some cases, which would be bad fruit)? Obama the Candidate certainly wouldn’t have passed the discernment test, even if based only on this one aspect of it.
No doubt, there are sincere liberal Christians out there who would argue that they have looked at Obama with spiritual discernment and come up with a totally different conclusion. However, one would have to ask them to revisit that. At this stage, the blatant and even admitted lies coming out of his administration would make it beyond difficult to defend. How can good fruit come from a rotten source?
None of us are always right about the inner workings and intentions of others, but looking at the world with a sincere desire to be spiritually discerning will sure improve your odds. Look out for the rotten fruit along the way.
It might be time to figure out what kind of strange love-hate relationship we have going with Russia right now. It’s getting to be quite a mystery.
Just a few of the most recent contradictions and oddities:
- Putin seems eager to use anything to weaken our image worldwide, yet at the same time, comes up with a way to bail Obama out.
- Putin and McCain are in a game of “Dueling Columnists” with each other, each pointing out the failings of the other country.
- Our administration (and McCain) seem bound and determined to find a way to legitimize war with Syria, supposedly on behalf of the many victims of the Assad regime. Yet, at the same time, not only are they willing to arm jihadists and Muslim Brotherhood backed rebels, but they continue to purchase military equipment from the same Russian arms export company, Rosonboronexport, that supplies the Syrian regime, despite it being illegal.
From Rep. Tom Cole (R) back in July:
It is clear that it is not in our nation’s best interests to continue any commercial relationship, indirectly or otherwise with this Russian-owned arms dealer. However, the Pentagon has continued to move forward with the purchase of 30 Mi-17 helicopters from Rosoboronexport for the Afghan National Security Forces despite legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama prohibiting such expenditures. The administration continues to defy and to blatantly disregard congressional intent in this matter, which is unacceptable.First, not only is it reckless to subsidize a dealer that provides weapons to terrorists fueling the tragic Syrian civil war, but the purchase doesn’t even further the mission of ANSF. Due to lack of operational knowledge and expertise by the personnel charged with using the helicopters, the equipment itself is likely to go unused. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has reported that this $908 million investment in the Afghan Specialty Mission Wing (SMW) is ill-advised as “the Afghans lack the capacity — in both personnel and expertise — to operate and maintain the existing and planned fleets.” If the investment doesn’t help the mission, why purchase the helicopters in the first place?Second, even if ANSF had greater expertise and was better equipped and trained to use these helicopters, we must return to the fact that this firm provides weapons to regimes that suppress their people and support terrorists. By entering into an agreement with Rosoboronexport, America is indirectly and unknowingly adding to, increasing and encouraging greater conflict in the Syrian region. This is certainly an abuse of taxpayer dollars, and it demonstrates that the Department of Defense must be held accountable to laws passed by Congress and signed into law by the president.In response to this outrageous contract and the administration’s disrespect for the role of the legislative branch, I joined with more than 80 of my colleagues in sending a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, demanding that the appropriate steps be taken regarding this Russian arms dealer. In this bipartisan effort, we reiterated the requirement and expectation that the Department of Defense provide a detailed assessment to Congress explaining its purchase of this equipment from Rosoboronexport, rather than alternatives manufactured in our own or allied countries. We also asked for an explanation about how this purchase is in the best interest of our national security.Again, the president signed the NDAA last year that prohibited taxpayer FY13 funds from going to this Russian firm, yet this devious move appears to show the administration’s disdain for laws already set in place and the unique role of the legislative branch in authorizing the expenditure of taxpayer dollars.
Things seem to have gotten very fuzzy and confusing in this relationship. Exactly who is it that we support and who are we against? And exactly when does this administration choose to follow laws and when does it not? And just what is our relationship with Russia?
Bryan Preston continued to expose more about the administration’s choice of documentation from Elizabeth O’Bagy, a strange choice for our administration to use as their reference for going to war. Today, she was released from employment with the Institute for the Study of War, as it was revealed that she does not have the claimed doctorate degree. We now know that she was also lobbying for the Syrian rebels, but there is more to explore about the associations of the Institute for the Study of War.
The Institute was founded by historian Kimberly Kagan, whose brother-in-law, Robert Kagan, has been a foreign policy advisor for John McCain. The Kagans’ association with McCain and his associates appears to have been a long one. Of particular interest is that Kimberly Kagan and John McCain have served together on the board of the “Spirit of America”, along with Peter Ackerman. Some may remember Peter Ackerman and Gene Sharp’s “waging nonviolence” theories as the basis for the techniques used in Egypt’s revolution, as taught to the Egyptians by Hillary’s State Department sponsored AYM (Youth Movements). We all know how peaceful that turned out to be and how well it has served us so far.
Previously joining them at “Spirit of America,” you will find the late Ambassador Mark Palmer, who worked with Ackerman on the Americans Elect movement and was himself active in the Color Revolutions. Palmer wrote the book, “Breaking the Real Axis of Evil: How to Oust the World’s Last Dictators Without Firing a Shot.” Always the peaceful rebel, he is listed as a founder of the radical Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960, along with others such as Stokely Carmichael, Harry Belafonte, Julian Bond, Pete Seeger, Howard Zinn and more.
According to Wikipedia:
Palmer was possessed of practical experience inside dictatorships, working directly with dictators, and helping to oust them without a shot being fired.
From his days in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement as a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, through demonstrating in the streets of Budapest as ambassador, to marching with students in Belgrade against Slobodan Milosevic in 1996, Palmer witnessed and practiced the power of organized nonviolent force in achieving freedom and justice.
It would be hard to avoid the conclusion that we have a united network from both sides of the aisle who are working hard together to use the same “waging nonviolence” strategy (one might also call it “responsibility to protect” if that fits the situation better), in country after country, toppling dictators to establish their version of “democracy”. In fact, that brings to mind a quote from Stephanie Rudat, a big fan of Gene Sharp and Peter Ackerman’s theories and one of the founders of the AYM:
“Toppling dictators is something I really like.”
Not so surprising that she and O’Bagy seemed to have discovered each other on Twitter for a lively Syrian policy discussion. Click on the image to enlarge:
No one is a big fan of ruthless dictators, but no one is a big fan of deceitful globalists trying to manipulate us, either. Judging from how well this has worked in Libya and Egypt, most people would be hesitant to think this is a great master plan, except perhaps for those whose investments will benefit most.
This week’s battle at the Texas Capitol left progressives elated and the Obama administration feeling very empowered. Their “Wisconsin-like” thug gallery proved successful in postponing the will of the people in Texas. Needless to say, Wendy and Crew energized the base and they are ready to take on the special session called for by Gov. Perry.
In this afternoon’s email, MoveOn.org is encouraging their Texas followers to use another “Wisconsin-like” tactic to further thwart the will of the people:
The Texas Constitution requires 100 representatives—two-thirds of the 150-member House—to conduct business in the lower chamber. There are only 95 Republicans in the House and 19 Republican Senators. Without the participation of Democratic lawmakers, neither chamber of the legislature would have the quorum necessary to do business.
A special session can run for as long as 30 days, so there is no chance of a filibuster or parliamentary delay to prevent the passage of a draconian anti-choice bill that would severely limit women’s reproductive health options in Texas.
This legislation would close 37 of the 42 clinics that offer abortion services in Texas, and outlaw abortion at 20 weeks, even though federal law allows for abortions until 28 weeks. Passage of legislation of this kind will not result in a decrease in the number of abortions but rather will reduce the number of safe options that a woman has by putting the legislature between her and her doctor in regards to her reproductive health and future.
Knowing what they have in store and knowing how their tactics were used in Wisconsin, there is no reason for Texas lawmakers to come into the new session unprepared. Seems like they might want to spend their 4th of July holiday studying the events and tactics used in Wisconsin and start preparing now. The good people of Texas are counting on it.
Note: Despite what you may have heard elsewhere, the majority of Texans support “fetal pain” legislation according to poll results published in March:
Most Texans favor a so-called fetal pain proposal to outlaw abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.
Obama’s favorite private purple army of organizers, SEIU, were very busy planning and preparing with their buildup to the April 10th grand finale “Rally For Citizenship” in Washington, DC. These things don’t just happen spontaneously, you know. Take a quick look at just a few of the events and the timeline that they set up in advance:
On this page, you can review their “Immigrant Justice Campaign” update on efforts around the nation, with radio ads, town halls and more:
Smaller events leading up to the big Washington event were highlighted at these links, from Nashua to New Jersey to Boston to Pennsylvania and more:
March Build Up:
Over the course of the March Congressional recess and leading up to the massive rally in Washington, DC on April 10th, SEIU local unions and allies are hosting more than 50 events across the country pounding the drumbeat for commonsense immigration reform.
New Jersey Highlights:
The rally, which drew a crowd of about 7,000 people, was organized by Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union and La Fuente, a New York-based coalition of community groups.
More Action in Boston:
Some 800 immigrants and their supporters rallied at Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall on April 6 to demand comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship.
The lively and boisterous rally was organized primarily by SEIU and allied community organizations including Jobs with Justice , MassUniting and MIRA (Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition).
Nashua and Beyond:
The organizing committee included SEIU Locals 615 and 1984, the NH AFL-CIO, NH Civil Liberties Union, Lutheran Social Services, the Granite State Organizing Project, the NH Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees, the United Church of Christ Immigration Working Group, and the American Friends Service Committee.
Another rally will take place at State House Plaza in Concord at noon on Wednesday, May 1.
Pennsylvania Rallying Cry:
32BJ SEIU, JUNTOS, PA United for Immigration Reform and a broad group of local community and religious organizations are urging Rep. Allison Schwartz, Senator Pat Toomey and the Obama Administration to move forward with commonsense immigration reform that includes a realistic path to citizenship, keeps families together, raises standards for all working people and strengthens the economy. The rally will commence a week of action in which dozens of events will be held across the country culminating in a march with tens of thousands on Washington on April 10.
The whole thing reached its’ climax Wednesday, where they posted the live action here:
Credit where credit is due. It takes a lot of hard work and a lot of purple shirts to give the impression of a national outcry.
There is no doubt that the youth of America are being recruited at breakneck speed by the progressives, both at the university level as well as elementary and high school. Many efforts are underway to expand their reach to preschool, as they attempt to start those programs at earlier and earlier ages. But what about community colleges? Surely, you don’t think they would leave any stone unturned.
Yes, they are actively working to train community college students to be “community organizers” and activists. And what a ripe audience! With tuitions rising and a large population of lower income and minority students, it is the perfect training ground.
One such effort is underway by the Rappaport Family Foundation, established by Andrew and Deborah Rappaport, one of the biggest contributors to progressive politics and financial supporters of Soros’ Center for American Progress. Their program in partnership with the New Organizing Institute, is called “The Milllennial Project.” Their catch phrase on site is “because leadership and organizing compliment ever major.” Offered is a course in organizing, so they can be sure community college students are well versed in the art of “change.”
A current publication on their site reviews the results of this project so far. Introductory pages suggest that “community college is where the struggle is.” Yet another struggle?
Community college students are ideal recruits in their eyes. From the same publication, page 5:
Since then, RFF has invested large amounts of time, energy, and more than $5 million in civic engagement initiatives led by young people, including those on university campuses, and among non-college youth. Through this work, we saw many strong and active training and advocacy organizations on 4-year university campuses. But when we looked to community college campuses – where the other half of our nation’s college students enroll – the picture looked very different. As funders of youth civic engagement, we realized that we were neglecting a critical segment of the youth population.
Do you think they are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts? Do they just want to help these young adults learn how to be leaders? Or might they have more in mind? We get that answer on page 14 of the report:
An investment in community college students is an investment in…the civic and political potential of the millennial generation. As we’ve witnessed, young people are a key constituency whose voter participation rates can swing elections. We’ve also seen the success of civic engagement programs at 4-year campuses and universities with campaigns focused on the Dream Act and student cost increases, as well as in the strong student voice in the national Occupy Wall Street Movement. We need to ignite more of the same activism on 2-year campuses.
We looked for programs that would prepare community college students to be a generation of committed, skilled, life-long, progressive activists.
They have planned this program using the very best in the business. Their pilot program was designed by Marshall Ganz:
…a senior lecturer in public policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He worked on the staff of the United Farm Workers for sixteen years before becoming a trainer and organizer for political campaigns, unions and nonprofit groups. He is credited with devising the successful grassroots organizing model and training for Barack Obama’s winning 2008 presidential campaign.
Ganz has done it all. From the early days with Cesar Chavez to campaigns for Nancy Pelosi and Jerry Brown to SEIU to the Screen Actors Guild to the current Organizing for America, he’s worked with them all.
You can read their entire publication to learn about the many activist organizations their initial California effort has already spawned, although most of us would never realize all of these different student initiatives were sparked by the same program.
One thing they emphasize is the importance of getting community college faculty and administration on board, but that is likely an easy task.
Their concluding statements, addressed to potential funders of this continuing effort, make it clear what the potential for this program can be:
Throughout our Initiative, we have been struck by just how below-the-radar and under-resourced community college student organizing, advocacy, and civic engagement has been until now. In the words of Campaign for College Opportunity, we see the potential for a “community college student leadership legacy for the State of California.” We do believe that the seeds of that movement are currently taking root; that the day is not far off when community college campuses will be fertile training grounds for the Millennial generation’s most effective civic leaders, and serve as the spawning grounds for the most timely campaigns for change. We encourage you as a funder and philanthropist to consider incorporating community college into your own thinking and how incorporating their talents, experience and wisdom can help you achieve your own philanthropic goals more quickly.
Unless we want to see their “philanthropic goals” take over this country, it might be wise for us to start paying close attention to the community college indoctrination movement already well underway.
Back in July, Rahm Emanuel attempted to shut Chick-fil-A out of Chicago because the owner didn’t agree with his personal views regarding gay marriage. He had asked city officials to block their ability to build.
Now, the Master of the Chicago Way is at it again, this time attacking legal and law abiding gun makers. He has requested that several large banking institutions no longer offer lines of credit to manufacturers such as Smith & Wesson until they agree to his proposals on gun control. As reported by CBS in Chicago:
“Collectively we can send a clear and unambiguous message to the entire gun industry that investors will no longer financially support companies that support gun violence,” Emanuel wrote.
First of all, since when do gun manufacturers support gun violence? They are manufacturing legal products, never intended to be used in an illegal way. This is an untrue and outrageous charge in itself, but the more frightening part is that his gangster style bullying efforts are working. The report goes on to say the following:
Last week, Emanuel ordered a portfolio analysis from the five pension and retirement funds for Chicago employees to determine if fund managers hold financial interests in companies that manufacture or sell assault weapons.
This week, the Chicago Municipal Employees Annuity and Benefit Fund (MEABF) board voted to divest more than $1 million from three companies that manufacture assault weapons – Freedom Group, Smith and Wesson and Sturm Ruger.
If corporations and financial institutions continue to be intimidated by the Chicago style threats and bullying we have come to expect from Emanuel and this administration in general, we are in serious trouble. There is no longer any need for them to legislate anything when they are able to use propaganda and manipulation to shut down anything they do not agree with, legal or not. This is starting to set an incredibly dangerous precedent for the future of this country.
Many people are starting their day in dazed state of incredulous disbelief. How could we lose an election to a president who has given us a nightmare of an economy, dangerous foreign policy and so much more? Where were all those Chick-Fil-A people? Why weren’t they at the polls?
Romney and Ryan ran a solid campaign and worked hard, but Romney was never considered to be a real conservative. Conservatives were willing to stand up and back him as the only alternative to four more years of Obama. Most of us focused our time on politicians and campaigns, but our focus was misdirected. Chick-Fil-A Day should have shown us that it is not always the economy, stupid. It is the corrupt culture. People poured their hearts and souls into Chick-Fil-A Day because they were fighting for their very way of life and their religious freedom.
We are repeatedly told that we should stay away from those pesky social issues. Well, it appears that those are exactly what we should be focusing on. We have allowed political correctness and Leftist bullies to take us here for decades. Now is the time to change focus from politicians to real culture change. They own the media, Hollywood, universities, public schools and much more. The battleground is there now, not in Washington.
You want to really see change in Washington? Then start changing the culture and the politicians will follow. After all, that’s what they do.
This week in Ohio, a lively Obama supporter was protesting outside of a Romney event. In her persuasive way, she was explaining why a vote for Obama is a vote for free phones!
The only problem here is that the phones do not come from Obama and the phones are not free. As usual, Obama takes personal credit for the phone on the sign-up website where it is officially described as the “Obama Phone” and it is explained that no taxpayer money was used:
Some people claim that the government is using taxpayer’s money to run this program, however, the claim is false. Universal Service Fund (USF) which is administers by Federal Communication Commission along the Universal Service Administration Company (USAC), pays for the Lifeline phone assistance program.
The truth of the matter is the funds come from every bill paying phone user in the USA. Take a look at your phone bills, both land and cell. See the line on the bill called “Universal Fund” or “Universal Service”? That is what is actually paying for the “free” phones. I am personally paying $7.64 per month for someone’s free phone. Therefore, I think I have earned her vote, not Obama.
Breitbart.com posted a video today which they got from the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan’s Facebook page. In it, clips from both Obama and Hillary Clinton repeatedly disavow any disrespect of a religion.
While most would agree that disrespect of religion (and yes, that means Judaism and Christianity, too) is never commendable, it seems an odd response to follow up an event where our people were attacked and killed. What also seemed odd was why this was specifically targeted to Pakistan….until you take a look at this Facebook page event planned for tomorrow:
Muslim Ummah Demands: Expel US Ambassador, Close US Embassy and Bases.
Beloved Rasool Allah (saaw) said and Anas(RA) narrated “None of you would be considered a believer until I become more beloved to him than his family, wealth and all the people.” (Agreed upon)
Insult of Prophet(saaw) is intolerable.March to Raise the Flag of Rasoolallah (saaw)!
March to show your love of Rasoolallah (saaw)!
March to Join Muslims around the World!
March to Expel the US Ambassador, Close US Embassy and Bases!
March to Eject Blasphemous Crusaders out of Our Lands!
March to Demand Unification of Muslim Ummah underthe Flag of Rasoolallah (saaw)!Organizers: Flag of Rasoolallah (saaw) unites us all.Details About event:
As stated above this is an event organised by the flag of Rasoolallah(saaw) because its our duty to raise the flag in front of the enemies of Islam. Our demands are very clear and we don’t want any confusion “Expel US Ambassador, Close US Embassy and Bases”.
We’ll be carrying the flags which the Prophet (saaw) gave to the sahabah when he sent them to expeditions. It is written on the black banner (rayah) “La ilaha illa Allah, Mohammad Ar-Rasool-Allah” in white, and written on the white banner (liwaa’)
“La ilaha illa Allah, Mohammad Ar-Rasool-Allah” in black.This would be a peaceful Rally.Place:
Masjid Siddiq-e-Akbar, near Savour, Blue Area Islamabad, Pakistan
Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia is hosting a global conference tomorrow in Australia entitled Khilafah Conference 2012: “Muslims Rise – Caliphate Imminent.” Considering the events of the past week and the history of Hizb ut-Tahrir, the timing here seems rather ominous. In fact, just yesterday the Hizb ut-Tahrir group organized a protest in Indonesia:
A speaker from the pro-Caliphate organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir that organized the protest, told the crowd: “This film insulted our prophet and we condemn it. The film is a declaration of war.”
The crowd shouted back: “Allahu akbar!” (God is greatest), while police clad in riot gear stood guard nearby.
Another speaker declared: “The US does not deserve to stay here,” as the crowd roared that Americans be expelled from the world’s largest Muslim nation.
In addition to their regularly scheduled program, they promise to address the week’s events:
Response to the vilification of the Prophet (saw)
In light of developments this week concerning the film insulting our Prophet (saw), a special address will be given in the Khilafah Conference this Sunday to address this issue.
There is no doubt as to what the intent of this group is, as further explained by DiscoverTheNetworks:
Rejecting Western notions of both democracy and capitalism as tools that allegedly have led to colonization and subjugation of Islamic nations, Hizb-ut-Tahrir’s long-term objective is to replace existing governments with theocratic Muslim rule and to bring about a worldwide Islamic government under a single ruler (caliph). In such an ideal Islamic state, says Hizb-ut-Tahrir, “all of life’s affairs in society are administered according to Shari’ah rules,” or Islamic law.
Today Hizb-ut-Tahrir, although splintered into four factions (most notably Hizb Waed) reportedly has tens of thousands of secret members across the Muslim world, attracted by its triumphalist Islamic future. Hizb-ut-Tahrir is outlawed in Russia, Germany, France, the Netherlands and numerous Muslim countries (including Egypt, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia) that regard it as a radical, subversive, terrorist organization that spreads “hatred and violence and seeks to overthrow their governments.
Hizb-ut-Tahrir is a legal political party, however, in the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Yemen, and most Western nations. The organization gained a foothold in the United Kingdom under the leadership of Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, the Al Muhajiroun founder who joined Hizb-ut-Tahrir as a teenager in Lebanon during the early 1970′s. For awhile Britain considered outlawing Hizb-ut-Tahrir, but then-Prime Minister Tony Blair decided against doing so after he was advised that forcing the group underground would be an even less desirable alternative than permitting it to function legally.
Indeed, they have been quite active in the U.S., where they have held numerous conferences in Chicago. As Newsmax stated regarding the 2011 conference:
A radical Islamist group which claims a presence in nearly 50 countries is so confident it can help establish a global Muslim government-or caliphate-that it distributed a draft constitution during a recent conference outside of Chicago. It calls for the death penalty for apostates and for creating a government department dedicated to jihad.
Looks like things didn’t change much for the 2012 Chicago gathering:
Hizb ut-Tahrir America (HT), the U.S. arm of the international organization with a long record of hostility toward Israel and the Jews, plans to hold the conference, dubbed “Revolution: Liberation by Revelation-Muslims Marching Toward Victory” in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. This year’s conference will once again be held against the backdrop of the revolutions engulfing the Middle East, which the organization seeks to use to promote its vision of establishing an Islamic Caliphate.
When a group with this kind of history convenes a global conference at this time, telling us that a global caliphate is imminent, maybe it’s a good time for us to pay attention. It might even be something Obama and his State Department might want to take a look at, if they can find a little extra time these days between appearances and celebrity events.
On the heels of the Arab Spring, we’re in the middle of the “Syrian Fall” with much involvement by the same people who trained the Egyptian youth for the Arab Spring in the first place. We discovered then that our own State Department, working with Movements.org, was instrumental in preparing Egyptians for this action, and they have not slowed down in their work since.
Movements.org (formerly Alliance of Youth Movements) became part of the Advancing Human Rights umbrella this summer, run by David Keyes of cyberdissidents.org. Together with Google and Al Jazeera, they recently unveiled their latest project, interactive mapping of defectors from the Syrian regime. It offers names, bio information and more, yet nowhere to be found was any explanation of how this would be used.
An interesting quote from Peter Ackerman and Jack DuVall in a New Republic piece from 2005 might illuminate us: “Regimes fall when their defenders defect.” Is this a clue as to why Syrian defectors are being watched so closely?
It’s not a stretch, considering the close relationship between Ackerman’s global work in supporting “nonviolent” revolutions and his links with Movements.org. In fact, one of the founders of Movements.org, Stephanie Rudat, is featured in an Ackerman video on nonviolent conflict.
This all begs the question “What’s the problem? Isn’t it good that they are helping people form democracies and get out from under oppressive dictators?” It sure sounds good on the surface, but consider:
- Al Qaeda is reported to be a big part of the resistance in Syria, as they were in Libya. Why would John McCain and others once again be calling for US arms to be provided to rebels with such heavy Al Qaeda numbers?
- Egypt’s revolution was far from being nonviolent, as we continued to see in Libya and now Syria.
- Egypt is now under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood. NGO’s and players like George Soros are heavily involved in this ongoing effort. There is much to question here.
What is the end game? Considering the fact that we seem to be involved in a global movement, we deserve to be offered answers on exactly what these nonviolent crusaders at Google, Al Jazeera and within our own State Department have planned.
In a stunning development, Rahm Emanuel has vowed not to allow a business into Chicagoland due to his rejection of their religious beliefs. From Todd Starnes at Fox:
Officials in at least three cities have vowed to block efforts to open Chick-fil-A restaurants after the company’s president told reporters that he supported the traditional definition of marriage – and warned that redefining marriage might bring God’s judgment on the nation.
“Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a statement to the Chicago Tribune. “They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents.” Emanuel was vowing his support for Alderman Proco Moreno’s announcement that he would block construction of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in his district.
With no other reason given by any of these dicta- oops, I mean “city leaders”, it is now apparently not possible to conduct business if you hold traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs. It stands to reason, based on the result of prior voting results on the topic of marriage, that at least half of all businesses would likely feel the same as Chick-fil-A. Therefore, don’t we have to assume that they will all be shut down in Chicago, Boston and Mountain View, CA? After all, why would they just pick out one business?
With Emanuel being such a close adviser to the President, one also has to wonder what Obama’s position is on this? Seems like someone should ask him, doesn’t it?
While you’re waiting on his response (and it could take awhile), you might want to get a bite to eat. May I make a suggestion? Bon appetit!
KLBJ in Austin, TX has posted a story today that the IRS offices in Austin are undergoing an audit, after a whistleblower spoke out:
The IRS is now the focus of a year-long audit, thanks to federal employees who are blowing the whistle. Howard Antelis is a tax examiner at the IRS’s ITIN processing center in Austin, Texas. The large, unmarked building in south Austin is where the IRS decides whether to issue an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to the millions of illegal immigrants who apply for them. An ITIN allows undocumented workers to file tax returns and pay taxes, a legal requirement for those who earn income in the United States … even those who come to the country illegally.
But 13 Investigates discovered the ITIN system is plagued by abuse and fraud. A four-month Eyewitness News investigation documented how many illegal immigrants use ITINs to get tax credits and refunds they’re not entitled to. WTHR in Indianapolis also exposed how millions of undocumented workers get their ITIN applications approved using phony documents.
Looks like some crazy version of “international” redistribution has been going on for some time. How much more can our economy take?
At their shareholder meeting today in Seattle, Amazon announced that they are dropping their affiliation with the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Michelle Malkin discusses it here, along with a brief response she received from Amazon. A petition had been going, started by a small group calling itself “Working Washington”, as well as a protest they organized. But this was not the work of a little, grassroots protest group. It was a massive effort that has been going on for some time.
Michelle Malkin warned that this was coming in her previous piece here. PJ Media discussed it in depth back in February, outlining the Left’s united effort to shut down ALEC, including Van Jones, Joel Rogers, Starhawk, & Soros funded groups. Van Jones’ Color of Change had called Amazon out directly and waged a boycott unless they dropped their ALEC affiliation.
Who is the little protest group appearing at the shareholder’s meeting this week? Working Washington is actually SEIU, Obama’s favorite union, which was reported by the Seattle Times back in December, as the same group was co-opting Occupy Seattle:
But Working Washington is not truly grass-roots. It’s an arm of the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, which is known for its aggressive political tactics as one of the state’s most powerful unions.
Working Washington has support from other labor and consumer groups, too, including the Teamsters and Washington Community Action Network.
Working Washington shares office space and staff with SEIU and was created as an attempt to bring new voices to the issues the left-leaning union has championed for decades: fair working conditions, health care, better wages and benefits.
Michelle Malkin correctly suggests that now is the time for consumers to speak out, as Amazon is just one of many on the list of targeted businesses:
If you don’t speak up, they’ll cave, too.
Before you pull your dollars from Amazon, I suggest using your customer clout to pressure Amazon to reverse course. These companies need to hear from customers and investors that suppressing conservative political participation is not good for their business. Stand your ground.
This isn’t just about ALEC. A dangerous precedent is being set, as unions and leftist radicals continue to intimidate or manipulate one corporation after another, from Target to Amazon, in a very organized effort to remake this nation.
Since Barack Obama announced his spontaneous, evolutionary support for gay marriage, strong support has rolled out pretty quickly. To look it all over, it might almost appear orchestrated. Always a pet cause of George Soros’, here is a timeline of some of his Center for American Progress’ involvement:
- October 2011- The Center for American Progress hosts a panel discussion on LGBT families for the Family Equity Council:
A panel discussion followed the presentation by Mushovic and Krehely. The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart moderated the panel, which included Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of the Family Equality Council; Bryan Samuels, commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families; and the Reverend Dr. Dennis W. Wiley, of the Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ.
- May 8th, 2012- The Center for American Progress gives Obama permission to “come out” on gay marriage. The piece was titled “Race & Beyond: Obama Can Come Out on Gay Marriage”:
Black voters will be enthusiastic and fully supportive of the president. Gay and lesbian voters, too. Why am I so sure? Well, it’s the nature of politics. At some points along the way, even the most favored politician will make decisions or behave in ways that even ardent supporters dislike. In this case I’d prefer to hear President Obama be as clear and affirmative on gay marriage as others in his cabinet have. In time, I believe he will.
Permission granted! The very next day…
- May 9th, 2012- Obama announces his support for making gay marriage legal.
- May 17th, 2012- In less than a week, according to the Center for American Progress, Obama has already converted black voters to his newly evolved opinion. That was quick! In their piece, titled “President Obama Is Ending Black America’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Policy”:
President Obama has single-handedly dismantled the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy within the black church — that silent disdain on issues of sexuality that renders black gay and transgender people all but invisible, shames people living with HIV, and masquerades as love-the-sinner-hate-the-sin compassion.
From what has been reported, Obama has not exactly “dismantled” anything, but after the current shaming of the black church, they can only hope to get the result this writer has already attributed to Obama.
- May 23, 2012- Target Stores unveil a new line of pro-gay marriage apparel for “National Pride Month” (H/T to Bill Clinton on the National Pride Month thing). 100% of the proceeds are going to the Family Equality Council. It’s unclear what a department store chain has to do with promoting an issue unpopular with so many of their shoppers, but apparently someone has convinced them it is a wise move.
Taking a look at the Family Equity Council website, a document from April is uploaded showing direct support from…the Center for American Progress and the Ford Foundation. For whatever reason, they were left off of the official “Supporters” page that features supporters such as General Mills, HBO and PepsiCo, but fortunately it is clear on this document, so they can get credit where credit is due.
This seems like an amazing amount of work to be done in response to an opinion from Obama that was supposedly a spontaneous response to a Joe Biden gaffe.
Just one more side note- apparently George Soros bought 500,000+ shares of Target stock, reported by Tekwala.com in the fall of 2011:
Soros bought more than 500,000 shares during the second quarter of this year and according to the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal “A half-million shares in Target isn’t that much…” I hope you all read that quote for what it was and took it too heart because 500,000 shares multiplied by approximately $50 per share, it’s not that much…
Soros is a big-name investor, and the fact that he’s buying Target (while selling some other retail stocks, including Macy’s, Lowe’s and Amazon.com) has attracted attention.
Draw your own conclusions.
It’s campaign season, and a president’s got to do what a president’s got to do. That means a sudden “evolutionary” switch by Barack Obama to support gay marriage. Celebrated by gay activists, it also presented its own dilemma…how to keep the black vote, especially within the strong black church community? The same way they fight any moral battle- shame them into it.
In a quick move to kick off the effort, the NAACP also suddenly “evolved” this past weekend, endorsing same-sex marriage as a civil right. Progressive black leaders such as Al Sharpton quickly embraced Obama’s move and just as quickly began to slam black pastors who were not immediately on board:
“When I hear them say they’re not going to vote because we prayed with him — I saw black ministers — the same ones you naming — get around and lay hands and pray for Bill Clinton when Bill Clinton, we know, committed a sin,” Sharpton proclaimed. “And we still voted for him and prayed for him. So what is the difference in this man taking a position and an opinion — not committing the act — just saying, ‘I’m alright with the legal right for people to do this.’”
Pastor Jamal Bryant suggested that Obama would have to do some serious damage control to overcome this endorsement:
“Black people are not going to switch over to the Republican party or put Romney signs on their front lawn. The critical concern is whether they will vote with apathy and not show up at the polls,” Bryant said.
“The reality is, President Obama better be in some black churches real soon clapping his hands, singing Amazing Grace and waving that right hand because the black vote is going to be very critical and apathy may win this election if we don’t get on the ground,” Pastor Bryant warned.
But it doesn’t appear that Obama has any intention of groveling to anyone, when he can simply count on his progressive backers to shame the black church into accepting gay marriage as a valid choice, thus allowing themselves to continue to support and vote for him. This really kills two birds with one stone. They are able to continue their war on religion and the destruction of doctrine while building back their base of support. It’s a big gamble with a big payoff.
Along with the more vocal statements from Sharpton and the NAACP, various black oriented blogs are helping the black church to understand why they are so “homophobic.” The Grio has a headline series on the topic, featuring the story “Is the Church to Blame for Homophobia in Black America?” One black theologian explains that it was really not blacks that ever thought this way, but manipulation by white conservatives in the civil rights era:
Aquarius Gilmer, a seminary trained social entrepreneur in the Atlanta area, believes we have a lot of misunderstanding regarding the history of the black church and homophobia/homosexuality.
“Homophobia was introduced as a wedge issue to divide the black community during the Civil Rights movement,” he said. “The idea was if white, conservative politicians could get blacks to focus more on personal piety and social justice, then they could distract us. And it has worked ever since.”
In the same piece, Pastor (?) Kevin Taylor explains how the word of a pastor has historically been used to keep blacks in oppression:
“Pastor’s word is considered infallible and leading people to hate their own children,” he said adding that when slaves, who could not read, listened to their masters read to them the story of Moses, they understood their situation as wrong according to the text.
“That was sheer brilliance. These folk had no formal education at all, yet they understood. The same book was used to keep people oppressed for years,” he said, “And is still being used today to engage in an illegal comeback.”
In another piece from The Grio entitled “The Historic Roots of Homophobia in Black America,” the following is pointed out:
Not unlike the Catholic Church, the black church has been no stranger to sexual repression, homophobia, sexphobia and sexual abuse.
This is exactly the same approach taken by Rev. Rebecca Turner in her Catholic bashing piece about the Catholic Church. In her case, it is an attempt to shame anyone who disagrees with her support of abortion. Different agenda, same approach.
So far, there are many who continue to stay true to their religious convictions and have not succumbed to the shaming techniques to date. Sophia Nelson fought back after being singled out on this issue:
During that same show, Dyson called out Sophia Nelson, Roland Martin, and the Rev. Jamal Bryant for what he felt was their “sanctification of bigotry in the name of faith.” Nelson, the author of Black Woman Redefined, an attorney, and frequent Grio contributor, sought to clarify her stance on the issue, which does still reflect that of many African-Americans.
In terms of the focus of gay marriage on the black community, Nelson said that the black community’s position is no different than that of Catholics, Muslims, and Jews, saying that all religious texts are consistent on the stance that marriage is between a man and a woman.
“It’s not just Christians, it’s a host of religions,” said Nelson, who had an opportunity to directly respond to Dyson on Wednesday night’s Ed Show. “I would welcome the debate anytime over whether marriage is between a man and a woman. The text is clear in Genesis 2, in Matthew 19, in Romans 1; we can go through a litany of scriptures. I can find no where in scripture that says anything about two men or two women.”
Publisher Kathy Clay-Little addressed this back in 2010:
Having worshipped almost exclusively in black churches for more than 50 years, I know the black church is not a raging bastion of homophobia. Many mainstream black churches believe the Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin, nevertheless, people who are openly homosexual serve in choirs and music departments, on usher boards and other auxiliaries in the church, and are accepted with loving and open arms in those churches.
Rev. Anthony Evans of the National Black Church Initiative was also strong in his stance, despite the statement coming from the NAACP:
On Monday, the president of the National Black Church Initiative denounced both the NAACP and President Obama for supporting same-gender marriage. Rev. Anthony Evans said churches with which he is affiliated will put their faith ahead of support for black leaders “every single time.”
“We love our gay brothers and sisters, but the black church will never support gay marriage,” Evans told CBNNews. Homosexual marriage, he added, “is and always will be against the ethics and teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The National Black Church Initiative comprises 34,000 black and Hispanic churches across 15 denominations.
It is encouraging to see respected members of the black church community standing strong for their beliefs, but the battle has just gotten started. They can expect the shaming of the black church to continue as long as it appears to be having an effect on the black vote in this election.
CNSNews reports today that the Obama administration is objecting to any attempt to bar same-sex marriage on military property or offer any protection for chaplains who refuse to perform such ceremonies on military property.
The Obama administration “strongly objects” to provisions in a House defense authorization bill that would prohibit the use of military property for same-sex “marriage or marriage-like” ceremonies, and protect military chaplains from negative repercussions for refusing to perform ceremonies that conflict with their beliefs, according to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
This is essentially forcing chaplains to go against their religious beliefs. Redefining the word “tolerance,” it is forced acceptance that they are striving for.
Would an atheist agree to be forced to perform sacred religious ceremonies? It doesn’t seem like it would be asking anything different than they are asking for here. Even the most liberal Christian should be able to see that it is wrong to force others to accept your particular worldview and give up their own religious convictions in the process. What happens when it is your turn to be forced to betray your own beliefs? And believe me, your turn will be coming if we allow this assault to continue.
This is the planned destruction of a foundation of this nation, which is the freedom of religion. All freedom loving Americans must fight this attempt while we still have the option.
Does somebody owe the University of Chicago Medical Center something, or are they just incredibly lucky? The Dept. of HHS has awarded them a big, fat grant of $5.9 million, chosen from thousands of applicants. There is a lot of speculation today about how this could happen and the lucky recipient, Obama buddy Dr. Eric Whitaker, who operates their UHI (Urban Health Initiative).
Before speculating, maybe we should take a look back to 2008 when Dr. Whitaker secured this job, with a little help from his friends. Start watching at the 1:35 mark. Reading from the June 30, 2008 Sun Times, the subject of this video seems to have no problem putting it all together, does he?
There also seemed to be a lot of questioning about how the UC Medical Center’s “patient dumping” program operated, and Dr. Whitaker had a hand in that as well, along with the entire Obama gang. Maybe you’ll remember a few tidbits about that program and just how well it benefited the citizens of south Chicago.
From the American Spectator, July ’09:
It wasn’t just Obama’s wife who was involved in creating the program. Senior White House adviser and political strategist, David Axelrod, and his PR firm in Chicago were retained to develop a media campaign to encourage area residents not to use University of Chicago as a medical facility. Senior White House official, and Obama friend, Valerie Jarrett served on the board of directors of the hospital and approved the plan for the Urban Health Initiative, and the hiring of Axelrod. And on the recommendation of then Senator Obama, Dr. Eric Whitaker, was named director of the Initiative in late 2007, after serving as the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, a job he got after Obama recommended him to then Gov. Rod Blagojevich via another Obama crony, Tony Rezko, a fund-raiser for Obama and now a convicted felon on federal corruption charges. Candidate Obama thought enough of the program to tout it as an example of how health care reform should be done.
From American Thinker, March ’09:
The resultant PR campaign was a study in Orwellian audacity. Chicago’s inner city residents soon began hearing that UCMC’s patient dumping program would “dramatically improve health care for thousands of South Side residents” and that the medical center was generously willing to provide “a ride on a shuttle bus to other centers.” Likewise, the people who ran the community hospitals to which these unwanted patients were being shuttled began to read claims in local media to the effect that the Urban Health Initiative was good for them as well. Dr. Eric Whitaker, the Blagojevich crony who succeeded Mrs. Obama as Director of the program, repeatedly assured gullible reporters that the financial impact on these hospitals would be positive: “The initiative actually is improving their bottom lines.” The CFOs of those hospitals were no doubt relieved to learn that treating Medicaid and uninsured patients is profitable.
And from the Washington Post, August ’08:
Opinion research showed that a small but passionate group of people already considered the hospital to be elitist, arrogant and lacking in “cultural empathy” for the surrounding economically depressed South Side neighborhood, according to a draft report obtained by The Washington Post. Some doctors in focus groups dismissed local health clinics as “wholly inadequate.”
More from that piece:
The vast majority of political contributions from university employees have gone to Democrats, and over the past nine years they have donated at least $373,000 to Barack Obama’s campaigns, records show. The university’s executive suites are home to a number of the couple’s closest friends and financial backers.
The medical center’s chairwoman, Valerie Jarrett, is a close friend and top adviser who travels frequently with Barack Obama. One of Barack’s best friends, Eric Whitaker, is executive vice president at the center and is now in charge of the Urban Health Initiative. Hospital board member Kelly R. Welsh is executive vice president at Northern Trust Co., which extended the couple a $1.3 million home mortgage shortly after Barack Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate. Dan Shomon, Barack Obama’s former campaign manager, is a university lobbyist. Jarrett, Whitaker, Welsh and Shomon all declined to be interviewed or did not respond to requests.
More recently, in September 2011, Whitaker had some problems with fraud charges concerning grants received by areas he oversaw, although he was not charged:
Under Whitaker, the Illinois Department of Public Health awarded Margaret A. Davis — the former program director of the Chicago Chapter of the National Black Nurses Association — a no-bid contract and seven AIDS- and cancer-related grants that became part of her $500,000 cash-siphoning scheme, prosecutors say.
According to federal subpoenas and other records, Davis’ June 9 indictment by a federal grand jury in Springfield is part of a larger criminal investigation involving the health department and other state agencies.
Whitaker — who’s now a top executive at the University of Chicago Medical Center — has not been accused of any wrongdoing. He says he couldn’t have known about the problems the Davis indictment describes and that he and his staff acted quickly when they became aware of problems with other contractors.
Since 2009 and as recently as March, federal authorities have sent the health department a total of four subpoenas seeking information on a broad range of “faith-based initiatives” and health-outreach programs that Whitaker oversaw. Those subpoenas name seven organizations — including Davis’ National Black Nurses Association — which, in all, got more than $2 million under Whitaker.
It seems like the Urban Health Initiative (UHI) by UC would not be the best place for us to invest tax payer dollars, all considered. It’s hard to see why they would be chosen from a field of thousands. Maybe it’s the fabulous speakers they have on campus these days, like this April appearance by Van Jones on his “Rebuilding the Dream” tour. Or maybe it’s something more.
According to the Washington Examiner, House Dems are ready to take on the election season with professional “race bait” training from someone who learned the art from the best. Their expert instructor, Maya Wiley, has plenty of connections current and past to make her the ideal choice.
Currently with the Center for Social Inclusion, Maya has a resume that any progressive would envy, including work with Soros’ Open Society, NAACP, Tides, and the ACLU:
Prior to founding the Center for Social Inclusion, Maya was a senior advisor on race and poverty to the Director of U.S. Programs of the Open Society Institute and helped develop and implement the Open Society Foundation – South Africa’s Criminal Justice Initiative. She has worked for the American Civil Liberties Union National Legal Department, in the Poverty and Justice Program of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. and in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Maya previously served on the boards of Human Rights Watch, the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota School of Law and the Council on Foreign Relations. She currently chairs the Tides Network Board and was named a NY Moves magazine 2009 Power Woman. In 2011 Wiley was named as one of “20 Leading Black Women Social Activists Advocating Change” by The Root.com.
Speaking of Tides, DiscoverTheNetworks reminds us that Wade Rathke was a founder and also happened to be a protege of Maya’s late father, ’60s radical George A. Wiley:
Maya Wiley, daughter of George A. Wiley, sits on the Tides Center’s Board of Directors.
The Tides Center’s Board Chairman is Wade Rathke, who is also a member of the Tides Foundation Board. Rathke, a protege of the late George A. Wiley, serves as President of the New Orleans-based Local 100 of the Service Employees International Union, and is the founder and chief organizer of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).
The days’ news is abuzz with new numbers showing the rise of obesity in the US, which fits in nicely with Michelle Obama’s pet project for us. Much as we would like to please her, the average citizen, on a daily basis, becomes more and more confused on just how we are to accomplish the lofty goal of achieving the perfect weight.
A day in the life of fictional citizen “O. Beese”:
Our friend “O’ works in the office of a large school district. In a morning rush, she starts her day with a cup of coffee at the Starbucks drive thru.
ALARM: Caffeine and highly caloric Starbucks beverages? Major faux pas. She’s failed before she even gets to school. Maybe she’ll do better when she’s safe at the government school, where those awful vending machines have been banned and government dieticians rule the day.
“O” didn’t have time to grab a bite, but she is offered a donut when she arrives at school. Trying to watch her diet after reading Michelle Obama’s latest piece in her women’s magazine, she turns it down and heads to the cafeteria, where students are having one of those wonderful government approved breakfasts. She opts for a carton of milk and glazed pancakes.*
ALARM: Tragic fail. The milk may or may not be hormone free, and pancakes are definitely not on Washington’s list of favored foods. Again, her slide downhill continues before she even sits down at her desk.
Despite being a dietician-planned menu, “O” has her doubts about her breakfast choice and vows to do better when lunch time rolls around. No longer depending on the cafeteria to make the decision, she wisely opens up her own sack lunch, where she has packed a bag of organic carrot sticks and a container of dressing to dip.
ALARM: Clearly, she has not been educated about the organic farmer scare going on in their county. Not to mention the fact that her dressing has high fructose corn syrup in it and tons of preservatives. She may be beyond help at this point, but she struggles on.
On her drive home, “O” passes a bake sale outside of the school. The band kids are trying to raise money to go to state competition. “O” is starving by this time and justifies a purchase to “help the kids.” Just as she reaches out to claim her brownies, several men in lemon yellow jumpsuits jump out of a car and shut the entire operation down. No more bake sales for you, Ms. “O”! You dodged the bullet on this one, thanks to your local food police being on top of things. She wonders what they do with all the confiscated cupcakes, and why they are all so overweight themselevs?? Hmmm…
As “O” rounds the corner into her neighborhood, the cute little guy from around the corner has a little lemonade stand set up. Apparently, it has not yet been discovered by the food police, and “O” decides to grab a glass while it’s still available. After all, the little guy’s mom said they used a sugar free mix. How bad could it be?
ALARM: She’s done it again. The mix is full of that cancer causing saccharine, not to mention artificial colors and flavors. It’s a nightmare in a glass. But wait! “O” had forgotten that they ended up clearing saccharin of being a cancer causer (after financially destroying it). They are on to other sweeteners now. In fact, it might be the only thing she can have at this point.
When “O” gets home, she gives her friend Nancy a call. Nancy and her husband sell their own eggs on a small farm they own outside of town. “O” has been told that grocery eggs are bad for you, so she’s been buying fresh, free range eggs from Nancy. Sadly, new zoning restrictions were put in place, so Nancy can no longer sell the eggs. “O” is confused. Just what eggs is she supposed to eat? Or are the anti-cholesterol people still saying she should have none at all? Oh, wait, they changed that, too. Just cook them in the “right” kind of oil.
By this time, poor “O” is getting discouraged. She wants to be that healthy, svelte woman that Michelle Obama described in the magazine, but with all these mixed signals, it’s getting tough! She sighs, sits down and turns on the evening news. Suddenly, this picture flashes from the screen:
“O. Beese” has finally had it. In a rage, she lunges the nearest Twinkie at the TV screen and throws open the ‘frig, where a half of a big, juicy red steak and a leftover baked potato from last night are waiting for her. Red meat? I know what you’re thinking, but if I were you, I wouldn’t dare say a word to O. Beese about it. This is just not the right time.
How might society have better served our subject? Certainly, we’d all agree that her goal of a healthy weight is a good one, but it seemed like the media and government weren’t exactly helpful. Who gets to be the Food Czar, who will pick and choose what foods and serving portions are just right for us? What if it is someone who happens to have investments in certain food markets? What if it’s based on campaign contributors or faulty science?
Considering that the “facts” on what and how we eat seem to change on a whim, how about we just encourage good, old fashioned moderation? I know “moderation” is a foreign word to our elite radicals who prefer total control of all-things-human, but wouldn’t it be a novel approach? Moderation in the amount we eat, drink, work, shop, exercise and everything else. But that’s too simple, isn’t it?
*- Taken from actual school cafeteria menus.
Groovy! It’s all Flower Power and retro 60′s! Radical training sessions just began around the country, preparing for the “99% Spring” movement, brought to you by Van Jones and the good people at MoveOn.org. Wait a minute….I thought the 99% phrase came from a grassroots, spontaneous movement. This sounds awfully planned to me. What do the original Occupiers think about all this?
Here are a few of the reactions so far, excerpted from both articles and commenters:
We cannot be bought! We will not be co-opted!
Moveon.org is a political lobbying organization that routinely backs Democratic candidates and was originally funded by the billionaire George Soros. MoveOn.org is considered the “lead lobbying group” for Obama’s reelection campaign, and has overt ties to various Wall Street entities.
Occupy the East End is in no way affiliated with moveOn.org, nor does it wish to become so. The attempt to take over OEE is a hostile takeover attempt to capitalize on the Occupy movement as a whole. Occupy Wall Street and occupy the East End as a movement rejects the political system as a broken structure that needs to be overhauled from the bottom up.
I’m not one of those people who goes around worrying allot about co-option. I assume that if we all have the same goals, it doesn’t matter much. I didn’t think that 99%Spring was out to co-opt Occupy Wall Street.
I was wrong.
The first clue that my evening might go otherwise was the sign-up table, where there were a bunch of Obama buttons for sale and one sign-up sheet for the oddly named Community Free Democrats (are they free of community?), which is the local Democratic clubhouse. That killed the “inspired by Occupy Wall Street” vibe right there.
Check out this entire page; lots of excellent points made. Here are a few:
Thus, The 99 Spring is a sly way to list-build, and by extension, fund-raise, always at the forefront of the mind of Democratic Party fundraisers, who share a close, revolving-door relationship with MoveOn.org.
The Smoking Gun: The 99 Spring’s Pushes Buffett Rule for “Tax Fairness”
In an interview, activist and author John Stauber — who founded the Center for Media and Democracy in 1993 and ran it until 2009 — laid it out: “Democratic donors and unions have — since the 2000 Nader/Gore/Bush election — flowed millions of election year dollars into non-profit organizations and liberal media to rally progressives and create an echo chamber that can impact politics in favor of Democrats.”
“Clearly this is precisely what’s at play for the 99% Spring effort led by MoveOn.org, Van Jones and other trusted Democratic Party collaborators. 99% Spring’s activities will surely be carefully and quietly coordinated behind the scenes to have a maximum positive impact in defeating Republicans and re-electing President Obama,” he continued.
More from Counterpunch:
350.org, it appears, is also “in on this game,” so to speak, as Bill McKibben has signed onto The 99 Spring’s “call to action.” Furthermore, 350.org organizer Joshua Kahn Russell, formerly of the Ruckus Society and Rainforest Action Network, also sent out an email blast on the 350.org list promoting The 99 Spring’s “week of action.”
Not so fast, says activist and author John Stauber, an expert in exposing corporate and political front groups.
“What’s going on is very simple. Massive amounts of soft money from unions, wealthy donors and foundations such as the Tides Foundation are flowing into NGOs willing to help support the re-election of Barack Obama, and this MoveOn front group is key to whipping liberals and progressive activists into line to attack Republicans for the cause. The brand and energy of Occupy Wall Street are being coopted by MoveOn’s 99 Spring for this purpose,” he said in an interview.
That’s right, OWS. Some of the very people you have been protesting against, while you were camping in the rain in 30 degree weather, are the ones now trying to co-opt your movement. I assure you, they were quite warm and comfortable in their offices while they were putting this together.
Life News reported this week that Planned Parenthood , along with an odd assembly of local churches, is sponsoring their very own “40 days for Prayer”, an obvious take off on the pro-life “40 days for Life” effort. According to Life News, California’s Humbolt County Clergy for Choice includes Temple Beth El in Eureka, Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, St. Francis in Fortuna, Old Town Gazebo in Eureka, and Arcata United Methodist. The prayers and program appear to have been put together by FaithAloud.org where questions are being referred. Faith Aloud’s Executive Director, UCC Reverend Rebecca Turner, seems to have a heart full of compassion for women and their issues, but the Catholic Church? Not so much.
Rev. Turner seems to be very respected in her efforts, as she was named “Person of the Year” in 2010 by the Abortion Care Network and in 2012 was named one of the “13 Religious Women to Watch: Changing the World for Good” by George Soros’ Center for American Progress. It may come as no surprise that Soros’ Open Society is also a financial supporter of Faith Aloud through The Groundswell Fund. Here are Faith Aloud’s proud supporters:
The Groundswell Fund
The Ms. Foundation for Women
The Joseph H. and Florence A. Roblee Foundation
The Sunnen Foundation
The Groundswell Fund is an umbrella for funding partners wishing to support “reproductive justice” efforts. Included in those they list in that category is the Tides Foundation and Open Society Institute.
YouTube videos reveal a Reverend Turner who speaks with a quiet, reassuring voice in a tone similar to Jim Wallis, soothing those who have chosen abortion and affirming their choice. Yet this same reverend seems to take a very different tone when it comes to the Catholic Church. From an online blog post written by Reverend Turner (emphasis mine):
To be pro-choice is not to be anti-Catholic. To be pro-women’s ordination is not to be anti-Catholic. To be pro-marriage equality is not to be anti-Catholic. To be disgusted by sexual abuse and a worldwide system for its cover-up is not to be anti-Catholic. These positions are pro-people, as the church should be. If these things ARE anti-Catholic, then that is an admission by the church that these things are endemic to their culture and are non-negotiable. As a minister I know that the Christian faith is not founded in policies that are anti-people, and I believe even the Catholic church can embrace the change necessary to be a healthy part of people’s lives.
The second concern is why there are so many pedophiles in the Catholic church. I can’t believe that anyone is born a pedophile, so how does one become one, and is there something inherent in the Catholic system that actually creates pedophiles (rather than just attracting them)? I would posit that yes, the Catholic priesthood system creates pedophiles. I realize what a controversial statement that is (and I will be called anti-Catholic for it-see paragraph above).
The Catholic system identifies young men very early that they believe have qualities for the priesthood, and they are set on a educational track that will get them there. I believe the vast majority of these young men enter this priest-track quite innocently. From early adolescence they are taught that any sexual contact-including touching themselves-is a sin. At the height of their sexual awakening and curiosity, they receive regular reminders of that sex is forbidden. (Forbidden=nasty.) Such forced repression is eventually going to have an outlet. Since that outlet cannot be an open, honest one, it looks for ways to express itself that can be easily hidden. The victims are the ones most vulnerable and least likely to report.
The third concern is that we have too many different words for sexual assault, depending on the age or gender of the victim and actual sexual acts involved. Let’s do away with this hierarchy of sexual assault-it is all rape. Whether the victim is a child or an adult, male or female, unwanted sexual contact is rape. And the Catholic church is perpetuating a rape culture.
Considering that patriarchy and intolerant Catholic Church teachings are standing in her way, what else can she do but attack them? After all, the end justifies the means, right? Sadly, the good Reverend feels her advice will fall on deaf ears, as she closes with this:
But I know they aren’t going to listen to me, because I’m a woman.
Do you want to listen to her? Here’s your chance:
And that, my friends, is what reproductive justice and “changing the world for good” is all about….Soros style, of course.