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.
A piece this week from ChristianPost, reveals that young people are running away from the church for a very clear reason…uncool Republicans (Rick Santorum as their accompanying photo, of course) and their totally judgmental conservatism. According to a study by “experts” Professors David Campbell (University of Notre Dame) and Robert Putnam (Harvard University), this “intolerant” and “homophobic” Republican brand is chasing our youth away. Their suggestions?
“The reason this is important for clergy is these are not people who are lost completely to religion. It’s almost like they’re an untapped constituency, or untapped market, that could be brought back to a different kind of religion, or a religion that they thought was stripped of politics,” Campbell argued.
There is a trend among nondenominational evangelical congregations that attract younger Christians to avoid involvement in politics. Campbell believes that the pastors of these congregations understand more intuitively what his data is showing more crudely – that young people dislike their religion mixed with politics.
Oh, so there is a way to save our youth? As a conservative, all you have to do is shut up about politics and any values that the Left may deem offensive in any way. If you don’t, you can consider yourself responsible for losing the next generation for Christianity. Apparently, the culture, media and school indoctrination has absolutely nothing to do with it; it is clearly the intolerant Republican who has caused this problem.
Looking further into the work done by these two experts, you may not be surprised to know they were the same duo that put together a “study” on the Tea Party last summer, finding that the Tea Party is even less popular than atheists and Muslims, defined by “low regard for immigrants and blacks.” According to Newsbusters:
Putnam and Campbell couldn’t more perfectly align themselves with the secular leftists at the Times. We’ll try not to question why a professor from Notre Dame would be championing the get-God-out-of-our-politics Left.
Their original piece entitled “Crashing the Tea Party” stated:
So what do Tea Partiers have in common? They are overwhelmingly white, but even compared to other white Republicans, they had a low regard for immigrants and blacks long before Barack Obama was president, and they still do.
Once again, these two seem to have a major issue with conservative thought and will come up with the data they need to justify it. What we need to know is whether or not the professors have any reason to approach these studies with an ideology of their own.
Taking a look at some of their other work, it is interesting to note a few of the recommendations for a book they penned together, “American Grace.” Here are a few:
“American Grace is an instant canonical text. It is indispensable for any grasp of our pluralistic religious culture. And it inspires us to deepen our ecumenical democracy!”
– Cornel West, Center for African American Studies, Princeton University
“In American Grace, Robert Putnam and David Campbell analyze survey data and congregational profiles to give us a comprehensive look at religion in our country, and reach conclusions that will provide much thought for reflection. For those interested in the role of religion in society, this is an important book to read. It will be the topic of much discussion.”
– Jim Wallis, President of Sojourners and author of God’s Politics and Rediscovering Values
A book recommendation does not necessarily mean much in itself, but close ties do. Putnam has apparently known Barack Obama and Jim Wallis for some time and quite well. Obama, while an Illinois senator, was part of Putnams’ Harvard based “Saguaro Seminar”, meeting over a period of several years to discuss his “building social capital” theories. Among the other participants, we found Jim Wallis, George Stephanopolous, Vanessa Kirsch and many others with ongoing connections to the current administration.
Touchstone Magazine had this to say about the Saguaro group:
Participants have enjoyed influence. Both Stephen Goldsmith and John DiIulio, intimately involved with the White House faith-based office under George W. Bush, attended the seminar. And now Obama has filled top White House posts with Saguaro alumni. Wallis and Caldwell are now close spiritual advisers.
Christianity Today had more to add:
It was a Harvard seminar in 1997 on social capital—the human equivalent of greenbacks. Compared to the 32 others in the room, Obama was pretty broke in that regard; the seminar helped turn his little pile into a fortune.
Though the Saguaro Seminar, which met every few months from 1997 to 2000, remains an unfamiliar chapter in Obama’s well-thumbed biography, over the last decade, he has continually built on relationships, ideas and political skills gleaned from or reinforced by those meetings.
Obama has hired fellow Saguaro alumni for top White House posts; solicited two more, including Wallis, to be close spiritual advisers; and implemented a host of ideas kicked around those tables 10 years ago. In ways large and small—from extending an olive branch to Muslims overseas to revamping the White House faith-based office to seeking common ground on abortion, Obama has echoed themes straight from the Saguaro playbook.
In later years, Putnam (along with other contributors) actually put a book out for a UK audience called “The Age of Obama”, discussing how the likelihood of a “British” Obama was greater now due to social changes and diversity.
Finally, we find the inevitable connection to George Soros. In 2006, Putnam was the keynote speaker for the 11th Open Society Forum hosted by the Open Estonia Foundation, which is, of course, supported by “Hungarian-born American philanthropist George Soros.” and is a member of the Open Society Institute.
Considering the source, it would be advisable that pastors don’t make a quick move to wipe out “offensive” doctrine and remove any traces of conservative opinion in a frantic attempt to save their youth. In fact, they may want to begin some serious studies of their own, taking a look at just what direction today’s “experts” are pointing them in.
Gateway Pundit is reporting that a source is naming the data mining business “Catalist” as the source of the mysterious “Women of the 99%” illegal robocalls this past week. Although it is no more than an unnamed source at this time, keep an eye on this one. Catalist has quite a history.
The president of Catalist happens to be Harold Ickes, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff under Clinton. According to Wikipedia:
Ickes is a graduate of Stanford University (1964, AB, Economics) and Columbia Law School. Ickes was a student civil rights activist in the 1960s and took part in Freedom Summer.
Discover the Networks has a few more tidbits on Mr. Ickes:
- Co-founder and unofficial director of the Democrat Shadow Party
- Sought chairmanship of the Democratic Party in February 2005
- Ran Hillary Clinton’s successful Senate campaign in 1999-2000
- Former Deputy Chief of Staff for the Clinton White House
- In his law practice, he represented Mob-run labor unions with ties to the Lucchese, Colombo, Genovese, Gambino and other major crime families.
We can expect Catalist to be very busy in this election year, as they were back in 2008. Why, as recently as Feb. of this year, The Blaze posted a story about their involvement about a need to upgrade our voter registration system. The Blaze noted that Catalist might just not be the most unbiased source in this case, quoting the Atlantic’s piece entitled “How the Democrats Won the Data War in 2008.” :
Get-out-the-vote operations mounted by the Obama campaign, the Democratic Party and progressive organizations mobilized more than one million dedicated volunteers on Election Day. But it was buttressed by a year-long, psychographic voter targeting and contact operation, the likes of which Democrats had never before participated in. In 2008, the principal repository of Democratic data was Catalist, a for-profit company that acted as the conductor for a data-driven symphony of more than 90 liberal groups, like the Service Employees Union—and the DNC—and the Obama campaign.
Indeed, Bloomberg also wrote about Catalist’s huge part in the 2008 election:
It may be the money that he is spending on a database, though, that helps determine whether the Democrat wins the race for the White House this year. And he may have one of Hillary Clinton’s top supporters, Harold Ickes, to thank for it.
Ickes, a Democratic media consultant and former Clinton adviser, has spent four years and $15 million building Catalist, a database that scores 200 million Americans according to their likelihood to vote for party candidates. Illinois Senator Obama, 47, is one of his biggest clients.
You’d have to wonder how George Soros could stay out of this, since he has such a keen eye for successful ventures. According to this Muckety Map, he is very closely connected. In fact, the Washington Times reported that Soros has directly funded Catalist:
Mr. Soros also has funded Catalist, which was created by Harold Ickes, the deputy White House chief of staff for Mr. Clinton who chaired Mr. Clinton’s presidential campaign in New York in 1992, was a senior adviser to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign and worked as a political strategist for Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.
So, is Catalist indeed behind these robocalls? And if so, exactly who funded this project? Considering who we are working with here, it looks like something we need to know.
Last night on Hannity, we were shown the edited portion of the video from Obama’s days at Harvard, where he introduced Professor Bell to the protest crowd gathered. What had been edited out was Obama’s figurative and literal embrace of Dr. Bell. It was just another few seconds, but the meaning of this embrace does matter very much. When Obama asks the crowd to open their hearts to Dr. Bell’s words, he is all too aware of what those teachings were.
In addition to the associations to Farrakhan and other points made here yesterday, we can add the following points about Dr. Bell and his ideology:
His book is suggested reading for young Communists:
He is referenced at length (pg. 1) in a piece about why blacks should have no fidelity to the Constitution:
He was a sponsor of “New Politics”, a socialist publication, along with Frances Fox Piven, Noam Chomsky, Cornel West and others:
According to a former student, he encouraged focus on the Black Panthers:
Whenever and wherever I encountered Professor Bell on campus, he would take a moment to ask how my research was developing and offer a nugget of advice or support. He enthusiastically encouraged me to pursue my then nascent interests in the Black Panther party and on science fiction and technology in black culture. The latter project owed an immeasurable debt to the speculative turn he took in “Space Traders”, a chapter of his widely-read book Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism.
He has multiple alleged connections with Bill Ayers according to this video:
Here is one of their shared petitions:
Finally, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan was very connected to the professor:
As articles editor for the Harvard Law Review in 1985 Kagan helped shepherd into print a racially noxious story by a radical law professor and architect of Critical Race Studies, which is essentially “blame whitey” in legal vernacular.
This was no literary fiction. It was the kind of story that would never get past Tina Brown at the New Yorker. What Derrick Bell, the author, was doing, observes legal scholar Arthur Austin, was “making broadside comments on the tyranny of white people.”
Austin, in an article, ranked Bell’s fable one of the top 10 politically correct law review articles of all time.
Bell’s fiction was a way to circumvent law review standards. He made outlandish statements through a fictional alter-ego, modeled after a six foot three black woman in Portland, Oregon that would have been impossible to sustain with the logic and evidence required in a non-fiction piece. The goal was to access a readership that otherwise would not have countenanced
such hateful notions.
“What the hell was that doing in a law review article?” asked Professor Austin in an interview with JewishWorldReview.com yesterday. “Bell would publish these things in legal journals that had nothing to do with the law.”
Kagan was his enabler. She helped get something published that turned on all kinds of noxious sentiments about society and a relativistic view of the law.
“Several editors worked with me on the piece but Elena Kagan was the articles editor [known officially as supervising editor],” Bell told JewishWorldReview.com. “There was real dedication and support by Elena.”
Kagan’s participation in an article that replaced facts and logic with subjective narrative does not bode well for her tenure on the Court. Considering that as articles editor of the Harvard Law Review she willingly discarded standards there is good reason to think that she might do this on the Supreme Court.
Critical Legal Studies — a school of thought which deems law fundamentally oppressive and renders everything completely relative — is the linchpin of judicial activism. If everything is the product of subjective perspective then the law becomes whatever judges make it.
As Bell asserted yesterday in an interview with JewishWorldReview.com, “What the hell is the rule of law? The law is whatever you say it is.”
There is no intent here to paint Dr. Bell as an evil person. He undoubtedly believed very much in what he said, taught and did throughout his life. The concern lies in the fact that his past was socialist, divisive and radical, and our president urged others to embrace it. Coupled with the many other radicals who have surrounded Obama throughout his life and career, why would anyone continue to doubt the direction he is taking us?
Today’s Breitbart.com has announced a video to be released, showing Harvard law student Barack Obama defending Professor Derrick Bell Jr. in a protest. According to Breitbart.com, the original video has been heavily edited and more will be shown on Hannity tonight.
In the meantime, I thought it might be interesting to have a few fun facts about the late Professor in advance of the show.
This obituary, written upon his death, had some interesting points to make:
Bell was credited with developing “critical race theory,” which suggested that the U.S. legal system was inherently biased against African Americans and other minorities because it was built on an ingrained white point of view. He argued in his many books and lectures that the life experiences of black people and other minorities should be considered in hiring decisions and in applying the law.Bell maintained that the standards for promotion and tenure at law schools – and Harvard, in particular – were inherently discriminatory and excluded a broad group of minorities. By hiring only graduates of top-tier law schools who had clerked at the Supreme Court, he argued, academia was populated by a uniform group of standard-issue professors, most of them white men.
Some scholars, both black and white, challenged Bell’s ideas, as well as his strong support of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Nonetheless, Bell remained one of the country’s most outspoken public intellectuals until his death.
That’s Derek Bell’s bottom line: if it comforts whites, it’s bad; if it comforts blacks–i.e., Farrakhan–it’s good. Bell, along with Farrakhan and so many others, offers victimization as a consolation.
Progressives nationwide are licking their chops as advertisers obediently drop sponsorship of Rush Limbaugh’s show. As always, Republicans are playing defense and the actual issue has become totally lost. Suddenly, we have moved in record time from an issue of religious freedom to “women’s rights” to yet another case of Rush Limbaugh Derangement Syndrome.
What happened to the outrage about an administration that seeks to tell religious institutions that they must go against their faith?
Why does anyone feel a personal obligation to apologize for Rush Limbaugh? Rush is quite capable of apologizing for himself, which he did. Republicans and conservatives are constantly playing defense because they allow progressives to start the game on offense every time.
Despite the fact that quotes have been gathered from Santorum, Romney, Paul, Boehner and more, Republican strategist John Feehery said the GOP candidates have so far missed an opportunity to forcefully distance themselves from Limbaugh’s comments, allowing the president to take advantage.
“He’s looking like the hero here,” Feehery said of Obama. “If the Republicans were smart, they would have done the same thing: given her a call and said we’re sorry about this attack.”
No. I want a new coach. This coach is telling Republicans to play defense for something they never said nor endorsed. Coach seems to have taken his eye off the ball. Maybe a new coach would advise that they bring the game right back to the original issue, religious freedom.
Religious freedom has too much at stake for a defensive strategy once again. Now let’s play ball.
Not just this week, but way back during the last campaign, Michelle Obama tried to tell us there would be days like this, but maybe we weren’t really listening. She was pretty frank in letting us know that we were in for some big changes; perhaps to a new global, multicultural world.
Does this ring a bell from way back when?
“Barack knows that we are going to have to make sacrifices; we are going to have to change our conversation; we’re going to have to change our traditions, our history; we’re going to have to move into a different place as a nation.”
She reinforced this vision for America just this week at an appearance in Louisville, explaining that a vote for Barack is obviously a determining factor in who we are, not who we have been:
“Truly, the choice we make will determine nothing less than who we are as a country, but more important it will determine who we will be,”
Examples happening this week are just a few things that point to the type of nation they apparently envision. First up, Bryan Preston writes about “Sharia Comes to Pennsylvania”, where a judge appears to have trumped traditional US law with shariah law. The judge said:
Before you start mocking someone else’s religion you may want to find out a little bit more about it it makes you look like a dufus and Mr. (Defendant) is correct. In many Arabic speaking countries something like this is definitely against the law there. In their society in fact it can be punishable by death and it frequently is in their society.
The defendant had charges dropped against him, since it was clearly the plaintiff’s own fault for disrespecting Islam, in the judge’s thinking. A lack of multiculturalism was the real problem.
In another of this week’s events, traditional laws would no longer apply, as special arrangements are being proposed by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck for the impounded cars of illegal immigrants. “Jack Dunphy” writes:
I’ve discussed LAPD Chief Charlie Beck’s proposal to change the department’s policy governing how officers deal with cars driven by unlicensed drivers. Beck has maintained that impounding cars driven by unlicensed drivers, many of whom in Los Angeles are illegal immigrants, is “unfair.” Under a previous version of his proposed new policy, officers would have been required to wait for a “reasonable period of time,” whatever that might mean, for the driver to summon a licensed driver to whom the car would be released.
Most everyone would agree that we have always been a nation that has welcomed people from many cultures, but now we are at the point where each group apparently has its’ own set of laws that do or do not apply. What is the end goal? It seems like there is an effort to break down the traditional American culture and replace it with global, multicultural socialism. No more Judeo-Christian basis for law and morality- no more nasty “borders” or the pesky burden of becoming an actual citizen.
You can’t help but be reminded of Michelle’s dream for the New America, as she explained that a vote for Barack will continue to determine “who we are as a country, but more important it will determine who we will be.” Where we used to be a country with sovereignty, borders and laws that were to apply to all, perhaps what is being envisioned is a multicultural land where every court will pull out a different law book depending on whose culture they are dealing with that day; a land where no citizenship is required nor borders enforced. After all, we are all citizens of the world, no?
The not-so-spontaneous Occupiers are planning a new action for February 29th — “Shut Down the Corporations.” As is usually the case, this appears on the surface to be another David and Goliath battle between the little people and the big, bad, evil capitalists. However, looking behind the curtain, it is more like Occupy acting as a private army for all the same progressive players. This is not an attack on corporate America. This is an attack on selected conservative corporations only.
The actual target of this event is the membership of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group that represents everything they despise:
A nonpartisan membership association for conservative state lawmakers who shared a common belief in limited government, free markets, federalism, and individual liberty.
Considering ALEC membership allegedly includes many in the GOP, the Koch Brothers, Focus on the Family, the Heritage Foundation and more, one can see why few groups would make a better target. It not only includes their least favorite people, but ALEC is blamed for slowing down their revolutionary efforts in Wisconsin:
Wisconsin has become the critical start point for a much broader assault on worker’s rights and unions. Ohio has seen similar protests over a very similar bill. And states like Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Jersey and new Mexico are considering additional limits on public employee rights, though not to the extent of Ohio and Wisconsin.
The origins, as I wrote about Monday, come from ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, a key driver in the conservative movement. One reason why you see similar bills from Republicans pop up in multiple states is ALEC, which pushes an agenda for state legislators to pick up and run with. We know that ALEC brought together Walker and southern state Governors after the elections to discuss so-called “right-to-work” legislation. We know that ALEC commended Walker for his first successful piece of legislation, the bill slashing business taxes that created the budget deficit which he is now exploiting to take away public employee rights. They are basically behind all of this.
No one networks like these people do, but they certainly don’t seem to appreciate it when it is employed by conservatives.
As is always the case, it is no coincidence that ALEC also seems to be despised by Van Jones, his close associate and Wiccan activist Starhawk, George Soros funded groups, and Professor Joel Rogers.
Admit it….we are all very lacking in persuasive communication skills. Both progressives and conservatives are guilty of the “I’m right and you’re stupid” approach. Round and round we go, spewing our “indisputable” opinions, but what effect is it having? Are we winning anyone over with the approach that they either agree or they are stupid/insane/evil/racist? Is the growing division between us healing our country in any way?
I just finished “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin“ and was struck with the simple yet clever communication skills he put into practice. Considering that his fellow Philadelphians put him in charge of just about everything, I’m sure we’d agree that he was on to something.
“Use your words.” That’s what moms are always advising their little ones who are having trouble expressing themselves, and Ben learned to be very selective in the words he used:
“…retaining only the habit of expressing myself in terms of modest diffidence; never using, when I advanced any thing that may possibly be disputed, the words certainly, undoubtedly, or any others that give the air of positiveness to an opinion; but rather say, I conceive or apprehend a thing to be so and so; it appears to me, or I should think it so or so, for such and such reasons; or I imagine it to be so; or it is so, if I am not mistaken. This habit, I believe, has been of great advantage to me when I have had occasion to inculcate my opinions, and persuade men into measures that I have been from time to time engag’d in promoting; and, as the chief ends of conversation are to inform or to be informed, to please or to persuade, I wish well-meaning, sensible men would not lessen their power of doing good by a positive, assuming manner, that seldom fails to disgust, tends to create opposition, and to defeat every one of those purposes for which speech was given to us, to wit, giving or receiving information or pleasure.”
He goes on to include this quote:
Pope says, judiciously: “Men should be taught as if you taught them not, And things unknown propos’d as things forgot;”
You can immediately see how these chosen phrases won’t put anyone on the defense, as it would have if he had expressed it in a indisputable, know it all way. There’s nothing complicated about this technique. Parents use a similar approach when they ask their children which choice they want instead of giving them the power of a yes or no answer. The child feels empowered instead of defensive, like it was their decision all along.
He brings this technique up again later in the book:
I made it a rule to forbear all direct contradiction to the sentiments of others, and all positive assertion of my own. I even forbid myself, agreeably to the old laws of our Junto, the use of every word or expression in the language that imported a fix’d opinion, such as certainly, undoubtedly, etc., and I adopted, instead of them, I conceive, I apprehend, or I imagine a thing to be so or so; or it so appears to me at present. The modest way in which I propos’d my opinions procur’d them a readier reception and less contradiction; I had less mortification when I was found to be in the wrong, and I more easily prevail’d with others to give up their mistakes and join with me when I happened to be in the right.
In that section, we also see that it is a clever way to be able to back off a previously held opinion that turns out to be wrong. Call it “saving face Ben’s way.”
His persuasive skills were clearly well known to everyone, as his assistance and advice was often sought out when others needed help in arguing for their causes. One example was the chaplain who was not having any success at getting the enlisted men to attend his services. Ben had a very quick and easy fix for that particular problem:
When they enlisted, they were promised, besides pay and provisions, a gill of rum a day, which was punctually serv’d out to them, half in the morning, and the other half in the evening; and I observ’d they were as punctual in attending to receive it; upon which I said to Mr. Beatty, “It is, perhaps, below the dignity of your profession to act as steward of the rum, but if you were to deal it out and only just after prayers, you would have them all about you.” He liked the tho’t, undertook the office, and, with the help of a few hands to measure out the liquor, executed it to satisfaction, and never were prayers more generally and more punctually attended; so that I thought this method preferable to the punishment inflicted by some military laws for non-attendance on divine service.
Clearly, we can all make inroads by being more careful in our wording and instead of putting others on the defense, allow them to feel that their opinion is valued. Try Benjamin Franklin’s simple yet effective power of persuasion and if all else fails, serve rum.
According to The Weekly Standard, Senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett had quite a bit to say this past Sunday at the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. A local reporter seen in the video below describes it as more of a “political rally or early campaign stop.” Her clear promotion of Barack Obama, along with the usual Republican bashing, was followed by the pastor’s own attack on candidate Newt Gingrich.
Knowing how important the issue of separation of church and state is to progressives (well, at least sometimes), one has to wonder how this possibly could have transpired. The IRS site seems to state how they feel about it quite clearly (emphasis mine):
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.
What they did at the pulpit on Sunday sure looked like a public statement to me. It should be interesting to see just how quickly the IRS pursues this, as I’m sure they would not want to indicate any kind of bias in the enforcement of our tax laws.
It’s a good thing the LA Times is offering an English-to-Racist/Racist-to-English dictionary now. For those of us without an interpreter, it can become quite a confusing topic. According to the LA Times, this recent picture seen on conservative blogs is obviously racist (at least to those who have the dictionary for interpretation).
To the uninformed, this might appear to be a jab at an “elitist” attitude, but we’d be wrong, wouldn’t we? According to their interpretation, it is now a racial slur to compare someone of color to Marie Antoinette.
What becomes confusing is the fact that a few other first ladies have previously been compared to Marie Antoinette as well. Apparently, those doing the comparing at the time were unaware of the obvious racial undertones associated with this characterization. Ask Nancy Reagan or Hillary Clinton:
”Even her staunchest defenders concede that Nancy Reagan is more Marie Antoinette than Mother Theresa.”
”Hillary Clinton Proves Herself the Marie Antoinette of the Keystone State: Let Them Eat Cake.”
Perhaps more frightening, Paul Ryan does not even escape the comparison on this Wisconsin blog post. That kind of omits any forthcoming charge of sexism, doesn’t it? I guess Marie Antoinette is an equal opportunity slur.
To the average person, it might not immediately make sense that comparing Michelle Obama to Marie Antoinette would be any different than comparing Nancy or Hillary. Fortunately, we have the LA Times to help us crack that secret race code once again.
Today’s latest “Progressive Hypocrisy of the Day” feature is the letter signed by members of Congress, demanding that Lowes reinstate its advertising dollars for the TLC show “All American Muslim”, despite the fact that ratings had tanked and other advertisers had pulled out as well. I had always thought that private businesses were in charge of their own advertising budgets, but apparently some of our representatives now see themselves a some kind of governmental ad agency.
Personally, I don’t have a big problem with private citizens choosing to boycott a show they don’t agree with or boycotting an advertiser they don’t agree with. However, in this case, we are talking about government representatives with the power to have an effect on private business through “favors” and legislation. Seems like it might be a bit intimidating or even threatening coming from a source with that kind of power over your future business endeavors. In fact, I would say this sounds more than a little intimidating:
Calling the Lowe’s decision “un-American” and “naked religious bigotry,” Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, told The Associated Press he would also consider legislative action if Lowe’s doesn’t apologize to Muslims and reinstate its ads. The senator sent a letter outlining his complaints to Lowe’s Chief Executive Officer Robert A. Niblock.
At the same time, I didn’t see these representatives having any problem with multiple boycotts asking for advertisers to drop sponsorship of shows like “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” or “Glenn Beck”. In fact, I wrote about the usual suspects behind the Palin show boycott back in Nov. 2010:
Leading the charge to shut down the Palin series has been Michael Kieschnick, who has his hands in just about everything, working with George Soros, Jim Wallis, Andy Stern, Drummond Pike and many more.
It’s evident that a company may drop a conservative oriented show at any time, as long as they are aware that any progressive or politically correct shows must continue to be supported, no questions asked, with their private ad dollars. If this is how our elected representatives are running their new ad agency, I think I’d rather give the account back to Darrin from Bewitched. At least he and Larry were actually trying to help their clients make some money.