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.
Just in case you had any doubt whatsoever about Occupy being a communist movement, the Brecht Forum can alleviate that doubt for you right now. Take a look at one of their upcoming events:
November 21st, 2011 7:30 PM
From #occupy to revolution
Jed Brandt, Mike Ely, Eric Riebellarsi
Jed Brandt is an editor with the Occupied Wall Street Journal, and together with Eric Ribellarsi, has recently returned from deep investigations into the “movement of the squares” in Greece and the revolutionary movement in Nepal.
Mike Ely is a veteran revolutionary whose political life started with the early SDS and the Black Panther Party in the 1960s, and covers decades of experience attempting to build revolutionary organization, including among coal miners in the wildcat strike movements of the 1970s.
All three are participants in the Kasama Project — a communist effort to re-imagine and regroup for revolution in the U.S. All have been active in the Occupy Together movement in different cities.
Take note that these are the people producing the OWS Journal and themselves say they are active in the movement in various geographical locations. If that’s not quite enough for you, here is a little blurb from Kasama’s own site that might help:
”Kasama is first of all a communist project.
By that we mean: The problems of humanity require communism - a global change that passes through the radical overthrow of a society of rich and poor, the development of a socialist sustainability to save the biosphere, the liberation of women from ancient subordination, the final overthrow of racist oppressions in the U.S., the vicious demonization of same-sex relationships, an abrupt end to this militarized empire (its global networks of mercenary forces, its torture camps and endless wars), the social takeover of monster banks and corporations – all of which requires radically new forms of democratic control by previously powerless people.”
Certainly, there are many ill informed participants and supporters who truly don’t realize who is running the show, but to doubt it now is to close your eyes to what is being placed right in front of you. And Barack Obama continues to back this movement.
Occupy Pakistan broke out Wed. Oct. 27th, just days after the International Youth Conference & Festival (IYCF) took place in Islamabad. The timing being what it was, it appears that Pakistani youth received the very best training just in time for the big event.
The 2nd annual IYCF, which wrapped up less than a week ago in Islamabad, Pakistan, is co-sponsored by both AYM (movements.org) and our very own State Dept. Although the State Dept. logo is no longer evident on the movements.org site, it is clear from this event that they are still working on the same projects. Google and YouTube, movements.org sponsors, are also sponsors of this event.
According to their program, it looks like our dedicated Arab Spring training team wants to be sure these kids are well trained in all aspects of resistance. A few of the sessions include:
Digital Activism 101 – Citizen Journalism – Twitter Power – Building a Movement
“Resistance Through Cultural Expression” Workshops:
Street Art – Music – Filmography – Political Theatre
One of the attendees highlights some of the event opportunities like this on his Twitter feed:
@ SaadGH: 12 workshops from how to use street art for resistance, to how to manage a movement (from people who have done it) is the crux.
# IYCF2011 Film Screening- “A Force More Powerful” and Q & A with Ivan Marovic (International Centre for Non-Violent Conflict) theme 05
Dr. Ackerman was the Executive Producer of the PBS-TV documentary, “Bringing Down a Dictator”, on the fall of Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic.
In this brief overview, it should be clear that those looking for the same brand of “change” in Pakistan as our occupiers here have certainly been well prepared. If there is any doubt, consider this tweet from S. Rudak, one of the event’s speakers (also a co-founder of AYM movements.org):
The strike has begun in Islamabad. Nonviolent conflict 101 is in full effect & I love it! I stand in solidarity with Pakistani’s.
It’s clear that AYM and the State Dept. have not dropped the ball after the Egyptian revolution. There is much more work to be done.
In record time, the unions have apparently recruited their own private army to march on select greedy corporations without even receiving any union benefits. Such a deal! They call their new unpaid army “Occupy Wall Street” (OWS.)
This Friday, according to the union’s own websites, OWS has agreed to join forces with the Communications Workers of America (CWA), backed by other area unions including the IBEW. Plans have been made to meet and rally on Fri., Oct. 21st against Verizon. The striking CWA has yet to reach an agreement with Verizon, and OWS comes at such an opportune time!
On Thursday, every steward at every work location will be explaining to every member how we will join forces with the “99% group” and the “Occupy Work Street Group” to fight this Company. Verizon – the Poster Child for Corporate Greed - must never be allowed to destroy our future.
On Friday, CWA and the Occupy Wall Street protestors will join forces and go on a field trip. Call your Local or ask your steward to sign up for this trip. Call a retiree and get a commitment that they will join the fight by joining the trip.
Their rallying flyer explains:
Occupy Wall Street supports our struggle—they have joined our info picket lines and leafleted at VZ Wireless stores. They are heeding our call not to upgrade to Apple’s iPhone4S on Verizon’s network until Verizon and Verizon Wireless stop trying to downgrade our jobs.
Is this what a lot of the “occupiers” had in mind when they signed up for this gig? Did they expect to become unpaid and uncovered marching numbers for unions? How many of them are familiar with this strike and what the demands and negotiotions have been so far? Maybe it’s time for the OWS Army to wake up and smell the politically correct Fair Trade coffee.
Along with the many socialist and communist groups battling for a piece of the Occupy Wall Street movement, we would be remiss to leave out the contributions from the Marxist Brecht Forum, host of well known radical speakers such as Frances Fox Piven and Stephen Lerner. Their fingerprints appear to be found in multiple places.
Being the educators they are, our first connection was found in a special workshop put on just for OWS attendees on Oct. 4th, according to their event listings:
October 4th, 2011 5:30 PM
People’s University at #OccupyWallStreet
@ Freedom Square (Liberty Plaza) Corner of Liberty and Broadway
Economic Update with Rick Wolff
Occupy Wall Street continues to capture the imagination of millions across the globe. Join us for a series “People’s University at Occupy Walls Street” as we connect the dots, build bridges and move forward for a world free of capitalism and war!
As promoted on his own site, Professor Wolff describes it as a “teach-in”:
October 4, 2011 – 18:00 – 19:30
Zuccotti Park, Broadway and Liberty, New York, NY
Professor Wolff will participate in a teach-in at Occupy Wall Street. His talk will focus on Marxism today and in light of the crisis. He will speak about possible, practical solutions.
You can view Prof. Richard Wolff speaking at OWS here and also appearing on Russia Today (RT) to further stress the need for society to question capitalism and learn more about socialism. He teaches at the Brecht Forum and serves on its’ Left Forum board with Frances Fox Piven.
Fellow Brecht Forum thinker, Arun Gupta, was shown recently when The Blaze posted this video, also from Russia Today, where he describes the failure of capitalism:
Arun Gupta happens to be one of the primary faces behind the “Occupied Wall Street Journal” produced by his own Indypendent.org. Although The Blaze points out the funding connections to Soros, Tides, Code Pink and more, we need to recognize the support received from the Brecht Forum, where Brecht’s facilities serve as their workspace:
They worked through the night Thursday into Friday and will reconvene this afternoon to wrap up the production work at The Indypendent’s temporary workspace at The Brecht Forum, a Marxist culture center on the West Side Highway not far from the demonstration site.
Arun Gupta’s projects, according to The Baltimore Free School, include the following:
Arun Gupta has been an editor of The Indypendent (New York) since 2000 and was an editor of The Guardian (New York) from 1989-1992. He was active in the anti-apartheid divestment and Central America solidarity movements in the 1980s and studied philosophy, history and mathematics at the University of Maryland. Gupta’s writing has also appeared in AlterNet, Z Magazine, and other publications. In 2010, Arun Gupta was a Lannan Foundation Writing Resident.
Some of Gupta’s more disturbing writing includes a piece called “Off With Their Heads! Let’s Celebrate the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton by Reviving Another Timeless Tradition.” In this piece, he apparently advocates a return to the guillotine:
What better way to help the English to topple a government rooted in medieval despotism, overcome their class deference and end a culture of hereditary idiocy than chopping off a few royal heads?
Plus, imagine putting the Queen’s head in a jar on public display. It would be the ultimate tourist attraction.
In another piece called “The Merchants of Hate,” he is somehow able to find a way to blame every crazy killer in recent history on conservatives, including Jared Loughner of course. It’s quite a wild list of accusations, seen here.
The right thrives on mobilizing group resentment, and the range of its targets over the last 50 years is astonishing: gays and lesbians, African-Americans, Latinos, feminists, welfare recipients, reproductive-rights activists, Muslims, undocumented immigrants, government officials, prisoners, intellectuals, liberals, antiwar activists and unions.
Gupta has also apparently worked with Alberto Lopez, who we previously described as part of the October2011 movement in Washington, DC and mentor for progressive techies. Gupta and Lopez have worked together as hosts for a Brecht Forum event to honor Bhairavi Desai, the Executive Director of the Taxi Workers Alliance, held at SEIU headquarters in Nov., 2010. Both Gupta and Lopez have both appeared on Brecht’s Left Forum panels along with others such as Stephen Lerner, recently captured speaking at the Left Forum about using economic terrorism to crash the system.
Many fingerprints are to be found all over every aspect of OWS, but when assigning credit (or blame), surely the Brecht Forum and Friends are enjoying their share of this opportunity for “change.”
Whenever planning to attend an event, it’s always important to know who your hosts are. Sometimes you are dragged along to a party and have no idea who is hosting, and that can end up being a disaster. In the case of this month’s “October2011″ event planned to begin at the end of this week in Washington, DC, you may find some of the hosts quite interesting.
On their Facebook page, one wall post says “We will not co-opted! While we seek support from everyone agrees with our agenda, we will not be co-opted by political parties or organizations tied to them.” However, when visiting their site, October2011.org, you’ll find Code Pink, FireDogLake and others among the many involved organizations listed. The person who registered their website is David Swanson, currently the director of Washington’s progressive Democrats.com. Is it just me, or does that sound a bit political? In addition to the not-so-bipartisan David, the site itself (as well as David’s own site) is hosted by MayFirst.org, operated by Marxist Alfredo Lopez.
So we can get to know the hosts, here is a brief resume for each:
David currently works as the Washington director of Democrats.com, but has many other accomplishments including creating the radical site AfterDowningStreet, authoring “The 35 Articles of Impeachment and the Case for Prosecuting George W. Bush,” by Dennis Kucinich (2008), working for ACORN, creating websites for CODEPINK and Cindy Sheehan and much much more.
You can view his many reccommendations here including former employer ACORN, where he was a Communications Coordinator. Also available are references from unions such as the AFL-CIO and former employer Dennis Kucinich.
Alfredo, it may come as no surprise, is a 1960′s activist. He was a top leader in the Puerto Rican Socialist Party in the 70′s. In more recent years, he has worked to harness the power of the internet as well as win over the techies to the progressive cause. Very union oriented, he worked to get NY unions an online presence in the late ’90′s. He has taught at various institutions including Columbia University.
Alberto is co-founder of MayFirst.org where progressives can have their sites hosted. They work directly with riseup.net, where many Marxist and anarchist groups coordinate. As recently as March 2011, MayFirst.org sponsored a panel discussion at the LeftForum (board member Frances Fox Piven) entitled “The Revolution Just *Might* Be Televised,” at Pace University in NYC.
Apparently he is not too big on national sovereignty and borders. An example of his philosophy might be found in this quote:
Alfredo Lopez writes about our first event in Bolivia, “Through this work, we challenge the false and destructive border and national divisions imposed on the indigenous peoples of our Hemisphere and continuously imposed on us all. We will make this conference a truly Hemispheric conference.”
In his “Organic Internet” video, Alfredo references his mentor as having been Arthur Felberbaum of the Marxist Brecht Forum. In explaining the definition and uses of the “organic internet,” he states:
“Capitalism has never produced a thing in its’ entire history…”
Alfredo’s current focus appears to be organizing the techies and the internet worldwide:
With over a billion people engaging in a collective activity, today’s Internet is one of humanity’s largest social movements, reflecting the kind of social interaction and collective achievement activists like us struggle for world-wide: fundamentally collaborative, democratic and based almost entirely on tools and software that has been produced collaboratively, developed by large, democratic communities and distributed freely. It is truly international and resilient against constant attempts to control its direction and curtail its positive growth. Techies have been fundamental to this movement and will continue to play an increasingly important role in the progress of humanity.
In learning just a bit about only two of the many organizers of these events, we have to be very aware of who they are and what kind of nation they would plan to fill the void with. Unless you are a supporter of a global, Marxist government, I suggest taking an in-depth look at the “hosts” behind your next Occupation.
As progressives nationwide jump on board the Occupy Wall Street bandwagon, I visited the San Antonio “Occupy Wall Street” Facebook page to see what was going on in Texas. One of their commenters had posted a list of “11 Things the Wealthiest Americans Could Buy for the U.S.” MoveOn.org has a copy of the same poster as seen here.
The list was produced by United for a Fair Economy (UFE). One of their main projects is called “Responsible Wealth,” co-founded in 1997 by Bill “Planned Parenthood” Gates, Sr. They are self described as “advocates for economic justice” with “membership (is) open to those in the top five percent of U.S. income earners and asset holders…” The page also quoted Bill Gates, Sr.:
American society has made it possible for [wealthy] individuals to have an elegant life, first class education, and virtually unlimited options about where to go and what to do. Society does have a just claim on these fortunes, and it goes by the name of the Estate Tax.
You may remember some of the big players involved at the time, as they proudly shared the headlines of the day in their April 2001 newsletter:
The Philadelphia Inquirer called it “The Shot Heard ‘Round the Country Club.” The Los Angeles Times front page headline proclaimed “Drive to Kill Estate Tax Loses Steam.” Every major news organization reported the news: Bill Gates, Sr., George Soros, and several members of the Rockefeller family had joined with Responsible Wealth members in issuing a public “Call to Preserve the Estate Tax.”
Needless to say, Warren Buffett is part of the Responsible Wealth/UFE as well, along with the aforementioned Soros and Rockefellers.
Gates, Sr. and co-founder Chuck Collins spoke with PBS’ Bill Moyers about their movement in 2001:
“There’s a campaign to restore the inheritance tax. And it’s being led, believe it or not, by some of the country’s richest people including Bill Gates, Sr., the patriarch of the Gates family who heads the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Chuck Collins, an heir to the Oscar Meyer fortune who founded the organization called Responsible Wealth.”
COLLINS: “We believe that people who accumulate great wealth also have been lucky, have had the benefit of growing up and living in the United States, and have benefited from this enormous public investment.
One of our leaders in Responsible Wealth was standing next to President Clinton when he vetoed the repeal of the estate tax and he said, look, I grew up in New York City, I went to public schools and public libraries and museums. Someone else paid for those.
I went to a college; someone else paid for that. I went into the technology field, a whole infrastructure that had been built with public investment that someone else had paid for. I started a company and I hired professional people who had been trained through a subsidized education system. And I made $40 million. And you’re telling me society doesn’t have a claim on my wealth? You know… “
Wow, that sounds exactly like the philosophy of Elizabeth Warren. What are the odds?
“I hear all this, you know, ‘Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever. No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody.
“You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory — and hire someone to protect against this — because of the work the rest of us did.
“Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless — keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
Of course, they both fail to point out that the wealthiest Americans also paid much more in taxes to construct those roads and pay those teachers, but little details like that just spoil the argument, don’t they? But certainly, people of their stature would surely be aware of that. Could they possibly have something else in mind besides helping the little people? This interesting exchange between Moyers and Gates, Sr. helps clarify how it would work:
GATES: “You earned it” is really a matter of “you earned it with the indispensable help of your government.”
MOYERS: But isn’t it true that wealth helps create wealth? I mean, some rich people do very good things with their money. Andrew Carnegie built all of those libraries. I served on the board of the Rockefeller Foundation, they’re helping to nurture the Green revolution. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation crusading for public health around the world. I mean, would you be able to do that if your money were confiscated by the government?
GATES: Well, as you know, Bill, that choice is available to everyone. We’re not arguing about something that would change that whatsoever. The charitable gifts will be still be a deduction in computing estate taxes. So a wealthy person has an absolute choice as to whether they pay the tax or whether they give their wealth to their university or their church or their foundation.
Ohhh….a foundation. Like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation? Or Open Society? Doesn’t that enable you to avoid paying taxes while manipulating society with your progressive grants to support every global cause that you have deemed correct for society? Wouldn’t that cut back on the amount of money you would pay in tax after all? Something’s wrong with this picture.
Finally, back to the Responsible Wealth page. Coincidentally, it links at the bottom to Occupy Wall Street; what it is and how you can join. In addition to all of the other progressives promoting a revolution, it looks like the Billionaires Club is on board just as they always are. Some of the protesters out there might find it curious that the fat cats they are protesting appear to be the same people motivating the entire movement. Strange bedfellows, indeed.
Let the media spin begin, following this week’s ruling by a federal judge which allows most of the Alabama Immigration Law to go forward. On Thursday evening’s ABC World News, Diane Sawyer incorrectly referred to the law as the Alabama “Anti-Immigrant” law, which would almost give her viewers the impression that Alabama’s citizens are against people rather than for the economic survival of their state.
ABC talked with sympathetic principals and worried students. One of the students interviewed said “What is the definition on a citizen?” He clearly felt entitled to the benefits of citizenship, and who can blame him? There has been no serious enforcement of immigration law for a very long time, and ICE has refused to properly enforce it.
Strangely, when looking for an official definition of citizenship to offer this student, I found that official government sites such as the IRS still use the term “alien.” I thought we weren’t allowed to use that word anymore:
“You should first determine whether, for income tax purposes, you are a nonresident alien or a resident alien. Figure 1-A will help you make this determination.”
Wikipedia offered a basic definition which appears to require some specific guidelines for qualification as a citizen:
Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United State Constitution provides that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the juurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State Wherein they reside.”
Alabama will be attacked relentlessly by the left for enforcing the rule of law, yet no one is stepping up to take responsibility for the situation. These school kids are in this position because no one has been enforcing the immigration laws of this country, nor offering a common sense solution to the problem. Meanwhile, states are expected to absorb the overwhelming costs of support for non-citizens to the tune of $113 billion a year, according to a 2010 study:
The cost of harboring illegal immigrants in the United States is a
staggering $113 billion a year — an average of $1,117 for every
“native-headed” household in America — according to a study conducted by
the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
In addition to the economic impact, states are encouraged to turn the other way while the less-than-honorable among them break our laws and many are not deported even after breaking the law.
We may or may not agree with the version of enforcement Alabama has chosen, but it is a matter of following the rule of law and presenting the topic of immigration honestly, which MSM anchors like Diane Sawyer apparently choose not to do. You may recall back in May 2010, during the media uproar over the Arizona law, the head of ICE, John Morton, had this to say regarding enforcement:
Morton said his agency will not necessarily process illegal immigrants
referred to them by Arizona officials. The best way to reduce illegal
immigration is through a comprehensive federal approach, not a patchwork of
state laws, he said.
“I don’t think the Arizona law, or laws like it, are the solution,” Morton
But that really isn’t his job, is it? ICE is to enforce law, not pick and choose. The states can’t wait for that “comprehensive federal approach” he advocates because it is not forthcoming.
Not surprisingly, overwhelming us with uncontrolled immigration appears to have been recommended by radicals as far back as the Marxist Frankfurt School (point 5 below). These rules, according to Timothy Matthews from Catholic Insight are:
1. The creation of racism offences.
2. Continual change to create confusion.
3. The teaching of sex and homosexuality to children.
4. The undermining of schools’ and teachers’ authority.
5. Huge immigration to destroy identity.
6. The promotion of excessive drinking.
7. Emptying of churches.
8. An unreliable legal system with bias against victims of crime.
9. Dependency on the state or state benefits.
10. Control and dumbing down of media.
11. Encouraging the breakdown of the family.
Rather than refuse to follow the laws voted in by the representatives of this land, it seems like the sincere immigrant advocate would be working with shortening the cost and process of becoming a legal citizen rather than attacking those who want our laws enforced.
If the illegal immigration advocates are truly concerned for this segment of the population, why are they not proposing smart, common sense reform that would have a chance of passing? By refusing to address this huge and devastating problem, the federal government is forcing states to take action, yet attacking them when they do. One might think their intent could be to stir up discontent (and votes), not solve the problem nor enforce the law of the land. Maybe those who like to label others as “anti” immigrant should consider being a little more “pro” active in coming up with some real solutions. Any ideas, Diane?
This week, the Palm Beach Post published a story on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) increased use of the phrase “federal family” in addressing their preparedness for Hurricane Irene. If the federal government is to be our family, it’s got to be the kind of dysfunctional family with the crazy uncle and addicted sister-in-law.
This is not the first administration to use the phrase and considering the level of competence they have shown in the past, it is understandable why they would want a warmer image. However, according to the article, the use of this phrase has increased considerably under the Obama administration:
A Google search shows the phrase appearing 10 times on FEMA’s website during the Bush years. Since Obama took office, “federal family” has turned up 118 times on fema.gov, including 50 Irene-related references.
It should come as no surprise that the Obama administration would be fond of this phrasing. The far Left has always had the desire to replace our family structure and traditions, for they stand in the way of the power and agenda they would like to enforce upon us. Karl Marx pointed out the importance of eliminating the competition, as discussed in an article from Godonomics.com:
He advocated in the Communist Manifesto for the “forcible overthrow” of all existing social conditions. In other words, Marx says: Eliminate God, Family, and Church, and replace them with Statism and Government.
Obama himself showed disdain for the power held by traditional family values in this statement during his state senate campaign:
The right wing, the Christian right, has done a good job of building these organizations of accountability, much better than the left or progressive forces have. But it’s always easier to organize around intolerance, narrow-mindedness, and false nostalgia. And they also have hijacked the higher moral ground with this language of family values and moral responsibility.
It is also evident in his desire to have control of the minds of our children at an earlier and earlier age; from birth, if possible. This was the starting age group in his “Children’s First Agenda” educational funding plan which he proposed during his campaign. Why wait until parents have spoiled their little minds with religious myth and conservative values and traditions? It takes too long to overcome those things. Why wait?
This is nothing new. Humanist, psychiatrist and the first Secretary General of the UN World Health Organization, Dr. Brock Chisholm, was quoted as saying this back in 1946:
It has long been generally accepted that parents have a perfect right to impose any points of view, any lies or fears, superstitions, prejudices, hates or faith on their defenseless children…These things cause neuroses…”
In one final example from the federal dysfunctional family, you’ll undoubtedly remember Al Gore’s quote speaking to a group of youths in an attempt to discredit parents:
“There are some things about our world that you know that older people don’t know…”
The federal dysfunctional family has already succeeded in making many single mothers, unemployed workers and many others dependent on them for their most basic needs, but they won’t stop until they become the Big Daddy (or the meddling mother-in-law) for us all. Considering their own words, they may not have the best interests of their children in mind.