A socialist hellhole 2

Monica Showalter, writing at Investor’s Business Daily on the rival but similar socialist programs of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, gives this picture of a country where the policies both of them favor have been put into practice:

Amid all the free stuff, bankruptcy and shortages have come, the miserable process of “running out of other people’s money” as Lady Thatcher put it.

Standing in line for basic goods as Cubans do occupies the lives of millions of Venezuelans.

Some are clubbed to death as goods are fought over.

Young people prefer drug-dealing to college, given the absent opportunities for advancement.

Prisoners eat cat meat.

Corruption is rampant and central planning mismanagement ensures that food rots on the docks.

Hospitals are crumbling from shortages, with vital cancer and hemophilia medication unavailable. Maternity wards are overrun by filthy opossums — killing dozens of newborns as they spread disease.

With the focus on putting dissidents in prison, crime has overrun the country — with even a Miss Venezuela slain.

Family tombs are broken into and robbed of bones.

The scale of the horror, from birth to death in what Chavez called a socialist “sea of happiness” is unspeakable, and thousands of educated Venezuelans are fleeing.

Enough said?

Posted under Leftism, Marxism, Socialism, United States, Venezuela by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

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Why the New Left won the Cold War 8

If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject.             – Ayn Rand

The political philosophy of the New Left is weak, shallow, and in its expression by some of its gurus, patently absurd. But it has won the West. It has won the academies of the pan-European word, and through them generations grow up steeped in the creed.

What is the creed, and why has it won?

It has won because it echoes a Christian teaching, to which some 8,000 generations (reckoning 4 generations per century) of Europeans have been subjected.

It is the notion that to be a good person you must pity other people and make sacrifices for them. Only if you do that, are you worthy and virtuous.

It has been drummed into every Christian from his earliest years, so even if he rebels against his religion, his class, his culture, his race, his nation, he clings to that idea as to the moral kingpin of his universe. Take it away, and the center will not hold.

The New Left was a rebellion by affluent, middle-class adolescents (some of them well advanced in middle age) against their class, culture, race, and nation, starting  about twenty years after the end of the Second World War (1939-1945).

The old Left, a secular version of Christianity, won the support of middle-class intellectuals by directing pity on to the working-class. The intellectuals would, at whatever cost to themselves, lead the oppressed and exploited workers in revolution. In Russia to start with, they did just that before the end of the First World War.

By the late 1960s, the old Left, in the person of dictators and their henchmen, was actively oppressing millions, including the populations of the Eastern European countries and a part of Germany.

So the old Left lost its appeal partly because the Leftist regimes could not easily be held up as models of paradise on earth. In addition, the working-class in the West had generally become prosperous enough to be content with its lot.

The New Left found new victims to feel sorry for. It found them first abroad, in the Third World, which was not prosperous. It declared the people of Third World countries to be exploited and oppressed by European colonialism and imperialism, even if their countries were no longer colonies or parts of empires. Its concern extended to Third World descendants who lived in the First World.

Then it declared that in the First World, women were victims of male-dominated societies. Many women volunteered for the role.

Next, homosexuals were declared, and many declared themselves, victims of heterosexual-dominated First World societies.

The main thing was, New Left intellectuals found new groups to pity, and so new sources for pride in a feeling of self-worth.

After 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War – of which the West was the immediate winner – the old Left was held by Western intellectuals (whom Thomas Sowell calls “the self-annointed”) to have been the wrong Left. The New Left, they maintain, is the politically correct Left.

The strange thing about the (new or old) Left’s remedy for human suffering is this: While only the individual can feel pain and suffer distress; while no masses, no group, no class, no race as such can suffer or feel anything at all; yet  the Plan of the Left to remedy suffering is always one that sacrifices individuals for the sake of the group. It is always a Plan that is implemented regardless of individual suffering. So important is the Plan itself, that any number of individuals may be persecuted, silenced, tortured, enslaved, killed for it. 

There is no collective remedy for human suffering. The only prescription that works is individual freedom; leaving people alone to serve their own purposes in the manner they choose for themselves. (Nothing need prevent an individual from aiding other individuals if that’s what he wants to do.)


John Schindler, who calls himself “a traditional leftist”, writes about why he believes the New Left has won in an article titled Who Really Won the Cold War?, in The Federalist. I quote it in full.

While he makes some points I do not agree with (chiefly the idea he takes for granted that Leftism ideally serves the cause of “human freedom”), he makes many more that bear out what I have said about the old Left and the New Left, and how and why the New Left has won the Cold War. I found this surprising. But it explains why an essay by a “traditional leftist” appears in The Federalist.

He starts with a figure from the old Left who has just recently risen to prominence:

The election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party has sent shockwaves far beyond Britain. There has been disbelief that the United Kingdom’s storied left-wing party opted to be led by a man so obviously contemptuous of his own society. In the wake of their recent electoral debacle under the uninspiring Ed Miliband, Labour has chosen as its leader an activist who resembles a walking leftist cliché. Corbyn’s radicalism is not in doubt. Aside from his embrace of socialist-throwback platitudes that linger on his party’s left flank on the full range of domestic issues, in adamant rejection of Blairism, Corbyn’s foreign-policy views merit attention. Openly hostile to NATO and Britain’s longstanding “special relationship” with the United States, Corbyn adds overt sympathy for numerous authoritarian regimes.

He blames the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, not the Kremlin, for the Ukraine crisis and has endorsed Russia Today, Putin’s TV propaganda network. Corbyn opposes essentially all overseas military operations by Britain and wants to parley with Bashar al-Assad, four years into Syria’s fratricide, while viewing Tehran as a partner for Middle East peace.

That said, leftist infatuation with foreign dictators is hardly new. For decades a crush on “progressive” despots safely far away from their own free country has been a staple of the Western far-Left diet. Corbyn is simply a paid-up member of his ideological tribe.

Yet Corbyn surpasses his predecessors in his fervent embrace of the social-justice message at home as well as abroad. He exudes hostility towards the Britain that made the historic Labour Party. This, after all, is a man who celebrates Hamas, Hezbollah, and related Islamist extremists as freedom-fighters, while explaining the death of Osama bin Laden was “a tragedy”.

Unsurprisingly, Corbyn enthusiastically espouses multiculturalism and says Britain should “celebrate” record numbers of immigrants entering the country — a position not popular with many voters, who see the European Union being overwhelmed by waves of migrants from Asia and Africa. Between his crush on the West’s enemies and his desire to change his country’s population, Corbyn wants to abolish Britain, not reform it.

Yet we should not regard Corbyn as a particular outlier. In truth, his cocktail of trendy “progressive” opinions, which rejects virtually everything about their own society, is commonly found among postmodern Western leftists. The only difference is that Corbyn makes no effort to mask his views. Many of his fellow travelers obscure their take, which would be considered extreme by most voters, behind moderate-sounding language.

Unlike Barack Obama, who once assured us that he did not see a Red America or a Blue America, rather a United States of America — then proceeded to govern through two terms as a highly partisan liberal Democrat — Corbyn states openly that there is only one “real” Britain, and it is deep red (which in Britain, as most of Europe, means left-wing).

Corbynism is no sudden or shocking development, but the natural culmination of 50 years of left-wing views that have shifted from a desire to reform Western democracies to an unconcealed wish to kill them, or at least change them so fundamentally that they bear little resemblance to themselves.

The Old Left, for all its sometimes horrific flaws, sought socioeconomic change to benefit average citizens, not all-out social revolution. They, in their own way, were very much a product of Western culture. After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, which split the Left worldwide into communist and social democratic groupings, the latter worked within the socioeconomic system, embracing democracy while seeking minimal deep changes to society itself.

Even the communists were hardly social revolutionaries in practice. In the initial euphoria of the revolution there was experimentation. The Soviet Union became the first society ever to allow abortion and easy divorce. In Hungary, during the short-lived red revolution at the end of World War I, Bolsheviks embraced social radicalism and introduced sex education to undermine the traditional family.

However, once firmly in power, the Soviets dropped any pretense of social revolution to mirror the politico-economic one. While religion was persecuted and mild feminism got lip service, Stalin banned abortion and the party frowned upon sexual immorality. After all, the revolution needed soldiers and workers, and who but communist women could make those?

Although the abortion ban was dropped after Stalin, Soviet social practices remained highly “heteronormative,” with homosexuality being criminal while men and women were strongly encouraged to marry and be fruitful. In its most extreme form, Nicolae Ceaușescu nearly banned abortion and contraceptives altogether in his effort to build his highly fecund socialist Romania.

Many were the Western progressives who visited the East Bloc during the Cold War, having been fed propaganda about the wondrous “new society”, only to discover that communism was actually behind the West in matters of family, sex, and gender.

While the Soviets and their clients remained mired in traditional social models, the West moved on — or forward, depending on your viewpoint. The great social revolution of the 1960s, which passed the East Bloc by because communism had insulated the countries, brought forth a New Left in the West that was interested in matters of sex, gender, and race rather than who owns the means of production.

Their “long march through the institutions” after a half-century must be judged wholly successful. While the Right has won the battle for economics across the West — calls for public ownership now seem quaint rather than threatening to capitalists — the New Left has triumphed on the social front in every arena.

In the United States, which was more resistant to the New Left agenda than many Western countries, the Obama years have witnessed the victory of social justice on all major matters of race, gender, and sexuality. Thanks to activists, politicians, and courts, Americans today are living in a very different social and sexual world than their parents and grandparents.

More than a few communists saw all this coming. Beginning in the 1970s, East Bloc secret police began to notice the impact of the New Left on their Old Left countries. Cries for radical individualism from dissidents under Western influence troubled the communists, who didn’t know what to do about this trend, which they dismissed as a bourgeois affectation.

By the 1980s, the more perceptive East Bloc security services were denouncing this Western poison, which took the form of radical feminism, sexual freedom, environmental activism, and gay rights. To traditional communists, who barely understood this new ideology, it was a scary Western import, according to the secret police. Some in Eastern Europe termed this decadence “anarcho-liberalism”, and they considered it a disease of an affluent late capitalist society burdened with excessive consumerism and leisure time.

In the end, of course, the communists lost. Lots of average people in the East Bloc wanted the freedom to own cool shoes, while some pined for the social-sexual liberties that the West offered. In many ways, the revolutions of 1989 to 1991 that changed the map and politics of Europe and beyond can be viewed with a quarter-century of hindsight as the defeat of the Old Left in the East by the New Left in the West.

We are living still with the consequences of this seismic political shift. With the sudden disappearance of the communist threat, the Right lost interest in socioeconomic fairness, a Cold War necessity to keep reds at bay on the home-front, while oddly so did the Left.

The obsessive interest of the New Left in social justice has come at the expense of economic concerns, with the result that on a wide range of topics their positions, barring lip service, differ hardly at all from the Right. Few on the Left question our basic economic arrangements; tearing down our social foundations has been their core program.

Barack Obama is the most left-wing president ever on social justice, yet he is a darling of Wall Street. Hillary Clinton, despite her belated interest in social issues, is deeply enmeshed in high finance and will never challenge it. Thus Bernie Sanders, who is an amalgam of Old and New Left, is treated like an atavism by mainstream liberals when he opens the economics can of worms.

It’s all enough to make the few traditional leftists among us want to pull their hair out. The broad alliance of cultural Left and corporate Right, which questions none of our economics, has triumphed in our politics — or at least had until Donald Trump came along to question “settled” issues such as mass, often illegal, immigration. The cultural Left favors this because it gradually dissolves the traditional culture, which they despise, while the corporate Right favors it for the cheap labor. Postmodern capitalism is at least as revolutionary a force as anything cooked up by any Marxist, as well as something any Social Justice Warrior can live with.

For more than a generation we have sorely lacked mainstream contributions from social democrats who seek to make our society better, not destroy it. There ought to be no illusions about what the cultural Left seeks: a full revolution of our society and its history, which they see as benighted by irredeemable racism, sexism, and Old Think. Their opponents are objectively evil and on the“wrong side of history,” as Obama himself has assured us, and they must disappear. “Error has no rights,” the mid-nineteenth-century Vatican formulation, has oddly been adapted by our postmodern Left.

As communists once predicted the state itself would wither away, resulting in complete human freedom and progress, the New Left expects that all traditional societal arrangements will wither away, thereby allowing full human freedom and progress. One offered discipline and order and sometimes gulags; the other offers sexual liberty, anti-racism, and iPhones.

Both these beliefs are illusions, and dangerous ones, rooted in a Marxist sense of “knowing” where history is going. The working class was once revered by leftists as uniquely virtuous, while for the New Left that vanguard role is played by minorities sexual and racial, who are allegedly untainted by the dominant group. The essential willingness to ignore inconvenient truths remains the same.

Let us give the Old Left, particularly its social democratic guise, credit that they did not seek the extirpation of our whole society and culture, but instead its transformation. What the New Left today fights for is far more revolutionary and utopian. A Europe that seeks a future where actual Europeans are a dying remnant, replaced by more vigorous immigrants, is but one manifestation of this worldview.

Leftists once heartily sang the “Internationale,” which promised “This is the final struggle” (C’est la lutte finale). Communists were quite wrong about that. History has moved on and left them behind everywhere but Cuba, North Korea, and Western universities. Yet their social-justice descendants believe the same thing, with a different favored fantasy class.

They will be proved wrong, too. The Corbyn vision has no future to offer most Britons. It would be incomprehensible to generations of Labour patriots who fought for Britain, her values, and her allies. The only question is how much damage to what is left of the West will be inflicted before the New Left is vanquished, too.

I wish I could share his optimism that the New Left will be vanquished (in the foreseeable future).

And what I miss in the essay is any reference to the human misery that “traditional leftism” of the redder kind has caused wherever it has had power to cause it. Of course, his focus is on the British Left, which was never – until now? – as red as all that.

I dislike his implication that collectivism (aka Leftism) of his favored – or any –  kind is a valid recipe for improving what Leftists have called “the human condition”.

But I applaud his recognition that the New Left “seeks the extirpation of our whole society and culture”, and that he deplores that terrible aim.

If only he could also see that it is logically, even necessarily, derived from the old socialist collectivist thinking to which he remains faithful!


Jillian Becker   September 18, 2015

Merely a mistake? 4

This is a letter that Hillary Clinton has put out to that strange section of the population who think she could be the president of the USA:

Friend –

I wanted you to hear this directly from me:

Yes, I should have used two email addresses, one for personal matters and one for my work at the State Department. Not doing so was a mistake. I’m sorry about it, and I take full responsibility.

“A mistake” so huge that it betrayed her country to its enemies. Should such a person be president?

She “takes full responsibility”! Good grief – she IS responsible, whether she “takes” the responsibility or not, it is hers and hers alone She DID this stupid and hugely dangerous thing.

It’s important for you to know a few key facts. My use of a personal email account was aboveboard and allowed under the State Department’s rules.

But not a private server.

Everyone I communicated with in government was aware of it.

But they did not know she mixed private with state business, nor that she had a private server.

And nothing I ever sent or received was marked classified at the time.

She is one of the few top people in government who is authorized to label communications as classified. We know that she received emails about national defense and from foreign governments that are “born classified”. If she didn’t know that, how is she fit to be president?

As this process proceeds, I want to be as transparent as possible. That’s why I’ve provided all of my work emails to the government to be released to the public, and why I’ll be testifying in public in front of the Benghazi Committee later next month.

How do we know she has provided all her work emails? She has destroyed tens of thousands, and we have only her word – the word of a notorious liar – that they concerned only her private affairs.

I know this is a complex story.

Complex? Not at all. It is a simple tale of corruption, deception, and betrayal.

I could have – and should have – done a better job answering questions earlier. I’m grateful for your support, and I’m not taking anything for granted.

I understand that you may have more questions, and I am going to work to keep answering them. If you want to read more, including my emails themselves, please go here:




If you are in intelligence or defense, send her some secrets by all means, but make sure you mark them “classified”. Then wait to see what happens to them.


If Hillary Clinton is elected to the presidency for no better reason than that she is a woman, what will that say about women?

What sort of woman is she whom a majority of American voters would be elevating into a role model?

A corrupt venal lying cheat as a model woman?

Here‘s a very long list of her lies, gaffes, scandals, misjudgments, disasters …

Posted under Commentary, corruption, Diplomacy, Ethics, Feminism, government, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, September 15, 2015

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The Democratic Party: the party of slavery and black oppression 3

The Left habitually re-writes history – because its own history is appalling. It should not be allowed to get away with it.

Statement of DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

June 22, 2015

For decades community leaders in South Carolina – and across the country – have been calling to get rid of this symbol of hatred, and action has been long overdue. But this is just the beginning of a conversation we as a society need to have about race, bigotry and violence in this country – not the end of one.

Jeffrey Lord writes an open letter in reply, posted at the American Spectator. We quote most of it:

Dear Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz:

I note with interest [your] statement … with regard to the controversy over the flying of the Confederate flag on the grounds of the South Carolina State Capitol.

Good enough. It’s good to know you wish to begin this conversation and I am happy to oblige. Let me begin with this question:

Will the Democratic Party finally apologize for supporting slavery, segregation, lynching, and the Ku Klux Klan?

Let me recall these lines from some of your party platforms.

From your 1840 platform:

Resolved, That congress has no power, under the constitution, to interfere with or control the domestic institutions of the several states, and that such states are the sole and proper judges of everything appertaining to their own affairs, not prohibited by the constitution; that all efforts by abolitionists or others, made to induce congress to interfere with questions of slavery, or to take incipient steps in relation thereto, are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences, and that all such efforts have an inevitable tendency to diminish the happiness of the people, and endanger the stability and permanency of the union, and ought not to be countenanced by any friend to our political institutions.

And again in your 1844 platform:

That Congress has no power, under the Constitution, to interfere with or control the domestic institutions of the several States; and that such States are the sole and proper judges of everything pertaining to their own affairs, not prohibited by the Constitution; that all efforts, by abolitionists or others, made to induce Congress to interfere with questions of slavery, or to take incipient steps in relation thereto, are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences, and that all such efforts have an inevitable tendency to diminish the happiness of the people and endanger the stability and permanency of the Union, and ought not to be countenanced by any friend to our Political Institutions.

This staunch support for slavery — not to mention the unsubtle threat that accompanied it (there would be “alarming and dangerous consequences” if serious attempts to abolish it were made) is repeated again in your party platforms of 1848 and 1852.

By 1856, your party’s support of slavery was expanded in your newest platform, with several additional sections added including vowing: “That the Democratic party will resist all attempts at renewing, in Congress or out of it, the agitation of the slavery question under whatever shape or color the attempt may be made.”

In 1860 your platform said: “Resolved, That the Democratic party will abide by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States upon these questions of Constitutional law.” This was, in fact, an endorsement of the infamous Dred Scott decision by the Court, a decision which legal scholars say was designed to write slavery into the Constitution. And your party approved of it.

As the Civil War was ending your party opposed the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment — which ended slavery. Among those who opposed ending slavery was Congressman Fernando Wood. Wood (as noted in Bruce Bartlett’s Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party’s Buried Past) was not only a member from New York, he was a former mayor of New York. Wood explained why he and the vast majority of the House Democratic Caucus — in which you now sit — opposed ending slavery.

The Almighty has fixed the distinction of the races; the Almighty has made the black man inferior, and, sir, by no legislation, by no military power, can you wipe out this distinction.…The condition of domestic servitude as existing in the southern states is the highest condition of which the African race is capable…

Likewise your party opposed not only the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments that gave legal rights to African-Americans as well as the right to vote, your party supporters banded together to form the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan being described by University of North Carolina historian Allen Trelease as the “terrorist arm of the Democratic Party,” while historian Eric Foner of Columbia University calls the Klan “a military force serving the interests of the Democratic Party.”

For decades your party gave free rein to the Klan and its rabid, racist violence. In 1924 the Klan ran your Democratic Convention in New York’s Madison Square Garden, known to history as the “Klan bake” convention. Time and time and time again your party selected Klan members to represent it in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House as well as state governorships and all manner of local officials.

Your party used this support to win the congressional power that passed everything from the creation of the Federal Reserve to Social Security. One of the latter’s notable supporters, in fact, was Mississippi’s Senator Theodore Bilbo, a proud supporter of Social Security who boasted of his membership in the Klan.

One troubling sign of just how close was your party’s relationship with the Klan was President Franklin Roosevelt’s appointment of Alabama’s liberal New Deal Senator Hugo Black to the Supreme Court. Black held a “golden passport” — aka a lifetime membership in the Klan. Decades later, in 1968, Justice Black wrote:

President Roosevelt… told me there was no reason for my worrying about my having been a member of the Ku Klux Klan. He said some of his best friends and supporters he had in the state of Georgia were among members of the organization. He never in any way, by word or attitude, indicated any doubt about my having been in the Klan nor did he indicate any criticism of me for having been a member of that organization.

Black was far from alone with his Klan connections in your party. The notorious Eugene “Bull” Connor, the Birmingham, Alabama Public Safety Commissioner who unleashed both police dogs and fire hoses on civil rights protesters in 1963, was both a Klan member and a member of your Democratic National Committee. There isn’t enough space to list the elected leaders of your party who served under the hoods of the Klan and supported the savage violence inflicted on black Americans for decades.

From the rabidly segregationist President Woodrow Wilson (who showcased the pro-Klan Birth of a Nation film in the White House and also made certain his segregationist and progressive Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels segregated the Navy) to other prominent Democrats, your party has been the home of those who use race to win elections and make public policy. Senators with names like South Carolina’s James F. Byrnes (also an FDR Court appointee and Truman’s Secretary of State) or Georgia’s powerful Richard Russell …  were typical of the honored roles bestowed on the rawest of racists by your party. …

The real damage done by your party with its culture of race and violence has been to create exactly the climate in which the Dylann Roofs of America feel they can operate. Note well that the roommate of the Charleston killer said that Roof was a “segregationist” — which is to say he was precisely emulating the culture that your party has spent two centuries creating and celebrating.

Isn’t it time for your party to finally apologize for all of this horrendous behavior that your party is directly responsible for? Isn’t it time for the Democratic Party to finally own up and apologize to black Americans?

Generally we think it rather foolish for people living now to apologize for what past generations did, but in this case an apology would at least be an acknowledgment of guilt. Our experience is that when Democrats are reminded of their past as slavery supporters, they insist the Party changed so completely that the present one has no connection whatsoever with what the old Party did. Yet they also like to say they are the oldest political party in the world – which implies there was no break. Oh well – the Left never minds contradicting itself. It has no sense of hypocrisy. It has no shame.

Suddenly there is much talk about removing Confederate flags from this or that state capitol where politicians of your party — like South Carolina’s then-governor Ernest “Fritz” Hollings — placed them in the first place. Now talk is abroad about removing statues of “Confederates” — meaning prominent Democrats — from the U.S. Capitol and some state capitols. The statue of Democrat Jefferson Davis — the ex-president of the Confederacy who also served as a Democratic Congressman, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of War in a Democratic administration — has been mentioned for possible removal from its place in Kentucky’s state capitol.

Interesting. A growing mass call to remove the names of one prominent Democrat after another from the public square. One has to ask? Is it time to rename the Woodrow Wilson Bridge that crosses the Potomac from Virginia to Washington, the latter a majority black city? If so, may I suggest the name of Hiram Rhodes Revels, the first black U.S. Senator — in 1870? Oh yes, Senator Revels was also a Republican.

Calls for slavery “reparations” are occasionally heard. And in the spirit of Charleston perhaps the question should be asked directly of you as Chair of the Democratic Party.

Will the Democratic Party itself pay reparations to black Americans? Reparations for those party platforms that supported slavery? Not to mention for passing all those segregationist laws that were deliberately designed to evade the 14th and 15th amendments of the Constitution? Reparations for using the Ku Klux Klan as the “terrorist arm of the Democratic Party” — with that terror directly targeting black Americans?

We are not for the paying of reparations to people who live now and suffered no injury. No reparation is possible to the dead. But if these questions make Democrats squirm, let them be asked!

You, Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz, along with President Obama and former Secretary Clinton, talk of what happened in Charleston by mentioning the need to discuss “race bigotry and violence” (you), or saying of racism that “societies don’t, overnight, completely erase everything that happened 200 to 300 years prior” (President Obama) or calling the Charleston attack “an act of racist terror” (Secretary Clinton). But somehow you never get around to saying just who was doing all of this — your political party. The Democrats.

In fact, as I noted in 2008, the Democratic National Committee — on the eve of the Obama nomination — went out of its way to deliberately erase a full fifty years of Democratic Party history from the official DNC website. What was erased? All reference to your party’s role in slavery, segregation, lynching, and the rest. Those platforms that supported slavery, mentioned above? The number of Democrats who occupied the White House while owning slaves? The platforms that supported segregation — and the Democratic presidents, senators, governors and more who supported segregation? The tie between Democrats and the Klan? All of this and more was simply gone from your website — deliberately and willfully hidden from voters while trying to leave the impression that your party was a historically enthusiastic supporter of civil rights. Which, to understate, is not true.

Amid all the tragedy of Charleston, I would suggest that it is finally time for the Democratic Party — the party you chair — to come forward and admit its role in this long-running national horror. It’s time — way, way past time — for an apology. An apology directly from the leaders of the Democratic Party to black Americans, not to mention the rest of the country, for what your party has done.

And instead of raising all those millions for the next election? How about raising some millions from all your rich donors to pay black Americans for the damage you have done to them since the inception of your slavery/segregation and race-based party in 1800?

Damage that has now, yet again, brought violence and tragedy from someone inspired by your ugly history. It would seem, at a minimum, that now is the time to apologize for — instead of ignore or hide — that history.

Pantsuit on fire 1

Democrats have tried to squirm their way out from under the heap of evidence Peter Schweizer provides of Hillary Clinton’s corruption in his book Clinton Cash, by saying that it is “only circumstantial” – as if that means it is invalid. Merely fictitious and libelous outpourings by “the vast right-wing conspiracy” (of Hillary Clinton’s invention), and so deserving of no notice whatsoever except to be totally dismissed.

Of course, Hillary Clinton herself has taken pains to destroy hard evidence of her seeking payment for favors while she was in office – isn’t that similar to what Christians call  “simony”? –  by deleting all her emails from the years when she was (ludicrously) Secretary of State.

Writing at the New York Post, Peter Schweizer replies to his critics, commenting on just one – but perhaps the worst – incident of extortion or acceptance of bribes by the Clintons:

Grave incompetence or brazen dishonesty?

Those are the only two conclusions one can reasonably come to after reviewing Hillary Clinton’s stunning Sunday interview on local New Hampshire TV.

When WMUR local TV host Josh McElveen asked Clinton why her State Department greenlit the transfer of 20 percent of all US uranium to the Russian government, Clinton claimed she had no involvement in her own State Department’s decision to approve the sale of Uranium One to Russia.

“I was not personally involved because that wasn’t something the secretary of state did,” said Clinton.

The transfer of 20 percent of US uranium — the stuff used to build nuclear weapons — to Vladimir Putin did not rise to the level of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s time and attention?

Beyond being an admission of extreme executive negligence on an issue of utmost national security, Hillary’s statement strains credulity to the breaking point for at least three other reasons.

First, nine investors who profited from the uranium deal collectively donated $145 million to Hillary’s family foundation, including Clinton Foundation mega-donor and Canadian mining billionaire Frank Giustra, who pledged $100 million.

Since 2005, Giustra and Bill Clinton have frequently globetrotted together, and there’s even a Clinton Foundation initiative named the Clinton-Giustra initiative.

But Hillary expects Americans to believe she had no knowledge that a man who made a nine-figure donation to her foundation was deeply involved in the deal? Nor eight other mining executives, all of whom also donated to her foundation?

Second, during her Sunday interview, Clinton was asked about the Kremlin-backed bank that paid Bill Clinton $500,000 for a single speech delivered in Moscow. Hillary’s response? She dodged the question completely and instead offered this blurry evasion.

“The timing doesn’t work,” said Clinton. “It happened in terms of the support for the foundation before I was secretary of state.”

Hillary added that such “allegations” are being “made by people who are wielding the partisan ax.”

The reason Hillary ignored addressing the $500,000 direct payment from the Kremlin-backed bank to her husband is because that payment occurred, as the Times confirms, “shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One.”

And as for her comment that the timing of the uranium investors’ donations “doesn’t work” as a damning revelation: In fact, the timing works perfectly.

As Clinton Cash revealed and others have confirmed, Uranium One’s then-chief Ian Telfer made donations totaling $2.35 million that Hillary Clinton’s foundation kept hidden. Telfer’s donations occurred as Hillary’s State Department was considering the Uranium One deal.

Third, Clinton correctly notes in the interview that “there were nine government agencies who had to sign off on that deal.” What she leaves out, of course, is that her State Department was one of them, and the only agency whose chief received $145 million in donations from shareholders in the deal.

Does she honestly expect Americans to believe she was simply unaware that the deal was even under consideration in her own State Department?

Moreover, is that really the leadership statement she wants front and center heading into a presidential campaign? That in the critical moment of global leadership, with the Russians poised to seize 20 percent of US uranium, she was simply out to lunch?

Perhaps a review of her emails would settle the accuracy of her Sunday claim. But, of course, she erased her emails and wiped clean the secret server housed in her Chappaqua home.

To be sure, like those emails, Hillary Clinton wishes questions about her role in the transfer of US uranium to the Russian government would simply vanish.

But that’s unlikely. A recent polling memo by the Republican National Committee finds that the uranium transfer issue is “the most persuasive message tested” and one that “severely undercuts her perceived strength of resume.”

Hillary’s Sunday comments only served to elevate and amplify the need for serious answers to axial questions.

In the absence of such answers, Americans are left to believe only one of two potentialities regarding her involvement in the transfer of 20 percent of US uranium to Vladimir Putin: She was either dangerously incompetent or remains deeply dishonest.


“Hillary”: the banned movie 4

Here is the full movie, Hillary, which Hillary Clinton somehow (how?) got banned from theaters when she was a candidate for the presidency in 2008.

It is an hour and half long. Every moment is riveting.

Now that she is standing again for the highest office, this movie needs to be easily accessible for viewing at all times from now until the presidential election in 2016. Ideally, it would be shown daily not only in theaters but on TV, all the “social media”, in every school and university, on street corners, buses, trains, planes, in restaurants, hospital wards, gyms, stores … every possible public place. And its makers would do well to bring it up to date by including all the new Clinton scandals of the last seven years, especially Benghazi.

Posted under corruption, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, June 5, 2015

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Under the carpet and high on the Hill 0


Posted under cartoons by Jillian Becker on Thursday, May 28, 2015

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Whose misfortune? 3

What is unique about American foreign policy today is not just that it is rudderless, but how quickly and completely the 70-year postwar order seems to have disintegrated — and how little interest the American people take in the collapse, thanks to the administration’s apparent redeeming message, which translates, “It’s their misfortune and none of our own.”

We quote from an article by Victor Davis Hanson in the National Review.

He sets before us a picture of what passes for US foreign policy under Obama, and the disasters that have ensued from it – and continue to get worse.

ISIS took Ramadi last week. …

On a smaller scale, ISIS is doing to the surge cities of Iraq what Hitler did to his neighbors between 1939 and 1941, and what Putin is perhaps doing now on the periphery of Russia. In Ramadi, ISIS will soon do its accustomed thing of beheading and burning alive its captives, seeking some new macabre twist to sustain its Internet video audience.

We in the West trample the First Amendment and jail a video maker for posting a supposedly insensitive film about Islam; in contrast, jihadists post snuff movies of burnings and beheadings to global audiences.

We argue not about doing anything or saving anybody, but about whether it is inappropriate to call the macabre killers “jihadists”.  When these seventh-century psychopaths tire of warring on people, they turn to attacking stones, seeking to ensure that there is not a vestige left of the Middle East’s once-glorious antiquities. I assume the ancient Sassanid and Roman imperial site at Palmyra will soon be looted and smashed. …

As long as we are not involved at the center of foreign affairs and there is no perceptible short-term danger to our security, few seem to care much that western North Africa is a no-man’s-land. Hillary Clinton’s “lead from behind” created a replay of Somalia in Libya.

The problem with Turkey’s Recep Erdogan is not that he is no longer Obama’s “special friend,” but that he was ever considered a friend at all, as he pressed forward with his plan to destroy Turkish democracy in the long march to theocracy.

There was never much American good will for the often duplicitous Gulf monarchies, so the general public does not seem to be worried that they are now spurned allies. That estrangement became possible because of growing U.S. self-sufficiency in oil and gas (thanks to fracking, which Obama largely opposed). Still, let us hope the Gulf States remain neutral rather than becoming enemies — given their financial clout and the availability of Pakistani bombs for Sunni petrodollars.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has it in for Israel. Why, no one quite knows, given that the Jewish state is the only democratic and liberal society in the Middle East. Perhaps it resembles the United States too closely, and thus earns the reflected hypercriticism that so many leftists cultivate for their own civilization.

Theocratic Iran has won more sympathy from the Obama administration. No neutral observer believes that the current policy of lifting sanctions and conducting negotiations will not lead to an Iranian bomb; it is hoped only that this will be unveiled on the watch of another president, who will be castigated as a warmonger if he is forced to preempt its rollout.

The current American foreign policy toward Iran is baffling. Does Obama see the theocracy as a valuable counterweight to the Sunni monarchies? Is it more authentic in the revolutionary sense than the geriatric hereditary kingdoms in the Gulf? Or is the inexplicable policy simply a matter of John Kerry’s gambit for a Nobel Peace Prize or some sort of Obama legacy in the eleventh hour, a retake of pulling all U.S. peacekeepers home from a once-quiet Iraq so that Obama could claim he had “ended the war in Iraq”?

Hillary Clinton has been talking up her successful tenure as secretary of state. But mysteriously she has never specified exactly where, when, or how her talents shone. What is she proud of? Reset with Russia? The Asian pivot to discourage Chinese bellicosity? The critical preliminary preparations for talks with Iran? The Libyan misadventure? Or perhaps we missed a new initiative to discourage North Korean aggression? Some new under-appreciated affinity with Israel and the Gulf monarchies? The routing of ISIS, thanks to Hillary’s plans? Shoring up free-market democracies in Latin America? Proving a model of transparency as secretary? Creating a brilliant new private-public synergy by combining the work of the State Department, the Clinton Foundation, and Bill’s lecturing –as evidenced by the Haitian renaissance and nation-building in Kazakhstan?

He also considers the administration’s domestic failures:

Meanwhile, no one seems to much care that between 2009 and 2017, we will have borrowed 8 trillion more dollars. Yet for all that stimulus, the U.S. economy still has staggering labor non-participation rates, flat GDP growth, and stagnant household income. As long as zero interest rates continue, the rich make lots of money in the stock market, and the debt can grow by $500 billion a year and still be serviced. Financial sobriety is now defined as higher taxes bringing in record revenues to service half-trillion-dollar annual additions to an $18 trillion debt.

The liberal approach to the underclass continues as it has been for the last 50 years: The elites support huge, unquestioned redistributionist entitlements for the inner city as penance for avoiding it. Minorities are left to run their own political affairs without much worry that their supposed benefactors live apartheid lives, protected by the proof of their caring. The public is left with the lie “Hands up, don’t shoot” as a construct that we will call true, because the made-up last-seconds gasps of Michael Brown perhaps should have happened that way. As an elite bookend, we have a Columbia coed toting around a mattress as proof of society’s insensitivity to sexual violence, which in her case both her university and the New York City police agree never occurred. In theory, perhaps it could have and thus all but did.

As far as scandals go, no one much cares any more about the implosion of the Veterans Administration. In the public’s defense, though, how does one keep straight the multitudinous scandals — Lois Lerner and the rogue IRS, the spying on and tapping of Associated Press journalists, the National Security Agency disclosures, Fast and Furious, the serial lying about needless deaths in Benghazi, the shenanigans at the General Services Administration, the collapse of sobriety at the Secret Service, the rebooting of air-traffic controllers’ eligibility to be adjudicated along racial and ethnic lines, and the deletions from Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server, which doubled as her government server.

Always there is the administration’s populist anthem of “You didn’t build that”; instead, you must have won the lottery from President Obama. If his economic programs are not working, there is always the finger pointing at those who are too well off. Michelle Obama lectured a couple of weeks ago on museum elitism and prior neglect of the inner city, in between recounting some slights and micro-aggressions that she has endured, presumably on jumbo-jet jaunts to Costa del Sol and Aspen. I think her point is that it is still worse to be rich, powerful, and black than, say, poor, ignored, and non-black. …

He concludes on a note of despondency not far off from despair:

The center of this culture is not holding. …

More Americans privately confess that American foreign policy is dangerously adrift. They would agree that the U.S. no longer has a southern border, and will have to spend decades and billions of dollars coping with millions of new illegal aliens.

Some Americans are starting to fear that the reckless borrowing under Obama will wreck the country if not stopped.

Racial tensions, all concede, are reaching dangerous levels, and Americans do not know what is scarier: inner-city relations between blacks and the police, the increasing anger of the black underclass at establishment America — or the even greater backlash at out-of-control violent black crime and the constant scapegoating and dog whistles of racism.

Whatever liberalism is, it is not working.

It’s certainly not “liberal” in the real meaning of the word. It is the opposite – dictatorial.

We call it Leftism. It has the Western world in its crushing grip.

The bad decision about Iraq 6

Charles Krauthammer’s column today in the Washington Post says what needs to be said about a stupid question that “gotcha” journalists are asking presidential candidates.

And he tells them what the right question should be.

Ramadi falls. The Iraqi army flees. The great 60-nation anti-Islamic State coalition so grandly proclaimed by the Obama administration is nowhere to be seen. Instead, it’s the defense minister of Iran who flies into Baghdad, an unsubtle demonstration of who’s in charge — while the U.S. air campaign proves futile and America’s alleged strategy for combating the Islamic State is in freefall.

It gets worse. The Gulf states’ top leaders, betrayed and bitter, ostentatiously boycott President Obama’s failed Camp David summit. “We were America’s best friend in the Arab world for 50 years,” laments Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief.

Note: “were,” not “are.”

We are scraping bottom. Following six years of President Obama’s steady and determined withdrawal from the Middle East, America’s standing in the region has collapsed. And yet the question incessantly asked of the various presidential candidates is not about that. It’s a retrospective hypothetical: Would you have invaded Iraq in 2003 if you had known then what we know now?

First, the question is not just a hypothetical but an inherently impossible hypothetical. It contradicts itself. Had we known there were no weapons of mass destruction, the very question would not have arisen. The premise of the war — the basis for going to the U.N., to the Congress and, indeed, to the nation — was Iraq’s possession of WMD in violation of the central condition for the cease-fire that ended the 1991 Gulf War. No WMD, no hypothetical to answer in the first place.

Second, the “if you knew then” question implicitly locates the origin and cause of the current disasters in 2003 . As if the fall of Ramadi was predetermined then, as if the author of the current regional collapse is George W. Bush.

This is nonsense. The fact is that by the end of Bush’s tenure the war had been won. You can argue that the price of that victory was too high. Fine. We can debate that until the end of time. But what is not debatable is that it was a victory. Bush bequeathed to Obama a success. By whose measure? By Obama’s. As he told the troops at Fort Bragg on Dec. 14, 2011, “We are leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people.” This was, said the president, a “moment of success.” Which Obama proceeded to fully squander. With the 2012 election approaching, he chose to liquidate our military presence in Iraq. We didn’t just withdraw our forces. We abandoned, destroyed or turned over our equipment, stores, installations and bases. We surrendered our most valuable strategic assets, such as control of Iraqi airspace, soon to become theindispensable conduit for Iran to supply and sustain the Assad regime in Syria and cement its influence all the way to the Mediterranean. And, most relevant to the fall of Ramadi, we abandoned the vast intelligence network we had so painstakingly constructed in Anbar province, without which our current patchwork operations there are largely blind and correspondingly feeble.

The current collapse was not predetermined in 2003 but in 2011. Isn’t that what should be asked of Hillary Clinton? We know you think the invasion of 2003 was a mistake. But what about the abandonment of 2011? Was that not a mistake?

Mme. Secretary: When you arrived at State, al-Qaeda in Iraq had been crushed and expelled from Anbar. The Iraqi government had from Basra to Sadr City fought and defeated the radical, Iranian-proxy Shiite militias. Yet today these militias are back, once again dominating Baghdad. On your watch, we gave up our position as the dominant influence over a “sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq” — forfeiting that position gratuitously to Iran. Was that not a mistake? And where were you when it was made?

Iraq is now a battlefield between the Sunni jihadists of the Islamic State and the Shiite jihadists of Iran’s Islamic Republic. There is no viable center. We abandoned it. The Obama administration’s unilateral pullout created a vacuum for the entry of the worst of the worst.

And the damage was self-inflicted. The current situation in Iraq, says David Petraeus, “is tragic foremost because it didn’t have to turn out this way. The hard-earned progress of the surge was sustained for over three years.” Do the math. That’s 2009 through 2011, the first three Obama years. And then came the unraveling. When? The last U.S. troops left Iraq on Dec. 18, 2011.

Want to do retrospective hypotheticals? Start there.

Posted under Arab States, Iraq, middle east, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Friday, May 22, 2015

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Throwing the book at her 8

It seems that Peter Schweizer’s book Clinton Cash is beginning to have some adverse effects on the Clintons. We hope they are only the first of many more – far more severe.

In House of the Stacked Deck of Cards, at the Weekly Standard, Noemie Emery traces Hillary Clinton’s steady rise from the impecunious early days of her marriage to her enormous riches today – always with help from those who needed favors in return.

We quote the concluding part of the article:

Never had the cards been stacked more in favor of anyone than they were for Hillary Clinton when she had a Senate seat in a state that she never had lived in more or less placed in her hands.

With an ex-president licensed to coin money and a former first lady in the Senate planning her own eventual run for president, the Clintons were in a unique position to leverage their power—past (Bill), present, and future (Hillary). Former presidents had in various ways cashed in before, but by that time they were no longer able to do people very meaningful favors. A donation to Bill, on the other hand, could mean favors from Hillary, in the job she was holding (senator, then secretary of state), and even as president sometime down the line. As the New York Times has noted, four days after Hillary was mentioned to head Barack Obama’s State Department, TD Bank (Canada’s largest) hired Bill to give speeches for a fee of $1.8 million. It must have been just a coincidence, like all the others she had enjoyed since their Little Rock days, that Secretary of State Clinton would be ideally placed to push for the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, in which the bank held a large block of shares.

As the New York Post’s Kyle Smith noted, in a piece on Peter Schweizer’s new book Clinton Cash, “Eleven of the 13 highest-paid speeches [Bill] ever gave took place while .  .  . Hillary headed the State Department.” Other ex-presidents had nostalgia to sell, which quickly lost value. Bill had “access to a family member who was secretary of state and perhaps a future president. That’s why his fees actually went up over time, and not down.” The Clinton machine is best explained as a wondrous contraption designed to funnel cash to Bill Clinton, with a million or two tossed now and then in the way of the needy, along with a supply of fascinating new friends, ready to fly him to beautiful islands, in the pursuit of women and song.

And what did Hillary hope to get from all this, beyond a share in the family fortunes? Much the same thing that she got when she lived in the White House as first lady during the years that she ran for the Senate, namely a series of glamorous feel-good occasions meant to showcase her as a species of royalty, altruistic, benevolent, and above it all. …

This summer was supposed to be a four-month display of Hillary mania, with “a splashy Clinton Global Initiative conference in Marrakesh .  .  . followed by a lavish reception and conference in Athens in June, and .  .  . a September extravaganza in Manhattan, featuring an appearance by Elton John”. Alas, the release of Schweizer’s Clinton Cash and related reports in the New York Times and the Washington Post caused the Athens event to be canceled, with the family foundation “scrambling to address concerns about its budgeting, fundraising, and donor vetting, while being buffeted by a raging political storm”.

That storm may have been augmented by the revelation last summer that Chelsea Clinton, hired by NBC News along with Jenna Bush Hager as a part-time contributor, had not only not distinguished herself as a TV reporter, but had pulled down a yearly salary of $600,000 while having done practically nothing. It came to something over $26,000 for every minute she had been on the air. “Chelsea Clinton Leaving Her Unbelievably Cushy Fake Job at NBC” ran the New York headline. The magazine added that “she will no longer pretend to be a reporter,” calling her “one of the most boring people of her era” and her salary “insane.” A tipster told the New York Post that the disclosure (by Politico) of Chelsea’s salary had been “catastrophic for NBC, because not one of the other correspondents, not even Jenna Bush Hager, is in on that sort of money.” … Nonetheless, seemingly heedless of her own family’s fortunes, Hillary continues to rail against income disparity as a crisis, and the unfair advantages given the already powerful as a national shame and a sin.

Nobody knows about stacked decks better than Hillary Clinton, who found the deck stacked slightly in her favor 40 years ago and has spent her whole political life stacking it further, to the benefit of herself and her husband and their daughter and Hillary’s brothers, all of whom have managed to make out like bandits, the latter two with no talents to speak of besides being related to her. The Democrats may want to run on inequality, but they should look for some other candidate to do it, and not someone who has made inequality, when it heavily tilts in her direction, her singular calling and life’s achievement.

We have nothing against economic inequality. But Hillary pretends she has. And hypocrisy is only one of the many sleazy qualities of the Clintons – including every other form of dishonesty, even theft (of things from the White House) – that half the voters choose to disregard. Why?


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