The Left ‘s passion for stereotyping, exclusion and uniformity 2

Q: How many of these statements are true?

1.You are Hispanic and in the US illegally, so you need protection from law-enforcement.

2.You are an American with black African ancestry, so you are oppressed, and you cannot compete academically or in business without special allowances being made for you.

3.You are Chinese or Japanese, so you are too smart academically and would get all the available places at the top universities if you were allowed to, so you need to be handicapped.

4.You are Jewish, so you are pro-Israel and anti-Palestinian, and deserve contempt and exclusion.

5.You are Muslim, so you need asylum and are subjected to irrational prejudice, and ignorantly held responsible for Muslim terrorists who misunderstand your religion.

6.You are a woman, so you are oppressed.

7.You are a white man, so you are an oppressor and the the arch-villain of history, and ought frequently and publicly to declare and demonstrate that you are ashamed of yourself for being both (a) white and (b) male.

8.You are LGBQT…, so you are oppressed.

9.You are rich and fail to deplore capitalism, so you are greedy, selfish, and have no heart.

10.You are a Leftist, so you believe all the above.

A:Only number 10.

Yes, we are putting it all too bluntly. Without “nuance”. But the Left is in no position to complain about that.

The ideologues of the Left would deal with you not as an individual but according to your “race”, “gender identity”, and political opinions. The Left is communist, so by definition collectivist,  against individualism. Their tediously repeated claim to be for “inclusion and diversity” is one of their many hypocrisies, their glib, orthodox, platitudinous lies.

They do their utmost to exclude opinions they don’t like from academic and public forums; they insist upon a uniformity of expressed opinion.

David Horowitz writes:

In January, when negotiations over the fate of 800,000 DACA recipients broke down, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) blamed the impasse on the alleged racism of President Trump and his senior advisers.

“Last night the president put forth a plan,” Pelosi told the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “Let me just say what I said last night, that plan is a campaign to make America white again.” This was not only an obvious lie, but a spectacularly brazen one, since Trump’s announced plan would provide a path to citizenship not only for the illegal aliens who had benefited from President Obama’s constitutionally suspect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, all of whom are nonwhite, but for a million additional illegals, mainly from Latin America, who are also mainly nonwhite. Trump’s general immigration plan seeks to move to a merit-based system, which would give priority to immigrants who can contribute needed skills to the country and would have a reasonable chance of success once they arrived. Giving priority to English speakers would enhance the ability of new arrivals to assimilate and succeed. To oppose such a plan on the grounds Pelosi does, one would have to believe that nonwhite immigrants don’t have skills or don’t speak English. Anti-Trump reporter Jim Acosta made the latter insinuation on CNN. He said Trump wanted only immigrants from majority-white countries like “England and Australia”.  In fact, English is the official language in more than 57 countries, including such nonwhite countries as Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Botswana, as well as Caribbean nations like Jamaica and Guyana.

Pelosi’s malicious accusation was even more disconnected from reality, since Trump has never proposed excluding or expelling populations based on race, which would be the only way to “make America white again” (whatever that might mean). Yet this denial of obvious facts in order to gin up a racial indictment of what otherwise would be seen as patriotic policies has become the ever-present theme of the Democrats’ attacks on Trump’s presidency. These attacks began with his first statement on immigration during the opening presidential primary debate. At that time, speaking specifically of people crossing the border illegally, Trump said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best . . . . They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with [them]. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

This warning, however factual its basis, was ineptly put by a novice politician …

We strongly agree with most of all that, but disagree here. How else ought it to be put?

… but its meaning was clear to any fair-minded listener. When millions of people invade a country in defiance of its laws and without passing through a vetting and citizenship process, that is a threat to the nation and its citizens — regardless of the color or origin of the perpetrators. Yet this otherwise reasonable concern was immediately turned by Trump’s opponents into an alleged attack on Mexicans for being Mexican, and more pointedly on “people of color” for being different — both blatant lies.

After Trump’s election, Democrats adopted the same strategy in their “resistance” to his presidential executive order temporarily suspending travel from six terrorist states. The express purpose of the order was to provide time for a proper vetting system to be put in place to protect American citizens. The Democrats’ unscrupulous campaign to frame this policy as “anti-Muslim” and “anti-minority” included suborning left-wing appeals courts to ignore the president’s clear constitutional authority, and instead invoke his off-the-cuff campaign remarks to make the case that the order was racially biased. …

There is no evidence that President Trump is “anti-minority”. We would wish him to be “anti-Muslim”. Not to discriminate against individuals, but to keep the appalling ideology of Islam – supremacist, totalitarian, homophobic, misogynist, murderous, aggressive, and savagely cruel – out of the United States as much as possible.

The inevitable consequence of using a blanket standard like race to evaluate immigration policy is to eliminate any possibility of designing a policy that is rational or that protects the nation’s sovereignty. It also eliminates the possibility of designing a policy that serves the national interest, since America is built on the idea of individual accountability and individual freedom.

Balkanizing its community into races and ethnicities renders individuals and their characteristics invisible or secondary at best. If race is the trump card, factors like the possession of skills, adherence to the law, economic viability, language compatibility, and allegiance to the constitutional founding, are rendered irrelevant in selecting new citizens, and thus in preserving the factors that have made America what is today.

The Democrats’ support for “sanctuary cities” and “sanctuary states” is the summary statement of this race-based attitude towards would-be citizens. It prevents consideration of even the most basic question of how large an influx of individuals the nation can absorb and support, while maintaining its culture of individual accountability and freedom. For progressives, the number of individuals coming into this country and their actual behaviors are irrelevant; all that matters is their ethnicity and race — and potential for voting left in future elections. These collectivities override the fundamental consideration of the law, and thus of the entire democratic enterprise.

The attacks by Democrats and leftists on federal law, on national borders, and on the idea of assimilation into an American culture can only be understood as attacks on the nation itself. Members of the Democrats’ “resistance” employ loaded phrases like “white supremacy” and “white nationalism” in referring to the White House and the supporters of secure borders and a rational immigration policy. The clear meaning of this abuse of language is that, in the eyes of the left, an American patriotism is illegitimate; American patriotism is equivalent to “white nationalism” and is racist.

The racial politics of the Left is part of a larger spectrum of “identity politics”, which has been embraced by the Democratic Party and is better understood as “cultural Marxism”. Cultural Marxists divide the population into racial, ethnic and gender groups and arrange them in a hierarchy of alleged oppression. This perverse and divisive view of American society was, in fact, the organizing principle of Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign, which justified her candidacy as ending the alleged inequality of women and the mythical wage-gender pay gap. Her opponents, she said, belonged in a “basket of deplorables”,  which she identified as “racists, sexists, homophobes, Islamophobes, xenophobes — you name it”.

Following her defeat, her Democratic supporters formed #TheResistance to the incoming president, whom they denounced as a white nationalist, sexist, anti-Muslim racist. A “resistance” is hardly an appropriate posture for an opposition party in a democracy, where compromise and tolerance are foundational values. This war declared on the Trump presidency was launched with a Women’s March, billed as the largest protest ever, which presented itself as a movement to defend “oppressed” groups against the incoming “white supremacist” administration that Americans had just elected.

The Women’s March was headed by Linda Sarsour, an advocate of Islam’s misogynistic Sharia law and a vocal supporter of Islamist holy war … Sarsour told the assembled marchers, “I also remember that I live in a country that was founded on the extermination of indigenous people.” This was a declaration of hate for America, approved by the protesters and typical of their speakers. It was also a libel — the perfect expression of the Left’s oppressive chain of being, in which whites, males, heterosexuals and patriotic Americans are framed as genocidal enemies of “social justice” and human progress. It was a lie equal in brazenness to Pelosi’s claim that Trump’s agenda was to make America white again. There are, in fact, more “native Americans” alive today than there were when the first European settlers arrived. It never was, nor has been, the policy of the United States to exterminate indigenous people or any racial or ethnic group.

The ideological miasma that has overcome the Democratic Party and the Left, was crystallized in Hillary Clinton’s claim that “sexism” rather than her own incompetence, corrupt history, and inept campaign was responsible for her defeat. “Sexism” is a bastardized term that was coined by 1960s-era radicals in a calculated attempt to appropriate the moral authority of the civil rights movement through a false association with “racism”. Only a perverse reading of history and the social relations between the sexes could lead to this absurd attempt to link the treatment of African Americans and women. But for radicals, the conflation of the two is essential to their Marxist view of the world as a hierarchy of oppressors and oppressed, of America as the great Satan on the hierarchy’s crest. …

[This view] can criminalize merely boorish and inappropriate behaviors and invoke punishments that can be quite severe. In the hysterical atmosphere created by the #MeToo movement — a by-product of the Women’s March and the “movement” that produced it — mere accusations become tantamount to guilt with chilling results, and ominous implications for a country built on “due process,” and the defense of individual rights. …

This ideological framework — abstract and collectivist — eliminates individual nuance and distinction. … What is important is no longer the particulars of [individual] cases, or the character of the individuals involved, but their collective identity  — as white oppressor males — and the collective identity of their alleged victims, oppressed women. …

While democracy and individual freedoms still prevail in America, the injustices perpetrated by these totalitarian ideas, which have caused so much misery in modern times, will be limited. But the totalitarian march has already resulted in a kind of civil war in our political life, although such violence as exists has been mainly verbal. But consider what happened when there were no democratic restraints and these ideas became the reigning ideology of a Marxist state in 1917: “We are not carrying out war against individuals,” explained a member of Lenin’s secret police about his government’s campaign against the kulaks, or land-owning peasants. “We are exterminating the bourgeoisie as a class. We are not looking for evidence or witnesses to reveal deeds or words against the Soviet power. The first question we ask is — to what class does he belong, what are his origins, upbringing, education or profession? These questions define the fate of the accused. This is the essence of the Red Terror.”

Similar questions have already defined the fate of the accused in our country, and the frequency of such incidents should be a warning. Thankfully, despite the disturbing influence of identity politics in our schools, in the Democratic Party, and among growing number of political actors, we are still far away from a Red Terror. But as Ronald Reagan famously warned:

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

The erosion of individual freedom and individual rights, and of the idea of individual agency and accountability, is well advanced. The policies of the Democratic Party on immigration, race, women and a host of critical issues are now shaped by a collectivist, identity politics mentality. We cannot be certain where this will lead, and we should be alarmed that it has gotten so far.

The article is worth reading in full. It can be found here.

“Classical liberalism” and contemporary conservatism 0

We find this essay by Yoram Hazony peculiarly interesting, so we are posting it in full.

It was published in the Wall Street Journal two days ago on October 13, 2017.

We have long assumed that contemporary Western conservatism is “liberal” in the sense that John Locke and Adam Smith used the term. This essay enlightens us about that. We discover that we are not “classical liberals” after all.

And we are surprised to learn from Yoram Hazony that Friedrich Hayek, whom we much admire and often quote, was at one time an advocate for world government. (We have called world government “the ultimate nightmare” in an essay listed under Pages in our margin). The same goes for Ludwig von Mises. And we are less surprised but still concerned to learn that Charles Krauthammer is too.

We offer no criticism, make no comment, except to say that, like Hayek, Milton Friedman, Robert Nozick and Ayn Rand, we still “place religion outside the scope of what is essential to know about politics and government”.

Is ‘Classical Liberalism’ Conservative?

American conservatism is having something of an identity crisis. Most conservatives supported Donald Trump last November. But many prominent conservative intellectuals—journalists, academics and think-tank personalities—have entrenched themselves in bitter opposition. Some have left the Republican Party, while others are waging guerrilla warfare against a Republican administration. Longtime friendships have been ended and resignations tendered. Talk of establishing a new political party alternates with declarations that Mr. Trump will be denied the GOP nomination in 2020.

Those in the “Never Trump” camp say the cause of the split is the president—that he’s mentally unstable, morally unspeakable, a leftist populist, a rightist authoritarian, a danger to the republic. One prominent Republican told me he is praying for Mr. Trump to have a brain aneurysm so the nightmare can end.

But the conservative unity that Never Trumpers seek won’t be coming back, even if the president leaves office prematurely. An apparently unbridgeable ideological chasm is opening between two camps that were once closely allied. Mr. Trump’s rise is the effect, not the cause, of this rift.

There are two principal causes: first, the increasingly rigid ideology conservative intellectuals have promoted since the end of the Cold War; second, a series of events — from the failed attempt to bring democracy to Iraq to the implosion of Wall Street — that have made the prevailing conservative ideology seem naive and reckless to the broader conservative public.

A good place to start thinking about this is a 1989 essay in the National Interest by Charles Krauthammer. The Cold War was coming to an end, and Mr. Krauthammer proposed it should be supplanted by what he called “Universal Dominion” (the title of the essay): America was going to create a Western “super-sovereign” that would establish peace and prosperity throughout the world. The cost would be “the conscious depreciation not only of American sovereignty, but of the notion of sovereignty in general.”

William Kristol and Robert Kagan presented a similar view in their 1996 essay “Toward a Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy” in Foreign Affairs, which proposed an American “benevolent global hegemony” that would have “preponderant influence and authority over all others in its domain”.

Then, as now, conservative commentators insisted that the world should want such an arrangement because the U.S. knows best: The American way of politics, based on individual liberties and free markets, is the right way for human beings to live everywhere. Japan and Germany, after all, were once-hostile authoritarian nations that had flourished after being conquered and acquiescing in American political principles. With the collapse of communism, dozens of countries — from Eastern Europe to East Asia to Latin America — seemed to need, and in differing degrees to be open to, American tutelage of this kind. As the bearer of universal political truth, the U.S. was said to have an obligation to ensure that every nation was coaxed, maybe even coerced, into adopting its principles.

Any foreign policy aimed at establishing American universal dominion faces considerable practical challenges, not least because many nations don’t want to live under U.S. authority. But the conservative intellectuals who have set out to promote this Hegelian world revolution must also contend with a problem of different kind: Their aim cannot be squared with the political tradition for which they are ostensibly the spokesmen.

For centuries, Anglo-American conservatism has favored individual liberty and economic freedom. But as the Oxford historian of conservatism Anthony Quinton emphasized, this tradition is empiricist and regards successful political arrangements as developing through an unceasing process of trial and error. As such, it is deeply skeptical of claims about universal political truths. The most important conservative figures — including John Fortescue, John Selden, Montesquieu, Edmund Burke and Alexander Hamilton — believed that different political arrangements would be fitting for different nations, each in keeping with the specific conditions it faces and traditions it inherits. What works in one country can’t easily be transplanted.

On that view, the U.S. Constitution worked so well because it preserved principles the American colonists had brought with them from England. The framework — the balance between the executive and legislative branches, the bicameral legislature, the jury trial and due process, the bill of rights — was already familiar from the English constitution. Attempts to transplant Anglo-American political institutions in places such as Mexico, Nigeria, Russia and Iraq have collapsed time and again, because the political traditions needed to maintain them did not exist. Even in France, Germany and Italy, representative government failed repeatedly into the mid-20th century (recall the collapse of France’s Fourth Republic in 1958), and has now been shunted aside by a European Union whose notorious “democracy deficit” reflects a continuing inability to adopt Anglo-American constitutional norms.

The “universal dominion” agenda is flatly contradicted by centuries of Anglo-American conservative political thought. This may be one reason that some post-Cold War conservative intellectuals have shifted to calling themselves “classical liberals”. Last year Paul Ryan insisted: “I really call myself a classical liberal more than a conservative.” Mr. Kristol tweeted in August: “Conservatives could ‘rebrand’ as liberals. Seriously. We’re for liberal democracy, liberal world order, liberal economy, liberal education.”

What is “classical liberalism,” and how does it differ from conservatism? As Quinton pointed out, the liberal tradition descends from Hobbes and Locke, who were not empiricists but rationalists: Their aim was to deduce universally valid political principles from self-evident axioms, as in mathematics.

In his “Second Treatise on Government” (1689), Locke asserts that universal reason teaches the same political truths to all human beings; that all individuals are by nature “perfectly free” and “perfectly equal”; and that obligation to political institutions arises only from the consent of the individual. From these assumptions, Locke deduces a political doctrine that he supposes must hold good in all times and places.

The term “classical liberal” came into use in 20th-century America to distinguish the supporters of old-school laissez-faire from the welfare-state liberalism of figures such as Franklin D. Roosevelt. Modern classical liberals, inheriting the rationalism of Hobbes and Locke, believe they can speak authoritatively to the political needs of every human society, everywhere. In his seminal work, “Liberalism” (1927), the great classical-liberal economist Ludwig von Mises thus advocates a “world super-state really deserving of the name”, which will arise if we “succeed in creating throughout the world . . . nothing less than unqualified, unconditional acceptance of liberalism. Liberal thinking must permeate all nations, liberal principles must pervade all political institutions”.

Friedrich Hayek, the leading classical-liberal theorist of the 20th century, likewise argued, in a 1939 essay, for replacing independent nations with a world-wide federation: “The abrogation of national sovereignties and the creation of an effective international order of law is a necessary complement and the logical consummation of the liberal program.”

Classical liberalism thus offers ground for imposing a single doctrine on all nations for their own good. It provides an ideological basis for an American universal dominion.

By contrast, Anglo-American conservatism historically has had little interest in putatively self-evident political axioms. Conservatives want to learn from experience what actually holds societies together, benefits them and destroys them. That empiricism has persuaded most Anglo-American conservative thinkers of the importance of traditional Protestant institutions such as the independent national state, biblical religion and the family.

As an English Protestant, Locke could have endorsed these institutions as well. But his rationalist theory provides little basis for understanding their role in political life. Even today liberals are plagued by this failing: The rigidly Lockean assumptions of classical-liberal writers such as Hayek, Milton Friedman, Robert Nozick and Ayn Rand place the nation, the family and religion outside the scope of what is essential to know about politics and government. Students who grow up reading these brilliant writers develop an excellent grasp of how an economy works. But they are often marvelously ignorant about much else, having no clue why a flourishing state requires a cohesive nation, or how such bonds are established through family and religious ties.

The differences between the classical-liberal and conservative traditions have immense consequences for policy. Establishing democracy in Egypt or Iraq looks doable to classical liberals because they assume that human reason is everywhere the same, and that a commitment to individual liberties and free markets will arise rapidly once the benefits have been demonstrated and the impediments removed. Conservatives, on the other hand, see foreign civilizations as powerfully motivated — for bad reasons as well as good ones — to fight the dissolution of their way of life and the imposition of American values.

Integrating millions of immigrants from the Middle East also looks easy to classical liberals, because they believe virtually everyone will quickly see the advantages of American (or European) ways and accept them upon arrival. Conservatives recognize that large-scale assimilation can happen only when both sides are highly motivated to see it through. When that motivation is weak or absent, conservatives see an unassimilated migration, resulting in chronic mutual hatred and violence, as a perfectly plausible outcome.

Since classical liberals assume reason is everywhere the same, they see no great danger in “depreciating” national independence and outsourcing power to foreign bodies. American and British conservatives see such schemes as destroying the unique political foundation upon which their traditional freedoms are built.

Liberalism and conservatism had been opposed political positions since the day liberal theorizing first appeared in England in the 17th century. During the 20th-century battles against totalitarianism, necessity brought their adherents into close alliance. Classical liberals and conservatives fought together, along with communists, against Nazism. After 1945 they remained allies against communism. Over many decades of joint struggle, their differences were relegated to a back burner, creating a “fusionist” movement (as William F. Buckley’s National Review called it) in which one and all saw themselves as “conservatives”.

But since the fall of the Berlin Wall, circumstances have changed. Margaret Thatcher’s ouster from power in 1990 marked the end of serious resistance in Britain to the coming European “super-sovereign”. Within a few years the classical liberals’ agenda of universal dominion was the only game in town — ascendant not only among American Republicans and British Tories but even among center-left politicians such as Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.

Only it didn’t work. China, Russia and large portions of the Muslim world resisted a “new world order” whose express purpose was to bring liberalism to their countries. The attempt to impose a classical-liberal regime in Iraq by force, followed by strong-arm tactics aimed at bringing democracy to Egypt and Libya, led to the meltdown of political order in these states as well as in Syria and Yemen. Meanwhile, the world banking crisis made a mockery of classical liberals’ claim to know how to govern a world-wide market and bring prosperity to all. The shockingly rapid disintegration of the American family once again raised the question of whether classical liberalism has the resources to answer any political question outside the economic sphere.

Brexit and Mr. Trump’s rise are the direct result of a quarter-century of classical-liberal hegemony over the parties of the right. Neither Mr. Trump nor the Brexiteers were necessarily seeking a conservative revival. But in placing a renewed nationalism at the center of their politics, they shattered classical liberalism’s grip, paving the way for a return to empiricist conservatism. Once you start trying to understand politics by learning from experience rather than by deducing your views from 17th-century rationalist dogma, you never know what you may end up discovering.

Mr. Hazony is president of the Jerusalem-based Herzl Institute. His book “The Virtue of Nationalism” will be published next year by Basic.

 

(Hat-tip to our reader and commenter, Cogito)

The Democrats don’t love Russia any more 1

Our anti-Trump media accepted the January 6 report, Declassified Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections, because it was designed to convey the impression that Trump was favored by the Russians.

But it is the Democrats who have long enjoyed (if that is the right word) a warm relationship with Russian regimes in both their Soviet Socialist and crony-capitalist mode. At least the Dems wanted to. Whether the Russians ever reciprocated the warm feeling remains a matter of conjecture. Skeptics and Republicans will have one opinion, Democrats and other Leftists another.

We quote from an article by Cliff Kincaid at GOPUSA:

The Russians obtained favored nation trading status under President Obama, giving them access to U.S. capital, and New START, a nuclear weapons agreement giving Moscow a strategic advantage.

Historically, the Russians have always found the Democrats to be friendlier to their global ambitions.

Professor Paul Kengor broke a story on how “the liberals’ lover-boy”, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), had “reached out to Victor Chebrikov at the KGB and Yuri Andropov at the Kremlin” to work against President Ronald Reagan.

Remember that, you who are outraged by the notion – born in your own minds – that President-elect Trump conspired with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton in the recent election.

Such a charge [of Trump-Putin conspiracy] was welcomed by the liberal media, in particular because it allowed them to divert attention away from the substance of the WikiLeaks revelations that showed how major journalists worked hand-in-glove with Hillary Clinton-for-president staffers. These disclosures were in emails hacked from the account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee.

Not even the persons most eager to smear Donald Trump claimed that the scandalous contents of the purloined emails (see here and here) were not true or not genuine. In fact the intelligence report positively states that they are true.

The IC report says that WikiLeaks, an alleged Russian agent, disseminated truthful information. “Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries,” the report says.

This is quite a turnaround for the Russians. In the past the Russians would alter or forge documents to make people look bad. This time, the Russians revealed the truth. … Of course, the Russians do not provide accurate and truthful information to their own people and they conduct propaganda and disinformation campaigns targeting foreign audiences. Their alleged illegal hacking into the private accounts of Americans cannot be justified. But Podesta and other Democrats can be criticized for failing to safeguard their own information and virtually inviting foreign hacking.

Russian intentions in allegedly providing the emails to WikiLeaks are a subject worthy of attention. But the conclusion that the Russians favored Trump over Clinton cannot be sustained by the evidence in the report. The IC report fails miserably in articulating how the Russians use dialectical maneuvers in playing both sides of the political street in the U.S.

One of the glaring omissions in the report on Russian interference in “recent elections” is the failure to address the evidence that RT [Russia Today] television was giving enormously favorable coverage in the 2012 presidential campaign to then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), a libertarian with pro-Russia views on foreign policy. He ran in the Republican presidential primary. …

Of course, Obama won that election, after dismissing his Republican opponent Mitt Romney’s claim that Russia was a geopolitical threat to the United States. Obama had been caught on an open mic before the election promising to be “flexible” in changing his positions to benefit Russia. These comments provide more evidence that Obama was never the anti-Russian figure he postured as in the final days of his second term. …

Obama’s various federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, the FCC and the FEC, refused to take any direct action against RT over the years when it was engaging in anti-Republican activities and supporting the progressive movement.

But when they saw they could use RT as a weapon against Trump, they suddenly became concerned about foreign interference in the U.S. political process.

Although the IC report insists that the Russians had a “preference” for Donald J. Trump for president … back in August of 2015 …  RT was backing “Bolshevik Bernie” Sanders for president. … Yet the intelligence community report makes no mention of RT programs backing Sanders, whose Russian connections included visiting the Soviet Union on his honeymoon. Sanders was a fellow traveler of the Moscow-controlled U.S. Peace Council.

The focus on Trump runs counter to the stated purpose of the report and reflects the political bias therein. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) says that “On December 9, 2016, President Barack Obama directed the Intelligence Community to conduct a full review and produce a comprehensive intelligence report assessing Russian activities and intentions in recent U.S. elections.” (emphasis added). Yet, nothing is said about RT’s involvement in the 2012 contest that Obama won.

The U.S. Intelligence Community is described as “a coalition of 17 agencies and organizations, including the ODNI,” but only three were involved in the report. They were the CIA, FBI and NSA. It is generally believed that CIA Director John Brennan was the guiding force behind the Obama administration effort to blame the Russians for Trump’s election victory. Former CIA officials Michael Morell, Michael Hayden and Philip Mudd had all denounced Trump.

It certainly looks as if the CIA interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Perhaps blaming the Russians was an attempt to get the attention off the agency.

Brennan was accused of converting to Islam when he was stationed in Saudi Arabia. His CIA under Obama’s orders directed the shipment of arms to jihadist groups in the Middle East. At a congressional panel on diversity in hiring, he admitted voting Communist when he was in college.

His focus at the agency has been on hiring people with “diverse” backgrounds, such as transgenders, and he even signed a policy document on a “Diversity and Inclusion Strategy” for the years 2016 to 2019, beyond his tenure as director.

Rather than go down in history with a reputation for defending America, … Brennan “would prefer his legacy be the way he fought to nurture a workforce that reflected America’s diversity”. The Journal added, “During his tenure he has put particular emphasis on promoting the interests of gay, lesbian, and transgender officers. He was the first CIA director to attend an annual social gathering of LGBTQ employees and has been known to wear a rainbow lanyard around the office as a symbol of solidarity.”

It looks like the focus on “diversity” in hiring has taken precedence over getting the facts right about foreign threats. Indeed, some observers, such as former FBI agent John Guandolo, have suggested that President Trump should abolish and replace the CIA with a new organization. “In 15 years they haven’t gotten a strategic analysis of the threat right — yet”  …

The CIA will have to answer to its new director, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Trump’s pick to run the agency.

But the media have a lot to answer for as well.

If WikiLeaks has suddenly became a Russian front or conduit, why are American news organizations such as The New York Times and The Washington Post still included among the “partners” with WikiLeaks in distributing its information? Other partners include the British Guardian, The Intercept, The Nation, McClatchy, The Wall Street Journal, and, of course, RT. 

If WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a Russian agent, why did major U.S. media organizations partner with him? Why did they not investigate him …? Assange was considered a courageous whistleblower by the liberal press. They hailed WikiLeaks for releasing the classified documents that were stolen by Army intelligence analyst Bradley/Chelsea Manning, whose sentence for espionage has been shortened by Obama.

Obama has commuted Bradley’s 35 year sentence, allowing the convict to be freed in May 2017 – iniquitously, and in contradiction to his outrage at the Russian interference that he alleges.

In addition to these issues and questions, some parts of the report lend themselves to a far different interpretation of Russian motives in U.S. politics.

For example, the IC report notes that RT ran a story against fracking, a technique that has sparked U.S. oil and gas production. The report says, “RT runs anti-fracking programming, highlighting environmental issues and the impacts on public health. This is likely reflective of the Russian Government’s concern about the impact of fracking and US natural gas production on the global energy market and the potential challenges to Gazprom’s profitability.”

The 2016 Democratic Party platform is highly critical of fracking. So does this mean the Democrats are doing the bidding of Putin? The progressive movement is almost completely against fracking. Does that mean that the progressives are puppets of Putin? …

By [an] objective measure of actual policies,Trump will prove to be more harmful to Russia than Hillary Clinton could ever hope to be.

And she surely would not have hoped to be harmful to Russia – not to Russia – when she was still in a position to hope for any effect on international relations. Fortunately, that time has passed.

We had noted RT’s favorable coverage of the Occupy movement. Of course, Occupy Wall Street was a left-wing political movement aligned with the progressives and even encouraged by President Obama. So does this mean that Obama was doing the bidding of the Russians?

The IC report explains how RT bypassed American laws such as the Foreign Agents Registration Act “by using a Moscow-based autonomous nonprofit organization to finance its US operations”. The report goes on, “According to RT’s leadership, this structure was set up to avoid the Foreign Agents Registration Act and to facilitate licensing abroad. In addition, RT rebranded itself in 2008 to deemphasize its Russian origin.” Still, the financing for the channel comes from the Russian government, the report says.

So RT is, and has been, a foreign state-funded entity that should be subject to federal oversight from agencies such as the Department of Justice, the FCC, and the FEC. Yet, only now, after Hillary Clinton has lost the presidential election, has the IC been ordered to release a public report on what the Russian channel has been doing in U.S. elections.

The only thing that has changed over the years is that RT is now somehow considered to be a factor in Hillary Clinton’s defeat.

If the liberal media are now truly concerned about Russian influence in the U.S. political process, rather than just using the issue as a weapon against Trump, they should … review their own “partner” relationship with Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

After this review is complete, they should take another look at the IC report and determine why and how agencies like the CIA became adjuncts of the Democratic Party with a partisan bias against the new Republican president.

Since we know that the media and the Democrats work hand-in-glove, perhaps it’s time to investigate the CIA’s relationship with the media.

Yes. Tomorrow, January 20, 2017, will be the day when that becomes possible, and sometime soon may it become an active process!

Reagan’s instinct, always sound 5

trump1

Posted under Miscellaneous, United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, November 14, 2016

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The State of the Union address, January 1982 11

Last night President Obama delivered a drab and depressing State of the Union address. The most discouraging point he made was that he would (continue to) implement his radical agenda by executive order, by-passing Congress.

To remind us all what America was and could be again, here’s President Reagan delivering a State of the Union address thirty-two years ago. The most important parts of it still have relevance today, and the speech and the speaker can still stir and inspire. (We overlook the few “God” references. The rest is fine.)

 

American liberalism lost and gone 2

“Liberal” is a misnomer for the American mainstream Left. The Democratic Party has become a socialist party, and socialists are not liberal in the plain meaning of the word. Democrats are not for liberty, they are against liberty. They are for government control of the people. They hate Republicans, conservatives, the Tea-Party and anybody who believes in individual freedom and a government that serves rather than masters the people, and their hatred inspires and motivates them. They reflexively blame the Right for everything that goes wrong. Every time there is a terrorist attack in America the leftist MSM declares that the Right must be to blame. In almost all instances it turns out that their allies, Muslim jihadis, are actually the perpetrators. (The few exceptions have almost all been lunatics.) The growth of illiberality among the so-called liberals dates back at least five decades, when the Left did its utmost to blame the Right for the assassination of President Kennedy. The fact that the assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was a creature of the Left was …

… an inconvenient fact [which] had to be expunged. So, 24 months after the assassination, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., the Kennedys’ kept historian, published a thousand-page history of the thousand-day presidency without mentioning the assassin.

So George Will writes at Investor’s Business Daily. He goes on:

The afternoon of the assassination, Chief Justice Earl Warren ascribed Kennedy’s “martyrdom” to “the hatred and bitterness that has been injected into the life of our nation by bigots.” The next day, New York Times luminary James Reston wrote in a front-page story that Kennedy was a victim of “a streak of violence in the American character”, but especially of “the violence of the extremists on the right”.

Never mind that adjacent to Reston’s article was a Times report on Oswald’s communist convictions and associations.

Three days after the assassination, a Times editorial, Spiral of Hate, identified Kennedy’s killer as a “spirit”: The Times deplored “the shame all America must bear for the spirit of madness and hate that struck down” Kennedy. The editorialists were, presumably, immune to this spirit. The new liberalism-as-paternalism would be about correcting others’ defects.

Hitherto a doctrine of American celebration and optimism, liberalism would now become a scowling indictment: Kennedy was killed by America’s social climate whose sickness required “punitive liberalism”. 

That phrase is from the Manhattan Institute’s James Piereson, whose 2007 book Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism is a profound meditation on the reverberations of the rifle shots in Dealey Plaza.

The bullets of Nov. 22, 1963, altered the nation’s trajectory less by killing a president than by giving birth to a destructive narrative about America.

In George Will’s view, however, this meant the beginning of liberalism’s own decline in America.

Fittingly, the narrative was most injurious to the narrators. Their recasting of the tragedy to validate their curdled conception of the nation marked a ruinous turn for liberalism, beginning its decline from political dominance.

Punitive liberalism preached the necessity of national repentance for a history of crimes and misdeeds that had produced a present so poisonous that it murdered a president.

To be a liberal would mean being a scold. Liberalism would become the doctrine of grievance groups owed redress for cumulative inherited injuries inflicted by the nation’s tawdry history, toxic present and ominous future.

Kennedy’s posthumous reputation — Americans often place him, absurdly, atop the presidential rankings — reflects regrets about might-have-beens. …

But the Kennedys were not the stuff great leaders are made of. JFK was not on course to take American power, prosperity and prestige to new heights. Rather, “the Kennedys pioneered the presidency-as-entertainment”.

Under Kennedy, liberalism began to become more stylistic than programmatic. After him — [and] after his successor, Lyndon Johnson, a child of the New Deal, drove to enactment the Civil Rights Acts, Medicare and Medicaid — liberalism became less concerned with material well-being than with lifestyle and issues such as feminism, abortion and sexual freedom.

Sexual freedom being the only freedom liberals now manifestly approve of. More – they promote it with enthusiasm.

The bullets fired on Nov. 22, 1963, could shatter the social consensus that characterized the 1950s only because powerful new forces of an adversarial culture were about to erupt through society’s crust. Foremost among these was the college-bound population bulge — baby boomers with their sense of entitlement and moral superiority, vanities encouraged by an intelligentsia bored by peace and prosperity and hungry for heroic politics.

It is a devastating thought, that people can become bored by peace and prosperity. An appetite for heroic politics is an even worse phenomenon, a romantic phenomenon. It’s what motivated millions of Germans passionately to support the Nazi Party in the 1930s. And, as George Will implies, it is a desire that drives many into the collectivist Left – the Left that anti-liberal “liberalism” has become in America.

Liberalism’s disarray during the late 1960s, combined with Americans’ recoil from liberal hectoring, catalyzed the revival of conservatism in the 1970s. As Piereson writes, the retreat of liberalism from a doctrine of American affirmation left a void that would be filled by Ronald Reagan 17 years after the assassination.

But since Reagan the illiberal Left has risen again. And its season in power this time has been as disastrous for America – and for the world – as were the years of President Franklin Delaney Roosevelt (who helped to defeat Nazism, but allowed Communism to spread in Eastern Europe, and fathered the New Deal.) What it is doing now is probably even worse.

Government and the people 1

The Democrats believe we all “belong to the government”. Here’s part of the the video clip shown at the Democratic National Convention in which they say so:

 

The Left really does think that the government is a sort of parent and master to whom we belong and who has a duty to nurture us, direct us, run our lives.

We on the other side think that the government should be our servant. As President Ronald Reagan did.

Here are some of the things he said about government:

Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.

Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.

Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.

Man is not free unless government is limited.

Government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem.

It is not my intention to do away with government. It is, rather, to make it work – work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it.

A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take it all away.

Government, the people said, was not our master, it is our servant; its only power that which we the people allow it to have.

Obama’s government has taken too much power. The people must take it back again.

Posted under Collectivism, Commentary, government, liberalism, liberty, Progressivism, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, September 5, 2012

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