USSA? 3

The billionaire technocrats who own the search engines and communication media are traitors. They should be on our side, but instead they align themselves with the Organizers, the oppressors.

They grew rich because they were free. Now they want to take away freedom from everyone else by supporting the collectivist Left.

The technocrats reinforce the Leftist movement on campuses and in schoolrooms, in print publishing, TV and the film industry; to diminish, condemn, distort, exclude opinion adverse to their own. If spokesmen for the Right make it to a venue where they have been invited to speak, they are shouted down by the Left, even quite often physically assaulted. They are refused publication. If they achieve an audience, they are censored until they can be successfully banned and silenced.

We are approaching a kind of totalitarianism.

It will be much worse if the now far-left Democratic Party not only keeps control of the House, but gains the Senate and the Presidency. The “Democratic Socialists” will more than likely criminalize the Republican Party in order to entrench themselves. The Republican Party may see this coming, but it puts up feeble resistance. We only have Trump between us and a Union of Socialist States of America. As long as he is in power, Americans will continue to be able to own property, keep most of what they earn, and travel freely. But who can succeed him who will be as strong a defender of what remains of our liberty?

The Left wants to abandon the Constitution or make it a “living document” that can be altered by a simple majority. Can’t be done? Hard to alter the Constitution? It will be easy if the rule of law is abandoned. The first right to go will be freedom of speech (already under attack on the same stupid grounds as in Europe – calling free speech “hate speech”). The next, the right to bear arms. Gone, the First and Second Amendments.

The political leadership of the Left is now so absurd that the Democratic Socialist Party would disintegrate if it were not for the truly powerful non-politicians who are keeping it alive: the academics and the technocrats – and the growing electorate of the un- and ill-educated.

The Left has marched through the institutions. It won the presidency for 8 years and resents losing it. It educates new generations to hate the Founders’ America, to despise individual freedom and capitalism. Millions of voters for Socialism are rising.

With the help of the technocrats, all opposition will be silenced.  

Of course the tens of millions of voters for Trump will not put up with it. They will not give up their guns. If speech is banned, how can they answer but with their guns?

Posted under Leftism, Socialism, tyranny, United States, US Constitution by Jillian Becker on Monday, April 22, 2019

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Mr. Mueller’s report 3

Have you read the Mueller report? (It’s easy to find on the net. Lots of the websites that Google favors have published it in full. And it’s not very long.)

Yes, that Mueller. The one who produced a report.

It’s a strangely empty document.

It reads to us as if it were written in haste. The second part is more a meditation on small sayings and events which it cannot make up its mind about … what might they mean? We cannot tell. We are not sure. They might mean something …

Which is odd since it took a couple of years to be born, well nourished on malice.

To understate the matter, it not only fails to justify the length of time it took to come to its unsurprising conclusions (where it comes to any at all), but also the number of people it kept busy, or its enormous cost.

Its gestation apparently required the destruction of several lives, the imprisonment and bankrupting of some men, and the ruining of their reputations for doing nothing much.

It should have been aborted.

When it emerged with drum-roll and trumpeting that echoed round the globe – voila! – there arrived …. an anti-climax!

For all the effort of its numerous progenitors, and all the hope which they invested in it, they could not make it do what they wanted.

Reality is an obstinate barrier to fantasy’s wish-fulfillment.

It reveals nothing of any interest that was not already known – except of course to the Democrats and their toadying media the total innocence of President Trump on the charge of his “colluding” with an enemy power to defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

To them that is a shocking surprise because they had convinced themselves that it would condemn him as a traitor – because they really, really hate him, because – and now that it doesn’t … Hear them roar!

Amazing that leading politicians are bitterly disappointed and foaming furious to learn that the duly elected president of their country is NOT a traitor!

Posted under corruption, Leftism, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, April 19, 2019

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The man who let out secrets 3

Julian Assange, the man who published secrets stolen from the Pentagon by Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning, was dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London yesterday (April 12, 2019) and is being held in jail while an extradition request from the US is being considered.

 

 

AP reports:

A bearded and shouting Julian Assange was pulled from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and hauled into court Thursday, the start of an extradition battle for the WikiLeaks founder who faces U.S. charges related to the publication of tens of thousands of secret government documents.

Police arrested Assange after the South American nation revoked the political asylum that had given him sanctuary for almost seven years. Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno said he took the action due to “repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life protocols”.

In Washington, the U.S. Justice Department accused Assange of conspiring with former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to break into a classified government computer at the Pentagon. The charge was announced after Assange was taken into custody.

His lawyer said the 47-year-old Assange would fight extradition to the U.S.

Assange took refuge in the embassy in 2012 after he was released on bail in Britain while facing extradition to Sweden on sexual assault allegations that have since been dropped. He refused to leave the embassy, fearing arrest and extradition to the U.S. for publishing classified military and diplomatic cables through WikiLeaks.

Manning, who served several years in prison for leaking troves of classified documents before her sentence was commuted by then-President Barack Obama, is again in custody in Alexandria, Virginia, for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks.

Over the years, Assange used Ecuador’s embassy as a staging post to keep his name before the public, frequently making appearances on its tiny balcony, posing for pictures and reading statements. Even his cat became well-known.

But his presence was an embarrassment to U.K. authorities, who for years kept a police presence around the clock outside the embassy, costing taxpayers millions in police overtime. Such surveillance was removed in 2015, but the embassy remained a focal point for his activities.

Video posted online by Ruptly, a news service of Russia Today, showed several men in suits pulling a handcuffed Assange out of the embassy and loading him into a police van while uniformed British police formed a passageway. Assange … shouted and gestured as he was removed …

He later appeared in Westminster Magistrates’ Court, where District Judge Michael Snow wasted no time in finding him guilty of breaching his bail conditions, flatly rejecting his assertion that he had not had a fair hearing and a reasonable excuse for not appearing.

“Mr. Assange’s behavior is that of a narcissist who cannot get beyond his own selfish interests,” Snow said. “He hasn’t come close to establishing ‘reasonable excuse’.”

Assange waved to the packed public gallery as he was taken to the cells. His next appearance was set for May 2 via prison video-link in relation to the extradition case.

Assange’s attorney, Jennifer Robinson, said he will fight any extradition to the U.S.

“This sets a dangerous precedent for all journalist and media organizations in Europe and around the world,” she said. “This precedent means that any journalist can be extradited for prosecution in the United States for having published truthful information about the United States.”

Asked at the White House about the arrest, President Donald Trump declared, “It’s not my thing,” and “I know nothing about WikiLeaks,” despite praising the anti-secrecy organization dozens of times during his 2016 campaign.

Speaking in Parliament, British Prime Minister Theresa May said the arrest shows that “no one is above the law”.

A stupid remark that, inapplicable to Julian Assange. It would apply to people in power who evade answering for their crimes, such as Hillary Clinton.

Moreno [President Lenin Moreno of Ecuador] said in a video posted on Twitter that Ecuador was no longer willing to give Assange protection. Other Ecuadorian officials in Quito accused supporters of WikiLeaks and two Russian hackers of trying to destabilize the country. …

Assange has been under U.S. Justice Department scrutiny for years for WikiLeaks’ role in publishing government secrets. He was an important figure in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe as investigators examined how WikiLeaks obtained emails that were stolen from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and Democratic groups.

WikiLeaks quickly drew attention to U.S. interest in Assange and said that Ecuador had illegally terminated Assange’s political asylum “in violation of international law”.

“Powerful actors, including CIA, are engaged in a sophisticated effort to de-humanise, de-legitimize and imprison him,” the group said in a tweet over a photo of Assange’s smiling face. …

Assange’s arrest came a day after WikiLeaks accused Ecuador’s government of an “extensive spying operation” against him. It alleges that meetings with lawyers and a doctor in the embassy over the past year were secretly filmed. …

Former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa called [President] Moreno’s decision “cowardly”, accusing him of retaliating against Assange for WikiLeaks spreading allegations about an offshore bank account purportedly linked to Moreno’s family and friends.

Allegations were made that the publication by Wikileaks of the stolen information endangered American agents in foreign countries. Of course that would tell against Assange. But he has denied it, and it has not been confirmed.

Assange was at one time accused of acting for Russia, which he also denied.

We agree with Mark Steyn’s opinion of the matter.

At issue is not the honesty or the virtue or the motives of Julian Assange.

The issue is liberty. 

We would like to know our readers’ opinions. 

Calumnies, collusion, conspiracy, and crimes 1

Victor David Hanson, writing at American Greatness, provides this summary of the lies that Hillary Clinton and a cabal of dishonest Obama-appointees told, and the crimes they committed, in a conspiracy to get the duly elected president, Donald Trump, falsely convicted of treason.

The irony of the entire Russian collusion hoax is that accusers who cried the loudest about leaking, collusion, lying, and obstruction are themselves soon very likely to be accused of just those crimes.

Now that Robert Mueller’s 674-day, $30 million investigation is over and has failed to find the original goal of its mandate — evidence of a criminal conspiracy between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government to sway the 2016 election — and now that thousands of once-sealed government documents will likely be released in unredacted form, those who eagerly assumed the role of the hunters may become the hunted, due to their own zealous violation of the nation’s trust and its laws.

Take Lying

Former FBI Director James Comey’s testimonies cannot be reconciled with those of his own deputy director Andrew McCabe. He falsely testified that the Steele dossier was not the main basis for obtaining FISA court warrants. On at least 245 occasions, Comey swore under oath that he either did not know, or could not remember, when asked direct questions about his conduct at the FBI. He likely lied when he testified that he did not conclude his assessment of the Clinton illegal email use before he had even interviewed Clinton, an assertion contradicted by his own written report. I guess his credo and modus operandi are reflected in the subtitle of his recent autobiography A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.

Andrew McCabe currently is under criminal referral for lying to federal investigators about leaking to the media. He and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein each have accused each other of not telling the whole truth about their shared caper of trying to force President Trump out of office by invoking the 25th Amendment.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has admitted to lying under oath to Congress — and since lied about his earlier admission of that lying. His recent sworn congressional testimony of not having leaked information about the Steele dossier to the media is again likely to be untrue, given that Clapper had admitted to speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper about the dossier’s contents. CNN, remember, would in turn go on to hire the mendacious Clapper as an analyst. And once on air, Clapper would insist that Trump was both a Russian asset and thus guilty of collusion crimes greater than those of Watergate. Lies. All lies.

Former CIA Director John Brennan has admitted to lying under oath to Congress on two occasions. He may well face further legal exposure. When he lost his security clearance, he repeatedly lied that Trump was guilty of collusion, however that non-crime is defined. And as the Mueller probe wound down, Brennan with pseudo-authority and trumped-up hints of phony access to secret intelligence sources deceitfully assured the nation that Trump within days would face indictment — perhaps along with his family members.

Brennan in 2016 also reached out to foreign intelligence services, primary British and Australian, to surveille and entrap Trump aides, as a way of circumventing rules preventing CIA monitoring of American citizens. And he may well have also reverse-targeted Americans, under the guise of monitoring foreign nationals, in order to build a case of so-called Trump collusion.

Finally, Brennan testified to Congress in May 2017 that he had not been earlier aware of the dossier or its contents before the election, although in August 2016 it is almost certain that he had briefed Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on it in a spirited effort to have Reid pressure the FBI to keep or expand its counterintelligence investigation of Trump during the critical final weeks of the election.

Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin likely also lied to FBI investigators when they claimed they had no knowledge while working at the State Department that their boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was using an illegal private email server. In fact, they had read her communications on it and actually inquired about its efficacy.

Samantha Power, the former U.N. ambassador, in her last year in office requested on more than 260 occasions to unmask names of Americans monitored by the government. Yet Power later claimed that most of these requests were not made by her. And yet she either does not know or does not cite who exactly used her name to make such requests during the election cycle. In any case, no one has come forward to admit to the improper use of Power’s name to request the hundreds of unmaskings.

Susan Rice, the former Obama national security advisor, could have made a number of unmasking requests in Power’s name, although she initially denied making any requests in her own name—a lie she immediately amended. Rice, remember, repeatedly lied on national television about the cause and origins of the Benghazi attack, denied there were cash payments for hostages in the Iran deal, misled about the conduct of Beau Bergdahl, and prevaricated over the existence and destruction of weapons of mass destruction in Syria.

Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr did not tell the truth on a federal written disclosure required by law when he omitted the key fact that his wife Nellie worked on Christopher Steele’s Fusion GPS dossier. Ohr’s testimony that he completely briefed key FBI officials on the dossier in July or August 2016 is not compatible to what former FBI attorney Lisa Page has testified to concerning the dates of her own knowledge of the Steele material.

Take Foreign Collusion

Christopher Steele is a foreign national. So are many of the Russian sources that he claims he had contacted to solicit dirt on Donald Trump and his campaign aides. In fact, John Brennan’s CIA, soon in consultation with the FBI, was used in circuitous fashion to facilitate surveillance of Donald Trump’s campaign through the use of foreign nationals during the 2016 campaign.

Foreigners such as Maltese professor Josef Mifsud, and former Australian minister for foreign affairs Alexander Downer and an array of intelligence contractors from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) mysteriously met with minor Trump aide George Papadopoulos and others. It is likely that to disguise American intelligence agencies’ efforts to besmirch, surveille, and leak to the press damaging unfounded rumors about the Trump campaign that John Brennan enlisted an entire cadre of foreign nationals. And it is likely to be the most egregious example of using non-U.S. citizens to affect the outcome of an election in our history.

If there is a crime of foreign collusion — a conspiracy of U.S. officials to use foreigners to interfere with an American election — then Brennan’s efforts are the textbook example.

Take Leaking

Many of the names unmasked by requests from Samantha Power and Susan Rice were leaked illegally to the media. James Comey himself leaked confidential memos of presidential conversations to the press; in at least one case, the memo was likely classified.

Former FBI general counsel James Baker is currently under criminal referral for improperly leaking classified documents. He seems to have been in contact with the media before the election and he may have been one of many FBI officials and contacts, along with Christopher Steele, that reporters such as David Corn, Michael Isikoff, and Julia Ioffe anonymously referenced in their pre-election published hit pieces on Russian collusion — all the result of the successful strategies of Fusion GPS, along with some in the FBI, to seed unverified anti-Trump gossip to warp the election.

Andrew McCabe also is under criminal referral both for leaking classified information and then lying about it.

In a fashion emblematic of this entire sordid mess, the always ethically compromised James Clapper in January 2017 had leaked the dossier to Jake Tapper of CNN and likely other journalists and then shortly afterwards publicly deplored just this sort of government leaking that had led to sensational stories about the dossier.

Take Obstruction of Justice

A number of FBI and Department of Justice high ranking employees such as James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Rod Rosenstein, and Sally Yates all signed off on FISA warrants to surveille Carter Page without apprising the courts that they knew that their chief evidence, the Steele Dossier, was unverified, was paid for by Hillary Clinton, and was used in circular fashion as the basis for news accounts presented to the court. Nor did the Justice Department and FBI officials apprise the FISA justices that Christopher Steele had been terminated as a FBI source.

No one believes that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch just happened to meet Bill Clinton on a Phoenix airport tarmac and confined their conservations to a variety of topics having nothing to do with Hillary Clinton — at a time when Lynch’s Justice Department was investigating her. Note the meeting was only disclosed because a reporter got a tip and arrived on the scene of the two adjoining Lynch and Clinton private jets — which suggests that the only thing Lynch and Clinton regretted was being found out. Few believe that Lynch had recused herself as she promised, given her strict oversight of the sort of language Comey’s FBI was allowed to use in its investigation of Clinton.

Take Conflict of Interest

Andrew McCabe never should have been in charge of the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton, given that just months earlier his wife had been the recipient of $675,000 in campaign cash donated by Clinton and Democratic Party-affiliated political action committees. And the apology of a “time line” that suggests conflicts of interest like McCabe’s expired after an arbitrary date is specious. McCabe knew his spouse had been a recent recipient of Clinton-related money, knew that he had substantial influence on the fate of her [Hillary Clinton’s] email investigation, and hoped and assumed that she was likely to be the next president of the United States quite soon.

Rod Rosenstein never should have been appointed acting attorney general in charge of oversight of the Mueller investigation. He knew Mueller well. In circular fashion, he had drafted the rationale to fire Comey that had prompted the Mueller’s appointment. He had signed off on a FISA warrant request without apprising the court of the true nature of the Steele dossier’s origins and nature. He had met shortly before the Mueller appointment with acting FBI director Andrew McCabe to investigate the chance of removing Trump under a distortion of the 25th Amendment. So, in essence, Rosenstein had been one of the catalysts for McCabe to investigate removing Trump for his own part in the removal of Comey and then in Orwellian fashion joined McCabe’s efforts.

Comey deliberately leaked a classified memo of a presidential conversation, in which he had misled the president about his actual status under FBI investigations, in order to cause enough media outrage over his firing to prompt the hiring of a special counsel. That gambit succeeded in the appointment of his own longtime associate Robert Mueller, who would be charged to investigate “collusion”, in which Comey played an important role in monitoring the Trump campaign with the assistance of British national Christopher Steele.

Robert Mueller did not need to appoint a legal team inordinately Democratic, which included attorneys who had been either donors to the Clinton campaign, or had been attorneys for Clinton aides, or had defended the Clinton Foundation. And he certainly should not have included on his investigative team that was charged with adjudicating Russian collusion in the 2016 election both Zainab Ahmad and Andrew Weissman, Obama Justice Department officials, who had been briefed by Bruce Ohr before the election on the nature of the Steele dossier and its use of foreign sources.

It will be difficult to unravel all of the above lying, distortion, and unethical and illegal conduct.

The motives of these bad actors are diverse, but they share a common denominator. As Washington politicos and administrative state careerists, all of them believed that Donald Trump was so abhorrent that he should be prevented from winning the 2016 election. After his stunning and shocking victory, they assumed further that either he should not be inaugurated or he should be removed from office as soon as they could arrange it.

They further reasoned that as high and esteemed unelected officials their efforts were above and beyond the law, and rightly so, given their assumed superior wisdom and morality.

Finally, if their initial efforts were predicated on winning not just exemption from the law, but even promotions and kudos from a grateful President Hillary Clinton, their subsequent energies at removing Trump and investing in the collusion hoax were preemptive and defensive. Seeding the collusion hoax was a way either of removing Trump who had the presidential power to call them all to account for their illegality, or at least causing so much media chaos and political havoc that their own crimes and misdemeanors would be forgotten by becoming submerged amid years of scandal, conspiracies, and media sensationalism.

And they were almost — but so far not quite — correct in all their assumptions.

They are people so low as to be truly beneath contempt. Their rightful place, as far from leadership positions in government and law-enforcement as any could be, is prison.

Transclassing into the new social order 2

Marx and Engels despised the Lumpenproletariat, “the social scum” they said it consisted of, “that passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of the old society”. It formed no part of the “revolutionary class” they wrote. That was the proletariat, the class of the workers. At best, they averred, the Lumpenproletariat “may, here and there, be swept into the movement by a proletarian revolution”.

But the Left lost its faith in the proletariat after the Second World War. Communist theorists glumly concluded that the workers of the world were not, after all, going to unite, lose their chains and win the world, as Marx had encouraged them to do. In Europe – most particularly in Germany – they were doing far too well in the capitalist system to want to change it.

So the New Left was born. Not in the Communist Second World, the Soviet Union and its empire. But in the First World, the Free West. The newness of the New Left lay in its shift of expectation from the workers to the Lumpenproletariat. The social scum became the new “revolutionary class”, would take over the historic role, the sacred task, and enact the earthly apocalypse. After which human beings, their nature transformed and standardized, would live in blissful equality ever after, everywhere on earth.

Marx and Engels’s Lumpenproletariat consisted of “beggars, tricksters, entertainers, buskers, criminals and prostitutes”. With the change, tricksters, entertainers, and buskers have had their membership in the new revolutionary class quietly canceled. Vagabonds and criminals remain. And new members have been added: Frantz Fanon’s “wretched of the earth”, the denizens of the poor Third World;  Herbert Marcuse’s “outcasts and outsiders, the exploited and persecuted of other races and colors, the unemployed and unemployable”. Blacks, who had not been classed by Marx as proletarian revolutionary material, are prime members. (Marx despised Blacks, though they were mostly workers; and he and Engels both opined that Slavs – a category that includes Russians, mark you, comrades! – should be annihilated. See for instance here and here.) All “persons of color” are included. Also the sexually abnormal. And women – all women, whether they like it or not. And, very recently, in dramatic opposition to original Marxism, people who are “unwilling to work”.

In Marxist terms, what the Democratic Party has become is a party of “scum”. What can be expected in the way of probity and competence from human scum? Not much. But it’s okay, the scum is not expected to rule. The rulers are still, and are expected to be White men.

And this new, vastly expanded revolutionary class is no longer to be thought of as a Lumpenproletariat, its  members as human scum. By virtue of their “oppression” they are the chosen, the best. Their oppressors are the White race. White men. A category that includes the theorists of the New Left themselves, the very makers of the new social order.

So the White men still in leadership positions on the ever-more-communist Left in America are performing public rituals of self-abasement. (Entertainers of a sort – re-admitted to the chosen class?)

Both the leading choices of the Democratic Party to date for the 2020 presidential election are White men.

One of them is a Marxist, a man of the Old Left, Bernie Sanders. The other, former Vice-President Joe Biden, though he has not yet declared his candidacy, is on tour with apologies for being a White man with a “White culture”.

What will he do about it?

Dominate from below?

Posted under communism, Leftism, Marxism, United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, April 1, 2019

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His mother’s son and her good friend 20

“I wouldn’t be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I have been accused of,” Jussie Smollett declared in a tone of righteous indignation after being acquitted of his malicious crimes by a corrupt court.

Who is his mother? What does it mean when he invokes her to advertise his own virtue?

She is Janet Smollett née Harris. She was a member of the Black Panthers. Angela Davis was a fellow member of the terrorist group, and they are still close friends.

A reminder of who Angela Davis is, from Discover the Networks, will reveal the ideas which these comrades embraced and the causes they served:

Angela Yvonne Davis is a tenured professor in the “History of Consciousness” program at the University of California – Santa Cruz. A former member of the Black Panther Party, she is currently a “university professor”, which entitles her to a six-figure salary and a research assistant. This income is supplemented by speaking fees ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 per appearance on college campuses, where she is an icon of radical faculty, administrators, and students. Davis has also taught at UCLA and the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Born into a middle-class family in Birmingham, Alabama on January 26, 1944, Davis attended segregated schools in that city until she enrolled at New York’s Little Red Schoolhouse (LRS), famous for its Communist faculty and student body. (Future Weather Underground terrorist Kathy Boudin attended that school during the same period as Davis).

After having been exposed to the Marxist classics at LRS, Davis moved on to a full scholarship at Elisabeth Irwin High School in New York, an adjunct of LRS. While attending these schools, she was a house guest of Herbert Aptheker, the Communist Party’s chief theoretician, and his family.

In 1961 Davis enrolled at Brandeis University, where she majored in French. She spent her junior year studying in Paris, where she came into contact with Algerian revolutionaries. Davis graduated from Brandeis in 1965 and then spent two years on the faculty of Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. She returned to the U.S. to take another teaching position at UCLA, where she worked with radical professor Herbert Marcuse.

Herbert Marcuse was one of the chief philosophers of the New Left, the 1968 student protest movements in Western countries, and the terrorist groups that emerged from them.

In 1968, as Soviet tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia to crush the “Prague spring”, Davis joined the Communist Party, voicing her belief that “the only path of liberation for black people is that which leads toward complete and radical overthrow of the capitalist class”. 

Davis supported the Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia, just as she would support its invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.

In September 1969 Davis was fired from UCLA when her membership in the Communist Party became known. This resulted in a celebrated First Amendment battle that made Davis a national figure and forced UCLA to rehire her.

In 1970 Davis was implicated by more than 20 witnesses in a plot to free her imprisoned lover, fellow Black Panther George Jackson, by hijacking a Marin County, California courtroom and taking hostage the judge, the prosecuting assistant district attorney, and two jurors. In an ensuing gun battle outside the court building, Judge Harold Haley’s head was blown off by a sawed-off shotgun owned by Ms. Davis.

The way that’s worded implies there is no proof of who it was who pulled the trigger that killed the Judge. It is known that Angela Davis supplied the gun. In whose hands was it when it was used to kill? It doesn’t strain credulity to imagine it was hers. But …

To avoid arrest for her alleged complicity in the plot, Ms. Davis fled California, using aliases and changing her appearance to avoid detection.

Two months later, Davis was arrested by the FBI in New York City. At her 1972 trial, Davis presented her version of where she had been and what she had been doing at the time of the shootout. Because she was acting as her own attorney, she could not be cross-examined. She presented a number of alibi witnesses, almost all Communist friends, who testified that she had been with them in Los Angeles playing Scrabble at the time of the Marin slaughter. Prosecution witnesses who placed her in Marin were dismissed by Davis and her fellow attorneys as being unable to accurately identify blacks — because they were white.

Following the announcement of the verdict that acquitted Davis, one juror faced news cameras and gave a revolutionary’s clenched-fist salute. He laughed at the justice system, saying that prosecutors had been mistaken to expect that the “middle-class jury” would convict Davis. He and most of the jurors then went off to partake in a Davis victory party.

In 1979 Davis was awarded the International Lenin Peace Prize (formerly named the International Stalin Peace Prize) by the East German police state. This honor was given by a Soviet government-appointed panel that sought to recognize individuals who had “strengthened peace among peoples” by advancing the agendas of the Kremlin and its totalitarian regime.

Wherever the Soviets used the word “peace”, always read “Communism”.

Davis ran for Vice President of the United States in 1980 and 1984, alongside Gus Hall, on the Communist Party ticket.

Gus Hall was the candidate John Brennan voted for. The John Brennan, that is, who was appointed head of the CIA by Barack Obama.

What lessons are to be drawn from the story of the murdering Black Panthers, from the manner in which its members conducted themselves, actively assisting the enemy of their country during the Cold War between the United States and the tyrannous dictatorship of Communist Russia? Are rising generations likely to look to them as models of probity, loyalty, patriotism, veracity, decency, humanity?

The right and chilling answer to that question is, in full, no, but as political heroes, all too probably yes.

A recollection of lies 2

Published by President Donald Trump on March 24, 2019, after the Attorney General reported that the investigation, conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, into whether he had “colluded” with President Putin of Russia to make Hillary Clinton lose the American presidential election in 2016, had found no evidence that he had. Of course.

Posted under corruption, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Monday, March 25, 2019

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The case against reparations 4

It is surely true to say that no matter who you are or where you come from, you have ancestors who were slaves and ancestors who owned slaves.

That alone is an argument against the idea that, on the grounds of an ancestral debt, people living now who do not and never have owned slaves, owe reparations to other people living now who are not and never have been slaves.

Yet a number of Americans – all Democratic Socialists, in a range of skin colors, some of them male but awfully sorry about it – who want to be president of the United States, are considering a policy of paying reparations to descendants of black slaves who were brought to America from Africa.

Those who are for it do not stipulate who will pay the reparations. All American tax-payers, including the descendants of slaves? All white American tax-payers? All Americans who have some white ancestors? Or only the descendants of slave owners?

Coleman Hughes, an undergraduate philosophy student at Columbia University, has written an article at Quillette which asks all the right questions about reparations, and gives all the right answers. It is a brilliant piece of lucid argument.

Coleman Hughes

In 2014, Ta-Nehisi Coates was catapulted to intellectual stardom by a lengthy Atlantic polemic entitled The Case for Reparations. The essay was an impassioned plea for Americans to grapple with the role of slavery, Jim Crow, and redlining in the creation of the wealth gap between blacks and whites, and it provoked a wide range of reactions. Some left-wing commentators swallowed Coates’s thesis whole, while others agreed in theory but objected that reparations are not a practical answer to legitimate grievances. The Right, for the most part, rejected the case both in theory and practice.

Although the piece polarized opinion, one fact was universally agreed upon: reparations would not be entering mainstream politics anytime soon. According to Coates’s critics, there was no way that a policy so unethical and so unpopular would gain traction. According to his fans, it was not the ethics of the policy but rather the complacency of whites—specifically, their stubborn refusal to acknowledge historical racism—that prevented reparations from receiving the consideration it merited. Coates himself, as recently as 2017, lamented that the idea of reparations was “roundly dismissed as crazy” and “remained far outside the borders of American politics”.

In the past month, we’ve all been proven wrong. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris have both endorsed the idea, and House speaker Nancy Pelosi has voiced support for proposals to study the effects of historical racism and suggest ways to compensate the descendants of slaves. These people are not on the margins of American politics. Most polls have Harris and Warren sitting in third and fourth place, respectively, in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, and Pelosi is two heart attacks away from the presidency.

Let me pre-empt an objection: neither Harris nor Warren has endorsed a race-specific program of reparations. Indeed Harris has made it clear that what she’s calling “reparations” is really just an income-based policy by another name. The package of policies hasn’t changed; only the label on the package has. So who cares?

In electoral politics, however, it is precisely the label that matters. Given that there’s nothing about her policies that requires Harris to slap the “reparations” label onto them, her decision to employ it suggests that it now has such positive connotations on the Left that she can’t reject the label without paying a political price. Five years ago, Coates, his fans, and his critics more or less agreed that it would be political suicide for a candidate to so much as utter the word “reparations” in an approving tone of voice. Now, we have a candidate like Harris who seems to think it’s political suicide not to. The Overton window has shifted.

In one sense, Coates should be celebrating. He, more than anyone, is responsible for the reintroduction of reparations into the public sphere. Most writers can only dream of having such influence. But in another sense, his victory is a pyrrhic one. That is, the very adoption of reparations by mainstream politicians throws doubt on the core message of Coates’s work. In his 2017 essay collection, We Were Eight Years in Power, Coates argued that racism is not merely“a tumor that could be isolated and removed from the body of America,” but “a pervasive system both native and essential to that body”; white supremacy is “so foundational to this country” that it will likely not be destroyed in this generation, the next, “or perhaps ever”; it is “a force so fundamental to America that it is difficult to imagine the country without it”.

Now ask yourself: How likely is it that a country matching Coates’s description would find itself with major presidential contenders proposing reparations for slavery, and not immediately plummeting in the polls? The challenge for Coates and his admirers, then, is to reconcile the following claims:

1. America remains a fundamentally white supremacist nation.

2. Presidential contenders are competing for the favor of a good portion of the American electorate partly by signaling how much they care about, and wish to redress, historical racism.

You can say (1) or you can say (2) but you can’t say them both at the same time without surrendering to incoherence. Coates himself has recognized this contradiction, albeit indirectly. “Why do white people like what I write?” he asked [italics in original] in We Were Eight Years in Power. He continued:

“The question would eventually overshadow the work, or maybe it would just feel like it did. Either way, there was a lesson in this: God might not save me, but neither would defiance. How do you defy a power that insists on claiming you? What does the story you tell matter, if the world is set upon hearing a different one?” [italics mine]

In Coates’s mind, the fact that so many white people love his work suggests that they do not fully understand it, that they are “hearing a different” story to the one he is telling. But a more parsimonious explanation is readily available: white progressives’ reading comprehension is fine and they genuinely love his message. This should be unsurprising since white progressives are now more “woke” than blacks themselves. For example, white progressives are significantly more likely than black people to agree that “racial discrimination is the main reason why blacks can’t get ahead”.

This presents a problem for Coates. If you believe, as he does, that the political Left “would much rather be talking about the class struggles” that appeal to “the working white masses” than “racist struggles,” then it must be jarring to realize that the very same, allegedly race-averse Left is the reason that your heavily race-themed books sit atop the New York Times bestseller list week after week. Coates’s ideology, in this sense, falls victim to its own success.

But a pyrrhic victory is a kind of victory nonetheless, and so, partly thanks to Coates, we must have the reparations debate once again.

First, a note on the framing of the debate: Virtually everyone who is against reparations is in favor of policies aimed at helping the poor. The debate, therefore, is not between reparations and doing nothing for black people, but between policy based on genealogy and policy based on socioeconomics. Accordingly, the burden on each side is not to show that its proposal is better than nothing—that would be easy. The burden on each side is to show that its preferred rationale for policy (either genealogy or socioeconomics) is better than the rationale proposed by the other side. And, framed as such, reparations for slavery is a losing argument.

For starters, an ancestral connection to slavery is a far less reliable predictor of privation than a low income. There are tens of millions of descendants of American slaves and many millions of them are doing just fine. As Kevin Williamson put it: “Some blacks are born into college-educated, well-off households, and some whites are born to heroin-addicted single mothers, and even the totality of racial crimes throughout American history does not mean that one of these things matters and one does not.”

Williamson’s observation holds not only between blacks and whites but between different black ethnic groups as well. Somali-Americans, for example, have lower per-capita incomes than native-born black Americans. Yet they would not see a dime from reparations, since they have no connection to American slavery. But should it matter why Somali immigrants are poorer than black American natives? Insofar as there is a reparations policy that would benefit the poor, should Somali immigrants be denied those benefits because they are poor for the wrong historical reasons? The idea can only be taken seriously by those who value symbolic justice for the dead over tangible justice for the living.

We can either direct resources toward the individuals who most need them, or we can direct them toward the socioeconomically-diverse members of historical victim groups. But we cannot direct the same resources in both directions at once. In 2019, “black” and “poor” are not synonyms. Every racial group in America contains millions of people who are struggling and millions of people who are not, and if any debt is owed, it is to the former.

Secondly, the case for reparations relies on the intellectually lazy assumption that the problems facing low-income blacks today are a part of the legacy of slavery. For most problems, however, the timelines don’t match up. Black teen unemployment, for instance, was virtually identical to white teen unemployment (in many years it was lower) until the mid-1950s, when, as Thomas Sowell observed in Discrimination and Disparities, successive minimum wage hikes and other macroeconomic forces artificially increased the price of unskilled labor to employers—a burden that fell hardest on black teens. Not only did problems like high youth unemployment and fatherless homes not appear in earnest until a century after the abolition of slavery, but similar patterns of social breakdown have since been observed in other groups that have no recent history of oppression to blame it on, such as the rise of single-parent homes in the white working class.

Nevertheless, there is a sense nowadays that history affects blacks to such a unique degree that it places us in a fundamentally different category from other groups. David Brooks, a New York Times columnist and a recent convert to the cause of reparations, recently explained that “while there have been many types of discrimination in our history”, the black experience is “unique and different” because it involves “a moral injury that simply isn’t there for other groups”.

I’m highly skeptical of the blacks-are-unique argument. For one thing, it’s not true that blacks have inherited psychological trauma from historical racism. Though the budding field of epigenetics is sometimes used to justify this claim, a recent New York Times article poured cold water on the hypothesis: “The research in epigenetics falls well short of demonstrating that past human cruelties affect our physiology today.” (For what it’s worth, this accords with my own experience. If there is a heritable psychological injury associated with being the descendant of slaves, I’ve yet to notice it.) 

But more importantly, if humans really carried the burden of history in our psyches, then all of us, regardless of race, would be carrying very heavy burdens indeed. Although American intellectuals speak of slavery as if it were a uniquely American phenomenon, it is actually an institution that was practiced in one form or another by nearly every major society since the dawn of civilization. As the Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson wrote in his massive study, Slavery and Social Death:

‘There is nothing notably peculiar about the institution of slavery. It has existed from before the dawn of human history right down to the twentieth century, in the most primitive human societies and in the most civilized. There is no region on earth that has not at some time harbored the institution. Probably there is no group of people whose ancestors were not at one time slaves or slaveholders.”

And that’s to say nothing of the traumas of war, poverty, and starvation that would show up abundantly in all of our ancestral histories if we were to look. Unless blacks are somehow exempt from the principles governing human psychology, the mental effects of historical racism have not been passed down through the generations. Yes, in the narrow context of American history, blacks have been uniquely mistreated. But in the wider context of world history, black Americans are hardly unique and should not be treated as such.

Finally, the framing of the reparations debate presupposes that America has done nothing meaningful by way of compensation for black people. But in many ways, America has already paid reparations. True, we haven’t literally handed a check to every descendant of slaves, but many reparations proponents had less literal forms of payment in mind to begin with.

Some reparations advocates, for instance, have proposed race-conscious policies instead of cash payments. On that front, we’ve done quite a bit. Consider, as if for the first time, the fact that the U.S. college admissions system is heavily skewed in favor of black applicants and has been for decades. In 2009, the Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade found that Asians and whites had to score 450 and 310 SAT points higher than blacks, respectively, to have the same odds of being admitted into elite universities. (The entire test, at the time of the study, was out of 1600 points.)

Racial preferences extend into the job market as well. Last September, the New York Times reported on an ethnically South Asian television writer who “had been told on a few occasions that she lost out on jobs because the showrunner wanted a black writer.” The article passed without fanfare, probably because such racial preferences—or “diversity and inclusion” programs—pervade so many sectors of the U.S. labor market that any particular story doesn’t seem newsworthy at all.

Furthermore, many government agencies are required to allocate a higher percentage of their contracts to businesses owned by racial minorities than they otherwise would based on economic considerations alone. Such “set-aside” programs exist at the federal level as well as in at least 38 states—in Connecticut at least 25 percent of government contracts with small businesses must legally be given to a minority business enterprise (MBE), and New York has established a 30 percent target for contracts with MBEs. One indication of the size of this racial advantage is that, for decades, white business owners have been fraudulently claiming minority status, sometimes risking jail time, in order to increase their odds of capturing these lucrative government contracts. (A white man from Seattle is currently suing both the state of Washington and the federal government for rejecting his claim to own an MBE given his four percent African ancestry.)

My point is not that these race-conscious policies have repaid the debt of slavery; my point is that no policy ever could. For this reason I reject the appeasement-based case for reparations occasionally made by conservatives—namely, that we should pay reparations so that we can finally stop talking about racism once and for all. Common sense dictates that when you reward a certain behavior you tend to get more of it, not less. Reparations, therefore, would not, and could not, function as “hush money.” Reparations would instead function as a kind of subsidy for activism, an incentive for the living to continue appropriating grievances that rightfully belong to the dead.

Some reparations advocates, however, are less focused on tangible dispensations to begin with. Instead they see reparations as a spiritual or symbolic task. Coates, for example, defines reparations primarily as a “national reckoning that would lead to spiritual renewal” and a “full acceptance of our collective biography and its consequences”—and only secondarily as the payment of cash as compensation. How has America done on the soul-searching front? As Coates would have it, not very well. For him, the belief occupying mainstream America is that “a robbery spanning generations could somehow be ameliorated while never acknowledging the scope of the crime.”

By my lights, however, we’ve done quite a bit of symbolic acknowledging. For over 40 years we’ve dedicated the month of February to remembering black history; Martin Luther King Jr. has had a national holiday in his name for almost as long; more or less every prominent liberal arts college in the country has an African-American studies department and many have black student housing; both chambers of Congress have independently apologized for slavery and Jim Crow; and just last month the Senate passed a bill that made lynching a federal crime, despite the fact that lynching was already illegal (because it’s murder), has not been a serious problem for at least half a century, and was already the subject of a formal apology by the Senate back in 2005.

If this all amounts to nothing—that is, to a non-acknowledgement of historical racism—then I’m left wondering what would or could qualify as something. The problem with the case for spiritual reparations is its vagueness. What, precisely, is a “national reckoning” and how will we know when we’ve completed it? The trick behind such arguments, whether intentional or not, is to specify the debt owed to black Americans in just enough detail to make it sound reasonable, while at the same time describing the debt with just enough vagueness to ensure that it can never decisively be repaid.

At bottom, the reparations debate is a debate about the relationship between history and ethics, between the past and the Good. On one side are those who believe that the Good means using policy to correct for the asymmetric racial power relations that ruled America for most of its history. And on the other side are those who believe that the Good means using policy to increase human flourishing as much as possible, for as many as possible, in the present.

Both visions of the Good—the group-based vision and the individualist vision—require the payment of reparations to individuals (and/or their immediate family members) who themselves suffered atrocities at the hands of the state. I therefore strongly approve of the reparations paid to Holocaust survivors, victims of internment during World War II, and victims of the Tuskegee experiments, to name just a few examples. Where the two visions depart is on the question of whether reparations should be paid to poorly-defined groups containing millions of people whose relationship to the initial crime is several generations removed, and therefore nothing like, say, the relationship of a Holocaust survivor to the Holocaust.

Among the fallacies of the group-based vision is the conceit that we are capable of accurately assessing, and correcting for, the imbalances of history to begin with. If we can’t even manage to consistently serve justice for crimes committed between individuals in the present, it defies belief to think that we can serve justice for crimes committed between entire groups of people before living memory—to think, in other words, that we can look at the past, neatly split humanity into plaintiff groups and defendant groups, and litigate history’s largest crimes in the court of public opinion.

If we are going to have a national reckoning, it must be of a different type than the one suggested by Coates. It must be a national reckoning that uncouples the past and the Good. Such a reckoning would not entail forgetting our history, but rather liberating our sense of ethics from the shackles of our checkered past. We cannot change our history. But the possibility of a just society depends on our willingness to change how we relate to it.


 

Pediarchy 7

Pediarchy – a society or culture dominated or ruled by children.

Nancy Pelosi, the figurehead of the Democratic Socialist Party, wants the voting age to be lowered to 16.

Of course she does. The likelihood that a 16-year-old will vote for free education, free housing, free health care, free contraception, free cell phones, free marijuana, is very high.

Also open borders, solar panels, and windmills.

The kids will be keen to strip the wealthy of their money and redistribute it among environmentalists. Why would they not? Its easy to be against private property when you don’t own anything. (Nancy owns a lot, but she will have immunity from expropriation because she is, for a little while longer at least, allowed to be the figurehead of her Party.)

These days, Americans by the age of 16 are thoroughly anti-American. They have been fully indoctrinated by their schools, since kindergarten, to despise America and capitalism and to love “diversity and inclusion” (aka racism).

The child vote will not be a novelty for the Democrats. They have long known that they can rely on the votes of the immature – as confidently as on the criminal, the insane, and the alien. The way they see it, the younger a voter is, the better. Okay, not toddlers. But fifth-graders even maybe. Because the very young, generally speaking, love extremes. They are natural iconoclasts. To them, destroying is fun, and there’s an awful lot needing to be destroyed – airplanes, cars, cattle, buildings, mines, factories, banks, the Constitution, white men – if the world itself is to be saved from destruction, which will otherwise happen for sure just 12 years from now, the young Democratic Socialists say.

Once sweet sixteens can vote, they can also be eligible to run for office. And why should any office, however high, be barred to them? Only an old white man addicted to his privilege would insist on an Attorney General having a qualification in Law. And nobody needs a qualification to legislate. Or to be governor. Or even president.

In fact, the Democratic Socialist Party already has a line-up of boys and girls eyeing the presidency.

One candidate for the highest office is a boy of 48, who likes to skateboard across the stage at Party rallies waving to his fans. He has videos made of his teeth being professionally cleaned, boasts of having a police record, and apologizes for being white. Then there are two old boys (both white), 76 and 77 respectively. And half a dozen girls …

Posted under education, Environmentalism, government, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, March 19, 2019

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For Freedom 3

Victor Davis Hanson explains why he supports the presidency of Donald Trump:

Posted under Capitalism, liberty, United States, US Constitution, Videos by Jillian Becker on Monday, March 18, 2019

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