Queer happenings: Mozilla CEO forced to resign because he supported traditional marriage?

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Brendan Eich

Rob Bluey reports, “The chief executive of Mozilla resigned yesterday amid protests over his $1,000 donation in support of California’s Proposition 8, which defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman.  Brendan Eich’s 2008 donation was first revealed two years ago while he was serving in a senior role at Mozilla. But it was after his appointment as CEO last month that half of Mozilla’s board quit and company employees publicly voiced their disapproval. Others launched a public campaign seeking his ouster.”

In the wake of yesterday’s news, Andrew Sullivan, a leading advocate for redefining marriage, said the episode “should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society.”

Heritage Foundation scholars weighed in with their reaction.

Ryan T. Anderson, the William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society, warned that “bullies” were poisoning democratic discourse by attacking anyone who doesn’t share their view:

The outrageous treatment of Eich is the result of one private, personal campaign contribution to support marriage as a male-female union, a view affirmed at the time by President Barack Obama, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, and countless other prominent officials. After all, Prop 8 passed with the support of 7 million California voters.

So was President Obama a bigot back when he supported marriage as the union of a man and woman? And is characterizing political disagreement on this issue—no matter how thoughtfully expressed—as hate speech really the way to find common ground and peaceful co-existence?

Sure, the employees of Mozilla—which makes Firefox, the popular Internet browser—have the right to protest a CEO they dislike, for whatever reason. But are they treating their fellow citizens with whom they disagree civilly? Must every political disagreement be a capital case regarding the right to stand in civil society?

When Obama “evolved” on the issue just over a year ago, he insisted that the debate about marriage was legitimate. He said there are people of goodwill on both sides.

Hans von Spakovsky, manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative and senior legal fellow, said the episode was an example of how the disclosure of political contributions served as a means to intimidate and harass an individual for his personal views:

Before Eich resigned, he pointed out that he had kept his personal beliefs out of Mozilla and that they were not relevant to his job as CEO. He was exactly right, although that did not prevent him from resigning.

In a startling display of irony that was obviously lost on her, Mozilla Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker, who approved of Eich’s resignation, said it was necessary because “preserving Mozilla’s integrity was paramount.” She seems not to recognize that forcing a founder of the company to resign because of his personal beliefs that have nothing to do with his qualifications as a corporate officer is the exact opposite of “integrity.”

Eich is certainly not alone in his predicament. As the Heritage Foundation previously pointed out, other supporters of Proposition 8 in California have been subjected to harassment, intimidation, vandalism, racial scapegoating, blacklisting, loss of employment, economic hardships, angry protests, violence, death threats, and anti-religious bigotry. All committed by individuals claiming they are simply trying to gain “acceptance” and who complain about the supposed intolerance of society over their lifestyle.

RELATED STORY: “Eich Is Out. So Is Tolerance.

A Real Man: Further Insights into My 86-Year Old Black Dad

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Reverend Lloyd Marcus

In 1946, Dad and Jackson were the only black Merchant Marines on their ship and the first “coloreds” to land at the base in St. Petersburg Florida. Dad came close to being hung by an angry mob simply for being there.

Dad had a tough beginning. The product of an extra-martial affair, Dad was raised by his aunt, Aunt Nee.

Aunt Nee was a pretty remarkable woman. Though she never graduated high school, Aunt Nee (Rev. Anita Bethea) was extremely articulate, well read, a great singer (reminiscent of Mahalia Jackson), a gifted speaker, student of the Bible and pastor of her own storefront church in Baltimore, Maryland.

I asked Dad what kept him, growing up as a fatherless black child, on the straight and narrow, not getting into crime or drugs. Without hesitation, Dad replied, “Aunt Nee!”

I knew what Dad was talking about. Aunt Nee had this way about her. Her approval felt important. Aunt Nee babysat me. “Lloyd Marcus, you should be ashamed of yourself.” A spanking for my naughty behavior would have felt less painful.

She was a born teacher; no lazy or sloppy speaking was tolerated. Aunt Nee sent me to the corner store. “Ask the grocer for U-nee-da Biscuits”. She distinctly pronounced each syllable.

When Dad was a teen, he was really excited about the latest fashion craze, the zoot suit. Despite his pleas, Aunt Nee refused to allow Dad to purchase a zoot suit because she thought only hoodlums wore zoot suits. That is called parenting, folks.

An entrepreneur since age ten, Dad shined shoes at the bus station on weekends; proudly hauling in a bountiful $1.25 from shoe shines and tips. Dad paid rent to Aunt Nee, treated himself to a day at the movies with popcorn and purchased his first article of clothing; a t-shirt. Dad bragged to his buddies, “I’m buying my own clothes now.” You can not get such a feeling of self esteem, confidence and pride from cradle-to-grave welfare.

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Lloyd Marcus, Merchant Marines.

Dad said he and a buddy were misbehaving once on a public bus; nothing serious, but a bit annoying to passengers. A woman said, “It’s how they were raised.” Dad said her comment cut like a knife and stopped him in his tracks. He knew Aunt Nee had raised him better.

Aunt Nee and Dad had a tradition of beginning the new year on their knees in prayer. As a young adult partying in bars on New Year’s Eve, Dad would run home just before midnight to begin the new year on his knees in prayer.

Dad recalled, as a young Merchant Marine, flirting with a much older woman. The beautiful 31-year-old was sitting on his lap, and everything was going great until he accidentally replied to something she said with, “Yes Ma’am”. Overhearing, a fellow sailor chuckled and said, “It’s hard to break way from that home training.”

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Dad was a typical young person, but never strayed too far from the foundation Aunt Nee instilled in him.

I asked Dad, “With no role model, what made you pursue things not typically pursued by blacks?” Dad replied, “I don’t know. Whenever a door opened, I walked through it.”

In the 1950s, Dad was one of a few blacks who broke the color barrier to become a Baltimore City Firefighter.

Dad was Baltimore City’s first black Firefighter of the Year, two times.

Dad was Baltimore City’s first black paramedic.

Dad was the Baltimore City Fire Department’s first black Chaplain.

An exclusive country club offered a special reduced membership rate to “all” firefighters. Dad noted the word “all”. He joined the club. Dad took my younger brothers Jerry and David for a swim in the pool. A stunned black staffer approached Dad in the locker room, “How on earth did you get in here?” When Dad and my brothers got into the swimming pool, the white members exited the pool. Dad kept coming back and eventually the behavior of the white members changed.

After the passing of the Civil Rights bill, Dad took our family to a whites only drive-in-movie. Dad said the ushers directed our car, “That’s it, that’s it, keep going”. Upon realizing that the ushers had guided our car through, out of the drive-in-movie, and back to the main road, Dad and my mom erupted into laughter. As Dad was telling me the story he had difficulty containing his laughter. He still thinks the incident was quite funny.

That is who my dad is, an easy going, good-hearted and upbeat remarkable man.

Years ago, I wrote a tribute song to Dad tilted, “Real Man”.

At 86, Dad’s mind is as sharp as ever. He still pastors four churches. Praise God! I am extremely grateful for every day, I have him in my life.

The Joy of Thinking: Shmuel Trigano

Denmark has banned “ritual slaughter.” Why? Both Muslim and Jewish authorities had already accepted non-penetrating stunning prior to halal or kosher slaughter. There are no kosher slaughterhouses left in Denmark. But that’s not the issue. Agriculture Minister Dan Jørgensen justifies the ban, enacted on February 13th and effective on the 17th, on the grounds that “animal rights come before religious rights.” Similar bans have been imposed in Poland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the Netherlands. What next?

What can explain this seemingly endless wave of hostility against Jews, Judaism, and Zionism either singled out or, as in this case, lumped together with Islam? Confused do-gooders, adding animals to their exquisite concern for the welfare of living creatures, are tearing at the body of Western civilization. The gullible multitude swallows the hype. What is the future of Jews in such a world?

Intense debate has been underway since the dawn of the 21st century, nowhere more fertile than in France, at the European epicenter of the international storm. Our survival depends on our capacity to think! To think clearly, precisely, profoundly, and coherently. High on the list of the Jewish thinkers who have risen to the challenge, Shmuel Trigano gives us keys to understanding our predicament and, hopefully, averting catastrophe. Sociologist, philosopher, academic, prolific writer, he sheds light on the perverse process that leads to the lumping together of Jews and Muslims (as foreign bodies), the damning of “ritual slaughter” (the term is a horror in itself), and the smug conclusion: “animal rights come before religious rights.”

The subject was at the heart of an international Colloquium “L’Union européenne et les nouvelles forms de la question juive” [New forms of the Jewish Question in the European Union], held in Paris on January 26th under the auspices of l’Université populaire du judaïsme and founding director Shmuel Trigano, who introduced the Colloquium with a few words about the newly created Université Populaire, “an alliance of heart and mind.” The aim of this open program of Jewish studies is to examine the Jewish message—eternal Israel—in conjunction with the contemporary situation of Jews, individually and collectively, and the dangers facing the Jewish state in a post-national Western world. In the 20th century, Jews that had been living as individual citizens of European nations were collectively rounded up and exterminated. Subsequently, Jews were chased out of the Arab-Muslim world. Jewish population today is concentrated in Israel, the United States, Western Europe, and Russia.

The first speaker at the Colloquium, Bruno Fiszon—chief rabbi of Metz and a member of the French Veterinary Academy—who defends shechita with scientific precision, gave an inside view of the ferment that led the European Commission to assimilate male circumcision with female genital mutilation, and “ritual slaughter” with savagery. Eurodeputy Marlène Rupprecht, reporter of the commission on circumcision, deplored practices that reveal “the dark side of your religion.” Her colleague Sylvie Goy-Chavent, who also sponsored the resolution discriminating against products from Israel’s “occupied territories,” claims the proceeds of kosher slaughter finance Israel’s army. Something other than animal welfare is at play.

Nine speakers, including Robert Wistrich—author of the recently cancelled UNESCO exhibit on the 3500 year connection between the Jewish people, the Book, and the land of Israel—addressed the “Jewish question” from every angle. Jean-Pierre Bensimon stepped out of the European framework to voice stinging criticism of Secretary of State John Kerry’s misguided peace initiative. Bat Ye’or traced current developments in the Eurabian project she has thoroughly documented: Palestinianism and its anti-Zionist corollary, the peace process as a jihadist plan for the destruction of Israel, replacement of French identity and population, the rejection of rational European civilization in favor of Koranic doctrine, the 2006 Berlin Conference decision to politicize European culture…

Shmuel Trigano outlined the new anti-Semitism that has developed within a new world order: To restore the belief in its own bounty after the Shoah, Europe invented a religion of compassion in a borderless EU consecrated to the defense of The Victim. The victims of the Shoah, bleached of their Jewish specificity and interchangeable with new models, are an object of worship. The nation-state is blamed for the evils of the 20th century and Israel is execrated for its retrograde nationalism, leaving the Jews exposed once more to the danger of extermination if robbed of the protection of the sovereign Jewish state. (A video of the Colloquium is available online. )1

At the end of this day-long studious exercise, participants discovered what had been going on in the streets of Paris: The Day of Rage, billed as a spontaneous coalition of gripes against the Hollande government, the EU, global finance, and a long list of etceteras, had brought forth a vociferous chorus of Jew hatred from one end to the other of the political spectrum. “Jews, Jews, France isn’t for you!”2

The juxtaposition of the insightful Colloquium and the real life manifestation of Jew hatred in distressed French society is a fitting example of the brainspan of Shmuel Trigano, stretching from an inspired interpretation of the founding texts of Judaism to a sharp intuition of the clear and present danger that threatens flesh and blood Jewish people.

Like many others, I discovered Trigano in 2001, with the publication of a quarterly bulletin, l’Observatoire du Monde Juif, that broke through a government and media blackout on attacks against Jews and Jewish property. Each issue of the Observatoire listed anti-Semitic acts (8 full pages in the first quarter of 2001) along with essays by Trigano and astute collaborators, focused on specific themes—media bias, Islamism and the Jews, the New Left and Israel, Israel the pariah state…  Trigano traced the sociological twists by which a long-standing well-integrated Jewish community respectful of the laws and the spirit of the French République was accused of “communautarisme” (clannishness) for coming together to defend itself from the violent anti-Semitism of a recent Muslim immigrant population, hostile to the host country and its values. Later, when the reality could no longer be denied, unprovoked attacks on Jews were travestied as inter-ethnic clashes.

Trigano gave a comprehensive analysis of repercussions of the “Al Aqsa Intifada” in France in La demission de la République/Juifs et musulmans en France [resignation of la République/Jews and Muslims in France], published in 2003.3 There is nothing ideological, emotional, essentialist, or ethnically competitive about his reflection on national identity under the pressure of an unprecedented influx of immigrants from North and sub-Saharan African nations that have been historically in conflict with the West. A population that rejected modernity—experienced “in reverse” as colonization—and practices an unreformed religion that remains inimical to European values will inevitably acquire political clout in a democratic nation that makes no demands on them and shirks its own identity.

Integration, says Trigano, is impossible in the absence of national identity. The current situation, which makes life impossible for French Jews, will create chaos in society at large. The short-lived “victory” of Muslim immigrants, allowed to assert their theoretical domination and claim their rightful place without accepting national values, will inevitably create a prejudicial backlash. He concludes with hopes for a positive outcome based on a pact similar to the agreement made between Napoleon and Jewish authorities that led to the granting of citizenship rights to French Jews. An Islam of France (as opposed to an Islam in France) would formally renounce precepts such as jihad, death to apostates, dominion over infidels, polygamy, oppression of women… No simple task! And Trigano does not toss out the idea like a politician on the campaign trail. Events since “La demission” was published have confirmed the diagnosis and potential solution. The alternative—multiculturalism—is producing exactly the backlash he predicted.

Impressed by Trigano’s lucidity, coherence, integrity, and foresight, I went out of my way to attend any colloquium he organized—including a notable one on the al Dura hoax—read his essays on current events, contributed to the review Controverses he edited from 2006 to 2011, thick handsome volumes that expand the depth and scope of the Observatoire. One issue, for example,4 explored the phenomenon of “alterjuifs,” a term coined to replace the misnomer “self-hating Jews.” In 2010 Trigano short- circuited an attempt to create a European version of J Street: the Raison Garder [be reasonable] petition garnered twice as many signatures as the heftily backed JCall.

This year I am following Trigano’s course at the Université populaire. Ah! If only we were taught Judaism that way when we were young. One evening, as the class ended, he tossed out this pithy idea, like someone offering you a second helping of cake:  “The soul, I think, carries the flesh.” Yes! And his soul carries a generous unpretentious presence with a warm smile on the face of a hidalgo who stepped out of a Spanish painting. “When I’m in the States, strangers address me directly in Spanish.” We sat down together recently for a friendly conversation about his life and work. From details about his youth in Blida (Algeria), where he was born in 1948, to an explanation of his quest for an authentic “Hebrew philosophy,” Shmuel always makes sense! If you had to sum up his thought and his being in one word, you would say: coherent. He has no nostalgia for the Maghreb where he lived as a French citizen in a modern French-speaking family. His parents were afraid to send him to Talmud Torah in those times of revolutionary violence that led to their inevitable flight in 1962. He remembers tenderly their tragi-comic departure: “My father didn’t want to leave. We went to Vichy for a 20-day ‘cure’ at the baths, and when the time was up, we wandered here, there…”  They ended up finally in Paris, like tens of thousands of Jews forced to leave Muslim lands in a context of betrayal, persecution, loss of status and material possessions. The reception was chilly to say the least. But the Sephardic population that would invigorate French Jewish life seized every opportunity to make a fresh start.

Shmuel Trigano is first and foremost a writer. Not a philosopher trained in the discipline, but a thinker who reaches the philosophical level through the dynamics of writing creatively, with utmost honesty and intuitive confidence. After a brief excursion, at the age of 15, in “a Camus style fiction, the beach, the cruel Mediterranean sun…” he embarked on his life’s work, a highly original inquiry that began with the brutal expulsion from the land of his birth. From the youthful question—why did this happen to me—he has traveled, by writing, from the personal to the general to the essential. What happened to Jews, what is happening to us, who are we, what do we bring to humanity, how do we survive?

Picking up at the lycée in Paris the studies he had left in Blida, Trigano passed his baccalauréat, learned Hebrew and set out for Israel, immersed in the kibbutz, the landscape, Zionism, and studies at Hebrew University, graduating with a BA in political science. But the coherence he hungered was not yet on the program. The dichotomy between “thought” and “Jewish thought” existed in Israel as in the Diaspora as in Western civilization. “Israelis,” says Trigano, “speak a European language with Hebrew words.”

He returned to France to pursue a quest that seemed to require linguistic duality, using French to cast light on the stunning dimension of Biblical Hebrew. With a Doctorate in Sociology, he began the university career that has allowed him to write while exercising his authentic talent as a teacher. He took a six- month leave of absence to compose Récit de la disparue, an essay on Jewish identity, sent the manuscript “over the transom” to numerous publishers… and had no response until, one year later, he learned that Pierre Nora, an editor at the prestigious house of Gallimard, had decided to publish the manuscript after getting the approval of Emmanuel Lévinas, Henri Meschonnic, and Maurice Blanchot. The book came out in 1977.5

Thirty-seven years later, Shmuel Trigano finds himself once more in a linguistic-cultural-geographic conundrum. The French language, which has lost nothing of its vibrant beauty and capacity for expression, is losing its territorial scope. And Jews in France are tottering on the edge of a familiar precipice. The same Muslim population that forced them to flee Arab lands has now created such a hostile environment in France that many envisage another exodus. The French language once practiced by fine minds all over the world is becoming a backwater, a trap for thinkers whose work is not easily translated and marketable. We who are enduring this difficult period in contemporary French history have the privilege of reading their works in the original; it isn’t a golden age, but there’s some silver in it.6

The outburst of violence against Jews triggered by the “Al Aqsa Intifada” awoke, in the depths of Shmuel Trigano’s soul, hidden memories of the exodus from Algeria. As if he could finally experience the pain and distress and know, once again, the sinking feeling that the state cannot protect you. After more than a decade of intense writing and activity centered on this new anti-Semitism often disguised by an anti-Zionist cloud, Shmuel Trigano discovered, as if it had written itself, his magnum opus, Judaïsme et l’esprit du monde.

Acclaimed by Roger Pol-Droit7—“an exceptional endeavor…. remarkable coherence imposed on a dizzying diversity of themes…”—this monumental work reveals the erudition that underlies Shmuel Trigano’s every intellectual gesture. Jacques Tarnero, reviewing Trigano’s most recent publication, Politique du people juif, praises his extraordinary intellectual creation, a tireless quest, the matrix of his thought: what is the question that Israel raises in a world relentlessly determined not to hear it? “Judaism,” says Trigano, “is a concept of the world, a vision of the universe and the cosmos, not a narrow province…”8

“The world, the void, nothingness, creation are not mysteries, they can be the subject of Man’s comprehension. No magic is possible in this perspective….  The intellectuality of Judaic spirituality is touched with grace, informed with a poetic sensitivity. The language …is not dry rhetoric; it is the contours of a natural landscape… The Land of Israel is that land and that language.” Judaïsme et l’esprit du monde [p. 196]

image001EDITORS NOTE: Nidra Poller’s book is Karimi Hotel is now available in English and Al Dura: long range ballistic myth is available on Kindle.

[1] Video of colloquium http://www.akadem.org/_articles/342/57342.php . An English version will eventually be available.

[2] http://www.d-intl.com/2014/02/10/frances-united-front-of-jew-hatred/?lang=en

[3] La Démission de la République/ Juifs et Musulmans en France. Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 2003.

[4]  http://www.controverses.fr/ N° 4, Feb. 2007

[5] Le récit de la disparue/ essai sur l’identité juive. Paris, Gallimard, 1977, Folio-Gallimard, 2001

[6] English-speaking readers can discover  Shmuel Trigano in: Philosophy of Law Shalem Press, 2012

The Democratic Ideal, the unthought in Political Modernity SUNY Press, 2009.

Texts http://www.shmuel-trigano.fr/texts-english.html] and

Interviews  http://www.shmuel-trigano.fr/interviews.html in English on his site.

Shmuel Trigano’s “intellectual confession” will appear in Jewish Philosophy for the Twenty-First Century: Personal Reflections, edited by Aaron Hughes and Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, Brill Academic Publishers. http://www.brill.com/

[7] [Le Monde http://www.lemonde.fr/livres/article/2011/02/03/shmuel-trigano-voir-le-judaisme-du-dehors-et-du-dedans_1474367_3260.html]

[8] [http://www.huffingtonpost.fr/jacques-tarnero/politique-peuple-juif_b_2581932.html]

Saving Civilization Means Killing Equality

If a famine befell us and you couldn’t save everyone, would you withhold the food you had and let every citizen starve rather than endure the inequality of just saving some? If recent history is any guide, certain leftists just might say yes.

A good example of this phenomenon involved a multiple sclerosis patient in Gothenburg, Sweden, who was denied a more effective and expensive medication — even though he was willing to pay for it — because, wrote columnist Walter Williams in 2009, “bureaucrats said it would set a bad precedent and lead to unequal access to medicine.” No wonder Winston Churchill said that socialism’s “inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

And another example just reared its ugly head in Plymouth, Michigan, where the locality’s high school is tearing down newly constructed bleachers in deference to the equality police. MyFoxDetroit.com reports on the issue, writing:

A new set of seating is being torn down outside the Plymouth Wildcats varsity boys’ baseball field, not long before the season begins, because the fields for boys’ and girls’ athletics must be equal.

A group of parents raised money for a raised seating deck by the field, as it was hard to see the games through a chain-link fence. The parents even did the installation themselves, and also paid for a new scoreboard.

So what happened? Some unnamed malcontent lodged a complaint with the feral government, at which point U.S Education Department Office for Civil Rights overlords decreed that the seating must go. Ain’t equality grand?

Except that equality is simply a ruse. And think about it with respect to this issue:  the principle is that facilities “for boys’ and girls’ athletics must be equal,” but are boys’ and girls’ athletics equal? The striking contradiction in these male/female sports equality controversies is that calls for “equality” are deferred to within the context of the acceptance and promotion of an inherently unequal system. That is to say, if equality is the guiding principle here, why have separate leagues, teams and tours — protected from the best competition — for girls and women?

The solution, whether it’s the Plymouth situation or calls for equal prize money in tennis, is simple. If a lightweight boxer wants the purses the heavyweights get, he needs to fight and succeed in the heavyweight class; likewise, if feminists want what the boys/men have, they should try to compete in their arena. And I do advocate this: eliminate separate categories for women, and let the sexes compete together on a level playing field. After all, to echo what Lincoln said about laws, the best way to eliminate bad social policy is to enforce it strictly. If you believe in equality, practice it.

Live it.

And live with it.

And since the boys’ American high-school mile record is considerably faster than the women’s world record — and since this gap appears, with some variation, across sports — my proposal would provide some necessary “policy clarification.”

The education department’s decree is also an attack on charity. The message is that pursuing good works just might be a waste of time because, inevitably, they’ll conflict with some government regulation or mandate. It’s in addition a quasi-Marxist assault on the market. After all, the Plymouth community’s interest in building new baseball bleachers was no doubt driven by there being greater fan turnout for the boys’ games. And the market renders such verdicts all the time. It’s said that female fashion models earn three times what their male counterparts do, bars may offer women free drinks or entry without a cover charge, and no one troubles over women-only health clubs. It’s only when market determinations seem to benefit boys or men that the equality ruse is trotted out.

The truth is that equality dogma is a fiction of modern times. As for the timeless, the word “equality” appears in only 21 biblical verses, mostly referring to matters such as weights and measures. There’s good reason for this, and don’t blame it on the supposed “backwardness” of religion because a devout evolutionist would have to be the staunchest believer in hierarchies born of natural inequality. As G.K. Chesterton pointed out, “[I]f they [people] were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal.” Look around you at the world of nature and man, which, if the evolutionists are correct, are certainly one and the same. How much equality do you see? Rams butt heads, and one ram wins and the other loses; wolves have alphas and one male lion dominates and leads a pride. Then, there are 3.1 billion possible combinations when a couple has a child. And, oh, what combinations they can be. How many of us can play golf like Tiger Woods, defy gravity and shoot baskets like Michael Jordan or compose music at four years of age as did Mozart? People have greatly varying IQs, physical capabilities, personalities, inclinations toward virtue and gifts. Equality is a pipe dream.

This variation exists among groups, too. Ashkenazi Jews have the world’s highest average IQ, while Asians enjoy that status insofar as major groups go. And disease and conditions have no regard for equality, either: the Pima Indians have the highest rate of diabetes on Earth, breast cancer afflicts mainly women, the incidence of Tay-Sachs disease is highest among Jews, black men suffer from prostate cancer at twice the rate whites do, while sickle-cell anemia is found almost exclusively among blacks. I guess reality is “racist.”

Reality is actually this: it’s completely illogical and contradictory for a person to claim on one hand that he believes in classical, cosmic-accident evolution, but on the other that all groups somehow, quite accidentally, wound up the same in capacity, inclination and worldly abilities. After all, since evolution holds that groups lived and developed separately for millions of years — subject to different environments, stresses, adaptive requirements and to the luck of the draw — their winding up “equal” was, for all intents and purposes, a mathematical impossibility.

Earlier evolutionists recognized and accepted this reality, mind you, and in fact became eugenicists. Note here that the term “eugenics” was coined by Charles Darwin’s cousin Sir Francis Galton. Also note that the concept greatly predates the term: Greek philosopher Plato advocated murdering weak children, and the Spartans had actually done it.

This doesn’t mean I embrace eugenics or classical evolution (my views on the latter are found here). The point is that whether you believe we’re accidentally different or that, as St. Therese learned, there are even divinely ordained hierarchies in Heaven, equality is certainly not a thing of this world.

This helps explain why entities prescribing “equality” — such as the early French republic and all the Marxist killing-field regimes — become the worst tyrannies. Since equality is wholly unnatural, its mullahs must violate man’s nature, must trump it and twist it, in an effort to pound their sinister square peg into the round hole of reality. And woe betide he who defies their self-deified will.

Cries for equality are today the second-to-last refuge of a scoundrel (shouts of “racism” are the absolute last). Contrary to what Churchill said, however, they don’t actually visit upon us an equal sharing of misery. Rather, the pigs more equal than others will dispense the ever-diminishing pork to the peons, as they feed at the trough of modern man’s sloth, envy and error.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is by Josephou. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Selling Envy: How governments promote the worst in us to redistribute wealth by TERREE P. SUMMER

The current fuss over inequality has a classic feel to it. For one thing, it’s one of the oldest plays in the Progressive playbook. But it’s a well-established maneuver for governments everywhere. The idea is to appeal to the age-old feelings of envy and guilt that arise in virtually every person: Why should some have more than others? Is it fair that some people or whole countries have greater wealth and higher incomes while others struggle?

History is rife with examples of politician-induced envy in order to attempt to justify redistribution. Those who fomented the Russian revolution in the early twentieth century tempted the proletariat with the property of the affluent. Hitler enticed the populace toward envy of the Jews, many of whom were economically successful in Europe, to help construct his national socialist empire. Miquel Faria, in his book,Cuba in Revolution: Escape from a Lost Paradise, states, “As in all socialist systems, Castro uses envy, class hatred, and class warfare.” Much the same has been true of Peronist Argentina.

It pits us against each other, letting politicians leverage an instinctive reaction to gain power. It’s an effective tactic and the rhetoric of inequality remains an effective cover, which is why politicians still trot it out routinely. But the policies it perpetuates will end up impoverishing any country.

Wealth redistribution inevitably robs every person of their freedoms. Equality is never achieved; the wealth is mostly shifted to those currently in power, who administer and derive political support from redistributive programs. The masses remain impoverished, and those in power remain, for as long as they can, the supposed champions of those masses, struggling for a fair redistribution.

This process was diagnosed some time ago by Helmut Schoeck, in his 1966 book Envy: A Theory of Social Behavior. According to Schoeck, “The revolutionary movements in South American republics, Bolshevism in Russia, the resentful Populists in the United States (today the Progressives), all were supported by those circles who would clearly be the first to take a malicious delight in the levelling of society. But without exception, and sometimes in the course of a few decades, the new ruling caste has become a bourgeoisie or a plutocracy.” Inevitably, those promulgating envy as a means to levelling, in the end become the same class they earlier despised.

History has shown us that the result of trying to enact income equality is that you achieve a society where all the citizens are poor together. Ludwig von Mises, in Socialism, wrote,

Most people who demand the greatest possible equality of incomes do not realize that what they desire would only be achieved by sacrificing other aims. They imagine that the sum of incomes will remain unchanged and that all they need to do is to distribute it more equally than it is distributed in the social order based on private property…. It must be clearly understood, however, that this idea rests on a grave error. It has been shown that, in whatever way one envisages the equalization of incomes this must always and necessarily lead to a very considerable reduction of the total national income and, thus, also, of the average income. For we have then to decide whether we are in favor of an equal distribution of income at a lower average income, or inequality of incomes at a higher average income. [emphasis added]

European countries moved toward socialism and levelling in a big way during the twentieth century, partially in order to decrease income equality in monarchies in which only a few had wealth and the rest lived in poverty. But what has been the result?

According to Richard Florida, co-founder and editor at large at The Atlantic Cities, “The U.S. accounts for about a third of all high-net-worth people (60,657), and Europe is home to 54,170.” The actual numbers are not starkly different. In 2012, 24 percent, or 120 million people, of the 500 million people in the European Union were listed as at risk of poverty. In the same year, the U.S. poverty rate (out of 318 million people) was 15 percent, roughly 46.5 million people. Socialist policies that attempt to level the economic playing field are repeatedly unsuccessful. As Winston Churchill stated, “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy,” and “The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”

A society that encourages envy in order to “level the playing field” for its citizens is a society that will implode from within. Oppressive government spending programs requiring high taxation and controls on individuals can lead to economic stagnation or even collapse. There is something particularly sordid about politicians who play on our envy. It is a game of power and control and it can lead people to justify using violence to take the property of others. Citizens of every country should learn to recognize whether politicians are manipulating them by playing on their envy. Only when we learn to aspire and admire those that are economically successful, and not be envious of them, will we see our economies flourish.

ABOUT TERREE P. SUMMER

Terree P. Summer is an economist and author specializing in healthcare and the federal budget. She is the author of What Has Government Done to Our Health Care? published by the Cato Institute (1992).

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

Scaring the World about its Climate

Ever since the creation in 1988 of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it has engaged in the greatest hoax of modern times, releasing reports that predict climate-related catastrophes as if the climate has not been a completely natural and dynamic producer of events that affect our lives.

The IPCC was set up by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environmental Program. It has enlisted thousands of scientists to contribute to its scare campaign, but as Joseph Bast, the president of The Heartland Institute, noted in a recent Forbes article regarding the vast difference in the assertions of the IPCC scientists and those of its puckishly named Non Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (NPCC), “What is a non-scientist to make of these dueling reports? Indeed, what is a scientist to make of this?”

“Very few scientists are familiar with biology, geology, physics, oceanography, engineering, medicine, economics, and scores of other more specialized disciplines that were the basis of the claims…” The IPCC has depended on the ignorance of those scientists outside their particular disciplines and recruited them to be involved in the UN hoax. The rest of us look to them to provide guidance regarding issues involving the climate and, as a result, have been deliberately deceived.

Climate Change ReconsideredThe NIPCC, anticipating the latest IPCC addition to its climate scare campaign, has just issued a new addition to its “Climate Change Reconsidered” reports. The first volume was 850 pages long and the latest is more than 1,000 pages. It represents the findings of scores of scientists from around the world and thousands of peer-reviewed studies. At this point they represent some twenty nations.

I have been an advisor to The Heartland Institute for many years and have been exposing the climate change lies since the late 1980s. A science writer, I have benefited from the work of men like atmospheric physicist, S. Fred Singer, a founder of the NPCC who has overseen five reports debunking the IPCC since 2003.

The Heartland Institute has sponsored nine international conferences that have brought together many scientists and others in an effort to debunk the UN’s climate scare campaign.

I have always depended on the common sense of people to understand that humans have nothing to do with the climate except to endure and enjoy it. We don’t create it or influence it.

The global warming campaign is based on the Big Lie that carbon dioxide (CO2) traps the Sun’s heat and warms the Earth, but the fairly miniscule amount of CO2 in the atmosphere (0.038%) does not do that in a fashion that poses any threat. Indeed, it is the Sun that determines the Earth’s climate, depending where you happen to be on the Earth. Next to oxygen, CO2 is vital to all life on Earth as it is the “food” on which all vegetation depends. More CO2 is good. Less is not so good.

The IPCC has depended in part on the print and broadcast media to spread its Big Lie. It also depends on world leaders, few of whom have any background or serious knowledge of atmospheric science, to impose policies based on the Big Lie. These policies target the use of “fossil fuels”, oil, coal and natural gas, urging a reduction of their use. The world, however, utterly depends on them and, in addition to existing reserves, new reserves are found every year.

One reason the IPCC has been in a growing state of panic is a new, completely natural cooling cycle based on a reduction of solar radiation. As James M. Taylor, the managing editor of Heartland’s “Environment & Climate News”, pointed out recently, “Winter temperatures in the contiguous United States declined by more than a full degree Celsius (more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit) during the past twenty years.” He was citing National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data. “The data contradicts assertions that human induced global warming is causing a rise in winter temperatures.”

In addition to the recent extremely cold winter, there have been others in 2000-2001 and 2009-2010. There will be more.

The IPCC report is full of claims about global warming, now called “climate change” since the world is obviously not warming. In March, Taylor rebutted an IPCC claim that crop production is falling, noting that global corn, rice, and wheat production have more than tripled since 1970. In recent years, the U.S. has set records for alfalfa, cotton, beans, sugar beets, canola, corn, flaxseed, hops, rice, sorghum, soybeans, sugarcane, sunflowers, peanuts, and wheat, to name just a few.

The Earth would benefit from more, not less, CO2 emissions, but the Obama administration has been engaged in imposing hundreds of new regulations aimed at reductions. It targets the development and expansion of our energy sector. The President has repeated the lies in his State of the Union speeches and we have a Secretary of State, John Kerry, who insists that climate change is the greatest threat to mankind and not the increase of nuclear weapons.

Every one of the Earth’s seven billion population are being subjected to the UN’s campaign of lies and every one of us needs to do whatever we can to bring about an end to the United Nations and reject the IPCC’s claims.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

RELATED STORY: EPA Tested Deadly Pollutants on Humans to Push Obama Admin’s Agenda

America in Decline

When Obama was running for president he promised, some say threatened, to fundamentally change America. The doubters now say he has fundamentally ruined America. Whichever way one views it, America is in serious decline.

For a president that promised to reduce the national debt Obama has added a massive seven trillion dollars to that debt. Under his presidency, America has accumulated as much new debt as it did in its first 227 years.

He heads an Administration that produces food stamps, legalizes marijuana, pries into people’s private lives, and sets government agencies against political opponents. Obama is following the guide book of Saul Alinsky “Rules for Radicals” and putting Alinsky’s primer into practice from the White House. The results of his experiment are devastating.

Under Obama, prices and taxes rose while take home pay fell 7%. Government hand-outs increased dramatically as the national debt has exploded. Recent estimates put 50 million Americans on food stamps, and millions without healthcare.

Obama, the community organizer, preferred social justice over a robust market place, but, under his presidency, people are worse off today than they were back in 2009 when he promised them change. By the end of the first quarter of 2014 America had six million people not only unemployed but also not on the labor list, the vast majority under the age of 55. This implies they had given up all hope of finding work. More than forty million Americans lived below the poverty line.

Increasingly, America is becoming a nation of dysfunctional families. 41% of babies are born out of wedlock. Under America’s first black president, American blacks are increasingly unemployed, and 72% of black kids are born out of wedlock, a terrible indictment on American society. The corrosive results of government hand-outs are now rampant in America. A nanny-state produces a population of dependency, not independence or an entrepreneurial spirit.

Obama has ratings in the 30s and falling on issues such as security, healthcare, economy, jobs, transparency in government, and the US image abroad. It seems that Obama doesn’t care. Deep into a second term, this lame duck president is determined to press on with his failed agenda, even if it takes executive powers to do it. American democracy is in jeopardy as Obama takes steps that are clearly unconstitutional.

The president’s credibility is trashed, and a major part of that is his failure to launch the unpopular healthcare policy that carries his name, “Obamacare.”  March 2014, saw the thirty first delay in a public display of total inefficiency.

Scandals follow in the wake of Obama appointees to key governmental jobs. Kathleen Sebelius, Obama’s Health and Human Services Secretary, apologized, last October, for the abject failure of the computer system that was supposed to deliver the Obamacare plan to the American public.

“In these early weeks, access to health care has been a miserably frustrating experience. You deserve better,” she said. It wasn’t weeks. The planning team had been working on the computer system for years.

On the nationally popular “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart accused Sebelius of lying about parts of Obamacare. When that happens, you know you’re in trouble.

There is an ongoing investigation into wrongdoings by America’s tax authority, the IRS. They are accused of targeting opposition groups. In a TV interview with Fox News, Bill O’Reilly, President Obama claimed there was “not a smidgeon of evidence” about tax attacks on conservative and libertine groups. However, Obama appointee, Lois Lerner, head of the IRS Exempt Organization division, twice took the Fifth while refusing to divulge information to the Congressional Oversight Committee. Chairman Darrell Issa complained, “In the wake of Ms. Lerner’s refusal to testify and answer questions, this report offers detailed evidence about steps she took to crack down on organizations that exercised their constitutional rights to free political speech.”

Obama’s nomination of Demo Adegbile to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights division sent shockwaves through the American political system. Adebile represented an unrepentant cop-killer in 1981. This brought vocal opposition from national law-enforcement officials. The president’s judgment was badly flawed in selecting this poor choice of candidate. It was based more on Adegbile’s far left political activism rather than someone steeped in legal experience.

Obama followed up with yet another dubious choice of Vivek Murthy to be the next US Surgeon-General. Murthy, yet another political activist and the founder of “Doctors for Obama,” repeatedly described gun ownership as “a public health issue.” He is opposed by the National Rifle Association, a powerful lobbying force in America. He is also facing strong opposition by many Democrats. The right to bear arms is an integral part of the US Constitution.  The job of Surgeon-General is not gun control. It is about disease and disease prevention. The usual criterion for Surgeon-General is someone who has run a major hospital or headed a state healthcare system. Murthy has only been an attending doctor for eight years. His political activism far outweighs his public health experience.

Obama’s record of nominating radical politocos, rather than efficient and successful technocrats, particularly at the expense of the US Constitution, is a symptom of the demise of America.

It goes on. Recently, Obama nominated several of his campaign donors to ambassadorships. The problem was that they had never visited their nominated countries, Iceland, Norway, and Argentina. The nominee for Norway, George Tsunis, didn’t even know that country had a king, and not a president. Such is the level of presidential incompetence in Obama’s personal nominees to major positions of government.

Revelations concerning widespread governmental electronic surveillance of law-abiding citizens set alarm bells ringing when whistleblower, Edward Snowden, divulged that the National Security Agency had been snooping on 340 million cell phones in the United States.  A Federal judge described it as “almost Orwellian.”  It is, in fact, a direct violation of the Fourth Amendment.  

A Guardian newspaper report on March 5, 2014, divulged that President Obama knew the CIA had spied on the Senate intelligence committee using agency computers.  “I find these actions to be incredibly troubling for the Committee’s oversight powers and for our democracy,” Democratic Congressman Mark Udall wrote to Obama.

President Obama lied to the people. The mid-term elections in November will hinge on which Democratic candidates echoed the Obama mantra “under Obamacare you can keep your health plan and you can keep your doctor.” Neither of these claims is true.

When you have a foreign policy of “leading from behind” you lose the political momentum to advance values.

With Obama, it began with his apology tour to Muslim nations which included his bowing to the Saudi Arabian king, a gesture interpreted in the Islamic world as submission. From that point it spiraled downward.

On his watch, and that of his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, an American ambassador and three CIA operatives were murdered in Benghazi, Libya. They claimed, for weeks, that their deaths were caused by a mob angry at an amateur video, when, in fact, it was an organized terror attack that killed them. It was revealed that repeated calls for help were ignored by both the White House and the State Department. Knowing the truth, according to recent evidence, both Obama and Clinton lied to the nation, and worse, to the families of the dead Americans.

Since Benghazi, Obama touted Al-Qaida’s demise thirty two times, according to White House transcripts. “Decimated” is a word that Obama likes to use to describe Al-Qaida. However, on January 29, 2014, the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, testified on Capitol Hill that the threat from Al-Qaida is not less than it was a decade ago and that it is “much more globally dispersed.”  The question arises, how is it that the president is out of touch with his national security advisors?  Al-Qaida is on the rise because of a feckless American leadership.

Back in September, John Kerry told Democrats that America faced “its Munich moment” over the Syrian use of chemical weapons. Considering that, six months later, Assad still possesses the vast majority of his stockpile it appears that this has been a failure of American leadership. Another “Munich moment” is taking place with the smiley, touchy, talks that are taking place with the Iranians over their nuclear ambitions. Neither Israel nor Saudi Arabia is convinced that the softly-softly approach with Tehran is the way to prevent Iran from getting the bomb. A third “Munich moment” is taking place over the Russian domination of the Ukraine. This also looks doomed to failure in light of a massive vote in the Crimea for Russian patronage. With the Israeli-Palestinian talks about to crash into the buffers of failure, the Kerry-initiative looks impressive in its impotence to persuade Mahmoud Abbas to recognize the Jewish State. Kerry even called it a “mistake” for Israel even to make this elementary condition a demand, thereby showing his total lack of understanding of what lies as the root cause of this conflict.

We know what happened post-Munich. We are witnessing American Munich moments on a global scale. We dread for the future.

The Wall Street Journal printed an article written by Mitt Romney. Although he can be seen as a biased observer, he stated something that is patently obvious.

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled the world in pursuit of their promise to reset relations and to build friendships across the globe. Their failure has been painfully evident. It is hard to name even a single country that has more respect and admiration for America today than when President Obama took office, and now Russia is in Ukraine. Part of their failure is due to their failure to act when action was possible and needed.”

When American power draws back it leaves a dangerous vacuum.  With the US withdrawing from Afghanistan, Afghanistan’s Karsei will pivot to whoever keeps him in power. US out. Taliban in!

Mishandling by President Obama of several foreign issues has also led to a power vacuum that is being filled by a resurgent Russia. His “lead from behind” policy allowed the Russians to dictate negotiations with their ally, Assad. Obama’s sanction regime on Iran is badly fraying at the edges as the Iranian negotiators waltz the clock to midnight on their nuclear ambitions. With the serious crack in tenuous relations with Russia over the Ukraine, Russia is sure to throw even more support behind Tehran as a further poke in Washington’s eye. The tense situation with Russia points to the potentially dangerous result of America’s shortsighted 2009 refusal to establish a missile shield to protect eastern Europe, particularly Poland and the Czech Republic.

This vacuum allowed Russia to become high profile and active in the Middle East.  In August, 2013, the White House cut off military aid to Egypt. This was a misreading of the political map in Egypt. Egypt refused to take phone calls from Defense Secretary Hagel and turned to Russia for aid. Al Tahrir newspaper ran the headline, “Let the US aid go to hell!”  So much for the Obama apology tour, that began in Cairo.

Russia is emboldened to assert itself in Europe. Crimea is a Russian test of the extent of American weakness. The White House sanctioned seven Russian businessmen. They shrugged off that threat causing Putin’s deputy Prime Minister to tweet that he thought some joker wrote the US Presidential order.

With Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, and Iran turning to Russia, with major oil-trading nations negotiating deals in a currency other than the US dollar, with the contempt felt for America’s weakness in foreign policy, with Iran, Al-Qaida, and the Taliban resurgent in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa, can anyone doubt that America is in decline?

There is no reason to assume that a Hillary Clinton presidency will improve America’s foreign strength. She flunked the 3 a.m. phone call test as Secretary of State when Benghazi called. She simply turned over and went back to sleep. Her tour of duty did nothing to affirm US values. It is doubtful she will move away from Obama’s bad habits of upsetting allies and cuddling up to their enemies.

Political bungling at home and abroad is appalling. When his record is etched, Obama will go down as the worst, most damaging president, in American history until, perhaps, the next one.

Obama’s War on America is His Top Priority

We all know that the “sanctions” Obama has placed on a few of Putin’s pals thus far and those Obama wants the European Union to impose will have no effect whatever on Putin’s decision to annex the Crimea from Ukraine.

One of Obama’s solutions to protect Ukraine’s sovereignty includes giving it a billion dollars because Russia has raised the price of the natural gas it sells to the Ukraine. This means Putin just made a billion while reacquiring Crimea.

One way to bring Russia to its knees would be for Obama–if he could–to impose the same things he is doing in America on the Russian Federation:

  • Require Russia to adopt Obamacare.
  • Ban the mining and use of coal in Russia.
  • Do not allow any drilling on Russian publicly-held land.
  • Redefine the Russian work week to 30 hours.
  • Raise the Russian minimum wage.
  • Mandate overtime pay for Russian government workers.
  • Demand that Russia pay welfare benefits to its illegal immigrants.
  • Require Russia to enact the same regulations as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Increase the Russian national debt by $6 trillion dollars.
  • Require Russia to reduce all elements of its military force and capabilities by reductions to its military budget.

These policies since 2009 have weakened the United States and, if applied to Russia, they would have the same effect. It’s bad enough what Obama has done and is doing to the U.S., but neither we nor the rest of the world would be better off with a weak Russia. Its economy is too tied into the world’s.

Putin insists that it was the West led by the U.S. that resulted in the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 after seventy years of communist rule, but it was Communism that brought it to its knees. The other element was a decline in the prices of oil and natural gas–still the primary source of income for the Russian Federation—that undermined its economy.

While a panoply of experts keeps talking about the prospect of Russia aggression toward its former satellite nations in Eastern Europe, the simple fact is that Putin’s reacquisition of the Crimea just added to Russia’s financial pressures. He can barely afford Crimea. All the hand-wringing about its annexation ignores the fact that it was part of Russia for hundreds of years.

Ruchir Sharma, the head of emerging markets at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, recently spelled out Russia’s economic woes in a Wall Street Journal commentary titled “Putin’s Potemkin Economy.”

“Mr. Putin’s real power base, the economy, is crumbling,” says Sharma. “Russia’s economic growth rate has plummeted from the 7% average annual pace of the last decade to 1.3% last year,” adding that “the Central Bank of the Russian Federation has been fighting to prevent a ruble collapse since the Crimean crisis began.”

Does that sound like a Russia that wants to invade its neighbors at this time?

“The result,” says Sharma, “is that the Russian state has few new sources of income outside of oil and gas, at a time when it is taking on more dependents” in Crimea. As for the rest of the Ukraine population, it’s only the younger generation that did not grow up under the oppression of the former Soviet Russia that thinks giving up its sovereignty is a good idea. Ukrainians with a memory of the pre-1991 days know better.

Europe, much of which depends on Russian gas, will be in no hurry to punish Russia beyond a few relatively meaningless sanctions. It’s all a charade.

It’s true that Europe went to war twice for far less reason than the Crimean annexation, but its present leaders have no wish to repeat that error for all the talk about international law.

What is being debated now is whether Putin will, for whatever reason, invade Ukraine. Only Putin knows that and the decision would be a bad one for him and everyone else.

As we strive to survive Obama’s war on the U.S. economy and the current havoc resulting from Obamacare, it is doubtful that even Obama has any inclination to see Russia collapse and could not reverse the Crimean situation even if he cared about it.

He doesn’t seem to care about what he’s doing to the rest of us so it’s the war at home which we have to survive.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

A Liberal Dose of Intolerance

Our nation is about to commemorate the 46th anniversary of the assassination of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (April 4, 1968). He gave his life so that we could fully participate in all that America has to offer.

Since his death, America has made major strides towards freedom and equality for all. Blacks no longer face the same degree of racial hostility and hatred from Whites like in the days of old. To that end, Dr. King’s death was not in vain.

But within the Black community, I can no longer say with confidence that Dr. King’s death was not in vain. Many believe that Dr. King’s strong opposition to the Vietnam War was the final straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. We have gone from the Vietnam War to the war of words. The Vietnam War killed many thousands of Americans, but the war of words are destroying the very soul of a people.

Rappers are calling our women bitches and hos. Our athletes and entertainers rarely take a principled stand on any relevant issues affecting our community. Many of our own movies do nothing but show the worst in us.

We justify this behavior with the mantra of “I have a right to do whatever.” Well, along with your right comes a responsibility, a responsibility to show our community that through the sacrifice of Dr. King, we have become the embodiment of his dream.

But, it wasn’t his dream alone. The dream was fueled by the likes of Fannie Lou Hamer, Claudette Colvin, and Rosa Parks. The dream was bankrolled by the likes of Harry Belafonte, Bill Cosby, Dick Gregory, Jim Brown, and John Johnson.

Johnson died at the ripe old age of 87 in 2005. But his legacy lives on through his two flagship publications, Jet and Ebony magazines. From their beginnings, these magazines showcased the best in Black America.

That’s why it pains me that one of their current employees has brought so much shame and disgrace to the legacy of Johnson.

Jamilah Lemieux, Senior Editor for Ebony magazine brought so much shame to this prestigious publication that Johnson has to be turning over in his grave. Based on her behavior, it is quite obvious that Lemieux has absolutely no understanding or appreciation for the sacrifice that Johnson made to build his media empire, Johnson Publishing Company. The ironic thing is that she is from Chicago, which is where Johnson Publishing Company is headquartered; and she attended Howard University, which has a building and a program named after Johnson (The John H. Johnson School of Communications).

Obtaining a college degree does not mean you are educated, it simply means you passed certain courses. Being educated is indicated by an ability to engage in critical thinking and conversation; Lemieux has proven that she is quite incapable of engaging in either.

Last week she was engaged in a twitter conversation about a new conservative magazine, American CurrencySee, that is being headed up by neurosurgeon, Dr. Ben Carson and Armstrong Williams. I am also one of their columnists.

In her twitter feed she begins to cast aspersions at Dr. Carson. My friend and colleague in the battle for the heart and soul of the Black community, Raffi Williams, sent her a tweet suggesting that she get to know about Dr. Carson’s life, which she stated in no uncertain terms, “I 100% do not want to know more. I wish I knew less!” In referring to Raffi, she continues, “Oh great, here comes a White dude telling me how to do this Black thing. Pass.” I have known Raffi for many years and I know for a fact certain he has been Black most of his life.

Furthermore, his race should have had nothing to do with her response to his suggestion of valuing diversity of thought. Isn’t that central to the whole notion of being educated? Obviously, she failed that course.

You can google Lemieux to read the complete twitter exchange.

Isn’t it amazing that Dr. King died because of racism and now people like Lemieux have become the very thing that King fought against?

Blacks like Lemieux are totally incapable of displaying any intellectual scholarship and engaging in a vibrant give-and-take with Raffi, a rising star in the Republican Party.

Two weeks ago, liberals lost their minds over a statement Congressman Paul Ryan made about poverty. These same critics have yet to utter one word of support to Raffi and have not uttered one word of criticism to Lemieux.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congressional Black Caucus, NAACP, Melissa Perry, Joy Reid, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, where are your denunciations of intolerance. The Human Rights Campaign, National Council of La Raza, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, could I just one time hear your voice filled with righteous indignation over the intolerance that Blacks in the Republican Party face every day from liberals?

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is of President Lyndon B. Johnson meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr. on August 6, 1965.

The State as a Metanarrative: How the postmodern critique can augment the libertarian one by Casey Given

Most people don’t see postmodernism and libertarianism as sharing much in common. After all, the former refers to a philosophical trend embraced by largely leftist academics over the past half-century, while the latter refers to a political ideology of limited government that many characterize as center-right, originating to a great degree in the Enlightenment. One would be hard pressed to find someone subscribing to both schools of thought.

But have libertarians too quickly dismissed postmodernism without critically examining the philosophy in depth? Some of its elements are compatible with libertarianism and can enhance the libertarian critique of the State.

What Is Postmodernism?

Libertarian stereotypes of postmodernism have a grain of truth. Foremost, postmodern philosophers are notoriously obscure in their writing. Trying to comprehensively understand the work of thinkers like Jacques Derrida or Judith Butler is extremely strenuous, leading many who undergo the task to abandon the project altogether. Such opacity is the unfortunate result of a French intellectual culture that emphasizes density over substance. As Michel Foucault famously remarked to the American philosopher John Searle, “In France, you gotta have ten percent incomprehensible, otherwise people won’t think it’s deep—they won’t think you’re a profound thinker.”

Furthermore, it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact definition of postmodernism, since most so-called postmodern academics deny that they’re such. Derrida, Butler, and Foucault have all shunned the term at one point or another, despite their work being largely classified into the same school of thought. Adding to the confusion, historians have trouble distinguishing postmodernism from modernism, its supposed predecessor. As literary critic Andreas Huyssen once said, “One critic’s postmodernism is another critic’s modernism.”

But a comprehendible explanation of postmodernism does exist. The clearest definition probably comes from the French philosopher Jean-François Lyotard, who wrote in 1979, “Simplifying to the extreme, I define postmodern as incredulity towards metanarratives.”

As the word’s etymology implies, metanarratives are narratives about narratives, giving a grand structural story to human history. In plain English, they’re the tales we’ve been told all our lives about existence from various perspectives. Christianity’s metanarrative, for example, is that humans have been sinful since Adam and Eve’s fall in the Garden of Eden, but there is hope for salvation in accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. The Enlightenment’s metanarrative is that rational thought grounded in empiricism leads to human progress. Marxism’s metanarrative is that the history of the world has been one of class oppression, and a revolution of the proletariat is the only solution to end poverty, scarcity, and injustice.

Postmodernism, as Lyotard explains, is fundamentally defined by skepticism toward these metanarratives. The postmodernist examines, scrutinizes, or “deconstructs” such metanarratives (as Derrida would say), calling into question the premises behind metanarratives’ assumptions. Contrary to the common stereotype of postmodernism muddling philosophical thought, the underlying aim of the school of thought is ultimately to bring greater clarity to our complex world.

How Can Postmodernism Be Libertarian?

Much like various religions and philosophical schools, the government tells its own metanarratives to justify its purpose in exercising a monopoly on violence. Every citizen is familiar with the State’s metanarrative, especially if they’ve read a little Hobbes. Namely, the government monopolizes violence in order to prevent society from devolving into chaos.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren provides a contemporary example of this metanarrative in a 2012 speech that President Obama famously regurgitated later that year:

You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory—and hire someone to protect against this—because of the work the rest of us did.

A good postmodernist, therefore, would challenge this metanarrative, questioning Warren’s underlying assumptions about the State being a necessary force of protection and progress in a cruel, Hobbesian world.

Do roads have to be publicly funded, or do contemporary examples point to the possibility for large-scale networks of private thoroughfares? Does education have to be a function of the State, or would a truly free market provide schooling? Do police always serve to protect, or do they create more violence than peace? Would life truly be “nasty, brutish, and short” without the State, or can market coordination provide the peace and prosperity needed for individuals to flourish?

In this way, a postmodern outlook on politics could be a libertarian one, calling into question the government’s power structure, which has been thoroughly rationalized and accepted for centuries. While most left-leaning postmodernists may shudder at the thought (and libertarians for that matter), these two schools of thought can indeed be compatible.

Postmodernist Libertarianism?

A postmodern political outlook, however, would not simply reaffirm libertarians’ radical questioning of the State. Many postmodern philosophers like Foucault have pushed beyond this, toward analysis of society, in ways that can add meaningfully to traditional libertarian analysis.

Foucault, for instance, was interested not just in how the State directly regulated society through coercion, but also how indirect arms cultivated citizens to regulate themselves—what he coins “biopower.” According to Foucault, the State has “numerous and diverse techniques for achieving the subjugations of bodies and the control of populations” beyond the traditional institutions of coercion (like the police, the military, and the judicial system).

Hospitals, for instance, regulate a social norm of how to care for one’s own body. Mental institutions regulate what “normal” behavior is. Schools regulate what historical knowledge and political attitudes citizens should be taught.

As German sociologist Thomas Lemuke summarizes Foucault’s view, “What we observe today is not a diminishment or a reduction of state sovereignty and planning capacities but a displacement from formal to informal techniques of government and the appearance of new actors on the scene of government (e.g., NGOs) that indicate fundamental transformations in statehood and a new relation between state and civil society actors.” The government’s reach into civil society has become so broad through indirect means like grants, tax breaks, accreditation, and regulations that it is constantly creating and reinforcing norms of how a citizen should act—and, in turn, justifying itself as society’s protector.

What’s interesting about this analysis from a libertarian standpoint is that these indirect institutions of the State have so often been wrong throughout history. Hospitals once displayed posters of a Department of Agriculture-approved food pyramid that encouraged citizens to eat largely grains and less meat, only to replace it in 2005 because of nutritional concerns. Mental institutions once used severe shock treatment for a number of psychological ills such as depression. Public schools once showed their students public service announcements warning children of the danger of homosexuality.

The underlying point is that the State’s metanarratives allow it to exert control over the population. Even that point is something we can draw from postmodernism, though it’s not the only source of that insight. But the analysis—and even deconstruction—of metanarratives is postmodernism’s bread and butter. Libertarians can learn a thing or two from this. What’s more, it’s consistent with more familiar thinkers in our tradition, like F. A. Hayek, who saw government power as being at odds with a complex, emergent social order. (In fact, Foucault is believed to have developed an interest with Hayek’s work later in his life and encouraged students to read it.) Liberal economics and postmodern philosophy, then, can be seen as two sides of the same coin. Both call us to expose problems with the ways the State justifies its existence and perpetuates its own power.

ABOUT CASEY GIVEN

Casey Given is an editor and political commentator with Young Voices, a project aiming to promote millennials’ policy opinions in the media.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

FBI: Wimps in the Islamic Terrorism War

I watched Megyn Kelly (FOX News) discussing the new movie Honor Diaries about Islamic honor attacks and murders.  Kelly was outstanding.  She further discussed the reaction from the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR).  CAIR has denounced the movie and wants it removed from the eye’s of Americans.  Do you recall a similar reaction to a book critical of Islam, Muslim Mafia?

Kelly was extremely tough on CAIR, an FBI designated co-conspirator in the Holyland Foundation Trial.  This amazed me.  Her FOX associate Bill O’Reilly is a friend of CAIR. Watch her segment on CAIR:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/hSLIYJxE2F0[/youtube]

 

honor diariesFor 1400 plus years Muslim men have been raping, assaulting, and killing innocent young Muslim girls and Muslim women.  Most people believe this only happens in Islamic controlled countries.  This is far from the truth.  Young girls have been exposed to Islamic child marriages in America.  Muslim daughters and wives are often the victims of Muslim men, in the name of Islam.

During my visits to  mosques in America I have came across materials advocating child marriages and honor assaults and murder on Muslim women who have allegedly caused their family shame.

Often I have provided or offered to provide this material to law enforcement agencies, but the vast majority of local, state, and federal organizations want nothing to do with this issue.  The worst offenders are the FBI.  For people who are not aware of the internal operations of an FBI office you may find it hard to believe that the FBI produces narcissistic, egotistical, headline grabbing, and poor investigators.  Sounds like I am being critical of a senior U.S. law enforcement agency.  I am.

The majority of people entering the FBI are highly motivated and want to do a good job as protectors of our country.  The reality is that the decades working structure of this agency is deeply rooted in making FBI Agents feel they are above all others.  To put it simply they get ‘big heads’ early on in their career.  A ‘big head’ does not make an outstanding investigator.  For the most part the FBI relies on local and state law enforcement departments to conduct the really hard and dangerous street work.  When they have developed a solid and media driven case, the FBI swoops in.  Don’t believe talk to any local or state law enforcement officer.

What does the character of the FBI have to do with honor killings?  My answer is an enormous amount.  Due to the inaction of the FBI many Muslim children and women suffer.  Why?  When a city, county, or state law enforcement law enforcement department gets any information pertaining to a mosque or Islamic leader, they must provide the information to the FBI before they can conduct an investigation.  FBI Agents are taught to stay away from mosques and Islamic leaders unless they have enough evidence (before an investigation) to convince even MSNBC journalists the mosque is a threat.  This does not happen.

The vast majority of  FBI cases involving Islamic based terrorism are one’s such as the most recent Muslim kid who desired to conduct another Fort Hood type of attack. Read this column: Army Recruit Desires Jihad. Recall that within a few minutes of investigations at Fort Hood after Major Hassan murdered fellow troops, the FBI labeled this as a ‘lone wolf type attack, or better known as workplace violence).  Although Hassan said he killed fellow troops as part of Jihad, no one believed him.

Now we have this teenager, Muhammad Abdullah Hassan, who wants to do exactly what Major Hassan did.  He “desires” to kill innocent people in the name of Allah.  The key word here is desire.  Our FBI purposely overlooks and holds back information on the motives of suspected Islamic terrorists.  Where did Major Hassan and Muhammed Hussan obtain their strong “desire” to serve Islam in the way of physical Jihad?  This “desire” is taught in the vast majority of mosques throughout the world and in mosques in America.

I have uncovered thousands of Islamic materials advocating the Muslim community to engage in Jihad.  This can be with the tongue, pen, or sword.  If you aren’t able to contribute this way, then one has an obligation to help finance the efforts of Jihadist’s. Why then does the FBI not go after the Islamic leaders? Well let’s see: Saudi influence, liberal media influence, and of course the Islamic supporting Obama administration.

The FBI fights terrorism like the Drug Enforcement Agency fights illegal narcotics.  They go after the low players.  These are the one’s with little financial support and the one’s who the media view as simply junkies or “lone wolves” for the terrorists.  There is little threat of any backlash toward the FBI if they target the people at the bottom of the chain.

What does this mean to America?  We will lose the war on terrorism just as we losing the war on drugs. Innocent Muslim girls and women inside American mosques will continue to suffer because our FBI lacks the guts and will to do their jobs.

What type leaders do we need if we were to even have a chance at defeating Islamic terrorism in America?  We need more  truth tellers like Megyn Kelly, Jack Ellison, Roy White, John Kuchta, Adina Kutnicki, Brenda and Roger Homefield, and fewer promoters of Islam like Bill O’Reilly.

The truth must be told.

World Peace Through Equal Redistribution of Race Cards

What if the answer to world peace is not, in fact, global redistribution of wealth, but global redistribution of hair follicles? Granted, this theory isn’t any better or worse than all the other unproven theories that are guiding today’s world politics, but this is exactly why we should give it a try.

According to my calculations, all wars will end as soon as world leaders begin to trade haircuts in the name of fairness and follicle equality for all.

Wait till the Russian media discovers the power of the race card and comes up with the headline, “Putin was born a poor black child.” How can you fight that? With equal redistribution of hair follicles, how can anyone tell who’s got the moral high ground?

Below are just some examples.

To allow experts a closer look, here are the same portraits in larger sizes:

The Deceptive Push to “Implement” Common Core

I just returned home from speaking at the iRefuse Rally on March 29, 2014, in Port Jefferson Station, New York. My trip was an adventure in many ways, not the least of which was in my managing to get to New York.

In short, my flight to NYC was canceled; I was able to fly to Baltimore on standby and rent a car at 1:30 a.m. to drive through the night to Long Island (250 miles).

(It turns out that the kind individual who anonymously paid for my airfare and hotel approached me after hearing my story and offered to pay for the rental car, as well.)

I was determined to make it to the iRefuse event. It was certainly worth the effort. The rally was wonderful. Several hundred people showed to listen to almost a dozen speakers despite the dreary, rainy weather.

I spoke for about 30 minutes. The title of my talk was The Politics of Standards. I did not use notes, so I cannot post exact, complete content just yet. The rally was video recorded; once I receive the video, I will post my complete speech.

My speech came near the end of the rally; the audience was tired, and so was I (having been awake for 34 hours by then). I polled the audience before deciding upon the content I delivered. I wanted to ensure that I connected with my audience; I did not want to sound too “technical.”

My avoiding sounding too technical does not mean I avoided presenting facts.

In this post, I would like to offer some discussion included in my talk– what I believe to be an important, under-discussed development regarding the push to “implement” the so-called Common Core State Standards (CCSS):

The currently-subtle promotion of a regulatory agency to “ensure” that curriculum “aligns with” CCSS.

Next Stop: CCSS-Approved Curriculum

In the following two publications, I have seen language promoting such an agency. One is this March 26, 2014, Hechinger Report article about a CCSS math problem that went viral. The article argues that the problem is with the selected curriculum, not with CCSS.

One statement caught my attention:

The problem the question highlights is not an issue with the Common Core itself, McCallum said, but rather one of curriculum.  … So far, there has been little qualitycontrol[Emphasis added.]

Major, looming question:

Just who is supposed to “control” curriculum “quality”??

Why a “CCSS czar”– or a CCSS regulatory board.

I first read about these two horrible concepts in this March 19, 2014, EAG Newsarticle by Ben Velderman, a reflection on this summer 2014 Education Next article by the American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) Michael McShane. The Education Next article actually proposes among other “implementation solutions” the two “CCSS management” ideas of a CCSS regulatory board and even a single individual in charge of All Things CCSS– a CCSS “czar”:

Former National Education Association chief John Wilson has called for the creation of a “Common Core Czar” to manage the common core. He believes that this person, who would need to have “excellent education credentials including teaching experience, understand a systems approach to education, and have the trust of teachers and parents” and “the respect of both political parties,” could be appointed by the NGA and CCSSO to “oversee the implementation, call out bad practices, and recommend policy changes to the politicians.” Quite a tall order, especially if the “czar” has no government-based authority. [Emphasis added.]

One individual placed in charge of CCSS “implementation.”

Wow. Am I reading Vonnegut? Huxley? Serling?

Perhaps this “czar” idea is too much (tongue in cheek).  Let’s just go for McShane’s next highlighted offering: a CCSS regulatory board:

Patrick McGuinn, a Drew University political scientist, has offered several other possible models for common core governance. Leaders could create a national network of organizations like the NGA and CCSSO, as well as prominent nonprofits and unions, that would serve as revisers, implementation watchdogs, and political advisors. Alternatively, a structure could be developed like the National Assessment Governing Board, which currently oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Empowered by law, the board is required to represent major constituent groups. States could then enter into a memorandum of understanding to agree to abide by the board’s rulings. 

As Velderman observes:

That (the CCSS regulatory board idea) sounds an awful lot like local school districts and states surrendering their autonomy to some type of centralized authority, whether it be national or regional. [Emphasis added.]

Corporate reform certainly does benefit from the surrendering of local authority (via few signatures, mind you) via so-called memoranda of understanding (MOUs)– not the least of which is the original CCSS MOU.

McShane states that until someone steps up to regulate CCSS, “folks will look to the federal government.”

Allow me to contradict McShane:

“Folks” are fighting the very idea of CCSS, period.

If they were not, there would be no pro-CCSS “call to “rebrand” in an effort to fool the “folks.”

However, it is clear that the public should take seriously the proposed ideas for CCSS “regulation”– and it should know that such “regulation” would certainly include curriculum.

CCSS Curriculum “Regulation”: In the Cards for Years Now

The push for such a CCSS regulatory agency should be expected based upon the declared push for “everything” to “line up”– CCSS, curriculum, and tests– an idea that has been publicized by the National Governors Association (NGA) since 2008.

I discussed this “alignment” in my Common Core, Aligned Curriculum… post:

In June 2008, the Hunt Institute and the National Governors Association (NGA) offered the following information as part of an NGA press release regarding the “need” for “rigorous standards.” Notice the inclusion of curriculum in this 2008 statement:

“High, rigorous standards are the foundation of a strong education system. Content standards specify the knowledge and skills that students need at each grade level. These standards must be supported by an aligned and clearly articulated system of curriculum, assessments, teacher preparation and professional development, textbook selection and appropriate supports for students.[Emphasis added.]

On July 21, 2009, Bill Gates made the following declaration in a speech to legislators:

…Identifying common standards is not enough. We’ll know we’ve succeeded when the curriculum and the tests are aligned to these standards. [Emphasis added.]

One month prior to the Gates speech, on June 14-15, 2009, NGA offered the now-loaded word, implementation, in reference to aligning all documents that could possibly control the teacher-student relationship– including curriculum:

Well-planned implementation processes are necessary for success. Standards alone will not ensure student success. Wilhoit cautioned that higher standards will not be effective if teachers and local
education authorities are not prepared to use them. High-quality standards represent the knowledge and skills that states want students to acquire, but this goal cannot be realized without an implementation system that includes curriculum, instructional tools and materials, formative and summative assessments, student supports, and teacher preparation and professional development that are aligned with the new standards. [Emphasis added.]

Thus, those publicly promoting “correct implementation” of CCSS as a “solution” to the undeniable national resistance to CCSS are actually pushing for an agency to regulate an implementation system that includes curriculum– whether such promoters admit as much or even realize as much.

Do not be deceived by the seeming diplomatic promotion of “proper CCSSimplementation.”

Note that a major message my “common core” blog category is that those pushing hardest for CCSS (including implementation) overwhelmingly tend to be those without a direct, personal connection to the classroom. Those pushing hardest for CCSS are not teachers, parents, or students.

The CCSS “push” is nondemocratic.

The CCSS implementation “push” will also be a slap to democracy.

Calling Out the “Implementation” Term

One of the iRefuse attendees (and speakers, though I did not arrive in time to hear him) was New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) President Richard Iannuzzi. We spoke after the rally regarding NYSUT’s position on CCSS. He mentioned his stance against CCSS testing, including a freedom of information (FOIA) request NYSUT recently filed regarding CCSS testing in New York. He also mentioned the botched implementation of CCSS.

I asked if NYSUT planned to file other FOIAs specifically related to CCSS. Iannuzzi said yes.

Iannuzzi told me, “As long as Common Core is carved in stone, I do not support it.”

I told him that he needed to publicize that message– his being against a rigid CCSS– rather than the “implementation” message since “implementation” implies that one believes CCSS is fine as it is– no flexibility needed– and that the public isn’t buying it.

I also know that the “implementation is the problem, not CCSS itself” message leads America down the road toward a CCSS regulatory agency.

Rigidity requires a regulatory agency. Flexibility does not.

I challenged Iannuzzi to publicize the words he spoke to me– that so long as CCSS is “carved in stone,” he does not support it. I asked him to make this message clear via press releases and on the NYSUT website, which needs updating since it still includes the “we support CCSS” message.

He said that his updated stance could be found on the Stronger Together website.

I told him that people looking for NYSUT’s position will not go to the Stronger Together website– they will go to the NYSUT website, as I did– and they will read the “we support CCSS” message.

He agreed to update the NYSUT website, and he agreed to publicize his opposition to inflexible CCSS.

It was a hard-hitting conversation, but a good one.

As I was leaving the building, Iannuzzi stopped his car near me, rolled down the window, and told me that he just tweeted his anti-”carved in stone”-CCSS message.

And so he had:

@RichardIannuzzi · Mar 29 If CC is written in stone then it is unacceptable. NY must have a mind of its own! @beth_dimino @NYSAPE @lacetothetop

Based upon the pushback to All Things CCSS in New York State, it is clear to me that New York does indeed “have a mind of its own”– and that “mind” is fighting hard for its right to the democratic process in public education.

In Closing

Fortunately, this CCSS resistance is not unique to New York. CCSS resistance is nationwide, and we are too smart to be pacified by the “better CCSS implementation” strategy.

We want CCSS gone.

A nonexistent CCSS erases any possibility of a CCSS “czar”– or a CCSS regulatory agency– or the federal government defaulting as a CCSS regulatory agency.

Formal regulation of CCSS curriculum is next on the top-down list.

Kill CCSS, kill curriculum regulation.

EDITORS NOTE: New Yorkers gathered for the 1st Annual NYS iREFUSE! rally, a forum and protest against high stakes testing and Common Core. Featuring Dr. Joe Rella, Mark Ferreris, Nicole Ehrhard, Mary Calamia, Beth Dimino, Dick Iannuzzi, Michael Bohr, Rob Astorino, Tim Farley, Assemblyman Al Graf, Ruth Bryant White, Professor Steve White, Dave Greene, Dr. Mercedes Schneider and Yvonne Gasperino. Following is the full length video taken in Port Jefferson, New York. March 29, 2014:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/gq_H8TF5vLA[/youtube]

Top Ten Things Putin Said to Obama about Ukraine

While Barack Obama’s recent telephone conversation with Russian president Vladimir Putin about the Crimean standoff has been widely reported, the exact substance of the discussion has remained a mystery.

That is, until now.

Owing to highly placed confidential sources, I’m pleased to report that I have become privy to some of the details of their talk. What follows are the top ten things Putin said to Obama:

10.  Look, the Ukrainians have a country; they didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.
9.  I’m just fulfilling the dreams from my father.
8.  I can’t help myself; I’m a typical white person.
7.  For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of your country.
6.  Yes, we can.
5.  No, you can’t.
4.  No matter how this turns out, Barry, I’ll R-S-P-E-C-T you in the morning.
3.  I promise never to threaten any of your 58 states.
2.  If I had a new province, it would look like Ukraine.

And number 1…

If you like your foreign policy, you can keep your foreign policy.

The president reportedly was somewhat befuddled after the conversation and told an aide, “When does persuasion become invasion? I don’t know, that’s above my pay grade.”

Meanwhile, Putin is said to have explained to a close advisor, “I figured that after his election, I’d have more flexibility.”

Allen West: Remember when presidents stood up to Russia?

Thirty-five years ago I was finishing up my senior year of high school and heading to my first year at the University of Tennessee. Something also happened that year — the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and began the 10 year Soviet-Afghan War. If anyone had told me in 1979 that one day, 26 years later, I would be landing at the Kabul Airport in Afghanistan, I would have thought them crazy. However, history does indeed repeat itself for those who fail to learn from it.

So here we are in 2014 with a weak president, just as 35 years ago, watching another invasion. Once again we have a president who has diminished our military capacity. Once again we have a president who is limiting our energy security advancement in favor of radical environmentalists.

There are so many parallels between the tenures of presidents Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama some postulate this is what a second Carter presidency would have resembled.

This past week, President Obama was in Europe displaying his failure to comprehend strategic level geopolitics. Europe has always been a battleground between East and West, between liberty and tyranny. The difference now is that we do not have resolute leadership such as President John F. Kennedy who went to West Berlin and stated, “Ich bin ein Berliner” meaning to say he was a citizen of Berlin (not a “Berliner” jelly-filled doughnut). And young Kennedy was indeed challenged by the brutish belligerence of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev by way of the Cuban missile crisis. Yet he stood his ground.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/hH6nQhss4Yc[/youtube]

Years later it would be another American president, Ronald Reagan, standing at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin demanding, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” And indeed the wall did. It was Reagan who clearly defined his Cold War strategy, “We win; they lose.”

[youtube]http://youtu.be/GCO9BYCGNeY[/youtube]

So when our current president makes weak, stumbling, incoherent statements such as, “this is not some zero-sum game” referring to Ukraine and Russia, he evidences his ignorance and cowardice to belligerents worldwide — and worse, to our allies. It is a zero-sum game and as Kennedy stated in his 1961 inaugural address:

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty. This much we pledge —- and more.

To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do—for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder….We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.

And so we sit back and watch history all over again as weakness becomes the enticing elixir drunk by dictators, autocrats, theocrats, and despots. There is only one way to meet evil: head on. It is not about being a “warmonger” but rather a guardian of liberty and freedom — and a guardian of the republic for which we stand.

RELATED STORY: Putin thinks globally, while Obama acts locally

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.