America, A Christian Nation

It is a great regret that arrogant atheists attack Christmas at this time of year and that too many institutions from schools to stores feel intimidated enough to remove mention of it. It is one thing to deny the existence of God, but the attacks are intended to undermine the faith of millions of Americans. The atheists forget or neglect the fact that the pilgrims came here to freely practice their interpretation of Christianity.

It is a habit of mine to revisit the classic literature of the past and, with the advent of Christmas, I picked up an excerpt from Edward Gibbon’s famed “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” that addressed in part the role of Christianity.

Gibbon’s vast knowledge of the Empire eventually filled six volumes. The first three volumes were published in 1776 and became a bestseller. The final three volumes cemented his reputation as a historian.

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Historian Edward Gibbon, (1737-1794)

Gibbon (1737-1794) not only possessed a vast body of knowledge, but also a felicity of prose that enhances the pleasure of reading him. His history of Rome also contained open criticism of organized religion which no doubt evoked a great deal of discussion at the time.

The religion of Rome, however, being polytheistic with many gods could only be called organized insofar as temples to those gods were built wherever it exercised its power. Suffice to say, the then-new religion of Christianity was declared illegal and Christians were widely persecuted.

Initially, the adherents to Christianity were Jews. Gibbon notes that “The first fifteen bishops of Jerusalem were all circumcised Jews; and the congregations over which they presided, united the law of Moses with the doctrine of Christ.” Judaism had been around for a thousand years by that time, but there were a variety of factors that kept it isolated and limited in numbers. It did not actively proselytize and the requirement for circumcision was a deterrent. Judaism also had many restrictions such as dietary laws and requirements that further reduced its attraction for the masses.

All that changed with the advent of Saul of Tarsus, now known as St. Paul, a Jew who experienced an epiphany that threw open the doors to the philosophical and theological basis of Judaism. “Christianity offered itself to the world, armed with the strength of the Mosaic Law and delivered from its fetters,” wrote Gibbon. “The divine authority of Moses and the prophets was admitted, and even established, as the firmest basis of Christianity.”

“The promise of divine favor, instead of being partially confirmed to the posterity of Abraham, was universally proposed to the freeman and the slave, to the Greek and the barbarian, to the Jew and to the Gentile.”

“When the promise of eternal happiness was proposed to mankind, on condition of adopting the faith, and of observing the precepts of the gospel, it is no wonder that so advantageous an offer should have been accepted by great numbers of every religion, of every rank, and of every province in the Roman Empire.”

The Roman Empire had reigned supreme for almost 300 years when Christianity came on the scene and would last another 200 until, in the view of historians; it became too tired to maintain itself. It stretched across the known world from the British Isles to India, exacting taxes and offering protection. By the third century it could not be effectively governed from Rome and split into two factions, East and West, seen today in the Eastern and Western churches.

Christianity offered something that Judaism did not; the promise of life after death, of Heaven, and, conversely, a vision of Hell. Neither the prophets, nor the sages of Judaism devoted much attention to what occurred after death because there is no way to determine what occurs in its wake. Instead, Judaism has always placed an emphasis on how one can pursue a life of proper behavior based on the interpretation of the Torah or Old Testament whose heart is found in the Ten Commandments.

Gibbon wrote “It was by the aid of these causes, exclusive zeal, the immediate expectation of another world, the claim of miracles, the practice of rigid virtue, and the constitution of the primitive church, that Christianity spread itself with so much success in the Roman Empire.”

The gospels were composed in the Greek language “at a considerable distance from Jerusalem” and after gentile converts had grown in numbers. “As soon as those histories were translated into the Latin tongue, there were perfectly intelligible to all the subjects of Rome” with some exceptions.

AA - Aethiest Billbord

An atheist billboard in NY City’s Times Square.

The conversion of Constantine in the fourth century made Christianity the official religion of Rome. It is estimated that, by then, almost a third of the population had previously embraced Christianity and the Empire had already begun to decline. In the early 400s, Rome was conquered by the barbaric tribes of northern Europe, the Gaul’s, Visigoths, and others. Europe was plunged into the Dark Ages.

In time Christianity would spread to much of the world though it would compete with the more ancient faiths of Hinduism and Buddhism, and the tribal faiths of Africa and the New World.

In 632 A.D. Islam, the invention of Mohammed, would spread as much by the sword as by its doctrine. It is the enemy of all other religions and its persecution of Christians is a warning to the world. Mohammed told his followers, “The sword is the key to heaven and hell.” These days, the Middle East is being “cleansed” of Christians. No accommodation can be made with Islam.

The demographics of Christianity have shifted significantly in the last century, largely due to the enmity of Communism. As noted in a recent article, “In Latin America alone, there are 517 million Christians. In Africa, 411 million. Asia tallies 251 million. Once a global powerhouse of Christianity, Europe is home to an ever-shrinking 553 million (expected to drop to 480 million by 2050) while North America has 275 million.”

“Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation,” said President Barack Obama on June 28, 2006. A true Christian would never have uttered those words.

America was and is a Christian nation. Obama either misspoke or deliberately lied. His words barely acknowledge the role of Christianity in the founding and history of our nation. His words betray its role today.

Gibbon’s great work about the fall of Rome is a warning to all present empires and great powers. It fell because it lacked a doctrine of virtue as much as from the attacks by the barbarians who finished it off.

Today Communism is the faith of the new barbarians and Islam is the faith of its enemies. The defense of civilization falls heavily on the worldwide Christian community.

© Alan Caruba. 2013

RELATED COLUMN: Prince Charles says what Obama won’t: Christians are being persecuted

Duck Dynasty’s Robertson Angers Alcoholics, Philanderers

Phil Robertson’s recent controversial comments have drawn criticism from a wide spectrum of offended minorities.

Most inflammatory in his remarks was this infamous passage: “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men…Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers — they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

First to weigh in was Patrick O’Malley of the Alliance of Alcoholics and Philanderers. “What is wrong with this man?” asked an astonished O’Malley between sips of whiskey. “Everybody knows this nation was built on alcohol and infidelity. I was hurt more by his comments than my wife when she found out about my 11th affair. I can’t help it if I was born adulterous, and along comes this bigot acting like it’s a choice and a wrong one at that. We have no place for judgmental people like that in today’s society.”

phil robenson suspendedO’Malley’s sentiments were echoed on MSNBC by former president Bill Clinton, who said, “As a fellow Southerner, sportsman, and Christian, I am deeply disappointed by Phil’s hurtful rhetoric. There are serial rapists and adulterers out there who feel really marginalized by this kind of exclusive language. I’m here to tell them that I feel their pain.”

Speaking from the Senate floor this morning, Harry Reid commented, “I especially take offense at his comment that the greedy and the swindlers, and I quote, “won’t inherit the kingdom of God” end quote. Just what authority is he claiming here? One higher than the Senate of the United States? I urge my Republican colleagues to join me in a bipartisan effort to support a bill repealing I Corinthians 6:9 and assuring swindlers their place in Heaven.”

Achmed al-Tikriti, president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance of Muslims (GLAM) spoke out passionately on the Piers Morgan Show: “As a member of the most progressive and tolerant religion on earth, I urge Phil Robertson to reconsider his damaging statements and to declare jihad on his bigotry. It was enough that A&E would not ban “in Jesus’ Name” at their unclean mealtime prayers, but this, this is more than we can bear. By the prophet, the pain is so hurtful! Make it stop!”

A message released by A&E’s Department of Tolerance stated, “We have long been strong and proud supporters of adultery, bestiality, idolatry, drunkenness, greed, slander, and swindling. We deeply regret Mr. Robertson’s slanderous libel against our minority citizens and urge him to shut up until he learns a little tolerance.”

Completely unrepentant, Mr. Robertson says he’s “happy, happy, happy” to take a stand for Christ.

EDITORS NOTE: The column originally appeared on The Peoples Cube.

Scary combo: Impotent Congress and Imperial President

The 113th Congress is about to end its first session and has been referred to as one of the least productive legislative bodies in recent history. Perhaps there are those of you who feel that’s a good thing…

As Reid Wilson writes in the Washington Post:

“As the Senate prepares to take up the budget deal this week, both sides say it is likely to be one of the final pieces of significant legislation to pass the 113th Congress as midterm elections loom.

After the Senate reconvenes in January, observers say, the coming year is unlikely to yield significant legislative action. Democrats will probably advance measures intended to draw political contrasts with Republicans — including a proposal to raise the minimum wage and a number of smaller bills that they say would boost jobs and strengthen the economy. None of those measures are likely to win Republican votes or spur action in the GOP-controlled House.”

In other words 2014 brings the American people more politics, not policy, as the game continues, DC-style.

Here’s what we have to look forward to: a final deal on the farm bill, a water-resources agreement – and of course another deal to raise the debt ceiling. Speaker John Boehner says he won’t take up the Senate-passed version of immigration reform, but the Senate may take action on a proposal from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) to make changes to the military’s handling of sexual assault cases.

We wrote on this legislative proposal by Sen. Gillibrand and her desire to completely remake the Commander’s involvement in the military justice system, basically stripping them of their command authority in all major cases and creating an outside independent legal body. This is a very bad idea and we hope you’ll contact your Senators to express disapproval. Lastly the Senate may consider a new package of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, albeit against the desires of the Obama administration.

But don’t take your eye off the ball when you have a lying, obtuse, arrogant, and belligerent President Obama who will try to use low Congressional approval ratings to support his unilateral executive actions — something he’s already done.

As we reported, John Podesta, former President of the Center for American Progress, is joining the White House and is known as an expert in “Executive Actions.”

And with a stacked DC Circuit Court, thanks to Harry Reid’s violation of Senate rules, we could be looking at a 2014 not of governance by legislation and the will of the people, but rather of rule by edict — executive order and regulatory fiat — issued from a despotic ruler who sees his agenda to fundamentally transform America as his ultimate will. Fasten your seat belts folks, we’re in for bumpy ride.

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

Violence lies behind the Burqa

In February 2012, we posted on the arrest of an Iraqi émigré family in Phoenix for an attempted honor killing of their daughter:

Honor shame incidents appear to be of near epidemic proportions among Iraqi Muslim immigrants in Phoenix. As we noted in our earlier post, an Iraqi Muslim immigrant father had run down and killed his daughter and was convicted in a Maricopa County Court Case last year in another honor killing. CAIR spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, engaged in taqiyya when he told the media that the Arizona honor shame violence . . . were “isolated incidents”. His bald-faced comment was: “”We condemn any false justification for domestic violence or abuse based on religious beliefs.”

These were evidence of a history of high profile honor shame killings and violence perpetrated on Muslim women that have occurred in Canada and the US.  We had the  conviction  in a Kingston , Ontario courtroom of the Canadian Afghan Shafia family for horrific quadruple honor murders  of another wife and three daughters in a polygamous Montreal household. We had the murder of a divorced Muslim woman in Tampa, Florida.  There was the murder of a daughter in Atlanta by her Pakistani émigré father. The country was riveted by the tragic death of two daughters of an American wife killed by their father, a fugitive Egyptian cab driver in Texas. There was the ghastly murder of wife in Buffalo by the founder of a ‘moderate’ Muslim TV channel. Besides the Shafia family in Montreal, we had the death of a young Muslim girl at the hands of her father and brother in Mississauga, Ontario.

But it is not just Canada and the US in the West, honor shame violence has even occurred down under. That was revealed in a recent  incident involving the savage beating of a Muslim teenager reported in The New Zealand Herald“Burqa hid injuries of teen repeatedly bashed – police”:

A teenage girl police believe was beaten at home was forced to hide her facial injuries behind a burqa, while members of the Muslim community are alleged to have hushed up the abuse.

Her injuries included a broken nose, damaged teeth and extensive bruising. Police claim the 15-year-old was subjected to sustained physical abuse from at least one family member over two or more months.

“The case was brought to police attention when a school friend of the girl was made aware of the abuse and was able to borrow a cell phone from another child at a neighboring school to call 111,” child protection officer Detective Sarah Boniface said. “The girl was not able to get access to a phone herself.”

Dr. Phyllis Chesler, prominent American feminist and fellow of The Middle East Forum, is an advocate for banning the Burqa. Prompted by this New Zealand incident, she responded in a FoxNews op ed, “Beneath the burqa — a bruised and badly beaten teenager”.   She cites the burqa [as]:

A sensory deprivation isolation chamber, (sensory deprivation is used as a form of torture); a burqa is also an ambulatory body bag and I oppose this with all my mind and heart as a violation of human and women’s rights.

I am no fan of the burqa and have even argued that the West should ban it.

I believe that the kind of men who expect and demand that women wear burqas in the West today are likely to be radical Islamists; as such, they may be more likely to engage in acts of military jihad here. The Koran absolutely does not mandate the burqa or, for that matter, a face covering of any kind.

In her Fox News op ed Chesler cites the extreme example of quadruple honor killings committed by the convicted Afghan Canadian Shafia family.  Chesler drew attention to the moral equivalence of “omerta” in Muslim families. Chesler said, “that sustained physical abuse and psychological cruelty often precedes or is correlated with a subsequent honor killing”.  In the case of the savage beating of the Muslim teenager in New Zealand, hidden from public view by a Burqa, Chesler commented that the police became aware that “members of the community in positions of power and trust knew that the abuse was serious but did not help the girl.”

Chesler knows about the potential violence committed against Muslim women first hand. As a young American Jewish bride of an Afghan Muslim husband she was virtually imprisoned in a polygamous Afghan Muslim household after her US passport was taken away from her upon arrival in Kabul.  She cites that episode from five decades ago as a motivating factor behind her career as a prominent feminist and opponent of Sharia honor shame violence, often hidden behind burqas.  Chesler reveals this defining moment of her Afghan experience in a recently published memoir, An American Bride in Kabul.  We will publish both a review of Chesler’s latest book and an interview with the author in the January 2014 New English Review.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

I Now Pronounce You Man and Wives

The Family Research Council reports:

Turns out, marriage isn’t about two people who love each other — it’s about three or five or six. That was Judge Clark Waddoups’s opinion in the most explosive ruling the media isn’t talking about. Late last week, the U.S. District Judge’s ruling should have kicked off the evening news in every major market across America. Instead, his 91-page pro-polygamy bombshell is nothing but a back-page blip. And that’s no accident. When Waddoups struck down Utah’s criminal ban on “plural marriages” last Friday, the networks started tiptoeing around the story like the cultural grenade it is.

Like us, they know the Left’s dirty little secret — that people who support same-sex “marriage” are saying “I do” to a lot more than they bargained for. While liberals insist that same-sex “marriage” is the ultimate goal, their demands only lay the groundwork for other relationships to demand the same entitlements. Once the courts and policy makers depart from the natural definition of marriage, the Left has a legal foundation for any arrangement between consenting adults.

Judge Waddoups essentially admitted as much. Despite the fact that the Supreme Court outlawed polygamy years ago, Waddoups insists that he can’t possibly rest on that decision in modern society. In his words, America has “developed constitutional jurisprudence that now protects individuals from the criminal consequences intended by legislatures to apply to certain personal choices.”

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act this summer only sped the process along. Polygamists popped the corked on a little champagne of their own after the June ruling, as they wait their turn for nationwide acceptance. “We’re very happy with [the ruling on DOMA]” said Joe Darger, a Utah polygamist, “I think [the court] has taken a step in correcting some inequality, and that’s certainly something that’s going to trickle down and impact us… I think the government needs to now recognize that we have a right to live free as much as anyone else.” Proponents of polygamy are riding the homosexual movement’s wave of success all the way to legitimacy.

And that’s exactly what the mainstream media is afraid of. They see the potential for this debate to sway the middle and derail the same-sex “marriage” train. Recognizing that their destinies are very much intertwined, polygamists are using the same playbook as their same-sex “marriage” counterparts: Step one: overturn the law. Step two: demand recognition. Step three: force acceptance.

Ten years ago, Justice Antonin Scalia predicted exactly that in Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court decision rolling back sodomy statutes. With prophetic insight, he pointed to the threat to state laws “based on moral choices” against “bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution… adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity.” Anyone being intellectually honest knew this was where liberals were pushing America. Of course, the media for years laughed off groups like FRC who warned that the Left’s goal isn’t same-sex “marriage” but any kind of marriage.

Just this year, extremists like Jillian Keenan did conservatives a favor by owning up to the fact that homosexual “marriage” is just the warm-up act to an even more shocking agenda. “Let’s not forget that the fight doesn’t end with same-sex marriage,” she wrote in a column for Slate. “We need to legalize polygamy too. Legalized polygamy in the United States is the constitutional, feminist, and sex-positive choice. More importantly, it would actually help protect, empower, and strengthen women, children, and families.”

That wasn’t a typo. Keenan actually argues for polygamy — a practice that degrades and devalues the role of women — as the feminist alternative. And the Left wants to accuse conservatives of a war on women? Legalizing polygamy would undermine the Left’s banner cause — equality — and turn back the clock on women’s rights that has become the standard of Western Civilization.

Shows like “Sister Wives” may make people sympathetic. It may even help break down inhibitions (as evidenced in Gallup’s poll). But once Americans start to realize the practical implications of these parallel movements — for their school curriculum, tax dollars, and free speech rights — the public debate will only intensify. Despite the media’s silence and homosexual activists’ increasing campaign of intimidation, the American people may have finally found the inspiration to push back against the forces trying to redefine marriage. It’s never too late to change course — and this decision may have finally given the nation a reason to try.

US & UK Create New State of Kidnapistan in Southern Syria

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The USSA and her subsidiary, the United Socialist Kingdom, have formed a new state in territory formerly held by the reactionary imperialist regime of Syria, which will henceforth be known as the Islamic Socialist Republic of Kidnapistan.

Once the Jihadi Salafists were categorized as a minority group in Syria, they immediately became eligible for special protection, similar to what the Party and the State extend to minority groups at home. It was decided, therefore, that in the interest of the unity of the word proletariat, the workers and peasants of the Sunni Islamic Fundamentalist minority are entitled to a redistributive state of their own.

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The Supreme Council for International Peace and Security has allocated funding and military assistance to this fledgling peace-loving entity in the Middle East, which will soon outshine all other nations in the region in its commitment to equality and redistributive justice, while maintaining its unique Islamic identity.

It is unclear at this time whether the USSA will assist the soon-to-be-formed government of Kidnapistan in religious cleansing and deportations of the non-Jihadist, non-minority current residents who are not in full compliance with this territory’s new status.

However, the Party has been assured by Comrade John McCain that non-Salafist elements in the area will continue to be shown the same courtesy and kindness that Syria’s progressive Jihadist minority has been long known for.

EDITORS NOTE: This satirical column originally appeared on The Peoples Cube.

Arapahoe High School Shooter a “Committed Socialist”

There are politicians from both parties, media outlets and pundits who will spin the story of Karl Halverson Pierson, 18, who has been identified as the high school student who brought a shotgun into Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado, on December 13th. Pierson wounded a fellow female student and then killed himself.

Jim Hoft, from the Gateway Pundit states, “Pierson, an indoctrinated 18 year-old, was a committed socialist who hated Republicans.” Hoft quotes Zahira Torres and Yesenia Robles from The Denver Post who reported:

The teenage gunman who entered Arapahoe High School Friday afternoon and shot two fellow students with a shotgun was outspoken about politics, a gifted debater and may have been bullied for his beliefs, according to students who knew him.

“He had very strong beliefs about gun laws and stuff,” said junior Abbey Skoda, who was in a class with the alleged shooter her freshman year.

Thomas Conrad, who had an economics class with [the shooter] Pierson, described him as a very opinionated Socialist*…

…”He was exuberant I guess,” Conrad said. “A lot of people picked on him, but it didn’t seem to bother him.”

In one Facebook post, Pierson attacks the philosophies of economist Adam Smith who through his invisible hand theory pushed the notion that the free market was self-regulating. In another post, he describes himself as “Keynesian.”

“…I was wondering to all the neoclassicals and neoliberals, why isn’t the market correcting itself?” he wrote. “If the invisible hand is so strong, shouldn’t it be able to overpower regulations?”

Pierson also appears to mock Republicans on another Facebook post, writing “you republicans are so cute” and posting an image that reads: “The Republican Party: Health Care: Let ‘em Die, Climate Change: Let ‘em Die, Gun Violence: Let ‘em Die, Women’s Rights: Let ‘em Die, More War: Let ‘em Die. Is this really the side you want to be on?” (emphasis added)

According to the UK Daily Mail, “In other [Facebook] posts, he touted his support for gay rights and made fun of Republicans but then also wrote on Facebook that he did not believe that President Obama did not deserve a second term in office. His friends and fellow seniors Carl Schmidt and Brendon Mendelson told The Post that his political views were ‘outside the mainstream’.”

Some will spin that he had a gun, a shotgun to be specific as recommended by Vice President Biden. Others will spin his easy access to public school grounds and the idea that no one on campus of this high school was armed, including the debate coach Pierson was pursuing for kicking him off the debate team. Others will point to his political leanings, while others will grieve and wring their hands wondering what to do next.

Colorado seems to have its share of student shooters. Perhaps those things done in Colorado to stop this kind of incident are not working?

That is the bottom line. Doing the same thing and expecting different results is a form of murderous madness.

US Roman Catholic bishop calls Mandela’s support for abortion “shameful”

OneNewsNow.com reports,The Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence, R.I., says that while there’s much to admire in Nelson Mandela’s life and public service, the former South African president’s support for abortion was ‘shameful.'”

Bishop Thomas Tobin, in a statement posted Sunday on the diocesan website, criticized Mandela’s decision in 1996 to sign legislation liberalizing South Africa’s abortion laws. Tobin wrote, “We can only regret that his noble defense of human dignity did not include the youngest members of our human family, unborn children.”

Tobin’s comments stand in contrast to those of Pope Francis, who in a telegram to South African President Jacob Zuma last week praised Mandela’s steadfast commitment to “promoting the human dignity of all” his nation’s citizens. Tobin has frequently taken on public figures over abortion, including Pope Francis. The bishop in September said he was “a little bit disappointed” the pope had not addressed the topic of abortion during his first six months as pope.

Steve Ertelt of LifeNews.com reported, “Pope Francis told a pro-life group in Rome, over the weekend, that a ‘throwaway culture’ is responsible for abortion that results in the destruction of unborn children.”

“This false model of man and society embodies a practical atheism, de facto negating the Word of God that says: ‘Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness,’” Pope Francis explained.

The Pope said “[T]here is an originary dignity of every man and woman that cannot be suppressed, that cannot be touched by any power or ideology.”

Here is Pope Francis’ address to a delegation from the Dignitatis Humanae Institute.

Obama’s Moment of Truth—About His Lies

I think the bulk of the U.S. population, particularly likely voters in 2014, have reached the point where they no longer believe anything President Obama says.

It coincides with what may be the lowest level of confidence in the U.S. Congress. Its Democratic members all voted for Obamacare without reading it and the harm it is doing to millions of Americans, along with its total lack of constitutional legitimacy, will likely see those running for election and reelection in the 2014 midterms defeated.

As the first year of Obama’s second term is completed in January, the nation is at a point that I don’t think has existed since the days leading up to the Civil War in 1861. It took until 1865 to conclude that split and a hundred more years to make right the many wrongs that led up to it.

In my life, more than seven and a half decades, I cannot recall a President who has generated such a deep sense of distrust. I say “distrust” because that differs from just disagreeing with a particular President’s policies. I say “distrust” in the context of what people believe no matter their political affiliation.

What we all know now is that President Obama cannot be trusted when he speaks about anything whether it is his signature legislation, the Affordable Healthcare Act, or his rejection of decades of U.S. policy toward Iran that began in 1979 when they seized our diplomats in 1979. In the United Nations and in Congress, sanctions were applied that were, until his recent announcement, working effectively to influence its determination to make its own nuclear weapons. All that effort has been undermined by a process conducted in total secrecy because Obama knew it would be rejected. It should be noted that this occurred when Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State.

Obama is the fulfillment of a long effort by the former Soviet Union, begun in the 1920s, to transform our society from one whose values and policies led the world in the effort to oppose communism even as it and European allies embraced socialist programs that are now threatening theirs and our economic stability. “Social justice” is the term adopted and exercised through “political correctness”, a philosophy that paints the U.S. as a heartless, rapacious, racist, capitalist nation more to be hated than admired.

Political correctness played a major role in the election of a virtually unknown first term Senator from Illinois because Americans wanted to demonstrate to the world that a black man could be elected President.

The failure of the Republican Party to strongly advocate the traditions and patriotic beliefs of Americans led to his reelection. The other factor was the adoption of the Alinsky-inspired methods of character assassination and the distortions of our history that is heard and read daily in the mainstream press and taught in our nation’s schools from kindergarten to college.

America has fallen prey to the infiltration and takeover of our education system that is filled with lessons and books that distort our history, denigrate our Founders, and teach disrespect for our Constitution, if it is taught at all. Our culture has been degraded by a Hollywood that turns out films depicting capitalism as corrupt and fills our lives with cultural messages that degrade our society.

From the earliest days of his first term, Obama has publicly attacked America in ways no previous President ever did.

In April 2006, in a speech delivered in Strasbourg, France, Obama said, “America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive (towards Europe)” when, in fact, America had twice come to the aid of Europe, first in World War One, and saving it from the worst totalitarian threat in World War Two. The graves of U.S. soldiers are found in cemeteries throughout Europe and it was the expenditure of trillions during and after WWII that attest to our long-term policies, not of conquest, but of liberation.

At home, Obama has striven to fulfill the “politically correct” policies of dividing the nation ethnically, emphasizing the national and religious differences that have existed in a culture of tolerance that earlier accepted waves of immigration of those who were eager to assimilate and become “Americans” as opposed to those who arrive, now often illegally, and demand the rights of native-born and naturalized Americans.

Obama has by-passed the limits the Constitution imposes on the executive branch with little or no opposition in a Senate controlled by the Democrats. The effort by the Republican controlled House led to the government shutdown and is now used against it despite the refusal of the President to negotiate and avoid it.

Even among “low information voters” the accumulated awareness of the many Obama administrations scandals is beginning to exercise some influence. From Fast and Furious to the Benghazi lies, even those who pay little attention to the government are growing aware of the massive waste of money the stimulus represented and  the increase of U.S. debt, the failure to pass a budget for five years that the Constitution requires, suspicious huge purchases of ammunition by Homeland Security, and, of course, Obamacare. They may not understand what these scandals mean, but they sense something is very wrong with America.

A President who is widely perceived as a liar has lost the most important factor that all Presidents require to function, his credibility.

What is needed now more than ever before is a Congress that vigorously opposes his actions and the months between now and the midterm elections will be critical for Republicans and independents to assert the role of this branch. The attack on a long established voting rule in the Senate has made this more difficult.

It can only be hoped that enough Americans, Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and independents will wake from their stupor and demand action.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

Obama TF Studying How to “Nudge” – Control your Behavior

“In a universe of deceit, truth becomes a revolutionary act.” Often attributed to George Orwell, this statement is eerily appropriate in light of this latest revelation about the Obama administration.

In Politico, Richard Williams reports:

Earlier this year, the White House revealed that it is establishing a task force dedicated to studying how to motivate you—just as parents do—to do what the government thinks is best for you.

Just another example of how well this administration is spending your taxpayer dollars. Not.

Per Williams:

To be clear, Congress did not pass legislation authorizing such activity; this is something dreamt up by bureaucracies to force their own preferences on citizens, whether by combating obesity or discouraging procrastination when it comes to saving for retirement.

The report goes on to explain the genesis of this very disconcerting endeavor, called “behavioral economics”—the study of how psychology affects people’s decisions. It most recently became a buzzword when former White House official Cass Sunstein co-authored the book Nudge while Sunstein was still a law professor at Harvard.

Williams reports:

In 2009, Obama appointed him as administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, where Sunstein championed cost-benefit analysis of regulation, as well as “nudges.” Sunstein left government in 2012 to return to academia, but the “nudge” school of thought has clearly lingered in the Oval Office: The newly created behavioral economics task force is the most prominent example yet.

Just so you know, Sunstein is married to US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power and when he testified before our House Small Business Committee actually said “increased regulation is a means to create jobs.” He believed that government must hire more people to enforce the new regulations – yes, these are the types of people Obama has close to him.

President Obama and his progressive socialist disciples seek to turn the United States into a “1984″-type totalitarian government-controlled society where history is rewritten (see Common Core). Thanks to the Supreme Court ruling on the Individual Mandate, government has the authority to modify individual behavior by way of taxation, forcing you to purchase private sector industry products.

All of you who (still want to) think Barack Obama is a “likable cheeky” fella — you are wrong. He is a deceptive charlatan and manipulative despot. Right now, the Democrats are crafting poll-tested messages and slogans to mentally enslave America. Obey or rebel, the choice is yours — I have made mine.

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

Misrepresenting Mandela

Neither Israel’s President Shimon Peres nor Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu could attend the state funeral for the late South African President and liberation leader, Nelson Mandela.  According to the Jerusalem Post  they cited finance and security reasons instead sending a delegation headed by  Speaker Yuli Edelstein and  Knesset members as noted:

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein flew Monday night to the memorial service, along with the first female Ethiopian MK Pnina Tamnu-Shata (Yesh Atid), as well as MKs Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid), Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), Gila Gamliel (Likud Beytenu) and Hilik Bar (Labor).

If you wonder why Israel’s Peres and PM Netanyahu didn’t join 90 world leaders in attending the late Nelson Mandela’s state funeral, look no further than this  column  in theJerusalem Post by Michael Freund, “Misrepresenting Mandela”.  It also struck me as indicative of the current ANC leadership that they would marginalize the late Helen Suzman, the lone member of the Progressive Party in the Pretoria Government of Botha, as the fiery opponent of Apartheid, suggesting that she had not done anything during her 13 years solitary role as opponent of Apartheid,  See this April  2013 Mail & Guardian article,  “ANC: Helen Suzman didn’t act against apartheid”.

Freund’s Jerusalem Post, oped,  “Misrepresenting Mandela” chronicles his support for Israel’s enemies, the late Muammar Gaddafi and Yassir Arafat, as well as, convicted Puerto Rican terrorists here in the US.  Let us also not forget that he was an avowed Communist penning a pamphlet to that effect.  Go no further than his ANC comrade Joe Slovo, whom the New York Times in its 1995 obituary labeled him as an “Anti-Apartheid Stalinist”.  Note this comment about the pivotal role that Slovo claimed:

But the men forged a friendship that grew into an unshakable political alliance. Over the years Mr. Slovo and other white Communists assumed influential places in the African National Congress. Mr. Slovo often said that his party’s greatest role was in steering the A.N.C. away from black nationalism to a doctrine of non racialism.

“The culture of non racialism is now deeply embedded,” he said in a recent interview, surveying the prospects of racial conflict in the future. “That has a great deal to do with the Communist Party.”

Freund’s assessment of Mandela’s legacy is best captured in his conclusion:

Mandela was flawed human being, full of contradictions and shortcomings, a man who alternately extolled violence and reconciliation. 

Read what Freund chronicles as the late Mandela’s track record in his Jerusalem Post  column:

Fundamentally Freund: Misrepresenting Mandela

Former South African President Nelson Mandela

Former South African President Nelson Mandela Photo: REUTERS/Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

Mandela was flawed human being, full of contradictions and shortcomings, a man who alternately extolled violence and reconciliation.

Imagine a person who planned acts of sabotage and incited violence, resulting in the deaths of innocent civilians and damage to public property.

A man who embraced brutal dictators throughout the Third World, such as Libya’s Gaddafi and Cuba’s Castro, singing their praises and defending them publicly even as they trampled on the rights and lives of their own people.

A person who hugged Yasser Arafat at the height of the intifada, hailed Puerto Rican terrorists who shot US Congressmen, and penned a book entitled, How to be a good Communist.

Picture all this and, believe it or not, you will be staring at a portrait of Nelson Mandela.

The death of the South African statesman last week has elicited an outpouring of tributes around the world, with various leaders and media outlets vying to outdo one another in their praise of the man.

Highlighting his principled stand against apartheid, and his firm determination to erect a new, post-racial and color-blind South Africa, many observers have hailed Mandela in glowing terms, as though he were a saint free of blemish and clean of sin.

But such accolades not only miss the mark, they distort history in a dangerous and damaging way and betray the legacy of Mandela himself.

Take, for example, the editorial in The Dallas Morning News, which likened Mandela to Moses and labeled him “the conscience of the world.”

And then there was Peter Oborne, the UK Telegraph’s chief political commentator, who wrote a piece entitled, “Few human beings can be compared to Jesus Christ. Nelson Mandela was one.”

Even taking into account Mandela’s astonishing accomplishments and harrowing life story, he is far from being the angel that much of the media is making him out to be.

After all, in 1961, Mandela co-founded Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), the armed wing of the African National Congress, which undertook a campaign of violence and bloodshed against the South African regime that included bombings, sabotage and the elimination of political opponents.

Indeed, in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, Mandela justified a car-bomb attack perpetrated by the ANC in May 1983 which killed 19 people and wounded over 200, including many innocent civilians, asserting that, “such accidents were the inevitable consequence of the decision to embark on a military struggle.”

His record of support for the use of violence and terror was such that even the lefties at Amnesty International declined to classify him as a “political prisoner” because “Mandela had participated in planning acts of sabotage and inciting violence.”

No less distasteful was Mandela’s unbounded affection for international rogues, thugs and killers.

Shortly after his release from prison in February 1990, he publicly embraced PLO chairman Yasser Arafat while on a visit to Lusaka, Zambia. The move came barely a month after a series of letter-bombs addressed to Jewish and Christian leaders were discovered at a Tel Aviv post office.

mandela kadaffi

Nelson Mandela with Muammar Gaddafi

Three months later, on May 18, 1990, Mandela decided to pay a visit to Libya, where he gratefully accepted the International Gaddafi Prize for Human Rights from dictator Col. Muammar Gaddafi, whom he referred to as “our brother.”

While there, Mandela told journalists, “The ANC has, on numerous occasions, maintained that the PLO is our comrade in arms in the struggle for the liberation of our respective countries. We fully support the combat of the PLO for the creation of an independent Palestinian state.”

The following month, on his first visit to New York in June 1990, Mandela heaped praise on four Puerto Rican terrorists who had opened fire in the US House of Representatives in 1954, wounding five congressmen.

“We support the cause,” Mandela said, “of anyone who is fighting for self-determination, and our attitude is the same, no matter who it is. I would be honored to sit on the platform with the four comrades whom you refer to” (New York Times, June 22, 1990).

Even in later years, he maintained a fondness for those who used violence to achieve their aims.

In November 2004, when Arafat died, Mandela mourned his old friend, saying that “Yasser Arafat was one of the outstanding freedom fighters of this generation.”

Now you might be wondering: why is any of this important? It matters for the same reason that the historical record matters: to provide us and future generations with lessons to be learned and pitfalls to be avoided.

By painting Mandela solely in glowing terms and ignoring his violent record, the media and others are falsifying history and concealing the truth.

They are putting on a pedestal a man who excused the use of violence against civilians and befriended those with blood on their hands.

By all means, celebrate the transformation that Mandela brought about in his country, the freedom and liberties that he upheld, and the process of reconciliation that he oversaw. But to gloss over or ignore his failings and flaws is hagiography, not history.

And that is something Mandela himself would not have wanted.

In 1999, after he stepped down as South African president after one term in office, he said, “I wanted to be known as Mandela, a man with weaknesses, some of which are fundamental, and a man who is committed, but nevertheless, sometimes he fails to live up to expectations.”

Sure, we all need heroes, figures who seem to soar above our natural human limitations and inspire us to strive for greatness.

But Mandela was not Superman. He was neither born on Krypton nor did he wear a large letter “S” on his chest along with a red cape.

He was a flawed human being, full of contradictions and shortcomings, a man who alternately extolled violence and reconciliation according to whether it suited his purposes to do so.

And that is how it would be best to remember him.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

Has there been a “redistribution of political power” in America?

There is a growing sense among Americans that political power has shifted away from the people. City and county governments, school boards and state legislatures are losing political power while the federal government becomes more powerful politically. Just ask any of your locally elected officials about the rules and regulations coming from “on high”.

Many believe there has been a redistribution of political power in the United States.

Gallup in December 2011 found, “Americans’ concerns about the threat of big government continue to dwarf those about big business and big labor, and by an even larger margin now than in March 2009. The 64% of Americans who say big government will be the biggest threat to the country is just one percentage point shy of the record high, while the 26% who say big business is down from the 32% recorded during the recession. Relatively few name big labor as the greatest threat.”

This fear led to the creation of the TEA Party in 2008 and Occupy Movement in 2011. Organizations like the Oath Keepers, 912 Project and the Tenth Amendment movement are expanding. Coincidently, there are growing numbers of lawsuits by and against states involving the federal government.

The redistribution of political power has caused an explosion of internet bloggers such as the Drudge Report, Huffington Post, Breitbart.com, ProPublica and Watchdog Wire. A growing Fifth estate, revealing the secret inner workings of the federal government, includes the likes of WikiLeaks, Project Veritas and a growing number of whistleblowers.

Milton Friedman in Capitalism and Freedom wrote, “Economic power can be widely dispersed. There is no law of conservation which forces the growth of new centers of economic strength at the expense of existing centers. Political power, on the other hand, is more difficult to decentralize. There can be numerous small independent governments. But it is far more difficult to maintain numerous equipotent small centers of political power in a single large government than it is to have numerous centers of economic strength in a single large economy.”

Friedman noted, “There can be many millionaires in one large economy. But can there be more than one really outstanding leader, one person on whom the energies and enthusiasms of his country – men are centered?”

Friedman stated, “If the central government gains power, it is likely to be at the expense of local governments. There seems to be something like a fixed total of political power to be distributed. Consequently, if economic power is joined to political power, concentration seems almost inevitable.”

“On the other hand, if economic power is kept in separate hands from political power, it can serve as a check and counter to political power,” wrote Friedman.

To prove his point Friedman used a hypothetical example to reinforce his point on how the market works to preserve political freedom. In Capitalism and Freedom he wrote:

“One feature of a free society is surely the freedom of individuals to advocate and propagandize openly for a radical change in the structure of society – so long as the advocacy is restricted to persuasion and does not include the use of force or other forms of coercion. It is a mark of the political freedom of a capitalist society that men can openly advocate and work for socialism. Equally, political freedom in a socialist society would require that men be free to advocate for the introduction of capitalism.”

But how can the freedom to advocate for capitalism be preserved and protected in a social society? That is the question many believe the US is facing.

The answer: In order for men to advocate for or against anything, they first must “be able to earn a living”.

The more men are able to earn a living the more free they are to advocate. However, in socialist societies all jobs are under direct control of the political authorities. Friedman states, “It would be an act of self-denial … for a socialist government to permit employees to advocate policies directly contrary to official doctrine.” Hence the growing concern about fewer working and more of those who are working are filling part time jobs.

The more jobs are controlled by political authorities the less freedom. History tells us so. So when a politician says his role is to “create jobs” beware.

Book “The Harbinger” asks: What will you do on the Day of Judgement?

I am asked to review many books and in so doing I learn. I was sent a copy of the book “The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery that holds the Secret of America’s Future” by Jonathan Cahn. The book gets five stars for its truth, style and a storyline that is most revealing. This book is not fiction but rather based on facts, written to reveal a secret that is right before our eyes – yet we refuse to accept the truth of it.

The message: Time is running short for America! Judgement Day is upon us.

Today 9/11/2001 seems like a distant memory to some, others do not want to reflect on the events of that day and others will never forget what happened, especially those like David Beamer who lost his son Todd on Flight 93 that morning. It was Todd who lead the first attack in the war on terror with his command “Are you ready? Let’s roll”.

There was a time when America was ready but that may have passed. Here begins the fascinating story told in The Harbinger.

Cahn shows how 9/11 and the financial meltdown following it and events years later are all interrelated and reflect a disaster that happened to another young nation over 2500 years ago. That budding nation was Israel. The secret is contained in the Book of Isaiah Chapter 9, Verse 10 which states:

“The bricks have fallen down,
but we will rebuild with dressed stone;
the fig trees have been felled,
but we will replace them with cedars.”
But the Lord has strengthened Rezin’s foes against them and has spurred their enemies on.

The Harbinger reveals, to those who will listen, a warning that what happened on 9/11 in America happened before in Israel. How America and its leaders responded to this attack by Arab Islamists from Saudi Arabia is the same as how the Israelis responded to an attack by the Assyrians in 732 B.C. For you see it was the Arab Assyrians who gave terror to the world as an “applied science” designed for “intimidation to achieve a specific end.”

Cahn shows how each verse foretells what we did wrong in responding to the unprovoked attack against us on that fateful day. The 9/11 attack was a message and our leaders in New York City and Washington, D.C. failed to understand it, and still to this day are failing in their response to what has become known as the “great war on terror”.

The ancient message was God would judge Israel as God will judge America for these nations have strayed away from his word.  Cahn describes it, “Like an ancient drama replaying itself in the modern world.”

America, like ancient Israel, faces a day of judgement.

Cahn notes, “Judgement isn’t ultimately about nations – but people … As long as there’s evil, there has to be judgement. Every sin, every wrong, every evil has to be brought to an end. Without it, there would be no hope.”

Cahn’s book is all about love. However, he warns, “All the ways of a man are right in his own eyes … Beware the good Nazi.” What is a good Nazi? They were good “Because they compared themselves and measured themselves by the standards they themselves created,” state Cahn. “Each, in his own eyes, was a good Nazi, a moral Nazi, a decent Nazi, a religious Nazi, and a Nazi no worse than the next. For seeing themselves in their own eyes, they became blind.”

So what would you do on the Day of Judgement? Read The Harbinger and decide for yourself.

RELATED VIDEO:

Blacks across Florida march for unequal rights?

Oakland, CA protest with Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr. and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. Photo courtesy of AP. For a larger view click on the photo.

Protests were held across Florida and the nation on Saturday, July 20th, to protest the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting of Trayvon Martin.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported on Saturday’s protest, “Their chant said much the same thing: ‘No justice, no peace.’ We’re not going to stand by and let this man go free,’ said Trevor Harvey, president of the Sarasota County chapter of the NAACP, which is lobbying the Department of Justice to charge Zimmerman with civil rights violations.”

GulfNews.com reports, “In Miami, more than 200 people gathered for a vigil. ‘You can’t justify murder,’ read one poster. Another read ‘Don’t worry about more riots. Worry about more Zimmermans’.”

KIRO TV reports, “In Miami, Tracy Martin spoke about his son. ‘This could be any one of our children,’ he said. ‘Our mission now is to make sure that this doesn’t happen to your child.’ He recalled a promise he made to his son as he lay in his casket. ‘I will continue to fight for Trayvon until the day I die,’ he said. Shantescia Hill held a sign in Miami that read: ‘Every person deserves a safe walk home’. The 31-year-old mother, who is black, said, ‘I’m here because our children can’t even walk on the streets without fearing for their lives’.”

Are the protesters calling for unequal rights rather than equal justice under the law?

BizPac Review noted, “Shortly after President Obama surprised reporters Friday with a 20-minute statement on George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin and race relations in the U.S., Zimmerman’s defense team responded with a statement of their own.”

The Zimmerman defense team response states in part:

“This case has given the nation an opportunity to have a candid conversation about race. We would like to contribute to this discourse. Our President has clearly indicated he is willing to contribute to the discourse. As we begin this conversation, we want to say this: we cannot talk about race in sound bites. Before you cast an opinion about what the President said, be sure to listen to his comments in full. Before you judge George Zimmerman or disparage the verdict of the citizen jury, understand the facts in full. Agree not to listen to just what meets your predisposition, but to accept what exists.”

Read the full statement here.

Have race relations come full circle under America’s first black President?

Florida has a history of tragic events following the death of Blacks. Some have lead to riots. The City of Miami, in1980, saw blacks riot there and again in January 1989 and October 1995. The cause of the riots by local Blacks were against alleged cases of police brutality by the Miami Police Department and competition with Cubans, Haitians and other Latinos. Riots during 1991 in Overtown, Miami occurred in the heavily Black section against Cuban Americans, alike earlier riots there in 1982 and 1984. Finally, in 1995 citizens of St. Petersburg, Florida witnessed a riot caused by protests against racial profiling and police brutality.

Are Saturday’s protests not unlike what Florida has experience before? Historical themes in Florida are: Hispanics vs. Blacks,  Blacks vs. the law and Blacks vs. profiling.

In each case the protests, some turning violent, are founded on the idea Blacks need special protection. Is this the resurgence of the “politics of retribution“? Former Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young once characterized riots in the city as “Not riots, but ‘rebellion’.” Are we raising a new generation of Black demagogues like Young?

Tamar Jacoby, author of Someone Else´s House: America’s Unfinished Struggle for Integration (1998), argues that since Martin Luther King, Jr., although blacks have made enormous economic, political, and social progress, a true sense of community has remained elusive.

Does the politics of retribution make our communities better or worse?

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When racism becomes a one way street it leads to cultural suicide

The President on Friday stated, “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”

Former Congressman Allen West once stated, “When tolerance becomes a one way street, it will lead to cultural suicide.” West would agree with the title of this column because racism has become a one way street for one purpose only – political gain for the political elite. Racist rhetoric comes at the expense of black families and black communities across the nation. The utopian quest for social justice has lead to government dependency for blacks.

Who would have thought the black community is being held hostage by America’s first black President.

As West points out in a recent column, “While tragic, Trayvon Martin’s death should not be the reason that the black community is marching in the streets. Black unemployment, gang crime, health problems, and abortion rates are plagues upon black people across the country.”

President Obama focuses on anything but the most tragic death in the black community – the death of the traditional black family.

Kids Count Data Center reports that in the District of Columbia 86% of black children live in single parent homes. In President Obama’s home state of Illinois 74% of black children live in single parent homes. Raynard Jackson from the Atlanta Daily World writes, “It is not a coincidence that since the early 60s, the out of wedlock birth rate for Blacks is currently around 74 percent, Hispanics around 60 percent, and Whites over 50 percent. There is direct causation between welfare, feminism and the destruction of or the marginalization of men and the family unit.”

West notes, “Since 1973 Black American deaths have emanated from: AIDS: 203,695; Violent Crimes: 306,313; Accidents: 370,723; Cancer: 1,638,350; Heart Disease: 2,266,789; and Abortion: 13,000,000.”

Barack Obama

Strict gun control laws in Chicago, President Obama’s home town, have lead to increased violence and deaths in black neighborhoods, drug and alcohol abuse among blacks leads to more accidents, and the right to choose leads to the abortion of more and more black babies. The Affordable Care Act will put blacks, especially young blacks, on part time and increase the cost of medical care for them.

The black community is well on its way to cultural suicide.

The rich culture of the black community, its churches and its families are now distant memories. If you do not believe it just look at Detroit, Michigan the largest of eight cities to go bankrupt since 2010. Look at what it means being black in a big city like Detroit run for half a century by progressive leaders and public service unions. Look at what it has done to black families, neighborhoods and an entire city.

Trayvon Martin

Detroit first experienced white flight then middle class black flight. What is left? Destruction, violence, abject poverty and a black culture that is but a shadow of its former self.

So where is President Obama? Can he relate to the blacks in Detroit or even Trayvon Martin? As a young black boy he grew up as part of an upper middle class white family in Hawaii. He was a half-black boy of privilege. He went to Punahou a prestigious private school, then on to college at two of America’s most prestigious universities.

What do Barack and Trayvon have in common?

The only thing Trayvon and Barack have in common is they both smoked pot. One wonders if Trayvon was inspired by pictures of Barack blowing weed. Perhaps he was emulating the young Barack in the pictures discovered on his cell phone?

As Allen West notes, ‘So what are the real priorities in the black community? Politically manufactured crises, as pushed by the race-baiting, faux leaders in the black community, propped up by progressive socialists and the complicit media?”

West asks, “What is the legacy for the next generation in the black community?”

Video by Bill Whittle on the truth about Trayvon Martin, the concoction “lean” and the lynching of George Zimmerman by politicians, activists and the media: