Articles

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Fall of the Fake News Crusade

The Fake News crusade began with BuzzFeed, more than any other member of the media, and it deservedly ends there. It began with BuzzFeed faking news to kick off a crusade against Fake News.

The fake news that BuzzFeed faked was about the threat of Fake News. The numbers were wrong. But that didn’t stop BuzzFeed from warning that what it called Fake News was beating real news. And that’s probably true. BuzzFeed’s discredited Trump dossier story outperformed the NBC story discrediting it.

The Fake News meme was already fading even before BuzzFeed dragged CNN down with it. The Washington Post’s media columnist, Margaret Sullivan, had claimed that the term was “tainted” and needed to be retired; much like her paper. Sullivan warned that non-liberals were using it to attack the media. There was a complaint from the New York Times that conservatives had “appropriated” the term. Meanwhile Sullivan had cited claims about Fake News from BuzzFeed arguing that “something has to happen”. On the panel with Sullivan was the CEO of The Onion: a real fake news organization.

After BuzzFeed’s big fail, the exodus from the USS Fake News is happening faster than rats diving into the icy waters around the Titanic. Seth Meyers, one of those fake news talk show hosts, like Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert or John Oliver, whom lefties prefer to get their real news from, dubbed it “busted”.

“Today, Trump called these new reports ‘fake news,’ so despite an incredibly short run, I think it is time to retire that term,” Meyers whined. Trump and conservatives had rudely moved into a gated media community and, as with the arrival of the first black family on the block, it was time to move on.

There are complaints that conservatives are using “Fake News” incorrectly as if it’s some sort of technical term that requires years of study to properly deploy at a graduate seminar. Sullivan claimed that, “Fake news is a very narrow thing.”

How narrow? So narrow that it can’t possibly be applied to the media. Only people the media hates.

The Post’s Callum Borchers claimed that Brian Williams’ lies and Dan Rather’s Microsoft Word letter from the seventies weren’t really Fake News. In an attack on Fake News, Post columnist Petula Dvorak injected her own fake news by blaming Sarah Palin for the Giffords shooting. But that’s not Fake News because the media says so. Now stop calling it that or the media will take its smear and go home.

The retirement of Fake News will be a mostly painless process because the media got what it wanted. Social media sites have put the media in charge of censoring its users. Twitter, which already had the same politically correct lunatics screaming hysterically about oppression on college campuses in charge of deciding who gets to tweet, was an easy win. Facebook kicked and struggled, but then gave in.

The experts in charge of deciding what links you can and can’t share on Facebook include the good people at Snopes, who are accusing each other of embezzlement, and the Poynter Institute, whose fact checker, Craig Silverman, was hired by BuzzFeed as its media editor where he aggressively pushed claims about Fake News on BuzzFeed while cheerleading fact checkers censoring Facebook.

The media leveraged the “Fake News” witch hunt to get its internet censorship. Now that it has it, the term is a pesky inconvenience that anyone, even Trump, can culturally appropriate.

And so the media will strive to kill it with as much enthusiasm as it once propagated it.

BuzzFeed, which also served its purpose, is being written off. The vapid listicle site was thrown under the bus by CNN and scolded by the Poynter Institute. NBC’s Chuck Todd accused BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith of publishing “fake news” by running the fake Trump dossier. The fake outrage is old.

After President-elect Trump called BuzzFeed a "failing pile of garbage", it began selling bumper stickers that said, “I proudly get my news from a failing pile of garbage.” CNN, among other media organizations, can proudly buy them and stick them on the backs of their news vans and Tesla convertibles.

CNN boss Jeff Zucker had dismissed the idea that BuzzFeed was a legitimate news organization right before he hired away Andrew Kaczynski. Kaczynski had been responsible for delivering many of BuzzFeed’s anti-Trump hit pieces. His last story for BuzzFeed was headlined, “Donald Trump Appeared In A 2000 Playboy Softcore Porn”. The headline read like it was written by one of those foreign sites that BuzzFeed blamed for Trump’s victory. But this was what CNN wanted.

The media isn’t in the news business any more than your Aunt Sally is.

BuzzFeed is the future of the media and the media is just a less successful BuzzFeed. In the age of the internet, news is an expensive and unrewarding enterprise. What the media actually does is repackage viral content under its own brand. This content can consists of anything from pets doing cute things to angry social justice crybullies denouncing transphobia. The media’s mission is to pass along this content while limiting its exposure. That’s what happened with the fake Trump dossier.

BuzzFeed took a bunch of garbage that was floating around and published it. Its claim that it practiced “ferocious reporting” is a joke. CNN did the same thing but was more careful about it.

The Fake News crusade was about locking down the viral business model by keeping conservative competitors locked out. Keeping it going any longer is dangerous. And not just because of Trump. Media Matters wants to keep the term alive and deploy it against the rest of the media. Its guide to the “Fake News Universe”, a dimension inhabited by David Brock and the remains of Hillary’s fanbase, includes not only the usual galaxy of conspiracy, clickbait, satire and hyperpartisan sites that were on the media’s hit list. The Universe also features “Mistakes In Reporting” by a “legitimate news outlet”.

This is exactly the kind of Fake News civil war that the media was carefully trying to avoid.

Brock once charged that the New York Times had earned a “special place in hell” by becoming a "megaphone for conservative propaganda”. In other words, it had become a distributor of Fake News.

Like most left-wing revolutions, the Fake News crusade can easily end up devouring its own parents.

And so Fake News has gone from an urgent crisis to the backburner. Last month, Hillary Clinton had warned that “lives are at risk” in the battle against Fake News. Now the term has become “useless”.

But the ideas behind it aren’t going anywhere. Fake News was a shorthand term for delegitimizing and censoring non-media sources. The censorship is on its way to becoming a reality. And another term will take its place. The media does not care what is real or fake. It exercises power to impose its narrative.

But the Fake News meme left the media’s self-interest more exposed than its usual narratives. It highlighted its weakness for telling any lie that suited its political agenda.

Fake News made it too easy to shout that the media empire isn’t wearing any factual pants. It has as little to do with the business of facts as your local bakery. It isn’t in the business of news, real or fake, but of narratives. It tells stories. Many of these stories are false. But the falseness or truth of a media item is only secondary to its two big purposes: convincing you to believe something and making money.

The differences between CNN, BuzzFeed and a straight fake news site are stylistic. Just as the differences between Brian Williams and Stephen Colbert were artistic and business strategies.

The news media is just another arm of a politicized entertainment industry.

That’s why Candice Bergen, who played a fictional news anchor on the CBS sitcom Murphy Brown, was offered a spot at CBS’s news division on 60 Minutes. It’s why so many progressives got their news from the Daily Show or why Brian Williams appeared so often on 30 Rock.

And it’s why BuzzFeed is a member of the media.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Drought of Sanity in California

The ink was hardly dry on the Secretarial Order from Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell blaming California’s drought on global warming that rain and snow swept across the state. San Francisco International Airport was forced to cancel flights and there were blizzard warnings for Lake Tahoe.

The Los Angeles Times warned breathlessly of a winter war footing. San Francisco, the home of a million companies cashing in on environmental panics, received 130% of average rainfall. Sacramento, where terrible ideas from San Francisco go to become law under a Democratic supermajority, is at 160%.

Governor Jerry Brown had signed an executive order last year making temporary drought restrictions all but permanent. “Drought is becoming a regular occurrence,” Executive Order B-37-16 stated. Then the proposal to "Make Conservation a California Way of Life" had made a big splash among bureaucrats.

"California is currently in the grips of an extreme drought with record low precipitation," it gloomily began. Then the Sacramento River flooded, the downtown rainfall record was broken and copies of the report came in handy as makeshift umbrellas by scurrying staffers. So there was nothing left to do but blame Global Warming.

If the rain doesn’t fall, that’s Global Warming. If it does fall, that too is Global Warming. The moonbeam left has traded in God for Global Warming as its universal answer to everything.

After years of predicting that California’s future would be a barren desert, the predictions have been slightly revised. California is now doomed to alternate between droughts and storms. And if it rains cats and dogs over Death Valley, we will be told that Global Warming causes canine and feline precipitation and that unless we agree to give Al Gore more money, we’re doomed to be brained by falling felines. Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown believes in Global Warming the way that the followers of his old pal, Jim Jones, believed in drinking poisoned Kool-Aid. He’s even prepared to put his satellites where his brain is.

"We've got the scientists, we've got the lawyers and we're ready to fight," Brown ranted to the American Geophysical Union. "If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite."

Anyone who doubts that Governor Moonbeam can launch his own satellite ought to take a close look at how well high-speed rail is coming along. After being backed by Obama’s stimulus plan in ’09, the first and easiest leg of it has lately been delayed by four years. The stimulus money has to be spent by next year and there’s no way to pay for any of the rest of it except with more global warming taxes.

At this rate, the magic anti-Trump satellite would cost $100 billion and be ready to go by 2054.

But that’s pocket change considering how much money California has already spent and lost on Governor Moonbeam’s obsession with the Great Green Apocalypse.

Brown demanded that Obama institute a permanent ban on offshore drilling. Offshore drilling might even produce enough money to fund his high-speed rail obsession. But math and Moonbeam have never been on speaking terms. He doesn’t have policies. He has dreams.

"My own belief is that California has a unique place on the planet. It's been a place of dreams. We can pursue a path of benign energy," he once said.

The drought has allowed Brown to pursue his dreams. Global Warming is a crisis in search of a disaster. Warmunists struggle to tether it to any natural or unnatural disaster from random hurricanes to the civil war in Syria.

An op-ed at the Los Angeles Times asked readers to see, “the devastation of climate change in the ruins of Aleppo.” It makes the fashionable claim that the war wasn’t caused by Sunni-Shiite hostilities but by, what else, drought. Syria has apparently been suffering from the “worst drought in nine centuries.”

Who knew that detailed rainfall records had been kept in Syria for nearly a thousand years?

The civil war in Syria might be explained by the 900 year drought, but what about the wars in Yemen, Libya, the Sinai, Mali and countless other places as part of the Arab Spring? Was there a drought in the eighties during the last Sunni-Shiite civil war in Syria between Assad Sr. and the Muslim Brotherhood?

Or during any of the countless wars that have been taking place in the area for thousands of years?

California’s current drought is said to be the worst in 1,200 years. Others insist it’s merely the worst in 500 years.

Who knew that hunter-gatherers without a written language could keep such careful records?

But it’s all about how you define “drought”. The Great Drought of the 1860s was a good deal worse in lack of rain and in the devastating impact on California. There were drier years far more recently than 1,200 years ago. And there wasn’t a whole lot of industry in California in the 1860s to blame it on.

To call this the worst drought in 150 years, never mind 1,200 or 12 billion years, you have to customize the definition of “drought” to make it so. Like so much of Warmunism, you draw the target around the arrow. And once you have your crisis, then you can use alarmism to make a massive power grab.

"I think this almost has to be at the level of a crusade," Governor Brown declared.

Now Brown’s crusade is all wet. But Warmunist alarmism recovers quickly every time the world
doesn’t end at the stroke of midnight. In the seventies, environmentalists were promoting Paul Ehrlich’s claims that 65 million Americans would starve to death a decade later. At the British Institute for Biology, he predicted that, “England will not exist in the year 2000”. Today Ehrlich, the president of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University, is predicting that we’ll soon have to turn to cannibalism.

If you doubt any of this, you must hate science.

Later the panic switched to predicting an ice age. The various doomsday scenarios under the umbrella of “climate change” have kept rotating in and out like bad actors on a cheap stage.

A 2003 DOD report envisioned flooding could producing an inland sea in California. Recently the National Research Council report, sponsored in part by California, warned that San Francisco International Airport could be flooded in a few decades. The worst drought in 12 billion years made for some better headlines because the drought, unlike most of the other scenarios, actually existed. But before long the Green Apocalypse crowd will be predicting a California buried under mountains of ice.

Natural disasters are the drama that lubricates a corrupt government industry which deprives ordinary people of water, food, heating and life out of a combination of ideological hostility to technology and the flow of money to special interests in the business of saving the planet from a manufactured crisis.

The California state budget approaches $180 billion. That’s a 5% increase in only one year. But being an “international leader” in fighting “climate change” doesn’t come cheap. The new budget grabs even more cap-and-trade power to be spent on Big Green Business and reinforces the illegal tax for auctioning off “pollution” allowances. And then there’s e money for the high-speed rail to nowhere.

None of this will stop droughts or storms. But it will move money to the right people. The ones, like Al Gore, living in luxury condos in San Francisco about to be flooded by the Great Green Apocalypse that never comes. And it’s always been about the money. Everything else is theater. Rain or sun, flood or drought, the scripts get rewritten, the bills get passed and the Global Warming show goes on.

(This article originally appeared at Front Page Magazine)

Monday, January 09, 2017

Kill the Two State Solution

“Is the two-state solution dead?”

The two-state solution, a perverse euphemism for carving an Islamic terror state out of the land of Israel and the living flesh of her people, is in trouble. The solution, which has solved nothing except the shortage of graves in Israel and Muslim terrorists in the Middle East, is the object of grave concern by the professionally concerned from Foggy Bottom to Fifth Avenue.

Obama set up his betrayal of Israel at the UN to “save” the two-state solution from Trump. The media warns that David Friedman, Trump’s pick for ambassador, is so pro-Israel that he’ll kill the “solution.”

But you can’t kill something that was never alive.

The two-state solution is a zombie. It can’t be dead because it never lived. It was a rotting shambling corpse of a diplomatic process. If you stood downwind of the proceedings, it looked alive.

Up close there was only blood and death.

Like the Holy Roman Empire, the two-state solution didn’t solve anything and it wasn’t in the business of creating two states. Not unless you count a Hamas state in Gaza and a Fatah state in the West Bank.

What problem was the two-state solution solving?

It wasn’t the problem of terrorism. Turning over land, weapons and power to a bunch of terrorists made for more terrorism. It’s no coincidence that Islamic terrorism worldwide shot up around the same time.

The consequences of giving terrorists their own country to play with were as predictable as taking a power drill to the bottom of a boat or running a toaster in a bubble bath. The least likely outcome of handing guns to homicidal sociopaths was peace. The most likely was murder. And that was as intended.

The problem that the two-state solution was solving was the existence of Israel; the Jewish Problem.

Spray the two-state solution over an irritating country full of Jews who managed to survive multiple Muslim genocides. Apply and wait for as long as it takes until the Jewish Problem is solved again.

The two-state solution didn’t end the violence. It turned it up to eleven. It didn’t even create a Palestinian state. But it did a moderately decent job of solving the Jewish Problem by killing Jews.

It killed thousands of them. It filled cemeteries, ethnically cleansed towns and villages, and brought war to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv for the first time in a generation. It turned terror from an aberration into a routine. It made death into a way of life for the Muslim population controlled by the terrorists and the Jewish population targeted by them. It endangered the existence of Israel for the first time since 1973.

The two-state solution isn’t dead. It is death.

The “solution” has turned children into orphans and left parents weeping at the graves of their daughters. It has sown hilltops with dragon’s teeth of rockets and sent cities fleeing to bomb shelters. It has ushered in an endless age of wars against terrorists who can’t be utterly defeated because that would destroy the two-state solution.

And it can’t get any better. Only worse.

Death is the only thing that the two-state solution has ever accomplished. That’s the only thing that it was meant to accomplish. It’s all that it will ever accomplish.

The two-state solution is a zombie. Its existence has no purpose except death. As long as it goes on moving, it will go on destroying. But, like a zombie, the two-state solution is weak. It’s a slow and shambling thing. It’s absurdly easy to escape it. The only way it can catch you is if you let it.

In the nineties, the two-state solution looked like a living thing. There were negotiations and big plans. There were ceremonies and Nobel prizes being handed out like party favors. There were equally big bombings and mangled body parts smeared along sidewalks and storefronts. But it was easier to listen to another round of peace songs and pay no attention to the ghastly carnage.

But by the oughts, the Muslim settler population in ’67 Israel, for whose benefit the two-state solution had been crafted, made the same “democratic” decision that the Egyptians and other Arab Spring countries would later make. They chose the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic law that demands that non-Muslims must surrender and be ruled by Muslims as before. Or be massacred and subjugated.

And then the zombie solution began to rot from the head.

The two-state solution was kept alive by pretending that Hamas had never won. An illegal takeover by Fatah, the “good” Islamic terrorists who were willing to pretend to negotiate in exchange for enough foreign aid from the United States, led to two Islamic terror states, one in Gaza and one in the West Bank. These states occasionally tried to form a united government, but couldn’t even get along with each other. Never mind getting along with Israel.

The two-state solution had become a ghoulish joke.

Some two-state solutionists urged embracing Hamas. A crazed collection of leftist activist “Rabbis” even signed a petition calling for outreach to the Muslim Brotherhood terror state despite a charter which called for exterminating all the Jews. Kerry aided a Code Pink mission to Hamas.

Most two-state solutionists decided to pretend that nothing had gone wrong. The zombie solution was in the best of health. Pay no attention to the stench of decay and the way it keeps trying to eat you.

They wanted to strengthen the “good” Islamic terror state in the West Bank to discredit the “bad” Islamic terror state in Gaza. Anyone who opposed the “good” terror state was accused of trying to kill the “two-state solution” which had already killed more people than the average natural disaster.

But then the “good” terror state stopped even pretending to negotiate.

Since the terrorists wouldn’t negotiate, Obama and Kerry just propped up the corpse of the two-state solution on their shoulders, Weekend at Bernie’s style, and tried to pretend it was still alive by negotiating with Israel on behalf of the terrorists without telling either Israel or the terrorists.

But the “good” terrorists rejected the unsolicited deal that Obama and Kerry got for them.

Obama and Kerry solved that problem the way that the solutionists had been solving it for decades. They blamed Israel. The insane logic of the two-state solution demanded it.

An Islamic terror state is the “solution” offered by the two-state solution. If you blame the terrorists, you undermine the credibility of the solution. If you admit the terrorists don’t even want to negotiate, you kill the two-state solution. And then how will you justify destroying Israel?

The great two-state solution began incrementally with an autonomous territory of disarmed terrorists. This fantasy led to a two-state solution of heavily armed terrorists inside Israel. The next stage is a one-state solution in which Israel will be forced to take in every single Muslim claiming to be a refugee.

And you can’t get from one stage to the next without blaming Israel when the previous stage fails. As it was always intended to. Each planned failure advances a more extreme incarnation of the “solution”.

All the way up to the final solution.

Each failure has to be blamed on Israel to justify an even more extreme solution. Each attack on Israel, like Obama’s UN treachery, is justified as a defense of the two-state solution. As long as the lie that the two-state solution is a pro-Israel policy lives, it can be weaponized as a pro-Israel attack on Israel.

In its terminal stage, the solution zombie will kill Israel and then die. Unless we kill it first.

The two-state solution hasn’t solved anything. It is the problem. And now it’s time to solve the problem of the two-state solution. Like the rest of the Jihad, the two-state solution is not a potent threat. It is a lie that we have become too weak to resist.

Lies die when we see them for what they are.

Like the old Monty Python bit, the two-state solution is a dead parrot. The shopkeepers of the press who keep trying to sell us its stiff unmoving body insist that the peace process is just pining for the Norwegian fjords of the Oslo peace accords. Feed it some more of Israel and it’ll fly back to life.

It’s never worked before, but there’s always an Nth time.

Lies are zombies. They are mimicries of the truth that feed off what we wish to be true.

The two-state solution is a parasite that thrives by feeding off our hopes and fears, our optimism on the one hand and our inability to imagine an alternative on the other. When we see the lie for what it is, when we turn our hopes and fears to sustaining what we truly care about, then it will fall.

Real solutions, such as Caroline Glick’s Israeli Solution, already exist.

The two-state solution however never existed. There will only be one state in Israel. The question is whether it will be a Jewish State or an Islamic terror state.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

How Soros Destroyed the Democratic Party

It was the end of the big year with three zeroes. The first X-Men movie had broken box office records. You couldn’t set foot in a supermarket without listening to Brittney Spears caterwauling, “Oops, I Did It Again.” And Republicans and Democrats had total control of both chambers of legislatures in the same amount of states.

That was the way it was back in the distant days of the year 2000.

In 2016, Republicans control both legislative chambers in 32 states. That’s up from 16 in 2000.

What happened to the big donkey? Among other things, the Democrats decided to sell their base and their soul to a very bad billionaire and they got a very bad deal for both.

It was 2004. The poncho was the hottest fashion trend, there were 5 million new cases of AIDS and a former Nazi collaborator had bought the Democrat Party using the spare change in his sofa cushions.

And gone to war against the will of the people. This was what he modestly called his own “Soros Doctrine”. “It is the central focus of my life,” George Soros declared. It was “a matter of life and death.” He vowed that he would become poor if it meant defeating the President of the United States.

Instead of going to the poorhouse, he threw in at least $15 million, all the spare change in the billionaire’s sofa cushions, dedicated to beating President Bush.

In his best lisping James Bond villain accent, Soros strode into the National Press Club and declared that he had “an important message to deliver to the American Public before the election” that was contained in a pamphlet and a book that he waved in front of the camera. Despite his “I expect you to die, Mr. Bond” voice, the international villain’s delivery was underwhelming. He couldn’t have sold brownies to potheads at four in the morning. He couldn’t even sell Bush-bashing to a roomful of left-wing reporters.

But he could certainly fund those who would. And that’s exactly what he did.

Money poured into the fringe organizations of the left like MoveOn, which had moved on from a petition site to a PAC. In 2004, Soros was its biggest donor. He didn’t manage to bring down Bush, but he helped buy the Democratic Party as a toy for his yowling dorm room of left-wing activists to play with.

Soros hasn’t had a great track record at buying presidential elections. The official $25 million he poured into this one bought him his worst defeat since 2004. But his money did transform the Democrat Party.

And killed it.

Next year the Democracy Alliance was born. A muddy river of cash from Soros and his pals flowed into the organizations of the left. Soros had helped turn Howard Dean, a Vermont politician once as obscure as this cycle’s radical Vermont Socialist, into a contender and a national figure. Dean didn’t get the nomination, but he did get to remake the DNC. Podesta’s Center for American Progress swung the Democrats even further to the left. And it would be Podesta who helped bring Hillary down.

The Democrats became a radical left-wing organization and unviable as a national political party. The Party of Jefferson had become the Party of Soros. And only one of those was up on Mount Rushmore.

Obama’s wins concealed the scale and scope of the disaster. Then the party woke up after Obama to realize that it had lost its old bases in the South and the Rust Belt. The left had hollowed it out and transformed it into a party of coastal urban elites, angry college crybullies and minority coalitions.

Republicans control twice as many state legislative chambers as the Democrats. They boast 25 trifectas , controlling both legislative chambers and the governor’s mansion. Trifectas had gone from being something that wasn’t seen much outside of a few hard red states like Texas to covering much of the South, the Midwest and the West.

The Democrats have a solid lock on the West Coast and a narrow corridor of the Northeast, and little else. The vast majority of the country’s legislatures are in Republican hands. The Democrat Governor’s Association has a membership in the teens. In former strongholds like Arkansas, Dems are going extinct. The party has gone from holding national legislative majorities to becoming a marginal movement.

And the Democrats don’t intend to change course. The way is being cleared for Keith Ellison, the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus with an ugly racist past, to head the DNC. Pelosi will oversee the disaster in the House. And Obama will remain the party’s highest profile national figure.

There could hardly be a clearer signal that the left intends to retain its donkey herding rights. Soros and his ilk have paid for the reins. That is why Pelosi, with her access to donors, will retain her position.

The left had recreated the Democrat Party and marginalized it. Much of this disaster had been funded with Soros money. Like many a theatrical villain, the old monster had been undone by his own hubris. Had Soros aided the Democrats without trying to control them, he would have gained a seat at the table in a national party. Instead he spent a fortune destroying the very thing he was trying to control.

George Soros saw America in terms of its centers of economic and political power. He didn’t care about the vast stretches of small towns and villages, of the more modest cities that he might fly over in his jet but never visit, and the people who lived in them. Like so many globalists who believe that borders shouldn’t exist because the luxury hotels and airports they pass through are interchangeable, the parts of America that mattered to him were in the glittering left-wing bubble inhabited by his fellow elitists.

Trump’s victory, like Brexit, came because the left had left the white working class behind. Its vision of the future as glamorous multicultural city states was overturned in a single night. The idea that Soros had committed so much power and wealth to was of a struggle between populist nationalists and responsible internationalists. But, in a great irony, Bush was hardly the nationalist that Soros believed. Instead Soros spent a great deal of time and wealth to unintentionally elect a populist nationalist.

Leftists used Soros money to focus on their own identity politics obsessions leaving the Dems with little ability to interact with white working class voters. The Ivy and urban leftists who made up the core of the left had come to exist in a narrow world with little room for anything and anyone else.

Soros turned over the Democrats to political fanatics least likely to be able to recognize their own errors. His protégés repeated the great self-destruction of the Soviet Union on a more limited scale

Soros fed a political polarization while assuming, wrongly, that the centers of power mattered, and their outskirts did not. He was proven wrong in both the United States of America and in the United Kingdom. He had made many gambles that paid off. But his biggest gamble took everything with it.

"I don’t believe in standing in the way of an avalanche," Soros complained of the Republican wave in 2010. But he has been trying to do just that. And failing.

"There should be consequences for the outrageous statements and proposals that we've regularly heard from candidates Trump and Cruz," Soros threatened this time around. He predicted a Hillary landslide.

He was wrong.

As Soros plowed more money into the left, its escalating radicalism alienated more of the country. Each “avalanche” was a reaction to the abuses of his radicals. It wasn't Trump or Cruz who suffered the consequences. It wasn't even his own leftists. Rather it was the conservative and eventually the moderate wings of the Democrat party who were swept away by his left-wing avalanches.

The left did not mourn the mass destruction of the moderates. Instead it celebrated the growing purity of the Democrats as a movement of the hard left. It did not notice or care that it was no longer a political force outside a limited number of cities. It anticipated that voters would have no choice but to choose it over the "extremist" Republicans.

It proved to be very, very wrong.

George Soros spent a fortune to turn a national party favorable to the left into an organization that has difficulty appealing to anyone not on the left. He wanted to control a country he did not understand. And, as the left so often does, he achieved his goals and in doing so destroyed them.

(This article originally appeared here at Front Page Magazine)

Monday, January 02, 2017

The Power of Weakness

Weakness is one of the greatest forms of power imaginable in the modern West. Weakness grants irresponsibility for personal actions and more importantly in a collectivist society, it provides freedom from for the collective burdens of society and civilization.

The weak are not responsible for their actions. They can rob, kill and rape, and still be excused for it . They can blow up buildings, behead prisoners and get sympathetic nods. Because they had no choice.

Weakness is helplessness, it implies irresponsibility because the weak are not capable of making their own choices. Their choices have been made for them by the "Man", the "Patriarchy", the "Privileged" and the "Military-Industrial Complex"-- all different names for the defined power structure and the people who are responsible for it.

Since the choices have been made for them, they have no choice but to lash out. When they kill, it is not an action, but a reaction.

To the people being raped or murdered by them, the ones jumping from buildings and coming to claim the pieces of their children at the morgue afterward, they do not appear to be helpless at all. But that is only because the people being raped and murdered, and waiting to identify a small can of their child's remains are privileged. So privileged that they don't know how responsible they are for the state of affairs which caused them to be raped or murdered. Which caused their children to end up in coffee cans.

Even when they are being raped or waiting to die, they are still the strong and the responsible, and their rapists and murderers are the downtrodden and dispossessed. The weak who are so helpless that they cannot help but seek their source of strength through violence against their oppressors. And if those oppressors happen to be women and children-- well then as the left has said from France to Russia to New York to Israel- "Power to the People". The "People" being the ones doing the killing. The oppressors being the ones doing the dying.

Weakness does not always translate into such extremity. What it translates into is irresponsibility for the collective burden of guilt that the left hangs around the head of every society. The responsibility for the poverty, the bigotry and all the inequities that are said to spring from it.

There are no more personal failures, whether economic or marital or ethical, only collective ones-- and the strong are responsible for their own failures and for everyone else's, while the weak are not even responsible for their own failures.

On the collective scale, choice is nearly irrelevant. Only people with power have choices. The idea that the man waiting in the alley with a knife has a choice is a heresy because he is not a man with a knife, he is a collection of social statistics which assign him an automatic level of responsibility based on his race, gender, socioeconomic status and all the other variables. Whether or not he stabs someone with a knife, is not up to him, it's up to how society treats him.

Similarly financial troubles are not personal, they are social. Whether you can pay your bills has nothing to do with you, but with your race and class. If you succeed when the statistics say that you should fail, then you are an outlier. A rogue exception that only goes to prove the rule. Likewise if you fail when the statistics say that you should succeed. Individual actions can never disprove the collective snapshot of how society is.

If every person is wired into society like a giant bank of servers, then every individual malfunction is actually a social malfunction. If a man kills, then it's because his connection with society was bad. To understand why it was bad, the left examines the nature of the connection. If it was a privileged connection, then he was warped by his excessive access to the innate racism, sexism, classism and all the other bad "isms" of the society. If it was an underprivileged connection, then he was warped by his lack of access to the benefits that society had to offer him and being marginalized, he went off the reservation.

Since all responsibility ultimately devolves to the society, not to the individual, and since the degree of individual responsibility depends on the degree of his connection with the society-- the less the connection, the less the responsibility. The man driving to work from the suburbs is more responsible for a murder in the ghetto than the actual murderer because he has helped create the conditions that led to the murder.

The "weak" murderer is better than the "strong" murder victim because being outside society, he is not truly responsible for anything. Not for his own actions or for the ozone layer, for toxic waste, illegal wars, unrealistic portrayals by the media and the rest of the litany of guilt that the left recites every day in its ceaseless prosecution of all of society and civilization.

In a society where people are expected to feel responsibility for planetary catastrophes and local inequities alike-- weakness is the greatest form of freedom.

Weakness is moral freedom because it liberates you from responsibility for your own actions and those of society. It is political freedom, because the weak can never say or believe anything that is inherently wrong, only "unhelpful". It is political privilege because politicians are expected to pay more attention to the downtrodden. It is economic privilege because companies are expected to redress social ills by advantaging the oppressed.

This dependent-independence from the system is a paradox as the weak derive maximum benefit from the system, while taking the least responsibility for it. It is the essence of the un-citizen of the nanny state who does not need to care how things are run, so long as they appear to be run for his benefit.

When social weakness is translated globally then it leads to global weakness. The globally weak, like the socially weak, are not responsible for their atrocities and genocides. It is the strong nations that are responsible to them and for them. Even when the weak are ridiculously wealthy and powerful, they are still weak. This is true socially and globally.

The weak can never become strong because they are a permanent constituency for change. To be week is to be in need of a protector, whether it's the nanny state or the united nations. Weakness justifies the illegal exercise of power on behalf of the weak. It justifies the disenfranchisement of citizens in a nation state, the destruction of nation states and the end of all individual rights if that is what it takes to create a just society. And that is what it always takes.

The left justifies its existence and its abuses by its self-depiction as a revolutionary force dedicated to remedying inequities in a permanent cycle of reforms that ends only when it enjoys total control and wields maximum power over every aspect of life under its dominion. Since equality cannot be created through the inequity of power, and since the left's mission is to create power inequities in order to remedy power inequities, its revolutions and reforms justify a permanent totalitarian state.

Social inequity is the permanent emergency that the left uses to justify its totalitarian state and the perpetuation of social inequity is the means which the left uses to maintain a state of permanent emergency. If one form of social inequity diminishes, the left finds another. And another. This endless search leads to a deconstruction of every aspect of society and the destruction of every human system. Human ways of living are replaced with grafted on artificial modes that fail and destroy their users. And the worse the society becomes, the more the state of permanent social emergency is justified.

The left consists of the strong who challenge the strong in the name of the weak, regardless of whether the weak want the challenge or not. By conceptually dividing the strong from the weak, the left disenfranchises the weak, and then disenfranchises the strong in the name of the weak. The end again is tyranny.

The left's remedy to inequity is to convince the majority and minority that they are incapable of exercising their power in a constructive fashion. The minority is told that they are incapable of it because the majority will not allow them the freedom to do it, but will thwart every effort they make at empowering themselves. The majority is told that any exercise of their power is a form of privilege which consciously or unconsciously disenfranchises the minority.

The minority are taught that they are weak. The majority are taught that they are abusive. The weak can escape into irresponsibility, while the strong escape into grandiosity. The weak refuse to take responsibility for anything until they become amoral monsters. The strong take responsibility for everything until they fancy themselves malicious gods who are destroying the earth.

By teaching some they are unnaturally weak and others that they are unnaturally strong, both are left unable to constructively exercise their power. The weak are taught that they can't do anything and therefore they can do everything without consequences. The strong are taught that they are doing everything and therefore should do as little as possible. Both are taught to distrust their use of power and to loathe their use of it.

The weak are taught to kill and still feel helpless. The strong are taught to feel that a single twitch of their finger is disturbing the earth. While the weak are robbed of conscious power, the strong are robbed of unconscious power. The weak treat their weakness as a strength and the strong treat their strength as a weakness. This leads naturally to the welfare state, to the elevation of the unqualified and the extinction of the competent.

Lost in all this is the individual as the pivot of life and the pillar of governments, whose rights justify the society and the state. By diminishing the individual to the level of a cog in a social machine, reducing his ambitions and dreams to irrelevancies amid the socioeconomic statistics that define his life, and eliminating his responsibility for his own actions, rather than those of others, the left destroys the base of every healthy society and the transformative energy that alters social orders.

In its pursuit of equality through tyranny, or tyranny through equality, it neuters the individual as the wielder of creative and economic forces that are actually capable of setting men free.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

The Light of Chanukah

A candle is a brief flare of light. A wick dipped in oil burns and then goes out again. The light of Chanukah appears to follow the same narrative. Briefly there is light and warmth and then darkness again.

Out of the exile of Babylon, the handful that returned to resettle and rebuild the land faced the might of new empires. The Jews who returned from the exile of one evil empire some twenty-six hundred years ago were forced to decide whether they would be a people with their own faith and history, or the colony of another empire, with its history and beliefs.

Jerusalem's wealthy elites threw in their lot with the empire and its ways. But out in the rural heartland where the old ways where still kept, a spark flared to life. Modi'in. Maccabee.

And so war came between the handfuls of Jewish Maccabee partisans and the armies of Antiochus IV’s Selecuid empire. A war that had its echoes in the past and would have it again in the future as lightly armed and untrained armies of Jewish soldiers would go on to fight in those same hills and valleys against the Romans and eventually the armies of six Arab nations.

The Syrian Greek armies were among the best of their day. The Maccabees were living in the backwaters of Israel, a nation that had not been independently ruled since the armies of Babylon had flooded across the land, destroying everything in their path.

In the wilderness of Judea a band of brothers vowed that they would bow to no man and let no foreigners rule over their land. Apollonius brought his Samaritan forces against the brothers, and Judah, first among the Macabees, killed him, took his sword and wore it for his own.

Seron, General of the army of Coele-Syria, brought together his soldiers, along with renegade Jewish mercenaries, and was broken at Beit Haran. The Governor of Syria dispatched two generals, Nicanor, and Gorgias, with forty thousand soldiers and seven thousand horsemen to conquer Judea, destroy Jerusalem and abolish the whole Jewish nation forever. So certain were they of victory that they brought with them merchant caravans to fill with the Hebrew slaves of a destroyed nation.

Judah walked among his brothers and fellow rebels and spoke to them of the thing for which they fought; “O my fellow soldiers, no other time remains more opportune than the present for courage and contempt of dangers; for if you now fight manfully, you may recover your liberty, which, as it is a thing of itself agreeable to all men, so it proves to be to us much more desirable, by its affording us the liberty of worshiping God.

"Since therefore you are in such circumstances at present, you must either recover that liberty, and so regain a happy and blessed way of living, which is that according to our laws, and the customs of our country, or to submit to the most opprobrious sufferings; nor will any seed of your nation remain if you be beat in this battle. Fight therefore manfully; and suppose that you must die, though you do not fight; but believe, that besides such glorious rewards as those of the liberty of your country, of your laws, of your religion, you shall then obtain everlasting glory.

"Prepare yourselves, therefore, and put yourselves into such an agreeable posture, that you may be ready to fight with the enemy as soon as it is day tomorrow morning."

Though the Macabees were but three thousand, starving and dressed in bare rags, the God for whom they fought and their native wits and courage, gave them victory over thousands and tens of thousands. Worn from battle, the Macabees did not flee back into their Judean wilderness, instead they went on to Jerusalem and its Temple, to reclaim their land and their God, only to find the Temple and the capital in ruins.

The Macabees had fought courageously for the freedom to worship God once again as their fathers had, but courage alone could not make the Menorah burn and thus renew the Temple service again. Yet it had not been mere berserker’s courage that had brought them this far. Like their ancestors before them who had leaped into furnaces and the raging sea, they had dared the impossible on faith. Faith in a God who watched over his nation and intervened in the affairs of men. And so on faith they poured the oil of that single flask in the Menorah, oil that could only last for a single day. And then having done all they could, the priests and sons of priests who had fought through entire armies to reach this place, accepted that they had done all they could and left the remainder in the hands of the Almighty.

If they had won by the strength of their hands alone, then the lamps would burn for a day and then flicker out. But if it had been more than mere force of arms that had brought them here, if it had been more than mere happenstance that a small band of ragged and starving rebels had shattered the armies of an empire, then the flames of the Menorah would burn on.

The sun rose and set again. The day came to its end and the men watched the lights of the Menorah to see if they would burn or die out. And if the flame in their hearts could have kindled the lamps, they would have burst into bright flame then and there. Darkness fell that night and still the lamps burned on.

For eight days and nights the Menorah burned on that single lonely pure flask of oil, until more could be found, and the men who for a time had been soldiers and had once again become priests, saw that while it may be men who kindle lamps and hearts, it is the Almighty who provides them with the fuel of the spirit through which they burn.

120 years after the Maccabees drove out the foreign invaders and their collaborators, another foreign invader, Herod, the son of Rome's Arab governor, was placed on the throne by the Roman Empire, disposing of the last of the Maccabean kings and ending the brief revival of the Jewish kingdom.

The revived kingdom had been a plaything in the game of empires. Exiled by Babylon, restored by Persia, conquered by the Greeks, ground under the heel of the remnants of Alexander's empire, briefly liberated by the Parthians, tricked into servitude and destroyed by Rome. The victory of the Maccabean brothers in reclaiming Jerusalem was a brief flare of light in the dark centuries and even that light was shadowed by the growing darkness.

The fall of the Roman Republic and the civil wars of the new empire, its uncontrollable spending and greed made it hopelessly corrupt. Caesar repaid Jewish loyalty by rewarding the Arab-Idumean murderers of Jewish kings, and his successors saw the Jewish state as a way to bring in some quick money. Out went the Jewish kings, in came the son of Rome's tax collector, Herod.

The promises made by Senate to the Maccabees ceased to matter. Imperial greed collided with Jewish nationalism in a war that for a brief shining moment seemed as if it might end in another Chanukah, but ended instead in massacre and atrocity. The exiles went forth once again, some on foot and some in slave ships. Israel became Palestine. Jerusalem was renamed and resettled. The long night had begun.

But no darkness lasts forever.

Two thousand years after the Jews had come to believe that wars were for other people and miracles meant escaping alive, Jewish armies stood and held the line against an empire and the would be empires of the region.

And now the flame still burns, though it is flickering. Sixty-eight years is a long time for oil to burn, especially when the black oil next door seems so much more useful to the empires and republics across the sea. And the children of many of those who first lit the flame no longer see the point in that hoary old light.

But that old light is still the light of possibilities. It burns to remind us of the extraordinary things that our ancestors did and of the extraordinary assistance that they received. We cannot always expect oil to burn for eight days, just as we cannot always expect the bullet to miss or the rocket to fall short. And yet even in those moments of darkness the reminder of the flame is with us for no darkness lasts forever and no exile, whether of the body of the spirit, endures. Sooner or later the spark flares to life again and the oil burns again. Sooner or later the light returns.

It is the miracle that we commemorate because it is a reminder of possibilities. Each time we light a candle or dip a wick in oil, we release a flare of light from the darkness comes to remind us of what was, is and can still be.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Fake Hijab Hate Crimes Witch Hunt

They struck at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Two white males ran out of a car, tore off her hijab, hit her and stole her wallet. One of these mysterious muggers was wearing a Trump hat.

The president of the Muslim Students Association claimed that the attack had rattled the campus. The ACLU was “outraged” and was as eager as the “victim” to connect the attack to Trump. It was even more outraged that the imaginary attackers had, “shouted slurs and wore Donald Trump clothing.”

It was only hours after the election and the media eagerly jumped on the story. But the 18-year-old Middle Eastern student had made it all up and police charged her with filing a false report.

A month later they stuck again. Yasmin Seweid, an 18-year-old Baruch College student in New York City, claimed that “three white racists” tried to tear off her hijab, shouted Trump’s name, along with, "Look it's a fucking terrorist", "go back to your country" and "take that rag off your head".

“The president-elect just promotes this stuff and is very anti-Muslim, very Islamophobic, and he’s just condoning it,” she whined. CAIR got into the game. A hate crimes investigation was launched.

And the NYPD found that she had made it all up. Yasmin now faces charges for her deception. But her lies potentially endangered the “brown-eyed and brown-haired” man whom police had begun to suspect. A man who might have been arrested and charged for a crime that never happened. What caused two 18-year-old Muslim women 1,400 miles apart to invent the same very specific attack?

On yet another November, a year before the nameless Muslim in Louisiana faked her hate crime, an 18-year-old Muslim woman in the UK claimed that she had been assaulted because of her hijab. The supposed victim, a Miss Choudhury, turned out to be a liar and was fined for wasting police time.

Despite their geographical separation the three cases have a great deal in common. All three of the perpetrators were 18-year-old Muslim women. All associated the fake attacks with their wearing of the hijab. And their lies were calculated to exploit recent events, the Muslim terror attacks in Paris and Trump’s election, which the media had played up as being traumatic to Muslims.

The rash of hijab attacks after Trump’s election was an especially extraordinary phenomenon.

At nearly the same time as the Louisiana Muslim hoax, a Muslim student at San Diego State University claimed that her attackers ripped off her hijab and invoked the dreaded name of Trump before stealing her purse and backpack. Like the UK hoaxer, one of her attackers was wearing a gray hoodie. The perps, a white and Latino man, who love Trump and hate Muslims, have apparently yet to be found.

Meanwhile at the University of New Mexico, a Muslim freshman, likely the same age as the other claimants, charged that a man in a Trump shirt had tried to tear off her hijab and accused her of being a terrorist. She insisted however that she did not want him to be charged for his attack and UNM’s Office of Equal Opportunity refused to confirm or deny the existence of the case.

Some versions of the post-Trump hijab attack escalated the real or threatened violence.

A day or so later, a University of Michigan student claimed that she was forced to remove her hijab by a drunk white man who threatened to set her on fire. Police determined that it was a hoax.

Nasro Hassan, an 18-year-old Muslim student at the University of Washington, claimed that a man in a black hoodie attacked her with a bottle likely because of her hijab. Esra Altun, a 19-year-old Muslim student at San Jose State University, claimed that she was choked with her hijab a day after Trump's win. Her alleged attacker was a "fair-skinned male" wearing a "dark-colored hoodie".

The attack was initially reported to have happened on Election Day, but Altun insisted that it really took place on the next day after Trump had officially won. “It is a weird coincidence that it happened after Donald Trump was elected.” Like so many of these cases, it was important to link the attack to Trump.

It certainly is a weird coincidence that a rash of these attacks by white men on Muslim women happened right then. Or that these attackers, when they aren’t wearing Trump hats and shirts on college campuses where that alone is nearly enough to trigger a hate crime investigation, favor the hoodie.

The stories follow a similar pattern. A burst of media coverage, a campus rally by activists from the local Muslim Students Association, followed by a fearful condemnation from the university president.

But then the stories die down and fade away. There is no big climax. Just dead air.

The women at the center of these stories are college freshmen and sophomores getting their first taste of campus life. They are away from their families, perhaps for the first time in their lives, in a different environment and tempted to relax their religiosity. And then the hijab-haters strike allowing them to show off their religiosity, to impress their families, and their victimhood, to wow their progressive peers. They often tell their stories on social media and urge their friends to pass their tales along.

“Trump America is real and I witnessed it first hand last night!” Yasmin Seweid, the woman at the center of the latest hijab hoax, posted on Facebook. “I want to show people this is real,” the University of Mexico Muslim claimed. There are loud assertions of Muslim patriotism and condemnations of hate.

But what is the truth?

Did a coordinated gang of Trump marauders suddenly assail a single Muslim woman one campus at a time across the country? Or was there an outbreak of hysteria fed by Islamist agendas and media noise?

It is curious that so many of the incidents occurred on campuses, where many Muslim teenagers dip their toes into political activism for the first time, and that so many of the supposed victims are teenagers who haven’t even reached their twenties. Are there really gangs of Trump supporters targeting 18-year old Muslim women on college campuses? Or is something else going on.

In Salem, the popular wisdom that witchcraft was a threat opened the door for teenage girls to offer up hysterical accusations. The accusations led to a mass hysteria of other accusers, collective panic and political persecution. Similar “witch hunts” have haunted us before. The Islamophobia witch hunt is only the latest manifestation of an obsession with an imaginary crisis exploding into mass hysteria.

There is no way to know which of the unsolved cases is true. But mass hysteria is the dangerous symptom of a deeper conflict. And those who promote it ought to contemplate the consequences.

The obsession with an imaginary Islamophobia crisis has been called a witch hunt before. But the hijab hate crimes hysteria eerily resembles the mass hysteria of Salem with teenage girls, some of whom like Yasmin are clearly emotionally unstable, coming forward to tell fantastic psychosexual stories of being attacked for their hijabs by Trump supporters, and then being lavished with attention and praise.

The tales of roving Trump gangs tearing off the hijabs of Muslim teenage girls caters to the parochial xenophobia of Muslims convinced that their daughters are at risk of being dishonored by Americans, to the Islamist agendas of CAIR and the MSA who use victimhood to build a political empire of theocracy, and to the media which is desperate to attribute racist violence to Trump any way that it can.

The hijab witch hunts are as twisted as anything in Salem. And just as malignant and dangerous.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Obama Plans to Rule America Outside the White House

Barack Obama has two faces. After Trump’s victory and Hillary’s defeat, the public Obama has been gracious and diplomatic. His lectures to Trump, directly and indirectly, are couched in praise. He echoed the feeling of millions on both sides when he said, "We are now all rooting for his success”.

That’s a lie. Or rather a disguise.

Obama and his aides had, in one insider narrative, decided to don the “mask of decorum”. The contempt for Trump still seeps through the mask. And the mask hides Obama’s next big move.

President Obama is over. He knows that. There are still some things that he can do before he leaves office, but everything except the most destructive, can be undone by his successor. The next phase of his campaign will not be fought from the White House. It will be fought against the White House .

The other Obama is emerging in conference calls with his supporters. “One of the challenges that I’ve discovered being president is I’d like to be organizer-in-chief, but it’s hard,” he said in one call.

Obama can no longer be commander-in-chief. Instead he’s plotting to become organizer-in-chief.

The infrastructure for the organization was put into place long before anyone thought that Hillary might lose. Organizing for Action gave him his own organizing hub. If Hillary had won, it would have been a pressure group. Now that Trump won, it’s an axis to build a personal counterrevolution around.

In his post-election conference call with his OFA troops, Obama told them, “I’m giving you like a week and a half to get over it”. Then it would be time to “move forward not only to protect what we’ve accomplished, but also to see this as an opportunity”. What opportunity could there be in Trump’s win?

Obama is now the only major national figure still standing among the Democrats. After Hillary’s defeat, he’s worked hard to attribute the loss to her shortcomings, not his policies and decisions. That’s not just to soothe his ego. If he’s going to dictate the future of his party, he can’t afford to be blamed for its latest disaster. And Obama is still determined to dictate the future of the party and the country.

In conventional politics, Obama is done. There’s no way back into the White House. And Hillary’s fate won’t leave much enthusiasm for nominating the uncharismatic spouse of a charismatic ex-president.

But Obama is not a conventional politician. He’s an organizer and a campaigner at the vanguard of a radical movement that seeks to control traditional institutions, but doesn’t feel bound by them. Unlike Bill Clinton, his plans don’t begin and end with the White House. As an organizer, Obama is equipped to build bases of power outside traditional institutions. And that is exactly what he is doing.

The demoralization of the Democrats is, as Obama put it, an opportunity. Social chaos is a time for the left to overthrow and undermine traditional institutions. Fear, anger and despair are radicalizing. The left has always operated by throwing bombs and then profiting from the fallout. That’s Obama’s agenda. Having wrecked the country and the Democrats, he sees that not as a setback, but as an opportunity.

“The network that you represent, you're perfectly poised to do that,” Obama told his OFAers. “In other words, now is the time for some organizing.”

While the leftist rioters in the streets are garnering the most attention, the real threat comes from the network of staffers dubbed Obama Anonymous which are beginning to organize and coordinate. OFA is Obama’s equivalent of the Clinton Foundation. The Clintons built Clintonworld around staffers, but its goal was harvesting money. Obama Inc. is being built around organizing and activism. Like Clintonworld, it will be a network encompassing a variety of political and non-profit institutions. Unlike them, it will be much less focused on directing money to its bosses in preparation for an election. Instead it will function like a traditional leftist movement, merging influence operations with crowdsourced mobilization.

OFA will be far more dangerous in the wild than the Clinton Foundation ever was. The Clintons hoped to ride back to power on a giant wave of money. Obama is taking a much more radical course.

The staffers exiting government are being wired into Obama Inc. whether or not they take jobs directly working for him. The OFA alumni are building networks across organizations while taking their marching orders from him. They expect Obama to lead them back from the wilderness and into the halls of power.

He’s told them so.

“I'm going to be constrained in what I do with all of you until I am again a private citizen. But that's not so far off,” he assured them. “I'm still fired up and I'm still ready to go.” His next comments promised that radical political change could and would take place.

Obama isn’t going to retire. He’s not going to spend years puttering around with a presidential library. He’s not even going to set up a Clintonesque slush fund and try to make his wife president. Instead he wants to force radical change from outside the White House by using the network he’s built.

While the public Obama wraps up business at the White House, concludes yet another world tour, alternating between praising Trump and offering him condescending advice, the other Obama is preparing to deploy a network that will dominate the Dems and set the agenda on the left.

If Obama succeeds, then he will get another shot at picking his White House successor. But beyond that, he’s been handed the keys to an organizing machine that will allow him to set even more of the agenda for his party than ever before. And he has a cause that is sending the party reeling back into his arms.

Obama believes that he can rule America from outside the White House. And he might be right.

Political norms and old rules have been falling faster than leaves in an autumn wind. If Obama sets out to move the center of power outside the White House and into an organization that will control national politics through the left, it would be dangerous to assume that he can’t and won’t succeed.

The Democrats didn’t respond to their defeat, one of a sequence, by trying to move to the center. Instead there is every sign that they are moving further to the left. Keith Ellison, a radical leftist with an anti-Semitic past, is tipped to head the DNC. Schumer still has the Senate, but Elizabeth Warren may have it before too long. Combine that with Obama as the president-in-exile and the Dems will be more radical and extremist than they were even when Obama was sitting in the White House.

The Democrats are ceasing to be a national party. Instead they are becoming a nationalizing party. They are losing their presence in much of the country, from state legislature to state legislature, and becoming the party of major cities and the national government. Their agenda is to move power from local areas to central ones, from the villages and the suburbs to the cities, from states to D.C. and from locally elected legislators in D.C. to the satellite bureaucracies of the Federal government.

Obama sees Hillary’s defeat as an opportunity to burn the Dem’s last bridges with the larger country and its “bitter clingers”, to double down on nationalizing power and to define the political narrative around the agendas of urban elites. The left crippled the Democrats. Now it wants to utterly consume them.

Barack Obama is still being vague and coy about his plans. He informs reporters that he will attack Trump when it comes to "core questions about our values and ideals". But the “faithful” are getting much clearer signals. “You’re going to see me early next year, and we’re going to be in a position where we can start cooking up all kinds of great stuff to do.”

The election was a catastrophic disaster for the Democrats, but it opened all sorts of doors for Obama.

Hillary’s defeat removes the Clintons, his only real internal rivals, off the stage. Trump’s triumph in working class areas cuts more ties with the traditional Dem base and transforms it into a party of left-wing urban elites and their radical agendas. And the popular figures on the left, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Keith Ellison, lack his national stature, speaking skills and organization.

Obama will move to consolidate the left. And then the Democrats. He will function as a president-in-exile heading up the opposition to Trump. When it comes to verbally challenging Trump, Obama will be more likely to be interviewed and heard than Ellison or Schumer. And his people will coordinate responses across the left from street level organizing to think tanks and policy moves.

Some of it is ego.

Obama believes that he can find the key to beating Trump in the traditional tactics of the left. But most is ideology and power. Obama is not done transforming America. And America isn’t done with him yet.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Trump or Hamas

The Islamic Society of North America was named by the Justice Department as an unindicted co-conspirator in funding Hamas. It was linked to two Hamas funding fronts, the Holy Land Foundation and KindHearts. ISNA’s checks were made payable to the “Palestinian Mujahadeen” or “Holy Warriors” which was a name used by Hamas.

ISNA’s co-founder Sami Al-Arian was the local head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Mousa Abu Marzook, a top Hamas official listed by the Treasury Department as a Specially Designated Terrorist, received tens of thousands of dollars from ISNA.

This should have come as no surprise as both ISNA and Hamas are arms of the Muslim Brotherhood.

But the American Jewish Committee has decided to team up with the financiers of the murder of Jews to oppose Trump. The left wing Jewish group and an Islamist organization that wrote out checks to Islamic terrorists enabling them to kill Jews have formed the “Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council”.

Statements from both ISNA and the AJC made it clear that this was a reaction to Trump’s win.

"We are uniting to help the administration navigate in the proper constitutional manner, to uphold freedom of religion and constitutional rights for all American citizens,” Eftakhar Alam of ISNA said.

“It is a reaction to some of the bigotry and hate speech that came out of the campaign,” Robert Silverman, the AJC's director of Muslim-Jewish relations said. “We’re concerned about the public discourse in the whole country. We’re also concerned about messages that originated within the two communities. The Trump phenomenon is only going to make it come together more quickly.”

The love affair that birthed the Wolf-Sheep Advisory Council is mostly unrequited. While the AJC loudly trumpets its new friendship, as of this writing ISNA has yet to inform its brethren of the alliance with the sons of apes and pigs in its news section. ISNA’s list of interfaith partners doesn’t even mention the AJC.

But appeasing those who hate you wins more enthusiasm from the appeasers than the appeased.

Farooq Kathwari, the Muslim co-chair of the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council, had his name on a report by the American Muslim Task Force which defended Muslim donations to Islamic terrorist groups including Hezbollah. “It was difficult for Muslim Americans… to ease the plight of Lebanese civilians without risking scrutiny by the U.S. government for aiding organizations connected with Hezbollah,” the report complained.

The Muslim council members include ISNA’s Imam Mohamed Magid who gave a diversity award to a CAIR official who had declared that Jews had incurred the wrath of Allah. Magid had called for an end to Israel’s blockade of Hamas in Gaza and the ISNA statement it was appended to had decried that Islamic terrorists had not been consulted in ceasefire negotiations.

Also on the Council is ISNA’s Sayyid Syeed who had declared, "Our job is to change the Constitution of America". He had formerly headed up the Muslim Students Association and worked in a senior position at the International Institute of Islamic Thought, another unindicted co-conspirator in funding Hamas whose ranks included a number of Islamic terrorists fighting against Israel.

But it’s more interesting to note who in ISNA’s leadership isn’t on the Council.

There’s Iqbal Unus whose home had been raided in connection with an investigation into Hamas and Islamic Jihad funding. There’s also the co-founder of ISNA, Muzammil Siddiqi, who hosted and translated a speech by the infamous Blind Sheikh, linked to the World Trade Center bombing, in which he declared, "If you are not going to the jihad, then you are neglecting the rules of Allah.”

Siddiqi predicted the Islamic conquest and destruction of Israel. “In a few years we will be celebrating with each other the victory of Islam in Palestine. Insh'allah, we shall be celebrating the coming of the Masjid al-Aqsa under the Islamic rule. We shall be celebrating insh'allah the coming of Jerusalem and the whole land of Palestine insh'allah and the establishment of the Islamic State throughout that area.“

It would be a little awkward to have the man who praised suicide bombers and called for the destruction of the Jewish State on the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council.

But no doubt a way could be found to finesse the problem.

Siddiqi is still a prominent figure in ISNA. The Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council is a sick sad joke in which Jewish lefties ally with Jihadists against a pro-Israel administration while claiming that they share goals.

Which goals exactly does the American Jewish Committee share with Siddiqi? Is the AJC also anticipating the creation of an Islamic State in Jerusalem?

Instead of representing the needs of the Jewish community, the AJC has dived into the left-wing gutter, wailing against Trump and making alliances with the enemy to protect them from Trump.

Heading up the AJC’s effort is Robert Silverman. Silverman is a State Department veteran with plenty of experience in the Muslim world. From the start he seemed far more intent on agitating on behalf of Muslims and against the critics of Islam than for Jews.

His pitch to Jews was collaborate now and perhaps our new Muslim overlords will be grateful.

“Showing support at this critical time will lead to good results for the Jewish people down the road,” Silverman said. It didn’t work with Mohammed or in Israel or Europe. But it’s bound to work this time.

He warned American Jews not to complain about the risk of Muslim migration. “American Jews should be careful not to add to a climate of fear that exists in our country regarding immigrants.”

The joint group will, among other things, lobby for refugees. The remaining Jewish refugees are fleeing Muslim violence and hate in Europe. If America is swamped by Muslim migrants the way Europe was, where will American Jews flee all these “refugees” to?

Meanwhile Silverman retweeted a message of approval from Glenn Greenwald who had criticized the inclusion of Hamas and Hezbollah on the terror list and described them as being “dedicated to protecting their citizens against the State of Israel.” He complained, “and yet it is criminal in the United States to do anything that is deemed to be material support for Hamas and Hezbollah."

Greenwald had also spoken of “the role Judaism plays in the decades-long oppression by the Israelis of Palestinians.”

Instead of fighting anti-Semitism, the American Jewish Committee was allying with anti-Semites.

While Muslim hate groups supported by ISNA terrorize Jewish students on campuses, the AJC expressed concern about “hate” against Muslims on campuses.

The media and left-wing groups are bombarding Jews daily with alarmist warnings about Trump while urging them to ally with our Muslim “friends”. Here’s what an alliance with those friends looks like.

Left-wing groups like the AJC have sold out the Jewish community by taking the side of Muslims over their Jewish victims. They have allied with Islamic hate groups supportive not of Jews, but of the murder of Jews.

And now they are screaming their heads off about Donald Trump.

Their Muslim friends, whether it’s Keith Ellison or ISNA, have defended anti-Semitism and attacked the Jewish State. American Jews have a choice between trying to appease Hamas or fighting against it.

The AJC has chosen its side. It has sided with the financiers and inciters of the murder of Jews.

American Jews have a simple choice to make. They can either believe the lies or hear the truth. They can either side with their killers or resist.

The AJC has made the choice very clear and simple. It’s either Hamas or Donald Trump.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Immigration Can Kill the Democrat Party

The specter of identity politics is haunting the left. It shows up at teary-eyed election parties in Berkeley, debates over craft beers in Williamsburg and the editorial pages of the big opinion shaper papers.

No less an icon of the left than Bernie Sanders has been grumbling that his movement needs to reconnect with working people again. He even tentatively denounced identity politics. “It is not good enough for somebody to say, ‘I’m a woman, vote for me.’” Bernie bears a grudge. That’s obvious. But the old Socialist has a history of spouting the old Socialist working class denunciations of immigration.

Bernie is really arguing that the Democrats ought to emphasize class more and race less. Similar left-wing squeaks have popped up in a handful of editorials. But they aren’t likely to travel very far.

The Democrats are losing the Rust Belt, just like they lost the South, because they have become an urban political machine. Identity politics is just urban organizing with a lot of left-wing lipstick on top. Bernie’s state is 95% white. Even Burlington hovers somewhere in the high eighties. Bernie can only organize around class because a coalition of minorities wouldn’t get him to the nearest post office.

Identity politics beat Bernie in the Democratic primaries. But it might have cost Hillary the election. And now Trump is in a position to end the Democrats by cutting their immigration lifeline. The Dems have burned their bridges with the working class by gambling everything that they have on demographic change. If they change doesn’t materialize, then they are trapped at the dead end of a short alley.

That’s the big problem the Democrats face. Identity politics with its hysterical outbursts of rage and specialized vocabulary of victimhood (privilege, victim-blaming, microaggressions) is toxic nationally, but dominates the academic and big city political populations that are its base. The Obama coalitions of millennial college leftists and disaffected minorities are passion voters whose turnout is unreliable and when they don’t turn out, then the aspirations of the Dems become sand castles with a storm coming in.

Democrats went into this election convinced that the tide of demographic change was on their side. That tide depends heavily on immigration. If Trump secures the border, deports illegal aliens and revamps immigration to serve national interests, then the Democrats lose their demographic future.

And they realize it. They’ve gambled their political future on immigration. If immigration can’t deliver the demographic changes that the left touted, then they will become a minority party.

The left used to oppose immigration. The Socialist Party inveighed against, "the immigration of strikebreakers and contract laborers, and the mass importation of workers from foreign countries brought about by the employing classes for the purpose of weakening the organization of American labor, and lowering the standard of life of American workers.”

But the left shifted away from working class regions and toward urban areas. Its political organizing was no longer based on experiences rallying coal miners or fruit pickers, but bullying college students. Identity politics was ideal for big campuses where identity coalitions were even more powerful than in big cities. Voter turnout is laughably light. Those who do vote are more likely to carry political agendas.

Under Obama, campus politics went national. The Dems made the final shift from class to culture war. When Hillary first ran for the White House, she could juggle the traditional three races appeal. This time around she had to incoherently appeal to a bewildering range of angry identity groups.

The Obama coalition ran on passion politics. The minority half of the coalition needed someone representative. The campus half wanted hip inspiration. Hillary Clinton couldn’t deliver either one.

But the lessons of her defeat aren’t lost on Democrats aspiring to higher office. Paying lip service to diversity is no longer enough. The only way to ensure minority turnout in national elections might be to have a minority politician at the top of the ticket. The future would belong to the Obama clones.

Bernie certainly understands the implications of that even if some Democrats don’t. He could very well be the last white male with a serious shot of entering the White House as a Democrat. And he’s strongly hinting that he would like to run again in 2020. That’s why he has to question identity politics.

Class over race means Bernie could still become the Dem nominee. Race over class could lock him out.

That’s also why Obama has reassured Dems that identity politics will eventually pay off, even if there might be the occasional setback along the way. Nevertheless the country will still be transformed. Bernie however has questioned whether a permanent Democratic majority would even be possible.

Without the prospect of a permanent majority through mass migration on the horizon, the Democrats have to consider abandoning identity politics and returning to tried and true class warfare.

But a retreat from identity politics may not even be possible.

Intersectionality is worlds away from the old racial pandering. The culture of identity outrage dominates left-wing messaging. The opposition to Trump leans heavily on victim politics rather than class. We are incessantly lectured on all the Muslim and illegal alien kiddies who go to bed crying because of him. This performance of passive aggressive victimhood has only disgusted even more of the country.

Identity politics is tethered to outrage and therefore is inherently unstable and alienating. It’s based on a subjective experience that is deemed inaccessible to those with more “privilege” and yet it is an experience whose emotional outcomes are meant to govern our lives. It’s a selfishly anti-intellectual creed that cannot be reasoned with because it derives from the recesses of personal emotion.

It’s not an intellectual exercise, but a performance of personal suffering and outrage. And there’s no way around it without jettisoning the crust of political correctness that makes victimhood sacred. Those who suffer the most are morally superior. Their whims and wishes must dominate the Dem agenda.

An older left could have made a compelling case for the victimhood of the unemployed coal miner, but no such creature exists in campus politics where there are 63 gender identities, but no white working class. The left has defined victimhood as the alienation experienced by those who are different. There is no room for oppressed majorities, only minorities. An ideology that once defined itself by labor is far more interested in charting the erratic emotions of unstable college kids than in the real problems of working people. It can relate to the former, but not the latter.

Democrats have to choose between identity politics and the working class. Abandoning identity politics would be a painful process while abandoning the working class has proven to be painless and disastrous. But identity politics without mass migration and social transformation is unworkable. Immigration determines the future of the Democrats. This election is forcing Democrats to make a choice.

Obama’s identity politics preached that Republicans had to embrace identity politics or lose their ability to win national elections. But if the Democrats can’t sustain the rate of demographic change that they need, their lost grip on the working class white vote may lock them out of the White House.