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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Russian Spies Were Behind Black Nationalist Protest Groups

By On August 10, 2022
After years of Russiagate conspiracy theories about how the Russians had somehow rigged the 2016 presidential election using Facebook ads, the Senate Intelligence report awkwardly revealed that the Russian operation had focused most of its attention on black nationalists.

The Senate report revealed that "most of the videos" put out by the Russian IRA troll factory on YouTube "pertained to police brutality and the activist efforts of the Black Lives Matter organization" and found that "no single group of Americans was targeted... more than African-Americans" around "race and related issues".

But that was an understatement.

The Russians had created their own Black Lives Matter groups, activists and protests. It is still not fully clear where the dividing lines between black nationalists and Russian agents lie. And the media has consistently buried these revelations about the real Russian role in our politics to focus on the discredited smears targeting President Trump and his political allies.

And yet the true Russian agents were the black nationalists championed by the Left.

The recent indictment of Aleksandr Ianov, a Russian figure operating in coordination with Russia’s FSB security agency, accuses him of recruiting and providing financial support for black nationalist groups in the United States.

One of the black nationalist groups in the indictment is the Black Hammer Party whose leader Gazi Kodzo had described Anne Frank as a "colonizer" and “bleach demon” and who has since been arrested on charges of kidnapping, assault, and aggravated sodomy.

The Marxist group involved in BLM protests had been known for marching through Atlanta behind its “gender non-conforming” leader who calls himself “they”, and shouting, “Kill the police! To get free, you’ve got to kill the pigs.”

Another of these was the Uhuru Movement, a socialist black nationalist group previously involved in race riots in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1996.

The Tampa Bay Times described the city becoming a “war zone, echoing with bullets, sirens and anguished screams” where “police officers took cover from automatic gunfire” and “police helicopters circled looking for rooftop snipers” while “one helicopter was hit by gunfire in the windshield and floor. A bullet grazed the pilot's elbow.”

The violence had begun with the arrest of an Uhuru member outside its headquarters.

More recently, Uhuru figures took part in Black Lives Matter marches. Despite the group's ugly history, when its black nationalist flag was set on fire, the media rushed to falsely claim that it was a hate crime when it was actually a black man who burned the supremacist group’s symbol of hate with a flamethrower because he hated socialists.

The indictment of the alleged Russian agent and the raid on Uhuru House has revisited the question of the ties between Moscow and its racist supremacist fifth column.

Omali Yeshitela, who claims that he was handcuffed during a raid on Uhuru House, is a longtime black nationalist figure with a history with the Nation of Islam and the Black Panther hate group. He appeared at a New Black Panther Party convention and had been involved in an anti-semitism controversy at a hate event at San Diego State University.

Uhuru is a deeply racist movement and some of its latest materials include claims that white people are "barbarians" and "terrorists", and that they "achieve their means of existence from a parasitic relationship they enjoy with the rest of the world." These are ideas fundamental to the critical race theory understanding of the world, in arenas such as the 1619 Project and the entire anti-racism project, but the question is how many of these ideas were coming out of Moscow?

One of the Uhuru projects backed by Russia was a campaign titled, "Africans Charge Genocide". “We Charge Genocide” was originally a Communist project in the 1950s under Stalinist singer Paul Robeson and the Communist front group, the Civil Rights Congress.

Black nationalism, from its early days a century ago, had been tied up with Communists, and with the rise of the Soviet Union was increasingly organized and funded out of Moscow.

Uhuru candidates for political office in St. Petersburg, Florida, appeared to be backed by Russian agents. The FSB received campaign statistics and information with one officer of the Russian security agency commenting, "our election campaign is kind of unique."

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the campaign fit the profile of Eritha “Akile” Cainion, the editor of Uhuru’s Burning Spear paper, whose city council campaign was promoted by local media which praised her racialist slogan, “Make the Southside Black Again.”

One ad on her Instagram urged, “call us to pick up your ballot”.

At the time it was recorded that she had "raised nearly $30,000, primarily through small donations, including several as little as $1. Much of her money has come from donors who live out of state."

Cainion, currently the director of agitation and propaganda for the African People's Socialist Party, responded to the Uhuru raid with a press conference, echoing traditional Communist propaganda and claiming that, "world colonial powers have been collaborating against Russia for well into the early 1900s." And she declared, “We are in support of Russia.”

How far do the longtime links between black nationalists and Russia’s spy organizations go?

Previous events involving Ionov's Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia allegedly included Margaret Kimberley of Black Agenda Report whom Cornel West had praised as "one of the few great truth tellers", and more traditional Trotskyist groups such as the Workers World Party which played an early role in statue attacks in the South and may have links to Antifa.

After the statue attack in Durham, the Workers World Party issued a statement claiming that it “put out a call for militant action to our close comrades in Black Youth Project 100, Durham Beyond Policing, Southerners on New Ground, Industrial Workers of the World and local Antifa.”

A Workers World writeup of one of Ionov's conferences featured a presentation on Russia's territorial claims in Ukraine, along with "the Israeli genocide against the Palestinian people" and concluded with a protest against racism outside the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

"Demonstrators carried photos of Mike Brown, Eric Garner and Rasmea Odeh and chanted, 'Hands up! Don’t shoot' and 'I can’t breathe!'”

Odeh is the Muslim terrorist linked to the murder of two Jewish college students in Israel.

There’s little novel here except that the old Soviet propaganda machine is still running in Moscow and promoting the same coalition of Communists, black nationalists and Muslim terrorists this time under the aegis of a what Putin had created as the National Military Fund.

The question is how much of the Black Lives Matter and Antifa violence came out of Moscow?

Much like the Soviet involvement in race riots and domestic terrorism by the black nationalist and anti-war Left during the Cold War, we will likely never get a full accounting of the impact.

And yet an important missing piece of Russiagate is that the Left was once again accusing conservatives of its own crimes. Right down to the Russian backing for its election interference.

The Russians weren’t elevating Trump and Republicans, they were backing the far Left.

Democrats answer to their furthest fringes of black nationalists and leftists who were allowed to engage in a long orgy of national violence, and then to hijack our economic and cultural institutions in the name of critical race theory with the so-called Black Lives Matter movement.

America’s radical enemies attacked government buildings, churches and synagogues, toppled statues, assaulted police, and carried out the nation’s biggest insurrection in two generations with the overt political support of the media, leading corporations, and the Democrats.

The end result put Biden in power and America on a course to international decline. Moscow and Beijing are the biggest beneficiaries of that decline.

Russian Facebook ads had nothing to do with the 2016 election, but they helped promote the hate groups behind the “mostly peaceful” race riots that changed the political trajectory of 2020.

And FSB agents were apparently directly involved with at least one black nationalist hate group.

A real Russia investigation would finally expose the longstanding ties between the American Left and our international adversaries, including their longtime backers in Moscow.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

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Thank you for reading.

Monday, August 08, 2022

The Democrat Economists in Charge of Deciding 'If' There’s a Recession

By On August 08, 2022
Facebook is now censoring posts and videos about the Biden recession by using partisan fact-checks from left-leaning outlets to wrongly condemn them as “misinformation”.

The fact checks rely on the same argument being propounded by the Biden administration and its media allies that only the National Bureau of Economic Research and, more specifically, its Business Cycle Dating Committee, can officially decide if there's a recession.

And anyone who isn't on the Committee talking about a recession is spreading "misinformation".

That's an obvious problem because 2 out of 3 American voters, including even 53% of Democrats, believe that there's a recession. That’s a whole lot of people to censor.

Totalitarian Communist regimes in Russia and China have criminalized discussions about domestic economic problems, and the American Left is trying to deploy its propaganda machine of partisan media outlets, fact checkers and Big Tech monopolies to duplicate their efforts.

It’s bound to fail.

Declaring that only a small group of “experts” is allowed to call it a recession despite the fact that two consecutive quarters of a shrinking economy is the definition of a recession is a gatekeeping fallacy.

And the experts are hardly any more objective than the fact checkers citing them.

Peter Blair Henry, the current vice chair of the National Bureau of Economic Research, was the head of the Obama campaign's economics advisory team and then served on his transition team. And Henry has promoted Biden's disastrous inflationary “Build Back Better” plan.

Of the eight economists on the Business Cycle Dating Committee, the team that the White House and the media insist are the only ones who get to decide if it’s a recession, several held posts in the Obama administration, and others were clearly aligned with the Democrats.

Christina and David Romer, a husband and wife team, already an innate conflict of interest, were described as "staunch Obama supporters" in an IMF profile. Romer had provided "briefing memos" to Austan Goolsbee, Obama's radical economic adviser, during the campaign, and she went on to chair Obama's Council of Economic Advisers. In that role, she aggressively pushed for an even bigger “stimulus package” than the one that damaged the economy under Obama.

Robert J. Gordon compared Trump to Hitler and declared that he would miss Obama's “eloquence”. He claims that America's growth is over and proposes a program of a "progressive tax code", eliminating deductions, legalizing drugs, and providing a lot more welfare.

Gordon had joined lefty economists in arguing that the era of permanent economic malaise was upon us. During the 2016 election, his “The Rise and Fall of American Growth” was frequently cited as expert evidence that serious GDP growth of the kind Trump was urging was impossible.

The economist, or someone by that name from his university, appears to be a donor to Democrat candidates, the DNC and at least one anti-Republican PAC.

Gordon was also a signatory to an open letter titled, “Economists Oppose Trump's Re-Election”.

The pro-Biden and anti-Trump letter included the contention that Trump "claimed to have the unique ability to generate growth (in real GDP) of between 4% and 6%, but never surpassed 2.9% in his first three years in office. Furthermore, analysts at Goldman Sachs and Moody’s Analytics have projected that Joe Biden’s economic plans, if implemented, would actually generate faster growth in both employment and real GDP."

Gordon, along with other lefty academics, was expressing a political preference for Biden over Trump while claiming that this position was backed up by their “expert” opinion.

Biden’s economic plans led to a massive disaster, but there’s no reason to think that Gordon or any of the other economists involved in this letter are ready to admit that they were wrong.

And that Biden has inflicted a recession on America.

Another of the members of the Business Cycle Dating Committee who also signed the anti-Trump and pro-Biden letter is Mark Watson of Princeton. Watson was also the co-author of an infamous argument claiming that the economy performs better under Democrat presidents.

His work was cited by Obama's Council of Economic Advisers co-authored together with James Stock, a member of the council who serves as another member of the Business Cycle Dating Committee.

Obama had appointed Stock to his Council of Economic Advisers in 2013. Stock was both an Obama and a Hillary donor. He also contributed $2,800, close to the maximum, to Biden.

The political conflict of interest in determining that the economy is in recession is obvious.

Of the remaining Business Cycle Dating Committee members, Robert Hall appears to have donated to a Democrat candidate. James Poterba had vocally praised Obama's economic council members, calling them "realists and pragmatists who are looking for what will work to address the particular problems we are facing".

What that means is that of the eight Business Cycle Dating Committee members, a quarter are former members of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, half are public Obama supporters, one is a Biden donor, two have expressed public opposition to Trump and support for Biden.

This group of experts is anything but non-partisan and the lean is anything but conservative.

It’s fair to say that 6 of the 8 Business Cycle Dating Committee are either Democrats or aligned with Democrats. Another is ambiguous and only one has expressed no recent public political preference.

It’s obvious why the Biden administration is betting that a group stocked with its own political allies will be less likely to state the obvious about the state of the economy. Democrats, their media and their tech monopolies are using expert gatekeeping by their own allies to deny that there’s a recession even though the vast majority of Americans know that it’s already here.

It doesn’t take the Business Cycle Dating Committee to state the obvious. All it can do is stonewall what everyone can see around them. Beyond their political allegiances, many members of the Committee have a history of being fundamentally wrong about the economic measures of the Obama and Trump administrations. Many supported the Obama era inflationary spending that deepened our national debt and suppressed our economic potential.

There’s no reason to think they’ve learned to be any more correct or any less biased.

The new technocratic totalitarianism insists that the nature of reality is controlled by small groups of partisan handpicked experts and that ordinary people have no right to disagree, and that furthermore it is the job of the tech monopolies who control the marketplace of ideas to immediately stamp out such dissent as “disinformation” and a “threat to democracy”.

But reality isn’t controlled by experts and the efforts by the Biden administration to build a wall of experts around reality is as doomed to failure as similar measures in totalitarian states.

After first denying the reality of inflation, the Biden administration is trying to deny the recession.

The same experts who tried to deny the disastrous effects of Obama’s economy are trying to tell the same lies for Biden. But no amount of lies will turn a recession into a recovery.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

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Thank you for reading.

Thursday, August 04, 2022

China Tested Biden. And He Blinked.

By On August 04, 2022
If you believe the Biden administration and its media allies, members of congress visiting Taiwan is a shocking and unprecedented event. Except that Senator Tammy Duckworth visited Taiwan in May. Senator Richard Burr, Robert Menendez, Lindsey Graham, Ben Sasse and Robert Portman came in April. Along with Rep. Ronny Jackson

Senator Dan Sullivan and Chris Coons flew over last summer. In the fall, Rep. Nancy Mace, Sarah Jacobs, Mark Takano, Elissa Slotkin and Colin Allred saw the sights.

Thanks in part to the Taiwan Travel Act, which passed with no opposition and was signed by President Trump in 2018, Taiwan is Grand Central Station for congressional delegations.

Pelosi is higher-ranking only in that she’s the outgoing lame duck leader of a vanishing majority.

China was not threatened by Pelosi’s visit. It chose to exploit it as an opportunity to intimidate the Biden administration and blackmail its weak enemies. And whatever else happens, it succeeded in exposing once again how worthless Biden’s tough talk about Taiwan is.

“Are you willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan?" Biden had been asked at a press conference with the Japanese prime minister.

“Yes,” he assured. “That’s the commitment we made.”

"We made a sacred commitment to Article 5 that if, in fact, anyone were to invade or take action against our Nato allies, we would respond. Same with Japan, same with South Korea, same with Taiwan," Biden had promised.

NATO, Japan and South Korea must be feeling pretty good now that the Biden administration announced that it doesn’t recognize the existence of Taiwan after spending a week trying to pressure his own party’s House Speaker out of paying a visit to the independent nation.

But this is the same administration whose secretary of state had tweeted, "We stand with the people of Hong Kong & continue to support their human rights & fundamental freedoms".

And then deleted it.

Last year, Secretary of State Blinken warned Communist China that an invasion of Taiwan would result in "terrible consequences".

"We’ve been very clear and consistently clear, over many years that we are committed to making sure that Taiwan has the means to defend itself," he vowed. "We will continue to make good on that commitment."

The Trump administration had approved nearly $1 billion in arms sales to Taiwan in its first year in office comprising everything from coastal defense systems to submarine torpedoes to drones and aircraft parts. The Biden administration's approval of arms sales has currently focused on a much narrower sale of artillery. There's a $14 billion backlog in delivering equipment that Taiwan already purchased including 66 F-16 jets that are crucial for defending against China's aerial incursions.

Pelosi's visit resulted in reports of China's SU-35 jets crossing the Taiwan strait and military exercises, which the brutal Communist dictatorship refers to as "military operations", entering Taiwan's territorial waters. While the Biden administration had put on a show of talking tough last year, Chinese pressure immediately sent Biden and his cronies into a cowardly panic.

Biden claimed that “the military thinks it's not a good idea right now”, as if the military sets foreign policy and tells elected officials what to do, instead of the other way around.

Administration officials began working the phones, calling every reporter in D.C. and Manhattan to dish on what a terrible idea Pelosi's trip would be. And the more Communist China threatened, the harder Biden appeased.

In the days before the visit, the media was filled with administration hit pieces aimed at the woman who is third in line for the presidency. Pelosi was getting the Trump treatment.

"The damage from Pelosi’s unwise Taiwan visit must be contained," the Washington Post's editorial board warned. The board's position was understandable considering that the paper is owned by Jeff Bezos whose vast fortune comes from Amazon's third party Chinese sellers ripping off American products and then dumping them in this country.

But the Post was also closely echoing the Biden administration.

At the New York Times, Paul Krugman launched his attack headlined, "Why Pelosi's Visit to Taiwan Is Utterly Reckless". Coincidentally, "reckless" was how China's Ambassador Qin Gang had described the visit to CNN. Or maybe not so coincidentally after all since so many of America’s headlines are actually translated from the original Chinese.

There’s nothing reckless about the visit.

American politicians regularly visit Taiwan. Six senators have visited just this year. Neither of the major papers campaigned against the Taiwan Travel Act. Nor did they condemn the series of congressional delegations that have been visiting the Republic of China. Until now.

But when China exercised its heckler’s veto, the Biden administration ran to duck and cover. And the media suddenly decided that visiting Taiwan was suddenly very dangerous business.

Communist China is likely to invade Taiwan. It will do so irrespective of whether a daffy California congresswoman sets foot in it or not. Beijing knows that Pelosi doesn’t set foreign policy. It has too many spies here and has corrupted too many of our officials, from Biden on down, not to know how the game is played on this side of the ocean.

China chose to pick this fight over Pelosi because it could make Biden blink. And he blinked.

Biden didn’t just turn on Republicans when China bellowed, he went after one of his closest allies in a desperate bid to do Beijing's bidding. And the media, which joined Xi’s chorus, showed that its only allegiance is to protecting the Biden administration and kowtowing to China.

Speaker Pelosi certainly didn’t set out to demonstrate all that. Unintentionally she did.

The otherwise forgettable trip became another warning that America could not be counted on and that any of the assurances coming out of the White House are worthless. Taiwan can’t count on American military intervention. It can’t even count on the delivery of the arms that it already purchased and needs in order to defend itself against Hunter’s business partners.

Many protest that the United States shouldn’t be in the business of defending Taiwan. There’s a legitimate debate to be had there, but just as with Ukraine, Biden is in the business of talking tough until the shooting starts and then he runs away. And that’s the worst of both worlds.

If China believes that American military intervention is a possibility, it would be much less likely to invade Taiwan. The Biden administration repeatedly threw away the country’s strategic ambiguity, talking tough about militarily defending Taiwan, only to panic at China’s threats.

America’s enemies keep testing Biden. What appear to be crises are often just tests by China, Russia, Iran, and other enemies to see how far the United States can be pushed. And the latest answer is that Biden can be pushed by China into turning on his closest allies.

If Biden won’t even defend Pelosi from China, what are the odds he’ll defend Taiwan? None.

Communist China isn’t afraid of Pelosi and it certainly isn’t afraid of Biden. The Communist dictatorship is testing our nation’s leaders to see if it has any reason to fear America.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

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Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Environmentalism is an Environmental Hazard

By On August 02, 2022
20 years after voters rejected ‘toilet-to-tap’ water, Los Angeles Democrats brag that they will be the first city in the state to pipe toilet water to faucets for the sake of the environment.

As part of the city's version of the Green New Deal, a majority of Los Angeles water will be 'toilet-to-tap'. California Democrats, who refuse to build new dams or do anything to expand water resources, are set to spend at least $12 billion on what they describe as "locally sourced" water which certainly sounds nicer than toilet water. The environmentalist elites will go on drinking bottled water and it will be the city’s poor drinking out of the toilet.

Environmentalists insist that nothing can go wrong even though a 2019 NIH hosted survey noted that “there have been relatively few health-based studies evaluating the microbial risks associated with potable reuse” and that California wants to achieve "a benchmark level of public health protection of 1 infection in 10,000 people per year". That’s 1,000 people in Los Angeles County. The risks include “pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and protozoa” transmitted via a fecal-oral route” including Hepatitis A. A new reservoir might cost $4 billion, but environmentalists would rather spend three times as much on their toilet-to-tap plan.

‘Toilet-to-tap’ is just one of the multitude of ways that environmentalism creates an environmental hazard, threatening public health and undermining life in California.

No state has been as in love with solar power. With over 700 solar power plants and hundreds of thousands of residential solar panels, Californians enjoy an expensive and unreliable energy supply that leads to regular brown-outs. Solar panels generate their energy during the day, when most people aren’t home so that it goes to waste while being useless at night.

But in Hotel California, you can’t check out of subsidizing China’s exported solar industry.

As of 2020, California Democrats imposed a solar mandate requiring all new homes to have solar panels which added over $10,000 to the cost of a new home putting home ownership even further out of the reach of most people and making a mockery of talk of “affordable housing”.

The California Public Utilities Commission has admitted that the state has far more solar panels than it needs, but has argued that it should "dramatically overbuild solar" and then let it go to waste. Wasting a lot of energy has become the best way to stop waste and save the planet.

But that’s not all that’s going to waste.

With a lifespan of 25 years, the early generations of solar panels have begun to clutter up the state's landfills. Ironically, only about 10% of the solar "green energy" solution are recycled and the rest represent a serious toxic waste hazard. Behind the illusion of clean energy is the grimy reality that solar panels break down and just turn into poisonous and dangerous trash.

Recycling, itself a scam, often just sends our waste abroad to poor countries. A New York Times article described how in Africa, laborers "break them open with machetes and drain the acid into the ground by hand" which "pollutes the soil and water with lead, which can lead to brain damage." Actual recycling of solar panels is unworkable because it costs more to recycle them than it does to make them. So it’s just more economical to bury solar panels in landfills.

Faced with a growing toxic solar panel problem, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control reclassified them. In a press release typical of the state’s environmentalist puffery which always boast about being the first to pursue some disastrous policy, DTSC boasted that it was the "first in the nation" to "add hazardous waste solar panels to its universal waste program."

Meredith Williams, DTSC's director, claimed that lowering hazardous waste restrictions on solar panels was "another great step forward in our state’s efforts to put environmental protection first – both for the health and safety of our people and natural resources.”

California Democrats were boasting of being the first in the nation to ignore the environmental risks of an environmental policy in the name of the environment. The planet was being destroyed to save the planet. And people were being exposed to toxic chemicals to prop up the solar panel industry, its woke investors who finance the Democrats, and Chinese manufacturers.

California solar has become too big to fail. With billions in state subsidies and massive amounts of money seized from homeowners to fund the solar scam, the threat of lead and cadmium leaching into groundwater can’t be permitted to stop the environmentalist solar disaster.

As each generation of solar panels ages into oblivion, the solar trash problem will boom. And it’s just getting started. The hundreds of thousands of rooftop solar panels will either end up in the trash or will require spending twice as much up front to subsidize their eventual disposal.

At least.

While California Democrats fight to shut down the state’s nuclear power, they double down on solar which as Michael Shellenberger has argued, "produced 300 times more toxic waste than high-level nuclear waste.”

California’s solar subsidies will not only put homeownership further out of reach but are set to cover the state in toxic trash. Solar panels are worthless as energy and they’re worthless as trash. Governments have to mandate and subsidize their installation and then their disposal.

The situation isn’t much better with the ubiquitous wind turbines whose blades can’t be recycled.

Much as solar panels are filling up landfills, so are wind turbine blades. And those blades which "can be longer than a Boeing 747 wing" will first have to be cut up with a "diamond-encrusted industrial saw" and then hauled away on tractor trailers to massive landfills.

Fiberglass blades aren't biodegradable and burning or crushing them releases toxic fibers that have been linked to everything from skin reactions to lung disease.

Inhaling fiberglass dust is potentially dangerous. Especially from something the size of a jet wing. That just leaves one option. The same option as for nuclear power. Bury them.

Wind turbines, which were supposed to save the environment, are piling up in rural areas in Wyoming, Iowa and South Dakota.

“The wind turbine blade will be there, ultimately, forever,” an energy company executive admitted.

So much for clean energy saving the planet.

Environmentalists agonize over the 85,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel in the United States when a single wind turbine blade can weigh 12 tons. It's estimated that by 2050, wind turbine blade waste will amount to over 2 million tons or 1% of landfill capacity.

The green agenda isn’t saving the planet, it’s destroying it and harming people.

Environmentalism is an environmental hazard that threatens both the ecosystem and public health. From the solar panel lead in the groundwater to the wind turbine fiberglass in your lungs to the toilet water in your sink, there’s nothing ‘clean’ about the environmental agenda.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

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Thank you for reading.

Monday, August 01, 2022

Biden’s Military Vaccine Mandate is a Political Test

By On August 01, 2022

The Army has admitted that it won’t meet its recruiting goals for the year.

Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Joseph Martin told the House Armed Services Committee that the service will be 28,000 soldiers short of projections. The Army raised its maximum enlistment bonus to $50,000 and offers recruits up to $10,000 for showing up to basic training in 30 days. It routinely offers moral waivers for criminal records and no longer even asks for a high school diploma. And even in the midst of this massive recruiting crisis, it’s purging the unvaccinated.

According to the Army's latest numbers, 1,379 soldiers have faced separation and over 3,000 written reprimands were issued for refusing the vaccine. The numbers are much higher among the Army National Guard where there have been 10,798 refusals and 5,098 in the Army Reserve. The majority however haven’t even applied for an exemption. There are 40,000 unvaccinated Army National Guard personnel and 20,000 Army Reserve and Biden’s war on them is dangerously undermining our national security in the face of our enemies.

In early July, Biden's cronies within the military barred unvaccinated personnel from taking part in training and drills, and denied them their pay. This treasonously impedes military readiness and unit cohesion. It’s also potentially catastrophic when applied to a fifth of Oklahoma Army Guardsmen, 17% of the Arkansas Guard, or even only 5% of the Minnesota National Guard.

"To date, the military has lost more than 1,100 soldiers, 800 airmen, 1,000 sailors, and 2,000 Marines because of this mandate, with thousands more separations likely to come," Senator Roger Wicker, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, warned. "We desperately need these service members, but President Biden seems content to lose them. His vaccine order is threatening our military readiness, and I have forcefully urged his officials to rescind it."

Biden’s brass claim that vaccination is required to maintain military readiness, but they are the ones who have actually crippled military readiness. Earlier this year, hundreds of new recruits were being kicked out of the services over the vaccine mandate, some who had finished training, at a cost of millions of dollars. The Army alone appears to have wasted at least $11 million recruiting and training soldiers only to then prevent them from being able to serve.

All of this is going on while official Department of Defense data records only 95 military deaths due to COVID. Compare that to the 176 suicides in just the Army alone in one year alone.

The Navy has filed over 1,000 separations against personnel even though there have been only 17 COVID deaths for active duty personnel in the service. There are over 3,000 unvaccinated active duty personnel and also over 3,000 in the reserve. Despite over 3,000 religious accommodation requests, the Navy has approved only 42 active duty requests.

The Air Force has had only 12 hospitalizations and 16 military deaths, but has separated nearly 300 airmen for refusing the vaccine. Lawsuits over religious exemptions are still ongoing.

From the Defense Department’s own numbers it’s abundantly clear that there is no major COVID crisis within the military. There have been four times as many civilian deaths within the department than active duty military deaths. There’s no justification for the mandate and for wrecking the military and forcing large numbers of military personnel out of the services.

Especially during a recruiting crisis.

The threat to military readiness does not come from 95 deaths, but from the plot to purge thousands of active duty personnel over a political decision made by an unfriendly administration.

“The Biden Administration is destroying the readiness of our Armed Forces by creating an unnecessary recruiting and retention shortfall, and trying to make up the difference by lowering other crucial education and fitness standards,” Rep. Mike Johnson noted.

Lowering these standards, involving high school diplomas and criminal records, is crucial to the larger demographic agenda of the Biden administration which seeks to aggressively “diversify” the military by bringing in more Democrats and driving out more Republicans.

The vaccine mandate is playing the role of a political test.

The Biden administration came into office vowing to fight “extremism” in the military. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s political witch hunt can’t be separated from his vaccine mandates.

While Biden imposed a general vaccine mandate on federal employees, civilian government employees, mostly Democrats, have been treated very differently. Little has been done to pressure federal employees. At the VA, only six employees were fired and, in complete contrast to matters within the military proper, the VA "pushed all of its unvaccinated staff to seek religious or medical exemptions and has not questioned the legitimacy of any of those requests."

The “VA has mostly offered those workers other positions that interact with less vulnerable patients or did not require in-person attendance, allowing it to actually fire so few staff,” Govexec reported. The VA’s approach has been described as a test case for the federal workforce and the agency is a member of the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force.

That very generous approach is the opposite of how soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines have been treated by the Biden administration. Unvaccinated federal employees are being given paid leave and encouraged to work online if they run into any issues. Meanwhile our nation’s heroes are being pressured, threatened and shown the door by the Biden administration.

While the Biden administration has defended its vaccine mandate for federal employees in court, it's shown little eagerness to actually impose it on them. The federal vaccine mandate had been scheduled for May 31, before it was halted by a court ruling, but federal agencies hadn't been taking any steps to prepare for implementing it because they have no desire to do so.

“During a moment of increased action from Russia to China, is it worth it? Is it worth sacrificing our end-strength for vaccine mandates?” Rep. Jim Banks had asked Gen. Milley. “Would you rather have a few extra battalions of unvaccinated soldiers or not have them at all because of this?”

“It's tiny, the numbers that are actually being asked to process out, so I think it's manageable,” the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had sneered. “If 2,000 are kicked out, I think that wouldn't hurt.”

It certainly wouldn’t hurt Gen. Milley who was ready to endorse critical race theory in the military. It fulfills the Biden administration’s true objective of purging conservatives from the only remaining part of the federal government whose personnel are largely conservative. But it treasonously undermines America’s military readiness in the face of the enemy.

Democrats are hollowing out another part of the federal government to make it an even bigger sinecure for their people while driving everyone who isn’t part of their political machine.

Our nation’s heroes and our national security will pay the price for their treason.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

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Thank you for reading.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Victims Wanted

By On July 31, 2022
The replacement of women was always inevitable. The idea that slightly less than half the world’s population and slightly more than half of America’s population was an oppressed minority group never made much sense. And the time always comes when yesterday’s oppressed minority group intersectionally ages out into tomorrow’s oppressors. Minority groups that don't die as victims live long enough to see themselves become the villains.

Jews were replaced by Muslims, women and gay men by transgenders, and the time will come when Muslim transgenders are replaced by something even more excitingly cutting edge.

Radicalism, primarily a hobby of upper class white people, requires a steady supply of victims whose stories they can inhale, emote, appropriate and polish up into a bloody revolution. The less exotic the victims, the more likely they are to be replaced. Upwardly mobile successful groups make the least appealing victims. That’s what happened to the Jews. And now it’s happening to gay men. Asians are in even bigger trouble on the victimhood front.

An ideal victim is in a perpetual state of socioeconomic misery and brewing with violence. The trick is fighting to liberate them while keeping them in that same state, available for weekly revolutions and sad sack stories to be consumed by suburban woke ladies at book clubs.

Revolution is about money and power for a select few, but for the dulled denizens of a society that has long since blurred fact and fiction, reality and ideology, the performance is the thing. Political metafictional narratives distill a police shooting into books, movies, and an entire culture which being both real and fiction are more compelling than either fiction or the real world.

The George Floyd fandom took a career criminal dead of a drug overdose, made him a meme, and immersed countless liberals commuting cautiously into the city into a racial rebellion against the imaginary evil empire of systemic racism at the mere cost of wrecked neighborhoods and thousands of deaths. Black Lives Matter leaders got Hollywood deals and mansions out of it.

When it works, it works. The Holocaust was a compelling story, but the sequel sucked. The Jews, instead of going back to concentration camps every decade, successfully built their own country, survived multiple wars and have a thriving tech industry. Any script doctor worth his salt would take a look at such a script and shake his head. The dramatic twist some of the Moscow playwrights came up with was that the Jews were now the Nazis. Didn’t see that one coming?

The plot twist kicks in all the time.

American history is a litany of oppressed groups, the Irish, the Germans, the Swedish, the Jews, and the Italians who arrived, struggled and then got houses in the suburbs. Their social justice great-grandkids have been taught to sneer and call them all “white guys”. And then there was the working class, the coal miners, once the subject of labor ballads, now accused by Rolling Stone and the Harvard faculty driving around in their Teslas of destroying the planet.

Appalachia never made it big, but old stories eventually need to be swapped out for new ones, or at least rotated. You can’t just have back-to-back race riots. The insurance companies won’t stand for it. And even George Soros might lose some money on his investments. Instead you program in some abortion protests, terror attacks, a bunch of new sexual identities, and then bring out the race riots. Left jab, right cross, badda bing, bada boom. That’s social justice.

And social justice incentivizes minority groups to fail and go on failing. A minority group that succeeds is no longer a victim. But it also has to fail in ways that get attention. High suicide rates and overdoses alone won’t do it. Victim culture is about allowing the Elizabeth Warrens out there to live out their fantasies. A minority group needs to be somewhat exotic. It must have a culture to be fetishized and misunderstood. It must be both desired and abhorred so as to shock upper-middle-class parents, but in a way that will make them feel guilty for being shocked.

Which is to say that minorities can’t let their act get stale. A compelling moral case helps, but this is about entertainment. A Columbia student working on his degree in journalism must be able to imagine bombing government buildings in the name of your cause. And enjoy it. The mix of condescension, appropriation and repressed violence is the force that gives American leftists meaning. All that projection needs exciting minority victims as its object.

And when minorities no longer deliver, they get replaced.

Initially there are hints, like "Latinos Must Confront 'Ingrained' Anti-Black Racism" (NBC News), "White Gay Privilege Exists All Year, But It Is Particularly Hurtful During Pride" (also NBC News), and "How To Talk To Your Asian Immigrant Parents About Racism" (still NBC News).

(Why does NBC News hate Latinos, gays and Asian immigrants so much?)

When the hints, shouts and UN resolutions stop working then, as with the Jews, there’s rage, violent threats and renewed calls for genocide. The only way to show the victims who stop being model victims how to be proper victims is by making them victims all over again.

And then maybe they can be rescued.

Victimhood is meant to be a baton, a torch passed from the oppressed, who can now afford to be the oppressors, to the newly oppressed who just got here and are already “so tired” of performing the “unpaid emotional labor” of complaining about all the microaggressions.

Privilege requires taking the blame for all of it, but also deciding whom to pay attention to.

Civil rights has long ceased to be a liberation program and has become an art theater piece Only crazies and celebrities think that being seen is power. Performing can be lucrative and emotionally fulfilling to narcissists, the insecure and the emotionally damaged, but real power comes from being in the audience, from buying the ticket and holding the remote control.

The oppressed perform while the oppressors watch. The modern oppressed are eager to perform their oppression on demand, to shout and wail when the camera comes on, to condemn the audience for needing to watch even as they demand that it watch them, conflating liberation and degradation because performative outrage looks like power to those with no sensibility.

This repulsive circus is alien to a culture of equality which comes from self-reliance. Entangled dependencies create grievances while the moral power of independence frees us from blaming others. Equity, unlike equality, is premised wholly on blame, its central moral premise is “accountability” by which it means that everyone must confess to a relationship, must accept a role as the oppressor or the oppressed while knowing that those roles may change any time.

Anti-racism has the oppressed demanding that the oppressors commit to oppressing them so that they can demand the privileges of the oppressed. Critical race theory is the conviction that the power of the oppressors is unlimited and inescapable. Its greatest trick is convincing the oppressed to oppress themselves so that the oppressors continue to pay attention to them.

Desperate professional victims enact their own rituals of victimhood, sometimes getting rich in the process, but mostly wrecking their communities and giving themselves mental disorders, because they can’t imagine any form of power except reenacting their own degradation. Robbed of anything to rebel against, they fight phantoms like “white fragility”, “white silence” or “color blindness”, furiously protesting the refusal of their putative oppressors to go oppressing them.

There is power in maintaining the bond between the oppressor and the oppressed. Some actors, no matter how much they hate their typecast part, will go on playing it because it’s the only role they know and the checks are good. Victimhood is a lot like that. And professional victims fear losing their audience and having it move on to a more dynamic minority group redolent of otherness, capable of unreeling a better elevator pitch sob story, most of all.

White wokes need their victims and victims need their wokes. The emotional sadomasochistic relationship yields vast amounts of political power and a relevant identity in an age where most identities, along with business models and private lives, have been swallowed up by the social cloud. The stories we tell also tell us who we are. Are we the heroes or are we the villains?

Heroes need victims to save. And villains need victims to persecute. What do victims need?

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

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Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The Old World Order

By On July 27, 2022
When President George H.W. Bush delivered a speech to Congress envisioning the emergence of a “new world order”, he had it backward. The new world order wasn’t emerging, it was over.

A "new world", Bush claimed, "is struggling to be born, a world quite different from the one we've known" and he shared that vision with Gorbachev. The Soviet Leader, a year away from being toppled, who had cut his teeth on Communist visions of a new world being born only to inherit a failing system that could no longer win wars or feed its own people, must have been amused.

Gorbachev understood what Bush did not, that no new world order was coming, an old world order was returning. Bush lasted a year longer in office than his Soviet counterpart. And yet his own farewell speech couldn’t help but echo Bush, declaring, “we live in a new world now.”

The new world we live in now is one where Russia is trying to rebuild a Czarist empire, and China, Iran, and every other power or power that was, is fighting to recreate its glory days.

The patchwork international order had been a product of the Cold War that Bush and Gorbachev were eagerly bidding farewell to. Globalism, or the post-Cold War international order based on trade, human rights and conferences proved to be as much of a joke as the UN, the WTO, the NGOs and the multilateral organizations that served as its shaky infrastructure.

Bush envisioned "a world where the rule of law supplants the rule of the jungle" and "nations recognize the shared responsibility for freedom and justice" on the brink of the original Gulf War.

But the only law that ever existed was the law of force enforced by self-interest or idealism.

Last year, Secretary of State Blinken declared that human rights would be at the center of our foreign policy, but that other nations would have to make it happen. “Promoting respect for human rights is not something we can do alone, but is best accomplished working with our allies and partners across the globe,” he claimed. The chosen venue for the job was the Human Rights Council whose members include China, Cuba, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia and Venezuela.

As the old political gag goes, "These are my principles. If you don’t like them I have others."

The new world order means world leaders gathering for a NATO summit that accomplishes nothing except the indignity of Finland and Sweden having to bribe an Islamist butcher in Turkey for the privilege of membership in the hope that if Russia comes for them, we’ll defend them.

In the real world, Finland will be on its own just as it was against the USSR and Germany.

The old world order is the reality that once the meetings are done and the conferences are over, every country is all alone. Virtue signaling globalism means that everyone will fly Ukrainian flags, just as they expressed solidarity with Hong Kong and will hashtag Taiwan at need.

And then they’ll move on to the next political outrage, celebrity gossip or trending news.

In his address on September 11, 1990, Bush called Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait, the “first assault on the new world that we seek, the first test of our mettle.” The first test also proved to be the last. The Iraq wars would shatter any bipartisan and multilateral appetite for American interventions. Obama’s Syrian red line, Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine all mark the slow collapse of the potemkin village erected in the nineties.

The myth of a new world order and its illusion of collective security is worse than the reality of the old world order, offering popular protesters and small countries the false hope that some international consensus or military intervention will come to their aid when help isn’t coming.

Instead of 19th century realpolitik or late 20th century internationalism, we have a much more expensive and imaginary version of the League of Nations. Countless billions of dollars and endless hours are spent propping up an imaginary new world order of a world without war when it would be much healthier for us and for everyone else to acknowledge that none of it is real.

The world isn’t governed by law, but by force, and no one is coming to save anyone. Not us.

The United States isn’t entirely out of the intervention business, but our international forces are deployed for deterrence purposes. Rather than fighting to change things, we are managing the decline. That’s what our troops were doing in Afghanistan for at least a decade, trying to keep one of our old potemkin villages, a “democratic” government, from its inevitable defeat and fall.

Other powers and movements, from Russia and China to Sunni and Shiite Islam, are expanding while America remains committed to a failed vision of a static world. A shrinking West, avidly being colonized by the rest of the world, touts decolonization. But the West has few colonies, instead its cities, London, Los Angeles, and Toronto, are rapidly becoming third world colonies.

America first embraced the ideal of a new world order when it ceased to expand territorially. A century of wars for democracy, along with drastically falling birth rates, convinced Europe to cease its expansionism, but the rest of the world has not decided to be happy with what it has.

World powers seek to restore or build empires, carving up regions into spheres of influence, intimidating, invading, and conquering smaller nations. That old world order was always the defining reality. The Cold War era incorporated it into a larger struggle against Communism, but afterward, the same ugliness continued stripped of any pretense of a world revolution.

With the old world order, the United States can continue to impotently preach Bush’s vision of Americans, “together with Arabs, Europeans, Asians, and Africans in defense of principle and the dream of a new world order” or think about what an American future really looks like.

One in which America is no longer declining or tethered to maintaining an illusory new order.

A century of tired arguments have reduced us to the false choice between isolationism and internationalism. But at the height of our rising power in the 19th century, the United States was neither. It was not afraid of asserting its ideals, but neither was it foolish enough to believe that the rest of the world would go along or that we were obligated to make them all behave. We primarily pursued our own interests and we were not afraid of a little expansionism either.

Most importantly, we did not see our place in the world as bound by the rest of the world.

American foreign policy has come to be a prisoner of a global construct. Its exponents have shouldered a global burden that no empire in history has ever been able to carry. Americans have been told to take on the responsibility for the freedom and happiness of the entire world. Our national policy is to first conceive of how the world should be and then try to bring it about.

But a better world doesn’t begin with American self-sacrifice, but with a greater America.

America can best serve the world by being itself. The new world order never really existed and pretending that it did does no favors to the countries who might actually depend on it. Instead of trying to mobilize the world, America can provide a meaningful alternative for the world.

The American Revolution and the Constitution ushered in the true new world order not by seeking to control the world, but by showing the human race what was possible. Every effort to outdo that order with a new world order has failed. And Bush’s, like Gorbachev’s, has joined the trash heap of history. The real new world order is not one that envisions a transformed humanity, but that empowers individuals, not nations, not from the top, but from the bottom.

The constitutional order is not the end of history, but the beginning of humanity.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

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Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Democrats Decriminalized Drugs to Help Black People. Black Overdoses Skyrocketed

By On July 26, 2022
Last year, Squad members and leftist Democrats introduced the Drug Policy Reform Act which would decriminalize drugs at a federal level. The Act falsely claims that the drug war led to "the deaths of countless black and brown people".

Rep. Cori Bush contended that ending "criminal penalties for drug possession at the federal level" would help "repair harm in black and brown communities".

But even without a federal law, drug decriminalization has swept the country.

While 38 states decriminalized marijuana, that's just the first step. Oregon decriminalized heroin and cocaine even though the state has the second-highest substance abuse rate. Last year, drug overdose deaths in the state rose 41% compared to 16%nationwide.

Despite that, New York, Washington and a number of other states are considering also decriminalizing “personal possession” of small amounts of drugs. Beyond legislative and proposition decriminalization, numerous jurisdictions dropped prosecutions, lightened existing laws, and rolled back street level enforcement creating urban drug overdose paradises.

Over 1,300 people died from drug overdoses in San Francisco in the last two years on pro-crime DA Chesa Boudin’s watch. "The days of giving dealers a free pass to flood the streets with fentanyl are over," DA Brooke Jenkins, the black female replacement for the white leftist pro-crime activist, promised. “We cannot allow our residents to die on the street of overdose."

Supporters promoted Oregon’s drug decriminalization as a way to “dismantle systemic racism.”

Oregon's Secretary of State and the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission claimed that racial disparities would be almost entirely eliminated by drug decriminalization.

But racial disparities in drug convictions were caused by disparities in drug use. And while you can eliminate disparities in sentencing by eliminating the crime, you can’t eliminate the real world consequences.

That’s what the latest CDC report shows.

Drug overdose deaths shot up 44% among black people nationwide.

The number of black overdose deaths rose from 5,452 in 2019 to 7,467 in 2020 leading to over 2,000 extra black deaths.

Among young black men, 15 to 24, the demographic that Democrat and some Republican politicians had particularly taken care to protect from the impact of the so-called "prison pipeline" through drug decriminalization, overdoses skyrocketed 92%. Among black people 25-44, drug overdoses climbed 55% and even among black people in their sixties, overdoses were up 44%.

2020, the year of the Black Lives Matter race riots, proved particularly deadly to black people due to the black nationalist hate group’s insistence on dismantling the criminal justice system.

The number of black people murdered in 2020 rose 62% as the culture of lawlessness unleashed by police defunding, prison releases, court shutdowns and general decriminalization claimed the lives of 5,839 black people.

That was an increase of 2,244 black deaths in one year.

Combined with the over 2,000 extra overdose black deaths, that’s 4,259 added black deaths due to criminal activity in the year when black lives were supposed to finally “matter”.

While black nationalists and their leftist allies falsely accused law enforcement of committing "genocide", the culture of criminality that they unleashed was so horrifying that a Johns Hopkins report on gun deaths in 2020 found that “In 2020, one out of every 1,000 young Black males (15–34) was shot and killed.” It noted that, “More than half of all black teens (15–19) who died in 2020—a staggering 52%—were killed by gun violence.”

The over 13,000 total black deaths from criminal activity in 2020 and, in particular the catastrophic increases in criminal deaths among young black men, look a lot more like a genocide, but it’s a self-inflicted genocide enabled by white wokes who claim to want to save black people from a fictious “systemic racism” while causing thousands of black deaths.

The CDC’s drug overdose death report shows that drug decriminalization proved to be as deadly to black people as the rest of the leftist and black nationalist agenda. In the face of these numbers, the media and pro-crime activists claim that the real problem is the lack of treatment.

But the CDC's own report notes that "among black persons, the drug overdose rate during 2020 in areas with the highest mental health provider availability (46.7) was more than 2.5 times as high as the rate in areas with the lowest rate of providers."

Drug overdoses increased across the board in 2020, but the highest impact was on those who were the most vulnerable, not because of false constructs like “systemic racism”, but a history of addiction. The populations most likely to use drugs were most affected by drug overdoses.

That included not only black people, but American Indians as well who also have high abuse rates.

Back in Oregon, black people were twice as likely to die of drug overdoses than white people. Decriminalizing drugs hadn’t defeated systemic racism, it led to more black deaths.

None of this is a surprise.

Pro-crime leftists accuse President Nixon of racism over the drug war, but he was frantically trying to win black votes. It was former Rep. Charles Rangel who had urged Nixon to go to war on drugs. “Public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive,” he had argued.

In 1973, 71% of African-Americans in New York wanted drug dealers to be sentenced to life in prison without parole while some civil rights ministers and black intellectuals were calling for the death penalty for the men who were destroying black communities.

"Those of us who fight for our children's lives know what we have to do," Orde Coombs, a contributing editor to New York Magazine wrote. "We must walk through our Harlems and find the black pushers and kill them in their burgundy jump suits."

His was not a lone view.

The only thing surprising about what happened in 2020 was that anyone was surprised by it.

The drug war, like the war on crime, was not the invention of white racists, but black community leaders who were seeing their neighborhoods devastated by drugs and drug dealers. Black nationalists advocated against any kind of law enforcement, not because they cared about black lives, but out of a separatist agenda aimed at dismantling the country and its institutions. Leftists joined the campaign to take apart the criminal justice system out of the same overriding goal.

13,000 black deaths in one year are a small price to pay for the destruction of America.

Decriminalizing drugs, like decriminalizing all crime, has nothing to do with helping black people. Short of bringing back slavery, it’s hard to think of a single policy more likely to quickly destroy black neighborhoods and kill black people. Pro-crime activists claim that they want to save black people from racial inequity, when they are the single greatest force driving racial inequity.

Thousands of dead black people are the Left’s latest achievement in anti-racism and equity. From Planned Parenthood to pro-crime, the only thing leftists really help black people do is die.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

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Thank you for reading.

Monday, July 25, 2022

What the Death of Hollywood Means for America

By On July 25, 2022
Peak TV, a stunning era during which Big Tech and traditional studios entered into a furious competition to make a bewildering amount of content, is dead. The 559 scripted shows from last year represent a historic hubris that everyone, especially investors, is recovering from.

That was the year that Netflix announced that it was spending $18 billion on content.

In the aftermath, Netflix lost subscribers for the first time and expects to lose millions more as its stock fell 35%. The dot com giant lost, but so did its rivals. Disney+ lost billions, HBO Max is cutting back programming, and so are most others, including the ‘N’ in the FAANG oligarchy.

Netflix has been humbled, and is shedding woke programming and exploring an ad-supported tier, but the push by Hollywood studios to build rival streaming platforms to those of Netflix and Amazon by investing heavily in original content gated by subscriptions has set a lot of money on fire without achieving platform independence. Everyone lost, but Big Tech still runs the show.

Streaming subscriptions are replacing movie theaters and television networks. And that also means that Silicon Valley is replacing Hollywood. Netflix, Amazon, and Apple demonstrated that they had the capital to dominate the entertainment industry. This isn’t good news for the culture.

While old Hollywood had a reputation for being liberal, many studio bosses and producers were actually fairly conservative and movies were the products of a tug-of-war with more liberal writers, actors and directors. Movies had to be able to play in theaters across the country and serve as broad an audience as possible. Movies of that era might be homogenized, but they were less likely to openly offend or antagonize audiences. Movie stars were expected to at least pretend to lead moral lives and keep industry decadence locked away behind closed doors.

The partnership between Eastern European Jewish immigrant studio bosses who had started out, like Samuel Goldwyn, as a glove salesman, William Fox, a garment industry foreman, the Warner brothers, the children of a shoe repairman, and the much more urbane British and American talent turned the film industry into a cultural touchstone and made its products part of our national identity. Critics rightly pointed to the cultural impoverishment of making movie theaters into the hub of our culture, but they could not have imagined what was to come.

The fall of the studio system overturned the industry’s innate conservatism and while it ended many abuses and unleashed the talent, the end result was that movies became increasingly at odds with the values and morals of the American public. The decline of the networks likewise unleashed cable and then streaming programming that was oriented culturally leftward..

Rather than open up a range of programming targeting untapped segments of the public, Peak TV aimed for the same upscale urban multicultural audiences that the entire industry is aimed at. If the ideal wisdom of the marketplace existed, a world in which untold billions were spent to produce 559 scripted shows, should have produced a wave of conservative programming.

It did not.

The entertainment industry’s programming has been most conservative when control was consolidated by studios and networks. It is least conservative when it is driven by “talent”. Consolidated entertainment has at least tried to make programming for a broader country while industry disintegration has made programming more woke, more radical, and more hateful.

The Netflix revolution, in which endless amounts of investor cash were burned to lure talent, made for some of the some ‘woke’ programming imaginable. At the peak of Peak TV, Netflix had not only successfully mainstreamed radical sexual and gender identity, but was actively pushing sexual content involving children from Cuties to Big Mouth. Freed from a business model other than the dream of endless growth, Netflix burned billions of dollars and our culture.

Wokeness precedes broke-ness. But the story of Peak TV is also one of cultural brokenness.

Netflix pursued original programming by trying to make it as edgy as possible. In response, Hollywood studios revived old intellectual properties and tried to make them edgier with racial recasting, gender-swapping, sexual politics, and general social justice themes. The giant dumpster fire of Netflix was met with a social justice Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel, and DC. Anything with a known brand or IP was brushed off and given a social justice makeover.

Ghostbusters was rebooted as all-female, Doogie Howser, M.D. was reborn as an Asian girl, The Wonder Years was reimagined with a black family, Magnum P.I. with a Latino star, Party of Five with illegal aliens, and these and countless other examples showed that underneath all the fake wokeness, the industry had run out of original ideas. All Hollywood could do was try to make the old tired ones seem fresh and new with identity politics remakes.

And as Hollywood’s popular culture has become American culture, and for some the quasi-faith of fandom, the decay of the entertainment industry into wokeness has devastated society.

Hollywood has come to consist of the culture championed and consumed by boomers. Succeeding generations have reworked those “intellectual properties” to make them edgier and more political, but have produced few of their own franchises. Of the top ten media franchises dominant in America, only one, Harry Potter, was created by anyone born after 1964. And J.K. Rowling is not American and was predictably canceled for insufficient wokeness.

Hollywood is Joe Biden making TikTok videos. It’s an industry that was once creatively revolutionary, but now only puts on an appearance of aspiring to a political revolution. As long as the revolution doesn’t interfere with its tax credits and Chinese box office. Behind the wokeness is a brutal war between agents, producers, writers, directors, and the new dot com masters of the universe, over fortunes that are both astronomical and on the verge of vanishing.

The entertainment industry was slow to adapt to the internet because it is not inventive and is incapable of innovation. Even its response to Netflix consisted of old studios trying to build their own Netflix. Political radicalism makes dinosaurs seem like they are on the cutting edge. That’s why corporate broke-ness so often follows corporate wokeness. It’s not just that wokeness is bad for business, but it often disguises a much more broken business model underneath.

Hollywood is as tied down by guilds and painstaking rules as any medieval kingdom. All it really has anymore are the intellectual properties mined by greatest generation creators marketing to baby boomers (and in some cases, boomers reworking the pop culture of past generations) that have been passed down to newer generations and laboriously reworked to be more woke.

The internet killed Hollywood, as it did so many other industries, and streaming has become its slow death, accelerated by the boom and bust economics of an unstable country and world.

Cinema made a national propaganda machine possible. The Nazis and Communists both seized on it for that very reason and regime figures like Leni Riefenstahl and Sergei Eisenstein were brilliant, revolutionary, and quite evil. But it was American movies that conquered the world because they fused creative talent with American values. Hollywood is still the only national industry with the production capacity and know-how for a true worldwide reach, but its cultural impact is swiftly becoming negligible as it churns out reworked versions of the same thing.

As Hollywood dies, America and the world will be poorer for it, not for the billion-dollar woke digital cartoon factory that it has become, but for a time when a centralized entertainment industry did not have to be a mass propaganda machine feigning popular support for a regime.

That is exactly what it is now.

Hollywood’s biggest production of the pandemic year was the 2020 Democratic convention which abandoned working-class and riot-scarred Milwaukee for an entertainment industry stream. Stars in a streaming convention propping up a senile reactionary who had outsourced his future to radicals while sidelining the party’s old working-class constituency proved to be the perfect metaphor and epitaph for both the Democrats and for Hollywood.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

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Thank you for reading.


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