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Thursday, April 28, 2022

The Identity Politicization of the Supreme Court

By On April 28, 2022
It's no coincidence that the plot to impeach Justice Clarence Thomas comes at the same time as Ketanji Brown Jackson's appointment to the Supreme Court.

Conservatives see the Supreme Court as a forum for legal arguments about government power, while leftists see it, like all institutions, as a forum for moral arguments about the urgent measures needed to address the victimhood of oppressed groups. The former see legal arguments as moral because they are grounded in the Constitution and the nation’s founding while the latter see legal arguments as tools for achieving moral outcomes for the oppressed.

The 1619 Project was built to attack conservative moral legitimacy with the tools of leftist moral legitimacy. That’s also what leftists have been doing by transforming the Supreme Court.

Unable to regain a numerical majority, leftists have taken to attacking its moral authority using the familiar argument of identity politics by using minority politics to outweigh the majority.

Stephen Breyer was the last white male seriously nominated by a White House Democrat to the Supreme Court (Merrick Garland's nomination was a publicity stunt and Hillary Clinton indicated she would not pursue the nomination). Now Breyer has been forced out by leftist activists who bullied him into making way for a black woman or have his legacy tainted by charges of racism.

Breyer is likely to be the last white male, not to mention Jewish male, Democrat on the Court.

Of the five Democrat nominations in the last two decades, four out of five were women. That’s not because Bill Clinton or Joe Biden, career sexual predators, are feminists, but because making the bench look like a contest of boys vs. girls is a moral, rather than a legal argument.

That’s also why one Senate Democrat voted for Kavanaugh, but none voted for Amy Coney Barrett. Had Ginsburg not died and Barrett not taken her seat, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Jackson would have made for a compelling political, not legal argument, with a boys vs. girls dissents on abortion and any other issues that would have been spun as sexist.

These showdowns would have scored no legal points, but they would have made for great culture war fodder and considering Chief Justice Roberts’ willingness to accede to identity politics arguments on everything from illegal aliens to gay marriage, it would have worked.

Barrett’s appointment stole that perfect gender war lineup leftists had spent two decades working on. It’s the unspoken reason why she makes them fume so much. After all that work put into building a gender war deck, one Republican appointment ruined everything for decades.

It’s also why Democrats are frantically trying to force Justice Thomas off the Supreme Court, or at least onto the sidelines in crucial cases. Having assembled a dream team of a “Wise Latina” and the latest “broken ceiling” in the form of a black female justice, the presence of Thomas on the bench denies Supreme Court Democrats the power to speak for all minorities.

As long as Thomas remains on the bench, he ruins the perfect legal race war they wanted.

Without Thomas, the Democrats could have their diverse “dream team” pitted against a bunch of Republican white men. And while they likely don’t seriously believe that he can be ousted, with Biden likely to lose in 2024, they would settle for Republicans pressuring him into retiring.

Affirmative action nominations and identity politics representation may seem like petty obsessions, but they are central to how the Left seizes and exercises power over us.

Conservatives are constitutionalists while leftists are revolutionaries. Their revolutions have allowed them to seize enormous amounts of power while radically redefining the relationship between Americans and their government by asserting that they are liberating the oppressed.

The identity politicization of the Supreme Court is not a trivial matter, it’s a game changer.

Leftists have to assert that they are fighting in the name of women, even while they deny their existence, or black people, Latinos, Indians, gay people, transgender people or any number of designated victims, real or invented, because all leftist powers are really emergency powers.

The Constitution has effectively been suspended for three generations due a permanent state of victimhood emergency. When the urgency of one emergency appears to fade, another one emerges. And so #BlackLivesMatter gives way to #MeToo and then to #StandWithTransKids with each emergency serving as the impetus for another power grab, political or cultural.

The emergency can never be allowed to end otherwise the Constitution would be restored.

The Supreme Court over the decades played a major role in dismantling our legal rights and the rule of law in order to remedy some alleged practice of discrimination against some designated victim group, but they did so from the distance of fashionable D.C. cocktail parties. The next step is embedding identity politics conflicts directly into the body of the Supreme Court.

Justice Breyer’s ousting by leftist activists who accused him of blocking the nomination of the first black female justice was the first shot. The campaign against Justice Thomas is the next shot. The kinds of tactics that were previously reversed for blocking confirmation of justices are being utilized against sitting justices and before too long the attacks will be coming from within. If you thought accusations of sexual harassment and racism were bad coming during confirmation hearings, imagine them being directed against sitting justices by other justices.

Even if matters don’t escalate quite so far, identity politics will be used to delegitimize majority rulings. If Democrats can force Thomas off the bench, they will have a racial dream team, and coverage of every unfavorable decision will depict it as a white majority oppressing a racial minority. As Democrats continue to calculatedly nominate women and minorities to the bench, they will reduce the Supreme Court and its decisions to a permanent racial and gender conflict.

If they win, their decisions, no matter how unlawful, cannot be challenged because they will be grounded in “lived experience” rather than the law, and to disagree will be racist and sexist. And when they lose, the defeat will be attributed to systemic racism, sexism, and all the usual tropes.

And then the equity logic of identity politics will eclipse and replace the Constitution.

Identity politics equity has always been at war with constitutional equality. Over the generations during which Americans have suffered from the fighting, the Supreme Court has remained apart, issuing decisions without truly experiencing the ugliness, hatred, and abuses of power. Now the bubble that made identity politics and culture wars external things ‘out there’ is about to pop.

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, April 26, 2022

The Left’s War on Childhood

By On April 26, 2022
From Greta Thunberg to children put on puberty blockers, the victims of the war on childhood are everywhere. They show up at environmental or gun control rallies holding up giant signs in their little hands, they’re indoctrinated at school to enlist as child soldiers for the latest cause.

Adults tell them that unless they save the world, they won’t even live long enough to grow up.

At the heart of the exchange of political buzzwords of the culture war is a simple question about whether childhood should exist. Leftists believe that no one may evade political commitments, and that therefore the idea that childhood should be a space apart from adult causes and concerns is a privilege that it is the job of teachers and popular culture to shatter into pieces.

And that is the war on childhood that we see all around us waged from Disney to kindergarten.

What this is really about is the leftist conviction that children cannot be allowed to be children, occupying a separate world of imagination and wonder, but must be indoctrinated into the fight as soon as possible with The Anti-Racist Baby Book and Baby Loves Green Energy. The only way to save the world is by politicizing childhood and turning children into little adults worrying about microaggressions, experimenting with sexuality, and fearing that the world will end.

Utopia, the fantasy land of progressive adults who act like children, has no room for children.

It is the job of adults to save the planet, assuming it needs saving, to debate political causes, to explore whatever sexuality needs exploring, and to build or wreck their lives how they please.

And it is their primary job to protect children from living in that threatening adult world.

Play is the business of childhood. From the Victorian era onward, civilized societies worked to create safe spaces for children to grow and learn before that became a term for whiny adults. Reformers and muckrakers took children out of factories. Growing prosperity enabled the rise of a children’s culture in which a multitude of toys and books meant for children filled shops.

Adults protected children, preserving their innocence while they developed into unique people.

Baby Boomers, a generation whose name is of an era of progeny, may have enjoyed the last golden childhood in American history. And many never grew up. The generations that followed came of age during the breaking of the American family and now the very idea of family. The indirect damage done to children is now being eclipsed by the direct assault on childhood.

The radical leftists who demand safe spaces for themselves are taking them away from children. Children are being put to work again, not in factories, which would be kinder by comparison, but in radical causes, they are being told that they are on the verge of death, that their country is evil, and the world is about to be destroyed if they don’t do something at once.

That’s where the traumatized children screaming angrily at rallies come from.

Children, especially young children, implicitly trust adults and their parents. If they’re told that the world is about to end, that they’re racists, or have to experiment with gender, they believe it.

The adults who deprive them of their innocence and their childhood are the monsters.

Instead of growing up feeling safe and protected, leftist children are traumatized at an early age by being forced to think of the world as a dangerous and evil place their parents can’t protect them from, but that they must take on the responsibility to change or else everyone will die.

The “parentification” of children began as Baby Boomer despair in the wake of the end of “Camelot”, the death of leftist culture heroes, and the collapse of the counterculture, followed by the conviction that the next generation had to take over and fix things. Adults who acted like children insisted that children had to become adults. And these days the precocious children and the immature adults are all around us. They’re also two halves of the same tarnished coin.

Adults who lacked a safe childhood assert the privileges of childhood as soon as they’re economically secure enough to supply themselves with one. They surround themselves with toys, exclusively pursue the most direct pleasures, and clamor for safe spaces and trigger warnings, for the emotional security they lacked as children. But they deny that emotional security to actual children and selfishly traumatize them for their own actualization.

Teachers on TikTok freely assert that their feelings matter more than the safety of children.

The aggressive push to embed sexual politics into elementary schools is how dysfunctional adults, including some teachers, prioritize their own sexual identity over the welfare of children.

It’s also on a par with pushing politics in general on children at the youngest possible age.

The transgender war on children is only the latest in a series of assaults on childhood by politicising everything. When African warlords enlist 8-year-olds to fight for their causes, we think that’s monstrous, but when leftists turn Greta Thunberg, an unstable teenage girl, into a heroine and encourage even preschoolers to protest over global warming, that’s activism.

Activism is how the educational war on childhood began. Now the war is not just about how children see the world, but against their bodies. Child soldiers are expected to be willing to die. The sexual identity political movement expects children to have their minds damaged and their bodies mutilated, taking away their ability to have their own children, as a political commitment.

Even African warlords would find that unfathomably barbaric.

The ancients sacrificed children to the fires of Moloch while progressives sacrifice them to their passion for wokeness. Either one is a symbolic assertion that the obsessions of the adult are more important than the safety of the child. Civilized adults don’t act this way. Barbarians, which is another way of saying children who inhabit the bodies of adults without the disciplined ethics of adulthood, do things like this because they live in a Lord of the Flies world of emotional turmoil, fearful insecurity, and angry selfishness. They see every encounter as a threat to their fragile identities, their insecurities surround them with humiliating microaggressions, and they retreat from their conviction that the world is a threatening place by escaping into fantasies.

Fantasies are supposed to be the business of children, but in the post-modern age, fantasies, supernatural, conspiratorial, political, and utopian, are all around us. And adults sacrifice children to utopian ideologies that promise that a better world is just around the corner.

All it will take is destroying childhood and then children.

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, April 24, 2022

“How Many More Times Are We Going to Watch This on the News?

By On April 24, 2022
“How many more times are we going to watch this on the news? How many times are we going to read about it and say, ‘Oh we can’t do nothing to stop it?’” House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford demanded three years ago while pushing for gun control. "It’s time that we do all that we can to protect our children, to protect the lives of other people’s children, to protect the lives of people that simply want to go to Wal-Mart and go back-to-school shopping."

Now, acting as the lawyer for Jewayne Price, the suspect in the Columbiana Centre mall shooting in which 14 people, as young as 15 and as old as 73, were injured, the South Carolina Democrat watched as his client was released with an ankle monitor so he can go back to work.

All that we can do to protect our children involves banning guns while freeing criminals.

“We’ve got to take common-sense approaches towards controlling gun ownership to make sure bad people don’t get guns,” Rutherford has insisted.

Except when those bad people are his clients.

“I need the students of South Carolina to know that we are paying attention and that ‘never again’ actually means something in South Carolina,” Rutherford had argued during a previous gun control proposal. I’m sure that the 15-year-old injured in this attack is happy to hear that.

As are the children he wanted to condemn to death when he led a walkout to protest the fetal heartbeat bill, putting the abortion lobby ahead of the lives of babies.

Never again, to Rutherford, means banning AR-15s and freeing criminals from prison.

Rutherford’s involvement hammers home the paradox of Democrat politicians who believe that guns need to be controlled and criminals don’t. Their efforts have unleashed an unprecedented wave of shootings in major cities even while they clamor for more gun bans that don’t work.

Instead of criminalizing guns, we need to criminalize criminals.

Murder are up 51% in South Carolina in the last 5 years.

Why might that be? The disastrous Omnibus Crime Reduction and Sentencing Reform Act of 2010, backed by Democrats and far too many Republicans, led to the closure of six prisons and cut the prison population by thousands of criminals. The prison population has declined from 24,000 a decade ago to less than 19,000. The projected population, accounting for demographics, should have been close to 30,000. That’s a difference of around 10,000.

What happens when a third of the prison population is roaming around South Carolina?

Murder rates are the highest they've been since 1993. In the 90s, growing crime rates were rolled back by locking up criminals with a clear turnaround kicking in by the end of the decade so that despite significant population growth in the new century, murders fell sharply and so did most other crimes. The same prison system that Rutherford decries and that pro-crime South Carolina politicians helped dismantle had done its job. Now that job has been undone.

If Rutherford really cares about protecting children, he would fight to lock up criminals. Instead, not just as a lawyer, but as a legislator, he has battled to keep criminals out of prison. And he has blamed anything and everything for shootings except the criminals carrying them out.

Rutherford, who had previously opposed attempts to keep Drag Queen Story Hour out of children's libraries, also blamed FOX News for shootings, claiming, "these networks that broadcast what they call news, but it's not. It's really hate speech and coded language."

FOX News doesn’t kill people. Neither do inanimate objects. Criminals kill people.

Rutherford previously blamed the NRA and gun owners for making it too difficult to pass gun control legislation, but the latest mass shooting isn’t a call for gun control, but criminal control.

Controlling criminals is a much more just solution than gun control which means controlling everyone. And yet given a choice between controlling criminals and everyone, Democrats like Rutherford invariably choose to restrict everyone’s rights instead of restricting criminals.

But if they can’t even control criminals, how do they hope to control everyone?

The politician and lawyer has addressed anti-police rallies and represented the family of a teen shot by police while advocating for police defunding.He pushed a bill to ban law enforcement from using automatic license plate readers, but proposes “controlling gun ownership”.

Rep. Rutherford's House Bill 3322 would, in its original form, have released kidnappers, robbers, and killers while wiping out mandatory minimums.

None of this is a “common sense” approach to crime.

Rutherford has fought for mask mandates in schools, denouncing Gov. McMaster for proposing to protect people "without forcing them to do things that they do not want to do."

The House Dem leader supports governments forcing people to do things when it comes to COVID or gun ownership, but not when it comes to murder, robbery, and drugs.

People not wearing masks are not a threat. A firearm is not a threat. A criminal however is.

The Columbiana Centre mall shooting shows how crime has begun to affect the state’s capital.

Police Chief Skip Holbrook has been reported as saying that around four percent of the population are committing 80 percent of the violent crimes in the city. That’s as true of Columbia, as it is of most major cities. A small population of career criminals and gang members is committing most of the crimes. When that population is locked up and closely monitored, public safety dramatically improves, and when they’re set free, they rob, stab, shoot, and kill at will.

“When you have a country in which you have more firearms on our streets than you actually have people, we got a problem,” Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin whined. "We need more help from the State Legislature, we need more help from the national government, the federal government, and we need more help from each and every one of our citizens doing our share.”

Benjamin, like Rutherford, is wrong. The number of guns isn’t the problem, the number of criminals is. When Democrats free criminals and lock up guns, everyone lives in terror.

The Columbiana Centre mall shooting is just the latest reminder of that simple reality.

The way back begins with reversing South Carolina’s disastrous pro-crime measures which were enacted with “guidance” from left-wing and libertarian pro-crime groups that cut prison populations while growing the size of the criminal population roaming the streets.

Politicians boasted of saving hundreds of millions of dollars by closing prisons. Now as crime rates soar, the money gained has been lost ten times over.

And we can't even begin to put a price on the loss of human life.

House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford is right. "It’s time that we do all that we can to protect our children, to protect the lives of other people’s children, to protect the lives of people that simply want to go to Wal-Mart and go back-to-school shopping."

Mall shooters shouldn’t be roaming the streets. We can protect our children from them.

All we have to do is lock them up.

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

Click here to subscribe to my articles. 

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

NY’s BLM Lt. Gov Who Backed Police Defunding Busted for Bribery

By On April 20, 2022
Sen. Brian Benjamin wanted to defund the NYPD, but he should have fought to defund the FBI because it was the feds that busted the “progressive politician” on bribery charges.

“Last year we made historic strides towards ending mass incarceration with major reforms," Sen. Benjamin had boasted when he was in the legislature. “But there is still more work to do.”

Benjamin’s current work will be avoiding incarceration on five bribery charges.

The busted radical had fought to end bail, turning arrests into a revolving door, close down the Rikers Island prison, limit police enforcement options, and protect parole violators.

While the leftist crook has claimed that there is a school-to-prison pipeline, the real pipeline is the politics-to-prison pipeline in Albany. Governor Spitzer was forced out in a prostitution scandal, his Lt. Governor, David Paterson, was pushed to the door in a sex scandal, and his successor, Andrew Cuomo, well you may have heard that story.

No sooner did Cuomo’s Lt. Gov, Kathy Hochul step into his shoes, then she decided to pick Benjamin, a prog with impeccable police-hating credentials to stay on the right side of the Left.

Now, Hochul, who courted the pro-crime vote, is stuck with a criminal on her ticket.

"I'm going to name someone that I believe the state will be familiar with and very proud of," Hochul had said, announcing Benjamin as her pick for her old job after Cuomo stepped down.

There’s a lot to be proud of. Benjamin has set a new state record of being on the job for only 8 months before having to resign to, in his own words, "focus his energies on explaining in court why his actions were laudable-- not criminal."

Also, like Cuomo, Spitzer and Weiner, Benjamin "looks forward to when this case is finished so he can rededicate himself to public service."

At the rate New York Dems are going, his replacement will have also been indicted by then freeing up a spot for Benjamin to just go right back to his old job of helping criminals.

Asked by reporters now about Benjamin's arrest, Hochul piously scolded, “Let’s focus on the fact that there are people in a hospital right now fighting for their lives.”

And some of those people were even shot because of her opposition to bringing back bail.

You can understand why Hochul and the Dem Albany establishment oppose bringing back bail for criminals or enforcing the law. The only people who support criminals… are criminals.

The New York Dem campaign slogan might as well be, "Vote for Us, Until We're Indicted."

Cuomo began his career as Attorney General of New York. His predecessor was Eliot Spitzer, his successor, Eric Schneiderman was forced to resign after multiple women accused him of choking and assaulting them. And that’s without delving into the conflicts of interest.

And now Hochul will be forced to run for the top spot with Benjamin’s name right after hers.

“I have utmost confidence in my lieutenant governor,” Gov. Hochul told reporters on Thursday.

On Tuesday, her confidence may have waned after Benjamin turned himself in to face justice.

Why did Hochul pick Benjamin? Let’s look at his credentials. In his failed bid for State Comptroller, the Harlem politician ran on a platform of defunding the police.

"I support the movement to defund the police," he had declared. After a wave of shootings, the indicted pol falsely claimed that, “more police don’t lead to more community safety”.

Benjamin's anti-police crusade was backed by former Women's March leader Tamika Mallory who claimed that, “Brian has already been an important leader in the Black Lives Matter movement."

The politician in turn presented an official state proclamation honoring the Farrakhan supporter while hailing Mallory as a “freedom fighter like the ones we read about in the history books”.

When Benjamin helped to bring a Black Lives Matter mural to Harlem, Al Sharpton was there. He was endorsed by Calvin Butts and the rest of the race-baiting royalty at the heart of city politics. By embracing him, Hochul hoped to get the support of Sharpton and the gang.

But it’s not as if the charges could have possibly come as a surprise to anyone with a pulse.

There have been lawsuits, ethics charges, and allegations around him ever since Benjamin won a 4% turnout election that took him to the State Senate and then an appointment as Lt. Gov, a position he was as qualified to hold as Hochul, his former boss, or a small ball of earwax.

Many of those scandals involved Benjamin's relationship with Harlem real estate developers and finance people whom he berated in press releases, but cozied up to and profited from.

“I want to thank the entire village of Harlem who helped create this young man who’s going to help us lead the state into better days and prosperity,” Hochul said when picking Benjamin.

Harlem hasn’t been a village since the 17th century.

And the last Harlem politician to become Lt. Governor was David Paterson who had boasted, "The only way I'm not going to be governor next year is at the ballot box and the only way I'll be leaving office before is in a box" before he had to leave office anyway. Unboxed.

Now Benjamin has made everyone proud by, among other things, accepting a $250 campaign donation from a 2-year-old. It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes a child to write a $250 check to the progressive enabler of criminals who is now allegedly a criminal.

And the pro-crime movement once again loses one of its own to crime on the perpetrating end.

That’s nothing new for New York politicians who couldn’t be left alone in a room with a locked safe or a baby with a lollipop without making off with the safe’s contents and the lollipop.

But as New Yorkers wrestle with an unprecedented crime wave brought on by the dismantling of the criminal justice system by police defunders like Benjamin who worked to eliminate bail, shut down prisons, and set criminals loose, this case is a reminder of why they love criminals.

The Black Lives Matter movement and the Left are thick as thieves because they are thieves.

Fighting for the rights of criminals was never really about race, it was about the entitlement of the sorts of people who lie, steal, and kill their way to the top and then want to help their own.

In the wake of escalating violent attacks due to Democrat pro-crime policies, like eliminating bail, Hochul and Benjamin co-wrote an op-ed titled, "Don’t Blame Bail Reform; Do Improve It".

Since Benjamin’s arrest, there has been no word on bail for the police defunder.

When Governor Hochul’s turn comes, maybe she’ll be luckier.

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, April 19, 2022

The Biden Administration’s Seder Makes a Mockery of Passover and the Jews

By On April 19, 2022
"Good evening to the thousands of you who are joining us from around the country," Doug Emhoff, the Hollywood lawyer serving as Kamala's husband, intoned.

The sign language interpreter on the small box next to him spread her arms in what was either an attempt to 'sign' Passover or a gesture of disbelief and contempt.

The "People's Seder" was about to begin with its apostrophe in the right place and heart in the wrong place.

As the Biden White House rushes to enable Iran's nuclear program and the modern day pharaonic mullahs plotting, like the original, to wipe out the Jews, it put on a "People's Seder" to distract American Jews from its complicity in the latest acts of terror from Iran to Israel.

The People's Seder sounds like a Berkeley commune. A day before the eve of Passover, the administration’s second virtual seder served no function except to give Emhoff something to do. Perhaps knowing that, Emhoff claimed, with a mostly straight face, that he had traveled the country hearing from people “how much last year’s virtual seder had meant to them”.

Emhoff made no mention of the over a dozen Israelis recently killed in terror attacks. Neither, seemingly, did so many of the speakers who rambled on about the importance of “empathy”.

Empathy applies to everyone except the Israeli Jews mourning their dead.

Passover, to Emhoff, proved to be about Ukraine, about the pandemic, and “protecting democracy”. Maybe Emhoff can tell me which democratic process elected Moses.

Then a particularly haggard Biden, looking awkwardly at things off camera, boasted that this was the “first time in three years that families sit around the seder table.”

That might be true in Washington D.C., but it certainly isn’t true in America.

Biden then declared that during Passover, his hearts were “with the people of Ukraine”.

The camera cut to the White House's bewildered Jewish liaison.

Passover, so far, was about Ukraine.

The previous seder, featuring an anti-Israel activist, was apparently so popular that Emhoff decided to recycle his shtick about “gelatinous gefilte fish” from last year. Then he declared that “ever since I was a kid, I have been inspired by the story of Exodus.”

Indeed, who could forget the time Moses went back to Egypt, married Pharaoh’s sister, and settled down to the business of assisting in the genocide of the Jews.

Emhoff’s presentation was followed by a long list of speakers eager to delve into Passover as a metaphor and uninterested in it as a substantial reality.

There was Andrew Rehfeld, the first "non-rabbinic" head of the Reform Movement's Hebrew Union College seminary, who had defended BDS supporters against claims of antisemitism.

"Some students have been attracted to the BDS movement because of their love of Israel, and their repugnance of what they see as its unjust treatment of Palestinians," Rehfeld had argued. "BDS is not the answer. But that does not mean that their concerns are without merit."

Rehfeld appeared with a large placard behind him declaring, "Another Jew for LGBTQ Equality".

The non-rabbinic head of a movement that denies the existence of the G-d of the Torah made no mention of the Creator of the Universe, but spoke about “bullying” and “civil society”.

That was followed by J Street’s Deborah Lipstadt, who talked about Ukraine, and Jeopardy host Mayim Bialik who… also talked about Ukraine. An ignorant viewer might have concluded that in the Bible, the Jews had left Ukraine, rather than Egypt. After a brief interjection by an Orthodox Rabbi who actually had a seder plate on display, next up was Afroculinaria's Michael W. Twitty, a black gay social justice chef who had previously accused Israel of racism.and who explained that in his seder molasses "represented the transatlantic slave trade."


The People’s Seder was dedicated to philosophical abstractions that erased Jews and negated the fundamental truths of the Passover story. Attaching the "People's" to something is a negation. That's why the various democratic people's republics were anything but and why the People's Seder isn't a seder, or at least not a Jewish one, but a People’s Republic of Seder.

Less than two minutes into his virtual farce, Emhoff had declared that "even though the Exodus tells the story of a particular people, its message is universal." Everything about Judaism to secularists is universal, and nothing is particular or relevant to the actual Jews.

It would be dangerous to focus on the particular people currently being killed once again in their own country because Emhoff’s wife’s boss chooses to stand with Islamic terrorism.

After the People’s Seder was done, Ambassador Tom Nides, who had been caught praising a BDS group and boasting of trying to keep Jews out of Jerusalem, issued a press release in English, Arabic, and Hebrew (in that order) which urged “Jews, Muslims and Christians” (also in that order) to avoid "actions that further escalate tensions" during "this sacred holiday period".

That would include concluding the seder with the traditional call, “Next Year in Jerusalem”, signifying a return to a city that Biden and Nides deny is Jewish and want to keep Jews out of.

Nides, Emhoff, and other administration enablers of Jewish descent, erase Jews from Passover and Jerusalem, and replace the real people and their history with social justice abstractions.

Part of the problem is that Emhoff, like your average leftist of Jewish ancestry knows as much about Judaism as I do about dating Kamala. And cares just as little. Stripping Judaism of its particularism appears liberating to someone like Emhoff because it also frees him of what he and his family see as a limitation on their identities and their potential social aspirations.

The People’s Seder is not a Jewish people’s seder because that’s the last thing Emhoff wants.

Liberation to lefties of Jewish descent means the ability to be less Jewish. That is at odds with the message of Passover and of Judaism which is that liberation comes from being more Jewish. The Jews who had tried to fit into Pharaoh’s tyranny had become slaves, while the slaves who defied an empire by conducting a seder that mocked Egyptian beliefs were set free.

Universalism is enslaving while particularism is liberating.

The Passover seder’s message, with its careful recreation of the particular experiences, sensory, emotional, and intellectual, of Egyptian slavery and liberation, is a painstaking excercise in particularism. The People’s Seder, like virtually all lefty religious practices, is an equally painstaking exercise in rejecting the particular for the universal by turning the events into metaphors that can be glibly made to mean anything as long as it’s unrelated to the Jews.

It’s all very well to turn the story of Passover into a metaphor, but Moses didn’t arrive to talk to Pharaoh about abstractions like empathy and emotional growth, but with a simple message.

“Let My People Go.”

The People’s Seder claims to be about liberation, but actually enslaves. It rejects “the four languages of liberation” whose four steps "I will take you out", "I will save you", "I will redeem you" and "I will take you" develop it as relationship between G-d and the Jewish people, to universalize it into hollow self-help empowerment in which there is no relationship with G-d.

Instead there is a relationship with the leftist deity of government all too familiar to Pharaoh.

Worshipping government isn’t liberation, it’s slavery.

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

Click here to subscribe to my articles. 

Thank you for reading.

Biden's 'Integrated Deterrence' Military Strategy Failed in Ukraine

By On April 19, 2022
Last year, Secretary of Defense Austin claimed that a new strategy called "integrated deterrence" would be at the heart of Biden's new defense strategy. Last month, he was talking up a new National Defense Strategy driven by integrated deterrence while claiming that it would prove effective against Russia in the war in Ukraine. Instead the war showed “ID” doesn’t work.

What is "integrated deterrence"? It sounds better than leading from behind, which was Obama's version of it, but it’s not too different from the failed approach of the Obama administration.

Like a lot of organizational jargon, "integrated deterrence" is a collection of meaningless buzzwords that no one understands concealing the same old thing that dresses up failure as success because under the exciting new approach, no one was even trying to succeed.

Integrated deterrence, if you listen to Austin, is everything and therefore nothing. ID is going to perfectly integrate together all military capabilities without regard for service rivalries, combined with all elements of the federal government, and be ready to go anywhere at home or across the globe without any friction or limitations, while also seamlessly integrating with our allies.

Or, as Austin put it during a visit to Poland, integrated deterrence uses “the capability and capacity that's resident in our partners and allies." Or, you know, leading from behind.

ID means being "integrated across our allies and partners, which are the real asymmetric advantage that the United States has over any other competitor or potential adversary," Colin Kalh, Biden's undersecretary of policy, had claimed. “Our adversaries know that they're not just taking on the United States, they're taking on a coalition of countries who are committed to upholding a rules-based international order.”

America has plenty of asymmetric advantages. Being tied to the Germans and the French, not to mention the awesome might of a variety of small countries that have marginal militaries and no desire to fight is not making China, Russia, or anyone else tremble in their leather boots.

A rules-based international order has not stopped a single war or deterred any aggressor.

Announcing that our true asymmetric advantage is that we have allies is just an excuse for dumping the problem on them and then leading from behind. That’s what Biden keeps doing.

And it isn’t working.

Biden’s Pentagon flacks and hacks keep talking up the “integrated” part, but haven’t actually integrated anything and they certainly haven’t deterred anyone.

The “rules-based international order” has not stopped China’s incursions into Taiwan’s airspace (not to mention its violation of its agreement over Hong Kong’s civil liberties), the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, or Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Had they been unable to defend themselves, they would now be just another conquered province. That is the real lesson here.

That’s the lesson every country, predator or prey, around the world is taking to heart.

Integrated deterrence saw its first real field test in the Ukraine war. And it failed.

International outrage, condemnation, and even the most punishing sanctions failed to stop Putin. Much as Obama’s previous sanctions had done nothing to stop Putin from claiming Crimea, and as sanctions had likewise failed to do anything but annoy everyone from Saddam Hussein to the Kim crime family to the otherwise bankrupt socialist regime in Venezuela.

"You're seeing us lead with diplomacy. You've seen us work very, very carefully with our allies and partners to share information," Austin claimed in Poland.

Leading with diplomacy is appeasement and it works almost as well as sanctions. But, equally important, information sharing has been nearly as disastrous, not only among allies who were blindsided, as with the Poland plane deal, but even within the White House. Much as Obama and Kerry blindsided each other over Syria’s chemical weapons, Biden, his cabinet members, and White House comms people keep contradicting each other about Ukraine and Russia.

If the Biden administration can’t even integrate its own responses to a crisis at the White House level, what hope is there for the fantasy of a federal and multinational team “all woven together and networked” across all levels and theaters that lies at the heart of the ID fantasy?

The Biden administration hasn't even figured out how to crawl and in typical prog fashion unveiled a plan to not only fly, but encompass all space and time with a single thought.

Integrated deterrence provides a familiar set of excuses for not doing things.

Secretary of Defense Austin and other Pentagon brass are using ID to shift the burden away from building up a military that is ready to fight and win wars over to the State Department and other parts of the government. The deterrence part already signals retreat while the integrated part assigns the responsibility to everyone else including foreign governments and militaries.

While America’s partners aren’t where they need to be, the massive amounts of money we spend on the military are meant to buy us real offensive and defensive capabilities, not excuses.

Integrated deterrence deemphasizes the role of the military while focusing on alternatives to it as the solution to conflicts. This isn’t a new idea for Democrats and the Left, it’s also notoriously ineffective. The military can’t and shouldn’t be the default solution to everything, but neither should we pretend, as Biden is doing in Ukraine, that there are a variety of effective non-military solutions to military problems. We can choose to engage or not engage in conflicts, but when we get involved in a war by throwing out useless non-military solutions, we show weakness.

And that makes it more likely that we will end up having to fight a real war.

Integrated deterrence asks top defense officials and military leaders to act as if non-military solutions are military ones. But just as it’s not the job of diplomats to fight wars, diplomacy is not the work of generals. Yet under Obama and Biden, the military has been dragged into doing the work of diplomats in Libya and Afghanistan even as our military capabilities have declined.

Unsatisfied with emphasizing appeasement over actions within the White House, the Biden administration’s integrated deterrence is emphasizing appeasement within the military.

We want generals to win wars, not negotiate with enemies. That absurdity is how Chief of Staff Gen. Milley ended up assuring his Chinese opposite number that he would warn him of any attack. It’s bad enough when diplomats act like this, it’s much worse when generals do.

And yet turning generals into diplomats is what integrated deterrence is built on. Not only don’t we get good diplomats out of the deal, we also get useless generals.

Beyond integrated deterrence, Biden defense officials increasingly champion “holistic” solutions which efface specific capabilities. They insist that America’s military isn’t being weakened, it’s becoming more “flexible” and “responsive”, even as they eliminate metrics for everything from individual soldiers to classes of aircraft. When everything is “flexible” and “integrated”, then nothing actually works because everything is a giant buzzword that never means anything.

It doesn’t matter how well the F-35s work or whether the new fitness standards for recruits amount to anything because what really matters is the unsolvable puzzle, not the pieces.

That is invariably how leftist projects, which are all about the vision, not the details, fall apart.

When the real solutions don’t come from the mere deployment of force, but emerge out the syzygy of identity politics, inspirational talks about innovation, and emergent integration of everything that military leaders have become obsessed with then battlefield competence becomes a footnote in a progressive vision of tomorrow’s military that doesn’t work today.

And may never work.

Ukraine has shown that integrated deterrence is another in a series of Potemkin villages cloaking the same bad ideas in buzzwords and jargon. ID, in Obama’s familiar line, tries to make a weakness seem like a strength, but in reality it just makes everything into one big weakness.

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, April 17, 2022

Passover - From Slavery to Freedom

By On April 17, 2022

 As the first days of another Passover conclude with the echoes of "Once we were slaves and now we are free" and "Next year in Jerusalem" recited at the Seder nights ringing in our ears, we know that freedom is a lot more than being able to board a plane and fly off to Jerusalem.

Slavery did not end with the fall of Pharaoh. Since then we have become slaves again, lived under the rule of iron-fisted tyrants and forgotten what the very idea of freedom means. And that will likely happen again and again until the age of oppression ends. What is this freedom that we gained with the fall of a Pharaoh, his drowning armies, and the last sight of his pyramids?

Freedom, like slavery, is as much a state of mind as a state of being. It is possible to be legally free, yet to have no freedom of action whatsoever. And it is possible to be legally a slave and yet to be free in defiance of those restrictions. External coercion alone does not make a man free or slave. 

Slavery, as all our ancestors learned at one time or another, is a state of mind.

What is a slave? A slave is complicit in his own oppression. His slavery has become his natural state and he looks to his master, not to free him, but to command him. He does not want to be free and he resents the very idea of freedom. The Jews in Egypt were not merely restrained by chains and guards. If they had been, then the task of their liberation would have been much simpler. But just as an addictive drug crosses the barrier from physical to psychological dependency, they were enslaved not just with external, but internal chains. They moaned not at the fact of slavery, but at the extremity of it. When their taskmasters complained to Pharaoh, it was not about being enslaved, but of not being given the straw with which to build the bricks that had become their duty.

The worst slavery is of the most insidious kind. It leaves the slave able to think and act, but not as a free man. It leaves him with cunning, but not courage. He is able to use force, but only to bring other slaves into line. And most hideously, this state of affairs seems moral and natural to him. This is his freedom.

The true slave has come to love big brother, to worship at the foot of the system that oppresses him. It is this twisted love that must be torn out of him. It is this idolatry of the whip before which he kneels, this panting to know who his superiors and who his inferiors are, this love of a vast order that allows him to be lost in its wonders, to gaze in awe at the empire of tomorrow which builds its own tombs today, that must be broken. These are his gods and he must kill them within himself to be free.

The Exodus is not the story of the emergence of free men who were enslaved, but the slow painful process by which slaves became a nation of free men, a long troubled journey which has not yet ended. That is why we celebrate Passover, not as an event of the past, but as of a road that we still travel on our long journey from slavery to freedom. Not just the journey of the Jews, but of humanity.

Having escaped from Pharaoh, the Jews built a glittering calf, and having left the desert behind, they sought out a king. Every idol and tyrant was another token of slavery, a desire to put one's ear up against the doorpost and become slaves for life. The idols have changed, but their meaning has not. There is still the pursuit of the master, the master of international law, of a global state, the expert gods of the superstate who rule over the present and the future and dispose of the lives of men.

There are far too many synagogues that worship the Democratic Party, rather than G-d, that bow to the ghost of FDR, and whose scriptures are to be found in the smeared ink of the New York Times. And in Jerusalem far too many eyes look longingly to Washington and to Brussels, to the cities on the hill which offer order, truth and peace.

It is easy to slip into this kind of slavery. The pyramids are grand, the slogans are clever and the future seems assured. It is only when the dusty messenger comes along to whisper that "He has remembered". that those who have not forgotten gather and some among those who have forgotten, remember that they are slaves.

In Egypt the system of the state had to be smashed, not just smashed, but discredited. The war between slavery and freedom could not end until the system of slavery had become ridiculous, until Pharaoh appeared a buffoon and his power no more than organized madness. And yet even so for a generation liberated from slavery, this majestic system, the only one they had ever known, remained their template, and in times of crisis, their immediate instinct was to retreat back to the only civilization they had known.

The slavery of the present is a more subtle thing. It grips the mind more tightly than the body. It still remembers that men enslave themselves best. It knows also that true power comes from making all complicit in its crimes so that they are also complicit in their own degradation. The system only asks that each man enslave himself and kill his own children. And once he has done that, he will only feel it right to demand that everyone else do likewise.

Do it for the environment, for social justice, for the Pharaoh of every age and his ideology. Enslave your mind. Kill your children.

This is the slavery of the system. It requires few whips and many words. It nudges men to be their own taskmasters and to reach out their hands to the new Pharaoh in the hope that he will save them. It is this slavery which is so pervasive, which Passover wakes us from, if it has not already been perverted into the Passover of the slave, into civil rights seders and eco-matzas with donations to Planned Parenthood which will do what the midwives did not.

"Once we were slaves," the ancient words call on us to remember that we have been freed. That it is no longer Pharaoh who enslaves us, but we who enslave ourselves. "Now we are free men." But what is freedom really? Is it the freedom to worship G-d or to worship the system? The system proclaims that it is god. And that is the great lie which ends in the death of the system and its slaves.

Like the slaves of ancient Egypt, we are shaken, dragged out of our everyday routine and commanded to be free. But how do you command men and women to be free? You can lead them through the habits of free men and women who think of themselves as kings and queens, who drink wine while reclining, who sing loudly in defiance of all oppressors, who boldly proclaim "Next year in Jerusalem" while the pharaohs and czars of D.C. and the EU bare their teeth at the Jews living in Jerusalem.

You can unroll the scroll of history and show them how they were taken out, but all this routine is useless unless they understand and are sensible that they are free. Free not in their habits, but in their minds. Ritual is the gateway to a state of mind. A ritual of freedom only succeeds when it invokes a state of mental freedom. Otherwise it is a rite, a practice, a habit whose codes may help some future generation unlock its meaning, but which means little today.

Passover is the beginning and the end. It is the start of the journey and the end of it and we are always in the middle, on the long road out of Egypt, discovering that there are more chains in our minds than we realized a year earlier or a hundred or a thousand years ago. Each step we take toward freedom also reminds us of how far we still have to go.

It is the ritual that reminds us that we are still on the journey, that though we have been lulled by the routine of the system, the trap of the present that like the soothing warmth of an ice storm or the peaceful feeling of a drowning swimmer, embraces us in the forgetfulness of the dying moment, concealing from us the truth that the journey is not over. The desert still lies before us.

This journey is the human journey. It is the recreation of what mankind lost when it defied G-d, when it turned with weapons on each other, when it built towers, created systems and tried to climb to heaven on the backs of slaves and pyramids. It is a transformative road that requires us to not only endure, but to learn.

Surrounded by willing slaves who preach the creed of slavery, we must speak for freedom. Though few seem to remember the journey or the chains, it is our duty to remind ourselves. The message of Passover fully begins only when the holiday ends and its habits carry over into our daily lives. 

Once we were slaves, now we are free

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Beating Woke Hollywood Means Taking Away Their Copyright Gated IP Empires

By On April 14, 2022
In 1998, Congress passed the Mickey Mouse Protection Act. In a classic case of bipartisan corruption, the bill brought together Republicans, along with Barney Frank and John Conyers, to do a special favor for Disney and for other entertainment industry companies.

The Mickey Mouse Act (formally the Copyright Term Extension Act) was one of a series of measures that took the original copyright system, meant to protect an author's rights, and instead turned it into a permanent monopoly cash cow for Hollywood studios.

Mickey Mouse, a character created in the 20s, will only become public domain in 2024.

That is if Republicans don’t once again decide to do a special favor for Disney, Warner Bros, and a number of other massively woke and wealthy entertainment industry monsters.

In response to Disney's support for pushing sexual indoctrination on kindergarteners, Rep. Jim Banks has sent a letter warning that the free ride was over.

“It’s hard to believe that anyone would have considered extending the already lengthy term, but there’s no way they will get the ear of any Republicans after their radical political activism. America’s strong copyright protections helped make America great — they gave our creators and distributors the right incentives to produce content that shows the world the importance of freedom. But Congress should not add to Disney’s 90+ years of federal copyright protection to incentivize its new far left agenda,” Rep. Jim Jordan said.

Disney had spent around $150,000 on members of Congress considering the bill in the 90s. The company these days allegedly spends millions on various direct and indirect lobbying efforts.

If Congress does nothing, Mickey's copyright will expire in 2024, followed by Pluto in 2026, Goofy in 2028, and Donald Duck in 2029. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves will lapse in 2032, followed by classic Disney movies like Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi and Cinderella.

Beyond Disney, Superman’s copyright ends in 2033, Batman’s copyright in 2034, and Wonder Woman in 2036. In another blow to Warners, Bugs Bunny goes public domain in 2035.

While the copyrights apply to specific works, like Mickey Mouse in Steamboat Willie or the first Superman comic, it would open up opportunities for independent creators and companies.

Including conservatives and traditionalists who want to recreate American culture.

Disney and Warners, among others, would stand to lose billions in profits from these characters. They’ll fight for another copyright extension if they can, and if they can’t, will try to sneak in poison pills that will keep anyone else from being able to use them while bribing politicians left and right. Literally. Conservatives haven’t cared about this in the past. Now they should.

Opposing copyright extension is about more than just punishing Disney for wokeness.

Companies like Disney and Warners have built massive war chests of intellectual property that their current management and even ownership had nothing to do with creating while robbing the original creators, on whose behalf copyright laws and extensions were passed, of the profits.

Last year, Disney's Marvel filed five lawsuits to block the families of Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, and other creators of classic characters like Spiderman, Iron Man, Thor, and many others, from reclaiming copyright. This is the latest episode in a series of legal battles over comic rights (Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were originally paid $130 for the rights) and with the artists, creators, and animators who made the entire comic book industry possible.

Entertainment industry wokeness is built in large part on taking classic characters and “renewing” them by pushing them to be more politically radical, racially recasting them, or killing the characters off entirely and replacing them to prepare for the end of their copyrights.

Hollywood, increasingly incapable of producing popular original stories, is farming properties that are almost a century old to wring the last shreds of profits from them. The industry and our culture would look very different if it didn’t consist of a few companies milking a few characters.

Freeing classic characters into the public domain could enable the rise of an alternative more traditional entertainment industry. And one that might better reflect the values of their creators.

Walt Disney was a Republican. J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit’s copyright lapses in 2033) was a deeply religious conservative traditionalist. Steve Ditko, the co-creator of Spider-Man and Dr. Strange, was an Objectivist. Superman’s creators were Zionists. Many of them would be disgusted by the woke ways in which their work is being twisted by the companies that control them. Few of them would be employable by any of those companies today. Indeed even some living creators, like J.K. Rowling, are being canceled by the companies cashing in on their work.

Copyright laws made it possible for creators to earn a living as full-time writers and artists, but the modern Grub Street exploited copyright by giving creators pennies and then using lobbyists to build copyright empires while making it all but impossible for new creators to get started.

The Mickey Mouse Protection Act already extended copyright beyond any possible lifetime of a creator. Heirs have had to spend years or decades in court battling for any of the profits. There’s no possible moral argument for yet another copyright extension and compelling arguments for preventing Disney, Warners, and other woke corps from permanently exploiting copyright.

Our culture would be better off taking apart Hollywood copyright empires, built on the work of exploited and cheated writers and artists, and making it accessible to everyone. The results couldn’t be any worse than Disney execs boasting of “queering” content meant for children.

Culture is meant to be a common heritage, not a permanent corporate asset.

Gone With the Wind’s copyright expires in 2031. That means people will finally be able to watch it without HBO Max forcing them to sit through a speech on how they’re a bunch of racists. They’ll however have to wait until 2039 for Song of the South to escape from Disney’s vault.

Is there an argument for keeping either one locked up for decades in the thrall of companies like Disney and Warners that despise them and have nothing but contempt for their audiences?

Setting Mickey Mouse free does more than just punish Disney or rebuke Hollywood’s corrupt business model which only exists because enough politicians in California and Washington D.C. have been bribed to make it possible, it frees people to engage with their culture. The entertainment industry is building a world of culture renters who don’t actually own the digital books, songs, comics, shows, games, and other items that they’ve bought online.

The best defense against copyright plantations is liberation. Once the creators and partners have passed on and a work is culturally significant, it should belong to the culture, not to a corporation. We don’t live in a world in which Beethoven’s Fifth is wholly owned by Amazon, all the rights to Shakespeare’s works by Netflix, or the Mona Lisa by Disney.

And it’s a good thing too.

Both our society and the free market are best served by allowing those works to enrich new creations, instead of being locked up in the Disney vault to be perverted more and more.

And Disney, Warners, and other companies, no longer sitting on a monopolistic culture hoard, would actually have to create new things and engage with more than just their own woke set.

That would be good for them, for us, and for the culture.

Republicans are waking up and warning that Disney won’t get any more free rides. Neither should the rest of the entertainment industry. Americans need a vital, diverse, and active culture market, not one in which a handful of woke titans force their political dogmas on the country.

Breaking up their copyright monopoly would free Mickey Mouse and free our culture.

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, April 13, 2022

Bill Clinton’s Corrupt Love Affair With Putin

By On April 13, 2022
Bill Clinton, once the youngest governor in the country, now only four years younger than Biden, came out of the shadows with a defensive op-ed, titled, “I Tried to Put Russia on Another Path”.

While the Clintons, like Obama, fashionably embraced Putin-bashing when it served their agenda of inventing a Russia scandal as a pretext for discrediting the 2016 presidential election and spying on their Republican political opponents, Bill’s history tells a very different story.

In My Life, his 2004 memoir, Bill Clinton praises Putin and uses him to attack Republicans.

After his first meeting with Putin, Bill Clinton wrote that he came away believing “Yeltsin had picked a successor who had the skills and capacity for hard work necessary to manage Russia’s turbulent political and economic life" and the "toughness to defend Russia’s interests". He called Putin's appointment, which helped end democracy in Russia, a "wise and shrewd move".

After Putin was elected, Bill Clinton recollects that he "hung up the phone thinking he was tough enough to hold Russia together." Soon Clinton is using Putin to bash Republicans, sneering that "even the Russian Duma was more progressive on arms control than the U.S. Senate" and supporting Putin's refusal to hold off on the anti-ballistic missile treaty because "Republicans had been enamored of missile defense since the Reagan era, and many of them wouldn’t hesitate to abrogate the ABM Treaty in order to deploy it." Putin good, Republicans bad.

Why was Bill Clinton flattering Putin in his autobiography?

The memoir was published in 2004. In 2005, Bill Clinton and uranium tycoon Frank Giustra visited Kazakhstan and cut a deal for the company that would become Uranium One to buy into the country's state-owned uranium mines. Clinton foundations picked up over $100 million while Uranium One gobbled up uranium assets to eventually resell to Russia.

The deal that allowed Russia's state-owned Rosatom to buy Uranium One was lubricated by millions more in donations to the Clinton Foundation and a $500,000 speaking fee from a Russian investment bank for Bill Clinton during which the former president met with Putin.

This was Clinton’s actual corrupt vision for Russia. The Russiagate dirty tricks operation came out of a network of business interests plugged into the Kremlin. The executive at the heart of Russiagate was a Clinton aide who “frequently interacted with senior Russian Federation leadership" and “set up meetings with senior Russian government officials” The dossier was touted by a lobbyist for a Russian oligarch close to Putin who had also employed both Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS: the tools for the attack on the 2016 election.

While we’ve heard about this often enough in the context of domestic corruption, the Clintons and their inner and outer circles were enthusiastic participants in the corruption of Russia.

Putin was not an unfortunate detour from democracy, as Bill Clinton insists, but exactly the sort of man to perpetuate the corrupt system that the Clintons and their special interests wanted.

The last thing the Clintons wanted for Russia was democracy and an end to the corruption.

Bill Clinton complains that Putin “could have used Russia’s prodigious skills in information technology to create a competitor for Silicon Valley and build a strong, diversified economy. Instead he decided to monopolize and weaponize those abilities to promote authoritarianism at home and wreak havoc abroad, including by interfering in the politics of Europe and the U.S.”

The Clintons didn’t want a strong, diversified economy for America, let alone Russia.

And it was the Clintons who got Putin involved in interfering in American politics. The millions funneled into Clinton foundations helped maintain staff and cultivate donors for Hillary’s presidential campaigns. And then Clintonworld figures used their Kremlin links to manufacture Russiagate and create the false narrative that Bill Clinton is still trying to keep alive.

In his op-ed, Bill Clinton touts the role of former Defense Secretary William Cohen. He neglects to mention that the Cohen Group, aside from its notorious ties to China, has boasted of "decades of experience working with officials in Moscow", and "building relationships with government decision makers". Two years ago, Cohen was claiming that "President Putin is going to try and step in and be the peacemaker here” between America and Iran.

Bill Clinton defends former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Once again her Albright Stonebridge Group promised to advise clients how to do business in Russia by enlisting politically connected former Russian government officials. This is typical of Clintonworld.

Under Bill Clinton and his wife, Putin's regime became wealthier and more powerful as donors moved money into Russia and into the various Clinton enterprises including from a Putin-linked billionaire who was sanctioned under Trump and has been sanctioned now yet again.

The Clintons were complicit in enabling the dumping of cheap Russian uranium in America, thereby destroying our domestic mining industry and funding Russia’s military industries.

Bill and Hillary Clinton did not try to “democratize” Russia, rather political and business interests in both countries joined forces to cash in while corrupting both America and Russia. Democracy had made it difficult for foreign companies to pursue business interests in Russia. With Putin in power, surrounded by his ‘siloviki’, it was easy to know who to bribe in order to make a deal.

And the Clintons, with their connections, were a conduit for donors looking to make a deal.

The problems only began when Putin, unsatisfied with controlling Russia’s economy, and those of a few allied former republics, began to expand his sphere of economic influence by force.

Even at this late date, Bill Clinton is pretending that he was a benevolent public servant who was only thinking of what would be best for America, Russia, and the world, not the Clintons.

The ugly truth is that the Clintons led the way in corrupting and making the world less democratic. The fall of the Soviet Union had opened up opportunities to change the world that the Clintons transmuted into corrupt deals with oligarchies that swiftly became tyrannies. The springtime of the world that millions of Americans had struggled and fought for during the Cold War instead became an opportunity for our political class to score a few million here and there.

Not only didn’t Russia and China become more democratic, but America came to resemble them. The corrupt entanglements of Hunter and James Biden, like those of the families of John Kerry, Harry Reid, Neil Bush, and other political class players sold out democracy for corruption.

Hunter Biden with his prostitutes, Chinese billionaires, and crack habit is just the latest incarnation of the Clinton model in which our oligarchs and theirs do dirty deals together.

And the world is a worse place for it.

"Before I left Moscow, Putin hosted a small dinner in the Kremlin with a jazz concert afterward," Bill Clinton recalled in My Life. "John Podesta, who loved jazz as much as I did, agreed with me that we had never heard a finer live performance."

John Podesta's brother, Tony and his Podesta Group, went on to work for a Putin puppet and were shut down when they were caught up in a Russiagate investigation. Tony Podesta has since been paid $1 million to lobby the Biden administration by China's Huawei which is now also playing a major role in Putin’s Russia.

It’s a hell of a live performance. And they’ve got a hell of a band.

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, April 12, 2022

Disney Isn't for Kids

By On April 12, 2022
“Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children," Walt Disney once said.

Walt’s unique strategy of building an entertainment empire for kids once made Disney a trusted source of family entertainment. That didn’t last long after Walt's death as Disney started releasing R-rated movies and adult television programming under the Touchstone label.

A decade later, Disney bought Harvey Weinstein’s Miramax. During the 90s, while Disney's more family friendly brand was releasing animated cartoons, Miramax featured Pulp Fiction, Trainspotting, and the Scream sequels. During this time Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment and assaults. Some of this was taking place even as Disney’s “family friendly” brand released The Hunchback of Notre Dame with its depiction of a lecherous Catholic villain praying before a cross while ranting about his lusts. This was what Disney had become.

In the new century the barrier between the two schizoid faces of Disney has come down.

Disney isn’t for kids anymore. Its movie business is dominated by Marvel blockbusters. Half of Disney+ subscribers, its big bet on the home streaming future, are adults with no children. ‘

What about the theme parks?

60% of Disneyland visitors were adults with no children. Only 36.7% of Disney World visitors had children under 18. The largest demographic for the theme parks, like the movies, are millennials. They are also members of the fandoms who are likeliest to spend money on licensed merchandise, and on toys and movie tie-ins that are Disney’s bread and butter.

And Disney is rapidly adapting with theme parks and resorts that emphasize its Marvel and Star Wars properties more than classic fare. Its Galactic Starcruiser hotel, aimed at Star Wars fans, costs $4,809 for two adults. Why bother with kid stuff when you can sell $13 beers?

Disney may have started out feeding the imaginations of children, but now its business model is acquiring intellectual properties with active fandoms and milking the adult fans for every cent.

Its political opposition to a Florida law barring teachers from pushing sexual issues on kindergarteners might be out of tune with the old family values Disney, but the company’s actual base, like that of virtually every entertainment corp in the country, is a narrow slice of upscale urban millennials with lots of disposable income and no families. Wokes are Disney’s base.

In 1966, the idea that a single adult would spend more money on Disney merchandise than a family of four would have seemed ridiculous. In 2022, it’s just the new normal. If you doubt that stop by a theme park and see how many of the adults with no children wearing every single piece of Disney merchandise on sale would love to lecture you about queer theory.

These are the people Disney caters to now. Not little girls who want to be princesses. That’s why its theme parks will no longer address little girls as princesses. That’s also why rides like Pirates of the Caribbean or Jungle Cruise are being revamped to be more politically correct. Disney’s new woke demographic is much pickier than even the pickiest child could be.

It’s also sexually creepy.

Disney’s new demographic are adults who have never properly grown up and on some level still think of themselves as children. That’s also the profile for the average child molester. And of the kind of adult who insists that schools force children to “explore their sexual identities”.

Healthy adults raise, protect and care for children. Deeply unhealthy ones erase the barriers between themselves and children in ways that can be merely immature or outright evil.

Disney is a messed up company with a messed up base. This is no secret to theme park employees who will, anonymously, spout about it at forums. But some of those employees have also been caught up in child sex investigations. Disney has the clout to make much of that go away through its advertising budgets and the incredible power its theme parks wield over local governments in California and Florida (though Gov. DeSantis has warned that’s going away.)

The growth of Disney paralleled a post-war child-oriented family culture. The collapse of that culture into counterculture sent the company astray. And after decades in the wilderness reemerged with cartoons full of show tunes that catered as much to Broadway lovers as to children, to an indie film movement with a seamy underbelly, and finally perpetual fandom.

Disney found its post-Walt success in moving beyond selling universal family entertainment to tapping into obsessive subcultures. As a company that had nurtured fandom in children, it was uniquely positioned to capitalize on the transformation of adults into overgrown children.

None of this is good for adults, for children, or for the culture. Neither is Disney.

American birth rates are lagging and the family is in a poor state. Only 3 in 10 millennials are living with a child and a spouse. Much of the demographic growth is coming from immigrant childbirths, not Americans. Seen from this vantage point, Disney’s bet on diversity in children’s entertainment and on catering to adult fans willing to drop $5,000 on a hotel with lightsaber training or sing-along sessions to cartoon show tunes from their childhoods makes sense.

The Walt Disney business model depended on a healthy national family. Shareholders are not going to bet on a growth segment in the American nuclear family that doesn’t exist. Betting on dysfunctional adults with sizable disposable incomes makes a whole lot more sense.

Americans are more atomized than ever. Families are drifting apart. Religious faith is imploding among millennials and zoomers. The fictional characters and entertainers of popular culture are taking the place of family and faith. Fandom provides a sense of belonging and culture that community no longer does. Main Street is being replaced by The Avengers and Mos Eisley.

And who can blame a generation born into a broken nation for choosing fantasy over reality?

Peter Pan, like the Narnia books, concludes with the reality that children have to leave fantasy behind, grow up and become adults. But what happens when the children never grow up?

Disney still has a profitable kids segment, but its real profits come from overgrown children born into broken families, prematurely coming of sexual age, who are eager to embrace leftist utopian causes and fantasies, who are seeking an identity and an escape at the same time.

The company isn’t for kids, it’s for broken adults. And it’s only natural that Disney would seek to create more broken adults to perpetuate its business model. A healthy functional adult isn’t nearly as profitable for the entertainment giant as a dysfunctional one addicted to its product.

Advocating that schools push sexual identity on kindergarteners is a cause that the entire entertainment industry, which wouldn’t exist without dysfunctional adults, can get behind.

What’s bad for America is great for Hollywood.

Functional people don’t spend all of their time in front of a television set. And functional families don’t plant their children in front of one and then buy them whatever they want to get them to shut up. Functional people are not very profitable for Disney or for the rest of Hollywood.

The entertainment industry went from a leisure enterprise to one that thrives on dysfunction, that is less interested in having 60% of the country watching something for an hour than having 10% of the country binge watch it for six hours. Ratings and demographic profiles of the industry reflect a profound shift away from entertainment as a past time to entertainment as a lifestyle.

And even an identity.

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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