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Friday, April 30, 2021

The Fire Burns

By On April 30, 2021

 The circle of men whirls around the fire, hand in hand, hand catching hand, drawing in newcomers into the ring that races around and around in the growing darkness. A melody thumps through the speakers teetering unevenly with the bass, the sound is both old and new, a mix of the past and the present, like the participants in the dance, the traditional garments mixing with jeans and t-shirts until it is all a blur.

It is Lag BaOmer, an obscure holiday to most, even to those who come to the fires. The remnants of the Jewish Revolt against the might of the Roman Empire are remembered as days of deprivation in memory of the thousands of students dying in the war, until the thirty-third day of the Biblical Omer, part of the way between Passover and Shavuot, the day when Jerusalem was liberated.

Deprived of music for weeks, it rolls back in waves through speakers, from horns blown by children and a makeshift drum echoing an ancient celebration when men danced around fires and shot arrows into the air. The fires and bows have remained a part of Lag BaOmer, even when hardly anyone remembers the true reason for them.

The new Yom Yerushalayim, the day of the liberation of the city, is coming up soon,  but the old Yom Yerushalaim, came thousands of years ago and ten days before it on the calendar. Time is a wheel, and, like a circle, everything comes around again. Hands pulling on hands, years pulling on years, on and on like the orbits of planets and stars. The Divine Hand of G-d pulls us along, and we pull each other in the dance of life.

The circle speeds up, men racing faster and faster, the children left behind, as the flames sputter and night falls. The rebellion, although bravely fought, failed, and Jerusalem fell again, and then Betar. The joy of the celebration turned to ashes, but, even in the shadow of the empire, their spirit endured. The stories were changed a little, the rebellion encoded into a story of Rabbi Akiva, the pivotal scholarly figure in the war, and of his students who perished because they had not been able to get along with one another. The failure of unity had been the underlying reason for the Roman conquest and the Jewish defeats. It is the ancient lesson still unlearned that the circle of the dance teaches us.

Lag BaOmer is not the first Jewish story of physically and spiritual heroism to be encoded for fear of the enemy. There is much that we know, without knowing what it truly means, messages from the past, that exist only as echoes reminding us of our purpose. Few of those in the circle passing around the flame know what they are truly commemorating and yet the act is its own commemoration. Thousands of years later the echo of a fierce joy, the pride of a people emerging out of a momentary darkness in a burst of wild energy, is still here. Though the details are forgotten, the joy endures, the song is sung and the fire still burns.

In the darkness, there is nothing but the fire and the dark shapes racing around it, leaping with the guttering flames. A teenager pours oil on the flames and they rise higher and higher. A new song begins but they are all the same song. Even the new songs are old. The music changes, but the words remain the same. Arms rise and fall, feet kick and the participants run around the fire only to end up right back where they began.

Codemaking is a dangerous business, for the keys to the code can be forgotten. In Spain and in the American Southwest there are men and women who keep odd rituals, but who no longer remember that the reason they keep them is because they are descended from Jewish Conversos. They have lost the most important part of the code, the part that explains everything. The men dancing around the fire have not lost that. They may not remember the liberation of Jerusalem, but their feet remember it, their arms remember it, their hearts remember it and most of all they remember who they are. They retain the key to the entire code. They remember that they are Jews.

It all began with fire. Avraham was cast into the fire and emerged alive from the flames. Then Chananya, Mishael and Azariah. And then millions more turning to ash in the ovens only to rise again in a new generation. "Is not this man a brand plucked out of the fire," G-d asks Satan in the vision of the Prophet Zechariah. "But who may abide the day of his coming?" the Prophet Malachi says."And who shall stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire."

A piece of heavy wood chars, bright sparks rising into the night air. It is cool outside the ring of fire, but here it is painfully hot, the air thick with heat. The children gaze wonderingly at the sparks, flying up like tiny stars, their eyes recording the memory with a purer fidelity than any of the cameras outside the circle. Their minds will record the memory of the light, the feel of it on their skin and the awe of seeing something new for the first time. They will remember the circle and the fire.

The story of Moloch is the tale of men who worshiped the fire with the bodies of their children. But the children who race around the margins of this fire are the survivors of the servants of Moloch who tried to thrust their grandfathers and great-grandfathers into the flames. They will grow running around the flames from those who wish to thrust them into the fire, to burn away all that they are. Some will die, killed by Muslim terrorists or by other modern day servants of Moloch, but others will survive, and one day their children will race around the flames, defying the worshipers of fire, the worshipers of death, to do their worst to them.

The fire blazes up, tongues of flame darting toward us like the tongues of lions. This is the race we run around the flames that always burn, whether we see them or not. Year after year, generation after generation, and century after century, the fire burns, but we go on and no matter how many of us burn, we continue running the race with the flames, outpacing it, outlasting it and outliving it. No matter how many of us die, we still live.

A Talmudic recollection bemoans the Zoroastrian persecutions of the Jews. The notion today is as quaint as Assyrian chariots and Roman legions. The day will come when the Islamic persecutions are as obscure and laughable. When all the desert sands have covered over Mecca and the might and power of Islam are one with Assyria and Rome, with ancient pagan religions that have come and gone, blazing brightly like the flames, only to go out into the darkness, the dance will continue.

The men slow their steps, an ancient movement that the first wave of settlers to the Holy Land instinctively recreated. Dancing is a key that unlocks secret knowledge, that opens up buried memories, that turns the wheel of time back until it all becomes a circle that comes alive when it is closed. Despite the tremendous variations in customs and appearances, they have all unlocked the code of the circle, the hand to hand connection, the knowledge that whatever else we must go on. That the Jewish people must live.

The Bar Kochba revolt was not the last time that Jews fought to liberate their land. It was not the last time that the gates of Jerusalem were thrown open to a Jewish army. The liberation of Jerusalem in 1967 was the fulfillment of a struggle that had been going on for nearly two thousand years, as empires and caliphates had claimed the land, planted their spears and rifles over its barren hills, and enforced their laws upon it. And if Jerusalem falls again, if Masada falls again, if we fall into the fire, then we will rise out of it again, less in number, less in memory, but still a circle.

Fresh from battle, the soldiers danced around the flames. They had defeated the legions of Rome, without any special training and with poor equipment, they had beaten the greatest army in the world. They had survived the flames and in an explosion of joy, they raced around the celebratory fires, tasting the momentary immortality of battle. Their names are forgotten, lost to memory. Lag BaOmer is associated now with two of Rome's scholarly opponents, Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, who passed on the teachings and traditions that kept the circle intact even in the fire.

Wars are won and lost all the time. No victory, however significant, endures forever. There is no immortality in the victories of the flesh, only in the triumphs of the spirit. For all our losses, this circle is a victory, an ancient celebration of a spiritual triumph kept secret in the face of the enemy. The circle of clasped hands reminds us that against the dead hand of history, we have a Living Hand that guides us even in our darkest hours, in the smoke and flame, in the ash and fire.

"Know that your descendants will be strangers in a land not their own," G-d tells Avraham, as the sun goes down, and amid a thick darkness, a smoking furnace and a flaming torches passes between the parted pieces of the covenant. There is smoke and fire, a thick darkness, but as each hand in the circle clasps another, the pieces are joined together into one. The unity will not last. But it is a reminder of who we can be and who we should be when we join together. A reminder of the covenant with G-d and with one another.

The dance is difficult, not because it is hard to learn or do, but because it is tiring. Some fall out of the circle, but others join in. It is a mistake to dwell too much on how many come and how many go. To count the losses, while overlooking the gains. We were never meant to be a numerous people, to swell to an empire, rotten with corruption, choking on its own grossness, until it dies. It is easier to win the race with the flames when you are small and light on your feet. Some tire of the race and leave, and fall into the flames or the darkness and are gone. But we go on. We always go on.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Cuomo Killed Thousands of Seniors and Lost a House Seat

By On April 29, 2021
Governor Andrew Cuomo is many things: a mass murderer, a sexual predator, and a sore loser.

Cuomo spent $70 million census outreach, but his horrifying policy of forcing nursing homes to accept patients infected with the coronavirus had killed untold thousands of New York seniors.

Now the census is done and New York is going to lose a House seat by 89 people.

“We’re looking at legal options, because when you’re talking about 89, that could be a minor mistake in counting,” Cuomo whined.

The ‘9’ is fitting because that’s the number of women who accused him of sexual harassment.

Maybe it’s a minor mistake like the time Cuomo’s aides rewrote a report to hide the real death toll in nursing homes as he was prepping his book on his brilliant leadership during the pandemic. A report by New York’s Attorney General Letita James estimated that the undercounting might have been as high as 50%. But minor mistakes do happen.

“We were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” a Cuomo aide had argued.

Even 0.5% of the 15,000 nursing home patients dead on Cuomo’s watch might have saved the House seat. If Cuomo had been 0.5% less of a psychopath, New York might have kept its seat.

Sure, go look at your legal options. There was already a precedent on the subject for another whiny tyrant in the Book of Kings, "Would you murder and also inherit?" (1 Kings 21:19.)

New York not only lost a House seat, despite Cuomo’s attempt to bluster about his legal options, but it deserved to lose it. The state was already losing its population due to people fleeing Democrat mismanagement. Last year, New York was number one state in declining population losing over 126,000 people. In the last decade, the state’s population grew by 0.4 %.

But there’s a difference between taxing people into leaving and mass murdering them.

It’s the difference between socialism and national socialism.

Cuomo didn’t give a damn about the elderly with the exception of his mother. The equity grants for census outreach were littered with organizations like the Arab American Community Center for Economic and Social Services, Refugees Helping Refugees, Bangladeshi American Community Development, and the Yemeni American Merchants Association.

Elder Life got a $7,500 grant, while the Yemeni Merchants scored $30,000.

Cuomo’s sociopathy is a reflection of his party and political ideology which cares a great deal about identity politics, but can’t wait for the elderly to die off.

During the worst of the pandemic, Cuomo threw another $10 million at the census. If only he'd spent that money keeping nursing home patients alive. While the dead can be counted in Democrat elections, counting them for the census has proven to be trickier.

Handing out cash to community groups didn’t compensate for the people who were dying.

Cuomo, like every good Democrat, blamed New York’s poor numbers on President Trump, “You had undocumented people who were nervous to come forward,” he suggested, complaining that illegal aliens were being undercounted. “The federal government had a chilling effect.”

Democrats forced the citizenship question off the census. The only ‘chilling effect’ was in the morgues where the victims of Cuomocide were unable to fill out census forms.

President Trump is out of office, but Cuomo's statement still raved about the "Trump Administration's xenophobic, flagrant, and illegal efforts to hurt blue states by discouraging non-citizens and people of color from being counted" and vowed that, "we won't allow Trump and his cronies to use one of our greatest attributes -- our diversity -- as an impediment."

Despite Cuomo’s vocal enthusiasm for diversity, he only seems to have sexually harassed white women raising serious doubts about his belief in diversity. Until he sexually harasses as many illegal aliens as he does Americans, we can’t trust his commitment to diversity.

Cuomo then asked Attorney General Letitia James, who is already investigating his sexual harassment and nursing home deaths to do something about the census.

Maybe she would have more time to investigate the census, if she weren’t investigating Cuomo.

Challenging the results of tallies is an attack on democracy and the rule of law, except when Democrats do it because the numbers didn’t go their way, and Texas wins and New York loses.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, in his usual fashion, is blaming the whole mess on Cuomo, and raising questions about where that $70 million even went. That’s a good question. So is the question of where the $850 million for ThriveNYC mental health that De Blasio’s wife was managing went.

Meanwhile New York is enjoying a stunning 64% self-response rate.

Curiously though, responses appeared to drop sharply in more conservative upstate counties since 2010. Maybe a whole bunch of Republicans decided that there was no point in participating in an exercise which just empowers a one-party state operating out of Albany.

In Lewis County, which President Trump won, self-response rates dropped from 66% to 44%, in Jefferson County, they fell by 10%.

The issue wasn’t Cuomo’s beloved illegal aliens. 7 years ago, Cuomo had declared that there was no room for conservatives in New York. Did they take the political thug at his word?

Cuomo and his Democrats will do everything in their power to see that it’s a Republican House member who loses his seat, but that will just lead to lower response rates. A census is also an election and poor response rates are a vote of no-confidence in the system and political elites.

And just as with the pandemic, Cuomo is trying to blame the failure on everyone else.

After allocating $70 million, Cuomo still felt short by 89 people. That wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t presided over massive political alienation and a record death toll in New York.

Throwing tens of thousands of dollars at Yemeni merchants isn’t fixing that.

New York, a state with, according to the census, a population of some 20 million, was responsible for as much as a tenth of the nation’s pandemic death toll. Stalin said, “A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths are a statistic.”

But the statistics are adding up and they’re not going Cuomo’s way.

Cuomo had responded to nursing home deaths by arguing, “Who cares [if they] died in the hospital, died in a nursing home? They died.”

Finally, after thousands died and 89 were missed in the census, he has a reason to care.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

When the Only Way to Fight Racism Accusations is More Racism Accusations

By On April 28, 2021
When the San Francisco Board of Education decided to force admissions for Lowell High School to move from a merit system to a lottery, it was a declaration of war on Asian students.

The temporary pandemic shift to a lottery system had already plunged the number of Asian students at the elite high school by 4.4% to 51%. A permanent lottery system would, as an article put it, “better reflect the diversity of San Francisco”. And in San Francisco, where Asian students make up a third, not half the student body, that means another 15% have to go.

That means thousands of students being cut off from their dreams despite their hard work.

Lowell High School isn’t just any school. It’s a pipeline to the University of California, and to Ivy League colleges. Like its New York counterparts, like Stuyvesant, it’s a high-performing academic environment and part of the bargain between Asian parents and cities, ignoring the dysfunction of Democrat cities in exchange for an advanced educational pathway upward.

But it’s also been the subject of lawsuits and litigation for decades.

A 1983 NAACP lawsuit forced San Francisco to limit any ethnic group to only 40% of the student body. The federal consent decree was devastating to Asian students

“We knew that if we did not desegregate Lowell High School, the school would have been dominantly Asian and white," an official at the time claimed. Successful court battles by Asian parents in the 90s challenged the effort to suppress Asian admissions. And litigation associated with these battles continued on throughout the nineties and the oughts. Faced with a ban on racial quotas, the NAACP resorted to claiming systemic racism at the majority-minority school.

When the San Francisco School Board forced the lottery system to fight “pervasive systemic racism”, Asian parents didn’t just protest or sue, they dug up racist tweets by VP Alison Collins who had accused Asians of “white supremacist thinking” and called them, “house n___s”.

While Collins would have likely gotten away with her racist tweets at any other time, a wave of violent attacks on elderly Asian people in the Bay Area and New York City had become a civil rights issue, and racist rants about Asians, even from a minority official, were suddenly unwelcome. Collins refused to resign, but was stripped of her powers by her colleagues.

The events at a single high school in one of the wealthiest and bluest cities in America (Biden won 86% of the vote in San Francisco, after Hillary had won 84%) may not seem like they matter much to the rest of the country, but it’s also a lesson in the dog-eat-dog politics of cancel culture where the only way to counter accusations of racism is with more accusations of racism.

The battle against bigotry was supposed to make America a fairer place, instead it pits accusations of racism against each other in an arms race of callout culture. Some of Collins’ defenders are blaming her downfall on cancel culture even while ignoring the fact that she was one of the more enthusiastic proponents of it. The school board had canceled schools named after George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Paul Revere based on basic factual errors.

But the real issue is whether we can even define a concept of fairness outside of race.

"When we're talking about... meritocracy, especially meritocracy based on standardized testing, I'm just going to say it... those are racist systems," Collins had previously insisted. "If you're going to say that merit is fair, it's the antithesis of fair, and it's the antithesis of just."

If merit isn’t fair or just, then what’s left except claims of victimhood and racism?

And as the San Francisco School Board and Collins have discovered, that’s a knife that cuts both ways. The depressing alternative to merit is accusing your opponents of being bigots. And Asian parents in San Francisco have been forced to learn that lesson by the opponents of merit.

It’s also the lesson being taught to the Asian students of Lowell High School, who after a sustained campaign accusing them of racism, are now fighting back with accusations of racism.

A system based on merit teaches students to work harder, while a system based on cancel culture teaches them to spy on their classmates and wait for the perfect opportunity to twist the knife with incriminating screenshots of text messages before they can do it to you. Such caches of old chats going back to middle school are jealously hoarded until college admissions time comes around to be unleashed with the approval of college administrators and the media.

The fair and just alternative to merit is turning the educational system into East Germany.

Asian parents and students want the right to compete. The right of minorities to compete used to be the most basic premise of racial equality. Instead it’s been replaced with equity, with diversity quotas, and an endless deconstruction of the system and its imaginary systemic racism until there is nothing to compete for except claims of victimhood and accusations of racism.

Get rid of merit in admissions, eliminate standardized testing, then banish any conventional study of academic subjects with history, literature, science, and math all deemed to be suffering from systemic racism, and education is reduced to a game of “Spot the Racism”.

When merit is replaced with accusations of racism, then that becomes the purpose of education. Equity takes on math, science, and other subjects don’t enable students to do a better job of mastering these subjects. Instead they’re taught to deconstruct the systemic racism of any subject in the same facile ways with no pedagogical standards, only political ones.

Students subjected to equity math don’t learn what 2 + 2 equals: only that it’s racist.

Lowell High School is both a school and a symbol of what it takes to succeed in America. Revolutions of merit, like the American Revolution, are profoundly liberating because they unchain individuals to pursue their own destinies, while ideological revolutions, like those of France and Russia, provide access to opportunity and survival in exchange for dogma and denunciations. Cancel culture is just the current incarnation of the Salem Witch Trials, the Jacobins, and the Bolsheviks. Thriving and surviving means denouncing others first with the cycle of denunciations eventually destroying the denouncers and tearing down the system

Denunciation eventually ends at the guillotine. Just ask Robespierre or Collins.

The essence of anti-racism is universal guilt. If everyone is racist, then no one is truly innocent. It’s why the safest approach to being accused of racism is to plead guilty. It won’t save you, but it will demonstrate some understanding of the underlying dogma of the cultural revolution.

But universal guilt also means that everyone will eventually be canceled for 15 minutes. And that’s true in San Francisco where everyone is already on the way to being canceled.

Where merit holds out potential to everyone, cancel culture ultimately deprives everyone. The two approaches are on a collision course in San Francisco which incubates both a wealthy technocracy and a radical leftist ideology. And it forces Asian-Americans to protect the future of their children by meeting accusations of racism with more accusations of racism.

Asian students did not dominate Lowell High because of segregation or racism. They did so and still do because of hard work. A fair and just society rewards hard work. An unfair and unjust one teaches us to hate each other in order to get ahead. That’s become the San Francisco way.

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.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Portland Fights 1000% Increase in Murders With Unarmed Park Rangers

By On April 27, 2021
Shootings have more than doubled in Portland from 111 last year to 275 so far this year. Murders are also up from 2 to 25. That’s an increase of over 1000% for the prog utopia.

Portland hit a quarter-century high last year with 55 murders. It’s on track for 100 in 2021.

Things are so bad that Mayor Wheeler, who narrowly won reelection over the Antifa candidate after having his apartment building firebombed, pleaded with the City Council to pay for more cops. But the City Council had a better idea: unarmed park rangers with pepper spray.

Wheeler had asked the Council for $2 million to put cops on the streets to stop the gunmen, but instead he’s getting $1.4 million to put unarmed park rangers to run from the gunmen.

Or try to take them on with the awesome power of their pepper spray.

Another $3.5 million will be tossed to the Council’s leftist “community group” allies.

“This proposal is the kind of collaborative problem solving I expected from our historically diverse council where the majority are grounded in community,” Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty boasted. The Portland City Council isn’t grounded: it’s high on its own insane leftist politics.

Hardesty is famous for three things: her calls for defunding the police, her calls to be made police commissioner, and her call to the police when she got into an argument with her Lyft driver because he wanted to keep the window open. Commissioner Hardesty didn’t call a park ranger when the Lyft driver asked her to leave his car, but everyone else is supposed to.

"Historically, one of the ways we’ve dealt with gun violence is to flood, frankly, Black neighborhoods with cops, often violating civil rights. This is not a strategy Portlanders are willing to carry into the 21st century,” Commissioner Mingus Mapps declared.

Meanwhile, bullets slammed into a children’s center at child level.

Mapps however explained that the Portland City Council was trying to reimagine public safety and criticised the failure to put all the stories of the shootings, “into the context of the broad and deep reforms that this council is trying to do around the issues of equity, race, and public safety.”

Portland’s reimagining of public safety is eliminating the safety part and replacing it with equity.

The City Council had eliminated the Portland Police’s Gun Violence Reduction Team leading to an even worse outbreak of mass shootings and refused Wheeler’s call to bring them back.

They also turned down a direct appeal from black residents and officials, including Pastor J.W. Matt Hennessee, the senior pastor of the Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church, who reported being on a Zoom call when bullets began flying near his church.

"You could still smell the gunfire in the air and I talked with the police officers when they showed up," Pastor Hennessee recalled.

“If investments are not made, that just means more people are killed,” he warned.

The Portland NAACP however ranted that the police are racists who "maintain the blight of our communities, reinforces the racists stereotypes and tropes against Black people, and does nothing to repair the harm of generations of racism and white supremacy."

It’s hard to tell what’s worse, the NAACP’s spelling or its blatant disregard for human life.

"Instead of maintaining weapons of war," the NAACP statement said of the Portland police, "it can shift those funds into community-led solutions".

While the 24 new unarmed park rangers won’t have any “weapons of war”, like guns or any ability to defend themselves beyond calling the police to ask for help, they do have “de-escalation” and “anti-bias” training which should terrify any gang member.

A longtime park ranger however told a reporter that someone needed to tell the City Council that the rangers are not the police and “have less authority than a parking patrol attendant”.

A spokesman for one of the Council members proposed that the rangers would “be a calming influence”. Meanwhile a ranger explained that the only thing they can do is call the police or try to ban people from the park, but only if they provide their names and phone numbers.

A Portland Police Bureau bulletin shows how well the plan to replace cops with park rangers is working. The park rangers "approached a group about 9:00a.m., intending to distribute fliers informing the group that the park was going to be closed for restoration work. Graves threatened to kill them, and although they did not report being threatened with a weapon, Graves followed them yelling threats to kill them as they tried to disengage."

That was the de-escalation training, a favorite of pro-crime criminal justice reformers, in action.

"About 45 minutes later, another team of Park Rangers responded to a fire burning in the park, which is a violation of park rules. Park Rangers reported requesting assistance from Portland Police as they went to address the fire. Graves pulled out an axe and threatened the Rangers If they did not leave." And then the police finally had to step in to stop the aspiring axe murderer.

That’s how well replacing armed cops with unarmed park rangers works in the real world.

Meanwhile the bodies keeps piling up as Portland’s gang members and drug dealers rush to be the city’s hundredth murder victim or murderer, while their stray bullets take out random people walking down the street and hoping not to die because their city council puts criminals first.

Since the Portland City Council doesn’t want to fund the police, the FBI is stepping in to do it.

The Oregon FBI described Portland's situation as a "public safety crisis" and is offering to provide money and personnel. But why should the country’s taxpayers be on the hook for a calculated decision by the Portland City Council to turn their own city into a war zone?

Every single Portland commissioner is on record as opposing even Wheeler's modest plan to use police to fight the shootings. The voters elected to have leftist radicals run their city.

While it might be cruel, they should pay the price.

Portland Democrats decided to make their city into a laboratory for criminal justice reform. They’re keeping the dream of the 70s alive in Portland while reimagining public safety. The bodies of the murder victims are just experimental subjects in their pursuit of utopia.

“If this is not interrupted, this will be the deadliest year in Portland history,” Pastor Hennessee said at a press conference. “I don’t believe the City Council wants to have that kind of blood on its hands.”

Clearly it does. Portland’s City Council has seen the consequences and isn’t stopping.

There will be horrid lessons to learn from that, as there were from Soviet collective farms, Venezuelan economics, and the Khmer Rouge's resettlement programs. And those lessons need to be learned by other lefty cities trying the same experiment. And by Americans.

Portland voters can stop this insanity, just as they did when they ended up backing Wheeler over the Antifa candidate. If they choose not to, they have blood on their hands.

Radicals and extremists don’t change on their own. Their followers, supporters, and enablers have to see for themselves the horror that has been unleashed. It’s unknown how many dead bodies it will take for Portland voters to wake up and realize what they’ve done.

Horrifying shooting numbers in Chicago, Baltimore, or Detroit are ignored because most people have become inured to the violence in minority urban areas, but Portland, like Seattle, was reimagined as a hipster paradise for upwardly mobile artistes and lefty activists. Seeing it descend into hell while the hipsters who moved there for the culture and the vibe flee, abandoning underwater mortgages and vegan dog bakeries, may be a wake-up call.

Not just for Portland, but for New York, Los Angeles, and the rest of lefty urban America.

Meanwhile the unarmed park rangers will be on the front lines of fighting crime. Or running from axe-wielding maniacs as fast as they can manage.

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.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Facebook Has a Private Army: Its Founders Want to Free Criminals

By On April 26, 2021
It was a love story made in the start-ups of San Francisco when Mike Krieger, the co-founder of Instagram, proposed to Kaitlyn Trigger, a former product manager at TaskRabbit.

Instagram is where celebrities go to post their vacation photos and TaskRabbit is the gig economy app where random people labor to perform menial tasks for a few bucks. While both of these apps are a blight on the world, it’s different for the wizards behind the curtain.

When Krieger, a Brazilian immigrant, married his TaskRabbit sweetheart, they went back to, what W Magazine described as an, “Art Deco house... in the Dolores Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, where Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, is a neighbor.” Zuckerberg’s Facebook had paid $1 billion for Instagram of which Krieger reportedly got $100 million.

What do you do when you have lots of money, but no purpose or meaning?

The Kriegers began to collect art of the sort that people with no taste and no concept of aesthetics, but ridiculous amounts of money, buy up to show off in magazine photo spreads.

Like matching wall safes in their wall that can’t be opened.

“There’s a clause in the contract that says if we open it, it’s no longer art,” Kaitlyn, photographed smirking at the camera, explained to the New York Times.

Also if you open up all the prisons, then no one is safe anymore except Big Tech executives because the other thing that the Kriegers decided to do with their free time was free criminals.

The happy tech couple founded the Future Justice Fund which funneled money into a variety of pro-crime groups and Democrat organizations. “Many ‘tough-on-crime’ policies actually erode public safety,” the organization falsely claims. Beneficiaries include Californians For Safety And Justice which is pushing to eliminate bail and legalize muggings by treating them as petty theft.

Shoplifting had already been legalized, but SB 82 would go further so that “taking the property from the person of another or from a commercial establishment by means of force or fear without the use of a deadly weapon or great bodily injury” would constitute petty theft.

Another beneficiary of the Big Tech couple’s Facebook cash is Reform LA Jails.

Reform LA Jails, formed by Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of the racist hate group Black Lives Matter, worked to defund police through Measure J, and elect George Gascon, who has refused to prosecute criminals, ridiculed victims of violent crime, and unleashed a wave of terror.

While it was working to help criminals, Reform LA Jails also paid $191,000 to Cullors in 2019. That money probably enabled Cullors to afford her new $1.4 million house in Topanga Canyon.

It’s not enough money to move into an art deco mansion near Zuckerberg, but it’s a start.

Reform LA Jails was listed as being sponsored by the “Justice Team Network, A Project of Tides Advocacy”. The Justice Teams included Cullors, as well as Melina Abdullah, a BLM LA leader allied with Farrakhan whose hate rally had resulted in attacks on synagogues and Jewish businesses. Tides Advocacy appears to have poured at least $320,000 into Reform LA Jails.

$390,000 came from Patty Quillin, the wife of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. Quillin was a major backer of Gascon, and funded campaigns for pro-crime measures. The Netflix power couple live in Santa Cruz, but they’re happy to finance the destruction of Los Angeles.

Jane Fonda threw in $5,000, but compared to tech money that was chump change.

Open Philanthropy pushed a $750,000 grant for Reform LA Jails' pro-crime measure. The organization is a project of Dustin Moskovitz, a Facebook co-founder, and his wife Cari Tuna, who live in Palo Alto, and the Kriegers, flush with Facebook's cash, were also involved.

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, has plowed a ton of cash into various pro-crime bids through the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative with $350 million going to the Justice Accelerator Fund.

Accelerating justice and freeing criminals is a process that starts far from the Zuckerberg manor.

The Zuckerberg estate in Dolores Park is protected by a 15-man security team who helped turn the area into what neighbors described as "nothing short of a fortress."

No one liked Casa Zuckerberg and its guards who park on the street in their silver SUVs, but matters escalated when William "Gordon" Kinzer, an accountant who used to live in the Dolores Heights area, before being priced out by tech titans, lost his home and became mentally ill.

Kinzer began sleeping at a friend’s house. Zuckerberg’s private army didn’t like Kinzer. Team Zuckerberg took out a restraining order against the homeless accountant, accusing him of being a racist. The restraining order left Kinzer actually homeless, forcing him to sleep in his car.

"I was concerned for my safety," one of Zuck's guards claimed about the disabled accountant.

When Kinzer violated the restraining order, he was arrested.

Only a Big Tech billionaire’s lawyers could make a disabled man homeless and then arrest him while making it look like a win for social justice.

“You’re just a slave. How does it feel to work for a thug?” Kinzer was alleged to have asked.

It’s a valid question.

“I’ve been trying to present them with a message: No one is above the law,” Kinzer argued.

But that’s the whole point. Some people are above the law because they make the laws.

The Facebook CEO's security operation isn't a private matter. The guards are part of the company's massive security force with 6,000 personnel, some of whose thugs come from Pinkerton, while its intelligence unit spies on its employees, its users, and everyone else.

Facebook’s Chief Security Officer is a former CIA agent. Its Global Security Operations Center has three operational hubs, and monitors Zuckerberg’s home and top employees, while Its BOLO watchlist appears to track even those who speak badly about the CEO.

Since Facebook’s apps are on most phones, sometimes voluntarily and sometimes embedded forcibly by companies as part of a deal with the social media monopoly, the company’s security force is able to track much of the population of the country by using its own apps.

One former employee called Facebook's security machine “very Big Brother-esque.”

That’s why Facebook employees who spoke to reporters off the record would make a point of turning off their phones.

Big Tech security teams are one of the industry’s best-kept secrets. Staffed by former military, intel and cops, they’re armed, relentless, and ruthless. Behind the dot com playgrounds for young Ivy League engineers supplied with toys and snacks are the men in black who are there to make sure that they don’t leak any secrets or defect with them to Silicon Valley rivals.

While Facebook’s bigwigs talk about reimagining public safety for the rest of us, they like the current system just fine when it comes to protecting their wealth, their power, and their persons.

Zuckerberg has a team of 70 armed guards led by one of Biden's former Secret Service agents. When he goes anywhere, his security team shows up beforehand to check it out before letting him go inside. Undercover armed guards disguised to look like Facebook workers even surround him to keep him safe from a possible attack by his own employees at the office.

There's a secret route to get him out during an attack and bulletproof glass to keep him safe.

Facebook has 1,000 security officers in the Bay Area alone. The San Francisco Police Department has less than 2,000 police officers. Facebook’s force is half the size of the SFPD.

Menlo Park, where Facebook’s headquarters is located, has only 48 police officers, but the social media giant funded the creation of a ‘Facebook Unit’ police substation and provided over $11 million to assign a team of specific police officers to protect its headquarters.

Facebook’s “public-private partnership” had paid for its own police force with arrest powers.

This is public safety reimagined for the elites. Everyone else gets George Gascon and police defunding. We get riots in the streets, smashed windows, and looted stores while Facebook and its top executives get a private police force half the size of the real one. We get junkies, crazies, and thugs roaming the streets, beating, raping, and killing, while anyone who even annoys a Zuckerberg guard will be hit with restraining orders and then arrested in a flash.

The cries of the victims of pro-crime policies can’t be heard in the mansions of Palo Alto, in the tech fortresses of San Francisco, and through the screen of private guards and drones.

Big Tech execs want us to reimagine public safety. Armed guards for them, crime for us.

Instead, let’s imagine we all had the same safety they do. All we have to do is turn back the clock a decade before Big Tech megadonors trashed the justice system and the police.

And then we can all be as safe from crime and criminals as Mark Zuckerberg.

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 25, 2021

Earth Day is Killing Us

By On April 25, 2021
Grouches complain that a lot of fake holidays are created by companies, but Earth Day is actually a fake holiday created by a sharp Madison Avenue ad agency, and the name comes to us from the same guy who coined, “Timex: It takes a licking and keeps on ticking".

The Earth takes a licking much better than Timex watches, but it’s the job of ad agencies to convince us that consumer products are permanent, while the world is ephemeral.

Madison Avenue supplied the name, but Senator Gaylord Nelson, the eugenicist Democrat, had come up with the idea for the event. Gaylord’s Earth Day kickoff hit a bump when Indians showed up and threw garbage on the stage to protest his environmental plan to seize their land for a national park. But the media excised this inconvenient truth from Earth Day history.

Real inconvenient truths don’t appear in Al Gore’s documentaries.

It was 1970. Nixon’s Vietnamization was underway and the Left, sensing that its antiwar protests had a limited future, was looking to build a new movement. The idea came from Gaylord, the name came from Madison Avenue, but the culture war needed young radicals to organize, show up, protest, and tell their parents that they wanted Democrats running America forever.

That’s where Ira Einhorn, a young radical, who co-founded Earth Day and acted as the master of ceremonies at its first rally, came in. Einhorn had started out as an anti-war activist, but like Gaylord and other Democrats, he could see that the anti-war publicity machine was going away.

Everyone from politicians to ad agencies to aspiring gurus like Einhorn was looking for the next big cultural phenomenon that would speak to the narcissism of the luckiest generation in history. Einhorn realized that civil rights and anti-war rallies were getting old. The future was a new environmentalism that would make the old environmentalist eugenics look cool and hip.

Einhorn ended up committing totally by killing his girlfriend and composting her body. Then he fled to Europe where the same lefty activist network went on protecting him from prison.

Happy Earth Day.

Earth Day didn’t do anything for the environment except make a huge mess. Parade floats filled with garbage were used to warn about pollution. Students chalked messages on the street. Everyone drove out in cars for Earth Day to warn about the dangers of driving cars.

Gaylord’s Earth Day speech was revealing of what environmentalism was and wasn’t.

"Environment is all of America and its problems. It is rats in the ghetto. It is a hungry child in a land of affluence. It is housing that is not worthy of the name; neighborhoods not fit to inhabit. Environment is a problem perpetuated by the expenditure of billions a year on the Vietnam War," Gaylord rambled.

Environmentalism was everything and nothing. It was every Democrat agenda rolled into one. It was the welfare state and the anti-war movement.

If the Democrats were going to run on it, then it was environmentalism.

And if they weren’t, then it wasn’t.

At no time in his speech did Gaylord address any actual environmental problem. Instead he focused on urban blight, caused by his own party, and shamed Americans for their prosperity.

“Our goal is a new American ethic that sets new standards for progress, emphasizing human dignity and well being rather than an endless parade of technology that produces more gadgets, more waste, more pollution,” Gaylord insisted, invoking the faux spirituality already in vogue.

Finally he declared an "environmental war" to save America's cities that would only take "$20 to $25 billion more a year in federal money than we are spending or asking for now."

Joe Biden, who first ran for office that year, wants to spend $174 billion on just electric cars.

The endless war on the environment is starting to cost more than any actual war.

Billions have been spent with little to show for it except more cash in the pockets of environmentalist Democrats like Al Gore who built a $300 million fortune with his advocacy.

The planet is no better and no worse off since 1970. The same isn’t true of America.

In 1970, 62% of aggregate income went to the middle class. Today it's only 29%. The winners of the environmental economic war on Americans were the upper crust Earth Day crowd.

There are more gadgets than ever, but fewer Americans can afford them.

Environmentalist policies helped push jobs out to China while leaving American cities and towns barren. There are more rats in the ghettos and housing not worthy of its name than ever before.

The current big objective of the environmentalist movement and the Biden administration is to crush coal while taking another huge bite out of the remnants of the American middle class.

“Secretary Kerry trying to equate the job of an electrician in a coal mine who makes $110,000 to a solar tech, who might make $35,000 to $40,000, is not a good analogy for our state," Senator Shelley Moore Capito argued.

But it’s a great analogy if you’re trying to turn more of the middle class into the lower class.

Jimmy Carter made Denis Hayes, a key organizer of Earth Day, the director of the Federal Solar Energy Research Institute. Hayes had an undergraduate degree in history from Stanford. Despite never having a degree in anything science related, he became a visiting professor at Stanford's School of Engineering and the CEO of Earth Day. He remains a board member of Earth Day alongside such notables as the President of Finland, the head of the Wells Fargo Foundation, and a woman whose bio lists her as an “internationally renowned chef.”

The Earth Day store offers "premium organic" t-shirts urging "Make Every Day Earth Day" for $28 bucks "Far out, man! This classic tie-dye T-shirt is bringing the 60’s back in style," the ad copy declares. The details mention that the actual fabric is imported. You can guess from where.

The same goes for the rest of the expensive junk in the Earth Day store.

In 1970, there were 18 million manufacturing jobs in the United States. Today there are 12 million and that’s after a period of record growth under President Trump.

China has built a manufacturing empire. It happily celebrates Earth Day because every advent of the fake Madison Avenue headline means more American jobs and dollars headed its way.

Earth Day, according to Senator Gaylord Nelson, was supposed to address poverty in America. Instead Earth Day has been the biggest machine for creating poverty, hunger, and misery in America. Environmentalism didn’t fight poverty, it spread it, trading American jobs and social mobility for the smugness of upper class students seeking a new political fight after Vietnam.

As much as the anti-war movement hurt America, the environmental movement did worse.

Almost as many Americans kill themselves in one year as died in the entire Vietnam War. The suicide rate shot up 35% in the last twenty years.

Losing America was much worse than losing Vietnam.

Every Earth Day comes with the usual recitation of political dogma with which children are indoctrinated before they can even read. On one side are piles of trash and on the other side are whales and polar bears happily dancing arm-in-fluke. The truth is that on one side there are Ivy League colleges and environmentalist think tanks while on the other side there is the Rust Belt, there are millions of Americans without jobs and without hope, and millions more waiting to see if the Biden administration will take away their jobs, their homes, and their futures.

The wages of Earth Day are ‘Love Canals’ all over America with dying towns, workers permanently out of work, dying of meth, committing suicide in unprecedented numbers.

Earth Day is America’s Chernobyl, an environmentalist catastrophe that is killing us. And Earth Day has destroyed more of America than any environmental catastrophe ever could.

It’s time to end the great hoax from Madison Avenue, from a brutal killer and a political hack, before it destroys what’s left of America.

Kill Earth Day before it kills 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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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Biden Puts Specialist in Illegal Aliens in Charge of Census

By On April 22, 2021
The media is touting Biden’s pick of Robert Santos as historic because he would be the first “census director of color”. Emphasizing the race or ethnicity of Biden’s nominees has become the media’s usual tactic for obscuring their radicalism while accusing their critics of racism.

As a third-generation American whose grandparents came to this country over a century ago, whose parents raised him not to speak Spanish, Santos is hardly an oppressed minority.

During the census, the media repeatedly trotted Santos out to warn that minorities would be undercounted and that the citizenship question would suppress minority participation.

“If the administration tries to take out undocumented folks, that’s going to lead to lot of litigation,” Santos warned.

"There is no question that in my mind that the citizenship question would deter participation by some parts of the public,” he told NPR.

And for a nominee to head the Census Bureau, Santos has a curious specialty: illegal aliens.

The Urban Institute, where he serves as Vice President, stated that his, "specialty areas include undocumented immigrants and other disadvantaged populations". Santos’ first publication was for a partnership between the Urban Institute and the National Council of La Raza.

The La Raza report, partly authored by Santos, was titled, “Paying the Price: The Impact of Immigration Raids on America’s Children”. La Raza, meaning The Race. The term is based on La Raza Cosmica, an essay by Jose Vasconcelos, Mexico's leftist Minister of Education, whose racist obsession with creating a mixed master race led him to eugenics and Nazi Germany.

Vasconcelos believed that mestizos would form a new fifth race that would be superior to Europeans and Africans whom he deemed inferior. While pushing a combined race/ethnicity census question in an interview, Santos said, “When I fill out the census form, I check the Latino-Hispanic-Mexican American box and when it comes to race I mark 'other' an insert 'mestizo' because that's how I feel about race and ethnicity."

Santos got involved in the Raza Unida party when he was in college. The name means, “The Race United”. Its racial nationalism envisioned Aztlan, a new Aztec homeland carved out of America. Its famous chant, "Viva La Raza!" meant "Hail the Race".

“We have got to eliminate the gringo, and what I mean by that is if the worst comes to worst, we have got to kill him,” Jose Angel Gutierrez, a founder and leader of the racist Raza Unida Party, had declared.

Being a member of a racist hate group would normally preclude any kind of major political post, but leftist racist hate groups are a different story.

“The Raza Unida party gained some popularity and I was able to meet some of the principals in the city that included poets, musicians, political scientists, activists and so on. I quickly embraced being a Chicano, a Mestizo… I was Raza!” Santos cheerfully recollected his racial awakening. “They were more concerned with building political power and civic engagement.”

Santos then went to college on a Ford Foundation fellowship. The Ford Foundation had been the financial backer behind Gutierrez’s Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO) and later funded the National Council of La Raza.

The Ford Foundation also provided support to the Urban Institute.

“I was among the last cohorts to benefit from Affirmative Action,” Santos noted. He joined the Association for Critical Social Studies, a radical leftist group whose only surviving mention is a mural that it sponsored entitled, ‘Struggle of the Classes’ by a Mexican Communist artist who had previously drawn pictures of Marx and Lenin.

His career continues to reflect the use of statistics for political goals.

Santos’ publications emphasize claims of discrimination. His policy areas include “immigration and refugees, environmental issues, housing discrimination”. No one was expecting Biden to put forward a moderate, but even his bio makes little effort to present Santos as anything other than an activist on a mission. And activists shouldn’t be in charge of the Census Bureau.

During the census, his proposals, a combined race and ethnicity question, and adding a transgender category, have been heavy on identity politics. And identity politics is politics.

Democrats claimed that President Trump was politicising the census, and now they’ve made it abundantly clear that they intend to politicise it by appointing a specialist in illegal aliens.

When Santos was fear mongering about the census, the media took pains to describe his Urban Institute as “non-partisan”. But it’s financed by the usual slate of lefty non-profit donors like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, the MacArthur Foundation, the Rockefellers, and Bloomberg's Everytown. Its political goals, especially when it comes to immigration, are quite familiar, and involved fighting against any effort to reform immigration even through the public charge rule.

The next census is a decade away, but Santos can help shape the statistical priorities of a radical movement that loves the idea of gaining data for its extreme political agendas.

And in Santos they have a political activist with a history of radicalism.

The census is meant to measure the population of the United States, but Robert Santos, like most leftists besotted with identity politics, is only interested in narrow parts of that population.

That alone is reason enough why he doesn’t belong at the head of the Census Bureau.

Santos’ leftist racial nationalism is bad enough. In a lecture, he claims that, “just as Latino young adults embraced the terms Chicano and Mestizo in the 1970s, today’s Latino Millennials are drawn to the term Latinx which is gender neutral.” Latinx is as popular as Mestizo ever was. Few Latinos want to identify themselves through the ideas of radical leftist theorists.

But Santos can’t envision Latino identity except through a leftist paradigm. Latinos, like the United States of America, must be broken and remade into a progressive new form.

Looking at a photo of himself as a child, he can only think, “It’s a Davy Crockett shirt! The same Davy Crockett that helped take Texas away from my Mexican ancestors.”

That’s not a man who can take America’s measure. And yet he’s Biden’s choice.

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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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Criticizing BLM is Unforgivable, Killing Jews is Understandable

By On April 21, 2021
In 2019, Rina Shnerb, a 17-year-old girl who had been hiking in Israel with her father and brother, was blown up by a bomb. Rabbi Eitan Shnerb, who ran a charity that handed out clothes and food to the poor, had enough time to kiss Rina on the forehead, before she died.

"I will say of the LORD, who is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust," the Rabbi at her gravesite chanted the words of Psalm 91. "Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold, and see the recompense of the wicked."

Abdel Razeq Farraj, who was indicted for authorizing the attack, had been named as a career PFLP terrorist who had served 6 years in prison and had been arrested six times. The year that Rina was murdered, Farraj took part in an Adalah youth event in partnership with a PFLP affiliate.

Adalah is one of the anti-Israel hate groups funded by the New Israel Fund (NIF).

According to an NGO Monitor report, the NIF has directed $720,481 to Adalah. George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, who has also funded J Street, is another major donor.

Last fall, Beth Badik, a J Street supporter who serves on the regional committee for the anti-Israel NIF, and Barbara Penzner, a Reconstructionist cleric who had signed a J Street petition opposing a ban on BDS and another calling for engagement with a terrorist government, demanded that the Jewish Community Relations Council of Boston kick out the ZOA.

The Zionist Organization of America is the country’s leading pro-Israel group so Badik and Penzner’s animosity toward it and to Morton Klein, its unapologetically pro-Israel leader, was understandable. The anti-Israel Left had spent generations trying to seize control of the organizational establishment of the Jewish community in order to cut off support to Israel.

And they didn’t have far to go.

Badik, who is a supporter of one anti-Israel group and affiliated with another, also sits on the JCRC of Boston's Israel & Global Jewry Committee.

What was bizarre was the accusation in Badik and Penzner’s op-ed, “We’re Calling for ZOA to Be Kicked out of Boston’s JCRC”, the petition backed by J Street, the NIF, and a number of other anti-Israel groups, and the JCRC’s final response affirming the bizarre accusation that Morton Klein, the son of Holocaust survivors, was supporting white supremacists.

Their evidence was that Klein (pictured above) has called Black Lives Matter “a Jew hating, White hating, Israel hating, conservative Black hating, violence promoting, dangerous Soros funded extremist group of haters” and correctly noted that its ranks are “filled with hatred against Jewish people.”

Not only had the Boston JCRC and Jewish organizations failed to condemn the BLM riots which had vandalized synagogues and assaulted Jews, especially in the Fairfax Pogrom in Los Angeles, but they had decided to treat criticism of the black supremacist hate group as racist.

If the Boston JCRC had any standards, it’s the anti-Israel organizations calling for ZOA’s removal which should have been condemned and kicked out of any Jewish community alliance.

Beginning with J Street.

Rep. Ilhan Omar had attended J Street’s gala dinner and praised an exhibit smearing Israel. It’s chosen to honor Jimmy Carter who had falsely accused Israel of being an apartheid state.

While the anti-Israel groups were attacking the ZOA for opposing BLM, neither they nor the Boston JCRC seemed particularly interested in actually defending Jews against antisemitism.

The anti-ZOA petition was obsessed with social justice, election integrity, and the other shibboleths of a leftist establishment that is incapable of actually talking about Jewish issues as an end, not a means.

J Street, which was behind the petition, had defended Rep. Ilhan Omar, even as ZOA and Klein had condemned her antisemitic tweets. Just as J Street has called for making a deal with Hamas. The J Street campaign to oust the ZOA attacked it for condemning George Soros while neglecting to mention that Soros had been a major funder of the anti-Israel organization.

If JCRC Boston and J Street consider Klein’s statements provocative, what of Soros’ belief that the "resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe" is caused by Israel and that the “attitudes toward the Jewish community are influenced by the pro-Israel lobby’s success in suppressing divergent views.” What are these except typical antisemitic tropes and defenses of antisemitism?

Has J Street ever been asked to condemn these statements by its own backer?

And if “rhetoric that has been associated with antisemitic tropes” is a cause for expulsion, then how can the Boston JCRC justify letting any Soros-funded group remain in its umbrella group?

And it gets worse.

The Boston Workmen’s Circle, one of the groups petitioning to kick the ZOA out, proudly notes in its own literature that members of the Workmen’s Circle included Communists and that “The first member expelled from the Workmen’s Circle was kicked out in 1901 for working on behalf of the Republican Party.” A member of the group recently wrote an angry open letter to Chelsea Clinton celebrating the fact that one of her heroines was a Marxist and a Communist.

Even though the Communists killed countless Jews and ethnically cleansed the Jewish communities under their rule, forcibly closing synagogues, imprisoning and killing Rabbis, and banning the entire Hebrew language, that doesn’t get you condemned by the JCRC.

The BWC even held an event featuring "longtime BWC member Alice Rothchild".

Rothchild is a radical anti-Israel activist who is a member of the anti-Israel JVP BDS hate group that was considered too extreme even for the Boston JCRC.

Rothchild has described herself as a "self-hating Jew", falsely claimed that “the anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism that can now be found in Muslim countries began almost entirely with the founding of the State of Israel", and posted on an antisemitic site that, “If I believed in a wrathful God, I might wonder why the Jewish National Fund forests were burning?"

"Hamas has produced horrific suicide bombers and incredible social service agencies building schools and hospitals and caring for the forgotten population. Hamas grew out of a response to Israeli oppression during the First Intifada," Rothchild was quoted as saying.

According to the JCRC, uplifting the voices of the worst sorts of deranged antisemitism from the Left isn’t a problem, but Morton Klein condemning BLM, Soros, and other Jewhaters is a crisis.

The Badik and Penzner op-ed argued that failing to kick out the ZOA would “convey an astonishing lack of empathy, decency and basic compassion, for people of color, for immigrants and Muslims”. The only astonishing thing here is the utter lack of interest in Jewish interests by leftist activists who claim to be Jewish and even more falsely to speak on behalf of Jews.

Where is their basic compassion, their empathy and decency toward the Jewish synagogues and small businesses hatefully assaulted by Black Lives Matter rioters, and for the Jews of Israel living under the shadow of Islamic terrorism?

The New Israel Fund, in which Badik plays a role, and which is one of the leftist groups that demanded the expulsion of the ZOA, has funded BDS organizations and groups linked to terrorism. The lack of basic compassion, empathy, and decency that is required to be a member of the New Israel Fund is astonishing. As is the disinterest from the Boston JCRC.

Criticizing Black Lives Matter is unforgivable no matter how many synagogues they trash, but Jewish lives are worthless to organizations with ‘Jewish’ in their names, but not their hearts.

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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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The Tyranny of Meaninglessness

By On April 20, 2021
Joe Biden is always redefining things by Bidenizing them into random strings of gibberish like “lying, dog-faced pony soldier” or turning them into Bidenisms.

But these days his administration is ambitiously trying to redefine the entire English language.

“I want to change the paradigm,” Biden told reporters. “I would like elected Republican support, but what I know I have now is I have electoral support from Republican voters. Republican voters agree with what I’m doing.”

Like every other word that comes out of Biden’s mouth, that’s a lie. A Gallup poll in March found that Biden’s approval rating among Republicans is at 8%. That’s down from 12% in February.

“What’s become crystal clear is that Biden has redefined bipartisan," Obama crony Rahm Emanuel argued. "And Washington is slow to catch up to the Biden definition.”

The Biden definition of bipartisan is having the support of 8% of Republicans.

Not only is Washington D.C. slow to catch up to the Biden definition of bipartisan, but so is the dictionary. Biden’s advisers however argue that the dictionary’s arc bends toward Biden.

“If you looked up ‘bipartisan’ in the dictionary, I think it would say support from Republicans and Democrats,” Anita Dunn, who has advised Biden and Harvey Weinstein, argued. “It doesn’t say the Republicans have to be in Congress.”

It doesn’t say that the Democrats have to be in congress either if it’s a book club. But if it’s bipartisan governing, then it has to be Republican and Democrat elected officials.

“The Biden definition of bipartisanship is an agenda that unifies the country and appeals across the political spectrum,” Mike Donilon, a senior Biden adviser, argued. “Presumably, if you have an agenda that is broadly popular with Democrats and Republicans across the country, then you should have elected representatives reflecting that.”

The Framers also thought so which is why they put into place a system of elected officials chosen by the people to represent them. Biden would like to replace that with claiming that Republicans support him in a poll so he can eliminate the filibuster, pack the Supreme Court, add Puerto Rico, D.C., and his family home as states, and rule a one-party state.

Fresh off redefining ‘bipartisan’, the Biden administration also redefined ‘infrastructure’ to mean funding the Democrat welfare state.

“I mean, what is infrastructure? Historically, it's been: What makes the economy move,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, contended.

Since everything makes the economy move, in one direction or another, then everything is infrastructure. But if everything is infrastructure, then nothing is infrastructure.

In the hands of lefty linguists, infrastructure, like the Constitution or bipartisanship, ceases to be tethered to the dictionary or the meanings imbued by a bunch of old white male racists, and becomes a universal concept. Or as Granholm argued, “as the president said this week, that infrastructure evolves to meet the American people's aspirations.”

Infrastructure, like the living constitution, is constantly evolving to meet lefty aspirations. One day it’s a bridge, another day it’s abortion, and the end of free speech.

“We don't want to use past definitions of infrastructure, when we are moving into the future,” Granholm whined. Definitions are static. They exist in the past. But the party of progress, as embodied by a 78-year-old man who keeps stumbling over words and falling down, is using definitions from the future for Newspeak dictionaries that haven’t even been invented yet.

If ‘infrastructure’ or ‘bipartisanship’ mean whatever Biden says it does, then he’s an absolute dictator, and reality means whatever lying, dog-faced pony soldier decides it does this week.

But Biden is always redefining things.

The serial Democrat lecher started out, like Bill Clinton, by redefining sex. Except that Biden, in one of his first executive orders, redefined sex to mean some intangible psychologically subjective concept of sex not based on science or biology, rather than men and women.

Once you’ve redefined women out of existence, redefining bipartisan to mean a one-party state, and infrastructure to mean social services is easy. All it takes is the refusal to be bound by the narrow categories of the past and then bridges, gender, and tyranny can be surprisingly fluid.

Last year, Biden had already redefined being a Catholic.

“Biden Could Redefine What It Means to be ‘a Catholic in Good Standing,” the Washington Post argued. Predictably, the argument was all about a more fluid definition of Catholicism and “what kinds of Catholicism they think most urgently needs to be advanced”. The Biden brand involves “poverty, refugees and the environment” which has as much to do with Catholicism as Tikkun Olam’s emphasis on “poverty, refugees, and the environment” has to do with Judaism.

But when you’re already redefining the Constitution, gender, and the meaning of simple words, why not also redefine religion away from narrow categories of belief, and into an evolving religion of the future in which things mean whatever we want them to mean at any moment.

When words mean nothing, then ideas mean nothing, and it’s easy to redefine Catholicism and Judaism to mean Muslim immigration, Obamaphones, and subsidies for luxury ‘green’ SUVs.

As George Orwell rightly noted, the refusal to allow words to mean anything is tyranny.

Without objective meanings, there are no laws and therefore no rights. There are no restraints on the power of the state when it refuses to be bound by the mere definitions of words.

Democrats spent generations trying to nullify the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights by arguing about the meaning of “arms”. Now they’re trying to do the same thing to the First Amendment by putting forward exciting new definitions of “speech” and the “press”.

Recent mainstream media editorials attacking free speech include "Why Is Big Tech Policing Free Speech? Because the Government Isn’t", "Free Speech is Killing Us" and “Why America Needs a Hate Speech Law.”

That last one was written by a Biden transition official, who sneered that, “the intellectual underpinning of the First Amendment was engineered for a simpler era” and that, “the framers believed that this marketplace was necessary” from which “magically, truth would emerge.” An important prerequisite for the emergence of truth is the magic of allowing people to speak and for words to mean something. When there’s no free speech or meaningful speech, truth dies.

In our exciting leftist future, we know that speech, like gender, infrastructure, and bipartisanship, have to be redefined to mean whatever the government has decided that it should mean.

The truth can only emerge from the government and its political media partners.

And if you doubt that, you probably believe that infrastructure means roads, that women exist, that free speech means the freedom to speak, rather than being told what you can say.

Bad speech “undermines the values that the First Amendment was designed to protect: fairness, due process, equality before the law,” the Biden transition official argued.

The only way to save the true values of the First Amendment is to destroy its literal meaning.

This is the same argument that you will find behind every Biden redefinition which insists on a definition so inclusive that it includes everything except what it actually means.

Catholicism and Judaism mean everything except their own traditional teachings. Sex means everything except men and women. Infrastructure means everything except roads and bridges.

And bipartisanship means everything except elected officials from two parties working together.

America also needs to be redefined from a country and a people to an idea that includes the entire world and everything in it, except its own citizens and a country with borders.

When America, like religion and words, means everything then it means nothing.

And who better than Joe Biden, who redefines sentences into incomprehensible word salads randomly assembled from a Scrabble session, to usher in the end of the English language.

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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Monday, April 19, 2021

Boehner Stands to Make Millions in Drug Money From Biden Win

By On April 19, 2021
Nine years ago, the New York Times was accusing John Boehner of racism. Now it’s eager to lap up every drop of vomitous bile from the former Republican House Speaker.

When Boehner asked Obama to move his speech by one day to avoid clashing with a Republican debate, NBC political analyst Richard Wolffe suggested that Boehner only did it because of "the color of his skin". Wolffe meant Obama's skin, not Boehner's, which always looks like spoiled meat served in some blackmarket back alley cafe in Havana.

Since then Boehner has followed the usual career track of former RINOs from “worse than Hitler” to “sleazy lobbyist” to “author of unnecessary memoir bashing Trump”.

Boehner’s memoir On The House, like his political career, has no reason to exist. Even when he occupied one of the most powerful elected positions in the country, Boehner was mostly notable for looking like he was on the edge of tears. That and the time his bartender was arrested for wanting to poison him. That seemed unnecessary as Boehner was doing the job for him.

“If you’ve got a long night ahead of you, you usually find that drinking liquor for several hours is pretty much unsustainable. Plus, nothing that sweet can be good for you in the long run. And so I settled on wine. Drinking wine is a marathon, not a sprint, and makes sense for the more mature drinker,” Boehner writes in On The House.

This sort of thing might be more interesting if Hunter Biden hadn’t set the bar pretty high and it’s not what the American subsidiary of an English subsidiary of a German publishing giant is paying the weepy politician for. And so Boehner’s interviews are littered with “exclusives” about how much he hates Republicans. Even there, On The House is a failure. Boehner left office before President Trump’s shocking victory and his Trump-bashing comes from cable news.

On The House tries to settle grudges against Freedom Caucus members and Senator Ted Cruz from a decade ago that, like everything Boehner has to say, no one cares about.

All that's left is for Boehner to join the roster of ‘ex-racists’ touting Biden. When the slimy ex-speaker calls Biden a "good guy", that's not an endorsement anyone would want.

And when Biden quipped that he "loved" Boehner, that's almost as bad.

What’s there to love? Let’s forget the booze and go right to the pot.

While Boehner can be found addressing the Bank of Montreal, the Edison Electric Institute (an electric company lobby), and a Portland life insurance company offering services to the "ultra-affluent" for pay, he's better known for going to pot.

Boehner, who had opposed drugs as an elected official, received the high honor of heading up the National Cannabis Roundtable to lobby for drug legalization. The former House Speaker came by the position naturally since he was already on the board of Acreage Holdings.

Acreage Holdings has one of the biggest marijuana operations in America. As Democrats began to legalize drugs in select states, companies were formed to get in on the action. But despite all the hype, the marijuana business was a disaster.

Legalizing and taxing pot just meant users buying cheap ‘illegal’ pot from drug dealers.

Acreage tried opening operations everywhere only to pull back. The marijuana company suffered $286 million in net losses in 2020. But there was some good news.

Canopy Growth, a Canadian company, controlled by Constellation Brands, a liquor company which owns everything from Svedka Vodka to Robert Mondavi, has a deal to buy Acreage on the condition that marijuana is federally legalized in the United States.

And the only way that could happen is with a Democrat in the White House.

As one headline bluntly put it, “Canopy Growth Is Headed to $0 Without a Biden Victory”.

"Canopy Growth, will need U.S. federal legalization to survive. Without it, the marijuana company’s negative cash flow will eventually bankrupt it," the Investor Place article pointed out. "Four more years of a Trump presidency, however, would push CGC over the edge... CGC will likely close its doors before the 2024 election comes around."

Fortunately, Biden had promised to legalize pot, and "Senator Kamala Harris... introduced the Democrat-championed bill that would essentially legalize marijuana on the federal level."

But, "the MORE Act will need a Democratic-controlled White House and Senate to pass."

Acreage and its investors needed President Trump and Republicans to lose across the board. And they need to retain control of the House and Senate long enough to legalize marijuana.

What’s at stake for Boehner? A lot.

As Bloomberg News reported, he can “collect $1.59 million in cash once shareholders approve Canopy Growth Corp.’s acquisition of Acreage Holdings Inc..”

Boehner had 625,000 shares of Acreage at the time the article was written and it noted that, "if his former colleagues in Congress help make marijuana federally legal, he’d be eligible to receive Canopy shares worth about $16 million."

A New York Times article wrote that, “Boehner’s pro-weed epiphany coincides with the prospect of a payday as high as $20 million.”

That’s a lot of money. And to collect all that drug money, Boehner needs Republicans to lose.

Who was Boehner going to back in the election? Not the Trump administration which had tossed Obama’s pro-marijuana Cole memo which had been used to build a new drug industry.

And not Republicans who aren’t friendly enough to his new drug industry friends.

Boehner is a founding board member of the National Institute for Cannabis Investors, where he could be seen on video assuring investors that the ban on pot is almost over and the money is about to come pouring in.

“Speaker Boehner has the inside track on the future of this green gold rush” a 2018 promo titled for an event titled, "American Cannabis Summit: Countdown to Legalization".

In 2020, Acreage had borrowed $15 million at a 60% interest rate. The gold was rushing out.

Federal legalization of pot would be Acreage’s salvation and for that to happen, the Democrats need to maintain control of the government.

If Boehner’s financial situation hasn’t changed significantly, there are millions at stake.

Defeating Republicans in 2020 and 2022 would be in his financial interest.

All of this is at odds with Boehner’s feeble attempt to build a reputation as a principled legislator decrying the fanatical excesses of House conservatives. Boehner has no principles.

You can see why Biden loves Boehner. And why Boehner loves him back.

The media doesn’t want to puncture the spectacle of the sleazy sad sack doing a tour for a book no one wants and taking the same old cheap shots at President Trump and Republicans by asking him how much money was at stake for him in Biden’s win. And how much money is at stake if Republicans lose again in 2022 and Democrats hold on to control of the government?

That would be awkward. After falsely calling Boehner a racist for years, media outlets are happy to nod along as he launches into the same talking points we’ve heard from Kasich, Schwartzenegger, and the rest of the RINO gang who can’t wait to talk about the golden days.

A decade ago the media was smearing Boehner as a radical bigot who was obstructing Obama. Now, Boehner is happy to smear Republicans as radical bigots who are obstructing Biden.

It’s cynical, dishonest, and sleazy. But compared to selling drugs, it’s actually not that bad.

Ask John Boehner about his principles. And then ask him how much his principles cost.

Is it $15 million or $20 million?

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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