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Wednesday, June 09, 2021

How Democrats Created a Carjacking Outbreak

By On June 09, 2021
Carjacking is booming like no form of crime in Biden’s America. Homicides are up, especially in those cities that defunded their police, pharmacies are going out of business in San Francisco and other cities where shoplifting was legalized, but stealing cars is where it’s really at now.

Carjackings more than doubled in Chicago, and increased 537% in Minneapolis, the capital of police defunding, and around 500% in Washington D.C.

In Atlanta, mayoral candidate Antonio Brown, who had advocated defunding the police, was leaving a ribbon-cutting ceremony when he was carjacked and dragged for a block.

“These kids were in my opinion somewhere between 7- and 11-years-old," Councilman Brown said, after calling the police.

They probably weren’t 7, but 11 is all too plausible because the carjackers are getting younger.

The nation was briefly shocked when four children, including an 11-year-old and a 12-year-old, were busted for armed robberies and carjackings in California. A 12-year-old was arrested for four armed carjackings in an hour in Washington D.C. In Pittsburgh, a carjacking crash ended in the deaths of three teen carjackers: the youngest of whom was a 14-year-old.

In one of the worst teen carjackings, two teenage girls, a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old, carjacked and killed a Pakistani Uber driver.

(One reason Ubers have become harder to find is that drivers are afraid of being carjacked.)

In Philly, a Lyft driver avoided a similar fate by pulling out his gun and shooting a 14-year-old carjacker.

The media, which assured the country that defunding the police, freeing all the criminals, and ending bail would reform public safety, claims to be baffled by the rise in carjackings.

Some are blaming the increase in teen carjackings on the teachers’ union shutdown of schools.

That’s certainly a factor, but the teens turning to carjacking would otherwise be moving drugs. The pandemic lockdowns however made stealing cars more profitable than running drugs.

The lockdown’s destruction of the economy has made new homes unaffordable, and also increased the price of cars. Fewer people and businesses could afford to make big new purchases during the shutdown, and instead held on to their existing cars.

The price of new cars is sharply up, but used car prices have shot up by as much as a quarter and inventory is low. That’s where the carjackers come in. Supply is meeting demand.

It’s not just the consumer market. There are severe rental car shortages and Uber shortages.

Even after the economic devastation of the Democrat lockdowns, Biden’s signature program is pushing subsidized electric cars. Car manufacturers are waiting to see what sort of mandates and rewards they’ll be dealing with under Biden’s infrastructure program. And with the supply of chips low and prices rising, they’re in no hurry to roll out cars they may not be allowed to sell.

Under Obama’s disastrous Cash for Clunkers environmentalist program, used car prices shot up 10% and used SUVs rose 30%. Inventory dropped and people were no longer able to afford used cars. Biden is helping bring back Obama’s economic woes in a bigger way.

While the luxury housing and car markets are thriving, the lower end has locked millions of Americans out of buying a home or a car. Car manufacturers are happy to push luxury electric SUVs to buyers who can afford to pay whatever the asking price may be. Working class and middle class car buyers and businesses that depend on fleets of vehicles are out of luck.

Urban organized crime is meeting the demand for used cars with underage carjackers.

Democrat municipalities dismantled law enforcement, destroyed police morale, and shut down much of the justice system in response to the Black Lives Matter riots over the overdose death of George Floyd. The arrest and prosecution of teens, already unpopular, went by the wayside.

The same drug rings exploiting children to run drugs began using them to steal cars.

Organized gangs employed young recruits to shoplift from stores when it became clear that even the most brazen daylight robberies would not be prosecuted in major urban areas.

Especially if the perpetrators were teens. And the younger the teens, the better.

Gangs that had used children to run drugs because they were unlikely to face serious charges moved them into robbery and then, as cars became a hot commodity, into carjacking.

The criminal justice reform movement has fought against prosecuting teenagers, even those who commit murder, as adults. And, indeed, the two teen girls who killed an Uber driver in D.C. reportedly reached a plea deal. Teen carjackers know that even if they kill their victim, the worst thing that will happen is they’ll be in the custody of the state until they become legal adults.

Teen carjackers assault drivers while fearlessly brandishing guns like it’s hunting season because they know the police won’t shoot them and district attorneys won’t lock them up.

While criminal justice reformers claimed that trying teens as adults ‘criminalized’ children, it dissuaded teens and, more importantly, the organized gangs using them as pawns. The decriminalization of teenage crimes led to a boom in teens being recruited by organized crime.

The more Democrats refuse to prosecute teens, the more teens become criminals. And their crimes escalate until they destroy someone else’s lives or just their own.

These kinds of unintended consequences are typical of criminal justice reform.

The carjacking boom is the outgrowth of the two worst Democrat policies from 2020. The lockdowns wrecked the economy and created a booming black market for criminals. The BLM movement and its race riots helped spur a decriminalization that led to a massive crime wave.

If Biden’s electric car push implodes, the auto market may begin to stabilize and recover. But the carjackings will just give way to other lucrative criminal enterprises. Decriminalizing drugs and prostitution won’t decrease crime or make society safer. The most basic level of crime is still theft. Legalizing immoral social ills will just shift criminal resources over to various forms of theft.

Democrats have become socialists and their obsession with controlling markets is leading to artificial shortages that criminals are happy to meet by redistributing some wealth. Like cars.

Socialism, whether in the USA or the USSR, feeds a black market as consumers try to get hold of whatever is no longer available in the controlled legal marketplace. And since those socialists criminalized legal sales of many products, while decriminalizing crime, the criminals are filling niches by stealing from those who have a product in order to sell it to someone who doesn’t.

When capitalism becomes a crime, then criminals become capitalists.

The nightmare of 11-year-olds stealing cars at gunpoint in Washington D.C., Chicago, Philly, and other major cities, was born from the pandemic lockdowns and the Black Lives Matter riots.

Everything that Biden and the Democrats are doing will only make the new crime wave worse.

In Biden’s America, carjacking is how used car sales work. And 11-year-olds hijacking cars at gunpoint are the new used car procurers of a broken economy that prints worthless money.

The Democrats are happy to write everyone a check. But pieces of paper with Biden’s signature on them are only worth what they can buy. Biden’s checks can’t buy you a car or a home. But they’ll buy a car stolen by an 11-year-old boy being run by Biden’s base of urban criminals. If he gets caught, he’ll be out the next day. And you’ll still be out of a car. You may not be able to find a new or used car you can afford to replace it with on the lot, but the carjackers will find one.

That’s the Biden economy.

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

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Thank you for reading.

Monday, June 07, 2021

Jewish Studies Has an Anti-Semitism Problem

By On June 07, 2021
When Sultan Doughan signed a hateful letter falsely claiming that Israel and Zionism were based on "Jewish Supremacy", a term popularized by Neo-Nazi leader David Duke, that ugly rhetoric wouldn’t have attracted much attention in an antisemitic time... except for one thing.

Doughan is a Muslim postdoctoral associate at Boston University's Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies.

Her work at a center named after one of the most prominent writers about the Holocaust includes the “case of a German-Palestinian museum guide who lost her job over a controversy that was triggered by her comparing her own family’s traumatic past in the Nakba with Jewish experiences during the Holocaust.”

More accurately, the guide compared the Jews to the Nazis at the Anne Frank House.

In her thesis, Doughan complains that "Muslims have to submit to the Holocaust" and that the "Holocaust remains an exceptional event in German discourse, authorizing immigration policies, citizenship tests and discrimination" against Muslims.

Muslims emerge as the "new Jews" who are being victimized by the Holocaust, not just in Israel, but in Germany, where they are asked not to spew hate at Jews as a condition of citizenship.

Doughan appears to suggest that compensation funds for the Holocaust be used for Muslims.

She smears a Muslim social worker fighting antisemitism over his shock at a woman declaring, “I’d rather send my daughter to Tel Aviv to blow herself up." Doughan accuses him of being a "driver of imported 'Muslim anti-Semitism'” because his worry over "the idea of killing Jews was greater than his worry for this concrete girl possibly dying in the course of such an act."

This would be a moral abomination anywhere, but it’s especially horrifying within the context of a Jewish Studies center named after Elie Wiesel.

But the hateful anti-Israel letter using Neo-Nazi language toward Jews reveals just how deep the rot in Jewish Studies has become. While African-American Studies departments promote positive narratives about black people, Jewish Studies departments do the opposite to Jews.

Often they’re used to attack Jews from the inside while advancing anti-Jewish narratives.

Pratima Gopalakrishnan, another signatory to the "Jewish Supremacy" letter, is a post-doc at the Duke Center for Jewish Studies who rants about Israel on Twitter and ponders "how intro classes on the ancient Near East can make intentional connections to Palestine today".

Pratima claims to be studying "ancient Judaism" using "theoretical approaches drawn from feminist and queer theory". That hostile lens is supplemented with a column on the Torah for Jewish Currents, a former Communist publication that celebrated the Muslim rape and murder of Jews, and firing off social media blood libels about “Israel’s military aggression against the people of Gaza”, and false claims about the “ethnic cleansing of Palestinians”.

Lila Corwin Berman, who holds a chair in American Jewish History at Temple University, is also one of the more prominent figures in Jewish studies as chair of the Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society. Her signature on the hateful letter is unsurprising considering her opposition to anti-BDS measures, and support for anti-Israel groups.

Berman has appeared with Peter Beinart, who has called for the destruction of Israel, and supported him, and promoted material from the JVP pro-terrorist hate group.

She also took part in a webinar for the former Communist Jewish Currents anti-Israel site.

Beyond her anti-Israel activism, Berman has labored to rid Jewish Studies of Jews.

In "Jewish History Beyond the Jewish People", Berman argues that "Jewishness may help us interpret a person, a place, an idea, a text, an object, or a relationship without first having to meet any preexisting condition of being Jewish." What then makes Jewish Studies, Jewish?

"Is it possible to think of Jewishness as anything other than real Jewish bodies and spaces?" Berman wheedles. "When we write Jewish history beyond its foundational claims—the Jewish people or a Jewish space—we must announce that these claims are neither inevitable nor eternal." That is a prerequisite to the destruction of the Jewish people.

Mostafa Hussein, another signatory to the "Jewish Supremacy" letter, has a PhD in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis. He's currently teaching at the Department of Judaic Studies at Michigan University where he's working on a book arguing that Zionism was based on Arab and Islamic ideas. Hussein, a graduate of Egypt's Al-Azhar University, claims that Jews constructed "the identity of the new Jew and his sense of belonging to the Land of Palestine/Israel" by having "exploited Arabo-Islamic knowledge".

The problem is not simply that some people involved in Jewish Studies hate Israel in their own free time, or even that they sign letters using the language of David Duke, it’s that they center their own extremist agendas at the expense of the Jewish people, whose heritage and legacy they exploit in a broader campaign to attack Jews using Jewish Studies as their weapon.

At the University of Massachusets, Alon Confino acts as the Pen Tishkach Chair of Holocaust Studies when he isn't complaining that Germany isn't antisemitic enough.

"The situation in Germany today is absurd. Any harsh critique of Israel’s occupation or its policies is deemed antisemitic. Is this really a lesson Germans want to draw from the Holocaust?" Confino whined in an article equating Israel with Nazi Germany and urging that, as "Holocaust scholars", it was important to listen to the voices of Israel's Muslim “victims”.

Amos Goldberg, the co-author of the article with Confino, and another signatory to the “Jewish Supremacy” letter, is the co-editor of “The Holocaust and Nakba: Memory, National Identity and Jewish-Arab Partnership.” The Nakba is the Arab Muslim name for their failed genocide of the Jews that has become an annual “Lost Cause” commemoration and an orgy of racist violence.

The abuse of the Holocaust to attack Jews and support antisemites is routine in Jewish Studies.

Atina Grossmann, a Cooper Union professor and a fellow the United States Holocaust Museum, is a signatory to the letter that uses the Neo-Nazi trope of “Jewish Supremacy”. But when the Museum protested Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s description of illegal migrant detention as “concentration camps”, Grossman rushed to the defense of the antisemitic leftist who is allied with Jeremy Corbyn and whose blood libels have encouraged hatred toward Jews.

The letter signed by Grossman wailed that “the Museum’s decision to completely reject drawing any possible analogies to the Holocaust, or to the events leading up to it, is fundamentally ahistorical.” But comparing American immigration policies to the Holocaust is entirely historical.

Grossman was also one of the signatories to a letter warning Facebook not to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism. As were Amos Goldberg, Lila Corwin Berman, Alon Confino, and multiple other signatories to the “Jewish Supremacy” letter including Hasia Diner.

Diner, an NYU prof of American Jewish History, and another member of the Academic Advisory Council of the Center for Jewish History, is refreshing in that she makes no effort to disguise her raving hatred for the Jewish State behind the obscure academic jargon of other academics.

In a hatefilled rant, Hasia Diner wrote that though she abhorred “bombings and stabbings”, the murder of Jews is what “oppressed individuals resort to out of anger and frustration”.

“I feel a sense of repulsion when I enter a synagogue in front of which the congregation has planted a sign reading, ‘We Stand With Israel’”, Diner wrote. She described Israel as “a place that I abhor visiting, and to which I will contribute no money, whose products I will not buy”.

She also complained that, “it is impossible to have a conversation about Israel or BDS because one is accused of being anti-Semitic.”

Maybe that’s because they are.

Jewish Studies has an antisemitism problem and it’s only been getting worse.

The signatories to the “Jewish Supremacy” letter are many of the same ugly figures in Jewish Studies who sign on to every anti-Israel letter that comes their way. They signed the letter opposing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the letter opposing campaigns against campus antisemitism, opposing the IHRA definition of antisemitism, and opposing, well, Jews.

Jewish Studies, as Lila Corwin Berman implies, ought to have little to do with actual Jews. But it’s not enough for Jewish Studies to displace Jews, burying a people in a mass grave of academic verbiage and social justice buzzwords, it must also set out to eliminate the Jews.

As has happened so often, the theft of Jewish ideas and narratives is sealed with genocide.

Jewish Studies has become an academic war on the Jews. And no matter how good the intentions of the donors subsidizing chairs in Jewish history, Holocaust studies, and religious studies were, the academics who seize them adopt an eliminationist ideology, resenting the confines of Jewish identity, and seeking to destroy it by satanizing the Jews.

The same old narrative of Jewish history is playing out on campuses where the physical body of the Jewish people and the bodies of Jews are being ideologically separated from “Jewishness”.

Academic ‘Jewishness’ is constructed to mean anything and everything but actual Jews. Jews are reframed as the enemies of true Jewish values and ideas who must be destroyed to save “Jewishness” from the Jews.

Divorcing the study of Jewish history and ideas from Jewish communal institutions and peoplehood has repeatedly created monsters, whether it’s Holocaust museums that promote Black Lives Matter and accuse Jews of Nazism, or Jewish Studies departments that are friendlier to Hamas than to Israel. Donors have to stop funding academic organizations detached from connection and accountability to the people whose peoplehood they exploit.

Academics have rediscovered the old notion that Jewish ideas are appealing, but actual Jews are not. Jewish ideas are pitted against real Jews, and the idea is used to beat to death the reality proving once again that the students of history are the last to learn from the past.

Antisemitic academics may not be able to learn from the past, but Jews don’t have that luxury.

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.

Sunday, June 06, 2021

The Democrat Model for the Future is the Worst City in America

By On June 06, 2021
Rochester has the second highest urban murder rate in New York with killings up 56% and shootings up 90%. Once the 32nd largest city in the country. Rochester is at number 111 and falling. Its population shrank 6.2% since 2000. The poverty rate is at 31% and the only thing going up is STDs with gonorrhea up 77% and chlamydia rates placing second in the state.

So the Democrats are using Rochester as a model for America.

Hardly a week goes by without someone in the media, who has never been to Rochester and wouldn’t go there at gunpoint, describing it as the first city to conduct some socialist experiment.

Last month, the media was promoting Mayor Lovely Warren’s push to use drug revenue for racial reparations and basic income even though the last thing a city with open air heroin markets needs is the government handing out free money financed by drug sales.

Last week, the New York Times touted Rochester's war on highways under the headline, "Can Removing Highways Fix America's Cities?"

If Rochester is the model for fixing anything then the answer is always, “Hell no!.

But Rochester is always doing something excitingly progressive like defunding the police or being designated by Governor Cuomo as a "model EV city” and setting up electric car charging stations across a city with few electric cars and a plague of deadly carjackings.

The cheapest Tesla costs $35,000. That's also the average household income in Rochester.

Before Rochester became Cuomo’s model city for charging the electric cars it doesn’t have, it was his pick as a "model city" to fight global warming by building 10 miles of bike routes.

Those routes give Rochester’s bike thieves different options for making their getaway after over 100 bikes were stolen from a neighborhood biking program giving away free bikes.

“I just want to ensure that the people that did this know I love them and that our program is open to them,” Mayor Lovely Warren assured the thieves. “We’re just extremely sorry that life’s circumstances led them to a place in which they had to make a decision like this to rob a free neighborhood program of bicycles."

The free bikes program shut down this year.

Fresh off the efforts to make Rochester into a model city for electric cars and bikes, Mayor Lovely Warren embarked on a social justice spree of police defunding and reparations.

In 2020, Rochester police tried to restrain Daniel Prude, a career criminal who had been arrested 37 times and convicted 9 times,who had taken PCP and was wandering the streets. Prude shouted, "Give me that gun". Police tried to restrain him by hooding him and he died.

Morbidly obese white socialists showed up naked in white hoods and sat on the steps of City Hall with “Black Lives Matter” written on their on their bottoms to protest a black mayor.

Not even the most dedicated white supremacist could have come up with anything more racist.

After that the Black Lives Matter race riots and arson almost came as something of a relief.

Mayor Lovely Warren and the Rochester City Council defunded the police, cutting millions from law enforcement in a city with hundreds of shootings. Police Chief La’Ron Singletary warned that this would hurt the black community, but the media cheered Warren’s move. A Black Lives Matter organizer insisted that, “police make neighborhoods more dangerous.” Really?

"Murder, Carjackings, Violent Crime Surge in Rochester NY. Why?" a Democrat Chronicle article inquired this year.

It was a mystery no one could solve. Especially the police who weren’t allowed to solve crimes.

As murders rose 56% and shootings shot up 90%, Rochester decided to offer iPads in exchange for “working handguns and assault rifles”. No questions asked. A week after the “largest gun buyback in Rochester history”, four people were shot in just one day.

Five months after announcing that she wanted to reimagine the police, Mayor Lovely Warren was indicted on campaign fraud charges. Last month, her husband was busted in the takedown of a drug ring. The cops found a semi-automatic rifle in her home. Warren, who had allied with Bloomberg’s Everytown gun control group, claimed that she knew nothing about the weapon.

It couldn’t have been too shocking since her husband had already been convicted of armed robbery.

Mayor Lovely Warren blamed the whole thing on racism. “Things are not that different from the 1860s and 1950s,” she insinuated. It’s just like the 1860s in Rochester under its black female mayor, black female police chief, and 60% black city council with only two white members.

Warren then doubled down on racial reparations and police defunding.

It’s important to “invest in the people, in the neighborhoods that suffered from the criminalization of marijuana," she had claimed earlier.

Rochester isn’t suffering from excessive criminalization, but decriminalization. And the last thing a city overrun with drugs needs is more drugs, or police defunding, EV chargers, demolishing highways, or any of the other “progressive” gimmicks that Democrats keep jumping on.

The media is right. Rochester is a model. And a cautionary tale.

The former booming industrial city is a model for what the Democrats want to do to America, gutting industrial bases, replacing work with welfare, and then using black people as lab rats for radical social experiments like drug legalization and police defunding with deadly results.

Being a “model city” now means having every toxic leftist policy idea tested on you.

Democrats have failed at the most basic elements of governance in Rochester. And yet they keep rolling out exciting new ideas to fight global warming or transform society when they can’t even handle their existing responsibilities.

Rochester is the 5th poorest city in the country. It’s also one of the dirtiest, it has the worst schools in the state and some of the lowest literacy rates. The graduation rate hovers between 40 and 50 percent. 75% of Rochester's children are being raised by single parents.

If Mayor Lovely Warren really wants to “close the wealth gap between Black and Brown people and our White neighbors”, then she might want to start there, instead of writing checks for black people from drug money while turning Rochester streets into war zones with police defunding.

But this is the Democrat model that devastated cities and communities. The only thing that they have added to this mix since the seventies is electric car chargers and police defunding.

And then they blame the corrupt, violent, and impoverished hellholes their economic and social policies created on “systemic racism”. Like the naked socialists wearing white hoods to protest racism, they’re right about the racism, but the naked leftist emperors could use a mirror.

Whatever happens to Mayor Lovely Warren, her city will go on chasing every new progressive policy idea (and the cash and publicity that comes with it) even as life keeps getting worse.

And Democrats will try to turn every city, town, and village into another Rochester.

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.

Thursday, June 03, 2021

Big Tech's 'No Free Speech' Amendment

By On June 03, 2021
A few years ago the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) was demanding government regulations that would force internet providers to carry the content of members like Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Now it's suing Florida to fight regulations that would force some of those same members to carry the content of ordinary Americans.

Net Neutrality, or forcing cable and DSL companies to carry all content without picking and choosing, "helps preserve free speech, access to information — and democracy," former CCIA boss Ed Black argued two years ago.

But when Governor Ron DeSantis signed a law barring Big Tech monopolies from deplatforming candidates for public office and journalists, and forcing Big Tech to adopt clear and consistent standards for how they treat users, including deplatforming, as is the norm in every other industry, the CCIA went to war against free speech, access to information -- and democracy.

Governor DeSantis says that Big Tech is suppressing free speech. Big Tech argues that DeSantis is taking away its free speech which it defines as censoring people’s speech.

“We are bringing this suit to safeguard the industry’s free speech," current CCIA boss Matt Schruers claimed. “A digital service that declines to host harmful content is exercising its own First Amendment rights.”

Does Facebook have free speech? And can speech consist of denying service to conservatives? Should Mark Zuckerberg’s speech nullify the speech of millions of Americans?

In 1948, the first program ran on a computer. It was also the year that George Orwell finished 1984 with its infamous slogan, “Freedom is Slavery” and “Slavery is Freedom.” Big Tech’s version of it is, “Free Speech is Censorship” and “Censorship is Free Speech.”

When Big Tech censors millions of Americans, it’s engaging in free speech. And when those Americans rise up and fight back against their illegal monopolies, that’s censorship.

But Big Tech already dismantled all the arguments it’s putting forward with Net Neutrality.

If a digital service picking and choosing its content is a First Amendment right, then why don’t cable companies have the same right to bar access to the harmful content on Twitter?

A trade association whose members include Twitter and Facebook insists they have a right to ban the President of the United States and any conservatives because that’s free speech, but that AT&T or Comcast don’t have the right to ban access to Twitter because of free speech.

If censorship is also free speech then that cuts both ways. Otherwise it’s free speech for me, but not for thee, which is exactly the argument that Big Tech’s lobbies and front groups are making.

Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Twitter want to force internet service providers to have no choice about carrying them, but they want to pick and choose whose speech they carry. And yet Google, Amazon, and Facebook have much broader monopolistic powers than internet service providers. The cable provider market has too little choice, but it’s incredibly diverse compared to an e-ecosystem with Google, whose search engine controls 80% of the market, Facebook, which controls 80% of the social media market, and Amazon’s massive ebook dominance.

If any aspect of the ‘net’ needs more neutrality, it’s the platforms, not the providers.

If Comcast’s control of 40% of the broadband market gives it so much power that it can’t be allowed to pick and choose what content it carries, what about Facebook’s 80% control?

And if Comcast potentially deciding not to carry Twitter is an assault on “free speech, access to information — and democracy”, then why isn’t Twitter’s decision not to carry President Trump and other conservatives an assault on “free speech, access to information — and democracy”?

Twitter, Facebook, and the rest of the Big Tech crew want to argue that denying access to platforms is an attack on free speech, but that platforms denying access to users isn’t.

Big Tech’s position is that only its monopolies have free speech and they should use that speech to deny everyone else free speech. That’s a surreal mockery of the First Amendment.

Big Tech’s trade group is relying on the same compelled speech argument that Christian bakers have used to avoid baking a cake for a gay wedding. But there’s a multitude of bakeries, most of whom will be happy to bake a cake for anything if you pay them enough.

How many Facebooks and Googles are there?

Christian bakers and photographers argued that they’re artists and taking part in a gay wedding would compel their speech. Are Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey artists? Are Facebook and Twitter their artistic creations that would be spoiled by allowing conservative speech?

And yet the same media that ridiculed the idea that a Christian baker should be allowed to pick and choose which cakes he bakes is insisting that telling a social media monopoly not to censor candidates for public office is a violation of Zuckerberg and Dorsey’s free speech rights.

But if the speech on Facebook and Twitter is the speech of these billionaires, then they can be held accountable for it. If it’s not their speech, then free speech isn’t an issue. The CCIA is in the absurd position of arguing that speech on platforms is and isn’t really theirs speech. And that platforms express their speech by taking away the ability of others to speak.

Call it the No Free Speech version of the First Amendment.

If Big Tech speaks by eliminating the speech of others, then maybe we would be better off without this novel black hole theory of speech on whose basis it’s going to war against Florida.

The CCIA was advocating for the so-called “Save the Internet Act” to impose Net Neutrality. But the internet appears to be in no particular danger from the lack of Net Neutrality. Despite all the alarmism about the end of the internet and even death threats (one activist was sentenced for threatening to kill the family of Trump’s FCC Chairman Ajit Pai), little has actually changed.

That’s not the case with Big Tech censorship which silenced millions of people from POTUS on down, influenced the outcome of a national election, and defined the national debate. Net Neutrality advocates could not point to any measurable harm caused to them, but opponents of Big Tech censorship can easily point to the harm being done to them and to the United States.

Florida is bringing real Net Neutrality to the table. Unlike Net Neutrality, which was an effort by platforms to enlist the government and dumber lefty internet users into their war against broadband providers, real Net Neutrality begins with monopolistic platforms not providers.

“The internet has been historically neutral. After decades of legal battles by those who want to either make money from discrimination or look the other way, we are glad to see legislation to protect consumers’ and businesses’ access to the open internet," the CCIA argued a mere two years ago in defense of Net Neutrality and the “Save the Internet Act”.

Unfortunately the internet hasn’t been neutral. It’s dominated by a speech cartel which deploys the rhetoric of an open internet and free speech when it serves its business interests, but is fighting tooth and nail when Governor DeSantis and Florida asked Big Tech to be neutral.

Conservatives looked the other way while Big Tech consolidated its control over the internet. They’ve gotten tired of looking the other way, but Big Tech is just as eager to gaslight them, to hire Republican lobbyists to argue that speech is censorship and censorship is speech.

We need a real Net Neutrality and a real Save the Internet Act.

The CCIA has unintentionally made some great points over the years. Americans paid for the internet, from the earliest networks down to Google. We put our economy and our political system on the internet. Now Big Tech monopolies are consuming our wealth and our freedom.

Americans deserve an open and neutral internet. Consumers and businesses need access to an open internet, but so do elected officials, journalists, and anyone who cares about the way that our country is run and has an opinion about government, culture, and education.

Big Tech engaged in blatant election rigging and voter suppression in the 2020 election. And it’s marginalizing and suppressing the views of half the country from the marketplace of ideas.

Its front group laughably claims that it’s suppressing half the country in the name of free speech.

A true net neutrality applied to the CCIA’s Big Tech bosses would "preserve free speech, access to information — and democracy." Florida’s move is a good first step in the war to take back free speech on the internet and force platforms to host political speech in an open and neutral way.

Big Tech claims that it loves free speech. Governor DeSantis and Florida are showing what real free speech looks like.

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, June 02, 2021

The Richest Homeless in the World

By On June 02, 2021
Last year, Davon Brown, a former fashion model turned homeless activist, conned his way into an LA Ritz-Carlton luxury suite alongside Jed Parriot, the son of a producer on Grey's Anatomy.

It was May Day, Brown was wearing a blazer and sunglasses. The former fashion model and son of a wealthy producer were there to ‘occupy’ a luxury suite for the homeless. And demand that the city take over hotel rooms and hand them out to the population of junkie vagrants.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti held a press conference and assured Brown that he would get him a room. When the son of the Grey's Anatomy producer was asked how to spell his name, he sneered, "“Parriott, like Marriott—which has 900 empty rooms.”

Jed, a Democratic Socialists of America activist, appears to live in a $1.3 million home in Silver Lake owned by a trust controlled by his parents: a prolific TV producer and a TV actress.

The trust also appears to own at least one other home, with 4 bedrooms, in the city.

Later that year, Davon Brown, still handsome, neatly groomed, and with the sleek physique of a gym rat, was at the center of the Echo Park homeless encampment. LA had just renovated the park in a hip neighborhood when it was taken over by the homeless and hopelessly befouled.

Brianna Moore, a talented 18-year-old concert violinist with offers from MIT, decided to get involved in the summer of protests. After a series of Black Lives Matter marches, she joined the homeless cause, and died in an Echo Park tent after taking cocaine laced with fentanyl.

The death of the sweet-faced white teenage honor student accomplished what months of complaints by local residents did not. But as LA authorities prepared to remove the encampment, Davon and Jed were once again at the center of things.

Davon’s publicist was hyping him in Hype Magazine as a champion for the homeless while promoting his new single. Jed showed up in a BMW X5 and sneered at local homeowners, “We need to be really telling these property owners, ‘Sorry, you’re going to have to tough this out.’”

Echo Park was finally evacuated this year, but Davon’s Instagram is filled with shirtless photos and glamor shots, many of which appear to come from Echo Park. And DSA-LA is touting Davon as “our unhoused comrade”. Meanwhile LA keeps trying to solve its “homeless crisis”.

The latest solution is a tent encampment filled with $2,600 tents.

When the homeless crisis first took off, LA voters had approved a $4.6 billion package of homeless tax hikes. The taxes were not on the homeless, but on the people who still had homes. The people who were taxed out didn’t become homeless, they just left California.

And the Homeless-Industrial Complex quickly got to work finding homes for junkie vagrants in the way that only Los Angeles and its corrupt social justice welfare state can manage to do.

The first apartments cost an average of $479,000 a unit. Some went as high as $650,000 a unit. But that wasn't good enough. Two years later, the cost of an average unit hit $531,000, with some apartments going up to $746,000. Building an apartment in Los Angeles for a crackhead was costing more than the price of a mansion in some parts of the country.

Despite all those high prices, only 228 apartments were actually built in four years.

City Controller Ron Galperin performed an audit on the $1.2 billion allocated for the homeless in 2016, and blamed the lack of progress on "red tape" and "a lot of consultants".

Unable to build apartments for less than the cost of a mansion, Los Angeles launched a pilot program to build 8x8 aluminum sheds for the homeless for only $130,000 each. The average cost of a home in LA is $500 per square foot. The aluminum sheds with 64 square feet of space managed to completely blow that away. But the no-bid contract probably helped.

Since apartments were too expensive and even tiny homes cost too much, LA turned to tents.

The homeless had been setting up their own tent encampments for free. So the city launched a pilot program to have the government set up tents for the homeless for only $2,600 per tent.

That’s $2,600 a month.

Each tent in a parking lot near the 101 freeway in East Hollywood costs twice as much as the rent on a local apartment. It actually costs more than the average month’s rent in LA. You can find two-bedroom apartments in Beverly Hills that cost less than a government homeless tent.

Say what you will about self-constructed homeless shacks, they don’t cost $2,600 a month.

Not only is the government setting up homeless tent cities across Los Angeles, but taxpayers are now also on the hook for $2,600 for every tent.

Controller Galperin explained that, "doing nothing also costs a lot of money."

Government employees know that’s very true.

The government tent city was outsourced to Urban Alchemy, a social welfare non-profit that has raised eyebrows by scoring million dollar contracts in San Francisco and Los Angeles to offer cleaning services, showers for the homeless, and tent cities. Urban Alchemy gets these contracts under the name of its financial sponsor: Hunters Point Family.

Urban Alchemy CEO Lena Miller explained that it all costs so much money because her organization employs "long-term offenders" and pays them $19 an hour.

Only California Democrats could pay criminals to service junkies in tent cities that cost more than most apartments. But only California Democrats could set up shacks that cost more per square foot than most houses and apartments for the homeless that cost more than luxury suites. Nothing is too good for the homeless and their publicists and consultants in California.

While a lot of money gets spent, nothing really gets done.

LA keeps trying to scale down its solutions, but ends up spending more the smaller the solution.

The city tried to set up portable toilets which cost $339,000. Over a hundred thousand of that money goes to bathroom attendants. But over in Sacramento, the state’s capital, a homeless bathroom cost $1 million. When the Guggenheim Museum unveiled a solid gold toilet as one of its art exhibits, it was estimated to cost over $1 million. The homeless could have had a gold toilet for the cost of the free government toilets that they’re getting from the welfare state.

But they could have also had luxury condos with gyms and swimming pools for the cost of the apartments that are being built, but never actually get built, to house them.

California’s homeless are the richest homeless in the world. And while they may never see any of the money that gets spent on them by the Democrat Homeless-Industrial Complex, the cash bleeds into the pockets of the professional bleeding hearts who are getting rich off the poor.

The homeless tent cities aren’t going anywhere. They’re making too much money.

There will still be junkies lying in their own filth in tents under the freeway, but where they once did so for free, taxpayers will now be paying $2,600 a month for them to lie in their own filth.

That’s why no one except the homeless can afford to live in Los Angeles.

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, June 01, 2021

Marxist Lives Matter

By On June 01, 2021
The Left organizes around oppression. Oppression is a negative and the movement is defined around defining negative phenomena and organizing against them. It’s an outrage machine that depends on finding enough of those negatives to justify its own rise to political power.

But as it gains power, the amount of oppression ought to decrease. And accordingly the Left’s power also ought to decrease in proportion since it has no positive vision only a negative one. Instead, paradoxically, the more power the Left gains, the worse the oppression becomes.

Not only does the general state of things get worse, but every specific area where it claims to be making progress somehow becomes much worse than it was before. After Obama took office, race relations took a dive as the country somehow became more racist during a black president. Last year, every Democrat city was denounced as an outpost of systemic racism where black people were being hunted by the police for sport. That’s when women aren’t being hunted down on some of the most progressive and diverse college campuses and industries in the country.

The nation’s woke corporations are oppressing workers and destroying the planet. The woke governments are imposing systemic racism in between critical race theory struggle sessions. American foreign policy, under one of the most leftist administrations in history, is an imperialist war machine when it isn’t flying BLM flags and advertising for transgender Antifa recruits.

Everything is somehow worse than ever. Maybe the Left ought to give up and go home because it’s just making everything worse. But it must get worse because failure is the only option.

In an un-free society, oppression is easy to organize against. You don’t need books to understand oppression in China and North Korea. Black people and white people didn’t need to have the wrongs of slavery or segregation explained to them at corporate diversity sessions.

Real oppression is tangible. No one needs 40 hours of programming to explain how gulags or gas chambers oppress people. If you need 40 hours of lectures and a 400 page book to explain oppression, you’re not oppressed.

A theory of intangible oppression is exactly the thing that a system of actual oppression needs.

The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany terrorized their own populaces, killed millions of people, and invaded other countries based on conspiracy theories about intangible oppression. Both socialist terror states justified massive military build ups by falsely claiming that they were about to be invaded when they were the ones doing any preemptive invading. They backed up these conspiracy theories with purges and show trials. Stalin’s Great Terror purged rivals while forcing them to confess to doing the bidding of every foreign country around. Hitler’s Holocaust was based around a massive Jewish conspiracy with other countries around the world.

The best evidence of the growing political power of the American Left and the irrelevance of its political theories is the nationwide deployment of an anti-racism which claims that racism is invisible and yet is everywhere. Its books and curriculums lay out a conspiratorial theory of intangible racism that can only be approached through the lived experience of oppressed people, but which cannot be described meaningfully in any factual and objective fashion.

Real oppression, like slave chains, is tangible. Critical race theory depends on sensitizing everyone to claims of oppression that are either blatantly false, e.g. the police committing genocide against black people, or can’t be objectively defined, e.g. systemic racism.

The more critical race theorists talk about ‘whiteness’, the less they’re able to define it except in the ways that religious people define a deity or the devil: as an intangible force pervading everything, only manifest to those who understand the hidden meanings of everyday events.

Religion, unlike critical race theory, is a private matter. And few religions are as racist as CRT which insists on the unalterable evil of white people and the helpless victimhood of minorities.

But, like the USSR’s insistence that the old Bolsheviks were really working for the Brits, or the new Democrat insistence that all the Republicans work for Russia, state conspiracy theories shouldn’t be taken literally, but they should be taken seriously.

What does oppression look like in a country where the Democrats control the White House, the Senate, and the House, and every major corporation advocates for their agendas? What does it sound like when the educational system and the media are controlled by the Left, censoring and suppressing dissenting points of view? Oppression can no longer be about fighting power.

Not when the power is in the hands of the oppressers who claim to be oppressed.

America has reached the tipping point where all the power is in the hands of the Left, but we haven’t comprehensively lost our freedoms yet. In an un-free society, the oppressed are the people with no rights. But in a free society, the oppressed are most often the oppressors.

Oppression in an un-free society is characterized by a lack of rights, but in a free society, it’s defined by a lack of power. And power in a free society is a means of depriving others of rights.

Critical race theory, for all its posturing about the police, is concerned with power, not rights.

Systemic racism is not a construct of rights, but of power. It’s not challenged with the equalization of rights, but with the assumption of power. The whole premise of lived experience is that objective metrics of civil rights can’t appease the emotional suffering of the oppressed. The nature of their oppression is so incomprehensible to anyone outside their lived experience that only those who claim to be oppressed can remedy their oppression by taking power.

This isn’t civil rights: it’s an uncivil cultural coup.

The idea that only a select elite should be allowed to wield power because only they understand what must be done has been the central premise of every totalitarian theory and system.

In a free society, power is a tangible means shared through open elections for recognized goals, while in an un-free society, power is a mystical means employed by an elite toward a redemptive end. America is becoming an un-free society in which power is not the means by which taxpayers and citizens define how their money and their government is used to achieve their goals, but a redemptive force for escaping global environmental apocalypses and ushering in a progressive new utopia whose moral arc bends toward the right side of history.

This utopia, like all utopias, is short on details. It’s defined not by what it has, but by what it doesn’t. Leftism exists in a negative space and its brave new worlds are inversions of that negativity, offering not a positive vision, but the erasure of human individuality and free will. The people in these fictional utopias are happy not because of what they have, but what they don’t.

“You’ll own nothing. And you’ll be happy.” Unlike the Left’s actual utopias, everyone is happy in the fictional utopias to have lost their free agency. As in the conclusion of George Orwell’s 1984, joy in the dystopian utopia comes from a cultish surrender of the self to the system and the recognition that it is our flawed human natures that keep us from living in a socialist utopia.

Since few people are enthused about losing the freedom to live their own lives, totalitarian leftist systems invert the duality of oppressors and oppressed. They redefine their oppression as liberation, the oppressors as the oppressed, and the oppressed as the oppressors. The best way to convince people to give up their freedom is to convince them that they’re oppressors.

Critical race theory racializes the familiar totalitarian paradigm behind the Soviet Union. But it’s no more about race than Communist regimes were about the working class. The markers are just temporary counters opportunistically established based on local circumstances. If the revolutionary candidate of Hope and Change hadn’t been half-black, and if the George Floyd video hadn’t gone viral, we would be living through a different cultural revolution right now.

But we would still be living through a cultural revolution.

The Left is on the verge of taking power and we are about to lose our rights. Our rights are becoming intangible just as their power is becoming tangible. And so they have come up with a theory of intangible oppression to explain why our rights should give way to their power.

The tyranny is in the theory.

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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