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Sunday, July 31, 2022

Victims Wanted

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The plot twist kicks in all the time.

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

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

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

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

And when minorities no longer deliver, they get replaced.

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

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

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

And then maybe they can be rescued.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The Old World Order

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Democrats Decriminalized Drugs to Help Black People. Black Overdoses Skyrocketed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s what the latest CDC report shows.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

None of this is a surprise.

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

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

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

His was not a lone view.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thank you for reading.

Monday, July 25, 2022

What the Death of Hollywood Means for America

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It did not.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That is exactly what it is now.

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

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

Click here to subscribe to my articles. 

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

California Truckers Fight Ex-Communist Union Leader’s Mandatory Unionization

By On July 24, 2022
Last Wednesday, hundreds of truckers protested at the Los Angeles-Long Beach port, some trucks slowed down traffic on the 110 while others took part by refusing to take on loads.

Their message was timed not just for Los Angeles County voters who backed the leftists threatening to put them out of work, but for retired general Stephen Lyons.

The former general who had served as the Commander of the U.S. Transportation Command had been picked by the Biden administration as its Port and Supply Chain Envoy and was there to see the ports through which much of the country's international cargoes flow.

Or don't.

The truckers had a simple message for Lyons and his boss, they shouted it and waved it on signs, “No to AB5.” But Lyons had little to offer the independent truckers fighting mandatory unionization by California Democrats and their union allies except, “We need to retain drivers because they're critical to our economy."

With 70,000 California owner-operator truckers trying to figure out if they can even work, that’s not likely.

The economic apocalypse arrived some years ago with AB5. Widely hated by freelancers, but championed by unions and their corrupt political allies who run California, the measure effectively made it impossible for many freelancers to continue working in the state.

Assembly Bill 5, originally aimed at Uber and Lyft, missed the two companies when voters agreed to exempt the ride sharing companies from it (however a Democrat judiciary once again decided to attack democracy and illegally overrule the will of the voters) but hit a variety of independent workers. And what happens in California rarely stays in the pyrite state.

While it may make no great difference to the country where freelance programmers or writers live (although California lost a House seat for the first time ever due to its population exodus), the same cannot be said of California truckers who are a crucial part of the supply chain.

Whether your store shelves have anything on them may have been decided by the Supreme Court at the end of June. Overshadowed by more famous rulings on abortion and the EPA, the supply chain may have given up the ghost when the Supreme Court refused to take up AB5.

California Democrats are determined to turn independent owner-operators into employees and union members churning out cash and votes for their political party.

But independent truckers aren’t giving up.

“They just don’t want us little guys to make it,” John Wiggins, an owner-operator told The Trucker. “That is why I am out here protesting. It’s a damn shame.”

Protests at the Port of Long Beach have now been going on for two days and are spreading.

Cindy Perez, a 28-year-old who drives a truck, created a Facebook group to organize the protests. Along with her husband, she printed up t-shirts and put up signs. In interviews, she clearly laid out what’s at stake for drivers should Democrats succeed in crushing them.

When she and her husband worked for a company, they got “paid peanuts, didn’t get to choose our loads, and instead of owning the whole pizza, we only got a slice,” Perez told FreightWaves. “Instead, we worked hard to save our money to become owner-operators and purchase our own trucks.”

That’s not the only time that the American Dream was crushed out of existence in California, but this time it might have consequences for the entire country. Combined with coming railroad strikes by unions and the railroad bottlenecks in the ports quickly becoming disastrous, the already empty shelves and high prices are likely to get even worse.

Transporting goods depends on tens of thousands of owner-operators in the trucking industry.

Bloomberg notes that "more than 70% of truckers serving some of the country’s largest ports -- including Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland -- are owner-operators" and that "the law comes into effect for truckers in the busiest months of the year as retailers stock up on back-to-school and holiday goods."

Even before the Supreme Court’s failure to take up the case put the state and the country on the path to more supply chain apocalypses, truckers had been voting with their wheels and relocating out of California. In a tight labor market, they have options, the state doesn’t.

Neither does the country.

After port delays outraged the nation, Biden put on a show of threatened fines and claimed that the problem had been solved, but it’s now almost as bad as it was before. And with the evaporation of the independent owner-operator model, what comes next may be much worse.

But there’s nothing that Biden or Lyons are likely to do about it.

AB5’s missile aimed at freelancers is part of a nationwide mandatory unionization program that is fundamental to the Democrat plan to finance the party and organize activists.

Last year, House Democrats passed a national version of AB5, known as the PRO Act, whose union proponents falsely claimed that it was "protecting the right to organize" when it was actually eliminating the rights of freelancers to work. The only reason that the Democrat majority failed in its bid to eliminate freelancers was because Senator Manchin refused to go along.

Biden, who strongly urged support for the freelancer-busting PRO Act, is not likely to interfere with the determination of California Democrats to cash in by destroying independent truckers.

Not when his political machine and cash flow depends on mandatory unionization.

California's mandatory unionization is championed by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which prefers to see the elimination of owner-operators and their replacement by unionized wage slaves. And the collapse of the supply chain doesn’t bother them at all.

After the Supreme Court refused to stand up for independent truckers, Teamster boss Jason Rabinowitz called it “a significant victory in the Teamsters decades-long battle against misclassification in trucking.”

It's unclear if Rabinowitz, a partner in a labor law firm and a visiting professor of labor law, who also has a degree in journalism from the University of Massachusetts, drives a truck. KeyWiki however identified him as the Young Communist League member whose election to a University of Massachusetts student office caused controversy, protests, and lawsuits at the time.

Back then, the Communist Party predicted that Rabinowitz was "the party’s future".

In a 2010 interview, the alleged former Communist leader denied that he wanted to destroy free enterprise.

"You know, the bogeyman is that everybody wants to tear everything down and turn it into a communist state," his host asked him.

"We're not a union that says tear it all down. Unions are a market-based solution to wealth inequality in the context of the capitalist system," Rabinowitz replied.

Now the Teamsters are eager to tear down the bourgeois owner-operators and independent truckers, and the country’s free enterprise system with it.

When he first ran for office in college, posters were put out reading, "Jason Rabinowitz is president of a Communist youth league. Don't vote Communist."

But California and America voted ‘Communist’ as long as it claimed to be Democrat.

And now the Communists are in charge.

“We advocate a socialist society where people own the means of production. The key is peaceful transition,” the Teamster leader had claimed during his Communist days.

The truckers are refusing to go peacefully into the “transition” to unionized slavery. They’re doing what unions only claim to do, fighting for their right to work and earn a living.

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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Friday, July 22, 2022

The More Unpopular He Gets, the More Radical Biden Becomes

By On July 22, 2022
The new New York Times poll is bad news for Biden and bad for America.

It's not just the 33% approval rating that's truly worrying. Biden has hit a new polling low, but he hits new polling lows every week. 70% of Democrats still claim to approve of Biden, much as they would a diseased cat, the propped up corpse of Osama bin Laden, or small piece of dried spaghetti as long as it was a Democrat. But only a quarter of the party wants Biden to run again.

Biden’s few remaining brain cells aren’t worried about the 2024 election. They’re worried about the Democrat primaries that he barely survived last time around. And isn’t likely to this time.

64% of Democrats want someone, anyone, other than Biden to run in 2024.

As Biden’s poll numbers have slid down the slopes faster than a falling skier, he hasn’t moved to the center, but to the fringes. Like most of his party, the primary threat comes from the Left. And the more unpopular Biden becomes, the harder he pivots leftward to protect his primary options.

Even if they’re mostly imaginary.

That’s why the poor poll numbers are nothing to celebrate. Biden pretended to run from the center, but never governed from the center. And his growing unpopularity has only made his administration more extreme. Biden doesn’t need America and doesn’t have it anyway.

He needs the Left.

Leftists and Americans wanted opposite things from the Biden administration. Americans wanted stability, sensible policies and an end to the chaos. Leftists wanted endless spending on their agendas, identity politics and a perpetual state of crisis. Biden took office in a locked down city with a heavily military presence, appointed an attorney general bitter at having a Supreme Court seat taken from him and tasked with pursuing partisan grievances. Gargantuan spending bills aggravated the already unstable economy and pushed the country to the brink.

Everything else followed from that.

Biden locked his administration into a leftist worldview that alienated most of the country. The more the rest of the country shuns him, the harder he clings to the “one that brought” him.

Barack Obama.

Biden isn’t popular, but he never was. He first got to the White House riding leftist coattails. He certainly wasn’t elected based on his own popularity, but because the Left waged a scorched earth campaign. The only reason someone so corrupt and inept ever ended up in the White House was as a beneficiary of the outpouring of rabid leftist hatred against conservatives.

The 2020 strategy of lying low and letting the Left rage got him in the White House. And Biden knows that his only shot of getting back in is once again letting the Left do its worst.

Biden’s national poll numbers don’t matter because he didn’t win a popularity contest.

It doesn’t matter if he’s at 41% or 33% or 6%. Biden’s gambit will be once again lying low and letting the Left shape the battlefield. Faced with the likelihood of being a one-termer, his staffers are leftists who aren’t in it for the money or the career development, but are true believers in the “cause”. And he needs leftist donors who aren’t invested in personalities, but in ideology.

Much like Xi, Biden understands that the ‘party’ matters and the public doesn’t. And ‘party’ doesn’t mean the official one with a donkey on the box, but the ideological leftist movement that cares about the things he’s vigorously promoting from critical race theory to gender identity to modern monetary theory and all the theories that in their sum add up to Marxist theory.

Joe Biden likely doesn’t believe any of it, but just as Hunter didn’t have to read Mao’s Little Red Book to cut business deals in China, Biden doesn’t have to understand what he’s promoting.

Biden came into office after outsourcing much of his administration’s policy apparatus to the Bernie and Warren people. The “Big Guy” doesn’t care much about policy. Biden has been anti and pro-abortion, pro and anti-terrorism, and pro and anti-racism depending on the moment.

What Biden cares about is having the big job and whatever benefits flow from it. An egomaniac who kept on lying about his college grades while running for president, he accidentally landed in a position commensurate with his inflated self-image. And one that offers plenty of rewards.

Much as Hillary, another compulsive liar, wrecked her own party and then the country while trying to cling to power no one thought she should have, Biden, even in his diminished state, is not going to let go. In that, Biden is no different than the rest of a gerontocratic oligarchy, men and women like Speaker Pelosi and Senator Bernie Sanders, claiming to speak for the youth.

After generations in power, none of them are eager to let go and accept the inevitable. Especially since the inevitable is no longer as inevitable as it once used to be.

It’s inevitable to most that Biden won’t run and won’t win if he does. And in the normal state of things, that would be true. But we are in a post-polling world in which public opinion is no longer just a reaction to events, but can be directly shaped by manufacturing a series of crises.

And if Biden works hard enough for the Left, perhaps the Left will work to keep him in office.

Some race riots, lockdowns, and crises yet to be unleashed can do wonders for changing people’s perspective. It likely won’t work and may not even be tried, but Biden doesn’t have any other cards to play. And he never did. Biden can’t win elections on his own. So he won’t try.

The more unpopular he becomes, the less likely he is to even bother going through the motions.

Biden may sit in the White House (when he’s not vacationing in Delaware), but he doesn’t work for the American people. He works for the Left. And he may not remember much of anything else, but that is the one thing he has never forgotten. It’s the only reason why he’s here.

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, July 20, 2022

Biden Gave TikTok a Pass. American Kids Died

By On July 20, 2022
In the summer of 2020, President Trump imposed sanctions on TikTok, and in the next summer, Biden lifted them in his own executive order. While the Biden administration claimed that it would scrutinize the Chinese Communist company, there was an obvious ulterior motive.

Biden revoked Trump’s TikTok executive order in June 2021. That same month, the Biden administration began reaching out to TikTok influencers to build an “influencer army”.

It’s impossible to believe that the two White House decisions to revoke the TikTok order and to mobilize TikTok influencers made in the same month were unrelated.

Once again, Biden’s political interests trumped national security. As it did for the Democrats.

While the White House doesn’t have a TikTok account, “Building Back Together”, a Biden allied non-profit, has a TikTok account trying to boost his popularity among Latinos.

During the presidential campaign, the DNC warned staffers against "using TikTok on personal devices" and urged them to use a "separate phone and account" instead. This year, the DNC officially joined TikTok. The DNC's account features videos of Biden and Kamala, along with attacks on Republicans. The RNC’s refusal to join TikTok has turned it into a Democrat platform.

Albeit one controlled by Chinese Communists.

A BuzzFeed report in June 2022 revealed that, just as the Trump administration had warned, American user data was being accessed from China. “Everything is seen in China,” the report revealed. One consultant observed that, “there’s some backdoor to access user data in almost all of them”.

Biden’s failure to enforce Trump’s order forcing TikTok’s Chinese parent company to divest from its American business had allowed China to spy on American kids.

And worse.

Part of the true cost of China's ongoing ownership can be seen in a lawsuit filed by the Social Media Victims Law Center which described how an 8-year-old and a 9-year-old girl died of "self-strangulation" after being encouraged to take part "in TikTok’s Blackout Challenge, which encourages users to choke themselves with belts, purse strings or other similar items until passing out."

The lawsuit alleges that "TikTok’s dangerous algorithm intentionally and repeatedly pushed the deadly 'Blackout Challenge' into both Lalani and Arriani’s TikTok 'For You Page'" That means, according to the lawsuit, that TikTok had “specifically curated and determined that these Blackout Challenge videos – videos featuring users who purposefully strangulate themselves until losing consciousness – are appropriate and fitting for small children”.

Arriani, the 9-year-old girl, was found "hanging by her dog’s leash which she had affixed to the door to her room. She had been in this condition for at least a half-hour in front of her 5-year-old brother." Lalani, the 8-year-old girl, was found "hanging from her bed with a rope around her neck still warm to the touch. Lalani had laid out her bathing suit in anticipation of going swimming."

The two girls are one of seven children to have died as a result of the "blackout challenge".

Five of the children, including 12-year-olds in Colorado and Oklahoma, and a 10-year-old in Pennsylvania, are Americans.

These are only some of the dozens of deaths linked back to various TikTok challenges.

While China’s Communist party closely regulates its own domestic social media, companies are encouraged to abuse and take advantage of foreign nations, especially enemies, with everything from shipping fentanyl precursors to encouraging child mutilation and suicide.

TikTok is part of China’s war against America.

While Douyin, TikTok's version in China, closely regulates content, limiting children to 40 minutes a day and banning, "licentiousness, vulgarity" and the “subversion of traditional moral values", TikTok does everything possible to destroy America's children while buying politicians.

ByteDance, TikTok's Chinese owner, has increased its lobbying outlays "tenfold". TikTok's director of global policy, Michael Hacker, is a former senior adviser to Rep. Clyburn, who is not only the third highest ranking House Democrat in the leadership, but also helped put Biden in the White House and commands his ear. ByteDance has even helped fund a scholarship for the James E. Clyburn Scholarship & Research Foundation. The Clyburn Foundation claims that it helps children and builds “healthy communities”. Perhaps Rep. Clyburn can explain how the dead children of TikTok, at least one of whom was black, were helped by his blood money.

Another public policy figure at TikTok, Michael Bloom, had spent a decade working for Nancy Pelosi, including as her senior adviser until 2017. While the TikTok team also includes plenty of vets from the GOP side of the aisle, it’s the Democrats who have given TikTok a pass.

And American children have paid the price with their mental health and their lives.

It’s not only elected officials who are to blame. Google, Apple, and Amazon rapidly purged Parler, a conservative social media app, in order to silence conservatives, but have refused to take action against TikTok. Indeed searches for the term on Google quickly fill with TikTok videos. Including at least one direct link to a blackout challenge video hosted on TikTok.

Michael Beckerman, the former president and CEO of the Internet Association, an industry lobby whose members include Google, Amazon and Twitter, now heads TikTok's policy operation. A number of other IA vets are also working for the Chinese spy operation now.

Beckerman had assured Senate members that, "We do not share information with the Chinese government" and "We have a world-renowned U.S. based security team that handles access."

Big Tech companies have been very eager to deplatform conservative voices and apps to “fight misinformation”, yet are uninterested in removing an app which violates their own terms of service by spying on users, especially minors, and which has killed 7 children.

The Biden administration has convened task forces to fight speech in this country it considers “misinformation”, yet has refused to stop a Chinese company from causing child suicides.

Biden chose to give TikTok a pass at the same time that his advisers decided that it would be politically useful. American children died so Biden could recruit an “army of influencers”.

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, July 18, 2022

The Abortion Midterms May Abort the Democrats

By On July 18, 2022
After the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, Democrats lost no time in insisting, all evidence to the contrary, that abortion would swing the midterm elections for them.

Georgia shows why abortion might abort their party instead.

Stacey Abrams, after months of dodging and refusing to be pinned down on her abortion views, finally came out and said that, “my intention is going to be to pass legislation that says a woman has the right to an abortion. And that right continues until a physician determines the fetus is viable outside of the body, except in the case of protecting the woman’s life or health.”

After all the ducking and weaving, Abrams effectively supports full abortion until the third trimester. That’s a radical position, but still more moderate than the current Dem one.

As recently as 2006, Biden had said, "I do not view abortion as a choice and a right. I think it's always a tragedy." Now, Biden called the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling a “tragic error”.

Support for abortion until the moment of birth has become routine among party leaders, but Abrams herself apparently did not support abortion until she first ran for office in 2006.

"I was very much on the side of anti-abortion, through much of my upbringing. I grew up in Mississippi, in a very religious family, in a religious community," Stacey Abrams told CNN.

In 2014, historically black protestants in Georgia were split on the question of abortion. That split, like Abrams’ religious background, has all but disappeared.

"With the protections of Roe gone, the midterm elections in Georgia have become a referendum on reproductive freedom," Nikema Williams, the Georgia Democratic Party chair, declared.

But there's little evidence that the public cares. Georgia voters were split on abortion in 2019.

Rep. Henry Cuellar, the last pro-life Democrat, survived a challenge from the abortion lobby in Texas even though Jessica Cisneros, the leftist running against him, outraised him by a million dollars and was backed by Bernie Sanders, AOC, and Elizabeth Warren, along with NARAL, Planned Parenthood's PAC, and EMILY's List. Making abortion into a litmus test backfired.

A recent Axios poll found that first-generation Latino immigrants are the most skeptical on abortion with only 41% supporting legal abortion. And only 29% of Latinos who speak Spanish at home agreed. These numbers are a warning that what plays well at D.C. marches doesn’t necessarily work with sizable chunks of the increasingly fragmented Democrat-Left coalition.

2006, when Biden still played at being pro-life and Stacey Abrams decided to let her abortion flag fly. was a key year in the fatal Democratic pivot away from even the pretense of moderation on abortion. Senator Bob Casey Jr, who ran as a pro-life candidate in 2006, and insisted that he was "pro-life" and claimed to oppose Roe despite voting with Planned Parenthood most of the time, now announced that he would vote to turn Roe v. Wade into law.

Some called this "the end of the pro-life Democrat", but Casey just redefined pro-life to mean pro-abortion. “I think it’s clear to most people that the description of pro-life Democrat is accurate," the Senate Democrat from Pennsylvania put it, by which he now meant trying "to reduce both the number of abortions and the number of unwanted pregnancies".

Bill Clinton’s call that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare” had been displaced by a 2020 presidential field of radical candidates who almost universally supported government funding of abortion by repealing the Hyde Amendment and having Medicaid cover abortions. Nine of the presidential candidates, including Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, wanted to force states to get federal preclearance for abortion laws.

After a generation of playing it safe, Democrats are all in on abortion radicalism.

Warren and AOC proposed abortion clinics in national parks. There have been suggestions to set up more abortion clinics on Indian tribal lands and by declaring a public health emergency.

Schumer’s Senate abortion bill would have legalized late term abortion until birth, but the show vote couldn't even get to 50 votes.

"Republicans in Congress — not one of whom voted for this bill — have chosen to stand in the way of Americans’ rights," Biden insisted afterward. "To protect the right to choose, voters need to elect more pro-choice senators this November, and return a pro-choice majority to the House."

There’s no sign of that happening.

Only 15% of likely voters see abortion as a top priority. And few think of it as something to be proud of. Democrats have embraced abortion as an assertion of feminism. Pro-abortion protesters kick around bibles, taunt pro-life protesters by praising the devil, and smear blood on themselves. That may play well on campus, but it just further alienates elements of the Democrat coalition.

Democrats want to make 2022 into an abortion referendum, but they may not like the results.

Kamala Harris has added to her extensive portfolio by becoming the point woman for the White House abortion response. "The rights of all Americans are at risk. This is the time to fight for women and our country with everything we have,” she declared.

The mingled stench of radicalism and electoral desperation isn’t hard to smell here.

With a bad economy and uncontrollable inflation, Democrats want 2022 to be about anything else, especially social and cultural issues intended to rally their base in the midterms. But abortion isn’t and has never been a winning strategy. And that’s even when people can afford to drive.

Or buy food to feed their families.

The dirty little political secret about abortion is that support for it rises sharply by income and also falls by income. Support for abortion is highest among those earning over $100,000 a year and lowest among those who make only $30,000. And yet, abortion rates are also highest among poor women. That’s not a paradox, it’s political eugenics. And that’s what it always was.

Planned Parenthood’s tarnished saint, Margaret Sanger, explicitly focused her murderous efforts on poor women from immigrant groups that were in disfavor at the time, Italians and Jews. Her alliance with eugenicists has been the abortion industry’s most awkward and worst kept secret.

Sanger’s radical sainthood has been revoked and the abortion lobby is eager to dress up its movemement with black women, like Stacey Abrams, who recanted their pro-life upbringing.

Abortion is big business, economically and politically, fueling a surge of donations from wealthy blue state women who support abortion and want poor women to be the ones to kill their children. Democrats have turned abortion into a culture war issue partly to profit from that cash.

But abortion also alienates many of the minorities who are its natural eugenic targets.

The Democrats want the midterms to be about the vital importance of taking money from rich white people to kill poor black babies. That may not be the winning strategy they think it is.

Especially in Georgia.

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, July 14, 2022

Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s Favorite BDS Group Mourns an ISIS Terrorist

By On July 14, 2022
When Baraa Lahlouh, an Islamic terrorist, was recently buried, he was draped in what the Agence France-Presse (AFP) misleadingly described as "a flag showing the seal believed to have been used by Islam’s Prophet Mohamed".

The wire service neglected to mention that it was more specifically the ISIS flag.

The Associated Press, as documented by CAMERA, distributed photos of the burial while neglecting to describe the ISIS flag. Along with burying a terrorist, they buried the lede.

The growing presence of ISIS in Israel and its overlap with the established Islamic terrorist groups like the PLO and Hamas has forced the media into new extremes of evasiveness.

Former PLO official Hanan Ashrawi accused Israel of an "extrajudicial assassination".

The PLO's Foreign Ministry responded to the shooting of the ISIS terrorist by calling it a "hideous crime" It falsely accused Israel of "war crimes" against "defenseless Palestinian citizens."

WAFA, the PLO's news agency, charged Israel with "cold-blooded murder" in which, according to the terrorist outlet, the ISIS terrorist and his comrades were "ambushed and shot dead in cold blood".

The PLO’s support for ISIS terrorism against Israeli Jews is nothing new.

In March, an ISIS terrorist carried out an attack at a shopping mall in Beersheva that killed four Israelis including a rabbi who ran a soup kitchen and who left behind four children.

Mohammad Ghaleb Abu al-Qi’an, the Islamic terrorist, had previously tried to join ISIS.

Al-Hayat al-Jadeeda, the PLO's official paper, praised the ISIS terrorist as a "martyr" and PA TV featured a poster of the ISIS terrorist as a “martyr”. Hamas celebrated the attack as a "heroic operation" and an Al Jazeera personality, an arm of the Qatari regime which backs Hamas, posted a message, “Four [dead]. Blessed are your hands".

That same month, two Islamic terrorists opened fire at a bus stop, one of whom had previously tried to join ISIS. They released a video featuring an ISIS flag and pledging allegiance to the ISIS caliph.

After the attack, ISIS issued an official statement boasting of, “12 infidel Jewish forces killed and wounded in a sacrifice attack carried out by soldiers of the Caliphate in northern Palestine.”

Hamas praised the "valor and courage" of the attack. Another Al Jazeera personality, Ahmed Mansour, celebrated the ISIS attack for having “killed and wounded many occupation soldiers [and] was a painful blow in the heart of Israel and of its Arab Zionist allies."

The Palestinian Authority made no official statement, but is likely to make payments to the families of the terrorists under the ‘Pay-to-Slay’ program. That program was at the center of the debate over continuing foreign aid by the United States to the PLO and its Ramallah regime.

Even as ISIS is becoming part of this terrorist landscape in Israel, Biden is preparing to visit the terrorist-occupied territories inside Israel to meet with PLO dictator Mahmoud Abbas and assorted terrorist leaders.

The administration is already undermining israel by running a shadow consulate to the terrorists.

It has also poured hundreds of millions into PLO territories with official numbers topping $500 million. The unofficial numbers are likely to go well beyond that half a billion dollars.

And, as noted by Mark Goldfeder of the National Jewish Advocacy Center, the shadow consulate is "designed to help facilitate that aid... also illegal under the 2018 Taylor Force Act" which bans "any assistance that directly benefits the PA unless and until the PA stops paying terrorists to kill American and Israeli citizens". And the PA/PLO won’t stop doing that.

The growing presence of ISIS in Israel benefits from the ‘Pay-to-Slay’ program funding attacks against Israel as well as the larger infrastructure of terrorist media and organizations maintained by the PLO. And, much as the Biden administration continues to funnel nearly $1 billion in “aid money” into Afghanistan despite the Taliban takeover, the same is true of terrorism in Israel.

Unlike the PLO, Hamas, and the Taliban, ISIS remains so horrifyingly unacceptable that the Biden administration and the media can only handle its existence by entirely ignoring it.

The whitewashing of Baraa Lahlouh’s burial in an ISIS flag by evasively describing it as the seal of Mohammed has become typical. Pro-terrorist sites like Electronic Intifada denounced the death of the ISIS terrorist as an "extrajudicial execution". And they were not alone in spewing anti-Israel hate while refusing to even mention the ISIS elephant in the terrorist room.

The Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) mourned the ISIS terrorist and his comrades, “Laith, Baraa, and Yusuf“ as "young men with entire lives ahead of them.”

“They should be here today, but due to Israel’s relentless and deadly violence against Palestinians, their loved ones will never see or hold them again," IMEU complained.

The organization is a 501c3 non-profit. Propagandizing on behalf of a terrorist buried in an ISIS flag would seem to run counter to the non-profit regulations that never seem to be enforced against the enemies of this country, only against its patriots and its defenders.

IMEU has been funded in the past by the Soros network, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Tides Foundation, and the Foundation for Middle East Peace. Leading leftist funders are now kissing cousins with apologists for ISIS terrorists. And it does not just stop there.

IMEU was just cited by Rep. Rashida Tlaib in her Nakba resolution attacking Israel's existence.

Tlaib has a longstanding relationship with IMEU with both the BDS group and the anti-Israel politician promoting each other. And, in the process, Islamic terrorism, including ISIS.

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, July 13, 2022

The End of Private Car Ownership

By On July 13, 2022
The term "pedestrian" has a derogatory meaning because peasants walked while nobles were "equestrians" and rode horses. The industrial revolution eliminated this class difference, as it did so many others, by making car ownership available to the masses until eventually Herbert Hoover was able to boast that "Republican prosperity has reduced and increased earning capacity” to "put the proverbial 'chicken in every pot' and a car in every backyard to boot."

Democrats have spent two generations trying to get those cars out of every backyard.

Biden is trying to bring back Obama's mileage standards that were estimated to raise car prices by 20%.The goal is to "nudge 40% of U.S. drivers into electric vehicles by decade’s end."

Will 40% of Americans be able to afford electric cars that cost an average of $54,000 by 2030?

Not likely. Nor are they meant to. Biden’s radical ‘green’ government, which includes Tracy Stone-Manning, the former spokeswoman for an ecoterrorist group as the head of the Bureau of Land Management, isn’t looking to nudge drivers into another type of cars, but out of cars.

Gas prices are a way to price Americans out of car ownership under the guise of pushing EVs.

Biden's Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm responded to American concerns about high gas prices by urging them to buy electric cars. Granholm, who had promoted a green energy tycoon who spent years in prison for fraud, who had served on the board of directors of an electric battery company, and made millions divesting stock in an electric vehicle manufacturer, is a fan.

"Most electric vehicles are now cheaper to own than gas-powered cars from the day you drive them off the lot," Granholm tweeted.

That isn't actually true, but actual cars have become more expensive to own, largely because of efforts by the Biden administration, and by various states, including California. That hasn’t however made electric cars any more affordable for ordinary Americans.

The average price of an electric car shot up to $54,000 in May. Car prices in general have risen in the Biden economy, but electric cars are naturally expensive. The raw material costs for an average electric car are up to over $8,000. That’s compared to $3,600 for an actual car.

When your raw material costs are that high, electric cars will be inherently unaffordable.

The Obama administration pumped billions in taxpayer money into battery and electric car manufacturing, the majority of which failed, on the theory that enough government subsidies would lower battery costs. Not only was much of that money lost, but currently electric battery costs hover around the $160 kilowatt-hour mark. Green boosters cheer that's far down from over $1,000 per kWh a decade ago, but that still adds up to the reality that an electric car capable of traveling for even short distances needs a battery that alone costs thousands.

The Nissan Leaf, which approaches $30,000 once the reality of MSRP in the current sales market is taken into account, is one of the cheapest electric cars around, and has a range of only 149 miles. Replacing its battery can set back car owners $6,500 to $7,500. And that’s even when you can manage to find one or someone willing to replace it. In less than 3 years, Leafs lose 20 miles of range. By the fifth year, they have lost 30 miles. And it’s all downhill from there.

The Nissan Leaf was initially a hit, but car manufacturers quickly realized that anyone willing to overpay that much for substandard performance had money to burn. The electric car market is now thoroughly dominated by luxury vehicles subsidized by taxpayers. And the Leaf went from 90% market share to less than 10%. The EV market is now a taxpayer-funded status symbol.

The dirty truth about the "clean" car market is that it consists of traditional car companies and Tesla frantically trying to unload a limited share of luxury electric cars on wealthy customers to cash in on the emissions credits mandated by states like California. Tesla makes more money reselling these regulatory credits to actual car companies than it does selling cars. Taxpayers and working class car-owners pick up the bill for the entire luxury electric vehicle market.

A market that they are shut out from by design.

The "green" vision is not a world in which everyone has their own electric car. It's one of collective transport, of buses, light rail, and car-pooling through shared rides and roving self-driving cars. The only vehicle the average consumer is supposed to own is a bicycle.

While the Biden administration is still pretending that it’s out to “encourage” electric car ownership by making actual cars too expensive for much of the country to afford, others are saying the quiet part out loud.

"Car-lovers will doubtless mourn the passing of machines that, in the 20th century, became icons of personal freedom. But this freedom is illusory," an Economist article predicted.

“There will be fewer cars on the road—perhaps just 30% of the cars we have today,” the head of Google's self-driving car project predicted.

"The days of the single occupancy car are numbered," Brook Porter at G2 Venture Partners, a green energy investment firm, thundered in an article titled, The End of Cars in Cities.

Dan Ammann, the former president of GM, claimed that "the human-driven, gasoline-powered, single-passenger car" is the "fundamental problem" in a post titled, "We Need to Move Beyond the Car". He has since gone to work for Exxon-Mobil.

Predictions are cheap, but car bans are expensive and all too real. The European Union voted to back a ban on the sale of non-electric cars by 2035. California is also pushing for a similar 2035 ban on the sale of new actual cars in the state. Officials noted that the ban would push more than half of mechanics out of work and leave much of the state unable to afford cars.

Canada has its own 2035 car ban. Last year, Governor Newsom and Governor Cuomo, along with 10 other governors, urged Biden to impose a 2035 car ban on all Americans.

Electric cars aren’t actually “cleaner”. The mining processes that produce “green” technologies are as dirty, if not dirtier, and trade dependence on oil for dependence on rare earth metals, and dependence on the Middle East for dependence on Communist China. The one thing that they decisively accomplish is to make it impossible for ordinary Americans to own cars.

And that is what environmentalists really want. But not just them.

The vision of a nation in which private car ownership is a luxury good, in which cars have been priced out of the reach of most people through environmental measures that concentrated on gas-powered vehicles, and then added more taxes and fines for the waste” and “inefficiency” of an individual owning a vehicle is not very far away.

The technocratic sales pitch is that ride-sharing and self-driving cars will make car ownership unnecessary. Why own a big clunky machine when you can own nothing and be happy?

The reality is that car ownership offers mobility and independence. That is exactly what the leftist radicals making social policy want to eliminate. Gas prices are not Putin’s price hike, they’re the green dream. And that dream isn’t to put you in a Nissan Leaf. It’s the Pol Pot dream of dismantling civilization and rolling back the industrial revolution.

Once the dark age norms of their dark enlightenment are restored, peasants will go back to being pedestrians and only the progressive philosopher kings will ride.

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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