Friday, March 31, 2023

Whose Children? Our Children

“We have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents,” MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry argued. “Educators love their students and know better than anyone what they need to learn and to thrive,” the NEA asserted. “Parents claim they have the right to shape their kids’ school curriculum. They don’t,” a Washington Post op-ed bluntly asserted.

A Minnesota bill now proposes to take children away from parents who don’t agree to have them sexually mutilated. Similar bills are working their way through other states.

Behind all the identity politics, the graphic sexual materials in classrooms, the covert gender swaps by public school administrators, critical race theory, drag shows and so much else is a showdown between the family and the state. It’s not a new confrontation, but teenage puberty blockers, suicides, sex and racism manuals have made the stakes painfully clear.

At the heart of sexual identity politics is an obsession with dismantling the family. The embrace of transgenderism by the state is no accident of politics. The family, like race and religion, is the chief rival to the state. The state set out to neuter its rivals through identity politics, using race, religion and finally sexuality to define new identities and use them to make the state supreme.

The great struggle between human beings and the state was always going to come down to the question of whether the system or the family would be the central unit of social organization. In a little over a century a question that once seemed as basic to the understanding of humanity as the differences between men and women was muddied. The government took charge of education and demanded oversight of all the nation’s children because the indoctrination of the citizenry was a vital national interest. But so was the existence or non-existence of the children.

The state did not just control what children learned, but whether they lived. It asserts the right to kill unborn children in the womb, and in Canada and Europe to kill them through euthanasia if they are ill or depressed. From eugenics to abortion, the state determined that it had a vital interest in not only how children were raised, but that they lived or died at its command.

Democracy had come to mean not a town meeting and a free press, but the state determining its own future constituencies, rigging elections a generation ahead by controlling demographics, education and all the elements of the lives of children. By controlling children, the state had become a next generation tyranny in the guise of a multi-generational democracy. The Left always looked to the “future” and the “children” because they had already brought it into being.

The new social order remade parents into glorified employees of the state. Birthing and rearing children became labor on behalf of the state subsidized by its institutions with the understanding that at the opportune moment, the state would tell the parents to step back while it takes charge.

When schools secretly change the gender of children or push sexual and racist materials on them, the state is taking charge. And administrations and unions indignantly tell parents to keep quiet and not interfere. Parents, like most taxpayers, under the impression that the system answers to them or at least that it ought to answer to them were confused and enraged.

The shift from the single-income family to the two-income family with preschool encompassing children as young as 18 months and then to an ever more intensive chain of state educational institutions happened gradually enough that most parents thought it was their own idea. But what the Soviet Union and Communist China had failed to accomplish, happened in America.

Children, from even before they could talk, were being raised either directly by the state or by the institutions that it closely regulated. The unintended consequences of that, emotional fragility, a lack of healthy models for interpersonal relationships, and an obsession with ‘snitching’ on others that persists well into adulthood, were only the collateral damage.

The campus safe space and the ghetto are where the experimental testing of the children has been conducted, leaving behind radioactive social wastelands fit only for DEI seminars.

Such children raised by the state become adults who want the state to go on raising them. When they’re hungry, the state feeds them, when they’re cold, the state shelters them and when they’re unhappy, the state tells them whom to blame. When their relationships fall apart or when their feelings are hurt, they turn to the state to soothe them with a dose of revenge.

The state was field testing its transitional model for replacing the family with its communal institutions. This dream, at least two centuries old in western socialist circles, is being realized not only by the primary products of those experiments, single mothers raising children from different fathers on government subsidies, but by much of the next generation.

Teachers and administrators in those institutions are pushing sexual identity politics on children as young as two years old not just because it’s a current leftist fad, but because eliminating the family wipes out any competition. The gradual transitional elimination of the family is rapidly picking up speed. Now the plan is to destroy the family by destroying the children.

Children have an inherent need for a family. Totalitarian regimes have fought the family in the past by turning children against their parents. And yet even in the face of the monstrous propaganda of the USSR, Communist China and Nazi Germany, the family has persisted. The Left has come to realize that the only way to destroy the family is to destroy the children.

The familiar vision of socialism is man as a tabula rasa, a blank state, not just economically or socially as under Communism, but completely empty, ready to fit any mold. He can be a man or a woman, or any hybridized combination of new invented sexes to be determined by the state.

Instead of the people deciding what the state ought to be like, the state will determine what the people will be like down to the smaller granular detail. A democracy of people who have been trained to reshape themselves completely in response to propaganda and their instructors are capable of becoming the willing pawns and puppets of any state no matter how terrible.

Or so it would seem.

This totalitarian utopia requires the extinction of the family as its ultimate precondition and final triumph. That is what is really at stake in this struggle. And it is best summed up by a single question. “Whose children? Our children or the children of the state?”

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

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Did New Yorkers Die, So a DA Could Target Trump?

Than Htwe, a 58-Year-Old Asian American woman, was walking with her son up the stairs of a Chinatown subway station when they were violently assaulted by a violent thug. Than, who had been on her way to a Buddhist temple, had her head smashed into the ground and died. The thug responsible got a mere 1-3 years in prison which effectively amounted to time served.

This has become typical under Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg.

Bragg’s office let a man accusing of raping a teenage girl go with 30 days and probation. A week before sentencing he went on a “sex-crime spree” attacking four different women. One woman stopped his attempt to rape her by hitting him on the head with a hammer: doing the job that the DA wouldn’t.

A gang member facing four grand larceny charges was set loose by Bragg’s pro-crime people before he mugged a 14-year-old boy.

A Muslim thug who took part in a brutal assault on a Jewish man near a pro-Israel rally boasted, “If I could do it again, I would do it again.” Despite that, Bragg’s office offered him a plea deal of six months.

When Bragg took office, he released a Day One memo which told prosecutors not to pursue prison sentences for many crimes including armed robberies and not to ask for life sentences.

As a result of his pro-crime guidelines, more than half of felony cases were downgraded to misdemeanors. Felony convictions fell from 68% to 51%, misdemeanor convictions from 53% to 29% and very few of those ever saw prison. Bragg’s pro-crime prosecutorial pipeline turned felonies into misdemeanors and then the offenders never served a day in prison.

Murders rose 10%, aggravated assaults were up 11% and robberies shot up 25%

Bragg justified his pro-crime policies by arguing that he was trying to use resources more efficiently. He claimed that his Day One memo refusing to prosecute many crimes was about freeing up “prosecutorial resources”. When Bragg’s office dropped most of the charges against a serial shoplifter, they claimed it would have been a “waste of resources” to go forward.

What was Bragg really focusing on?

In 2022, even as violent crimes shot up and the Manhattan DA’s office claimed that it wasn’t prosecuting criminals because it was shorthanded, it hired Matthew Colangelo, a former Biden DOJ appointee and Sotomayor clerk who had headed over to the New York State Attorney General’s office to go after Trump. Colangelo’s current salary isn’t listed, but he was earning $203,000 at the federal level and isn’t likely to have taken a pay cut to work for Bragg.

“Matthew Colangelo brings a wealth of economic justice experience combined with complex white-collar investigations, and he has the sound judgment and integrity needed to pursue justice against powerful people,” Bragg bragged. It was no secret whom Bragg had in mind.

While Bragg hired a legal hit man to go after Trump, crime victims were mourning as their attackers were cut loose because the Manhattan DA’s office claimed not to have the resources.

The investigation of Trump had been led by Susan Hoffinger, the head of the Manhattan DA’s office of investigations, at a salary of $208,600, along with a team of three others. The full cost of the pursuit of Trump and his associates on petty charges likely run well into the millions.

The Mueller investigation’s obscene $32 million price tag was bad enough, but at the federal level, millions and even billions come out of the petty cash drawer. DA Alvin Bragg however told crime victims that he had to free criminals because his office didn’t have enough resources.

Bragg didn’t have enough resources to help crime victims, but plenty to go after Trump.

How many people were killed, how many were robbed, beaten and raped because Bragg made targeting Trump into his priority? Most crimes are committed by career criminals who go in and out of the system until they’re finally prosecuted and locked up for good. Taking one criminal out of circulation for even a few years can save lives. The failure to prosecute however costs lives.

An extra 50 people were killed in Manhattan on Bragg’s watch. How many of those people really had to die?

An extra 159 women were raped.

An extra 3,524 people were robbed.

An extra 4,197 people were assaulted.

How much of that could have been prevented if Bragg had focused his “prosecutorial resources” on pursuing criminals, instead of giving perps a pass, while focusing on political crimes?

Bragg’s war against former President Trump is fully consistent with his attitude.

When Jose Alba, a bodega store worker, was assaulted and defended his life by stabbing the thug, Bragg hit him with the highest possible murder charges and $250,000 bail. Those charges were later dropped. A similar case involving fishmarket workers also played out more recently.

Soros DAs consider criminals to be victims and those who defend themselves to be criminals.

It would be a mistake to imagine that Bragg, like Soros DAs around the country, is reluctant to use the powers of his office. Despite all the chatter about “restorative justice” and “diversion programs”, they gleefully unleash ruthless force against their political opponents. That’s why St Louis’ Kim Gardner came after Mark and Patricia McCloskey who displayed firearms in order to deter an invasion by members of a BLM hate mob. It’s why Bragg is going after Trump.

Progressive prosecutors are really political prosecutors and Bragg is one of the worst of the lot.

Before Bragg, New York State Attorney General Letitia James calmly watched exploding crime rates while going after the NRA and then Trump with a view to running for governor. The Manhattan DA is just following in her footsteps by prosecuting political crimes instead of crimes.

Bragg hopes that maddened Manhattanites hate Trump enough to ignore the fact that he has allowed criminals to run free. And he expects to use the case to run for higher office.

For Manhattanites the question is whether they want public safety or a Trump prosecution.

DA Alvin Bragg is out to redeem a year of criminal terror with a Trump arrest. And if New Yorkers had to die, be beaten, robbed and raped to make it happen, that’s a small price to pay.

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

Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

A Tale of Two Settlements

A new settlement is going up in Israel.

Architectural schematics show luxury condominiums that would not be out of place in Miami or Santa Monica complete with balcony views, palm trees and sleek modern interiors with a fireplace, an indoor pool and a garden with a swing bench.

There’s just one catch: to live here you have to be a terrorist.

The Palestinian Authority’s latest expansion of its ‘Pay-to-Slay’ program which rewards terrorists for attacking Israelis and all non-Muslims is a luxurious village with unique residency requirements. To be eligible, you need to have spent at least 5 years in Israeli prison.

The terrorist village is scheduled to be built near the Israeli village of Ofra, which has suffered numerous terrorist attacks: including the shooting of a pregnant woman which killed her baby.

The terror settlement isn’t just backed by the PLO’s Palestinian Authority, but also by regional groups like the Arab Fund for Development and the Islamic Development Bank whose memberships encompass most of the region’s major Arab and Muslim nations.

The Islamic Development Bank, operating out of Saudi Arabia, has been a longtime funder of Islamic terrorism. Especially in Israel. Last week, Uzra Zeya, a Biden diplomat, met with members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss “partnerships with the Islamic Development Bank”. No mention was made of its terror settlement.

However, in an ugly undiplomatic escalation, the Biden administration summoned the Israeli ambassador to berate him over the end of an apartheid law banning Jews from returning to their homes in villages like Homesh. A Biden State Department spokesman blasted the possibility that Jews would live once again in places like Homesh as “provocative and counterproductive”.

A terror village whose residency is limited to terrorists and whose board includes the family members of top Hamas and PFLP terrorists, is neither “provocative” nor “counterproductive”, but Jews returning to the ruins of their own destroyed village are dangerously provocative.

According to the Biden administration, “reducing violence is in all parties’ interests, including Israel’s. The U.S. strongly urges Israel to refrain from allowing the return of settlers to the area.” Jews living in a town causes violence, but building a village for terrorists is a pacifist enterprise.

“Advancing settlements is an obstacle to peace,” according to the Biden administration. Except when they’re Muslim terrorist settlements.

Unlike the luxury condominiums being financed by the Saudis for Muslim terrorists, the remaining Jews of Homesh live in makeshift tents. They’re not allowed to build permanent homes of any kind. Technically they’re not even allowed to stay there overnight and under pressure from local and foreign leftists, they keep being kicked out. Yet they keep returning.

In August 2005, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, later convicted and imprisoned over corruption allegations, forcibly expelled the 70 Jewish families living in the Israeli village of Homesh.

The ‘Disengagement’ coordinated with the Bush administration ethnically cleansed thousands of Jewish residents, destroyed their homes and bulldozed their synagogues under the expectation that a new era of peace would emerge when the PLO and Hamas had more territory to play with. Instead, Hamas and the PLO used their newfound gains to launch a new wave of terror.

The families expelled from their homes in Homesh returned to try and reclaim them. They raised the Israeli flag over the rubble, celebrated a wedding and conducted prayers. The Olmert government responded by cutting off food and water to them. (Had that been done to Muslim terrorists, there would have been international outrage.) Driven out, they still did not give up.

One of those who did not give up was Limor Har-Melech. Limor was 7 months pregnant when PLO terrorists opened fire. Their car rolled over. Her husband Shalom, an ambulance driver, died. Seriously injured, the 24-year-old mother survived. So did her newborn daughter.

Limor, still carrying the scars of the attack on her face, married again, and now has 10 children and was elected to the Knesset: the Israeli parliament. 18 years (symbolizing ‘chai’ or life in Judaism) after she was expelled from her home, the bill she championed to revoke the ban on Jews returning to Homesh has passed. That bill was condemned by the Biden administration.

The State Department, which did not summon PLO envoys over the numerous terrorist attacks this year which have killed one American, Elan Ganeles of Connecticut, and wounded another Daniel Stern, an ex-Marine who despite being shot in the head managed to fight off his attacker and get his family to safety, summoned the Israeli ambassador to berate him over Homesh.

At the heart of Homesh, its collection of ragged tents, is a Yeshiva: a religious school. Its students and teachers have been arrested for violating the law by studying and teaching there. The Supreme Court’s leftists recently demanded that the government show why it has failed to permanently evict them. In response the bill legalizing the Jewish presence in a town whose origins date back thousands of years was passed. And the Biden administration raged.

Biden’s State Department claims that allowing Jews to live in Homesh “represents a clear contradiction of undertakings the Israeli Government made to the United States” to permanently expel Jews from their homes and destroy entire villages “in order to stabilize the situation and reduce frictions.” Eighteen years later where is the stability or the lack of friction?

Where are the assurances made by the Clinton administration to the State of Israel that giving the PLO autonomy would end terrorism? Thirty years ago, Bill Clinton claimed that the PLO had accepted “Israel’s right to exist in peace and security” and “to renounce terrorism”.

The PLO’s idea of renouncing terrorism is spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year funding terrorism through Pay-to-Slay: including building a village just for terrorists. And the Biden administration has violated not only its commitments, but United States law, by continuing to fund the terrorists while failing to even offer the least objection to the terror village.

After the murder of Taylor Force, an Afghan war veteran studying in Israel, Congress passed the Taylor Force Act barring further foreign aid to the terrorists. The Biden administration has flagrantly violated the Taylor Force Act by sending over $1 billion to the terrorist-occupied areas.

Biden’s decision to fund the terrorists has led to a 900% increase in Israeli deaths.

Perhaps the Biden administration would consider “reducing friction” by ending its illegal funding of terrorism instead of by demanding that Israel ethnically cleanse Jews from parts of Israel.

The ‘tale of two settlements’ shows the bias and double standard of the Biden administration.

Given a choice between a terrorist village and a Jewish one, the Biden administration chose to condemn the Jewish village while continuing to fund the terrorists. Politicians and the media are outraged over the village of Homesh, but carefully avoid talking about the Jihad village.

Meanwhile, the Jews camped out in Homesh continue to live in tents, they dodge checkpoints and risk their lives walking circuitous routes to reach the high ground where the village once stood, and where they are determined it will stand again. While the Muslim terrorists will settle down in luxury condominiums, swimming laps in an indoor pool and enjoying the fruits of their murderous labors, the unsung heroes will go on risking their lives by defying them.

And defying their enablers in the Biden administration.

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

Thank you for reading.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Workplace Political Discrimination is the Civil Rights Crisis of Our Time

Federal, state and municipal governments relentlessly pursue workplace discrimination, but none of them address the most pervasive form of workplace discrimination in America.

Political discrimination or viewpoint discrimination is everywhere.

And yet at a time when workplaces impose unconscious bias tests to target racial prejudice and other forms of discrimination, few corporations look for viewpoint discrimination. Some even mandate it in their HR procedures which systematically discriminate against conservatives.

Meanwhile the problem appears to have worsened over the last 4 years.

A 2019 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management found that a third of workers believe their employer is intolerant of differing political views. A Perceptyx survey in 2020 found that nearly half of employees expressed concern that they would be mistreated if they disagreed with their manager’s politics and 53% thought it would negatively impact their careers.

Even though numbers like these point to a much higher incidence of workplace discrimination than most of the identity politics metrics that government employment protection groups focus on, viewpoint discrimination is still not being addressed either by legislators or officials even though projecting some of these numbers would indicate that it affects tens of millions of people.

The cancel culture crisis that began on college campuses has spread into the workplace.

In our recent breakdown of the crisis at universities, the David Horowitz Freedom Center cited statistics showing the degree to which college students feel intimidated into keeping quiet.

At MIT, 68% of students were afraid to disagree with a professor about a controversial topic and 40% of faculty members were keeping quiet to avoid getting into trouble. A majority of students at the University of Wisconsin have stayed quiet in class and 37%, mostly conservative, felt pressured to agree with an instructor’s position. But, as we pointed out, the nation has become one giant college campus, and workplaces have become the next front in the woke culture wars.

This survey from the Alliance Defending Freedom drills down to show how the campus iron curtain has fallen on workplaces and gets hard numbers on who is being intimidated into keeping quiet about their political views. The survey shows that conservatives are being disproportionately impacted by workplace viewpoint discrimination which also implies that leftists are responsible for much of viewpoint discrimination in the workplace.

The numbers shown in the ADF survey are significantly higher in some regards than the 2019 and 2020 surveys, implying that workplace viewpoint discrimination is worsening every year.

The ADF survey notes that, “large majorities (60% and 64%) say that respectfully expressing religious or political viewpoints would likely or somewhat likely carry negative consequences on their employment.”

What’s really disturbing is that people are not just afraid to express their views at work, which are arguably not places for political or religious debates, but on their own time as “54% say they are concerned that sharing political content on their own social media accounts could result in negative consequences in the workplace.” That’s a majority of Americans who are self-censoring their own views full time because they exist in a social media panopticon.

Is all of this hypothetical? Are people making a big deal over perceptions and empty fears?

“1 in 4 say they know someone who has experienced negative consequences for respectfully expressing their political viewpoints (27%) or religious viewpoints (25%).” 44% of the workers who were worried about it were conservative, 26% moderate and only 28% liberal.

Of those who described negative consequences for expressing political views, 44% were conservative, another 28% were moderate and only 26% were liberal. That strongly suggests that workplace discrimination over political affiliation disproportionately affects non-leftists (72%). It also follows that for workplace viewpoint discrimination is mostly practiced by leftists against non-leftists. And indeed, virtually every high-profile case of someone being fired over their politics in the last 3 years involves Americans falling afoul of leftist companies.

The survey reports that 147 workers were fired for discussing their political views. Of those, 82 were conservative, 35 were moderate and only 31 were liberal. Another 163 were demoted, 181 were excluded from professional development, 274 faced hostile treatment at work, and another 81 suffered all of the above.

Considering that this was a survey of 3,000 workers, that is a sizable number.

25% or 753 workers said that they knew someone who had “experienced negative treatment or discrimination at work for respectfully communicating a religious viewpoint?” 332 of those fellow workers were conservative, 234 were moderate, 229 were liberal. 177 workers were fired, 181 were demoted, 226 were excluded from professional development and 322 faced hostile treatment.

This is a civil rights crisis of workplace discrimination that has been ignored for too long.

Biden’s EEOC claims the right to protect men who claim to be women (despite the lack of any law allowing it to do any such thing) along with every possible identity politics, but offers no protection for workers suffering from the pervasive crisis of viewpoint discrimination.

The failure of agencies, commissions and officials to protect workers discriminated against due to their viewpoints shows how outdated forms of civil rights legislation no longer address the forms of discrimination that workers face today. Federal and state administrations and legislatures need to step up and take action to fight this most pervasive form of discrimination.

That means ensuring that workplace rules on political discourse and identification should be even-handed and not discriminatory. That means workplaces cannot permit, let alone promote, Black Lives Matter, while barring viewpoints and perspectives that differ from the racist movement. Similarly employees should be able to promote all political candidates or none.

Finally workers should not fear that their private speech outside the workplace should impact their employment. In recent years workers who were targeted by woke cancel culture were fired even when the activities that some found offensive consisted of personal opinions expressed on their own time. Most jobs do not require ‘moral clauses’ and clear cases of viewpoint discrimination like these deserve civil rights protections.

The Constitution offers protection first and foremost to political viewpoints, not identities. America was founded on defending political dissent, rather than race, sexuality or any such thing. The failure to fight viewpoint discrimination betrays the founding legacy of America.

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

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

As China War Looms, Navy’s Priority is Going ‘Green’

The “age of American naval dominance is over”, Jerry Hendix, a former Navy Captain warned in a high-profile article in The Atlantic.

Hendrix’s article imagines a scenario in which China or other enemy nations seize control of what are now international waters and the cargo that moves across them. “The great container ships and tankers of today would disappear, replaced by smaller, faster cargo vessels capable of moving rare and valuable goods past pirates and corrupt officials.” A handful of nations would end up controlling the chokepoints of international trade and America would not be one of them.

Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro has already conceded China’s naval supremacy.

Last month, the Biden appointee stated that China has “got a larger fleet now so they’re deploying that fleet globally.”

The People’s Liberation Army Navy topped the US Navy in 2020. By 2025, it will have an estimated 400 ships. We’re still below 300.

Biden’s current defense plan is to have 350 by 2045. And by then we will have lost.

“They have 13 shipyards, in some cases their shipyard has more capacity — one shipyard has more capacity than all of our shipyards combined. That presents a real threat,” Del Toro conceded. “They’re a communist country, they don’t have rules by which they abide by.”

We don’t have China’s shipyard capacity because it isn’t a priority. Biden’s Navy budget would buy 9 ships and retire 24. That means we’ll be down to 280 by 2027. The administration has plenty of money, with over $1 billion directed to Afghanistan aid, hundreds of millions for the ‘Palestinians’, and foreign aid for every one of our enemies, but plans for a shrinking military.

Communist China has its priorities, but so do Biden and Del Toro.

“As the Secretary of the Navy, I can tell you that I have made climate one of my top priorities since the first day I came into office,” Del Tore declared a week after admitting that China had taken the naval lead and would hold on to it for the conceivable future.

The Navy’s 2023 budget wastes $718 million on fighting global warming. That’s more than 10% of the $6.2 billion in maintenance costs for 151 Navy vessels.

China’s Communist leadership is focused on building warships to win a war, ours isn’t.

What does it mean that under Biden, the Navy has made global warming into its priority?

Last year, the Navy joined California and assorted failed blue states in committing to “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050”. Net Zero emissions is an impossibility. In practice it means wasting a fortune on buying carbon credits from politically connected leftist companies. It also means that we will not be quickly and efficiently constructing warships because that’s not ‘green’. Winning wars isn’t green either, losing them however might be.

A Navy official absurdly claimed that, “to remain the world’s dominant maritime force, the Department of the Navy must adapt to climate change.” Going ‘green’ means that being a dominant marine force is not the priority. Much like diversity, equity and inclusion, which the woke brass have taken to claiming will improve our deadliness, it’s a betrayal of the mission.

China, which is rapidly becoming the dominant marine force, doesn’t give a damn about adapting to climate change except when it comes to peddling its junk solar panels assembled by slave labor to woke companies that will resell them at a massive markup while gobbling up tax credits because when we go ‘green’, it only weakens us and strengthens our enemies.

Communist China aims for a ‘victory-ready’ force while Biden’s after a ‘climate-ready’ force.

While China builds warships to achieve naval dominance in the next decade, the US Navy’s goal for the next decade is to have “100 percent zero-emission vehicles by 2035” and “100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity”. No word on whether firing torpedoes will also be carbon-pollution free, but that’s not a problem for a leadership that never intends to use them.

There will be “hybrid-propulsion” for naval vessels and more money lavished on “green fuels”.

Apart from the massive waste of money, hybrid systems are more expensive and more prone to breakdowns. Forcing ground vehicles to rely on lithium batteries comes with more expensive maintenance costs and worse operations in extreme weather. All of this pandering to green special interests not only corruptly steals money from national defense, but puts lives at risk.

Del Toro claims that the problem with our shipbuilding capacity is that, unlike China, we don’t use slave labor, but during WWII, we built a massive fleet in a short time with no slaves. But that was an age in which skyscrapers could also be built in a year. It was also a time when there were no environmental reviews and we focused on the mission, not corrupt woke politics.

Under the Democrats, politics, from DEI to climate goals, is the mission: winning isn’t.

The People’s Liberation Army Navy is not investing in “low-carbon fuels” or electric cars for its personnel. Instead it’s been busy holding drills with Iran and South Africa in a matter of a few weeks to show off a growing ability to operate on a global scale with its international allies.

While our military brass obsessed over diversity, equity and inclusion, the PRC turned the South China Sea into its own private backyard, enabling it to potentially cut off traffic to the United States. China has built up chains of islands studded with its naval outposts so that its fighter jets and anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles now encompass not only the coasts of Taiwan and China, but much of the coastlines of everything from Thailand to Malaysia to the Philippines.

The People’s Republic of China has military goals, our military now only has political goals.

The US Navy brass claim that “leveraging our diversity is the key to reaching the Navy’s peak potential” and that their priority is changing the weather and fighting global warming.

China’s priority isn’t fighting the weather, it’s fighting us.

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

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Philly’s “Pay-to-Riot” Gives $9 million to BLM Protesters

Between May and June 2020, heroic PPD police officers, outnumbered, outmatched and with no support from local officials, battled the violent hateful BLM mobs rampaging through West Philly.

The racist mobs looted small businesses in the mostly black area, destroying lives and livelihoods, while assaulting police officers and anyone who tried to get in their way. Buildings were set on fire and mobs shrieking “Black Lives Matter” and other racist slogans hurled rocks, bricks and Molotov cocktails at officers who were risking their lives to stop the violence.

Some local residents who had enough also defied the rioting mobs and joined with a community group known as, “Take Back the Streets” to line up and stand in the way of the rioters.

“Shattered windows, burned clothes, businesses destroyed,” the Philadelphia Inquirer headlined its coverage of the aftermath. “In Philadelphia, residents couldn’t find the words and simply shook their heads as they stepped over piles of ash and peered into shattered windows.”

“‘I can’t stop walking or I’ll start crying,’ a woman told her daughter as they stepped over a scorched mannequin.”

The rioters had left behind graffiti taking credit for the attack and referencing the slogans of the BLM hate group, including, “I can’t breathe” and “Justice 4 Floyd” referring to George Floyd, a career criminal who had robbed a woman at gunpoint and whose drug overdose death while being restrained by police had been used to justify the latest round of race riots.

Now the payoff is coming, not for the small business owners, but for the rioting mobs.

New York City offered a record $6 million payout to “F___ the Police” protesters because while restraining them the NYPD officers “frequently failed to wear masks”, now Philly is offering another record $9.25 million payoff to the racist mobs in West Philly. Not to their victims.

“We hope this settlement will provide some healing from the harm experienced by people in their neighborhoods in West Philadelphia,” Mayor Jim Kenney, who has presided over record crime rates, said of the $9 million payoff snatched from the mouths of hungry children.

In 2014, the year before Kenney was elected, there were 248 murders in Philadelphia. In 2022, that number had more than doubled to 516. This year there have already been 92. In 2020, the year of the BLM pro-crime riots, murders shot up from 353 to 499. In 2021, they hit 562: the worst numbers in Philly history. That’s what real “harm” in West Philly looks like.

This $9 million payoff is based in part on a complaint that while police officers were ducking bricks and Molotov cocktails, they fired off tear gas which caused “difficulty breathing” and “mental trauma”.

The officers hit with bricks and explosive devices don’t get to sue for their “mental trauma”. And the small business owners and other civilians are entirely out of luck after suffering millions in losses and untold amounts of mental trauma at the hands of the rioting BLM mobs.

Nor do the more than 30 officers injured in the subsequent riots after they were banned from using rubber bullets and tear gas against the racist mobs trying to kill them. That included the 56-year-old female police sergeant hit by a black pickup truck leaving her with a broken leg.

Philly Democrats made it clear early on that there would be no justice after the riots. Soros DA Larry Krasner, whose pro-crime policies have been blamed for much of the city’s crime wave, announced that he would avoid prosecuting 80% of those arrested. Instead, they’d be routed through a pro-crime ‘restorative justice’ model in which the criminal offers some sort of apology and promises not to do it again. The rioters would then be referred to “education and job opportunities” before conveniently having their records expunged so they can do it again.

It was ultimately up to the feds to provide some accountability, indicting rioters like Derrick Weatherbe who filled shopping carts with looted goods before streaming himself trying to set the store on fire with a stolen lighter, doing the job that Krasner and Philly Dems refused to do.

The head of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce had protested that minority businesses targeted by the racist mobs felt abandoned. “There is no assurance from the city of protecting them. They seem to be more concerned with protecting the offenders.”

Now Philly isn’t just protecting them, it’s paying them.

$9.2 million divided evenly among 300 plaintiffs would amount to $30,000 a head. Meanwhile, small businesses which suffered hundreds of thousands worth of damages, often got nothing.

Philly Democrats are paying their base to riot.

In the aftermath, one store owner described how, “the parts of the floor that weren’t covered in glass and tossed clothing were flooded. Demonstrators had tried to light three fires inside the store.”

“I cried on the way down and tried to get it out then. And I go in and out of wanting to cry again.”

The message to police and business owners is that Philly Democrats will stand with the rioters, not with them.

“The Philadelphia Police Department did not simply harm and terrorize individual people exercising their right to protest,” Rachel Kleinman of the Legal Defense Fund, claimed. “It inflicted wanton violence and devastated a predominately Black community.”

The violence was inflicted by protesters on police.

As Councilwoman Jamie Gauthier, who is black and and an opponent of the police, wrote during the riots, “At first things appeared calm, but it quickly turned into a standoff, with protesters throwing bricks and other objects in the direction of the police. As protesters became more aggressive, police ratcheted up their aggression and intimidation”.

The fact is that the violence did not begin with the police. And the police heroically tried to get it under control. Instead of paying the cops, police-defunding Democrats are paying the rioters.

The New York City and Philly payoffs are part of a larger pattern of state-sponsored BLM violence. Wounded police officers and civilians have tried to sue BLM organizations and chapters in vain, but it may be time for them to sue the governments that have promoted, enabled and funded the race riots that took lives, wrecked neighborhoods and killed hope.

BLM has functioned as the contemporary equivalent of the KKK. Both BLM and the KKK were covert arms of local Democrat governments which used the violence to intimidate political opponents. Municipal governments have promoted BLM, undermined law enforcement efforts to stop the racist violence and offer record payoffs knowing that this will inspire future riots. It’s time for the small businesses devastated by government-backed riots to sue cities like Philly.

The riots won’t end until BLM’s state sponsors are held accountable for their crimes.

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

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

1% of Democrat Counties Make Up 42% of America’s Murders

Democrats desperately trying to spin high crime rates caused by their pro-crime policies began falsely claiming that crime was a Republican problem. The media began running articles with headlines like, “Red States Have Higher Murder Rates” and “Republicans Like to Talk Tough on Crime — But They’re the Ones with a Real Crime Problem”.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who once claimed that the internet would have no more of an impact than the fax machine, argued that high crime was really a Republican problem and decided to prove it by claiming that, “Oklahoma’s murder rate was almost 50 percent higher than California’s, almost double New York’s.”

Krugman, who somehow has a Nobel Prize, failed to note that most of the murders were coming out of Oklahoma City and Tulsa. In last year’s gubernatorial election, Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt won most of the state while Oklahoma, Tulsa and Cleveland counties however went to leftist Democrat Joy Hofmeister. The ‘blue’ parts of Oklahoma are also red with blood.

“The fact is the rates of violent crime are higher in Oklahoma under your watch,” Hoffmeister had claimed in a viral gubernatorial debate attack. Oklahoma had 287 murders in 2020: 166 came out of Oklahoma County and Tulsa County, the two counties that supported Hoffmeister.

Oklahoma County and Tulsa are two of the 62 counties that were responsible for 56% of America’s murders in 2020. A groundbreaking study by John R. Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center, revealed that “1% of counties have 21% of the population and 42% of the murders” and “2% of counties contain 31% of the population and 56% of the murders.”

The 1% of bloody red counties include such Democrat strongholds as Philadelphia, New York City, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Dallas, D.C., Miami-Dade, Milwaukee, San Diego, St. Louis, Chicago’s Cook County, Houston’s Harris County, Detroit’s Wayne County, Memphis’ Shelby County, Phoenix’s Maricopa County, Cleveland’s Cuyahoga County, and many others.

Biden won Cook County, the bloodiest county in the country, by 66%. He won Los Angeles County, the second bloodiest, by 71%, Harris County by 56%, Philadelphia by 81%, New York City by 76%, Wayne County by 68%, and Shelby County by 64%.

Shelby was not only one of the three counties in Tennessee to vote Democrat, it was also responsible for 311 of the state’s 682 murders. Similarly, Wayne County was responsible for 379 of Michigan’s 693 murders. Houston accounted for 405 of the 537 murders in Harris County and along with Dallas’ 251 murders, Austin’s 47, San Antonio’s 128, Fort Worth’s 99, accounted for around half of murders in Texas. Maricopa County made up 299 of the 423 murders in Arizona.

Marion County, where Indianapolis is located, accounted for nearly half of the murders in the state, even though it has less than 10% of the population. Milwaukee was responsible for 201 of Wisconsin’s 308 murders even though it also has less than 10% of the population.

There isn’t a red state murder problem, red states have a Democrat crime problem.

The CPRC study showed that while 2% of counties populated by Democrats were responsible for 56% of the country’s murders, 52% of counties had no murders and 68% of counties had at most one murder.

These numbers clearly show that America is not a violent country, that we do not have a crime problem and that gun culture is not the issue: crime culture in Democrat cities is the issue.

Democrat crime cities and counties have created a massive social problem that otherwise would hardly exist. As the study notes, “If the 1% of the counties with the worst number of murders somehow were to become a separate country, the murder rate in the rest of the US would have been only 4.31 in 2020. Removing the worst 2% or 5% would have reduced the US rate to just 3.71 or 2.99 per 100,000, respectively.” We could have the murder rate of New Zealand.

If it wasn’t for the Democrat crime counties.

America is not a dangerous or crime-ridden country. Unfortunately Democrat cities are overrun with criminals and the politicians who cater to them. The Democrats became an urban party and, after jettisoning the white working class and the small business middle class became the party of criminals. From police defunding to the Black Lives Matter riots to mass jailbreaks and the legalization of drugs and shoplifting in major cities, they embraced pro-crime policies that unleashed a massive crime wave. And now they pretend not to know what’s causing the crime.

“Nationwide, violent crime rose substantially in 2020,” Krugman admitted. “Nobody knows for sure what caused the surge — just as nobody knows for sure what caused the epic decline in crime from 1990 to the mid-2010.”

Tough-on-crime policies cut crime in the 90s and the oughts: pro-crime policies boosted crime.

There’s no mystery here. Crime is caused by repeat offenders. In the 90s we began locking them up and then about 5 years ago, we began letting them go at the federal and state level.

In ‘I Can’t Breathe: How a Racial Hoax Is Killing America’, David Horowitz exposed the lies behind the Black Lives Matter pro-crime movement and warned of the pandemic of crime that was being unleashed. That hoax has unleashed unprecedented violence, but that crime wave largely remains confined to Democrat areas where criminals prey on members of the party.

More than an additional 5,000 people were killed in 2020. There is little doubt that the disproportionate majority of both the victims and the killers were Democrats. Democrat pro-crime policies are killing Americans, but mostly they’re killing fellow Democrats.

An added 5,000 murders alone means $85 billion in costs. That’s a fraction of the money, estimated at half a trillion dollars, that we spend every year coping with the criminal justice and social problems caused by Democrat crime.

America could be a safe and pleasant place to live. And the majority of its counties, which are mostly Republican, are. Unfortunately many of its Democrat counties are broken places, packed with broken families, criminal cultures and leftist politicians who pander to the criminals.

And the party and its media cover it up with lies about systemic racism.

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

Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

China Hires the 'Resistance'

Whenever SKDK sends out a press release, it makes sure to mention that Politico had once called it “the loyal opposition where powerful Democrats plot the anti-Trump agenda” and that the Holmes Report had described the firm “the hub of the resistance.”

The “loyal opposition” now works for Communist China. And the “hub of the resistance” is being employed on behalf of a company operating out of one of the world’s most totalitarian regimes.

Faced with a possible ban on its destructive social media app, TikTok has gone out and hired the Biden administration and its “resistance” apparatus. And it probably even got a good deal.

SKDK’s managing director, Anita Dunn, is Biden’s senior advisor and unofficial campaign manager who took control and steered him through the Democrat primaries.Dunn, an Obama vet, is now in charge of crafting the response to Biden’s classified documents scandal.

SKDK people became Biden’s campaign comms and they’ve continued to fill that role in the administration. White House Deputy Communications Director, Herbie Ziskend. was an SKDK veep. As was Biden’s deputy communications director Kate Berner. Biden’s special assistant and senior adviser Jordan Finkelstein was an SKDK associate. Biden’s former press secretary and current Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh was a senior SKDK associate.

TikTok had previously hired a Pelosi senior adviser and another senior adviser to Rep. James Clyburn: the third highest ranking Democrat. Now it decided to go all the way to the ’big guy’.

Biden’s messaging apparatus consists of SKDK vets. Hire SKDK and you get insights into what the Biden administration thinks and how to best influence its thinking.

During the Obama administration, a senior Democrat warned that, “it’s an open secret in the Dem consultant community that SKD has been signing up clients based on ‘perceived White House access’ tied to prior relationships and employment.”

There’s no reason to believe that the game is any different at SKDK.

Under Trump, SKDK was the “hub of the resistance”, fighting to keep government bureaucrats at their jobs, opposing travel restrictions for terrorist states and fighting to save Obamacare while cashing in on Planned Parenthood and the Rockefeller Foundation and also working for Disney, Google and AT&T. The “resistance” was about getting its own people into power so that the company could benefit from even more lucrative contracts. Including overseas money.

Ukraine had signed up with SKDK and the firm helped draft some of Zelensky’s UN speeches with the Ukrainian leader benefiting from the services of one of Obama’s former speechwriters.

Why not China?

The “Hub of the Resistance” has gone to work for a company that has an internal Communist Party committee and which covers up China’s slave labor and persecutions of minorities.

SKDK dumped Starbucks because opposition to unions was against its “principles”. But like most Communist countries, China bans independent unions. The only legal union is a Communist government organization that exists to pressure foreign companies. That, like the forcible abortions, political prisoners, mass murders and political terror doesn’t bother SKDK.

But maybe that’s also a matter of principle.

Anita Dunn was forced to step down as Obama’s communications director after a video surfaced of her describing Mao as one of her favorite political philosophers. Dunn’s lesson from one of the twentieth century’s greatest mass murderers was, “You’re going to make choices; you’re going to challenge; you’re going to say, ‘Why not?’; you’re going to figure out how to do things that have never been done before.”

SKDK is still making its choices and doing things that have never been done before. Why not?

In June 2021, Biden revoked Trump’s TikTok executive order and his people began reaching out to TikTok influencers to build an “influencer army”. Among the other horrifying results was the deaths of seven children who strangled themselves to death after TikTok promoted the “blackout challenge” to them. Their blood is on Biden’s hands and that of his comms people who prioritized using TikTok to boost his image over protecting the lives of American children.

Now after the latest round of revelations exposed the fact that TikTok’s American mouthpieces lied, that the company is run out of China and sends information back into that Communist dictatorship, and with bipartisan momentum gathering to ban TikTok, the company has gambled that Biden can still be bought. And with his track record, there’s every reason to think so.

SKDK is intertwined with the Biden administration. Its winning argument will be that keeping TikTok open in America will be crucial for any 2024 campaign. TikTok was already proven to be a very effective tool for recruiting and mobilizing younger voters and pre-voting activists. A ban on TikTok would weaken Democrats and strengthen Republicans. And the same SKDK comms people inside the White House who no doubt talked the administration into its TikTok outreach may be in a position to make the case and close the deal for Communist China on the inside.

SKDK is a corporate brand that knows how to look like the woke grass roots. Take the “Princess of the Resistance”, dubbed as such by another SKDK employee, whose real name is Danielle Moodie-Mills, a former SKDK VP of Public Affairs, who hosts WokeAF Daily and is constantly on TikTok. The “resistance” is full of consultants who sound like edgelord influencers.

They’re a crucial element in making the Democrats seem like an insurgency rather than the corrupt authoritarian oligarchy with strong corporate elements that they actually are.

What works for corporate clients like AT&T and Pfizer can also work for Communist China.

TikTok will undergo another makeover. New faces will be trotted out to promise that this time the company can be trusted. Ex-FBI and NatSec types will be drafted to claim that they will oversee data handling and that this time, unlike before, it really will stay in America. All these lies will really come down to the interconnections between Biden,SKDK and TikTok.

The Left and China both want power over America: SKDK has gotten big by offering it to them.

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

Thank you for reading.

Monday, March 20, 2023

SVB Hired a Biden Megadonor, Got Bailed Out

Silicon Valley Bank spent billions on green energy, millions on Black Lives Matter and other leftist causes, until it finally ran out of ‘other people’s money’.

That’s when the Biden administration decided to bail out its depositors.

At a dinner hosted by Peter Orszag, Obama’s former budget director, Wally Adeyemo, Obama’s Nigerian assistant treasury secretary and Biden’s deputy treasury secretary, chatted with Blair Effron, an influential Biden donor, serving on Biden’s Intelligence Advisory Board, who had been hired as an advisor by SVB to deal with its financial crisis. The outcome was inevitable.

“Because of the actions that our regulators have already taken, every American should feel confident that their deposits will be there if and when they need them,” Biden lied.

The deposits of ordinary Americans were already protected up to $250,000.

But unlike banks that serve ordinary customers, the vast majority of SVB’s clients held over $250,000 and were not protected by FDIC insurance. Rather than risk its political donors and allies having to take a 10% loss on their funds, the Biden administration illegally bailed them out while unilaterally transforming FDIC insurance into a protection plan for its political allies.

The Biden bailout was not there to protect Americans, but leftist and even Chinese interests.

One of SVB’s major client bases was in China. Chinese companies were able to open an account in a week while “mainstream traditional banks, such as Standard Chartered, HSBC, Citi have strict compliance and it takes a long time to start a bank account with them.”

It’s unclear how many of these Chinese businesses, some likely linked to the Communist Party, Biden has chosen to bail out at the expense of bank customers and while further feeding the inflation that is destroying American families and wiping out the remains of the middle class.

Silicon Valley Bank also maintained a joint venture with China’s Communist state owned Shanghai Pudong Development Bank which has been under investigation for aiding North Korea’s nuclear program meant to kill millions of Americans. That venture however does not appear to be affected by SVB’s collapse or the illegal Biden bailout of woke capital.

“What I’m asking,” Senator James Lankford asked, “is will my banks in Oklahoma pay a special assessment to be able to make Chinese investors whole?”

“Uninsured investors will be made whole in that bank and I suppose that could include foreign depositors, but I don’t believe there’s any legal basis to discriminate among uninsured depositors," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen retorted.

SVB was the embodiment of Environmental, Social, and Governance or ESG investing which prioritizes leftist politics over profitability. The Biden administration recently announced that it would allow 401(k) pension plans to be put into ESG instead of reliable investments potentially endangering the retirements of tens of millions of Americans which might also get ‘SVB’d.’

While SVB focused on “climate change” and “diversity”, it ignored rising interest rates. The woke bank was too busy with its politics to deal with the math. SVB had no risk officer for 8 crucial months, but its risk officer for Europe, Africa and the Middle East focused on sharing her “experiences as a lesbian of color” and “moderating SVB’s EMEA Pride townhall.”

CEO Greg Becker led quarterly diversity, equity and inclusion town halls instead of figuring out that startups squeezed by rising interest rates would need money that the bank didn’t have.

Silicon Valley Bank directed millions to woke causes, among others to the Accion Opportunity Fund which describes its mission as advancing “racial, gender and economic justice”. It focused on “building a culture of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” and advancing the “transition to a low-carbon world.”

SVB’s mission was to force 100% of its employees to participate in DEI indoctrination.

Newsweek named SVB one of “America’s Most Responsible Companies”: not because the woke bank managed its money well, but because it had the right politics.

Now one of “America’s Most Responsible Companies” is responsible for economic devastation.

SVB mastered wokeness, but failed economics 101. And that was by design. Its real business was politics. By financing leftist causes, SVB had become politically too big to fail. While its own finances are wrecked, the Biden administration quickly stepped in to protect its woke depositors.

The SVB bailout was an announcement that the Biden administration would stand behind woke financial institutions and instruments, socializing the pain by spreading it to more stable financial systems, no matter how irresponsibly they put funds at risk in the pursuit of their politics.

SVB’s clients included California Gov. Newsom’s wine companies as well as assorted politically connected figures, and “1,550 climate tech and sustainability” companies and churned out billions in loans for the woke companies pitching government-subsidized ‘green’ tech.

The woke bank hoovered up subsidies and tax breaks to worthless wind and solar programs and its collapse will leave a “hole” in the green industry. The intersection between the Biden administration’s special interests and SVB was made clear in the Washington Post’s headline, “Biden Boosted Clean Tech. How Much Will SVB Set It Back?”

Last year, Pink Energy, a solar company, shut down after multiple complaints about lying to customers about how much money they would save by switching to worthless solar. The Ohio Attorney General finally issued an injunction against Pink. And Pink’s financing came through Sunlight Financial Holdings which kept the majority of its money in an SVB account.

That’s the sort of junk ‘green’ businesses that the Biden bailout was meant to reward.

SVB was a key element in a woke economy that moved money to political causes with no fiscal responsibility. Its board of directors was short on banking officials, but included major Democrat donors, including a Pelosi neighbor, as well as Janet Yellen’s protege: Mary J. Miller, who had implemented the Dodd-Frank reform package and also chaired the San Francisco Fed’s Diversity and Inclusion Council. Meanwhile, SVB CEO Greg Becker sat on the Fed’s board.

The San Francisco Fed should have monitored SVB’s books and spotted the trouble, but instead it focused instead on fighting “systemic racism” and making banking more “inclusive”.

Going out of business is inclusive.

Like SVB, Signature Bank, the second ESG bank that failed, had social impact reports and provided climate disclosures. Its boss led a seminar on gender neutral pronouns and former Rep. Barney Frank (half of Dodd-Frank’s regulatory regime) served on its board. Meanwhile, the DOJ was conducting a criminal investigation involving money laundering by its clients.

ESG is a disaster causing the third largest bank failure in America in just two days.

But ESG is too big to fail because it is at the heart of the leftist scheme to divert money into its causes and to fund its activism. The SVB disaster revealed how fiscally unsound these economic schemes are and how the Democrats will abuse their power to protect them anyway.

Even as the Fed pushes interest rates higher to slow down the economy and inflation, the Democrats have plenty of money on tap for their political allies. American families may not be able to afford to buy eggs, but the cash keeps on flowing for woke capital.

Go woke, go broke and if you support him, Biden will still bail you out.

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

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

The Pedophile Behind Prison Abolition

When Angela Davis, a domestic terrorist, wrote, “Racialized Punishment and Prison Abolition”, she began by extensively citing an ex-Marxist French philosopher. “Michel Foucault’s ‘Discipline and Punish’ is arguably the most influential text in contemporary studies of the prison system,” she argued while crediting herself with an analysis of the “racial implications” of his ideas.

There is a straight line that runs from Foucault and Davis to the “prison abolition” movement that in its mildest form encompasses police defunding and reducing penalties for offenses and diverting criminals away from prison, and to proposals like Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s BREATHE Act that would create a “roadmap for prison abolition,” with the “full decarceration of federal detention facilities within 10 years”.

Terms like “carceral” or “decarceration”, now commonly used by leftists agitating for the elimination of prisons, police and the criminal justice system, owe much to Foucault.

Foucault’s Prison Information Group had originally been set up to aid Communist terrorists behind bars in Europe, but quickly linked together the idea that criminals were revolutionaries and criminal justice needed to be abolished. Angela Davis, who faced her own criminal charges over Marxist terrorism, took Foucault’s ideas and racialized them. And now they’re broken out.

While black nationalists are more likely to cite Davis and other black nationalists, she and leftist intellectuals very clearly credited Foucault and his Marxist analyses of criminal justice. Neither group tends to mention that aside from leftist extremism, Foucault was also a pedophile.

Many political activists have hidden or not so hidden private lives, but Foucault’s pedophilia was a fundamental element of his opposition to prisons and the criminal justice system.

Two years after Foucault wrote ‘Discipline and Punish’, the book described by many defunders as the founding text for the prison abolition movement, he signed a petition calling for legalizing sex with 13-year-olds. This was not a one-time event. Foucault had signed another petition “calling for the freedom of three men accused of sex with boys and girls between age twelve and fifteen” as part of his vocal activism on behalf of legalizing the act of molesting children.

Foucault’s interest in prison abolition for pedophiles was not strictly objective. A decade earlier, he had been sexually abusing eight-year-olds in Tunisia.

“They were eight, nine, ten years old, he was throwing money at them and would say ‘let’s meet at 10pm at the usual place’” a former comrade related. “He would make love there on the gravestones with young boys. The question of consent wasn’t even raised.”

All sorts of writers and thinkers were privately guilty of assorted offenses, but it’s impossible to distinguish Foucault’s pedophilia, his sympathy for pedophiles and his opposition to locking them up from his more popular views on prisons and the criminal justice system.

In “The History of Sexuality”, he wrote censoriously of a 19th century village for persecuting a farm laborer who had groomed little girls to sexually pleasure him.

“The pettiness of it all,” he bemoaned. “This everyday occurrence in the life of village sexuality, these inconsequential bucolic pleasures, could become from a certain time the object not only of collective intolerance, but of a judicial action.” Foucault wrote sympathetically of “these timeless gestures, these barely furtive pleasures between simple-minded adults and alert children.”

An understandable position for a man who had paid starving little boys to do even worse. So was Fouculat’s insistence that believing “a child is incapable of explaining what happened and was incapable of giving his consent are two abuses that are intolerable, quite unacceptable.”

The Marxist influenced philosopher who later died of AIDS was certainly not the only 70s European intellectual to justify child abuse, but he did so in the same analytical terms that are at the core of police defunding and prison abolition arguments, and although long dead his sticky intellectual fingerprints are all over its modern rebirth in the western world.

A CBC softball interview with Ruth Wilson Gilmore, a black nationalist leftist activist calling for eliminating prisons, has her saying, “We in the contemporary abolition movement are fond of citing Foucault”. Gilmore often mentions the ex-Marxist child rapist as an inspiration.

A New England Journal of Medicine paper promoting “restorative justice” or having criminals apologize to their victims instead of being locked up, quotes Foucault. An Indiana Public Media story promoting prison abolition includes Foucault’s ‘Discipline and Punish’ as one of the top items on its reading list. Foucault runs through the abolition and defunding movement. And there is no escaping the fact that his seemingly dispassionate analyses of the prison system, grounded in pseudo-Marxism, were really expressions of sympathy for leftist terrorists.

And for pedophiles like him.

Despite widespread knowledge about Foucault’s crimes against children, no one in the movement influenced by his ideas has ever bothered to disavow them or even answer whether they believe that child rapists should be an exception to their proposed “prison abolition”.

‘Abolitionists’ go through every logical fallacy in the book. They redirect, argue that the question is a distraction, that child abusers are a minority of criminals, that most of them never get caught and that the phenomenon will disappear once the root causes are addressed. They claim, as The Intercept does, that imprisoning pedophiles is racist because, “while whites constitute the majority arrested for child pornography possession, black people get longer federal sentences.”

Mostly they act as if their movement hasn’t addressed the question and doesn’t need to.

But Foucault, the godfather of prison abolition, had already addressed the question. The movement, which quotes him so often, refuses to admit to his answers because it would destroy whatever support it has even among those who favor releasing most criminals.

Prison abolition was the brainchild of a child rapist who wanted to legalize pedophilia. He opposed prison because he belonged there and because the inmates would have never let him live if they knew what he was. Had Foucalt ever been imprisoned for his crimes, he would have been beaten to death by even the most hardened criminals: as imprisoned pedophiles often are.

The Left has much to say about America’s original sins and how they define the present, it has far less to say about its own original sins and how they define its movement. Prison abolition, police defunding and similar criticisms of the justice system are built on a child rapist’s conviction that raping children should not be a crime and that no one should be locked up for it.

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

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Wokes Can’t Beat the Culture They’re Destroying

The recent controversies over politically correct rewrites of James Bond novels and Roald Dahl’s children’s books highlights just how dependent a woke culture industry is on the works of dead white men, like Dahl, Fleming and Tolkien, who were anything but politically correct.

Or even living, but currently politically incorrect white women, like J.K. Rowling.

Woke culture has filled every school with graphic sexual books like Beyond Magenta and Lawn Boy which describe 8 and 10-year-olds having sex, but can’t generate any of its own classics. That’s why Netflix bought the Roald Dahl Story Company for $686 million, Amazon paid $8.5 billion for MGM, whose crown jewel is James Bond, and has spent over $1 billion to make its own woke version of Tolkien’s mythos. (New woke Lord of the Ring movies are also coming.)

Disney built an empire churning out woke versions of everything from Marvel comics to its own classic cartoons, including Peter Pan and Pinnochio, and other works by dead white men. The rest of the culture industry is frantically trying to conglomerate and amass enough intellectual property of its own to also cannibalize, denounce, bowdlerize and then cash in on every year.

Woke culture is the parasitism of the creatively untalented and politically authoritarian. It runs on monopolies reprocessing the works of all the retroactively canceled talented artists and writers, blending the splendid feasts of the past into differently branded cans of woke cultural spam.

The massive intellectual properties that serve as the profit engines for woke companies are the works of the unwoke. And the woke haven’t figured out how to replace them. Boycott efforts of Hogwarts Legacy, a new Harry Potter game, failed miserably with sales currently approaching $1 billion, despite a systemic campaign of intimidation and reviews condemning the author.

What’s the woke counter to Harry Potter? Mr. Felker-Martin’s ‘Manhunt’: a transgender fantasy novel that kills off Rowling. All the men in ‘Manhunt’ turn into zombies, and the trannies hunt them down along with the feminist ‘TERFs’ who refuse to believe that they’re women. Despite heavy promotion by the media and its publisher, Tor, it currently ranks in 40,382th place.

Woke culture industries are busy rewriting and censoring the works of Fleming, Dahl, Tolkien, and for that matter Dr. Seuss, who was a liberal stalwart of his day, because they can’t equal them or even come close to doing so. There’s even a “diverse” and “inclusive” rewrite of Shakespeare. Unable to create their own work, they’re reduced to censoring classics.

Totalitarian leftist regimes have a history of this sort of thing. Both the Soviet Union and Communist China removed any mention of the bible from Robinson Crusoe. Still unsatisfied with the result, Soviet censors rewrote Crusoe more broadly to emphasize that individuals need to be part of a collective society. Woke rewrites are not a new idea and reflect the same issue.

“Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime,” Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart had argued. Woke culture has no confidence. Like most censors, it is incapable of creating, only destroying because it is wholly political. It is no coincidence that the works it is obsessed with possessing and destroying are mostly imaginative creations, fantasies and escapist wish-fulfillment, that it both desires and hates. “I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories,” Tolkien wrote. “Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home?”

Political censorship pursues and subverts escapism in particular because it offers a measure of freedom in a society whose culture controllers have turned it into one giant political prison. It’s no wonder that they are unable to duplicate the appeal of works that were genuinely subversive or escapist and otherwise free. Wokeness can appropriate free culture, but never duplicate it.

The Left is subversive only when it comes to undermining existing power structures not under its control. In any area where it seizes power, it ceases to be subversive and becomes authoritarian because its subversiveness was never aimed at seeking freedom, only power. Once that power is achieved, subversive creativity becomes authoritarian censorship.

When the Left’s grip on the culture became total, it ceased to produce, to publish or to even think subversively. Its idea of subversion, in fiction or in comedy, is, like ‘Manhunt’ or SNL, limited to the humiliation and destruction of enemies. And that’s no different than North Korean propaganda. That is why cultural wokeness produces nothing that lasts more than the moment. Rooted in the politics of the moment and the neurosis of the elites, overshadowed by fear and rewarding political commitment and artistic mediocrity, it serves only when nothing better exists.

Unfortunately the remnants of a better culture are all around us. That’s why they have to be censored or banned as reminders of what we have lost and how worthless our pottage is.

Wokeness, like most rigid ideologies, poisons creativity. A decade ago, the New York Times explored Chinese frustration over America’s ability to make movies they could not. “A movie like ‘Kung Fu Panda’ could have been produced only in an atmosphere of cultural and artistic freedom that China doesn’t enjoy,” the paper suggested. America has a whole lot less cultural and artistic freedom in 2023 than we did in 2008. And our cultural offerings, like China’s, now reek of formulaic propaganda made by third-rate mediocrities with the right political standing.

Censors have the right politics, but no creativity. Their rewrites, remakes and reinventions are tiresome. This has been the apolitical criticism of woke reinventions like Paramount+’s Star Trek Discovery or Amazon’s Rings of Power. Invention requires vision, but the woke vision is directed at taking over. Once they’ve seized power, the vision ends and the tedious conformity begins. That’s why woke culture is politically regimented, yet creatively disordered. The censors are up to date on the number of minorities who have to be in every scene or chapter, but no notion of pacing or rhythm. Their creations have nowhere to go because they have already arrived. Utopians have no concept of the past or the future, only the crushing mandates of the present.

History, to the woke censors, is a litany of the failures of the past while the future will be an even more glorious xerox of the present with no further dissent, opposition or even questions. And yet it is that very past that holds the treasures of imagination, art and ideas that they appropriate. The world as it was before their politics took hold and crushed the life out of it, leaving behind cultural deserts of black glass, still speaks with untold clarity, wonder and freedom. They try to leave it behind, to remake it in their own image and to denounce it, and yet it calls to them.

Censors have no creativity and therefore no culture. Despite woke claims that they love diversity, what they actually want is sameness in thought, in speech and in all things. When they censor, they try to make works that were once very different feel the same. Stories that moved millions are reduced to intellectual property, to brands, styles and costumes, and then swapped interchangeably in the same handful of plots that can only ever add up to one thing.

The story must be subversive of the enemies of the system while upholding the virtue of the system. The tastes and values of the elites must be flattered while those of the enemies must be exposed. Stories have been made out of such crude material since time immemorial, but works that have genuine subversive energy do different things. They break free of the political formulas and ridicule the censors. And that no authoritarian cultural oligarchy will allow.

Our woke cultural industries, like those of Orwell’s 1984, are concerned with rendering any such dissent unpublishable or unfilmable, while rewriting the past to conform to the present. But this only draws people more strongly to the original creative works of the past. America is becoming Soviet Russia and Communist China. And just as Russians and Chinese were drawn to American movies because they tasted of freedom, so westerners are drawn to their own past.

As America was to the citizens of Communist nations, the past has become to us, a land of wonders where great dreams were possible, that we may reach for, but never touch. The more Soviet citizens reached for America, the more the Communist leadership counteracted the appeal with stories of the horrors of capitalist life, racist lynchings, poverty and violence. Our own Communist leaders now tell us the same horror stories about the past. They fear the past.

And they should.

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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