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Sunday, March 26, 2023

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

By On March 26, 2023
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

By On March 23, 2023
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

By On March 22, 2023
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'

By On March 21, 2023
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

By On March 20, 2023
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

By On March 19, 2023
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

By On March 16, 2023
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.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Who’s Running America?

By On March 15, 2023
Last week the Senate Democrat majority was hospitalized with Senator John Fetterman dispatched to a psych ward and Senator Dianne Feinstein, who doesn’t seem to know where she is, hospitalized for shingles. Fetterman and Feinstein didn’t let being hospitalized slow them down and went right on co-sponsoring bills even though the former had to be hospitalized because he couldn’t take care of himself and the latter no longer recognized colleagues.

Even in the Senate, Fetterman couldn’t understand what was being said and Feinstein wasn’t aware that she had announced her retirement. Despite that there are press releases from their offices and they’re cosponsoring legislation as if they’re functional and able to make decisions.

Senator Feinstein just introduced the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2023 to mandate abortion nationwide while outlawing state restrictions on late-term abortion when babies can feel pain. Considering Feinstein’s own mental capacity may not be that much greater than an unborn child, she might want to reconsider the value of human life even when it can’t articulate its feelings. But Feinstein isn’t really introducing or sponsoring bills, her staffers, who announced her retirement without her knowing about it, are legislating in her name. That’s a coup.

Or what we used to call a coup before it happened and just became how things worked.

The New York Times claims that Senator Fetterman “runs his Senate operation” from a psych ward. Photos have been released of him vaguely looking at pieces of paper. No satirist could have come up with a bleaker metaphor for the country than that one of the Senate’s deciding votes has been hospitalized in a psych ward for his own safety, but is still running everything.

The paper tells us that, “since Mr. Fetterman checked in to the hospital, he has co-sponsored a bipartisan bill designed to help prevent future train derailment disasters, opened new district offices across Pennsylvania and hired four new staff members. On Wednesday, Mr. Fetterman sent a letter to the agriculture secretary.” With productivity like that, maybe we should stick all of Congress in a mental institution. Fetterman was so badly off that couldn’t feed himself in a city filled with eateries, but is now in a position to write legislation that will change the country.

Every morning, Fetterman’s chief of staff arrives with a briefcase “full of newspaper clips, statements for him to approve, legislation to review.” And so the government is run. According to the New York Times, the Senator from Pennsylvania even touchingly shares “with the nurses some of the sweets that have been sent to him by fellow senators.” But “his staff is marching on in his absence”, much as they were doing in his presence. Fetterman out of the way makes it even more convenient. The staffers run things while Fetterman munches on some candy.

The Times, in the great tradition of the three phases of a liberal scandal (1. denial, 2. minimization, 3. announcing that it’s the new normal), told its readers that “in the Senate, a staff-run institution even in the best of times, that is hardly atypical. It is not unusual for lawmakers to be told by members of their staff, sometimes after the fact, what bills they are co-sponsoring.”

“For many doing business with Mr. Fetterman’s office, the senator’s health is irrelevant,” the paper concludes.

That’s probably true, but it may be a slight issue for Pennsylvanians who are being represented by a bunch of D.C. staffers they never voted for: some of whom may have never even set foot in the state. What exactly is the difference between a representative government and an authoritarian bureaucracy when it hardly matters whether the legislators are alive or dead?

If Fetterman were to die tomorrow, the New York Times might inform us that apart from a legal technicality, his staff is marching on in his absence and occasionally showing up at his gravesite to briefly display a piece of upcoming legislation to his tomb. And for many people doing business with the late Senator Fetterman’s office, the senator’s existence is irrelevant.

Not only does the Senate Democrat majority consist of the D.C. staffers in two offices trying to work around the elected officials whose names are on the door, but the Senate’s proudest son is sitting in the Oval Office (when he’s not vacationing every other day in Delaware) and appears to have trouble completing sentences or remembering that his son didn’t die in Iraq.

Who’s actually running the White House? More of the same folks who are running the Senate.

Questions like these are not meant to be raised. Anyone who objects to legislation being cosponsored from a psych ward is a cruel ‘ableist’ bigot mocking a sick man’s disability. Asking how functional Biden is risks accusations of ‘ageism’ or discriminating against stutterers. Politics can be ugly and cruel, but you also can’t hide mental incapacity forever behind victimhood.

The House and the Senate have had their share of legislators who clearly weren’t all there, but that the White House and the Senate both depend on elected officials who are non-functional in ways so blatantly obvious that would launch a thousand SNL skits and late night routines if they belonged to the other party is not just a constitutional crisis, but raises even deeper questions.

Two of the three branches of government are not being run by the people elected to do that job. That isn’t representative government, it’s a monarchy with titular figureheads who are there to give the public the illusion of democracy over the reality that D.C. runs itself. If the Senate is a “staff-run institution”, as the Times puts it, in which the status of the actual elected officials is a mere technicality over their ability to cast votes, and the White House is currently occupied by a former Senate member whose statements are routinely corrected or walked back by officials, who is actually running the country and has our system of government become illegitimate?

The Constitution requires that a senator be at least thirty years old, but if he or she is irrelevant to the process, then we might as well have a twelve year old or Caligula’s horse in the Senate.

Why does it matter?

Clearly the Constitution believed that it does matter whether an elected official is capable of discharging his duties and did not intend that those duties be carried out by an army of faceless political operatives in an imperial city who were never chosen by the voters to do anything.

If Americans were going to be ruled from a government city thousands of miles away by people they had never met and whose orders they had no way of overruling through elections, we might as well have stayed subjects of the Crown while holding on to those posh accents.

The American Revolution ushered in a government that set out to derive its authority “from the consent of the governed”. If the men and women vested with the consent of the governed are not able or allowed to govern, all that’s left is a tyranny in democracy drag.

When elected officials are the figureheads of an administrative system that runs itself, there is only the illusion of consent. There are staffers who have spent most of their adult lives in the general vicinity of the D.C. area who run both the elected and unelected government. The massive size of the federal machine makes it ungovernable and unknowable even by the army of millions of employees tasked with laboring in it. Few can understand the sheer scope of agencies and departments that break down into infinitely smaller subdivisions ad infinitum.

What granted this runaway bureaucracy a soupçon of legitimacy (besides the various crises social, financial and military that led to its constant expansion) was that there were elected officials who were in theory said to be supervising it and who had the authority to overrule any bureaucrat. Republican presidents in the last 75 years clearly demonstrated that they had little control over that system which conspired to undermine, thwart and in some cases topple them.

During the Trump administration, the administrative state openly rebelled, its members declaring that they were the “resistance”, sabotaging, leaking, usurping, investigating, framing, prosecuting, defying orders and running the country the way that they wanted to. Those four years just brought out into the open what had been going on behind the scenes for a long time.

Federal bureaucrats rebranded themselves “Dumbledore’s Army”, after the Harry Potter books and before author J.K. Rowling was canceled for questioning whether men should be allowed to use the ladies room, and announced that they would be working to stop Trump. As the Times might have written, they were “marching on” in the absence of a president that they agreed with.

Now they have one that they can use as a finger puppet and so they’re marching on under his false flag and that of Fetterman and Feinstein and other mentally incapable legislators.

Biden, Trump, Fetterman and Feinstein, in their own ways exposed the fact that the system runs on its own and requires little to no input from elected officials. Those officials can in theory override the system. And King Charles III can in theory wield all sorts of political power, but if he were to actually do so it would be another matter. Queen Elizabeth II secretly vetoed a handful of bills, if Charles III tries to do more than that, he’ll be reminded that his position is ceremonial.

The British monarchy is meant to be ceremonial, but the American presidency is becoming ceremonial too, its vestiges and trappings of office good for little more than putting on a show. Play “Hail to the Chief” or “God Save the King”, wave to the people and then go on vacation.

Like the constitutional monarchs of the British commonwealth, the elected officials of its former rebel colonies are at risk of becoming figureheads with ceremonial powers. But if shunting the Hanoverian kings aside was a move toward representative government, the rise of the administrative state and the decline of its elected officials is a move toward monarchy. The monarchs, like those who are “marching on” while Fetterman, Feinstein and Biden giggle and play with their fingers are mostly unknown. Elected officials have become ceremonial while the real power was unceremoniously and unconstitutionally vested in men and women who wield a great deal of authority, but who are neither known nor accountable to the people they serve.

And it ought to be asked who exactly serves whom?

A staffer brings Senator Fetterman a briefcase to the psych common room with some papers in it. Fetterman looks at the papers. Perhaps he even understands one word out of ten. Legislation is written by staffers and then, after it’s voted on, interpreted and defined by federal bureaucrats.

Fetterman’s function is maintaining the illusion that he has some meaningful power to do something with the incomprehensible stuff he’s looking at, which the staffers of senior Senate members have already composed and negotiated, and which may turn into something entirely different once it becomes law. Whatever Fetterman’s understanding may be, there can hardly be anything more calculated to drive a man crazy than the realization that having penetrated the upper echelons of power, he is really as powerless as any other inmate of a psych ward.

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 14, 2023

Hollow Sanctimony Over Hawara

By On March 14, 2023
One Sunday, two brothers, Hillel and Yagel Yaniv, young men with a bright future ahead of them were murdered while stuck in traffic in the Muslim village of Hawara in Israel. The locals celebrated their crime by singing, handing out candy and shooting off fireworks in the air.

“Every day, yes! – every single day – at least 20 Jewish cars get stoned while driving through Hawara,” Shmuel Sackett, the head of a tree-planting foundation, wrote.

1,600 Israeli Jewish families have to travel the road that goes through the village. Stoning cars, he clarified, means “throwing bricks and dropping cinder blocks from rooftops.”

“Imagine a young mother with 3 children in her car, driving home from the supermarket. As she is driving, a brick comes crashing through her windshield. The shock of what happened is enough to give her a heart attack! The children start screaming, there is broken glass everywhere, but she cannot stop for help… because she’s in the middle of Hawara with a mob just waiting to finish the job.”

That evening, some Jewish residents showed up to protest in Hawara. And some did more than protest. They set the junk cars in a nearby lot on fire. A few threw stones and smashed things. The terrorists claim that one of their own was killed in the rioting, but that is suspect.

The outrage that ensued was everything that had been entirely absent from the terrorist killings of 14 Israelis this year, including an American, Elan Ganeles, who was killed the next day.

Biden’s State Department spokesman Ned Price blasted what he falsely called, “the wide scale and indiscriminate violence by settlers against Palestinians civilians” and demanded that Israel “ensure full accountability and prosecute those responsible for the attacks in addition to compensation for the property.”

This comes as the Biden administration has not only failed to demand accountability from the Palestinian Authority, but continues to fund the terrorists killing Jews.

Nobody expected anything else from the Biden administration or the media. An optimist might have expected more from American Jews.

The Sabbath of that week was the one known as ‘Zachor’ or ‘Remember’ during which the biblical verses from (Deuteronomy 25:17-19) commemorating an attack on the freed Jewish slaves leaving Egypt are read. “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way, when you went out of Egypt, how he happened upon you on the way and cut off all the stragglers at your rear.”

In Judaism, those verses are so important that everyone must come to the synagogue to hear them. Long before the Holocaust, ‘Never Again’ was engraved with burning letters in the Bible. That reading was followed by the story of King Shaul who was removed from ruling over Israel because he had taken pity on the Amalekite king. The Prophet Samuel, an old man, takes up the sword and does what the king failed to do and executes him, stating bluntly, “As your sword bereaved women, so will your mother be bereaved among women.” (Samuel 1 15:33)

In one of the larger and wealthier Modern Orthodox synagogues in the Los Angeles area, the rabbi’s sermon was not on the subject of these politically incorrect readings even though they represent a unique religious obligation for which many of the congregants had come to the synagogue. Nor did the murder of Elan Ganeles, who had been part of the same Modern Orthodox movement, among the fourteen Jews murdered by terrorists just that year, come up.

Instead, like the rabbis of a number of other Modern Orthodox congregations, he denounced “vigilantes” and the way they had disgraced the Jewish people by taking the law into their own hands, and spoke at length of how terrible it was for Jews to fight back in such a manner.

Over the Purim week, I’ve heard stories of similar condemnations of ‘vigilantism’ delivered in mellifluous tones from the pulpits of prosperous synagogues resting in suburban enclaves.

That Sabbath was the gateway to the Jewish holiday of Purim which relates how the Jews gathered en masse and wreaked havoc on those who had plotted to exterminate them.

“And the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword and with slaying and destruction,” Megilat Esther, the Scroll of Esther, relates. That’s more than a junk car lot fire.

The Los Angeles Jewish community recently panicked over shootings which wounded two men. Its synagogues are protected by extensive armed security. How would American Jews react if such shootings were an everyday occurrence, not an aberration? What might they be willing to do if they watched those around them be battered, shot and killed week after week?

“After the brutal murder, candies and sweets were handed out, cake was distributed, and people were singing. When did all this stop?” Sackett wrote of what happened in the Muslim village after the riot. “Since that day, not one rock has been thrown at Jewish cars.”

The ethical question of when people may take the law into their hands is a difficult one. Violence should never be an easy answer, but when things get bad enough, it can be inescapable. And those who live privileged lives of comfort and security could at least try to envision what life is like for those under the gun.

American Jews, even those in the Modern Orthodox community, remain crippled by liberal niceties, by the conviction that violence is something only the ‘bad guys’ commit.

“How can such a thing happen? How could it come to this, that Jewish young men should ransack and burn homes and cars?” Rabbi Moshe Hauer, the Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union, deplored.

After constant terrorism, it’s more of a wonder that so few go out and do such things.

But on a Purim long ago, Jewish young men did far worse in Shushan. And King Shaul was deposed by the word of G-d not because he went too far, but didn’t go far enough.

Mindlessly deploring violence, regardless of the circumstances, is not a Jewish value.

The Torah warns against needless violence, but it also commands it if the situation calls for it. Some Modern Orthodox Jews have so absorbed liberal pieties that they are shocked and horrified by violence and have lost touch with Jewish values. They agonized over the video of some of the rioters praying ‘Maariv’ as if there were an innate contradiction with reciting ‘Aleinu’: derived from the prayer recited by Joshua when entering to conquer the land of Israel.

It’s understandable for people who live comfortable lives to deplore violence and ugliness, but there’s something deeply troubling when there’s more moral outrage directed at Jews burning junk cars in the village of their killers than at the killers. That isn’t morality speaking, it’s shame.

Modern Orthodox Jews who fall into the trap of holding Israeli Jews to one standard and their Arab Muslim attackers to a much lower one are duplicating the infamous Israel double standard. Under such double standards, survival becomes all but impossible. If the targets of terrorism are chained down by liberal pieties with everything expected of them and nothing of their enemies, that’s not morality, it’s a suicide pact. And there’s nothing Jewish about a suicide pact. either.

The ugly reality is that violence works. Building a society that transcends violence requires the cooperation of both sides. Without such cooperation, civilization doesn’t exist, neither does law and order. Israeli law, or that of any country, is completely inadequate to such a problem. The Israeli military or security service going in to occasionally arrest a few terrorists is a band-aid.

In a tribal society, tribal violence is a natural resort. Last fall, the Druze, a Muslim minority group in Israel, threatened to storm an Arab Muslim city after terrorists kidnapped one of their own from the hospital and tried to hold him hostage. Druze men brandished rifles and warned that if the body wasn’t returned to the family, they would take it. The Hawara rioters played by those rules. Unless a new Israeli government can cut a better deal than tribal violence, that may be the reality. Governments exist, among other things, to protect people from violence. If they show that they are unwilling and unable to systemically do so, they leave their people no other choice.

And American Jews would do better to understand than to sanctimoniously condescend.

Jews, even pro-Israel Jews, all too often embody Robert Frost’s line, “a liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel.” Those who condemned the protesters, while offering hardly a thought for their killers, boasted that they “been accused of being blindly pro-Israel” in the past, but now they had disproven it. There is nothing shameful about being “blindly pro-America”, “pro-Israel” or “pro-civilization” when faced with a struggle to the death. It’s a liberal fallacy to think that objectivity is the way to confront the moral issues that arise when trying to survive.

American liberal Jews have all too easily forgotten what life and death struggles look like. They panic when they see Jews fighting back and condemn even the mildest reactions with far more outrage than they do the terrorists who are murdering them. That perhaps is why ‘Zachor’ or ‘Remember’ had to be a divine mandate. Most peoples would not need to be ordered to remember to strike back, but Jews are uncomfortable with such things and easily forget.

A voice from heaven had thundered, “Remember!” while a thousand smaller voices still command, “Forget”.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Biden Raises Taxes for Americans, Raises Pay for Bureaucrats

By On March 13, 2023
“I want to make it clear, I’m gonna raise some taxes,” Biden threatened Americans last week.

While Biden claimed that the taxes were targeted at the “billionaires out there”, the proposed tax hikes in his new budget are going to hit millions of Americans, not just the 700 or so billionaires.

During the election, Biden had already warned those who favored Trump’s tax cuts, “If you elect me, your taxes are going to be raised, not cut.” At least that’s one promise he’s keeping.

After insane spending sprees, Biden claims that tax increases are needed to cut the deficit and save Medicare. Meanwhile he’s proposing to give government bureaucrats their biggest raise since the Carter administration.

From the Inflation Increase Act, which massively boosted the size of the IRS, which is now pursuing waiters for their tips and targeting people who sell used clothes on eBay, the Biden administration has focused on building up the federal bureaucracy at the expense of Americans.

Biden’s budget calls for a 5.2% raise for federal employees, the biggest pay hike in 43 years, ever since his inflationary predecessor, Jimmy Carter, who became a one-term president in part for prioritizing the federal bureaucracy over the misery being suffered by American families.

The administration had already dispensed a federal pay raise of 4.4% to 5.2% last year, the highest in over 20 years, now it’s trying to match the legacy of the Carter administration.

In 2017, Trump had kept the pay increase down to 1.9% while federal unions had demanded 3.2%. Now Biden is offering a 5.2% pay hike while the unions are demanding 8.7%.

Average federal wages are already at almost $100,000 and will pass that with Biden’s raise. That’s much higher than the average private sector salary. With average total compensation, those numbers shoot up stratospherically to $143,643 for federal employees.

Biden’s historic pay hike comes as many federal workers aren’t even working. House Republicans passed the SHOW UP Act last month requiring them to come to work. Nearly every House Democrat voted against it and Senate Democrats have refused to even consider the bill.

Instead, the Biden administration has made it easier for the feds to do or not do Zoom work.

Over two thirds of federal workers were doing some remote work last year. During the pandemic those numbers were as high as 90% for the most useless parts of the government like the Department of Education, the Department of Labor, the EPA, HHS, HUD and USAID.

25% of Department of Health and Human Services personnel didn’t even bother logging in. One report found that “on any given day from March-December 2020, between 20-30 percent of HHS employees did not appear to be working”. Sure, give them the biggest pay hike in 43 years while Americans can’t feed their families. And then raise taxes on Americans.

The recent inflationary Democrat spending packages have resulted in a federal hiring frenzy not only at the IRS, but across the board. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act led to a job boom, not for Americans, but for government bureaucrats. The jobs aren’t being added at small businesses, as Biden, the Democrats and their media falsely claimed, but in the government.

Last February, the Office of Personnel Management excitedly announced that it would need to hire 4,000 employees to carry out the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

“These are exciting jobs, and they are critically important,” OPM director Kiran Ahuja gushed.

Critically important to bankrupting America.

And all of that requires more money, more tax hikes and less available funds to help Americans.

“We should be putting American taxpayers first, not the federal bureaucracy,” House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer argued.

Instead, Biden is putting bureaucrats first and Americans last with pay hikes for government employees and tax hikes for Americans. Biden keeps pushing the same claims that he’s “making the wealthy and big corporations begin to pay their fair share.” He blusters that he’s trying to protect Medicare. If he really cared about Medicare, he’d change his spending priorities like keeping Social Security and Medicare funds viable instead of paying off government unions.

Instead, Biden has directed trillions to his donors, supporters and base. Now he promises that he can keep Medicare going until 2050 if he gets his tax hikes. That’s a lie. America is expected to add $19 trillion to its national debt in the next decade. The estimated interest rate on the debt will climb to $640 billion this year. Biden’s budget proposals have clocked in at around $6 trillion before. Even as the Fed hikes interest rates, government spending keeps feeding inflation. As a result, American families can’t afford food, but the economy still continues to overheat.

Biden’s student loan bailout has an estimated cost as high as $400 billion. Medicare Part A spending is expected to have a $3 billion shortfall this year with an end-of-year negative trust fund balance of $8.6 billion in 2028 by the time Biden would finish a hypothetical second term.

The trouble is that Biden is prioritizing lesbian studies postgrads and equity administrators in the federal bureaucracy over grandma’s surgery. There’s plenty of money to eliminate the student loans of Harvard grads and to raise the salaries of federal bureaucrats, but tax hikes are needed to “save” Medicare.

The size of the federal civilian workforce has gone up from 2.08 million in 2018 to 2.14 million in 2021. One estimate noted that, “federal workers receive pay that is 17 percent higher than private sector employees on average performing comparable work. That is on top of putting in 12 percent fewer hours” with retirement health benefits kicking in at 57 years old.

In 2016, an Open the Books report showed that the federal government had spent $136 billion paying federal employees or over half a billion dollars a day and $1 million a minute. Those numbers are much higher now. The only pathway to salvaging Medicare and Social Security is to cut the cost of government. No amount of tax hikes will compensate for government spending whose debt-to-GDP ratio hit 97%. The federal government is running out of “other people’s money”. And that money is vanishing to fund a massive edifice that is bankrupting America.

The choice is simple: cut government or kill seniors. Biden has chosen to build up the government employees that fund his campaign and make up his party.

That means he’s chosen to kill seniors while trying to use them to push more tax hikes.

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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