Losing Private Ryan

Blasted Fools

The only parties missing from this staged media event were the Tea Party and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It would have been a target rich environment for ICE.

This is not exclusively on Congressman and erstwhile Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, but Ryan – along with Senator Marco Rubio, are the most notable examples of how elastic any politician with higher ambitions can be when they succumb to the wiles of the lobbying machinery in Washington D.C. I realize that sounds like they got swept up in a riptide which overcame their native sense of ethics and principals. I don’t believe that to be the case either.

Most politicians, and this is by observation, not my subjective conclusion – are naturally inclined to corruption to one degree or another. The intoxication of power leads elected officials to create rationalizations for disposing of previously firmly expressed convictions. In reality, however, the previously expressed convictions were not convictions at all, but instead, were merely shallow expediencies, which – once they no longer hold any value in advancing him or her to the next rung of the power ladder, are easily disposed of.

Normally, in a society where citizens are paying attention and the ‘free press’ is acting as the auditors of inconsistency – such individuals would be less inclined to contradict their own statements. For the protected class of lawmakers, who are following the same doctrinal arc that corresponds to that of the legacy media – abandoning prior positions is a relatively painless and risk-free affair.

Let’s start with Paul Ryan’s recent townhall meeting in Racine, Wisconsin, which was nothing more than a dog and pony show for residency status and eventual amnesty for the millions present in this country illegally. A small detail of this stands out as noteworthy. Racine, is a mini-Milwaukee – large per-capita minority population, high-crime, with lots of businesses employing illegals. It is a poorly kept secret that townhall meetings that are organized for the purposes of advancing a policy agenda are stage managed by congressional staffers, political handlers and coordinated with advocacy groups. This one was stacked with boosters of legalization. All the local confederates of
La Raza, MECHA and their ilk, were heavily represented and those with an opposing viewpoint were curiously absent. Convenient, don’t you think?

Voces de la Frontera, is a Milwaukee based illegal support group has the ear of Congressman Ryan. It is to them he is providing assurances of amnesty. In May of this year, Ryan slipped up at a different townhall and made what was interpreted as unfavorable remarks about ‘Anchor Babies’ and immediately this group rounded up a petition with 2,700 signatures to scold him for even repeating the term. The aim of the illegal rights groups is to scrub from the language any accurate terms that describe reality, like ‘Illegal Aliens’ and ‘Anchor Babies’. Ryan capitulated – what a shock. As reported by NBC Latino, Voces de la Frontera, is also strongly opposed to the enhanced border security provisions tacked on to the Senate Bill, known as the Corker-Hoeven amendment – no surprise there.

Another shock – this is the same outfit that showed up at the home of Wisconsin State Senator Cathy Stepp in the middle of the night, trespassing on her property and shouting in her windows in angry response to her vote against providing drivers licenses to illegal aliens. Some of Ryan’s comments to the element he was pandering to, included:

“Tentatively, October, we’re going to vote on these bills,” Ryan said. “We’re going to vote on a border security bill, we’re going to vote on an interior enforcement bill, like the workplace verification and the visa tracking. We’re going to vote on a legal immigration bill for visas, for agricultural workers, for skilled workers. We’re going to vote on a bill to legalize people who are undocumented.”

One thing that never ceases to amaze me, is the mindless repetition of coded phrases that proceeds from the mouths of the grand contingent of liars in Washington. They never really reset the silly and vacuous shibboleths that have been highlighted on the scripts they have all been handed by the puppetmasters. In the case of the screw job they are relentlessly trying to put over on you in the guise of ‘Immigration Reform‘, you hear repeated, little catchphrases like ‘broken immigration system’, ‘comprehensive approach’, ‘separating families’, ‘nation of immigrants’, etc. Here’s one from the Service Employee’s International Union (SEIU) – you know, the Union that has such unfettered access to the White House via its president, that they all but maintain an office there? This, from their $300,000 campaign promoting ‘Immigration Reform’ legislation in Congress has just about all of the slogans wrapped up in a tidy, two sentence package:

“Our immigration system is broken and Congress has a chance to fix it the fair and accountable way, with back taxes paid, English learned and a real path to citizenship. No half measures. Let’s fix it once and for all.”

This is a bit tangential from the main topic here, I realize – but I would propose that if you had a dollar for every time you heard progressives, be they Democrats or Republicans or the echo chamber of the legacy media, repeat these hackneyed phrases – we’d accumulate enough cash to eat at Ruth Criss’ Steakhouse every week for as long as this debate continues. ‘Broken System’ = Broken Record! There’s something broken all right – our enforcement capabilities and the will to employ them. But I don’t hear any of these ‘Reform’ advocates pointing that out. The ceaseless regurgitations of the political class and the media are insulting to thinking people. But they reflect a belief that the mass electorate have been so brutally dumbed down by the government educational system, that it’s truly appropriate to communicate in this fashion. Orwell saw this coming from a long way off.

Back to Paul Ryan and his cohorts. Ryan submitted his current viewpoint on immigration to the editors of the National Journal. Here are some excerpts:

NJ – What’s your economic case for immigration reform?

RYAN – Immigrants bring talent and hard work. They started a quarter of new businesses in 2011 alone. Immigrant-owned small businesses employ about 4.7 million people. We are educating people here and not letting them stay when they could actually contribute and create businesses; instead, they go overseas and end up competing against us. We’re going to have labor shortages when the baby boomers are fully retired.

NJ – But what’s the case for low-skilled workers?

RYAN – [They] bring labor to our economy so jobs can get done. The dairy farmers in western Wisconsin are having a hard time finding anyone to help them produce their products, which are mostly cheese. If they can’t find workers, then they can’t produce, and we’ll end up importing. The flip side of the argument is: Just raise wages enough to attract people. But you raise wages too much in certain industries, then you’ll get rid of those industries, and we’ll just have to import.

NJ – How should House Republicans handle undocumented immigrants?

RYAN – You need to be fair to the legal immigrants who did everything right, and honor them by making sure they are in the front of the line and that [undocumented] people are not given any special pathway ahead of them. That’s just fairness. You want to make sure that, for those who did not follow the rules, there are consequences to be paid. Those are guiding principles. The way we’re looking at it is, probationary visas will go to undocumented immigrants, who will be able to stay and work so long as they honor the terms of their probation, so long as the border and the interior enforcement is actually implemented.

I’m not going to address his assertions point by point, but a few things merit a response. Once again, Ryan employs the common tactic of conflating the attributes of legal immigration with illegal immigration. This is political rhetoric adopting the methodology of the illusionist. Next, the argument that agricultural goods will wind up being uncompetitively priced as a consequence of offering American citizens wages sufficient to attract domestic labor, is a canard that has been repeated ad nauseum for years. I first heard it from a production manager I worked with at a company that supplemented its labor force with illegals. He tossed out the Red Herring of the $2.00 each head of lettuce, in response to my sentiments about immigration enforcement. I was skeptical, but intrigued to test this hypothesis. I constructed a economic model that involved paying $20.00 per hour and the entire typical entree of H.R. benefits and applied that set of costs against the time / labor factors of harvesting lettuce or cabbage. I’ve explained the precise methodology elsewhere and I’ve not been surprised to find I’m not the only one who has run the numbers. But the bottom line is that if you are an American produce farmer, you can pay $20 plus generous benefits and legitimate payroll expenses and the cost increase of that head of lettuce or cabbage? Drumroll please ……………………… ten cents max! I say max, because I was extremely liberal in my estimations of the time / labor ratio side of the equation.

So, is it really a matter of ‘jobs Americans won’t do’? Or are they in fact jobs Americans won’t do unless a fair and reasonable wage is offered. Ryan and his fellow RINO’s repeated assertions that immigration is broken because of a labor shortage is just patently false and he’s too smart a man to not know this. The Century Foundation reportedthat “labor is cheap and, on a real basis, getting cheaper,” and the U.S. already has “a surplus of domestic labor needing to take service jobs.” I contend that we could partner with industry to supply workers that are now receiving welfare benefits and transition these said welfare recipients out of the entitlement system into respectable work that will put them on track to self sufficiency and self-respect. Of that type of solution, there is little interest among Democrat and GOP party elites. The Democrats would lose their dependency slaves and the patrons of the United States Chamber of Commerce would no longer be able to exploit migrant laborers. Oh, the horrors!

Paul Ryan hasn’t always positioned himself as pro-amnesty. Suzy Khimm of the Washington Post observed during the past Presidential campaign cycle:

“Along with many other Republicans, Paul Ryan has adopted a firm anti-amnesty, enforcement-first stance on immigration in recent years. But Ryan hasn’t always held such a hard line: In the past, he has supported multiple bills that would have allowed some illegal immigrants to apply for temporary guest-worker status — including one bill that would have provided a pathway to a green card for certain illegal immigrant farm workers.

Outside of guest farm workers, however, Ryan has largely taken a more aggressive stance. In late 2005, Ryan also voted for Rep. James Sensenbrenner’s highly controversial bill that would have made illegal presence a criminal act (it’s currently a civil offense) and turn smuggling and illegal entry offenses into aggravated felonies. In both the Bush and Obama years, he also repeatedly supported efforts to ramp up border security.

Ryan has since turned against any pathway toward permanent legal status. He still wants to expand visas for temporary and seasonal workers, citing his home state Wisconsin’s reliance on such labor for agricultural work.

But he says that he opposes visas that “would have allowed an illegal immigrant to stay in America indefinitely,” he says on his congressional Web site. “They serve the same purpose as acquiring a green card, without having to leave the country or waiting at the end of the line. In my opinion, this approach amounts to amnesty.”

Here then, we encounter yet again, the politico – the souless career politician without any firm convictions who constantly trims the sails to leverage what he suspects are the prevailing winds. You can’t always eliminate these people, but you can exert eternal vigilance and confront them at every turn. This is important, because what they tell you and what they tell the interest groups are mostly two diametrically opposed versions of reality. McCain gratuitously declares that amnesty opponents should be satisfied that the Senate bill puts 20,000 Border Patrol agents on the border, but the Washington Examiner reported that:

“McCain is signaling that… the 20,000 additional border agents, will probably be scrapped in conference. Calls to the offices of Republicans who committed to S. 744 after the Corker-Hoeven amendment was added, were not returned.”

I detailed in ‘Washington Whispers‘, how the big guns in the business community are now engaged in a full court press effort behind the scenes to coerce and cajole Republican lawmakers into giving them more cheap labor and that they won’t be hiring the legalized workers. The Democrats will get them. The employers will sweep up the next wave of hopeful border crossers, who will start at the bottom of the already debased wage scale for unskilled labor.

Kenneth Palinkas, the union chief for the 12,000 immigration officers at USCIS – the National Border Patrol Council, understands that essentially all the enforcement provisions will be redlined and only free tickets to legal status will be handed out. Mr. Palinkas –

“…warned House Republicans that even flirting with a limited legalization such as just granting citizenship rights to so-called Dream Act immigrants could lead to problems. I cannot stress enough how ill-equipped USCIS is to engage in the sort of far-reaching plans before Congress right now — including both the enormous legalization programs proposed as well as the historic increases in both immigrant and non-immigrant visas….

“…I would therefore urge all House lawmakers not to conference with the dangerous Senate bill that will produce a totally deficient comprehensive proposal, but instead to work with USCIS adjudicators to produce responsible reforms that enhance the integrity and security of our immigration system.”

We’d better take this extremely seriously. The opposition is bringing their A-game. Carolyn Lochhead of Hearst’s Washington Bureau reports:

Carl Guardino, head of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, came away from a meeting with House GOP whip Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield a few moments ago on Friday saying he “would bet on” comprehensive immigration reform getting to passage this year.

“Kevin is a long-time personal friend,” Guardino said of McCarthy. “We just met one-on-one and I firmly believe, without breaking confidences, that we are going to see deliberative and thoughtful action in the House when they reconvene in September and October. I would bet on it,”

Thus the key to your activism efforts against legalization during the August recess – firmly tell your House Representative, “NO new immigration bill – enforce the laws on the books!”


How Trustworthy is Our National Security Apparatus?

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

Two seemingly unrelated news stories this week raise far more questions than they answer, and demonstrate how the government should take a closer look at its own homeland security efforts.

In the first case, we learned at a hearing from Deputy NSA Director John C. Inglis that the “phone logging effort” made by the NSA was not critical to thwarting 54 plots—it was critical instead to only one. “[Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.] noted that senior officials had testified that the phone logging effort was critical to thwarting 54 plots, but after reviewing NSA material, he said that assertion cannot be made—‘not by any stretch,’” reported The Washington Post. “Pressed by Leahy on the point, Inglis admitted that the program ‘made a contribution’ in 12 plots with a domestic nexus, but only one case came close to a ‘but-for’ or critical contribution” (emphasis added).

Yet, as Inglis testified last month, analysts are allowed to extend their searches by “three hops.” “That means that starting from a target’s phone number, analysts can search on the phone numbers of people in contact with the target, then the numbers of people in contact with that group, and then the numbers of people in contact with that larger pool,” reports The Washington Post. This can reach millions.

Even with this potentially egregious infringement on civil liberties, it seems that the national security apparatus is still not positioned to stop a real plot such as that hatched by the Tsarnaev brothers, Tamerlan and Dzokhar.

The New York Times, among others, is reporting that the FBI says it did not have the authority to use surveillance tools such as wiretapping for the investigation. “F.B.I. officials have concluded that the agents who conducted the investigation and ultimately told the Russians that there was no evidence that Mr. Tsarnaev had become radicalized were constrained from conducting a more extensive investigation because of federal laws and Justice Department protocols,” reports the Times. “Agents cannot use surveillance tools like wiretapping for the type of investigation they were conducting.”

“The officials have also determined that had the agents known that Mr. Tsarnaev had traveled to Russia for months in 2012, they probably would not have investigated him again because there was no new evidence that he had become radicalized.”

But, according to the Times, “the F.B.I. has no plans to appoint an investigator to examine its procedures.” Instead, “inspectors general from four federal agencies, including the Justice Department, said they would be working together on their own investigation into how the government handled intelligence before the attack.”

While a majority of people are okay with the NSA tracking foreign or foreign inspired terrorists, the program is clearly not succeeding under this President—whose credibility is largely shot with the segment of the population most willing to allow an intrusive national security regime in place. According to the Post’s Timothy Lee, Pew Poll data shows that “Only 18 percent of Americans believe the government’s collection activities are limited to metadata, while 63 percent believe the government is collecting the contents of phone calls or e-mails.”

We have a real problem on our hands. The obvious question is, with all of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s history, his online and YouTube presence, the warnings from Russia and Saudi Arabia, his trips back to his parents’ homeland—from which they supposedly fled for fear of persecution—why was this not enough to indicate that he may have become radicalized and result in an approved FISA court warrant to closely monitor his activities? If the system didn’t work in this case, why not, and should we really trust that system’s effectiveness?

We can expect little else from an administration willing to label the Major Nidal Hasan case as “workplace violence” instead of the jihadist—lone wolf, or otherwise—attack that it was. “Despite extensive evidence that Hasan was in communication with al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki prior to the attack, the military has denied the victims Purple Hearts and has treated the incident as ‘workplace violence’ instead of ‘combat related’ or terrorism,” reported ABC News last month.

But there can be no mistaking the jihadist tendencies of Hasan. “With just days before he heads to trial, the accused Fort Hood shooting suspect, Maj. Nidal Hasan, renounced his citizenship with the United States, repudiated his Army oath and publicly embraced—once again—his affiliation as a ‘Soldier of Allah,’” reported the Washington Times. This, we hear, is nothing but workplace violence.

Did the FBI wear the same rose-colored glasses when searching for “new evidence” of Tamerlan’s own radicalization?

This comes from an administration which has itself instructed the FBI to remove information that might be considered offensive to Muslims from its own training materials. It also has consistently been friendly with those supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood. For example, in 2009, Obama sent his senior adviser, Valerie Jarrett to be the keynote speaker at the Islamic Society of North America’s (ISNA) national convention. “Even worse, in April 2009, Obama appointed Arif Alikhan, the deputy mayor of Los Angeles, as assistant secretary for policy development at the Department of Homeland Security,” wrote Robert Spencer, the director of Jihad Watch, for Human Events. “Just two weeks before he received this appointment, Alikhan (who once called the jihad terror group Hezbollah a ‘liberation movement’) participated in a fund-raiser for the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).”

“Like the ISNA, MPAC has links to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

“The Muslim Brotherhood is a pro-Sharia group,” wrote Spencer in 2011. “Obama’s chief adviser on Islamic affairs, Dalia Mogahed, is a pro-Sharia Muslim.”

So the Obama administration would like to continue to keep tabs on all Americans who might be calling someone who might have called someone, who might have called a terrorist—and we’re supposed to trust them—but those who are more likely to commit acts of terror in the current environment get a pass? To date, the administration has been lucky with the hapless Times Square bomber, the hapless “underwear bomber” on a Detroit-bound flight, and with New York City’s great success in thwarting numerous terrorist acts. How long will this continue to be the case?

Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at [email protected].


House Claim that Benghazi is a “Phony Scandal”

By: Bethany Stotts
Accuracy in Media

While the Administration continues to assert that the IRS and Benghazi scandals are “phony” distractions, Accuracy in Media (AIM) has joined with a distinguished group of retired military officers and intelligence professionals in an effort to expose the truth behind the latter scandal with its new Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, launched July 30 at the National Press Club. “There are conflicting stories” about Benghazi, said Roger Aronoff, editor of AIM, at the event. “There’s conflicting evidence…”

During the Question and Answer session , Retired General Thomas McInerny said that he had “been approached in parking lots by people” who told him, “General, keep doing what you are doing.”

In contrast, Press Secretary Jay Carney recently asserted that “…what we’ve seen as time has passed and more facts have become known—whether it’s about the attacks in Benghazi and the talking points, or revelations about conduct at the IRS—that attempts to turn this into a scandal have failed.”

Accuracy in Media has repeatedly debunked the notion that the IRS scandal is a “phony” scandal, or that liberal groups received the same level of scrutiny that conservative groups did. Likewise, the new Commission will delve into the details of the Benghazi scandal to ascertain the facts and expose the Administration’s cover-up of its actions and missteps in the lead-up to and the events following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2012. In fact, if the Benghazi scandal is so “phony,” then why is CNN reporting that some CIA operatives “involved in the agency’s missions in Libya” are undergoing monthly polygraphs? “The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress,” reports CNN.

“For the two months between the incident in Benghazi and the presidential election the media were basically AWOL on this story,” asserted Aronoff at the press conference. “Our plan is that on September 16th we’re going to be holding an all-day conference.” This conference, which will feature members of the Commission, will attempt to get to the bottom of what really happened in Benghazi, Libya a year ago.

“Our job is to—along with members of Congress—who have the strength and the courage and the conviction to come along with us, and help us get to the bottom of this—our job is to get those answers!” said Wayne Simmons, a former CIA officer, at the press conference. “My job is to look at the intelligence, to look at the reports we can get declassified, and let’s figure out—along with the press, I might add—find out what happened!”

The speakers stressed the importance of the press, the Fourth Estate, in continuing to call for answers. Unfortunately, the George Soros-funded Media Matters, which attended the event, hyper-focused on the praise at the event for Fox News’ reporting, calling AIM a “fringe” group promoting “outlandish conspiracies about the incident” which had questioned the credibility of generals and repeated the “stand down” controversy. When questioned about the role that Fox has played in the Benghazi scandal—a question posed, in fact, by Media Matters—Simmons told Media Matters that he “would suggest that, fortunately for the country, that Fox had the foresight to recognize early that there really was something dramatic and very important to the country that happened in Benghazi and the decision makers at Fox chose to not allow that to fall to the wayside.” Fox continues to poll to see whether reporting on this issue remains important to the public. The most recent poll indicates that 59% of voters are following Benghazi coverage at least “somewhat closely.”

In forming the Commission, AIM joins the press and the public in their search for answers. “We do not have preconceived positions,” said Retired General McInerney. “We have preconceived questions that trouble us in our previous command positions that would not have been acceptable to us.”

“Has the U.S. military gone down that far? I don’t think so.”

Retired Admiral James “Ace” Lyons condemned the work of the Accountability Review Board (ARB), which released its report last December (pdf). The ARB investigation was conducted by former and current State Department officials who declined to interview then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “We had the Accountability Review Board do their study,” said Lyons. “The only question they answered, that they did disabuse [was] that there was no demonstration as a result of the 14-minute video, but everything else was useless. …It was like having the mafia investigate a crime scene.”

Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA) sent a letter thanking AIM for creating the Commission. “After a year of investigations in five House different committees, we still don’t know exactly what happened that night, no one has been held responsible for any intelligence failures and none of the terrorists have been brought to justice,” writes Rep. Wolf. “The American people also have yet to hear publicly from any of the survivors. It now seems like the only way the public—and Congress—is going to hear their story is through two upcoming books about the attacks on the U.S. consulate and CIA annex.” Wolf added, “Is it any wonder that the American people are losing confidence in their government.” The Commission will be inviting the authors of Benghazi: The Definitive Report and Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi to join the conference on the 16th.

There are likely to be several more members of the Commission in the near future. They are inviting whistleblowers, journalists, first-hand survivors, State Department officials, and others to come share their stories and their information with the Commission. The Commission’s website has just gone live this week, and is likely to become a significant resource for people who want to learn more about what happened as it relates to last year’s attack in Benghazi.

Bethany Stotts is a freelance writer, and former staff writer for Accuracy in Academia. She blogs at http://bethanystotts.wordpress.com/.


Weekly Featured Profile – Joel Rogers


Joel Rogers

Joel Rogers is a prominent U.S. academic and far left activist. He is professor of law, political science and sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a long-time “government and campaign adviser and Democratic activist.”

A contributing Editor of The Nation and Boston Review, Rogers has received many academic honors and a MacArthur Foundation “genius” fellowship. Newsweek identified him as among the 100 Americans most likely to shape U.S. politics and culture in the 21st century.

He is married to Sarah Siskind, who has worked for the same law firm as Barack Obama.

The two key founders of the socialist New Party were Joel Rogers and Dan Cantor.

The first strategic meetings to plan the New Party were held in Joel Rogers’ home in Madison, Wisconsin in the very early 1990s. Present were Rogers’ wife Sarah Siskind, Dan Cantor, ACORN leaders Wade Rathke, Zach Polett, Steve Kest and Jon Kest, Steve Cobble from the Institute for Policy Studies (in an advisory role), Sandy Morales Pope (for the first 18 months), Harriet Barlow and Barbara Dudley.

The very first meeting included Gerry Hudson from Democratic Socialists of America and SEIU and Gary Delgado; plus labor activists Sam Pizzigati and Tony Mazzocchi.

Barack Obama would become the New Party’s most famous member.

In 1996, Milwaukee AFL-CIO Central Labor Council President Democratic Socialists of America member Bruce Colburn and New Party Chair Joel Rogers wrote a “provocative article” in the November 18 issue of The Nation arguing “that the left’s capacity for independent political action must be built from the grassroots up. Their stress on independent left electoral activity at the local level — whether inside, outside, or fused with the Democratic Party — evidences the realism of the New Party’s approach to building a third electoral force.”

In 1996, Joel Rogers, while at the University of Wisconsin, was one of the original 130 founders of the highly influential “progressive” grouping, Campaign for America’s Future.

In March of 1997, Democratic Socialists of America convened their annual Socialist Scholars Conference at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York.

The conference was themed “Radical alternatives on the eve of the millennium.”

Invitees were asked to “listen to the United States’ only independent and socialist congressman,” Rep. Bernie Sanders, “dialogue with” Joel Rogers of the New Party and In These Times’ ….Salim Muwakkil on independent politics.

On September 20, 2001, 500 people gathered at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City to celebrate Richard Cloward’s life and Work. Speakers included Frances Fox Piven, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Gus Newport (all members of Democratic Socialists of America), activists Howard Zinn, June Jordan, Joel Rogers and Tim Sampson, plus long-time voter registration advocate, Demos President, Miles Rapoport.

Cloward, with his wife Frances Fox Piven, was the originator of the infamous Cloward-Piven Strategy – the deliberate overloading of city welfare rolls to induce bankruptcy, then socialism.

On November 29, 2006, George Soros’ Open Society Institute held a roundtable discussion entitled: “How Do Progressives Connect Ideas to Action?”

Individuals and organizations with similarly progressive goals often dilute their power by working alone or even working at cross-purposes. As Americans who are politically left of center move forward, questions of infrastructure, communication, and collaboration are particularly important.

Participants included several key leaders of the “progressive” movement, including Joel Rogers.

Rogers has served on the board of the Apollo Alliance, a coalition of socialist environmentalists and labor activists.



The Council Has Spoken!! This Week’s Watcher’s Council Results – 08/02/13

The Watcher’s Council

Alea iacta est… the Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and we have the results for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

“There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.” – Booker T. Washington

“No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems — of which getting elected and re-elected are number one and number two. Whatever is number three is far behind.” – Thomas Sowell

This week’s winner, Joshuapundit’s The Great Divider, is my reaction to President Obama’s little speech on race after the Zimmerman verdict. What he had to say pretty much passed unnoticed by the legacy media, but as I point out, a lot of what he had to say merited notice for what it revealed about him and his mindset. Here’s a slice:

President Obama had a few things to say last Friday about the Zimmerman trial, about Trayvon Martin, and of course about race.

It amazes me that the full import of his remarks will pass unnoticed by the legacy press and indeed by most of America. Because what the president had to say was nothing less than astounding coming from a sitting presodent of the United States.

It’s necessary to translate his remarks. As the president said, context is important.

President Obama started out after the pro forma remarks by upping the ante. Now, it’s not just that if he had a son he would have looked like Trayvon, but that 35 years ago he was Trayvon:

But I did want to just talk a little bit about context and how people have responded to it and how people are feeling. You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. And when you think about why, in the African- American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it’s important to recognize that the African- American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that — that doesn’t go away.

The president said this while violent protests that amounted to riots were going on in many locales and random whites were being assaulted by blacks using ‘justice for Trayvon’ as their excuse.

This is quite similar to the logic terrorism groupies try to foist on the unwary to justify terrorist activities; ‘well you know I certainly don’t condone violence but you have to understand their rage.’ Needless to say, that never works the other way around when objects of terrorism like the Israelis defend themselves. Any response is deemed ‘disproportionate’. And make no mistake. President Obama’s excusing the Trayvon riots on the basis of experiences and history is yet another important message, given that all important context. When he says “this experience and history doesn’t go away” he is not only justifying that violence but letting America know that no matter what, our country is guilty and no matter how much money or good will we expend, it will never be enough. It will never end.

Which means of course that according to President Obama, blacks of necessity have to nourish grievance for eternity and are not responsible for their own actions, no matter what.

That was President Obama’s central message. As I pointed out earlier, President Obama’s entire stance on this is political in nature. Trayvon Martin was a useful smokescreen to divert attention from his own failures, the scandals permeating his administration and a tool to get black voters to the polls in record numbers in 2014 to support his agenda. It’s worth remembering that it was Obama’s Department of Justice that actually played a significant part in orchestrating, funding and organizing the violent protests that made the Trayvon Martin shooting a national issue. Because there’s money and power to be had by nourishing that black sense of grievance.

Roll that over in your mind a moment. Here we have a president whose Department of Justice deliberately assisted in fanning the flames that turned an obscure local incident into a national racial firestorm led, coordinated and abetted by President Obama’s intimate associate Al Sharpton. We have the president’s own willingness to exacerbate things further by making a national statement inserting himself into the matter and by.putting political pressure on local authorities to prosecute someone who had already been cleared of any wrongdoing after a through investigation by police with a case so shoddily put together that the special prosecutor had to bypass the grand jury mechanism standard in such cases to even have George Zimmerman charged and brought to trial.

Yes, President Obama’s quite right that the sense of racial grievance doesn’t go away. Especially when you deliberately pour gasoline on it .

The president’s attempt to embellish this message by whining about the indignities he supposedly suffered as a young black male..being watched when he went shopping in a store, walking across the street and hearing door locks on cars click, having women in an elevator clutch their purses tighter..’ was even more ridiculous coming from someone who has lived a life of privilege and ease his entire life and has known nothing but the best America has to offer.

Yes, this picture of the racist hell the president endured 35 years ago while going to the ultra elite Punahou Prep School in Hawaii tells it all, doesn’t it?

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Bill Whittle with The Lynching submitted by The Watcher. It’s an extraordinary video that examines the Zimmerman trial and in particular things about Trayvon Martin that would have a definite bearing on the public perception of the case if the media had covered them as they did every detail of George Zimmerman’s life. Do watch it.

Okay, here are this week’s full results. Only Bookworm Room was unable to vote this week but was not subject to the usual two thirds voter penalty:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited special guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day with short takes and weigh in… don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!