With the passing of US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia we stand at a very sober moment for our nation, a moment that finds the US Constitution – and the idea of constitutionality in general – in a very fragile state. With the make-up of the US Supreme Court existing on a razor’s edge between the conflicting ideologies of Progressivism (which views the Constitution as malleable) and Constitutionalism (which sees the document at a limitation on government) what happens in the next months will serve to chart the course for our country. The two paths couldn’t be more different: one a pathway to national demise.
I am want to recall a passage from a speech that Ronald Reagan gave in 1964:
“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”
Today, with the passing of Justice Scalia, the Republican and Conservative members of the United States Senate have met up with their own “rendezvous with destiny.” They will soon be presented with a nominee to the US Supreme Court from President Obama, a Far-Left Progressive who has already seated two political activists to the Court. It will be the Senate’s duty – not their option, but their duty – to deny Mr. Obama another Progressive seat on the US Supreme Court.
Progressives by their very nature believe that the US Constitution is a flawed document; something to be improved, perfected and otherwise titrated to the needs of the times. That is anathema to what the Framers intended and history bears that out. The Framers intended for the US Constitution to be the “chains” that binds government to the service of the nation, not the service to the ideological and/or the few.
Recently, two articles gave me pause. The first by Alana Semuels, “How Chicago is Trying to Integrate its Suburbs” caught my attention because I spent many formative years in Glenview, the suburb highlighted in the article. Reading about the new low income housing there, a collaboration between the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) and Regional Housing Initiative (RHI), I recalled a conversation with a long term resident and respected member of the community (prior to the shut-down of the naval air base and subsequent redevelopment), one in which she explained that Glenview, a Chicago suburb, got around a previous Section 8 requirement by building low income senior housing. She had no qualms about the community’s position in this matter. Many middle class communities felt this way about Section 8 moving into their neighborhoods. In a SPOA article called The Great Housing Experiment That Failed, the author writes:
Starting back in 1977, families living in housing projects began to be relocated to middle-class suburban neighborhoods with good public schools. If these families could see a different way of life, the middle-class way of life, they could learn to live like the middle class – or so everyone thought…But then the crime rate started to go up in suburbia where they moved. As one former housing project tenant said: “You move from one place to another and you bring the element with you. You got some [people] trying to make it just like the projects.”
There is a stigma that Section 8 tenants are very destructive. There have been horror stories about floors being destroyed, cabinets being pulled off the walls, toilets being cracked, garbage and filth everywhere and many more people living in the unit than are listed on the lease…Tenants who do not collect rental assistance may be turned off by the fact that you allow Section 8 tenants in your property. They may believe that you are a “slumlord,” that the property will be dirty or that the tenants will be disrespectful and noisy.
In “Let’s End Housing Vouchers” Howard Husock provides insight into why Section 8 vouchers have failed in integrating classes of people.
Better neighborhoods are not better because of something in the water but because people have built and sustained them by their efforts, their values, and their commitments. Voucher appropriations are based not only on the mistaken belief that it is necessary to award, at public expense, a better home to all who can demonstrate “need,” but also that it is uplifting to do so, when in fact it is the effort to achieve the good home, rather than the good home in itself, that is the real engine of uplift.
What he is saying is that the effort and goal to achieve a better life for one self is a major factor in the ability to contribute to and better a community. Those residents who achieve the American dream by saving their hard earned money and purchasing and maintaining their homes in a neighborhood of their choosing understand the sacrifice involved in making that happen. They want a return on their investment. They have made a decision to become a part of something larger and want to belong.
Husock explains how the voucher program ends up segregating classes of people and “accelerate neighborhood decline.”
For properties in precariously respectable neighborhoods, the government-paid rent is more than the market rent. Reason: the Section 8 program allows voucher holders to pay up to the average rent in their entire metropolitan area, and landlords in working-class or lower-middle-class neighborhoods, where rents are below average, simply charge voucher holders exactly that average rent. Assured payment and a more-than-generous risk premium: no wonder some landlords in neighborhoods teetering on the brink of respectability gladly welcome voucher tenants over working-class families offering lower rents and so accelerate neighborhood decline. South Philadelphia state representative William Keller tells of local property owners who “couldn’t rent their place for $500, but they can get $900 from Section 8.” The result is a familiar government-subsidized racket: landlords who specialize in Section 8s—who advertise for them and know the bureaucratic rules about what it takes to get paid.
Homeowners pay more to live in affluent neighborhoods to ensure safety and opportunities for their families. Residents of these communities are expected to maintain their homes and want to participate in events sponsored by their communities. Shared values are what makes people come together as a community. Section 8 disrupts this.
In the Chicago suburb of Riverdale, here is how it went.
EMT crews respond to emergency calls to find callers, accustomed to city emergency rooms, simply saying they’re “feeling ill.” Riverdale’s Potter elementary school, once boasting a top academic reputation, now has the state’s highest student turnover. Student achievement has dropped—putting paid to the idea that shipping poor families to good schools in the suburbs will cause an education ethic to rub off. Instead, the concentration of disorganized families has undermined a once good school. School funds, says the mayor, must now be diverted to the legions of “special needs” students. Crime is up, too—”we have real legitimate gang issues now,” the mayor says—and the city has had to increase its police force by 35 percent, from 26 to 35. That’s pushing the tax rate up, which the mayor fears will discourage new home buyers, pushing the small city into a cycle of decline. A lack of local buying power—a function of the voucher program’s preference for very low-income renters—has already left storefronts abandoned on Riverdale’s main street.
It’s no wonder that higher socioeconomic neighborhoods fear Section 8. But it is not about race. As Husock points out, “Harvard sociologist William Julius Wilson famously argued that class, not race, is the most powerful divide that separates Americans today.” So, why then does the current administration want to make socio-economic inequities about race?
In “Obama Collecting Personal Data for a Secret Race Data Base” Paul Sperry writes that the fed is collecting sensitive data on Americans by race… to make “disparate impact” cases against: banks that don’t make enough prime loans to minorities; schools that suspend too many blacks; cities that don’t offer enough Section 8 and other low-income housing for minorities; and employers who turn down African-Americans for jobs due to criminal backgrounds.”
In its justification for social and economic engineering, this administration is saying that inequities are a result of prejudice, not the values and work ethics displayed by different classes of people. Yet, social and economic engineering is a means to redistribute wealth, not integrate and diversify communities of people. Probably the biggest redistribution of wealth came during the mortgage crisis when thousands upon thousands of middle class people had to walk away from their homes, which were then repossessed by banks and re-purchased by the very rich or rented to Section 8 voucher holders, creating greater class divisions. In American Spectator’s, “The True Origin of this Economic Crisis,” this crisis came about in part because of a “1992 Boston Federal Reserve Bank study of discrimination in home mortgage lending,” which concluded,
While there was no overt discrimination in banks’ allocation of mortgage funds, loan officers gave whites preferential treatment. The methodology of the study has since been questioned, but at the time it was highly influential with regulators and members of the incoming Clinton administration; in 1993, bank regulators initiated a major effort to reform the CRA regulations.
Clearly, the Obama administration is pursuing a policy of social and economic engineering and saying it is about race.
Federally funded cities deemed overly segregated will be pressured to change their zoning laws to allow construction of more subsidized housing in affluent areas in the suburbs, and relocate inner-city minorities to those predominantly white areas. HUD’s maps, which use dots to show the racial distribution or density in residential areas, will be used to select affordable-housing sites.
Because the Glen is a tax increment financing district, all property taxes go into the pot; after the TIF expires in 2018, tax collections will stream into the city’s general fund. Planners behind the Glen expect the previous 23 years will have generated $820 million, according to Messrs. Owen and Brady. That figure includes $250 million in land sales, $20 million in federal grants and $500 million in property and sales taxes, Mr. Owen says.
The Glen received $20 million in federal land grants. Therefore, Glenview is a federally funded city. Thus, it is susceptible to the Obama administration’s social and economic engineering plans.
It has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that money has allowed federal overreach to influence local and state decisions about schools, housing, churches, and other services that fall under the states’ purview in our federalist system of government. This division of power is failing. Strongholds put in place in our Constitution to prevent centralized government are surely toppling. Our Constitutional Republic, which generates great wealth and allows for social mobility is being replaced by social and economic engineering, i.e., socialism. I am moved to wonder how this will affect voter demographics.
Nancy Salvato is the Director of Education and the Constitutional Literacy Program for Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan research and educational project whose mission is to re-introduce the American public to the basic elements of our constitutional heritage while providing non-partisan, fact-based information on relevant socio-political issues important to our country. She is a graduate of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ National Academy for Civics and Government. She is the author of “Keeping a Republic: An Argument for Sovereignty.” She also serves as a Senior Editor for NewMediaJourna.usl and a contributing writer to BigGovernment.com and FamilySecurityMatters.org.
Obama is now making offers to debt-ridden municipalities that they dare not take. It’s like the devil offering you a way out and then collecting on that debt. Or, if you prefer, it’s like the mafia giving you money to solve your problems and then you owe them. Forever. The leaders in these areas won’t ask the residents and voters, they’ll let the silver cross their palms and will be blinded by the shininess of the coin they pocket. Corruption will finish selling free America down the proverbial river. I’ll be blunt… these municipalities should not be taking money from the feds. They should solve their problems at the local level, stand on their own and not be beholding to a governmental behemoth.
Under the guise of Obama’s Utopia, our president has been plotting for years the ultimate wealth redistribution here in America. It’s Marxist social and demographic engineering on a breathtaking scale. I believe this is the most insidious thing he has planned for us and it is a killer.
Obama believes the suburbs and wealthier neighborhoods are far too white. They are not racially diverse enough for his tastes. So, he is now going to municipalities that are sorely in need of funds and very much in debt up to their eyeballs, and offering them a way out. Say they are $5 or $10 million in the hole… well, the feds will give them $50 million. All they have to do is buy some land in an upscale area; sell it to a contractor that will build affordable housing and the government will take care of the rest. They will bring in minorities, the poor and disadvantaged… but even more importantly, liberal voters who will vote for Marxist policies. They will also resettle Islamic refugees and immigrants from across our southern border throughout these neighborhoods, leveling the demographic playing field into one huge ghetto from sea to shining sea. Just ask Sweden and the Netherlands how that has worked out for them, or Europe in general for that matter.
You see, Obama doesn’t give a flying crap about his legacy — at least as viewed by the culture as it is today — but rather, as written by the elites of a post-freedom neo-culture of Morlocks. He cares about the future of his Marxist Utopia and having the right people control, shape and manage it from here on out. That’s what this is all about. It’s everything we have feared wrapped into one slick move: Climate Change, Agenda 21, Common Core, a nationalized police force, the shredding of the Constitution, the loss of property rights, the persecution of Christians, the loss of free speech and gun rights, voter manipulation, illegal immigrant inundation, Islamic refugee resettlement, massive unemployment and poverty, laying the groundwork for Shariah law, neighborhood blight, societal decay, the spreading of violence and chaos and a race war… in other words – Cloward and Piven.
The regulations would use grant money as an incentive for communities to build affordable housing in more affluent areas while also taking steps to upgrade poorer areas with better schools, parks, libraries, grocery stores and transportation routes as part of a gentrification of those communities.
“HUD is working with communities across the country to fulfill the promise of equal opportunity for all,” a HUD spokeswoman said. “The proposed policy seeks to break down barriers to access to opportunity in communities supported by HUD funds.”
It’s a tough sell for some conservatives. Among them is Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), who argued that the administration “shouldn’t be holding hostage grant monies aimed at community improvement based on its unrealistic utopian ideas of what every community should resemble.”
“American citizens and communities should be free to choose where they would like to live and not be subject to federal neighborhood engineering at the behest of an overreaching federal government,” said Gosar, who is leading an effort in the House to block the regulations.
Civil rights advocates, meanwhile, are praising the plan, arguing that it is needed to break through decades-old barriers that keep poor and minority families trapped in hardscrabble neighborhoods.
“We have a history of putting affordable housing in poor communities,” said Debby Goldberg, vice president at the National Fair Housing Alliance.
The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited direct and intentional housing discrimination, such as a real estate agent not showing a home in a wealthy neighborhood to a black family or a bank not providing a loan based on someone’s race.
But HUD is looking to root out more subtle forms of discrimination that take shape in local government policies that unintentionally harm minority communities, known as “disparate impact.”
“This rule is not about forcing anyone to live anywhere they don’t want to,” said Margery Turner, senior vice president at the left-leaning Urban Institute. “It’s really about addressing long-standing practices that prevent people from living where they want to.”
Sounds so very fair, doesn’t it? ‘Gentrification’ is a lovely sounding word that loosely translates into ‘ghetto.’ It’s equal opportunity for all, alright… everyone in the end will be equally poor and starving; equally enslaved and equally downtrodden. Whatever happened to being free to succeed or fail? Free to live where you wanted? Free to keep what you have earned and built? This is the end-all of entitlements for the degraded out there. Without earning it or working for it, you too can live in an upscale neighborhood. If this succeeds, America will see violence as she has never seen it before. You won’t be able to just choose where you live and who you reside and associate with… oh, no. You’ll live in a small domicile, in fear for your life as well as your family’s. I’d say you’d be clutching a gun for protection, but even that will be taken from you. Think inner-city Chicago or Baltimore and then picture that being everywhere.
In the name of ferreting out one form of discrimination or another, Obama, the great equalizer, will make everyone equally impoverished. He will usher in America as a third-world nation on her knees. He has decided that upscale suburbs and McMansions must go and that other’s wealth needs to be shared with those who have no right to it. It is Marxism in all its evil glory.
Property values will plummet into non-existence if this is allowed and the blight you see in poor neighborhoods will be rampant. Wealth won’t be an issue anymore as only a very select few will have it. If that isn’t engineered tyranny, I don’t know what is.
The expression ‘eat the rich’ is a distasteful metaphor, but when the metaphor is the creation of an oozing blob of digestive protoplasm that slimes its way over and around the rich and simply digests them, is that somehow less distasteful? Somehow less fatal? In the end, it’s all digestion and all comes out the other end. The man who changed your healthcare system forever, is now going to change your neighborhood forever – a community organizer from hell run amok.
Tuesday night, on a vote of 229-193, the House passed an amendment to the THUD (Transportation Housing and Urban Development) bill that blocks any HUD funding that enforces President Obama’s fair housing rule (AFFH). The amendment, offered by Arizona Republican Congressman Paul Gosar, protects local zoning rights from federal overreach.
The Gosar amendment is endorsed by Americans for Limited Government, Freedom Works, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Taxpayers for Common Sense and Eagle Forum.
It now goes to the Senate, where the prospects for passage are good — but not guaranteed. Kurtz predicts that Obama’s power grab will likely become a major issue issue in the 2016 presidential campaign should Senate Republicans fail to block the AFFH.
Listen up folks… we better get our act together as conservatives. Obama’s move on this is all tied in with the Hillary Clinton campaign. She’s also behind a lot of this – just sheer evil plotting and manipulation from the most corrupt administration ever to disgrace America.
So-called Civil Rights leaders are cheering Obama’s move. These are the same people who are standing against the police and race hustling now every time some black youth is shot or killed by an officer in the line of duty. These are the same Progressives who want to do away with gun rights as well. Under the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rules that Obama has concocted, societal boundaries will be torn down completely and America will become unrecognizable. HUD has morphed into one more Marxist tool being used against free society… another Philip Dru agency that is implementing communist ideals at the local level.
Megyn Kelly of Fox News is right. This is a radical, explosive game-changer. Obama is demanding that areas develop low-income housing or risk losing federal funds. It’s racial inclusion by sledgehammer. Since Obama cannot legally regulate neighborhoods and their diversity, he has resorted to bribery and blackmail. How very presidential.
Obama is preparing to mix it up in America permanently. He intends to level the demographic playing field once and for all with this move. A move, I might add, that has been facilitated from both sides of the political aisle. It is a move that is aimed at killing off the suburbs and herding Americans into the cities where they can be controlled. It is being done for cheap labor and political power.
Their goal? To increase the influence of America’s cities over their suburban neighbors so that eventually suburban independence will vanish.
In the eyes of Obama’s former mentors—i.e., followers of leftist radical Saul Alinsky—suburbs are breeding grounds for bigotry and greed. The classic American dream of a house with a big yard and high-quality, locally controlled schools strikes them as selfishness, a waste of resources that should be redirected to the urban poor.
The regulatory groundwork laid so far is just a prelude to what’s to come: Substantial redistribution of tax dollars. Gradually cities would effectively swallow up their surrounding municipalities, with merged school districts and forced redistribution of public spending working together to kill the appeal of the suburbs.
The result would be a profound transformation of American society, Kurtz concludes.
This is the final push in Obama’s second term to socially and demographically engineer America. If Obama succeeds, this will forever change how we live and it won’t be pretty. I predict there will be a major backlash over this and it will figure heavily in the 2016 election. Americans simply will not willingly comply with being forced to live this way. Obama’s Utopian vision of America’s future is hellish and not American in the least.
Movie writers and book authors are fond of using the “Amerika” spelling to convey the conquest of the USA by some foreign interest of some shade of red. What’s afoot is more subtle. No clouds of paratroopers, no storm of missiles arcing overhead, no magical EMP wipe of our grid – not yet, anyway. Instead, a carefully farmed culture of militantly criminal and impoverished social commandos sweeps into downtown and suburban America, bringing a pestilence of thuggery and parasitic dependency to nullify any prosperity and initiative, leaving only a bleak, open-air gulag where all of the traditions and inspirations that engender liberty and independence are subordinated to the forces of submission. They won’t change the spelling. But “America” will thereafter only be a brand, a cheap movie set with a glitzy DC facade and the entire population as extras. But at least it will still be spelled “America.”
“Now that more people live in cities across the planet than do not, it is imperative that this revolutionary change in attitude occurs rapidly.” – Author David Thorpe, from his article “There’s a $90 Trillion Plan to Rid the World’s Cities of Cars”
Former Vice President Al Gore and former Mexican President Felipe Calderon have been roundly mocked for their vision to separate citizens from their vehicles.
Calderon and Gore made their presentation at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland where, ironically (or maybe not, at this point), some 1,700 private jets — which use petroleum — were used to shuttle in conference participants and others to discuss global warming and other pressing global issues.
We may want to laugh at the plan, but Americans are financing it.
While in India this week, President Obama pledged $4 billion dollars in “investments and loans” as reported at Reuters. What Reuters neglected to mention, along with the rest of the American mainstream media, was that $2 billion will be spent for the “development of smart cities,” as reported at the Times of India.
The left’s age-old tradition of population manipulation and social engineering experimentation continues openly today in the guise of “sustainability” (code for Agenda 21), which seeks to convince local city leaders around the world to remake cities in an effort to combat “anthropogenic [human-caused] climate change.” The “smart cities” movement is a part of this effort, as discussed at Broadside News.
Smart cities will have an infrastructure that will verify that the habits of citizens are monitored to ensure they are not indulging in harmful activities like using too much water, for example. Make no mistake, you will not be using more resources than deemed to be your fair share.
Like “Smart Meters,” in time, “the Smart Grid will enable consumers to react in near real-time to lessen their impacts.” Or, it can be remotely done for you.
No more cars
At a panel discussion during a conference (hashtag #TTDC15) sponsored in part by firm called “Embarq,” the discussion to remold cities was in full swing. Embarq seeks to capitalize on the “smart cities” movement and claims to engage in “[H]elping cities make sustainable transport a reality.”
During one of the discussions, India’s “Union Urban Development Secretary” Shankar Aggarwal stated that “smart cities” currently being developed in India will be “coordinated, compact and connected” and “meant for citizens and not for cars.”
Aggarwal laments “urban sprawl,” noting that people have to travel long distances to get to work. Stating that traveling long distances to get to work somehow lessons global competitiveness, he continues:
It is very necessary that we create cities which are compact, and the transportation needs to undergo a huge change. Instead of promoting individual cars, we have to go in for public transport and that means people should be able to walk to work, bicycling, walk to work [yes, he said it twice], and then they should make use of public transport…
The panel discussion can be viewed here (Shankar Aggarwal’s comments can be seen at around the 8:50 minute mark):
In evolving manifestations, the radical left shares a common theme: an overarching obsession with social engineering based on a lust for power and an irrational fear of over-population, which justifies their need to manipulate populations.
The elitist mindset is anything but “progressive” if one goes by the true meaning of the word, and can be traced back to left-wing heroes Thomas Malthus, Margaret Sanger, George Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells, for example.
A bit of history
Al Gore’s car-less society is just another iteration of radical social engineering endorsed by the left. Their grand visions do not take the nature of man into account, which is why the founding fathers are the true progressives.
Consider some of the following quotes:
In 1798, Thomas Robert Malthus wrote An Essay on the Principle of Population which laments,
The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man.
Just consider the situation we are up against – an overpopulation problem created by capitalism, and are trying to get rid of it by substituting emigration. Socialists say quite truly that Socialism can get rid of it, and clergymen tell us that self-control can relieve it. But it cannot wait for Socialism, and people will not practice self-control.
A eugenicist like many of his socialist peers, George Bernard Shaw was not a fan of morality. In “Eugenics: Its Definition, Scope, and Aims, The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. X, No. 1, July 1904,” he wrote:
What we must fight for is freedom to breed the race without being hampered by the mass of irrelevant conditions implied in the institution of marriage.
As the standard of living and the multiplicity of interests increase, there is no sort of people anywhere who will not welcome the freedom and the relief from burdensome families that Birth Control affords.
More quotes on how the masses must be manipulated to fight “overpopulation” can be found at Liberty Unyielding.
The individual versus the collective
While the radical left brands their ideas as revolutionary and “progressive;” their visions of Utopian societies in various forms can be traced back to ancient philosophers. In fact, America’s founding fathers are the true progressives, as they put in place a Constitutional Republic that was sincerely revolutionary when compared to the vast majority of political systems throughout the entire world, throughout the entirety of recorded mankind: a focus on the individual rather than the collective, and the idea that morality was essential to freedom.
If ‘Thou shalt not covet,’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal,’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free. – The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Volume 6, 1856
It is likely that most people would rather live in a cave and be free than be in a “smart city” and be monitored and car-less.