Saturday, May 31
WABC-AM 77 from 7-10 PM ET in New York.
705P: Chuck Todd, Political Director, NBC News re the end of the primaries, the beginning of the Florida and Michigan delegates fight
720P: Hope White of stopshariahnow.org re Shariah Finance
735P/750P: ROUNDTABLE: Bill Whalen of Hoover and Vaughn Ververs of CBS.com re the Puerto Rico primary, the delegate fight in the DNC Rules Committee. McCain vs. Obama on Iraq.
805P: Larry Kudlow, CNBC re Libor doubts, re the moral hazzard of the Fed bail-out of Bear, Sterns
820P: Malcolm Hoenlein of Conference of Presidents re Syria and Israel negotiations, re Olmert vulnerability, re Livni PM?
835P: Gideon Rachman, Chief Foreign Affairs Columnist Financial Times re Europe as the cuckooo clock of world affairs; harmless, feckless, pointless
850P: Amity Schlaes of Bloomberg/New York Sun re the SEC at 75 years old, not performing
905P: Aaron Klein of WND with Ernst Michel, UJA and survivor of both Auschwitz and Buchenwald camps
920P: John Nichols, The Nation re media reform and the candidates
935P: Max Hastings, author of "Armageddon," the last year of the Third Reich, and the 64th D-Day anniversary
955P: KFI LA show highlights
Second broadcast, 7-10 PM Pacific Time (10 PM -1 AM Eastern) at KFI-AM 640 in Los Angeles.
1005P: Adrian Wooldridge, The Economist re Obama, McCain, Clinton and the "Right Nation"
1020P: Angelo Falcon, Columbia University, re Puerto Rico primary
1035P/1050P: Craig Unger, Vanity Fair, Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation re end of the primaries, delegate fight
1105P/1120P: John Fund, Wall Street Journal; Monica Crowley, The McLaughlin Group and WABC Radio re Obama gaffes, Clinton delegate fight, McCain campaign wobbles
1135P: Andrew Jack, Financial Times, re Burma recovery and deprivation
1150P: Bob Zimmerman, author, "Universe in a Mirror," re Mars Phoenix Lander
1205A: Evelyn Pringle, OpedNews.com, "Operation Board Games" and Tony Rezko trial
1220A: B Ramen, Southeast Policy re Burma junta, Beijing junta
1235A: Lauren Tyson Li, author, re Madame Chiang Kai-Shek
Now comes the stunning news of a breakthrough. Ezra Levant writes:
The Conservative government has introduced a motion to Parliament's Justice Committee proposing an investigation into the abusive, corrupt practises of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.Well, well; I wonder if that means Justice Minister Nicholson doesn't like the taste of bananas.
The resolution ... was put forward by Rick Dykstra, the Conservative MP from St. Catherines, Ontario, with the knowledge and approval of the Justice Minister, Rob Nicholson. Here is an e-mail from Nicholson, sent to a voter [May 30], in which you can read his change of approach. An excerpt from Nicholson's letter:
I would like to inform you that my caucus colleague Mr. Rick Dykstra has tabled a motion that the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights examine and make recommendations with respect to the CHRC, including its mandate, operations, and interpretation and application of provisions relating to section 13 of the CHRA, which addresses hate messages. I look forward to that review.
Visit Ezra's site for a link to Nicholson's email and for the text of the motion. Ezra also summarizes other recent breakthroughs:
The government's proposed inquiry comes on top of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's announcement last month that she is investigating the corrupt and abusive conduct of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.Again, visit Ezra's site for links to information about the investigations.
And earlier this month, Ottawa police referred a criminal complaint about the CHRC to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who are now conducting a criminal investigation.
Marc Lemire and his attorney Barbara Kulaszka have done a magnificent job of bringing forward shocking evidence about the way that the CHRC handles Section 13 complaints. So after years of lonely struggle they must be celebrating the motion to investigate the CHRC.
Yet Ezra warns of the long road still ahead for Canadians trying to restore freedom of speech in their country:
As Winston Churchill said after the breakthrough British victory at El Alamein, "this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal hearing on the Section 13 complaint against Maclean's magazine et al. begins on Monday in Vancouver.
The Canadian Association of Journalists has formally applied for standing as an intervenor on behalf of Maclean's, but there is a dissenting voice.
Visit Steyn Online and Free Mark Steyn! for links to all the reports and opinion as next week's kangaroo courtroom drama unfolds.
Friday, May 30
So how serious are you about quitting blogging? I can't decide whether this is part of a dramatic underscoring of the [Ob**ma] Problem, or whether you really mean to quit.
Anyway, I don't know if you have seen this one yet. The Chinese may have copied the contents of the Secretary of Commerce's laptop when he was visiting China.
Gates of Vienna
In other developing news Dan Riehl has managed once again to help me stave off medication.
Warning to all fellow hate-mongers: DO NOT have anything in your mouth such as coffee or Fritos when you read the prize-winning worst poem.
Also, I am told that Dan has more news on ACORN and O**ma but as my doctors are not allowing me to discuss, read or hear anything connected with Ob**ma, I have no idea what the news may be.
I had to bribe another orderly to learn that Yid with lid has a guest post at RezkoWatch about a new revelation concerning Ob**ma and the Chicago Democratic Socialist of America Party.
The most important news of the day in my now very well-protected world is that a hate-filled Canadian rock group has been hateful enough to compose and sing a song about the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
Now I must return to my beadwork.
Thursday, May 29
But this it, I am afraid. No no, this is not like the time Hurricane Katrina blew the lid off the true situation and I was found under my desk breathing into a paper bag every two minutes and squeaking, "Louisiana is a third world country and their foreign policy is being run out of Quebec by Maurice Strong."
No, I'm afraid this is really goodbye. Events are out of my control due to my having had a nervous breakdown.
I am a little calmer now, after writing what's underneath the little line of asterisks below -- the calm of knowing exactly what I must do. After logging off I will start neatly folding a change of underwear into a backpack, then I will be off to buy a machine gun and on second thought bottled water -- according to M. Night Shyamalan water might help.
As to how my breakdown came about, this morning after putting up today's post an instinct for survival told me, "Stay off the Internet for the rest of day." But by this afternoon I'd forgotten the little voice.
That is how I came to read Evelyn Pringle's third and fourth installments of Operation Board Games Cliff Notes, from which I learned that the next Chicago trial is the Great Pizza Parlor Scam, which involves Obama's buddy Tony Rezko and roster of sleazies finding another way to bilk the taxpayer.
That is also how I came across Aaron Klein's report on what Michael Pfleger, a white Catholic priest guest orator at Obama's church, thundered to the gathered faithful: "We must be honest enough to expose white entitlement and supremacy wherever it raises its head," and "Hillary thought she'd win 'cause she's white."
My initial reaction to Aaron's report was a touch of pride. I thought, 'The only Americans outside the New Authoritarian Left who will understand what Pfleger is actually driving at are those who've read Professor Diamond's discourses on the NAL. The rest of the country will assume Pfleger is just race-baiting. Pundita, you were so brilliant to recognize the importance of Diamond's writings and promote them!'
Next I read a piece at Flopping Aces that gathered examples of Micelle's speaking style, and which asked Michelle Obama, First Lady or First Whiner? Because by this time I am almost an authority on the NAL thanks to my study of Diamond's map of Leftland, I knew that Flopping Aces was wrong.
Michelle isn't whining on the campaign trail. She is speaking in the carefully crafted Language of the Oppressed used by the NAL:
I wake up every morning wondering how on earth I am going to pull off that next minor miracle to get through the day. I know that everybody in this room is going through this. That is the dilemma women face today. Every woman that I know, regardless of race, education, income, background, political affiliation, is struggling to keep her head above water.”It was at that moment -- perhaps caused by a twinge of my abject fear of the Puffy Head Minders -- that I decided to refrain from patting myself on the back again and instead catch up on Binky's latest news over at Free Mark Steyn!
For those readers not yet in the know Binky's site went from being a relay station for reports on the struggle for free speech in Canada to being a Town Crier about every notable daily development in the various culture wars around the world to crash Western Civilization.
I noted with smugness that eventually the entire world would know about Dr Diamond's discourses on the NAL because Binks Of a Thousand Eyes and Ears had picked up my post of today.
Then I froze in horror as I took in the other part of Binky's blurb about my piece: "In other news, Barack Obama Ran On a MARXIST PARTY Line in 1996, which linked to an Atlas Shrugged report that linked to the original Yid with lid investigative report.
From Atlas's comment and excerpt from the original:
Barack Obama Ran On A MARXIST PARTY Line in 1996:I blurted, "B-b-but just yesterday Dr Diamond was assuring me that the US Communist Party was insignificant! And I passed this news to my readers! Now I will look stupid before the entire world."
It seems that Senator Obama's Old party was called the New Party. The party was a Marxist Political coalition. This was not a guilt by association thing. Senator Obama sought out their nomination. He was successful in obtaining that endorsement, and he used a number of New Party volunteers as campaign workers. Read more on the Marxist endorsement that Barack Obama sought out:
"Co-founded in 1992 by Daniel Cantor (a former staffer for Jesse Jackson's 1988 presidential campaign) and Joel Rogers (a sociology and law professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison), the New Party was a Marxist political coalition whose objective was to endorse and elect leftist public officials -- most often Democrats. The New Party's short-term objective was to move the Democratic Party leftward, thereby setting the stage for the eventual rise of new Marxist third party.
"Most New Party members hailed from the Democratic Socialists of America and the militant organization ACORN. The party's Chicago chapter also included a large contingent from the Committees of Correspondence, a Marxist coalition of former Maoists, Trotskyists, and Communist Party USA members.
[See also Rick Moran, Obama's Ties To ACORN More Substantial than first believed, American Thinker, May 29, 2008."]
"The New Party's modus operandi included the political strategy of "electoral fusion," where it would nominate, for various political offices, candidates from other parties (usually Democrats), thereby enabling each of those candidates to occupy more than one ballot line in the voting booth. By so doing, the New Party often was able to influence candidates' platforms.
"(Fusion of this type is permitted in seven states -- Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Mississippi, New York, South Carolina, and Vermont -- but is common only in New York.)
"Though Illinois was not one of the states that permitted electoral fusion, in 1995 Barack Obama nonetheless sought the New Party's endorsement for his 1996 state senate run. He was successful in obtaining that endorsement, and he used a number of New Party volunteers as campaign workers.Read the rest of Yid's report here.
Suddenly I recalled that also just yesterday, RezkoWatch had referred to me as "scary smart."
I quavered, "This is The Puffy Head Minders at work. Why must they always rearrange the universe to teach me a lesson in humility? Why don't they pick on someone with an ego bigger than mine? Someone like, someone like..."
Before I could dredge up a name, the awful truth hit all at once, as a parade of names flashed through my mind. Tony Rezko, William Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Ali Ata, Orlando Jones, Allison Davis, Penny Pritzker, Malik Shabazz, Jeremiah Wright --
This wasn't the Minders at work. The report on Obama's romancing of Marxists was actually a Sign -- one of many I'd been ignoring all these months, as I'd collected stories about his large circle of creepy promoters. This was the shock troops in action.
With the last shred of my sanity I said firmly, "I will not leave quietly" and composed myself to type the following.
Dear Reader and Fellow Bloggers:
Wake up and realize that Barack Obama's campaign is the real-life version of Gremlins.
Notice that everywhere you look Obama's radical dizzy thieving lying buddies are popping out from every corner, every closet, every drawer.
No use to catch a few and throw them in the blender and the microwave. They keep falling on your head from the ceiling, leaping out from the light fixtures, grabbing your ankles from their hiding places under your bed and the couch.
Dr Diamond, you better start writing another explanatory essay, right this very minute. Forget about the New Authoritarian Left. The Obama presidential campaign is clearly the precursor to an attack from Outer Space. They're getting even with us for all the movies showing humans beating the crap out of extra-terrestrials.
But that's it; that does it for me. After six months of studying Barack Obama and his gremlins I can't take any more. I'm going to join a nunnery; I'll smuggle in an AK-47 so when they come to put me in the spaceship I can go down fighting.
RezkoWatch just forwarded this information from a reader (the above piece is cross-posted, with pix, at RW):
"More proof of Obama's socialism. In 1996 he ran as member of New Party
[Obama won his State Senate seat as a member of the New Party, an
extreme left wing group run by a former Jesse Jackson campaign
manager. Its mind-blowing that Obama could have got to the top of the
Democrat ticket without one wise man screening him. Well the Dems
made this bed, now they must live with these shocking truths about the
type of communist-like changes Obama would bring to the America.]
the above link inks to: The Columbus Free Press from 1996
New Party (USA)
[Some of these chapters — such as those in Chicago and Little Rock —
had their main bases of support in the low-income community organizing
group ACORN, along with some support from various labor unions
(especially ACORN-allied locals of the Service Employees International
ACORN's Nutty Regime for Cities
ACORN — a Sixties radical group sponsored by George Soros commits election fraud
So it really should be no mystery as to why Ayers of all people was the one to crack the champaign bottle over Obama's maiden voyage into the political waters."
10:25 PM UPDATE
"The comments by Obama about bitterness and his inability to demonstrate sympathy with workers in states like Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky, suggest that ... hostility to such voters from the authoritarian left may be carrying over to the Obama campaign."
-- Stephen F. Diamond
In the following letter Professor Stephen Diamond responds to my post of yesterday by elaborating on the distinctions he draws between the "authoritarian left" (AL) and communism. He also expands on his concerns about AL involvement in Barack Obama's presidential campaign.
His letter is a crash course on important issues that should have been under public discussion throughout the Democratic primary campaign. The AL movement, which is not monolithic, forms a kind of subculture in America that has been at the edges of the mainstream society except in the area of education, where it has made considerable inroads -- and mostly outside the public eye.
Yet Republicans also seem to be shy about discussing the issues, at least in the public forums of the blogosphere and other news media outlets. Considering that the issues involve public education in America, national security, foreign policy and federal spending, I believe that no small part of the dearth of public discussion stems from simple ignorance of AL, which Diamond's recent writings at his Global Labor blog seek to correct.
As I have noted before in my introductions to Diamond's writings, he has emerged as a kind of Eleventh Hour figure to warn and educate the American electorate -- and happily his writing style is highly readable.
Before turning to his letter, an aside to Republican/conservative readers. I think the tendency is to snort at the sharp distinction that Diamond makes between the left and communism/socialism. I myself am a skeptic on this point, as I made perfectly clear in yesterday's post.
But Americans should take a lesson from Canadians who are fighting to save what's left of their freedom of speech. Many Canadian conservatives and liberals have joined forces in the recognition that a united front is their only hope.
From that standpoint, I am willing to use the term "authoritarian" to describe leftists who represent the greatest threat from Senator Barack Obama's run for the White House.(1)
Thank you for your continued careful reading of my blog posts. I realize for many in your audience that coming across this discussion may resemble reading The Da Vinci Code or an Umberto Eco novel!
And certainly it would be a surprise to discover that these various “left” wing elements are floating around the Obama campaign inside such a mainstream political party like the Democrats.
Let me share with you and your readers some of my views of this issue to see if I can make my perspective clearer and helpful.
First, I wrote my most recent blog, “Believe me, Barack is no Communist, But... , in response to the article by Dana Milbank in the Washington Post that surfaced the allegations of a far right anti-communist group about Obama’s links to Communism. Those allegations, I think, blur the line between who is and who is not playing a significant role in the Obama campaign.
I think members of what I have broadly described as the “authoritarian left” have some role in the campaign while “Communists” formally defined as such do not. By “Communists” I mean members and sympathizers of the American Communist Party. The American Communist Party was an arm of the Soviet Union here in the United States.
From its earliest days it slavishly followed whatever political “line” it was instructed to by Moscow. There is very good historiography about this, in particular the work of the late historian Theodore Draper and also the historian Harvey Klehr. The American CP often mimicked the proposals of traditional liberals or left liberals and that fooled a lot of people into thinking that the American CP was a political party worth joining, or at least working with.
Disillusion usually followed once the Party changed its line – sometimes a 180 degrees turn – with no explanation other than that the foreign policy of the USSR dictated the change. Of course, underneath the apparently defensible arguments for reforms (like racial integration or unions) was the real policy of the party, which was to impose a Russian style totalitarian political system here in the United States.
The American CP still exists but as a tiny insignificant organization, compared with a membership in the 1930s of 75,000. The party entered a long decline first after several rounds of disillusion affected its members and sympathizers as the party regularly switched its line in response to orders from Moscow but then as the realities of life in the USSR became clear, first with the show trials of the 1930s, the revelations about Stalinism that emerged in the 1950s, the invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia in 1956 and 1968, etc, etc. But with the collapse of the USSR in 1989, the death knell of the American CP was finally struck.
Thus, my first point in response to the WaPo article was that there is no meaningful basis to conclude the Obama could be a “Communist” in the sense used here since there is no American CP to speak of and there has not really been such a movement for most of Obama’s adult life.
It does appear that the “Frank” that Obama refers to in his memoirs is Frank Marshall Davis, a well known (at the time) black journalist and poet who was in the CP. He apparently befriended the teen age Obama via a friendship with Obama’s grandfather.
But even if Davis was still in the CP (as opposed to being one of many who realized that the party was a disaster and dropped out in 1956 or 1968) there would be little purpose to “recruiting” Obama to an organization on life support. The American CP was a “dead parrot” as the Monty Python saying goes, by the time Obama was growing to political maturity.
Second, I have argued on my blog that rather than the American Communist Party, a different political milieu – the “authoritarian left” - is supporting Obama and may be influencing his campaign. This is the milieu of people like William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, of Carl Davidson and Bill Fletcher.
These are people who were not part of the so-called “old Left” that included the American CP but were part of the so-called “New Left” that emerged in the 1960s.
There were, in my view, many very good aspects to the activities of the New Left, particularly in their use of non-violent organizing to support the civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King and the use of education, argument and peaceful demonstrations to oppose the United States’ invasion of Vietnam.
But some in the New Left began in the late 60s to move towards authoritarian and sectarian methods. They began to look to countries like Mao’s China and Fidel’s Cuba as potential models for the United States. This was the beginning of the “authoritarian left.” Some in this milieu called themselves “communists” - including individuals like Mike Klonsky, who was a slavish advocate of Maoism and who is now a close associate of Bill Ayers in Chicago education policy circles.
Others did not call themselves communists but were nonetheless very authoritarian and violent in their methods. From a review of some of the documents prepared by the Weather Underground at that time, it is clear that some in that organization did consider themselves “communists.” They looked to the new communist states like Cuba and China for their political models rather than the old Soviet Unions. Presumably that included Ayers and Dohrn at the time.
These new communists were not members of the American Communist Party – a distinction that sometimes gets blurred or ignored. In fact, they were opponents of the USSR and the American CP because they were, instead of slavishly following the politics of the Soviet Union, slavishly following the politics of Cuba or China or even Albania (really!).
What both groups shared was the authoritarian outlook – that they knew what needed to be done and that they were going to impose their views on the movements that they became a part of (such as the anti-war or civil rights or labor movements) no matter what the democratic instincts of the actual members of these movements. I have witnessed this firsthand many times, particularly in the labor movement. In this sense of acting undemocratically, both the American CP and the new authoritarian left, whether self-designated communist or not, shared a similar world view.
However, it is important to note that to the extent that this new authoritarian left is still in existence – and it is, though also on a smaller scale – it has no central organization or structure and it is hard to conclude that even if Ayers and Dohrn and others are still influencing Obama that Obama belongs to any such movement or organization, because there is no such organization to belong to.
Instead, I believe that on particular issues the authoritarian left has been able to influence the thinking of the Obama campaign. I have pointed to the one clear example of this: education, where a leading education advisor to Obama is pushing a policy (repayment of “education debt”) that is also the policy of Ayers.
I also think there may be other areas where this milieu is having some influence on the thinking of Obama, perhaps including the idea of “dialogue with dictators” - such as Chavez and Ahmadinejad. In addition, the authoritarian left milieu – and this is one area where they differ from the American Communist Party – has always been hostile to American workers, in particular to their unions.
The Weather Underground argued that unions were part of a “labor aristocracy” that fed off the backs of the third world. The comments by Obama about bitterness and his inability to demonstrate sympathy with workers in states like Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky, suggest that that hostility to such voters from the authoritarian left may be carrying over to the Obama campaign. Historian Sean Wilentz wrote a very interesting column on this issue in the Huffington Post recently.
Finally, third, let me just briefly address the larger theoretical issue behind a lot of this discussion. Is there a difference between “Communism,” “authoritarian leftism” and other ideas about socialism, communism and the left? In short, yes.
I believe both Soviet-style Communism and the other forms of Communism found in Cuba, China and North Korea all share totalitarian features. But when one moves into regimes like that in Venezuela or that of the Sandinistas in the 1980s in Nicaragua, the parties or organizations in control of those governments are/were authoritarian but not totalitarian. The control and power, for example, of the Sandinistas was not absolute as it is in North Korea or was under the old USSR. Thus, I use the word “authoritarian” to describe these regimes.
Some in the FSLN or in the Chavez movement might favor total control of the society but they have not been able to achieve that goal yet. There is still some room for opponents of those regimes to act politically in support of their goals.
For example, recently an attempt by Chavez to appropriate more control for his regime failed in a constitutional referendum held there. Such a referendum would be impossible to hold in Cuba or China or North Korea today.
Historically, when movements like that of Chavez's have not been able to centralize their power more fully they either lose power (as happened in Nicaragua to the Sandinistas) or they use force to impose their power (as happened in eastern Europe in the wake of the Second World War –- with the assistance of the Russians, of course).
In the United States today the “authoritarian left” sympathizes with Chavez, the Sandinistas and Fidel Castro. Some around the US authoritarian left express that sympathy naively because they oppose US foreign policy and gravitate to anyone who opposes the United States. But others are sympathetic with authoritarian politics more deeply, often they express this view through their hostility to what actual Americans want. Thus, there is a great deal of hostility from the authoritarian left towards the American labor movement, which is still a generally democratic movement.
It is because of that hostility to the democratic instincts of most Americans that I have suggested that the “authoritarian left” is no left at all. I consider democracy the critical component of any constructive left or progressive movement here and abroad.
Democracy means transparency, accountability and the protection of the rights of dissenters and minorities within the body politic. That hostility to democracy is what all of the tendencies I have discussed here share, whether old-style American Communists, the new communists of the new left or today’s authoritarian leftist sympathizers with Chavez and Castro.
(As I have suggested before, the best short introduction to the distinction between a democratic approach to left politics and an authoritarian approach is the essay, Two Souls of Socialism by Hal Draper.)
And I think that hostility to democracy is the danger in the apparent role of the new authoritarian left in the Obama campaign.
I hope this is of some help. Please feel free to share these thoughts with your readers and I would be happy to discuss these ideas with you or your readers.
Associate Professor of Law
Santa Clara University School of Law
Global Labor blog
First, thank you so much for writing all this up so quickly. It is extremely, extremely useful for the general public. I will publish your letter.
I note you do not mention the Revolutionary Communist Party -- the USA branch. Bill Ayers has perched at their Revolution publication on at least one occasion to hold forth. And consider this quote:
"We begin by releasing our most hopeful dreams and our most radical imaginations: a better world is both possible and necessary." -- William Ayers
"Note: Ayers is very likely quoting Bob Avakian, chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, with the phrase ‘both possible and necessary’ in regards to a communist overthrow of the US government. See Yahoo search results for "bob avakian" + "possible and necessary"
–Eye On The Left"
My question to you is whether you are Double-Dutch sure that the American communist movement is deader than a doornail. The RCP may be little more than a form of radical chic at this juncture, but again I don't know.
Again, thank you for all the time you've spent on this education project for the general reader.
Thank you! Sorry, I know less than you about the RCP!
1) As I was about to publish this I received a letter that was clearly in response to my post of yesterday, in which I fumed about the labyrinth of definitions related to the left, communism, and socialism. I include the letter here as a reminder that a labyrinth is a perennially useful blind.
An ex-communist friend of mine says that his cel [sic] (a "creative" cel of artists) was constantly told from the forties to the sixties that their mission was to "disrupt capitalism" in whatever way that they could.
They were given considerable freedom to decide how to do it. Only when they strayed too far from orthodoxy did the Politburo put their foot down, with shocking firmness. The HUAC trials of the Hollywood Ten were a walk in the park compared to the private trials that Dalton Trumbo and the CP-USA held to pressure other filmmakers.
Most party members never get close to the real decision-making process, despite the endless meetings. This is the mechanism by which they operate; it is intentionally difficult to follow from the outside. Struggling to differentiate the terminology and Byzantine hair-splitting definitions of words is a distraction which, while it reveals something about the players, keeps one from seeing the simple truth -- there is no real difference among them.
They all want to make America their bitch.
Wednesday, May 28
Charles Krauthammer made observations tonight during the Fox News discussion that point out why questions about Obama's misstatement regarding an uncle helping to liberate "Auschwitz" are not frivolous.
Charles said simply that Auschwitz is "the awful word;" knowing what was done at those camps means knowing the word must never be invoked casually.
He said it better than I've summarized. Very moving, and a sharp reminder of many things. Perhaps he will elaborate on his comments in his column this Friday for the Washington Post.
I did not want to post on the issue yesterday because I didn't want to make political 'hay' from the terrible events at Auschwitz. Yet after seeing today that Dan Riehl, whose judgment I respect, considered Obama's remarks in need of examination I realized that politics was not the issue. Charles's words underscore that point.
Dan Riehl at Riehl World View is on the case:
Okay, so we have supposedly learned that it was Obama's Great Uncle that liberated a sub-section of Buchenwald, not an uncle at Auschwitz. But if sources are correct and unless there's some arcane military history in his favor, Obama still has a problem.Read on.
His only Great Uncle is Charles W. Payne. It at least appears that no one by that name from Kansas served in the Army during WWII.
Charles W. Payne of Kansas, with a similar birth era, served in the Navy during WWII.
Dr Diamond assures us that Barack Obama is not a communist "but." And Pundita senses mission drift in William Ayers's definition of communism.
As I continue to read Dr Diamond in my quest for illumination about the political milieu in which Barack Obama functioned for decades, I find myself increasingly bewildered. This is because I am running into ever-mushrooming clarifications of terms that are peculiar to Leftland.
So, speaking quite frankly, I can't yet take comfort in Dr Diamond's assurance that Barack Obama is not a communist or controlled by "communist machinery". I get Diamond's point about Obama not being a card-carrying member of the Communist Party. Here's the part I don't get:
By the way, I usually put communism in quotes or capitalize it to distinguish the pseudo-communism of the Soviet stalinist variety of communism from actual communist or socialist ideas - that is, of course, a much longer and different issue.You bet it's a much longer issue. You can lose a year of your life following links at Wikipedia in a quest to nail down the meaning of socialism, communism, the Left and all their branches and sub-branches. At the end of your labors it's like the joke about Hegel:
While on his deathbed his disciples gathered and beseeched him to name the disciple who came closest to understanding his teachings. Hegel lifted his head from the pillow and croaked, "There was one who understood a little."
The disciples eagerly pressed closer to hear the name. Hegel whispered, "But even he didn't understand."
If you stick at it eventually it dawns that communism is not easily explained because it's actually a branch of metaphysics. Then much of the past century's madness is easily comprehensible. Basically, you can't let a bunch of metaphysicians loose on the task of governing. Not if you don't want to keep meeting the same thug in a cheap leather jacket holding a gun on you.
However, my complaints about lack of clarity don't bring us closer to figuring out whether Barack Obama is controlled by commies. So in the manner of Alexander let me cut through the Gordian Knot by pondering ex-Weatherman Bill Ayers's most recent pronouncement about what communism is.
Here Dr Diamond would argue, as he did in the above-referenced post, that Ayers and his Weatherman crew were never commies but "authoritarian" non communists. This would imply that Ayers is not an authority, if you'll pardon the expression, on communism.
In the rarified atmosphere of Leftland I can see how any communist system of government that fails is branded 'pseudo' communism, and why people that society notices to be a gang of thugs are not termed communists. But let us return to the ugly world of actions that have consequences and hear what Ayers has to say about communism:
"... Capitalism played its role historically and is exhausted as a force for progress: built on exploitation, theft, conquest, war, and racism, capitalism and imperialism must be defeated and a world revolution -- a revolution against war and racism and materialism, a revolution based on human solidarity and love, cooperation and the common good -- must win.All right; now we're getting somewhere. Communism is actually neo-Quakerism.
But because Ayers leans toward what Diamond describes as authoritarianism and because I have a hard time imagining being held at gunpoint by a Quaker, how about if we say that Ayers's description of communism is horsefeathers?
Here Ayers would argue that I can't pin him down that easily because he never actually said the word "communism" and only admits to being "a communist, or leftist, or socialist or whatever."
Ah, but I can pin him down to his own words. So the question now becomes: is Barack
Obama controlled by a bunch of commies who talk like mob accountants facing a grand jury?
If we reference Ayers's new, improved definition of communism as our guide, and tune into Barack Obama's patter to his devotees about change, cooperation, the common good, etc., I'd say that Diamond might be wrong about whether Obama is controlled by a communist machinery, of sorts.
As for Dr Diamond's own concerns (the "But" in the title of his post) I think we should pay attention:
But within [the 60s anti-war movement], another strand emerged as well. That strand gave birth to a new authoritarian form of politics on the left. This strand took the view that the U.S. was the main problem on the global scene and drifted into an outlook that said that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." [...]I urge you to read the entire essay so you can fully follow Diamond's conclusion, which is troubling. On one hand he doesn't see Obama being controlled by a highly organized leftist "authoritarian" movement; on the other, Obama "has been unwilling to explain his relationship to them ..."
Today this authoritarian left trend continues fed by the emergence of new authoritarian movements like the Mexican Zapatistas or Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. [...]
But does this new "left" authoritarianism have the ability to control a presidential candidate, manchurian-style? Hardly, even if some in this movement had an interest in doing so. This new movement is very diverse in form and structure and plays in a variety of arenas, but has no central organizational structure or discipline. There is, instead, a kind of shared, almost cultural or instinctual, identity with each other. This accounts, in part, for what is broadly known as "political correctness."
But the reality is that you can find these new authoritarian types all over the place: in higher education where the "social justice" and "critical pedagogy" advocates have a foothold in Schools of Education, in the labor movement where SEIU leader Andy Stern advocates a relationship with the actual stalinist labor arm of the Chinese government or in the Chicago anti-war movement where Fidelista and Obama backer Carl Davidson, a former SDS leader, is active together with another ex-SDS'er and Obama backer, Marilyn Katz.
It is this non-Communist but nonetheless authoritarian milieu with which Obama worked in his rise from his mid-80s stint as a community organizer in Hyde Park on the south side of Chicago to his all but cinched nomination as the Democratic Party's candidate for President in 2008. [...]
Here we come to another snag. The goal posts shift around so much in Leftland that ultimately all definitions are rendered meaningless. So when I asked Dr Diamond to clarify what he meant by the "authoritarian left," he prefaced his reply by observing:
[....] these people are not, in my view, leftists at all but they pose as leftists. Instead they have a view of society which says that the only way to respond to inequality and other social problems is to impose, from above, radical restructuring that allows them to take the reins of social and political power.Okay; they're not really leftists. Then what are they?
Authoritarianism is not a description of a political stance; it's a reference to a means of achieving a political goal; e.g., overturning democratic processes or subverting them.
In the same manner, if Ayers&Crew claim that white people are a blight on civilization, okay, but that's not a political stance; politics is about action paths.
So if Dr Diamond asserts that self-proclaimed leftists who use non-democratic tactics are not actually leftists, can we boil it down and say that thugs of unknown political views are pushing Barack Obama for president?
Not to snap, but time is running out. Democrats who oppose Obama need to acknowledge that he's gotten this far because from the top of the party down they've been unwilling to clearly identify what the Democrat party stands for. So I venture it's time to ask Hillary Clinton whether she's a leader first or a politician first, then act like lightning on her answer.
Tuesday, May 27
"Yet despite his efforts Dr Stephen F. Diamond was unable to interest the mainstream media in his findings. (See his May 11 NY Times School of Falsification? Is the National Paper of Record Helping the Obama Campaign Rewrite History?
So if Larry Johnson at No Quarter blog hadn't learned about Diamond's investigative report in May and promoted it, and if RezkoWatch hadn't picked up Larry's post, I wouldn't have written a number of posts on the topic."
Ah Ha! What Barack Obama means by "change" is finally coming clearer! Fancy that; Obama's "change" sounds like William Ayers's idea of change!
For readers who are just joining the discussion: on April 23, a professor who is unknown outside a small academic circle and the labor union movement broke stunning news on his Global Labor blog:
Contrary to what the general public knew, the relationship between Barack Obama and former Weatherman William Ayers went back many years. What's more, Obama had in effect worked for Ayers for years via his chairmanship of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge program.
Yet despite his efforts Dr Stephen F. Diamond was unable to interest the mainstream media in his findings. (See his May 11 NY Times School of Falsification? Is the National Paper of Record Helping the Obama Campaign Rewrite History?
So if Larry Johnson at No Quarter blog hadn't learned about Diamond's investigative report in April and promoted it, and if RezkoWatch hadn't picked up Larry's post, I wouldn't have written a number of posts on the topic.
Diamond did not stop with his examination of the true relationship between Ayers and Obama; he began posting on another story that was also unknown outside certain academic circles and the intelligentsia: William Ayers had become an influential educator and was promoting the indoctrination of American public schoolchildren with a virulently anti-American, anti-capitalist, anti-white agenda.
So if you want to catch up on all the background to today's post, I suggest that you start by reading Diamond's May 11 When Did Barack Obama meet Bill Ayers? which summarizes key information he first brought forward on April 23 in his lengthy Who "sent" Obama? Then work forward through the posts at his blog. Along the way you'll also find the writings of Sol Stern, which Diamond links to, and which support several of Diamond's points.
(With regard to Diamond's latest (May 25) post, Believe me, Barack is no Communist, But.... -- I have a few questions to put to the good professor about how he arrived at his conclusion, which I'll discuss tomorrow.)
Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the information Diamond has published is how greatly it's been suppressed -- not only by the news media, but also by the Clinton campaign and the famous Republican Attack Machine.
If the latter operatives thought they could hold all this information back for use in the general election, I believe they greatly underestimated the highly coordinated mainstream media campaign to suppress bad news about Barack Obama.
We've already seen that it can take months for the bad news to build to such a crescendo in the alternate media that the MSM can't ignore it. And even then, the MSM have become expert at downplaying and 'shaping' the bad news about Obama, so that the general public still only has a vague idea of the story.
The questions are whether Diamond's information is coming too late to save the Democrat party from cracking in two, and whether the information can stop Obama from taking the White House.
I have no answer to either question. All I know is that Steve Diamond has emerged as an Eleventh Hour figure for American public education. The academic issues he breaks down for the general public transcend even a presidential campaign and partisan politics in importance.
History might record that the biggest story about Barack Obama's presidential run was that it revealed a plan to destroy the American nation from the inside, and using the American public education system as the WMDs.
I also want to mention that a professor of a politically conservative viewpoint wrote to express that he was upset with my post about Sol Stern's discussion. He believed Stern's claims were overblown, scare mongering, and "anti-educator." Yet it was clear from the professor's criticism that he was unaware of many developments and didn't realize the extent of William Ayers's influence. I suspect that many American educators are in the professor's position.
And before starting on today's post, I want to emphasize that my references to Dr Diamond's writings reflect my own interpretations of his views.
Inching our way toward grasping what Obama means by "change"
Monday night Steve Diamond, whose name is a household word by now among Pundita readers, sent along a column written by Sean Wilentz for Friday's Huffington Post. Diamond's comment about the column, which is titled, Barack Obama and the unmaking of the Democrat Party was that it deserves a close read and a wide audience.
After taking in the first few paragraphs I thought I could see why Diamond considered the piece important. Yet unless you're familiar with the ideas of the William Ayers faction of the "new authoritarian left," as Diamond terms it, and which "views racism, whiteness, and white supremacy as the heart and soul of their politics," much of what Wilentz writes goes over the reader's head -- or at best strikes the reader as nonsensical. Indeed, I don't think Wilentz has grasped the full import of the situation he describes:
After sardonically observing, "Talk about transformative post-racial politics," Wilentz asserts that all evidence points to the fact that white racism has not been "a principal or even secondary motivation in any of this year's Democratic primaries." But now we arrive at what is the mind-bending part for the uninitiated:
"... the Barack Obama campaign and its sympathizers have begun to articulate much more clearly what they mean by their vague slogan of "change" - nothing less than usurping the historic Democratic Party, dating back to the age of Andrew Jackson, by rejecting its historic electoral core: white workers and rural dwellers in the Middle Atlantic and border states.
Without a majority of those voters, the Democrats have, since the party's inception in the 1820s, been incapable of winning the presidency. The Obama advocates declare, though, that we have entered an entirely new political era. It is not only possible but also desirable, they say, for Democrats to win by turning away from those whom "progressive" pundits and bloggers disdain variously as "Nascar man," "uneducated," "low information" whites, "rubes, fools, and hate-mongers" who live in the nation's "shitholes."
Having attempted, with the aid of a complicit news media, to brand Hillary Clinton as a racist -- by flinging charges that, as the historian Michael Lind has shown, belong "in black helicopter/grassy knoll territory," Obama's supporters now fiercely claim that Clinton's white working class following is also essentially racist.
Favoring the buzzword language of the academic left, tinged by persistent, discredited New Left and black nationalist theories about working-class "white skin privilege," a vote against Obama has become, according to his fervent followers, "a vote for whiteness."
The effort to taint anyone who does not support Obama as motivated by racism has now become a major factor in alienating core Democrats from Obama's campaign. Out with the Democratic Party of Jefferson, Jackson, F.D.R., Truman, Kennedy and Johnson, and in with the bright, shiny party of Obama -- or what the formally "undeclared" Donna Brazile, a member of the Democratic National Committee and of the party's rules committee, has hailed as a "new Democratic coalition" swelled by affluent white leftists and liberals, college students, and African-Americans.Here the confused might ask, "B-b-but aren't affluent white leftists and liberals also the 'whiteness vote'?"
Crash course on William Ayers's world view
To resolve the seeming contradiction we must follow Professor Diamond's -- er White Rabbit back down the hole to Leftland and explore Ayers's piece of it:
Since the days of the Weather Underground Ayers has advocated a viewpoint that argues that the fundamental issue in American life is "white skin privilege" -- that white Americans benefit from being white at the expense of blacks. As Ayers' wife Bernardine Dohrn wrote in the introduction to a 2002 book she co-authored with Ayers and their fellow Weather Underground member Jeff Jones:Got all that? As to how the revolution will work out in practice, that's an interesting question. I suppose that after "affluent white leftists and liberals" have led the black minority to install a black supremacy government in the USA, the white leaders will march themselves to the ovens and turn on the gas, thereby eliminating the last of the nation's people of white skin privilege.
"One cannot talk separately about class, gender, culture, immigration, ethnicity, or biology without being intertwined with race, as Katrina and the systematic destruction of a major black U.S. city reinforms us. We were waking up [in the late 1960s]. What to do once we had knowledge of the dimensions of white skin privilege? How to destroy white supremacy? Well, that is another matter. And as burning today as it was then."
The authoritarian left's Trojan Horse
Here's the part I don't think Sean Wilentz understands, and which Professor Diamond has been warning about: the "white skin privilege" rap of the "New Left" and black nationalists has not been discredited in places where it does the worst damage, which is in America's public education system.
The profoundly racist message has been subsumed under the benevolent-sounding 'social justice" studies programs being pushed by the Ayers faction and used as a means to indoctrinate public schoolchildren. For some idea of how that works out in practice, here is Sol Stern lecturing eduwonkette and her readers:
[...] You also minimize the problem by suggesting that even if it could be shown that social justice teaching was a significant part of the Ed schools’ agenda, “they largely have been unsuccessful.”That isn't education, it's indoctrination, as Stern points out. Yet the education establishment has been sticking its head in the sand for years about the situation; they've been able to do this because the authoritarian left's social justice agenda has flown completely under the radar of the mainstream media -- and even the alternative media, with the exception of niche readerships on the blogosphere.
I don’t know how we might measure success or failure in this regard. I do note that just two months ago, The Nation, always on the alert for signs of resurgent leftism in our civic institutions, celebrated the growth of the social justice education movement.
In my City Journal articles I have cited numerous examples of New York City schools devoting their curriculums to social justice themes and have described specific units taught to children (including in elementary schools) that clearly fall under the rubric of political indoctrination.
For example, the radical education group NYCoRE created a “Katrina curriculum” that has been piloted by one of the group’s leaders in the fourth grade of a Manhattan elementary school. The curriculum leaves nothing to chance, providing teachers with classroom prompts designed to illustrate the evils of American capitalism and imperialism.
One section, called “Two Gulf Wars,” suggests posing such questions to the kids as: “Was the government unable to respond quickly to the crisis on the Gulf Coast because the money and personnel were all being used in Iraq?” [...]
Now, in the current Democrat presidential primary, we are seeing the result of many years of willful blindness. I note that the recent writings by Sol Stern and Steve Diamond about the authoritarian's left's moves on education barely scratch the surface:
Dispositions and return of the Grand Inquisitor
On Friday ZenPundit sent me a report by a history professor at Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center that came close to ruining my Memorial Day weekend. I had no idea before reading KC Johnson that a Grand Inquisitor had been let loose in America:
[...] Traditionally, prospective teachers needed to demonstrate knowledge of their subject field and mastery of essential educational skills. In recent years, however, an amorphous third criterion called “dispositions” has emerged.So do not ask why a young generation of Liberal white Americans finds nothing strange in voting for a man who rationalizes virulent anti-white racism by terming his grandmother a "typical white person."
As one conference devoted to the concept explained, using this standard would produce “teachers who possess knowledge and discernment of what is good or virtuous.” Advocates leave ideologically one-sided education departments to determine “what is good or virtuous” in the world.
In 2002, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education explicitly linked dispositions theory to ensuring ideological conformity among education students. Rather than asking why teachers’ political beliefs are in any way relevant to their ability to perform well in the classroom, NCATE issued new guidelines requiring education departments that listed social justice as a goal to “include some measure of a candidate’s commitment to social justice” when evaluating the “dispositions” of their students.
As neither traditional morality nor social justice commitment in any way guarantee high-quality teachers, this strategy only deflects attention away from the all-important goal of training educators who have command of content and the ability to instruct.
The program at my own institution, Brooklyn College, exemplifies how application of NCATE’s new approach can easily be used to screen out potential public school teachers who hold undesirable political beliefs. Brooklyn’s education faculty, which assumes as fact that “an education centered on social justice prepares the highest quality of future teachers,” recently launched a pilot initiative to assess all education students on whether they are “knowledgeable about, sensitive to and responsive to issues of diversity and social justice as these influence curriculum and pedagogy, school culture, relationships with colleagues and members of the school community, and candidates’ analysis of student work and behavior.”
At the undergraduate level, these high-sounding principles have been translated into practice through a required class called “Language and Literacy Development in Secondary Education.” According to numerous students, the course’s instructor demanded that they recognize “white English” as the “oppressors’ language.”
Without explanation, the class spent its session before Election Day screening Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11. When several students complained to the professor about the course’s politicized content, they were informed that their previous education had left them “brainwashed” on matters relating to race and social justice.
Troubled by this response, at least five students filed written complaints with the department chair last December. They received no formal reply, but soon discovered that their coming forward had negative consequences. One senior was told to leave Brooklyn and take an equivalent course at a community college. Two other students were accused of violating the college’s “academic integrity” policy and refused permission to bring a witness, a tape recorder, or an attorney to a meeting with the dean of undergraduate studies to discuss the allegation.
Despite the unseemly nature of retaliating against student whistleblowers, Brooklyn’s overall manner of assessing commitment to “social justice” conforms to NCATE’s recommendations, previewing what we can expect as other education programs more aggressively scrutinize their students’ “dispositions” on the matter.
Must prospective public school teachers accept a professor’s argument that “white English” is the “oppressors’ language” in order to enter the profession? In our ideologically imbalanced academic climate, the combination of dispositions theory and the new NCATE guidelines risk producing a new generation of educators certified not because they mastered their subject but because they expressed fealty to the professoriate’s conception of “social justice.”
And you thought Rev. Wright was the worst of the hate mongers in Obama's circle
Readers who cling to the hope that Barack Obama will somehow clear up the 'misunderstanding' that has arisen between his faction and the rest of the Democrat party should consider Steve Diamond's observations in The Monster in the Room ...
Integration, for example, is not one of the four top priorities the Forum for Education and Democracy advocates for the federal government to pursue in a report it published that was co-authored by Obama's education advisor, Linda Darling-Hammond. Paying off the "education debt," another word for reparations, is the top priority of that group. Of course, one reason (though, of course, not the only reason) integration has ceased to be a broader national policy goal is because people with political views like Bill Ayers and Gloria Ladson-Billings (the originator of the concept of "educational debt") think white American are the inevitably, inherently and irretrievably racist beneficiaries of their "whiteness." Has Senator Obama thought through the potentially destructive implications of this world view? It would appear that he has not.I venture the good professor is being generous. Money says that Barack Obama thought through the implications a long time ago, after he got cozy with William Ayers.
October 9, 2008; 9:30 AM Eastern Time UPDATE
I'm updating this post because of intense media/public attention to the William Ayers-Barack Obama relationship.
Much more has come to light about the relationship since I posted the above report. One of the people who have been driving this story is Steve Diamond.
You might want to proceed to Diamond's October 6, 2008 post, Ayers/Obama Update: The David Blaine Award Goes to The New York Times Magic Act. The post, published at Diamond's Global Labor blog, has the best summary he's provided so far of Ayers' educational theories and how Obama has served to promote them.
The catch is that the summary is presented as part of Diamond's ongoing discussion of how The New York Times has continued to suppress and distort his investigation -- even though three reporters from the paper have recently interviewed him several times.
(I note with sarcasm that Diamond watchers know that this state of affairs represents an improvement since May, when the Times ignored his letter to them about his research on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and the work that Ayers and Obama did for it.)
The negligence of the U.S. press in reporting on Ayers' theories and Obama's relationship with him is a story unto itself; it's perhaps the strongest indictment to date of the present state of American journalism. But if you want to go straight to the summary, scroll down to the 14th paragraph of the October 6 report:
So what is the evidence of the influence of Ayers' world view on Obama and his presidential candidacy?And read from there.
If you want to delve further into the story, you can start with Diamond's April 22, 2008 post, Who "Sent" Obama? and read forward from there. Not all his posts since that time are about the Ayers-Obama relationship and related matters, but the majority are.
If you get stuck at the discussion in the summary about reparations on account of refusing to believe your eyes, Diamond's May 24, 2008 post Apparently Obama does, indeed, support reparations will assure you that you read right the first time. See also The Monster in the Room, linked above.
The posts at Global Labor are the very best background on all the issues touching upon the Ayers-Obama relationship. As far as I know only one other person, Sol Stern, is both knowledgeable enough to discuss Ayers' ideas in authoritative fashion and willing to speak up very frankly in public about them. (See my May 20 post, The William Ayers plan to turn America's schoolchildren into Maoists and how Barack Obama helped him, for more on Stern and links to his writings on Ayers' education ideas.)
Stanley Kurtz, the Conservative commentator who has studied Diamond's research and undertaken his own research on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and the Obama-Ayers relationship, has provided a helpful introduction in a September 23, 2008 report for the Wall Street Journal.
Yet Kurtz (who holds a PhD from Harvard in social anthropology) started his journey of discovery from outside the teaching profession and without a thorough background in the education ideas promoted by Ayer's and his colleagues.
One glance through Diamond's summary tells that Kurtz is still on a learning curve. He is not alone. The news media are so far behind Diamond that at this rate it will be 2015 before they catch up.
Barack Obama has banked on this great Cloud of Unknowing. And yet a reading of Diamond's summary reveals that this is not rocket science he's talking about; it's just that for years the mainstream media have avoided examining the education topics that Diamond and Stern discuss.
Those who have read Dr Diamond's October 6 summary might ask whether I have considered changing "Maoist" to "neo-Stalinist" in the title of the May 20 post as I have progressed on my own learning curve. The answer is no.
I will let political scientists such as Diamond parse the differences between neo-Stalinism and Maoism. In the end what does it matter if you refer to a death camp by a number, or name it the 'Bluebird School of Reeducation?' Stalinists, Maoists, Fidelistas, etc. -- they all boil down to a military-backed gang of thugs.
And my view is that William Ayers and Barack Obama are not ideologues of any stripe; I see them as totalitarians behind their word screens. They want unquestioning obedience to their commands; they want everyone to think and act in unison, and they know this can only be achieved through indoctrinating children.
Any doubts I had that Obama is a totalitarian were resolved a few days ago when I studied the “Positive Behavior for Effective Schools Act,” otherwise known as education bill S.2111, which was introduced by Obama.
The bill has not passed, as yet, but the wording is a clear indication that Obama's idea of child education is using the public school system to effect massive state intervention in every area of a child's life.
As to what exactly Obama means by "positive behavior" -- the bill does not spell it out. But study Steve Diamond's writings, and Sol Stern's, if you want to see behind Obama's screen of words about making American public school graduates better candidates for higher education and leveling the playing field for the nation's poorest children.
Finally, Obama's relationship with William Ayers is just one of many he developed with the far left/authoritarian stream of American politics. If you are just coming to a study of Obama's involvement with such Americans, the best place for an orientation is the blog The Real Barack Obama (RBO), formerly RezkoWatch. (No Quarter is also a good source.)
The blog has amassed a thick dossier on Obama's web of political alliances, including those branching from his involvement with the convicted criminal Tony Rezko.
There are few puff pieces at RBO, and those are to leaven the grim revelations. Many of the posts are original reports, which are meticulously researched and cross-referenced. The blog also acts as a relay station for daily media reports and opinion pieces on Obama's relationships.
I warn that once you start digging through RBO's archives you will be stunned at how much information the mainstream media has left unreported about Obama's relationships. Yet RBO is closely followed by mainstream news outlets working on Obama stories, so there is no question that the information has been ignored.
The Real Barack Obama, and Steve Diamond's Global Labor blog, are examples of citizen journalism at its finest.
The question, however, is how much longer the American democracy can survive if its citizens cannot depend on professional journalists for accurate news on vital issues.
Monday, May 26
Re your comments about the guilt and remorse you feel about not doing more for your country: I think the emotions spring from the same sense of honor that drives so many of us who wear or have worn the uniform. There, but for the grace of God, could have gone I -- and it doesn't have to stay that way tomorrow.
Some call the obligation "paying it forward" -- our gift to the next generation, as we were gifted by those who went before. But I think of it as paying back; repaying the trust they had that we would not squander what they bought and paid for, often with boredom and loneliness, sometimes with the loss of those at home who couldn't or wouldn't wait, and sometimes, yes, with blood.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:-- John Alexander McCrae, In Flanders Fields
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be it yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Saturday, May 24
Barack Obama Deny Everything! political campaign at DEFCON1: Operation Board Games arrives at John Batchelor Sunday Show
Pringle is a columnist for OpEd News and an investigative journalist who specializes in exposing corruption in government and corporate America. Up to this point her reports on the hideously complex web of crime and corruption that is Chicago politics have been mostly confined to the blogosphere. That will change tomorrow. RezkoWatch reports today:
It is possible that Evelyn Pringle, author of the articles on "Operation Board Games" and "Curtain Time for Obama", may also be part of the New York [WABC-AM 77] broadcast; if not, she will be included in the second broadcast, 7-10 PM Pacific Time (10 PM -1 AM Eastern) at KFI-AM 640 in Los Angeles (live streaming at KFI640.com)(1)What is Operation Board Games? It is Pringle's term for the huge dragnet cast by Patrick Fitzgerald, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
The dragnet operation, which spanned years, has snared scores of key businesspeople and politicians who use various Chicago government-related boards for their personal enrichment.
There hasn't been a law enforcement project like this in Illinois since the days of Eliot Ness and his Untouchables. The Department of Justice wants Fitzgerald to clean up Artful Dodger City -- and Illinois residents who have suffered for generations under the rule of government-backed crooks are cheering him on.
So the Tony Rezko trial is just the first of the planned trials related to Operation Board Games. Where does Barack Obama fit into the operation? He figures in several places, not all of which have been untangled yet, but Pringle observes that Obama was:
"the inside guy in the Illinois senate as far as setting up the Health Facilities Planning Board to extort contributions from companies in exchange for the approval of applications to build medical facilities" ... (2)Here the more high strung among Pundita readers might yell, "So they were running him for president so they could pardon them?"
That seems to have been the plan for their first choice for US President -- Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, according to Pringle's research. Eventually it dawned that he might have to spend his run for the White House sitting in a witness chair in a Chicago courtroom.
Yet even after they noticed the dragnet, Rezko assured someone who turned out to be a government witness that Patrick Fitzgerald would be removed from his post.(3)
Removed how? Rezko did not elaborate but Evelyn Pringle has been taking her life in her hands to play ferret. The Chicago "Combine" -- a combination of organized crime and politics -- is no joke.
That leads me to wonder whether Ahmed Yousef, the chief political advisor to Hamas, might have been displaying a droll sense of humor by saying that Barack Obama reminded him of John F. Kennedy. JFK's daddy was deeply involved with the Chicago Combine.
Here I'll give everyone a moment to race to Wikipedia to see what they can learn about William Ayers's daddy.
I do not know, and I am not entirely sure I want to know, whether Tom Ayers is directly involved with the Combine but every business player in Illinois who deals with government boards has to go along with the Chicago Way of doing business.
Here the well informed might ask, "So you're telling me that Plan B was to push a closet commie for president?"
I doubt that's how they saw it. But yes, there is a kind of poetic justice, or cosmic symmetry if you will, about Barack Obama's run for the White House. The Combine always knew that Tom Ayers's bomb-making kid and the kid's crew were foaming communists. But to keep peace with one of Chicago's more colorful political factions, they threw them bones in the form of grants and little education programs and whatnot.
Of course a strong communist sympathizer in the White House would tend to crash the very economic system that feeds the leeches who feed off American taxpayers. Yet it's a little late in the day for the Combine to recognize that when a man says, 'I will destroy America,' and backs this up with bomb-making, he is not shooting the breeze -- not with his kind of connections.
The Combine believed they could control the 'Black' vote for Obama through the network of black politicians and powerful public figures in Chicago and through this, maintain control over Obama.
It seems they neglected to consider the extensive network of communist or communist-leaning educators in America and the control the educators have over a significant segment of the nation's youth. In short, it seems the Combine overlooked the ability of the Youth Vote to run away with the program.
William Ayers is a powerful figure in the authoritarian "social justice" education movement, which is a polite way of describing non-card carrying communists and their sympathizers, but he is by no means the only figure in the movement, which again spans the United States, and which has close connections with foreign counterparts. As Professor Steve Diamond wrote in his May 23 post about Che Guevara:
[...] Che is a hero to the authoritarian "social justice" crowd and, amazingly, some in America's Schools of Education like UCLA's Peter McLaren. In some peculiar way I can excuse young and naive activists who think Guevara had something to do with "liberating" the Cuban people but once they reach drinking age they should know better. But the idea that Guevara has anything to contribute to theories of education for America is risible.See Diamond's post for links to points he references in the above excerpt.
Interestingly, despite their shared admiration for Venezuelan strong man Hugo Chavez (have these guys ever met an opponent of U.S. foreign policy they do NOT like?) McLaren and Bill Ayers seem to be engaged in some kind of competition for the title of who can be the most absurdly authoritarian figure in American educational theory and policy.
Believe it or not McLaren's pseudo-Marxist theories of "oppression" are trumped in absurdity only by Ayers' argument that "white supremacy" is the critical factor explaining problems in U.S. schools.
And all of this in the pages of Columbia University's Teachers College Record, which brands itself "the voice of scholarship in education." Really?
Think all these educators are just a bunch of fringe nuts with no real power in American society? We'll talk next week about that happy delusion.
Is Barack Obama really a communist? Let me put it this way; you don't get to work for years for someone like William Ayers unless you agree with his point of view, and unless you're willing to do his bidding.
Of course it's still not known to the general public, outside a relatively small circle, that Obama worked for Ayers. And many who have learned this stunning fact from Steve Diamond's report are reacting like the proverbial deer in the headlights. As I noted the other day there is a horror tale-aspect to the story of Obama's run for the White House.
But one thing at a time. Americans outside Chicago -- and even many inside the city -- need to learn about the Combine, Operation Board Games, and Barack Obama's place in it. If you can't wait until the Batchelor interview with Pringle to get the background, a good place to start climbing the learning curve is by reading the RezkoWatch summary of Evelyn Pringle's massive research project. Then follow the trail of links in the summary.
(Monday update: Yay! Pringle is writing 'cliff notes' for her extensive writings on Operation Board Games! The first cheet sheet was published today at RezkoWatch. Also, the Pringle interview with Batchelor was aired around 8:35 PM on the WABC show. I'm hoping RezkoWatch can obtain the audio. From what Batchelor said last night I think Pringle will be returning a number of times to continue the saga for his audience.)
As to when Pringle's segment on John Batchelor is scheduled; I wrote Batchelor today to ask. He could only give a very tentative time (around 8:36 PM) if she appears on the WABC segment. And it's not finalized which broadcast she'll appear on.
However, there will be a number of other guests on the show, distributed over both broadcasts, to discuss issues related to Obama. So those who are closely following Obama's campaign might want to tune in for both broadcasts.
To continue with RezkoWatch's update:
[the WABC broadcast] Leads with John Bolton, who will comment on Sen. Obama's notion of negotiating face to face with Ahmadinejad, Assad, Raul, Chavez, without preconditions; Aaron Klein, talking about the Middle East, including Hamas in conjunction with Sen. Obama, and Larry Johnson of No Quarter will join the roundtable.Other discussions related to Obama's campaign will be supplied by
... Natasha Korecki, who has been liveblogging the jury watch for the Tony Rezko trial; Anne Bayevsky of the Hudson Institute, who will hammer Obama on his "root causes" remark with regard Middle East; James Taranto of WSJ who hammers Sen. Obama routinely on everything, such as his foreign policy debate with himself; and John Fund from the WSJ.Stay tuned.
1) The links I've provided for the broadcasts are for live streaming; and KFI archives podcasts of Batchelor's show.)
2) See RezkoWatch summary.
3) From Final Chapter - Curtain Time for Barack Obama by Evelyn Pringle, OpEd News, May 22, 2008:
The leader of the Board Game investigation, Fitzgerald, sat in court in the front row listening as [Assistant US Attorney Reid Schar] recounted testimony from witness, Ali Ata, who said Rezko told him, "Do not cooperate with the government, don't worry, the top federal prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, will be replaced."
Ata entered a guilty plea in another Rezko fraud case a week before the [Rezko] trial was set to end and agreed to testify as part of a plea agreement. During his testimony, Ata told the jury he spoke with Rezko as late as 2006, and Rezko told him "the plan will turn out just fine once the new U.S. Attorney gets into office."
Friday, May 23
Months ago a sharp-eyed reader pointed out to me that the puppets had referred to Mark Steyn's criticism of Muslim extremists as "racist." After that heads up I began to notice that a few other critics of Steyn dialed up the race card -- and that one critic had gone so far as to refer to Muslims as a 'race.'
I note with a laugh that Steyn is more than a match for the race baiters. See his Keepin' It Unreal.
However, I also note that former terrorist organization leader William Ayers and his education cadre are so slick-tongued that even the Muslim Brotherhood could take lessons from them; my question, since pondering Diamond's discussions, is whether they already have.
What's the difference between a racialist and a racist? More on the William Ayers-Barack Obama relationship
(Readers who are new to the discussion and want to understand its specific connection to Barack Obama should read Diamond's post):
More fundamentally, Bill Ayers world view is rooted in what I consider a racialist, if not racist, view of American politics.Diamond's discussion of reparations for American descendents of slaves focuses on how the issue has been extended by the Ayers cadre to the concept of an "education debt" owed (I presume by white U.S. taxpayers) to the descendents.
(I use the first term - racialism - to describe ideas or perspectives that use race-based approaches which I think overstate the race component but that do not really rise to the level of racism. I have a hard time, for example, concluding that someone like Reverend Wright is, at heart, a racist in the sense that, let’s say, George Wallace was. But he certainly uses race in a divisive way that I think overstates the role of race. That is what I consider “racialism” as opposed to racism. There is, of course, the danger that one can go so far in that direction or view the world that way for so long that actual racism takes hold – perhaps Louis Farrakhan is an example, though I do not spend much time paying much attention to him. Maybe one way of getting at this issue is that while a white person can actually show up at the church of Reverend Wright it would not have been possible for a black person to show up at certain churches in the American south in the 1960s and expect to get home safely.)
Since the days of Weather Underground Ayers has advocated a viewpoint that argues that the fundamental issue in American life is "white skin privilege" -- that white Americans benefit from being white at the expense of blacks. [...]
For more on Barack Obama's connection to the reparations issue, see RezkoWatch's post today titled They Owe Us and this 2007 piece from PR-Inside, which focuses on Obama's support for Chicago City Council, Alderwoman Dorothy Tillman, who is a strong supporter of reparations. (H/T Free Republic.)
Of course the reparations issue can be seen as completely distinct from the machinations of the authoritarian Left cadre. But as a reminder of how the cadre never met a social cause they didn't set out to screw up, consider David Horowitz's prank to illustrate the cadre's thuggery when it met with a dissenting opinion on reparations.
For links to Diamond's recent discussions of the authoritarian Left and social injustice see his Eduwonkette: Sol Stern and Bill Ayers Debate on "Social Justice" Teaching and my post titled "The great unanswered questions" about Barack Obama's relationship with William Ayers.
Thursday, May 22
From that viewpoint I tended to look at Obama's relationship with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright as a cynical strategy to help Rezko and other crooks financially exploit Chicago's Black community.
My picture of Obama took a hit last month when I studied Stephen Diamond's revelations about the Obama-Ayers relationship. Yet as late as yesterday I clung to the belief that if Obama made it to the White House Ayers's influence on him would be limited to education policy.
The belief crumbled this afternoon when I read the post that Diamond put out today on his blog. Diamond has hurled so much interrelated data into the post that when coupled with the very understated title, The "Monster in the Room": Does Obama Support Reparations? , he poses a problem for those who want to summarize his points.
Yet by the time I finished wending my way through his recap of the roots of the Ayers-Obama relationship (and his taking the MSM to task for ignoring his research), his summary of the Forum for Education and Democracy and reparations for Black descendents of slaves, I found myself staring blankly at the computer screen in a kind of frozen panic.
When my brain could work again I heard myself blurt, "It's like The Picture of Dorian Gray! The ruddy bastard isn't a crook, he's William Ayers in blackface!"
I hasten to add that Diamond is not a scaremonger. He isn't trying to scare anyone; he's being tenacious. He's got his questions about Obama's relationships with Ayers & Co. and he won't let go of them. But the net effect of his somewhat dry revelations about mostly educational matters evokes a variation of Oscar Wilde's horror story.
What emerges from Dr Diamond's analysis is that Barack Obama has never been a "blank slate," as so many commentators have portrayed him. He's a blank slate only for people who are not well informed about the authoritarian Leftist faction that William Ayers represents. The terror of the situation is that such people make up a majority of the American electorate.
Diamond is well informed on the authoritarian Left, so it's a national tragedy that he didn't begin his discussion of Barack Obama a year ago.
I strongly urge readers to study Diamond's latest post and follow the links he provides. Then think about the implications of the mainstream media's refusal to deal with Diamond's research on the Ayers-Obama relationship.
Writing off the refusal as 'liberal bias' would be sticking your head in the sand. To understand why, study Operation Board Games. The crime and corruption of the "Chicago Combine" is a bipartisan affair that reaches outside Chicago, all the way to Washington, DC.
Despite my shocked outburst, it's closer to the truth to say that Barack Obama's part in the Combine pales in seriousness next to his involvement with William Ayers's faction. Yet the criminal element represented by the Combine is no light matter. By the time it's all sorted out in the courts many politicians, on both sides of the political aisle, will have much to answer for.
This post is also published at RezkoWatch (and, as usual, with a great accompanying picture).
Earlier Pundita posts that reference Steve Diamond's writings on the William Ayers-Barack Obama relationship:
The William Ayers plan to turn America's schoolchildren into Maoists and how Barack Obama helped him
"The great unanswered questions" about Barack Obama's relationship with William Ayers