Sunday, January 13, 2019

How the Border Crisis Caused a Crisis 2,500 Miles Away in Maine

When Americans think about border security, they usually imagine the floods of migrants crossing the border and showing up in Texas and Arizona. The illegal migrant crisis is at its worst in places like El Paso where gang members released by a broken immigration system swarm the streets. Limited border fencing had previously helped sharply cut crime rates in El Paso, but it doesn’t end in El Paso.

2,500 miles away, Portland, Maine is experiencing a crisis that redefines the nature of the problem and whom it impacts. Illegal border invaders aren’t just from this continent. Anyone who can fly into South America and make their way up to Mexico has a shot at crossing the border and invading America.

Portland shelters, 2,500 miles away, are overloaded by illegal migrants from sub-Saharan Africa who crossed the border and then kept right on going to one of the coldest, but most profitable parts of the country. Portland, like many areas in Maine, attracted migrants because of the generous social safety net that had been set up to help the local population deal with turbulent economic times.

Hundreds of African migrants who illegally crossed the border are now crowding Portland’s homeless shelters which are meant to protect local residents from the cold, but have instead been overrun by foreign migrants who have taken over the system and pushed the progressive city to the edge.

Portland, Maine, a city where the temperature this April had hit a balmy 28 degrees, is not a natural homeless hotspot. But refugee resettlement had diverted resources away from helping Maine’s poor, putting more people on the street, and the migrants began crowding into homeless shelters. Not only were Maine’s poor having trouble finding housing, but they were even being pushed out of homeless shelters by aggressive foreign migrants coming out of Africa through Mexico and Texas to Maine.

And so Maine, an unlikely place to host a homeless crisis, is in the throes of one anyway.

Portland, a city of 67,000, hit a new homeless record in October with 500 people in its shelters. That’s 0.74% of the population. The flood of illegal migrants has hopelessly overloaded shelter resources leading to people sleeping on the floor in offices and gyms. When all the shelters were full, hotel rooms had to be rented at a much higher cost to taxpayers, while poisoning the well for future tourism. Now an entire building has been leased just to find space for the endless tide of economic migrants.

There are an estimated 3,000 asylum seekers in Maine. Most of them are occupying Portland.

In early December alone, 199 foreigners wanted to get into the shelter system in Portland. 126 of them had come through the southern border, either by illegally invading it or by falsely claiming to be “refugees”.

While the media emphasizes hard luck stories by homeless Americans, the ugly secret is that the huge increase in Portland is not caused by local economics, but by legal and illegal migrants.

A 2013 survey found that 50% of the individuals in the shelter system were refugees, immigrants, asylum seekers or other foreigners. Of the 509 residents, 128 were Iraqis, 89 were Somalis, 47 were Sudanese. And then there were the Afghans and Eritreans. That’s Portland’s “homeless” problem.

Since then, the migrants have comprehensively displaced Maine homeless place from the system.

In 2018, 86% of the people in the shelter system were immigrants. By the end of the year, the number had climbed to a horrifying 90% with Maine families almost crowded out entirely.

Portland’s Democrat leaders have refused to maintain eligibility criteria for general assistance and spending has shot up to $10 million. The second biggest expense for GA is shelter beds.

1/3rd of Portland’s general assistance caseload consists of immigrants, many of them refugees.

Instead of prioritizing Mainers, the Democrat government has doubled down on putting migrants first. Mayor Ethan Strimling is urging $10 million in spending on affordable housing. A 2015 effort to go on using GA for migrants was backed 5-4 by the Portland City Council after testimony from Fatuma Hussein, the head of United Somali Women of Maine, even though state education money was being diverted.

The aid to Somali and other migrants was also paid for by a 3.1% property tax increase. Rising property taxes have contributed to a shortage of affordable housing in Portland, putting Mainers on the street and in the homeless shelters, if they can get in, past the foreign migrants who made them homeless.

Maine’s 16.5% increase and Portland’s staggering 70% rise in homelessness defies the overall economic recovery. The Oxford Street Shelter used to have beds. Then it switched to cots and finally to mats on the floor. The two blocks between Oxford and the Preble Street Center, another homeless magnet, are part of a diverse area populated by “recent immigrants”. The Islamic Society of Portland is less than ten blocks away and many of the migrants filling up Portland are Somali Muslims. MAIN, the Maine Immigrant Access Network, a vector for the social problems plaguing Maine, sits on Oxford.

MAIN is mostly oriented toward Somalis. Its team is entirely Muslim and almost entirely Somali. It’s typical of the vast social services infrastructure that has been set up to care for the migrant population. The social services sector employs a growing number of migrants who get profitable government jobs caring for migrants. And there’s every possible incentive for them to continue increasing their numbers.

Even if it means that native Mainers are left out in the cold. Sometimes literally.

There are more mosques in Portland than any other city in Maine. That includes the controversial Afghan Mosque. Deqa Dhalac, a Somali immigrant, defeated a local to represent District 5 in the City Council. Like so many employed members of her community, Dhalac was working as a social worker.

When the City Council appointed a Maine firefighter to the Civil Service Commission instead of her, she filed a complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission and the City Council was forced to undergo diversity training. That’s how Democrats hope to create a permanent Dem majority in Maine.

Mayor Strimling has even suggested allowing non-citizen foreigners to vote.

The catastrophic disaster in Portland, Maine has robbed the native population of needed social services while diverting them to foreign migrants. While President Trump has moved to reduce the number of refugees bleeding communities like Portland of their resources and their future, there is a new threat.

Three or four African families are now arriving in Portland’s shelter system every week after crossing the border. Many more, according to Portland’s social services director, are waiting in Texas in detention centers, eager to come to Portland. “We can’t sustain what is happening,” he was quoted as saying.

“We’re at a crisis situation now in the city of Portland,” City Manager Jon Jennings declared.

“Our issue isn’t that too many people are coming here – it’s we don’t have the housing to put them in,” Mayor Strimling bafflingly insisted.

Portland’s only plan for managing the problem is to pass the buck to the Maine and United States governments. Multiply all the “Portlands”, lefty cities that go deep into debt to attract illegal aliens in order to expand the political power of the Democrats, and it easily surpasses the $5 billion wall.

The crisis in Portland shows once again why building a wall to keep out a horde of migrants is a smart, sensible and cost-effective solution. Even the biggest proponents of open borders can’t actually pay the tab for illegal migration, even when they’re 2,500 miles away from the border in a cold state.

If they can’t do it, how can anyone else?

Open borders are unsustainable in Texas, California, New Mexico and Arizona, and even in Maine. Building a wall will not only protect the states that share a border with Mexico, it will even protect a state that shares a border with Canada.

And all of America.

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

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Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Escape from Portland

It was a big year in Portland where the murder rate rose 18.6%. That was the perfect time for Portland’s progressive politburo to spend over $1 million on unarmed cops armed only with pepper spray.

There was a little bit of excitement when it was learned that their 200 hours of training would include “Taser Orientation” suggesting that they might be allowed to carry tasers. But Mayor Wheeler’s office explained that the weaponless cops weren’t being trained to use tasers, but “how to avoid being tased”.

Portlanders aren’t waiting for officers to show up and shout, “Don’t tase me, bro”. Instead in a city overrun with crime, they’re increasingly taking matters and guns into their hands.

Of the 32 violent deaths in Portland last year, 5 were found to have been carried out in self-defense. That tops the 4 deaths that occurred as a result of shootings by those cops who still have their guns.

Richard R. Hanley showed up in the parking lot outside Timeless Tattoo. The California homeless bum had previously made the news when he was arrested for attacking his ex-girlfriend and her new beau with a metal chain. Hanley, already on probation for a domestic abuse and strangulation conviction, with six felony and seven misdemeanor priors, also pulled out huge clumps of a female deputy’s hair.

The repeat offender began setting up his tent in the parking lot. When a female catering manager asked him to stop, he attacked her. Joseph D. Vinci, a tattoo artist, intervened. Hanley pulled a knife and Vinci pulled a gun. And Hanley’s long reign of terror ended to the outcry of local pro-crime activists.

Portland's other homeless death had a much darker ending.

Dallas Boyd, a 29-year-old mother of a two-year-old, was strangled to death by a homeless man and her body was left to rot in his van. Like Hanley, the homeless killer had racked up nine felonies, six misdemeanors and 15 parole violations, including third-degree assault, and first-degree robbery.

Homeless crime has become both routine and terrifying. One Portlander described being threatened with a machete on a children’s playground, and it’s taken the city’s crime problem to new levels.

15% of Portland’s violent deaths in 2018 involved the homeless in some way.

Portland property crimes rose 15% in 2017. Its property crime rates easily outpace Boston and Denver, and put it on a par with dangerous cities like Atlanta. Its homeless blight has put Portland on the same path as San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles. Portland’s Downtown Clean and Safe had picked up less than 9,897 used needles in 2015. This year it's 39,000. Garbage and biohazards have also increased.

Car thefts are up 45% in two years. In Mayor Wheeler’s State of the City address this year, he mentioned a “97 percent increase in stolen vehicle calls” in 5 years. There was also a "64 percent increase in unwanted persons calls and a 32 percent increase in disorder calls."

But Mayor Wheeler emphasized Portland was working on a more “inclusive” and diverse” police force, even as he admitted that the city was caught in a crime wave where, “assaults, homicides, sex offenses, etc. – have increased and are rising at a higher rate than last year; property crimes have also increased and are rising at a higher rate than last year.”

“Chief Outlaw leads a bureau with fewer officers today than a decade ago, despite a 10 percent increase in Portland’s population,” Wheeler whined.

Mayor Wheeler had picked Danielle Outlaw as the first African-American police chief. Outlaw was meant to be the face of Portland’s new inclusive and diverse force. She inherited the thankless job of trying to control homeless crime, without offending homeless advocates, and reining in political street violence without offending Antifa. And soon white hipsters were outraged at Chief Outlaw’s contemptuous dismissal of Antifa as schoolyard brats who, “come with the intention to fight. And then you get mad because I kicked your butt. And then you go back and you wail off and whine and complain.”

Chief Outlaw had also cleared the Occupy ICE encampment without the mayor’s approval, after he had insisted that the police should do nothing to interfere with the harassment of ICE employees.

Portland’s white radicals soon began accusing the city’s first African-American police chief of being a white supremacist while campaigning to get her fired.

“The fact that I, as a very obvious African American female police chief, have been accused by those within that group or those who support that group, as being a supporter and protector of those who are believed to be white supremacists—if that's even the case—is ridiculous. Right?” she asked.

Ridiculous is the only way that anything works in Portland.

Mayor Wheeler’s virtue signaling is being ignored by his own police chief while citizens are taking the law into their own hands. The tattoo parlor was only one of five self-defense killings in Portland.

Self-defense killings made up a sixth of deaths by violence in the past year. These included a U-Haul employee shooting an armed robber, a transgender man shot by a homeless woman after he tried to stab her with a knife, and a FedEx driver who killed a man in a fight over racial slurs.

The U-Haul robber had 9 previous convictions, including robbery, burglary and rape.

These are the warning signs of a dysfunctional city spinning out of control.

Mayor Hale, Wheeler’s predecessor, who turned Portland into a homeless encampment zone by refusing to enforce laws against bums setting up tents on public streets, decided not to run for reelection. His predecessor, Mayor Adams, is enmeshed in a sex scandal which involved an underage boy, sexual harassment, blackmail, and allegations of using an employee for sexual procurement.

Mayor Wheeler won’t go out with a sex scandal, but like his predecessor, he’s unable to reconcile the demands of virtue signaling in a leftist city with the practical problems caused by its implementation. The leftist solutions he’s tried, spending more on homeless services, demilitarizing and diversifying the police, have only backfired.

Portland, like countless other Democrat urban strongholds, proved that the more money is spent on homeless services, the worse homelessness becomes. Disarming police officers leads to more people taking the law into their own hands. And black cops will enforce the law just like white cops. They’re also less cowed by political correctness and more willing to speak their minds than their white counterparts.

The city government has turned Portland into a miserable hellhole, but individuals are stepping up.

In the Montavilla area, the Montavilla Initiative has been organizing neighborhood watches, foot patrols and monitoring area crime. Pro-crime and homeless advocates have accused them of being "vigilantes", but area residents see them as filling a vital need. It’s one of eight patrol groups in the area.

The Initiative describes a neighborhood needle exchange program degenerating into “human waste in neighbors’ yards, a large vehicle hosting drug deals in the parking lot of the exchange, heroin users shooting up and passing out and then driving off intoxicated, people urinating and defecating in public, clients shooting up in neighbors’ yards, even having sex on a neighbor’s front porch.”

It’s no wonder that Portland’s formerly hot housing market is cooling off and home values are falling. As housing prices increase, not everyone wants to pay record prices to live next to a needle exchange.

The escape from Portland has begun.

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

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Tuesday, January 08, 2019

2 Illegal Alien Killers, 1 Sanctuary State, 200 Miles of Terror

Less than 200 miles separate Tulare County and Stanislaus County. And a little over a week separates the two reigns of terror in these two California counties by Gustavo Garcia and Gustavo Perez Arriaga.

Both Gustavos were dangerous and violent illegal aliens. On Monday, December 17, Gustavo Garcia went on a murderous rampage that killed at least two people and put seven more in the hospital. On Wednesday, December 26, Gustavo Perez Arriaga murdered a law enforcement officer at a traffic stop.

Cpl. Ronil Singh, murdered by the second Gustavo, and Rocky Paul Jones and Rolando Soto, murdered by the first Gustavo, did not have to die. They died because California’s sanctuary state law took their lives.

Gustavo Garcia had a criminal record dating back to 2002 covering everything from illegal weapons to meth. He had been deported in 2004 and then again in 2014. There had been three immigration holds on the illegal alien criminal. Before he began his murderous spree, Tulare County sheriff's deputies arrested him. ICE put a hold on him as a dangerous illegal alien. But because of California's sanctuary state law, local law enforcement had to let him loose. A few days later, the illegal alien’s carnage began.

Garcia shot a farmworker picking fruit in the chest, robbed a mini-mart at gunpoint of $2,000, shot and killed a man, shot at a woman in the parking lot of a Motel 6, wounding her in the arm and torso, opened fire at two gas stations, killing Rocky Jones, fired shots into several homes, including the home of his ex-girlfriend, forcing her and her children to flee, opened fire on the deputies pursuing him, stole a car from three other farmworkers at gunpoint, and got into a high speed chase while deliberately trying to hit other cars.

He exchanged fire with pursuing cops during the chase, and smashed into other cars while going 100 miles, taking his own life and putting four other people in the hospital, including one critically wounded.

And that’s actually an incomplete list of the illegal alien killer’s crimes after the ICE hold wasn’t honored.

"Before SB 54, Gustavo Garcia would have been turned over to ICE officials. That’s how we’ve always done it, day in and day out. After SB 54, we no longer have the power to do that," Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said.

SB54, euphemistically named the California Values Act, banned local law enforcement officers from holding illegal aliens in custody on immigration detainers or communicating with immigration authorities. Introduced by Senator Kevin de Leon and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, the sanctuary state bill illegally made California a sanctuary state and tied the hands of law enforcement.

A little over a week had passed when Gustavo Perez Arriaga was pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving early in the morning. He shot Cpl. Ronil Singh, an immigrant from Fiji, and led law enforcement on a 55 hour manhunt as he fled for the Mexican border. When he was caught, he had traveled around 200 miles from the original scene of the crime. And he had taken the life of a family man and corporal.

Gustavo Perez Arriaga was an illegal migrant who had crossed the border into Arizona a few years ago. The illegal alien was allegedly a member of the Sureno gangs operating under the Mexican mafia. While he found employment as a farm worker, he boasted about his gang membership on social media and racked up drunk driving arrests that couldn’t be used to deport him because California’s sanctuary state law prevented law enforcement from doing anything until it was too late. Now it’s too late.

Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson blamed California sanctuary state laws for Singh's death and questioned why Sacramento was “providing sanctuary for criminals, gang members”. Cpl. Ronil Singh would have been alive, he pointed out, if his future killer had been deported.

Sanctuary state law advocates claim that they want to protect immigrants. Instead they killed one.

“Deepest condolences to the family of Cpl. Ronil Singh of the Newman Police Department. Our hearts are heavy during this holiday season. You truly lived the American Dream,” Senator Kevin de Leon tweeted.

Singh had been living the American Dream, until Kevin de Leon’s illegal alien nightmare took his life.

Singh "immigrated here lawfully and legally to pursue his American dream,” Sheriff Adam Christianson said. “He achieved that goal and his dream was taken from him."

Under fire, Senator Kevin de Leon doubled down on putting illegal alien criminals ahead of legal immigrants. “The type of tone and attitude that Sheriff Christianson has taken instills fear and panic in all immigrant communities,” he ranted. The immigrants attacked by his illegal aliens may disagree.

Meanwhile ICE Out of California, the pro-illegal pressure group, blamed the illegal alien crime spree on “gun violence”. “The California Values Act,” it claimed, “is part of the solution.”

Law enforcement officers, even those like Sheriff Boudreaux, who support illegal aliens to some degree, however agree that the sanctuary state mandate is costing lives.

“We are very frustrated with the fact that the way the laws are set up currently that law enforcement hands are tied,” Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said. “Our county was shot up by a violent criminal that could have easily been prevented had we had the opportunity to reach out to our fellow counterparts.”

In Fresno County, Sheriff Margaret Mims has faced harassment over her cooperation with ICE. "It's ridiculous the state dictates the local law enforcement which other law enforcement agencies they can and can't talk to,” she said.

Meanwhile in Los Angeles, there’s a new pro-crime sheriff in town.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s upset victory had allegedly been illegally lubricated by straw donors. And the pro-crime figure is vowing to go further than ever to protect illegal aliens and has even threatened to “physically remove ICE from the county jails.

" Across California, the sanctuary state law has been putting more illegal alien criminals on the street.

In Monterey, ICE detentions dropped by 83%, from 217 to 36. In San Luis Obispo County, the 87 illegal alien criminals picked up by ICE in 2017 had dropped to 0. Other counties have been partial holdouts, maintaining some limited and diminishing cooperation with ICE despite illegal alien lobby pressure.

Similar battles are being fought in counties across California as the number of illegal criminals grows.

Sanctuary state defenders claim that these illegal alien criminals are exceptions to the rule. But when Gustavo Perez Arriaga went on the run, after murdering a law enforcement officer, a network of illegal aliens stepped out of the shadows to help him flee justice and return to Mexico.

7 men and women were arrested for aiding the cop-killer. Every one of them is an illegal alien.

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

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Thank you for reading.

Monday, January 07, 2019

Who's Behind the War on Orthodox Jewish Schools?

In 2016, a poll showed Trump beating Hillary Clinton 66% to 22% among Orthodox Jews. This wasn’t as unusual as it sounds. In New York City, Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods light up as islands in a lefty sea.

Romney won over 90% of the vote in some Orthodox Jewish areas.

Traditional religious beliefs are associated with conservative politics among Jews the same way that they are among Christians. 60% of Jews who attended weekly religious services disapproved of Obama while those who didn’t, mostly supported him. Why do American Jews lean much more to the left? Because only 11% of American Jews attend weekly synagogue services. Well below the 40% national average.

Only 34% of American Jews are certain that they believe in G-d. What do they believe in? When asked what it means to be Jewish, 56% mentioned social justice, 42% comedy and only 19% percent mentioned anything involving religion. Meanwhile 63% of Israeli Jews believe “completely” in G-d.

Last year, Trump’s approval rating among Orthodox Jews was at 71%. The American Jewish Committee’s Survey wrote the results up glumly as “We have seen the future, and it looks Orthodox".

Establishment Jewish groups, which suddenly woke up and realized that the majority of Jewish children in New York City were Orthodox Jews, are preparing to fight that future. If those children are allowed to grow up Orthodox, the end of the Jewish Left will have arrived. And so they came after the children.

The New York State Department of Education now threatens to shut down Jewish schools and report parents who refuse to send their children to leftist government schools to child protection authorities. As in the Soviet Union, giving a child a Jewish education would be treated as evidence of child abuse. The government would be able to abduct children for the crime of receiving a Jewish education.

The new "Indian Residential Schools" had arrived.

Jewish schools aren’t the only targets of this discriminatory campaign by the educational establishment. Catholic schools have also come under attack with the Archdiocese of New York posting an editorial that declares, “Leviathan has now focused its attention on religious schools here in New York, with the clear intention of either forcing them to submit to its authority or face destruction.”

The public face of the campaign against Jewish schools is YAFFED or Young Advocates for Fair Education. Its members claim to be the products of Orthodox Jewish schools whose poor education left them so unprepared for the real world that all they were able to do was launch an extremely effective statewide campaign whose press releases and talking points are quoted verbatim in every single media outlet.

As in March for Our Lives, young faces are used to hide the agendas of the old lefties behind the curtain.

While Naftuli Moster, YAFFED’s executive director, plays its equivalent of David Hogg, speaking to media outlets and appearing at forums to discuss the incredible intellectual disadvantage that the same educational system that produced generations of visionary thinkers and geniuses burdened him with, Hannah Rothstein, a not remotely “young” Baruch College prof, serves as its president.

Hannah Rothstein also serves on the board of Footsteps, an organization working to secularize Orthodox Jews and transition them to an irreligious lifestyle. She’s a Trump critic and an Obama supporter.

She has also donated to Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Al Franken, Beto O’Rourke and Cory Booker. Her repeated out of state donations, some through ActBlue, show a woman passionate about the Left. And the growing Orthodox Jewish population poses a threat to everything that Rothstein has been funding.

Moster, YAFFED’s public face, is also a Footsteps graduate. Pesach Eisen, a Yaffed member who testified in its cause, is a Footsteps member and a fellow with the radical leftist Jews for Racial & Economic Justice which denies the existence of lefty anti-Semitism even as it defends leftist anti-Semites. Eisen demonstrates how Footsteps and YAFFED act as arms of the broader anti-Jewish Left.

And Moster has, in turn, defended the anti-Semitic Women’s March.

Anita Altman serves on the Board of Directors of YAFFED and her bio boasts of helping numerous Footsteps clients. In 2014, she had signed an angry letter, declaring, “AIPAC speaks for Israel’s hard-line government and its right-wing supporters, and for them alone; it does not speak for us.” The signatories included a range of anti-Israel activists, supporters of BDS and defenders of anti-Semitic terrorism.

Altman has also signed a letter backing anti-Semitic Farrakhan supporter Linda Sarsour.

Altman is, unsurprisingly, no fan of religious Jews. In a bizarre interview, which repeatedly warns of a "khasidic takeover", she complained that there is "fear" when "it comes to government dealing with these fundamentalist communities." Then she compared Orthodox Jews to Iran.

That’s the medieval bigotry behind YAFFED and the war on Orthodox Jewish schools.

YAFFED’s bid is all about lefties using the government to deal with “fundamentalists” under the guise of helping the few formerly Orthodox members of Footsteps being used as fronts for the hateful operation.

Altman isn’t the only anti-Israel activist in YAFFED. Its communications director, Abigail Beatty, also allegedly works for the anti-Israel NIF, an organization notorious for its funding of leftist and BDS group.

YAFFED claims to advocate for “the rights of Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox children”. But it appears to be another face of Footsteps: an organization advocating against the traditional religious practices of Orthodox Judaism.

The people behind YAFFED have the right to advocate for discriminatory policies targeting the Orthodox Jewish community, in order to force Jewish parents to take their children out of Jewish schools.

They have the right to do so in the name of their radical leftist politics and hatred of religion.

But they have no right to masquerade as an organization fighting for the rights of the very people they are persecuting. Instead of highlighting these obvious connections, the media has chosen to act as the echo chamber for YAFFED while denying the Jewish communities targeted by Altman and her ilk, a voice.

Anonymous stories and bots have been used to manufacture a group of Orthodox Jewish parents and children who are “suffering” in the Jewish school system, but oddly, choose not to leave it.

These astroturf tactics are being used to justify discrimination and harassment of a religious community.

It’s about more than just the bigotry of Anita Altman, obsessed with recreating Philip Roth’s Eli the Fanatic. Behind the fresh young faces, there are elderly veterans of the lefty political establishment, many with backgrounds in education and academia, who see religious Jewish education as a threat.

An economic threat and also a political threat.

In a letter to a Democrat councilmember, David Bloomfield, claimed that the war on Jewish schools would enable their students to “vote outside the confines of their deterministic communities”.

Bloomfield has written a number of articles and appeared at Yaffed forums attempting to pressure the government into cracking down on Jewish schools.

At stake are two very different visions of education and the future.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recently visited Orthodox Jewish schools and touted them as models of school choice. There is no word in the English language that the Left hates more than “choice”.

The education lobby has gone to war against charter schools. And Orthodox Jewish schools are seen as even worse than charter schools. They don’t bow to the teachers’ unions. The money their parents spend on education doesn’t end up in the pockets of union bosses and their Democrat political allies.

The Orthodox Jewish community has helped drive the expansion of voucher programs. And school choice is an existential threat to the educational establishment and the political power of the Left.

Orthodox Jewish communities have fueled support for school choice not only in New York, but in swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, endangering presidential elections.

Something had to be done about those pesky Jews. Now something is being done.

The Left’s vision of the educational system is Footsteps and Yaffed writ large, a machine for destroying communities, undermining their traditions, and crushing parental authority so that academics can reinvent the children in their own cultural and political image. That’s what happened to American Jews.

Now the same people who a century ago turned a generation of immigrants from believers in G-d to believers in social justice see another Jewish demographic threat and want to do it all over again.

On Sabbath, hundreds of thousands of Orthodox Jews will read the story of how an ancient Egyptian leader grew disgusted with rising Jewish demographics. "Behold, the numbers of the children of Israel are too many," he tells his political allies. "Come, let us deal cunningly with them, lest they multiply."

On Fifth Avenue, the establishment pharaohs, whose faith is not in Isis or Hathor, but in progressive social justice, look at the children in Jewish schools across New York City and bitterly echo his words.

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

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Friday, January 04, 2019

Government Shuts Down, Nation Descends into Riots, Looting and Cannibalism

The United States of America (1787-2018) came to a swift and sudden end last week as the government shut down. The nation which had survived Pearl Harbor, the War of 1812 and Jimmy Carter ceased to exist.

The savage population, which had only been kept in line through a policy of rigorous gun
confiscations, food stamps and lectures on the environment  unleashed its pent up rage in a spree of riots, looting and mass murder that had only previously been encountered in Somalia, Russia and a Walmart in downtown Atlanta.

"The government shut down! We can do anything we like," shouted Sam Hasbley of Grassley, Iowa, while tearing the tag off a mattress despite an explicit warning label forbidding such a dangerous course of action. "Tear yours off. The government is shut down. It can't stop you."

Eyewitnesses spoke of further horrors. On a quiet street in suburban Massachusetts, a man brought out a set of highly illegal lawn darts. In Maryland, there were allegations that an entire family had begun digging ditches to collect rainwater runoff. In Alabama, a farmer fed his hogs homegrown lettuce that had been certified by the state, but not by the Federal Trilateral Hog Commission

With the fall of the government, citizen activists took it upon themselves to chronicle the culture of lawlessness. Men heated their homes with coal stoves. Women bought cold medicine without a photo ID. Children went hours without hearing lectures about the environment.

The victims were many.

In Chuckolod County, Colorado, a transgender person was denied access to the Ladies Room. Frantic calls to the Justice Department were forwarded to an answering service in Depar, India, instead of Doneparre City, Indiana. In Brooklyn, New York, an overweight Iraqi woman was unable to obtain a sign language interpreter while waiting on line to collect her free Obamaphone. In Olegon Falls, Florida, the National Museum of Native American Yarn was forced to shut down depriving schoolchildren of an educational experience and three hours throwing bits of yarn at each other.

And there was worse to come.

The entire city of Detroit was seized by the Michigan Militia backed by Canadian air power. The village of Frankfurt, Illinois passed several ordinances in explicit violation of Title MXVIII of the Federal Charter of Approved Fruit Naming Ordinances. North Dakota seceded and declared that it was now the nation of Bismarckia, elected a Kaiser and petitioned to join OPEC.

An army of Mongols or possibly local residents dressed in Samurai helmets raided the Federal Dried Peach Reserve in Georgia hauling away thousands of tons of dried fruit and tossed them to waiting crowds. The end of food stamps in Mathomat, New Jersey led to an outbreak of cannibalism despite efforts by Planned Parenthood volunteers to bring order to the proceedings by soliciting volunteers to give up their privilege and be fed to the people.

In Massey Hills, Virginia, a gang of politically incorrect sports mascots entered a workplace and implicitly hurt the feelings of several minorities. In Portland, Alaska, attempts to resettle Syrian ISIS members in a town gymnasium led to the refugees instead being eaten by formerly protected wolves.

In Madison, Wisconsin, the entire United Organized Educators and Librarians Union attempted to commit mass suicide on the front lawn of the Madison Center of Union History to protest budget cuts and school closings. Their efforts proved in vain when the gasoline they poured on themselves in a failed attempt at self-immolation turned out to be apple juice.

In Caplow City, Maine, President Gerald Ford, long thought dead and believed to have been buried in Michigan, appeared and declared himself to be the nation's new leader. While some suspect him to be an impostor based on the plastic texture of his mask which has a hastily erased message reading "Impeach Nixon" on the side, the city fathers have chosen to embrace the possibilities offered by Emperor Ford and have set him up in style in a presidential palace on the eight floor of the Caplow Arms Hotel.

In the midst of all this chaos, a weary nation's eyes turn to Washington D.C. But since the shutdown, which also shut off all power, water and press releases to the embattled city, no word has reached the outside world of what is taking place there. The last message was a smoke signal dispatched by Elizabeth Warren from the roof of a burning Capitol Building. An expert in Native American smoke signals decoded it to read, "I told you so. Now we're all doomed."

The only surviving member of the national government outside the dead zone is believed to be Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who floated to safety down the Potomac on a raft made out of the bodies of the other members of the Progressive Caucus.

She has since chosen to communicate only in horrified whispers and Instagram glamor shots.

As the nation descends into chaos, one thing is clear. The government shutdown has once again doomed us all. Just like the last 18 times.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Times Square Ball Drop Cheers Islamic Terror

The most miserable place in the world to be on New Year’s Eve is in Times Square where tourists who don’t know better are trapped in crowd control cattle pens with no bathrooms. Even if it doesn’t rain, no amount of corporate swag can compensate for having to stamp your frozen feet in puddles of urine with nothing to eat or drink for hours, in the faint hopes of actually seeing the big ball drop.

In addition to all the other miseries are the terror threats. With two million people expected to pack into a handful of blocks, New Year’s Eve in Times Square is on every Islamic terrorist’s Christmas wish list.

ISIS has made repeated threats to hit Times Square. And the NYPD is deploying countless cameras, drones, counter-sniper teams and bomb sniffing dogs. There are garbage trucks full of sand to stop car attacks like the one that killed 8 people near Ground Zero, when Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, a Muslim Uzbek immigrant, ran down tourists, and slammed into a school bus, shouting, “Allahu Akbar”.

After Akayed Ullah, a Muslim immigrant from Bangladesh, tried to blow himself up in the Times Square subway in December of last year, New York City cops are being trained to handle suicide bombers. Anyone trying to get inside the Times Square cattle pens gets screened at two separate points, sniffed by ‘Vapor Wake’ dogs, and forced to pass through a gauntlet of portable metal and radiation detectors.

The more than 5,000 police officers will be checking bags (no bombs, guns or alcohol are allowed), evacuating 125 local garages, patrolling the hallways of area hotels and screening their guests. These elaborate security measures make an already miserable event more miserable.

But they are necessary because of the history of Islamic terror in Times Square.

In 2010, Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani Muslim immigrant, tried to detonate a car bomb in Times Square. The 2008 IED bombing of the Times Square military recruiting station still remains unsolved, despite camera footage of the perpetrator and a sizable reward. In 2012, Raees Alam Qazi and Sheheryar Alam Qazi, Pakistani Muslim immigrants, scouted New York bombing targets, including Times Square.

Two other Muslim brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Chechen refugee immigrants who carried out the Boston Marathon bombing, had wanted to detonate six bombs in Times Square.

In 2016, Mohamed Rafik Naji, a Yemeni Muslim immigrant who, like the Ground Zero car attacker worked as an Uber driver, talked about running over people in Times Square with a truck. This year, Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, the Muslim son of Egyptian immigrants to Canada, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for terror plots that included the potential bombing of Times Square.

But why bother with the wands and secondary screenings, the vapor dogs, drones and helicopters? On this New Year’s Eve, Islamic terrorism is the guest of honor at the Times Square ball drop.

Jamal Khashoggi, the media’s favorite Jihadist, is being honored as his Washington Post editor, Karen Attiah, will be one of the guests of honor looking down on the masses freezing in cattle pens below.

Khashoggi had gotten his start glamorizing Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan at the behest of a man named by the Treasury Department as one of “the world’s foremost terrorist financiers”. Osama and Jamal had been old friends and fellow members of the Muslim Brotherhood international Jihad network. When Osama bin Laden was getting Al Qaeda off the ground, he had called Khashoggi with the scoop.

Afterward, Khashoggi had gone to work for Prince Turki bin Faisal, allegedly linked to Al Qaeda by the twentieth hijacker. There, he tried to spin 9/11 by blaming it on American foreign policy and Israel.

Americans "want total cooperation in their fight against terror according to their own definition of what terrorism is and exactly who the terrorists are. But Saudi Arabia will not give in to such demands," he had declared.

After the Saudis decided to get out of the Islamic terror business, Khashoggi turned to the biggest remaining Sunni state sponsor of terror, Qatar. While the media clamors that he was a “journalist”, even his backers were recently forced to admit that his columns were actually lobbying by Qatar.

“Text messages between Khashoggi and an executive at Qatar Foundation International show that the executive, Maggie Mitchell Salem, at times shaped the columns he submitted to The Washington Post, proposing topics, drafting material and prodding him to take a harder line against the Saudi government,” the Washington Post conceded.

The Qatar Foundation was set up by the terror state’s former Emir and is chaired by his consort. The Foundation had sponsored events involving Islamic clerics, including Omar Abdelkafi, who had described the Islamic massacre of Charlie Hebdo journalists in France as “the sequel to the comedy film of 9/11”.

The Washington Post, the Times Square Alliance and New York City are treating an Osama bin Laden friend and terror state lobbyist as a journalist, while the Qatar Foundation that ran him sponsored an Islamic figure who mocked the actual murder of journalists by Islamic terrorists.

The Qatar Foundation had also allegedly hosted Saleh al-Moghamsy, who had praised Osama bin Laden, Abdulaziz al-Fawzan, who had urged "positive hatred" of Christians, and Salman al-Audah, who had accused Jews of baking matzos for Passover with "human blood", claiming that they believe "that this brings them close to their false god.”

This is what the Washington Post got in bed with when it began publishing the Qatar Foundation’s catspaw. And this is what the rest of the media crawled into bed with when it turned him into a martyr.

This is the toxic torrent of Jihadist anti-Semitic, anti-Christian filth being celebrated with the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

When Salman al-Audah was facing the death penalty as part of Saudi Arabia’s new reform initiatives, Qatar’s Al Jazeera informational propaganda network came to his defense, calling the vile bigot a “reformer” and “prominent scholar” who has fallen victim to a crackdown on “dissent” against the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Saudis have also arrested Abdulaziz al-Fawzan, and Qatari and Muslim Brotherhood fronts have launched a “human rights” campaign in his defense.

When the media stands on the side of Qatar, this is what it’s supporting. And the stench of Qatari collaboration is worse than even the smell of sweat and urine in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

The Qatari terror regime is closely tied to Iran and backs every Islamic terror movement from the Taliban to Hamas. The 9/11 Commission report found that a member of the Qatari royal family had harbored Sheikh Khalid Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on America.

Abdulkarim al-Thani, a member of Qatar’s royal family, allegedly ran a safe house for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the mastermind of Al Qaeda in Iraq, the terror group that eventually turned into ISIS.

Why bother subjecting tourists from Wisconsin and Texas to multiple screenings to stop ISIS, when you’re using the ball drop as a platform for the political allies and backers of ISIS?

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

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Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

The Biggest Democrat Expert on Russian Trolls was a Russian Troll

When the Democrats and the media wanted to prove that Russian trolls were everywhere, and supporting Republicans, they turned to Jonathon Morgan and Renee DiResta.

Morgan and DiResta had originally been part of Obama’s futile effort to fight ISIS on social media, before discovering a much more lucrative field. ISIS was losing on the battlefield and the Democrats were losing elections. The Hillary campaign had hatched a conspiracy theory blaming its loss on Russian trolls. And Morgan and DiResta soon became the experts providing the data linking Republicans to Russian trolls.

Every time there was a story on Russian election interference, Morgan would show up on CNN or NBC. And his message was the same, the Russian bots were everywhere and they were a major threat.

Morgan and DiResta soon had a company name, New Knowledge, and were brought on board by the Senate Intelligence Committee to produce a report on Russian influence operations in the 2016 election. Despite the fact that a second report found that most of the Russian trolling efforts had been directed at African-Americans, the New Knowledge report claimed that this was a Russian conspiracy to aid Trump.

The New York Times, which frequently promoted and published New Knowledge conspiracy theories, all but credited DiResta for having exposed the whole Russian-Republican troll conspiracy, and wrote that, “Senate and House staff members, who knew of DiResta's expertise through her public reports and her previous work advising the Obama administration on disinformation campaigns, had reached out to her and others to help them prepare for the hearings.” They seemingly included Senator Warner’s office.

And it wasn’t just the 2016 election. Morgan, who made no secret of his loathing for conservatives, claimed that the Russian bots were everything and aiding Republicans.

When the #ReleasetheMemo hashtag went viral, Morgan, now running his own company, New Knowledge, was there suggesting it might be Russian bots. The debates about gun control after the Parkland school massacre? More Russian bots. The migrant caravan? Obviously a fake news conspiracy.

"That whole news cycle was dominated by this type of conspiratorial fear-mongering," Morgan sniffed, even though his current career is based around conspiratorial lefty fear-mongering.

And the midterm elections?

"Russians Meddling in the Midterms? Here’s the Data," Morgan and Ryan Fox, a New Knowledge employee, warned. “Our company is currently detecting more overall activity in real time from continuing Russian online influence operations targeting the midterm elections than has been disclosed by social media platforms or detected by researchers during the same period before the election in 2016.”

The Russians were even going all the way into Alabama. “Russian trolls tracked by #Hamilton68 are taking an interest in the AL Senate race. What a surprise,” Morgan tweeted.

It wouldn’t have been much of a surprise to him because the “Russian trolls” supporting Roy Moore in Alabama were actually his trolls.

A New York Times story was forced to reveal that Morgan had participated in what a report described as, “an elaborate ‘false flag’ operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet” thereby “radicalizing Democrats with a Russian bot scandal”

The goal was to “enrage and energize Democrats” and “depress turnout” among Republicans.

The bots used Cyrillic letters and pictures of celebrities. Just in case anyone still didn’t get the message, they included, “I love Russia” in their profiles. When the Moore campaign accused the Democrats of being behind the dirty trick, the Jones campaign doubled down on the Russia smear, declaring, "Maybe Moore should check with Vladimir Putin, who shares his views on depriving people of their civil rights."

But Moore had been telling the truth. It had been a Democrat operation. The media’s greatest expert on Russian trolling had not only falsely claimed that Russian trolls were backing Moore, he was involved.

Morgan, the New York Times and the Washington Post attempted to spin this as an experiment, but influencing an actual election is not an experiment. When Morgan’s people faked Russian bot support for a Republican candidate, and Morgan then helped spread the allegations, that’s not an experiment, it’s a dirty trick. And it raises serious questions about the Democrat’s entire Russian troll narrative.

How can we know that an Alabama special election was the only time that Democrats tried to frame Republicans with false flag operations meant to portray them as traitors and tools of foreign interests?

The Alabama project may have been an experiment, but not an abstract academic one. Its funding allegedly came from LinkedIn billionaire Reid Hoffman who has poured millions of dollars into ventures to harness “Silicon Valley” smarts to help Democrats win. Hoffman had previously been caught backing another slimy Facebook effort targeting conservatives and Trump supporters.

An internet disinformation campaign headed by a disinformation expert would be very “Silicon Valley”.

Hoffman had teamed up with Mark Pincus, the co-founder of Zynga, a slimy Facebook firm whose unofficial motto was allegedly, “Do Evil”, on WTF, to explore new strategies. New Knowledge also had backing from French-Iranian billionaire Pierre Omidyar who had made his fortune with eBay. Silicon Valley lefties have been pouring money into new tech efforts for the Left.

It’s worth asking whether some of the dot com billionaires who backed Morgan, New Knowledge or similar efforts to push regulation of Facebook had a plan for profiting from its fall.

The Alabama project’s success could have been used to convince Hoffman and other lefty dot com donors to back similar false flag campaigns targeting Republicans around the country.

Alabama likely was an experiment in tactics. Morgan’s exposure won’t make it go away.

Hillary’s Russian conspiracy theory has evolved into a Cloward-Piven strategy aimed at free speech on the internet in which disinformation is used to attribute conservative speech to a Russian conspiracy requiring immediate regulation of Facebook and other social media companies to avert the crisis.

And if the Russians won’t cooperate, the Russian bots will be lefty hipsters funded by Silicon Valley.

Jonathon Morgan had tweeted, “Facebook and the other social media companies should not be trusted to police themselves. The self-serving attempts to undermine the credibility of those holding these companies accountable are reprehensible.”

New Knowledge's Director of Research, Renee DiResta, had written an editorial titled, “Why Facebook and Twitter Can’t Be Trusted to Police Themselves”.

After years of demanding that regulators force Facebook to crack down on Russian fake news trolls, Morgan finally got what he wanted when Facebook suspended his account over Russian trolling.

Russian election interference was a crisis that the Democrats had manufactured and that their media echo chamber had amplified. Morgan is accused of manufacturing it in the most explicit way possible.

But we can’t really know to what extent Morgan’s experiment has already been replicated. What we know about Russian election interference has largely come from experts like Morgan and New Knowledge. The internet is a shadowy realm and it’s not hard for actors to impersonate one another.

The Russians may have started out by impersonating Americans, only to have Americans impersonate Russians. When public trust in institutions fails, conspiracy theories and conspirators thrive. Morgan’s dirty tricks arose from the same paranoid atmosphere of conspiracy theories weaponized into investigations, opposition research transformed into armed raids, research being secretly planted into the DOJ, and national emergencies being declared over Facebook memes, in which he thrived.

The Russian conspiracy theory had given Democrat outrage form, substance and an agenda. Having invented the conspiracy theory, they also had to invent the crimes that made it real.

To paraphrase Pogo, the Democrats had finally found the Russian troll enemy and he is us.

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

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Why Won't Obama Let RFK Rest in Peace?

Following in the footsteps of notable luminaries like Bill and Hillary Clinton, Robert DeNiro, George Clooney and Taylor Swift, the Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award was bestowed on Barack Obama.

That's not to be confused with the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights awards which were already given out this year to the teen gun control front group, March for Our Lives and to advocates for illegal aliens.

The award, an ugly misshapen bust of RFK which looks to be permanently grimacing in pain (and who can blame him), goes for under $5,000 on the open market. One of the tchotchkes owned by the Kennedy family was sold for $3,336, which can be cheaper than actually going to the ceremony.

And probably more respectful to RFK whose grave at Arlington ripples at every ‘Ripple of Hope’.

Like France’s Legion of Honour, it’s hard to find anyone who’s anyone who doesn’t have one. (If they haven’t sold them yet to pay for a trip to the Bahamas.) Al Gore and Joe Biden have them on a shelf somewhere. If you visit the Kennedy clan, you’re bound to get one as a going away present.

Giving out awards named after RFK at the Hilton Midtown in New York is one of the few things that the foundation named after him seems to do. Its leadership has undergone a grueling grind of three award ceremonies just this year. But the RFK awards in their glorious meaninglessness help bored New York celebs and CEOs answer the question of what to do when they haven’t picked up an award in a year.

Obama had given away plenty of the ugly little things, so it was his turn to actually get one of his own. His first time at the RFKs had been to hand out the award to ACORN activist Stephen Bradberry, who had insisted that New Orleans was suffering from “a concerted plan to make this a whiter city.”

That was 2005 and both Barry and Bradberry were auditioning for bigger things. Barry made it, Bradberry didn’t. These days his bio lists a few accomplishments. One of them is the claim that, “Bradberry is the only American individual to receive the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.”

It depends on how you define American.

In 2009, Obama was handing out the little statues of RFK at the White House. If he had any real concern for human rights, he would have done the decent thing and let Robert F. Kennedy rest in peace.

Instead, he showed up grinning and tilting his head for the cameras at the New York Midtown Hilton.

In his acceptance speech, he often spoke of hope. But it’s hard to look at a map of the country or the world and find one place on it that feels more hopeful after his years in office. Are Americans more hopeful than they were in 2008? Are people in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, or South America more hopeful? Where can you find Obama and ‘hope’ together except at the RFK Ripple of Hope awards?

Obama urged attendees at the gala to reject cynicism and embrace hope. Then he sat back down next to New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, a Goldman Sachs executive and top Den donor who bought an ambassadorship from Obama and then bought a gubernatorial election, and is now enmeshed in a scandal involving a sexual assault by a staffer that the perpetually smirking politician chose to ignore.

But mere sexual assaults can no more slow down the Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope awards than it ever slowed down the real life Kennedys.

Murphy thanked the people giving him an award for "keeping the legacy and spirit of RFK alive". The legacy and spirit of RFK apparently involves handing out awards to racists, rape enablers and murderers.

Three health care CEOs have received the Ripple of Hope award. As did Bono, Wyclef Jean, George Clooney, Tony Bennett, Robert DeNiro, and Taylor Swift, for dating a member of the Kennedy family. If dating a Kennedy (and surviving) isn’t a true commitment to human rights, I don’t know what is.

Alec Baldwin was there as the emcee for the second year in a row despite recently being arrested and charged with assault after punching a man during a fight over a parking spot. Baldwin’s history of altercations may have prevented him from receiving a Ripple of Hope Award, but it didn’t prevent him from emceeing another of them. Nothing short of murder in broad daylight would have done it.

(Drowning a woman in a car at night or murdering a teenage girl in her backyard also doesn’t count according to the Kennedy code of ethics.)

Also speaking was Tom Brokaw, who recently had his own #MeToo moment.

Sadly, there was no mention of one of the RFK award’s first recipients, Winnie Mandela, who had recently passed away and gone to whatever place the murderers of teenage boys are summoned.

Four years after winning the prestigious human rights award, Winnie Mandela and her thugs murdered Stompie Moeketsi Seipei, a 14-year-old boy, in a failed effort to get him to make a false accusation of molestation against a white Methodist minister active in the fight against Apartheid.

"I slaughtered him like a goat," one of her thugs testified.

Jerry Richardson, the thug, called Mandela, "Mommy", and described beating, killing and torturing people on her orders.

Stompie had been beaten for days, including by Winnie Mandela who used her fists and a whip.

"She was singing when she started the assault on us," another of the RFK Human Rights award winner's victims described.

Yet another victim described Winnie Mandela dancing to the rhythm of the blows.

Another of Mandela’s thugs stated that, “Madikizela-Mandela told me to sing loudly to drown the voices of those being brutally assaulted.”

It certainly puts Alec Baldwin into perspective.

The Robert F. Kennedy award ceremonies are an embarrassment to RFK, who, for all his flaws, didn’t deserve this. No one does. Some leaders hope to have bridges and rivers named after them. Nobody really wants to have the CEO of a health care company and a bunch of trashy cable channels explain how connected to you they feel in their work of killing the elderly and making millennials even dumber.

Discovery CEO David Zaslav claimed that his company was carrying forward RFK's legacy by "informing, inspiring and educating its global viewers with deeply loved content."

It's hard to say whether RFK would have seen his legacy more in Battlebots, Naked and Afraid or Deadliest Catch. Or whether he would come back to haunt the Ripple of Hope awards if he could.

But you can’t deny that when it isn’t handing out worthless awards that make RFK roll over in his grave, that the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights foundation occasionally makes a difference in people’s lives.

Just last October, RFK Human Rights bailed out Tamika West, a career criminal in New York with 27 arrests for burglary, prostitution and drugs, to prove that bail is unfair to “people living in poverty.”

That was according to Kerry Kennedy, who can’t stop handing out awards to random Democrats.

This December, Tamika was busted for stealing toys for needy kids, after lighting a crack pipe, and going on her merry way.

Look for her to be next year’s Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope honoree.

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

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Hillary's Russia Doomsday Scenario

The Steele dossier, a document produced by Christopher Steele at the behest of the Clinton campaign is ground zero for the Russia conspiracy theory that is tearing apart the country. Even the Mueller investigation has its ultimate roots in the eavesdropping carried out by the Obama administration using the dossier as evidence and the dubious and unverified claims made by Steele in the dossier.

But why did the Clinton campaign ever set out to create such a document?

The Steele dossier has been described as opposition research and it was certainly circulated among reporters in order to spread the Russia conspiracy theory in the media, but its contents were circulated more in the Obama era FBI and the DOJ, and its media rounds seemed more geared to creating stories that would justify a FISA warrant than to any serious effort to sway the electorate with its attacks.

The dossier was never convincing opposition research because its central claim, that Trump was a Russian agent, was too farfetched and detached from election issues to ever connect with voters. It required the complicity of the FBI and the DOJ, and Mueller’s sanction, to give it any credibility.

The dossier’s real role was legal, not political. It wasn’t meant for the tabloids, but to create a pretext for an investigation of Trump and his associates. And so it’s easy to see its usefulness to the Dems today.

But why create a pretext for a secret investigation of Trump before the election was even done?

The FISA warrants had always raised the possibility that the investigation was used to collect information on a rival campaign. And, because of the slow pace of declassification and the lack of a thorough release of information about exactly what was done and who was responsible, that remains a real possibility. But a recent statement by Christopher Steele raises an even more disturbing possibility.

Steele had been hired by Fusion GPS, a smear firm, which in turn had been hired by the Clinton campaign through Perkins Coie.

In response to a lawsuit, Steele admitted that, “Fusion’s immediate client was law firm Perkins Coie. It engaged Fusion to obtain information necessary for Perkins Coie LLP to provide legal advice on the potential impact of Russian involvement on the legal validity of the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election.”

“Based on that advice, parties such as the Democratic National Committee and HFACC Inc. (also known as ‘Hillary for America’) could consider steps they would be legally entitled to take to challenge the validity of the outcome of that election.”

The Steele dossier would have been mostly worthless in a conventional legal challenge of the election outcome, but it was used to launch a very different brand of “legal challenge” that is more often seen in banana republics in which police powers are abused to target the political opposition.

It is highly implausible that the Clinton campaign had hired a firm to investigate the possibility of Russian election tampering as far back as April or June. But it could have been laying the groundwork for a variety of scenarios, including a doomsday scenario in which Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump.

It’s a matter of faith among both Democrats and Republicans that Hillary Clinton never expected to lose. And there’s certainly plenty of evidence of arrogance and complacency by the Clinton campaign. But Steele’s reply offers evidence that some people in the Clinton campaign had a doomsday plan.

To understand why, consider the unique natures of both the Clinton and Trump campaigns.

The Clinton campaign wasn’t just a candidacy thrown together a year or two before an election. It was Clintonworld, a political network going back decades, an interface between government, charity and political campaigns, with loyalists whose entire careers had been built around the Clintons. There’s been nothing quite like it in American history. And it all depended on one unappealing politician. Hillary.

Clintonworld had been badly burned by Hillary’s loss to Obama. The Clinton Foundation wasn’t just about Bill and Hillary. It gave Clintonworlders their own embassy with an international presence, employment opportunities and networking. It was the royal court in exile of the Clintons and it allowed them to maintain an army of loyalists to launch yet another bid for the White House.

A second defeat would be catastrophic because it would kill Clintonworld leaving behind an army of unemployed and unemployable Clintonites with egg on their face after having lost yet another expensive election and burned through another vast fortune of donor cash. And few in the golden halls of Clintonworld wanted to take the fall for Hillary’s poor people skills and lack of popular appeal.

They needed a potential election defeat to be illegitimate even before it happened.

But there was something even bigger at stake. Shortly after Steele got to work on his dossier, Trump was cheering the “Lock her up” chants directed at Hillary. The Clintons had done plenty of things to be locked up for. But Clintonworld staffers knew that Bill and Hillary were unlikely to ever go down. If a new DOJ were to seriously go after them, it would be the minions of Clintonworld who would take the fall.

The Steele dossier became Plan B. A doomsday scenario in case the impossible truly happened.

Was Plan B meant to be Hillary’s revenge by bringing down her rival even if he defeated her? Was it a conspiracy to cripple any possible investigation of the Clintons by instead enmeshing Trump in legal troubles? Was it an excuse to eavesdrop on the Trump campaign? A last ditch effort by Clinton staffers to justify their loss? It could be any and all of the above. But the tactics do reveal certain clues.

The Russia theme enabled abuses like the FISA warrant. Any scandal short of foreign espionage would not have allowed the Obama administration and its Clinton allies to pull off their own Watergate. Being able to eavesdrop on Trump allies was crucial to the conspiracy. But false accusations are also revealing. The accusers tend to slander their targets by accusing them of their own crimes to cover them up. What Trump and his allies have been accused of, is what Clintonworld most feared being accused of.

General Michael Flynn was a special target. The NSC had been abused, and so had to be secured. But one obvious personal reason was the "Lock her up" chants. Revenge is a cliché, but it should never be overlooked when it comes to the famously spiteful Clintons. An ongoing investigation building to impeachment looks a lot like the Clintons seeking revenge for Bill.

Would the Clintons have diverted effort and energy from the campaign to plot a doomsday scenario? We don’t know, but a group in the campaign and integrated within the government certainly did.

There’s been a lot of talk about the ‘deep state’. But anyone who knows Washington D.C. also knows that there are many deep states. Some are ideological, most are careerist. Moving up the ladder is about making the right connections. Political patronage isn’t just a necessary evil, but a way of life. Transactional opportunism defines the microscopic political universe of the city that runs the country.

“Lock her up” was less of a threat to Hillary Clinton than to the people who had been doing her dirty work, and everyone who had been doing their dirty work. Even more than the threat of prison, the fall of Clintonworld was a blow to countless careers. And then there were the Obama people who weren’t invested in Clintonworld, but were concerned about the light being shined under their particular rock.

The Steele dossier was a clumsy instrument, but it got the job done. And if it was clumsy, that may be because no one ever thought that it would be truly needed or ever see the light of day. It was badly made because it wasn’t a priority. But then it was truly needed, and it was too late to fix it, so it had to be put into action as it was, with all its errors and absurd nonsense.

The Clinton campaign spared enough resources to create a post-election doomsday weapon. It built the weapon and detonated it. And the radioactivity from the blast has poisoned our political system.

Dirty tricks are part of politics. But few presidential candidates have the spite and hubris to create a dirty trick that blows up the presidency even when it can no longer benefit them in any obvious way.

Hillary Clinton never made history the way she wanted to. But she made history anyway.

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

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The Great Facebook Wars

Facebook got its start as FaceMash: a site comparing the attractiveness of female Harvard students. It was then reborn as a social network for Harvard students, Ivy League schools and then everyone.

More recent surveys showed that the average Facebook user in the United States is 40 years old. That makes Facebook users less likely to start stupid viral trends, those tend to come from younger social media apps, some owned by Facebook, and more likely to be deeply engaged in politics.

Mark Zuckerberg had created a company to appeal to college students who wanted to rate the cutest girls on campus, but is instead stuck with a monster worth hundreds of billions (that number will continue fluctuating with media hit pieces) used by people with actual jobs to share family photos and talk politics. And it’s the politics part, not the baby photos, that’s turning the heat up on Zuckerberg.

Despite the hundreds of billions of dollars, the marriage, the language lessons, the awkward tour of America, Zuckerberg is still on some level the drunken college kid who got in trouble setting up a site to rate his classmates. He doesn’t understand the stakes of the game. As Facebook aged, it became an unwanted gatekeeper for global politics, instead of for teens doing viral challenges.

And though Zuckerberg has given the media some of what it wants, allowing its “fact checkers” to censor certain trending conservative stories, he hasn’t allowed Twitter’s wholesale censorship.

Zuckerberg was told he had to clean up Facebook after Trump’s victory. He failed to do it. Now the Left and its media apparatus is coming for the heads of Facebook leadership. The endgame is to inflict punishing harm on Facebook’s valuation, forcing the company to replace its leadership with media types who will lock down Facebook and make it a safe space for the media and for its political agenda.

Facebook’s problem, the media insisted after Trump’s victory, was ‘fake news’. And ‘fake news’ was anything that didn’t come from the media. Or whose content the media didn’t like.

Michelle Goldberg in a New York Times call for regulating Facebook was more direct, “Without Facebook, Donald Trump probably wouldn’t be president, which is reason enough to curse its existence.”

Facebook has been blamed for nearly every populist movement that the Left hates, from Brexit to the victories of Duterte in the Philippines and Bolsonaro in Brazil, Buddhist protests against Muslim violence in Myanmar and the Yellow Jacket riots in France. None of these media hit pieces address the fact that Facebook is just as responsible for successful populist movements that favor the Left, and that social media is an agnostic political tool anyone can use because that is the whole point of the Facebook wars.

The Left doesn’t want anyone to be able to harness the social media tools of populism.

Censoring Facebook is about suppressing political dissent while promoting lefty political speech. And the best way to do that is to turn the media into the gatekeepers of what can appear on the internet.

Many of these hit pieces targeting Facebook came out of BuzzFeed, a viral site that had gotten big by barraging Facebook with listicles and memes, but that had transitioned with Facebook’s aging demographics into the realm of serious politics.

BuzzFeed was uniquely vulnerable and obsessed with Facebook’s algorithms. Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed's boss, has proposed battling Facebook by merging lefty viral trash sites like BuzzFeed, Vice and Vox together. BuzzFeed’s obsession with Facebook revenues captures the corrupt intersection between politics and profits that is at the heart of the media’s war against Facebook.

George Soros and his ilk want to regulate Facebook because they fear the power of populism. They see the media as a politically reliable entity pushing the public leftward while restraining blowback. The media wants to regulate Facebook because it offers too much scope for uncensored political dissent, but also because regulating its key distributor will lock in a business model that can assure its future.

Facebook became the dog and the media the tail. The media dog wants Facebook to be its tail.

The situation grew direr as digital lefty media’s revenues turned shaky. It’s why BuzzFeed is talking about a merger with Vice and Vox. Lefty media is already heavily subsidized by the huge companies that are making a fortune from the internet. The Washington Post is owned by Amazon’s boss. AT&T owns CNN and helps subsidize Vice. Verizon owns the Huffington Post. Netflix helps subsidize Vox. Facebook’s co-founder Chris Hughes took over New Republic and turned the former liberal magazine into a trashy leftist clickbait blog that runs stories like, “Facebook Betrayed America”.

The media wants to transform Facebook’s political and business models. Its campaign is backed by lefty billionaires like George Soros, who likely see both political and financial angles in taking over Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg and other Facebook leaders are on the Left. They haven’t been resisting the media’s censorship and George Soros’ coup because they believe in free speech, but because their business model depends on free speech. If Facebook is reduced to just recirculating Vox and BuzzFeed lefty clickbait, their failing business model will become Facebook’s failing business model.

Facebook has made concessions to the media mob, but it hasn’t given away everything. If its user base was still in college, it could censor more freely, but an older user demographic is also a more conservative one. As Facebook’s base aged, it also became more conservative. And the brand of comprehensive censorship that the media mob demands would destroy Facebook’s viability.

The new wave of media attacks is forcing Facebook to consider whether it would lose more value from the hit pieces or from defenestrating its user base. As tech stocks decline, the companies have become perfect targets for pressure campaigns. Facebook became the first company to lose over $100 billion in one day. That’s the atmosphere that explains why the pressure campaign was suddenly turned up.

If Facebook is ever going to be rolled, now’s the time.

History is rich and rotten with examples of radicals devouring their own clueless enablers. Silicon Valley is filled with companies that have enabled political radicals. The drivers of Porches, BMWs and Teslas with Bernie 2016 stickers on the back don’t really think that their money will be affected.

The digital darlings of the Left that specialized in social media clickbait bet everything on video and lost their shirts. They plan to survive by devouring Facebook. The dead tree media can’t wait for the cannibalistic orgy. And George Soros is happy to fund the astroturf protests to make it all happen.

The media began its war on Facebook by accusing it of hosting fake news. Now it’s fighting Facebook with false accusations of rigging elections, causing genocide and aiding right-wing populism.

The truth behind the fake news is that it’s about power and profits. The real enemy isn’t Facebook, it’s what it represents, a more open internet in which people aren’t passive consumers of CNN broadcasts and New York Times editorials, but get to choose what they watch, read and listen to. It’s a world of cable cord-cutters and social sharer activists who distrust the media and make up their own minds.

And it’s not an environment that can be controlled except by banning the political opposition.

The Great Facebook Wars are not just about one company; they’re about the structure and nature of the internet. They’re a bid by the media to reclaim a totalitarian top-down business model that has no place in the modern digital age and that cannot be maintained except through a totalitarian regime.

This isn’t about Facebook. It’s about freedom.

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

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