Sunday, September 15, 2019

Cory Booker Belongs in Jail Over Newark’s Water Crisis

Don’t drink the water in Newark.

The only thing worse than the crime and corruption in the New Jersey city that gave the nation Cory Booker is its drinking water. First, they found lead in the water in schools and then in people’s homes.

In some homes the lead content in the water is four times higher than the federal limit.

And Cory Booker, the Senator from New Jersey, running to run the country, is blaming racism.

"Newark's water emergency demands our federal government's immediate attention. Everyone
deserves clean, safe water - it's shameful that our national crisis of lead-contaminated water disproportionately hits poor black and brown communities like my own," Booker tweeted.

Did a “national crisis” cause Newark’s clean water crisis?

Booker probably forgot that he had served as the ex-officio chairman of the Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corporation. It's understandable that Spartacus forgot all about it because while he was running Newark, he never actually attended a single NWCDC meeting.

And, after a while, he stopped even pretending to send a representative.

The NWCDC was being paid $10 million a year to manage Newark’s water.

Linda Watkins-Brashear, a Booker ally and donor, worked as the director of the NWCDC. At least until she was arrested, tried and convicted in a $1 million kickback scheme. The scandal broke during Booker’s final year in office. And the NWCDC, Board of Trustees, which he was supposed to be overseeing, took swift action by dissolving the board, and writing a $450,000 check to Brashear.

It was Brashear’s second severance package. The first one, of $200,000, came when she left for three weeks while still continuing to receive her salary. That was the same year Booker took office.

Nice work if you can get it.

By the end, Booker hadn’t even bothered sending representatives to NWCDC board meetings, which were being illegally decided by three people, while handing his political ally years of no-bid contracts.

Brashear had donated thousands of dollars to Booker and volunteered on his campaign. And she used the organization that was supposed to oversee Newark’s clean water to write $200,000 in checks to herself, lose $558,000 in high risk margin trading, give her ex-husband a $332,000 no-bid interior design contract, loan $20,000 to the National Black United Fund, and cover a lobster and cognac dinner.

And now, mysteriously and inexplicably, there’s a “national crisis” of lead in Newark’s water.

You can have clean water for the people or cognac for Democrat fixers, but not both.

It truly is shameful that this “national crisis” of Cory Booker’s corrupt political allies stealing money meant to ensure clean water “disproportionately hits poor black and brown communities”.

President Cory Booker will make sure that the “national crisis” will affect people of all races when his crooked Democrat associates are running the country the way that they ran Newark.

Booker is black. As is Brashear.

As is Donald Bernard Sr., the senior projects manager of NWCDC, who was sentenced to 8 years in prison after pleading guilty to accepting $1 million in bribes from contractors.

Clearly, this is a national crisis of environmental racism.

How did the NWCDC get away with this for so long?

Its general counsel, Elnardo Webster II, was Booker's former law partner, friend and advisor. Elnardo was working for Trenk, DiPasquale, Della Fera & Sodono, which was also Booker’s former law firm. While the firm was making a fortune from city contracts, including for NWCDC, it was paying Booker $700,000.

A judge levied major fines against Booker’s former law firm over its NWCDC work.

Yes, this “national crisis” of Cory Booker’s sleaziness must be urgently addressed as he now holds an office in the national government and would like an even bigger national office.

“Newark's water emergency demands our federal government's immediate attention,” insists Booker, who never attended a single meeting of the organization that was supposed to be overseeing it.

And which he was supposed to be overseeing.

According to Booker, who spent most of his time in office alternating between Twitter and Oprah, he just couldn’t find the time. Clean water never got his attention, immediate or otherwise.

Back in May, Cory Booker had introduced the Water Infrastructure Funding Transfer Bill to help Newark move money around. "Communities across the country don't have clean drinking water, and those communities are disproportionately low-income and communities of color,” he claimed.

“This is an environmental justice issue.”

It’s not an environmental justice issue. It’s a criminal justice issue.

A normal person who chaired a board of trustees that committed flagrant illegalities, overseeing an organization where millions of dollars were stolen by one of his donors, and received hundreds of thousands of dollars from a disgraced law firm connected to the scandal, all of which put the public at risk, would not be appearing running for President. He would be in prison.

The environment didn’t cause this. It’s not a national crisis that somehow “hit” Newark. It’s not racial discrimination against “communities of color”.

Cory Booker keeps trying to blame racism for the actions of his corrupt political associates. And the Democrats keep acting as if their corruption is some sort of national problem to be blamed on us all.

Edward McRae, an NWCDC employee, set up a landscaping company to get NWCDC contracts, even though he had no experience in landscaping.

He didn't even buy landscaping equipment until he got the landscaping contract.

How did Eddie get so lucky?

McRae said that he met Brashear while working on an unstated political campaign and heard that it was raining contracts. It’s unknown whose campaign it was, but it was certainly a Democrat campaign.

While Booker’s pals were robbing the NWCDC blind, they knew better than to actually drink the water.

The OSC investigation found that public funds weren't just being used to buy lobster, filet magnon and cognac, but $534 for imported drinking water from Florida.

Booker is right. It is shameful.

It’s shameful that the former party of segregation fastened on to black communities like a leech while blaming its corruption on racism and an imaginary national crisis. It’s shameful that the media promoted Booker’s routine as a progressive social media guru while failing to hold him accountable.

And it’s shameful that Booker and his political allies have no shame.

Instead of apologizing, Cory Booker is trying to shift the blame for his action and inaction to all Americans. He’s trying to blame racism, instead of blaming his thieving donors and allies.

When the NWCDC was stealing money meant for clean water, Booker pretended he knew nothing. Now he knows that bottled water is being handed out in Newark because of a national crisis of racist water.

Before Brashear was sentenced to 8 years in prison for stealing almost $2 million, her lawyer claimed that, “there is no crime here”.

Hundreds of cities, and thousands of agencies and organizations across the country have been robbed by Democrat politicians, donors and activists, the same way that Booker’s pals robbed Newark.

But there’s never a crime. It’s always a “national crisis” that gets blamed on social problems and racism.

When the schools don’t work (the $100 million that Mark Zuckerberg plugged into Newark’s schools on Booker’s behalf might as well have been set on fire), and the power is out, and there’s no clean water, when residents aren’t evacuated ahead of a hurricane and the buildings are falling apart, it’s racism.

It’s never the fault of the Democrats who are responsible for the schools, the buildings and the water.

If only we cared enough, the media tells us, children wouldn’t be drinking water with lead. If only we paid higher taxes and sacrificed more, Booker’s associates would have been able to drink twice as much cognac and gorge on twice as much lobster, king crab and filet mignon.

And now, despite years of EPA warnings, Booker is demanding that the federal government get involved. He’s right again. The federal government ought to get involved. And it ought to involve handcuffs.

Cory Booker doesn’t belong in the White House. He belongs in prison.

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

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Just Another Day

It is that time of year again when flags fly at half staff and faces are lowered. When wreaths are tossed on the barren ground and the passing of a plane overhead meets with ominous dread. September is the cruelest month, the end of summer, when light fades and darkness comes early, shadows creeping through the concrete canyons with the cold eastern wind.

Once again we remember the dead. Those who have died that terrible day, bodies falling through the air, choking on smoke and fumes in offices, or killed in an instant when metal met metal and became flame... and those who are still dying today on battlefields a thousand miles apart and in hospitals of undiagnosed health problems.

On line at a department store, the cashier promises delivery by the next day. "What day is that," the man asks. "September 11th, a day no one can forget, " the cashier replies. "Of course not," the man says, "it's my father's birthday."

A day. Memorial Day, once Decoration Day. Armistice Day now Veteran's Day. Labor Day. Martin Luther King Day, Father's Day and Mother's Day and President's Day. So many days in which we remember, and so many more days in which we forget. September 11th is swiftly becoming another "Day". A day of lip service for politicians and brief mourning. Just another day.

"Where were you when the attacks happened," some ask, the way people asked, "Where we you when JFK was shot." As if it is so important to capture that moment of dislocation when the world changed around you and when life was certain to never be the same again. But people are resilient and life has a way of snapping back into focus, even if isn't the life it's supposed to be. The right question to ask is not, where were you on that day, but where are you now? Where are we now?

The War on Terror has stumbled into a dead end with all the talk being not of how will we win, but how will we withdraw. How fast can we get out of this and make it all go away.

The left already has the answer. Just give it a day. Toss the wreaths and bow your heads if you must on, but move on. Forget what happened and turn it into a day of good feelings. Give blood, pick up trash in the park and volunteer for disadvantaged youth. Pat yourself on the back. You've done your part. You deserve it. The dead are dead, the war is lost, and all you can do is try to make the world a better place. Here, have a logo.

But let us walk another way for a moment. Let us loosen our grip on today, forget the glut of reality shows and talking heads, the congealed wisdom of editorial writers, shouting pundits and dueling campaign slogans. Let go of the future for a moment and walk back in time to 2001.

This is the way we're going. And this is the place. The millennium, both of them are past. The era of the Clinton Administration has passed, but its miasma lingers. Most people still have opinions on Impeachment. Touched by an Angel and Who Wants to be a Millionaire are on the air. Everyone knows that the internet is set to change everything, but they aren't sure exactly how. Dot Com businesses are hot and geeks are riding around in Porsches. The Musketeer tops the box office. The Chandra Levy case is in the news. Americans are by large comfortable and relaxed. The Cold War is over. There's nothing left to do but cash in and enjoy life. Build up your CD collection. Buy better furniture. Invest in the right But we are at the corner now. This is where we turn the corner. And around the corner is where the world ends. At least for a little while.

Walk now through streaming curtains of ash, through fragments of charred office memos and human skin, through the snow that came early to September that year, through the rubble in Washington D.C. and the broken aluminum fragments lining the crater in a Pennsylvania field. Pass now along Liberty Street again, turn now past the cafe chairs dusted with ash snow, stopped cars and human chaos. Look up into the sky and watch. Watch it carefully because it is both a beginning and an ending.

What is beginning and what is ending? That is up to you, up to all of us to decide.

Since then, our leaders have made more wrong decisions, than right ones. They were never able to turn that corner and break with the liberal political dogmas that mandate nation building over national defense, that say that the lives of their citizens are worth no more than anyone else's life, and that protecting America is no excuse for hurting a terrorist's feelings. The question is whether we will be able to turn that corner before it is too late.

On 9/11 we did not turn the corner. We were forced around it, dragged around it, by the brutal atrocities committed by a small group that is only a finger of the vast dark hand sweeping across the globe. Some of us woke up and rushed toward the rubble and the smoke, some hurried back the other way, away from all the disturbance eager to leave the memory of it behind.

And that is where we are now.

The enemy we have been fighting all this time is only the most brutal, radical and impatient, relentless and daring part of the horde that is breaking across Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and America. This is a clash of civilizations. The thousands dead on 9/11 and the thousands more dead since then, are only a small down payment on the horrors to come.

While we spend fortunes to build nations, the horde is building its own nations in the cities of Europe and in the old manufacturing centers of America, in Gaza and in the south of Thailand. Their nations are not concerned with electricity or democracy. The ballot box is no different to them than a box of bullets, all tools to leverage in order to gain dominance and power. And though most of us may not understand the war or even be aware of the war, the war goes on.

It is not only a war fought with falling towers. It is also a war fought with billboards and acid to the face, with bribes carefully dispensed and with smuggling operations moving cigarettes, slaves and heroin across borders. It is a war fought with Fatwahs and the severed heads of schoolgirls. It is fought with polygamy and pregnancies. With IED's and soft spoken words about the Religion of Peace. And on every front we are losing the war, for the simple reason that we refuse to fight.

And so America turns away from the falling ash and the horror. From the covered heads, the flames and the grinning killers. There are new movies and shows to watch. New Twitter feuds and culture wars. New distractions and new escapes. We are poorer and weaker, but still trying to escape from History, capital H, by resorting to history, small h. As if a nation can be great and not assailed by foes. As if a nation can be strong and rich without inspiring greed and hate. As if a superpower can stand between two fires, pacifying those who hate it and still having plenty for itself. As if there is any escape from the real world... just waiting around the corner.

Two kinds of peoples lose wars. Those who lack the physical resources to defeat their enemies and those who lack the cultural resources to defeat them. We do not lack the physical resources, but our culture is the culture of the ostrich, a head stuck inside the internet and a body left vulnerable to whoever will have it.

There is one thing and only one thing alone that we can do to survive. Turn the corner. The ostrich is an endangered bird in the Middle East where sticking your head in the sand is no defense against those who would chop it off. Soon it will be an endangered bird everywhere else. There is no escape from those who would kill us, but that we kill them first. The failure to understand that is the failure to survive.

On September 11, that inescapable choice was put before every single American. Turn the corner before it is too late.

Monday, September 09, 2019

Oh To Be a Democrat in New Jersey

NAACP President Jeffrey Dye had a record of threatening his brother with a knife, getting caught with six bags of crack cocaine, assaulting police officers on two separate occasions, so of course he was appointed to work for the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development.

Governor Phil Murphy’s Dem administration had previously appointed Al Alvarez, his guy in charge of Latino and Muslim outreach, accused of trying to rape one of his staffers during the campaign, as chief of staff the New Jersey Schools Development Authority. The last time Dye had gotten in trouble was when he had been charged with aggravated assault after a confrontation with 3 police officers in 2007.

That’s not counting the time he failed to file campaign finance reports while running for public office.

Dye morphed into a perennial Democrat candidate, running and losing one election after another, and headed Passaic’s NAACP chapter. As Rachel Dolezal, a white woman claiming to be black, who headed the Spokane NAACP chapter, showed the organization doesn’t have high standards for chapter leaders.

But Dye met the most crucial standard that the Murphy administration cared about. He supported Phil Murphy. You can be a rapist or threaten your brother with a knife, all you need to do is back Phil.

Phil is a former Goldman Sachs exec, DNC finance chair and Obama’s Ambassador to Germany.

Last year, Dye’s NAACP announced that it was honoring Marcellus Jackson at its “2nd Annual Freedom Fund Community Service Award Luncheon.” It mentioned that Marcellus, a former Passaic City Council member, was working as a special assistant in the Department of Education’s Office of Civic and Social Engagement. The reason Marcellus was a former member of the Passaic City Council was because the FBI had busted him for taking bribes and he was sentenced to 25 months in prison.

After pleading guilty, Marcellus had echoed General Douglas MacArthur, intoning, “I shall return.”

New Jersey Democrats made sure that Marcellus did.

Dye, who had tried and failed to secure Marcellus’ old position, was honoring the corrupt politician. And the NAACP invitation alerted everyone to the fact that an ex-con public official who had taken bribes was working for the state on a mission to "advance public education in New Jersey."

"I hope we see a lot more of this, that somebody made a mistake, they admitted it, they repented, they paid their price," Governor Murphy said, the unconfirmed crook defending his decision to hire a confirmed crook. "We have to get these folks back up on their feet in society and this state."

If New Jersey hadn’t charitably hired a corrupt politician, he might have starved on the streets.

Instead, Phil gave Marcellus a $70,000 a year job. But perhaps Governor Murphy was hoping that one day a future corrupt Democrat politician will be equally charitable to him.

Mayor Frank Jackson of Cleveland had been very charitable to Lance Mason, another disgraced fellow Democrat, after he violently assaulted his wife. The former judge got a job in the Minority Business Development Administrator for Cleveland before going back and brutally murdering his ex-wife.

“We hire many ex-felons and almost all of them turn out well because we have second chance as a part of what we do as a policy in the City of Cleveland,” Mayor Jackson insisted.

New Jersey, which is almost entirely run by criminals, will always give criminals a second, third and fourth chance. As long as they vote for the Democrats a second, third and fourth time.

And so back in New Jersey, Jeffrey Dye was working for the state despite a record as long as his arm, which included threatening his brother with a knife, getting caught with six bags of cocaine, which he claimed were someone else’s, and giving the police somebody else’s license after an accident. Then there were the multiple violent confrontations with police officers and stuffing food in a prison toilet.

Despite his plum job, Dye spent his time ranting about Jews and Latinos on Facebook.

He blamed Jews for a hip-hop feud between two black stars, “Jews At it again divide & conquering us.” Under an entry about the New York Times’ 1619 Project, Dye ranted that, “american has no business giving our tax paying dollars to israel to kill palestinians & enslave africans & using both for their body parts.” He also praised racist Nation of Islam hate group leader, Louis Farrakhan.

Dye had also attacked former New Jersey SDA boss Lizette Delgado-Polanco, a union activist and Murphy backer, who was paid $225,000 to head the Schools Development Authority, and began spending money like crazy, firing existing employees and replacing them with SEIU thugs and relatives.

Delgado-Polcano had brought in the mother of her grandchild, a friend of her daughter’s, her old SEIU district leader, and the SEIU district leader’s daughter-in-law, and her former SEIU executive director, a former SEIU vice president, and her own second cousin, who had been accused of sexual harassment.

Criticizing Delgado-Polcano in racial terms, who is, despite her departure a key labor ally for Murphy, probably sealed Dye’s fate. But Governor Murphy defended hiring Dye despite his criminal record.

"People, if they make reparations, if they make up for what they’ve done, I’d like to be the state where folks get a second chance," the Democrat insisted.

Meanwhile pressure was mounting on Dye to resign as head of the Passaic NAACP.

When David Wildstein, a New Jersey Globe reporter, who had closely covered Dye’s case, contacted the former government employee, the Farrakhan supporter snapped back, “I don’t talk to f____ Jews.”

Later, on Facebook, Dye claimed that he had never said that and that it was a Jewish conspiracy.

"The Statement ( “I Don’t Talk To F_____ Jews” ) Is Simply A Lie By David Wallstien Who Is A Jewish Reporter For The New Jersey Globe," the Democrat perennial candidate ranted. "What You Are Seriously Watching Here Is “COINTELPRO & JEWISH MEDIA PROPAGANDA ASSASSINATION HIT TEAM.”

Following a common trope of leftist bigots, Dye insisted that he was an anti-Zionist who was "Telling The Truth About Israel & The Killing & Murder Of The Palestinian People" rather than an ordinary bigot.

Then he insisted that it was a plot by "former Republicans" to "Use Me Against Our Governor Phil Murphy Who They Are Really After & Their Using Me & Others Like Me To Tarnish Our Governor Phil Murphy So He’s Not Successful In His Re-Election."

"And Yes I Personally Still Support Governor Phil Murphy," he later also tweeted.

Dye concluded his Facebook rant by warning that, "They Want To Disrupt & Dismantle & Get Rid Of The Passaic NAACP And Me The President. When You Have Any Real Activist That Speaks Like I Do He’s A Threat & Dangerous To Any Racist That’s Trying To Destroy Black & Latino People To Advance Their Cause To Dictate & Control This World."

Jeffrey Dye’s concern for Muslim rights is surprising though considering that his first altercation occurred back in 1994 when he got into an argument with a Muslim convenience store owner over lottery tickets.

According to media accounts, it concluded when the store owner "allegedly grabbed a machete he kept under the counter, leaped over the counter, and threatened Dye with it.”

It’s unknown if the Muslim store owner with the machete is working for the State of New Jersey.

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

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

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Unionizing Uber

After Pete Buttigieg's campaign spent thousands of dollars on Uber and Lyft, the candidate showed up in San Francisco to protest the independent contractor status of gig drivers.

Joining a bunch of union activists who shut down traffic in front of Uber's headquarters, causing problems for everyone stuck behind them on Market Street, Buttigieg insisted that the gig economy is illegitimate and that Uber drivers were employees and not independent contractors.

"You deserve a minimum wage," he bleated through the noisy feedback of the sound system.

The minimum wage that the union protesters want is $30 an hour.

Uber lost $5.2 billion in the second quarter of 2019. New York City already imposed a minimum wage of $27.86 for Uber and Lyft. Taking an Uber in New York is now more expensive than calling for a car service. And customers voted with their wallets by looking for other options for going from A to B.

Uber trips dropped by well over a million in one month.

That million rides represented fewer passengers using Uber, fewer drivers finding a niche in the market, and less viability for the ridesharing market and the entire gig economy.

Assembly Bill 5, California’s plan to dismantle the gig economy, had brought out the union activists and Buttigieg, a politician who had no problem with Uber or Lyft, until it made a good photo op.

The San Francisco protest, which had to import supposed drivers from out of state, was organized by the Mobile Workers Alliance. The MWA is just a front for SEIU. And the radical lefty union isn’t doing all this work to raise wages, but to get a cut of every single time anyone gets into an Uber or Lyft. And, it goes without saying, pass on a piece of the action to Democrat politicians. That’s what all this is about.

The first line in Buttigieg’s New Rising Tide pitch to labor is, “Guarantee gig economy workers their labor rights, including unionization.” Not minimum wage or health coverage. Unionization. Sign up Uber drivers, take a chunk of their earnings so they can be passed on to Buttigieg and other Democrats.

Buttigieg had made several appearances at SEIU events. The Market Street traffic jam was just his latest SEIU gig whose likely outcome, if AB5 passes, would be to eventually wreck the gig economy for good.

Buttigieg always had the option of making sure that his campaign used companies with full-time employees for all its transportation needs. But Buttigieg’s people used Uber and Lyft because it’s convenient. Now Buttigieg wants to make it inconvenient, because there’s something in it for him.

A gig economy is based around flexibility and convenience. That’s a problem for municipalities which make money by taxing established industries. New York City is destroying ridesharing because it makes a fortune from auctioning off taxi medallions. Ridesharing ruined that business, so it’s ruining ridesharing.

SEIU wants workers it can unionize, not independent contractors, and wrecking the gig economy may wipe out a good source of money on the side for a lot of drivers, but also creates a more unionized marketplace. The actual drivers don’t get a vote on any of this. Neither does anyone else in a one-party state where the voters don’t matter and all the real decisions are made by corrupt lefty special interests.

The losers in this game will be most drivers, all passengers, and the investors who poured money into Uber and Lyft, expecting them to develop a working business model, only for the model to be crushed.

But there’s no reason to feel sorry for Uber and Lyft for thinking that bringing in Arianna Huffington and Valerie Jarrett would protect them. Why would their leftist buddies settle for a seat on the board when they can have a sizable cut of a $50 billion business? Muggers don’t leave money on the table.

Meanwhile, the pro-AB5 2020 candidates, like Buttgieg and Senator Kamala Harris, are happy to have their campaigns go on saving time and money by using a service that they officially decry.

Senator Kamala Harris claimed that AB5 doesn’t go far enough. Her campaign spent the most at Uber and Lyft. Even more than Buttigieg. Senator Elizabeth Warren, always determined to be leftier than thou, demanded, “all Democrats need to stand up and say, without hedging, that we support AB 5 and back full employee status for gig workers.” But if Warren really believed that all along, her people would never have been spending thousands of dollars on Uber and Lyft rides in the gig economy.

Senator Bernie Sanders introduced the Workplace Democracy Act last year. It is an ‘act’, but there’s no democracy and its definition of a workplace is nearly anything someone does that earns them money. Apart from mandatory unionization and eliminating the ability of workers to opt out of unions, the bill would effectively eliminate independent contractors by modifying the National Labor Relations Act.

Bernie’s bill proposes that, “an individual performing any service shall be considered an employee.”

Recently, his campaign warned, “When Bernie is president, his administration will end the ability of corporations to misclassify workers as ‘independent contractors.’"

And yet, despite all that, his campaign went on using Uber and Lyft.

But, then again, the Sanders campaign is so committed to labor rights that it fired workers for engaging in labor organizing. Bernie’s Workplace Democracy Act unleashes a whole host of union harassment measures, including secondary boycotts, but when his unionized staffers complained about their pay, he whined, "It does bother me that people are going outside of the process and going to the media. That is really not acceptable. It is really not what labor negotiations are about, and it's improper."

When Democrats talk about fighting for the rights of workers, they mean for the rights of unions. And by unions, they mean the organizations that take money from other people and then pass it along to them.

They never meant the rights of the workers who aren’t paying them, but are being paid by them.

Unionizing Uber drivers isn’t a matter of principle, but of profit.

The ‘Fight for 15’ led to a lot of fast food workers losing their jobs or their hours, while franchises looked for ways to automate ordering and production. Wiping out the ridesharing industry will replace it with self-driving cars. And the unions will have to fight to keep self-driving cars off the road in every city.

But, unlike the push to unionize the gig economy out of existence, that will be a losing battle.

And yet the Democrats are less concerned with workers losing jobs than with them gaining income from sources outside their control. An unemployed worker is a potential recruit or client. A successful independent contractor doesn’t need anything from the plutocratic friends of the working class.

Democrats prefer a country with 20% unionized workers and 80% unemployed than a booming economy with 10% unionized and 90% non-union workers. That’s the European model and it’s why Baltimore, Detroit and South Bend, Buttigieg’s own failed city, are the way that they are.

Lefties are fine with a future in which self-driving cars roll past a growing Skid Row and Big Macs roll down an assembly line, as long as the people paid to hose the filth of the streets belong to a union.

That’s the model in San Francisco and New York City. They want it to be the model for 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.

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

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

The Media Master Race

Bernie Sanders wrapped up his appeal to the media by suggesting a tax on targeted ads to fund “civic-minded media” because, “more than two centuries after the constitution was signed, we cannot sit by and allow corporations, billionaires, and demagogues to destroy the Fourth Estate.”

The Fourth Estate is a European concept. There’s no room in America for a special status for the media (or any other estates). Sanders ignores what the constitution actually says about the press. The First Amendment prohibits Congress from making laws “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

Freedom of the press doesn’t bestow a special status on the press. It springs from freedom of speech.

That is even more obvious in Madison’s original words, “The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty shall be inviolable.” A free press is an expression of everyone’s right to speak out. It is not a special institution that represents the public interest. It is the actual public.

When the Framers wrote of a free press, they meant printers like Benjamin Franklin and his brother, and anyone who wanted to distribute a pamphlet, as well as the small number of larger papers. Their idea of the free press looked a lot like a low-tech internet and had nothing in common with a handful of giant corporate monopolies declaring that they are a journalistic priesthood serving the public interest.

Sanders’ proposal for a government-funded “non-profit civic funded media” is even worse. The First Amendment banned government interference with a free press. The socialist politician would like to replace it with a government press that would promote his government takeover of medicine.

A government takeover of the media is the opposite of the constitution’s guarantee of a free press.

Ever since Trump won, the media has been insisting that it is a unique institution that must be protected from criticism by politicians (CNN and other outlets have claimed that Trump’s criticism of them is a threat to the First Amendment) and from competing speech by rival outlets and ordinary people.

Media pressure campaigns on tech monopolies have convinced them to ban a number of conservative outlets and personalities to fight ‘disinformation’, ‘fake news’, and other meaningless terms. The media and its allies set up ‘fact checking’ services that largely ignored their own biases to target conservatives. The purpose of these ‘fact checking’ services isn’t to argue, but to advocate for censoring conservatives.

Unlike Trump’s criticisms, the Democrats who added to the pressure campaign were violating the First Amendment. The media’s fact checking gimmicks set up to fight fake news were nothing more than a return to the licensing schemes and printing monopolies that the British authorities had once employed.

Democrats and the media have worked to revive the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers, exactly the sort of censorship mechanism that the First Amendment was directed against, through tech monopoly crowdsourcing, while wailing piteously that they are fighting for a free press.

The alliance between tech monopolies and media fact checkers constitutes a new licensing mechanism. Because it largely operates through the private sector, it’s a cartel and an anti-trust violation in action.

And the media keeps arguing that it is a special institution that needs protection from outsiders.

After a New York Times bigwig's anti-Semitic posts were exposed, the paper protested that using "journalistic techniques to target journalists and news organizations... is fundamentally different from the well-established role of the news media in scrutinizing people in positions of power."

It's “scrutinizing” when the media does it, but “targeting” when someone else does it.

But much of what the media does is targeting. And it’s often retaliatory. Take a recent Business Insider story headlined, “The mysterious family behind In-N-Out has donated more than $15,000 to Trump and the GOP”. There’s no purpose to this except stigmatizing donors contributing to the political opposition.

That’s the opposite of the free and open political culture that the First Amendment was meant to foster.

Even the targeting of reporters and editors who dissent in some way from a leftist position has become routine within the media. The New York Times, in particular, has been repeatedly targeted by the internal leaks of chats, emails and conferences, to pressure it into going after its own journalists.

The Slate transcript of the Times meeting, held because of leftist outrage over its neutral headline, carried Ashley Feinberg’s byline. Ashley is a veteran of the Gawker smear factory, and in her Huffington Post days posted leaked transcripts from the New York Times in a campaign against Bari Weiss: a young journalist who came under fire from leftist media figures for her opposition to leftist anti-Semitism.

(Ashley Feinberg is currently being sued by an African-American history professor whom she suggested, in a Kavanaugh hit piece, was linked to the drug overdose death of RFK’s son in the 1980s.)

The Times did not call this suppression and retaliation against a journalist, as it did when social media users exposed the anti-Semitism of one of its honchos. It’s not retaliation or suppression when leftist members of the Media Master Race do it to enemy civilians or even to moderates in the media.

The New York Times struggles to articulate the difference between its opposition research and those of conservatives. But the one clear difference is the “well-established role of the news media.” The news media has a unique right to target people and even retaliate against journalists over a political agenda. It’s an establishment and ordinary people with Twitter accounts don’t have that same right or role.

But there’s no room for this Media Master Race logic in the Constitution. The media is not a privileged estate. It is not the embodiment of a free press. The public interest is not an institution. It’s Americans.

The Framers would see the media as a cartel that usurped the free press by claiming that a free press is its membership organization that requires a degree and a corporate letterhead to belong to it. The media has the same relationship to a free press that any aristocratic estate does to public freedom.

This sort of Media Master Race reasoning is how we ended up with April Ryan’s bodyguard assaulting a local journalist while the CNN figure declared, "When I speak, I do not have news covering my speeches.” It’s how the New York Times can argue that its function of accusing conservatives of things is legitimate journalism, while conservatives accusing it of things is a violation of legitimate journalism.

It’s why the media was able to set up an entire infrastructure for suppressing outlets that aren’t part of the Media Master Race from being able to distribute their content over Facebook and Twitter.

It’s why Senator Bernie Sanders, who wants to run the entire country, is proposing that a special tax be leveled on targeted ads to fund the media because advertising is a traditional media sinecure. You can’t hunt deer in the king’s forest or use ads to look for customers unless you pay the media its toll.

The media agrees.

That’s why it won’t stop whining that the internet took away its ad business. And that the collapse of its business model is an attack on the vital public interest of spewing leftist lies that it serves.

Earlier this year, the New York Times published an op-ed claiming that layoffs at the Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and other digital media outlets were “devastating to democracy”. But the media layoffs were digital democracy in action. Enough readers had grown tired of the garbage and were moving on.

The New York Times wasn’t defending democracy. It was attacking it. And its op-ed complained about the "online hordes who’ll make content without pay". Those “hordes” are actual democracy.

It was a reminder that the media doesn’t serve a vital function. It usurps one.

The free press is not an institution. It’s the public. Its importance is not as an institution that acts as a watchdog through a collective set of professional standards and values, but as the voice of the people. Not metaphorically, but literally. The free press was the neighborhood printer and the pamphleteer. Today it’s the blogger and the tweeter. It’s anyone who cares enough to make their voice heard.

The professionalism, standards and trust of the press, or lack therefore, are completely irrelevant. Just as the First Amendment does not depend on the worth of the opinions of any protester or clergyman.

The point of the First Amendment is not to set standards, but to eliminate them.

The more the Media Master Race insists on defining the free press as an established institution with special privileges, the more of a threat to a free press its claims to an estate become. When the media controls the free press, it isn’t free. The only way to free the press is to dismantle the media cartel.

The media isn’t just the enemy of the democracy of the people. It’s the enemy of a free press.

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

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Sunday, September 01, 2019

Loyal and Disloyal Jews

"Is there water in the spring?"

Those were the last words that Danny heard on a hot day in June. The spring of Ein Bubin bursts forth in a valley surrounded by dusty hills, flows into a glittering pool, and waters a garden of fruit trees. But every garden has its serpent. And the serpent in this spot of paradise was named Mohammed.

Mohammed Abu Shahin stopped Danny Gonen to ask him if there was water to swim in. Danny had just finished swimming in the spring and was happy to oblige. The Israeli electrical engineering student was the oldest of five brothers and sisters. He always stepped up, whether it was supporting his family after his father died, or helping out a stranger. And on that Friday afternoon, he paid for it with his life.

Mohammed shot Danny, along with his friend Netanel. Danny’s friend survived. And Danny did not.

The Muslim terrorist was a former member of Force 17, a Palestinian Authority terror group that acted as Arafat’s Presidential Guard, and was on the Palestinian Authority payroll. He had spent two years in prison for previous terror plots before being freed by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, a corrupt left-wing politician, along with 249 other Fatah terrorists as part of a “peace” gesture for the Islamic Eid holiday.

Palestinian Authority boss Mahmoud Abbas rejected the peace gesture, and the freed Islamic terrorists, who had promised not to carry out attacks, shockingly enough, didn’t keep their word.

"As a gesture of goodwill towards the Palestinians, I will bring before the Israeli cabinet a proposal to free 250 Fatah prisoners who do not have blood on their hands, after they sign a commitment not to return to violence," Olmert had declared at a summit, where he was photographed hugging Abbas.

It didn’t take long for blood to end up on their hands and on the hands of the “pro-peace” politicians.

At Mohammed's trial, Danny's mother condemned the process that allowed an “animal walking on two legs, who is mistakenly called a human, to keep on living and enjoying life on our bill.” The family's lawyer asked the court to ensure that this time around the terrorist would not be freed.

When Danny’s mother appeared before the Israeli Supreme Court, Supreme Court President Miriam Naor, the best friend illegal migrants invading Israel ever had, barked at her to be quiet.

“If I survived my son's murder, then no judge will ever break me,” Danny’s mother courageously replied.

Danny was murdered in 2015. A plaque went up reminding hikers that on a Sabbath Eve, the young man had been murdered not in a place that leftists call “Palestine,” but in the “Holy Land of Israel.”

Four years later, terrorists struck at the Ein Bubin spring on yet another Friday.

Rabbi Eitan Shnerb was hiking to the spring with his son Dvir and his daughter Rina when the bomb went off. For a moment, as he described it in the hospital, everything went black. Then, badly wounded, he saw that the two teenagers were bleeding. Rabbi Shnerb was a trained paramedic. He saw that Rina, his 17-year-old daughter, had absorbed most of the blast. He kissed her on the forehead.

And then he turned his Tzizit, the biblical garment that Orthodox Jewish men wear, into a tourniquet for his 19-year-old son to stop the bleeding.

Dvir told his father that he couldn’t breathe and passed out. His daughter was already dead.

Rabbi Shnerb had stopped a terrorist attack earlier this year by two armed attackers. This time there were no attackers, just a bomb, and he had not seen the explosion coming.

Medical personnel evacuated father and son by helicopter. They continued trying to treat Rina at the scene. Hoping against hope that something could still be done.

On that same Friday, while her father and bother remained in the hospital, Rina was laid to rest. Students from her high school class turned out to say goodbye to one of their classmates. Prayers from the cemetery were relayed by phone to her father. A Rabbi recited Psalm 91 and the mourners echoed.

"I will say of the LORD, who is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust," he chanted. "Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold, and see the recompense of the wicked."

The wicked are being sought once more. Israeli soldiers are hunting for the killers and their accomplices in dirty villages and sinister towns. And they are aware that the hunt may lead to more ambushes.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh praised the killers of the teenage girl as heroes.

In his sermon in Gaza, the Islamic terrorist leader called her murder a "heroic attack" and celebrated it as “proof of the vitality and bravery of the Palestinian people." He claimed that the bombing was evidence that the terrorists are "strong people" who are "faithful and steadfast."

The Shnerb family had run a charity in Lod which handed out food and clothing to the poor.

The Palestinian Authority’s Ma’an News Agency justified Rina’s murder by falsely claiming that she was an 18-year-old soldier, when she was actually a high school student who had just turned 17.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib responded to the attack by calling for an end to the “Israeli occupation.”

Trump’s Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt urged “donor countries” to “demand the PA answer for why their donor funds continue to be used to reward attacks.” Just like Danny Ganon’s killers, Rina’s murderers will receive a lifetime salary from the Palestinian Authority funded by foreign aid.

Since Trump cut off aid to the terror group, the money is mainly coming from the European Union.

“It’s time to stop burying our people,” Danny’s mother said after the latest attack.

But the only way that will happen is if money stops flowing to the terrorists. The Democrats have made it clear that if they win the presidential election, they will restore the flow of cash to the terrorists.

Joe Biden vowed to restore “security” funding to the Palestinian Authority. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand promised to restore the aid programs that “President Trump has cut.” Andrew Yang called for restoring aid to the terrorists. Senator Bernie Sanders and Peter Buttigieg went further, threatening aid to Israel.

None of them condemned Rina’s murder.

Rina’s murder and Danny’s murder, on the same day, four years apart, were funded by foreign aid.

A few days before Rina’s murder, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas delivered a speech in which the terrorist leader vowed, “Allah willing”, to destroy Jewish houses and capture Jerusalem.

"We shall enter Jerusalem – millions of fighters!" he ranted. "We will not accept their designation of our martyrs as terrorists. Our martyrs are the martyrs of the homeland. We will not allow them to deduct a single penny from their money. All the money will go back to them, because the martyrs, the wounded, and the prisoners are the most sacred things we have."

Terrorists would continue receiving cash because terrorism was sacred to the Palestinian Authority.

Last week, Democrat politicians and liberal Jewish organizations fumed when President Trump accused them of disloyalty. The last time they were this outraged was when Israel barred Rep. Tlaib and Rep. Omar, overt opponents of Israel and supporters of terrorism against the Jewish State, from entering.

The murders at Ein Bubin are a harsh reminder that what is at stake here is not Twitter feeds. It’s lives.

The issue is not who said what about whom. It’s a bomb going off on a warm summer day. It’s a teenage girl dying in the dust. It’s the disloyalty of those American Jews who place their allegiance to abortion, to gay rights, and illegal migrants over the loyalty that teenage girl deserved from them.

Jewish Democrats who failed to stand up to their party to stop murders like these are not disloyal to a country; they are disloyal to Rina. And to Danny. And to thousands more like them.

While the Jewish Democrats attacked Israel over Rep. Omar, Rep. Tlaib and other anti-Semites, the Jews of Dolev, named after its sycamore trees, buried Rina and waited for her father to return home.

And Danny’s mother stands at the plaque marking her son’s death and wonders if there will be more.

We are all defined by our loyalties. Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib are loyal to their people. Many Jewish Democrats are loyal to the party even if it means accepting bigots like Omar and Tlaib.

That loyalty to leftist politics is disloyalty to the Jews being murdered by Omar and Tlaib’s people.

In the face of terror, there is only one loyalty that matters, either to terrorists or to terror victims.

At Ein Bubin, the water flows. And the residents of Dolev continue to hike into the hills, to swim in the spring and the pool, and to prepare for the next terrorist attack.

The spring is located in the land that once belonged to the tribe of Joseph.

“Blessed be the land of Joseph, before the Lord,” Moses preached in Deuteronomy 33:13, “with the blessing of the dew and the rain that comes down from the heaven above, with the blessings of the fountains of the deep which well up from the earth beneath.”

Faithfulness is like the springs that rise from the earth. Its loyalty breaks through all barriers.

Rina, her father, and her brother, were loyal not to a party, but to the G-d who gave them that land.

“Dvir said to me we will be strong, we will protect the people of Israel and the Torah of Israel, and together we will move forward,” Rabbi Eitan Shnerb said of his son.

That is a loyalty that the disloyal Democrats -- who cringe before Omar and Tlaib, who pander to terrorists, who believe in every leftist cause, but have no faith in a Jewish cause -- cannot imagine.

It is a true faith and allegiance that has endured for thousands of years. It is of an age with the land, with the hills and the springs beneath, with the truth of martyrdom and endurance, and the truth of G-d.

When Rabbi Shnerb spoke to Prime Minister Netanyahu on the phone, he told him that his daughter was "a martyr of the people of Israel.” He asserted, “with God’s help we will grow stronger.”

That is what a loyal Jew sounds like. To hear what a disloyal one sounds like, listen to the media.

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

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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Whom Will Socialized Medicine Kill?

Four of the 2020 Democrats fighting to claim the White House have endorsed banning private health insurance and forcing everyone into a national socialist medical system overseen by the government.

“Health care for all is a right, not a privilege,” Senator Bernie Sanders said. His call to abolish private health insurance was endorsed by Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Senator Cory Booker.

Sanders promises that government health care will cover everyone, provide everything, at no charge, and will be open to everyone. His models are the national socialist medical systems of European nations.

Like the NHS.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in his first speech, argued that it shouldn’t take three weeks to see a GP under the NHS. Despite the well-known failings of Britain’s National Health Service, financial, medical, and ethical, it continues to be touted by, among others, MSNBC, as a model for the United States.

And yet the NHS also shows how a national socialist medical system is able to deny care and even kill.

Americans were riveted by the forced euthanasia of Baby Charlie last year, but the pressure to cut costs is manifested in ways that are less devastating, but more comprehensive. Despite Senator Sanders’ false statements, no system can or will provide care for everyone. Just like private health insurance, it will seek ways to cut costs by denying care. But a national socialist system will deny care on a larger scale by evaluating the value of people’s lives while penalizing their behaviors in almost eugenic ways.

That’s the case with the NHS obsession with obesity.

Michael Buerk, the host of the BBC's Moral Maze, recently argued that the NHS should let obese people die. "The obese will die a decade earlier than the rest of us. See it as a selfless sacrifice in the fight against demographic imbalance, overpopulation and climate change."

Buerk pointed to NHS estimates that obesity costs the NHS £6.1 billion a year. "Who can calculate how much an obese person would have cost if they were slim?"

As a BBC host, Buerk is part of a different arm of the socialist octopus than the NHS. But his mindset comes out of the same political culture in which some must die so that others may get health care.

Last year, Steven Simons, the NHS boss, warned, “Obesity is the new smoking and the scale of our response needs to match the scale of the crisis.”

But the NHS has taken measures that go far beyond encouraging a healthy lifestyle.

Responding to budgetary problems, some NHS hospitals began denying routine and non-urgent operations to obese patients. That includes knee and hip operations without which patients, especially elderly patients, can be effectively disabled and on a track to a rapid decline and death.

The wait for hip and knee procedures can already take as long as a year. That meant that patients could be trapped in pain and partially disabled for even longer than a year. The elderly might lose their lives.

The new approach, Brits were told, “saves the NHS and taxpayers millions of pounds.”

“It’s the only way providers are going to be able to balance their books," Chris Hopson, the head of NHS providers, said.

Government health insurance, like private health insurance, denies care to save money. The difference is that when the government consolidates control over health insurance, there’s no alternative.

But overweight people had become political targets. And denying them care was seen as politically safe, at least somewhat safer than euthanizing sick babies, because they could be blamed for the situation.

The truth though was that was just a reason to rationalize resource shortages and denial of care.

That was 2016. This year, the NHS has been accused of denying fertility treatments to overweight women and even to ordinary women whose husbands happen to be overweight. The obesity might be unrelated to the treatment, but it provided a moral pretext for denying care to ‘bad people’.

BMI, rather than financial resources, had become the new barrier to obtaining medical care.

And the NHS leadership tended to conflate the two. The heavier you were, the more money you were costing the NHS, and the more likely you were to bankrupt the national socialist health care system.

"If as a nation we keep piling on the pounds around the waistline, we’ll be piling on the pounds in terms of future taxes needed just to keep the NHS afloat,” Steven Simons warned.

Simons and the NHS openly intertwined the “sustainability” of the NHS and public eating habits.

Government health care couldn’t be expected to function until people lost weight. And until people lost weight, they couldn’t be expected to benefit from a working government health care system.

The eugenic qualities of the NHS were undeniable and inevitable. And they reveal the lie behind the promises of endless care touted by Sanders, Warren and Harris in their proposal for a national socialist health care system, that eliminates Medicare, but that they falsely describe as, ‘Medicare-for-All”.

Under a national socialist system of medicine, your health is no longer your personal business, or that of your doctor, or your insurance company. Your physical condition is political and everyone’s business.

Socialist medicine claims to be based not on vulgar profits, but on morals. Even though it denies health care for financial reasons, it must wrap those fiscal arguments in a moral crusade. It can’t deny health care to deserving people, only to the undeserving or those who would be better off dead.

Private insurance companies can make fiscal arguments without dehumanizing their victims. National socialist medicine however must first demonstrate why its victims truly don’t deserve to live.

If the targets are to be blamed for their own fate, they must first be dehumanized. And if they are to be mercy killed, as the disabled often are, then the campaign dismisses them as hopeless cases.

"This man suffering from a hereditary defect will cost the German people 60,000 Reichsmark during his lifetime," a popular Nazi eugenics poster read. "Fellow citizen, that is your money too."

NHS rhetoric about obesity closely echoes the classic arguments of national socialist medicine.

The Nazis consolidated control over the health care system. Like modern socialists, they built up an extensive system of benefits, freebies and entitlements for Germans. The National Socialist People's Welfare organization was the envy of progressives worldwide. And by centralizing control over the medical system, the Nazis claimed to be able to offer better and more efficient care for everyone.

But, like all socialist medicine, the Nazi health care system was based around a collective need, not the needs of individual patients. That was how the Nazi medical system could rationalize the Aktion T4 mass murder of hundreds of thousands of disabled patients for the collective benefit of society.

The integration of the medical system allowed for the swift identification, seizure and killing of the elderly and disabled. By tying together a vast network of medical practitioners and facilities, the Nazis were able to carry out a program of eugenic mass murder on a previously impossible scale.

Family members were told that their children, their parents and their relatives were getting free health care. The entire system covered everything, including transportation in free ambulances.

And so, a socialist medical system that had been created to provide care for everyone was transformed into a mass murder scheme that would save money and make it more viable and sustainable.

To use both the Nazi and the NHS terms.

Nazi eugenics was a worst-case scenario. But the logic of socialized medicine requires some eugenics. When everyone can’t be treated, then a group must be denied care based on their unworthiness.

Medicare-for-All, the euphemism that is as misleading as the Charitable Foundation for Cure and Institutional Care that carried out mass murders in Nazi Germany, will have to ration care. Despite all the false promises, it will do so by finding medical scapegoats for its economic eugenics.

The only question is whom will it kill?

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

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

How the Left Gets the Statue of Liberty Poem Wrong

Being a writer means never knowing what you might be remembered for. Or how badly.

That poem that Emma Lazarus became famous for was forgotten, remembered again, and has been misused, quoted out of context and transformed into a battle cry for open borders and a disastrous immigration policy. Its lines about “wretched refuse” and “poor” immigrants have been taken literally.

And yet the vocal advocates for the poem imprinted on the Statue of Liberty would have loathed the
Confederate socialite and the Zionist writer who are responsible for the words they claim to love.

At the age of 34, Emma, a New York poetess with a bad case of writer’s block, was asked to submit a poem for a fundraiser to build a pedestal for a statue that most people hadn’t seen yet.

That included Emma.

Her first response was to turn down the request. Though she didn’t know it yet, her life was nearing its end. Five years after she wrote what would become her most famous poem, she would be dead.

But the request came from Constance Cary Harrison, a New York socialite, whose family story was a tapestry of American history, from John Randolph to Thomas Jefferson to Jefferson Davis. Her father was descended from Jefferson, her great-uncle's godparents had been George and Martha Washington, her grandfather had been the 9th Lord Fairfax and she had sewn one of the first Confederate flags.

Mark Twain had mockingly replied to her request with, “What has liberty done for us? Nothing in particular that I know of. What have we done for her? Everything. We’ve given her a home.”

Harrison was a prolific author, both in her days as a Confederate activist, writing as Refugitta, and a New York grande dame, and she didn’t accept rejections, either from Twain, or from Lazarus. As a teenager, she had lost her family home, her brothers, and her way of life. In many ways, she was also an exile.

And so, Harrison had encouraged Emma to think of the Jewish refugees she had been working with.

Twain’s sardonic comments had gotten at the problem with the Statue of Liberty. Its theme was Liberty Enlightening the World, but what did that mean? Did it mean that Americans were meant to export freedom to the world: a notion that would eventually drive American foreign policy in the 20th century?

That was the vision of some of the French activists involved with gifting the Statue of Liberty to America.

Emma Lazarus hadn’t seen the giant woman who would become the Statue of Liberty, but the obvious reference point for a giant statue in a more classical age was the Colossus of Rhodes. Unlike the ancient Greek statue, the American colossus would match it size for size, but would be female. It would not stand to celebrate a military victory, but to welcome visitors, many of them immigrants, to New York.

By welcoming in people from foreign dictatorships, American liberty would enlighten the world. Not by invading and conquering other countries, but by allowing oppressed people to live freely in America.

The central image of The New Colossus welcoming immigrants though didn’t come from Emma though, but from Harrison, the wife of the private secretary of Jefferson Davis, who as a teenager had lost most of her family, and had spied for the Confederacy in Washington D.C.

“Think of that Goddess standing on her pedestal down yonder in the bay, and holding her torch out to those Russian refugees of yours you are so fond of visiting at Ward’s Island,” Harrison had told her.

It was Emma Lazarus who dramatized it, harnessing the romantic vision, mingling classic Greek references with a modern American take into, “A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles.”

The woman embodied the contrast between America and Europe. The Statue of Liberty had been a message from France to America about our place in the world. Emma’s poem, The New Colossus, continued the dialogue, with a response from America to Europe about our idea of liberty.

Emma’s poem has since become a foundational text of liberals, but its origin was with a woman who had sewn one of the first Confederate flags and was first known for her writings for its cause. Harrison, like Lazarus, like the resulting poem though, was more complicated than fans of the poem might like.

Harrison had been as firm an opponent of slavery, as she was a partisan of the Confederacy.

Emma Lazarus was a Zionist, long before the term was common currency, and her preferred solution for Russian Jews wasn’t emigration to America, but to Israel. The New Colossus was not a significant part of her life’s work. It was a favor for a friend. When the poem was read at the fundraiser, it wasn’t by Emma, but by F. Hopkinson Smith, an engineer associated with the Statue of Liberty project.

The poem was written in two days, and made a splash at the time, but was then forgotten, only to be revived generations later when Americans needed a symbol to counteract Nazi Germany. Emma Lazarus would have been deeply disappointed had she known that she would only be remembered for a poem that she had written in two days for a friend’s fundraiser and wasn’t even mentioned in her obituary.

Its revival has focused heavily not on its opening lines, but a few lines before its conclusion, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.” The most obvious error they make is to remove the context and read The New Colossus with the painfully literal-minded didacticism of the idiot.

When the poem speaks of “wretched refuse”, they ignore the ironic tone and assume that the ideal immigrant is wretched refuse. Since the poem speaks of “poor” immigrants, they insist that the United States is obligated to take in not just immigrants who are currently poor, but intend to stay that way.

They believe (often without reading it) that the poem speaks of America’s obligation to the world.

But the poem isn’t an idealistic address to the world, but an ironic one to backward tyrannies. By cutting away the opening, “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp”, the context and contrast between the “storied pomp” and “wretched refuse” is lost. Only “yearning to breathe free” still suggests that the poem is a dialogue between two different ways of life that is meant to demonstrate how liberty works.

America, The New Colossus is saying, was built by people who came here because they had no place in their old societies. Emma’s message was not that America was an evil imperialistic nation obligated to take in every migrant to atone for its sins, but that it was a free nation built by people who had escaped the “ancient lands” with their “storied pomp” and thrived in a land where they could “breathe free”.

Its point was not that America was obligated to take in “wretched refuse”, but that the people who were considered “wretched refuse” by the ruling classes of Europe, had made America into a great nation. The "wretched refuse" is Europe's view of the waves of migration by English tenant farmers, Scotch and Irish laborers, German and Jewish refugees, Italian workers, and many others considered of no worth in their home ports. Because Europe considered its people "wretched refuse" and the other unflattering descriptors, its nations lacked the liberty that America had.

The Statue of Liberty had been a gift from France to America. But the French idea of liberty was different than the American one. The French had wanted to make a political point with the Statue of Liberty. Their liberty was an idealized figure enlightening the world. A secular goddess of political revolution.

Emma Lazarus instead humanized her into an American figure, a welcoming statue, not an ideal of political terror. Perversely, her poem has been embraced by the advocates of political revolution who see immigration as a means of transforming and overturning the United States of America.

That was the French vision, but it was not the American one. And it was not Emma’s vision.

The New Colossus instead suggests that free societies succeed and tyrannies fail. Like Mark Twain, Emma Lazarus challenged the French presumptuousness of gifting America the Statue of Liberty.

America did not need the statue; it had the reality.

The French had meant for the Statue of Liberty to be a towering ideal, but The New Colossus is more of a sympathetic lighthouse, highlighting America as a place where Europeans can breathe free.

Her Statue of Liberty has no interest in the “storied pomp” of “ancient lands”. American liberty would not be an ideal, but a working reality. It couldn’t be exported because what was truly required was for people to “breathe free”. To be able to live without compulsion and tyranny of one kind or another.

American superiority lay not in abstract ideals about liberty, but in the reality of breathing free. We might take in French immigrants, but we could not teach the French to be free. Only they could do that.

The advocates for open borders don’t believe in people being able to “breathe free”. They take the part about “wretched refuse” seriously because they envision a world in which everyone is reduced to refuse. Likewise, they don’t think of being “poor” as a temporary condition, but as a permanent one.

The New Colossus was an ironic dialogue between America and Europe. Its biggest fans today take the European side, ignore the irony, and want to use immigration to stamp out freedom in America.

Their new colossus of immigration is a conquering giant. It does not stand for liberty, but tyranny.

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

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Monday, August 26, 2019

Amazon Should Not Control the Military Cloud

Millions of Americans brought Alexa into their homes only to learn, belatedly, that not only software, but human beings, were listening in on them. Amazon employees and contractors from Costa Rica to India were caught reviewing thousands of recordings, of casual requests, private conversations and intimate moments, and sharing clips that they thought were funny in chat sessions with each other.

The Amazon product is always listening and maintains recordings of your conversations indefinitely.

But now there’s something bigger at stake than privacy violations. Amazon expects a $10 billion
cloud contract for the military. The $10 billion contract was a sweetheart deal for a politically influential company that seemed unstoppable until President Trump suddenly slammed the brakes on JEDI.

The deal had always been dubious and many critics had questioned how or why a single company could expect to have a monopoly on the JEDI cloud for the United States military. Amazon’s cloud business is huge, but the Capital One breach of 100 million credit card applications by a former Amazon employee highlighted the company’s security and workforce issues. Capital One kept its data in the cloud through AWS or Amazon Web Services and the hacker was a former AWS employee with specialized knowledge.

In the Obama era, Amazon had received a $600 million cloud contract that covers all 17 intelligence agencies. The secret deal was met with protests especially since Amazon’s wasn’t even the lowest bid.

Just as with JEDI, all the national security eggs were being put into one very fragile basket.

Amazon’s federal cloud contracts took off in the Obama era. Many of the biggest contracts are classified making it difficult to measure how much taxpayer money is being sucked into the Bezos business. But Amazon is winning contracts in the usual Washington D.C. way, by spending millions a year on lobbying.

The dot com titan began lobbying the Pentagon in 2016. That was the year Amazon’s lobbying expenditures hit a whopping $11 million, up from $1.62 million during the Bush administration. Amazon’s PAC, which the company strongly encourages employees to donate to, accounted for $515,200 in donations to members of Congress.

Amazon was the fourth biggest contributor to Senator Mark Warner. And when President Trump put Amazon’s JEDI deal on hold, Warner was among the first to protest the move. In his letter, Warner urged the Secretary of Defense to “resist political pressures” that might scuttle $10 billion for Amazon.

Senator Warner, who was applying political pressure to the Secretary of Defense, to protect a contract that would benefit his contributors, appeared to be unaware of the irony of his message.

But Amazon’s lobbying millions were only the tip of the iceberg of its dubious political influence.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is not only the richest person in the world, with an estimated $156 billion, but is a heavyweight political donor who has outspent other S&P 500 CEOs by a factor of 10. Bezos was the 12th biggest political donor of the 2018 cycle, coming in behind Bloomberg and Soros.

And, even more importantly, Bezos owns the Washington Post. The powerful political tabloid sets the agenda in the government city, but it’s also raising questions about whether Amazon is a security risk for reasons that go far beyond the flaws in AWS or whatever influence it might have used to grab JEDI.

In its story on the JEDI contract, the Washington Post claimed that, “Trump on several occasions has spoken out against Amazon and its chief executive, Jeff Bezos. And he has attacked the Bezos-owned Washington Post for its coverage of him by conflating it with Amazon’s interests.”

Then the Washington Post went on to complain that, “The president has called the news organization the ‘Amazon Washington Post,’ while accusing it of publishing ‘fake news’ and being a ‘lobbyist newspaper’ for the company.” A rumor that the Washington Post helpfully put to bed by doing just that.

But the real problem with the intersection between the Washington Post and Amazon isn’t its left-wing politics: it’s Jamal Khashoggi. A year after Amazon began lobbying the Pentagon, the Washington Post began publishing propaganda screeds in support of the Muslim Brotherhood, shaped by the Qatar Foundation, under the name of Jamal Khashoggi.

The Washington Post was aware that Khashoggi, an old friend of Osama bin Laden and longtime supporter of Islamic terrorism, was operating under Qatari influence. It was also aware that Qatar was the region’s biggest backer of Sunni Islamic terrorism and regime change influence operations. Its publication of Qatari propaganda under Khashoggi’s name and its subsequent insistence on transforming him into a martyr as part of the Qatari influence operation against Saudi Arabia, was an active attempt to influence United States foreign policy on behalf of an enemy government.

It’s behavior properly associated with registered foreign agents. Not an American media outlet.

A company that appears to be operating as an unregistered foreign agent for an enemy government cannot then turn around and have its owner’s company be trusted with the military’s JEDI cloud.

Why the Washington Post chose to participate in the Qatari influence operation is an open question. Until it’s resolved, allowing another company controlled by its owner to have sole dominion over the military cloud, as it already possesses over our intelligence cloud, is an unacceptable security risk.

The issue at stake is about more than whether Amazon or Microsoft get a $10 billion contract.

Our national security has already been badly compromised by the radical employees of contractors, Edward Snowden and Reality Winner. Snowden and Winner both compromised national security through the auspices of The Intercept, a site funded by Franco-Iranian dot com billionaire Pierre Omidyar. The Intercept has also been a notorious vehicle for Qatari influence operations.

Putting the military cloud in the hands of a compromised company could be truly devastating.

The Washington Post has an unfortunate history of acting as an advocate for Qatar and for Islamic terrorists in general. It has run countless pieces in support of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood has multiple terrorist affiliates and is dedicated to subverting our political system.

The Post was criticized for running an op-ed by Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, the leader of Yemen’s Houthi terrorists, who are backed by Iran, who have attacked Americans, and who chant, “Death to America”.

Earlier it had been condemned for publishing an op-ed from Ahrar al-Sham, an Islamic guerrilla group that had worked with Al Qaeda. One of the founding members of the armed jihadist group went on to head the Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria. Even Secretary of State John Kerry had condemned it, saying, “From Orlando to San Bernardino to the Philippines and Bali, we’ve seen pictures and we’ve heard testimony of shocking crimes committed by al-Qaida, by Boko Haram, by Jaysh al-Islam, by Ahrar al-Sham, by al-Shabaab, Daesh, other groups against innocent civilians, against journalists, and against teachers.”

But the Washington Post didn’t just offer op-ed space to brutal terrorists, it whitewashed them.

It ran a glowing profile of Salah Badi, a Libyan Islamist terrorist who had been sanctioned by the Treasury Department and the UN Security Council for rocket attacks that had killed civilians.

The Washington Post described the brutal Islamist killer as "one of Tripoli's defenders".

Even when it came to ISIS, the Washington Post ran an article headlined, "ISIS kidnapped my best friend. But when I met its fighters, I couldn’t hate them."

The Post ran an article touting Ismail Royer, who had been caught with weapons on September 2001, and had been convicted as part of the Virginia Jihad Network.

Last year, even the Taliban praised the Washington Post for giving the terror group credibility.

The Washington Post provides terrorists with a forum, whitewashes them and maintains an inappropriate relationship with state sponsors of Islamic terror. A company that shares a common leader with an organization with troubling terror ties should not control the military’s JEDI cloud.

The risks to our national security and the lives of our soldiers would be incalculable.

While American soldiers battle the Taliban in Afghanistan, the military’s JEDI cloud should not belong to a company that shares a leader with a paper that was praised by the Taliban.

While American sailors battle the Houthis in Yemen, the JEDI cloud should not be exposed to a company that shares a leader with an organization that provided the Houthis with a forum.

While American pilots go after Al Qaeda, ISIS and its allies in Syria, they should not be relying on JEDI cloud that shares a leader with an outlet that opened its doors to Al Qaeda’s allies.

Amazon’s JEDI bid is a threat to national security as long as its CEO is involved with a propaganda outlet for foreign terrorist groups and foreign governments that are waging a war against the United States.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

And With Free Government Internet For All...

Things have never been as bad as they are now. Not only is unemployment at a 50-year low, but last year saw the largest annual wage gain in a decade. 46% of Americans say jobs are plentiful. The number claiming that jobs are hard to come by declined from 15% to 12%.

But it’s at 100% in a field facing 96% unemployment in under a year. The 2020 Democrats.

“Who is this economy really working for?" Senator Elizabeth Warren demanded to know.

How bad is this economy really? So bad that Warren rolled out a plan to have the government guarantee Netflix 4K streaming internet for all at the modest cost of merely $85 billion.

That’s enough to pay for over 5 billion Netflix accounts which would cover most of the human race.

In her latest 5-year plan, Warren called for a “public option” for broadband. If her public option for the internet works the way that her public option for healthcare did, private internet will soon be banned. And the government internet will keep shutting off because it’s powered by green energy windmills.

And a hamster in a spinning wheel.

81% of Americans own smartphones. Only 10% don’t use the internet. The majority of those who don’t use the internet are senior citizens. 2/3rds of those who don’t use the internet say that it’s because it’s too confusing or they don’t think it’s relevant to their lives. Only 1 in 4 blamed price or access.

And that was in 2013.

Today, 100% of 18-29 year olds use the internet. 97% of 30-49 year olds are online. And so are 88% in the 50-64 group. The only lag is among people 65+ of whom, only 73% are online.

Warren claims that many people can’t afford the internet. That 100% says differently.

Almost everyone has internet access. Some older people are just choosing not to make use of it.

But Warren isn’t offering internet access. Instead the goalposts have been moved to broadband. Or, as Warren demands, “minimum speed broadband”, which she rates at 25 Mbps/ 3 Mbps.

Those are also Netflix’s requirements for 4K streaming.

At below Warren’s “minimum speed”, you will be able to watch videos. They just won’t be in 4K. And HD videos will take longer to stream. They may even, stop and start, or pause for a moment.

And how can we possibly deprive people of being able to watch uninterrupted HD videos?

To save the welfare class from being forced to endure such horrors, Warren is proposing to spend $85 billion to subsidize Netflix 4K streaming for the oppressed proletariat of Cleveland and Detroit.

"Nearly 27% of households in Detroit and Cleveland had no Internet access in 2017," Warren claims.

Except a Michigan State University survey found that 98% of Detroiters use the internet. 79% use handheld devices. And 48% access the internet through their cell phones.

But the no. 2 candidate in the 2020 Dem race has declared 4K streaming to be a human right.

“Who is this economy really working for?" Warren asked. It’s working so well for even the welfare class that Warren isn’t just offering them Obamaphones or internet, but specifically broadband internet.

Witness the incomprehensible suffering of those without 4K streaming connections.

Not all that long ago, Democrats were insisting that food, housing and medical care were human rights. Now they’re insisting that luxuries like 4K streaming and organic food are essential human rights.

“Access to adequate nutritious food is a human right,” New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced.

Not just access to food. Or adequate food. But adequate nutritious food.

Your free steak or chicken sandwich, like your broadband, must be of the highest possible quality.

Johnson, the likely next mayor of the failing city, was denouncing what he called, “food inequity.” Forget hunger. That’s been solved. The new problem is that not everyone has access to the same exact foods.

Why can’t the welfare recipient also guzzle Mouton-Rothschild and munch on organic mushroom pate?

Warren had announced that she would create an Office of Broadband Access and spend $85 billion to see to it that every single resident of Detroit, even if they don't have running water or working streetlights, would have 4K Netflix streaming. And Johnson promised an Office of Food Policy.

Not content with Orwellianisms like “food equity” and “food equality”, Johnson’s Council report also touts “food justice”. And he claims that the Trump administration represents a threat to “food justice”.

By food justice, the Democrat means food stamps.

“The primary responsibility for ensuring the right to food lies with government,” the report insists.

But not just any food. "Fresh, healthy food", including "sustainably grown" wheat rolls, and "antibiotic-free chicken" and "100% beef burgers". And New York City, the most densely populated city in America, will make this happen through “urban agriculture” in which enough healthy food to feed 8.6 million people (including the illegal aliens highlighted in the report) will be grown in New York City.

The Office of Urban Agriculture will "promote the expansion of agricultural uses in the city", which will expand "the availability of healthy food in low-income neighborhoods", ensure that every child has "equitable access to agricultural education", and of course, provide "adult urban agriculture training for local low-income residents" which will prepare them for "opportunities working in urban agriculture".

All this in a city where 27,000 people live per square mile. Or 42 people per acre.

You could import food from Missouri, or grow wheat rolls sustainably in the vast wheat fields of Harlem (where 32,000 people live per square mile) while equipping its low-income residents for the boundless opportunities to be found in being employed in the delusional fantasies of its insane government.

The OFP’s new metric for food equity is that, “every neighborhood should have food businesses that reflect that community’s cultures and diversity.” But it’s the Corey Johnsons, pretentious wealthy white lefties, who want to eat at diverse places. The people he’s advocating for want McDs or KFC.

“Evidence also suggests that access to fresh fruits and vegetables, in particular, is often lacking in communities with high rates of obesity and diabetes,” the report claims.

Speaker Corey Johnson is a notably adipose fellow. Pictures of him are usually taken from the neck up. The Democrat’s bulging stomach suggests that he should be the one eating more fruits and veggies.

Politician, heal thyself.

New York City’s illegal aliens and welfare recipients (who are often one and the same) are so hungry that they’re suffering from obesity. They’re so lacking in food that they’re downright diabetic. And the Democrats want to save them from this sad orgy of plenty by getting them organic fruits and veggies.

Organic pears are a human right.

Meanwhile in Detroit, too many of the residents are getting their internet access through smartphones instead of broadband. And you can’t stream too many episodes of Arrested Development that way.

America’s oppressed welfare class deserves more than Obamaphones and Taco Bell. 4K Netflix and Whole Foods are their Gaia-given right. And it is the obligation of taxpayers to provide it for them.

Only when we’ve blown $85 billion so that everyone in Detroit has Netflix and when organic heirloom tomatoes sprout in the Bronx, will food justice and internet justice and luxury justice be achieved.

“We Need Fully Automated Luxury Communism,” a New York Times editorial claimed.

Lefties are no longer advocating for necessities, but demanding luxuries. Forget food and shelter. Everyone has a right to diverse restaurants and videos that load without waiting. Everyone.

Welfare is no longer charity. It’s not even about giving people what they need, but what they want.

And politicians like Warren and Johnson have become more shameless about taking from those who work to reward those who don’t, not only with necessities, but with the luxuries of the good life.

Forget having to work in order to eat. You don’t even have to work to sit on the couch and watch Netflix.

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

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