Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Dem Dot Coms vs. Trump's Soldiers and Steelworkers

Politics has its style and its substance. Style requires the 2020 candidates to stump in New Hampshire diners and eat corn dogs at Iowa fairs. These stylistic rites of passage in American politics are on the verge of irrelevance as the kingmakers in California push up their primary and as the effort to eliminate the electoral college gains traction among the 2020 Democrats and, more importantly, their donors.

Forget the New Hampshire diners and Iowa corn dogs, the truth can be found if you follow the money.

The 2020 race is all about touting the democracy of small donors with a 130,000 donor threshold for the third Democrat debate. But certain zip codes keep coming up for the top Democrat candidates. The 100XX zip codes of Manhattan, the 90XXX zip codes of Los Angeles, the 94XXX zip codes of San Francisco, the 98XXX zip codes of Seattle, the 20XXX zip codes of D.C. and the 02XXX zip codes of Boston.

These are the core zip codes of the Democrat donor base. They are the pattern that recur in the campaign contributions lists of the top Democrats. And they explain the politics of the 2020 race.

Providing free health care for illegal aliens at taxpayer expense may not be very popular nationwide, but is commonplace in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Boston. Gun control is a loser nationwide, but a sure thing in the big blue cities. Even proposals to take away private health plans, allow rapists and terrorists to vote from prison, and open the border pick up more support there.

The 2020 Democrats aren’t speaking to Americans as a whole. Instead they’re addressing wealthy donors from 6 major cities, and some of their satellite areas, whose money they need to be able to buy teams, ads and consultants to help them win in places like New Hampshire and Iowa.

New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles show up in the top 5 donor cities for most of the top 2020 candidates, including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Pete Buttigieg. Boston shows up in the top 10, not only for Bernie and Warren, but for Kamala and Buttigieg. Seattle appears in the top 10 for Bernie, Warren, and Buttigieg. Washington D.C. features in the top 10 for Bernie, Booker, Warren, Kamala, and Buttigieg. And the rest of America doesn’t really matter.

Not if you’re a Democrat.

The democracy of small donors is illusory not only by zip code, but by industry. Google isn’t the largest company in America, but, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, its employees show up on the top company contributor lists for Kamala, Sanders, Buttigieg, and, Warren. Despite Warren’s supposed threat to break up big dot coms and Sanders’ talk of going after big companies, Google employees were the top backers of both candidates.

What do they know that we don’t?

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, does employ a lot people, but its number of employees is a fraction of those employed by Home Depot, Kroger or Wal-Mart. What Google does have is an enormous concentration of wealth and power through its monopolistic control over search advertising. That power also gives its radical employees a disproportionate ability to shape the 2020 Democrat field.

Despite Warren’s supposed threats to break up big tech, their employees are some of her biggest backers. Besides Google, Microsoft, Apple and Yelp employees are some of her major backers.

Again, what do the millionaire employees of big tech know about Warren’s plans that we don’t?

Microsoft employees show up on the donor leaderboards for Bernie, Kamala, Warren, and, Buttigieg. Amazon employees are a major donor group for Bernie and Buttigieg. Pinterest, which recently made headlines for the dot com’s aggressive censorship of pro-life views, appears on Buttigieg’s donor board. Apple employees are some of the major donors to Bernie, Warren, and Kamala.

There’s no question that big tech cash is helping shape the 2020 Democrat field.

But it’s not just big tech.

Some of the biggest financial players in shaping the 2020 field are government institutions.

After Google, University of California employees are the biggest donors to both Bernie and Warren. They also show up, somewhat less surprisingly, on the donor leaderboards for Kamala Harris and Buttigieg. The prominence of California college employees on donor lists for candidates from the other side of the country shows the sheer financial wealth of taxpayer funded institutions in California.

Aside from UC, employees of Berkeley, the city, show up as one of Bernie’s major donor groups. Employees of the State of California are a major donor group to Kamala Harris, a former state official.

New York City employees are a major donor group for Bernie Sanders.

The donor list roundups show the power of alumni networking with Warren tapping into a large donor base at Harvard and Buttigieg at Notre Dame. Harvard had positioned Warren for a profile in national politics and Notre Dame had made Buttigieg a viable candidate in a city where hardly anyone seems to even bother voting. And even Cory Booker managed to tap into his old Stanford connections

University of Michigan and University of Massachusetts employees are some of Warren’s most prevalent institutional donors. University of Illinois, Michigan, and Massachusetts employees fuel Bernie. As do Stanford and Columbia University employees.

Beyond the regional geography, there is a political and industrial geography shaping the 2020 field with New York City and Berkeley employees funding the candidacy of a Vermont socialist and the employees of public and private universities (but either way heavily subsidized by taxpayers) across the country funding the rise of a Massachusetts socialist with an academic background.

By contrast, Trump is the only 2020 candidate whose top 5 donor groups don’t contain a single big data firm, but do contain employees of the United States Army and the Department of Defense. He’s also the only candidate whose top donor groups contain multiple branches of the military, the Army, Navy, and Air Force (Space Force still pending), but not a single college or FAANG tech monstrosity.

In contrast to the 2020 Dems, there isn’t a single law firm, but there are several manufacturing firms. Meanwhile not a single of the top 2020 Dems appears to have a manufacturing donor base.

The sharp contrast between Googlers and steelworkers, between professors and soldiers, draws a truer picture of the clash of cultures between the Democrats and Republicans, lefties and righties in America.

Bernie Sanders claimed that his campaign was grass roots because his average donation was $27. Bernie, a 1 percenter socialist who claims to advocate for the poor from one of his three homes, was under the impression that $27 was what poor people could donate to a political campaign.

Then President Trump raised $54 million. His average donation was four bucks.

The parts of the country are also more diverse with Milwaukee, San Antonio, Greensboro, Dallas, and Houston appearing on the list of Trump donor bases.

The 2020 election will come down to the question of whether six influential blue cities will be able to buy the election and dictate their politics to the country, whether the big tech firms and professors will be able to drown out the sailors and steelworkers, or whether the rest of the nation will be heard.

The dot coms and academics of San Francisco and Boston, the financial firms of New York and the lobbyists of Washington D.C. will pick the Democrat nominee. But will they pick the president?

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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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Stop the Deepfakes Freakout

In 1988, a new program was created that would, unwillingly, give its name to an entire field of fake pictures. At the end of the eighties, Adobe Photoshop was not associated with faked photos. But the popularization of the graphics software made it possible for people to produce plausible fake pictures.

And, the world is still here.

Deepfakes, what can be called "Photoshopping for video," has set off an hysterical overreaction by Dems and the media that’s usually reserved for discovering that their flaming pants were made in Moscow.

Rep. Yvette Clarke, a politician no one had previously accused of understanding technology, has proposed the DEEPFAKES Accountability Act. The bill exists for no other reason than to remind people outside her miserable Brooklyn district of her existence and for the Supreme Court to strike it down.

The bill mandates a digital watermark for any "advanced technological false personation record" created "with the intent to distribute such record over the internet".

It comes with a 5-year prison sentence for malicious intent.

Mutale Nkonde, a Clarke advisor on the bill from the Data & Society Research Institute, bizarrely claimed, "Deepfake videos are much more likely to be deployed against women, minorities, people from the LGBT community, poor people."

Deepfakes are more resource intensive than Photoshopping. There’s no reason to think that their creators are going to spend a lot of time and effort targeting poor people. The current victims mostly appear to be female celebrities, who have plenty of financial resources, rather than poor gay minorities.

Clarke’s bill somehow gets even worse when it defines a deepfake as a video depicting “any material activity of a deceased person which such deceased person did not in fact undertake, and the exhibition of which is substantially likely to either further a criminal act or result in improper interference in an official proceeding, public policy debate, or election.” That would mean a Hollywood movie using a digitally enhanced Lincoln released around an election could run afoul of the Democrat’s legislation.

The repeated mentions of “elections” get at the truly troubling part of the deepfakes hysteria.

Clarke claims that her bill would stop “election interference from both foreign and domestic players who could use deep fake technology to alter images and videos of candidates running for office.”

We’ve had technology that can do that for a long time. Again, it’s called Photoshop.

A bill to ban Photoshopping of politicians, or to require watermarks on Photoshopped pictures of Obama or Trump, would rightly meet with outrage and pushback from free speech groups.

Photoshopped pictures and memes have become the most common form of political cartoon.

Before the deepfakes hysteria took off, bad lip-reading videos and other audio overlays served as forms of political satire. Long before the existence of computers, impersonators did the same thing.

Rep. Adam Schiff claimed that deepfakes, “enable malicious actors to foment chaos, division or crisis — and they have the capacity to disrupt entire campaigns including that for the presidency.”

But do they really? Why hasn’t it happened yet?

For the same reason that a Photoshopped picture of a political candidate with a supermodel has yet to stop an election. Faked pictures can be detected. So can deepfakes. Tampering leaves telltale traces.

And the proliferation of Photoshopping has devalued the significance of the damning photo. The proliferation of deepfakes will, in the same way, prevent people from taking videos too seriously.

People outside D.C.

Rep. Schiff demanded that social media companies “protect users” from “viral deepfakes” before the 2020 election. But it isn’t users that need “protecting” from videos. It’s Democrats like Schiff and Pelosi who want to censor the internet to protect themselves from a little ridicule.

When a recent video of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, slowed down to make her words sound slurred, went viral, the media jumped on the non-event with headlines in the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN. Rep. Schiff immediately announced that there would be an investigation of deepfakes, even though the Pelosi video was not a deepfake, it was a basic audio trick that’s been around forever.

The Pelosi video was not, as the media falsely claimed, a “nightmarish” new threat or part of a wave of deepfakes that will destabilize the 2020 election and test the ability of the internet to cope. YouTube is full of dozens of videos of Trump slowed down with that same drunken slur. And videos of every politician from every nation under the sun. They’re everywhere and nobody takes them seriously.

The media has claimed that the Russian and Chinese governments could introduce hoax videos. But governments had the financial resource and technology to produce them long before deepfakes.

The threat of deepfakes is that, like Photoshopping, anyone can in theory figure out how to do it.

Democrats and the media embraced a fact-free deepfake hysteria because it perpetuates the fake news panic they set off after Trump won with the aim of censoring the internet and tightly controlling speech.

Censorship, not deepfakes, is the real threat.

The last time fake materials were used in an attempt to change the outcome of a presidential election, the perpetrator was CBS News which tried to pass off documents produced in Microsoft Word as being from the Vietnam War in order to prevent President George W. Bush from being reelected.

America weathered that crisis, not because of government legislation or because of the media’s fact checks or censorship by internet platforms, but because internet users quickly spotted the fakery.

The media has spent an entire generation trying to rehabilitate Dan Rather and the original reporting. Hollywood even made a movie starring Robert Redford as Dan Rather. The media regularly consults Rather as an elder statesman on subjects such as fake news. It couldn’t possibly have any less credibility on the subject of bad actors using faked materials to sway the outcome of a presidential election.

No Russians needed.

Should legislation be enacted to prevent the media from faking documents, pictures or videos?

No. The government is the worst possible custodian of gatekeeping election materials. The conflicts of interest are so obvious as to be abusive. Clarke’s bill risks exactly that problem. Internet platforms like Google and Facebook are even more politically biased and untrustworthy. Especially when they’re guided by media fact checks which manage to be even more biased than the lefty dot com monopolies.

The answer is to stop creating tiers of gatekeepers with their own biases and conflicts of interest.

The internet is an open forum. The best way to manage its conflicts is with the marketplace of ideas. And while ideological debates can recede into endless abstractions and namecalling, faked photos and videos can be highlighted and called out. The debate over photoshopping does show a way forward.

And, as with the CBS News scandal, the worst abusers have often been the media.

In 2013, the World Press Photo award winning photo of Muslim parents carrying dead children through the street in Gaza was an impossible shot that turned out to have been tampered with. The photo became the subject of a debate between bloggers, tech experts and the media, which defended it.

Faked photos of various kinds have been a staple of the Israeli-Muslim conflict.

During the 2006 fighting in Lebanon, Reuters photos had to be withdrawn due to Photoshopping. The media has been much less interested in discussing the threat of fake news posed by photos falsely indicting Israel. Or of the Daily Mirror photos that falsely showed British soldiers torturing Iraqis (that’s the scandal which inflicted Piers Morgan on America) which may have inspired Islamic terrorist attacks.

History tells us that if deepfakes become a political threat, the perpetrators will be the media.

And the best antidote to them isn’t government, media or dot com censorship. It’s the piercing light of public scrutiny. Sunlight is the best disinfectant and for it to shine, the shadow of Congress, Google and the International Fact Checking Network can’t be allowed to blot out the light of public debate.

The deepfake that poses a threat to a presidential election won’t come out of an obscure forum. It will be broadcast by the media which will mobilize experts to defend its legitimacy and employ its fact checkers to suppress dissenting material on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. The suppression will be backed by the legislation and threats put forward by Rep. Schiff about suppressing “disinformation”.

We’re Americans and we know that the best defense against fake news, lies, hoaxes and scams is not a government agency, a dot com monopoly or a media monopoly. Those are the ways we get fake news, lies, hoaxes and scams that cannot be challenged because anyone who speaks out is swiftly silenced.

The only way to prevent an actual deepfake election hijacking is by keeping speech on the internet free.

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, July 14, 2019

The History of the Israeli Community of Ramat Trump

At an elevation of over 2,000 feet, the road to Ramat Trump or Trump Heights at times appears to be climbing into the sky. The Golan Heights with its scrub and brush, the vast Mediterranean vistas, nature reserves and artsy cottages, interrupted by secluded villages with more livestock than people, could easily be mistaken for some rural part of California. But occasionally there is the distant sound of artillery or the sonic booms of Israeli or Russian jets reminding everyone that this is a war zone.

On the other side of the wineries and ranches isn’t California, but a murderous struggle between Sunni and Shiite Islamic terrorists battling each other and themselves for control of Syria. Factions on the other side include Iran, Al Qaeda, ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood. Ever since Trump won, the struggle has been dying down. ISIS has mostly been crushed. But the cows up here can’t count on the quiet.

The announcement that Israel would be naming a town after Trump, in appreciation of his recognition of the Golan Heights, was met with jeers and media cries that it would be an “illegal settlement”.

There’s plenty of history behind dismissing the notion of “illegal settlements” on land where Jews had lived for thousands of years. Ramat Trump will be under the authority of the Golan Regional Council based out of Katzrin, a Jewish village with an ancient synagogue dating back to at least the 4th century built by refugees fleeing the might of Rome, only for it and other small Jewish villages built on the Heights to encounter the Islamic invaders claiming the land not for the emperor, but for the caliph.

On the Syrian side, there are still jihadis hoping to invade and claim the land for another caliph.

The Democrats, activists and media hacks who condemned President Trump’s recognition of the Golan Heights and who denounce Ramat Trump as an “Israeli settlement” haven’t explained what they want to see done with it. Do they want to turn it over to the Sunni or Shiite jihadists? To ISIS or to Iran?

The calm waters and scattered stones, the massive clouds slowly drifting across the sky and the breeze rich with the smell of growing things, belie the many battles that have been fought here.

And may be fought yet again.

After the next Israeli election, Trump Heights will slowly come into being near the community of Kela Alon named after the oaks that thrive here and which were referenced by the prophets in biblical times. A more recent landmark is Petroleum Road, the remnants of a pipeline which once ran from Saudi Arabia to Lebanon. The pipeline and the road have long since become defunct. One day archeologists will dig them up to unearth their secrets. But for now, Petroleum Road has another secret to tell.

On Yom Kippur, the holiest day of Judaism, Syria and Egypt launched a surprise attack on the Jewish State. Some of the bloodiest battles for survival were fought here as a handful of Israelis held out against overwhelming odds.

On Petroleum Road, Lieutenant Zvika Greengold, 21, with one tank, held off an entire Syrian armored division. Greengold, who had been born in a kibbutz named after the ghetto fighters, destroyed 60 tanks in 30 hours of fighting. His tank was knocked out, his uniform caught on fire, but he never gave up.

Highway 98, off Petroleum Road, leads to the Valley of Tears. That’s the memorial for the Israeli soldiers who fought and died when 175 Israeli tanks stood against 700 Syrian tanks. Highway 98 isn’t just a road. The location was one of the objectives of the battle that left hundreds of enemy tanks in ruins.

Such lopsided battles defined the struggle for the Heights with outnumbered and overwhelmed Israeli forces building temporary walls out of enemy armor while waiting and praying for reinforcements.

The bloody lessons of those days have settled the question of the Golan Heights for virtually all Israelis.

The commanding heights that allowed Israeli forces to survive, to win battles by holding the line and preventing superior enemy forces from breaking through gaps, cannot be surrendered at any price.

You might as well have asked the 300 Spartans to surrender the Hot Gates to the Persians as to demand that the Israelis turn over the Kuneitra Gap and its lava beds to Iran’s proxies in Syria.

It’s been a long time since 1973. Old heroes have gone to their resting place. But the war waits.

Aside from the visit by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Ambassador Friedman to dedicate Ramat Trump, the area is quiet. The new community will rise out of an older community of Bruchim or Welcome. The symbolism is significant because when Bruchim village was pioneered back in the 90s, a furious Secretary of State James Baker had blasted Israel’s “provocative” actions in creating a “settlement”.

Three decades later, the few Soviet Jewish refugees who found welcome in these heights live quietly and provoke no one. Baker’s efforts at Israeli-Syrian peace talks not only failed, but were irrelevant. Syria, like much of the rest of the region, is not a country or a people, it’s a dictatorship welding together different peoples and tribes who would fight for dominance and independence any chance they get.

A deal with the Assad family is as hollow and meaningless as one signed with a drug cartel or Hamas.

President Trump’s recognition of the Golan Heights disavows the fantasy foreign policy of both Bush administrations and of the Obama administration. Trump is a realist and how better to honor him than to recognize the reality on the ground. That’s the message that dedicating Trump Heights sends.

Israelis have brought American diplomats and politicians to the Golan Heights for generations to show them how vulnerable the country is. They all nodded their heads as if they understood. But none did.

Trump Heights is named after the only man in the White House who understood how important it is.

James Baker III had represented generations of the old Republican foreign establishment. His protégé, Condoleezza Rice had carried on his work under Bush II. But Baker’s closest equivalent in the Trump era, Rex Tillerson, another oil company man, was gone and replaced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo is a realist not given to fantasy diplomacy, ambitious regional solutions or wishful thinking.

The old Arabist anti-Israel alliances have fractured and some of the Sunni Muslim oil powers would rather that Israel hold the Golan Heights than that Iran add another strategic region to its empire.

Trump Heights will not be a booming hub of commerce and technology. The Golan Heights are remote and not suited for huge bustling crowds. With 110 housing units planned, Ramat Trump will probably have fewer residents than most Trump hotels. Traffic will be light. And likely limited to tourists and artists staying for a while in the nearby cottages of Matsok Orvim or the Cliff of Crows.

But the vistas and the history here are too overwhelming for big buildings and shopping malls.

The Israelis who live in Trump Heights will not be wealthy. They will have few luxuries. But they will be determined. All Israelis live in a war zone. But some do more than others. All Israelis live close to heaven. But some heights are closer than others. The unyielding patience of history has formed the rock and dust here. And some of that quiet determination has made its mark on the land and the people.

The Heights are crowded with thousands of years of history, with the sounds of falling shells and screaming men, but also with a vastness of sky and earth that open the human heart to wonder. There are strange megalithic monuments that have never been explained, unexpected springs bounding from the earth, and massive waterfalls. And in the air is that intangible taste of a timeless eternity.

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, July 11, 2019

A $1.6 Trillion Bribe for Dem Primary Voters

62% of Democrat primary voters have a college degree. 29% have a postgrad degree.

That’s in contrast to a national average of a third of Americans with college degrees and only around 13% with postgrad degrees.

Those postgrad numbers are very significant.

MA students make up 17% of student loan borrowers, but 38% of student loan debt.

Graduate degree students borrowed $18,120 in one year compared to $5,460 for undergrads. Loan debt hits stratospheric numbers with professional degrees with medical degree debt at $161,772 and law school debt at $140,616. Much of this was due to a rule allowing unlimited grad student borrowing.

Over a third of Dem primary voters earn over $100,000 a year compared to 9% of Americans.

Democrats student loan bailout proposals are heavily tilted to favor their own primary demographic.

The number of grad students is rising as the number of undergrads is dropping. Two MAs are being awarded for every five BAs backed by unlimited borrowing and out of control tuition increases.

But a White House plan to limit the scale of student borrowing ran into Democrat opposition.

Instead Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders have decided to offer a $1.6 trillion bribe to a minority of Americans, but a majority of Democrat primary voters. Warren and Sanders have repeatedly criticized Wall Street bailouts, but their student loan proposals are even more cynical.

The $1.6 trillion giveaway is not an emergency response to an economic crisis. It’s a bailout of irresponsible behavior by an industry and some of its consumers in order to win the primaries.

Sanders and Warren are trying to bribe their way to the valued second place slot in the 2020 race.

Warren has traditionally polled best among post-grads. She’s trying to appeal to that base to get her further into the race. Bernie Sanders has lagged among the 100k+ voters. His plan has no income tests because he’s trying to improve his standing with a minority of Americans, but a third of primary voters.

They’re both scrambling for the support of the same base of young wealthy postgrads who are extremely politically active in Democrat circles and would love to get a pass on student loans.

And that demographic has already been the beneficiary of unprecedented largess.

Loans have gone from being backed by the government to being made directly by the government. When Obama first won his election, there was $140 billion in federal student debt loans. We’re now at approximately $1.2 trillion in federal loans ever since the government all but took over the business.

Turning taxpayer money into loans for a sizable chunk of the Democrat base has now led to a demand that we take a bath on that trillion plus and then buy up loans from private lenders in the bargain.

This is every bit as bad as the Wall Street bailouts that Warren and Sanders inveigh against. Their proposal is to have Americans bail out the Democrat voters they want to the tune of $1.6 trillion.

Warren and Sanders have claimed that they wanted a college loan bailout for all Americans. Demographically, their bailout is about helping them score a few points in tight primaries by appealing to a minority of Americans, who happen to be key demographics in the primary contests.

The largest concentration of student loan debt is among the under 30 and the 30-39 crowd. As college tuition rates spin out of control, younger students are likely to carry heavier debt than in the past.

This is also a group that is far more likely to vote for Democrats.

In the 2018 midterm elections, the under 30 crowd chose Democrats over Republicans, 67 to 32, and 30-44 voters picked Democrats to Republicans, 58 to 39.

Those also happen to Bernie and Liz’s base. The one they’re cannibalizing our earnings to bribe.

Student loan debt is a bigger problem among women than men and among black people than white people. Black college grads owe $53,000 in debt, almost twice as much, four years after graduation.

Black voters tend to vote for Democrats by 90 percent or more.

That doesn’t mean that their problems don’t matter. But, conversely, there’s something obscene about Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders offering a $1.6 trillion bailout to their voters.

The American people should not have to pay the tab for a $1.6 trillion primary bribe.

The socialist candidates claim that the money will be paid for by new taxes on the rich. We’ve heard that line before. All their programs are supposed to be paid for that way. In reality, the costs will be passed down to the middle class while the benefits will be reaped by Democrat politicians and their supporters.

We don’t have a cost crisis in higher education. Instead, we have a spending crisis.

Senator Elizabeth Warren ought to know. Harvard paid her $350,000 to teach one class. Senator Bernie Sanders ought to know. His wife got $200,000 in severance from the college she ran into the ground.

Both Warren and Sanders profited from out of control college spending without caring about students.

The student loan crisis was caused by a chain reaction of irresponsible spending by schools, leading to tuition hikes, and student debt spinning out of control until it approaches entirely impossible numbers.

Student loan debt increased from $90 billion in outstanding student loan debt in 1999 to $550 billion in 2011 to $1.3 trillion in 2014 to $1.6 trillion now.

$90 billion to $1.6 trillion in 20 years is a huge leap. But it can be reversed with market signals that make it clear that the era of free money that drove institutional costs and tuition hikes is over. Or we can flush trillions more down the drain while blowing up the educational bubble until it becomes too big to fail.

Another two decades of such increases would lead to a number that would consume our entire GDP.

When that day comes, the real cost won’t be $1.6 trillion. It will be our entire economy.

The answer to the student debt crisis isn’t to feed the beast, but to tell the institutions that have helped run up unfathomable amounts of institutional and student debt to go on a diet before it’s too late.

There have been enough bailouts. It’s time to stop bailing and fix the boat.

Americans can’t afford Bernie and Liz’s $1.6 trillion bribe to their voter base. Nor can we afford the cost of the bubble when it finally bursts.

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, July 10, 2019

The Progressive Feminist Who Founded the American Library Association Faces a Reckoning

The Dewey Decimal System is the foundation of the modern library. Hundreds of thousands of libraries have laid out their collections around the work of the founder of the American Library Association.

Now Melvil Dewey has been purged by the American Library Association.

The ALA's resolution declares that its founder "does not represent the stated fundamental values of ALA in equity, diversity, and inclusion" and thus will rename the Melvil Dewey Medal to something else.

Renaming an award, without renaming the Dewey Decimal System seems odd, but stripping Dewey’s name from a meaningless award is easy, transforming library catalogs is a lot more difficult.

Virtue signaling is easiest when it takes very little work.

The purge was inevitable. The ALA is a leftist organization and Dewey had been due for the worst kind of revival. His name had begun showing up in the posts that millennial progressives who don’t know any history write to denounce the political incorrectness of some overlooked figure from the past.

Dewey’s sins from 1906 are only new to lefty millennials with no knowledge of history beyond last week.

The denunciation of Melvil Dewey rests on two sins that were not only very well known in his own time, but had already been dealt with a century ago, his sexual harassment of female librarians, and his racism and anti-Semitism. Not only was his misconduct well known, but over a hundred years ago he was forced out of the ALA over sexual harassment and out of the New York State Library over anti-Semitism.

Why did the ALA create an award named after a man it once shunned as a creep with wandering hands?

Melvil Dewey made the American Library Association what it is and his failings and faults are writ large across the entire spectrum of liberal intellectual life. The millennial friendly hot takes on Dewey’s life reduce him to another racist, sexist white man from a bygone era. And that ignores the actual reality.

Dewey was in a position to sexually harass numerous women because he was a feminist.

As a key figure in the Men’s League for Woman Suffrage, Dewey had appeared at suffrage events and marched alongside suffragettes to call for votes for women. He got women into Columbia by hijacking a classroom, creating the first library school, the School of Library Economy at Columbia, and admitting a mostly female class to a college that did not allow women over the protests of the trustees.

That class went on to become leaders in a new field that would be dominated by women.

Along with his wife, Dewey championed birth control, votes for women, and the League of Nations. He was a progressive hero, before he was disgraced, was resurrected as a hero, before being purged again.

The intersection between male feminists and sexual predators dates back well over a century. The stories eager to lay out all the complaints of sexual harassment against Dewey for decades neglect the role his progressive social views played in his actions. Did Dewey advocate for women’s rights because it gave him more opportunities to prey on women? Or did his social views cause his abuses?

Dewey had been a member of the American Social Hygiene Association which promoted sexual education and birth control. At the Conference on Race Betterment, a eugenics group, he argued for a ban on tobacco. Margaret Sanger, who combined eugenics and birth control, listed him as an endorser.

At least one article has linked Dewey to the Oneida Community, a communal sexual cult whose founder coined the term, “free love”. An early joke about Dewey from his chums has him heading to that "Paradisi of bliss, that ‘Oneida Community’ where all men are free and equal, and all women ditto."

Instead, Dewey turned library science into his own commune, surrounded by women he groped and harassed, even as he championed their equality and boosted their professional careers.

It’s an old story. And it created the American Library Association.

Some viewed the Lake Placid Club, which generated the accusations of anti-Semitism over its exclusion of Jews, to attempts to create another progressive utopian community, married to Dewey’s obsession with the metric system. (All the guests had to turn out the lights and go to sleep by 10 PM.)

Rules barring Jews from clubs weren’t unusual. But Dewey’s rules took a progressive eugenic tone.

A member’s Christian wife was banned because her “blood” was one-quarter Jewish. American anti-Semitism was social. Dewey’s racial anti-Semitism would later find its eugenic echo in Nazi Germany.

The specific ban, of which Jews ran afoul, extended also to “consumptives, or other invalids”.

Dewey was a member of the Eugenics Committee of the United States.

The Lake Placid Club had been set up for the educators and thinkers who were Melvil’s friends and allies. It was not the country club of a reactionary set, but the society of a progressive elite.

The anti-Semitism at the Lake Placid Club was not old. It was a New Anti-Semitism of the Left.

Melvil Dewey and his wife Annie were obsessed with improving the race. Jews had no place in their vision of a progressive nation run by a master race using eugenics to improve the species.

Just as Dewey’s sexual harassment stemmed from his progressive views, so did his anti-Semitism.

Those facts are absent from the stories about his name being removed from ALA award. None of them address the reality that Dewey’s lechery and bigotry defined progressivism and leftist politics today.

Dewey suffered from the typical progressive obsession with modernity and efficiency. The end result was dehumanizing and disastrous. The founding genius of the library system was almost impossible to listen to as a teacher, intolerable as a colleague and an obsessive-compulsive mess as a friend.

Melvil Dewey was an obsessive progressive. The first clue is in his first name. A fierce advocate of spelling reform, Dewey changed the spelling of his name from Melville to Melvil and from Dewey to Dui.

“Skolars agree,” he ranted in a sample of what his spelling reform would have done to the language, “that we hav the most unsyentif ik, unskolarli, illojical & wasteful spelling ani languaj ever ataind.”

Dewey’s obsession with reforming everything made him the toast of progressives. He championed transforming the language and imposing the metric system. He wanted to see everything modernized. The progressive reformer envisioned a world of rigid conformity and unstoppable change. He resolved the paradox, as all lefty reformers do, with a totalitarian answer of tyrants imposing new world orders.

And, like all radicals, he lived long enough to run afoul of the new world he had brought into being.

While the ALA can take Dewey’s name off its medal, the unified duality of his feminism and sexual harassment, his progressive values and bigotry, his obsession with the new and destruction of the old, characterize the movement that is purging him. Lefties can get rid of Dewey, but not the Dewey within.

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.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019


In March, DNC boss Tom Perez claimed that FOX News could not be trusted to host a “fair and neutral debate” because of the “inappropriate relationship” between President Trump and the news network.

In a FOX News interview, Perez accused it of having “put the thumb on the scale”.

And then the DNC awarded the first Democrat debate to MSNBC and NBC News.

Scale meet thumb.

Perez had claimed that FOX News had “pierced that line between editorial and your Sean Hannity shows.” The DNC had decided to pierce the line between editorial and conspiracy theories by accepting MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow as one of the NBC/MSNBC moderators alongside its news anchors.

Maddow had briefly become the public face of MSNBC, remaking it with disastrous results. In the Trump era, the formerly lightweight leftist pundit was reinvented as an obsessive conspiracy theorist. Maddow had barely paid attention to Russia before. Now, her show was built around finding a nexus between Trump and Russia while postulating that everything Trump did was done on Vladimir Putin’s orders.

On one show, she suggested that it may be that “the American presidency right now is the product of collusion between the Russian intelligence services and an American campaign.”

During the Democrat shutdown, she implied that Trump was trying to destroy the country on Putin’s orders. "If Russia did get a US president to act on their behalf against the United States. If you were Russia, what else would you want that president to do at this point?" she breathlessly fulminated. "The government is not just a vehicle that has sputtered to a halt, each passing day pours more sugar into the gas tank, making it harder and harder for this thing to ever get running again."

This was the unhinged conspiracy theorist whom the DNC thought should be moderating a debate.

The DNC’s Perez had justified his FOX News ban based on a hit piece by Jane Mayer that appeared in the New Yorker. Mayer was a regular on MSNBC and appeared on the lefty news network to promote the very hit piece that had been cited by Perez. Mayer had also appeared on Maddow’s show even though the New York Times had banned its reporters from the conspiracy show.

Some of Mayer’s biggest hits were done in collaboration with Ronan Farrow. The best known of these was a disastrous story about a second accuser targeting Justice Kavanaugh. Mayer went on MSNBC to discuss the allegations. Farrow’s original home had been MSNBC. His failed MSNBC show had been seen as part of the failed ‘Maddowization’ of the lefty news network.

But these days there’s an MSNBCization of the DNC.

Beyond Maddow, and the DNC boss citing an attack on the journalistic standards of FOX News by one of her guests as his basis for a ban, the rise of MSDNC occasioned protests from other news channels.

CBS, CNN, ABC, FOX and even C-SPAN are protesting a sweetheart deal between MSNBC and the DNC that grants the lefty news channel exclusive live rights to the weekend party convention in South Carolina. Other news networks face an embargo on video coverage. South Carolina Dems are claiming that MSNBC will provide the 2020 candidates with more coverage, but that doesn’t hold up for C-SPAN.

C-SPAN is a non-profit that practically exists to broadcast political speeches. The Dems aren’t barring C-SPAN because they’re worried that their candidate’s speeches won’t be aired and accessible.

They’re doing it because MSNBC has become the house news network of the Democrats.

Anchoring the MSNBC coverage of the event will be Al Sharpton and Joy Reid. Both Sharpton and Reid have an ugly history of anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry. While Tom Perez had taken shots at Sean Hannity, he’s quite comfortable with Sharpton, a bigot who had declared, "We taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it” and “if the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.”

That’s acceptable at the DNC. But FOX News anchors like Bret Baier and Chris Wallace aren’t.

Beyond the bigotry, Sharpton was a former presidential candidate who had his own DNC speaking slot. He’s also a Dem kingmaker with presidential candidates routinely lining up to get his endorsement. At his National Action Network Conference, he welcomed 2020 Dem contenders to make their pitch.

Dems and their MSNBC allies have attacked FOX News as “State TV” over the friendliness of some of the editorial shows and other non-anchors to President Trump. But the Democrats giving MSNBC an exclusive, while locking out C-SPAN, to broadcast a party event anchored by a party activist is State TV.

A Democrat kingmaker is anchoring coverage of a Democrat event in an exclusive deal for MSNBC.

And the collusion between MSNBC and the DNC gets even uglier.

“Yesterday, I received a call from @DafnaLinzer who serves as managing editor of NBC/MSNBC politics. Dafna's conduct during the call was highly inappropriate and unethical. So what was the purpose of her call? She called me to bully me on behalf of the DNC,” Yashar Ali, a freelance reporter, tweeted.

Ali had picked up a scoop about the primary debate dates.

After he tried confirming the dates with the DNC, he received a call from Dafna Linzer. Linzer, the managing politics editor for MSNBC and NBC, had gotten a call from the DNC and took a "menacing tone" demanding that Ali hold the story until the DNC was ready.

"I realized that @DafnaLinzer, the head of all political coverage for NBC News and MSNBC wasn't calling to advocate for her network, she was calling to advocate the DNC's position. She wanted me to wait so they could call state party leaders," Ali tweeted.

"I couldn't believe what she was saying. Again, it was fine for me to print the story an hour later, beat her own network by three hours, she just wanted me to let the DNC inform state party leaders.”

“Why the hell did she care?" he asked.

The answer becomes much more apparent if you think of the MSNBC and DNC leadership teams as interchangeable figures with the same goals, but different functions under an umbrella organization.

DNC boss Tom Perez had accused FOX News of an inappropriate relationship with Trump. MSNBC is one long inappropriate DNC relationship interspersed with conspiracy theories and incontinence ads.

MSNBC had been born out of a strange hybrid relationship between Microsoft and NBC. The failed collaboration between a lefty tech giant and a news network to create a lefty echo chamber (Slate was once another Microsoft product) was ahead of its time in an era where Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes owns the New Republic, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar funds The Intercept and The Bulwark, Salesforce’s Marc Benioff owns Time and Amazon boss Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post.

The convergence of the Democrats and MSNBC appears to be a more logical and inevitable merger.

MSNBC had long leaned leftward. And as the Democrats have tilted sharply in the same direction, it’s becoming more difficult to figure out where the DNC ends and MSNBC begins. Some are calling this new hybrid, DNCMSNBC. Others have opted for lighter portmanteaus like DNBC and MSDNC.

But, call it what you will, State TV is here. And at the DNC, MSNBC always has an exclusive.

Monday, July 08, 2019

How Biden Went From -$947K to Millions

In the final years of the Obama administration, Joe Biden’s net worth was estimated at -$947,987. The minus sign was the most important part of that figure. The negative numbers weren’t implausible. After Obama won, Biden disclosed that he was carrying as much as a staggering $465,000 in debt.

But despite being a million in the hole, after his administration was done, he moved into a 12,000 foot estate that looks like a poor man’s replica of the White House with 5 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, a wet bar, 2 kitchens, a sauna, 8 fireplaces, parking for 20 cars and a master bedroom on an entire floor.

The estimated rent is $20,000 a month.

That’s in addition to buying a $2.7 million vacation home in Delaware and his original lakeside home.

Where did all that money come from? As with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, part of the answer lies with some very lucrative book deals. The same year that Biden moved into his miniature White House, Macmillan offered Biden and his wife a multi-book contract worth unknown millions. That was quite a lot of money for a retired veep who hadn’t even announced that he was running for again.

Biden’s previous literary adventures hadn’t exactly set the publishing world on fire. On taking office, Random House had paid him a $9,563 advance to record an audio version of Promises to Keep. The campaign book sold some 49,000 copies and netted under $200 in royalties in 2009.

No, there are no missing zeroes there.

Promise Me, Dad, the first of the Macmillan haul, debuted in 2017. On Amazon, it sits at #39,101 in Books, far below Buttigieg's book at #1,387, Kamala Harris' at #12,556 or Elizabeth Warren's at #22,40.

(Though doing far better than Cory Booker's disastrous book, down in the basement at #205,437.)

Even Stacey Abrams is doing better than Biden at #14,018.

Biden’s book did debut at the top of the bestseller list. It may be performing badly on Amazon because people aren’t really buying the book to read it. They’re buying access to Joe Biden.

Joe had gotten better at selling books. Not because of what was inside them. But by selling himself.

When Marty Walsh, a good friend of Biden, won the election to run Boston, his 1,500 inaguration guests all got copies of Biden’s book. Mayor Walsh claimed that helping prop up Biden’s multi-million book contract so he could afford a 12,000 foot estate with 9 bathrooms was a way of spreading his message about “the importance of the middle class and bringing people together”.

The University of Utah hosted Biden as its keynote speaker. Instead of paying him, it bought 1,000 copies of his book to give out to students. Biden’s people pushed this story in the media as if it were a charitable act. The book purchase was funded by a grant from the O.C. Tanner Company.

O.C. Tanner spent $160,000 on lobbying in 2018.

Biden’s books hadn’t become more interesting a decade later. Promises to Keep had faltered because he had been a longshot candidate. Promise Me, Dad copies were moving, not so much because people were reading them, but because they were a vehicle for gaining access to the 2020 Dem nominee.

His book tour consisted of selling tickets to hear him discuss his book and get an autographed copy.

His American Promise tour included a copy of Promise Me with every ticket sold. At a D.C. bookstore, a VIP package of $448 got you a chance to meet Biden and a signed copy of the book. A VIP package in Austin, Texas, got you a signed copy and only went for $325.

Meanwhile, actually hosting Biden was a nightmare. The University of Buffalo paid Biden $200,000 to give a speech. CAA, one of Hollywood’s biggest talent agencies, which represents the likes of Robert Downey Jr, Sandra Bullock, and Johnny Depp, had the university sign a contract in which “the Artist” was to receive a “full-length mirror”, a meal of angel hair pomodoro, a fridge with 3 different kinds of sodas, and a ban on any “projectiles that can be thrown”. Excepting, apparently, copies of his book.

Because, booksellers would be selling copies of Promise Me, Dad on site.

Speakers using book giveaways as part of, or in place of, their honorarium, is nothing new. But Biden, like Hillary, appeared to be blurring the line between public speaking and monetizing a future candidacy.

Biden’s book sales promoted his candidacy, put millions in his pocket and allowed individuals, organizations and special interests to potentially trade access in exchange for buying his book. When a company with lobbying interests sponsors a 1,000 book buy, it’s indirectly providing a benefit to Biden. Would it be doing so if Biden hadn’t been a serious presidential prospect in 2020?

And would Macmillan have signed Biden to such a generous contract any other way?

Promise Me, Dad had sold 302,000 copies by the spring of 2019. The list price was $28 a book, but Walsh had only paid $12 a copy for his 1,500 copies. Bulk discounts probably applied to other sales.

Jill Biden’s follow-up, the second book in the multi-million contract series, Where the Light Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself, came out in May and sold some 7,000 copies.

It currently ranks at #1747 in memoirs.

Numbers like these are a long way from hits. Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming, sold over 10 million copies. What Happened, Hillary Clinton’s conspiracy theory post-election response, debuted with 300,000 copies. Multi-million-dollar deals can be justified with sales figures like these.

That’s a lot better than Biden is doing.

Biden’s third and final book is, in theory, still ahead, but election campaign books tend to flop. Hillary’s Stronger Together tanked. Nobody remembers Obama’s, Change We Can Believe In. We can guess two things about Biden’s campaign book. It’ll have the word “promise” in it and no one will actually buy it.

And, several memoirs in, what does Biden even have to write about?

Joe Biden has been around for 76 years. We’ve heard all his stories. Including the ones he made up. Especially those. Two memoirs seem like more than enough for a hack who spent his career in politics.

The real story isn’t in the words that, likely some ghostwriter, put together for Biden. Considering his history of plagiarism, that’s for the best. If Joe wrote a book, it would have begun with, “Call me, Ishmael”, “It was a dark and stormy night” or “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

Biden’s true memoir is not in what he says, but what he does and how he does it.

The way he sold his memoir tells us far more about him than the words between the covers. How he made millions and turned a million in the hole into a multi-million vacation home and a miniature White House tells Biden’s story more evocatively than all the anecdotes meant to appeal to the working class.

Joe Biden isn’t working class or middle class. He’s part of a political class that works the system.

The real story of Promise Me, Dad, is how he once again made millions working the system and has gone from more debt than most Americans can imagine to a luxurious lifestyle they can’t even dream of.

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.

Sunday, July 07, 2019

The Left's Metaphorical Holocaust Denial

The Revolutions of 1989, which ultimately brought down the Soviet Union, were marked by major symbolic events and minor ones. One of those seemingly minor events was a Holocaust memorial.

In that year, it was announced that the first Holocaust memorial had been permitted in the USSR.

Soviet policy in the past had been to refer to the millions of Jews massacred in the Holocaust as “victims of fascism”. Information about the atrocities circulated through Samizdat and covert channels. The Black Book of Soviet Jewry was censored and would not be published until the fall of the Soviet Union.

Memorials to the Jewish victims were held covertly by political dissidents.

The Soviet ban on the Holocaust was not merely due to anti-Semitism. It followed the same political line as the current progressive historical revisionism which erases the Jewish character of the victims while emphasizing that the atrocities could only be the result of a right-wing, not left-wing, political ideology.

Jewish Communists, like their non-Jewish counterparts, worked to minimize the Jewish element of Holocaust histories. Vasilij Grossman, the co-author of the Black Book of Soviet Jewry, urged replacing "Jews" with "people" and "civilians". This approach defined the USSR’s approach of memorializing millions of undefined people murdered by the former allies and later political foes of the Communists.

The erasure of the Jews in the Holocaust was not limited to the leftists in the Soviet Union.

The Diary of Anne Frank, the play seen by more people than any other depiction of the Holocaust, was hijacked by Lillian Hellman, a militant Stalinist, who turned it over to Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich, the Communist-linked married couple who excelled at churning out heartwarming leftist propaganda from traditional material, whether it was It’s A Wonderful Life or the story of Anne Frank.

The Jewish elements of Anne’s story were purged. “We’re not the only people that’ve had to suffer,” the fictionalized version of a dead Jewish girl declares to applause. “Sometimes one race, sometimes another.” The real message soon became about the evils of segregation and racism. The various Anne Frank memorial organizations have promoted BDS, banned Jewish clothing and compared Jews to ISIS.

Just as in the USSR, the erasure of Jews from the story of the Holocaust paves the way for anti-Semitism.

Last year, a Los Angeles theater put on a production of Anne Frank with a Latino cast hiding from ICE. After a backlash from Holocaust survivors and Jewish organizations to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Rep. Ilhan Omar equating immigration law enforcement to the Holocaust, the media doubled down. A plethora of leftist essays defending the slur spread the historical revisionism through the echo chamber.

Rep. Omar and Rep. Ocasio Cortez had their own anti-Semitic moments. By transforming anti-Semitism and the mass murder of Jews from a reality to a metaphor about the oppression of minorities, they become the metaphorical victims and the Jews objecting to them become metaphorical Nazis.

The USSR mastered this technique when having renamed the dead Jews as “victims of fascism”, it was free to work toward the murder of millions of Jews in Israel by denouncing them as “Zionist fascists.” A typical example was a Pravda article, “Fascism and Zionism” which claimed that Israel, like Nazi Germany, was guilty of capitalism, imperialism and genocide. The Communist article argued that Jews everywhere were a “fifth column” while insisting that the USSR was anti-Zionist, not anti-Semitic.

Modern leftists also argue that Jews are the real Nazis. Hating them isn’t anti-Semitism. It’s anti-Zionism, which is really anti-Fascism and anti-Nazism. Killing Jews becomes the real message of the Holocaust.

Turning the Holocaust into a political metaphor makes Nazis out of its victims and its commemorators.

Instead of condemning evil, the transformation of the Holocaust into a metaphor whose protagonists are interchangeable, turns a real event into a blank slate on which any agenda can be superimposed. If everyone can be Hitler and anyone can be the Jews, then the Holocaust becomes a myth. A fairy tale into which any of us can read our own meaning and offers us no morality we do not already possess.

The Holocaust is not a metaphor. It is not a toolset to apply to every political event to demarcate the borders of the political spectrum. It was not the work of fascists, as the Soviet Union insisted. The Franco regime in Spain made efforts to save Jews even while the Soviet Union was executing some Jewish refugees as spies. FDR, a progressive hero, blocked the entry of Jewish refugees to the United States. El Salvador, governed by a fascist dictator, turned a blind eye to thousands of visas given to Jews.

When you study the Holocaust as history, rather than metaphor, it becomes impossible to reduce the events to a simplistic progressive parable about the virtue of tolerant lefties who resist racism. Bigotry is inherent in human beings and mass murder is how totalitarian regimes implement their utopian visions.

The Nazis and the Communists both imagined an ideal world in which the Jews did not exist. They went about implementing it in somewhat different ways because, like all fanatics whose morality comes from ideology, they had different theories to explain their own supremacism and the inferiority of the Jews.

The Nazis believed that they were superior for genetic reasons and viewed the Jews as a racial phenomenon that had to be physically eradicated at the genetic level. The Communists believed that they were superior for political reasons and the Jews had to be eradicated as a cultural phenomenon. The erasure of Jews from the story of the Holocaust, then and now, is part of that leftist genocide.

Erasing the Jews makes it easier to eliminate these complex realities while leaving only the metaphor. But the danger of reducing people to metaphors is part of the reason why the Holocaust happened. Lefties universalized the Holocaust, shifting it from a story about Jews to a universal tale about the wickedness of being mean to people, of bigotry, discrimination and general meanness of spirit.

And yet, anti-Semitism has come roaring back and is bigger than it’s been in generations.

The trouble with universal messages is that they’re meaningless. Most people already believe that being mean to others is wrong. They just disagree on the specific implementation of it. For leftists, the story of Anne Frank or the Holocaust is, at the moment, about the evils of deporting illegal aliens. It has nothing to say about the evils of anti-Semitism or of Islamic terrorists who cheer Hitler and murder Jews.

Learning about the Holocaust hasn’t made them better people, only more self-righteous about their views. They haven’t questioned their beliefs, instead they appropriated the Holocaust to support them.

When you turn history into metaphor, all you’re really doing is manufacturing propaganda.

On the campaign trail, Senator Cory Booker attacked President Trump’s immigration policies by invoking the Holocaust. “There was a ship that came here during World War II with a bunch of folks trying to escape the Holocaust, and we turned it around where they got killed in the Holocaust. The shame of that, you think we would learn our lesson about people coming here to seek asylum escaping terror.”

The “folks” in question were Jews.

Booker’s anonymization of Jews as “folks” strongly echoed Obama’s dismissal of a Muslim terrorist attack on a Jewish supermarket before the Sabbath, as “randomly shot a bunch of folks in a deli.”

The 2020 candidate, who had condemned criticism of Rep. Omar as Islamophobia, has announced that he would be okay with meeting with “Minister Farrakhan”, a bigot who has praised Hitler. This was the second time that the New Jersey senator had good things to say about a man who praised Hitler.

"I am very familiar with Minister Louis Farrakhan and his beliefs and his values," Booker told an audience member in South Carolina.

Those values include calling Hitler, a "very great man".

Previously, Booker had favorably quoted Stokely Carmichael in a Senate speech whose most famous line was, “The only good Zionist is a dead Zionist, we must take a lesson from Hitler.”

Historical revisionism isn’t just denying that the Holocaust happened, it’s also eliminating the history. When you wipe out the context, then before you know it, you can end up next door to Hitler.

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, July 04, 2019

A Nation of Free Men or Free Things

The 2020 Democrat primaries are underway with candidate after candidate promising a nation, not of free people, but of free things.

Free college, free health care and free everything else. Even for illegal aliens.

Of course there's a price to pay.

You get free health care by giving up the freedom to pick your own health care. You get free education, but the indoctrination is the price.

The Fourth to many is Fireworks Day. Every country has its fireworks days and this is the day that this one chooses to light up the night sky. The day means nothing to them because though they are surrounded by free things, they aren’t free. 

The difference between freedom and free things has been progressively erased so that many think that the American Revolution was fought because the British weren’t providing affordable health coverage to the colonies. If only they knew about the NHS, they would vote to go back.

All that the Crown really wanted was for the colonists to pay their “fair share”, a share that was determined thousands of miles away. All that the colonists wanted was the rights of Englishmen that they believed they were entitled to. After a great deal of bloodshed, the colonists won the right to be Americans instead—an odd series of consonants and vowels having to do with an Italian explorer but meaning free and limited government.

There is a big difference between a free country and a country of free things. You can have one or the other, but you can’t have both. A free country isn’t obsessed with free riders, only a country of free things obsesses with making everyone pay their fair share for the benefit of the people who want the free things. The rugged individualism of Colonial America has given way to stifling crowds, co-dependent on each other, lined shoulder to shoulder, clutching at each other’s wallets, crying, “Take from him and give to me.”

We are a nation overflowing with the right to things paid for with other people’s money. A nation where the government gives you food, housing and education; while Walmart gives you cheap products made in China, that used to be made in America, back when people were able to afford health care, housing and food without having to pick each other’s pockets.

The fireworks that shoot up in a wonderland of blue and red, silver and gold, are a faint echo of the real thing, the gunpowder that blasted back and forth between the lines of government troops, their Hessian mercenaries and the rebel colonists who chose to ride free, rather than bend their necks to the plans of an expanding empire. The faint smell of gunpowder and the dark shapes of the barges only mime the war that was fought here. 

Did so many men risk their lives just to end up with a system that made the one they escaped seem positively libertarian by comparison? If they had known that they were going to end up with the NHS, death panels that will eventually adopt some version of the Liverpool Care Pathway’s euthanasia protocol, and a co-dependent system where everyone is looted for the greater good of the looters—they might have stayed home on their farms, sadly watching the fighting from a distance.

JFK’s famous line, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” was always a hollow lie. Half the country is expected to ask what their country can do for them, while the other half is expected to ask what they can do for their country. This simmering civil war is often pegged as a class war, but it isn’t about class. There are billionaires and paupers on both sides, and the divide cuts across the Middle Class, dividing those who derive their income from private business from those who receive it from government and government-subsidized employment.

The Fourth of July is Independence Day, but every other day is Co-Dependence Day, the days we celebrate our integration, our volunteerism and our compliance with a vast system which makes everyone dependent on the government and which makes the government dependent on everyone who still works for someone other than the government—including the freest of free riders, who work for themselves. Empires function by draining every drop from their possessions to cover their costs. The British Crown tried to drain America to pay down its debt, resulting in growing protests from the population and eventually a revolution. Now the Empire of Co-Dependency is draining its independent subjects for the benefit of its dependent subjects and the dependency infrastructure that employs its numberless bureaucrats who govern it all. 
The American Revolution was not a struggle for another nation, one of many, but for a free nation. It was not split off to accommodate the national strivings of an ethnic group or their historical destiny. Its guiding idea, like its national holiday, was independence, but independence means very little unless it reaches the individual.

A nation where everyone is part of one great co-dependent community, a centrally planned marketplace that can only be balanced if everyone is forced to buy what they are told to buy, is not a free nation. It will not even be independent for long. The logic of co-dependence is to expand that dependency beyond the borders and make the region and then every part the world dependent on one another to balance out the numbers.

The new Crown is not a person, it is an idea. The throne at whose foot a formerly free people kneel is the golden seat of the welfare state. While the fireworks light up the sky, a counterrevolution undid the revolution. There is a new king and his face is on every magazine cover in the land. His bounty is a jagged bear trap that turns everyone into a ward of the state at their own expense.

As the last wave of fireworks die out, the shooting stars sinking to earth and vanishing into the darkness, the light of Independence Day fades and the crowds slowly trudge away from the brief spectacle, past the lines of police barricades, through narrow streets, past government buildings, back to their co-dependent lives in a co-dependent nation where the will of the people and the rights of the individual matter less than the latest proposal to solve the problems of their independence by making the country a more dependent place.

A few hundred years ago in these streets, men and women celebrated the end of tyranny, and in its darkest hour, lines of grim men marched along the waterfront up to the highest point on the island to mount a final defense. Sometimes the older buildings still wear their shadows on their brick walls and by the golden light of the fireworks you can almost see them, shadows moving in the darkness, their footsteps taking them north, a faint song on their lips, muskets in their hands, their lives lost and gained in defense of their freedom. 

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Mohammed, the Dirty Democrat in Charge of "Cleaning Up" San Francisco

San Francisco has the highest rents in the country. At an average of $3,690 for a one bedroom, it’s more expensive than New York City, Hong Kong, Paris and London. The median price of a single-family home is $1.6 million. The median price of a condo is $1.17 million. The cheapest home in the city is a 765-square-foot unlivable wooden shack with no bathroom built in 1906 which can be yours for only $350,000.

Despite that, the City by the Bay is drowning in its own filth. San Fran is covered in human waste.

There have been 118,352 cases of human waste on the streets of San Francisco since 2011. That's also when Mohammed Nuru (pictured above) took over as the head of the city's Department of Public Works.

The Nigerian immigrant who calls himself Mr. Clean has been promising to clean up San Francisco back to the Willie Brown days. Brown, the notoriously corrupt city boss, had picked Nuru as his point man, after some assistance on political campaigns, appointing him DPW deputy director in 2000.

Nuru had gotten his start with SLUG, a social justice community gardening organization. His degree was in landscape architecture and San Francisco’s problem was its unbelievably filthy streets.

But Mr. Clean was a protégé of Mayor Brown and complaints quickly rose from DPW employees about corruption, discrimination and intimidation. DPW employees complained that he filled DPW positions with his own political allies from SLUG, diverted street cleaning funds to SLUG, and used public employees to improve areas near his home. DPW people who complained about Mohammed were demoted or transferred. If you crossed Mr. Clean, the word was that he would ‘clean you out’.

"Everybody was scared of Willie Brown," a former DPW maintenance manager who was forced out for resisting Mohammed Nuru's alleged abuses said. "Nobody wanted to do anything about it."

Nuru had been a Brown campaign volunteer before he even became a citizen. And had allegedly forced SLUG employees to campaign for the corrupt San Fran boss, telling them that their jobs depended on it.

Mohammed Nuru landed a top job at the DPW where he promised to "get rid of those white managers."

It was the first of an endless series of scandals involving the Nigerian community organizer who keeps promising to clean up a city that, like its DPW boss, only keeps getting dirtier every year.

By 2004, four years later, Mohammed Nuru had been banned from any further dealings with his old SLUG buddies after the social justice group was accused of pressuring workers to campaign and vote for Gavin Newsom in the city’s mayoral election. (Newsom has since become governor of California.)

SLUG employees were once again being told that they would lose their jobs if Newsom didn’t win.

The event at which SLUG employees, many of them homeless or ex-cons, were forced to cast absentee ballots had been sponsored by Attorney General Kamala Harris. (Brown’s other protégé has since become Senator Harris and is running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.)

Kamala Harris' campaign manager admitted to being in contact with Mohammed Nuru during the election and SLUG workers filled up Harris events.

Harris and Newsom both claimed not to know anything and called for a full investigation. Like all the other Nuru investigations, this one led to absolutely no meaningful results.

Meanwhile San Francisco kept getting dirtier in both the literal and metaphorical senses.

Ed Lee, Nuru’s boss at the Department of Public Works, had done such a fantastic job that the Board of Supervisors appointed him to run the city after Newsom moved up the Democrat ladder that began in a San Francisco sewer and ended in Sacramento. Lee, like Nuru, had been something of a community organizer. Then the boss who, would later be on top during the purge of DPW personnel who objected to Nuru’s behavior had been implemented, had overseen a whistleblower program. And now, mayor.

Despite the scandals, Mayor Ed Lee appointed Mohammed Nuru to his old job as the Director of DPW.

“Mohammed Nuru is a dedicated public servant who has proven over the last decade to be one of the hardest working City employees keeping San Francisco clean, green and beautiful," Lee claimed.

Nuru had been at it since 2000. And nobody would describe San Francisco as clean.

Mayor Ed Lee appointed Mohammed Nuru to head DPW in 2011. That year there had been 5,547 "human waste incidents". By 2013, there were 8,793 human waste incidents.

A 58% increase.

Mr. Clean was hard at work on the job.

By 2016, the number of human waste incidents had tripled to 18,276.

And San Francisco’s Department of Public Works was the worst disaster of them all. Mohammed Nuru had begun his tenure with accusations of election scandals and discrimination against white DPW personnel. By 2009, he was being accused of discriminating against black women.

Nuru had allegedly told an African-American manager investigating discrimination complaints that she “needed to know her place and show proper respect".

Other employees were reportedly told, “You may want to stay away from her. You’d better watch being around her because Mohammed would not be happy with you.”

Then she was fired.

Taxpayers paid out $105,000 in a settlement, but Mohammed Nuru got a promotion.

Keeping Mohammed happy has been a bigger priority for San Fran Democrats than a clean city.

In 2018, there had been 28,084 human waste complaints in San Francisco. Annual human waste complaints had increased 400% since Mohammed ‘Mr. Clean’ Nuru had taken over at DPW.

Fortunately, DPW had a plan.

Between 2013 and 2018, human waste incidents had increased by over 200%. But DPW had paid a public relations firm $408,745 to produce reports claiming that San Francisco was spotless.

Even as the city was drowning in trash, the PR firm gave it the highest cleanliness marks ever.

Mohammed Nuru replied by conceding, "They might have sampled some of the nicer parts of the city."

Nuru has failed miserably at cleaning up San Francisco. The city is now much filthier than when he started by metrics other than those produced by a PR firm being paid to tell a story no one believes.

The Nigerian immigrant, with a degree in landscape architecture from Kansas State, and a job at a politically connected social justice non-profit, was never qualified to run an organization with a $312 million budget and over 1,600 employees. He’s been followed by scandals, election scandals, discrimination scandals, and abuse of power scandals, from the very beginning.

The street cleaning budget has doubled and the waste has quadrupled.

Willie Brown is in disgrace. Ed Lee is gone. Gavin Newsom is governor. Kamala Harris sits in the Senate.

"I will say there is more feces on the sidewalks than I've ever seen growing up here," San Francisco Mayor London Breed said.

So why hasn't she replaced Mohammed Nuru?

Breed, like Nuru and Harris, also got her start as a Brown protégé. And there is one more rumor.

“One lengthy, handwritten, anonymous letter, obviously from inside the agency, mentioned another more personal reason — ‘He dated London Breed’ (several other DPW sources also said they were aware of this, and one even hinted it may not be a thing of the past),” a letter column mentions.

Why is San Francisco filthy? It’s not the homeless. They just make it dirty. It’s the politicians who keep it dirty. Drug addicts may scatter needles on the street, but Democrats keep Mohammed Nuru on the job.

P.S. I'll be speaking on The War Against Us in Los Angeles on Wed, June 19, at 7 P.M.

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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