Day: September 2, 2018

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High School Football Team Cancels Season After Outscored 102-0 In First Two Games…


HEALDSBURG (KPIX 5) – After a pair of lopsided losses to start off the year, the Healdsburg High School football team has decided to turn in its uniforms and cancel the rest of the season.

The stands at Recreation Park will be a little lonelier this fall after the football players on the struggling Healdsburg High School Greyhounds quit for the remainder of the year.

“It’s gonna be missed in town,” said Healdsburg High Principal Bill Halliday.

The decision stemmed partly from the lack of participating students.

The team started the season with 18 players. After losing its first game 41-0 and then being shut out 61-0 in its second game, two players quit.

Then two more dropped off the team, followed by the team’s quarterback on Monday.

That was when Head Coach and Healdsburg HS Athletic Director Dave Stine had the kids make a decision.

“We decided to do a blind vote and seven of the thirteen said no, they didn’t want to move forward,” said Stine. “So we went ahead and disbanded the varsity team at that point.”

School officials said the coaches, community and student body are disappointed about the abrupt end to the football season. But when contacting future opponents to cancel upcoming games, Principal Halliday discovered their struggle isn’t unique.

“We’re not alone. The number of kids across the board in California, and certainly in Northern California, of students signing up is down,” said Halliday.

The principal said the team has gotten some blowback on social media for quitting the season, though some seem to understand.

With a new school sprit initiative and investment in the young athletes, Healdsburg High plans on having a varsity team back next year.

“I’m excited about JV team now. There’s 30 kids on that team and they really want to play and are working hard. So the future looks bright,” said Stine.

The field at Recreation Park won’t be totally empty this fall. The junior varsity games will be played and the school is looking at pushing the start time of games back so the community and the student body can come together and experience the usual Friday night lights feel.



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Outcry over 'FIRST MAN' Signals Controversial Award Season…




Outcry over 'FIRST MAN' Signals Controversial Award Season...

(Third column, 7th story, link)


Related stories:
Unpatriotic…
Director, Armstrong Family Defend Absence of American Flag…

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NBCNEWS misconduct bombshell 'only beginning'…


The Daily Beast’s bombshell on NBC News’ alleged internal efforts to kill Ronan Farrow’s expose on Harvey Weinstein is “only the beginning” of their reporting on the network’s misconduct problems, a source told Mediaite.

The mood at NBC News was one of surprise at the Beast’s new report on Farrow, with some relieved it was not the devastating story they expected, one network source said. That optimism might be misplaced: Mediaite learned the Daily Beast has spoken to close to 100 sources at NBC News for a broader report on misconduct at the network that has been in the works for months.

“There’s more to come,” a source with knowledge of the Daily Beast’s reporting told Mediaite after the release of its story on Thursday. “A lot more.”

Mediaite reported earlier this month that the Daily Beast was working on a major investigation into sexual harassment and misconduct at NBC News, that had execs at the network panicked.

On Thursday night, the Daily Beast reported that NBC News’ general counsel Susan Weiner had called Farrow and threatened to smear him — after he had left the network and brought his Weinstein investigation to the New Yorker — if he continued to pursue his reporting.

Farrow would go on to win a Pulitzer Prize for his New Yorker piece on sexual harassment and assault allegations against Weinstein.

The network vehemently denied the claim to the Daily Beast, saying, “There’s no truth to that all. There is no chance, in no version of the world, that Susan Weiner would tell Ronan Farrow what he could or could not report on.”

In a statement to Mediaite, an NBC News spokesperson added, “The assertion that NBC News tried to kill the Weinstein story while Ronan Farrow was at NBC News, or even more ludicrously, after he left NBC News, is an outright lie.”

The Daily Beast’s Maxwell Tani and Lachlan Cartwright also reported, per sources, that Farrow suspected Weinstein spoke to NBC News head Noah Oppenheim about his story as it was being reported. Farrow began his reporting on Weinstein in the fall of 2016 and reportedly suspects Weinstein may have talked to Oppenheim in the spring of the following year.

A network spokesperson contested that Oppenheim “absolutely” did not have “a conversation with Harvey Weinstein about the content of NBC News’s investigation.”

While The Daily Beast’s upcoming story is hanging ominously over NBC News, Ronan Farrow’s upcoming book Catch and Kill could join with the expose to create a brutal 1-2 punch.

[Photo via Michael Nagle/Getty Images]

Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com



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Two Funerals and a Missing Cardinal


The Mueller investigation continues without hitting paydirt and further diminishing the reputation of the special counsel and Clintonite team.  I expect the president to shortly (maybe even this week) declassify the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) warrant on Carter Page.  This warrant provided the means to spy on the president and his campaign.  We learned this week that the warrant, which triggered this partisan witch hunt, was signed by the FISC (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) without any hearing whatsoever.  We already know that it was based on lies scrounged up by a Hillary Clinton-paid former newsman and passed on by corruptocrats in the FBI, CIA, and Department of Justice.

It is amusing to recall the defense of the FISC when it first was instituted and the assertion that such an unverified, politically motivated piece of junk never would be allowed to invade the privacy of dozens of Americans.

Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton detailed the explosive news:

In response to our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, the Department of Justice (DOJ) admitted in a court filing last night that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) spy warrant applications targeting Carter Page, a former Trump campaign part-time advisor who was the subject of four controversial FISA warrants.


[National Security Division] FOIA consulted [Office of Intelligence] … to identify and locate records responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] FOIA request[.] … [Office of Intelligence] determined … that there were no records, electronic or paper, responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] FOIA request with regard to Carter Page.  [Office of Intelligence] further confirmed that the [Foreign Surveillance Court] considered the Page warrant applications based upon written submissions and did not hold any hearings.


The warrants were first issued in 2016 and subsequently renewed three times.


The Department of Justice previously released to us the heavily redacted Page warrant applications.  The initial Page FISA warrant was granted just weeks before the 2016 election.


The DOJ filing is in response to our lawsuit for the FISA transcripts (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-01050)).


In February, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a memo criticizing the FISA targeting of Carter Page.  The memo details how the “minimally corroborated” Clinton-DNC dossier was an essential part of the FBI and DOJ’s applications for surveillance warrants to spy on Page.


We recently filed a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking the transcripts of all hearings related to the surveillance of Carter Page.


It is disturbing that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance courts rubber-stamped the Carter Page spy warrants and held not one hearing on these extraordinary requests to spy on the Trump team.


Perhaps the court can now hold hearings on how justice was corrupted by material omissions that Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the DNC, a conflicted Bruce Ohr, a compromised Christopher Steele, and anti-Trumper Peter Strzok were all behind the ‘intelligence’ used to persuade the courts to approve the FISA warrants that targeted the Trump team.

Gregg Jarrett, author of the bestselling The Russia Hoax, says Chief Justice Roberts must get involved, as he appointed the FISC judges and has oversight responsibilities for its operations.  He calls for the FISC to hold contempt hearings against the DOJ and FBI officials who pulled the wool over its eyes.  Whether it happens as he says it should or not, I expect the Court to amend its ways or FISA to be substantially amended when this is all over.

As the Mueller juggernaut keeps dropping bolts and rumbling to a final crash, we were temporarily distracted by the funerals of the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin and “Maverick” senator from Arizona.

In both cases, the pageantry was over the top.

Aretha’s open gilded casket was on display for four days, with the remains clothed in new flashy garb each of them.  Pink Cadillacs in tribute to her lined the streets of Detroit.  Celebrities attended, and some managed to throw in a tribute to the deceased in speeches largely praising themselves and attacking the president.  Former president Bill Clinton spoke, claiming he and “no ways tired” Hillary had been her groupies forever.  He also quite obviously ogled the young singer Ariana Grande.  On the stage in the front row were Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Louis Farrakhan, though MSNBC and CNN edited the latter out of the photos they ran.

The Maverick’s five-day funeral rites were reportedly planned in every detail by the departed and reflected his bitter, vindictive streak.  In particular, he disinvited Sarah Palin, his running mate in his unsuccessful run for the presidency, and the family made this gesture public.  To my mind, without her, his campaign would have been an even bigger failure.

Chadwick Moore reflected quite well my thoughts on the snub and on the press volte face on McCain:     

Forget hating McCain, the Democratic Party’s new poster boy, for singlehandedly crushing the Republican dream of repealing ObamaCare, along with his many other sins against the people who made him their choice for Presidential contender in 2008, I dislike him more for being a petty, ungrateful old b‑‑‑‑ I wouldn’t want to be in the same room with for two minutes. … After the 2008 election Palin and McCain went down different paths, with Palin become a hero of the Tea Party movement, a movement McCain later said was filled with “wacko birds.”  By explicitly refusing to invite Palin to his funeral, McCain, called “a quiet man of faith” by the media, and a lifelong Episcopalian, apparently was dragged into the hereafter clutching with gnarled hooves onto his earthly failures and disputes, presenting to Saint Peter a soul coffee-stained with bitterness. …


As for McCain, I didn’t feel the need to attack him after his death.  I was, however, enjoying a good laugh as the myopic leftwing media turned him into a saint, hoping their crocodile tears might somehow convince Conservatives to run back to those simpler days before Trump, when they always lost.  Mostly, I didn’t feel the need to attack McCain because he was gone, game over, and now I never have to think of him again.  Or, in a nod to a famous line from our Commander-in-Chief regarding the late McCain, I like people who aren’t dead.

Julie Kelly summed it up succinctly:

Partisan attacks at a funeral by folks bemoaning partisan attacks is quite the spectacle[.]

And then there’s the missing cardinal to make the crazy week even weirder.  Pope Francis was under attack for failing to act on countless documented cases of sex abuse within the Catholic Church.  The Vatican’s ex-ambassador to Washington, Archbishop Carlo Viganò, fired the first salvo, detailing the misconduct of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and Cardinal Donald Wuerl and calling on the pope to resign.  Ricochet had the best wrap-up of the crisis in the church and the Lavender Mafia flourishing under Pope Francis.

Unfortunately, however, Benedict’s successor was Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina – the man who calls himself Pope Francis.  As a Belgian cardinal named Gottfried Daneels [sic] – who had been removed as an archbishop because he had covered up pederasty on the part of another Belgian cardinal and had come out in support of contraception, divorce, gay marriage, euthanasia, and abortion – revealed in his memoirs, Bergoglio’s candidacy was promoted by the St. Gallen Group, a part of what Catholics call “the Lavender Mafia.”  This disgraced figure stood on the balcony with Bergoglio after he was elected Pope; he was chosen to say the prayer at the new Pope’s inauguration; and there was joy in the ranks of those inclined to break the vow of celibacy.


If you want to get a sense of what such people thought, I suggest that you read “The Vatican’s Secret Life,” an article that appeared in Vanity Fair in December 2013.  It is an eye-opener.  Its author, Michael Joseph Gross, is not scandalized by what he found.  He celebrates it; and, tellingly, he never once mentions, even under the guise of pedophilia, the propensity of prominent priests to indulge in pederasty.  As Gross observes,


At the Vatican, a significant number of gay prelates and other gay clerics are in positions of great authority.  They may not act as a collective but are aware of one another’s existence.  And they inhabit a secretive netherworld, because homosexuality is officially condemned.  Though the number of gay priests in general, and specifically among the Curia in Rome, is unknown, the proportion is much higher than in the general population.  Between 20 and 60 percent of all Catholic priests are gay, according to one estimate cited by Donald B. Cozzens in his well-regarded The Changing Face of the Priesthood.  For gay clerics at the Vatican, one fundamental condition of their power, and of their priesthood, is silence, at least in public, about who they really are.


… They had reason to be delighted.  Since his election, Pope Francis has done everything within his power to soften and subvert the Church’s teaching concerning human sexuality.  He put the Lavender Mafia in charge of the two Synods on the Family held in 2014 and 2015.  They tried to push through their agenda; and, when the assembled bishops balked, they got a tongue-lashing from the Pope, and he inserted in the final report without comment two paragraphs that had not received the requisite two-thirds vote.  All of this – including the machinations of the St. Gallen Group and the role played by Cardinal Daneels [sic] – is laid out in detail by an English Catholic, who was in Rome during the early year of this papacy, and who writes under the pseudonym Marcantonio Colonna.  The title is The Dictator Pope: The Inside Story of the Francis Papacy.

There are calls for Cardinal Wuerl to resign and he appears to have gone missing, with rumors that he was spirited out of the country to avoid prosecution.

Certainly all this turmoil in our justice system and the Church is unsettling.  But it’s a useful reminder that in all hierarchies, sooner or later, the mission of the organization becomes the protection of the hierarchy, not the stated mission, and every now and then, a thorough housecleaning is in order.

In the meantime, the president goes about his business.  This week, he seems to have brought Canada to heel on trade policies, and choked Hamas by cutting off funds to the corrupt UNRWA, which sustains those murderers.  He is squeezing China on tariffs – I think as much to ensure fairer trade policies as to make Xi stop pressuring North Korea to avoid denuclearizing.  He certainly has set a pattern of using all the economic tools at his disposal to settle issues instead of the warm bodies of our men and women in the military.

The Mueller investigation continues without hitting paydirt and further diminishing the reputation of the special counsel and Clintonite team.  I expect the president to shortly (maybe even this week) declassify the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) warrant on Carter Page.  This warrant provided the means to spy on the president and his campaign.  We learned this week that the warrant, which triggered this partisan witch hunt, was signed by the FISC (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) without any hearing whatsoever.  We already know that it was based on lies scrounged up by a Hillary Clinton-paid former newsman and passed on by corruptocrats in the FBI, CIA, and Department of Justice.

It is amusing to recall the defense of the FISC when it first was instituted and the assertion that such an unverified, politically motivated piece of junk never would be allowed to invade the privacy of dozens of Americans.

Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton detailed the explosive news:

In response to our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, the Department of Justice (DOJ) admitted in a court filing last night that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) spy warrant applications targeting Carter Page, a former Trump campaign part-time advisor who was the subject of four controversial FISA warrants.


[National Security Division] FOIA consulted [Office of Intelligence] … to identify and locate records responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] FOIA request[.] … [Office of Intelligence] determined … that there were no records, electronic or paper, responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] FOIA request with regard to Carter Page.  [Office of Intelligence] further confirmed that the [Foreign Surveillance Court] considered the Page warrant applications based upon written submissions and did not hold any hearings.


The warrants were first issued in 2016 and subsequently renewed three times.


The Department of Justice previously released to us the heavily redacted Page warrant applications.  The initial Page FISA warrant was granted just weeks before the 2016 election.


The DOJ filing is in response to our lawsuit for the FISA transcripts (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-01050)).


In February, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a memo criticizing the FISA targeting of Carter Page.  The memo details how the “minimally corroborated” Clinton-DNC dossier was an essential part of the FBI and DOJ’s applications for surveillance warrants to spy on Page.


We recently filed a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking the transcripts of all hearings related to the surveillance of Carter Page.


It is disturbing that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance courts rubber-stamped the Carter Page spy warrants and held not one hearing on these extraordinary requests to spy on the Trump team.


Perhaps the court can now hold hearings on how justice was corrupted by material omissions that Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the DNC, a conflicted Bruce Ohr, a compromised Christopher Steele, and anti-Trumper Peter Strzok were all behind the ‘intelligence’ used to persuade the courts to approve the FISA warrants that targeted the Trump team.

Gregg Jarrett, author of the bestselling The Russia Hoax, says Chief Justice Roberts must get involved, as he appointed the FISC judges and has oversight responsibilities for its operations.  He calls for the FISC to hold contempt hearings against the DOJ and FBI officials who pulled the wool over its eyes.  Whether it happens as he says it should or not, I expect the Court to amend its ways or FISA to be substantially amended when this is all over.

As the Mueller juggernaut keeps dropping bolts and rumbling to a final crash, we were temporarily distracted by the funerals of the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin and “Maverick” senator from Arizona.

In both cases, the pageantry was over the top.

Aretha’s open gilded casket was on display for four days, with the remains clothed in new flashy garb each of them.  Pink Cadillacs in tribute to her lined the streets of Detroit.  Celebrities attended, and some managed to throw in a tribute to the deceased in speeches largely praising themselves and attacking the president.  Former president Bill Clinton spoke, claiming he and “no ways tired” Hillary had been her groupies forever.  He also quite obviously ogled the young singer Ariana Grande.  On the stage in the front row were Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Louis Farrakhan, though MSNBC and CNN edited the latter out of the photos they ran.

The Maverick’s five-day funeral rites were reportedly planned in every detail by the departed and reflected his bitter, vindictive streak.  In particular, he disinvited Sarah Palin, his running mate in his unsuccessful run for the presidency, and the family made this gesture public.  To my mind, without her, his campaign would have been an even bigger failure.

Chadwick Moore reflected quite well my thoughts on the snub and on the press volte face on McCain:     

Forget hating McCain, the Democratic Party’s new poster boy, for singlehandedly crushing the Republican dream of repealing ObamaCare, along with his many other sins against the people who made him their choice for Presidential contender in 2008, I dislike him more for being a petty, ungrateful old b‑‑‑‑ I wouldn’t want to be in the same room with for two minutes. … After the 2008 election Palin and McCain went down different paths, with Palin become a hero of the Tea Party movement, a movement McCain later said was filled with “wacko birds.”  By explicitly refusing to invite Palin to his funeral, McCain, called “a quiet man of faith” by the media, and a lifelong Episcopalian, apparently was dragged into the hereafter clutching with gnarled hooves onto his earthly failures and disputes, presenting to Saint Peter a soul coffee-stained with bitterness. …


As for McCain, I didn’t feel the need to attack him after his death.  I was, however, enjoying a good laugh as the myopic leftwing media turned him into a saint, hoping their crocodile tears might somehow convince Conservatives to run back to those simpler days before Trump, when they always lost.  Mostly, I didn’t feel the need to attack McCain because he was gone, game over, and now I never have to think of him again.  Or, in a nod to a famous line from our Commander-in-Chief regarding the late McCain, I like people who aren’t dead.

Julie Kelly summed it up succinctly:

Partisan attacks at a funeral by folks bemoaning partisan attacks is quite the spectacle[.]

And then there’s the missing cardinal to make the crazy week even weirder.  Pope Francis was under attack for failing to act on countless documented cases of sex abuse within the Catholic Church.  The Vatican’s ex-ambassador to Washington, Archbishop Carlo Viganò, fired the first salvo, detailing the misconduct of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and Cardinal Donald Wuerl and calling on the pope to resign.  Ricochet had the best wrap-up of the crisis in the church and the Lavender Mafia flourishing under Pope Francis.

Unfortunately, however, Benedict’s successor was Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina – the man who calls himself Pope Francis.  As a Belgian cardinal named Gottfried Daneels [sic] – who had been removed as an archbishop because he had covered up pederasty on the part of another Belgian cardinal and had come out in support of contraception, divorce, gay marriage, euthanasia, and abortion – revealed in his memoirs, Bergoglio’s candidacy was promoted by the St. Gallen Group, a part of what Catholics call “the Lavender Mafia.”  This disgraced figure stood on the balcony with Bergoglio after he was elected Pope; he was chosen to say the prayer at the new Pope’s inauguration; and there was joy in the ranks of those inclined to break the vow of celibacy.


If you want to get a sense of what such people thought, I suggest that you read “The Vatican’s Secret Life,” an article that appeared in Vanity Fair in December 2013.  It is an eye-opener.  Its author, Michael Joseph Gross, is not scandalized by what he found.  He celebrates it; and, tellingly, he never once mentions, even under the guise of pedophilia, the propensity of prominent priests to indulge in pederasty.  As Gross observes,


At the Vatican, a significant number of gay prelates and other gay clerics are in positions of great authority.  They may not act as a collective but are aware of one another’s existence.  And they inhabit a secretive netherworld, because homosexuality is officially condemned.  Though the number of gay priests in general, and specifically among the Curia in Rome, is unknown, the proportion is much higher than in the general population.  Between 20 and 60 percent of all Catholic priests are gay, according to one estimate cited by Donald B. Cozzens in his well-regarded The Changing Face of the Priesthood.  For gay clerics at the Vatican, one fundamental condition of their power, and of their priesthood, is silence, at least in public, about who they really are.


… They had reason to be delighted.  Since his election, Pope Francis has done everything within his power to soften and subvert the Church’s teaching concerning human sexuality.  He put the Lavender Mafia in charge of the two Synods on the Family held in 2014 and 2015.  They tried to push through their agenda; and, when the assembled bishops balked, they got a tongue-lashing from the Pope, and he inserted in the final report without comment two paragraphs that had not received the requisite two-thirds vote.  All of this – including the machinations of the St. Gallen Group and the role played by Cardinal Daneels [sic] – is laid out in detail by an English Catholic, who was in Rome during the early year of this papacy, and who writes under the pseudonym Marcantonio Colonna.  The title is The Dictator Pope: The Inside Story of the Francis Papacy.

There are calls for Cardinal Wuerl to resign and he appears to have gone missing, with rumors that he was spirited out of the country to avoid prosecution.

Certainly all this turmoil in our justice system and the Church is unsettling.  But it’s a useful reminder that in all hierarchies, sooner or later, the mission of the organization becomes the protection of the hierarchy, not the stated mission, and every now and then, a thorough housecleaning is in order.

In the meantime, the president goes about his business.  This week, he seems to have brought Canada to heel on trade policies, and choked Hamas by cutting off funds to the corrupt UNRWA, which sustains those murderers.  He is squeezing China on tariffs – I think as much to ensure fairer trade policies as to make Xi stop pressuring North Korea to avoid denuclearizing.  He certainly has set a pattern of using all the economic tools at his disposal to settle issues instead of the warm bodies of our men and women in the military.



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Double-Double Failure for the Left's Fast Food Boycotts


We all remember when, in 2012, the left pressed for a massive boycott against Chick-fil-A for the company’s stance on a definition of “marriage” that includes same-sex couples.  In short, CEO Dan Cathy had expressed some opinions in favor of the traditional (or Biblical, as he refers to it) definition of marriage, and the left lost its collective mind.

Leftists demanded a boycott, suggesting that all Americans who ate at Chick-fil-A were not just Americans who happened to like chicken sandwiches more than they cared about the extremely partisan smear campaign, but that anyone who would eat at Chick-fil-A is an evil person who hates gay people. 

Some would argue that the efforts backfired when the restaurant chain immediately experienced a “record-setting day,” as “supporters thronged to many of its 1,600 locations, causing traffic jams and hours-long waits.”  Chick-fil-A saw massive turnout from supporters aligning with Dan Cathy’s political statements in the weeks after the calls for boycott.  Then the politics faded, and people once again decided to continue patronizing a store with quality food and fantastic service rather than not patronize it because the leftist criers demanded that they not do so. 

The left later tried to make it an issue again, this time spearheaded by New York City mayor Bill de Blasio in late 2015 after the first store was opened in the city.  Immediately after, the chain “gobbl[ed] up market share” among its rivals in the city, and four new stores have been opened there since then.  In July of 2016, Chick-fil-A was named “America’s best fast-food restaurant for the second year in a row.”

But third time’s the charm, as the saying goes.  And so they tried again earlier this year, this time with the Huffington Post editor Noah Michelson writing a “scathing commentary headlined ‘If You Really Love LGBTQ People, You Just Can’t Keep Eating Chick-fil-A.'” 

Talk show host Dave Rubin entered the fray on behalf of the restaurant, tweeting: “Hi, I’m Dave.  I’m married to a dude [sic] and I eat chicken sandwiches whenever I want.”

Rubin’s comment is excellent – not because he’s a gay man, but because it drives right to the heart of the issue.  He chose to eat Chick-fil-A not because he loves their stance on marriage.  He chose to eat it because he likes the sandwiches, it seems – but he appears to love the liberty he enjoys by pointing out that he can do whatever the hell he wants, and he won’t be told what to do by those voices who claim to be the moral arbiters determining what someone can or can’t do if he “loves” gay people.

This was all so juicy to watch for us because we recognized it as the left’s effort to control the political narrative and the American people.  The public smear campaign against Chick-fil-A can be described only as the left’s complete and utter failure to do so, and Chick-fil-A is enjoying “staggering growth” in the fast food marketplace.

The left hasn’t learned the slightest thing from any of that, obviously, because now its acolytes are trying to do the same thing to California’s most popular fast food staple, In-N-Out, known for its trademark double cheeseburger, the Double-Double, and fresh-cut French fries.


Photo credit: Flickr.

Democrats, initially spurred by California DNC chair Eric Bauman, are calling for a boycott of In-N-Out for its having donated $30K to the California GOP in 2017.  “[L]et Trump and his cronies support these creeps,” he tweeted.

“These creeps,” as he put it, are “a California institution that some hold with the same level of esteem as the Golden Gate Bridge and Joshua Tree,” according to the Los Angeles Times.  That alone might run the boycott efforts into the brick wall of regional pride – and there’s nothing more American than that.

But there’s another, more thoughtful reason why Californians and reasonable people everywhere may dismiss the calls to boycott. 

Ashley Reese of The Slot writes that she’s “never been more insulted by a burger” in her life. 

She should have known, she says, that this revelation was coming.  After all, she knew that In-N-Out “hid Bible scriptures on their soda cups and burger wrappers,” and that “reeks of GOP.”  But what’s perhaps most telling is that her indignation continues even though she is quite aware that the chain also donates to Democrats, including $80K “this election cycle to Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy, a committee focused on electing business-friendly Democrats to the State Legislature.”

In-N-Out quickly addressed the “controversy” in its having donated to Republicans with the following statement: “For years, In-N-Out Burger has supported lawmakers who, regardless of political affiliation, promote policies that strengthen California and allow us to continue operating with the values of providing strong pay and great benefits for our associates.”

To a reasonable observer, that statement suggests balance, not a partisan agenda.

But, Reese whines, “that doesn’t make me feel better, you guys!”

For the increasingly radical and intolerant left, you see, the facts don’t matter.  The only thing that matters is submission to leftists’ preferred agenda, and the fast food chain must support only the political party that leftists support.  Stop everything you’ve done with your family for years, Californians, and boycott the iconic restaurant that has made native Californians happy for generations – not because the delicious food, nostalgic atmosphere, and cost-effective pricing no longer make you happy, but because the left demands that you do so.  After all, the restaurant had the audacity to support Republicans and Democrats!

This boycott will be no more successful than the Chick-fil-A boycott, I predict, likely for the same basic reason.  As Jaime Regalado, emeritus professor of political science at California State University, Los Angeles describes, “[t]he stomach overrules the mind … a cheap, good-tasting burger is hard to dismiss politically.” 

But the premise of left-wing activists for this boycott is even more radical than the boycott of Chick-fil-A, given that In-N-Out’s only crime is that it is beholden to the non-ideological goal of “providing strong pay and great benefits” for its employees and appears to seek bipartisan solutions to attain such progress legislatively.  That is, in fact, what many Americans in the political center want.   

It’s as if the universe is providing us with yet another metaphor for just how radical and intolerant the left is rapidly becoming, and how leftists would rather scream more loudly into their ideological echo chamber than appeal to anyone outside it.

William Sullivan blogs at Political Palaver and can be followed on Twitter.

We all remember when, in 2012, the left pressed for a massive boycott against Chick-fil-A for the company’s stance on a definition of “marriage” that includes same-sex couples.  In short, CEO Dan Cathy had expressed some opinions in favor of the traditional (or Biblical, as he refers to it) definition of marriage, and the left lost its collective mind.

Leftists demanded a boycott, suggesting that all Americans who ate at Chick-fil-A were not just Americans who happened to like chicken sandwiches more than they cared about the extremely partisan smear campaign, but that anyone who would eat at Chick-fil-A is an evil person who hates gay people. 

Some would argue that the efforts backfired when the restaurant chain immediately experienced a “record-setting day,” as “supporters thronged to many of its 1,600 locations, causing traffic jams and hours-long waits.”  Chick-fil-A saw massive turnout from supporters aligning with Dan Cathy’s political statements in the weeks after the calls for boycott.  Then the politics faded, and people once again decided to continue patronizing a store with quality food and fantastic service rather than not patronize it because the leftist criers demanded that they not do so. 

The left later tried to make it an issue again, this time spearheaded by New York City mayor Bill de Blasio in late 2015 after the first store was opened in the city.  Immediately after, the chain “gobbl[ed] up market share” among its rivals in the city, and four new stores have been opened there since then.  In July of 2016, Chick-fil-A was named “America’s best fast-food restaurant for the second year in a row.”

But third time’s the charm, as the saying goes.  And so they tried again earlier this year, this time with the Huffington Post editor Noah Michelson writing a “scathing commentary headlined ‘If You Really Love LGBTQ People, You Just Can’t Keep Eating Chick-fil-A.'” 

Talk show host Dave Rubin entered the fray on behalf of the restaurant, tweeting: “Hi, I’m Dave.  I’m married to a dude [sic] and I eat chicken sandwiches whenever I want.”

Rubin’s comment is excellent – not because he’s a gay man, but because it drives right to the heart of the issue.  He chose to eat Chick-fil-A not because he loves their stance on marriage.  He chose to eat it because he likes the sandwiches, it seems – but he appears to love the liberty he enjoys by pointing out that he can do whatever the hell he wants, and he won’t be told what to do by those voices who claim to be the moral arbiters determining what someone can or can’t do if he “loves” gay people.

This was all so juicy to watch for us because we recognized it as the left’s effort to control the political narrative and the American people.  The public smear campaign against Chick-fil-A can be described only as the left’s complete and utter failure to do so, and Chick-fil-A is enjoying “staggering growth” in the fast food marketplace.

The left hasn’t learned the slightest thing from any of that, obviously, because now its acolytes are trying to do the same thing to California’s most popular fast food staple, In-N-Out, known for its trademark double cheeseburger, the Double-Double, and fresh-cut French fries.


Photo credit: Flickr.

Democrats, initially spurred by California DNC chair Eric Bauman, are calling for a boycott of In-N-Out for its having donated $30K to the California GOP in 2017.  “[L]et Trump and his cronies support these creeps,” he tweeted.

“These creeps,” as he put it, are “a California institution that some hold with the same level of esteem as the Golden Gate Bridge and Joshua Tree,” according to the Los Angeles Times.  That alone might run the boycott efforts into the brick wall of regional pride – and there’s nothing more American than that.

But there’s another, more thoughtful reason why Californians and reasonable people everywhere may dismiss the calls to boycott. 

Ashley Reese of The Slot writes that she’s “never been more insulted by a burger” in her life. 

She should have known, she says, that this revelation was coming.  After all, she knew that In-N-Out “hid Bible scriptures on their soda cups and burger wrappers,” and that “reeks of GOP.”  But what’s perhaps most telling is that her indignation continues even though she is quite aware that the chain also donates to Democrats, including $80K “this election cycle to Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy, a committee focused on electing business-friendly Democrats to the State Legislature.”

In-N-Out quickly addressed the “controversy” in its having donated to Republicans with the following statement: “For years, In-N-Out Burger has supported lawmakers who, regardless of political affiliation, promote policies that strengthen California and allow us to continue operating with the values of providing strong pay and great benefits for our associates.”

To a reasonable observer, that statement suggests balance, not a partisan agenda.

But, Reese whines, “that doesn’t make me feel better, you guys!”

For the increasingly radical and intolerant left, you see, the facts don’t matter.  The only thing that matters is submission to leftists’ preferred agenda, and the fast food chain must support only the political party that leftists support.  Stop everything you’ve done with your family for years, Californians, and boycott the iconic restaurant that has made native Californians happy for generations – not because the delicious food, nostalgic atmosphere, and cost-effective pricing no longer make you happy, but because the left demands that you do so.  After all, the restaurant had the audacity to support Republicans and Democrats!

This boycott will be no more successful than the Chick-fil-A boycott, I predict, likely for the same basic reason.  As Jaime Regalado, emeritus professor of political science at California State University, Los Angeles describes, “[t]he stomach overrules the mind … a cheap, good-tasting burger is hard to dismiss politically.” 

But the premise of left-wing activists for this boycott is even more radical than the boycott of Chick-fil-A, given that In-N-Out’s only crime is that it is beholden to the non-ideological goal of “providing strong pay and great benefits” for its employees and appears to seek bipartisan solutions to attain such progress legislatively.  That is, in fact, what many Americans in the political center want.   

It’s as if the universe is providing us with yet another metaphor for just how radical and intolerant the left is rapidly becoming, and how leftists would rather scream more loudly into their ideological echo chamber than appeal to anyone outside it.

William Sullivan blogs at Political Palaver and can be followed on Twitter.



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We Must Fight for Family Values


Our culture is increasingly pushing against the family as the bedrock institution of civilization.  Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels believed that the family is a “bourgeois institution” premised on the inequalities of the capitalist system.  This teaching is disgusting and wretched in the deepest sense.  It must be persistently and openly repudiated.  Bernie Sanders and some stupid lady who just won a primary in New York City openly proclaim socialism, but all their critics can say to their vision of more free programs for the populace is “where will the money come from?”  The implications for our families of their socialist-communist vision is never at the forefront of the voiced objections to them, even by the conservative media. 

Yet the preservation of the family is more important than even the serious matter of whether the country is or is not impoverished.  My grandparents were dirt poor from a foreign country, and America did not yet have any safety net, but they had a strong sense of family, a strong commitment to family values.  Because of those values, they survived and even thrived, as did their children and grandchildren.  It was their family values that allowed their progress.

We are on the brink of a family catastrophe in this country.

The threat to the integrity of the family in America is entirely because of the leftward trend of our politics during the past half-century, combined with a tremendous decline in faith in God.  Since the era of the 1960s – the anti-Vietnam War movement; the sexual revolution; prayer taken out of the schools; millions dead from abortions; the drug subculture epidemic; the explosion of perversions of all kinds; identity politics instead of trans-ethnic unity (the melting pot); and above all heightened divorce rates, non-marital cohabitation, children born out of the bonds of holy matrimony, and stagnant or declining educational competencies.  Our leftward drift has brought us to this point of disunity, chaos, moral relativism, and utter contempt for the foundational values of our country.

This writer taught in the New York Public High Schools for over twenty years.  In one high school, two weeks after I arrived, when it became known that I had a more conservative outlook and was an evangelical Christian (how shocking!), one of the teachers stood close to me and said, “I just want you to know that communism collapsed in the USSR, but it is alive and well in this high school.”  Another teacher, regularly and blithely, handed out copies of a communist newspaper to students.  Still another teacher spent an entire month in his Advanced Placement European History course teaching the Communist Manifesto.  When the students complained to the department chairperson, nothing was done. 

Although Howard Zinn’s bestselling college textbook on American history entitled The People’s History of the United States is not on the list of textbooks that can be bought by the New York public schools, many teachers of American history photocopy sections of that book for distribution in their courses as supplementary reading.  By so doing, they are advancing Zinn’s communist view of American history.  But one of the most popular approved textbooks is The Americans, a veritable digest of left-wing activities (Zinn lite) and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  Although teachers are not allowed to promote a specific candidate or political point of view in the schools, it is so common, and so uniformly approved in the bluest of blue subcultures known as New York City, that these “forbidden polemics” are routinely promoted.  When this writer expressed to his leftist colleagues that the teaching platform was not a bully platform, and that teachers should try not to let their biases totally control their teaching, the leftists declared that it is impossible to offset one’s biases and that trying to offset one’s bias is itself a bias in favor of a more conservative ideology than theirs.

In many high schools in New York City, girls are routinely given slips to go have abortions without parental permission.  Condoms are distributed by the schools.  The days of going to the drugstore to purchase your own are over.  Thus, the schools are literally promoting fornication.  For over 30 years, sex ed teachers have been telling students how to put condoms on cucumbers and bananas.  This writer was covering a class as a substitute and glanced at a sex education textbook on the teacher’s desk.  One section told the students they should be tolerant of that remnant of students who still believed they should wait to have sex until they are married.  This implied that their view is now a minority view but that this pro-wedlock minority should not be harassed or ridiculed.  How generous and commendable!  The unity of love, sex, and marriage was not advanced in any way.  The relation of sex to reproduction – i.e., the ultimate purpose of human sexuality – was not included in the book. 

One high school where I worked had a yearly event called Senior Cross-Dressing Day, where senior male students, if they so desired (and many did), would come to the school dressed as females with wigs, dresses, make-up, polished nails, bras, and other accoutrements such as necklaces or bracelets.  In a way, it was a mockery of drag queens, homosexuals, and cross-dressers.  In another sense, it was a purely prurient activity that not only went against the school dress code (yes, the school on “normal days” had a dress code), but was guaranteed to have shocked most of the freshmen boys and girls and to have offended students of every religion in the school (in NYC, that includes Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, and Jews).

No parental permission is required in any of these cases.  The premise of this article is that these activities are anti-family because they put sex on a pedestal outside the context of family.  For most of the twentieth century, the rule of in loco parentis (in place of the parents) prevailed.  Schools were to acknowledge that it was the parents who imparted values to their children, not the schools.  Those values were, by definition, family values.  Now the schools have become places were values are imparted, and the parents sometimes, and sometimes not, are asked to sign a permission slip for their children to participate in modern society.  The values projected are anti-family.

The engine of the anti-family agenda in our society and in our schools is the Marxist agenda that has gained traction and momentum since the 1960s.  The central tenet of that agenda is that government (“the people”), not private individuals, should own the means of production.  That agenda has seen various add-ons such as identity politics; the sexual revolution that repudiates the sex-love-marriage unity; the increasing legitimization of drugs and various dissipations; and attacks on the philosophical ideas and ideals of individual rights and an eternal, God-given moral law.  These add-ons to classical Marxism may be called cultural Marxism.  Those of us who are professed deplorables and people of faith must pray, speak, vote, and organize against these destructive trends.

E. Jeffrey Ludwig is a prolific online writer of conservative articles and has authored the volume The Catastrophic Decline of America’s Public High Schools: New York City, A Case Study, available at www.amazon.com.  He has been listed multiple times in Who’s Who Among America’s High School Teachers.  At present, he teaches philosophy in New York City.

Our culture is increasingly pushing against the family as the bedrock institution of civilization.  Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels believed that the family is a “bourgeois institution” premised on the inequalities of the capitalist system.  This teaching is disgusting and wretched in the deepest sense.  It must be persistently and openly repudiated.  Bernie Sanders and some stupid lady who just won a primary in New York City openly proclaim socialism, but all their critics can say to their vision of more free programs for the populace is “where will the money come from?”  The implications for our families of their socialist-communist vision is never at the forefront of the voiced objections to them, even by the conservative media. 

Yet the preservation of the family is more important than even the serious matter of whether the country is or is not impoverished.  My grandparents were dirt poor from a foreign country, and America did not yet have any safety net, but they had a strong sense of family, a strong commitment to family values.  Because of those values, they survived and even thrived, as did their children and grandchildren.  It was their family values that allowed their progress.

We are on the brink of a family catastrophe in this country.

The threat to the integrity of the family in America is entirely because of the leftward trend of our politics during the past half-century, combined with a tremendous decline in faith in God.  Since the era of the 1960s – the anti-Vietnam War movement; the sexual revolution; prayer taken out of the schools; millions dead from abortions; the drug subculture epidemic; the explosion of perversions of all kinds; identity politics instead of trans-ethnic unity (the melting pot); and above all heightened divorce rates, non-marital cohabitation, children born out of the bonds of holy matrimony, and stagnant or declining educational competencies.  Our leftward drift has brought us to this point of disunity, chaos, moral relativism, and utter contempt for the foundational values of our country.

This writer taught in the New York Public High Schools for over twenty years.  In one high school, two weeks after I arrived, when it became known that I had a more conservative outlook and was an evangelical Christian (how shocking!), one of the teachers stood close to me and said, “I just want you to know that communism collapsed in the USSR, but it is alive and well in this high school.”  Another teacher, regularly and blithely, handed out copies of a communist newspaper to students.  Still another teacher spent an entire month in his Advanced Placement European History course teaching the Communist Manifesto.  When the students complained to the department chairperson, nothing was done. 

Although Howard Zinn’s bestselling college textbook on American history entitled The People’s History of the United States is not on the list of textbooks that can be bought by the New York public schools, many teachers of American history photocopy sections of that book for distribution in their courses as supplementary reading.  By so doing, they are advancing Zinn’s communist view of American history.  But one of the most popular approved textbooks is The Americans, a veritable digest of left-wing activities (Zinn lite) and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  Although teachers are not allowed to promote a specific candidate or political point of view in the schools, it is so common, and so uniformly approved in the bluest of blue subcultures known as New York City, that these “forbidden polemics” are routinely promoted.  When this writer expressed to his leftist colleagues that the teaching platform was not a bully platform, and that teachers should try not to let their biases totally control their teaching, the leftists declared that it is impossible to offset one’s biases and that trying to offset one’s bias is itself a bias in favor of a more conservative ideology than theirs.

In many high schools in New York City, girls are routinely given slips to go have abortions without parental permission.  Condoms are distributed by the schools.  The days of going to the drugstore to purchase your own are over.  Thus, the schools are literally promoting fornication.  For over 30 years, sex ed teachers have been telling students how to put condoms on cucumbers and bananas.  This writer was covering a class as a substitute and glanced at a sex education textbook on the teacher’s desk.  One section told the students they should be tolerant of that remnant of students who still believed they should wait to have sex until they are married.  This implied that their view is now a minority view but that this pro-wedlock minority should not be harassed or ridiculed.  How generous and commendable!  The unity of love, sex, and marriage was not advanced in any way.  The relation of sex to reproduction – i.e., the ultimate purpose of human sexuality – was not included in the book. 

One high school where I worked had a yearly event called Senior Cross-Dressing Day, where senior male students, if they so desired (and many did), would come to the school dressed as females with wigs, dresses, make-up, polished nails, bras, and other accoutrements such as necklaces or bracelets.  In a way, it was a mockery of drag queens, homosexuals, and cross-dressers.  In another sense, it was a purely prurient activity that not only went against the school dress code (yes, the school on “normal days” had a dress code), but was guaranteed to have shocked most of the freshmen boys and girls and to have offended students of every religion in the school (in NYC, that includes Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, and Jews).

No parental permission is required in any of these cases.  The premise of this article is that these activities are anti-family because they put sex on a pedestal outside the context of family.  For most of the twentieth century, the rule of in loco parentis (in place of the parents) prevailed.  Schools were to acknowledge that it was the parents who imparted values to their children, not the schools.  Those values were, by definition, family values.  Now the schools have become places were values are imparted, and the parents sometimes, and sometimes not, are asked to sign a permission slip for their children to participate in modern society.  The values projected are anti-family.

The engine of the anti-family agenda in our society and in our schools is the Marxist agenda that has gained traction and momentum since the 1960s.  The central tenet of that agenda is that government (“the people”), not private individuals, should own the means of production.  That agenda has seen various add-ons such as identity politics; the sexual revolution that repudiates the sex-love-marriage unity; the increasing legitimization of drugs and various dissipations; and attacks on the philosophical ideas and ideals of individual rights and an eternal, God-given moral law.  These add-ons to classical Marxism may be called cultural Marxism.  Those of us who are professed deplorables and people of faith must pray, speak, vote, and organize against these destructive trends.

E. Jeffrey Ludwig is a prolific online writer of conservative articles and has authored the volume The Catastrophic Decline of America’s Public High Schools: New York City, A Case Study, available at www.amazon.com.  He has been listed multiple times in Who’s Who Among America’s High School Teachers.  At present, he teaches philosophy in New York City.



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Toxic Humanism


“Making the world better” with no direction or assistance from God is a faith that rests on the belief that science and reason can deliver humanity from evil.  It is a faith that spawned a “humanism” that for over two hundred years has caused confusion and chaos concerning justice, wisdom, responsibility, love and hate, responsibility, the value of life…all the most important things in life…which are playthings to reason and impenetrable to science.

While the earlier humanism of the Renaissance magnified the importance of humans as humans, it acknowledged the necessary connection between human beings and their Creator.  But secular humanism abolished that link and trashed what is sacred in human life.  This faux humanism gave us the Humanist Manifesto of 1933 (updated in 1973 and 2003) and the Secular Humanist Declaration of 1980.  Manifest in these documents are distortions of reality that have been internalized by a great many people.  This should hardly surprise us, considering that secular humanism entered the field of education in the first quarter of the last century, through the public schools, acting as a wedge between past and present and putting America on a course toward a collective society – thanks to activists of the benighted left.

These are historical facts.  We are living with their consequences.  Among the saddest is that public school kids, “our future,” are schooled in the framework of the secular humanist religion[i] and are taught not how to think clearly and wisely but how to act correctly, according to state-defined criteria (“political correctness”).  The purveyors of God-free secularism don’t care if public schools dull the moral sense, common sense, and the ability to think clearly, in the mission to establish a collectivist society in an amoral “humanistic” world.  

The tug between the morality we taught our own children and the amorality imparted to a great number of societal drifters pushed one of our children to the brink of suicide.  Joining a herd of mixed up kids of the late 1980s, she took a crooked path of unending trouble…

…a road paved by educators of the political left obsessed with building a new social order by turning young minds away from their heritage and from their parents, purging their minds of a belief in God, and training them for a life of diminished quality in an amoral, state-controlled collectivist society.  Caught in the crossfire between two incompatible views of the world and of people, even children of stable families continue to risk losing their identity and their way and getting swept in the wave of drifters and mixed up kids unleashed by “progressive” schooling.

By the time our youngest child got to middle school, the intensifying toxic indoctrination of false humanism made it hard for her and other pubescent children to accept their richer heritage and deeper moral orientation.  Routine exposure to a worldview that contradicts home training regarding basics of right and wrong, replacing Judeo-Christian morality with do what you want (“situation ethics,” which in reality is no ethics), is a hazard to the mental and emotional development of a child.  The problem has led many to homeschool their children and many to fight the culture wars.

Are we now within reach of that “golden age” that “progressives” have promised themselves, an age likely to resemble a world of contented dummies having little heart and no soul?

Please let no one be fooled by partisan and advocate media that ignore history or distort it, while mindlessly (maliciously?) pushing flawed, outdated agendas of former socialists and Marxists.  Most don’t know the history of their own beliefs and convictions.  Teachers, editors, and other voices for society have swallowed the nonsense that the “enlightenment” they were taught to embrace and the faux humanism driving their ambitions will bring about a world free of want and war and name-the-evil-to-be-banished – a stand that betrays a degree of ignorance that voids any claim to enlightenment or authority to lead in any valid sense of justice.


[i] Not all religions center on God and follow divine inspiration.  In addition to the usual meaning of religion, the Merriam-Webster dictionary includes “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.”  Creeds like Marxism, Darwinism, secular humanism, and scientism are religions also.  That any zealously held belief can be a religion should be sobering, not surprising.

“Making the world better” with no direction or assistance from God is a faith that rests on the belief that science and reason can deliver humanity from evil.  It is a faith that spawned a “humanism” that for over two hundred years has caused confusion and chaos concerning justice, wisdom, responsibility, love and hate, responsibility, the value of life…all the most important things in life…which are playthings to reason and impenetrable to science.

While the earlier humanism of the Renaissance magnified the importance of humans as humans, it acknowledged the necessary connection between human beings and their Creator.  But secular humanism abolished that link and trashed what is sacred in human life.  This faux humanism gave us the Humanist Manifesto of 1933 (updated in 1973 and 2003) and the Secular Humanist Declaration of 1980.  Manifest in these documents are distortions of reality that have been internalized by a great many people.  This should hardly surprise us, considering that secular humanism entered the field of education in the first quarter of the last century, through the public schools, acting as a wedge between past and present and putting America on a course toward a collective society – thanks to activists of the benighted left.

These are historical facts.  We are living with their consequences.  Among the saddest is that public school kids, “our future,” are schooled in the framework of the secular humanist religion[i] and are taught not how to think clearly and wisely but how to act correctly, according to state-defined criteria (“political correctness”).  The purveyors of God-free secularism don’t care if public schools dull the moral sense, common sense, and the ability to think clearly, in the mission to establish a collectivist society in an amoral “humanistic” world.  

The tug between the morality we taught our own children and the amorality imparted to a great number of societal drifters pushed one of our children to the brink of suicide.  Joining a herd of mixed up kids of the late 1980s, she took a crooked path of unending trouble…

…a road paved by educators of the political left obsessed with building a new social order by turning young minds away from their heritage and from their parents, purging their minds of a belief in God, and training them for a life of diminished quality in an amoral, state-controlled collectivist society.  Caught in the crossfire between two incompatible views of the world and of people, even children of stable families continue to risk losing their identity and their way and getting swept in the wave of drifters and mixed up kids unleashed by “progressive” schooling.

By the time our youngest child got to middle school, the intensifying toxic indoctrination of false humanism made it hard for her and other pubescent children to accept their richer heritage and deeper moral orientation.  Routine exposure to a worldview that contradicts home training regarding basics of right and wrong, replacing Judeo-Christian morality with do what you want (“situation ethics,” which in reality is no ethics), is a hazard to the mental and emotional development of a child.  The problem has led many to homeschool their children and many to fight the culture wars.

Are we now within reach of that “golden age” that “progressives” have promised themselves, an age likely to resemble a world of contented dummies having little heart and no soul?

Please let no one be fooled by partisan and advocate media that ignore history or distort it, while mindlessly (maliciously?) pushing flawed, outdated agendas of former socialists and Marxists.  Most don’t know the history of their own beliefs and convictions.  Teachers, editors, and other voices for society have swallowed the nonsense that the “enlightenment” they were taught to embrace and the faux humanism driving their ambitions will bring about a world free of want and war and name-the-evil-to-be-banished – a stand that betrays a degree of ignorance that voids any claim to enlightenment or authority to lead in any valid sense of justice.


[i] Not all religions center on God and follow divine inspiration.  In addition to the usual meaning of religion, the Merriam-Webster dictionary includes “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.”  Creeds like Marxism, Darwinism, secular humanism, and scientism are religions also.  That any zealously held belief can be a religion should be sobering, not surprising.



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When Law and Politics Become One


Most Americans believe that politics and law are separate entities.  This was the position of Aristotle, who treated politics as a study in itself, and Hugo Grotius, the eminent Dutch scholar of the seventeenth century who developed the theory of international law.  Not all thinkers have been so careful to distinguish the two subjects.  For example, Jean Bodin, the sixteenth-century French philosopher who developed the first comprehensive doctrine of sovereignty, intermingled the two.  

Americans comfortably in the Aristotle-Grotius camp should think twice about tuning in to the hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, which begin on September 4.  The hearings will have little to do with whether Kavanaugh is qualified to sit on the High Court.  He clearly is.  Kavanaugh is a Yale Law School graduate, clerked on two courts of appeals and the Supreme Court, served in the White House, and has been a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit since 2006.  

The hearings will be no great search for Kavanaugh’s judicial philosophy.  He’s already made that clear on the evening he received the nomination: “My judicial philosophy is straightforward.  A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law.  A judge must interpret statutes as written.  And a judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent.”

What the hearings will be is political theater as leftist senators pepper Kavanaugh with questions in the hopes that he has a mental lapse so they can embarrass him and persuade their more moderate colleagues to vote against him.  

Why such gamesmanship?  It all goes back to Kavanaugh’s judicial philosophy.  The modern left does not want law and politics to be separate.  At one time, Democrats sought change through innovative legislative programs such as FDR’s New Deal.  Now they prefer to promote political and constitutional change through the courts.  They have learned to do this by drawing the wrong lessons from a historic Supreme Court case. 

In 1954, a unanimous Supreme Court rightly held in Brown v. Board of Education that “segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race” is against the law.  Brown was an extraordinary case that sought to tackle the inimitable evils of state-sponsored segregation. 

Unfortunately, the left does not view Brown in this context, but instead is inspired to seek a judicial remedy in the first instance rather than attempting to persuade fellow citizens of the merit of a particular cause.  In the words of Harvard’s Mary Ann Glendon, after Brown, progressives began to “imagine that wise judges in black robes could cure social ills.”  Professor Glendon notes that perhaps even more dangerously, Brown has motivated “many unwise judges down the line to begin to believe that they had the magic touch.”

Gerald Rosenberg, a professor at the University of Chicago School of Law, astutely complains that post-Brown, various causes were “hijacked by a group of elite, well-educated and comparatively wealthy lawyers who uncritically believed that rights trump politics and that successful arguing before judges is equivalent to building and sustaining political movements.”  Political movements build the democratic muscle of the citizenry, whereas litigation sends the message that “important” matters should he left to the elites.

The left seeks to excoriate Kavanaugh because he does not claim the “magic touch,” and he prefers that the people and their representatives address society’s ills.  In this manner, he is much like the late Antonin Scalia.  “This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine,” Scalia wrote, “always accompanied … by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.”

For the last 60-plus years, the merger of law and politics has slowly killed the spirit of self-government.  Today, issues that were once decided in state and local assemblies are controlled by the judges.  The Supreme Court defines marriage, draws legislative districts, and micromanages state criminal law.  

With law and politics blended, control of the High Court is a greater prize than majorities in Congress or the occupancy of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, hence the left’s desperate measures to keep a qualified jurist off the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh’s hearings will be a lesson on why law and politics should be separated and a reminder of just how much our country needs an infusion of Aristotelian wisdom.

William J. Watkins, Jr. is a research fellow at the Independent Institute and author of Crossroads for Liberty: Recovering the Anti-Federalist Values of America’s First Constitution.

Most Americans believe that politics and law are separate entities.  This was the position of Aristotle, who treated politics as a study in itself, and Hugo Grotius, the eminent Dutch scholar of the seventeenth century who developed the theory of international law.  Not all thinkers have been so careful to distinguish the two subjects.  For example, Jean Bodin, the sixteenth-century French philosopher who developed the first comprehensive doctrine of sovereignty, intermingled the two.  

Americans comfortably in the Aristotle-Grotius camp should think twice about tuning in to the hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, which begin on September 4.  The hearings will have little to do with whether Kavanaugh is qualified to sit on the High Court.  He clearly is.  Kavanaugh is a Yale Law School graduate, clerked on two courts of appeals and the Supreme Court, served in the White House, and has been a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit since 2006.  

The hearings will be no great search for Kavanaugh’s judicial philosophy.  He’s already made that clear on the evening he received the nomination: “My judicial philosophy is straightforward.  A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law.  A judge must interpret statutes as written.  And a judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent.”

What the hearings will be is political theater as leftist senators pepper Kavanaugh with questions in the hopes that he has a mental lapse so they can embarrass him and persuade their more moderate colleagues to vote against him.  

Why such gamesmanship?  It all goes back to Kavanaugh’s judicial philosophy.  The modern left does not want law and politics to be separate.  At one time, Democrats sought change through innovative legislative programs such as FDR’s New Deal.  Now they prefer to promote political and constitutional change through the courts.  They have learned to do this by drawing the wrong lessons from a historic Supreme Court case. 

In 1954, a unanimous Supreme Court rightly held in Brown v. Board of Education that “segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race” is against the law.  Brown was an extraordinary case that sought to tackle the inimitable evils of state-sponsored segregation. 

Unfortunately, the left does not view Brown in this context, but instead is inspired to seek a judicial remedy in the first instance rather than attempting to persuade fellow citizens of the merit of a particular cause.  In the words of Harvard’s Mary Ann Glendon, after Brown, progressives began to “imagine that wise judges in black robes could cure social ills.”  Professor Glendon notes that perhaps even more dangerously, Brown has motivated “many unwise judges down the line to begin to believe that they had the magic touch.”

Gerald Rosenberg, a professor at the University of Chicago School of Law, astutely complains that post-Brown, various causes were “hijacked by a group of elite, well-educated and comparatively wealthy lawyers who uncritically believed that rights trump politics and that successful arguing before judges is equivalent to building and sustaining political movements.”  Political movements build the democratic muscle of the citizenry, whereas litigation sends the message that “important” matters should he left to the elites.

The left seeks to excoriate Kavanaugh because he does not claim the “magic touch,” and he prefers that the people and their representatives address society’s ills.  In this manner, he is much like the late Antonin Scalia.  “This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine,” Scalia wrote, “always accompanied … by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.”

For the last 60-plus years, the merger of law and politics has slowly killed the spirit of self-government.  Today, issues that were once decided in state and local assemblies are controlled by the judges.  The Supreme Court defines marriage, draws legislative districts, and micromanages state criminal law.  

With law and politics blended, control of the High Court is a greater prize than majorities in Congress or the occupancy of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, hence the left’s desperate measures to keep a qualified jurist off the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh’s hearings will be a lesson on why law and politics should be separated and a reminder of just how much our country needs an infusion of Aristotelian wisdom.

William J. Watkins, Jr. is a research fellow at the Independent Institute and author of Crossroads for Liberty: Recovering the Anti-Federalist Values of America’s First Constitution.



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Will the Split-Roll Property Tax Destroy California?


A split roll tax means applying a tax formula for commercial and industrial properties different from the formula applied for residential properties.  The tax roll is an official breakdown or list of all the properties to be taxed.

California Proposition 13 protects property-owners from very high or very low re-assessed property values each year by increasing the base value of a property by not-to-exceed 2% per year for inflation.  The market value of properties is taxed at a 1% base tax rate and is re-assessed upon re-sale, not each year.  Activists want the reassessments pegged to market value appreciation not a fixed 2% each year.

Existing:

Base Market Value: $2,000,000

Base Tax @1%: $20,000/year

Annual Adjustment @2%: $20,400 – 1st year

Annual Adjustment @2%: $20,808 – 2nd year 

Income Property Markets Work Inversely to Taxes

Most policy-makers think higher tax rates result in greater tax revenues.  But income-producing property markets work inversely by lowering property values when taxes are increased.  This market adjustment process is called by the term “tax capitalization,” which means converting the net income of a commercial property into a higher or lower value depending on the change in net income. 

Split Roll Added Tax Estimate Omitted “Tax Capitalization”

The California Legislative Analyst (LAO) has forecast that a split roll property tax would generate $10 billion annually in net additional taxes.

The state Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) was contacted to inquire if its tax revenue estimate considered market capitalization of the higher property tax.  Brian Uhler of the LAO stated in an email:

We did review the economic literature on tax capitalization and there is empirical evidence suggesting it occurs in California (for example, here [1] and here [2]) … tax capitalization likely would reduce commercial market values under a split roll scenario.  This would offset somewhat the revenue gains from assessing the properties at market value.  But this offsetting effect probably would be minor relative to the size of the revenue gain from market value asset.

The empirical evidence of tax capitalization cited by the LAO deals with non-income-producing single-family residential properties and is thus irrelevant.

Former Alameda county assessment appraiser Charles B. Warren, American Society of Appraisers (ASA), Pleasant Hill, California, stated:

There are four problems with the split roll.


1. More taxes > less value for income producing properties.


2. Competently valuing properties is a proven challenge for today’s assessors (see SEC v City of Victorville). Doing actual the revaluation isn’t going to happen overnight.


3. When implemented, some businesses will simply close. Some will relocate. If some relocate that will create an oversupply of commercial space on the market and higher vacancy rates, which would create a compound decline in commercial property rents and values.  Some may find a way to reorganize as non-profits to escape unequal tax burdens (e.g., Hobby Lobby, credit unions).


4. Even if properly administered, tax assessments will follow the market roller coaster … down as well as up.  Are the jurisdictions prepared for a shrinking property tax base?  In 2008 to 2009, commercial property values declined by about 35% due to the larger economic recession.  These wild value swings are what led to the passage of Prop. 13 in the first place in 1978. 

Leased Commercial Properties Caught in a Vise

During the first few years of the new proposed law commercial and industrial property leases may not be able to increase rents to pay for the higher property taxes until leases are renewed (typically five- to ten-year intervals).  Commercial leases have rent stop cap clauses that do not allow rents to exceed monetary inflation.  So leased income producing commercial properties would be caught in a vice between higher property taxes and rent caps with the only option being to decrease property values dramatically.

Will Split Roll Tax Increases Exceed 2% per Year?

The new proposed tax is a bet for inflation and property appreciation greater than 2% per year.

Nationwide, Moody’s Real Capital Analytics Commercial Property Price Index (CPPI) grew by 5.6% annually from 2001 to 2016, but with three negative years: 2001 (-2.2%), 2008 (-8.5%), and 2009 (-25.6%).  How much of the 5.6% per year average annual price appreciation will be reduced by the new added tax is anyone’s guess.

Stabilized Market Adjustment:

Base Market Value: $2,000,000

Base Tax @1%: $20,000/year

Annual Adjustment @5.6%: $21,120 – 1st year

Annual Adjustment @5.6%: $22,302 – 2nd year

If annual adjustments are going to be market-based rather than a fixed 2% per year, it would be more workable to adjust assessed values on a ten-year average than on actual up-and-down market changes in value each year.

An example of how increased taxes lower values would be to assume that a property with a current $2-million market value is currently under-assessed at $500,000 due to Prop 13 restrictions.  The current taxes at a 1% tax rate of base value would be $5,000 under Prop. 13, but taxes should be $20,000 (1% of $2 million).  However, if taxes are increased by $15,000 assuming a 5% cap rate, the resulting value would be $1.7 million, or $300,000 (15%) undervalued.  So the state would never achieve their minimum tax.  It would probably fall short by 15%. 

If we can assume that historical commercial property appreciation will average 5.6% per year over ten years, it could take ten years for a commercial property to recover its value.  It would take about two to three years before any added taxes could be collected.

If California were seriously interested in raising commercial property taxes, the state would merely lower the existing 2%-per-year inflation adjustment to, say, 1.5%.

A Split Roll Property Tax Would Not Be Equalized

The proposed tax increase would exempt properties of businesses with 50 or fewer employees.  According to the California Employment Development Department, as of 2017, there were 58,419 businesses in California with 50 or more employees, constituting only 29.3% of all businesses.  So an unequal 30% of all businesses would bear the added tax burden.

And this would apparently leave the commercial properties of California’s 268,096 non-profit organizations with total assets of $758 billion and reported total income of $454 billion per year, untouched by the added tax even if they rented space in the same commercial building with taxable businesses.

Split-Roll Property Tax Is Incompetently Designed

California has a history of what is called “perfect storms,” where everything that can go wrong will go wrong.  Witness the property tax crisis of 1975 that resulted in Proposition 13, the California Energy Crisis of 2001, the State Budget Crisis of 2008 to 2012, or the 2017 Oroville Dam failure.  The next crisis may involve the split-roll property tax.

Wayne Lusvardi is a real estate and public utility appraiser and former chief appraiser at California’s largest urban water district.

Eight hundred fifty thousand signatures have been gathered in California in support of a voter initiative that would supposedly increase property taxes by 2020 for commercial and industrial properties to get around Proposition 13 property tax protections.  The initiative would leave small business and residential properties alone.  It is called the California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act.  But raising property taxes on leased commercial properties would result in lower tax revenues.

What Is Split-Roll Property Tax?

A split roll tax means applying a tax formula for commercial and industrial properties different from the formula applied for residential properties.  The tax roll is an official breakdown or list of all the properties to be taxed.

California Proposition 13 protects property-owners from very high or very low re-assessed property values each year by increasing the base value of a property by not-to-exceed 2% per year for inflation.  The market value of properties is taxed at a 1% base tax rate and is re-assessed upon re-sale, not each year.  Activists want the reassessments pegged to market value appreciation not a fixed 2% each year.

Existing:

Base Market Value: $2,000,000

Base Tax @1%: $20,000/year

Annual Adjustment @2%: $20,400 – 1st year

Annual Adjustment @2%: $20,808 – 2nd year 

Income Property Markets Work Inversely to Taxes

Most policy-makers think higher tax rates result in greater tax revenues.  But income-producing property markets work inversely by lowering property values when taxes are increased.  This market adjustment process is called by the term “tax capitalization,” which means converting the net income of a commercial property into a higher or lower value depending on the change in net income. 

Split Roll Added Tax Estimate Omitted “Tax Capitalization”

The California Legislative Analyst (LAO) has forecast that a split roll property tax would generate $10 billion annually in net additional taxes.

The state Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) was contacted to inquire if its tax revenue estimate considered market capitalization of the higher property tax.  Brian Uhler of the LAO stated in an email:

We did review the economic literature on tax capitalization and there is empirical evidence suggesting it occurs in California (for example, here [1] and here [2]) … tax capitalization likely would reduce commercial market values under a split roll scenario.  This would offset somewhat the revenue gains from assessing the properties at market value.  But this offsetting effect probably would be minor relative to the size of the revenue gain from market value asset.

The empirical evidence of tax capitalization cited by the LAO deals with non-income-producing single-family residential properties and is thus irrelevant.

Former Alameda county assessment appraiser Charles B. Warren, American Society of Appraisers (ASA), Pleasant Hill, California, stated:

There are four problems with the split roll.


1. More taxes > less value for income producing properties.


2. Competently valuing properties is a proven challenge for today’s assessors (see SEC v City of Victorville). Doing actual the revaluation isn’t going to happen overnight.


3. When implemented, some businesses will simply close. Some will relocate. If some relocate that will create an oversupply of commercial space on the market and higher vacancy rates, which would create a compound decline in commercial property rents and values.  Some may find a way to reorganize as non-profits to escape unequal tax burdens (e.g., Hobby Lobby, credit unions).


4. Even if properly administered, tax assessments will follow the market roller coaster … down as well as up.  Are the jurisdictions prepared for a shrinking property tax base?  In 2008 to 2009, commercial property values declined by about 35% due to the larger economic recession.  These wild value swings are what led to the passage of Prop. 13 in the first place in 1978. 

Leased Commercial Properties Caught in a Vise

During the first few years of the new proposed law commercial and industrial property leases may not be able to increase rents to pay for the higher property taxes until leases are renewed (typically five- to ten-year intervals).  Commercial leases have rent stop cap clauses that do not allow rents to exceed monetary inflation.  So leased income producing commercial properties would be caught in a vice between higher property taxes and rent caps with the only option being to decrease property values dramatically.

Will Split Roll Tax Increases Exceed 2% per Year?

The new proposed tax is a bet for inflation and property appreciation greater than 2% per year.

Nationwide, Moody’s Real Capital Analytics Commercial Property Price Index (CPPI) grew by 5.6% annually from 2001 to 2016, but with three negative years: 2001 (-2.2%), 2008 (-8.5%), and 2009 (-25.6%).  How much of the 5.6% per year average annual price appreciation will be reduced by the new added tax is anyone’s guess.

Stabilized Market Adjustment:

Base Market Value: $2,000,000

Base Tax @1%: $20,000/year

Annual Adjustment @5.6%: $21,120 – 1st year

Annual Adjustment @5.6%: $22,302 – 2nd year

If annual adjustments are going to be market-based rather than a fixed 2% per year, it would be more workable to adjust assessed values on a ten-year average than on actual up-and-down market changes in value each year.

An example of how increased taxes lower values would be to assume that a property with a current $2-million market value is currently under-assessed at $500,000 due to Prop 13 restrictions.  The current taxes at a 1% tax rate of base value would be $5,000 under Prop. 13, but taxes should be $20,000 (1% of $2 million).  However, if taxes are increased by $15,000 assuming a 5% cap rate, the resulting value would be $1.7 million, or $300,000 (15%) undervalued.  So the state would never achieve their minimum tax.  It would probably fall short by 15%. 

If we can assume that historical commercial property appreciation will average 5.6% per year over ten years, it could take ten years for a commercial property to recover its value.  It would take about two to three years before any added taxes could be collected.

If California were seriously interested in raising commercial property taxes, the state would merely lower the existing 2%-per-year inflation adjustment to, say, 1.5%.

A Split Roll Property Tax Would Not Be Equalized

The proposed tax increase would exempt properties of businesses with 50 or fewer employees.  According to the California Employment Development Department, as of 2017, there were 58,419 businesses in California with 50 or more employees, constituting only 29.3% of all businesses.  So an unequal 30% of all businesses would bear the added tax burden.

And this would apparently leave the commercial properties of California’s 268,096 non-profit organizations with total assets of $758 billion and reported total income of $454 billion per year, untouched by the added tax even if they rented space in the same commercial building with taxable businesses.

Split-Roll Property Tax Is Incompetently Designed

California has a history of what is called “perfect storms,” where everything that can go wrong will go wrong.  Witness the property tax crisis of 1975 that resulted in Proposition 13, the California Energy Crisis of 2001, the State Budget Crisis of 2008 to 2012, or the 2017 Oroville Dam failure.  The next crisis may involve the split-roll property tax.

Wayne Lusvardi is a real estate and public utility appraiser and former chief appraiser at California’s largest urban water district.



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Jeremy Corbyn Is Too Liberal Even for Britain


At the length, truth will out.  If it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, and swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is a duck.  Now the truth about the venomous presence of anti-Semitism in the British Labor Party is being told, told in all its lack of glory.  In July 2018, three Jewish newspapers in Britain simultaneously wrote United We Stand, stating that a Labor government led by Jeremy Corbyn would pose “an existential threat” to Jewish life in the U.K.

A month later, in August 2018, more than 30,000 British citizens signed a petition organized by the Campaign against Anti-Semitism , an organization to educate people about the issue, calling on Corbyn to resign as leader of the Labor Party.  In the House of Commons, Dame Margaret Hodge, M.P. for Barking in East London, who lost family members in the Holocaust, called Corbyn a “racist and anti-Semite” and asserted that the Labor Party is a “hostile environment” for Jews.

At the outset, it should be clear that the complaints and allegations against the persistence of Labor Party anti-Semitism and his refusal to condemn it is not motivated by animus against Corbyn, but results from perusal of his utterances and actions and his non-actions and silences.  Any animus is in fact displayed by supporters of Corbyn.  One influential close ally is Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, the second largest trade union in the U.K., with 1.2 million members, who spoke of Jewish “truculent hostility” and called on Jewish community leaders, whose motives he somewhat surprisingly said he did not understand, to “dial down the rhetoric.”  There can be no misunderstanding the motives of McCluskey and Unite.  In a “statement of Solidarity with the Palestinian People,” issued on July 11, 2014, a call was made for sanctions against Israel, which was described as an “apartheid state.”

Even Corbyn himself in March 2018 recognized, if belatedly, that anti-Semitism has occurred in pockets of the Labor Party, “causing  pain and hurt to our Jewish community in the L.P. and the rest of the country.”  However, over the years, Corbyn has denied that he is personally anti-Semitic, though he has uttered classic tropes that suggest otherwise.  This can now be judged by videos recently made public showing that he shared platforms and took part in events with anti-Semities, terrorist sympathizers, and other political extremists and never publicly challenged them.

The weightiest stinging comment on Corbyn, an unprecedented attack, came in August 2018 from Lord Sacks, Cambridge and London University-educated chief rabbi, 1991-2013, who referred to Corbyn as a person who has legitimized the public expression of hate.  Sacks was unqualified in his remarks of an indigo hue: within living memory of the Holocaust, Britain has an anti-Semite as the leader of the Labor Party and Her Majesty’s Opposition.  The danger is that where he leads, others will follow.  According to Sacks, Corbyn’s hate defiles British politics.  He is low, dishonest, and dangerous.  First he denies, then he equivocates, then he obfuscates.

Sacks was particularly incensed by revelation of remarks Corbyn had made in 2013 at a meeting of the Palestinian Return Center, where he attacked a group of “British Zionists” who had dared to criticize a speech by  Palestinian ambassador Manuel Hassassian.  Those Zionists, Corbyn said, had two problems.  One is that they don’t want to study history.  The second is that, having lived in the country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they “don’t understand English irony. … Manuel does understand English irony.”  

Sacks saw this as the most offensive statement made by a senior British politician since Enoch Powell.  Like Powell, the leader using the language of classic prewar European anti-Semitism, Corbyn depicts an entire group of British citizens as essentially alien, with implications of double loyalty.   Corbyn said “Zionists,” but “Jews” were implicit, unable to appreciate irony, a figure of speech absent in his own speeches.  Corbyn was not only offensive, but ignorant and foolish.  All Jews, Isaiah Berlin once said, who are conscious of their identity as Jews are steeped in history.  Jews, we know, have too much history and too little geography.  Corbyn may be a slow or inattentive reader.  Otherwise,  he can start with Jewish irony in the Bible and, more recently, in British novelist Howard Jacobson’s The Finkler Question.

By a remarkable coincidence, the case of Enoch Powell and his controversial 1968 “Rivers of Blood” speech was being discussed when Sacks referred to it in August 2018.  In February 2018, Powell’s former constituency of Wolverhampton, for which he was an M.P., 1950-74, planned to remember him with a blue plaque.  As a result of opposition by many, including those who intended to tear it down or deface it, the plan was scraped.  In his speech, Powell proposed control and limit to mass immigration into Britain, especially from the black Commonwealth: we must, he said, “be mad as a nation to permit the annual flow of some 50,000 dependents.”  The country must prevent discrimination against the native population.  Curiously, in spite of the invective, Powell had never used the phrase “Rivers of Blood” but had alluded to the poet Virgil, who wrote, “[L]ike the Roman, I seem to see the River Tiber foaming with much blood.”

Corbyn’s statements and the recent emergence of video footage occasion a comment.  One video shows him in 2014 in Tunisia attending a ceremony honoring three “Palestinian martyrs,” the Black September group, and the group’s founder, Salah Khalaf (Abu Iyad), responsible for torturing and then for the assassination of 11 Israeli athletes in the 1972 Munich Olympic games.  He denied laying a wreath but said he was “present though not actually involved in it.”  However, he mislaid the truth, since photos show him with a wreath.  They also show him close to the grave of Atef Bseiso, intelligence chief of the PLO, also involved in the 1972 massacre, who was killed in Paris in June 1992.

Corbyn urged an end to the “stranglehold of elite power and billionaire domination” over large parts of the British media, familiar in many anti-Semitic utterances.  His remarks echoed and were praised by David Duke, Holocaust-denier and Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, and Nick Griffin, former leader of the neo-Nazi British National Party.

Corbyn was also defended by Haneen Zoabi, Israeli-Arab member of the Knesset, who calls Israel a “fascist” state, about his remarks concerning speeches made by the British MPS, but which she, and L.P. members, insisted were written by Israeli diplomats concerning the Gaza flotilla raid in May 2010.  Zoabi was aboard the ship Mavi Marmara, along with IHH activists affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, who tried to end the Israeli blockade of Hamas in Gaza.  Israeli commandos boarded the ship and were attacked by IHH, ten of whom died in the fighting.

Corbyn in 2011 called for Holocaust Memorial Day to be changed to Genocide Memorial Day to reflect that Nazis targeted not only Jewish people.

In 2010, he hosted an event and made no comment when a speaker compared Israeli policy with Nazi policies.  Again in 2013, at a meeting of the Palestinian Return Center, he compared Israeli control of the West Bank to the Nazi occupation of Europe, with endless roadblocks, imprisonment, and irrational behavior by the military and the police, “of the very sort that is recognizable by many people in Europe who suffered occupation during World War II.”

In an interview on TV on August 12, 2012 concerning a terrorist incident, Corbyn said Israel had an interest in violence in the Sinai, though it was Islamic jihadists who attacked an Egyptian army base, killing 16 Egyptians.

Corbyn has endorsed BDS with the argument that “I think the boycott campaign is part and parcel of a legal process that has to be adopted.  Sanctions against Israel are the appropriate way of promoting the peace process.”  He described former foreign minister Tzipi Livni as a war criminal.

No one will accuse Corbyn of being a war criminal, but equally he is not the best the U.K. can offer to cleanse the disease of anti-Semitism.  The Labor Party, for its own good and for the good of the country, should end his position as leader.  Dayanu: Enough is enough.

At the length, truth will out.  If it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, and swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is a duck.  Now the truth about the venomous presence of anti-Semitism in the British Labor Party is being told, told in all its lack of glory.  In July 2018, three Jewish newspapers in Britain simultaneously wrote United We Stand, stating that a Labor government led by Jeremy Corbyn would pose “an existential threat” to Jewish life in the U.K.

A month later, in August 2018, more than 30,000 British citizens signed a petition organized by the Campaign against Anti-Semitism , an organization to educate people about the issue, calling on Corbyn to resign as leader of the Labor Party.  In the House of Commons, Dame Margaret Hodge, M.P. for Barking in East London, who lost family members in the Holocaust, called Corbyn a “racist and anti-Semite” and asserted that the Labor Party is a “hostile environment” for Jews.

At the outset, it should be clear that the complaints and allegations against the persistence of Labor Party anti-Semitism and his refusal to condemn it is not motivated by animus against Corbyn, but results from perusal of his utterances and actions and his non-actions and silences.  Any animus is in fact displayed by supporters of Corbyn.  One influential close ally is Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, the second largest trade union in the U.K., with 1.2 million members, who spoke of Jewish “truculent hostility” and called on Jewish community leaders, whose motives he somewhat surprisingly said he did not understand, to “dial down the rhetoric.”  There can be no misunderstanding the motives of McCluskey and Unite.  In a “statement of Solidarity with the Palestinian People,” issued on July 11, 2014, a call was made for sanctions against Israel, which was described as an “apartheid state.”

Even Corbyn himself in March 2018 recognized, if belatedly, that anti-Semitism has occurred in pockets of the Labor Party, “causing  pain and hurt to our Jewish community in the L.P. and the rest of the country.”  However, over the years, Corbyn has denied that he is personally anti-Semitic, though he has uttered classic tropes that suggest otherwise.  This can now be judged by videos recently made public showing that he shared platforms and took part in events with anti-Semities, terrorist sympathizers, and other political extremists and never publicly challenged them.

The weightiest stinging comment on Corbyn, an unprecedented attack, came in August 2018 from Lord Sacks, Cambridge and London University-educated chief rabbi, 1991-2013, who referred to Corbyn as a person who has legitimized the public expression of hate.  Sacks was unqualified in his remarks of an indigo hue: within living memory of the Holocaust, Britain has an anti-Semite as the leader of the Labor Party and Her Majesty’s Opposition.  The danger is that where he leads, others will follow.  According to Sacks, Corbyn’s hate defiles British politics.  He is low, dishonest, and dangerous.  First he denies, then he equivocates, then he obfuscates.

Sacks was particularly incensed by revelation of remarks Corbyn had made in 2013 at a meeting of the Palestinian Return Center, where he attacked a group of “British Zionists” who had dared to criticize a speech by  Palestinian ambassador Manuel Hassassian.  Those Zionists, Corbyn said, had two problems.  One is that they don’t want to study history.  The second is that, having lived in the country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they “don’t understand English irony. … Manuel does understand English irony.”  

Sacks saw this as the most offensive statement made by a senior British politician since Enoch Powell.  Like Powell, the leader using the language of classic prewar European anti-Semitism, Corbyn depicts an entire group of British citizens as essentially alien, with implications of double loyalty.   Corbyn said “Zionists,” but “Jews” were implicit, unable to appreciate irony, a figure of speech absent in his own speeches.  Corbyn was not only offensive, but ignorant and foolish.  All Jews, Isaiah Berlin once said, who are conscious of their identity as Jews are steeped in history.  Jews, we know, have too much history and too little geography.  Corbyn may be a slow or inattentive reader.  Otherwise,  he can start with Jewish irony in the Bible and, more recently, in British novelist Howard Jacobson’s The Finkler Question.

By a remarkable coincidence, the case of Enoch Powell and his controversial 1968 “Rivers of Blood” speech was being discussed when Sacks referred to it in August 2018.  In February 2018, Powell’s former constituency of Wolverhampton, for which he was an M.P., 1950-74, planned to remember him with a blue plaque.  As a result of opposition by many, including those who intended to tear it down or deface it, the plan was scraped.  In his speech, Powell proposed control and limit to mass immigration into Britain, especially from the black Commonwealth: we must, he said, “be mad as a nation to permit the annual flow of some 50,000 dependents.”  The country must prevent discrimination against the native population.  Curiously, in spite of the invective, Powell had never used the phrase “Rivers of Blood” but had alluded to the poet Virgil, who wrote, “[L]ike the Roman, I seem to see the River Tiber foaming with much blood.”

Corbyn’s statements and the recent emergence of video footage occasion a comment.  One video shows him in 2014 in Tunisia attending a ceremony honoring three “Palestinian martyrs,” the Black September group, and the group’s founder, Salah Khalaf (Abu Iyad), responsible for torturing and then for the assassination of 11 Israeli athletes in the 1972 Munich Olympic games.  He denied laying a wreath but said he was “present though not actually involved in it.”  However, he mislaid the truth, since photos show him with a wreath.  They also show him close to the grave of Atef Bseiso, intelligence chief of the PLO, also involved in the 1972 massacre, who was killed in Paris in June 1992.

Corbyn urged an end to the “stranglehold of elite power and billionaire domination” over large parts of the British media, familiar in many anti-Semitic utterances.  His remarks echoed and were praised by David Duke, Holocaust-denier and Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, and Nick Griffin, former leader of the neo-Nazi British National Party.

Corbyn was also defended by Haneen Zoabi, Israeli-Arab member of the Knesset, who calls Israel a “fascist” state, about his remarks concerning speeches made by the British MPS, but which she, and L.P. members, insisted were written by Israeli diplomats concerning the Gaza flotilla raid in May 2010.  Zoabi was aboard the ship Mavi Marmara, along with IHH activists affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, who tried to end the Israeli blockade of Hamas in Gaza.  Israeli commandos boarded the ship and were attacked by IHH, ten of whom died in the fighting.

Corbyn in 2011 called for Holocaust Memorial Day to be changed to Genocide Memorial Day to reflect that Nazis targeted not only Jewish people.

In 2010, he hosted an event and made no comment when a speaker compared Israeli policy with Nazi policies.  Again in 2013, at a meeting of the Palestinian Return Center, he compared Israeli control of the West Bank to the Nazi occupation of Europe, with endless roadblocks, imprisonment, and irrational behavior by the military and the police, “of the very sort that is recognizable by many people in Europe who suffered occupation during World War II.”

In an interview on TV on August 12, 2012 concerning a terrorist incident, Corbyn said Israel had an interest in violence in the Sinai, though it was Islamic jihadists who attacked an Egyptian army base, killing 16 Egyptians.

Corbyn has endorsed BDS with the argument that “I think the boycott campaign is part and parcel of a legal process that has to be adopted.  Sanctions against Israel are the appropriate way of promoting the peace process.”  He described former foreign minister Tzipi Livni as a war criminal.

No one will accuse Corbyn of being a war criminal, but equally he is not the best the U.K. can offer to cleanse the disease of anti-Semitism.  The Labor Party, for its own good and for the good of the country, should end his position as leader.  Dayanu: Enough is enough.



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