I recently went to see Denzel Washington's 'Book of Eli.' I'd seen the preview weeks before and it's dark undertones of a man wondering through post-apocalyptic world wasn't as intriguing to me as was the fact that Mr. Washington also was the Producer of the film, so I was curious what drove such an accomplished actor to put so much of himself into it?
Cautionary note: To those of you who have yet to see this compelling film and desire to, please exit this post here as I don't wish to spoil the film for you; all others accept this as a 'Hold Harmless' agreement, lol.
The movie opens with Denzel traveling, alone in a vast expanse of bleak emptiness with several references to once abundant excesses that man once took for granted, now being more valuable then gold. On several occasions throughout his travels west, 'Eli' -Denzel's character- is forced to violently dispatch various cretins who would otherwise have been allowed to gain control of his most prized possession, a mysterious old leather-bound book that even we, the audience aren't even allowed to see up close, which lends support the great rareness and value of the book.
Eli (the trustee/protector of 'the book') finally encounters a future-world tyrannical despot played superbly by Gary Oldman. Oldman's character is desperately seeking through his minions, a copy of a certain book, that only he understands the inspirational power of, however, he feels that if only he can gain possession of same, he can lead (enslave actually) because he feels they have weak,simple minds and will fall prey to his manipulation with it as his tool.
As you may beginning to assume, the book in question is indeed the last copy of the King James Bible, and Eli has been 'traveling west' by faith alone to find the place where he is to deliver it. When asked 'where' that place is, he radially admits that he doesn't know, but that "it will be revealed to him" at the appropriate time.
I simply will not spoil anymore of the movie, as I hope that everybody sees this poignant, thought-provoking film. Which brings me to the point of this writing. I left the film with a flood of thoughts streaming through my head, such as: 1. Denzel Washington must be a Christian, because this is a totally non-politically-correct film given the hostile, anti-Christian environment America has become of late; 2. WOW, Denzel must be an non-apologetic Christian because...; 3. Wow, when's the last time I really poured-over my Bible? Man, I really am guilty of taking the Word of God (my God) for granted. 4. I was re-inspired to return to my 'Owner's Manual' and seek the wisdom and peace that I used to so radially enjoy from reading it daily.
To those of you who swim in the Word daily, keep swimming in it and be blessed. To those of you (like me) who had gotten away from it on a daily basis, RETURN to it, for it is very good and we need to stay in it and seek His will for us, especially in these confusing, tumultuous times.
'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.' John 1:1
« Citizens’ State of the State Race to the Top By admin Common Sense in Government| Published: January 23, 2010
Late last year, the Michigan legislature decided that the perfect fix for their out of control spending was to go to the federal government for more money. Race to the Top is a contest, yes you read the right, a contest where states compete with each other for federal funding for education. They have to enact reforms, create plans for action, then submit the application and wait to see if they “won”. In the usual spirit of transparency, we, as citizens, were not allowed to see the application before it was submitted.
Earlier this week, the completed 631 page application, in which Michigan once again gets down on it’s knees and begs was released to the public, you can download it here. Even though they passed the reform legislation and submitted the application under the guise of “saving the children”, it is imperative that the citizens are fully aware of the implications of accepting this money (assuming we are in fact picked to “win”).
Make sure you take a little time to get the dirty details on what accepting Race to the Top funding would include, especially the vague reference to “international benchmarks” which would allow an entity outside the country to determine what we need to teach in our schools. Essentially the funding is a carrot on a stick, and has the potential to be very dangerous for students in Michigan’s schools.
Mark's Notes: If you'd like to learn more about the group, 'Common Sense in Government,' please visit their website at: www.commonsenseingovernment.com or simply double-click their link in my blog's right margin. Wendy Lynn Day and Melanie Hall are the founders of this exceptional Conservative 'Clearing House.' I would encourage all Constitutional Conservatives to visit their site and join the Common Sense in Government Cause. Press On, Mark
Ok sports fans, I've heard from some that the first Alinsky piece was just a little to long to get through and the 2nd installment is also living a lonely life, SO... Here's a Succienct, Short & Sweet, Down & Dirty, Joe Friday: "Just the facts ma'am" version for all you 'time-challenged' conservatives who want to know what makes Obama tick; there are eleven (11, or XI to you Roman cats) basic tenets (SOP's or Standard Operating Proceedures to you fellow military/veteran-types out there) to Alinsky's 'Rules for Radicals listed below.
In 1971, Saul Alinsky penned his treatise on grassroots organizing titled 'Rules for Radicals.' Many on the left, who are uncomfortable with it, view Alinsky's approach as too aggressive. However to many diehard socialists RFR serves as their Operations Manual on tactics and minipulation of the masses.
According to Alinsky, the organizer — especially a paid organizer from outside — must first overcome suspicion and establish credibility. Next the organizer must begin the task of agitating: rubbing resentments, fanning hostilities, and searching out controversy. This is necessary to get people to participate. An organizer has to attack apathy and disturb the prevailing patterns of complacent community life where people have simply come to accept a bad situation. Alinsky would say, “The first step in community organization is community disorganization.” Through a process combining hope and resentment, the organizer tries to create a “mass army” that brings in as many recruits as possible from local organizations, churches, services groups, labor unions, corner gangs, and individuals.
While Alinsky provided a collection of rules to guide the process, he emphasized that in order for these rules to be translated into real-life tactics, they must be fluid and responsive (ie, Situationally-Flexable) to the task, or goal at hand.
Alinsky's '11 Rules for Radicals:
Rule 1: Power is not only what you have, but what an opponent thinks you have. If your organization is small, hide your numbers in the dark and raise a din that will make everyone think you have many more people than you do.
Rule 2: Never go outside the experience of your people. The result is confusion, fear, and retreat.
Rule 3: Whenever possible, go outside the experience of an opponent. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.
Rule 4: Make opponents live up to their own book of rules. “You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”
Rule 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.
Rule 6: A good tactic is one your people enjoy. “If your people aren’t having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with the tactic.”
Rule 7: A tactic that drags on for too long becomes a drag. Commitment may become ritualistic as people turn to other issues.
Rule 8: Keep the pressure on. Use different tactics and actions and use all events of the period for your purpose. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this that will cause the opposition to react to your advantage.”
Rule 9: The threat is more terrifying than the thing itself. When Alinsky leaked word that large numbers of poor people were going to tie up the washrooms of O’Hare Airport, Chicago city authorities quickly agreed to act on a longstanding commitment to a ghetto organization. They imagined the mayhem as thousands of passengers poured off airplanes to discover every washroom occupied. Then they imagined the international embarrassment and the damage to the city’s reputation.
Rule 10: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. Avoid being trapped by an opponent or an interviewer who says, “Okay, what would you do?”
Rule 11: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it. Don’t try to attack abstract corporations or bureaucracies. Identify a responsible individual. Ignore attempts to shift or spread the blame.
According to Alinsky, the main job of the organizer is to bait an opponent into reacting. “The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength.”
Mark's Notes: Hmmm, sound like anyone we know? Please cut/paste article, or my blog link to all your conservative friends who need to know what Obama's methods are. As Sun Tzu stated in the 'Art of War,' "Before one can plan to defeat one's enemy, one must first KNOW one's enemies methods." Saul Alinsky wrote the book that not only Obama, but the Clinton's and many of Obama's inner circle use to carry out their plans. I would appreciate your joining my blog as 'Followers' as well. Press On, Mark
January 27, 2010. By Christopher Chantrill, from 'The American Thinker' Blog
Isn't it great to have a Republican senator from Massachusetts? It's also good to have the First Amendment reaffirmed by the United States Supreme Court -- even if our liberal friends are shocked and appalled at the notion of corporations sticking up for themselves. As delicious as last week's good news was for conservatives, You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet. We do not mean that every week will bring new conservative successes. Not at all. It is just that every month will bring fresh anguish for President Obama and his supporters.
There's the sinking spell in the equity markets last week. It might be from worrying about the president's anti-banker populism. Or more likely, it is telling us that we are not out of the woods yet on the economy. I suspect disappointing news on fourth-quarter GDP on January 29. Indeed, it's pretty clear after 2009, the year the locusts ate, that President Obama and his liberal supporters are facing an annus horribilis. And they know it. Here's Jon Jeter of The Root telling his readers to be afraid, very afraid. He sees "a perfect, gathering storm of economics, politics and tribalism[.]"
Trilbalism? I'm afraid so. Racism is rearing its ugly head again. Jeter quotes Andrea Mitchell, who sees anger out there -- the worst since the days of George Wallace. And guess who will be taking the part of George Wallace this time around: Sarah Palin. Palin is the latest in a long line of demagogues -from post-Reconstruction governors in the Deep South to Father Coughlin in the '30s, from Reagan to Lou Dobbs-who've emerged to redeem, or reclaim, the land from Northern carpetbaggers and uppity Negroes.
It still takes me by surprise when the liberals reaches for the racist redneck line. Yet it makes complete sense. If you are writing the narrative of a progressive vanguard leading the world into a highly evolved future, then your story needs an antagonist. The redneck, racist truck-driver with a rifle in the back window fits the part to a T.
Presumably President Obama is trying to preempt the right-wing racists by getting the first dagger into the backs of the bankers. After all, it was the bankers who sent the Okies to California.
Here's my prediction. The president's banker gambit will fall as flat as his stimulus plan, his cap-and-trade bill, and his ObamaCare fiasco. But that will be the least of his problems. There will be continuing high unemployment right through 2010, which I predicted a couple of weeks ago. There's the housing market that still hasn't turned. There's the huge monetary stimulus that must be unwound. There's the budget crisis in the states. There is the tax increase coming in 2011 when the Bush tax cuts expire. Oh, and did I mention the budget deficit and runaway federal spending, or everyone's favorite, Fannie and Freddie?
It is becoming more and more clear that neither Obama nor Axelrod nor Emanuel really understands ordinary, suburban, private-sector, Joe the Plumber America. Urban America they know. But not suburban Massachusetts.
Scott Brown's victory last week, writes Bill Kristol, demonstrated the potential of an "enlightened, good-natured, constructive populism." Notice also how the new Brownian motion slices through the "enlightened progressives vs. benighted reactionaries" narrative of liberal Jon Jeter.
Jeter's liberal way is the pre-modern way, a hierarchical moral order, with the educated elite guiding the unevolved peasants. The conservative way is the Modern Moral Order, as Charles Taylor describes it in A Secular Age:
The basic normative principle is, indeed, that the members of society serve each other's needs, help each other, in short, behave like the rational and sociable creatures that they are ... In other words, the basic point of the new normative order [is] the mutual respect and mutual service of the individuals who make up society.
This all comes straight from John Locke. So a president who wants health care organized in a single administrative bureaucratic program is missing the basic Lockean point. He is proposing a new version of the old medieval hierarchical structure, where kings ruled by divine right. Only now, liberals want to rule by educated right.
The president has a problem, as Mark Steyn points out: "[Obama ran for president] as something he's not, and never has been: a post-partisan, centrist, transformative healer[.]" After a year of the president reverting to type as a partisan, left-liberal wheeler-dealer, the American people have declared in three elections so far that they didn't vote for that. They wanted someone who would stop the bickering and grow the economy.
So what does Obama do now? The way he's going, there may not be a Democratic Party by the end of his term in 2013.
As I said, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Christopher Chantrill is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. See his roadtothemiddleclass.com and usgovernmentspending.com. His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.
In what's the second installment in my conpendium study on the connection between Barrack Obama and Saul Alinsky, I offer an outstanding piece I came across in the 'American Thinker' (www.americanthinker.com) that helps explain how Obama thinks as well as shed further light on the oporational methods and goals of the 'Alinskyites' in his Administration.
Given the fresh results of the Scott Brown upset over Martha Coakley in Massachuettes last Tuesday, I think it's time to consider that Obama's team of 'Alinskyites' may have overestimated the support of mainstream media and mainstream Democrats, while at the same time underestimated their Conservative targets' influence.
In this 'Part II' of my Saul Alinsky Series, I offer an eye-opening piece that was penned October 20, 2009, by Kyle-Anne Shiver in 'The American Thinker' titled: 'Alinskyite in Chief Is a Master Polarizer.'
'The Thirteenth Rule of Radical Tactics: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. - Saul Alinsky, the Father of Community Organizing, 'Rules for Radicals'; p. 128
There's a whole lot of polarizing going on in Obama's America. Unity is out, apparently. Polarization is still in. And Rush Limbaugh and Fox News are the new Bush. One would need to be a complete ninny outfitted with blinders and earplugs not to know this by now. One blaring truth rears its ugly head to any open-minded person who takes a hard look at Barack Obama's personal and political history. His history is shot clear through with polarizing effects, both intentional and unintentional.
One might almost say that Barack Obama was a born polarizer. Obama's Polarization Roots. When Barack Obama burst upon the national political stage with his speech to the 2004 Democratic National Convention, he was selling himself as an ideal-Republic American. Yes, as is typical of all of Obama's speeches, this one was heavy on the "I." Nevertheless, the speech heard ‘round the world at that convention was one just about any American anywhere could like.
The most memorable lines and the ones that drew the heaviest applause: "Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America; there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America."
Unfortunately for the Country, these were indeed just words. As researchers came to learn during the campaign, Barack Obama was raised on the mother's milk of socialism, not the bedrock American values claimed by the Axelrod-spun, fairytale narrative. Both Barack's mother and his father were fellow travelers of the Marxist band and made no bones about this during their lives. Stanley Ann Dunham was spouting the "gospel of envy" by the time she was in her mid-teens. Barack Obama Sr. saw his own political career in Kenya die out, not only due to his alcoholism, but also due to his hard-core communist fealties, which were too stringent for the softer-core socialists in command of the fledgling post-colonial country of his birth. Young Barack's grandfather, who was his primary caregiver from age 10, made sure the youngster spent vast amounts of his free time with stalwart avowed communist, Frank Marshall Davis.
At their very core, all Marxist theories rest upon polarization, which is the direct result of envy and greed for power. "They have what we want," is the rallying cry of all socialist/communist/fascist systems. All Marxist creeds are as naturally polarizing as a mob of looters.
Fancy, high-flying words don't change a thing. When Barack Obama made his way to Chicago, he was already a natural polarizer, seeing the world through us-vs.-them lenses. His associations with ACORN (Project Vote) and Jeremiah Wright fit perfectly with the worldview his parents, grandfather and mentor purposefully taught him. His study of Alinsky power tactics during those years merely reinforced that polarizing worldview and gave it stronger legs.
The church chosen by Barack Obama in Chicago was run by Jeremiah Wright, another active and vociferous polarizer. Wright based his own theology on the writings of James H. Cone, a man who boastfully declares that blacks -- not Jews -- are the chosen people of God, that they're due special preference because of their history of oppression and that the only way a white person can join them is to shed their "white skins" and become black in their souls. Both Cone and Wright preach black supremacy and black separatism and have bought hook, line and sinker the socialist, "They have what we want," rallying cry. Barack Obama chose this theology of his own free will as a full-fledged, well-educated adult.
As a young politician in Chicago, Obama was known for sowing division and polarity among his own constituents, first with his underhanded treatment of Alice Palmer, then with his ill-fated challenge of Bobby Rush for the U.S. Congress. Why would anyone believe that Barack Obama had a single unifying bone in his body? Such a belief defies common sense.
The Master Polarizer as President- President Barack Obama sailed into the presidency itself on the wings of eight years of solid, left-wing manipulated polarizing of all things Bush. So, why did Americans believe Obama would be anything but a polarizing president? David Mendell, writing in his book, From Promise to Power, puts his finger right on the pulse of Obama's ease with bamboozling all comers.
It's the smooth-flowing, used-car-salesman rhetoric, honey. Writing of Obama's U.S. Senate campaign, Mendell noted (p. 248): "As he had so often before, Obama sold his message to both liberals and centrists, as well as to some who tilted toward the right. His message, after all, was both liberal and conservative. His policy positions were decidedly to the left, but he offered them in such a passive, two-pronged way that it made him sound almost conservative."
After becoming president, Obama's first target of Alinsky polarization tactics was Rush Limbaugh. The targeting began very early with Obama's words to Republican lawmakers over the hastily passed, non-bipartisan Stimulus package. When Republican lawmakers attempted to take the new President at his conciliatory campaign rhetoric and provide actual input, the President's petulant reply: "I won." To which he added the polarizing bait: "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and expect to get anything done."
Obama, the general threw down the rhetorical gauntlet and ever since, his troops have followed suit, attempting to polarize Rush Limbaugh (and every one of Rush's listeners) in the same way Democrats effectively polarized President Bush. President Obama followed up on his polarizing tactic against Rush Limbaugh at the White House Correspondents Dinner, laughing uproariously as Wanda Sykes plied her death-wish humor at Rush's kidneys and ludicrously suggested that Rush was the 20th hijacker on 9/11.
According to the Huffington Post, "The White House's communications staff announced this week (referring to Oct 5-9) that it was charting out a new, more aggressive strategy, defined largely by a pledge to push back hard against news stories that are either inaccurate or unflattering." Anita Dunn appeared the following Sunday on CNN to fire the first salvo of this stated policy.
Since then, our Alinskyite in Chief has taken the unprecedented extra step of using the people's government to perform a rhetorical hit job on an independent media outlet, Fox News. Anita Dunn, White House Communications Director, whose favorite philosopher is Mao, the Chinese-Communist butcher, audaciously targeted Fox News on national television. She slandered the channel's coverage of the presidential campaign, declared it a "wing of the Republican Party," and openly admitted the reason it was dissed by the President last month was its tenacious insistence on reporting stories unflattering to Obama.
This open polarizing of independent news and opinion broadcasters is not by accident, but by design and rests solidly at the feet of the President. Dunn made it big in the news again this week for her declarations that Obama had controlled the media during the campaign. But this control of the media thing only works if one controls all the media.
The Goals of Alinskyite Polarization: Killing the Opposition- Saul Alinsky declared that the only way to effect any substantial change in the prevailing order of power (Haves vs. Have-nots) was to first polarize the whole societal/political atmosphere. Alinsky described his community organizer as someone who must become a "well-integrated political schizoid."
"The organizer must become schizoid, politically, in order to slip into becoming a true believer. Before men can act an issue must be polarized. Men will act when they are convinced their cause is 100 percent on the side of the angels and that the opposition are 100 percent on the side of the devil. He knows there can be no action until issues are polarized to this degree." (Rules for Radicals; p. 78)
When Senate candidate Obama gave that speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 and declared, "even as we speak, there are those preparing to divide us," he was talking out both sides of his mouth.
Being a consummate divider is the community organizer's very job description. His task is to "rub raw the sores of discontent" until ordinary people become so agitated with the status quo that they are willing to do whatever is necessary to change it. When Alinsky was taunted with the accusation that organizers were nothing but "professional agitators," he gleefully agreed, declaring that the organizer's job was to "fan the flames of discontent." Only hopelessness and overwhelming fear of the future, he contended, that would pave the way for revolution:
Dostoevsky said that taking a new step is what people fear most. Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and chance the future. - Rules for Radicals, p. xix
That's precisely where we were in the lead-up to the presidential election. Americans were indeed "rubbed raw" from the left's ceaseless caterwauling against Bush, the "religious right," "ideological" policy making, "Bush's war," etc. And it has been clear from the beginning of the Obama presidency that he and his supporters believed enacting far-reaching leftist policies would be little more than child's-play. After all, the President also had overwhelming majorities in Congress to do his bidding.
But things have not gone as easily or as uncritically as hoped. Resistance has formed and it has been widespread and quite resilient against the President's charms. Rather than re-examine his policy proposals or question himself, President Obama simply goes to the fallback position of every true-blue Alinskyite. He "picks a target, freezes it, personalizes it and polarizes it."
In the President's mind, the only reason good Americans disagree with him and his far-reaching, anti-American policies are those media folks who report on his scheming, i.e., Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. The other news and opinion outlets have given the Alinskyite a complete pass.
Alinsky taught that the purpose of polarization was not only to "rub raw the sores of discontent," but also to force the target into committing the "crimes" of which he stood preemptively accused. Alinsky gave examples of how he had polarized and tormented an opponent so forcefully and tenaciously that the target eventually broke and succumbed to things like breaking into his offices to get information and hurling invective that made him look guilty to onlookers. The whole idea of polarization is to push the target into becoming the villain he was targeted to be.
Alinsky summed up his polarization tactic with these tidbits, which should act as warnings to targets of Alinskyite polarization:
•The real action is in the enemy's reaction. •The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength.
To those who would decry his tactics as unwholesome and at bedrock, untruthful, Alinsky offered this rebuttal: "Can you imagine in the arena of conflict charging that so-and-so is a racist bastard and then diluting the impact of the attack with qualifying remarks such as, ‘He is a good churchgoing man, generous to charity, and a good husband'? This becomes political idiocy." (Rules for Radicals; p. 134)
Even though Alinsky dedicated his book, Rules for Radicals, to the one he referred to as the "very first radical known to man," none other than Lucifer, Alinsky was also quite adroit at claiming he was following injunctions by Jesus Christ, too.
"The classic statement on polarization comes from Christ: ‘He that is not with me is against me.' (Luke 11:23) He allowed no middle ground to the moneychangers in the Temple. One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other." (Rules for Radicals; p. 134)
Putting himself on the same level as Christ was an Alinsky favorite and it certainly reminds me of our own Alinskyite in Chief. President Obama has sown division among religious people too. Among Jews, he has polarized stalwart supporters of Israel and in his foreign policy moves against the tiny State, has relied on backing of anti-Israel Jewish groups, such as J-Street. President Obama has also attempted to polarize the Pope and stirred division among Catholics by speaking at Notre Dame. In religion, as well as politics, President Obama adopts the all-with-me or against-me rhetoric, but unlike God, is willing to use any dirty trick in the book to get his way.
Seems like the actions of a true radical in the Luciferian mold to me.
The bottom line on polarization is that it's an ugly, deceitful power tactic being used unabashedly by President Barack Obama to further his own designs for America. But targeting the most popular, successful radio and television personalities in America today would seem a bit beyond the pale, even for an Alinskyite in Chief.
President Obama should, perhaps, have heeded Alinsky's warnings on picking perfect targets: "It should be borne in mind that the target is always trying to shift responsibility to get out of being the target. There is a constant squirming and moving and strategy...on the part of the designated target. The forces for change must keep this in mind and pin that target down securely. If an organization permits responsibility to be diffused and distributed in a number of areas, attack becomes impossible."
With 15-20 million listeners every week and plenty of financial power, Rush Limbaugh has proven that he is not a soft target. Remember the left's Congressional-letter fiasco. As the most highly viewed Cable news network, Fox would seem also un-amenable to easy polarizing. Eventually, other news individuals and organizations will most likely enter this president-picked fight on the side of their beleaguered Fox comrades, not to mention the millions of Fox's angered viewers.
Backlash is forming faster than a thunder cloud on a hot summer day. It's going to be a fine fight and I'm bidding for the popcorn concession.
Kyle-Anne Shiver is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and a syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate. She blogs every now and then at kyleanneshiver.com.
We were just given a gift; an opportunity to get some traction against the dangerous slide towards tyranny that we are still on. While this victory is indeed sweet, we cannot return to complacency (which IS a conservative weakness). Nor should we gloat (this is but one battle we've won) because the war continues. We can never allow ourselves to return to a state of ambivalence, taking our Constitutional Republic for granted. Non-vigilance and indifference are no longer acceptable options if we love the country we grew-up in and want to see our children and grandchildren have any hope of enjoying the same freedoms and blessings we've enjoyed.
If the Obama administration has taught us nothing else, it's been that they, the American Left, are dedicated to ACTIVELY changing America into a socialist country. They are passionate, organized and ruthlessly focused to do anything necessary to reach that end. Therefor we MUST commit to ACTIVELY defending and re-establishing our Constitutional Republic. It will require that we all do our part and get out of our comfort zone to do so. But IF we are willing to stop to consider our children -go now and look upon them as they safely sleep (if they're still young and home with you), or pause to think of them wherever they may be if grown (especially those who are deployed far away defending us at home), our love for them and what kind of future we want for them, this work will no longer feel at all as a burden to us, but rather a responsibility and honor. It may perhaps be our generation's (1946-1964) opportunity to do something noble, worthy and lasting.
"One must never allow disorder to continue so as to escape a war. One does not escape; the war is mearly postponed to ones disadvantage."
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government.
It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.
The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: from Bondage to Spiritual Faith; from spiritual faith to Great Courage; from courage to Liberty; from liberty to Abundance; from abundance to Selfishness; from selfishness to Complacency; from complacency to Apathy; from apathy to Dependence; from dependency back again into bondage."
Saul Alinsky and the Rise of Amorality in American Politics by D. L. Adams. [This article currently appears in New English Review]
Saul Alinsky and his “community organizing” methods and philosophy have had a profound influence on the politics of the United States. Recent history would suggest that this influence is just short of catastrophic. Alinsky’s book, “Rules for Radicals,” published in 1971 still has enormous effects on our country today. Hillary Clinton wrote her Wellesley College thesis on Alinsky, interviewing him personally for her research. After her graduation Alinsky offered her a job with his organization, which she refused to pursue other opportunities. President Obama worked for Alinsky organizations and taught seminars in Alinsky tactics and methodology during his “community organizing” period in Chicago. Michelle Obama echoed Alinsky’s words in her speech at the Democratic Convention. Michelle Obama: “Barack stood up that day,” talking about a visit to Chicago neighborhoods, “and spoke words that have stayed with me ever since. He talked about “The world as it is” and “The world as it should be…”And, “All of us driven by a simple belief that the world as it is just won’t do – that we have an obligation to fight for the world as it should be.”
Saul Alinsky, “Rules for Radicals,” Chapter 2: “The means-and-ends moralists, constantly obsessed with the ethics of the means used by the Have-Nots against the Haves, should search themselves as to their real political position. In fact, they are passive-but real-allies of the Haves … The most unethical of all means is the non-use of any means … The standards of judgment must be rooted in the whys and wherefores of life as it is lived, the world as it is, not our wished-for fantasy of the world as it should be.“
Alinsky is making a strong case in this quote for the abandonment of morals and ethics as nothing but impediments to political success. For Alinsky, as for Michelle and Barack Hussein Obama, morality and ethics prevent the world from being what “it should be.” The Alinsky end game is likely a global utopia in which the “people” have “power.” Unfortunately, this utopianism has been the foundation of several über-violent movements of the last century which have resulted in over 100 million deaths. Alinsky’s dedication of “Rules for Radicals” to Lucifer is easily understood; as a champion of amorality and the abandonment of ethics as nothing more than props that sustain the status quo Lucifer is the perfect model of the destroyer for the activist Alinsky. The fact that our top political leadership has embraced this amoral set of tactics for political gain should cause all Americans concern. There is no utopia; those who have strived to make the impossible real, to implement their grand visions of life have been the agents of death and destruction on a scale surpassed only perhaps by Islam. Alinsky, like the Koran, Sira, and Hadith, represents morality turned upside down or abandoned entirely in favor of cold pragmatism.
ACORN uses Alinsky’s aggressive model of “Community organizing.” It is no surprise that they have been deeply involved in voter fraud and other nefarious practices. ACORN’s transgressions and fraud were so abysmal that the federal government de-funded the organization several months ago. ACORN operates on Alinsky principles of immorality and total radical pragmatism, after all, they are trying to usher in the people’s utopia; why should they allow mere ethics, legalities, and other such encumbrances to interfere with their mission to save humanity from itself? Recently, ACORN employees attempted to assist two young people who wanted to start an illegal sex business; unfortunately for the ACORN people the two entrepreneurs were actually conservative activists who had filmed the entire encounter. Following in the path of Alinsky, what could be wrong with a bit of prostitution and other sex-related “businesses” if it “empowered the people” and could help to de-construct the institutions of society? For ACORN it was a win-win opportunity.
Alinsky’s mission was to incite constant struggle and agitation so that the oppressive “system” would eventually be brought to its knees; ACORN is on the same path, but pretends legitimacy much better than Alinsky ever attempted. In fact, the ACORN “sting” as it is now known is Alinsky methodology put to good use. ACORN and its Alinsky amorality were supported by our current President. “In fact, Obama’s Acorn connection is far more extensive. In the few stories where Obama’s role as an Acorn “leadership trainer” is noted, or his seats on the boards of foundations that may have supported Acorn are discussed, there is little follow-up. Even these more extensive reports miss many aspects of Obama’s ties to Acorn.” (Stanley Kurtz, National Review).
Many Americans have read Alinsky’s books and understand his methods; this is excellent as so few read Mein Kampf, and fewer still have read the Koran, Sira, and Hadith. These are the foundational texts of existential opposition to the existence of the United States in its present form. The fact that our current President and Secretary of State (wannabe President Hillary Clinton), are followers of Alinsky is beyond disturbing. That so many Americans know Alinsky is heartening but few know the motivations behind the agitation that is so central to the Alinsky method and further what it means when a professional agitator acquires the power that they claim to require. What kind of effective governance is possible from the permanent agitator when the reins of power are handed to him/her? We have seen the results.
The problem with the Alinsky method is that the end game is amorphous; the end game is the acquisition of power but little is said of what to do with that power once acquired. The core of Alinsky’s method is destruction, destruction of the “system” that allows a disparity of wealth. There is no discussion of what is to replace this system once it is brought down. However, there is little doubt that Alinsky’s idea of a better “system” is one that brings forced equivalence or Marxism. Fundamentally, the struggle to get power is the essence of Alinsky, what to do with the power once acquired is another matter altogether. “Community Organizer” Barack Hussein Obama teaches the Alinsky method of power acquisition. Just two weeks before his death in 1972 Alinsky gave a revealing interview to Playboy magazine. While this is not a widely known interview it provides great insight into Alinsky, his purposes and, most importantly, his deep alienation from concepts of decency, ethics and morality. In order to understand our current “leadership” we must understand Alinsky. David Horowitz recently published a small but insightful pamphlet on Alinsky and “Rules for Radicals.” Horowitz understands what few do not: Alinsky was a nihilist. What does Alinsky’s nihilism say about those who follow in his footsteps? The answer is clear. The current use of the term “change” is directly from Saul Alinsky. This is a term that can mean many things to many people.
“Pragmatically, the only hope for genuine minority progress is to seek out allies within the majority and to organize that majority itself as part of a national movement for change.” (Alinsky interview) “Change” is both the tool and the goal, but it is rarely defined in any way that is not strictly local and economic; better housing for the poor, better economic opportunity, better wages, better municipal services, etc. However, at the national level “change” is left undefined. In fact it seems, the process of change itself, not the implementation of “change,” is the goal. This is amoral political agitation that appears to be about something positive but is really about deconstruction. Once the institutions of “oppression” that require “change” are destroyed, there is no plan delineated by Alinsky (nor his current crop of followers) as to what will replace them.
The goal apparently is “people power” (whatever that means). However, since the concept of destroying the institutions of society specifically to “empower” people is foundational, this is the same message of Marx. Alinsky is a Marxist without the red flag. Any institution that allows one group of people to advance at the expense of another is to be brought down even if those who advance within it do so as a result of honest hard work and talent. The essence of Alinsky is a radical idea of universal equivalence, though this has been seen before both in Marxist theory, and in Communist states. In order to agitate for “change,” Alinsky and his adherents require the population to be on edge; “rubbed raw.” This desire for endless agitation as a goal is bizarre and disturbing. “The despair is there; now it’s up to us to go in and rub raw the sores of discontent, galvanize them for radical social change. We’ll give them a way to participate in the democratic process, a way to exercise their rights as citizens and strike back at the establishment that oppresses them, instead of giving in to apathy. We’ll start with specific issues — taxes, jobs, consumer problems, pollution – and from there move on to the larger issues: pollution in the Pentagon and the Congress and the board rooms of the megacorporations. Once you organize people, they’ll keep advancing from issue to issue toward the ultimate objective: people power.” (Alinsky interview)
Alinsky believed that the struggle itself is empowering and important, in and of itself. “People power” is another way to say the rule of the people, and not elites or institutions or representatives. This is Marxism. Our president is the greatest acolyte of Saul Alinsky. The influence of Alinsky in our national politics cannot be overstated. “We’ll not only give them a cause, we’ll make life goddamn exciting for them again — life instead of existence. We’ll turn them on.” (Alinsky interview) Alinsky claims to love the United States, but not in its current form. His love of country is as hollow as that of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. “I love this goddamn country, and we’re going to take it back.” (Alinsky interview). “An ABC News review of dozens of Rev. Wright’s sermons, offered for sale by the church, found repeated denunciations of the U.S. based on what he described as his reading of the Gospels and the treatment of black Americans. ‘The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing “God Bless America.’” No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people,’ he said in a 2003 sermon. ‘God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.’” (ABC News).
“Taking back” was a popular meme of the radical left during the Vietnam War era. Once the country is “taken back” what is to be done with it? We now have an Alinsky acolyte in the White House, one could say he has “taken back” the country, but it is clear that he does not know what to do with it. He doesn’t know because no Alinskyite has ever reached this level of power except for Hillary Clinton. The ongoing agitation that comes now directly from the White House, most particularly the failed health care “reform,” shows that the “rubbing raw” method is being followed closely; the popular resistance to “change” that we now see growing across the country is evidence that perhaps this method of “community organizing” is bereft of solutions. Constant agitation is not a solution though Alinsky would have you believe otherwise. “Struggle” itself is the purpose and goal of the Alinsky way.
“All life is warfare, and it’s the continuing fight against the status quo that revitalizes society, stimulates new values and gives man renewed hope of eventual progress. The struggle itself is the victory.” (Alinsky interview). This is essentially an anti- anti-revolutionary concept. The idea of fighting for the sake of fighting itself is morally depraved. But this term “depraved” would not have bothered Alinsky for he is the champion of the abandonment of morality. Amorality is fundamental to Alinsky and to his followers; an ideology that justifies the abandonment of morality and ethics is attractive to many – to the detriment of us all. “Integrity! What shit.” (Alinsky interview). In fairness to Alinsky, the above was said relating to a specific local situation, but the dismissal of integrity is illustrative. Alinsky saw the march of history as driven by revolution; without revolution there is stagnation (lack of development of humanity in his view). It is stunning to see someone dedicated to destruction and deconstruction so self-convinced that he is an agent of human necessity and development; Alinsky is deeply confused. Unfortunately, Alinsky’s followers are just as confused on this matter.
“History is like a relay race of revolutions; the torch of idealism is carried by one group of revolutionaries until it too becomes an establishment, and then the torch is snatched up and carried on the next leg of the race by a new generation of revolutionaries. The cycle goes on and on, and along the way the values of humanism and social justice the rebels champion take shape and change and are slowly implanted in the minds of all men even as their advocates falter and succumb to the materialistic decadence of the prevailing status quo.” (Alinsky, interview). Alinsky grew up in Chicago in a very poor Jewish family in the early part of the century. He said that he had “kicked the habit” of Judaism at an early age, but would always say that he was a “Jew.” Seeing the corruption of Chicago at the time and the hero status held by Al Capone and his operatives, Alinsky made it his affair to associate himself with them.
He saw no difference between the Capone criminals and the corrupt city officials of Chicago at that time. He was successful in flattering himself (his characterization) into the Capone organization and became a trusted fellow traveler for “two years” according to his estimate. In fact, the influence of the Capone gang on Alinsky is substantial and lasted for more than two years. “He introduced me to Frank Nitti, known as the Enforcer, Capone’s number-two man, and actually in de facto control of the mob because of Al’s income-tax rap. Nitti took me under his wing. I called him the Professor and I became his student. Nitti’s boys took me everywhere, showed me all the mob’s operations, from gin mills and whorehouses and bookie joints to the legitimate businesses they were beginning to take over. Within a few months, I got to know the workings of the Capone mob inside out.” (Alinksy interview).
Alinsky’s self-identification of Frank Nitti the mobster killer as his “professor” is important. In retrospect one can speculate that Alinsky learned a great deal about pressure and intimidation from his friends in the Chicago mob. But even more enlightening is that the mob killer Nitti is the anti-thesis of what America is about; amorality and criminality were what Alinsky apparently found so fascinating about Nitti and his gang- they beat “the system” which Alinsky saw as just as corrupt or equally so to the Capone/Nitti gangsters. This abandonment of morality and ethics and in fact, the identification of morality and ethics as impediments, would become a theme with Alinsky. The two years of training with “Professor” Nitti would reap huge rewards for Alinsky over time. But what it has left as a legacy for this country is a disaster as Alinsky’s followers took this abandonment of morals and ethics as a serious lesson; nothing is excluded as far as tactics and strategy are concerned – this is the lesson of the “professor.” Alinsky’s abandonment of morality and ethics is not difficult to demonstrate. “Rules for Radicals” is dedicated to Lucifer, the rebel against God’s rule and great destroyer of Christian ideology. Dedication to Lucifer in Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" Alinsky and his method negate and reject morality and ethics. The denial of history is an important component of the denial of ethics and morality. Alinsky writes in the dedication to Lucifer that history cannot be known. “…Who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins – or which is which…” Without a knowable historical record there can be no learning from past events, and no trust in previous knowledge.
The result of the denial of history is the denial of learning, because no existing knowledge can be trusted. Denial of the capability of people to attain knowledge and understanding from existing sources of information is a component of nihilism. This leaves the future open to radicals and de-constructionists like Alinsky who have made a definitive break with the past. The institutions of society, the old institutions upon which society and morality are built, are therefore illegitimate and are to be brought down. This distrust in the idea of knowledge itself is a totalitarian, anti-intellectual concept.
Alinsky’s worldview is built then on new knowledge only and experience as the old cannot be known or trusted. This shattering of old orders is completely revolutionary and destructive as the past is therefore inherently unworthy because it cannot be trusted (myth and history are the same). The result of the rejection of the past and of knowledge can best be seen in Pol Pot’s Cambodia where knowledge and wisdom and those who possessed such things were destroyed to make way for the revolutionary Utopia of the Khmer Rouge.
Beginning on the day in 1975 when his guerrilla army marched silently into the capital, Phnom Penh, Pol Pot emptied the cities, pulled families apart, abolished religion and closed schools. Everyone was ordered to work, even children. The Khmer Rouge outlawed money and closed all markets. Doctors were killed, as were most people with skills and education that threatened the regime. (New York Times). The rejection of morality and ethics and the embrace of total pragmatism to achieve the goal of power is characteristic of the “radical” Lucifer so respected by Alinsky. It is not important to Alinsky that Lucifer is the embodiment of the idea of evil and opposition to good; what matters is that Alinsky sees Lucifer as effective; the trains always run on time when Satan runs the show. Effectiveness and success are divorced from issues of morality and ethics; success is its own morality for Alinsky and his followers. Morality and ethics have no value for the “radical” who wants to overturn the institutions of society and save the world. Alinsky was a Utopian dreamer who turned his formidable intellect to de-construction and removed morality from the equation for operational purposes.
There can be no place for morality and ethics when the world must be transformed to a Utopia – for Alinsky and his followers this purpose is superior even to any “supreme being” and the morality and ethics which may have originated from such a being. In fact, this rejection of accepted morality means that anything goes; any “action” is acceptable if it destroys or undermines the “status quo” and brings “change.” This is radical anti-stability for the sake of Utopianism. The Alinsky puddle-deep “philosophy” is incredibly dangerous because it elevates “struggle” and “change” over humanity, individuals, and institutions that, while they may be flawed (but can be improved) must be destroyed simply because they are institutions. This is anti-intellectualism and a denial of context and history which results in what can only be endless agitation, conflict, and de-construction. This is a philosophy of a great cosmic vacuum in which stability and quality are sucked up forever until there is only “struggle.”
Utopians believe themselves above morality and ethics because there can be no greater purpose than theirs – the creation of Utopia. Utopians therefore consider their opponents evil. The cruelty of Utopians toward their enemies is easily understood. “Over and over again, the firebrand revolutionary freedom fighter is the first to destroy the rights and even the lives of the next generation of rebels. But recognizing this isn’t cause for despair. All life is warfare, and it’s the continuing fight against the status quo that revitalizes society, stimulates new values and gives man renewed hope of eventual progress.” (Alinsky interview). Utopianism is at the foundation of Soviet Communism, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Mao’s China, Hitler’s Germany, etc. We have seen in history that Utopian ideologies resulted in the greatest toll of death of innocents in human history. Jihad and its hundreds of millions of victims is a Utopian effort to bring the world out of jahiliya (non-belief, ignorance) into dar al-Islam (the purview of Islam’s deity, Allah).
The amorality and moral degradation of Utopianism is one of our greatest threats. David Horowitz’ excellent recently published pamphlet “Barack Obama’s Rules for Revolution: The Alinsky Model” offers keen insights into Alinsky and what it might mean when Alinsky followers are in positions of power. The conclusions he reaches are not pleasant but are borne out by current events, public utterances of the president, his history, and the work of Alinsky himself. What we are seeing is the most radical President in our country’s history who is unable to govern because governing is not his purpose. The Alinskyite, ever the destroyer of institutions, cannot govern because governments and societies are built upon institutions.
The cold war is over – but now it is being fought anew under a new name in the halls of our national centers of political power under the multi-colored banner: “Hope and Change.” The promotion of socialism though socialized medicine, the constant bowing to foreign leaders, and apologizing for American actions across the world and a new detente with traditional enemies and abandonment of and hostility to traditional friends is evidence that agitation and de-construction is the goal of the present administration. A small article appeared in the Boston Globe just after the conclusion of the Democratic National Convention in Denver. It was written by Saul Alinsky’s son. “All the elements were present: the individual stories told by real people of their situations and hardships, the packed-to-the rafters crowd, the crowd’s chanting of key phrases and names, the action on the spot of texting and phoning to show instant support and commitment to jump into the political battle, the rallying selections of music, the setting of the agenda by the power people. The Democratic National Convention had all the elements of the perfectly organized event, Saul Alinsky style.
Barack Obama’s training in Chicago by the great community organizers is showing its effectiveness. It is an amazingly powerful format, and the method of my late father always works to get the message out and get the supporters on board. When executed meticulously and thoughtfully, it is a powerful strategy for initiating change and making it really happen. Obama learned his lesson well. I am proud to see that my father’s model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing to affect the Democratic campaign in 2008. It is a fine tribute to Saul Alinsky as we approach his 100th birthday.” (Boston Globe, 8/31/08). While Mr. Alinsky relished the fact that Mr. Obama had learned his father’s “radical lessons,” we should not be so sanguine. The anti-morality of Alinsky has brought our national political discourse to a breaking point. This is good for the true believers of Alinsky but bad for those who love liberty, democracy, and the future growth and stability of the United States and the prosperity and security of ourselves and our friends. Utopians live in a fantasy realm outside of context and history, as if history and its cycles and challenges do not apply to them. Mr. Obama is at war, but not in the way that you might expect.
Our president does not appear to be seriously interested in war in Iraq or Afghanistan, these are but distractions to the main issue which is the homeland. With his oath of office taken on Abraham Lincoln’s personal bible the American people thought that the long circle of racism had finally been closed with Obama’s inauguration, but it is not so. We thought that we had entered a new era of openness, bi-partisanship, and post-racialism. It is not so; not since Jefferson Davis has an American president been so divisive. The Civil War allusion to Lincoln is appropriate but it is not accurate, our leadership is purposefully divisive because they are Utopians first, Americans second, third, or fourth, or fifth. We live in a time of disunity and radicalism foisted upon us by our leadership. This is not the future for which Abraham Lincoln had labored. “A majority held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations, and always changing easily with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people. Whoever rejects it does of necessity fly to anarchy or to despotism. Unanimity is impossible. The rule of a minority, as a permanent arrangement, is wholly inadmissible; so that, rejecting the majority principle, anarchy or despotism in some form is all that is left.”
“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. (Lincoln, 1st Inaugural Address). “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” (Lincoln, 2nd Inaugural Address). We live in a time of unprecedented domestic upheaval and not any that has been brought upon us by circumstances or international conflagrations but because our Alinsky-influenced, post-modern leadership believes that conflict and struggle is the path to human evolution.
The Obama administration is the embodiment of the failure of politics because it is not about politics – politics involves concession and compromise – it is about victory at any cost. The American people expected hope and change, as that is what they voted for but what they really wanted was stability and prosperity. “Thus Alinsky begins his text by telling readers exactly what a radical is. He is not a reformer of the system but its would-be destroyer. In his own mind the radical is building his own kingdom, which to him is a kingdom of heaven on earth. Since a kingdom of heaven built by human beings is a fantasy – and impossible dream- the radical’s only real world efforts are those which are aimed at subverting the society he lives in. He is a nihilist.
This is something that conservatives generally have a hard time understanding. As a former radical, I am constantly asked how radicals could hate America and why they would want to destroy a society that compared to others is tolerant, inclusive and open, and treats all people with a dignity and respect that is the envy of the world. The answer to the this question is that radicals are not comparing America to other real world societies. They are comparing America to the heaven on earth – the kingdom of social justice and freedom – they think they are building. And compared to this heaven even America is hell.” (Horowitz, pp.16-17, Barack Obama’s Rules for Revolution: The Alinsky Model).
The United States was founded upon the concept that “the people” rule not the elites; that is why there are checks and balances built into our system of government. The Alinsky followers, now that they hold the levers of power, are seeing a popular opposition to their endless agitations. The rise of the Alinskyites has been a rude awakening for most Americans, but it has also energized a vocal opposition. We must return to our roots, our moral, ethical and legal roots, Constitution and Bill of Rights. We must see ourselves in an historical context which the Harvard and Yale dhimmis in positions of authority will not. Our culture and our country are of great value and are worth protecting and saving. We live in a confused time, but the confusion is clearing away; it is clearing away through knowledge and understanding of the motivations of those in power.
The Alinsky ideology of nihilism and deconstruction must be repudiated. Those who are his sycophants and fellow travelers must be exposed and shamed for waging war on their own country and their own people in the name of Utopianism and endless struggle. Our purpose is to learn through the slow, but sound, evolutionary process of trial and error, and to preserve the Constitution its sovereignty over this great land. If our leaders do not concur, if they seek to shortcut the natural process or disrupt the rule of law, they must be voted out or impeached. Saul Alinsky’s message resonated heavily with many intellectuals and activists of the 70s and 80s including Hillary Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama. Our people naively voted for Mr. Obama and his party. Mr. Obama’s agenda is clearly built upon Mr. Alinsky’s model and method. Mr. Obama taught seminars in this method; he is a true believer. The message is that the United States is corrupt and must be de-constructed so that the power can rest with the people. But, it already does.
Our system of democracy based upon our Constitution must be slowly and continually perfected, but not de-constructed or destroyed. The United States is the hope of the world; some have forgotten this, or never believed it. The American people believe it still while our academic and political elites appear to have abandoned the idea. We believe in liberty, freedom, and tolerance, we do not believe in totalitarian barbarism like that of Islam. We are expected to preserve these freedoms and our system of Constitutional government that supports them. There is no utopia, and there is no better system of government in history than what we have here in this country. Our purpose as citizens should be to constantly improve it and aspire to perfect it knowing that absolute perfection is impossible. This is not absurd but an embrace of constant self-examination and improvement. “Perfection” as a realistic political goal is a Utopian concept. Those who embrace Utopianism, like Saul Alinsky and his followers, believe that it is real – the Utopian idea is the same as the fascist, totalitarian, and communist, and Islamic concept of global conquest. Utopians know what is best, those who oppose them are… evil.
Ours is not a world of global fellowship, disarmament and universal goodwill. We live in a world of challenges and threats. When we forget that the reality of humanity is the driver of the functioning of the world, we are lost in dreams. Dreamers, utopians, and fantasists do not drive the world; they break it or are broken by it. Pragmatism without morality and ethics to check it is amoral and leads to de-construction and devolution. Alinsky and his followers have confused agitation with growth; the advancement of humanity must by necessity be driven by morality and ethics. Pragmatism without morality and ethics leads to holocaust. Alinsky has no goal but endless strife; “the struggle is the victory itself,” as he says. This means that institutions must be brought down because stability is seen as immoral in this amoral worldview. This is a bizarre and corrupt ideology for any leader of a nation to embrace.
“If the radicals’ utopia were actually possible, it would be criminal not to deceive, lie, and murder to advance the radical cause which is, in effect, a redemption of mankind. If it were possible to provide every man, woman, and child on the planet with food, shelter and clothing as a right, if it were possible to end bigotry and human conflict, what sacrifice would not be worth it?” (Horowitz, p.45, Barack Obama’s Rules for Revolution: The Alinsky Model). Those having a theological bent might ask where Saul Alinsky is now. The answer is best provided by him. Let’s say that if there is an afterlife, and I have anything to say about it, I will unreservedly choose to go to hell. …Hell would be heaven for me.” (Alinsky, interview). Americans are a people of morality and strong beliefs of our place on this planet and in history.
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” (John Adams, 2nd US President). f all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them.” (Washington, Farewell Address, 1796).
We Americans believe that we have something of great value; we know it is so because we enjoy liberties that others on this earth do not; we know it is so because so many immigrate to our shores for the freedoms, openness, and opportunity that this country offers. America is no utopia, but we shall do our best to work with the concepts of freedom and good government that Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Washington, Madison, Monroe, and all the rest left to us as their legacy forever. “If there is a form of government, then, whose principle and foundation is virtue, will not every sober man acknowledge it better calculated to promote the general happiness than any other form?” (John Adams, 2nd US President). We hold this legacy as a great responsibility to ourselves and to future generations. “I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.” (John Adams, Letter to wife Abigail from Paris, 1780).
There is no utopia but the one that we aspire to here with the superb tools which were left to us by our founders. We have not forgotten their gift to us, and we will make it right once again.
It is an age-old question of perception. Show a person a glass with some liquid in it and ask, “Is it half-full or half-empty?”
The importance of the answer depends on the interests of the person asking the question. If you owned a restaurant and wanted to skimp on the wine, you would rather your customers focused on what they are getting and not on what they aren’t. You won’t get many complaints if your patrons think that half a glass of wine is normal. We are facing exactly that problem in America with respect to freedom. “Half-empty” people notice that a lot of freedom is missing. They are aware that they’re prevented by force of law from doing many things they would like to do, and compelled by force of law to do many others that they would prefer not to do. Most of those people also know that in the past there were far fewer restrictions on freedom than today; they sense that with each passing year, the glasses contain less and less wine.
Looking on the Bright Side
“Half-full” people, in contrast, rarely think about the government’s innumerable laws and taxes as deprivations of their freedom. They focus on what freedom they still have and regard it as enough. Just as restaurateurs prefer customers who see half-full glasses and are content with that, so rulers prefer citizens who are content with whatever freedom they choose to permit. For that reason, crafty rulers—and the form of government doesn’t matter—try to condition the people to think that they are enjoying the best possible state of affairs. Rulers want the people to believe that all the state’s numerous mandates, prohibitions, and confiscations are actually good; they’re done not to take away freedom but only to improve society. If you can get your citizens to look at things that way, they will be as docile as sheep.
A survey by George Mason University economics professor Daniel Klein helped me (a half-empty person) to see what’s going on. Klein had written critically about minimum-wage legislation, mentioning that such laws not only have adverse economic consequences but also abridge freedom—namely, freedom of contract. Imposing a minimum wage commands employers: Either pay each employee at least the legal minimum or else face prosecution. To Klein’s surprise a number of economists responded that they did not think that law has any important impact on freedom. Klein subsequently conducted a poll asking economists if they felt that minimum-wage laws were an attack on freedom. A majority of those who responded said that they regarded them as having little or no impact on freedom.
So here is a government mandate—do this or you’ll be punished—yet a majority of economists see no loss of freedom. An obvious explanation is that the minimum wage simply has no effect on professors. They don’t hire low-wage workers and therefore feel no sting from the law. But even when people are directly affected by government actions that restrict their freedom, they’re apt to shrug it off as “just one of those things.” They still have a lot of other freedoms, after all. Why get upset over the part of the glass that’s empty? Enjoy the part that’s full.
Most people view taxation like that. For working, successful Americans, federal, state, and local taxes take about half their income. If it weren’t for those exactions, they would be able to spend, invest, and donate to charities much more than they now can. True, the tax system is cleverly designed to hide the impact of taxes through another piece of coercion—withholding. Nevertheless, intelligent people know that a great deal of their money is confiscated by the government. Few complain. In fact, many support political candidates who have pledged to increase their taxes. How do we explain that? The “half-full” mentality does it. The glass may be down to 49 percent, but that’s enough.
Freedom of contract gives us another illustration. Government has steadily whittled away at it over the last several decades but few people seem to care. The minimum wage is just one aspect of the attack on freedom of contract; there are many others. Employers may not “discriminate” when hiring workers, meaning that they are subject to legal action by the government if they allegedly decline to hire an applicant because of his race or some other immutable characteristic (“forbidden grounds,” as legal scholar Richard Epstein puts it). Do Americans regard “affirmative action” laws as an abridgement of freedom? Mostly, no. It’s not just that most of us don’t hire any workers, but also that freedom to choose with whom to contract has been tarred with the pejorative “discrimination,” and therefore laws taking away that freedom are actually applauded. Why should people be free to do something that’s bad?
Medicine is another part of life where our freedom has been trimmed. We are not allowed, for example, to purchase any medicine that hasn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. A concerted effort to overturn that law on constitutional grounds failed recently. This can be a matter of life and death for a few people, but the court held that the government was doing nothing wrong in making it illegal for sick people to use unapproved medicines. There was almost no protest. Apparently, Americans are so used to government agencies regulating their lives that freedom to decide which medicines to take is now in that unobserved empty part of the glass.
Too Much Freedom?
If a law or regulation seems to take away some freedom, “half-full” people think, “It’s not that we’re now less free but that we had too much freedom before. The government is giving us a better balance.” Let’s look at a few more examples. The government punishes merchants if they increase prices “too much” following a natural disaster (“price gouging”). Hardly any Americans object that this deprives merchants (not to mention consumers) of freedom. The government dictates that only certain kinds of light bulbs may be used in the future. Americans offer hardly a peep of protest.
The government makes it illegal to drive a car unless the driver and passengers are buckled in. Are any of the politicians who supported the law voted out of office? No. The government forces banks to make mortgage loans to people who would not qualify for one under prudent lending standards. No complaints about that attack on freedom, although some Americans are now unhappy that it helped catalyze the mortgage crisis. The government requires people to buy official stamps for all documents to make them legal. Do the people care? Well, this one’s a trick. It’s the Stamp Act, imposed in 1765 by the British government. The law sent a great many Americans into the streets to protest and threaten the officials charged with enforcing the law. Most Americans were not “half-full” people back then. If a similar law were passed today, people would meekly obey, saying to themselves, “Well, the government needs more money for all the good things it does.”
Skeptics may be thinking, “Okay, some peripheral bits of freedom may have been whittled away over the years, but the government would never deprive the people of any really important aspect of freedom.” Put aside the riposte that what one person thinks peripheral may be extremely important to another. I think that the “glass half-full” view most people apparently have puts all of our freedom at risk. Could we lose, say, freedom of the press the way we have lost other, “peripheral” freedoms? I think so. Here’s a hypothetical case to make my point. Suppose that a new law were proposed, the “National Truth and Civility in Publishing Act.” It would establish a federal agency with authority to punish anyone who published a book, magazine, newspaper, blog, or anything else that was adjudged to be either false or potentially harmful to the feelings of a reader. Would Americans tolerate a law like that? It tears the heart out of the First Amendment. But I think most Americans would be assuaged if the political spin doctors said, “Look, people are still free to write what they want. The law merely tells them that they need to get their facts straight and not write in a way that could be demeaning or offensive. The government has a compelling interest in promoting truthful and respectful writing, doesn’t it? What good ever comes from lies or disrespectful writing? Freedom of the press has never been absolute and we are merely refining it a little to make life better.”
“Half-full” people would probably fall for that since they focus on the freedom that’s left, not that which has been taken away. They’d never give a thought to the consequences of putting federal officials in a position to harass those who write what the government does not want the public to read. With a law like that in place, the baseline concept of what freedom means would adjust downward again. No, the freedoms protected by the First Amendment are not secure. Nothing is if people only look at the freedom that’s left, not that which is being taken away. Frédéric Bastiat taught that people’s thinking is usually influenced by what they see, not what they do not see. His point is at the root of the slow death of freedom in America.
God Bless Mr. Harold B. Estes, US Navy Veteran who celebrated his 95th Birthday December 15th and sent our confused president a letter suggesting he shape-up or ship-out! See link below via Snopes.com where I checked it's validity. If it causes your heart joy and brings a smile to your face as it did mine, please take time to re-post it or otherwise forward it to your networks.
It's unfortunate that a great common-man veteran such as Harold B. Estes isn't occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue instead of the snotty-assed socialist who NEVER SERVED his nation nor held a real job (don't get me started). Anyway, check this link and enjoy the smile that comes across your face and the warmth in your heart as you read Mr. Estes' 'schooling' of our socialist president: http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/haroldestes.asp