Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Nation's Top 'Progressives' - and Socialists and Communists

Paul Kengor

The left-leaning magazine The Nation has published a list of what it deems America’s all-time, most influential progressives. The list, which you can review for yourself , is very revealing.

For starters, it’s fascinating that The Nation leads with Eugene Debs at number 1. Debs was a socialist. It was 100 years ago this year, in 1912, that Debs ran for president on the Socialist Party ticket.

Today’s progressives get annoyed if you call them socialists. Well, why is a pure socialist the no. 1 “progressive” on The Nation 's list?

Of course, progressives really get annoyed if you suggest they bear any sympathies to communism. That being the case, two other “progressives” on The Nation ’s list are quite intriguing: Paul Robeson and I. F. Stone.

Paul Robeson was a proud recipient of the “Stalin Prize.” Even the New York Times concedes Robeson was “an outspoken admirer of the Soviet Union.” When Robeson in 1934 returned from his initial pilgrimage to the Motherland, the Daily Worker thrust a microphone in his face. The Daily Worker rushed its interview into print, running it in the January 15, 1935 issue under the headline, “‘I Am at Home,’ Says Robeson At Reception in Soviet Union.”

The Bolsheviks, explained Robeson, were new men. He was bowled over by the “feeling of safety and abundance and freedom” he found “wherever I turn.” He discovered sheer equality under Joseph Stalin.

When asked about Stalin’s purges, Robeson retorted: “From what I have already seen of the workings of the Soviet Government, I can only say that anybody who lifts his hand against it ought to be shot!”

Yes, Robeson was deadly serious. Robeson told the Daily Worker that he felt a “kinship” with the USSR. So much so that he moved his family there. He also joined Communist Party USA. In May 1998, the centennial of Robeson’s birth, longtime CPUSA head Gus Hall hailed Robeson as a man of communist “conviction,” who “never forgot he was a communist.”

None of this is mentioned in The Nation ’s profile, which blasts anyone who dared consider Robeson a communist. Instead, The Nation insists that Comrade Paul was a “progressive.”

And that brings me to I. F. Stone. Stone is listed at number 26 on The Nation’s list. Stone has been hailed by liberals for decades as the literal “conscience” of journalism—a hero of impeccable honesty. In fact, we now know that Stone, at one time, was a paid Soviet agent.

In their latest Yale University Press work, historians John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and Alexander Vassiliev conclude that Stone (from 1936-39) was a “Soviet spy.” Also closely studying Stone’s case is Herb Romerstein. In The Venona Secrets , Romerstein likewise concluded that “Stone was indeed a Soviet agent.” One of the stronger confirmations from the Soviet side is retired KGB general Oleg Kalugin, who reported: “He [Stone] was a KGB agent since 1938. His code name was ‘Blin.’ When I resumed relations with him in 1966, it was on Moscow’s instructions. Stone was a devoted communist.” None of this appears at Stone’s “progressive” profile at The Nation .

And speaking of progressives with communist sympathies, also on The Nation ’s list is Margaret Sanger . The Planned Parenthood matron sojourned to Stalin’s Potemkin villages in 1934. “[W]e could well take example from Russia,” Sanger advised Americans upon her return, “where birth control instruction is part of the regular welfare service of the government.”

The Planned Parenthood founder was stunned by the explosion in abortions once legalized by the Bolsheviks. No fear, though. Sanger offered this confident prediction: “All the [Bolshevik] officials with whom I discussed the matter stated that as soon as the economic and social plans of Soviet Russia are realized, neither abortions nor contraception will be necessary or desired. A functioning Communistic society will assure the happiness of every child, and will assume the full responsibility for its welfare and education.”

This was pure progressive utopianism, an absolute faith in central planners.

Overall, the socialists, communists, and Soviet sympathizers on The Nation’s list are dizzying: Upton Sinclair, Henry Wallace, W. E. B. DuBois, Norman Thomas, Lincoln Steffens, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Tom Hayden, Barbara Ehrenreich, and John Dewey—founding father of American public education.

Thus, I’m compelled to ask: Is this “progressivism?” Is progressivism synonymous with liberalism, or is it much further to left, closer to communism?

I plead with progressives: This is your ideology … Could you better define it, if that’s possible? Or is the definition of progressivism always progressing ? Actually, it is always progressing; that’s precisely the problem with this train-wreck of an ever-elusive ideology. The Nation’s list of leading American “progressives” is truly a teachable moment.



The GOP’s Emerging Backbone?

It may be too early to tell, but the Republican Party appears to be shedding its draw-no-blood, lose-gracefully approach to campaigns that has kept conservative voters either frustrated or stubbornly at home on election days.

On May 30, former New Hampshire governor and Mitt Romney supporter John Sununu sparred with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien over Romney’s association with Donald Trump, who is continuing to discuss the president’s birth certificate controversy. Sununu wasn’t interested, insisting that he would rather discuss “jobs. . . and the disastrous [economy].” O’Brien continued, snidely stating that, obviously, Republicans consider the birther issue important. Sununu wrote off the topic as “CNN’s fixation” and deftly highlighted the network’s blatant support of the president. Though not exactly a knockdown-dragout, is was certainly rousing, refreshing and long overdue. Way to go!

On the June 1 O’Reilly Factor, Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh (Chicago area, American Conservative Union score of 94 percent) appeared, who recently told his constituents that the Democrats are actively seeking to buy votes and promote dependency. “They’re trying to do it with Hispanics, just like they’ve done it with African Americans. . . Without government dependency, Jesse Jackson wouldn’t have a job.” Walsh stood behind his words in a live interview with O’Reilly, who, though he sided with Walsh’s sentiments, thought the congressman’s rhetoric might be insulting to some. “I was trying to be insulting to the Democratic Party,” Walsh replied.

“What if Jackson were sitting here?” O’Reilly continued. “Would you say that he doesn’t want the best for his community?” Ah, yes, the mantra of liberal good intentions, always used to stifle conservative passions. Didn’t work on Walsh who replied “Baloney. . . Jackson stands in the way of school choice” and other proposals that could strengthen the black community. He further referred to Jackson as a “race hustler.”

Yes! Meanwhile, Mitt Romney recently spoke outside the vacant Solyndra office building in California and has not allowed himself to be distracted by such controversies as Sandra Fluke, Bain Capital, etc.

A recent Democratic ad praised candidate John McCain for, in 2008, steering clear of questioning Barack Obama’s early years and associations. “Why won’t Mitt Romney do the same?” the ad asked in conclusion.

At question is, again, the governor’s relationship with Donald Trump and the birther issue. In truth, Romney has steered clear, preferring to highlight the president’s failed record. But whatever one thinks of Trump, why is he any more politically toxic than any of Obama’s lapdogs in entertainment and the mainstream media, including MSNBC’s Al Sharpton, whose ring (and I’m being nice here) all Democratic presidential candidates have to kiss at some point in the election cycle? Trump has supported Romney thus far, and a true leader does not turn his back on his friends in deference to the school-girl snippiness of a media campaign turning from desperation to panic mode (and rising unemployment numbers will only turn up the bile).

Not to say that Mitt Romney is a great leader. Nothing written here should be construed as an endorsement. Still, the passion of a party fighting for the highest ideals of the American people appears to be emerging — somewhat.

The epic determination of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker merits a volume unto itself, and even the limp leadership of House Speaker John Boehner has shown a few rhetorical signs of life. Republicans may well know that the stakes have never been higher, and after the uninspiring campaigns of Bob Dole and John McCain and the “kinder, gentler, new tone” administrations of both Presidents Bush, the freedom-loving American can only hope that the GOP’s backbone wasn’t found too late.



Supreme Court reins in an arrogant bureaucracy

Mark Calabria

Having one’s read of the law vindicated by the Supreme Court is always a nice feeling, even if I had to wait about a decade. From 2002 to 2003, I managed the HUD office which administered the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).

In 2001, prior to my arrival, the legal staff at HUD released a “policy statement” claiming that RESPA’s Section 8(b) prohibited some instances of fees as excessive or unreasonable because said fees would constitute a person “giving or accepting any unearned fees”.

How HUD even knows what is earned or unearned is besides the point, Section 8(b) of RESPA only prohibits fees that are basically split between two or more parties. As far as statutes go, RESPA is actually quite clear. That clarity, however, did not stop HUD from taking the convoluted position that one can split or share a fee with one-self. This was obviously an attempt to create a “reasonable” test for fees where one did not exist.

During my brief tenure at HUD, the RESPA office largely ignored this section of the 2001 policy statement. The staff there related to me that its inclusion was largely “political” anyway, an attempt to the make the remainder of the policy statement more palatable.

I made clear at the time that the policy statement went far beyond any actual authority in RESPA. It seems, however, that the trial bar was not willing to let this statement remain dormant, and assembled a class action based upon this erroneous reading of RESPA, leading to last week’s decision, which rejected 9 to 0 HUD’s reading of RESPA.

Dodd-Frank moved the RESPA office from HUD to the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). It moved much of the HUD enforcement and legal staff as well. What is not clear is whether the willingness to simply make up law where there is no statutory authority was also left behind.

One of the reasons why I, among others, have strong concerns as to the current structure of the CFPB is this trend of regulators constantly going around the letter of the law. How are we to hope for respect for the law when those tasked with enforcing it show so little respect themselves.



Jihad's Willing Executioners

Quietly, behind the scenes, the Muslim Brotherhood is enforcing censorship of all U.S. government training about Islam and the forces of Islamic jihad. Under the co-opted direction of National Security Council official, Quintan Wiktorowicz, key Cabinet Departments, including Defense, Homeland Security, Justice and State are purging their curriculum materials of any references about Islam that their Muslim Brotherhood advisors find objectionable. In effect, the national security policy of the U.S. government is being brought into compliance with Islamic law on slander.

It's much easier to conquer an adversary who's been anesthetized, cowed, infiltrated and lulled into ignorant passivity than one who's alert and on the defensive. That, in a nutshell, is why there is a campaign called "Islamophobia," designed and promoted by the Muslim Brotherhood to silence those who would speak truth about Islam. And it is why the Brotherhood coup that has just achieved the capitulation of the top levels of the U.S. government is so dangerous to the future of the Republic and America's Constitutional rights.

Farah Pandith is the Special Representative to Muslim Communities for the U.S. Department of State. In that official capacity, she repeatedly has associated with groups and individuals that are known affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood and its equally jihadist off-shoot, HAMAS. In an interview with the Gulf Times at the conclusion of the May 2012 9th U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Qatar, Pandith confirmed that it has been the policy of the Obama administration since its inception "to put the priority of engaging with one fourth of humanity [Islam] front and centre."

She's right: There's never before been an American president who so unashamedly and deliberately has sought to empower those who've openly and repeatedly declared themselves the sworn enemies of this country. It will be recalled that Muhammad Badi, the Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide, effectively declared war on the U.S. in October 2010, about nine months before the Obama administration granted formal diplomatic recognition to the jihadist group.

Much more HERE



Public-sector growth is bad news: "Every (unsubsidized) job in the private sector exists because it generates more in wealth or value than it consumes in resources — and hence grows the economic pie. That’s not the case with the public sector. For example, between 1970 and 2010, public school enrollment went up by 8.5 percent — while public-school employee rolls swelled a mind-boggling 96.2 percent. This cost the country $210 billion and failed to produce one iota of improvement in student achievement. Was this money well-spent because the teachers who received it could spring for nice houses and vacations? Or was it a waste of precious resources that could have been better deployed elsewhere? Since public-sector jobs don’t pay for themselves, they have to be financed either through taxes or borrowing or inflation (printing money), all of which divert resources from productive private endeavors and hurt overall growth."

Holder Buckling Under Threat of Contempt Charges: "Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday agreed to make what he called "an extraordinary accommodation" to Republicans investigating the botched "Operation Fast and Furious" by turning over department emails he has long insisted deal with internal deliberations and should be protected. Holder is trying to head off a push by House Republicans to hold him in contempt of Congress for allegedly "stonewalling" their investigation. And he offered to personally brief the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., in the next few days. Issa's office said in an early response that Holder's letter "only seems to indicate a willingness to offer a selective telling" of key events"

Recession: Family net worth down 35% in last 5 years: "The toll of the great housing bust and financial crisis came into clearer focus Monday, as the Census Bureau released numbers showing a 35 percent drop in net worth for the median US household between 2005 and 2010. The numbers give a report card on the financial health of US families before and after the recession. The typical household saw its net worth -- financial assets minus debts -- fall from $102,844 in 2005 to $66,740 five years later, with the census giving those numbers in inflation-adjusted 2010 dollars"

Let them eat healthcare: "An unfortunate aspect of the whole Healthcare Reform debate is that advocates of increased government intervention routinely confuse care and coverage. Even after this obfuscation is pointed out, advocates of increased government intervention continue to make the same error. There seems to be no way to shame an advocate of increased government intervention to accurately describe the debate as over healthcare coverage and not over healthcare itself. And yet, that is the point. Healthcare does become less available the more the government intervenes."



List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


No comments: