Everyone should watch this video taken at the Reagan Library last Friday. It is Mark Levin at last Friday's book signing -- Levin's last for his latest book "Ameritopia."
There is also this young up-and-coming great American by the name of Kira Davis. She's the one whose "Apology" video went viral last month. Here she is again doing a "Smart Phone Smart Minute". Go get 'em, Kira!
Posted at 05:44 PM in 1st Amendment/Speech Rights, 2nd Amendment/Gun Rights, Barack Obama, Books, Congress, Current Affairs, Economy/Taxation, Election 2010, Election 2012, Environment/Global Warming, Feminism, Gender, and Gay Issues, Health "Care", Law/Judicial/SCOTUS, Liberal Fascism, Liberal Media Bias, Pic/Vid of the Day, Political Correctness, Race/Ethnicity | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Mark Levin's much-anticipated book "Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America" came out yesterday.
Quite frustratingly, it was not easy to find at our local "big name" book store. You had to walk a good 2/3 the way in to find it hiding among others at the "new non-fiction" table. But that's all right; it's already #1 on Amazon as of this writing and is sure to be at the top of the NY Times bestseller list.
After laying out the historical and philosophical foundations of "utopianism," Mark argues how, using utopianism as their model, our current government has brought us to a post-constitutional America. This dovetails nicely with the observation by William McGunn in yesterday's WSJ that more and more regular Americans are becoming interested in the Constitution. He writes:
Yes, in the Bush years the air was also thick with accusations that the Constitution was being "shredded." We now know that the professed concern for the Constitution was fake. We know it was fake because the same Bush claims of executive authority in war that provoked such apoplexy in our pundits, professors and politicos have for the most part been embraced by Mr. Obama—all to the distinct sound of silence.
Today we have a wholly different order of constitutional complaint. Where the accusations against Mr. Bush were led by prestigious law faculties and law firms, those against Mr. Obama reflect a more popular hue. Where the indictments of Mr. Bush were largely limited to war policy, those against Mr. Obama's extend broadly to all areas of policy: foreign, economic and social. And where critics of Mr. Bush were obsessed with outcome, the discontent with Mr. Obama has been magnified by the uneasy sense that he is changing the fundamental rules of the game.
This awakening started with the tumultuous legislative path to Mr. Obama's health-care victory. Along the way, Americans watching were given an education in words like "cloture" and "filibuster," and saw the leaders of the Democratic House and Senate consider a maneuver whereby the House would "deem" the Senate version of the health-care bill to have passed without having to vote on it. That left a bad taste.
It proved only the beginning. Since then, Mr. Obama's aggressive disregard for any constitutional limit on what he wants to do has come to define his approach across the board. ...
Here's Terry Jeffrey at CNSnews.com interviewing Mark about the book, which, based on what I've read so far, I completely recommend!
And here's an article on it by Jeffrey Lord at American Spectator.
UPDATE: I've read the first couple of chapters already and admit skimming some of it, not because of Mark's writing, but because the subject matter is, IMO, a little dry. Don't get me wrong -- I don't underestimate the importance of understanding Plato's Republic and Mark does do a good job of providing a "conservative cliff's notes" of it. It's just not the most interesting stuff in the world; I'm expecting the second section of the book, the section that focuses on the U.S. and current politics, will be markedly more exciting.
The Great One announced the title of his new book on yesterday's show: "Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America."
Hope it's as brilliant has his previous ones.
It's to be released on January 12 (which is El Rushbo's birthay, I believe. Coincidence???)
In the far left corner, in Commie-pinko shorts with a yellow hammer and sickle in the upper left corner and that stupid circular Obama logo in the middle: The Today show's Matt Lauer.
And in the far right corner, wearing a Wonder Woman-like outfit of red, white, and blue: conservative pundit Laura Ingraham.
Matt: Left hook:
President Obama talks about shared sacrifice. Where is the shared sacrifice going to come from on the Republican side?
Laura: Ducks. Right jab to the gut:
Is his shared sacrifice the fact that he canceled his Montana vacation last weekend? ... Even the Associated Press yesterday said the President was dancing around using the words 'tax increases.' The numbers don't add up. Taxing the upper 1% or 2% income earners in this country does not get us to the math. We have to shrink government. Putting more burdens on the people who actually create jobs. Hey, like NBC. We don't need to do that.
Matt: Shaken up. Left jab:
I think everybody agrees that there's got to be some changes on [the Republican] side.
Laura: Weaves. Right upper cut to the chin:
Matt, when Washington starts sacrificing instead of actually increasing the salaries of individuals within the executive offices of the presidency, when they start sacrificing, we can talk about the real meaning of sacrificing the American people.
Matt: Shaken up. Bleeding. Left punch:
A recent Gallup poll said only 20% of Americans think that spending cuts are the only thing that should be on the table when it talks about this. So they're talking about increasing revenues ... they're talking about raising taxes on the 1%, on corporations, even the corporate jets, which is only a few hundred million dollars.
Matt – right, that was a scam and that was a lie. The fact that the media allowed him to get away with that for five seconds was absurd.
Matt: Down for the count.
And this was all before they started discussing Laura's new book!
And the winner is ... Well, see for yourself:
(Kyle Drennen at NewsBusters has a full transcript of the above interview.)
Matt Lauer is a Democrat tool with a capital freaking T. A Democrat useful idiot of the umpteenth degree. You can see the disdain dripping from his jowls with those "I'm such a smart liberal" glasses looking down at Laura thinking he's going to take her out with the Democrat talking points on his cheat sheet.
Laura doesn't miss a beat. The author of the brand new book "Of Thee I Zing" countered every liberal/Democrat talking point with conservative/Republican truth, facts, and reality. Works every time.
G0d bless you, Laura Ingraham. And Matt, why don't you just crawl back to your liberals-only martini party in the Hamptons and lament how those eeeeevil Republicans aren't paying their fair share.
And someone send Obama a tweet that he better get another butt buddy over there at the Today show. Matt Lauer just ain't cutting it.
The other day I picked up the book (which is excellent, by the way!) at a major local book store. The cashier was a 21-year-old liberal hippie-wannabe who I've known since she was one of my 3rd grader's. (Man, I'm getting old!)
When I presented the book, along with David Mamet's new one, she forced a smile (because after all she was still an employee and I was a paying customer) and said, "Ugh. You're a terrible human being, you know that, right?"
To which I responded, "Ah, that's the open-mindedness and tolerance I've come to expect from you."
After making my transaction, she said jokingly -- you know the way liberals "joke" -- "I'm sure you'd like a plastic bag so you can waste precious resources."
To which I replied, "Why don't you give me two bags, one for the books and one I can just throw out into the parking lot."
It was an exchange some of you would probably appreciate.
The Boston Globe had a glowing article on last week’s death of radical Marxist academic Howard Zinn, starting with the very title:
Yes, in 1964, 1967, 1970, et al. Zinn challenged the status quo. Then what happened? The challengers became the status quo—in Washington, in the media, in academia, and in Hollywood. God help you now if you challenge the status quo. Suddenly it wasn’t so praiseworthy, was it, Boston Globe? Rush Limbaugh challenges the status quo, but lib media slanders him. Sarah Palin challenges the status quo, but the lib media lambastes her. The Tea Parties challenge the status quo, but the lib media ridicules them.
Howard Zinn, the Boston University historian and political activist who was an early opponent of US involvement in Vietnam and whose books, such as “A People’s History of the United States,” inspired young and old to rethink the way textbooks present the American experience, died today in Santa Monica, Calif, where he was traveling. He was 87.
Why does the Globe simply call Zinn a “historian and political activist”? He was as left-wing as they come, and extremely controversial. The lib media can’t write about Limbaugh or Beck or Palin without labelling them “conservative” and/or “controversial.”
Eventually, the Globe brings in the Hollywood useful idiots:
In 1997, Dr. Zinn slipped into popular culture when his writing made a cameo appearance in the film “Good Will Hunting.” The title character, played by Matt Damon, lauds “A People’s History” and urges Robin Williams’s character to read it. Damon, who co-wrote the script, was a neighbor of the Zinns growing up. “Howard had a great mind and was one of the great voices in the American political life,” Ben Affleck [Coming from a Hollywood dimwit, Affleck, that is no complement.], also a family friend growing up and Damon’s co-star in “Good Will Hunting,” said in a statement. “He taught me how valuable—how necessary—dissent was to democracy and to America itself [Unless the dissenters are Republicans and the target of the dissent is a president you support] He taught that history was made by the everyman, not the elites [Except when the elites are you and your elitist Hollywood buddies telling us everymen that we should change our lifestyles to combat man-made global warming climate change or that we should worship the president like some sort of cult figure.] I was lucky enough to know him personally and I will carry with me what I learned from him—and try to impart it to my own children—in his memory.”
Enough with the whitewashing. Howard Zinn was an America-hating radical, all right? His fancy Columbia degrees notwithstanding, he was an intellectually dishonest activist posing as an academic. His personal and professional goal was not to teach history, but to historic revisionism in the style of the Stalinist Soviet brainwashers. The man lived in an ultra-leftist fantasy world, protected and encouraged by the circles he associated with.
You think I’m being hyperbolic? Let’s talk about that “history” book for which Zinn was most famous. The Globe itself writes:
“A People’s History of the United States” (1980), his best-known book, had for its heroes not the Founding Fathers—many of them slaveholders and deeply attached to the status quo, as Dr. Zinn was quick to point out—but rather the farmers of Shays’ Rebellion and union organizers of the 1930s.
You got that? Screw Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton, Madison, etc. Just a bunch of rich white slave-owners. Didn’t do or write anything important. The real Amerian heroes are union organizers.
Need a more complete description of A People’s History? Here’s a description by Benjamin Kerstein at the New Ledger:
Thus far, the major obituary making the rounds is the generic wire-service report from the AP; itself a model of dissembling and misdirection. It pronounces that Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States “was, fittingly, a people’s best-seller, attracting a wide audience through word of mouth and reaching 1 million sales in 2003.” In fact, as the article goes on to state, “his book was taught in high schools and colleges throughout the country” meaning, for those who can put two and two together, that the book became a bestseller largely because a generation of professors forced their students to buy it — a fitting metaphor for Zinn’s view of “the people.”
Exactly right. How in the world could Zinn’s book be considered a “people’s bestseller, attracting a wide audience through word of mouth” if elitist professors and lefty history teachers pushed on impressionable students? And it took 23 years to reach one million sales? That’s nothing. You want a real people’s bestseller that attracted a wide audience through word of mouth and reached 1 million sales in one year? Try Mark Levin’s Libery and Tyranny. Curiously, the lib media devoted virtually no coverage of Levin’s status-quo-challenging book, and what little coverage they did provide was negative.
Next, Kerstein describes Zinn’s completely un-academic un-intellectual approach to his field:
... Unfortunately, as we all know, rewriting history does not necessarily make for good history, or even history at all. Indeed, even in regard to his own work, Zinn was quite incapable of accuracy.
In a 1998 interview with The Associated Press, Professor Zinn acknowledged that he was not trying to write an objective history, or a complete one. He called his book a response to traditional works, the first chapter, not the last, of a new kind of history.
“There’s no such thing as a whole story; every story is incomplete,” Professor Zinn said. “My idea was the orthodox viewpoint has already been done a thousand times.”
One can go on endless arguments about the right of the historian to express his opinions, to pick and choose, to emphasize or minimize as he sees fit; and there is no doubt that revisionism – the right to rewrite – is essential to the historian’s profession. What is striking about Zinn, however, is the utter banality of his ostensible insights. That all histories are incomplete is, in fact, not even an insight, but a statement of the obvious; and his “orthodox viewpoint” is at best a straw man of dubious provenance. Nonetheless, these two statements – empty, pathetic, and juvenile as they may be – essentially formed the basis of Zinn’s entire life’s work. There is perhaps no greater insight into the poverty of the American academy today, no greater testimony to its utter lack of depth or imagination, than the fact that it made this empty charlatan whose watchword was no better than the wisdom of an arrested adolescent one of its heroes.
Indeed, Zinn’s entire outlook on history, the totality of his grasp of the historian’s profession and his art, and the sole justification for his tendentious and consciously biased revisionism, was nothing more than the rusty cliche which holds that history is always written by the powerful, the wealthy, and the victorious. As an ostensibly revolutionary historian, writing a “new kind of history,” it was therefore the duty of the glorious Zinn to write for the powerless, the poor, and the defeated.
This is, put generously, a self-serving fantasy; but this is somewhat beside the point, since what is most striking about it is the extraordinary ignorance it displays of Zinn’s own chosen profession. It is true that the powerful, wealthy and victorious sometimes write history—and that they sometimes write it very well, witness Caesar’s histories of the Gallic war and Churchill’s numerous historical writings—but it is equally true that, from its very origins, history has also been written by the weak, the poor, and the defeated, who somehow managed this feat without the help of Howard Zinn. …
Needless to say, this is not really a thesis. It is not even really an idea. It is a sentiment, an unfalsifiable article of faith that bears out Karl Popper’s merciless but valuable observation that vast explanatory power is not a virtue but a vice; since any theory that explains everything by definition explains nothing at all. …
Author Daniel Flynn wrote the following sobering critique in 2003, when Zinn released an updated edition to the 1980 original:
The recently released updated edition continues to be plagued with inaccuracies and poor judgment. The added sections on the Clinton years, the 2000 election, and 9/11 bear little resemblance to the reality his current readers have lived through.
In an effort to bolster his arguments against putting criminals in jail, aggressive law enforcement tactics, and President Clinton’s crime bill, Zinn contends that in spite of all this “violent crime continues to increase.” It doesn’t. Like much of Zinn’s rhetoric, if you believe the opposite of what he says in this instance you would be correct. According to a Department of Justice report released in September of 2002, the violent crime rate has been cut in half since 1993.
According to Zinn, it was Mumia Abu-Jamal’s “race and radicalism,” as well as his “persistent criticism of the Philadelphia police” that landed him on death row in the early 1980s. Nothing about Abu-Jamal’s gun being found at the scene; nothing about the testimony of numerous witnesses pointing to him as the triggerman; nothing about additional witnesses reporting a confession by Abu-Jamal—it was Abu-Jamal’s dissenting voice that caused a jury of twelve to unanimously sentence him to death. [What the hell Mumia story is doing in a textbook that has only x number of pages to retell American history from 1492 to the present is beyond me—unless the auther has an agenda.]
Predictably, Zinn draws a moral equivalence between America and the 9/11 terrorists. He writes, “It seemed that the United States was reacting to the horrors perpetrated by the terrorists against innocent people in New York by killing other innocent people in Afghanistan.” Scare quotes adorn Bush’s “war on terrorism,” post-9/11 “patriotism,” and other words and phrases Zinn dislikes.
Left-wing editorializing posing as scholarly prose in a history textbook. Disgusting.
Next, Flynn discusses that in Zinn’s book, both the original and updated edition, omits of whole major events that make America look good, and includes of completely minor events making America look bad. In Dennis Prager’s words, Zinn has a “proctologist’s view of America.” Facts and truth are ignored, unsubstantiated, and unannotated—yes, the book has no footnotes!
When fact and theory clash, the ideologue chooses theory. Time and again, A People’s History of the United States distorts or simply ignores the truth to make the facts, or the alleged facts, or the invented facts, fit the theory that justifies his “social aims.”
Zinn claims that “George Washington was the richest man in America.” He wasn’t, but it makes for a good Marxist tale. George Washington certainly rose to accumulate great wealth in his lifetime—even if he was chronically cash-poor. (For example, he had to borrow money to travel to New York upon his election to the presidency.) It is generally conceded that Robert Morris was the Founding era’s wealthiest merchant, while Moses Brown, whose family’s name graces an Ivy League university, was another Washington contemporary whose wealth exceeded his.
“When the Scottsboro case unfolded in the 1930s in Alabama,” Zinn writes in an even more egregious fit of historical amnesia, “it was the Communist party that had become associated with the defense of these young black men imprisoned, in the early years of the Depression, by southern injustice.” Perhaps the Party had become “associated” with the defense of the Scottsboro Boys, but in reality the Communists merely used the embattled youngsters. Richard Gid Powers points out in Not Without Honor that the Communists had raised $250,000 for the Scottsboro Boys’ defense, but had put-up a scant $12,000 for two appeals. At the time, a black columnist quoted a candid Party official who stated, “we don’t give a damn about the Scottsboro boys. If they burn it doesn’t make any difference. We are only interested in one thing, how we can use the Scottsboro case to bring the Communist movement to the people and win them over to Communism.” As a fellow-traveler, Zinn has the identical view. He is only interested in history so long as it serves as a weapon of socialist ideology.
“Unemployment grew in the Reagan years,” Zinn claims. Statistics show otherwise. Reagan inherited an unemployment rate of 7.5 percent in his first month in office. By January of 1989, the rate had declined to 5.4 percent. Had the Reagan presidency ended in 1982 when unemployment rates exceeded 10 percent, Zinn would have a point. But for the remainder of Reagan’s presidency, unemployment declined precipitously.
Not surprisingly, Zinn’s book contains not a single source citation (perhaps footnotes would discourage his Pearl Jam fans).
More striking than Zinn’s inaccuracies—intentional and otherwise—is what he leaves out. Washington’s Farewell Address, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and Reagan’s speech at the Brandenburg Gate all fail to merit a mention. Nowhere do we learn that Americans were first in flight, first to fly across the Atlantic, and first to walk on the moon. Alexander Graham Bell, Jonas Salk, and the Wright Brothers are entirely absent. Instead, the reader is treated to the exploits of Speckled Snake, Joan Baez, and the Berrigan brothers. While Zinn sees fit to mention that immigrants often went into professions like ditch-digging and prostitution, American success stories like those of Alexander Hamilton, John Jacob Astor, and Louis B. Mayer—to name but a few—are off the Zinn radar screen. Valley Forge rates a single fleeting reference, while D-Day’s Normandy invasion, Gettysburg, and other important military battles are skipped over. In their place, we get several pages on the My Lai massacre and colorful descriptions of U.S. bombs falling on hotels, air-raid shelters, and markets during the Gulf War of the early 1990s.
My God. This is the garbage that is the most used history book in the country? The fact that even turns up in a classroom is ample evidence that American history classes don’t educate; they indoctrinate. If you use an avowed socialist’s book that incessantly bashes America’s founders, values, traditions, and economic system, what do you get? A generation of students who come to hate America’s founders, values, traditions, and economic system, that’s what! Anybody who tells you that this was not the goal of Zinn himself or the teachers in hundreds of schools who use his book are bullsh*tting you.
When Zinn died last week, so many Facebook friends were posting their remorse over his death! It was as if we lost Martin Luther King, Jr. or the like. Even some of their parents were distraught! In other words, two generations of Americans were simultaneously mourning the loss of this supposed American hero.
So when I was compelled to reply with objections to their beatification, I was confronted with ridicule and criticism. These people actually had no idea why I would think those things about their hero. I would ask any of those people, if they have the wherewithall to read this blog, to address any of these facts and actually tell me with a straight face that Zinn was nothing other than a dangerous America-hating radical. Several friends challenged me on that charge.
If the above information is not enough for such people, here’s more from David Horowitz’s indispensable Discover the Networks site:
Zinn describes the founding of the American Republic as an exercise in tyrannical control of the many by the few for greed and profit: “The American Revolution … was a work of genius, and the Founding Fathers ... created the most effective system of national control devised in modern times, and showed future generations of leaders the advantages of combining paternalism with command.” In Zinn’s reckoning, the Declaration of Independence was not so much a revolutionary statement of rights as a cynical means of manipulating popular groups into overthrowing the King to benefit the rich. The rights which the Declaration appeared to guarantee were “limited to life, liberty and happiness for white males”—and actually for wealthy white males—because they excluded black slaves and “ignored the existing inequalities in property” (in other words, they were not socialist rights). …
In A People’s History, greed is the explanation for virtually every major historical event:
Regarding America’s separation from Great Britain, Zinn writes: “Around 1776, certain important people in the English colonies … found that by creating a nation, a symbol, a legal unity called the United States, they could take over land, profits, and political power from the favorites of the British Empire.”
Zinn describes antebellum America as a uniquely cruel slaveholding society whose goal was subjugating man for profit. On the other hand, the war of the Union against the slaveholding system is portrayed in exactly the same terms: “It is money and profit, not the movement against slavery that was uppermost in the priorities of the men who ran the country.”
The same explanation is given for America’s entry into World War I: “American capitalism needed international rivalry—and periodic war—to create an artificial community of interest between rich and poor.”
According to Zinn, it was America and not Japan that was to blame for Pearl Harbor. The fight against fascism, he says, was a manipulated illusion to conceal America’s real goals, which were empire and money: “Quietly, behind the headlines in battles and bombings, American diplomats and businessmen worked hard to make sure that when the war ended, American economic power would be second to none in the world. United States business would penetrate areas that up to this time had been dominated by England. The Open Door Policy of equal access would be extended from Asia to Europe, meaning that the United States intended to push England aside and move in.”
Now, anti-Americanism is almost always accompanied by two other positions: pro-communism/socialism and anti-Israel. Predictably, Howard Zinn fit the fill on both (again from Discover the Network):
In Professor Zinn’s view, Maoist China was “the closest thing, in the long history of that ancient country, to a people’s government, independent of outside control”; Castro‘s Cuba “had no bloody record of suppression”; and the Marxist dictators of Nicaragua were “welcomed” by the people, while the opposition Contras, whose candidate triumphed when free elections were held as a result of U.S. pressure, were a “terrorist group” that “seemed to have no popular support inside Nicaragua.” …
In a March 2009 speech, Zinn spoke positively about President Barack Obama, and said the following about capitalism:
“Obama has become president at a very special time, when the American capitalist system is falling apart. And good! I’m glad it’s falling apart, because unless the system falls apart, we’re not going to do anything about it. We’re not going to fix it.... The market system—be wary when you hear about the glories of the market system. The market system is what we’ve had. Let the market decide, they say. The government mustn’t give people free health care; let the market decide.
“Which is what the market has been doing—and that’s why we have 45 million people without health care. The market has decided that. Leave things to the market, and there are 2 million people homeless. Leave things to the market, and there are millions and millions of people who can’t pay their rent. You can’t leave it to the market. If you’re facing an economic crisis like we’re facing now, you can’t do what was done in the past....” …
Dan Flynn, in his above-cited article, also points out the overt anti-capitalist prism through which Zinn wrote A People’s History:
If you’ve read Marx, there’s really no reason to read Howard Zinn. The first line of The Communist Manifesto provides the single-bullet theory of history that provides Zinn with his narrative thread— “The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggle.” It is the all-purpose explanation of every subject that Zinn covers. On other hand, why study history when theory has all the answers?
Thumb through A People’s History of the United States and you will find greed as the motivating factor behind every act of those who don’t qualify as “the people” in Zinn’s book. According to Zinn, the separation from Great Britain, the Civil War, and both World Wars all were the result of base motives of the “ruling class”—rich men to get richer at the expense of others.
Zinn’s Marxist explanation of the New World begins with Columbus who like every other settler in the New World was driven by the (evil) profit motive. “Behind the English invasion of North America, behind their massacre of Indians, their deception, their brutality, was that special powerful drive born in civilizations based on private profit.” This malicious view of people who often came to the New World to escape persecution in the old, who sometimes championed the rights of indigenous peoples and who mostly attempted to live peacefully alongside them is characteristic of the extreme anti-European, anti-white, any American prejudice of this book. The idea that the Indians who themselves were “invaders” by Zinn’s standards (they came on a land bridge from Asia and exterminated the then native peoples) somehow owned the continent is a much a fantasy as the idea that they were simply passive victims of the settlers. Zinn’s account omits the unprovoked aggressions of the Indians on each other and on the settlers. But then doing so, would spoil his leftist melodrama.
Just as Zinn held the United States in contempt, so did he despise America’s closest ally in the Middle East, Israel. According to the professor, Israel’s creation in 1948 “meant the dispossession of the Arab majority that lived on that land,” and led not only to “the occupation and subjugation of several million Palestinians,” but also to ”what we would today call ‘ethnic cleansing.’“
Zinn recalled that “after the Six-Day War of 1967 and Israel’s occupation of territories seized in that war (the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights, the Sinai peninsula),” he personally “began to see Israel not simply as a beleaguered little nation surrounded by hostile Arab states, but as an expansionist power.”
With regard to the ongoing Mideast conflict today, Zinn placed most of the blame for “the cycle of violence” on Israel’s allegedly provocative use of disproportionate force: “a rock-throwing [Palestinian] intifada met by [Israeli] over-reaction in the form of broken bones and destroyed homes, [Palestinian] suicide bombers killing innocent Jews followed by [Israeli] bombings which killed ten times as many innocent Arabs.”
Zinn lamented that “in the occupied territories ... a million and more Palestinians live under a cruel military occupation, while our [U.S.] government supplies Israel with high-tech weapons.”
According to Zinn, Israeli society was replete with deep-seated “xenophobia, militarism, [and] expansionism.” Added the professor:
“Some of the wisest Jews of our time—Einstein, Martin Buber—warned of the consequences of a Jewish state. Einstein wrote, at the very inception of Israel: ‘My awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power, no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain....’“
Lovely. I wonder if my liberal Jewish friends who were among those mourning Zinn’s loss last week know—or even care—about the man’s adversity towards Israel.
Now, lest I be accused of defaming the deceased or spitting on their grave, note you will not find me popping open a celebratory bottle of champagne or hoping Zinn is burning in hell (unlike the oh-so-tolerant left when Ronald Reagan or Bush press secretary Tony Snow died). Benjamin Kerstein, in his above-cited article notes that “kicking a man when he’s dead” was Zinn’s forte:
One of the unwritten laws of opinion journalism is to never kick a man when he’s dead, at least, not until an appreciable amount of time has passed. The question is whether this can or should hold true for those who make their living by doing precisely that. The death at the age of 87 of pseudo-historian Howard Zinn raises this issue all over again, since very few academics have made a better living defaming the dead, with everyone from Columbus to Ronald Reagan, and thousands in between, being accused by the jocular old harpy of any number of hideous crimes, not one of whom, needless to say, being alive to answer the charges. It is, of course, the job of the historian to examine the acts of the deceased; and some consider it an equal part of their profession to pass judgement upon them. In the case of Zinn, however, he passed judgment with such slothful ease, and such obvious sadistic pleasure in issuing his condemnations, that one cannot muster up much sympathy at the prospect of the man’s memory dying by his own sword.
Also, to Zinn’s credit, he did agree to interviews with right-leaning opponents, among them Dennis Prager. Here is Part 1 and Part 2 of Prager’s 2006 radio interview with him. I will conclude with this part of the interview:
Prager: What would you say … we [The U.S.] have done more bad than good, we’re in the middle, or what?
Zinn: Probably more bad than good. We’ve done some good, of course; there’s no doubt about that. But we have done too many bad things in the world.
Now there’s a man who really loved his country and whose farcical fantasy of a history book was brought within even a 10-mile radius of thousands of American schoolchildren!
But, dead or not, don’t you dare question his patriotism.
Somehow I missed this story the first time around, but I’m glad to have caught the follow-up. Back on December 2, Paul Chesser at American Spectator reported that Michael “Dude, where’s my hockey stick” Mann received over half a million dollars in stimulus funds. What new jobs did that create? Who the hell knows. All we do know, which El Rushbo reiterated in the first hour of yesterday’s show, is that the “Stimulus Package” is nothing but a slush fund to hand out to Democrats’ favorite peeps.
Here’s Chesser’s Dec. 2 piece as well as this morning’s follow-up (See original sources for links):
Mann's Mad Money
By Paul Chesser on 12.2.09
Since watching the Climategate scandal explode a week before Thanksgiving, debris from the mushroom cloud has rained upon the earth, and there are hints that some folks (other than me and my fellow climate realists) are getting curious about how the alarmists are funded. It used to be the narrative of the formerly mainstream media, when they deemed it worthy to include perspective from the “skeptic” side, always came with a “financed by Big Oil” disclaimer -- whether it was true or not. Meanwhile the warmists’ financial gain from the game was irrelevant in the media’s eyes.
It’s been widely reported in the blogosphere about the millions of dollars in grants that East Anglia CRUnit director Phil Jones collectedfor his climate modeling, but so far I haven’t seen much detail about his fellow email correspondents. What about ‘em?
Inarguably the next-largest culprit is Michael Mann, Mr. Nature Trick, who is not to be confused with the Nature Boy or the other “Heat“-making Mann. He has had his grants available for public viewing for a while, so I’m surprised I’ve not seen those spread around the ‘Net. They are right there listed in his curriculum vitae. …
Group: Mann’s Stimulus Should Be Returned
By Paul Chesser on 1.15.10
In early December I reported in this space that Penn State University Climategate scientist Michael Mann received $541,184 in stimulus funds, which the school claimed was creating 1.62 (presumably “green”) jobs. Today the National Center for Public Policy Researchcalled for the return of the funds to the U.S. Treasury:
Professor Mann is currently under investigation by Penn State University because of activities related to a closed circle of climate scientists who appear to have been engaged in agenda-driven science. Emails and documents mysteriously released from the previously-prestigious Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom revealed discussions of manipulation and destruction of research data, as well as efforts to interfere with the peer review process to stifle opposing views. The motivation underlying these efforts appears to be a coordinated strategy to support the belief that mankind’s activities are causing global warming.
How about he returns all $6 million he’s received from the government over the years?
Good point. Mann’s not going to return anything. The only entities the perpetually unhinged left is going to go after is the eeeeevil banks. Just ask the Marxist-socialist in Chief.
In related news, a new book on Climate-gate has just been released:
Climategate: The Crutape Letters, written by Steven Mosher and Tom Fuller has just been released:
The Climategate scandal covered from beginning to end–from ‘Hide the Decline’ to the current day. Written by two authors who were on the scene–Steven Mosher and Tom Fuller–Climategate takes you behind that scene and shows what happened and why.
For those who have heard that the emails were taken out of context–we provide that context and show it is worse when context is provided.
For those who have heard that this is a tempest in a teacup–we show why it will swamp the conventional wisdom on climate change.
And for those who have heard that this scandal is just ‘boys being boys’–well, boy. It’s as seamy as what happened on Wall Street.
Mosher, widely known, as a “lukewarmer” is perhaps the one man outside of the Motley CRU, The Hockey Team, and the whistle blower/hacker to receive the file, and recognize the game-changing importance of what he was reading. Mosher’s story was told in vivid detail a couple of days ago by Steve McIntyre.
Tom Fuller is a writer and self-described “liberal skeptic”, and was perhaps the first journalist to cover the Climategate story in detail as it was breaking. …
What makes me think that Messiers Mosher and Fuller will not be appearing on any of the network talk shows anytime soon?
On November 22, Frank Rich had this to say about the attendees of Sarah Palin book signings [via TimesWatch]:
“That demographic is white and non-urban: Just look at the stops and the faces on her carefully calibrated book tour. The affect is emotional — the angry air of grievance that emerged first at her campaign rallies in 2008, with their shrieked threats to Obama, and that has since resurfaced in the Hitler-fixated ‘tea party’ movement (which she endorses in her book)....Palin is at the red-hot center of age-old American resentments that have boiled up both from the ascent of our first black president and from the intractability of the Great Recession for those Americans who haven’t benefited from bailouts.”
— Columnist Frank Rich on Sarah Palin’s fans, November 22.
There are so many thoughts in my head right now about this pathetic hateful leftist hack with a word processor that I don't know where to begin. Seriously, I don't think there is an iota of truth, fact, or reality in this excerpt. OK, let's try to parse this line by despicable line:
1. White and non-urban. Translation: Racist rednecks. Just another instance of a liberal ideologue looking only at skin color and not content of character. As I wrote earlier in the fall, the attendance at my synagogue is all white and non-urban, a "sea of white people." Guess my congregation is just a bunch of racist rednecks.
2. The affect is emotional. Oh yeah, because Obama speeches with the freaking tears rolling down fans' cheeks is not emotional, right? Democrat politicians screaming to some audience of robots that unless you elect them, 500 million people a year are going to die due to lack of health insurance, the entire economy is going to collapse if we don't pass this Democrat slush fund called the "stimulus bill" tomorrow, the world is going to boil over in 3 months unless we turn our lives upside-down to stop global warming, our "moral standing" in the world is being damaged by Republican strategies in the war on terror, black churches are going to burn because America is a racist country, and millions of Americans are going to go poor and starving unless government does something to regulate those greedy corporate executives. These, according to Frank Rich — who according to his own writings agrees wholeheartedly with everyone of these ridiculous sentiments — are not emotional.
Oh, and it should be effect, Mr. Rich, not affect. Free Republic reader "afraidfortherepublic" noticed this too and says, "I’ll betcha Sarah knows the difference. Frank Rich needs to go back to school."
3. Angry air of grievance. Not like those feel-good liberal gatherings you love, right, Mr. Rich? Those "Free abortion on demand!" rallies, "End the occupation!" rallies, "No blood for-oil! rallies, "Raise the minimum wage!" rallies, "Habeas corpus rights for terrorists!" rallies, "Free Mumia!" rallies, "George W. Bush is the world's biggest terrorist!" rallies, "9/11 was an inside job!" rallies, and "Try Bush and Cheney for war crimes!" rallies? No angry air or grievance there, according to Frank Rich. But when Sarah Palin fans gather to demand our liberty, property, income, and Constitution back, it has an aaaangry aaaair of griieeeevance!
4. Shrieked threats to Obama ... Hitler-fixed 'tea party' movement. Rich is undoubtedly referring to one liberal reporter's claim of having heard "Kill Him" and "Terrorist" at a Sarah Palin rally last fall. A claim that was never corroborated by a single other attending reporter or rally participant.
5. Hitler-fixed 'tea party' movement. Rich is undoubtedly referring to one—uno—instance of a person holding a swastika with a slash through it at one Tea Party. If this is all it takes for Frank Rich to label an entire movement as Hitler-fixated, I wonder what rock he was sleeping under when this was taking place from 2001-2008.
How easy it must be to be a NY Times writer. Who needs intellectual honesty when you can just spout overblown and/or unsubstantiated liberal talking points?
6. Palin is at the red-hot center of age-old American resentments that have boiled up both from the ascent of our first black president. Palin isn't at the red-hot center of any resentments, you schmuck. By contrast, your butt buddy Barack Obama is at the red-hot center of age-old anti-American resentments. And the oft-repeated but not once substantiated claim that the tea party movement (which is aimed more at Congress than at Obama) resents having a black president is getting old and simply highlights Frank Rich's intellectual laziness and unprofessionalism.
UPDATED 3:20PM: Regarding the ol' liberal "black man in the White House" mantra, Freedom's Lighthouse links to this anti-ObamaCare ad:
7. the intractability of the Great Recession for those Americans who haven’t benefited from bailouts. This statement is wrong in three significant ways. First, it's only called the "Great Recession" because liberal hacks like Rich want it too appear to the American people worse than it really was at the time of its coining (i.e., right around the end of George W. Bush's presidency and the beginning of Obama's). The truth is the recession wouldn't have been so "great" if the Marxist-socialist in chief and his Marxist-socialist-dominated Congress didn't worsen and prolong the recession by enacting the most irresponsible economic policies since LBJ's Great Society scheme.
Second, it is safe to say that except for government hacks, virtually no one as benefited from bailouts. Banks are still not lending, GM is still reeling, and businesses are still not hiring. For Rich to even assume the premise that there are actually beneficiaries of bailouts makes him look even more ignorant.
Finally, Rich makes the assumption that those present at Sarah Palin book signings are among those who -- unlike people who are not at Palin fans ostensibly -- didn't get their expected piece of the bailout pie. Not only is this assumption completely unsupportable, but it shows how much Rich does not understand the values of real conservative America. He lives in this liberal bubble in a windowed office in Manhattan waxing eloquent about how white and racist and angry and Hitler-obsessed middle Americans are. If Palin fans or any conservatives are angry about the bailouts it's not because they didn't get their piece of the pie; they don't want a handout from government, and they didn't want the government — under Bush or Obama — to recklessly and irresponsibly pass these bailouts as they did.
In short, this one paragraph from one of the NY Times' treasured editorialists is an open window into the ignorant, hateful, and intolerant mind of the left.
And they wonder why they're losing so much business ...
Can somebody comment on this, please?
In all honesty, I was initially not planning to buy Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue. It’s a personal trait of mine not to favor biographies or autobiographies/memoirs. I prefer books on political philosophy or events, rather than on an individual person. That’s just me. (One exception: Clarence Thomas’ autobiography My Grandfather's Son; Loved it!)
But I want the leftocracy—with the notable exception of Oprah Winfrey—to know that their continued bashing of this woman compelled me to purchase her book yesterday, and I am reading it with delight.
As the left continues to pound this woman and her new book, rather than do objective reporting, here are some retorts from the right:
Nov. 20, 2009 | National Review Online
Palinophobes Hate First, Ask Questions Later
By Jonah Goldberg
Slate magazine is just one of the countless media outlets convulsing with St. Vitus’ Dance over that demonic succubus Sarah Palin. In its reader forum, The Fray, one supposed Palinophobe took dead aim at the former Alaska governor’s writing chops, excerpting the following sentence from her book:
“The apartment was small, with slanting floors and irregular heat and a buzzer downstairs that didn’t work, so that visitors had to call ahead from a pay phone at the corner gas station, where a black Doberman the size of a wolf paced through the night in vigilant patrol, its jaws clamped around an empty beer bottle.”
Other readers pounced like wolf-sized Dobermans on an intruder. One guffawed, “That sentence by Sarah Palin could be entered into the annual Bulwer-Lytton bad writing contest. It could have a chance at winning a (sic) honorable mention, at any rate.”
But soon, the original contributor confessed: “I probably should have mentioned that the sentence quoted above was not written by Sarah Palin. It’s taken from the first paragraph of ‘Dreams From My Father,’ written by Barack Obama.” [Whoops!]
Nov. 20, 2009 | Jewish World Review
Sally Quinn on Sarah Palin — Versus Reality
By David Limbaugh
… Of all the screeds I’ve read, I don’t think any are snarkier than The Washington Post’s Sally Quinn’s “On Faith” blog post “Sarah Palin’s ‘rogue’ Christianity.”
Do we need further proof of the secular orientation of our dominant media culture than the fact that Quinn, an avowed atheist, pens the Post’s “On Faith” blog? That would be like featuring a column by Fidel Castro on free enterprise and individual liberties. …
Quinn says: “Sarah Palin writes that one summer at Bible Camp she ‘put my life in my creator’s hands and trust Him as I sought my life’s path.’ For Palin, this grand divine plan was ‘a natural progression.’ She writes. And later, ‘I don’t believe in coincidences.’“
Quinn — convinced she has exposed Palin as confused, conflicted and acutely hypocritical — volleys a series of rhetorical questions designed to reveal Palin’s apparent inconsistency in believing that G0d is in complete control (“I don’t believe in coincidences”) and yet he allows or causes terrible things to happen to people.
Here’s a sampling of Quinn’s ill-informed, sneering arrogance: “Did G0d plan for her to become Governor of Alaska. If so, did G0d plan for her to step down. … Did G0d plan for her to have a huge wardrobe? Then why did she apologize for it? ... Did G0d plan for her daughter Bristol to get pregnant while she was a teenager? Why was she then not thrilled.”
Perhaps Quinn wouldn’t be so smug if she were to do the slightest bit of thinking or reading about the concepts of G0d’s sovereignty and free will — ideas that have challenged the finest minds for 2,000 years and contributed to denominational differences within evangelical Christianity. Has Quinn studied Calvin, Wesley, Luther or any other past or present theologian on these issues? …
Quinn is exercised at Palin for supposedly settling scores in her book and allegedly failing to exhibit the Christian qualities of “love, generosity, mercy and forgiveness.” But it’s my informed guess that Quinn’s contempt for Palin has nothing to do with these false charges or Palin’s alleged hypocrisy or even her theology but is rooted in Palin’s conservative ideology.
November 20, 2009 | Town Hall
by S. E. Cupp
… Newsweek, in advance of Palin’s book release, obviously went for subtlety. Their headline read, “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Sarah? She’s bad news for the GOP—and everybody else, too.” [As opposed to non-problems like the America-hating Barack Obama and his America-hating wife who adorned the cover of Newsweek several times since 2007; or the charlatan Al Gore, whose climate alarmism has made him filthy rich while threatening the prosperity of our nation] Accompanying it was a photo of her in running shorts used in a June 2009 Runner’s World spread. Newsweek’s message was clear: You are not to take this woman seriously. Never mind that Runner’s Week [sic] told me that the photos from that shoot are still under a one-year embargo, and that Newsweek ran the photo without Runner’s World’s knowledge or permission. No biggie. [Typically, when you’re a liberal in the process of a conservative to smear, no rules apply, not morally and not legally. Stay classy, Newsweek.]
On “Hardball,” Chris Matthews, who’s still recovering from that bizarre bout of restless leg syndrome that suddenly befell him last year, actually had the audacity to say of the attention Palin is getting for her book release, “I’ve never seen hype like this.” Apparently, the overwrought sensationalism of the Denver Democratic National Convention, where Obama stood amidst faux White House columns, under fireworks, next to Sheryl Crow and Will.i.am—or “Hype and Change 2008”—is but a distant memory to Matthews.
In another segment, on another night, Matthews and MSNBC reporter Norah O’Donnell decided that the crowd at a Palin book signing was, well, too white. “I think there is a tribal aspect to this thing. In other words, white vs. other people,” said Matthews, ever the sociology scholar.
The leftwing media has long tried to ascribe a scary nativism to Palin, who best described the phenomenon during her recent Oprah interview, when she said that Katie Couric had looked at her like she was part of some kind of nomadic tribe from Alaska. Asking her what she read was like asking her if she read. [If Couric et al. actually read Palin’s book, as I am currently doing, they will find out that Palin was raised on poetry. But, unlike elitist liberals, she doesn’t need to impress anyone by quoting any.]
Others have tried to carefully feign disinterest in the hopes that, much like the flu, disinterest is contagious. The Washington Post published a book review by Ana Marie Cox, in which she smugly “confesses” she didn’t have time to read the entire book, “It’s terrible, I know, but if I didn’t read it all, neither can Sarah Palin claim to have completely written it.” In that one sentence, we know that Cox’s time constraints excuse wasn’t the issue. She simply wanted to be able to write in a book review that Palin’s book didn’t make her to-do list. Her anti-review review is fine for Cox, but what’s the Washington Post’s excuse for publishing it?
Others still have tried to dismiss Palin as some would-be celebrity, who—how dare she?!—had the gumption and considerable bad taste to write a book. And promote it. (Irony alert: Al Gore has his own television network.) …
But we don’t see the liberal press fretting over President Obama’s penchant for self-promotion. They coo when he goes on Letterman to talk about all the cool stuff that happens when you’re president—during a recession and a war. And they applaud his Nobel Peace Prize, for which he was nominated after just 12 days in office. And they rally around his embarrassing Olympic bid, which actually argued that the IOC should choose Chicago so that he and Michelle could stop and see the fam while in their old neighborhood. Obama’s “me, me, me, me, me, me, me” aria is fine. But Palin’s plain-speaking and honest stab at defending herself against her seething critics is schlocky showboating and shameless self-promotion. Please. …
Have a blessed day!
In a few days Sarah Palin’s much-anticipated Going Rogue hits the stores. But this morning Ms. Palin is already meeting some criticism for allegedly false statements. Before the book is even released, a gaggle of Associated Press—yes, Associated Press!—writers took it upon themselves to embark on a fact-checking mission:
FACT CHECK: Palin's book goes rogue on some facts
By CALVIN WOODWARD, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON – Sarah Palin's new book reprises familiar claims from the 2008 presidential campaign that haven't become any truer over time.
Ignoring substantial parts of her record if not the facts, she depicts herself as a frugal traveler on the taxpayer's dime, a reformer without ties to powerful interests and a politician roguishly indifferent to high ambition.
Palin goes adrift, at times, on more contemporary issues, too. She criticizes President Barack Obama for pushing through a bailout package that actually was achieved by his Republican predecessor George W. Bush — a package she seemed to support at the time.
In Palin’s 400+ page memoir Calvin Woodward and his team of assistants found only a handful of questionable statements. This would hardly be a news story were the author of the book not the leftocracy’s the most hated and feared woman.
Now, in theory I have no problem with a news outlet parsing a popular new book and addressing misstatements, exaggerations, and falsehoods. If an author is gilting the lily, they should be called on it.
What I do have a problem with is the apparent enthusiasm with which a news source went after this book. You’d be hard pressed to find the mainstream media so ambitiously fact-check the publication of a liberal/Democrat public figure.
In 2003, Hillary Clinton’s Living History memoir came out. Taxpayer-funded NPR granted her no less than four interviews. In one of them, NPR did not fail to note that Hillary “criticizes the Bush administration for a ‘power grab on so many fronts’ which she calls an attempt to implement a ‘very radical, right-wing agenda.’” (This would be the same NPR which seems not to have a problem with the Obama administration grabbing power on so many friends in order to implement a very radical, left-wing agenda.)
Interestingly, one of the most critical reviews of Hillary’s book came from Maureen Dowd at the NY Times. But Dowd’s complaints were not with any questionable statements, but merely with her writing style and content. No matter. Hillary was vindicated in 2004 when Clyde Haberman skewered Dick Morris in the Times’ review of Rewriting History. The Washington Post was also not very kind with Morris’ 300+ page retort to Hillary’s fantasy memoir.
You have to go across the pond to London’s Independent to find an article questioning the veracity of Living History.
It was actually Bill Clinton’s My Life memoir from June, 2004, that got more criticism by the press, e.g., USA Today. But that didn’t stop the media from ooh-ing and aah-ing over the sales records Clinton was breaking, and it certainly didn’t stop Clinton from being applauded on all the news shows, from Oprah to 60 Minutes.
The headline on CBS News’ Politics page on June 14, 2004 blared “The Return Of The Comeback Kid” and declared: “Bill Clinton is back.” Instead of critiquing the nearly 1000-page tome, the Chief Political Writer David Paul Kuhn wondered how much Clinton’s book was going to hurt George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election.
Again, when Dick Morris and Eileen McGann hit back in December, 2004, with Because He Could, the mainstream media circled the wagons. Chris Suellentrop in the Washington Post mocked the 270-page attempt to set the record straight as an “extended blog entry with a dust jacket.”
And what of the pièce de resistance, the opus d’opus, the king of all books which are loads of B.S. from front cover to back cover: An Inconvenient Truth by Albert Gore, Jr. Five years after the release of this deceptive piece of propaganda and its accompanying movie, the mainstream media is still enamored with Al Gore and his cause.
But the inconvenient truth is there are more lies in one chapter of An Inconvenient Truth than in Sarah Palin’s whole book. This is handily demonstrated, for instance, by Marlo Lewis, Jr. at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, whose monograph A Skeptic’s Guide to AIT meticulously deconstruct’s Gore’s book page by fallacious page.
If the Associated Press or any mainstream news outlet were anywhere near as ambitious at fact-checking An Inconvenient Truth as they are Going Rogue, Al Gore would be a humiliated has-been and the campaign to fight man-made global warming climate change would be at the top of every list of humanity’s greatest scams.
Get ready for some more Gore-lovin' from the mainstream media; the thinking man's thinking man has a new man-made global warming climate change book out this month. You think Calvin Woodward and the gang at the Associated Press are going to be fact-checking this or any of Gore's books? Sure, and pigs will be flying out of my skinny white butt.
Like I said, in theory I have no problem with—and even welcome—the media conducting a principled analysis on a public figure’s memoir.
But the selective fact-checking crusades are just a little too transparent.
A new book has just been released called Why Are Jews Liberals by longtine Commentary Magazine’s editor-in-chief Norman Podhoretz. I haven’t procured a copy yet, but plan to upon next trip to the book store. While a similar attempt to answer this seemingly elusive question has been made by a much lesser known author, Larry Steinberg, I very much look forward to Podhoretz’s take.
Some on-line analysis has been provided by pundits who have read advance copies, which I recommend to anyone more interested in the book. One is this symposium by contributors DAVID WOLPE, JONATHAN D. SARNA, MICHAEL MEDVED, WILLIAM KRISTOL AND JEFF JACOBY. Ron Rosenbaum at Pajamas Media has this piece as well.
On the blogosphere, check out Robert Stacy McCain’s review and analysis here. Read the comments too. As of this writing there is quite a heated debate taking place between commenters!
I hope to have a few personal theories confirmed by Podhoretz’s new book, and hope to learn a lot too.
About this Rite Quotes series here.
From Chapter 2 of Liberty and Tyranny by Mark R. Levin, 2009
Chapter 2 of Levin’s book, “On Prudence and Progress,” covers the issue of how a society evolves within the confines of the Constitution and rule of law. Three themes are prevalent: (1) First, he illustrates the contrast between change (the politically-expedient tactic of the Statist) and prudent reform (the Constitution-preserving method of the Conservative). Here he debunks the oft-used smear that Conservatives fear change and cling to the status quo. (2) Second, Levin discusses equality and the Statist’s misuse of this concept as a means to tyrannical ends. He writes about how the Statist is so obsessed with fixing every perceived inequality that the Constitution, the rule of law, and preserving the dignity of the individual are no barriers to achieving that goal. (3) Finally, Levin explains how the compliant media, academia, and entertainment industry play an essential role in softening up the American citizenry to accept the intentions of the Statist.
[All bolds are mine]
[T]he Conservative doesn’t reject change. For [Edmund] Burke, change as reform was intended to preserve and improve the basic institutions of the state. Change as innovation was destructive as a radical departure from the past and the substitution of existing institutions of the state with potentially dangerous experiments. (p.13–14)
* * * * *
The Conservative believes, as [Edmund] Burke and the Founders did, that prudence must be exercised in assessing change. Prudence is the highest virtue for it is judgment drawn on wisdom. The proposed change should be informed by the experience, knowledge, and traditions of a society, tailored for a specific purpose, and accomplished through a constitutional construct that ensures thoughful deliberation by the community. (p.14)
* * * * *
The Conservative must accept that the Statist does not share his passion for liberty and all the good that flows from it. … The Statist rejects the Founders’ idea of the dignity of the individual, who can flourish through ordered liberty, for one rooted in unpredictibility, irrationality, and, ultimately, tyranny. (p.15)
* * * * *
For the Statist, liberty is not a blessing but the enemy. It is not possible to achieve Utopia if individuals are free to go their own way. The individual must be dehumanized and his nature delegitimized Through persuasion, deception, and coercion, the individual must be subordinated to the state. … His first duty must be to the state—not family, community, and faith, all of which have the potential of threatening the state. (p.16)
* * * * *
The primary principle around which the Statist organizes can be summed up in a single word—equality. … The Statist, however, misuses equality to pursue uniform economic and social outcomes. He must continuously enhance his power at the expense of self-government and violate the individual’s property rights at the expense of individual liberty …
President Barack Obama made this point when lecturing the Wesleyan University graduating class of 2008 during his campaign: “[O]ur individual salvation depends on collective salvation.” But salvation is not the government’s to give. Indeed, it is not a grant to mankind from mankind. Under the wrong conditions and in the wrong hands, this deviant view is a powerful tool against humanity. (p.16–17)
* * * * *
Academics claim to challenge authority but, in truth, preach authoritarianism through various justifications for and approaches to deconstructing the civil society. They talk of individual rights but promote collectivism. They talk of enfranchisement and suffrage but promote judicial and administrative usurpation of republicanism. They talk of workers’ rights but promote the heavy taxation and regulation of labor. Indeed, academics portray Utopia as a kind of heaven on earth but have a high tolerance for the hell of widespread misery. (p.19)
Levin concludes the chapter with this memorable quotation from C.S. Lewis:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. (p.22–23)
A brilliant ending to a brilliant chapter.
Chapter 1 post here.
Intro to this Feature
This is a new blog feature that I really wanted to initiate at the beginning of the summer but didn’t get the time to until now, because it involves a great deal of reading before typing.
On my bookshelf are rows of indispensible books with wise, powerful, and inspiring messages. Yes, these books are of a political nature, and they are almost all right-of-center. Their authors cherish freedom, individual liberty, and American exceptionalism. Likewise, they reject the jackboot of liberalism, which in modern times is none other than the rejection of the above.
From the moment I curiously pulled my first political/societal book down from a Barnes & Noble outside of Union Square in NYC shortly after September 11, 2001, they have led me on the path out of go-with-the-flow political agnosticism to where I am today.
It has been my intention to reread these books over the course of several years and provide for you, dear readers, my favorite morsels—“rite quotes”—to mull over, absorb, and, when short and pithy enough, even memorize. Basically, the eternal grad student in me feels compelled to return to my most treasured sources, collect the most significant excerpts, and present them indefinitely on this blog, chapter by chapter.
The Left likes to mock the Right as having a philosophy that is shallow and fit neatly on bumper stickers for the intellectually incurious to consume and regurgitate (because, ya know, “No blood for oil,” “Keep your rosaries off my ovaries,” and “Buck Fush” are so sophisticated). Make no mistake: These quotes aren’t for bumper stickers. Even if you don’t agree with all of them, they are nevertheless profound and thought-provoking.
The result of this labor of love will serve, I hope, not only as a resource for politically-minded people surfing the web, but also as sort of a “Cliffs Notes” version of my favorite books. Please enjoy it and feel free to comment, contribute, and debate.
From Chapter 1 of Liberty and Tyranny by Mark R. Levin, 2009
Three main themes comprise the introductory chapter of Levin’s book, which set the stage for its remainder: (1) The Conservative’s faith in and adherence to the Constitution, vs. the Statist’s rejection of diversion from it, (2) Following point 1, the Conservative’s belief in limited, constitutionally constrained government vs. the Statist’s endless appetite for centralized governmental authority, supposedly to right society’s “injustices,” (3) The Conservative’s focus on the individual and his role of self-interested cooperation in a civil society, vs. the Statist’s rejection of individualism as being selfish and greedy and needing to be replaced by a philosophy of collectivism (often couched in such feel-good rhetoric as “sacrificing for the greater good”).
[All bolds are mine]
The Founders believed, and the Conservative agrees, in the dignity of the individual; that we, as human beings, have a right to live, live freely, and pursue that which motivates us not because man or some government says so, but because these are God-given natural rights. (p.2–3)
* * * * *
In the civil society [a.k.a. ordered liberty or social contract – ed.], the individual is recognized and accepted as more than an abstract statistic or faceless member of some group; rather, he is a unique, spiritual being with a soul and a conscience. He is free to discover his own potential and pursue his own legitimate interests, tempered, however, by a moral order that has its foundation in faith and guides his life and all human life through the prudent exercise of judgment. As such, the individual in the civil society strives, albeit imperfectly, to be virtuous—that is, restrained, ethical, and honorable. He rejects the relativism that blurs the lines between good and bad, right and wrong, just and unjust, and means and ends. (p.3)
* * * * *
In the civil society, private property and liberty are inseparable. The individual’s right to live freely and safely and pursue happiness includes the right to acquire and possess property, which represents the fruits of his own intellectual and/or physical labor. As the individual’s time on earth is finite, so, too, is his labor. The illegitimate denial or diminution of his private property enslaves him to another and denies him his liberty. (p.3–4)
* * * * *
The Modern Liberal believes in the supremacy of the state, thereby rejecting the principles of the Declaration and the order of the civil society, in whole or part. For the Modern Liberal, the individual’s imperfection and personal pursuits impede the objective of a utopian state. In this, Modern Liberalism promotes what French historian Alexis de Tocqueville described as a soft tyranny, which becomes increasingly more oppressive, potentially leading to a hard tyranny (some form of totalitarianism). (p.4)
* * * * *
… [T]he Statist has an insatiable appetite for control. His sights are set on his next meal even before he has fully digested his last. He is constantly agitating for government action. And in furtherance of that purpose, the Statist speaks in the tongue of a demagogue, concocting one pretext and grievance after another to manipulate public perceptions and build popular momentum for the divestiture of liberty and prosperity from its rightful possessors. The industrious, earnest, and successful are demonized as perpetrators of various offenses against the public good, which justifies governmental intervention on behalf of an endless parade of “victims.” In this way, [both] the perpetrator and the victim are subordinated to the government’s authority—the former by outright theft, the latter by dependent existence. (p.8)
This last quote reminds me of the rhetoric of 2004 vice-presidential candidate John Edwards. Speaking, as Levin describes it, in the tongue of a demogogue, Edwards lamented what he called the Two Americas: the “haves” and the “have-nots.” Indeed, the Kerry-Edwards platform, typical of virtually every Democrat platform since the New Deal era, was based on convincing the electorate of the existence of such injustices, and that only by granting them governmental authority (i.e., by electing them), can they be rectified. Of course, the whole scenario is a load of B.S. sold to the American people as a way to exert more centralized control over them, which is why Levin correctly rejects the label “liberal” in favor of the much more accurate “Statist.”
Although the Kerry-Edwards ticket did not succeed in the 2004 race, the Obama-Biden ticket in 2008 did. And merely six month into the Obama presidency, the American people—both “perpetrator” and “victim”—are beginning to understand the reality of being subordinated by a quintessential Statist government.
The Statist veils his pursuits in moral indignation, intoning in high dudgeon the injustices and inequalities of liberty and life itself, for which only he can provide justice and bring a righteous resolution … Unconstrained by constitutional prohibitions, what is left to limit the Statist’s ambitions is his own moral compass, which has already led him astray? He is never circumspect about his own shortcomings. Failure is not the product of his beliefs but merely want of power and resources. Thus are born endless rationalizations for seizing ever more governmental authority. (p.8)
* * * * *
When living freely and pursuing his own legitimite interests, the individual displays qualities that are antithetical to the Statist’s—initiative, self-reliance, and independence. … [T]he individual must be drained of uniqueness and self-worth, and deterred from independent thought or behavior. This is achieved through varying methods of economic punishment and political suppression. (p.9)
One need to look no further than the treatment endured by publicly vocal opponents to the Statist’s agenda. Rush Limbaugh and other voices of Conservative talk radio are constantly demonized, threatened with economic punishment and political suppression. While Limbaugh himslef hasn’t resided in New York State for years, he has nevertheless been curiously audited every year since, with the hopes he could be caught violating some state tax law. Another victim of such tactics is Sarah Palin, who has endured not only personal attacks from the mainstream media, but has had to defend herself from over a dozen bogus ethics charges and even the hacking of her email account by the son of a Democrat politician. In short, there’s been ample evidence to show that there’s almost nothing the Statist will do in order to deter his opponents from thwarting his agenda.
How many enterprises and jobs might have been created, how many people might have been saved from illness and disease, how many more poor children might have been fed but for the additional costs, market dislocations, and management inefficiencies that distort supply and demand or discourage research and development as a result of the federal government’s role? (p.10)
The Conservative does not despise government. He despises tyranny. This is precisely why the Conservative reveres the Constitution and insists on adherence to it. An “effective” government that operates outside its constitutional limitations is a dangerous government. (p.10)
A free people living in a civil society, working in self-interested cooperation, and a government operating within the limits of its authority promote more prosperity, opportunity, and happiness for more people than any alternative. Conservativism is the antidote to tyranny because its principles are the founding principles. (p.11)
Incidentally, the Statist/Lefist despises the notion of self-interest, considering it greed and selfishness. They are always demanding productive and successful citizens “sacrifice” for the common good. On this is based rhetoric by VP Joe Biden, who famously scolded the wealthiest Americans (who already pay the lion’s share of income tax revenue) that it was “time to pay your fair share, time to be part of the deal.”
And that’s the beauty and genius of Mark Levin’s book. He describes Statists to a T. He knows their mindset, their motivations, their agenda, and their ideology-influenced character flaws. No wonder it enjoyed a good dozen weeks at #1 on the NY Times bestseller list (and no wonder the Times, as cheerleaders for the Statist agenda, have devoted little to no attention to arguably the most important book of the 00’s.)
My head is spinning. A conservative author on a network news show one day after her anti-Democrat book is released!?
But it's true. Michelle Malkin's new book Culture of Corruption is only a day old and there she is on the Today show with Matt Lauer! [h/t Freedom's Lighthouse]
Michelle was fantastic. No matter how often Matt Lauer tried to trap or embarrass her for any of her positions taken in the book, she was forthright and unapologetic. Lauer seemed so shocked and offended that she would go after poow poow Michelle Obama. But Malkin had the goods, and she wasn't afraid to use it. That's what our movement needs.
Every inch of this administration is rife with corruption and cronyism and it's about time they look in the mirror and admit it.
- Michelle Malkin
Will Malkin's 3 minutes of fame change any minds? Probably not. But you have to give props to NBC for giving her a forum.
Maybe after a million copies of Liberty and Tyranny are sold they'll finally get Mark Levin on. Crazier things have happened ...
It’s here, baby!
On the heels of Obama’s lowest Presidential Approval Index since taking office comes Michelle Malkin’s long-awaited new book Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies gets released today! See her blog post regarding the release, which also includes an exclusive New York Post article about it.
One thing I don’t like about exposé books about sitting presidents is that there really isn’t anything much you can do about it, s
ave the extreme and unlikely measure of impeachment. Plus, since she is a conservative—and a minority one at that—Malkin’s book will get as much coverage as Mark Levin’s or Ann Coulters: virtually none, and what little coverage there it gets will be negative.
It's the price one pays for exposing the truth.
It was an almost unbearable wait for fans like me, but “The Great One” Mark Levin’s new book, Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto officially hits the stores today!
With a family at home, it wasn’t feasible for me to trek to Long Island this past Saturday, where Mark Levin was doing an advance book release and signing autographs. I was only able to enjoy the event precariously through the many attendees who called Mark’s show last night, as well as Hannity’s show preceding it. Sounds like a fantastic event!
During his shows, Mark has revealed only some info about the book; he has been deliberately reticent so as not to spoil the actual release. I can’t wait to pick it up, but here’s an advanced-copy review by Steve G. at Sweetness & Light:
I have had the pleasure of reading an advanced copy of Mark Levin’s latest book, Liberty And Tyranny which goes on sale in bookstores today.
It is an eloquent exegesis of the two primary and opposing political forces at work in our nation today: conservatism and statism.
In the most basic terms, a conservative aspires to liberty, while a statist, whether he will admit it or not – and perhaps without even realizing it — aspires to tyranny.
In a succession of brilliant essays Mr. Levin contrasts the outlook of the conservative with that of the statist towards the major issues before our nation — from religion to immigration, from the environment to national defense.
Along the way Mr. Levin buttresses his arguments with insights from the Founding Fathers and lessons drawn from history as well as the most recent news.
He concentrates especially on Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. Which is most appropriate since it was Mr. Roosevelt who really set the country on the road to socialism and what Alex De Tocqueville termed its ‘soft tyranny.’
Moreover, we are watching history repeat itself with a vengeance, as Mr. Obama exploits the current financial crisis as an excuse to introduce a Second New Deal to further advance his socialist agenda.
But Mr. Levin holds out the hope that we can still save our nation from the “soft tyranny” that is being pushed upon us ceaselessly by the statists who now hold sway over nearly every institution in our society.
So rather than simply chronicle the seemingly insurmountable problems the statists’ nearly unchallenged ascendency has given the nation since the days of FDR, Mr. Levin ends his book with a call to action – both in general and in very specific terms.
For the latter, he provides in the book’s epilogue a ‘Conservative Manifesto’ for how to begin the long road back to a better country.
His manifesto is actually a succinct list of 10 difficult but practical approaches we can take right now to begin the daunting job of winning back our country from the statists.
Still, despite being very much rooted in our current problems and their solutions, Liberty And Tyranny is also quite a timeless work.
For it lays out the fundamental choices that any free people will always and constantly have to face to preserve their liberty.
Only the details change.
And if you want a more detailed review, see Thomas Lifson’s today at American Thinker.
Great work, Dr. Levin. This is sure to be a best seller.
[UPDATE: It was here. Went to one major bookseller ... Sold out! Went to another major bookseller ... Sold out!]
These first two books come out this month:
Blacklisting Myself: A Memoir of a Hollywood Apostate in the Age of Terror
by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Roger Simon
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America
by my girl Ann Coulter
And, coming within the next few months:
Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto
by "The Great One" Mark Levin
Levin's book, even more so than Coulter's, will be the most important book of 2009. And I'm sure the NY Times, etc., will destroy it!
I can't wait!
”We put too much faith in conventional wisdom.
Insist on the truth or you will never be free.” - me
Rush Limbaugh has said that our most expensive commodity is ignorance. And the cost of that ignorance could not be better illustrated than by the fact that the American people have just voted an America-despising terrorist-coddling Marxist-socialist into the White House.
Well, enough of that. ‘Tis the season of truth, my friends. The season of myth debunking. The season of setting the records straight, once and for all.
I've recently treated myself to two books that looked really fantastic and really important. Having read the intro and skimmed some of the chapters, I was not disappointed.
The first book is 48 Liberal Lies About American History (That You Probably Learned in School), by professor Larry Schweikart. Schweikart is also the author of a history textbook called A Patriot's History of the United States, whose title is presumably meant to counter Howard Zinn's widely used anti-American textbook A People's History of the United States.
The best thing about this book is that it tackles a wide range of topics. It was designed so you don't have to read straight from beginning to end. You can scan the table of contents and just read those chapters you're interested in. The chapters aren't even ordered chronologically. In other words, it seems to be set up like a reference book, giving overviews rather than really digging deep into each topic.
Because of the number of issues, 48 can only devote a few pages to each lie, otherwise the 320-page book would be much larger. The benefit of this is that each chapter contains just enough information for one to absorb and memorize. On the other hand, I found myself hungering for more information in some chapters, such as the one addressing the JFK assassination, as well as the one discussing Reagan, Gorbachev, and the ending of the Cold War.
That is why I was pleasantly surprised to learn of last week's release of the second book: The 10 Big Lies about America: Combatting Distructive Distortions about our Nation by Seattle-based radio host Michael Medved. These lies include “America was founded on Genocide against Native Americans” (Big Lie #1), “The Founders Intended a Secular, Not Christian, Nation” (Big Lie #3), and “America Is an Imperialist Nation and a Constant Threat to World Peace” (Big Lie #7).
With 288 pages to play with, Medved has a lot more space to delve into the those big myths we’re always hearing liberals spread or teach our children in school. Where possible, Medved explains where the myths originated, and why, and methodically debunks them point by point.
The chapter about the genocide of American Indians is particularly apropos, with Columbus Day a few weeks back and Thanksgiving just two days away. Reminiscing about his school-day Thanksgiving pageants, Medved laments how liberals have totally distorted the meaning of this holiday and transformed it into a club with which to beat the American people into a state of shame and self-hatred. Medved suggests liberals actually ask some American Indians what they think about Thanksgiving, because there are tribes that celebrate it as well, the way it was originally intended: as a way to thank God/Nature/etc. for the gifts we are given. In short, today’s American Indians don’t mourn Thanksgiving, so why do we? Plus, virtually every nation of the world has a history of cruelty and barbarism that dwarfs ours, but you never see the French mourning Bastille Day or the Mexicans kicking themselves over Cinco de Mayo.
Medved—a Rite Jew, by the way—has a degree from Yale in history and also went to Yale Law.
I highly recommend these books to anyone. Get them for yourself. Get them for a friend or relative. Get them for Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Grandma Lee’s birthday, whatever. Time to get the word out. I’m so tired of liberal/Democrat liars who have been trying to tear down this, the greatest nation on God’s green earth!