• Pragerisms

    For a more comprehensive list of Pragerisms visit
    Dennis Prager Wisdom.

    • "The left is far more interested in gaining power than in creating wealth."
    • "Without wisdom, goodness is worthless."
    • "I prefer clarity to agreement."
    • "First tell the truth, then state your opinion."
    • "Being on the Left means never having to say you're sorry."
    • "If you don't fight evil, you fight gobal warming."
    • "There are things that are so dumb, you have to learn them."
  • Liberalism’s Seven Deadly Sins

    • Sexism
    • Intolerance
    • Xenophobia
    • Racism
    • Islamophobia
    • Bigotry
    • Homophobia

    A liberal need only accuse you of one of the above in order to end all discussion and excuse himself from further elucidation of his position.

  • Glenn’s Reading List for Die-Hard Pragerites

    • Bolton, John - Surrender is not an Option
    • Bruce, Tammy - The Thought Police; The New American Revolution; The Death of Right and Wrong
    • Charen, Mona - DoGooders:How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help
    • Coulter, Ann - If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans; Slander
    • Dalrymple, Theodore - In Praise of Prejudice; Our Culture, What's Left of It
    • Doyle, William - Inside the Oval Office
    • Elder, Larry - Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose
    • Frankl, Victor - Man's Search for Meaning
    • Flynn, Daniel - Intellectual Morons
    • Fund, John - Stealing Elections
    • Friedman, George - America's Secret War
    • Goldberg, Bernard - Bias; Arrogance
    • Goldberg, Jonah - Liberal Fascism
    • Herson, James - Tales from the Left Coast
    • Horowitz, David - Left Illusions; The Professors
    • Klein, Edward - The Truth about Hillary
    • Mnookin, Seth - Hard News: Twenty-one Brutal Months at The New York Times and How They Changed the American Media
    • Morris, Dick - Because He Could; Rewriting History
    • O'Beirne, Kate - Women Who Make the World Worse
    • Olson, Barbara - The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House
    • O'Neill, John - Unfit For Command
    • Piereson, James - Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism
    • Prager, Dennis - Think A Second Time
    • Sharansky, Natan - The Case for Democracy
    • Stein, Ben - Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left, the Truth, and What to Do About It
    • Steyn, Mark - America Alone
    • Stephanopolous, George - All Too Human
    • Thomas, Clarence - My Grandfather's Son
    • Timmerman, Kenneth - Shadow Warriors
    • Williams, Juan - Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It
    • Wright, Lawrence - The Looming Tower

Understanding Obama’s radical roots

Glenn is out to lunch at the moment, and I am taking the opportunity to poach under his blog name.  I am becoming more concerned of late that President Obama’s true leftist character is going to come out in full flower.  I have been recalling a revealing article that I read in National Review by Stanley Kurtz just before the election.  In it, Mr. Kurtz shed a good deal of light on something called the Gamaliel Foundation, which Obama worked for during his days as a community organizer.  I’m taking the liberty of reprinting here a significant portion of that article which I think is now more alarming given Obama’s recent activities as commander in chief.

-Steve Levin

 

These, then, are the beliefs at the spiritual heart of the Gamaliel Foundation’s community-organizing efforts. They show clear echoes of Jeremiah Wright’s and James Cone’s black-liberation theology, and it’s evident that Obama has an affinity for organizations that embody this point of view. But a question arises. Gamaliel’s goal is to build church-based coalitions capable of wielding power on behalf of the poor. These congregation-based organizations are supposed to counterbalance and undercut America’s oppressive power structures. Yet if most American Christians are deluded servants of a sinful and oppressive system, how can they be molded into a majority coalition for change? Given the privatistic, insular, and individualistic character of American culture, theological frankness might backfire and drive away potential allies, exactly as happened with Reverend Wright. Thus arises the need for stealth.

FAKE RIGHT, GO LEFT


It might have been all but impossible to penetrate the strategic thinking of Obama’s cohorts if not for the fortuitous 2008 publication of Organizing Urban America: Secular and Faith-based Progressive Movements, by Rutgers political scientist Heidi Swarts. This is the first book-length study of the organizing tactics and political ideologies of Gamaliel and ACORN, the two groups to which Obama’s community-organizing ties are closest. Swarts’s study focuses on Gamaliel and ACORN in St. Louis, but given the degree of national coordination by both groups, the carry-over of her findings to Chicago is bound to be substantial. Because Swarts is highly sympathetic to the community-organizing groups she studies, she was granted an unusual degree of access to strategic discussions during her period of fieldwork.

Swarts calls groups like ACORN and (especially) Gamaliel “invisible actors,” hidden from public view because they often prefer to downplay their efforts, because they work locally, and because scholars and journalists pay greater attention to movements with national profiles (like the Sierra Club or the Christian Coalition). Congregation-based community organizations like Gamaliel, by contrast, are often invisible even at the local level. A newspaper might report on a demonstration led by a local minister or priest, for example, without noticing that the clergyman in question is part of the Gamaliel network. “Though often hidden from view,” says Swarts, “leaders have intentionally and strategically organized these movements that appear to well up and erupt from below.”

 

 

 Although Gamaliel and ACORN have significantly different tactics and styles, Swarts notes that their political goals and ideologies are broadly similar. Both groups press the state for economic redistribution. The tactics of Gamaliel and ACORN have been shaped in a “post-Alinsky” era of welfare reform and conservative resurgence, posing a severe challenge to those who wish to expand the welfare state. The answer these activists have hit upon, says Swarts, is to work incrementally in urban areas, while deliberately downplaying the far-Left ideology that stands behind their carefully targeted campaigns.

 

While ACORN’s membership is fairly homogeneous, consisting chiefly of inner-city blacks and Hispanics, congregation-based community organizations like the Gamaliel Foundation tend to have more racially, culturally, and politically mixed constituencies. The need to overcome these divisions and gather a broad coalition behind its hard-Left agenda has pushed Gamaliel to develop what Swarts calls an “innovative cultural strategy.” Because of the suspicions that blue-collar members might harbor toward its elite, liberal leaders, Gamaliel’s main “ideological tactic,” says Swarts, is to present its organizers as the opposite of radical, elite, or ideological. As Swarts explains, they deliberately refrain from using leftist jargon like “racism,” “sexism,” “classism,” “homophobia,” “oppression,” or “multiple oppressions” in front of ordinary members — even though, amongst themselves, Gamaliel’s organizers toss around this sort of lingo with abandon, just as Jacobsen does in his book.
Swarts supplies a chart listing “common working-class perceptions of liberal social movements” on one side, while displaying on the other side Gamaliel organizers’ tricky tactics for getting around them. To avoid seeming like radicals or “hippies left over from the sixties,” Gamaliel organizers are careful to wear conventional clothing and conduct themselves with dignity, even formality. Since liberal social movements tend to come off as naïve and idealistic, Gamaliel organizers make a point of presenting their ideas as practical, pragmatic, and down-to-earth. When no one else is listening, Gamaliel organizers may rail at “racism,” “sexism,” and “oppressive corporate systems,” but when speaking to their blue-collar followers, they describe their plans as “common sense solutions for working families.”

Although the Gamaliel agenda is deeply collectivist and redistributionist, organizers are schooled to frame their program in traditional American, individualist terms. As Swarts puts it:

 

What makes [Gamaliel’s] ideology liberal rather than conservative is that it advocates not private or voluntary solutions but collective public programs. They seek action from the state: social welfare programs, redistribution, or regulation. . . . But publicly [Gamaliel and other congregation-based groups] usually emphasize individual responsibility on the part of authorities.

What Gamaliel really wants, in other words, is for the public as a whole to fork over funds to the government, but they’re careful to frame this demand as a call for “personal responsibility” by particular government officials.
The relative homogeneity of ACORN’s membership allows it to display its radicalism more openly. According to Swarts, ACORN members think of themselves as “oppositional outlaws” and “militants unafraid to confront the powers that be.” Yet even ACORN has a deeper, hidden ideological dimension. “Long-term ACORN organizers . . . tend to see the organization as a solitary vanguard of principled leftists,” says Swarts, while ordinary members rarely think in these overtly ideological terms; for them, it’s more about attacking specific problems. In general, ACORN avoids programmatic statements. During a 1980 effort to purge conservatives from its ranks, however, the organization did release a detailed political platform — which Swarts calls “a veritable laundry list of progressive positions.”

Although ACORN’s radicalism is somewhat more frank than Gamaliel’s, ACORN has an “innovative cultural strategy” of its own. ACORN’s radicalism is incremental; it’s happy to work toward ambitious long-term goals through a series of baby steps. For example, although ACORN has fought for “living wage” laws in several American cities, these affect only the small fraction of the workforce employed directly by city governments. The real purpose of ACORN’s urban living-wage campaigns, says Swarts, is not economic but political. ACORN’s long-term goal is an across-the-board minimum-wage increase at the state and federal levels. The public debate spurred by local campaigns is meant to prepare the political ground for ACORN’s more ambitious political goals, and to build up membership in the meantime.

 

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS
Throughout his career, Obama has drawn on all of these strategies. In Illinois’s Republican-controlled state senate, Obama specialized in incremental legislation, often drawn up in collaboration with groups like Gamaliel and ACORN. His tiny, targeted expansions of government-financed health care, for example, were designed to build political momentum for universal health care. And his claim to be a “common-sense pragmatist,” rather than a leftist ideologue, comes straight out of the Gamaliel playbook.
New evidence now ties Obama still more closely to both organizations. Not only was Obama a trainer for Gamaliel and ACORN, he appears to have used his influence to secure a major increase in funding for both groups — arguably stretching the bounds of propriety in the process.

In 2005, the year after Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate, the Washington, D.C.–based Center for Community Change released a report titled “Promising Practices in Revenue Generation for Community Organizing.” One of the report’s authors was Jean Rudd, Obama’s friend and the president of the Woods Fund during Obama’s years on that foundation’s board. Buried deep within the report lies the story of Obama’s role in expanding the Woods Fund’s financial support for groups like Gamaliel and ACORN.

Since the start of his organizing career, Obama was recognized by the Woods Fund as “a great analyst and interpreter of organizing,” according to the 2005 report. Initially an adviser, Obama became a Woods Fund board member, and finally board chairman, serving as a key advocate of increased funding for organizing during that period. In 1995, the Woods Fund commissioned a special evaluation of its funding for community organizing — a report that eventually recommended a major expansion of financial support. Obama chaired a committee of organizers that advised the Woods Fund on this important shift.

The committee’s report, “Evaluation of the Fund’s Community Organizing Grant Program,” is based on interviews with all the big names in Obama’s personal organizer network. Greg Galluzzo and other Gamaliel Foundation officials were consulted, as were several ACORN organizers, including Madeline Talbott, Obama’s key ACORN contact. Talbott, an expert on ACORN’s tactics of confrontation and disruption, is quoted more often than any other organizer in the report, sometimes with additional comments from Obama himself. The report holds up Gamaliel and ACORN as models for other groups and supports Talbott’s call for “‘a massive infusion of resources’ to make organizing a truly mass-based movement.”

 

The article ends with the following:

 

  The ultimate goal of all these efforts — fundamental disruption of America’s power structure, and economic redistribution along race, poverty, and gender lines — is entirely compatible with the program outlined by Dennis Jacobsen in Doing Justice. Obama could hardly have been unfamiliar with the general drift of Gamaliel ideology, especially given his reputation as an analyst of community organizing and his supervision of a comprehensive review of the field.

Even after becoming a U.S. senator, Obama has maintained his ties to the Gamaliel Foundation. According to an October 2007 report for the University of California by Todd Swanstrom and Brian Banks, “it is almost unheard of for a U.S. Senator to attend a public meeting of a community organization, but Senator Obama attended a Gamaliel affiliate public meeting in Chicago.” Given this ongoing contact, given the radicalism of Gamaliel’s core ideology, given Obama’s close association with Gamaliel’s co-founder, Gregory Galluzzo, given Obama’s role as a Gamaliel consultant and trainer, and given Obama’s outsized role in channeling allegedly “nonpartisan” funding to Gamaliel affiliates (and to his political ground troops at ACORN), some questions are in order. Obama needs to detail the nature of his ties to both Gamaliel and ACORN, and should discuss the extent of his knowledge of Gamaliel’s guiding ideology. Ultimately, we need to know if Obama is the post-ideological pragmatist he sometimes claims to be, or in fact a stealth radical.

— Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

No Difference Between …..

the human male and female?  “One would have to go to graduate school to learn that” Dennis might say, and has said so more than once.   Some university departments including the harpies hired for Women’s Studies over the past generation have claimed, “Differences between the sexes are due to ‘socialization’ ‘”.   Implications going with these teachings usually include the good old boys’ (white of course) conspiracy as heading the tyranny. 

Dennis has often referred to actual studies, results of which add much to the wonderful collages of humor, so common among citizens of  democratic societies.   Humor in Socialist States must  be equal, let’s be clear!   “What were you really thinking when you made that joke?”  Human Rights Commissions of  State Socialist countries want to know.  (Think Canada, 2009  if you think I am exaggerating.)   Trucks in toddler boys’ hands were roughed up ( by crashings) as were dolls,the stuffed kind, by having their arms ripped off (from wrestling).   Girls of the same age, God Bless them, didn’t crash trucks but gave them names and put them to bed when they were tired. 

 “Socialization” refers to  how  the human being learns to become a human being, more or less and from what causes.   Lefties in this matter developed a lefty theory that girls have played with dolls through the human millenia because, again, the good old boys network has been forcing them to play that way, instead of playing with things which will make them more manlike.  Don’t we remember the word “Unisex, here, there, and everywhere for nearly a generation?  Stalinists, who ran the Greatest State Socialist country ever,  insisted from the 1920s that human genetics didn’t mean very much when compared to the power of the Socialist State which possessed all the gifts of wisdom and knowledge (and absolute power) to train the sexes into Perfect Equality.  (Capitalizations are included here mostly for emphasis, and because I possess the power to insert them.) 

 Dennis also reminds us, that today,  tax payers often pay handsomely for these studies which throughout at least 5,000 years of human records of one kind or another, used to be called “common sense”.

For the past generation the political party now in power in America, and its networks, the press, academia, many of the standard  Liberal American church bodies, and  entertainment industries have preached victimhood in America among their various social messages.  Where there are victims, blacks, women, gays, intellectuals, and now those making less than $100,000 annually, including me and nearly everyone I know, there must be culprits causing victims.  I can’t be counted as a victim, because I am a conservative.

For at least a generation the Democratic Party has through these networks, advanced  the worst lie in American History to attain the power it now exercises.  Where am I wrong, dear reader?

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