Tuesday wrap

The most triumphant propaganda victory of our time ... "They fear that the development and building of People's (community) Organizations is the building of a vast power group which may fall prey to a fascistic demagogue who will seize leadership and control and turn an organization into a Frankenstein's monster against democracy." - Saul Alinsky responding to his critics, Reveille for Radicals; p. 199. When Saul Alinsky began building his community-organization movement in 1930s Chicago, observers were watching Alinsky with one eye, while with the other eye observing the building of communist and fascist movements in Europe. It wasn't hard then to see in Alinsky's programs at home, elements of the people's revolution from Russia, as well as some of the same "in your face" tactics being employed by Hitler's Brownshirts. What Alinsky's critics saw was the burgeoning of a national movement, the carefully manipulated construction of people's organizations, which all had two elements in common: (1) a collectivist creed, which denied the existence of personal responsibility; and (2) an amoral dogma, in which all means were justified by an imaginary utopian end. While most modern Americans remember well Hitler's Holocaust and the Cold War waged by a solid U.S.S.R., many of these same Americans have swallowed some false history regarding the movements that spawned such widespread, horrendous results. In what may be regarded as the most triumphant propaganda victory of our time, fascism has been scrubbed of all its Marxist roots, while communism has been scrubbed of its millions of callous murders. (americanthinker.com)

Bonus links:
Summary of Saul Alinsky's 'Rules for Radicals'
• More Saul Alinsky stories: here
'Rules for Radicals' at amazon.com

U.S. awakens to post-Constitutional 'order' ... While President Barack Obama has, in one sense, tipped his hand by saying he wants judges with "empathy" for certain groups, he has in a more fundamental sense concealed the real goal: Getting judges who will ratify an expanding scope of the power of the federal government and a declining restraint by the U.S. Constitution. This is consistent with everything else Obama has done in office and is consistent with his decades-long record of alliances with people who reject American society's fundamentals. Judicial expansion of federal power is not really new, even if the audacity with which that goal is being pursued may be unique. For more than a century, believers in bigger government have also been believers in having judges interpret the restraints of the Constitution out of existence. They called this "a living Constitution." It has in fact been a dying Constitution, as its restraining provisions have been "interpreted" to mean less and less so that the federal government can do more and more. (ibdeditorials.com)

Obama to apologize to Putin in person for Cold War ... Obama had his first face-to-face meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the London G-20 summit in April. Talks there focused on plans for negotiations on a treaty to further reduce nuclear weapons. Russian news agencies had reported that a July meeting was agreed upon in London, but the dates had not been confirmed. (nypost.com)

Government Ethics: For fat-cat unionists, anything goes ... President Obama's nominee for the Treasury Department's top legal job still can receive almost $3 million in pay over the next three years from one of the nation's largest financial-services companies under a compensation plan approved by government ethics lawyers. If confirmed as the department's next general counsel, George W. Madison would earn a government salary of $153,200 and get an additional $955,000 next year from his previous employer, TIAA-CREF, as a participant in the New York-based company's "long-term compensation plan," according to a government ethics filing. Mr. Madison, who will no longer work for the company where he served as general counsel, will get $1.6 million from TIAA-CREF in 2011 and $333,000 in 2012 under the pay arrangement, government records show. Mr. Madison's Treasury appointment is pending. According to the Treasury Department, Mr. Madison has agreed not to work on matters that would "affect the ability or willingness" of TIAA-CREF to pay out the $2,918,000 he is slated to receive over the next three years. Retirement-planning company TIAA-CREF manages more than $300 billion in retirement and other assets for 3.6 million members, mostly working in the medical, research and academic fields. The company has a big presence in Washington, spending more than $1 million to lobby Congress, the White House, the Treasury Department and other agencies over the past year. (washingtontimes.com)

Beck gives bandwidth to the ACORN 8 ... Glenn Beck is focusing on the scandal that is ACORN in a big way. Great! Investigation shows that the notion that ACORN is a good organization that recently lost its way is untrue. Beck should check with a source of mine--"Margy the Teacher"--about whom I wrote an article posted on October 24, 2008 and titled "'Margy the Teacher' Appreciated the ACORN Threat. ACORN was out for power from the start and not concerned about legalities, much less niceties. As I wrote: "'Margy the Teacher' knew what ACORN (Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now) was about back in the 1970’s. Born in 1940, Margy is now a retired teacher and the owner and operator of a bed and breakfast. Margy served on a local school board in Texas from 1978 to 1985 and took her responsibilities seriously. In 1980, Margy testified before the Texas State Board of Education, objecting to a page about ACORN in a book titled 'Comparing Political Behavior,' published by Prentice-Hall. Margy had read the Houston Post, now defunct, and kept a copy of an article about ACORN published in the May 6, 1979 edition. That article is titled 'Group hopes to gain control of U.S. power' and begins with the ACORN recruiting song: 'Aren’t you tired of seein’ the way that your own country’s being run? For the sake of Monster Profit, they would even steal your son. And if you think it’s bad, well, buster, you can bet it will grow worse. So you better start to organize, or empty out your purse!' The lead sentence of the article reported: 'ACORN organizers are taught to be ever aware their goal is to create a massive political pressure group which ultimately will take over the full operation of this country—for the benefit of "low-to-moderate-income" Americans.'" (webcommentary.com)

Related videos:
Beck takes on union-backed, tax-funded fraud

Anita MonCrief speaks out

ACORN's Bertha Lewis: Bring it on ... The first week of May was as eventful for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) as any time since the 2008 election. It began with 26 counts of extortion and voter registration fraud filed against the group and some of its members in Clark County, Nev. It continued with the indictments of seven ACORN workers in Allegheny County, Pa. Democrats staged a floor fight over a Republican amendment to block any organization that had indicted members from getting taxpayer dollars. ACORN’s national spokesman was kicked off of Glenn Beck’s Fox News set. Republicans pounced, and the week ended with a Republican National Committee fundraising appeal that attacked the Obama administration for considering the use of “sampling” in the upcoming Census as a hidden-in-plain sight benefit to ACORN. “ACORN’s community organizers are eager to once again take action to aid their old friend in the White House,” wrote RNC Chairman Michael Steele. “You can be sure they’ll be manipulating population numbers. The 39-year-old group has never been more controversial. Bertha Lewis, the chief executive officer and chief organizer of ACORN since the middle of last year, could not have been happier. “Fine, bring it,” Lewis said in an interview with TWI, inside ACORN’s national offices near Capitol Hill. She brought up her fists in a boxing stance. “Let’s bring it. We know what the true facts are. We know that we’ll win in court. Our strategy now is to beef up our operations so we can defend ourselves.” (washingtonindependent.com)

Barack apes Hugo ... This is the kind of stuff which used to make headlines, back in the days when it was rare for central governments to take control of private companies. But, these days it passes almost without comment. Friday, this headline from the BBC: Chávez seizes oil service firms. The article describes how the president of Venezuela "sent troops to take over companies that provide services for the oil industry." Chávez didn't try to couch the takeover in terms of TARPs or Stimulus Packages or Stress Tests. Chávez said, "This is a revolutionary offensive." Chávez nationalized oil companies operating in Venezuela a couple of years ago. The firms which were seized last week "are owed billions of dollars" by the now-nationalized oil company. The "state firm says lower oil prices mean the contractors are being paid too much" so Chávez went for efficiency and simply seized the services companies and now the state-owned oil company owes them … nothing. At the end of April the American automobile manufacturer Chrysler declared bankruptcy. This was a pretty big deal because Chrysler is one of the Big Three auto makers, blah, blah, blah. That Chrysler went into bankruptcy was of some interest. That it was announced by the President of the United States from the White House was extraordinary. And, like Chávez' takeover of Venezuela's oil services companies, went largely unnoticed. This morning's Wall Street Journal contains a report which makes the Chávez takeover and the Obama takeover eerily similar. (cnsnews.com)

Obama makes, breaks law for UAW payback ... President Obama and his advisers are determined to turn control of Chrysler Corp. over to the United Auto Workers in spite of the fact that concessions to the union are largely responsible for the automaker’s inability to make a profit. Still, the UAW and other unions were among Obama’s biggest supporters and are ready to collect. Turning Chrysler over to the UAW, however, hasn’t proven all that easy. To accomplish its goal, the administration is proposing to ignore long-established law, create an economic black hole that could end up costing taxpayers untold billions and, most dangerously, signal to foreign investors that the stability and respect for property rights that has attracted trillions of dollars in overseas capital investment to our shores is a thing of the past. I find it difficult to believe that a U.S. bankruptcy court will uphold the Obama plan if even one secured creditor has the guts to refuse to go along with the scheme to pay off the UAW. One can only assume this is exactly why the president is trying to force Chrysler and its investors to work outside the bankruptcy framework and why the White House is trying to bully investors into accepting the Obama deal. It is, after all, settled law that a secured creditor’s rights are greater, when an enterprise fails, than are the rights of unsecured lenders, shareholders and the like. (thehill.com)

LIUNA big embezzled dues for strip club sprees, awaits wrist-slap ... A former official for Laborers Union Local 500 admitted to embezzling thousands of dollars from the union during his employment as business manager during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Toledo Monday. Steven Thomas, 41, pleaded guilty to one count of labor union embezzlement. The charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. A similar count will be dismissed at his Aug. 4 sentencing date before Judge Jack Zouhary. Thomas worked for the union until May, 2007. According to a July, 2008, indictment, he used a Local 500 credit card to pay for $17,500 worth of expenses at strip clubs between December, 2003, and December, 2004. The second count, which will be dismissed at sentencing, pertains to Thomas receiving cash advances for travel between September, 2001, and October, 2005. Those cash advances equaled about $11,000, but "for which he did not provide receipts or for which he did not incur legitimate union expense." As part of a plea agreement, Thomas will be ordered to pay restitution on both counts. The amount has yet be determined. (toledoblade.com)

Union embezzlement epidemic ripples through The Show Me State ... Harry Keil, 51, a former benefits manager for an International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers local in St. Louis County, pleaded guilty Monday in federal court of embezzling $341,000 from the union's benefit plan. Keil, of St. Charles, was hired in 2006 as administrative manager of the Pension and Health and Welfare Funds for IAM District 9 in Bridgeton, Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Reap said. He said Keil created false invoices to direct payments to his personal bank accounts and loans. (stltoday.com)

SEIU, Stern strike hard with last-minute Air War v. Governator ... The first TV attack on Prop. 1A is airing across California today, but it's Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his allies who need to find the cash to fill the airwaves in this final week before the May 19 special election. The campaign's financial battle has been a walkover, with the groups backing Props 1A to 1F raising a combined $25.5 million, compared to about $3.1 million for the opposition. But it's a lot tighter when cash in hand is considered, which is money left to use in the last days of the campaign. Finance reports released last week show that on May 2 Team Schwarzenegger et al had about $5 million left in the bank, with another $2.2 million landing in the days since then. The "no" side had about $1.8 million, but groups like the SEIU state council, the California Federation of Teachers and the California Faculty Association have pulled together an additional $1.8 million since then for the final TV push. (sfgate.com)

Celeb socialist too busy, abandons underemployed ... Actor Danny Glover joined labor, political and civil-rights leaders on one of the first stops of a four-day, 11-state tour supporting U.S. manufacturing workers. The "Lethal Weapon" star told a crowd of mainly union workers Monday in the Detroit suburb of Hamtramck the "deindustrialization of the nation" began in Michigan, and its workers can be "the architects of their own rescue." Glover, the son of union members, said he stands with those affected by plant closings. The event also included the Rev. Jesse Jackson, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow and United Steelworkers International President Leo Gerard. The 61-year-old actor said it would be his only appearance because he has to return to Los Angeles for work. (newsday.com)

Collectivist Obama kingmaker fined for election violation ... National political activist George Soros has agreed to pay $8,000 in fines to California’s ethics watchdog agency for failing to properly disclose $500,000 in contributions he made to support a state ballot measure that would have curtailed the use of three-strikes sentencing laws against criminals. Soros, a resident of New York, made the contributions to the nonprofit Drug Policy Action Network, which used it to support Proposition 66 on California’s 2004 ballot. Voters defeated the ballot measure, which would have sharply restricted the three-strikes law. (latimes.com)

International Collectivism

Russia represses Soviet-era documents ... In December last year a team of men from the Russian prosecutor’s office confiscated a large part of human rights campaign group Memorial's digital catalogue of material on victims of Communist-era repression, kept in its St Petersburg office. Here, Memorial's Arseny Roginsky talks about the difficulty of accessing historical documents on repression from Russia’s state archives, and about a new flowering of admiration for Joseph Stalin, which is encouraged by the Kremlin. In the 1980s and 90s there was what you might call an archive revolution. Until then the huge majority of documents from the Soviet period had been closed, except to researchers working with special permission from the Party or other high state organs. (guardianweekly.co.uk)

The fun is over: 'There is no such thing as private land' ... Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez has no doubts: "The only way to save Venezuela is through socialism." He goes on saying that "the Bolivarian revolution is an important contribution to the salvation of mankind, to the salvation of the world." For Chávez, his project has "magic" and that is the reason why it creates thousands of jobs, "thanks to the lands and factories rescued." On Sunday, Chávez ordered the National Institute of Lands (INTI) to expropriate more than 10,000 hectares (24,710 acres) of arable lands in a total of six farms and mixed farming industries in the state of Barinas, southwestern Venezuela. Chávez broadcasted his weekly show Aló Presidente (Hello, President) No. 330 from his home state. The farms expropriated by the government are La Palmita, San Pancracio, La Plebeya, Gavilán Areño, Los Cerros, El Caipe, Mata de Tigre, El Hongo, Los Panches and Lechosote. Chávez said that these lands were "abandoned." Once again claimed that large estates "one of the biggest obstacles hindering the development of Venezuela". "There is no such thing as private land," Chávez said, and reminded the experience of "farming communities" that the late leader Mao Zedong implemented in China. A large delegation of Chinese officials, headed by China's ambassador to Venezuela was accompanying Chávez to explain the scope of technical cooperation for rice crops and for the processing of other items. Chávez warned that the government must "end once and for all" the practice of having a farm "for fun" to spend the weekends. (english.eluniversal.com)

South Africa previews U.S. healthcare reforms ... Doctors from the Helen Joseph and Rahima Moosa Mother and Child hospitals have picketed during their lunch hour to show their frustration at the government's tabled proposal. On Monday's picket, which is set to roll out nationwide this week, will see doctors picketing every day from 12.30pm to 1.30pm to show their growing discontent over their salaries and working conditions. "We all know that doctors are overworked in public hospitals and the remuneration is poor. We want to be recognised for the work that we do; we provide a service that is essential to everyone," said Sarishen Govender, who is doing his second year of community service at Helen Joseph. According to SA Medical Association (Sama) spokesperson, Phophi Ramathuba, the government's proposal offers no increment. She explained that doctors got a basic salary and a scarce-skills fee (10 percent of their salary) that was not pensionable. The government now proposes that the scarce-skills fee be combined with the basic salary, and its contribution towards this incorporated pension fund would be less than 1 percent. "The employer's contribution will only be 0.27 percent," said Ramathuba, adding that the proposal "angers the doctors a lot". (iol.co.za)
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