United States

#21 Dec 13, 2010
American Progressivism
Page 1

I. Who were the Progressives, and why are they important?

Many on the left today call themselves “progressive,” and they do so not just because it’s a nicer way of saying “liberal,” but also because they very much intend to revive the political principles of America’s original Progressives, from the Progressive Era of the 1880s through World War I. Why would leftist politicians, like Mrs. Clinton, purposely identify themselves with this Progressive movement?

The reason is that America’s original Progressives were also its original, big-government liberals. Most people point to the New Deal era as the source of big government and the welfare state that we have today. While this is perfectly accurate, it is important to understand that the principles of the New Deal did not originate in the New Deal; rather, they came from the Progressives, who had dominated American politics and intellectual cultural a generation prior to the New Deal.

We have no less an authority on this connection than Franklin Roosevelt himself. When FDR campaigned in 1932, he pointed to the Progressives – and in particular to Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson – as the source of his ideas about government.

In terms of the personalities who made up the Progressive movement, some are familiar to us and others are less so. The movement was comprised of well known politicians like Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt; but it was also comprised of intellectuals and writers who are less well known but who have been very influential in America. There were folks like John Dewey, who was America’s public philosopher for much of the early 20th century. Even less well known was Herbert Croly, but Croly was highly influential, since he founded and was the first editor of The New Republic – which became the main organ of Progressive opinion in the United States, and is still one of the most important journals on the Left today. I should add here that Woodrow Wilson actually fell into both of these categories – he was both a well known politician and president, but also was, for decades prior to his entry into politics, a prominent intellectual (a college professor and president of Princeton) who wrote many books and influential articles.

As I’ll explain in my next piece, these Progressives wanted a thorough transformation in America’s principles of government, from a government permanently dedicated to securing individual liberty to one whose ends and scope would change to take on any and all social and economic ills. Here’s the order of the points we’ll consider in the pieces to follow:

1) What did Progressives think about the American founding, and why did they want to eradicate its principles?

2) How did we get today’s excessively powerful presidency from the Progressives?

3) What was the connection between Progressivism and Socialism? Were the Progressives actually Socialists?

4) What are some of the critical connections between Progressivism and what’s going on in our country today?

For more on the Progressives, two of my books may be of interest:

1) American Progressivism, which I co-edited with American historian William Atto, contains a basic introduction to progressive ideas written by Professor Atto and me, and then several selections from the actual writings of Progressives like Wilson, TR, Dewey, Croly, and others.

2) Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism, which is a much more in-depth look at Woodrow Wilson and how he was central to originating the liberalism that dominates America today. This is for those who are really interested in history and political theory.

United States

#22 Dec 13, 2010
American Progressivism
Page 2

II. The Progressives and their Attack on America’s Founding

As I mentioned in my last piece, America’s Progressives aimed for a thorough transformation in America’s principles of government. While our founders understood that our national government must have the capacity to be strong and vigorous (this is why the Articles of Confederation were failing), they also were very clear that this strength must always be confined to very limited ends or areas of responsibility; government, in other words, while not weak or tiny, was to be strictly limited.

The Progressive conception of government, on the other hand, was quite the opposite; Progressives had an “evolving” or a “living” notion of government (yes, we get the term “living constitution” from the Progressives), and thus wanted government to take on whatever role and scope the times demanded. The Progressives reasoned that people of the founding era may have wanted a limited government, given their particular experience with George III, but they argued that people of their own time wanted a much more activist government, and that we should adjust accordingly.

Quite simply, the Progressives detested the bedrock principles of American government. They detested the Declaration of Independence, which enshrines the protection of individual natural rights (like property) as the unchangeable purpose of government; and they detested the Constitution, which places permanent limits on the scope of government and is structured in a way that makes the extension of national power beyond its original purpose very difficult.“Progressivism” was, for them, all about progressing, or moving beyond, the principles of our founders.

This is why the Progressives were the first generation of Americans to denounce openly our founding documents. Woodrow Wilson, for example, once warned that “if you want to understand the real Declaration of Independence, do not repeat the preface”– i.e. that part of the Declaration which talks about securing individual natural rights as the only legitimate purpose of government. And Theodore Roosevelt, when using the federal government to take over private businesses during the 1902 coal strike, is reported to have remarked,“To hell with the Constitution when people want coal!” This remark may be apocryphal, but it is a fair representation of how TR viewed these matters.

In the next piece, we’ll consider how the presidency was transformed under men like Wilson and TR.

For more on the Progressives, two of my books may be of interest:

1) American Progressivism, which I co-edited with American historian William Atto, contains a basic introduction to progressive ideas written by Professor Atto and me, and then several selections from the actual writings of Progressives like Wilson, TR, Dewey, Croly, and others.

2) Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism, which is a much more in-depth look at Woodrow Wilson and how he was central to originating the liberalism that dominates America today. This is for those who are really interested in history and political theory.

United States

#23 Dec 13, 2010
American Progressivism
Page 3

III. How the Progressives Originated the Modern Presidency

As I explained in my last piece, the Progressives wanted to disregard the Constitution in order to enlarge vastly the scope of government. As a practical matter, how was this to be done? It happened in a variety of ways, but principal among them was a fundamental change in the American presidency.

Under the system of our founders, government was to have sufficient strength and energy to accomplish its ends, but those ends were strictly limited by the Constitution. The principal way in which the Constitution keeps the government within its boundaries is through the separation of powers. As readers of The Federalist and of Thomas Jefferson know, the point of separation of powers is to keep any one set of hands from wielding all of the power in national government.

The Progressives, especially Woodrow Wilson, hated the separation of powers for precisely this reason: it made government inefficient, and made it difficult, if not impossible, to expand the power of government so that it could take on all of the new tasks that Progressives had in mind. So they looked to the presidency as a way of getting around this obstacle.

Under the original system, the president was merely leader of a single branch, or part, of the government, and thus could not provide leadership of the government as a whole. In his book Constitutional Government, Wilson urged that “leadership and control must be lodged somewhere.” The president, Wilson pointed out, was the only politician who could claim to speak for the people as a whole, and thus he called upon the president to rise above the separation of powers – to consider himself not merely as chief of a single branch of government, but as the popular leader of the whole of national politics. Wilson even contrasted the “constitutional aspect” of the presidency – its constitutionally defined role as chief of one of the three co-equal branches of government – to the “political” function of the president, where he could use his connection to public opinion as a tool for moving all of the branches of government in the direction called for by the people.

It was in this way that Wilson believed the original intention of the separation of powers system could be circumvented, and the enhanced presidency could be a means energizing the kind of active national government that the progressive agenda required.

In the next piece, we’ll consider whether the principles of the Progressives made them socialists.

For more on the Progressives, two of my books may be of interest:

1) American Progressivism, which I co-edited with American historian William Atto, contains a basic introduction to progressive ideas written by Professor Atto and me, and then several selections from the actual writings of Progressives like Wilson, TR, Dewey, Croly, and others.

2) Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism, which is a much more in-depth look at Woodrow Wilson and how he was central to originating the liberalism that dominates America today. This is for those who are really interested in history and political theory.

United States

#24 Dec 13, 2010
American Progressivism pg 4
IV. Progressivism and Socialism
Since the Progressives had such a limitless view of state power, and since they wanted to downplay the founders’ emphasis on individual rights, it is only natural to ask if they subscribed to socialism. There are several things to consider in answering this question. First, when considering the relationship of progressivism to socialism, we must be clear that we are talking about the similarity in the philosophy of government; we are not suggesting that America’s progressives were the kind of moral monsters that we see in the history of some socialist or fascist regimes (although it is the case that their racial views – particularly those of Woodrow Wilson – were indeed morally reprehensible).
Second, we must also bear in mind that there was an actual socialist movement during the Progressive Era, and prominent progressives such as Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt were critics of it. In fact, Wilson and Roosevelt both ran against a socialist candidate in the 1912 election(Debs). The progressives were ambivalent about the socialist movement of their day not so much because they disagreed with it in principle, but because the American socialist movement was a movement of the lower classes. The progressives were elitists; they looked down their noses at the socialists, considering them a kind of rabble.

Keeping these points in mind, it is, nonetheless, the case that the progressive conception of government closely coincided with the socialist conception. Both progressivism and socialism champion the prerogatives of the state over the prerogatives of the individual. Wilson himself made this connection very plain in a revealing essay he wrote in 1887 called “Socialism and Democracy.” Wilson’s begins this essay by defining socialism, explaining that it stands for unfettered state power, which trumps any notion of individual rights. It “proposes that all idea of a limitation of public authority by individual rights be put out of view,” Wilson wrote,and “that no line can be drawn between private and public affairs which the State may not cross at will.” After laying out this definition of socialism, Wilson explains that he finds nothing wrong with it in principle, since it was merely the logical extension of genuine democratic theory. It gives all power to the people, in their collective capacity, to carry out their will through the exercise of governmental power, unlimited by any undemocratic idea like individual rights. He elaborated:
“In fundamental theory socialism and democracy are almost if not quite one and the same. They both rest at bottom upon the absolute right of the community to determine its own destiny and that of its members. Limits of wisdom and convenience to the public control there may be: limits of principle there are, upon strict analysis, none.”

Roosevelt,too, argued for a new conception of government, where individual natural rights would no longer serve as a principled boundary that the state was prohibited from crossing. He called in his New Nationalism program for the state to take an active role in effecting economic equality by way of superintending the use of private property. Private property rights, which had been serving as a brake on the more aggressive progressive policy proposals, were to be respected, Roosevelt argued, only insofar as the government approved of the property’s social usefulness. He wrote:
“We grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably obtained and well used. It is not even enough that it should have been gained without doing damage to the community. We should permit it to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community. This, I know, implies a policy of a far more active governmental interference with social and economic conditions in this country than we have yet had, but I think we have got to face the fact that such an increase in governmental control is now necessary.”


United States

#25 Dec 13, 2010
American Progressivism
Page 5

V. Progressivism and the Current Crisis

There are important connections between America’s original Progressive Era and the crisis we are facing today, and it is useful to consider these connections on two levels.

The first connection is at a general level, and concerns our abandonment of the Constitution. The present crisis did not appear out of nowhere, and didn’t simply begin with the election of Barack Obama. Politicians of both parties spent the better part of the 20th century disregarding the Constitution, as they looked to have government step up to solve every conceivable human problem. Thus it ought to be no surprise that the Constitution’s limits on government aren’t even part of the conversation today as our politicians debate the new interventions in our economy and society that seem to come daily.

Such a state of things would have greatly pleased America’s original progressives. As I’ve endeavored to explain in these pieces for the newsletter, progressives believed that the role of government should be determined not by our Constitution, but by whatever the needs of the day happened to be. This is why they sought to eradicate talk of the Constitution from our political discourse; today, that goal seems to have been realized.

The second connection between the original Progressive Era and our situation today has to do with policy. The progressives knew that our original system of government was not capable of handling all of the new tasks that they had in mind for it. So they envisioned creating a vast set of bureaucratic agencies. They argued that Congress should enact very broad and vague laws for supervising more and more facets of the American economy and society, and then delegate to the bureaucratic agencies the power and discretion to enact specific policies. Both Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt conceived of government in this way.

The New Deal certainly went a long way toward implementing this progressive vision, and what we have seen in our own situation with TARP and the various other interventions is simply greater steps toward the progressive plan. Our Congress has simply said to the Treasury agencies: here’s a trillion dollars, here’s all the legal authority you need, now go out, determine what is in the public interest, and spend and regulate accordingly. That is the progressive vision of government, in a nutshell.

United States

#27 Dec 14, 2010
Immoral Progressivism Failing Miserably

In England, youths are rioting. In Portugal, labor unions staged a national strike last Wednesday. A little over a month ago, France and Greece were subjected to large, violent demonstrations and riots. A common thread? In each of these countries, the unrest was engendered by economic austerity measures proposed and/or enacted by government. A far more salient common thread? The morally corruptive nature of the progressivist ideology.

As the four recent examples, along with others occurring all over the world illustrate, a group of like-minded "thinkers" is emerging. It is a group composed in equal parts of economic illiteracy and pathological self-entitlement. Only an utter fool—or a dedicated progressive—would riot or strike because someone else can no longer afford to underwrite your lifestyle.

What part of "running out of other people's money" don't the complainers understand?

Such a complete disconnect from reality doesn't happen on its own.

It is where moral relativism, the cornerstone of progressive thinking, inevitably leads. Decades of teaching people that the state is their bottomless benefactor hasn't just ruined economies around the globe. It has ruined the people themselves. Economies eventually recover.

Can people recover their dignity and character?

Mankind has always been corrupt. We are, by nature, fallen creatures for whom doing the right thing will always be more difficult than taking the path of least resistance. Yet such difficulty is exponentially compounded by a progressive ideology that constantly encourages people to abandon character for comfort and worry about the moral ramifications after the fact. It is compounded by the siren song of perpetual victimhood that relieves the individual of personal responsibility and personal ambition. It is compounded by playing one group of people off another, without regard to individual achievement—or a lack thereof. It is not hard for people to be seduced by "we will take care of you," or maybe even more accurately, "we will do your thinking for you," once the moral component of the seduction has been calculatingly obscured.

Bottom line: A predominantly moral populace has little need for expansive government—and progressives know it. That is precisely why one of their principal targets is religion and their ongoing determination to remove it from the public square whenever and wherever possible. The codified morality religion represents is the ultimate distraction away from the progressive agenda—which is why it must also be belittled as well.

Just as importantly, people must understand that progressives' seeming respect for Islam has nothing to do with respecting religion per se. The same people calling Americans bigots for not wanting a mosque built near Ground Zero are the ones routinely bashing Christianity at every turn. Islam is nothing more than another weapon for pursuing that task—until the time comes when it too must be jettisoned to make way for the progressive New World Order. The current alliance-of-convenience is based on an old Arabic saying: The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Yet the main battleground for the progressive movement is public school education. Does anyone seriously think those who champion an ever-expanding state want people being educated to think for themselves? What constitutes better clay for shaping than a semi- educated populace indoctrinated to believe, not only that the world owes them something for nothing, but that such a concept is morally justifiable?

United States

#28 Dec 14, 2010
Immoral Progressivism Failing Miserably

Thus, it is no accident that the emphasis in public school education has gone from teaching kids how to think to teaching them what to feel. Nor is it coincidental that educational establishment dominated by progressives has made a student's self-esteem more important than his command of the facts. People focused on emotional self-gratification are far more pliable than those capable of independent reasoning. Progressives understand that substantial numbers of Americans taught to believe a debate on the issues can be "won" by calling someone a name, is a critical component of their power base.

Ask yourself how many times, for example, any criticism of the Obama Administration's disastrous policies has been deemed "racist"—even as that characterization is dubbed the only "logical" explanation possible. Ask yourself why almost f40% of Americans would consider it perfectly acceptable to find out what's in a national healthcare bill "after we pass it."

How many Americans have been "educated" to believe that the only path to "fairness" is one which travels through a government bureaucracy administered by an "enlightened" political class?

When such thinking reaches critical mass, all things are possible.

It is possible to believe the world owes one a living. It is possible to believe that life is fair. It is possible to believe that the human condition itself, with all its inherent shortcomings, can be legislated into submission. And, as Europe is so amply demonstrating, it is actually possible to believe one can get blood from a stone.

In America, a resistance to such mindlessness has emerged.

Progressives desperately want to convince themselves that the phenomenon known as the Tea Party movement is strictly political.

They are wrong. Politics may be the vehicle for the movement, but the enduring quality of it—and it is enduring—is its moral component. It is a blow-back against the wholesale abandonment of dignity and character by the entitlement class and its progressive enablers. It is a movement with many aspects, but all of them center around one idea: The soul of a great nation is at stake, and the progressive agenda that is corrupting it must be stopped.

Europe shows us why. A substantial portion of their population has been infantilized into believing the government gravy train never runs out of gravy, and taking to the to the streets demanding the impossible is becoming routine. Such demonstrations are a deadly combination of hubris and ignorance, egged on by those promoting "social justice," which is nothing more than a pleasant slogan attempting to rationalize many things, all of which can be reduced to one idea: Inter-generational theft is morally acceptable.

No it's not. Not by a long shot.

Thornton, IL

#29 Dec 14, 2010
Tuesday, December 14 2010
Radio Canada:'Israel Bears No Resemblance to Iran and Sudan'
It should be obvious that Israel has nothing in common with Iran and Sudan, but it wasn't the case with Radio-Canada's Simon Durivage.
Durivage apologized for inapporpriately equating the countries after HonestReporting Canada readers took action.
More importantly than the apology, however, the Radio-Canada ombudsman's review (pdf format) sets an important precedent:
"Radio-Canada acknowledged that it was inappropriate to use Iran and Sudan as examples to illustrate the dangers of Canada's unconditional support for Israel."
"... by erroneously associating Israel with Iran and Sudan, Simon Durivage did not adhere to one of the central principles of CBC/Radio-Canada's Journalistic Standards and Practices, that of accuracy."
"Associating Israel with Iran and Sudan in this way constituted a journalistic error."
It's now on the record that drawing moral equivalence between Israel and rogue states like Iran, Sudan (add North Korea and Cuba to the list too) is inappropriate journalism.


Thornton, IL

#30 Dec 14, 2010
Micro chip allows terrorist to speak to God.

Thornton, IL

#31 Dec 14, 2010
Hey why can't we do this? with the Illegals?
Israel expels 150 Sudanese on secret flight back to Sudan

Published on December 14th, 2010
JERUSALEM JERUSALEM - An Israeli official says 150 Sudanese who illegally entered the country were flown home in a secret operation.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity, not being authorized to speak for the record. There was no official comment on the operation.

UNHCR representative to Israel, William Tall, told Army Radio in an interview aired Tuesday that the Sudanese left voluntarily

Media said the Sudanese were deported on Monday night on a special flight that reached Sudan via an unidentified third country. Israel and Sudan do not have diplomatic ties.

Reports also said an unspecified number of other Sudanese have been sent back home on commercial flights.

Israel is trying to stanch an influx of illegal African migrants.


I hope that link works, I would hate to have to tiny url it.:)

Thornton, IL

#32 Dec 14, 2010
What happens when progressive values infiltrate into society?

David Epstein Incest Charges: Columbia Professor Charged with Sleeping with Daughter


Let's keep in mind that he hated Sarah Palin, what I found most interesting was comments made by others.

SStossel The David Epstein incest case: If homosexuality is OK, why is incest wrong?- By William Saletan - Slate Magazine: http://slate.me/gWyHcd

Let's make this about consent now said one liberal,To: wagglebee
David Epstein, 46, was charged Thursday with one count of third-degree incest. Police told the Spectator that the relationship appeared consensual.
Where is the "between consenting adults" crowd on this one?

Chickens and horses? will be next for the librerals.

When religion goes, morals go, and then everything goes. That is where it is with the liberals.

Thornton, IL

#33 Dec 14, 2010
.... rhetorical mastery as tools for advancing progressive moral visions....

If you keep telling them what to believe, no matter how wrong it started out, it becomes the norm, for liberals that is.

Festus, MO

#35 Dec 15, 2010
Page 1

---Seeks to diminish and/or eliminate conservative religious organizations’ involvement in public policy and political life.
---Views the U.S. as a nation in danger of being taken over by politically conservative theocrats
Seeks to eliminate the presence of religious symbols and practices in public places
---Opposes school vouchers
---Opposes government funding for faith-based initiatives
---Urges the IRS to require that churches and church-affiliate nonprofits pay property taxes and/or income taxes
---Opposes the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman

Americans United (AU) is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization whose mission is to defend the first clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states:“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” AU interprets this to mean that “religion and government must stay separate for the benefit of both,” a meaning that bears little resemblance to the actual wording of the First Amendment.

Viewing the U.S. as a nation in danger of being taken over by politically conservative theocrats, AU seeks to diminish and/or eliminate conservative religious organizations’ involvement in public policy and political life. Toward this end, AU initiates policy debates, files lawsuits, and organizes protests aimed at discrediting and eliminating the presence of religious symbols and practices in public places. For example, AU has opposed the recitation of prayers at school graduation ceremonies, and has fought to remove displays of the Ten Commandments in public buildings.

As a general principle, the organization protests laws and practices that it believes offer support to religion, but its attention is focused almost entirely on the alleged transgressions of conservative religious groups; liberal and leftist groups can operate without hindrance from Americans United.

“We … oppose efforts by the Religious Right to impose its theological views on the public by governmental action,” says AU.“The Religious Right's attempt to force all Americans to accept its religious doctrines as law is one of the greatest threats to religious freedom today.” One AU ad likens Christian conservatives in the U.S. to fundamentalist Muslims in Iran.

AU was founded in 1947 under the name Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State (POAU); the chief object of its derision at that time was the Catholic Church. Eventually POAU shortened its name -- first to Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, and then to its current name, Americans United.

AU’s founders included members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, the American Secular Humanist Association, and the American Ethical Union, along with other leading liberals of the day. They created AU in reaction to a 1947 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Everson v. Board of Education of the Township of Ewing, where the Court ruled that a New Jersey law authorizing school boards to reimburse parents for the bus transportation of children attending parochial schools did not violate the Constitution.

AU's first executive secretary was Joseph Martin Dawson, a Baptist pastor and social activist who opposed federal aid to church hospitals and sectarian instruction in public schools. The organization's general counsel, Paul Blanshard, penned American Freedom and Catholic Power, a best-selling anti-Catholic screed which claimed that parochial schools threatened to subvert America’s common culture. And its first president, Methodist Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam, was a past president of Planned Parenthood and chaired the Massachusetts branch of the pro-communist Council of American-Soviet Friendship.

Festus, MO

#36 Dec 15, 2010
Page 2

AU worked to educate members of Congress, as well as state and local lawmakers, about the importance of maintaining church-state separation so as to “ensure religious freedom for all Americans” and to “forbi[d] government to actually or effectively favor one religion over another,[or to] favor religion over non-religion and vice-versa.” At the same time, state and local chapters of Americans United were formed, and the organization began publishing Church & State magazine and other materials to persuade members of the general public to join its crusade.

In 1962 and 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court issued landmark rulings striking down government-sponsored prayer and Bible reading in public schools. AU defended the rulings.

In 1967 AU sued the Postmaster General for issuing a Madonna and Child postage stamp.

AU states that the 1970s lamentably saw the “rise” of “the Religious Right … as a political force” with an “extreme and intolerant agenda.” In the 1980s, adds AU, Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority and other allied groups “unleashed a torrent of attacks on church-state separation and assailed the principle in the halls of Congress and the federal courts. They also targeted public schools for ‘takeover’ campaigns, attempting to saturate the curriculum with fundamentalist theology.”

In the 1980s AU opposed “education choice” advocates who demanded tax subsidies for religious education through vouchers, tuition tax credits and other avenues. AU referred to such initiatives as “schemes” of the Religious Right.

Opposition to school vouchers remains a high priority for AU, which declares:

“Americans must be free to contribute only to the religious groups of their choosing. Voucher programs violate this principle by forcing all taxpayers to underwrite religious education. Often, religious schools promote sectarian dogma and take controversial stands on issues such as gay rights, the role of women in society and reproductive freedom. Taxpayers should not be required to subsidize the spread of religious/moral opinions they may strongly disagree with.”

(AU made no mention of the fact that those same taxpayers, by funding teacher's unions like the National Education Association with their tax dollars, are required, regardless of their preferences, to subsidize such things as sex education, gay and lesbian “sensitivity” programs, busing and other forced integration measures, educational services for illegal aliens, bilingual education, multicultural education,“global warming” curricula, and “peace studies.”)

In 1995, AU -- in conjunction with a coalition that included also the NAACP, the National Education Association, People for the American Way, and the National School Boards Association -- initiated a seven-year legal battle to defeat a voucher program in Cleveland, Ohio. After the Court ultimately ruled that the Cleveland program was constitutional, AU Executive Director Barry Lynn vowed:“Every time that this issue of vouchers comes up at any state legislature or in the Congress, we’re going to make the argument that this is bad policy and does not help kids.” For Lynn, this was a departure from his previous stance, which held simply that vouchers “violate the separation of church and state.” Now he said he wanted more money allocated to public schools for programs that are “tested, tried, true.”

Lynn has been AU’s Executive Director since 1992. He is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and a former legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington office.

Festus, MO

#37 Dec 15, 2010
Page 3

In the 1990s AU targeted the “radical agenda” of television preacher Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition, whose “supporters brazenly demanded an end to public education and the ‘Christianization’ of politics.” In the ensuing years, AU turned its attention also to “the rise of other Religious Right organizations such as Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defense Fund.”

AU officially opposes the use of churches for the promotion of political candidates:

“Houses of worship and religious leaders may address political and social issues, but federal tax law bars …[c]hurches, temples and mosques … from outright electioneering. It is not the job of religious leaders to tell people which candidates to vote for or not vote for.”

In AU’s estimation, conservative congregations are the primary offenders who violate the prohibition against electioneering in the sanctuary:

“Every weekend, millions of Americans attend houses of worship to hear sermons, study scripture and participate in other religious activities. If some politicians and Religious Right activists have their way, however, people in the pews might soon be doing other things during services -- listening to partisan political speeches, being solicited for campaign contributions and getting instructions about whom to vote for on Election Day.”

AU has worked to revoke the nonprofit status of churches it believes are promoting the campaigns of conservative political candidates. In 1992, for instance, the organization told the IRS about one New York church that had run full-page ads in USA Today and the Washington Times soliciting tax-deductible contributions to help defeat then-presidential hopeful Bill Clinton. The IRS investigated the matter, and it revoked the church’s tax-exempt status. Said Barry Lynn:“This decision is a major blow to TV preacher Pat Robertson and other Religious Right leaders who have tried to politicize churches. From now on, houses of worship that consider risking their tax exemption to get involved in electioneering had better realize that it’s a gamble they’re likely to lose.”

Similarly, AU has condemned the Christian Coalition “Voter’s Guides” that are distributed to churches during election seasons. In an October 2001 letter addressed to nearly 300,000 houses of worship nationwide, Barry Lynn warned churches that they “should be extremely wary of distributing voter guides” lest they lose their tax-exempt status like the aforementioned New York church.

AU responds very differently, however, when restrictions against church electioneering are violated by leftists. For instance, the organization chose not to file a complaint with the IRS after presidential candidate Barack Obama had given a speech at the United Church of Christ’s (UCC) 2007 national convention. In fact, when the IRS eventually announced that it would be investigating the UCC, Americans United protested the decision.“We saw no evidence of UCC officials seeking to appear to endorse his candidacy,” said Barry Lynn.

Nor did AU complain that candidate Obama had spoken to congregants at Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC) in Chicago, or that TUCC pastor Jeremiah Wright had aggressively supported Obama's candidacy from the pulpit.

Festus, MO

#38 Dec 15, 2010
PG 4
AU opposes gov. spending for social programs ("faith-based initiatives") that are established or admi. by religious groups. Thus the organization rejected a 2002 legislative proposal titled the “CARE Act of 2002”(which was agreed to by the White House and bipartisan leadership in the Senate) whereby the gov. would offer some support to faith-based groups whose mission is to help poor people access welfare benefits, job training, emergency shelter, food, clothing, and other basic necessities. AU said the bill was unconstitutional because it gave “special treatment to religious groups.”
AU also seeks to apply non-discrimination laws to currently-exempt religious organizations; these laws would require such groups to hire employees not of their faith or living in a manner entirely contrary to their doctrine.“If a religious group receives public funds,” says Barry Lynn,“they should display an American flag, not a crucifix.” AU elaborates:
“Americans in need of social services … should be able to get the help they need without being pressured to take part in religious activities.‘Faith-based’ initiatives, which propose turning the provision of social services over to religious groups, threaten individual rights and could lead to taxpayer support of religious ministries. In those cases where religious groups want to take tax aid to provide relief, they should first agree to run secular programs and drop all forms of religiously based discrimination from their hiring policies.”
As part of its “Defund the Right” campaign, AU has urged the IRS to require that churches and church-affiliate nonprofits pay property taxes and/or income taxes.
AU’s Defending the Courts program seeks to influence the process by which judges are named to the federal courts:
“Courts are especially important in protecting religious minorities from politically powerful religious majorities. In order to protect this sacred liberty, however, judges and justices must respect church-state separation. AU works to make sure judicial nominees will uphold this principle before they are appointed to the bench.”
In June 2006, AU won a lawsuit in federal court challenging the Iowa Corrections Department's support for Charles Colson's InnerChange, a prison program that trains inmates in evangelical Christianity. Said AU:
“The InnerChange program is saturated with evangelical Christianity.... Members of non-evangelical and non-Christian faiths simply do not feel welcome in this program…. We support the right of inmates to have access to worship and spiritual counseling. We believe, however, that such programs must not be sponsored by the government.”
AU opposes any initiative, such as the so-called “marriage amendment,” that would define marriage strictly as a union between one man and one woman and would not recognize homosexual unions. Says AU:
“Opponents of church-state separation, led by the Religious Right, extol the ‘traditional’ family of a married couple with children. While many American families fit this mold, others do not…. The government must not deny adoption, child custody and other fundamental rights to families labeled ‘non-traditional’ because of religious bias or narrow interpretations of holy books held by certain religious believers.”
AU identifies itself as a non-sectarian and non-partisan organization that “refrain[s] from making any statements supporting or opposing any candidate or party, including publishing voter guides about candidate stances on church-state issues.”
Based on Cap. Hill in Wa, DC, the AU staff consists of more than 40 employees. The organization has more than 75,000 members distributed across all 50 states. It is funded by donations from members and others who support its objectives, and by grants from such entities as the Deer Creek Foundation, the Foundation for the Carolinas, and the Esther A. & Joseph Klingenstein Fund.

United States

#39 Dec 15, 2010
Wisconsin Store Yanks Fireworks Offensive to Muslims

United States

#40 Dec 15, 2010
AFL-CIO Joins Communists, La Raza, ACLU, Other Unions in Voter Registration Drive

Looks like the AFL-CIO is no longer even trying to hide the fact that it no longer sports a traditionally American political outlook. The labor union has announced that it is joining a voter registration drive called One Nation Working Together. This coalition is filled with some of the most extremely leftist groups in America today including the ACLU, Enviro extremists, La Raza, Code Pink, various anti-war groups, and the Communist Party USA.

This new move by the AFL-CIO finds hearty support from the People’s World newspaper, a publication dedicated to communism and the “direct descendent” of the communist Daily Worker newspaper.

The AFL-CIO joins the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), The Center for American Progress, Green For All, USAction, and many others. The effort is being headed by United for Peace and Justice.

They claim that their goal is to,“transcend our superficial differences and bring us together in a common quest for equal opportunity and justice for all.”

I find the “superficial differences” line unintentionally hilarious because ideologically there isn’t even a hint of “superficial differences” between any of the groups involved here.

Like all these sort of left-wing efforts there is never a full list posted anywhere of what organizations have joined any particular effort. These leftist movements always try their hardest to hide from the public the extremist groups that have joined their program. The only way to piece together a partial list of participants is to look over the many news reports and catch little bits of information here and there. One wonders why they are so afraid to list what organizations have joined them?

Jeff Dunetz, though, does yeomen’s work tracking down a list of steering committee members of the UDPJ, the main sponsor. On that list we can see some hardcore, left-wing extremists. Names on that list includes among others:

Dana Balicki — Code Pink
Frida Berrigan — War Resisters League
Jackie Cabasso — Western States Legal Foundation
Steve Carlson — Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice
Libero Della Piana — Communist Party USA
Bill Henning — US Labor Against the War
Perry O’Brien — Iraq Veterans Against the War
David Wildman — US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

These are the sort of extremists that the AFL-CIO is joining teams with. As Dunetz asks,“I wonder what their rank and file would say if they announced they were joining together with Marxist, Communist, and progressive groups…?” I agree. I wonder if the rank and file knows that their leadership is throwing in with groups whose stated purpose is to destroy our American system and institute some anti-American, anti-capitalist apostasy?

United States

#41 Dec 15, 2010
Obama File 98 Obama Science Czar Holdren's Pro - Soviet Associations
Page 1
Obama's "Science Czar" John P. Holdren, was once involved in a publication that included two accused Soviet informants among its founding sponsors.

Several other socialist and communist sympathizers worked for the publication, including some with family ties to Barack Obama.

The publication is the Bulletin of The Nuclear Scientists - world famous for its ominous symbol, the Doomsday Clock.

The Bulletin was founded in 1945 by former scientists from the Soviet spy-riddled Manhattan Project, creator of the US Atomic Bomb.

From the start, the Bulletin and its associated organizations, worked to weaken US nuclear superiority over the Soviet Union, through East/West scientific exhanges, conferences and a a steady stream of anti- nuclear propaganda designed to terrify the US public with tales of nuclear destruction and looming Armageddon.

In doing so, it followed the Soviet propaganda line to a "T".

It was not surprizing then, when in 1994, a former senior Soviet Intellignce officer named two of the Bulletin's founding sponsors, Leo Szilard and Robert Oppenheimer as sources of atomic information to the Soviet Union.

According to Sudaplatov, a former wartime director of the Administration for Special Tasks, an elite unit of the Soviet intelligence service, Leo Szilard, Robert Oppenheimer and Enrico Fermi, knowingly supplied information to Soviet contacts during their work on the Manhattan Project.

Sudaplatov claimed in his 1994 book "Special Tasks, Memoirs of an Unwanted Witness-A Soviet Spymaster".

The most vital information for developing the first Soviet atomic bomb came from scientists engaged in the Manhattan Project to build the American atomic bomb - Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi, and Leo Szilard.

Oppenheimer, Fermi, Szilard, and Szilard's secretary were often quoted in the NKVD files from 1942 to 1945 as sources for information on the development of the first American atomic bomb. It is in the record that on several occasions they agreed to share information on nuclear weapons with Soviet scientists...

As early as 1940, a commission of Soviet scientists, upon hearing rumors of a superweapon being built in the West, investigated the possibility of creating an atomic bomb from uranium, but concluded that such a weapon was a theoretical, not a practical, possibility. The same scientific commission recommended that the government instruct intelligence services to monitor Western scientific publications

We were able to take advantage of the network of colleagues that Gamow had established. Using implied threats against Gamow's relatives in Russia, Elizabeth Zarubina pressured him into cooperating with us. In exchange for safety and material support for his relatives, Gamow provided the names of left-wing scientists who might be recruited to supply secret information...

Another route was from the mole who worked with Fermi and Pontecorvo. The mole in Tennessee was connected with the illegal station at the Santa Fe drugstore, from which material was sent by courier to Mexico. The unidentified young moles, along with the Los Alamos mole, were junior scientists or administrators who copied vital documents to which they were allowed access by Oppenheimer, Fermi, and Szilard, who were knowingly part of the scheme.

We received reports on the progress of the Manhattan Project from Oppenheimer and his friends in oral form, through comments and asides, and from documents transferred through clandestine methods with their full knowledge that the information they were sharing would be passed on. In all, there were five classified reports made available by Oppenheimer describing the progress of work on the atomic bomb.

United States

#42 Dec 15, 2010
Obama File 98 Obama Science Czar Holdren's Pro - Soviet Associations
Page 2

Not only were we informed of technical developments in the atomic program, but we heard in detail the human conflicts and rivalries among the members of the team at Los Alamos. A constant theme was tension with General Groves, director of the project. We were told of Groves's conflicts with Szilard. Groves was outraged by Szilard's iconoclastic style and his refusal to accept the strictures of military discipline. The "baiting of brass hats" was Szilard's self-professed hobby. Groves believed that Szilard was a security risk and tried to prevent him from working on the Manhattan Project despite Szilard's seminal contribution to the development of the first atomic chain reaction with Fermi...

According to Sudaplatov, Oppenheimer and Szilard were also to play an important role after WW2.

We knew that Oppenheimer would remain an influential person in America after the war and therefore our relations with him should not take the form of running a controlled agent. We understood that he and other members of the scientific community were best approached as friends, not as agents. Since Oppenheimer, Bohr, and Fermi were fierce opponents of violence, they would seek to prevent a nuclear war, creating a balance of power through sharing the secrets of atomic energy. This would be a crucial factor in establishing the new world order after the war, and we took advantage of this...

After our reactor was put into operation in 1946, Beria issued orders to stop all contacts with our American sources in the Manhattan Project; the FBI was getting close to uncovering some of our agents. Beria said we should think how to use Oppenheimer, Fermi, Szilard, and others around them in the peace campaign against nuclear armament. Disarmament and the inability to impose nuclear blackmail would deprive the United States of its advantage. We began a worldwide political campaign against nuclear superiority, which kept up until we exploded our own nuclear bomb, in 1949. Our goal was to preempt American power politically before the Soviet Union had its own bomb. Beria warned us not to compromise Western scientists, but to use their political influence...

They started as antifascists, and became political advocates of the Soviet Union.

Several of Oppenheimer's relatives were Communist Party members.

Szilard was almost sacked from the Manhattan Project as as a "security risk". In the 1960s he was involved with radical Washington DC "think tank", the Institute for Policy Studies - infamous for its ties to foreign intelligence services and currently a source of policy ideas for the Obama administration.

Bulletin founding sponsor, Edward U. Condon was mentioned by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover in a May 1947 letter to US secretary of commerce Averill Harriman.

Hoover claimed that that Condon was, as late as 1947, in contact with an alleged spy who had engaged in espionage for the Soviets in Washington from 1941 to 1944.

Condon was also close to Polish Embassy personnel, several members of the Communist Party USA and served on the executive of an affiliate of the National Council of American-Soviet Science Friendship.

Other Bulletin founding sponsors included Harold C. Urey, a veteran of more than 20 Communist Party USA fronts, communist sympathizer Hans Bethe and "security risk" Isidor Rabi.

By the time John Holdren was working on the Bulletin's Board of Editors in 1984, the situation had not greatly improved.

Holdren's fellow board member Deborah Shapley, was the grand-daughter of astronomer Harlow Shapley, a veteran of dozens of Communist Party fronts.

Sponsors of the Bulletin at that time included the old hands, Edward U. Condon, Hans Bethe, Robert Oppenheimer, Isidor Rabi and Harold C. Urey.

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