Ben Weingarten

Reader. Writer. Thinker. Commentator. Truth Seeker.

Tag: Communism

How Leftism Supplanted Judaism and Subverted Israel and Zionism Under ‘Tikkun Olam’ — Social Justice with a Perverse and Baseless Religious Veneer


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My Guest

Jonathan Neumann has written perhaps the seminal book on how modern Jewry has supplanted its traditional values and principles with Leftism, based on a perverse, sophistic reading of the concept of tikkun olam, “healing the world,” that demands devotion to social justice as the highest good and organizing principle of the Jewish religion.

By way of background, Neumann is a graduate of Cambridge University and the London School of Economics. He has written for various American, British, and Israeli publications, was the Tikvah Fellow at Commentary magazine, and has served as assistant editor at Jewish Ideas Daily.

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China Chills ‘Rumor Spreaders’ Because It Can’t Handle The Truth of Communist Wreckage

The recent collapse of the Chinese stock market, and the inability of the country’s central planners to “successfully” intervene and stop the slide of prices artificially elevated thanks to their previous intervention is a serious rebuke to the Communist regime.

That is why today the Chinese government is seeking out scapegoats, reportedly arresting around 200 people for “rumor-mongering” or related “violations” in connection with the market selloff and recent Tianjin chemical factory explosion.

This follows a series of other desperate moves:

Since an epic stock boom went bust this summer, China’s government has struggled to contain the crisis, ordering the press to downplay the story, and periodically singling out scapegoats, from hostile foreign forces, to“malicious” short-sellers, to the U.S. Federal Reserve and now, the press.

Notably, concerning this latest round of illiberal and ill-conceived “damage control,” the Chinese authorities forced a financial journalist named Wang Xiaolu to “confess” on Chinese state television to one such supposed violation resulting from a report he published in late July in which he indicated that the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) was contemplating ceasing share price “stabilization” efforts.

And all of this because the Communist Chinese regime cannot handle the truth that it has blown a bubble of epic proportions that like all bubbles must end in liquidation; all of this because the Communist Chinese regime cannot bear to take responsibility for its failed central planning reflected in plunging financial asset prices.

The free flow of information, like the free flow of ideas and capital, is anathema to totalitarian regimes, and indeed dangerous to them.

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21 Thoughts About The Fed, China, Markets and #BlackMonday 2015

First, if we really are entering a global bear market worldwide, this must be said up front:

The Fatal Conceit aside, here are my 2 Bitcoins worth of thoughts in the wake of today’s market convulsions:

1) People ought to stop thinking The Federal Reserve can drop manna from the heavens.

The Fed is not G-d. It is a group of very mortal central planners who control the cost of money. Unfortunately now, they control so much more, in an attempt to manipulate the prices of financial assets and prop up whole industries.

We should pray for a world in which people’s lives do not hinge on transcripts of Fed minutes.

2) The Fed has zero incentive to raise rates and extricate itself from financial markets.

It will always find an excuse (turbulence in the markets, tepid growth, political uncertainty) to follow the path of least resistance (in this case keeping the Fed Funds rate at 0% ad infinitum). What political reason could it possibly have to allow interest rates and prices to normalize?

Peter Schiff agrees:

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America Naively Swoons While Communist Cuba Cracks Down

What is it about dictatorships that make Americans swoon?

Juxtaposing two recent articles published within 24 hours of each other on Cuba is instructive.

First, a Wall Street Journal article titled “Amid Thaw, First Authorized U.S. Yacht Sails to Cuba on Hopes of Travel Surge” reads:

The 78-foot Still Water docked in the marina late Wednesday after a four-hour jaunt. Aboard the sleek yacht were three crew and 12 passengers eager to see Cuba before the sharp economic and social change that many Americans expect to sweep the country as a long-frozen U.S.-Cuba relationship thaws. Some also hoped to sniff out business opportunities that such a transformation might spawn.

“Being born in the 50s and being indoctrinated the way we were, it’s interesting to be able to see this,” said 57-year-old passenger Jack McClurg, who manages his personal investments from Colorado and sails the Caribbean in his own 115-foot Italian-made yacht. “I’m just wanting to see this change happening.”

… Though Presidents Barack Obama and Raúl Castro agreed in December to restore diplomatic relations between their countries, the trade embargo remains largely in effect. But officials and entrepreneurs in both countries are chipping at its edges, hoping to marry U.S. investors with Cuba’s hope to revive its economy.

“The genie of free enterprise is out of the bottle and it is a powerful genie,” Jose Viera, a retired senior Cuban diplomat, assured the yacht’s group in a private briefing. [Emphasis mine]

Contrast this sunny view with what is actually happening on the island to non-apparitchiks:

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An interview with Lt. Gen. Ion Pacepa, the highest ranking Soviet bloc intel officer to ever defect

In a gripping interview with Blaze Books in connection with his most-recent title, “Disinformation“, the highest-ranking Soviet bloc intelligence officer to ever defect, Lt. Gen. Ion Pacepa provided his insights on a wide array of topics, from Putin’s Russia to the disinformation campaign to rebrand Pope Pius XII to “Hitler’s Pope” to the links between Leftism and anti-Semitism to the Boston bombing, and all things in-between.

Below is our interview, which was conducted via email. It has been abridged for readability. All citations are courtesy of Lt. Gen. Pacepa.

Playing devil’s advocate here, some might argue that since the Soviet Union was defeated, Americans shouldn’t care about a book on Soviet disinformation tactics. What would you say to these people?

Pacepa: The very idea that the Soviet Union was defeated is disinformation in itself. The Soviet Union changed its name and dropped its façade of Marxism, but it remained the same samoderzhaviye, the historical Russian form of autocracy in which a tsar is running the country with the help of his political police.

During the Soviet Union, the KGB was a state within the state. Now the KGB is the state. Over 6,000 former KGB officers are running Russia’s federal and local governments. The Soviet Union had one KGB officer for every 428 citizens. In 2004, Russia had one FSB officer for every 297 citizens.

How would you describe today’s Russia?

Russia today is the first intelligence dictatorship in history. It is a brand new form of totalitarianism, which we are not yet familiar with. Now the KGB, rechristened FSB, is openly running Russia.

On Sept. 11, 2002, hordes of former KGB officers gathered in Moscow at the Lubyanka—the headquarters of the old and new KGB. They had not congregated to sympathize with America’s national tragedy of the previous year, but to celebrate the 125th birthday of Feliks Dzerzhinsky—the man who created the most criminal institution in contemporary history. One of my former bosses, KGB chairman Vladimir Semichastny, groused to a crowd: “I think a goal was set to destroy the KGB, to make it toothless.”[1] A few days later, Moscow’s mayor, Yury Lushkov, one of Russia’s most influential politicians, reversed himself by saying he now wanted to restore Dzerzhinsky’s statue to its place on Lubyanka Square.

It will not be easy to break Russia’s five-century-old tradition of being a police state. Nevertheless, man would not have learned to walk on the moon had he not first studied what the moon was really made of and where it lay in the universe. This is one reason we wrote “Disinformation.” Let’s hope a new generation of Russians will learn the truth, and will give that immense country a new national identity.

What would you hope is the primary takeaway for readers from your book?

Pacepa: That Marxism and its earthly Socialism are immense disinformation operations, and that all they have left behind is former Marxist countries that ended up looking like trailer camps hit by a hurricane, and leaders roasting in Dante’s Inferno. That all Marxists who have ever risen to lead a country have ended up in hell—all, from Trotsky to Stalin, Tito to Enver Hoxha to Mátyás Rakosi, Sékou Touré, Nyeree and Hugo Chavez. That all had their days of temporary glory, but that all ended in eternal disgrace. Some, like Khrushchev and Ceausescu, were even found unworthy of having their final resting place marked by any gravestone. A few remnants, like Fidel and Raul Castro, are still hanging on, but they certainly have a place in hell reserved and waiting for them.

Perhaps our book may also help President Obama abandon his craving for Marx’s utopian ideology, “to each according to his need,” which is transforming the United States into a decaying socialist country in all but name.

Read more at TheBlaze…

Free Speech in Name Only

The cruel irony of what happened to Maria Conchita Alonso this past week lies in the following: Here was a woman descended from Communist Cuba, who emigrated to the United States from Communist Venezuela, only to find herself a victim of the more insidious totalitarianism of a monolithic Leftist artistic establishment.

For those unfamiliar, Maria Conchita Alonso is a Cuban-born, Venezuelan-raised actress who had the temerity to endorse a conservative gubernatorial candidate in California. Even worse, in an interview she said she supported candidate Tim Donnelley’s views on immigration, using the term “illegal” to describe immigrants who were here…well…illegally.

Maria Conchita Alonso with candidate Tim Donnelly. (Image source: YouTube raw video)

The penalty for her thought crime? Alonso was compelled to “resign” from her role in a Spanish-Language version of the “Vagina Monologues” set to run in San Francisco’s Mission District in mid-February.

Eliana Lopez, the producer of the show, and herself a fellow Venezuelan actress, said “We really cannot have her in the show, unfortunately…Of course she has the right to say whatever she wants. But we’re in the middle of Mission. Doing what she is doing is against what we believe.”

Stated differently, here was a Hispanic woman telling another Hispanic woman that her views on Hispanic immigration were too odious to be given sanction by a role in a performance. Apparently not all wise Latina women are born equal.

Maria Conchita Alonso is just the latest in a series of victims of the Left’s fatwa against anyone who does not hew to the party line in recent years.

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

Dear Mayor de Blasio: Don’t Condemn New York to Detroit’s Fate

Dear Mayor de Blasio:

In your inaugural address you called for an end to economic and social inequality in New York. You said you wanted to improve education and build a strong economy, taking dead aim at the “Tale of Two Cities” of New York. The antidote for the ailments you say plague this city is to follow progressive principles not seen since the Dinkins administration. However, such a path will inevitably lead to greater inequity and economic deterioration in New York, harming most those who can afford it least.

More instructive than the rhetorical fiction found in the “Tale of Two Cities” is the real-life tale of two countries (Hoppe, 48-52). There were once two countries that sat side by side. Their people shared the same ethnic background, language, history and culture. Many of their citizens were not only related by a shared heritage, but by blood. In fact, the two countries were once one big country.

One country practiced what you referred to as “trickle-down” economics, which is less pejoratively referred to as free market or laissez-faire capitalism. In this country all people were guaranteed freedom of movement, trade and profession; existing price controls were abolished with a single pen stroke. The other country instituted a full slate of progressive policies, consisting of governmental control of all sectors of the economy, and driven by an underlying devotion to egalitarianism – i.e. a focus on reducing economic and social inequality, as you intend to do.

The wall between East and West Berlin was heavily guarded from the 1940s until 1991. Photo Credit: www.boston.com

The country that practiced free market capitalism in the ensuing decades developed the highest standard of living on its continent. Its progressive neighbor lagged behind – so far behind in fact that despite wealth transfers from the free market country to the progressive country, people sought to flee the progressive country. They did so to such a degree that the leaders of the progressive country had to establish strict border controls just to keep their citizens from emigrating en masse. When border policies failed to stem the exodus of citizens, the progressive country ended emigration altogether by building a physical barrier between the two countries, consisting of walls, barbed wire fences and even land mines.

The ending to this tale of two countries is bittersweet: East Germany did ultimately shed the yoke of socialist control imposed by the Soviet Union, but more than two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, its denizens have yet to recover from this experiment with progressivism. And West Germany, the country whose citizens miraculously recovered from and prospered under a free market system following the Second World War has, to its own detriment, increasingly implemented progressive policies over the years that have retarded its growth. Yet by practically every economic measure, the gap between East Germany and West Germany persists.

So my question is this: Why will it be different this time? Have not little “East Germany’s” sprung up all over the United States in recent decades, with cities implementing progressive policies with the same disastrous results over and over again — failed education systems, mass unemployment, sky-high crime rates, bankrupt governments, and perhaps most cripplingly, the destruction of nuclear families? If the progressive policies you support have consistently wrought destruction from Detroit to Newark to Chicago, why are you so dead-set on condemning New York’s most at-risk citizens — minorities, single mothers and the poor — to the same tragic fate?

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

Ira Stoll on JFK Part I: Tax cuts, tough on military, tough on communists, attacked by left-wingers

In a wide-ranging interview with Blaze Books in connection with his newest title, JFK, Conservative, Ira Stoll provided his insights on JFK’s political ideology, religiosity, foreign policy views and a whole host of other topics. Below is Part I of our interview, conducted via email. The interview has been slightly edited for clarity.

What inspired you to write this book?

Stoll: I grew up in Massachusetts and went to Harvard, and so it was hard to avoid the Kennedys. When the JFK Presidential Library opened in Boston, I went with my parents, with my high school, with my Boy Scout troop. As I got older, I heard my conservative friends dismissing all Kennedys as a bunch of drinkers and philanderers, and I heard my liberal friends admiring JFK for what I thought were the wrong reasons. So I wrote this book to set both the conservatives and the liberals straight and to restore an accurate picture of Kennedy.

Why should skeptical conservatives read this book?

Stoll: This book is the antidote to the false story put out by liberal Kennedy historians and journalists after the president’s death that Kennedy was a liberal. If you want to understand tax cuts and economic growth and peace through strength, you’ve got to understand Kennedy. Even if you think you don’t like JFK, you should buy and read this book — it may well change your mind. It explains why President Ronald Reagan talked about Kennedy as his inspiration for his tax cuts and military buildup. The only way to correct the distortions put out by the liberal historians in their bestselling JFK books — distortions I point out in my book — is to make this book a bestseller.

Read more at TheBlaze…

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