BEN WEINGARTEN

Reader. Writer. Thinker. Commentator. Truth Seeker.

Tag: Progressivism (Page 1 of 2)

PragerU’s Free Speech Lawsuit Challenges Silicon Valley’s Anti-Conservative Bias

On the heels of my comprehensive Gatestone Institute analysis on Big Tech’s jihad against counterjihadist speech, PragerU, the purveyor of educational videos on topics ranging from national security to private property rights — which itself has seen its counterjihadist content censored — filed suit against Google/YouTube.

The charge? Alleged ideological discrimination in restricting/disadvantaging PragerU’s content on the basis of PragerU’s conservative bent, in violation of its First Amendment rights.

I analyze PragerU’s case, and argue that lawfare is but one tool among many we must be using to preserve free speech in cyberspace.

Read the whole thing here.

Israel’s Temple Mount Policy is a Microcosm of What Ails the West

In a new piece for the Claremont Review of Books, I argue that Israel’s Temple Mount policy from its reclamation in 1967 to today — intended to appease Arab aggressors — is a microcosm of what ails the West. In fact, it reflects the perfect symbol of our civilization’s lack of confidence in its moral legitimacy, sovereignty, and the right to defend against aggression.

Here’s a taste:

Israel does not err alone. The Temple Mount, which is core to the Judeo-Christian world generally, and to Israel—which is the first line of defense of Western civilization against Islamic supremacism—is symbolic of the West’s broader ideological maladies. Leftism sees the West as an evil, oppressive, occupying force. The hysterical reaction to President Trump’s Poland speech in defense of Western civilization—which was read by the Left with scare quotes as a defense of racism and colonialism—is the product of such “progressive” brainwashing.

The West has deemed itself morally illegitimate, the decadent and depraved creation of dead European white males. To make up for real and imagined historic injustices, the West has frequently repudiated its fundamental principles, and actively undermined its institutions. Its crisis of moral legitimacy is revealed in virulently anti-religious secularism, and in attacks on the natural rights to life, liberty, and property by an administrative state operating without the consent of the people.

The West’s lack of confidence in its sovereignty is revealed in open-borders policies that result in endless migrant floods, regardless of whether the migrants will or can enhance economic or social development. Progressive activists go so far as to imply that every migrant—legal or not—has an inherent right to citizenship, or at least to the rights guaranteed by citizenship. The multicultural credo that holds all cultures to be equal and inherently valuable is thought to obviate the need for borders.

The West’s unwillingness to defend itself against Islamic aggression reveals itself in Europe’s “no-go zones.” In America, it reveals itself through our see-no-Islam national security and foreign policy, and in the pervasive belief that we must appease our enemies with bribery (Iran Deal), sacrifice our rights (anti-free speech measures so as not to offend), or remove our defenses through politically correct policies chiefly oriented towards concession rather than victory (“Countering Violent Extremism”). At the heart of these policies is a belief that the West is the aggressor, and our enemies are the aggrieved.

The West’s lack of confidence ultimately extends to its right to survive. If one of the least abashed Western nations won’t assert itself at Temple Mount, it is hard to be sure where other nations will draw lines they are prepared to defend without yielding.

Read the whole thing here.

CPAC Media Hits: Politics With Glenn Beck, National Security With Frank Gaffney and Academia With Sandy Rios

During my time at CPAC 2016, I had the opportunity to go on-air with several personalities. Below you can find my appearances:

With My Old Boss Glenn Beck Talking a Republican Contested Convention, Rule 40B and More [Begins at 1:36:55]

With the Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney Talking Progressive Foreign Policy, Counterjihadism and the 2016 Presidential Election

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‘Inequality’ Does Not Cause ISIS, Or How Our Western Materialist Worldview is Killing Us

Recently, world-renowned French socialist economist Thomas Piketty proffered the argument that “inequality” is the cause of ISIS.

While it may not be surprising given that Piketty’s life work has been dedicated to studying inequality (and arguing that to eradicate it we ought to tear down the capitalist system), Piketty revealed a critical insight about the Western elite: It believes global jihadism is attributable to materialist factors.

I challenge this thesis in my latest piece over at the indispensable City Journal titled Did Inequality Cause ISIS?, and argue that in order to effectively combat the global jihad, we must look at the world through the same prism as Islamic supremacists, not the materialist one apparently subscribed to by our entire foreign policy Establishment, including but not limited to the Obama administration (see “jobs for jihadis”).

Also, the great Dan Bongino spoke about my piece during his Conservative Review podcast. Listen starting at 21:13 below:

 

Featured Image Source: LiveLeak screengrab.

The Massive Tower that Donald Trump is Building in Jeb Bush’s Head

On Monday 10/26, I sat in as a guest again on Newsmax TV’s “The Daily Wrap.”

During the episode, we had the chance to discuss a variety of issues including the travesty that is the IRS scandal and the lack of recourse for its victims, staggering new numbers about the perilous state of our economy as reflected in the percentage of Americans making under $30,000 per year, Donald Trump’s recent attack on Ben Carson, and Trump’s persistent needling of Jeb Bush and the massive Trump tower he is currently constructing in Bush’s head.

You can watch the show in full, along with some particularly pertinent clips below.

Full Episode

The Massive Trump Tower that “The Donald” is Constructing in Jeb Bush’s Head

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When Progressive Policies Cause Creative Destruction

Be sure to check out my latest article over at The Federalist, where I examine the collision course we are on between technological advancement/automation and progressive policies that are ironically causing technological advancement/automation to accelerate, low-skill progressive voters be damned.

Here’s a taste:

For years now, we have seen headlines foretelling a doomsday scenario in which mass numbers of Americans are thrown out of work, replaced by computers, robots, and other time-saving, liability-minimizing machines. Human capital is not static, and not all process changes will happen all at once. Different industries evolve at different speeds, and human beings are adaptive. Yet it is only natural that businesses need continually seek ways to lower costs to profit and survive, and automation is a key means by which to do so.

In an age in which the “deadweight loss” attributable to taxes, compliance, and hyper-regulation is massive, automation will become far cheaper than having to hire, train, and pay severance to human beings. Since regulation is the mother of innovation, so artificially high costs from other forms of government intervention will force businesses to innovate by first replacing full-time workers with temporary ones, and eventually with cost-effective machines that do not require health and welfare benefits and pensions.

This presents an interesting conundrum for a Progressive coalition that relies in part upon the very poor. To the degree to which large-scale Progressive reforms like Obamacare and the recently popular $15 minimum wage raises the cost of doing business, the move to automate will only accelerate, hurting most those lower-skilled, generally poorer constituencies, which happen to be politically Progressive. This “creative destruction” will be an unwelcome development to many manual laborers, a betrayal to the Progressive political class.

Read the whole thing here.

The Racialist Obama DOJ Uses Taxpayer Dollars to Fund Democratic Dominance

Behold the latest handiwork of J. Christian Adams and Hans von Spakovsky on the DOJ’s voting rights crusade charade, over at National Review.

Amazingly, therein we find the below nugget on the Justice Department’s subsidizing of Catalist in connection with its failed litigation efforts over North Carolina’s election rules:

The Justice Department also pumped untold thousands of dollars into a database run by a company called Catalist. This database has been populated with data provided by the Democratic National Committee, unions, and other liberal organizations and is used to help them win elections. Catalist’s infrastructure and database are expensive to maintain, but fear not, the Justice Department, in the North Carolina trial and elsewhere, has provided federal tax dollars to its expert witnesses so that they could purchase Catalist’s proprietary data. Yes, federal dollars were used to fund a database that will be used next year to try to win the 2016 election for Democratic candidates.

What’s more:

For all the resources expended, the Justice Department’s entire case was built on speculative claims. Not able to produce a single eligible voter who was or would be unable to vote, the plaintiffs relied on hypothetical statistical arguments to claim that the turnout of black voters would be “suppressed” because they might use early voting and same-day registration slightly more than white voters, and because black voters are “less sophisticated voters.” DOJ experts actually made the borderline-racist argument that “it’s less likely to imagine” that black voters could “figure out or would avail themselves of other forms of registering and voting.” That’s a shameful way to enforce a law that was used to protect real victims of real discrimination in the Deep South.

Luckily, reality trumped racialism:

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Obama Bends the Arc of History Towards Justice by Renaming Mt. McKinley to ‘Denali’

Because the West is simply the worst:

President Obama announced on Sunday that Mount McKinley was being renamed Denali, using his executive power to restore an Alaska Native name with deep cultural significance to the tallest mountain in North America.

The move came on the eve of Mr. Obama’s trip to Alaska, where he will spend three days promoting aggressive action to combat climate change, and is part of a series of steps he will make there meant to address the concerns of Alaska Native tribes.

It is the latest bid by the president to fulfill his 2008 campaign promise to improve relations between the federal government and the nation’s Native American tribes, an important political constituency that has a long history of grievances against the government.

Denali’s name has long been seen as one such slight, regarded as an example of cultural imperialism in which a Native American name with historical roots was replaced by an American one having little to do with the place. [Emphasis mine]

Changing the name of a mountain from the surname of a U.S. president to ‘Denali’ is an apt symbol for the Obama presidency, which views the West as the world’s foremost oppressor.

Whether in rewarding our enemies, punishing our allies or elevating Native Americans over Americans, for our morally relativistic Dear Leader this is moral. This is how President Obama corrects for what he perceives as our sins of the past. This is how he makes the arc of history bend towards justice.

It’s a safe bet that

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This is What (de Blasio’s) Democracy Looks Like!

Progressivism: Progress for the politically connected and woe for everyone else.

Here’s what New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s politburo looks like, per the New York Post:

Mayor de Blasio’s patronage mill is churning out junk jobs funded with taxpayer money for longtime pals, campaign grunts and acolytes.

In addition to creating a $150,000 post for Stephanie Yazgi — the longtime girlfriend of his top strategist, Emma Wolfe — de Blasio has created positions to amp up his progressive agenda and national profile and spread propaganda touting his “transcendent” accomplishments.

The city’s television station — led by de Blasio buddy Janet Choi — devotes much of its taxpayer-funded $5.7 million budget to broadcasting his ribbon-cuttings, announcements and features about his friends, including his wedding singer.

His $105,000 digital director, Jessica Singleton, shapes his social-media image while his $69,000 media analyst, Mahen Gunaratna, measures the influence of his messages.

New York’s Community Affairs Unit is the biggest draw for de Blasio cronies:

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Obama’s Progressivism Requires A Zionistrein Democratic Party

Over at Commentary, Jonathan Tobin has a highly perceptive piece on the broader impact of the Obama administration’s scalping of the always outspoken though recently microphone-shy Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

Here is how Tobin explains the Democrats’ visceral emotional reaction to opposition to the Iran deal:

One simple answer might be that it is merely a function of the president’s vindictive nature. It’s no secret that this is a leader who runs a top-down administration that does not encourage vibrant debate within its ranks. Obama is notoriously thin-skinned and seems to take criticism or opposition even more personally than most of its predecessors.

But that only goes so far in explaining why Obama is not respecting Schumer’s need to stay within the pro-Israel fold. After spending years covering for the president’s efforts to pick fights with the Jewish state by claiming that he will always be the guardian (shomer in Hebrew) of the U.S.-Israel alliance, you’d think Schumer was entitled to be cut some slack on Iran.

But that is not what is happening. The White House isn’t content to merely whip Democrats on the issue in an effort to obtain the one-third-plus-one votes they need to sustain a veto of a resolution of disapproval for the Iran deal. Instead, they are sending a rather pointed message to the pro-Israel community that no one, not even a good Democratic soldier and future leader like Schumer, can get away with crossing the president when it comes to his plans for détente with Iran.

Rather than merely another Obama tantrum at the chutzpah of critics, the singling out of Schumer seems to be the beginning of an effort to rid the Democratic leadership of a staunch pro-Israel figure. If we assume, as perhaps we should that the Iran deal will not be stopped, the White House may have already skipped ahead to fighting future battles with Israel over what will happen once the pact is put into effect. Obama has already done his best to isolate Israel and its government and to brand opponents of Iran détente as either mindless GOP partisans or guilty of dual loyalty to Israel. The logical next step is to ensure that no one like Schumer becomes Democratic leader, or at least to inflict the sort of beating on him that will ensure that no many members of his party ever challenge his effort to create daylight with Israel again. The attacks on Democratic opponents of the deal illustrate the depths to which the administration is prepared to sink to win this fight. But it also reflects its desire to downgrade the alliance with the Jewish state and start chipping away at the heretofore solid and bipartisan pro-Israel consensus.

The progressive movement that has overtaken the Democratic Party gains its moral authority in a morally relativistic world in part based on its support of the “oppressed” over the “oppressor.” As Joshua Muravchik ably argues in his Making David Into Goliath, in this construct, Israel has morphed into the
oppressor, swapping roles with the Muslim countries that have wished to destroy her from the time of her founding.

The Leftist-Jihadist nexus of which Andy McCarthy writes, on display from elite college campuses to the president’s cabinet, is perhaps stronger than it has ever been. It believes in punishing the ultimate oppressor, the decadent Judeo-Christian West, by redistributing power to its enemies, including notably Islamic supremacists. The Iran deal under such a formulation is the quintessential example of global social justice.

While many bury their heads in the sand, in its efforts to delegitimize Israel — the West’s first line of defense against those who wish to destroy it — and strengthen its enemies, the Leftist-Jihadist nexus shows that the distinction it makes between anti-Zionism and Jew-hatred is without a difference.

The natural endpoint of all of this, which Tobin hints at, is that the progressive Democratic Party must be Zionistrein. The proof is in the pudding of the Obama era.

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