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Bernie Sanders: Not Socialist Enough

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Robert Schroeder writes: Self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders isn’t socialist enough for many socialists.

“He is really a lot closer in ideology to Hillary Clinton than he is to me….I don’t think he is a socialist. He ignores socialist countries.”

— Stephen Durham, the 2012 presidential nominee of the Freedom Socialist Party

“He is for reforming capitalism, not changing capitalism,” Stephen Durham, the 2012 presidential nominee of the Freedom Socialist Party, told Bloomberg. “He is really a lot closer in ideology to Hillary Clinton than he is to me.” Bloomberg speaks to others and finds an endless debate over whether the Vermont senator challenging Clinton for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination is a bona fide socialist.

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“I don’t think he is a socialist. He ignores socialist countries,” said Gloria La Riva, the 2016 presidential nominee for the Party of Socialism and Liberation. Sanders will debate Clinton and three other Democratic presidential hopefuls Tuesday night….(read more)

Source: MarketWatch

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Jews Finding Less Comfort on the Left 

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Jews, particularly those of European descent, likely will continue to support left-leaning politics more than those of the Right. But lock-step support for the Left seems destined to weaken, says Joel Kotkin.

Joel Kotkin writes: Jews are a contradictory people. Overall, achievement-oriented and very capitalistic, Jewish educational and self-employment statistics are among the highest for any religious group. They are also politically powerful; amounting to roughly 2 percent of the U.S. population – half their percentage a half century ago – Jews account for nine of 100 U.S. senators and 19 of 435 members of the House.

Yet if Jews have achieved significant economic and political power, they have done so primarily as Democrats. Only one of the 28 Jews in Congress is a Republican – Lee Zeldin from New York’s Long Island – and the one independent, Vermont’s Bernie Sanders, is enough of a Democrat to be running, with surprising success, for that party’s presidential nomination….

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…in recent years, anti-Semitism and, particularly, anti-Zionism have shifted ever more to the Left. Over a decade ago, my wife and I visited Serge and Beate Klarsfeld, the famed French Nazi hunters, at their Paris office. Although they expressed concern about the traditional anti-Semitism of Jean Marie Le Pen’s National Front party, they were more alarmed about a rising new virulent strain from a combination of Islamic and left-leaning sources.

The massive movement of Muslims into Europe – now accelerating into a tsunamic wave – is accelerating these trends. The European Left, long enamored of radicals from the developing world, increasingly adopts the notion that Israel represents the ultimate political atrocity.

[Read the full text here, at The Orange County Register]

The most obvious manifestation now is the powerful drive to force European universities to divest themselves of investments in Israeli companies and even ban Israeli academics. This is occurring even though Israel, with all its many imperfections, is by far the most democratic, feminist and gay-tolerant country in that exceedingly bad neighborhood.

It’s hard not to see anti-Semitic ideas in this assault. You can certainly oppose, as I do, some Israeli policies – notably settlement expansion in the West Bank – as both wrong and tactically disastrous, without censuring an entire country. Anti-Israel protesters seem less than troubled to associate with Hamas and other terrorist group who have even chanted “Jews, Jews to the gas” at demonstrations joined by the Left.

Fear is also on the streets; there are so many incidents of violence against Jews in France that Jewish children are advised not to wear yarmulkes or any other outward signs of their faith.

These trends are reshaping European politics. Long tied to the Left, Jews in France, for example, by a good margin now support the Gaullist right. Even Marine Le Pen, who has submerged her father’s anti-Semitic views, appeals to Jewish votes by opposing Muslim immigration. At the same time, as Muslim voters already vastly outnumber Jews, the French Left has to respond to its growing constituency, the vast majority of whom supported Socialist Francois Hollande in the most-recent election.

A similar process has occurred in Britain, where, even with the nominally Jewish Ed Milliband at the top of the ticket, Labor lost heavily to the Conservatives among Jews. Milliband’s successor as Labor leader, far-left icon Jeremy Corbyn, describes the Islamists of Hamas and Hezbollah as “good friends.” Polls show two-thirds of British Jews alarmed by Corbyn’s rise. Read the rest of this entry »


Bring Out the Fainting Couches: Early-Onset Ted Cruz Derangement Syndrome Begins!

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Ted Cruz is a REAL THREAT!

For truth-truth-out.org, Steve Jonas warns:

…Cruz chose to announce his candidacy at the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, which was during Reagan’s time and still is a hot-bed of Republican-Christian Rightism. As noted, his platform sounds very much like Hague’s. But further, he claimed that “Americans’ liberties” are granted by “God,” and that that wording is found in the Constitution. In fact, neither the word “God” nor the word “Christian” is to be found anywhere in the Constitution. Cruz was in fact referencing the Declaration of Independence (which while a great document is not part of the Constitution), misquoting it by claiming that the famous phrase about “inalienable rights” were said to “be endowed” by God. Actually, this is mistake, intentional or not, the the Repubs. are making over-and-over again, with increasing frequency. The writers of the Declaration, who could certainly have chosen the word “God,” chose instead the word Creator. It happens that I, a non-theistic Reasonist, am entirely comfortable with that word, for for me our Creators are the immutable laws of chemistry, physics, and biology.

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Cruz’ concept of “God” is at the very center of his thinking. I do believe that, unlike the character J.D. Hague, who just used “the preachers” as he called them, to gain power, Cruz really believes this stuff, which makes him even more dangerous. A right-wing columnist said that talking privately with Ted Cruz was like listening to a set of stump speeches.

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Although he is now regarded as a long shot, his shot may not be so long, especially because right at the beginning of his speech he talked about getting a very strong ground game going. He will not only be able to call upon the Christian Right (and “Evangelicals” is a polite misnomer: there are plenty of non-Republican, non-political evangelicals). Of course, he will also be able to call upon the Tea Party activists of the type who propelled him to the Senate in Texas.

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So Ted Cruz is a real threat. And if he gets the GOP nomination he is not going to be defeated by arguing about what the Constitution doesn’t say about “God” and “Christianity.” Nor is he going to be defeated by talking simply about women’s rights and gay rights, just in the context of those rights, per se, which certainly exist under any reading of the Constitution besides that of Cruz and his ilk, as found in Article VI and the First, Ninth, and 14th Amendments. The attack has to go on to Cruz’ own ground, that which he claims as “religious liberty.” Read the rest of this entry »


The Broken Window Theory of ObamaCare

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Read more about it at Breitbart.com – Ted Cruz and the broken window theory of ObamaCare


The 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech: 2013

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Greg Lukianoff writes:  College is where inquisitive minds go to be exposed to new ways of thinking. But on some campuses, the quest for knowledge is frustrated when administrators censor speech they would prefer be kept out of the marketplace of ideas.

To close out the year, we at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) want to highlight some of the worst colleges for free speech since March 2012 — the last time we published this list. (Our first list, from 2011, is here.)

Most of the schools we include in this year’s list are public colleges or universities bound by the First Amendment. But some of them are private colleges that, though not required by the Constitution to respect student and faculty free speech rights, nonetheless promise to do so. (As we said last year, if you’re looking for schools like Brigham Young or Liberty University to appear on this list, you’ll be disappointed. Students who attend those schools know what they’re getting themselves into.) One of the institutions listed isn’t even a college, but still deserves special mentioning for the profound effect it had on campus expression this year.

Of course, a “top 10” list cannot include all the colleges that violated free speech rights over the last nearly two years. Two notable colleges that are not on the list include Modesto Junior College (MJC), where, earlier this year, a student was ordered to stop handing out Constitutions on Constitution Day. It was a huge case and would have made the list if not for a recent decision by the college to dramatically improve its policies. MJC dropped some of the worst features of its original policy and have pledged to adopt a permanent policy change that respects the First Amendment. FIRE is optimistic, but will monitor the situation closely, so stay tuned.

The other college is the University of Kansas (KU), which just announced a highly restrictive social media policy for all staff and professors in the wake of a controversial tweet by a journalism professor. We just wrote to the school and want to give KU the chance to respond and/or reform the policy.

For those interested in learning more about the the fight for student rights, check out my book, Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate. In the book, I highlight even more examples of egregious free speech violations from my 12-year fight for basic liberties at colleges across the country.

  • The State University of New York College at Oswego

    The State University of New York at Oswego (SUNY Oswego) earns its rightful place on this list for nonsensically suspending a student who asked rival hockey coaches for their thoughts about his school’s coach in order to complete a class assignment. Because he simply informed the coaches through email that they did not have to say only positive things about their SUNY Oswego counterpart, student Alex Myers was alleged to “defame, harass, intimidate, or threaten another individual or group.” As a result of the charges, Myers was placed on interim suspension and forced to vacate his campus residence. After intense public pressure from FIRE and media outlets like Gawker, the university eventually dropped Myers’ suspension and allowed him to return to campus—but only after the school sent a destructive message to student journalists about asking tough questions.

  • Harvard University

    In George Orwell’s <em>1984</em>, one of the methods that the government of Oceania used to control its population was constant surveillance. Citizens were afraid to speak their minds because they never knew when they were being monitored by “Big Brother.” If you’re a member of the Harvard University community, you might have that same uneasy feeling after it was revealed earlier this year that the administration violated school policy in covertly accessing 16 residential deans’ email accounts. The search was undertaken to determine the source of a leak to the media about a high-profile cheating scandal on campus. The deans, who also serve as lecturers within the school, weren’t notified that their email accounts were accessed until months after it occurred. As Harvard’s student newspaper The Crimson reports, the effect of the covert search has been a chilling effect on faculty speech. Though an official university investigation into the affair concluded that the search was conducted in “good faith,” the administrator responsible for ordering the search has resigned. The question remains: how safe are Harvard students and faculty from future snooping efforts? (Also: Check out other censorship, free speech, and rights issues at Harvard over the last decade)

  • University of Alabama

    The University of Alabama earns its place on this year’s list through its bureaucratic assault on common sense and the Constitution. In April 2013, the Alabama Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Justice (AASRJ) student group was blocked from mounting a peaceful counter-demonstration to a Bama Students for Life “Genocide Awareness Project” display that featured graphic abortion-related images. When AASRJ students tried to hand out their materials near the display, they were told by a police officer that without a grounds use permit, they could face arrest. Why not get the permit? For one, Alabama’s grounds use policy requires applicants to apply for a permit 10 working days in advance. This put groups like AASRJ—which had less than 24 hours to plan its counter-demonstration—out of luck. But that’s almost beside the point: It’s absurd that students at any public university should ever have to request permission from their colleges to exercise basic free speech rights, like handing out literature in the campus’ public spaces. Although Alabama slightly revised its policy in response to pressure from FIRE, concerns still remain. Administrators still enjoy far too much discretion in approving permit requests, and the fact remains that spontaneous events—a common feature of college life—are still unduly restricted Read the rest of this entry »