Archive for February 8, 2009

Puzzled by Obama’s Missteps? Read the Cloward-Piven Strategy

First proposed in 1966 and named after Columbia University sociologists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, the “Cloward-Piven Strategy” seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.

Inspired by the August 1965 riots in the black district of Watts in Los Angeles (which erupted after police had used batons to subdue a black man suspected of drunk driving), Cloward and Piven published an article titled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty” in the May 2, 1966 issue of The Nation. Following its publication, The Nation sold an unprecedented 30,000 reprints. Activists were abuzz over the so-called “crisis strategy” or “Cloward-Piven Strategy,” as it came to be called. Many were eager to put it into effect.

In their 1966 article, Cloward and Piven charged that the ruling classes used welfare to weaken the poor; that by providing a social safety net, the rich doused the fires of rebellion. Poor people can advance only when “the rest of society is afraid of them,” Cloward told The New York Times on September 27, 1970. Rather than placating the poor with government hand-outs, wrote Cloward and Piven, activists should work to sabotage and destroy the welfare system; the collapse of the welfare state would ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation; poor people would rise in revolt; only then would “the rest of society” accept their demands.

The key to sparking this rebellion would be to expose the inadequacy of the welfare state. Cloward-Piven’s early promoters cited radical organizer Saul Alinsky as their inspiration. “Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules,” Alinsky wrote in his 1972 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judaeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system’s failure to “live up” to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist “rule book” with a socialist one.

The authors noted that the number of Americans subsisting on welfare — about 8 million, at the time — probably represented less than half the number who were technically eligible for full benefits. They proposed a “massive drive to recruit the poor onto the welfare rolls.” Cloward and Piven calculated that persuading even a fraction of potential welfare recipients to demand their entitlements would bankrupt the system. The result, they predicted, would be “a profound financial and political crisis” that would unleash “powerful forces … for major economic reform at the national level.”

Their article called for “cadres of aggressive organizers” to use “demonstrations to create a climate of militancy.” Intimidated by threats of black violence, politicians would appeal to the federal government for help. Carefully orchestrated media campaigns, carried out by friendly, leftwing journalists, would float the idea of “a federal program of income redistribution,” in the form of a guaranteed living income for all — working and non-working people alike. Local officials would clutch at this idea like drowning men to a lifeline. They would apply pressure on Washington to implement it. With every major city erupting into chaos, Washington would have to act. This was an example of what are commonly called Trojan Horse movements — mass movements whose outward purpose seems to be providing material help to the downtrodden, but whose real objective is to draft poor people into service as revolutionary foot soldiers; to mobilize poor people en masse to overwhelm government agencies with a flood of demands beyond the capacity of those agencies to meet. The flood of demands was calculated to break the budget, jam the bureaucratic gears into gridlock, and bring the system crashing down. Fear, turmoil, violence and economic collapse would accompany such a breakdown — providing perfect conditions for fostering radical change. That was the theory.

Cloward and Piven recruited a militant black organizer named George Wiley to lead their new movement. In the summer of 1967, Wiley founded the National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO). His tactics closely followed the recommendations set out in Cloward and Piven’s article. His followers invaded welfare offices across the United States — often violently — bullying social workers and loudly demanding every penny to which the law “entitled” them. By 1969, NWRO claimed a dues-paying membership of 22,500 families, with 523 chapters across the nation.

Regarding Wiley’s tactics, The New York Times commented on September 27, 1970, “There have been sit-ins in legislative chambers, including a United States Senate committee hearing, mass demonstrations of several thousand welfare recipients, school boycotts, picket lines, mounted police, tear gas, arrests – and, on occasion, rock-throwing, smashed glass doors, overturned desks, scattered papers and ripped-out phones.”These methods proved effective. “The flooding succeeded beyond Wiley’s wildest dreams,” writes Sol Stern in the City Journal. “From 1965 to 1974, the number of single-parent households on welfare soared from 4.3 million to 10.8 million, despite mostly flush economic times. By the early 1970s, one person was on the welfare rolls in New York City for every two working in the city’s private economy.”As a direct result of its massive welfare spending, New York City was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1975. The entire state of New York nearly went down with it. The Cloward-Piven strategy had proved its effectiveness.

The Cloward-Piven strategy depended on surprise. Once society recovered from the initial shock, the backlash began. New York’s welfare crisis horrified America, giving rise to a reform movement which culminated in “the end of welfare as we know it” — the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which imposed time limits on federal welfare, along with strict eligibility and work requirements. Both Cloward and Piven attended the White House signing of the bill as guests of President Clinton.

Most Americans to this day have never heard of Cloward and Piven. But New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani attempted to expose them in the late 1990s. As his drive for welfare reform gained momentum, Giuliani accused the militant scholars by name, citing their 1966 manifesto as evidence that they had engaged in deliberate economic sabotage. “This wasn’t an accident,” Giuliani charged in a 1997 speech. “It wasn’t an atmospheric thing, it wasn’t supernatural. This is the result of policies and programs designed to have the maximum number of people get on welfare.”
Cloward and Piven never again revealed their intentions as candidly as they had in their 1966 article. Even so, their activism in subsequent years continued to rely on the tactic of overloading the system. When the public caught on to their welfare scheme, Cloward and Piven simply moved on, applying pressure to other sectors of the bureaucracy, wherever they detected weakness.

In 1982, partisans of the Cloward-Piven strategy founded a new “voting rights movement,” which purported to take up the unfinished work of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Like ACORN, the organization that spear-headed this campaign, the new “voting rights” movement was led by veterans of George Wiley’s welfare rights crusade. Its flagship organizations were Project Vote and Human SERVE, both founded in 1982. Project Vote is an ACORN front group, launched by former NWRO organizer and ACORN co-founder Zach Polett. Human SERVE was founded by Richard A. Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, along with a former NWRO organizer named Hulbert James.

All three of these organizations — ACORN, Project Vote and Human SERVE — set to work lobbying energetically for the so-called Motor-Voter law, which Bill Clinton ultimately signed in 1993. The Motor-Voter bill is largely responsible for swamping the voter rolls with “dead wood” — invalid registrations signed in the name of deceased, ineligible or non-existent people — thus opening the door to the unprecedented levels of voter fraud and “voter disenfranchisement” claims that followed in subsequent elections.

The new “voting rights” coalition combines mass voter registration drives — typically featuring high levels of fraud — with systematic intimidation of election officials in the form of frivolous lawsuits, unfounded charges of “racism” and “disenfranchisement,” and “direct action” (street protests, violent or otherwise). Just as they swamped America’s welfare offices in the 1960s, Cloward-Piven devotees now seek to overwhelm the nation’s understaffed and poorly policed electoral system. Their tactics set the stage for the Florida recount crisis of 2000, and have introduced a level of fear, tension and foreboding to U.S. elections heretofore encountered mainly in Third World countries.

Both the Living Wage and Voting Rights movements depend heavily on financial support from George Soros’s Open Society Institute and his “Shadow Party,” through whose support the Cloward-Piven strategy continues to provide a blueprint for some of the Left’s most ambitious campaigns.

So now you know. You don’t have to wonder whether Obama is deliberately trying to bring down capitalism. He is. No need to wonder why ACORN is being “rewarded” with billions.

Read Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Obama is a follower of Alinsky.

From Kausfiles:

Shouldn’t Republicans be making more of a fuss about the provision in the stimulus bill–both House and Senate versions, apparently–that spends $2-3 billion to the states for “temporary welfare payments”? I initially thought Charles Hurt of the N.Y. Post was being alarmist when he suggested the provision would “drastically undo two decades of welfare reforms.” The essence of the 1996 reform was ending the individual legal entitlement to AFDC (cash aid to single mothers, basically) and replacing it with state-run programs that, in theory, require recipients to enter the work force. The stimulus bill doesn’t rip up that basic deal, as I understand it. But it is part of a larger liberal campaign** to use the recession to weaken work requirements and let millions of non-working single mothers back on the welfare rolls. Specifically, it would apparently reward states that expand their welfare caseloads–even if the increase is only the product of loosened work requirements rather than a worsening local economy.

Nothing wrong with helping states avoid anti-stimulating cuts in a recession. Nothing wrong with targeting money to the poorest, who are most likely to spend it quickly. But why use the aid specifically to encourage expansion of welfare?

Well, it makes sense if the purpose is not to “stimulate” the economy but to effect a fall of the state.

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Dutch Astrophysicists Predict Dalton-Type Minimum

Read about it in Journal of Atmospheric and Solar Terrestrial Physics.

“So what? Who cares?” you may say. Well, temperatures that drop sharply and a much drier California will have implications for agriculture, to begin with. If California has advance warning of a possible prolonged drought of 70 to 100 years, they’d probably better get busy on those desalination plants that have been blocked by environmentalists. Having no water to drink would definitely have a deleterious effect on property values just when even more people would want to move out of the cold north and into the warmer southwest.

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Medical Data Linking Autism to Vaccines Was Faked

Read the sordid story here.

That was bad enough, but Lancet was also complicit in changing the data:

From The Sunday TimesFebruary 8, 2009

THE doctor who sparked the scare over the safety of the MMR vaccine for children changed and misreported results in his research, creating the appearance of a possible link with autism, a Sunday Times investigation has found.

Confidential medical documents and interviews with witnesses have established that Andrew Wakefield manipulated patients’ data, which triggered fears that the MMR triple vaccine to protect against measles, mumps and rubella was linked to the condition.

The research was published in February 1998 in an article in The Lancet medical journal. It claimed that the families of eight out of 12 children attending a routine clinic at the hospital had blamed MMR for their autism, and said that problems came on within days of the jab. The team also claimed to have discovered a new inflammatory bowel disease underlying the children’s conditions.

However, our investigation, confirmed by evidence presented to the General Medical Council (GMC), reveals that: In most of the 12 cases, the children’s ailments as described in The Lancet were different from their hospital and GP records. Although the research paper claimed that problems came on within days of the jab, in only one case did medical records suggest this was true, and in many of the cases medical concerns had been raised before the children were vaccinated. Hospital pathologists, looking for inflammatory bowel disease, reported in the majority of cases that the gut was normal. This was then reviewed and the Lancet paper showed them as abnormal.

Read more here about how Andrew Wakefield faked data on MMR vaccines for financial gain.

This is very serious. Children have died from childhood diseases preventable by vaccination because the parents believed (and still believe) this research. A medical journal not only published the research but may have actively assisted in falsifying the data.

So, who do we trust on “science”? Not Lancet. This latest revelation takes it well out of the realm of science and into the realm of quackery.

Remember the DDT fury, the banning of which was not science but alarmism? The actual reason for banning was not the stated reason (problems with bird reproduction) because there was no scientific connection between bird reproduction problems and DDT.

Population control advocates blamed DDT for increasing third world population. In the 1960s, World Health Organization authorities believed there was no alternative to the overpopulation problem but to assure than up to 40 percent of the children in poor nations would die of malaria. As an official of the Agency for International Development stated, “Rather dead than alive and riotously reproducing.”

[Desowitz, RS. 1992. Malaria Capers, W.W. Norton & Company]

You are going to have to look upon various “scientific” pronouncements with a very jaundiced eye and a healthy scepticism as to the safety of your wallet (and family).

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Tragedy in Australia

australianfireshomeburning

AT least 84 people are dead in the bushfires ripping through Victoria, in a disaster which has eclipsed the state’s Ash Wednesday devastation of two decades ago.

Authorities are continuing a grim search for more bodies as horrific eyewitness accounts emerge from devastated communities. It was estimated at least 750 homes had been lost – 550 of them in the Kinglake area.

Victoria Police have confired 84 deaths, but the final toll could rise much higher as authorities move further into the affected towns.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced emergency relief funding for the state, saying “Hell in all its fury had visited … many good people lie dead”.

Whole towns have been destroyed and thousands of people left homeless with record temperatures and fierce winds sparking devastating infernos. Read the rest here.

More here as well. Excerpt:

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon confirmed the death toll includes at least four children.

“The sad part for me is to say to the community that there will be more deaths, we believe,” Ms Nixon said at a 6pm press conference at Moe Police Station.

“We will find more bodies as we gain access to different parts of the fire areas, where at the moment we just havn’t been able to get in.

“So far we have found people in cars, it looks like they have decided late to leave their premises.

“We have found people who have been in properties, in their paddocks.

“We’ve found others in their houses.

“It covers the whole range. And the sad part is that we found children. That is devastating for us.”

Ms Nixon said she was sickened by the fact some of the fires may have been deliberately lit.

“It makes me very angry to see that kind of environment yesterday, where we all knew we faced the most enormous risks in our community.

“To then have someone who may have lit these fires.

australianfarmburning

It is sickening to think that the massive loss of property and life was due to people deliberately setting fires. Hope it caught up to them and they were some of the people burned to death.

When we lived in Arizona, the beautiful wildflowers and lush growth of spring was followed by the scorching temperatures of summer. The dried brush would burst into flames from heat from an engine, a spark, or even sun shining through a bit of broken glass. Since I lived in a rural area, there was no fire protection and if a fire started near the house, the firefighters were us. Our landscaping around the house consisted of gravel, the occasional cactus, and some potted plants. This was not an easy decision to make, as we could not afford air conditioning. It intensified the summer heat, but we needed a clear space around the house if we wanted to keep it from burning. At the time, I wished fervently that I had a herd of sheep or goats to munch that lovely green growth of spring in order to prevent the fires of summer.

The worst thing to see on the horizon was smoke. The fires traveled fast and burned incredibly hot. I imagine the situation must be the similar in Australia, but they appear to have more fuel to burn.

australiansmokeonhorizon

Some Australian fire survivors:

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From the Air, It’s Like Armageddon

From an article written in January 2007, Australia Burns While Bureaucrats Bumble, I have to wonder if there were any tankers like the IL-76 Waterbomber in the air. Dropping a wall of water/fire retardant on the fires advancing toward the town(s) may have given people that needed extra time to escape, the infirm, elderly, and children, a chance for life.

One example in January, 2003: once again, the Waterbombers were on offer to stop the raging fires before they completely destroyed the Mt Stromlo Observatory (a more than $20 million loss). Just one IL-76, with its payload of water and Pyrocool (a non-toxic, non-corrosive, environmentally-friendly chemical, proven in every case, to not only immediately extinguish a fire, but also to stop its re-ignition up to 3,000 degrees) could have saved Mt Stromlo with one, 10-second drop. And, by the way, the Pyrocool was being donated by the manufacturer.

Alas once again, that scenario would have required the bureaucrats to think outside the box, an area as foreign to most of them as the black holes of space.

I’m speculating, of course, for I don’t know whether there were any of the tankers in the air at the time. I couldn’t find mention of any, however.

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Obama Signs Executive Order Making Federal Jobs Union Only

Remember all those right to work laws? So much garbage to the Obama administration. Seems that you have to pay to play to get work from the feds.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today denounced an Executive Order signed by President Obama that repeals Executive Order 13202, that prohibited federal agencies and recipients of federal funding from requiring contractors to sign union-only project labor agreements (PLAs) as a condition of performing work on federal and federally funded construction projects.

“Today’s decision to repeal Executive Order 13202 opens the door to waste and discrimination in federal and federally funded construction contracts,” said ABC President and CEO Kirk Pickerel. “This action removes the safeguards that prohibited discrimination based upon union affiliation in the awarding of federal contracts.

“Construction contracts subject to union-only PLAs are designed to be awarded exclusively to unionized contractors and their all-union workforces,” said Pickerel. “Absent the economic benefits of competitive bidding, union-only PLAs are known to increase construction costs between 10 percent and 20 percent and discriminate against minorities, women and qualified construction workers who have traditionally been excluded from union membership.

“Union-only PLAs drive up costs for American taxpayers while unfairly discriminating against 84 percent of U.S. construction workers who choose not to join a labor union,” added Pickerel. “All taxpayers should have the opportunity to compete fairly on any project funded by the federal government.”

A union-only PLA is a contract that requires a federal construction project to be awarded only to contractors and subcontractors that agree to recognize unions as the representatives of their employees on that job; use the union hiring hall to obtain workers; pay union wages and benefits; and obey the union’s restrictive work rules, job classifications and arbitration procedures.

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national trade association representing 25,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms in 79 chapters across the United States. Visit us at http://www.abc.org.

So, basically, he’s stealing our tax dollars for generations in order to keep us out of work. That low life sonofabitch.

I think everybody should stop paying their taxes and starve those SOBs in Washington.

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