Fighting the Right

Right-Wing Voucher Push Undermines Public Education & Constitution

Religious Right leaders and anti-government ideologues have shared a decades-long dream: to dismantle public education through a system of vouchers that would divert taxpayer funds out of public schools and into religious schools and other private academies.  For some, privatizing education is primarily a religious or ideological project. For others, the billions of dollars that flow through public schools is a tempting source of cash. For some it’s both.  Whatever the incentive, voucher proponents are finding success.  A renewed push for the creation and expansion of voucher and voucher-like schemes is contributing to a disturbing rise in public education dollars being diverted to schools that face little to no oversight or public accountability and teach religious dogma at the expense of science.

Most recently, on February 28, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that Douglas County’s voucher program – labeled a “Choice Scholarship Program” in accord with the messaging tactics of Republican spinmeister Frank Luntz – does not violate the state Constitution’s explicit prohibitions against public funding for religious education, even though 18 of the county’s 23 “private partner” schools are religious.  As reported by the Associated Press, dissenting Colorado Court of Appeals Judge Steve Bernard wrote, "In my view,[the Colorado Constitution] prohibits public school districts from channeling public money to private religious schools. I think that the Choice Scholarship Program is a pipeline that violates this direct and clear constitutional command." 

The ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State say they will appeal to the state Supreme Court.  Heather L. Weaver, staff attorney for the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief said “Public education funds should be used to help improve our public schools, not to promote religion in violation of the state constitution.”  Unfortunately, the Colorado case is not the first in which courts have been willing to go along with voucher plans.  In 2011, in a 5-4 ruling, the conservative U.S. Supreme Court majority allowed an Arizona tax-credit / voucher program to stand while weakening the ability of citizens to challenge programs that divert public funds for religious purposes.

State legislators and their corporate backers in the American Legislative Exchange Council have pushed similar voucher-like tax breaks in other states, often employing the language of “choice” and “options” to divert public attention from the intent and effect of these schemes.  After conservative victories in state elections in 2010, governors and legislators in many states, including Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Florida, pushed to create or expand programs that divert public education dollars into religious schools and other private academies.

Among the most aggressive is Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is basically pushing an effort to privatize public education in his state.  He has instituted a massive voucher program grounded in the “model legislation” pushed by ALEC, which honored Jindal in 2011 with its Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award.  Think Progress notes that Jindal’s plan will divert huge sums from public schools:  “Since the public schools will lose commensurate funding every time one of their students opt for a voucher, the state’s public school system could by some estimates lose up to $3.3 billion annually once the program is fully implemented. “

Ed Kilgore noted last summer in Washington Monthly:

In heading his state in the direction of universally available vouchers rationalized by public school failure, Jindal is not, of course, holding any of the private school beneficiaries accountable for results, or for common curricula, or, it appears, for much of anything. A big chunk of the money already out there is being snapped up by conservative evangelical schools with exotic and hardly public-minded curricular offerings, with the theory being that any public oversight would interfere with the accountability provided by “the market.” So if you want your kid to attend, at public expense, the Christian Nationalist Academy for Servant-Leader Boys & Fecund Submissive Girls, that’s okay by Bobby.

Lack of accountability is a real concern.  While proponents of voucher programs paint a picture of a poor student being given a chance to attend an elite private academy, most of those schools have few openings, meaning that the “choice” offered to many students and parents is something far different, including fly-by-night schools with little track record of their own.  According to the Louisiana Budget Project,

Louisiana requires almost no accountability from voucher schools....While voucher students are required to take the same assessment tests as public school students, there are no penalties for private schools if they fail to measure up to their public counterparts. In fact, Gov. Jindal vetoed language in a 2011 appropriations bill that would have removed participating schools if their students’ scores lagged those in the lowest performing schools in the Recovery School District, which incorporates most New Orleans public schools.

So if public schools have lousy test scores, they're failures and their students all get vouchers. But if the private schools have lousy test scores, then....nothing. Presumably the magic of the free market will fix them up.

In June 2011, an investigation by Miami New Times found a breathtaking lack of oversight and accountability in Florida’s voucher program for disabled students, likening it to “a perverse science experiment, using disabled school kids as lab rats.”

In addition to defunding public schools at the expense of unaccountable private schools, voucher programs end up using tax dollars to promote sectarian religious education and proselytizing. 

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops describes Catholic schools as central to the church’s “New Evangelization.”   And in Louisiana and elsewhere, tax dollars are being used to support schools that teach young-earth creationism, revisionist U.S. history published by fundamentalist Bob Jones University, and other religious dogma applied to civics, politics, and literature. 

The Agenda Behind the Voucher Agenda

During “National School Choice Week,” which ran from January 27 to February 3, the Heritage Foundation published a special report, “Choosing to Succeed,” which included a call for abandoning the “myth” and “relic” of the common school.  In January, Americans for Prosperity published a report blaming the federal government for the failure of education reform and promoting vouchers and voucher-like tax schemes, such as Pennsylvania’s “Education Improvement Tax Credit.” 

On February 5, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor gave a speech at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, where he argued that education funds should follow students whether they “choose” public, private, or charter schools. He asserted, “One of our priorities this year will be to move heaven and earth to fix our education system for the most vulnerable.”  It is important to understand that targeted voucher programs that allow students from poor families, children with disabilities or students in underperforming schools to attend private schools that will accept them are not the ultimate goal of school privatizers. They are a tactical means to a much larger strategic end, which is the end of public education altogether, as pushed by David Koch in his run for the White House in 1980. As Milton Friedman, intellectual godfather of the movement, said “Vouchers are not an end in themselves; they are a means to make a transition from a government to a free-market system.”

In a May 2011 article, researcher Rachel Tabachnik reviewed the history and financing of the school privatization movement. Its financial backers have been pouring millions of dollars into state politics for the past decade in order to build legislatures more to their liking.  Right-wing donors such as Betsy DeVos and the Walton Foundation funnel money through groups with media-friendly names like All Children Matter, its successor the American Federation for Children, and AFC-affiliated state-level political action committees like Students First, which raised more than $6 million for the 2010 election cycle in Pennsylvania.

“Like most other conservatives and libertarians, we see vouchers as a major step toward the complete privatization of schooling,” wrote Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast in 1997. “In fact, after careful study, we have come to the conclusion that they are the only way to dismantle the current socialist regime.” Heartland has received significant funding from right-wing foundations over the years, including the Charles Koch Foundation.

Another major ideological target is public employee unions, and teachers unions in particular.  A 2011 New York Times story about FreedomWorks’ lobbying for a Pennsylvania voucher program noted, “FreedomWorks is pushing anti-union legislation in several states, and saw the school choice legislation as part of that larger battle.”

School vouchers are just one part of the immensely complicated arena of education policy.  A wide array of strategies and policy proposals is often confusingly lumped together under the banner of “education reform” or “school choice,” terms that can encompass everything from curricula, student testing and teacher evaluation, charter and cyber-charter schools and more.  Some strategies may identify effective reforms that can be replicated and used to strengthen public schools and improve educational opportunity.  Others, like vouchers, are designed to weaken or dismantle public education altogether.

As parents, educators, and activists evaluate various education reform proposals, it is worth keeping in mind the question posed  by Stan Karp, in the Spring 2011 edition of Rethinking Schools, when he said that what is ultimately at stake in the school reform debate is “whether the right to a free public education for all children is going to survive as a fundamental democratic promise in our society, and whether the schools and districts needed to provide it are going to survive as public institutions, collectively owned and democratically managed – however imperfectly – by all of us as citizens. Or will they be privatized and commercialized by the corporate interests that increasingly dominate all aspects of our society?”

Note: this is the first in a series of posts about right-wing efforts to undermine public education, often in the name of education reform.

See also: Predatory Privatization, a 2012 Right Wing Watch In Focus report; and  Voucher Veneer: The Deeper Agenda to Privatize Public Education, a 2003 report from People For the American Way Foundation.

 

 

Talk to the Hand: Glenn Beck Explains Extremism

Last night, Glenn Beck kicked off his television program with a long monologue about the rise of extremism in America.  Of course, Beck insisted that he and his viewers are not the extremists but rather everyone else who doesn't see how President Obama is trying to take away their guns, provoke civil unrest, and destroy America. 

Eventually, Beck offered up a simple way of identifying extremists by using his own body, saying that the core - consisting of the "God-given helmet" of your head and the "God-given vest" of your chest - is what keeps you alive, which is why your body shuts down blood flow to your fingers and toes in times of emergency.

In the case of America, Beck explained, the Constitution is the core and people like Eric Holder, Cass Sunstein, Barack Obama, John Holdren, and Van Jones are the "extremities" that need to be cut off.

"I warn you, man," he said, "hunker down because there is a storm coming and you've got to protect the core because the extremities are beginning to make a fist and they're already beginning to throw blows":

Erik Rush: Obama and Allies 'Merit Being Removed by Force of Arms'

WorldNetDaily columnist Erik Rush is out with another unhinged rant, this time arguing that new gun control legislation in Colorado is a “precursor” to the rise of civil unrest and an American version of the Gestapo. Rush maintains that the government seeks to pass new gun laws in order to deliberately spark a violent response, which will justify the use of Gestapo-like tactics and the criminalization of gun ownership.

He contends that Obama administration officials want to confiscate guns because “they know that they are already guilty of prosecutable crimes and are planning many more” and “already merit being removed by force of arms. They simply want to disarm Americans before a preponderance of us come to that realization and respond accordingly.”

The Democrat members of the Colorado legislature have shown themselves to be enemies of the Constitution of the United States of America and the people of the state of Colorado. What occurred in Colorado on that day was nothing short of a disgusting outrage and a chilling precursor of things to come.



It is no secret among conservatives that for the last several years, Colorado has been a chief target of one high-profile progressive billionaire and former Nazi collaborator (George Soros) through his various radical astroturf political organizations. With this aid, and through the aforementioned methods, the White House effectively subverted Colorado’s legislative processes and is ruling by proxy, while maintaining the illusion of legitimate due process.

What concerns me most about the developments in Colorado and other states vis-à-vis firearms laws is that this progression has brought us that much closer to law-enforcement officials showing up at citizens’ homes and demanding their guns. Raised in the same environment as the rest of us, many peace officers won’t realize that they are operating well outside of the law.

And that’s when things will have the potential to get really ugly.

On Jan. 6, 2013, Nathan Haddad, a former Army staff sergeant and decorated combat veteran, was selling some gun magazines when he was arrested for violating a new New York state law prohibiting possession of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Haddad was charged with five felonies.

The officers who arrested Haddad, and those prosecuting him have shown themselves to be enemies of the Constitution and the people of the United States of America. Officials who enforce immoral laws are no better than Hitler’s Gestapo. Where, pray tell, do they plan to draw the line at what unlawful decrees they will and will not uphold?

Very soon, we are likely to hear of an individual who, upon being contacted by law enforcement, winds up in a firefight with them over their enforcement of newly implemented gun-control measures. Law-enforcement officers may be wounded or killed, as might our citizen. If arrested, he or she will be a political prisoner. This will be the final nail in the coffin for legal firearms ownership in America, as the government and the press will capitalize upon this event (and perhaps similar others) to prove once and for all that all gun owners are potential psycho cop killers.

Why does the government (and the Obama administration in particular) want Americans’ firearms? Because they know that they are already guilty of prosecutable crimes and are planning many more. They know that they represent precisely why America’s founders put the Second Amendment in the Constitution in the first place, and that they already merit being removed by force of arms. They simply want to disarm Americans before a preponderance of us come to that realization and respond accordingly.

Geller: CPAC Is 'Enforcing the Sharia'

Incensed that she was not invited back to CPAC, the annual gathering of conservative activists, Pamela Geller took to The Janet Mefferd Show to once again claim that she is a victim of Sharia law. She accused CPAC of “enforcing the Sharia” and “blasphemy laws” as a result of “the influence of what can only be described as Muslim Brotherhood facilitators or operatives like Suhail Khan and Grover Norquist.”

Mefferd: What did CPAC do to you? What happened?

Geller: As you know I’ve always held events there even though I wasn’t warmly welcomed because of the influence of what can only be described as Muslim Brotherhood facilitators or operatives like Suhail Khan and Grover Norquist. But I would hold events at a conference of close to 12,000 conservative activists that are coming for their marching orders, that are coming for information and there’s never anything on jihad or the Sharia. You know I brought Geert Wilders to CPAC, by the way 600 people and I turned away a couple of hundred, every one of our events is always standing room only. This year I could not get an event, I was banned.



Geller: But you see this is going on a long time, it took five years for the people to know but I think at this point people need to know just how deeply we have been infiltrated. What are they doing at CPAC? Essentially they are enforcing the Sharia. Under the Sharia, the blasphemy laws, you cannot say, you cannot offend, you cannot criticize and you cannot insult Islam. That is effectively what they’re doing, they are enforcing the Sharia.

Fischer: Obama Is a Tyrant Who Would Launch Drone Strikes Against the Tea Party

Yesterday, as Sen. Rand Paul was conducting a filibuster over the Obama administration's assertion that there could possibly be hypothetical "extraordinary circumstance" under which it would be necessary for the President to authorize the use of military force or drone strike against US citizens within the United States, Bryan Fischer dedicated a segment of his program to praising Paul for his stance.

In Fischer's view, Paul's filibuster was important because President Obama is a tyrant who does not want to allow anyone who disagrees with him to express their views and so, "based on the way the administration is crafting their policy here about the use of drones, you've got to be concerned that something you might say at a Tea Party would be used as an excuse" to launched a drone strike against your house:

Glenn Beck Is Under Attack From the Forces of Darkness

On his radio program today, Glenn Beck declared that we have witnessed "the death knell of the American Constitution" because Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Sen. Rand Paul saying that there could possibly be hypothetical "extraordinary circumstance" under which it would be necessary for the President to authorize the use of military force within the United States, perhaps to stop attacks like Pearl Harbor or 9/11.

That somehow morphed into a revelation by Beck that he and his inner circle have recently come under spiritual and physical attack by the forces of darkness, which made him realize that "we're not fighting man" and "that something is on the horizon." 

"We are headed for a great depression," he went on to declare, "and we are headed for civil unrest, and we are headed for things that you never thought was possible in your country."

"Remember the Japanese internment," he continued, because "progressives and collective thinking always - hear me - always goes wrong":

CWA: Violence Against Women Act Is Part of the War on Women

It was only last year that Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Nance criticized the term “war on women” as “phony, focus-grouped rhetoric” geared to “raise money and hackles” among Democrats. She predicted that women would turn on Obama and wouldn't vote on issues such as abortion rights or birth control access (unless they are anti-choice). Of course, exit polls showed that Obama carried women voters over Romney 55-44% and that 59% of voters said abortion should be legal either in all or most cases.

So it should come as no surprise that Nance is now using the “war” rhetoric in her latest Washington Times op-ed: “When high-sounding legislation becomes a war against women.” That’s right, she now believes that there is in fact a war on women, but that it comes from supporters of the Violence Against Women Act.

She claims that VAWA “hurts sex-trafficking victims,” even though 93 Senators voted for Sen. Patrick Leahy’s amendment focused on combating the trafficking of women and girls.

The Violence Against Women Act headed to the president’s desk lulls Americans into believing that actual violence was addressed Thursday when, in reality, Congress pushed through a bad bill that hurts sex-trafficking victims, seeks to legalize prostitution for minors and fails to protect the consciences of organizations, such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, that oppose abortion but want to protect trafficking victims.
Within the Senate version of the act is an amendment by Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, that decimates the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, seeks to change the Model State Law to promote the decriminalization of prostitution for minors, and assaults the conscience protections of groups that have a history of hands-on help for these victims.

The Violence Against Women Act also promotes the decriminalization of prostitution of minors for states, which is also dangerous for trafficking victims. Decriminalization provides a perfect opportunity for pimps, traffickers and gangs to exploit minors in the sex industry by telling the minors that it is not illegal and that they will not get arrested. In Germany, Australia and the Netherlands, child prostitution increased after prostitution was legalized. Why would the outcome be any different here if states decriminalize prostitution for minors? Section 1243 seeks to change the Model State Law to promote the decriminalization of prostitution for minors:
It prohibits the charging of a minor for a prostitution offense. This removes all judicial discretion from the process.
The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report shows that there were only 895 arrests of minors for prostitution in 2010. In 2011, the number of arrests dropped to 763. Over the past seven years, arrests of minors for prostitution have averaged 1,067 annually.
Decriminalization provides a great recruiting tool for gangs, pimps and traffickers, who can say, “Don’t worry; it’s not illegal.”

The lesson Congress has learned from the “war on women” apparently is that as long as the title of the legislation sounds good, you must vote for it — even if it is bad policy.

Farah: Same-Sex Marriage is 'One of the Most Radical Ideas Considered Since Child Sacrifice'

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah is pleased with CPAC’s decision to ban GOProud, a gay Republican group, but thinks that the event's organizers should go even further and bar any supporter of marriage equality as well. Farah argues that commentator S.E. Cupp, who bowed out of the summit to protest GOProud’s exclusion, shouldn’t have been invited in the first place. According to Farah, no one can be conservative and favor same-sex marriage, which he calls “one of the most radical ideas considered since child sacrifice.”

Hey, S.E.! It has been figured out. CPAC had a civil war over this issue, and your side lost.

What is conservative about advocating for same-sex marriage?

I can’t think of an issue that more clearly defines what a conservative is than this one.

This is not the Libertarian Political Action Conference. It’s not the Liberal Political Action Conference. It’s the Conservative Political Action Conference. What’s wrong with limiting the speakers and the sponsors to conservatives?

Why is S.E. Cupp even invited to speak?

I don’t get it.



The Conservative Political Action Conference is for conservatives – not for people who seek to undermine the Judeo-Christian basis of Western civilization with one of the most radical ideas considered since child sacrifice.

Glenn Beck At His Finest

It doesn't even seem possible, but every day Glenn Beck manages to go further and further off the deep end and there appears to be no end in sight.  For example, last night he grew increasingly overwhelmed by his fear that "collectivism" is taking over this nation; so much so that he eventually ended up on his knees on the floor of his studio, providing imaginary medical aid with an American flag blanket to a mortally wounded Lady Liberty in a desperate attempt to save America ... before begging his viewers to remove their children from public schools because "they're indoctrination camps":

Rick Wiles: Fly Landing on Obama May Be Sign He Is Demonic

After warning that President Obama may “declare himself as God” during his trip to Israel, TruNews host Rick Wiles yesterday said that God is sending a plague of locusts to Israel as a “biblical sign” ahead of Obama’s visit.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if Israel is covered with locusts when he arrives in Jerusalem in three weeks,” Wiles said. “How many biblical signs do we need to see to know that this man is evil?”

Wiles also agreed with the claim made by WorldNetDaily that a fly which landed on Obama may be proof that the President is “possessed by a demonic entity” and the return of the “biblical ‘Lord of the Flies,’ or Beelzebub, which is another name for Satan. “Each time I see the flies buzzing around him I think of Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies,” Wiles recounted.

Is it by coincidence that a swarm of locust from Egypt have [sic] moved across the border into Israel today just weeks before Mr. Obama’s arrival in the Holy Land? Tens of millions of locust have attacked Egypt in recent days. A plague of locust was one of the ten plagues that God used to punish Egypt for refusing to allow the Hebrew people to depart, the story is recounted in Jewish homes and synagogues each year at Passover. Passover begins at March 25th; Mr. Obama is scheduled to arrive in Jerusalem on March 20th. In recent months, Mr. Obama has been photographed with flies buzzing around his head or attached to his lip or forehead. Each time I see the flies buzzing around him I think of Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies. According to an ancient non-biblical manuscript supposedly written by King Solomon, Beelzebub claims to cause destruction through tyrants, to cause demons to be worshiped among men, to excite priests to lust, to cause jealousies in cities and murders and to bring forth war on the world. So think about it the next time you see a fly land on Barack Obama’s lip or forehead. I wouldn’t be surprised if Israel is covered with locusts when he arrives in Jerusalem in three weeks. How many biblical signs do we need to see to know that this man is evil?

Geller Out, But Anti-Muslim Voices Remain at CPAC

Pamela Geller will not be welcomed back to CPAC this year, representing yet another development in annual conservative gathering’s frequent clashes over Islamophobia. Anti-Muslim activists like Geller, David Horowitz, Frank Gaffney and Robert Spencer claim that the Muslim Brotherhood and its cohorts, namely Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan, are trying to infiltrate the conservative movement.

During her panel last year, James Lafferty of the Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force bragged that he was “proud” that many of the attacks on mosques in the U.S. have occured in the South.

But while Geller might be absent this year, CPAC still is hosting a number of anti-Muslim speakers:

1. Allen West.

Former congressman Allen West became a hero of the Radical Right through his inflammatory remarks about Islam, including his claim that the “enemy represents something called Islam and Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion,” and that the Quran commands people to become terrorists. West has worked with Geller before (even writing a column for her blog) and told one of her conferences that “the nation goes to war against an ideology and we’ve been talking about the fact that we are against something that is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology and it is called Islam.” He also said that “satellite organizations that come from the Muslim Brotherhood” are growing throughout the US.

2. Tom Fitton.

Judicial Watch head Tom Fitton has been on a mission to “expose” how the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department are all working together with radical Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood. In a recent interview with End Times radio host Rick Wiles, he argued that the State Department is recruiting people directly from “the jihadist movement here in the United States” and “terrorist front organizations,” adding that the majority of Muslim-American groups are “all fronts for these terrorist front groups.”

Fitton also told Wiles that he agreed with Rep. Michele Bachmann’s anti-Muslim government witch hunt as “perfectly legitimate” and said that Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin may be connected to people who are security threats.

3. Newt Gingrich.

Former Speaker Gingrich praised the anti-Muslim witch hunt spearheaded by Bachmann and four of her fellow Republican colleagues, calling the group of congressmen the “National Security Five.” He consistently attacked the Muslim community during his presidential campaign and claimed that Muslims in the US are trying to impose Sharia law. He even argued that the US should respond to Saudi Arabia’s ban on churches by banning the Park 51 Islamic Community Center in New York, and said that the government should treat Muslims like Nazis. Gingrich has also warned that America’s “elite favors radical Islam” and that the media is covering up stories about “Obama’s Muslim friends.”

4. Rick Santorum.

While running for president, former U.S. Senator Santorum claimed that equality is incompatible with the Islamic faith and that Muslims should face profiling by law enforcement. He also raised doubts about Obama’s Christian faith and a top aide accused the President of supporting “radical Islamic policies.” Following the campaign, he became a columnist for the anti-Muslim conspiracy website WorldNetDaily. Before running for president, Santorum told a conference hosted by Islamophobic activist David Horowtiz that America is engaged in a “long war” with “Islamo-fascism” and that it must be “eradicated.”

5. Ted Cruz.

Sen. Cruz has claimed that “Sharia law is an enormous problem” in the U.S. and attacked President Obama for allegedly being “utterly unable to utter the words radical Islamic terrorist.” Cruz especially stoked anti-Muslim attitudes during the confirmation hearing of defense secretary Chuck Hagel, maintaining that the former Republican senator may be a pawn of Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Robertson Lashes Out at 'Doctrinaire' Environmentalist 'Fanatics'

Televangelist Pat Robertson is joining other conservatives in attacking Gina McCarthy, President Obama’s pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. After criticizing climate change scientists as “nutty” and “true believer” ideologues last month, Robertson once again engaged in projection today on the 700 Club as he warned that environmentalist “crazies” are “unreasonable” religious “fanatics” who are too “doctrinaire.”

Watch:

Kincaid: Soros, Obama Allies Trying to Pick Next Pope

Accuracy In Media director Cliff Kincaid yesterday warned that allies of George Soros and President Obama are attempting to pick the next pope. Kincaid warns that a “group of radicals” in the “left-wing lobby in the U.S.” are trying to engineer the selection of Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson as Pope.

Kincaid’s argument boils down to the fact that Turkson introduced a document on global financial policy which was endorsed by Stephen Schneck of Catholic University (along with Pope Benedict XVI) and attended one of Schneck’s conferences in 2011.

Since Schneck supported Obama’s reelection and is tied to the group Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, naturally Kincaid has arrived at the conclusion that Soros is plotting to pick the next pope in order to “use the Vatican in a global campaign against capitalism.”

In fact, the article is fittingly titled: “Black Socialist Pope to Follow Black Socialist President?

With African Catholic Cardinal Peter Turkson in the running as the next pope, the media have noted that he carries the fancy title of the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, an arm of the Vatican. But they have failed to note the existence of a left-wing lobby in the U.S. working feverishly on his behalf. It is the same group of radicals, with connections to billionaire hedge-fund operator George Soros, who backed Obama for president by claiming he shared their Catholic values.



When Turkson’s Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace issued a controversial 2011 document, “Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Political Authority,” [Stephen] Schneck called it “breathtaking” and a “Catholic way forward” from the present crisis.

A “global political authority” was endorsed by Pope Benedict XVI’s “Charity in Truth” encyclical in 2009.



Turkson, who is from Ghana, has taken “social justice” to the global level, arguing for a “global financial authority” to solve the world’s economic problems.

For this reason, left-wing “progressives” backing Obama hope Turkson will be the next pope and use the Vatican in a global campaign against capitalism.

Vatican Radio said the Turkson document, “Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Political Authority,” had “proposed the creation of a global political authority to manage the economy and a new world economic order” with the United Nations “as a point of reference.”

Crisis Magazine, a conservative Catholic publication, said it contained “some downright frightening prescriptions for reshaping the worldwide economy” and could be seen as “a blueprint for a George Soros agenda.”

Turkson spoke at the May 2, 2011, conference organized by Schneck at CUA on the subject of Rerum Novarum. He appeared with Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Alexia K. Kelley, deputy director of the Obama White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Fischer: Liberal 'Secular Fundamentalists' Are The 'American Taliban'

As we have noted several times before, Bryan Fischer may be a lot of things, but self-aware is not one of them.

Just last week, Fischer declared, utterly without irony, that liberals are the modern-day Pharisees,  And yesterday he followed that up with a declaration that not only are "secular fundamentalists" modern-day Pharisees, but they are also "the American Taliban":

Farah: Evolution and Environmentalism to blame for Increase in Suicide Rate

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah cites a new study which found that “suicide has overtaken traffic accidents as the leading cause of injury deaths in the U.S.” and blames it on the fact that public schools teach evolution, environmental science and comprehensive sex-education.

He argued that the suicide rate has increased as a result of schools teaching children “promiscuous sex,” “that human beings are merely the result of billions of years of evolution” and that the earth “would be better off without us.”

Farah also seems to imply that it is no coincidence that the rise in the suicide rate occurred in Obama’s first year in office. However, the study noted that “the suicide rate rose 15 percent over the past decade,” well before Obama took office.

Guns don’t kill people. People kill themselves.

That’s the story from the American Journal of Public Health, which reports that since Barack Obama was sworn in as president in 2009, the leading cause of death in America has been suicide.



I believe the trend reflects a deep and growing spiritual emptiness in a culture that is more depraved and sinful than at any time in its history.

Too many people just don’t find any meaning in life.

Think about it.

We are told from the youngest age in state-run schools that human beings are merely the result of billions of years of evolution from lower life forms and random mutations. There is no Creator God who loves us and to whom we are accountable. There are no laws higher than those government imposes on us – no sin, no ultimate, objective moral code. In fact, human beings are a blight on the planet. It would be better off without us – or at least with a lot fewer of us polluting the air with carbon dioxide and overheating the Earth.

Do I have that about right?

Furthermore, in those same government schools, prayer and Bible reading are prohibited, but explicit instructions on how to have promiscuous sex without consequences is mandated.

Abortion is subsidized, while adoption is prohibitively expensive – in the unlikely event you can find a child to adopt.

Increasingly, the state is sticking its nose into what we eat, what we say, how we raise our children – even our thoughts.

Government is fine with pornography. But purity and abstinence are discouraged.

In other words, right is wrong, up is down, black is white and left is right.

And we sit here and wonder why people are killing themselves.

Beck: Gun Control Is an Effort to Impose Slavery

Last night's Glenn Beck Program kicked off with twenty five minutes of paranoid raving from Beck about how the federal government is stockpiling armored vehicles and billions of rounds of ammunition because "they know something we don't know," by which he presumably meant that President Obama is preparing to foment a civil war.

In fact, according to Beck, these developments are part of the administration's effort to impose gun control on the nation by buying up all of the ammunition to make it impossible for American citizens to obtain any, which is itself apparently part of an even larger conspiracy to re-institute slavery:

Klayman: 'Obama and His White Slaves' Are Inciting Race War

Larry Klayman is out with another column calling President Obama an anti-Semitic Muslim dictator, this time warning that President Obama is deliberately inciting a race war. He argues that Obama sees tax increases on top earners as an effort to “make whitey pay his fair share of ‘reparations’ to blacks” as “Obama's constant derogatory references to the "rich" are mostly just a "politically correct" euphemism for ‘whitey.’”

Klayman claims “Obama and his ‘white slaves’ in The White House, like his embarrassing boy press secretary Jay Carney” have pushed “attacks on whites” and “provoked this burgeoning race war.”

“Put Obama's Muslim identification, his anti-Semitism and his pounding of rich whites together and you have a certified, and highly dangerous Black Muslim in The White House – ala (pun intended) Malcolm X, Elijah Mohammed and Louis Farrakhan,” he said.

In earlier columns, the Judicial Watch founder maintained that Obama wants to make conservatives “become the ‘new niggers’” and promoted armed resistance.

But Obama's scorn goes far wider than just the religion and ethnicity of Jews and Christians. Particularly apparent since his last fraudulent election to the Office of the President in 2012, it has also become crystal clear that he simply hates people of the white race, even though he is one half white himself.

During the campaign he constantly berated Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as the nominee of the rich, vowing to make the rich pay their fair share in taxes and other socio-economic forms of "reparations" during his second term. And, in just the last few months since his reelection, Obama and his Democrat enablers and lackeys in Congress have moved arrogantly and aggressively to make good on his promise – and he has done so with a vengeance. Obama's constant derogatory references to the "rich" are mostly just a "politically correct" euphemism for "whitey," just as attacks by anti-Semites, of which Obama is also one, frequently are leveled against Israel, in order to mask their hatred of the true target, Jews themselves. In short, making "whitey" pay his "fair share" has become a constant drum beat of Obama and his "white slaves" in The White House, like his embarrassing boy press secretary Jay Carney.

Put Obama's Muslim identification, his anti-Semitism and his pounding of rich whites together and you have a certified, and highly dangerous Black Muslim in The White House – ala (pun intended) Malcolm X, Elijah Mohammed and Louis Farrakhan.

That whites have come to believe that Obama truly hates them is becoming apparent even in the mainstream media. During a recent broadcast of Fox News' "The Five," former President George W. Bush's press secretary Dana Perino, a Washington establishment figure if their ever was one (she was appointed to the Board of Directors of government owned Voice of America), stated clearly that she believes that Obama does not like people like her. Bill O'Reilly has expressed similar sentiments of late, referring to Obama's dislike of "traditional Americans." While O'Reilly's comment was also racist and offensive (since what qualifies as a "traditional American" other than a white person?), it underscores how Obama is increasing stoking and provoking anger among whites with his attacks on them, economically and socially. But this media backlash against Obama's attacks on whites has not stopped with political commentators on Fox News, but has now extended to even the likes of the well respected liberal investigative journalist Bob Woodward.



This explains why Woodward has been among the first of liberal journalists to call it like it is and "out" Obama and his White House for threatening him over his reporting of the on-going "sequester" crisis – which Woodward revealed was the brainchild of the president. Other white journalists on the left then followed suit and revealed that they too had been threatened over even their infrequent criticism of Obama. While one can argue that this backlash against Obama was "on the merits" of the looming sequester disaster, the very fact that the left is now coming forward to challenge Obama, shows that much more in play here. Like Dana Perino, I believe that even these liberal reporters have come to see that Obama does not like them and fear his latent racism toward whites, which they likely have come to deeply resent. As has been Obama's mantra, the sequester debate has been couched by the president and his minions as an economic disaster that would hurt his lower and middle income persons many of whom are black or of mixed race, at the expense of the rich. This is why Obama now wants to use his presidential leverage to negotiate a deal with Republicans to again raise taxes on the rich – in effect to again make whitey pay his fair share of "reparations" to blacks.

It is very sad and frightening that Obama has provoked this burgeoning race war. The nation, divided unlike any time since the Civil War, is about to explode in anger – primarily pitting black against white and vice versa.

Barber: 'This Transgender Notion Is Absolute Absurdity'

The Religious Right has been predictably outraged over a new transgender-inclusive policy in Massachusetts that is designed to prevent gender identity-discrimination in schools and so it was only a matter of time before Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber weighed in, which he did on a recent radio program where he compared being transgender to a Caucasian child deciding that he is really an Asian child or a person deciding that they are a horse and wanting to run in the Kentucky Derby.

"The [LGBT] chain is only as strong as the weakest link," Barber declared, and "this transgender notion is absolute absurdity.  It's a weak chain to begin with, but it's the weakest link in this LGBT alphabet soup of nonsense":

Is this really the sort of bigoted rhetoric with which Tim Tebow wishes to associate himself?

Tim Tebow Scheduled to Address another Anti-Gay Venue: Liberty University

Recently, New York Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow pulled out of a scheduled appearance at Robert Jeffress’ megachurch “due to new information” he received regarding Jeffress' view. While he never specified what the “new information” was, Tebow was almost certainly referring to Jeffress’ virulent attacks on gays and lesbians, Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, Islam and President Obama.

Yet just weeks after withdrawing from speaking at Jeffress's church, Tebow is now set to address Liberty University later this month at a conference geared towards men’s issues in a speech that is closed to the public.

The school was founded by the late televangelist Jerry Falwell — it is now run by his son — who has blamed gays and liberals for the September 11 attacks, supported racist laws in the U.S. and abroad and attacked the Teletubbies for “modeling the gay life style.”

Liberty University bans gay students and shut down its College Democrats chapter over the party’s views on gay rights. The university has hosted multiple anti-gay conferences and their law school is being sued over its alleged role in helping Lisa Miller disobey a court order and kidnap her daughter to Central America in order to avoid transferring custody to the girl's other mother, her former partner.

Liberty University’s Vice President and law school dean Mathew Staver has defended the criminalization of homosexuality in Malawi, promoted the dangerous ex-gay therapy and warned that President Obama supports “forced homosexuality.” Furthermore, Staver has claimed that gay rights laws are part of an Antichrist spirit that lead to crime, child molestation and death, along with the destruction of America.

Staver’s fellow Liberty University dean Matt Barber has defended a Nigerian law outlawing homosexual relationships, described the gay rights movement as “Satanic,” claimed that gay youth who committed suicide took their own lives because they “know what they are doing is unnatural,” accused gay rights advocates of supporting pedophilia (along with fascism and Communism) and defined homosexuality as “one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it ‘love.’” He has also maintained that liberals are like Baal worshippers who hate God and are working with Islamists to destroy Christianity and that Obama should be impeached for backing same-sex domestic partner benefits.

Another professor, Rena Lindevaldsen, has claimed that Satan makes people gay and is behind the LGBT rights movement .

If Jeffress’ anti-gay remarks were too extreme for Tebow, they pale in comparison to the things regularly said by representatives of Liberty University.

Perhaps it is time for Tebow to take another look at some of this “new information” about Liberty.

Harry Jackson: 'Absurd' to Think 'Homosexuals Are Being Denied Equal Protection'

Harry Jackson is out with a column today accusing gay rights supporters of seeking “to hijack not only the moral authority of the Civil Rights Movement, but also the legal arguments which liberated minorities from centuries of legalized oppression and discrimination.” He specifically takes issue with the fact that marriage equality supporters cite the Fourteenth Amendment and Loving v. Virginia, which found anti-miscegenation laws to be unconstitutional.

Jackson explains that same-sex couples don’t have a right to marry because “‘marriage’ means what it has always meant in America: the union of one man and one woman,” and cites a Nevada ruling which argued that marriage laws aren’t discriminatory because a gay person has the right to marry someone of the opposite sex.

Ironically, those two arguments were exactly those used by supporters of laws banning interracial marriage.

Peggy Pascoe in “What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America” writes that up until the 1960s white society and the white-dominated legal system “believe[d] that the interracial marriage was unnatural” and “assumed that the marriage of one White man to one White woman was the only kind of marriage worthy of the name.”

Not only did they not consider interracial marriage to be a “marriage,” but they also argued that anti-miscegenation laws were not discriminatory because they applied to people of every race and did not target one race in particular.

Despite this history about marriage laws, Jackson concludes his column by insisting that “the notion that homosexuals are being denied equal protection under the law becomes absurd.”

From the very beginning, homosexual “marriage” activists have sought to hijack not only the moral authority of the Civil Rights Movement, but also the legal arguments which liberated minorities from centuries of legalized oppression and discrimination.

After decades of aggressive activism, the common sense understanding of marriage has become almost hopelessly mired in incomprehensible legal terminology. It becomes difficult for everyday observers to navigate the convoluted logic homosexual activists employ as they attempt to remake one of civilization’s oldest institutions. The argument that redefining marriage to include homosexual couples is only “fair” rests on a specious interpretation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The clause reads as follows:

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

As most of us know, the Fourteenth Amendment was enacted just before the end of the Civil War in response to the Black Codes of the South. The Black Codes were various state laws which, among other things, prevented blacks from owning property and imposed harsher penalties for crimes on blacks than on whites. The Fourteenth Amendment clarified that these laws were unconstitutional, and that the government was obligated to protect the rights of all citizens equally.

So what about the “right” to marry? Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) activists argue that the state is abridging their privileges, often citing Chief Justice Earl Warren’s words in Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 decision that overturned state bans on interracial marriage: “The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”

I agree with Justice Warren that marriage is a central ingredient in the pursuit of happiness. I disagree with LGBT activists about what “marriage” is. And it is very hard to have a reasonable or productive discussion when the two sides cannot agree on the definition of a central term. You and I may agree that it should be legal to walk a dog in a particular public park. But you may think that the term “dog” includes only domesticated members of the Canis lupus familiaris species, and I may think that the term “dog” can include large gray wolves. You may argue that “dog” should be defined by the laws and traditions that have governed dog ownership for generations, and I may feel that such an approach in unfair to people who want to walk wolves in the park. The point is that we cannot get anywhere until we agree on what a “dog” is.

Homosexuals are not being denied “marriage” rights any more than wolf enthusiasts are being denied dog-ownership rights. Last November, a federal appeals court in Nevada pointed out homosexuals are not, in fact, being denied the right to marry, as the term “marriage” has been long understood. A lesbian couple had sued the state, seeking to overturn Nevada’s ban on gay marriage under the Fourteenth Amendment. Wrote Judge Robert Jones:

Like heterosexual persons, they [homosexuals] may not marry members of the same sex. A homosexual man may marry anyone a heterosexual man may marry, and a homosexual woman may marry anyone a heterosexual woman may marry.

Judge Jones went on to point out that homosexuals have little cause to identify with historically oppressed minorities in the United States, observing that, “Homosexuals have not historically been denied the right to vote, the right to serve on juries, or the right to own property.” Judge Jones starts with the assumption, as we all should, that “marriage” means what it has always meant in America: the union of one man and one woman. If we begin with that reality, the notion that homosexuals are being denied equal protection under the law becomes absurd.
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