When Elizabeth Warren went on MSNBC to deny that she was a member of the 1 percent despite her nearly 15 million dollar net worth, the denial had a cultural element to it. Despite being a millionaire, Warren did not see herself as “wealthy”.
The current debate over the 1 percent and the 99 percent is notable mainly for the shifting boundaries that are not based on economics, but on identity. For all its ‘Power to the People’ antics American liberalism is not a movement of struggling people, there is a reason why the word limousine so often comes before liberal. Its roots lie in an upper class New England strata that relentlessly fought against Southern Baptists and working class Catholic immigrants. Those roots define modern day liberals much more so than the Jacksonian populism that they occasionally try to imitate.

The American liberal is not a populist, he is still a New England preacher, but without a religion to preach. He has a great faith in the virtues of an ordered moral society, even if that ordered moral society would have been completely incomprehensible and unacceptable to his forebears. It is a society based on the virtues of tolerance and the rule of the enlightened.

The inflow of the European left has brought in a strain of power to the people populism, but that has not made the American liberal take seriously the notion that the people whose rights he defends are his intellectual or social equals, no more than the 19th century New York Republicans patting African-Americans on the head while stomping on the Irish viewed either group as equals.


Faith Update: CAIR Applauds West Point Prayer Breakfast Withdrawal of General Critical of Islam

A retired U.S. lieutenant general who made comments some consider disparaging to Islam withdrew Monday from speaking at a West Point prayer breakfast after a progressive veterans’ advocacy group — VoteVets.org — along with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) asked the Army chief of staff to rescind the invitation.

Last week The Blaze reported VoteVets.org told Gen. Raymond Odierno in a letter that allowing retired Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin to speak at West Point next week would be anathema to Army values and disrespectful to Muslim cadets.

According to the Associate Press, late Monday afternoon, West Point issued a statement saying Boykin had decided to withdraw speaking at the Feb. 8 event and that another speaker would take his place.

For its part, CAIR is celebrating the outcome.

“We welcome Mr. Boykin’s withdrawal from this event and hope that the speaker who replaces him will offer cadets a spiritual message that promotes tolerance and mutual understanding,” CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a press release.

Awad added that CAIR has been challenging Boykin’s “un-American bigotry” for a number of years.

From The Blaze’s earlier report:

Retired Lt. Gen. William Boykin was the Pentagon’s senior military intelligence official until 2004, when he was reprimanded for remarks comparing the war against radical Islam to a Christian struggle against Satan and for saying Muslims worship idols and not “a real God,” according to the Washington Post. He has also said he believes no mosques should be built in America and has called Islam “a totalitarian way of life.”

Boykin, an ordained minister who speaks around the country, was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at a West Point prayer breakfast.



A translator stands between two languages and between the two worlds that the languages represent. If he does his job well, he may belong in neither place. Such was the fate of Samuel Koteliansky, an emigré Russian Jew in London, who translated Chekhov, befriended D.H. Lawrence and Katherine Mansfield, and circulated on the fringes of the Bloomsbury group. These activities, portrayed by Galya Diment in her new biography of Koteliansky, A Russian Jew of Bloomsbury, did not add up to much in the way of literary accomplishment. But Koteliansky—Kot, his English friends called him—saw a great deal of the literary lions whose accomplishments and personal lives burnt on through the entire 20th century.

Bloomsbury Recalled Quentin Bell, Columbia University Press. Bell’s memoir of his parents and their friends—Woolf, Forster, Strachey—who made up the dazzling, dated Bloomsbury group. SAVE

D.H. Lawrence and Kangaroo George Simmers, Great War Fiction. In Lawrence’s World War I novel, the “really ugly” character based on Koteliansky was a minor player, much like Kot in Bloomsbury.


The Myth of Starving Americans According to the Census Bureau, 96% of parents classified as poor said their children were never hungry.
We take it as a given that hunger stalks America. We hear it in the news, we see a myriad of government and private organizations set up to feed the hungry. And we are often reminded of the greatest of all ironies—in the richest nation on earth, there are still those without enough to eat. But are these media portrayals of hunger in America accurate?

A hungry child is the ultimate third rail in the entitlement debate. Few candidates—Democrat, Republican or independent—would even question conventional wisdom on this particular issue because that would make them look indifferent to hungry children and that, of course, is political death.

The U.S. government spends close to $1 trillion a year providing cash, food, housing, medical care and services to poor and near-poor people. Of that figure, about $111 billion is spent on food in federal and state programs. Yet despite this spending, stories of rampant hunger persist. With all that money going out, how is that possible?

In a report published last September by the Heritage Foundation, researchers Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield asked that very question. They found that, according to Census Bureau data for 2009 (the most recent year statistics available), of the almost 50 million Americans classified as poor, 96% of the parents said their children were never hungry. Eighty-three percent of poor families reported having enough food to eat, and 82% of poor adults said they were never hungry at any time in 2009 due to a lack of food or money.

One could deduce that the reason the vast percentage of America’s poor say they are never hungry is precisely because of federal and state assistance, but the government offers no way of testing whether this is true or false.


As the Ten Commandments instruct, envy is corrosive to the individual and to those societies that embrace it.
Who would have expected that in a Republican primary campaign the single biggest complaint among candidates would be that the front-runner has taken capitalism too far? As if his success and achievement were evidence of something unethical and immoral? President Obama and other redistributionists must be rejoicing that their assumptions about rugged capitalism and the 1% have been given such legitimacy.

More than any other nation, the United States was founded on broad themes of morality rooted in a specific religious perspective. We call this the Judeo-Christian ethos, and within it resides a ringing endorsement of capitalism as a moral endeavor.

Regarding mankind, no theme is more salient in the Bible than the morality of personal responsibility, for it is through this that man cultivates the inner development leading to his own growth, good citizenship and happiness. The entitlement/welfare state is a paradigm that undermines that noble goal.


Last week’s controversy over the NYPD’s showing of the documentary “The Third Jihad,” which I narrated, has brought horrendous distortion of the film and my body of work against radical Islam. It seems obvious that The New York Times, and in its wake the NYPD and Mayor Bloomberg, is buying into blatant inaccuracies peddled by the Council on American-Islamic Relations — a group named in federal testimony as linked to the terrorist organization Hamas and one to which the FBI has broken off all ties.

Let’s start with the Times’ most outright error: As evidence for the charge that “The Third Jihad” paints most American Muslims as extremists, it reported that the film (that is, me, narrating it) says, “This is the true agenda of Islam in America.” In fact, it says, “This document shows the true agenda of much of Muslim leadership here in America.”

More, the film opens with the text: “This is not a film about Islam. It is about the threat of radical Islam. Only a small percentage of the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims are radical.”


Obama’s Helter-Skelter Strategy By Jed Babbin

Critics of the president’s Pentagon cuts are missing the overriding problem with his military spending “plans.”

If you’re wondering where to find the strategic thinking behind Obama’s slashing of the military budget, you won’t find it in Clausewitz, Kissinger, or David Galula. After days of searching, I think I found it lying at some unequal distance between the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter” and the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter.”

Obama’s plan to slash $487 billion in Pentagon spending over ten years comes sandwiched between the $400 billion in cuts he made using Robert Gates as his knife and the possible sequestration of another $600 billion in cuts under last year’s random results from the failed “supercommittee.”

Congress and the pundit community have fallen into the political trap that these cuts pose. They are attacking the cuts by defending the constituencies — individual military assets they favor, contractors in their states — and losing the battle. They are losing because they don’t argue against the underlying theories of the so-called “plans,” none of which match the others.

There are so many internal contradictions and inconsistencies in these “plans” that we should focus on them first and debate the budget numbers later.



Now we know that computers don’t help children learn and that drugs don’t help them concentrate, because the establishment mandarins who sold us the computers and drugs have conceded failure. In the January 29 New York Times, [1] a prominent professor of child development shows that attention-deficit-disorder drugs only harm the three million children who take them. One out of 10 American children have been diagnosed with so-called Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and most of them have been medicated. [2]

Some months ago, the Times reported that test scores lagged in school districts that invested massively in digital education. [3] It does not seem to have occurred to the mandarins that computers cause attention deficit disorder. The brain is a machine, in the enlightened secular model, and so-called brain science teaches us to tweak its functioning with pharmaceuticals, or stimulate its development through digital approximations of intelligence. The grand result of a generation’s worth of brain-science application is a generation of schoolchildren who are disproportionately illiterate, innumerate, anxious, angry, and unhappy.



Ye Olde Friday Document Dump! Its amazing what one can find out on a Friday evening. This week’s dump included some internal Department of Justice memos indicating that higher-ups and possibly even Attorney General Eric Holder knew about this disastrous program much earlier than what he told congress.

When Attorney General Holder first testified before Congress on May 3, 2011, he said that he had only been informed about the program for a few weeks. However we now know that there was a flurry of emails sent the day Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was murdered, December 15, 2010. The emails were sent to high ranking members of the DOJ and perhaps even the Attorney General.

An email from one official, whose name has been redacted from the document, to now-former Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke reads: “On December 14, 2010, a BORTAC agent working in the Nogales, AZ AOR was shot. The agent was conducting Border Patrol operations 18 miles north of the international boundary when he encountered [redacted word] unidentified subjects. Shots were exchanged resulting in the agent being shot. At this time, the agent is being transported to an area where he can be air lifted to an emergency medical center.”That email was sent at 2:31 a.m. on the day Terry was shot. One hour later, a follow-up email read: “Our agent has passed away.”


Conservatives Need to Make the Case for Freedom Posted By Bruce Thornton


Since ancient Athens, politics in democracies has been brutal. That’s because the conflicts that a democracy empowers a great variety of ordinary people to debate are not about technical matters requiring specialized knowledge. Rather, they arise from questions about the fundamental principles, beliefs, and values that give people their identities and provide meaning for their lives. Such questions are not “scientific,” and the conflicts they raise will not be resolved by experts and technicians. And since these principles and beliefs are so fundamental to our self-identity and meaning, they raise intense passions, and so the public conversation about them is often emotional, at times even angry. Throw in personal ambition, the lust for power, and the vanity of politicians and office-seekers, and the fights can get bloody indeed. But that’s the price we pay for free political speech. As the Athenian playwright Sophocles once said, “Free men have free tongues.”

Consider the biggest domestic problem facing the nation: metastasizing debt that promises to explode because of exponentially increasing entitlement spending. If the problem were simply a technical one, accountants could solve it. Look at the math: our debt has surpassed $15 trillion, over 100% of GDP, and absent entitlement reform will reach 344% of GDP by 2050. Spending on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Obamacare will devour 18% of GDP by 2050, consuming all federal tax revenues. Total federal spending is slated to consume one-half of GDP by 2056. These numbers point to a Greece-like collapse unless entitlement spending is reined in.