Monday, July 20, 2015

Progressives' Two-Pronged Attack on America

My article from today's FrontPageMag:


Progressives' Two-Pronged Attack on America

By Matthew Vadum

The modern-day progressive's abiding hatred of the United States of America and the eternal principles for which it stands is what animates the Left's efforts to cripple and destroy this one-of-a-kind nation.
It is fair to say that support for America’s enemies abroad and criminals at home are the twin pillars of progressivism today. Since in the real world left-wing social engineering schemes inflict great damage on the human beings selected for experimentation, progressives' most effective tactic is the smear, which they deploy day in, day out, when they run out of arguments, or increasingly nowadays, as their opening argument.
Two recent events illustrate the dual tracks on which progressivism operates in its never-ending campaign to bring down America.
The first major news event is the bizarre, outrageously generous settlement that the public learned last week will be paid out to the late Eric Garner's family.
New York City's ultra-progressive mayor, Bill de Blasio (D), is behind the settlement that comes on the anniversary of career criminal Eric Garner's unfortunate death in Staten Island. He died because he unlawfully resisted arrest by the NYPD and his body, weakened by years of disease, could not handle the stress.
De Blasio makes little effort to hide the fact that he hates cops and loves criminals, and this affinity for lawbreakers is reflected in his city's rising crime rates. His progressive roots run deep.
He is a longtime supporter of America's Communist enemies. During the Cold War he toured the Soviet Union and served as an organizer with the anti-nuclear, anti-American group Physicians for Social Responsibility. He was also a backer of Nicaragua's Soviet-backed Sandinista dictatorship. In 1994 when he married former lesbian activist Chirlane McCray, the newlyweds honeymooned in Fidel Castro's Cuba.
So it's safe to say that Mayor de Blasio does not have New York's or America's best interests in mind.
The settlement comes despite the law-breaking background of Garner himself.
After officers witnessed Garner selling individual (or "loose") untaxed cigarettes, a violation of a progressive-backed law that imposed sky-high taxes on cigarettes to discourage their use and fatten city coffers, they tried to arrest him with tragic results.
Garner was a serial offender well known to police. His arrest record dated back to 1980 on charges including grand larceny and assault. When he died, he was out on bail after being charged with selling untaxed cigarettes, driving without a license, possession of marijuana, and false impersonation.
In a video taken of the arrest attempted July 17, 2014, Garner made it clear he was not going to cooperate with police.

Suspects are not entitled to physically struggle with cops trying to arrest them. "You cannot resist arrest," said former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik. "Regardless of what the arrest was for, the officers don't have the ability to say, 'Well, this is a minor arrest, so we're just going to ignore you.'"
Before the physical confrontation began, Garner claimed he was innocent over and over again, saying "I didn't do nothin'" repeatedly. "Every time you see me you want to arrest me," Garner told police. "I'm tired of it."
As officers tried to handcuff him, he moved around, saying "don't touch me" repeatedly.
The police did what in New York City they are supposed to do and tried to subdue Garner and take him into custody.
Down on the sidewalk, he said repeatedly "I can't breathe." Although it now appears Garner was actually in medical jeopardy at that point, career criminals frequently complain of sudden medical problems as they are being arrested. Some do it to make the officers' job more difficult. Others do it to create an opportunity to escape. Still others do it in the hope of suing police. So the officers at the scene, who had heard perpetrators cry wolf many times before, may have tuned out Garner's complaints until they had him under their physical control -- something that Garner's resistance made it more difficult for police to achieve.
Garner did not die at the scene. He was rushed to hospital and was pronounced dead there.
In a sense, Garner committed "suicide by cop." In medical terms, the 43-year-old man was a walking time bomb. At 6' 3" he was a morbidly obese 350 lbs., and had significant health problems, including severe asthma, heart disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea. The police union says that Garner's poor health caused his death and that if he had not resisted arrest he would be alive today. A grand jury seemed to agree some months ago as its members refused to indict the lead officer on the arrest team.
Without even waiting for a lawsuit to be filed, New York City agreed to pay Garner's family $5.9 million. City comptroller Scott Stringer (D) green-lighted the payment which now represents "the single largest pre-litigation payout approved by a New York City comptroller for a police-citizen encounter," according to the New York Law Journal.
Last week Al Sharpton and Garner's family said they still wanted accountability. "Don't congratulate me," said Gwen Carr, Garner's mother. "This is not a victory. Victory comes when we get justice."
Sharpton, a progressive and racial arsonist who is President Obama's beloved point-man on race relations, claims he was not part of the settlement negotiations. He said "money is not justice. Money is a recognition of the loss of the family. But it does not deal with the criminal [sic] and other wrong [sic] done to this family."
De Blasio, cheered the settlement, saying he hoped Garner's family "can find some peace and finality." 
But the more rational Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, called the settlement amount "obscene." The nearly $6 million payout, in the view of the police union chief,
is a stark departure from typical settlements in similar cases and is clearly an attempt by the Mayor’s Office to placate outside political agendas. While the death of Mr. Garner while resisting arrest was unforeseeable, this excessive and exorbitant settlement was not: although Mr. Garner did not provide his family with an abundance of wealth, it was clear from the outset that the Mayor’ s Office would: Mr. Garner’s family should not be rewarded simply because he repeatedly chose to break the law and resist arrest. The responsibility of the City in paying damages, if any, to Mr. Garner’s family should be proportionate to its responsibility for Mr. Garner’s death, which was at best, minimal.
De Blasio was also behind the notorious settlement with those convicted in the particularly heinous Central Park jogger case. 
The convictions arose out of the brutal 1989 gang rape and forcible sodomy committed on a slightly built 28-year-old investment banker and jogger named Trisha Meili. In the highly publicized crime saga, Meili, who had been left for dead by her attackers, emerged from a coma 12 days after her ordeal. Four young black men and one Latino man confessed and were convicted on various charges related to the attack and received prison terms ranging from 5 to 15 years.
In 2002 a Latino man named Matias Reyes, a convicted rapist and murderer sentenced to life imprisonment who had been a juvenile when the attack took place, confessed to raping Meili and claimed he did it on his own. Even though DNA evidence showed he was involved in the rape, prosecution of Reyes was barred because the statute of limitations had elapsed.
Although such jailhouse confessions years after the crime are often coerced or motivated by other factors and in this case no new evidence exonerating the convicted men had surfaced, District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau (D), took it upon himself to have their convictions vacated in 2002. This had the legal effect of erasing their hard-won convictions as if the men had never been brought to trial.
With ambulance-chasing attorneys at their side, the former convicts took advantage of their unexpected good legal fortune and filed suit against the city in 2003 for malicious prosecution, race-based discrimination, and emotional distress. They claimed improbably that the police had coerced their confessions years ago. The legal proceedings stretched on for years. De Blasio's predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, declined to settle the case because city attorneys believed they would prevail at trial.
But when the pro-criminal de Blasio became mayor last year, the Big Apple agreed to pay the men $41 million. Even that outrageous sum wasn't enough. The men, whose criminal liability was established at trial years before, have reportedly taken the case to court in the hope of obtaining extra damages.
In Mayor de Blasio's New York crime pays handsomely -- and if you live in that city, you're doing the paying.
De Blasio is also a backer of two related progressive movements that seek to empty the prisons and shelter illegal aliens from immigration enforcement officers.
De Blasio is kith and kin to fellow progressives like San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi (D), who wants to "end mass incarceration" by opening the doors of prisons and flooding America with the most dangerous criminals. The number of people in the correctional system is too high, they declare, so it needs to be drastically reduced, regardless of the consequences. 
President Obama also buys into this. Last week he became the first sitting U.S. president to visit a federal prison, which of course, is filled with loyal Democrats. Inmate Kenneth Choice in Oklahoma's El Reno prison, made the most brazen appeal to Obama for executive clemency:
Obama once said that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin. Well, there's a whole lotta peoples in here who look like Trayvon, his uncle, his daddy and all his relatives. We are your people Obama—we all look like Trayvon. I just hope you take after your hero Abraham Lincoln and free us like the slaves that the mandatory minimum laws have made us.
Of course, this idea that prisoners are victims of an oppressive capitalism-dominated society is perfectly consistent with progressivism. No one's really guilty of anything, except maybe for white-collar criminals and wealthy individuals and corporations.
This airy-fairy idea of letting prisoners loose appears to have been a factor in Mirkarimi's fateful decision not to hand over Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a 45-year-old illegal alien from Mexico, to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) earlier this year. Instead, he set the wanted man free which allowed the seven-time felon and multiple deportee to murder Kate Steinle in cold blood.
Mirkarimi's liberation of Lopez-Sanchez was also driven by his support for the sanctuary cities movement. San Francisco, along with many other progressive localities, refuses to cooperate with federal requests to detain or hold over illegal aliens for pickup. A key tenet of this progressive movement is that there aren't enough criminals at home so America must import them.
Progressives support so-called sanctuary cities, those oases of lawlessness where federal immigration efforts are frustrated by local officials. It was the sanctuary city movement, promoted by radical groups like the ACLU, that gave illegal aliens permission to rob, rape, and murder Americans -- and it is public fury at the feds' refusal to secure the border and enforce the law that has caused illegal immigration opponent Donald Trump to surge in GOP presidential polls.
Progressives don't want the nation's borders secured because that would be "unfair" to the millions of illiterate, unskilled Third World peasants who want to come here to suck the nation's welfare state dry. At least four out of the five declared Democratic candidates for president -- Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley, and Jim Webb -- are on record as supporting sanctuary cities. There may be 300 or more sanctuary cities around the country.
Progressives treat those who want the nation's borders protected and immigration laws enforced as thought criminals, smearing them as xenophobes, nativists, and of course, racists. To even describe illegal aliens as "illegal" is taken as proof of the speaker's racism. Progressive lawmakers in California have even voted to purge the word "alien" from the state's labor code. Progressives prefer to play word games in order to downplay the presence of millions of illegal aliens in the U.S. They refer to all immigrants, legal or otherwise, simply as "immigrants," and their think tanks pump out studies that conceal the criminality of illegals by blending them in with legal, law-abiding immigrants.
The second major news event that helps to show how progressives seek to undermine America is President Obama's ridiculous, unenforceable nuclear arms control deal with our longtime enemy, the Islamic Republic of Iran, a pariah nation that is still the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism.
Progressives support efforts to arm our enemies because they believe that America -- not Russia, China, or Islamism -- must be contained. Far-left philanthropist George Soros openly favors the collapse of the greenback and the decline of America in general. He speaks for the progressive movement when he opines that, “The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States."
Obama, who throughout his presidency has been loathe to criticize Muslims, engineered the new nuclear non-proliferation pact with Iran's theocratic totalitarians who are already openly mocking the United States as they lead their regularly scheduled "Death to America!" rallies. The agreement will do nothing to prevent Iran from obtaining the bomb and according to many analysts will aid it in its quest.
But like those progressives who supported the nuclear disarmament movement at the height of the Cold War, the useful American idiots who now back the Iran deal think that it's a good move to let Iran obtain nukes. Letting Iran arm itself with the ultimate weapon will give it greater bargaining power in its dealings with Israel and Saudi Arabia, for example, and that's only fair, they believe. More importantly, a nuclear Iran will earn the respect of the United States, which for progressives, is the icing on the cake. 
Progressives adore Obama for emasculating America's military by firing talented flag officers and replacing them with spineless, politically correct yes men willing to do his bidding. They love that he is cutting America's military to the bone, including its nuclear arsenal, which will prevent the U.S. from responding effectively to future crises.
Progressives are not bothered by President Obama's six-and-a-half long years of apology tours around the globe, bowing and scraping before low-rent dictators and the world's most bloodthirsty tyrants. It's only fitting that the world's lone superpower, which in their minds has done so many bad things to so many people, should humble itself before the rest of the world.
And as the bodies of murdered Americans keep piling up across the country, progressives refuse to recognize the existential threat that Islam poses both to the United States and civilization as a whole.
The Obama administration and its allies in the media and elsewhere have refused to label self-described "Soldier of Allah" Major Nidal Hasan's attack at Fort Hood that left 13 dead and another 32 wounded an act of terrorism. It took six years for the victims to be awarded Purple Hearts.
Progressives view the murder of five U.S. servicemen at military recruiting centers in Chattanooga, Tennessee last week by a Muslim named Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez as yet another isolated incident. Progressives shriek that racist mass murderer Dylann Roof speaks for all white people but they still publicly scratch their heads trying to figure out what might have motivated Abdulazeez. Although it seems clear to sentient Americans that this man was answering Islamic State's call for Muslims to kill American military personnel, the progressive in the White House wouldn't budge from his dogma which holds such attacks are random killings unrelated to Islam, the so-called religion of peace.
As Robert Spencer notes, 
Barack Obama’s statement on this attack, predictably, did not mention the Islamic State, or identify the shootings as a jihad attack. The Obama Administration’s policy of denial and obfuscation regarding the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat is costing lives. It is time for it to end, and if the President and his associates cannot be persuaded to do something that is in the interests of protecting Americans, then those who want to take his job on January 20, 2017 should make a linchpin of their campaign a pledge to stop Islamic State attacks on American soil, and to do whatever may be necessary to do that: instituting a moratorium on immigration from Muslim countries (Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez originally hails from Kuwait), sealing the borders, and calling upon American Muslim groups and mosques in the U.S. to institute genuine, sincere and inspectable programs teaching against the understanding of Islam that the Islamic State represents. Although Muslim groups in the U.S. ostensibly reject that understanding, no such programs currently exist.
Progressives also deny the existence of the black-on-white crime wave that has been engulfing the nation. For a media outlet to even report the race of a black criminal offender is deemed racist. Violent flash-mobs and reports of young black men playing the "knockout game" by randomly attacking white people are labeled figments of the imagination of a bunch of paranoid old white people who can't accept that the nation's demographics are changing. Cry me a river, is a typical response from a progressive when a white person has been victimized. Only black lives matter, they say.
Progressives' long-running attacks on American institutions and on the noble ideals of the Founding Fathers who defined the nation are taking their toll. Patriotism is in decline and America-bashing is now more fashionable than ever.
America's enemies no longer fear us, and nations that had been friendly  no longer trust us.
That's fine with progressives who resent America's exalted position in the world. They are fully behind President Obama's efforts to bring America to heel.

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