Internet Discourse Bad

June 24, 2019

WILLIAMSTOWN – I had a chance to read through the final 75 page report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Inquiry and Inclusion. Here’s my take on what we will now refer to as The Sawicki Report.

The most positive thing about the report is it illustrates the vast majority of students and alumni don’t like it when the school bans speakers. Most significantly, the report indicates hosting a speaker does not imply the school endorses the speaker’s positions. These findings support the interpretation that the vast majority of us do not buy the most important arguments for banning speakers.

In general, the report confirms what many of us active in off-campus social media – including Zachary Wood ’18 – have been saying and complaining about regarding Adam Falk’s decision to ban John Derbyshire.

On the downside, the report does nothing to reverse viewpoint discrimination.

Read the rest of this entry »

I Have A Dream: Help Me Expose Young Obama’s Radicalism in Five Swing States in Five Days

July 14, 2012

I have decided that I cannot wait for the folks at Romney for President, Inc. to give me a call. In today’s modern America, it looks like you need to be your own Walter Cronkite, your own Karl Rove, and your own Reince Priebus. I tried to get out the message that young Obama was not a centrist pragmatist in July 2008, but – to my horror – no one at all picked up the story. It was extremely frustrating to me and my wife. How could the American people vote for a radical to be president of the United States?

Since then, my story on young Barack Obama and his radical friends has been featured in books including Michael Savage’s Trickle Up Poverty, Paul Kengor’s Dupes, Stanley Kurtz’s Radical-In-Chief and Jack Cashill’s Deconstructing Obama. Most recently, my take on young Obama’s ideological extremist was used to help verify the impact that Frank Marshall Davis had on young Obama in a new book by Paul Kengor called The Communist – Frank Marshall Davis: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor.

The gist of my take on young Obama has been confirmed by liberal authors including David Remnick in The Bridge (2010) and David Maraniss in Barack Obama: The Story (2012). Remnick, for example, verified that my ex-college girlfriend was a Marxist radical and that so was Obama’s college roommate, Hasan Chandoo.


Springtime for Stalin: Dr. Drew Reviews Cashill’s, Deconstructing Obama

March 15, 2011

Jack Cashill voices the pain of those of us who are doing the journalistic work we once thought was the sole responsibility of CBS’s 60 Minutes. I identify with Cashill. In his newest book, he indicates it is not so easy to balance his efforts to save Western civilization with his concurrent responsibilities for bagging leaves in time for the city leaf collectors. In my case, I have sought to expose President Barack Obama’s intellectual roots as a revolutionary Marxist while addressing my nagging doubts about the necessity of rinsing dishes prior to racking them up in the dishwasher. If you understand that neither Cashill or me are kidding about our lives, then you will be thrilled by the tone and fresh insight in Deconstructing Obama: The Life, Loves, and Letters of America’s First Postmodern President.
As an eye witness to young Obama’s Marxist ideology, I was excited to see Cashill busting up the myths surrounding Obama and replacing them with a simpler, easier to believe story that is a much better fit with accessible, on-line evidence. After reading Cashill’s book, I suspect swing voters will be disappointed by the titanic gap between Obama’s all-American myth and the cold facts of his real life.
One of the coldest facts is that Cashill gives us insight into the unwholesome side of the young Obama story – the odd, deviant, dysfunctional world of Frank Marshall Davis. Davis, as readers may know, was a member of the Communist party and also handy in the craft of producing pornographic literature and photography. Cashill reframes the Obama story by pointing out that Frank Marshall Davis and his friend Paul Robeson were Stalinist Communists, a political label which is shocking to most Americans and yet useful to me in understanding the roots of the Marxist ideology and earnest revolutionary fervor I observed in the young Barack Obama while he was a sophomore at Occidental College in 1980-1981.
Even as somebody who met young Obama in the early 1980s, I’m was still startled by Cashill’s most controversial argument – the theory that Bill Ayers was the ghost author of Dreams from My Father. Cashill’s thesis was supported, of course, by the independent reporting of a liberal author, Christopher Andersen. Andersen unwisely confirmed Ayers’ participation in creating Dreams in an otherwise flattering book called Barack and Michelle: Portrait of An American Marriage (2010). The weight of Cashill’s argument, however, rests on his careful textual analysis of the striking similarities between the language used in Dreams and the language used in Ayers’ own writing. Here, I’m most convinced by Cashill’s description of how Obama correctly applies nautical images to his life story. The accuracy of the nautical language in Dreams strikes me as much more consistent with Ayer’s experience as a merchant marine than with Obama’s experience as a community organizer.
I would like to add more details that support the idea that Ayers was a major player in drafting Dreams from My Father. The young Barack Obama I knew, for example, displayed absolutely no hostility to white people. He appeared to be culturally and emotionally white. The young Barack Obama I knew was not particularly close to the African-American students at Oxy either, but was – instead – deeply involved in the lives and political activities of the most radical foreign and Muslim students. The young Barack Obama I knew would have been excited to meet Bill Ayers, would have been comfortable with Ayers’ anti-American hostility, and would have been more than capable of persuading the jaded ex-terrorist that he was a sincere believer in the necessity of a socialist transformation of the U.S.
My only difference with Cashill is that I’m not impressed with the quality of Dreams from My Father.
This is true even after Cashill’s book single-handedly improved my taste as a consumer of contemporary literature. My reading of Dreams did not leave me with any useful paradigm shifts, any evidence of encyclopedic knowledge or any immediately relevant information. I think it is more accurate to assert that President Clinton’s book, My Life, articulates the insights and raw memory capacity of a true genius. In comparison to My Life, I found Dreams dull and boring – except for the parts tangentially related to my own intellectual development or linked to my nearly insignificant participation in what Obama reports were the pivotal, life-changing moments of his sophomore year at Occidental College.
Aside from this relatively minor disagreement regarding the quality of Dreams, I whole-heartedly agree with Cashill’s take on the challenge of confronting Obama’s charismatic power: The alarming sense that media elites greet one’s modest, factual, painfully obvious news tips with an astonishing lack of appropriate attention. I have come to believe there is something broken in American journalism. I would think a healthy, well-functioning democracy would include mainstream media outlets that would snap open the delightful fortune cookies Cashill has set out for them. For now, my confidence for winning our future rests in the outspoken courage of Jack Cashill, a writer who is willing to go to extreme lengths – short of leaving his home surrounded by leaves – to make sure that his fellow citizens learn the truth about President Obama.

Augustine 25 Remembers Sen. Ted Kennedy: He Owned a Better Bullet Proof Vest

September 4, 2009

I only met Sen. Ted Kennedy once…at a parade in North Adams, MA. I was recruited to run as a Republican assembly candidate in 1988 and one of my jobs was to walk in the parade and wave to all the registered Democrats lining the parade route. I felt so uncomfortable with the idea that one of my brothers sent me a bullet proof vest to wear during the festivities.

I tried it on…but it looked so boxy under my suit that I decided it was better to die of a gun shot wound than to look like I was wearing a cardboard T-shirt.

Herded into the parade starting area, I was surprised to find myself introduced to Sen. Ted Kennedy who – like me – was waiting to march in the parade. I immediately noticed that his eyes seemed to sparkle as if the departed President John Kennedy was looking at me. It was eerie. This face-to-face meeting helped me understand the unreasonable affection that voters in MA seemed to have for Sen. Ted Kennedy.

The second thing I remember is that his bullet proof vest was a lot smoother and rounder looking than the one I had left behind in my Williamstown apartment. It was apparent to me that wealth and power had its privileges…include the ability to protect yourself while still looking cool to the general public.

Although Sen. Kennedy took out time to greet me and exchange pleasantries, this superficial wholesomeness was not enough for me to forget or forgive his past. Even today, I see Sen. Kennedy’s legacy in the burnt out buildings of Detroit…the crumbling gang-infested inner-city neighborhoods of Los Angeles…and in the shattered lives of everyone harmed by high unemployment and racial preferences for minorities.

Like his sad personal life, Sen. Kennedy’s policies did great damage to our nation, even as he received the praises of those who, momentarily, thought they benefited from his ideas.

Sen Kennedy left a profound amount of wreckage in terms of the people harmed by his life including his ex-wife, his children, and – of course – his most famous victim – Mary Jo Kopechne (July 26, 1940 – July 18, 1969). Of course, I didn’t mention Ms. Kopechne during that face-to-face meeting with Sen. Kennedy. For that tiny moment, I was part of the general lethargy of the living, too constrained by social niceties to vent my true feelings – that Sen. Kennedy should have been a felon and not a U.S. Senator.

Augustine 25 is the pseudonym of an award-winning political scientist.

Free Advice to POTUS from A25OTUS: Pay Attention to Your Polling Numbers

July 29, 2009

I just read in the NYT that the Obama administration is holding a special review and strategy session this weekend. According to the NYT, a White House aide said 22 officials with Cabinet rank will meet with administration advisers at Blair House this weekend. They will use this time to take stock of what the administration has accomplished and plan for the future.

I’ve been watching Obama’s steeply dropping Presidential approval ratings…so I think I understand why this July 31 – August 1 working weekend is so important. As a management consultant, I know that there is only one real reason for organizational failure – the behavior of the leader at the very top of the organization.

I’ve had the unique experience of being an award-winning political scientist, a successful management consultant, and an early advisor to the young BHO. In that spirit, I would make the following recommendations to him for turning around his struggling presidency:

1. Quit your substance abuse. You can’t perform as President and also damage your brain with alcohol, tobacco or other drugs ATOD.

2. Pick the brains of those who predicted the failure of the stimulus package…these are the economists and social scientists who really understand how a modern economy functions, prospers and produces jobs. (Give Steve Forbes a call.)

3. Remember that the most successful Presidents of the past have done what has helped them stay high in the polls. This is one of the unique blessings of the American political system. If the President is doing well in the polls, then he is usually making wise decisions that benefit the nation.

I don’t expect BHO to ever read this post. Nevertheless, this would be my sincere advice based on what I know about him and the larger patterns of U.S. politics.

Augustine 25 is the pseudonym of an award-winning political scientist.

New “Bear Any Burden” Logo Video from Augustine 25

June 18, 2009

Augustine 25 – Bear Any Burden – Logo Video

No Time for Ghandi: Five Realistic Tips for a Successful “Green” Revolution in Iran

June 16, 2009

Watching the events in Iran this week, I cannot help but think that a quick course in successful revolutions would benefit the freedom-seeking people of Iran.  The most important thing I would stress is that the popular Marxist socialist ideas of the past really aren’t relevant to a real revolution.  Marx completely underestimated the importance of the power of the state.  Successful revolutions occur, in real life, when the existing regime is unable to repress its people because it runs out of ammunition, money, and willing soldiers.  Moreover, what usually tips the balance is outside foreign influence.  Without the support of extra-national resources, the existing regime generally manages to temporarily concede enough, temporarily repress enough, and temporarily bluff enough to pull through the crisis.  I recommend Theda Skocpol’s book, States and Social Revolutions, which is a comparative analysis of political revolutions in Russia, France, and China.  This book provides readers with insight on the reality, and not the emotional fantasy, of revolution.

The main point I’m trying to make is that Chairman Mao’s ideas are probably more valuable than ideas like wearing green or having everyone show up at the same time, some place on a map.  As Mao wrote: “A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous.”  Right now, I think most U.S. official observers are betting on the success of Ahmadinejad because they don’t think the people in Iran have the willingness to take their revolution up to the level it would need to be to truly succeed.  This cold realism, in part, is responsible for Obama’s lackluster support of freedom fighters in Iran.  For more details on the militaristic reality of modern day Iran, please see an excellent little article by Danielle Pletka and Ali Alfoneh at Iran\’s Hidden Revolution.

Nevertheless, based on Skocpol’s theories, what would need to happen to make the “Green” revolution in Iran successful? 

1. Focus efforts on undermining the financial stability of Ahmadinejad’s police and military powers.  In a crisis, there is no better friend than ready cash.  Thus, one of the secrets for success in overthrowing a corrupt regime is to drain it of the cash it needs to survive.  Financial isolation of Ahmadinejad and his allies is extremely important.  This means that anything which disrupts his ability to pay the police or the military is a great idea right now.  Freezing bank accounts, slowing down financial services, cutting off foreign investment…all of this will have more impact than anything designed to emotionally “rally” the people. 

2. Accept that outside assistance should be welcomed, not shunned, and open the gateways to international assistance.  Under the old Marxist model, outside intervention was unnecessary…even counter-productive.  The reality of revolution, however, is that it is extremely difficult to overthrow a corrupt regime without outside support.  The Shah of Iran’s family would probably still be in power if it had not been for the influence of U.S. President Jimmy Carter.  Outside intervention is essential because a revolution is not usually winnable if it is a “fair” fight that only involves domestic vs. domestic forces.  Even the U.S. was dependent on France during our revolutionary war.  This means that the opposition to Ahmadinejad and his allies should look for outside cash and other resources to assist them at this crucial moment. 

3. Disrupt communications for police and military forces.  A mob enjoys a temporary advantage if the police and military forces are unable to communicate with each other.  Organization and communication is a force multiplier for the state, and thus it becomes important to do whatever can be done to cut lines of communication, disrupt messages, and inject confusion into the ranks of the police and military.  In particular, the mob has an advantage everytime it succeeds in isolating Ahmadinejad and the ruling elites.  Tactically, a coup d’état involves seizing physical control of the country’s key government offices, communications media, and infrastructure. 

4. Beware of new faces.  In moments of crisis, your best friends are your oldest and dearest friends.  You know their strengths and weaknesses and you know the extent of their loyalty.  The greatest danger for those seeking to overthrow a corrupt regime comes from their “new” friends.  Although many of these new friends are decent and honest people, they are also more likely to be spies sent in to undermine your small and developing organization. 

5. Trust your own perception and understanding.  One of the great advantages of revolutionaries is that they see things fresh and trust their own judgment.  This is actually a force multiplier for the freedom fighters because “trusting yourself” speeds up the decision-making process and activates the full use of your mind to take advantage of small moments, brief opportunities, and scarce resources that can make all the difference. 

There are more and more ideas and insights I could offer, but sometimes – in emergency situations – it’s best to keep things simple.  Nevertheless, I’ll close by saying that I think it is fair to say that with Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan all weakened by their own internal problems…this is an ideal time for a revolt in Iran along the lines articulated by anti-Ahmadinejad forces.  My comments above are meant to represent the best distillation of my understanding of politics and social science.  Personally, I’m convinced that the long-term prosperity of the whole region will be dependent on the full compulsory education of both men and women, the end of child labor, and the intelligent efforts of all of us – inside and outside of Iran – to adjust to a modern world were religions are judged by their unintended consequences….not their carefully planned promises.

Augustine 25 is the pseudonym of an award-winning political scientist.

Obama is Wrong Again: It’s Time to Strongly Support the Pro-Democracy Forces in Iran

June 14, 2009

One of the ways Americans divide themselves up is according to which side they root for in foreign wars and insurrections. In the case of Iran, I think it would be wise for everyone who opposes the Democrats to line up on the side of the freedom fighters supporting Mir Hussein Moussavi. As far as I can tell, the conflict surrounding Moussavi is not going away. Apparently, more than 100 opposition members have been detained and Moussavi reportedly “remained at home Sunday with the police closely monitoring his movements.” Even worse, the Obama administration has decided to line up with Iran’s most senior cleric, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who called the election a great success and “has once again approved its result.”

Obama appears to be following the typical appeasement strategy which hopelessly believes that doing nothing wins us international support when, in truth, it signals a weakness that allows folks like Moussavi to get ground up by Iranian military and government elites.

I think the smarter option is for us to start wearing green, to use our modest Twitter and social networking tools to support the Iranian opposition, and to encourage those who would put greater military pressure on Iran. It is silly to think that revolutions occur when the public reaches an emotional boiling point. The reality is that revolutions only succeed when governments fail to repress them with military force. Accordingly, the more distractions we can provide for the Iranian military, the more we can expect to see public emotions turn into a beneficial change of regime. Also, I think it is unrealistic to think that axis of evil type governments change only through internal stress.

All in all, I think this is an important time to send a strong message to the protestors in Iran that we support their efforts and will do whatever we can to help them achieve their freedom. We can encourage them by pointing out that they are on the side of justice and winning history. Iran will be a silly, weak, and backward place as long as it abuses gays, women and children with an outmoded religious/political ideology. The starting point for the U.S. is that Obama should stand up and support a second election with international monitors. As a political scientist, I know the polls cannot be that far off – even in Iran.

Augustine 25 is the pseudonym for an award-winning political scientist.

See Ad for New Pelosi Car

June 2, 2009

One of the things I’ve noticed is that Democrat’s plans for us really hit home – in a personal way – when you think through what they want to do to humiliate those of us who really like our traditional cars. In my neighborhood, I’m starting to see people driving around in these dangerous clown cars. My mind always goes back to the phrase: “What would Jesus drive…if he wanted to protect his family.”

Sotomayor and Affirmative Action: I’m Still Angry After All These Years

May 31, 2009

I feel a special anger over the Sotomayor nomination as one of the folks who spent 10 years living in poverty preparing for an academic career only to be told at the end of the process…”oops, you’re White.”

Sotomayor (and both Obamas) were among those who thought it was a smart idea to harm guys like me by providing preferential treatment to minorities in the education field. As a poor Armenian-American, no one seemed to care that I grew up poor of that I was the first on my mother’s side of the family to even graduate from college. Instead, the wealthy children of other races would be advantaged over me for political reasons.

As one of their not-so-silent victims, I can assure you that my outrage and anger over this injustice has not gone away. Moreover, they have reduced the respect and authority of our national institutions by making it clear that merit is no longer the top priority in various hiring decisions.

I want to urge everyone who understands the importance of justice to a peaceful society to express their outrage over Sotomayor’s cruelty and her blatant racist remarks.