Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Friday, October 07, 2011

Bad Report for UK Banks

It’s about 11:30 Eastern Daylight Time in New York, and apparently the New York Stock Market just read the bad news from England, which broke about 90 minutes ago:  (the market nosedived over 150 points) from SkyNews:

“Moody's cut its rating on state-owned banks RBS by two notches and Lloyds TSB by one notch, taking both to Aa3.  Other institutions to be downgraded included the UK arm of Spain's Santander, Co-Operative bank, Nationwide building society and several smaller UK banks.

“Sky's City editor Mark Kleinman had revealed in May that Moody's would be putting 14 British banks and building societies on review for a downgrade.  In a statement, the ratings agency said the downgrades were caused by a reduction in confidence after the Government withdrew its backing for seven smaller institutions and scaled back its support for the five ‘larger, more systemically important financial institutions.’

“It added that medium- to long-term support was unpredictable but that it expects the Government to continue to support the bigger banks which are more systemically linked.

"’However, it is more likely now to allow smaller institutions to fail if they become financially troubled,’ it warned.

“Although it recognised that the stand-alone financial strength of the five institutions had improved, it did not offset the reduction in the Government's safety net.  Shares in the banks slumped as markets opened this morning, with any initial gains expected in the FTSE quickly wiped out.  RBS shares fell 5% when markets opened this morning but recovered as the day wore on.  The bank said it was disappointed that Moody's had not ‘acknowledged the progress we have made in strengthening the bank's credit profile.’

“’We do, however, see the removal of implicit Government support for the UK banking sector as being a necessary and important step forward as the sector returns to standalone strength," it added.

“Moody's said that the downgrades do not reflect a deterioration in the financial strength of the banking system or that of the UK Government.  Commenting on the news, Chancellor George Osborne said: ‘As I understand it, one of the reasons they are doing this, is because they think the British Government is actually moving in the direction of trying to get away from guaranteeing all the largest banks in Britain.

“‘I'm confident that British banks are well capitalised, they are liquid, they are not experiencing the kinds of problems that some of the banks in the Eurozone are experiencing at the moment.’

“The regional building societies affected by the ratings review were Newcastle, Norwich & Peterborough, Nottingham, Principality, Skipton, West Bromwich and Yorkshire.  The ratings agency also downgraded nine Portuguese banks.”

As soon as the word gets down to the Occupy Wall Street Crowd, they’ll be breaking out the champagne – or the cheap beer.  Considering the age and mentality of this crowd, their lack of knowledge, imagination, and maturity, they should break out the grape juice.

If their college tuitions are too high, they can thank the college professors who are mentoring them in this street action.  Better yet, they could go back home to their communities and attend community college until they can afford to a school where professors teach history not political organizing.  Are the students wearing the clown masks political science majors or theatre majors?

Just what kind of career they’re being prepared for is unclear.  But if this is our future government sector, you can imagine what it will be like standing on the DMV line.  If they wind up as civil service employees at the DMV, we will have revenge and it will be sweet.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Icon of Capitalism Passes Away

Good cooks never give away their recipe.  Apple CEO and founder Steve Jobs, who died last night after a decade-long bout with cancer, was famous for forbidding his employees to leak company secrets to the media or anyone else.

As the Day of Rage riots simmer and brew, and the unions add more meat to the stew that the organizers have been concocting since before the Tunisia riots, it’s time to reflect on Jobs’ capitalistic contributions and the innovations that made organizing today’s riots so much easier and more efficient.

No blame to Jobs.  I remember when the Apple Computers, particularly the Mac, came out in the early Eighties.  I was a young secretary then.  The company at which I worked had one, and only one computer, an Apple.  I believe it was the new Mac.  At any rate, the Mac had its own room.  I had to sign a security book in order to use the computer and then the secretary unlocked the door and let me in.  There was a rarified air in the room and I felt that I would have to kneel down and bow to it, chanting, “I – O – I – O – I – O” (binary code) before it would allow me to touch it.

Jobs was a creative innovator who saved the world from enthrallment in a DOS-based universe, where you would have to give a command for every function you wished to perform.  Jobs, with his icons and desktop windows applications changed all that.  Eventually, other computer manufacturers got on board.  But it was Jobs who saved the working world, more so than the hypocritical demonstrators, using their Ipods and Ipads to organize their riots, trying to crash Wall Street.

Jobs may have been a Liberal; but he was a smart Liberal capitalist who didn’t look to the government to help him.  He began his business when he was 21 or 22, in 1976, out of his parents’ garage, with co-founder and high school buddy, Tom Wozniak.

Adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs of Los Altos, California, a working-class couple who nurtured his early interest in electronics, Jobs saw his first computer at NASA's Ames Research Center when he was 11.  Before finishing high school, he landed a summer job at Hewlett-Packard.  Jobs enrolled in Reed College in Portland, Ore., in 1972 but dropped out after six months.

Interestingly, given our current situation, he said at a Stanford University commencement address in 2005, “All of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it.  I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out."

When he returned to California in 1974, Jobs worked for video game maker Atari and attended meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club -- a group of computer hobbyists – among them, Wozniak.  Enthusiasts loved Wozniak's homemade computer, but Jobs, the capitalist visionary, saw its potential far beyond the geeky hobbyists of the time.  He and Wozniak started Apple Computer Inc. in Jobs' parents' garage in 1976.  According to Wozniak, Jobs suggested the name after visiting an “apple orchard” that Wozniak said was actually a commune, although Jobs later said he was inspired by the Apple label on the Beatles’ albums.

Like the automobile innovator of another age, Henry Ford, Jobs envisioned a computer for the general public.  Their first creation was the Apple I -- essentially, the guts of a computer without a case, keyboard or monitor.  The Apple II, which hit the market in 1977, was their first machine for the masses. By age 25, Jobs was worth $100 million.

Van Jones, meanwhile, has delivered the Tea Parties, a left-handed compliment:  that he admires the Tea Party’s methods.  Which Tea Party does he mean, though?  Was he talking about the Tea Parties of 2009 or the Tea Party of 1773, organized by Boston’s resident trouble-maker and erstwhile beer brewer, Samuel Adams?  Adams didn’t have much of a head for business, and his brewery failed.  But he did have a head for organizing Boston’s milling, hot-headed crowds.  He bided his time, watching their annual Pope Day battles, between North and South Boston, until he could guide them into a cause worth rioting for:  the American Revolution.  The results were the Boston Massacre, begun by the Bostonians, not the British, and the Boston Tea Party, as well as various riots which resulted in the terrorization of Boston’s Tory citizens (let it be said that they gave as good as they got, though) and the eventual departure of Massachusetts’s provincial governor, Thomas Hutchinson.  The rioting also brought on the introduction of more British soldiers into the Colonies.

The Founding Fathers, particularly Benjamin Franklin and George Washington were not pleased, and insisted that the East India Company be repaid for its lost tea.  However, they also recognized the discontent among the colonists and the injustice of Britain’s trade restrictions.  Defense of free-market capitalism is what drove the American Revolution.  While he didn’t approve of the Tea Party action, Washington was actually glad to see that the fight was finally being brought to a head.

What is happening on Wall Street is hardly the American Revolution.  Certainly, it is not the American Spring, or Autumn, though a cynical wag could call it “The American Fall.”  Here is what our Mainstream Media is telling us about the events in Lower Manhattan, where the rioters are being confined to Zuccotti Park, although they held a protest march to Foley Square, where the Federal courthouse is located.

According to Adam Martin of the Atlantic Wire, “Zuccotti Park, where the Occupy Wall Street encampment is located, is not actually a park (it's actually private land owned by Brookfield Properties) but the guy it's named after is real: he's John Zuccotti the United States chairman of the real estate behemoth Brookfield Properties. He works in the World Financial Center, which is just one of Brookfield's vast holdings. Zuccotti was profiled today by The New York Times's Sam Roberts and he sounds like a guy who is quite happy with all of the attention, even if it's indirect.”

Even Juilliard students are said to be participating.  Make Music, Not War, kid.

Here’s what some of the other media are reporting:

The NY Daily News, quoting a retired salesman from Teaneck, N.J. who’d never been to a protest before:  “I want the wealthy to pay their fair share.  If, in some small way, I can show up and yell and support and march, I'll do whatever I can do to help Main Street.”

“He welcomed the union muscle, saying it gave the protest more substance, ‘so it doesn't appear to be a clown show.’”

WNBC-TV Reporter – “Last night’s protest march was largely successful.”

Unions lent their muscle?  Economic inequality?  The unions are responsible for the corporate flight and collapse. They dare talk about protecting their pensions, when so many private sector employees’ jobs are either gone or are in danger?  Wealthy pay their fair share?  Help Main Street?  These are not 2009 Tea Party tactics; these are socialist mob tactics, more reminiscent of the French Revolution not the American Revolution, not the courage of George Washington and his troops, but the brutality of not cops but violent, uncontrolled mobs bursting into the homes of civilians, Tories though they were, frightening old women and children.  These mobs are beginning to take on the tenor not even of the mobs of Boston, but of Paris.  Boston wanted free trade.  Paris wanted social equality and redistribution of wealth, which is not in any sense “equality.”   All that is wanting is Madame DeFarge and her knitting needles.

The supreme irony is that the unions have “suddenly” joined forces with the student protester – something they undoubtedly intended to do all along.  They’re mounting their numbers, waiting for that tipping point – whatever it might be – that will plunge Lower Manhattan and America into the chaos the anarachists have long awaited.  Nov. 5th is traditionally Guy Fawkes Day, in honor of the anarchist who was within a match’s length of blowing up Great Britain’s Parliament.

Or there may be some other nearer, secret anniversary date which might be approaching.  The growing numbers are clearly an intended menace, though.  WOR’s John Gambling, whose studios are across the street from Zuccotti Park, noted the mounting crowds this morning with understandable alarm.

This is not the modern Tea Party way.  This is not the civilized way.  This is not the American way.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Toxic Bureaucracy

If you’re a user of vitamins and supplements, there’s bad news in the tea leaves:  the FDA is about to ban the over-the-counter sale of all vitamins and supplements, reclassifying them as “toxins” that can only be obtained by prescription.  Better stock up on your Vitamin C tablets – the government virus season is about to begin.

News of this latest intrusion of government bureaucracy comes from a website called NaturalNews:

“We here at NaturalNews cannot stress enough how important it is to take the time to fight back against the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) latest assault against vitamins and dietary supplements.

“Proposed guidelines put forth by the agency for "New Dietary Ingredients" (NDIs) propose treating vitamins, herbs, and dietary supplements as synthetic food preservatives, which means pulling many of them off the market, and subjecting the rest to extreme regulatory protocols that will drive up costs and severely limit availability.

“The Dietary Supplement Health and Information Act of 1994 (DSHEA), as many NaturalNews readers likely already know, was a major victory achieved for health freedom. It is also the foundation upon which the dietary supplement market as well as the health of millions of Americans has thrived.

“Part of this legislation, however, outlines that the FDA must establish a final rule for how supplement manufacturers are to notify the agency of NDIs, a mandate that the FDA finally got around to addressing back in July. But what the FDA came up with as a solution is the complete opposite of what DSHEA, and the Congress that passed it, intended for the agency to do.

“Instead of creating a simple method of notification as it was supposed to do, the FDA decided instead to manipulate and distort the NDI notification process by turning it into a type of regulatory approval process, similar to what drug companies are required to complete in order to get new drugs approved.

“Under the proposed FDA guidelines, vitamin and dietary supplement manufacturers will have to submit applications for approval, rather than notifications of use, for all new ingredients or ingredient blends they use that were not in widespread use prior to 1994 when DSHEA was passed.

“Because of tricky language contained in the proposal, practically all supplements currently on the market will be subjected to these new guidelines, as the FDA considers things like changed dosages and altered ingredient formulations with new ingredients.

“This means that manufacturers of high-dose vitamin D, for instance, will be required to submit new NDI applications if the doses they sell were not in widespread use prior to DSHEA's passage in 1994. And even if the FDA approves an individual company's application for a specific form and dose of vitamin D, each additional manufacturer of the same vitamin D form and dose would also have to submit individual NDI applications for their products as well.
“In accordance with Codex Alimentarius, FDA guidelines will treat nutrients as toxins
“What the FDA's entire NDI proposal boils down to is the agency's capitulation to Codex Alimentarius provisions that treat nutrients like toxins. As we have written about on numerous occasions, US harmonization with Codex's Guidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplements has been the goal of globalist planners for years, and the FDA has cooperated nicely with this agenda via S. 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act (, and now the NDI application process.

“The disastrous implications of the Codex vitamin and mineral guidelines (or planned world genocide) include establishing "upper safe levels" of vitamins and minerals, and subjecting vitamins and minerals to the same toxicologic risk assessment protocols as deadly toxins like lead and mercury.

“To read the finalized Codex guidelines for vitamins and minerals that were passed back in 2005, visit: Be sure to pay close attention to Section 3. Composition, which describes, in detail, how vitamins and minerals are to be treated under the new international food code, which in turn will eliminate their availability on the marketplace.
“You can help stop the FDA's takeover of vitamins and supplements by following these six simple steps.  The Life Extension Foundation (LEF), a valued and respected ally of NaturalNews, has constructed a set of measures that every member of the natural health community must complete in order to stop the FDA from stealing our supplements. LEF is asking everyone to complete all of the following steps:

1) Complete LEF's sample petition letter and send it to the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Nutrition, Labeling and Dietary supplements:

2) Print out the same petition, customize it into your own voice, and fax it to the FDA at (301) 443-9767.

3) Call the FDA at (888) 723-3366 and read your petition aloud to personnel at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Nutrition, Labeling and Dietary Supplements.

4) Submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to determine which pharmaceutical interests are behind the FDA's NDI proposal and push to eliminate supplements from the marketplace, which benefit the drug industry by eliminating natural medicine, and causing those supplements that are still available to skyrocket in price:

5) Submit letters to your two state Senators, as well as to your local Representative, demanding that the FDA immediately withdraw its tyrannical proposal:

6) Send a letter to the President's Office of Management and Budget notifying it that the FDA's proposal is in direct conflict with Executive Order -- Regulation and Independent Regulatory Agencies issued on July 11, 2011 ( FDA's proposals directly violate this order, which stipulates that burdensome regulations that interfere with job creation, economic growth, and innovation must be repealed:

Finally, the Alliance for Natural Health - USA (ANH-USA), another NaturalNews ally, has set up a call-in day to Congress on Thursday, September 8, 2011. ANH-USA is asking the entire natural health community to call their Congressmen on this day and demand that FDA's NDI proposals be stopped.

Remember, massive push back from people just like you -- and maybe even from many of you back in the early 1990s is what successfully passed DSHEA in the first place. Now is the time, once again, to let our voices be heard, and stop the tyranny that seeks to eliminate our free access to natural vitamins, minerals, and dietary supplements.”

Learn more at:

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The Super-Secret Secrets of the Tea Parties

The latest news is that Socialist Van Jones, while he dislikes the kinder, gentler Tea Party, is advising his own followers to take up our methods.  He says that his own have been acting on rugged individualism, while we espouse individualism but have been working collectively.

First of all, collectively speaking, we are really not THE Tea Party, but rather the Tea Parties.  To use the collective singular would be like saying New Jersey is the United State.  E pluribus unum.  Out of many, one.  No one tea party prevails.  We're united in the only way we need to be united:  we're Americans.  Tea Party leaders will sometimes congregate and trade best grassworks practices, but even with the individual states, there is more than one tea party group, or initiative group, and they all operate independently of one another.

The Tea Parties did unite to descend upon Washington, with some success.  But they learned what they were warned of early on – grassroots starts at home.  Those politicians in the capitol are already locked in and they’re not going to budge.  We made our presence known to an uncertain public that doesn’t like to get involved.

Our greatest secret is one the Socialists claimed way back in the 1930s – education is the key.  Unbrainwashing people who have been drugged, duped, and deceived is a hard task, as anyone who has tried to de-programmed a loved one from a religious cult can tell you.   Our middle class moderates are soft and timid, something else Van Jones and the Socialists know very well.  They ought to know; it should be no secret to Jones – they’re responsible for it.

Our individual Tea Parties do have leaders.  But they’re known only to their local communities.  Our volunteers, on their own initiative since most Tea Parties are banned from endorsing candidates, will volunteer for a politician’s campaign.  We write letters to the editors, we post blogs, we go into media chat rooms, we wear Tea Party pins and tee shirts and post signs (when we can).   The rallies themselves have fallen off because they’re difficult to arrange, especially in cold weather.

We have made very good use of social media both to communicate with one another and to get our message across.  We’ve tried very hard to dispel those early and extremely doubtful images of Tea Partiers running amok in Florida and elsewhere.  The Morristown Tea Party decided early on that wasn’t the way they were going to operate.

They had the advantage of having someone who knew something about organizing an event, and persuaded its members that so did they – they just didn’t know they knew how to it.  Once they got going, the only stumbling block was politics itself and that nasty, obstructionist word, “non-partisan.”  That might be very well for a Libertarian debate.  But the Tea Parties were not a debate; they were a rally for disenfranchised Conservatives (especially in blue state New Jersey).

Glenn Beck doesn’t like our signs; he evidently considered them objects of controversy.  But didn’t his blackboard on Fox News do exactly the same thing?  Did he not have political disagreements with his management?  Did he not wind up creating his own television network so he could air his program without threats or interference?  Good for him.  And that’s what the Tea Parties did.
If I were to suggest the next step for our Tea Parties, it would be to turn the tables on the politicians.  We’ve had rallies (with professional speakers) to speak for us and tell the politicians what we want.  Evidently, it’s still not enough.  This is the season when politicians make campaign speeches.  Maybe it’s time for a little “change” – let the people make the campaign speeches and tell the politicians what they want.

Politicians make these 30- and 60-second campaign messages.  That’s what we need to do, Tea Party guys and gals.  You did great with the signs.  Now it’s time to make short campaign speeches and stick them up there on YouTube.  Most of you have these little video cameras.  Or you can one fairly cheap at Wal-Mart.  If you have a PC and Internet, there’s nothing at all to loading the video onto You-Tube.  One double-spaced, typewritten page equals about one minute.  Make every word count.

For instance:

My fellow Americans:

Once again it is campaign season.  America is become the land of dread and alienation.  Not one Republican candidate will wholly endorse traditional American values.  Their byword is “compromise”. 

Therefore, we must take the stand – every one of us – and tell them what we want, our vision for the future of America.  We believe in an America where honesty is the highest virtue.  We believe in accountable representatives.  In the future America, only legal citizens will be permitted to enjoy the fruits of our heritage.  Children will learn of our great heritage and learn to love our country with respect and admiration.  Entrepreneurs will be encouraged through lower tax rates to build thriving businesses and employ Americans gainfully. 

The family will once again be the heart of every community and the home a place of pride and bounty.  Families will learn to live within their means and not covet their neighbor’s possessions.  They will once more to look to God, not the Government, for comfort, help, and salvation, and their neighbors will answer God’s call to lend help.  Charity will again begin at home, not at the Internal Revenue Service building. 

Americans will enjoy the guarantee of freedom of the press, speech, religion and assembly, as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.  They will be permitted to bear arms to protect those rights, those same rights guaranteed in the Fourth Amendment.  The government will be reduced to its proper size.  A free market society will always prevail over a permanent welfare state.  People will guarantee their own economic security by their own labor and common sense.  With government so reduced, charities will be able to care for those truly unable to support themselves.

Companies and corporations can be held to economic and environmental standards without being held hostage to socialist agendas.  Indeed, the government is often at the very center of crises involving these institutions.  Bureaucracy and corruption go hand in hand.  No fouler water ever spewed forth than the political swamp upon which our nation’s capitol stands.

Our demands are simple:  a smaller, more efficient government; a respect for our Constitutional liberties; an acknowledgement of the people as the true power in our republic; accountability from our representatives; the freedom of speech and religion our Constitution guarantees; protection from domestic and international subversion and military threats; and the freedom to pursue life, liberty, prosperity, and happiness.

If these be not original thoughts or arguments, they at least have the advantage of demonstrated success.  We will not compromise on these demands.  We will not yield our freedom, secured by the blood of many who died in battle.  Let those who would have our votes stand upon the platform of freedom, prosperity, and liberty and declare their allegiance to them.  Then we will listen.  And decide.

God Bless America.   

Monday, October 03, 2011

CUNY: The Little Red Schoolhouse

They say that oral history is telescopic. History is only retained in the collective mind for a certain period and then it’s forgotten, usually once those who actually lived through it have passed on. The World War II generation is all but gone, save for a few, sage elders.

In the 1930s, the faculty of the City College of New York, now part of CUNY, agreed upon a plan to change the course of education forever. Based upon an anti-war platform, they formed a teacher’s union and advocated socialism and communism to the college students of the day. The CCNY social movement began with the publication, in 1931, of the first issue of Frontiers, a newsletter published by the Social Problems Club, criticizing military training on campus. City College President Frederick B. Robinson bans the club and suspends eleven of its leaders. Ironically, future CUNY sociology professor Frances Fox Piven would be born the next year.

CUNY's history dates back to the formation of the Free Academy in 1847 by Townsend Harris, the first American envoy to Japan. The school was fashioned as “a Free Academy for the purpose of extending the benefits of education gratuitously to persons who have been pupils in the common schools of the city and county of New York.” The Free Academy later became the City College of New York, the oldest institution among the CUNY colleges. Hunter College – originally Female Normal and High School, later the Normal College, and finally Hunter in 1914 – had existed since 1870, and later expanded into the Bronx in the early 20th century with what became Hebert Lehman College, but CCNY and Hunter resisted merging. Today, you can hardly distinguish, and in fact, they are now under the same educational umbrella.

In 1926, in response to the growth in population of the city, the New York State legislature created the Board of Higher Education of the City of New York to integrate, coordinate and expand the institutions of higher education in the city. Through this agency, the state legislature asserted considerable control over the city's higher education. During the period the Board existed, John Jay College (1925), Brooklyn College (1930) and Queens College (1937) were created, along with a number of 2-year community colleges.

In 1961, Governor Nelson Rockefeller signed the bill that formally created the City University of New York to integrate these institutions, and a new graduate school, together into a coordinate system of higher education for the city, and by 1979, the Board of Higher Education had become the Board of Trustees of the CUNY. Eventually, the system grew to include seven senior colleges, four hybrid schools, six community colleges, as well as graduate schools and professional programs.

Over its history, CUNY and its colleges, especially CCNY, have been involved in various political movements. It was known as a hotbed of socialistic support in the earlier 20th century. CUNY also lent some support to various conferences, such as the Socialist Scholars Conference.

Millions of dollars in federal stimulus funds have been awarded to CUNY’s projects and programs, providing more opportunities for research, training and expansion. Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, who recently championed higher education as critical to the nation's economic recovery efforts, said enrollment at City University of New York is at its highest level in more than three decades.

CUNY is the third-largest university system in the United States, in terms of enrollment, behind the State University of New York (SUNY), and the California State University system. CUNY and SUNY are separate and independent university systems, although both are public institutions that receive funding from New York State. CUNY, however, is additionally funded by the City of New York.

Piven was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, of Russian immigrants. She immigrated to the United States when she was one and was naturalized as a United States citizen in 1953. She received a B.A. in City Planning in 1953, an M.A. in 1956, and a Ph.D. in 1962, all from the University of Chicago. She’s taught at Boston University and is currently a professor in the Ph.D Sociology Program at the City University of New York.

Throughout her career, Piven has combined academic work with political action. In 1968, she signed the “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War. In 1983 she co-founded Human SERVE (Service Employees Registration and Voter Education), an organization with the goal of increasing voter registration by linking voter registration offerings with the use of social services or state Departments of Motor Vehicles. Human SERVE's initiative was incorporated by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, colloquially known as the “Motor Voter Bill.” Together with husband Richard Cloward, she wrote an article in the May 1966 issue of The Nation titled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty,” advocating increased enrollment in social welfare programs in order to collapse that system and force reforms, leading to a guaranteed annual income. This political strategy has been referred to as the “Cloward–Piven Strategy.” During 2006/07 Piven served as the President of the American Sociological Association.

CUNY now offers an exhibit called “The Struggle for Free Speech at CCNY: 1931-42,” They also provide a website, The Struggle for Free Speech at CCNY: 1931-42, which chronicles the history of their “struggle” to disseminate information about socialism and communism throughout the public school systems of America. Initially, it began as a war protest, but their agenda went much further than simply protesting war. Here’s some of what they have to say:

“Since the September 11, 2001 attacks and the passage of the U.S.A. Patriot Act, the actions of the federal government to monitor the activities of university-based faculty and students have raised public concern about academic freedom and free speech on college campuses. Americans are actively debating how best to exercise our cherished civil liberties and rights during a period of national crisis. This exhibit describes a series of events that took place at the City College of New York (the oldest of all CUNY colleges) during the 1930s and early 1940s that posed similar challenges to notions of academic freedom and civil liberties.

“Student and faculty political activism at City College during the Great Depression was widespread. CCNY students throughout the 1930s participated in protests against militarism, social and economic injustice at home and the threat of fascism abroad. They also fought to defend free speech on their campus. City College faculty also participated in anti-fascist organizations and formed the College Teachers Union (a predecessor of today’s faculty union); they also established a City College unit of the U.S. Communist Party. Mainstream newspapers at the time, opposed to such campus-based activism, labeled City College “The Little Red School House.”

“The City College administration, the New York City Board of Higher Education, and outside political forces in New York State attempted to silence this campus activism. Students were suspended or expelled and their organizations and publications banned. Faculty members were denied reappointment, and those who refused to cooperate with the Rapp-Coudert Committee (1940-42) - a New York state legislative committee created to investigate “Communist subversion” in the city’s public schools and colleges--were ultimately dismissed from their jobs.


February 1931 First issue of Frontiers, a newsletter published by the Social Problems Club, criticizes military training on campus. City College President Frederick B. Robinson bans the club and suspends eleven of its leaders.

May 23, 1932 Three thousand students at City College, organized by the National Student League, protest a fee increase for evening students. Ten thousand students sign petitions of protest. The NYC Board of Higher Education eliminates the fee.

October 26,1932 President Robinson dismisses instructor Oakley Johnson, the Social Problems Club’s advisor. Over one-thousand students protest. President Robinson calls police to the campus; four students are arrested. An off-campus protest meeting on October 30 leads President Robinson to suspend nineteen student leaders.

November 1932 City College Instructional Staff Association established.

May 29, 1933 “Jingo Day” anti-military protest held on campus. In response, the college administration expels twenty-one students and suspends the Social Problems Club, the Student Forum and the Liberal Club for supporting the protest.

April 13, 1934 First National Student Strike against War. Eight hundred City College students assemble peacefully. Police are called on campus to disperse protesters.

October 9, 1934 President Robinson invites a Young Italian Fascist delegation to a student assembly in the Great Hall. City College students disrupt this event and twenty-one student leaders are expelled.

November 20, 1934 City College students protest fascism. A two-headed effigy of President Robinson and Mussolini is burned.

March 1935 Anti-Fascist Association of City College faculty and staff formed.

March 1935 Teacher and Worker, a monthly newsletter of the City College staff unit of the U.S. Communist Party, begins publication.

May 24, 1935 College Teachers Union established.

April 1936 Thirteen activist City College faculty, including Morris U. Schappes of the English Department, are dismissed. Massive student demonstrations and widespread union support lead to their reinstatement.

February 1940 Distinguished British philosopher Bertrand Russell is appointed to teach at City College, but the funding for the position is rescinded by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in response to pressure from political and religious groups that oppose Russell’s unorthodox views on marriage.

December 2, 1940 The Rapp-Coudert Committee of the NY State legislature begins its investigations of Communist subversion in public schools and colleges. Initial committee hearing held at the New York County Court House at Foley Square.

July 11, 1941 English instructor Morris Schappes is fired a second time. He is sentenced to prison for up to two years on charges he committed perjury during his testimony at the Rapp-Coudert hearings.

1940-42 Rapp-Coudert Committee investigations lead to the dismissal or resignation under pressure of more than fifty City College staff and faculty members, the largest single political purge in the U.S. academic community until the 1950s.

1952-53 The U.S. Senate Internal Security Committee continues the work of the Rapp-Coudert Committee in investigating Communist subversion in higher education. The Board of Higher Education dismisses fourteen faculty and staff members for refusing to cooperate with the Senate committee.

1953-58 The Board of Higher Education creates its own investigation committee to search out and eliminate Communists from college staffs. Over forty faculty and staff members are dismissed or resign under pressure as the result of these internal investigations.

October 1981 The City University of New York Board of Trustees, previously known as the Board of Higher Education, issues a formal apology to faculty and staff dismissed as a result of the Rapp-Coudert Committee investigation. No one is reinstated.

The Great Depression
“During the years of the Great Depression, when capitalist economies throughout the world were in crisis, the Communist party and the Socialist party offered alternative political visions that gained widespread support among American workers and intellectuals. In 1932, Norman Thomas, the Socialist party presidential candidate, received almost a million votes, while the Communist candidate, William Z. Foster received over 100,000 votes. Communists and Socialists played key roles after 1934 in organizing a number of new unions in industries such as steel and auto.

“At the same time, fascism was on the rise in Europe. Adolph Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, and later forged an alliance with Benito Mussolini’s fascist regime in Italy, which had taken power in 1922. The nation's economy virtually collapsed during the Great Depression. By 1933, over 25 percent of the work force is unemployed. Hunger and homelessness are widespread throughout the country.

“The Communist Party was active during the years of the Great Depression in the national student movement and in struggles for the rights of workers, African-Americans, and the unemployed. Most City College students were painfully aware of the vast inequalities within American society, and knew that even a college degree provided no guarantee of gainful employment in the midst of the depression.

“Of those workers who continued to hold jobs, millions were employed at sub-standard wages, with little if any job security. Millions of workers participated in massive union organizing campaigns to raise their wages and improve their working conditions. Board of Higher Education trials led to the dismissal, non-reappointment or resignation of over 50 faculty and staff at CCNY - the largest political purge of a faculty in the history of the United States. CCNY lost many outstanding teachers; most never work in academia again. The purge ends when the US enters World War II as an ally of the Soviet Union in the fight against fascism.

“The techniques pioneered by the Rapp-Coudert Committee -- private interrogations, followed by public hearings for those individuals named by the committee's ‘friendly’ witnesses -- become the model for the McCarthy investigations of the 1950s.

“The reign of terror that this investigation unleashed in the city colleges is part of the history of the early 1940s in New York. It has well been described as a dress rehearsal for the McCarthyism of the 1950’s on the national scene.” - Abraham Edel, The Struggle for Academic Democracy, 1990 .”

The following colleges are all listed under CUNY’s umbrella, which gives the Progressives a huge pool of students from which to draw for a protest.

Senior colleges

• (1847)City College

• (1870) Hunter College

• (1919) Baruch College (as City College’s School of Business and Civic Administration, renamed in 1953 to honor Bernard M. Baruch)

• (1930) Brooklyn College

• (1937) Queens College (formed by the merger of Hunter and City Colleges' Queens campuses)

• (1946) New York City College of Technology

• (1955) College of Staten Island

• (1964) John Jay College of Criminal Justice

• (1966) York College

• (1968) Lehman College (from (1931) Lehman was the Bronx branch of Hunter College, known as Hunter-in-the-Bronx)

• (1970) Medgar Evers College

Community colleges

• (1957) Bronx Community College

• (1958) Queensborough Community College

• (1963) Borough of Manhattan Community College

• (1963) Kingsborough Community College

• (1968) LaGuardia Community College

• (1970) Hostos Community College

Graduate and professional schools

• (1961) CUNY Graduate Center

• (1973) Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education

• (1983) CUNY School of Law

• (2005) William E. Macaulay Honors College

• (2006) CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

• (2006) CUNY School of Professional Studies

• (2008) CUNY School of Public Health

My father was an English major at CCNY during the 1930s. He said what you won’t read about is the pact that the teachers’ union made to overturn the educational curriculum in America. Like my own American History professor in high school, the fired professors at CCNY were not teaching the curriculum. Back then, it was grounds for dismissal.

The idea, he said, was to prepare the next generation of educators – those attending CCNY at the time – to prepare the next generation to prepare the next generation after that. City College was an ideal seeding ground because it was a free college for the poor and working class who couldn’t afford college tuition. My father was the first to graduate college in his family.

As a journalist, Dad didn’t believe in jingoism, either. He didn’t particularly like going to war, but he disliked fascism even more. He knew Hitler and Mussolini had to be stopped. He and his brother actually joined the regular Army because they knew their survival rate would be better than those who were drafted.

Although Piven didn’t attend CCNY, the movement spread to other socialist colleges, and no doubt she was taught by the professors of that era. She and my mother are about the same age. In turn, Piven’s taught several generations of young Socialists. Even now, she’s out there with the Worst Generation, sounding the old chants, leading her students like a choir director.

Fortunately, my father and a few in his generation resisted. Mom, not quite so much (well, her second cousin was Robert Wagner, Sr. afterall, although he was only a half-cousin). Mom’s Conservative enough, though. They taught their children, and now we must teach ours. Had I children, they wouldn’t be in public school if I could at all prevent and find an alternative.

But let them see the Zombie Ragers on television. Teach them what it’s all about (now that you know). This is a serial movement; it didn’t just spring up overnight but has been in the makings for several generations. Don’t let the fears of McCarthyism scare you. McCarthy was more right than people now. The war protest movements were a front (if you don’t like fascism, why would you be opposed to fighting it?) to gain momentum for a larger movement, just as the Kent State riots were a fraudulent front.

They can’t win by the popular vote and they know it. Violence and street theater is the only way. Guerrilla Theater, as was called in the Sixties, was designed precisely to frighten and intimidate society, hence its name. The prospect of civil unrest is quite unsettling to a peaceable culture. That’s why we have a federate republic where we elect representatives to represent us (at least, they’re supposed to). That’s what intimidated people about the Tea Parties. The first rallies seen on television were appalling to normal, gentle people. We’ve had to do a good deal of work to convince them that’s not the way it is. But first impressions die hard.

These Days of Rage protests are equally designed to intimidate and frighten people. Mobs in the street? It doesn’t matter whether they say they’re peaceful or not. The only reason they’re peaceful is because no one (of any good sense) came out to meet them except the Media. Unfortunately, mobs like that – like any mob or gang – give the impression that they “own” the streets, especially a demonstration like this that has gone on for weeks now.

They have the Constitutional right to do so. In fact, nobody much cares except the Media and those people who have to try to get to work in the affected areas. They chose a strategic area; Lower Manhattan is a traffic nightmare even on a good day. Throw in a couple of thousand student protesters and you’ve got Carmageddon.

The best thing to do is to continue educating yourself and your children. Ask them every day what they were taught in class. With kids, you have to ask explicit questions that in order to elicit articulate answers, and keep on pressing them with questions until you get enough information for an actual conversation (whether they want to or not). Start with What did you study in history today? and keep on going.

If you don’t, history will repeat itself.

Rager Echo Chamber

The New York Day of Rage took a long time to gain momentum. The problem is, even though New York is the media capital of the world, no one in New York City really cared. The first day or two, it was news. After that – eh! Onto the next thing. The movement actually had to bring in celebrities to bolster their ratings.

As they promised, their movement has “spread” to other cities. This “spread” is a rather calculated “spread” since they already knew they’d be performing in other cities. The American Revolution was a “spread,” a spontaneous response. Rescuers heading towards the burning World Trade Center on 9/11 was a spontaneous response, as were all the boats that headed to Lower Manhattan to evacuate residents and commuters.

Every Progressive/Liberal movement has to have signature. The Hippies had the peace sign, both that evil symbol that they use and the two-fingered v gesture. This generation’s signature is the echo-chamber call, repeating everything their lead speaker says. At least the Tea Parties, when they were allowed to do so, had original, home-made signs.

But this bunch has taken to echoing their speakers. Undoubtedly, it’s supposed to be a taunt towards the Tea Parties (we’ve never done such a thing – we cheer, we sign, we wave American flags, and carry signs). There is a method to their zombie madness, which goes back to an ancient philosophy that Man was born a blank slate and that the individual is incapable of original thought. Man, the philosophy holds, is the sum of everything he has learned from others and his environment, and nothing more.

This philosophy inspires a doubt in individuals that is useful to those who crave power and wish not merely to lead the masses, but control them. What’s more, this philosophy brands future philosophers, artists, poets, writers, statesmen, with the brand of plagiarism. Liberals are fond of accusing the great 19th Century composers of stealing their tunes from the rustic musicians they heard on their travels.

That, they consider, is the legacy of the West. We’re “stealing” oil from the Arabs (considering the prices we pay, that’s hard to believe). The South stole labor from the Black slaves (which is true), and we’re “thieves” for not paying them reparations. Many European immigrants left the Continent with nothing but their clothes and a skill they could ply in America, and became wealthy.

But now we’re told the banks are greedy and evil for not giving away houses to people who can’t afford to buy them.

Leader: We are the homeowners!

Chanters: We are the homeowners!

Leader: Who couldn’t afford a home!

Chanters: Who couldn’t afford a home!

Leader: The banks twisted our arms!

Chanters: The banks twisted our arms!

Leader: To take out ARMS!

Chanters: To take out ARMS!

Leader: They never told us!

Chanters: They never told us!

Leader: That what goes down can go up!

Chanters: That what goes down can go up!

Leader: Real estate always goes up!

Chanters: Real estate always goes up!

Leader: And now they’ve let us down!

Chanters: And now they’ve let us down!

Leader: Our homes have been foreclosed!

Chanters: Our homes have been foreclosed!

Leader: We have been locked out!

Chanters: We have been locked out!

Leader: Of homes we never owned!

Chanters: Of homes we never owned!

Leader: Instead we must pay rent!

Chanters: Instead we must pay rent!

Leader: To evil, Capitalist landlords

Chanters: To evil, Capitalist landlords

Leader: Who tell us we must save our money!

Chanters: Who tell us we must save our money!

Leader: No more cable television!

Chanters: No more cable television!

Leader: No more DVDs!

Chanters: No more DVDs!

Leader: Hand-me-downs for our kids!

Chanters: Hand-me-downs for our kids!

Leader: Cold-water flats!

Chanters: Cold-water flats!

Leader: We want our share!

Chanters: We want our share!

Leader: Of the good things in life!

Chanters: Of the good things in life!

Leader: Society owes the poor!

Chanters: Society owes the poor!
Leader: What the evil banks have taken!

Chanters: What the evil banks have taken!

Leader: President Obama, tear down these walls!

Chanters: President Obama, tear down these walls!

Leader: Or we’ll tear them down ourselves!

Chanters: Or we’ll tear them down ourselves!

Leader: And take what is ours!

Chanters: And take what is ours!

Leader: Free lunches and licentiousness for all!

Chanters: Free lunches and licentiousness for all!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

School Daze of Rage

The original “Days of Rage” were a series of demonstrations organized by The Weathermen (Bill Ayers) in October 1969. Part of SDS, the Students for a Democratic Society, the grou planned to demonstrate against the Vietnam War.

SDS Organizer John Jacobs’ formal resolution was titled, “The Elections Don’t Mean S**t – Vote Where the Power Is – Our Power is in the Street”. He was in favor of direct action, which is essentially what a true democracy does – it dispenses with leadership, constitutions, councils, congresses, and elections.

Convincing drunken and boozed up college students couldn’t have been very hard. No more difficult than it would be a few years later at Kent State in Ohio. Today’s leaders are yesterday’s hippies. They’re doing what they know, and misleading a new generation of brainwashed college students.

Then it was Chiago; today it’s New York, one of the biggest “college towns” in the nation. Columbia, New York University, Fordham, Hunter College, Cornell, CUNY, just to name a few. Activists who want to gather a few thousand students for a demonstration don’t have to go very far. The student union buildings of these colleges, like Hunter, have billboards advertising for communists-in-training.

There are students and to spare, especially on the weekends. These demonstrations must count for some sort of extra credit coursework. If there was a course in Sixties Activisim, this is it. This is the Sixties all over again. Same tactics, same anger, same demographic. Different city. It’s just “totally cool” to be a part of something big.

The original radical Islamic attack on New York – what Homeland Security now calls “The Landmarks Plot”, which was to come on the heels of the first World Trade Center attack, supposedly went through a number of “campaign” names, including “Ring of Fire”, “Day of Fire,” and “Day of Rage.”

This weekend, the Ragers were arrested for blocking traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge. The students admitted they were wrong to do what they did, but they were “peacefully” wrong. They didn’t really hurt anybody. At least not yet. The Brooklyn Bridge has pedestrian lanes and traffic lanes. What were the Ragers doing on the traffic level, if not to “get in the way”?

The demonstrations in Europe are reminiscent of the European demonstrations in the 1960s. Soon enough, they found their way across the Atlantic to our shores. People were setting themselves on fire to protest the war. The “Arab Spring” began when a Tunisian vendor set himself ablaze because he was denied a permit to sell hot dogs.

Oil was at the heart of the Vietnam War. Capitalism itself is the target. It’s not enough that the Muslims brought the World Trade Center down into a smoldering heap; the anarchists won’t cease until our whole economy is in a shambles – and our president is leading the way.

All is not lost for Students for a Federated Republic, though. An organization called the Atlas Network is sponsoring their own campaign: The Morality of Capitalism Campaign: 2011-2012. Their Freedom Bus has been making a tour through Central Asia, providing support, books, and other materials to student to thelp them convince other students to abandon anti-capitalist ideas and embrace free market capitalist.

The American Tour began Sept. 7 at American University in Washington, D.C. and will end at Manhattan Institute on Jan. 4, 2010. For thirty years, Atlas has been a leader in the worldwide movement for individual liberty, free enterprise, and limited government under the rule of law. The organization consists of over 400 independent free market think tans and organizations based in the United States, and over 80 more around the world.

You can read more about Atlas Network at their website,