Category Archives: Book Reviews

RADICAL IN CHIEF, THE AUTHORS CONCLUSION

Stanley Kurtz, author of RADICAL-IN-CHIEF, Barack Obama and the Untold Story of Socialism in America ended his book with a Conclusion.  He begins,

From his teenage years under the mentorship of Frank Marshall Davis, to his socialist days at Occidental College, to his life transforming encounters at New York’s Socialist Scholars Conferences, to his immersion in the stealthily socialist community organizer networks of Chicago, Barack Obama has lived in a thoroughly socialist world.

In the early days of the 2008 campaign, Obama spoke proudly of Black Liberation theologist Jeremiah Wright saying the preacher had a profound influence on his life and “I could no more disown him than my white grandmother.” He spoke openly about his activities as a community organizer, even offered it as a factor in his qualification for the office of President.  That secured the far left vote.

But Obama knew America was not ready to elect a true socialist knowingly.  So later he disowned Rev. Wright and denied the extent of his involvement with ACORN.  From that point on he adopted a policy of stealth and downplayed or denied his socialist past.

From the beginning, Obama has talked about change but doesn’t explain the nature of the change he has in mind.  Kurtz supplies the answer.

Since Obama has not supplied the truth about where this change is headed his past remains an essential source of guidance for the American people.  In sum, the fears of Obama’s harshest critics are justified; the President of the United States is a Socialist.

RADICAL-IN-CHIEF – Chapter 10 – The Obama Administration

This post continues the series of chapter by chapter summations of the book Radical-In-Chief by Stanley Kurtz.

Chapter 10
The Obama Administration
The modern socialist movement in America has abandoned its open and militant ways of that were so evident in the sixties.  That approach might work to bring the sought after revolution and change in an impoverished nation but not in a democratic, free and prosperous country like the United States.  Socialist scholars like Saul Alinsky and Michael Harrington convinced other movement leaders a long time ago that the only workable strategy for transforming the United States into a Marxist socialist government is a combination of stealth and incremental advance.  That’s the course followed by Obama and his administration today.

Stealth was evident in the way the health care plan was handled.  The stakes were high because single payer health care would bring 16 % of the national economy under government control.  That was Obama’s real objective.  Every measure was taken to avoid scrutiny which is why there was such a rush to get the bill passed as rapidly as possible.  The “public option” originally proposed was designed to lead to single payer, government only, healthcare over time…  Obama denied the single payer objective claiming the public would always have a choice; the government would simply be offering an additional option in fair competition with private insurance companies.  It should be obvious to anyone that private industry must remain profitable to survive and cannot compete with government that, supported by taxpayers, can operate indefinitely at a loss.

Barack Obama ran his presidential election campaign on promises of a post-partisanship and an open style administration.  Once in office, it turned out to be quite the opposite.  He stirred controversy, for instance, by attacking the Fox News network, calling them illegitimate and attempting to bar them from press conferences to which the other networks were invited.  He attacked the Supreme Court while speaking as President of the United States before the entire Congress and to the entire nation by television.  These are not steps toward healing; they are overt acts of division.

Naive voters may think the increased partisan hostility is a failing.  But, to a trained community organizer it is an objective.  The generation of animosity and division is the ground work laid for the conditions that prepare people to accept, even demand change.

To a community organizer, polarization is a strategy.  Creating division is the first step in the path to transfer of power.

RADICAL-IN-CHIEF – Chapter 9 – State Senate Years

This post continues the series of chapter by chapter summations of the book Radical-In-Chief by Stanley Kurtz.

Chapter 9
State Senate Years
Obama has managed to keep much of his past under wraps, however, his years of work in the Illinois legislature are a matter of public record. And the record shows him to be someone who is “profoundly race conscious, exceedingly liberal, free spending even in the face of looming state budget deficits, and partisan”. He is careful not to put his true ideas out before their time lest he get too far ahead of the electorate.

Rashid Khalidi is one of the people who hosted a fund raiser at his home for Barack’s congressional campaign against Bobby Rush.  Khalidi is a professor at the University of Chicago, the founder of the Arab American Action Network (AAAN) and a friend and associate of Bill Ayers.  Obama returned the favor by channeling money to Khalidi’s AAAN from the Woods Fund where he and Ayers served at various times on the 7 member board of directors.  Rashid, Bill and Barack were frequently acted for the mutual benefit of each other.

A study was done at Southern Illinois University showing that Obama worked almost exclusively on social welfare legislation while in the Illinois Senate.  The fact that the state was deep in debt and facing a financial crisis did not temper the Senator’s drive for ever more expansive social programs.  Obama endorsed a plan to borrow against an anticipated one-time windfall from a tobacco lawsuit to pay for permanent social programs.

Obama’s method in the Senate was to move toward a goal in small increments, first with one toe in the door, then another and another until the full objective was achieved.  His approach of asking for more than he expected allowed for apparent compromise on incidentals along the way that could be claimed to be “bi-partisanship” without jeopardizing the overall plan.

Chapter 9 is filled with anecdotes and bits of information that are trivial in themselves, but like a mosaic they form a clear picture when seen in total.  We offer here just this one example among many.  Bill Ayers held the view that “America’s prison system is a racist plot to clear the streets of kids most likely to make a socialist revolution.”  He wrote a book entitled A Kind and Just Parent proclaiming this notion.  Obama lent his support for Ayers work by writing what the New York Times called a “rare review”, not a full review but a warm endorsement.

RADICAL-IN-CHIEF Chapter 8 — Jeremiah Wright

This post continues the series of chapter by chapter summations of the book Radical-In-Chief by Stanley Kurtz.

Black Liberation Theology, Trinity Church and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright all figured prominently in the life of Barack Obama.  He sat in the church and listened to its teachings for approximately 20 years.  To understand who Obama is and what the influences were that shaped his beliefs it is essential to have some knowledge of Trinity and its charismatic leader.

Chapter 8
Jeremiah Wright

Obama chose Trinity Church for two reasons; he wanted a base from which to mobilize the religious left, and he shared the political philosophy of Rev. Wright.  For these reasons, Obama was willing to tolerate some of Wright’s nonsense such as his claims the U.S. government created AIDS as a way to kill off black people.

The teaching and preaching at Trinity Church is Black Liberation Theology, a concept that adds Marxism to the panoply of Christian beliefs.  James Cone is the man most responsible for the spread of this joining of Marxism and Christianity and is regarded as the father of Black Liberation Theology in America.  Cone’s teachings are made very clear by his writings.

“I do not think racism can be eliminated as long as capitalism remains intact.”

“Perhaps what we need today is to return to that ‘good old-time religion of our grandparents and combine it with a Marxist critique of society. Together black religion and Marxist philosophy may show us a way to build a completely new society.”

[The goal of the black intellectual must be to] “aid in the destruction of America as he knows it.”

Significantly, Cone cited Trinity as the one church that embodies his philosophy more than any other congregation.  Barack Obama was well aware of the nature of the church under Rev. Wright’s leadership because he conducted a deliberate exploration of black churches in the Chicago area before choosing it.  As Stanley Kurtz puts it, “a large body of evidence fairly screams that Obama joined Wright’s church precisely because of those radical views.”

RADICAL IN CHIEF – Chapt 7 – Ayers and the Foundations – Part III

This post continues the series of chapter summations of Radical-In-Chief by Stanley Kurtz.  Today is Chapter 7 which talks about the ways in which Socialist programs get their funding.

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Chapter 7
Ayers and the Foundations
Barack Obama and Bill Ayers worked hand in hand aiding each other for 8 years when Ayers was chairman of a foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) and Obama was on the board of the Woods Fund, an allied foundation also in Chicago.

Ayers abandoned bombing and violence as methods but his beliefs and goals for a complete transformation of America have never changed.  And his activities following the terrorism stint have a much greater impact than the terrorism ever had.

Some time after his Weathermen period, Ayers wrote that “activism and organizing would become our way of life” and I will “take on the American monster, end the American nightmare.” He wrote that America must have a “total, fundamental economic and social transformation in which the working class overthrows and liquidates the ruling class” [emphasis added].

In 2001 Ayers reminisced “Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon. The sky was blue; birds were singing. And the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them!” Obama and Ayers were serving together on the Woods Fund board when Ayers wrote those words.

Socialism and the Foundations.  Community organizing is a little too radical and roguish for most liberal foundations to support. Three foundations, however, weren’t at all reluctant. They were the Wieboldt, the Woods, and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge foundations. Obama served for a time as chairman on the boards of two of the three.

Frank Woods made his money in coal. His son ran the foundation for many years supporting traditional liberal causes. After his death, the setting of policies fell to staffers who took the fund into the realm of the radical left. When remaining family members objected, the money was split with just 30% remaining in the coffers controlled by the family.  Seventy percent of the Woods Fund money was de facto commandeered by the Ayers/Obama clique.  The story is similar with the Annenberg Foundation money. [Walter Annenberg was a staunch conservative and a confidant of Ronald Reagan.]

The Chicago Annenberg Challenge was conceived by Bill Ayers as a means of funding his education program.  His co-founder and fund raiser was a woman named Anne Hallett.  Ayers and Hallet installed Obama as chairman.  Ayers concentrated on programs and Obama worked with Hallet to bring in the funding.  By all measures, including its own, the CAC failed to make any improvement in education.  But the founders still considered it to be a success because a significant portion of the $100 million raised was siphoned off and used to support other socialist causes.

Commentary
Bill Ayers believes America with its free market system is a “monster” and a “nightmare”.  But he knows from his owned failed experience that the United States will never be driven into socialism by force of gun and bomb.  That idea was the product of an overzealous and impatient youth.  The US is one of the most prosperous nations on earth and known the world over as a bastion of freedom and a land of opportunity.  As long as these conditions exist the people will not knowingly turn to socialism with its philosophy of taking from some that which is rightfully theirs, and then giving it to others who have done nothing to earn it.  Only with a plan of incrementalism and stealth is there any hope of transforming the nation into the visions held by Bill Ayers and Barack Obama.

RADICAL IN CHIEF Ayers and the Foundations – Part II

 

This post continues the series of chapter summations of Radical-In-Chief by Stanley Kurtz. Today we cover Chapter 7.

Chapter 7
Ayers and the Foundations
Barack Obama and Bill Ayers worked hand in hand aiding each other for 8 years when Ayers was chairman of a foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) and Obama was on the board of the Woods Fund, an allied foundation also in Chicago.

Ayers abandoned bombing and violence as methods but his beliefs and goals for a complete transformation of America have never changed.  And his activities following the terrorism stint have a much greater impact than the terrorism ever had.

Some time after his Weathermen period, Ayers wrote that “activism and organizing would become our way of life” and I will “take on the American monster, end the American nightmare.” He wrote that America must have a “total, fundamental economic and social transformation in which the working class overthrows and liquidates the ruling class” [emphasis added].

In 2001 Ayers reminisced “Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon. The sky was blue; birds were singing. And the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them!” Obama and Ayers were serving together on the Woods Fund board when Ayers wrote those words.

Socialism and the Foundations.  Community organizing is a little too radical and roguish for most liberal foundations to support. Three foundations, however, weren’t at all reluctant. They were the Wieboldt, the Woods, and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge foundations. Obama served for a time as chairman on the boards of two of the three.

Frank Woods made his money in coal. His son ran the foundation for many years supporting traditional liberal causes. After his death, the setting of policies fell to staffers who took the fund into the realm of the radical left. When remaining family members objected, the money was split with just 30% remaining in the coffers controlled by the family.  Seventy percent of the Woods Fund money was de facto commandeered by the Ayers/Obama clique.  The story is similar with the Annenberg Foundation money. [Walter Annenberg was a staunch conservative and a confidant of Ronald Reagan.]

The Chicago Annenberg Challenge was conceived by Bill Ayers as a means of funding his education program.  His co-founder and fund raiser was a woman named Anne Hallett.  Ayers and Hallet installed Obama as chairman.  Ayers concentrated on programs and Obama worked with Hallet to bring in the funding.  By all measures, including its own, the CAC failed to make any improvement in education.  But the founders still considered it to be a success because a significant portion of the $100 million raised was siphoned off and used to support other socialist causes.

Commentary
Bill Ayers hates believes that America with its free market system is a “monster” and a “nightmare”.  But he knows from his owned failed experience that the United States cannot be driven into socialism by force of gun and bomb.  That idea was the product of an overzealous and impatient youth.  The US is one of the most prosperous nations on earth and known the world over as a bastion of freedom and a land of opportunity.  As long as these conditions exist the people will not knowingly turn to socialism with its philosophy of take-from-some that which is rightfully theirs and give to others who have done nothing to earn it.  Only with a plan of stealth and incrementalism is there any hope of transforming the nation into the visions held by Bill Ayers and Barack Obama.

 

RADICAL IN CHIEF – ACORN part III

 

This post continues the series of chapter summations of Radical-In-Chief by Stanley Kurtz.  Today we cover the final portion of Chapter 6 which touches on President Clinton’s contribution to ACORN and his administrations assistance to ACORN’s drive to dramatically increase the amount of outstanding mortgages to high credit risk housing buyers.

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RADICAL IN CHIEF
Chapter 6   ACORN  part III

Bank Fairs were held where banks were asked to attend and interact with the communities they served.  At these events the banks were asked to pledge to meet the reforms outlined by ACORN, i.e. to lower their standards set for mortgage qualification.  Retribution fell upon those who declined.

In July of 1992, the delegation from Citibank left an ACORN Bank Summit Fair without agreeing to ACORN’s terms. Within days, a group was organized that disrupted Citicorp’s headquarters in NY with songs and chants. Later, in August, officers and staff from Citibank-Chicago were invited to a gathering of about 400 people from the community.  They were given prestigious seating on the stage in view of everyone in attendance.  And then ACORN’s banking specialist, Ernestine Whiting, took the podium and mercilessly berated the bankers sitting on the platform.  According to Kurtz, the Citibank people were “shaking in anger” over the treatment to which they had been subjected.  But it worked. Eventually Citibank relented and agreed to increase the amount of their sub-prime lending in accordance with ACORN’s terms.

Bill Clinton’s appointed a man named Henry Cisneros as of Secretary of Housing and Human Development. Cisneros was one of the first Hispanics to be elected mayor of a large city. He knew ACORN well and was familiar with their confrontational tactics. In his first meeting with the organization’s leaders he made it clear he had no problem with the “aggressive” tactics. In fact, unsolicited, he offered ACORN government funding. The meeting lasted an hour longer than scheduled, and that hour was devoted to exploring ways to channel money from the federal coffers to help support ACORN’s activities.

Then in July of 1994 President Clinton met personally with a delegation from ACORN.  The group found a receptive audience in the President as they explained that their agenda included expanding the reach of the Community Reinvestment Act to go beyond just the banks.  They wanted mortgage brokers (as lenders) and insurance companies (as investors) to meet sub-prime quotas as well.  ACORN had already convinced Allstate to put $10 million into the funding of sub-prime mortgages.

The author believes ACORN leaders realized their housing activities could contribute to a financial crisis of sorts, but it is doubtful any of them anticipated the extent of the mess that actually occurred.  It is unlikely the creation of a crisis was intended, but should one occur it would be seen more as an opportunity than as a failure.  Leaders Peter Dreier and Frances Fox Piven taught that any financial crisis is an opportunity to condemn capitalism as a failure and proclaim socialism is the solution.