Review Notes for .....
American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character
.... by Diana West
This book is a more or less chronological review of the infiltration of socialist and collectivist ideas into the American character from 1933 through the present.
Note: This review mentions many proper names so a list of names used might be helpful::
US Presidents: Obama, FDR, Reagan, Truman, Bush,
US Citizen who were spies:
Hopkins, White, Currie, Singer, Hiss, Wallace, Lattimore, Silvermaster
US Citizens who were spies but later became informers: Chambers, Bentley,
Reporters and Columnists: Sinclair, Evans
Marshall, Latimore, Wedemeyer, Clark, Ike, MacArthur, Goves, Wedemeyer
Lend Lease Officers: Major Jordon
Congressmen and Senators: Dies, McCarthy,
US Ambassadors: Kennan, Bullitt, Davies, Gov Earl, Grew,
US Other occupations: Cardinal Spellman, Monde, Armand Hammer
Russian P.M.: Yeltsin, Stalin, Gromyko, Gorbachev, Lenin,
Defecting Russian Spies: Krochenko, Solzhenitsyn, Akhmerov
British PM Churchill, Japanese Adm Yamamoto,
Author George Orwell, German Intelligence Chief Adm Cannaris
Chap 1 - In this chapter, the Author shows that roots of collectivism have been alive and growing since the election of FDR in 1933. Although these tendencies have generally remained unstated; In is informative that Obama in 2008 actually admitted it in his conversation with “Joe the plumber” in Ohio where he essentially said collectivism is now official policy. Obama said: “I think when you spread the wealth around you help everyone”.
What Obama openly advocated in 2008, FDR could not openly advocate in 1933. Therefore FDR used techniques of mis-representation and lack of openness to implement his ideas. FDR was helped by left leaning and Communist agents in his administration these included: Henry Wallace, Harry Dexter White, Alger Hiss, and Harry Hopkins (these names will come up later). (It should be noted that FDR had Congress give him broad unilateral powers so particular actions were not subject to the “give and take” surrounding individual Congressional enactments. He created federal agencies with the ability to issue regulations and enforce their own regulations by running mini-court systems within each agency . When he ran into resistence from the Federal Courts who disapproved of such grants of legislative powers to the executive, he threatened to increase the number of Justices from 9 to 15 thus creating 6 vacancies that he, FDR, could fill with his “flunkies”. )
The author also points out how the Bush and Obama administrations used similar mis-representation techniques in the 2000 to 2016 time frame to separate violent Islam from regular Islam in the minds of the average US citizen. This separation is less pronounced than American leaders have admitted.
Chap 2 - Here the west’s sugarcoating of the truth over many decades about the Soviets is discussed. At the Bush meeting with Yeltsin in 1989, Bush refused to call a spade a spade. The West finally had a Russian leader ready to discuss things openly and Bush said “let’s not”.
In the lend lease period at the beginning of the second WWII , FDR refused to speak the truth as he allowed nearly all war production to go to the USSR instead of sending it to MacArthur who was trying to defend the Phillippines and the British who were trying to keep the Japanese out of Singapore.
Here are the facts: half a million trucks and jeeps, $1 billion (1940 dollars) of ordnance and ammo, thousands of fighter aircraft, bombers, and tanks, 13 million pairs of winter boots, 1.7 million tons of petroleum products, 1000 steam locomotives, 581 naval vessels. Even Khrushchev in a candid moment in 1970 said it would be hard to imagine how the Red Army would have gotten from Stalingrad to Berlin without them.
To get an idea of how extreme our aid to Russia was consider this quote: “... and it also included non-military supplies .... a tire plant, an oil refinery, an unstated number of pipe fabrication works, nearly a million miles of copper wire which was shipped at the very end of the war, tens of millions of dollars worth of switchboards, lathes and power tools machinery for textile making, woodworking machines, typesetting machines, air compressors, coal cutters, 18.4 million pounds of writing paper, $152 million in women’s dress goods, cigarette cases, compacts, lipsticks, jeweled watches, pianos, etc.”
George Kennan would write of all this “there was no reason for continuing a program of lavish and indiscriminate aid to the USSR at a time when there was increasing doubt whether her purposes in Eastern Europe ... would be ones that we Americans could approve of or sponsor.”
When Yeltsin came to power, he wanted to have trials of the people who ran the Gulag and the USSR police state. Western countries en masse demanded he not do that because the political parties of the left in their our countries had had deep involvement with USSR operators and these relationships had to be kept secret.
Chapter 3 - here the author presents an interesting series of facts and questions that play off against each other:
1. Truman would not thank Whitaker Chambers for standing up against Hiss in perjury trial. Truman wanted to keep the misdeeds of the past buried.
2. FDR shut down Rep Martin Dies investigation into Communists in government during WWII.
3. Later there was a reluctance on the part of Congress to support Sen. Joe McCarthy’s investigations
4. Rep Dies advises Sen McCarthy to go slowly
5. Sen. McCarthy, the FBI, and Rep Dies knew there were 500 traitors in government but they had trouble getting traction in the US government to root them out .
6. However, M Stanton Evans, a columnist, discovered references to 106 internal memos that documented Communists in the State Dept. All originals and copies of these 106 memos have disappeared as have certain copies which had been provided to Congress.
7. What is the purpose of losing history .... or rather throwing away our history?
8. Sen McCarthy in 1954 was America’s 4th most admired person according to Gallup.
9. So why is his name held in such disrepute today?
10. Today American historians accept that Communism was perhaps bad, but Joe McCarthy is considered to be beyond the pale far worse than any Communist.
11. Truman knew by 1950 about Hiss and White but did nothing. Why?
12. Venona showed positively that Soviet spies were active but today if a writer uses Venona to support his work; he will be asked “Have you no shame?”.
Chapter 4- About Dis-information - The golden age of Soviet espionage in US was ‘33 to ‘45 exactly overlapping FDR’s time in White House. Elizabeth Bentley (who had earlier been married to a Soviet spymaster in NY who died suddenly) fingered 150 Soviet spies when she walked into a Connecticut FBI office in Nov ‘45. She should be remembered by her alma mater, Vassar, as a modern day heroine just a Nathan Hale is remembered at Yale with a statue. Recall Soviets believed in both spying and dis-information . The US Ambassador to Moscow in ‘36 to ‘38, Joe Davies, was a constant mouthpiece covering up Soviet misdeeds. The author points to Soviet fellow travelers who spiked anti-communist movie ideas even into the late ‘40s This process of spiking anti-Communist ideas began in 1939. For instance, a Trotsky book critical of Stalin was spiked in 1940. Trotsky, who had been a confident of Lenin, had been killed by Soviet agents in Mexico just as he finished writing the book. George Orwell fought for the pro-Communist forces in Spain in the 30s he read reports on battles which had never occurred and he failed to see any reports of battles that had occurred. He determined the Soviets simply rewrote history in this way to have it say what they wanted. That is when he became an anti totalitarian. Robert Conquest a British historian in 1985 documented the Russian famine and the show trials of the 1930's He was astounded by the ability of British intellectuals to accept the basic facts he presented but reject his conclusion that collectivism leads to extremes. They said he had middle class prejudices against those things needed to “build” a better society. Ronald Reagan’s remark about the “evil Empire” was actually delivered in the midst of a longer talk where he warned against equating all systems of whatever kind..
Chapter 5 - - The govt. created a OWI (Office of War Information) designed to control and shape news particularly about the Soviets. This office was able cover up the Soviet massacre of Polish offices in Kalyn Forrest by the USSR and it arranged to get a pro Soviet film that had written by a Communist made. This film called Mission to Moscow. It turned out later that about 20 Communists were manning the top spots in the OWI.
There was a steady flow of secret information sent through the “over the pole” flights from Montana to Russia run by Lend Lease. Major Jordon, in his book Maj. Jordon’s Diaries, documents this flow of information (e.g. drawings for making A-bombs and other physical things (e.g. like yellow cake uranium which is used to make A-bombs)). These diaries also record 418 Soviet “diplomatic” personal who came into the US via this air link. The Lend Lease organization wanted test results from the Manhattan Project showing which approaches to making the bomb were most promising but Gen Groves at the Project objected to giving test data up. Later when Truman at Potsdam told Stalin that US had a new “big bomb”. Stalin was already fully aware of it. During this time Major Jordon recalls a large map with a note attached. The map was of Oak Ridge TN and showed the Manhattan Project’s facility located there. The transmittal note was signed by someone whose initials were “H.H.”
Soviet cooperation was not coming the other way. One plane on the 1942 Dolittle Mission over Tokyo was improperly fueled. It was forced to land in Russia rather than China. The crew was held captive for one year before release.
A Soviet named Krochenko defected and Harry Hopkins, who was living at the White House and serving as FDR’s assistant, insisted that the defector be returned to the Soviets. FDR wavered and Krochenko want into uncertain status until Truman came into office and finally granted asylum.
About Lend Lease it was Armand Hammer’s idea but the details were worked out by Harry Dexter White in Treasury. It was a massive “give away” mostly to Russia (and to a much lesser extent Britain) . It was justified to Congress by the slogan “if we help our friends materially, we won’t have to send men ”.
During the war Gen Marshall was fond of saying “Harry Hopkins is here to represent Russia’s interests, I’m here to represent America’s”
Chapter 6 - Deception of Communism - Here the Hopkins’ Soviet connection is discussed. If historians acknowledge that Hopkins was probably a Communist, then that casts a pall over all FDR’s decision making during WWII. So rather than face that reality historians have generally gone the other way and obfuscated Hopkins’ loyalties.
A Communist named John Service worked for a magazine named Amerasia and was caught with 1000 pounds of classified documents. This case was strong but for some reason it was miss handled and never came to trial. Also there was a man named Silvermaster in Washington who had a photo lab in his basement where took pictures of classified documents for transmittal to Russia.
Part of post war failure to prosecute Singer was Truman’s preference for concealment rather than transparency. Truman’s people even threatened Chambers with indictment if he testified against Hiss. However, military intelligence (Venona) had already determined that Hiss was a spy so Truman backed off.
Chapter 7 - This chapter is about Hopkins and the degree to which the Soviets had co-oped the US govt. Hopkins lived in the White House for 3 yrs and 7 months during the critical early months of the war. He then married and moved out only to die of stomach cancer in Jan ‘46. He continued to work out of the White House though his health began to fail. . Hopkins managed information flow to FDR in Sept 44 when the Polish rising against the Soviets occur, because of his presence there was no chance FDR would approve aid to the Polish rebels. Soviet Spymaster Akhmerov said Hopkins was the USSR’s greatest asset during the war. A Hopkins aide, named Hyman, scrubbed the Hopkins papers before they were turned over the Sherwood who wrote the definitive 1000 page biography of Hopkins. Sherwood noted that Hopkins would explore all sides of an issue and never disclose his personal leanings. Even his mother said you could never be certain what he was thinking. At college he was called Dirty Harry because of his double dealing.
As to Hopkins’ spying, we know from the Soviet archives opened in ‘92 that Hopkins had anti-communist survalence information from the FBI that he shared with the Soviets.
As for FDR himself he was non-ideological. Looked for practical solutions. But latter in his presidency his concentration waned and he spent more time in stamp collecting and listening to various sea stories. It is interesting that such a person would be elected 4 times and have such a profound effect on America’s understanding of itself.
FDR did believe in “convergence” under which the capitalist west would move toward the socialist east and vis versa. With this in mind FDR arranged to recognize the Soviet Union in 33 in exchange for a promise that they would not engage in subversion. Amb. Bullitt in ‘35 told FDR the Soviets would break any agreement. Bullitt documented many violations in the first 24 months following recognition.
Krauchenko a Soviet leader defected in 3/44. He was shocked at how throughly the Soviet line had been swallowed by the West particularly the USA. He was stunned that the Katyn Forrest massecre of 22,000 Polish leaders story had not gotten out. In fact this killing of Polish officers by the USSR was not acknowledged by the US until ‘51. A Brutish diplomat named O’Malley wrote a report in ‘43 which proves the massacre was done by the Soviets. Many journalists of the 43 to 45 period referred to the White House as “pink”. Former Gov Earle of Pennsylvania served in the diplomatic corps during WWII. He felt long term the Soviet menace was greater than the German.
Chapter 8 - About Gulag and POW camps. - Solzhenitsyn said you can’t work with the Soviets without becoming corrupt and the true horror of the Soviet system doesn’t come through in statistics, it only becomes clear the stories of some individuals. This is why he wrote One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Because of his fame, he was allowed to leave the Soviet Union in ‘74.
About this time, the USSR was sponsoring kidnaping, robberies, bombings in the third world to created openings for their subversion. The west did not really cover these antics because there was a pro-socialist, pro-collectivist attitude amongst western journalists. Because of this slant to the left, the White House refused to honor Solzhenitsyn. Clair Sterling, a journalist, at the time said she felt dirty when she had to write something negative about the USSR.
FDR, in ‘43 at Tehran, said all allied countries were serving their populations as those populations wished to be served. Soviet citizens were outraged. After the war over two million Soviet citizens who had struggled to get to the west were forced to return to the USSR. And as many as 20000 US and 20000 UK POWs who were taken by the Soviets were never allowed to return home. Individual preference was to be ignored under the Tehran protocol.
During the war all State Dept officials not favorable to the USSR were assigned to inconsequential jobs by Hopkins and Hiss were they could not comment on anything to do with Soviet goings on. Gov Earle being a personal friend of FDR (both having been former Northeastern governors) was a lonely exception.
Chapter 9 - About D-Day. Churchill wanted to attack Germany from the South not the west. Stalin wanted the second front to come through France from the west. The UK - US alliance had had success in North Africa and then up through Italy. Gen Arnold felt with his air assets the Italian push could go right up into Austria etc.
A Soviet defector, named Suvorov, felt Stalin had tricked the Germans into invading Poland by promising a division of the spoils in Eastern Europe and that Stalin felt he should still get his “share of the spoils” even though Germany was going down to defeat. That meant the Soviets (not the UK-US army) would have to occupy the nations of Eastern and central Europe. Of course, that’s what happened.
Rep Martin Dies, Gen Wedemeyer, Gen Clark, and Amb Bullitt all felt we won the war but lost the peace as Soviet control settled over all the countries from the Baltic to the Adriatic. They could not speak up without being called “Red Baiters” .... One key policy that played into Stalin’s hands was the policy of unconditional surrender. ... the other was the success of Soviet agent in Tokyo who got the general staff there to re-direct their thinking away from an attack against the USSR in its far east and instead get the Japanese general staff to focus on the US , this even though Adm Yamamoto told them they could not defeat the US.
The policy of unconditional surrender meant Germany would fight longer and this would allow the USSR to occupy more territory before surrender occurred. The Japanese decision to attack Pearl Harbor was momentous. It brought the US into the conflict and it spared the USSR a second front.
Just before Pearl Harbor, US Ambassador Grew in Tokyo was trying to work something out with Japan, but he ran into repeated difficulty with the US State Dept. where Laughlin Currie, a soviet spy, was handling the other end of his communications with Washington.
Early in the war Lend Lease was a problem. Planes which might have saved the Phillippines and Singapore were redirected to the Soviet Union. Gen MacArthur in the end pleaded to get just three planes so he could have eyes in the sky over Corregidor but was denied. Just a few fighters at Singapore might have saved to large British warships which were there with no air cover when the Japanese came. FDR directed that the term “Lend Lease” and the nation of “USSR” were never to used tegether in any public release. The American people were to believe it was for the British.
Cardinal Spellman visited FDR in Sept 43 He reported FDR was already accepting Soviet domination of Central/Eastern Europe. (In Sept 43 the Soviet Army was entirely in Russia. ) FDR thought after 20 years of “convergence” would occur and these economies would become 60% capitalist and 40% government controlled.
By the Tehran conference in Dec ‘43, FDR was totally dependent on Hopkins. Here they discussed a second front. Churchill wanted it to come from the south into Central Europe, Russia, intending to occupy those areas, wanted the second front through France preferably across the Channel, but Southern France was also acceptable. Hopkins had FDR’s ear and arranged for it to come across the Channel. Shortly thereafter Hopkins moved out of the White House with a new wife and daughter to digs in Georgetown, then he became ill and had a seven month condolences. All these factors help to confirm the fact that Hopkins is the famous “Agent 19" in the Venona intercepts and in the soviet archive opened in 1992.
Chapter 10 - Here we turn to the German attempts to make peace, the German internal resistence, the idea of unconditional surrender, the Morgenthau Plan, and more on Operation Snow. A review of each is in order.
Adm Cannaris the head of German intelligence realized very early that the German cause was lost. He contacted the British about a deal in ‘42 but with no response. He finally reached out to Gov Earle who was then stationed in Turkey and asked him to help. Earle had difficulty getting a message through to FDR but finally managed it. The answer was “no interest” and don’t talk about it. Cannaris then made an attempt through the Vatican but the American (Monde) who brought that message back from the Vatican was “disbelieved” by a Hopkins flunkies and had his passport pulled so he could not travel again.
The German resistence was large and was the only resistence movement in Europe that received no support from the Allies. In fact when an AP reporter discovered indications of such a resistence effort and then wrote an article. However, the OWI spiked the article. Following that FDR issued an order forbidding any mention of any German resistence effort. Thereafter all Germans were bad.
The term “Unconditional Surrender” first appeared in a May 42 committee report. This committee included 5 known communists including Hiss and White. The term next appears as official policy at Casablanca where first Hopkins and a few days later FDR use it. Gen Wedemeyer said that term hardened German resolve and required that all territory be physically taken (exactly what the Soviets wanted to happen).
Operation Snow was the Soviet’s successful attempt to get the Japanese to expend their energies in Southeast Asia and the Pacific rather than in the USSR’s Pacific region. Obviously if Japan was going to aid its ally Germany opening a second front against Russia made the most sense; while attacking the US at Pearl Harbor and in the Phillippines made the least sense because it brings the US into the War. But the Soviets succeeded with this deception.
Chapter 11 - Here Yalta agreements and the problems of the USSR holding American citizens is reviewed. (Pres. Harding had had problems getting Americans out of Russia in 1921. Only by withholding humanitarian aid did he move Lenin to relent. )
At Yalta in ‘45 Americans wanted the right to send search and rescue teams to locations were Americans might have been held. USSR refused saying the problem “does not exist”. Additionally, at Yalta the creation of the UN was decided but FDR by carefully wording his statement to Congress did not reveal that Russia would get three votes for America’s one vote. Actually FDR was basically inccapacitated by then and Hopkins was really calling the shots. Americans who did get out of Eastern Europe were instructed not to speak about the Soviet treatment of the locals or themselves. Finally in 1985 a carefully edited version of the Yalta minutes were actually released
Meantime the USSR was staging coup after coup in the various occupied countries putting in Communist “stooges”. Gov. Earle was about to public with a complaint about Soviet behavior when FDR had him sent to American Samoa to get him out of the way.
At the end of hostilities the US and Britain actually controlled the area around Berlin but Ike had been told that the Russian sector of Germany would contain Berlin so he waited and let the Russian army occupy the Germany capital. Even the actual news of the unconditional surrender of Germany had to wait an extra day became the USSR wanted to release the news.
It was suspected that there were about 40,000 US and British troops in various eastern German areas at the end of the war most of these were never released by the Soviets. Verification of this suspicion came in the early 1990's when Soviet archives and the Venona intercepts were made public. There had been sporadic reports of Americans in Soviet prisons over the years mostly being forced to repair Lend Lease equipment (e.g. lathes, trucks, jeeps, etc.)
Chapter 12 - Here the author points out the similarities between Soviet ideology, Nazi Ideology, and Islamic ideology. In all three the leaders use the ideology to subjugated the individual to the wishes of the leader(s) or state.
Ms Black doesn’t feel America will ever go as far as Germany, Russia, or the Islamic countries have gone regulating their people; however she is surprised by how far the gov’t Socialism and its accompanying controls have gone in America. (FDR’s had hoped for a “convergence” percentage of 60% private control of the economy. Today, depending upon which state one lives in, the percentage under private control is much lower generally in the 50% to 40% range when one considers regulations and taxes. ) ..... (prepared by Hugh Murray on 1/10/18)
Ivanka Trump’s use of “Sojourner” to Describe Four Great Lives says a Lot -
As black history month dawned on Feb.1st, Ivanka twitted “we celebrate heroes like Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who were sojourners for freedom – and we resolve to continue to bring greater equality, dignity, and opportunity to all Americans, regardless of race or background”
She has received a lot of negative feedback for her use of the word “sojourners”. For people who have no sense of religion or an afterlife, the word would perhaps be offensive; however, for a person of faith all human life is just a transition to a permanent existence in an after life. From this perspective, the term sojourn is the perfect way to describe life on this earth.
Since all three of the heroes, she mention, were believers and since they are now probably happily enjoying heaven in the presence of their maker, I’m certain these three heroes would agree with Ivanka’s use of the term “sojourners” to describe life on earth. ....... (prepared by Hugh Murray on 2/4/2018)
Is it time for Irish Americans to Say to African Americans “Enough Already, We’ve both had it Rough” -
The blacks in America have a terrible history. Coming here as slaves in the early 17th century and remaining largely in that state until the mid 19th century. Slavery was followed by a century of oppressive segregation which didn’t end till the middle of the twentieth century.
However, the Irish American experience, which grows out of a general multi century religious persecution in Ireland, is also terrible. These Irish began to come under persecution in the 16th century when Henry VIII invaded and began to subject the indigenous Catholic population to persecution. His daughter Elizabeth I continued in her father’s footsteps as did Cromwell during the long Parliament. The Catholics rebelled periodically and were crushed again and again. England wanted land for its growing aristocracy and Catholic lands in Ireland were available. All that was needed, to get the land, was to subjugate the Irish and throw them off their lands. The native Irish were forced unto marginal lands.
The Irish became more and more dependent on the potato until in the 1840's a potato plight began wiping out their one life sustaining staple. This triggered massive emigration for twenty years mostly to the US. They sailed on small and/or rickety sailing vessels (called “coffin” ships) many of which sank in transit or spread of communicable diseases. Luckily many got to America. They mostly settled in the slums in North Eastern coastal cities where they experienced profound discrimination.
Then the Civil War started. Early on, Irish Americans volunteered in large numbers to fight . Since 80 + percent of the Irish lived in the north they volunteered mostly for the North. Then a draft was instituted in the North which included an opt-out provision where richer men could pay poor men to take their place, so even more Irish entered the Union army.
Needless to say a disproportionate number of poor Irish men ended up fighting and dying in a war to end a slavery they had nothing to with. In this war, where Lincoln refused to respond to repeated Southern attempts to negotiate a peaceful solution and where Grant’s campaign was conducted in a way that assured maximum casualties, Irish men suffered disproportionately.
After the War, the discrimination against Catholics, in general, and the Irish, in particular, continued. The Irish were now more widely spread across the country and they found more ways to use their natural energy to move ahead. Their religion began slowly to gain acceptance in Protestant America. (By the mid 20th century an Irish-Catholic was elected President).
The blacks emerged from the period of segregation with more disadvantages than the Irish Catholics. The biggest advantage the Irish had was their religion.
First, it almost required learning to read. Their services were conducted in Latin so Catholics had to read translations to follow the the Mass. Their religion has a deep attachment to history because Catholics have to have a lovefor the lives of the saints, the ways Catholics spread Christianity around the world, and the story of how Christianity was defended against Islam’s invasions by Catholics. The importance of the liturgy, the saints, and history has stimulated Catholics to become good readers and thus develop skills useful in the world at large.
Second, many Catholic bishops in large cities, actually established schools to educate Catholic children (and, in some cases, non-Catholic black children as well.)
In contrast, black Americans have generally adopted less complex Christian religions that focused more on singing and emotion. Their many religious denominations lacked central authorities with the ability to establish something like a school system. The black suffered from poor or non-existent public schools in the rural areas where they first experienced freedom. Later on, after they migrated to large cities, they again suffered from underfunded public education as whites fled to the suburbs taking their money for public education with them.
In summary, it is apparent that both Irish Americans and African Americans had a hard go. The British wanted to either starve the Catholic Irish to death or induce them to leave; the potato famine played into the British hands because it served both these ends. The slave holders felt slaves were property that they needed for field labor. They might have preferred to starve the slaves to death, but their need for labor forced them to feed and care for the slaves, at least enough to keep them functioning. So the slaves got some attention from their owners while the Catholic Irish, though they had some form of legal freedom, were presented with few good options. ........... (prepared by Hugh Murray on 9/28/2017
A Chapter by Chapter Review of .... COMING APART :
The State of White America, 1960 to 2010.....by Chas Murray -
Charles Murray is a sociologist who is concerned about trends in America that are tearing at the cultural ties that have held the society together. In this book he focuses on the cleavages in White America that have manifested themselves in the last 50 years.
(NOTE: In the book Murray utilizes a presentation device to organize his observations and data about the top 5% of American white society and the bottom 50% of American white society. He applies community names to each of these: Belmont represents the top 5% and Fishtown represents the bottom 50%. There is a confusion because it happens there are two actual communities one in Massachusetts the other in Pennsylvania that more or less share characteristics with his hypothetical communities.)
In 1960 Media was standardized, foreign cars were rare, there was a limited offering of music, food choices in restaurants were few beyond American cuisine, entertainment TV was limited, everyone agreed getting pregnant without being married was wrong (illegitimate births among whites was 3%), divorce was rare (3.5% of white households were headed by a single woman), there was a production code for movie makers (nothing stronger than “damn” or “hell”), racy literature could be confiscated by the Post Office, people were religious (only 1% said they had no religion), prisons held far fewer inmates, illegal drug use was almost non-existent (but public drunkenness was more common), both racial and sexual equality had yet to be addressed, pollution was worse in urban areas, fewer people were in poverty than in 1945 (a drop from 41% to 20%), nearly all whites thought of themselves as either middle class or working class, (over 95%).
Murray feels in 1960 Americas particularly whites all felt there was a common America culture, a common civic culture that all accepted as something to preserve.
Part I - The Formation of the New Upper Class - Earlier Murray and Herrnstein noted a new segregation in America’s elite university where brainpower is all important to the exclusion of almost everything else. Robert Reich has called this new elite, of those who are able to think, “symbolic analysts”.
There are actually two upper classes - the narrow group that controls the levers of power over others these include political, media, and economic leaders perhaps numbering 100,000 nationwide. There is a much broader group that accounts for perhaps 5% of society occupying key jobs in law, accounting, management, engineering, etc.
1) Our Kind of People - In 1960 very few areas had over 50% college graduates living near each other. This meant standards of daily living were set by the non-college educated middle class. Today very bright highly educated people congregate together and set their own preferences. More foreign cars, more foreign restaurants, more private schools, more reading of the same upscale literature, more vacationing at the same places, more working from home, etc. These people live by the numbers: they know their medical numbers, value of their homes, etc.
2) Formation of the New Upper Class - The increasing value of brains is key. Other things like industriousness and “like-ability” count too, but brains is the over arching pre-requisite. Complexity in the workplace favors those who can navigate around a lot of factors and see a path forward. So people in decision making positions make a lot more than they did in 1960. The university is a natural sorting machine.
See Handwritten Numbers 49 and 55
There is a study that shows that 87% of students who get 700 on the SAT have at least one parent with a masters or professional degree. There is another study that shows an increased propensity for college grads to marry college grads and dropouts to marry dropouts. There has been no change in the average IQ of people at the various levels of educational attainment - High school grads with no college have kept an average IQ of 99 throughout the 50 years, people with graduate degrees have stayed at 125. Of course, bright people tend to have bright children.
See Handwritten Number 66
3) A New Segregation - Race segregation has been replaced by socioeconomic segregation. There are now super zip codes where the New Upper Class congregate. There are super zips in all major cities but the number and population they contain is small in the central parts of the country, but quite noticeable in the coastal cities. Boston has 500,000, New York 1.5 million, Washington 750,000, San Francisco 900,000, and LA 500,000 living in Super zip codes. All of “fly over country” country has perhaps 2 million in perhaps 20 small super zip codes. These super zips tend to be more politically liberal than the zips surrounding them, but in states which already lean liberal the super zips are politically very liberal.
See Handwritten Number 93
4) How thick is your bubble - Here Murray proposes that people take a 25 question test to determine how intrenched they are in the New Upper Class’ mentality.
See Pages 103, 104 105 to 115
5) Bright Side of the New Upper Class- Here Murray points out that there are upsides to this emphasis on being bright. He tells a story about the year (1940) the NYPD used IQ as its principle admission criteria to the training academy. This group of 130 was studied in 1980. This class produced 12 who made Police Chief or Police Commissioner. You could also attribute all the recent innovations to American elite education’s focus of high IQ. This ideas are bringing productivity increases and many say a better life.
Part II - The formation of the New Lower Class
6) Founding Virtues - Murray states that the American Project for 200+ years has been based on industriousness, honesty, marriage, and religiosity and these four should be used to measure the decline in white America. He offers many quotes and historical examples to support this. He makes mention of the McGuffey Readers which were widely used in public grade schools across America and which instilled in children the importance of these four qualities. (These readers are available via Google Books for anyone to study online.)
7) Belmont v Fishtown - Murray now diverts from his mission to discuss founding virtues to discuss Belmont and Fishtown. The real Belmont is in the 97th percentile in terms of household income, Fishtown is in the 8th percentile.
8) Marriage - Here Murray describers the decline of marriage in White America.
See Handwritten Numbers 156 and 160
The decline of marriage in Fishtown is particularly stark. In the 50 years marital happiness in Belmont has dropped slightly whereas happiness among Fishtown married couples has dropped from 60% to 30%.
9) Industriousness - People want jobs that give a feeling of accomplishment most of all. But that percentage has dropped a bit from 58% to 43%. There has been an 8 fold rise in the percentage claiming social security disability. There has been a sharp rise in the number of prime age white males, with only a high school education, dropping out of the work force completely from 5% to 20%. Additionally, the group “males who do have had to take part time jobs” has grown from 10% to 20% . Murray supports George Guilder’s position that marriage is the most important motivating factor to get men to take and hold a full time job regardless of its quality. Fishtown women joined the workforce in record numbers, the percentage participating rising from 35% to 70%. But overall Fishtown saw a sharp decline in the number of households where an adult worked a 40 hour week.
See Handwritten Number 188
10) Honesty - Here Murray goes into crime and incarceration. The unattached male is widely known to be inclined toward anti-social behavior. In the world of statistics this shows up in crime statistics.
See Handwritten Number 193
It also manifests itself in bankruptcy statistics. (Although this data is not segregated by zip code and therefore not segragated by economic class.)
See Handwritten Number 197
11) Religiosity - Here Murray believes Americans in general have become less religious. He asks can a secular democracy survive or is a strong religious component needed for democracies to survive. He notes the drift away from religiosity was greater in Fishtown than Belmont.
See Handwritten Numbers 203 and 205
12) The Real Fishtown - So what is the real Fishtown made up of? Here Murray dives into a PhD dissertation by Patricia Stern of the U of Penna who looked intensely a neighborhood in Phila, called Fishtown, which had 12,000 people in 1960 and only 20 non-whites. This neighborhood became 8.5% non-white by 2000. The heart of this section was about a St Jude Catholic Parish. There are a lot of quotes from Fishtown residences that support the data in Murray’s earlier charts..
13) The Size of the Lower Class - Here the nature and magnitude of the Lower Class problem is discussed. As to nature it is men not making enough to support a family; it is single women raising minor children alone, It is an increase in the number of people who have no connection the community through civic, religious, sports, or social groups. These factors create the core of a “lost lower class” that Murray does not see rejoining the functioning side of America anytime soon.
See Handwritten Number 230
Part III - Why It Matters - the trends signify damage to the heart of the American community
14) Selective Collapse of American Community - A community will fail if its people only focus on themselves or their family. We must have a willingness to help others with no immediate expectation of return. The role of organizations such as Rotary are diminishing. These use to provide a bridge by which people of different classes came to know and work with each other. There has been a general decline in neighborliness. Civic, social, and religious involvement is down. Fewer people vote, attend public meetings, served as officers of clubs, joined PTA’s, even entertainment of friends and family at home and contributions to United Way are down. Belmont style communities have fared better than Fishtown. In Fishtown the number of totally disengaged has jumped dramatically as has the presence of anti-social behavior such as crime. Even participation in Presidential elections dropped from 70% to 50% in Fishtown over the 50 years.
15) Founding Virtues and the Stuff of Life - Aristotle said happiness comes from a justified satisfaction with one’s life as a whole. For most people this comes from raising children well, having a good marriage, having a fulfilling occupation, social involvements, or being faithful to one’s religion. This leads to questions about “how happy are Americans”. About 30% say they are happy. These people generally have good marriages, like their work, and/or are involve in their churches. Measures of community involments include group membership, actual group attendance, giving, volunteering, informal socializing, and participation in electoral politics . Rich people tend to be happier than the non-rich until they reach old age when the wealth effect lessens. The two communities Belmont and Fishtown have both reported a 20 to 25% decline in happiness over the last 50 years but 20% more citizens of Belmont have steadily said they are happy versus those in Fishtown
See Handwritten Number 268
16) One Nation, Divisible - Here Murray brings in the other ethic groups in America. Murray makes two very important points here. First, the introduction of different ethic or racial groups in a community tends to decrease whatever level of social cohesion existed there previously. Second the White group in Fishtown tends to engage in anti social behavior less frequently than the non white group both groups having comparable income
See Handwritten Number 274 (top)
17) Alternative Futures - Here Murray engages in projecting different futures for the “American Project”. On one hand he sees America hollowing out with an elite that looks healthy but a much larger underclass that’s sick. Belmont is a dominate minority that does not preach or even fully practice the leadership virtues it should. These “leaders” never criticize the anti-social behaviors of Fishtown. Thus they choose not to lead. They choose to maximize their personal take from society. For instance, the leaders of the largest 800 companies in America have seen a six fold increase in their personal compensation in constant dollars since 1960.
See Handwritten Number 292
Murray goes on to point out that the welfare state model, we have been using, is certain to bankrupt the country. Second Americans need to accept that people might be equal before the law but in fact they are not equal in reality. This lack of equality must be considered when discussing public policy changes. Third people’s nature can not be changed, for instance people need work and people need to be held responsible. Fourth, males and females are different and attempts to treat them exactly the same way must fail. Fifth, boys need to grow up with their fathers if they are to be properly socialized. Sixth, people must be treated as though they have free wills (even if some psychologist claims people lack free will) any alternative social structure will fail. Seventh, people do best in communities where mutual trust can grow so the unique religious, racial, and ethnic characteristics of different groups should be respected. Murray likes groups that want to return to an America dedicated to equal opportunity with a rejection of the expectation of equality of results.
Murray claims to mention no causes and no cures, but his presentation leaves little doubt that he feels certain legal and technological changes are largely responsible for the changes America has seen in its white population over the last 50 years. .... (prepared by Hugh Murray on 1/31/18)
(prepared by Hugh Murray on x/x/xx
Fake News is explained in a this Chapter by Chapter Review of American Pravda ... by James O’Keefe
Prologue - The author explains how he got into the business of making investigative news videos designed to expose situations (or aspects of situations) not being covered by the main line media.
The first video he made was of an interview he had with the manager of the cafeteria facilities at his college, Rutgers in New Jersey. The school had a rule against hurtful comments on campus aimed at any ethic or racial group. At the interview in early March, O’Keefe pretended to be offended by the Leprechaun displays and sale of Irish Lucky Charm candies in the various cafeterias which he said diminished students of Irish decent like himself. The Cafeteria manager protested a bit but within two days all signs of St Patrick Day had disappeared.
The video exposed the ridiculous side of the “no hurtful speech allowed” movement currently the vogue in our high schools and colleges.
Meeting Citizen Trump - This chapter is a flash forward to the middle of Obama’s presidency.
Trump became interested in O’Keefe because of his video(s) which had put Acorn out of business (see Crossing Boundaries ). Trump had been questioning Obama’s status as an American. He felt Obama was probably born in Hawaii but he also felt Obama had mis-represented himself as a Kenyan in his applications to Columbia and Harvard Law. Trump felt that a man with O’Keefe’s imagination and motivation might be able to get a copy of say Obama’s Columbia application which was then sealed.
O’Keefe enjoyed meeting Trump but said he couldn’t accept this impossible assignment.
Defining a Veritas Journalist - Here O’Keefe does an overview of the items covered in the remainder of the book. He makes the point that journalism is an activity not an registered occupation. He believes journalism is an activity which some citizens might perform once and awhile or they might do it all the time.
Additionally, O’Keefe believes wherever possible videos with sound tracks should be taken. He calls these videos “cinema verita” and he has named his organization Project Veritas. Of course, to get the opportunity to create these videos and sound tracks, O’Keefe’s people have to pretend to have a legitimate mutual interest in something (e.g. a medical researcher interested in fetal body parts from an abortion clinic, a lobbyist calling on a politician with a large contribution if certain bills pass, etc.)
Main line media outlets object to O’Keefe’s tactics saying “he deceives his target about his true motives” or “his videos lack context or nuance” or they are improperly edited and convey a false impression.......
O’Keefe responded by saying 1) the videos are being made in the true spirit Upton Sinclair who was condemned for his early work documenting methods used in the meat processing industry, and 2) the videos have embarrassed several gov’t funded organization to the point where their gov’t money was taken away.
Crossing Boundaries - Here O’Keefe talks about his first three projects and his conviction for falsely entering a federal building. Regarding the projects: 1) he and Lila Rose, a youngish looking pro life college co-ed, go into a Planned Parenthood clinic, she claims to be 15, he 23. They say Lila Rose has an unwanted pregnancy. Planned Parenthood did not call police on the statutory rape admission instead they begin arranging an abortion, 2) he and another woman Hannah go into several Project Acorn offices around the country saying they are looking for housing for half a dozen underage girls. The conversation makes it clear the girls will be working as prostitutes. (This video attracted Trump attention and got O’Keefe in to see Trump.) Finally 3) he visited an NPR office asking them for help by getting a radical Muslim group recognized as a mainline acceptable organization. He makes it clear the group is not compatible with basic American values. The NPR executives are nevertheless willing to go forward helping the group with favorable publicity. When his videos hit, O’Keefe was accused of “selective editing” by the main stream media (e.g. CNN, NBC, etc), and he was also condemned because of the low quality of his videos which resulted from the way they were made and the extreme miniaturization of the equipment used.
His felony conviction came when Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana said she was not receiving calls regarding the impending Obamacare vote. O’Keefe entered Landrieu’s office in New Orleans to video tape and record his friends and others calling in to her reception area to complain about the pending law. She responded by having him arrested by the Federal government for entering a Federal Building under false identity. It turned out he had entered the building using his true identity but had been less then forthright announcing the purpose of his visit to Landrieu’s staff. However, he was still arrested, booked, and convicted, although in the end the Federal prosecutors admitted O’Keefe had no intent to commit a felony.(This is one of the many new Federal felonies that no longer require intent for a conviction.)
Because a few states have two party consent laws before a telephone conversation can be recorded O’Keefe has had to pay one ($100,000) settlement to get out of a civil lawsuit. Liberal media always shows pictures of O’Keefe’s arrest in New Orleans as a means to discredit his latest video.
O’Keefe has a “wall of shame” where big media has issued retractions for their many false statements made about Project Veritas. He notes there is no trust for citizen journalists in big media.
Sen. Reid said the border was secure. Hillary said the same thing. So O’Keefe went out to check the Texas border. A Texas sheriff helped O’Keefe, dressed like Bin Laden, find a spot where he went into Mexico and re-crossed into Texas unchecked by the boarder patrol. Joe Halderman, formerly from CBS, was helping Veritas by filming his crossing of the river and then by documenting his walk inland to a major highway which would have allowed him easy access to anywhere in the U.S.
He saved the tape in several locations so it could not be confiscated easily by the gov’t as his Landrieu tape had been in New Orleans. He went up on You Tube and had a million views.
He then recounts an encounter at JFK airport where they harassed and delayed him at passport control. He tried to get government records of this event. Homeland Security responded with documents that blacked out the reason for the harassment.
He then set up a video of an actor in black clothing taking a speed boat from Cleveland to Canada, entering Canada with a British passport, and then coming back with large amounts of fake ricin poison and Ebola laden rags. He then walked right into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame with these bags of rags. This video earned Homeland Security officials a grilling at a Senate hearing which they have yet to forget.
After this his foreign travel got more difficult. Here he recounts his interaction with several boarder agents who delayed and harassed him until he finally got a chance to glnce at what the top mgt of CBP (Customs and Border Patrol) had put in his file. They said he was “harassing people and pulling stunts”. He called a friend at the Washington Post who was able to get the CBP to back off. The Post reporter rubbed it in and said “it really does help if you work for a real news operation” .
Honoring Undercover Journalism - Here is a much longer review of the history of undercover reporting in the US. O’Keefe mentions: Sinclair whose reporting on meat processing got the Pure Food and Drug Act passed.
Then he mentions Nellie Bly who pretended to be crazy in order to see how Bellevue Hosp. in NY treated poor people with mental illness. After ten days she had enough info to force a complete reform of the system.
O’Keefe mentions a guy named Mullin who went undercover to discover voter fraud for the Tribune in Chicago.
The first undercover reporter who used a camera was a fellow named Howard who using an ankle camera documented the death pangs of a woman being electrocuted. O’Keefe called this the first instance of “cinema verita”.
Chicago was the location of the most imaginative undercover scheme. Reporters from the Sun Times acquired a bar called the Mirage Tavern and somehow got a lot of dirty political figures to frequent the place. Recordings and videos were made, quite a few bribes were recorded, and several convictions were obtained. The Sun Times group were “odds on favorites” to win the Pulitzer prize that year until Ben Bradley from the Washington Post said their tactics were unsavory.
O’Keefe feels: A) Watergate gave reporters big heads and caused them to adopt a strategy of waiting till a leaker “spills the beans”, rather than going out and getting the story, B) Journalism schools have identified certain “Sacred cows” that they feel should not be the target in investigations, these include such things as public schools, environmental groups, certain civil rights groups, etc. and C) there is the threat of litigation that can impact a newspaper’s bottom line which is a particularly big concern in these days of declining circulation.
Swelling Chardonnay - Here O’Keefe explores where journalist got the idea that investigative journalism was somehow questionable. There was a Journalism teacher named Bob Steele who convinced the Columbia Univ J School to begin teaching that undercover investigative journalism is almost never justified. Steele proposed ten standards to be met; two of these were/are deeply offensive to Project Veritas - first, only “well” established news outlets should be allowed to use such techniques, and second, investigations should only be conducted if well establish journalists feel the benefits far out way the damage that might be done to otherwise good groups and individuals.
For instance, Veritas investigated Project Acorn for facilitating voter fraud. After the Veritas proved that Aaron was facilitating voter fraud, many Established Journalists stated they felt voter fraud was a minor problem in America and therefore not a justified subject for such an investigation. O’Keefe’s reporter even got Acorn employees, who had been authorized to register people as voters, to give him false voter credentials. He claimed his name was Eric Holder. (This all happened as Attorney General Eric Holder was repeatedly saying voter fraud was not really a problem. )
Project Veritas was condemned by established reporters. Particularly those who had attended the Columbia J-school. O’Keefe feels reporters trained in NY have particularly warped attitudes toward undercover reporting.
Practicing Magic - “Cinema Verita” can reshape American’s idea of what is important. Veritas recruits everywhere but not in the DC area. The tools of CIA intelligence officers are most useful particularly for developing personal relationships with the targets. Always think “I am being watched” and “ You are being tested even when you don’t think you are”.
Actual cover stories are not all that important. Saul Olinsky said “use whatever tool you can”. O’Keefe includes a story about how public schools need reform. This is the only way the poor will ever get reform in their schools. Veritas reported on a N.J. Educational Assoc event. Veritas sent an attractive woman reporter. She got a leering middle aged male teacher, named Robt. Cline, from Howell Twp. Middle school to invite her to his room. She went with a friend. The leering man figured out they might be wired, but after a quick check, he changed direction and offered them cocain.
Veritas then decided to offer this leering NJ teacher an award for his anti-drug efforts. They created Nu Star Learning to give him a surprise award. Nu Learning coordinated the award with the principal of his school without the teacher’s knowledge. So finally they went to give the leering “drug using” teacher an award for his “anti-drug” work in front of his class at school. This was recorded and Veritas attached the award video with the hotel room video to create a great video for You Tube.
But O’Keefe’s friends ask: “Why do these videos since nothing seems to change?”
Meeting Candidate Trump - It happened Veritas organized a sting in the Hillary Clinton souvenir shop where money donation were solicited from Americans in exchange for free campaign goodies. A Canadian women was told she was not eligible to do an exchange being a foreigner. So the woman asked the Veritas person to accept her money and collect a souvenir for her - this slight of hand was approved by the Hilary campaign compliance officer who was then in the shop. Veritas caught it all on the video. Later they gave the video to Trump’s campaign to use if he won the Republican nomination.
Recognizing Propaganda - Here O’Keefe goes into the history of political control gained through voter mind control in modern democracies. (At the end of this essay there are several long quotes from this chapter that illustrate O’Keefe’s research in this area.)
(Note: This Chapter is “far and away” the most important chapter in this book.)
Meeting Adam Schulkin - Adam Sculpin was a big time NYC Democrat serving on the city’s election board. A Vertias reporter pretending to be a liberal asked Schulkin about voter fraud. Schulkin surprisingly opened up to this stanger and pointed out areas of voting corruption in NYC. The video was released in Oct 2016. The video caused deBlasio to say Schulkin should have been promoting more voting rather than talking about voter fraud. Then deBlasio tried to get Schulkin fired off the election board but Schulkin had lots of Democrat friends, so he kept his job.
He goes through many examples of voter fraud which had originally been reported on by John Fund of the WSJ.
Channeling Chicago - This is the biggest story for Veritas so far. In Milwalkee a Veritas reporter named Steve got Scott Foval a Democratic organizer to discuss how they might “pump up” the vote in Milwalkee. Steve had gained access by volunteering to go door to door in Hispanic areas getting info on residents. He heard they would be going back on election day offering people $25 to get out and vote.
There was concern because Wisconcin had a new voter ID law and it promised to force the inner city vote down. The Veritas reporter tried to dreamed up an illegal operation which promised to increase the vote. This plan had to be good enough to get Scott Foval to present it to his bosses. Steve’s idea was to identify all unoccupied dwellings in certain precints, bring in outsiders (perhaps from Chicago) to register at those addresses and thus get them gov’t issued voter ID’s with pictures.
Foval said he had to run the idea by Bob Craemer of Democrancy Partners which was a Democrat group that figured out how to increase the Democrtic vote. Foval volunteered that they also organized violent conflicts at Republican rallies using recruited mentally ill people.
As background it should be noted Creamer is married to Rep Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, and he has many foreign clients. Evidently his techniques work wherever elections are held.
Working Our Way In - Veritas felt this Creamer lead was very important; so they had one of their reporters pretend to be a wealthy, liberal man named Charles Roth, III. So Roth called Creamer offering to give several tens of thousands of dollars to “jack up” Hilary’s vote on election day. But he wanted to know details on how the money would be spent. Creamer was wary of Roth. However, when Roth requested a job for his 21 yr old niece that wanted campaign experience, Creamer said “yes”, evidently to keep Roth interested.
So Roth managed to place another Veritas reporter, a young woman, Angela, on Creamer’s staff. Creamer sent her to Cleveland to help disrupt the Republican convention. Then Creamer moved her to the HQ of Democracy Partners in DC. She began attending meetings recording everything.
Second, she got a video with sound of Clinton telling Creamer to put “Donald Ducks” at Trump campaign events with signs asking for his tax returns. This was a violation because the Ducks worked for an outside group, and coordination with the campaign was/is not allowed . Angela had started at Democracy Partners only seven weeks before the election. She recorded all the time.
Third, she went to the DNC with Creamer one day where he explained his strategy to organize disruptions at all Trump and Pence events.
Fourth, Creamer shares with Angela that Democrats have made a decision to kept as many illegals in this country as possible. Angela met the DNC leader who had shut down Trump rally in Chicago. He was a hero around Creamer’s office. What he had done was classic “soviet style” agi prop (ie. an agitation with propaganda effect).
Fifth, Veritas’ guy Steve that started with Foval gets back in the game. Foval explained agitator training in half dozen cities around the country. They have people in line to get into Trump rallies at 6 AM so they get front row seats to shake hands and ask embarrassing questions and disrupt the event. This process is called “bird dogging” an event or candidate.
Sixth, Pelosi’s daughter got Veritas’ Roth mixed up with another Roth that had given heavily to Pelosi’s campaign; so Creamer’s favorable attention shifts back to Chas Roth. That mistake probably got Roth’s money into the Democracy Partner’s election day dirty tricks effort.
Counting Down - Creamer and Foval were becoming much more interested in Roth and his money because of the Pelosi error. Here Foval explains to the Veritas reporter Steve the code that the DNC used to communicate with Creamer’s operation. This code was needed because the FEC (Federal Election Comm.) prohibited coordination between the campaign and outside groups. Since DNC and Hilary campaign could not directly talk to those doing the disruptions , they would communicate through consultants like Foval. One thing the DNC liked was agitators who were so abrasive they could get a Trump supporter to throw a punch at them.
Always Be Closing - This chapter has Roth putting in 20k and Roth and Steve (both Veritas reporters) meeting Ceasar Vargas, a vote fraud expert, to discuss how he does voter fraud. Vargas does not disclose where he plans to do “his thing”, but at least the Veritas money is now at work on voter fraud though exactly where is a mystery.
Most of the chapter reports on a long conversation between Foval and Steve where Steve tries to get Foval to reveal other voter fraud efforts that he might know about. Steve suggest that Roth might finance additional efforts. At the very end of this conversation Foval discloses that Vargas is going to do his fraud thing in NYC, but he also says it is too late to organize any new efforts.
Banned from Twitter - Here O’Keefe’s got banned from Twitter for two videos that he published in early Oct 2016. The first was of a Russ Fiengold worker admitting on hidden camera that Democrats wanted to ban the private ownership of guns. The other video proved a “worker” in the Florida Democrat office bragged about sexual harassment of woman. The question was his status paid employee or campaign volunteer. A review of Federal Election Commission files showed he was a paid employee so Veritas had proof of a Hilary employee bragging about sexual harassment. The video they had created did a compare and contrast between this and the Trump sexual harassment tape with Billy Bush when Trump was a private citizen. .... In any event Twitter blocked the videos, saying it was a violation of their policy. O’Keefe raised a fuss with Twitter and so did his followers. After a tweet storm from followers Twitter allowed the video after minor corrections to go up on their site.
Closing Up Shop - A “drop dead” date and time was established when all Veritas undercover reporters would be out of all the Democratic campaign offices. The magic time was 1PM EDT on Oct 14. Everyone made a clean exit. Project Veritas had all the video it was going to get.
Spiking the News -They had two problems 1) how to give the thousands of hours video that they had a final edit for release on Oct 17th and Oct 18th, and 2) how to get the videos aired so Americans got the information promptly.
Project Veritas had trained video editors and if they worked diligently there was time to get the videos into good shape. ..... The distribution was a little more tricky. O’Keefe had earlier approached the Sinclair Broadcast group because they had a reputation for being a bit more conservative. O’Keefe got a green light from their news producer “subject to a final green light” from top mgt once the final video(s) was available for review. Top management. at Sinclair declined to run the videos.
Breaking Through - The two most powerful videos in the “Rigging the Election” series were to drop on Monday and Tuesday of that week, October 17 and 18. The first of the two focused on the orchestration of violence at Trump rallies. The second focused on voter fraud. Each made ample use of conversations with Scott Foval, Robert Creamer, and others.
Without Sinclair the video had to get out via the internet - Twitter, Facebook, You Tube, etc.. Fortunately the earlier Twitter suspension had jumped the number of O’Keefe followers so when these new videos hit Twitter they got more play then one would have suspected. O’Keefe had contacts at Brietbart and they posted a link to Project Veritas’ website. After some initial trouble, the Project Veritas computer was able to handle the sudden demand for video downloads.
So Brietbart and, a little later, Drudge joined in promoting the Veritas releases. The main releases were long 15 minutes, but they were augmented by short 1.5 minute videos that conveyed the heart of the longer messages. For instance, the short video on “event agitation” caught Foval saying “The key is initiating the conflict by having leading conversation with people who are naturally psychotic. Honestly, it is not hard to get some of these assholes (referring to Trump supporters) to pop off”.
The second video was about voter fraud and the short quote they used from this video was Foval admitting that Democrats have been bussing non-registered people to vote illegally in Wisconsin for 50 years .
The outlet they wanted most was FOX News. They were scheduled once by the Varney show but that invite was withdrawn at the last minute. Later the Hannity Show began reporting on the Veritas videos when it was about a week and half before the Nov. 8th election.
Weaponized Autism - This chapter is about using Reddit users to scour the internet for photos and other items that proved a connection between Creamer’s & Foval’s disruption activities and the Clinton campaign. These Reddit users, called Redditors (and on occasion Autists), came to Veritas’ aid. They went to Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, etc and viewed tens of thousands of hours of videos of Clinton events and disruption activities aimed at Trump events and found a woman , Zulema Rodriguez, who they also found in FEC records had received a paycheck from Clinton and was one of the “stalled drivers” who blocked an Interstate Highway going to a Phoenix Trump event. This proved that a paid Clinton staffer was co-operating with Creamer and Foval in activities where it was illegal to have coordination between the campaign and outside groups.
Going Viral in Vegas - Trump campaign responded to O’Keefe’s video release of Oct 17 and Oct 18 by providing him with credentials to attend the Oct 19th debate in Las Vegas. He did this despite the fact that nearly every talk radio host in America wanted to talk to him on air.
Because the Veritas videos were on everyone’s mind, Trump even mentioned them in that debate. O’Keefe saw press people eyeing him, but none had the guts to approach him and ask questions.
O’Keefe did encounter Donna Brazile, the head of the DNC, on an elevator and once he said he was not recording her, she admitted she had arranged for Creamer’s departure from all campaign involvements.
Anticipating Hilary - Here O’Keefe analyzed the reason Sinclair decided not to air the videos as promised. Although media executives do worry about defamation lawsuits, their biggest fear is the FCC. Usually a regulator is satisfied if their rules are followed, but the FCC actually owes the most important asset broadcast media companies use, the airwaves. O’Keefe feels the Sinclair people thought Clinton would be elected, and they figured Clinton would use her appointment power at the FCC to install commissions who would take away Sinclair’s right to use the air waves. O’Keefe recommends that everyone view an Al Pacino movie called The Insider where media issues such as this are explored.
Fleeing Philly - Here O’Keefe reports on his personal effort to document voter fraud in Philadelphia on election day Nov. 2016. He wanders into a polling place known for its “fishy” results dressed like a bum and recording everything. He asks if he can get some info on who he should vote for. The boss of the poll workers, a woman named Sarah, gets him a Democratic sample ballot and says he can vote now. He didn’t vote he went outside and documented these events in what reporters call “a stand up”. (A reporter “stand up” is just a reporter standing in front of a camera with a microphone recounting the facts of a news story.) In it he makes it clear that no election official is allowed to persuade a voter “in any way”. Sarah reacted to the “stand up”. She had two Black Panthers on duty outside the poll go after O’Keefe, so he and his driver escaped running several red lights in the process.
Then they spotted a van labeled “Iglesia” or “Church” hauling people from poll to poll with all the passengers going into each polling place to vote . This too was captured on video.
Late in the day, O’Keefe, after getting the Sarah video up on the internet, gets on the NJ Turnpike hoping to get to the Trump victory party up in NYC. (He is worried. Travel on the NJ Turnpike is always an uncertain proposition.)
Making History - At 6:30 on election day, O’Keefe entered the facility hosting the party and faced a seated lady accepting credentials. He didn’t have any so he milled around until someone recognized him. Once recognized, he was issued credentials instantly, welcomed in and declared a hero because of his work documenting Democratic tricks. A knowledgeable staffer said “if we win ... your videos that will do it”. It was a long night ending with a electoral vote landslide (but a popular vote loss).
Targeting the Media - A second effect of the Trump win was to show people were moving away from traditional media and to other sources (e.g. internet, talk radio, etc.) for guidance. By Ap ‘17 only 29% of respondents said traditional media was trustworthy. The traditional media had done its best to sell America on Hilary, and in the process, had cost themselves dearly, they had lost credibility.
The America people found the candor and forthrightness of the new President refreshing. Trump augmented this with Tweets that hit home. He could not be ignored. So the traditional media decided to deride his approaches. But the media continued to lose relevance and without relevance the media has no reason to exist. Following the election, all 24 hour news channels (including FOX) had combined viewers of about 1% of the potential viewing audience on any given night.
O’Keefe feels the downfall of TV News has been in the works for years because they have been passing off too much opinion as news and people finally caught on.
Manufacturing Consent - In the past traditional media has failed because: 1) they refuse to name a lot of their sources, 2) they fear appearing different than the crowd they run with, 3) they share political ideology with most of the people they cover, 4) of pressure from advertisers not to cover certain subjects, 5) of supervisors and managers who lack journalistic integrity, and 6) of excessive worry about being sued. However, these criteria for failure no longer seem to apply. Today’s newsmen rely too much upon press releases and “safe”sources. (A “safe” source is someone who is already on the record as having said the thing the reporter wants to report.) In this environment little or no investigative journalism is being done.
Project Veritas had exposed Foval and Creamer. Creamer responded by serving Project Veritas with a lawsuit in June ‘17 for violating wiretap laws, misrepresentation, trespass, etc. Project Veritas moved to dismiss saying the free press can’t operate unless it has the right to go underground. As of this book’s publication date, the suit was still pending.
O’Keefe then points to several recent cases and situations where the courts have curtained the media’s right to do its investigative and reporting functions. There is no certainty Veritas will win against Creamer.
Freezing the “anti-Fascist” Fascists - Here O’Keefe discusses a group called “Disrupt J20" which was organized to disrupt Trump’s inauguration on January 20, 2017. O’Keefe decided to infiltrate this group. He heard Disrupt J20 had tough guys who could spot anyone who attended an organizational meeting that didn’t look right, so he had to pick his infiltrating reporters with care.
The first “disrupt” event Veritas attended was at the Army Navy game in Dec ‘16. Here 4 Veritas journalist meet many “disrupt” people and got included in the next event an organizational meeting in DC.
One of the journalist was asked to attend a second small organizing event, here the conversation got specific. The group was planning to put stink bombs in the building where one of the Inaugural Balls would be held. Their target was the Deplorable Ball to be held in the National Press Club Bldg.
Disrupting the Disruption - An O’Keefe undercover person covering Disrupt J20 picked up a conversation about creating a human chain to block the DC metro lines on inauguration day. The planners kept talking about the Nazis types among the Trump people, but it appeared to O’Keefe that the protesters were the greater concern. O’Keefe thought the potential damage to the economy of DC by a complete Metro shut down deserved police intervention. One week before inauguration day O’Keefe’s lawyer set up a meet with the FBI and DC Metro police. Law enforcement reviewed the videos. On Jan 16th Veritas went public with the videos of the early meetings setting up Disrupt J20; then on Jan 17th they went public with videos on the plan to use stink bombs and to shut down the Metro commuter system.
US News Reported on Jan 18th that Disrupt J20 had dramatically scaled back their planned disruption activities. Unfortunately Veritas had three of there best undercover journalists uncovered in the days leading up to inauguration.
Backtracking in Wisconsin - The voter fraud video released back on Oct 17 had been focused primarily on Foval in Wisconsin. The Attorney General in Wis was under pressure to investigate and perhaps prosecute Foval and make recommendations for how the voting system could be cleaned up. He appointed his right hand man Ryan Korte to investigate. Korte issued a report saying there were doubts the video was shot in Wis and the video itself was suspect because the raw video naturally had breaks in it. O’Keefe, working with the Milwaukee paper, managed to shame the Attorney General into shelving the Korte report and opening an investigation.
Editing the News - Here O’Keefe explores the mainline media’s use of the video edit to create a false impression. He had a perfect example. There was show done by Katie Couric in which she interviewed several members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a pro gun group, she asked them questions about needed gun control legislation to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists. With each question Couric cut the tape to make it look like the pro-gun people were not able to formulate a coherent answer. The Couric video program aired in May 2016.
Unfortunately the pro-gun group had secretly videoed the same interviews and they arranged to have their uncut video aired by the Washington Free Beacon to show how misleading editing can be. This outlet is “on line & internet” based. The group’s members who had been made to look “half bright” had actually offered very god, coherent answers to Couric’s questions.
O’Keefe mentioned other examples of selective editing and how misleading it is. Videos he discusses included the Michael Moore incident in St Louis, the Trey von Martin incident in Florida, and Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11.
Attacking Fox - Here O’Keefe discusses the drumbeat of negative news about Trump that has been coming out of all television and newspaper outlets except FOX news which is only 50% negative on Trump. Because FOX refused to be 80%+ negative on Trump, the rest of the media decided to attack FOX. They did a big investigative effort on Bill O’Reilly and discovered several legal settlements on sexual harassment allegations. To put this effort in perspective the New York Times assigned more manpower to O’Reilly than they did to the “Fast and Furious” or the “IRS abuse of the Tea Party” investigations. O’Reilly quit. The liberal media then tried to get Hannity as well, but he denied all allegations and survived.
O’Keefe spends a few pages at the end of this chapter discussing how the internet portals (i.e. Facebook, Google, etc) “curate” the news items their users submit so their vistors only see certain selected items.
American Pravda - Here O’Keefe reviews the degree to which the “progressives” have managed to gain control of information flow in our media, our entertainment, our schools, our newspapers, etc. O’Keefe feels the vast majority of information flow is shaped by “progressives”.The most important exceptions to this generalization are the New York Post, the Washington Times, and FOX.
The chapter is devoted to various undercover videos Veritas took of prominent news people admitting bias in their reporting on Trump. There were a couple of particularly profound admissions that came out of these Veritas videos done in major newsrooms. First, Dean Banquet, the head of New York Times news operations, said reporters “had to have in his or her heart a desire to make society better” . O’Keefe responds “no, reporters should report the full truth, and then let the American people decide what is good for America”. Second, another New York Times person was caught saying that by skewing left for years the paper has been successful cultivating its left leaning audience. So if the paper started to practice objective journalism again, it would alienate the audience they have so carefully cultivated. (The unstated factor here is the possibility that circulation might suffer.)
O’Keefe believes publishers at these outlets have been “living a lie” just as the publishers of Russia’s Pravda did under the Soviets. The big difference is that American readers today think they are getting real news whereas the reader’s of the old Soviet Pravda knew they had to be very wary. (prepared by ... Hugh Murray 3/13/18)
Notes to Chapter Entitled Recognizing Propaganda
(Note: The numbers shown at places in the following refer to various footnotes from the book itself.)
F. A. Hayek, an Austrian-British economist, wrote the political classic, The Road to Serfdom. His analysis works better for contemporary America than George Orwell’s does, I believe, for one simple reason: we have not yet arrived at 1984. We are, however, well on “the road to” that unholy destination. In a section aptly titled, “The End of Truth,” Hayek describes the mind-set of the aspiring totalitarian: “The whole apparatus for spreading knowledge—the schools and the press, radio and motion picture—will be used to spread those views which, whether true or false, will strengthen the belief in the rightness of the decisions taken by the authority; and all information that might cause doubt or hesitation will be withheld.”(1) .........
In his 1928 classic Propaganda, Bernays argued that even literate citizens are incapable of making their own decisions in that they are guided by “herd instincts and mere prejudice.”(2) Bernays, who is Sigmund Freud’s nephew, made the case for an “invisible government,” one that would filter and explain complicated data in such a way that people would come to the conclusions the elite wanted them to..........
Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, were expressing their frustration that President Trump was not allowing the major media to filter and explain what he was thinking. Instead, he was appealing directly to the American people. This troubled both of them, Brzezinski most notably. “He is trying to undermine the media and trying to make up his own facts,” she told Scarborough. “And it could be that while unemployment and the economy worsens, he could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think. And that, that is our job.” (3) This kind of gaffe is common enough in the political-media complex that it has its own name, a “Kinsley gaffe,” in honor of journalist Michael Kinsley, who first identified the phenomenon.....
When the managing director of politics for CBS digital, Will Rahn, said of his media colleagues, “We were all tacitly or explicitly #WithHer, (Clinton)” (8) he acknowledged that the network’s primary purpose in 2016 was not to report the facts but to elect Hillary Clinton. Journalists did not have to “lie” to be with her. They simply had to suppress stories that worked against her interest and elevate those that worked on her behalf. The fact that essentially all of them were pulling in the same direction represented a collective giant step on the road to serfdom. As it turned out, our stories at Project Veritas did not work on “her” behalf. In fact, our stories threatened the propagandists’ control of the narrative, and, as expected, they retaliated.....
One of the twentieth century’s great heroes, and mine as well, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, spoke to this issue in his memorable 1978 Harvard commencement address. “Harvard’s motto is veritas,” he reminded the graduates. “Many of you have already found out, and others will find out in the course of their lives, that truth eludes us if we do not concentrate our attention totally on its pursuit.” (10) Solzhenitsyn’s knowledge came firsthand. The Gulag Archipelago author witnessed the workings of a totalitarian state up close, including from the inside of a prison camp.............
“In spite of the abundance of information, or maybe because of it,” said Solzhenitsyn forty years ago, “the West has difficulties in understanding reality such as it is.”(17) ...........
“The most effective way of making everybody serve the single system of ends toward which the social plan is directed is to make everybody believe in those ends,” said Hayek. (16) Those who could not be lulled into throwing off, say, the Judeo-Christian concept of marriage or the will to defend the nation against Islamic terrorism or respect for the flag could be shamed into doing it. These new norms do not emerge organically through trial and error over long periods of time as is true of more traditional norms. No, they are manufactured in the nation’s political and media centers and used as weapons to subdue the nation’s reluctant citizens. ..........
We are now past the point where citizens can agree on facts. The filter of political correctness makes serious conversations about jobs and economics impossible when one camp is employing the filter and the other is not. As to why any sane person would rely on such willful distortion, David Ernst traces the answer to the oldest of human impulses, the need to acknowledge and punish sin, real or imagined. The more fault I find in thee, the holier I am than thou, the more power I should have over you and yours. The irony, of course, is rich. The postmodernists begin by tearing down a value system crafted and refined over the millennia and end up replacing it with a jerry-rigged monstrosity that is altogether more punitive. The postmodern state does not have to flex its muscles. It need only whisper in the public’s ear. The fear of being shamed is far greater on the right than the fear of being arrested or censured. Elected Republicans in particular cringe at the thought of being called out by the press. The media have long insisted that Republicans are heartless. Today, they insist Republicans are also homophobic, sexist, racist, classist, Islamophobic, xenophobic, transphobic, even “anti-science.” Anxious about being branded, surrounded in capital cities by press propagandists eager to do the branding, congressional Republicans would rather do nothing than risk a scarlet letter. Report on fraud at the polls, and you want to bring back Jim Crow. Report on insecurity at the border, and you want to break up families. Report on refugee fraud, and you don’t care if dead babies wash up on beaches. Report on abuses inside the teachers unions, and you oppose civil rights and public education. Too often elected officials avoid public shame, no matter how unfounded, by abandoning common sense or withdrawing from the arena altogether. If these examples sound “partisan,” it is only because they fall outside the boundaries of an Overton window framed by a nearly monolithic media in their support of a shared, if ever shifting, “social purpose.” ..........(note: The Overton window, also known as the window of discourse, is the range of ideas tolerated in public discourse.)
As Hayek observed fifty years before anyone worried about climate change, “A pseudo-scientific theory becomes part of the official creed which to a greater or lesser degree directs everybody’s action.” (13) Accepted orthodoxy on a wide range of subjects—the true, the good, and the beautiful—are all, said Hayek, “necessarily based on particular views about facts which are then elaborated into scientific theories in order to justify a preconceived opinion"..........
What discouraged Solzhenitsyn, who had been living in the United States for several years, was the media’s indifference to truth and their unwillingness to pursue it. “One gradually discovers a common trend of preferences within the Western press as a whole,” he said. “It is a fashion; there are generally accepted patterns of judgment; there may be common corporate interests, the sum effect being not competition but unification.” (11) As he saw it, the media were squandering their freedom. For a journalist, the overriding goal should not be to serve some transitory purpose but to pursue the truth, as Solzhenitsyn said, “totally.” Yes, we would all like to better the human condition, but to accomplish that we have to understand our present circumstances, and we can only achieve understanding through truth. The postmodernists make this pursuit difficult. If Solzhenitsyn believed that truth was rooted “in man’s sense of responsibility to God,” the postmodernist rejects such absolutes out of hand. To the postmodernist, Solzhenitsyn’s ordered moral universe would seem quaint if not downright bigoted. .......
As David Ernst argued in an insightful article on Trump and the postmodernists, the latter operate “according to just one moral imperative: discredit anything that other people presume to stand for goodness, because the belief that anything is superior to anything else inevitably results in prejudice, interpersonal strife, and inequality.” (12) The postmodernist thinks nothing of dismissing or denying real information in order to help craft a political identity or form an agenda. If all truth is relative and personal, why not advance a “truth” that enhances power and facilitates social control? Fuelling that advance is the postmodernist’s most potent energy source, political correctness. We dismiss the postmodern embrace of this phenomenon at our own risk. This is identity politics waged as war against the truth, against fact, against reason, ironically even against science. .....
(prepared by Hugh Murray on 3/28/2018
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