Conservatives Richard Falknor on 04 Dec 2013
George Orwell (Eric Blair) — remembered most for his novels Animal Farm and 1984 — faced serious pro-Soviet hostility from the British chattering classes in the 1930s and 1940s.
This hostility to truth-telling about the Soviets – in the 1930s and 1940s — illustrates the wide reach of their influence, which Diana West chronicled for us at home in the United States in her American Betrayal.
These were times when so many — even in the English-speaking world — had lost their good judgment about Moscow and its lethal objectives.
David Pryce-Jones last month reviewed here (subscription required) Peter Davison’s George Orwell: A Life in Letters. (Of Davison, “the undisputed keeper of the [Orwell] flame,” and of the book itself Pryce-Jones declares “to have Orwell speaking in his own voice while accompanied by so informed a guide is to recover more of his daily life than would be possible in a biography.”)
In his November 2013 The New Criterion post “A Man of Letters,” Pryce-Jones illuminates the political atmosphere of Britain during the 1930s and 1940s–
“And then there are the Communists of the period, of course writers, journalists, and academics to the fore, but also churchmen, aristocrats, trade unionists, miners, flapper girls, and film stars, the lot. Prince Potemkin had once put up false villages whose pretense to prosperity hid the background misery, and in just that manner the Communists presented the Soviet Union as the perfect universal society. For reasons that must go deep into the human psyche, Soviet deception met a corresponding need to be deceived. Replacing reality with illusion, rejecting cause and effect, Communism was an irrational mass movement the like of which had not been seen since the credulous Middle Ages.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
National Review senior editor Pryce-Jones points out–
“The Soviet Union disposed of a huge co-ordinated apparatus of Party members and fellow-traveling supporters. They were treating betrayal of principle, the use of military force, and the crushing of opinion as the modus operandi for the future. It was completely unforeseeable that a not-very-well-known English writer would alert the world by means of two short fables. Quite simply, George Orwell had found the form and the words to explode the pretensions of Communism. No English writer since Dickens or Kipling has had such influence on opinion.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
And getting Animal Farm finally into print in 1945? Pryce-Jones explains–
“Animal Farm, his fable about the Soviet Union, then an ally, and that too now belongs to the national story. T. S. Eliot, not a pansy Leftist, was one among several publishers to turn it down because this was not ‘the right point of view from which to criticise the political situation at the present time.’ Put another way, even a conservative poet like Eliot preferred to suppress a masterpiece rather than criticize the Soviets. Other publishers rejected it for the same political reasons until Fredric Warburg came to the rescue.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
Too many voices during this period apparently shared a contempt for parliamentary capitalism.
Historian John Lukacs writes in The Duel: The Eighty-Day Struggle Between Churchill and Hitler about June 1940 — just after the fall of France:
“Many people in the world saw in what had happened an evidence and a justification of their own ideas about the corrupt and inefficient, the hypocritical and antiquated nature of parliamentary government, of bourgeois democracy, of liberal capitalism – institutions and causes of which, after the collapse of France, Britain seemed to be the only remaining representative in Europe. This current surfaced across the globe. On the day of France’s capitulation Gandhi wrote in the Indian newspaper Harijan, on 22 June: ‘Germans of future generations will honour Herr Hitler as a genius, as a brave man, a matchless organizer and much more.’”(Highlighting Forum’s.)
Lukacs compiles a “list of European thinkers and artists who in 1940 welcomed what they saw as a cleansing wave of the present and future.” The list ranges from the Jesuit Teilhard de Chardin to the writer Andre Gide.
Pryce-Jones continues –
“Thousands of English men and women had been on conducted tours of Republican Spain, returning home eager to pass their deception and self-deception on to others. While still in Spain recovering from his wound, Orwell had written to his publisher Victor Gollancz, ‘I hope I shall get a chance to write the truth about what I have seen. The stuff appearing in the English papers is largely the most appalling lies.’ The obstacles that he then encountered in telling the truth were to be enshrined in the British national story. Appeasement of Communism was a stronger influence on public opinion than the Chamberlain government’s appeasement of Nazism. The New Statesman, the voice of the intellectual Left, accepted Orwell’s suggestion for an article about events in Spain, only to reject his first-hand report of the criminal suppression of his anarchist colleagues. Kingsley Martin, the magazine editor responsible, was an archetypal Soviet apologist and fellow-traveler. Homage to Catalonia was Orwell’s longer account of his Spanish ordeal and his first political book. Gollancz, also a Soviet apologist and fellow-traveler, most certainly was not going to allow Orwell the chance to tell the truth. He refused to publish what has become a classic of reportage.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
So how does Orwell’s experience relate to Diana West’s expose, American Betrayal?
West’s is a tale of Soviet influence, not just spying, in the United States during much the same period.
But to succeed, this influence had to be nourished by the credulity of America’s political and fashionable and artistic classes.
And, as West argues, president Franklin Delano Roosevelt set the national tone by his 1933 “normalization” of relations with the Soviet Union.
But, like the United Kingdom of the 1930s and 1940s, as Pryce-Jones relates–
“Replacing reality with illusion, rejecting cause and effect, Communism was an irrational mass movement the like of which had not been seen since the credulous Middle Ages.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
Many if not most influential American voices then believed in some flavor of the progressive movement. A few, apparently from another perspective, such as Anne Morrow Lindbergh, argued in The Wave of the Future, that (in John Lukacs’ summary) “the old world of liberal individualism and parliamentary democracy was being replaced by something new.”
And today? In spite of the danger of president Barack Obama’s lawless governance, however, there are substantial numbers of outspoken Americans who believe in genuine constitutional government.
But in the 1930s and 1940s, we simply did not have the well-developed, widespread articulate conservative movement we know today, leaving America then all the more vulnerable to the Soviet deception.
Providentially, our society survived that threat of over a half-century ago.
But we must study these past perils in order effectively to combat grave current ones, always bearing in mind historian Stan Evans’ wry maxim–
“‘Evans Law of Inadequate Paranoia,’ which says no matter how bad you think something is, when you look into it, it’s always worse. And this — this has been totally vindicated. Every time I turn around, I find something else that makes me say, ‘I can’t believe it.’”
Conservatives Richard Falknor on 17 Nov 2013
Conservatives in Virginia need a new kind of independent organization to get off their down-escalator.
We need to advance conservative reforms and talk up conservative principles to those who seldom hear them (but might listen) in the Old Dominion. This is not the same activity as Republican electioneering.
Nor is this post about Mr. Cuccinelli’s late campaign for governor. While we find Rick Shaftan’s Bearing Drift op-ed here the most plausible analysis, pollster Shaftan also points to a central truth likely to be overlooked among often-policy-flexible Republican Party of Virginia operatives, candidates, and incumbents:
“Republicans win philosophical battles. Democrats win personality contests.”
Most Republican operatives, candidates, and incumbents are in the business of gaining or holding office—they are not primarily gaining or keeping power to advance conservative reforms and talk up these principles from their own pulpits.
For example, a trusted source tells us that the U. S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Bill Howell, and at least one “moderate” pro-primary district chair are putting together a pot of $1,000,000 to help elect other “moderate” pro-primary district chairs and state central committee members.
Our Modest Proposal
We are proposing a statewide, coordinated conservative organization – whether under the aegis of Tea Party Patriots or some new 501(c)(4) association.
The grass roots themselves can best decide ways and means.
We are not suggesting a new political party, but an organized, muscular political movement.
Call it Free Virginia(FV) for now — just as a working name.
FV might endorse candidates or incumbents, or even recruit new candidates where the current incumbent has a record of working against conservative programs or principles. But FV would take care not to be or to be seen as an arm of the RPV.
But that would not be all FV would do.
Conservative Virginia Priorities
FV would constantly be running inexpensive local media and doing local “shadow hearings”(on conservative measures the General Assembly blew off) as well as local demonstrations throughout the Old Dominion.
What would be needed to start: a smart, experienced Virginia conservative with sound judgment who would guide the movement during its formative year.
In our view, many Virginia conservatives can come up with $100 apiece to kick off such an effort. Imagine 10 per cent of E.W. Jackson’s 980,000 vote contributing $100 each. In any event, most money should come from a large number of donors in modest packets, donors to whom the organization can return for additional help when the organization shows results.
The biggest challenge might be to get conservatives behind the three core conservative concerns, not just that part of one of them with which they feel most congenial:
- Upholding a broad range of values (not simply opposing abortion — but also strengthening the culture, defending traditional liberty, stopping Common Core, tracking taxpayer-funded school curricula and teacher training);
- Right-sizing local, state, and the Federal government (more than lower taxes: seriously rolling back regulation by state and local government; espousing a pro-market but not a so-called “pro-business” or “crony-capitalist” agenda;
- Strengthening homeland security (ranging from a prudent national defense to maintaining our sovereignty to resisting national and local incursions from Civilization Jihad.
Even the very important longer-range goal of adopting some or all of the Liberty Amendments would likely have short-term organization benefits.
Of course, there are well-organized pro-life and Second Amendment organizations that are already going concerns in Virginia. And they doubtless have their own arrangements with sympathetic state legislators.
Now more than ever, however, so-called “single-issue conservatives” pursue a path to irrelevance if they do not work closely and supportively with the larger conservative movement. Unless they do so, they help ensure that we shall all hang separately. Whether they do so depends on how frightened they are becoming of Leviathan – in its Federal, state, and local costumes.
But what we are proposing goes well beyond “deals” in the General Assembly and primary endorsements.
We propose that conservatives organize to go straight to the Virginia polity and to coming generations to take back our culture and our way of life.
We welcome the thoughts of Virginia conservatives.
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Readers may wish to revisit the posts below chronicling some missteps of the outgoing GOP administration – -
Conservatives Richard Falknor on 29 Oct 2013
UPDATE AFTER PRESS TIME! “Thomas Sowell: ‘Extortion’ Shows Need to Dismantle Permanent Political Class” (click here — from Breitbart) Sowell declares: “Many among the intelligentsia prefer to think of special interests as corrupting our dedicated public servants with campaign contributions. But Peter Schweizer’s new book, ‘Extortion,’ shows what happens as the extorting of tribute by politicians in a position to do a lot of harm to businesses that do not pay them protection money. Campaign contributions are just one of the things that can be extorted.”
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Will Just Changing House GOP Leaders Lead To Course Correction?
As we all know, many conservative voices nationally are dissatisfied with Speaker John Boehner and his team.
But would a change in this leadership, by itself, be enough to energize the House Republican Conference to work seriously for a long-overdue course correction for America?
Among the many illuminating revelations in Peter Schweizer’s new book “Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets is how House Republicans in the recent past organized their relationship with “K Street,” shorthand for Washington, D. C. lobbyists.
Explained Hoover Institution Fellow Schweizer in Extortion (at 162)–
“But he [then-Representative Roy Blunt] also became a liaison between House Republicans and lobbyists. . . . As George W. Bush’s White House political director Ken Mehlman put it,’There’s nothing that happens in Congress that Roy Blunt isn’t a major architect of.’ And this architect didn’t come cheap. Blunt took responsibility for day-to-day meetings with lobbyists and formed an informal leadership team of twenty-five specific lobbyists to set the agenda.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
It is likely that this or a similar arrangement continued in the House when Roy Blunt was elected to the U.S. Senate.
One wonders, of course, if twenty-five big-organization lobbyists are going to set business-friendly — as opposed to market-friendly – agendas.
And do you think that those House GOP members meeting with any or all of the twenty-five first solicit their support and ideas about how to right-size the government and sharply rein in its regulatory over-reach? But that is another topic for another time.
We are not criticizing fund-raising of itself, but only trying to remind House members who trumpet their conservatism to their folks back home to put the same conservative principles first in their day-to-day House activities.
What conservatives, whether grassroots or think-tank analysts or advocates, must have to be effective is the same kind of regular, serious interchanges with key House Republican members that these members have with ‘K Street.’
Whether today’s House GOP members will make themselves available to conservatives in this regular way without serious campaign money in play remains to be seen.
As we asked last week here–
How has this interplay [of campaign money] stifled the effort to get a special House panel to investigate Benghazi, to look into Al Jazeera broadcasting in America, and to ask Inspectors General to check out Islamist influence in national-security agencies? Since the folks seeking better national security are not wealthy “marks,” who is ponying up and how much for the other side?
A Hard If Necessary Sell
We can hear Republican stalwarts saying “well, the Speaker is probably retiring anyway, so just be patient.” But the problem is not just the Boehner Team itself. The real issue is how key House GOP members have been setting their legislative priorities. After all, if Peter Schweizer is right and too many politicians in both parties are vigorously engaged in extracting money from productive America, the very idea of regularly giving serious attention and precious legislative time to modestly funded conservative groups would be a hard sell.
Right after the historic GOP victory in the House of Representatives on November 2, 2010, we wrote in our Post-Election Action Menus for Tea Partiers & Conservatives –
Our situation is sufficiently serious that Tea Partiers and conservatives themselves should not hold back from putting f orth their own recommendations to meet a variety of challenges both nationally and locally.
What we suggest in addition to any leadership change, then, is also an informal institutional change: give conservatives the same kind of regular access to — and respectful hearing by — key House Republicans that these members regularly give big-organization lobbyists.
Unfortunately even nominal House conservatives are backsliding. The National Journal’s Tim Alberta reported August 28: “Conservatives kick[ed] the right-wing think tank’s [Heritage] employees out of planning meetings after a blowup over the farm bill,” here.
Red State chief Erick Erickson reminds us this morning here that “Conservatism is about human freedom.”
House GOP members should write that down.
Conservatives Richard Falknor on 25 Aug 2013
UPDATED!Pix of August Pushback:Conservatives Flock to Mark Levin’s “Liberty Amendments” Signing;MD-VA Tea Partiers Hammer Amnesty & Urge Obamacare Defunding at Overpasses
“Tea Party to rally against ‘BoehnerCare’ over fight to defund healthcare law” reports The Hill’s Lara Seligman (click here) – -“ Tea Party activists are planning a rally outside Speaker John Boehner’s (R) Ohio office on Tuesday, vowing they will rebrand President Obama’s healthcare reform law ‘BoehnerCare’ if he does not get behind a conservative effort to defund the legislation. . . .Conservative radio host Mark Levin used the term ‘BoehnerCare’ on his nationally syndicated radio program last week. ‘Rather than calling it ObamaCare, we should call it BeohnerCare’ if the Speaker follows through with the current plan to fund the law in the upcoming continuing resolution that funds the government, Levin said. ‘So I think I’m going to call it BoehnerCare if I can remember from time to time, certainly more often, because Boehner won’t even fight. Boehner, he’s just – is the word ‘pathetic’ appropriate?’” (Highlighting Forum’s).
“Madison Project Airs Radio Ad in Kentucky: Hits McConnell on his record of hypocrisy” Click here then listen.
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Friday afternoon, a team of Maryland and Virginia Tea Partiers led by Ed Hunter displayed Defund Obamacare and No Amnesty signs at an overpass near Braddock Road over the busy Washington Beltway. (See a Maryland-Virginia Tea Party team in action earlier this month in our Action Images: VA-MD Tea Partiers Take Message to Eric Cantor.)
Saturday morning, reportedly thousands were lined up at the Tysons Corner, Virginia Barnes & Noble for author and talk-show-host Mark Levin’s signing of his road plan for America, “The Liberty Amendments.”
Virginia U. S. Senate GOP primary candidate Howie Lind (click here and here) talks to constitutional-expert Mark Levin fans standing in line to get a signed copy of “The Liberty Amendments.” (See our Restoring Our Republic: Quiz GOP Politicians on ‘Liberty Amendments’)
Perhaps nothing illustrates the yawning gap between the Republican organization in Maryland (such as it is), and in Virginia on the one hand — and the conservative base in these two states on the other — than the near total silence from these states’ lawmakers on Mark Levin’s book “The Liberty Amendments” whose proposed motive force would, in no small part, be delegates and state senators.
The book is a national best-seller here with readers lining up for blocks to get signed copies — yet where are the voices of Maryland and Virginia GOP state politicians?
Steve Deace describes a content-free Virginia GOP and its prominent “undocumented Democrats” in his “Shameless” here.
The impotent Maryland GOP seems lost in intrigue and perhaps worse according to Jeff Quinton here.
And neither state’s party will own up to how their spokesmen stood on amnesty earlier this month at the Republican National Committee meet in Boston here.
Even a promising Maryland organization inexplicably dropped ‘conservative’ from their name and now tells us here about their plan to attend an Americans for Prosperity Conference in Orlando this week — an organization pushing amnesty here.
There is an energetic conservative base eager to restore and strengthen the Republic. Not just the big-government national GOP, but the policy-challenged state Republican parties neglect this base at their immediate peril.
Conservatives Richard Falknor on 31 Jul 2013
“The Republican Party did not disparage the ruling class, because most of its officials are or would like to be part of it. “– Angelo Codevilla
We tweeted this story by NRO editor-at-large John O’Sullivan yesterday, but his post “What about the Workers?” (click here) clearly deserves more space and notice.
This is because O’Sullivan clarifies the central amnesty political issue. He explains–
“In a letter to fellow-Republicans on the Hill today, Senator Jeff Sessions declares with admirable straightforwardness that the GOP establishment’s main argument for the Gang of Eight immigration bill — that ‘the great lesson of the 2012 election is that the GOP needs to push for immediate amnesty and a drastic surge in low-skill immigration’ — is quite simply ‘nonsense.’ He is, of course, correct. That is true, moreover, of every other argument advanced in favor of the bill by the Gang of Eight and the GOP establishment. All these arguments have been investigated to death, generally by Mark Krikorian on these pages, but also by a wide range of critics elsewhere, notably Mickey Kaus. I can’t think of a single one that has survived its vivisection — no, vivisection is performed on living things; the correct term for examining these arguments is post mortem. . . . And as Mickey Kaus points out, its organizer, former Bush II commerce secretary Carlos Guterriez, more or less admits that this is a struggle between Republican donors and Republican voters. In fact it’s worse than that. This struggle pits a political coalition of the Republican and Democrat establishments versus blue-collar workers in both parties and of all ethnicities. And the electoral realities of such a struggle don’t favor the establishments.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
Author and former Margaret Thatcher brain-truster O’Sullivan gets to the root of the matter–
“But all over the world conservative parties are winning more votes from working-class voters as leftist parties make gains in an increasingly public-sector middle class. By fighting the Gang of Eight bill on the explicit grounds that it penalizes hard-working and lower-paid Americans, the GOP could make even larger gains than Reagan made in the 1980s among these voters. And this electoral bloc dwarfs any other in numerical terms. Sessions sees this; the GOP establishment does not. Or if it does, it is sacrificing the political interests of the Republican party (and the economic interests of lower-paid Americans) to its own short-term economic advantage.”
Read all of O’Sullivan’s post here.
Today, the Republican Party at all levels is coming to grips, almost willy nilly, with whether to move to the conservative path — or to keep embracing the Beltway GOP’s post-Reagan posture of accommodation, ‘managing’ not downsizing big government, and quietly accepting the prevailing politically correct culture.
Clearly conservatives – the genuine article, not the Karl Rovians — will want to include blue-collar America prominently in their ranks.
Conservatives Richard Falknor on 31 Jul 2013
Last night on the Greta Van Susteren show (click here for entire transcript), Rush Limbaugh spelled out the hostility of the Beltway GOP Establishment to Tea Partiers and to the conservative base.
“RUSH: It’s amazing, Greta, you look at what happened in 2010, the Republican Party didn’t even make an effort to capitalize on that. Here you have a national uprising in opposition to Barack Obama, and the Republicans acted like they didn’t want any part of the Tea Party, either. The consultants and the powers that be did everything they could to diminish the Tea Party. If I were the Republican Party, I would have embraced those people. I woulda brought ‘em into the fold and I would have done what I could to keep them, as donors, as voters. But the Republican Party had no desire. I think 2012 and the campaign, some of those Republican voters felt that and saw it and said, ‘Okay, well, if you’re not interested in our assistance and if you’re not interested in what we think and our view of the country, we’ll sit home. Heck with it.’”
* * * * *
“GRETA: Well, the Tea Party, if you actually talk to these Tea Party members, they’re not kooks. I mean, they’re airline pilots. They’re shopkeepers. They’re family members. I mean, these are people with regular jobs, and –
GRETA: — yet they’re demonized.
RUSH: Precisely. They’re demonized because they don’t understand politics and they’re not of Washington and they can’t be controlled. They can’t be dominated by the party. Greta, there’s a really unfortunate thing happening with the Republican Party, and as a conservative, it appears to me the Republican Party is trying to push itself away from its conservative base on a number of issues. I always thought that as Republicans, we oppose Democrats, we wanted to beat them. I don’t see that. I don’t see any push-back against anything Obama wants to do. The push-back’s against the Tea Party. The push-back is against conservatives. It’s a stunning thing. The Republican Party’s decided that capitulation with the Democrats seems to be the ongoing strategy”
“GRETA: Why does Rush Limbaugh say he gets so much grief even from Republicans? Once again, here’s Rush Limbaugh.
RUSH: The Republican Party wants a new base. They just… The Republican leadership isn’t conservative. They’re not particularly crazy about conservatives. I mean, I’m a fairly prominent media conservative. I get more grief than the Taliban gets. I get more grief than Al-Qaeda gets. And all conservatives do, because we do constitute a threat to the way Washington views the country. And I don’t think it’s so much conservative versus liberal, although it is. But it’s Washington versus the rest of the country, is what’s really transpiring now, and Washington has a mind-set and a desire for the country that doesn’t dovetail with a majority of American people.” (Highlighting Forum’s throughout.)
Eyeball the entire transcript here.
The Limbaugh-Van Susteren exchange develops a very clear-cut indictment of the Beltway Republican Establishment.
Virginia and Maryland Tea Partiers and their allies might want to ask their House GOP incumbents (click here and here) to declare — in plain words over the August recess – what they plan to do to include conservative goals in the House’s immediate agenda, and how they plan to detox the House GOP leaders now addicted to capitulation.
And — by way of context for the August recess — click here to see the House GOP members playbook for next month — “Fighting Washington for All Americans: House Republican Conference August 2013 Planning Kit.”
Clearly the authors of this manual envision the Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives as teacher-messengers from the GOP leadership to deferential Republican constituents eager for Washington, D.C. guidance.
This turns the whole purpose of the Framer’s House of Representatives on its head.
We searched the document for the following words, none of which appear: Tea Party, conservative, amnesty, defund, continuing resolution, defense, sequester, Keystone, carbon, Benghazi, flat tax, fair tax, Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood, Israel, NSA, and surveillance.
In short, no “guidance” on how to deal with many urgent topics on the minds of high-information Americans.
National Journal’s Chris Frates perhaps sheds some light on the GOP playbook’s approach (click here) with his “Inside Boehner’s Strategy to Slow Walk Immigration to the Finish Line”–
“Keeping immigration on the back-burner helps avoid a recess filled with angry town-hall meetings reminiscent of the heated August 2009 protests where the backlash against health care reform coalesced. Doing nothing also starves Democrats of a target, Republicans argue.
’August was a central part of our discussions. People don’t want to go home and get screamed at,’ a House GOP leadership aide said.
Instead, they’ll go home and talk about the need to stop government overreach, trying to draw voters’ attention back to the now largely dormant IRS controversy and the dismantling of Obamacare, a message that plays well with the Republican base.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
A maxim to remember for conservatives and Tea Partiers: the Establishment GOP wants your votes, not your ideas.
Tell members over the August recess that henceforth your vote depends on their performance, not their party label.
Conservatives Richard Falknor on 05 Jul 2013
From the Leadership Institute’s 42nd National Fourth of July Conservative Soiree:
Don’t miss (click here for video)Virginia GOP lieutenant governor candidate E. W. Jackson’s powerful talk.
The July 4 National Conservative Soiree is a tribute to Morton Blackwell’s vision over the decades!
Conservatives Richard Falknor on 18 Jun 2013
UPDATE JUNE 19! Breitbart “Live Blog: Tea Party’s IRS, Immigration Rallies” Click here and scroll down to Bongino (3:00 PM).
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This noon in Frederick, Maryland (1450 Taney Ave) former Secret Service Special Agent Dan Bongino will formally kick off his campaign for United States Representative in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District.
These are perilous times for America, and we asked Maryland GOP superstar Bongino for his blunt take on three exigent issues the fallout from which he will have to deal with if elected to the U. S. House next November:
(1) Blue Ridge Forum: Do you support the Schumer-Rubio-Paul Ryan approach to immigration policy? Bongino: No. The bill does not address border security with metrics, it relies on DHS discretion. Also, I do not support amnesty.
(2) Blue Ridge Forum: Would you vote for the current farm-food stamp bill coming before the House? Bongino: No. The bill should be broken into a SNAP [food stamp] measure for an up or down vote and a separate farm insurance measure for an up or down vote.
(3) Blue Ridge Forum: Do you believe what is described as the FBI’s policy of keeping mosques off limits should be continued? Bongino: No. Terror and criminality do not take a vacation in Mosques.
(Readers can click here for a summary of the 1000-plus-page Schumer-Rubio package, click here for food-stamp farm-bill commentary by Marylander Daniel Horowitz, and click here for intelligence professional Clare Lopez’ background piece on the FBI and the Jihadists.)
Stay tuned for what will be a competitive House race by a GOP challenger who won’t flinch from talking about the grave dangers our country faces.
Conservatives Richard Falknor on 09 Jun 2013
Time for a change from too much government.
We urge Virginia District 33 citizens to vote for Dave LaRock for the GOP nomination for delegate in this Tuesday’s primary.
A conservative district needs a conservative voice!
Conservatives Richard Falknor on 30 May 2013
Ann Corcoran’s PTPR post “Sharpsburg: Case that brought a SWAT team to rural town ends with plea deal” (click here) ably sums up the legal conclusion of the Sharpsburg affair — where authorities brought very expensive and potentially dangerous SWAT forces to bear on what turned out to be infractions easily investigated, then addressed by local authorities.
SWAT transparency is one way Maryland citizens can hold law-enforcement organs accountable for the right use of this serious practice.
A measure to extend the sunset of the reporting law and expand the scope of Maryland’s SWAT reporting program passed the Maryland Senate unanimously as summarized in our letter to state senator Christopher Shank.
Below (click here) is the full text of our April 16, 2013 letter, which Mr. Shank, a member of the Judicial Proceedings panel, apparently did not see:
“Email to Christopher Shanks from Richard Falknor, April 16, 2013
As you know, we are a conservative blog covering policy and politics in Maryland and Virginia, and we are particularly interested in — and supportive of — swat-team monitoring and regular reporting.
Click on our March 17, 2013 post – -
UPDATE MARCH 22: Hear yesterday’s testimony (click here) from delegate Neil Parrott on his HB 1520 where he states that a ‘friendly amendment’ would incorporate the substance of his measure into HB 1178. Listen (click here) to the extensive March 12 testimony from mayor Cheye Calvo of Berwyn Heights, Maryland on delegate Kriselda Valderrama’s HB 1178 as well as the pushback from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. HB 1178’s companion measure SB 590 (click here) passed the Maryland Senate yesterday 47-0. Several members of both parties on the House Judiciary panel were clearly not taken in by the thinly reasoned opposition to SWAT reporting requirements from Maryland law-enforcement voices.
Click on, as well, our August 15, 2008 post –
End SWAT Team Overreach in Maryland and VirginiaThe security of one’s family and property against gross misuse of state power must always be a central conservative concern. Thus we invite the attention of readers to the case of the SWAT team here invasion of the home of mayor Cheye Calvo of Berwyn Heights, Maryland.
We have two questions:
(1) In view of the state senate’s unanimous approval of SB 590
here and earlier in committee here, what figures or organizations or both (presumably in the House of Delegates? or in the governor’s office?) blocked enactment of this expanded approach?
(2) We have heard that the existing statewide program of SWAT team reporting in Maryland is unique, that no other state has such a requirement. Is this a fact?
But, as we noted, even though the House of Delegates Judiciary Committee held hearings on a similar measure, HB 1178, no committee vote was held on HB 1178.
The central question for voters is this: Who stopped the House of Delegates from acting on extending the life and scope of this simple reporting measure? (Listen to mayor Cheye Calvo’s testimony here on what he has found in these reports.)
Were the objections of a member (of either party) on the House Judiciary Committee enough to stop the measure?
The Maryland Law Enforcement Establishment surely drew enough legislative water to slow HB 1178 down. Were they the effective obstacle?
“The use of paramilitary police units began in Los Angeles in the 1960s. Through the 1970s, the idea slowly spilled out across the country. But at least until the 1980s, SWAT teams and other paramilitary units were used sparingly, only in volatile, high-risk situations such as bank robberies or hostage situations. Likewise, ‘no-knock’ raids were generally used only in situations where innocent lives were determined to be at imminent risk.”. . . . “[Note] [t]he militarization of domestic policing, not just in big cities, but in small towns, suburbs, and exurbs….” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
But indiscriminate use is not only wasteful, but subject to grave abuse — while militarizing the police which should be accountable to citizens, not a means of intimidating them.
Sunlight on the use of SWAT teams is, as elsewhere, the best means of accountability.
Friends of freedom should work to strengthen SWAT reporting — not just in Maryland, but nationally.
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Faithful readers may wish to revisit our posts on this troubling topic:
End SWAT Team Overreach in Maryland and Virginia “The security of one’s family and property against gross misuse of state power must always be a central conservative concern. Thus we invite the attention of readers to the case of the SWAT team here invasion of the home of mayor Cheye Calvo of Berwyn Heights, Maryland.”