Friday, September 06, 2019

Swedish Prof Urges 'Eating Human Flesh — to Save the Climate'

By Tyler O'Neill
September 5, 2019

Image result for magnus soderlund

Magnus Soderlund

Oftentimes, the climate alarmists are their own worst enemy. It sounds reasonable enough that carbon emissions might have an impact on the climate, but it's a rather nasty thing to prove, especially when alarmist predictions fail, over and over again. It's far from the "scientific consensus." But the alarmists don't tone down their rhetoric — they ratchet it up to 11. They want to take away your plastic strawsyour cars, your burgers. Then there's this behavioral scientist in Sweden who wants us to eat human flesh to deal with the effects of climate change.

No, this isn't The Onion or The Babylon Bee. This is a Swedish professor appearing on Swedish television advocating for cannibalism, because climate change is just that dire. It can't be lunacy if it's done in the name of climate change, can it?

Earlier this week, Magnus Söderlund, professor of marketing and strategy at the Stockholm School of Economics, spoke at the Gastro Summit, a discussion on the future of food in the case of a climatepocalypse, The Epoch Times reported.

Söderlund spoke on the topic, "Can you Imagine Eating Human Flesh?" He argued for breaking down the ancient taboos against desecrating the human corpse and, well, cannibalism. The clip is available on State Swedish Television channel TV4 at this link. The end of the video's description roughly translates to "the possibility of eating human flesh - to save the climate." How cannibalism would have any impact on the climate is anyone's guess, and it seems the professor is more focused on dealing with the aftereffects of climate change, anyway.

According to The Epoch Times, Söderlund dismissed taboos against cannibalism as "conservative." He suggested that people's resistance to eating human flesh "could be overcome, little by little, beginning with persuading people to just taste it." In the video, he warned "that since food sources will be scarce in the future, people must be introduced to eating things they have thus far considered disgusting—among them, human flesh."

While the professor also discussed breaking other taboos on eating pets and insects, his talk focused on cannibalism. Swedish articles on the debate use the term "mannisko-kötts branschen," which translates to "the human flesh industry."

According to his bio, Söderlund's research focuses on "consumer behavior," "reactions to marketing stimuli," "psychological reactions," and "our understanding of what it means to be a consumer (and a marketer) in a society increasingly obsessed with consumption."
Taking this psychological approach, the professor said that people can be "tricked" into "making the right decisions."

Söderlund appeared to equate resistance to cannibalism with capitalist selfishness. "Are we humans too selfish to live sustainably?" he asked.

Even the audience for a Climatepocalypse food summit seemed unwilling to break the "taboo" against eating human flesh. Then the professor asked the audience how many would be open to the idea, not many hands went up and some people groaned. The professor later told the media that 8 percent of conference participants said they would be open to trying cannibalism.

When asked if he would try eating human flesh, Söderlund said, "I feel somewhat hesitant but to not appeal overly conservative... I'd have to say... I'd be open to at least tasting it."

Even if cannibalism were not grotesque, it would still be unhealthy. The Fore people in Papua New Guinea practiced ritualistic cannibalism. The women in the tribe would eat the human flesh of their dead relatives — so that worms and maggots did not eat it. The women — and some children — started dying of kuru, a disease meaning "shivering" or "trembling."

Victims first had trouble walking, a sign they were about to lose control over their limbs. Then they would lose control over their emotions, and people dubbed the disease the "laughing death." Within a year, the victims couldn't get up off the floor, feed themselves, or control bodily functions.

Scientists won a Nobel Prize for linking the disease to the tribe's cannibalism. As it turns out, eating human flesh makes people susceptible to "prions," or "proteinaceous infectious particles," twisted proteins that would twist normal proteins in nerve cells. It seems someone in the tribe had contracted Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a degenerative neurological disorder. Cannibalism passed on that disease to generations. Roughly one in a million Americans contract this disease,according to the CDC. It is rare at least in part because of that "conservative" taboo against eating human flesh.

In other words, not only is this Swedish professor pushing something downright macabre, he's also advocating for a behavior that makes humans susceptible to a terrifying disease.

But hey, anything for climate change, right?

Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.


Joseph Klein
September 6, 2019

Image result for nra san francisco

Catherine Stefani during a board meeting in June.(Santiago Mejia/San Francisco Chronicle)

San Francisco, the once-great city by the bay, has become an insane asylum run by its inmates. In July, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors decided that the words “convicted felons,” “criminal,” “offender,” “addict,” “prisoner,” and “juvenile delinquent” are unacceptably offensive terms that need to be replaced. The Board believed that such words “obstruct and separate people from society and make the institutionalization of racism and supremacy appear normal.” In San Francisco doublespeak, a “convicted felon” is now a “justice-involved person.” A “criminal” is now “a returning resident.” A “juvenile delinquent” is now transformed into an innocent-sounding “young person with justice system involvement.”
Obscuring the identity of real criminals with sugarcoated euphemisms is San Francisco’s new “normal.”  Now San Francisco's Board of Supervisors has added to its record of insanity by deciding unanimously this week to pass a resolution accusing the National Rifle Association (NRA) of being a "domestic terrorist organization." In the topsy-turvy world inhabited by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors, the NRA is committing a terrorist act by virtue of exercising its First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and to petition the government in defense of the Second Amendment “right of the people to keep and bear Arms.” The resolution denounces what it calls the NRA’s use of its “considerable wealth and organizational strength to promote gun ownership and incite gun owners to acts of violence." It recklessly charges, without citing a shred of evidence, that the “National Rifle Association through its advocacy has armed those individuals who would and have committed acts of terrorism.”
The resolution may technically be a non-binding declaration spouting nonsense, but it represents the proverbial foot in the door to further mischief. Most notably, after maliciously slandering the NRA as a “domestic terrorist organization,” the Board of Supervisors’ resolution urges an economic boycott by San Francisco against firms who dare to do business with the NRA. The resolution states that “the City and County of San Francisco should take every reasonable step to limit those entities who do business with the City and County of San Francisco from doing business with this domestic terrorist organization.” In effect, the Board of Supervisors is using economic threats to terrorize commercial firms into having to choose between doing business with the city and county of San Francisco or with an organization of approximately 5.5 million members advocating to protect its members’ right to defend themselves against criminals – or, as the Board of Supervisors calls them, “returning residents.”
Catherine Stefani, the supervisor of the city's District 2 who wrote the NRA resolution, declared, "The NRA has it coming to them, and I will do everything that I possibly can to call them out on what they are, which is a domestic terrorist organization." 
Ms. Stefani should instead call herself and the rest of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors out for the lax law enforcement, generous give-away programs, and sanctuary city policies protecting illegal alien criminals that have contributed to San Francisco’s crime rate and rampant homeless crisis. “People don’t feel safe walking down the street,” said Joel Engardio, vice president of Stop Crime SF, last month, who noted the inexcusable pre-trial release of violent criminals and the failure to prosecute “too many repeat offenders.”  San Francisco also has the highest rate of property crime in the nation among large US cities, according to the FBI. None of these problems are the fault of the NRA or of law-abiding gun owners. They are the fault of progressives who believe that criminals are simply “returning residents,” illegal alien criminals should be protected from deportation, and homelessness is the fault of the rich rather than of incompetent government policies that tolerate encampments, feces, garbage and drug paraphernalia on the streets.
Ironically, the one positive trend in crime that the San Francisco Bay area has experienced in recent years is the sharp drop in the gun homicide rate. Nevertheless, in its infinite stupidity, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has decided to target the NRA as its primary bogeyman.
This is not the NRA’s first encounter with San Francisco’s anti-Second Amendment “values.” Back in 2005, San Francisco voters approved Proposition H, a local ordinance which was intended to restrict the possession of handguns and ban the manufacture, distribution, sale and transfer of firearms and ammunition within the city limits. Proposition H was challenged in court by the NRA and other gun rights advocates who prevailed. The city ended up paying a settlement in the amount of $380,000 to the NRA and other plaintiffs to cover their litigation costs. Since this case, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the Second Amendment protected weapons “in common use by law-abiding citizens.” The Court explicitly referred to the individual’s right to armed self-defense. Advocating to protect that right, as the NRA does, is to help law-abiding Americans defend themselves against the violent acts of real terrorists.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Dems Propose First Gun Grab Since Lexington And Concord

"Mandatory Gun Buyback" is a Silly Euphemism

September 4, 2019

Related image
Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders

The media should stop using absurdly lazy phrases like “mandatory gun buybacks.” Unless the politician they’re talking about is in the business of selling firearms, it’s impossible for him to “buy back” anything. No government official—not Joe Biden, not Beto O’Rourke, not any of the candidates who now support “buyback” programs—has ever sold firearms.
What Democrats propose can be more accurately described as “the first American gun confiscation effort since Lexington and Concord,” or some variation on that theme. Although tax dollars will be meted out in an effort to incentivize volunteers, the policy is to confiscate AR-15s, the vast majority of which have been legally purchased by Americans who have undergone background checks and never used a gun for a criminal purpose.
The “mandatory gun buyback” exemplifies the impracticality and absurdity of do-somethingism (although Biden’s proposal to ban “magazines that hold bullets”—so most guns—is also a contender!). Democrats want to turn millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens into criminals overnight for refusing to adhere to a law that retroactively transforms the exercise of a constitutional right into a crime.
And they do it without any evidence that it would curtail rare mass shootings or save lives.
While national confiscation would be unprecedented in American history, we already possess hard evidence that bans of assault rifles don’t alter gun violence trends. Gun homicides continued to drop steeply after an “assault weapons” ban expired in 2004. It’s also worth noting that in 2017, the last year of available FBI data, there was a near-historic low of 7,032 murders with handguns, and 403 by “rifles” of any kind, not only “assault weapons.”
To put that in perspective, there were 1,591 knife homicides during that same span, 467 people killed with blunt objects, and another 696 with fists and kicking. (Not every police department reports the type of gun used in homicides (3,096 of them), but it’s reasonable to believe that similar trends apply, since those murders took place in big cities where handguns are most prevalent.)
Although a number of Democrats now unequivocally support a “buyback,” no one has explained how the procedure will unfurl. What will the penalty be for ignoring the “buybacks”? Fines? Prison terms?
Will local police be tasked with opening case files on the 100 million homes of suspected gun owners who are armed with hundreds of millions of firearms, or will it be the FBI? Maybe Democrats will propose “paying back” family members and neighbors who snitch on gun owners? How else will they figure out who owns these AR-15s? There is no national tracking of sales.
Then again, many Democrats support “universal background checks,” which would necessitate a national database. So subsequent confiscations would be far easier, I suppose. (I can remember a time not very long ago when liberals accused a person of being a tin-foil-hatted nutter for merely suggesting that anyone had designs on their guns.)
It’s unclear to me if every candidate supports mandatory buybacks. Imprecision, after all, is the hallmark of gun-control rhetoric. Of course a non-coercive “buyback” program wouldn’t work either because no patriotic American is going to sell his firearms under market value. If you pay gun owners more than market value, they will surely turn a profit and purchase new weapons.
The criminal class and deranged would-be mass shooters have absolutely no incentive to participate, anyway. But you knew that.
Then there is the little matter of constitutionality. I’ve noticed an uptick in gun grabbers—a phrase that’s no longer hyperbole—arguing that Americans don’t need AR-15s to hunt, as if it mattered.
Although ARs are used by hunters, I’m certain nothing in the Second Amendment mentions hunting, because the right of self-defense—an individual concern, as well as a collective one—has nothing to do with shooting deer, and everything to do with protecting Americans from those who endeavor to strip them of their inalienable rights.
The District of Columbia v. Heller decision found that the Second Amendment protected weapons “in common use by law-abiding citizens.” The AR-15 clearly meets both criteria. It’s one of the most popular guns in America. Its semi-automatic mechanism is the same mechanism found in a majority of other legal firearms in the nation.
The arguments for a ban on “assault weapons”— a purposefully elastic phrase that allows the liberal legislator’s imagination to run wild — is centered on aesthetics, on the false claim that the AR is a “weapon of war,” and on the firearm tastes of a handful of deranged, sociopathic murderers.
Democrats and their allies like to mock these sorts of arguments as nothing more than semantics; mostly because they need to conflate and euphemize terms to make their arguments work. It’s how they generate favorable polling. I’m sure you’ve heard about the popularity of gun-control measures. But like “Medicare for all,” and other vaguely positive sounding policies, once voters learn what specifics entail, those numbers tend to settle along the usual partisan lines.
If you think you’re going to have overwhelming support for “mandatory gun buybacks” when people learn that you’re really talking about “the confiscation of 20 million guns,” you’re fooling yourself.
David Harsanyi is a Senior Editor at The Federalist. He is the author of First Freedom: A Ride Through America's Enduring History with the Gun, From the Revolution to Today. Follow him on Twitter.

How The Quest For Power Corrupted Elizabeth Warren

By Ben Shapiro
September 4, 2019

Image result for elizabeth warren 2020

I first met Elizabeth Warren when she was a professor at Harvard Law School in 2004. She was fresh off the publication of her bestselling book, "The Two-Income Trap." There was no doubt she was politically liberal — our only face-to-face meeting involved a recruitment visit at the W Hotel in Los Angeles, where she immediately made some sort of disparaging remark about Rush Limbaugh — but at the time, Warren was making waves for her iconoclastic views. She wasn't a doctrinaire leftist, spewing Big Government nostrums. She was a creative thinker.

That creative thinking is obvious in "The Two-Income Trap," which discusses the rising number of bankruptcies among middle-class parents, particularly women with children. The book posits that women entered the workforce figuring that by doing so, they could have double household income. But so many women entered the workforce that they actually inflated prices for basic goods like housing, thus driving debt skyward and leading to bankruptcies for two-income families. The book argued that families with one income might actually be better off, since families with two incomes spent nearly the full combined income and then fell behind if one spouse lost a job. Families with one income, by contrast, spent to the limit for one income, and if a spouse was fired, the unemployed spouse would then look for work to replace that single income.
Warren's core insight was fascinating: She argued that massive expansion of the labor force had actually created more stressful living and driven down median wages. But her policy recommendations were even more fascinating. She explicitly argued against "more government regulation of the housing market," slamming "complex regulations," since they "might actually worsen the situation by diminishing the incentive to build new houses or improve older ones." Instead, she argued in favor of school choice, since pressure on housing prices came largely from families seeking to escape badly run government school districts: "A well-designed voucher program would fit the bill neatly."

Her heterodox policy proposals didn't stop there. She refused to "join the chorus calling for taxpayer-funded day care" on its own, calling it a "sacred cow." At the very least, she suggested that "government-subsidized day care would add one more indirect pressure on mothers to join the workforce." She instead sought a more comprehensive educational solution that would include "tax credits for stay-at-home parents."

She ardently opposed additional taxpayer subsidization of college loans, too, or more taxpayer spending on higher education directly. Instead, she called for a tuition freeze from state schools. She recommended tax incentives for families to save rather than spend. She opposed radical solutions wholesale: "We haven't suggested a complete overhaul of the tax structure, and we haven't demanded that businesses cease and desist from ever closing another plant or firing another worker. Nor have we suggested that the United States should build a quasi-socialist safety net to rival the European model."
So, what happened to Warren?
The other half of iconoclastic Warren was typical progressive, anti-financial industry Warren. In "The Two-Income Trap," she proposes reinstating state usury laws, cutting off access to payday lenders and heavily regulating the banking industry — all in the name of protecting Americans from themselves. While her position castigating the credit industry for deliberate obfuscation of clients was praiseworthy, her quest to "protect consumers" quickly morphed into a quest to create the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau — an independent agency without any serious checks or balances. But despite her best efforts, she never became head of the CFPB, failing to woo Republican senators. The result: an emboldened Warren who saw her popularity as tied to her Big Government agenda. No more reaching across the aisle; no more iconoclastic policies. Instead, she would be Ralph Nader II, with a feminist narrative to boot.
And so, she's gaining ground in the 2020 presidential race as a Bernie Sanders knockoff. Ironically, her great failing could be her lack of moderation — the moderation she abandoned in her quest for progressive power. If Elizabeth Warren circa 2003 were running, she'd be the odds-on favorite for president. But Warren circa 2019 would hate Warren circa 2003.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Today was a very dark day for British democracy

The political class has taken back control - from the people

By Brendan O'Neill
3 September 2019

Image result for brexit

Today has been a very dark day for democracy in the United Kingdom.
Don’t believe for one minute the self-aggrandising claims of the Remainer establishment and its noisy cheerleaders in the media. Tonight’s vote by MPs to seize control of the parliamentary agenda in order to prevent a No Deal Brexit is not, as they claim, a wonderful assertion of parliamentary sovereignty against a dictatorial executive led by Boris Johnson.
No, it is an assertion of the political elite’s arrogant authority over the people. If MPs have seized power from anyone this evening, it is from us, the public, the millions who voted to leave the EU. This is not parliament vs the executive – this is parliament vs the people, and it opens up one of the greatest, most troublesome constitutional crises of modern times.
In essence, this evening MPs have gone some way, almost all the way, to achieving the terrible thing they have been agitating for since June 2016: stopping Brexit. That is their fundamental aim. It is essential to understand that when they talk about ‘blocking No Deal’, they mean ‘blocking Brexit’.
For more than three years they have hampered, frustrated and foiled Brexit, tying it in legal knots, ‘softening’ it beyond recognition, and constantly sending signals to the EU that we will accept whatever ridiculous, Brexit-thwarting compromises they demand.
Now a further, possibly interminable delay will be secured as the newly in-charge, newly emboldened Remainer Parliament votes on the Benn Bill tomorrow. The government was defeated by 328 votes to 301 this evening. Twenty-one Tory MPs joined the ‘revolt’ against Boris’s government. And now MPs, the majority of whom voted Remain, many of whom despise Brexit and fear and loathe the masses who voted for it, will push through the Benn Bill and prevent the UK from leaving the EU without a deal on 31 October (unless parliament consents, which it won’t) and requesting yet another extension to the Article 50 process.
They are killing Brexit. It has been a slow-motion guillotine, with the blade falling for more than three years now, but that is what they are doing. The majority of the establishment has never made any secret of its elitist disgust for Brexit and its facilitators – all 17.4million of us – and they have longed to reassert their presumed wisdom and reason over the idiocy of the masses. Tonight they took a very significant step in that anti-democratic direction.
Probably their most perverse and insulting claim is that they are standing up for parliamentary sovereignty. This is the opposite of the truth. They are ravaging parliamentary sovereignty. These are the people who over the past 40 years have green-lighted the outsourcing of huge swathes of parliament’s authority to Brussels, and whose very efforts to destroy Brexit run counter to parliament’s own handing of that decision to us, the people, and its insistence that it would respect the decision that we made.
It was the vote for Brexit, the vote to take back control from the EU, that was a genuine expression of faith in the institution of parliamentary democracy. In contrast, the elite’s ceaseless war on Brexit is a war on parliamentary sovereignty too, since the ultimate aim of this war is to retain the law-making authority of foreign institutions at the expense of our own institutions.
The elite’s claim to be defending democracy is a brazen lie. It is crushing democracy. It is revolting against the people and the decision we made in 2016. How grotesque for Jeremy Corbyn to say this evening that parliament has struck a blow for the idea that ‘sovereignty rests’ in the people. It has done no such thing. In fact it has elevated the political authority of an out-of-touch and increasingly hysterical elite over the largest democratic decision ever made by the British people.

Brexit is now seriously, perhaps irreversibly, wounded. Whatever comes next, including the General Election, must be used by democrats across the country to remake the democratic cry of 2016 and to reassert the sovereignty of the people and our parliament over the presumed wisdom of Britain’s own elites and the alleged expertise of foreign technocrats. If they void the millions of votes cast in 2016, they void the right to vote itself. We cannot let them win.
Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked and host of the spiked podcast,The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

How To Replace Howard Zinn’s Communist Account Of U.S. History For American Kids

By Joy Pullman
August 28, 2019

Image result for mary grabar zinn

The perfect companion accompanied my family’s trip West this summer in the modern covered wagon: A new, single-volume book of U.S. history. As our RV motored across the plains, I read of how they were discovered and settled. I looked across the prairies, the badlands, and the mountains and imagined myself coming in an ox-drawn cart instead of a motor vehicle with a gas stove and bathroom.
“Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story,” by University of Oklahoma historian Wilfred McClay, is extremely readable. It’s written in a conversational but not casual tone, and thus approachable to readers from around age ten onward (if the ten-year-old is accustomed to reading large books like “The Lord of the Rings,” as mine is). An attractive writing style may be its first virtue, because an open door is required for people to enter.
A second virtue is the book’s brevity. To be sure, it is a large and somewhat heavy volume, of 429 pages not including the end material. But that is not too much gas for racing across approximately 500 years of history. I found myself constantly wishing to hear more about the people and ideas in the book, and sad but understanding to instead be whisked away to the next set. Thankfully, McClay provides an extensive “additional reading” list to help satisfy a problem inherent to writing a one-volume overview of American history.
Considering a new book of American history requires, however, more than structural basics like these. Context is extremely pertinent. “Land of Hope” is published in a year in which hatred of America seems bigger than ever.
To take a recent and prominent example, The New York Times, once the United States’ paper of record, has newly released the “1619 Project,” named after the year in which African slaves first arrived on American shores. The project purports to be a work of history: “aim[ing] to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.”
But it is better described as anti-history propaganda. To take just one demonstration of this, its premise and name fully ignores that Native Americans frequently enslaved each other on this continent long before Europeans arrived. It also sidelines the fact that most of the African slaves brought to the Americas were sold by enemy African tribes, who also routinely held their fellow man in slavery going back centuries. Native Americans held black slaves. African Americans held black slaves. The whole world has held slaves.
In other words, if America was founded on slavery, so was just about every civilization. Should they all be razed right now? Just how does one propose to do that, exactly, without creating mass murder and mayhem? Since America is not unique in its regrettable past allowance of chattel slavery, it does not deserve to be singled out as an object of hatred, largely for the left’s political advancement. We can and need to have a conversation about how to judge one’s country for its sins and recover from them, but that requires starting from factual instead of ideological grounds.
Yet surveys have shown for decades that most Americans today know nearly nothing about their history, and when it is taught in public schools and universities it is usually either influenced by or saturated with leftist politics. Most Americans thus have no intellectual defenses against such lies. Knowledge is the starting point for wise reflection and substantive conversation. It is the antidote to propaganda.
This is likely the reason McClay’s history is billeted in marketing materials as “the long-awaited antidote to Howard Zinn anti-Americanism.” “[E]xisting accounts simply fail to tell our country’s story with energy and conviction,” the press release says. “They also disproportionately reflect the outlook of radical critics of American society, whose one-sided accounts lack the balance of a larger perspective and have had an enormously negative effect upon the teaching in high schools and colleges.”
This is all true. But this might make readers expect to read something more polemical, a sort of mirror image of Zinn’s bestselling anti-American propaganda textbooks used in countless U.S. public schools. McClay’s book is not one bit polemical. If anything, it is genial, open-minded, and when critical it is critical out of love for its subject matter, rather than hatred.
It is not a work of advocacy, but of history. McClay presents accusations against America in their context but without covering up genuine wrongs such as slavery. “Land of Hope” comes across more as a balanced and honest account than a specific response to a work that spreads Communist messaging.
As such, it is a good starting point on what should be all American patriots’ quest to revive respect for our country’s achievements and ideals through a better knowledge of their effects and development in history. But its approach is not in itself sufficient to achieve that purpose. More is needed.
To make an analogy, Americans’ affections for and knowledge of their country need to be fed. “Land of Hope” does so. What it does not provide, however, is an antidote to poisoned food. It may strengthen minds enough to toughen them against diseases, but already diseased minds, and minds susceptible to disease, need something stronger than nourishment. They need medicine, an antidote to the poison.
Next on my reading list for books of that character is Victor Davis Hanson’s “Carnage and Culture.” Also recommended as antidote reading, as Joshua Lawson notes in his excellent list here, is Thomas G. West’s “Vindicating the Founders” and “The Political Theory of the American Founding.” Another new book deserves a place on this stack to help minds switch from defense to offense for America’s ideals, history, and traditions: “Debunking Howard Zinn,” by Mary Grabar.
Grabar, whose essays on education I’ve edited for many years now at several publications, does a meticulous takedown of Zinn’s lavishly selling, Hollywood-vaunted work of so-called history, “A People’s History of the United States.” Zinn’s book was first published in 1980 and is now estimated to have sold some 2.6 million copies. College Board’s rewrite of its Advanced Placement U.S. history course features Zinn’s book and embeds his anti-American philosophy.
The tragedy of all this, of course, is that Zinn’s book is concentrated poison. Using a careful review of his source materials and claims, as evidenced by her nearly 1,000 footnotes, Grabar documents quite clearly and conclusively that Zinn is not only a plagiarist but a liar. His presentation of key events and figures of American history, such as Christopher Columbus, slavery, the NAACP, World War II, and the civil rights movement, also straight-up regurgitates Communist propaganda.
Here’s just one example, from page 222 and 223 in Grabar’s book. She shows how Zinn selectively quoted from American documents to make it look like the United States was interested getting Vietnam’s natural resources, not in defending it from a communism our nation understood to be evil and dangerous. The very same documents Zinn quotes actually prove the opposite of the points he makes with them when one reads the material he left out.
“One wonders if Zinn had simply not read the volumes that he presumably edited [of the Pentagon Papers],” Grabar writes. “Either that or he deliberately left out key information.” As she shows, he used this falsifying tactic so many times in “A People’s History” it becomes hard to believe it’s an accident.
Thus not only is Zinn’s book a pack of slipshod lies that even leftist historians will not stand behind, it is a pack of slipshod lies that appear to be told purposefully to set Americans at each others’ throats. And it has been quite effective. Many Americans believe the false and self-immolating narrative that their nation is fundamentally and unreformably racist, sexist, and genocidal.
For all its faults, the United States and the Western civilization that created it have been the best protector of people’s rights and freedoms the world has ever known. We definitely have done many evils. We continue to allow great evils today. But worse societies fill the earth, and historically have been far more common. People who don’t know this gravely endanger what is and has been for hundreds of millions of people the last, best hope of a broken earth.
One of the other sobering reflections upon reading Grabar’s work is this: Why has it taken nearly 40 years to get a systematic, scholarly debunking of Zinn’s evil, destructive lies? How is it that two generations of history teachers and professors lacked the knowledge and love of America to keep this poison book out of the hands of millions of American school children? How was “Land of Hope” not written and used in classrooms 40 years ago instead of this Molotov cocktail barrage aimed at the greatest country in world history? How is it that as governor of Indiana Mitch Daniels was unable to get this book yanked from public school classrooms, and that no other Republican politicians have tried?
Not only did they not stop it, and force taxpayers to pay for their own children’s and the next generation of voters’ mental destruction, legions of these people in positions of authority enthusiastically welcomed a book they should have instantly realized is full of politically motivated falsehoods that are destructive of the country that pays their salaries and made possible just about every good thing in their lives. Can leaders who so terribly fail American children, taxpayers, and the nation deserve any credibility or respect?
Joy Pullmann (@JoyPullmann) is executive editor of The Federalist, mother of five children, and author of "The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids." She identifies as native American and gender natural. Her latest ebook is a list of more than 200 recommended classic books for children ages 3-7 and their parents.

Book Review: 'Debunking Howard Zinn: Exposing the Fake History That Turned a Generation Against America' by Mary Grabar

Zinns of Omission
September 3, 2019

Image result for mary grabar zinn

[Order Mary Graber's new book, Debunking Howard Zinn: Exposing the Fake History That Turned a Generation against AmericaCLICK HERE.]

Perhaps the nicest thing you can say about Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States is that it shows that even in the era of the Internet a book can continue to have an immense social impact. In Zinn’s case, however, that impact could hardly be more dangerous. Published in 1980, Zinn’s book has for some time been, as Mary Grabar notes in her definitive new study of it, Debunking Howard Zinnboth the bestselling trade history of America and the bestselling American history textbook. When Zinn wrote it, he intended it to provide a skeptical (shall we say) alternative to previous accounts of US history, which Zinn, hardcore America-hater that he was, saw as excessively pro-American. Today, Zinn’s book isn’t just an insidious alternative; it is the reigning book in the field, and its once alternative take on US history has become received wisdom on the establishment left. Not a few of the students who read the book years ago when they were college students, and who fell for Zinn’s take on US history hook, line, and sinker, are now teachers who are using the same book to indoctrinate their own charges.
Many of us have been aware for years of Zinn’s perfidious influence – and have fretted over it in print. But to read Grabar is to realize that the situation is even worse than many of us thought – and to learn things about Zinn that one didn’t know before. One of the things I learned from Grabar is that Matt Damon – who, in the 1997 movie Good Will Hunting (which he co-wrote and starred in) worked in a plug for Zinn’s book that gave it a major boost – grew up with Zinn as a neighbor and was sucked in by People’s History by the age of ten.
Grabar supplies a useful catalog of major historians who, although left-wing themselves, have given Zinn’s book an unambiguous thumbs-down. Eugene Genovese considered it nothing but “incoherent left-wing sloganizing”; Arthur Schlesinger called Zinn “a polemicist, not a historian.” Yet no amount of cogent criticism has dislodged the book from its pedestal. One reason is that teachers who use the book reflexively reject any criticism of it; another is that ignorant mainstream journalists routinely cite it as if it’s a legitimate, reliable work, and a constellation of even more ignorant showbiz Zinn fans, like Damon, have prominently sung its praises. Among the many highly disturbing examples of this misguided promotion was the 2006 publication of the book’s Russian translation – by, believe it or not, the US Embassy in Moscow. Imagine Russians getting their US history from Howard Zinn!
One of the big achievements of Zinn’s book was his utter discrediting of Christopher Columbus. Once regarded as a hero, Columbus is now commonly viewed as having initiated the genocidal destruction of a peaceful paradise. In her first chapter, by going carefully through Zinn’s account of the great navigator, Grabar demonstrates that it is based not on original sources but is heavily dependent on, indeed almost copied straight out of, the work of an earlier Columbus-basher, Hans Koning, who, for ideological reasons, engaged in extremely selective quotation and in wholesale misrepresentation. Ultimately, Grabar shows convincingly that Zinn, in his effort to smear the discoverer of America and to depict American Indians as noble savages, repeatedly ignores historical context, suppresses inconvenient facts, cites exceedingly dubious statistics, and so on. In short, Grabar thoroughly discredits Zinn’s discrediting of the Admiral of the Ocean Sea.
As Zinn progresses beyond Columbus to the British settlement of North America, he routinely deplores relatively minor anti-Indian actions by colonists while defending or ignoring huge, brutal massacres by Indians – whom he insists, against all evidence but in accordance with the historical revisionism of know-nothing Sixties radicals, on portraying as gentle and innocent, indeed, as proto-Communists who lived in hippie-type communes and had no concept of private ownership or gender inequality. In short, Zinn transforms violent warriors into flower children. In one instance, he accuses early Virginia settlers of wanting to “exterminate” local tribes when in fact the latter sought to wipe out the former. Of course, in the encounters between natives and settlers there were misdeeds on both sides, but Zinn reduces the entire history of colonization as a simple matter of genocidal whites constantly going to war against peace-loving Indians. Nor does Zinn just make virtual saints out of the Indians of the Caribbean and North America; he also whitewashes the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas. Though he does, surprisingly, mention the Aztecs’ “ritual killing of thousands of people as sacrifices to the gods,” he claims that these bloodthirsty savages nonetheless exhibited “a certain innocence.” Neat trick!
Then there’s Zinn on slavery. In typical fashion, as Grabar notes, he “acknowledges that slavery existed in Africa…but presents it as a kinder, gentler kind of slavery” and is mum on the fact that it predated American slavery by centuries. In his effort to portray slavery, or at least the bad kind of slavery, as distinctively American, Zinn ignores the fact that it was without question opposition to slavery that was distinctively Western, whereas slavery itself had existed in every known African and Asian civilization since the beginning of recorded history. Far from recognizing the war to emancipate slaves as a uniquely American act of virtue, Zinn laments that the Civil War sought to free slaves rather than to overthrow capitalism, and maintains that blacks were, in any case, no better off after the war than before. He also fails to admit that America’s success in banishing slavery inspired emancipation movements around the Western world, even as he deep-sixes the role of Muslims in the slave trade and the fact that slavery continues to be practiced in the Islamic world.
Zinn manages even to make America’s role in World War II look perfidious. Here, as Grabar says quite rightly, he “hits a new low,” drawing moral equivalence between the US and Nazi Germany, painting Japan as America’s victim, and attributing America’s participation in the war entirely to “imperialist” motives. As for the Cold War era, Zinn dismisses Americans’ fear of Soviet Communism as “hysteria” and describes Americans’ demonstrably legitimate concern about Communist influence in Washington and Hollywood as “paranoid.” He even depicts the Marshall Plan – another unique act of American virtue – as a nefarious effort to prepare “the European capitalist countries for all-out war against the USSR and the People’s Democracies of Eastern Europe.”
Anyway, on it goes. Castro’s Cuba is great; Ho Chi Minh was a hero. Then there’s Grabar’s illuminating account of Zinn’s life. Not only was he almost certainly a card-carrying member of the Communist Party; he also belonged to several CPUSA front groups. Teaching in the late 1950s at the historically black Spelman College, which was “emphatically Christian,” he sought to turn it into a “school for protest.” In 1960, he co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, one of the major radical groups of that decade; years later, he co-founded the New Party, which Grabar identifies as “the socialist party that helped Barack Obama win his Illinois Senate seat.” Other groups with which he was associated included ACORN, the Democratic Socialists of America, a “Marxist-Maoist collective” called STORM, and International ANSWER.
This, then, is the man who has shaped the twisted picture of American history – and of America itself –that exists inside the heads of tens of millions of Americans. Grabar’s subtitle is Exposing the Fake History that Turned a Generation against America; my only problem with this subtitle is that in place of “a Generation” she could arguably have said “Generations,” because Zinn’s book, now almost forty years old, has poisoned the minds not only of countless college students today but also of many of their parents. In her introductory note, Grabar points out that there exist valuable challenges to Zinn, such as A Patriot’s History of the United States (2004) by Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen, which, I have been informed to my delight, is used in conjunction with Zinn in a number of history courses; it would be nice to see Grabar’s own, equally invaluable book find its way onto such curricula. A generation – or generations – of Americans raised on Howard Zinn can result only in an America that turns against its own founding values, in all their nobility, and that follows the likes of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and, God help us, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez down the path to socialist disaster.
Bruce Bawer is the author of “While Europe Slept,” “Surrender,” "The Victims' Revolution," and "The Alhambra." "Islam," a collection of his essays on Islam, has just been published.