Ravi Zacharias — cultural apologist on behalf of Judeo-Christian values, founder and president of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, and best selling author of “The Logic of God” — joins me to discuss faith, morality, the problem of suffering, the case for a creator, and much more.
This is with the hat-tip to WINTERY KNIGHT, WK does an excellent job at creating a “contents.” William Lane Craig, philosopher, theologian, and best selling author of numerous books including “On Guard: Defending Your Faith With Reason And Precision,” joins Ben to discuss the hard sciences vs. philosophy, the cosmological and ontological arguments, Jesus, slavery, gay marriage, and much more. (See more recommended books HERE)
I was looking for this video (posted first below), but came across the interview with Ben Shapiro, thought it was worth posting (obviously). The original search was meant to post the video where Media Matters got a headline to make it’s supporters happy, but thast was divorced from reality: “Fox & Friends Guest [Larry Elder]: Black Families Were Better Off As Slaves” >> (You can watch the identical video at MEDIA MATTERS):
Larry is masterful. Fox and Friends should know that about one or two questions is all they will be able to ask this machine!
RELATED: Larry Elder rips Media Matters for ‘fake headline’ on slavery comments: ‘I said no such thing!’ (WASHINGTON TIMES)
Here is the MORE IMPORTANT interview. “Larry Elder, radio host, commentator, and author of ‘Dear Father, Dear Son’ joins Ben to discuss race relations, politics, and the how Donald Trump has handled the presidency in his first two years.”
This election season there’s a lot of talk about corruption, about politicians being “bought and sold”, and about “crony capitalism”. What do those terms mean? Why should we care? Is there a way to reduce corruption and restore our trust in government? Author Jay Cost, staff writer at The Weekly Standard, answers these questions and proposes a solution that every society could benefit from.
A good example of a monopoly like the one Dr. Friedman refers to is MA BELL
…..The crusade to create a monopolistic telephone industry by government fiat finally succeeded when the federal government used World War I as an excuse to nationalize the industry in 1918. AT&T still operated its phone system, but it was controlled by a government commission headed by the postmaster general. Like so many other instances of government regulation, AT&T quickly “captured” the regulators and used the regulatory apparatus to eliminate its competitors. “By 1925 not only had virtually every state established strict rate regulation guidelines, but local telephone competition was either discouraged or explicitly prohibited within many of those jurisdictions.”….
(Via MOONBATTERY) Crony capitalism is as much a betrayal of true capitalism as postmodern art is a betrayal of true art. It results in those who have made $zillions in the free market calling for more suffocating government regulation. Like socialism, it is a way for those who have succeeded to pull up the ladder after them so that others cannot follow and compete with them.
John Stossel has had enough of it. The solution: to reduce the power of the government to reward its friends and break the kneecaps of its enemies.
(The funniest part is at 3:30 – death boots vs. Jordan Elevens) [Description] This week I headed to Ohio State to talk to some protesters about why they think Ben Shapiro shouldn’t speak. As always, hilarity ensued…
….Regardless of how people may feel about the Thanksgiving Holiday, one thing should be obvious to even the most casual observer of history: Thanksgiving was (and still is) founded on the Christian notion we have something to be thankful for and someone to be thankful to. These first observers of Thanksgiving understood who it was they were to thank. Over and over again, through the early years of the colonies to the most difficult days of our national history, believers and leaders have affirmed and humbled themselves to the providence and protection of God. Those who initiated this national holiday intended it to be a day of thanksgiving and prayer; a day in which all of us could offer thanks to the God of the Universe.
In 1534, Jacques Cartier of France set off to discover a northwest passage to China. Though encouraged by his discovery of the Gulf of St. Lawrence on his first voyage; and, in a subsequent voyage, his discovery of the St. Lawrence River, he eventually accepted that what he had discovered wasn’t a northwest passage, but was a vast territory inhabited by various tribes of Indians, with a harsh and unforgiving climate. In three voyages, he traded with the Indians, possessing as he did useful things made of metal, that the Indians found to be quite valuable since they had not mastered metal-working. But, because of the harsh winters and Indian raids, the place was less than ideal for colonization.
In 1604, an attempt was made by the French to establish a permanent colony at St. Croix, in present day Maine, on the Bay of Fundy. (The bay is located between Nova Scotia on the east and New Brunswick and Maine on the west.) The site was terrible. The change in altitude from inland to the coast acted like a flue, bringing the freezing cold wind from the northwest down upon the settlement. Half the colony died that winter. The next year, the survivors relocated across the bay, at Port Royal. This became the first permanent European settlement in the Americas north of Florida, following the abandonment or other end of the Viking settlements at the onset of the Little Ice Age.
The first permanent English colony in the Americas north of Florida was established at Jamestown, Virginia, two years later, in 1607. This colony would have failed if not for the assistance of the local Indian tribe, the Powhatan Indians. Even so, the colonists and the Powhatan Indians recurrently warred against each other. To cement the peace treaty ending one of these wars, an Indian princess named Pocahontas married one of the leaders of the colony, John Rolfe. She converted to Christianity and returned with her husband to England where she entered society as a lady. In 1619, the colony organized a representative body, the House of Burgesses, to provide local government.
The Virginia colony had been founded as a joint stock company based on the prospect of discovering gold and diamonds and such. But, as an investment, the company proved to be a complete loss. The king dissolved the corporate charter, and reorganized the colony as with a royal charter. But, eventually the colony began turning a profit with the cultivation of tobacco.
Further to the north, a second permanent English colony was organized in Plymouth Bay, Massachusetts, in 1620. It, like the original location of the French in the Bay of Fundy was unfortunately sited in terms of the local climate. Cape Cod, jutting into the Atlantic Ocean, directed the warming currents of the Gulf Stream eastward, leaving the shores of the bay particularly cold. The first winter proved very harsh, and half the settlers perished. An Indian named Squanto of a local tribe arrived on the scene and helped the survivors with fishing, hunting and planting. The local tribe allied with the colony and became something of a conduit for the exchange of metal tools and such for furs acquired from inland tribes.
The Plymouth Bay colony consisted of religious dissidents, known as Puritans, for whom the Church of England, though a Protestant church, was a backsliding church. Their journey to the New World was a search for an isolated place where their rules would be law. It is possible that their celebration of Thanksgiving was in keeping with the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, an eight-day holiday, that is to culminate in a community-wide dinner. During the week, you are to live outdoors, if this is possible, and eat outdoors, under an open canopy. It is a time to remember the wandering in the desert, when Israel was guided by the Shekinah Glory and God was with his people. It is also a time to anticipate when the Shekinah Glory will return, and when God will again be with his people.
The Story of Squanto… WHY the Pilgrims saw God’s providential hand on their lives, and gave thanks to God for this Providence over the course of mankind. Here, Eric Metaxas talks about some of this history in his Wall Street Journal article (as well as an excellent video by Ben Shapiro):
…Every Thanksgiving we remember that, to escape religious persecution, the Pilgrims sailed to the New World, landing at Plymouth Rock in 1620. But numerous trading ships had visited the area earlier. Around 1608 an English ship dropped anchor off the coast of what is today Plymouth, Mass., ostensibly to trade metal goods for the natives’ beads and pelts. The friendly Patuxets received the crew but soon discovered their dark intentions. A number of the braves were brutally captured, taken to Spain and sold into slavery.
One of them, a young man named Tisquantum, or Squanto, was bought by a group of Catholic friars, who evidently treated him well and freed him, even allowing him to dream of somehow returning to the New World, an almost unimaginable thought at the time. Around 1612, Squanto made his way to London, where he stayed with a man namedJohn Slany and learned his ways and language. In 1618, a ship was found, and in return for serving as an interpreter, Squanto would be given one-way passage back to the New World.
After spending a winter in Newfoundland, the ship made its way down the coast of Maine and Cape Cod, where Squanto at last reached his own shore. After 10 years, Squanto returned to the village where he had been born. But when he arrived, to his unfathomable disappointment, there was no one to greet him. What had happened?
It seems that since he had been away, nearly every member of the Patuxets had perished from disease, perhaps smallpox, brought by European ships. Had Squanto not been kidnapped, he would almost surely have died. But perhaps he didn’t feel lucky to have been spared. Surely, he must have wondered how his extraordinary efforts could amount to this. At first he wandered to another Wampanoag tribe, but they weren’t his people. He was a man without a family or tribe, and eventually lived alone in the woods.
But his story didn’t end there. In the bleak November of 1620, the Mayflower passengers, unable to navigate south to the warmer land of Virginia, decided to settle at Plymouth, the very spot where Squanto had grown up. They had come in search of religious freedom, hoping to found a colony based on Christian principles.
Their journey was very difficult, and their celebrated landing on the frigid shores of Plymouth proved even more so. Forced to sleep in miserably wet and cold conditions, many of them fell gravely ill. Half of them died during that terrible winter. One can imagine how they must have wept and wondered how the God they trusted and followed could lead them to this agonizing pass. They seriously considered returning to Europe.
But one day during that spring of 1621, a Wampanoag walked out of the woods to greet them. Somehow he spoke perfect English. In fact, he had lived in London more recently than they had. And if that weren’t strange enough, he had grown up on the exact land where they had settled.
Because of this, he knew everything about how to survive there; not only how to plant corn and squash, but how to find fish and lobsters and eels and much else. The lone Patuxet survivor had nowhere to go, so the Pilgrims adopted him as one of their own and he lived with them on the land of his childhood.
No one disputes that Squanto’s advent among the Pilgrims changed everything, making it possible for them to stay and thrive. Squanto even helped broker a peace with the local tribes, one that lasted 50 years, a staggering accomplishment considering the troubles settlers would face later.
So the question is: Can all of this have been sheer happenstance, as most versions of the story would have us believe? The Pilgrims hardly thought so. To them, Squanto was a living answer to their tearful prayers, an outrageous miracle of God. Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford declared in his journal that Squanto “became a special instrument sent of God” who didn’t leave them “till he died.”…
On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs.
Where did the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact come from? From the Bible. The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments. They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example. And, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture, they never doubted that their experiment would work.
“But this was no pleasure cruise, friends. The journey to the New World was a long and arduous one. And when the Pilgrims landed in New England in November, they found, according to Bradford’s detailed journal, a cold, barren, desolate wilderness,” destined to become the home of the Kennedy family. “There were no friends to greet them, he wrote. There were no houses to shelter them. There were no inns where they could refresh themselves. And the sacrifice they had made for freedom was just beginning.
During the first winter, half the Pilgrims – including Bradford’s own wife – died of either starvation, sickness or exposure.
“When spring finally came, Indians taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish for cod and skin beavers for coats.” Yes, it was Indians that taught the white man how to skin beasts. “Life improved for the Pilgrims, but they did not yet prosper! This is important to understand because this is where modern American history lessons often end. “Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives, rather than as a devout expression of gratitude grounded in the tradition of both the Old and New Testaments.
Here is the part [of Thanksgiving] that has been omitted: The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, and each member of the community was entitled to one common share.
“All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belong to the community as well. They were going to distribute it equally. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well. Nobody owned anything. They just had a share in it. It was a commune, folks. It was the forerunner to the communes we saw in the ’60s and ’70s out in California – and it was complete with organic vegetables, by the way.
Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives.
He decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage, thus turning loose the power of the marketplace.
“That’s right. Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism. And what happened?
It didn’t work! Surprise, surprise, huh?
What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation!
But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years – trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it – the Pilgrims decided early on to scrap it permanently.
What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every schoolchild’s history lesson. If it were, we might prevent much needless suffering in the future.
“‘The experience that we had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years…that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing – as if they were wiser than God,’ Bradford wrote. ‘For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense…that was thought injustice.’
Why should you work for other people when you can’t work for yourself? What’s the point?
“Do you hear what he was saying, ladies and gentlemen? The Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So what did Bradford’s community try next? They unharnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the undergirding capitalistic principle of private property.
Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result?
‘This had very good success,’ wrote Bradford, ‘for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.’
Bradford doesn’t sound like much of a… liberal Democrat, “does he? Is it possible that supply-side economics could have existed before the 1980s? Yes.
“Read the story of Joseph and Pharaoh in Genesis 41. Following Joseph’s suggestion (Gen 41:34), Pharaoh reduced the tax on Egyptians to 20% during the ‘seven years of plenty’ and the ‘Earth brought forth in heaps.’ (Gen. 41:47)
In no time, the Pilgrims found they had more food than they could eat themselves…. So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians. The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London.
And the success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans and began what came to be known as the ‘Great Puritan Migration.'”
Now, other than on this program every year, have you heard this story before? Is this lesson being taught to your kids today — and if it isn’t, why not? Can you think of a more important lesson one could derive from the pilgrim experience?
So in essence there was, thanks to the Indians, because they taught us how to skin beavers and how to plant corn when we arrived, but the real Thanksgiving was thanking the Lord for guidance and plenty — and once they reformed their system and got rid of the communal bottle and started what was essentially free market capitalism, they produced more than they could possibly consume, and they invited the Indians to dinner, and voila, we got Thanksgiving, and that’s what it was: inviting the Indians to dinner and giving thanks for all the plenty is the true story of Thanksgiving.
The last two-thirds of this story simply are not told.
Now, I was just talking about the plenty of this country and how I’m awed by it. You can go to places where there are famines, and we usually get the story, “Well, look it, there are deserts, well, look it, Africa, I mean there’s no water and nothing but sand and so forth.”
It’s not the answer, folks. Those people don’t have a prayer because they have no incentive. They live under tyrannical dictatorships and governments.
The problem with the world is not too few resources. The problem with the world is an insufficient distribution of capitalism. 
(Editor’s note: A recent federal bill memorializing as a National Historic Trail what has come to be known as the Cherokee Indian Trail of Tears is based on false history, argues William R. Higginbotham. In this article, the Texas-based writer delves into the historic record and concludes that about 840 Indians not the 4,000 figure commonly accepted died in the 1837-38 trek west; that the government-financed march was conducted by the Indians themselves; and that the phrase “Trail of Tears” was a label that was added 70 years later under questionable circumstances.) The problem with some of our accounts of history is that they have been manipulated to fit conclusions not borne out by facts. Nothing could be more intellectually dishonest. This is about a vivid case in point.
Happens every Thanksgiving, doesn’t? Some bleeding heart liberal you’re “related to” gets on their moral high Crazy Horse and lectures about how horribly rotten the white man was to the Native Americans. Which is why this year we’re throwing in the tomahawk. Time to scalp the facts about the Indians. Feathers not dots….
MYTH: THE NATIVE AMERICANS WERE A PEACEFUL CULTURE TO WHOM THE CONCEPT OF WAR WAS FOREIGN
FACT: MANY WERE BRUTAL, CONQUERING ***HOLES
Native Americans warred with each other since, forever. Sometimes it was over hunting or farming grounds, sometimes revenge, sometimes to steal, sometimes to kill. I don’t say this to demonize them, they were no different than any other regressive, Neolithic cultures on other continents.
But the truth is that the only way settlers were able to conquer this land was through the help of Native Americans who teamed up with them to settle the score with the other, more assholish tribes. You think Cortes was able to conquer with only 500 Conquisadors. Course not, it took 50,000 ANGRY allied Native Americans who’d had it up to here with being enslaved and forced to carry gold for the other, Native Aztecs.
Some of of the Indian tribes were the most brutal in existence.
They practiced enslavement, rape, cannibalism, would sometimes target women and children, tribes like the Commanchees would butcher babies and roast people alive… and by the way, where do you think we LEARNED scalping?
MYTH: NATIVE AMERICANS WERE AN ADVANCED SOCIETY
TRUTH: NOT EVEN CLOSE
Smell that? It’s your sacred cow being torched. After I scalped her, of course. Unlike Rome, Greece, China, or pretty much any great empire which had already existed at that time, the Native Americans didn’t have advanced plumbing, transportation, mathematics or really… anything that led to the iphone on which you’re currently watching this. That whole beautiful “horseback Indian” culture you read about? It’s a lie because they hadn’t even domesticated horses. Not only that, but they didn’t even use the WHEEL. No really. 1400 AD… no wheel.
Even more reason that, when you’re that far behind, the clash of civilizations is going to be THAT much more drastic when the new wheel-using world catches up to you.
MYTH: THE SETTLERS DELIBERATELY INFECTED NATIVES WITH SMALLPOX BLANKETS TO WHIPE THEM OUT
TRUTH: ONLY IDIOTS COULD POSSIBLY BELIEVE THIS
Think about it. You really believe Europeans waged microbial, biological warfare… long before discovery, mass acceptance or even close to an understanding of advanced germ theory?
So it’s not true. You can look forever for historical accounts of mass smallpox blankets being pajamagrammed to the peaceful Indians, but you won’t find them. But there is SOME truth to the myth, which brings us to our final point.
MYTH: EUROPEANS COMMITTED MASS GENOCIDE. KILLING EVERY NATIVE AMERICAN FOR SPORT
TRUTH: NOT EVEN CLOSE
However, it is estimated that at high as 95% of pre-Columbian Native Americans were in fact killed off by disease, WHY? Because Europeans introduced new diseases to which the Native Americans hadn’t developed an immunity not only with THEMSELVES but now contact with animals like again HORSES which Native Americans hadn’t domesticated. Again, because they were such an archaic, unadvanced society.
Sure there were plenty of bloody, horrendous, unimaginable battles that occurred, and generally when it comes to neoloithic tribes and more advances settlers, the guys with the boom-boom sticks win. This isn’t exclusive to America or all that uncommon.
But Europeans were not hellbent on wiping out Native Americans, they were actually encouraged to bring the people into European culture and convert them to Christianity. Plus, inter-marrying was incredibly common. How else do you explain Johnny Depp, Angalina Jolie, Kid Cudi and even imaginary Elizabeth Warren claiming to be 1/16th Cherokee?
Killing people is bad. But so is milking, misleading and guilting all future generations for crimes they didn’t commit. Yep, Europeans conquered the Native Americans, created a Constitutional Republic, and advanced in mere centuries what Natives couldn’t do for thousands of years here on the plot of land that is America. So close this smartphone window, go enjoy your turkey and tell your social justice warrior cousin at the table to shut that mustached, single-origin-coffee drinking-hole. Or just… hand him a smallpox napkin.
Has the Hate Trump crowd lost its mind? Is there any precedence for the intensity of their hatred? Mark Duplass, a Hollywood actor who recommended Ben Shapiro be included in listening to the other side gets re-educated by his Leftist friends. Dennis Prager opines well on this recent bullying of Mark Duplass by Leftists. Again, Mr. Duplass merely suggested to open up to listening to the other-side… and the Left went nuts!
Dennis is right… because if they hear us, they see their edifice fall. And many convert.
The topic of Trump acting or being like a NAZI, or traitor, or whatever has been stated in various ways… but a legal analyst combined them all in a string: “MSNBC Legal Expert: Helsinki Summit Is JUST LIKE Kristallnacht, Pearl Harbor…” (NEWSBUSTERS)
Ben Shapiro was on the Glenn Beck Show discussing the possibilities of Brett Kavanaugh sliding Left or Right. Ben seems to think he will be closer to Alito rather than be another Roberts. Which is good. The best woman was not chosen, but Trump may have another go at it this term! At any rate, now that reality has set-in, you get to hear the real Ben Shapiro.
Another segment that is part of this example of the media’s view of Israel, which focuses more on the pastors who opened and closed the benediction of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem (posted at end of this post). I include in this audio video of a debate at Oxford Prager spoke of as well as an excerpt of the interview with Alan Dershowitz.
…In a column for the Daily Wire, Shapiro shows how Hamas is inciting violence against Israeli security forces and hiding behind women and children as they march on the Israeli border. But in the mainstream media, these are some of the headlines you’ll read:
And don’t forget this horrible front page from the New York Daily News:
…Mainstream media is at it again, promulgating fake news.
I woke up this morning to a slew of stories about “Palestinian Protestors Killed in Gaza Protests.” The imagery of a man holding up a cardboard sign while getting shot comes to mind, from such a headline, doesn’t it? I became concerned, read further.
Turns out, it’s the same ‘ol anti-Israeli fake news. Mainstream media at it again.
CNN: “37 Palestinians killed in Gaza protests ahead of US embassy opening”
ABC News: “Death toll in massive Palestinian protests climbs to at least 41, bloodiest day in Gaza since 2014 war”
Washington Post: “Israelis kill dozens of Palestinians in Gaza protesting U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem”
Dennis Prager is friends with Pastors Robert Jeffress and John Hagee, and throws some cold water on the Left’s faux flames. Prager wrote one of the leading books on Antisemitism, “Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism,” and knows “Jew hatred” when he see’s it. All he sees here is the Left’s hatred of anything pro-Israel.
Here is some great commentary from a few different posts by Gateway Pundit (HERE and HERE):
The artist who painted former President Obama’s portrait for the Portrait Gallery, part of the Smithsonian Institution, has an interesting past.
Since Obama’s portrait was unveiled, I’ve received a flurry of text messages from outraged artist friends I made while living in New York. No, they weren’t outraged because they saw Kehinde Wiley’s other painting that feature black women murdering white women. They were outraged because Kehinde Wiley is a terrible artist who only rose to prominence, something they have been attempting to do their entire lives, in the art world because he is a racist gay black man. And if that werent enough: he doesn’t even paint his own work.
Back in April 2012, Wiley New York magazine wrote a glowing piece covering Wiley and his “global reach.” When Wiley was asked about one of the anti-white paintings in his studio, his response is not only shocking but shows a complete lack of any sort of intellectual depth:
A tall, elegant black woman in a long blue dress—the canvas is enormous, eight feet by ten feet—calmly staring down the viewer. In one hand, she holds a knife. In the other, a cleanly severed brunette female head. “It’s sort of a play on the ‘kill whitey’ thing,” Wiley says.
That unabashed bombast has made Wiley a walking superlative: the most successful black artist since Basquiat, possibly the wealthiest painter of his generation, certainly the one who made his name earliest (he was 26 for his first major solo show), a gay man who has become the great painter of machismo for the swag era, a bootstrapper from South Central who talks like a Yale professor (much of the time), a genius self-promoter who’s managed to have it both ways in an art world that loves having its critical cake and eating the spectacle of it, too, and a crossover phenomenon who is at once the hip-hop world’s favorite fine artist (Spike Lee and LL Cool J own pieces) and the gallery world’s most popular hip-hop ambassador. Not to mention an all-around positive guy.
Can you imagine for a second if George W. Bush, or any other former president, decided on a painter who was famous for depicting white people killing black people to paint his official portrait? It’s hard to imagine, right? Yea, that’s because it’s disgusting and backward.
DAILY CALLER notes as well that the artist puts sperm into his portraits — and many are saying Obama has a big goo on his face:
The artist who painted former President Barack Obama for the National Portrait Gallery in the Smithsonian has a history of including depictions of sperm in his work, and has been described as “predatory” and “perverse” by The Village Voice.
Kehinde Wiley is well-known for recreating famous paintings, but replacing the featured white person – often a noble or general – with a young black man. Wiley often met the men on the street, brought them into his studio, and had them pick a work to be painted into, the famously left-wing Village Voice reported in March 2015.
Wiley “lures young men into his studio with the promise of power and glamour,” writer and art critic Jessica Dawson wrote. She called the behavior “predatory” and “perverse.”
Dawson also points out the sexuality in several of his pieces and highlights that they often include sperm. Wiley’s rendition of “St. Andrew,” for example, shows a black man grinding “his crotch against a wooden cross” with “free-floating spermatozoa” painted on the canvas, Dawson wrote.
Did the current administration “collude” with Russia? So far no evidence at all has emerged to support that hypothesis, but Politico’s Josh Meyer digs deep into another curious set of circumstances in the Obama White House and its own operations with a foreign power. Perhaps the media will start asking whether the previous administration colluded with Iran to let terrorists and drug dealers go free in order to score one of the worst deals ever in international relations.
Before Barack Obama decided to pursue the nuclear deal with Iran, the DEA had a major operation called Project Cassandra. This operation had identified Hezbollah as a major supplier of cocaine to the US and other countries, along with its usual terrorist activities on behalf of its sponsors in Tehran. The DEA and FBI had built criminal cases against major players in Hezbollah’s drug and arms networks, succeeding in getting sealed indictments and finding witnesses for prosecution.
And then the Obama administration stepped in to drain it of all resources, just to protect its deal with Iran:
One Obama-era Treasury official, Katherine Bauer, in little-noticed written testimony presented last February to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, acknowledged that “under the Obama administration … these [Hezbollah-related] investigations were tamped down for fear of rocking the boat with Iran and jeopardizing the nuclear deal.”
As a result, some Hezbollah operatives were not pursued via arrests, indictments, or Treasury designations that would have blocked their access to U.S. financial markets, according to Bauer, a career Treasury official, who served briefly in its Office of Terrorist Financing as a senior policy adviser for Iran before leaving in late 2015. And other “Hezbollah facilitators” arrested in France, Colombia, Lithuania have not been extradited — or indicted — in the U.S., she wrote. …
Asher, for one, said Obama administration officials expressed concerns to him about alienating Tehran before, during and after the Iran nuclear deal negotiations. This was, he said, part of an effort to “defang, defund and undermine the investigations that were involving Iran and Hezbollah,” he said.
“The closer we got to the [Iran deal], the more these activities went away,” Asher said. “So much of the capability, whether it was special operations, whether it was law enforcement, whether it was [Treasury] designations — even the capacity, the personnel assigned to this mission — it was assiduously drained, almost to the last drop, by the end of the Obama administration.”
Cassandra turned out to be an ironic code name for the operation. In Greek mythology, Cassandra, the daughter of King Priam of Troy, was doomed to utter accurate prophecies that went unbelieved by all who heard them. This years-long effort to identify Hezbollah’s drug and arms operations and to find their financial resources ended up going the way of Cassandra’s prophecies, too — being utterly ignored despite their truth. (In fact, the project name derived specifically, if indirectly, from this myth.)……………