Charles Moscowitz Website

Saturday, February 15, 2020

The Crime of Voter Fraud

The Crime of Voter Fraud

We are entitled to our opinion, as the old cliché goes, but conventional standards of honesty dictate that our opinion should be backed by fact and by evidence. Otherwise hearsay, conspiracy speculation, half-truths extracted from isolated statistics, meaningless factoids and outright lies become the order of the day. Honesty calls for the correction of misinformation and the exposure of lies. Otherwise falsehoods, especially when hatched by interested parties, might threaten the social order and often contribute to a dangerous atmosphere of bigotry and hate.

Such a self-serving lie, one that serves the dual purpose of galvanizing supporters and stoking hatreds against opponents, is promulgated by Democrats who claim that Republicans conspire to disenfranchise black voters. This big lie demonizes and scapegoats Republicans by re-enforcing the false stereotype that they have something against black men and women. The perpetrators of this fraud could care less about fanning the flames of racial division with such a lie as, indeed, this is exactly their intention. They charge racial conspiracy in order to emotionally energize black voters, many of whom appear to be losing interest in their leftist policies and agenda.

This self-serving lie allows the Democrats to turn the tables on reforms being implemented by various states, both liberal and conservative, to reduce voter fraud. Such efforts include a reasonable means to provide registered voters with free ID and the culling from voter rolls of voters who have either died or moved out of state. These attempts to preserve the integrity of one man one vote are opposed by those who engage in voter fraud. The fraudsters change the subject by intoning racist insults against black people by absurdly suggesting that they are not capable of obtaining free voter ID at the voting booth.

Is voter fraud a real problem? The liberal Washington Post, in an Oct. 24, 2014 article entitled: Could non-citizens decide the November Election? found that 6.4% of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2% in 2010. The article speculates that non-citizens in Minnesota may have elected Al Franken, who won his election by only 312 votes, and that non-citizens may have carried North Carolina for Obama in 2008. The Post estimates that 80% of the non-citizen vote went to Democrats. During this election cycle, reports have been verified that in Illinois and Maryland voting machines have been calibrated to vote Democratic. Absentee ballots and voting my mail, which is now done exclusively in Washington State and Colorado, presents obvious opportunities for fraud. There is no way of determining who sent in the ballot and this is exacerbated by millions of ballots mailed to outdated voter lists. Problems also exist around College students voting in their home state by absentee ballot and in the state where they are attending College.

From the time of the American Revolution until the present, hundreds of thousands of American men and women in uniform have sacrificed their lives in order to uphold the principle of one man one vote. The Civil War ended the sweltering oppression of chattel slavery and established the right of blacks to vote. The Civil Rights Acts further insured the integrity of the black vote. Women suffragists struggled to achieve the vote for women. These great advances in terms of enfranchising more Americans are now threatened by those who would deliberately conspire to dilute those sacred votes with self-serving acts of fraud.

By compromising the integrity of the vote they engage not only in a war against women and a racist attack on the integrity of the black vote but they are at war with the most basic institution of American democracy. They are compromising the right of the citizen to have their vote counted in an honest election by which the vote of the citizen is the purest and most basic expression of self-government.  

Ethnography: The New Hampshire Primary - 2020


The New Hampshire Primary - 2020

          The New Hampshire Presidential Primary was held on Tuesday, Feb. 11th 2020 and I traveled to Manchester, NH, on February 9th and 10th. I previously observed New Hampshire Primaries in Manchester in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2008, 2012 and 2016. Manchester is the largest city in the state and is where the national media and most of the campaigns are headquartered. Manchester, in the days leading up to the primary, provides an inexact and informal glimpse into presidential candidates and national political trends.

           I visited the Manchester campaign offices of Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttagieg, Andrew Yang and Elizabeth Warren and I hung out at the Doubletree Hotel which serves as an informal headquarters for the national and Boston media. I drove Uber passengers on both days and in that capacity I spoke with local Manchester citizens, most of whom seemed oblivious to the political goings on in their city, and media figures who offered me a great deal of inside information. I drove the nephew of candidate Tom Stryer, who was serving as his campaign coordinator. My conversation with him revealed strategies and memes that Democrats will likely employ against President Trump in the general election.

          The Bernie Sanders office staff was serious and determined, quiet and focused. The atmosphere in his office was one of confidence and calm. One of the volunteers described to me in detail their ground game strategy and how they were canvassing door to door. Sanders positions are clear and are well known. Sanders people were hard at work and I sensed that they were going to win, although, the office generally lacked the energy and enthusiasm of 2016, the year Sanders achieved a major New Hampshire victory even though all the delegates went to Hillary Clinton. Perhaps the Sanders campaign, having been previously ripped off by the Democratic Party, was a bit cynical, perhaps a bit wary and jaded.

          The Elizabeth Warren office was spare and looked threadbare and the few volunteers who were there and who were tugging in seemed demoralized and depressed. The general attitude among Democrats I spoke with in other campaign offices and on the street was that Warren is despised and, to toss in a bot of editorial commentary, for good reason. In all my years of coming to New Hampshire primaries, My opinion: I have never witnessed a more disreputable presidential candidate and a phonier person running for President than Elizabeth Warren.

         The Pete Buttagieg staff seemed motivated but confused in terms of how to answer questions about his positions. I didn’t get much of a sense of who Buttagieg is or why I should support him. On the wall of the Buttigieg office was photos of Buttagieg, his boyfriend or husband, and, presumably, two of their dogs. I got the same sense from Buttagieg that I got from Barack Obama when I visited Manchester during the primary in 2008. He looks good, he sounds intelligent, he came out of nowhere and he says little of substance but he does so with elegance and a phony intellectual accent. Like Obama, Buttegieg has a nice smile. This worked for Obama but I’m not sure this same trick will work for Buttagieg, at least I hope not. Like Obama, Buttegieg poses as a moderate and garners conservative cross-over support. Buttagieg, however, lacks Obama’s chrisma and cult following, at least outside the gay community, and I don’t sense that even they are all that enthusiastic about him.

          Andrew Yang had strong and even passionate support both from his office staff and from people walking in off the street. Yang appears to be not as vague or as slippery as Buttagieg and, I suspect, a lot of his supporters will end up supporting President Trump after he drops out. For the same reason that Buttagieg had high numbers of gay people in his office, Yang had a good number of Asians in his. Democratic candidates, and their electorate, often promote and exploit identity politics which is a problem for Biden and an even bigger problem for the faux Native American Warren. Joe Biden and is followers were virtually invisible and he was never mentioned. I saw one bumper sticker and that is all. I witnessed Amy Klobacher get on her bus of green festooned with as giant AMY.
          The real rock star of the New Hampshire primary this year, by any objective estimation, and the candidate who captured the lions share of the energy, was undoubtedly President Trump who held a rally at the SNHU Center on the Monday before the Tuesday vote. While I didn’t attend the rally itself, I observed the goings on outside and at the Doubletree Hotel which was the media center nearby. Trump supporters were out in force, both at the rally and on the street both days that I was there with their handmade signs and their carts of merchandise. They possessed an air of subversive excitement. To quote the King in the Pogo Comic: The peasants are revolting! 

          In the lead-up to the Trump rally, streets were closed and people were streaming in like they were going to Woodstock. The atmosphere was festive and stood in stark contrast to the scowling media figures prowling around at the virtually empty Doubletree. A few straggling anti-Trumpers stood on the periphery of the rally holding vulgar and obscene signs while the liberal media doyens inside the empty hotel muttered obscenities as they sipped their Chablis and drowned their sorrows by gorging themselves in Fois Gras and other indescribable food popular with liberal types.  

          My general impression of the Trump supporters was that they can be a bit rough around the edges, unfashionable according to liberal standards, but they are genuinely sincere and well-meaning working people. My impression is that the mainstream liberal media falsely portrays the Trump supporters, and President Trump himself as somehow hateful. I saw no evidence of this.

Friday, February 14, 2020

He who shall not be named

How I write books

How I write books

In 1998, I was working as a weekday radio talk show host and in that capacity I did a great deal of reading articles and books which was required as preparation for interviewing guests and discussing topics. Before the show, I did show prep by jotting down on a legal pad an outline of issues and questions that I would raise with my guest during the interview.

The late Dr. Samuel L. Blumenfeld, an author and columnist who had become a regular guest on the show, encouraged me to turn my show notes into 600 word columns for publication. I had no experience up until that point as a writer. Sam explained to me that by writing an article about a topic that I felt passionate about, I would organize and clarify my thinking on the topic while delving deeper into the issue through reading and research.

This was how I began to write articles which would eventually evolve into full length books. Since that time, I’ve authored hundreds of articles and 15 full length books. Writing has become a major part of my life and I am now further advancing my craft with courses at Bunker Hill Community College.

I start an article or a book by putting together a brief, bare-boned outline which lists the issues that I will cover. For an article, this might consist of a couple of talking points, for a book, this would be an outline of chapters, an outline that would be subject to change as the project develops. While writing an article usually takes me 2-3 days, writing a book can take me up to a year.

I am then ready for the free association part of the project which involves jotting down everything that I know off the top of my head and my opinions and theories. This part of the work usually moves quickly.

I am then ready for the research part of the project which is actually the most interesting thing for me. This involves deeper reading, research, footnoting, sites, and investigation, This takes up most of the time involved and this is where the real learning takes place. In the course of the research, my opinions might change as they become more defined and as I add substance to the scaffolding.

Simultaneous to the research, I edit the project which involves a focus on syntax, style, metaphor, structure, humour, grammar and punctuation. By this means, I insure that the words and sentences flow properly, that they hang together in a metaphoric tapestry, and that the ideas are presented in such a way that they are clear and that they make sense.

The final edit, a final comb through the text, involves getting rid of un-nessasary words, sentences, paragraphs, and ideas that are not germaine to the theme of the article or book. This can often be difficult as I have, for various reasons, become attached to certain words and concepts that really don’t work. This is when the book takes shape as a viable manuscript.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Ethnography Part 1: My three year experiment with left-right talk radio

My three year experiment with left-right talk radio

From 2010-2012 I co-hosted a weekday radio talk show with liberal San Francisco activist and author Patrick O’Heffernan. I had forged a reputation as a conservative radio host and author who often interviewed liberals and who strove to engage in constructive dialogue. My past guests included such left luminaries as Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Gloria Steinum and Congressman Barney Frank who I ended up running against in the 2004 election.

Patrick and I rotated as hosts, by phone, and we scheduled an equal number of guests, authors, and personalities from both the left and the right. I noticed certain predictable patterns emerge from my co-host early on and these became more intense as time went by. My analysis of his behavior and that of many of our liberal guests, along with my own experience as a former liberal who grew up in and who continues to operate in a liberal enviornment, instructs my opinions and offers me a  prespective based upon careful study and inside experience.

Patrick rarely engaged in what could be described as a normal exchange of ideas and opinions. He was all about winning at any cost and he world resort to dirty tactics which he deliverd with an inpenetratable air of authority and erudition. I did not view the show as a contest and while I enjoy persuasion and political combat I’m not afraid to be wrong. Talking with Patrick on the air often felt like I was talking to a taped message.

I soon realized that Patrick lied to win his arguments and, worse, that he occasionally initiated a lie to catch me off guard. While on the air, it was obviously impossible for me to do the research required to refute his often outlandish contentions in real time. I would conduct the research later and, the next day, I would politely raise the contradiction. While he would respond by acknowledging that he was wrong, when confronted by evidence, he would wait about a week and go back to pushing the same lie as if nothing had happened. In the early part of our work together, I naievly didn’t catch the lie but as time went on I began to call him out. The result was that our professional and personal relationship eventually desintigrated. I started to notice this same pattern with other liberals, as well as a tendency on their part to severely constrict their exposure to opposing opinion. This has led me to wonder whether liberals operate in a fantasy world of their own ideological construction.

Patrick often behaved brutally with our conservative guests especially when they were women. If Patrick felt he couldn’t defend his liberal position with a guest, particularly an author, or if he felt that the author presented a case devastating to his liberal belief, he would approach the interview by literally changing the subject and sticking to irrelevant to the interview. When interviewing Dr. Judith Reisman, author of Sexual Sabatoge, he insisted on discussing some current controversy about advertising at high school football games, which had absolutely nothing to do with Dr. Reisman’s research. Other times, in classic leftist agit-prop style, in order to discredit an author or a columnist he didn’t want to answer to he would uncover some miniscule mistake, an outdated footnote, a wrong date, and he would procede to pound away at it in an attempt to hurt their credibility and avoid the relevant subject.

Patrick consistently conformed to a liberal party line. I would prep for the afternoon show by listening to progressive Boston radio host Jeff Santos. With rare exceptions, Patrick, during our opening dialogue before we invited our guest to join us, would regurgitate the exact same talking points that were mouthed by Jeff Santos earlier in the day. Not only would Patrick parrot the same ideas and items, but he would deliver his comments often using the exact same words that Jeff used and even the same mannerisms and intonations. I have observed, over time, that liberals tend to engage in group-think and they rarely deviate.

Certainly conservatives lie and conform from time to time but I have noticed a trend amongst liberals in this regard which has led me to speculate over the possibility that lying and conformity is more than a casual event for them but, rather, this is something that they internalize as a basic and necessary part of their ideology. They seem to feel justified in these practices as they think that such actions preserve and advance their idea of progress and are thus justified. Perhaps this reflects the old communist maxim: “You’ve got to break a few eggs to make an omelet.”

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Are Public Unions Necessary?

Public unions threaten democracy which is why the left supports public unions. All public unions should lose their collective bargaining status. While public servants should be allowed to form associations and while individual public servants should be allowed to get involved in politics to the degree that such involvement doesn’t pose as a conflict of interest as it relates to their public function, public unions per-se should be disbanded. Such a measure would lead to a better, a more efficient, and a more honest government. 

The idea that public servants, paid out of taxpayer funds and conducting public functions, should be allowed to organize and to advocate for themselves poses as a profound conflict of interest and as a recipe for corruption. Only elected officials, elected by the people to represent their interests, should be responsible for setting policy as it relates to public servants on such issues as salaries and benefit packages. Public jobs are generally good paying jobs. The taxpaying public ought to reserve the right, as expressed through city councils and state legislatures, to determine how public employees are compensated and treated. This would be the democratic approach.  

The government is not comparable to a private corporation where unions are often necessary and constructive as a counter-balance to the for profit corporation. In a private setting, workers often have a good reason to organize and to establish their right to bargain collectively. Concessions to workers by the corporation come out of corporate profits. Public union concessions are subsidized by the private citizen, the hard-working taxpayer. 

Public unions mean that the government, the public sector, gives itself the power to enrich itself while doing an end run around the taxpayer. Public unions also establish legally binding contracts that often determine such matters as employment and advancement. In this way, bad public servants are retained while good public servants are punished. Because of the existence of the union, the taxpayers have no say in these matters and, to a certain degree, those elected to represent the taxpayers find that their hands are also tied. Again, this approach to government is un-democratic. 
Adding to the dangers that public unions pose to democracy is the fact that many public unions get involved in politics financially and with in-kind support. This should not happen in a free society. Individual public employees should be free to support candidates of their choice, in cases that don’t pose as a conflict of interest, but when a public organization, deriving its finances from the taxpayer, supports a candidate that would preserve and possibly advance those financial benefits the taxpaying public is placed in a position of double jeopardy. The possibility of corruption, of quid pro quo, is obvious and is indeed rampant. There are laws against private corporations financially supporting a candidate for office and then benefiting from the candidate, if elected, passing legislation that directly benefits that corporation. Not so with public unions which are free to pour money and in-kind support toward electing candidates who then vote to raise taxes or in favor of some other measure that benefits the public union. 

Presently, public unions are choking municipalities across much of the country with their cost and their increasing power and influence. An example of this was cited by Phillip K. Howard, chair of Common Good, in an article published by The Wall Street Journal (The Public Union Albatross 11/9). The article reports that over 90% the Long Island Rail Road public union members claimed disability upon retirement adding $36,000 per employee to their pensions costing New York taxpayers $300 million over the past decade. Howard reports on the inefficiency of public contracts with a reference to a New York City union contract in which, “whenever new equipment is installed the city must reopen collective bargaining "for the sole purpose of negotiating with the union on the practical impact, if any, such equipment has on the affected employees." Howard reports that “trying to get ideas from public employees can be illegal as a deputy mayor of New York City was "warned not to talk with employees in order to get suggestions" because it might violate the "direct dealing law." 

Let’s return control over our public sector to our elected representatives who would be charged with rewarding success, punishing failure, and returning the government to the people.

Was Nation Magazine pro-Stalin?

My dust-up with Nation Magazine contributing writer Ari Berman occurred at the onset of what I had hoped would be a constructive conversation on my radio program “The Fairness Doctrine - left, right and uncensored. My co-host, liberal commentator Patrick O’Heffernan had invited Berman on the air to discuss President Obama’s State of the Union address. I began by asking if it was ok if I diverged from the topic briefly to clear up a matter regarding a piece of history related to his magazine. Then came the fireworks.

I brought up that fact that the editor of Nation Magazine, Freda Kirchwey, had been a loyal Stalinist in the 1930’s and 1940’s and remained loyal to Stalin after the 1939-1941 Hitler-Stalin Pact. The pact divided Poland between the two socialist behemoths, Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, and triggered World War II. Kirchwey became editor of Nation in 1937 and had turned the magazine into a virtual organ of Stalinism. This meant, I contended, that Kirchwey and many of the writers for Nation were therefore de-facto pro-Nazi in those years.

In 1939 Kirchwey criticized the Committee for Cultural Freedom, a group whose members included eminent leftists with a conscience such as Sidney Hook, Max Eastman and socialist Norman Thomas, for releasing a statement condemning both the Nazi and the Soviet dictatorships as totalitarian. This was too much for Kirchwey who wrote that the term totalitarianism should only apply to Fascism and not Communism and that the group threatened left-wing unity. Hook responded to Kirchwey writing that her statement “brings the Nation that much closer to 13th Street (Communist Party Headquarters) in the public mind; some members of the committee have told me that after reading your editorial they felt as if the Nation had died.” Kirchwey’s selective condemnation was a blind spot that still infects many leftists today, one that stands in stark contrast to the consistent conservative position of accurately condemning both Nazism and Communism equally and on the same moral grounds.

Berman responded to my remark with the claim that the American right had been pro-Hitler. His evidence to back up this absurd statement was that the right was non-interventionist before America got into the war. This would be as ridiculous as claiming that all who opposed the Iraq War were pro Saddam Hussein. If he had done some research before throwing out such an ugly slur Berman would have known that the America First Committee, the most prominent American anti-war group at the time, was made up of both liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, left and right. America First counted as members such prominent leftists as Chester Bowles, former Nation editor Oswald Garrison Villard, and socialist Norman Thomas. The only major group in America that was pro-Hitler in the years leading up to the war, other than the Nazi Party itself and their small coterie of followers was the Communist Party and its fellow travelers during the 1939-1941 Hitler-Stalin pact.

Before hanging up the phone, Berman asserted that he really couldn’t comment on any of this since it happened before he was born. This juvenile line of reasoning would, assumedly, limit any discussion of the Nazi Holocaust to those born before 1945. Berman’s archive on the Nation Magazine website reveals the same sort of rabid partisanship that would have no doubt done Freda Kirchwey proud. He writes under the assumption, for example, that the right was responsible for the Arizona shooting but he does it in a sophistic and indirect style that employs innuendo and guilt by association.

A Google search of Ari Berman reveals a handsome young man and Berman is as smart as a whip. Hopefully he will mature to the degree that his mind won’t be warped and his moral compass won’t be permanently shattered by this sort of hyper ventilating partisanship and blind goose-stepping to a party line. But than again, by taking such positions, Ari no doubt is invited to many fas