January 7, 2013: Read our article on gun control by click HERE
Would you like to hear Dr. Anthony discuss issues related to beauty and its impact on personality and behavior? Emmy award winner Michelle Merker interviewed Dr. Anthony at KDOC television on that very subject. You can click the link to the right and access a video clip from that interview.
Click HERE to access a clip from Dr. Anthony's interview with Michelle Merker
After receiving multiple requests for signed copies of our new book THE PROGRESSIVE VIRUS, you can now buy an author signed copy of our book in either paperback or hard cover versions. Click HERE if you would like to buy a copy now.
Free Download of MURDEROUS RAGE Chapter from Awakening Beauty (Below)
Reflections on the 2012 Presidential Election
We’ve all had some time to reflect upon the 2012 presidential election. I took note of the fact that trending patterns on Google before the election found that the election itself was the number one search term but a close second was the name Kim Kardashian. I think Kim’s silver medal provides a window into which we can learn something.
For the past two decades scholars have referenced this phrase: “The dumbing down of America.” Time magazine’s 1998 cover asked the question, “Why can’t Johnny read?” That headline seems quaint using today’s standards for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the choice of the name “Johnny,” how middle-America.
Since that cover made headlines, Time Magazine, at least the cellulose version of it, has gone the way of the Dodo Bird and Johnny, as a name, has been replaced with the names Jacob, Mason, Angelina and Latisha. Jacob can’t read as well as Johnny even though Johnny couldn’t read as well as his older brother and most likely his father.
On our sister website, Beautyexpert.org I outlined the differences between Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney some 9 months before the election. I focused on my particular area of expertise and interest. I referenced a researcher by the name of Solomon Asch and his investigation of what he termed “warmth.” I ended my brief essay by saying this: “The bottom line is this: Voters want to be embraced by a warm, loving and attractive father or mother who serves as President. All I can say is: caveat emptor.”
I later published a collage of Republican faces and asked this question: “If you are under 30, Latino or a college age woman, which Face makes you want to vote Republican?” Below you will see that collage as originally published:
Since the publication of that collage Mr. Rove and Mr. Morris have been, for all intents and purposes, removed from Fox’s Network lineup. Before the election Mr. Morris’s pontificating permeated the network’s primetime shows. Mr. Rove, whiteboard in hand, appeared as often as his schedule permitted.
It is clear to me that progressives have commandeered the Democratic Party. The party of “Scoop” Jackson, Jack Kennedy, Harry Truman and so many other mainstream Democrats is no more. In its place is a sophisticated group of revolutionaries who use psychology to manipulate the Kim Kardashian infatuated public. While thoughtful and serious thinkers may scoff at Sandra Fluke, Jay-Z and Beyonce, the Jasons, Jacobs, Latishas and Angelinas of America like what they see.
I have analogized the Republican Party to a football team that makes no attempt to call sophisticated plays or analyze their opponent's defenses. Rather, it simply declares that we are going to run up the middle and we dare you to stop us. To do that you have to have strong and agile runners, not flat-footed, slow and awkward half-backs who can’t distinguish between daylight and the looming shadow of a mean middle-linebacker. If you monitor what happens on social networks, you will soon see that despite the fact that the score is 42 to 7, the coaches and fans in the crowd are still calling for the party to run the same play: “run up the middle.” The old Republican guard can’t seem to comprehend that voters, for the most part, don’t like them, can’t identify with them and view them with disdain. Are we to believe that Republicans could NOT have nominated conservative politicians who would have been better at defeating their opponents than Angle, Murdock and Akin? Who in the Republican party made it possible for the likes of Angle, Murdock and Akin to represent the party in 2012?
In my book The Progressive Virus I took note of what I termed “progressive foils.” These are groups of people who make it all to easy for progressives to win almost any argument, and yes, elections. I include medical insurance companies whose stinginess and greed made it child's play for Speaker Pelosi to ram-rod ObamaCare down the throats of the American public. I reference some televangelists who make agnosticism and secular humanism more palatable than “seed money,” divine transfers and off-key singing before a captive audience. And I make special note of the mean, cold and selfish men and women who seem to permeate the Republican party. These are the people, for example, who encourage illegal immigration to have access to cheap labor but at the same time want to treat their cheap labor like, well, slaves. I can think of a few conservative radio talk show hosts who enjoy multi-million dollar paychecks that can only be paid by their bosses because they have fired hundreds of radio professionals. And yes, I include as progressive foils Angle, Murdock and Akin. The utter stupidity of these candidates, proven by their self-inflicted wounds, should make the Republican party pause for a moment. I don't see that pause, however, only excuses and that Republican characteristic of inflexibility and its "one speed" approach to elections.
As a student of Marxism and the revolutions it spawned that all ended badly, I am concerned about America. Socialists are skilled at effectuating revolution. They have failed miserably, on the other hand, when it actually comes to governing. This is because, in part, people in groups often behave badly, regardless of their original intent or utopian aspirations. In every successful socialist revolution the most powerful driving force has been the animus against that which was eventually overthrown. The Czars of Russia, for example, made it all too easy for the Bolsheviks to garner the support of the malcontent among Russians who were willing to set things in motion and become a comrade in arms.
People who spend their time searching for images of Kim Kardashian or who believe that Jay-Z is hip have gotten a name over the years. It is not my term, mind you, but a term coined by Leninists who were among the first to harness human psychology to effectuate a revolution. They were called “useful idiots." Plenty of useful idiots exist on both side of the equation. The useful idiots in the traditional sense showed up at the polls in droves to vote for progressives. The useful idiots on the Republican side were used as foils by progressives to make their various points. In keeping with our earlier used football analogy, progressive foils fumbled the ball numerous times and threw so many interceptions that in the end it wasn't even a contest.
One month after the presidential election of 2012 we live in a world where Jason and Jacob still can’t read but they do know who they like and don't like. Studies show voters are more likely to recognize a photo of Paris Hilton/Justin Bieber or Kim Kardashian than they are to recognize Speaker John Boehner or Paul Ryan. The end result is a voting public too easily manipulated for nefarious purposes. You may agree with the outcome of the 2012 presidential election, but how that win occurred should give you pause and concern. If you were on the losing side, you need to hire a coach who can teach you to how to break up your running game with an unexpected air game now and then and, by the way, your first round draft pick needs to be a good one next time.
Available Monday, October 21, 2012 at Amazon, Borders, Apple's iTunes Store
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Keith Olbermann Sues Current TV
Keith Olbermann sued Current TV on April 5, 2012. As our readers know, Current TV is owned, in part, by former Vice President Al Gore. Olbermann was fired from his last job on MSNBC. After his firing at MSNBC Al Gore hired Mr. Olbermann for a reported 50 million dollar, five year contract. Given Current TV's abysmall ratings, the Olbermann 10 millionn dollar per year contract appears to be overly generous. Nevertheless, Olbermann was accused by Current TV of being obstreperous, e.g., refusing to appear on election night coverage, failing to show up for work and a host of other non-compliant behaviors.
Supreme Court Hears Arguments Regarding the Affordable Care Act
Napoleon Legal Consulting, Inc. is providing to its readers the transcript of the hearings at the Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act. This transcript includes Q&A on the subject of the individual mandate. The transcript may be downloaded by clicking on the link to the right.
NLC's work in forensics generates data not necessarily directly applicable to the courtroom. After 25 years of studying human behavior in the courtroom, we have decided to share some of our non-courtroom specific insights that have been generated by our research. Our work generates correlates of behavior that may impact behavior in the jury box. Correlates are important to us because we know how they predict decision making behavior. The correlates are interesting in their own right, however, and even without knowing how they relate to the courtroom, we think that you may find some of our data fascinating. Click HERE to go to our new INSIGHTS PAGE. Remember, what you will find there is not forensic-related.
Napoleon Legal Enters the Fray over the Ground Zero Mosque
Dr. Anthony Napoleon provided a consultation brief to the Mayor of New York, Michael R. Bloomberg, on the subject of the proposed mosque at Ground Zero. In the spirit of an amicus curiae brief, Napoleon Legal provided to the Mayor a perspective on the so called "Cordoba Mosque" that addressed the critical issues missing in the analysis thus far. Those issues have to do with the motivation and intent of the financiers of the proposed mosque.
The financier's motivation and intent have been rejected as legitimate subject matter until now because it is accepted as a given that no one knows what is in the hearts and minds of the financiers. Even if intent and motivation could be ascertained, it is argued, the freedom to construct such a structure supersedes any nefarious intent or motivation, should it be found to exist. Napoleon Legal's position is that nothing could be further from the truth.
The terms "criminal intent," "malice aforethought," "consciousness of guilt," "malice," in addition to any number of other codified definitions of human behavior, are used each and every day in courtrooms across America to establish guilt and liability. These terms are used as critical guideposts when it comes to criminal sentencing and the assessment of damages. Forensic psychologists are called upon each and everyday to help courts interpret and define these terms as they apply to defendants in any number of contexts. We have made an analysis of the issues surrounding intent and motivation of the financiers of the proposed Ground Zero mosque and were pleased to present the findings of our analysis to the Mayor in the form of an open letter. Please take the time to read our report below to better understand the motivation and intent of the financiers behind the proposed mosque at Ground Zero.
Advisory to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
The content in our advisory can be found in our new book: The Progressive Virus: The epidemic infecting America. You can get it on Amazon HERE
May, June & July, 2010
Dr. Anthony Interviewed by CBS News
Dr. Anthony Discusses Body Image Distortions
Helping Both Families and their Pets in the Gulf
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News for April
The following OP-ED is a reprint from the New York Times. We have included it here for those who are not content to sit back and patiently wait for the RECONQUISTA of the American Southwest. What is RECONQUISTA? Click Here
By KRIS W. KOBACH Published: April 28, 2010
ON Friday, Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona signed a law — SB 1070 — that prohibits the harboring of illegal aliens and makes it a state crime for an alien to commit certain federal immigration crimes. It also requires police officers who, in the course of a traffic stop or other law-enforcement action, come to a “reasonable suspicion” that a person is an illegal alien verify the person’s immigration status with the federal government.
Predictably, groups that favor relaxed enforcement of immigration laws, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, insist the law is unconstitutional. Less predictably, President Obama declared it “misguided” and said the Justice Department would take a look.
Presumably, the government lawyers who do so will actually read the law, something its critics don’t seem to have done. The arguments we’ve heard against it either misrepresent its text or are otherwise inaccurate. As someone who helped draft the statute, I will rebut the major criticisms individually:
It is unfair to demand that aliens carry their documents with them. It is true that the Arizona law makes it a misdemeanor for an alien to fail to carry certain documents. “Now, suddenly, if you don’t have your papers ... you’re going to be harassed,” the president said. “That’s not the right way to go.” But since 1940, it has been a federal crime for aliens to fail to keep such registration documents with them. The Arizona law simply adds a state penalty to what was already a federal crime. Moreover, as anyone who has traveled abroad knows, other nations have similar documentation requirements.
“Reasonable suspicion” is a meaningless term that will permit police misconduct. Over the past four decades, federal courts have issued hundreds of opinions defining those two words. The Arizona law didn’t invent the concept: Precedents list the factors that can contribute to reasonable suspicion; when several are combined, the “totality of circumstances” that results may create reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed.
For example, the Arizona law is most likely to come into play after a traffic stop. A police officer pulls a minivan over for speeding. A dozen passengers are crammed in. None has identification. The highway is a known alien-smuggling corridor. The driver is acting evasively. Those factors combine to create reasonable suspicion that the occupants are not in the country legally.
The law will allow police to engage in racial profiling. Actually, Section 2 provides that a law enforcement official “may not solely consider race, color or national origin” in making any stops or determining immigration status. In addition, all normal Fourth Amendment protections against profiling will continue to apply. In fact, the Arizona law actually reduces the likelihood of race-based harassment by compelling police officers to contact the federal government as soon as is practicable when they suspect a person is an illegal alien, as opposed to letting them make arrests on their own assessment.
It is unfair to demand that people carry a driver’s license. Arizona’s law does not require anyone, alien or otherwise, to carry a driver’s license. Rather, it gives any alien with a license a free pass if his immigration status is in doubt. Because Arizona allows only lawful residents to obtain licenses, an officer must presume that someone who produces one is legally in the country.
State governments aren’t allowed to get involved in immigration, which is a federal matter. While it is true that Washington holds primary authority in immigration, the Supreme Court since 1976 has recognized that states may enact laws to discourage illegal immigration without being pre-empted by federal law. As long as Congress hasn’t expressly forbidden the state law in question, the statute doesn’t conflict with federal law and Congress has not displaced all state laws from the field, it is permitted. That’s why Arizona’s 2007 law making it illegal to knowingly employ unauthorized aliens was sustained by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
In sum, the Arizona law hardly creates a police state. It takes a measured, reasonable step to give Arizona police officers another tool when they come into contact with illegal aliens during their normal law enforcement duties.
And it’s very necessary: Arizona is the ground zero of illegal immigration. Phoenix is the hub of human smuggling and the kidnapping capital of America, with more than 240 incidents reported in 2008. It’s no surprise that Arizona’s police associations favored the bill, along with 70 percent of Arizonans.
President Obama and the Beltway crowd feel these problems can be taken care of with “comprehensive immigration reform” — meaning amnesty and a few other new laws. But we already have plenty of federal immigration laws on the books, and the typical illegal alien is guilty of breaking many of them. What we need is for the executive branch to enforce the laws that we already have.
Unfortunately, the Obama administration has scaled back work-site enforcement and otherwise shown it does not consider immigration laws to be a high priority. Is it any wonder the Arizona Legislature, at the front line of the immigration issue, sees things differently?
Kris W. Kobach, a law professor at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, was Attorney General John Ashcroft’s chief adviser on immigration law and border security from 2001 to 2003.
News for March
Obama care passes and the seeds are sewn for the snap-back in November.
No sooner had the President signed into law his legacy health care legislation when 13 attorney generals from across the United States filed civil suits challenging the constitutionality of the new law. In particular, states took exception to the new law's requirement mandating the purchase of health insurance. The administration's retort is expected to rely upon the court's interpretation and application of the Constitution's Commerce Clause, Article I, Section 8, to justify the mandated purchase of health insurance.
We note with some interest that the facile retort to the 13 attorney generals cites to state government's ability to mandate the purchase of automobile insurance. But we see a difference in kind between health and automobile insurance, in that driving an automobile is a privilege, not a right. IF, and only IF, one wishes to exercise that privilege, then one must engage in that privilege in a responsible fashion, that is, purchase liability insurance. In the instance of the mandated purchase of health insurance, that requirement would be triggered by the mere act of living. In other words, by just existing, the federal government can, under Obama care, require a United States Citizen to purchase a product from a company or risk a penalty. Imagine the implications of the federal government being able to mandate that its citizens purchase products or commodities because that same government has deemed such a purchase a socially desirable act.
As with all legal considerations we draw the reader's attention to the formulary, not the content. The reader may agree with the social benefits of everyone having medical insurance, but that is not the issue. If the federal government can mandate the purchase of one particular commodity or product, it can mandate the purchase of another. But you may say that our representatives would not, perhaps could not, force us to buy something that the American people rejected as a must buy. Really? There will come a time when YOU do not agree with the choice of commodity or product the federal government has added to its "must buy" list. Sooner or later that is what happens when citizen's accede their freedoms to governments. This government ignored the will of the majority of its citizens in order to ramrod through its social engineering agenda. Payoffs, bribes, smoke-filled backroom deals and worse made Obama care happen over the objections of the vast majority of citizens of the United States. That should bother you, regardless of whether or not THIS TIME you happened to agree with the government's particular choice of the commodity it now requires you to purchase because you happen to be alive.
Dr. Anthony Napoleon, Ph.D., Napoleon Legal Consulting, Inc.
January 28, 2010
Justice Alito and the President: With all due deference...
To understand the context of my comments here one must watch Justice Alito and others react to the President’s critical comments about the Court’s recent decision in: CITIZENS UNITED v. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION. The President's preface: "With all due deference to separation of powers," reminded me of that oft repeated dialogue in THE SOPRANOS. When anyone was about to challenge Tony Soprano, the character would preface his comments with: "With all due respect." The President's preface was an admission that he was aware that he was either going to cross or come right up to that line that separates the Executive from the Judicial Branches of government. The President did not limit himself to encroaching upon the Judiciary's sovereign purview, he threatened that unless the Legislative branch gave him what he wanted, he would issue an Executive order, essentially circumventing the purview of the Legislative branch. The bully pulpit is never more potent than during the State of the Union address. I think Justice Alito, and others, felt the encroachment of the Executive upon the Judicial and reacted with disdain over the implicit arrogance and disrespect that accompanies such an act by a sitting President. "With all due respect Mr. President....you were out of line." To add insult to injury, the President’s characterization of the Court’s opinion was vague and overly broad, if not an outright mischaracterization of the Court’s ruling. The central issue before the Court in the Citizen case was whether or not First Amendment free speech protections applied to corporations. In the instant case the non-profit corporation Citizens United funded a critical video about then Senator Hillary Clinton. Justice Robert’s concurring opinion in the 5-4 decision (Justices Ginsburg and Stevens dissenting) is particularly well written, as is Justice Scalia’s concurring retort to Justice Steven’s dissent.
Memo: If you would like to read the Court’s opinion I have included it below, in PDF format, for your review.
Try to imagine the Supremes sitting just a few short feet from you. Now imagine what it must have been like to look out over their heads and, for all intents and purposes, talk smack to them. Even Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor displayed non-verbal cues that confirmed the old adage: "blood is thicker than water." Now imagine what is was like to sit there and have the "other" sovereign branch stand and cheer the fact that the Judicial branch had just been "called out" by the Executive. What you saw was directly related to the new Senator from Massachusetts. His election forced the President's hand. He could either move to the center (see our news archives in the month before the President took office that predicted that this issue would take center stage) or he would "dance with them what brung him," to quote the late writer Molly Ivins. It is unseemly when decorum is abused in service to rallying the troops.
One of the many great things about America is that we value life...all life. Our firefighters and emt's are often first on the scene of disasters involving people and animals. Our culture is full of real American heroes who will put their life on the line for another creature in trouble. Whether it is cat up a tree, a puppy in a pipe, a horse that has fallen into a ravine, or almost anything you can imagine, we are so very fortunate to have these men and women who are part of a culture of caring. Joe St. Georges is one of those people who we can all be proud of and who represents the nameless heroes on duty right now.
We ought to be proud that our culture produces this behavior in a world where all too often people turn a blind eye to one of their fellow creatures in trouble. What can we say but thanks and God Bless.
The Passing of Professor Howard Zinn: A Peoples History of the United States
On the passing of Professor Howard Zinn
Professor Zinn’s now monumental, if not infamous, “A Peoples History of the United States," was required reading for this young student while matriculating through an Arts and Sciences honors program at Indiana University. Even back then I was very much interested in the origins and causes of human behavior. I am interested in the universals that define what it is we are and do as people. I found Professor Zinn’s uniquely harsh critique of America’s past behavior curious because implicit in his admittedly biased discourse is the fact that he believes that other cultures, other people, are better that we Americans.
I aced the six month course based upon Zinn’s book over the resistance of the professor who was taken aback by my questions peppered in class throughout the six-month term. My questions were directed at Zinn’s precis that other cultures and other people would have behaved better, when in fact, I argued that they may have acted worse if the shoe were on the other foot. Fast forward:
About a year ago the son of a Viet Nam veteran, 25 years my junior, handed Zinn’s book to me as a “gift.” The gift was to enlighten me, I suppose. Never mind that I had studied Zinn’s book in a challenging academic environment while this hot housed young man was being driven to grammar school by his doting mother, nor that I had helped to expose Zinn’s ulterior motive in writing his book. When I gently informed this young man that I was familiar with Zinn’s work and that it concerned me that he had absolutely no idea that he had been brain washed by the likes of Zinn, I received that look that was described by the early psychoanalysts as “la belle indifference.” That term was used to describe the remarkable indifference that patients have in response to their own florid psychopathology.
It is hard for us Americans to believe that at our core we are good. That is probably a good thing in a world where other cultures are convinced of their righteousness without so much as one iota of introspection that maybe their culture shares all of the same flaws that we, as Americans, have been working to improve since our founding. I thought of Zinn recently when a Somali cab driver refused to allow a friend with an elderly miniature poodle get in his cab. "Dogs are dirty where I come from," he arrogantly spouted off. My friend told him that "this is America, and we love our dogs," to which the Somali cab driver referred my friend to Zinn's book which, according to the driver, "exposes the inherent evilness and stupidity of America."
I include below a trenchant article by Daniel J. Flynn on the late Howard Zinn, who passed away yesterday at his home in Santa Monica, California.
By Daniel J. Flynn Mr. Flynn is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia and author of the newly released, Why the Left Hates America: Exposing the Lies That Have Obscured Our Nation’s Greatness.
Who is the most influential historian in America? Could it be Pulitzer Prize winners Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. or Joseph Ellis or David McCullough, whose scholarly works have reached a broad literary public? The answer is none of the above. The accolade belongs instead to the unreconstructed, anti-American Marxist Howard Zinn, whose cartoon anti-history of the United States is still selling 128,000 copies a year twenty years after its original publication. Many of those copies are assigned readings for courses in colleges and high schools taught by leftist disciples of their radical mentor.
“Objectivity is impossible,” Zinn once remarked, “and it is also undesirable. That is, if it were possible it would be undesirable, because if you have any kind of a social aim, if you think history should serve society in some way; should serve the progress of the human race; should serve justice in some way, then it requires that you make your selection on the basis of what you think will advance causes of humanity.”
History serving “a social aim” other than the preservation or interpretation of a historical record is precisely what we get in A People’s History of the United States. Howard Zinn’s 776 page tome, which after selling more than a million copies, has been recently re-released in a hardback edition. What accounts for the massive sales figures? One odd answer for a work by a university professor is that A People’s History of the United States has been the beneficiary of fawning celebrities, who are not normally associated with academia. Zinn has discussed politics with Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder and was on Rage Against the Machine’s reading list (note: beware of rock bands that issue reading lists). In Good Will Hunting, Matt Damon’s “Will Hunting” tells his psychiatrist that A People’s History of the United States will “knock you on your ass.” Damon and co-star Ben Affleck, who grew up near Zinn outside of Harvard Square, are said to be producing a miniseries based on their neighbor’s magnum opus. Zinn repaid the actors’ youthful infatuation by including them in an inconsequential paragraph in the book’s new edition.
The New York Times’s reviewer (no doubt a cousin of Jayson Blair) declared that the book should be “required reading” for students. Professors have heeded this counsel. Courses at the University of Colorado-Boulder, UMass-Amherst, Penn State, and Indiana University are among dozens of classes nationwide that require the book. The book is so popular that it can be found on the class syllabus in such fields as economics, political science, literature, and women’s studies, in addition to its more understandable inclusion in history. Amazon.com reports in the site’s “popular in” section that the book is currently #7 at Emory University, #4 at the University of New Mexico, #9 at Brown University, and #7 at the University of Washington. In fact, 16 of the 40 locations listed in A People’s History’s “popular in” section are academic institutions, with the remainder of the list dominated by college towns like Binghamton (NY), State College (PA), East Lansing (MI), and Athens (GA). Based on this, it is reasonable to wonder if most of the million or so copies sold have been done so via coercion, i.e., college professors and high school teachers requiring the book. The book is deemed to be so crucial to the development of young minds by some academics that a course at Evergreen State decreed: “This is an advanced class and all students should have read Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States before the first day of class, to give us a common background to begin the class.” And what “common background” might that be?
Through Zinn’s looking-glass, Maoist China, site of history’s bloodiest state-sponsored killings, becomes “the closest thing, in the long history of that ancient country, to a people’s government, independent of outside control.” The authoritarian Nicaraguan Sandinistas were “welcomed” by their own people, while the opposition Contras, who backed the candidate that triumphed when free elections were finally held, were a “terrorist group” that “seemed to have no popular support inside Nicaragua.” Castro’s Cuba, readers learn, “had no bloody record of suppression.” The recently released updated edition continues to be plagued with inaccuracies and poor judgment. The added sections on the Clinton years, the 2000 election, and 9/11 bear little resemblance to the reality his current readers have lived through.
In an effort to bolster his arguments against putting criminals in jail, aggressive law enforcement tactics, and President Clinton’s crime bill, Zinn contends that in spite of all this “violent crime continues to increase.” It doesn’t. Like much of Zinn’s rhetoric, if you believe the opposite of what he says in this instance you would be correct. According to a Department of Justice report released in September of 2002, the violent crime rate has been cut in half since 1993.
According to Zinn, it was Mumia Abu-Jamal’s “race and radicalism,” as well as his “persistent criticism of the Philadelphia police” that landed him on death row in the early 1980s. Nothing about Abu-Jamal’s gun being found at the scene; nothing about the testimony of numerous witnesses pointing to him as the triggerman; nothing about additional witnesses reporting a confession by Abu-Jamal—it was Abu-Jamal’s dissenting voice that caused a jury of twelve to unanimously sentence him to death.
Predictably, Zinn draws a moral equivalence between America and the 9/11 terrorists. He writes, “It seemed that the United States was reacting to the horrors perpetrated by the terrorists against innocent people in New York by killing other innocent people in Afghanistan.” Scare quotes adorn Bush’s “war on terrorism,” post-9/11 “patriotism,” and other words and phrases Zinn dislikes. Readers of A People’s History of the United States learn very little about history. They do learn quite a bit, however, about Howard Zinn. In fact, the book is perhaps best thought of as a massive Rorschach Test, with the author’s familiar reaction to every major event in American history proving that his is a captive mind long closed by ideology.
Theory First, Facts Second If you’ve read Marx, there’s really no reason to read Howard Zinn. The first line of The Communist Manifesto provides the single-bullet theory of history that provides Zinn with his narrative thread— “The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggle.” It is the all-purpose explanation of every subject that Zinn covers. On other hand, why study history when theory has all the answers?
Thumb through A People’s History of the United States and you will find greed as the motivating factor behind every act of those who don’t qualify as “the people” in Zinn’s book. According to Zinn, the separation from Great Britain, the Civil War, and both World Wars all were the result of base motives of the “ruling class” -- rich men to get richer at the expense of others. Zinn’s Marxist explanation of the New World begins with Columbus who like every other settler in the New World was driven by the (evil) profit motive. “Behind the English invasion of North America, behind their massacre of Indians, their deception, their brutality, was that special powerful drive born in civilizations based on private profit.” This malicious view of people who often came to the New World to escape persecution in the old, who sometimes championed the rights of indigenous peoples and who mostly attempted to live peacefully alongside them is characteristic of the extreme anti-European, anti-white, any American prejudice of this book. The idea that the Indians who themselves were “invaders” by Zinn’s standards (they came on a land bridge from Asia and exterminated the then native peoples) somehow owned the continent is a much a fantasy as the idea that they were simply passive victims of the settlers. Zinn’s account omits the unprovoked aggressions of the Indians on each other and on the settlers. But then doing so, would spoil his leftist melodrama.
Case Study: The Pequot War This melodrama depends on simplistically dividing mankind into two groups – and only two: oppressors and oppressed. This is how Zinn describes and utterly distorts the early settlement of North America. The Pequot War serves as his example, as it will ours. The war was climaxed when the Pequot stronghold in Fort Mystic was burned in battle and all its inhabitants incinerated in May of 1637. Finding themselves severely outnumbered the attackers had set fire to the Pequot compound. This is a tragic enough story, but Zinn won’t be satisfied until it becomes a story of native American innocence and victimhood versus rapacious and evil white settlers.
Thus the Pequot violence against whites that led to the war is almost entirely absent from the text. The most Zinn can bring himself to admit is that “Massacres took place on both sides.” In fact, the author details only the atrocities committed by one side: the Puritans. While graphic descriptions of Puritan violence are highlighted, Pequot atrocities are brushed aside. Here are some examples not to be found in Zinn::“[T]hey took two men out of a boat, and murdered them with ingenious barbarity, cutting off first the hands of one of them, then his feet,” writes 19th century historian John Gorham Palfrey about the Pequots’ assaults upon settlers. “Soon after, two men sailing down the river were stopped and horribly mutilated and mangled; their bodies were cut in two, lengthwise, and the parts hung up by the river’s bank. A man who had been carried off from Wethersfield was roasted alive. All doubt as to the necessity of vigorous action was over, when a band of a hundred Pequots attacked that place, killed seven men, a woman, and a child, and carried off two girls.” It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why the settlers might have decided to resort to violent means to deal with the Pequots. But it does take someone more honest than Zinn.
The author mentions only briefly the atrocity the precipitated the war, which was the killing of a settler named John Oldham. Zinn morally justifies the murder by labeling the victim a “trader, Indian-kidnapper, and troublemaker.” This loaded account helps Zinn persuade his readers that it was the white man’s greed that led to the Pequot War. The settlers, writes Zinn, “wanted [the Pequots] out of the way; they wanted their land.”
Also absent from Zinn’s devious narrative are the atrocities that the Pequots committed against other Indians of the Connecticut Valley. The Pequots not only waged war on whites, but on their fellow native Americans as well. They were a belligerent people feared by weaker tribes. Consequently, while Zinn portrays the Pequot War as a Puritan-versus-Indian conflict, the fact is that both Puritans and Indians fought against the Pequots, nothing could be further from the truth. Indian tribes—for example, the Narragansett—repeatedly urged the English newcomers to attack their enemies, namely the Pequots. Zinn writes that “Indian tribes were used against one another” by the Puritans when, in fact, the reverse was true. Indian tribes used the Puritans and their superior firepower to eradicate their fellow Indians who posed a threat to them.
In fact Indians were the majority in the attacking force at Fort Mystic, and by a vast margin. Whites comprised less than 15 percent of the 500-plus men who attacked the Pequot stronghold and burned it to the ground. After the horrific conflagration ended, it was the Mohegans who executed the Pequots’ captured chief. Zinn’s account of the Pequot war is a microcosm of his book as a whole which is little more than an 800-page libel against his country.
The Founding “Around 1776,” A People’s History informs readers, “certain important people in the English colonies made a discovery that would prove enormously useful for the next two hundred years. They found that by creating a nation, a symbol, a legal unity called the United States, they could take over land, profits, and political power from the favorites of the British Empire. In the process, they could hold back a number of potential rebellions and create a consensus of popular support for the rule of a new, privileged leadership.” Forget about all men are created equal, forget about liberty and the pursuit of happiness, America’s founding can be reduced to the pursuit of exploitation and profit. Well maybe for academics with lifetime subsidies and rock stars with drug-fried brains.
Zinn continues (without irony): “When we look at the American Revolution this way, it was a work of genius, and the Founding Fathers deserve the awed tribute they have received over the centuries. They created the most effective system of national control devised in modern times, and showed future generations of leaders the advantages of combining paternalism with command.” Rather than an event that inspired movements for freedom and self-government throughout the world through the present, the American Founding is portrayed as a virtually totalitarian system of oppression. If the Founders wanted a society they could direct, why didn’t they establish a dictatorship or a monarchy and model their rule on what was the universal form of government at the time? Why go through the trouble of devising a Constitution departing from a repressive status quote and guaranteeing individual rights, mass political participation, jury trials, and checks on governmental power? Apparently inhabiting an alternate reality, Zinn doesn’t feel the need to account for this and merely explains it away as a charade designed to prevent class revolution. This is conspiracy theory with a vengeance.
As his fictional narrative gathers steam, Zinn paints antebellum America as a uniquely cruel slaveholding society subjugating human beings for profit. The fact that America was half free and the site of an anti-slavery crusade that put an end to a 3,000 year old institution goes unnoticed or so severely discounted as to be of no account. The civil war that ended slavery becomes in Zinn’s malicious deconstruction a campaign to change the form of oppression and make it more profitable. “It is money and profit, not the movement against slavery, that was uppermost in the priorities of the men who ran the country.” Rather than welcoming emancipation, Zinn is depressed by it. “Class consciousness was overwhelmed during the Civil War,” the Marxist laments. The efficiency of the Zinn formula is impressive to behold. Both slavery and emancipation, are explained by the same factor: greed. Whether the U.S. tolerates or eradicates slavery, its evil motives remains the same. To Zinn the important thing about the emancipation of the slaves and the Civil War that brought that about is that they served as distractions from the impending socialist revolution. This is history as religious fantasy.
Here we come to the real secret of the commercial success of A People’s History. It is a case of simple ideas for simple minds – a broken record for the tone deaf. When we come to World War I, it sounds very much like the Civil War. “American capitalism needed international rivalry—and periodic war—to create an artificial community of interest between rich and poor,… supplanting the genuine community of interest among the poor that showed itself in sporadic movements.” Yet another conspiracy to distract the proletariat from its destined revolution.
The account of World War II made slightly more interesting by author’s preposterous account of its origins. According to Zinn, suggests that America, not Japan, was to blame for Pearl Harbor, provoking the Empire of the Sun and forcing it to attack us. It’s the devil made them do it theory of history, which is great fallback position of the left when confronted with the imperialistic aggressions of “people of color.” Like the war to end slavery, the fight against fascism was an optical illusion. It was really a struggle by American capitalists to rule the world. Regarding America’s neutrality in the Spanish Civil War, which preceded World War II, Zinn asks: “Was it the logical policy of a government whose main interest was not stopping Fascism but advancing the imperial interests of the United States? For those interests, in the thirties, an anti-Soviet policy seemed best. Later, when Japan and Germany threatened U.S. world interests, a pro-Soviet, anti-Nazi policy became preferable.”
Thus is reality inverted or more accurately twisted. Zinn – a pro-Communist supported Stalin’s monster regime at the time, elides the fact that it was the Soviet Union that pretended to be anti-fascist in Spain, then signed a pact with Hitler and then – when Hitler double-crossed his Communist ally and invaded the Soviet Union became anti-fascist again. The United States was isolationist in 1936 and until Pearl Harbor. But it was always anti-fascist. Zinn projects the Soviet Union’s schizophrenic policies (and his own schizophrenic allegiances) onto America. While the Hitler-Stalin Pact is awkwardly excused, Zinn all but invents a Hitler-Roosevelt Pact to serve his social aims.
But this deceptive ingenuity is fleeting and the text returns to its state of terminal boredom as Zinn tells his readers that the Second World War was really about money. “Quietly, behind the headlines in battles and bombings, American diplomats and businessmen worked hard to make sure that when the war ended, American economic power would be second to none in the world. United States business would penetrate areas that up to this time had been dominated by England. The Open Door Policy of equal access would be extended from Asia to Europe, meaning that the United States intended to push England aside and move in.” Zinn does not explain if it was America’s agenda to create a global empire why Americans helped to rebuild Japan and Germany and thereby create its chief economic rivals in the postwar world.
It is not that economics does not influence events. It is just that Marx’s simplistic reduction of all historical motives to profit motives has been discredited – not least by the 100 million people whom Marxists killed in the 20th Century to make their theories work. There is no reason to resurrect them now, despite what Eddie Vedder and Matt Damon think.
Uncooperative Facts & Convenient Omissions When fact and theory clash, the ideologue chooses theory. Time and again, A People’s History of the United States distorts or simply ignores the truth to make the facts, or the alleged facts, or the invented facts, fit the theory that justifies his “social aims.” Zinn claims that “George Washington was the richest man in America.” He wasn’t, but it makes for a good Marxist tale. George Washington certainly rose to accumulate great wealth in his lifetime—even if he was chronically cash-poor. (For example, he had to borrow money to travel to New York upon his election to the presidency.) It is generally conceded that Robert Morris was the Founding era’s wealthiest merchant, while Moses Brown, whose family’s name graces an Ivy League university, was another Washington contemporary whose wealth exceeded his.
“When the Scottsboro case unfolded in the 1930s in Alabama,” Zinn writes in an even more egregious fit of historical amnesia, “it was the Communist party that had become associated with the defense of these young black men imprisoned, in the early years of the Depression, by southern injustice.” Perhaps the Party had become “associated” with the defense of the Scottsboro Boys, but in reality the Communists merely used the embattled youngsters. Richard Gid Powers points out in Not Without Honor that the Communists had raised $250,000 for the Scottsboro Boys’ defense, but had put-up a scant $12,000 for two appeals. At the time, a black columnist quoted a candid Party official who stated, “we don’t give a damn about the Scottsboro boys. If they burn it doesn’t make any difference. We are only interested in one thing, how we can use the Scottsboro case to bring the Communist movement to the people and win them over to Communism.” As a fellow-traveler, Zinn has the identical view. He is only interested in history so long as it serves as a weapon of socialist ideology.
“Unemployment grew in the Reagan years,” Zinn claims. Statistics show otherwise. Reagan inherited an unemployment rate of 7.5 percent in his first month in office. By January of 1989, the rate had declined to 5.4 percent. Had the Reagan presidency ended in 1982 when unemployment rates exceeded 10 percent, Zinn would have a point. But for the remainder of Reagan’s presidency, unemployment declined precipitously.
Not surprisingly, Zinn’s book contains not a single source citation (perhaps footnotes would discourage his Pearl Jam fans). More striking than Zinn’s inaccuracies—intentional and otherwise—is what he leaves out. Washington’s Farewell Address, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and Reagan’s speech at the Brandenburg Gate all fail to merit a mention. Nowhere do we learn that Americans were first in flight, first to fly across the Atlantic, and first to walk on the moon. Alexander Graham Bell, Jonas Salk, and the Wright Brothers are entirely absent. Instead, the reader is treated to the exploits of Speckled Snake, Joan Baez, and the Berrigan brothers. While Zinn sees fit to mention that immigrants often went into professions like ditch-digging and prostitution, American success stories like those of Alexander Hamilton, John Jacob Astor, and Louis B. Mayer—to name but a few—are off the Zinn radar screen. Valley Forge rates a single fleeting reference, while D-Day’s Normandy invasion, Gettysburg, and other important military battles are skipped over. In their place, we get several pages on the My Lai massacre and colorful descriptions of U.S. bombs falling on hotels, air-raid shelters, and markets during the Gulf War of the early 1990s.
Conclusion Zinn utters perhaps the most honest words of A People’s History of the United States in the conclusion of the book’s 1995 edition, conceding that his work is “a biased account.” “I am not troubled by that,” he adds, “because the mountain of history books under which we all stand leans so heavily in the other direction—so tremblingly respectful of states and statesmen and so disrespectful, by inattention, to people’s movements—that we need some counterforce to avoid being crushed into submission.” Perhaps the reason they lean so heavily in the other direction is that they are based on facts, not leftwing prejudice.
“I wanted my writing of history and my teaching of history to be a part of social struggle,” Zinn remarks in an interview conducted long after the release of A People’s History of the United States. “I wanted to be a part of history and not just a recorder and teacher of history. So that kind of attitude towards history, history itself as a political act, has always informed my writing and my teaching.” Indeed it has. Only let’s not call it history. Howard Zinn is a master of cheap Marxist propaganda. His book is a dagger aimed at the heart the country that has given him more freedom than most of the writers who have ever written and made him a millionaire in the process.
The anniversary volume of A People’s History of the United States comes with an encomium from one of the academic profession’s most honored figures, Eric Foner the DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia College. A former president of the American Historical Assocation, Foner reviewed Zinn’s book for the New York Times. A quote from Foner’s review is featured on the cover of the anniversary edition: “Historians may well view it,” writes Foner, “as a step toward a coherent new vision of American history.” This makes a kind of sense because Foner himself is an unreconstructed leftist, whose judgments are evidently colored by his “social aims” as well.
This slanderous tome and its popular and academic success are monuments to human credulity and delusion, and to the disgraceful condition of American letters.