theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer

Friday, September 18, 2020

'1776 UNITES' Releases Black history Curriculum to Counter New York Times' 1619 Project


Education Secretary Betsy DeVos praised the 1776 Unites curriculum Thursday


Paul Best

1776 Unites, a group that says it wants to "shape the American future by drawing on the best of its past," released its first curriculum program this week in part to counter the New York Times' 1619 Project.

The curriculum, developed by civil rights leader Bob Woodson and American Enterprise Institute scholar Ian Rowe, offers lesson plans, activities, reading guides and other resources to illustrate what 1776 Unites calls a "more complete and inspiring story of the history of African-Americans in the United States."

"1776 Unites maintains a special focus on stories that celebrate black excellence, reject victimhood culture, and showcase African-Americans who have prospered by embracing America’s founding ideals," the group writes of the new curriculum.

The New York Times Magazine launched the 1619 Project last year on the 400th anniversary of the beginning of slavery in America. It aims to "reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative."


The Times' project has since expanded into a full-fledged curriculum, with tens of thousands of students in all 50 states using the materials.


The 1619 Project received substantial praise. The director of the project, Nikole Hanna-Jones, won the Pulitzer Prize for her introductory essay.

"Without the idealistic, strenuous and patriotic efforts of black Americans, our democracy today would most likely look very different — it might not be a democracy at all," Hanna-Jones wrote.

But it also has received criticism. A group of historians led by Princeton professor Sean Wilentz wrote a letter to the New York Times that cites multiple factual errors in the project.


"On the American Revolution, pivotal to any account of our history, the project asserts that the founders declared the colonies’ independence of Britain 'in order to ensure slavery would continue.' This is not true," said the letter, which the Times published in December 2019.

In March of this year, Northwestern University professor Leslie Harris wrote in Politico that she "vigorously argued against" Hanna-Jones' claim that "patriots fought the American Revolution in large part to preserve slavery in North America."

Following the criticism, the Times issued a correction, changing a passage to make it clear that protecting slavery was a primary motivation for "some of the colonists," not all of them.


The curriculum developed by 1776 Unites, which launched in February, aims to create an alternative to the 1619 Project.

“Some of the most well-respected historians in the country have overwhelmingly discredited and rejected key elements of the 1619 Project,” Rowe told National Review. “We’re not in competition with them, but it is important to highlight the contrast that exists.”

Some educators, such as Albert Paulsson, a high school social studies teacher in New Jersey, are excited about the alternative project.

"The 1776 Unites curriculum teaches that resilience in the face of opposition defines Black America in particular, and that there is a rich history of Black Americans who rose above the harshest of circumstances by embracing their own personal agency and living out the true founding values of our country," Paulsson said this week. "These stories continue to unfold all around us today."


President Trump has been a vocal critic of the 1619 Project, arguing Thursday that it "rewrites American history to teach our children that we were founded on the principle of oppression, not freedom."

The president said he is creating a "1776 Commission" to "promote patriotic education."

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Thursday that she does not think the federal government should have a role in setting the curriculum of schools, but that the 1776 Unites curriculum "sounds really wonderful," according to Politico.

“Curriculum is best left to the states and local districts at local education agencies, but we can talk about curriculum that actually honors and respects our history and embraces all of the parts of our history and continues to build on that," DeVos told Rowe on Thursday, Politico reported. "Because we know that if we do not know and understand history, we are bound to repeat it."


Canceling Beethoven is the Latest Woke MADNESS for the Classical-Music World


                                                                  New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Getty Images

 Jonathan S. Tobin

Think some things are so beloved and essential to Western civilization they can’t be canceled? Think again.

If there’s anything we should have learned from months of “mostly peaceful” Black Lives Matter street protests, statue toppling and online mobs seeking to silence anyone who dissents against leftist narratives about “racism,” it’s that no one, living or dead, is safe from the attentions of woke fascists. Even Ludwig van Beethoven.

Beethoven’s work is not only at the core of the standard repertory of classical music; some of his most popular works have also become part of popular culture, their melodies recognizable even to those who’ve never heard an orchestral concert.

For the last 200 years, Beethoven’s compositions have also been symbols of the struggle for freedom against tyranny. The “Ode to Joy” from the conclusion to his Ninth Symphony remains the definitive anthem of universal brotherhood. It is no coincidence that the opening notes of his Fifth Symphony — whose rhythmic pattern duplicates the Morse Code notation for the letter “V” as in “V for Victory” — were used by the BBC for broadcasts to occupied Europe during the Second World War.

But to woke critics, Beethoven’s music has taken on a new, darker meaning. To musicologist Nate Sloan and songwriter Charlie Harding, stars of the “Switched on Pop” podcast produced in association with the New York Philharmonic, the Fifth Symphony is a stand-in for everything they don’t like about classical music and Western culture. As far as they’re concerned, it’s time to cancel Ludwig.

On, the pair blame Beethoven’s music for what they consider to be a stuffy elitist classical culture that bolsters the rule of white males and suppresses the voices of women, blacks and the LGBTQ community.

Beethoven’s music was so profound and different that it did begin the trend of adopting rules of behavior at concerts, like being quiet during performances and holding applause until the conclusion. But the idea that such music is the “soundtrack” for “white privilege” and oppression is imposing a contemporary woke narrative on Beethoven that has nothing to do with his music or the way it’s performed.

This isn’t the first such attack on Beethoven. In the 1980s, a musicologist named Susan McClary caused a stir with a bizarre claim that analogized the Ninth Symphony to the “rage” of an impotent rapist. But while serious thinkers dismissed McClary, that kind of delusional leftist thinking has gone mainstream in 2020.

The BLM protests have inspired other assaults on the music world, such as New York Times music critic Anthony Tommasini’s demand for racial quotas in orchestral hiring that would increase the number of black performers but also limit opportunities for Asians, who are disproportionately overrepresented among modern musicians. Elsewhere, the late opera star Richard Tucker’s son David was pushed out of a family foundation that aided young singers, simply because he criticized BLM rioters and praised President Trump.

There’s something to be said for loosening up some of the informal rules of attending a classical concert. But Sloan and Harding write as if they haven’t been to a concert in 40 years: Modern concertgoers come in all sorts of attire and, if anything, many need to be instructed to turn off their phones and show more respect for fellow audience members and performers alike by shutting up.

They also haven’t noticed that orch­estras and opera companies have spent the last generation falling over themselves trying to promote music written by black, Hispanic and female composers.

Some of this new music is good; a lot isn’t. But if audiences still prefer Beethoven it’s not because they’re embracing a symbol of white supremacy. They want more Beethoven and the other great white European composers, like Brahms and Mahler, who followed in his footsteps because they love it.

Indeed, without these white male immortals, orchestras like the NY Philharmonic, which were already struggling before the COVID shutdowns, would have even more trouble filling seats.

The attempt to cancel Beethoven ought to be a wake-up call for the music world and even those who aren’t classical fans: The war on Western civilization will leave nothing sacred untouched. If Beethoven can be canceled, nothing is safe.


McCray’s $1.25B ThriveNYC Hotline MISSED TARGETS Despite COVID-19 Surge

NYC first lady Chirlane McCray and Mayor Bill de Blasio (left) Dennis A. Clark


Julia Marsh

The mental health hotline that’s a cornerstone of the $1.25 billion mental health plan run by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife saw a 17 percent surge in calls during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic — but still missed its annual target to actually connect people to services.

In fact, the number of “supportive connections” to suicide prevention, counseling and other services at first lady Chirlane McCray’s ThriveNYC declined by over 12,000 from 2019, when the city wasn’t experiencing a public health crisis.

NYC Well, a free and confidential hotline available around the clock, answered 17 percent more calls in May 2020 compared to the previous year. The hotline’s website also saw a 400 percent spike in visits in April 2020 compared to April 2020.

But the hotline made just 262,200 “supportive connections” for callers from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020, down from 274,400 the previous year and short of its 268,600 target.

The data is buried in the annual Mayor’s Management Report that analyzes the performance of city agencies and holds government officials accountable.

ThriveNYC was included for the first time this year.

The report also reveals findings by an outside organization of international experts called the Science Advisory Group that said the Big Apple could see major changes to mental health treatment for New Yorkers “in the next five years” or at least five years after the start of the $1.25 billion plan in 2016.

The major milestones include “more New Yorkers with an identified mental health need receive treatment” and “fewer mental health emergencies, as measured by 911 dispatches and emergency department visits.”

Critics have called for an overhaul of ThriveNYC due to the costly program’s lack of metrics, transparency and inability to help the seriously mentally ill.


Thursday, September 17, 2020

MOB RULE! Attorney General Barr RIPS Democrats as He Warns U.S. Approaching MOB RULE Ahead of 2020 Election


'There undoubtedly are many people in the government who surreptitiously work to thwart the administration'

Caitlin McFall

Attorney General William Barr went after Democrats this week on a range of issues, including rumors that President Trump would attempt to stay in office if he loses the general election in November.

“You know liberals project,” an uncharacteristically salty Barr told the Chicago Tribune's John Kass on Monday. “You know the president is going to stay in office and seize power and all that s---? I’ve never heard of that crap. I mean, I’m the attorney general. I would think I would have heard about it.”

Though the focus of the interview was crime and corruption in U.S. cities, particularly in Chicago, Barr also used the opportunity to address several issues that have dominated the news cycle leading up to the presidential election.

“There undoubtedly are many people in the government who surreptitiously work to thwart the administration,” the attorney general said in the interview.

Barr also said the U.S. was nearing a “ruled by the mob” approach to governance.


“Increasingly, the message of the Democrats appears to be ‘Biden or no peace’,” he said.

Barr said he agreed the upcoming election would be the “most significant election of a lifetime” -- a position taken by both Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

“As an attorney general, I’m not supposed to get into politics,” Barr told Kass. “But…I think we are getting into a position where we’re going to find ourselves irrevocably committed to a socialist path. And I think if Trump loses this election -- that will be the case.”

The conversation diverted to voting rights and the safety of mail-in voting, with the attorney general suggesting that postal workers will be able to be paid off in order to buy the blank ballots that are routinely distributed for presidential elections.

“Just think about the way we vote now,” Barr said. "You have a precinct, your name is on a list, you go in and say who you are, you go behind a curtain, no one is allowed to go in there to influence you, and no one can tell how you voted. All of that is gone with mail-in voting.”

Several states, including Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, automatically submit mail-in ballots to all state residents for the general election. Due to the coronavirus, over 20 other states have taken measures to ensure citizens can vote by mail rather than at a polling station come November -- a measure that the Trump administration has claimed threatens the validity of the voting process.

“There’s no more secret vote with mail-in vote. A secret vote prevents selling and buying votes. So now we’re back in the business of selling and buying votes,” Barr told Kass.  “And the capricious distribution of ballots means harvesting, undue influence, outright coercion, paying off a postman, here’s a few hundred dollars, give me some of your ballots.”


But Democrats in Congress believe the Trump administration is working to prevent mail-in voting to circumvent voting during the general election, in an attempt to sway the 2020 presidential election results.

Congressional Democrats initiated an investigation following comments made by Trump suggesting he purposefully blocked funding to the U.S. Postal Service to prevent their ability to cope with the expected increase of mail-in ballots as a result of the pandemic.

The House passed a bill that would grant the USPS $25 billion in funding to aid them with the increased mail load through the election. The bill is currently awaiting the Senate's vote, though the White House has already said they would veto any such bill.


Barr further accused Democrats of purposefully sowing doubt in the minds of Americans as to the validity of the election’s results – a strategy that congressional Democrats have accused the president of attempting.

“They’re creating an incendiary situation where there will be loss of confidence in the vote,” Barr claimed. “It’ll be a close vote. People will say the president just won Nevada. ‘Oh, wait a minute! We just discovered 100,000 ballots! Every vote will be counted!’ Yeah, but we don’t know where these freaking votes came from.”


Alan Dershowitz Sues CNN for $300 Million Over Impeachment Defense

                                                                         Alan Dershowitz. Getty Images

Rebecca Rosenberg

Lawyer Alan Dershowitz has hit CNN with a $300 million defamation lawsuit, accusing the cable network of distorting his words to portray him as an “intellectual who had lost his mind” during President Trump’s impeachment trial, according to media reports.

During the January trial, the Harvard professor raised eyebrows when he argued, “If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.”

He is accusing CNN of airing misleading footage in a “barrage of defamatory programming” that led to him being “openly mocked by most of the top national talk show hosts and by CNN viewers,” the Daily Mail reported.

He wants the left-leaning network to cough up $250 million in punitive damages and $50 million in compensation, the paper reported of the Florida suit.

Dershowitz’s statements came during the Senate trial in which Trump was accused of abusing his power and obstructing Congress for asking Ukraine officials to investigate political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Democrats accused Trump of illegally withholding $391 million in military aid to pressure Ukraine’s president into launching the probe.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) had asked Trump’s attorneys whether quid pro quos were simply part of conducting foreign policy. Dershowitz, 82, responded that if Trump had self-serving motives, it would still be legal — a position that Democrats seized on.

But Dershowitz alleges in the lawsuit that CNN only aired a short segment of his answer to “fool its viewers” into believing he had argued that presidents could act illegally if they believed their re-election was in the public interest, the Mail reported.

“The very notion of that was preposterous and foolish on its face, and that was the point: to falsely paint Professor Dershowitz as a constitutional scholar and intellectual who had lost his mind,” the lawsuit states, according to the British newspaper.

In fact, Dershowitz had “unequivocally and unambiguously stated” that a president could not act illegally, the filing argues.

CNN didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

Dershowitz is embroiled in another high-profile defamation lawsuit. Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre sued the lawyer after he called her a liar for saying she was forced to have sex with him at the behest of the late financier. Dershowitz has denied her claim and counter-sued.


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

STOP THE MADNESS: Moderate Democrats Pressure Pelosi, House Leadership to Move New Coronavirus Bill


Democrats want action on new stimulus bill before election

 Marisa Schultz

Moderate Democrats, especially those in swing districts, have been pressuring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to pass another coronavirus relief bill, signaling that blaming the Senate Republicans and the White House for the inaction isn't flying back home with their constituents who need help.

One of the boldest efforts of revolt came Tuesday when the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus revealed their $1.5 trillion coronavirus relief plan, with 25 Democrats breaking with their leadership and joining 25 Republicans on a compromise plan.

Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y., was among the backers of the plan and said his frustration with leadership's failure to make a deal pales in comparison to the frustration of his constituents needing help. It's been four months since the House passed its $3 trillion HEROES Act -- which died in the GOP-led Senate -- and now Rose and fellow frontline Democrats have been urging House leadership to put another bill on the floor that could actually become law.


"The pressure is loud and forthright and it is bipartisan in nature," Rose told Fox News of the urging on both GOP and Democratic leadership to move a "real" bill. "Because that pressure is reflective of where the American people are. They are sick and tired of politics."

Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y.

Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y.

"To the leadership, we said this very simple message: It's time for you to stop playing games. Let's stop the charade. Let's stop this stupidity. Let's put the country first."

The Problem Solvers' effort was designed to break the logjam on stalled coronavirus talks between Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and the White House. Instead, it met with unified resistance from Pelosi and her leadership team.

In a rare move, all eight major Democratic committee chairs put out a joint statement Tuesday rejecting the bipartisan plan, saying it "falls short of what is needed to save lives and boost the economy."


A national Democratic source said the move by the Problem Solvers Caucus Democrats "undermined" Pelosi's negotiating position in trying to secure a robust coronavirus deal.

"The Problem Solvers Caucus' play put Democrats in disarray and clearly undermined Schumer and Pelosi in such important negotiations," the source told Fox News.

"That statement is highly unusual," the source continued about the swift condemnation from Democratic chairs. "It shows how worried the Democratic leadership is that Pelosi is being undercut."

Democrats took control of the House in 2018 thanks to flipping some 40 seats from red to blue. Those front-line members fighting for another term in office have been among the most outspoken about wanting a deal.


Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a Problem Solvers Caucus member who opposed the $3 trillion bill in May and flipped a GOP district, criticized Pelosi’s resistance to a smaller coronavirus package.

“What the House put forward months ago isn’t moving forward," Spanberger, D-Va., said in urging for a different approach.

Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger speaking at a press conference sponsored by the Problem Solvers Caucus and the Common Sense Coalition to announce "principles for legislation to lower prescription drug prices" at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. (Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger speaking at a press conference sponsored by the Problem Solvers Caucus and the Common Sense Coalition to announce "principles for legislation to lower prescription drug prices" at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. (Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Other moderate Democrats, like Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., said members are starting to push the leadership to do something.

“You are seeing a level of anxiety rise within the members for there to be a deal," Murphy said. "For there to be progress toward getting the deal done. And, hopefully, with that increased pressure, we will start to see negotiations start anew and start moving our way towards that."

Feeling the concern from members, Pelosi told her caucus on a conference call Tuesday that she plans to keep the House in session until a deal is reached on a coronavirus relief proposal. One Democrat on the call confirmed that those in close races "were really pressuring [Pelosi] to get something done."

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., later clarified that the commitment meant House leadership would stay in Washington and would call members back within 24 hours for a vote if there is an agreement.

Rose said the commitment from Pelosi shouldn't be hailed as breakthrough or "newsworthy."

"This should just be how business is done in our nation's capital as we fight to the American people," said Rose, who is in a competitive race for his district in Staten Island and Brooklyn. "We should not stop until we put another bill on the floor of Congress. And then, quite frankly, we've got to send the message to Mitch McConnell that he's got to do his damn job."


McConnell, R-Ky., brought up a $300 billion GOP bill to the Senate floor last week, but Democrats blocked it from advancing, dismissing the partisan proposal as "emaciated."

But McConnell has capitalized on the divisions among House Democrats. First, he highlighted a letter signed by more 100 House Democrats earlier summer that urged Pelosi to pass extended unemployment benefits. Pelosi, in trying to secure a larger deal, said she wasn't going to do piecemeal legislation.

"Even Speaker Pelosi's own House Democrats are sick of her blocking COVID-19 relief," McConnell tweeted Wednesday.

From the White House point of view, the Problem Solvers Caucus proposal that Pelosi doesn't like moved the needle. Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Wednesday the $1.5 trillion proposal was encouraging and it should provide a "foundation" to come back to the table with Pelosi and Schumer.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., joined by Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., speaks to media on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., joined by Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., speaks to media on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Trump also appeared to give the GOP a greenlight for higher spending. The highest offer on paper Senate Republicans have made so far was a $1 trillion package in July that failed to advance.

"Go for the much higher numbers, Republicans, it all comes back to the USA anyway," Trump tweeted.

The last offer Democratic leadership made before talks broke down was over $2 trillion -- down $1 trillion from the more than $3 trillion HEROES Act passed in May that was chock-full with the Democratic priorities and amounted to the biggest spending bill in congressional history.


Schumer and Pelosi said they were "encouraged" by Trump's statement for more spending and want the GOP to meet them halfway.

“We are encouraged that after months of the Senate Republicans insisting on shortchanging the massive needs of the American people, President Trump is now calling on Republicans to ‘go for the much higher numbers’ in the next coronavirus relief package," Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement Wednesday.  “We look forward to hearing from the President’s negotiators that they will finally meet us halfway with a bill that is equal to the massive health and economic crises gripping our nation."

Fox News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report.