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The Cloward-Piven Strategy

2010 July 13
by Bill


* Strategy for forcing political change through orchestrated crisis

First proposed in 1966 and named after Columbia University sociologists Richard Andrew Cloward and his wife Frances Fox Piven (today Piven is an honorary chair for the Democratic Socialists of America), the “Cloward-Piven Strategy” seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.

Inspired by the August 1965 riots in the black district of Watts in Los Angeles (which erupted after police had used batons to subdue a black man suspected of drunk driving), Cloward and Piven published an article titled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty” in the May 2, 1966 issue of The Nation. Following its publication, The Nation sold an unprecedented 30,000 reprints. Activists were abuzz over the so-called “crisis strategy” or “Cloward-Piven Strategy,” as it came to be called. Many were eager to put it into effect.

In their 1966 article, Cloward and Piven charged that the ruling classes used welfare to weaken the poor; that by providing a social safety net, the rich doused the fires of rebellion. Poor people can advance only when “the rest of society is afraid of them,” Cloward told The New York Times on September 27, 1970. Rather than placating the poor with government hand-outs, wrote Cloward and Piven, activists should work to sabotage and destroy the welfare system; the collapse of the welfare state would ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation; poor people would rise in revolt; only then would “the rest of society” accept their demands.

The key to sparking this rebellion would be to expose the inadequacy of the welfare state. Cloward-Piven’s early promoters cited radical organizer Saul Alinsky as their inspiration. “Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules,” Alinsky wrote in his 1972 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judaeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system’s failure to “live up” to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist “rule book” with a socialist one.

The authors noted that the number of Americans subsisting on welfare — about 8 million, at the time — probably represented less than half the number who were technically eligible for full benefits. They proposed a “massive drive to recruit the poor onto the welfare rolls.” Cloward and Piven calculated that persuading even a fraction of potential welfare recipients to demand their entitlements would bankrupt the system. The result, they predicted, would be “a profound financial and political crisis” that would unleash “powerful forces … for major economic reform at the national level.”

Their article called for “cadres of aggressive organizers” to use “demonstrations to create a climate of militancy.” Intimidated by threats of black violence, politicians would appeal to the federal government for help. Carefully orchestrated media campaigns, carried out by friendly, leftwing journalists, would float the idea of “a federal program of income redistribution,” in the form of a guaranteed living income for all — working and non-working people alike. Local officials would clutch at this idea like drowning men to a lifeline. They would apply pressure on Washington to implement it. With every major city erupting into chaos, Washington would have to act.

This was an example of what are commonly called Trojan Horse movements — mass movements whose outward purpose seems to be providing material help to the downtrodden, but whose real objective is to draft poor people into service as revolutionary foot soldiers; to mobilize poor people en masse to overwhelm government agencies with a flood of demands beyond the capacity of those agencies to meet. The flood of demands was calculated to break the budget, jam the bureaucratic gears into gridlock, and bring the system crashing down. Fear, turmoil, violence and economic collapse would accompany such a breakdown — providing perfect conditions for fostering radical change. That was the theory.

Cloward and Piven recruited a militant black organizer named George Wiley to lead their new movement. In the summer of 1967, Wiley founded the National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO). His tactics closely followed the recommendations set out in Cloward and Piven’s article. His followers invaded welfare offices across the United States — often violently — bullying social workers and loudly demanding every penny to which the law “entitled” them. By 1969, NWRO claimed a dues-paying membership of 22,500 families, with 523 chapters across the nation.

Regarding Wiley’s tactics, The New York Times commented on September 27, 1970, “There have been sit-ins in legislative chambers, including a United States Senate committee hearing, mass demonstrations of several thousand welfare recipients, school boycotts, picket lines, mounted police, tear gas, arrests – and, on occasion, rock-throwing, smashed glass doors, overturned desks, scattered papers and ripped-out phones.”These methods proved effective. “The flooding succeeded beyond Wiley’s wildest dreams,” writes Sol Stern in the City Journal. “From 1965 to 1974, the number of households on welfare soared from 4.3 million to 10.8 million, despite mostly flush economic times. By the early 1970s, one person was on the welfare rolls in New York City for every two working in the city’s private economy.”As a direct result of its massive welfare spending, New York City was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1975. The entire state of New York nearly went down with it. TheCloward-Piven strategy had proved its effectiveness.

The Cloward-Piven strategy depended on surprise. Once society recovered from the initial shock, the backlash began. New York’s welfare crisis horrified America, giving rise to a reform movement which culminated in “the end of welfare as we know it” — the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which imposed time limits on federal welfare, along with strict eligibility and work requirements.

Most Americans to this day have never heard of Cloward and Piven. But New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani attempted to expose them in the late 1990s. As his drive for welfare reform gained momentum, Giuliani accused the militant scholars by name, citing their 1966 manifesto as evidence that they had engaged in deliberate economic sabotage. “This wasn’t an accident,” Giuliani charged in a July 20, 1998 speech. “It wasn’t an atmospheric thing, it wasn’t supernatural. This is the result of policies and programs designed to have the maximum number of people get on welfare.”

Cloward and Piven never again revealed their intentions as candidly as they had in their 1966 article. Even so, their activism in subsequent years continued to rely on the tactic of overloading the system. When the public caught on to their welfare scheme, Cloward and Piven simply moved on, applying pressure to other sectors of the bureaucracy, wherever they detected weakness.

In 1982, partisans of the Cloward-Piven strategy founded a new “voting rights movement,” which purported to take up the unfinished work of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Like ACORN, the organization that spear-headed this campaign, the new “voting rights” movement was led by veterans of George Wiley’s welfare rights crusade. Its flagship organizations were Project Vote and Human SERVE, both founded in 1982. Project Vote is an ACORN front group, launched by former NWRO organizer and ACORN co-founder Zach Polett. Human SERVE was founded by Richard A. Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, along with a former NWRO organizer named Hulbert James.

All three of these organizations — ACORN, Project Vote and Human SERVE — set to work lobbying energetically for the so-called Motor-Voter law, which President Bill Clinton ultimately signed in 1993. The Motor-Voter bill is largely responsible for swamping the voter rolls with “dead wood” — invalid registrations signed in the name of deceased, ineligible or non-existent people — thus opening the door to the unprecedented levels of voter fraud and “voter disenfranchisement” claims that followed in subsequent elections. At the White House signing ceremony for the Motor-Voter bill, both Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven were in attendance.

The new “voting rights” coalition combines mass voter registration drives — typically featuring high levels of fraud — with systematic intimidation of election officials in the form of frivolous lawsuits, unfounded charges of “racism” and “disenfranchisement,” and “direct action” (street protests, violent or otherwise). Just as they swamped America’s welfare offices in the 1960s, Cloward-Piven devotees now seek to overwhelm the nation’s understaffed and poorly policed electoral system. Their tactics set the stage for the Florida recount crisis of 2000, and have introduced a level of fear, tension and foreboding to U.S. elections previously encountered mainly in Third World countries.

In January 2010, journalist John Fund reported that Congressman Barney Frank and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer were preparing to unveil legislation calling for “universal voter registration,” whereby any person whose name was on any federal roll at all — be it a list of welfare recipients, food stamp recipients, unemployment compensation recipients, licensed drivers, convicted felons, property owners, etc. — would automatically be registered to vote in political elections. Without corresponding identity-verification measures at polling places, such a law would vastly expand the pool of eligible voters, thereby multiplying the opportunities for fraudulent voters to cast ballots under other people’s names.

Both the Living Wage and Voting Rights movements depend heavily on financial support from George Soros’s Open Society Institute and his “Shadow Party,” through whose support the Cloward-Piven strategy continues to provide a blueprint for some of the Left’s most ambitious campaigns to overload, and cause the collapse of, various American institutions. Leftists such as Barack Obama euphemistically refer to this collapse as a “fundamental transformation,” on the theory that society can only be improved by destroying the deeply flawed existing order and replacing it with what they view as a better alternative.

An Old Trick

2010 July 2
by Bill

In 1974-1976 I was a member of a Federal Task Force on False Identification for the U.S. Department of Justice. We were formed to see how we could stop the proliferation of false I.D.s that were a growing problem for law enforcement. At that time everyone was still looking for Patty Hearst.

If you will recall, Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), a left-wing urban guerrilla group who made all sorts of impossible demands and robbed banks. That is where Patty got in trouble, but not why our Task Force was formed. Patty did, however, have eight sets of false identification on her when she was arrested in September 1975. That event gave the government reason to form the group.

Ms. Hearst got her identification by doing something quite simple. The directions were published in (gasp) the Rolling Stone Magazine, imagine that. The problem is, we were never able to stop the system and it is still being used today. What is it, you may ask, read on.

A child born in the county where I currently live, and who dies within 18 months of his/her birth will more than likely be buried in that same county. We are a very mobile society so adult death more often than not occurs in another county or state, but not infants. Death records and birth records are never matched up, and therein lies the hole. I was born in Covington, KY. I doubt that I will die there. When I go, the county in which I pass will not notify Covington of my death, and neither will yours.

Here is how it works. To re-create ones self as another person, simply go to a local cemetery and look for a headstone of a soul who was born and died close to your own birth date, and whose sex is the same as you own, of course. Then, go to the local county office of birth records and tell them that you have recently returned to the place of your birth from living in (pick a place a long way off), and that you have lost all of your records. They will welcome you home and charge you a nominal fee for a copy of the birth certificate. Armed with that you can now apply for a Social Security number, driver’s license and bank account. From there you can freely move about the countryside, get a passport and so forth.

When we tried to establish a tighter system in 1975 we were stopped at every suggestion by members of the ACLU who were members of this public task force and did not like big brother interfering with the “freedom” that they enjoyed. I’m still not certain what “freedoms” they were alluding to but the latest news may give you a clue.

A dozen Russian spies were arrested this week and most of them had identification, which was secured as I have outlined above. You have to wonder how many more are out there. I wonder when we will ever learn.

545 People

2010 July 2
by Bill

545 PEOPLE–By Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems
and then campaign against them..

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans
are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation
and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The president does.

You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on
appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank
does…and shouldn’t.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine
Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the over 300 million
are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the
domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that
problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its
Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered,
but private, central bank…big mistake.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound
reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a
senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I
don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The
politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist
promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you
that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con
regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an
excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a
Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating
deficits….. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force
the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole
responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and
approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? John
Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House
members, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the
president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of over 300 million can not
replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of
incompetence and irresponsibility. I can’t think of a single domestic
problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully
grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal
government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red ..

If the Army & Marines are in IRAQ , it’s because they want them in

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite
retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom
they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and
advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to
regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let
them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces
like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing
what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power..

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who
are their bosses.

Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Could not say it better myself

2010 June 18
by Bill

This quote came from the Czech Republic. Someone over there has it figured out.

“The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.”

May God have mercy on us all.

Immigration Laws

2010 May 31
by Bill

I have noticed that the people most concerned, and making the most noise, about the pending Arizona Immigration Law (AZ sb 1070) are the people who don’t live in Arizona or who are there under false pretense. Reading this 17 page document is easy, just Google it! After all, it isn’t 2,000+ pages of economy changing confusion, it is simply teeth in an already existing, but largely ignored, federal law. This ain’t brain surgery.

Our friends, Neil and Connie Green, came here from Canada. They came across the border with visas in their hands. They applied for citizenship, worked diligently for over seven years and were granted their U.S. citizenship earlier this year. They did it right and they are adding to the fabric of this country in great ways. It was a matter of integrity and character that they did it the way it was designed, and I for one am grateful to them.

That seems to be what is missing, integrity and character. Even the President of Mexico appears to be a bit short on it. Perhaps that is the way of politics in the 21st century. I mean, look around. Show me a national leader who has some…anyone?

Turner & Hooch…sort of

2010 May 31
by Bill

Turner and Hooch

On Friday, July 23rd, 2004, my son Bill and I were in New York with our design engineer, Steve Ferweda, to deliver our new field surgical light to an Army training center in Brooklyn. Our Ford Expedition was loaded with the light, two sets of golf clubs (we had been invited to play a round at the number 10 golf club in the nation in Garden City, NY), Billy’s laptop and a one-of-a-kind guitar that Billy needed some service on. All in all, a lot of stuff. We were at a nice hotel in a quiet part of Long Island and it was late so we left everything in the car and went to bed. After all, I had stayed at this location many times over the past twenty years and never had a problem.

At 0650 we walked out of the Marriott and went to our car. As I rounded the rear I noticed a lot of glass next to the door and made a mental note not to drive over it. I look up and noticed that IT WAS MY GLASS! The rear passenger window on the driver’s side had been bashed out and all of our stuff, with the exception of the 135-pound light, was GONE! About $12,000 of stuff, GONE!

The police were called and arrived within the hour, took the obligatory report, and that was that…or so I thought.

I sent Billy and Steve to Brooklyn, with the light, in a Taxi. After I completed the police report I drove to a glass place, made arrangements to have a window installed, and went to Brooklyn to pick them up. Before joining me in business Billy was in the music business in NY and specialized in guitars. As we drove to LaGuardia airport to drop Steve off Billy began to call some old contacts in NY that buy and sell used guitars to tell them of the theft and to ask them to watch for his very special (and very expensive) guitar.

We dropped Steve off and I was reminded that nothing happens in life without God’s knowledge. We pulled over and prayed for the thief and for a return of our peace. Then we went and had the glass replaced and grabbed some lunch.

As we were finishing lunch the phone rang. It was one of the guys that Billy had called. The thief was in his shop with the guitar and three members of the Freeport (NY) Police Department! (Ain’t God quick?)

Off we went to Freeport (about 20 minutes away). Standing outside of the shop was a cop and the “perpetrator of the crime,” one Stanley Ewing by name. Next to Stanley was a Subaru, which Stanley used to arrive at the shop. I was able to park my Expedition right in front of Stanley. I could not see any change in his expression but I sense that he was more than shocked to see that big green Expedition again so soon. Once he was off to the police station, and his car was declared impounded, the police opened his trunk and lo and behold, there was the rest of our stuff!

The rest of our day was spent in the police station writing statements and waiting for detectives to wrap up the case. The police agencies involved, both the Nassau County Police and the Freeport Police, worked very diligently for us to make certain that Stanley didn’t get off on a technicality and that he would be off the street for a while. We appreciate all of their good work. They were very impressed that Billy knew whom to call. That really busted the case.

Now, we are still missing a few little items that Stanley had trouble fencing in the three business hours that he had that day, and we missed our tee time, but they are nothing compared to the blessings of actually being able to watch the guy who robbed us while we slept get cuffed and hauled away in the back of a police car.

Another excellent adventure.

The end of the story was that Stanley is still on the streets. He paid us about $2k for that which was not recovered and may have been ordered to do some community service, but beware LI residents, Stanley did not do time on this theft so he is still out there somewhere.


2010 May 17
by Bill

Our home church, Seacoast Community Church of Mt. Pleasant, SC, is a great place to worship God and receive blessings. Just like your church, I am sure, but this one is ours and we love it there. Our family is very involved. Karen and I serve as Elders, are on the Prayer Teams and daughter Sarah leads Praise & Worship at the Summerville (SC) campus as well as serving as Creative Director, producing videos and support material for the weekly message. The church is filled with about 12,000 good, solid selfless Christians on eleven campuses who are seeking to be fully equipped followers of Christ. Seacoast has a constant flow of mission teams going out to every point in the globe that you can think of where there is need. Great people, great church.

So I wonder why the Westboro “Baptist Church” of Kansas came to our Mt. Pleasant, SC campus last Sunday to protest us! You should remember them, they are the folks who protest military funerals and call church members whores, and worse. The word in the news media was that they were protesting us because we have women in some leadership positions. The jury is still out on that issue but the protesters never mentioned that. What they did was scream rather  anti Christian slogans at our members as they came and left (they decided to protest between our busiest services) and hold up signs that made little sense while at the same time were just plain nasty. That particular day they had teams doing this in nine different places in three SC cities! One would think that with that level of expense they could have sent these folks to Haiti and done some rebuilding or something worth calling themselves a “church.” The Baptists must be really upset about the use of their denominational name.

It isn’t my call, but if it were I would send them all on a nice long vacation to Central Africa and have them work in an AIDS orphanage for ten days. Uganda comes to mind. Perhaps that might change their perspective. Unfortunately, it isn’t my call and they are not equipped for the job anyhow. Why? Because they are led by lawyers, not ministers. They fund themselves by filing law suits against anyone who opposes them or makes derogatory comments about them. Insurance companies would rather pay than fight them in court, so it is easy pickins for these guys. Interesting family business.

May God have mercy on them.

Quote for the Day

2010 May 17
by Bill
“You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink, you can give a man a brain but you can’t make him think”  Coffey Anderson

Cold Calls

2010 May 7
by Bill

Have you had the delightful experience of being called by one of those “boiler rooms” in New York City? They call and ask for you, or someone in your office, by first name. When you ask who is calling they give their first name as if it were an old friend. When pressed they say they had recently talked to (whomever) and just want to get some information, or follow up, on a great investment. When pressed again they just get even more pushy and talk even faster. Who does that?

Perhaps its their arrogant attitude, perhaps their hard NY accent, but I find them rude and intrusive. Perhaps that’s just me. I spent 20 years living amongst them. I learned to eat their foods, speak their language and court their women. I consider it my time spent behind enemy lines. I couldn’t wait to get back below the Mason-Dixon Line and happily did so over thirty years ago.

Even through we are on the “do not call list” one of them called again today. He was over the top. Now I know that jobs are hard to come by, especially in that market and in that industry. After all, who would want to deal with a city that elected Michael Bloomberg and Chuck Shumer, an industry that spawned Bernie Madhoff, or caused the market to drop over 1,000 points on the 6th of May because someone’s sausage-like fingers hit a B instead of an M…I’m just sayin’.

He started out with the “Hey, is Bill there?” When pressed for which one (we have two presently) he gave the last name, mispronounced of course, (again, we have two) and acted as though he was an old acquaintance. If this was the first time I would have just played with him, but This week I had two large hunks of me removed from my left leg and my wife has me on a diet which I find extremely extreme. These issues have ruined my usual good sense of humor and congeniality, so I gave him a verbal spanking suggesting that he remember that he was not calling NY but rather a more gentile SC, and that we introduce ourselves down here before asking, politely, for the call-ee. I also encouraged him to call his mother and get some instruction on phone manners. Then I hung up.

A moment later the phone rang again. It was his boss challenging me for being rude to one of his employees! I laughed and was still laughing when I hung up on him as well. I think they call that chutzpah in his neighborhood. We have another name for it down here.

Undaunted, they called yet again. The other Bill took the call. He is much more clever than I. He simply planted seeds of doubt in the callers mind about his future in that domed industry which he currently calls home…then he hung up.

Ah, the leaf falls not far from the tree.

The Economy isn’t the Issue!

2010 April 28
by Bill

“Are you angry at the corruption in the corporate world? At Wall Street and the big banks? At the government for doing too much of the wrong things and not enough of the right things?

Or, are you angry at yourself for not taking control of your finances sooner? Life is tough. The question is, what are you going to do about it? Moaning and groaning about the economy or blaming others won’t secure your financial future. If you want wealth, you need to create it. You need to take charge of your future by taking control of your income source – TODAY!

You need to own your own business.

These may economic hard times for the majority, but for many entrepreneurs, these are times teeming with economic potential. Not only is now the time to have your own business, but there has never been a better time than right now!”

Robert T. Kiyosaki, The Business of the 21st Century