Study Guide: Egypt and Organization

HIZB UT-TAHRIR ON EVENTS IN EGPYT

http://www.khilafah.com/index.php/analysis/middle-east/11249-hizb-ut-tahrir-to-the-supreme-council-of-the-egyptian-armed-forces-the-second-camp-david-protector-has-fallen

Research on the Youth Movement in Egypt

http://www.newsrealblog.com/2011/02/02/the-social-networking-behind-egypt%E2%80%99s-unrest/

The Social Networking Behind Egypt’s Unrest

Editor’s note: NRB would like to acknowledge the fine work done by RedState and regret that the much deserved credit to LaborUnionReport was inadvertently omitted.

Everyone is speculating on this past week’s activist eruption in Egypt and how it got started. Called completely “grassroots,” I am discovering that these activists have had quite a bit of help in preparing for this type of action from Google executives, our own State Department and many others.

Although the Left has always complained of our meddling in the affairs of other countries, it appears to be acceptable when they are the ones doing it.

The Alliance of Youth Movements (AYM) has offered much support to the effort of the activists in Egypt, which did not begin this week but has been building for years. Offering annual summits with workshops, activist manuals and assistance with matters such as circumventing internet proxies, they have done their best to streamline the process for activists globally to rise up against “social injustice.”

Currently, the AYM is offering many helpful ways for you to support the efforts in Egypt, such as going to a solidarity protest or offering your modem service so they can be online anonymously. Google has compiled a handy Egypt crisis response page keeping people posted on the current locations of protests and instructing them on how to post tweets without internet access.

Highlighted by the AYM on their site, the “April 6 Movement” appears to be behind the initial action, as suggested by The Nation. Their co-founder, Ahmed Salah, is a “fellow” with AYM:

First, by all accounts, is the April 6 Youth Movement. Leftists, socialists and pro-labor people know that the movement takes its name from April 6, 2008, when a series of strikes and labor actions by textile workers in Mahalla led to a growing general strike by workers and residents and then, on April 6, faced a brutal crackdown by security forces.

The leader of the April 6 movement is Ahmad Maher, a 28-year-old construction engineer who was profiled last week in the Los Angeles Times. Well-wired and Internet-connected, Maher told the paper: “After the revolution in Tunisia, we are able to market the idea of change in Egypt. People now want to seize something.”

A recent release from Wikileaks introduces us to the April 6 Youth Movement’s connection to the larger Alliance of Youth Movements:

1. (C) Summary andcomment: On December 23, April 6 activist xxxxxxxxxxxx expressed satisfaction with his participation in the December 3-5 \”Alliance of Youth Movements Summit,\” and with his subsequent meetings with USG officials, on Capitol Hill, and with think tanks. He described how State Security (SSIS) detained him at the Cairo airport upon his return and confiscated his notes for his summit presentation calling for democratic change in Egypt, and his schedule for his Congressional meetings.

So what is the Alliance of Youth Movements (AYM)? From their Mission page, they describe themselves as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping grassroots activists to build their capacity and make a greater impact on the world.” And boy, do they offer a lot of help. AYM was co-founded by Jared Cohen (Director of Google Ideas who formerly worked for the State Dept.) and Jason Liebman (Howcast founder.) AYM partners with MTV, Google, CBS, MSNBC, Facebook, YouTube, National Geographic, Columbia University Law School and even our own State Dept. Annual summits feature workshops from the best in the  social networking business.

Their most recent summit was in London, March ’10. Here is what David Rowan, an attendee, blogged:

At the opening reception last night, hosted at Google’s headquarters, I met a smart bunch of people from organizations such as Blue State Digital (which ran Obama’s online campaign), Howcast, Middle East peace activists One Voice, and the East London-based Young Foundation.

But the highlight is an A-list bunch of conference speakers at the conference today and tomorrow — including Jack Dorsey of Twitter, Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP, Scott Heiferman of MeetUp, as well as top people from Google, YouTube and the World Bank. Other keynote speakers include Jeremy Gilley, the former actor who founded Peace One Day, and Joe Rospars, who was the new-media director for Obama for America.

You can sense the scale of their practical ambition from the title of some of the sessions: one is called Tech Solutions to Repressive Regimes.

One of AYM’s so-called “ambassadors,” Maajid Nawaz, has been all over the media doing interviews. He is active on the AYM Twitter as well as the Facebook page here, where they are coordinating their action in Egypt. The related April 6 Twitter account keeps everyone updated and links to some of their favorite sites like E-Socialists Revolutionary Socialism where you can view some of their suggested demands (translating from Arabic.) He has been well trained in the use of media and social networking.

It seems odd that Maajid Nawaz would be chosen as an “ambassador” for AYM. According to his own bio on AYM, he served four years in an Egyptian prison as an Amnesty International ‘prisoner of conscience’ and was formerly a leader in the “peaceful” global Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) Islamist movement set on the destruction of Israel. About HT, Nawaz now says:

I think that what I taught has not only damaged British society and British Muslim relations and damaged the position of Muslims in this society as British citizens, I think it’s damaged the world.

He had to take a less obvious path. Now professing to be peaceful, he is with the Quilliam Foundation. New name, fresh reputation.

The Quilliam Foundation (named after a 19th century British convert) is being pitched as advancing the counter-argument to extremism.

For a man of peace, Nawaz and his progressive friends at the AYM seem to be at the center of everything, and it doesn’t seem to be progressing peacefully.

Google and the State Department appear to feel very confident about their role in assisting global uprisings, but we might have a few suggestions. In their next AYM Summit, they might want to consider adding some workshops on the backgrounds of the participants they are training and considering who might come in to fill the void left by the people they dispose. Just a thought.

As it is, this social networking experiment has taken a dangerous turn and leaves us wondering which country might be next on the list for a little “social networking.”

Maajid Nawaz…he was part of hiz-but tahir- which has openly called for a caliphate!!!

One of AYM’s so-called “ambassadors,” Maajid Nawaz, has been all over the media doing interviews. He is active on the AYM Twitter as well as the Facebook page here, where they are coordinating their action in Egypt. The related April 6 Twitter account keeps everyone updated and links to some of their favorite sites like E-Socialists Revolutionary Socialism where you can view some of their suggested demands (translating from Arabic.) He has been well trained in the use of media and social networking.

That's understandable. Why drag your company into your personal affairs? Plus he took personal time off from work to attend the marches. But there is also...

The Other Google Employees

Recap: November 24, 2008 State Department briefing on concerns of the departments involvement with Howcast's Alliance of Youth Movements (AYM). December 3-5, 2008 the conference is attended by various groups including Egypt April 6 Youth. December 30, 2008 cable sent out detailing April 6 Youth detained returning from AYM. State Security "confiscated his notes for his summit presentation calling for democratic change in Egypt" and "alleged that several opposition parties and movements have accepted an unwritten plan for democratic transition by 2011."

Back to the State Department: In that November briefing was Jared Cohen and Undersecretary Glassman. Cohen is the co-founder of AYM (now named Movements.org), director of GoogleIdeas and previously worked in the State Department. Full transcript of the briefing can be found here

The State Dept briefing shows there is concern about having this event. Citing Egypt and Turkey and the possibility of "unleashing something here that is going to come back to bite you." Adding also that "any one of these groups could suddenly decide to, you know, turn violent or something like that" and, "now youre getting involved in something here that you have zero control over".

Cohen and Glassman assured the department that they were intentionally focusing on groups that were know for having a track record of peaceful protests. So now it was up to Howcast to organize this and get it ready to go.

Howcast has five co-founders, four of them are former Google employees. Amongst them is co-founder Jason Liebman also a co-founder of AYM. (recently changed to movements.org)

Liebman is also the registered contact for both companies and they are registered to the same address. A fast Whois search for Howcast compared with the Whois search for Movements reveals this.

AYM/Movements.org was spawned from Howcast by former and current Google employees. Approved for and funded by the State Department. The Egyptian dissident returned from that conference with agreements to an unwritten plan for democratic transition by 2011. Maybe this is why Wael Ghonim asked the movements not to make up pictures of him with the Google logo on it.

Part Two Tomorrow: Howcast cleans up its site. Asks for to remove links about AYM. Breaks the links. Screen caps and email conversations from a former Howcast Employee who now works for Movements.org. Training, and Burning down the house here and in Egypt, and the Glenn Beck caliphate

http://2002-2009-fpc.state.gov/112324.htm

Here’s a photo from the State website w/ following caption: James K. Glassman, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs; and Jared Cohen, Secretary's Policy Planning Staff, at the Washington Foreign Press Center Briefing on the "Alliance for Youth Movements Summit at Columbia University in New York, December 3-5, 2008."

Alliance of Youth Movements Summit

http://info.howcast.com/system/page_attachments/0000/0403/Alliance_of_Youth_Movements_Summit_Attendee_Biographies.pdf

Maajid Nawaz

Maajid Nawaz, Director of the Quilliam Foundation – formerly on the

UK national leadership for the Islamist party Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT). Maajid

served HT for around 13 years, being a founding member in Denmark

and Pakistan and eventually serving four years in an Egyptian prison

as an Amnesty International adopted ‘prisoner of conscience’. In

prison, Maajid began changing his views until finally renouncing the

Islamist Ideology for traditional Islam and inclusive politics. He now

engages in counter Islamist thought generating, writing, debating and

media appearances. He has spoken at various forums internationally

ranging from the grassroots at City Circle London, to addressing the

US Senate in Washington DC and regularly comments on national and

international news and newspapers. Maajid holds BA (Hons) from

SOAS in Arabic and Law and an MSc in Political Theory from the

London School of Economics (LSE), with modules in ‘Religion and

Politics’ and ‘Conflict, Violence and Terrorism’.

Quilliam

http://www.quilliamfoundation.org/

is the world’s first counter-extremism think tank set up to address the unique challenges of citizenship, identity, and belonging in a globalised world. Quilliam stands for religious freedom, human rights, democracy and developing a Muslim identity at home in, and with, the West.

Maajid Nawaz, Feb. 4, 2011

http://www.newstatesman.com/middle-east/2011/02/egypt-brotherhood-uprising

The uprising in Egypt is unprecedented, fascinating, even scary - but it is also more than that. For me, it's personal. I was "Number 42" in the dungeons of Hosni Mubarak's torture facilities. Before me were 41 poor souls, taken one by one and electrocuted. Behind me were hundreds more. Wives were stripped and tortured in front of their husbands, children electrocuted in front of their parents. Few returned from the darkness of Cairo's al-Gihaz and Lazoughly cells.

Between 2002 and 2006, I was swallowed up by this system. I was held in the Mazra Tora Prison for my role as leader of the pan-Islamist organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir in Alexandria. I have since left that group and now campaign for democratic activism in Muslim-majority countries. That is why I see this people's uprising as my revenge.

Another man worthy of mention is Ahmed Seif el-Islam Hamad. This veteran activist and leader of the Kifaya ("enough is enough") movement was my lawyer. Kifaya pioneered the anti-Mubarak protests five years ago. In those days, they could not muster more than 20 or so demonstrators and those who did stand up were the object of sneering from onlookers. Now over 60, Seif is happy to step back and let the youth lead their own people's revolution.

Take the secular and democratic April 6 Youth Movement, led by Ahmed Salah, which was instrumental in galvanising the masses. Significantly, the Brotherhood was not involved in sparking this uprising. Rather, it has played catch-up.

This was a spontaneous uprisingThe best revolutions are unplanned and the most democratic are leaderless. Egypt has fast become the case study for the phenomenon - it is nothing short of a democratic cyclone that will rip through the entire Arab world. The Arab awakening has begun.

There are legitimate concerns that the Brotherhood, Egypt's most organised political opposition, could eventually hijack the uprising. The Brotherhood is an evolving organisation, but it has yet to ditch some of its more archaic principles, such as the view that only a Muslim male may become head of state. Its most recent internal elections led to defeat for reformers such as Abul-Fotouh

http://www.movements.org/pages/630/

(New York, N.Y.) February 1, 2011 – Movements.org today launched an online hub for digital activism that will allow activists to connect on and offline, to access resources, and to share their stories with each other and supporters all over the world. The site provides how-to guides for new and experienced activists, blog posts covering the role of connection technologies in social change, and case studies for activists to share their stories and learn from their peers.

Examples of new digital tools and resources on the site include:

AYM tie to April 6 Movement

AHMED SALAH

  • The movement was started by young activists Ahmed Maher and Ahmed Salah in order to mobilize support for striking industrial workers El-Mahalla El-Kubra. They wanted to organize people to supoprt the cause of the workers, who were planning a strike April 6, 2008
  • "Being the first youth movement in Egypt to use internet-based modes of communication like Facebook and Twitter, we aim to promote democracy by encouraging public involvement in the political process," Maher told Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in an interview.
  • Maher  calls the movement a youth coalition and says they will support national icons like Mohammed ElBaradei and support the cause of the National Association for Change which is fighting for political reform. The movement says it is not a political party and that it will not contest elections.
  • The other founder, Ahmed Salah, was arrested last week after the uprising beganSusannah Vila writes about his arrest in her blog in movements.org.: "Salah (left) was sought out by state security, surrounded by roughly 10 special forces in riot gear, and thrown in a car separate from the blue vans police have been tossing other demonstrators in. This was not your average arrest."

Read more: http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/107387/20110201/april6-movement-egypt-protest-revolt-facebook-maher-ahmed-salah.htm#ixzz1Dx6dnGqq

INTERVIEW WITH ONE OF THE APRIL 6 MOVEMENT FOUNDERS

http://www.aawsat.com/english/news.asp?section=3&id=24109

Asharq Al-Awsat] You were responsible for what has been described as the Egyptian protests "operations room" prior to and during the January 25 "Day of Rage" protests, can you tell us a little about what this entailed?

[Maher] I established this "operations room" around 15 days before the beginning of the protests, and we would meet daily to discuss routine details including assessing the reach of our calls to protest with regards to internet websites, looking at the data and information that was being provided to citizens, and studying innovative mechanisms of protesting which aimed to overcome the methods that the state security services always use to pre-empt demonstrations and protests. Two days prior to the demonstrations we implemented a new mode of operation which saw activists being split into separate groups, with each group being made up of between 30 and 50 activists who would be posted to central areas and public squares to incite protests whilst only the leader of each group would be informed of the precise location of where the protests were scheduled to begin…meeting his group in a pre-selected location just prior to the beginning of the protest, and then guiding this group to the main rendezvous point.

party Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT)

http://english.hizbuttahrir.org/

Hizb ut-Tahrir is a political party whose ideology is Islam. Its objective is to resume the Islamic way of life by establishing an Islamic State that executes the systems of Islam and carries its call to the world. Hizb ut-Tahrir has prepared a party culture that includes a host of Islamic rules about life’s matters. The party calls for Islam in its quality as an intellectual leadership from which emanates the systems that deals with all man’s problems, political, economic, cultural and social among others. Hizb ut-Tahrir is a political party that admits to its membership men and women, and calls all people to Islam and to adopt its concepts and systems. It views people according to the viewpoint of Islam no matter how diverse their nationalities and their schools of thought were. Hizb ut-Tahrir adopts the interaction with the Ummah in order to reach its objective and it struggles against colonialism in all its forms and attributes in order to liberate the Ummah from its intellectual leadership and to deracinate its cultural, political, military and economic roots from the soil of the Islamic lands. Hizb ut-Tahrir endeavours to change the erroneous thoughts which colonialism has propagated, such as confining Islam to rituals and morals.

The rise of Hizb ut-Tahrir was in response to Allah (swt)’s saying: T.M.Q. “And let there arise from amongst you a band that calls to the good and commands what is right and forbids what is evil and those are the ones who will attain felicity.” in order to revive the Islamic Ummah after the severe decline to which she has sunk, to liberate her from the thoughts, systems and rules of Kufr, its systems and from the hegemony and influence of the Kufr states,  and  in order to work towards establishing the Islamic Khilafah State so that the rules by what Allah (swt) has revealed returns to the realm of life.

Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT)

http://english.hizbuttahrir.org/

  • Hizb ut-Tahrir is a political party whose ideology is Islam. Its objective is to resume the Islamic way of life by establishing an Islamic State that executes the systems of Islam and carries its call to the world. Hizb ut-Tahrir has prepared a party culture that includes a host of Islamic rules about life’s matters…
  • The rise of Hizb ut-Tahrir was in response to Allah (swt)’s saying: T.M.Q. “And let there arise from amongst you a band that calls to the good and commands what is right and forbids what is evil and those are the ones who will attain felicity.” in order to revive the Islamic Ummah after the severe decline to which she has sunk, to liberate her from the thoughts, systems and rules of Kufr, its systems and from the hegemony and influence of the Kufr states,  and  in order to work towards establishing the Islamic Khilafah State so that the rules by what Allah (swt) has revealed returns to the realm of life.

Barack Obama adviser says Sharia Law is misunderstood

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/6274387/Obama-adviser-says-Sharia-Law-is-misunderstood.html

  • Miss Dalia Mogahed, appointed to the President's Council on Faith-Based and Neighbourhood Partnerships, said the Western view of Sharia was "oversimplified" and the majority of women around the world associate it with "gender justice".
  • The White House adviser made the remarks on a London-based TV discussion programme hosted by Ibtihal Bsis, a member of the extremist Hizb ut Tahrir party.
  • Miss Mogahed admitted that even many Muslims associated Sharia with "maximum criminal punishments" and "laws that... to many people seem unequal to women," but added: "Part of the reason that there is this perception of Sharia is because Sharia is not well understood and Islam as a faith is not well understood."

Video of the interview

http://www.adl.org/main_Terrorism/hizb_ut_tahrir_emerges_in_america.htm?Multi_page_sections=sHeading_3

  • Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), Arabic for "Party of Liberation," is an international organization that seeks to establish a global Islamic caliphate.  Established in Jerusalem in 1953, HT claims to be a political organization "whose ideology is Islam."
  • HT conferences around the world suggest that the group is currently in the second stage of its goal of establishing a global Islamic government.
  • HT claims that it does not engage in violent activities and generally espouses a policy of nonviolence.  However, in a January 2010 press release, HT called for violence against U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan. The group accused "US crusaders" of killing nine school children and injuring 85 others in Afghanistan.  "Such incidents," HT said in the press release "has to be answered by sharp swords of Muslim united armies under a true Muslim leader (Imam/K), not by few words of condemnations, rallies and demonstrations or submissions of list of demands to the UN's or Human Rights, which are the protector of these crusaders, not us."
  • In 2007, German police arrested three men on suspicion of plotting to bomb military and civilian airports, restaurants and nightclubs. Two of the men were allegedly Uzbek members of the HT splinter cell Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), which carried out a terrorist attack against the American and Israeli embassies in Uzbekistan in July 2004.
  • Two British HT members were also allegedly involved in terrorist activities. One of the men was among those responsible for the 2003 suicide bombing at Mike's Place, a bar in Tel Aviv.  Another HT member was suspected of joining Al Qaeda and plotting to attack several New York-Based financial targets. He was arrested in 2004 by British authorities.

Later this week, former President Trump will attend CPAC and give his first major policy appearance since leaving office. Sources close to the President reveal he will focus on "the future of the Republican Party and the conservative movement."

The future of the GOP is a question that demands real discussion before elections in 2022 and 2024. Right now, I can see three possible answers for how you act:

  1. Those in power and senior positions will ignore the reasons behind Donald Trump winning in 2016. They will be vindicated in their minds because they outlasted him, as they view DC as a job for life. These leaders will go back to business as usual and seek forgiveness from the left, hoping for unity and acceptance in the future.
  2. The second outcome is another section of the party that is understandably very angry over the left's Presidents treatment. They still support and believe in Trump. They think it's time to take off the gloves and treat Biden/the left exactly how they treated Trump.
  3. The few policy positions offered in public will be centered solely around opposing the left. They will also make the case how the left suck, are dangerous, and how you need them in power. The next four years are merely a countdown for Trump to run again and right the wrong of 2020.
  4. The third outcome is very similar to the second, but with one key difference. While they appreciate everything Trump accomplished while in office, they feel it's time to unite behind another candidate.
Question

Which of these three positions will work best for the American people? Which helps built a political base for elections in both 2022 and 2024?

If you seek to help save America, it is critical to do some soul searching. Whether you love or hate him, Donald Trump got 75 million votes and made advancements in key demographics. What did he do well that you can develop further? In what areas was he poor, and how can you improve?

I want to raise six principled points everyone on the right should be forced to consider in the run-up to 2024.

1 - Understanding American Exceptionalism

FACT: America is an exceptional nation. If you read enough of world history, you will find ample evidence that America acted in ways that made it unique and significantly different from other countries in the past and modern times. These reasons must be understood and promoted through the culture and body politic.

One of those reasons is the layout of your Declaration of Independence. If you look around politics today, you will see people on all political sides telling you what they hate, why the other side is the enemy, and how they must be defeated.

In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson also made that case against the English when he listed 27 grievances against the King. So how is the layout key? It took Jefferson 357 words to get to those grievances. Your Declaration is your mission statement: it tells everyone in the world what America aspires to be. It states the belief that all were created equal, all had certain rights that come directly from God, and that it is the government's job to protect rights -- not give people rights.

The left is successfully painting everyone on the right to be a terrorist who enjoyed the Capitol Hill riots. If you ever want to win another election, it will be critical to explain what you stand for to the American people.

After all, ask yourself which makes you the most passionate to vote - removing someone from office or voting for a vision and change you believe in?

2 - The Constitution

Is there a better place to start this vision than the Constitution? Yes, it is mostly ignored today by those in power and is only referenced by politicians and media when it fits a narrative.

The Constitution is a beautiful and complex document but is primarily based on a straightforward principle. The government should be extremely limited in its power, but it should be as close to the people as possible where there is a clear need for government. Who can argue with this principle?

Who wants someone they have never met, dictating how they live their life?

This is why the Constitution grants the President no real power, and gives Congress 18 clauses of power, listed under Article 1, Section 8. Any and every power not mentioned there belongs at the state level.

3 - Finances

The power structure in DC has changed many times over the last twenty years, with both parties having the opportunity to rule the different federal branches. There have been two periods where one party controlled all the power in DC:

  • 2008-2010: Obama / Dem
  • 2016-2018: Trump / GOP

Despite these changes, your government continually grows, you continue to spend money you don't have, and in ten out of the last thirteen years, you have added over $1,000,000,000,000 to your national debt, which now sits just under $28 trillion. Does this seem sustainable to you? Of course not, but sadly your finances only get worse.

America has revenue of over $3.2 trillion every year, yet DC has not passed a budget since 2008. Can you imagine any business running that way? Do you think Apple, Amazon, or Disney have a budget? It is time to get America on a path to financial sustainability, work towards a balanced budget, and explain to the American people how you will achieve it.

4 - Taxes

Do you remember discussing taxes during the Tea Party?

We used to make the simple moral case to the American people: any money you earn is yours, you should use it to plan your life, and the government has no right to take it from you. This was so successful around 2012 that Herman Cain ran for President with one primary policy: the 9-9-9 plan.

If America is to return to prosperity after Covid, lower taxes and a simpler tax code must be a central theme.

5 - Cutting Government

Look at the size of the US government in 2021. Are you happy? Can you name the numerous departments? Is it now the freedom-loving Americans' position that agencies like Education, Energy, EPA, and Commerce are constitutional bodies of government and are well-run?

How about the IRS, which targeted Tea-Party groups under President Obama? Do they deserve support, or is it time to start sharing a vision of the departments that should be abolished?

This principle used to be a big part of the Conservative platform. It played a massive role in 2012 when Rick Perry ran for President. His campaign was destroyed in 45 short seconds when he could not remember the three agencies he would abolish.

Maybe it's time to refresh this debate but change the parameters. How about we discuss the agencies that should be kept?

6 - Bill of Rights

Today, the Bill of Rights is under constant attack. The far-left/woke mob hates free speech, and they seek to cancel anyone with an opposing view. However, the attacks on the Bill of Rights don't always come from the left.

America has a second amendment that guarantees you the right to bear arms. The last time the GOP held both houses of Congress and the Presidency, they banned bump stocks - but who really NEEDS a bump stock?

As the years have passed, some have admitted they are open to red flag laws. Is this still the case?

While the second amendment may be under attack, it is clear the fourth amendment is dead. Regardless of which party holds power in DC, the NSA is given continuous ability to spy on Americans. The simple, principled case from Rand Paul of "get a warrant" always falls on deaf ears.

The Bill of Rights should be a unifying document for most Americans, as the principles are self-evident and a significant part of any freedom platform going forward.

Conclusion

America will face significant challenges over the coming years. As the government continues to grow, the far left get more hostile, and central planners seek a great reset. If you share my concern, then now is the time to forget our tribes and ignore the debate on who should be President in 2024.

It's time to work hard to build a platform by raising a banner of bold colors, not pale pastels. We must share a clear vision to the American people of a bright future where they are free, prosperous, and can pursue their happiness.

When the platform is built and successful, people can identify the best candidate to run in 2024.

"First, you win the argument, and then you win the election." — Margaret Thatcher

Jonathon Dunne is a keynote speaker, weekly podcast host on Blaze Media, and published author on major platforms such as The Blaze, Glenn Beck, Libertarian Republic, Western Journalism, and Constitution. Since 2012, he has reached millions with his message of American exceptionalism.

You can find him on social media – Facebook, Twitter, MeWe

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is under fire for questioning President Joe Biden's nominee for an assistant health secretary position, Dr. Rachel Levine, about her alleged support for giving children puberty blockers and sex-change surgeries.

During a confirmation hearing Thursday, Paul pointedly asked Levine, who is a transgender woman, about her support for allowing children to change their sex, and whether she believes children are capable of making such life-altering decisions.

Levine evaded the question, answering instead with a vague statement about the complexities of transgender medicine, which she would again reiterate for Paul's subsequent questions.

Watch a video clip of the confirmation hearing here.

Predictably, Paul has been labeled "transphobic" and accused of trying to derail Levine with "transphobic misinformation" by the leftist media.

On the Glenn Beck Radio Program Friday, Paul said his questioning Levine had nothing to do with who she is or the fact that she is a transgender adult, but was about the question of gender changes for children.

"The interesting thing is, none of it was directed towards her personally or who she is. It was directed towards the question of whether children can consent. And this is an intellectual question. It's not an inflammatory question. It's a question of serious consequences," he explained. "Most people would argue that children can't really make an informed consent. You know, we have laws against a man having sex with a 12-year-old, even if the 12-year-old says 'yes', because we don't think a 12-year-old is capable of consenting. They just aren't old enough to make the decision."

Paul went on to add, "I guess the danger is, you have to have some chutzpah. You have to have some guts, some courage to stand up because it is a culture out there where ... everybody is saying I made transphobic comments yesterday. All I did was ask whether a minor could consent to this kind of dramatic surgery. Nothing I ever said was hateful. I said nothing hateful about these people. I said nothing hateful about adults who choose to do this. But the culture is out there is so strong that so many in office are afraid to speak out. And it's getting worse.

"There's a handful of us that will speak out in the Senate. There's a handful in the House, and we just have to grow our ranks. But we have to resist or it just will roll over us. And we'll live in this terrible cancel culture world where nobody speaks out, and everybody is afraid to say anything."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Far away fields are always greener.

It is easy to look at someone else's life or another country and wish you were more like them.

Americans can be guilty of this. It could be Bernie Sanders wishing America was politically more like Sweden or other European socialist countries. It could be an American who finds out I'm Irish, been trying to move to America for over 17 years, and thinks, "Oh Jonathon, Ireland is a lovely free country - stay there. America has problems right now. You would not like it here."

Today, I want to take you on a journey and compare our nations' attitudes toward Coronavirus and the policies currently in place for "our protection."

I would also ask you to imagine you were in my shoes. Ask yourself which country you would want to live in.

Role of Government

Before discussing restrictions, it is critical to understand the very different governmental systems within our two countries. America is blessed to have a federalist system where states have considerable control over what happens in their states. DC, in theory, holds very little power.

Ireland is the exact opposite. We are a democracy with a big centralized government. The vast majority of power lies with our Taoiseach (Prime Minister) and his cabinet. Local states have no control, as our restrictions are countrywide.

America
  • America's restrictions vary from state to state. You will find the majority of businesses are open but operating with some restrictions.
  • Churches, malls, retail, gyms, cinemas are mostly all open.
  • Bars and restaurants are open but usually at a reduced capacity.
  • Schools have moved to online learning.
  • No travel limits.
  • Travel between states is allowed, but some states like Alaska require a negative Covid test.
  • Guests are allowed in homes, but some states have a limit (but not enforced).
  • Masks are either advised or mandatory in different states.
  • Social distancing is required.

When researching this article, the most prominent complaints were restrictions on visiting loved ones in hospitals and nursing homes. These restrictions have upset many people because you have a proud history of believing in individual freedoms. The government is not your parent and does not have a right to tell you how to live.

Now let me introduce you to Ireland.

Ireland

Ireland is currently on the highest level of lockdown possible and has been since Christmas Eve. We are officially on lockdown until March 5th, and our lockdown is getting more severe. Our government has already confirmed lockdown will be extended until After Easter.

Ireland has a stay-at-home order in place, and you are to work from home where possible.

  • "Essential" retail is open but with stupid rules. Some of our shops are half-open and half-closed. Imagine a Walmart that is allowed to sell food, but large parts of the clothing section are closed because they are not deemed essential.
  • Non-essential retail is now fully closed. At the start of lockdown, outlets were allowed to offer a click-and-collect service – but that has now been banned.
  • Gyms and cinemas are all closed. Ø Bars and restaurants are closed and unlikely to re-open until mid-summer.
  • Schools have moved to online learning.
  • No guests are allowed in homes or gardens.
  • Masks are mandatory and with fines.
  • Social distancing is required.
  • Churches are allowed to open for private prayer, but the mass is strictly online. This has caused a lot of distress for families. Ireland is a Catholic country. I know many older people who have not received communion since last March. My mother is a funeral director and has witnessed the pain caused to families, as only ten people are allowed to attend a funeral, regardless of the Church's size. Imagine a large family deciding what ten people can attend? How do you choose that? Sadly, the Irish Church is spineless and accepts every rule the government passes.
Additional Tyranny

Very few businesses are open right now, but that is not the end of the restrictions. There are limits on how far you can travel. I am currently off my work because of Coronavirus restrictions. There are two legal reasons I can leave my house: personal exercise/walk the dog and to purchase food/essential items from the store. These activities must be completed within three miles of my house.

My human right to privacy has also been crushed. If I decided to get in my car tomorrow and just drive, I would encounter several police checkpoints where I would have to disclose where I live, where I am going, and the purpose of my trip. If the trip is not essential, I will be told to return home and likely given a fine.

Tyranny North Korea Style!

Most countries have border controls, all with similar intent: control who enters the nation, set how long they can stay, and mandate what they can do.

The one exception to this rule is North Korea. Their intent is not to control who enters. Instead, they seek to ensure no one leaves and defects to the South.

As you can imagine, life in Ireland is not exactly pleasurable with the above restrictions. This is especially the case for people like me who suffer from severe depression and are desperate to escape.

If tomorrow I woke up and decided I want out (which I very much do) and found a country I could enter legally, I AM NOT ALLOWED TO LEAVE.

The Irish government has deemed all international travel is not essential and has placed police at all our ports and our airports. If I attempt to go to the airport, I would be greeted at a police checkpoint outside the airport, told my journey is not essential, and sent home with a fine. Currently, the fine is €500 ($600). New legislation is being discussed in parliament to increase the penalty to €2,000.

The police have new powers for people who get past the checkpoints and continue to travel overseas. When they return to Ireland, they can be sent to jail for a month. They will also have a criminal record – that record would likely disqualify the person traveling to countries like America and Australia.

Irish People

I could talk to you all day long about why America is unique and exceptional. There are so many different reasons. One of the reasons is your people, and I highlight Alexis de Tocqueville's sentiments, who said, "America is great because Americans are good." Americans have this rebellious streak in their soul, and it can be traced all the way back to the Pilgrims on the Mayflower. This great spirit is based on being an independent sovereign individual and wanting to live life to the fullest and not be stopped or controlled by ANY government.

Irish people are good and decent. However, they do not share the same characteristics. They believe and support government control because it is all they have ever known.

If you ask the average Irish person about the current government, he will likely tell you he dislikes one of the parties involved or an individual leader. Yet, ask that same person what he thinks about the restrictions, and he will defend them. I hear some say they believe the government has not done enough.

On the rare occasions that people break restrictions, the most significant backlash will likely come from the community, as they brand those people selfish and irresponsible.

Going Forward

The damage from Covid is going to be around forever. Our actions have caused damage to our mental health and the economy (with businesses closing and jobs lost). This will cause poverty. This is made worse by governments' reckless spending and borrowing of money we simply do not have.

However, I would argue we have a much bigger problem stemming from Covid: social acceptance of governmental control in a "crisis."

When a government is powerful enough to compel someone not to leave their house, define their job as non-essential, or tell someone they can't hug their grandparent, what exactly is off-limits? What control or power is a line government won't cross for the "common good"?

Most importantly, do you think governments worldwide will fix this issue and give back the powers they have taken? Or is it more likely we will just move onto a new crisis – maybe climate change or the Great Reset?

This is why the world needs America. We don't need the American military to intervene and save us.

We NEED America to rediscover why you are an exceptional nation. We NEED you to be the statue of liberty shining out the beacon of light, hope, and freedom for the world where your actions remind all of us what is possible when we unleash the energy and individual genius of mankind. If we work hard to reapply these principles, we can take another 5,000-year leap forward together.

Writers note: The policies listed here are based solely on Ireland. However, you see very similar restrictions in England and throughout Europe.

Jonathon Dunne is a keynote speaker, weekly podcast host on Blaze Media, and published author on major platforms such as The Blaze, Glenn Beck, Libertarian Republic, Western Journalism, and Constitution. Since 2012, he has reached millions with his message of American exceptionalism.

You can find him on social media – Facebook, Twitter, MeWe

Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Thursday to discuss the Left's current efforts to rid the U.S. military of "extremism," Democrats' push to separate President Joe Biden from the nuclear codes, and how conservatives can use government to battle the far-left, their policies, and their efforts to control Americans.

Crenshaw called the military's efforts to rid their ranks of extremism, "so obviously and clearly politically motivated," as the entire premise is based on reports that some active service members and veterans participated in the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol.

"Mathematically, that's not a good indication of where active duty military stand or where veterans stand more broadly," Crenshaw said of the generalization that military personnel are extremists. "And I thought we were against that kind of profiling. Right? I thought that was against the liberal values that supposedly the Left stands for."

"But, Glenn, you know very well the Left is not liberal," he added. "The Left is very anti-liberal. And I think as conservatives, we have to say that more often. They have become genuinely authoritarian. Progressivism is not in sync with liberalism. All right? There's a big difference between an Alan Dershowitz liberal and a Democrat Party progressive. They're totally different."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation with Rep. Dan Crenshaw:

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