Van Jones is alive and well, and being cloned in hundreds of federally funded programs around the nation. Jones, the Maoist who was forced to resign as President Obama’s “green jobs czar” when his radical communist activities and statements became an issue, has continued his Green/Red activism through his Rebuild The Dream (RTD) organization. RTD, which promotes Jones’ favorite propaganda themes of “environmental justice” and “climate justice,” is generously funded by the usual suspects: tax-exempt foundations, such as the Tides Foundation, the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and George Soros’ Open Society Institute and his Foundation to Promote Open Society.
These are the pretty much the same tax-exempt radical funders that joined with the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and New York government agencies to fund the recently concluded “2013 NYC Climate Justice Youth Summit: Frontline Resistance!” The two-day event (July 26-27) in Brooklyn, New York, lists among its sponsors: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, Con Edison, as well as other far-left groups.
The organizations actually putting on the program? According to the NYC Climate Justice Youth Summit: Frontline Resistance! web page, the summit organizers are UPROSE, El Puente, The New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, The Point, YMPJ (Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice), Nos Quedamos/We Stay.
The images and rhetoric that greet visitors to the UPROSE website — the main hosting page for the summit — provide pretty good clues as to the hard-left ideological orientation of the participating organizers: three green clenched fists — an obvious environmental version of the classic communist clenched fist symbol; and “Frontline Resistance!” — an adoption of the vanguard rhetoric of the Marxist/feminist/environmentalist militants. The New York City Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC-EJA) is part of an extensive and growing web of Environmental Justice Alliance groups stretching across the country, many of which are connected to the ultra-left, pro-Obama ACORN network.
Not surprisingly, the summit was a platform for the usual statist bromides that green collectivists have been promoting for decades. The opening promotional video for the NYC Climate Justice Youth Summit features youths explaining that Superstorm Sandy was the “wake-up call” warning us that we had better get serious about “taking action” on climate change, and stop the human activities that supposedly caused the storm’s destructive damage. Superstorm Sandy is a favorite “proof” cited by global-warming alarmists to justify the claim that human-caused greenhouse gases (GHGs) are responsible for many extreme weather events. However, as we’ve reported (see “Blaming Climate Change for Hurricane Sandy”) leading experts, including even many who are climate alarmists, point out that there is no scientific basis for making such a connection.
Another promotional video at the summit site, entitled “We at UPROSE!”, features youth activists explaining how they are putting their tax-funded training and employment to work. Here are some of their statements:
Youth 1: “At UPROSE I testified on numerous protests and forums on air contaminants.”
Youth 2: “At UPROSE we organized two citywide climate youth summits.”
Youth 3: “At UPROSE we helped pass three statewide legislations."
That last statement is particularly interesting: “At UPROSE we helped pass three statewide legislations.”
The group’s home page tells us: “Uprose is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization. Please consider making a donation to enable us to continue to provide critical resources to the communities we serve.” As a 501 (c)(3) organization, UPROSE is not supposed to be helping pass statewide legislation. But don’t expect the IRS to go after UPROSE or any of their funders for these obvious violations of the tax code; the federal taxmen are too preoccupied harassing Tea Party groups and conservative/constitutionalist organizations that oppose President Obama’s socialist agenda.
Hitler Youth, Red Guards, Komsomol, AmeriCorps
Hitler had his Hitler Youth. Mao Tse-tung had his Red Guards. Mussolini had his Avanguardisti. Lenin and his Soviet successors had the Komsomol. Fidel and Raul Castro have their Young Communist League. Every totalitarian regime has its youth group to program the minds and steel the hearts of their future stormtroopers.
America under Obama has taken major strides along this ominous path. President Obama has the AmeriCorps. Launched by President Clinton and expanded by President George W. Bush, AmeriCorps and its adjuncts in the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) now claim more than five million “volunteers.” The CNCS website informs us:
Established in 1993, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its core programs — Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and the Social Innovation Fund — and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve.
As the nation’s largest grantmaker for service and volunteering, CNCS plays a critical role in strengthening America’s nonprofit sector and addressing our nation’s challenges through service.
CNCS harnesses America’s most powerful resource — the energy and talents of our citizens — to solve problems. We believe that everyone can make a difference and that all of us should try. From grade school through retirement, CNCS empowers Americans and fosters a lifetime of service.
On June 21, the CNCS announced that AmeriCorps had awarded 267 grants to national and local nonprofits for 2013 totaling $200 million. A little further in the CNCS press release we learn that a great deal more is headed into the pipeline as well. The CNCS informs us: “CNCS is also awarding $110 million in formula funding to Governor-appointed state service commissions. Formula funds will be sub-granted this summer by the state service commission to organizations in their states to support additional AmeriCorps members.”
Three hundred and ten million dollars can buy a pretty substantial army of activists — and voters. But that’s not all. The CNCS states further:
The AmeriCorps members supported by these grants are eligible to earn more than $165 million in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards to help pay for college or to pay back student loans.
So $310 million plus $165 million equals $475 million; it starts to add up. Who are the hundreds of “nonprofits” profiting from this federal Obama largesse? They include:
HippyCorps (Colorado Parent and Child Foundation), ClimateCorps, Green Crew AmeriCorps Program, National Council of La Raza, Points of Light Foundation, Youth Volunteer Corps, Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, Maine Conservation Corps, Detroit Youth Energy Squad, Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa, Montana Conservation Corps, Inc., Green City Force
But CNCS/AmeriCorps isn’t the only FedGov funding source for Obama’s Van Jones clones; there are the EPA, and the Departments of Energy, Interior, Education, and Transportation. The EPA provides one of the largest spigots for federal funds for enviro-activism, both to state and local governments and to non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In 2012, the EPA awarded $1.2 million to 50 “environmental justice” NGOs.
Millions more flowed out through EPA’s Environmental Education Grants program. Among the NGO activist groups sharing in EPA’s current round of munificence are Heartland Conservation Alliance Blue River Greenways Project, Earthplace: The Nature Discovery Center, Environmental Law Institute, Association of State Wetland Managers, Green Blue Institute, Green Blue Alliance Foundation, 1000 Friends of Iowa, 1000 Friends of Pennsylvania, Alliance for Sustainability, American YouthWorks, Children’s Environmental Health Network, Children’s Environmental Health Institute, Chimayo Youth Conservation Corps, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, Earth Conservancy, Global Green USA, Jobs for Youth Networks, Local Governments for Sustainability, Montana Environmental Education Association, National Education Association (NEA) Health Information Network, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Audubon Society, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, Solar Youth, Inc., U.S.-China Association for Environmental Education
The EPA’s grant to Rising Sun Energy Center’s California Youth Energy Services (C-YES) may be representative of the type of projects it funds. The grant description says it is for a model program to “provide 134 youth/young adults with job training and direct work experience, while fostering environmental stewardship. As Youth Energy Specialists, they will participate in intense training and field work, learning through hands-on experience, and conducting energy and water assessments and mini-retrofits in residential homes through CYES’s Green House Call.”
This vast expansion of the federal army of trained activists is, undoubtedly, one of the main reasons “communitarian” gurus Van Jones and Amitai Etzioni are so ecstatic over Obama. After President Obama’s second inaugural address, Jones praised Obama’s performance at a speech at Loyola University Chicago. In an interview with a reporter from Breitbart.com, Van Jones said of Obama:
He is a communitarian. I mean you always have individualism [versus] communitarianism, as a part of the American story, and I think we’ve overbalanced the individualistic direction and I think he’s trying to rebalance toward communitarianism.
Van Jones is not the only one that describes President Obama as a communitarian; Amitai Etzioni is another, and his credentials bespeak some authority on the subject. His blog site vita says: “Amitai Etzioni served as a Senior Advisor to the Carter White House; taught at Columbia University, Harvard Business School, University of California at Berkeley, and is the first University Professor at George Washington University, where he is the Director of the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies. He served as the President of the American Sociological Association, and he founded the Communitarian Network.”
He also is a former terrorist (he would say insurgent) in the Stalinist-dominated Palmach organization that bombed and assassinated British targets in Israel in the 1940s. In addition, he is a longtime member of the pro-world government Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
In a February 4, 2009 article in the Jerusalem Post, Amitai Etzioni states: “There is no philosophy that better describes Obama’s position than Communitarianism.” More recently, Etzioni waxed even more rhapsodic on the issue. The leftist Daily Beast, in a June 30, 2013 article (“Obama’s Shift Toward Communitarianism”) quoted Etzioni as saying:
In the my wildest dreams, during 18 years of championing communitarianism, I did not expect a presidential candidate to be as strongly identified with this political philosophy as Obama is.
So, if the top communitarian advocates claim Obama as one of their own, what does that mean? What is a communitarian? Well, another communitarian proponent, Harvard professor George C. Lodge (CFR) has shed some light on that matter. In his 1995 book, Managing Globalization in the Age of Interdependence, Prof. Lodge writes: "Stalin and Hitler were communitarians … even, it seems to me, Bill Clinton."