THE NEW GESTAPO: Feds Are Investigating Trump’s New Media Company While They Ignore Hunter Biden’s Laptop and Shady Deals with China, Russia, Ukraine thumbnail

THE NEW GESTAPO: Feds Are Investigating Trump’s New Media Company While They Ignore Hunter Biden’s Laptop and Shady Deals with China, Russia, Ukraine

By Pamela Geller

The new Secret Police or more fitting, the new Gestapo.

The fact is hundreds of millions of freedom loving people will flock to Trump’s new freedom platform. Watch what happens to Twitter and Facebook.That’s why they must stop him (and you).

Feds Are Investigating Trump’s Media Company While They Ignore Hunter Biden’s Laptop and Shady Deals with China, Russia, Ukraine

By Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit, December 6, 2021:

President Trump stood up for the people and against the regime.

Now he must be punished.

The Security and Exchange Commission is now investigating President Trump’s upcoming media venture.  According to Business Insider the SEC has requested documents about “meetings of the partner company’s board of directors, “policies and procedures relating to trading,” identification of certain investors, and copies of communication between the partner company and Trump’s new organization.”

Breaking: The SEC and other regulators are investigating the financing for Trump’s new media company. More to come @nytimes https://t.co/c4mRcM5kjB pic.twitter.com/AnT5z5zcjI

— David Enrich (@davidenrich) December 6, 2021

Donald Trump’s new social media company forecasts it may have 81 million users by 2026, or nearly 7 million more people than voted for him in the last U.S. presidential election.

The projection was filed on Monday with securities regulators by the company trying to bring Trump Media & Technology Group to the stock market. The company, Digital World Acquisition Corp., said over the weekend that it has lined up $1 billion in promised investments for the former president’s new venture from a group of unnamed institutional investors, and it filed a copy of the presentation used to pitch investors and analysts.

The filing also said that the deal has attracted some scrutiny from regulators. Digital World Acquisition, which is often referred to by its trading symbol of “DWAC,” said it is cooperating with “the preliminary, fact-finding inquiries” by the Financial Industry Regulation Authority and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Financial Industry Regulation Authority, or FINRA, asked in late October and early November for a review of trading in its stock before the Oct. 20 merger deal was announced. That announcement sent shares of DWAC surging from $9.96 to $94.20 in just two days as Trump supporters and investors looking to make a quick buck piled in. The shares have since pulled back to roughly $43.

At the same time the federal government is ignoring Hunter Biden’s laptop, his illegal drug use and orgies, and his several shady deals with China, Russia and the Ukraine.

Democrat privilege.

WARNING CLICK HERE FOR GRAPHIC SCREEN SHOTS FROM HUNTER BIDEN’S LAPTOP

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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Abortion on Trial thumbnail

Abortion on Trial

By Jerry Newcombe

Last week the Supreme Court heard an abortion case out of Mississippi, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. It would appear to be the most serious challenge to Roe v. Wade in three decades.

An interesting aspect of this story is this: How do the American people feel about this case?

Conflicting reports have provided conflicting opinions.

Yahoo News (12/1/21) claims that only 24% of Americans want to see Roe overturned. They write:

“As the Supreme Court’s 6-3 conservative majority seems poised to uphold a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, more than twice as many Americans (55 percent) say they want the court to reaffirm its landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision as say they want it overturned (24 percent), according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll.”

However, they add the caveat, “when asked about the specifics of the Mississippi case, respondents are far more divided—a sign that America’s views on abortion are not quite as clear-cut and polarized as many assume.”

Meanwhile, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, has a different take on where Americans stand on abortion and this challenge to Roe.

Perkins says of the notion that the public does not want to see Roe overturned that the corporate media confuses “the public’s support for legal abortion with the Left’s agenda: unlimited, taxpayer-funded destruction of an unborn child for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy. Roe may have condoned that. The American people—almost every poll agrees—will not.”

He adds: “Ask the AP. Ask Gallup. Ask YouGov. Ask Harvard. Ask Marist. There isn’t a majority anywhere in the country in favor of the kind of barbarism that Democrats want to make permanent law. Only eight percent of Americans can bring themselves to support abortion through nine months of pregnancy.”

When it comes to polling on abortion, I think the wisdom of the late George Gallup, Jr. applies here. I had the privilege of interviewing him in his Princeton, NJ office in the late 1990s.

Gallup told me that we should never forget these basic facts: 20% of Americans are strongly pro-choice. 20% of Americans are strongly pro-life. 60% are in what he called “the mushy middle,” and polls could get them to sound pro-abortion or anti-abortion depending on what you ask.

How important is public opinion anyway? In his End of Day (12/3/21) Gary Bauer writes: “Liberal justices have never cared about public opinion. They have never hesitated to use the Supreme Court to force radical change on the American people, whether it was expelling God from our public schools, finding a right to abortion that was mysteriously hidden for 200 years or redefining the meaning of marriage—another right that never existed until five liberals invented it.”

And that points sums up one of the conservative cases against Roe in the first place. It has nothing to do, really, with the U.S. Constitution. The left imposed their will on the American people through judicial fiat.

Last week in the oral arguments before the high court, Justice Clarence Thomas said as much.

He noted, “If we were talking about the 2nd Amendment, I know exactly what we’re talking about. If we’re talking about the 4th Amendment, I know what we’re talking about, because it’s written. It’s there. What, specifically, is the right here that we’re talking about?”

In short, where exactly in the Constitution do we find the right to abortion? Or even the right to privacy?

Pro-abortion Justice Sonia Sotomayor likened a fetus to a brain dead person, arguing:

“Virtually every state defines a brain death as death….So I don’t think that a response to [stimulus] by a fetus necessarily proves that there‘s a sensation of pain or that there’s consciousness.”

Of course, many medical doctors don’t agree with her view on that. The fetus (which is derived from the Latin word meaning unborn child) is far more alive than someone who is brain dead.

Meanwhile, pro-life Justice Samuel Alito posed a question to Biden’s pro-abortion Solicitor General, who is relying heavily on maintaining decades of Supreme Court precedent rather than the Constitution itself. He asked her: “Is it your argument that a case can never be overruled simply because it was egregiously wrong?”

Just because we’ve lived with Roe all these years doesn’t make it right. 63 million dead babies in the wake of Roe v. Wade would agree, if somehow they could be polled.

As Ronald Reagan once put it, “[T]he Court’s decision has by no means settled the debate. Instead Roe v. Wade has become a continuing prod to the conscience of the nation.”

We pray that the Supreme Court will reconsider the grievous error their predecessors made in 1973, and turn abortion regulation back into the hands of the states, which is much closer to “we the people.”

©Jerry Newcombe. All rights reserved.

Why in the World Are Democrats Preferred on the Issue of Education? thumbnail

Why in the World Are Democrats Preferred on the Issue of Education?

By Bruce Bialosky

While watching the election returns in Virginia, the analysts — you know those people with those slick boards which move pictures with the flick of a finger — were talking about what a shock it was that a Republican was favored on the issue of education. At this time in America, why would anyone favor the Democrats on this issue?

Did anyone happen to notice that once public employee unions were legalized back in the 1960’s, the cost of public education soared in this country while the quality of said education plummeted? A scientific theory, of which subject teachers are completely inept, would tell you that the two are not necessarily cause and effect. An honest person would state there are other factors involved. Is it a coincidence that these things happened simultaneously? I think not.

The country’s largest city which operates the country’s most populated school system has an (outgoing) mayor who has been an ardent enemy of charter schools. These are the same charter schools that have thousands vying for limited spots via lottery to get their children into schools not controlled by the mayor and his teacher union supporters. The same charter schools that enable minority students to perform at levels that far exceed the performance of their public schools’ counterparts. Yet for some reason, the perception is that Democrats are better on the issue of education. What is wrong with this picture?

In California, the teachers’ unions make a tremendous effort to get the legislature to crush charter schools. They lie about the performance of the charter schools to enhance the performance of the public schools to no avail. While the leaders wail about white supremacy, the performance of the black and brown students under their guidance is atrocious.

The Democrats like to say you should never let a crisis go to waste. In Virginia’s case, it backfired on them. I and many other critics of teachers’ unions and the current public-school systems seemed to get nowhere with middle-class and upper-middle class parents. Parents were too busy working and just getting through their days trying to provide a safe and healthy home for their children. We could write and speak and scream at the top of our lungs about the gross injustices being done to minority children. But if their school district was hiding the damage and their kids were getting a “good” education, they ignored the plight of others or were just too overwhelmed with their lives to take on the task of fighting the system.

Then we came upon a pandemic. Their kids were stuck at home and their teachers refused to show up to teach even after being vaccinated. Parents began to see not only the poor education being foisted upon their children but the poor education foisted upon all children –particularly in urban districts. They saw advanced education programs being canceled as racist because too many white or Asian kids were in the programs and not enough black or brown kids. They did not see the sense of that. They came to realize if the black or brown kid received a vapid education it was harmful to all of us down the line. They saw the schools were focused on issues other than math and English and science and history. If history was being taught, the values with which they were raised that made this country great were being trashed. Immigrant parents saw their kids being told that those things they cherished about America and caused them to fight so hard to become an American were bad or dangerous. The parents saw that their world was not being turned upside down. It already was.

Democrat elected officials who were funded by public employee unions that owned the politicians were the catalyst. The parents realized the people they trusted were cheating on them behind their backs. The funds from bond issues they were told to vote for and did so religiously were being wasted. Bright new schools were not the cure. The sickness was inside the schools. That means the curriculum, the school boards, the administration and, yes, the teachers who went along with all of it.

The other political party had been telling them that they cared. They argued for charter schools and parental choice and vouchers so parents could make the choice of a better way. The other party stood up and waved their hand and said we are still here. We still want to help. We still believe a public education monopoly has failed us. They reminded parents there is a reason the public-school establishment argues against the competition. When competition happens, the establishment loses, and the kids win. They reminded parents that they not only have a say in their child’s education, but they should also actively participate in the process.

Many black and brown parents have already realized the establishment and their political allies have left them in the dust. Now white parents have woken up to that reality. They have realized the Democrats are owned by the teachers’ unions serving them instead of their kids.

We have a breakthrough. Republicans should grasp that opportunity and press it to the wall. Not because it is a political opportunity. It is the right thing to do. It is not throwing money at a dysfunctional system. It is improving the outcomes for all our children. Republicans are the party of education. It just took a pandemic for many parents to wake up on the issue.

*****

This article was published on December 6, 2021, in FlashReport and reproduced with the permission of the author.

Real Policy or Political Theatre? thumbnail

Real Policy or Political Theatre?

By Neland Nobel

Many people on the political Left don’t seem to understand the deep skepticism with which many Conservatives view government health policy. They believe Conservatives are anti-science.

In the last few days, we have been provided a very good example of what is wrong with government policy and it is worthwhile reviewing while many of these details are fresh in our minds.

You might recall just a little more than a week ago, a new Covid variant was identified in South Africa. People on the ground suggested while infectious, it was relatively mild.

Just the news of the new discovery caused markets around the world to gyrate? Why? Was it fear of the new variant or fear of another governmental panic that would damage commerce?

Evidence suggests the latter and rather quickly the Biden Administration stoked those fears by banning travel from a half dozen countries in Southern Africa, including some countries that have not identified any cases within their borders.

Previously the Biden Administration had accused similar bans by President Trump as racist, but apparently, Democrats cannot be held to the same standard.

Moreover, if it is true that travelers can spread the new variant, what about the uncontrolled flow of “migrants” that pour into the U.S. daily, and then are transported all over the country by our own government? Can we take seriously at all their policy on banning travel when our own government actually imports and then distributes, unvetted and unexamined people from Afghanistan and all over the world that come through our Southern border?

This is the kind of contradiction that leaves the head spinning. And one need not be a doctor to see it. It just makes no logical sense.

The World Health Organization has now identified that the Omicron variant has been found in 38 countries and so far, not one death has been reported from those infected.

The CDC has identified the variant now in 15 states.

If the virus is already so widespread, what use is the ban on just six countries, some of which are very lightly populated like Namibia and Botswana?

Why such a severe reaction when no deaths have been reported?

Again, the reaction of the Biden Administration just makes no logical sense.

Adding further insult to logic, on December 3, 2021, Mexican officials announced Omicron was found in Mexico.

Where do you think more “travelers” will likely come from, our long open border with a highly populated contiguous neighbor, Mexico, or the massive influx of Namibians?

There appears no justification for travel bans on these six countries in Africa, given the evidence. But like so many instances, the policy is not grounded in logic or facts but is made for reasons of political theatre. And as in the past, once the government makes a bad decision, they are reticent to reverse course even when the evidence shows they are clearly wrong. To admit error is to admit confusion and political expediency. The show must go on.

The Biden Administration is sagging in the polls on almost all fronts but has maintained some popularity because of the perception they were taking on Covid in a more effective way than did Mr. Trump. Therefore, Biden tends to act first and think later, a sure-fire way to destroy credibility.

There are countless examples of stupid policies. One of my other favorites was the one where you had to wear a mask when entering a restaurant. For the 20 seconds necessary to get to your table, the mask provided “protection.” You then removed your mask and talk loudly to several people close by for about an hour. Then after this hour of viral transmission, you put the mask back on to “protect” the public for the 20 seconds you need to get out the door.

That masking policy made no sense and neither does the travel ban against Africans.

Every time the government behaves this way, its credibility with the public sinks. No, it is not because Conservatives don’t believe in science. Rather it is that government policy often makes no sense, is stupid and contradictory, and we have all figured out it is political theatre.

These repeated ventures into nonsense are not without a cost. When the time comes, that we might need to believe the government, it may be impossible to mobilize the American people because of deep and deserved cynicism.

After all, men can get pregnant, Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, Trump was a tool of the Russians, Jeffrey Epstein hung himself, and banning travel from six African countries can stop the spread of Omicron.

If you believe any of that, there is a bridge in Brooklyn that is for sale. Interested?

TAKE ACTION: U.S. Senate considers Build Back Better $5 trillion socialist spending bill. thumbnail

TAKE ACTION: U.S. Senate considers Build Back Better $5 trillion socialist spending bill.

By Florida Family Association

U.S. Senate considers Build Back Better $5 trillion socialist spending bill. Please send email to moderate Democrat Senators.


Click here to send your email to urge Senators Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema, Mark Kelly, Maggie Hassan, Jon Tester, Chris Coons, Tom Carper and Angus King to vote against the Build Back better bill.


To see this alert in your internet browser and share this article click here.

The United States Senate is currently considering the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better bill after it passed in the House of Representatives.  CBO scores the bill at $1.68 trillion.   However, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates the current cost at $2.2 trillion but rising to $4.9 trillion with extensions.

Senator Bill Hagerty slams Biden’s Build Back Better, says it’s designed to create government reliance.  Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ is the very definition of cradle-to-grave, big-government dependency.  Democrats would pull the ladder from aspiring Americans and create a permanent status of government-run mediocrity.  Senator Lindsey Graham said this about Build Back Better. “This is the biggest step toward socialism in my lifetime.”  Socialism is hostile toward a wide range of liberties that Americans have cherished for hundreds of years.  Socialism is very oppressive toward religious liberties especially towards Christians and Jews.  Socialism has a long history of suppressing freedom of speech which is witnessed daily in the leftist run “cancel culture.”

The Build Back Better bill will most likely add more inflationary spending that will further exacerbate grocery costs, gasoline prices, and home energy costs.  It will also increase the tax burden on taxpayers, take valuable resources needed to strengthen Medicare, expand socialist spending and increase the national debt.

Not only will the additional new spending proposed for green energy likely increase inflation it would also most likely impair the production of current affordable energy sources that Americans have relied upon for decades.

It is estimated that Medicare will run out of funds in 2026. Instead of wasting trillions of dollars on ineffective green energy and creating new social programs congress should be legislatively working to find ways to strengthen Medicare.

Many provisions of Build Back Better are priced for the short term but when calculations consider extensions the cost of the bill drastically increases close to $5 trillion.

President Biden tells Americans that “Build Back Better will reduce not increase inflation.”  He tells Americans that the “bill is fully funded and won’t cost taxpayers a dime.”  Americans are tired of such lies and have had enough of irresponsible public policies that have hurt their family budgets and threatened their public safety.

Florida Family Association has prepared an email for you to send to urge moderate Democrat Senators Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema, Mark Kelly, Maggie Hassan, Jon Tester, Chris Coons, Tom Carper and Angus King to vote against the Build Back better bill.

To send your email, please click the following link, enter your name and email address then click the “Send Your Message” button. You may also edit the subject or message text if you wish.


Click here to send your email to urge Senators Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema, Mark Kelly, Maggie Hassan, Jon Tester, Chris Coons, Tom Carper and Angus King to vote against the Build Back better bill.


Contact information:

Senator Joe Manchin

info@joemanchinwv.com

wes_kungel@manchin.senate.gov

Senator Kyrsten Sinema

kyrsten@kyrstensinema.com

info@kyrstensinema.com

meg_joseph@sinema.senate.gov

Senator Mark Kelly, Arizona

mark@markkelly.com

info@markkelly.com

jennifer_cox@kelly.senate.gov

Senator Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.

Marc Goldberg, Chief of Staff

info@maggiehassan.com

maggie@maggiehassan.com

marc_goldberg@hassan.senate.gov

Senator Jon Tester, Montana

info@jontester.com

dylan_laslovich@tester.senate.gov

Senator Chris Coons, Delaware

chris@chriscoons.com

info@chriscoons.com

jonathan_stahler@coons.senate.gov

Senator Tom Carper, Delaware

tom@carperfordelaware.com

info@carperfordelaware.com

lucy_xiao@carper.senate.gov

Senator Angus King, Maine

info@angusformaine.com

cathleen_connery_dawe@king.senate.gov

info@joemanchinwv.com

The Covid, Climate Alliance thumbnail

The Covid, Climate Alliance

By Joe Bastardi

Maybe it is all just a big Coincidence — Covid and Climate.

I have 2 chapters in my book on this matter. The book was written in March and April of 2020 so it predates the evolution of what you see

(btw it is available here and it is stocking stuffer size, sort of).  Keep hawking it, as unlike some things one writes where they are current, then in the past, this book is just as current now as when it was written)

In any case, I have to question whether this is all a  coincidence.

Think about it. What does Marxism seek to do? It is a top-down authoritarian form of governance where control of the free will and freedom of the individual is a must. This force’s dependence on the state, and in the spiritual aspect, forces a person to choose between that dependence and one’s religious belief.

So what are you seeing here? Covid policy is a tactic to control. The Virus is GOING TO NATURALLY MUTATE TO GET AROUND ANY TYPE OF ARTIFICIAL RESISTANCE. Nature does that all the time. But think what the reaction, no matter what the intention, has done. It forced a sense of fear and almost blind reliance, and outsourcing of one’s freedom, to someone who will take care of you. The age-old question of is it better to be safe or strong enough to resist a threat comes to mind. Those seeking safety first will trust someone else rather than themselves. How else can you explain an almost blind allegiance to someone who has not actively treated a patient in a practice for over 30 years, over doctors on the front lines offering suggestings on how to stop this? Dr Fauci, who is now floating the trial balloon of renewed lockdowns. Right in time for the holidays.

They want to talk math and science right? Okay. Tested positives are near 50 million. It is hugely telling that the people pushing a vaccine have not set up antibody testing stations around the country with the availability of testing or vaccination sites, You can get the shot anywhere, but you can’t tell if you have Covid antibodies in the same ratio, It is common knowledge now that natural immunity ( and for goodness sakes.  This should be intuitive)Why isn’t the French vaccine available here? It uses the tried and true method of prevention, stimulating your body to create its own antibodies and then becoming more mutation resistant.

Nature is a stronger and longer defense against COVID. So why would you not want to get an actual count of people with antibodies?, rather than a tested count? THAT MAKES NO SENSE. And it is baffling how people don’t see that.  Or don’t ask why vaccines like the one above are not available.  Dr  Fauci says it spread 5x faster than flu. By HIS IDEA the whole country should have had it by now. But no matter let’s take how many people have been vaccinated. It is over 230,000,000 million, You have 50 million immune and if the vax is so powerful that it is our patriotic duty to get it, even though there is a risk.

Now given the recent surge, if all this vax talk was true, then how is it we are seeing such a surge with so many fewer people that are supposedly the ones that are responsible. There are only 50 million “unprotected”. Something is wrong here with what we are being told. My suspicion is what many of us know, the man-made vax simply fades. And a lot of vaxed people are walking around not understanding that they are likely no better off than an unvaxed person and certainly not better off than someone that had covid ( of which I believe there are many more). They are actually at risk from a false sense of security.

Covid is dangerous. It is a blight. But either the people that are pushing all this are  incompetent, or they are purposely hiding the examples above I gave

Why shut down frontline doctors aggressively treating this with therapeutics?   Why isn’t the more classic French Version available here? There are countless questions, and they get blocked with an aggressive campaign to isolate, demonize and destroy, the classic Marxist tactic.

Now to climate. FORCED ADHERENCE IS HERE. You are seeing it in the form of price rise. Biden has created the mess and now has decided we need to look at those evil energy companies for raising prices. There is a calculated step up. Arrogant elitists tell us we can afford an extra dollar a pound for turkeys. Meat prices rise, so more people have to figure out what else to eat. An energy secretary laughs at the problem on the video, saying she wished she had a magic wand to force the now all-powerful again OPEC to lower their prices. And so people, the poorest especially must react. Just like Covid, a form of class warfare and chaos develops.  Quite frankly I can not believe this is an accident. Nor do I believe Joe Biden hatched this. His history proves he is incapable of such things, but more than willing to adapt such things ( please just look at his record). However, those that wish to take down the freedoms of this country or who have written books supporting the redistribution of American wealth as the penalty for what we have done ( gee I wonder who THAT is) are smart enough and also are ENOUGH OF A LEADER, WHERE THEY WILL KEEP THEIR MOUTHS SHUT FOR THE BIGGER CAUSE, can do it. They use setbacks such as Trump’s rise to power to regroup and come on stronger. So for whatever reason, they have a Covid and Climate alliance, along with the other chaos they crave to gain control, that is the wave we are facing.

Can you see the link? ITS DECEPTION ( or put it this way, a designed plan to hide all pieces of the puzzle). We are told it is getting worse all the time, yet there is no time better for living on the planet than now. That is why life expectancy has surged. Because of that, Covid can claim more lives.  The argument that more people are dying is absurd. 1) of course more people are dying there are more living. 2) There should be more people dying from natural disasters ( which of course are now blamed on man) because more people are living in harm’s way. Yet this graphic blows all that out of the water without having to argue over the polar bears or whatever or listen to Bill Nye and Greta drop F-bombs.

So if it’s worse than ever how were there 28x more deaths with 1/4 the population of today in 1930? It’s flat out false to assert man’s influence is ruining life. The earth is greener than ever in the satellite era, more people are living longer, more people are living in disaster-prone areas, YET THE ATTRIBUTED AMOUNTS OF DEATH ARE DROPPING.

We are in big trouble as far as what this nation was founded on. That the population as a whole is so uncurious about things like this, and not only accept what they are told but become agents for the deception by trying to force what they are told on others who actually look at these things, is the biggest problem. The devil’s biggest tool is to drive wedges into what we love the best. Our families, our friends, our way of life. To destroy what God has given every person and is so wonderfully spoken in the words of the founders. Whether you think the whole thing is a fairy tale or not is your business, but the old adage the road to hell is paved with good intentions is backed up by Mencken’s ”the urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule” rings loud and true today. Whoever or whatever is behind all this, and perhaps it is just plain dumb luck, is capitalizing on it. Be it Covid, Climate, or whatever, there are just too many common links to ignore what is an almost otherworldly design to destroy the American experiment.  And no matter what the actual cause, the erosion of our foundations is evident. And we have no one to blame but ourselves. If the nation falls, it’s because we became comfortable and complacent rather than virtuous and vigilant.

I think Paul Harvey nailed it back in 1964.

*****

This article was published on November 29, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from CFACT, The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow.

Head of Wisconsin Election Probe Accuses Two Big-City Mayors of Cover-up, Stonewalling

By Benjamin Yount

A former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice who is leading one of the investigations into the state’s 2020 elections says it’s clear to him there is a cover-up going on.

Former Justice Mike Gableman told the Assembly’s Committee on Elections on Wednesday that the state’s Elections Commission, its administrator, and the mayors of Madison and Green Bay have refused to answer any of his questions about the Mark Zuckerberg-funded Center for Tech and Civic Life, and continue to refuse to cooperate with the subpoenas issued in the case.

“[Green Bay Mayor] Eric Genrich and [Madison Mayor] Satya Rhodes-Conway have chosen to ignore the subpoenas issued by the Wisconsin Assembly because they have no intention of answering uncomfortable questions about what they did with the millions of dollars in Zuckerberg money that they took.”

The mayors have said in the past the Gableman’s subpoenas ask for too much information, or that it would take too long to comply with his requests.

Green Bay and Madison, along with Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha accepted nearly $9 million from the CTCL in 2020, ostensibly for coronavirus safety operations.

Gableman on Wednesday said the money, instead, went to a massive get out the vote operation in the state’s five largest, and most Democratic cities.

“Reasonable minds might wonder whether the millions of dollars each of these mayors received from the Zuckerbergs may have induced them to do something other than treat all candidates fairly and impartially. And whether those mayors used the Zuckerberg money to get out the vote for Joe Biden,” Gableman said.

Gableman said a lawsuit from the Wisconsin Elections Commission and the move by Green Bay’s mayor to “lawyer-up” tells him that the people involved with the CTCL money in Wisconsin, and involved in last year’s elections, don’t want those questions answered.

“They are trying to run and hide from accountability to the citizens they are supposed to serve,” Gableman told lawmakers. “Why go through all of this legal evasion, maneuvering, and expense unless they do not want the public to know what they have done?”

Gableman is facing a lawsuit from Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul that seeks to stop his investigation. Specifically, it seeks to stop him from asking questions of Elections Commission administrator Meagan Wolfe. That case is due before a judge on December 23rd.

Gableman on Wednesday unveiled for the first time on Wednesday that he filed writs of attachment in Waukesha County Court against Genrich and Rhodes-Conway. A writ of attachment would allow the court to seize the documents and other pieces of evidence that Gableman is asking for in his investigation.

Gableman’s update came on the same day, and at the same time as the Wisconsin Elections Commission’s monthly meeting. Commissioners used that hours-long meeting to push back, point-by-point, on the recent audit that found dozens of deficiencies and times when the commission didn’t follow state law.

SENS. LANKFORD and BRAUN: Biden Is Forcing American Families To Bend Until They Break thumbnail

SENS. LANKFORD and BRAUN: Biden Is Forcing American Families To Bend Until They Break

By The Daily Caller

In early September, an annoyed and impatient President Biden gave a speech on the state of COVID-19 in which he said Americans were testing his patience by not lining up to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. That day, he announced a vaccine mandate on our military, federal employees, federal contractors, all health care workers and everyone who works in a company with 100 or more employees — in other words, most Americans.

People watched in disbelief and wondered, the president can’t just give a speech and tell the whole country what to do, right? Mandates are only in Socialist Europe or Communist China, not here, right? The president can’t just fire people from their careers, force them out of their employer-provided health insurance and put their family into chaos just because he has “lost patience” with them, right?”

The simple answer is no. The president doesn’t run every family and every company in America, and we are standing up to stop him.

Nationwide, over 75% of Americans five years or older have already had the vaccine. The CDC estimates that 92% of Americans 16 years or older have already developed antibodies against COVID-19, from vaccination or from previous infection. Even with that statistic, the president still wants to fire people who do not “fall in line” from their jobs.

We’ve heard from thousands of people in our states who don’t want to take the COVID-19 vaccine for a number of reasons. Millions of people have already recovered from COVID and may have some level of natural immunity. Others have an objection to the vaccine based on their sincerely held religious beliefs. Some are being treated for cancers or auto-immune diseases and don’t want to introduce a relatively new vaccine into that treatment. Some have serious adverse reactions to many vaccines. Some have heard about the possible side effects of the vaccine or long-term possible issues and are just wary of taking it right away. Millions of other Americans just don’t like being told what to do. We are a stubborn, self-reliant people; that is part of what has made us the greatest nation in the world.

Our service members also face a serious decision and serious consequences. According to the latest numbers, only about 45.5% of the National Guard and Reserves are vaccinated, and we’ve heard from highly trained specialists with long careers who are considering remaining unvaccinated, even if they are fired. Imagine losing that knowledge and investment into our military. Firing our National Guard members will absolutely affect military readiness and disaster response in every state.

One of the scarier “or else” components to this is that if companies don’t give in to the vaccine mandate, guess what? The Democrats’ new multi-trillion-dollar bill increases OSHA fines for companies that employ 100 or more people tenfold. Democrats are not only trying to fire workers for not getting the vaccine, they’re also trying to shut down companies if they don’t fire their workers.

President Biden is playing a dangerous game of chicken with our families and our economy. He is gambling that he can put enough pressure on people that they’ll cave to his will by taking away their jobs and closing down companies with large fines. Americans are gambling that Biden will blink before they leave their jobs because if they change jobs in mass numbers it will cause even more economic damage and even more high inflation.

We call on our colleagues who believe in freedom from government intrusion into our lives to support our legislation to disapprove of the Department of Labor’s rule when we call it up for a vote in the Senate next week. All 50 Senate Republicans have committed to stopping Biden’s mandate on the private sector through what is called a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act. Now, with the addition of Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, we have the votes to overturn Biden’s mandate on private businesses in the Senate. Following the Senate vote, we will send it over to the House for a legislative “Judgement Day” on the mandate.

Meanwhile, lawsuits have been filed in nearly every part of the country challenging the vaccine mandate, with the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board noting how scathing the Fifth Circuit court was in its decision to halt implementation of the rule last month. The courts are finally joining with us to fight executive overreach.

If your Member of Congress is on the fence about the vaccine mandate, we encourage you to let them know where you stand. Many Americans who support the vaccine personally don’t support firing people from their jobs because they choose not to get the vaccine. Firing frontline workers who risked their lives to serve our nation before the vaccine is a terrible way to say thank you for their service.

Read the tea leaves, President Biden. America’s patience has run out with you trying to act like their dad and telling them what to do. Let Americans choose what is right for their health, their family and their freedom.

COLUMN BY

SEN. JAMES LANKFORD AND SEN. MIKE BRAUN

Contributors.

James Lankford serves as the junior senator from the state of Oklahoma in the U.S. Senate.

Mike Braun is serving as the junior senator from the state of Indiana in the U.S. Senate.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Dobbs V. Jackson: An Easy Opinion thumbnail

Dobbs V. Jackson: An Easy Opinion

By George Liebmann

The rejection of a “compelling state interest” test will remove abortion from national politics.

A simple Baltimore lawyer here tenders a short opinion to dispose of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the abortion case from Mississippi in oral arguments before the Supreme Court today.

This case presents the question: “Whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.” It involves a limitation of abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Similar limitations are found rational in many nations including France and Germany with their 12-week cutoff point. In Roe v. Wade, we said that states could limit second-trimester abortions if there was a rational basis to do so, but in the companion case of Doe v. Bolton, decided on the same day, we effectively applied a “compelling state interest” test.

We can dispose of this case by overruling Doe v. Bolton and Casey, but the avoidance of further controversy and confusion makes it desirable that we dispose of Roe also, thus withdrawing the Court from an area of public policy that we should not have entered in the first place and allowing further discussion to be divorced from claims of absolute right not inducing tolerance.

Five tests are conventionally used to justify overrulings: quality of reasoning (ever-shifting in this case); workability (belied by the constant flow of litigation over the “undue burden” test); inconsistency with prior law (patent in light of state legislation as of 1973); reliance (scarcely present, despite Casey, in view of Casey’s concession that “reproductive planning could take almost immediate account of any sudden restoration of state authority to ban abortions,” a conclusion reinforced by the two-thirds drop in births to teenagers following the withdrawal of 18 years of guaranteed AFDC payments by the Welfare Reform Act of 1996); and finally, and most importantly, as stated in Casey, “whether Roe’s premises of fact have so far changed to render its central holding irrelevant or unjustifiable” and whether an overruling decision would provide “a response to facts that the country would understand but which the court of an earlier day as its own declarations disclosed had not been able to perceive.”

These standards for overruling are now more than fully met. The Roe court did not even consider the potential effect of abortion-on-demand on sexual mores, unwanted pregnancies, and births out of wedlock. It recognized that anti-abortion statute might be the “product of a Victorian social concern to discourage illicit sexual conduct” but declared “Texas does not advance this justification in the present cases and it appears that no court or commentator has taken the argument seriously. The appellants and amici contend moreover that this is not a proper state purpose at all.” So much for the mostly religious lawgivers memorialized in the frieze at the top of the Supreme Court building and Justice Holmes’ observation that “the law is the external deposit of our moral life.”

It is nonetheless the duty of the Court to consider not only the state’s actual arguments but those it might have made, lest the inadequacies of a single lawyer deform the Constitution. As stated in Flemming v. Nestor, 363 U.S.603 (1960): “we cannot with confidence reject all those alternatives which imaginativeness might bring to mind save that one which might require invalidation of the statute.”

Instead, the Roe court, excluding the possible effect of its decision on promiscuous sexual behavior and increased pregnancies and births out of wedlock, made opposite assumptions. It alluded to “concerns about population growth, pollution, poverty, and racial overtones.” The Second Circuit, invalidating a Connecticut statute, postulated that “population growth must be restricted not enhanced and thus the state interest in a pro-natalist statute such as this is limited,” citing the Rockefeller Commission report on “Population Growth and the American Future” (1971).

Subsequent research by the present secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, and her Nobel-prize-winning economist husband, George Akerlof, which appeared in the Quarterly Journal of Economics and the Brookings Review in 1996, made clear that Roe had dynamic effects on American society, legitimating free love and the hookup culture by providing what looked like an assured back-up to birth control pills.

Thus the percentage of births to unwed mothers increased from 5.7 percent in 1970, when birth control pills were already in wide use, to 29 percent in 2018. Among black Americans, whose out of wedlock births were of great concern to “birth controllers,” the percentage of births out of wedlock increased from 38 percent in 1970 to 71 percent in 2018. Similarly, the “deal with it” syndrome that abortion-on-demand produced among consorts caused the percentages of marriages to those pregnant out of wedlock (“shotgun weddings”) to fall from 43 percent in 1970 to 9 percent in 2018.

“Inability to provide for the nurture and care of the infant is a cruelty to the child and an anguish to the parent,” the well-intentioned Justice Harlan stated in concurring in Roe. But after 50 years, there is much more such cruelty and anguish.

This Court, like the president and Congress, is subject to checks and balances. The confirmation process is one of these and can be given effect after 48 years. Several decisions have been overruled after long periods, including Lochner v. New York (work hours) after 50 years; Adkins v. Children’s Hospital (minimum wage) after 14 years; Plessy v. Ferguson (segregation) after 58 years; Bowers v. Hardwick (sodomy) after 18 years; Baker v. Nelson (homosexual marriage) after 43 years; and Korematsu v. United States (racial distinctions) after 74 years.

The public will now understand what the Court did not in Casey when it, echoing Justice Wayne’s concurring opinion in Dred Scott, called “the contending sides to end their division by accepting a common mandate rooted in the Constitution.” Dred Scott failed because the fugitive slave provisions of the Constitution and the Compromise of 1850 rendered Northern states complicit in the permissiveness of the South. Casey failed for the same reason, by imposing coastal rules on “flyover” country.

Our decision reversing the Fifth Circuit judgment is of little direct consequence. Some four percent of abortions per year are performed after the 15th week, many in states that will continue to have liberal abortion laws. But our decision will send a powerful message to young women and their consorts that abortion is no longer a sure thing and that they should choose sexual partners more carefully than at present. The rejection of a “compelling state interest” test will remove abortion from national politics as in Western Europe and will restore the American judiciary to what Aristotle and Aquinas regarded as judges’ proper function: “corrective justice” vindicating agreed settlements, not “distributive justice” changing agreed rules, which is the prerogative of the ruler in authoritarian states and the legislatures in democratic ones.

In Ferguson v. Skrupa, 372 U.S. 726 (1963), Mr. Justice Black stated for a unanimous court: “We emphatically refuse to go back to the time when courts used the Due Process clause ‘to strike down state laws, regulatory of business and industrial conditions, because they may be unwise, improvident, or out of harmony with a particular school of thought.’” To “business and industrial” we add “social,” thus definitively repudiating Dred Scott, the first adventure in substantive due process. We justify this overruling decision not merely by the prolix five tests of the legal academy, but in the words of Fiorello La Guardia: “When we make a mistake, it’s a beaut.”

The judgment is reversed.

*****

This article was published on December 1, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The American Conservative.

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Joe Manchin Does It Again

By Rick Moran

Senator Joe Manchin announced he would join all 50 Republicans in the Senate in voting for a resolution of disapproval that would roll back the OSHA vaccine mandate.

The Congressional Review Act (CRA) allows for a majority of Congress to disapprove of any agency rule. Since the CRA vote is in the form of a resolution, only a simple majority is needed in the Senate to pass it.

The CRA would still have to be approved in the House where several Democrats have said they’re considering voting for it. And even if it’s passed by both chambers, Biden would almost certainly veto it.

But it would be a powerful statement to make prior to a Supreme Court ruling on the case.

“Let me be clear, I do not support any government vaccine mandate on private businesses. That’s why I have cosponsored and will strongly support a bill to overturn the federal government vaccine mandate for private businesses,” Manchin said in a statement.

“I have long said we should incentivize, not penalize, private employers whose responsibility it is to protect their employees from COVID-19,” he added.

Manchin had an opportunity to eliminate the mandate when Senate Republicans were able to get Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to allow a stand-alone vote on an amendment that would defund the OSHA mandate.

But Manchin chose to vote against it, knowing that the CRA vote would be held next week.

*****

Continue reading this article, published December 3, 2021 at PJ Media.

Hamas-linked CAIR’s Zahra Billoo: ‘Know your enemies,’ oppose even ‘the polite Zionist’ thumbnail

Hamas-linked CAIR’s Zahra Billoo: ‘Know your enemies,’ oppose even ‘the polite Zionist’

By Robert Spencer

Elder of Ziyon notes: “Billoo declares that practically every Jewish organization in America is an enemy of Muslims. Not only that, but any organization that supports a two state solution is an enemy of Muslims. She doesn’t call them out explicitly, but that includes J-Street, that includes Peace Now, that includes Breaking the Silence. And she explicitly says that Hillels, the ADL, the Jewish Federations and even essentially all synagogues in America are the enemies of Muslims.”

Will this speech herald a crack in the coalition between Leftist Jews and Islamic supremacist groups? Stay tuned.

Original video:

MEMRI excerpt:

“CAIR Official Zahra Billoo: The Two-State Solution Is ‘Laughable’; Any Organization That Promotes It Is An Enemy; ADL, Jewish Federation, ‘Zionist Synagogues,’ Hillel Chapters Will Throw You Under The Bus,” MEMRI, November 25, 2021:

American activist Zahra Billoo, the executive-director of the San Francisco Bay Area branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA), said in a panel at the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) Annual Conference, which took place in Chicago on November 27, 2021, that the two-state solution is “laughable” and that any organization that supports it is an enemy. She told the audience that the Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Federation, “Zionist Synagogues,” and Hillel chapters on “our campuses” are not their friends. Billoo said that they will throw the Muslims under the bus. She further urged the audience to donate monthly to AMP, because if they pay U.S. taxes, this means that they financially support “apartheid” every month.

The panel was streamed live on the American Muslims for Palestine YouTube channel, and CAIR executive-director Nihad Awad also participated in the panel (see MEMRI TV clips 9208, 3536, 3701, and 5279). Attendees included Linda Sarsour (see MEMRI TV clips nos. 6935, 6808, and 6111), Lamis Deek (see MEMRI TV clip no. 3430), and Taher Herzallah (see MEMRITV clip no. 7071).

Zahra Billoo: “We need to pay attention to the Anti-Defamation League. We need to pay attention to the Jewish Federation. We need to pay attention to the Zionist synagogues. We need to pay attention to the Hillel chapters on our campuses, because just because they are your friends today, doesn’t mean that they have your back when it comes to human rights.

“So oppose the vehement fascist, but oppose the polite Zionist too. They are not your friends. They will not be there for you when you need them. They will take your friendship and throw your Palestinian brothers and sisters under the bus. Oh! You get along because you are all in Girl Scouts together? Talk to them about what is happening in Palestine, and see how that conversation goes.

“And so, when we think about Islamophobia and Zionism, let’s be clear about the connections. There is no difference between domestic policy and foreign policy when it comes to our human rights. There is no difference between domestic policy and foreign policy when it comes to those who seek to target us.

[…]

“By the way, you should be a monthly donor to American Muslims for Palestine. Build it into your budget and forget about it. Make it your monthly contribution, because you are contributing to the apartheid monthly. It is a part of your budget. You are paying your taxes, so you should be giving money to AMP monthly.

[…]

“The list goes on. Know who is on your side. Build community with them, because the next thing I am going to tell you is to know your enemies. And I am not going to sugarcoat that, they are your enemies. There are organizations and infrastructures out there who are working to harm you. Make no mistake of it. They would sell you down the line if they could, and they very often do behind your back. I mean the Zionist organizations, I mean the foreign policy organizations who say they are not Zionists but want a two-state solution. I am not a Palestinian myself, but it is my understanding that that is laughable. So know your enemies.”

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Project Veritas RESPONDS to New Twitter Policy thumbnail

VIDEO: Project Veritas RESPONDS to New Twitter Policy

By Project Veritas

*CLICK HERE TO TWEET OUT THIS VIDEO*


Twitter updated their policies this week which no longer allows the sharing of media without people’s prior consent. This from Twitter safety: “Beginning today, we will not allow the sharing of private media such as video of individuals without their consent.” Twitter also says it will, “try to assess the context in which the content is shared,” and “if a particular image and the accompanying tweet adds value to public discourse or is shared in the public interest,” it will be allowed.

The exception provided is subjective, political, and one that will inevitably be applied unequally. With this policy, Twitter is essentially banning journalism. It’s also a direct attack on organizations like us, Project Veritas. Now, all of this comes on the heels of a Department of Justice filing with a federal judge last week arguing we’re not journalists. Why? Well, the government argued that our reporting, “consists almost entirely of publicizing, non-consensual, surreptitious recordings.”

There’s that consensual word again, just like the new Twitter policy, but here’s the thing: good journalism requires publishing what someone else doesn’t want published, making public disclosures others want kept secret for the wrong reasons. Anything else you do is just public relations, and public relations is not journalism.

In fact, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press is currently asking the government questions about why the FBI raided the homes of reporters at Project Veritas, and in a court proceeding this week, a lawyer for Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Katie Townsend, told the magistrate judge, citing Chief Justice Berger from another case, “It’s difficult for the public to accept what it’s prohibited from observing.”  Thank you, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Thank you, lawyer Katie Townsend for defending principles, journalism and investigative reporting.

Thanks to the ACLU for coming to our defense in recent weeks. I’m getting ready to release a new book, American Muckraker, next month. It’s an eye-opening glimpse into undercover reporting as seen by the muckrakers who defend press freedoms and a brave new world of video journalism. American history is replete with award-winning journalists who have used undercover reporting to seek truth, uncover corruption, and bring their stories to the world. Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes, William Gaines of the Chicago Sun-Times, Pam Zekman, just to name a few. There’s a whole chapter called Privacy in my forthcoming book which outlines a lot of this.

Sissela Bok, an expert in ethical journalism, wrote, “It would be wrong to conclude that journalists ought to write only about persons who have given their consent. Those who use secrecy to cover up for abuse is often resort to spurious claims that privacy, confidentiality or national security it’s important for reporters not to take those claims at face value.” Some experts have argued that the ability to record something, as long as you’re next to the person you’re talking to, is closely connected to the ability to write and speak.

In fact, a Michigan appeals court argued in a 1982 case, “A recording made by a participant is nothing more than a more accurate record of what was said. Legal scholar Laurence Tribe has argued that the public’s right to know “means nothing more than a mirror of such a right to speak, a listener’s right that government not interfere with a willing speakers liberty.” If you think about it, a recording device is just a sophisticated piece of note taking equipment.  One of the lawsuits we’ve won before a federal jury trial — and by the way, you don’t know that because it’s never reported in the media and it’s certainly not on our Wikipedia page — a federal judge made the case for covert recording.

In a rare Rule 50 Directed Verdict, Judge Reidinger, a federal judge, pointed out to the people suing us and their attorney, Dixie Wells, that there was no distinction between a recording and, say, the taking of notes.  Here’s a transcript, again, in my forthcoming book, “James O’Keefe says we go out there, we interview people, we find out what the facts are and report the facts that we learn.” The lawyer’s response, “Your honor, you’ve called it an interview, and I may have slipped and called it that as well. This was taped at a bar in different places, where the person did not know they were being interviewed.” The judge’s response to that lawyer, “But he knew he was being asked questions.”

You see, without a recording device, the facts sometimes get distorted.  In the 1906 magazine article titled, “Is the Jungle True?” Upton Sinclair, you all know who he is, the most famous muckraker of all time, conceded that he had presented a selected version of the truth, having reserved the right to “dramatize and interpret” what he reported.  But with video, the speaker’s cadence, inflection, and tonality, as well as other important context captured in a recording, limit people to, “interpret.”

For Twitter to ban surreptitious audio and video recordings entirely, and for the government to consider that not journalism, would only remove information from the public sphere that offers a more accurate depiction of what actually occurred. Or, as another State Supreme Court has held, “Society would not consider reasonable an expectation of privacy which would result in a more inaccurate version of the events in question.”

Another expert on journalism we cite currently teaches at Stanford University, Theodore Glasser, who literally wrote the book, Ethical Journalism, and he vigorously defended the use of concealed recordings, which comes into conflict with what Twitter’s policy now says, which if you’re broadcasting videos of individuals without their consent they should be prohibited. As Glasser puts it, “The use of a concealed tape recorder, at least when one party is present.”  That means when you’re with the person you’re recording, “It’s not nearly the moral quandary its opponents would have us believe; it is not an invasion of privacy, it is not an active deception, it is not a form of eavesdropping, and it does not constitute entrapment.”

So, what then is the problem with photographing and recording people that you’re with? The newest attack on this type of journalism is that it harms people. The Twitter statement says as much. It says it could be, “threatening to broadcast images without people’s consent.” We saw that with our story in California, involving a teacher who said into a hidden camera at a coffee shop, he wanted to “scare the fuck” out of kids.  By the way, that’s a direct quote.

As a result of our reporting, and the parental outrage that subsequently followed, that teacher, Gabriel Gipe, was ultimately removed from the school. Parents made informed decisions in their communities and the correct outcome occurred. It wasn’t an outcome that we advocated for. We quoted the man, and people in this society have to make informed decisions about the information, but corporate media was not willing to identify his name in subsequent media coverage in order to protect him. This, from the Sacramento Bee, “The Sacramento Bee is not identifying the teacher because he has received threats. And it is unclear whether he consented to be recorded by Project Veritas.”

There’s that word again. “Consent.” We’ve seen it with the US government. We’ve seen it with Twitter’s policy, and this was after he said he wanted to scare children. You can see the irony in that. Now, reporting is becoming about safety of the people committing malfeasance, but in gathering truthful information, in the course of his or her duties, the journalist will affect certain individuals in a negative way.

In pursuing the right to know, this is almost inevitable. As former Washington Post editor, Leonard Downie, writes in a book called The New Muckrakers, “The investigative reporter must face the fact that his stories will hurt people.” Isn’t it interesting that all the sources I cite are from decades ago?  Maybe real journalism is falling out of fashion.

In fact, 20 years ago in a seminal Supreme Court case, Bartnicki v. Vopper, Justice John Paul Stevens argued that the First Amendment provides protection even to speech that disclose the contents of an illegally intercepted communication, “Exposure of self to others in varying degrees is a concomitant of life in a civilized community. The risk of this exposure is an essential incident of life in a society which places a primary value on freedom of speech and the press.” Does Twitter think they’re now above the United States Supreme Court because what must never be forgotten is that in a free society, a free Republic like ours, protecting the people’s right to know is necessary if citizens are to make informed decisions.

Whether it’s Upton Sinclair using his pencil or a Project Veritas journalist using a button camera, we honor a tradition as old as the Republic itself with concepts that go back to Cicero. Critics of surreptitious recordings seem more troubled by the medium than with the findings. Video can be unflattering, but then again, the truth can be unflattering. So do not be fooled by a narrative about privacy, consent, and safety. These are not legitimate arguments as legendary 60 Minutes producer, Don Hewitt, said decades ago, “People committing malfeasance don’t have any right to privacy. What are we saying, that Upton Sinclair shouldn’t have smuggled his pencil in?”

EDITORS NOTE: This Project Veritas video is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Troubled Waters thumbnail

Troubled Waters

By Ralph l. Defalco III

When Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Manila, Philippines during a 2018 state visit, he assured all that the two nations had entered a new era of diplomacy that promised to turn the long-disputed areas of the South China Sea into a “sea of peace.” Xi had previously issued an official communique that told the tale of how famed Chinese mariner Zheng He, with the massive Treasure Fleet of the 15th Century Ming Dynasty, had embarked on seven great voyages of “peace and friendship.” On one such voyage, claimed Xi, the Chinese explorer Zheng, and his fleet sailed into Manila Bay.

It was a fanciful tale on two counts: Zheng never sailed into Manila Bay and Xi’s regime in Beijing has brought no peace to the South China Sea (SCS).

Behind Beijing’s once-beguiling diplomacy is the now unconcealed Chinese design to encompass nearly the whole of the SCS as territorial waters of China. China claims sovereignty over virtually all the islands of the SCS and the adjacent territorial waters, even though much of this area is in the demarcated Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ) inside the 200 nautical mile limit of the coastlines of Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Taiwan.

The Nine-Dash Lines

The significance and consequences of these Chinese claims cannot be overstated. China’s intention is to make more than 80-85 percent of that region part of its own EEZ at the expense of other nations and the international community. China wants to claim sovereign territorial rights to these waters and, thereby, the justification to control the passage of the world’s ships—both merchant and military—in what have always been international waters. Some $5.3 trillion in global trade and 30 percent of global oil exports ship through these same waters annually. In addition, these claims would give China exclusive rights, according to a diplomatic note Beijing penned to the international Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, “to the relevant waters and seabed and subsoils thereof,” and the vast fisheries, minerals, and fossil fuels in these waters—which the US Energy Information Agency estimates hold 11 billion barrels of oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

At the center of China’s unprecedented claim is a crude map of the ‘nine dash lines’ that encompass nearly all of the islands in the SCS. The map was created after World War II by the Kuomintang government of the Republic of China and quickly adopted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to represent the Chinese nation’s historic legacy of territories from the Ming and Qing dynasties and bolster the Party’s irredentist claims. Unlike its geopolitical rivals—with foreign policies and plans that can turn on the result of an election—China’s strategy for this region is rooted in Party orthodoxies and mapped out over decades. Beijing is positioned here to play the “long game” to outlast its rivals, exhaust any opponents, and present a fait accompli to the international community of ownership by occupation in the SCS. That strategy is bolstered by a cunning campaign of propaganda that stirs Chinese pride and patriotism and bolsters the standing of the Xi regime.

Beijing’s 2009 announcement of territorial claims in the SCS put it on a collision course with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia—all nations that officially protested the use of the line to establish PRC territories in the SCS. Since 2016, Beijing has taken increasingly bellicose actions in the region—actions that have moved from strident diplomatic demands, through a phase of low intensity coercion to brazen displays of military muscle. In so doing, China is acting outside the norms of international behavior and ignoring the rule of law. In response, other nations are left with very few options to dissuade, to deter, or to deny China’s extraterritorial ambitions in the SCS—and all are fraught with risk.

Little room is now left for SCS nations and the international community to rely on diplomacy and suasion to pull China back from its unlawful island occupations or steer Beijing away from a course that risks regional armed conflict and threat of a wider war. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) would seem well positioned to help resolve the dispute. China, however, is not an ASEAN member state, so the dispute is not an intra-ASEAN issue. Moreover, any action taken by the United Nations inimical to China’s interest would immediately draw Beijing’s veto from its seat on the Security Council.

Diplomacy and the Law of the Sea

Beijing regards disputes in the SCS as matters for bilateral negotiations. Bilateralism gives Beijing greater control over the outcomes of its diplomacy and the ability to conduct negotiations privately. China has little or nothing to gain from multi-lateral initiatives and so refuses to be a party to international efforts to find a diplomatic solution. The most meaningful attempt at international diplomacy was made in 2013 when the Philippines sought formal arbitration to resolve its dispute with China over possession of territory in the Spratly Islands. Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), a Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruled in 2016 there was “no legal basis for China to claim historic rights,” to exclusive control of the waters and resources inside the dash lines. The tribunal also found China had violated Philippine sovereignty and caused “severe harms” to the environment.

The nations aggrieved by China’s claims welcomed and accepted the unequivocal and unprecedented ruling. China purposefully declared the ruling “null and void.” Paramount Leader Xi bluntly rejected the ruling outright and stated flatly “China’s territorial sovereignty and marine rights in the South China Sea will not be affected by the so-called Philippines South China Sea ruling in any way.”

Xi was as good as his word. The Xi regime is using China’s vast resources and all the levers of the nation’s power—diplomatic, informational, military, economic—to intimidate, overmatch, and coerce nations bordering the region to gain and keep control of the islands and waters of the SCS.

Beijing has invested heavily in its debunked nine dash narrative as a part of China’s administrative territory. These claims play to the Party’s nationalist overtures and are ingrained in a studied campaign of propaganda to build national unity and a broad view of the Party as guardian of the nation’s sovereignty. The nine dash line now appears on passports and maps; in schoolroom texts, books, movies, television programs, and on-line games; on leaflets; and even on t-shirts. The movie Abominable—co-produced by US and Chinese animation studios in 2019—provoked censorship in Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines by including a glimpse of the nine dash line map. It’s a clever and well-orchestrated information campaign and a telling demonstration of China’s ability to pull one of the levers of soft power. Then, in 2020, China unilaterally announced it had established two new administrative districts in the Spratly Islands and the Paracel Islands, both of which are claimed by Vietnam.

In the face of failed diplomacy and the Xi regime’s resolute defiance of the results of international arbitration, some SCS nations seek to deter China from using force to establish more than just titular administrative control of the region. None of these nations, however, seem willing or even able to act in concert for mutual defense. The best that can be said of any effort at building a military deterrent is that it may be sufficient to make it costly for China to resort to the overt use of force in the territorial waters of a rival claimant.

Vietnam, for example, now has military capabilities that arguably give that nation a credible military deterrent. The Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) procured Russian-built arms that include six modern Kilo-class diesel submarines, frigates, and corvettes. In addition, the VPA has added a network of anti-area missiles that include the Russian Bastion shore based anti-ship cruise missile system and modernized its air forces with long range strike aircraft. Vietnam has also improved its island outposts in the Spratlys, adding guided rocket artillery launchers on several installations—weapons capable of striking Chinese land-based targets in the region.

Given continued Chinese provocations in the SCS, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines all plan to upgrade and modernize their armed forces but are hamstrung by both limited budgets and the dead weight of old and obsolete equipment. The Philippines, for example, carry in inventory ships that are four decades old and even some that were commissioned during World War II. Manila has been more successful in rebuilding its coast guard and—with Japanese funding and shipbuilding—will take possession of the first two of ten, armed, 300-foot, multi-role response vessels in 2022.

But there is no naval arms race underway in the SCS. The reality is that SCS nations with claims in the region would be hard-pressed to mount any effective response to Chinese maritime intervention and have no means of projecting power, of sustaining offensive operations, or even of maintaining a Fabian defense in their own waters. China’s military capabilities are overwhelming already and still growing. With a fleet of 300 surface ships and submarines, the Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is the largest in Asia; the flotilla of the Chinese Southern Theater Navy is the dominant force in the SCS.

Projecting Power

But Beijing’s military strategy is not just to achieve regional maritime dominance. The PRC aims to amass power projection capabilities from forward operating bases on islands throughout the SCS. During the last decade, China has been engaged in a sustained effort to build bases on what once were little more than small island strips of sand, shallow reefs, and rocks. Some 3,200 acres of new land for bases has been created by massive dredging operations in the disputed Spratly Islands and hundreds more acres have been created in the Paracel Islands. These bases are now the site of port facilities and airfields to support maritime logistics, sea patrols and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. China has also fortified these island outposts with bunkers, radar installations, upgraded sensors and anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles. In 2019, China conducted an anti-ship ballistic missile test near the Spratly Islands to showcase an enhanced naval capability and demonstrate the Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) ability to counter any military interventions.

Beijing has yet to permanently deploy forces of the PLAN, or the Peoples Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) to these military outposts. But deployment of PLA forces to these forward bases would give China the capability to handily defeat the weaker military forces of other SCS nations and project power deep into the surrounding ocean areas. This war-time deployment would likely be Beijing’s military response to the worst-case scenario of concerted action by SCS nations, or Western or US intervention to deny China control of the region.

If the Xi regime succeeds and realizes its extraterritorial claims, without resort to force of arms in a broad conflict, China will present Asian nations, the West, and the United States with a stunning setback.

Instead, China will, in the near term, continue to rely on coercion and intimidation tactics—radioed threats, shadowing, ramming ships, using water cannons, tracking with fire control radar—short of the overt use of armed force. These so-called “gray-zone” tactics engage the China Coast Guard (CCG) in supposed maritime law enforcement operations and the Peoples Armed Forces Maritime Militia (PAFMM) in harassing commercial fishing fleets, small merchant vessels, and exploration and survey ships of other nations operating in the SCS. The CCG is the largest such force in the world with more than 300 vessels. More than 70 percent of all major “incidents at sea” in the SCS involve CCG and PAFMM vessels. Earlier this year China’s new Coast Guard Law transferred control of the CCG from civilian to military hands and, ominously, authorized the CCG to use lethal force on foreign vessels that fail to heed orders to leave waters claimed by China. There are teeth in that threat to use force, too. All CCG ships are well-armed and in 2017, the CCG added a 12,000-ton cutter to its forces in the region. It’s the most heavily armed coast guard ship in the world and a vessel larger than a US Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser. Beyond the CCG, the Southern Theater Navy is just over the horizon, and, once committed, land-based attack aircraft can sortie from fortified Chinese-held island bases throughout the SCS in support of any Chinese maritime force.

More worrisome is China’s engagement in slow intensity conflict—forceful actions to press up to and even past the maritime frontiers of nations in the region—and create a de facto permanent presence with its large fishing fleet and with PAFMM and resource survey ships. The Xi regime seems intent to do so even in the face of the lawfully adjudicated claims of neighboring nations, in contravention of international agreements and law, and at the risk of the opprobrium of the world community. China has also assumed an increasingly bellicose posture in the region and, lately, a willingness to engage in saber-rattling and massive show-of-force demonstrations. This year China conducted some 20 amphibious landing exercises in the SCS and in the Taiwan Strait, launched more than 100 aircraft over a three-day period to test Taiwan’s air defense systems, and kicked off a series of robust naval exercises immediately before combined drills for the United States, India, Japan, and Australia took place off the coast of Guam.

Taiwan presents the only robust military force in the region, but Taipei’s Operational Defense Concept is a defensive strategy oriented to preserving assets after a first strike, fighting a decisive battle in its immediate littoral region, and destroying invading forces during landing. Taiwan does not possess an expeditionary capability and is unlikely to commit forces to the undefended Taiping Island in the SCS. Taiwan’s most credible deterrence lies in its unique relationship with the United States. Washington has never explicitly committed to a defense of Taiwan and has lately sent mixed signals of its future intent. But military to military contacts between the two nations are extensive and the US has enhanced Taiwan’s security with substantial and regular arms sales. More critically, defense of Taiwan is regarded as a litmus test for US resolve in its relations with friendly nations and partners in Asia.

Deterrence Lost

The grim reality is SCS countries are simply overmatched. Beijing’s constant campaign of coercion, harassment, the use of gray zone tactics, slow intensity conflict, and the threat of massive use of force are all intended to sap the strength and weaken the resolve of other claimants in the SCS. The nations of Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam have few options to effectively counter future Chinese military operations. Diplomacy and dissuasion have failed to produce results. Deterring Chinese aggression in the SCS is possible but can only be achieved by nations with credible military capabilities and the readiness to engage in armed conflict. This level of deterrence is only possible with the support of the international community and leadership from the West, and especially from the United States. To deny Beijing control over the islands and waters of the SCS risks not only regional conflict, but the possibility of a wider Pacific war.

Beijing’s revanchist foreign policy at play in the South China Sea is rooted in a strategy that constantly seeks to legitimize the Communist Party as the guardian of the state. The nation’s territorial sovereignty is imperative to a government that demands absolute authority to protect the homeland from fractious internal unrest, from the predations of bordering countries, and from foreigners, like those who occupied China during its Century of Humiliation. China’s foreign policy in the South China Sea also demonstrates the Party’s determination to claim historic rights to territories even as reputable historians debunk those claims. Simply put, Beijing cannot back down from its claims in the SCS; there is no way to do so that permits the Xi regime to save face.

If the Xi regime succeeds and realizes its extraterritorial claims, without resorting to force of arms in a broad conflict, China will present Asian nations, the West, and the United States with a stunning setback. Beijing will also have succeeded in legitimizing the Xi regime and the territorial goals of the Communist Party, undercutting US influence in the region, and reaping the rewards of unchecked aggression.

*****

This article was published on December 3, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from Law and Liberty.

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The Long Cycles in Markets and Political Order

By Joakim Book

The best class I took in all my economics education was called “Cyclical Fluctuation,” taught by Dr. Susan Schroeder at USYD. It was a broad-scope class in the many heterodox ideas that economists have about what causes business cycles, and what makes the output, employment, and financial prosperity fluctuate so wildly around otherwise steady long-term trends.

One kind of explanation goes by the name of “long waves” – perhaps the most famous of which is Kondratieff waves, developed by the Soviet and Marxian economist Nikolai Kondratieff. Many other theories exist that try to account for fluctuations through long-dated cycles, identifying historical patterns over 50 or 100 years. I see these stories quite a lot: the historian Niall Ferguson had plenty of long-arc thinking in his latest book; and the generational theory by William Strauss and Neil Howe (The Fourth Turning), is all the rage in the crypto world.

Usually, cycle theories or long-wave patterns suffer from problems of overfitting past data – or pushing past events through vague-enough definitions such that almost anything goes. They lack nuance or don’t offer enough evidence. Personally, I always found it absurd that a world so unlike the past from which it came could be governed by motions in that (pre-industrial) past. If “it’s different this time,” there’s no point bothering with elaborate cycles; quite a lot of things are different, but not all. If indeed enough trends echo the past, there might be a future trajectory that an astute eye can detect.

Ray Dalio, the prolific writer and founder of Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest and renowned hedge funds, has if not changed my mind, then at least massively shifted the needle on how I see cycle theories. Released today, his latest 500-page tome, Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail, aims very high: analyzing five centuries of markets, currency collapses, and changes to the world financial and political order.

Dalio avoids most of the traps associated with cycle theories. Changing World Order is jam-packed with charts, showing long-run changes in major countries, often reaching back centuries. Population, real GDP per capita, asset returns (of various portfolios and the main asset classes), mortality from war or famine are all included. At the core of Dalio’s view on markets and politics lies a conviction that underlies all cycle theories (“Knowing how things have changed in the past leads me to consider the possibility that something similar might happen in the future”). But he also improves on that by observing that over the longer horizon, cycles and the rise-and-fall of empires notwithstanding, cycles operate on a trend that for reasons yet unclear continues upward – through pandemics, world wars, inflations, and natural disasters

He shows us the result of the indices of competitiveness, technology, or military strength that he uses to analyze the world and inform his investment decisions. He manages to do what many successful investors writing books about their investment lens fail at delivering something new and interesting without giving away precisely the secret sauce that fueled his success.

What I like the most is the metrics of the rise and fall of reserve currencies. The Dutch guilder, Europe’s dominant reserve currency after a century or more of Dutch economic outperformance, was overtaken by the pound sterling when Britain’s industrialization and military strength later surpassed the Dutch. In turn, it subsequently lost to the US dollar during the first half of the 20th century. A dominant currency observes Dalio, lags heavily the economic punch its economy packed in the past. 

We’ve only had three or four of these global monetary transitions, so it’s hard to assess Dalio’s claim that this is a universal pattern. And if so, what does it say about the renminbi? About currencies like bitcoin, which are unconnected to a nation-state?

To analyze markets, Dalio combines the money-credit focus of Ludwig von Mises with the macro-debt focus of Hyman Minsky: “Unless you understand how money and credit work, you can’t understand why the world changed as it did.” His turning points for the debt cycles are also distinctly Minskyiate: when income isn’t enough to service debt; when people’s excesses and decadence vastly exceed their ability to create tangible value; when fear and greed are rife, jealousy and domestic conflict imminent. To this, Changing World Order expertly adds the big-picture history of people like Ferguson, Deirdre McCloskey, and Jared Diamond. Halfway through, Dalio reveals his main role model: the British historian Paul Kennedy, whose door-stop-sized The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers is on the curriculum of every undergraduate history program.

We get lots of schematic cycles, so many that I quickly lost track. The money-capital markets-debt cycle is the one he’s most known for, to which he adds cycles about internal order (values, institutions, and conflicts within a country) and cycles for external order (military, trade wars, and technology differences between countries). These are all mapped out in a fairly detailed way, with a half-dozen stages and their relative components explicitly marked.

“Most investors,” Dalio writes, don’t look for history, “because they think history and old investment returns are largely irrelevant to them.” He soothes my initial skepticism of cycle theories with plenty of graphs showing smoothed lines that move in discernable wave-like fashion.

While his long cycles are stuck in a limited history, he offers an outstanding amount of real-world evidence for this thesis: asset returns, currency debasement against gold or consumer baskets, and the expansion of debt and financial markets.

Even if his main pattern of political and economic power is broadly correct – that innovativeness, competitiveness, and education leads to prosperity, which eventually lead to excesses and decadence, decline, and conflict – it’s not clear to me what to do with that. Spain in the 1500s, fueled by Potosí silver, withered away over a hundred years; the Roman decline similarly took centuries; the Russian tzar reign ended abruptly. How do we know which historical echo signals our immediate future?

The reader must overlook the occasional statements where Dalio slips into the mistakes of other cycle theories. Like most of them, Dalio is forced into making vague, trivial, or often meaningless claims – like “most cycles in history happen for basically the same reasons.” “All markets,” he adds “are primarily driven by just four determinants: growth, inflation, risk premiums, and discount rate.”

Or this, about the internal struggles and disorder cycle:

While the length of time spent in each of these stages can vary a lot, the evolution through them generally takes 100 years, give or take a lot and with big undulations within the cycle.

With a main pattern of a century, with “a lot” of fluctuation around the start and end-points, on top of “big undulation within the cycle,” almost anything seems to fit the pattern. And “after self-interest and self-survival, the quest for wealth and power is what most motivates individuals, families, companies, states, and countries.”

At a high enough level of abstraction, these statements are plausible – even undeniable – but it is unclear what they give us. Yes, they’re true; but also very diluted in meaning. History may rhyme, but the ways in which poets can play on words is almost infinite – so what does identifying a vague, broad, or imprecise pattern really give us?

I wasn’t overly fond of the parts dedicated to China – over one-fifth of the book. It makes sense as a case study of a rising power, and is very relevant considering the many brooding U.S-China conflicts over technology, trade, and geopolitics. It pays homage to Dalio’s belief that China is rising in the many indicator curves against the stagnating (and even declining) indicators he reports for Europe and the US. But those chapters are long, detailed, and hard to follow for those without intricate knowledge of China’s past.

To nitpick, I don’t like how he tweaks established terms for no apparent reason: “store of value” became “Storehold of wealth”; “exorbitant privilege” was replaced by “extraordinary privileged.” One unconventional phrasing is useful: describing bonds and other liabilities as debt assets and debt liabilities to emphasize their role in balance sheets for different economic agents.

It is a very rare country in a very rare century that didn’t have at least one boom/harmonious/prosperous period, so we should expect both. Yet, most people throughout history have thought (and still think today) that the future will look like a slightly modified version of the recent past. […] Because the swings between great and terrible times tend to be far apart, the future we encounter is likely to be very different from what most people expect. […]

No system of government, no economic system, no currency, and no empire lasts forever, yet almost everyone is surprised and ruined when they fail.

The big curveballs are the turning points of history – modern tools of finance, the machine age, inclusive societies, or the scientific method. We can’t anticipate them, yet per Dalio’s own cycle theory we should still try to identify them, understand them, and adapt. That conflict runs through Dalio’s impressive book but doesn’t detract much from a thesis that I found much more persuasive than I had anticipated: some historical patterns are real, wave-like, and operate over long horizons. With skill, data, and humility, we can uncover the likely prospects for our own times.

*****

This article was published on November 30, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from AIER, American Institute for Economic Research.

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Dispelling 3 Common Myths About Abortion

By Melanie Israel

With the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case before the Supreme Court and the ongoing litigation over the Texas heartbeat law, the issue of abortion looms large in our national discourse.

Too often, pro-abortion actors make claims that are simply not true, and those claims are repeated without challenge in the media. Therefore, it’s vital that the American public be made aware of facts that challenge the pro-abortion narrative.

Here’s the truth you need to know about three core claims of abortion activists:

Myth 1: Abortions Are Safer Than Childbirth

Abortion activists claim that abortions are safer than childbirth. But that’s the exact inverse of reality—and for a number of reasons.

First, this framing of the debate denies the humanity of the unborn child from the outset. Because every fetus is a human possessing fundamental dignity, their health and safety must also be taken into consideration.

No procedure that destroys life can be considered safe. By definition, abortion is always fatal for at least one party involved; namely, the unborn child. Therefore, by definition, abortion is never “safe.”

Second, besides the fact that abortions necessarily involve the killing of unborn children, abortion is not necessarily the safer option for women.

After getting an abortion, women have approximately an 80% higher risk of experiencing mental health issues, including suicidal tendencies and substance abuse.

According to Dr. Ingrid Skop, an obstetrician-gynecologist, potentially fatal complications from abortions include “vaginal or intra-abdominal hemorrhage … infection … incomplete removal of the remains of the aborted baby, damage to the cervix, uterus, or other pelvic or abdominal organs … anesthetic reactions or overdoses, amniotic fluid, septic, or thrombotic embolisms, cardiac, or cardiovascular events.”

Such complications hardly render abortion safe for women.

Third, the assumption that abortion is the safer option for women ultimately rests on incomplete data.

The federal government as well as 22 states do not require abortion providers to report critical data on postabortion complications. This inevitably skews abortion activists’ numbers, especially when a state like California, one of the states that doesn’t require abortion providers to report data, is estimated to have over a quarter of all abortions performed in the U.S.

Likewise, according to data collected in  2019, there were no states that required doctors, coroners, or emergency rooms that don’t provide abortions to report abortion-related deaths. So, if a woman goes to an emergency room with abortion-related complications and dies, the hospital is not required to report it as an abortion-related death. That skews abortion-related mortality rates.

Therefore, abortions aren’t safe for unborn children, and they aren’t always safe for women.

Myth 2: Abortion Is a Woman’s Only Practical Option

Studies show that most abortions are chosen for reasons related to factors such as finances or personal relationships.

According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, 74% of abortions are chosen out of a fear that the baby would interfere with education or work, or that the baby would make it difficult to take care of dependents.

An overlapping 73% claimed they could not afford a child, and nearly 50% had relationship issues or did not want to become a single mother.

Even among third-trimester abortions, as reported by Dr. James Studnicki, “most late-term abortions are elective, done on healthy women with healthy fetuses.”

It’s clear from these numbers that medical emergencies do not motivate most abortions.

In contrast, the pro-life movement stresses providing the resources women need to give birth and raise their children.

Pregnancy resource centers help pregnant women and their families navigate challenges such as the pregnancy itself, financial management and needs, threats to job security, unsupportive partners and family members, and more.

According to one study, in 2019, pregnancy centers performed ultrasounds for 486,213 mothers-to-be free of charge and provided mothers and families with material resources such as diapers, baby clothes, and the like.

In total, they provided $266,764,916 worth of services, and 9 out of 10 people working at pregnancy resource centers do so on a voluntary basis.

Despite activists’ claims, abortion doesn’t solve any of those problems. By reducing “care” for women to the elimination of the unborn life, the mother is not helped.

Myth 3: Most Americans Support Abortion

The claim that most Americans support abortion is misleading when checked against data from a 2021 Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll.

Despite a slight majority (53%) of Americans identifying as “pro-choice,” 55% of pro-choice individuals are in favor of abortion restrictions.

According to the poll, 76% Americans support significant restrictions on abortion, with 70% of Americans in favor of restricting abortions after the first trimester—which would bring U.S. law in alignment with the rest of the world, including 47 out of 50 European countries.

Likewise, when asked if they support abortion based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome, 70% of participants opposed such an abortion. Additionally, 58% opposed taxpayer money going to abortions.

Ultimately, these numbers reflect a nation that wants to do more to protect unborn children and is not remotely aligned with the abortion lobby’s position of abortion on-demand, for any reason, through all nine months of pregnancy.

Sadly, that hasn’t kept Democrats from calling for the elimination of the Hyde Amendment, which would clear the way for taxpayer-funded abortions.

Conclusion

The facts indicate that abortions are not safe for unborn children and carry significant risks for the mothers who receive them.

Most abortions are not done for cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. Lastly, most Americans do not support radically permissive abortion policies. In fact, most Americans support policies that further protect unborn children than what is currently permitted under Roe v. Wade, which allows for elective abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.

We are being presented with the greatest opportunity of our lifetime to turn the tide for life. We must tell the truth about abortion and not allow pro-abortion arguments to rule the day unopposed.

*****

This article was published on December 1, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The Daily Signal.

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Respecting the Corona Virus

By Neland Nobel

It is one thing to describe something. It often is different actually to experience it. In this case we are talking about the Corona virus.

I am a 73-year-old, unvaccinated male in generally good health who came down with the Chinese virus almost exactly two weeks ago. It came along just in time to screw up Thanksgiving and the beginning of Hannukah.

Everyone is different and so what I will describe is simply my experience.  Of course, that could differ from another person’s experience. No doubt many had it easier, and a number had it worse. Overall, I feel fortunate it was not worse than it turned out to be. I feel bad for those who have had a more severe case or lost someone they loved.

My wife had it first so we went down pretty much two days apart. She had a milder case and I had it a bit more severe. I had all the standard ailments: cough, fever and chills, loss of taste, brain fog, fatigue, and weakness. The body wanted to sleep, even after the most minor exertion. Weakness followed in the wake of other symptoms retreating.

The beginning was mild, days three to four were rough, and by the end of the first week, I started feeling better, and have continued to gain strength. As I write, we are exactly two weeks from initial symptoms, and I was able to take a short hike and get outside in the glorious sunshine.

I used the word respect in the title. My wife and I expected to get infected and were surprised it took so long. We never curtailed our activities, flew on airplanes, hugged friends and relatives, lived as best we could in this confusing period. Thus, we were exposed. We knew if we got it, it could be severe but chose to live our lives without undue fear. We knew from others and from reading, most will recover but a minority of those with preconditions and advanced age are at greater risk. We did not take the bug for granted.

We know so many vaccinated people who have gotten it, we decided we would take our chances getting natural immunity, which seems far superior to the short-term benefits of the jab. That was our decision to make and we faced the consequences.

We pre-positioned ivermectin which we took for five days, had thermometers, oximeters to watch oxygen levels, took our own blood pressure, and tried to get extra rest.

Over the recent weekend, news of the Omicron variant hit the news. Stock markets tanked and Governor Kathy Hochul of New York declared a state of emergency. She said she was concerned about a cold-weather variant, even though it came from South Africa, where it is summer. No cases have been reported in New York, but she has gone into “emergency mode.” The doctor who discovered the new variant has described it as “mild.”

Still, though, Governor Hochul thought it was wise to panic.

Meanwhile, the Courts are striking down Federal vaccine mandates, and the White House just caved on mandatory vaccines for Federal employees.

As we suggested earlier, a healthy respect for the bug certainly is due, and intelligent people should take preparations because it is clear the much-touted vaccine does not stop one from getting it.  The virus will do its thing, therefore respect its power. As a society, we are not going to stop it. It was foolish to think we could. Better to be prepared and learn to live with it.

Having gone through this now on a personal level, turning our society inside out seems both unnecessary and damaging.

The arrogance of our officials is on display. Not only do they think by seizing power and changing the Constitutional order they can change these natural processes, they continue to behave this way in the face of obvious failure. Stifle your hubris. You are not going to stop the virus and you are not going to change the climate of the earth either.

During the worst of the illness, I thought to myself, despite all the inflation of prices, the disruption of life government policy has caused, I still got it and must suffer through it. While many of us will get it, we all, in the end, suffer alone. And so, must my fellow citizens. Government cannot save us.

The chief job of any public officials is to protect the liberty of its citizens.

Having just come through this experience, I have to say the fear mongers have done a great disservice to the world. The virus is nasty to be sure, but not so much nastier than other illnesses I have had. Such concentration on ineffective vaccinations while largely ignoring, dare we say even prohibiting, the development of treatments, looks particularly stupid.  This is particularly so as it becomes clear the vaccines don’t work as advertised and that variants and boosters will be in a constant arms race.

My wife and I had to jump through a number of hoops to get the ivermectin we wanted. The government did not only not help, it actually actively got in the way of us helping ourselves. Big media and much of the medical profession were equally useless.

Respecting and fearing are two quite different things. Taking steps to inform people objectively, giving them broad choice for their individual circumstances, respecting their autonomy to make decisions, respecting their property, prosperity, and liberty; all seem to be much better than the one size fits all dictatorial panic from “experts” like Dr. Fauci and Governor Hochul.

When you look at the actual results of policy, Sweden and Florida, look so much better than Austria and New York, it can’t be ignored. And if the health outcomes are not demonstrably better in Austria and New York, how can these constant panic attacks by the government be justified?

It is time for government and health professionals to grow up and show some maturity. Most of us will survive this thing, but we may not survive the destruction to society these Covid policies are inflicting.

We have reached a point where the governmental reaction to Covid poses a greater threat to both health and liberty than the virus itself. Respect the power of the virus but governmental panic neither stops the virus nor helps the people.

As government becomes so much more entangled in our lives, it is worth asking, if I am going to get it and suffer with it, is the government over reach in my interests or theirs? And why in the heck are our tax dollars being used to develop this plague, that was then set upon the land?

The virus needs to be respected but irrational fear is hardly a helpful public policy.

While the government did little to get me through this virus, I have renewed respect for the wonderful body God gave me. I took some meds, drank water, and slept. My immune system, which runs pretty much on its own, did the rest. That is true for most Americans and that is why about 99% of us will survive.

That is something truly to be thankful for.

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FLORIDA: Governor DeSantis Activates Florida State Guard

By Dr. Rich Swier

“We want to be able to have a quick response capability and re-establishing the Florida State Guard will allow civilians from all over the state to be trained in the best emergency response techniques and have the ability to mobilize very, very quickly.” – Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL), December 3rd, 2021


The Florida State Guard (FSG) is trained and funded by the state and therefore cannot be federalized and is available to the governor of Florida whenever needed. Florida law allows the governor of Florida to create and maintain a Florida state defense force should he decide to do so.

Florida Governor DeSantis Activates the Florida State Guard

Governor Ron DeSantis has announced that he is activating the Florida State Guard.

I am proposing more than $100 million for our National Guard, active-duty military and veterans, and to re-establish the Florida State Guard to assist our National Guard in state-specific emergencies.

I am committed to supporting our military and keeping our state safe.

— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) December 2, 2021

NorthEscambia.com reported:

In Escambia County Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced more than $100 million in funding proposals to support Florida’s National Guard and establish the Florida State Guard, a civilian volunteer force that will assist the National Guard in state-specific emergencies

The Governor’s budget proposal includes:

  • $87.5 million to expand the existing readiness center in Miramar and to establish three new armories in Homestead, Gainesville and Malabar;
  • $8.9 million for existing armory maintenance;
  • $2.2 million for a new headquarters for the National Guard Counter Drug Program;
  • $5.1 million to support Florida National Guardsmen seeking higher-education degrees; and
  • $3.5 million to establish the Florida State Guard.

[ … ]

The establishment of the Florida State Guard will further support those emergency response efforts in the event of a hurricane, natural disasters and other state emergencies. The $3.5 million to establish the Florida State Guard will enable civilians to be trained in the best emergency response techniques. By establishing the Florida State Guard, Florida will become the 23rd state with a state guard recognized by the federal government.

Watch Governor Ron DeSantis’ remarks about the Florida State Guard.

Bottom Line

It appears that Governor DeSantis has activated the Florida State Guard to protect Floridians from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Foreign enemies may include illegal aliens shipped to Florida by Biden. Domestic enemies might be Biden, his administration and members of Congress who support Biden and his draconian policies.

Just some thoughts upon hearing this news after seeing the sign at Governor DeSantis’ news conference stating, “Florida State Guard, Leave Us Alone.”

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

Covid-19 exposes the link between Safetyism and Wokeism thumbnail

Covid-19 exposes the link between Safetyism and Wokeism

By MercatorNet – Navigating Modern Complexities

‘Wokeism’ and ‘Safetyism’ are closely linked.


In their now justly famous 2018 book The Coddling of the American Mind, Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff proposed “Safetyism” as the name for a novel “moral culture” that had originated on college and university campuses and was rapidly colonizing the larger American culture. Haidt and Lukianoff define Safetyism as “a culture or belief system in which safety has become a sacred value, which means that people become unwilling to make trade-offs demanded by other practical and moral concerns.”

This was followed by other cultural treatments, such as Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning’s The Rise of Victimhood Culture, some of which more emphatically connected this novel Safetyist culture to the new form of political leftism that has been increasingly ascendant since at least 2013. It’s often been referred to as “social justice” leftism but is increasingly being labelled “Wokeism,” “woke leftism,” or some variant thereof.

The core of this ideology consists in a combination of philosophical postmodernism and political leftism; like classical Marxism, it dictates that all social phenomena are to be viewed through a lens of oppression and domination, but it extends this Marxist thesis beyond economic class to encompass all social identities whatsoever. The goal of this ideology is to categorize all such identities as either “oppressor” or “oppressed” and to politically mobilize the latter against the former.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, my first thought was that a Safetyist culture, as ours had increasingly become, was the worst possible type of culture for handling such a threat to public health. My concern wasn’t only that such a culture would prioritize safety from the virus over all other concerns, such as the negative impacts of economic lockdowns.

I also worried that Covid-19 protective measures would provide cover for the spread of Wokeism.

The alliance of Safetyism and Wokeism

Why would I think this? Because Safetyism and Wokeism are fellow travellers, joined at the hip in many more contexts than not. They find their greatest purchase in the same demographics, most prominently what Charles Murray identified in Coming Apart as the “new upper class,” the elite-educated members of which “run the nation’s economic, political, and cultural institutions.” This class includes politicians and the wealthiest percentile of managers and professionals, as well as “journalists, academics, and public intellectuals in general.”

Safetyism and Wokeism also originate from the members of this “new upper class” and the institutions they control, not least academia and the postmodernist leftists dominating it. And the two ideologies also share a host of characteristic features. Because bureaucratic elites’ heavy-handed response to Covid-19 is rooted in Safetyism, submission to Covid-19 Safetyism also strengthens Wokeism, even if only indirectly.

A prime feature of both Safetyism and Wokeism is the semantic inflation of safety-related terms and concepts—including, most prominently, “safety” itself. As Haidt and Lukianoff note, “In the twentieth century, the word ‘safety’ generally meant physical safety. . . . But gradually, in the twenty-first century, on some college campuses, the meaning of ‘safety’ underwent a process of ‘concept creep’ and expanded to include ‘emotional safety.’”

In the case of Covid-19 Safetyism, the lines between physical safety and psychological comfort are blurred almost as frequently as in the case of Wokeism. The most glaring example of this is the infamous “wearing cloth facemask while alone outside” phenomenon, something I observe with astonishing frequency.

Other parallels are hard to miss. One of the most obvious is the institution of a novel orthodoxy, the censorship of any heterodox opinions, and the ostracism of heretics who dissent from the orthodoxy.

In the case of Covid-19 Safetyism, we see safety measures being carried out under the aegis of “The Science,” as though scientific findings always reach uniform conclusions that conveniently align on one side of the political divide. Invocations of “The Science” often function dogmatically rather than rationally in this context, and any dissent is vigorously suppressed. For example, now-credible theories about the virus accidentally leaking from a Wuhan research lab were initially met with an exasperated dismissal that was nearly uniform in the mainstream media. Often in the name of safety, progressives invoke science as a supposedly indisputable basis for their positions.

Another parallel between Wokeism and Safetyism is captured by Douglas Murray’s “runaway train” metaphor in his 2019 book, The Madness of Crowds: namely, the more identity-based oppression is actually eliminated, the more inflated claims of oppression become relative to reality, which propels the proposal of more extreme policies (the closer the train gets to its destination, the more it speeds up). The most familiar examples of such “progressophobia” from Wokeism concern race, as when Ibram Kendi characterized the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by saying “racism did not end—it progressed,” or as when Charles Blow wrote that “American racism has evolved and become less blunt, but it has not become less effective” since the era of slavery and the Civil War.

Such claims echo ones made earlier by academics, such as Critical Race Theory progenitor Derrick Bell, who in 1987 wrote that “progress in American race relations is largely a mirage,” and Microaggression Theory progenitor Derald Wing Sue, who in 2010 wrote that racial microaggressions “may have significantly more influence on anger, frustration, and self-esteem than traditional overt forms of racism.”

If conditions have not in fact improved for a historically oppressed group, then the unsafety of that group would indeed warrant radical, progressive policies to rectify this. Conversely, if we admit that progress has been made on a given problem, we would have to admit that the threat has subsided, which would diminish the need for affirmative policies that purportedly combat it. In other words, the political activation potential for supposedly oppressed groups would decrease. If people recognize significant improvements in a given form of oppression, the basis for a political ideology almost entirely founded on the goal of solving that problem would be severely weakened. Moreover, it would threaten the perceived legitimacy of those empowered to enforce those policies.

Safetyism and medical theatre

The ballooning of what is considered “safety” has also led to resistance to rational argument about the relevant evidence.

Consider many universities’ mask policies. Masks are often required for those indoors at all times except when alone in a room, any type of mask satisfies this requirement, and the vast majority of people wear cloth or surgical masks that are only really effective in preventing spread by respiratory droplets. But transmission by respiratory droplet occurs primarily through coughing and sneezing, which are symptoms of Covid-19, and all persons exhibiting such symptoms are typically barred from public university spaces by school policy. So what rational purpose does requiring non-N95 masks serve?

At this point, some people might propose that such policies constitute “medical theatre.” This point is worth considering for a moment. What is the purpose of theatre? Generally speaking, theatre aims to elicit audience emotions rather than conduct rational argument. And it is impossible to miss how frequently Safetyist rhetoric, specifically vis-à-vis Covid-19 policies, is framed in terms of feelings of safety that are decidedly irrational.

At Rice University, an assistant teaching professor and health sciences advisor recently went on record as saying: “I am fully vaccinated, but I have two young children who are ineligible to be vaccinated. . . . With masks, I personally feel more comfortable being in the classroom and have less worries about exposing my children to the virus through me.” Never mind that the sort of transmission these masks prevent is already prevented by other policies, and never mind that children face miniscule risk from Covid-19. The point, at least from the perspective of medical theatre, isn’t to make people safer, but to make them feel safer.

Still, why not just wear a mask without objection if it does in fact make others feel safer—isn’t this an altruistic end worth some minor inconvenience on your part? I hear this argument all the time, often formulated as: “Just don’t be a jerk.”

If it sounds familiar, that’s because it was first and frequently deployed in defence of mandating the use of people’s “preferred pronouns.” Rather than signifying objective reality, Woke and Safetyist language alike more often cater to subjective desires and are used to manipulate emotions. Both Safetyism and Wokeism elevate people’s subjective and emotional experiences (so long as they point in a progressive direction) over biological reality and scientific fact.

Resisting Wokeism and Safetyism’s expanding frontiers

The point is that Safetyism and Wokeism leverage our altruistic instincts to effect submission to irrational policies that were never designed to be rationally justifiable in the first place. Instead, it seems increasingly clear, both ideologies function sociologically like religion. More and more people seem to be noticing this, both in relation to Covid-19 Safetyism and in relation to Wokeism. But what goes less remarked upon is the connection between these two novel forms of secular religion, and specifically how they mutually reinforce one another.

For consider: if you are willing to submit to irrational Covid policies for the sake of helping others feel safer—however irrational you may think those feelings are—then why wouldn’t you do the same in the case of the various norms and policies of Wokeism? The future frontiers of Wokeism are often unpredictable, and its awakenings might demand of dissenters impossible violations of conscience—as they already have for many.

As Safetyism’s star continues to rise, so will Wokeism’s, and for the same sorts of reasons. And if Wokeism is the great threat to free speech, impartial justice, and liberal education that it is so often—and rightly—made out to be, then its connection to Safetyism should be sufficient reason to resist unreasonable Covid-19 policies. It is time for both conservatives and traditional liberals to wake up to this reality, which requires more consistently translating our convictions into action.

This article has been republished from The Public Discourse with permission.

Just When You Thought The World Couldn’t Get More Idiotic thumbnail

Just When You Thought The World Couldn’t Get More Idiotic

By Robert Spencer

Here’s the latest installment in the Annals of Idiocy: “Inclusiveness: a European Commissioner recommends no longer using ‘Christmas,’ ‘Christian’ names and the masculine,” translated from “Inclusivité : une commissaire européenne recommande de ne plus utiliser “Noël”, les noms “chrétiens” et le masculin,” Valuers Actuelles, November 29, 2021 (thanks to Medforth):

European Equality Commissioner Helena Dalli launched an internal guide for inclusive communication at the end of October. This prohibits a number of expressions deemed to be stigmatizing according to gender, sexual identities, ethnic origins or culture, the Italian daily Il Giornale revealed on Sunday (November 28). These recommendations aim to “reflect diversity” and to fight against “stereotypes deeply rooted in individual and collective behavior.”

One “stereotype” that racists have is that many black people have names like “Dequan” and “Lashonda” and “Takeesha.” So in order to combat that stereotype, all such names should be banned. No sense giving white racists grist for their mill.

Using Italian names for gangsters in movies about the Mafia simply reinforces stereotypes about “Italo-American” criminals. The only solution is to make sure that no Italian names are used for Mafia members. “Henry” and “Charles” are acceptable as gangster names, but “Enrico” and “Carlo” are not. No Mafia gangster should be shown either cooking, or eating, a plate of pasta. Garlic should also not be mentioned.

Similarly, in a movie about Mexican drug traffickers, their names must not lead anyone to think that they are in any way “Mexican”; that would not be fair, as such names would only reinforce a “stereotype” that far too many of us unthinkingly accept. Give them names like “Randolph” and “James” and “Alice.” Under no conditions should any Mexican drug trafficker be called “El Chapo” or “El Gordo” or “El Mata Amigos.”

In general, the report suggests that no one should be identified on the basis of their particularity or in a way that is not [sic] offensive. For example, the use of the masculine form “by default” should be prohibited and the salutation “Dear Sir or Madam” should be replaced by “Dear Colleague.” Gender-specific terms such as “workmen” should also not be used. As the document – Dalli’s internal guide –is written in English, some recommendations are not applicable to other languages. The text also provides that one should never ” imply ” a person’s sexual orientation or even their gender identity. Similarly, it considers that a reference to elements of Christian culture “assumes that all people are Christians.” It therefore recommends deleting the reference to Christmas and speaking instead of “holidays.” Christian names such as “Mary” or “John” should be banned, according to the Commissioner.

But how can you write, say, an application letter for an academic job and use as your salutation — as Helena Dalli recommends – “Dear Colleague”? You aren’t anyone’s “colleague” yet – that’s what you are applying to be – and use of that salutation would merely come across as presumptuous, and likely nip in the bud your chances to be hired.

To eliminate all gender specific names, start with the easy ones. Thus “workman” can become “worker.” But what do we do when we come, say, to weddings, where there is an insufficiently “inclusive” focus on the “man” and the “woman”? Revise the text. “Do you take this man to be your lawful wedded husband” should instead become “Do you take this man or woman or non-binary other, to be your lawful wedded husband or wife or non-binary other”? Eventually it might be a good idea to provide a single word that can refer equally to both “husband” and “wife.” We’re working on it.

Using the “masculine” form “by default” should. be avoided, according to Helena Dalli, EU Equal Opportunities Commissioner, working tirelessly to make the world a better place by erasing all distinctions. But “Dear Sir or Madam” doesn’t use the “masculine” form “by default” – it carefully allows, in full diversity-inclusivity-equity mode, both the masculine and the feminine possibilities.

The claim that a reference to “elements of Christian culture” necessarily “assumes that all people are Christian” is utter nonsense. If I mention “the Bamiyan Buddhas,” does this make me guilty of assuming “that all people are Buddhist”? If I write that “the holiday of Diwali is observed differently by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists, creating a rich tapestry of cultural traditions and customs,” have I thereby assumed that everybody in the world is either “Hindu, Jain, Sikh, or Buddhist”? If I mention “Hanukkah” or a menorah, or show on YouTube a lesson on “how to spin a dreidl,” have I assumed that everyone in the world is “Jewish”? Should all references to the Bible be eliminated, because such references would be unacceptable, as “too Christian” or too “Judeo-Christian”? Surely we can’t have that in our brave new world that hath such creatures in it as Helena Dalli. Indeed, as the Bible itself is a venerable vehicle for what we now recognize as sexism, why not go beyond forbidding the reading of the Bible, and make possession of the book itself a crime?

Helena Dalli, the powerful EU Commissioner, thinks we need to rid the world of names that are too linked to Christianity. She mentions as examples of names that must no longer be used “Mary” and “John.” But these are just the names that come immediately to mind. We need to get rid as well of other names smacking of Christianity, including “Peter,” “Simon,” Thomas,” “Joseph,” “Martha,” “Christopher,” George” (which makes one think of “Saint George”), “Andrew,” “Samuel” and so many more names that are “too Christian” for Christians – or anyone else — to use.

But why does Helena Dalli not mention the need to abolish names that are “too connected” to the religion of Islam? Why should “Mary” and “John” be eliminated, but “Mohammed” and its many variants — Mahmoud, Ahmad, Muhammad, Magomed, Mahmad, Mehmet, Mamadou, Muhammadu, Mahamed, Mohamad, Mohamed, Mohammad, and so on – be tolerated inside the EU? Helena Dalli should provide us with a list of names that she believes are unacceptably linked to religions other than Christianity, the sole faith she mentions and for which she appears to bear a deep animus. Then we can get to work banning those names as well.

She’s also against mention of the very word “Christmas.”

Even the expression “colonizing of Mars” is considered negative, as it would be reminiscent of colonialism, and should be replaced by the phrase “sending people to Mars.” The report [by Helena Dalli] also advocates a form of positive discrimination. It suggests not convening working groups where only one gender is represented and thinking about inviting people from different ethnicities to events and photo shoots. Helena Dalli has already been criticized for the polemical campaign “Freedom with the Hijab” and the participation of Islamist associations in the campaign.

It will be fascinating to see if the EU Commissioner manages to make every single working group at the EU “gender diverse.” How will such a rule work in practice, particularly with the Muslims, whose unequal treatment of men and woman is legitimized in the Qur’an itself and who insist even on separating male from female worshippers in the mosque?

A verse in the Quran – 4:34 – gives husbands the right to “beat” their wives if they even suspect them of “disobedience.” Honor killings by Muslim men of their wives, daughters, sisters, and daughters-in-law – which may be prompted by a multitude of sins committed by females in the family, such as refusing to wear a hijab, or being seen talking to a non-Muslim boy – lead to very light punishment or in some cases to no punishment at all. The misogyny of Islam can also be seen in the fact that a Muslim woman’s testimony is worth only half that of a man, and a daughter inherits only half what a son receives. Will Helena Dalli be able to force Muslim males to include females in their meetings? I suspect she will not even try. Her desire to impose restrictions of all kinds on “religions” ends up with her applying her humorless and bizarre restrictions to one religion only – Christianity.

As for doing away with the very word “Christmas,” the cast of Seinfeld, trying to be as ridiculous as possible, already provided some years ago a different word for that day, even less “Christian” than the word “holiday” (which derives from “holy day”); they called it “Festivus.” That should please Helena Dalli. A Festivus Tree, Festivus Lights, Festivus Presents, Festivus Cards. What’s not to like?

I know what you’re thinking. You are thinking that her idiocy will be rejected all those who have kept their wits about them, that the thinking world will rise up and laugh to scorn Ms./Mrs.Mr./Non-binary/Equal opportunity Helena Dalli. But she’s not just some Hyde Park Corner lunatic; she’s the EU Equal Opportunities Commissioner. In that post she can do – she’s already done — a lot of damage. She needs not just to be laughed at, but to be relieved of her position. Please, EU, put her, and therefore us, out of her misery.

COLUMN BY

HUGH FITZGERALD

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Biden’s Climate Power Grab Via Trillions of Dollars in Annual Federal Procurement thumbnail

Biden’s Climate Power Grab Via Trillions of Dollars in Annual Federal Procurement

By David Wojick

Spending by federal agencies is governed by the extensive Federal Acquisition Regulations or FAR for short. In response to a Biden executive order, the FAR Council is conducting a silly public inquiry as to how climate change should be factored into federal spending. The Federal Government spends over $6 trillion a year so this is a very big deal.

The concept is ridiculous and some of the ideas are illegal but this foolish agency action deserves serious attention. The FAR Council has issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making (ANPRM) titled “Federal Acquisition Regulation: Minimizing the Risk of Climate Change in Federal Acquisitions“. Comments are due by December 15. I urge people to comment.

See https://www.regulations.gov/document/FAR-2021-0016-0001

Advanced Notices like this are asking for ideas prior to proposing regulations, including that the whole idea is nuts. One of the worst things mentioned is that in competitive procurements agencies should give preference to bidders who are cutting their emissions. I cannot believe this is legal but there it is.

The ANPRM includes this list of leading questions:

(a)How can greenhouse gas emissions, including the social cost of greenhouse gases, best be qualitatively and quantitatively considered in Federal procurement decisions, both domestic and overseas? How might this vary across different sectors?

(b) What are usable and respected methodologies for measuring the greenhouse gases emissions over the lifecycle of the products procured or leased, or of the services performed?

(c) How can procurement and program officials of major Federal agency procurements better incorporate and mitigate climate-related financial risk? How else might the Federal Government consider and minimize climate-related financial risks through procurement decisions, both domestic and overseas?

(d) How would (or how does) your organization provide greenhouse gas emission data for proposals and/or contract performance?

(e) How might the Federal Government best standardize greenhouse gas emission reporting methods? How might the Government verify greenhouse gas emissions reporting?

(f) How might the Federal Government give preference to bids and proposals from suppliers, both domestic and overseas, to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions or reduce the social cost of greenhouse gas emissions most effectively?

(g) How might the Government consider commitments by suppliers to reduce or mitigate greenhouse gas emissions?

(h) What impact would consideration of the social cost of greenhouse gases in procurement decisions have on small businesses, including small disadvantaged businesses, women-owned small businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, and Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) small businesses? How should the FAR Council best align this objective with efforts to ensure opportunity for small businesses?

The questions imply proposals that clearly make federal spending an instrument of alarmist policy. Suppliers are required to report their greenhouse emissions and to take steps to reduce them. The result can only be to drive up the cost of goods and services, which taxpayers pay for.

I see no statutory authority for this nonsense. Surely only Congress can make rules like this. Agencies cannot just decide what to buy based on Biden’s climate power agenda.

Some of this is truly far out, like asking procurement officials to measure the life cycle emissions of products and services. Complex products up to and including warships can have components, sub-components, etc., from all over the world, and lead long complex lives. In fact, the Defense Department is a lead agency in this ANPRM, as is NASA.

Imagine trying to measure the life cycle emissions for $6 trillion a year’s worth of products and services, and then basing procurement decisions on these measures. This is truly absurd.

There is also this vaguest of concepts: the “climate-related financial risks” to the Federal Government, which are supposed to be both mitigated and minimized. The real risk here is doing silly stuff in the name of climate alarmism.

And of course, there is the nutty “social cost of greenhouse gases”. This goofy number is claimed to measure to the dollar the damage done over the next 300 years by a ton of today’s emissions. I am not making this up!

The Biden Administration is trying to grab power it does not have, using regulations that have no statutory authority. I urge people to comment, especially saying how stupid and dangerous this proposed rule-making really is.

*****

This article was published on November 26, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from CFACT, The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow.